Oh my. A bit late due to various injuries and illnesses, but here it is – no. 82 and almost the last one of the year. A lot of vinyl this time out, and a lot of rare tunes from South Africa of all places. I was able to go record shopping there back in August, and have been waiting to put these together for you since then. I had no idea at all about the richness of the soul and funk sound down there, and was lucky enough to get some 70s and 80s bits that I think you’re gonna like! All hail Brenda and the Big Dunes, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Harari, The Sweet Beats, Richard Jon Smith – and loads more!
Plenty of other good stuff in the mix too, the end of 2015 is being v.kind to us. Some recommends:
Matthew Halsall and the Gondwana Orchestra – Into Forever. The album’s available on Bandcamp and all fans of the Cinematic Orchestra and/or Pharaoh Sanders and/or spiritual jazz should go get now. Tasty stuff with a real Leon Thomas vibe
Bastien Keb – Dinking in the Shadows of Zizou. A kinda of concept album around Zinedine Zidane, lots of wonk around some choice beats. Definitely fitting with that One-Handed Records/Paul White vibe.
Pete Josef – Colour. I picked up the EP, and now the album is out on Sonar Kollectiv. One for lovers of folk-soul, and that particular kinda Jazzanova-ish sound. Sonar Kollectiv still coming correct!
So, you might know that Ringfinger, SCSI-b and the other one (Kurac) of the VS crew also DJ in their space time in a troop called Babypop. Well, that is not entirely true. We used to DJ. Now, we just imagine a set of decks and close our eyes and remember the days of go-go dancers, fashion photographers and DJ Jazzy Jeff. And you think I am joking….
So, in our semi retirement we started making a podcast of all the stuff we could never play at our shows because it was too slow, or that the artist just had funkier tracks, or even the groove just wasn’t right for one of our joints. Mainly because Kurac owned the playlist and Ringfinger’s collections was shall we say, not included! Well now, we bring you ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ – a 30 minute podcast playing rare vinyl, one euro thrillers, odd album tracks and the like from France, from Belgium, from Germany, from Spain. But mainly from France. A country that each of us loves, adores and respects. There is no greater musical tradition than chanson, and we salute it this week, last week and most every week. From Polnareff to Vartan, from France to Francois, this music lives and breathes culture, freedom, fun and what it means to be French and European. Vive Le France.
Here are the first four shows for your pleasure. For all the tracks, covers and more info, you can drift across to our sister site Babypop.
Q4. Closer and closer to the end of the year. Music keeps coming through though and this time out it’s mostly of the new and more recent variety – jazz from Lord Echo, three from the Praise Poems II compilation on the excellent Tramp Records, a couple off of second part of Psychmagick’s brilliant Magic Sunset compilation on Leng, Paul White’s new Golden Rules collaboration with Eric Biddines – all rather wonderful. There’s more a of synthy lets-pretend-the-summer-isn’t-over feel in the middle of the show with new stuff from CFCF, Suzanne Kraft, Woolfy vs. Projections and the Lisbon Kid. To finish I’ve dug out some recent oddpop music so you’ve got tracks from Boycrush, Delux, Toro y Moi and Miracle Fortress. Hopefully something for everyone!
Three LPs you might want this month:
Various – Praise Poems Vol II: You could do far worse than invest in this one – funk, soul and jazz with a kinda spiritual or even folky twist. 20 (!) tracks, nearly all US, well worth it
Various – Magick Sunset Vol II: Psychemagick are kings of the weirder end of the balearic-yacht axis, and this comp (and Volume I before it) is super tasty with mostly instrumentals (the vocal tracks are found on Vol I) that chime, reverb and generally make a good headspace for sitting on the beach sipping a cocktail or whatever at the end of the day. Seriously recommended.
Toro y Moi – What For? Late to the party for this one, which is odd because I think I picked up most of his other releases early. This time out Chaz Bundick plays a bit more guitar and the whole thing feels a bit more like a band are getting down. The songs are still great though, everything’s really quite poppy in its own way.
Remember, click on the songs below to be taken to a place on the Internet where you can part with your hard earned money and feed an artist. Or an A&R man. Or Clive Davis.
ENOCH LIGHT lights the fire of Dr Liswood (aka 16 orgasms)
Driving Stupid – Fast City!
Hammersmith Gorillas – You really got me
The Blackbirds – She
Rev C.L Franklin – I am going through part 1
Rusty Adams – If Jesus played guitar
Irene Ryan – Granny’s Mini Skirt
Leona Williams – Country girl with hot pants on
Pedro Roche Y Lupe Martinez – Contrabandistas Tequilero
Los Corraleros – Baila Mi Boogaloo
Coco Lagos y sus Orates – Guajira Boogaloo
Gilberto Gil – Viramundo
Cem Caraka -Oy Babo
Johnny Hallyday – Rivière… ouvre ton lit
Claude Francois – Magnolias For Ever
Gianni Lazzaro – Si
Yoko Ono – A Thousand Times Yes
Bonus Track – Ken Nordine -Magenta
Yeah hup. Welcome back to VS 2015 and our third show for the year. We are positively exhausted from the effort. Just back from the world tour of record stores that served as our research trip for the show, we returned to our Bahamas lair with arms full of vinyl, a fist full of beats, a murder of crows and a throng of arrest warrants (all for SCSI-b). But hey, we have decided to change it up a bit. Yes, Ringfinger is in the house, SCSI-b reveals her true identity and Kurac drops in late in the day. For the first time in over 10 years we are all in the same studio, well kind of, well actually, I think we have had to do a Brandon Lee in the Crow and use some old footage of Kurac when he young and handsome. Ah, how fake is Hollywood?
We start with some stern advice from Sex Education specialist Dr Rebecca Liswood who takes is through how women organs (in her opinion) and recounts the story of scaring the shit out of canasta players. Sexy. Next up we have garage from 1966 and the Driving Stupid with the crazy ‘Fast City’ We follow that with the Hammersmith Gorillas and their 1974 cover of the Kinks You Really got me. This slab of proto-punk has been comped on a recent Soul Jazz comp called ‘Sick on You! One Way Spit!’ We finish this little bracket with the Blackbirds, a german psych band and later one of the progenitors of Krautrock, go figure. This is from 1968 if you are keeping count.
We start the next batch with one of the most prolific preachers on record, the Rev, C.L Franklin and his lo-fi “I am going through part 1’. Released on the well-0known Checker label (part of Chess), the Rev recorded with no less a gospel singer than Aretha Franklin. According to the interns ‘Tragically, he was shot during a robbery attempt at his house in Detroit in June 1979. He remained in a coma for 5 years and died on July 27, 1984’ Get’s the mood just right for the next track. On the wonderful Plantation Records, this one shot 45 from Rusty Adams implies that if Jesus was a guitar player, he would, most definitely play country music. Aside from perhaps joining Throbbing Gristle or taking the spot of Zayn in One Direction, we here at VS agree with ole Rusty. We stay country for the next two songs, both about various items of Southern pret-a-porter. We start with Irene Ryan who play Granny in the sixties TV show Beverly Hillbillies and her Grandpa destroying twist and jerk. Next up, we go for hot pants, on a country singer? Never? Country girl with hot pants on is by Leona Williams and was released on the Hickory label in 1971. And just for Kurac, it is important to note that Leona did a duet with his hero Merle Haggard in 1983. No accounting for taste.
SCSI-b explains the next batch of tracks so much better in the show, and I am lazy and can’t be arsed typing notes, especially with all those Spanish characters. So, listen to the damn show!
Oy Babo is that grand combination of Turkish music released in Germany (for the huge Turkish diaspora there). This track is from 1971 and is HUGE. And then it just so much fucking bigger with this amazing Johnny Hallyday track, it is a psych masterpiece from one of the greatest singers of all time. Produced and played on by Mick jones from Foreigner, Glyn Johns (producer of the Beatles), this track just smashes your brain with guitar breaks. Genius.
Disco now, which is no way counter to the majesty of Hallyday. We start with Claude Francois. Now this track was a huge hit for the late French singer, but has always passed me by, mainly because there are few garage motifs, psych crazy or ye-ye for my gallic tastes. But on second listening, it is a stinking disco track. 1977 (pedant). We match this with Gianni Nazzaro, Italian crooner who in 1980 dropped this little piece of funkiness. Wow. The other side is straight Italo-croon, Lord knows how this got in there. Finally, Jona Lewie with his 1976 rarity Hallelujah Europa (part 1). This is a controversial song with a very controversial clip which you can find on YouTube. You know how to search, do it yourself! Let’s take this puppy home with Yoko Ono. Really. Yoko. From 1973, and the Feeling the Space LP and the track ‘A Thousand Times Yes’. Funky, and not featuring John Lennon (on this track).
And there is a bonus track, dedicated to @donnalanclos, who reminded me of the majesty that is Ken Nordine.
A bit of delay for #80 what with the summer break and various nuptial happenings. Fear not though, here’s two hours of gospel funk, hiphop source material, Northern heartbreakers, psychedelic imaginings from the north of England, Balearic flights of fancy, and a song by DJ Koze that sounds like it has Margaret Thatcher talking about Ecstasy. I’ll leave my descriptions there, and leave y’all to fathom your way through this latest offering. As ever it’s a mix of old and new, vinyl and digital. More soon!
For your prolonged listening pleasure:
Wilco – Star Wars. It was free! For a bit! Now out on all formats, Wilco dropped this out of nowhere last month and it’s got everything that Wilco fans want.
Glenn Astro – Throwback. Not on this show either, you’ll have to wait until next time out. This one is all over the space jazz place, soulful electronics with a lot of bottom end that demands a good stereo. Go get.
Four Tet – Morning/Evening. One amazing thing about an eMusic monthly subscription is that every song costs only 49 cents. This means that the rather mighty album from Four Tet, which consists of only two songs, can be yours for €0.98! Which is great value as this one’s a monster. Two slow builders of around 20 mins each, eastern influences, and the Four Tet sound all the way through. Ace.
Soul soul soul, as the Wild Magnolias once said. We’re awash with it this time out on WYWRadio, bringing a good mix of vinyl wonder, and some new tasty digital gems. I’ll let your ears do the work rather than my fingers do the typing, just be aware that you’re in for new stuff from the Moton edits crew, Roots Manuva, The Oufit, Paul Weller and Jamie XX. The ladies bring the soul pressure, outreach from Dionne Warwick, Sharon Revoel, and Zulema. Then in the second half of the show get your yacht on – two tracks from the Too Slow to Disco Volme 2 comp, plus some hot hot cheese from Farrell & Farrell, and Deliverance. To finish: a Braindfeeder double, Thundercat on his own, and as bass for the awesome Kamasi Washington. Speaking of which…
– Kamasi Washington – The Epic is the album, and how rightly named. Three bits of vinyl 174, mins running time, and enough spirit that you can shake a spirit stick at. Channeling Alice Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, and lord knows how many other great spiritual jazz players, it’s essential if you’re ever feeling like going on a three hour jazz journey. Which, fair enough, some of you won’t be, but for those who do venture down the rabbit hole, you won’t be disappointed…
– Paul Weller – Saturns Pattern. I’ve had it on repeat. God knows what album this is for Weller, but this one has it all, psychedelic bits, choruses, doo-waahs, and all sorts.
– Perfect Motion – Not played on the show yet but a double LP of the second wave of psychedelia which apparently was about 1988-1991. Well, I was there, and it was craaaazy. Caroline True records has put out this great compilation to celebrate this time, with tracks from The High, Shack, Primal Scream, St. Etienne, the Pet Shop Boys (!) and other more ravey types. Bonza songs and lovely cover art too.
Vinyl fest this week. A bit delayed due to exporting sound issues – no one likes a too quiet podcast. Let me know how this sounds, feedback appreciated!
Due to the lateness I’ll keep this short – giving you tracks from the funk and soul end of the late 70s, with big hitters like Aquarian Dream, Richard Evans, Ice (formerly Lafayette Afro-Rock Band, formerly The Bobby Boyd Congress) and awesome Milton Wright. Rarer stuff from Raw Soul Express. new tracks from Flako, Nebraska, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Roisin Murphy. Freakfolk. Praise Poems, A young Disciples sample revisit. A multi-track selection from the Morning Side of Love compilation volume 2 that I never knew existed. Marvellous jazz from Roy Haynes. You’ve got WhatYouWant radio!
– Roisin Murphy – Hairless Toys. Ew, the title could put you off but this is an ace LP. It’s got a few slowies on it, more than I expected, but every track has something. Fave would be the one on the show, Evil Eyes
– Milton Wright – Friends and Buddies. my God, what an LP Friends and Buddies is. Well, at least the version I’ve picked up recently which is the one Athens of the North have reissued based on the original master tapes that were thought lost in a fire. Stripped down, soulful, a must-get
– Psychemagick – Magic Sunset Volume 1. Not on until the next show, but a great new yacht rock/balearic compilation with some mid-pace chuggers for those cocktail evenings by the sea. Volume 2 is soon come, and Too Slow to Disco Volume 2 is also around the corner.
Leaving you with this – RSS Disco, the German crew who WYWRadio is in love with and fellow members of The Good Taste Club, have a residency in Ibiza this summer. Go! Get your tickets now!
Psych Rock – Pierre Henry
Transfer from the Modulation – Les Maledictus Sound
Winchester Cathedral – Perrey/Kingsley
Sexopolis – J.P Mirouze
Young Love – No Artist
Ring of Fire – Jimmy Swaggart
Great Balls of Fire (Live 1974) – Electric Light Orchestra
The Bottom of the Bottle – Porter Wagoner
The Drunkards Doom – The Louvin Brothers
The Sweeney (opening theme) – Harry South
Hard Hitter – Keith Papworth
Grand Prix – Johnny Pearson
Star Girl – Starpower
Rebel Yell – Bikini Kill
6’1 – Liz Phair
Si Je Chante – Sylvie Vartan
I don’t want the night to end – Sylvie Vartan
Hard Luck Story – Elton John
Je M’en Vais – Miossec
A Waltz for the Night – Julie Delpy
Ringfinger, I mean really, do you have subject our ears to such a demonstration of eclecticism and diversity (not the band)? Well guess what, hell yeah I do. In the downtime between sessions of VS, we bring you another Soundtracks and Other Expletives, coming right at ya through the stereophonic glory that is WhatYouWant radio (or is that Monophonic, or perhaps Quadrophonic?).
First up we have a set of freaked out French Moog tracks, the first from the wonderfully experimental Pierre Henry, with a track that has been remixed too many times not to ignore all that remixing nightmare and focus on the original groove off the original vinyl. Next up, we have the weird exotic sounds of Maledictus Sound, helmed by the equally strange Jean-Pierre Massiera, described in far more poetic tones by the sleeve notes than I can offer ‘”The Maledictus Sound are to instrumental rock what Frankenstein was to science, a laboratory monster, a strange creature assembled from a mishmash of diverse musical sounds. Psychedelic pop, romantic ballads, musical tongue-and-cheek, horror movie screamadelia and mega twisted ’60s vibe, eclectic, epileptic. The doctor, here, is Jean-Pierre Massiera, the musical mastermind who gave birth to that monster.” Next up, we have the MOOG glory that is Perrey/Kingsley and their MOOG drenched cover of ‘Winchester Cathedral’ originally by the New Vaudeville Band in 1966 (and won a damned Grammy with). Finally, French soul/jazz funkster Jena-Pierre Mirouze and the B-side of his 1971 single ‘Le Marriage Collectif’. It just might be collectible.
What can be said about the next three ‘pieces’? Well, one is a kids record that has a colouring activity on the back called ‘Young Love’. It is decidly creepy. Next up is American evangelist Jimmy Swaggart warning about the evils of rock and roll, although apparently revealing his cousin is Jerry Lee Lewis. I just checked Wikipedia, and blow me down, it is 100% true. Freaky, and very lucky that gay marriage wasn’t legal in the 1960’s, JLL might have married him. Google that one and look for Myra. Creepy again. Lastly we have ELO doing a cover of ‘Great Balls of Fire’ made famous by JLL. Circles my friends, with circles.
Two examples of the beautiful dark poetry of country music. Sure, you get Nash trash and you get hard loving songs, but you also get songs about pain and God. Porter Wagoner was a genius in a nudie suit (and the ex of Dolly Parton). This track comes from his 1966 record and is an insight into the pain of the drunk. The Louvin Brothers from Alabama were god-fearing Baptists, except Ira has a penchant for drinking, fights and women. These guys are the real deal.
Three gritty library tracks now. The first is the soundtrack to the crime series ‘The Sweeney’ of which you only around 1.20 on the show. But the guitar solo in the middle eight is a face melter. Who did it? Unknown? But they shredded it. Next up two spy related library tracks, one by Keith pap worth that turned up on a Soul Jazz compile but started out on a stupidly rare Music de Wolfe library record from 1975. Finally, Grand Prix by Johnny Pearson was made famous by would you believe by being the soundtrack to the official film of Super Bowl II? In reality, also stupidly expensive, the KPM record from 1967 by the European Sound Stage Orchestra, The called Impact And Action. Years ago, I had been given hundreds of KPM library records that I picked up a couple and gave the rest away. I picked some rare stuff but I must have handed over the best to my friend DJ Monobrow. Enjoy!
These next three songs are fine examples of American indie from the 1990s. We start with a song called Star Girl by Starpower. I heard this song on the radio show of our dear, badly missed friend Giselle called ‘The Girrrly Show’. She also used to play Bikini Kill and this riot grrrl screamer constantly. Finally, the amazing Liz Phair and the first track of her debut Exile in Guyville, another Girrrly Show fave. All three of these are for Giselle.
Bookending here early and disco Sylvie Vartan. She is one of the queens of ye-ye, the daughter of legendary producer Eddie Vartan and ex wife of Johnny Hallyday. The track comes from 1963 and was originally recorded in English (as ‘My Whole World is Falling Down’) by Brenda Lee. Next up, SV goes disco in 1979, produced by Denny Diante, who did so many disco and discoxploitation in the 1970s with discos currently numbering over 150 production credits. I have paired this with brilliant Elton John track from 1975’s Rock of the Westies album called Hard Luck Story. I had forgotten how funky this record was with great guitar from Davey Johnstone and Caleb Quaye.
We round out with two tracks from modern chanson française, Miossec has made a swath of great album but this track from his 1964 record released in 2004 translates as “I’m already late’. Finally the wonderful, the sublime and the generally whacky Julie Delpy on her LP with a song that featured in the second ‘Before…’ film directed by Richard Linklater, and name checks the character played by Ethan Hawke, marvellous the way that story just keeps being told. I love the notion of linear film making and this series delivers in spades.
Next month, VS returns with more zany, fun-filled shenanigans! (well, at least that what we call it, other people might use slightly more evocative expulsions)
Mighty mighty children. Back with #77 a couple of days late, but it’s worth it. This month we’re breaking into a few sections, starting with the blues and funk, working on through the beats into the indie, stopping off at 1970 via a massive piano, then finishing up with some more housey stuff that is channelling 1989. Highlights? Too many to go through them all but Vakula drops space disco from an imagined soundtrack to a 1920s scifi novel, Nils Frahm hits the aforementioned massive piano, Big Lips makes an appearance with a great soundtrack song from Performance, and The James Gang show us how to get footloose. Plus there’s Paul Weller doing house. What more do you want?
As always you’ve got the full tracklisting with links to buy just underneath, and I do indeed urge you get out there and support your artists. In particular this month:
Sufjan Stevens – Carrie and Lowell is such a good record it should be mandatory to buy it. Buy it!!
The Style Council – Originally rejected by Polydor in 1989 Modernism: A New Decade only saw the light of day in 1998. Paul Weller doing house sounds ridiculous but for me this really works! (Vinyl copies now going for silly money!)
Joe South – Big recent discovery. Big voice, 1970s southern rock hair, original writer of ‘Walk a Mile in My Shoes’ AND ‘Rose Garden’. Yikes. But hell, he’s got backing singers and tunes, much recommended for fans of country soul.
Working at a near record pace and delivering to you radio that will at best blow your mind and at worst, will blow, the VS krew (Hey! You!) have produced Show Number Deux for the 2015. Featuring the combined might and power of SCSI-b, Kurac and we let Ringy over there have a track or two because we feel sorry for him/her. If we keep it up at this pace, world hunger, peace, stability and love in the Middle East and dealing with the vexing issue of Zayn leaving One Direction is not beyond our grasp to sort (VS OUT!)
Come back Zayn……!
So, what’s on this show? Let’s start with some found answering machine tape that describes almost all of our Saturday nights. In fact, it could be ours. Notice, we don’t use our real names. Huh? yeah..now you are getting it. SCSI-b is Chris, Kurac is the drunk chick and Ringfinger? He stole the tape. Next up, some Bollywood passion from Ashraf and Akhtar from the Finders Keepers record, Disco Dildar. Copied mercilessly from the site is this nugget of info… “‘Disco Dildar’ features rare plugged-in proxy pop from some of the country’s lesser-known teen flicks spanning the late 1970s and 80s featuring drum heavy disco guesstimates built around multilingual lyrics celebrating Saturday nights, Disco Dildars and Hindustani Hogmanays”. Next up is Inflatable Boy Clams, some minimalist SF freak funk from the 80s. Change of pace, with SCIS-b bringing some sense back to proceedings with the marvellous Father John Misty, which Ringfinger vaguely suggests is influenced by the next Elton John track from the Tumbleweed Connection LP 1970. German legend and frequent performer on the original VS from the last century, Udo Lindenberg drops this track from ‘Lindenberg’ LP of 1971, a rarer piece of kraut. Onto the Beatles next and two country covers, one by the best GWB impersonator in the business, the mighty Buck Owens. From his 1976 LP ‘Buck’em’ we have Lady Madonna. Then the amazing gene Clark doing the 1970 Beatles classic ‘Don’t Let Me Down’. Now, in celebration of the UK election and the hopeful defeat of UKIP we bring you three tracks that break down the cultural barriers of Europe better than Guy Sebastian ever could (Google it bitches). First up from the former Yugoslavia (selected by Kurac whose knowledge of the region knows no bounds) we have Zlatni Akordi with the Who classic Moja Generacija, next up, an Italian cover of the Spencer Davis song ‘Gimme Some Lovin’ and finally back the Balkans with Tomi Sovilj i njegove Siluete and his cover of Wooly Bully called Vule Bule. The Jugotron label is veritable goldmine of classic stuff which we have featured on this very show. Watch out for more. Promise.
Right, let’s take this mother home. Right Can, nuff said. Hunters and Collectors were an Australian band from the early eighties who tried to become popular and wrote songs that were used to advertise the football. It worked. But nothing beats this slab of Krautrock influenced mastery from 1982. produced by the masterful Tony Cohen, this started a run of some really great records produced at Conny Planks studio in Cologne, Germany. There is a great film clip by the acclaimed Richard Lowenstein below.
Next up is the track ‘Hunters and Collectors’ by Can, which like derr, they used for their name. Finally, we round out with a track by the late Leonard Nimoy which Ringfinger used to play all the time back in the day on his SF radio show ‘Smeg Radio’. I love this song so much. It is such a lovely piece of weird pop with mixed characterisation and almost Monkees like glee. Finally, SCSI-b expresses her inner hiphop with the reformed D’Angelo.
That’s it peeps. Listen. Tell your friends. Sell your mother. Live the dream and refuse to see 1D until Zayn is back. Peace out.
I am coming for my things, I need my things gets ORGANIZED
M.Ashraf & Nahid Akhtar – Too Hai Phool Main Dal
Inflatable Boy Clams – Skeletons
Father John Misty – Bored with the USA
Elton John – Talking Old Soldiers
Udo Lindenberg – We’ve had our time
Buck Owens – Lady Madonna
Dillard and Clark – Don’t Let Me Down
Zlatni Akordi – My Generation
xx maurizio – t’amo de morire
Tomi Sovilj i njegove Siluete – Vule Bule
Can – Vitamin C
Hunters and Collectors – Talking to a Stranger
Can – Hunters and Collectors
Leonard Nimoy – Highly Illogical
D’Angelo and the Vanguard – It’s Done (Tutu)