Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November's Picks

1. GRAHAM DAY & THE GAOLERS-"I'm Glad I'm Not Young"
You've gotta love a track that sings "young and still carefree I was walking down the street, dressed in pink paisley, Beatles boots upon my feet, I got a punch in the nose for wearing funny clothes..".  It's taken me some time to get my head around these guys, possibly because like The Len Price 3 they're not doing anything musically that my home team The Insomniacs weren't doing 20 years ago, but it's still rocking regardless of it's lack of complete originality. From their LP "Triple Distilled".

2. PAUL WELLER-"7 & 3 Is The Strikers Name"
I think this is possibly the strongest track Weller has ever written since "Going  Underground", I really do. It's clever, catchy, trippy and above all has lyrics that grab you: "Curse my master and his slaves and his soldiers too, curse those fuckers in their castle they're all bastards too". Heavy soul indeed.

3. MENSWEAR-"125 West 3rd Street"
Remember Menswear?  The crux of that hideous "Touched By The Hand Of Mod" piece in "N.M.E.", a bedroom band that became more known for being "seen" and when they were finally "heard" they surprised everyone by actually making some competent music?!  Their untitled debut CD had about three good songs on it, this was one of them, a pastiche of Bolan and Roxy Music via "Velvet Goldmine".  Britpop's second wave was all about faux mods in make up with exaggerated John's Children/Creation fringes, crap Merc suits, trainers and running jackets, playing 90's rock n' roll with a glammy edge, Menswear to a 't".  Oh and b.t.w, 125 West 3rd Street (in NYC anyway) is a hardware store............since 1933!

4. SLIM HARPO-"Tip On In"
I'd long accused The Stones of nicking this number's rhythm during the long drawn out improvisational part of "Goin' Home" till I realized that "Goin' Home" predated this number by a year!!  That said I think it's quite okay for an American blues man to cop a Stones lick and turn into something gritty and groovy like this 1967 45 on Excello.

5. EDDIE COCHRAN-"Summertime Blues"
This number always gets me. Cochran's slight affectations have an almost Southern Elvis twang (he was born in Minnesota and raised in California) and that bass, that bass must've kept Jet Harris awake at night trying to get that sound!  I can't help but think of my dad every time I hear this and think of how he told me this number takes him back to being a teenager pounding the pavement in his decaying seaside town looking for a Summer job in the late 50's.

6. THE QUIET FIVE-"When The Morning Sun Dries The Dew"
I stumbled upon this mellow beat ballad on an iTunes playlist and was blown away by it's melding of pre-Moody Blues solo Justin Hayward meets Unit 4+2.   I've no clue who these guys were other than they were British and had a few 45's in the 60's (and did a killer version of the Stones "I Am Waiting").

7. THE BLUE JEANS-"Sandfly"
An odd one off B-Side of the Hollies-esque (ie "Do The Best You Can") style "Hey Mrs. Housewife" single by The Swinging Blue Jeans from 1969 during their has been/chicken-in-the-basket cabaret days.  Coincidentally their lead guitarist, ex-Escort Terry Sylvester, joined The Hollies the previous year to replace Graham Nash. It's 1969 so of course it's a bit trippy (well as trippy as these guys could be) with it's funky groove laid down by a slight Hendrix chug to the tepid guitars with some very funky bass and minimal organ all about how groovy it would be (from a voyeuristic point of view) to be a sand fly.

8. THE STYLE COUNCIL-"Party Chambers"
I digress, when T.S.C's debut single "Speak Like A Child" came out I liked it's flip side, "Party Chambers" better. Despite my abhorrence for all things synthesizer (bar the odd Ultravox "Vienna" era tune) I love this track, I don't know why, but I do.  I think it reminds me of game show music from my childhood in the early/mid 70's and therefore perhaps makes me feel somehow smug and secure?!  Maybe it's the beer..............

9. BOOKER T. & THE M.G.'s-"The One Who Really Loves You"
I don't recall the last time I dusted off the old "Green Onions" LP/CD, so I decided it was time and became reacquainted with their jazzy/Jimmy Smith-esque debut album and as always this track never fails to leap out at me amongst it's somewhat mediocre other tracks that fill it out.

10. JON-"Upstairs, Downstairs"
Some day someone is going to catalog the massive number of Gibb brothers compositions they recorded and demo'ed while still based in Australia, most of which, like this track, never saw a legit Bee Gee's version issued and were instead issued by other artists utilizing a Bee Gees backing track (joining the ranks of Ronnie Burn's "Coalman" and "Exit Stage Right" and Adam Faith's "Cowman Milk Your Cow") . But till then we're going to have to make do with killer tracks like this one!!


Simon said...

Party Chambers is one of my favourite Weller tunes of all times. It's the Rockford Files it reminds me of, the synth work out at the end.

Supermod said...

I must say, your picks today are quite surprising! Menswear, Weller, and Style Council? You are a man of many layers surrounding an enigma.

Still, always great reading your picks and getting turned on to new (or forgotten) songs.

Wilthomer said...

"Rockford Files"! Spot on Simon! I knew it was something from my childhood, I was thinking of the old synth "Price Is Right Theme" too...but "Rockfile Files" is even closer. Wow.

Mr. Suave said...

Party Chambers is one of TSC's best. Nice mix of songs.

Monkey said...

Very accurate description of Menswear - although I'd have just added four more letters to that "t" to describe them...

Something of a pet hate of mine, even though the drummer is disappointingly likeable in his current job as BBC radio presenter.