Tuesday, September 29, 2009

- 70 songs (Vol. 6)

Getting fed up of waiting? Well, I've been having a load of problems with my audio editing software of recent and it's taken me longer than normal to cobble this one together. I am getting dreadfully close to the magic 70 now, one more collection of songs should do it.

Here's a track list for all the faithful who've stuck with me while I've been putting these together, indeed for all those who've visited the blog over the past two and a half years.

Part One

01 Lonnie Donegan - Lost John
02 Toots and the Maytals - Louie Louie
03 The Cure - A forest
04 Camper van Beethoven - Take the skinheads bowling
05 Stiff Little Fingers - Suspect device
06 The Fall - Lay Of The Land
07 Public enemy - Rebel without a pause
08 My bloody valentine - Soon
09 Disposable heroes of hiphoprisy - Language of violence
10 Pocket Fishrmen - The leader is burning

Part Two

11 The smiths - There is a light that never goes out
12 The Fall - Mr. pharmacist
13 Symarrip - Skinhead Moonstomp
14 Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band - Big eyed beans from venus
15 The Damned - New rose
16 Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five - The message
17 The Sugarcubes - Birthday
18 The Sundays - Can't Be Sure
19 Happy Mondays - Step on
20 Lo-Cut A Sleifar - Sefyll Fel Un

Part Three

21 Andy Capp - Popatop
22 Free - All right now
23 Inspiral Carpets - she comes in the fall
24 Inspiral Carpets - Directing traffic
25 Buzzcocks - What do i get?
26 David Bowie - Heroes
27 New Order - Temptation
28 PJ Harvey - 50ft queenie
29 Mazzy star - Fade into you
30 Daft Punk - Rollin' & Scratchin'

Part Four

31 Von Südenfed - Fledermaus can't get it
32 The Dead Kennedys - California Über Alles
33 Joy Division - Transmission
34 The stooges - I wanna be your dog
35 The Beatles - strawberry fields forever
36 The Smiths - How Soon Is Now?
37 Eric B. and Rakim - I know you got soul
38 M/a/r/r/s - Pump up the volume
39 Pixies - Debaser
40 The Orb - Little Fluffy Clouds

Part Five

41 Scotty Moore Trio - Have guitar will travel
42 Future Sound of London - Papua New Guinea
43 The Sex Pistols - Holidays in the Sun
44 James - Hymn from a village
45 Hüsker Dü - Makes no sense at all
46 The Fall - Hit the north (part 1)
47 sugar - A good idea

(The all-new) Part Six

48 David Bowie - Queen bitch
49 The House of Love - Christine
50 PJ Harvey - Angelene
51 James Taylor & Joni Mitchell - That song about the midway
52 Nirvana - About a girl
53 Pavement - The classical
54 The Cure - One hundred years
55 The smiths - What difference does it make?

Part Seven to come any year soon.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

- Lightning Bolt in session

Rhode Island’s Lightning Bolt are known for their ‘guerrilla gigs’, preferring to play on the floor of the venue rather than the stage, creating a tight circle of spectators around the band. They have also been known to start playing only a few seconds after the opening band finishes, often taking the audience by surprise. In 2004, Lightning Bolt played on the doorstep of John Peel's lodgings at noon during the ‘All Tomorrow's Parties’ festival, about which neighbor Steve Albini commented, ‘Best alarm clock I've ever had.’ They have also staged concerts in kitchens, on sidewalks (pavements to the British among you), and in parking lots (car parks to the British among you). 2009 perhaps has brought about the first time that Lightning Bolt have ever been seen onstage, having performed at Primavera Sound Festival on stage, hooked up to a professional sound system. Here they are in session. I've had to return my copy of Ken Garner's Peel Sessions to the uni library and owe them a lot of money in fines, so please fill in the details that are lacking until I pay my penalty and can get the book back again.

- New York Musical Theatre Festival 2009

Along with my love of (nearly) all things music, I’m secretly also a bit of a theatre and musical buff, which is why I thought I’d make a quick post about the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Every year, during a three-week autumnal festival, the theatre festival does for theatre what JP did for music, showcasing in excess of 30 new musicals at locations in New York City's theatre district. In fact, over half of these productions will have been chosen by leading theatre artists and producers via an open-submission procedure, while the other shows are requested to take part by the Festival's artistic team.

During its first three years, the festival saw seven of its shows 'promoted' to off-Broadway commercial runs, with four more being picked up by regional theatres, while many others secured financing as a result of being in the festival. The New York Musical Theatre Festival has evolved into the largest annual musical theatre event in the United States. This year’s festival will run from September 28th to October 18th. One of the main benefits of the festival is that it gives upcoming artists the chance to perform in front of a live audience that includes directors, well-known actors and other recognised components of the theatre profession. During the course of its life, the New York Musical Theatre Festival has been a great success, with over 40 shows making the leap to become successful productions on Broadway, off-Broadway and elsewhere around the world.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

- 70 songs (Vol. 5)

Will this ever end? Well, yes, actually, a couple more and I should be done. As ever, it is available to download or you can listen now...

Friday, September 4, 2009

- Sean Dickson and JP take a walk around Bellshill, Lanarkshire

One of the great things about being a teenager is that at some point you'll inevitably try and dress like a pop star. So it was with me and this band. The Soup Dragons formed in Bellshill, near Glasgow, in 1985. Sean Dickson (vocals, lead guitar), Jim McCulloch (guitar, second voice) and Sushil K. Dade (bass) were joined by drummer, Ross A. Sinclair, who left the group after their first album, This Is Our Art, and was replaced by Paul Quinn. Most of their songs were written by Dickson, while some were co-written with McCulloch.

The band signed to Subway Records in early 1986 and their first single, The Sun in the Sky EP, although the band's big breakthrough came with their second single for Subway, Whole Wide World, which reached #2 on the UK Independent Chart in 1986. The band were signed by former Wham! co-manager Jaz Summers' label Raw TV and scored indie hits during 1987 and 1988. Over the course of these singles, they gradually developed a more complex rock guitar sound, culminating in This Is Our Art, and the group were now signed to major label Sire Records. However, after the one single taken from the album Kingdom Chairs had failed to chart, the band were unceremoniously dropped and returned to Raw TV.

In the year following This Is Our Art, their sound underwent a change from an indie rock sound, to the prevailing zeitgeist, i.e. the rock-dance crossover baggy sound, with the release of the album Lovegod. This change echoed that of fellow Scottish band Primal Scream, clearly influenced by the rise of the acid house rave scene in the UK. By 1990, they had not only recruited a 17-year-old me as a fan but also released their most successful hit single in the UK, I'm Free, (see above) an up-tempo cover of a Rolling Stones song with an added overdub by reggae star Junior Reid.

Subsequent albums continued the rock-dance crossover sound. In 1992 they enjoyed their biggest U.S. hit with Divine Thing. The band split in 1995 with Quinn joining fellow Bellshill band, Teenage Fanclub. Sushil K. Dade formed the experimental post rock band Future Pilot A.K.A., and singer Sean Dickson formed The High Fidelity. Jim McCulloch joined fellow Glaswegians Superstar, and has since formed musical collective Green Peppers,  writing and recording with Isobel Campbell.

Sean Dickson is now based in London, DJing under the name of HI-FI Sean and writing and producing songs for Glasgow based electro group The Record Playerz. Indeed, he is presumably the HI-FI Sean who has added this clip to YouTube. In this video, he accompanies JP around his childhood haunts in Bellshill (pronounced Bells-hill), two miles north of Motherwell.

Download this clip, if you wish.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

- John Peel in Dallas

Thanks to Dave (Fillerzine) for this little gem. another very lazy post, I'm afraid, this info taken straight from YouTube. Some great footage, especially good to finally see exactly where JP was standing when Lee Harvey Oswald was shot:

John Peel, recorded June 23,1996:

'I went over there the beginning-to-middle of 1960. The first radio programs I did were on a station called WRR in Dallas and they had a rhythm & blues program called Kats Karavan, spelled inevitably with two K's. I'd gotten some British LPs of blues and rhythm & blues stuff that were only available in Britain, or in Europe anyway, so I went along and played them some of those records and they put me on the radio to talk about them. I thought they'd probably put me on there because of my extraordinary knowledge of the music, but I think in fact they probably put me on there because they found my accent very entertaining because in those days I used to talk a bit like Prince Charles.

This was not the day that Lee Harvey Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby; it was a few days before that. It was when he was kind-of presented to the press as the man who'd been arrested and charged. And, I mean, it was just one of those things that -- Earlier on when the assassination first happened, and I'd been - I used to work here for an insurance company on Central Expressway, so I was able to get into town pretty quickly. I was an office boy, so I could come and go as I pleased, and so when I heard about the assassination, it was announced on the P.A. in the office, and I just drove into town and went to the police cordon and told the policeman, I said, "I'm from The Liverpool Echo" and instead of telling me to piss-off, he let me through. It's one of those things which sounds so bizarre. And I walked down - I didn't go to the grassy knoll - I just stood on the other side of the road and kind of watched what was going on until frankly it became boring. It's hard to imagine that it did, but after I stood there about 40 minutes and watching people scurrying about, so I then went and made what I'd said kind-of retrospectively true and phoned The Liverpool Echo, and funnily they weren't terribly interested. I thought, Cripes, here's my chance because I've always wanted to be in journalism, so I thought, hey, this is my chance to get into journalism. I could be The Liverpool Echo's "Man in Dallas", but they really didn't care. So I was a bit wounded by that, but then that night a mate of mine and I had been driving around and were trying to figure out what to do, and at the end of the evening I said, why don't we go down to the police headquarters and see what's going on. And we got down there, and I said to this policeman, I said "what's happening?" And he said, "Well, actually there's a press conference down here," pointing to a flight of steps into the basement of the building - "there's a press conference in here in a few minutes." And I said, "Well, actually I'm from The Liverpool Echo and this is my photographer," and we went down there. I mean, we didn't have a pen or paper or camera between us, but we went in there anyway. It's a story that I've told so often that you get to the point where you don't really believe it yourself, it just seems so unlikely. But then in one of the bits of film of that press conference, we were all standing in this room and they had the identification parade in the basement of this building and they said - Henry Wade said - that this is the man that's been charged in the assassination of President Kennedy, and they brought in Lee Harvey Oswald. And he stood there looking slightly puzzled and alarmed for a while, and then was taken away again. In one of the films of this, which they showed on British television, they showed that Jack Ruby was in the room as well - which I didn't know he was until I saw this film they sort-of panned across the room and in the last few frames you can see me and my friend Bob standing there looking like tourists.

None at all, no. I wish, I don't know, y'know, I think, I mean, everybody else does, but I think we'll probably never know the truth.'

John Peel, interview recorded June 23, 1996. Published Sept. 1996 (Filler #5). Soundtrack music "Comment Naissent des Meduses" from "Science is Fiction," written & performed by Georgia Hubley, Ira Kaplan, James McNew (Yo La Tengo).

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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