Sunday, May 27, 2012


one of the few examples of a movie version of a TV situation comedy that was actually as a good, or even better, than the TV show

although the Porridge movie was pretty good now i think about it

Thursday, May 24, 2012

fascinated by the way certain figures in rock and pop just carry on, go with the flow, bend with the times...  not necessarily out of cynical, make-a-living opportunism, but perhaps out of genuine changeable enthusiasm, or a certain kind of shall we say aesthetic suppleness... a kinder way of saying there's no spine, no real core there?

i mean look at the career of Chris Spedding:

Whilst still with the Battered Ornaments, which without the departing Pete Brown left Spedding as the frontman, he joined the Frank Ricotti Quartet, and played guitar on the album Our Point of View, released in July 1969. He was also invited to play on Jack Bruce's first and third solo albums, Songs for a Tailor (1969) and Harmony Row (1971).[1]
Spedding then recorded his own instrumental album, Songs Without Words (1970) for Harvest Records, which was only released in Europe and Japan.[1]

During this time he was also playing jazz with Nucleus and recorded and toured with Mike Gibbs. He played guitar on the Pete Atkin / Clive James album “Driving Through Mythical America”.[2][3] He was a session player on Harry Nilsson's breakthrough album, Nilsson Schmilsson, recorded in London. During 1972-74 Spedding played a central role in Sharks, initially with ex-Free bassist Andy Fraser.[1] They recorded two albums and toured with Roxy Music. After that, he toured and recorded with John Cale. He also played with Roy Harper's occasional backing band Trigger, notably on 1975's HQ album. In 1972-76 he played in Mike Batt's novelty band The Wombles, occasionally performing on television in a Womble suit.

In 1975 Spedding had a Top 20 solo hit in the UK with "Motorbikin'",[4] which he promoted with popular television appearances on Top of the Pops and Supersonic, dressed in leather motorcycling gear, with greased hair.[5] When further hits failed to materialise he subsequently became better known as a session guitarist, appearing and recording with Bryan Ferry, Roxy Music, Elton John, Brian Eno, Jack Bruce, Nick Mason and Katie Melua, amongst others. During the mid 1970s, he even took part in the Wombles' UK tour in full furry costume, whilst wielding his trademark Gibson Flying V.[1] His own album Chris Spedding (1975) was produced by Mickie Most. Spedding recorded a version of the American singer-songwriter Garland Jeffreys' song, "Wild In The Streets", on his own Hurt album. The song has since been covered by the Circle Jerks and is featured on Tony Hawk's American Wasteland.

He also was the producer of the Sex Pistols first demos, which were recorded on 15 May 1976.[1] The three tracks recorded were "Problems", "No Feelings" and "Pretty Vacant". Spedding featured extensively on the album Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds issued in 1978, and much later toured with Jeff Wayne and the cast between 2006 and 2010. Spedding moved to New York joined the Necessaries as a guitarist and songwriter, then worked extensively with Robert Gordon. Before long he was back in the UK and recorded another album of his own, I'm Not Like Everybody Else (1980).[1] His live album, Friday the 13th was released in 1981.[1] Over the next few years he continued his session work on such albums as Tom Waits', Rain Dogs, while periodically releasing solo material (Mean and Moody (1985), Enemy Within (1986) and Cafe Days (1990).[1]
He made an appearance in Paul McCartney's Give My Regards to Broad Street in 1984, playing guitar in a session with McCartney and his wife, Linda.[1] Spedding was producer of the first two albums by the Canadian rockabilly band, The Razorbacks

so there is a kind of core there, which he returns to, and which seems to be rockabilly -- but along the way he does a solo album for Harvest, plays with the Soft Machine-like jazz-rock band Nucleus, but also with the Wombles, and with Jeff Wayne, and with...  

i guess that's the versatility of the career session musician but there's also a sense of going along with what the times atr dictating, the rock dialectic...

but then that's how quite a lot of people -- musicians and industry people -- are e.g. the way Andrew Lauder goes from prog/space-rock at United Artists into pub rock into postpunk (Radar) into retro-rock/reissue-archaeology (didn't he co-found Edsel, or was it Demon?) into indie/baggy (Silvertone, w/ Stone Roses) and then onto other things

if you're a real music fan, your enthusiasms evolve

and if it's good for critics to keep moving, taste-wise, why not then musicians and A&R?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

further to the previous post....

"Bethnal were a British punk band formed in 1972"

got quite a lot of press in the UK music papers in '78

then this lot -- "Talk about jumping on the bandwagon. I watched a documentary on them when they were wearing flares and going to DIY shops to buy wallpaper! Spinal Tap has got nothing on this lot!"

so many things before punk that were a bit punk but you can really see why they didn't impact like punk did, when it finally happened

sometimes you just gotta love youtube

while i'm "on that vibe"

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

cringetastic stuff in this FACT piece wherein Sun Araw and the filmakers behind the ICON EYE documentary  talk about gems from the vinyl haul they got in Jamaica while doing that record-cum-doc with the Congos

ICON EYE man Tony Lowe on Dennis Brown's "Let Love In":

"... just listened to this seven times and had to stop. Earthen scripture…the way he means ‘without love you can’t live on” – you know this lifetime has nothing to do with it! Was a very important mp3 for the boo and I last autumn, so to have the power of the original press on the home altar was a beautiful bless. The Crown Prince was 15 when he cut this."

and on Heart of the Congos:

"This is the Congos’ press on Ashanti Roy’s label; they cut herb on extra, unglued sleeves of this. He gave us all a copy when the week of sessions was over. Still in awe that Matt and the Congos opened that gateway. Only Cameron and Ged could have stepped through…thanks and praises Sam and I were there to film." 

and there's more!

In fairness, the comments by RVNG Intl. boss Matt Werth and Sun Araw's M. Geddes Gengras are perfectly sensible roots 'n' dub geekery, while Cameron Stallones's offerings are sweetly earnest and rather well written. Although I did think this line (on Ernest Wilson's "Undying Love") was trying a bit too hard:

"This is the sort of song you want to get stabbed to." 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

if I were (a) Carpenter...

actually an improvement on the original in lots of respects