Pulling Out Of Ricardo And The Dusk Is Falling Fast

I don’t know about you but I could do with a lie down in a darkened room for a little while.

The KLF’s Chill Out, forty four minutes and twenty seconds long, recorded in one go by Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty, and released in February 1990, is a mythical drive through the night up the Gulf Coast from Texas into Louisiana. Bill Drummond said at the time he’d never been to those places, it was all in his head. If you want more about the background, samples, recording, track titles and whatnot there’s more here. But maybe it’s best just to press play and let go.

It seems wrong to let today go by without a tip of the trilby to Leonard Cohen.

‘Now I bid you farewell
I don’t know when I’ll be back
They’re moving us tomorrow
To the tower down the track
But you’ll be hearing from me baby
Long after I’m gone
I’ll be speaking to you softly
From a window in the tower of song’

I Remember You Well

I don’t know about you but I think this is really rather good.

!No Pasaran!

I started May by wittering on about a Spanish Civil War themed mix tape and which songs might go onto it. Thanks to everyone who made suggestions about other songs- Drew, Davy H, Helen and Suggestedformaturereaders. Thus, I can start June with a better, more expansive Spanish Civil War mixtape.

Durutti Column- Sketch For Summer
Manic Street Preachers- If You Tolerate This Then Your Children Will Be Next
The Clash- Spanish Bombs
The Pogues- Lorca’s Noveno
Billy Bragg- Jarama Valley (available here from The International Brigades website)
Leonard Cohen- Take This Waltz (based on Lorca’s words)
O’Luge and Kornertrone Allstars- Spanish Bombs (cover of The Clash song)
Christy Moore- Viva La Quinta Brigada
The Stone Roses- Guernica
Maxine Peake and Urban Roots- speech by Dolores Ibarruri (aka La Pasionaria, from the Billy Bragg cd linked above)

Can we make a case for Jonathan Richman’s Pablo Picasso on the grounds that Picasso painted Guernica? Reckon so.

Viva La Quinta Brigada

The photo of the militiawoman in heels with a pistol was taken by Gerda Taro, Robert Capo’s partner. Between them they covered the war and helped invent photo journalism. Gerda was killed during the war, run over by a tank accidentally. Stunning picture isn’t?

To Make Some Woman Smile

After he left The Bunnymen Ian McCulloch released the highly regarded Candleland, with songs about death and the passing of time, and a duet with Liz Fraser from Cocteau Twins. The press loved it. In 1992 he followed it Mysterio, which didn’t receive anything like the same praise or sales. The lead single was this, a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Lover, Lover, Lover. Pretty good it is too .

This being Leonard Cohen (I’m not a big fan, I love Tower Of Song though) there are some lovely lyrical touches- the second verse goes ‘He said I locked you in this body, I mean it as a kind of trial, you can use it as a weapon, or to make some woman smile’.

I saw Ian McCulloch on the tour to promote Mysterio. He played what used to be called Manchester University Main Debating Hall but is now called Fizzy Lager Academy 2 or something. I saw Oasis there after Shakermaker came out and they were dull as ditchwater, but that’s another story. I think I went to the McCulloch gig on my own which is never the best way to see a gig. Mac had rounded up a band of tracksuited musicians, who could play but looked like car thieves. The encore saw a ton of dry ice pumped out and Mac emerging from it to croon You’ll Never Walk Alone. It was dramatic and this being Manchester it was pretty provocative too, but it wasn’t a football violence kind of crowd- a few half hearted boos and he went into In Bloom, also from Mysterio, which sent everyone home happy. The album has a few moments but doesn’t fare that well compared to the rest of his back catalogue. Looking back he was just killing time before the inevitable Bunnymen re-union, although before that happened there was an album recorded with Johnny Marr; apparently the mastertapes were stolen from a security van. It would’ve been interesting to hear.

Ian McCulloch – 06. Lover Lover Lover.mp3