Monday, 28 November 2011

Dennis Brown - Money in My Pocket

A reggae legend who passed away a few years ago, here is Dennis Brown with the classic 'Money in My Pocket'...

Sunday, 27 November 2011

SONG FOR TODAY : Delphic - Halcyon

From the debut album 'Acolyte', which is a rather fine piece of work. Delphic are a Manchester-based band whose singer happens to come from Chippenham (about 8 miles away from where this blogger lives) and deciding which one track to choose for 'Song For Today' was difficult. However I finally settled on the awesome 'Halcyon'...

Saturday, 26 November 2011

SONG FOR TODAY : The Dead 60's - Riot Radio

From one of the very few albums I actually bought back in 2005, here are The Dead 60's with the excellent Clash-esque 'Riot Radio'....

Friday, 25 November 2011

SONG FOR TODAY : Miles Davis - Bitches Brew

Some truly revolutionary jazz here from the unforgettable Miles Davis. Thank you Primal Scream for introducing me to his music years ago....

Edwyn Collins - Down The Line

Indie legend Edwyn Collins is working on a new solo album,  and here is a new track from the recording sessions. The new track 'Down the Line' is available to stream below...
 EDWYN COLLINS - Down The Line by Analogue Enhanced Digital 

Edwyn Collins working on new solo album
The former Orange Juice singer is currently in the studio putting the finishing touches to a new LP, say his label AED Records.

In a blog post in their official site, AED Records wrote:
"Here is Our Glorious Leader. Needs no hyperbole, just listen. A preview of Edwyn's work-in-progress new record coming next year. But first, this track will be available on an iTunes exclusive album in December, together with a selection of ten singles from his solo career. There will be something physical for vinyl lovers too.... He's [Collins] going like the clappers at a new record, about two thirds recorded at the tome of writing. We have a working title....."

Thursday, 24 November 2011

SONG FOR TODAY : The Dandy Warhols - Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth

Brilliantly titled track from an awesome band. Really do need to investigate more of their work.... One of my favourites from 1998 here is 'Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth'...

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Air - Le Voyage Dans La Lune

Air are set to release their new album 'Le Voyage Dans La Lune' on February 6th.
Air have always had a keen interest in cinema. The French duo soundtracked 'The Virgin Suicides' but have also maintained a number of less high profile cinematic projects along the way.
Recently, the pair provided an updated soundtrack for the classic 1902 short film 'Le Voyage Dans La Lune'. Directed by Georges Méliès, the early film classic documents a voyage to the moon.
Shown at Cannes this summer, the new version of the film apparently inspired a full length project from Air. The French duo have completed an eleven track album, which expands on the themes of the recent soundtrack project.
The album features vocals from Beach House's Victoria Legrand, who contributes to 'Seven Stars'. Meanwhile, members of Brooklyn trio Au Revoir Simone constructed the lyrics for 'Who Am I Know?'.
Alongside the full length album, the upcoming edition of 'Le Voyage Dans La Lune' is set to feature a limited-edition version of the short film and Air's original score.
Watch an edited version of 'Le Voyage Dans La Lune' below...
Air are set to release 'Le Voyage Dans La Lune' on February 6th. Tracklisting:
1 Astronomic Club
2 Seven Stars
3 Retour sur terre
4 Parade
5 Moon Fever
6 Sonic Armada
7 Who Am I Know?
8 Décollage
9 Cosmic Trip
10 Homme lune
11 Lava

SONG FOR TODAY : The Damned - Smash It Up (Parts 1 and 2)

I think I first heard this when it was covered by The Offspring on a B-side, but as I soon discovered it was nothing compared to The Damned's awesome original. From the album 'Machine Gun Etiquette', which I own on blue coloured vinyl, here is the brilliant 'Smash It Up (Parts 1 and 2)'....

Mr Scott : Music - Show #8 - 23/11/11

This edition features BRAND NEW music from The Fall, Dodgy, Cast, Babybird, Manic Street Preachers, Orbital, Tom Waits and Damon Albarn's DRC Music. There's no Oasis this time but there are two brilliant tracks from Noel and Liam. Plus classic tracks from The Stone Roses, Mansun, Hurricane #1, Joy Division and plenty more! Be sure to tune in.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Gruff Rhys - Atheist Xmas EP

Gruff Rhys will release a 3 track secular Christmas EP on December 19th 2011.
Available on 12” vinyl and download, Atheist Xmas EP includes the songs -
'Post Apocalypse Christmas', 'At The End Of The Line', and 'Slashed Wrists This Christmas'.
Listen to a stream of 'Slashed Wrists This Christmas' here 
The song At The End Of The Line was written for a short film by Douglas Hart entitled Long Distance Information. Which recently played at the London Film Festival.
This autobiographical film is set on Christmas day and led eventually to the writing of the other two songs as well.
The Turkey
On December 19th, by harnessing the latest teleportation technology Rhys will play a solo set at the following record shops;
Cardiff, Spillers Records. 12pm
Bristol, Rise 3pm
London, Rough Trade east 8pm.
Happy New Year!

SONG FOR TODAY : The D4 - Heartbreaker

Back in the early 2000's there was a bit of a garage rock revival going on. This lot from New Zealand released an album called '6Twenty' which I purchased and found myself playing rather a lot back then. The band split in 2006 after their second album...

Paul Weller - Around The Lake

The legend releases a brand new album 'Sonik Kicks' next March and here is the first taster from it...

Monday, 21 November 2011

SONG FOR TODAY : The Cure - A Forest

Hard to believe that since the beginning of the year 'Song For Today' has featured an excellent track every day without using the same band or artist twice, and it has taken up until now to feature a track by this legendary bunch. Very hard to choose a definitive song because there are many, but taken from that timeless singles collection 'Staring At The Sea' here is the classic 'A Forest'...

Sunday, 20 November 2011

SONG FOR TODAY: Culture Shock - 'United'

A band formed by Dick Lucas after the demise of the Subhumans. Culture Shock recorded two EPs and an excellent album called 'Onwards And Upwards' and combined ska, punk, funk and all sorts of other interesting ingredients. After Culture Shock broke up two of them (including singer Dick) went on to form Citizen Fish...

LISTEN: Melksham:Music - Show #4 - 20/11/2011

Melksham Community Radio just wouldn't be complete without an outlet for Melksham's homegrown bands and artists. 

You'll hear tunes from the latest local acts, sounds from Melksham's impressive musical history as well as the gig guide, local music news and occasionally artists from the surrounding Wiltshire areas too. 

This edition features brand new music from the mighty Thought Forms, Blake, Terrapin and Home Taping Is Killing Music... Tracks from Jordan Whatley and Hell Death Fury, plus there's vintage tunage from The Mental and No Manifesto...

Saturday, 19 November 2011

SONG FOR TODAY : The Cult - She Sells Sanctuary

I seem to remember first hearing this while DJ-ing at a party taking place years ago at my Dad's old club. I was handed a copy of the 'Pure Cult' best of compilation by one of the party, and was instructed to play this. Years later I re-discovered the brilliance of this track...

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Manic Street Preachers - Rock N Roll Genius

A B-side from the CD version of recent single 'This Is The Day' and also a bonus track on the Japanese version of the 'National Treasures' singles collection, here is an unusual track sung by Mr Nicholas Wire...

The Fall - Ersatz GB - Review

The Fall are definitely not to everyone's tastes but if you come across the right song while you're in the right frame of mind then you (like myself and many others) could finally recognise the unique genius of Mark Edward Smith. Since the band's inception in 1976, over SIXTY SIX different members have come and gone, and now with an all British line up of Smith, wife Elena Poulou, Dave 'The Eagle' Spurr, Pete Greenway and Keiron Melling, this album marks the third time the same line up of the Fall have released a record together, which in light of the band's history is certainly an achievement in itself. Has Smith finally found the right Fall line-up? It's certainly a combination of musicians that seem to deliver the music with an instinctive precision. Ersatz GB is an album that continues a run of records that represent some of The Fall's best material yet, and again it sees another effortless shift in style.

Opening track 'Cosmos 7' sees the album raging into a fierce burst of urgency straight away, with an infectious hard rock riff, a relentless bassline and sharp stabbing synths. Without Mark E Smith's increasingly peculiar delivery, it could almost be what would have happened if Motorhead embraced lots of noisy synthesisers into their work. The shimmering brilliance of 'Taking Off' operates in a completely different way, slipping into a smart funk groove that grows more and more addictive with its neat and intricate guitar parts plus Smith's random lyrics depicting amongst many other things "the 40 carat scum at Newquay train station". 

'Nate Will Never Return' runs on a determinative rumble of bass and guitar, the sort of rhythm that would mow you down instantly if it were a vehicle. Smith makes a point of rhyming the end of every line with 'Nate', and this proves to be most effective: "I would like to do a lip as an actor, and do it straight. In my role I fail irate. Is it too late to cover the song by The Fall called 'Hot Cake'"

'Mask Search' is probably the track here most reminiscent of 2010's 'Your Future Our Clutter', but injected with a dose of twisted rockabilly and with Smith sneeringly growling "I'm so sick of Snow Patrol". The Scottish indie combo aren't the only ones to suffer the sharp end of Smith's tongue, as another unnamed band are given a firm dressing down during the snarling, brutal 'Greenway'. The intro is briefly hilarious as M.E.S growls club-singer style over a daft, directionless piano figure, before a monster-sized metal riff bursts in to accompany a most curmudgeonly narrative: "Their tone was snotty and offfensive. People like that really get on my nerves". Clearly annoying M.E.S can inspire some brilliant music but fuck knows what inspired him to pen the line "I had to wank off the dog to feed the fucking cat".

In complete contrast is 'Happi Song', providing a change of mood an a temporary break from THAT voice as Elena takes on vocal duties in a pleasantly calm and dreamy moment of tranquility which often sounds like it's been touched by the ghost of the Velvet Underground and Nico. 'Monocard' is a lurching slab of post-punk with slurry, indecipherable lyrics and a grinding bassline repeating throughout, musically conjuring up images of Joy Division covering Led Zeppelin. 

'Laptop Dog' meanwhile is probably the most "typical" Fall moment (if there is such a thing) an acoustically-driven stomp that brings to mind the band's work from around 1986-88, chaotic keyboards and lyrics detailing Smith's disdain for modern technology. 'I've Seen Them Come' is a noisy dangerous moment where the repetition is definitely the key, giving a home to an abrasive riff and a thumping beat while M.E.S recalls lots of the different places he has gigged over the years. 'Age Of Chang' finishes the album with a nicely put together combination of a scuzzy pre-recorded rant courtesy of Smith and a pounding musical backing which comes complete with a superbly simplistic guitar part.

Overall 'Ersatz GB' is another stellar and impressive album from an unmistakable genius and the tightest, most skillful line-up of his band yet. Like their biggest fan John Peel once said The Fall are "always different, yet always the same", and those words continue to provide a good description of The Fall's music. This time around they've embraced heavy metal, Krautrock, psychobilly, glam rock, post-punk and lots of other odd ingredients to great effect, creating one of their finest works yet. 8.5


SONG FOR TODAY : Can - Halleluwah

Here's a track by a legendary band who (like many) I first heard of through Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie. Then to my pleasure I found out that one of their tracks was included on a compilation called 'Outafocus' which I purchased during the late 90's from the CD shop that used to be part of Swindon's indoor market. After closing down years ago the shop is now occupied by ANOTHER music retailer, who has been selling 2nd hand vinyl and CDs for a few months now. Anyway from the amazing album 'Tago Mago' (recently reissued too) here is 'Halleluwah'... First up is the edited version I owned on the 'Outafocus' compilation...

Full length...

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

SONG FOR TODAY : Crowded House - Don't Dream It's Over

Just a hauntingly beautiful song...

PHOTOGRAPHY: Photos of Liam Gallagher and Beady Eye (Swindon, November 2011)

Photos of post-Oasis combo Beady Eye and their iconic frontman Liam Gallagher, taken back in November 2011 at the Oasis Leisure Centre in Swindon.

GIG REVIEW: Beady Eye - Swindon Oasis Centre, November 15th 2011

So in an ironic turn of events Beady Eye arrive at the Swindon leisure centre that gave Liam Gallagher's legendary former band their name. But tonight isn't about Oasis. It's clear that this audience are all here for a Beady Eye gig to hear Beady Eye songs, and after Noel's recent success with his solo project it doesn't seem that strange him not being on stage stage alongside Liam, Andy, Gem and Chris anymore. In fact Beady Eye seem to have a real chemistry in this incarnation, and at times they sound truly refreshed by the new lease of life a fresh start has given them.

Vocally Liam is on top form tonight, belting out every number at the top of his lungs like a man determined to make each and every word ring in your head. 'Four Letter Word' and 'Three Ring Circus' were delivered fiercely and with an utterly no-nonsense enthusiasm, while the brilliantly daft 'Bring the Light' sent a good portion of the crowd mad. 'The Roller' prompted the biggest singalong of the night, but it's still not the strongest of songs in the Beady Eye cannon.
Of the slower numbers 'Kill For A Dream' is a wonderful yearning moment of magic that sounds great live, and 'The Morning Sun' spins into a fantastic burst of swirling psychedelica towards the end that makes for a great climax to the song. Of the tracks on the debut album 'Different Gear, Still Speeding' only 'Wind Up Dream' is overlooked in tonight's setlist, but its place filled by some fine B sides that often eclipse the quality of the album. 'In The Bubble With A Bullet' is one hell of a catchy tune, while 'World Outside My Room' is a playful acoustically driven bounce that brings to mind 'The White Album' or 'Doeldrum' by The La's.  As the set ends with a attitude-stuffed 'Sons Of The Stage' Liam takes to the front row of the crowd shaking hands and signing CDs... an absolute dream to be that close to one of the all time rock n roll greats.

After the show ends Liam exits straight away and jumps into a car which takes off, leaving behind some slightly miffed fans who didn't get as close to him as I did. However a sizable crowd of fans are gathered outside the back entrance waiting to meet Andy Bell and Gem, and when they emerge they kindly spend time chatting and posing for pictures with a grateful set of fans who have clearly all enjoyed tonight's feast of rock n roll.

More photos from the gig are HERE. 
Watch videos from the gig in the playlist below (videos play automatically)

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

SONG FOR TODAY : Crashland - Modern Animal

Crashland were a band who I heard on Radio One's 'Evening Session' in the very early 2000's. I purchased two of their singles on 7" vinyl, which I still own today and they released an album called 'Glue' which I haven't ever got round to investigating. Here is one of those two singles I have 'Modern Animal'...

Monday, 14 November 2011

SONG FOR TODAY : The Cranberries - Zombie

The first two albums from the Cranberries were inescapable and impossible to ignore during the mid 1990's. However by the time their third album was released they'd fallen out of the British public's tastes although they gained further success in the States. From the second album 'No Need To Argue' here is the classic 'Zombie'...

Sunday, 13 November 2011

REVIEW: Babybird - 'The Pleasures Of Self Destruction'

It certainly is frustrating when music reviewers feel the need to refer to 'You're Gorgeous' every time Babybird release something new. But the fact that their biggest hit still overshadows the rest of their work is both a good and bad thing. Bad because so many amazing and far superior songs have been ignored and overlooked, and most people still think of Babybird as a "one hit wonder" when they do in fact deserve to be regarded as national treasures. But then again the fact that all those lazy narrow minded "average" people still only remember the big hit brings a sense of satisfaction to the faithful fans like me, due to the comfort of knowing that we've been enjoying something magical that lots of unlucky people have missed out on due to their own ignorance. 

However this is only partly true, as the music of Babybird is more popular than it would appear at first glance, even if you are one of those "everyday people": they've enjoyed two top 30 albums, become the favourite band of megastar Johnny Depp (who jumped at the chance of signing them to his Unison record label), and if you've ever watched Gordon Ramsey's 'The F Word' then you will have heard Babybird's 2000 single of the same name being used as the show's theme tune. The band is essentially a musical vehicle for Stephen Jones, a prolific and very talented songwriter whose style can swing effortlessly from dark and seedy to soft and sugary while producing the sort of instinctive and catchy melodies that so many artists struggle to find. Last year Jones and the band returned with 'Ex Maniac', the first Babybird album in four years and its follow up comes just over a year after its predecessor.

At first 'The Pleasures Of Self Destruction' seems to hint that this may be the dark, wicked masterpiece that its title suggests, along with the front sleeve depicting a distorted face with two fingers pointed at the head miming a gun. But it turns out the tone of this album is mostly light and lovelorn, only occasionally do we see the "bad old man" of old rear his ugly but most enjoyably evil head. This twisted and unsettling element of Jones's music is at the forefront of opening track 'Jesus Stag Night Club', the lyrical imagery documenting Christianity and debauchery, while musically offering a filth-covered blast of mean brass, angry guitars, distorted bass and 'Sympathy For The Devil'-esque "woo woo"s. 

Following it is the splendid album highlight 'Beautiful Haze', with its soaring chorus, heartfelt vocals and smart touches of piano. It's a finely written love song that comes across as elegant and yet slightly mysterious, unlike 'The Best Day Of Our Lives' which begins promisingly but is let down by a repetitive and unremarkable chorus. 'I Love Her' is definitely one to steer clear of if you're not a fan of the sugary sweet side of Babybird as Jones delivers and unabashed paean to his daughter. The "sha la la la la" backing vocals recall 'Bugged''s 'The Way You Are' and the melodies are lovely, but again the chorus is rather lacking. It's touching and truly sweet stuff, there's no doubt a lot of love went into this song but such sentimentality doesn't always translate into Jones's best music. 

But when he gets it right, the results can be stunning, and one such moment is the glorious 'Not Love' which provides one of the album's finest moments, using a simple piano melody and other basic ingredients to build a wonderful verse and lead into an unforgettable chorus. 'Can't Love You Anymore' grows in a similar way, a dark love song that holds a poignant double meaning, but despite a spine-tingling moment where Jones raises his voice up a tone during the brilliant verse, it falls flat when the chorus collapses under its own weight through trying to be as massively emotional as possible. 

'Don't Wake Me' takes a different route, drifting by in a hazy fashion with a simplified but dreamy chorus before the satisfyingly creepy 'I'm Not A Killer' provides the album with a much-needed injection of sinister vibes, mixing things up with tinny hip hop beats, a filthy bassline and bursts of striking brass before ending with chaotic free jazz horns. '' exists in an even darker place and combines Jones's talent for crafting beautiful pop melodies with disturbing and creepy lyrics, as he documents a perverted internet predator stalking one of his victims. It encapsulates what Jones does best and it proves to be another wonderful moment on this record, but sadly it's followed by 'A Little More Each Day', a syruppy ballad with a cloying and tedious chorus that ranks as the worst offender here. 'Song For The Functioning Alcoholic' works in the same way as 'Ex Maniac''s 'Bastard', using a basic melody and blunt lyrics to create something simple and very catchy. However the chorus is another big let down. When Jones comes up with a lyric like "now I'm crucified to a Christmas tree in the shopping mall" it's obvious that he's capable of coming up with a much better chorus than "I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine".

Thankfully the final two tracks work brilliantly and bring out the very best in the piano ballad direction that a lot of this album takes. 'The World Is Ours' is elegant, charming and absolutely pours out emotion, the arrangement beautifully toned down and every word sounding truly passionate when Jones's gentle croon lifts itself into a soaring cry. The closing 'Remember Us' is similarly minimal, made up of piano, strings and another skyrocketting vocal, with a soft hint of brass arriving during the final chorus to magical effect. This song will have you in floods of tears if you're trying to get over a break up, that's for sure.

Moments like that may be wonderful, but overall 'the Pleasures Of Self Destruction' is a slightly disappointing album from a great artist, but with at least five Babybird classics it certainly isn't a failure, and some people may warm to the tracks that I'm not too keen on. There is a great sadness at the heart of this collection of songs, a record that tells stories of failed romance, lost love and bitter regrets. when Jones is at his best the results are nothing short of incredible, but overall this album is not quite consistent enough to be ranked as one of Babybird's best. But it's still well worth investing in for those magic moments that this truly gifted musician is capable of. 7

(UPDATE NOVEMBER 2012 - Over a year after this album's release and it has grown on me massively. A brilliant record that now gets an 8 out of 10)

Listen to the best tracks from 'The Pleasures Of Self Destruction' for free here (Spotify needed):