Highest Of Horses, Littlest Of Ponies

*Not* "Good Job I Kept My Turntable" (or any other)

Sorry That The Chairs Are All Gone

The actual lyric is “worn” but I don’t think that’s as good, and it doesn’t fit as well with the next line. Anyway…

With all the recent fuss about Amanda Palmer and Kickstarter it’s tempting for someone like me (who favours the underdog and champions the unheard of) to lose faith and forget what a talent she has underneath the hype. Not that everything that she does is exceptional – some of it is downright dross, which is why she needs a Viglione or a Folds to hold her in check – but when she hits the heights there are few to touch her. And, like the Grateful Dead (about whom I also rave), her live gigs can be a bit hit or mess – sometimes the enjoyment and self indulgence doesn’t leave enough room for the music.
However, when a song like Delilah (or Good Day, or Night Reconnaissance, or Lonesome Organist, or The Bed Song, or Do You Swear…) shuffles onto my iPod I apologise silently and thank bog that I have a ticket for her London show next month. And I resolve to share her talents, as I think she would want me to.

I had another blog, long ago and far away, where I uploaded albums that you can’t get on CD. I’m not doing that any more. But what I will do here is upload individual tracks that I really like, as and when they appear on my iPod (and only then – no requests, and no ‘because I feel like it’s), and in relatively poor (96k) quality. They won’t stay here long so you’ll need to check back regularly if you want to hear them all.
I will clarify and repeat. I have an iPod. It has a ‘shuffle’ function. I have a playlist of a couple of thousand *great* tracks that I play using the shuffle function. So – if a track that I feel like sharing appears in my headphones, then I’ll do that. But it won’t be great quality and it won’t stay for long – just enough for you to get an idea of the kind of stuff that I like and then go out and buy it if you feel like it.

So here are a few songs that I’ve heard this morning, in the order that they appeared in my headphones:

  • Caravan – All The Way. Not their finest hour by a long chalk, but a track that I’m very fond of. From the Blind Dog album, which is really the last one that’s worth bothering with. This was also the last tour that I saw them on, until a gig in the Kentish Town Forum with Ozric Tentacles some years later.
  • The Sound – Temperature Drop. If ever I were asked to do Desert Island Discs, this track would be on my shortlist until the very end. After that I’d ask Kirsty to pick ten tracks at random as I’d find it impossible to rate any of them above any others. This is sad, magnificent, resigned, tight, joyous… and the voice of a man who would commit suicide a few years later. Thank fuck for punk, without it this would never have existed. And while I’m on *that* subject:
  • Siouxsie And The Banshees – Overground. Again, not their best, but this is the track that appeared on my ipod this morning. The Banshees were one of the crucial first wave punk bands and The Scream is an extraordinarily mature debut album – one of the best debut albums by any band, ever, in my opinion. Helped massively, no doubt, by the fantastic production of Steve Lillywhite.
  • The Dresden Dolls – Delilah. I fucking love Amanda Fucking Palmer. Thank fuck (again) for punk. Although…
  • Hatfield And The North – Halfway Between Heaven And Earth. Yes, some prog was overblown fatuous pretentious self-important pap but *some* was mind fuckingly amazing. These guys can really fucking play and this is joyous. Another contender for the DID final shortlist.
  • Dire Straits – Single Handed Sailor. From the often overlooked second album, which (like Crimso) was a bit too similar to the debut for comfort. However, when they did progress it was for the worse and they never regained this easy laid-back simple confidence. Again, these guys can fucking play and it’s a real joy to hear them when they do. There’s never been a guitar like a Strat in the right hands (Knopfler, Clapton, Gallagher, Beck, Hendrix) but unless you know how to play, it can sound a bit too thin due to the single coil pickups – which is why lesser players opt for the built-in crunch of a Les Paul (or an SG – whatever happened to the SG? I always wanted an SG).
  • Spandau Ballet – Gold. People are often (well, sometimes) surprised that I love great pop music as well as the more ‘serious’ stuff but every so often a band, or an artist, or an album, comes along that just can’t be faulted – and True is one of those albums. Wait till I start uploading David Cassidy or Andy Gibb (honestly!).