Monday, February 25, 2013

back from the dead??

An admission.

In July of 2009, I got an email purporting to be from Google, with a cease and desist order. This related to an old blog post, featuring some very OLD music.

When I started this MP3 blog (and that term seems very quaint and antiquated now!), I was under no illusions that what we were doing was anything other than... well, illegal. Copyright Infringement. That sort of thing.

But I sold the idea to the other members of Johnny Domino as a way for us to stay in contact with each other and maybe promote the "work" we were doing.

Anyway,  I always told myself (and my now-wife), that if I ever got a C&D order I would pull the plug.

So when it came through, I - quite frankly - freaked out and deleted all of the posts.


All the files (images and mp3s) were stored on the Johnny Domino website server, so I should have just disabled hotlinking from the blog. That way, all the writing we worked on (and all the lovely comments we received) would be safe forever.



Before I pulled the posts, I created a PDF of the whole site. And I have most of the comments as Blogger automatic-notification emails.

So - for no real reason AT ALL - I've decided to put them all online again, linking wherever possible to the songs we talked about on Spotify. I'll even add a comments digest for posts.

This will take time! And who knows? Eventually we might add some new stuff (somehow!).

But for the moment, I'm just enjoying looking back at a time when (really) pretty much all we cared about was music, before we all got married and (some of us) had kids - hilariously, this is pretty much as wild as our wild young days got.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Well, it's been very quiet 'round these parts - work-life balance an' all that. And in our absence Radiohead have killed off the music industry. Ker-azy.

So let's party while Rome burns, dig?

Def Jef - Droppin' Rhymes on Drums


Def Jef - God Made Me Funky

The Pharcyde - Pandemonium

These tracks are the result of some recent crate digging, mostly involving digging through my brother's old stuff.

The Def Jef tracks were the source of much amusement to us back in the day. For a start, his name is DEF JEF. Then on the back of the 12" he gives a credit to his hairdresser, which passed into Johnny Domino legend as "Hair by Watusi". On going back to the source, I find that it's actually "Hair by Wasifu".

And there we were thinking his hairdresser had a silly name. Hush our collective mouths.

These hilarious observations aside, these are two pretty banging tracks. Jeffers can certainly flow and Etta James' vocals don't hurt matters. Of the two, "God Made Me Funky" probably has the edge for me - love it from 3.01 when Jeff clears his throat then censors himself ("I ain't effing around..."). Plus the playout from 3.34 will have you in serious danger of snapping yr head off.

Long-time friends of the Rally will now how much we love The Pharcyde (like so). "Pandemonium" is from the soundtrack album to Street Fighter, which Ox got from a clearout at an old McJob he had. I'd forgotten how much I loved this track, at a time when I was severely disappointed by Labcabincalifornia. Still sounds cool to these ears. And the stereo effect at 1.57 just scared the shit out of me.

Buy - Def Jef Droppin' Rhymes on Drums (vinyl)
Buy - Def Jef Just a Poet With Soul (has both tracks on it)
Buy - The Pharcyde Sold My Soul: the Remix and Rarity Collection (includes "Pandemonium")
Buy - Street Fighter OST... but I wouldn't advise it

In other news, I have to tell you that you should really, really consider getting the "All My Friends" EP by LCD Soundsystem. EMI aren't too keen on bloggers posting tracks (so I won't be) but this is the best thing I've heard in ages.

"All My Friends" wasn't my favourite track from Sounds Of Silver, but listening to the three versions here shows what a fantastic track it is. The John Cale version was always going to be interesting and not even Franz Ferdinand can hurt this song! And the LCD version of "No Love Lost" is frickin' brilliant.

I got it from iTunes (you can get it as iTunes Plus album, which means you can bang it on a CD), but you can get it on CD (minus Cale and "No Love Lost"!) here.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

vase watch x-ray

I'll do you a deal - a couple each for V and W cos I'm buggered if I can think of anything to post for X - thankfully my 4AD obsession never got as far as Clan Of Xymox.

Violent Femmes - Add It Up [demo version not on Spotify]

Back in the mid-to-late 1980s we used to go to Nottingham's Selectadisc record shop at least once a week and spend hours and pounds browsing and buying music. On the wall of the shop people would pin 'band-members-wanted'-type notices. They would invariably need a bass player. And they would always have a long list of required influences which would ALWAYS include Violent Femmes.

I think they were included as a wild card, to wrongfoot people who might assume the bands in question were Blast First obsessives and Sonic Youth soundalikes (which I'm sure they invariably were).

It took me a few years to finally hear Violent Femmes but pleasingly they sounded like no-one else and their classic first album still sounds bloody great and utterly unique. OBVIOUSLY you've already got that so this is a demo version included on the recent Rhino "deluxe" version - Gano rushes the acapella intro but when the band kicks in, it'll take yr face off.

Buy - Violent Femmes (Deluxe Edition)
Visit - Violent Femmes

Velvet Underground - Foggy Notion

I know we've already featured the Velvet Underground way back when but this is for Brother Oxbow, who reminded me of this track the other week. Not the cool thing to say, but I much prefer the VU after Cale left and jobbing worker-bee Doug Yule took his place. Velvet Underground and Loaded are in much heavier rotation at Domino towers than ... & Nico and White Light (come on, don't you agree? I won't tell...)

Foggy Notion is from the sessions for the VU's missing 4th album, which all signs point to it being a bit of a belter. I love Mo Tucker's demented and precise drumming (over 6 minutes and she never lets up) and it's great to hear Sterling Morrison letting rip throughout. Plus even Lou Reed sounds like he's having fun! "I've got my calomine lotion", indeed.

Cheers for the reminder, Ox.

Buy - Peel Slowly & See
Visit - The Velvet Underground

DJ Vadim - Till Suns In Your Eye (feat Motion Man)

I can't pretend to know anything about DJ Vadim - I bought this album after hearing a track on a CD given away with Wire magazine. It made me laugh, which is a bit of a rarity for anything connected with Wire, let's face it - the usually required response is a look of intense and intelligent appreciation.

I like the stoner-pleasing voiceover and kazoo but it's the seemingly random drop-outs that make this track worthy of your further investigation. Try dancing to it.

Buy - DJ Vadim's U.S.S.R.: The Art Of Listening
Visit - DJ Vadim

Hank Williams - I Saw The Light

Hank Williams with "Little" Jimmie Dickens - The Old Country Church

I think the reason that Hank Williams' music speaks to so many people is due to his personality - it oozes out of the speakers on every one of his recordings. His voice is kind of cranky and croaky and worn - it's like he's singing down his nose with a comb and paper in the back of his throat. But if ever a voice had lived it was Hank's. And people loved him because he spoke to them about stuff that mattered.

This is another case where I find myself to drawn to the religious songs - I know the hip thing to do is to talk about Hank's women troubles and drinking ("There's a Tear in My Beer", anyone?) but as important as those were to Hank (and his audience), so was religion. There's a real passion and belief on these recordings... which makes me a little envious.

Buy - The Complete Collection
Visit - Hank Williams

M. Ward - Vincent O'Brien

Back in the day, after we'd been to Selectadisc, we'd invariably go to nearby Way Ahead which was run by Tom. Tom currently runs Derby's Reveal Records, which was the Music Awards Independent Retailer of 2005. He also heads up the accompanying record label, home to Joan As Police Woman, Poppy & The Jezebels and others.

A couple of years back, I was going through a fairly turbulent time - mourning the death of a family member, ending a relationship, selling a house, moving back into the family home and starting a new relationship with the future Mrs. Domino. It was a bit mad but everybody deals with this kind of stuff, don't they?

I found myself in Reveal one lunchtime and as was frequently the case, Tom was recommending good music to me. Actually, looking back, he practically forced me to buy M. Ward's Transfiguration of Vincent, which went on to become the soundtrack for my 30th and most important summer. I also bought at least 3 further copies to give to various people. Cheers, Tom.

This is M.Ward's best album in my opinion, a gloriously ramshackle collection of lo-fi homespun majesty and beautiful guitar playing, that was inspired by the death of a close friend. But it's one of those great albums that, despite (because of?) the subject matter, remains totally joyous and life-affirming throughout. If you haven't heard any of Matt Ward's stuff, I'd urge you to start here.

Buy - The Transfiguration of Vincent from Reveal Records
Visit - M. Ward

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

just don't mention the flintstones (reprise)

* This is a reprise of an old post in answer to a request from fred - cheers for stopping by. Remember, if there's anything from the archives that you want to hear again, have a scour through our archives (in the right hand column) and get in touch.*

Following the vinyl excavation that led to the SCARILY popular Muppets post, I've delved into my B-52's back catalogue to give you some nuggets a bit further off the beaten track.

The B-52s - There's A Moon In The Sky (called the moon)

For some reason this never appears on "best-of"s, but it's one of my favourite tracks from their self-titled debut. Great title, bonkers lyrics, fantastic vocals and, as always, the brilliant scrathy guitar playing of Ricky Wilson. See also...

The B-52s - Running Around (instrumental version)

... which crops up on the b-side of the first Island pressing of the "Rock Lobster" 7-inch. It's an instrumental version of a track that would later appear on "Wild Planet", but this (unfinished?) backing track sounds better to my ears than the later version. Lord knows what guitar tuning Ricky was using (I think he only used 5 strings??) but it's SUCH a great sound - all gnarly and rusted and chunky!

The B-52s - Cake

This is from the "Mesopotamia" album, which I think gets a bad press. The album was produced by David Byrne, who brought in a lot of additional players from the Talking Heads live band of the time to fill the sound out. It's a more serious album on the whole and it features two extended groove-fests, opener "Loveland" and "Cake", which is great, depsite featuring one of THE most half-arsed talkie-bits ever recorded.

If you're looking for a B-52's introduction, you could do a lot worse than Rhino's "Nude On The Moon" double CD, which features all of the "Cosmic Thing" album, bar this track, which is my favourite.

The B-52s - Topaz

Yes, the lyrics might be a bit new-age-y, but oh lord can those ladies sing. Beautiful harmonies - and if I remember rightly, that's Nile Rodgers on guitar.

... because we love you!

The B-52s - Rock Lobster (DB Records version)
The B-52s - 52 Girls (DB Records version

These are the 8-track versions that were released as a 7-inch in 1978 by DB Records before the band got signed. Neither version will drastically change the way you feel about the widely released tracks but if you're a fan, I'm sure you'll be interested to hear these early takes if you've never been able to track down a copy yourself. Enjoy!

Visit -
Read - The B-52s Wikipedia entry
Buy - B-52's albums.
Buy - Nude on the Moon: the B-52's Anthology [Us Import]

Sunday, August 05, 2007

can't go back to savoury

John Shuttleworth and his brilliant paean to mealtime melancholy.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

a frog who dreamed of being a king

Touch & Go Records recently launched a digital store, including many hard-to-get gems from their fantastic back catalogue. All releases from the T&G store are 256mbps mp3 format and free of any Digital Rights Management stuff. The mp3 albums are $9.99, which means that listeners in the UK currently get them for the princely sum of a fiver.

The first one I treated myself to was Killdozer's 1989 classic of "musical drudgery", 12 Point Buck!

Killdozer - New Pants and Shirt

Tortuously slow, grindingly relentless, downright hilarious - it's so cool to hear this track again. The lyrics sound to me like the words of a frustrated dandy who's stuck in the middle of nowheresville, where no-one understands his sarcasm or appreciates his dress sense. Born in a pigsty but looking at the stars and dreaming of Broadway, maybe.

The way he despairs of his mother at 2.25 makes me laugh out loud (or ROFLMAO, if you insist) every time. It's all in the delivery and the accent on the ends of words... "beD-uh" is a particular favourite.

I'm hoping that T&G will eventually make For Ladies Only available again - this was the Killdozer cover version album, featuring their glorious take on American Pie. Oxbow had this but he lost it....

Until they do, I'll content myself with the fact 12 Point Buck comes bundled with Little Baby Buntin', including this frightening version of a Neil Diamond song

Killdozer - I Am, I Said [Neil Diamond]

I love the fact that there are times throughout both these albums when you can hear the band really chomping at the bit, naturally wanting to go just a little bit faster, but holding it back. It's like a cartoon where someone's trying to stop a train going off a cliff by digging their heels in and holding on for dear life.

Buy - Killdozer 12 Point Buck / Little Baby Buntin' from Touch & Go
Visit - Touch and Go / Quarterstick Records
Read - Killdozer's 1988 European Tour Diary