Friday, June 27, 2008

- CLSM - John Peel is Not Enough

One of you bloggers was searching for this track, can't remember which one of you it was, but anyway, here it is.

- Glastonbury 2008

All those are just to be able to use the toilets

Keep up to date with what's happening at the Guardian Glastonbury page.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

- Podcast 3 in 'Listen Now' Format

- Checking out People before you Hire them

Some funny thoughts cross my mind sometimes. There are some strange folk in the world of English teaching, which, for better or worse, is where my career has thus far taken me. I’ll get round to writing about some of the strangest stories some time. I genuinely wonder where some of them are recruited from, and what was going through the recruiters mind at the time! Have you ever thought what you’d need to do to be able to get information on someone? Have you ever needed to check someone’s criminal background or driving record? How would you go about it? Would you know how to conduct a criminal background check on someone? I was thinking about this recently and wondered if you’d be able to do it on the web, and, if so, how much it would cost me. My wanderings led me to many sites and I thought I’d share one with you.

Sentry Link is a prime example of how you could go about doing a background check on someone. This site is for the US only, but it really is amazing what information they can provide you with for a fee of less than $20 in the case of a criminal check and driving background reports. Honestly, I knew that there were companies that do this kind of thing, but the ease of use, coupled with the low cost of the services was something of an eye-opener.

This is definitely something to bear in mind as the criminal check is comprehensive, showing felonies, misdemeanors, and sex offences. When you’re in a profession such as mine where many people are recruited from overseas, often via telephone interviews, you can really imagine the benefit of a website such as this.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

- Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow: PODCAST 3

Back after a work imposed hiatus, here’s podcast 3 in all its tainted glory. As will become evident, I had some problems putting it together, so here’s a somewhat more detailed track listing than you’re used to:

1) Isaac Hayes – Walk on by (1969) (Hot Buttered Soul)


Walk on by’ was composed by the legendary Burt Bacharach, with lyrics by Hal David, especially written for Dionne Warwick. Like many of Warwick's 1960s Bacharach-composed singles, ‘Walk on by’ has been heavily covered, in my opinion most notably in this Isaac Hayes version, from his 1969 groundbreaking album ‘Hot Buttered Soul’. By 1969, black artists were following rock's lead and recording extended epics. At the forefront of such experimentation was big bad Isaac Hayes, co-author of countless Stax classics and an artist in his own right. On this album, Hayes took two MOR-pop benchmarks, ‘Walk on by’ and Jimmy Webb's "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," and spun them out into slow-building sermons lasting 12 and 18.5 minutes apiece. This album did as much as any to revolutionise soul music. I chanced upon it in the early 90s when I was in the habit of going into record shops and buying albums by artists I’d never heard of.


2) Fela Kuti - Gbagada gbogodo (1973) (Afrodisiac)

The musical style of Fela Kuti is known as Afrobeat, essentially a fusion of jazz, funk and Traditional African Chant. It is characterized by its African style percussion, vocals, and musical structure, along with jazzy, funky horn sections. This track, dedicated to Benet, who loans me the sound recorder for these podcasts, comes from the 1973 album ‘Afrodisiac’. I genuinely forgot the name of the track, which is handy because I’d have had absolutely no chance of pronouncing it correctly.


3) The Fall – Fall sound (2007) (Reformation Post TLC)

The full name of the album being ‘Reformation Post Traitors, Liars, Cunts’, this 2007 effort contains a few great tracks, for those who thought otherwise. I can’t believe I made it to 3 podcasts without playing a Fall track. I’ll make up for it and you can expect ‘Imperial Wax Solvent’ to feature soon.


4) Tricky, Martina Topley-Bird and Terry Hall – Poems (1996) (Nearly God)

So how does it feel to be God... well, nearly God?’ This question was posed to Tricky some time before the recording of this collaborative masterpiece, and it clearly stuck in his memory. I’m still as astounded by this track as I was the first time I heard it, particularly the three separate vocals of the artists involved. Sadly, tricky has rarely been so Godlike in his subsequent efforts.


5) Martina Topley-Bird – April Grove (2008) (The Blue God)

The album didn’t receive the best of critical reviews but I’ve always been a sucker for her vocals and this is as good as ever.


6) Sebastian Fors & The Ones That Got Away – Nanana (2008) (Sebastian Fors on Myspace)

This band wrote to me and asked me to give them a listen, which I did. Sebastian Fors & The Ones That Got Away started out as a musical collective in constant change with members changing before each show, with everything from one to seven people on stage at the same time. They have now settled their roots with a line up consisting of:

Sebastian Fors
Gustav Bengtsson
Tobias Adolfsson
Joakim Johansson
Jens Wicksén

7) Link Wray – Big City after Dark (1993) (Rumble - The best of)

I understand that a lot of people rate Jimi Hendrix very highly, but personally I’ve always felt that most of the time he was basically having a wank with the aid of a guitar. Link Wray, on the other hand, is a well ‘ard bastard of the guitar fraternity, as this masterpiece reveals. Please vote in the Wray v. Hendrix poll, that will run until August (you’re even allowed to wrongly choose Hendrix, should you wish).

8) The Glass Family – House of Glass (1968)

This track comes from a fabulously kitsch 2004 collection called Hallucinations: Psychedelic pop nuggets from the vault. It’s worth a listen if you can get hold of a copy, and really is like spending an hour in the company of Austin Powers. When choosing a track I tried to find one that had aged well. I failed.


9) Jon Pertwee - Who Is the Doctor? (early 70s)
A fitting way to end the podcast, courtesy of the mighty ‘Raiding The Vinyl Archive’ blog, who has this to say:

'Back in the early 70s I had a special way of listening to this record. My friend would bring it round, I would take the speakers off the wall, put them on the table and we would stick our heads between them and play it at high volume. It had some great panning stereo effects.'

Please bear in mind that I was nearly run over on several occasions recording the speaky bits, so all comments are especially welcome this time.

Download the bugger:

Download the file

Length: 53 mins
File size: 73mb

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

- Breeders Session, 20th or 22nd January, 1990

One of my favourite sessions, this one, and not just because I fancy Kim Deal. This is all the more special for being the broadcast version complete with JP intros.

The Breeders' began when Kim Deal, at that time bassist of the Pixies, began writing new material while the band were in Europe with Throwing Muses, some time around the Surfer Rosa era. With neither band having plans, Deal discussed possible side projects with Throwing Muses guitarist Tanya Donelly. Thus the Breeders came to be.

While some side projects turn out to be well and truly crap, I’ve always kind of preferred them to the Pixies or Throwing Muses, and not just because I fancy Kim Deal. Peel speaks of a Snub Television TV appearance around the time, which I remember watching and may still have on a video tape somewhere, that’s if I didn’t tape over it with the England – Cameroon quarter final.


When I Was A Painter
Fortunately Gone


Kim Deal singing and guitaring
Tanya Donelly guitaring
Josephine Wiggs bassing
Possibly / probably Britt Walford drumming

Download the file

File size:11mb

Sunday, June 22, 2008

- First Killing Joke Session: 29th October, 1979

With no action from the much-loved Perfumed Garden blog since last August, I think I'll start posting some of the many sessions I have in the archive, starting with this beauty.

In late 1979, Killing Joke began the Malicious Damage record label with graphic artist Mike Coles as a way to press and sell their music; Island Records distributed the records, until Malicious Damage switched to E.G. Records in 1980. The songs on Killing Joke's early singles were proto punk rock, sometimes mixed with funk ("Nervous System") and dub/reggae ("Turn to Red") styles. Their 'Nervous System/Turn To Red' EP came to the attention of John Peel, who was keen to champion the band's sound and gave them extensive airplay. This session dates from this era, and was the first of five the band did for Peel

Track list in no particular order

-Psyche (which went on to be a three-time festive fifty track)
-Nuclear Boy
-Malicious Boogie

Line up

Jazz Coleman (Keyboards, Vocals)
Geordie Aka A. Lizzard (Guitar, Vocals)
Big Paul (Drums, Vocals)
Youth (Bass, Vocals)
Disco Whoop (Backing Vocals-Malicious Boogie only)

Download the file

File size: 11 mb

Expect more of the Killing Joke sessions soon.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

- Zen and the Art of being a Moron

Many fine men have ridden motorbikes. Few have written about them as eloquently as Robert M. Pirsig in Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenence:

Not everyone understands what a completely rational process this is, this maintenance of a motorcycle. They think it's some kind of a "knack" or some kind of "affinity for machines" in operation. They are right, but the knack is almost purely a process of reason, and most of the troubles are caused by what old time radio men called a "short between the earphones," failures to use the head properly. A motorcycle functions entirely in accordance with the laws of reason.

Somehow I doubt the total fuckwit in this clip has read this book...

We're not talking about rocket science here, gentlemen

This is funny. This is really, really funny. OK, I'm not thinking this through too clearly, but I'm not alone: 'what a twat!!!!' suggests stuie1971, echoing my thoughts on the matter. Not all agree, however, 'Really sad. Stupid riding like that can earn you a wheelchair for the rest of your life. NOT FUNNY AT ALL' notes a DIGGINSMCCAIN, clearly one of YouTube's voices of reason.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

- Podcast 3 Due Any Week Soon!

If you're one of the tens of people who've downloaded the first 2 podcasts then thank you very much for the lack of death threats thus far received. I'm full of excuses as to why I haven't been able to stick to a more regular schedule but most of these excuses are genuine.

After the roaring not total failure of the 'live from the judo class' podcast, I started recording my segways whilst walking home along a busy Istanbul highway. The results are spectacular, if not necessarily specatular in a good way. Anyhows, the memory ran out half way through (I use one of those nifty little hand-held digital voice recorders) so half of the tracks on the podcast aren't introduced, so you'll have to refer to the blog while listening.

It should be available for download in the next couple of days. Thanks for sticking with me and sharing my love of music.


- Solving the Headache of Buying Tickets Online

Like one of my favourite bloggers, Steve over at Teenage Kicks, I love the old vinyl to death but have a hideously poor record of gig attendance. That’s not to say that I’ve never done Glastonbury or Reading, just nowhere near as often as I’d like. Moving abroad seemed to be a bit of a killer for me, as it coincided with A) moving into my thirties, B) having kids, C) the mega commercialization of festivals in Turkey, and D) the advent of online booking agencies. That last one, above all others, has been the big stumbling block. I remember ye olden days when you had to phone up and give your credit card number to some stranger and hope for the best. It worked, but it was very archaic. My brother, eight years my junior, assures me that booking online is now very easy if you choose the right site, citing the case of the Leeds Festival tickets that he recently purchased from the viagogo website. Go online, click a couple of buttons and Bob is very much your uncle.

Viagogo Ticket Sales

My brother, being a bit more tech-savvy than me, tends to dish out sound advice when it comes to the internet, so knowing my skepticism for online booking, I’m really glad he put me onto Viagogo. While browsing the other day, I found out that the legendary Stevie Wonder is active this year and being a bit of a Stevie head, I thought I’d look up the availability of Stevie Wonder tickets. Lamentably, he’s not playing anywhere near Istanbul this summer, but if I wanted to buy tickets for one of his gigs, it’d be a darn sight easier on this website than in my previous attempts.

Now, let me tell you, a lot of Turkish websites are very poorly designed, leading you down a series of dead ends from which there’s seemingly no escape. Ticketing websites in this country are the worst of the bunch, asking you to give so much detail about the event you want to attend, from the day, venue, price you want to pay, to your trouser size, blood type and bloody star sign. All in all, trying to buy tickets from such sites put you off going to gigs completely. Consequently, when you have a site as clearly laid out as Viagogo, where all artists available are clearly laid out in alphabetical order in the left sidebar, it’s something of a Godsend. You can even sell back unneeded tickets. You can probably tell by now that I’m a bit of a fan of well designed websites such as this. In fact, I can’t wait for Janet Jackson tickets to go on sale!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

- The 6 Strangest World Festivals

The world is, as most travelers will say, a very diverse and colorful place. What passes as normal for you may be completely absurd somewhere else on this planet. Once you've lived abroad for a while, you come to realise that culture develops differently in many places, even ones close to where you live. Combined with our love of a good piss up, it has resulted in a lot of festivals. And since the world is diverse, some festivals are, to us at least, wellstrange. When you go to one of these, be sure to take a camera!

1. Mike the Headless Chicken Day

A festival about a headless chicken? Sounds silly, right? The people of Fruita, Colorado, don’t think so. This festival celebrates Mike, a chicken who had his head chopped off but remained living since his brain stem was still there. He lived for 18 months without a head. The festival contains the Chicken Games, a Chicken Recipe Contest, Run Like a Headless Chicken, Chicken Dance, and more! This is celebrated on May 18th and 19th.

2. El Colacho

Celebrated on June 8th and 9th in Calacho, Spain, this is otherwise known as the Baby-Jumping Festival and has been around since 1620. Like the name implies, grown men jump over newborn babies to remove evil from them, with the eager parents looking on, giving full approval. They wear costumes similar to what a matador (or perhaps Elvis Presley) would wear. Onlookers are also made to participate in the event, so don't bring your baby along.

3. Pulilan Carabao Festival

This mid-May celebration (14th and 15th of the month) is all about carabaos, or better known as the water buffalo. In a town in the province of Bulacan in the Philippines, carabaos are shaven, oiled, perfumed, decorated, and paraded around town. The day after, they participate in a race. A fitting tribute to these hardworking beasts of burden.

4. Monkey Buffet Festival

This November festival takes place in the Pra Prang Sam Yot temple in Lopburi, Thailand. All of the province's monkeys are given a huge buffet of fruits and vegetables, to honor Rama, the hero of an epic, who is said to have awarded the province to the Monkey King Hanuman. It's an all-you-can-eat monkey orgy.

5. Wisconsin State Chip Throw

A festival about throwing cow dung. That's right, these people from Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin, spend the Labor Day weekend flinging shit - dried cow dung, to be exact. Gloves are prohibited, licking your fingers is not.

6. The Testicle Festival

It sounds gross to you, I hope. In Clinton, Montana, the citizens (21 and up only, no kids allowed) drink a lot of beer and munch on Rocky Mountain Oysters. This is just a better name for deep-fried bull testicles. I don't think I can eat that, although they are on the menu here in turkey. They also bet on when a bull is going to poop. This is celebrated for five days, August 1st to 5th.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

- Best Videos Ever #2: Ashes to Ashes - David Bowie

I've never done good things
I've never done bad things
I never did anything out of the blue

The video clip for "Ashes to Ashes" was one of the most iconic of the 1980s and with good reason. Costing £250,000, it was at the time the most expensive music video ever made, although I’d always though it’d been made on the cheap for about a tennerbefore I did my research for this post. It incorporated scenes both in solarised colour and in stark black-and-white, featuring Bowie in the gaudy Pierrot costume that became the dominant visual representation of his Scary Monsters phase. Also making an appearance were Steve Strange and other members of the London Blitz scene, including Judith Franklin and Darla Jane Gilroy, forerunners of the New Romantic movement that was heavily influenced by Bowie's music and image.

scary clown Bowie

Bowie has described the shot of himself and the Blitz Kids marching towards the camera in front of a bulldozer as symbolising "oncoming violence". Although it appears that two of the Blitz Kids bow at intervals, they were actually trying to pull their gowns away from the bulldozer in an effort to avoid them getting caught.

Scenes of the singer in a space suit - that suggested a hospital life-support system - and others showing him locked in what appeared to be a padded room, made reference to both Major Tom and to Bowie's new, rueful interpretation of him. Contrary to myth and legend, the elderly woman lecturing Bowie at the end of the clip was, sadly, not his real mum. Is this the best song ever made? Depending on my mood on a given day I’d argue that yes, it is.

- Portishead Live on the Beeb

Portishead's session, recorded at BBC's Maida Vale studios was broadcast last night, Tuesday 10th June, on Zane Lowe's Radio One show.

On air between 7pm & 9pm, the show is also be available to listen again to online for a week.

Monday, June 9, 2008

- A ghost at the feast: The Magic Band at Maida Vale, 7th July, 2004

You wait for ages then two posts come along at once. By the way, it's my youngest son Ozan's first birthday today, so leave a comment or he'll be very grizzly.

Some fat old men in 2004
A bunch of old men in 2004

Does Ludwig Van have to be conducting to make a performance of his music valid? Does he bollocks, although we’d all rather have Captain Beefheart singing these songs, naturally. Having said that, this is a belter of a performance which yielded 2 festive fifty entries for 2004.

Legend has it that Peel was initially sceptical about this reformed Magic Band but, having played a live recording of the band recorded at an All Tomorrows Parties festival on his show some time in 2003, he found himself so overcome with emotion that couldn't speak and had to play a record to regain his composure. A year or so later the band did a live session for Peel.

Track list:

Diddy wah diddy
Hit a man
Rockette Morton bass solo
Steal softly through sunshine
Abba zabba
My human gets me blues
Alice in blunderland
Hair pie bake 4
The evening bell
The floppy boot stomp
Mirror man
Moonlight on Vermont
Bug* eyed beans from Venus

Glaring errors to be rectified, as ever, in the comments section below.

Download the file
Length: 63 mins
File size: 76 mb

*As noted on the BBC website which is absolutely jam-packed with lack of information.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

- Latest 'no post for ages' Apology

Work has been an absolute bugger recently although there is light at the end of the tunnel. I'm looking forward to being able to commit on a more regular basis to the blog in the next month or so. Thanks for everyone who dropped by during the first year and sharing your appreciation of Peel with me. I'll also be podcasting on a much more regular basis - from July onwards if all goes to plan.

Please keep dropping by, the comments mean a lot.


Who was John Peel?

The philosophy of this blog is a celebration of music in the spirit of the late John Peel. For those of you who want to learn more, click here.

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