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