Monday, 31 August 2009

Draft Exclusion

Released at the height of Ronnie Reagan kick starting the good ol' Cold War; probably the most paranoid time in post McCarthy America; until Al-Qaeda came along of course.

What comes around goes around.

And just to prove how paranoid times really were, the U.S. distributors of this 7"45 (Mercury-Phonogram) refused to handle the record; and not merely down to subject matter; Cal Schenkel's artwork on the reverse was considered 'unpatriotic'.

Yeah, I know.
I don't get it either.

As for the music itself; this single version of 'I Don't Wanna Get Drafted' varies enormously from the You Are What You Is version; different enough on the album to warrant the title 'Drafted Again'.

The flip side features a gorgeous live recording of the instrumental 'Ancient Armaments'; a superb mesmerizing guitar solo recorded live at the New York Palladium at Halloween in 1978.
Ben Watson describes it in his The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play as 'majestically slow and melancholy'.

Frank Zappa - I Don't Wanna Get Drafted 7"45 (1980)

I Don't Wanna Get Drafted
Ancient Armaments

Decent vinyl rip @320kbs
Open your own envelope here

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Half a league, half a league, half a league onward. Hey!

David Krakauer brought a sense of modernity to klezmer music by adding the electric guitar; but Klezmer Madness still essentially played traditional klezmer music.

The Ukrainians on the other hand took Ukrainian folk music and fused it with a post punk sound.
This kind of makes sense when you consider the majority of the band were first generation British with Ukrainian roots and had served their apprenticeship with the Leeds based indie band The Wedding Present.

With an interest in the music of their ancestors - apparently The Wedding Present would often play around with Ukrainian folk songs and perform Ukrainian styled covers of pop hits due to the Ukrainian fringe within the band - combined with the kind of music The Wedding Present were more associated with it seemed a natural progression to bring the two genres together - although it must be said, when The Ukrainians really went for it they were far more powerful and energetic than The wedding Present ever were.
So, following on from the last post - Cossack dance music isn't a million miles away from the East European influenced klezmer style - here is a couple of early Ukrainians' recordings.

Their first single 'Oi Dovchino' was released as a limited edition [?] 12"; I've no idea how limited the pressing was, but it was available enough to become NME's single of the week; the review describing it as sounding like "The Pogues wired up to an Atomic Speed Generator by their knackers".

It is a great introduction to their music; as well as containing two tracks, one live, that are unique to this e.p.
So even if you own the first album, which 'Oi Dovchino' is lifted from, this recording still compliments that recording perfectly.

The Ukrainians - Oi Dovchino e.p. (1991)

Oi Dovchino
Sertsem i Dusheyu

Excellent vinyl rip @320kbs
12 inches of Cossack here

The other recording offered here is a Peel session.
My own original source says it was from 1993, but I'm unable to confirm this - it's not the famous collection of Smiths' songs they did for a Peel show; it's later; it may be one of the sessions that was included on the album of Peel sessions released in 2000 (the final four tracks, I think) - although that seems to be ridiculously unobtainable: Amazon Market Place has one copy: £199.99! I kid you not check it out.

More so with the Peel session than the single, the band's post punk roots are far more evident; proving that as a live band they were bursting with energy, producing highly charged music that just makes you wish you'd been born a Cossack.

On seeing The Ukrainians live in the early Nineties at Lampeter University, I really thought I had invented a new kind of dance; a sort of Cossack-pogo.
But rather than others approaching me with the adoration offered to Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever, I was actually taken to one side by the student security and told that if I didn't calm down I'd be ejected from the building.

I don't know; give a student a little bit of power and they turn into Uncle Joe: someone else who persecuted Cossacks.

Decent cassette rip @320kbs
Peel yourself a Cossack here

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Ghetto Blaster

Thinking about the recent successful Prom concert by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain brought to mind another band that managed to infiltrate the predominantly classical festival back in 2001.

David Krakauer's Klezmer Madness went down a storm; and despite the brevity of their set, they certainly brought something unique to the often stuffy and portentous summer festival.

If you have never encountered Krakauer's music before, you could well be in for a treat.
As if klezmer music isn't exciting enough - if ever a genre of music was designed purposely to dance and have a good time to klezmer is it - Krakauer cleverly incorporates the sound of a heavy electric guitar into the mix, blending artfully with his soaring clarinet; as well as the accompanying accordion, upright bass and drum.

The electric guitar brings a sense of modernity to the traditional sound; subverting the East European and Arabic rhythms to create an almost punk or metal like energy and intensity.

In places they sound like Gong at their instrumental jazziest best, but played at 78rpm.

Who needs a Wii when there's klezmer.
We love it. And so do our dogs.

Mazel Tov!
David Krakauer's Klezmer Madness
Prom 33, Royal Albert Hall, 2001.

A Medley of Dance Tunes
Klezmer for Sidney Bechet
Mazel Tov to the Bride & Groom

Excellent cassette rip @320kbs
Dizzy yourself up here

Ween Link Fixed

The Ween Live in Chicago link is now working; just click and go as normal.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Anarchy in the Uke K

The ukulele may not be the biggest or the most dynamic of musical instruments out there, but when eight of them, and their pluckers, gathered in a small semi-circle upon the stage of London's majestic Royal Albert Hall two nights ago, six thousand promenaders and thousands more radio listeners were totally enthralled.

And when it came to the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain's rendition of 'Anarchy in the U.K.' they damn near blew the roof off.

So the jumping flea made the big time.
And what a gig it was!

Promenaders were encouraged to take their own ukes along for a participatory number.
And when over a thousand ukes play Beethoven's 'Ode to Joy' with the other five thousand promenaders clapping along it truly is a joy to behold.

Warms the very cockles...

But of course the collective's real strength lies in their genre subversion.
Bowie, The Beatles, The Stones, Shirley Bassey, The Who, Talking Heads, Robbie Williams, Hot Chocolate and more all get the subversive uke treatment.

The segue of 'Ride of the Valkyries' into Hawkwind's 'Silver Machine' is just pure bloody genius.

And if you haven't heard their version of Kate Bush's 'Wuthering Heights', well, that is well worth the download alone.

So, no matter where you are, what you're doing or what you're into; this is guaranteed to place a right big grin across your chops.
And let's face it, we could all do with a bit of cheering up, right!

And believe me, you'll be humming 'Puffin' Billy' for ever.
If you don't already...

Now pass me that ukulele...
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
Prom 45: Royal Albert Hall (18/8/09)

Puffin' Billy
Anarchy in the U.K.
Ride of the Valkyries/Silver Machine
Life on Mars medley
Teenage Dirtbag
Danse Macabre
And Did Those Feet
Psycho Killer
Ode to Joy (Extract Beethoven's 9th: Choral)
Pinball Wizard
Dam Busters March
Sympathy for the Devil medley
Wuthering Heights

Immaculate Rip direct from digital broadcast.
Gorgeous quality.
If burning remove pauses for best effect.
Gain Uke gratification here

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Freakbeat Manifesto

Excellent predominantly British psyche compilation courtesy of Freakbeat magazine via Delerium Records, crystallizing the best of the underground scene at the beginning of the Nineteen-Nineties.

Sundial get things rolling with a heads' down, blistering instrumental jam.
The double album closes with a scary sonic 'Nightmare'.
In between all manner of echoes, ghosts and visions are conjured...
(harp sounds)
... jam and cucumber sandwiches, pots of tea and pints of Broon. Granny Takes a Trip, Club Dog. Glam. Pronk! Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Englishness, Americana & Kraut. Tony McPhee, Viv Stanshall, The Elastic Hair Band. Nostalgia, evolution: atavism. Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake, Wheat Straw, Liquorice, Rips. Blues, purple hues; whiteys. Monty Python, Thomas Pynchon, Ted Hughes, The Prisoner. I am the Walrus & Hey Diddle Diddle. Fondant Fancies, flapjacks, felafels, fruit salad and fudge...

Something here for everybody.

A Psychedelic Psauna (1991)

A Word From Our Sponsor
Sundial - Mind Train Jam
Magic Mushroom Band - Don't Be Afraid
Nick Riff - Lost and Wild
The Petals - Poisoned Air
The Porcupine Tree - Linton Samuel Dawson
Poisoned Electric Head - Snobs
The Bevis Frond - Cold Rain and Snow
Alice's Orb - Don't Know If I Should
John Fallon - Summer's End in San Francisco
The Gothics - The Quest
Tyrnaround - Hello or Goodbye
The Coloured Plank - Black Ferris Wheel
Cosmic Kangaroos - Ritual People
Reefus Moons - Mr & Mrs Creature
Marshmallow Overcoat - 13 Ghosts
Mandragora - Conspiracy
Dr. Brown - Freakbeat
Ozric Tentacles - Erp Riff '83
The Jasmine Love Bomb - That River
Dimentia 13 - Do the Jerk Off
The Trodds - The Stalk
Treatment - Nightmare

Excellent vinyl rip @320kbs

AC makes Part one
ID makes Part two