Tuesday, 30 June 2009
I’ve already eulogised what would have been my entry: “Transparent Radiation” as performed by Spacemen 3 and I know I wrote a bit on Spectrum the other day. So, not wishing to become a drone rock bore, I promise this will be my final word on this particular group (probably). This is what I wanted to do on the original posting but lacked the technical capacity, however with the advent of a USB turntable, here, now, ripped from my very own personal stash:
The Red Krayola: Transparent Radiation (from The Parable of Arable Land)
The Red Krayola: Transparent Radiation (from Sonic Sounds for Subterraneans)
Spacemen 3: Transparent Radiation (from The Perfect Prescription)
Saturday, 27 June 2009
I don't know what made me pick the book up the first time, maybe just the picture on the cover. I think I'd probably heard of him but only as a television personality. I've read my fair share of books about bands and this is by far my favourite. Which is slightly odd given that I don't really like the type of music that it revolves around.
Despite this, for a long time it was one of my ambitions to see him do his customary turn at Ronnie Scott's in the run up to New Year but I would always be up North visiting my family. And then he died. I went along to an evening with George Melly type thing once, held on a very dark night in a small wooden lecture theatre. I haven't attended anything like it since - just going to listen to someone speak about their life for two or three hours. I knew he'd had an interesting life and that he could write well about it but, unsurprisingly, it was a greater pleasure to hear him tell most of these same tales in the flesh. I think it's fair to say that his serious musical career ended in the early sixties and that from that point onwards he became a professional raconteur.
I found the documentary filmed around his final days depressing, or deflating might be a better word. The slightly rigid bohemianism, the forced (I suspect) indifference to the indignities brought by his various ailments and the prospect of imminent death. Who knows, maybe he really was that cool.
Thursday, 25 June 2009
The old cat was in pretty bad shape, his prescription for essentially the same drugs my mum is on cost more than my mum's. How can that be right? They've got you over a barrel when it comes to pets.
Tuesday, 23 June 2009
Spectrum: Lonely Avenue
Thursday, 18 June 2009
Over the years I’ve noticed that the version of a song I hear first will tend to be my favourite, regardless of the relative standing of the artists involved. And in most cases I seem to go for the version with the simpler arrangement.
Chicken Shack: I'd Rather Go Blind
Etta James: I'd Rather Go Blind
Saturday, 13 June 2009
Whenever I think about Rome I think about the fall of Rome. And then I think about our own civilization. To me it seems inevitable that the West will fall, but only because that's what always happens. At the same time I see our society as so backed up and dug in I can't imagine (barring the total destruction of life on the planet) how it could all be washed away and left as mere fragments for future archaeologists to puzzle over.
Thursday, 11 June 2009
I'd been led to believe that they were incredibly fey, and they are a bit. But when I first played "Sittin' Pretty" I was surprised at how rocking it was. Not in the same way that say, The Cult were rocking, but the guitar playing is at times heroic in a slightly wonky way. Apart from how original and catchy the songs are what really makes this album for me is Stephen Pastel's vocals. The lyrics cover quite a bit of ground but it's the way they're delivered that is so great. Stephen Pastel's singing voice could be described as tuneless and here he strains and stalls but there's always enough there to carry the tune off. Overall I would say the vocals come across as a bit strange and dispassionate. Just like Stephen Pastel himself. Anyway, it's another album that I find close to perfect.
It's my theory that The Pastels were substantially the template for Belle and Sebastian. Maybe this is superficial but there are plenty of similarities and this is going to sound a bit insulting to Belle and Sebastian but I see them as kind of like Oasis to The Pastel's Stone Roses. Some bands come through and make the most of a particular style while the less muscular originators seem to languish.
The Pastels: Sit On It Mother
Saturday, 6 June 2009
After a while a pedestrian (who hadn't seen me come off the road) wandered up and started to complain that I was blocking the pavement. "Sorry, I've just crashed" I said, blankly. She was alright after that and even asked if I was okay. Fine, but I think I might buy some new tyres.
Thursday, 4 June 2009
In the evening I went to vote and then immediately afterwards did the recycling. So much worthiness in such a short space of time. Still, a long weekend to recover. In keeping with the pop art vein (though I've just read Caulfield disassociated himself from the style), have I ever said how much I love the Who?
The Who: Heatwave