Friday, 31 October 2008

Last Night Some DJs Had Some Strife

So then, When Boys Talk by early-80s funksters Indeep. I'd never heard this song until today, when I chanced upon it while listening to an old dance music compilation I'd recently got hold of. But stone me, if the lyrics don't pretty much sum up the antics of the two goons in the picture above on the now infamous edition of Russell Brand's (now defunct) BBC Radio 2 show that's been dominating the UK news headlines all week. Have a listen - it's at least slightly uncanny!

Indeep - When Boys Talk mp3

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Eine Kleinhenz Nachtmusik

Some pleasingly melodic guitar pop today. At Night We Die is the latest single by Gothenburg's Björn Kleinhenz from his new (and third) album, Quietly Happy And Deep Inside, which was released on Sweden's TOMT Recordings label earlier this week. Nice vid too!

Björn Kleinhenz - At Night We Die mp3 (right click)

Quietly Happy And Deep Inside is available as an mp3 album (for €7) and on CD (for €13) from the TOMT web shop.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Remember Remember the 4th of November

Good news ahoy! Talented Swedish piano-botherer Frida Hyvönen has a new album out on November 4th (or October 29th, if you're in Sweden). Silence Is Wild can be pre-ordered from here.

Here's the first single, Enemy Within, which Frida has very generously made available for free download at her website.

(you'll have to excuse her if her voice doesn't sound quite as strong as usual BTW, but as you can see from the pic she's been feeling a little horse of late)

Frida Hyvönen - Enemy Within mp3 (right click)

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Hello Saferide My Old Friend

So, have you got the new Hello Saferide album yet then? (and if not, why not?!) Goodness me it's a corker. But then, with the combined talents of HS's Annika Norlin plus Popsicle legend Andreas Mattsson on production/guitar/piano/guest vocals and (on Sancho Panza) co-writing duties, More Modern Short Stories From Hello Saferide was never going to be anything less than brilliant.

Here's Annika performing a rather wondrous acoustic version of album closer Arjeplog, in some woods. If you've ever hankered to see a grown woman doing onamatopoeiac impressions of gusting winds, moving trains and the sound of footsteps in the snow, then this is the vid for you!

You can buy More Modern Short Stories From Hello Saferide as an mp3 album from Sweden's splendid Klicktrack mp3 shop. Best £7.60 you'll spend all week.

Song of the Day

Maceo & The Macks - Cross The Tracks mp3

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

From Simple Minds to Small Heads (and small print)

I first saw Lisa Germano on the fiddle at Wembley Arena. Don't worry, she wasn't touting tickets outside or anything like that; she was playing violin as one of Simple Minds' backing entourage on their 1989 world tour. Fair play to her, though, she broke away from the realms of session musician to a career as a solo artist on 4AD - where she recorded gems like this:

Lisa Germano - Small Heads mp3

Similar to Big Sound Authority's singer ending up apparently working in Woolworth's, it seems Germano took a job in an independent bookshop at the tail end of the nineties. She's been back in the biz since 2002, though, releasing various albums on the Young God Records label. Well thank gawd for that.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Amazon (and on and on)

There's an interesting message on the Amazon homepage at the moment from the company's CEO, pertaining to some new postage discounts they're implementing. There are a few points from the statement that I'd like to go over with you here, though, readers. If you don't mind, like...

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos wrote: I am excited to announce that we are significantly reducing the minimum purchase for Super Saver Delivery, our FREE delivery programme.

Right, so this guy's actually excited about the fact that his company have amended some of their postage price criteria. Is he insane?! Or is he merely, in the modern vernacular, blowing smoke up our arses? I mean, OK, fair enough, if he'd said he was 'pleased' to announce the discount then perhaps we'd have swallowed it, but excited? Pur-lease!

Starting immediately, you need to add only £5 worth of eligible items to your basket to get free delivery.

Or alternatively we could just go and spend our money with Play, HMV, The Hut or any one of a number of other online retailers who offer FREE delivery on everything.

And best of all, just in time for Christmas shopping. And speaking of Christmas shopping, if you aren't an Amazon Prime member, I encourage you to give it a try.

Christmas shopping? Wow! I don't think I have tried that, but I might just have to now. Thanks for the tip!

Amazon Prime is our membership programme that gives you and your family unlimited FREE one-day delivery, for an annual fee of just £49.

FREE delivery for just £49? Umm, how generous!

FREE Super Saver delivery and Amazon Prime are examples of our obsession with new innovations on behalf of customers.

Too right: I mean, I'm still reeling from the whole Christmas shopping innovation. Talk about thinking outside the box. But it's good to know that you and your fellow Amazon staff are obsessed with such matters. Just not in a dangerous, stalkerish way, I hope.

Thank you for being a customer.

Not at all. Thank you for being an annoying wazzock.

The Eames Era - Fake Do-Gooders mp3

Friday, 17 October 2008

Respect My Big Sound Authority!

Here's some classic eighties pop you might not have heard for a while (or ever, if you're under 30): This House (Is Where Your Love Stands) by the Big Sound Authority.

Fantastic, eh? Kind of calls to mind the Faith Brothers (only with a female lead singer, obviously). Sadly This House proved to be Big Sound Authority's one reasonable-sized hit (reaching #21 in the UK charts in 1985) - although they did manage to scrape into the top 75 once more with follow-up single A Bad Town, which peaked at #54 a few months later. And, what do you know, here are both songs!

Big Sound Authority - This House (Is Where Your Love Stands) mp3

Big Sound Authority - A Bad Town (extended version) mp3

A full-length concert DVD, This House Is Where Your Love Stands, recorded during BSA's 1984 UK tour, is available from Cherry Red Records

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Three of a Kind #60

I loved the Record Mirror as a teenager. Smash Hits was funnier and more irreverent, but RM held an equal place in my affections for one basic reason: it featured charts; lots of them. Not just yer bog-standard Top 100 singles and albums (which were exciting enough on their own) either. No, the Record Mirror also printed the following charts each week: Music Video, Compact Discs, Twelve Inch, US Singles & Albums, Disco, Eurobeat, Reggae, Indie Singles and Indie Albums. As someone who, at the time, regularly compiled my own weekly airplay chart based on stuff I'd heard on the radio (what can I say, I was an odd kid!) all this was very heaven to me.

(Pout, pout, knock yourself out: Dr Robert deigns to appear on this week's cover)

Anyway, for no reason other than pure, unabashed nostalgia we're going to focus on the charts from the April 19th 1986 issue of Record Mirror for today's Three of a Kind. Here's what was topping the various countdowns in each of the aforementioned categories that week, followed by three of my favourite chart-toppers from the list.

Gallup UK Singles: A Different Corner - George Michael

Gallup UK Albums: Hits 4 - Various

Music Video: Alchemy Live - Dire Straits

Compact Discs: Brothers In Arms - Dire Straits

Twelve Inch: Rock Me Amadeus - Falco

US Singles: Kiss - Prince

US Albums: Whitney Houston - Whitney Houston

Disco: The Finest - The SOS Band

Eurobeat: You're A Beat - Eastbound Expressway (me neither)

Reggae: Hello Darling - Tippa Irie

Indie Singles: Shellshock - New Order

Indie Albums: Black Celebration - Depeche Mode

New Order - Shellshock (12" version) mp3

Falco - Rock Me Amadeus (Salieri Mix) mp3

The S.O.S. Band - The Finest mp3

Mildly Interesting 12" Remix Fact: At a whopping 8 minutes and 21 seconds, this version of Rock Me Amadeus isn't even the longest track we're featuring today; Shellshock and its 9 mins 39 has that distinction. This is my favourite New Order track, by the way. Funnily enough Rock Me Amadeus is my favourite Falco track, too. Not quite so much competition for that one, though, admittedly

Mildly Interesting Pop Periodical Fact: All good things must come to an end, and the Record Mirror did just that in (I think) 1990. I had to reluctantly switch to the NME after that. Johnny Cigarettes was good, but it was never quite the same. Ho hum.

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Monday, 13 October 2008

Great Scot!

A spot of inspired rabble-rousing from folking brilliant Stirlingshire lass Karine Polwart (who Spike wrote about aaaages ago in this post) today, and a live version of Only One Way, recorded at 2005's Cambridge Folk Festival. Can you guess who she's referring to here, readers?

And when a genocidal maniac talks about grief
And you kinda get the feeling that there's nothing underneath
You can't believe a man would lie through such nice teeth
Only one way

It's a puzzler, for sure! Actually, this is probably a good time to feature this song here, while it's still relevant, as come next month (and a certain presidential election) it'll seem as hopelessly anachronistic as a pair of flares at a punk gig. Anyway, enjoy the song - it's a belter.

Karine Polwart - Only One Way (live) mp3

You can buy Karine Polwart albums, including 2008's This Earthly Spell, direct from

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Don't Try This At Home

(adopts best Troy McClure tones) You may remember My Teenage Stride from such songs as: To Live And Die In The Airport Lounge, Happy Mondays and Ears Like Golden Bats, and from such blog posts as this (all three of the aforementioned songs are still available for download at that post, by the way; bloody good they are too).

Well, what do you know, they're back! (back! back!) with a new digital EP. Lesser Demons features five tracks and is available through iTunes and eMusic. Here's the cheerily-titled opening track (which is, ironically, quite a jolly little tune).

My Teenage Stride - Theme From Teenage Suicide mp3 (for 7 days)

Friday, 10 October 2008

Song of the Day

Television Personalities - Part-Time Punks mp3

(above: a television personality and wholly unconvincing part-time punk)

Buy Part Time Punks: The Very Best of Television Personalities

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Three of a Kind #59

It's all about cities today. More specifically, European cities. Even more specifically, non-Swedish European cities being sung about by Swedish bands. Now there's lovely.

Actually, I'd have had a nightmarish four-into-three-won't-go scenario on my hands here had I been able to locate my copy of the Pelle Carlberg CD (In A Nutshell) with the frankly wonderful Pamplona on it. Which I couldn't, so it's not a problem after all. Woo and indeed hoo.

Here we go then!

I'm From Barcelona - We're From Barcelona mp3

Acid House Kings - Paris mp3

Peter, Bjorn & John - Amsterdam mp3

Mildly Interesting City Facts: Of our featured cities, Paris has the biggest population with an impressive 2,167,994, Barcelona are in second place on 1,605, 602, while Amsterdam lag behind with a paltry 747,290. Still, size isn't everything, eh, fellas?

Buy Swedish music

Monday, 6 October 2008

Song of the Day

Disco album compilers and local radio DJs please note: there's more than one song by Gloria Gaynor. That is all.

Gloria Gaynor - Reach Out (I'll Be There) mp3

Friday, 3 October 2008

Search Us IV

Goodness me we've not had one of these for a while. But then comedy web searches ain't what they used to be. We still get the odd gem from time to time, mind. Here are my favourites from the past four months or so, since the last instalment (together with my usual smartarse rejoinders in brackets afterwards).

how do you know you can trust (...yourself to complete the sentence you were typing into Google before pressing 'submit'? You can't.)

pie to camera (pie to camera... are you receiving me, over?!)

how do you spell mezzoforte the jazz band who did garden party (Let's see... m-e-z-z-o-f-o-r-t-e-t-h-e-j-a-z-z-b-a-n-d-w-h-o-d-i-d-g-a-r-d-e-n-p-a-r-t-y. Sorted!)

show boyfriend my mum (is that some kind of euphemism?)

norwegian band's name, I remember the lead singer looked like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes?)

sing along with de acid house king (won't de other acid house kings be offended if you leave them out?)

is wincey willis dead? (still not dead)

wincey willis - tv cok (you're the cok, mate)

wincey king of rock (that's more like it)

did dave lee travis play abba when he resigned on air? (I think he was too busy playing the pompous arsehole)

I'm gonna go holiday (good for you)

i am gonna go to holiday (to visit your grammar, presumably?)

is she really billy joel (do you know, I think she is!)

gameshow nude women questions (AKA Father Jack's specialist subject on Mastermind)

handsome chap's bum (what about my bum?)

katie derham smoking on you tube (I hope she left a window open.)

katie derham address (Sure, it's: 12 News Mews, Kitty, Durham KT1 1TN)

what music does katie derham like? (why not write to her at the above address and ask?)

did you mean to search for irritating. (I dunno. You certainly found it, though, eh?)

nice puppies (you're too kind.)

nasty grannies (I think I'll stick with my nice puppies, if it's all the same to you.)

john kettley is a weatherman and so is michael fish half man half biscuit (Is he?! Who knew?)

(biscuit bits not pictured)

is nat and allie really going out (yeh thay wel iz.)

where does apple pie come from? (the oven, stupid!)

how to know if you can trust her (pick her up and see how far you can throw her. That should give you some sort of idea.)

eighties pop posing pouch (free tomorrow with the Daily Mail.)

More daft searches as and when we have enough for another entry! In the meantime, here's another solid gold classic from A Tribe of Toffs. Umm...

Half Man Half Biscuit - Four Skinny Indie Kids mp3 (for 7 days)

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Three of a Kind #58

If you'd been stuck on a desert island in 1993 and hadn't a clue what was happening in the UK music scene at the time (something that would be troubling your thoughts greatly in such a situation, obviously), today's featured album would have provided you with all you needed to know about the state of (for want of a better phrase) chart indie in the nanosecond or two before Britpop broke. The album in question is Loaded (named after the Primal Scream track rather than the lot-to-answer-for lads' mag), and, to save you straining your eyes trying to read it from the pic above, the track listing went something (or exactly) like this:

1. Loaded - Primal Scream
2. Are You Gonna Go My Way - Lenny Kravitz
3. Animal Nitrate - Suede
4. The Devil You Know - Jesus Jones
5. Connected - Stereo MCs
6. I Feel You - Depeche Mode
7. Mrs Robinson - The Lemonheads
8. The Only Living Boy In New Cross - Carter USM
9. Totally Random Man - Therapy?
10. She Sells Sanctuary - The Cult
11. Start Choppin' - Dinosaur Jr
12. Feed The Tree - Belly
13. After All - The Frank & Walters
14. If I Can't Change Your Mind - Sugar
15. Certain People I Know - Morrissey
16. Showgirl - The Auteurs
17. Anyone Can Play Guitar - Radiohead
18. I'm Easy - Faith No More

Now I don't know about you, but I can take or leave a lot of those tracks. There're some crackers in there as well, mind (else what would be the point of my posting songs from it?). Crackers like these!

Belly - Feed The Tree mp3

The Frank & Walters - After All mp3

The Auteurs - Showgirl mp3

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