Saturday, April 30, 2005

the cat came back in gym pants

Inspired by the swisheroo of the trip down the tardis of memory lane how about keeping on the same road for a wee while?? I was remembering this morning before heading down for the weekly shop to Lidl that our primary school had a 'television room' and pride of place was indeed a mother of a television in all its black and white glory. I was in a gym team about to perform the 'Flying Angel' over a trampette and wooden horse into the arms of a sturdy gym teacher, as you do. We were corralled into the television room to try and calm stage fright nerves and the teachers thankfully had a brainstorm...why don't we switch on the TV to distract the little dears. It was a Thursday night Top of the Pops and straight into our school came at a zillion creds a second...San Fransisco by Scott McKenzie ..Jesus...I couldn't believe it...sitting watching the drug zoohaa of Haight Ashbury right there in my gym shorts..the next band kinda spoiled the purple haze it if I remember right, it was The Mighty Quinn by Manfred Mann not quite as heavy or mindblowing.
The upshot of this is that I was a West Coast grrl after that, you could keep your Kinks and The Who and all that whimsical English twee. I know there were heavier acts out there, but at 11 I guess I believed myself to have landed in tiedye heaven.I then went on to check out Sonny and Cher, Barry McGuire , Mamas and Papas and play them to death on a jukebox in an Italian chip shop in our town. It must have been that sunshine and hippy lifestyle. So appealing in smallsville Scotland.I still gravitate towards the big harmony soundsof the west coast. I also love to blast a Boss track ,I know he's from the East coast, but hey poetic license!!!whilst whistling down the old A1 to Haddington.
Today I am in the garden enjoying a glass of rather fine rose from Sainsbury's who have a lot of bargains at the moment in the liquid department. Have the mini disc wired up playing a lot of streamed albums i have got from CMT. The quality is AOK and you wouldn't know you hadn't spent an HMV on each one. The only album I have purchased in the last year should arrive Mon. It is the Boss and 'Devils and Dust.' I don't mind him getting my shallots. I have a soft spot for him from way back when. It would be Aberdeen August 1975 and Born To Run was blasting out of the Garrard deck whilst my various flatmates debated over getting their hair cut and whether straight legged jeans would get them laughed at in the Union. He never came to Aberdeen Uni , but we did get The Clash and a favourite gig of mine....Divine at the Venue.I remember buying a cassette called Maid in England. Wild stuff..Aye those were the days when if you went for a pee you gobbed in your beer to make sure it was still there when you came back. Certain folks were known as 'minesweepers' as they basically half inched all the pints without an owner attached.
Here is today's musical experience.
First up is Matt McGuinn If it wasnae for the Unions mp3
a great wee ditty that ranks alongside anything Woody or Bob have written. Next up especially for Simon from Spoilt Victorian Child another kiddie favourite from Uncle Swimming Arm Bands himself.
Rolf Harris TheCat Came Back mp3.
Off now to defrost some squid for tea and change the mini disc...Tift Merrit is almost done...thank you CMT.
bonus ball for today
The Clash King of the Road mp3
Always knew they were countrry boys at heart. This is for Joe.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

elvis, kenneth and slim

what music was I listening to as a kid?? well I have to admit to an eclectic first memories were of a pile of 45 rpms coming home from a village jumble sale that my family played the grooves through. In that box was the first Elvis track I ever heard , Wooden Heart. I remember his voice being like a jug of cocoa and being intrigued by the german lines. Next up was Roy Orbison and my mum's favourite 'Oh Pretty woman' it has the best intro ever, and then onto The Corries with Paddy Bell , an ep that had a sinister song 'the twa corbies' and a rousing drinking ditty 'Lock the door Lariston'. Andy Stewarts 'A Scottish Soldier ' which went to no 19 in the UK charts in 1967 , a Kenneth McKellar or two. Aye these were the days when a record collection did indeed come in a biscuit box and every single 's cover was reread a 100 times. Did you know that Kenneth McKellar was the British entry in 1966 for the Eurovision song contest? He came in 9th with 'A man without love' not one of his better efforts. I also remember , whilst I'm down memory lane a load of Hallmark albums , may have been the first time i heard Patsy Cline and fell in love with a good greeter. Slim Whitman and 'Cattle Call ' always amazed me as did the musicality of The Dubliners , another favourite in our household.
I did like the Beatles for a short while, but became a Stones grrl as soon as the hormones hit. Paul and John could not compete with the rangy danger of the glimmer twins.Adolescence saw Bowie and Bolan rool with a lot of west coast america thrown in. So in homage to those days, i will spare you 'a man without love' and give you instead a live recording .
David Bowie Rock and Roll Suicide mp3
and just in case things are getting too angsty here is a favourite of kids everywhere who have to do a turn at the guisin and can't really sing or act , but know this to be a winner every time..
Rolf Harris Tie Me Kangaroo Down mp3

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Tony are you reading this?

Heeeeeya the gig was out of this world!!! Raul Malo in Edinburgh and I was 4 rows from the front. Normally when I go to gigs, cinemas or theatre I get some 8 foot guy with a cowboy hat who has bad body odour, chews gum and laughs after every line. This time I was in luck as I had an unobstructed view and a couple of big fans next to me who had come through from Glasgow for the gig. First up was the support. Normally I am a big fan of supports as you can find some gold dust before the prices go up for a solo gig and it's in a warehouse as opposed to a small venue like this. However, I was disappointed. The guy Graham Ryder is a fantastic guitarist, but sings like Stephen Gately from Boyzone. A very baby voice and some naff lyrics..check out 'let me be your cable car..' where is that wire cutter I was thinking... anyway other folk thought he was good enough for a clap or two, but nae me.
Raul Malo on the other hand was fantastic and it sounded like a whole band was there with him on stage.He just had a gut strung acoustic guitar, yet created a big band sound on even 'Dance the night away'. He told of being in Dublin the night before and staying in the same hotel as Tony Bennett. He has written a song that he did for the man, but was too shy to go up and tell him about Tony if you are reading this check out the jazzy number in the middle of the set that has your name written all over it.
What music for today???lets have a look at what I have.
Here is someone who I think has a great voice, not quite Raul Malo but in the same league. His band is Los Lobos and he is Cesar Rosas .Here he is with the band with a live track recorded in Austin Texas in October 2001. These guys have just celebrated their 30th anniversary I bet they have seen a lot of roadside toilets in that time.

Los Lobos Maria mp3

Next up is a boy nearer to home, well a man if I was being pedantic. This is mental box playing..if you ever felt like setting fire to an accordian at a session because it dominates and sounds twee here is a reason to hold off with the firelighters. Sandy Brechin can come over as a bit arrogant when you see him live, but when you hear this I guess he has good reason. If you are ever in Edinburgh I am told he still plays at a local pub on the High Street when he is in town. Well worth the trek.

Sandy Brechin Charlie Stuart's Jig/Dirt Detective/Dunara mp3

If you like books about music and the inside track check out
Nico The Life and Lies of an Icon by Richard Witts. It was published here in the UK by Virgin in 1993. It's worth scrabbling in dirty biscuit boxes in Charity shops to find a copy.Here is a book that gets behind the 'IBM computer with a Garbo accent' as Andy Warhol called her. Ok off now to look at my favourite site of the day BBC and it's array of interactive quizzes. Have a good one what ever you are drinking.

Monday, April 18, 2005

i touched patti smith's boot!!!

Raul Malo tonight at the Queens Hall...yeeha..looking forward to this no end.It is unreserved seating...a bit of a bummer given it is pissing down and will mean queuing for ages outside the venue. Then of course a mad rush for the best seat. There aren't too many of them in this venue. It used to be a church I think..well it reminds me of one..hard pews with no cushions. Anyway tonight Iwill pack a cushion that I use in the garden to stop my bahoochie from going numb.
No moshing for me these days, last time I rushed a stage would have been for Patti Smith at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow a few years ago. She still had the charisma and power in her performance she had 30 years ago. I saw her back in the 1970's in Edinburgh and I touched her boot!!! A real groupie was I . I did however, wash my hands between then and now.I was watching Ivan Krall's Dancing Barefoot yesterday and it still stands as one of the best films about those times. I wish Patti Smith would bring something out on DVD. If anyone knows of anything , let me know.
Now to todays tracks. It has to be Ray Charles LaMontagne. A star if there ever was. He is testament to the power of word of mouth and the net. I certainly have not heard him on mainstream radio.Further evidence that the airplay driven methods of a pressured record industry is well out of date.
A big influence on him was Stephen Stills here's a favourite of mine that I found floating around on the net.

Stephen Stills My Love is a Gentle Thing MP3

I remember buying his early albums and playing them out. Ray believes that once you learn a few chords you can write a song. Maybe not a very good song but a song nonetheless. Punk credentials there I'd say.
Ray Charles LaMontagne Water from the Well demo MP3.
and here is another bonus track just to whet your appetite for rushing out and getting hold of the album Trouble
Ray Charles LaMontagne Shelter demo MP3
Have taken a spontaneous holiday today, got up and looked out the window , it was raining so why not?
Off to B&Q to get a replacement for the patio heater in some vain attempt to bring out the sun. Then to collect a duvet that has been dry cleaned. Then, a bit of chill out relaxing before the big show tonight.
Bonus track
Amy Ray and the Butchies Refugee mp3
yes that Amy Ray from the Indigo Girls making sure throat surgery is a definite very soon, but hell it's a great cut.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

no skirly shite through this door

aah what to write about..not Michael Howard and immigration. Can you believe that this old Enoch Powell chestnut is a main platform for the Tories. Things are hotting up here and lots of argie bargie on radio 4 in the morning. I drive to work and get mesmerised by the debate and the talking's hard to get out the car and cross the road and be a wage slave.
What music tonight I wonder , here are a couple of goodies courtesy of my hard whilst you can for evaluation purposes only, buy the albums and keep the record industry happy...they are really going for big prosecutions here in the UK .here is one for us , the little people from one of the best bands ever to grace the planet. I was playing this LOUDLY in the kitchen whilst boiling the pasta.

the doors riders on the storm mp3
I read the book by Danny Sugarman and it is a HIT absolutely essential reading along with Stoned and 2Stoned by Andrew Loog Oldham. Your life will be enriched beyond man/womans wildest dreams if you get your nose stuck into them.
I am off to have a coffee from the new machine so will be back soon with more enlightening thoughts.aaaaaGH THAT WAS FANTASTIC..a pastry from the local Scotmid that could have come from a bakers oven in deepest Dieppe, along with the dandiest coffee south of the Forth Road Bridge.Had a bit of a guilt moment about spending the roof repair money on a gaggia titanium..but hey ..this is the generation that spends spends spends and ferk the pension, so I guessed join part of the poor pensioners who will have to buy their false teeth on eBay.
Here is the second number to ponder over, play and then buy if it moves your skin folicles in musical patterns.
Sandy Brechin is a fine box player as we call it here, someone who can coax a tune or two out of an accordian.
Most of us dont really like all this skirly shite that goes under the moniker "Scottish Music" especially the stuff by Jimmy Shand and the Tartan Teuchters..but this is different. The guy has panache and waggles his box in semaphore...make that an e if you think the spelling wrong. I get pissed off by the smarty pants that like to tell you that a word is not splet rihgt I KNOW!!!! but do I care!!!!! no, not enough and I do not get a red face and stand in the naughty corner either....listen to this guy and be amazed. I saw him at the Edinburgh Festival with the Wrigley Sisters from Orkney and it was one of those moments when you don't mind not being born a millionaire 1oo years ago, because you would have missed this.

Sandy Brechin Tattie Howker / Fumblin Fingers mp3 from his stupendous album 'out of his box..'from 1996 this is a clever title as out of your box also means being stramashed out of your skull on the vino and other alcaholic beveridges as well as playing out of the box ..I'm sure you get the picture without me going into primary teacher mode
off to catch some shut eye and recommend a nice Dows Late Vintage Port to help crash out immediately to neutralise thoughts of roof repair money.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

allmans, poodles and pigs

I am able to just about hear the words 'Allman Brothers' after the debacle of the other day. I have also hopefully fixed the dodgy link to Brian Setzer. I listenened again to the track this morning and what a breezy little smiler of a tune it is too. It kicked me into action to go and get the shopping from Lidl, where fruit and veg is half price again this week. Yippee!!! Where else can you get a melon for 59p and the best Brie this side of a French poodle.
I managed to win the Carpenter jeans on things are indeed looking up.Recommend this natty style for any countrygrrl out there who needs a big pocket to keep her fencing wire and iPod pristine.
I was trying to remember best/worst music moments on British TV, it has to be Pan's People on Top of the Pops dressed as bank robbers dancing to The Clash's Bank Robber...unbelievable.Of course the BBC's idea of archiving these golden nuggets is pretty moronic. Most of the tapes got reused, and on top of Dee Dee and Babs now is probably some weather reporter from 1999.
I have been scouring the net for music and found a site that recommended that you type the following into Google and you should be rewarded with a motherload of mp3's.
"parent directory"mp3 OR wma OR ogg "name of whoever you want to check out"-htm -html
I think it works...I came across a few Oasis demos this way.
As for the daily dose of deck delights how about a bit of rustic twang.
Roy Rogers rode the range from 1951-1957 returning for a reprise in 62/63. His trusty steed of course was Trigger and his sidekick Pat drove a jeep called Nellybelle.His best girl was his wife Dale Evans, Queen of the West. Her steed was Buttermilk and and even Trigger had a buddy, Bullet the dog. Here's one for Roy and Trigger
Marty Robbins Ride, Cowboy, Ride mp3
Here is a tip if you have garlic on your hands after preparing a meal for your loved one. Take a metal spoon and rub it between your hands whilst washing them under a running tap and the smell mysteriously disappears. To where I have not a scoobie, but it does mean that any hanky panky post aubergine bake should be trouble free.
Having to wash a red oven glove as it got covered in oil tonight . Remember when washing such an item that it is reminiscent of slaughtering a pig..Don't put that favourite Andy Williams t shirt in at the same time.Thats your 2 countrygrrl homemaking tips for today.
Here's a little music interlude to take you away from the scrubbing board and garlic press. A wee bit of Scotland as my gesture to Tartan Week which means sprouting sporrans all over the US ..
Robert Wilson The Gathering of the Clans mp3
This is a fab piece of scottish biscuit box skirly dirly to dance the pleats right oot o' yer kilt.The best o' tartan to ye a'.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarg ferk and f***********d

aaaaaaaaaaaaaargh moment...guess it happens to us all. I gave away a lot of vinyl just the other day and despite thinking I had sorted out the boxes to keep from the ones to go to a good home, I realised there had been a mix up. How did I discover this?? whilst meandering around on ebay I saw The Allman Bros live at Filmore East the purple labelled one just like my copy being auctioned for some vast sum of cash. I thought , oh that's good, I'm so glad i have kept it for the 3o odd years or whatever, travelling with me to all my shared flat situations up and down the country. I thought I would just have a check, and yes i dont need to write the ending, you've guessed. It has gone out into some charity shop to be sold for a couple of quid. ..I have been a bit low today as you can imagine, however, life is too short to get ferked up about things like this. So if anyone has this album mouldering in an attic, get it out and put it in a bank vault.
here's a couple of tracks that have been acting as Doctor, Nurse and Rehab Orderly
Barefoot Manner Nervous Breakdown mp3

The Barefoot Manner philosophy is simple. Through the power of music, we can all live in the present moment and collectively experience the beauty of being alive. The band performs barefoot to remind themselves of this philosophy. The music is heavily rooted in high-energy newgrass with a mix of rock, funk, & positive reggae vibes
I can't bear to hear any Allmans tonight, but how about a little swing.
Brian Setzer Orchestra As Long as I'm Singin' mp3 check him out at his website. I used to be into the Stray Cats and he has done amazingly well with this jazzy swing stuff.
Looking forward to seeing Raul Malo next week here in Edinburgh, he will be doing a solo gig and can't wait for his Spanish numbers.
An Election has been called here and it will be all the usual locking of horns and posturing. Don't know if Blair can pull it off...but Michael Howard would be a hell of a lot worse...bring back Screaming Lord Sutch. His Monster Raving Loony Party wanted to give large pets the vote, get rid of January and February so that winters would be shorter and asked why was there only one monopolies commission. He also attracted a lot more music cred than Tony Blair. He pulled in such big names as Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Noel Redding to play along with him. I don't think the other Noel could be arsed to jam with our Leader. So off to catch some Carpenter jeans on ebay...the only ones worth staying up for a manual bid....

Saturday, April 02, 2005

bunnet hung up in heaven

Well the Papa has hung up his bunnet...I'm not a Catholic but it is indeed an end of an era..didn't agree with any of his policies etc and all the stuff around not supporting AIDS campaigns in Africa...anyway I guess he was important to a lot of folk .Here is a song and the best of tartan to him up there in the pulpit in the sky.... don't know who will be the next one, but here's hoping for a little peace, love and understanding.
neil young and pearl jam i shall be released maybe he has special privileges to get to the front of the disco queue but this might help him elbow thru the riff raff.
Wrote a full and enhanced blog that took a LONG TIME..unfortunately I did not save as I went and now have to pay the blog of any note. Here is take two. Thanks to Enchilada for tips on how to add links, I had a snafu earlier re adding stuff then the big disappearance act with the publish post . Trying to stay calm and up is a track that reflects my mood.
Dee Dee Ramone Too Much To Drink
now off to catch up on ebay and check my goods..amazing what you can find to sell, it is sooooooooo know you are heading for ebay rehab when you are checking out how much dirty laundry will sell for. I had a look in my biscuit box but no shortbread shaped like the Popemobile or oatcakes like a Damien no rich quick scams for me.