Jump to your feet; let us catch your eye!

Kids today, they don’t know they’re born eh? When I was a teenager, five pounds was a lot of money, a hell of a lot in fact. Weeks of saving up. So, blowing it all on a record you knew almost nothing about was an act of foolhardiness to say the least.

Neverheless naïve halfwit that I was, I used to do it regularly, just wanting to hear something new and interesting. There were certainly a few turkeys (basing your record-buying on the whims of a Sounds journalist will do that… Pink Military anyone?), but a few real belters and one in particular that I still listen to on a semi-regular basis.

Pebbles Vol. 2

Pebbles was a multi-volume compilation series, by now quite famous, but at the time, pretty much unknown,a and was made up of obscure sixties garage punk singles. I loved it. Amongst the rough and ready three minute tracks, there were songs by the Moving Sidewalks (Billy Gibbons’ first band), the Sons of Adam (written by Arthur Lee) and Bobby Fuller. There was also a hugely entertaining radio ad by the Electric Prunes for the Vox Wah Wah Pedal (“It’s the now sound! It’s what’s happening!”). Really, I played it to death.

If I’m honest, though, the one track on the album that I didn’t really go for was “Green Fuz” by Randy Alvey and the Green Fuz., which was an incredibly primitive, low-fi number, written to be their “theme tune”. None of the other songs were what you’d call polished, but this one stuck out as being really half-arsed.

Here, have a listen:

Green Fuz – Randy Alvey & the Green Fuz

Kinda basic, isn’t it?

Anyway, over the years, I’ve grown rather fonder of it, and as these things have a knack of doing, a cult has grown up around it, to the extent that a trawl around the Internet even rewards you with an interview with Randy Alvey himself (here), and talk of a series of reunion gigs. I believe the Cramps and one or two others have also covered it and probably even as I write, some bright young thing is no doubt negotiating terms for its use in a mobile phone ad.

Anyway, an album I’ve downloaded this month, and have been enjoying this afternoon particularly is the new(ish) one from the Lemonheads, Varshons. I’ve enjoyed following Evan Dando’s erratic, capering career, and will generally buy anything he puts his name to (again yielding a few stinkers, as above), but this really is a rewarding listen. My favourite track off Varshons is this one:

Green Fuz – The Lemonheads

It’s a more considered affair than the original, although every bit as confused and inept.

I can’t decide which I like the most…

I’ve been dreaming about creatures, coming from dunes on foggy beaches

For a supposed Blogger, I don’t really spend a lot of time exploring the Blogosphere these days. When I do, though, one of the sites I return to is Bradley’s Almanac, a busy, streets ahead of the pack blog based on the Boston music scene.

I envy the selection of exciting gigs he seems to have ranged in front of him every weekend and the time he appears to have to go to them all. He updates regularly and also records gigs he goes to – all the things I’d hoped this Blog would become when I started it. Ho hum.

Anyway, a trip over there this weekend has yielded a few interesting-looking bands, some of which I may well pass off as my own discoveries in future weeks, but in the meantime, You Can Be A Wesley:

The song’s available to download over at Bradley’s – tell him I sent you…

About things today and fallen leaves

Well, September has leapt upon us, school has started and yesterday morning I got my hooped shirt out of the wardrobe in preparation for the visit of pantomime villains Bath Rugby to Kingsholm. (A great time was had by all…)

Summer’s definitely over.

But I’m going to let myself have one last wistful glance back at Summer ’09, and post the last of my Green Man recordings. I didn’t get them up in time but it seems a shame to lose them altogether, so …

Lucky Seven – Green Man Special

A Matter of Time – The Leisure Society
An unidentified track – Beach House
Bike – Robyn Hitchcock
I Can Hear the Grass Grow – Robyn Hitchcock
Another unidentified track – Richard James and Cate le Bon
River Man – Robyn Hitchcock
Skinny Love – Bon Iver
Ursula’s Crow – Jonny (Norman Blake and Euros Childs)

A RAR file of the whole mix.

The more gifted among you will have noticed that, yes, this is actually eight tracks, but the three Robyn Hitchcock songs were so good…

I’ve never been particularly interested in him before to be honest (although I was always rather fond of the Soft Boys), but probably one of the more enjoyable hours I spent over the weekend was listening to veteran producer Joe Boyd talking us through some of his more memorable encounters. After each section, Robyn Hitchcock would sing a relevant song from the period. It was all quite charming…

(apologies for the unidentified tracks, anyone help me?)