Columbus too / perimeters of nails

The casu­al playlist that worked for me today….

Blam Blam BlamThe Bystanders
A love­ly Mark Bell song from the Blams’ only full album, Lux­u­ry Length. I love Mark’s glis­ten­ing gui­tar and the lop­ing soft funk groove that so deserves to be sam­pled. Most of the focus on the Blams is, now, placed upon the unde­ni­able tal­ents of Don McGlashan, often over­look­ing Mark’s work. Blam Blam Blam was per­haps the most per­fect and equal trio in New Zealand’s pop past.

John CaleAntarc­ti­ca Starts Here
This is so slight you almost miss it tucked away at the end of Paris, 1919, an album which stands as Cale’s finest post-Vel­vets moment. Pro­duced by Chris Thomas, this rather for­lorn paean to lost fame, with an almost inaudi­ble whis­pered vocal, is an appro­pri­ate end to what is both a love­ly and rather mov­ing long play­er that once meant a great deal to me.

signs Joey RamoneWhat A Won­der­ful World
Yit’s its cheesy as hell, but I shed a qui­et tear every time I think of poor Joey. His life didn’t seem to be either hap­py nor charmed, and then it, to top it off, he died so very young – whilst watch­ing all those who claim him as an influ­ence coin­ing it. I guess it wasn’t such a won­der­ful world for Joey.

The Gor­donsThe Coalminer’s Song
The Gor­dons were NZ’s first rave act. Whilst the rest of the world didn’t get hard­core wall of sound nose­bleed rave until the late eight­ies, down in lil’ NZ we had the Gor­dons from 1980 onwards. Whilst they may not have sound­ed like a rave act in the lat­ter sense, their intent was the same, and they cou­pled that with an almost Beat­lesque melod­ic charm. This, from their first EP, pre-Fly­ing Nun, was our pre-going out choon for much of 81 and 82.

Thom YorkeCym­bal Rush (The Field Late Night Essen Und Trinken Remix)
I’m not a Radio­head fan, I must be hon­est (not since they stopped doing the noisy stuff far too long ago and turned into mean­der­ing self-absorbed prog), but I did rather like the Thom Yorke solo release from 2006. More to the point, I liked what he did with it – in ret­ro­spect, it was a point­er to what R/H were to do last Octo­ber. This, from a sin­gle, is a killer re-rub cour­tesy of The Field (whose own album last year was rather good) and is prob­a­bly a bet­ter shot at what Radio­head have been try­ing to achieve in the past decade than any­thing R/H have done them­selves. Which must make this both sat­is­fy­ing and frus­trat­ing for Thom, no?

hercules Her­cules & Love AffairBlind (Frankie Knuck­les Mix)
With­out want­i­ng to seem over­ly trend con­scious, I’m wait­ing with some antic­i­pa­tion  for the album from these guys. I bought the sin­gle before this and loved it. And then down­loaded this from an mp3 blog. I will buy the album because I like it. Isn’t that how it works? It’s like radio. And isn’t that what the para­noid home tap­ing, home burn­ing, down­load­ing is killing our music crew miss? This Knuck­les mix is stunning.

The shad­ow of old school Bris­tol bass-meis­ters, Smith & Mighty hangs over this. The Pinch album was anoth­er of 2007’s moments for me.

Elvis Costel­loAlmost Blue
Just to con­fuse mat­ters, not from the EC album kwerkof the same name but, per­haps, my favourite Costel­lo album pro­duced by Geoff Emer­ick, Impe­r­i­al Bed­room. There is a killer live take of this from the fast fad­ing Chet Bak­er (Elvis wrote it for Chet), which I like to play when I’m morose, but not today. Elvis’s soft piano-led bal­lad is fine.

KraftwerkThe Mod­el
The live ver­sion from the Min­i­mum-Max­i­mum dou­ble from 2005. The stu­dio ver­sion of this is what it is but I love this take which adds, bizarrely enough, an almost human funk to it. On this album, they play the songs we all know, love and were influ­enced by as if they were a tour­ing rock band, com­plete with mis­takes and missed words. They almost, for­give me, rock. Quite something…

Aretha FranklinIt Was You
For the past two months I’ve been 51BTy6d4ZUL._AA240_besot­ted with the recent dou­ble album of Aretha out­takes, Rare & Unre­leased Record­ings from the Gold­en Reign of the Queen of Soul (sure­ly a short­er title was avail­able???). This was the unre­leased stuff, for gods sake! Lis­ten to the track I’ve sam­pled above, and then buy the album. The voice, the voice, the voice –and the space … she may have had a patchy post-Atlantic career, but lis­ten to this stuff: there was a time when Aretha wrote the book.

Ok that’ll do.

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