Friday, 21 November 2014

The Gaylords

Chow Mein (1956)

Make what you want of this. The Gaylords sing of a much missed man from China and his chow mein. Personally, I love a mushroom chow mein and our local takeaway does a splendid one. File under 'strange world'.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Low Roar

I'll Keep Coming (2014)

Ryan Karazija once led a California based band called Audrye Sessions which lasted until 2010. Karazija has since relocated to Reykjavik (and why not?) where he creates music under the name of Low Roar. Yes, another one of those 'solo artists disguised as a band' things, which does tend to get my goat but, nevertheless, Ryan makes some good music. 'I'll Keep Coming' can be found on Low Roar's most recent LP, 0 (2014). Mmmm...nice.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Grand Re-Opening! Dance Classics! Club GUB presents Trouble Funk

Let's Get Small (1982)

Yes, friends, we're back in our newly refurbished den of dance. Leave your coats at the door; we'll take care of your wallets. Ladies, put those handbags on the floor and let's get the party started.

Remember Go-Go? Straight outta Washingon DC with funk heavy on the percussive side. Gonna be the next big thing until something called Hip-Hop came along. Trouble Funk led the way with dance floor hits like 'Drop The Bomb' and 'Hey Fellas' but we're 'getting small' (uh?) as we groove those Monday blues away. Toilets downstairs...Romeos to the right, left for Juliets.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Sunday Service: Duke Ellington and Mahalia Jackson

There's little in musical life that can be more perfect than the pairing of gospel great, Mahalia Jackson, with The Duke of Jazz. Duke Ellington composed his jazz symphony, Black, Brown and Beige in 1943, describing it as 'a tone parallel to the history of the negro in America'. On his 1958 recording of the work he is joined by Mahalia Jackson, who sings this beautiful song. Have a peaceful Sabbath.

Come Sunday (1958)

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Confessions of a Young Pornographer

Don't be overly alarmed - this is not where I suddenly reveal an unhealthy interest in pictures of naked women - but it is a confessional about childhood activities that often led to my mates and I leafing through some singularly vulgar printed matter. Actually, it wasn't all our fault, honest; living alongside a giant paper mill gave us easy access to all sorts of 'literature' that was ready for pulping and, hopefully, recycling into something more edifying.

It's not that you'd have to look very far for the stuff - there were dirty mags lying around all over the place - in the park, the local woods, down by the river - but there was one particular spot where massive hauls of filth could be found - the stacks.

The stacks, seemingly endless rows of paper from all kinds of sources piled high ready for the pulping machine, ran along the riverbank for at least half a mile. There was a place we used to play which we imaginatively named 'The Fields' (more like a ragged scrap of scrubland ready for the developers which has long been built on) which lay adjacent to the paper mill's stacks. There were lots of convenient holes in the fence, so all we had to do was slip through, run along to almost any stack and find ourselves in possession things called Whitehouse (obviously named in honour of dear old Mary), Mayfair, Forum and (ahem) Climax, along with many a long forgotten title to tickle our fancies. I suppose some of these publications were relatively benign, depending on how you measure these things, but many of them were truly disgusting. It really must have given us quite a warped concept of sexuality, which I'm sure is a sadly dangerous thing at the age of eleven or twelve. I do honestly believe that my own childish interest in these things was not particularly problematic and mostly it was a matter of a few laughs and some prurient, 'Cor, look at 'er!' sort of comments before discarding to go off and play football or 'Kick the Tin'. However, it does make me shudder to think about what our young eyes beheld, although it was just a part of everyday life down by the paper mill.

Could well have had our mits on this piece of crap.

Joe Henry
Dirty Magazine (2003)

Friday, 14 November 2014

Art Pepper

Here's That Rainy Day (1975)

Beautiful take of the Jimmy Van Heusen/Johnny Burke ballad from Art Pepper's 'comeback' LP, Living Legend (1975). Drug addiction and prison had halted his career but he clearly never truly lost his chops. Paid his dues in the 40's and 50's on the West Coast jazz scene. Art's dysfunctional family background may well have contributed to his troubles but his alto sax playing released him from those torments. A tune suitable for the view from my window for most of this week.

Here's Nat 'King' Cole with his own take. One of my mum's favourite singers.