Friday, 25 July 2014

From Inside The Pod Revisited #2

So here's another old Podcast from my previous blog. This one dates from November 2011 (hence its title) and the artwork features a view of Newport in the rain. Apparently. Nothing has been re-written, it is exactly as it originally appeared.

pod 21: Eleven/Eleven
(first published 18 November 2011)

After a flurry of themed pods, it's back to the randomness of normality. The long dark nights have drawn in, it's cold and wet outside, and to make it worse, it's nearly Christmas!

I've pieced together an assortment of tunes to put some colour into your November drabness (for half-hour, at least). 

A double-bill for December is being lined up, featuring some of my fave records of the year. In the meantime, feast on this little beauty, which contains a sample of the delights I've been feeding my head in recent weeks.

1. Stereolab Lo Boob Oscillator (part 1) [1993, single]
JC over at The Vinyl Villain recently posted an old TV clip of Stereolab performing their best-known track 'French Disko'. I was never a big fan, but this made me go back and re-evaluate their work. In doing so I discovered the magnificent European-retro sound of 'Lo Boob Oscillator' and liked it very muchly.

2. Bruce Springsteen Born In The USA [Nebraska demo] [1982, Lost Masters 1: Alone in Colts Neck (bootleg)]
Bit of a surprise inclusion? Possibly, but it can't be much of a shock to learn that my favourite Springsteen album by far is Nebraska, with its stripped-down, back-to-basics maudlin folk sound. 'Born In The USA', his biting critique on the isolation and poor treatment Vietnam vets faced on their return home, was originally written for Nebraska. It was passed over and ended up, in a completely different form, becoming the title track for The Boss' next album. Here though, you can hear the anguish and the desolation.

3. Cambodian Space Project Mean Visa Kmean Bai [2011, 2011: A Space Odyssey]
I've featured music from all over the world on this blog, but this is the first from Cambodia. It has taken a little while for the country to rediscover its culture since the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge which murdered its musicians and artists. During the 60s, it had a thriving rock & roll scene. Last year, the Cambodian Space Project became the first Cambodian act to release a single since 1975 (the year Pol Pot came to power). Having toured the world this year to rave reviews, expect to hear a lot more from them in the future.  The title of the song translates as 'Have Visa, No Have Rice'.

4. Sheepdogs Hang On To Yourself [2007, Trying To Grow]
I have our friend Sean in Thunder Bay, Ontario to thank for this. He recently sent me a mammoth playlist (that I still haven't got through) which included a track by the Sheepdogs. I'm a sucker for some good old country-tinged rock 'n' roll so naturally I loved it. Like the Kings of Leon did in their early days, the Sheepdogs sound as if they should have been around in the early 70s mixing it with the likes of Gram Parsons, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Band. Actually, they've only been around a few years, this track featuring on their debut album.

5. U-Roy Chalice In The Palace [1975, Dread In A Babylon]
I said last time out that there was a distinct lack of reggae here at FItP, so this is the first step towards fixing that. I should perhaps have left this for the Queen's diamond jubilee next year. I can't think of many better sights than Her Maj sharing a fat reefer with The Originator (aka: toasting legend U-Roy).
"One is totally wasted, mon...", she slurred to her favourite corgi as she took a final puff of the enormous spliff and handed it to an equally stoned Duke of Edinburgh...

6. Dead Can Dance Fortune Presents Gifts Not According to The Book [1990, Aion]
I didn't get Dead Can Dance at first, but then being a mere 20 years old just as grunge was exploding, that's perhaps understandable. But late one night (or more likely early one morning), in a dimly lit room at the end of a house party, someone put 'Aion' on the turntable and it suddenly made complete sense. This track in particular continues to stand out, its lyrics having been penned by Spanish Renaissance poet Luis De Góngora. I suppose in less poetic language, it's all about 'sod's law'!

7. Throwing Muses Shark [1996, Limbo]
The utter genius that is Kristin Hersh recently came to Cardiff with Throwing Muses, their first tour in too many years. And I missed it! Couldn't go. Gutted! Have to make do with the wonderful memories I have of the classic Muses line-up supporting R.E.M. in London in 1989, blowing the several hundred people there present into the middle of the following week! *sob* Life can be so cruel. While nothing can quite make up for this terrible injustice, I'm including this amazing track which was strangely omitted from the band's recent self-compiled 'Anthology' (out now!)

8.Leadbelly Birmingham Jail [1948, Leadbelly's Last Sessions]
Why can't people tell stories anymore? Or at least, why can't anyone tell a story like Leadbelly? His songs have endured for 60, 70, 80 years or more, and this one, his variation of the traditional American folk song 'Down In The Valley', is one of my favourites. It was one of his last ever recordings, sadly passing away the following year.

9. Helen Love So Hot [1994, Summer Pop Punk Pop EP]
Perhaps only Shonen Knife can rival Swansea's Helen Love as the band that most worships, and wants to be, the Ramones. 'Da Brudders' influence is so great, they are frequently referred to in the Welsh combo's song titles and lyrics, and the trademark catchy, often very short blasts of punk-pop are uncanny. Joey Ramone even guested on one of their early singles! Sadly, "Hey ho, gadewch i ni fynd" doesn't have quite the same ring to it...

10. Jeffrey Lewis Gas Man [2007, 12 Crass Songs]
It's been kind of cool to like Jeffrey Lewis for a while. Hugely prolific (16 albums/EPs in 14 years, many of them lo-budget, self-released affairs), he's beginning to become more and more popular with every new release. Which most likely means he's no longer cool, of course... He has also written and illustrated his own series' of comic books. This song is possibly one of his most angry, but eerily poignant still.


  1. Robster - I love Leadbelly. Your tale spinner right now is Colin Meloy of the Decemberists. (In my opinion!) Not quite Leadbelly but I think his lyrics are clever. And his stories excellent.
    Christian in New Orleans

  2. Just to say the muses are playing the trinity in Bristol in September

    1. Holy crap! How did I miss that? And Tanya Donelly supporting too! Sad thing is, I have other gigs around that time so once again, TM may elude me. Hmm, will have to give this some thought... Thanks for letting me know Jimmy.

  3. please please re-up xx