Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Most played old songs of 2009

These were the oldies I played the most in 2009 (as determined by iTunes play counts). I already wrote about Tusk.

Rank Title Artist Album
1 Sara [Edit] Fleetwood Mac Tusk
2 Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker) Rolling Stones Goats Head Soup
3 A Favor House Atlantic Coheed and Cambria In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3
4 Beautiful Child Fleetwood Mac Tusk
5 Never Forget Fleetwood Mac Tusk
6 Heads Down, No Nonsense, Mindless Boogie Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranoias Heads Down, No Nonsense, Mindless Boogie 7"
7 The Man In Me Bob Dylan New Morning
8 Thoughts Of You Dennis Wilson Pacific Ocean Blue
9 On The Brink Dinosaur Jr Without A Sound
10 Livin' Thing Electric Light Orchestra A New World Record
11 The Ledge Fleetwood Mac Tusk
12 Storms Fleetwood Mac Tusk
13 That's All for Everyone Fleetwood Mac Tusk
14 Sisters of the Moon Fleetwood Mac Tusk
15 Angel Fleetwood Mac Tusk
16 Brown Eyes Fleetwood Mac Tusk
17 Never Make Me Cry Fleetwood Mac Tusk
18 Walk a Thin Line Fleetwood Mac Tusk
19 Tusk Fleetwood Mac Tusk
20 Kiss With A Fist Florence and The Machine Kiss With A Fist
21 (It's The Way) Nature Planned It The Four Tops 50th Anniversary Anthology
22 Queen Of Cans And Jars Guided By Voices Bee Thousand
23 In The Morning Nina Simone To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story
24 Radio Luxembourg - Great Britain jingle Radio Luxembourg

Monday, December 14, 2009

Most played new songs of 2009


These were my most played songs (as measured by play count in iTunes) that were released this year. There seemed to be some sort of sythpop/metal battle going on.

Rank Title Artist Album
1 In For The Kill La Roux La Roux
2 Quicksand La Roux La Roux
3 Bulletproof La Roux La Roux
4 Cover My Eyes La Roux La Roux
5 Tigerlily La Roux La Roux
6 Colourless Colour La Roux La Roux
7 I'm Not Your Toy La Roux La Roux
8 As If By Magic La Roux La Roux
9 Growing Pains La Roux La Roux
10 Quintessence Mastodon Crack The Skye
11 Crack The Skye Mastodon Crack The Skye
12 Party In the U.S.A. Miley Cyrus Party In the U.S.A. - Single
13 Ultraviolet (Light My Way) U2 2009-08-20 - Sheffield, England - Don Valley Stadium
14 Fascination La Roux La Roux
15 Reflections Are Protection La Roux La Roux
16 Remedy Little Boots Hands
17 Oblivion Mastodon Crack The Skye
18 Ghost Of Karelia Mastodon Crack The Skye
19 The Last Baron Mastodon Crack The Skye
20 Walkin Blue Sonic Youth The Eternal
21 Alice SunnO))) Monoliths & Dimensions
22 Armour Love La Roux La Roux
23 New In Town Little Boots Hands
24 Earthquake Little Boots Hands
25 Click Little Boots Hands
26 Divinations Mastodon Crack The Skye
27 The Czar: Usurper/Escape/Martyr/Spiral Mastodon Crack The Skye
28 Leaky Lifeboat (For Gregory Corso) Sonic Youth The Eternal
29 Poison Arrow Sonic Youth The Eternal
30 Malibu Gas Station Sonic Youth The Eternal
31 Aghartha SunnO))) Monoliths & Dimensions
32 Big Church SunnO))) Monoliths & Dimensions
33 Hunting & Gathering (Cydonia) SunnO))) Monoliths & Dimensions

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

Who is the striker who washes his hands as he walks away?

New song by Paul Weller "7 + 3 Is The Striker's Name" featuring Kevin Shields. So who is the striker who washes his hands as he walks away? Francis Lee perhaps?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Maskers

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Girls / Tamaryn / Dominant Legs @ Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco, 21 Nov 2009

The Bottom Of The Hill, San Francisco

I saw one song by Dominant Legs which is new Girls' guitarist Ryan Lynch's band. This was fun in a REM plus girly harmonies way.

I liked Tamaryn. The main sound comes from the John McGeoch style guitar of Rex John Shelverton, coupled with a driving bass. The focus of attention is on singer Tamaryn Brown. She is serious and passionate, brave and likable. She emotes, and dances, and throws a few shapes. Their fast songs are best, where the drummer starts to pound like Budgie. There's something not quite right about their sound, the singing is hard to hear at times because too much of the rest of the band are trying to play in the same tonal spaces. But overall this was rather good.

Both Tamaryn and Girls setup their own equipment. The main act didn't have a dramatic start as the guitar tuners slowly morphed into guitar players. Girls are an up and coming band from San Francisco. When they play at home they add to their lineup Miles, a percussionist, who is a bit of a Bez (without the dancing). The core of the band is singer/guitarist Christopher Owens. His songs seem to be to be about catching a mood, or a fleeting instance of happiness. The songs often end in a shimmery bit of improvisation as we try to keep the happy feeling from fading away.

It was a weird crowd at the Bottom of the Hill. Although it was a 21 and over gig there was a whiff of immaturity about. There was a lot of pushing near the front and eventually a small fight broke out. After the handbags had been put away I found the lost glasses of one of the combatants and was duly hugged. Then some people were shouting at the band, stupid things like "you rock". I saw pain and disgust pass across Christopher's face. The band seemed rattled. Can such a sensitive and subtle band survive in the world of rock? I hope that the inevitable transition to larger venues will actually help them. I am sure they will be successful as they are a bit special.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

4 Superstars

There's also an interesting version by Bette Midler which cannot be embedded here. For details on the song see wikipedia.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mitsuko Uchida

Mitsuko Uchida at the RFH in 1991, photographed by Clive Barda

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I don't want to like it, but I cannot help myself, I like Tusk. I can take or leave those other Fleetwood Mac albums but I like this one. I suppose Tusk is the In Utero of the soft rock world as it is the bolshy followup to a massive success.

Making a scythe for the grim reaper for halloween

This is a summary. For the complete instructions go to Making a Scythe for Halloween at Flickr.





Scythe and Reaper

Billie Holiday with Dog

Friday, October 23, 2009

Where do you store WWII ships in case you need them?

View Larger Map

After the end of World War II, the U.S. Maritime Commission anchored thousands of cargo ships, tankers and battleships at sites around the United States where they could be preserved until needed for further military or civilian operations. Above you can see where they have parked some of the fleet in Suisun Bay for the last 50 years. Finally they are going to scrap some of the most polluting ships.

Flowered Up

Liam Maher, the frontman of Flowered Up, has died. Flowered Up seemed to appear out of nowhere, hyped onto the cover of the NME in 1990. OK, they weren't actually the best band in the world. But this song (Weekender) and its accompanying video short film capture something of the time. It's a pity they never made a longer version of this, it could have been a Tommy for the baggy generation.

If viewing on facebook you have to click on View Original Post (below) to see the videos.

BNP protest on front page of TheTimes

Monday, October 19, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

How to build a Cathedral, part 14

It has been more than a year since I took any photos of Christ the Light Cathedral. I was lucky that while I was at work in Oakland Walt pointed out to me that the new organ was finally being delivered. I rushed out and was lucky to be able to see it arrive:

Installing the organ at Christ the Light Cathedral, Oakland, California

There was applause from the watchers as the organ was displayed.

Installing the organ at Christ the Light Cathedral, Oakland, California

Inside the cathedral scaffolding has been built to the platforms where the organ pipes will be installed:

Installing the organ at Christ the Light Cathedral, Oakland, California

The body of the cathedral is filled with the many organ pipes waiting to be installed. The wood is similar to the fir used for the main wooden structures of the cathedral.

Installing the organ at Christ the Light Cathedral, Oakland, California

There are many, many mysterious pieces of wood. It will take four months to put it all together.

Installing the organ at Christ the Light Cathedral, Oakland, California

The guts of the organ were slid to this side room:

Installing the organ at Christ the Light Cathedral, Oakland, California

Already in the side room was this cover which I am guessing fits over the top of the main box.

Installing the organ at Christ the Light Cathedral, Oakland, California

For more details on the new organ see this article.

Friday, October 09, 2009

The Horrors @ The Independent, San Francisco, 3-October-2009

Horrors at The Independent

If it is true that talent imitates, genius steals, then The Horrors are pretty clever. The good thing about them is that they have good taste in who they copy: Joy Division, Stone Roses, My Bloody Valentine. I liked their latest CD and was hoping that their quality ingredients would be blended more smoothly when played live.

I was impressed to see that they have spent a chunk of their record company money on new clothes. I particularly liked the guitarist's jacket which you can see above, though I was not convinced by the bassist's attempt to introduce the double breasted jacket into rock.

OK, so they have OK songs, a tasty if unoriginal sound and they look great. How was the concert? Alas I was unconvinced. The vocals are hard to hear, the guitar seems aimless. it just did not blend for me. For another view I refer you to Hard Rock Chick.

Age of Chance: Kisspower


Age of Chance were a late 80's band. They did several things right:

  • they did a fantastic cover version of Prince's Kiss
The Guardian had a nice article about them yesterday. It mentioned a remix of Kiss called Kisspower which was never officially released as it contained samples of Bruce Springsteen and Prince. If you want this you can go here to download an mp3: click on the little down arrow in the soundcloud control.