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Saturday, 31 October 2015

Saturday Lucky Dip

This week's lucky dip features Communion an artist-led organisation that combines elements of live promotion, publishing, records and production and the title of a Mojo compilation from June 2011 Communion - A New Generation of Songwriters.
A music label which came from the club scene with a particular focus on nu-folk.

Mumford and Sons are by far the most successful act on the label and compilation with Michael Kiwanuka and Nathaniel Ratecliffe having also enjoyed a modicum of success albeit on a significantly smaller scale than the Mumfords.

The compilation is not bad but there is nothing startling or anything that jumps out shouting feature me.
So I have gone for Benjamin Francis Leftwich and Kyla La Grange. I would have also gone for Matthew and the Atlas but for some dodgy handclapping.

More random nonsense next Saturday.

Benjamin Francis Leftwich - More Than Letters

Kyla La Grange - Walk Through Walls (Communion Version)

Friday, 30 October 2015

The Other Man's Grass is Always Greener

A week or so ago Brian featured Blue by The Jayhawks as number 9 in his epic Top 100 Songs of the 1990s.
This led to a debate in the comments section as to the relative merits of the various Jayhawks albums.
The general consensus (ie Brian and me!) seems to be that Hollywood Town Hall is the go to Jayhawks album.
It was also agreed that Tomorrow the Green Grass, the album Blue features on, is by no means a bad album, but that it is not as good as HTH.
To confirm this I have given TTGG a re-listen and the above assessments are quite correct.

This follow up album was released in 1995 three years after HTH. There are a couple of personnel changes.Karen Groberg on piano and Wurlitzer joins the band. Don Heffington replaces Ken Callahan on drums but does not feature on the album cover.Ms Groberg does but at a considerable distance from Messrs  Pearlman, Olson and Louris!
Miss Williams' Guitar is an ode to Victoria Williams, Mark Olson's then girlfriend and subsequently his wife. He left the band shortly thereafter (briefly reappearing between 2009 and 2013) to form The Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers with her.

The Jayhawks - Miss Williams' Guitar

The Jayhawks - Nothing left to Borrow

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Some Angelique Music

I feel that I an encroaching into Ernie Goggins territory today by featuring the great Angélique Kidjo from Benin, West Africa or to give her her Sunday name Angélique Kpasseloko Hinto Hounsinou Kandjo Manta Zogbin Kidjo
Two tracks including the title track from Logozo her first record on Island from 1991 which reached number one on the Billboard World Music chart  and which according to Thump Records is the 37th Greatest Dance Album of all time.
Whereas the globetrotting Mr Goggins probably acquired a copy in a street bazaar in Cotonou mine came from a charity shop somewhere in Scotland but I can't for the life of me remember from where.
Still, a find as I'm sure you'll agree.
Thankfully I didn't come across a copy of Africa Celebrates U2 on which she features.

Angelique Kidjo -Batonga

Angelique Kidjo - Logozo

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

A Bit of a Wobble

Over the last few days I have felt the urge to share some Jah Wobble with you and in particular some stuff from the fine 1991 album by The Invaders of the Heart that is Rising Above Bedlam.

Bedlam is defined in the dictionary as a scene of uproar and confusion and derives from reference to The Bethlem Royal Hospital, London the first hospital to specialise in the mentally ill.
Bedlam has also been the name of three rock bands (one featuring Cozy Powell), a song by Californian surf band The Bel-Airs and an EP by metal band Twilighting

Here Mr Wobble does his level best to rise above the uproar and confusion and pretty much succeeds.

Jah Wobble's Invaders of the Heart -Rising Above Bedlam

Jah Wobble's Invaders of the Heart - Everyman's An Island

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Squeeze Me Please Me

For me Squeeze have always primarily been a singles band. Over the years I have acquired a couple of Best ofs but have never really felt the urge to explore their studio albums in any more detail.
This is probably pretty short sighted on my part as the songwriting skills of Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford almost certainly guarantee that there are a couple of gems out there that have escaped my attention.

This post has come about as Pulling Mussels (From the Shell) earwormed  its way into my head the other day. However this has already previously featured so I have selected a further two from their fine back catalogue of singles.
They have recently released Cradle to the Grave their first album in five years.

Squeeze - Up The Junction

Squeeze - Black Coffee in Bed

Monday, 26 October 2015

Thirteen Cities

For those of you who like your Americana raw and gritty Thirteen Cities by Richmond Fontaine should be right up your street.
A road trip through the underbelly of America as far removed from Hollywood glamour as you are ever likely to get.
There is a map of the 13 cities on the inner sleeve which appears below

It's not the easiest to read so I will name them from top to bottom
Spokane, Portland, Walla Walla, Laramie, Reno,Stockton, Albuquerque,Bullhead City, Mojave, Phoenix, Los Cruces, Yuma and Tuscon.
Sounds like my kind of road trip.

I've drawn the line at posting $87 and a Guilty Conscience That Gets Worse the Longer I Go and I Fell into Painting Houses in Phoenix, Arizona as frankly they are too depressing and harrowing even for me.

Richmond Fontaine - A Ghost I Became

Richmond Fontaine - Capsized

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Some Sunday Soul

Like most folk at the time I owned Diamond Life and Promise by Sade and even saw her at the Edinburgh Playhouse in 1986 when I was through there for a course.
Shortly thereafter she disappeared off my radar completely.
However during recent Charity Shop excursions I have acquired 1992's Love Deluxe, 2000's Lovers Rock and a Best of from 1994.
Lovers Rock has previously featured so here are a couple from Love Deluxe which also appear on the Best Of

More soul stuff next Sunday

Sade - No Ordinary Love

Sade - Like a Tattoo

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Saturday Lucky Dip

Due to various family stuff I am a bit pushed for time this week.
So no random selection today but rather three tracks from the 1998 Technics Mercury Music Prize Albums of the Year Sampler mentioned yesterday.
Two tracks from albums I don't have Decksanddrumsandrockandroll by The Propellerheads and Red Rice by Eliza Carthy and a track from an album that I do have This is Hardcore by Pulp.

Sorry to disappoint you but nothing by the nominated Robbie Williams or the seven years deceased Freddie Mercury.

More nonsense (hopefully of the random variety) next  Saturday

The Propellerheads (ft Miss Shirley Bassey)- History Repeating

Eliza Carthy - Walk Away

Pulp -Help The Aged

Friday, 23 October 2015

Mercury Rising

I see that the nominations for the 2015 Mercury Prize have recently been announced.
I am probably familiar with less that half the acts nominated and even then very vaguely in some cases.
The only nominated album I have is the excellent Architect by C Duncan and I wouldn't be too upset if that won.
Seeing the publicity had me looking out a  sampler CD that I actually bought featuring the nominations from 1998 when it was known as The Mercury Music Prize.I have seven of the twelve albums including  the winner Bring it On by Gomez.
Conclusion - I am an old git living in the past and not really up to date with a lot of today's new music.

Life Thru a Lens by Robbie Williams was nominated in 1998 but sadly it didn't win. I suspect it lost points for spelling.
Here are a couple from the winning album from that year

Gomez - 78 Stone Wobble

Gomez - Get Myself Arrested

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Skinhead O'Connor

My sister-in-law recently passed a record library sale copy of Sinead O'Connor's 2003 album She Who Dwells in the Secret Place of the Most High Shall Abide Under the Shadow of the Almighty my way.
A double album whose title trips lightly off the tongue and which contains a mixture of demos, covers, traditional songs plus a live side recorded in Dublin.
There is a fairly eclectic series of covers including  a three in a row of Love Hurts, Ain't it a Shame and Chiquitita.
A song from each side for your listening pleasure (or maybe not)
Claim to fame. Mrs CC's cousin Anna was at school in Dublin with Sinead O'Connor. Apparently she was very quiet - Sinead that is, not Anna!

Sinead O'Connor - Chiquitita

Sinead O'Connor - Molly Malone

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Tell Laura We Love Her

I find it almost impossible to accept that Laura Cantrell has not graced the pages of CCM before
But I have double and indeed treble checked and shockingly it is indeed the case.
Her 2000 debut album Not The Tremblin' Kind on Glasgow's Spit and Polish label run by Teenage Fanclub's Francis McDonald has been memorably described by John Peel as my favourite record of the last ten years and possibly my life.
In addition to being a firm Peel favourite she was also a fellow DJ with a weekly show on WMFU The Radio Thrift Shop.
She combines her musical career with a job as a stockbroker in New York's financial district.

Three of the songs from the debut album featured in Peel's 2000 Festive Fifty but strangely neither of these two fine tracks made the final list.

Laura Cantrell -Churches Off The Interstate

Laura Cantrell - The Whiskey Makes You Sweeter

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Ready Teddy Go

I thought that I had previously featured Teddy Thompson in my short lived It's a Family Affair Series which featured various artists from the same family.
However it appears that the series had run out of momentum before I got to the Thompsons.
I've had Separate Ways and A Piece of What You Need for a wee while and they have rarely been taken off the shelves.
However I  purchased Bela on holiday and what a tremendous album that is. On it he puts me in mind of a British Ron Sexsmith. Yup, it's that good.
On the second song the son of Richard and Linda is joined by Jenni Muldaur the daughter of Geoff and Maria.
I'm off to re-listen to the other two.

Teddy Thompson - Delilah

Teddy Thompson (with Jenni Muldaur) - Tell Me What You Want

Monday, 19 October 2015

(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang

Let's kick star the week with some Penthouse and Pavement era Heaven 17 from 1981 when Sheffield bands ruled the airwaves.
Rather than going to the shelves for the vinyl copy I have opted , due to sheer laziness, for The Best of CD recently purchased in Broadford, Skye and conveniently sitting on my desk next to the PC.

I  was going to give you the Hoola Hoop song - Height of the Fighting but at the last minute it was usurped by Penthouse and Pavement.
Sad to say, Facist Groove Thang is as relevant today as it was 34 years ago

Heaven 17 - (We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang

Heaven 17 - Penthouse and Pavement

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Some Sunday Gospel Soul

Some gospel for you good people today courtesy of The Queen of Gospel herself Mahalia Jackson.

Described by Harry Belafonte as the single most powerful black woman in the United States she performed at both President Kennedy's inauguration and Dr Martin Luther King's funeral. At her own funeral in 1982 Aretha Franklin did the honours
Unlike many of her contemporaries who began singing in the church she resisted the temptation and the associated fame and wealth of secular music.
She played an important part in the Civil Rights movement performing a concert in Montgomery in 1956 despite death threats and subsequently frequently appearing and singing at Martin Luther King rallies.

Bought in Skye, one of the bastions of The Free Church of Scotland (known as the Wee Frees) a particularly dour, intolerant and strict Presbyterian bunch who frown on any enjoyment and who chant psalms with no music as music would be too frivolous.
They would do well to take a page from Mahalia's hymn book.

Mahalia Jackson - Dig a Little Deeper

Mahalia Jackson - I Want to Rest

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Saturday Lucky Dip

Thankfully fully clothed

We are going back in time this week to 2002 folks when Miley Cyrus was only 10.
She and the Flaming Lips are  apparently planning to perform a show naked in front of a naked audience. Saints preserve us.

However back in 2002 The Flaming Lips were very good and did not have to resort to such tawdry publicity stunts to gain attention. No, rather they came up with Do You Realize?? one of the great songs of this Millennium so far and the first song on Uncut's  The Best of 2002.

Some good stuff and I have gone for two other artists who have also previously graced the CCM  pages.
First up we have Jesse Malin with Wendy from his terrific debut album The Fine Art of Self Destruction produced by Ryan Adams.
Jesse is followed by another artist who was no stranger to self destruction the late great Warren Zevon with the title track from his penultimate album My Ride's Here.

More random nonsense next Saturday.

The Flaming Lips - Do You Realize??

Jesse Malin -Wendy

Warren Zevon - My Ride's Here

Friday, 16 October 2015

For One Night Only - The King Live in Elgol

Get out your old school atlas and look up Elgol in Skye.
14 miles along a single track road from Broadford with stunning views of Loch Slapin and the Cuillin Hills.
As we were leaving Skye on the Saturday before we noticed this poster in a coffee shop in Broadford.
Fortunately in our second place on the Kyle of Lochalsh we were only 5 or so miles from the Skye Bridge so doubled back on the Wednesday and headed for Elgol village hall situated on a hill with fantastic views over Loch Scavaig
There we were treated to a tremendous concert by King Creosote and his 8 piece band performing a good few from his most recent album From Scotland with Love
There was an audience of about 50 (not bad when the population of Elgol is around 150)
During the final song KC left the band playing as he interacted with every member of the audience - hand shaking, high fiving (in our case), crown surfing on peoples laps, dancing and kissing before exiting the hall as the band played on -fantastic
The second song is from a young fiddle player living on Mull Hannah Fisher who was part of the band and who also provided support with Sorren MacLean.
One of the best and most unusual and memorable gigs I've ever attended.

King Creosote - For One Night Only

Hannah Fisher - Until The Shadows

Thursday, 15 October 2015

C'mon Eileen

As I came out of Crossroads Charity shop in Portree, Skye's largest town (population c 2500) clutching two Eileen Rose CDs I broke out in a cold sweat fearing another Darren incident.
Was I confusing her with Caitlin Rose and/or Ellen Jewell? Would she be any good?
Turns out I needn't have worried.
Come the Storm ( Banana, 2005) and At Our Tables (Evangeline, 2008) turned out to be two perfectly acceptable, if hardly earth shattering, slices of Americana courtesy of Eileen Rose Gladone out of Saugus, Boston
After having spent about 10 years in the UK where she put out a couple of records on Rough Trade and briefly performed with The Alabama 3 these albums were released on her return to the States
She is still going strong and has recorded as Eileen Rose and the Holy Wrecks and as a member of The Silver Threads
These two are taken from At Our Tables as is the picture.

Eileen Rose - $20 Dollar Shoes

Eileen Rose - Failure to Thrive

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

The Upside of the Darren Incident

Every cloud has a silver lining or so they say.
So despite the Darren Hayes/ Darren Hayman faux pas I did not come away empty handed as I also picked up 10,000 Maniacs contribution to the MTV Unplugged Series.

When I recently posted Blind Man's Zoo The Robster advised that this was the one to get and it is indeed 49 pence well spent.
Some of you will be familiar with the first tune. You will all be familiar with the second

10,000 Maniacs - Hey Jack Kerouac

10,000 Maniacs - Because The Night

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Carey Lander RIP

I was sad to read about the death  from osteosarcoma (a rare form of skin cancer) of Carey Lander keyboard player and singer with Glasgow band Camera Obscura.
Any death is sad but in someways it is even harder when it is one  who is young and talented with a lot more to give.
My thoughts go out to her family and friends.

Camera Obscura - This is Love (Feels Alright)

Camera Obscura - Do It Again

Monday, 12 October 2015

Not Long Now Before Lollipop Men Are Called Darren

Darren Fletcher

Shortly before my holidays I popped into my local charity shop and came out with two CDs by Darren Hayes mistakenly thinking that he was the lead singer of Hefner.
I was wrong there. The lead singer from Hefner was in fact Darren Hayman. Darren Hayes was the lead singer of Savage Garden and he is rank. The CDs were swiftly dispatched to a charity shop in Fort William on the way up to Skye.
And here is what I could have been missing.
In case anyone is wondering about the post title it is a line from Totnes Bickering Fair by the wonderful Half Man Half Biscuit courtesy of the genius that is Nigel Blackwell

Darren Hayman and the Secondary Modern - Pram Town

Hefner - The Day That Thatcher Dies

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Some Sunday Soul

No discerning record collection should be without Dave Godin's Deep Soul Treasures - Taken From The Vaults Volumes 1 to 4 on the mighty Kent Label.
I have  copies of Volumes 1 to 3 from friends and returned the favour by purchasing Volume 4
Dave Godin  was an English fan, ambassador and promoter of American Soul Music and coiner of the term Deep Soul.
One hundred terrific songs spread out over four albums- some rare and some not so rare many of which have previously featured on my Southern Soul Sunday series.
Today I have gone for two previously unreleased 1967 numbers  featuring Jaibi the stage name of Joan Banks (1943-1984)
Her second husband was Larry Banks and they appear together on the first track as a duo billed as Lawrence  & Jaibi. She appears in her own right on the second.
A true talent.

Lawrence & Jaibi - You Make Me Feel Good

Jaibi - It Was Like a Nightmare

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Holiday Hiatus - The B-52's

Hopefully there are no parties underway Chez CC in our absence.
But even if there were it would be doubtful if the music would have been as good  as these two songs from the B-52's second album Wild Planet from 1980.
Thirty five years old for goodness sake and still as good as ever

The B-52's -Party Out of Bounds

The B-52's - Private Idaho

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Holiday Hiatus - Edwyn Collins

Edwyn Collins made an appearance around this time last year as part of 2014's holiday hiatus. So let's keep up the tradition.
Here are a couple of tracks from the great Gorgeous George on Setanta from 1994.
Clearly no fan of the Summer Festival is our Edwyn.

Edwyn Collins - The Campaign For Real Rock

Edwyn Collins - Low Expectations

Saturday, 3 October 2015


It's that time of the year again folks . My annual post promoting the upcoming Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival here which will be held from 10th to 31st October.
The theme this year is Passion and the web link contains a wee trailer

One in four of us will suffer Mental Health problems at some times in our lives. One in four of us will need help.
A few years ago the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) issued a free CD and information pack entitled One-In-Four  - Raising Mental Health Awareness in Scotland.
The CD contains 14 exclusive tracks from Scottish acts including Teenage Fanclub, The Delgados, Mogwai, Arab Strab, Belle & Sebastian and (gulp) Snow Patrol.
Here are some of the lass familiar artists

Eugene Kelly - Long Time Walking

Uncle John & Whitelock - The Train

Vera Cruse - This is a Fuse

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Holiday Hiatus - Goldfrapp

Songs from Seventh Tree and Head First by Goldfrapp have previously appeared on CCM.
So let's go back in time slightly with a couple from 2005's Supernature including Ooh La La their biggest UK hit which got to number 4.
Ooh La La indeed.

Goldfrapp -Ooh La La

Goldfrapp - Ride a White Horse