FTIS&HTW: Wednesday 13th February

Down Terrace
An in-your-face saga of the spiralling disintegration of a Brighton criminal clan, the music track for Ben Wheatley’s first film (from 2009) is a fascinating mix of transatlantic rural music. The none-more-English folk music of The Copper Family sits happily next to Robert Johnson’s Little Queen of Spades. Sea Shanties segue into acts of appalling violence while the plaintive, pain-wracked Are You Leaving for the Country? by Karen Dalton soundtracks the disposal of a body. And as terrible as that sounds, the music acts as a kind of “life goes on” comfort, especially in the scenes where the father, played by Robert Hill, sits playing guitar with his band of friends in the living room at the house in Down Terrace.

B Kliban: Lady Gaga’s Stylist, About 30 Years Early
Talking to Adam about the genius of the Canadian cartoonist, and—looking out one of his books—finding this great cartoon.
kliban

Thoughts While Running with Kid Charlemagne by Steely Dan in the Headphones
I’m struck by how this Seventies classic would work as Breaking Bad’s theme tune:

“On the hill the stuff was laced with kerosene
But yours was kitchen clean
Everyone stopped to stare
at your Technicolor motor home…”

“…Now your patrons have all left you in the red
Your low rent friends are dead
This life can be very strange…”

“…Clean this mess up else we’ll all end up in jail
Those test tubes and the scale
Just get them all out of here
Is there gas in the car
Yes, there’s gas in the car
I think the people down the hall
Know who you are…”

I don’t listen to Larry Carlton’s fantastic shape-shifting guitar solo, I don’t listen to Bernard Purdie’s lickety-split drumming, I don’t even listen to Paul Griffin’s funky Clavinet. I just listen to Chuck Rainey’s sublime bass, pumping and prodding and pushing and powering the song along.

From My Friend Bill in the States
ps:  you’ll be amused to know that I’m performing in a Grateful Dead cover band called Feels Like The Stranger, playing our first gig in a Stamford CT bar on March 7th! I’m playing all the Bob Weir rhythm parts on an 18 song set list… sounds easier than done! That dude was all over the place re: chord shaping!! My left hand is a cramped, gnarled and numb mess… thus the name of the band… : ) C’mon on over, I’ll put you on the comp list : ))

Flight (Cassette) Deck
With The Cowboy Junkies’ version of Sweet Jane, Bill Withers’ Ain’t No Sunshine, The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Under The Bridge, and Marvin’s What’s Goin’ On, Flight is a film about alcoholism and addiction masquerading as a legal/action thriller—with a terrific soundtrack, and a nicely indie feel for a mainstream Hollywood production.

Look out for an FTISHTW Extra! on Bob ’n’ Bette’s Buckets Of Rain Session coming soon

Five Things I Saw & Heard This Week: Wednesday 9th May

Janis Joplin, Get It While You Can, Take Three, July 27th 1970
“Everybody I know is crazy, except President Nixon… and that’s his problem…” This is take three of the Jerry Ragavoy/Mort Shulman song, still not quite polished, but rawer and freer. When they reconvene on September 11th to finally record it, they’re more focused—“brighter”— in producer Paul Rothschild’s words. But take three still has the edge, a more pleading vocal, and a coda of “No No NoNoNo NO…” that is absolutely moving, and missing from the final take.

Alabama Shakes, Electric Brixton, May 3rd
In the sleevenotes to an album by one of Alabama’s greatest musical talents, Eddie Hinton, that fine Memphis journalist Robert Gordon wrote: “If a frayed rope could sing, it would sound like only two people, and since Otis is dead, that leaves Eddie.” And since Eddie is dead, that leaves Brittany Howard. It’s erroneous that Janis is the cheap ’n’ easy invokee—Howard’s models seem more to be those two men, especially when you factor in her tone. First seen when the excellent Laura Barton wrote about a lone YouTube video in The Guardian last year, I’d deliberately avoided listening, but bought tickets to see them. As my daughter Jordan said, that way you’re not just anticipating the couple of songs you know, and not listening properly. So we let it wash over us and tried to ignore the ******* hipsters talking at the bar and the drunks hollering next to us (hard to do in the moodily quiet numbers). Punching her guitar, stomping her boots and seemingly conducting the songs by shakes of her head, Brittany Howard lived up to the hype, and the band are just slick enough to make it work, but not so slick that it sounds mechanical—you just wish you could be watching them at The Lamplighter, outside of Muscle Shoals, instead of here. Oh, one last thing: the name. Not easy to do a great band name these days—see Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds for how not to—but this is most excellent, both geographical locator and mission statement.

Black Cobra
Put the subtitle on your TV, get to see who’s sold their music to Ad Agencies! Cobra beer ad, Black Keys’ Gold On The Ceiling. In two minds whether the lyrics really fit the product—“Gold on the ceiling/I ain’t blind/Just a matter of time/Before you steal it/It’s all right/Ain’t no God in my eye.” I’m not sure that’s on brand.

VanMan SatNav
Driving with my friend Steve Way to a cartoon festival, he was taken with the Irish voice on our car’s SatNav, and started doing the instructions in the style of Van Morrison. Genius! Leaving motorways and approaching roundabouts has never been so entertaining. Googling to see if anyone had already thought of this I could only find one reference, from a thread on Julian Cope’s Modern Antiquarian… “My Van Morrison Sat Nav has caused me to flood my brakes in the slipstream and I’m now stuck between two viaducts. It’s also told me to fuck…” and there, wonderfully, access to the thread ends, as I can’t get on to the site.

Message From Chuck!

chuckrainey.chipin.com/chuck-rainey-well-health-fund

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