Hullo. It’s a poorly NL that greets you this week with a heavy bout of summer cold, so apologies if this weeks blog is shorter than usual. Having said that, I usually compose these ramblings over a few days so who knows, it may increase in length as my condition improves.
PPOTW is an oddity from L.A. but with a Cambodian twist. This week, my very good friend, bandmate and former centre half for Cowdenbeath has gone trans global on ‘yo’ ass..’
Ok, let’s get it on.
Track 1. Misirlou by Enoch Light.
Everyone should be familiar with this Turkish/Egyptian folk song, but probably not in this 1959 incarnation from multi instrumentalist and bandleader Enoch Light. I’ll wager the majority of you are more au fait with Dick Dale’s superb 1962 version.
Track 2. Keep It Warm by Flo & Eddie.
Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan aka Flo & Eddie were the two founding members of sixties band The Turtles. After they dissolved and a brief spell with The Mothers of Invention, they struck out on their own as a duo, releasing nine albums. This comes from their fourth, ‘Moving Targets’ and is a light hearted romp which still bears the hallmarks of their bubblegum output with their former band. Volman and Kaylan also found time to provide backing vocals for some massive names including T-rex, Steely Dan, Blondie, Duran Duran and countless others.
Track 3. The Drop by Steve Gunn.
Taken from Gunn’s brand new LP ‘Eyes On The Lines’, here we find our hero in fine form. Folk rock at it’s best with more than a hint of his sometime collaborator, Kurt Vile. No video yet unfortunately, but you can stream the track by clicking the below link.
Track 4. Have You Ever Known by Quincy Bright.
Taken from his sophomore release from 2008, this short track is a throwback to early seventies soft philly soul with more than a passing resemblance to The Delfonics’ ‘Ready Or Not’. No vid, again. I must try and choose tracks you can actually listen to. Or you can just get spotify and experience these playlists as originally intended. Sorry for the grump but i’ve just had an unpleasant coughing fit.
Track 5. Rat Race by Alan Hawkshaw.
Our cover star this week is a man whose music you can hear on a daily basis but probably don’t even realise it. Library music king and Hammond genius Alan Hawkshaw is responsible for some of the most recognisable TV Themes of the past forty years, from Dave Allen at large, Grange Hill and Channel Four News to Countdown. The Hawk has also appeared on hundreds of your favourite records from The Shadows to Donna Summer and played keys for Bowie on his BBC sessions. A zelig of music, he’s still around today and regularly plays with the KPM allstars which also counts the magnificent Keith Mansfield among their throng. No vid for this KPM seventies cut unfortunately. Soz again.
Track 6. Heading Home by Julianna Barwick.
Taken from her third LP released just last month, this beautiful piece has warmth in it’s piano and cello and detachment in the otherworldly looped vocal. The almost indecipherable lyric reminds me a lot of Liz Fraser from the Cocteau Twins. Again, no video, Sigh.
Track 7. Tiger Phone Card by Dengue Fever.
****PAULO’S PICK OF THE WEEK****
PPOTW time! As mentioned in the intro up the top there, Dengue Fever combine Cambodian music with psych rock, the majority of their early output was made up of pre Khmer Rouge era pop songs from the sixties. Gradually, they incorporated original compositions into their work, while maintaining their south Asian sound. This is from their 2008 LP, ‘Venus on Earth’ and features vocalist Chhom Nimol singing in English rather than her native tongue.
Track 8. Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue by Alexis Taylor.
Hot Chip frontman Taylor released a solo album of just piano and voice a few weeks back. Titled simply ‘Piano’, it features original compositions and a few covers including this wonderful interpretation of Crystal Gayle’s 1977 grammy award winning masterpiece. Stripped down, it reveals the aching sadness that Gayle’s slightly jazzy original glossed over.
Track 9. I Like What You Give by Nolan Porter.
Some forgotten soul from 1972 next. Another underappreciated in his time artist who gained a new audience through hip hop sampling. This comes from his second and final LP ‘Nolan’.
Track 10. Long Hot Summer by Roger Roger.
This comes from a compilation that Horrors keyboardist Tom Furse curated last year. Another cracking example of the treasure trove that is library music, it has some wonderful fuzz guitar played over a super swinging six beat. This man knows his onions. Again, youtube and the like can’t help us with a video. I really will try and go for some selections you can hear without spotify next time, but when it’s grooves like this, i just have to share! If you follow the below link, you can stream the audio and sample the whole collection. You won’t be sorry.
Track 11. You by Spanky Wilson.
I’ve loved Spanky’s voice ever since i heard her superb version of Cream’s ‘Sunshine Of Your Love’. This 1970 cut was re released a few years back with SSOYL on the flip and it’s a marvellous piece of pure good time soul with brass that knocks you off your feet then makes you get back on them.
Track 12. Gepetto by Belly.
I heard this on the wireless recently and was instantly whisked away to 1992. The heady days just before retro sportswear and mass youth movements which degenerated into the norm. Wasn’t it great when alternative was the alternative and not another marketing move?
Track 13. I Can’t Get Next To You by Mongo Santamaria.
I feel like dancing. Care to join me?
Track 14. Egwu Aja by Ofo The Black Company.
Don’t sit down just yet…I noticed I neglected to include something from Soundway last week. Let’s right that wrong with this cut from seventies Nigerian octet Ofo The Black Company. Afro psych at it’s peak.
Track 15. Sit Down by Carl B Stokes with The Oliver Nelson Orchestra.
Ok. You can sit down. Even though Mr Stokes states he can’t on this collaboration with jazz man Oliver Nelson. Once again, no video. Crumbs.
Track 16. Don’t Falter by Mint Royale.
I was never a big fan of the now ubiquitous Lauren Laverne’s britpop band ‘Kenickie’ but when she lent her Mackem tones to this delightful piece of pop fluff from 1999, it was difficult to resist its charms. Laverne has gone on to become a well respected broadcaster, presenting an enjoyable daytime show on six records as well as weightier tasks such as the Turner prize. Enjoy the none more nineties video below…
Track 17. That’s All I Need by Magic Sam.
The opening track from his 1967 debut ‘West Side Soul’, this has a soaring vocal performance from a talented guitarist who’s life was cut tragically short in 1969, just as he was breaking through to mainstream success.
Track 18. Rock A Little Baby by Harmonica Frank Floyd.
The first white artist to record at the legendary Sun studios, Frank Floyd had been performing since the twenties before he stepped through those famous Memphis doors. This single release was recorded seven years later in 1958 and, despite his moniker, features no Harmonica. It’s now highly collectable on the rockabilly scene.
Track 19. Don’t Cha Hear Me Callin’ To Ya by Junior Mance.
Jazz piano legend Mance played with the greats such as Gillespie, Parker, and Adderley before Verve snapped him up and gave him the opportunity to become a band leader. This funky piece of light fusion is from his 1970 LP ‘With A Lot Of Help From My Friends’.
Track 20. One Summer Night by The Danleers.
It’s been a while since we wrapped things up with some doo-wop, and what better way to enjoy these warm evenings than with this million seller from 1958. The Danleers were a genuine street corner group from Brooklyn who shot to stardom on the back of it’s release. Unfortunately, that star shone brightly for a short time, unable to follow up its success they were dropped by their label and dissolved soon after. If you’re going to only have the one hit though, make it as special as this.
There we go then. Despite thinking we’d whizz through this weeks playlist, it’s happened to come out as pretty much the same word count as it does every week.
Apologies for the lack of video links but, as i said, some things just have to be heard. You’re all grown ups, I’m sure you can source them if you’re that desperate to listen.
I leave you with a country that’s full of division, fear and uncertainty. But take heart, you can be certain we’ll be back next week with twenty tunes you can count on.
Until then, we’ll always be together, together in electric dreams.