Archives for December 2010

Playlist 27.12.10

Stuart Bailie | 19:35 UK time, Tuesday, 28 December 2010


BBC Radio Ulster, 92-95 FM
Online: www.bbc.co.uk/radioulster
Mondays, ten - midnight

Playlist 27.12.10

Paul Weller - No Tears To Cry (Island)
Mavis Staples - I Belong To The Band (Anti)
The Gaslight Anthem - American Slang (Side One Dummy)
Vampire Weekend - Horchata (XL)
Jenny And Johnny - Big Wave (Warner)
Laura Marling - Rambling Man (Virgin)
Beach House - Lover Of Mine (Bella Union)
Robert Plant - You Can't Buy My Love (Decca)
The Drums - Let's Go Surfing (Island)
Arcade Fire - Rococo (Mercury)
Edwyn Collins - In Your Eyes (Heavenly)
Villagers - Becoming A Jackal (Domino)
Two Door Cinema Club - Something Good Can Work (Kitsune)
Frightened Rabbit - Swim Until You Can't See Land (Fat Cat)

Bruce Springsteen - Because The Night (Columbia)
The Duke And The King - Shakey (Loose)
Band Of Horses - Factory (Sony)
Josh Rouse - I Will Live On Islands (Bedroom Classics)
Elton John, Leon Russell - Gone To Shilo (Rocket)
Duke Special - This Time Next Year (Reel To Reel)
Karen Elson - The Ghost Who Walks (XL)
Solomon Burke - Oh What A Feeling (One World)
MIA - It Takes A Muscle (XL)
John Grant - Where Dreams Go To Die (Bella Union)
Ali Farka Toure, Toumani Diabate - Kala Djula (World Circuit)
Ariel Pink's Haunted Grafitti - Beverly Kills (4ad)
Gil Scott Heron - Me And The Devil (XL)
LCD Sound System - I Can Change (DFA)

Playlist 20.12.10

Stuart Bailie | 10:38 UK time, Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Hooray for Pat Damoglou Smyth who turned disarray and bad times into a remarkable record called 'The Great Divide'. You may remember the guy as one half of Pat And Nipsy and a third of The Fools. He was also deep into Smokey Angle Shades before things went awry in London. With all of these experiences, he made great music. I will always be lit up by an early composition called 'Don't Fight With Me' that became a personalised radio message, 'Don't Fight With Stu', that served me happily.

So it was a pleasure to have him in the studio for the penultimate show of the year. He was talking up the new album and playing some Buffalo Springfield. We salute the man and expect more delights in 2011.

Next week: my faves of the year, including The Arcade Fire, Paul Weller, Villagers, The Gaslight Anthem, Ali Farka Toure, John Grant, Mavis Staples, Warpaint, Laura Marling, Caitlin Rose, Gil Scott Heron, Vampire Weekend, The Duke And The King, Beach House and more. Have a terrific holiday, kind listeners.

BBC Radio Ulster, 92-95 FM
Online: www.bbc.co.uk/radioulster

Mondays, ten - midnight


Keith Richards - Run Rudolph Run (Rolling Stones)
Ry Cooder - Footprints In The Snow (Nonesuch)
The Hold Steady - The Weekenders (Rough Trade)
Pat Dam Smyth - Yellow Line (ps)
Buffalo Springfield - Flying On The Ground Is Wrong (Atlantic)
Pat Dam Smyth - Slip John (ps)
The Coral - Walking In The Winter (Deltasonic)
Avi Buffalo - What's In It For? (Sub Pop)
Captain Beefheart - Observatory Crest (Virgin)
Cathy Davey - Little Red (Hammer Toe)
Neil Young - Love and War (Reprise)
Ash - Binary (Atom Heart)

The Charlatans - My Foolish Pride (Frinck)
Colenso Parade - Find Your Mother (white)
Eels - Little Bird (E Works)
Villagers - In A New Found Land You Are Free (ATL session)
The Kissaway Trail - SDP (Bella Union)
Tracey Thorne - Oh The Divorces (Strange Feeling)
Kurt Wagner, Courtney Tidwell - Picking Wild Mountain Berries (City Slang)
Escape Act - Salt In Your Eye (Volte Face)
The National - Conversation 16 (4AD)
The Avett Brothers - I And Love And You (Columbia)
Joanna Newsome - Jackrabbits (Drag City)
Antony And The Johnsons - Thank You For Your Love (Rough Trade)
These New Puritans - Hologram (Domino)
Blitzen Trapper - The Tree (Sub Pop)

Keeper Lit.

Stuart Bailie | 10:34 UK time, Tuesday, 21 December 2010

My book intake for the year was modest, but I can happily recommend the titles below. Sam Lipsyte in particular was a top read. Raving, despairing, wise-cracking. A bit of Bukowski, some Henry Miller and the frivolous angst that every aging scenester will recognize with dread and shame.

I've read the salacious serialisations from Keith Richards, and the book is on the Xmas list. I'm guessing that the stuff about music will be better than the naughty parts. I've also got Patti Smith's 'Kids' on order, and I can't imagine it being humdrum....

The Ask - Sam Lipsyte
Point Omega - Don DeLillo
Listening To Van Morrison - Greil Marcus
Beatrice And Virgil - Yann Martel
Terri Hooley and Richard Sullivan - Hooleygan
Teach Us To Sit Still - Tim Parks

The Year Of The Jackal

Stuart Bailie | 10:42 UK time, Monday, 20 December 2010

We were at the Limelight in Belfast last night to give a roaring endorsement to Conor J O'Brien and his Villagers combo. We've seen them blossom over the year and those songs have become very dear to many. Now he holds the stage with extra stature and on 'Becoming A Jackal' the band crunch at the guitars on a couple of choice moments, giving the song a fresh definition.

Conor holds the audience so well, and we're glad to hear some lesser known songs, including 'Memoir', which he's kindly donated to Charlotte Gainsbourg, plus 'In New Found Land, You Are Free', which chokes us up properly. It's such a different vision from the saints, the snakes and the history of 'Home'. You can appreciate a new steer for the Villagers, a destination we'll surely want to follow in 2011. For now, he's got my album of the year, easy.

I'm planning to run through my favourites of 2010 on the December 27 show. Tonight there will be some of the worthies, plus a couple of tunes from a Villagers session, recorded yesterday by my pals at ATL. We will also play something from Captain Beefheart, to mark the passing of a supreme character.

Playlist 13.12.10

Stuart Bailie | 19:50 UK time, Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Marie McKee was the prodigious gal from Beverly Hills who fronted Lone Justice and was feted by the likes of Bob Dylan and Tom Petty before she was out of her teens. One of her songs, 'A Good Heart' was taken to the top of the UK charts by Feargal Sharkey and later she had her own hit with 'Show Me Heaven'.

Back in June 23,1989 she was promoting a good solo album with a gig in Mother Red Cap's in Dublin. It was a modest little boozer but the night fell in the middle of an extraordinary week for music in the city and so the gig was witnessed by members of U2, REM, The Waterboys, The Go Betweens, The Hothouse Flowers, Gavin Friday and some other Irish notables. Adam Clayton played bass and Maria kept a steady head. Quite a night. I was rather keen on the record and I was pleased to revisit the songs and to report that it still rattles along.

BBC Radio Ulster, 92-95 FM
Online: www.bbc.co.uk/radioulster
Mondays, ten - midnight

Wanda Jackson - Teach Me Tonight (Nonesuch)
Maria McKee - More Than A Heart Can Hold (Geffen)
Arcade Fire - The Sprawl II (Mercury)
Matt McGinn - Life (white)
Tom Waits -Hold On (Anti)
Matt McGinn - For My Love (white)
The Ronnettes - Be My Baby (Philles)
Ronnie Spector - Try Some, Buy Some (Apple)
Ronnie Spector - Say Goodbye to Hollywood (Epic)
Ronnie Spector - Don't Worry Baby (Kill Rock Stars)
The Ronnettes- Frosty The Snowman (Universal)

Low - Just Like Christmas (Tugboat)
Frank Turner - I Still Believe (Xtra Mile)
Paul Weller - Aim High (Island)
Joan as Police Woman - Magic (PIAS)
Pat Dam Smyth - Yellow Line (P/S)
Band of Horses - Neighbor (Sony)
Ali Farka Toure, Toumani Diabate - Doudou (World Circuit)
Wanda Jackson - Blue Yodel 6 (Nonesuch)
Jolly Boys- You Can't Always Get What You Want (Gee Jam)
Villagers- Becoming A Jackal (Domino)
Seven Summits - Burning Heart (white)
Wyatt, Atzmon, Stephen - What A Wonderful World (Domino)
Flaming Lips - A Change At Christmas (Warner)


Take Matt, And Party

Stuart Bailie | 21:49 UK time, Sunday, 12 December 2010

There are many positives about 'Livin', the debut album from Matt McGinn. For a start, the cover is a good one. Taken by musician Ken Haddock, it's a beautifully lit study, akin to a downhome Rembrandt. After that, it's quality all the way, with choice songs and exemplary playing. It's like a roll call of the best young roots players around the scene, centred around Matt and guitarist Colm McClean. They've even hauled in Willie Nelson's harmonic player, who blows faithfully.

Matt's previous release was the 'Double Bed' EP and it was a little bashful. This time around, the songs are brave and Matt sustains the atmosphere that suits each piece. He likes his John Martyn and that's an influence he imports with style. The guy will be my guest on the December 13 radio show and we're keen to hear more about his fresh creation.

Fire Down Below

Stuart Bailie | 10:01 UK time, Thursday, 9 December 2010

And so the fates decreed that the faithful would endure chronic weather and fearsome journeys to witness the Arcade Fire in Dublin. They would barrel over ice and sheets of fog, succoured by the music pumping through their cars and the promise of reaching the O2 venue where the multitudes would roar on the most worthy of acts.

Here is the reward, then. A mass of excited hearts in this large venue, preparing to rattle the roofbeams when the band members file on. In response, those musicians will load up the evening with their feverish tunes, their bawling admissions and clunky instruments.

Arcade Fire are revving their way across another significant year, with their third album setting the mood for an aggrieved time. 'The Suburbs' is about being exiled on the main street, feeling deeply uncomfortable with the culture, but not entirely sure where they should conduct their affairs. There's a clear irony when they bellow out the chorus to 'Rococo', which mocks the post-modern parade. And of course the words are taken up by hundreds of hipsters in the crowd, wearing the uniform.

But the emotional value can't be lost. They remind us that horrendous things are happening to Haiti, they inflame morale with songs like 'Keep The Car Running' and even when Win seems at his most distressed and lost, there's an inner compass that steers us all to the next station.

Regine is magnificent. She hits the notes with reliable ease, she plays drums and accordion and waves streamers in the air like some Olympian ace. On 'Sprawl II' she's working through Yoko and disco and singing about the dread life of shopping malls and the conformity that kills.

It's quite a spectacle then, and they provide the greatest summation with 'Wake Up' - a call to be alert, engaged and a proper functioning human. It's enough to get us home through the blizzard, and beyond.


Playlist 06.12.10

Stuart Bailie | 09:20 UK time, Thursday, 9 December 2010

The challenge was to lash together two hours of music made by unlikely collaborators. Reggie Chamberlain King, cultural attache to the programme, came up with some starter ideas. Some more ideas were batted back and soon there was a multitude of it. Nick Cave and Kylie was a definite, and so was Lulu for her game attempt at 'The Man Who Sold The World' with Dame Bowie. I would humbly posit that it's way better that the Nirvana version.

Sadly we didn't have time for Johnny Cash, who was eccentric with Dylan on 'Girl From The North Country' and ace on 'The Wanderer' with U2. Tom Waits was fine with Crystal Gayle, but his duet with Bette Midler would also have been swell. I was keen to supply Marc Bolan doing 'Life's A Gas' with Cilla Black, but sadly it only appeared on the latter's TV show, and never made it to disc. Unless one of you kind readers can advise me otherwise...


BBC Radio Ulster, 92-95 FM
Online: www.bbc.co.uk/radioulster
Mondays, ten - midnight

Prince, Sheena Easton - U Got The Look (Warner)
Robert Plant, Alison Krauss - Gone Gone Gone (Decca)
Leonard Cohen, Phil Spector - Memories (Columbia)
Joey Ramone, Ronnie Spector - Bye Bye Baby (Kill Rock Stars)
Manic Street Preachers, Traci Lords - Little Baby Nothing (Sony)
Nick Cave, Kylie Minogue - Where the Wild Roses Grow (Mute)
Tom Waits, Crystal Gayle - This One's From The Heart (Columbia)
Radiohead, Humphrey Lyttleton Band - Life in a Glass House (Parlophone)

R.E.M. & KRS-One - Radio Song (Warner)
Lulu, David Bowie - The Man Who Sold the World (Polydor)
U2, Frank Sinatra - I've Got You Under My Skin (Island)
Nancy Sinatra, Morrissey - Let Me Kiss You (Liberty) 3.26
Mavis Staples, Jeff Tweedy - Downward Road (Anti)
Little Richard, Jimi Hendrix - Lawdy Miss Clawdy (Ala)
KLF, Tammy Wynette - Justified & Ancient (KLF)
Massive Attack, Tracey Thorn - Protection (Virgin)
Peter Gabriel, Paul Weller - And Through the Wire (Charisma)
Scritti Politti, Miles Davis - Oh Patti (Virgin)
David Bowie, Bing Crosby - Little Drummer Boy (RCA)
Primal Scream, Kate Moss - Some Velvet Morning (Creation)

Everything But The Gruel

Stuart Bailie | 16:23 UK time, Sunday, 5 December 2010

Nicky Wire from the Manic Street Preachers was on the TV this morning, blethering his way through 'Something For The Weekend'. Out of nowhere, he came up with a silly but challenging notion about how food can influence your rock and roll.

Wire supposed that the likes of Keane and Coldplay had been brought up in charming households and fed with the finest of silver spoons. Hence that satisfied tone of their music. Punk rock, on the other hand, had been made by street urchins, fed on gristle, tinned meat products and butcher's offal. The nutritional value was poor, but the music had a signature roar.

So I've been thinking about Bob Marley's ghetto testament, 'Them Belly Full But We Hungry'. How can this ever be bested by 10cc and their pun-stuffed 'Life Is A Minestrone'? And would Desmond Dekker have sounded so authentic if he didn't have to get up in the morning, slaving for bread?

There's a great story about The Clash in the early days, walking the streets of London, putting up posters. They returned to their rehearsal room and were so hungry that they poured the last of their paste on a hot plate, fried it and ate those brutal pancakes. There was enough energy in this cuisine to get them rocking, and that was enough.

Playlist 29.11.10

Stuart Bailie | 09:49 UK time, Wednesday, 1 December 2010

I'm getting enthused about the imminent arrival of The Arcade Fire in Dublin. The album is helping plenty. I'm currently enjoying the track 'Ready To Start', with all its bristling intent. I like the opening lyric also:

"Businessmen drink my blood / like the kids in art school said they would".

It's a nod to Dylan and 'All Along the Watchtower'. Which in turn is a reference to the Last Supper. But if the New Testament story was about self sacrifice and empathy, Dylan and the Arcade Fire are fearful and paranoid. They know that commerce can murder your creative heart. It's a recurrent theme in popular music, from The Who's 'Won't Get Fooled Again', to 'Complete Control' by The Clash and perhaps most famously on Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'.

The ritual may never end, but that doesn't take away from the intensity of a band like The Arcade Fire. They are still revving the engines, trying to keep their art unsullied, keeping The Man out of their plans. Long may they run.

BBC Radio Ulster, 92-95 FM
Online: www.bbc.co.uk/radioulster
Mondays, ten - midnight

Dexy's Midnight Runners - Jackie Wilson Said (Mercury)
The Arcade Fire - Ready To Start (Mercury)
Mavis Staples - I Belong To The Band (Anti)
The 1930s - I'm A Vapour (white)
The 1930s - Break My Heart (white)
The Gaslight Anthem - The Diamond Church Street Choir (Side One Dummy)
Broken Records- You Know You're Not Dead (4ad)
Badly Drawn Boy - I Saw You Walk Away (One Last Fruit)
Eamon McGrath - Dark End Of The Street (white whale)
Bob Dylan - Man On The Street (Columbia)
The Orb - Little Fluffy Clouds (demo) (Year Zero)
Mavis Staples - Wrote A Song For Everyone (Anti)
Squeeze - Tempted (A&M)
Billy Preston - That's The Way God Planned It (Apple)
Matt McGinn - Life (white)
Chris Brokaw, Geoff Farina - Take Me Back To Baltimore (Damnably)
Belle And Sebastian - This Is Just A Modern Rock Song (Jeepster)
Ailie Bradley - Sincerity (White Mountain)
Nick Cave - O Children (Mute)
The Loves - December Boy (Fortuna Pop)
Sandy Denny - Late November (Island)
War Paint - Shadows (Neon Lights remix) (Rough Trade)
Sly Stone - Que Sera Sera (Epic)

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