The Soundtrack To My Life. 02/09/2011.

I’m not dead!
…Although I am now almost 30 with a mortgage so, same thing really.
Heh heh.

This old blog will be back to normal in a few days but in the meantime, here are some of the albums I’ve been listening to whilst moving furniture over the past few days…

Bob Dylan’s “Theme Time Radio Hour”. Episode 3, Drinking (2006):

Gerry Rafferty’s “Can I Have My Money Back” (1972):

The latest from Lenny Kravitz, “Black And White America” (2011):

“Checkmate Savage” by The Phantom Band (2009):

Paul McCartney & Wings, “Red Rose Speedway” (1973):

“As Time Goes By …The Complete Schmilsson In The Night” by Harry Nilsson (1996):

The 2nd LP in Johnny Cash’s American Recordings Series, “American Recordings II: Unchained” (1996):

“Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!” by Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds (2008):

John Lennon & Yoko Ono’s two way dialogue, “Double Fantasy” (1980):

“The Josua Tree” by U2 (1987):

Probably the latest record I’ve listened to is “Black And White America” from Lenny Kravitz and y’know what? It ain’t bad at all! -It’s pretty funky infact!
I like Kravitz but I’m an album guy and Lenny’s albums usually contain about 3 or 4 great singles with the rest being filler. “Black And White America” is a typical Kravitz album but his songs are getting better!
Maybe it’s ’cause I’ve missed him but I also really like the album cover photo.

I really enjoyed hearing that Gerry Rafferty album again.
Considering how much he’s loved here in Glasgow, it’s surprisingly difficult to find a Gerry Rafferty album for sale in the shops here.
“Can I Have My Money Back” was his debut album.

You’d do well to check out the rest of those records.
You’d do really well!

The blog will be back to normal in a couple of days folks!

Amazing Snippets From Les Paul’s Wikipedia.

Today I decided to try and educate myself on Les Paul because apart from seeing his name on Gibson guitars and owning one of his records, I realised that I knew almost nothing about him.

I turned to Wikipedia for my introduction and it turns out that I already knew the basics:

“Lester William Polsfuss (June 9, 1915 – August 12, 2009)—known as Les Paul—was an American jazz and country guitarist, songwriter and inventor. He was a pioneer in the development of the solid-body electric guitar which made the sound of rock and roll possible. He is credited with many recording innovations. Although he was not the first to use the technique, his early experiments with overdubbing (also known as sound on sound), delay effects such as tape delay, phasing effects and multitrack recording were among the first to attract widespread attention.
His innovative talents extended into his playing style, including licks, trills, chording sequences, fretting techniques and timing, which set him apart from his contemporaries and inspired many guitarists of the present day. He recorded with his wife Mary Ford in the 1950s, and they sold millions of records.”

Further reading proved that I actually knew nothing about Les Paul and here are the amazing snippets that made me shout aloud “What? No way man!”

“While living in Wisconsin, he first became interested in music at age eight when he began playing the harmonica. After an attempt at learning the banjo, he began to play the guitar. It was during this time that he invented a neck-worn harmonica holder, which allowed him to play the harmonica hands-free while accompanying himself on the guitar. Paul’s device is still manufactured using his basic design.”

What? No Way man!

“While playing at the Waukesha area drive-ins and roadhouses, Paul began his first experiment with sound. Wanting to make himself heard by more people at the local venues, he wired a phonograph needle to a radio speaker, using that to amplify his acoustic guitar.”

What? No way man!

“Paul’s jazz-guitar style was strongly influenced by the music of Django Reinhardt, whom he greatly admired. Following World War II, Paul sought out and befriended Reinhardt. After Reinhardt’s death in 1953, Paul furnished his headstone. One of Paul’s prize possessions was a Selmer Maccaferri acoustic guitar given to him by Reinhardt’s widow.”

What? No way man!

“Paul was dissatisfied with acoustic-electric guitars and began experimenting at his apartment in Queens, NY with a few designs of his own. Famously, he created several versions of “The Log”, which was nothing more than a length of common 4×4 lumber with a bridge, guitar neck and pickup attached. For the sake of appearance, he attached the body of an Epiphone hollow-body guitar, sawn lengthwise with The Log in the middle. This solved his two main problems: feedback, as the acoustic body no longer resonated with the amplified sound, and sustain, as the energy of the strings was not dissipated in generating sound through the guitar body. These instruments were constantly being improved and modified over the years, and Paul continued to use them in his recordings long after the development of his eponymous Gibson model.”

What? No way man!

“While experimenting in his apartment in 1940, Paul nearly succumbed to electrocution. During two years of recuperation, he relocated to Hollywood, supporting himself by producing radio music and forming a new trio. He was drafted into the US Army shortly after the beginning of World War II, where he served in the Armed Forces Network, backing such artists as Bing Crosby, the Andrews Sisters, and performing in his own right.”

What? No way man!

“In January 1948, Paul shattered his right arm and elbow in a near-fatal automobile accident on an icy Route 66 just west of Davenport, Oklahoma. Mary Ford was driving the Buick convertible, which rolled several times down a creekbed; they were on their way back from Wisconsin to Los Angeles after performing at the opening of a restaurant owned by Paul’s father. Doctors at Oklahoma City’s Wesley Presbyterian Hospital told him that they could not rebuild his elbow so that he would regain movement; his arm would remain permanently in whatever position they placed it in. Their other option was amputation. Paul instructed surgeons, brought in from Los Angeles, to set his arm at an angle—just under 90 degrees—that would allow him to cradle and pick the guitar. It took him nearly a year and a half to recover.”

Wait a minute…WHAT?
NO. WAY. MAN.

Did I also mention that he built the first 8 track recording console or that he basically invented analog delay and multi-tracking?

Read the full thing HERE.

No Particular Place To Go.

Chuck Berry is my hero.
Always has been, always will be.
There’s only ever gonna be one of that guy.

When it comes to Rock & Roll, it’s hard to pin down exactly who did what first but it basically comes down to Chuck, Elvis, Little Richard & Jerry Lee Lewis and for my money, I think Little Richard invented Rock & Roll but right behind him and ready to take over was Chuck Berry.

I never got the chance to see Little Richard pound that piano live but I once went to a Chuck Berry gig!
…The only problem was that Chuck Berry wasn’t there.

It was a few years ago now in Glasgow but basically Anna and I sat through the crappy support band for a LONG time until we realised that Chuck probably wasn’t gonna show up.
I remember feeling disappointed because it’s not often that Chuck Berry rolls into my town to play but I’d read a couple of books about him and I half expected him to be a no-show or at the least, very late.

I kept saying to Anna: “He ain’t coming. He’s probably arguing about money backstage! I’m never gonna see Chuck Berry.”
And you know what folks? I never did get to see Chuck Berry.
Goddamn.

We knew that we’d have no problem getting our tickets refunded so we left the 2000 strong audience to argue and complain at the box office and went for a drink.

I think it took us about a week or so before we actually found out what had happned to Chuck because it made the papers.
Apparently, Chuck had wanted to drive himself to the venue for the concert and although his hotel was less than a 10 minute walk away, Chuck is said to have insisted on driving.

His people had to explain to him that you can’t drink & drive in Glasgow and that you also must have a license to drive a car here.
Ol’ Chuck didn’t have any of these things going for him so that was that.

The story goes that he showed up later on at the empty venue demanding to be paid. – Whadda guy!
It’s easy to get pissed off at an uncompromising old feller like Chuck Berry but read any book about him and you will see how badly promoters and managers in the 50’s burned him for cash.

Also, he wrote “Johnny B. Goode”. 
What the hell have you ever done?

Chuck Berry comes across as really difficult at times and as you can see HERE, nobody knows this better than Keith Richards.

“Death Proof” OST – Stuntman Mike’s Mix.

Y’know, there’s a lot to be said for bootleg records which never really gets said because…well…they’re bootlegs.

I listen to a lot of soundtracks and one of my favourites is the soundtrack to my favourite Tarantino film “Death Proof”.
I bought it as soon as it came out and it introduced me to some artists that I otherwise maybe wouldn’t have discovered.

Here’s the track lising for the “Death Proof” soundtrack:
1. “The Last Race”— Jack Nitzsche.
2. “Baby, It’s You” — Smith.
3. “Paranoia Prima” — Ennio Morricone.
4. “Planning & Scheming” — Eli Roth & Michael Bacall (Dialogue).
5. “Jeepster” — T. Rex.
6. “Stuntman Mike” — Rose McGowan & Kurt Russell (Dialogue).
7. “Staggolee” — Pacific Gas & Electric.
8. “The Love You Save (May Be Your Own)” — Joe Tex.
9. “Good Love, Bad Love” — Eddie Floyd.
10. “Down In Mexico” — The Coasters.
11. “Hold Tight!” – Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich.
12. “Sally and Jack” — Pino Donaggio.
13. “It’s So Easy” — Willy DeVille.
14. “Whatever-However” — Tracie Thoms & Zoë Bell (Dialogue).
15. “Riot In Thunder Alley” — Eddie Beram.
16. “Chick Habit” – April March.

My favourites were always “Down In Mexico” by The Coasters and Willy Deville’s “It’s So Easy” which I remember hearing for the first time in the controversial 80’s Al Pacino thriller “Cruising“.
– A pair of classics if you ask me!

I’m a bit of a completest when it comes to things like this and as good as the “Death Proof” soundtrack is, it has LOTS of tracks missing which appear in the film.
A few weeks ago, online, I found…
“Death Proof” – Stuntman Mike’s Mix.

This is it for me.
This is the definitive “Death Proof” soundtrack as far as I’m concerned.
It’s divided into Side A and Side B and set up like the jukebox and the records as they appear in the film.
Hell, it even makes the sound of the jukebox changing records inbetween tracks.
I don’t usually go this overboard with things like this but this sounds miles better than the official release and take a look at the track listing why dont ya! :

(Side A):
1. Keith Mansfield – “Funky Fanfare”.
2. Jack Nitzsche – “The Last Race”.
3. Smith – “Baby It’s You”.
4. Ennio Morricone – “Paranoia Prima”.
5. T. Rex – “Jeepster”.
6. Pino Donaggio – “Sally And Jack”.
7. Eddie Floyd – “Good Love, Bad Love”.
8. Pacific Gas & Electric – “Staggolee”.
9. Eli Roth & Michael Bacall – “Planning & Scheming”.
10. Jerry Reed – “East Bound And Down” (as referenced in the movie by Eli Roth’s character).
11. Rose McGowan & Kurt Russell – “Stuntman Mike”.
12. Joe Tex – “The Love You Save”.
13. The Coasters – “Down In Mexico”.
14. Robert Rodriguez – “Stinper”.
15. Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich – “Hold Tight!”
16. AMi jukebox sounds.

(Side B):
1. Willy DeVille – “It’s So Easy”.
2. Mary Elizabeth Winstead – “Baby It’s You”.
3. Bernard Herrmann – “Introduction”.
4. Ennio Morricone – “Unexpected Violence”.
5. Tracie Thoms & Zoe Bell – “Whatever-However”.
6. Eddie Beram – “Riot In Thunder Alley”.
7. Guido & Maurizio De Angelis – “Gangster Story”.
8. Franco Micalizzi – “Italia A Mano Armata”.
9. Stelvio Cipriani – “La Polizia Sta A Guardare”.
10. Hsun Chi Chen (as Chen Tsun-Chi) & Fu Liang Chou (as Chow Fook-Leung).
11. April March – “Chick Habit”.
12. April March – “Laisse Tomber Les Filles”.

Apparently, all of these tracks came sraight from Quentin Tarantino’s personal jukebox which incidentally, is the one used in the finished film.
That man has taste!

The Soundtrack To My Life. 09/07/2011.

I’ve listened to a lot of albums this week and this is me recommending them all to you.

Phil Phillips’ “Sea Of Love” (2008 ):

The Complete Soundtrack to “Stand By Me” (1986 ):

Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers: “Rare Bird Alert” (2011):

Gavin Bryars: “The Sinking Of The Titanic” (2009):

Leonard Cohen: “The Future” (1992):

Fucked Up: “The Chemistry Of Common Life” (2008):

“Death Proof” (OST) – “Stuntman Mike’s Mix” (2007):

If I’m listening to anything at night, it’s usually a radio show or something old or something spooky.
This week it was all three in the form of “An Evening With Boris Karloff And His Friends” (2011):

Musically, I’ve had a pretty good week.
I also listened to The Arctic Monkeys’ latest album “Suck It And See” but frankly (And I like The Arctic Monkeys), it bored the arse off me and that’s as much of a mention as I’m gonna give it on here.

My favourite music comes from the 50’s and I always have some old records at hand just incase modern music decides to completely disappear all the way up it’s own backside. That said, “The Chemistry Of Common Life” marks the first I’ve heard from Fucked Up. Good name for a band that eh?
I liked it enough and although they don’t sound as fucked up as I thought they would (Iggy Pop), I think I’m probably gonna buy their latest.

Have fun if you track down any of these recommendations and let me know how you get on.

P.S. I only ever had bootleg copy of that Boris Karloff record which was full of static and crackles but it’s been re-released and you can now buy it from Amazon for a few clams.

%d bloggers like this: