Monday, February 16, 2009

My Peel Tapes - Part 30



Okay dear friends,

thanks for your patience: you've managed to go with me through half a life of music, provided by the great John Peel. This is the final edition of 'My Peel Tapes' and again I sincerely hope that in it you will find something you like:
(328) Juniper Moon - 'Volveras' (mp3). "Young Spanish band - all their members are in their teens! - debut with a wild combination of blistering guitar raids, hyperspeed drumming and soft female vocals. Pure teenage energy, as convincing and impressive as their live sets. Vigorous pop pills, short-lengthed but super abundant in catching energy, teenage self-confidence and hyper-vitamined guitars.": that's what their label - Elefant Records from sunny Madrid, Spain, had to say about this 7" from 1999. I suppose I like it so much because I don't understand any single word they sing .... my Spanish is, as is my French, best described as weak: I mean, I can order a beer or to, but that's about it ... then again: do you need to have more knowledge of a language than that?!

(329) New Order - 'Brutal' (mp3). Watch out, Leonardo DiCaprio - fans worldwide: this is from the soundtrack of the film 'The Beach', not one of my personal favourites, I must admit (although I think good ole' Leo is rather a smart actor at times (albeit not in this particular film) and not one of the best soundtracks, that's for sure. This tune is not bad though, not because it's by New Order, it's just not bad, that's all. Available on a 2000 CD from Rhino/WEA.
(330) Subway Sect - 'Nobody's Scared' (mp3). On March, 23 in 1978, Subway Sect released their debut single, "Nobody's Scared". It was backed by "Dontsplitit". They released two singles under the Subway Sect name without an album. They later changed their name to Vic Godard & The Subway Sect. The Bristol, England punk band disbanded in 1981. Vic Godard has recently re-formed the band. I heard one of the new songs: not bad at all, people, not bad at all!

(331) Hefner - 'Twisting Mary's Arm' (mp3). Darren Hayman says: "'Twisting Mary's Arm' is a very old song that dates back to one of mine and Ant's old bands; 'Big Boys Toys', with changed lyrics. The song isn't about anything, just a nonsensical collection of words. It was the song we used to finish ninety percent of the shows with. Sometimes I felt funny singing those lyrics to a crowd though, it sounded like I was being very ungrateful.". I took it from their wonderful 'Boxing Hefner' - LP on Too Pure Records, released in 2000.

(332) Positively Testcard - 'Twist With The Morning Stars' (mp3). A South London band who play Kwela, an upbeat, whistle-led style originating in South Africa in the 1950s. Here's their homepage where you'll find the song above on their 2000 CD 'Gas Up My Hotrod Stoker, The Kwela Groove Frenzy's Hit Town' ... a wonderful title, but alas I always found the CD to be a bit too expensive, considering that I have to add p&p into Germany. Perhaps one of these days I'll get hold of it anywhere else, who know. But I'm sure it's a gem ...

(333) The Undertones - 'Jimmy Jimmy' (mp3). Once again, a classic power-pop- tune from yesteryear, and again: why not? Their third single, on Sire Records, from 1979. Simply wonderful!

(334) Smog - 'Dress Sexy At My Funeral' (mp3). An outstanding track from a somewhat disappointing album, I must say, 'Dongs Of Sevotion' (Drag City Records, 2000). Perhaps this is because it's a double-album, and there are not many very good double-albums around, I think, in fact 'London Calling' is the only one which comes to mind right now where all of the songs are just perfect (by the way: your search for 'London Calling' in Smog - discographies will turn out to be in vain, younger readers, it was by a band called 'The Clash'). Either way: Smog basically was Bill Callahan on his own and as far as I know he now releases records under this name.

(335) Elastica - 'Da Da Da' (mp3). Originally done by German outfit Trio back in 1982 - and I remember very well how outraged older people over here were when this was released and frequently shown on the telly ... they thought it was the end of German culture - you can find it on their album 'The Menace' on Deceptive/Atlantic from 2000.

(336) Grandaddy - 'Everything Beautiful Is Far Away' (mp3). From 1998, a CD-single on Big Cat Records ... and what a marvellous little tune this is, friends!! A little bit more on Grandaddy: here.

(337) Brassy - 'No Competition' (mp3). A British band, but with an American singer, Muffin Spencer, who, by the way, is the sister of Jon Spencer out of the wonderful Jon Spencer's Blues Explosion. Their biography once read: "Brassy are Elastica sharing a sloppy wet kiss with the Beasties." And you know what? This is not far from the truth! 'No Competition' is on Brassy's debut LP on Wiija, 'Got It Made' (2001).

(338) ESG - 'Moody' (mp3). This, I once read, is supposed to be the most-sampled track in the history of recorded music. Whether this is true or not, I obviously can't tell. But it's a neat tune, taken from a very good band-compilation, a double LP actually, called 'A South Bronx Story', it was released on Universal Records in 2000. 'Moody' itself though is from 1982. More on E.S.G.: here.

(339) Clinic - 'Distortions' (mp3). Another fine track from a another fine album, their first full-length release: 'Internal Wrangler' (Domino Records 2000). Not as good as the fantastic 'The Return Of Evil Bill' ... and perhaps not even comparable, but still worthwile downloading ... so do it now while you can!

(340) Silicon Teens - 'Memphis Tennessee' (mp3). I'm pretty sure that quite a lot of you out there will say, 'now, this is the fucking best song in the whole episode' ... and you may even be right! If you never heard this before, please please please have a listen, boys and girls! Silicon Teens basically were no other than Daniel Miller, founder of Mute Records (more about this: here) and they/he released an album back in 1980 (on Sire) called 'Music For Parties'. Great stuff altogether, but this version of the Chuck Berry - tune is simply outstanding!

(341) Cay - 'Resurrexit' (mp3). A CD-single on Org Records from 2000, and another brilliant one as well. Some little discussion about the merits of Cay here ... personally I know nothing about them at all. But the tune is a winner, that's for sure!

(342) Ballboy - 'Essential Wear For Future Trips To Space' (mp3). Well, over the years Ballboy have become one of my favourite bands. Clever lyrics, great tunes ... what more can you possibly ask for? This is the first tune of theirs I heard John Peel play and I was fascinated by them from this point onwards. I think it was released as a single, but you'll also find it on the -highly recommended - full-length CD 'Club Anthems' (SL Records, 2001).

(343) Ladytron - 'Another Breakfast With You' (mp3). Again from a compilation, and again from a fine one as well. Of course not all of the 15 tracks are perfect, but most of them are close to it, I would say. 'We Love You ... So Love Us Too' was released by We Love You Records as a CD in 2001. I'm pretty sure it has become one of those items that you will more or less find rather easily in the bargain bins of your local record shop. If this turn out to be the case: do spend a quid or two for it, it's worth having!

(344) The Outcasts - 'Just Another Teenage Rebel' (mp3). Something from Belfast for you now for a change .... a total classic from November 1978, the band's second 7" on Good Vibrations. Good to hear this gem again, isn't it?

(345) Schneider TM - 'The Light 3000' (mp3). Well, as you might already have gathered, I'm not much of an expert when it comes to more contemporary music, therefore I can only tell you that I think this was first released on a 12" called 'Binokular' on City Slang Records in 2000. What I know for sure though is that it's a cover of a Smiths - favourite, 'There's A Light That Never Goes Out' ... also a great song, always on top when people are asked about their favourite Smiths - release. I prefer their older stuff though, but I digress ....

(346) The New Pornographers - 'Letter From An Occupant' (mp3). A CD-single on Matador (from 2000), also included on their 'Mass Romantic' - CD. More on the band: here.

(347) Mary Monday & Her Bitches - 'I Gave My Punk Jacket To Ricky' (mp3). Again, a little classic: from the USA, a 7" on Malicious Records, released in 1977. As it is so often the case with those great bands from yesteryear (those which didn't put out that many record), you are practically unable to ascertain any information about them in the internet at all. Alas Mary Monday & Her Bitches are no exception, so there's nothing I can tell you about them.

(348) The Beat - 'Ranking Full Stop' (mp3). From one of the great albums of all time, 'Just Can't Stop It', released on IRS in 1982, this is the last song I ever got to hear on John Peel's Music on BFBS.


Although BFBS officials still claim that Peel recorded his shows for them 'until his death', the truth is somewhat different: he used to record those shows at home, they were sent to BFBS in London and then broadcasted worldwide. It took Peel a few weeks to find out that the shows he had recorded just weren't broadcasted any longer and only upon request BFBS told him that they wouldn't want him to be on the air no more ..... after some 30 (!) years of working for them!

Back in 2000 there was no thought of internet radio or whatsoever, nor were any possibilities to listen to his BBC shows in Germany on the radio. So I had to rely on the music papers, which turned out not be very useful. In the end - I must admit - I gave up on new music: there was no John Peel to point me to it, you see.

On 26 October 2004 I was honeymooning in Jamaica. Me and Mrs. Loser hired a roofless Suzuki Jeep, rather an old car without any special equipment, you see, in order to drive from Negril to Port Antonio. The car's aerial was nothing more than a piece of crooked wire and the only station we could receive was - curiously enough - the BBC World Service. The reception was far away from being superb, as you might imagine, but they played The Cure and The Undertones and Joy Division all the time, so I had a great time driving along in the sun.

But in all of my life I will never forget the moment - we were approaching the suburbs of Kingston - when suddenly an announcement came up that Peel had died whilst being on holiday in Peru. I had to stop the car and even these days Mrs. Loser tells me that she never had seen an expression on my face like this again. I mean, I only met Peel about seven or eight times in my life and yes, I once stayed at his home for three days back in 1984, which means I never got to know him very well, but nevertheless he always has been like a father to me, as well with what he had to say on his BFBS show as with what he wrote in his little letters he'd send to me in all these years. Honestly, since his death, I think not a single day has passed on which I didn't think of him with the deepest respect possible.

The following was recorded by the BBC's answering machine on October 24th, 2004.



Miss you, John. Thanks for all the music, mate.

Dirk

5 comments:

Mr. Suave said...

Ho there, just discoverd your blog looking for info on Nirvana Devils -- I have the Some Foreign Shore 7" and would love to know more about the band. You've got a great thing going here -- thanks for sharing such great music.

Cheers,
Mr. Suave

Wardens World said...

In a small way you're carrying on what Peel did, exposing people to great music.

Here in the States we had a guy named Vin Scelsa who had pretty good taste in music but was by no means a punker. All we knew about Peel was the famous Peel Sessions.

Anonymous said...

"I think you'll have to agree listeners, an extreamly fine tribute to an extrodinary fine man."

Well done Dirk!
CK.

Greer said...

Nice work, Dirk. I enjoyed this series. Hope you guys are doing well :)).

JC said...

Hey Dirk

Been a bit busy recently and useing all my time to keep TVV afloat, with the result being I havent been reading other folks blogs for about 3 weeks.

Just wanted to say a huge thank you for this amazing series.

Great choice of tunes to finish things off, but more than that, a brilliant and moving piece of writing.

Hope you're not too busy with parenthood to stay away from this place for too long.

JC
xx