VulgarGrad- King of Crooks (2009)

 VulgarGrad are a curious band. Australian, and fronted by Polish born actor Jacek Koman, who has appeared in such films as Moulin Rouge and Australia. They perform songs 'of the Rusian underworld'- traditional songs made famous by artists such as Vladimir Vysotsky (1938-1980)  and Arkady Severny (1939-1980), along with compositions by these greats. They also cover songs by the phenomenal Sergei Shnurov of Leningrad and other Russian punk classics.

Jacek Koman-vocals
Andrew Tanner-contrabass balalaika
Renato VaCirca-  drums
Ros Jones- trombone
Adam Pierzchalski - trumpet
Nara Demasson - guitar
Phil McLeod- piano accordion

I've done my best to identify the origins of the tracks featured on this album - feel free to correct / expand my efforts.

1. Oy Oy Oy - traditional song.
2. If I Were a Sultan- a song from the classic  Soviet comedy Kidnapping Caucasian Style - The New Adventures of Shurik (1967), sung by comedy great Yuri Nikulin.

3. The Party on Horse-Shit Street - traditional song.
4. Super Good- by Sergei Shnurov (Shnur) from Leningrad's 2003 LP The Second Magadan.
5. Natural Born Thief [Gop-So-Smykom]- a traditional Odessa criminal folksong often sung by Arkady Severny.
6. Bolshoi Karetny- a Vladimir Vysotsky song about a street in Moscow.
7 Stop the Train! - traditional song.
8. I'm Your Cowboy - by Sergei Shnurov (Shnur) from Leningrad's 1999 lp Mat bez elektrichestva.
9. Odessa Jailbreak - written by Kelman &Timofeyev- this is a  standard of the Russian underground recorded by Arkady Severny-  it can be found as early as 1926 in the movie The Career of Spirska Shpandyr- sung by Soviet Jazz master  Leonid Utyosov.

10. Junky, Alcoholic and Drunkard (These Are Such Undignified Words)- traditional song.
11. Black Flag- a cover of a number by Va-Bank , a Moscow Punk band formed in 1986.
12. A Piss-Up Begins with a Bottle (Plyatskovksy, Severny, Shainsky) Arkady Severny again.
13. Zhopa  'Arsehole'- another Leningrad number by Shnur.
14. Cigarette written by some geezer called Krupp and made popular by Arkady Severny.
15.Tram No. 10- traditional song
16. Odessa Jailbreak (slow version) see above.

http://d01.megashares.com/dl/J1wx1yO/VulgarGrad - King Of Crooks - 2009.rar


Francis Lai - Un homme et une femme(1966)

I don't drink alcohol. But I still enjoy going into licenced premises in the morning. That smell, the sense of possibility (which, by lunchtime, has already dissolved in amber- another gone day). So, I'm sitting in The Parrot, cradling a diet Pepsi, thinking about going outside for another fag (what luxury that was, we took for granted- indoor smoking! Watch V for Vendetta - in the fascist  dystopia of the future as imagined in 2005 they were still allowed to smoke in the pub!) Anyway, I'm  thinking along these tangential lines when my friend Jim swings in on his crutches, the urgent and muscular leaning out of keeping with the little shuffle of his feet. And just behind him is the man I've come to meet...
The man I will refer to as Kartoshka is about fifty. He has a  worn and tired face, weathered and pock marked. His hair is cut in an old fashioned way and he is wearing a sports jacket and old fashioned high waisted trousers and an open necked shirt. He could be a lecturer or a senior social worker. But close up he's more deadbeat. Cuffs frayed, shirt slightly soiled.
I'm surprised when he orders a coffee and he notices- 'I haven't drunk for years now... but I chain smoke'.  The accent ? what accent, it's not foreign at all. It's a neutral M4 corridor accent.
'Mr Kartoshka I presume' I say as we shake hands.
He smiles...he tells me his real name but asks that I don't disclose it.
He won't let me take his picture.
We spoke about music (Bossa Nova) and movies (Nouvelle Vague)  and football (Cruyff, Riquelme, Blokhin and Messi - though maddeningly he says that his favourite player was Sacha Prokopenko). And, of course, about blogs.In the past I've been involved in fanzines, music, football. Some poetry too. I was late coming into the blogging thing. About 2009... I hadn't been doing much on the creative side, and one day I realised that it was an ideal medium for me to just get back into the habit of rattling off a few ideas...
Almost 2 years now since he jacked in the blogging. No plans to start again, moved onto other things, he's writing a play about Nilton Santos, it's coming on slowly. He's got problems with his joints...he's cut down on collecting (records, books, magazines...)
This, he said, was his most popular post : http://kartoshka167.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Francis%20Lai


The White Stripes- Live in Las Vegas (2003)

 Side A
* Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground
* When I Hear My Name > Not Fade Away
* St. James Infirmary Blues
* Black Math
* The Big Three Killed My Baby

 Side B
* I Want To Be The Boy To Warm Your Mother's Heart
* Death Letter >Take A Whiff on Me
* In The Cold Cold Night

 Side C
* Wasting My Time
* I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself
* Offend In Every Way
* Union Forever (aborted w/ alt. lyrics)
* Seven Nation Army (starts at 11:50)

 Side D
* You've Got Her in Your Pocket
* I Think I Smell a Rat
* Look Me Over Closely
* Cannon
* Ball and Biscuit
* Hardest Button to Button

Side E
* You're Pretty Good Looking
* Hello Operator
* We're Going To Be Friends
* Hotel Yorba
* Fell In Love With a Girl
* Your Southern Can is Mine
* Screwdriver
* Boll Weevil

Info lifed from Discogs website:

5-sided 3 disc 30 song vinyl album.
This is a record company issued promotional item of a WHITE STRIPES gig from the "Elephant" tour.
Despite its appearance, THIS IS NOT A BOOTLEG but an EXTREMELY RARE V2 Records issued promotional item!
The LP has hand-stamped labels on 5 sides. Side 6 is blank.
From a White Stripes fansite, "...from what I could gather, the LP was pressed up for V2 contest winners who were flown out to Vegas for the Stripes show back in September of 2003. Rumor is there were only 30-40 copies of the show pressed up. Who knows if you'll see one again in the near future? The audio quality is pristine soundboard and the show was quite fun." 

http://d01.megashares.com/dl/RdkpMtx/The White Stripes - Live In Las Vegas.rar


Cocteau Twins- Blue Bell Knoll (1988)

Elizabeth Fraser - vocals
Robin Guthrie - guitar
Simon Raymonde - bass guitar

When I revisit my Cocteau Twins collection I seldom play anything later than this (well, apart from Iceblink Luck)
A mad summer followed by an even madder autumn. Hard to believe and yet glad to know it's 24 years, a lifetime, gone.
 http://d01.megashares.com/dl/ffcu69p/Cocteau Twins- Bluebell Knoll.rar


Percy Mayfield - The River's Invitation (1953)

I've been thinking a lot about 1988 recently. I found this in one of my notebooks:
I was young, freshfaced with perplexity.
During the hot summer I would sit the whole night long in cotton shorts, smoking stumps down to the yellow knuckle by the wafting blind.
The bed almost filled the room.
Three am, warm. I’m wearing the summer night as a moist second skin. The moths come to the blind, along with the scent of the distant river, now hidden by the darkness and lurking low and purple between its mudcaked banks, found only by the moon and the wading cattle statuesque.
On the radio, barely audible in my dim room; ‘The Rivers Invitation.’

For a good read about an interesting man go here...


Lee 'Scratch' Perry- The Black Ark Years- The Jamaican 7"s (1974-1978)

 I see the studio must be like a living thing, a life itself. The machine must be live and intelligent. Then I put my mind into the machine and the machine perform reality. Invisible thought waves - you put them into the machine by sending them through the controls and the knobs or you jack it into the jack panel. The jack panel is the brain itself, so you got to patch up the brain and make the brain a living man, that the brain can take what you sending into it and live.

The Black Ark Studio was built in Lee Perry's backyard (5 Cardiff Crescent, Washington Gardens, Kingston, Ja.) .  He achieved an amazing sound using a rudimentary 4 track set up. The  interior was cluttered with archetypal (no pun intended) Perry eccentricities- the drum booth made of chicken wire ( I read somewhere about a  pond?). Mr Perry's  strange experiments inspired by mysticism included exposing the tapes to potentially damaging  substances (blood, piss, whiskey,candlewax, ganja and incense smoke... burying tapes in the ground etc....)
Too much stress in Jamaica, all the time. Everybody want money, everybody want paid. Everyone got problem and want me to solve their problem. Nobody gave me anything, people just took everything. Everybody take this, and take that. So the atmosphere in the Black Ark studio was changing; it wasn’t like it used to be. Then I decided to make a sacrifice as the energy wasn’t good anymore.

In 1979 the Black Ark burned down.
Mr Perry has given several contrary versions of how this came about.
1- he burned it down because he felt there were evil spirits at work there.
2- he burned it down because he wanted to avoid extortion from gangsters.
3- the wiring was faulty, which caused the blaze.

 Disc 1
1. Enter The Dragon - Lee Perry And The Upsetters
2. Hurt So Good - Susan Cadogan
3. Babylon A Fall - Watty Burnett
4. Curly Locks - Junior Byles
5. Dreader Locks - Junior Byles, Lee Perry
6. Stay Dread - Lee "Scratch" Perry, The Upsetters
7. Do It Baby - Susan Cadogan
8. The Long Way - Junior Byles
9. Three Blind Mice - Max Romeo
10. Three Times Three - King Tubby
11. Bury The Razor - The Upsetters
12. Down Here In Babylon - Brent Dowe
13. Be Thankful For What You've Got - Bunny Clarke
14. Woman Gotta Have Love - Jimmy Riley
15. Bush Weed Corntrash - Bunny & Ricky
16. Roast Fish & Cornbread - Lee "Scratch" Perry
17. Sipple Out Deh (Jamaican Mix) - Max Romeo
18. Ital Corner - Prince Jazzbo
19. Police & Thieves (Single Version) - Junior Murvin
20. White Belly Rat - Lee "Scratch" Perry
21. Sufferer's Time - The Heptones
22. A Wat Dat (7" Version) - Junior Dread
23. Mr. Cop - Gregory Isaacs

Disc 2

1. Vibrate On - Augustus Pablo
2. Better Future - Errol Walker
3. Mistry Babylon - The Heptones
4. Stand Up - Eric Donaldson
5. No Peace - The Meditations
6. Ethiopia Land - Pete & Paul Lewis
7. My Little Sandra - Leo Graham
8. Green Bay Incident - Lord Sassafrass
9. Think So - The Meditations
10. Home Gard - Michael Campbell
11. Travelling - Debra Keese & The Black Five
12. Peace And Love - Shaumark & Robinson
13. Dread At The Control - Michael Campbell
14. Forward With Jah Orthodox - Mystic I
15. Land Of Love - The Sons Of Light
16. Brother Noah - The Black Shadows
17. Thanks And Praise - Junior Ainsworth
18. Mr. Money Man - Danny Hensworth
19. Cross Over - Junior Murvin
20. Guideline - George Faith
21. Babylon Falling - The Heptones

http://d01.megashares.com/dl/SG11Xt3/Black Ark Disc 1.rar
 http://d01.megashares.com/dl/yWexfcS/Black Ark Disc 2.rar


Black Grape- Fat Neck (1996)

A tribute to Mondays/ Black Grape associate Karl Power, the bloke who lined up for team photos with Manchester United ,walked out to bat for England in an Ashes Test match, took Schumacher's place on a Grand Prix podium and knocked up in Wimbledon before a Henman match.
Johnny Marr features on guitar.
The single made it to number 10 in the UK charts.
1. Fat Neck
2. Yeah Yeah Brother (Outlaw Josie Wales Mix)
3. Pretty Vacant (live on TFI Friday, 22 Mar 96)



Single Mothers-Bleeders (2009) Indian Pussy (2012)



Harry Cloud, who fronts  Single Mothers,  sent links for these two releases to Burning Aquarium via Facebook.In the words of the artist-weird and totally original psychedelic sludge rock...
 I'm a white man from midland Georgia who spent his time in a house in the country eating Tylenol, eggs, and peanut butter. Drinking icehouse. Came to California to get my life together. Befriended a friend with a studio. Recorded my first hi-fi record


If you've got something that you think our readers might want to hear, drop us a line, either here or on Facebook ...


In 1913 the 232,000 men working in the 620 mines in South Wales produced 57 million tons of coal. 25 million tons were exported through the port of Cardiff alone.
The  number of men employed in the coal mining industry in South Wales  peaked at  271,000 in 1920.
When the coal industry was nationalised  on 1 January 1947 there were still 135 collieries with over 250 workers each .
By the time of the Strike in 1984 there were 31 pits employing 22,000 men.


Can- Delay 1968 (recorded 1968, released 1981)

Can's aborted first album, ripped from a 2006 reissue.
 Delay 1968 isn't simply the ur- text of Can, but of most of the music that followed it.
John Gill
Holger Czukay – bass, engineering, editing
Michael Karoli – guitar
Jaki Liebezeit – drums, percussion
Irmin Schmidt – keyboards
Malcolm Mooney – vocals

 http://d01.megashares.com/dl/m5s68xx/Delay 1968.rar


Yasujiro - Curious Cows Conspiracy Anthem (2012)


I've tended to overlook ambient/ drone on BA. To rectify the omission to some degree here's a link to a selection of work by Yasujiro- The La Monte Young of the Faroe Islands.