Mr Men – Thursday – Seven

fox

Mr Snow

By SWC

I’ve never read Mr Snow but apparently he was a snowman that was ordinary until he was brought to life by Father Christmas.  When we had snow a few weeks ago, my daughters ‘Snow Alien’ lasted less than nineteen hours – and she was devastated when she looked out of the window after breakfast to see all that was left of him was the three carrot noses.

I have loads of songs with ‘Snow’ in the title so I’ve made a playlist and the first one that comes up with be the track of choice.

Oh, not a bad choice

The Fox In the Snow – Belle and Sebastian

Which puts me I think level with KC on four points

 

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The Charity Shop Countdown – Number 23

slinky

Slinky – Milltown Brothers

Bought from PDSA Shop Exeter

By Badger

In January 1990, the NME picked a bunch of bands that they were tipping to be massive successes over the coming year.  That list consisted of six bands, Carter USM, The Charlatans, The Mock Turtles, New FADS, The Hoovers and Milltown Brothers.  Which if you ignore The Mock Turtles and The Hoovers (nope me neither) was not a bad list.

Milltown Brothers were on that list due to their debut EP ‘Coming From the Mill’ a rousing slice of janglepop that underlined them are potential stealers of the throne currently occupied by the Stone Roses.

That EP lead to a brief A&R battle between a couple of record labels, both of which wanted to release the bands next single, which happened to be ‘Which Way Should I Jump’.  In the end A&M won the battle and released the single, which scrapped the Top 40 (although should have done much better).

Which Way Should I Jump

The album ‘Slinky’ followed which went Top 30 and spawned a couple more singles which included ‘Here I Stand’ which I seem to remember being the theme tune to a BBC drama about people in the North (It was called ‘Preston Front’ – Wiki Checking Fact Ed).

Here I Stand

Around two years ago, in something called the WYCRA 200, I was rather unkind to the Milltown Brothers.  In my defence, I was writing about the Pixies at the time and a gig I went to where the Milltown Brothers supported them and I suggested that they were rubbish.

Anyway, a week after that review Mrs Badger bought me this, she apparently needed change for something and only had a five pound note and found this in the shop above for a pound.   Turns out it is quite a bargain and actually really rather good.

Apple Green

European Me – Nummer Femten

The Kissaway Trail

Smother + Evil = Hurt – The Kissaway Trail

The Kissaway Trail are from Odense in Denmark, they original started as a four piece (recording under the name ‘Isles’) then expanded to a five piece and then later reverted back to a three piece.   Whilst they were a five piece they had two singers which gave the band the sound that they were looking for.

They released their self-titled debut album in 2007 (when they were a five piece), and it was immediately shrouded in critical acclaim.  Musical comparisons were made with bands like Arcade Fire and Flaming Lips – and live they were something to behold.   The Arcade Fire thing was something that they struggle to shrug off.

‘Smother + Evil = Hurt’ was the lead single and is a beautiful piece of music, the kind of track that plucks away at your heart strings, a song so fragile sounding that at the end of it, you’ll turn to whoever is next to you and offer them a hug just because.

The cynical among you are right now sitting up, fingers in the air and pointing out that this, whilst great, is finely tuned, goosebump bringing stirring indie rock by numbers and that the aforementioned Arcade Fire do this much better, and this is nothing better than a copycat effort, but hang on, let’s look at exhibits B and C

Sometimes I’m Always Black

SDP

‘Sometimes I’m Always Black’ is amazing, the way the drums pound away gradually building until finally it soars into its wonderful climax.  It is totally brilliant.

‘SDP’ is taken from the bands second album ‘Sleep Mountain’ and is without question their finest moment.  All pealing bells chirping away with a romantic sounding piano tinkling away alongside it.

The A to Z of EP’s – E

Eagulls

E is for Eagulls

I left Leeds in the late nineties, largely because I fancied a change from a city which had in my opinion become humdrum, dull and at times violent.   If I had stuck around for say ten years, I would have been around to witness the birth of a booming music scene.  A scene which features a load of bands, bands like Radio 4, Hookworms, Menace Beach, Forward Russia, and lastly but not least the wonderful Eagulls, who have perhaps overtaken all of the others in terms of popularity.

Eagulls are terrific, a punky thrashy blast that takes all the best bits from the early Cure records (think ‘Boys Don’t Cry’) and then blends them with vocals that are very reminiscent of Ian Curtis.

Todays tracks are taken from the band self titled EP which was released in 2012, and was their second release.  Which, if I was writing, an ICA on Eagulls, would probably take up the entire second side, because it is utterly marvellous.

The lead track from that is ‘Moulting’ which is an exhilarating three minutes or so.  It’s all pounding drums and feedback which is wrapped up in a nice post punk jacket.

Coffin

Moulting

No Ifs No Buts

Cripple (Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis)

Still Born

50 Songs About The Weather – 19

warm

Warm and Sunny Days – The Dears

The wedding took place roughly ten months after she told me about it.  My entire family went to it, we drove about in a hired minibus like those weird families you see in supermarkets, all piling out en masse, shouting at each other. It was kind of hellish, but kind of nice to spend time with my mum and dad as well.

But of course, the wedding itself was utterly marvellous.  It was on a beach in Spain, she looked stunning, the groom looked handsome, the guests were perfect, the food was wonderful, the drink was free, the hotel was lovely and the party went on until Sunday afternoon, which considering the wedding was on Saturday afternoon is quite an achievement.

I stayed on in Spain for an extra week and drove myself around a bit, I visited San Sebastian, Girona and Bilbao and then caught the overnight ferry back to Plymouth.

I had rigidly stuck to my “All men are bastards” mantra and steered myself away from relationships, a chap work seemed interested for about a week but when he asked me out one night in the pub and I turned him down he didn’t ask again.

Then one afternoon in the council recycling centre my life changed (I know I go to all the decents places).  I had for the last six months or so started, in my spare time (which I had loads of because I was deliberately single), to buy up old furniture and restore it and then try and sell it again.  It turned out I was quite good at it.

That afternoon I spotted a beautiful old cabinet, a bit battered but it was mahogany, probably made in the 50s and a steal at fifteen pound.  I went over to it and told the chap that I wanted to buy it.  At roughly the same time (but I was definitely first) a man told the man that he wanted the same cabinet.  The council man looked at us both, and mumbled that “the lady has already claimed it”.  A lengthy argument ensued but in the end I walked away with the cabinet, despite the man offering the council chap double the price.  The man annoyed me.

The problem was that I couldn’t get the cabinet into my car.  As I struggled the other man drove up to me and said “You need a hand?” he smiled and he got out his van.

I looked at him, I was still annoyed with him, but I really couldn’t lift the cabinet on my own.

“Do you mind?” I asked.

“Of course not, the names Dom, Dominic” he said, smiling again.

Lost In The Plot

22: The Death of All the Romance

 

Cover Me – Number 44

Georgia

The Devil Went Down To Georgia – The Levellers

Originally by The Charlie Daniels Band

Wikipedia tells me that the Muppets also recorded a version of this.  I would pay hard cash for a copy of that.  Guys you know the address.  Anyway, here is a weak OPG story.

Many moons ago the pub of choice for me and the bunch I hung around with was The Star, a fairly big place in Gillingham, it had a decent juke box and in summer the landlord put a bouncy castle in the garden for drunk people to piss around on.  It also had a fairly decent quiz machine.

I’m not a fan of them but one night five or six were hanging around it and OPG put her pound in and started to play – now she was fairly intelligent ( 3 A’s at A Level and a double first from Kent University) so she was doing alright, we guessed an answer to one question and the next one, if we got it right meant that she would win Ten Quid.  As far I know no one had ever won anything on the quiz machine in that pub.

Standing next to her was Graham, some of you may remember him, usually stories involving him end in me getting punched, although not on this time.  Also there is Emma, Grahams girlfriend, plus Richard and Katherine.  The topics on offer were Music or Transport, so we chose Music obviously and the question came up…

“Which State did the Devil visit according to the Charlie Daniels Band Song?”

(or something like that) then you had three options they were Alabama, Georgia or Louisiana.  Now, that very day, I had purchased on 12″ from Rooster Records in the Chatham Pentagon Centre for £1.99, ‘One Way’ by The Levellers, who were at the time fairly new on the scene, well sort of, they had one album out but were gaining speed.  Anyway, so I knew the answer was Georgia as the Levellers cover this track on the B Side – not that I knew it was a cover version, until that very minute.

A voice – Graham “It’s Alabama” he said, authoritatively.

“Its Georgia” I said.  The countdown clock was into the orange, if it went red then time was running up.

“No its not” Graham again, his hand was moving to the top button.

“I’ll buy you all drinks for the rest of the night if its not Georgia” I said with a certain air of arrogance and certainty then I whacked the middle button.

“You utter twat” says Graham quickly followed by…”Oh, ok”

OPG looks at me and smiles, I inwardly breathe a sigh of relief, Emma looks at Graham and frowns.  OPG immediately presses the button marked ‘Cash Out’.

‘The Devil Went To Georgia’ is brilliant.  The other two tracks on the 12″ are as follows

One Way – which despite the massively ironic nature to it, is kind of bloody wonderful in a massively dated way

The Last Days of Winter

 

 

The Greatest Britpop Album In The World Ever….Number 17

brown

Unfinished Monkey Business – Ian Brown

By SWC

When I first heard this record I thought that this record was as exactly as part of its name suggested.  Unfinished.  It feels terribly primitive in places as well, but some twenty years later, it is an album that I come back to regularly and it is an album that is laced with lofi greatness.  Of course, Brown’s comeback had already promised so much when he dropped ‘My Star’.

My Star

Despite this sounding in places almost exactly like ‘Dear Prudence’ by The Beatles when this came out Brown sounded quietly triumph, almost victorious, I remember him shadow boxing his way through this on Top of the Pops, looking and (unusually) sounding marvellous.  So expectations for the album were high, and yet as I’ve stated when it first came out it kind of hit and missed at the same time.

Badger has argued in the past that this is pretty much a Stone Roses album without the influence of John Squires.  By this he means that nearly all the other members of the Roses have had a hand in both the music and in places the production.  In fact some of the tracks on it contain pieces of music that were left on the production room floor at the end of the sessions of ‘The Second Coming’ so he may well have a point.  The best example of this, is perhaps ‘Can’t See Me’ which contains Mani on bass and Reni on drums.  Then you read later that it was a song that Squire rejected.

Can’t See Me

Badger is wrong about the influence of Squires. It is massively influenced by him, or rather it is massively about him.  Roughly half of the tracks on it are squarely about Brown’s relationship breakdown with Squires.   Like these ones, which apparently is about Squires tendency to be a two faced whatsit and apparently was written minutes after Brown got a phone call telling him that Squires had left the band.

What Happened to Ya Pt 1

What Happened to Ya Pt 2

Still, as least he’s not bitter.

 

Oh and just in case any of you are feeling the Heebies Jeebies today, this should settle your nerves and no its no Angus Deayton pretending to be Maurice Gibb before you ask.