Week 15 Playlist
Welcome to week 15 of the Isolation Room Listening Booth, songs as chosen by RPM club members week ending Friday 3rd July. This time, order chosen by Percy the Peacock determined by the random-pecking-of-names method, it’s over to……………
1 – 2 Crush on You by The Clash – “This was a B-Side but is without doubt one of my favourite Clash songs due to Mick Jones doing the lead vocals.”
Bankrobber, Get Out of Here performed by Audioweb – “Sticking on The Clash theme, I saw this band supporting some Shitpop (Britpop) band that I have since forgotten in the mid '90's, but these I haven't forgotten. Magnificent reggae vocals against no nonsense indie guitar rock.”
Police On My Back performed by The Levellers – “……and here’s the Levellers doing a Clash………….”
Nina – “Here's my choices. Keep well everyone………..pubs are opening but I'll stick to drinking at home. I've been listening to lots of music from festivals this week, cheers!”
The Machine by Solebound – “…….recorded in their van whilst at a festival. Better sound quality than festy footage (imo.)”
Thrive by Magdalena Atkinson – “Conga at a beach party anyone? I've got you, just keep it distanced……”
Sweet Disposition by Temper Trap – “……at Glastonbury 2010, nice & summery.”
John -Hi to all RPMers. Here’s my 3 for the week. I didn't realise until after I'd assembled these tracks that they all had some kind of 'prologue'.......”
Gatecrasher/Ritt Mickley by Refugee -
The Threatening Letters by Tony Hancock -
Chant: 13th Hour by Redbone -
Jean – “This last weekend, being the 50th anniversary of the Glastonbury Festival, I have been watching most of the old footage on the BBC. I have picked my favourite 3 performances.”
Heroes by David Bowie ( from 2000 Pyramid) – “Another act I wished I had seen, but not in his Ziggy days as I didn’t like that at the time. In 2000, this song had not become the anthem for the emergency and military services as it is now. Thank you NHS.”
Mr Blue Sky by ELO (2016 Legends Slot) – “This was their debut at Glastonbury much to my surprise. I always play their Albums to cheer myself up with the “sing-a-longs”. I love that they still do this song with the ‘please turn me over’. That would have been lost on the CD only people.”
You should Be Dancing by Barry Gibb (2017 Legends Slot) – “What a trouper. He still wanted to entertain and share the Bee Gees magic even though his twin brothers couldn’t share the stage with him anymore. This concert must have been daunting to put it mildly, but the crowd lifted his morale with great warmth and enthusiasm.” (I had trouble with the original link from Jean, so found this clip from on stage – Tim)
Alan – “Cool, hmmm??................. Piers got me thinking last week about 'cool' guitarists. Here's my three……………..”
Third Stone From The Sun performed by Dick Dale (From 'Calling up spirits'. 1996) – “A guy so cool that I even used his essential track 'Let's go trippin' as the theme tune and programme name for my radio show many moons ago. Legends aplenty surround Dale, did he really help Leo Fender to design the Strat and Tele? Only if Dale was 14 and 17 at the time! What is definite is that he 'road tested' equipment for Fender and helped Leo to redesign/upgrade their amps. Dale was constantly blowing his amps when performing in front of 6000 baying fans at Balboa's Rendezvous Ballroom (where the Pendletons, later known as the Beach Boys, were occasionally given a 15 minute slot between sets) and Leo Fender attended his gigs to see what the problem was before approaching the Lansing Company to incorporate unheard of 15" speakers into their new amplifier. Did Dale really give lessons to Hendrix back in '59 when Hendrix was with Little Richard's band? No... Hendrix wasn't with LR until '63, but maybe Dick got the dates wrong... and what of his claim to know Hendrix at all? Well, LA Times reporter Mike Boehm was speaking to Band of Gypsies drummer Buddy Miles and asked him about Hendrix’s estimation of Dale. “He used to talk about Dick Dale all the time,” said Miles. Beyond that, when Miles jammed with Dale at a gig with both of their current bands on the bill, Miles told the audience that Hendrix had spoken of “getting some of his best [stuff]” from Dale. It's also a rumour (or maybe not) that Hendrix's quote in '3rd Stone...' regarding 'you'll never hear surf music again' relates directly to the fact that Dale was seriously ill with cancer at the time of its recording, hence Dale's return 'quote' in the intro to his version of the same song. Having 'experienced' Dale at the Irish Centre in Leeds some years ago I can only confirm that, on stage he was a showman, but not a 'show-man'... his music came first.”
Blue Raga by Davey Graham (From 'Large As Life And Twice As Natural'. 1968) – “Here's a guy who never knowingly sought fame and fortune, instead he carried on his craft and, in doing so, became an inspiration to some of the finest UK folk guitarists. He composed the now evergreen 'Angi' in 1959 and first recorded it in1962 on his '3/4 AD' debut EP. The song became an instant folk classic, being recorded by artists as diverse as Bert Jansch, Chicken Shack, Simon and Garfunkel and Chumbawamba! Graham had appeared in 'Hound Dogs and Bach Addicts: The Guitar Craze', a 1959 Ken Russell directed BBC 'Monitor' programme as well as an uncredited appearance in Joseph Losey's cult movie 'The Servant' before recording 1964's 'Folk, Blues and Beyond'. This is his acknowledged masterwork but, instead of my favourite track from that album ('Maajun: A taste of Tangier') I've plumped for 'Blue Raga' from his 'lesser' work (if there is such a thing) 'Large as life...', which features Dick Heckstall Smith, Danny Thompson, Harold McNair and John Hiseman, and shows how his earlier incorporation of Arab and Indian music had reached new heights. In the words of Mr Leary... 'turn on, tune in and...... enjoy'.
(PS.... Despite the crackles this ain't from my vinyl collection!!!)”
Mystic Mountain by Chris Forsyth (From 'All Time Present'. 2018) – “Aptly, bearing in mind the nature of Chris' guitar style of revolving around central 'riffs', the sleeve to this double album features (overlapping) circles. Here, however, Chris gets a chance to showcase some fine solo guitar also. His 'daytime' band, Solar Motel, do not feature on this album and, in their stead, he's joined by long time friends bassist Peter Kerlin, multi-instrumentalist Shawn Edward Hansen and, new to the group, Ryan Jewell on drums. The music drifts, but never meanders and there are occasional vocals courtesy of Rosali Middleman and Jeff Zeigler but, in the main it's what Psychrock.com calls " a unique combination of 70's rock, Velvet Underground and early Pink Floyd... " and from other sites comparisons are made to... "Television, The Grateful Dead, Popol Vuh, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, and Richard Thompson." That's some pedigree to live up to!!! Starting out around 10 years ago in Philadelphia, Forsyth has constantly changed his band line ups and recorded a number of solo and (differing) band albums as well as touring the US on a regular basis. His latest hook up with NYC's appropriately named 'Garcia Peoples' apparently concentrates on extended work-outs of his earlier material and, if it's anything like this cracker, I can't wait for them to return to UK stages at some future time!!! (Covid 19 willing of course).
Jayne – “Hi once again to the RPM faithful. Now we’re into July, I trust everyone is still occupied with all those gainful activities…….My choices this week are simply tracks that I’d like to share.”
Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk by Rufus Wainwright -
Pink Moon performed by Teddy Thompson and Krystle Warren -
English Summertime by Jacob Wignall -
Tony – “Here are my 3 tracks for the Booth. I haven't managed to figure out Philip's latest conundrum but I've a feeling that possibly a drum kit figures strongly in the answer (sticks hi-hats, drums). I thought maybe Kenney Jones (Pictures of Lily) but couldn't identify where the U2 clue fitted in………” (All is revealed in a bit……Tim)
City of New Orleans by Arlo Guthrie – “A gentle and rather nostalgic track to start with especially if, like many people, you love trains. The accompanying video is also very well done and synchronises appropriate imagery with the words of the song. Many acts have performed this song but for me this version by Arlo Guthrie remains the best.”
Running Down A Dream by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – “This is a live version of one of my favourite tracks from my favourite Tom Petty album "Full Moon Fever" . The last couple of minutes of the video show the band deservedly taking the plaudits from a very lucky audience.”
"Dat" by Pluto Shervington – “Sometimes I come across a certain song that I absolutely love but can't for the life of me figure out why. When I first heard this record I had to have it and never really knew what it was all about, but thanks to a contributor to Youtube who clearly understands the thing, we can follow the lyrics more or less and hopefully you will enjoy this as much as the wheelchair-bound fan in the video does.”
Philip –“Greetings and best wishes as always to you and all RPMers. First things first... How many people worked out that the connection last week was Gary Cooper movies?
Desire (1936) a romantic comedy with Marlene Dietrich, Along Came Jones (1945) a Western commissioned and produced by "Coop" to take the juice out of his own image, and Distant Drums (1951) which I suppose could be classified as a Western except that it is set in Florida and there are no horses in it!
As for the "too tenuous" connections with Pictures of Lily and Great Balls of Fire, in "The Westerner" (1940) co-star Walter Brennan plays Judge Roy Bean, who was besotted with the actress Lilly Langtrey (this is a true historic fact, unlike the rest of the movie), and Gary Cooper co-starred with Barbara Stanwyck in the romantic comedy "Ball of Fire" (1942).
The song "Puttin' on the Ritz" contains the line "Trying hard to look like Gary Cooper."
Which brings us to this week's choices, for which we're going to the movies………”
Puttin' on the Ritz performed by Gene Wilder and Peter Boyle from "Young Frankenstein" (it's pronounced FRONK-EN-STEEN!)
Marlene Dietrich in Destry Rides Again – “... two songs for the price of one in 4 mins. 15 seconds... "See What The Boys In The Backroom Will Have" and then "You've Got That Look." Her character in this film was called "Frenchie." Go figure!”
I’m Tired performed by Madeline Kahn – “……in "Blazing Saddles" as the "Teutonic Titwillow" Lily Von Schtupp. Does she remind you of anyone?
Dave – “Hi RPMers, hope you are all well and getting back to normal!!! I worry for a second spike!!! Here’s my 3 escape from reality tunes.”
Tom Tom by Holly Fuck –
Stop the Dams by Gorillaz –
Where Is My Mind by Pixies –
Piers – “Thanks to you all for continuing to post such great music, both familiar and new to me. It is a special treat to hear new music, artists and bands, for the first time. And thank you too to you Tim, for agreeing to keep this valuable service to our small community running. I hope that it doesn’t become too much of a burden………
So, from me, some glorious pre-war ‘Jazz’ this week. Don’t let the word ‘jazz’ put you off taking a listen. Apart from the Louis, who with his hot 5s and 7s set the gold standard for jazz, this stuff defies genre………” (Not a burden at all, Piers…….strange you were worrying over perceptions and genres……..so was I; see below - Tim)
Blue Room Blues by Eddie Lang & Lonnie Johnson – “First; Eddie Lang, (whose recordings, playing with Joe Venuti, inspired Django to play the guitar), together with one of the finest blues guitarists of all time, Lonnie Johnson, who was universally held in the highest esteem in both the blues and jazz worlds, and who recorded and toured with, everyone from Bessie Smith to Muddy Waters)……sublime….”
Heat Wave by Carl Kress and Dick McDonough – “…….and another guitar duet by their genetic followers……”
West End Blues by Louis Armstrong & His Hot Five – “And finally, my absolute all-time favourite track ever recorded - yes ever! - In any Genre! If nothing else give the 15 second improvised intro a listen…….”
“I just reread that first bit and it made me think of Tim slaving over his PC wearing an orange jump suit……..” (How did you know? Are you accessing my webcam? – Tim.)
Tim – “I like “Prog Rock”! There, I’ve said it……and I’m not apologising……oh…is anyone still there? 😉
In my experience, “Prog Rock” is probably the musical tag which garners the strongest negative reaction in people. It possibly comes down to preconceptions / misconceptions established by the pop-ier, fashion-led end of the music press, generating and perpetuating certain stereotypes now associated with, and attached to, the genre. I hate tags, btw; are they not just a means of marketing music to a perceived specific target audience, allowing a record shop to file a particular band in a particular place in the store’s racks? To me, it’s all MUSIC…..which either sparks something I like and can relate to……or doesn’t. My own record shop would be completely alphabetical with no genre sections! Having said that, I suppose tags and compartmentalising music into genres can be a useful way of conveying the feel of a band’s music when trying to describe them to somebody who is unfamiliar with your latest aural discovery……but again, this relies upon both parties having the same preconceptions in mind; a consensus of what you both think the tag relates to and also what constitutes a particular genre. It could also possibly bring any prejudices you might hold into play……prejudices that can thus allow you to listen to something new with an open mind…..or not. To a lot of people, “Prog” therefore conjures up negative concepts of overblown 70s musical excess, long individual solos, aimless musical meanderings and capes….and these are fair judgments upon some of it. What I found so refreshing about what the 80s rock press termed the “Neo-Progressive” bands, was that they embraced and combined elements of “Punk” attitude and “New Wave of British Heavy Metal” grit with the imagination, musical technicalities and theatrical stage presentation of the original early 70s “Prog” originators. They also ditched whimsy-for-whimsies sake, often exhibiting an acerbic wit, an ironic outlook upon life and a sharply scathing attitude towards society, the establishment, war and the “system”. So, after playing the Solstice album (a few times, in fact) last week, I delved into the ol’ record collection for some more. Here’s 3 favourite “Neo Prog”-tastic tunes from the past 7 days……..”
The Wake by IQ – “OK, let’s get this out of the way; yes, Peter Nicholls does have those certain “Prog” Gabriel-esque undertones to his voice….and so what? I wouldn’t have it any other way 😉…..it’s his own voice, he’s not impersonating Gabriel, so he should be left to get on with it. And a fine job he does as well, in my opinion. This is the title track from the bands 1985 and 2nd LP. It’s SOOOO “Prog”, from the song title to the time signatures, soaring guitar and pedal point** main riff…..unusually, it’s an un-prog 4 minutes long. IQ are still playing together today. (Btw, if you’ve got this far, apologies that the song ends abruptly……on the LP it blends neatly into the next track.)
Fact and Fiction by Twelfth Night – “Hailing from Reading, Twelfth Night struggled initially to find a vocalist, their first album release being the all instrumental Live at the Target offering. Although enjoyable, it always sounds to me like a band with no singer, a problem resolved by the joining of poet and artist, Geoff Mann, who wrote lyrics for these pieces of music, thus turning them into proper “Prog” songs. The band’s debut LP entitled Fact and Fiction emerged in 1982 but my choice here, however, is the better live version of the album’s title song from the Live and Let Live release of 1984, complete with the theatrical spoken introduction which doesn’t appear on the studio recording. This was taped at the world-famous Marquee Club at the end of 1983, the last 2 gigs with singer Mann before he left to pursue a solo career. This LP is one of my “Neo Prog” faves and I’ve just discovered there’s now an expanded release of the whole gig, the original LP comprising of only 6 songs from the concert…………I’m getting one. Twelfth Night split in 1987.”
Excalibur by Pendragon – “I bought Pendragon’s first release, the Fly High, Fall Far mini LP, when it came out in 1984. I played it to death and it’s still my favourite album by them and one of my favourite “Neo Prog” LPs. This instrumental rounds off that 4-track album, showcasing the band’s musical skill and vision, pulling off with ease a complicated, soaring, catchy piece of music. For me (and my preconceptions) this is the archetypal “Prog” sound……a band line of guitar, bass, keyboards, drums (and vocal on tracks with lyrics, of course), seamless time changes, bass guitar taking a prominent position within the music rather than just playing root notes all the time, a guitar sound that makes you feel like you’re flying, big keyboard chords or bubbling lead breaks……it’s all there. Pendragon still play today, having just released new album Love Over Fear in Feb 2020.”
Folk in a Field Bonus Track
Turquoise Girl by Flook – “This weekend, had Covid not have happened, I should have been stage managing my good friend Luke’s festival, Folk in a Field. We’d booked the amazing Flook to play on Saturday 4th, so here’s a tune from one of the best acoustic bands around at the moment, for us to imagine sitting in that lovely field at West Acre in rural Norfolk, watching them.”