#Throwback Thursday – Trainspotting

The first full trailer for Trainspotting 2 hit the interwebs today, and it immediately had me thinking back to the great soundtrack of the original Trainspotting.  Back in the olden days, when films had soundtracks, this one was without question one of the greatest ever made and still stands the test of time today.  Not only did the songs fit perfectly with the movie, some songs ended up defining the era.  The best example is Underworlds “Born Slippy” which is even used in the new film trailer.  Just an absolute classic tune.  Here is hoping T2 lives up to all the hype and expectations.  Until it hits the theaters next year, here are a few things to hold us over…an updated “Choose Life” monologue, T2 trailer, and Born Slippy.

“Choose life
Choose Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and hope that someone, somewhere cares
Choose looking up old flames, wishing you’d done it all differently
And choose watching history repeat itself
Choose your future
Choose reality TV, slut shaming, revenge porn
Choose a zero hour contract, a two hour journey to work
And choose the same for your kids, only worse, and smother the pain with an unknown dose of an unknown drug made in somebody’s kitchen
And then… take a deep breath
You’re an addict, so be addicted
Just be addicted to something else
Choose the ones you love
Choose your future
Choose life”




Paul McCartney Plays Dive Bar

Pretty decent bar band for Pappy and Harriet’s last night.  In one of the cooler shows of the year, Paul McCartney played in front of 300 people at Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace.  From the clips below it looked awesome.  Must be a blast for Paul and the band to go from an audience of 60,000 to 300.  Looks like everyone had a blast, really cool.

Here is what Pappy & Harriet’s looks like when a Beatle is not playing


And when a Beatle shows up




Bob Dylan wins 2016 Nobel Prize 

American music icon Bob Dylan is now a Nobel Laureate.
The folk songwriter won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition,” the committee announced Thursday.
The last American to win the international literature award was novelist Toni Morrison in 1993.

A long time coming for the best America has to offer. 


Chris Helme – Concert Review – The Record Factory, Glasgow – October 8 2016

The Back Of The Crowd ’90s revival has officially jumped the shark.

After a year spent catching the 20th anniversary tours of seminal albums by Manic Street Preachers, The Bluetones, Kula Shaker and catching up with The Stone Roses twice in Manchester and New York we’ve finally got round to seeing…Chris Helme.
Who? Well, ’90s music trivia fans and die-hard Roses aficionados (like me, sadly) will tell you that Helme was the shaggy haired frontman of John Squire’s short-lived post-Roses project The Seahorses.

The band was hugely popular in the late 90s (mostly because of Squire), but critically derided for their naff lyrics (mostly Squire’s) and slight whiff of inauthenticity.

Former busker Helme was recruited straight from the streets, and he was thrown onstage with a couple of pub musicians – hardly a match for the streetwise cool of Brown, Mani and Reni.

However, The Seahorses’ failings weren’t Helme’s fault so his low key acoustic set at Glasgow’s Record Factory was greeted with goodwill and few expectations.

Squire’s guitar playing on their only completed album Do It Yourself was outstanding in its own right, but it was a bit too showy and suffocated the rest of the music – not that you would be desperate to tune in to most of Squire’s horrid lyrics about strap-ons, discount Weetabix and interstellar police cars.

Tellingly, the best songs on the album were Helme’s and they still stand the test of time 20 years on.

He opened in Glasgow with DIY’s closer Hello, a simple little ditty which wasn’t too despoiled by Squire’s fretwanking on the album and sounds even better stripped down to just an acoustic.

A loud cheer goes up when he begins playing one of his lesser known (or rather, completely unknown) post-Seahorses songs and Helme must have thought he had found his next single until it emerged that Scotland had just equalised in the World Cup qualifier being shown at the back of the pub.

The crowd gamely sang along to the ‘Horses final standalone single You Can Talk To Me, another Helme track with hints of Paul Simon, and he recalls The Seahorses “greatest ever gig” at Glasgow’s Barrowlands.

Helme later played one of Squire’s more accomplished lyrical efforts Boy In The Picture, before holding his nose for the Seahorses naff debut single Love Is The Law.

“You’ll need to clap through the intro cos I can’t play it,” he said, gamely trying to emulate the Zeppelinesque riff on his acoustic guitar.

“I had to Google ‘dogfish egg case’ when John wrote this,” he added with a wince and a shrug.

He closed with Blinded By The Sun, by far Helme’s best song both lyrically and musically. It’s not quite as epic without the bluesy intro but the acoustic version has some interesting flourishes and a more bombastic vocal.

For an encore, he does a note perfect rendition of The Doors Five To One, giving a hint of what The Seahorses could’ve become if Squire had loosened his grip on the band, turned down his Les Paul and let Helme off the leash.

But with Squire now limbering up for another round of Roses stadium gigs in 2017 (hopefully, finally, with a new album), I wouldn’t hold out much hope of a Seahorses reunion!



Stew, a rock musician whose rock musical "Passing Strange," is being performed at Players by the Sea. He and his band, The Negro Problem, are performing after the show Saturday

#Throwback Thursday – Stew – Rehab

Back in the early 2000’s, a favorite pastime of mine would be traveling to the East Village to bum around Kim’s Video  for an afternoon. Kim’s had everything…B List movies, impossible to find artistic indie films, 70’s porn and the  main reason for my pilgrimage, one of the best music collections in the city. Kim’s had all the hard to find European and Japanese imports, live bootlegs, and everything else under the sun. I’d spend the afternoon sifting through the racks while the attendant played what was to their liking. 

It was during a visit in the summer of 2001 as I sifted through a rack of Woody Guthrie recordings, that I first heard Stew. The album being played was Guest Host and it grabbed me within the first minute. I wandered the racks making pretend I was searching for something but really was just entranced by the album and Stew. By no means was it revolutionary in its form, just a songwriter and acoustic guitar, but something connected with me and it seemed new. The combination of Stew’s voice and perfect storytelling were both familiar and groundbreaking at the same time. 

I grabbed a copy for myself and hurried back home to listen again. The song that really sold me on Stew was Rehab. I know what you are thinking, but this Rehab has nothing in common with the Amy Winehouse version. The structure is similar to the Crash Test Dummies hit song Hmm Hmm Hmm. Stew takes you on a journey through his eyes of a drug addict friend that is constantly going back to rehab. The lyrics paint a simple picture of a happy go lucky girl struggling with addiction. Unlike most true life addicts though, this story ends on a happy note, sort of. I’ve listened to this album a hundred times and it’s in the company of albums that are always there to go back to, Pinkerton, Definitely Maybe, The Wall, Mermaid Ave, AM, Heartbreaker etc. 

Years later while driving on the BQE I heard an advertisement for a new Broadway show. The voice was unmistakable, it was Stew. The ad was for his soon to be Tony Award winning play Passing Strange. I was shocked to hear the same voice from years ago playing over a Z-100 advertisement, I would have never believed it back in Kim’s. All those years Stew had been my secret find and now everyone would know him. A few weeks later the missus and I saw the play and it was absolutely amazing. Spike Lee even filmed it so if you never had the chance to catch it live, you can watch the DVD. 

Here’s the song that got me hooked on Stew, Rehab :

Bonus: Ordinary Love


#Throwback Thursday – Oasis – Supersonic

October is shaping up to be a big month for Oasis fans.  On October 2nd (In the UK, no US release date yet)  Supersonic will be released which is a Documentary that follows and chronicles the band’s rise to fame over a period of three years up to their career pinnacle at Knebworth and features hours of footage of new interviews with Noel and Liam Gallager, their mother and members of the band and road crew.  When Liam Gallagher was approached about the idea and asked whether old footage could be used, he basically told the producer “good luck we didn’t allow cameras to film us back then.”  Much to Liam and James Gay-Rees surprise (who also produced the Amy Winehouse documentary) there was tons of old footage, Liam just had been too messed up to notice.  The movie looks amazing and I’m sure I will watch it a million times.

If that innit enuff for ya, on October 7th , Oasis will reissue their 1997 LP Be Here Now via Big Brother Recordings, marking the third installment of their Chasing the Sun reissue campaign.  Right now you can get a preview of the “lost tapes” from the”Mustique demos”, which were 14 tracks recorded by Noel Gallagher and producer Owen Morris on the Caribbean island in 1996.  In the meantime here is a classic performance of Supersonic.