Coffee

I’m a tea drinker. I drink multiple cups of tea a day- since giving up the cigs I think it’s only the tea that keeps me going sometimes. But there aren’t any songs about tea on my hard drive. Coffee on the other hand is well represented. Coffee is cooler than tea, more sophisticated- to us Brits coffee is the continent, pavement cafes, and frothy milk. Now the high street is littered with coffee shops selling a bewildering array of coffees all served by your expert barista who’s happy to stamp your loyalty card. Our first cup is served by Lalo Shifrin, an unsettling instrumental from the film Bullitt (hence the picture of Steve McQueen at the top).

Just Coffee

The caffeine is kicking in now. The Bullitt soundtrack can be a bit jittery even without a shot of the black stuff. In 1994 James Lavelle put out a double vinyl ep called The Time Has Come, a bunch of remixes from Howie B, Portishead and Plaid. Plaid did this, breakbeat- jazz- trip hop that isn’t a million miles from Lalo Shifrin..

Coffeehouse Conversation (Plaid Remix)

In 1989 Edwyn Collins released his Hope And Despair album, a lovely collection of songs. This one, drum machine led and with a lovely circular guitar riff, builds for nearly five minutes as Edwyn croons. Gorgeous.

Coffee Table Song

Blur’s 1999 album 13 was a reaction to the Britpop thing. Graham Coxon sings and wrote it, describing his battle with alcohol over a chirpy indie-pop tune with a sqwarky, string-bending guitar solo. A bit of an ear worm.

Coffee And TV

To finish before the barista chucks us out for nursing one cup for an hour, here’s Wild Billy Childish And The Musicians Of The British Empire, from the magnificent Thatcher’s Children album, and a three chord rush tirade sung by Nurse Julie…

Coffee Date

1977

After Beth Orton looking back at 1973 today has Edwyn Collins looking back at 1977 via The Clash’s Year Zero statement and that line they’d be measured against by music journalists for ever ‘No Beatles, Elvis or the Rolling Stones in 1977’. Edwyn tackles it with acoustic guitar, plenty of oomph and obvious love for the song.

1977

Just A Trick Of The Light

Orange Juice have such an embarrassment of riches in their back catalogue, all skewiff and untutored and out of kilter. It’s their rough edges that make them so loveable I think. From their early days, this is the magnificent, frenetic Felicity (written by Malcolm Ross). This version was from a flexi disc given away free with the first 1000 copies of Falling And Laughing, recorded live in Edinburgh in 1979.

Felicity (Flexi Version)

From the later days, the brilliant What Presence?!, shown here live on the Whistle Test in ’84 with a squealing guitar solo (along with Out For The Count).

Linger On

Drew posted The Kills cover version of Pale Blue Eyes earlier this week, a song I’ve been listening to a lot recently- both The Kills version and the original. It is the best song of it’s type that there is. A major chord or two, a couple of minors, some sparse backing and Lou Reed’s lyrics of time, paper cups, feeling happy and feeling sad and infidelity. Wondrous thing really.

The fact is that it survives being covered often as well, not something that too many Velvets songs benefit from. There’s a shaky 2-in-the-morning version by R.E.M. I like, The Kills blistering take and this beautifully played and sung one from Edwyn Collins and Paul Quinn.

Forsooth

Alright?
I got back from North Yorkshire a few hours ago- 5 minutes back in Manchester and it started raining. The photo above is of the Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club in Bridlington. Brid was great- the old town bit up the top of the town was lovely and for a seaside town it isn’t too tatty. The RYYC was formerly The Ozone Hotel and was the home for several months in the 1930s to Lawrence (TE Lawrence, of Arabian fame, not him out of Felt and Denim). Lawrence rejoined the RAF under an assumed name (Shaw) and spent some time testing speed boats in and around Bridlington Harbour. While I’m here a very nice woman has opened a vintage clothing shop including seafaring inspired clothes she makes herself- Wayside Flower. Nice second hand bookshop a few doors down as well. I liked Bridlington. If you’re really lucky you might get some more of my holiday snaps.

Anything happen while I was away? Oh yes, Thatcher died. I can’t say I was sorry but the death party stuff seemed a bit, well, distasteful. Her government was a blight on us, many of us, and I loathed her and her policies but I’m not sure about the celebrations. The press have gone way over the top the other way and the funeral’s a fucking joke (and an expensive one at that). I’m guessing Elvis Costello’s Tramp The Dirt Down and Pete Wylie’s The Day Margaret Thatcher Died have been doing the internet rounds. Internet signal, Wifi, 3G etc was very poor, I really don’t know how people up there cope. I mean, I could hardly get on Twitter all week. Sheesh.

Re: Bandwidth – my bumper Weatherall birthday post has used up all my monthly Boxnet bandwidth before the middle of April (like spending all your monthly wage by the same date- done that too). Readers last month reported some problems using Mediafire so I’m going to revert to 4Shared I think. Let me know how it works out. I (legally) downloaded Edwin Collins new album Understated before we went away and spent sometime listening to it in the caravan. I like it, and you should too. Try this one, then go and buy it.

Forsooth

When He Spoke She Smiled In All The Right Places

It’s a small skip and jump from Roddy’s Aztec Camera to Edwyn Collins and Orange Juice. Their Postcard single Blue Boy is a hyper-excited rush of trebly guitars and fresh faced enthusiasm that sounds almost too good three decades later. They’d never make it to bootcamp. Tulisa would criticise Edwyn’s singing. The whole thing could fall apart at any moment. Gary would do that smirk thing, shaking his head slowly. Louis would say he couldn’t see the wow factor. They’d have to be re-styled to look exactly the same as everyone else. And to sound the same as everyone else. Lord help us.

Blue Boy

Edit; I’ve just remembered that Blue Boy was a B-side. A B-side!

Consolation Prize For The Vinyl Villain

The Vinyl Villain has had a well deserved break over the last month and is due back at the blogdesk today so various blogs are welcoming him back today and I’m happy to join in. I first discovered his standard setting blog looking for some Orange Juice many years ago so it seems appropriate to post what might be Edwyn Collins’ finest moment, with its line about wearing his fringe like Roger McGuinn’s and anti-macho coda- ‘I’ll never be man enough for you’. This one’s for you JC.

Consolation Prize