Monday, March 31, 2008

'A Fool in Love/It's Gonna Work out Fine' I&T Turner

Something to wake you up - a groovy medley from the great Ike and Tina - such an exciting clip...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Heaven's Gate (1980)

This colossal anti-western (that supposedly was the biggest movie flop of all time ending director-led pictures in favour of studio projects) is in need of a revival methinks. I like westerns but this isn't a western - more of a history picture although I am not sure how factual its account of the Johnson County War is. I suppose you could maybe put it in the same genre as Gangs of New York as being an attempt to put some new perspectives on history - possibly - dare I say it? a socialist version of certain events. This is one of the opening scenes and is worth watching to get some of the scope of this epic. We did go and see it at the cinema at the time so don't blame us for it flopping - I wasn't going to miss Isabelle Huppert on the big screen. I recommend you track it down in some form or other - maybe one day the original 5 hour version will be available - I'd watch it - I like epic bum-numbing cinema - maybe it could make a good double bill with War and Peace.

13th Floor Elevators 'You're Gonna Miss Me'

My son is having a bit of a nuggets revival at the moment and asked me what instrument was making the funny noise on the classic Elevators smashes. This clip shows what it is - an amplified ceramic jug played high pitch and put through reverb - played by band philosopher Tommy Hall - there's an interesting interview here that explains some of the ideas behind the lyrics and so on. When is someone going to make a movie about the Elevators?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

'Along Came Jones' The Coasters

Song from 1959 - presumably featuring the great Will Dub Jones on bass vocal.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

La Vie en Rose trailer

I didn't pick up on this biopic about Edith Piaf but what do you expect? I live in Somerset... Non Je Ne Regrette Rien has an interesting history which I doubt is depicted in the film - according to the wiki 'Piaf dedicated her recording of the song to the French Foreign Legion.[1] At the time of the recording, France was engaged in a military conflict, the Algerian War (1956–1962), and the 1er R E P (Premier Regiment Etranger de Parachutistes, First Regiment Foreign Paratroopers) — who had backed a temporary putsch by the French military against the civilian leadership of Algeria—adopted the song when their resistance was broken in April 1961. The leadership of the Regiment was arrested and tried but the Non-Coms, Corporals and Legionnaires were reaffected to other Foreign Legion formation. They left the barracks in formation singing the song that has now become part of the French Foreign Legion heritage and is sung when they are on parade.'

German Mohawk Group

I didn't know about this group of American revolution era Mohawk reenactors - they look good from the pictures in the galerie section.

Ron Embleton

If you are wondering who did the artwork for the Captain Scarlet end title sequence then you might be surprised to find out it was the great Ron Embleton - probably Britain's greatest illustrators of the 60s and beyond. His work varied from serious historical reconstructions - (probably his most famous work in this field is the Roman army studies he did for Hadrian's Wall) but he also did all manner of strips ranging from Mickey Mouse monthly to Penthouse magazine's Oh Wicked Wanda. I am particularly fond of his frontier paintings another of his specialisations - see pic - available from here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

'Captain Scarlet' The Spectrum

While revisiting my 60s childhood I thought it would be fun to play this end song with excellent comic book style artwork. Famously the Banshees covered this song at the their 100 club debut but I don't suppose it came close to being as good as this piece of sci-fi rock and roll. Sadly this series was blighted by children thinking they were indestructible and jumping off buildings if what we were told as schooldkids was true. Captain Scarlet is indestructible. You are not. Remember this. Do not try to imitate him!

Mannfred Mann 5-4-3-2-1

Have I posted this before? This is one of my earliest musical memories of the harmonica and if you have never heard this piece of 60s skiffly beat music you are in for a treat. I probably thought it had something to do with the Thunderbirds TV series too as I was only about 5. It namechecks the Charge of the Light Brigade in the lyrics and was of course the theme tune to Ready Steady Go. If you had to encapsulate Britain in the three minutes this would be my choice.

Tin Sandwich - a history of the harmonica

The documentary was worth a watch - no mention of Sonny Boy Williamson or any footage of him - that was a collosal oversight worthy of a kicking but I will rectify this with a clip of the great man doing Bye Bye Bird. You have to watch.

Monday, March 24, 2008

American Revolution total immersion event

This tactical taking place in Pennsylvania looks good - for progressive reenactors if you know what that is - worth checking out the General Information for all the rules and guidelines if you ever wish to organise something similar.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Dorsey Dixon Pinball Machine

Without doubt the greatest song written about pinball machines and trucking.

Geeshie Wiley

Female blues singer and guitarist - I have only recently gotten into women blues singers and so was pretty ignorant with regards this legendary player who recorded only a half dozen or so sides around 1930 but what songs they are! Recently covered by the Detroit Cobras who did a single in 1996 of 'C'mon Over to My House' - a superb rockabilly version worth tracking down. Anyway this clip is from the Zwigoff Robert Crumb documentary and features Wiley's Last Kind Words, which is well worth a listen. Geeshie Wiley Myspace Lyrics here

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Rio Bravo musical interlude

This scene with Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson dueting on a nice cowboy song "My Rifle, My Pony, and Me" by Dimitri Tiomkin has a rather implausible but nevertheless humourous harmonica add-on from Walter Brennan. Brilliant stuff.
Notice they mention in the lyrics whip-poor-wills - a common image used lyrically in American music - was in Tammy on the other days posting - in fact the wiki lists these songs that mention it:
"Alone and Forsaken" by the Hank Williams
"As Above, So Below" by the Klaxons
"Back Where I Belong" by Darryl Worley
"Blue Valley Songbird" by Dolly Parton
"Birth of the Blues" by Frank Sinatra
"Cry of the Whippoorwill" by Rhonda Vincent
"Daniel and The Sacred Harp" by The Band
"Deeper than the Holler" by Randy Travis
"Does That Wind Still Blow in Oklahoma?" by Reba McEntire and Ronnie Dunn
"Everybody Ought to Have a Maid" from the musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
"Gus: The Polar Bear from Central Park" by The Tragically Hip
"Hotter Than Mojave In My Heart" by Iris DeMent
"If the world had a front porch" by Tracy Lawrence
"I Got a Name" by Jim Croce
"I'll Tell the Man in the Street" from the musical "I Married an Angel"
"I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" by Hank Williams
"Magnolia" by J J Cale
"Midnight in Montgomery" by Alan Jackson
"My Blue Heaven" recorded by Fats Domino, Smashing Pumpkins and others
"Philadelphia Freedom" by Elton John
"Sad Song" by Cat Power
"Songs About Texas" by Pat Green
"So Says the Whippoorwill" by Richard Shindell
"Speed of the Whippoorwill" by Chatham County Line
"Tammy" recorded by Debbie Reynolds and others
"That Sunday, That Summer" recorded by Nat King Cole and others
Title track of the album The Stage Names by Okkervil River
"The First Whippoorwill" by Bill Monroe
"The Whippoorwill" by Keely Smith
"Where The Whipoorwill [sic] Is Whispering Goodnight" by Charlie Poole
"Whippoorwill" by Doug Burr
"Whippoorwill" by Ozark Mountain Daredevils
"Whip-Poor-Will" by Magnolia Electric Co.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Quest for Fire

You are probably getting all excited to see mammoths and sabre-toothed cats in the new epic 10,000 BC but 'what about its predecessors?' I hear you ask...'wasn't there a film in 1981 'La Guerre de Feu' that had cannibalism and mammoths - in this case actual elephants in fur suits?' Why yes - starring Ron Perlman and Rae Dawn Chong - it had some great make-up and was all in some specially created language by Anthony Burgess... a fascinating film and well worth questing for.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Rio Grande musical interlude

Here's more camp singing in a musical interlude from Rio Grande. This features Ken Curtis and the Sons of the Pioneers. If you notice the ratio of women to men is about the same as in the Gods and Generals clip. No wonder they were a fightin' all the time...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Animals and Men play Aarhus Denmark

Did I tell you we are playing a gig in Denmark on 19th April. It's our first ever European gig so we're pretty excited. Also playing are Danish band the fanatics. It's connected to the Death Rock scene over there and if you think Animals and Men ain't that sort of band check out this wiki definition

Deathrock is a term used to identify a subgenre of punk rock and Goth which incorporates elements of horror and spooky atmospheres within a Goth-Punk style and first emerged most prominently in the West Coast of the United States and London during the late 1970s and early 1980s.[1]
Deathrock emphasizes an introspective mood within a punk and eerie goth
musical structure.[citation needed] Deathrock songs use simple chords, echoing guitars, a prominent bass, and drumming which emphasizes repetitive, post-punk and tribal beats within a 4/4 time signature and often produced using a drum machine. To create atmosphere, scratchy guitars, spooky or sinister synths, and experimentation with other instruments are sometimes used. Lyrics can vary, but are typically introspective, surreal, and deal with the dark themes of isolation, disillusionment, loss, depression, life, death, etc, as can the style, varying from harsh, to melodic and melancholic, to upbeat and tongue-in-cheek. Deathrock lyrics and other musical stylistic elements often incorporate the themes of campy horror and sci-fi films, which in turn leads some bands to adopt elements of rockabilly and surf rock.[2]
Us to a tee....see ya there gentle reader...should be a corker...

'Bonnie Blue Flag'

If you were wondering - and I bet you were - what sort of music the Confederates listened to during the Civil War then watch this clip showing a 'gig' at a Rebel camp from the movie Gods and Generals. In the front row grooving away is Stonewall Jackson. This will probably make you laugh and it is a ludicrous scene but I always like musical interludes in Westerns and the like - I think they should be forced to have them.

Flags for Zvezda samurai

I don't know what happened to the Zvezda Samurai castle? These sticker flags for the armies of the period look useful.

Debbie Reynolds 'Tammy'

The ferrets were making a hell of a racket this morning and on investigation we found the mating season has begun again so in honour of this I thought I'd put something soppy up. This song from 1957 is on our turntable - thanks to the Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas soundtrack which I recommend having lots of soundbites from the movie. Debbie Reynolds rather impressively took a stand against cigarette advertising on her tv show and got cancelled. Shame on them. Anyway this is the clip from the film where she sings this, her signature tune - (her leading man was Leslie Nielson incidentally in this film 'Tammy and the Bachelor') - 50s Americana at its syrupy best.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Tin Sandwich

Programme on BBC4 tonight on the history of the harmonica...looks interesting. According to the wiki the harp was used by soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War. I didn't know that. Doubt they played blues much on the southern side though...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

One man Bands

There's a great movement across the world of really cool one man bands - this is a great example from Australia Made for Chickens by Robots and he's touring Europe at the moment so try and check him out. He uses a resonator guitar and vocal cone to create a weird stomping sound. Excellent stuff.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Little Richard 'Lucille'

OK maybe he did steal Esquerita's style but Little Richard is still the King of Rock and Roll - whatever that means. This clip captures him in his prime. What a song....what a pumping bass...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Bad Detectives 'I'm In Love With the Moleman's girl'

Here's something to kick the week off with - Frome's finest rocking out with their own hit composition - the other day I bemoaned the lack of a story in modern records - well the BD's songs have stories - they have all sorts of narratives going on - maybe they ought to publish their lyrics on the web.


Ok so Rovers lost 5-1 - I thought they were the better side - that shows you what I know about football. Goalhanging - that's what I call it...

Sunday, March 09, 2008


Bristol Rovers finest hour? Could be... Enjoyed the Bad Detectives on Frome radio - they gave the team a heads up...I'll play this song by the Pirates -

Thursday, March 06, 2008

New League of Extraordinary Gentlemen stuff

News, to me at least, of the new America-only-for copyright-reasons adventure the Black Dossier (pictured) is on the Wiki. Interesting twists. Looking forward to it.
'The Black Dossier centres on the eponymous fictional book (that provides a comprehensive review of all of the previous leagues over the centuries) which is stolen by a young man and woman in 1958 in a post-Big Brother England where they are pursued by a trio of ruthless government agents. This release also includes a variety of extras including a 3-D section and glasses, a Tijuana Bible, and the Absolute edition will include an LP record.
The 1950s League
By 1958, the League was disbanded by the government and the two remaining members broke into British Intelligence, stole the Black Dossier, and then tried to escape the country while being pursued by a trio of deadly British agents. The agents that pursue the surviving Leaguers (
Mina Murray and Allan Quatermain) are "Jimmy" (James Bond, the British spy created by Ian Fleming for the novel Casino Royale and its sequels); "Miss Night" (Emma Peel); and "Uncle Hugo" (Bulldog Drummond). Mina and Allan are assisted in their escape attempt by the Golliwog, the first black member of the team.
In supplementary material that details the League's history, Mina and Allan are described as teaming up with Dean Moriarty, from the novel
On the Road by Jack Kerouac, against the villainous Sachs (Dr. Sax) in America some time before the main narrative'.

General Munroe

A few posts ago I mentioned the song General Munroe and the battle of Ballynahinch in the 98 rebellion - this is a great painting of the battle by Thomas Robinson.

Mr Occhio and his imaginary friends band

Great stuff - from Italy - a one man band - 'Mamma give me back my guitar'... rockabilly/garage with energy and drive.

Mr. Occhio - Mamma Give Me Back My Guitar [SAF 02/2008]

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Animals and men mention

We've been blogged! On the excellent Detailed Twang blog. Also we're on the NME site - whatever next?

The Fall 'White Lightning'

Been enjoying Henry's blog Bad Detective - lots of interesting stuff - saw they've done a track for the Ace cafe - a haunt on the North Circular for ton-up boys - so I thought maybe they'd enjoy this song, a cover of the Big Bopper track with motorcycle accompaniment.

Lost World of Tibet

The other day the BBC showed a documentary presented by Dan Cruikshank with impressive colour footage from Tibet shot before the Chinese marched in. It was staggering. Festivals, pageantry and colourful religious rites were the order of the day. Basically a society hardly changed since the middle ages the footage gave us a glimpse of what the rest of the world was perhaps like in its golden age. If you missed it go to the BBC i Player or buy it on DVD.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Russian Napoleonic photo

This is a great picture showing Russian troops of the Napoleonic period doing a bayonet charge. The Russians do reenactment very well - I think they show a passion for the subject that we don't get in the 'West'. Well done.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Planxty 'A Jolly Beggar'

Lovely song from Planxty with a great story to it - why don't songs have stories in them anymore? This particular song from at least the 18th century is attributed to James V of Scotland who according to myth used to mingle with the peasantry as a beggar. How times change. Lyrics here

Ulster's '98

'Were you at the battle of Ballynahinch?' so goes 'General Munroe' and of course when I hear that great Irish song I always remember the filming we did for a series of programmes on Ulster's Rebellion in 1798 at the Ulster American Folkpark. I went over with Allan and Rosemary of the 23rd whose website this photo's from - I'm on the left and a United Irishman is holding the flag.
It was pretty hairy reenacting redcoats in Northern Ireland I can tell you - nobody much else had the balls to do it but we did and had a few scrapes along the way but nothing serious. Of course that was then and things are a lot more easygoing over there nowadays. Happy times. Maybe I ought to put some clips up on Youtube.

Battle of the Bands

I had this great idea for a tv show - you get two up-and-coming bands and say 50 each of their fans to battle it out using weapons from the middle ages - the most standing at the finish get to play at the end. Pretty good huh?

Cardigans 'I need some fine wine' live

Swedish rockers the Cardigans have got a greatest hits out so I can use this as an excuse to drag out this, one of my favourites.

American Revolution in 1/32 scale

I am a bit coy about painting toy soldiers ever since the line in the film Groundhog Day when Bill Murray grabs a waiter and says 'this is Ralph - he paints toy soldiers, and he's gay' - but I do and I find it quite relaxing but I am heterosexual, honestly.
Anyway at the moment I am painting some Call to Arms American Revolution figures - a British company leading the field in my opinion with some really well sculpted and reasonably researched models - sad to see they are deleting their British Light Infantry - these could easily be converted to Saratoga Brits - see 62nd below - snap them up while you can. Imex have produced guns and crew in this scale though the cannons are a bit tiny it has to be said - more like the sort of things the Sealed Knot use - but the crews are good and the guns can be replaced. CTS produce ex Marx Mohawks though I haven't sampled any yet, will they be as good as the Barszo figures? ... probably not. Armies in plastic have produced some figures which I can't vouch for but they look OK. For Hessians I would use lead figures cast from the Prince August 54mm Prussian moulds. The real fun of the period and the scale is the collection of frontier forts, log cabins, even furniture that you can get for the period Maybe I am gay after all...
Check out the Steve Weston site for all your wants in this period in the UK.

62nd Foot

Found a nice American Revolution blog with this story about tempting away musicians from the 62nd foot.
I am sorry to inform you that the Americans are too successful in enticing our soldiers to desert; a few days since the whole band of the 62d regiment, excepting the Master, deserted in a body, and are now playing to an American regiment in Boston. . . .
The 62nd foot were a Wiltshire based regiment and there was a time when a few of us were going to recreate them - so it's nice to see them being done so very well in the US - it's their picture at the top of this article and this picture a copy of drawings done from life in 1777 by Von Germann is on their website.
For a British based Redcoat unit of the period try the 47th or the 23rd in Wales.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Hey! Mr Rain

We had our first practice of the year yesterday and we set out our plan for releasing a 7 inch ep featuring 4 newish songs. We also did a great cover of this Velvet Underground track - have a listen to their version and see what you think - it's kind of demented rockabilly with viola - right up our street.