Thursday, December 25, 2008

Lady Loser's Lottery .... Pt. 3

Dearest friends,

first of all - of course - a very merry Christmas to all of you: I really do hope you are feeling well and are enjoying your days off as much I as I do. I'm sitting here in my brandnew chef-style-chair, a present from Mrs. Loser ... and what a treat it is, to be sure! And here's what my dear wife picked for you today, I hope it meets with your approval:

1) [from the 12" - shelf]: Harry Morse Project - 'Laziness' (mp3). Well, this is a pick I'm not convinced by at all. But that's the way this lottery works: I'm totally out of control. A DJ-colleague of mine used to play this a lot and I quite liked it back then, so he provided me with a copy of the 12". I think I haven't listened to it again until today and I must admit I don't know what to make out of it: it isn't a bad song after all, but it won't change your life as well, I'm afraid. But: judge for yourself and download it, if you want to. On Bigwave Records from Paris, France, released in 2000, the 12" is simply titled '#2'.

2) [from the CD - shelf]: The Feelies - 'Crazy Rhythms'. There are very few albums indeed to which you can listen to for, say, 20 years or so, and when the final song is over you think to yourself: 'Oh my God, that was simply outstanding!'. A measurement of such brilliance, at least for me this is the case, is when you owe the record as well on vinyl as on CD. There are just a handful of records for which this is true in my collection, and The Feelies' debut is but one of them. A true masterpiece, and I'm willing to have a small bet that it will put a smile on my face when I listen to it again when I'm 65. Released back in 1980 on Stationary Music and this is what I chose from it: 'Loveless Love' (mp3).

3) [from the 7" - shelf]: David Bowie - 'Ashes To Ashes' (mp3). I'm old enough to know that it's always dangerous to say something against Bowie, especially when you don't want to lose all of the five female readers who visit your blog on occasion. But, frankly speaking, I still can't cope with all he did, in fact I can't cope with most of what he did in his career. I mean, 'Heroes' is one of my all-time favourites and will most probably remain so forever, also 'Ashes To Ashes' is a fine song. But if you listen to his first albums in one go, you will find out that it is a relief when you have finished and are able to put something else on instead. At least I feel this way. That doesn't necessarily mean that I wouldn't want to look as good as him, of course. And have his money .... either way: on RCA Victor from 1979.

4) [from the Compilations - shelf]: 'Martin - The Work Of Record Producer Martin Hannett'. Well, the name should ring a bell for most of you. If it doesn't, here are the (inner) sleev notes:

"This collection is a sample of the work of record producer Martin Hannett from his early work with the Buzzcocks until his death in April 1991. Martin, as producer, was the mastermind behind the sound of Joy Division, and his influential production skills were employed by many of today's major bands. In later life he produced the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays, giving the latter their first hit: 'Wrote For Luck'. The final tracks on the album represent some of his more recent work before his death at the age of 41. The proceeds of this album go to his family."

On the album you'll find: World Of Twist, A Certain Ratio, Buzzcocks, Happy Mondays, High,
John Cooper Clarke, Joy Division, O.M.D., New Fast Automatic Daffodils, Slaughter & The Dogs, U2, which doesn't make it a lot easier altogether to pick something (apart from U2, of course). I'll go for John Cooper Clarke, I think, with his first (and best) release from 1977: 'Suspended Sentence' (mp3). 'Martin' was released on Factory Records in 1991.

5) [from the LP - shelf]: The Specials - 'The Specials'. Again a top choice, as with The Feelies. One of the classic debut albums of all time, full of good tunes and I never get tired of hearing it again over and over. Rather hard to chose a specific song, but I'll go for 'Stupid Marriage' (mp3) on this occasion. The Specials always were my definitive favourites when it comes to Ska ... nothing against Madness or Selecter or The Toasters, but The Specials really have stood the test of time. The album was produced by Elvis Costello and released in 1979 on Chrysalis.

Okay, enough for today: gotta run, shower and dress myself in order to be at my sister's place in time .... where I'll be served with even more to eat - and drink, I'm afraid - than yesterday. Oh, isn't Christmas fun?

See you soon,


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Special Request Edition: The Blue Orchids

Dear friends,

an e-mail came in from regular correspondent Craig Keany, who asked whether it would be possible for me to do some kind of special request edition upon The Blue Orchids. It is, Craig, and I can tell you why it is: you are absolutely right in saying that The Blue Orchids were - and are, as a matter of fact - most probably one of the most grievously underrated bands of all time.

I won't bore you with too much details about them, I think all necessary information about the band can be found here. Also there is rather a good retrospective of their work, which can be found here.

Their music is hard to describe, but I have been fascinated by it ever since I first got my hands on a cassette of their album back in the very early Eighties. Only several years later I was able to find a second hand copy of said album, 'The Greatest Hit (The Money Mountain)'.

But, enough said, here's what I chose for you, Craig. And for the rest of you as well, of course:

'Work' (mp3). The A-Side of their second 7" from 1981.

'Agents Of Chance' (mp3). The title track from a 1982 4-track-EP.

'Thirst' (mp3). The B-Side of their 'Sleepy Town' - 7" from 1985. Took this from an old John Peel's Music - cassette, the sound quality might be a bit dodgy, but the track is ace!

'Hanging Man' (mp3), 'Sun Connection' (mp3), 'Low Profile' (mp3), 'Dumb Magician' (mp3).

All those four songs are taken from their aforementioned album 'The Greatest Hit (The Money Mountain)' from 1982. There isn't a single bad track on it and you may well believe me that I had a hard time in chosing only a few songs.

'The Flood' (mp3). A-Side of their very first single from 1980.

'The House That Faded Out' (mp3). The B-Side of the 'Work' - single, although this version here is taken from their first (out of two) Peel Session from 08.12.80.

'Heroes' (mp3). Okay, this is a bit of a bonus. The Blue Orchids worked as Nico's backing band from 1983 onwards and therefore you get this one as well. From 1983, on Aura Records. All of the others above were released on Rough Trade Records, by the way.

I hope you enjoyed what I chose for you, Craig. Let me know if you were pleased, okay?

See you soon,


Saturday, December 13, 2008

My Peel Tapes - Part 26

Good morning my beauties,

yes, believe it or not, another episode of 'My Peel Tapes' for you! I know, quite a while ago since the last one. I must admit, I couldn't convince myself to do it earlier, because all in all it became rather a bore somehow. Also I was so very much fond of this 'Lady Loser's Lottery' - thingy ... I'd rather had done another of those instead of 'My Peel Tapes'. But the show must go on, so here we go ... I hope you enjoy what Uncle John played to me back then, 'cos that's exactly what I'll play to you today:

(258) Elastica - 'Waking Up (mp3). Again from their first, self-titled album on Geffen, released in 1995, also released as a single in the same year. Interestingly enough The Stranglers apparently blamed (sued?) the band for the fact that 'Waking Up' sounds pretty much like their 'No More Heroes' from 1977 .... I can't see that much of a similarity. Can you?

(259) The Silver Jews - 'Trains Across The Sea' (mp3). The Silver Jews were, amongst others, David Berman and Stephen Malkmus. Yes, that Stephen Malkmus out of Pavement. 'Trains Across The Sea' is my favourite song on their debut album 'Starlite Walker', released in 1994 on Drag City Records in the States and on Domino in Europe. The tune really grows on you, people, so you'd better download it and listen to it very closely. Silver Jews' homepage: here. 'Half hours on earth, what are they worth?', he asks in the song ... and doesn't hesitate to leave the question unanswered ....

(260) Northern Picture Library - 'Last September's Farewell Kiss' (mp3).
"Battery Point" was a very fine 1995 compilation on Sarah Records and it featured Aberdeen, Action Painting, Blueboy, Boyracer, Hit Parade, Ivy, Northern Picture Library, Secret Shine,
Shelley and Sugargliders. Peel played the Nothern Picture Library - track .... and so shall I. A most fragile track, so please

(261) Jerry Lee Lewis - 'How's My Ex Treating You' (live at Panther Hall, Fort Worth) (mp3). Alas this live recording from 1966 comes in rather dodgy quality, but I thought I'd play it to you nevertheless, because it is a neat song, that's for sure. More on Jerry Lee Lewis, one of the great performers of that era, here.

(262) The Flys - 'Love And A Molotov Cocktail' (mp3). A 1978 7" on EMI of all labels, odd really. A killer tune from yesteryear, if you don't know it yet: have a listen, folks ... it really is one of the great records of the punk or pre-punk era ....

(263) The Wedding Present - 'Go Man Go' (mp3). Once one of my all-time favourite combos, I'm not entirely convinced by all of what The Wedding Present are doing these days. This though still was fine stuff, from their 'Mini' - 10" on Cooking Vinyl from 1996. I think I should listen to the whole record again after having brought the track from vinyl to mp3 later on ....

(264) Pulp - 'Mile End' (mp3). Taken from the soundtrack of the film 'Trainspotting', released on Premier Records in 1996, a double LP, in fact. Not all on it is as good as Pulp's contribution, it must be said. The film, however, is a masterpiece, of course ....

(265) Calvin Party - 'Life And Other Sex Tragedies' (mp3). I know I've posted this before, but that's no excuse not to do that again: this is a FANTASTIC song, friends, definetely one of my choices for the Desert Island. It starts rather quietely, but then explodes and becomes to something which I would describe as one of the finest moments in the history of recorded music to date. The singer's accent is great, the lyrics are simply awesome ... this song is a MUST!!! From their 1995 album 'Lies, Lies And Government' on Probe Plus Records from Liverpool. Really, I can't recommend this enough ... if you don't do yourself a favour and have a listen to it, it's your own fault!

(266) The Congos - 'Children Crying' (mp3). From one of the classic roots reggae releases from Jamaica from the late 70's, along with Culture's 'Two Sevens Clash' perhaps: the album 'Heart Of The Congos' from 1977. I have a very nice German re-release with gatefold sleeve from 1996 on Blood And Fire Records ... wish I had a copy of the original Jamaican pressing though. Find an interview with Watty Burnett, who, amongst others, did the backing vocals on the album, here.

(267) Sleater-Kinney - 'I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone' (mp3). Heroes of the 'Riot Grrrl' - scene Sleater-Kinney hail from Olympia, Washington, later moved to Portland, Oregon and here's their website. 'Joey Ramone' comes from their second album, 'Call The Doctor' on Chainsaw Records from 1996.

(268) Helen Love - 'Girl About Town' (mp3). Again featured previously (at least I think this is the case), again one of the finest records on earth. Originally released as a B-Side (of the 'We Love You' - 7") in 1995 on Damaged Goods. The single is long deleted, but perhaps you are lucky and find a copy of their great 'Radio Hits Vol. 2' - compilation, also on Damaged Goods from 1997. Great website of one of the finest bands ever to come from Wales here. I'll dedicate this to my pal FiL from Pogo A Go-Go, I know he likes the tune a lot and so does his son.

(269) Chixdiggit - 'I Drove The Coquihalla' (mp3). From Alberta in Canada, from their self-titled LP on Sub Pop Records from 1996, which is full of good and gnarly power-punk/pop stuff. More information on Chixdiggit: here.

(270) Bennet - 'Someone Always Gets There First' (mp3). Despite the fact that this 7" was released on All The Blacks Records back in 1997, it's on nice red vinyl. And very good it is, too. I'm ashamed to say I don't have the slightest idea what ever became of Bennet, but they were really really good back then. I had expected them to become much more popular .... but I was wrong, as usual.

(271) Half Man Half Biscuit - 'Eno Collaboration' (mp3). The toast of Birkenhead with a 7" on Probe Plus Records from 1996. As always with fantastic lyrics, 'I went from the Andies to the Indies in my undies' is especially good, I think. Have a look at a very fine Half Man Half Biscuit - fansite here.

(272) Rudi - 'Big Time' (mp3). Again a total pop-punk classic from Belfast's Rudi. From 1978 on Good Vibrations Records (who also released the original 'Teenage Kicks' - 7" by The Undertones). More on Rudi here.

Well, as always I really hope you enjoyed my choices for today. Kindly drop a little comment and let me know whether this was the case. Or not.

I hope to have another episode ready before the New Year comes. There will definetely be another 'Lady Loser's Lottery' one, so watch out for it ....

Take care and stay healthy, friends!


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Lady Loser's Lottery .... Pt. 2

Hello nice people,

well, after all of those nice little responses to the first part of Lady Loser's Lottery, I thought why not do a second part, so here you are. Took me quite some time to achieve this, but I have been rather ill lately and this more or less the first time in two weeks for me in front of the computer. Either way, I'm back to mid-season form and I hope you enjoy what Mrs. Loser picked for you:

1) [from the CD - shelf] New Order's 'Waiting For The Sirens' Call' album from 2005 on London Records. Oh boy, I must admit, I haven't listened to this since ..... 2005. And I don't have the slightest idea what might possibly be the best track to play to you here. So let's do it the DJ-without-a-clue-way and play Track A ... always a safe choice, I found out in my career. Here's 'Who's Joe' (mp3).

2) [from the 7" - shelf] The Jesus and Mary Chain - 'Upside Down'. Well, I think I'll play you the B-Side here, 'Vegetable Man' (mp3), because I might think you don't hear it all that often .... and it's a rather neat cover of an old Pink Floyd song. The 7" was released on Creation Records back in 1982 .... as long ago as that? That can't be right, c'mon ... but that's what it reads on the label (Creation 012).

Strange, I just had a look at the internet to find out and everywhere it reads 1985, but curiously I can't find a picture of the sleeve which I have (blueish, with a guitar). The other releases seem to have been gatefold sleeves in different colours .... if there are any Jesus & Mary Chain - enthusiasts reading this here: please let me know, okay? Thank you ...

3) [from the Compilations - shelf] 'Doing It For The Kids', Creation Records, 1988. This is a great record with a whole bunch of adorable tunes on it, people: Weather Prophets, Biff Bang Pow, Emily, Heidi Berry, Felt, House Of Love, Jasmine Minks, Momus, Jazz Butcher, My Bloody Valentine, Nikki Sudden, Pacific, Primal Scream, Razorcuts, Times ... what more could you possibly ask for back in those days. And only because I featured the Jazz Butcher track ('Lot 49') before (in the 'Some Of The Best There Ever Has Been - 1988' - post), I'll choose Felt's 'Ballad Of The Band' (mp3) .... not because it's worse than 'Lot 49', I just love 'Lot 49' to no degree .... don't know why though ....

4) [from the 12" - shelf] Something German for a change for you now .... but I told you in my introduction to the first part that Mrs. Loser chooses the records with closed eyes, so it can't always be chocolate, you see. Fettes Brot - 'Jein' (mp3). Fettes Brot were (and are, actually) one of the first German bands who achieved success despite singing in German back in those days when including a bit of rap and spoken bits was a thing what only English - speaking bands would allow themselves to try. They come from Northern Germany and the members were (and, as far as I know, still are) Dr. Renz, K├Ânig Boris and Schiffmeister. 'Jein' is about him not being able to decide how to approach the girl ..... yes, this old story. On Yo Mama Records from 1996 ... and it felt really good to hear this one again: thank's honey!

5) [from the LP - shelf] Joy Division's 'Closer'. Labelled incorrectly by Base Records in Italy with Side Two on both sides of the record ... probably I'm a millionaire and don't know about it? Well, of course there is one stand-out track on it and that is, of course, 'Isolation' (mp3). The band's second album, released in the July of 1980, two months after Ian Curtis' death. Would be intersting to know what YOU think: was it meant to mean 'Closer' as in 'shorten a distance' or 'Closer' as in 'finale'? Answers in the comment section, please .....

That's it, folks. Would mean a lot to me if some of you would let me know what you thought of Mrs. Loser's choices .... until then: