Posts from 28th September 2003

28
Sep 03

Spizzazz

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Spizzazz: While we’re on about the sidebar regulars, Spizzazz is back to full posting strength with a new design (won’t load on my slow connection) and at least one new member. I’m really glad, Spizzazz is and remains terrific. Postings there had slowed down and I was concerned that they might have given up the good fight in the face of public indifference, apparently not though. The blog attracts praise and criticism for its fresh-faced style but I don’t think it gets enough credit for unearthing and talking about new tracks very early. In fact I know it doesn’t because a Spizzazz associate told me it doesn’t in the pub and I thought, blimey, he’s right.

The Church Of Me

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The Church Of Me comes to a gratifyingly happy end this week. I’ve not always agreed with it – let’s face it, I’ve not always felt like reading it – but it’s held down a place in my favourite links firstly for the times I have, secondly for being pretty much unique in its range and weight, and thirdly for sticking to the principle that listening to music reflects the inner life of the listener, and so criticism should too. Listed building status (and a book, apparently) awaits. Congratulations, Marcello.

DICKIE VALENTINE – “Finger Of Suspicion”

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#27, 7th January 1955

Dickie is backed up here by The Stargazers, who redeem themselves for “I See The Moon” by doing a slick job on a flimsy but enjoyable crooner. The song is really little more than an extended chat-up line – “Someone broke into my heart and stole a beat or two / The finger of suspicion points at you” – but it’s smartly done, nobody overdoes things, at least until a nasty organ honk in the closing seconds. Valentine seems on this showing a fairly indifferent singer, but the slight strain and rasp in his voice makes for a winning performance of a song that might easily tip into unctiousness. 5

WINIFRED ATWELL – “Let’s Have Another Party”

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#26, 3rd December 1954

This is also a knees-up party record but of a whole different order. It’s a medley – nay, a megamix – of music-hall hits instrumentalised, mashed together and played sped-up on a piano. I imagine Grandma out of Giles cackling away as she thumps the ivories at some family bash. Winifred Atwell recorded about 800 of these. They all sound the same – think a one-woman 50s Scooter – and it was a devil to track the right one down. They’re pretty good though: you can tell why she had the Christmas party scene in a headlock this year. The version I found goes straight into its B-Side which has, rather wonderfully, a guitar overdub halfway through that took me absolutely by surprise. It’s there for no reason at all, it just plays along with a few notes then drops out again. I love it: it’s one of the first sightings of something great in British pop, the joy in a new noise for its own sake.

Write it down! If (y)our stomach NEEDS FOOD NOW, then the next recipe…

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 427 views

Write it down! If (y)our stomach NEEDS FOOD NOW, then the next recipe delivers that in about 15 minutes.

Cook 2 chicken fil(l)ets in ten minutes.
Heat can of creamy mushroom soup.
Add one (two, three,…) spoon of curry powder.
Cut up chicken in bite-size pieces.
Add cooked chicken to the mushroom soup.
Just before serving add about 200 ml of cream.
Pour over steamed rice.

Presto!

Oatmeal porridge made with milk

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 909 views

Oatmeal porridge made with milk is already deadly rich and creamy, but it seems to invite you to put MORE cream on it (and probably butter and creamcheese and chickenfat and…): oatmeal porridge made with water has a glassier texture and taste, which I always forget that I prefer. I like it with salt not sugar or jam, because that’s how I was brought up: there’s a kind of comforting presbyterian austerity to it which says WINTER IS HERE YOUNG MAN! As I’m not really that young a man and my central heating boiler needs fixing, I actually already knew this.