Countdown to Christmas Post #4

Hello again.

It’s offensively cold here.

Yesterday Mrs. 17 Seconds and I briefly went Christmas shopping. I will never understand the concept of retail therapy. Way too many people – who kept getting in my personal space.

This seemed appropriate…

Housewives On Prozac -’I Broke My Arm Christmas Shopping At The Mall.’ mp3

2008 Festive Fifty and albums…advance warning

Just to let you know folks, as well as the Christmas posts I’ve been doing over the last few weeks, I will be posting my annual Festive Fifty and lists of all the best albums of the year, including this year – for the first time -another list for re-issues and compilations. I’m still trying to finalise both lists, as well as worrying about all the albums I haven’t heard this year. But as I have heard over 160 new albums this year, hopefully the list will be pretty comprehensive, as comprehensive as one person’s list can be.

Two things I want to say now:

1. Glasvegas are not featuring.

You heard. I’ve thought long and heard about this, and have decided that as they refused to comment on the mp3 debacle back in October that I won’t feature them. I haven’t been able to bring myself to listen to them since then, anyway. Is this being childish? Um, no, I think their behaviour, smacking as it does of the outsider kid who suddenly negelcts all they’re old friends once they’re accepted, is unacceptable. So if you can’t deal with this, umm, too bad.

And if you think that a professional magazine wouldn’t do this…GET REAL!

There’s a wonderful article here which I was consulted on.

2. Aberfeldy won’t be featuring either.

This is for completely different reasons – as I have helped put the record out, I think it would be a little biased to do so. Obviously I think the ‘Claire’ single is fantastic, but it might seem like favouritism, and as a teacher, that’s something I try to avoid.

Obviously, I am not for one moment suggesting that anyone else follows suit. It would be great if anyone chose to include the Aberfeldy single in their list!

2007′s Festive Fifty topping entry:

Emma Pollock -’Adrenaline.’ mp3

A post for St. Andrew’s Day

November 30 marks St. Andrew’s Day, the Patron Saint of Scotland.

This isn’t a particularly big day in Scotland, but then St. David’s Day and St. George’s Day aren’t either. Which probably seems out to the Americans reading this, when you consider how important both Thanksgiving and the 4th of July are.

There’s much I love about Scotland, my adopted homeland since 2001. I didn’t just move here because I loved Belle and Sebastian or because of Fopp and Avalanche, though these were factors in my coming. Since moving here, I’ve interviewed Emma Pollock, had tea at Stevie Jackson from Belle and Sebastian’s house, worked with members of the Prats, X-Vectors and Wounded Knee, to say nothing of seeing many acts. Oh, and started my own indie label, done my own club night, begun this blog…and qualified as a teacher. It’s a place where many of my dreams have come true.

It’s not just about the music. There’s great literature, great films and a whole thriving culture. I don;t think I could live anywhere else. Sure the winter’s are severe, but you can’t have everything.

My favourite scottish band remain The Delgados, who are just brilliant. They split up in 2005, but are just life affirming. My favourite Delgados song is ‘No Danger’ which is from the album The Great Eastern, my favourite scottish album (it was recorded in New York State. Then again, Transformer by Lou Reed reminds me of New York but was recorded in London. Go figure…)

And an mp3 from the album, ‘American Trilogy.’

The Delgados -’American Trilogy.’ mp3

Oh go on! Here’s the video too…

And some other great, classic scottish tracks…

Motorcycle Boy -’Big Rock Candy Mountain (Velocity Dance Mix).’ mp3

Aztec Camera -’Oblivious.’ mp3

Primal Scream -’Velocity Girl.’ mp3

Jesus and Mary Chain -’Upside Down.’ mp3

Camera Obscura -’Eighties Fan.’ mp3

Yes, I know most of them are over twenty years old, but hey…

Another great review for the Aberfeldy single

Ok, so I keep going on about this, but was pretty excited to arrive back at 17 Seconds Towers yesterday to find a fanzine waiting for me, the third issue of Twee As Fuck.

Our first single release ‘Claire’ by Aberfeldy has featured in their ‘Seven 7″s we can’t get enough of.’ The review written by Erik Sandberg reads:

‘Whilst the Major sector flounders, the Independents seem to flourish as is evident in this debut single from 17 Seconds Records. Quite simply, this is bliss: Neil Young backed by Joy Zipper at their poppiest. Edinburgh is the new Glasgow, it would appear.’

Oh yes, oh yay!

This is not the single version, but an earlier version as can be downloaded from the SXSW website.

Aberfeldy -’Come On, Claire.’ mp3

Like it? We do, too. Support us, and more importantly, support Aberfeldy by buying the single download from one of these download stores.

And, obviously, we will let you know when it’s available to purchase on 7″. Can’t wait for that…

OK, I’m off to try and continue googling record stores I think might stock the Aberfeldy release when we finally have it. whist listening to Crystal Stilts

Countdown to Christmas Post #3

Some videos for you today…

The Killers have made two Christmas singles (not sure if they’re doing one this year) which have been great fun. As to whether these will join the great lexicon of chrsitmas songs, only time will tell, but I kind of hope so.

As these tracks were released to raise money for charity, I’m not posting the mp3s but enjoy the videos and then go and buy the tracks.

This was released in 2006, and features Toni Halliday on vocals, yes she of Curve fame…

The Killers with Toni Halliday -’A Great Big Sled’

The Killers -’Don’t Shoot Me Santa’

This was last year’s Christmas single…
(WARNING: Brandon Flowers is wearing a hideous jumper in this video)

Countdown to Christmas Post #2

Cristina Monet, quite feasibly, in another world, could have been as big as Madonna.

Her wonderfully, dry style makes ‘Child Psychology’ by Black Box Recorder look amateurish by comparison.

Her contribution to the ZE Christmas Album is a wonderful tale of how, actually, Christmas isn’t always wonderful. It sits along such other gems as ‘Christmas Wrapping’ by the Waitresses (which idiot thought it would be a good idea to let the Spice Girls cover that song?) and ‘Christmas With Satan’ by James White…which I might post another time.
Cristina -’Things Fall Apart.’ mp3

And, ok, it’s not Christmassy, but in another world it would have had the same impact as ‘Like A Virgin’:

Cristina -’What’s a Girl To Do?’ mp3

Cristina fan site

New Prodigy Track

One of the biggest let-downs of the decade has got to be The Prodigy’s Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned LP. But on the strength of this free track they’ve released, hopefully they’re back firing on all cylinders.

I’m not going to say that this is the best thing they’ve ever done – but it’s pretty much the best thing I’ve heard them do in over a decade. This is the title track from their new album, the tracklisting and more info can be found here.

The Prodigy -’Invaders Must Die.’ mp3

Comments welcome please…

Countdown to Christmas Post #1

It’s that time of year again. Amongst other things on this site will follow much by way of Christmas related stuff, including some anti-Christmas stuff.

Just in case anyone is worried, as God is my witness, I promise not to post any painfully awful and/or obvious stuff. So there will be no Mud, Slade, Shakin’ Stevens, Mariah Carey, Boney M etc.. If you want it, I’m sure you can find it elsewhere.

Mogwai have done two (or three, depending on yur point of view) songs with Christmas in the title. ‘Xmas Steps’, all eleven and a bit minutes of it, was released in 1998, as the lead track on the ‘No Education =No Future (Fuck The Curfew) EP.’ It made no.2 in John Peel’s Festive Fifty that year. It was released in slightly shorter form as ‘Christmas Steps’ on the following year’s Come On Die Young LP. Later on in 1999, the Mogwai EP contained the ‘Christmas Song.’

To what extent are these Christmassy? After all the original ‘Xmas Steps’ came out in July. But they feature the word ‘Christmas’ in them, so that’ll do for me.

Mogwai -’Xmas Steps.’ mp3

Mogwai -’Christmas Steps.’ mp3

Mogwai -’Christmas Songs.’ mp3

(and yes, these were featured by both me last year and Teenage Kicks/I Wish It Could be Christmas Every Day. Three will be other stuff that wasn’t. Promise)

More Peel, anybody?

Well, it has been a little while, so why not one of my Peel posts?

By the way, before I get stuck into this, can people please go and vote over at Teenage Kicks so Steve can work out everyone’s favourite Peel sessions. My list is likely to include The Cure, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, The Fall, Half Man Half Biscuit and the Breeders. Possibly…

First up, I know very little about this song, but its’ title sums it up quite well, I think:

Robert Lloyd and the New Four Seasons -’Something Nice.’ mp3 (1988 Festive Fifty no.21)

Madness fell flat on their face trying to cover ‘The ”Sweetest Girl” ‘; they didn’t try this to the best of my knowledge:

Scritti Politti -’Asylums In Jerusalem.’ mp3 (1982 Festive Fifty no.18)

From the same year, 1982, Aztec Camera’s only other Festive Fifty entry:

Aztec Camera -’Pillar To Post.’ mp3 ((1982 Festive Fifty no.24)

Peel often felt frustrated that the Festive Fifty didn’t include stuff he’d been championing; I hope this pleased him, a rare Hip-Hop entry:

De La Soul -’Eye Know.’ mp3 (1989 Festive Fifty no.34)

This was a classic case of a band that Peel had supported some time before finally breaking through, both to the ‘proper’ top 40 and the Festive Fifty:

The Farm -’Groovy Train.’ mp3 (1990 Festive Fifty no.47)

These four tracks from the Wedding Present’s Watusi album, still unavailable in the UK it appears, all made the Festive Fifty in 1994.

Wedding Present -’Spangle.’ mp3(1994 Festive Fifty no.39)

Wedding Present -’So Long, Baby.’ mp3 (1994 Festive Fifty no.37)

Wedding Present -’Click Click.’ mp3 (1994 Festive Fifty no.30)

Wedding Present -’Swimming Pools Movie Stars.’ mp3 (1994 Festive Fifty no.15)

Finally, it wouldn’t be the Festive Fifty without an entry from The Fall. I spent ages trying to work out why I couldn’t track this down, then realised that the actual version was in with my LPs and that the CD version seemed to call it Bremen Nacht Alternative. Thank god for the USB turntable.

The Fall -’Bremen Nacht.’ mp3 (1988 Festive Fifty no.16)

Now…can anyone help me complete the following tracks, please?

From 1982:

Serious Drinking -’Love On The Terraces.’ (1982 Festive Fifty no.38) [Gratefully received thank you!]

From 1983:

Redskins -’Lean On Me.’ (1983 Festive Fifty no.30) [Gratefull received, thank you!]
Tools You Can Trust -’Waking and Shopping.’ (1983 Festive Fifty no.34) [Gratefully received thank you!]
S.P.K. -’Metal Dance.’ (1983 Festive Fifty no.39) [Gratefully received thank you!]

From 1988:

Overlord X -’14 Days In May.’ (1988 Festive Fifty no.28) [Gratefully received, thank you!]
Loop -’Collision.’ (1988 Festive Fifty no. 41) [Gratefully received, thank you!]

From 1989:
Inspiral Carpets -’So This Is How It Feels (Peel session version).’ mp3 (1989 Festive Fifty no.35)
Inspiral Carpets -”She Comes In The Fall (Peel session version).’ mp3 (1989 Festive Fifty no.50)

Thanks if anyone can help!

Edx

Some more Smiths related stuff…

Isn’t YouTube fab? This is a clip of Sandie Smith singing The Smiths song ‘Jeane.’

The Smiths and Sandie Shaw on a programme called ‘Charlie’s Bus’ (don’t remember it, but I would have been around eight at the time. Probably watching Saturday Morning Superstore or something).

Also this link is
Sandie Shaw & The Smiths doing Hand In Glove on Top Of the Pops in 1984. [embedding disabled by request, you'll just have to go to the link]

Pretty cool, the Smiths working with Sandie Shaw. No-one could top that, could they? Until this

And of course, Bryan Ferry’s 1987 single, The Right Stuff which a) featured Johnny Marr on guitar and b) was based on The Smiths’ ‘Money Changes Everything.’