Sunday, December 23, 2012

Hell Of A Party

"Last Christmas eve I didn't feel too jolly..." Regular readers will probably know that one doesn't get a christmas ditty out of me that easily, but who am I to resist the one and only James White? Honk it away, James... Hava Nagila Hava.  I'm off on a short but sweet break for a while; see you all real soon. Happy 2013 & ciao ciao!

James White & The Blacks - Christmas With Satan

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Lists & Stuff

For what it's worth, here's the FTSOTS heavy rotation lowdown of the year 2012, in no particular order. Accept no substitutes, mi amigos da musica. It's all world music.

New stuff:
Willis Earl Beal - Acousmatic Sorcery
Goat - World Music
Simon Joyner - Ghosts
Mark Lanegan - Blues Funeral
Bob Dylan - Tempest
First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar
Julian Cope - Psychedelic Revolution
Mike Coykendall - Chasing Away The Dots

Mike Coykendall - Mr. Fly

Old stuff:
Yabby You - Deeper Roots
v/a - Country Funk
Can - The Lost Tapes
Michael Chapman - Rainmaker
Bill Wilson - Ever Changing Minstrel

Bill Wilson - Black Cat Blues

Monday, December 17, 2012

Words Do Get 'Round

Really enjoying the catchy modern skiffle tunes of Nottingham's Jake Bugg at the mo. Hear that modern Robin Hood go... Wee lad's got talent in spades, and a fair bit of early Dylan in his record collection apparently.

Jake Bugg - Trouble Town

And if I'm in need of the wilder stuff, I indulge in World Music, a mighty collection of psychedelic afro trance mayhem by Goat. All the way from a commune in a Swedish hamlet called Korpilombolo they say. Let it bleed indeed.

Goat - Let It Bleed

Friday, December 14, 2012

Look But No Touch

Leave it to the red, green and gold experts over at Pressure Sounds to come up with what are probably the last remaining gems in the Yabby You vaults. Their new Deeper Roots collection finds Yabby & Brethren inna fine style on many a rare track, as demonstrated by the two mighty Jesus Dread productions - a vocal and its flamin' dub version - below. One of the reissues of the year for sure.

Barrington Spence - Don't Touch I Dread
The Prophet All Stars - Tutch Dub

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hellfire A-Callin'

"From Tupelo to Natchez they all answer to my name, their belief in God above is driving them insane, and if I die before I wake, there'll be no soul left to take..."

The Long Ryders - Final Wild Son

And while we're on the subject of Jerry Lee, for it's him the Ryders are referring to of course, here goes.

Jerry Lee Lewis - Deep Elem Blues

Monday, December 10, 2012

Daddy Prunes

Think the Electric Prunes began and ended with their immortal I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)? Then dig this fine fine trio of non-album tracks from the years of '66 and '67. You never had it better indeed.

The Electric Prunes - Ain't It Hard
The Electric Prunes - You Never Had It Better
The Electric Prunes - Shadows

Friday, December 7, 2012

Call Me

All heed the call, as we call the tune. Presenting yet another six pack for your listening pleasure. After all, "if you're gonna try, you gotta face the music..."

Plainsong - Call The Tune
Television - Call Mr. Lee
The Monkeywrench - Call My Body Home
MC5 - Call Me Animal
Kenny McKennon - Call Your Daddy, Baby
The Cramps - Call Of The Wighat

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Job Well Done

What makes this alternative version so tasty is the organ part, courtesy of the legendary Al Kooper.

The Who - Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand (alt. version)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Get Your Kicks

Wanna go motoring for a bit? Let's take the A13 then, mate. "Pitsea, Thundersley, Hadleigh, Leigh-On-Sea, Chalkwell, Prittlewell, Southend's the end..." Or: mr. Bragg does a Bobby Troup. Just luverly, guv.

Billy Bragg - A13, Trunk Road To The Sea

Friday, November 30, 2012

Put Them In A Bottle

"Send them out to sea..." A ten pack for dream weavers only.

Nico - Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams
Witch - Strange Dream
Green On Red - That's What Dreams Are Made For
Pauline Murray & The Invisible Girls - Dream Sequence 1
Arab Strap - Dream Sequence
Suicide - Dream Baby Dream
Cornershop - England's Dreaming
Bunny Wailer - Dream Land
Robin Luke - You Can't Stop me From Dreaming
Cannonball Adderley & John Coltrane - You're A Weaver Of Dreams

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Big Deal

Today, Randall Stuart Newman is 69. This from the liner notes to his sardonic masterpiece Sail Away: "While I don't have any belief in religion - far from it - I am interested in it. It's a gigantic idea. It's the biggest hit in history - the invention of God, because you know you're going to die. That's my very clinical assessment of it. And so I'm interested in the subject and have written about it a number of times. It's a big deal in the life of the world." Many happy returns, maestro.

Randy Newman - God's Song (That's Why I Love Mankind)
Randy Newman - He Gives Us All His Love

Monday, November 26, 2012

De Lisboa Antiga

Ser Fadista, or: being a fado singer. Adelina Fernandes sure was a great one. Got that special feeling they call saudade down pat. A Portuguese gem dating back to 1928.

Adelina Fernandes - Ser Fadista

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Hee Haw

Some good news for all you Hiss Golden Messenger lovers out there. In an interesting recent interview with No Depression magazine, HGM foreman MC Taylor says that a new album, to be called Haw, is in the can and will be out next spring. Can't wait? The renowned New York Taper recorded their two gigs at Raleigh's Hopscotch Festival last September: go here and here to listen. Tasty little teaser below.

Hiss Golden Messenger - Red Rose Nantahala (live)

In the same interview, Taylor positively raves about the pastoral lofi Americana of one Joe O'Connell, the brains behind little-known Elephant Micah. I can see where he comes from. Loon calls of rare beauty indeed.

Elephant Micah - Tin Foil Continent
Elephant Micah - Loon Call

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Give Thanks

Wanna drool? Then check out the quite unbelievable line-up of 1957's Thanksgiving Concert in New York's famous Carnegie Hall. At this fundraiser for the Morningside Community Center in Harlem, the Thelonious Monk Quartet featuring John Coltrane, Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Chet Baker with the Zoot Sims Quartet, and Sonny Rollins all appeared. The most expensive tickets were priced $3,95. Those were the days, huh? Monk & Trane sure were in fine form that night by the way. Here's proof.

Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane - Evidence

Monday, November 19, 2012

Do Your Part

Great but more or less forgotten soul singers, can't get enough of 'em. Thanks to quality labour-of-love label the Numero Group, I just discovered another one: Miami soul diva Helene Smith. "Make this good thing last..."

Helene Smith - You Got To Do Your Share
Helene Smith - Willing & Able

Saturday, November 17, 2012

So Alone

Some days, all you need is Monk, alone behind the piano. Q.E.D.

Thelonious Monk - Memories Of You
Thelonious Monk - I Hadn't Anyone Till You

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ladies First

This one goes out to all you lovely ladies out there.
Always wanted to say that.

Kevin Coyne - Eastbourne Ladies
Rock City - Lovely Lady
Kevin Ayers - The Lady Rachel
Gene Clark - Lady Of The North
Judee Sill - Lady-O
Townes Van Zandt - Many A Fine Lady
Leon Russell - Delta Lady
Billie Holiday - Lady Sings The Blues
Stan Kenton - My Lady
Throbbing Gristle - Hamburger Lady

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Jerez Cheers

Recorded as a homage to Jerez culture, this recent flamenco release is the real deal alright. Master singers of the genre as El Torta, Agujetas, and Capullo De Jerez sing their hearts out in various hotblooded combinations, accompanied by such six-string virtuosi as Diego Del Morao and Barullito. And in case you were wondering: V.O.R.S. stands for Very Old Rare Sherry. ¡Salud!

Manuel Agujetas con Manuel Valencia - Fandangos
Manuel Moneo con Barullito - Soleá

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Mr. Rain

Ideal for a lazy Sunday morning like this one: a delightful instrumental from Michael Chapman's '69 debut Rainmaker. Why this guy never really made the big leagues is beyond me.

Michael Chapman - Sunday Morning

Friday, November 9, 2012

Dragging My Feet

Joni meets Joanna? I know such comparisons are lazy, but it honestly was the first thing that came to mind when listening to the autumnal beauty of Night Faces by San Francisco newcomer Jessica Pratt. Out now, buy it on the White Fence-related Birth Records.

Jessica Pratt - Night Faces

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Look Bright

A subtle blues by the Rising Sons, the commercially unsuccesful '64 combo that gave both Ry Cooder and Taj Mahal their first shot at stardom. Needless to say, both shine here. "Can't get to Natchez, they tell me there's high water there..."

Rising Sons - By And Bye (Poor Me)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Bitterness And Pride

Meet a bitter Peter Hammill, from a Peel session recorded around the time his intense divorce album Over came out. "I don't give a damn anymore, I've only wound up betrayed..."

Peter Hammill - Betrayed

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Glowing Glyphs

It's not often that a song inspires a graphic novel as far as I know, but the stoner sludge of Thee Hypnotics really was instrumental in the making of Paul Pope's trippy, futuristic masterpiece Heavy Liquid. Says Pope in the  afterword: "I drove across America that summer, across the orange desert and the straw-yellow plain states, passing barns and gas stations and glowing glyphs on the nighttime horizons, listening to this track over and over and over again..."

Thee Hypnotics - Heavy Liquid

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Cover Story

Six pack time, inna cover stylee. Just some ole personal faves is all. Codeine dissects Joy Division, the Beasts Of Bourbon take on Eddie Noack, and Bob Mould & Vic Chessnut join up to tackle Gram Parsons. The other Elvis runs away with a Bacharach/David classic, Magazine visits the Captain, while the Mo-dettes go and get stoned. Don't forget to buy some albums if you like what you hear ok?

Codeine - Atmosphere
Beasts Of Bourbon - Psycho
Bob Mould & Vic Chessnut - Hickory Wind
Elvis Costello - I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself (live)
Magazine - I Love You, You Big Dummy
Mo-dettes - Paint It Black

Monday, October 29, 2012

Bye Terry

Just got the sad news that Terry Callier, folk/soul singer supreme, has passed away at the age of 67. Sure gonna miss you, candyman...

Terry Callier - Dancing Girl

Friday, October 26, 2012

Borne Aloft

Mr. Houck at his bonnie best. "Hiding in the hallways, I am listening..." Indeed.

Phosphorescent - My Dove, My Lamb

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Transcedental Love

Although I still swear by John Darnielle in lo-fi mode - dude, I bought their tapes on Shrimper and Car In Car Disco way back when - I can see that higher budgets and cleaner recordings are the way forward for the mighty Mountain Goats. The songs remain gorgeous, and that's what counts in the end, right? Check out a sample from new offering Transcedental Youth for proof.

Mountain Goats - White Cedar

"I remember Lima, I remember the good life..." Ok, for old lo-fi times sake already:

Mountain Goats - Sendero Luminoso Verdadero

Another recent release that really managed to tickled my fancy - and that's no easy feat - is Matthew E. White's Big Inner. Adventurous with a groove. Big? Could become huge.

Matthew E. White - Big Love

For fine snotty vocals and sharp garage guitars, turn to the Electric Healing Sound, all the way from Tijuana, Mexico. Way to go, cholo punks!

The Electric Healing Sound - Victory

And since I'll be away from my desk for a couple of days, I'll leave you marooned awhile with a golden oldie by those postpunk supremos of Wire. Ciao!

Wire - Marooned

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Join The Bingo

If you find yourself with nothing to do in Amsterdam, Holland, this Sunday night, do head over to the cosy Nieuwe Anita club. Why, you ask? Well, Simon Joyner, that fine fine singer/songwriter from Omaha, Nebraska, will play a gig there backed by Amsterdam's lofi heroes the Bingo Trappers. Not to be missed, right? And this just in: on Saturday, Joyner will make a solo appearance at Db's in Utrecht as well.

Simon Joyner - Three Well-Aimed Arrows
Simon Joyner - The Last Parade

As for the Bingos, they will finally release a new record sometime this January. About time, lads, it's been a long wait... Sister Planet (vinyl only I hear) will come out on Morctapes/AHT, and here's an exclusive taster. "Hey stupid, there's no lookin' back..."

Bingo Trappers - Long Weekends

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Midnight Groover

Found myself on a bit of a Flamin' Groovies trip last week, which included their first singer and guitarist Roy Loney's fab solo stuff. Which is where we come across that rare instant where the song apparently came first, and acted as inspiration for the group name. And a mighty fine song it is, too. Satisfaction guaranteed indeed.

Roy Loney & The Phantom Movers - Phantom Mover

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Having A Rave-Up

Really liked the alt-country avant la lettre of that Rave-Ups debut when it appeared back in '85. And guess what? It still sounds pretty good today.

The Rave-Ups - Class Tramp
The Rave-Ups - Positively Lost Me

Friday, October 12, 2012

...And Today

You knew you had it coming, right? Yesterday's gone... And forever came today.

Hüsker Dü - Something I Learned Today
The Only Ones - Lovers Of Today
Eric Ambel - Forever Came Today
Merle Haggard - A Working Man Can't Get Nowhere Today
Mel Street - I Met A Friend Of Yours Today
Blind John Davis - No Mail Today

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Scrambled eggs, ta-da-da... All my troubles seem so far away? Hmmm. Yesterday's the word today however, and it's here. Enjoy this somewhat passé six pack, and don't forget to buy some rekkids if you like what you hear. It's just yesterday after all.

Weird Herald - Just Yesterday
Flamin' Groovies - Yesterday's Numbers
Secondhand - The World Will End Yesterday
The Act Of Creation - Yesterday Noontime
Gravel - Yesterday
Paul Gonsalves - Yesterdays

Monday, October 8, 2012

Funky Business

Wakey wakey, wah-wah cowboys. Light In The Attic, one of the finest labour-of-love reissue labels around, just compiled a platter of steaming old-time swamprock that will make you beg for more. Here's one exemplary track. Now go buy this album. Ain't no bum trip, man...

Dale Hawkins - L.A. Memphis Tyler Texas

Saturday, October 6, 2012

¿De donde son?

"La traición y el contrabando son cosas incompartidas..." Mexican magic by way of San Jose, California, 'cause that's where these Rosa Morada natives have been plying their trade since the late sixties. Comes complete with an irresistable accordeon of course, and with real gunshots from una pistola tirada.

Los Tigres Del Norte - Contrabando Y Traición

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Got some time to spare? Then check this one out. The perfect cross beween Neu! and early Roxy Music: glam krautrock that gets me any time.

La Düsseldorf - Time

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Heady Discovery

Says cyber guru supreme William Gibson in his highly recommended non-fiction collection Distrust That Particular Flavor: "The Walkman changed the way we understand cities. I first heard Joy Division on a Walkman, and I remain unable to separate the experience of the music's bleak majesty from the first heady discovery of the pleasures of musically encapsulated fast-forward urban motion..."

Joy Division - Disorder

Sunday, September 30, 2012


Like black velvet. Yessir. Featuring the great Red Garland on piano. Feeling blue and sentimental yet?

Arnett Cobb - Black Velvet

Friday, September 28, 2012

Meet The Wilsons

Hurray once more for the mighty Tompkins Square label, as the wise people in charge there just re-released Bill Wilson's fine fine Ever Changing Minstrel album, originally recorded in 1973 with the same bunch of pickers you hear on Dylan's Blonde On Blonde. In honour of that, here's a ten pack of boss tunes by guys called Wilson. Brian was off somewhere alas, but brother Dennis showed up instead. Better get ready!

Bill Wilson - The Good Ship Society
Dennis Wilson - Love Surround Me
Larry Jon Wilson - Sapelo
Jonathan Wilson - The Way I Feel
J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers - Last Kiss
Elder Roma Wilson - Better Get Ready
Delroy Wilson - A Place in Africa (aka Addis Ababa)
Ernest Wilson - I Know Myself
Flick Wilson - Don't Give Up Your Culture
Wilson Pickett - Toe Hold

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Born To Be Hurt

"It makes no difference if you're rich or poor, or if you're smart or dumb..." Sandy Posey's country-flavored '66 hit version of Born A Woman - penned by the rather mysterious Martha Sharpe - will always remain the ultimate interpretation for me. Nick Lowe's rocking gender bender of sorts from '77, which incidentally I was familiar with long before I even realised it was a cover, comes a close second though. "A woman's place in this old world, is under some man's thumb..."

Sandy Posey - Born A Woman
Nick Lowe - Born A Woman

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Hop On In

"You've got nothing to fear if you're sharing a beer with the son of God..." The Lord moves in mysterious ways indeed.

Terry Allen - Gimme A Ride To Heaven Boy

Friday, September 21, 2012

To The Top

In Roky we trust. "Climb the ladder of your own design in my fire engine..." Go on, you know you want to. The boys from Television often climbed said ladder in concert, to great effect. This blistering take was recorded at CBGB's, way back in 1975.

13th Floor Elevators - Fire Engine
Television - Fire Engine (live '75)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bag Or Trainload

"It's so sweet, yeah, yeah, I can't stop smokin' yeah..." Presenting a rootsy six pack. Have a toke of collie herb, why don't you. It's cool. Light that chalice.

Tommy McCook - One Trainload Of Collie
Hopeton Lewis - Cool Collie
Sly & The Revolutionaries - Collie
Horace Andy - Collie Herb
Dillinger - One Bag Of Collie
King Tubby & The Aggrovators - Collie Dub

Monday, September 17, 2012

Don't Go

These desert cats always deliver. Exhibit A, from the new Calexico album Algiers: a lilting song in the loving tongue of Spanish, featuring Jacob Valenzuela and Jairo Zavala on vocals. Keywords: corazón, linda, and amor of course... And that's claro que si.

Calexico - No Te Vayas

Friday, September 14, 2012

Come Blow Your Horn

"Put your heart on a platter and see who will bite..." Tempest finally dropped into my rusty ole mailbox yesterday, and boy is 71-year-old Bobby D. on form again. This little boy blue's highlight so far, after only a couple of late nite spins? A spooky, southern-style ballad called Scarlet Town. Delicate, understated arrangement, complete with fiddle, mandolin, and banjo, all the while packing a weird punch or two in the lyrics. "Set 'em up Joe, play Walkin' The Floor, play it for my flat-chested junkie whore..." Say what?

Bob Dylan - Scarlet Town

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Questions Questions

No answers. My man Bonnie Billy's recent plan to remake some of his older songs has given us another beauty though. Check out Three Questions, featuring the impressive Angel Olsen on co-vocals. Space guitar courtesy of Emmett Kelly. "The birds have stopped their singing, and the insects have shut up..."

Bonnie Prince Billy - Three Questions

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Heavenly Way

Repent forthwith and get hip to these timeless gospel blues recordings of the legendary Gary Davis. On Got On My Traveling Shoes, the blind Reverend sings and plays together with his mate Kinny Peebles, who was also known under the wonderful name of Sweet Papa Stovepipe. "I know my crown gonna fit me well, I tried it on at the gates of hell..."

Reverend Gary Davis - We Are the Heavenly Father's Children
Reverend Gary Davis & Kinny Peebles - Got On My Traveling Shoes

Sunday, September 9, 2012

...And Dads

"Father come with me today, see the pillars in the sky..." As promised, here's a second parental six pack. Cool stuff if I may say so myself, pop kids. Don't miss that Annette Poindexter soul gem in particular. Now dig in.

Hickory Wind - Father Come With Me
Little Madness - Mother Country
Horace Silver - Song For My Father
Annette Poindexter & Pieces Of Peace - Mama
Linda Martell - Color Him Father
Don Varner - Mojo Mama

And thanks to the much recommended 27 Leggies, here's a bonus take from weirdsville on an old English music hall ditty. Cor blimey indeed, guv.

The Very Things - When Father Papered The Parlour

Friday, September 7, 2012

Of Moms...

"What is a mother to do, when she's cursed with children like you..." Presenting a parental six pack for all you moms and dads out there. Part 2 coming soon, so don't touch that dial.

Crowder Brothers - We All Love Mother
Shep & The Limelites - Daddy's Home
The Creamers - Mom Watches T.V.
The Gories - Let Your Daddy Ride
Killdozer - A Mother Has A Hard Road
The Very Things - The Bushes Scream While My Daddy Prunes

And as a bonus track, 'cause something went wrong somewhere, here's Hooker's classic original as well. Lucky you.

John Lee Hooker - Let Your Daddy Ride

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Universal Champion

Michael James Williams, better known as Prince Far I, is no stranger to these pages. The one with the voice of thunder was probably my fave toaster of them all. Here he envisions a 15 rounds boxing match between natty dreadlocks and Babylon. And behold: "I can see some blood comin' from Babylon nose..."

Prince Far I - Natty Champion

Monday, September 3, 2012

Fiesta Grande

Listen up, my faithful flamenco friends, for this one sure is special. Vocalists Antonio De La Malena, Mijita Hijo, El Barullo, El Chico, El Torta, and Manuel Moneo take turns singing their hearts out, accompanied on guitar by the masterful Moraito Chico and Niño de Periquín. A true flamenco feast, over thirty minutes long. ¡Agua!

Antonio De La Malena, Mijita Hijo, El Barullo, El Chico, El Torta y Manuel Moneo - Fiesta Por Bulerías