Sunday, 30 January 2011


Joe writes: Excellent singalong comeback from Noah & The Whale although I must say he is a better songwriter than singer

Saturday, 22 January 2011

In The Past

Joe writes: Stuart Maconie just played psychedelic masterpiece In The Past by The Chocolate Watch Band on 6music.

In the past, it featured in the last ever episode of Mark Radcliffe's amazing first show on Radio 1, Out On Blue Six.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Joe writes: See You All by Koudlam

Joe writes: The more I hear this, the more I like it

Excellent choice of YouTube footage to borrow as well

Love and War

Joe writes: I hadn't quite gotten round to listening to the last Neil Young album but I will now I've listened to this wonderful song thanks to Dorian Lynskey's Twitter recommendation

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Robin Frederick

Joe writes: My brother introduced me to the song Sandy Grey which has something tragic in common with Boulder To Birmingham, the Emmylou Harris song I wrote about here. Boulder To Birmingham is about Gram Parsons, and was written after his death. Sandy Grey was written about Nick Drake while he was still alive. The writer is Robin Frederick, although the best known version was recorded by John Martyn. Robin's home demo is beautiful. She writes about the song here, and writes at length about Nick Drake here.

Here, also, are my favourite tracks by Nick Drake and John Martyn. I really think One Of These Things First is the best Nick Drake song and recording - the playing, the mood, the lyric that says so little yet says so much - it's just perfect. May You Never is lovely too, and I think must have been an inspiration for Jack Johnson.

Sandy Grey (stream of original home demo) - Robin Frederick (there's only a new version on iTunes - Robin, you should release the original)

May You Never - John Martyn (iTunes)

One Of These Things First - Nick Drake (iTunes)

update of post originally from 02/10/08

Monday, 3 January 2011

They don't make them like this anymore

Joe writes: Boyz II Men, Tony Rich Project and K-Ci & Jo Jo were all known for at least one massive hit in the UK but later in their career, when even less fashionable, they were still making the odd great tune with hyper-polished production.

What happened to this style of artist? When they hit upon a great tune they seemed to me to be closer to the greats of soul music than most of what passes for R&B.

Water Runs Dry by Boyz II Men:

Honest Lover by K-Ci & Jo Jo with its fabulously over-the-top intro:

Sunday, 2 January 2011

I Was Dancing In A Lesbian Bar

Joe writes: Ewan Pearson just posted my favourite Jonathan Richman track on Twitter, another one that I discovered through Mark Radcliffe's first Radio 1 show Out On Blue Six:

Freur and Underworld

Joe writes: Doot Doot by Freur was on the soundtrack to Gossip Girl recently, sounding wonderful as ever. I'm told by someone involved that it would have been a much bigger hit first time around had the band not insisted on having a squiggle as a name.

Two members of Freur went on to form Underworld whose dubnobasswithmyheadman is my favourite dance album. Never has electronic music had more soul than on River Of Bass. You can't get the album on iTunes, nor on Amazon's download service.

Freur - Doot Doot on Amazon

(update of post originally from 17/07/09)