Wednesday 19 September 2018

In Another Life

Do you have a spare 24-odd minutes to listen to a new song? No, I wasn't sure that I had either. Sandro Perri's latest album 'In Another Life' popped into my field of view just over a week ago (and was released last Friday). The name rang bells. Mrs S and I picked up a couple of his albums somewhere around 2007, one of which, 'Tiny Mirrors', became a particular favourite in the house for a while. As is the way of these things, Sandro took quite a while to follow up 'Tiny Mirrors' and he fell off my radar, so when I happened to read about the new album I was curious to find out what he's up to these days. It was with some surprise that I noted the extreme length of the title track and intended to check just a few minutes of it, before flicking on through the rest of the LP. 24 minutes later I was still there, absorbed.

Nothing dramatic happens in 'In Another Life'. Sandro delivers verse after verse over a gently noodling guitar and tinkling electronic backdrop and even as it finally crumbles and fades, I still feel good to go for another 20 minutes. One reviewer likened the song to '...a zen blues...' A good description.

Wednesday 12 September 2018

Joey Ramone - A New York Moment

Over at The (New) Vinyl Villan, the Imaginary Compilation Album series continues to go from strength to strength. A couple of days ago, our mutual friend Dirk kept the bar way up high with a terrific Ramones ICA. Dirk concluded his ICA with the entertaining tale of how he narrowly missed meeting Joey Ramone in 1991. Nine years later I had my own near miss with the great man.

On the afternoon of April 15th 2000, the last day of my 39th year, walking alone through the East Village in Manhattan, I crossed 3rd Avenue on 9th Street and noticed a small kerfuffle in a doorway to my right. There, towering above a throng of a dozen chattering fans, was Joey Ramone, signing autographs, talking to everyone at once, but clearly trying to edge inside the building. I fumbled in my backpack for some paper and a pen and waited patiently at the edge of the group. Joey remained unstintingly polite, in spite of the barrage of questions and bits of paper being thrust at him to sign, but gradually, and before it came to my turn, he eased himself into the foyer of the building and, with a wave through the glass door, he was gone.

So I didn't quite get to meet Joey that day, but it was a memorable New York Moment for me all the same. A moment that came spinning back 12 months later, when I opened a newspaper on the morning of my 41st birthday to find that Joey had passed away the previous afternoon, exactly one year after my close encounter with him. The extent of his illness hadn't been widely publicised, his death was a terrible shock and, 17 years on, we miss him still.

The Ramones - Swallow My Pride

Monday 10 September 2018

Marisa Anderson

Marisa Anderson onstage at the Colchester Arts Centre

My days of making regular 100+ mile round trips for gigs are largely a thing of the past. If a band isn't playing fairly locally, or at least somewhere near a convenient place where I can get my head down for the night, I tend to pass. There are exceptions though and one evening early last week I made the hour and a half drive to see Marisa Anderson play at the Colchester Arts Centre.

Anderson's timeless music draws from Gospel, Delta blues, rustic American country, Saharan drones and even, in the case of her interpretation of 'The Daemon Lover', the British folk tradition. She finished her main set with a mesmerising reading of 'Sant Feliu de Guíxols', my favourite tune from her latest LP 'Cloud Corner'. It remained firmly lodged in my noggin for the entire hour and a half drive home.

Thursday 6 September 2018

If You're Alone and You Got the Shakes

Iggy Pop's always fascinating 6Music show finds him in grizzled elder statesman mode, a long way from my original introduction to the man and his music via the Iggy & the Stooges LP 'Raw Power'. In 1973 I dug deep into pocket money reserves to a secure copy of the album without having heard a note, based entirely on the Bowie connection and discovered that although I didn't know what the hell this music was, the dense onslaught of sound was utterly thrilling. At the same time, every article I read and photo I saw of the band frankly terrified me. I was 13 years old at the time and would subsequently meander through the highways and byways of Glam, Heavy Rock, Metal and Prog before reacquainting myself with exactly this kind of glorious racket towards the end of the 1970s. 

Iggy & the Stooges - Raw Power

Head over to The (New) Vinyl Villan and enjoy Swiss Adam's excellent Iggy Pop ICA.

Tuesday 4 September 2018

This One's For Dirk

Whilst loitering around in the comments section over at Brian's place last week, I happened to drop Swedish garage legends The Nomads into the conversation, specifically their incendiary rendition of the classic Standells tune, 'Sometimes the Good Guys Don't Wear White'. A little later, Dirk put out the call for someone to post it - so here you go Dirk! I've got the song on the terrific 1984 LP 'Outburst', where it rubs shoulders with equally rockin' covers of songs by The Kinks, Alex Chilton, The Third Bardo and Sleepy John Estes, not to mention a clutch of stompin' originals. Hold tight!

The Nomads - Sometimes the Good Guys Don't Wear White

The Nomads - I'm 5 Years Ahead of My Time

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