Music Stunt 2009

Stunt 2009: Week 16 – Ska

*This is a companion piece to a similarly-themed article on Karen’s site which, all things being equal, should be published at roughly the same time.*

Most of this was utterly uninspiring, though I think I did quite like *Simmer Down* by The Wailers. I guess Ska just isn’t my thing. I can’t think of anything even remotely interesting to write about this.

Yeah, yeah, I know. You’re thinking of some witty comeback which plays on the “doesn’t usually stop you, Pete” motif. Heard them all before. You’re going to have to bring something sharper than that if you want to burn me.

The next week’s playlist

Random number: 381
Two playlists on this page – Thrash Metal and Tindersticks. Tindersticks won the coin toss. This is probably for the best. The book says:

> Nottingham’s kings of soul-tinged, booze-drenched melancholy.

Parenting Photos

Summer Calendar

We decided it was time to replace the spring calendar.

summer calendar

The tags for the spring calendar were affixed using blu-tack which is not very user-friendly for a two year old. For the summer calendar, I have made little pockets for the tags to slot into. Let’s see if this works better.




Music Gear

Bass Rig Evolution

Click on the image thumbnails for larger versions.

Stagg BA20

Stagg BA20

December 1997 – Present
Output: 20W
Speaker: 8″
Weight: 10kg

This was my first bass amp, and was used at a fair number of quiet pub gigs. I’ve never attempted to use it “against” a drummer, and I don’t think that it would cope. I have used it for rehearsal a couple of times in the last year or so, but on the whole, it’s not very satisfying to play through as there isn’t any decent bass response.

The control panel is a little peculiar – the EQ section has the knobs in the order Treble, Middle, Bass whereas convention normally puts Bass on the left.

Peavey Nitrobass + 2 x Peavey 115BX BW

My old Peavey Rig

August 2001 – July 2008
Output: 450W
Speaker: 2×15″
Weight: 92kg

Initially just a head and single cab, I got the second 115 cab in August 2002. This spent most of its time in the bedroom, only getting taken out for 3 gigs. Fantastic to play through – power in droves, trouser-flapping bass. Unfortunately it’s not very transportable – to just take the head and a single cab to band practise required me to lower the back seat on my Astra, which becomes a bit of a chore when you also have a toddler’s car seat to uninstall/reinstall each time. That said, when I did eventually sell it, the buyer managed to fit the whole lot in his Micra.

Ashdown EB12-180

Ashdown EB12-180

June 2008 – Present
Output: 130W (180W with an additional 8Ω cab)
Speaker: 12″
Weight: 27kg

I replaced the Peavey rig with this, as it fits into the boot of my car with no fuss, yet still goes loud enough to meet my present needs. Unfortunately, carrying 27kg in one hand over long distances is no fun (in fact, I generally need to stop periodically to change sides), and so this year I decided to start thinking about furnishing myself with my dream rig.

Hartke LH500 + Barefacedbass Compact

Hartke LH500 and Barefaced Compact

April 2009 – Present
Output: 380W (500W with an additional 8Ω cab)
Speaker: 15″
Weight: 25kg

This, in the words of Alex Claber ((owner/designer of Barefacedbass)), is a “righteous rig”. That’s no ordinary 15″ speaker in there, either – that’s a lightweight, high-sensitivity Eminence Kappalite 3015. The cab weighs less than half of one of those old Peavey 115BX BWs, and is roughly the same size as the Ashdown combo, so will fit in my car’s boot easily. I’m looking forward to gigging this little beaut.

Music Stunt 2009

Stunt 2009: Week 15 – Fleetwood Mac

*This is a companion piece to a similarly-themed article on Karen’s site which, all things being equal, should be published at roughly the same time.*

Usually I write my stunt post (and select the following week’s playlist) on Tuesday evening, but this week I completely forgot. Partly because I’ve had other things pressing on my attention (Bernard’s been poorly, and I’ve also been anticipating the arrival of my new bass rig) and partly because this week’s playlist has actually bored the shit out of me, because I knew half of the songs already, and the other half didn’t impress me much.

1. **Albatross** from English Rose – it’s a fairly pleasant song, but I think that I’ve heard it so many times that it no longer does anything for me. It’s passed the limit.

2. **Black Magic Woman** from English Rose – at the end of the day, it’s just a blues song. A particularly notorious one, yes, but not a particularly good one.

3. **Oh Well** from Then Play On – the first bit is a fairly short and spiky rock thing, which segues into a long and rambly quiet bit that develops at a snail’s pace.

4. **Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown)** from 25 Years: The Chain – long and wanky, it reminds me of the lovechild of Cream and Spinal Tap.

5. **Hypnotized** from Mystery To Me – I really enjoyed this song, it’s got a nice summery vibe. It’s got a drawn-out ending, but I suppose that’s unavoidable for a song from this genrera ((portmanteau of genre+era)).

6. **Rhiannon** from Fleetwood Mac – I know that this song holds some significance for Karen, as she included it on one of her three “scrapbook” compilations. For me, I don’t know whether I like it or love it. But I definitely don’t dislike it.

7. **Go Your Own Way** from Rumours – I think I really, really like this song. It’s probably one of my favourite Fleetwood Mac songs. There’s passion in the vocals, and the guitar solo serves the song.

8. **You Make Loving Fun** from Rumours – despite having heard this song countless times, I still like it. Especially the chords in the bridge.

9. **Sisters Of The Moon** from Tusk – it’s all minor key and moody and despairiful. It’s not bad, actually, but I can’t think of anything specific that I like about it.

10. **Brown Eyes** from Tusk – the arrangement is fairly good, the whole song sounds complete and well-formed. But the tempo seems to drag, and it goes on for a fair while.

The next week’s playlist

Random number: 338
Only one playlist on this page – Ska. The book says:

> As Independence fever swept the island at the start of the 1960s, ordinary, working-class Jamaicans rejected US R&B, or what was fed to them on the BBC-based national radio, in favour of a vociferous homegrown sound. This was ska – and as an intrinsic expression of Jamaican-ness, it is music that is always going to be hard to beat.


Laughing Penguins

laughing penguins





Serious Hens


Music Stunt 2009

Stunt 2009: Week 14 – Sam Cooke

*This is a companion piece to a similarly-themed article on Karen’s site which, all things being equal, should be published at roughly the same time.*


1. **Any Day Now** from Sam Cooke with the Soul Stirrers – I sense that I’m supposed to be reviewing this song based upon his vocal performance. It’s fairly good, but there’s lots of note acrobatics, which has been taken to excess in recent decades. So Sam has a lot to answer for. Other than that, I found this song fairly dull.

2. **Wonderful** from Sam Cooke with the Soul Stirrers – if I was a devout Christian then maybe I’d get this, but I’m not, and so I just find it rather annoying.

3. **Jesus, Wash Away My Troubles** from Sam Cooke with the Soul Stirrers – stop expecting Jesus to clean up your shit, and take some responsibility for your own life. He’s been dead for years. The only use he’ll be now is if you spill some petrol on the forecourt and you need something sandy to soak it up.

4. **Nearer To Thee** from The Great 1955 Shrine Concert – I couldn’t find the “epic eight-and-a-half minute” version described in the playlist blurb, so my review is based on incomplete knowledge. But the version that I did find was quite dull.

5. **You Send Me** from Portrait Of A Legend – Sam realised that gospel was a dead-end genre and decided to dabble in some easy listening instead. It’s an improvement, but I’m not particularly impressed. I think I’ve written better songs.

6. **Wonderful World** from Portrait Of A Legend – I don’t know what a slide rule is for either. I do rather like this song. The Levi’s advert that it (or, an inferior version of it) was used in was the one where some dude climbs into the bath with his jeans on.

7. **Twisting The Night Away** from Portrait Of A Legend – I’m fairly keen on this song too. It’s actually a song that is in my current band’s repertoire, though our version doesn’t come close to the original, partly because we’re missing a piano and horn section. And Sam Cooke on vocals.

8. **That’s Where It’s At** from Portrait Of A Legend – probably the best song of this week’s playlist, it’s a beautiful soul ballad, and I love the way he practically screams the chorus.

9. **Bring It On Home To Me** from Portrait Of A Legend – this is just the same song again, though with an annoying “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah” refrain between Sam and Lou Rawls; which, according to Neil Foxlee, who compiled this playlist, is the “icing on the cake” of this song. Yeah, if the icing smelled of wee.

10. **A Change Is Gonna Come** from Portrait Of A Legend – I can’t help but be moved by this song, because I know that it dates back to a time when black people were genuinely seen to be inferior in the eyes of the law in the US. Okay, there’s still a lot of racism in the world, and maybe we’ll never be able to completely eradicate it, but things are undeniably better. Sometimes it’s nice to have a reminder that the human race has some capacity for improvement.

So, in conclusion: underwhelmed, but hey ho, that’s how it goes sometimes. His wikipedia page makes for an interesting read though.

The next week’s playlist

Random number: 132
Two playlists on this page – at the coin toss stage, Flaming Lips concede to Fleetwood Mac, though I would have been happy with either. The book says:

> Around the eternal nucleus of Mick Fleetwood (drums) and John McVie (bass), Fleetwood Mac have battled through since 1967. Their story has been described as the ultimate rock soap opera, but even the most imaginative scriptwriter would struggle to dream up such a litany of success, failure, love, hate, alcoholism, disappearance, sex and drugs. And that was just 1971.


Music Stunt 2009

Stunt 2009: Week 13 – Africa calling

*This is a companion piece to a similarly-themed article on Karen’s site which, all things being equal, should be published at roughly the same time.*

Is anybody actually using these Spotify playlists? Cos if not, I’ll just save myself the effort.

1. **Pata Pata** Miriam Makeba – such a jolly and uplifting song, I can’t help but like it.

2. **Soul Makossa** Manu Dibango – pretty funky, it makes good “walking” music, if you know what I mean. The sax riff is simple, but effective enough. There’s a few little interesting changes thrown in as well, so it narrowly avoids feeling too long.

3. **Lady** Fela Kuti – 14 minutes long, the first 6 of which are basically vamping over the same chords, and then there’s some singing, but it’s all really rather monotonous.

4. **Monie** Kanda Bongo Man – “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by WMG.” I wonder what Warner Music Group think that their job is. Here’s a stab in the dark – maybe you’re supposed to be giving your artists exposure? What have you achieved here? You’ve made yourselves look stupid. Fucking stupid.

5. **Birima** Youssou N’Dour – I can’t deny it, this is a pretty good song. But I can’t bear this dude’s voice. And this song has a really annoying bongo solo, which basically just consists of some eejit hammering away at them at machine-gun rate for too long. I do like the way that the song builds towards the end – I wish more songwriters made the effort to incorporate some kind of dynamics into their songs. Shame that Youssou can’t be bothered to write an ending, and just fades it out.

6. **Lasidan** Ali Farka Toure – six minutes, mostly guitar wank over the same few chords.

7. **Didi** Khaled – just very very annoying, predominantly because after a while you get tired of Khaled saying “Didi, Didi, Didi didididididididiwa didiwa didiwa heyeyeyeyeyey” or something like that. This is one of the most repetitive songs that I’ve heard in recent years.

8. **Tekere** Salif Keita – another moderately bland song with too much guitar widdling, but at least it’s sufficiently inoffensive to be listenable as background material.

9. **Shumba** Thomas Mapfumo – I quite like this song, though it doesn’t do much. It’s got a nice ambience. It’s got multiple guitar melodies, a vocal melody and a relatively complicated bassline all happening simultaneously, and they shouldn’t really fit together but somehow they do. No dynamics whatsoever.

10. **Yeke Yeke** Mory Kante – the song was written in the 1980s but gained notoriety in 1994 when it was remixed by German Techno duo “Hardfloor”. It’s been quite a long time since I went to a nightclub, so any interest that I may have had in dance music has mostly evaporated.

So, in conclusion: mixed feelings, but generally eager to get onto the next playlist, whatever it may be.

The next week’s playlist

We’re going to be off on holiday, so the next playlist will last us a fortnight. Unless it’s a load of toss, in which case we’ll listen to it once and then find something else to listen to.

Random number: 77
Two playlists, mystical forces choose Sam Cooke over Julian Cope. The book says:

> The soul singer’s soul singer, Cooke was the idol of everyone from Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin to Muhammad Ali and Rod Stewart. Selections #3-#10 are all Cooke compositions.

This looks most promising. Here’s Spotifyage.

lady gaga poker face download,
lady gaga the fame download,
mp3 online,
please don’t stop the rain mp3 download,
peter broderick with the notes in my ears,
download wwe the music volume 9,
bon jovi its my life mp3,
download beyonce i am sasha fierce,
jamie foxx blame it download,
all american rejects gives you hell download.