Archive for Shane MacGowan

Song of the Week: “I Put A Spell On You”

Posted in News with tags , , on March 1, 2010 by 30daysout

Now here’s a good one:  Pogues front man Shane MacGowan has recruited a battalion of punk stars to cover Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ song “I Put a Spell on You”, with money going to the Dublin charity Concern Worldwide’s Haiti relief efforts. The track will be released March 7 and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.

The video features footage of MacGowan, Nick Cave, Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie, the Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde, the Clash’s Mick Jones (banging on a fire extinguisher!), the Sex Pistols’ Glen Matlock, and more recording in the studio.  And yeah, that’s  Johnny Depp playing guitar.

Live: The Pogues, Houston

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on October 30, 2009 by 30daysout

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It wasn’t St. Patrick’s Day but Thursday night sure felt like it – or something like a wild, drunken Irish party – as the legendary Pogues rolled into town to play at the House of Blues.  This punk-Irish-rock unit hasn’t visited Texas in 20 years but here they were in all their glory and best of all, they were led by dissipated frontman Shane MacGowan, singing and smoking and drinking and slurring right where he belongs.

To see MacGowan in the flesh is to wonder how this man is alive at all. Obviously damaged by decades of boozing and whatever, MacGowan is a serious mess.  But he is also the brilliant songwriter who created the great songs that the Pogues are famous for.  And they rolled out one after another Thursday night: “The Broad Majestic Shannon,” “Sunny Side of the Street,” “A Pair of Brown Eyes,” “A Rainy Night in Soho” and so on.  As I said, brilliant – and MacGowan, magically, sang with growing strength as the nearly two-hour set wore on.  Was it the frenzy of the (obviously) alcohol-fueled crowd, or was it the glass of liquid he kept sipping (gin? vodka? water?) during the set?

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Lost Classics! The Pogues

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , on January 15, 2009 by 30daysout

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Just as clearly as yesterday, I can remember when I dropped the needle on Rum, Sodomy & the Lash, the second album by the Pogues.  The album appeared in 1985, and the Pogues were an unknown quantity: a Celtic folk-punk band?   “The Sick Bed of Cuchulainn” starts out like just about any Irish weeper you’d punch up on a pub jukebox, but about 36 seconds in the punk frenzy takes over.   And I said: “Yeah!”

It turns out that Rum, Sodomy and the Lash, produced by Elvis Costello, is the first of the Pogues’ two acknowledged masterpieces – the other being If I Should Fall From Grace With God (1988), which gave the world “Fairytale of New York,” one of the best Christmas songs of all time.   Certainly the highlight of Rum is Eric Bogle‘s antiwar song “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda,” the best version of that much-covered classic.  Costello liked the band so much, he married bass player Cait O’Riordan (and later divorced her).

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30 Days Out (From Christmas): Rockin’ Stocking

Posted in 30 Days Out (From Christmas) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 30, 2008 by 30daysout

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Day Three – OK, confession time: I really hate Christmas songs.  But after you start plowing through them and you hear one that doesn’t pop up on the radio about every five minutes, it gets kinda fun listening to some of them.  I said SOME of them.  So, to keep this 30 days thing from growing too tedious, here’s a holiday stocking of some random tunes that caught my ear today.  Thanks to our L.A. correspondent Randy Fuller for compiling these on a mix CD about two or three years ago.

MP3: “Christmas Lullaby” by Shane MacGowan

MP3: “All I Wanna Do Is Shag This Christmas” by the Bellrays

MP3: “Counting The Days (A Christmas Polka)” by Marah

MP3: “Funky Christmas” by James Brown

MP3: “Jungle Bells” by the Blue Hawaiians

MP3: “We Three Kings” by Rev. Horton Heat

MP3: “Christmas Is For Mugs” by Graham Parker

MP3: “Christmas Blues” by Gatemouth Moore

MP3: “Cool Yule” by Louis Armstrong

MP3: “White Christmas” by Guns N’ Roses (Maybe it’s Guns N’ Roses!)