Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Alone With Everybody

I was on my way to work this morning, just past Rugeley and it appeared that hell froze over, I know, its weird, and there was snowballs, and above me, a pig flying, and finally I found out that our king was none other than Pease Pudding and his reign was in full swing.

That all said, todays commute CD was one that I was given by my brother in law and up to this point had never been played, it was likely to remain that way into the far future, and it has to be said I was dithering as to if I should break my rules and skip it. I didn’t and so todays CD was Alone With Everybody by Richard Ashcroft. I must stress now I am not a fan of The Verve, not their early, mid, late or reformation stuff, they are the antithesis of what I look for in music and I make no apologies that if you like them, you have given up on music, seriously, you probably like Weller as well and find Oasis the ultimate band, in that case really we have little in common and you should de-friend me rather sharpish.

That all said, remove the singles form this Ashcroft album and you know, it aint half bad, its country rock in its barest form, outside of all the posturing and him going mad with the effects, it really is well written and the Dead, CSNY and The Byrds feature heavily, Gram Parsons WAS part of his soundtrack that year. Which works for me and was a pleasant surprise, prior to listening I was definitely going to put Shit! And 0 out of 10. How wrong can you be. Enjoyable. 6 out of 10

Monday, 30 March 2009

I WAs The King, I Really Was The King

Animals that Swim today and their album, I was the King, I really was the king. Just to remind you, I am going through all of my CD albums in the order that they are on the shelf, they are alphabeticised, but loosely, so all the A’s are together but not massively so. I play one CD for the entirety of my commute, there and back, regardless of its quality.
So Animals That Swim. We bought an EP of theirs prior to getting this album, Pink Carnations and it is potentially one of my favourite ever EP’s, released around the time Pulp and My Life Story’s very British sound was reasonably popular, Animals that swim could only do good right? Well they did get a bit of press from the NME and their like but they didn’t set the world on fire. I was the king, I really was the king was the album that followed up that ep, and the themes run a similar path, without sounding too Jilly Gouldon, I get council estates and student living, songs of faded glamour, like Bet Lynch on her second return to the street. I possibly would never have dug this album out again, I have a lot of CD’s and it is easy to over look particular ones and this is one. I really enjoyed hearing it again, the first time in over 5 years I will wager and think it is definitely one of the better A’s. It also prompted me to make a CD of the best A tracks for Lisa. 7 out of 10.

Saturday, 28 March 2009


The Amps album Pacer today, I must admit I as looking forward to this one, it’s a great album, it really is, it is possibly my second favourite Breeders album after Last Splash (what can I say I love pop) The Amps were a Breeders side project, effectively due to the rotating line up, The Amps were The Breeders, The Breeders play Amps songs and one of the tracks on Pacer was a Breeders tune. Anyhow, if you are really interested in Breeders history Wikipedia exists.
Pacer then, Pacer is potentially the best A album, I really have enjoyed listening to it a lot today and every time it restarts I look forward to it, I know of only 2 more A albums which I think will be as good, but for today on the trip between Stafford and Telford it was the perfect accompaniment. Full on idle, Tipp City, Bragging Party stand out, but it keeps good company very good company. 9 out of 10.

Friday, 27 March 2009


The back roads of Staffordshire were this morning subjected to Alien Ant Farms TruAnt. The follow up to the hit spawning Anthology. I think as guilty pleasures go Alien Ant Farm are up there with Garth Brooks. Yes its easy to write them off as nu-metal chancers that got lucky with a cover and rode the back of that until the record buying public got bored, the thing is they really have some very good songs and none more so than off the two mid career albums, anthology and truant. Today was Truant and at some point in the future I have the conundrum as to if I play both copies of anthology that reside in Chez Donohoe.
Truant then, not choc full of hits but enough songs for me to get to the end and hope that there is a bit more road to hear it all again, more subdued than its predecessor and one that perhaps might see them more than a little jaded with the business, well it hints at it before exploring it more on the follow up. I do really like this album though and am looking forward to the journey home, yes it isn’t goats head soup, or in the aeroplane over the sea, but it doesn’t make it less worthy. 7 out of 10.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Anywhere But Here

This mornings ridiculously early soundtrack to my new route I may add, was Anywhere but here by The Ataris. Another chunk of pop punk and the weakest of their early to mid career albums in my opinion. Kris Roe is too heavily influenced by Green Day and to a lesser extent NOFX on this album. Not to way it isn’t quite wonderful but it does get a little repetitive after 20 tracks. I have to say it was good though and one that I recall I only played once or twice, its no So long Astoria but of the genre it’s a definite 6 out of 10.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Blue Skies, Broken Hearts...Next 12 Exits

Todays sojourn through my CD’s is the start of what I think will be three days of The Ataris, todays is Blue Skies, Broken Hearts...Next 12 Exits. This album contains my favourite Ataris song in San Dimas High School Football Rules. A song that initially got me into The Ataris and a song I still love today. The album was fantastic to listen to and a great pick me up after the last few mediocre albums. Extremely enjoyable and will potentially be the album of the week for me, depending on if so Long Astoria is tomorrow or not.
Pop punk at its best I think, as good as Green Day or Blink 182 at their very best and after playing 2 whole times each journey still enjoyable each run through. Marvellous. 8 out of 10.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

The Apples In Stereo Live at The Black Cat Washington DC 2000

I don’t own many bootlegs, I think really they are a souvenir of a concert but if you were not there it's basically a ropey recording of a band. That leads me nicely to todays commute CD, The Apples In Stereo at The Black Cat Washington in 2000. I wasn’t at this gig and the sound is ropey. The songs are pretty good though, I did like The Apples In Stereo at one point, they were borderline Dawsons Creak/OC but I forgave them for that as they did display the odd flash of genius, it’s difficult to tell on this recording as it isn’t the greatest, and then if you put that on the speakers of a ford car its even less great. To be honest though after The Avalanches yesterday most things sound good.

So its not bad, if I had the studio recordings of the tracks on the live set it could be pretty excellent, but as it’s a bootleg with ropey sound of a gig I wasn’t at, it’s a straight down the middle 5 out of 10.

Monday, 23 March 2009

God Loves You

God is love, apparently. You always hear this, and people tell you. Well, I've never felt God's love. It certainly never promoted itself through the dirge like hymns we were forced to sing in school assembly (if they'd managed to lure The Staple Singers to a Shropshire school in the mid 80's this might have worked, or possibly a country gospel outfit in matching cowboy shirts). I noticed in the U.S. that lots of cars have little fish shaped 'Jesus' stickers on their boot. I'm not sure why it is fish shaped, possibly in tribute to the time he turned fillet-o-fish sandwiches into enough wine for a decent get-together. Possibly the closest I've ever had to a religious experience was a goal by Ray 'Romford Pele' Parlour against Valencia a few years ago. I think it's possible that God is over-rated, just as Romford Ray was under-rated.

Anyway, here's a biblical three to be going on with. If there's any love I hope you feel it.

'Jesus Was a Capricorn' by the cooler than cool Kris Kristofferson

The biblical sounding Nazareth were actually from Scotland, and took their name from a lyric from The Band song 'The Weight' ("pulled into Nazareth, was feling 'bout half past dead"). This clip is notable for the complete disinterest of the audience, as the band mime their fantastic version of Joni Mitchell's This Flight Tonight, along with the gravity defying topiary of lead singer Dan McCafferty's hair.

'This Flight Tonight' by Nazareth

Make sense of this if you will, particularly the spoken introducion by Son House, here doing the much covered (Blues Brothers, White Stripes) John the Revelator, which is my second posting of this song, as I just can't stay away from it.

The Avalanches

Lisa, my wife wouldn’t let me play a CD for our travelling about this weekend, well she did, it was Bossanova by Pixies, but it was on an ipod and it wasn’t part of my loosely alphabetical trawl through my CD’s. Today it resumed though and it was the self titled album by New Zealand dance act, The Avalanches. I have to say when I first heard this album I liked it very much, in a similar vein to Lemon Jelly and Cowcube, the difference being I know when I get to those albums they will still be a joy to listen to. The Avalanches wasn’t. Every track is a 3 second loop repeated over an over, they aren’t songs they are breaks, good breaks but breaks none the less, and this really long album ( I was stuck between Jct 11 and 8 for 40 minutes and the album only finished as I pulled into work) but apart from maybe 1 or 2 tracks, you could listen to any 5 seconds within a song and it would sound the same as any other 5 seconds within the same song. They are using hip hop beats but not breaking it up with any rapping, it was a really tedious CD to listen to, Frontier Psychiatrist and Since I met you are pretty early on and EVERY other track is practically a 3 second loop. I really wished that I had skipped this album but that is breaking the rules. Appalling. 1 out of 10. It should be less as the album version is not the version of since I met you that I love.

Friday, 20 March 2009

The Virgin Suicides

A lot of EP’s and singles to flick by this morning, notably, The Amps, Ash, American Music Club, and some Air, before settling on Air’s soundtrack to the film The Virgin suicides. The film is a favourite, I loved the film and so did my wife, who I bought this soundtrack for some years ago. She owns a lot of Air and it’s a band I can and do listen to a reasonable amount, usually in the bath when I have had a day dealing with idiots. It’s a toss up between The Virgin Suicides and Moon Safari as to which is my favourite, Moon Safari is not so far away but for now lets say TVS, and it’s a great soundtrack, stunning in fact, up there with Selma Songs. Really very enjoyable and the perfect sound to block out the hum of the M6. So far the best that the A’s have had to offer, I am conscious though of Archive, The Amps and another Ant album coming up, but for now, the best. 8 out of 10.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Auf De Mer

Auf De Mer by former Hole/Smashing Pumpkins bassist, Melissa Auf De Mer. This one is a copy that a good friend took the time to make for me, so any negative comment would seem rather ungrateful. It is shit though, not bad, or mediocre, it is easily the shittest CD I have listened to whilst navigating the A’s, and at the end of all this when I play the last track of the second Zumpano CD I may look back and say , Auf De Mer, that WAS the shittest! Tunes it is bereft of them, clichés its chock full of them, its autotuned beyond belief, its fucking appalling and that’s being polite. I quite liked one single when it was released but this album, which is ridiculously long and has an oh so hilarious hidden “track”, this album is just not good. 2 out of 10 and that’s being polite as a good friend did it for me, and due to its length only plays once per journey.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Bang Bang Rock and Roll

I skipped a number of EP’s this morning, two by the All New Adventures of Us and two by Ash and that bought me squarely to Bang bang Rock and roll. Art Brut was todays soundtrack and as good as it was I still have this ridiculous dislike of Eddy Argos. That’s neither here nor there. I first listened to Art Brut as a result of the Emily Kane song and video and then saw them at Reading festival, they were excellent and the subsequent album was equally excellent. Then they decided to rarely play anywhere in the UK so I went off them a bit, well a lot. The album then, quite spikey listening back to it, and I recall just how much my wife played this album, an album of penile dysfunction, first loves, the music business and planned moves to LA. I guess it is punk rock in its own way, but by the end of the second rotation, (Its short) his voice was getting on my wick somewhat. 5 out of 10 for the voice 7 out of 10 for the songs.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Sad To See It's Morning

Spinning on the Donohoe in car CD player was the second offering so far from Ant, a compilation called Sad to See it’s Morning. Its an album of B-sides, demos and rarities, and to be honest it is perhaps the Ant album I have played the least, not as a reflection of its quality but maybe because it was a compilation. That’s neither here not there though as the whole point of me going through my CD’s in this fashion was to address the fact that I maybe haven’t listened to some albums as much as I should have, this album is a perfect example. Its not all great, it is all good though and there are few tracks that just blew me away, as the CD case is in the car and I am not very good with titles you will never know which ones, if you do own the album, and you should, it’s the one with the female vocal on it, track 2, Suzanne Rhatigan at a guess, that track in particular was just lovely. Of course it shouldn’t have been Ant today, it should have been The Ataris, but my CD player would not play that album so I pulled over and dashed back in the house for a different album. So, Sad to see its Morning, enjoyable, 6 out of 10.

Monday, 16 March 2009

From Here To Infirmary

This mornings journey through the Donohoe CD’s is another Alkaline Trio Cd, From Here to Infirmary and if Fridays was a disappointment this certainly wasn’t. They actually sound like they mean it on this CD and it reminded me why I loved them in the first place, Stupid Kid and Private Eye being the stand out tracks and a CD that when it got to the end I was glad that it started again, really enjoyable. 8 out of 10.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Keith West to The Wedding Present

Recently Kev did his musical history, my own is rather warty when it comes to warts and all, I like to think that the route taken was one that made me the person I am today, one that appreciates the niceties of most genres.
I was born in 1970, my first musical memory was a song that was being played but had been released in 1967, so I assume that Jimmy Saville or Ed Stewart was playing it for some reason, it was Excerpt from a Teenage Opera by Keith West, potentially the single saddest song ever recorded, or possibly not, but rather sad in its tone. I remember hearing it in the kitchen of our Donnington home.

The first song that I really recall and played time after time after time was one of my parents 7 inches, and it was the Johnny Cash schmaltz fest that is A thing called love, I absolutely loved this song and played it over and over and over, not from his glory days and bereft of god or murder, and the production on the original has thse dreadful female backing singers that seemed to be on a lot of his Colombia released albums, that single and the repeated plays of it was the start of a love affair with Johnny Cash that goes on today.

1976 and punk rock was just starting and the musical world was changing, for me though it wasn’t, Brotherhood of man had won Eurovision and I liked that, Jimmy Saville liked it too and unless Jimmy played it, it didn’t mean shit. I worked at Butlins up until the mid nineties and managed to watch Brotherhood of man quite a number of times, it was rather sad as in 30 years they hadn’t appeared to age, they seemed quite old on the Eurovision footage.

1980 was the year music changed for me, I was ten and had pocket money burning a hole in my pocket, older brother and sister influencing me more and more, and it was the year I bought my first single, or singles to be precise, bought from a Wallpaper shop in Donnington Telford, that had a sideline in selling records, in the back of course, behind the anaglypta. I bought 2 singles that day and the pop foundations were well and truly enforced, but pop of the most magnificent type. Blondie’s The tide is high and Abba’s Super Trooper, the former was just a record that I liked but the latter was the first tentative steps with the first band that I ever got into. For the next two years Abba would be a flirtation.

This may have of course sent out signals to my parents, after all it wasn’t Deep Purple or ACDC or some other manly band, it was Abba, I was going to allay any fears they may have had and asked my dad for a music album which I played a lot over 1981 and 1982 and that was You Can’t Stop the Music by The Village People. Ahem

1984 and 13 years old was the year that I started to love music and it started to mean more to me than just background fluff, In 1983 there was talk about a band that had made this record, but radio wasn’t playing it, but it was on 160 at the moment. I duly called dial a disc and pre digital telecommunications were not kind to it, but I liked what I heard. Frankie Goes to Hollywood were without doubt the first band that I truly truly loved to the point of buying every release on every format, and postering my room to an inch of its life with pictures of the band. I absolutely adored the band and for me realistically, 1984 was year one for music.

Frankie and me probably lasted 2 years, then one night I decided to listen to radio late at night, I hadn’t before, well I had but it tended to be Lee Vynon on Signal FM, now it may have been Peel, it may have been Gambacini, but someone was playing Bonzo Goes to Bitburg, the current single by The Ramones, and oh my, I had never heard anything like that at all ever, The Ramones were a life changing thing, and this is absolutely true, I ripped down all of my FGTH posters and gave away all their records the next day, I needed to get that Ramones single and investigate just how stunning they sounded. Over the next 3 years intensely and again recently, The Ramones just became my gods, they were the first band I ever saw, I wore their t-shirts, I made pilgrimages to Lndon to track down the gaps in my record collection. I loved that band.

I knew what I wanted from music from that moment, and it would not really change for quite a number of years, I liked guitars and that was the case when Alex Poulson introduced me in 1987 to The Wedding Present, Alex introduced me to a lot of music, notably Husker Du and The Clash, but his main contribution to my life was playing me George Best by The Wedding Present, a band that kickstarted my gigging years and probably had a retirement home built due to the ridiculous amount of money spent by me on them. I travelled the length and breadth of Britain watching them, payed stupid sums for a mispressed singles and the like and really should have known better.

So this brings us neatly up to 1987, 84-87 were the 80’s for me, and after 87 it gets a little crowded so my musical history can take a break until soon when I regale you with Peter: The Dance Years.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Good Mourning

This mornings soundtrack to drive into work in the trek through my loosely alphabeticised CD’s was Good Mourning by The Alkaline Trio, a fairly enjoyable pop punk offering from a band that are likely to crop up a lot over the next week or two as I have a few albums by them. I do quite like the band a few years ago I really liked them but what struck me about this album and I think it is their thing, but what struck me was the cartoon fascination with murder and horror, other bands do it, notably in our house The Horrorpops and The Cramps, but it seems relistening to The Alkaline Trio, it becomes their schtick and formulaic. All in all a good album though and nice to relisten. 6 out of 10.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

A Long Way to Blow a Kiss

This mornings alphabetical CD was A Long Way to Blow a Kiss by Ant, if I was doing EP’s as well yesterday would have been him as well, but as I am not, just today. Ant used to be the drummer in Hefner and is probably the only member of the band I still listen to. This album, I can’t recall how old it is but I know I liked it a lot at the time and that hasn’t changed, really enjoyable, it alludes I think to the long distance relationship that Ant was having with his then girlfriend, its all rather sweet if not extremely personal. 8 out of 10

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

I am going through my CD albums and playing one a day in the car. Alphabetically, although that hasn’t been the case for Monday (Innervisions by Stevie Wonder) and Tuesday (More than this, The very best of Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music) but I started properly today, but I stress that although my CD’s are alphabeticised, its very loose, so todays may be the first of the A’s but others that come will almost certainly be before it alphabetically. Also no CD singles or EP’s as they are too short and I will be back to the start before I have hit the motorway. It gives me an opportunity to relisten to albums or in some cases listen to for the first time. Todays was The Arctic Monkeys debut, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not. An album I really liked on its release but one that I haven’t played possibly in 12 months, oddly I played some Arctic Monkeys on Friday night as well, maybe I am liking them again. Anyway, really liked the album, a nice soundtrack to the motorway and the resultant search around Birmingham for a cashpoint that worked. 7 out of 10.