Monday, July 30, 2007
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Sunday is derived from pre-Christian Egyptian astrology.
Well here we are at the end of an eventful weeks posting, and I get the chance to finish on a high. There are many great songs connected with Sunday and I wish I was able to offer all the ones that were on my shortlist. But unfortunately my lack of bandwidth says that this cannot happen.
In 1933 Rezso Seress, the Hungarian composer, wrote 'Gloomy Sunday'; a song that rapidly became known as the 'Hungarian suicide song'. Various people made cover versions - not least Billie Holiday and, of course, the Associates - and it supposedly inspired lots of suicides throughout the world. The claim was not diminished when Seress himself committed suicide in 1968 as did Billy Mackenzie in 1997.
The Associates - Gloomy Sunday (mp3) (buy)
Late 1978, early 1979 saw Blondie riding the crest of a wave. 'Parallel Lines' had hit number one in the album charts. 'Hanging on the Telephone' had been in the top ten, while its follow up 'Heart of Glass' had gone to number one in both the UK and US. How could they equal this? By releasing 'Sunday Girl' to go back to number one. My top ten of 1979 had both hits in it. My friends saw it as infatuation. They were probably right, but it's still a great record.
Blondie - Sunday Girl (mp3) (buy)
In 1990 The Sundays provided something a little different to the shoe gazing wall of sound that filled the indie charts. MBV, Ride, The Jesus and Mary Chain etc were all well and good but with the vocals often removed to the background the jangly sound of The Sundays was very refreshing. They are one of the finest live acts I have seen and Harriet Wheeler was simply gorgeous. So rather aptly I finish with:
The Sundays - Here's Where the Story Ends (mp3) (buy)
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Saturday is named after the Roman God of agriculture Cronus aka Saturn.
So many choices. After the song drought of Wednesday / Thursday comes a veritable flood. I could of chosen Tom Waits - but I didn't. The Jam - but I didn't. Whigfield (ahem) - but I didn't. The list, while not being exactly endless, is still very long. So it comes down to the following:
Saturday Sun - Nick Drake (mp3)
The Saturday Boy - Billy Bragg (mp3)
On Saturday Afternoons in 1963 - Rickie Lee Jones (mp3)
Buy Nick Drake here, Billy Bragg here and Rickie Lee Jones here.
And apologies for the lateness of this post, I started writing it last night after getting back from an impromptu nights camping in Pembrokeshire, but then fell asleep. It's an age thing!
Friday, July 27, 2007
The name Friday comes from the Anglo-Saxon Frigg - the Goddess of beauty. In Latin languages the name mostly comes from Venus who was no shrinking Violet in the beauty stakes herself.
There are lots of musical choices available for the Friday slot. No surprises there then. It seems like all songwriters spend the working week in a state of increasing gloom until Friday comes along. A few drinks later with the creative juices flowing and the worlds their oyster.
The Easybeats - Friday On My Mind (Mp3) Buy
The Donnas - Friday Fun (mp3) Buy
The Cure - Friday I'm In Love (mp3) Buy
Nouvelle Vague - Friday Night Saturday Morning (mp3) Buy
The Nouvelle Vague I've only included because I can't seem to find my copy of The Specials version. Curses.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
ThursdayFrom the old English 'Day of Thunor', the Latin equivilant is 'Jupiter's Day'.
Thursday was until recently a nothing sort of day. Still a day short of when the real action begins on the Friday. However, a few like minded friends and myself have officially designated that Thursday is the new Friday. We have decided that the weekend is in fact far too short and therefore festivities have to take place a day earlier. We now have a few drinks, play golf and generally relax making Friday a far more inviting prospect. By Monday you feel that the weekend has been a fulfilling experience, rather than all over before it really got started.
That doesn't mean, however, that Thursday has been celebrated in song. It is a day that is shamefully neglected. Come on all you songwriters get writing about it because at the moment there is little to include that is worthy. You know you want to - it's the start of the weekend for heavens sake.
The Futureheads - Thursday (mp3)
Buy The Futureheads here because they they are up with the times
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Although in English Wednesday is derived from the Norse God Woden, in the Latin languages the Roman God Mercury is responsible. In German Mittwoch literally means midweek which is perhaps the most apt and contemporary description.
Wednesday is perhaps my least favourite day of the week. You're already knackered but still have two days to go at work. This is, or course, the Monday to Friday contingent. In our service based economy the notion of a family based weekend seems to be diminishing by the day. Saturday and Sunday working is now the norm for many.
In popular culture Wednesday means the start of two days of relative musical paucity. But I will do my best:
Spoon - Sunday Morning, Wednesday Night (mp3)
The Undertones - Wednesday Week (mp3)
The Beatles - She's Leaving Home (mp3) [listen and you'll know]
Buy Spoon here, The Undertones here, and The Beatles right here.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
The derivation of Tuesday comes from an old English word 'Twisday' which is in itself derived from the Norse God Tyr. This God was the equivalent of the Roman God Mars and, of course, Mars forms the root of Tuesday for all the Latin based languages except Portuguese.
Perhaps this is entirely apt as Tuesday has traditionally been a day of war in my job. Not because of the fact that most of the working week is still to go, but more because I teach some particularly irksome kids!
Some more Tuesday inspired songs then:
Rolling Stones - Ruby Tuesday (mp3)
Dick Gaughan - Ruby Tuesday (mp3)
Elliott Smith - Hooray for Tuesday (live) (mp3)
Primal Scream - Gentle Tuesday (mp3)
Buy The Stones here, Dick Gaughan here, Elliott Smith here, and Primal Scream here.
Much obliged to Absonderpop for the Dick Gaughan and The Rawking Refuses To Stop! for the Elliott Smith
Monday, July 23, 2007
Davy H over at The Ghost of Electricity had a recent post which named his wifes favourite Saturday night record. I was going to name a track in a comment about what I suspected Mrs Vicar might suggest as her own favourite. However, I thought it might be better to ask her first ........
Well, I got the understandable 'on the fence' reply about changing tastes and mood etc, but I managed to whittle away until I got the following mixed bag of answers:
Roxy Music - Virginia Plain (mp3)
A Taste of Honey - Boogie Oogie Oogie (mp3) [Get Down!]
Steve Winwood - While You See A Chance (mp3)
Wham! - Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go (mp3)
Shows you there's no accounting for taste.
Buy Roxy Music right here. A Taste of Honey just here. The rather spiffing Steve Winwood here. And of course Wham! just here.
Traditionally, of course, 'Blue Monday' is the beginning of the working week (not for the Tutu Vicar though because he is on holiday - hurrah). Also has been known as 'Black Monday' after the stock market crash in 1987. Monday (for those who don't know) gets its name from the Moon (shock, horror) and a fine name it is therefore. The moon will provide more reasons for posts in forthcoming weeks.
Monday has also been responsible for providing inspiration for many musicians - just a few of which you can find below:
The Bangles - Manic Monday (mp3) (buy)
New Order - Blue Monday (mp3) (buy)
The Boomtown Rats - I Don't Like Mondays (mp3) (buy)
Wilco - Monday (mp3) (buy)
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Just noticed that today is anniversary of John Dillinger's death in 1934. The supposed 'Robin Hood' of the gangster world of inter-war America, Dillinger met his end when waylaid by FBI agents outside a cinema in Chicago. Some people even have a 'John Dillinger' day in his memory. Bizarre.
The Clash - I Fought The Law (mp3) (buy)
The Special AKA - Gangsters (mp3) (buy and other ska)
Monday, July 16, 2007
The weekend saw the annual jamboree that is the Welsh Masters of golf. This prestigious competition (one of the big tournaments of the year for the Socialist Golf Society) is always witness to golf of the very highest order. Heavyweights of the sport slugging it out over two rounds in order to win the coveted trophy and bathe in the resultant glory.
The only fly in the ointment was the forecast of miserable weather. A warm up round in Staffordshire on Friday night only led to a thorough soaking and a deep desire to get paralytically pissed. Drunkenness inevitably followed, as did the inevitable hangover the next morning. My thumping head was greeted with ridicule by my unsympathetic comrades (justifiable I might add) who were gleeful that yours truly was out of the equation. The round at Celtic Manor was understandably awful.
The next morning saw two things. Firstly my fellow gladiators in a pathetically sorry state after three or four bottles of red wine too many; and secondly the rain pissing it down outside. The course for day two was closed. Damn what do we do? Head for the sun was the answer. So off we scooted down the M4 to Reading. Yes a 100 mile journey only to walk straight into a thunderstorm on the 4th hole. The funniest sight of the weekend was leading a group of panicked golfers hot footing it to the clubhouse to escape imminent death. Although I didn't witness it one of our merry throng even threw himself to the floor after one particularly close bolt of lightning.
The weather is crap. I hate all this rain. It felt like the tournament was being ruined because of it. But the golfers of the SGS were not to be beaten and are made of stern stuff, and the award for the Welsh Masters golfer for 2007 was greeted with universal acclaim. Once again the Socialist Golf Society had prevailed. Golf was the winner but the weather is still shit.
Placebo - English Summer Rain (mp3)
The Pixies - Stormy Weather (mp3)
Buy Placebo here and The Pixies right here
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
The sceptics among you will automatically believe (from the title that is) that the Vicar has gone completely doo lally and admitted to a secret past of Phil Collins albums amongst the varied detritus of his past (maybe or maybe not). But the reality is shamefully in the present. Yet again I have failed in my task of getting on the contrast podcast and I am peeved. This is, of course, completely my fault as yet again I spend the entire week 'umming' and 'aahhing' over a choice of track only to lose out due to my own procrastination. So this week I try to make amends by offering a track now. Yes too late to be on the podcast but not too late to purge my soul.
The topic this week was of course 1967. And many fine choices there were - which you can download right here. Just a reminder then:
(00:29) Jefferson Airplane - Somebody to love
Ross from Just gimme indie rock
(03:33) Erma Franklin - Piece of my heart
Michael from The Yank Sizzler
(07:00) Dusty Springfield - The look of love
Linda from Speed of Dark
(11:18) The Turtles - Happy together
Natalie from Mini-Obs
(14:51) The Impressions - We’re a winner
Ally from dustysevens
(17:12) Kaleidoscope - Dive into yesterday
(22:43) Louie Prima - I wanna be like you
Crash from Pretending life is like a song
(27:34) The Stooges - Search and Destroy
FiL from Pogoagogo
(34:03) Green Day - 86
Andy from Circles of Concrete
(37:13) Dave Brubeck Quartet - Take 5
Marcy from Lost in your inbox
(43:07) John Coltrane - Everytime we say goodbye
Alex from Totally True Tales from Texas
(48:39) R.E.M. - Femme fatale
Kristi from Are you embarassed easily?
(51:47) The House of Love - The Beatles and The Stones
Tom from Better in the Dark
(56:20) Prince - Alphabet street
Greg from Broken Dial
(59:06) The Adult Net - Incense and Peppermints
Matthew from Song by ToadMy own choice is 'All Along the Watchtower' from Bob Dylan's 1967 album John Wesley Harding. And, of course some of the cover versions that have come since.
Bob Dylan - All Along The Watchtower (mp3) Buy
Patti Smith - All Along The Watchtower (mp3) Buy
U2 - All Along The Watchtower (mp3) Buy
Jimi Hendrix - All Along The Watchtower (mp3) Buy
And a video version by Neil Young as well you lucky things:
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Sometimes, when I have had a tipple too many, the Tutu vicar gets his feet tapping to a funky beat. Inevitably this ends with shaming glances from other members of my family who are acutely embarrassed by my antics. The last time I got 'dancing feet', for instance, my daughter was red faced as I was shown up in front of her young friends. Of course, rarely does this affect me because I am usually in a state of alcohol induced oblivion.
Anyhow, back to the matter in hand and 'the kickdrum'. My choice of said funky beat usually revolves around records that are either:
So I present to you my choices from option (b)
2. Chemical Brothers - It Began In Afrika (mp3) - kickdrum at 0:33 (Buy)
4. Leftfield - Space Shanty (mp3) - kickdrum at 1:39 (Buy)
If you have any sense of rhythm I defy you to not tap your feet / nod your head at the times mentioned above. Best of all find a party, drink copious amounts of Stella, red wine or a tipple of your choice and watch with glee as the your friends and family dis-own you completely. Play the game - go on.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Who remembers the days when the majority of TV was monochrome? I recall that the early part of my youth was spent watching black and white, and being amazed when I went round to a mates house to watch colour broadcasts. At some point my parents rented a TV from Grenada Rentals and I got to share the delights that my friends were enjoying. I think it was when I was about 7 or 8 years old - so about 1972ish. Certainly a good 4 or 5 years after the first UK colour broadcast at Wimbledon in 1967.
Who also thinks though, that we lost something at the same time? Just as the talkie meant that the art of visual narrative was partly lost to cinema, the rise of colour (particularly on TV) led to the parallel decline of lighting techniques. As soon as I introduce the idea of monochromatic photography or cinematography to my students, it is met with almost universal ridicule. Even modern movies like Schindlers List or La Haine are distrusted. Or course this only fuels my desire to educate them. Foreign language films, black and white, musicals - they are all fair game.
I was bowled over when I first saw an HD broadcast and I like the idea of realism as well as anybody, but black and white is still good. Its just that at Wimbledon colour looks so much better.
The Icicle Works - Love is a Wonderful Colour (mp3)
Tom Macrae - Bright Lights (mp3)
Buy The Icicle Works here and Tom Macrae here
Monday, July 02, 2007
The Date - 02/07/1964. The place - The White house. The fact - The Civil Rights Act was signed by Lyndon B. Johnson, was passed into law and segregation became illegal throughout schools and other public places in the USA. And given the outrages that had been going on in the southern states throughout the previous 100 years it was not a moment too soon. In fact although 2nd July was the date the bill passed through the senate, it passed through the House of Representatives on the same day the Vicar came into this world five months earlier.
So the Act brought to end the Jim Crow laws and the Democrats were seen as the party of liberation. Although, of course, it was not as simple as that as the Kennedy / Johnson administration were in many ways merely reacting to the inevitable urge of reform that had been gathering pace since the Montgomery Bus Boycott 10 years earlier. Plus, of course, the Civil Rights Act was just the beginning of a struggle to enforce the law through voter registration schemes and employer education. Only a year later the Los Angeles suburb of Watts was to descend into riots emphasising the problems the US was still to face with Black Civil Rights.
But the Act was passed. An important Act. And Martin Luther King had been proved right when he had forecast in 1963 "How Long? Not Long".
The Untouchables - Free Yourself (mp3)
The Clash - Know Your Rights (mp3)
Buy The Untouchables here and The Clash here
Sunday, July 01, 2007
A double birthday celebration today and a big hug and kisses to all my fellow members of the blogosphere. Tutu Vicar is back after a bit of layoff and itching to get posting. Thankyou for all of you that regularly dropped by only to see Asia once again at the top of the blogpile. Oh the shame of it - but I hope to banish the AOR scoundrels to the bottom before too long.
I noticed that today in 1979 saw the release of the original Sony Walkman. Not exactly the digital revolution I hear you cry, but it was the beginning of the musical portability. Without the Walkman the mp3 player would never have been born despite the evolution that occured over many years involving the CD Walkman and the Minidisc Walkman. Lord sakes we wouldn't even have had Cliff Richard and 'Wired for Sound'.
Daft Punk - Digital Love (mp3)
Also today Debbie Harry enjoys her 62nd birthday. Holy shit sixty two! It is easy to forget, of course, that she was already in her 30's by the time that Blondie were in their pomp. Didn't stop a wet dream or two though (not of course by the Vicar - far too mucky).There aren't many times when I get stumped trying to choose a song for the blog because of the sheer depth of choice on the album. Happy Birthday Deborah.
Blondie - Hanging on the Telephone (mp3)
Buy Daft Punk here and Blondie here