Keep The Lantern Bright

It seems like it’s all going to pot at the moment. Maybe Joe Strummer has some answers…

Sandpaper Blues

This is one of those Joe and The Mescaleros songs where the band play three or four musical styles simultaneously and effortlessly (hand drums, African chanting, cowboy music…) and which reaches outwards, out into infinite variety of the world.

‘It’s gonna boom Mariachi
This really fine piece of madera
And this will be the counter
Of the Pueblo Tabacalera
Shape, it up, shape it up, shape it up, shape it up
All around the world

Oh, this keel could save a life
When the storms hit the Pacific
To make it really true
You really gotta be specific

Keep the lantern bright
Keep food upon the table
If you shape it well tonight
As well as you are able’

Advertisements

Cheetah

If you’re in need of cheering up but feeling slightly unsettled at the same time you could do worse than spend the next eight minutes with the new song from Aphex Twin. The ep Cheetah is out soon including a cassette release. I could play that in my car. This song, Cirklon 3, marries some ambient synths, a clattering drum track and a distorted bass with some bleeps borrowed from computer games. The video was directed by twelve year old Ryan Wyer from Dublin and will freak you out slightly in places.

Haunting Ground

This 1986 dub production by Adrian Sherwood for singer Bim Sherman is super heavy with Bim’s vocals floating over the rhythms and FX. Sherwood At The Controls vol. 2 is out now, a second compilation of Sherwood productions, this one from the second half of the 80s. It includes the industrial hip hop of Tackhead and the industrial noise of KMFDM and Ministry before settling on a run of dub tracks towards the end- Bim Sherman, African Head Charge et al. If you only buy one compilation this month etc.

Haunting Ground  Dub

There Is More To Life Than This

There’s so much stuff going on right now. Head spinning. Political parties collapsing in front of our eyes and decades old certainties vanishing. Anger all over the place.

Tonight England play Iceland at Euro 2016. I’ve loved the Icelandic team and fans. England have a real banana skin waiting for them and Roy Hodgson is under pressure to deliver after criticism of tactics, selection and strategy. England out of Europe? Twice in four days?

Prior to the Icelandic football team Bjork was their most exciting export. This song off Debut is a joy, lighthearted and in love with itself. The vocals were recorded live in the Milk Bar, London. The bit where the toilet door shuts and and the beat and muffled crowd can be heard and then re-appears shows the sense of freedom and fun that Bjork and Nellee Hooper had when recording the album. I also love the way she pronounces ghettoblaster.

There Is More To Life Than This

England’s As Happy As England Can Be

Can’t Be Sure by The Sundays came on as I was driving home on Friday and this verse made me laugh at little in the context of recent event…

‘England, my country
The home of the free
Such miserable weather
But England’s as happy as England can be
Why cry?’

Their debut single from 1989. Minor key beauty, on a Sunday too.

Can’t Be Sure

I Hate Hate

Well that- the referendum, as if you didn’t guess- was a total disaster. It’s a strange day indeed when I can’t get any satisfaction from David Cameron resigning. We’re screwed. Completely.

The Sound Of Shoom released this single in 1991, later compiled on Creation’s Keeping The Faith compilation (a very important record round these parts). The Sound Of Shoom was a production name for dj Danny Rampling, the man who started Shoom, a somewhat influential acid house night heldin a leisure centre in Southwark. The lyrics to I Hate Hate sound a bit trite and hippy-dippy now but fitted perfectly into the times and the song is in fact a cover, a soulful housed up version, of a 1974 Northern tune by Razzy And The Neighbourhood Kids.

And, to everyone out there who’s peddled hate over the last few months, enough with the hate yeah?
Fat chance.

I Hate Hate (Southwark Street Mix)

Tiny

I can still remember the first time I heard Freak Scene by Dinosaur Jr on cassette back in 1988. The joyous crashing, distorted guitars of the intro, the thumping drums on the bridge, the stoned vocals and dysfunctional lyrics and that twisted guitar solo. A three minute pop song that invented slacker rock- but is so much more than American kids in big shorts. It has a similar effect on me when I hear it now, a song I can’t get tired of and one of those songs I’d put in a list of ‘songs of my life’ if I had to write one.

Freak Scene

Dinosaur Jr so impressed Sonic Youth they wrote their best song, Teenage Riot, in tribute, a song imagining J. Mascis as President of an alternative USA. Maybe he should run for the real thing given the state of the Republican candidate. This new single, out in August physically, hits some of those Dinosaur Jr highs. I’ve got tickets for their show at The Albert Halls in November which I’m really looking forward to- not that I want to wish the summer and autumn away.