Monday, October 30, 2006

Groovie Ghoulies

"It's in the trees, it's coming..."
Castle FiL, 30 Oct 2006

Ah, it's the night before Halloween, and round Castle FiL we are all set for tomorrows tricks and treats. The front garden and walkway has been festooned with webs, the bushes are a-crawling with arachnids, a disembodied wraith head leers from a skeletal tree, and what the children affectionately call the "devil zombie" is leaning over the garden wall in anticipation of snaring a juicy Hansel or Gretel in search of candy. And inside the castle, Family FiL are sharpening their cutlasses and polishing their jackboots as they prepare to mercilessly roam the neighbourhood en masse in search of plunder and a head or two to hang from the mizzenmast...

On top of all this macabre merriment, Dearest Tim has decided to release this week's Contrast Podcast a day early! Hooray! The theme for the thirty-first episode is "Music To Watch Ghouls By," suggested by myself to mark the season. But what has me all in a tizz is that through the magic of modern technology, Tim & I actually did the intro together! And if you listen very carefully, Dear Friends, you will hear my Dearest, Darling Wife provide a cameo appearance. It was fortunate that she is suffering from a cold - it added much to the performance.

The 'cast itself is a true grimoire of ghastly tunes, so do huddle behind the safety of your sofa and prepare to listen all a-tremble. You can download the podcast through this direct link to Hell or subscribe to this atrocity and future podcasts using this RSS feed:

Be afraid, be very afraid...

(00:00) The Crewnecks - Rockin’ Zombie
FiL from Pogoagogo

(04:22) The Pogues - Worms
Lyle from Mentok the Mindtaker

(05:20) Frank Black - Theme from One Step Beyond
Brian from The Rant

(08:15) The Misfits - Last caress
Simon from You can call me Betty

(10:47) The Coral - Skeleton Key
Jim from Sessions of Breakfast

(14:07) Klaxons - Atlantis to Interzone
Kip from Hip to be square

(19:08) Moimir Papalescu & the Nihilists - 5 long knives
ZB from So the wind won’t blow it all away

(23:05) Death in Vegas - Aisha
Tim from FunFunFun

(29:59) Voltaire - Brains!
Bethanne from CTASLS

(35:52) The Ramones - Pet Cemetary
Alex (who doesn’t have a website!)

(40:03) Guillemots - She’s evil
Marcy from Lost in your inbox

(43:55) Tenhi - Salain
Marcos from Mindboosternoori

(49:01) Hole - Berry (Live)
Fraser from BKLYN Song of the Day

(52:18) Bert Convy - The monster’s hop
Ross from Just Gimme Indie Rock

(55:00) The Movielife - Scary
Andy from Circles of Concrete

(58:32) The Gorgonites - Holloween
Spoodles from Robot hand is the future

This week I had great difficulty in selecting a tune, as I have many fiendish tracks in my crypt. Truth be told, I was surprised not to see more (any?) gothic offerings amongst the contributions. Perhaps it was too obvious a (flat) field to plow? Ah, might as well throw a couple into the also-ran list...

Ministry - Every Day Is Halloween (buy here)
Siouxsie & The Banshees - Peek-a-Boo (buy here)
Mortiis - Parasite God (buy here)
Alien Sex Fiend - Now I'm Feeling Zombiefied (buy here)
Bauhaus - In the Flat Field (buy here or e-here)
Christian Death - Spiritual Cramp (buy here)
Cradle of Filth - From the Cradle to Enslave (buy here or e-here)
The Mummies - You Must Fight to Live on the Planet of the Apes(buy here)
Jack & Jim - The Midnight Monster's Hop (buy here )
The Cramps - Goo Goo Muck (buy here)

For next week's theme, Tim has gone all contemplatve and set the themes as "When?" So dig around for song titles with that interrogative in the title or artist name, and follow these easy directions to participate.

And so, Dear Friends, I hope this marks the start of my clawback towards a semblance of regular posting. After, of course, we raid the neighbourhood. Avast, me hearties! Arrrrr!!!

Please Stand By

Oh me, oh my, we are experiencing technical difficulties. Well, truth be told, it's EZarchive's fault. Completely and entirely. They are upgrading to a new system and have changed the way files are handled and presented, and have been somewhat opaque in communicating the shift. You know the old axiom "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all?" Well, I can't and therefore I won't.

Please bear with me - I'll be sorting out the most recent links as soon as possible. In the meantime...

Video: Spandau Ballet - Communication

Sunday, October 29, 2006

In Memoriam

Dearest Mother-In-Law & Dearest Wife

Dear Friends, apologies for the hiatus - there has been so much going on. You see, yesterday we held a memorial service for my Dearest Mother-In-Law, Veronica. Truth be told, I had not intended to post about it, as I had already shared with you her passing and her burial. But in the end I could not let it go unmarked.

Veronica was a wonderful woman, as you may have probably already deduced from my previous posts. But I am not alone in thinking so; some 150 people came along to Saturday's service to remember and share how she touched those she knew and who knew her. The words of the ten or so who eulogized her spun some common skeins:

Her dedication to ensuring that children with special learning needs got the help and support they needed, whatever the prevailing political winds.

Her uncanny ability to make everyone with whom she came into contact feel like they were her best friend.

Her hospitality and nurturing, as symbolized by her incessant pie and breadmaking.

Her beautiful way of offering advice and counsel bereft of judgement.

Her wickedly earthy streak.

And finally, how missed she is, even though her presence is still felt.

I still miss her terribly.

Archie Fisher - Ettrick (buy here)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Nice Song, Shame About The Band

Hooray! It's Tuesday! Contrast Podcast day! This week's theme (suggested synchronously by Amy from Shake Your Fist and Matt from Earfarm) was a bit of a tricky one: "A Song I Like By A Band I Don't." And so, Dear Friends, we've got ourselves a whole mess of love and hate as contributors try to sort out their feelings...

As usual, the podcast can be downloaded via this link, or else you can get your computer to do the dirty each week and automatically download the latest episode using the following RSS code: .

Let us plunge into a morass of conflicted likes & dislikes...

(00:00) Paul McCartney - Momma Miss America
Tim from The Face of Today

(04:50) The Smashing Pumpkins - Cherub Rock
Matt from Earfarm

(10:23) The Decemberists - O’Valencia!
Natalie from Mini-Obs

(14:48) Larrikin Love - Downing Street Kindling
Ross from Just Gimme Indie Rock

(17:27) Panic! At The Disco - I write sins, not tragedies
Bethanne from CTASLS

(21:06) Bob Dylan - Subterranean homesick blues
FiL from Pogoagogo

(24:16) Unknown Artist - Audio Track 01
Fraser from BKLYN Song of the Day

(31:58) Sum 41 - We’re all to blame
Rachel from Untitled

(35:43) Creed - Roadhouse Blues
Andy from Circles of Concrete

(41:15) Deep Blue Something - Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Tom from Other People’s Toys

(46:05) Chumbawamba - Tubthumping
Lyle from Mentok the Mindtaker

(50:23) The Smithereens - She’s got a way
Jim from Quick Before it Melts

(58:42) Jenny Lewis - Born secular
Marcy from Lost in your inbox

Bob Dylan was my hands-down choice this week - the man really gets on my nerves, apart from that one song which sets me bouncing every time. I once had an hour to kill at Frankfurt airport and did so at an ersatz American diner with a jukebox on which I discovered said tune. So I pumped the machine full of my remaining marks and got five or six plays of the tune, much to the dismay of my travelling companions who cared not a whit that Johnny was in the basement, mixing up the medecine.

However, a few other tunes were briefly considered. Indeed, it was a useful exercise; when they popped up from my subconscious I really had to ask myself: "And how on earth, Dear FiL, can you say that you actually like this abomination??" So here are the three tunes that also vied for the title:

Journey - Don't Stop Believing (buy here if you must)
Yes, Journey stand for just about everything I can't stomach about MOR arena rawk: mullets, twiddly guitars, lowest-common-denominator subject matter, power ballad histrionics. But something about this tune makes me hold my lighter aloft with conviction. I must admit it's partly mockery (especially when it comes to that widdly guitar!), but a tiny bit of me appreciates both how the song chugs along and the fact that I can just about squeal the line "A smell of wine and cheap perfume" in tune with Steve Perry.

Barry Manilow - Copacabana (If you're desperate, buy here)
Oh God, I find Manilow unspeakable. Whenever I hear his oeuvre I feel awash in a sea of schmaltz and mawk - how horrid! But if LaRonda Beautay, my drag queen alter ego, ever makes the transition from the stage in my imagination to one in gorgeous reality, this is the song she'll sing.

Idlewild - American English (buy here)
Y'know, I tried several times to like Idlewild. Really, I did. But I just could never get excited by them. Even seeing them live (opening for The Hives, wouldja believe??) didn't do it for me; it all just seemed so boring and nicey-nice. But "American English" does manage to tug on my soulstrings enough to create that achy, yearning feeling. And that's a good thing.

In keeping with the season, next week's theme is all Halloweeny: "Music To Watch Ghouls By." So dust off your 50s horror beach party surf tunes and your grimly gothic dirges, Dearest Fiends, and hasten over here to find out how you can participate.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Caught By The Fuzz

Dear Friends, what shame has befallen our family! We are now outlaws, doomed to live the rest of our days with the Mark of Cain upon our foreheads...

Let me explain. The other day Dearest Father-In-Law set off in his motorcar. He turned right out of his street onto a divided highway (that's a dual carriageway for those of you in the UK and Ireland), proceeded west to the next intersection, then did a u-turn to head east on the other side of the median strip.

Alas, this was an illegal maneuver, and there happened to be a mountie, clad in a red serge tunic and stetson, sitting ramrod straight on his steed at the side of the road. After a brief galloping pursuit, during which Dearest Father-In-Law threw handfuls of oats and carrots out the window in an attempt to distract the horse, the mountie overtook the motorcar and forced it to stop. He then towed it to the nearest frontier post, where Dearest Father-In-Law is currently languishing in gaol.

And that's exactly how it happened.*

*Well, almost. Apart from the fact that the mountie was really dressed in a thorougly modern duty uniform and drove a patrol car. And that there was no pursuit; Dearest Father-In-Law pulled over in an orderly fashion. And he's not in prison, but his wallet is somewhat lighter due to the hefty fine. Otherwise, it was just like I said it was...

Judas Priest - Breaking The Law (buy here)
The Clash - Police On My Back (buy here)
Junior Murvin - Police and Thieves (buy here)
Supergrass - Caught By The Fuzz (buy here)
Johnny Cash - Folsom Prison Blues (live at San Quentin) (buy here)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Forests & Trees

A walk in Pacific Spirit Park, 1 Oct 2006

Oh dear, oh my. I had hoped things were going to downshift this week, but we still seem to be speeeeding along in top gear. Out the windows I can see blurs of foliage and streaks of sun whipping by, but we're moving way to fast to sort out this trees and forest malarkey. And at the moment, the brakes don't seem to be working too well...

Hasil Adkins - Things Are Movin' Way Too Fast (buy here or e-here)

Don't get me wrong, I am largely enjoying the trip. It's just that I'd like to pull off to the side, get out into the woodlands, breathe it all in, and mindfully reflect. But probably that won't happen for another fortnight or so. I'm just hoping we don't run out of petrol en route.

Q-Tip - Breathe and Stop (buy here)

Dearest Friends, I do want to share a serendipitous Myspace music find with you. Indeed, methinks this'll find its way onto the Pigmobile stere-ere-ereo as we roar along for the next couple of weeks. I quite literally tripped over Jimi Hunt's page, and the sole track that belted out just about carjacked me. It's a fuzzy, robodrum-backed, Francophone stormer entitled "Sois Belle Mais Ne Chante Pas" (roughly translated: "Be Gorgeous But Don't Sing"). There seems to precious little information around about Jimi, but I gather he's a one-man noisenik based in Montreal (man, there seems to be a lot of righteous sound coming out of there). Further information would be most appreciated...

Jimi Hunt - Sois Belle Mais Ne Chante Pas (no idea what or where you can buy!!)

I do promise to tell you all about My Big Fat Greek Wedding, hopefully on the weekend. Please be patient with me...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

2006 Third Quarter Report

Oh goody, it's Tuesday! And that means another edition of Contrast Podcast. This week's episode is an update of those tracks contributors feel represent the best of 2006 so far. As ever, the offerings are eclectic and excellent. So tune in, and perhaps you'll learn a thing or three...

As usual, you can either download your weekly dose of heaven via the direct link or you can get your computer to do the dirty work itself by subscribing to this and future podcasts using this RSS feed:

So this is what's setting bums on fire in Contrast Podcastland:

(00:27) The Motorettes - We are solution
FiL from Pogoagogo

(04:23) Teddybears Stockholm - Hey Boy
Short Attention Span Radio

(08:39) The Majestic Twelve - Condoleezza, Check my Posse
Chris from Culture Bully

(12:54) Alif Tree - Belle
Rachel from Untitled

(16:53) Archie Bronson Outfit - Dart for my sweetheart
Bob from Gimme Tinnitus

(21:56) Sondre Lerche - (I wanna) call it love
Andy from Circles of Concrete

(25:42) Brazilian Girls - All about us
Marcy from Lost in your inbox

(30:12) Annuals - Bleary Eyed
Matt from Still Kisses With Saliva

(33:19) Jonathan Coulton - Not about you
Tom from Other People’s Toys

(36:03) Grace Potter & The Nocturnals - Toothbrush & my table
Natalie from Mini-Obs

(40:58) The Damnwells - Shiny bruise
Chip from

(46:36) The Young Knives - Mystic energy
Ross from Just Gimme Indie Rock

(49:54) Husky Rescue - Diamonds in the sky
Fraser from BKLYN Song of the Day

(54:28) Gil Mantera’s Party Dream - Elmo’s wish
Bethanne from CTASLS

(58:44) M Ward - To go home
Simon from You Can Call Me Betty

(01:03:26) The Society Islands - The mill
Jim from Quick Before it Melts

(01:08:48) Other Desert Cities - On time
ZB from So the wind won’t blow it all away

I actually find it incredibly hard to pick a "best of" list of any sort, but musical ones I find particularly tough. Maybe it's because I feel guilty about making any tracks I omit feel bad. Sigh, too sensitive by far am I... Anyway, The Motorettes tune I submitted has had me bopping gleefully for some time, so I thought it worthiest of inclusion.

As for the other ones born in 2006 that nearly made the grade, gosh, I don't know, so many. Camera Obscura was way up there, but I thought a) they've already received plenty of attention, thank you very much, and b) I couldn't in good conscience post any more of the latest album's tracks than I already have. Oh, but you are expecting me to post at least a couple of the also-rans, aren't you? Sigh, the weight of public opinion. Anyway, here goes:

The Rapture - Whoo! Alright, Yeah ... Uh Huh (buy here)
They are fantastic live - honest! "Dreaming of fat, happy babies kicking ladies in the metro..."

Harvee - Magical Mind (buy here)
Yes, these Montreallers have really grown on me. Like a very nice mushroom.

Pony Up - Possible Harm (buy here)
More Canadiana-U-Like. "This is me without charm..."

Sex Pistols - Lots Of Fun (aka Pretty Vacant) (buy here)
Yes, the legendary "Spunk" bootleg was finally released this year, much to my pogoing delight.

Next week's theme is a poser: "a song I like by a band I don't." Hmm, this could be embarrassing, but I'm sure you're all up to it. How to participate? The amazing Tim Young spells it all out for you right here.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Majesty Songbird Sings Out West

Sufjan Stevens, 14 October 2006
St Andrew's Wesley Church, Vancouver

Dearest Friends, you'll recall that my Greek commitment (about which more another day) forced me to give up my tickets to see Sufjan perform in Vancouver. Well, I'm very pleased to say that Dear Heidi, to whom the tickets went, was kind enough to provide a lovely write-up of the show. And so, without any further ado, let me turn the proceedings over to her, with my thanks:


FiL, I am sorry you had to miss this show so I could enjoy it, but thank you very much for the tickets. It was a wonderful break on a rainy night.

I deliberately avoided reading anything about the show so I could be completely surprised. In addition, neither I nor my friend had attended a show at the St. Andrews-Wesley Church before, so we were excited to take in the acoustics and the overall aesthetics of the space. Really, the only low point was waiting in line until just past 8 p.m. for the doors to open (tickets said 7 p.m.) but open pews were available upstairs and once settled, I looked out over both the large crowd and the converted stage filled with music stands and My Brightest Diamond in the midst of their set. As the start was missed due to the line, the highlights are limited but I particularly enjoyed an intense performance of “Workhorse” and fantastic covers of Nina Simone’s “Feelin’ Good” (featuring a lovely trombone) and—for Sufjan—“Dido’s Lament” (Purcell.) I’ve only ever heard one other cover of this aria, and I was blown away by Shara’s vocal control—wow!

Once Sufjan hit the stage, I noted that that the band for both MBD and Sufjan were essentially identical—around 2 hours + of music between the two acts. We counted 15 people onstage, and the instrumentation consisted of three brass, a cello, violins/viola(?), harmonium(?) and percussion, piano, guitars, bass and banjo. The band was very tight and . . . . “wall of sound” is the only phrase I can think of to describe the effect. Neither of us had any particular setlist expectations aside from the wish for some back catalogue numbers; we both came away very happy. I think I heard a saw during the intro (The Vivian Girls Are Visited In the Night . . .), and that put a big grin on my face for the duration of the performance. I didn’t bother taking notes on the entire set, I was too caught up in watching the “bird and butterflies” interactions and enjoying the music; but, if I had to pick some highlights:

  • Both of Sufjan’s stories, but particularly using National Geographic images in home decorating
  • “All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands,” “He Woke Me Up Again”—the orchestration on these two songs was just fantastic; I’m still savoring “All the Trees of the Field . . . .” in my head a day later.
  • “The Predatory Wasp Of The Palisades Is Out To Get Us!” (with story)
  • “Jacksonville”
  • A new song “Majesty, Snowbird”—“extraordinary song for ordinary bird”
  • “That Was the Worst Christmas Ever!” (to get us in the holiday mood)
  • Encore of “That Dress Looks good on You”

Again, thank you FiL; thanks to Hilary for joining me and of course thank you to the "Majesty Songbird," the "Magical Butterfly Brigade" & My Brightest Diamond for a night of beautiful music.

Sufjan Stevens - The Predatory Wasp Of The Palisades Is Out To Get Us!
(buy here or e-here)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Hang The DJ

You know, things have been rather fast and frantic down at FiL Acres of late. I shan't bore you with the minutiae, but suffice to say I'm still chewing vigorously all of the work and family delicacies I've bitten off.

Looming largest on the horizon is this Big Fat Greek Wedding we're going to on Saturday. You see, I agreed to DJ the thing and while I am looking forward to it, I'm also rather petrified. First, the guests range from aged Hellenic widows to young(ish) hipsters, and the musical menu is accordingly wide. I've ben asked to provide everything from cheezee cocktail muzak to indie cred with ballroom standards, crooning crooners, hip-hop, mullet rawk, and 80s classix inbetween. So I'm madly preparing setlists - five hours worth. Gulp...

Second, I'm DJing off my laptop, which is untried technology for me; I cut my teeth some 20 years ago (zounds!) on wheels of steel plus slabs of vinyl, and only actually used CDs once during my last gig at Darling Daughter's nursery's summer pool party back in 2004. So I'm praying to the technology gods.

Third, I'm convinced that if it all goes wrong I'll be on the receiving end of a Greek community vendetta. So I'm having visions of being pelted with kalamata olives and threatened by little old ladies in black dresses wielding legs of lamb...

With all that's going on, I am going to be rather scarce in blogland until next week, when hopefully things will loosen up and I'll be able to get back to some much missed ruminating and reflecting. In the meantime, here are a few tracks from Saturday's playlist:

Nana Mouskouri - Never On A Sunday(buy here )
Dean Martin - Volare (buy here )
Modern English - I Melt With You (buy here)
Cansei de Ser Sexy - Let's Make Love And Listen To Death From Above (buy here )

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Come On, Get Happy!!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! This week's Contrast Podcast is out today and the fact that a miserable server conspired to delay its arrival by one day is far, FAR outweighed by the fact that the theme for this episode is "Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!!" So get your earholes, your heart, and your soul ready for the musical equivalent of sunshine, chocolate, and frolicking puppies.

EDIT: In my rush to post, I neglected to mention that a large chunk of my happiness was generated by the fact that our very own Dearest Friends Mentok and mjrc contributed to the podcast for the very first time! Yaaaaaay!!

You have three options for getting in on the joy: you can listen to the podcast stream by clicking the relevant link on the CP website. you can download the podcast using this direct link or you can subscribe to to this and podcasts to come using this handy-dandy RSS feed:

Come on, get happy:

(00:00) Screamin’ Lederhosen - Dog pound hop
Tim from The Face of Today

(02:23) Ivor Cutler - I’m happy
Ross from Just Gimme Indie Rock

(03:08) They Might Be Giants - New York City
Matt from Earfarm

(06:42) Bo Diddley - We’re gonna get married
Michael from The Yank Sizzler Podcast

(09:31) Raymond Scott - The toy trumpet
Victor Scott

(12:50) Thee Headcoatees - Shadow
Bob from Gimme Tinnitus

(16:00) Mohobub - Bileche
ZB from So the wind won’t blow it all away

(19:45) The Magnetic Fields - The luckiest guy on the lower east side
FiL from Pogoagogo

(24:12) The Pipettes - Your kisses are wasted on me
Natalie from Mini-Obs

(26:44) The Eurythmics - Right by your side
Lyle from Mentok the Mind-Taker

(31:36) The Dandy Warhols - Bohemian like you
Marcy from Lost in your inbox

(35:15) Dexy’s Midnight Runners - Come on Eileen
Taylor from Music for kids who can’t read good

(40:08) Grandmaster Flash - White Lines
Simon from You Can Call Me Betty

(48:08) Race for titles - The distance session
Bethanne from CTASLS

(52:00) Hampster Dance - Even hamsters fall in love
Cindy from Adzuki Bean Stash

(56:26) Björk - Cvalda
Tom from Other People’s Toys

(01:01:25) Bettye Lavette - Joy
Charlie from Nerdlitter

(01:05:26) Ben Folds Five - Raindrops keep falling on my head
Andy from Circles of Concrete

It's all good stuff, and I'm already smiling at the thought of listening to it. For my submission I chose to go with a fairly low-key song that gradually pumps your heart full of joy, rather than with a track that smacks you square in the face with the Halibut of Happiness. But there were a fair few other tracks I considered before settling on the marvellous Magnetic Fields. And so, in the name of Happy, I present to you a clutch of songs that get my body and spirit as bouncy and joyful as a bucketful of the aforementioned frolicking puppies:

Rosemary Clooney - Get Happy (buy here or e-here)
Buzzcocks - Everybody's Happy Nowadays (buy here)
Asobi Seksu - I'm Happy But You Don't Like Me (buy here or e-here)
Pixies - Debaser (buy here)
Polyphonic Spree - Light & Day/Follow The Sun (buy here)

Friday, October 06, 2006

A Quiet Night In

Our Gina, 6/10/06
Goodness, is it Friday already? The time, where has it all gone?? Answers, I want answers!!
Dearest Friends, it has been something of a hectic, fluxy week. Deadlines at work, commitments outside of work, busy busy busy weekend ahead, trying to chew all that we have bitten off.
On balance, the week, it went well. A few wobbly bits, but only minor tremors. At least methinks they're minor. We'll keep the seismograph on, just in case.
Anyway, upon returning home from work this afternoon, I espied our Dearest Gina the Dawg, lying most comfortably and serenely on the sofa, head on paws.
And I decided to have a quiet night in. With others around, but by myself. Perhaps selfish, but if Gina can do it...
The Stooges - I Wanna Be Your Dog (buy here )
Calexico - Alone Again Or (buy here or e-here)
Drugstore - Solitary Party Groover (buy here )
If you check out only one song, make it the Drugstore track. It's lovely and low-key and all awash in fuzzy guitar.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Mixing Pop and Politics

Billy Bragg, Tell Us The Truth Tour, 2003
How does the old saying go? "One should never discuss sex, religion, or politics in polite company." Well, either Tim was being very brave, or the folks who contributes to this week's Contrast Podcast do not constitute polite company. You see, Dear Friends, this time round the theme is politics (yes, I know, you were all hoping it was sex and feared it was religion). And what a faaabulous mix it is! I confess I've yet to listen to it (a treat that awaits me after work), but I'm looking forward to a lively debate of music and viewpoints.
As always, you can either download the podcast using this direct link or subscribe to it and future episodes via this RSS feed:
And so here is this week's manifesto:

(00:00) Ian Dury - Spasticus Autisticus
Deek Deekster from Pod of Funk

(05:44) Chris T-T - The Huntsman Came a Marchin’
Ross from Just Gimme Indie Rock

(09:21) The Fun Boy Three - The Lunatics (have taken over the asylum)
ZB from So the wind won’t blow it all away

(12:43) Against Me! - Baby I’m an Anarchist
Bethanne from CTASLS

(15:48) Tricky - Black Steel
Simon from You Can Call Me Betty

(21:55) Old Crow Medicine Show - Big Time in the Jungle
Murf from False45th

(25:28) Atari Teenage Riot - Deutschland Must Die
Cindy from Adzuki Bean Stash

(28:47) Billy Bragg - Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards
FiL from Pogoagogo

(34:10) Company Flow - Patriotism
Charlie from Nerdlitter

(40:04) Phil Ochs - Love Me I’m a Liberal
Charles from Heartache with Hard Work
(44:55) VIM - Maggie’s Last Party
SAS Radio

(50:33) Bonnie Raitt - The World is Not Your Toy
Dan from Burning Down the House

(54:33) Bruce Cockburn - If I had a rocket launcher
Natalie from Mini-Obs

(01:00:09) Fugazi - Reclamation
Justin from Aquarium Drunkard

(01:03:44) Ted Leo & The Pharmacists - Suspect Device
Bob from Gimme Tinnitus

(01:06:52) The Jam - Going Underground (Live)
Chad from Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands
In an attempt to compensate for all this heavyosity, next week's theme is "Happy Happy Joy Joy." So all you shiny, happy people out there rummage around in your glad bags for smiley tunes to submit (along with your peppy intros) to
As I mention in the intro to my selection, Billy Bragg was really my one and only choice for this podcast. Dearest Friends, it may well surprise the vast majority of you, but when I first became politically aware circa 1980 I was something of a rightist. Indeed, I was a member of the Reaganyouth.
There, I said it, I've confessed.
Looking back over twenty-five years later, I believe many of my early views were formed by environmental factors. I grew up in a very conservative household and I pretty much lapped it up. As I ventured into my teens, I started to feel that my political coat didn't fit quite right. When I first heard the twang of Billy's guitar and his impassioned lyrics, it electrified me into realizing I had to change my wardrobe. By the time I was old enough to vote, I was clad in liberal garments, much to the vehement dismay of my parents and largely thanks to Comrade Bragg. Moreover, his folorn songs of unrequited love, new love, lost love, and betrayed love struck a chord within my own young heart.
These days, though I still have a pronounced lean to the left, I find myself focusing less on ideology and more on respect and compassion. And Billy? Well, though still a confirmed leftie, he has shed much of his constricting Marxist garb. "I don't really care about where you're from or what your background is," he recently said, "I care about how my kid is going to get along with your kid." What hasn't changed is his passion, which still invigorates me to this day.
So, herewith are some of the also-ran political tracks, along with a couple of his songs 'o the heart.
Billy Bragg - Love Gets Dangerous (buy here or e-here)
Billy Bragg - Days Like These (buy here or e-here)
Billy Bragg - Help Save The Youth Of America (buy here or e-here)
Billy Bragg - Valentine's Day Is Over (buy here or e-here)
Billy Bragg & The Red Stars - Accident Waiting To Happen (buy here or e-here)
Billy Bragg - Bush War Blues (free dowload from here)

And as an extra special treat, here's a track from his first band, the raw & raggedy Riff Raff. "Romford Girls" is most definitely neither political, nor politically correct. But it does have stonking punk/pub rock riffs, crackling energy, and those distinctive Braggian vocals. Enjoy!
Riff Raff - Romford Girls (buy exclusively here)