Porcupine Tree – Shesmovedon
Posted on Nov 30th, 2007 by Alan @ 12:53 pm

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One of the oddest re-recordings ever. Porcupine Tree orginally released “Shesmovedon” as a single to promote the 2000 “Lighbulb Sun” album, and then re-recorded it for inclusion as a bonus track on their 2005 album “Deadwing”. But not on all versions of that album – the main Amazon listing is for the version without this song. The link below is for the version complete with this track (and some video content if I remember correctly)

And no matter how tempted you are to spend £79.99 on a second hand copy of “Lightbulb Sun”, do try and contain yourselves! I believe a re-issue of this, complete with a 5:1 audio mix, is scheduled for 2008. It is a fine, fine album and worth the wait (many would argue that it’s also worth eighty quid, but they’re the kind of band that attracts that kind of obsessive fan!)

What’s most bizarre about these are that the two versions are almost identical – the re-recording is ever so slightly faster, and some of the bass runs and drum fills are more elaborate (Chris Maitland was replaced on drums by Gavin Harrison in 2002, prior to the release of “In Absentia”) Other than that I’d struggle to spot an significant differences.

I’ll also dig out a live version of the track to complete this post later, as that’s the way I prefer to hear it. The live band line-up features a second guitarist, John Wesley, who also adds his distinctive vocals to the sound.

2000 version (from “Lightbulb Sun”)

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2005 version (from “Deadwing”)

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Live version (from a bootleg of the band’s show at the Fillmore, San Francisco, 25th November 2002)

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Starbucks – Glen!
Posted on Nov 29th, 2007 by Alan @ 1:02 pm

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Marillion – Just For The Record
Posted on Nov 29th, 2007 by Alan @ 10:37 am

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The almost-original line-up of Marillion (Mick Pointer, the drummer on their very first album didn’t get an invite) were back on stage together a couple of months ago for the first time in almost 20 years. The occasion was “Hobble on the Cobbles”, a free festival on the Market Square in Aylesbury, the town where the band formed back in the early 80s. Fish played a full set, and for the encore invited his old pals up to join him for a rendition of “Market Square Heroes”, their debut single a quarter of a century earlier.

So here, for your listening pleasure, is one of that line-up’s finest moments – “Just For The Record”, from their fourth album “Clutching At Straws” in 1987, the year before Fish left the band.

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LEO – Make Me
Posted on Nov 23rd, 2007 by Alan @ 11:17 am

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The LEO album is just so damn freakin’ good that I’ve got to post another track from it. This one’s got a totally different feel to it than “Goodbye Innocence”, it’s one of those songs that has me reaching for the volume controls every time I hear it. A bucking felter. Enjoy!

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Pele – The Green Fields Of France
Posted on Nov 22nd, 2007 by Alan @ 10:50 am

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Song, By Toad posted The Men They Couldn’t Hang’s version of this song to mark Remembrance Sunday. It took me a long, long time to place where I’d heard it before, but I got there in the end – it was a b-side to a Pele single called “Fireworks” about 15 years ago. If I remember rightly I picked up the single at a freshers’ fair event when I was a student in Aberdeen – one of the second hand record stores used to bring along several boxes of crap no-one wanted to buy and let you help yourself to it. I’ve got a cracking 12″ Natural Life single in the attic that I got there too, but unfortunately no way of converting it to an mp3 so I can share it with you all. Count yourselves lucky.

Anyway, the free music added to the free beer and johnnies were enough to get a fresh-faced falski along there every single year. Ironically, my music tastes were to ensure that I only needed one of the other two freebies…

Here are the two versions of “The Green Fields Of France”. Which do you prefer? I’ve also posted the a-side of the Pele single so you can hear some of their own stuff.

The Men They Couldn’t Hang – The Green Fields Of France:

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Pele – The Green Fields Of France:

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Pele – Fireworks

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Alice Temple – Chemical Way
Posted on Nov 19th, 2007 by Alan @ 10:39 am

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In my Eg & Alice post a few weeks ago I said I was trying to track down a copy of Alice’s solo album “Hang Over”. I’ve still not managed to do that, but I did get hold of a copy of the leading single on GEMM (an absolutely essential site to bookmark for tracking down rare stuff – they aggregate the listings of thousands of independent record and book dealers)

So here’s the single. It’s got a decent hook, is nicely produced and Alice’s voice is as good as ever, but I’ve got to admit it isn’t really my cup of tea. Hopefully when I finally track down the album there’ll be something with a bit more soul on there.

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Blackfield – 1,000 People
Posted on Nov 16th, 2007 by Alan @ 2:53 pm

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Blackfield released their second eponymous album earlier this year – the band is a collaboration between Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson and Israeli singer Aviv Geffen (apparently Israel’s equivalent of Robbie Williams, except he isn’t a fat dancer)

The first album was a corker, but after a few months of absorbing the follow-up I think they’ve topped it. Blackfield take a more mainstream approach than Porcupine Tree, not least in that they tend towards four minute verse-chorus-verse songs, but there is still a load going on in the music.

“1,000 People” is a beautiful track, simple in it’s construction but with lush orchestration and tear-jerking harmonies. Sheer class.

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John Wesley – Thanksgiving Day
Posted on Nov 14th, 2007 by Alan @ 2:07 pm

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From John Wesley’s MySpace blog:

The night after Thanksgiving Day 2005 at around 3am I was on the tour bus somewhere in Europe when my cell phone awoke me in the bunk. It was my daughter Jamie, who was crying and could barely speak. The day before, her longtime childhood friend Pfc. Marc Delgado had been killed in an IED explosion on Thanksgiving Day in Iraq. Killed with him, was his good friend and platoon leader, SSG Steven Reynolds. The gunner in the humvee, Marissa Strock, lost her legs.

Her cousins and Marc had been neighbors since early childhood, and Marc and his brothers had been a fixture in Jamie’s life all through grade school and high school. More often than not, she would be the only girl running around with a pack of boys lead by the biggest of the boys Marc, and his best friend, Jamie’s cousin J.T.. I always knew that when she was with them…she was with her “brothers” and they would always look after her like she was their little sister.

Watching the kids go through the first loss of one of their own caused something to stir inside of me. Seeing Marc’s mom Ellen at Christmas wearing Marc’s dog tags wrenched my insides even more. I was being driven to write, but every time I would start…I felt could not tell his story in the way it needed to be told.

A year or so later, after time to settle and think, I was in L.A. watching a documentary with live footage of young soldiers in Iraq, fighting, being wounded, and more than anything, taking care of each other.

This sense of “brotherhood” and real Honor, coupled with a sense of unwavering dedication and willingness to sacrifice everything for each other, and the way Ellen was so proud of Marc, gave me the words to compose “Thanksgiving Day”.

There are no politics in the lyrics of this song. This song is not about the right or wrong of our current or past conflicts. This song is about the soldiers. The sons, daughters, fathers – the soldiers that have given their all in this generation and in the many generations before us to preserve our freedom.

The song is a free download, pass it along to anyone that you think would like to share in this story and honor Marc and his fallen and wounded brothers and sisters by remembering. Send them to this site, or send the MP3 attached in emails to anyone you know that may benefit from sharing in this song.

There is a link to a donation page at www.WoundedWarriorProject.org under the song download on my myspace page. All donations will be passed on to the WWP organization in Marc’s name.

Again…this song is not about politics, it is about remembering and honoring the sacrifice of Marc and the Soldiers and families of all that came before him, and those that will serve after him. Pass it along.

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Porcupine Tree – Piano Lessons
Posted on Nov 12th, 2007 by Alan @ 8:00 pm

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Agent Picolax
Posted on Nov 9th, 2007 by Alan @ 2:23 pm

And now for something completely different… “blu-tone” is now the officially recognised King Of Comedy!

Singletrack – Mountain Bike Magazine

Normal service will be resumed as soon as I’ve stopped pissing myself laughing. Which could take quite some time!!!

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This blog is intended as a way to spread the word about music I really like, and encourage others to support artists who are making great music. "Try before you buy", if you like. If you hear something you like here, go and buy it - I'll post links to online shops where you can buy each track I blog about.

If you're reading this and you are the artist, or their record company, and you don't want a track I've posted to be available to hear in this way just email me and let me know - I will be more than happy to take the file down straight away. I've heard of other bloggers getting threatened with letters from lawyers, and there is absolutely no need to waste your money on that with me!