Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Jools 29/4/09

Depeche Mode. Now approaching 30 years in the music business.

Lily Allen

Sonic Youth

Raphael Saadiq

Taj Mahal

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Bag of Cats

'The noise two women make when they argue/engrossed in an enthusiast conversation'

Farewell to Storyville

Billie Holiday & Louis Armstrong - Farewell to Storyville

Notes from YouTube;
It's a fragment of the film "New Orleans", directed by Arthur Lubin in 1947. This is the saddest part of the film, in my opinion, because everybody is obliged to leave the city they learnt to call a home and that's what this song tell us about.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

It's the Birthday of Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald was born on April 25, 1917 and she passed away on June 15, 1996. She was known as "Lady Ella", the "Queen of Scat" and the "First Lady of Song". She with out a doubt is considered one of the most influential jazz vocalists of the 20th century.
With a vocal range spanning three octaves, she was noted for her purity of tone, phrasing and intonation, and a "horn-like" improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing. She is widely considered to have been one of the supreme interpreters of the Great American Songbook.

Over a recording career that lasted 59 years, she was the winner of 13 Grammy Awards, and was awarded the National Medal of Art by Ronald Reagan and the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George H. W. Bush.

The Complete Ella Fitzgerald Song BooksThe Complete Ella Fitzgerald Song Books
This 16-CD set collects all of Ella Fitzgerald's Songbooks, a monumental tribute to the American popular song and its greatest composers, recorded for Verve between 1956 and 1964. There is likely no other singer possessed of the mix of talents that Fitzgerald brought to the project, a combination of sheer vocal technique, creativity in phrasing and rhythm, and fidelity to lyrics and intent. The sheer scale of the project contributes to its value, for Fitzgerald went far beyond the standard repertoire, rediscovering little-known gems by many of her subjects: Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Harold Arlen, Rodgers and Hart, Johnny Mercer, Irving Berlin, and Duke Ellington. The discs of Ellington material still stand out, illuminated by the presence of Duke and his band. They put Ellington, a master melodist as well as a great composer, in his rightful place in the pantheon of American songwriters. --Stuart Broomer

Ella Fitzgerald @KK&R Music Blog
Ella Fitzgerald

Friday, April 24, 2009

Jools Holland 17/4/09

The BBC is so good - on iPlayer we can view Radio and TV programmes on computer or cable for 28 days - no adverts and for free.
I can watch Jools Holland a few times - he has such an eclectic mix - this is a selection, although possibly not the version played on the show

Doves must be the next big thing outside the UK— Kingdom Of Rust

Noisettes - Don't Upset The Rhythm so sexy and vibrant and happy!

Marianne Faithfull - Hold On Hold On
People either take her or leave her. I think she is wonderful with a capital W.

Rokia Traoré - Zen
This group really whapped it out and they danced along to everyone else.

Madeleine Peyroux - River Of Tears
I have a couple of her albums - to me she just gets better and better with listening.

Joe Bonamassa - Lonesome Road Blues
My kind of music - rock away!

What a show!


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Jools Holland 15 Dec 2008

Blowin' in the Wind - Jools Holland, Ruby Turner

Lonnie Johnson master Blues guitarist

Nina Simone - here comes the sun. Languid, liquid sensuality. Is it better than the Beatles' version?

Fontella Bass - Rescue Me

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Jools Holland 22 Dec 2008

Jools Holland is the man - fantastic orchestra, excellent pianist

See the list here

Cora Martin - Gospel's hidden gem

Wow - that's one voice

Stevie Wonder sings the Ray Charles classic

Camille - home is where it hurts

Yma Sumac - the queen of the exotic

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Randy Crawford & Joe Sample

Try out Joe Sample of the Crusaders.
He has an absolutely brilliant collaboration with Randy Crawford

Here he is in his own right

Monday, April 20, 2009


Oh go on - smile! This has to be one of the most liquid, languorous songs ever. It is one of those songs you just unconsciously sing along to - in my respect out loud. I have to do that or be left with it in my mind all day.

(On a more sombre note Nat died in 1965 when Natalie must have been only 14-15. One of my sisters-in-law recently died of lung cancer through smoking so I relate. )

Sunday, April 19, 2009

More partying

Le Freak - Chic

Boogie Wonderland - Earth Wind Fire

Nightclubbing - Grace Jones

Golden Skans - Klaxons

Great DJ - The Ting Tings

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I Bet You look Good on the Dancefloor - Arctic Monkeys

Arctic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor live
Uploaded by rogojin

Bourgie Bourgie - Gladys Knight

Love Shack - B-52's

Tighten-Up - Archie Bell

Shake Your Tailfeather - Ray Charles

Thursday, April 16, 2009


St James Infirmary Blues - Cab Calloway
Betty Boop cartoon St James Infirmary Blues
New Orleans man plans his own funeral after his woman has died - 'Put a twenty-dollar gold piece on my watch chain/So you can let all the boys know I died standing pat'

Don't Fear The Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult

'It's basically a love song where the love transcends the actual physical existence of the partners'
- gothic storyline V Byrdsian guitar line

Never Get Old - David Bowie

Existentialist - Bowie is not merely content to rage against the dying of the light. 'there's never going to be enough money/never going to be enough drugs/never going to be enough sex'

Goin Back - The Byrds

'But thinking young and growing old is no sin'

All Things Must Pass - George Harrison

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Safe From Harm - Massive Attack

The awareness that parenthood brings responsibilities.

Sour Times - Portishead

'Nobody loves me, it's true/Not like you do' - an exercise in enigmatic misery

Then again....
Feeling Good - Nina Simone

No Surrender - Bruce Springsteen
Stand together throughout all of life's tribulations.

Work - Lou Reed & John Cale
Has to be done.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

More ***

Milkshake - Kelis

I Feel The Earth Move - Carole King

Help Me Make It Through The Night - Kris Kristofferson

Electric Feel - MGMT

Pull Up to the Bumper - Grace Jones

Monday, April 13, 2009

*** makes the world turn

You Shook Me All Night Long - AC/DC

'Working double time on the seduction line'

Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg - Je T'aime... Moi Non Plus

'I love you neither'

Get Up (I feel like being a) Sex Machine - James Brown

Say My Name -
Destiny's Child

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Eleanor Rigby - The Beatles

one of my favourite Beatles' tracks - bleal view of elderly loveliness. Think of the line 'the face that she keeps in a jar by the door'

Johnny B Goode - Chuck Berry

backwoods boy lives the American Dream (country boy - not coloured boy as originally intended)

Levi Stubbs' Tears - Billy Bragg
Oh how good is this! Homage to the 4 Tops singer. A woman left abandoned by her husband after an accident - conga and flugelhorn used!

Blind Willie McTell - Bob Dylan

Me and Bobby McGee - Janis Joplin

That rascal Kris Kristofferson!
Zen chorus 'Nothing ain't worth nothing if it's free'

Common People - Pulp

'You will never understand, how it feels to live your life, with no meaning or control'

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I left my heart in San Francisco - Tony Bennett

Chuck Berry & (John Lennon and Yoko Ono) - Memphis Tennessee

Chuck has lost contact with Marie - a sweetheart because 'her mom did not agree'. Only at the last do we realise the girl he's trying to phone is his six-year old daughter.

First We Take Manhattan - Leonard Cohen

- 'the seductiveness of extremism' - from the man himself

Flying Burrito Brothers - Sin City

LA -'This ol' town's filled with sin, it will swallow you...'

Boulder to Birmingham - Emmylou Harris
Links with the previous one - ode to Gram Parsons

Friday, April 10, 2009


Drive my Car - The Beatles

'used in old blues songs as a sexual euphemism - fancy that!

No Particular Place to Go - Chuck Berry

Chuck's hot date is stuck in her seat belt.

LA Freeway - Guy Clark

Born to be Wild - Steppenwolf

Thursday, April 9, 2009


We Gotta Get Out of This Place - The Animals

An angry tribute to a dying Industrial Tyneside - valid for anyone in a crap situation (A favourite in Vietnam). One I enjoyed first time around.

A Certain Romance - Arctic Monkeys
Sheffield -kids 'scrap with pool cues in their hands' for whom 'there's only music so there's new ringtones'

Strawberry Fields Forever - The Beatles

'a place of perfection in childhood where nothing needs explanation' This is contrasted with Lennon in adulthood - 'nothing is real' Psychedelia as desolation

Station Approach - Elbow

Coming home to Manchester - summing up the sense of relief we Northerners feel on stepping from the train onto Piccadilly

Coles Corner - Richard Hawley

The corner of Fargate and Church Street in Sheffield - meeting place for lovers. 'I've been stood up before' 'It's not nice. You feel like a right lemon'

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Breaking up can be cathartic...?

Jealous Guy - John Lennon

an apology to Yoko - half-way between shame and 'take me as I am defiance'

Blue Monday - New Order
dumped girl is constantly saying how you should feel

Crying - Roy Orbison

The One I Love - REM

I Just Don't Know What to do with Myself - Dusty Springfield
' If your new love ever lets you down' she cries agonised by hope, and you know its never going to happen.

Say You Will - Kayne West
knocked sideways by the death of his mother and the split from his fiancee - a 'humble' Kanye

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Later Live Jools Holland 7 April 2009

Glasgow's art school rockers Franz Ferdinand played songs from their most recent album Tonight - got this!

British ska legends The Specials had seven consecutive top 10 singles in the late 70s and early 80s. They recently announced they were reforming to celebrate their 30th anniversary and perform a selection of their classic songs. They had greyer hairs than this but the music was as vital.

American singer-songwriter Carole King makes her first UK TV performance since 1971, the same year as her landmark album Tapestry was released. You've Got a Friend. Superb to see her live again - this was the first CD I ever bought.

Karen O, Nick Zinner and Brian Chase, aka Yeah Yeah Yeahs, debut tracks from their new album It's Blitz!

Making their TV debut are The Mummers, a big band from Brighton who feature the quirky and quixotic vocals of Raissa Khan-Panni

Plus Blackpool-born singer-songwriter Karima Francis.

I don't want to Break up .....

Is She Really Going Out with Him? - Joe Jackson

"Pretty Women out walking with gorillas down my street"
Hot women sleep with hideous guys for reasons men never fully comprehend.

Piece of My Heart - Janis Joplin

Caught Out There - Kelis

Bleeding All Over You - Martha Wainwright

Lola - The Kinks
Davies witnesses their manager copping off with a black transvestite - packed with innuendo and catchy hooks. The classic pay-off " I'm glad I'm a man ... and so is Lola"

Monday, April 6, 2009

Breaking Up - is really hard to do!

He Hit Me (And it Felt Like A Kiss) - The Crystals

Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King in protest that Little Eva was being hit by her boyfriend

Layla - Eric Clapton

Patti, Patti, Patti

She's Your Lover Now - Bob Dylan
'You just sit around and ask for ashtrays'

Go Your Own Way - Fleetwood Mac
Lindsey Buckingham v Stevie Nicks

Daddy's Gone - Glasvegas

How A Man With The Horn Saved My Life

The Man With The Horn
The Man With The Horn by Miles Davis

Some of you who read this blog may know my back ground, some of you may not. For those of you who do not, let me try to explain. I spent twenty years in the US Navy, it was for the most part, a lot of boredom punctuated by moments of absolute terror. I did ten years in submarines. Which at that time, during the cold war, required many, many days of being underway and under water. As we used to say, "I could tell you about it, but then I'd have to kill you."

Isolation works wonders on you, it makes you think about things in a much deeper way than most people every think about things. My friends and I often joked that there was not that much difference between being in prison and being underway on a submarine. Well you probably won't drown if you are in prison.

So the question is, "how did you survive it all?" Well one thing that got me by was music. I have always been a lover, promoter, and huge fan of music. And a particular piece of music, that kept me from going crazy during some of those long underway periods, was Miles Davies' Man With A Horn.

Track Listing

1. Fat Time 9:54
2. Back Seat Betty 11:18
3. Shout 5:51
4. Aida 8:12
5. The Man With The Horn 6:35
6. Ursula 10:48

Some of the things that Miles says in the interview are some of the wisest things that you will hear someone say. I love that statement, "there is no best in the arts." And his final statement says it all. He is cool.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Breaking up is hard to do

The Winner Takes it All - Abba
- harsh truths about broken marriages. Agnetha wails - "The judges will decide/The likes of me abide"

Heart of Glass - Blondie
Harry brings jaded cynicism with regard to the subject of men.

He wasn't Man enough - Toni Braxton

Should I Stay or Should I go - The Clash

About the guitarists split with Meat Loaf backing singer Ellen Foley

Friend of Ours - Elbow

Joanne Shaw Taylor

This is one 'spunky' girl

I Feel Like Going To Church: Soweto Gospel Choir

It is not so much that I am a religious man, I am probably more spiritual than anything. As long as your religion, does not get in the way of you loving your fellow man and it comes with good music. Then it is alright in my book.

African Spirit
African Spirit The Soweto Gospel Choir
click image for info

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Lots more Love

She Bangs The Drum - The Stone Roses
'staying up till dawn and watching the sunrise with somebody you love'

I Feel Love - Donna Summers
an incredible sound

Gloria - Them
Sheer Lust, spelt out in six letters. Written by Van Morrison at the age of 18. -

'a rock 'n' roll mission statement: three unruly chords, a scorching lead vocal, and the unmistakable promise of imminent frenzied coupling.
My favourite song of all time

River Deep, Mountain High - Ike and Tina Turner
one of the greatest records ever made

Albums Stalled At #2

The music blog Chart Watch recently posted an interesting article titled "You Won't Believe These Albums Stalled At #2". And I have to admit that I was very surprised by some of them.

Raising Sand
Raising Sand by Plant and Krauss
Robert Plant/Alison Krauss, Raising Sand. I was really surprised to learn that this album debuted at #2 in October 2007 behind Carrie Underwood's Carnival Ride and returned to #2 in February 2009 even though its Grammy victory as Album of the Year. And get this, it again was kept from the top spot by a female country singer's sophomore album: Taylor Swift's Fearless. Raising Sand is the only album to peak at #2 in non-consecutive years.

Konvicted by Akon
Akon, Konvicted. Akon's second album was number 2 for four weeks. It had hits Smack That (featuring Eminem) and I Wanna Love You (featuring Snoop Dogg).

Kind of hard to believe that this one did not make it to number one. It was being played on the radio constantly.

Dookie by Greenday
Green Day, Dookie. This debut album spent 30 weeks in the top 10 and had five airplay hits, including Basket Case and When I Come Around. But it was stuck at number two for two weeks in January 1995 behind Garth Brooks' The Hits.

Pyromania by Def Leppard
Def Leppard, Pyromania. This hard rock blockbuster spent 38 weeks in the top 10, including two weeks at number two in May 1983.

There were two top 20 hits, Photograph and Rock Of Ages. Well what was holding it at number two??? It went up against Michael Jackson's Thriller. Not much to say after saying that. We are talking the best selling studio album of all time.

I Never Loved a Man
the Way I Love You
I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You by Aretha Franklin
Many of the albums on the list are shocking because they did not make it to number one, but some are simply amazing because of what did make it to number one.

In the case of Aretha Franklin's I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You it was stuck at number two behind the Monkee's More Of The Monkees

This album had two top 10 hits, the title song and her landmark recording of Otis Redding's Respect.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Motorhead at Crooks And Liars

It is funny to me how you can find good music in some of the most interesting places. I love to read Crooks & Liars, a political blog. Being the liberal kind of guy that I am you would probably expect me to get my political fill from a site like that, but you might not expect me to also get some of my music from there.

They recently did a post on Motorhead. According to Wikipedia;
Motörhead are a British rock band formed in 1975 by bassist, singer and songwriter Lemmy Kilmister, who has remained the sole constant member. Usually a power trio, Motörhead had particular success in the early 1980s with several successful singles in the UK Top 40 chart. The albums Overkill, Bomber, Ace of Spades, and particularly No Sleep 'til Hammersmith, cemented Motörhead's reputation as one of Britain's foremost rock bands.

1916 by Motörhead
click image to listen to mp3 samples

Lots and Lots of Love

Wedding Song - Bob Dylan

You gave me babies one, two, three, what is more, you saved my life,
Eye for eye and tooth for tooth, your love cuts like a knife,
My thoughts of you don't ever rest, they'd kill me if I lie,
I'd sacrifice the world for you and watch my senses die.

Crazy for You - Adele

Found myself today singing out loud your name,
you said I'm crazy,
if I am I'm crazy for you.

Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye - Ella Fitzgerald
The greatest American singer ever interprets Cole Porter (the greatest American Songwriter?)

Killing me softly - Roberta Flack
The first real love of my life ......

Al Green - Let's Stay Together
'His voice is ecstatic with romance, giddy with optimism and underpinned by quiet faith ....'

Sweet Child O'Mine - Guns N'Roses
Hurrah for Slash

Run DMC In The Rock Hall Of Fame

NPR recently posted a story titled, RUN DMC Crashes Rock's Hall Of Fame, Again.

According to NPR:
In 1984, MTV began playing a video that poked fun at the idea of rock's lead status in the music world. It showed RUN DMC — two rappers and a DJ trespassing at an imaginary rock 'n' roll museum and causing a holy ruckus. The irony is that, 25 years later, RUN DMC is being welcomed onto that hallowed ground. On Saturday, the group will be inducted into the real Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

RUN-DMC - King Of Rock Video @YouTube.

King Of Rock by RUN-DMCKing Of Rock mp3

King Of Rock mp3 album

Track Listing

1. Rock The House 2:42
2. King Of Rock 5:14
3. You Talk Too Much 5:59
4. Jam-Master Jammin' 4:20
5. Roots, Rap, Reggae 3:12
6. Can You Rock It Like This 4:29
7. You're Blind 5:31
8. It's Not Funny 5:35
9. Darryl And Joe (Krush-Groove 3) 6:34
10. Slow And Low (Demo) 4:26
11. Together Forever (Krush-Groove 4 (Live at Hollis Park '84)) 3:34
12. Jam-Master Jammin' (Remix, Long Version) 6:44
13. King Of Rock (Live, From Live Aid) 7:26

Thursday, April 2, 2009

There is lots of Love

Kelvin has posted Love Albums before - but there are so many beautiful songs - so I'll have a go at some of those that the newspaper I read recommends.

God Only Knows the Beach Boys
Supposedly written in 15 minutes by Brian Wilson and Tony Asher.

I may not always love you
But long as there are stars above you
You never need to doubt it
Ill make you so sure about it

The Beatles - She Loves You
'one of the most exhilarating examples of pop joy ever recorded'

She said you hurt her so
She almost lost her mind.

But now she said she knows

You're not the hurting kind.


She says she loves you

And you know that can't be bad.

Yes, she loves you

And you know you should be glad. Ooh!

Heroes - David Bowie
love can transcend even the nuclear face-off between Nato and the Warsaw Pact

Hounds of Love - Kate Bush
Love as a prowling source of terror
Its in the trees!
Its coming!

Here I go!
Its coming for me through the trees.

Help me, someone!

Help me, please!

I Got a Woman - Ray Charles
Old style sexism - the woman lives way over time but still knows her place is in the home - the start of soul?

Then he kissed me - The Crystals
He kissed me in a way I've never been kissed before

Bob Dylan - Tell Ol' Bill

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sufjan Stevens

This is a talented guy - Vocals, Guitar, Bass guitar,Banjo, Sitar, Piano, Xylophone, Vibraphone, English Horn, Oboe and Drums

The name "Sufjan" apparently means "comes with a sword". Not that I feel it matters for me - but it perhaps explains why many of his songs have spiritual allusions - he is a devout Christian.

I like these two.

I've Been A Fool For Lesser Things...

Today is April Fools day, and I don't know about you, but I have played the fool a few times.

The wife likes to point out what a fool I am, but I say to her, if it feels this good being a fool then I don't mind.

Tina Turner - A fool in love - live in Sopot 2000

Main Ingredient-Everybody Plays The Fool

mp3s for all us fool;

Aretha Franklin - Oh Me Oh My [I'm A Fool For You Baby]

Ike & Tina Turner - A Fool For You

Ray Charles - A Fool For You (Remastered Version)

Elvis - If I'm A Fool (For Loving You)

Buddy Holly - Love's Made A Fool Of You