Listening to and posting the rather excellent new song from Wooden Shjips,¬†Staring At The Sun,¬†made me go back to some of their other releases. I dug out their 2011 album West, a noisy, psychedelic San Franciscan monster, only seven songs long, but what a stretched out, trippy, echo laden seven songs they are- not just monotonous one chord grooves either but beautiful repetition coupled with melodies and riffs. Ripley’s monotone, numb, half asleep vocals float over the top. Perfect driving music I’ve rediscovered. Black Smoke Rise was the album’s opening song/vibe…

At this point it is worth spending some time being reminded of Andrew Weatherall’s superb remix of Crossing (also from West), one of a series of remixes that showed that back at the star of the decade he was properly back in the game. His remix of Crossing has a kind of grimy grandeur feel to it, San Fran via East London.

Crossing (Andrew Weatherall Remix)

And as an bonus weekend extra, a couple of years ago Wooden Shjips released a limited edition two track 12″ on white vinyl, one side being a suitably stoned cover of Serge Gainsbourg’s Contact, eight minutes of fuzz and awe.



La Horse

I can’t let this week’s festival of Frenchness go by without some Serge Gainsbourg. This is a funky instrumental from the soundtrack to a film (La Horse) from 1970, with a banjo breakdown. Zut alors.

La Horse

En Vacances

Right then mes amis– cheerio! See you all in two weeks. Shortly we hit the M62, Hull to Zeebrugee, long drive through France to Lake Annecy where we are camping for eleven nights; wine and cheese, the Alps, Dijon, Lyon, a potential day trip to Italy, near bankruptcy on our return….

Here’s some French songs to send us on our way, first one from the lovely Francoise Hardy…

Strange Shadows

And something from Serge…

Requiem Pour Un Con

And that’s pretty much how I expect the French to look.

Cargo Culte

I was in Beatnik Shop in Altrincham on Saturday afternoon chatting with one of the men who run it (who it turns out was on the same PGCE course as me, twenty years ago), and a Serge Gainsbourg album was playing (Histoire De Melody Nelson which I haven’t heard before, shocking admission I know) and as the final song played out over its seven and a bit minutes I was struck by how much of it David Holmes pilfered for Don’t Die Just Yet. I mean, I like David Holmes, a lot of his stuff is great, but there’s sampling and there’s sampling.

Cargo Culte

Bonnie And Clyde

And to be fair Warren Beatty didn’t look that much like Clyde Barrow either.

While rummaging through boxes and shelves of cds (and having a cd storage problem that is not yet resolved) I found a load of freebie music magazine cds from the last decade- one from 2003, Mojo’s 18 Tracks From The Year’s Best Albums (almost none of which came from albums released in that year). Tucked towards the end of it was this classic from Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot- breathy duet vox, 1968 vibes and some great whooping backing vocals.

Bonnie and Clyde