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Monthly Archives: November 2010

Update 1/4/11: Gerry Rafferty died today at the age of 63. He passed on peacefully at home with family. Thanks for the music, Gerry.

If you’re not familiar with Gerry Rafferty or with his song “Baker Street” you should first take a look-see at this video.

Please, allow your saxophone-induced erection to subside before reading the remainder of this post.

While researching this album I came across a couple of interesting pieces of information about Gerry Rafferty. First, Rafferty just recently suffered liver failure due to acute alcoholism and is in critical condition. Amazingly this isn’t the first time he’s suffered liver failure from overindulgence. Additionally, alcoholism has driven Rafferty to a life of seclusion; and perhaps made him a fan of George Thorogood. There have even been reports of him completely disappearing from time to time. All of this leads one to believe that, despite becoming a popular musician and selling over 5.5 million copies of City To City, Rafferty’s a lonely, depressed soul. Evidence of this is found in the lyrics of “Baker Street”.

Winding your way down on Baker Street
Light in your head, and dead on your feet
Well another crazy day
You drink the night away
And forget about everything
This city desert makes you feel so cold,
Its got so many people but its got no soul
And it’s taken you so long to find out you were wrong
When you thought it held everything

Baker Street, London, England

You used to think that it was so easy
You used to say that it was so easy
But you’re tryin’, you’re tryin’ now
Another year and then you’d be happy
Just one more year and then you’d be happy
But you’re cryin’, you’re cryin’ now

Second, some people credit the sexophone solo in “Baker Street” with inciting the stampede of screaming reeds that ran rampant throughout 80’s pop. Music critic and historian Richard Ingham termed Rafferty’s sax influence the “Baker Street Phenomenon” in The Cambridge Companion To The Saxophone. Below is an excerpt from the book:

The year 1978 saw the appearance of what can only be described as the Baker Street phenomenon. An attractive but seemingly innocuous rock ballad, a hit for singer/composer Gerry Rafferty, was decorated by a handful of notes turned into an eight-bar phrase at the beginning and between verses.

No one really knows why, but following the success (and consequent air-play) of this number, it seemed that every self-respecting band had to include a saxophone.

Soon after that an enormous percentage of TV advertisements had a sultry tenor or wailing alto taking prominence, and in the mid 1980s the saxophone became the most popular instrument for youngsters starting out. Rafael Ravenscroft, the player in question, can thus be said to have initiated the biggest boom in saxophone sales since the craze of the 1920s.

This [testifies] to the power of the mass media, as well as the music itself, and follows in a direct line Acker Bilk, whose Stranger on the Shore was responsible for a generation of clarinet players, and later James Galway with Annie’s Song, similarly providing flute players.

It seemed that Baker Street legitimised (sic) the saxophone in mainstream pop, instead of being an extra instrument on loan from jazz. Almost the best part of this whole story is the fact, like many inventions, it appeared quite by chance.

The band were recording the number, and Rafael Ravenscroft was booked to do a session on soprano (heard briefly in the introduction). Having completed this, they were still waiting for the guitarist to arrive, who was due to record the now famous opening phrases. Time passed and Ravenscroft mentioned that he had an alto in the car if that would do as a substitute for the guitar. It was found to be satisfactory.

It’s hard to imagine the 80s without all the gratuitous sax. Hard, but somewhat cathartic. Here’s a good list of the best of the worst saxual songs from the cocaine decade.

Finally, Gerry Rafferty is a total hipster.

Beard...check. Big glasses...check. Forlorn stare into nothingness...check. Systems check complete: Hipster is a go.

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>>>Click here to download City To City at 320 KBPS

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Tracklist

1 The Ark 5:40
Electric Guitar – Jerry Donahue
Fiddle, Mandolin – Graham*
Vocals [Intro] – Bashwhackers, The
2 Baker Street 6:08
Lead Guitar [Lead Electric] – Hugh*
Rhythm Guitar [Rhythm Electric] – Nigel Jenkins
Saxophone – Raphael Ravenscroft
Synthesizer [Moog] – Tommy*
3 Right Down The Line 4:28
4 City To City 5:03
Acoustic Guitar [Acoustic] – Gerry*
Backing Vocals – Gary Taylor (4) , John McBurnie , Rab Noakes , Roger Brown (3) , Vivian McAuliff*
Fiddle – Graham*
Harmonica – Paul Jones
Tambourine – Hugh Murphy
5 Stealin’ Time 5:57
Acoustic Guitar [Acoustics] – Gerry* , Micky Moody
Grand Piano, Synthesizer [Moggs] – Tommy*
Steel Guitar – Brian Cole*
Synthesizer [String Machine] – Graham*
6 Mattie’s Rag 3:29
Accordion – Woody*
Resonator Guitar [Dobro] – Brian*
Synthesizer [String Machine], Fiddle, Arranged By [Brass Section Arranged By] – Graham*
7 Whatever’s Written In Your Heart 6:36
Backing Vocals – Joanna Carlin
8 Home And Dry 4:56
Lead Guitar – Nigel*
9 Island 5:14
Accordion – Willy Ray
Drums – Glen Le Fleur*
Saxophone [Sax] – Raphael*
10 Waiting For The Day 5:45
Bass – Gary Taylor (4)
Drums – Henry Spinnetti*
Electric Guitar [Electric Rhythm] – Andy Fairweather-Low
Electric Piano, Organ, Arranged By [Bass Arrangements] – Tommy Eyre
Fiddle – Graham Preskett
Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar – Hugh Burns
Percussion – Glen Le Fleur*
Piano, Vocals – Gerry Rafferty

I just had a  listen to a few of the new Daft Punk songs from Tron Legacy. Somehow I’ve been living under a rock for the past year and didn’t know they were doing the entire soundtrack until today. For about 10 minutes I was totally pumped until I heard the new tracks, at which point my heart sank like a very large stone.

The last thing I expected was an adagio from Daft Punk. Isn’t that a bit too DJ Tiësto?

Take a listen to the songs on the link above and let me know what you think. Homework and Discovery are two of the best albums of all time. Why can’t Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo get back to Burnin‘ shit up?

>>>Click here to download the Burnin’ UK 12″

Tracklist

Building
A1 Burnin’ (Ian Pooley “Cut Up Mix”) 5:20
Remix – Ian Pooley
A2 Burnin’ (Slam Mix) 6:48
Remix – Slam
A3 Burnin’ (Original Mix) 6:53
Redlight
B1 Burnin’ (DJ Sneak “Mongowarrior” Mix) 10:22
Remix – DJ Sneak
B2 Burnin’ (DJ Sneak Main Mix) 9:10
Remix – DJ Sneak

This album’s spent a lot of time spinning in a smoke-filled room. Not smoke from an unattended panini press. Not smoke from a curling iron left on an Ikea shag rug. Not the smoke Glenn Beck’s blowing up America’s ass.

Nay, it’s the smoke that huffs and puffs from a frog bong. Yes, the frog bong you used begrudgingly as a replacement for the perfectly nice, perfectly non-jumping bong your brothers broke while playing soccer in the apartment. The frog bong you “forgot” to pack in the big move. The frog bong you never got to say goodbye to…until now.

Wow, sweet. A frog. On a bong. Awesome.

Dear Frog Bong,

I never really liked you very much. You were an ugly mess of glass with a stupid frog blown on your side, for crying out loud. You were an exaggerated cliche of marijuana culture that showed up unwelcomed after the tragic loss of a good friend. Your beady little eyes eternally mocked his demise between each and every rip.

Every chillout, every prized stash, every slammin’ party was ruined just a little bit by your presence. Your unnecessary girth was a continual source of shame and coffee table dents. How many times did you ruin a potential friendship with your shitty ambiance? How many times did your deceivingly narrow downstem clog as soon as I flipped on disc two of my UNKLE album? Only endless fingers on endless hands could count the times.

I would have destroyed you if it were possible. However, several attempts to annihilate your faux permeable skin proved fruitless. A drop from the fourth floor balcony onto 33 E. McMillan Street didn’t create so much as a scratch. Letting my crack-dealing neighbor blast your facade repeatedly with his shotgun only deprived the world of a dozen 12-gauge shotgun shells. Multiple attempts murder you using a non-FIFA approved soccer ball in conjunction with a wicked bicycle kick proved folly at best.

And you took it all with an amphibious little smile. “Ribbit, ribbit,” you croaked, “you know you wanna hit it.” You monstrosity, you whore of Babylon. Your bulbous shaft was blown straight from the devil’s mouth…that’s what she said.

Goodbye forever. I hope you have a really tough time being green, you bastard.

xxxxxxx

Don’t cry, friend. That terrible frog bong can never hurt you again. I hope a look-see at this amazing music video for “Rabbit In Your Headlights” (ft. Thom Yorke) will dry those beautiful eyes.

>>>Click here to download Psyence Fiction at 320 kbps

TRACKLIST

1 Guns Blazing (Drums Of Death Part 1) 5:01
Lyrics By, Vocals – Kool G Rap
Music By – DJ Shadow
Recorded By [Vocals] – DJ Shadow , Kevin Scott
Scratches [Cuts And Skratches] – DJ Shadow
Vocals [Additional] – Lateef The Truth Speaker , Lyrics Born
Written-By – J. Davis* , N. Wilson*
2 UNKLE Main Title Theme 3:24
Mixed By – Jim Abbiss
Music By – DJ Shadow
Scratches [Cuts And Skratches] – DJ Shadow
Written-By – J. Davis*
3 Bloodstain 5:57
Mixed By – Jim Abbiss
Music By – DJ Shadow
Performer [Sample] – Be Be K Roche*
Recorded By [Vocals] – James Lavelle , Jim Abbiss
Scratches [Cuts And Skratches] – DJ Shadow
Vocals, Lyrics By – Alice Temple
Written-By – A. Temple* , J. Davis*
4 Unreal 5:10
Mixed By – Jim Abbiss
Music By – DJ Shadow
Performer [Sample] – Jules Blattner Group, The
Written-By – J. Davis* , Jules Blattner
5 Lonely Soul 8:56
Arranged By [Strings], Conductor [Strings] – Wil Malone
Mixed By – Jim Abbiss
Music By – DJ Shadow
Recorded By [Vocals] – Sie Medway-Smith , UNKLE
Strings – London Session Orchestra*
Written-By – J. Davis* , R. Ashcroft* , W. Malone*
6 Getting Ahead In The Lucrative Field Of Artist Management 0:56
Music By [The Entertainer (uncredited)] – Scott Joplin
7.1 Nursery Rhyme 4:45
Mixed By – Jim Abbiss
Music By – DJ Shadow
Recorded By [Vocals] – Jim Abbiss , UNKLE
Vocals, Lyrics By – Badly Drawn Boy
Written-By – D. Gough* , J. Davis*
7.2 Breather
Vocals [Breaths] – James Lavelle
8 Celestial Annihilation 4:44
Arranged By [Strings], Conductor [Strings] – Wil Malone
Mixed By – Jim Abbiss
Music By [Additional] – DJ Shadow
Scratches [Cuts And Skratches] – DJ Shadow
Strings – London Session Orchestra*
Written-By – J. Davis* , W. Malone*
Written-by [Concerto For Strings And Beats] – Wil Malone
9 The Knock (Drums Of Death Part 2) 3:58
Bass, Theremin – Jason Newstead*
Mixed By – Jim Abbiss
Music By – DJ Shadow
Scratches [Cuts And Skratches] – DJ Shadow
Vocals, Lyrics By – Mike D
Written-By – J. Davis* , M. Diamond*
10 Chaos 4:42
Mixed By – Jim Abbiss
Music By – Atlantique (2)
Producer [Additional] – DJ Shadow
Vocals, Lyrics By – Atlantique (2)
Written-By – A. Khan*
11 Rabbit In Your Headlights 6:20
Bass, Synthesizer – Thom Yorke
Mixed By – Jim Abbiss
Music By – DJ Shadow
Recorded By [Vocals] – Kevin Scott , UNKLE
Vocals, Lyrics By – Thom Yorke
Written-By – J. Davis* , T. Yorke*

Tonight I had the privilege of attending karaoke night at Mason Pub in Mason, OH. Mason is one of the newly-blossomed suburbs outside of Cincinnati which serves as a safe haven for the nouveau riche. At nearly 25 miles outside of the heart of downtown its location puts the township just close enough for MBAs to commute down I-71 to the Chiquita headquarters in Cincy.

This distance also puts Mason clear outside bullet reach of Cincinnati’s infamous Over-The-Rhine, which last year was declared the most dangerous neighborhood in the entire United States. That’s a pretty impressive title for the 24th most populous city in the country.

Standard issue for Chiquita's middle management.

So Mason is a pretty comfy, money-soaked little township. So much so that it’s been the host a few years running for Cincinnati’s Home-A-Rama, which is a disgusting exhibition of the “creative” limits of McMansionry.

Ok, so back to my original point. Tonight at karaoke I heard songs that you could have heard screeched and bellowed by anyone in any city at any shitty wannabee UFC fighter haunt. I heard some Evanescence, some Journey, some *gag* *spit* *eyes watering* *hurl* Nickelback sung by girls in too-tight pants and dudes in highly-embroidered Tapout t-shirts.

It wasn’t so much that the music was terrible, because it was. So terribly awful. It’s just that it’s all so unoriginal. There really isn’t anything left that a city can call its own. Especially music because most radio stations are owned by national or international parent companies. And even worse many people still get their music from…the MTV.

"I tried so hard, and got so far...."

What I’m getting at is that nearly 40 years ago, when this album came out, Mason was an entirely different place. Mentioning the word “subdivision” to the locals would have been akin to speaking Chinese. It was all farms and state routes as far as the eye could see. There weren’t any Applebee’s, there weren’t any Wal-Marts, no internets and certainly no Jap shit called a Kerry Okey. There were locally owned businesses and locally grown music ripe for the pickin’.

When people got together at local watering holes they’d rock a  jukebox loaded 45s or, perhaps during post-harvest celebrations, had a DJ playing singles with the occasional LP request. It would’ve been music that ‘d been picked specifically because it meshed with the locals’ (farmers and laborers) taste of music. I imagine their jukebox would have been packed with Elvis, some Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, and perhaps this new band out of Cincinnati called Pure Prairie League that had this bitchin’ new song “Amie”.

When I’m at places like Mason Pub I like to try and transport myself into the past and think what it would have been like listening to yesteryear’s new music while getting sloshed. Instead of listening to LMFAO’s “Shots” I would be raising my glass and voice to “Amie”. I wouldn’t be wearing jeans and a T but work boots and overalls. The tread of those boots would be filled with a hard-days-worth of manure and my hands rough from wrastling all types of domestic mammals. Shoulders bronzed, hair sunkissed, and neglected teeth which would glimmer dully as the chorus escaped from their huge gaps:

Amie, what you wanna do,

I think I could stay with you,

or a while or maybe longer

If I Do 

Ah, the good ol' days.

…longer if I do, indeed.

 >>Click here to download “Amie” and it’s companion intro song “Falling In And Out Of Love”

 

 

I tierd wtrinig smoe tpye of ting auobt tihs alubm but culodn’t baucese teh dance gto a thgit girp on ym ass.

Movies featuring songs from this album:

Pretty In Pink

Trainspotting

American Psycho

Married To The Mob

Hot Tub Time Machine

Salvation!

24 Hour Party People

Something Wild

Blade

Bright Lights, Big City

The Beach

D.E.B.S.

Marie Antoinette

Splendor

Désordre

The Wedding Singer

Threesome

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Click here to download Substance 1987 ripped from vinyl to 320 MP3

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Tracklist

A1 Ceremony 4:22
Producer – Martin Hannett
Written-By – Joy Division
A2 Everything’s Gone Green 5:30
Producer – Martin Hannett
A3 Temptation 6:58
Engineer – Michael Johnson
B1 Blue Monday 8:12
B2 Confusion 4:41
Engineer – Michael Johnson
Written-By – Arthur Baker
B3 Thieves Like Us 6:36
Written-By – Arthur Baker
C1 The Perfect Kiss 8:46
Producer – Michael Johnson
C2 Subculture 4:47
Remix – John Robie
C3 Shellshock 6:27
Written-By – John Robie
D1 State Of The Nation 6:31
D2 Bizarre Love Triangle 6:41
Remix – Shep Pettibone
D3 True Faith 5:53
Producer – Stephen Hague
Written-By – Stephen Hague