The Saturday Shuffle – Week 5

Good Afternoon, everybody! It’s another scorching day in the Shire, and I’m sure you’ve been waiting with baited breath for this next instalment! ‘Will there be more sodding Beatles tracks’, you’re possibly wondering…

  1. One of the 38 – Nick Harper. No, not the character from My Family played by Kris Marshall, this is the son of sixties/seventies folk rock stalwart Roy Harper (who happened to be mates with Led Zeppelin, so you can imagine the upbringing Nick had). He’s a genius with a guitar – if you get the chance, see him live. You’ll be falling over yourselves to thank me. This is a fairly recent song, and enjoyable at that.
  2. Sexy Sadie – The Beatles. It’s the greatest band ever. Again. Allegedly written by John about the Maharishi from their time in India (it was definitely written by John, the allegedly relates to the subject matter). Rumour has it that the spiritual leader tried it on with a lady when he’s supposed to be above all that sort of thing.
  3. Song 2 – Blur. Woo Hoo! Two minutes of dirty, heavy rock from the ‘Blur’ album that was such a massive departure from what went before. Let the head banging commence!
  4. If You Tolerate This, Your Children Will Be Next – Manic Street Preachers. A long song title. If my memory serves me correctly (which it sometimes does), this was about the Spanish Civil War. Which is nice.
  5. St Louis Slim – Seasick Steve. A bit of blues to finish off this week’s shuffle. Seasick Steve shot to UK fame off the back of an appearance on Jools Holland’s show and hasn’t looked back since. This is from the ‘Best Of’ album I purchased recently, because, sometimes, you need some Seasick Steve in your life.

And so ends this week’s shuffle. See you next week!!

The Saturday Shuffle – Week 4

It’s that time of week again!!

  1. Buddy – De La Soul. Ah, Buddy. Billed as De Le Soul, but featuring some ‘friends’ – Jungle Brothers and Q-Tip (if you haven’t got a clue, just Google it, or ask my brother). Not surprisingly, I have my brother to thank for this one!
  2. I Just Don’t Understand – The Beatles. Yes, I know. The Beatles again. But this is a cover from the first Live at the BBC album.
  3. It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding) – Bob Dylan. A recent winner of the Nobel Literature prize is Mr Zimmerman. Unlike him though, I probably won’t give a lecture using suspiciously familiar web content!! This is from the ‘Bringing It All Back Home’ album, which is the landmark album where he moved from the folk genre into the electric folk genre (he took plenty of stick for that). This is from the acoustic ‘Side 2’ (for those who still work in vinyl). It’s also seven and a half minutes long…
  4. Stop The Clocks – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. From the more talented Gallagher’s first solo record. If I’m honest, it’s probably one of the weaker songs he’s written. Definitely an album filler along the lines of ‘She’s Electric’ or ‘Magic Pie’.
  5. Tomorrow Never Knows – The Beatles. Not the finished version you hear on ‘Revolver’, but the work in progress first presented on the Anthology albums (the second one, to be precise). You can hear the basic track and rudimentary loops going on in the background, and the slight distortion of John’s vocal which he apparently wanted to sound like monks singing from the top of a mountain…

And there’s your five for today. I think we’ve all learned something…

The Saturday Shuffle – Week 3

Another Saturday afternoon comes round again. Which means more musical randomness and waffling from yours truly! On with the show…

  1. I’ll Be Back – The Beatles. The Beatles. Again. A nice song from the Hard Day’s Night album that wasn’t in the film.
  2. I Feel Fine – The Beatles. Is this shuffle thing working?!! It seems it is. The first mainstream pop/rock track to feature feedback. Some say it was an accident, others suggest it was deliberate. I don’t care, because it’s the Beatles and it’s brilliant.
  3. My Ever Changing Moods – Paul Weller. Ok, so it’s actually a Style Council song, but it was on a Paul Weller compilation that featured his Jam and solo hits too. Quite appropriate for me these days as I can change in the blink of an eye.
  4. Watching The Wheels – John Lennon. A song obviously written about his five year break from the limelight, where he gave up music and being famous to bring up Sean. He was quite happy to do so, and I guess others were confused by it. I sometimes wish I could take a break from being me.
  5. Cry For Love – Iggy Pop. I downloaded the best of Iggy Pop after watching the second Trainspotting film (who doesn’t love ‘Lust For Life’?) and this is on the album. I obviously copied the whole album to my phone without listening to the songs first because I don’t remember hearing this song before! It’s not bad though, if you ask me.

And there it is for another week. Maybe there’ll be no Beatles songs next time, who really knows?!

The Saturday Shuffle – Week 2

It’s Saturday afternoon people. Which means only one thing – shuffle time! So, without any further ado, here we go…

  1. A Boy Like Me – Cast. Remember Cast? Unbelievably good band from Liverpool that were big in the 90’s? Well, they went away for a bit, and then came back a few years ago with a pretty damned good album called ‘Troubled Times’. This is from that record and it’s still got the classic Cast formula.
  2. Peacock Suit – Paul Weller. The Modfather. This was one of those songs I knew about but never really listened to it much. Then I bought one of his ‘Best Of’ collections and that was that. Does anyone know what a ‘Peacock Suit’ is? Do you have to kill the peacocks first?!
  3. Twist And Shout – The Beatles. With the large selection of Beatles songs on my phone, there was a pretty good chance a Beatles song would come on. Would everyone in the cheaper seats clap your hands? And the rest of you can just rattle your jewellery. A classic Lennon line from the Royal Variety Performance before blasting this gem out. This is the album version that apparently shredded John’s voice after a long day in the studio.
  4. Swanee River – Hugh Laurie. Hmm. An interesting track. I can’t remember where I heard that Hugh Laurie had recorded an album, it may have been on Jools Holland’s show. But to be fair, it’s not bad.
  5. Paradise City – Guns N Roses. I was first exposed to this as a fresh-faced 7 year old boy thanks to my brother. He had the ‘Appetite For Destruction’ album on cassette (remember those?) and as a result of having neighbouring bedrooms, I tended to absorb a lot of his musical taste. There wasn’t much option!!

That was painless. Same time next week?

The Saturday Shuffle – Week 1

Here we go with another attempt at a regular feature. Every Saturday afternoon I’ll be posting the first five tracks that the shuffle function on my phone throws up. Not literally, of course. I will then try to write a few words about the tracks, either why I like it, or if there are any associated memories and stories – though with my memory, you’ll be lucky!!

  1. Angie – The Rolling Stones. This is quite a delicate song from the normally bluesy Stones. I suppose that’s why I like it.
  2. All My Loving – The Beatles. This is a live version from the Anthology series of albums released in tandem with the documentary series back in 1995/1996. Funnily enough, I heard a pretty good rendition of this song last night at the Hummingbirds gig in Chester!!
  3. Love Sick – Bob Dylan. One of the more recent Dylan songs. I can’t remember which album it’s from, and to be honest I probably haven’t played it a great deal compared to his earlier work.
  4. Nobody Loves You (When You’re Down And Out) – John Lennon. If you know me, you’ll know I’m pretty bonkers about John Lennon. This is one of his solo tracks from the Walls And Bridges album. Apparently, he wrote it with the intention of getting Frank Sinatra to record it. He does a pretty damned good job of it himself, but I think you can probably imagine it being given the full Sinatra treatment.
  5. The Man Who Sold The World – David Bowie. A great Bowie track probably less known in the pool of the Bowie back catalogue. I’ve got previous with this song, using it for one of my Song Title Short Stories, which you can read here  if you are so inclined!

And there you are. The first five tracks which give you an idea of the music I love.

Until next time…

Albums You Should Own – Part 13

It’s been a while since I visited this ‘Albums You Should Own’ series, and that’s because I’ve been busy with other stuff like depression and what have you. Also, there hasn’t really been an album I deem worthy of the title. Until now. On April 7th 2017 the most anticipated record of the year, maybe even my life was released after months of teasing and occasional track releases…

Pure Comedy – Father John Misty

Where to start?! The title track, ‘Pure Comedy’ begins the journey of life almost, with the Pure Comedyopening lines addressing the absurdity of children being born incomplete as it were, and having to rely on your parents and society to school you in life. The only problem is, humanity doesn’t really have a clue. They’re busy ‘finding goons they elected to rule them’ and ‘building fortunes poisoning their offspring’.

From here, the album follows the concept that humanity has turned to ‘Entertainment’ as an escape from the world, but somewhere along the line, we’ve confused this entertainment for reality and this is a really bad state of affairs. But it’s all done with lush arrangements, beautiful melodies and on-point lyrics. As with all his material, Father John Misty has the ability to get his message across in a way you can’t help but love.

The entire album is a dream, but if I had to pick out a few tracks for particular praise, then I would have to say ‘Total Entertainment Forever’ for it’s upbeat feel and instant catchiness; ‘Ballad of the Dying Man’ because I’ve loved it since I first heard it sometime in January or February; and ‘Leaving L.A.’ which is a thirteen minute marathon of reflection on his life and career, which he handles with remarkable style and a little bit of humour too – “I’m beginning to begin to see the end, Of how it all goes down between me and them, Some 10-verse chorus-less diatribe, Plays as they all jump ship, “I used to like this guy, This new shit really kinda makes me wanna die.”

One thing’s for certain, I don’t see myself ‘jumping ship’ anytime soon while he is producing heavenly bodies of work such as this.

My Current Soundtrack

As you probably know, things are currently a bit crappy for me at the moment. Ordinarily, when I’m feeling down, I can usually turn to music to try and lift my spirits, but alas this time, I seem to be drawn to the wrong music. So, currently sound-tracking my depression are the following…

  1. Tiny Tears – Tindersticks
  2. Black Star (the whole album) – David Bowie
  3. Parachute – Sean Lennon
  4. Hurt – Johnny Cash
  5. Flagpole Sitta – Harvey Danger
  6. Sing – Blur
  7. Crystal – Mando Diao
  8. I Will Follow You Into The Dark – Death Cab For Cutie
  9. Everybody Hurts – REM
  10. I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times – The Beach Boys
  11. Nobody Loves You (When You’re Down And Out) – John Lennon
  12. Remedy – Adele
  13. Sister Morphine – The Rolling Stones
  14. The Drugs Don’t Work – The Verve
  15. The End Of The End – Paul McCartney