Saturday, March 29, 2008

Another Green World

I'm off to the country for a week - just round the corner from this place. But while I'm away...

If you fancy a read...
Blogging really doesn't get much better than this

If you fancy listen...
Why not pick and mix from these rocking
pop nuggets and rare soul sweeties

If you fancy a watch...
The internet was invented for scraps like this

PS - suggested soundtracks for my trip are here if you fancy a nosey.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Funky Friday - Aciiiiiiiiid Jazz

Can you believe it's over 20 years since Acid Jazz first dropped into circulation with its juicy loose grooves and scrapbook look of Carnaby Street chic, Caine flick cool and bohemian beards? Aside from AJ's Anglomania retro referencing (beating Britpop to similar source material by several years) musically Acid Jazz seems to be a composite of these three elements ..

Early Santana - Latin shuffles with squealy and/or wah guitar

Jaco Pastorious - all Acid Jazz bass cadets had red hot handskills.

Robin's Nest theme tune - a riff that Jamiroquai's been riding and rewriting for his entire career.(Out of all the Acid Jazzers - why is HE the only one that's endured? )

So what acid drops are we taste testing today?

Corduroy - (formerly known as those moonage mods - Boys Wonder more on that here) laying down some skinny trousered split screen funk - there really is some great editing on the 'E Type' vid. I've spotted 'Blow Up' and 'Hawaii Five O' - but I'm sure there's more

Corduroy - E Type

Mother Earth
- headed up by Matt Deighton (Santana influence) and their 'can't believe it wasn't a monster hit' piece of perfect pop- 'Jesse'. Mother Earth's album 'People Tree' features Weller as a backing vocalist on 'Mr Freedom' which acted as the perfect framing device for Weller's first (acid style) solo album and Modfather revival. Deigton later stood in for Noel Gallagher at the occasional Oasis gig.

Mother Earth - Jesse

The New Jersy Kings - (Robin's Nest and Jaco influence) The James Taylor Quartet had been riffing on spy high soul for sometime, before bizarrely going into hiding as space age funkateers The New Jersey Kings when Acid Jazz kicked in.
New Jersy Kings - Dreamwaves

If you're in the mood for more contempory Acid Jazz style sounds check out The Bongolian , who keeps his synthy sizzlers spiked with an acid flavouring..

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Re-make/Re-model Pt. 3 Corduroy - Motorhead

Corduroy should've been huge. Their Acid Jazz jamboree bag of athletic jams and frug outs , easy breezy free flowing instrumentals set dressed in sixties cinematics and Cool Britannia cultural references ('How To Steal The World', 'Harry Palmer', 'Mini' ) and confident otherworldy trendiness of retro style, French Crops and neat, nifty trousers pre empted the mid nineties Brit Pop/Easy Listening revival by at least five years in one funky bundle.

Corduroy - 'Motorhead'

In a previous life as Boys Wonder they'd been pedalling pop art cartoon tunes two years ahead of Carter USM, The Wonder Stuff, Betty Boo and Deee-lite with mighty titles like 'Take Me To Your Leader', 'All Because The Lady Loves' and must have T shirts like these...

Ian TB has an 'all you need to know' feature on Boys Wonder and their single 'Now What Earthman' here.

To see Boys Wonder in action vamping their anthem ' Shine On Me' on Saturday Night Live click here..

But, getting back to Corduroy - think of it as a warm up for this weeks Funky Friday

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Fufu Stew Goes Mondo

There's no Funky Friday this week, it being Easter weekend - but instead there's a bumper Bank Holiday special.

Vince the Soul Chef who dishes up those sizzling mixes and spectacular singles on Fufu Stew, has beamed across the Atlantic to cook up a mix of punk, electro and new wave nuggets that is the soundtrack to scouring Smash Hits and NME for new releases, home made tapes (on 'compact cassettes'), late night listens to Radio Luxembourg and John Peel, picture sleeves, 12 inch singles, button badges and trips to the Great Gear Market (or similar) for togs like these. So over to Vince......

Hello, kiddies.

It is my pleasure to be here on Planet Mondo for this special post. Most of you may know me for my many and varied mixes of Funk and Soul music, but let me assure you that that is only the half of it. When I was a teenager, I was one of the millions who saw the birth of MTV. Back then it was inconceivable to think that the music video would influence me, much less having a lasting effect on my musical education. Some twenty five years later I look at my closet full of LPs and I am reminded of just how much influence it truly had...

I can vividly recall that fateful day in August of 1981 when the infamous rocket first took off. It couldn't have happened at a better time too because I was serving a very severe punishment for getting caught doing something quite stupid. Imagine having all of your records and tapes taken away for eight months! Well, it happened to me. Luckily I was still able to watch television so I made sure to keep my eyes glued to the set waiting for my favourite videos to come on. While I waited, I discovered a totally new genre of music that would find its way into my heart and most important, into my record collection subsequently replacing the R&B of the day that I normally played. It also helped that I could go to my local public library and dig even deeper into this new sound. From Glam to New Wave and New Romantic all the way to full blown Goth, here is just a small sample of some of that music and what it means to me personally.

01 Capitol Radio-The Clash (NU-Disk).
Taken from the original 10" LP "Black Market Clash", and lyrically a very important statement that should be adopted by practically every blogger.
02 Friends-TheTubeway Army (Beggars Banquet).
My first introduction to the minimalist vision of Gary Numan was obviously enough the hit single "Cars" until I heard the debut recording from 1978... WOW!
03 Judas Sheep-Hunters And Collectors (Virgin). I found this one digging through dollar bins one day. Being from the US, it was a novelty to have British imports in my collection so I gave it a try. What a brutal assault on my brain, complete with the funky wah wah pedal. More of that to come...
04 Metal-Gary Numan (Beggars Banquet).
Here is the flip side of the US pressing of the "Cars" 45, which I tend to dig a lot more than the A side.
05 Saturday Week-Katrina And The Waves (Aftermath).
Here's another dollar bin find that pretty much sat dormant in my crates until now. Of course I know their signature hit "Walking On Sunshine", but curiosity got the better of me. I had to pick a cut from this 1982 release just to see if it worked.
06 Big Shot-The Beat (Fame).
I don't mind a good dose of British Ska once in a while, and this tune certainly fed the need along with the next tune...
07 Nightboat To Cairo-Madness (Stiff).
MTV played lots (and LOTS) of Madness back in the day.
08 Belief-The Danse Society (Society).
Here's one that I didn't discover until years later when I was babysitting records for a friend during my heavy Gothic period. Another tune that made me go WOW!
09 Malpaso Man-Visage (Polydor).
And another classic MTV moment featuring the talents of John McGeoch, who in my opinion was the best of the many guitarists to play for Siouxsie & the Banshees.
10 Press Darlings-Adam And The Ants (CBS).
Mr. Mondo was pleased that I chose this tune to play. Kings of the Wild Frontier in my opinion is THE quintessential New Wave album.
11 Baby Oh No-Bow Wow Wow (RCA).
Yet another classic MTV moment. Being 14 at the time made it easy to have it bad for the very provocative Anabelle. Those of you who are around my age would certainly have to agree.
12 Armalite Rifle-Gang Of Four (Warner).
From the infamous Yellow EP, enough said.
13 Anti Pope-The Damned (Chiswick).
No need to say anything here...
14 Assassination K - Kanserous-The Wolfgang Press (4AD).
There was a time when 4AD could do no wrong. Even if the music was terrible, I still put my hard earned money on the counter, sometimes paying up to 30 bucks for a CD. This one is the remix from the "Bird Wood Cage" LP. Dig that funky wah wah once again!
15 Supernatural Thing-Siouxsie & The Banshees (Polydor).
Here's another one from that huge pile of records I got to babysit. Of all the tunes that Siouxsie covered over her illustrious career, this one was the most unlikely along with being the funkiest.
16 Telegram Sam-T. Rex (EMI) .
It's a known fact that Glam heavily influenced Goth. Being a huge Bauhaus fan, I loved the way they treated this one. When I found the original at long last, I was quite happy with myself.
17 It's Going To Happen-The Undertones (EMI).
MTV even had the video for this tune...
18 Madness-The Belle Stars (Stiff).
I discovered this band during a bout of insomnia one night. Suffice it to say when I saw all those hot women freaking that New Wave funk, I had to rush right out and find a record. This is the B side of the US 12" for "Sign Of The Times". I wonder whatever happened to them.
19 Chicken Outlaw-Wide Boy Awake (RCA).
Does anyone know anything about this band? All I can tell you is that I picked up the record in a dollar bin over 25 years ago because it looked New Wave...
20 Chant No. 1 (I Don't Need This Pressure On)-Spandau Ballet (Chrysalis).
Another classic MTV moment, and quite frankly the first song of its kind that led me to realise that Funk can be found in the most unlikely of places.
21 Resurrection Joe-The Cult (Beggars Banquet).
I close with this tune from the proverbial turning point of this band's career, between the brilliant yet sadly out of print debut and their slow descent into crossover oblivion.

Please download and enjoy Fufu Stew Goes MONDO!

Fufu Stew Goes Mondo - 71 MB mp3 file
Fufu Stew Goes Mondo - 70 MB zip file

Thank you Mr. Mondo for giving me an outlet to share some of these treasures that I was afraid to share on my own blog. Not that I dig the tunes any less than my funk and soul 45s, but there's a time and place for everything. I would love to come back soon and do it again because I have many more tunes just waiting to get the patented Fufu Stew treatment. Here's hoping that you all enjoyed this little stroll down memory lane with me. As my British blogging colleagues would say, all the best!

Peace and blessings.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Baltic Fleet - Clout Rock

My actual copy of Baltic Fleet's album 'Baltic Fleet'

I went to see The Bongolian at Blow Up Metro a few weeks back, first on the bill were Baltic Fleet whose set was as explosive as bare knuckle battling robots - since then I've heard them on Steve Lamaq, been checking out their (Myspace site ) and ....have even gone and got a copy of the album.

Imagine the demolition duo of Peter Hook on bass and John Bonham on drums dropping in occasionally to add their robust rhythms to the crystal synthscapes and fat anaglogue wallop of Boards of Canada. Almost impossible to pin down, but where 'Christiane F' imagery, Eno's 'Begegnungen' period,the sound of collapsing icebergs and the words Saw-tooth, ringmodulatorand oscillation all overlap on a Venn diagram is the place that Baltic Fleet inhabit with their nu wave for the space age...

Baltic Fleet - 3 Dollar Dress

Baltic Fleet - Castellon Theme

Silvery were second on the bill that night, whose higgldy piggldy Victorania arcade anthems and 'I was Lord Kitchener's Valet' outfits you can see here - the single 'Horrors' is out now. It looks like this .
My actual copy of the Silvery single 'Horrors'

Be sure to check back on Thursday for a ' Fu Fu Stew goes Mondo' mix - Where Vince the Soul Chef from Fu Fu Stew has prepared a 70 minute mix of New Wave nuggets, Electro anthems and early eighties treats. It really is something quite special...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Funky Friday - Before They Were Famous

It's a Mod Mod Mod world on Funky Friday this week, and a celebration of the first steps of all things swishy, swinging and sixties...In the red Mini - there's a fistful of early doors appearances from proto popsters performing soul stompers here on Planet Mondo

In the white Mini - 'Cool Britannia' a bespoke 'Funky Mod Mix' - 45 minutes of 45s, rarities, obscurities and cinematic tracks is available for download by way of Fu Fu Stew

And in the blue Mini - a selection of blues boom guitar a go-go goodies and my big bang theory of rock are up for grabs in more guest blogging over on The Axe Victim

So the pre fame fruggery and funkiness comes in the form of light entertainers and lungbusters like...

David Essex - yes him from 'Rock On' 'Tahiti'and 'Nightclubbing' getting all Northern Souly

David Essex - So-Called Loving.mp3

Elkie Brooks - yes her from 'Pearl's A Singer' and 'Lilac Wine' sounding just like a proper Ronette.

Elkie Brooks - The Way You Do.mp3

And the atomic Tom Jones huffing, puffing and bellowing the house down on his first single 'Chills and Fever'

'Chills and Fever' is part of the ''Cool Britannia' mix (available at )Fu Fu Stew which continues the 'Before They Were Famous' theme, with appearances from Quincy Jones, Lulu, Tony Newman (later working with Bolan and Bowie), Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker as the rhythm section of The Graham Bond Organisation.

Here's the full menu and a two minute taste test

Michael Caine on Swinging London
The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band - Cool Britannia
The Small Faces - Grow Your Own
Georgie Fame - Somebody Stole My Thunder
Graham Bond Organisation - Long Tall Shorty
Tom Jones - Chills And Fever
Loose Ends - Taxman
Bo Street Runners - Drive My Car
Lulu - Feelin' Alright
Jack Bruce – The Ministry Of Bag
Shotgun Express - Curtains
The Shadows - Scotch On The Socks
The Kinks - Brainwashed
Quincy Jones - It's Caper Time
Lord Sitar - I Can See For Miles
The Who - Heatwave
Zoot Money - Uncle Willie
Tony Newman - Let The Good Times Roll
Keith Mansfield - Young Scene (Theme from The Big Match)
The Italian Job -Getta Bloomin' Move On! (The Self Preservation Society)

So get on over and fill your Chelsea boots with 'Cool Britannia'

Jude Rodgers also has some sixties glossy pop amazingness from a very young Gloria Hunniford

Thursday, March 13, 2008

March Of The Mods

I'm in a thoroughly Mod mood at the moment - inspired by doing a guest blog spot on Axe Victim's rocking blog - where I make the strong statement that the roots of almost all modern rock can be traced back to the sixties mod movement ( with tunes and tracks to illustrate the point) And having compiled a fourty five minute Funky Mod Mix for Fu Fu Stew - which should be live and online soon.

In the meantime here are a couple of tracks that catch the mood of swinging London and Mod mania.

Georgie Fame - You Can't Sit Down.mp3
If they do ever invent a time machine - this gig is straight where I'm headed

London Jazz - Things We Said Today.mp3
Sessionistas go jazz samba on this Fab Four cover

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Re-make/Re-model Pt 2 - Norma White - I Want Your Love

I Don't know much about Norma White and The Brentford Disco Set, but I do know that their politely plodding reggae rework of Chic's 'I Want Your Love' is a joy and a gem. It's so good I'm giving you both versions.

Norma White and The Brentford Disco Set - I Want Your Love.mp3

Norma White and The Brentford Disco Set - I Want Your Love (version).mp3

(Version) in reggae speak is usually the instrumental backing track with extra echo and added dubby squeaks and bleeps.

It's not uncommon on 12" versions of reggae releases say ...six minutes long, for the first three minutes to be the vocal version, followed by a slight but audiable click, where the (version) version has been spliced on to take up the final three minutes.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Themes To Be In Order

Davey had a funky one.

Mick had a classic one.

I'm slapping an unsung obscurity in my cyberspace scrapbook

John Barry - Orson Welles Great Mysteries.mp3

Info on the 'Orson Welles Great Mysteries' series is available here

I don't remember much about the show except the opening titles, where Orson seemed to be stepping out from some smoldering embers dressed as The Sandeman

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Funky Friday - Make It Reggae

It's not unusal for people with impossibly good taste and impeccably fancy record collections to make claims about not liking Reggae. I think they just haven't found the right type of Reggae yet.

I gave it swift shrift for years - put off by the white, white whine of UB40 and polished pop sound of Bob Marley - but after getting a blast of the broad bassy brushtrokes and thick crackle and pop of Studio One recordings (via a freebie CD, played several times on the bounce) I was soon hooked on the good stuff and discovering Reggae had it's own offbeat sizzlers and funky nuggets. Out of all the thumpbusting Studio One collections, the 'Rockers' comp is probably the perfect place to start your trip to Sir Coxsone Dodd's Studio One .

And, if you happen to be in the sunny Southend area tonight why not pop along to Weird Fantasy where Agent Cooper, Paul Sigg's and myself will be firing up a few Fifties, Freakbeat Garage, Ska and Reggae rockers.
I'll certainly be spinning the Jackie Mittoo track below.

Sharkey Wilson - Make It Reggae.mp3

Jackie Mittoo - Hang Em High.mp3

Now, why not have a skank on over to 56 Special where Rock n Roll meets Reggae in one uptown pop rocking bundle.

Or if you fancy something in a more mellow mood check out Jamaican guitarist and father of Ska Ernest Ranglin's loose and laidback rework of Toots and The Maytals '54-46 Was My Number' here.

Derrick Morgan, Ernest Ranglin & Prince Buster on the roots of Reggae rythm

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Eno's Best

Eno is a genuine genius we all knows that – but because of his colossal catalogue of influence and output, Eno’s fizzy inventiveness as a lyricist is often overlooked. Weighty, worthy and well crafted wordplay is all well and good (Andy Partridge and Ian Dury being two personal faves) but it takes a unique skill to join the dots in a rhyming dictionary with lyrical skits that scan, bubble and bounce like a Gilbert and Sullivan set piece.

'Seven Deadly Finns' is a single only release from 1974, with a guitar solo that that sounds like a prototype for Bowie's 'Boys Keep Swinging'
There's a great piece on 'Seven Deadly Finns' here

Seven Deadly Finns.mp3

'RAF' the flip side to 'King's Lead Hat', (an anagram of Talking Heads) was co written and stars Judy Nylon - one of the cover girls on the 'Seven Deadly Finns' picture sleeve.
Yikes it's like a Möbius strip!

King's Lead Hat.mp3

Selected lyrical highlights?

'Seven Deadly Finns'
The “work it out like Norbert Weiner” backing vocal

'Kings Lead Hat'
“The biology of purpose keeps my nose above the surface”

If you're in the mood for some shiny new electrickery - why not lend an ear to the brand new band and synth fiddlers Baltic Fleet , whose '3 Dollar Dress' is a robot rocker

Monday, March 3, 2008

Prowling Wolf - Marco Pirroni (Part 2)

Part 1 one of my Marco interview is right here - just in case you've missed it.

Is it true that you own Dave Hill’s 'Super Yob' guitar? - How many guitars are in your collection, and which guitars or amps would you grab if the house caught fire?

I do have 'Super Yob' but I'm thinking of lending it to Rob Dickens new British Rock Museum which opens next year. I have about 50 or 60 guitars, but I don't keep them at home. If I had to grab one it would my 59' Les Paul Junior which is my number one live guitar,and my 65 hot rodded Fender Twin which sounds more like a Marshall but with that glam upper mid nasal feedback honk sound. I'm not a big amp collector, I have about 10 mostly small combos all pre seventies. I use these in the studio a lot sometimes combined with plug-ins like Guitar Rig 3.

As someone that was part of Punk scene from the beginning, were there any records or ‘guilty pleasures’ Disco or Pop tracks etc… you enjoyed during the Punk wars but had to keep ‘hush hush’ about at the time?

I never felt I had to keep hush about anything, in fact I worked at trying to think of the worst thing could say to piss off the Punk purists, but I will always insist that 'I Feel Love' by Donna Summer is one of the greatest records ever made coz it is! (And as if by magic - the original Moroder 12" version of 'I Feel Love' )

The whole attitude to Punk seems to have become almost reverential now, are there any Punk myths you’d like to qualify or quosh?

Punk like beauty is in the eye of the beholder so Punk is anything you want it to be,which is the best thing about it.I'm tired of arguing about Punk and now I just say "I don't care" or "I'm bored" which are standard 1976 answers to everything.

The pre Marco ‘Dirk’ era Adam and The Ants songs have an angular almost Indie clang about them (apart from the B sides) , it’s only later when you team up with Adam that the songs start to become chart topping tunes. Do you feel your input into the writing, sound and success of Ant music gets enough recognition?

Oddly I sometimes feel I get too much credit, that I single handedly transformed a cult Punk band into a mega international success...not so,our success was down to Adam and myself fed with where we both were in our lives and the dark days of the late 70s - without Adams drive and vision I wouldn't be talking to you now.

What bands (new or old) are currently playing on The Wolfmen’s iPods?
this week I'm mostly playing Melody Gardot's new album and Scum of the Earth as they sound exactly like Rob Zombie of whom I am a huge fan! Guitar Wolf are another fave of mine, as I write this I'm listening to the soundtracks to 'Thunderball"'and 'Bladerunner'(the original Vangelis version).

So many traditional areas of the music industry Top of the Pops, music weeklies, unscripted radio playlists seem to have gone into meltdown over the last few years, how do you approach promoting The Wolfmen and their music in the digital age?

I think that all of us making music now, are still trying to find and create a music biz for the 21st century, clearly the internet is a massive part of this but its by no means the be all and end all, when people talk about the future of music they are really talking about the future of the marketing of music which I leave to more "interested" men. The Wolfmen will be releasing an 11 track album/CD I cannot defend accusations that this may be an outdated format all I can say is, that is what I have always liked, and I would like to continue that until it is no longer viable, the 7" single is already a loss leader and although that format is what I grew up on I don't mourn its passing anymore than I miss the rotary dial on telephones, basically... "in modern times the modern way".

Where would you like The Wolfmen to be this time next year?

Winning Grammies and lighting cigarettes with £50 notes, but it depends on where the world is this time next year! In an ever changing world we have to take things a day at a time and see where it all leads us.

The Wolfmen - Jackie Says (Alan Mulder Mix)

The Wolfmen - Love Is A Dog (Alan Mulder Mix)

The Wolfmen 'Jackie Says'

The Wolfmen - 'Needles In The Camels Eye'- studio footage

The Wolfmens Re-make/re-model of Eno's 'Needle In The Camels Eye' is released on the
10th March

Unfortunatley I couldn't make the Embassy gig last week but a review of it is here on the Car Trouble website

Dates and details of live shows, releases and downloads are available at...
The Wolfmen's official Myspace site

A special salute goes out to Marco and Ian Peel for their time, trouble and and accessibility in arranging this interview