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Saturday, 31 August 2013

Up The Creek

I can fairly confidently say that I have never knowingly sat through an episode of Dawson's Creek

Mrs CC obviously has as not only has she purchased the Songs from Dawson's Creek she has also just splashed out on Songs from Dawson's Creek volume 2
Again ,with a fair degree of certainty, I would imagine that the music is far superior to the programme.
There is a mixture of reasonably well known artists  Curtis Stigers and B*Witched on the first album and the Jayhawks and Shawn Colvin on the second one..
Here are two of the lesser known artists on volume 2
On the Monkees cover please feel free to insert the name of your least favourite footballer or football manager at the appropriate intervals!
Thus concludes the holiday purchases.
I'll leave George to decide if I've saved the best 'til last

Friday, 30 August 2013

Fade to Gray

The Id - the part of the psyche that is the source of instinctual impulses and demands for satisfaction.

Macy Gray is another of those artists that I've heard more about rather than heard although I recognise a couple of songs from this album purchased on holiday by Mrs CC.
I must admit that I have been pleasantly surprised when listening to the music.
She also sports a fantastic Hair Bear bunch Afro on the front cover!

Only one more holiday purchase to go

Macy Gray - Freak Like Me

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Down at Eel

For whatever reason I have never really been a big fan of the Eels.
Maybe it is because of Susan's House which I have never really particularly liked.
Or perhaps it is because the lead singer, who appears to have disappeared up his own backside, insists on being called E.
I have a vague memory of seeing a documentary about him and all I can recall is that he smokes large cigars and is the son of a famous scientist (Hugh Everett III according to T'interweb)
The cover of the album is somewhat unsettling but this is one of their better if not best songs

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The Odd Couple

Isobel Campbell , formerly  singer and cellist with  the Scottish indie favourites Belle and Sebastian and Mark Lanegan from Queens of the Stone Age must rank as one of music's oddest couples.
And the strange thing is that it works.
They are now three albums into their collaboration starting with the Ballad of the Broken Seas from 2006 followed by Sunday at Devil Dirt in 2008 then Hawk in 2010 whilst at the same time carrying on with their individual careers.
This is from Ballad of the Broken Seas with my library burn having just been replaced by the original at a cost of £1 from a Crieff Charity Shop.
Money well spent!

Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - (Do You Wanna) Come Walk With Me?

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Bloodshot Tuesday 6

Faith Hill probably earns in a week what Robbie Fulks has earned in his entire career but I know who I'd rather listen to.
This is from his 1996 debut album Country Love Songs (BS011) and the good news is there will be further albums featured further down the road.

Mr Fulks is originally from Pennsylvania  but is now  a Chicago resident so not far to travel to Bloodshot Towers.
He played at King Tuts Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow  on 21st April 2002 which I know for a fact as I have a rather fine bootleg copy of this concert which starts with the featured song
Eat your heart out Faith Hill!

Robbie Fulks - She Took a Lot of Pills (And Died)

Monday, 26 August 2013

Have a Little Faith

Mrs CC likes the music of  Faith Hill.
I'm afraid that I find her brand of country a wee bit too polished and manufactured for my taste.
I prefer my country a wee bit more rawer and gritty as tomorrow's Bloodshot Tuesday post will demonstrate.
This is a reasonable country pop song however.
I'm sure that I've heard it recently probably covered by one of this year's manufactured starlets such as Taylor Swift or Carly Rae Jepsen.
Beth Nielsen Chapman is one of the co-writers of this track so it can't be all bad.
Purchased (by Mrs CC) in Pitlochry.

Faith Hill - This Kiss

Sunday, 25 August 2013

So Unplug The Jukebox

On a previous holiday I purchased an Adam and the Ants compilation but ended up binning it as it was scratched to buggery.
Not so the one I purchased in Blairgowrie
The young lad serving me told me that Stand and Deliver was his favourite track on the record.When I pointed out he was too young to remember it he said it was one of his mum's favourites!
He did make some pretty good pop songs although I'm not sure Hop-a-long George will agree given his comments about the Lemonheads.
Sadly Adam , or Stuart Goddard to give him his Sunday name, has spent a number of years fighting his demons although more happily he has recently made a comeback of sorts

Adam & the Ants -Antmusic

Adam & the Ants - Young Parisians

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Slim Pickings

Just back from a very relaxing week in the lovely Perthshire village of Kirkmichael.
However, there were relatively slim pickings from the Charity shops of Pitlochry, Blairgowrie and Crieff.
The pick of the bunch was probably a Rhino Blues sampler but when I opened the box back at the cottage there was no CD in it! -I'll put that down as a £1 donation.
Among the CDs purchased were the Cranberries and Lene Marlin both of whom have featured fairly recently so I won't subject you to them  - just yet.
In the spirit of CCM I shall subject you to the rest of them over the course of the next few days starting with Evan Dando, David Ryan and Juliana Hatfield  a.k.a. The Lemonheads

Lemonheads -It's A Shame About Ray

Friday, 16 August 2013

Honest Jon

Honest Jon's is an independent record shop in Portobello Road in London which has been on the go since the early 70's
In 2002, in association with Damon Albarn they set up a record label of the same name .
They release a fairly eclectic mix of stuff  including some tremendous soul anthologies including Candi Staton (of whom more later), Bettye Swann and the mighty Willie Hightower with the letters of their names depicted in individual heart shapes on the spine of the cover.
I'm off on holiday tomorrow for a week to deepest darkest Perthshire and hopefully will come back with some new purchases.
On my last visit to Pitlochry I came away with Natacha Atlas and Bally Sagoo so here's hoping
As I will be off air for a wee while I will leave you with two absolute classic cover versions by Willie T  of songs by Joe South and OB McClinton.
Southern Soul at it's finest

Willie Hightower - Walk a Mile in my Shoes

Willie Hightower - Back Road into Town

Thursday, 15 August 2013

The Cathedral in Cologne looks like a Spaceship

So sang the Handsome Family - and do you know what they are right!
I've friends in a lovely German town called Wipperfurth which is near Cologne who sent me a souvenir  picture of the cathedral which opened in the middle to show off the equally splendid interior.
It adorned my wall for many a year.When I went on a visit to see them  we went to the cathedral proper.
It was very strange to see this old building with every other building around it brand spanking new.
The Handsome Family are husband and wife Brett and Renee Sparks who met whilst in-patients in a Psychiatric hospital, She writes the lyrics, he sings the songs in a rich bass voice.
The songs tend to be pretty macabre and feature  such topics as ghosts, death, injured animals and troubled people on a regular basis.
As well as their songs they have a fine line in patter and are well worth seeing live -an experience which will live with you for a while

Handsome Family - Cathedrals

Handsome Family - Weightless Again

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

31 Songs

I would imagine that many of you have, or at least have read 31 Songs by Nick Hornby.
He describes it as a"compilation tape in words" and it is his way of sharing some of his favourite songs with others
Which, let's face it is what all us music bloggers are doing albeit not making shedloads of money in the process as we never wrote Fever Pitch or High Fidelity.
At the weekend I acquired for £1.50 a CD which contains a selection of his 31 songs - 18 to be precise.
I like pretty much most of them which is maybe not too surprising given that I am about the same age and disposition as Hornby.
For your listening pleasure I have selected the Bellshill Beach Boys and the erstwhile main man of that rather fine band The Replacements.
I am now off to watch Scotland thrash England at football (I wish!)

Teenage Fanclub - Your Love is the Place Where I Come From

Paul Westerberg - Born For Me

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Bloodshot Tuesday 5

"Melissa Swingle's voice—a knowing, laconic combination of drawl and warble—is one of the indie music scene's beguiling treasures." —Chicago Tribune

And she plays the guitar, harmonica, banjo, piano and the saw!

This week's Bloodshot offering is from the fantastically named Trailer Bride  from Chapel Hill , North Carolina fronted by the equally fantastically named Melissa Swingle and is from their 2001 album  "The High Seas" (BS081)

It was a toss up between Jesco and The Ghost of Mae West but Jesco won mainly because of it's cinematic qualities.
They have a pretty unique Southern Gothic feel to them. It has been a while since I listened to this but greatly enjoyed the listening research involved in this post
Trailer Bride were on the  go from 1993 to 2004 prior to Melissa setting up The Moaners with Laura King.
They are on Yep Roc so won't feature on Bloodshot Tuesday but may well pop up elsewhere at a later date.

Trailer Bride - Jesco

Monday, 12 August 2013

Art Imitating Death

Drew's recent posts about Machrihanish and the bargain bin at Woolies in Lanark put me in mind of the 18 miserable months I spent in the godforsaken  neighbouring Kintyre town of Campbeltown and raiding the bargain bin in Woolies there.
One such purchase was Police Officer by Smiley Culture from 1984.
Given the lyrics it struck me as somewhat ironic to hear that Smiley, or to give him his real name David Emmanuel ,died  at the age of  48 from self inflicted knife wounds during a police drugs raid on his house in March 2011.
There was a great deal of controversy at the time around the cause of his death with a report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission being carried out but not being released to the public or to the Emmanuel family.
Sort of art imitating life or in this case art imitating death

Smiley Culture - Police Officer

Sunday, 11 August 2013

A Catty Put Down

My brother is a huge Stray Cats fan
We were in King Tut's one night a couple of years back for a gig when a girl came up and admired his Stray Cats T-shirt.
That set him off on one explaining how he had followed them  since back in the day and had been to Brixton and Dublin to see them during their reunion tour.
"That's great they are back together" said the girl "I'll tell my dad, he used to be a great fan"!
Cue one brother sliding down the wall!
I never got round to seeing the Stray Cats. I had a ticket for a Glasgow concert but it got cancelled after Slim Jim Phantom fell off his drums at another gig and broke his arm.
I did, however, get to see Brian Setzer

Brian Setzer Orchestra - This Cat's on a Hot Tin Roof

Brian Setzer Orchestra - Rock This Town

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Capital Music Steve

Steve Earle must be one of my favourite artists and I think that I have probably seen him live more than anybody else.
As well as being a terrific singer and writer he is well known as a vehement opponent of Capital punishment and in his long and illustrious career he has written at least three songs concerning this.
First up is Billy Austin, one of my favourite Steve Earle songs. I've gone for the live version from Shut Up and Die Like an Aviator as opposed to the studio version from the Hard Way
Second is Ellis Unit One his contribution to Dead Man Walking the fine  Tom Robbin's film about Sister Helen Prejean featuring Susan Saradon and Sean Penn
Finally is Over Yonder (Jonathan's Song) from the 2000 album Transcendental Blues.
I know that Steve has witnessed an execution at the request of the man going to the chair but I'm not sure whether it was Jonathon.

I share Steve's views re capital punishment for two reasons.
One I would argue that it is a mark of a civilised society to rise above the eye for an eye mentality. No civilised society should condone taking a life.
Two and perhaps more importantly what if they get it wrong. There have been many examples of miscarriages of justice with the wrong person convicted. If you have been sentenced to life you can then be released. That option is not there if you have been sent to the chair.
Don't get me started on Texas and their history of executing people with Learning Disabilities or Mental Health problems or  as Steve sings "mostly black or brown or poor"

Steve Earle & the Dukes - Billy Austin

Steve Earle - Ellis Unit One

Steve Earle - Over Yonder (Jonathan's Song)

Friday, 9 August 2013

Only The Good Die Young

My brother Fraz who died in 1986 would have been 50 today.
About a year before he died I visited him in the lovely central French town of Moulins where he was a student teacher on placement
I sat in on a class where he was teaching  the kids English by playing  Eve of Destruction by Barry MacGuire
I never quite caught what the French for coagulating was!
He would have made a great teacher

Barry MacGuire - Eve of Destruction

The Men They Couldn't Hang - The Green Fields of France

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Cruel Intentions

I know absolutely nothing about the 1999 film Cruel Intentions starring Ryan Phillippe (who he?), Sarah Michelle Gellar  and Reese Wotherspoon.
I do know, however , that it has an absolutely stonking sound track featuring the likes of Placebo, Blur, Skunk Anansie and the Verve
The blurb for the film reads
Kathryn makes a bet that her step-brother, Sebastian, won't be able to bed Annette (a virgin, who wants to wait until love). If he loses, Kathryn gets his Jaguar, if he wins, he gets Kathryn.

Think I might give that one a miss.
On the other hand if you come across the soundtrack it is well worth a purchase

Placebo - Every You Every me

Skunk Anansie - Secretly

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Gem of a Record

Irish singer-songwriter Gemma Hayes is another one of these artists I'd heard off as opposed to heard although I have a vague suspicion that I may have seen her at King Tuts in the dim and distant past
I purchased her 2002 debut album Night on My Side in a charity shop fairly recently  and it is quite pleasant
11 melodic indie tunes with a thrashy one thrown in  for good measure.
I'll not subject you to the thrashy  one - here is track 5 instead
She has had a further 3 albums and has picked up numerous awards in Ireland and  er that's about it

Gemma Hayes -Let a Good Thing Go

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Bloodshot Tuesday 4

This week it is Bloodshot -the British influence 1
Sally Timms along with fellow ex-Mekon Jon Langford made the move from Leeds to Chicago in the 1990's and rapidly became key players in the Alt Country/Americana field (delete which most annoys you) and in Bloodshot Records in particular.

Cowboy Sally (BS016) is a 5 track EP from 1997 where Ms Timms sings with the Waco Brothers,the Handsome Family and Friends
There are four traditional country songs plus a Handsome Family cover
I've gone for a song made famous by Lefty Frizzell.
I've a few versions of this some of which might feature at a later date

Sally Timms - Long Black Veil

Monday, 5 August 2013

A Stax Staple

I was swithering what to post tonight when this Stax sampler jumped out at me from the Soul compilation section.
This led to another quandray - which of the 23 fine, fine tracks to feature - one pound well spent.
I eventually plumped for the Staple Singers and Respect Yourself
I know, I know -they are no Kane Gang but hey what the heck you can't have everything!
Maybe not the best quality recording but still pretty good (from 1972)

Staple Singers - Respect Yourself

Sunday, 4 August 2013

It's Revue Time

Hill Country Revue are a side project of Cody Dickinson  and Chris Chew from the North Mississippi Allstars
Luther Dickinson also guests
Sons of the late great  bluesman and record producer Jim Dickinson this pretty much makes them Memphis Blues legends.
On this record they are also joined by Garry and Duwayne Burnside sons of another legend RL Burnside.
These tracks are from the 2009 Razor and Tie album Make a Move.
If you like your Blues dirty and swampy  or "a ballsy mixture of raw blues and classic Southern rock" this is one for you

Hill Country Review -Alice Mae

Hill Country Revue - Hill Country Revue

Saturday, 3 August 2013

I'm A Late Bloomer

I'm a late bloomer when it comes to the music of Ron Sexsmith.
I'd obviously heard of him and have probably heard a few tracks over the years.
I knew he is Canadian and that he has been mentioned in dispatches by other singer songwriters such as Elvis Costello.
He appears to be one of the many artists who are critically acclaimed but never really do much commercially.
I finally got round to acquiring one of his records 2011's Long Player Late Bloomer which is round about his dozenth release.
It got me to wondering why it took me so long and happily for me there is a pretty large back catalogue to explore.
Not sure about the shirt and jacket combo though!

Ron Sexsmith - Late Bloomer

Friday, 2 August 2013

A Little Bit of Culture

Sorry Reggae fans it is not the mighty Culture (as Mr Peel was prone to say) but Boy George and the boys
The featured track is 1983s (OMG - 30 years ago!)  single Church of the Poison Mind from the album Colour by Numbers with terrific backing vocals by Helen Terry.
I know they were pretty naff but some of their songs, including this one, were pretty good.
Boy George's autobiography Take It Like a Man is an amusing read.
Doesn't he look Pretty in Pink( gives me a thought for a new post!) doing his community service after the handcuffing a male escort to the bed incident?

Culture Club - Church of the Poison Mind

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Ballads From Mott

BBC4 have recently being repeating the Ballad of Mott documentary and very good it is too.
However it doesn't mention that the name Mott the Hoople comes from the title of a book by Willard Mannus about an eccentric who works in a circus freak show which producer Guy Stevens read whilst in prison (as you do).
The band were formed in Hereford with Ian Hunter parachuted in as lead singer once they signed to Island.
They were championed by David Bowie who gifted them their biggest hit All The Young Dudes.
Another Bowie connection was Mick Ronson who latterly joined the band ultimately leading to a split with him and Hunter leaving to form a duo with the rest of the band continuing as Mott.
Roll Away the Stone was one of the first singles I ever bought and it has certainly stood the test of time.
London Lee recently posted Saturday Gigs but it is my favourite Mott the Hoople track and therefore you are getting it again.
Oh, and if I lent you my Best of Ian Hunter and Mott the Hoople compilation sometime during the late 80's or early 90's can I have it back please?

Mott the Hoople - Roll Away The Stone

Mott the Hoople - Saturday Gigs