Posts Tagged ‘ Music ’

happy birthday dr king

today is

drkingDr King’s birthday and here at RQT we are more than happy to try to continue Stevie Wonder’s vision of a world party to celebrate peace and remember the legacy of a truly great man.

Happy Birthday by
Stevie Wonder

#recordbox: ‘reagan’ by killer mike

#faithseeking: lady day

Lady Day (something for and from)

[Mary] Joe … we need to talk. The thing is, I just found out that I’m
[Joe] Hush now, don’t explain …

… Just say you’ll remain
I’m glad you’re back, don’t explain.

Quiet, don’t explain;
What is there to gain?
Skip that lipstick,
Don’t explain

You know that I love you,
And what love endures.
All my thoughts are of you,
For I’m so completely yours

Cry to hear folks chatter –
And I know you cheat –
Right or wrong, don’t matter,
When you’re with me, sweet.

Hush now, don’t explain.
You’re my joy and pain.
My life’s yours love;
Don’t explain.

Don’t Explain by Billie Holiday

#RIP: Etta James

Jamesetta Hawkins aka Etta James:
25th January 1938 – 20th January 2012

with sadness we note the death of one of the greatest ever blues, soul, R&B and jazz singers.

anima eius et animae omnium fidelium
defunctorum per dei misericordiam
requiescant in pace

despite, and no doubt partially because of, suffering the effects of physical abuse, professional mismanagement and a long-term heroin addiction, Etta James will be remembered as simply one of the greats.

she had a magical voice, which she turned to several genres, from gospel and doo-wop to rock and roll, was a charismatic performer and a talented, often uncredited, lyricist.

Sunday Kind of Love by Etta James

#RIP: Bert Jansch

Bert Jansch: 
3rd November 1943 – 5th October 2011

with sadness we note the death of one of folk music’s purest souls and the bearer of some of its nimblest and most artful fingers.

anima eius et animae omnium
fidelium defunctorum per dei
misericordiam requiescant in pace

Jansch (who, unlike most of his family, pronounced his surname with a hard jay sound), was a Scott, guitarist of great accomplishment, writer of touching music and a faithful bearer of the torch of the old songs. His career spanned forty six years and yielded over two dozen albums.

He wrote and performed alone, with other key members of the British revival scene like Anne Briggs, Martin Carthy, Sandy Denny, Davy Graham and John Renbourn, and later (with Renbourn) in the band Pentangle.

A key member of the generation that took up the style and social ethos of Guthrie, Broonzy and Seeger and lead a revival of folk music in 60s Britain, he inspired countless performers that followed including Nick Drake, Paul Simon and Neil Young and is survived by a large catalogue of meaningful music.

October Song by Bert Jansch

#showertune: ‘soulful strut’ by young-holt unlimited

although it’s been a while since i’ve posted a #showertune, i’ve in no way ceased using carefully selected music to start my day well. what is more, as the evenings draw in (that is due to happen, right?) i’ll probably begin again to share my choicest cuts on a more regular basis.

today’s entry, however, was something of an emergency measure. after a hugely enjoyable but extensively gambrinous Saturday night (no, sit down Whigfield), at the unrivalled Thorverton Cricket Club‘s most recent annual end-of-season bash, and a wholly inadequate recovery day on Sunday, with a day of travelling ahead, this morning needed not only a #showertune, but a real corker.

cue Isaac Holt and Eldee Young to take their bow. this joint is a sparkling, mellifluous waterfall of happiness. so, both now and also next time you need a special lift, hit up the dark grey triangle below.

this is Soulful Strut by Young-Holt Unlimited and it’s painfully good listening.


#recordbox: ‘self evident’ by ani difranco


Self Evident by Ani DiFranco

#musicdiaryproject: fri-up

Like the night before,
the dark portion of Friday was spent at the poker table. this time the game was in the upstairs room of Exeter Snooker Club. same stakes, same outcome (no winnings for me).

this time, however, i didn’t listen to any tunes at any point during the game. although i knew most of the players quite well, my table had a very serious air about it which it seem like even popping a single earbud in was probably a poor idea. plus the play was snappy, razor sharp and genuinely engaging.

the afternoon’s workload, however, was light enough to yield the perfect opportunity for some musical accompaniment, which was interrupted only by the imperative of tuning in to Mark Kermode on Radio 5Live.

while i worked i whistled to:

most of Hypnotic Brass Ensemble by Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
– a special mention goes to:
Marcus Garvey (which is like a David Shire cover of the League of Gentlemen theme)
Ballicki Bone … and …
War (my favourite track on the album – pure brass awesomeness)

I followed this with a playlist of various cherrypicked tracks, including:

Dream About The Future by The Apples In Stereo
Crosstown Traffic by Jimi Hendrix
The Man With The Harmonica by Ennio Morricone
Tropicalia by Beck
Burnin’ and Lootin’ by The Wailers
Showdown by Electric Light Orchestra
Freewheel by Duke Special
The Warmth Of The Sun by The Beach Boys
Since I Left You by The Avalanches
Ping Pong by Stereolab
Waitin’ For A Superman by The Flaming Lips
The High Road by Broken Bells
Brooklyn Is Burning by Head Automatica
Lipstick by David Carbonara
Ghost Town by The Specials
… and …
Brainwashed by The Kinks


#musicdiaryproject: thorsday’s tunes

excuses=[“two late nights followed by early mornings in a row”]

in the spirit of
‘better late than never’ – a favourite saying of the doctor at my local STI clinic – here is a rundown of the shape of the listening experiences i had on Thursday.

the daytime was constituted by largely music-less work, but the evening was fleshed out by my weekly pilgrimage to the back-room of a pub in St. Thomas for ‘The King’s Game’ – a regular £10 re-buy no-limit hold’em poker game.

while i’m definitely not a silent, iPod in, sunglasses on player – mostly because not only does pretending you’re at the World Series make you look like a total tool, it prevents you from playing properly – i do often have my iPod on hand to dip into when i need help to keep my spirits up and my brain working.

however, when i listen to music at the table i only ever use one earphone – like a killer owl, sleeping with one eye open. therefore, what follows is a list on songs of which i heard the right channel while i played.

if you’re wondering whether my selections constitute good songs to play winning poker to, you might like to know that I ended up crashing out of the game in 6th place (out of 18) and winning exactly nothing.

so, i heard the right-hand half of:

Keep Me In Mind by The Bamboos feat. Kylie Auldist
Tighten Up by The Black Keys
Oye Como Va by Cheo Feliciano y Joe Cuba Sextet
Tell Me What’s On Your Mind by Cyril Neville
Money Don’t Make The Man by The Dap-Kings
Fever by Marie ‘Queenie’ Lyons
Hold On, I’m Comin’ by Sam & Dave
Kiss The Sky by Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra
Doing It To Death by The JBs
Fortune Favours The Bold by TM Juke & The Jack Baker Trio
… and …
Reach Out, I’ll Be There by Lee Moses
this gem of track from a great, but little known (outside the deep soul/funk scene) artist.

what more could you want than raw, boom-bapping drums, rapier-like organ, rolling guitar licks all topped off with the welcome tinkle of the xylophone and some partially audible vocals that sound like they weren’t meant to happen, but just couldn’t be stopped from spilling forth?]


#musicdiaryproject: incidental wednesday

due to combination of a man-flu induced lie-in, a not unrelated headache and more than usually concentrated work day, and leaving my iPod at home when i briefly went out, i haven’t actually purposefully listened to any music.

of course, the guidelines of #musicdiaryproject make ample concession for such circumstances by encouraging participants to log not only intentionally listened to music, but also the tunes that they have come across incidentally during their comings and goings.

rather than noting these interlopers each day, i have decided to choose one day (today) in which to focus solely on their contribution. it is purely coincidental that i didn’t have time to listen to anything on purpose today.

i’m sure there were more, but i remember hearing:

Bullitt by Lalo Schiffrin (wakes me up)
Holy Thursday by David Axelrod (tells me to take my pills)
King of the Beats by Mantronix (some gambling advert)
Green Lights by Aloe Blacc (from a passing car)
… and …
The Golden Age by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour (new Heineken advert)


#recordbox: #musicdiaryproject

not that far
down on the list of my favourite things to do comes joining in the with other peoples’ online projects, especially if they have their own #hashtag.

today i met a man with hair and glasses who told me about his #musicdiaryproject which involves people blogging, vlogging, tweeting, tumblring and otherwise information superhighwaying in a way that logs the music that they’re listening to this week. i’ve come, obviously, late to the party, but being as keen as ever not to let tardiness, poor preparation or a lack of the required skills for a task get in my way, i decided to join in.

if anything, it’s rather nice to cast off the usual constraints of #showertune (ie. music that makes me feel happy and is not by an artist that has already been featured) and embrace the knowledge that anything goes. at least as far as i understand them, the rules of this project dictate that what i have to do, is to record what i’ve been listening to and then that’s it.

so, here goes. today i subjected my ears to:

Powerboat by Alan Hawkshaw
I Can Dream Can’t I by The Andrew Sisters
Flying by The Beatles
Stones Throw by Little Barrie
… and …
Slag Under Bältet by Petter

yes, the lyrics are in Swedish.

no, i don’t either, but i can only hope, for people that do, that they are supremely profane and conjure an horrifically vile vision of the world.

meanwhile, in my ignorance, i will continue to put this track on, turn that shit up, and nod my grinning face like a fool.



if you’d like to find out more about #musicdiaryproject then i’d suggest following
@sickmouthy on Twitter, checking his blog to see his entries and searching the hashtag to catch up on what you’ve missed from others

#showertune: ‘i’m on the move’ by bobby byrd

well, well, wellingtons …

look what the cat dragged in. what time do you call this then? stray dog eat your watch? i was beginning to think you’d joined the foreign legion. i’m sorry, i rented your room to a lodger (and all the other things my mum used to say if i got home late).

yes, i know, i haven’t blogged anything for a while – twenty two days to be precise – and i can only say i’m truly sorry and offer you this #showertune in the hope of your forgiveness and continued patronage.

i did make sure to make sure it was a hyper-funky, dap-dipping, bumping boogaloo on a super positive tip just for y’all.

go on, treat yourself – after all, it’s I’m On The Move by Bobby Byrd


#RIP: John Barry

John Barry Prendergast:
3rd November 1933 – 30th January 2011

with sadness we note the death of one of the twentieth century’s greatest composers, arrangers and orchestra leaders.

anima eius et animae omnium
fidelium defunctorum per dei
misericordiam requiescant in pace

born in York in 1933, Barry is, of course, best known for the unforgettable scores he composed for the James Bond film series, but these were but a few of his brilliant contributions to film and TV soundtrack history.

he scored Zulu, The Ipcress File, Beat Girl, The Quiller Memorandum, Game of Death, Midnight Cowboy, The Persuaders, and many, many more great films and TV programmes.


Beat for Beatniks by The John Barry Orchestra

#xmasongs: day ten

well well well

it only went and came upon a midnight clear.

as i’m sure you’re all more than aware, as well as presents, turkey, baby Jesus and so on, this day also brings with it the conclusion of our ten strong round up of the world’s best festive music that we like to call #xmasongs

without further ado about nothing, it only remains for me to say a big happy birthday Jesus and glad tidings to all from and on behalf of all of us here at RQT, and to inform you of the winner.

those that did not make the cut include:

any actual carols
Frosty The Snowman
Winter Wonderland
the cheerful prelude to a Christmas rape It’s Cold Outside (sorry Roaring)

however, the winner is …
Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher by
Elton John


#xmasongs: day nine

it’s Christmas Eve

in the drunk tank. i hope you are all well and ready. Santa Klaus is making a list and checking it twice (probably three or four times nowadays – he’s not getting any younger).

i, myself, will not be getting any presents on account of having been naughty all year. luckily, i’ve been and bought my own stuff and wrapped it up for myself. i’ll be getting what i wanted, will you?

and now it’s time for what you’ve all been waiting for. we’re nine tenths of the way through a list of the very best Christmas songs. but what, you mildly wonder, is today’s #xmasong?

well, put it this way, if you like slurry, incoherent lyrics and inappropriate sexual insults, get ready to be happy for today it’s Fairytale of New York by The Pogues


#xmasongs: day eight

Shhh ….

time for some quiet sitting down, arms folded time.

I hope we all have a merry Christmas and it is right and meet for us so to do. nonetheless,  we should not forget that for many ordinary people – especially in Christmassy places like Bethlehem, as well as other ancient Christian holy places, like Baghdad – Christmas will be disturbed by the exercise of military power, power that many of us paid for and keep in force by our political decisions.

once in “royal david’s” city, something about peace happened. let’s hope it wasn’t a one off.

here’s the 7 O’Clock News by Simon & Garfunkel



#xmasongs: day seven

OK, now i’m

getting really excited. with fewer than four sleeps till santa comes, expectation is reaching super-charged levels in the penthouse – already it’s all daytime films, daytime port, (mulled) cider, nuts and so on, and can only get worse from here on out.

the last time we mentioned the tune i have selected today, it was (in response) described by our friend, fellow blogger, outrageous bounder and pink gin guzzler Ramping
as “gut-wrenching“.

well, what more of a reason do we need to feature it in our countdown?

exactly. none.

our seventh #xmasong is Happy Christmas (War Is Over) by The Polyphonic Spree


#xmasongs: day six

hallo dear friends

today is the winter solstice and, coincidentally, also saw a total lunar eclipse.

did you see the blood red moon just before 8:00? it was too cloudy here to see much more than a pinky patch in the southwest sky. apparently if you live in or north of Newcastle you could see it really well. probably didn’t take much of an edge off the bitter cold, lack of jobs and frequently semi-naked fat men, though.

the ancients associated this occurrence with menstruation, and thus fertility, so let’s hope it bodes well for next year’s harvest.

in the meantime, we’ve got the small matter of our #xmasongs countdown to get the hell on with. to that end, today’s sixth noel goes out with lots of love to you all, but especially nominator, talented singing RQT friend and Hawkins hair-a-like Kirsty Merryn

(check out her excellent chops here)

correct – at number six, it’s Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) by The Darkness


#xmasongs: day five

friends, and by now

regular #showertuners, will probably be aware of my (at times perverse) proclivities with regard to key changes (I Wanna Be The Only One by Eternal anyone?)

given such, it simply couldn’t be that this list could get very far without featuring this beautifully festive example of my favourite musical flourish.

sweetly sung by two sisters and their cousin, from Washington Heights, Manhattan, this tune was sort of nominated by our good friend JohnDray3000 (soon to be Dr Dray) – who, in a fleeting reference to ‘the obvious’, invoked Phil Spector’s classic Christmas album a.k.a.
A Christmas Gift For You From Philles Records
(before going on to actually nominate some stuff that is probably too edgy and cool for us here)

despite, i must admit, a partiality for KT Tunstall’s recent cover, here is a swinging number taken from that very album and offered to him and you all with the very best of Christmas wishes.

here’s Sleigh Ride by The Ronettes


#xmasongs: day four


i don’t know about yule, but i’m starting to get pretty excited about just exactly where our #xmasongs countdown is headed. it’s like desert island discs, but without the island, The Bible, The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Kirsty Young or, today, Nick Park.

we’ve had three crackerjacks so far, but what to join them with?

well, throwing the recent emergence of his dubious political leanings to one side, we’ve decided that today we’ll go with a glittery classic from Nelson Muntz’s favourite crooner that makes you just want to throw on a disgusting Christmas sweater, slick and side-part your hair with a narrow comb, grab a large microphone and head on out into the street, singing and dancing like post-ghosts Scrooge himself.

nominated by JamieR, what else could i possibly mean except It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year by Andy Williams? that’s right, nothing.


#xmasongs: day three

it’s the third day

of our christmas musical journey calendar, and it’s more than high time to see what lies behind metaphorical door 3.

today it’s all about a tune nominated by the wonderful KTownLass. regardless of how much we’d like to be responsible for giving her goosebumps, in the end we decided to go with her second choice, which she recommends for ‘festive fun’. quite

so, here’s wishing you all a generous slice of exactly that this yuletide.

today’s #xmasong (or should that be #xmasnog?) is Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt


#xmasongs: day two

glad tidings

christmas card scenes all over the outside of the penthouse window today, even the prison looks quite cute when it’s got a little white hat on.

we’re still cheerily collating the onehundreds of suggestions we’ve received, and please, whatever you do, don’t stop letting us know about your most beloved seasonal ditties.

however, given the weather, we thought that today could really only belong to our favourite version of one of Irving Berlin’s most classic classics,

yup, today’s #xmasong is
White Christmas
by The Drifters


#xmasongs: day one

so, here we are

day one of RQTs definitive run down of the ten best #xmasongs

please keep your nominations coming in (leave them in the form of comments on this post or yesterday’s launch post) – if you pick good tunes, they will be featured over the next ten days.

as for today, i’m going to kick things off with one of my favs. of all the hundreds of thousands of christmas albums produced in the US in the 50s and 60s, one voice has remained a truly lasting standard:

(old) Nat King Cole?
(p) Andy Williams?
Perry Como (ver)?
Johnny Mathis (the american for maths)?
well, (microsoft/chandler) Bing Crosby then?

no, no, no. all of these cats did good work and may well feature further along our christmassy road, but for me the person who stands head and shoulders shampoo above all the christmas crooners was actually only 4′ 9″ tall (shorter even than John Cage at 4′ 33″).

so, tell us a bit about this person:

well, they called her Little Miss Dynamite (before she got taller, turned british, turned black, got married, then divorced and became Ms Dynamite-hee)

she had 37 US chart hits in the 60s (which puts her at number 5 on the list for that decade – after Elvis, The Beatles, Ray Charles and Connie Francis)

this song features in one of my favourite Christmas movies ever (the utterly peerless Home Alone)

that’s right, tonight Matthew *drum roll* our #xmasong is …

Rocking Around The Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee (cue christmas smoke)


#showertune: xmas songs

gleatings earthrings

as some of you will know, the next ten or fifteen days or so will herald the start of the celebration of the British winter festival known as Christmas.

something of which you might not be so aware, however, is that there exists a whole canon of Christmas songs, written, performed and recorded so that British shops have something to play while people buy things.

here at #showertune HQ we’re giving you the chance to select which of such xmas songs or #xmasongs if you will* that you would like us to feature over the festive period.

(*please note: this is the name we have decided on, so in reality your will is irrelevant)

if you’re uncertain about what Christmas songs are, the best place to find out is in a record shop – just ask the person at the counter about which songs they know that are Christmas songs, then write down what they say. also, the internet and the back cover of The Best Christmas Album In The World Ever! are useful.

please send in your votes as comments to this post, and we will try to feature as many as we can over the coming days.

#showertune: ‘all my days’ by alexi murdoch

last night

i rewatched Sam Mendes’ under-appreciated romantic comedy Away We Go.

it had exactly the same effects on me as it had the first time (at the cinema) – smiling, laughing, wistful remembering, hopeful reflection, tears.

i call it a romantic comedy because it’s genuinely romantic and very funny (two characteristics which are curiously under-represented in what usually passes for the contents of the genre).

i throughly recommend that you buy the dvd for a friend for xmas, or, better still, ask them to buy it for you.

today’s #showertune comes from the opening/closing sequences of the film and is the beautiful Nick Drake tribute All My Days by Alexi Murdoch