Sunday, April 29, 2007

Zounds! A Lovely Sunday!!

Little Man, 29/04/07

Mirabile dictu! Generally speaking I dislike Sunday, but I must say this one has been lovely. And thus it is to be savoured.

The sun came out in full splendour and melted the edge off our heretofore chilly spring.

Dearest Wife is working horticultural magic in the garden.

And Little Man & I had a grand old time running errands.

Our father/son foray included a spin down to Granville Island to pick up some yum-scrum bangers at the Oyama Sausage Company, and some freshly shucked Thetis Island oysters at The Lobster Man. At the latter establishment, Little Man was equally thrilled and petrified to come face-to-face with a live 2-lb lobster, courtesy of the playful shop manager.

And the destiny of these foodstuffs? To end up on the grill tonight for our first barbecue of the season, with Yours Truly wielding the tongs and fanning the flames. Oh yes, it will be like Gordon Ramsay meets Cirque du Soleil and Arthur "I am the God of Hellfire" Brown. Er, maybe.

To top it all off, I came across some lovely music. San Fran band Sir Salvatore dropped an introductory e-mail into my inbox, and were kind enough to enclose a couple of fine mp3s from their new EP, Those Men Are Not Astronauts. The bouncy, fuzzy, sun-sheened "Hooray This Projector" seemed a perfect accompaniment for this lovely day, and I simply must share it with you:

Sir Salvatore - Hooray This Projector (EP currently only available by emailing the band at

If that weren't enough, I discovered that Dearest Bryce over at Plasticmusic posted a whole slew of vintage videos by artists off the superb Flying Nun record label out of New Zealand. I had forgotten what great post-punk/C86/twee stuff that stable of kiwis put out! I'm talking about scrumptiousness like this:

The Bats - Made Up In Blue (buy here, if you've got that kind of money)

Dear Friends, I hope your weekend was as lovely as mine. I'm off to the grill...

Friday, April 27, 2007

Interview With A FiL

While perusing Mini-Obs, I noticed that Dearest Natsthename had a chain interview going. You know, someone sends you a few questions, then you answer them on your blog or else you and your descendants will have four millennia of bad luck, your dog will get scrofula, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will move into your living room.

Anyway, I felt game for a bit of an inquisition, so I asked Nats craft five questions for me. Thanks Nats! And here they are:

Q: Reach way back into the memory here. What is the first occasion you can recall being proud of an accomplishment?

Let's see, I'll have to rummage around a bit; there's a fair bit of clutter in the old cerebral cupboard. Dum de dum... What's this? Just dust off the cobwebs here and... Oh my, I'd forgotten about that. I can't believe I actually snogged -- er, hang on FiL, focus on what youre doing. Hmm, that milk crate looks promising... Ah, found it!

I was in first grade. Our teacher, a rollicking barrel of a lady from Guyana named Mrs Edwards, had asked us to write a story about going on vacation. I remember carefully printing out the first line: "It was Friday afternoon and Jane was helping her father pack the car." That line, plus whatever I wrote subsequently, impressed Mrs Edwards sufficiently that sent me off to show it to the Principal. To this day I clearly remember both standing (somewhat trepidatiously) in her office while she read it, and the warm swell of pride in my chest when she told me that she thought it was extremely good.

Q: Program the soundtrack to the movie of your life. What songs are in it?

Oh gosh, that's a poser. If we're building a film around songs, then I think we're talking a three-hour epic. Possibly a trilogy of them. But I'll be good and limit myself to a dozen tracks that do an adequate job of telling "The Story of FiL."

Donny & Marie Osmond - A Little Bit Country (buy here)
I remember eagerly awaiting the one night every week that I got to stay up a whole half-hour later to watch the "Donny and Marie Show." This song just rocked my little seven-year-old world. Oh, and I fancied Marie something rotten.

Kiss - Room Service (buy here)
Don't ask me why, but someone gave me Kiss's "Dressed to Kill" album when I was eight and I just thought it was the coolest thing EVAH. I wanted to be Gene Simmonds and to do that tongue thing. Alas, Kiss soon fell out of favour, but I must admit that they have been rehabilitated in my musical pantheon after I rediscovered their early oeuvre a few years back and found it actually rocks.

Sex Pistols - Bodies (buy here)
The band, the album, that changed it all for me. After several years of frankly unsatisfying wandering in the wastes of MOR rawk, once in high school I bought Never Mind the Bollocks at my local record emporium. Though I was displaced in time and space from the seminal events of 1976-78, the first play marked my Year Zero. Johnny Rotten instantly became my (anti-)hero. I now knew how things could be.

The Jam - Strange Town (buy here)
Ah, Paul Weller, another hero. Righteous punky modness by the bucket. I am forever grateful to Dearest Bishakh (hey, if you're in the audience, take a bow!) for introducing me to Messrs Weller, Foxton, and Buckler. Shame that old Paul descended into the depth of wooden-beady dadrock. And whatever you do, don't mention "The Reunion."

Billy Bragg - Help Save The Youth Of America (buy here or e-here)
The Big-Nosed Bastard from Barking did more than anyone to shape my world view. And he continues to do so today.

Bauhaus - Stigmata Martyr (buy here or e-here)
Woooo, scaaaary stuff, kiddies!! I'll let you in on a secret: goth is really loads of fun! And it provides great accompaniment for bizarre rituals in basements. And, on endless repeat, for sophomore years spent moping about that girl who now that you look at it would have been totally inappropriate for you anyway. Er, that last bit wasn't much fun, actually.

Daniel Johnston - Casper The Friendly Ghost (buy here or e-here)
A good chunk of my university days were spent DJing at the mighty WGTB. That time saw my musical horizons expand by an unprecedented degree. And the magical, troubled Daniel Johnston was a key expander.

Carter USM - The Only Living Boy In New Cross (buy here)
I moved to Britain during the heady confluence of Britpop, baggy, and acieeed. Carter USM sorta brings it all back to me. But I don't look good in lycra.

Neil Young - Harvest Moon (buy here)
This here's Dearest Wife's and my courting song. Aw, shucks...

The Hives - Hate To Say I Told You So (buy here)
After Growing Up And Getting A Proper Job (TM), I sorta lost my mojo. I think it fell out of my suit pocket somewhere between Fulwell train station and Canary Wharf. Then The Hives grabbed me by the lapels and stuffed another one in my mouth. Thank you, Howlin' Pelle Almqvist.

The Faint - Agenda Suicide (buy here)
Listen to this. Then watch the video. This was my existence. The Faint saved my life.

Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out Of This Country (buy here or e-here)
It's not all crash, bang, rammy tuneage round FiL's way; there's always been a twee element lurking about. Honest. But I will admit that of late the ratio of "strum-strum-la-la-la" to "ONETWOTHREEFOURBLAAAARGH" has been increasing. And I do think this is in some part due to the hop, skip, and jump we made over to Vancouver. Three hours of commuting per day down to 30 minutes. Shoebox living swapped for space. Smog traded for sea air. The only downside has been the loss of proximity to our Dearest, Dearest Friends - you know who you are, and we miss you fiercely. Come on, emigrate, you know it makes sense...

Tom Waits - Innocent When You Dream [Barroom version] (buy here)
I've made it known that this song is to be played at my funeral. Which I expect and hope won't be for a loooooooooooong time yet!

Q: You have won a free week-long vacation for yourself, your wife, and your kids to any spot in the world, but you have to leave in 20 minutes and you get to take one suitcase. What's in it?

Do we have to take the kids? Sigh, alright then...

We're off to Namibia, me for the second time, Dearest Wife, Darling Daughter, and Little Man for the first. Our bag is a backpack, and it holds not much: three changes of underwear and socks apiece, a pair of shorts, a t-shirt, and a fleece for each of us, lots of sunscreen, a water bottle, a big pack of Wet Wipes (indispensible in arid climes, let me tell you), a roll of toilet paper, a first-aid kit, and a camera. We will wear our hats and sturdy boots.

When we land, I will try not to cry with joy at being back. By day we will wander across the ancient Namib desert, marvel at the stately rock formations, admire the industrious tok-tok beetle, congratulate the chameleon on his cleverness, ponder the peculiar quiver tree, and revere the thousand-year-old welwitchia plants. At night, we will sleep in the open under a limitless, inky-black sky sprinkled profusely with shimmering, diamond-dust stars. And they will understand why I fell so deeply in love with this land in such a short time.

Q: Who always makes you laugh?

Always? Always?? Without fail??? That'll be Matt Lucas. In all his guises --from "He's A Baby" George Dawes to chavvy Vicky Pollard to the frightening Bubbles DeVere -- he never fails to make me howl with laughter. Yes, I love the Python gang to bits, but I will admit that some of their work fails to tickle my funny bone. Matt Lucas, on the other hand, has not missed yet.

Q: What is your favorite swear word?

Favourite as opposed to most often used? That'll be "arse." Such a satisfying, all-purpose word. with just a hint of absurdity that takes the nasty edge off. But according to Dearest Wife, the most used work is "fuck."

Memo to self: less "fuck," more "arse."

So, if anyone feel stirred to continue the chain (remember: dog, scrofula), ask nicely via comment or e-mail and I'll devise five searching questions for you. You'll then answer them and either post them on your very own blog, or else pop them down in the comments section below, should you be blogless. Finally, you'll invite others to be interviewed by you, and so on, and so on, and so on.

Who needs Oprah when you've got us??

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Bringing People & Music Together Since 2006

En route to Tim, somewhere over Surrey, 14 April 2007

Dearest Friends, this week Contrast Podcast asks its contributors to reflect upon all that it has introduced you to. To songs, to artists, and, yes, to people. You see, the theme was spurred by the chance meeting of a sewing machine and an umbrella on a dissecting table. Or, if you will, the unlikely encounter of FiL and Young Tim in deepest, darkest reaches of Surrey, England.

As we supped a pint and marvelled at how events had conspired to bring us together, Tim suggested we might ask folks to share which artists and/or songs Contrast Podcast had serendipitously introduced them to. So that's what we've done, and the result --which you can download here or via RSS link ( is as follows:

(00:00) Linfinity - Chu chu train to Venice
Tim from The face of today
(03:50) Teddybears - Punkrocker (feat. Iggy Pop)
Marcy from Lost in your inbox
(08:34) The Twilight Singers - Underneath the waves
Natalie from Mini-Obs
(13:30) Ndidi Onukwulu - Seen you before
ZB from So the wind won’t blow it all away
(16:42) Boat - The bar is too low to fail
Colin from and before the first kiss
(20:40) The Amateurs - Cool by me
Crash from Pretending life is like a song
(24:54) Pony Up - The truth about cats and dogs (is that they die)
Elizabeth from The roaring machine
(29:15) Tim Young - Gotta Go (originally by Victor Scott)
FiL from Pogoagogo
(34:13) Ian Dury & The Blockheads - Spasticus Autisticus
Ross from Just gimme indie rock
(41:12) The Thermals - A pillar of salt
Bethanne from hello, autumn
(44:49) David Bowie - Because you’re young
Lyle from Mentok the mind-taker
(50:56) William Shatner - Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Cindy from Adzuki bean stash
(55:05) Talking Heads - Drugs
Mark from Cinema du Lyon
(01:00:17) Fountains of Wayne - Valley winter song
Tom from Other people’s toys

Yes, Contrast Podcast introduced me to Tim. Soon after joining in this podcasty lark I was exposed (ooer missus!) to the track I selected, his cover of Victor Scott's groovy "Gotta Go." I quickly grew to realise that Young Tim is a man of much musical talent. Indeed, have a listen to him solo over here and see him in action here. Then check out his band, Cut, over here. Oh, and he's got another one over here, called Harold's Leap. And on top of it all, he's a fine remixah produsah; his fantastic version of "Titties" by the band Trucks won their remix competition! Yay!

Until very recently, Dearest Tim only existed behind a pixellated cyberveil woven out of mp3s, e-mails, blogposts, and Skype messages. But when the opportunity arose to engineer a meeting with him during my recent stopover in London, I seized it. So there I was, about ten days ago, standing in front of Heathrow Terminal 1, and up drove Tim, in the flesh, as real as you and me.

Tubeway Army - Are 'Friends" Electric? (buy here or e-here)

We had a grand old time; Tim drove me in his pimped up Escalade round the sights of Egham, the highlights of which were the building where Contrast Podcast is crafted and the garden shed in which much of Tim's musical alchemy is wrought. He even introduced me to his wonderfully charming fiance - rest assured, Dear Readers, he has ended up in fine hands! And, of course, we visited a couple of pubs and drank a spot of ale in the sunny garden of each.

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain - Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps (buy here)

Over our beers, we chatted about music, real life, and, of course, the good ship Contrast Podcast and all the fantastic people who sail on her. It is indeed quite a wondefully motley crew who have chosen to board her, and I for one feel so much the richer for having signed on. It has introduced me to vast oceans of glorious music (see here for some of the treasures), and to some lovely folks as well (Dearest ZB, Dearest Nats, and Dearest Cindy, to name but three). So thank you, Dearest Contrast Podcast Friends, and thank you, Dearest Tim, for Contrast Podcast.

The Go! Team - Get It Together (buy here)

P.S. Next week's CP theme is "Best of 2007 So Far" - so get picking your tracks and submit them! You ask "How?" Well, look here.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Boy Is Back In Town

Dearest Friends, in the words of Lionel Ritchie, "Hello."

No, please, don't go! I swear I've not posted anything by that wretched Commodore. Honest.

Goodness, I suppose it has been nearly a fortnight since I last posted. I did, in fact, return home (aside: it still feels odd calling here that) Monday evening, more or less intact. But frankly it's taken until now to wind myself back up to the point of posting.

Why? Various reasons.

First off, I've been recovering from the journey back. I set out from London's Clapham Junction train station at 6:30 AM London time and stepped out of Vancouver Airport at 7:30 PM the same day. That's 21 hours of travelling, some spent variously on a train, most spent lurching in and out of shallow, cramped sleep on two airplanes, and a chunk whiling away a layover in the antiseptic blandness of Dallas Fort Worth Airport. Where you can, if so inclined, by George W. Bush postcards - they're right next to the ones of the armadillos. Poor armadillos...

Yes, close to a full day on the go, coupled with a total of nine hours of time change, or what the French call décollage horaire. I far prefer the Gallic version, for I always associate it --rightly or wrongly, I know not-- with the verb décoller, which counts among its meanings "to unstick." So time comes unstuck, or one becomes unstuck from time. Indeed, if I do the maths, (starting out in Warsaw, 9 hours ahead of Vancouver, then figuring one day needed to readapt per hour of time change), it explains perfectly why, four days after returning, I still feel I'm somewhere in Greenland. Maybe Godthab .

EDIT: Oh, what a delicious mistake! Dearest Civil Servant has gently pointed out that in fact the French for time difference/jet lag is, in fact, décalage horaire, from the verb décaler, meaning to bring forward or back. Thus my Gallic construct has itself come gramatically unstuck. However, I'm not going to let that stop me! Though I shall now henceforth always enunciate décalage, in my mind I shall be envisioning those hours peeling off and floating away randomly...

I've also been reconnecting with the family. Dearest Wife did a splendid job of keeping Darling Daughter and Little Man clothed, fed, and deployed appropriately. But that's really par for the course. Ten days away is a long time for a father to be away - I remember that clearly from the times during my childhood that my own father would travel on business. So it is lovely to be back doing Daddish things.

Since returning, I've also been trying to reflect on the Warsaw trip, to understand what I should learn from it. I shan't bore you with the details of either the visit, or my ruminations. At least not yet; you have all been so kind with regards to my last, somewhat self-indulgent post, which was done rather rawly, emotionally, and in haste. So, more to come, but I still need to sleep on it a bit. I will say that that the trip was largely a good one on many levels, and overall it deepened my compassion. And for that I am grateful.

As for my brief stays in London at either end of the trip, they were a total blast! It was deeply warming to have had the chance to relax and catch up with many of my Dearest Friends, and to finally meet shiny, happy Baby Tom. And last Sunday, which we largely spent hanging out on Clapham Common in a delightful gaggle of grups and bairns under unseasonably warm skies, was simply too marvellous.

My London touchdown also afforded me the worderful chance to meet Dearest Young Tim of Contrast Podcast fame! It was somwhat odd to see a cyberperson made flesh, but we soon grew convinced of our respective reality as we bonded over pints of ale, podcastic conversation, and weekend engineering works on the British rail network. I will have some startling revelations about Tim in my intro for this week's upcoming podcast (theme: Contrast Podcast Introduced Me To...), but rest assured he is, as I expected, lovely. You can read about Tim's account of our meeting here, though I warn you I don't photo well after a few beers, sleep deprivation, and three hours on Polish Lot airlines...

Oh, and of course, there's music!!

Peter & The Wolf - Safe Travels (buy here or e-here)
Yes, I know this has been about a bit in blogland of late. But it is a wonderful, special tune that accompanied me throughout my journey, particarly through a spot of rough turbulence over the Atlantic. So there.

Peter Bjorn & John - Young Folks (buy here)
Insaney catchy, and it was playing on Easter Monday at Boiled Egg & Soldiers, the posh cafe on the Northcote Road where Dearest T&F@TLH plus Dearest D&S and I had a scrummy full English breakfast. Plus I saw some German hippy-hoppy types do a tepid remix of it on the telly in Poland.

Elton Motello - Jet Boy, Jet Girl (buy here)
Because my arse is stil all flat and my vertebrae still twisted from spending eons stuffed into airplane seats. But Elton obviously has far more exotic adventures while jetting than I do.

Thin Lizzy - The Boys Are Back In Town (buy here)
Coz I'm back.

You see? I promised you there'd be no Lionel Ritchie...

Saturday, April 07, 2007


My Father died slightly less than a year ago, in New York, the city that inadvertently had become his home for approximately forty years. He has not yet, however, been laid to rest. That will happen next week.

His funeral was held shortly after his death, in the Queens neighbourhood where I grew up. After the ceremony, he was cremated, and his ashes stored until My Mother could decide where they should be placed. He had not wanted them returned to Nottingham, the hometown he had left in his twenties. He had variously spoken of having his remains scattered on Long Island Sound, where he had enjoyed sailing, or perhaps in the Swiss Alps, which he had grown to love. But he was not emphatic about any of these options; indeed, he seemed not to be too fussed about what happened.

Towards the end of last year, My Mother, who is Polish, decided that she would bury his ashes in her family grave in Warsaw. And so, after a few months of officialdom in both Poland and the US, Dad's remains are to be laid to rest next week. Tomorrow morning I leave Vancouver to join My Mother, who flew over from New York some two weeks ago.

Dearest Friends, I really have no idea how I feel about what has happened, of what is to come.

I have just re-read what I posted after his death. Back then I questioned the source of my relative calm and lack of despair. I wondered if I had, with remarkable ease, achieved acceptance of change and concomitant serenity. Or perhaps, I mused, I had buried my emotions deep within and risked them squirting out the sides at a later date.

Eleven months on, and my suspicion is that there is indeed stuff buried deep. Very deep. Deep in my core. It hasn't come gushing out in some sort of sulphuric, cathartic geyser, but I can feel it percolating, and I suspect it has been leaking into what I say, what I do, how I operate. Some of it I have identified, most of it I suspect I have not. For example, when I get strict with the children, I find myself using his turns of phrase -- "That is not acceptable" -- and it startles me. It annoys me. I get cross with myself, and therefore crosser with the children.


Though I have thought about Dad often, I have shied away from really cracking open my core to see the messy pulp of how I related and still relate to him, how I felt and how I still feel about him. This is in such stark contrast to my Dearest Mother-In-Law, who I still feel with and within me if not on a daily basis, then near as dammit. Not that long ago I was in Vancouver Kidsbooks, one of her favourite shops. I thought of her as I browsed the shelves, when out of nowhere tears welled up and I missed her so. That has never happened with Dad. I do realise that the connections I made with Veronica were of a very different sort than those I made with Dad. With him I find myself wishing that I had had more time to culture our adult relationship. But comparing my reactions leaves me feeling guilty. Traitorous. Disloyal. Unfilial.

Double sigh.

And then there is My Mother. The pain of losing Her Husband of forty-seven is still fresh and strong. She has found it extremely difficult to cope, in particular with the bureaucracy of life. Pensions, insurance, gas bills, legal matters - Her Husband handled them all. But unfortunately she clutches that pain close to her, and uses it to feed anger and bitterness. Anger and bitterness which then flow out over those around her, especially me. And with those flows come accusations of selfishness, ingratitude, of heartlessness. Along with the occasional reminder that My Father was not happy about my move to Vancouver, followed by the observation that some research indicates cancer might well be caused by stress.

Triple sigh.

What I find most sorrowful is that this is an extension of a lifelong behaviour pattern, one that I have begun to see as born of affliction, rather than malevolence. My Mother has indeed had her share of suffering. She grew up in Poland during the Second World War, then exchanged life under Nazi occupation for one under a Communist regime. She had an unhappy first marriage. She lost her mother very suddenly to a heart attack. Her (second) Husband, My Father, was gravely ill soon after I came along. And she has never, ever gotten over any of these events. Indeed, she seems not to have been able to even try. Instead, out of them she has forged grudges, lifelong ones, and she holds each one close. Carrying their weight has made her tired and bitter. Her Husband's death is one more to add to the load.

Her Husband. HER Husband.

Ever since his death, she has never once asked me how I feel about having lost My Father. I don't know what I would answer, but I would be ever so grateful if she just asked.

And so I am off on this journey, feeling uncertain, ungrounded, and somewhat fearful. Wanting to be compassionate, while fearful of being cruel and arrogant, both to others and myself. But I will try to remember to be receptive to whatever the moment tries to teach me, and to open up, not shut down, during the difficult bits.

A few of you I will see in London as I pass through on my way to and fro. And I am greatly looking forward to that. I will see the rest of you upon my return in ten days or so.

Oysterband - Polish Plain (buy here or e-here)
The Church - The Unguarded Moment (buy here)
Nick Drake - Time of No Reply (buy here)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

You Choke My Days, I'll Choke Yours

Photo by Anton Corbijn, taken from here

I have a tendency every once in awhile to channel surf in the wee hours. Usually this activity ends up in frustration, after fruitless hours or so spent cycling through yawnsome home reno programs, unpleasant crime dramas, World War Two pornography, and the news in Tagalog. Sometimes I get lucky and hit a double bill of Dog the Bounty Hunter. I like Dog. And his pneumatic wife, Beth.

The other week, however, I serendipitously bumped into a screening of Tom Waits's Big Time, an marvellously peculiar and shambolic assembly of concert footage and theatrical scenes from his play, Franks Wild Years. It was even better than Dog.

At one point during the film Waits introduces a song with an anecdote about bad days. As I listened to his smoke-and-gravel delivery, I felt the hairs stand up on the back of my neck and had one of those rare moments of glorious clarity where you know that you're staring truth in the eye. So here, let me share his story with you:

"This is about all the bad days in the world. I used to have some really bad days. And I kept them in a little box. And one day I threw them out into the yard. Oh, it's just a couple of innocent bad days. Well, we had a big rain... I don't know what it was growing in, but I think we used to put egg shells out there and coffee grounds too.

Don't plant your bad days! They grow into weeks, the weeks grow into months, and before you know it you got yourself a bad year. Take it from me: CHOKE those little bad days! CHOKE 'em down to nothing! There are your days, CHOKE 'em! You choke my days, I'll choke yours!"

So, Dearest Friends, do we have a deal??

Tom Waits - Telephone Call From Istanbul (buy here)
Actually, the anecdote was an introduction to More Than Rain, but this song off of the same album sits deep in my heart. Not only does it contain the immortal advice "Never trust a man in a blue trench coat / Never drive a car when you're dead," but Dearest Wife and I danced our second dance of our wedding reception to it. And to help choke your bad days, I will dance to it for you, in a sort of slow, shuffling, hip-swaying, bum-shaking, arm-flapping stylee.

Yank My Chain

This week Contrast Podcast contributors continue to forge the song chain that Tim started just over a month ago. Like last time, there's some wonderfully twisted logic links to delight in, and you can do by downloading the cast directly here, or by subscribing to this RSS feed:

Go on folks, yank my chain. And lest the graphic give you the wrong idea, I'll take an old skool loo ANYDAY over those anodyne, feeble, lever flush johns!!

(00:31) The Weakerthans - The prescience of dawn
Jamie from The Run Out Groove
(05:28) MeTzo - Am I a voyeur?
Deek from Pod of Funk
(10:36) Stars - Your ex-lover is dead
Jim from Quick before it melts
(15:57) The Smiths - The Queen is dead
Justin from Aquarium Drunkard
(22:31) Huey ‘Piano’ Smith & The Clowns - Don’t you just know it
Mike from Nothing but green lights
(25:25) The Violent Femmes - Never tell
Spoodles from Robot hand is the future
(32:51) The Raveonettes - Love in a trashcan
Rick from Are you embarrassed easily?
(36:23) Infernal - From Paris to Berlin
Fraser from BKYLN song of the day
(40:38) Guns n’ Roses - Sweet Child o’ Mine
Andy & James from Circles of Concrete
(46:51) The Fall - Spoilt Victorian Child
Colin from And before the first kiss
(51:55) Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band - Autumn child
Michael from The Yank Sizzler
(56:36) Sufjan Stevens - Sister Winter
Natalie from Mini-Obs

Tune in next week for another episode of musicians presenting their own songs. Tim has tipped me off that it's gonna be a particularly good one...

Since the previous iteration of the CP song chain, I've managed to track down a song that had been awakened from a loooong slumber in my memory. Back in 1988, the Jamaican-born, Brooklyn-bred rap-reggae artist Shinehead released his second album, Unity. At the time I was doing the college radio thaaang ("WGTB - Rocks Like A Mother") and track two of the LP, "Chain Gang Rap," quickly wormed its way into practically every DJ's brain, regardless of their musical inclinations. The song is a charmingly naive, affectionate ode to the New York subway system fashioned over the old Same Cooke clasic, "Chain Gang." Dang, almost makes me feel nostalgic for riding the F train home from school - the sweat, the smells, the intergalactic busker who threatened to keep playing his sax unless he was given enough money to buy a replacement part for his flying saucer...

Shinehead - Chain Gang Rap (buy here)
Sam Cooke - Chain Gang (buy here)