The debut release from Pavement is a bit of an oddity.

From Stockton, California, the band was formed in 1988 by Stephen Malkmus and Scott Kannberg, with the legend being that they looked to try to make money from performing at open mic nights, mostly through performing cover versions with the occasional original thrown in for good measure. In January 1989 the duo decided to enter into a local studio with the intention of cutting some tracks for a single, with the $800 costs borrowed from Kannberg’s father.

The ensuing outcome were five, incredibly low-fi tracks, that were put out on an 7” EP, Slay Tracks 1933-69, on Treble Kicker Records, a label conceived and developed by the duo. The pressing was restricted to 1,000 copies with minimalist information about the band, other than a contact address in Stockton, with the and the pseudonyms S.M. and Spiral Stairs being adopted. In later years, the sounds you hear on Slay Tracks would come to be described as slacker, although at the time the music was impossible to easily pigeon-hole.

There’s a very extensive entry for the EP at wiki which draws upon a range of press reviews at the time and subsequently interviews given by the duo to provide an informative and entertaining story. All of the songs were Malkmus compositions and the use of radio static was deliberate as it was seen as the third instrument in top of the guitar anD bass. The use of drums was an afterthought and only came about as studio owner and session engineer, Gary Young, thought they might add something and he ended up adding them to two of the tracks while Malkmus and Kannberg improvised on two of the others. The lead track, however, was entirely drum and percussion free.

It was an EP that, unusually in the pre-internet age, got picked up almost entirely via word-of-mouth through mentions in low-circulation fanzines. It was as much down to the fact that, in an era where image and glossy production were seemingly the be-all and end-all, such a sh!77y sounding recording managed to feel exciting, new and unique. It was punk rock more than 20 years on.

mp3 : Pavement – You’re Killing Me
mp3 : Pavement – Box Elder
mp3 : Pavement – Maybe Maybe
mp3 : Pavement – She Believes
mp3 : Pavement – Price Yeah!

The move from underground to overground, certainly in the UK, came via The Wedding Present namechecking the band in interviews and then covering one the Slay Tracks as a b-side on one of their singles, Brassneck, in 1990, and I’ll come to that in a separate posting quite soon.

All the while, Pavement continued to do their own thing and indeed they weren’t aware that they were being quoted so highly in the UK. They continued to record more low-fi EPs in 1990 and 1991, although there was a gradual expansion into a full band, and in due course a debut LP, Slanted and Enchanted, was released in 1992. Over the next seven years, they would enjoy increasing commercial success without ever really hitting the big-time in any consistent way.

If you want to pick up a vinyl copy of the debut EP, be prepared to fork out something in the range of £150-£200.

Slay Tracks was a hugely influential and important debut single, and to some, Pavement never bettered it. That ‘some’ however, are just muso snobs, for the band would progress on to much better, more listenable and accessible things in the times ahead.



Thus far, most comments and votes have followed a pattern….almost all have gone OMD, Wire and E&TB.  Matches 21-23 are, to all intent and purposes, done and dusted….

Stone Roses 6 v OMD 22
Wire(2) 26 v Farmer’s Boys/Higsons 2
Everything But The Girl(2) 6 v Echo & The Bunnymen 23

The final tie could be a cliffhanger….neither side has ever established a substantial lead and both have enjoyed spells of being in front. It’s the first genuine contest in weeks

Martin Stephenson 13 v Butcher Boy 14

This week’s half-time, as per the newly adopted practice, comes from the ICA of a singer or band knocked out in the last round by one of the above eight sides:-

mp3 : Mike Garry and Joe Dudell ‘St Anthony- An Ode To Anthony H Wilson’ (Andrew Weatherall Remix)

If you don’t know this half-time song, then ypu’re in for a real treat. If you do it, then you’ll no doubt want to listen again.

I’ll re-post what Swiss Adam said when he pulled together the Weatherall ICA:-

Mike Garry’s wonderful poem for Tony Wilson, a celebration of the Factory boss and ‘Manchester music, marijuana, majesty and Karl Marx’, was set to music by Joe Dudell, a string quartet version of New Order’s Your Silent Face. Weatherall took it back to the electronic roots of Power, Corruption and Lies. Released to raise funds for cancer charities and The Christie hospital – go buy it.”

I’ll endorse his request that you go buy it.  I have.  Click here.

Oh and finally, if you haven’t voted yet this week, you have until midnight this coming Friday.





The Jazz Butcher is some ways are ideal for an ICA. No wild variations in style and a catalogue of LPs all of which are a bit patchy. Actually getting to grips with their discography is one of the biggest challenges with various compilation lps and some tracks appearing on more than one album. Then there is the slight variations of name , sometimes Jazz Butcher Conspiracy , sometimes just Jazz Butcher and sometimes something else entirely.

The line up changes with the weather (same with record labels) with songwriter and singer Pat Fish being the only consistent factor. All in all they are a tough band to keep track of.

When they are good they are fantastic in a jangly guitar, smart lyrics way . However each LP also either has something that is head scratchingly awful at best and annoyingly novelty record like at worst.

1.  Next Move Sideways (from Fishcotheque)

Signed to Creation Records in one of Alan McGee’s punts this was my first exposure to the band. Bought on the basis of a review that compared them to Lloyd Cole and the Commotions , Pat has since complained that the LP came out sounding too smooth and tidy , which is probably why it is still my favourite . This gallops along in a way that allows you to forgive the 80s sax that suddenly appears.

2.  Harlan (from Condition Blue)

Into the 90s and more of a groove than a song. Features what is described as aquamarine guitar by Peter Astor from another jangly band The Weather Prophets. The song is typical Jazz Butcher material in that it is inspired by American short story writer Harlan Ellison.

3. Keeping the Curtains Closed (from Fiscotheque)

Another one from the 1988 LP that is still my favourite and by far their most consistent. This one where i do hear an echo of Lloyd Cole. I really like the guitar on this and always feel it is over a tad too soon.

4. Shame About You (from Last of the Gentlemen Adventurers)

More upto date from a recent crowd funded LP. Nothing overly special but zips along and always brings a smile to my face despite a sense of regret in the lyric.

5. City of Night (from Big Questions)

Change of direction and pace. Always found there was something slightly desperate (ride the tube with nothing much to say , stare at the people you can see right through) and seedy about this song (I’ve seen the handcuffs on your shelf , i would like to help , I’d like to help myself)

6. Human Jungle (from Big questions and countless compilations)

Starts with a Walk on the Wild side rip off and then morphs into a big pop song about an obscure 60s tv show staring Herbert Lom as a psychiatrist who sorted out complex cases in 60 mins. Certainly beats the ‘i love you , you love me’ focus of a lot of pop songs.

7. Southern Mark Smith (from A Scandal in Bohemia)

Probably if you know one song by the Jazz Butcher it will be this one. Pat Fish describes it as “The Albatross. A record, I feel, of its time. We were young(ish) and cocky and I think it shows. I still haven’t learned to sing on this one, which bugs me too. Still, it was cheap and cheerful, and it helped us to meet an awful lot of people”

8. Get it Wrong (from Fiscotheque)

Back to the gentle jangle of 1988. Pat’s paean to adultery. This is here more for the lyric than the annoying 80s sax.

I keep getting letters about divorces.
Just like cowboys changing horses, people use each other up and leave.
One mistake and it all turns bitchy,
listening to records by Lionel Ritchie.
I’m not sure if he deserves it or even if they do.
Jealousy is just messed up pride, it only twists you up inside.
We don’t feel it, we don’t need it

9. When Eno Sings (from Illuminate)

Following Pat’s belief that “fan songs are cool” Jazz Butcher have a lot of fan songs

And dome-heads everywhere
can throw their hats into the air
when Eno sings

The “Eno male choir like” backing vocals are spot on as well

10. Mercy (from Last of the Gentlemen Adventurers)

I think LPs should finish on a slow song so here you go

Bonus Ep : The Slightly Irritating Hat Trick

The Jazz Butcher songs are laced with humour which can make you smile but then can stick around as slightly annoying interludes – here are 3 of them and 3 more fan songs

Olaf Palme

Peter Lorre

Just Like Betty Page

Friend of Rachel Worth


One of the comments in last week’s entry in this series indicated some bemusement as to why I had featured a song I didn’t like, especially when it had come with a lazy cut’n’paste from wiki.

Just to clear things up, I started this Saturday series as a way of giving myself a day off while keeping up the daily postings, if that makes sense.  I’m going through all the Scottish acts in the vinyl, CD and digital collections, in alphabetical order, and putting up one of their songs.  117 entries in and we still haven’t got past the letter ‘G’ indicates there’s still a fair way to go before Zoey Van Goey get their turn.  Also worth mentioning the series will go back to a Saturday once the ICA World Cup 2018 has been won.

from allmusic:-

The arty British pop band Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie may be best known for the fact that Garbage’s Shirley Manson was once a member, but there is more to the group’s story, including chart successes and record company conflicts. Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie formed in 1981 out of the ashes of the Clan, which itself was created from the lineups of Lipstick and Irrelevant. The band’s first lineup comprised singer/guitarist Martin Metcalfe, drummer Derek Kelly, bassist Jamie Waterson, and keyboardist Ewan Drysdale; Chuck Parker replaced Drysdale within a matter of months.

The band released its first single, Death of a Salesman, in 1984, and added two background vocalists, Shirley Manson (who also played keyboards) and Hilary McLean, in the next year. The Mackenzies’ 1986 single The Rattler reached number 13 in the U.K. indie charts, and the group made several TV and radio appearances in the wake of the song’s success. On the strength of their 1987 Face to Face single, which was another indie Top 20 hit, Capitol signed Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie in 1988.

The group released a string of singles over the next year (including a re-recorded version of The Rattler), all of which hovered in the mid-regions of the Top 100. Their 1989 album Good Deeds and Dirty Rags fared slightly better, charting at number 27; however, Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie and Capitol parted ways; the Mackenzies signed to Parlophone and Capitol released a B-sides and live collection, Fish Heads and Tails, at the end of the year.

In 1990, the group toured with Debbie Harry and released two singles, Love Child and Blacker Than Black, that met with indifference: Blacker Than Black topped out at number 62, while Love Child failed to chart at all. With two albums’ worth of material recorded and waiting to be released, the Mackenzies left Parlophone and signed to MCA. The newer of the two albums, Now We Are Married, was released in February of 1991, while Hammer and Tongs, which was recorded in 1989, came out the following month. Poor chart showings for the records and conflicts between the label, management, and the group resulted in MCA dropping Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie in 1992.

The following year the band changed gears, creating the side project Angelfish, which put Manson’s smoldering sensuality and vocals at the forefront. The year 1993 also saw the debut of the band’s own label, Blokshok, on which they released the live Mackenzies album Live: On the Day of Storms. Angelfish’s video for the single “Shock Me” received some airplay on MTV, where famously, guitarist Steve Marker saw it, leading to Manson being asked to join his new project Garbage. After Manson left, the rest of the Mackenzies carried on for two more albums, Five and The Glory Hole, as well as a collection of covers, Jezebel. The group played its final gig at the end of 1995.

The Rattler is their finest moment but as it has been featured previously, and more than once, on the blog, I thought I’d pull out another of their singles, from 1988 and the first released by Capitol:-

mp3 : Goodbye Mr Mackenzie – Goodbye Mr Mackenzie (12″ version)

They did a decent take on an early Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds song as one of its b-sides:-

mp3 : Goodbye Mr Mackenzie – Knockin’ On Joe

Most of the band still work together as The Filthy Tongues. But that’s a story for another day.



Yup….it is the cover of Get Ready, the album released by New Order in 2001.

Three singles were lifted from it.

mp3 : New Order – Crystal (radio edit)

The ‘comeback’ single was released in August 2001; the first new song in eight years and sort of fitting that it went to #8 in the singles chart.  The critics went wild for it but to this fan of such long-standing it was distinctly ordinary.  Never had New Order sounded so much like an average white rock band.  It was released on 2 x CD singles and, as had happened ever since the move away from Factory a number of remixes were offered up as the b-sides, although CD1 also had one other otherwise unavailable track:-

mp3 : New Order – Behind Closed Doors

If only it had been a cover of the Charlie Rich country hit from the 70s…..but to be fair it did turn out to be more  unusual songs in the discography of the band – one that if played in isolation with no hints might catch out a few folk with the vocal not quite sounding fully like Barney till about 2mins in.  It still doesn’t disguise the fact that for a band who were so adept with b-sides for much of their career that this is far from stellar.

Moving forward to November 2001 and what proved to be a #29 hit, which is about right for such a plodding effort:-

mp3 : New Order – 60 Miles An Hour

It’s b-sides consisted of a remix of the single, three remixes of album track Someone Like You and one new track:-

mp3 : New Order – Sabotage

Nope, it’s not a cover of the Beastie Boys song. In fact, it’s a far better song than many which found their way onto  the parent album. It’s something of a throwback in some ways to the Low-Life/Brotherhood era with some great bass licks from Hooky midway through.

And just one month later, the song given the remixes as b-sides to 60 Miles An Hour was issued as a 45 in its own right….albeit one with a difference Here’s wiki:-

Someone Like You is a single released by New Order in December 2001. The single is unusual in New Order’s back catalogue in the respect that it was issued primarily as a club DJ vinyl release. “Someone Like You” was remixed by Futureshock, Gabriel & Dresden, James Holden and Funk D’void. The Gabriel & Dresden 911 Vocal Mix was recorded on September 11 and all releases with its inclusion has these sleeve notes: “Recorded September 11th, 2001 and is dedicated to the men, women and children who senselessly lost their lives that day”.

mp3 : New Order – Someone Like You (Gabriel & Dresden 911 Vocal Mix)

Methinks this 12 minute explosion of sound is one for Swiss Adam and ctel.



Thanks for getting so many votes in by the earlier than usual deadline. As this post appears, I’ll be 70-odd miles away from home, making the most of a brilliantly nostalgic night with ex-players from Raith Rovers FC at a commemorative dinner/piss-up recalling the six games we played in the UEFA Cup in 1995, including the night when we dared to dream of knocking out Bayern Munich as we led 1-0 at half-time in the Olympiastadion.

Alas, there was no giant-killing, but it was fun while it lasted.  So which of our four teams from last week could call on the international class and experience of Klinsmann, Papin, Babbel and Kahn and which had to rely on brave warriors such as Sinclair, Lennon, Coyle and Dair ?

Rod Stewart 6 The Jesus and Mary Chain 30
XTC (2) 24 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds 15
The Smiths 28 Husker Du 12
The Durutti Column 22 Paul Quinn 15

To all Paul Quinn fans, I’d like to offer a heartfelt apology.  My behaviour, as manager, in fielding the 12” version of Change of Attitude in the original ICA was totally out of character and a momentary lapse in my normally high standards of behaviour.  The 7” might have gotten through but in all honesty, it was a tad arrogant on my part to field such a self indulgent b-side in the first place…on reflection and with hindsight, it was an error for which there is no feasible excuse.  Good luck to Vini and his crew in the next round and the remainder of the competition.

Moving on now to this week’s match ups and I’m hoping after eight successive near walkovers that some minor excitement at least can be generated.

It does open with a tasty match-up with the bonus of it being a Liverpool/Manchester rivalry while the remaining three games will hopefully get you thinking a bit…..all teams may well need the luck of the Irish to get through.  Happy St Patrick’s Day.

Matches 21-24 of Round 2

The Stone Roses v OMD

The Stone Roses have been suggested in some quarters as having the ability to go all the way in the competition although there are some correspondents who think they lack the neccesary depth.  They weren’t pushed too hard in Round 1 against Yellow Magic Orchestra but even so, will need an improved performance to see off OMD whose professional and polished performance last time out saw them deal a mortal blow to trhe much fancied Super Furry Animals.  This tie has a similar sort if feel to it and much will depend on the toss of the coin and the roll of the dice…which might just favour the Liverpudlians in that their song is better-known amomg the masses.

All Across The Sands (b-side, 1987) v Messages (from Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, 1980)

Wire (2) v The Farmer’s Boys/The Higsons

The art-school veterans who go by the name of Wire got through Round 1 by a the odd-goal in 45 in a titanic battle againt Supergrass with the reward being a home match against one of the acts representing the ‘Sounds of Young Norwich’ ICA.  Last time round the reliance was on The Higsons who came through a close one against The Jayhawks.  Will the manager be allowed to stick with the same starting line or will the coin and dice enforce a complete set of new players?  Turns out that The Farmer’s Boys will be on the bench yet again, and given the might of the opposition song, the fates may have conspired to prevent them ever setting  foot on the playing surface.

Outdoor Miner (single, 1979) v Conspiracy by The Higsons (single, 1982)

Everything But The Girl (2) v Echo & The Bunnymen

I know I’m overusing the word intriguing in describing so many of these 2nd round ties but I make no apologies for doing so again.  The Bunnymen took care of Leonard Cohen last time out, although it needed the use of The Cutter to ensure progress.  They could end up with a similar type of tie again depending on whch EBTG comes out via the coin and dice.  In Round 1, Tracey and Ben went with Draining The Bar, a piano-led ballad, which was more than enough to hammer The Libertines.  Both sides will likely need to be at, or close to, their best to progress. Either way, Echorich will be sad that one of them will have to leave.

Cross My Heart (from Baby The Stars Shine Bright, 1986) v Zimbo (live) (b-side, 1983)

Martin Stephenson v Butcher Boy

This is just such a brilliant tie on paper.  Two of my all time favourites, neither of whom at the start of the World Cup I’d have given too much chance of reaching this stage; but now one of them is going to reach the last 32 and possibly take on a really big gun.  The romance of the cup etc.

Martin Stephenson, to the chagrin of many, removed Andrew Weatherall from the tournament, albeit he needed the might of The Daintees backing him on Crocodile Cryer to deliver.  Butcher Boy were up in a real Indietracks type battle against The Magnetic Fields last time out and came through despite being the lesser known of the combos.  Which tunes are going head-to-head this time?

Rain (from Boat to Bolivia, 1986) v Helping Hands (from album of same name, 2011)

Yup.  Two ballads make for a fine match-up.

Closing date and time for entries is Friday 23 March, at 10pm UK time.

Next week will see jimdoes take to the stage to introduce matches 24-27.  I know which games are coming up. I don’t envy him.




Four months after the solo debut 45 had flopped, it was take 2 for Phil Wilson.

mp3 : Phil Wilson – 10 Miles

This really is one of the great lost singles of the era. It pounds along at a cracking pace, putting to shame so many of the indie-by-numbers efforts that were being lauded in music papers all across the land, demanding to be heard on your radio. Phil still had some fans out there who believed in him, with Janice Long on BBC Radio 1 enthusiastically providing a live session on her early evening show. But it was all to no avail with the single selling dismally, partly as Creation had given up the ghost and offered next to no promotion for the singer.

Phil would leave Creation and head on to the Caff Corporation for which there was one final 45 before he joined the civil service.

Here’s the two tracks that were on the reverse of 10 Miles:-

mp3 : Phil Wilson – A Jingle
mp3 : Phil Wilson – Jackson

The former was is an instrumental which demonstrates he still very much had an ear for a tune and it does seem strange that Alan McGee gave up on him so quickly, but then again this was a time when The House of Love burst onto the scene and bossman was besotted by them.

The latter? It’s the very song that was a hit for Johnny Cash and June Carter. Phil, with the aid of vocalist Joanne Lilley, not forgetting the contribution on violin from Frank Sweeney, delivers something that would be perfect for any hoe-down.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this short two-day series.  Maybe one day, there’ll be a Phil Wilson ICA….