Under The Milky Way ~ The Church

The_Church_(Band)The Church is an Australian psychedelic rock band formed in Sydney in 1980. Initially associated with new wave, neo-psychedelia and indie rock, their music later came to feature slower tempos and surreal soundscapes reminiscent of dream pop and post-rock. Glenn A. Baker has written that “From the release of the ‘She Never Said’ single in November 1980, this unique Sydney-originated entity has purveyed a distinctive, ethereal, psychedelic-tinged sound which has alternatively found favor and disfavor in Australia”. The Los Angeles Times has described the band’s music as “dense, shimmering, exquisite guitar pop”.

The founding members were Steve Kilbey on lead vocals and bass guitar, Peter Koppes and Marty Willson-Piper on guitars and Nick Ward on drums. Ward only played on their debut album and the band’s drummer for the rest of the 1980s was Richard Ploog. Jay Dee Daugherty (ex-Patti Smith Group) played drums from 1990 to 1993, followed by Tim Powles (ex-The Venetians) who remains with them to the present day. Koppes left the band from 1992 to 1997[4] and Willson-Piper left in 2013. He was replaced by Ian Haug, formerly of Powderfinger. Kilbey, Koppes and Powles also recorded together as “The Refo:mation” in 1997.

The Church’s debut album, Of Skins and Heart (1981), delivered their first radio hit “The Unguarded Moment” and they were signed to major labels in Australia, Europe and the United States. However, the US label was dissatisfied with their second album and dropped the band without releasing it. This put a dent in their international success, but they returned to the charts in 1988, with the album Starfish and the US Top 40 hit “Under the Milky Way”. Subsequent mainstream success has proved elusive, but the band retains a large international cult following and were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in Sydney in 2011. The Church continue to tour and record, releasing their 24th studio album, Further/Deeper, in October 2014.

Under The Milky Way

Under the Milky Way” is a single by Australian alternative rock band The Church, released on 15 February 1988 and appears on their fifth studio album Starfish. The song was written by bass guitarist and lead vocalistSteve Kilbey and his then-girlfriend Karin Jansson (ex-Pink Champagne, Curious (Yellow)).

“Under the Milky Way” was written by Kilbey and Karin Jansson of Curious (Yellow). Kilbey and Jansson had become friends in 1983 and lived together in Australia from 1986.  Kilbey said, “I smoked a joint and started playing the piano and she came in the room and we just made it up.”  According to a press release issued with Starfish, the title is from an Amsterdam music and cultural venue, Melkweg (Dutch for “Milky Way”), which Kilbey used to frequent.

Under The Milky Way – Kilby, Jansson

Sometimes when this place gets kind of empty
Sound of their breath fades with the light
I think about the loveless fascination
Under the Milky Way tonight

Lower the curtain down on Memphis
Lower the curtain down, all right
I got no time for private consultation
Under the Milky Way tonight

Wish I knew what you were looking for
Might have known what you would find
Wish I knew what you were looking for
Might have known what you would find

And it’s something quite peculiar
Something shimmering and white
Leads you here despite your destination
Under the Milky Way tonight

Wish I knew what you were looking for
Might have known what you would find
Wish I knew what you were looking for
Might have known what you would find

Under the Milky Way tonight
Under the Milky Way tonight

  • Audio from the 1988 album, Starfish:

Starfish_album

Play Under The Milky Way - by The Church

Pictures of Matchstick Men – Status Quo

Status-Quo---1968--1Status Quo, also known as The Quo or just Quo, are an English rock band whose music is characterized by their distinctive brand of boogie rock.

The origins of Status Quo were in the rock and roll freakbeat band “The Spectres” formed in 1962. Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster met at Sedgehill Comprehensive School, Catford, and were members of the same orchestra. They started a band called The Scorpions, later changing the name to “The Spectres”. Rossi and Lancaster played their first gig at the Samuel Jones Sports Club in Dulwich, London. In 1963 they added drummer John Coghlan. They began writing their own material and after a year met Rick Parfitt who was playing with a cabaret band called The Highlights. By the end of 1965 Rossi and Parfitt, who had become close friends, made a commitment to continue working together. On 18 July 1966 The Spectres signed a five-year deal with Piccadilly Records, releasing two singles that year, “I (Who Have Nothing)” and “Hurdy Gurdy Man” (written by Alan Lancaster), and one the next year called “(We Ain’t Got) Nothin’ Yet” (a song originally recorded by New York psychedelic band The Blues Magoos).

By 1967, the group had discovered psychedelia and changed their name to Traffic (later amended to Traffic Jam, to avoid confusion with Steve Winwood’s Traffic). At this time the line-up also included organist Roy Lynes.  In late 1967 the band became The Status Quo, and in January 1968 they released the psychedelic-favored “Pictures of Matchstick Men”

Pictures of Matchstick Men

The song opens with a single guitar repeatedly playing a simple four note riff before the rhythm guitar comes in with chords and the drums and lyrics begin. Pictures of Matchstick Men is one of a number of songs from the late sixties to feature phasing (the audio effect).

I wrote it on the bog. I’d gone there, not for the usual reasons…but to get away from the wife and mother-in-law. I used to go into this narrow frizzing toilet and sit there for hours, until they finally went out. I got three quarters of the song finished in that khazi. The rest I finished in the lounge.”

The song is an example of bubblegum psychedelia. Their following release Black Veils of Melancholy was similar but flopped and so caused the group to change direction.

The “matchstick men” of the song refer to the paintings of L.S. Lowry.

Pictures of Matchstick Men – Francis Rossi

When I look up to the skies
I see your eyes a funny kind of yellow
I rush home to bed I soak my head
I see your face underneath my pillow
I wake next morning, tired, still yawning
See your face come peeping through my window

Pictures of matchstick men and you
Mirages of matchstick men and you
All I ever see is them and you

Windows echo your reflection
When I look in their direction now
When will this haunting stop?
Your face it just won’t leave me alone

Pictures of matchstick men and you
Mirages of matchstick men and you
All I ever see is them and you

You’re in the sky and with the sky
You make men cry, you lie
You’re in the sky and with the sky
You make men cry, you lie

Pictures of matchstick men and
Pictures of matchstick men and you
Pictures of matchstick men ….

  • Audio from the 1968 album, Picturesque Matchstickable Messages From The Status Quo:

Picturesque

Play Pictures of Matchstick Men - by Status Quo

King of the Road ~ Roger Miller

Roger Miller, the youngest of three boys, was born in Fort Worth, Texas, to Laudene Holt Miller (mother) and father Jean Miller. Jean died when Roger was only a year old, and he was subsequently sent to live with his aunt and uncle, Elmer and Armelia Miller, in Erick, Oklahoma.

Miller had a lonely and unhappy childhood. Heavily influenced by the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday nights and the Light Crust Doughboys on Fort Worth radio, he desperately wanted to be a singer-songwriter. When he was seventeen, he stole a guitar, but turned himself in and chose to join the Army rather than go to jail. He later quipped, “My education was Korea, Clash of ’52.”[cite this quote] Upon leaving the Army, he went to Nashville to work on his music career. In 1959 he wrote his first number-one song, “Billy Bayou” recorded by Jim Reeves.

Although usually grouped with country music singers, Miller’s unique style defies easy classification. He had a string of pop hits in the 1960s, and also his own TV show in 1966. Many of his recordings were humorous novelty songs with whimsical lyrics, coupled with scat singing or vocalese riffs filled with nonsense syllables. Others were sincere ballads, which also caught the public’s fancy, none more so than his signature song, “King of the Road”, a major 1965 hit, about a presumed hobo who relishes his life and freedom, riding the rails.

King of the Road

King of the Road” is a 1964 song written and originally recorded by country singer Roger Miller. The lyrics tell of a hobo who despite being poor (a “man of means by no means”) revels in his freedom, describing himself humorously as the “king of the road”.

Belgian recording artist Helmut Lotti states that the song was written at the Idanha Hotel in Boise, Idaho. In an interview with disk jockey Robert W. Morgan in the early 1970s, Miller mentioned writing it while in the Chicago area.However, in an introduction to the song on the 1981 live recording “Roger Miller Live! Silver Eagle Cross Country,” Miller said the song was written in Boise.

The King Family Show was a TV variety show broadcast from 1965 to 1969. Each week, the King Family would run through a medley of the popular tunes of the week. The family-oriented show producers were uncomfortable with the line “I ain’t got no cigarettes“, and replaced it with “no regrets”. The kids music compilation Sugar Beats changes the line to “I don’t want what I can’t get”. It also changes “worn out suits and shoes” to “clothes and shoes”.

The song has been covered by many other artists, including George Jones, Dean Martin, King (an Elvis Presley impersonation), Jack Jones, The Fabulous Echoes, Boney M., R.E.M. (a shambolic, drunken offhand cover about which guitarist Peter Buck later commented, “If there was any justice in the world, Roger Miller should be able to sue for what we did to this song.”), Johnny Paycheck, The Chipmunks, Boxcar Willie, Randy Travis, Rangers, James Kilbane, John Stevens, the Statler Brothers, Rufus Wainwright & Teddy Thompson, Giant Sand, Peligro, The Proclaimers, Ray Conniff Singers and The Reverend Horton Heat, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Joe Strummer during live performances.

King of the Road – Miller
Trailer for sale or rent
Rooms to let… fifty cents.
No phone, no pool, no pets
I ain’t got no cigarettes
Ah, but… two hours of pushin’ broom
Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room
I’m a man of means by no means
King of the road.

Third boxcar, midnight train
Destination… Bangor, Maine.
Old worn out suit and shoes,
I don’t pay no union dues,
I smoke old stogies I have found
Short, but not too big around
I’m a man of means by no means
King of the road.

I know every engineer on every train
All of their children, and all of their names
And every handout in every town
And every lock that ain’t locked
When no one’s around.

I sing,
Trailers for sale or rent
Rooms to let, fifty cents
No phone, no pool, no pets
I ain’t got no cigarettes
Ah, but… two hours of pushin’ broom
Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room
I’m a man of means by no means
King of the road.

  • Audio from the 1965 album, The Return of Roger Miller:
Play King of the Road - by Roger Miller

Jacob’s Ladder ~ Chumbawamba

chumbawamba-h-150x100Chumbawamba are a British alternative music band who have, over a career spanning three decades, played punk rock, pop-influenced music, world music, and folk music. Their anarchist politics exhibit an irreverent attitude toward authority, and the band have been forthright in their stances on issues including animal rights, pacifism (early in their career) and later regarding class struggle, feminism, gay liberation, pop culture and anti-fascism.

The band are best known for their song “Tubthumping”.

Over the years, the band have been asked many times what “Chumbawamba” really means. While there are many speculations, the band generally answers that it’s a gibberish word, meaning nothing. According to Chumbawamba’s official FAQ :

Chumbawamba doesn’t mean anything. At the time we formed (early ’80s) there was a rush of bands with obvious names. It was the time of ‘peace punk’ and you couldn’t get across a youth club dance floor without bumping into a Disorder, a Subhumans, a Decadent Youth or an Anthrax t-shirt. We liked the sound of Chumbawamba because it wasn’t nailing ourselves down. Thatcher On Acid were a good band but it’s lucky for them that Thatcher stayed in power for 11 years. If her influence had only lasted 18 months Thatcher On Acid’s sell-by date would have come and gone a lot sooner. We wanted a name which wouldn’t date

Other explanations which have been given include the following:

On an episode of BBC Two’s pop music quiz Never Mind the Buzzcocks the answer to the question was that they got it from what a monkey wrote on a typewriter when an experiment took place involving monkeys and typewriters (as in the infinite monkey theorem).

In an interview on a German website with Alice and Boff, the members claimed that the “Chumbawamba” was the mascot of a football team, Walford Town, which they found in the Rothman’s Yearbook, a collection of old facts and figures about British football. Boff said:

“…And we just thought it was funny, so we used the name”. There has never been a team in English football called Walford Town, although the name has occasionally been used to represent the local team in the BBC soap opera EastEnders.”

In Boff’s autobiography he claims that the name was derived from the chanting of African street musicians which he and Danbert heard while busking in Paris. However, in a footnote he goes on to state that this is a lie, as is every other explanation that the band have given over the years.

According to a Pop-Up Video on VH1, the name “Chumbawamba” is derived from a dream that one of the members had, wherein men were called “chumbas” and women “wambas”.

 

Jacob’s Ladder

Jacob’s Ladder is basically the story of political expediency and class; 541 British sailors drowned during WW2 because Churchill took a decision that their lives were of the less worth than that of the Norwegian Royal family.  The story is that Haakon VII had sailed to the UK on HMS Devonshire, which was the only ship to receive a distress signal from the aircraft carrier Glorious.  She had met two German battleships and was sunk.  The Devonshire had to observe radio silence because the British could not take the risk of losing the King.*

50 years later Russian submariners drown because President Putin puts national pride before the lives of those on the Kursk and refuses to ask for international help.

This is the original version of the song.  Chumbawamba later changed the lyrics and re-recorded the song as Jacob’s Ladder (Not in my name) as a political protest to the US unilaterally attacking Iraq and occupying that country.

This version, and the story behind it, is almost impossible to find anywhere on the Internet any more.  I find the original version to be far more interesting than the second protest version, although it is good too.

Jacob’s Ladder – Chumbawamba

Like rusty old nails
At the bottom of the sea
Telling no tales
For the good of the Admiralty
You jump when you’re told to
Through the open door
And the King of Norway
He’s the man you all died for

On this Jacob’s Ladder
The only way up is down
Three days in the water
Watching all the secrets drown
Jacob’s Ladder

A thousand lifetimes
Left standing at the docks
In the bar down in Whitehall
They’re sure the boat won’t rock
In a file marked ‘Secret’
In a drawer kept closed
Nobody wonders
Because nobody knows

About this Jacob’s Ladder
The only way up is down
Three days in the water
Watching all the secrets drown
Jacob’s Ladder
Jacob’s Ladder

And they sent him to the wars to be slain, to be slain
And they sent him to the wars to be slain

And they sent him to the wars to be slain, to be slain
And they sent him to the wars to be slain

* There are some who say this is nothing more that a conspiracy, that the Devonshire never did actually hear a weak signal from Glorious, or even if it had, there was no way the Devonshire could have stood up to two German battleships.

Another group say that even if the Devonshire had responded and tried to come to the rescue of the Glorious, it was simply too far away to get there in time.

However, there were other ships in the area that could have gotten there in time to try and effect a rescue.  But nobody was ever notified.

It remains one of the great mysteries during WWII  The British immediately classified all records and have refused to release them even seven decades later.  This does nothing to silence those who are accused of being “conspiracy-minded” about this.

Audio from the 2002 album, Readymades:

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Play Jacob's Ladder - by ChumbaWamba

A Fun Video

censored

One of my friend’s children put together a video that he has tried to post to Instagram and Facebook.

Apparently, Facebook and Instagram are taking this video down.

So, as a public service…

Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted.
“Fair Use” guidelines: www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

Home ~ Ryan Guay and Gianni Luminati

WOTEThe imaginative and inspired concoction that is Walk off the Earth was created when the lead innovator and creator of G-Spot Tornado – Gianni Luminati and the lead guitarist and co-writer from PinkBelly – Marshall, got together with the drummer, also from P.B.  Pete, to write in a completely free and wild environment where nothing matters but the backbone and soul of the music.

They play shows all over Canada and Northern US  hailing from the musical mecca that is Burlington, Ontario.

Street Pharmacy is a four piece reggae rock band from Welland, Ontario, formed in 2006. The group strives for a fresh reggae sound while combining the influences of hip hop and 90s Alt Rock.

The band’s driving force and creative front-man Ryan Guay contrived the band’s name and concept in late 2005, when he experienced symptoms of swelling of the brain and was misdiagnosed with schizophrenia. After being admitted to several mental hospitals in Ontario, he traveled to the United States, where an MRI confirmed that his condition was encephalitis, caused by the chicken pox virus. This experience, including the combined side effects of brain swelling and hospital-induced anti-psychotic medication, resulted in Guay’s creative horizon rapidly expanding.

Home

Home was recently written and performed by Mumford and Sons and is currently unreleased.

Ryan Guay of Street Pharmacy and Gianni Luminati of Walk off the Earth team up to put their take on the Mumford and Sons Song “Holland Road”.

Home – Mumford

I ran away in floods of shame
I’ll never tell how close I came
As I cross the Holland road
You went left and I went right
As the moon hung proud and white
You would of loved it here tonight

Spin me down just to pin me down
On the cover of this strange bed
Spin me down just to pin me down

Wrap up your questions keep them down
Let the water lead us home
And I was sorry for what I’d done

You were young I was not old
And our story was not told
But torn apart by greedy hands

Spin me round just to pin me down
On the cover of this strange bed
spin me round just to pin me down

Spin me round just to pin me down
I’ll be gone by the nights end
Spin me round just to pin me down

But I’ll be home in a little while
Lover I’ll be home
And I’ll be home in a little while
Lover I’ll be home

And I’ll be home in a little while
Lover I’ll be home
And I’ll be home in a little while
Lover I’ll be home

  • Audio from the 2011 unreleased recording:
Play Home - by Walk Off The Earth

Home ~ Mumford & Sons

mumford-and-sons-bb11-2015-billboard-04-650Mumford & Sons are an English folk rock band. The band is made up of Marcus Mumford (vocals, guitar, drums, mandolin), Ben Lovett (vocals, keyboards, accordion), “Country” Winston Marshall (vocals, banjo, dobro), and Ted Dwane (vocals, string bass). Although the band members have claims on certain instruments, the members switch instruments during live shows according to convenience, for they each play a variety of instruments. The band formed in late 2007, rising out of London’s folk scene with other artists such as Laura Marling, Johnny Flynn, Jay Jay Pistolet and Noah and the Whale.

The band has often supported Laura Marling at concerts, while their association with Noah and the Whale can be traced back to St Paul’s School, Barnes and King’s College School, Wimbledon. Mumford and Lovett attended King’s College School alongside Noah and the Whale bassist Matt Owens, while Marshall attended St Paul’s School along with Charlie Fink, lead singer of Noah and the Whale.

Home

Their latest new tune, a love song from the road speculatively titled ‘Home’ by fans, has been debuted on summer tour dates and for an in-studio performance on Colorado radio station KBCO in Denver. The song was written during a sound check and is currently referenced as “home” on the concert set lists, it had been rumored that the band changed its name to “Holland Road” for their recently released album, Babel, but that wasn’t the case.

The song still remains unreleased.

Home – Mumford

I ran away in floods of shame
I’ll never tell how close I came
As I cross the Holland road
You went left and I went right
As the moon hung proud and white
You would of loved it here tonight

Spin me down just to pin me down
On the cover of this strange bed
Spin me down just to pin me down

Roll out your questions keep them down
Let the water lead us home
And I was sorry for what I’d done

You were young I was not old
And our story was not told
But torn apart by greedy hands

Spin me round just to pin me down
On the cover of this strange bed
spin me round just to pin me down

Spin me round just to pin me down
I’ll be gone by the nights end
Spin me round just to pin me down

But I’ll be home in a little while
Lover I’ll be home
And I’ll be home in a little while
Lover I’ll be home

And I’ll be home in a little while
Lover I’ll be home
And I’ll be home in a little while
Lover I’ll be home

  • Audio from the June 13, 2011 broadcast from KCBO FM Studio C:

mumford-sons-announce-new-album

Play Home - by Mumford and Sons
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