John Cale alone on a stage is always a joy to behold. The following tracks were recorded live in 1983 at a place called The Gluepot in Auckland, New Zealand. "Looking for a friend, looking everywhere, to go walk down the boulevard, boulevard of friends..."
Recent pickings aplenty in the For The Sake Of The Song headquarters, so let's not waste any precious time. First up: the Owsley Brothers, doing that dirty garage blues thingy very well. Rotten On The Vine is a teaser for their new album Cobalt, out in March. Can't wait, guys. On now to our Canadian pals from Woodpigeon. Love some of their tunes, while others strangely enough leave me cold somehow. This time I'm in luck, as the dreamy title track of their recent ep For Paolo definitely falls in the former category.
Owsley Brothers - Rotten On The Vine
Woodpigeon - For Paolo
That enticing Swedish girl duo called First Aid Kit is at it again as well, and I'm happy to say their brand new set of songs called The Lion's Roar is the first contender for our 2012 end of year list. The country-tinged Emmylou (that's a certain madame Harris of course) is plenty proof of that methinks. And finally, please welcome Anne-Marie Sanderson from the north - will rise again - of England. She plays a hypnotizing guitar and at least to these ears sounds quite a bit like Joanna Newsom on her folky single Endless Eyes. Keep a close watch.
First Aid Kit - Emmylou
Anne-Marie Sanderson - Endless Eyes
And sadly, we have to play you some of the old stuff as well, as a heartfelt tribute to two r&b giants who passed away recently at a ripe old age. Miss 'em.
Johnny Otis Orchestra - The Midnight Creeper (Part 1)
King Tubby may have been the dub organiser supreme, but Lee Perry wasn't that far behind. So here's Scratch behind that rickety mixing desk of his in the legendary Black Ark studio, with a couple of inventive and - contrary to the album titles - rather laidback tracks from his two tough to find Megaton Dub volumes.
"Romeo said to the graveyard keeper, something must be done..." A somewhat belated tribute to Doll By Doll foreman Jackie Leven, Scottish gypsy with a heart of gold, who left us to play that great gig in the sky last November. Touching obit here.
Here's some more hot nederbiet for ya, with vocals in English this time, from a cool compilation I picked up recently called Dutch Beat Explosion. Do try on these rough but utterly charming mid-sixties treats with a strong Beatles influence from the land of windmills, clogs, and coffeeshops. My fave? The amazing Rodys from Groningen Rock City, who come on like a wild cross between the Kinks and Barrett-era Floyd. "Just fancy living between the people without ears..." My point exactly.
High time for some more recent stuff around here. Got Is Growing Faith a tad too late for my end of year list, but otherwise White Fence's second outing could have been a contender. Fingerlickin' lofi jangle that alternately took me back to Alex Chilton, Skip Spence, Syd Barrett, and a plethora of bands on New Zealand's famed Flying Nun label. Grow faith, y'all. And then there's Israel Nash Gripka, whose Barn Doors And Concrete Floors I haven't even fully digested yet. I do know that standout track Louisiana is one tough piece of steaming Stones swamprock though. And last but not least let's shine a light on Diagrams, the new project of Sam Genders, someone I've always greatly admired for his work with Tunng and The Accidental. And as Night All Night shows, he hasn't lost that golden freakfolk touch.
"I wanna be straight, I wanna be straight, I'm sick and tired of taking drugs and staying up late..." Following up on a conversation with faithful reader Holly in the post below this one, here's a fun showdown between messrs. Richman and Dury. And as a chaser: a hot quartet of not so straight jazz cuts.
Maybe you have to speak the language to really dig these wacky Nederbiet songs... all I know is that I find them totally irresistable. The Softs wear purple pants and grow their hair long, something daddy doesn't like at all, while N.V. Group 65 travels all the way to Morocco to buy that devil weed. Meanwhile, the Dukes go wild in a bar in Turkey, and The Mokum Beat Five (from my native city Amsterdam, a.k.a. Mokum) issues a stern warning against marriage. Wonder what my non-Dutch readers think.
Musings on tunes I care about. The ones with that thin wild mercury sound, you know. And as I like a lot of different stuff, you can expect everything from pop, rock, punk, blues, soul, folk, reggae, country, world music, jazz and everything in between here. And a whole lot of Dylan of course...
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Twenty years of schooling and they put you on the day shift: