Something for the Weekend

I saw Scottish post-punkers Scars supporting Pauline Murray & The Invisible Girls in 1981 and they were superb. Their debut album Author! Author! was brilliant too and they seemed like major contenders for pop stardom. Sadly their lead singer quit the band to make a (failed) go of it as a solo artist and Scars fell apart. So all we have is the one lost classic of an album, a couple of singles, and a few rare clips like this. Shame.


The Voice

Very, very sad to hear about the death of Bobby Bland. I’m not a huge Blues fan, but his voice is one of my favourite sounds in all of popular music. That mixture of gravel and honey and the way he would suddenly, dynamically, shift from a tender whisper to a full-throated, lion-esque roar could give you goose pimples. I didn’t really consider him a Blues singer anyway, to me he was up there with the great Soul growlers like Otis, Wilson Pickett, and James Carr.

Download: That Did It – Bobby Bland (mp3)
Buy: The Voice: Duke Recordings 1959-1969 (album)

Mr. Popularity

This little blog of mine usually potters along with about 200-300 visitors a day, but last week an old post about Roxy Music album covers got mentioned on another blog from where it was picked up by BoingBoing, then tweeted about by the radio station WMFU, and re-tweeted by several people including Danny Baker. The result of this chain reaction was that on Friday my small nook of the web had nearly 20,000 visitors. Good job I made extra sandwiches that day.

It felt like old times in a way. When I started doing this lark a decade ago, mp3 blogs were the hot, new thing and my old site The Number One Songs In Heaven got mentions in The Guardian, USA Today, and The Boston Globe which often caused a surge in traffic that used up all my bandwidth and took the site down for the rest of the month. But now that the kidz are all Twittering, Tumblring, and whatever-ing (I think Facebook is considered for old people now) the “buzz” train has moved elsewhere leaving me with the feeling that blogging had become the vinyl records of the internet — a quaint medium for old farts that like to read more than 140 characters about things no one under 30 cares about anymore. Least that how it looks from where I’m sitting.

But that doesn’t bother me and I rarely look at my site stats, I wouldn’t have even known about the sudden flood of visitors if Davy hadn’t given me a heads up about being on Twitter. I know that the internet is a fickle mistress and today’s hot link is tomorrow’s fish and chip paper (or whatever the correct metaphor is) and I’ll soon bore all the new visitors away.

But if you are new here, welcome, and I hope you stick around. Things aren’t always that interesting these days because I’ve been at this a long time, but wait until you see my upcoming gallery of outtakes from Mrs. Mills album covers.

Download: Move The Crowd – Eric B & Rakim (mp3)

Carry On Wanking

Carry On Behind is the only Carry On movie I actually saw at the pictures when it came out, with some mates at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1976. I think it was during the school holidays and we had nothing better to do, though only being about 13 at the time we might have thought it was an easy way to see some girls in their knickers.

I remember it well because sitting in the empty row behind us was this old guy wearing a big overcoat whose heavy breathing and softly muttered cries of “Phwooaar!” made it obvious even in the dark that he was was, er… pleasuring himself during the film.

We thought it was hysterical of course, but I couldn’t help but wonder why he’d do that at a Carry On film? I would have thought there were cinemas in Soho showing films far more conducive to that sort of thing. I can only assume he must have really, really liked Elke Sommer or had some kind of bottom fetish.

Download: Gaberdine Angus – John Cooper Clarke (mp3)

New Monday

Disclosure have been getting rave reviews for their terrific debut album Settle and it’s mix of slinky electronic R&B and pumping dance beats. It’s quite the feat considering they’re two white English brothers from Reigate barely out of short trousers.

This track is a Garage/House number of the kind I used to dance to back in the days when I could make it through a whole extended 12″ single on a dancefloor without my knees and lungs begging for mercy. I believe the club kids nowadays call this sort of thing a “banger”.