love is...
A quick competition before some April highlights. The kind people at Lex Records sent me over a spare copy of Le Sac & Pip’s massive “Thou Shalt Always Kill” 7″. I’m led to believe its rarer than a genuine apology from Tony Blair, so if you’d like a copy answer EITHER of these simple questions:

What does Kid Acne feed to Pigeons?” (See YouTube video here)

or mail me lamevideoboy’s description of Scroobius’s beard. musiclikedirt(AT)gmail.com – Good luck.

Also check out the Sheffield Wednesday version of “Thou Shalt” on YouTube.

WOOZY WITH CIDER

I don’t hit the second hand record shops as often as I used to but a trip to the Music & Video Exchange on Berwick Street is always guaranteed to end with me coming out grinning at the ludicrously cheap pile of CD’s I’ve just nabbed. Among the ten albums and singles I picked up for a tenner on my last visit was a promo CD of the ever excellent James Yorkston’s “Woozy With Cider“.
One of the standout tracks from his 2006 album, “Woozy” is a gorgeously self deprecating spoken word piece that sleepily describes a life spent “Woozy With Cider“. Joking about his album peaking at number 172, and observing that “I think I can be honest in presuming the world is not exactly going to be leaping out its bed to make me rich using my songs in adverts selling oranges or lemons“. Given that vegan Yorkston once turned down £10,000 for one of his songs to be used in an advert for butter, he may be right (although that story maybe an urban myth?).

The CD contains 6 versions of Woozy including remixes by Quiet Village, and ex Beta-bander King Biscuit Time. It originally came out on double 12” (still available from Domino), and copies of the promo CD pop up on ebay too.

James Yorkston – Woozy With Cider” (MP3)
James Yorkston – Woozy With Cider” (Jon Hopkins Remix) (MP3)

Buy: Any of his three superb albums especially the debut from Domino or Amazon.
Woozy CD on ebay

Read: Woozy With Cider” Lyrics

Watch: James Yorkston – Woozy With Cider” (YouTube)

ANTHONY HAMILTON

I’m glad that you called when you called me, ’cause you stopped me from doin’ somethin’ awful, ‘Cause I’ve been sittin’ here contemplatin’ on takin’ this life away” Glad U Called by Anthony Hamilton

Funky as hell singalongs about contemplating suicide don’t pop up very often but Anthony Hamilton is far from your average R&B star. His musical reference points owe far more to the love and consciousness of Stevie Wonder than the bitches, rims, and Moet of R Kelly (although I am partial to a bit of Kelly’s gloriously inflated ego once in a while).
Sadly despite the UK music scene being in the middle of a Retro-Soul explosion courtesy of Winehouse, Ronson, and Stone, it seems unlikely that Hamilton will ever get much press exposure over here. Would it help if he was a bit whiter or more middle class…? Who can tell – Hamilton has had a chequered career in the States too – but I can’t help wishing he could get just a fraction of the column inches dedicated to Winehouse’s latest drunken no-show.

Anthony’s new album isn’t out till September, but in the meantime “Southern Comfort” unofficially gathers together a few unreleased old tracks.

Anthony Hamilton – Glad U Called” (MP3)
Anthony Hamilton – Where Did It Go Wrong” (MP3) (previously featured in best tracks of 2005)

Buy: Anthony Hamilton albums on Amazon

Myspace / Wiki

MAVIS STAPLES

She’s already had countless comebacks, notably being signed by Prince to his Paisley Park label in the 90’s, but most – at least commercially – have ended in legal wranglings and disappointment (Prince’s slave feud with Warner put pay to her at Paisley Park).
The new Ry Cooder produced album “We’ll Never Turn Back” revisits the civil rights movement of the 50’s/60’s, which the Staple Singers themselves played a full part in. “Down in the Mississippi” tells the grisly tale of dragging the river for the bodies of murdered civil rights workers, while “99 and 1/2” brings the protest uptodate declaring it feels like its 1960 “Broken levees, lying politicians, running through hatred, homeless babies — freedom now! Freedom now!“.

Mavis Staples – 99 and 1/2” (MP3)

The Staple Singers – Let’s Do It Again” (MP3) – A Curtis Mayfield produced classic!

Buy: Mavis Staples – We’ll Never Turn Back

Watch: The Staple Singers – When Will We Be Paid” (YouTube)
and below some fantastic dancing on Soul Train to “I’ll Take You There”. This is how I dance in my head… the reality may be a little different 🙂

DIAMONDS DUB

Finally, summers here so it must be time for a few blissed out re-edits courtesy of DJ Tangoterje. Ever since he turned Jacko’s “I Can’t Help It” into a Balearic anthem in 2005, I’ve looked forward to the latest unlikely track to be stretched and moulded into new form. Chris Rea, Lionel Richie, Curtis Mayfield, and Kraftwerk have all received the highly unofficial accolade of being tinkered with by the Tangoman.

DJ Tangoterje – Diamonds Dub” (MP3) – takes approximately 38 seconds to guess what this is… Na Na, Na Na, Naaa.

Buy: More DJ Tangoterje available from Boomkat or Piccadilly