Friday, August 28, 2009

Funky Friday - Let's Spend Some Time Together

89 Oakley Street SW3- Bowie's house (73-74) where he and Jagger were ..
well, according to Angie Bowie anyway

So the last bank holiday of the summer season rolls around this weekend, and a three day stretch of local lolloping about is on the menu, with perhaps a trip to St Lawrence Bay, if only for another peep at this place of hi-amazingness...
The Salt House

On the tunes front, I've not been able to put down Muddy Waters retake of 'Let's Spend The Night Together' for several months now - seemingly sculpted from Cream's 'Sunshine of Your Love'. You'll find it on Muddy's walloping, psychedelic blues album Electric Mud

Muddy Waters - Let's Spend The Night Together

Or if you favour some disco swish - have a punt on the Joe Simon version

Joe Simon - Let's Spend The Night Together

The Stones Ed Sullivan appearance features the lyrics rejigged and edited to a more acceptable "Let's spend some time together" It's here if you fancy a nosy - points to peep for include..

The non-stop screamathon
Jagger camping like a champ
Keef's booming backing vox

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Finders Groovers

Had a couple of new-to-me nuggets appear on the radar last week..

Blogger-my-neighbour Coop dropped The Dead Weather (Jack White and new playmates) rewiring of 'Are Friends Electric' into my inbox.

The Dead Weather - Are Friends Electric

And found on Drew's always excellent Across The Kitchen Table, The Third Degree's slick-hipped Mercy. Although don't ask which is the cover and which is the original - Third Degree or Duffy - I couldn't tell you.

In return for The Dead Weather tune, I gave Coop the Third Degree tip off, which, he's now ordered up on 7" - phew it's like a Möbius meltdown.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Funky Friday - 40 Years of Peace & Music

I know I'm a few days out of date with this, but had my own anniversary to do last week.

Two years ago, I had my brain fried, my mind altered and my doors of perception blown to smoke and splinters in one sitting How? By sitting through my first ever viewing of 'Woodstock'.

Partly - as I thought I'd brought home the DVD of that music fest' where Hendrix sets his Fender aflame. It took a few minutes viewing until realised that music fest was actually Monterey! Whoops.

But mainly - still ingrained with 'Never Trust a Hippy' hard-coded punk standards from my teenage days, viewed Woodstock with a sly eye and had it pegged as fuggy aired, fuzzy haired, hair-baring love-in. And a long weekend of Freak Brother freak-outs and whispy women twittering to polite applause from sky-eyed stoners and other-worldly arm wavers. Which in part it is.

However, what I hadn't expected, and left my head spinning like a shell-shocked owl were...

Sly Stone and his rip-roaring funk review
Santana's explosive Soul Sacrifice
Alvin Lee's giddy guitar work
Janis Joplin's ear-bleeding screeching
CSN's layered harmonies and shifting whisper melodies

The 'orrible Who booming in like boot boys (and Pete's white boiler suit and bovver boots look, surely inspired Kubricks Clockwork Orange droog designs)

Captured pitch perfectly with progressively edgy editing, split screen shots, triple screen shots, offstage observations from gig-goers, police, parents and much, much more, make 'Woodstock' the definitive time capsule of that heady weekend and it's place in social history.

If you haven't seen Woodstock yet, you really are doing yourself a disservice. The 'director's cut' DVD regularly sells for as little £3 in some entertainment retailers, so why not treat yourself on the 40th anniversary of the event - here's a couple of clips and cuts to tempt you..

The two tunes are studio takes not live - don't be alarmed by the names they really are lolloping chunks of funk.

Try (Just A Little Bit Harder) - Janis Joplin

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Woodstock

If you can't swing watching the whole clip, skip to the seven minute mark for the tempo change and the way it bursts back into life with the hookiest of hooky horn riffs.

The drummer looks like he's just finished a paper round, the keyboard player looks like Elvis. There's guitar hero gurning and curly cables too - perfect! Watch out for the naked stranger dancing with a sheep, and the ginger stoner at the close - you have been warned

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Les Paul 1915-2009

One of my earliest entries on the PM blog was something about Les Paul. So a great shame then, to hear the sad news of his death last week, almost two years to the day since posting it.

How different would our record collections sound without Les Paul's contribution to guitar construction, technique and music methodology? A true pioneer and godfather of guitar, who, as Keef points out "taught himself to play guitar in order to demonstrate his electronic theories". Les literally created, shaped and sculpted the sound and tools for rock's tradesmen to take forward: solid body electric guitars, multi-track technology, overdubs, high speed soloing. Pretty much all the conventions of modern rock then.

There's an almost limitless pool of tribute tunes and riffs to choose from, either written or played on, by legends whose signature sound comes from a Gibson 'Les Paul' - try to imagine any of these without the weight and wallop of an 'LP' underpinning them..

Whole Lotta Love
Pretty Vacant
20th Century Boy
Ziggy Stardust

It wasn't always this way. Post rock 'n' roll boom, Jet-Age guitarists such as James Burton, Steve Cropper, Hank Marvin, Jeff Beck, Bob Bogle wanted shiny new Fenders in sci-fi colours. Gibsons were too expensive, too cumbersome and too reminiscent of big bands and the Palais age to be lusted after by young fret-fiddlers.

Ironically it was a player now forever twinned with Fender that brought Gibson and Les Paul out of the post R 'n' R wilderness and into the R.O.C.K arena. Eric Clapton was the first rocker to realise the physical weight of Gibson LP and it's 'mahogany tone', would add warmth and sustain to his soloing. Plugging in and over-driving his Les Paul through a Marshall amp, Clapton created thunderous tones of previously unheard heaviness, and the classic rock rig (Gibson 'Les Paul' and a Marshall amp) used by an endless list of fret-melters since. It's not much of a stretch to suggest that any 'Les Paul' player whether guitar legend or have-a-go hero whose strummed or soloed on any LP model since the sixties are indebted to this monumental moment.

EC and LP in his 'Beano' period

I'm no Clapton fan but his raw-ramped, riff-ripping work on The Bluesbreakers 'Beano' album is the shape of things to come. Add in it's moment of pivotal importance in rock and guitar history and you have possibly one of the finest tributes you'll find to the legacy of Les Paul.

John Mayall's Bluesbreakers featuring Eric Clapton - Steppin' Out

The Les Paul player that got me playing Steve Jones

My home-pimped Steve Jones look-a-like LP

Friday, August 14, 2009

Funky Friday - Happy Birthday Two This Ol' Blog

I'm dedicating this post to the memory of Guitar Hero Number One - Les Paul 1915-2009

104 weeks in the muddling making, 327 posts in the posting, more tracks and typos than I care to count and 2 DMCA takedowns all add up to one piece of Mondo-shaped bloggery and cyberspace scrapbooking that passes it's two year mark tomorrow.

For my first anniversary, I made this mix of goodies gathered from other blogger's blogs. But this year, and I guess you could call it an indulgence ("it's an indulgence" they chorused)I've harvested and hand picked a few scraps and selections (as well several nuggs I've been meaning to blog) from my own online allotment, sonic pantry and various guest mixes which you may have missed and blended them into a minty fresh mix 'Two's Next'

So a thank you goes out to all old pals, new chums, long-haulers, regular readers, chippers in, commenters, blog-rollers, Feedburner subscribers and those silent anonobods who peep but never speak - so let's raise a glass and here's to another year..

Two's Next Mix

Gimme Shelter - Merry Clayton
The Sunshine Of Your Love - Spanky Wilson
Maggie's Farm - Solomon Burke
He Don't Love You (And He'll Break Your Heart) - Levon & The Hawks
Cruisin' - Herbie Goins & The Nightimers
Lay This Burden Down - Mary Love
I Surrender - Bonny St. Claire
Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart - The Funk Brothers
Reach Out I'll Be There - Lee Moses
The Day Will Come Between Sunday & Monday - Kiki Dee
So Called Loving - David Essex
Stop Breaking My Heart - Tom Jones
Walk A Mile In My Shoes - Brenda Lee
Soul Thing - The Keith Mansfield Orchestra
Word to the Mic - DJ BC
Ticket To Ride - The Fifth Dimension
Soul City - Jean Jacques Perrey
Tu Veux Ou Tu Veux Pas - Brigitte Bardot
A Shot In The Dark - The Joe Loss Orchestra
I'm A Man - Wynder K. Frog
Mary Mary - The Strangers
Midnight To Six Man - The Pretty Things
Get Out Your Rock And Roll Shoes - Crocheted Doughnut Ring
Hey Hey Bunny - Los Gatos Negros
Like a Rolling Stone - The Soup Greens
Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mr Hitler - Wild Billy Childish And The Blackhands
Soul Town - The Motherhood

Did you know? The 'Planet' in PM is taken from a New York Dolls song. I wanted to use Mondo as a blog title, but couldn't seem to team it with anything until Lonely Planet Boy by the Dolls popped into play. Bingo!

PS - Word Mag readers, see if you can spot me on this month's letters page

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My First Vinyl Rip!

Phew what a slog lumbering back to business-as-usual after two weeks slumbering around in a laid back state of lazy days, lay-ins and beach-bumming. Southwold is an absolute gem, Walberswick is wonderful but windy and Aldeburgh is King's Road on sea (apparently it's become something of summer playground for the Rock, Cowes and Salcombe set)

But to put some gloss on the gloom, after a five year mission of trawling record shops, antique markets and online auction houses, to seek out the early seventies obscurity that is Head Hands and Feet - Warming Up The Band I finally managed to get my ol' mitts on a copy recently.

I've been trying to track down 'Warming', since discovering it through the excellent Old Grey Whistle Test DVDs. Thanks to a tip off from Ben Soundhog, I pipped a copy on ebay. And what a snip too, £4.99 instead of the Collectors Guidebook value - £25 (although I could've grabbed the demo disc version, with a deliciously diff' Island label for an extra 50p half an hour later).

So what better way to celebrate my first vinyl rip, than by uplumping this tricky-to-track nugget in the blog...

Head Hands and Feet - Warming Up The Band

It's A Pop Quiz - HHF's bass player is better known as one half of a seventies/eighties light entertainment duo - but who is he? You'll hear him at the tail end of the verses on the 'woah mama' section..

You can lend an ear to Don Everley's refit of Warming Up The Band here...