Video for Your Woman by Whitetown
I completely fell for White Town's 'Your Woman' when Mark Radcliffe started playing it on his Graveyard Shift show on Radio 1 in 1996. So I was gobsmacked to walk into my local caff the other day and hear a cover version playing. Here's what White Town's Jyoti has to say about it: Tyler James Covers 'Your Woman'.
'I see you on the street - you kiss my cheek, my knees go weakOh my, I'm smitten. Again. The first MP3 from the new Laura Cantrell album 'Humming By The Flowered Vine', '14th Street' is now available from Laura's page on the Matador Records site. It's an everyday day tale of unrequited love, by Emily Spray:
It's clear you've got nothing to lose, while I'm losing sleep'
'To a lot of New Yorkers, 14th Street is the unofficial divide between uptown and downtown. I personally love 14th street – the Salvation Army, Union Square, the L train running just below. I think this song also perfectly sums up the moment when you see someone you’re obsessed with on the street and decide whether it’s worth it to say hello or stay safely in the background. I’ve known Emily, a Portland, Oregon native, for many years and really appreciate the New York moment she captured in this song.'
...at Earls Court in May. I've always wanted to go to a Kylie concert but other stuff has always got in the way. But the Blonde was up for it, it was just about affordable AND we managed to get seats which are not in another county, so we're on our way! I'm so looking forward to a real spectacle. It's all very well devoting your gig life to indie bands, but you do miss out on glamour. I can't believe Kylie's 37 - suddenly I feel so young...
Woo-hoo! This just in from Matador:
"Laura Cantrell's absolutely gorgeous debut album for Matador (and third album proper) is entitled 'Humming By The Flowered Vine' and is scheduled for June 21 release worldwide. Featuring a mixture of original songs, the traditional "Poor Ellen Smith" (a classic murdered-woman ballad), and interpretations of songs by Lucinda Williams, Emily Spray, Dave Schramm, and others. With star guest musicians to boot. We'll have more information on this release shortly; in the meantime, feast your eyes on the cover art, based on a painting by Fred Tomaselli."
More Tomaselli pics: Fred Tomaselli: Monsters Of Paradise At The Fruitmarket Gallery (24 Hour Museum)
There's this lovely, lovely bloke. He's quietly handsome with a really warm personality and a gorgeous smile. He's sweet and funny and modest and down to earth and he's even a Christian. And he keeps playing me my favourite records without knowing they're my favourites, which really floors me.
Some good news about Edwyn Collins's condition (after suffering a cerebral haemorrhage), from his wife Grace:
"This is the most relaxed I've felt about giving you news since this all began. I think we can say that Edwyn is now virtually out of immediate danger. We are organising his next move, to intensive neuro rehabilitation, which should happen in the next few weeks at the latest. This is a tough challenge, but you know he's beaten the odds already and I fully expect him to go on in his customary stubborn manner. He is aware of the wonderful support he has received and I'm printing all the messages out so he can read them when he is able in the near future. If you wish, you can send cards to him at:
West Heath Studios,
West Heath Yard,
174 Mill Lane,
London, NW6 1TB.
Meanwhile, his doctors are delighted and a bit confounded at his progress. He's Edwyn. Love to you all Grace"
I went into the Newsnight website to find a clip of Jeremy Paxman dematerialising, Dr Who-style, at the end of last night's programme - made me laugh out loud (as it did my colleagues when I replayed to them this morning). While I was there, signed up for the newsletter, which has just arrived. And I'd put good money on Annie getting some PRS money from tonight's programme...
"Gum: And with Ken Livingstone now waging war on the gum that sticks to pavements and shoes, we'll be revealing why chewing gum achieved the status of cool, revealing a secret chewing gum war, and asking how we came to be stuck with it. Personally, I stick mine under the Newsnight desk. Join us at 10.30pm on BBC2. Kirsty."
Video for Chewing Gum by Annie
"Is that a new boy stuck to your shoe?"Working late, I've been listening to the songs on the Annie website. I LOVE Chewing Gum - which has the Richard X magic, and a fantastic video to boot. I've got it on the brain now. Not so keen on Heartbeat, but I think it could grow on me. When it does I'll buy the album.
27.05.05 edited to add: The Hitmakers: Richard X (BBC)
Video for The Hounds of Love by The Futureheads
How fantastic is The Futureheads' cover of Kate Bush's The Hounds of Love?! Beautiful Northern pronunciation too - 'luv' and 'luving'. (They're Sunderlanders, like Kenickie.) And the video's great. Oh-o-o-oh-ohhh!
The real Kate Bush is due to reappear soon with a new album, hopefully before Mark Radcliffe runs out of cardboard for his Bushometer (counting how many days since Kate Bush hasn't returned Mark's request to visit the show)...
"Tell us exactly!"Thanks to Plums (and Ultraruby) for flagging this up: ‘Classy’: Kenickie, Northerness and Femininity, by Emma Jackson (the Artist Formerly Known As Emmy-Kate Montrose), who is now an undergraduate Sociology/Cultural Studies student at Goldsmiths. I've only had time to skim it so far but it looks like a really good read, and it's great to hear what Emma's doing these days. It's made me nostalgic for Kenickie though - can I have a moment to yearn just a little, please?
Whilst researching virtual exhibitions at the National Railway Museum's site, I spotted this page on the Shinkansen bullet train, which reminded me of the witty and illuminating newsletters from Matt at Shinkansen Records which I used to enjoy reading in my fanzine days. Matt is now involved in writing Smoke: A London Peculiar, excerpts from which you can read on their site.
'If the words won’t come, I’ll simply stop, put on my coat, and set my controls for the heart of the city; the streets of London are teeming with untold and unimagined stories, we just need to step in their way. Other times, I’ll put on someone else’s coat, and hide in their wardrobe – people get really upset when they think their clothes have come alive...'
PS: Speaking of 'my fanzine days', I'm also shocked to note the name of this photographer - not the Stephen Eastwood who used to referee Planet Sound/The Void on Teletext, surely? And suddenly disappeared from said post with no warning? And interviewed Cyndi Lauper in her fabulous flat for Select magazine? Maybe just my imagination...
Bastardo! Charlotte Hatherley's video for her new single 'Bastardo' is worth a look - it stars David Walliams (Little Britain), Simon Pegg (Spaced), Julia Davies (Nighty Night), Alice Lowe (Garth Marenghi's Dark Place), Lucy Davis (The Office) and Lauren Laverne (ex-Kenickie), and has illustrations by the 2000AD bods.
I'm very interested in Gwen Stefani's style (but not in her music). I love studying pictures of what she's wearing. She's such an interesting dresser - it's not all stuff I'd wear, but it's usually a bit inventive, a bit different. Of course these days she can afford Westwood and Galliano, but she doesn't need couture to look distinctive.
She's doing the rounds at the moment promoting her new record, and the video for her new single is on her website. It's a real technicoloured treat, a take on Alice in Wonderland - have a look if you've got a fast enough connection (the second half is where it gets interesting).
In a way, Radcliffe was (still is) my 'Peel' - the DJ who got me into music and kept me into it, constantly widening my tastes. I loved Peel too though - the way he could be warm and gruff at the same time, the way he talked about his wife and family with such affection (I hear he wore a ring in the shape of a pig - his nickname for his wife Sheila), and of course the music - full of surprises (pleasant and unpleasant!). Peel was the one who got me into Laura Cantrell, for which I am very, very grateful. It's difficult to accept that he's not there anymore.
The most touching bit of the tribute show on Saturday night was Phill Jupitus, tugging at his hair and blinking away tears as he spoke. I rarely cry at the telly but I did shed a tear for Phill, for John. Channel 4 are repeating Peel's excellent Sound of the Suburbs series, from a few years back, and there's a lovingly-assembled unofficial website - The John Peel Session Archive. You may also like to play the John Peel Sweet Eating Game - perhaps at the wrong speed...
Video for Friends of Mine by Adam Green, c/o YouTube
'We fall in love by accidentHave been meaning to flag this up for ages - Moldy Peach Adam Green's video for the brilliant Friends Of Mine. I loved this so much when I heard it on Radio 2, but then I found out it was only released as a single on vinyl and I can't justify buying a whole album just for one song. So I have to make do with occasionally playing the video on my PC after hours at work.
A heavenly coincidence..."
"There is a point when you think, 'I will make myself fancy by blinding them with spangles.'" Following a discussion in the office about how (according to Heat magazine) Lauren Laverne fancies my colleague's uncle, Francis Pryor, a welcome revisit to Kenickie Fried Chicken for a few Kenickisms. Wear high heels, and get a record deal...
Am really glad I went to see The Dials play at the Marlborough Theatre on Friday night - they were excellent. Pidge, the drummer, is my sister's mate's boyfriend, so we were there out of loyalty, but I really enjoyed myself.
I knew it had potential when I saw the mandolin, banjo and pedal steel - add to that some wit and great tunes and you're in for a good evening! Am trying to get something by them on CD from Pidge (and get them to listen to Laura Cantrell, if they aren't already).
Pour me somethin' tall and strongNo, Alan Jackson. Surely it's HALF PAST five o'clock somewhere. In fact, it's half past the hour everywhere, if I understand the international time zones thingmy correctly. Can anyone who knows more about these things put me straight on this? (Catchy song though - bit of a guilty pleasure.)
Make it a hurricane before I go insane
It's only half past twelve but I don't care
It's five o'clock somewhere ...'
"You keep me running round and round Well, that's alright with me..."* I love it when one thing leads to another. I pop in to ilike.org.uk and see that Belle & Sebastian are doing Tracks of My Years on the Ken Bruce show on Radio 2. And one of the tracks they've chose is Kirsty MacColl's version of A New England. I won't go on and on about the great affection I feel for Kirsty and her music cos I'll start welling up, but it's good to know that a band I was once so into (heck, there was even a fanzine...) appreciates her too.
Last week I was up at the British Museum with my hack's hat on, and on the way back to Victoria I decided to go to Soho Square to see Kirsty's memorial bench. However, it didn't go as planned. I'd never been there before and hadn't realised there were dozens of benches there - or that on a blazingly hot lunchhour all the benches and lawns would be crammed full of people! I wandered round the Square several times, checking every bench plaque which wasn't hidden by someone sitting in front of it, but eventually gave up. I think the most likely candidate was a newish one in a prominent position on a raised section of the garden, but it was full and I wasn't brave enough to ask the gentlemen sitting in the middle to lean forward so I could take a look at the plaque. Next time I'll pick late afternoon on a rainy day...
(L-R) Lorraine Kelly; Still from the Cure video 'The End Of The World', directed by Floria Sigismondi
'..."We try to find what the bands are saying," Amstell says, "and what their PR is saying... What are they trying to get away from? What are they hiding?" What are they hiding? "Their sexuality, their lack of talent and the fact that they have wavy hair."...'
I can barely contain my joy at Mark Radcliffe's return to the Graveyard Shift. The first night he was back on I listened to most of the hour-and-a-half on my feet, jigging about and giggling... high as a kite! I love this man, so much - his musical taste and sense of humour suit me down to the ground. While he was on daytime Radio 1 I couldn't listen to him, but now he's followed me to Radio 2 I can immerse myself in good music once again. I used to be so into music, to the point of anorakdom - heck, there was even a fanzine - but now I look at NME or Dotmusic and I haven't a clue who most of the bands are. So hopefully this means I can get into some new stuff - which hasn't happened for years. STOP PRESS: It's happened already! My colleague and I were 'listening again' to the Monday night show, and a second listen to Charlotte 'Ash' Hatherley's new single, Kim Wilde. And I'll go to the foot of our stairs: turns out it's a free download, complete with CD artwork! Get yours HERE.
Is 'No Roots' by Faithless the most pompous record ever?
'...Its notion of intellectual profundity involves delivering the line "Hey Mister Rich, why don't you help the poor?" without collapsing into helpless giggles...'
It was 37 years ago today - and Sgt Pepper cover has still failed to pay
'..."In one work Marcel Duchamp meets Tracey Emin in the desert, with three camp cowboys. In another he meets Elvis and the Spice Girls."...'
Heartbreaking Country Ballad Paralyzes Trucking Industry
'..."There's been an alarming number of loads that don't make it to their destinations. And the ones that do make it are usually behind schedule, because they're being loaded, transported, and unloaded by crews brought low by the thought of a good-loving woman a man loves best packing everything up but her wedding dress and going back to the town she never should've left."...'
"I've crushed on you so longIt had to happen - it's always been my belief that pop groups I'm not fond of will eventually put out ONE song I totally love. Step forward Westlife. Lads, you've done it - I am hooked on Obvious. The Gorgeous Blonde will be pleased. It's just a great shiny pop ballad. It muses on the awfulness of falling for a friend who fails to notice, while you read deep significance into every look, every word, every gesture, blinded by hope... apparently.
But on and on you get me wrong..."
Great article on designboom on the origin of the the wire coat hanger, and another on the re-use of wire coat hangers. Which links in nicely with the mobile I've just finished (which I started only four years ago...). It's my tribute to Kenickie, (and a complete rip-off of the band Alfie's logo). If you'd like to make this at home, kids, all you need to do is cut out letters from a piece of card covered in shiny sticky-backed paper, and hang them from a coat hanger with sewing thread.
I'm quite emotional about Mark and Lard leaving Radio 1 - only because it means they're not doing a show together any more. Really it's my gain - I haven't been able to listen to them while they've been on in the afternoon, except on the odd day off. Mark will be back in June, with a night-time show on Radio 2. It'll be lovely having him back on nights. I will miss Lard though.
Lads, if you only knew how many nights you sustained me through coursework deadlines, how you comforted me as I worked till 4am, covered in glue, ink and bit of fabric. You got me into so many of my favourite bands - Divine Comedy, Tindersticks, Kenickie, Gorky's, Belle & Sebastian - you cost me a bluddy fortune!
You got me funny looks from strangers every time I waved at the Palace of Glittering Delights as I passed on the bus going down Oxford Road...
Best bang a tune on.
My two new favourite things:
1. My new knitting dolly, an impulse buy at Hove Museum yesterday. I'm knitting cords out of wool, thread, string, ribbon... owt which might work. Now I've just got to find something to do with the end product.
2. My copy of Stacy's Mom by Fountains of Wayne. They looked so old on CD:UK next to all the teenyboppers but powerpopped the others out of the water. And I'd like to get to know the lead singer better. He intrigues me...
7/7/06 - edited to add:
Jasper Fforde Fan Club's Nextian Songbook: Friday's Mom as sung Bowden Cable (to the tune of Stacy's Mom)
So, the Brits were still fairly dull despite the reintroduction of alcohol. Only two good things: Gwen Stefani's fabulous red tuxedo-style catsuit with bellbottoms and trailing bustle, and the half-arsed rendition of Lovecats by Jamie Cullen and Katie Melua reminding me how fab the original was.
I'm through with love hangovers
It's best that I stay sober
No rolling in the clover
No Gretna Green to Dover
No honeymoon in Paris
I only feel embarrassed for the
The charmed kittens
Both smitten by the love songs that he's written
Caught in the sights of a
The magic piper of love...'
Does your heart go boom when he walks in the room?Heaven knows I don't have a wide frame of reference, but at different points in my life I've encountered extreme loveliness with which I had all the sexual chemistry of a damp flannel, and lovely-but-damaged which could create fireworks at fifty paces from just a glance:
Do rainclouds scatter and fall?
Do you feel yourself sigh as he passes you by
Or do you grow a hundred feet tall?
D’you go bang shang-alang, every time you see him?
D’you go bang shang-alang, every time you’re near him?
D’you go bang shang-alang, every time you hear him?
If you don’t, he’s not a real punk boy,
If you don’t, he’s not a real punk boy,
If you don’t, he’s not a real punk boy at all
'It was then she understood how dough feels when it is plunged into boiling oil.'I guess the 'right' person would be a mixture of the dependable loveliness and the sparky chemistry. Looking at the couples in my life who work so well together, that's what I see: one couple who have been together for ten years and are currently supporting each other through great grief, a couple who have been together through seven years of 'thick and thin' and just married in the most touching and romantic ceremony I've been privileged to attend, another newlywed couple who have quite an age gap but totally belong together, my parents - thirty-one years on the clock and still holding hands in the street, and even a friend who has just begun to fall for her new boyfriend. It's possible. It happens. I must remember that.
Laura Esquivel, Like Water for Chocolate
Video for When You Come Back Down by Nickel Creek, c/o YouTube
"You got to leave me now, you got to go alone You got to chase a dream, one that's all your own Before it slips away When you're flyin' high, take my heart along I'll be the harmony to every lonely song That you learn to playJust bought the first Nickel Creek (bluegrass wunderkinder) album, and so far haven't broken it in because I can't resist sticking When You Come Back Down on repeat for an hour at a time. It's gorgeous - the lyrics, the vocals, the mandolin, the violin...
When you're soarin' through the air
I'll be your solid ground
Take every chance you dare
I'll still be there
When you come back down
When you come back down..."
It's a love song, but not necessarily of romantic love. It speaks about the supportive, unconditional love of good friendship or parenting. Certainly it makes me think of my parents - I'm well aware that not everyone has the good relationship with their parents that I have with mine, and I'm so thankful I've been blessed with them. They've always been 100% supportive of me in whatever I wanted to do, wherever I wanted to go.
Not that I've deliberately rebelled against them at any point - but I realise now that they could have made things very hard for me when I wanted to go to art college and my teachers were angling for me to head off to Oxford to do something safe and academic. Mum & Dad would have been very proud if I'd chosen to do that, but they'd been sticking my drawings to the fridge door since I could hold a crayon, and knew where my heart was.
They didn't impose their ambitions on me, they encouraged me to do what I yearned to do - support that Mum certainly didn't get from her family when she was leaving school and had aspirations of her own. You're good people, Mr & Mrs B.
I love pop music. I LOVE POP MUSIC. I LOVE POP!!!
Watching Channel 4's 25 Years of Smash Hits last night got me all fired up: Adam Ant in all his glory, Bananarama, Betty Boo, Take That, Justin Timberlake and Blue. Bless them all.
My sister and I used to go halves on our copy of Smash Hits - when she was a Brosette and I was into Rick Astley, T'Pau, Whitney Houston and... Phil Collins (?). It's was 55p every fortnight. I remember feeling excited and slightly intimidated by just how cool and trendy it was - the layout, the graphics, the language ('blee!', 'natch'...)! Indeed, the language was its downfall, once Mum saw the 'Crap Joke Corner' page and banned us from buying it again. We even got into trouble a few weeks later when, in desperation, we were caught getting my cousin to buy it for us and pretend it was her copy...
I've just signed up for the online 'fab newsletter' - it asked me if I was (a) under 12, (b) 12-15 or (c) 15+... should I feel ashamed?
And seeing as I might as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb:
Well, the British Council like it, so why can't I?
During a discussion at work about food-based prog rock performances (we're very busy people), I remembered that during live performances of their song 'Ginger', the lead singer of David Devant & His Spirit Wife would grate a carrot over the bass player's head...
'In another life maybe
We'll all be ginger and free...'
Laura Cantrell is playing Brighton AGAIN! End of April. Still haven't got over my excitement at her playing a pub gig ten minutes from my house, back in December, the day after my birthday. First time I've ever been keen enough (and close enough) to ask for someone's autograph! No need for me to go on any further, found this rather fitting review on the excellent AmericanaUK site:
"She-Haw and Laura Cantrell - Prince Albert, Brighton - December 6th 2002:
There are moments in life when you realize your true vocation or when you realize who your true love actually is; tonight, within seconds of Laura Cantrell's band opening their set, I immediately decided to finish it with mistresses Punk, Hip-Hop and Soul, stop my rambling and settle down with the Sweetheart of the Rodeo. Seriously, I thought tonight that I could happily listen to this music for the rest of my life and be very happy indeed, such was the charisma, humour and talent on display...
In a major coup for the Gilded Palace, not only is this the smallest venue (70) on Laura Cantrell's tour, but one of the few with a full band, with full time Fannie and Record Label Magnate Francis Macdonald stepping in on drums. They run through many of the great tunes from 'Not the Trembling Kind' and 'When the Roses Bloom again', with highlights firmly being 'The Whiskey makes you Sweeter' (an unmatched tale of drunkenness and regret) and Amy Rigby's 'Don't Break the Heart'. (Fantastic to see this high profile and very special artist supporting another great female singer-songwriter from NYC- one day Amy will be as well recognized as a songwriter as Lucinda Williams and Gillian Welch). There is also a song (title??) about the parents of a soldier getting two letters home for Christmas, the first from their son saying how much he will miss them, and the second being of the 'he was a brave, brave man' variety from his C.O.; I would love to know what that song was- it brought the house down, the place to a stand still and tears streamed in great quantity. This small room in Brighton was immersed in sadness, grace and beauty for that song and for much of this performance. How to summarize? Laura Cantrell will be the hugest of country stars, and has the ability, stature, talent, voice and business sense to take on the country music business and play on her terms; she will sell buckets of records, and will go down in history with artists as great as Emmy Lou Harris and Johnny Cash. Guaranteed. MP"
'You've got to tolerate all those people that you hate
I'm not in love with you, but I won't hold that against you.'
Enjoying the Super Furries Animals' Juxtaposed With U on my PC headphones, I decided to revisit the fantastic Monsterism site. Boy, do prolific artistic geniuses like that Pete Fowler ever piss me off... ;)
Imagine, if you will, a stunningly beautiful summer Sunday afternoon by the seaside in Brighton. The sky is blue, the sun is blazing, the sea sparkling. The beach, the prom, and the pavements are covered in 60 tonnes of crushed cans, plastic bags and broken glass and the stench of stale piss hangs in the air. Don't get me wrong - I like a boogie on the beach as much as the next girl, but what, in the name of Norman Cook, went wrong?!
Highly tickled last night to find, whilst watching old episodes of John Peel's Sounds of the Suburbs, a clip of Ash performing 'Goldfinger' on Richard & Judy's This Morning. Tickled especially because the lads have turned the compulsory miming to their advantage, and have bass player Mark Hamilton miming to singer Tim's voice... :)
In other news, I have just bought the wonderful Monsoon Wedding, which I am so looking forward to seeing again - so much colour and pattern and music! To tide me over I have just changed my desktop wallpaper to deep pink rose petals, with orange icons. And now I'm off to Glasgow for the weekend - ta ta!