Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Manfred Mann Chapter Three - Chips But No Fish

From wikipedia:
Manfred Mann Chapter Three was a British experimental jazz rock band founded by South African keyboard player Manfred Mann and long-time partner Mike Hugg, both former members of the group Manfred Mann. The line-up for its debut at Newcastle's Mayfair Ballroom on 24 October 1969 was: Mike Hugg (vocals/electric piano), Mann (organ), Bernie Living (alto sax), Steve York (bass) and Craig Collinge (drums), augmented by a five-piece brass section of Clive Stevens (tenor sax), Carl Griffiths (tenor sax), Dave Coxhill (baritone sax), Gerald Drewett (trombone) and Sonny Corbett (trumpet). The band released two studio albums, and shelved a third. Mann went on to form Manfred Mann's Earth Band in 1971.

I can't remember exactly when I first heard Manfred Mann Chapter Three, but I do remember my surprise at how different they were to the previous incarnation of the band. I did like some Manfred Mann, preferring the Mike d'Abo years over the Paul Jones era. I recommend "Mighty Garvey!", released in 1968 it's a fine psychedelic pop album. MMC3 was a huge leap forward, ditching their pop roots for a more progressive/jazz rock direction. Unfortunately the public didn't embrace this change in style, sales for their only 2 albums were rather poor, culminating in their break-up less than 2 years after forming. After their demise Mann formed the much more successful Manfred Mann's Earth Band, a band I never really took to.

For this collection, unsurprisingly tracks from those 2 albums dominate, but I have also included some tracks which were recorded for the shelved 3rd album. Some of these tracks first saw the light of day on the "Odds & Sods – Mis-takes & Out-takes" box set released in 2005. Mostly consisting of Manfred Mann's Earth Band songs, the first 5 tracks featured MMC3, 3 of which came from those 3rd album sessions. "Radio Days Vol. 3 - Live Sessions & Studio Rarities", released in 2019, featured more tracks from the shelved album. The track "Happy Being Me" from the 2nd album is almost 16 minutes in length, it's a decent tune but in my opinion way too long, so have shortened it somewhat. There was a single version of it released, but the editing on it is very poor, otherwise I would have included that instead.

The blog Albums I Wish Existed has recreated the 3rd album, giving it the title "Fish & Chips". You can find it here, but only in mp3. For my anthology I decided to do a spoof on that title, naming it "Chips But No Fish" as it doesn't include the track "Fish". While the track in question has some interesting parts, as a whole I found it somewhat lacking, so it was an easy decision to exclude. 

Finally, a huge thanks to Manerg for his great help with this collection, including the cover art. Again, I hope you're all keeping safe out there, and you can enjoy this rather interesting (ahem) chapter in Manfred Mann's career!

  1. Snakeskin Garter (5:48)
  2. Poor Sad Sue (5:55)
  3. Train Crash (2:23)
  4. Sometimes (2:38)
  5. Time (7:22)
  6. Happy Being Me (edit) (3:53)
  7. So Sorry Please (8:15)
  8. Lady Ace (7:57)
  9. Turn You Away from My Door (3:26)
10. Ain't It Sad (1:57)
11. It's Good to Be Alive (3:29)
12. A Study in Inaccuracy (4:06)
13. Messin' Up the Land (8:42)
14. I Ain't Laughing (2:34)
15. One Way Glass (3:31)
16. Chips (2:09)
17. Travelling Lady (5:49)

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Songs from Beneath the Spaghetti Tree Vol. 55

  1. Elephant Stone - Hollow World (4:03)
  2. Pony del Sol - Les Arbres Menteurs (3:41)
  3. The Go-Betweens - Old Mexico (4:37)
  4. Cat Stevens - Lovely City (When Do You Laugh) (2:39)
  5. Bongos, Bass and Bob - Thorazine Shuffle (5:07)
  6. Calibro 35 - Convergere in Giambellino (3:30)
  7. Eddy Detroit - Beelzeebub (2:24)
  8. Denim - Mrs Mills (3:53)
  9. Nick Eberhardt - Crazy One (3:06)
10. Hotlegs - Um Wah, Um Woh (5:04)
11. The Love Explosion - Bill Wyman : Astral Energy (4:37)
12. Sparklehorse - Someday I Will Treat You Good (3:40)
13. Pretty Lightning - There Is Ooze on Our Shooze (2:14)
14. Juniore - Bizarre (3:36)
15. The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Oh Bother (3:45)
16. Brinsley Schwarz - (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding (3:32)
17. Deux Filles - Her Masters Voice (2:52)
18. RF Shannon - Tooth Ache (4:16)
19. Bitmap - The Situation (2:56)
20. The Heliocentrics - Burning Wooden Ship (5:35)
21. Drugstore - The Funeral (But Most of All) (4:16)

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Vic Chesnutt - Stay Inside

James Victor Chesnutt (November 12, 1964 – December 25, 2009) was an American singer-songwriter from Athens, Georgia. His first album, "Little", was released in 1990, but his breakthrough to commercial success did not come until 1996 with the release of "Sweet Relief II: Gravity of the Situation", a charity record of alternative artists covering his songs. Chesnutt released 16 albums during his career, including two produced by Michael Stipe. His musical style has been described by Bryan Carroll of as a "skewed, refracted version of Americana that is haunting, funny, poignant, and occasionally mystical, usually all at once". Injuries from a 1983 car accident left him partially paralyzed; he used a wheelchair and had limited use of his hands.
The above quoted from Wikipedia. More info here.

I was a bit of a latecomer to Chesnutt, I'd heard the odd tune by him over the years, but only really started getting into him when I was recommended his 2005 album "Ghetto Bells". It was a good recommendation, as exposure to this album had me delving into his previous work. Some were a bit patchy, but most I found a very rewarding listen. For me his outstanding album was "North Star Deserter", released in 2007, an album I often come back to. It also contains my favourite track by him, "Everything I Say", which I end this anthology with.
For this collection I've taken tracks from 14 of his studio albums covering the years 1990 to 2009, omitting the 2 releases he recorded under the name Brute, a side project of his with members of Widespread Panic. Sadly I don't have those albums...

In these unsettling times with many of us anxious about this worldwide pandemic (plus many of us having to endure a lockdown), choosing the title of this anthology I went with the appropriately named "Stay Inside", which is also the first track on here. As ever, info containing track origin & year of release is tagged in the music files and in the download file. Take care everyone, hope you enjoy, and stay safe!

  1. Stay Inside (4:43)
  2. Ladle (4:03)
  3. And How (3:04) [with Elf Power and the Amorphous Strums]
  4. Square Room (4:28)
  5. Look at Me (2:22)
  6. Wrong Piano (2:54)
  7. What Do You Mean? (4:54)
  8. Philip Guston (3:25)
  9. Bad Boy Town (2:52)
10. Degenerate (4:21)
11. Marathon (5:32)
12. Preponderance (2:47) [with Mr. and Mrs. Keneipp]
13. My New Life (4:11)
14. Panic Pure (3:04)
15. Fa-La-La (5:14)
16. Little Fucker (4:26) [with Elf Power and the Amorphous Strums]
17. Bakersfield (2:24)
18. Maiden (2:56)
19. Sleeping Man (Syd Version) (4:42)
20. Everything I Say (6:52)

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Musicologist Mix Volume 3

The final volume, covering picks 35-50. Complete list is here. Maybe one day I'll make another 50 picks...

  1. Belles Will Ring - Come to the Village (5:12)
  2. Far East Family Band - Entering / Times (edit) (8:44)
  3. Bill Nelson - False Alarms (2:51)
  4. Demon Fuzz - Disillusioned Man (4:57)
  5. The Sound - Skeletons (3:26)
  6. Prins Thomas - Attiatte (6:14)
  7. Tall Dwarfs - Thought Disorder (4:08)
  8. Fifty Foot Hose - Red the Sign Post (2:55)
  9. Marc and the Mambas - Torment (4:20)
10. Angels of Light - Song for My Father (3:39)
11. Dog Faced Hermans - H Tribe (4:54)
12. Link Wray - Fire and Brimstone (4:18)
13. Sonic Youth - Renegade Princess (5:47)
14. Eddie and the Hot Rods - Ignore Them (Still Life) (4:42)
15. The Fall - Iceland (6:41)
16. Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band - Pachuco Cadaver (4:38)

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Musicologist Mix Volume 2

 Continuing on from the previous volume, here's picks 18-34. Complete list is here.

  1. Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band - Big Eyed Beans From Venus (4:22)
  2. Rita Lee - De Novo Aqui Meu Bom José (3:10)
  3. Matt Elliott - Whats Wrong (4:07)
  4. Minutemen - Storm in My House (1:58)
  5. Pussy Galore - (Do) The Snake (3:02)
  6. Plasticland - Transparencies, Friends (3:27)
  7. Charles Earland - Warp Factor 8 (6:17)
  8. Faust - J'ai Mal aux Dents (7:15)
  9. Martin Newell - A Street Called Prospect (3:30)
10. Thomas Leer & Robert Rental - Day Breaks, Night Heals (3:59)
11. Pepe Deluxé - Black Cadillac (3:42)
12. Jean-Claude Vannier - Danse des Mouches Noires Gardes du Roi (3:05)
13. Modular - Festín Surreal  (3:11)
14. Black Cab - Angels Arrive (3:46)
15. Blo - Time to Face the Sun (4:03)
16. Kevin Coyne - Lunatic (4:51)
17. New Kingdom - Unicorns Were Horses (3:43) 

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Musicologist Mix Volume 1

Several years ago a music site I am a member of asked me to be a "musicologist", which required me to recommend/upload 1 album every 4 or 5 weeks to share with other members. My criteria for this would be: albums by artists who never got the recognition they deserved; albums which were unlike anything an artist/band ever recorded before or after (hello The Four Seasons!); albums that sparked my interest in genres of music I'd never really explored before; and finally, albums that just happen to be amongst my all time favourites!

The tracks on these mixes are in the order of the albums I picked. I decided to end my time as a musicologist after my 50th pick. The full list can be seen here. Volumes 2 and 3 will appear in the next couple of days.

On a personal note, in these perilous times, I hope all of you out there are keeping safe and well. It all seems rather surreal, we can only hope things get back to as near as normal as soon as possible. Take care everyone.

  1. The Dream Syndicate - Definitely Clean (3:30)
  2. This Heat - Independence (3:39)
  3. Shack - Time Machine (4:49)
  4. Euphoria - Docker's Son (2:48)
  5. Leila - Don't Fall Asleep (3:25)
  6. The Moles - Tendrils and Paracetamol (6:40)
  7. Mary Lorson & Saint Low - Anything Can Happen (5:08)
  8. Jimmy Campbell - Closing Down the Shop (2:39)
  9. Bongwater - Obscene & Pornographic Art (3:19)
10. King Creosote - Home in a Sentence (2:58)
11. Nick Nicely - Hilly Fields (1892) (3:30)
12. Billy Nicholls - Girl From New York (3:18)
13. Cymande - Getting It Back (4:16)
14. The Chills - Doledrums (3:08)
15. The Four Seasons - Genuine Imitation Life (6:16)
16. Rufus Harley - Gods and Goddesses (5:44)
17. Josef K - Heart of Song (2:53)

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Mojave 3 - Resend to Turner

Mojave 3 formed from the ashes of celebrated shoegaze band Slowdive in 1995. Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Neil Halstead, bassist/vocalist Rachel Goswell, guitarist Simon Rowe, keyboard player Alan Forrester and drummer Ian McCutcheon, their first album "Ask Me Tomorrow" was released in 1996. In all they released 5 studio albums, their final album "Puzzles Like You" in 2006. This collection features 3 tracks from all 5 albums, plus 3 tracks from EP releases. 

According to wikipedia their musical style is described as: dream pop, indie rock, alternative country, folk. Well, there's certainly elements of all those genres on their albums, their first probably more alternative country than anything else, sounding quite similar to Mazzy Star. For me their greatest album was their 2nd, "Out of Tune", released in 1998. A huge leap forward from their first release in both quality of songs and sound. 

As much as I was a fan of Slowdive, especially the album Souvlaki, over the years I've found listening to the back catalogue of Mojave 3 a much more satisfying experience. Compiling these tracks was again a difficult task, I could have picked 3 completely different tracks from each album and it would still be a fine collection of their work. After the demise of Mojave 3, Halstead went on to form the short-lived band Black Hearted Brothers, releasing one album in 2013. The following year Slowdive reformed and released a new album in 2017, which I found a somewhat disappointing experience to listen to, though it did include (for me) a couple of outstanding tracks. 

I doubt if Mojave 3 will ever reform, but they've left a fine legacy and perhaps it's better if they left it that way. Personally I'd like to see more solo albums by Halstead, he released three between 2001 and 2012, his debut "Sleeping on Roads" for me one of the outstanding albums of that year. Maybe one day I'll post a Halstead anthology.

Huge thanks to Manerg for this project. It was he who suggested in the first place doing a Mojave 3 collection, also providing the title of this anthology as well as finding the excellent cover art. As ever, info containing track origin & year of release is tagged in the music files and in the download file. Enjoy!

  1. Give What You Take (4:25)
  2. Starlite #1 (4:54)
  3. Love Songs on the Radio (5:45)
  4. Any Day Will Be Fine (3:22)
  5. Big Star Baby (4:19)
  6. Yer Feet (4:13)
  7. Between Us (6:58)
  8. Star in the Sky (3:58)
  9. After All (3:30)
10. Bringin' Me Home (3:49)
11. Ghostship Waiting (3:05)
12. Battle of the Broken Hearts (6:38)
13. This Road I'm Travelling (5:31)
14. Return to Sender (4:42)
15. All Your Tears (4:36)
16. Running With Your Eyes Closed (2:10)
17. Hard to Miss You (2:50)
18. Mercy (4:56)

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Colorama - Candy Street

Colorama were formed in 2007 by Welsh singer-songwriter, music producer and multi-instrumentalist Carwyn Ellis. The line-up varies frequently, both in the studio and on stage. They have released 6 full albums, 2 mini-albums and a number of EPs/singles between 2008 and 2017. A compilation of of all of Ellis's Welsh songs as Colorama, entitled "Dere Mewn!" was released in 2014.

Musically, they cover many styles, on wikipedia they've been described as "dream pop, acid folk, psychedelic rock, baroque pop, fuzz-soul and electropop." Also, according to wiki, they've been compared to: The Clientele, Caravan, Harpers Bizarre, Vetiver, Fred Neil, The Kinks, Harry Nilsson, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, Beck, Steely Dan, Espers, The Free Design, The Left Banke, John Barry and Bagpuss.
More info here:

Conceived, compiled and completed within 2 days, this has been one of the more enjoyable, easiest and quickest to compile. Like Elf Power, I recommend all of their albums, my favourite is probably "Good Music" from 2012. It's now been 3 years since their last release, hopefully something new by them will arrive in the not too distant future. Info containing track origin & year of release is tagged in the music files and in the download file. I hope you all enjoy!

  1. Sound (4:00)
  2. Too Much Data (3:03)
  3. Woe Is Me (3:12)
  4. Llyfr Lliwio (2:32)
  5. Some Things Just Take Time (2:55)
  6. Worried Man (5:13)
  7. Mari Lwyd (4:15)
  8. Autumnal (4:11)
  9. Winner (3:53)
10. Forget Tomorrow (3:11)
11. In Bangor Marina (3:03)
12. Stations in the Sky (4:49)
13. Kerro (3:50)
14. Good Music (3:18)
15. Candy Street (2:42)
16. V Moyn T (3:13)
17. A Girl With No Name (3:04)
18. Special Way (2:47)
19. Thing (7:03)
20. Box (3:43)
21. Delaware (4:59)

  Download FLAC
  Download mp3

Saturday, 7 March 2020

Songs from Beneath the Spaghetti Tree Vol. 54

  1. Townes Van Zandt - Dream Spider (1:55)
  2. Slowness - Rose (4:56)
  3. Gil Scott-Heron & Makaya McCraven - Me and the Devil (4:47)
  4. Dry Cleaning - Sit Down Meal (3:43)
  5. Mellow Candle - Buy or Beware (3:03)
  6. Issam Hajali - Intazirne (3:11)
  7. Gary Pacific Orchestra - Soft Wind (2:04)
  8. Loma - Dark Oscillations (5:35)
  9. Isobel Campbell - Counting Fireflies (3:32)
10. Donovan - Appearances (3:38)
11. Cornershop - One Uncareful Lady Owner (3:51)
12. Kaleta & Super Yamba Band - Goyitò (4:21)
13. The Tea Set - Flaccid Pot (3:50)
14. Arthur Russell - Everybody Everybody (2:46)
15. Kongar-ol Ondar - Dürgen Chugaa (Fast Talk) (1:33)
16. Spoonfed Hybrid - Make a Fist (2:33)
17. Jono El Grande - Abiding Swansong (4:00)
18. Bob Lind - How Dare You Love Me (3:47)
19. Salami Rose Joe Louis - Love the Sun (2:29)
20. The NoMen - Suzi Quatro's Boots (1:19)
21. The Tower - Captain Decker (4:27)
22. Pescado Rabioso - A Starosta, El Idiota (3:14)
23. Françoise Hardy - Viens (2:12)
24. Hayvanlar Alemi - Hadron Collider Twist (2:53)

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Elf Power - Gorging on the Elf Power

Elf Power formed in Athens, Georgia, United States in 1994. Currently, the line-up consists of guitarist/vocalist Andrew Rieger, keyboardist Laura Carter, guitarist Dave Wrathgabar, bassist Matthew Garrison, and drummer Peter Alvanos. They are part of the Elephant Six Collective. So far they have released 13 studio albums, starting with "Vainly Clutching at Phantom Limbs" in 1995 (recorded 1994), their most recent, "Twitching in Time", was released in 2017. Their 10th album, "Dark Developments", was a collaboration with Vic Chesnutt & the Amorphous Strums.

Compiling a "best" of Elf Power in my opinion would be an almost impossible task, and be at least 4 CDs in length! This collection is just a few favourites from 12 of their studio albums. I decided against including any tracks from the Chesnutt collaboration, as he wrote all the tracks and sang lead vocal, I see it more as a Chesnutt than Elf Power release. It's tough to recommend any particular album over another, as I like all of their releases, but if I was pushed to name my favourite 3 by them they'd be: "A Dream in Sound", released in 1999, "Creatures" in 2002 and "Back to the Web" in 2006.

Thanks to Manerg who suggested a few songs for inclusion, and finding the excellent artwork for this collection. As usual info containing track origin & year of release is tagged in the files and in the download file. I hope you all enjoy!

  1. The Well (3:25)
  2. Things That Should Not Be (2:46)
  3. You're Never Gonna Go to Heaven (1:59)
  4. Rolling Black Water (2:32)
  5. Walking With the Beggar Boys (2:50)
  6. Temporary Arm (2:18)
  7. Shadows in Vain (2:55)
  8. The Frightened Singers (0:43)
  9. Leopard's Teeth (3:28)
10. Heads of Dust, Hearts of Lust (1:44)
11. Little Black Holes (3:04)
12. Halloween Out Walking (2:46)
13. Total Annihilation (3:31)
14. Needles in the Camels Eyes (3:04)
15. Three Seeds (2:44)
16. All the Passengers (2:06)
17. Back to the Web (3:32)
18. Don't Let It Be (2:41)
19. Birds in the Backyard (2:32)
20. A Tired Army (2:26)
21. Drug Store (1:39)
22. Pay to Cum (1:40)
23. Carnival (0:51)
24. Watery Shreds (2:55)
25. An Old Familiar Scene (4:11)
26. Wander Through (1:59)
27. Everlasting Scream (1:59)
28. The Cracks (2:58)
29. Spectators (2:17)
30. Nothing's Going to Happen (5:39)