(The (Brief) Return of) Friday Night Music Club

What, I hear you ask, has caused this sudden splurge of posts on a Friday?

Well, it’s like this.

Last night I went to the British Film Institute (cool kids call it the BFI, like it’s a Roald Dahl character) to see Adam Buxton perform a tenth anniversary of his Bug shows.

I’ve mentioned Adam here before, referencing and linking to his excellent podcasts, and I also went to see him perform at the start of the year, a gig which was one of the funniest nights out I’ve ever been to. To quote Blackadder: “I am glad I wore my corset, for I fear my sides have split.”

The Bug shows are a slightly different beast, and those who subscribe to the Murdoch channels may have caught the Bug shows getting an airing on there.

Here’s the deal: Adam plays some ground-breaking music videos, and says some funny stuff about them, the funny stuff often being about comments that have been left under the video clip on YouTube.

There’s more to it than that, and I’m doing¬†Dr Buckles¬†a grave disservice by describing it thusly, but in essence what you get at a Bug show is some incredible videos, some amazing songs, and a lot of “have I actually wet myself this time?” laughs.

Last night’s show was beset by technical issues, and whilst that may have caused others to flounce off in a huff, Adam simply sat, sorted them out every time they arose, and gave us an hilarious running commentary of what had gone wrong and what he was doing about it, as it all played out on the big screen in front of us. I don’t think there was one person in the audience who was annoyed by the tech problems, in fact quite the opposite: we all felt we were seeing an utterly unique show and watching Adam nonchalantly deal with¬†it merely added to the love in the room for him.

Anyway, watching that gave me itchy fingers, and so here we are. And I figured I’d post the videos he showed last night, along with an mp3 of the tune, but without the jokes, because frankly I would not be able to do them justice.

Even if you don’t like the tunes, each of these videos is incredible in its own sweet way, some funny, more just mind-boggling,¬†so I would heartily recommend you give them a look.

Here we go:

Battles – Atlas

Wiley feat. Daniel Merriweaher – Cash in My Pocket

Bonobo – Cirrus

And, by the same director (Cyriak):

Adam Buxton – Counting Song

I can’t actually embed the next one, and it needs some explanation, so here’s what it said on the hand-out we were given on attending last night’s performance:

“…a groundbreaking exercise in interactive music video making from 2010, that is arguably still the best example there is: created by Chris Milk, The Johnny Cash Project allows viewers to create/illustrate over frames of a guide video, and add them to the viewer. It not only continues to change but is effectively never the same thing twice.”

So, here’s the link to the song:

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Johnny Cash – Ain’t No Grave

And here’s the link to The Johnny Cash Project. Enjoy your unique, never to be repeated viewing.

Next up:

Radiohead – Weird Fishes/Arpeggi

Flying Lotus – Until The Quiet Comes

(NB – the mp3 there is a rip of the video, not the track)

M.I.A. – Bad Girls

Great as all the videos featured today are, I think this next one might¬†actually deserve the term¬†“genius” being applied to it:

Swede Mason – Masterchef Synesthesia

Roots Manuva – Witness (The Fitness)

The next one was made specifically for the Bug show, and feature the host in the leading role:

Guitar Wolf – Summertime Blues

Etienne de Crecy – No Brain

Manchester Orchestra – Simple Math

Is it wrong of me to want to add an ‘s’ to that title…?

And finally:

Grimes – Oblivion

Oh, and you can visit Adam’s website here¬†and listen to his consistently brilliant podcasts here.

That’ll do you.

More soon.here

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Sunday Morning Coming Down

Last night and this morning’s posts were written before the latest terror attacks took place.

I thought about not posting them both, but since I often have said here that we should carry on regardless, that changing our daily routine is letting “them” win, I have decided to post as usual.

My thoughts, of course, are with all of those affected by last night’s attacks; my¬†gratitude and admiration goes to¬†our emergency services and the work they did and continue to do.

Carrying on from last night’s Roy Orbison post, here’s Johnny Cash covering a song written by Don Gibson, covered by many, but made famous by The Big O:

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Johnny Cash – A Legend in My Time

Orbison’s version was one of John Peel’s favourite songs, and somewhere I have Half Man Half Biscuit covering it, a version¬†never commercially released (as far as I know), but included¬†as one side of a¬†limited edition 12″ single (The Fall were on the flipside contributing “Job Search”). Actually, as an extremely limited edition: only one copy was made¬†and that was presented to Peel as a present on his 65th birthday. I’ll try and dig it out for y’all some time.

In other words, more soon.

Sunday Morning Coming Down

So, the manifestos are out, and what have we learned?

Labour, who were central left until Corbyn took over, have placed themselves even further to the left. The Conservatives, when they aren’t absorbing every policy UKIP policy – which would put them firmly to the right – have adopted not just the¬†old Labour policy about the energy cap I mentioned last week, but also have attacked pensioners by modifying an old¬†Labour policy¬†(in the 2015 election, Labour said they’d take the winter fuel allowance off the top 5% of pensioners, this time around the Conservatives have just said they’ll take¬†it off all of them), and of course, have just reiterated their pledge to reduce migration (the same thing they’ve made for the past seven years, just with the goal-posts moved a little further away every time).

It’s confusing; the Conservatives seem to be positioning themselves more centre left, but then you read the stuff about fox-hunting, about robbing school children of their free lunches,¬†and of, basically, giving up on the NHS and you wonder where they actually sit on the political spectrum. Wherever it is, I’m sure it’s¬†a strong and stable position.

Johnny has an allegorical explanation:

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Johnny Cash – The One on the Right is on the Left

More soon.

Sunday Morning Coming Down

Of course, when I bemoaned the lack of good songs about Easter the other day, I was intentionally overlooking the wealth of songs which can be found in Country music.

This shouldn’t really come as much of a surprise, given the history of Country music is irrevocably entwined with that of Gospel music, so here’s a couple to enhance your Easter Sunday.

“Were You There (When They Crucified My Lord)” is believed to have been composed by African-American slaves, for it¬†can be traced¬†back to 1899,¬†to the source of many¬† such songs: William Eleazar Barton’s “Old Plantation Hymns”.

It’s also reported to be one of Mahatma Ghandi’s favourite songs.

So, y’know, what’s good from the source is good for the Ghandi.

(I know, it doesn’t quite work, that one, does it?)

Here’s the biggest star that Country music ever produced covering it:

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Johnny Cash – Were You There (When They Crucified My Lord)

Cash was of course¬†a deeply spiritual and religious man, so it’s no surprise either to find this standard nestling in his back catalogue:

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Johnny Cash – The Old Rugged Cross

I’m guessing that whoever drew that picture of Cash was probably the same person who designed the bust of footballer Cristiano Ronaldo¬†which made the news recently. See if you can spot the difference… :

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More soon.

Sunday Morning Coming Down

Okay so this thread has maybe been a little top-heavy on the Kristofferson recently.

So this morning, let’s have some George Jones.

Covering Kristofferson, obviously.

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George Jones – Why Me Lord?

Now, George Jones is a legend, but he’s not the only legend to have covered that song:

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Johnny Cash – Why Me Lord?

Oh go on then. If you insist. The original.

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Kris Kristofferson – Why Me

More soon.

How to Do a Cover Version

Many, many months ago, one of my longest serving readers and friends sent me a message about this thread that I used to occasionally do.

The message went something along the lines of: “Do you just do cover versions in English? If not, I have one for you….”

To my eternal shame, it was her birthday yesterday, and like the totally disorganised schmuck I am, I missed it.

So, in a pathetically shallow attempt to make up for it, Happy (belated) Birthday Cat, these three (count ’em!) are for you:

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Gianni Morandi – Se Perdo Anche Te

And here’s a slightly more famous, much more stripped down version:

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Johnny Cash – Solitary Man

And here’s the original, which sort of sits between the two:

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Neil Diamond – Solitary Man

Much as I love Cash and Diamond, I have to say the Morandi version is rather fine.

Raising a (okay, several) drinks to you tonight Cat.

More soon.