Friday, 14 December 2012
"I was found, riding an unicorn".
Come on. Tell me you don't already love this song. It's just great, killer lyrics, tune, chorus... Everything. This was another one out of the Raves From The Grave CD single shelves, and we're coming to the end of those. I know. I have to go back, just out of duty.
The b-sides are good on this. First is not quite up to the a-side's standard, but it's pretty close. Most similar bands (are there similar bands?) didn't write songs as good as this. Second is a blues-y number, until the chorus when it becomes an SFA-y number. Great. I really like this one, although it clocks in at an outrageous over-4-minutes, which is a lot for early Furries.
Sorry I've been a bit slack recently, but my laptop screen is broken, so I'm currently typing this while trying to look up at the TV, vertically above the keyboard. See? I sacrifice my health for you people.
1. Hometown Unicorn
2. Lazy Life (Of No Fixed Identity)
3. Don't Be A Fool, Billy!
Saturday, 10 November 2012
It took me years to realise that I really like PWEI. Not all of it, for sure. Some of it's shit. BUT, a lot isn't. This song is a cracker, which I used to have on 12" and have somehow managed to lose, which seems to have been an error. This live version also includes the shout "LET 'EM HAVE IT!", followed by a piano solo. Nice.
'Can U Dig It?' is also a great song. Also a single in its own right, I think? Namechecks everything that was great about 1992, just about. 'Urban Futuristic' I don't know, maybe an album track I haven't found/remembered. Good samples on this one, plus xylophone solo. 'Wise Up! Sucker!' was possibly also a single, in its studio form. Really good song, this. Great stuff - what a CD!
1. Get The Girl! Kill The Baddies!
2. Can U Dig It?
3. Urban Futuristic
4. Wise Up! Sucker!
Hear me now.
Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Well. Nearly missed October entirely. Never fear - there are still a few hours of Halloween left, so here's a completely unconnected post.
What's the point in singing in tune if you don't care? Now singing out of tune when you do care... I have a lot of time for that. Step forward Wayne Coyne, Some Velvet Sidewalk, and many others. And Stephen Pastel.
Paperhouse Records, home of the first Teenage Fanclub album, and a great double a-side. Especially 'Firebell Ringing', which was probably the first Pastels song I ever heard, and I never looked back. 'Thru' Your Heart' includes the line "You'd never let me, but I'd die for you." Sold enough yet?
The guitar solo at the end of track 3 is awesome. Track 4 is a triumph of freeform singing. Track 5 should never really have made it out of the home, but I love that it's on here.
It should be said, I think, that my wife really hates this band.
1. Thru' Your Heart
2. Firebell Ringing
3. My Heart's My Badge
4. Sign Across Me
5. Thru' Your Heard (home recording)
Saturday, 29 September 2012
I seem to remember this was a bit of a comeback for these guys, after their early 90's classics. This was 1998, as Creation Records was on the way out (I think, excuse me if I'm remembering it wrong). Anyway, it's a really good single - one of my favourites of theirs, to be honest. And it's got brass on it, which is a bit of a departure. I like to think it's through some kind of pedal though.
The first couple of b-sides are really good, and seeing as it was the 90's there are the correct number for a CD single (3). The first is quieter than the single, with a nice guitar solo over a lot of it. '40,000K' is probably the best of the three, with an ace distorted bass (I think) sound. 'Nineteen 666' sounds like a pissed-up mess, to be honest, with an even more pissed-up sampler.
You remember those cards which you used to post to Leamington Spa somewhere to get on the band's mailing list? This still has it in there. Might send it off.
1. I Love Rock 'N' Roll
2. Easy Life, Easy Love
4. Nineteen 666
Thursday, 13 September 2012
My favourite Teenage Fanclub song. Let me tell you a story. No - come back! It's a short one.
I went to see TFC at Koko a few years ago, when they were touring 'Shadows' (I think). I was lucky enough to have met a lovely lady called Vanessa who does radio for them, and asked her if she'd ask the band to play 'Radio', which they very rarely do. I'd been with a couple of friends to see them in Hamburg with The Posies, and they didn't play it then, even though I asked.
Anyway, they played their set, and it was bloody great, of course. Then they did an encore, and didn't play 'Radio'. Then they went off, came back, and played another encore... Still no. Lights came up. People started leaving. Ah well.
Then they came back on again and played it! I'm sure you can imagine that it was one of, if not, the greatest moments of my life. Don't tell my family.
B-sides are awesome, all of them. You knew that. Enjoy. Great swearing.
2. Weird Horses
3. Don's Gone Columbia
4. Chords Of Fame
Here we go again.
Thursday, 6 September 2012
Second of the two Sugar singles, and the proper mix of this song. Brilliant. Can't fault it. You must surely know Sugar, but if you've not listened in a while I hope this makes you go back to them.
The first b-side on this is another one which I could imagine on the album, if not maybe on Beaster, and it's really good. It's instrumental, which I guess gave it b-side status. Not as pop as the a-side. The other b-sides are from a live show, the whole of which was recorded, and is on one of the CDs with the re-issues. 'Anyone' I know nothing about. Another cover? 'Hoover Dam' is just superb in any format, any performance. Enjoy.
Just realised that the live show has just passed its 20th anniversary. Feeling old yet?
1. If I Can't Change Your Mind
3. Anyone (Live at Caberet Metro, Chicago, 22/07/1992)
4. Hoover Dam (Live at Caberet Metro, Chicago, 22/07/1992)
Friday, 31 August 2012
Check me out - two posts in the same month! Albeit with 29 days between them. More from Warminster, and the first of a Sugar double-bill. I actually picked these up before the re-release of Copper Blue and the rest, which include all these tracks on their extra CDs and so on. Anyhow, if (like me) you haven't got around to getting the remastered ones you might not have heard these songs.
This, as always, is an absolute killer tune. Is it sacrilege to say I prefer Sugar to Husker Du? Particularly Copper Blue, but probably Beaster too. I know, but I'm an indie-pop kid at heart (I say kid...)
The b-sides of this one are all great. First one wouldn't have been out of place on the LP. It sounds like REM, actually, but more rock. Next up is the "solo mix" of 'If I Can't Change Your Mind', which is maybe the LP version with only acoustic guitar? 'Try Again' is another one I hadn't heard before, which maybe isn't as good as 'Needle Hits E', but worth an ear. Might be a cover? I don't know, but sounds a bit different.
2. Needle Hits E
3. If I Can't Change Your Mind (Solo Mix)
4. Try Again
Sunday, 12 August 2012
This is another one from the Warminster secondhand shop, which I picked up because he's one of those singers I've liked for a long time, but never really owned very much. I have a friend who is really into him, and lent me some stuff a while back, and I recognise this single as being off one of those albums. It's really good, and you might either know it or recognise it. Strikes me as one that you'd know again if you'd only heard it once.
The b-sides are both listed as being unreleased, so I hope that if you like Elliot Smith already they'll be of interest. If you don't know a lot, like me, then you can enjoy them purely as good tracks, which they surely are. First is an instrumental, and a very good one (kind of has a vocal tune, if you know what I mean). Second is a rocky number, very good, if not as catchy as the a-side.
Hope you like it.
1. Waltz #2 (XO)
2. Our Thing
3. How To Take A Fall
Here it is.
Thursday, 19 July 2012
Very, very long gaps between posts, again. Sorry again. I might just set up some kind of header that apologises at the start of every posting. But here I am again. Hope you're all well.
This is the 1994 single version of this song, which is shorter than the album one. Goes without saying how good it is, and not surprisingly it's one of the live constants at Bad Seeds shows. This was a charity shop find a little while back, as I only really got into Nick Cave at 'The Boatman's Call', a few years later. And then went back to everything else.
The b-sides are interesting on this one. Track 2 is very much a jazz one, all over the place, with some excellent lyrics. Track 3 I don't know anything about at all, but the music is surely too similar to 'Red Right Hand' to be a coincidence. Anyone?
1. Red Right Hand
2. That's What Jazz Is To Me
3. Where The Action Is
Here it is.
Wednesday, 13 June 2012
Just such a good band. Such a good single. And another find in the Raves From The Grave archives. I was actually going to put the 7" of this single up, but having found this one with its extra b-sides I feel I'd be letting everyone down if I didn't share it.
The first b-side, 'Waiting To Happen', is bloody great. Again, they've come up with a b-side which could quite happily sit on the album. And is better than many bands of the time ever wrote at all. Great stuff. The second is a Welsh-language track, pretty laid back, and drenched in reverb. Lovely. I think the other version of the title track is a session version, so it's live, and of course is played faster than it should be, as is traditional.
1. Something 4 The Weekend
2. Waiting To Happen
3. Arnofio/Glo In The Dark
4. Something For The Weekend
Thursday, 31 May 2012
Here's a little something which I've had hanging around for a while, but haven't got round to doing anything about. I was listening to Steve Lamaq on 6Music last December, and he played this Teenage Fanclub track from an Evening Session recorded in 1995. I'd never heard it before, and since then haven't been able to find anything out about it (apart from that it's an Orange Juice cover). It doesn't seem to have been released on anything, and because we're going back 17 years there's not much information on the internet about the Evening Session generally.
If anyone knows anything about it, let me know, particularly if it was ever released. It's a bit of a rarity, for sure, so I hope you enjoy it. Sorry it's at 128kbps, but that's all I can get when I'm downloading off iPlayer.
1. Teenage Fanclub - Dying Day
Monday, 21 May 2012
Anyway, alongside masses of vinyl, they have a huge CD singles section, with a load of old '90s ones. So of course I bought a load of old '90s ones, which I'm going to start posting (partly because they're a lot less of a pain in the arse than 7"s). Among them was this TFC single, which is the version I didn't pick up when it came out. Obviously the single is great (and a subtly different one from the album, this is in B sharp, not D flat, kids), and the b-sides are all excellent too; one Creedence (a really good one), one Rutles (I had to look that up), and a McGinley track which I don't remember ever hearing before. Lovely. Enjoy.
1. Mellow Doubt (Alternative Version)
2. Have You Ever Seen The Rain?
3. Between Us
4. You're My Kind
Here, somehow, is more Teenage Fanclub.
Thursday, 17 May 2012
Don't know how to start this, really. Obviously Ned's were famous for maybe two songs and having two bass players, and listening back to their better known output now is pretty much only a nostalgic pleasure. A pleasure, sure, but they couldn't really play too well, and there's a lot of dross balancing out the Happy's...
However, they kept going long after people lost interest (well, not that long - this is from 1995 I think), and got better at playing, I'd say. This is really quite a good song, if you're into the whole '90s thing. And what are you doing here if you're not?
The acoustic b-sides are pretty good too, and the first one is very Ned's. Have to say you can hear why the fourth track ended up fourth, it's kinda Ned's by numbers, but hey, that's what track four used to be all about.
Am I selling this to you?
2. ... To Be Right (Acoustic)
3. Stuck (Acoustic)
4. A Tempted Fate
He's fallen in the water.
Monday, 9 April 2012
Tanya Donelly isn't someone I've ever really been that into. Not through not liking her, but just kind of missed everything at the time. Not that she's stopped releasing stuff, right? But anyway... Belly were great, I was well into them, and The Breeders of course, but I'm always a bit suspicious of songwriters who go solo. It never works as well as being in a band; no-one to tell you that the song's shite.
Go on. Name one solo artist who's better than the band they were in.
This single, though, is very good. You can hear the Belly in it, which is no bad thing, and yeah, a really good song. I really like the first b-side, too, which is a bit heavier on rock and a bit lighter on production values. The third one's a nice slow atmospheric number. Good single overall, basically, and I hope you enjoy it.
1. The Bright Light
2. Bury My Heart
3. How Can You Sleep
Here she is.
Monday, 2 April 2012
I listen to a lot of BBC 6music, and I'd recommend you do the same. Particularly Marc Riley and Tom Ravenscroft. But anyway, the station springs to mind because they like to play James periodically, and every time they do I remember that I really like them. Pretty solid output, too, there's a lot to like about all their albums, I'd say.
This is a good single, if not maybe one of their very best, but the b-sides are a nice little reminder of the heyday of the Reading Festival, when you used to tape it off Radio 1 (didn't you?) When I go back to these (or find DVDs of stuff from the era) I find myself recognising the chatting between songs and not knowing why.
This is CD2 of a 3-CD set. I don't think I ever had 1 and 3, so I can't tell you what you're missing. What you've got is pretty good, mind.
1. Destiny Calling
2. Jam J (Live At Reading '97)
3. Honest Joe (Live At Reading '97)
4. Sound (Live At Reading '97)
Sunday, 25 March 2012
Still on the Welsh tip (and I've just digitised two more SFA singles, so more to come), here's a band where I only like the early stuff. Although that applies to most bands. Ah well, the life of a music snob.
This is a great track of their first LP, 'Way Beyond Blue', which I don't think they ever improved on, although a quick glance at Wikipedia shows that the next three went triple platinum, platinum and silver respectively. Keeping it indie, me. The b-sides are a couple more of their best songs, live at the Reading Festival in 1996 and the Phoenix Festival (remember that?) in the same year.
Have a listen, and realise it's not all about the Mulder and Scully tune!
Sorry about the big stupid gap under the cover picture. As I mentioned before, the lovely new blogging layout is a bit pile of shit, and life's too short to keep trying to fix it.
2. Way Beyond Blue (Live At Phoenix '96)
3. Painful (Live At Reading '96)
Here you go.
Monday, 19 March 2012
Just a quick one today, as time is short. More Welsh goodness for you all, just in time for St. Patrick's Day (I know).
You gotta love Super Furry Animals, right? The single itself is obviously brilliant; it's an SFA single. The first b-side is just as good, though. I have no idea why it's not an album track, it's really good. The third track is a story which is sung in such a strong/stoned accent it's pretty much impossible to understand, but worth a try. Track four is a reminder of the good old days, when bands could get away with putting complete nonsense as a b-side and no-one cared. Three cheers for Creation Records.
1. The International Language Of Screaming
2. Wrap It Up
3. Foxy Music
Here it is.
Is anyone else who writes a blog annoyed by Google making posting both prettier and less easy in one swift redesign?
Wednesday, 29 February 2012
29th February, eh? Extraordinary. Who knows when this will happen again, so let's celebrate with some extraordinariness from the joint best band from Wales.
More Gorky's for y'all, as I find more of these 7" in the pile. All good stuff, this one a 1998 release in a laid-back style, is off the Gorky 5 album, which I actually don't know at all. What I do know, however, is that apparently Gorky's had 8 singles in the UK top 75, but never got in the top 40. That's what Wikipedia says, anyway, so it could be a lie.
The first b-side is a weird American country track, with violins and all, and is clearly a Welsh person singing in an American accent. Despite that, it's good. Or does that automatically make it good? Anyway. Good. The second b-side is a Welsh-language number, which appears to be a cover, but of whom I have no idea. Folky.
1. Let's Get Together (In Our Minds)
2. Billy And The Sugarloaf Mountain
3. Hwiangerdd Mair
Mynci is here.
Saturday, 25 February 2012
Well done Pol. In (extremely late) celebration of her second Mercury Prize here's another single off 'Is This Desire?' from 1998.
This is one of my favourites of her songs, and I guess a lot of you may know it already. If you don't, you know what to do. Anyway, all about the b-sides, and there are a couple of them on this 7". The first is a real quiet one (sorry it's a little spoiled by some surface noise, but hey), and it's lovely. It sounds slightly like she's singing from the bottom of a fishtank or something, but it's good. The instrumental clocks in at about a minute, so make of that what you will. Sounds nice.
1. A Perfect Day Elise
2. Sweeter Than Anything
3. Instrumental #3
Sunday, 19 February 2012
I've been a bit lax recently. Sorry. Been busy, y'know. So by way of yet another apology, here's a double treat, both of the CDs of this single from 1997 from a band who I really like, still. Kind of Pavement-y, bit slack, sloppy, Scottish, tunes... Good stuff. This single is off 'Pulpo!' (it has an upside-down exclamation mark at the start. Don't know how to do that), which I actually don't have, but I love 'We Are Urusei Yatsura' from a couple of years before.
The a-side is great, and the other tracks are all good too - it's kind of a mini-album all on its own. 'Silver Krest' and 'Saki & Cremola' I like particularly. Hope you enjoy them. Back soon.
1. Fake Fur
2. Silver Krest
3. Nova Static
4. Secret Crush
1. Fake Fur
2. Pampered Adolescent
4. Saki & Cremola
The picture of CD1 doesn't do it justice, by the way; it's a rough cardboard sleeve with the picture of the tiger stuck on, as well as the info on the back. Nice.
Here's one, and here's two.
Tuesday, 10 January 2012
Hello everyone, and happy new year to you all. As a special treat for the start of 2012, a departure from the usual 2-track vinyl goodness, and a dip into the freebies which I was lucky enough to get with various LPs. This is a film soundtrack for a film called The Broken Giant, which came out a couple of years after this was included with the LP of Arise Therefore in 1996. Apparently it was released as an EP later on, but I like to think this sounds a bit more special. Which of course it doesn't.
Sorry all the tracks are labelled as Will Oldham, which is what the thing that gives you CD track names called them. I only noticed after I'd uploaded it. I think they should be Palace Music. Although it's Will Oldham on his own. Well. And the EP's called Black/Rich Music, which it was called later. Well. And it has more tracks than a single. Well.
It's bloody great. Enough?
1. Organ: Watch With Me
2. Do What You Will Do
3. The Risen Lord
4. Organ: Allowance
6. Black/Rich Tune
7. Organ: Black/Rich
8. Guitar: Do What You Will Do
Here it is.