Five Things I Saw & Heard This Week: Wednesday 29th August

Let Me Take You By The Hand, And…
Simon left a CD on my desk, sent in by a publicist, of a Ralph McTell sampler, featuring—of course—Streets Of London, with a post-it note on, saying “You’ll probably like this.” I had to disabuse him of that, and then we had a great fifteen minutes watching the fantastic Streets Of London sketch from Big Train, where Kevin Eldon plays a singer-songwriter whose audience won’t allow him to play anything other than the eponymous tune. It not only painfully highlights the one song career but brilliantly skewers the tyranny of a change-resistant audience.

Mark Goes To Memphis, R2
In this compelling documentary [in the interest of full disclosure, it was made by my brother-in-law] where Mark Kermode and his Rockabilly/Skiffle band, The Dodge Brothers head to Memphis to record at the legendary Sun Studios, a really lovely interview with Matt Ross-Spang, the in-house engineer at Sun. “This room is like your garage—white tile, you’re five feet away from the other person, there’s no booths and you gotta play quiet so’s you can hear the singer, and I don’t let you use headphones and you just put a good tape echo on it and call it done. Sam Philips, to me… was on a mission… so touched by music. Took me a long time to figure out but I started limiting myself to what he had in the 50s, a few extra mikes or somethin’ and once I figured out how we can get that feeling, that 50s vibe… [The Dodge Brothers] came in and the first song they did was No. 9 by Tarheel Slim, which is an old Sun song. Nobody knows that record… and they start playing it and I’s like “Oh that’s Tarheel Slim, No. 9,” they’re goin’—“No-one has ever known who sang that!” Of course I’m a rockabilly freak, so I know, but it’s nice to be able to have that conversation with somebody. Cause you don’t get to talk about Tarheel Slim to your girlfriend or anything… or anybody, you know?”

Weird iPod Synchronicity Pt3: August 23rd, Victoria Station, London
Just got to Irvine Welsh’s pick of Five Films in the Metro newspaper where he chooses Double Indemnity and then Eraserhead when David Lynch’s Pinky’s Dream explodes into my headphones. The song is a noir-sounding updating of Jan & Dean’s Deadman’s Curve with Karen O sobbing/pleading… “Pinky, what do you see? Flying down the road… Pinky, tell me, are you laughing, or are you crying? Watch the road, please Pinky, watch the road…” as guitars judder and lurch like an out-of-control Dodge careering down Mulholland Drive. “People go on about David Lynch’s visuals but one of the things he does better than anybody is his work with sound…” says Welsh, spot on.
No. of Tracks on iPod: 1,057.
No. of tracks by D. Lynch: 1

And Now A Message From Our Sponsors
Every advert on tv is poptastic at the moment. Every one. If it isn’t Lily Allen’s appropriation of Professor Longhair’s Big Chief in her song Knock ’Em Out (used by… Kinder Chocolate Eggs, of course) it’s The Trailer Trash Tracys’ Wish You Were Red soundtracking Renault’s new spot. It sounds “like an unholy mix of Best Coast’s Boyfriend, Sweet Jane and Baba O’Reilly,” as correspondents on the excellent website TV Ad Music point out. They also point out that The Trailer Trash Tracys are “hotly-tipped and rubbish-named.”

Sarah’s Record Collection
Rescued from a flooded room, featuring a great Jaques Brel cover photo, and a set of albums I’d forgotten about, which involved a slightly-less-than-stellar-star recreating Hollywood Gold, so that you could put it on the turntable, read from the enclosed script and play costar. I definitely had this Arlene Dahl one, and also, I’m pretty sure, Cesar Romero (but I’m not sure what film you could re-enact with him…)

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