Recommendations - NOVEMBER 2003


This is here for a couple of reasons. I currently live in Essex. The carboot fairs in these parts are aggressive, in fact I got called a "four eyed c**t" the other day cos I tried to look in a box of records that this other bloke hadn't looked in yet. In the few years I've lived here I've found about one great record a year from the many boot fairs I visit. However I have noticed in Essex there is a rich seam of old twelves, like soul boy kind of stuff from the early eighties. This Gainsbourg disco monster is a classic in point even though it's from the late seventies. A weird Phillips 12 inch, produced by Hawkshaw with Serge nearly muttering obscenities over the top. Interestingly enough I think it's a classic "Hawk" Boosey track he's just reworked. Anyway, expect more heavy and possibly camp Maxi Singles over the next few months. I think they're funny and girls love a bit of it.


This has to be a first for Ray, making it to the Trunk pages. This is a classic in my learned opinion. It looks shit and that's why you can still find it for peanuts all over the place. It has this faded flapper on the front cover, so it looks like a 30s kind of LP, which it isn't. I bought it because the last track is Ray's version of "Charlotte's Web", which believe me is all haunting and weird and wonderful. I bloody love it and I really don't know why. The LP also includes a most entertaining version of Duelling Banjos, but it's called Duelling Voices for nearly obvious reasons. And there's a version of peaceful on their which I've always been a sucker for. Of this LP I shall say no more.


Yes, yawn, boring heard it blah blah. Well for those of you as yet untouched by The Flower sisters classic psychey weird LP, it really is essential. It's probably on just about every Japanese website going and just about every sunshine pop site too. And on lots of playlists. But now is the Winter, and this is a Winter LP. Perfect for dark cold evenings this magical and legendary little LP is now far easier to find than it ever was before thanks to our lovely internet system. I mean before you'd see it on a list for like £200 or $200, but now divide that by four and we're all laughing like the children do on track four side two. This LP was also produced by Gary McFarland, who should have never died when he did before I got round to calling him up about his long lost score for a weird horror film.


So there I was, having another night in on my own, when the dog rang. "Hi Jonny, it's Joel, I'm at this blokes house looking at his easy listening". Joel then proceeded to go through these boxes on the phone, most of which were, well, shit. However, when he came to this one, he couldn't read the artists name. Almost like a predictive text phone, I worked it out based on his description of the bird on the front and promptly bagged said LP. As a covering foil I bought about 10 other LPs from the same batch. This LJIV is classic British jazz with a modal groovy sound from the late 60s. I mean what else is there in life. To elaborate, this is the London Jazz Four, playing things like "it was a lover and his lass" but with strange time signatures and a lot of double bass and some groovy flute work to boot. It's surprisingly laid back and very hard to find but take note of the woman with badges on the front cover - not easy to forget. It's a classic "looks like shit but is actually incredible" record. The bloke sold it to Joel for a couple of quid - he's a big dealer who knows everything you see and this was the shit box. Joel, you are my hero.


This is not a shameless plug for the near legendary LP, it's just that I started listening to it again and it still makes me laugh. I am currently in the throws of organising a live Fan Male show with a view of taking it to the Edinburgh Fringe - if you have any suggestions ( like 'Don't do it' or 'great idea I'll help') please let me know. Oh, and the LP is still getting written about in high fashion magazines now, which is nice.


I really have no clue as to what is going on here. It's like all primal and organic, lots of funny noises 'n' that. Big choirs, solo voices, monologues of scientific music theory - well that's what it sounds like. I really don't know if I like it or not, but I have been playing it for some while so it may well have something. One thing is for sure, there is no way this LP was filed under "Popular". However it is Junior Youth Orchestra stuff which tallies with a certain sound I have been chasing for some while. I think it comes from Canada. It also comes with the complete score on microfiche, at least I think that's how you spell it - you know those light box research tools in libraries and cop shows.


How weird, a man called Chappell making records for De Wolfe. Great bonkers library ten inch with a lovely avant garde splodgy cover. Quirky fun jazz sort of music, a bit off the wall, but the big reason for having this little baby is "The Gonk", track one side one which is the mad hooky jazz big band track that Romero plays all the time in "Dawn of The Dead". A dream of mine is to get them to play the track somewhere like Bluewater - a huge shopping mall - so I can laugh at all the Zombies shopping for rubbish because it's what they are supposed to buy. This has to be one of the oddest and catchiest bit's of jazz ever written, and every time I play it loud somewhere, people come up and ask what it is - that's a good sign. I currently play it in the morning to my new weight lifting routine. Yeah right.


So there I was (again), stuck trying to get my set together to play before the Animal Collective gig. All I was told was 'folky and weird' please. But I mean this is a gig, don't want to send them all to sleep before the band plays. So thumbing through a long lost part of my records, I stumbled upon this classic Shawn thing. I mean this is extremely weird. It's on A&M like many of the Shawn classics, and this has it all. Shawn's absurd lyrics. Shawn's bonkers arrangements. Shawn's crazed guitar work. Shawn's knack of writing something that makes no sense but all sense at the same time. I cannot recommend this mad LP any more. Go on, treat yourself, get bitten by the Shawn bug. His LPs are still cheap. He is great. He is a fireman now in America, and we got him over a few years ago. His new music is shit, but this is remarkable. In fact a sexy bird came up to me at said Animal gig and asked what it was. She even look at the cover for ages so it was definitely the LP she was interested in.


More terribly obscure jazz library, this one from Italy. Great geometric style cover, funning jazz ideas inside. Includes a great tune called "Depressione", which is nothing like the other tracks I have called "Depressione". Basically it's not depressing. The bloke who composes and plays this stuff is called Farlocco and I bet that's not his real name at all.


A long last the surfing soundtrack stupid thing I was into is over, because I've found the last one I wanted. For now anyway. This is little old Norwegian Sven, doing his sweet Australian bluesy jazz thing for an early (65) Australian surf movie. And it's really sweet and innocent, with some lovely chord changes and some weird scary bits thrown in for good measure. The hairy John Sangster is also on board for the trip, and I really like him.


Self titled LP form a woman I know zip all about apart from she made this one LP and it's the first LP on the CTI label. It goes against everything about CTI - I mean it's not a jazz LP, it's more of a folky think, with a jazz backing. I think it was a flop for Mr Creed Taylor and he decided to stick to what he knew after it. But it is quite beautiful and she has an almost folky voice which does grow on you very quickly. This is a pain in the arse to track down. Looking at the cover, it's Kathy in intense close up, and with all things like this you never know whether she is just amazingly beautiful or if this is just a way of possibly disguising the fact she is boss eyed or something like that. Bloody good record though.


Now I really don't see the point of this Parrish bloke's remixes of old disco classic. I mean they are like £15 quid each - ugly by name and ugly by nature. Bollocks but good luck to him because he obviously is doing something right. However, I believe the man has the midas touch when he does his Detroit techno stuff. Is it out of tune? Is it out of time? Has it been recorded all wrong? These question you may well ask yourself on the 23rd time you listen to this. A great modern record. He's supposed to be very good live, although I've heard it sounds like the decks have broken because it's all really slow. That's what I've heard anyway. He's just done this other thing called "Natural Aspirations" which really is nuts.


Went and saw the Michael Garrick Big Band at the tiny Vortex jazz bar the other night. He was very excited to be playing big band jazz to a tiny audience and when I went to speak with him I couldn't decide whether he was very excited to be there or really mad. Anyway, got home, listened to even more Garrick and this LP is still hanging around. I write this a few days before the 11th of the 11th and there is a sad, blissful track on the LP called Blue Poppies which sums up tragedy, death, trenches and more very well. I'd call it an elegy and I love it. Killer cover my Mick Rock too.

12345-678910-1112 - POINTER SISTERS

Super duper, and at long last the long lost and unreleased pinball countdown is released for all the old kids. A great bit of weird TV soundbite history is now in the shops thanks to Ninja Tune. Incidentally this is not a plug for the label Ninja Tune, however they do have a very good radio show called Solid Steel which is now on Resonance after it got thrown of GLR. By the way, if you get this record, you also get the rare disco block party animal that is the "C is for Cookie" track by the Cookie Monster.


I still can't work out how to say the name of this, but I really love the tragedy in the sound. All strings and simple keyboards. This was one of those record punts that works out for you (me in this case) in the end. One day I might do a page of records you shouldn't buy and shouldn't listen to either. Like an expensive mistakes page. Any suggestions let me know...


Looks like a swinging sex holiday student film to me. An album of weird german covers of classic hits like "Secret Agent Man" and slap bang in the middle is this fat drum fuzz guitar oddity called "Dabada" which really is mental. Rarer than an honest member of parliament.


Just before the legendary Sunday night camp fest that was the Black a White Minstrel show, they had this on the BBC. I suppose you could call it the all white minstrel show. Same cheesy arrangements, same obvious vocal gymnastics, same cast without the makeup but wait, what's this, a killer version of "16 Tons"!! And wait again...a killer version of "There was an old woman who swallowed a fly" - I'm converted. No honestly, I think this shit LP is most excellent and you will genuinely find it for nothing. Quite sample friendly too.


I have been forcing my own recordings on myself with a view to an LP release. Hey Mr House, if you're reading this I might get you to compile it for me, only because you said you quite liked some of the tracks. You only have yourself to blame. If anyone out there has a good LP title they can suggest, now is your chance...don't suggest anything rude or with the word 'Cock' in it cos I've already thought of all those.


Buy the CD "Cool Yule" this Xmas, my mate Martin has made it and it features some of the weird easy shit that has been on this site. Give it to granny with love...