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MY FIRST TASTE OF TEENAGE FANNIES

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I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion that Teenage Fanclub are a bit hit and miss with me but this particular 45 is one I’ve adored for nigh on 25 years now and I still think it is one of their all time greats:-

mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – God Knows It’s True

I reckon this was the first time I ever heard the band and again it was thanks to it appearing on a compilation tape put together by Jacques the Kipper. It’s quite incredible to realise this single came out as far back as November 1990. It was the last thing they released on the Paperhouse label before the switch to Creation Records and the deserved commercial success from Bandwagonesque onwards.

I was delighted a few years ago to pick up a mint condition copy of the 12″ for just £3 and to discover that the other tracks consist of a cracking b-side that could easily have been released as a single and a couple of instrumentals which demonstrate the boys liked to listen to bit of Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr just as much as the west coast Americana that they claimed were the biggest influences:-

mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – So Far Gone
mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – Weedbreak
mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – Ghetto Blaster

Enjoy

THE JAMES SINGLES (24)

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I hadn’t forgotten about this series….I was simply putting off having to write about this rip-off.

I mentioned last time out that the release of Runaground, while being a right pain in the proverbial with its 3xCd format, at least, and for the first time in ages, provided some value(ish) for money with decent b-sides, mixes and live session versions.

Six months later in November 1998, and with the Best Of still doing quite well in the album charts James were about to embark on a sold-out tour of large arenas in the UK complete with support from either Stereophonics or Gene.  The record label decided something had to be done to tie-in with the tour and also to prompt the Christmas market record-buyers that a James greatest hits CD might be worth popping into someone’s stocking.

And so the idea of a remix of Sit Down was hatched……

There’s lots to despise about this release.  It has an appalling sleeve and the remix isn’t very good…it sounds awfy like the Doctorin’ The Tardis by The Timelords which had got to #1 away back in 1988…and then there’s the heinous crime of the record label stating that the inclusion of Sit Down on the b-side was the ‘original version’ when in fact it was the hit single version already on ‘Best Of’ rather than going to the trouble and expense of getting permission to go with the version released back in the days on Rough Trade.

What almost saves it are the two acoustic tracks lifted from the April 1998 session recorded for GLR Radio and the rocking version of China Girl which the band had recorded as a one-off on 21 April 1997 as a contribution to a Radio 1 Show, hosted by Jo Whiley, to commemorate the 50th birthday of Iggy Pop.  If you hadn’t taped it off the radio it was otherwise unavailable:-

mp3 : James – Sit Down (apollo four forty mix)
mp3 : James – China Girl
mp3 : James – What For (GLR session)
mp3 : James – Sit Down (GLR session)

Enjoy.

NEXT YEAR’S NOSTALGIA FEST (Part 10 of 48)

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The Raw Herbs were a four-piece London band who released most of their material in what was a very brief career on Medium Cool, a Manchester-based label. The members were Derek Parker (vocals, guitar), Kevin Bache (guitar), Steven Archibald (bass), and Brian Alexis (drums).

There were just four singles during their two-year existence between 1986 and 1988 but they were regarded highly enough to also score a Radio 1 session for Janice Long who, at the time, broadcast in the early evening slot. The track on CD86 is in fact a b-side from their final single recorded for Rooster Records which, as far as I can tell, was their own label as I haven’t been able to find anything else released on that particular imprint:-

mp3 : The Raw Herbs – He Blows In

I’ve been able to track down the A-side of the 45:-

mp3 : The Raw Herbs – The Second Time

They’re decent enough quality indie-pop without being ground-breaking.  And the a-side is better than the track included on CD86.

The lead singer went on to be part of a group called Horse Latitudes who, in 1990, released an LP entitled September Songs on Cherry Red Records. This particular band should, on no account be confused with a more recent combo using the same name – they are a death metal outfit from Finland and about as far removed from the C86 sounds as imaginable.

I’ve also learned that the drummer died in 2011 after suffering a deep-vein thrombosis.

Here’s a link to a fan site.

SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SONG :#5 : AEREOGRAMME

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Aereogramme were a Scottish alternative/post-rock rock band from Glasgow, consisting of Craig B. (vocals, guitar), Iain Cook (guitar, programming), Campbell McNeil (bass) and Martin Scott (drums).

Formed in April 1998, the band released two 7″ singles in 1999 before signing the following year to Chemikal Underground on which they released two EPs and two LPs over a three-year period before a short-lived move to Undergroove Records in 2003 for whom they released their third LP.

By 2006, Aereogramme were back at Chem (as the Glasgow-based label is affectionately known) and their fourth, and what turned out to be their final LP, was released in January 2007 just a few months before they called it a day with the following message to all and sundry:-

“ It is with heavy hearts that we tell you all that Aereogramme have decided to split up. Reasons are multiple and complex. It is however fair to say that the never-ending financial struggle coupled with an almost superhuman ability to dodge the zeitgeist have taken their toll, ensuring that we just don’t have any fight left in us.

We are immensely proud of the four albums that we made over the past seven years. We hope that they continue to grow in your hearts. We plan to honour and celebrate the beautiful friendships we have made along the way with these final shows over the summer.”

The band then saw out various contractual obligations on the gigging front and  played their last ever show at the Connect Festival in the Highland town of Inverary on 31 August 2007.

Iain Cook and Craig B. have since formed another successful and highly regarded band, The Unwinding Hours with two critically acclaimed albums released by Chem in 2010 and 2012 but more recently Cook has found more fame and a little fortune as a member of Chvrches.

As for the other two past members of Aereogramme,  Martin Scott is the tour manager for Biffy Clyro while Campbell McNeil works in the same capacity with Chvrches.

I was very late in discovering Aereogramme with my first exposure coming via a Chemikal Underground compilation LP around the time of their final material.

More fool me.

Other than the compilation material, there’s just one rather splendid single – Barriers – from 2006 in the cupboard and I thought that given the b-side is otherwise unavailable to showcase that as this weekend’s Scottish song:-

mp3 : Aereogramme – Dissolve

Enjoy

HE WOULD HAVE TURNED 58 YEARS OF AGE TODAY

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Billy MacKenzie

I recently sent Sid Law an e-mail with a great big ‘thank you’ on behalf of everyone for his words and songs in the recent Billy Mackenzie series. Here’s his lovely reply:-

I’m really glad the Billy posts were appreciated by your Vinyl Villain readers. I am awfie glad that people took the time to download some of the music I sent on to you, I hope it casts a little more colour and light on Billy and the range of his music. Billy and The Associates left behind a legacy of some very fine work which was remastered and expanded in the Virgin re-issues. For me the tragedy was always what was missed from the re-issue schedules, the weird collaborations, the mental B-sides, the long deleted and forgotten, the out-takes, the unreleased stuff. Maybe its all a bit train spotter-ish… but that is being a fan.

I think the work Billy was doing during the last few years of his life was some of the best he had ever done. His vocal work with Barry Adamson, Apollo Four Forty and Loom are of a richness, depth and scope which eclipsed almost everything he had ever done before. He was flying…

Billy would have been 58 on Friday 27 March.

Please find attached two commercially unavailable items of some charm and interest. The fully extended 12″ Mix of “Cinemas Of The World” from Billy’s 1987 collaboration with Uno. The following year The Associates released their last Warners single “Heart Of Glass” and on the four track 3-inch CDEP version (there were many formats…) there lurked “Her Only Wish” a dark little beast of a song which never saw the light of day on any of the re-issue CDs.

Post as you see fit Jim!

All the best – enjoy what we have!

Sid Law

How could I resist??

mp3 : Billy Mackenzie/Uno – Cinemas Of The World (12″ mix)
mp3 : Associates – Her Only Wish

And here’s one from me….fairly widely available but a personal favourite:-

mp3 : Associates – Breakfast (Peel Session)

Enjoy

THIS WAS STUCK TO THE FRONT PAGE OF A MAGAZINE (6)

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Thus far any NME efforts in this series have harked back to the cassette era. This one however, is much more recent.

The NME and Morrissey have had an on-off relationship over the years. Simon Goddard sums up succinctly:-

His history with the NME is a tragicomedy unto itself. In the 1970s, they shunned his attempts to join their exclusive club as a freelance writer, barring him at the threshold of their letter page and the classified columns. Exacting the ultimate revenge, in the 1980s they lauded him as their pop saviour, the would-be critic having transformed himself into the object of their stupified desire. In the 1990s, as if suddenly humiliated by their sycophancy, they would try to destroy him. And in the 2000s they would beg him back on bended knee only to end their affair once and for all with an act of monumental dull-wittedness.

The bended-knee approach incorporated a Morrissey-curated free CD given away with the 19 June 2004 edition of the NME. The editor at the time, Conor McNicholas, penned these words:-

Morrissey hopes this compilation will say everything to you about your life, and maybe a little about his. Over the course of this CD Morrissey leads you by the hand from spiky punk to sun-kissed country grooves via bands he’s influenced and new acts he’s now consciously endorsing as the legacy of his talent and work. It’s a fascinating compilation and we’re very proud to present it. Now it’s all yours.

A wee bit over the top perhaps, but to be fair the 17 tracks are extremely diverse and as a free CD it is better than most. It was certainly unbeatable in terms of value.  As with these sorts of compilations, there really should be something for everyone who reads TVV but at the same time, I’m prepared to accept there will inevitably be stuff that gets on your tits…..

mp3 : Morrissey – The Never Played Symphonies
mp3 : The Killers – Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine
mp3 : Gene – Fighting Fit
mp3 : Sparks – Barbecutie
mp3 : The Slits – Love Und Romance
mp3 : The Ordinary Boys – (Little) Bubble
mp3 : New York Dolls – Vietnamese Baby
mp3 : Franz Ferdinand – Jacqueline (live)
mp3 : Raymonde – No One Can Hold A Candle To You
mp3 : Ludus – Let Me Go Where My Pictures Go
mp3 : Sack – Colorado Springs
mp3 : Remma – Worry Young (Demo Version)
mp3 : Pony Club – Single
mp3 : Jobriath – Morning Star Ship
mp3 : Damien Dempsey – Factories
mp3 : The Libertines – Time For Heroes
mp3 : Sir John Betjeman – A Child Ill

Morrissey would himself record and release a copy of the Raymonde track later that year as a b-side:-

mp3 : Morrissey – No One Can Hold A Candle To You

I should also mention at this point that last Saturday saw Morrissey play the Hydro in Glasgow as part of his latest UK tour.  For the first time ever, I made a conscious decision not to go along, choosing instead to spend my day at an alternative music shindig featuring, among others, Randolph’s Leap.

I do have the very slightest of regrets at missing Moz just in case it does turn out to be the final time he tours this part of the world and judging by the press reviews it was a belter of a gig….but against that, a couple of folk who were there and have been fans for years think that his best shows are long behind him and I didn’t miss out too much.

What I will say is that Randolph’s Leap were magnificent and provided further evidence as to why this, in my opinion, was the best album of 2014.

AN IMAGINARY COMPILATION ALBUM #9 – LCD SOUNDSYSTEM

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From the fingertips of S-WC…..

A few years back James Murphy, the kingpin behind LCD Soundsystem said that this band are ‘over once and for all’ and I for one was gutted. I think I said before that this is the only band I regret never seeing live. They were great and having earlier this morning dug out all of the tracks by them that I own and played them back to back in order to compile this (five hours it took, roughly) they are still great.

What made them great was the fact that they were genreless, they were DJs, they did songs, techno, dark stuff, rock stuff, pop crossover. LCD Soundsystem transcended the divide by combing dance and punk and I always thought that Daft Punk would have been a better name for them. For what its worth, ending LCD Soundsystem was I think the most selfish decision in musical history, solely because I can never see them live (until the obivious multi million pound reform deal in 2025 to mark 20 years of the release of their self-titled debut that is). Until that reform happens, here is their ultimate compilation.

Side One

1. Daft Punk is Playing At My House

(I’ve gone for Soulwax Mix simply because of the bit where it goes ‘DOWNTOWN’)

This was LCD Soundsystem’s most successful song, earning a Grammy nod and reaching No. 29 on the UK charts. It’s not hard to see why. Murphy always knew how to start a party, from the opening “OW! OW!” to the smashing hi-hats to cowbells and even reminding us that he had moved the furniture to the garage. A belter of a record.

2. I Can Change

The legend goes that after recording this song, he had to leave the room when the rest of the team listened to it. When he came back in, they all hugged him, to be honest when you hear the line ‘I can change if it makes you fall in love’ I wanted to bleeding hug him. The song reads like a quarrel that he is narrating.

3.  North American Scum

You’ll all know this song but the point where the cowbell clangs and organ buzz that set off North American Scum is one of the greatest moments in recent music history. This is one of the finest anthems of our generation. There is an angry guitar that pushes its way to the front, and as it does burst through, you can’t help but grin at the stupidly brilliant American.

4.  Someone Great

I once saw a man get shot, sorry to get personal on your asses, but I did, I won’t go into details, but it wasn’t pleasant, I didn’t know the chap I was literally waiting for a bus. The next morning around three am I woke up in my room after about two hours restless sleep. I switched on the iPod and this song came on – and the lyric ‘To tell the truth I saw it coming, the way you were breathing, but nothing can prepare you for it, the voice on the other end’ made my eyes sting. Not because its about death but because everything felt like a dream until about six seconds after that line was delivered.

5. Yeah (Crass Mix)

The first LCD Soundsystem I ever heard. I was hooked straight away. The perfect end to any compilation of their music. It twists and winds and bleeps and whirls and just explodes.

Side Two

1.  Dance Yrself Clean

The one thing about LCD Soundsystem that frustrated everyone was their reluctance to write ‘hit records’. They never got played on the radio, not the shows that sell records anywhere. This track was another raised middle finger to the industry, an eight minute raised middle finger of a single. It kind of wobbles along at half volume and includes a flute – A FLUTE – instead of a crashing beat or bass that you kind of expect and then suddenly it bursts and goes on for eight minutes. Plus and perhaps the main reason it is here – The Muppets are in the video for it, and it is the greatest music video ever made.

2.  All My Friends

Murphy hates this song, and yet it is clearly their greatest moment. He thinks it is too poppy and embarrassing. It is certainly the most romantic song he ever wrote. I have always thought it is widely reminiscent of ‘Ceremony’ by New Order but the call to arms of for his friends ‘If I could see all my friends tonight’ really emphasises the quality of this band and the friendship its members have.

3.  Losing My Edge

Apparently Murphy wrote this song after hearing DJs in a club playing music he thought onlty he was playing on his club night, ‘I’m losing my edge’ he bleats out – out of time – of the beat, if perhaps to make the point. He lists band after band to try and reclaim his relevance, its tongue in cheek of course, but wonderful all the same.

4.  You Wanted A Hit

My point in Side Two Track One is proved here, ‘You wanted a hit/But Maybe we don’t do hits’ sings Murphy in front of a synthesizers and tiny little guitar line. The song simply fades away. Much like that dream of making it big. Also it involves handclaps, and that in a LCD Soundsystem track deserves to be heard.

5.  New York I Love You, But You’re Bringing Me Down

The only closer that was possible, firstly because it was the last song they ever played live (at Madison Square Garden, New York). Secondly because of THAT piano that starts up again after a massive silence near the end of the track. If you have ever been to New York, or if you ever go, take a trip to the Williamsburg Bridge at night – gaze across to Manhattan and you’ll know what Murphy means.

mp3 : LCD Soundsystem – Daft Punk Is Playing At My House (Soulwax Mix)
mp3 : LCD Soundsystem – I Can Change
mp3 : LCD Soundsystem – North American Scum
mp3 : LCD Soundsystem – Someone Great
mp3 : LCD Soundsystem – Yeah (Crass Mix)
mp3 : LCD Soundsystem – Dance Yrself Clean
mp3 : LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends
mp3 : LCD Soundsystem – Losing My Edge
mp3 : LCD Soundsystem – You Wanted A Hit
mp3 : LCD Soundsystem – New York I Love You, But You’re Bringing Me Down

JC adds………..

Huge thanks to S-WC for this. LCD Soundsystem are a band I should know a lot more about and I certainly should owm much more of their material than I do. This is a cracking and seamless mix.

The mention of that last gig in New York got me digging into the vaults to May 2011 for this fantastic guest posting from Iain Fenton, a good friend of my good friend Mr John Greer.

FAREWELL LCD SOUNDSYSTEM

The rumours that James Murphy, the architect and brainchild behind New York collective LCD Soundsystem, (and cofounder of DFA Records) was due to retire the band had been circulating for a while and he had been laying the ground for an announcement for some time when finally it came…. on Feb 5th 2011.

There was to be one last LCD farewell gig on their home turf at Madison Square Garden on Sat 2nd of April and billed as the ‘long farewell’ it was to be a 3+ hour show with guests and all sorts of extras and unusual song inclusions.

In the time since Losing my Edge announced LCD to the world back in 2002 they have released three unmissable albums (four if you count 45.33) and numerous classic singles and remixes. No other band in the last 10 years has given me so much enjoyment and after having seen them live a number of times I absolutely had to be there for the final farewell on 02/04!

Tickets went on-sale on 11 Feb at 14.00 UK time which shouldn’t have been too much of a problem as MSG has a capacity of 15.000 and LCD had never played to a crowd of that size for one of their own shows prior to this (James Murphy subsequently admitted that he thought they would fill the venue but only perhaps with a few days to spare). So, 14.00 arrived and Ticketmaster US and the Bowery websites show sold out within 2 mins of going on sale…. WHAT??? How can that be???

The LCD web forum filled with fans complaining that they couldn’t get tickets and some of the band’s friends (not wishing to hassle them) can’t get any either WTF???? Within 5 mins the first scalper tickets appear on E-bay and StubHub with a face value of $80 selling for $1,000.

It’s all kicking off and within a few hours Murphy has posted a long tirade on the website entitled ‘Fuck You Scalpers, Terminal 5 shows added’. In order to screw the scalpers and suppress demand, he has added four extra shows at the 3,500 capacity Terminal Five venue on the 28/29/30/31st of March with details of ticket sale to be announced – Yay, back in with a shout of a ticket!!

Finally on 22 Feb at 14.03 UK time I secured two tickets for the show on 30 March with all four shows selling out quickly but far more of the fanbase had been satisfied and would be at one of the farewell shows.

Well done to James and LCD for adding the dates and listening to the fans (an almost Joe Strummeresque thing to do).

No tickets would be sent electronically or by hardcopy. The only way of collecting your ticket was on the night itself by showing photo ID and producing the credit card that you used for payment – a pretty good way of stopping scalpers in their tracks!

Fast-forward by a few weeks and the 30th of March had now arrived and here we were in NYC already having holiday fun and full of anticipation for the show at Terminal 5 that night. Reviews from the fans on the LCD forum for the previous two shows were absolutely raving and the setlist looked unbelievably mouth watering. After a perfectly executed ticket collection we entered the venue in enough time to catch a bit of Shit Robots support slot. The venue is on 3 floors with plentiful facilities and drinks can be had within a couple of minutes (nothing like Brixton Academy then!) and finding a good position was relatively easy from which to view this historic farewell.

At 9.05, to the walk on music of 10cc’s ‘I’m not in Love’, the final LCD Soundsystem show (for me anyway) was underway. Starting with Dance Yrself Clean the atmosphere was electric, more like a fiesta really with seemingly the whole 3,500 attendees ready to party and celebrate big time. Now, my friends, I have been to more gigs than had hot dinners with the count into the high hundreds and have tasted the atmosphere of many a fine venue including the legendary Glasgow Apollo. However, I have NEVER experienced such a strong sense of camaraderie and sense of purpose to simply have fun and support the band! For the next 3 hours and 20 minutes T5 was a full-blown rowdy, singing, dancing cacophony of noise and celebration for the finest band of the last 10 years. Playing many songs that hadn’t been heard live before or at least for a very long time and aided by additional singers and a very tasty brass section, the sound was fantastic and joyous. Comprising of two sets with a very brief break between them, the night flew by and soon it was the final farewell.

Set 1

Dance Yrself Clean
Drunk Girls
I Can Change
Time To Get Away
Get Innocuous!
Daft Punk Is Playing At My House
Too Much Love
All My Friends

Set 2

45:33 Part One
45:33 Part Two
Sound of Silver
45:33 Part Four
45:33 Part Five
45:33 Part Six
Freak Out/Starry Eyes
Us v Them
North American Scum
You Wanted A Hit
Tribulations
Movement
Yeah

Encore:

Someone Great
Losing My Edge
Home

Encore 2:

All I Want
Jump Into the Fire 
(Harry Nilsson cover)
New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down

It’s difficult to pick out any one highlight, but the rendition of the full version of 45.33 was truly epic and so wonderful I can barely communicate how fabulous it was.

Now that the dust has settled and a few weeks have past I can reflect back on what was truly one of the top 5 gigs of the whole of my life and that’s really saying something!

So thanks for the memories James & Co and enjoy whatever you do next!

To quote from Losing my Edge ‘I was there!’

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