Thursday, 25 March 2010

Shrive me

I don't drink that much these days, so hangovers aren't as common as they used to be but they are getting worse. My favourites are the ones where I wake up after three hours sleep still drunk. When this happens I'll have a cigarette with a cup of tea and sing along to some very loud music before putting on last night's clothes and going out into the drizzle* to look for a cooked breakfast.

My top giddy hangover tunes:

The Monks: Cuckoo

I first became aware of The Monks through The Fall's cover of "I Hate You" on "Extricate", still my favourite Fall album.

The Who: Boris The Spider

Dexy's Midnight Runners: Thankfully Not Living In Yorkshire It Doesn't Apply

"Searching For The Young Soul Rebels" is, along with The Pastel's "Sittin' Pretty", one of the only albums that I've got twice on vinyl. For some reason.

*I never have this kind of hangover when it's warm and sunny, the weather has to be a bit miserable.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010


From time to time I ponder the question: who does Rock 'n' Roll the best? The British or the Americans? Certainly America got off to a head start with Little Richard and Elvis, but bands such as The Who, The Stones and Led Zeppelin make the issue far from clear cut.

In the end though I think it's the American ability (not to say inclination) to perform a set in nothing but a pair of snazzy blue underpants that shows where the true spirit of Rock 'n' Roll resides. That and a more intuitive way with horn sections.

King Khan & The Shrines: 69 Faces of Love

Monday, 22 March 2010

Random pop attack

I found this last night, not quite sure how. Anyway, it's well and truly latched onto my brain, a proper earworm. An interesting looking bunch and probably a good bet to see play live.

Dengue Fever: Tiger Phone Card

Saturday, 20 March 2010

In Bob we trust

There used to be a photo gallery at the foot of Richmond Hill. Sometimes I'd gaze longingly through the window at the incredibly iconic portraits for sale within - massive ones of Bowie (the one with that big dog) and John Lennon and Yoko. A smaller and ever so slightly out of focus one of Brian Jones and Keith Richards strumming guitars at Redlands. But best of all one of Bob Dylan from around 1965. The only trouble was it was priced at £500 (or was it £1,000?). Far too much for the likes of me.

Not so long ago I bought a copy of "Bob's Greatest Hits" for not very much on ebay. It wasn't the tunes I was after but the poster there by Milton Glaser. I picked it up from the framing shop this morning and hung it on the living room wall.

The first Bob album I bought was "Highway 61 Revisited" on account of Jimi Hendrix's cover of "Like A Rolling Stone". I instantly preferred Bob's version (though I do love Hendrix's drawled comment about missing a verse). And then I remember reading somewhere that you'd have to be monk in the church of Dylan to prefer the original version of "All Along The Watchtower". But that's how it is for me.

Bob Dylan: All Along The Watchtower

Bob Dylan: She's Your Lover Now

A studio outtake, listen out for Bob saying "What?" as the band all trail off at the end. I just love it.

And Something Else

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Know your rights

I don't understand why everyone isn't in a trade union. And so the coverage of the BA cabin crews prospective strike has left me feeling queasy. While queuing in Tescos I read the front page of the Mail - complaining of the cynicism of the union in striking at a time that would cause maximum disruption. Isn't that the point? What gives strike action its leverage?

The general vibe seems to be how dare they go on strike; s
hut up and be grateful you've got a job. It was gratifying to see David Dimbleby put the Tory on the spot on Question Time tonight with the question of whether strike action was ever justifiable. The whole debate is couched along the lines that it's the union bringing BA to the brink of ruin - with no mention of any responsibility the management might have in all this.

On a more trivial note I only saw this poster produced for the union the other day. If the issue were to be decided on artistic grounds there'd be no contest. It's by the amazing Kitty Finegan.

Sunday, 14 March 2010


St Etienne will never be my favourite band but they have done some lovely songs. I'm sure I was drawn to this by the sleeve (ripped off from some continental soap powder box I think I read somewhere). In keeping with tradition I bought the 7" single and far prefer the b side.
St Etienne: People Get Real

I was looking them up and saw that they've redone "Foxbase Alpha" as "Foxbase Beta". Good title, but they've changed the placard girl. She's not as cuddly.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

From heroine to zeroine

I remember being vaguely disappointed when I heard that Carol Vorderman had signed up as some sort of advisor to the Tories. This didn't prepare me though for the full horror of her appearance on tonight's Question Time. Christ, when did she turn into such a horrible bitch?

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

And while we're in heaven...

Back in November I got hold of "Epitaph for a Legend" and straight off I was snagged by the Red Krayola and 13th Floor Elevators tracks. But as the mysterious Steve pointed out the other tracks on there were well worth a spin. I was utterly addicted to the Thursday's Children track around Christmas time - there's a Belle and Sebastian vibe about it I think.

Thursday's Children: A Part of You

And another great Elevators track, which I don't think appears on any of their albums or singles.

13th Floor Elevators: Wait For My Love