Sunday, February 28, 2010

Podrophenia 8 - It's a Family Affair

The latest Podrophenia from Piley and I brings you a family sized portion of chat and tunes including a a roll-call of songs featuring dads, mothers, cousins, brothers - and two tracks from actual uncles.

Amongst usual the jabber and blab we ask: what's more amazing, some hi-deaf riffing found on Radio 3, or that one of us is a secret Radio 3 listener, which puppet couple may have been 'having a dabble' and we've a semi (ooer) Woodwatch update.

Podrophenia 8 - Families

Or via iTunes

Oh, and the 33 and a 3rd Eye mix mentioned after my second track can be grabbed here

Behold ! Bygone Buses

Friday, February 26, 2010

Funky Friday - Harmonic Generation

It's a playlist of perhaps rowdier sounds than we'd typically chow down on of a Friday. But, there is funkyness to be found amongst mix of heavy-level riffing and hi-amped attack. Killing Floor, Painter Man, Talkin' Woman, and Elephant Man are as hot-footed as any other number posted on previous FFs.
So what's it all about Alfie?

Markus Reeves, has organised Harmonic Generation: a live music event for local bands, which, opens it's doors for the first time tonight

If you're in the Leicester area - why not get down there, and lend an ear and some support to this all electric session. You may even catch a glimpse of this grit, garage and guitar a go-go mix spinning between bands..

You can get all the info on the acts...right here

Harmonic Generation

PS - to avoid being blog-whacked, the tracklist is in the first comment.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dear Diary - February

Why not set the scene with a peep at the Top 75 for week ending - 24/02/1979

So another month of disco fixtures and 'urcha' references - but no entries for records collected yet. Strange, as I remember Feb' kicking off a lengthy run of multi-coloured vinyl releases - with me bagging three pinkies (King Rocker, Cool For Cats and my first 12" - Contact) around this time. And mates grabbing Milk and Alcohol (brown or white) and Sound of the Suburbs (clear).

Another fad reaching it's peak-point this month - satin disco drainpipes. The swishy type of trouser favoured by Rod Stewart, Hot Gossip and seen here. A best friend's (birthday on the 18th) older brother ran a Petticoat Lane market stall, when we helped out one Sunday morning, these hi-shine strides were literally shifting by the lorry-load while Heart of Glass boomed from radios all around.

One final observation. Tellingly - and in purple felt tip, not the regulation biro - a note of Sid Vicous's death. An early warning alert that like Blondie-in-reverse I may soon be dropping disco biscuits in favour of other rowdier sounds..

Edwin Starr - Contact (12")

Blondie - Once I Had A Love (The Disco Song)

The top set of cuttings were given to me by other best friend (birthday 10th Feb'), the bottom set are mine. Both are in my Punk Scrapbook started after Sid's death.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Funky Friday - Lucky Sevens

What a lazy lucky bugger - that's two guest-bits on the bounce now! This week we've got the fantabulosa Miss Ally - all the way from Dusty 7s doing the honours. You can catch Ally in action spinning winners like these at the 99p Soul Sessions tomorrow night - details down below. So enough of my ol' cyber-babble let's hand over to Ally...

The second my greedy eyes gobbled up that picture up there that little roger all super studious modded up good and taking notes people - taking goddammn notes i thought of dear old mondo. never met the blighter never laid my minces on his dolly old eek (it's polari darlings - get with the lessons over my gaff if you're that way inclined) never seen so much as photograph but he was there right there just how i thought of him out by the seaside with his little record player and his little notebook all super studious and modded up good. and when i got the nod for a guest spot (with my reputation i know...)this was the tune i thought should be playing on that little record machine. only it's off of a twelve inch obviously which doesn't quite fit and it's from 1971 (well the original is mines a 1980's reissue) which doesn't either but hey we all know he likes his acid jazz and his organ grooves so i do so hope he likes this

New Jersey Queens and Friends - Party

New Jersey Queens and Friends - Party (Instrumental)

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Joy of Six Podcast


1 husband and wife
2 bottles of wine
7" singles (a crateful)
6 lucky dips apiece

Stir in 12 tunes including ABC, Mae West and Gina X - and in less than an hour, you'll have a his 'n' hers, pick 'n' mix podcast ready to serve.

The Joy of Six

Any guesses on the opening theme? Extra points for the tune's official title rather than the prog name.

If I sound a bit, well, muffled and muddy - it's due to raging toothache. Which, rapidly remedied itself after reading the Dentist's estimate to extract and make good.

PS - Piley and I should be recording a new Podrophenia this week

Thursday, February 11, 2010

(Funky) Friday On My Mind

It's about time we had a breather from my usual end o' the week guff and stuff. So instead,it's a guest blog spot for todays' FF as music writer, musician and compiler of the sharpest CDs John Medd punches the buttons and chooses the tunes...

Blimey, it’s Friday again! How did that happen? Not that I’m complaining, it’s just that these days all my timepieces appear to be moving at cartoon/sit-com speed – you know the sort, don’t you? Anyway, here’s three nuggets that should kick-start the weekend.

When I was in my late teens and discovering wine, women and song, my all time favourite song lyric went ‘tonight’s the night when I go to all the parties down my street’ from Joe Jackson’s Is She Really Going Out With Him: even though there were precious few parties down my street, those words held so much promise. And even now, a quarter of a century later, I still sing it myself when I’m going putting on my falling over trousers, ready to go and blow the froth off a couple of pints on a Friday night. Joe’s moved on, too; these days he’s got a train to catch. By the way, any similarities to The ‘In’ Crowd are no doubt well intentioned.

Joe Jackson: Uptown Train

Next up is a tune you’ll be whistling all next week – I promise. The Haggis Horns hail from Leeds and are reinventing UK funk. This brass-heavy 8-piece are the house band of choice for Ronson, Winehouse, Bailey Rae et al and are guaranteed to tear up any club they pitch up at.

Haggis Horns: The Traveller (Pt. 2)

Finally, rather than jam the anchors on, we’re slowing down Toyota style…slowly. James Yorkston is best known for his work as part of the The Fence Collective, a Scottish folk mafia, if you will, but his solo album Year Of The Leopard appeared on quite a few radar screens a couple of years back - not least for it’s mesmeric Woozy With Cider: a remixer’s dream (it’s even been given a dubstep makeover) though I’ve gone for the original. Dig it!

James Yorkston: Woozy With Cider

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Genius of Stan Lee

Spidey's debut appearance - Amazing Fantasy 15

For as long, and possibly even longer, than I've had an almost genetic devotion to music, a second secret passion has quietly but constantly simmered alongside. Comics. Superheroes, secret identities, bizarre accidents and incidents leading to superpowers - crimebusters in capes and cowls - tights and fights as they call them in the trade.

I could make excuses, justifications or perhaps mention heavy-hitting comic fans like Elvis, Sid Vicious, Marco Pirroni, Samuel L. Jackson, David Bowie, Marc Bolan and Andy Partridge. But, I've been a total devotee for to long to have any embarrassment about being a life long fanorak of the genre.

And as with every area of entertainment, there's always a genius or two amongst the usual runners and riders. I don't use the 'G' word lightly, but in the world of Comicana there is one name that towers mightily, monumentally and marvellously over the entire Universe - Stan 'The Man' Lee.

If you're unfamiliar with his name - you won't be with his creations. Spider-Man, Silver Surfer, The Hulk, The X-Men, Iron Man to roll call a handful of Stan's heaviest hitting heroes. Or possibly his expressions, now absorbed and embedded in mainstream phrasery: Nuff said, natch, true believers, spider-sense.

Forget the Hollywood by-numbers blockbusters or generic formula films. Stan's original sixties and seventies storylines were unlike any fantasy tales of the time- certainly comic writing, which until Marveldom, would retread and peddle variations on vanilla plots and thin interchangeable identities.

Stan Lee, and the Marvel artists Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby, John Romita created a rolling repertory of anti-heroes - ordinary people with extraordinary (and often unwanted) superpowers. A galaxy of tragic, tortured souls, hulking ungainly lumps or geeky teens cast as cente stage superheroes, not sidekicks. And referencing college life, popular culture (James Bond, The Beatles, Woody Allen) the counter culture, drink or drug addiction. Occasionally even breaking the fourth wall of comics with self referencing in-jokes or lines like 'that's enough soap opera for now', or a wrap up a dynamic, climatic city-scape ending with the intro... ' and because the artist loves drawing crowd scenes'.

Unlike the first generation of superheroes, Marvel's heavy hitting, high-flyers and their off duty identities were grounded with hang-ups and personal problems: alcoholism, teen angst and self-doubts or disabilities (blindness, heart conditions) - all of which made for stronger stories, dialogue and personal inter-play. Their public and private lives were be peppered with life-changing tragedies, heart-breaking ironies or cold, cruel misunderstandings and woven into multi-layered, cross-title story lines of explosive action tempered with high drama and every day problems. All framed against an authentic New York cityscape - not some generic fantasy town - but a real grit, grime and crime city where heroes would be booed, jeered or cheered in sparky local dialect by native New Yorkers. Often, wrongly accused of crime-making or rejected, shunned and viewed with a wily eye as creepy freaky mutants.

However, one of the richest ironies is Stan Lee's own story. For decades Stan has been the public face of Marvel Comics, building a gallery of genre-breaking titles and record-setting sales. Producing a portfolio of icons, ideas and inventions generating millions of dollars through comics sales, film adaptations and multiple merchandising formats. Ultimately reaching a peak with Disney's multi-billion buy out of Marvel last year.

But away from the spotlight and back in the Marvel Bullpen, Stan wrote, scripted and art directed across multiple titles and plotlines - re-inventing comicana codes and conventions and pushing Marvel into new editorial territory. Yet as a freelance writer, paid per page - he had no ownership or financial rights to any of his comic creations or characters and it's only relatively recently that Stan has finally received some reflective remuneration

Stan Lee will be 88 this year. Marvel comics celebrated 70 years in business last year. If you've never read anything by either I would recommend hopping on at any of these starting points pilgrims.

The Essential Spider-Man - ground breaking, web-spinning. It all starts here.
The Essential Silver Surfer - Not strictly a graph' nov' - but all eighteen editions of ol' Chrome Dome's first flights, collected in one volume - it is classic tragi-comic Marvel with a mixture of Shakespearen, Biblical and New York-speak scripting.
Spider-Man The Death of The Stacys - heartbreak, death and drug addiction
Marvels - not Stan Lee, but Kurt Busiek puts the Marvel timeline and Universe in context and order with jaw-dropping artwork from Alex Ross

The Ramones - Spider-Man

Amazing Fantasy 15 - re-rendered by Alex Ross

Friday, February 5, 2010

Funky Friday - What Is Soul? This Is Soul!!

It had to be didn't it. After last week's post, there is only one album I could follow on with.

If you can't find the vinyl version (mine was just a mind-frying £3, from the Battlesbridge record man) you must grab the CD reissue. Lovingly packaged in dinky replica cover, complete with Atlantic logo liner, gatefold photo-spread and a walloping 17!! Yes 17!! extra tracks - including the delicous Barbra Lynn tune posted below. It's a must-have. In fact, just buy the bloomin' thing for the bonus bits anyway.

So, as we said at the start - what is soul? This is soul!!

Ben E.King - What Is Soul

Solomon Burke - Keep Looking

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Cops, Robbers and The Holy Grail

How do you make a round trip to France - touring through: biker-rockers, Bash Street punks and the search for The Holy Grail. How? Like this..

Larry Wallis was a one-time guitarist for The Pink Fairies, a band appearing at Mont-de-Marsan's First Europan Punk Festival(20th August 1976). On the same bill were The Damned, whose beret wearing bass player Ray Burns, was rechristened 'Captain Sensible' by The Fairies

Larry Wallis - Police Car

Damned Drummer - Rat Scabies penned Burglar the B-side to the 79 single Smash It Up. Keep 'em peeled for references to Midland Banks and John Peel's record collection in this Peel session version..

The Damned - Burglar (BBC Session)

Sleeve:blogger's own

Rat is now something of a Grailologist, making repeat visits to Rennes le Chateau attempting to untangle the mysteries of The Grail. Blogger-chum Rockmother, has captured Rat's doings, diggings and delvings in a fab new film Rat Scabies and The Holy Grail.