Juan More For August

Summer looks like it’s packed it’s bag and gone south for the winter and it’s the 31st August which always seems like the cut off point, so for no particular reason let’s have some four to the floor Detroit techno action. This is Model 500, Juan Atkins by another name, and a track that can lay a claim to have invented modern machine music. Phased synths, bass, those snares, the sinister and robotic vocal. And let’s not forget this record was released in 1985.

A man called ‘John’ has phoned on the landline while I’m writing this post, claiming he is from Windows. He says my computer is sending lots of error messages to the server and that I have downloaded many files which may corrupt my hard-drive. He says if I just switch on my computer he can talk me through the solutions. Does anyone really fall for this kind of thing?

You Ain’t Never Caught A Rabbit

…because as H pointed out when we were camping last week, Lieber and Stoller’s Hound Dog just makes more sense when it’s sung by Big Mama Thornton.

Get A Move On

Mr Scruff is a modern day Manchester legend. Stand in a record shop with an M postcode the morning after one of his djing nights and hear middle aged men with beards and trainers cooing over obscure 80s funk B-sides that they don’t know the name of, blowing their cheeks out appreciatively (and enviously). His 1999 album Keep It Unreal is a treasure trove of low key funkiness. Get A Move On starts with some ragtime jazz and when the drums comes in gets very funky indeed. Nice vocal sample too. Mr Scruff also has a very nice tea shop, highly recommended if you’re ever in the Northern Quarter. As is this song.


I don’t go much for mid-70s rock but for top mod Ronnie Lane I can make an exception. After The Small Faces split up, the remainder of the band hooked up with Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood to make the beery, blokey rock that eventually sent Rod Stewart to superstardom. I’m no expert on The Faces to be honest. Ronnie Lane wrote songs throughout and when Stewart left he continued with a solo career and various bands (Ronnie Lane’s Slim Chance for one). Ronnie was described by many as a fine songwriter and musician and a top chap to boot. He died from Multiple Sclerosis in 1997, after living with it for twenty years. This is a Faces song, Ooh La La, performed at the BBC by a line up of Slim Chance. It’s very mid-70s- rough hewn, good times, having a lock-in music with all in it together vocals, acoustic guitars and accordians and woody drums, coming across like a band of highly trained buskers playing good songs in the snug bar.

People They Don’t Understand

Watching the Reading festival on the tv on Saturday night I realised that the headliners line-up was exactly the same as several years ago. Back in the early/mid 00s Mrs Swiss and I got into the Saturday night of the Leeds leg of the festival at around tea time. Some old friends of Mrs Swiss ran a baked potato stall and we got in as baked potato sellers, not that we stuck around to sell many spuds. We saw the last part of Janes’ Addiction, then Pulp and then The Strokes. Janes were noisy, playing a set of new stuff. Pulp were excellent. The Strokes were hampered by Julian Casablancas having his leg in plaster and by the rain. Most of the crowd seemed to be there to see them though and they were pretty good, if strangely uncharismatic. Since then they’ve lost their way- duff follow up albums, interband strife, people and scenes moving on- but they single handedly popularised skinny jeans for men (cheers Strokes) and got guitar bands going again (not entirely a good thing, but we can’t hold them personally responsible for some of the chaff that came in their wake). Despite it all, this song, from their 2001 debut Is This It, remains a cracking tune.

I Only Went With Her Cos She Looks Like You

I saw the reformed Pulp playing Reading on Saturday night (on the telly I mean. I wasn’t actually there). They looked in fine form, with Jarvis more the raconteur between songs than ever, a hits heavy set and Richard Hawley joining them towards the end. So here’s one of their best moments, Babies, with Jarvis hiding in the wardrobe to spy on his friend’s sister who was ‘two years older and had boys in her room’.

It Came From Outer Space

Camping companero H tipped me off about this one which I completely missed last year. Jon Spencer (who has featured here before with his Blues Explosion and with his Heavy Trash) also has an on-off side project (Boss Hog) with his wife, Cristina Martinez (that’s her up above). I’ve got an album of theirs which I haven’t played for years but may go back to. Last year they teamed up with Solex to make an album called Amsterdam Throwdown and this was the freebie mp3 to promote it- Galaxy Man. Super funky, sexy, blues with modern beats, filtered through 1950s science fiction movies. It’s as good as that sounds.

Walking Through the Suburbs, We’re Not Exactly Lovers

Yesterday’s trip hop heroes Portishead remix Massive Attack’s Karmacoma, also from 1994, turning it all spacey and spooky. Or even more spacier and spookier. Portishead also stick a great big phased Hendrix style guitar solo in the middle, for no particular reason other than it sounds good. I suppose it explains why they called the remix Portishead Experience. It’s a very good example of the art of the remix.

The lyrical refrain goes ‘karmacoma, Jamaica aroma’, misheard for years round our way as ‘karmacoma, d’you make her in Roma? Duh.

I Brought ‘Em All

..or something very like that, goes the sample at the start of this- Portishead’s own remix of their defining moment Sour Times. The vocal sample and scratching gave Sour Times a hip-hop makeover for the B-side of the 12″, from 1994. Good stuff from seventeen (!) years ago.

Camping in Sherwood Forest, no sign of Robin.
Thursday- sunny.
Friday- rained all day.
Saturday- sunny.
Didn’t quite manage to empty the five litre plastic barrel of red we brought back from France either, despite mine and H’s best efforts. Still, a good but soggy time had by all.

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 24

It’s Friday night. I am somewhere in a field in Nottinghamshire. I may be wet. But that shouldn’t stop us having our rockabilly action. Rock Billy Boogie by Johnny Burnette’s Rock and Roll Trio is one of the building blocks of modern music. I don’t know who the cool couple in the photo are but if either of you are reading, pop in and say hello.

More wine please, it may be a long night.