Splash FM Website of the Day, 1st August 2005. Be Impressed.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Asylum Street Spankers – Shave ‘Em Dry.

In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love. Or, failing that, thoughts a little south of love. In the spirit of Spring today’s track is The Asylum Street Spankers’ gleefully obscene version of Lucille Bogan’s blues classic Shave ’Em Dry.

The Spankers (or The A.S.S. as they’re known to me and probably no one else) grew out an informal jam band in Austin, Texas in 1994. Since then there has been a revolving door of musicians based around core Spankers Christina Marrs and Wammo (the only person I’ve ever seen described as a “master of the washboard). Their repertoire consists largely of 1920’s and 30’s Blues and ragtime songs mixed with their own compositions written in a similar musical vein but with “contemporary themes”.

They have an almost puritanical approach to their music – even refusing to use amplification at live shows. However, they are certainly not jumper wearing musos. Lucky, they are also keen to reproduce the fun, risqué side of this music that many of the old-time revivalists seem to lose. An attitude that is very much in evidence on this track.

I should warn those of you of a sensitive disposition – don’t listen to this song if words like ‘nipples’ and stronger make you feel queasy.

This song comes from their 1997 EP Nasty Novelties. The EP has never been released in the UK but is available on import from Amazon and, more cheaply, on iTunes.

Asylum Street Spankers – Shave ‘Em Dry.

Buy Nasty Novelties.

Download more Spankings.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Mogwai – With Portfolio

Hosted by Putfile.com

I’ve been showering constantly since posting the Dario G track but the dirt isn’t coming off. Hopefully, this will do the trick.

In the mid to late nineties there were a number of, mainly American, bands making avant garde instrumental music (Tortoise, Trans-Am, Salaryman etc.) loosely collected under the banner of ‘post rock’. However, none of these could quite match the standard of Glasgow’s Mogwai.

Mogwai were formed in early 1996 with the goal of destroying Britpop – as shown by their ‘blur: are shite’ t-shirts. They were rapidly signed by The Delgados’ chemikal underground records and released a number of singles (collected on Ten Rapid). But the quality of their debut album, Young Team, was a huge surprise – to me at least.

The album had critics wetting their knickers and Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus declaring them 'the best band of the 21st century' three years before the century had even begun.

Like their film star namesake, Mogwai start all cute and fuzzy but rapidly turn into wailing, bloodthirsty psychopaths. They refined the usual rock dynamic of quiet-loud-quiet-loud into quiet-very quiet-barely audible-loud enough to knock your granny through a stained glass window. Vocals are scarce. On Young Team they are limited to a garbled telephone conversation and Arab Strap’s Aiden Moffat doing his usual Rab C Nesbitt rambling on ‘r u still in 2 it’. The highlight of the album is the sixteen minute noise-fest closer ‘Mogwai Fear Satan’ but I’ve chosen to post the shorter but equally noisy ‘with portfolio’.

This track begins with a slow, sombre melody plonked on out of tune piano. This is joined by gently swirling feedback which grows into a cacophonous din crashing from speaker to speaker.

Make sure you play it LOUD.

Mogwai – with portfolio.

Buy Mogwai Young Team.

Download more Mogwai.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Dario G – Sunchyme.

You were promised shit and I don’t intend to let you down.

Given the trashy Euro-disco flavour of this track and the name Dario G, I had always assumed Dario G was one of those bleach blond, perma-tanned European guys. Turns out this is home grown tosh.

Dario G main man Paul Spencer was born in non-sunny Nantwich and had previously been keyboard player in Monaco (the side project of New Order bassist Peter Hook). The band was named in tribute to football manager Dario Gradi. If you ever go to a pub quiz it’s worth remembering that Gradi is the longest serving manager in the English football league.

Usually, you are under strict instruction to delete tracks you get from here within 24 hours. I don’t think that’ll be an issue with this track. In fact, a prize for anyone who can sit through the full eight and a half minute original version; a bottle of this perhaps.

I’d like to make it clear that I had to borrow this CD from a friend. Everyone who tells you I have a copy, that it’s my favourite record and I kiss it each night before going to sleep obviously has me mixed up with someone else.

Dario G – Sunchyme (Radio Edit).

Buy Sunmachine

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Black Grape – Get Higher

Continuing the theme of over analysed lyricists, this week it’s Happy Mondays/Black Grape frontman Shaun Ryder. He’s not the messiah; he’s a very naughty boy.

Not that Ryder himself has ever claimed to be. His response to receiving the NME’s God-like Genius award was, “Not god like genius, knob like penis! I've met Phil Daniels, you know, king of mods, and he was good."

Black Grape’s second album, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, was completed without the help of Ryder’s trusty sidekick Bez (who had acrimoniously split with the band the previous year). Inevitably, without Bez, Stupid did not match the success of their debut, It’s Great When You’re Straight…Yeah!, and the band broke up in 1998.

Get Higher was the first single and the opening track of Stupid. It sticks closely to the Grapes’ formula of good times, guitar riffs and the joys of self medication. But with the notable difference that most of the drug pushing is done by Ronald and Nancy Reagan.

Black Grape – Get Higher.

Buy Stupid Stupid Stupid.

Monday, March 14, 2005


Dinosaur Jr. - I'm Insane
Dinosaur Jr. - Nothin' Goin On

1997 eh!
For me 1997 saw the end of an era....
Dinosaur Jr. finally called it a day and released their last album "Hand It Over", although to be honest they weren't really the old Dinosaur Jr. since Lou Barlow and Murph left the fold and left J. Mascis to twiddle all the knobs and get people in to work with....
But if you're going to get people in to work with you, why not aim high and go for half of My Bloody Valentine...
Which is exactly what J did for this album, it was also recorded at My Bloody Valentine Studios....
And my god does it sound great.
Hand It Over is not my favourite album of theirs... that honour goes to 1987's "You're Living All Over Me", but it's a pretty bloody close second.

Let's Rock

Buy - This wonderful Album is no longer readily available...(Why the hell not?) So might I suggest a trip to ebay.
Visit - J. Mascis


Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Pavement – Slowly Typed

Pavement go alt.country? Yep.

For this version of Type Slowly (originally from the album Brighten the Corners) the usual shimmering Beefheart guitars are replaced with a jangly acoustic and a shaky slide guitar.

I have to admit the value of the track is more curiosity than its artistic value. But it does put more focus on Malkmus’ lyrics. There are some people who would have you believe there is great meaning to be extracted from them and will take up hours of your time with an in depth exegesis of the words ‘One of us is a cigar stand, And one of us is a lovely blue incandescent guillotine’ (“Nah mate, it’s about fear of castration, innit.”).

Not a lot of room to grow inside this leather terrarium?

They’re just words that sound good.

Pavement – Slowly Typed

Buy Brighten the Corners

Buy Shady Lane EP

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

808 State featuring James Dean Bradfield - Lopez

With February seeing the 10th anniversary of the death of Richey Edwards this seemed like a good time to post this track. The lyrics, written by Nicky Wire, appear to refer directly to Edwards’ death with references to drowning.

However, I may have got this wrong. Wire himself claims the song is about golf. Make your own mind up.


Everything vanishes

Moonlight for my stars in the drift

Not shared through speech

Each sun feels like the last

Death is proclaimed at sunset

By a final light

Which darkness fills

With every shade

Solitude bides time

Joy gives me my last regret

Hole in one.

808 State – Lopez (Original).

Buy Lopez.