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Most people know Bill Cosby from The Cosby Show and his rather goofy sense of humour but few know of the other side of the Cos.

When he wasn’t busy performing stand up, making controversial statements about Black America or being impersonated by Eddie Murphy (, he sometimes made some incredibly deep jazz.

Bill Cosby – Martin’s Funeral

(from Badfoot Brown & the Bunions Bradford Funeral Marching Band)

This track is rumoured to have been written the day after Martin Luther King, Jr’s funeral. Cosby had attended and spent time with King’s children and was moved to write this song in recognition of the event.

I can listen to this song for hours on end. It’s a tune to get lost in. A swirl of heavy percussion is underpinned with a repetitive bass line and Bill’s electric piano compliments it perfectly. The mournful tone of the song conveys the sense of grief that Cosby must have felt on this terrible occasion. If you haven’t heard it before then prepare to be overwhelmed.

Bill Cosby




I don’t care what the haters say, I’m going to see Animal Collective this week and it’s going to be a good time, like the Beach Boys during one of Brian Wilson’s bad trips. Might even re-use my Halloween mask, it’s only the day after. Peacebone!


Animal Collective & Vashti Bunyan – I remember learning how to dive

Also on my mind this week…


This naked Japanese guy is Pseudo-Nippon. I saw him opening at an Upset the Rhythm show a few weeks ago, and he blew me away. Imagine aliens landed in Tokyo and decided that gabba should be the new language of the universe. Then they decided to learn karate and move to Shoreditch. You’re getting close, but you’re not there yet.


Big Man Moustache



They just don’t make ’em like this anymore. Pistol-packin, teen, terrific, pedantic – the Shangri-Las are the coolest girl group ever. When he met them, James Brown couldn’t believe they were white. For a while, the Sonics were their backing band. When it wasn’t the Sonics, it was the Iguanas (the band Iggy Pop played in, where he got the nick-name).

They came from Queens, two sets of sisters, although most people thought they were a trio, because Betty rarely bothered showing up for photoshoots (or tours). Here’s a rare performance by all four…

What realy makes these tracks special is the production work by George “Shadow” Morton. He was twenty years old when he wrote and recorded Remember (Walking in the Sand) with the group. Check out the echo on that track… I think all these tracks are pretty much essential. Read all about them.

Give Him a Great Big Kiss

Remember (Walking in the Sand)


I Can Never Go Home Anymore

Out in the Street

One giant swell rises and envelopes what went before…as in turn shall be done to it.

“New Wave” is such a wonderfully colourful yet now ultimately (due to it’s ubiquity) almost redundant phrase …as in the case with most selections of words describing music. Many of us petty mortals and clodhoppers take perfectly good words and cobble them together rather badly. Luckily, however…we can blow our brains all across blog land, learn big words and stare at the pictures in The Wire for inspiration and heavy knowledge (I only get Wire for the chicks).

I saw Soft Pink Truth aka Drew Daniel at Sonar a few years ago on his small tour in support of his own re-interpretation of certain new wave of punk rock and hardcore songs. As most of you will already have heard and loved the album Do You Want New Wave Or Do You Want The Soft Pink Truth? I wont go into it much here…Just know it’s great, original and really, really fun. Find out a little more HERE. Drew’s back in town this weekend to play at The Rocket in N1 for Wire Magazine’s month long series of shows to celebrate it’s 25th Anniversary. What a good age for a magazine to be. Anyway, I’ll be there…chicks dig guys in noise bands.

Soft Pink Truth covering “Kitchen” by The Homosexuals.

Strobes, quilt capes and chroma key are staple items in Drew’s Big Gay Heaven of modular synthesis and Musique concrète. Bang!

I bet he gets loads of Bjork fanatics coming to his shows alot. “Knock ’em out the box, Rick. Knock ’em out….”. Anyway, this track “Confession” is the fucking shit…a depraved, reach-around of a cover….the sort of track that takes your average electrohouse producer, bundles him into a car at midnight, headed for the border he’s bound, gagged and awaits his new, albeit short life of white slavery and physical abuse. A real kicker.

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Soft Pink Truth – “Confession”

From the waters of sin to the waters of march….

New wave, new beat…bossa nova. I have loved the work of Tom Jobim for a long time. Whilst he wont be a stranger to many of you, I feel that with this blog we should post music not only of the obscure but perhaps of the old and maybe forgotten…This is a gem right here…”Insensatez”….. A wandering piano melody walks across dunes of string and pattering percussion. Chords then widen, keys lift and those big octaves wrap around you ….almost perfect.

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Antonio Carlos Jobim – “Insensatez”

Sometimes I don’t think too much about a song’s lyrical content before sticking it on a cd for a friend. This has got me in trouble a few times over the years and I thought, seeing as this is my first post, I’d get it out of the way early on!

Recently I made a compilation for a few people which covered a lot of styles. I had picked tunes that I had been listening to a lot recently and mixed in a few old favourites. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of including the somewhat lyrically questionable “I Bloodbrother Be (£4,000 Love Letter)” by The Shockheaded Peters. This is an incredible tune that is extremely catchy and will soon having you singing along to its refrain of “Nothing from our loins sweetie, will ever see the light of day.” This paean to man love had people asking a few questions about my sexual preferences. I see that Mr Weatherall has included it in his most recent mix cd. I wonder if he will get the same response!

Before Pete Burn’s success with Dead or Alive and his constant appearances on reality television shows he released one single with Nightmares In Wax called “Birth of a Nation.” Over a relentless beat Pete tells a dark tale about his preference for “big filthy muscle boys on motorbikes.” At one point the song breaks into KC and the Sunshine band’s “That’s the Way (I Like It)” and you’ll never be able to listen to it again in the same light.

I am going to finish my trilogy of trash talk with “Castro Boy” by Danny Boy & The Serious Party Gods. This has a very different tone from the previous two tracks and is quite possibly one of the campest songs I have ever heard! It’s a pretty insane reworking of Frank Zappa’s “Valley Girl” and has a tune that will stick in your head forever.

Please remember not to judge a book by its camp Frank Zappa cover.

A few years ago I was wasting vast amounts of cash in a record store in Washington, DC, when I came across a stark white album with two words impacted on the front:

I flipped the record over, but all it said was:

So, still completely ignorant, I bought it. It wasn’t until a couple of months later that I took it round to my girlfriend’s house and properly listened to it. I thought it was nice folky guitar picking, good for background music. But by the second track we were silent, listening to the sounds pouring from the speakers. Completely hooked.

There’s not much point in me going on about John Fahey, although I could. I could talk about how he started his own label in 1959 as a teenager (to release the ‘split’ with his alter-ego, Blind Joe Death, which I would later find in DC), how he rediscovered Mississippi bluesman Bukka White, how he fused his blues/folk with the dissonance of Bartok, his surreal, hilarious liner notes, how he explored eastern styles, his incredible Christmas albums (yes, really), or how he redefined the steel string guitar as an instrument:

And go on to wax poetic on his prolific recording career in the 1960s and 70s, the experimenting with soundscapes and tape loops, when he was always different, always the same – music which he would later dismiss as ‘cosmic sentimentality’:

Or his battles with illness and alcohol, his own slide into obscurity and poverty, and eventual ‘rediscovery’ and late return to music before his death in 2001. But you can read all that elsewhere.

On The Sunny Side of the Ocean (1965)

Impressions of Susan (1967)

The Yellow Princess (1968)

Lion (1968)

The Singing Bridge of Memphis, Tennessee (1968)

A Raga Called Pat (Part III) (1968)

America (1971)

The Waltz That Carried Us Away and then A Mosquito Came And Ate Up My Sweetheart (1971)

Beverly (1973)

I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free (1973)

Thus Krishna On The Battlefield (1973)

Dry Bones In The Valley (1974)

Stomping Tonight on the Pennsylvania/Alabama Border (live 1978)

Summertime (2003)

Red Cross, Disciple of Christ Today (2003)


I like guitars. I was a metaller as a kid and while I’ve changed alot since then I still get a kick out of a certain fuzz from the likes of Sleep, Scott Reader and a plethora of people influenced by Messrs Iommi and Butler.

However, there’s that sound and then there’s just all out warfare. All guns firing, shells clattering round your feet as you deliver lead justice to the (war)pigs of the world. Something which I find in abundance within the belly of the amazing Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster. A poisoned apple in contemporary, they are not as “big” as they should be…Their vibrant sexbeat is a potent mixture of Bauhaus, Gun Club, Cramps and a slew of other groups powered by sweat and crude oil.

Here’s their new video…it’s a pretty good song, not their best but still pissed over most of the “edgy” indie stuff out there. Their debut album Horse of the Dog is well worth getting so gather up your glass cheques and get it.

I’ve been playing Caetano Veloso a lot recently and only really learned much about him from here. He’s been such a huge artist and my gaze has only been brought his work a short time ago that i’ve been diving in deep to get into this man’s wonderful music.

This is his face. Look at it….

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Caetano Veloso – Empty Boat

Captain Beefheart – Hot Head