Thursday, 22 December 2016

LIST 223 - 23/12/16 (Christmas special)

Hello again,

Turns out I've enough material for yet another full Christmas selection after all!  Please enjoy this, and for that matter your entire festive period by whichsoever name you recognise it. 

I must admit with a little embarrassment that I'd gone this long without regarding Joni Mitchell's River as being in any way a seasonal tune.  I suspect that's because the version (of the many out there!) with which I initially became familiar was that by former Virgin Prunes member Daniel Binttii featured on a Rough Trade compilation widely available in the 1990s - a version which alters the Christmas carol motif of the original beyond recognition.  Matters duly rectified.

There is one New Year-themed track in this collection as well, but I've definitely not got enough songs for an entire New Year List - even if I was minded to include relevant tracks by Cliff Richard and Deacon Blue (I'm not).

Back next week for a few more of these, albeit not festive themed.

J xx

DEERFUL - City Bells (2015)

JONI MITCHELL - River (1971)

NATALIE PRASS - Everybody's Having Fun (It's Christmas Time) (2016)

DANIEL JOHNSTON - Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer (1994)

CHERRY HEX & THE DREAM CHURCH - Last Christmas (2016)

ERASURE - Bells of Love (Isabelle's of Love) (2013)

HANNAH EPPERSON - Raise the White Flag (2016)

THE YELLOW MELODIES - Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas (2016)

GORKY'S ZYGOTIC MYNCI - Christmas Eve (1999)

JILL SOBULE - Merry Christmas from the Family (1995)

OH PEAS! - An Adult's Christmas in Wales (2014)

SPITTING IMAGE - The Christmas Singles (198x)

KATIE MALCO - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (live in Aldershot) (2011)

MJ HIBBETT & THE VALIDATORS AND A LITTLE ORCHESTRA - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (recorded live at Totally Acoustic) (2016)

NIGHT FLOWERS - To Rest (2016)

THE GREEDIES - A Merry Jingle (1979)

LOW - Some Hearts (at Christmas) (2016)

GAYLA PEEVEY - I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas (1953)

ROPE STORE - A Winter's Tale (2016)


FIGHTMILK - It's Only Christmas (Cheer Up You Moody Prick) (2016)

LIST 222 - 21/12/16

LIST 221 - 19/12/16

LIST 220 - 16/12/16

LIST 219 - 14/12/16

Monday, 12 December 2016

LIST 218 - 12/12/16

Hello again,

A happy-sad ending to today's List, as the Haywains track included penultimately is the first of a small handful of Christmas-oriented songs I'll apply to certain Lists as December 25th looms ever larger.  Will there also be an outright Christmas special this time around as per usual?  At this stage even I don't know that...

Less cheerfully, I'm afraid, is the news of the passing of Them Are Us Too's Cash Askew in the Oakland warehouse party fire of just over a week ago - condolences are naturally extended to all who knew and loved her.  A track from the duo's debut album Remain rounds things off this week.

Elsewhere, it's a pleasure to include something from the recent album by Silver Apples, whose gig at the Picture House Social in Sheffield three months ago was a bleeping, skronking, oscillating delight.  If I'm half as full of life as Simeon Coxe III when I hit 78 years of age, I won't be doing at all badly.

The ONSIND track, meanwhile, just demanded to be included in a prevailing climate where validation and legitimisation of aggression towards women seems to be on the rise once more - evidently sanctioned, implicitly or otherwise, by a president-elect deserving only of contempt.  Sigh.

J xx

THE TUTS – Let Go Of The Past (2016)

MBONGWANA STAR - Malukayi (2015)

THE NIGHTINGALES - Workshy Wunderkind (2004/6)

PLEASURE SYMBOLS – Ultraviolence (2014)


SUZANNE CIANI – Paris (1971)

BADBADNOTGOOD – Lavender (2016)

JOANNA GRUESOME – Pretty F*cking Sick of It All (2016)

THE PRIMITIVES – Sick of It (1989)

HAVAH – Gelo (2015)

MOHAMMAD – Vildblomma (2010) 

ONSIND – If You Feel Attacked by Feminism, It’s Probably a Counter-Attack (2008)

YUKON BLONDE – Como (2015)

SILVER APPLES – Nothing Matters (2016)

PIANO MAGIC – Untitled #1 (from Son De Mar OST) (2001)

THE HAYWAINS – Who Needs Summer? (2016)

THEM ARE US TOO – Eudaemonia (2015)  

Friday, 9 December 2016

LIST 217 - 09/12/16 (another cover versions collection)

Hello again,

Ohhhhh, this was so much fun to put together.  Where to start in what to recommend in particular?

Perhaps Björk, still three years before the solo career proper, recording an Icelandic version of mambo standard "¿Quién será?" aka “Sway” with the jazz trio featured previously.  Or Low covering The Smiths.  Or Morrissey covering Bradford, one of several acts he endorsed in the late-1980s that never quite made it big, but had the material to.

Maybe Oizone's remorseless Oi! punk dismantling of B*Witched.  Or Roots Manuva's less aggressive but still warped reading of The Beatles.  Or Robert Lloyd of The Nightingales uncorking his inner Ray Davies.

I have three firm faves in this List, if you'll permit me.  It's possible you'll have heard Stopp, Seisku Aeg by Estonian pop mainstay Velly Joonas not so long ago, after a re-release of this now 33-year-old cover version of a Frida Lyngstad track gained traction at lots of clubs I'm not cool enough to go to.  The scrapy violin riff and gloopy basslines do set it apart from much else I've listened to - I'd love to explore Joonas's work further.

Belle & Sebastian require no such introduction, but theirs is a singularly lovely take on Young Marble Giants' Final Day; whilst Pete Green's solo vocal version of a My Favorite track is a brave and extraordinary interpretation (as well as the middle leg of a Trifecta of major highlights slap bang in the middle of his current and recommended-to-the-hilt album We're Never Going Home).

J xx

GILLAN - New Orleans (1981)

POSTAL BLUE – Brighter (2016)

DISCOUNT – Accident Waiting to Happen (1998)


LOW - Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me (2001)

MORRISSEY - Skin Storm (1991)

VELLY JOONAS – Stopp, Seisku Aeg! (1983)

JUNIOR BOYS – What You Won’t Do for Love (2015)

OIZONE – C’est La Vie ()

ROOTS MANUVA - Yellow Submarine (2002)

THE NIGHTINGALES – There’s a New World Just Opening for Me (2006) 

A CERTAIN SMILE - Sarah (2011)

WHY? – Close to Me (2011)

RONNIE SPECTOR – You Can’t Fold Your Arms Around a Memory (1999)

BELLE & SEBASTIAN – Final Day (2003)

WASIS DIOP – Once in a Lifetime (1998)

STURGILL SIMPSON – In Bloom (2016)

THE FALL – Pinball Machine (1988)

TENDER AGE - Dream Lover (2016)

PETE GREEN – Homeless Club Kids (2016)