Christmas Posts 2012 #19


No, not son 17 Seconds, who’s a little bigger than that these days, but a very Happy Christmas from all of us here.

Enjoy these songs -and please, leave feedback!

The Fall -‘(We Wish You) A Protein Christmas.’ mp3

Sultans of Ping -‘Xmas Bubblegum Solution.’ mp3

Rilo Kiley -‘Xmas Cake.’ mp3

De Rosa -‘Under The Stairs (Xmas Reverie).’ mp3

James White -‘Xmas With Satan.’ mp3

Badly Drawn Boy -‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’

ILikeTrains -‘Last Christmas.’ mp3

Damned -‘There Ain’t No Sanity Claus.’ mp3

James Brown-‘Please Come Home For Christmas.’ mp3

XTC-‘Thanks For Christmas.’ mp3

Sonic Youth-‘Santa Doesn’t Cop Out On Dope.’ mp3

Yo La Tengo -‘It’s Christmas Time.’ mp3

Does there have to be a reason?

Feeling a little more human today. However, the wee man has been very fractious of late, so the blog has been on the backburner a bit. There are interviews from Dweezil Zappa and We Were Promised Jetpacks to be published very shortly.

But it’s my birthday tomorrow so some gothic pleasures for now…

Patricia Morrison really had a je ne sais quoi when I was eleven years old.

Be Careful What You Wish For…

…it may come true.

Way too much snow today when we woke up. So much for the BBC’s weather website. (I suppose I am guilty of seeing both the Beeb and the Guardian as being close to objective truth).

If you are on a quest for more Christmas-related music, check here and here on the NME blog.

I’m having difficulties accessing mediafire to post for Christmas tracks, so enjoy some videos for today:

1976…and all that

Hello folks,

am currently on holiday with Mrs. 17 Seconds in Cornwall and two of our friends, while 17 Seconds Towers is looked after by our two cats and a legendary scots bassist. Therefore posts may not be as regular as they have been over the last wee while, but keep checking up.

The other day I was notified by the Fades in Slowly blogspot that they are doing a feature on 1976 and the tracks that could have made the Festive Fifty for that year. The significance being that a) that year as an all-time Festive Fifty, b) the following year was just John Peel’s favourite tracks, and it was only c) 1982 where the votes were just the publics, based on that year.

I’m still trying to work out which three tracks to vote for. I was only born in mid-November of that year, and am coming ot the conclusion that whilst it was the year punk broke in the UK, that there was good non-punk music released that year. This list gives an idea. After all, it was the year of Dylan’s Desire LP, which may well be my favourite Dylan album (yes, even above Highway 61 Revisited, Blonde on Blonde and Blood On The Tracks) and Bowie’s Station To Station, as the man moved to Berlin, listened to Kraftwerk who were about to invent the eighties a few years before they happened, and prepared for being involved in no less than four key LPs of 1977. Bob Marley continued his rise as Roxy went on hiatus. In Ireland and the UK, Thin Lizzy hit the big time. Disco and Punk were not being mixed in at this point, but they were happening and it’s probably quite accurate that this was the year was the quiet before the storm. I may only have been there for the last six weeks of it, but galvanised by punk, this was the year that The Clash, U2, The Cure, and Siouxsie and the Banshees played their first gigs, and my world is still reverberating from that and the aftershock that followed over the next thirty years. Of course, Madonna was still in high school, as presumably were The Slits, and MTV and Hip-Hop were some years off.

Here’s five tracks from that year…

David Bowie -Station To Station

Donna Summer – Love To Love You Baby

The Damned -New Rose

The Sex Pistols – Anarchy In The UK

Thin Lizzy -The Boys Are Back In Town

six from four

These six tracks were indeed all featured in John Peel’s Festive Fifty in the early eighties, but I’m not doing this as a John Peel post per se, just fancied sharing some great music wih you, as it makes it from the vinyl to the iPod.

Is there such a thing as the best best-of ever? The Jam’s Snap! must surely be a contender…

The Jam – ‘Going Underground.’ mp3

One of my many, many planned posts for the future is one Pete Wylie and the 7,000 faces of Wah!

Wah! Heat -‘Better Scream.’ mp3

It’s odd to think that goth was once tagged ‘positive punk’ in NME, and that the tag was only applied to music (there were certainly gothic sounding music long before that, as far back as Mozart’s Requiem, IMHO). So often it seems ot be used as a tag of insult or abuse, erroneously as far as I’m concerned. Certainly, many bands who came out of punk seemed to have a foot in the goth camp, to say nothing of a following.

The Damned’s Machine Gun Etiquette is where they started to get gothic, and where this track comes from, though The Black Album was surprise, surprise, even more so…

The Damned -Love Song.’ mp3

The curious-sounding ‘Hong Kong Garden’ with its’ wonderful eastern overtones was a great debut single, even if the lyrics seem a little close to novelty at times.* But it was on their albums that the dark heart of this particularly gorgeous and mesmerising creature lurked, as shown on these tracks from The Scream and Join Hands. Then two years later there was Juju

Siouxsie and the Banshees -‘Switch.’ mp3 (from The Scream)

Siouxsie and the Banshees -‘Jigsaw feeling.’ mp3

Siouxsie and the Banshees -‘Icon.’ mp3

Enjoy, folks…


* Oh come on: ‘Chicken Chou-mein and chop suey…Hong Kong Garden Takeaway.’

More Festive Fifty delights

My 399th post, and I’m pleased that people are still reading.

So, ten more tracks for today and I’ll do a special post tomorrow…watch this space…

First up, the first UK punk record.

Damned -‘New Rose.’ mp3 (Deep breath: 1978 Festive Fifty no.13, 1979 Festive Fifty no.10, 1980 Festive Fifty no.8, 1981 Festive fifty no.12, 1982 all-time Festive Fifty no.13)

Northern Ireland’s top two bands of the punk-era (there seems to be quite a political tone to today’s post BTW)

Stiff Little Fingers -‘Alternative Ulster.’ mp3 (Another deep breath: 1978 Festive Fifty no.11, 1979 Festive Fifty no.6, 1980 Festive Fifty no.9, 1981 Festive fifty no.16, 1982 all-time Festive Fifty no.16)

Undertones -‘ You’ve Got My Number (Why Don’t You Use It?).’ mp3 (1979 Festive Fifty no.29)

I know next to nothing about this band, again, info etc.. etc..

Red Guitars -‘Good Technology.’ mp3 (1983 Festive Fifty no.11)

With the emphasis on Red (very much the colour of their politics) things were not getting any better in 1984.

Redskins -‘Keep On Keeping On.’ mp3(1984 Festive Fifty no.10)

By 1986, Britain’s ‘special relationship’ with the USA (ha, bloody ha) lead to commenting in two tracks that year about this being the 51st state of America. This was one of them, can you name the other? (Not in the Festive fifty, but by a band hat Peel did champion)

The The -‘Heartland.’ mp3 (1986 Festive Fifty no.32)

My all-time favourite song:

Joy Division -‘Atmosphere.’ mp3 (1980 Festive Fifty no.2, 1981 Festive Fifty no.1, 1982 All-time festive Fifty no.2, 2000 Millennium Chart no.1)

Mr. Peel’s favourite band EVER. This wasn’t political per se, though the Pharmacist in question may not have been dealing in over the counter medicine…

Fall -‘Mr. Pharmacist.’ mp3 (1986 Festive Fifty no.3)

Two Peel favoured artists I’m just discovering and loving:

Nina Nastasia -‘You, Her and Me.’ mp3 (2003 Festive Fifty no.13)

Laura Cantrell -‘Queen Of The Coast.’ mp3 (2000 Festive fifty no.42)

There will be more music tomorrow.