The Chemical Brothers and Wayne Coyne ‘The Golden Path’

The Chemical Brothers have done the guest vocalist thing as much as anybody. I was going to post Out Of Control, but JC at The Vinyl Villain put it up a week or two ago. Out Of Control (vocals and guitar by Bernard Sumner) is as good as any of the past decade’s New Order tracks. Bad Lieutenant did a blinding version of it when they toured back in October, segueing into Temptation. Some of The Chemical Brothers stuff leaves me less impressed- too obvious, too many guest vocalists, too many collaborations with Noel Gallagher. But they pull it off from time to time. I think this is great- great track and production, cool vocals from Flaming Lip Wayne Coyne. And it always sounds good in the car to/from work.

13 The Golden Path.wma

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The Wirral’s Greatest Living Poet

Half Man Half Biscuit- laugh out loud funny, biting satire, popular culture skewered, more references than a South Bank Show Special, detailed knowledge of football arcana- I salute you.
And you’ve got to love a caravan shaped guitar.
‘No frills, handy for the hills
That’s the way you spell New Mills’

This is currently my daughter’s favourite song. I’m just glad she hasn’t asked what fair trade cocaine is.

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel Is The Light Of An Oncoming Train.mp3

Huck Whitney ‘Fresh Cream’

Lovely piece of acoustic instrumentalism here, nylon guitar strings, great melody. Huck is guitarist with London garage band The Flaming Stars (tons of lps, check out Named And Shaned, Born Under A Bad Neon Sign or compilation Ginmill Perfume, all at e-music and elsewhere). Actually they’re much more than a garage band. Huck (far left on photo) wrote a theme tune for Quantum Of Solace which was never used. More fool them.

Huck Whitney_02_Fresh Cream.mp3

Ray Lowry- 1979 ‘War Artist’

We’ve been to Salford Museum and Art Gallery today. There’s nothing like dragging two children, one with special needs, round an art gallery and museum. Salford’s has two main attractions- Larkhill Place, a mocked up Victorian Street, which is ace and kids love it, and a temporary exhibition (on until 7th March) of cartoons, paintings and photos by The Clash’s 1979 US tour ‘war artist’ (c. Joe Strummer) Ray Lowry. Born in Salford, Ray contributed cartoons and illustrations to the NME, The Face, Punch and Private Eye during the golden ages of all those publications. He spent many years living in Rossendale, several towns in a valley halfway between Bury and Burnley, next door to someone in knew when I worked up that way during the 90s. It’s free and well worth a visit. The Clash pictures are cool, there are early versions and sketches of the London Calling sleeve, some interesting oil paintings of Salford, and a load of Ray’s correspondence with a friend. Ray died suddenly in 2008, and seemed to spend much of his later years either in the pub or trying hard to stay out of the pub. As I said, well worth a visit if you’re a fan of any of the above.

The track here is the original version of Should I Stay Or Should I Go, not the one that made it onto Combat Rock and to number 1 on the back of that Levi’s advert. Mick Jones saw The Clash’s fifth lp as a double, after the double London Calling and triple Sandinista, and it was worked on as Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg, a 15 track monster rather than the slimmed down radio friendly lp that cracked America in 1982. There are versions of Rat Patrol… out there in internet land, including the extra tracks that later turned up as B-sides like First Night Back In London and Cool Confusion,and some that were never officially released like Walk Evil Talk and The Beautiful People Are Ugly Too. It also has longer and different versions of lp tracks like Inoculated City, Atom Tan and Straight To Hell. I’ll post some at some point if anyone’s interested. Joe and producer Glyn Johns won the day and Mick’s lp was shrunk and edited and glossed up. Should I Stay… is probably their best-known song. This version is different enough to make you want to listen to it again, longer (naturally), rougher, different vocals and more of Joe’s Spanish bit. This one’s for Ray Lowry-gone.

Should I Stay Or Should I Go.mp3

More Audrey 5

Friday night disco action, released at the end of last year. Detachment’s HAL remixed by Weatherall. It’s a good ‘un.

Hal_Andrew_Weatherall_s_Disco_Dub.mp3

Quando Quango ‘Atom Rock’

I published a post the other day about The Durutti Column, where I said that Factory Records was the greatest record label ever, and seeing as no-one left a comment arguing about it, I think we’re all agreed on that one. So maybe this’ll become a regular feature. Quando Quango were the first band of Mike Pickering, years before he made pop-house with the massively popular M-People. Atom Rock is very Factory- clipped white boy funk, short back ‘n’ sides, and produced by B-Music (New Order’s production pseudonym). It’s a great record, and features the massively talented Johnny Marr moonlighting from his day job. Can’t imagine this track went down that well in Morrissey’s house though.

07 Atom Rock.wma

Ten City ‘That’s The Way Love Is’

I have been known to play records at peoples’ parties. This started about 10 years ago, when people started having 30th birthdays and getting married. I had, and have, no beat mixing skills, and only began doing it because I had a decent sized record collection, and a modicum of taste. Some have been brilliant, some pretty good, and the odd one have been disasters. One time at a wedding I got harangued and berrated by a bus-load from Merseyside who either wanted ‘white-labels’ or records played while they stood in a circle and a couple of blokes would do ‘funny’ dancing in the middle. That was the last time I did a wedding for friends of friends. A few years back a friend had a birthday in a room above a pub in the centre of Manchester. The crowd were 30ish, through to mid-to-late 40s. Late on I played MARRS Pump Up The Volume, and the dancefloor (y’know the sort, wooden square clipped together with carpet on all four sides) filled with Manchester Mums and Dads, out for the party, a few beers, and the house music of their youth. I managed to keep it going in this vein for as long as I could. Eventually, I either ran out of house records or we ran out of time. The ex-clubbing crowd finished their drinks, put their coats on and went home to relieve the babysitter (insert your own joke about relieving the babysitter here). And it sort of said something about a generation of people who are too old to go clubbing, or it’s too inconvenient to go clubbing, or they can’t stay awake past one a.m., or they wouldn’t know where to go these days. I include myself in all of those categories. But house music will get them up on the floor in a room above a pub for an hour or so. Hallelujah.

That’s The Way Love Is [Underground Mix – Edited Version].mp3