Contact

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.

Contact

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Staring At The Sun

A new Wooden Shjips album comes out in May. They released a new single back in January. Sometimes they’ve left me a little underwhelmed and Ripley’s other band Moon Duo have given far more but the new song- Staring At The Sun- is a beauty.

Possibly the most laid back song I’ve ever heard. Ripley’s guitar drips out of the speakers, over a narcoleptic beat and stoned vocal. There are some crunching chords intermittently but not enough to tip it off balance. Staring At The Sun drifts on, beautifully, but without ever losing focus for over seven minutes. No real aim, just being.

Back To Land

Wooden Shjips had a new lp out earlier in November. The single Back To land sounds really good- bright and clear, some lovely melody along with that heavy guitar groove. The thing with Wooden Shjips is, you know exactly what you’re going to get, and they sometimes disappoint a little over the course of an album, but this one sounds like everything they do well, done really well.

The video? Your guess is as good as mine but it fits in nicely with the moral panic news stories this week about clowns threatening and chasing people in the street, from Wigan to Norfolk. A spokesman for Norfolk constabulary said ‘Dressing as a clown is not against the law.’

Not yet. But it’s only a matter of time.

One Minute’s Silence

Strange to think that the man staring the camera down in the picture is Siegfried Sassoon (war poet, officer and anti-war campaigner). The chap on the right is Stephen Tennant, androgene, leader of the Bright Young Things and aristocratic ’20s It Boy. When their love affair ended, neither ever got over it according to friends.

That Asphodells remix album I blogged about a little while back is now scheduled for release on September 7th and doesn’t include all the versions I speculated that it might- no Mugwump, no Wooden Shjips. Hope the Mugwump one doesn’t get forgotten. The remixers are largely the group known as The Axis- friends and studio-buddies of Weatherall and Fairplay. It promises to be an autumnal corker though the thought of September now, just as summer has got underway, is a little depressing. The tracklist goes like this…

Another Lonely City (Group Rhoda Remix)
Late Flowering Lust (Phil Kieran Remix)
Beglammered (Justin Robertson Deadstock 33s Remix)
Skwatch (Black Merlin’s Reel To Reel Remix)
Never There (Hardway Bros Remix)
We Are The Axis (Daniel Avery Remix)
Another Lonely City (Daniele Baldelli and DJ Rocca Remix)
Beglammered (Richard Sen Remix)
We Are The Axis (Scott Fraser Remix)
One Minute Silence (Ivan Smagghe Remix)

So, if that’s the case, it surely won’t hurt too much if I post the Wooden Shjips remix which came out on limited vinyl for Record Shop Day (and appropriate thanks to Drew for this). You’ll love this, believe me.

One Minute’s Silence (Wooden Shjips Remix)

Axis Remix

Ahead of Record Shop Day (April 20th) comes details of an Asphodells remix 12″ with this atmospheric beauty from Daniel Avery on one side (and a Wooden Shjips remix on the other). This is a song you can slide into.

Bagging Area End Of Year Review #3

List time.
I did think about not doing a list but couldn’t help myself, partly because when I sat down and started to make a list I realised that I’ve listened to a reasonable amount of new music this year, surprising myself somewhat. At blogs where more than one person contributes or yer proper music magazines there always seems to be an attempt to get some balance into their end of year lists- here at Bagging Area there’s just me so there’s not so much balance, just a list of 40 songs, singles and albums that have had repeated plays through my record player/cd player in the kitchen/car stereo/mp3 player between January 1st 2012 and yesterday. I couldn’t get my head around ranking them so they’re in alphabetical order, rather than any attempt to say which is the best.

Andrew Weatherall- Masterpiece (compilation)
Cat Power- Cherokee (album track)
Chuck Prophet- Play That Song Again (album track)
Clock Opera- Once And For All Andrew Weatherall Remix
Daniel Avery- Movement Andrew Weatherall Remix
Daniel Avery- Fabric Live 66 (compilation)
Dexys- One Day I’m Going To Soar (album)
Django Django- Django Django (album)
Hollie Cook and Prince Fatty- The Dub Goes On (album)
Hooded Fang- Tosta Mista (album)
Jack White- Love Interrruption (single)
JD McPherson- Signs And Signifiers (album)
Jimmy Cliff- Guns Of Brixton (ep track)
Johnny Marr- The Messenger (album pre-release)
Le Carousel- Lose Your Love Andrew Weatherall Remix
Lightships- Electric Cables (album)
Madness- Death Of A Rude Boy Andrew Weatherall Remix
Mark Lanegan- Ode To Sad Disco (album track)
Orbital- Wonky (album)
Paul Weller- That Dangerous Age (single)
Public Image Ltd- This Is PiL (album, well most of it)
Public Service Broadcasting- Everest (single)
Public Service Broadcasting- Everest The Centaurs Remix
Public Service Broadcasting- The War Room (mini-album)
Savages- Husbands (single)
Scott Fraser- A Life Of Silence/A Life Of Silence Timothy J Fairplay Remix (12″)
Slighter- Our Own End (single)
Tim Burgess- Oh No I Love You (album)
Toy- Dead And Gone (album track)
Toy- Dead And Gone Andrew Weatherall Remix
The Horrors- Moving Further Away Andrew Weatherall Remix
The Kills- Pale Blue Eyes (ep B-side)
The Orb and Lee Perry- Presents The Orbsetter (album)
Timothy J Fairplay- The Final Reel/The Final Reel Andrew Weatherall Remix (12″)
Tindersticks- The Something Rain (album)
Underworld- Rez High Contrast Remix
Various- Isles Of Wonder London 2012 Opening Ceremony (compilation)
Various- On The Road (Original Soundtrack)
Various- Treasure Hunting (compilation)
Viv Albertine- The Vermillion Border (album)
Wooden Shjips- Crossings Andrew Weatherall Remix (ep)

All of which shows that about 25% of my list for this year were by this man (I did think about having a separate Lord Sabre list but decided against segregation)

And a fair few others there were connected to him. So here’s your song, released on thick vinyl back in January this year-

Wooden Shjips Crossings Andrew Weatherall Remix

Cavernous dub production, clattering drums, filthy bass riff, reverb heavy vocals, trippy disco noises, long enough to lose yourself in; from a man having a third (at least, maybe fourth) purple patch.

As a bonus, this is how to cover a Velvet Underground song you’ve heard covered any number of times before and make it exciting again- the guitars in this recording are why people still pick up a stupid piece of wood with six strings on it and try to make it sound good.

The Kills Pale Blue Eyes

This time last year we’d bought our tickets for The Stone Roses at Heaton Park, probably half expecting they wouldn’t make it even that far. What I really didn’t expect was that on a Wednesday evening in May I’d be standing in Warrington’s Parr Hall in a crowd of only a thousand waiting to see them at a free gig- and the outpouring of emotion from both band and audience that night, and the songs, will live long in my memory. This clip shows them playing Benicassim in July.

Still not sure about Ian’s choice of tracksuit tops. It’s worth noting also that they have maintained a total media blackout- not a single interview that I’m aware of. Shane Meadows’ film of the whole thing is scheduled for release next year. Part of me is half expecting them to release a new song or single without any warning on Christmas Day or something. Whether you like them or not, approve of their re-union or not, they’ve managed to pull off some complete surprises and more power to them.

Lights Out

I found this on the internet- Wooden Shjips remixed by Peaking Lights, a kind of super- hippy, analogue-long hair, face-off. It’ll either appeal or send you running for the hills.

Lights Out (Peaking Lights Remix)

Note to self; too many hyphens.