Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Can You Dig This One Hit Wonder?

Straight outta Madchester, circa the late '80s, The Mock Turtles were an eclectic, indie rock band who had some minor success on the indie level with a couple of singles and an album, Turtle Soup. The record got them noticed by Siren Records, who, desperate for a Madchester cash in, signed them to a deal. For their first single they re-recorded an old b-side, a song called Can You Dig It?. It was an instant hit which got them on Top Of The Pops, and it was assumed that some measure of greatness would follow. Unfortunately, it was not so. The follow up single tanked. This was already the tail end of Madchester, and by the time the Turtles' album hit the shelves the public was uninterested. Can You Dig It? is a glorious song though - uplifting and sunny with it's fab harmonies and danceable beats, and it has one hell of a guitar solo that sends shivers down my spine every time I hear it. This is the extended version of the song so you get even more of the delicious, sunny goodness. A great tune to help you get over the mid-week blahs!

More Dan, Man
A big Steely Dan related story this week - March 7 sees the release of Donald Fagen's third solo LP and the final installment in the trilogy that began with "The Nightfly" in 1982. It's called Morph The Cat.

According to the Reprise Records press release, "'The Nightfly' is sort of looking from the standpoint of youth," Fagen explains. "'Kamakiriad' would be more about midlife. This new one is about endings, really." Built around extended, richly textured jazz, soul and rock grooves, the themes of "Morph The Cat" range from impending mortality and assorted apocalyptic scenarios to homeland security and the ghost of Ray Charles. "I don't think you can escape the environment we live in now," Fagen remarks on his songwriting strategy. "If Steely Dan has survived -- and I have survived as a solo artist -- it's partly because we've reflected what's going on around us." It was recorded in New York City and Kauai, Hawaii, with longtime Steely Dan engineer Elliot Scheiner at the boards. The album also features an extraordinary line-up of backing musicians, many of who have previously worked with Fagen and his Steely Dan partner Walter Becker on stage and in the studio. Included are drummer Keith Carlock, bassist Freddie Washington and guitarists Hugh McCracken, Jon Herington and Wayne Krantz. Fagen performs lead and backing vocals and plays keyboards.The album will be made available as both a CD and a CD/DVD in high-resolution audio and 5.1 Surround Sound.

He will also be embarking on a solo tour of the US, including a March 19th date in Minneapolis. The wife and I are already there. For more tour dates see Woo-hoo!

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