Thursday, 31 December 2009

Scratchy Buckles - Birthday

Happy Birthday to us here at Scratchy Towers! Yes somehow we've managed to keep going for two whole years and as we stumble past that all important date (stumble being the operative word recently) I thought it would be nice to mark this inauspicious occasion with a bit of a classic tune with a tenuous song name link.. Birthday by The Sugarcubes, I remember seeing them play at Reading Festival and they were brilliantly captivating, beguiling, confusing and irritating all at the same time, but never boring, the mark of a truly original band.

This is a good opportunity inform Scratchy followers of our plans here.. as you might have noticed 2009 wasn't a particularly productive year in terms of postings for a variety of reasons which I won't bore you with. I was just as frustrated about these issues but the operation is going to go up a gear in the new year and the backlog of half written posts will be addressed. I have a long list of exciting new acts to be championed, as well as getting back to the core idea of focusing on talking about some of the more left field finds from the wonderful world of vinyl.

If that wasn't enough to be getting on with, Scratchy Buckles will shortly be joined by a brother blogsite with the emphasis on movies. Rest assured though, that this won't be about knocking out dry thousand word articles on Hollywood blockbusters or pontificating on dreary arthouse brainbusters. The content will be strictly lowbrow, with a cast iron guarantee on entertainment delivered with the same lightness of touch and scant regard for the rules of punctuation that you've come to expect. So when the launch is ready, you will be the first to know, but in the meantime Happy New Year and raise a glass to another vintage year of musical meanderings in 2010.

The Sugarcubes - Birthday (Also known under the title 'Ammæli') Released way back in October 1987. Directed by Friðrik Þór Friðriksson and The Sugarcubes.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

The Kiddieland Chorus - Songs For Children

There's mumblings in the media about the some sections of youth of today rejecting the cruddy sound of CD's and even worse noise of an mp3 and instead taking up the more decadent aural delights of vinyl records. Some of it is hipster bandwagoning, I'm sure, but it warms the cockles of my heart to know that the next generation of music lovers are ready to take on the mantle of being vinyl bores.

However this revolution isn't happening quick enough for my liking. For unless there's a tipping point of teenagers demanding to be able to buy the sounds of their latest favourite, fly by night indie band, pressed in that glorious black plastic, the likelihood of top quality record shops reappearing on the high street is going to remain a wistful pipe dream.

I yearn for the return of those dusty shabby overpriced music stores haphazardly stacked full of platters in no discernible order, run by insolent staff barely able to suppress their contempt for the customers. It's part of my cultural heritage visiting such establishments. The well worn ritual of tramping along to some inauspicious part of town, foregoing the convenience and comfort of being able to sit in front of my computer and ordering the latest 'must have' tracks in a jiffy for my music fix. This is an essential part of my cultural fibre and I demand to have the right to cross the threshold of a premise, as described above, to have my hard earned wonga relieved of me by some callow oik, who has correctly surmised that here comes another £50 man, recommend me the usual Snow Patrol and Fleetwood Mac remastered albums from the Dad rock section, before sending me merrily on my way clutching the bounty in a crisp plastic bag which will break five minutes down the road.

The only thing that's going to properly redress the balance and return music commerce to it's former glory, is to speed up the process of enlightenment for our poor misguided weens in a mass program of indoctrination, starting from the moment they can recognise sounds and visualise circles. I'm proposing blanket exposure to top quality nursery rhymes delivered via the magic of a child proof record player, preferably one that looks like a suitcase, a concession to quell any quibbles of lack of portability, i - phones eat your heat out, take a look at this little beauty shown here! the evidence is irrefutable.. the kid is captivated by the wonder of watching that single spin round and round, delivering three minutes of musical fun and it's so easy to flip that golden number over with none of the hassle of having to choose between the thousands of tunes stored in the library of a conventional mp3 player. The kids will thank us for it when they grow up and remember: children are our future!

The Kiddieland Chorus
directed by actor Lee Gotch
A High Fidelity Programme of Nursery Rhymes: Activity Songs: Counting and Alphabet: Sleep Songs. Recorded at Capital Tower, Hollywood on the Pye Golden Guinea label.

Side One

Old King Cole
Mary Had Little Lamb
Peas Pudding Hot
Simple Simon
Sing A Song Of Sixpence
To Market, To Market
Ding Dong Bell
Little Jack Horner
Three Blind Mice
A Frog He Would A Wooing Go
Hickory Dickory Dock
Hey Diddle Diddle

Side Two

Old MacDonald Had A Farm
London Bridge
Mulberry Bush
Alphabet Song
Calendar Song
Ten Little Indians
Rock A Bye Baby
Sweet And Low

A couple of alternative covers are shown as well, including one featuring a rather dull woodland scene, via Jacob Whittaker (please contact me if you want this removed) apparently there's also a version featuring the legendary British actress Wendy Craig around but no images found so far.

Lee Gotch was behind The Ivy Barflies record which was full of drinking songs sung presumably aimed at college going party guys. Was this really a suitable role model to be involved in an album aimed at our impressionable youth!