Hullo. So I’ve started a dedicated facebook group for the weekly playblog that’s as much ignored as it is adored. A place for like minded souls who can join in by posting favourite tunes, enjoy sneak previews of the playlist and get a daily bonus track in the form of Nobody’s Listening Daily Dose – A track a day not featured on the playlist itself. You can join and invite friends Here.
Another bumper crop this week including the welcome return of that feller up the top there, and of course, Paulo’s Pick Of The Week, in which my very good friend, bandmate and script editor for Joanie Loves Chachi, Paul D’Cruz gets down and funky.
Ok, let’s make up our story as we go along..
Track 1. Hey Boy by Magic Kids.
This was a tune I instantly fell for when I first heard it on its release in 2010. A brief, joyful noise that sounds like all the best bits of sixties bubblegum pop. They went on to release an LP, ‘Memphis’ but unfortunately it didn’t deliver on the promise of this magnificent single. They split shortly afterwards, but this short burst of wonderment still has a special place in my heart.
Track 2. Gimme Shelter by Merry Clayton.
Merry was the female foil to Jagger on the original version of this stones classic. She released her own take a year later in 1970, stepping up to take the lead. Both versions are tremendous, but this little heard cover is eminently more danceable. She also contributed backing to Joe Cocker‘s version of Traffic’s ‘Feelin’ Alright’ and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Sweet Home Alabama’.
Track 3. Shine Your Light by Gap Dream.
Californian psychedelic synthpop which is essentially the solo project of Gabe Fulvimar. Shades of Grandaddy’s ‘The Crystal Lake’, but with a slacker delivery.
Track 4. She Was A Question by August Wells.
Dubliner Kenneth Griffin has the same baritone as Scott Walker, not the Scott Walker that punches meat and makes Avant Garde LP’s every ten years or so, but the Scott Walker of Scott 4. We’re all thankful for that. This brand new single is a romantic piano led tune with some lovely touches, particularly in Dave Levy’s understated flugel horn.
Track 5. Funky Fever by Clarence Carter.
The b-side to his 1968 hit ‘Slip Away’, this is Carter at his sleazy best and a world away from the sentimental, but equally brilliant ‘Patches’, which was his biggest hit from 1970.
Track 6. N.I.T.A by Young Marble Giants.
Taken from their only LP, 1980’s ‘Colossal Youth’, this still sounds as if it was recorded yesterday. They split soon after its release but their influence has been felt strongly throughout the past three decades, Kurt Cobain cited the band as one of his favourites of all time and it’s easy to trace their sound through acts like Stereolab right up to current electro artists such as The XX.
Track 7. Motel Blues by Loudon Wainwright iii.
Dad to Rufus and Martha, ex husband of the late Kate McGarrigle and a favourite of John Peel, LW3 (sounds like a postcode put like that) was sometimes branded as a comedy act in the seventies and eighties. This does him a great disservice, while his songs always had an element of humour to them, there is plenty of pathos too. This cut from 1971 describes the life of the lonely touring musician.
Track 8. Wheels by Grand Drive.
I’ve noticed that very little music from down under has appeared on NL. That’s not by design, plenty of excellent music has been made by our Antipodean cousins, I’ll aim to correct this oversight in coming editions. Tenuous perhaps, but the Wilson brothers of Grand Drive were both born in Australia before moving to London in their youth. Not that any outback sounds can be found on this slice of Americana, the opening track from their LP ‘True Love And High Adventure’ released in 2000.
Track 9. Pull Shapes by The Pipettes.
We featured Gwenno last week , and in doing so I mentioned that this next track from her old band would make an appearance at some point. Well, I couldn’t wait to share it so here it is. Pop music par excellence, with a smashing sing-along chorus, handclaps and stops, frantic strings and an overall good-time vibe. I managed to catch them a couple of times in their heyday and they were always good fun, never taking things too seriously. They also managed another cracking single, ‘Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me’. I’ll wait a few more months or so to feature that, but there’s nothing stopping you having a look before then.
Track 10. Synthesize Me by The Space Lady.
Susan Dietrich Schneider is The Space Lady, a former street musician from Boston. Her original instrument of choice was the accordion before she switched to a Casio keyboard in the early eighties. This was when her best known track, featured here, was composed by her then husband. It’s quite bonkers but charmingly touching with it.
Track 11. Vehicle by The Ides Of March.
****PAULO’S PICK OF THE WEEK****
And so, to Mr D’Cruz’s selection for this week, a stomping piece of white boy funk that may be familiar to some of you. A million plus selling single in the states, this was their biggest hit from 1970. Failure to replicate its success resulted in a split three years later, however they reformed in 1990 and are still recording and touring today.
Track 12. Sunlight by The Youngbloods.
The Youngbloods were one of those sixties bands that received plenty of critical acclaim but never translated it into commercial success. A big pity as their back catalogue is filled with gorgeous, slightly jazzy numbers like this, taken from their 1969 album, ‘Elephant Mountain’.
Track 13. Walk A Mile In My Shoes by Willie Hightower.
Another week, another lost soul Gem. Willie Hightower released just three singles and one album in his short career. This is one of those singles, a growling, funkified cover of Joe South’s song concerning racial tolerance and the need for perspective and compassion. Lord knows we need some of that right now. This has also been interpreted by Elvis, Brian Ferry and Coldcut amongst others., but Willie’s take has the necessary soul.
Track 14. Myself When I Am Real by Charles Mingus.
On his 1963 LP, ‘Mingus Plays Piano’ the legendary bassist eschewed his usual instrument to provide us with an album of solo piano works. This is the lead track and features the improvisation that he was renowned for.
Track 15. C ‘n’ C-S Mithering by The Fall.
As I mentioned, it’s been a while since we featured Prestwich’s most famous son. I’m putting that right this week with a typically snarling cut from 1980’s ‘Grotesque’, The Fall’s third album and one which expanded on the themes of the previous years ‘Dragnet’. More disdain of the music industry delivered in that snarky Salfordian growl we all know and love. ‘See ya mate!, Yeah See ya mate. ‘See ya mate!, Yeah See ya mate. ‘See ya mate!, Yeah See ya mate. ‘See ya mate!, Yeah See ya mate.’
Track 16. Put That In Your Pipe by Kelley Stoltz.
Stoltz has been quietly making records for almost two decades now, cropping up every year or so with a new album or EP. This was released in late 2015 to little fanfare as usual and is a relaxed trip with a seventies vibe that you can imagine hearing in the background of a Mexican cantina.
Track 17. El President by Drugstore.
Next up we have this London bands biggest hit from 1998. It reached the giddy heights of number 20 in the UK singles charts, no doubt bolstered by the appearance of one Mr Thom Yorke.
Track 18. Who Knows Where The Time Goes by Fairport Convention.
Sandy Denny’s classic was recorded as an original demo just before she joined Fairport in 1968. Her new band quickly adopted the song and made it into what is quite possibly their most famous track. ’69 was the high water mark for the band, releasing three LP’s including the classics ‘Unhalfbricking’ and ‘Liege And Lief’. Imagine! Those two albums in a year. If you had written and recorded just one track off one of those LP’s, I’d call that a decent lifes work.
Track 19. The Slider by T Rex.
Bolan was at the top of his game when this, the title track from his seventh LP was released in 1972. With Bowie just having released Ziggy a few weeks earlier, Slade at number one every other month or so and this, what a time it must have been to be a young pop tart.
Track 20. Two Lovely Pillows by Laura Lee.
We stay in that golden year of 1972 for our soul slowie closer this week which comes from Detroit singer Laura Lee’s album ‘Women’s Love Rights’, released on former Motown producers, Holland, Dozier and Holland’s newly established Hot Wax label.
Well alright then, that’s another twenty tunes to keep your peckers up with. Next weeks playlist has some, ahem, ‘challenging’ sounds on it, so don’t say you weren’t warned!
Until then, straighten up and fly right.