When I read the news that Radio Birdman played a sensational gig in Hamburg I was surprised that the the first original punks are still alive and kicking. Seems like they persuaded the audience a few days ago. I think that it's time to feature them here one more time. They were one of the first ever punk rock bands in down under. Without their influence maybe The Saints wouldn't be possible. Listening to them is still awesome and it makes me remind to the good old times when music was fresh, new and solid. So let's listen to a sound long time ago.
Today's song is by a band from Mannheim, called Apache-O-Matic. I saw them live a few weeks ago on the festival. I was cruising around between two gigs and joined their appearance in the small tent. When I went in there I felt a bit of back in the 50s. Pure surf sound and twangy guitars ruled the place. I've never expected that a German band could be able to play this sound. Sometimes you got surprised by artists you've never heard before and they grab you with their sound. One of the hidden highlights of this festival for sure.
I know that Wolf Alice is the newest hype and the next big thing in British music press. Anyway, I got the latest album and have to say that their are worth listening to. It's a bit like a journey through the history of indie music and they try to combine a lot of influence in their songs. An example: Freazy with it's cool groove and echoes reminds me on the Rave-O-Lution days and Stone Roses.
You're a Germ with it's crispy guitar riffs could be a song by Blur long time ago.
Wolf Alice accomplished the different influence into very own songs that getting better the often you listen to it. If you do you'll find a lot of gems on this record.
Fine Malt Lyrics by House Of Pain was released in 1992 and it was a milestone in Rap-music. In this time there were several bands on the scene doing the same things like for an example Body Count of in a different way Gang Starr or A Tribe Called Quest. New was that now three white guys appeared doing the stuff black people thought it was their very own thing. House Of Pain stepped into the arena shouting their rhymes to them. Of course, it was only an attitude but from then on white rappers were part of the scene. I got aware of this record by their hit-single Jump Around with their sample of a song by Junior Walker. It is still a great song but there were more tracks on the album than this single which are meanwhile also classic songs. Maybe the main thing that impressed me was that they combined heavy guitar riffs, Irish attitude (not only to show a gangster style) with samples by soul and blues artists. Not that I listen too often to it but when I put this record on my turntable I can listen to it from start to the end. And the fascination didn't get lost during the years.
All things come to an end and so is this little series. It made a lot of fun to me crawling back into the days British independent music made it marks in history. Following the chronology of this kind of music development shows that I still stuck deep into this music.
A few month ago some songs from Embleton arrived in my in-box. I liked their songs based deeply in Americana, alternative country with some ingredients of indie and pop but missed to post them. The title track is typical for their sound. Some relaxing sound for hot days with a cool drink at your side.
In addition these guys from Ohio did a very intensive acoustic version of this song:
By the way. Kevin Embleton made a podcast where he interviews musicians and friends about new songs he made.
This little gem is a live appearance by David Bowie back in 1978. It's caught after he released some of his best and different albums Young Americans, Low and Heroes. Starting with an arty interlude he and his band plays some great funky versions of songs most of you will know. And that he can arrange them in a new and different way would be no question. So take some time and enjoy the show.
In the late 1950s Henry Mancini wrote a song that became famous by Duane Eddy. Not written as a classic twangy song it was covered by many artists during the upcoming years. It was hard to decide which version should be featured today. The version that I offer is by The Remo Four, a band from Liverpool that's known as members of the so called Mersey Beat. What seldom known is that they released some fine instrumentals. Their version of Peter Gunn has the classic opening with a Duane Eddy-style guitar to turn more and more into a psychedelic version.
Many years later The B52's released their fantastic Planet Claire. It has a lot of references to Peter Gunn especially Ricky Wilson playing his Rickenbacker guitar.
Yesterday I posted a track by Hackmonocut an Austrian band stuck deep in the tradition of post-punk and the sound of Nick Cave. Today I would like to feature the other side of Austrian music. As said, new Austrian music is based in the tradition of electronic music. Most of the new and young artists that appear are based in the tradition of House-music. An so is this. The two brothers Sascha and Andreas Weisz aka Weisz2 made a fine track in which they combine a classic mid-tempo House beat with world music. What makes the song different is the beautiful voice of singer Aladin Anyebe. Perfect music for riding in an open car on an endless highway.
An one more from them. Here they use a Spanish guitar playing over their permanent beat. Smooth and nice. I ask myself why they didn't play songs like these on public radio stations.
Thinking about new Austrian music I chimed in electronic music. Most of it very good and was featured during the last months. But is there a scene of classic rock music coined with guitar, bass and drums? If I listen to Hackmonocut I have to say yes! He is an Austrian artist located in Linz, started his career in 2012 and he describe his music as Alternative Rock-Noir songs; full of irony and social criticism.
And indeed, it's something you should watch out for. Superb post-punk with the inspiration of The Doors, The Velvet Underground and Nick Cave. Dead Born Sister is starting as a ballad that could be in the repertoire of the last named. At the end the guitars take over control to the great finish. Their sound is mostly dark and grundgy but they create a great atmosphere of intention.
All in all Hackmonocut is a band I would follow their upcoming outputs.
It is almost 40 years ago I bought a record with classical Rock 'n' Roll that I found after a long time in my vinyl collection. I was very in to it these days because the rhythm section was so awesome. Seldom heard a bass player and the drummer beating out the rhythm with such a verve and enthusiasm. I asked myself while I put the record on the record player if this kind of music works as well as it did a long time ago. And I was surprised. Most of the songs did - not only as a sentimental touch to the past. The band is called Hurrigane (yes, it was a clerical error by printing their first record) and they were from Finland. They was very big there and they called them Finland's answer to pub rock performers like Dave Edmunds or Dr. Feelgood. Some may say it's just covering old songs but didn't a lot of others the same?
A new music arrived these days in my in-box. It was the latest release of Burning Motherfuckers, a duo from Oslo, Norway. Oystein Monsen and Thomas Eggum only use bass and drums to built up their songs. I'm impressed of the power and enthusiasm in their songs. 'I'm Your Lion' is one of these creepy songs that, even heard once, stay in your mind. This song starts slowly with a bass-line similar to early Joy Division to built up to an explosive climax. Seems like Norway has more to offer than Motorpsycho , Silje Nergaard and Ole Einar Bjorndalen.
Back in 1973 Roxy Music appeared on German TV for a small live appearance. It was the time when they released their second album. Looking back to this show I was astonished about their appearance. I was very young and their sound was new and different and I didn't know how to handle this kind of music. I was astonished how rock musicians could wear dresses like them. In normal ways musicians shown up with long hairs and worn out jeans. But now Bryan Ferry appeared with a white suite and it was extraordinary in these times. Not only the songs were great at this time - Brian Eno made s sound that would be the basis for the upcoming electronic sounds.
For me this live concert was the initial for the upcoming music.
Enjoy this little gem.
During the last days I listened a few times to 'Road Apples', the first full length album by The Tragically Hip, a band that is big in Canada since more than 20 years but seldom known outside their native country. I don't know the reason why because they have everything a classic rock band should have. Good songs and arrangements, heavy leading guitar and a dry bass. I wouldn't know this band if the owner of my local record store wouldn't have recommended The Hip to me. And it is simply fun to listen to their output after years gone by.
Sadly the news arrived that Harry Rowohlt died last night after a long and painful illness. Looking like the young brother of Karl Marx he was a German writer and tranlater. He also played the role of a derelict in famous German weakly-soap Lindenstrasse. Rowohlt is known for his insightful and humorous translation of Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh. He also published German translations of works by Leonard Cohen, Robert Crumb, Ernest Hemmingway, Gilbert Sheldon, Shel Silverstein, James Joyce, Kurt Vonnegut and Ken Bruen. He was the one who gave me an understanding for the works of Flann O'Brien. I remember ten years ago we went to a reading by him. Only he on the stage sitting at a table, a glass of single malt on the left and a cigarette on his right side (in 1996 he was designated to the ambassador of Irish Whiskey). Telling stories in his own and very unique way. It was fantastic to listen to him for more than two hours.
Slainte and RIP, Harry
No post without music. A song written by Shel Silverstein and sung by Marianne Faithful that's always worth to be played.
This song might not have the real twangy sound but it's one of my favorite by Dave Edmunds. It has this kind of bass line that fit to every good Rock 'n' Roll song. And that he's one of the most underrated guitar players that walks on earth isn't need to be told.
Ruban Nielsen aka Unknown Mortal Orchestra released a few years ago his second album. It was filled with a lot of low-fi songs with blurred psychedelic guitars. All instruments played by himself. I like these kind of music sometimes and I think it is a good start into the week.
And this one is a cover version of a song by the Norway musician and DJ Hans-Peter Lindstrom. A part time funky guitar on a steady beat. The solo guitar reminds me on the spaghetti western long time ago.
It was back in 1972 when I watched a movie in German Television very late at night. I had nothing to do and wasn't tired enough to go to sleep so I decided to try out this movie. 'Cisco Pike' was the first movie Kris Kristofferson was the main actor. The drama stars him as a musician fallen on hard luck who turns into dealing marijuana as a means of income. This film was not a widely embraced by audience on its initial release but has become a cult movie because of the appearance of Kris Kristofferson and his soundtrack. But it also carries a cult status because of it takes on the subject of drugs, dealers and the lifestyle they lead. For me I was fascinated in the story and the music he played. I couldn't get his voice and his songs out of my mind so I went to my local record shop to get me his first records.
This records could be a best of compilation of his early works and many songs were covered by other artist in the upcoming years or became standards in the country music scene. Me I was impressed how he could sing in his deep dark voice about all the drop-outs, hanging around in bars searching for the things they have lost in their life. If his first record is great his second is marvelous. On his first record he gave us classic songs like 'Sunday Morning Coming Down', 'For The Good Times' and 'Help Me Make It Trough The Night' to give us with his second one his completest one. No song is a filler and I should post them all. It's one of those records that accompanied me during the last 40 years and I listened to it hundreds of times.
Another remarkable appearance was back in 1981 when Motörhead played some songs in this TV-series. I have never seen any other band with this energy on TV. Listen to their classic 'Ace of Spades' is still awesome.
And not enough - here are another legendary songs by them
Another fine year for independent music. Old heroes like The Fall, The Cure and Johnny Thunders showed up with good records, traditional (Irish) music taken roots in music and some artist appeared to stay like Billy Bragg or to fade away too soon like the Woodentops. There was no direct movement in action but the indie sector was, as usual, throwing up quirky three minute slices that embraced politics, guitars and sheer madness. So enjoy a trip to music we've listened to 30 years ago.
Alexander Harvey, not to be mistaken by the Scottish singer, released in the early 70s a song that was covered by a many artists. It is just a simple ballad of a of a woman that could be loved when she was able to. It is a classic of the age when country rock was getting to our ears. Not the simple, suffering singers that tells us about love gone by or got wasted. It was in these days this kind of music came to us and was accepted by artists like Kris Kristofferson, Poco, Flying Burrito Brothers and The Band. I'm not the expert in this genre but there are so many singers that have a remarkable voice that make refines every song.
Last week I posted Duane Eddy's classic 'Rebel Rouser'. And today is a band which tries to keep his legacy alive. Los Straitjackets are an American surf and instrumental band deeply based in the sound of Duane Eddy. Typical are their twangy guitar, their strait rhythm and not singing any word. It sound new, fresh and awesome. They appeared on my focus during the post Pulp Fiction surf revival.
Jim O'Rourke is back with his latest record. The songs I've heard were another mixture of classic composted songs. The first one on the record is one more starting as a ballad and turning into a slow rock song. Guitars were added, he changes the tempo and adds some fine string and piano parts in the second part of the song. Not the next big thing of course but a reliable record by an artist that will never get out of fashion (in my own very special meaning).
These days Franz Ferdinand released their newest record - a collaboration with the Sparks called FFS. I didn't listen to the whole record yet but this songs curious to the rest. It's not dominated by guitars any more because Ron Mael let the synthies rule. And Russel Mael's falsetto is still amazing. Seems more that The Sparks made a new record than Franz Ferdinand.
Just finished Ian Curtis' biography by his wife Deborah. I was very touched by their history and really closed to cry about their history. Therefore I grabbed out my records by Joy Division to listen to them. And I've to admit that nothing's lost of the fascination to their music. Someone might say it'ts too depressive but for me it is nothing more than emotional and true. Seldom heard before and after music like this that touched my soul in this way. Can't imagine that Ian Curtis finished his life 35 years ago yet. So let's listen to one of the bands song from their first record.
Inspired by Swiss Adam's post a few days ago I listened to a lot of dub the recent days. And I have to admit that King Tubby is one of the greatest ever. If I could find this record in any way I would buy it - anyway it will cost and hand it over to Adam. What a peaceful, relaxed and ambition sound it was. Perfect - I will raise my last glass to him.
Today's twanging tune is another classic by Duane Eddy. He played the twangiest guitar ever. So enjoy this sound way back 50 years ago.
And as a bonus a version played by Johnny Hallyday a French Rock 'n' Roll artist that never got the appearance in music he should get. He was big in France way back then but you should listen to this version as well. It is awesome and a lot of jazzy style. It was wild, free and a very own version of this song. Dominated by drums and a free guitar.
Algiers released their first record these days. A friend recommended it to me and so I searched in the net for it. What I found was a very new and exciting collection of songs. Listening to their songs I thought by myself what a crazy combination of words and music. Franklin James Fisher formed Algiers with some white friends he knew from his childhood in the suburbs of Atlanta. After working in a French investment bank he quit his job to take some time out. In his music he combines the ambient doom of those post-crash days in banking and more recent unrest in Ferguson and Baltimore with a full-throated critique of the system responsible. Algiers puts its politics, Marxism and anti-kapitalism over industrial drum machine and Southern hymns and chants, finding common cause in the shouts and claps of punk and gospel. Sometimes it sounds like The Redskins make today's music. And that's not too bad at all.