Wednesday, November 26, 2008

- Countdown to Festive Season #2: 1988

Just to make it clear, I will be posting links to every currently available Festive Fifty over the next month or so, as long as the day job doesn't get in the way. I should also make it clear that they will in no way be coming along chronologically, just in whatever order takes my fancy. This time we leap forward to December, 1988, a time when I was a moody fifteen-year-old who spent way to much time alone in his room listening to Pink floyd and, ahem, Marillion. Photos of me during this period exist, apparently, although I go to great efforts to keep them hidden.

This was also the month that Roy Orbison died; it's been twenty years, really. It was also the month that Pan Am Flight 103 was blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing a total of 270 people, Benazir Bhutto was sworn in as Prime Minister of Pakistan, becoming the first woman to head the government of an Islam-dominated state and Estonian became the official language of Estonia; communism was well and truly on its way out. for a couple of days in September, the world was astounded by this...

Oooh, you cheeky bugger

...of course, he was to cause more of a stir when his cheating was discovered. I remember getting up at something like 3:00 am to watch this race, I was so happy when that smug git Carl Lewis lost. Oh well. This was also the year that Red Dwarf started. The Festive 50 this tear was broadcast between 20th and 28th December. Should you wish, you can get to listen to these shows by clicking here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

- Countdown to Festive Season #1: 1978

'What were you doing in December, 1978' is a question I'm rarely asked these days. Watching 'The wizard of Oz', 'Jeux sans frontieres', 'The generation game' and 'Blankety blank' is probably about as accurate an answer as I can give right now. I think this was the year that I got a Kermit the frog for christmas, although that could well have been 1979. I've absolutley no doubt that I wasn't tuning in to John Peel's 1978 Festive 50. As a five year old, I just didn't see the appeal at the time. My tastes have changed somewhat, which is why I'm so glad that I am now able to listen to this feast of music.

Stuart Hall and Ostriches, circa 1978

While my new toys were occupying me - perhaps this was the year that I got my six million dollar man doll - JP was busy broadcasting what was quickly becoming an international institution. The Festive 50 for that year was broadcast between 26th December, 1978 and 1st January, 1979. For those of you interested in listening, you can do so by clicking here, here, here and here. This is how the UK sounded before Thatcher got her hands on it.

- 30 from 30 Breaks the DivShare Bank

So many of you rushed to download the latest podcast that the monthly limit is about to be breached. Never fear ,boys and girls, I've uploaded it to a new account and you can download it here. A fantastic effort from Steve to name all thirty tracks, now it's down to the rest of you to fill in the gaps:

1. Siouxsie and The Banshees, 'Love In A Void' (Session #1)
2. Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band, 'Electricity' (Session #1)
3. Meteors, 'Ain't Gonna Bring Me Down' (Session #2)
4. David Bowie, 'Queen Bitch' (Paris concert)
6. Smiths, 'What Difference Does It Make' (Session #1)
8. Cure, '17 Seconds' (Session #3)
9. Department S, 'Is Vic There' (only session)
10. Killing Joke, 'Wardance' (Session #1)
11. Joy Division, 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' (Session #2)
12. Adam And The Ants, 'Deutscher Girls' (Session #1)
13. Queen, 'Spread Your Wings' (Session #3)
14. Damned, 'New Rose' (Session #1)
15. Motorhead, 'Louie Louie' (only session)
16. Cocteau Twins...
17. Pavement, 'The Classical' (Session #4)
19. Chameleons, 'The Fan The Bellows' (Session #1)
20. Fall, 'ROD' (Session #10)
25. House Of Love, 'Christine' (Session #3)
27. Nirvana, 'About A Girl' (Session #1)
28. Breeders, 'Hellbound' (only session)
29. Future Sound Of London, 'Papua New Guinea' (Session #1)
30. Billy Bragg, 'Between The Wars' (Session #3)

If you think you can help, leave comments below and I'll update the list. Meanwhile, in news from elsewhere, those of you who feel that the blog is, and I quote, 'slightly bewildering' and even a 'complete mess', you should bloody well see the rest of my life. While we're at it, I don't really know where you live, stop being silly. I've changed the little caption anyway, hope you approve.

All new listen now...

Monday, November 24, 2008

- 30 from 30: Peel Session PODCAST

Ok, first of all, down to business. Vote for your favourite 3 tracks from 1976 in my super duper (haven't written that in years) 1976 Festive 50. Go on, do it now. After you've done that, go to Steve's blog and vote for your favourite Peel sessions. Thirdly, go to dandelion Radio amd vote in the 2008 Festive 50. Then, only then, listen to my stupendous Peel Session Podcast.

The tracks featured today span 30 years of Peel sessions and Peel show concerts, from the late '60s to the late '90s (thirty years if my maths is right). Just to spice things up a little, I'm not going to give you the details of any of the tracks, I'd just like anyone who can identify them to leave details in the comments section below. There are a fair few classics in there, even some from my selections for Steve's Peel session 50. There are also a few more obscure tracks, which is where it might get tricky.

I've had a bad back for the last few days and have generally been feeling miserable and bored, so was really happy when Davy H pointed out that the Guardian had written a piece about the blog. I get in a bit of a downer about the blog from time to time, especially as I have nowhere near enough time to devote to it as I'd like, so it's nice to know that people out there give a damn.

Getting down to business, finally, here's the download and keep forever link to the podcast:

Download the file

Length: almost 2 hours

File size: 100mb

Alternatively, make use of the 'listen now' format:

There's much less chitter chatter from me this time, you'll be delighted to hear. I eagerly await your wildly inaccurate guesses about band names, track names and session dates in the comments section!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

- Peel Radio Times Feature, August, 1999

Thanks to Andrew for scanning the 'Do you think I'm sixty?' feature from August, 1999.There are 11 pages from the Radio Times of Peel's 60th birthday, including pics, stories and schedules.

Download the 'bit of a monster' pdf (20mb)

Download the file

Now, does anyone have a copy of this...

Peel and Friends

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

- Flock of Seagulls on TOTP

At some point you have to just say that the music must take precedence over the hair - pretty much any piece of music ever produced being that point. Never mind anything else, think of the damage this bugger singlehandedly did to the ozone layer keeping that monstrosity im place. JP must have heard something in the music though, as he featured them in session in 1981 (see my post 'May 12th 1981: The Birth of the Haircut'. ), probably before the patented hairstyle became the band's focal point.

This is a great clip, never the less. TOTP was once the coolest program on TV, lest we forget:

Also available for your downloading pleasure:

Download the file

File size:50mb

- Erazerhead Session: 20th July, 1982

I haven't shared any sessions with you for a while so I felt it was about time. Here we have Erazerhead's one and only offering, dating from 1982. The East Londoners were more often compared with the likes of The Ramones than the nihilistic thrashings of their UK contemporaries, but their relentless enthusiasm and manic vibrant energy ensured their place in the annals of UK punk. Formed in 1980, their frontman Lee Drury's passion for rock 'n' roll would help colour Erazerhead's musical offerings.

Visit the band's website


Lee Dury (Vocals)
Jim Berlin (Guitar)
Billy Trigger (Drums)
Gary Spanner (Bass)

I await the deluge of complaints that this track list doesn't match the one that you've seen elsewhere. Please let me know if you have more info.

Track list:

I Hate You
Teenager In Love
Noone sees me now
Martian girl

Download the file

File size: 7mb

- iPod or MP3 players?

I feel like I’m getting old when I can actually remember when MTV used to play music videos and I used to haul around a portable CD player with a stack of CDs. Then came the ipod, one of the classic inventions of this decade as well as being one of the world’s most popular music and video players. I was late to the trend, only getting mine a couple of years ago, but some of the latest mp3 players now offer the same great features and storage memory.

So folks, what are you, an iPod devotee or will any of the many brands of mp3 players do the trick? What do you think about the differences and similarities of iPods and mp3 players? For me, and a big part of me hates to say this, I’ve been suckered in to the iconic status of the iPod brand, so much so that since buying our family’s first one for my wife, we now have another two for the kids (one an iPod Touch) and I’m hankering after an iPod Nano for myself for Christmas. I think another big factor for me is the shear range of iPods on the market, there’s one for just about every shape and size of person.

As those of you who come to the blog regularly will know, I live in Turkey and am often complaining about stuff like the 'entertainment tax' the government places on cool stuff like mp3 players. As a result, I often employ the services of my brother to bring things over from England when he visits. He put me on to the price comparison website Save Buckets (see pic) recently, even going so far as to suggest I abandon my beloved iPods in favour of a Creative zen mp3 player. Sorry Jim, but I guess I'm too much of a traditionalist.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

- Your Favourites: Sid Vicious - Slender and Likeable at 50?

This documentary, which I first posted back in May of last year, remains a perennial favourite, so it earns a repost. Remember everyone, war is bad.

slender and likeable

Interviewer: Are you having fun at the moment?
Vicious: Are you kidding? No, I am not having fun at all.
Interviewer: Where would you like to be?
Vicious: Under the ground.
Interviewer: Are you serious?
Vicious: (quietly, and sad) Yeah.

Sid Vicious would have turned 50 last weekend. His story is a sad one indeed. The BBC broadcast a one-hour documentary last weekend commemorating him.

Download the program...

-here (part one)

-here (part two).

His version of My Way has never been a personal favourite, but never the less, here it is...

Friday, November 7, 2008

- 2008 Festive 50 needs your vote

As you'll know, the Festive Fifty is an annual chart featuring the previous year's best tracks, as voted for by listeners. Peel presented the first ever Festive Fifty on Radio 1 back in 1976 and continued to do so until his untimely passing in 2004.

Radio 1's One Music show hosted the poll in 2005, before Peel's former production team asked Dandelion Radio to become the new home of the Festive Fifty from 2006 onwards. The time has come for you to make your selections for this year's chart by clicking here! .

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

- Son of Purges Continue

- Happy Days

'Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther King could walk; Martin Walked so Obama could run; Obama's running so our children can FLY!'

Words of wisdom from Jay-Z

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

- Ten Glorious Moments from the ‘60s

Something a little different for post #200. These are ten very cool clips from the 1960s, available in ‘watch now’ format or, by clicking on the name of the artist and song title, yours to keep forever. In order to generate bickering in the comments section, let’s say that the ordering from 10 to 1 is definitive and can’t be argued with:

Sneaking in at that ever popular #10 spot we have Glen Campbell, whose biggest hits came in 1968 and 1969 were with evocative songs written by Jimmy Webb: "By the Time I Get to Phoenix", "Where's The Playground Susie?", "Galveston" and "Wichita Lineman." He was nowhere near as squeaky clean as this polished performance suggests:

At that all-important #9 spot we have Aretha Franklin with, quite frankly, a much too fast for my liking rendition of "Respect":

At #8 is the simply gorgeous Petula Clark with "Downtown". Failure to love this could result in serious punishment:

Bobbie Gentry only at #7?’ I here you rant. You have a point, especially after watching this bizarre yet fabulously ‘60s-esque clip of "Ode to Billie Joe":

#6 sees the Welsh legend Tom Jones belting out "Delilah", bring back black and white I say:

Elvis Presley ranks a lowly #5 with the epic "If I can dream", despite the 1968 comeback special being the greatest TV event ever (yes, the moon landing was a fake and doesn’t count):

At #4, Dusty Springfield is left alone in the spotlight to kind of dance around on her own for a bit, to great effect, while crooning "I only want to be with you":

Right up the with the best of them at #3 are the Moody Blues and "Go now":

Just missing out on top spot is the greatest of all TV chefs Isaac Hayes with a very compact version of "Walk on by". If you can’t make it black and white, have the brightest colours visible to the human eye:

At #1 we have the cool as a cucumber that’s been at the back of the fridge where it gets a bit frosty Nancy Sinatra with "These boots were made for walking". Caution: there really are a lot of women in boots in this clip, you have been warned:

Complaints, links to better videos and death threats belwo, please...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

- Podcast 6 in 'listen now' format

The internet badass cops have got me on the run, so let me assure them that no downloads can be made from this particular post, honest guv. This is merely for those who want to listen to the recent podcast without having to download it, which you can't from this post, as I'd mentioned.

For a complete tracklist, click here. My next post will be my 200th, so I'm planning something a bit spectacular. Please be patient, as it might take a while.

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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