Wednesday 26 January 2022

Never Ending Mixtape part 68

It's a BUMPER edition of the Never Ending Mixtape as a whopping 72 songs are added. 

It's an eclectic, eccentric and electric selection. From Love Affair to Money Mark, Curtis Mayfield to Little Boots, The Box Tops to Blake Babies, Louis Armstrong to Gabriel, David Holmes to Eugene Kelly, Neil Young to Soulwax .... and lots, lots more. Dig in and enjoy.

Search for Everything Flows Never Ending Mixtape on Spotify or CLICK HERE

Blow Up - James Taylor Quarter

It Ain't Long Enough - Judith Clay

Brain Damage - Blake Babies

Considering A Move To Memphis - The Colorblind James Experience

What You Think? - Callum Easter

The Best - Carla J Easton, AMUNDA, Malka

The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat) - The Doors

Wiggle Wiggle - Tommy James and The Shondells

Cry Like A Baby - The Box Tops

Ooh La La - The Faces

We Have All The Time In The World - Louis Armstrong

I'm Not Sayin' - Nico

Theme from The Monkees - The Monkees

Can You Dig It - The Monkees

When Love Comes Knockin' - The Monkees

Blame - Gabriel

Loyalty - Gabriel

I Wanna Be Free - The Monkees

Do You Want To Know A Secret? - The Beatles

There's A Place - The Beatles

You Really Got A Hold On Me - The Beatles

Every Little Thing - The Beatles

Blessed and Misplaced - Eugene Kelly

1Thing - Amerie

The Perfect Life - Moby and Wayne Coyne

Can You Get To That - Funkadelic

Keep on Keepin' on - Curtis Mayfield

Keep On Trippin' - Curtis Mayfield

Back To The World - Curtis Mayfield

Faith and Healing - Ian McCulloch

Candleland - Ian McCulloch

Laugh At Me - Sonny Bono

45.33 - LCD Soundsystem

Incident - Joris Voorn

If Only I Were A Child Again - Curtis Mayfield

45.33 (Prince Language Remix) - LCD Soundsystem

Get A Life - Rae and Christian featuring Bobby Womack

Christmas Eve - Gorkys Zyngotic Mynci

Save The Last Kiss For Me - Jean Knight

Think It Over - Jean Knight

NY Excuse - Soulwax

Mythological Beauty - Big Thief

I Found A Reason - Cat Power

Down By The River - Neil Young

Driftin' Back - Neil Young

La prima estate - Erland Oye

Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels) - Arcade Fire

Rat Trap - The Boomtown Rats

Always The Sun - The Stranglers

Heavy Drug - UNKLE

Love Reign Over Me - David Holmes

Black Steel - Tricky

6 Underground - Sneaker Pimps

Twenty Five Miles - Edwin Starr

Baby Don't You Do It - Marvin Gaye

Keep on Truckin' - Eddie Kendricks

Girl - Beck

Amen Brother - The Bamboos

Khala My Friend - Amanaz

You're A Song That I Can't Sing - Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons

Landline - Little Boots

Back In Your Life Again - Love Affair

You Ain't The Problem - Michael Kiwanuka

Cellaphane Car - The Stroppies

Nobody Speak - DJ Shadow

Stuck At The Airport - Money Mark

Tuesday 25 January 2022

Yard Act - The Overload

Every so often I invite a friend to write a guest blog. It's been a while. But at the weekend I asked my friend Simon to write a review of The Overload, the debut album by Yard Act.

I'd been trying to get tickets for their forthcoming show at Mono in March after falling for their song Fixer Upper. Mono is sold out. 

Simon posted about the album in a beautifully thoughtful and poetic manner, so I asked if he would be up for writing a blog. Simon was, but it might take a couple of weeks cause he was super busy. Fine, no rush, no worries.

And then Simon's stunning review arrived in my inbox as I was lying listening to the album last night. 

Perfect timing. Perfectly written.

I hope it's perfect timing for you too. Read on for Simon's review and details about Yard Act's recently announced winter 2022 tour when they'll be back in Glasgow at Saint Lukes. 

Guest blog by Simon Stuart

You'll be hearing a lot about Yard Act in 2022. You'll keep on reading about sprechgesang and sprechstimme, Pulp, The Streets and most of all The Fall, and, just like the ones you're reading here, those words may or may not be worthwhile. And when The Overload wins the awards that will inevitably rain down upon it, there will be so much more breathless prose - perhaps some backlash too, from the duller witted wing of the cultural commentariat - that some of you might already be switching off in anticipation. As the kind of cynical mid-forties iconoclast for whom 'yes but Mark E Smith was doing that in 1978' has become a watchword over the past four decades: I hear you. I really do.

But please listen, and listen well, because this record matters. If it's the hipster dish du jour, it's also so much more: a piece of work that arrives so fully formed that its scope, its ambition, its sheer bloody humanity might be easily missed. All the jagged, twitchy Fall-ings, the majestic abrasive PIL-aging, the wryly self-referential Cocker-ness: sure, these are four young men who know the past 40-plus years of left-field indie inside-out. (And I don't think it's a coincidence that the album shares a name with Talking Heads' most apocalyptic moment.)

But I don't think any of that matters, either. While the likes of me can pore over this as a perfectly postmodern example of what guitar music can be, it's also the first great post-Brexit record; the first I've heard that reckons with the sheer bloody absurdity of where we are right now by holding up a mirror and saying: this is it, folks, this is it ... but can you see that tiny flash of hope there too? Over the course of its 37-minutes, The Overload's initial fury abates yet then expands - reflected in a very subtle augmentation of the instrumentation - and while it would easily have been enough to end the record with the majestic Tall Poppies (we are, all of us, flawed and constrained, and here are the acts of life, death and songwriting itself laid brutally bare), Yard Act keep on driving on, the pissed perspective-talking of Pour Another paving the way for the deathless gasp of 100% Endurance, a song which is nothing more or less a desperate howl for kindness in a burning world; an exquisitely audacious concept that exposes the simplest, most beautiful truths. Everything that came before it leads to this moment, and this moment points to everything else, no matter how big or small.

I have no idea how Yard Act follow this record; what they do next. No matter. As they put it so perfectly themselves at the end: it's not like there's going to be nothing, is it?

Pour Another live version

Tall Poppies live on Later

Yard Act play a sold out show at Mono on 3rd March and have recently announced a show at Saint Lukes on 22nd November. Acts fast for tickets.

Saturday 22 January 2022

Anything Goes & Everything Flows DJ mix 8

Welcome to my 8th DJ mix blog and playlist. A series of 60-minute playlists/mixes trying to create the vibe I would get from entering The Variety / McChuills in Glasgow on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night, where DJ's would work their magic to get the crowd in the mood for moving on to a club, or in my case, often opting to just stay in the bar. 

Starting with the stunningly sublime 7.5 minute Hung Up On My Baby by Isaac Hayes, I'm amazed that I still pack 20-songs into this 60-minute mix! I love the journey you can take people on within just 60-minutes. 

The vast majority of the other songs in this mix are under 3-minute long, but look out for Hangin' Out by Betty Davis that is over 4-minutes and just develops into a real groove with euphoric vocals. Frankie Valli's Beggin' still gets dancefloors jumping, the power in The Flirtations Nothing But A Heartache never ceases to surprise me and hit me hard. Marlena Shaw and Ike & Tina show what you can do in only 2-minutes, the funk groove of Sport puts a smile on my face. And listed for the glorious horns on The Chi-Lites Are You My Woman that Jay-Z sampled decades later for Beyonce's Crazy In Love

I'm really pleased with this mix. Hope you enjoy it.

Search for Everything Flows DJ Mix 8 on Spotify or CLICK HERE.


Hung Up On My Baby (Extended Jam) - Isaac Hayes

Somebody, Somewhere, Help Me - Quincy Conserve

I Can't Believe (What You Say) -Ike & Tina Turner

House of the Rising Funk - Afrique

Sport - Lightnin' Rod

Searching for Soul Part 1 - Jake Wade & The Soul Searchers

Mighty Mighty (Spade & Whitey) - The Impressions

(For God's Sake) Give More Power To The People - The Chi-Lites

Instant Groove - King Curtis

Soul Time - Shirley Ellis

Soul Finger - The Bar-Keys

Twenty Five Miles - Edwin Starr

Beggin' - Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

I'm On My Way - Dean Parrish

Berts Apple Crumble - The Quik

Soul Drums - Bernard 'Pretty' Purdie

Liberation Conversation - Marlena Shaw

Hangin' Out - Betty Davis

Nothing But A Heartache - The Flirtations

Are You My Woman? (Tell Me So) - The Chi-Lites

Thursday 13 January 2022

Evan Dando 12-string on a beach

Following on from my last blog, I was checking Evan Dando's YouTube channel and found this gem!

Just a video of Evan Dando being Evan Dando. Playing his 12-string on a beach on a sunny winters day. Wooly hat, layered up, yellow shades - super cool. Playing super cool tunes. Everything I love about Evan - his taste in, and love of, music just shines through.

Evan plays;

You Tore Me Down - Flamin' Groovies

Eight Miles High - The Byrds

I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better - The Byrds

Start Again - Teenage Fanclub

CLICK HERE if you don't see the video below.

Tuesday 11 January 2022

Mrs Robinson

Cover version of the month #73 
The Lemonheads cover Simon & Garfunkel

Sometime back in 1992 I heard Mrs Robinson by The Lemonheads and also caught the video that was on heavy rotation on MTV. I bought the 7-inch single and subsequently bought the album it was on - It's A Shame About Ray. I'll be blogging on the album soon as it is receiving a deluxe reissue for its 30th anniversary.

Mrs Robinson wasn't originally on the album. The Lemonheads had recorded it (under duress from Atlantic Records) for the 25th anniversary of the film The Graduate, where the song by Simon & Garfunkel had featured back in 1967. The video for the single splices between shots of The Lemonheads on a boat on the canals of Amsterdam (?) and scenes from the film.

The Lemonheads scuzzy bubblegum garage pop version became a hit all over and Dando became an indie pinup, crossing over into the mainstream through his incredible good looks and hedonistic lifestyle. 

I absolutely loved (and still love) The Lemonheads version and the beautiful b-side Being Around, so clever, funny and melodic. 

The do, do, do, do, do, do intro is pure pop and after a burst of guitar the drums kick in and the band tear through the first verse. I love the garage psychedelia outro that goes on for 40-seconds.

Evan never played the song when he toured It's A Shame About Ray for the 20th anniversary, so it will be interesting to see if he does this time.

Simon & Garfunkel released Mrs Robinson as a single and on their Bookends album back in 1968. A 30-second introduction introduces us to the key guitar riff and vocal melody of the song, before bursting into the chorus. Paul & Art are in perfect harmony

One thing that surprised me when I listened to the song for the first time in a while was its length. I would never have guessed that Mrs Robinson was over 4-minutes long!

Simon's lyrics are so clever, introducing politics in the verse beginning Sitting on a sofa on a Sunday afternoon that leads to the lines;

Going to the candidates debate
Laugh about it, shout about it
When you've got to choose
Every way you look at this, you lose

That last line hits politics absolutely spot on - every way you look at this, you lose

I do think there is a touch of psychedelia in the way Simon & Garfunkel sing. Their voices are so beautiful and gentle, the playful intro, then the way they rise for the final verse. I love how the guitar riff is played upon for the outro, something The Lemonheads picked up on.

Check the stunning romp through the song by The Lemonheads on 90's cult classic show The Word and Simon & Garfunkel wowing Central Park.

Both versions have been added to my Cool Cover Versions playlist on Spotify, or search for Everything Flows Cool Cover Versions.

A list and links to all previous covers of the month blogs is below.

Previous covers of the month

13. Hurt

Wednesday 5 January 2022

10 from Hot Chip

I first stumbled across Hot Chip at the Benicassim Festival in 2005. My girlfriend (now wife) and I camped out for a week in the sun, spending days on the beach in the cool breeze by the sea, then partying long into the night. Taking in the likes of Oasis, Mylo, Underworld, The Lemonheads, Nick Cave, Basement Jaxx, The Cure and LCD Soundsystem. I think LCD Soundsystem came on stage at 2am! Hot Chip might have been in a tent after that!

Despite the excess of Benicassim I managed to remember their name and track them down. They had released their debut album Coming On Strong on the excellent Moshi Moshi label in 2004 and I didn't have to wait long for their follow up, the exceptional The Warning.

Singles Over and Over, A Boy From School and Colours were incredible. I bought the singles on vinyl and played A Boy From School at a night my sister put on at Edinburgh School of Art and a number of people came up to ask who it was - always a good sign! 

I went to see them at King Tuts around this time and they blew me away. Visually captivating, Hot Chip are co-fronted by the diminutive Alexis Taylor in huge glasses and Joe Goddard. Both are incredibly playful with lyrics and melodies, Taylor with a high voice, Goddard with the low, both beautifully melancholic. Joined by Al Doyle, Felix Martin and Owen Clarke, the 5 bopped, danced and smiled behind synths, guitars and bass and looked like they were having the time of their lives on the King Tuts stage and this easily transferred to the audience.

Hot Chip continued to release an album every 2-years, all with excellent singles (and videos) to promote them; Made In The Dark (2008), One Life Stand (2010), In Our Heads (2012) and then a little longer in between to Why Make Sense (2015) and A Bath Full Of Ecstasy (2019), with solo albums and side projects in between, also notably Al and Felix playing and recording with great friends LCD Soundsystem.

I love how the band all have different personalities and styles that somehow just gel when they come together. And their genuine love of music pours out of everything they do. They have an incredible ability to mix melancholy with euphoria. 

Hot Chip are kind of the perfect size and set up for a band. Big enough to tour all over, cool enough & respected enough to be in with the likes of DFA and Optimo, solid enough to allow side projects and playing with other bands and known enough to pull good crowds at festivals.

Here are 10 of my favourite songs by Hot Chip.

Working my way back through Hot Chip's considerable back catalogue over the last month or so has been a real pleasure. They are fun, playful and unique. You can tell they love music and are great friends.

I'm conscious that there are 4 songs from The Warning, but the 3 singles + No Fit State are without question among my top 10 favourites. That was the album where I really discovered and fell for the band. I also have 3 songs from the One Life Stand album! Unintentional, but on reflection they are my favourite albums.

Bubbling under are Baby Said, How Do You Do and the outstanding Hungry Child - which is really unfortunate not to make my 10. Special mention for their cover version of Springsteen's Dancing In The Dark which morphs slightly into All My Friends by LCD Soundsystem. I try to avoid including covers in my 10 from ... series. I've blogged on this before and you can check that HERE.

1. A Boy From School

Exceptionally cool synths, beats, melodies and lyrics. I played the 7-inch of this at Edinburgh Art School when I DJ'd a night my sister put on while studying and people were blown away. Fresh and vital sounding. Effortlessly cool. The bit where Joe comes in gets me every time.

I got, I got lost

You said this was the way back

Listen here

Live at Glastonbury 2015

2. Alley Cats

Tucked away in the middle of 2010's One Life Stand album is this warm melodic gem of a song. Flowing effortlessly, sung with care, I fell for it on first listen and it's charms continue to warm my heart every single time I listen. Alexis and Joe's voices dovetail and sound particularly dreamy on this song.

Watch/listen here

Live at Glastonbury

3. You Ride, We Ride, In Our Ride

From  the bands 2004 debut album Coming On Strong, You Ride, We Ride, In My Ride is a stunning early example of hot Chip weaving vocal melodies with electronic layers and beats. After discovering the band and downloading this album I just thought there is nothing else like this out there. Certainly nothing I had heard. One of Hot Chip's many strengths - beautifully different, soulful, playful and with nods to influences but 100% their own band. Just after 2-minutes this song goes off on a tangent, beats, synths, melodies ... brilliant.

Listen here

4. Colours

Simply sublime and the only song I have heard to mention stickle bricks! Synths bubble and Alexis croons softly and beautifully. At 50-seconds the disjointed beats are cut and it's just Taylor and synths before the real beats kick in and the song takes off. As we approach 2.5 minutes Alexis sings beautifully as his band mates continue to sing  Colours and colours and colours of colours. There are some cool mixes to check out with the Fred Falke one being my favourite.

I only wanted for to see

There's nothing in this heart but me

Everything you want is not free

I'm everything a girl could need

There's nothing in this heart but me

If everything you want is free

Listen/watch here

5. Over and Over

Hot Chip at their best laid back, laid back, laid back we'll give you play back sings Alexis Taylor over beats and playful synths. The chorus kicks in at 1-minute 20, mixing dirty synth sounds with Taylor's pure vocals. The video highlights the bands playful and energetic nature as they play in a green room, complete with helpers in green suits ensuring the band do all the right things. Taylor in over-sized red shades and hoodie is hyperactive in all the right ways. The instrumental section is  glorious and then Goddard's vocals come in at just the right time.

I started thinking what you wanted him to do

I got to thinking that I knew just what to do

Official video

6. No Fit State

The penultimate track of The Warning, No Fit State teases and eases in with Joe Goddard on super cool laid back vocals. Alexis Taylor takes the bridge, repeated a few times to lead to the chorus/mantra which is joined by euphoric synths

I'm in no fit state, I'm in no fit shape

Then Alexis comes in over the top and it is utterly divine.

To fall in love with you

To make a record of my life

To lose any more than I need

To watch my fingers bleed

To bust my body up

To drink out of your cup

To act a fool inlove

Acting hard's been tough

Listen here

Glastonbury 2007 - going into Temptation by New Order

7. Brothers

From 2010's brilliantly titled One Life Stand album, Brothers is as soulful an electronic song as you might ever hear. Goddard takes lead for the first verse and chorus, joined by Taylor for the second verse, their voices beautifully entwined. I just find this song utterly beautiful, it cuts me deep. Taylor takes lead on the third verse as the beats kick in further, the synths are more playful. Joyful and soulful.

Brothers, I would give my life for my brothers

When we're driving and it's late with my brother, sat next to me

It's a wild love I have, it's a wild love that I have

It's a wild love I have, it's a wild love that I have

For my brothers, for my brother

Listen here

8. One Life Stand

Humour and romance, total Hot Chip! The play on words for the title and chorus is genius, the Chic style guitar, bass-y synths leading to the chorus with Joe Goddard singing the beautiful keep on feeling backing vocals as Alexis pleads I only wanna be your one life stand, tell me stand by your man?

Official video

Live in Sydney

9. Melody Of Love

Utter brilliance from Hot Chip. A single and the opening song on their 2019 album A Bath Full Of Ecstasy, Melody Of Love finds the band mixing melancholy reflection with just the right dash of euphoria, complete with a sample of a gospel sermon. It's like Hot Chip have grown up, like we all have!

When I was standing next to you, I overheard the saddest news

What was just there was out of view, running out of love

I always seem to hesitate, too little always comes to late

There is a sound that resonates, melody of love

Official video

Live - Q Studio

10. Ready For The Floor

Nominated for a Grammy, Ready For The Floor is insanely catchy from the off, the repetitive do it ... now, say it ... now opening is classic playful Hot Chip. The verses lead to a chorus where Goddard plays off Taylor who ends up singing  the refrain you're my number one guy. The song was allegedly written for Kylie, a rumour sadly scotched by Taylor who confirmed they would love to wrote for her, but this song wasn't created with her in mind.

I love the performance from Glastonbury in 2008 (below) which highlights Hot Chip's infectious charm and their offbeat nerdy cool that wins hearts all over.

Official video

Live at Glastonbury 2008

Live on Later with Jools

Monday 3 January 2022

Scottish music scene - 5 bands for 2022

After two years of stop/start/pause due to lockdown and restrictions, a number of new bands/artists are set to hit play in 2022. Some will (understandably) want to hit fast forward!

I love people that turn challenges into opportunities. Music, art and creativity will always find a way. Bands still formed, music was created, songwriters continued to pour their hearts out on to paper and recordings, music fans discovered new acts to fall for.

Here are 5 new/developing Scottish acts that I'm looking forward to checking out through 2022. 3 of the bands formed during lockdown, while Raveloe launched in June 2020. 

1. Poster Paints

Poster Paints are a lockdown project that became an actual band. Read a little more on their background in this blog from May 2021.

Simon Liddell (Olympic Swimmers and Frightened Rabbit) and Carla J Easton have only played a handful of gigs (where they become a 5-piece with help from friends) to date. Their two singles, Number One and Never Saw It Coming were the perfect soundtrack to summer and autumn, both were positively and widely acclaimed, leading to 3 tour dates with Teenage Fanclub and their own headline show at The Poetry Club. Their album is now finished, mixed, mastered and mesmerising. It's beautifully melodic and dreamy. Hopefully it will come out this year.

In the meantime, they (hopefully) kick off 2022 with dates at Sneaky Petes (10/02) and Nice n Sleazys (11/02), before (fingers crossed) playing with Belle & Sebastian at Motherwell Concert Hall later in the month. 

Number One

2. Spyres

I caught Spyres supporting The Mary Chain late last year and subsequently blogged on the band HERE.

Spyres sound great on record and really come into their own live, so being able to get out and gig is going to be really important to them. I think they'll win fans wherever they play and building momentum through singles and/or EP's will take them to the next level in 2022.

Remarkably young, Spyres have time on their side, but I love their attitude - they don't want to wait. They have the energy of Hole and the melodies of Fleetwood Mac with glorious duelling guitars and two lead singers. Although think Wolf Alice and Alvvays for more modern influences.

Otherside (live) 

I Don't Care

3. Raveloe

Signed to Olive Grove Records, Raveloe is Kim Grant, a young and very talented singer songwriter who really started to attract attention through the release of her single Catkins in late 2021. There was a lovely soulfulness to Catkins, raw guitar paired with beautiful strings and Grant sounding like she has really found her voice. Look out for more releases through 2022 to keep the momentum going.

Catkins music video

Abalone music video

4. Brontes

Picture by Brian Sweeney

I blogged on Brontes back in the summer of 2021 HERE. I'm very keen to see how they develop through 2022, although it might be 2023 before they really kick on. Look out for a single, potentially in Spring and hopefully lots of live dates.

The band were signed to Last Night From Glasgow on the back of a Crowded Flat session that you can watch below. I watched the session a number of times in the summer of 2021 and it really reminded me how much I was missing getting out to small venues in Glasgow to watch breaking bands. I've still to catch Brontes live, so hope that changes quickly in the new year once we get through this tricky spell we are having with the new COVID variant.  Think punky grooves, a bit of an edge and cool vocals. 

Picture by Brian Sweeney

Crowded Flat session

5. Uninvited

My sister played the Tiny Changes concert at the end of November 2021 and came back raving about this band and urged me to check their singles.

Formed during lockdown, Uninvited have released Diet Cigarette and Tomboy to date. The former has a super infectious guitar riff and gorgeous flowing harmonies; I'm so full of regrets, I haven't been the same since we met. The latter has another flowing chorus full of harmonies. I look forward to seeing them live. They will hopefully be playing King Tuts on 29th January.

Photoshoot video

Diet Cigarettes