Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Fox - Behind Enemy Lines (Modern Pentathlon)

well, of course the fifth posting for It's The Taking Part That Counts HAD to be Modern Pentathlon; Simon Fox's  Behind Enemy Lines; gentle, warm, melancholy folk of the finest kind

"The Modern Pentathlon is one of the more enigmatic Olympic events, with its own romanticised mythology. It was invented by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the father of the modern Olympic Games. He called it the Modern Pentathlon to distinguish it from the Ancient Pentathlon in which ancient Greeks competed at five events that were considered the skills for the ideal soldier. Coubertin updated it to mirror the ideal of a 19th century cavalry soldier and the events reflect a mythical story of a Napoleonic solder caught behind enemy lines: to deliver an urgent dispatch, he must ride an unfamiliar horse, fight with pistol and sword, swim, and run.

I figured this would be as good a place to start as any, especially when I learnt of the English Admiral of the Fleet and scourge of Napoleon's forces, John Jervis. This was a name-drop too good to miss! To reflect the theme of five events, the song is in 5/4 time, contains 5-line verses covering each of the events (with a victory lap refrain at the end...) and comes in at exactly 5 minutes long! I love it when a plan comes together..."
written, recorded, played and sung by Simon Fox.
original artwork, Ruth Green. Layout, Simon Fox.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

One Fathom Down - Exodus (Shooting)

who are these mysterious men in black?... The psychosurf love child of a dirty three way between Dick Dale, Poison Ivy and Link Wray was born on the sixteenth day of the sixteenth month of the sixteenth year, and grew into the mutated sixteen fingered beast seen only in the echo of the catacombs one fathom down below the Rendezvous Ballroom.

"We like the idea of shooting. Ties in nicely with the guitar don't you think? We're far from "hip young gunslingers" but if Bo Diddley can be one then why not us? When they make 'Firing Silver Bullets fom a Loaded Guitar" an Olympic event we'll be rushing straigh to the front of the queue." - Dan Down

well Dan, you might be interested in Slumber Party Massacre 2

Written by Ernest Gold (from the 1960 film of the same name starring Paul Newman.)
Recorded by Ellis Gardiner at his studio in north London, and mixed by Tony at Tony's Place

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Jeff Mellin - Hit Me! (Boxing)

Jeff Mellin has been around since time began, as a solo artist, a member of Miss Mary's band, one of the Eddies, a writer, an artist, a creative director, and an all round good guy... he is a brother, a son, a grandson, and has recentely added father to his list of achievements... he comes from Philadelphia, so knows more than most about boxing... despite what he says, don't hit him

Is it talking to you? Is it talking to you? Well it’s the only one here. It’s in this corner weighing in at 190 lbs. It’s supposed to take the fall in the fifth round. It’s gonna come out swinging and keep it clean. It floats and stings. It’s a lean mean grilling machine. It’s the heavy from the featherweight division. It’s a southpaw to a glass jaw. It fought the law and the law won by split decision. It ain’t a pretty picture: It’s on the canvas. It’s down for the count. It’s up against the ropes. It’s rope-a-dope. It’s a great white hope. It’s gonna need a bigger boat. It’s saved by the bell. It’s Howard Cosell. It’s Smokin’. It’s Marvelous. It’s Nonpareil. It’s a thrilla in Manila. It’s a rumble in the jungle. It’s so mean, it makes medicine sick. It’s gonna go the distance. It’s gonna fly now. Can it swim? With a name like Rock? It’s got the eye of the tiger, baby. It’s nibbling at your ear. It’ll be back before you can say “blueberry pie.” It don’t pull punches or hit below the belt. It pities the fool. It’s gloves are off. It’s Raging. It’s Iron. It’s Sugar. It falls harder when it’s bigger. It’s what a poor boy can do besides sing for a rock ‘n’ roll band. It killed Davey Moore. It’s the one the authorities came to blame. It’s laying out its winter clothes and wishing it was home, going home. It’s the Greatest, but Vietnam? It won’t go. It’s a million-to-one shot, a steady-cam TKO. Yo, Adrian, we did it. We did it, Adrian. Yo.

Hit Me!
Written, Performed and Recorded by Jeff Mellin
©2011 Jeff Mellin, Sweet Red Onion Publishing, BMI

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Alexander's Festival Hall - Judo (What We've Been Playing)

we're sticking with the martial arts with Alexander's Festival Hall's  Judo (What We've Been Playing), solid POP from a man with an impeccable pedigree... the Next AFH show (it would be crass to call it a gig) is on January 18th at 93 feet east... see you there

Judo was, of course, just one among many sports about which I knew next to nothing when I began this project. Aside from a passing and rather unsportsmanlike interest in the prospect posed by beach volleyball on the Mall (whose strange non-sequitur locational inclusion of "beach" momentarily sparked the possibility of other more interesting Olympic sports: supermarket fencing, nightclub wrestling, Westfield archery, etc. but I digress...) and despite living about 40 metres from the stadium, I hadn't actually been thinking about the Olympic events at all. A gammy leg as a child (in medical terms a rare condition where your leg decides on balance it could be doing so much better somewhere else...) was one among many factors in rendering sporty-athletic-speedy-lifty feats somewhat distant and dull, all red-faced competition and contestants you can't possibly have heard of. And yet faced with the delicious challenge of writing an uptempo sporting theme, the penny dropped that here, at last, was the perfect occasion to channel some JPOP in the name of a truly fine musical compilation. So, self and collaborator Yazuyo Uemura present for you ... "Judo (What We've Been Playing)". See you on the mat!

Written, arranged and produced by Alexander Mayor

Monday, 9 January 2012

Hacia Dos Veranos - The Way Of The Hand And The Foot

Hacia Dos Veranos remain the world's most enigmatic and charasmatic band by following their Hangover Lounge release The Cat & Cucumber, about a cafe in Bermondsey, with The Way Of The Hand And Foot, a song about tae kwan do. Fans of Michael Head and the Strands, The Clientele and Felt - and everyone who's ever drawn the conclusion that Love's Forever Changes is one of the greatest albums - will love Argentina's Hacia Dos Veranos.

They're making their long-awaited return to the UK stage at the hangover lounge on January 22. It's going to be pretty special. In the meantime, have a listen to:

"my older brother used to do tae kwon do some good years ago and apparently he wasn't bad: he even earned second place in a tournament -something that, considering my family's sports record, ranks as one of the greatest accomplishments in our family history. i think this song should be a tribute to him and to all the older brothers in the world who had earned second place at a martial arts tournament, including the bad kid who got beaten by ralph macchio at the end of "the karate kid": he must have had younger siblings as well."

written by ignacio aguiló
recorded and mixed by diego martínez at estudio nomiresahora (buenos aires, argentina, 2011).

it's the taking part that counts

it's the taking part that counts is a 26 track compilation album of indie, folk, pop, and electronica, celebrating 26 sports, to be released in 26 weeks time... in the build-up to the release you'll be able to hear each of the tracks on this blog, and to start us off here is the draft of the cover art...