Friday, January 29, 2010

Death Disco



People often say to me, "DavyH old fruit, we know your occasional series of extended disco classics builds into a magnificent library our whole family will enjoy, but sometimes of a Friday we'd quite fancy a blast of the Young Master Lydon in his prime, especially given the recent resurgence of interest in his second most-famous band".

I am happy to oblige.

Hit it Wobble.

Public Image Limited - 'Public Image' (1978)

'Musee Des Beaux Arts'


About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters: how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.

In Brueghel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

- W.H Auden

(a postscript for Greer).

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Another Day On Earth


It's been a strange few days of plans thrown out and random stuff perking away in the rattly old coffee pot of my head.

Getting ahead of myself a bit, since it's still bloody cold out there, I was trying to find out where those lovely lines come from that the steadily-reforming Phil Connors quotes in Groundhog Day

And winter slumbering in the open air,
Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring


and found it was a poem by Coleridge.

And spookily, The Grauniad has given it away in a little free book today.

My head full of Eno (of which more here and, of course, here) I popped this on in the car on the way to collect my big sister who'd unexpectedly arrived in London and found it, in the light (or, I think we should say, darkness) of all the suffering in the news lately, very, very right and, well, moving.
Brian Eno - 'How Many Worlds' (2005)

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And she'd been to see the Aged Ps and felt 'things could be better' and that the little screws in the Old Man's mind may have shaken still looser since the last time she, or I, went down.

-----

I'm taking the biggest bag of old baby clothes up the road to this man in a minute; while all those mega-agencies and the mighty US military were noodling about at the airport, him and his little white van got straight through - and he's going back on Friday.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Reggae # 13


No matter what the people say
These sounds leads the way

It's the order of the day from your boss DJ
I King Stitt
.
Hot it from the top, to the very last drop!

He's right you know.

Clancy Eccles (featuring King Stitt) - 'Fire Corner' (1969)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Gumshoe Blues


Re-reading Raymond Chandler at the moment - it's been a while. God I love his writing.

I smelled Los Angeles before I got to it. It smelled stale and old like a living-room that had been closed too long. But the coloured lights fooled you. The lights were wonderful. There ought to be a monument to the man who invented neon lights. Fifteen stories high, solid marble. There's a boy who really made something out of nothing.

- 'The Little Sister' (1949)

----

Of course the best film of a Chandler novel, the one that truly and most accurately evokes Philip Marlowe's world of all-night drugstores, hired heavies with blackjacks, bent Bay City cops and platinum blondes who are not all they seem is, ironically, the one made, and set, in 1973 - albeit a 1973 shot through with and/or rammed uncomfortably up against Chandler's 40s, thanks in no small measure to John Williams' blue, blue score, and the constantly reiterated title song, with lyrics by Johnny Mercer...no less.

Jack Sheldon - 'The Long Goodbye' (vocal) (1973)
John Williams - 'The Long Goodbye' (vocal*) (1973)
Dave Grusin Trio - 'The Long Goodbye' (instrumental) (1973)

* I think, Clydie King.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Yeah Baby


Our occasional series of extended disco classics builds into a magnificent library your whole family will enjoy.

This week, in memoriam Theodore De Reese 'Teddy' Pendergrass (1950-2010).

Lovin' the 'breakdown' at 5:08. And what a voice.

Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes - 'Don't Leave Me This Way' (extended version) (1975)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Softly Still


Thick snow fell again here through the night, and it's falling softly still.

Here are three beautiful blue things uploaded just now from my LP of the soundtrack of the movie that made us cry, 24 years ago baby.

Chet Baker - 'Fair Weather' (1986)
Herbie Hancock - 'The Peacocks' (1986)
Lonette McKee - 'How Long Has This Been Going On?' (1986)

Herbie Hancock - piano
Pierre Michelot - bass
Billy Higgins - drums
Dexter Gordon - tenor saxophone
Wayne Shorter - soprano saxophone (on 'The Peacocks')

Monday, January 11, 2010

One For Sorrow

Claude Monet 'The Magpie'

There's a direct line from this (written in 1888) to the sort of thing Bill Evans was playing in the 1960s and even on to, as I was thinking when I played it last night, 'Nightporter' by Japan which only goes to show that like the man said, 'It's all just music' (and it's all just lovely).

Reinbert De Leeuw - Erik Satie: 'Gnossiennes - No 1 (Lent)' (1995)

Friday, January 08, 2010

It's Friday...Let's Skid Around Berkshire!


In an outrageous imposition on my Friday, I was today required to drive to an unpaid, afternoon 'meeting' outside of London!

And my wheels went slippy slippy on rubbish country lanes!

I may need an extra day off on Monday just to recover.

The Invitations - 'Ski-ing In The Snow' (1966)

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Snow Business


Had it not formed the lynchpin of our school music teacher's dastardly plan to sneak 'classical' music at us when we weren't looking, I'd never have heard this: he used to play it (quite loudly, as I recall) on the classroom record player.

Debussy played on a 'synthesiser'! That took up a whole room! Imagine!

Like my old man said - clever chaps, those Japanese.

Tomita - 'Snowflakes Are Dancing' (1974)
Tomita - 'Footprints In The Snow' (1974)

Monday, January 04, 2010

Marty!


What
a song.

And something put it into my head today, cripes knows what.

Mum & Dad had it on this (ah! more K-Tel memories).

One of those LPs in the steel rack, by the radiogram.

Marty Robbins - 'A White Sportcoat (And A Pink Carnation)' (1957)