Sunday, November 27, 2011

Musical Postcards: Nearly Dan

The excellent, Seattle-based, Steely Dan tribute band, Nearly Dan perform, virtually note-perfect, the classic "Deacon Blues" at the Triple Door Theatre.

I'll learn to work the saxophone
I'll play just what I feel
Drink Scotch whisky all night long
And die behind the wheel...

Sounds like an epitaph for somebody.

Usual caveats about the picture and sound quality with a Canon point-and-shoot.

Monday, October 31, 2011

On the Waterfront

Phew, it's been awhile...! Anyway this clip, cobbled together by yours truly, is axiomatic. Just press the 'Play' button and enjoy. Many thanks to Paul Murphy of Claremont 56 records for permission to use the excellent album track by Almunia (if you like it, you can download it here).

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lights, Camera, Auction

eb logo

The original post has been removed (possibly ordered removed) but this hilarious advertisment was recently posted on Ebay's UK site. Read right to the very end and don't contact me if you want to buy any of this stuff.

You are bidding on a collection of 50 (approx) 12" singles and LPs of crap music.

My sister found these in her attic last weekend, where they has been sat gathering dust for the last couple of decades. They used to belong to her ex-husband, who is one of the biggest arseholes ever to draw breath. I never liked the wanker, and based my initial antipathy towards him on his taste in music. Not to put too fine a point on it, he was that most contemptible form of pond life, a Jazz Funker. This meant that as well as shit taste in music, he had appalling taste in clothes too. Pringle jumpers, pleated Farrahs, shoes that looked like pasties, white socks, revolting shirts and a comical wedge-cut hairdon't. Add to this 80s fashion horrorshow a Ford Capri and Super Mario-style moustache underlining his bulbous nose, and you get an object lesson in twatdom. No wonder Northern Soul fans (and everyone else) treated the Jazz Funk fans with sneering comntempt.

I couldn't comprehend what on earth my usually sensible sister could possibly see in the pillock. In vain I pleaded with her to send him packing. My argument that his hankering for Earth Wind & Fire records and attendance at soul weekenders made him a poor choice of mate was waved away as the rantings of a callow youth. She felt my reasoning was unsound.

Reader, she married him.

He made her life miserable for a few years with his moping, moody belligerence (and playing horrendous records like these). He told her lies and generally behaved like a platinum c*nt. Then he dumped her for his mistress when my sister was four months pregnant.

It's now nearly 20 years later and I would still like to take a meat tenderizer to his face. But his most horrendous crime, worse than wiring up my granny's shower so it was electrically live, worse even than his infidelity or the awful way he treated my sister, was the fact that he actually liked the abomination known as Jazz Funk. Here is the evidence. What a bastard.

Well, I suppose I'd better tell you what's for sale, though why you would actually want to own this dreck is beyond me. It's basically music for people who have a deep-seated hatred of music and want to inflict their pain on the world. But here goes nothing.

First the 12" singles.

ARTIST A B Label No Comment Year Condition (visual)
Beggar & Co (Somebody) Help me out b/w Rising Sun Ensign ENYT201 1981 VG++
Bob James Sign of the times b/w Westchester Lady ; Tappan Zee CBS 1608 1981 VG
Central Line Nature Boy (full version) b/w Nature Boy (83 mix) ; You've said enough Mercury MERX131 PS 1983 VG++
Change Searching b/w Angel in my pocket WEA K79156 Company bag 1980 VG+, small WOL
Chi Lites feat Gene Record Have you seen her b/w Super mad (about you baby) 20th Centry Fox 2481 1980 NM
David Joseph You can't hide (your love from me) b/w You can't hide (acapella/Instr) Island 121S101 PS 1983 NM
Debra Laws On my own b/w Long as we're together Elektra 12529 1981 VG++
Eddy Grant Do you feel my love b/w Symphony for Michael, opus 2 Ensign 4512 Company Bag 1980 VG++
Eddy Grant Can't get enough of you b/w Neighbour Neighbour ; Time Warp Ensign ENYT207 Company bag 1981Ex
Fantastic Four Bring Your own Funk (BYOF) b/w Sexy lady (remix) Atlantic LV14 1978 NM
Galaxy feat Phil Fearon Dancing Tight (dancemix) b/w Dancing Tight (instr) Ensign 12ENY501 Co bag 1983 Ex
Gap Band Burn Rubber on Me (Why you wanna hurt me) b/w Nothin' Comes to Sleepers Mercury MERX52 PS 1980 VG+
Heatwave Gangsters of the groove b/w Someone Like you GTO GT13 285 1980 Ex
Johnny Bristol Love no longer has a hold on me b/w Til I See you again Ariola Hansa AHAD567 1980 VG++
Kid Creole & Coconuts I'm a wonderful thing (baby) b/w Table manners (remix) ZE 12WIP 6756 PS 1982 VG++
Level 42 Love Games (full length ver) b/w Forty two Polydor POSPX234 1981 VG+
Light of the World Time (remix) b/w I'm So happy Mercury MERX64 PS 1980 VG++
Light of the World I shot the sheriff (ext mix) b/w Painted Lady; A new soft song Ensign 4612 Co Bag 1980 VG+ small WOL
Love Unlimited Orchestra Lift your voice and say (united we can in peace live today) b/w My Fantasies Unlimited Gold ULGA 13 1496 1981 VG++
Lynx So This is Romance b/w So This is Romance (Rio mix) Chrysalis 2546 PS 1981 VG-
Machine There but for the grace of God go I b/w Get your body ready RCA PC1456
Co bag 1979 VG++
Melba Moore Love's comin' at ya b/w Let's go back to lovin' ; Love's comin' at ya (instr) EMI America 146 1982 NM
Odessey Inside Out b/w love's Alright RCA 266 1982 Ex
Patrice Rushen Never gonna give you up (won't let you be) b/w Don't blame me Elektra 12494 1980 VG+
Players Association Turn the music up (remixed disco ver) b/w Goin to the disco (remixed disco v Vanguard VSL5011 PS 1979 VG+
Roberta Flack Don't make me wait too long b/w God Don't like ugly Atlantic K11555 1979 NM
Seawind What cha doin' b/w I need your love A&M 7575 1980 Ex
Shakatak Brazilian Dawn b/w You Never Know Polydor POSPX282 1981 VG
Shalimar Dead Giveaway (ext ver) b/w I don't wanna be the last to know Solar E9189T PS 1983 Ex
Sharon Redd Never Give you up b/w Beat the Street (instr & vocal) Prelude 13 2755 1982 Ex
Sugarhill Gang Rappers Delight (long version) b/w Rappers Delight (short version) Sugarhill SHL101 1979 VG+
Yarborough & Peoples Don't stop the music b/w You're My song Mercury MERX53 1980 VG+
Unlimited Touch I hear music in the streets b/w In the middle Prelude PRL D 605 1980 VG+
Fantasy You're too late b/w You're too late (instr) Pavillion 4z8 6408 1980 VG+
Kid Creole & Coconuts Annie I'm not your daddy b/w You had no intention Island 6801 PS 1982 VG+
MFSB Mysteries of the world b/w Manhattan Skyline CBS TSOP 9501 1980 VG++
Kool & the Gang Let's go dancin' b/w Stand up and sing De Lite DEX9 PS 1981 Ex
Third World Dancing on the floor (hooked on love) b/w Who gave you (Jah Rastafari) CBS 1214 1981 VG+
Sharon Redd Can you handle it b/w Leaving you is easier said than done Epic 9572 Cobag 1980 VG++
Shakatak Dark is the night b/w I lose myself Polydor POPSX 595 PS 1983 VG+
The Whispers It's a love thing b/w Girl I need you Solar SOT 16 WOL 1980 VG++
Donald Byrd Love has come around b/w loving you Elektra 12559 1978 VG+
Roberta Flack feat Donny Hathaway Back together again b/w Only heaven can wait Atlantic 11481 1979 VG++
Now the LPs

ARTIST TITLE Label No Year Sleeve Disc Comment
Linx Intuition Chrysalis 1332 1981 No sleev VG
Level 42 World Machine Polydor POLH 25 1985 VG++ Ex two copies!
Earth Wind & Fire Raise CBS 85272 1981 Ex VG
Odyssey hang together RCA 13526 1980 VG++ VG+
Summer Flying Home Touchstone BBT 113 1979 VG++ Ex
Earth Wind & Fire I Am CBS 86084 1979 VG++ VG+
Earth Wind & Fire Best of vol 1 CBS 83284 1978 VG++


I mean, Shakatak for fucks sake. What a prick. And surely he must have realised that buying anything by Shalimar would open him up to ridicule. Even those bands' mothers couldn't bear to listen to that stuff. I know I couldn't. None of this is play graded, only visually. I just could not bring myself to dirty my stylus with this bollocks.

Boring stuff: - I grade conservatively, particularly when I don't like the records. Don't ask me to split this lot. You buy it, you buy all of it and pay the shipping. I'm not keeping it in my house any longer than strictly neccessary. For the same reason, no returns. I don't want it back. Shipping in UK is £15 because the weight is approx 10kg. I'm willing to ship overseas at cost, but it's likely to be expensive (maybe £45 in europe) and frankly this crap isn't worth the stamps. If you want to collect from Croydon, that's OK but I will look at you with a contemptuous sneer as you stand in my doorway, proving by your purchase that you are tone deaf and tasteless.

Good luck, and God help you for liking this drivel.

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Right Royal Affair

Di and Chuck

Nearly 30 years ago, on 29th July, 1981, I sat glued to a little television set in my flat in Finsbury Park, London, and watched Charles and Diana get married. Three decades have gone by in the twinkling of an eye. Now I'm awake in the middle of the night, 6000 mile from Westminster Abbey watching Prince William and Kate Middleton (a "commoner" -only in the UK can class stratification be so overt) take the plunge. These events seem to have an effect on me as here I am coming out of my blogging hiatus to comment. Curious as I'm not really a Royal fan; "go figure" as they like to say on this side of the Atlantic. Anyway these goings on have given me cause to reflect on the Then and Now.

In 1981, at the dawn of the computer age, Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister (I'm still traumatised) and Elizabeth II was Queen of the United Kingdom and Colonies (somethings never change). The country was reeling from race riots in Brixton and elsewhere. The Irish troubles were very prominent and IRA detainee, Bobby Sands, died while on hunger strike. Tottenham Hotspur won the FA cup in fine style after a replay (Yay, Ricky Villa!) and John McEnroe won at Wimbledon. The Specials' "Ghost Town" was #1 and Bob Marley's "No Woman, No Cry" was also in the charts (surely pop music really was better back then). On the technology front, Germany launched its TGV, Europe's first high speed train and IBM started producing the first PC. It wasn't a good year for assassinations: Anwar Sadat was killed in Egypt and attempts were made on the lives of Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II. Elias Canetti won the Nobel prize for literature -I bought Auto-da-Fé at the time and it still resides, unread, on my bookshelf. The first case of a peculiar skin cancer (Kaposi's Sarcoma) in a gay man was diagnosed in Britain, although other cases had been observed in California -little did I know that this disease was to keep me employed for many years after.

Since then the tragicomedy of the Royal Soap Opera proceeded in a way that could not have been made up. In other areas we've witnessed wars (Falklands, Gulf I and II, Afghanistan) and diseases (AIDS, SARS, H1N1, Mad Cow to name but a few). Technological triumphs have taken place in space (the shuttle, international space station and Hubble telescope), medicine (statins, Prozac, Viagra, anti-retovirals) and communications (FAX machines, personal computers, cell phones, the internet, iPods, email and Facebook). Global warming has worried us and the Irish Troubles largely ceased. Video games have kept us entertained to the point of addiction. Cars have acquired catalytic converters, crumple zones, computers and airbags. Football (soccer) has become a global marketing opportunity although cricket is mercifully (mostly) unchanged. Popular music now mostly consists of people I haven't heard of although fresh talent like Adele, Joss Stone and bloody Coldplay still emerges. Britain now has great food (it was never that bad) and the US makes good beer. London has acquired The Eye, the Erotic Gherkin, the Millennium Bridge and Dome, the Lloyds building, the Assembly building, Docklands, Canary Wharf, the Tate Modern and the Globe Theatre. Transport developments include the Jubilee Line extension, bendy buses (boo), bike lanes, Boris' bikes and congestion charges. Smoking, which was even permitted on The Tube back then is now banned just about everywhere including pubs, thank goodness.

Like it or not, William and Kate's wedding is the kind of event that causes reflection. I suppose this is a good thing -at the very least it's snapped me out of my blogging stasis. So today I'll put a small placemark in history as well as my own life events. I'm now looking forward to the next 30 years and wondering what the wedding of the Royal Couple's first offspring will look like and of course what will occur on the World Stage in the intervening years.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

On Sabbatical

It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes' powers of observation to notice the paucity of posts over the past year. The reasons for this slowdown are multifactorial and I'm not sure that even I understand them all. The simple fact is that after six years of fairly regular commentary, I no longer have the inspiration or inclination to produce copy with the same frequency as I did a year or so back. Thus I've decided to take a sabbatical until the summer. In this time I intend to pursue personal and business projects and maybe even take time to smell the roses. So thank you all, gentle readers, for your patronage of this site -I hope we can resume our relationship in the not too distant future.