Thursday, March 31, 2005

This month's releases from Ace Records.
Picked this up when Ben posted it on the Staysick board...

"Hi there, I got this from Kopper at Forums just now:

"For those of you who may have gotten to see Guitar Wolf here last week, you will be saddened to learn of the passing of Billy Bass Wolf (Hideaki Sekiguchi). Billy, the one and only Bass Wolf, passed away from a heart attack this morning in Tokyo. He was 38. He truly lived LAMF and was loved by all who knew him."

Post thoughts/condolences/remembrances here:

From Guitar Wolf's BBS:

Vigil and funeral information is as follows:
Vigil: 18:00p.m. (non-relatives 19:00p.m.) on Tuesday, April 5
Funeral: 10:00a.m.-11:00a.m., The Hearse to Leave at 11:00a.m. on
Wednesday, April 6 Place: Rinkaisaijo
1-3-1, Tokai, Ohta-Ku, Tokyo. Phone: 81-3-5755-2833
*Since there is NO parking lot, we kindly ask you not to drive to the place.
We announce that all shows will be cancelled.
We hope to have your understanding."

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Sack-O'-Woes - The Men With Bogart's Face (Looprekords SACK-O'3).
These here Sack-O'-Woes are one of the very few Dutch p-rock bands not caterin' to either the P.C. crusties, or the fuzzy-dice, flames and tattoos crowd. You know, a genuine punkrock band, kinda like the New Bomb Turks, to whom they ain't too dissimilar soundwise either. Their latest disc is available in both authentic vinyl format and (free!) MP3 download. So dig in and enjoy kiddies...
I still haven’t altogether recovered from the clocks going forward the other night. The reverberations of this encroachment into precious downtime are making me smart. That is in the sense of mild hurting not in the kingdom of the grey matter. But anyways, it’ll be April 1st on Friday, 28 years since NBT #1 hit the streets. If I’d committed some kinda big heist or even mass murder I’d probably be out by now, maybe doing the chat show circuit following a book and movie deal? So instead of armed robbery, I started a fanzine. Suffering for your art can take on many forms and looking at that big picture I was pontificating about the other day, I’m not doing too badly but would like to do better. Could this be ambition? Perhaps I need to try harder? Or just shut the fuck up and get on with it?? Yeah, I thought so. I hear “where you’re comin’ from” (Frank).

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Monday, March 28, 2005

If Holland ever had a band to equal the live-dynamics of the Fleshtones or Untamed Youth it must be the Firebirds. No idea what their current status is, but it looks like at least one ex-member has joined Das Aldi Combo. They're on tour with King Kahn this week, and if you need convinsin' on why you should check 'm out, just dig their crazed take on Human Fly that's available as MP3 from their site...
Details are very sketchy, but it looks like there is a Sire Records Box Set in the works.
Amy brought over the pilot episode of NBC’s remake of The Office which aired there last Friday night. Words cannot express what a waste of time, effort, resource and whatever else this is and has and always will have been. One would imagine that it’ll surely be put out of its misery after one “season”.

People stateside who were interested, presumably saw the original. Nobody else out there probably cares or will recognise the enormity of the folly associated with it but heads oughtta roll. All of the characters have been re-named and even the approximation of “Keith” is beyond all reasonable ken, y'ken?. The show lasts for 25 minutes(ish) and is hard going. Much has been made about it not having a “laugh track” and how this will confuse the American viewer. No it sodding won’t, because the channel will have been flipped well before they notice that it ain’t there - such is the chasm between the appropriation of what was formerly comedy gold and this travesty. Where much of the success lay in the uncomfortable familiarity and realistic nature of the material, this is a flat, dull atrocity. And, when they try to americanise the fare, then it slips another couple of rungs. Whoever sanctioned this could use a shot of “downsizing” themselves. Far as I know, the US AbFab was aborted due to the fact that it quite obviously didn’t work. I have no idea if the same people or indeed network was/were involved or who did the decent thing on that score but the culprits here require a loan of the radar that arrived at that decision.

I am still somewhat aghast and it took three episodes of The Honeymooners to restore my faith in how American comedy once, and very often still does, tower over the occasional (accidental) UK hit show.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

If it was up to me I'd spend several days a month in another country, as these trips always provide some much needed fresh input into a mind that, at times can get seriously bogged down by the ongoing day-to-day grind, and spendin' the past couple o' days in Glasgow was a good reminder that I need to do this kind o' thing much more often.
As opposed to Edinburgh, Glasgow is hardly a tourist attraction, more the kind o' city where people actually live and work. Visually it's as diverse as can be, you really have to adjust to the fact that within' one block on just about every street, one can encounter at least a dozen completely opposite types of architecture that hardly ever compliment each other. But if you keep an eye out there's a lot to enjoy. Didn't really have the time to visit the various musea, but the Glasgow Museum Of Modern Art (GOMA) had a small but well rounded collection that is well worth a visit. We spend Saturday afternoon in the company of Avy and Lindsay, who showed us around the Barras flea-market and the wonderful West-End. Despite Lindsay's misgivings about the state of recordshops in Glasgow, it actually had just the type o' shops I was lookin' for. No fancy collector-scum kind o' deals, just old-fashioned 2nd hand shops with prices way below London/other Major City levels. L viewed all that was on offer as rubbish, but how I whish people were sellin' that kind o' rubbish over here in Holland!
Our stay ended with a nice meal at a place called 'The Piping Centre', in the company of our hosts, where I was able to fulfill my long standing desire to taste Haggis. Being semi-vegetarian, I always make an exception for these regional dishes that people warn you about. As it was, it tasted just fine and hardly resembled the road-kill pigeon I was told it would...
There's at least a dozen city's goin' through my head right now that I wanna go to next, but as it is I'll have to take on an extra paper-route before I can even start thinkin' about another trip.
Muchos gracias to Avy and Lindsay for takin' the time to show us around, we owe you one...
Handsome Dick Manitoba has moved from his weekend slot in the Underground Garage to a FULL-TIME one! ..... He can now be heard, EVERY WEEKDAY, Monday through Friday, at 8 pm (8pm to 12 midnight) Eastern time ..... that would be 5pm to 9pm on the left coast! Sirius Satellite Radio/Channel 25/The Underground Garage. Joan Jett moves into a weekend slot.
Where have all the fanzines gone?...
Perspective is a great leveller and while it's not always possible to maintain such a dimension then it's important to try and regain some kind of equilibrium. My lambasting of my pathetic day to day chops being affected by the megalomania of relative nonentities is getting to be a pretty easy target. The world doesn't owe me a living but it's kind of a pisser when my fate is in the hands of people that I wouldn't trust to clean the lavvies. No disrespect to lavvie cleaners intended.

I heard this week that my friend, Theresa Brilli (Wilson) was taken by cancer and to be honest, I didn't know she was ill. As bolts from the blue go - it was somewhat un-nerving. It made me consider my own situation where I can sit here and vent. I can take on what I consider to be the injustices of existence and realise that I have a lot to be (relatively) thankful for. My "struggle" pales into total and utter insignificance compared to that of Theresa's family. She was a unique character, the kind of which are all too rare.

Yesterday, we were hanging out in Glasgow with Jeroen and Alice and today Amy Allison arrived to master her record. Being able to do that is something that shouldn't be taken for granted. In my bleaker moments, when I'm waiting and/or expecting for the hammer to come on down, it would perhaps do some good to be able to take in the bigger picture. The one where (maybe) all the apples didn't fall on me (after all). I think I ought to at least try to do that.

'bye T. I hope you're doin' alright in that next instalment.

FV Music continues to provide great music to the good people of Ljubljana in the form of the three noisenik combo from Columbus, Ohio GRAFTON, this coming Wednesday (30th).

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Amidst the tumult at St. Margarets Drive in Glasgow (that's the BBC) they still have the will to produce excellent radio documentary action. This week these took the form of Davie Scott's angle on Simple Minds "New Gold Dream" . Not a "classic album" for me but it reiterated to me what a character Jim Kerr is and it also features some great stuff from Bruce Findlay. The Frank Gallacher story is priceless. The other item was a programme about Dundee songwriter Michael Marra. Search both of these out on the "listen again" function.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Here’s an expression that I’ve heard “tossed around” in recent times more and more Around the open prison type establishment that I work. “The needs of the business” is a phrase that should earn whoever coined it a sound thrashing or maybe even death. Not a very charitable thought this Easter time but I make no apology for that. This is a further erosion in employment terms to an extent which is for me, unsurpassed. Further grist to the mill with regard to a monolithic vote of no confidence in those who are fiddling while this particular “Rome” slides down the figurative lavvy.

In a completely co-incidental turn of events (with it being Easter and all and being synonymous with eggs and all that palaver), it would seem that chickens are coming home to roost. This has been a rough and tumble week and the diry big sharp kitchen implements are out. What can I tell ya? If I hadn’t got The Bambi Molesters "Backstage Pass" dvd from Lada then things could have been a whole lot worse.

So, it’s Good Friday (as opposed to TGI Friday) and at 12.30pm today, it actually went one louder because that’s when I drove outta the penitentiary. If I get hit by a bus this weekend then I won’t have to go back.

See, I am capable of looking on the bright side…

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Chocolate Watchband show in Glasgow tonight cancelled...
There's an angry looking sky revving up outside the window here this morning. This could spill. Meanwhile if you're in the vicinity of Manhattan take in...

If you're planning to be in Newcastle in May, attendance at the following is mandatory...

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Congratulations to Mr and Mrs Cheetah Chrome (aka The O'Connors) "on the birth of their son, Rogan Kennedy O'Connor (7lbs 3 oz) at 12:46pm on March 21st at Baptist Hospital in Nashville!" Mr Chrome reports that, "Anna and the baby are doing great, and I'll send a pic as soon as we're home!"

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Expect to be around the vicinity of Maribor in Slovenia? Here's their branch of Garage Shock type action...

Monday, March 21, 2005

THE LOONS HEAD FOR EUROPE: "To promote their brand new album, PARAPHERNALIA, the Loons are heading to Europe for a five date, four-country tour. We hope to see you there.
*Saturday, March 26 - Beat Bespoke Festival at The Rocket, 166 Holloway Road, London, UK. THE LOONS headline the Saturday afternoon gig. This three-day event (March 25-27) also features appearances by Arthur Lee & LOVE, the Chocolate Watch Band, the Buff Medways, Mastica, the Yardbirds, Nine Below Zero, the Fuzztones and many others.
*Tuesday, March 29 - Gloria Club, Paris, France. With the Chocolate Watch Band.
*Wednesday, March 30 - Calypso, Rotterdam, Holland.
*Thursday, March 31 - Unique Club, Dusseldorf, Germany. With the Satelliters
*Friday, April 1 - Kunstwerk/Malzeit, Saarbrucken, Germany.

Punk Rock Choc... nae chic, nae chance!

(Thanks to the Goofballs Institute for the heads up...)

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Today hasn't exactly gone to plan but I'm safely back inside now and have been recovering from my brush with the outside world. There were plans to go to Glasgow but having to deal with the mall zombies and a road race earlier in the day, I think it's best just to stay put.

Staying put means I can continue with reading the draft of Joe Bonomo's book on THE FLESHTONES entitled "Sweat". It's a great read and reminds me exactly why I keep bashing my brains out against a seemingly impregnable brick wall. In listening to the band while reading I have to tell you that the elusive hit said 'tones have been chasing for more than a quarter century certainly isn't down to them. Joe's documentation of the band's struggle is a fantastic portrait of a combo who will go to death defying ends to savour what is precious to all of us. I hope he can find a publisher for it soon, meanwhile I'm somewhat honoured to have gotten this preview.

Another positive aspect of remaining indoors this art'noon is having found a site dedicated to THE UNFORGIVEN and associated groups, etc. Did you ever hear them? Well imagine a spaghetti westernised Dictators if you will. Tongues firmly in cheek and plenty of gang vocals. Their one Elektra LP is long out of print but you can download mp3's from the aforementioned portal. They were a fucking hoot and you can get a ton of background including their "tonnage tour" antics. Somebody needs to think about making this available again.

Listening to Davie Scott's programme about ORANGE JUICE. I never liked them but the show really provides an insight into what they were doing that went at some considerable height over my barnet. Go to Radio Scotland and hit up the Classic Scottish Albums title in the programme key.

Yeah, things inside the bubble are ok for the moment...

Over to Dark Lord Rob...

"I'm writing to spread the word about The Miskatonic Acid Test, a very ambitious feature length movie which is currently filming in Maine and Massachusetts, USA. The film combines psychedelic rock with cosmic horror concepts pioneered by the writer H.P. Lovecraft, mixing in a good bit of philosophy, antiwar politics, and humor along the way. It's going to be a gas... and did I mention the psychedelic rock?

Here's the outline: in 1969 a group of students at Miskatonic University in witch-haunted Arkham, Massachusetts decided to emulate the West Coast and put on their own sort of "happening", where "music and atmosphere could combine to create an alteration of consciousness", with the clandestine help of a little LSD. Or maybe a lot. Unfortunately, the professor they chose to serve as faculty adviser on the project had an agenda of his own; see, he was a philosophy professor, one who specialized in the "study of Evil", and one who saw the Miskatonic Acid Test as an opportunity for a little experiment. As the music and drugs reached their peak he ascended the stage and began to read incantations from the dread Necronomicon... and soon everybody learned a lesson about "cosmic consciousness"... they learned that some things are cosmic, and, unfortunately for us, they are also conscious.

The official site at has more on the film, including set photos, a "teaser" trailer, an early script draft, and - just added!- the first of many soundtrack downloads, "Where the Sun Touches the Sky" by The Conqueror Wyrms.

A bit about me... I'm Dark Lord Rob, the writer and director of the film (I also play Professor Firth, the evil philosophy professor). Before this I was founder and bass player for the well-regarded 80's/90's garage/psych combo The Not Quite ("a major band" - Pulsebeat; "classic psychedelia by any standards" - Freakbeat; "One of the strongest bands in the genre" - Knights of Fuzz). After the band evaporated I turned my hand to writing, creating the Electric Druid website, which evolved into American, where literally dozens of projects are evolving - novels, screenplays, teleplays, and, um, other. The Miskatonic Acid Test will be my first film... a lifelong dream achieved.

Also appearing in this all-star film is Chris Horne, formerly of Maine garage-rockers The Brood.

If this sounds like an exciting concept, I hope you'll take a moment to have a look and a listen on the website. If you like what you see/hear, I hope you'll help spread the word about the movie so that we can start building some momentum. Thanks!"

Dark Lord Rob
American Entropy Productions

So let the momentum begin!!
This is just something I need to get off my chest so please bear with it. Maybe it'll seem like I've finally come off the rails but I feel the need to vent so vent I shall. We'll get back to the music and stuff after this important (to me) message...

Recent times have brought about a downturn in some peoples ability to communicate. Gone have considered responses to be replaced by robotic platitudes of a patronising nature which I'm convinced mask a subtext of "Get it right up you" or an expression to that effect. Let's take "I hear what you're saying", this would suggest that said drongo is considering your angle on something but rather than be honest and say "GIRUY", the illusion of consideration is made. Then there's the even more heinous "I know where you're coming from". Ditto the previous undercurrent and amplify maybe five times. Perhaps the chart topper of this kind of butt-speak is "of course, it isn't personal". If something has to be qualified like that then generally, the extreme opposite applies. It's mega-personal and counting. These bastardisations of language possibly originated in the USA but who can be sure. The opposite side of the same coin is listening to white bread idiots giving it some "talk to the hand" type laldy at being upright and urban. Sad, pathologically inbred sociophobes that are dragging mankind deeper into an already stinky and congested swamp. I hear this crap day in and day out and it makes me want to blow a gasket but so far the deep breaths and prospects of parole have eased my not being able to suffer such fools gladly. This type of behaviour doesn't rock and well, I hope you agree. If you don't then "Get it right up you". And not in a good way.
Mr Percival's REZILLO reportage from the front line in Austin, TX.

Part One

The band arrived in the US on Tuesday and fought off the jet lag to do an 8 song mini set tonight (coming on stage at 2.15am!!) at the Tillery Street Theater as part of the "Scottish Invasion Party" to celebrate South by South West.

The set included "Good Sculptures", "25 miles", "Only in your dreams", "Number One Boy", "Can't stand my Baby" and "Destination Venus". Tomorrow....or later today really....they play Elysium with Shonen Knife, New Model Army, The Alarm and Wreckless Eric.

Part Two

"Let's Dance", from the Ramones debut album, provided the introduction to the Rezillos second appearance in Austin. The band were going for it big time tonight and on great form for their only full gig of the trip.Jo was resplendent in a pair of cavalry style trousers (no kilt tonight) with the sound problems of last night mainly overcome.Riley, singer with up and coming Scottish band Aberfeldy, could be spotted up the front singing along to most of the songs. The slow introduction to "Head Kicked in" was droppped in favour of the band just going straight into the song. The set was as follows:
I can't stand my Baby
Flying Saucer Attack
Good Sculptures
Getting me down
Cold Wars
Pressure Cooker
Crash my car
Only in your dreams
Number 1 Boy
Bad Guy Reaction
Mystery Action
Head Kicked in
EncoreTop of the Pops
Another good night with the third appearance scheduled for Saturday at 6pm at Cheapo Records.

Part Three

Last night saw what was, sadly, the band's last appearance in Austin to tie in with the South by Southwest music biz convention. Austin is a pretty incredible town. It's the home of the University of Texas and "an island of liberal thinking in the sea of Texas" - as it was described to me by one of the locals!The venue was Cheapo Records, a HUGE new and used record store, in the west of the city. In the corner of the store was an area put aside for bands to give live in store appearances. The backdrop was a mural of cowboys on their horses at sunset, similar to the photo used on the New Order "Regret" single sleeve. Angel sported his newly purchased cowboy hat, very in keeping with the setting, and Jo was back in his kilt after the previous nights cavalry trews. The show attracted a lot of people to the store and was all very informal with requests being welcomed from the band for the 8 song, 25 minute set. The band even shouted out their own requests to the rest of the band - fair enough I suppose!
The set was:
Cold Wars
Only in your dreams - requested by Eugene
Top of the Pops
Good Sculptures - requested by "Jo fae Edinburgh!"
Flying Saucer Attack
Getting me Down - the choice of Angel and Johnny Terminator, aka the purple gang
I can't stand my baby
Destination Venus
Fay was keen to hear "From a Jack to a King", the Elvis song, but it was not to be and Jo signed off the evening with a "We love you Austin!"

All in all 3 really enjoyable shows that I'm sure have resulted in more than a few converts to the Rezillos cause over the last few days!

Saturday, March 19, 2005

I first heard Sara Hickman when her Shortstop album came out on Elektra. My buddy HT had a&r'd it and had Ms Angel Corpus Christi add some of her patented accordion chutzpah to the proceedings. It was a nice little album and not at all in keeping with yer average NBT hooch but you have to keep your radar open y'know. What really put Ms Hickman on the map for me was the version of "Everyone's Gone To The Moon" that she cut with Angelo Badalamenti. It swooped and soared and should've been a huge hit. I got the chance to ask Mr B. about it at the Edinburgh Film Festival and he obviously remembered the session with great fondness. So let's cut to the chase, Sara Hickman is a singer/songwriter of epic proportions. Her music continues to exist outside of what might be considered our remit here but its obvious quality is inherent in all of her work. It's very pretty and commercial but never wet or schmaltzy. She also does a line in children's music which I think has been more successful for her or late. She treats what could be homogenized to be twee with the same edge that she infuses her "adult" work. Its that recognition that sets her aside from yer average singing/songwriting hack, her personality comes through to provide that extra dimension that so much of the fare just doesn't have.

She's also put together a dvd of appearances from over the years and she's even appeared on Li'l Art's Poker Party. The part where she meets George Burns and asks about Gracie is genuinely moving. Perhaps her groundedness has prevented her from being as well known as she deserves to be. Like Amy Rigby.

So check her out but be reminded that this is the polar opposite from the fire-breathing, punk rockin' stuff that we regularly fill yer boots with.
The HANK RAY album "Ballads From The Badlands Of Hearts" (Rhythm Bomb) sees the Rayman revisit obscure Hank Williams tracts and turn them into sparse, spare and spacious readings from somewhere on death row. Not as miserable though as that might sound and best played when the sun goes down. "Ballads" is a cinematic trawl that flows like a bloodline. Coagulation courtesy of David Lynch sitting in on a Johnny Cash session via a ouija board.

That said, it's no walk in the park. The roots of murder balladry and a decidedly black (as in death not race - and don't start with the 2000 smartass) demeanor stalk the album like the reaper his or herself and somehow react to make listening to it somewhat life-affirming. Great care has been taken to let the darkness breath some hope into the inherent hopelessness.

So what has been? Thirteen years since the last BARRACUDAS album? Can't be far away at that and in true quality over quantity tradition they'll be back in the racks very soon. Indeed the single "What You Want Is What You Get" will be out in April. A rip-snortin' taster for a full length return to form that will confound the most ardent cynic. A big part of the elixir coming to life is the appropriation of a couple of Scoundrelles by Messers Gluck and Wills. They needed guys that weren't hacks. People who had the spirit to take their janglefest to a higher plain and Rob and Yan provide that spark. From the opener, "Poor White Trash" they're outta the traps with gusto. Pure punchin' the air rock'n'roll thrills. "I Believe In Everything" is the best Steve Earle song that Sir Duke never wrote but might if he got a serious dose of Roky Erickson.

Chris Wilson's involvement is pivotal and makes the album the closest thing to a Sire period Flamin' Groovies that you're ever gonna get. The 'cudas could always belt out a top notch Byrdsian rattle but Wilson's distinct sound adds that final autenthic edge far beyond any mere tribute. The songs are great and the glamtastic "Don't Ever Say It Can't Be So" is something that I'm sure must have tickled the late, great Greg Shaw. It's like everything Bomp ever stood for rolled up into one big glitter bogey and flicked at radio programmers daring them to have the audacity to help make it the hit it deserves to be. With the Munster single of the cut long gone it's good to have it available again.

To be hit up track after track like this is actually quite moving. Transporting me back to a time when everything was possible, when it seemed like rock'n'roll actually had a chance. "Not That Kind" continues the anthemic upbeat notion of the sound while exploring the sheer isolation of not figuring into society. That crossroads which provides the anguish on which we seem to thrive whilst wishing we could turn the tables. Sometimes I hear people say that it wouldn't be much fun if we all liked the same things. What utter liberal mealy mouthed bollocks.

This music in my opinion is pretty much as commercial as you can get. It will reduce some of you folks to tears I'm sure and it'll induce that feeling that you've maybe not had too much lately. The one that evokes some kind of faith in what you're listening to. The one that seemed to have got away. However shortlived that instinct is we shouldn't take it for granted. "Take a Walk" sounds like The Fleshtones syphoning The Ramones and I imagine I hear Gordon Spaeth providing his trademark honk to fatten it all up.

"Nothing Ever Happens (in the Suburbs Baby)" would be an ideal stadium singalong where ol' Jezza could offer the mic out to the sea of people and they'd all sing it back. "Don't Let The Feeling Go" is the final salvo which brings down the pace to an almost hymnal flex. It recalls the days of "His Last Summer" and cruising in that old Daytona recalling past glories. "It may be a long time til the next one comes around" goes the lyric. To this very day, the Barracudas wave indeed still soars and hopefully a whole new generation will get with the program. This sequel takes up where they left us all those years ago. Who could reasonably have thunk it...

A wee update here - Mr Wills tells me that the version I have here is unmastered so the real thing is gonna sound even brighter. Also, "Nothing Ever Happens" is gonna be replaced by a tune called "Shipwrecked". They have other plans for "NEH(ITSB)". The band will also be in the studio again this week laying down a versh of the Rok's "Red Temple Prayer" for the forthcoming Greg Shaw tribute album.

Oh yeah, Jeremy Gluck urges you to check out SUPERCZAR...
RIP: Justin Hinds.
RIP: Danny Taylor (Silver Apples).
RIP: Lyn Collins.
I know. My tending of this cyber-allotment has been a bit lax of late. There are a number of reasons for this which I don't intend to drag through the neighbourhood. The flesh is weak, no matter how willing the spirit kinda deal...

So, at least life outside the grind is beginning to rev up. You should know that The Thanes are not opening for The Chocolate Watchband in Glasgow this coming week. They have a new bass player and don't wanna throw him in at the deep end. So that and some prolific visitors over the next coupla weeks will keep we busy and somewhat amused. In and around those, slings and arrows will be dodged wherever possible and hopefully the ol' blog will begin to reverberate regularly again. The alarming rate at which time is passing needs to be taken down a couple of notches. Hopefully over the course of this weekend, I'll attempt to get you acquainted with some gear that'll divert your attention from the fact that we're all headin' for hell in handbasket or whatever including that fine new album from those Barracudas. Happy trails...

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Phreddie on Gordon Spaeth. We lost another real original... (thanks Phast)
Click HERE to read Joe Bonomo's equally fine obit in Fleshtones Hall Of Fame.

"Dear friends,

It is with much sadness that I must convey the news to you of the death of our friend Gordon Spaeth. During the eighties he was the fifth Fleshtone.

When told about his demise on Thursday, I could not bring myself to actually believe it until I saw Gordon lying in wake at a viewing earlier this evening. He lied so still--Gordon was NEVER still in his life, it seems to me. If he wasn't jumping around on stage,he fidgeted or had a nervous twitch, or something. He was always a man in motion.It did not seem possible that he could just lie there and not even blink his eyes.

From talking to some of his old friends this evening, including members of The Fleshtones and Adny Shernoff (who went to school with Gordon,) I was able to gather the following:

Soon after he got out of high school, Gordon was involved in a drunken brawl that resulted in the death of his opponent--Gordon hit the guy and his head hit something hard. Gordon served some time in jail for this--at least a year and a half--and he never recovered from it psychologically. He turned to drinking and drugging, which kept him from being able to keep a real day job.

Drinking and drugging did not hinder him from becoming a Fleshtone, however.
In spite of the demons that he faced on a daily basis, Gordon's saxophone, harmonica and organ playing contributed mightily to the success (at least artistically, if not financially) of our favorite Super Rock group. Gordon's extroverted musical stylings fit in perfect with The Fleshtones' all-action-all-the-time stage show. Indeed, on The Fleshtones album THE ANGRY YEARS he is credited as having provided "excitement."

Gordon was a sweet man. In the early eighties, my band, Phast Phreddie & Thee Precisions, had a gig at some frat party near San Bernadino. It was one of the times when we were confounded by our regular sax player (Steve Berlin) having a better gig (with The Blasters) out of town. The Fleshtones were in Los Angeles recording. Gordon wasn't needed in the studio, so he volunteered his services for the evening. He rehearsed with us once and off we went. It was a fiasco, of course, but it was a fun one--made more fun by Gordon's presence.

Gordon lived basically via the kindness of strangers--namely government aid in a single room occupancy hotel. In recent years, he had cut down considerably on the drinking and drugging. He played with The Waldos in November (photos of that event can be seen here: u=4217386&a=31678470&vt=vp ) and he was scheduled to record with The Master Plan (Adny Shernoff and Keith Streng) next week.

But his demons got to him again, and this time he could not shake them off.
Last Tuesday (March 8) he leaped from his apartment window to his death.

I had not seen Gordon in a long time--maybe about a year or so. I knew he was troubled, but I didn't think it was that bad. Perhaps he put up a good front around me--he was always laughing and joking when I saw him. I am going to miss him, his saxophone playing and his laughter.

Be well, Phast Phreddie Patterson"

Sunday, March 13, 2005

The Ramones dvd is due out Tuesday in the US, April 25 in Europe. Here's the press
release - the extras sound intriguing:

Magnolia Pictures & Rhino Home Video present The definitive documentary about THE RAMONES "END OF THE CENTURY" DVD RELEASE DATE: March 15, 2005

Los Angeles, CA--On March 15th, Magnolia Pictures and Rhino Home Video will release END OF THE CENTURY: THE STORY OF THE RAMONES on DVD, a portrait of the seminal New York punk rock band. Considered by many the gods of rock 'n' roll's fundamentalist fringe, the Ramones are a band whose influence reaches over several generations of musicians and fans alike. END OF THE CENTURY is both a celebration of their music and a mesmerizing document of the group's road to near success, pitted with emotional power struggles and substance abuse. The film debuted in New York on Friday August 20th, 2004 followed by a national rollout in theaters around the country.

New York City was caught off guard in 1974 by the angry scream of punk. Raw and unrestrained, it was a sharp contrast to the banality of soft rock and disco. At the forefront of the scene were the Ramones, headed by Joey; who was often accused of geekiness but later on went on to redeem countless others from that agony, troubled bassist Dee Dee; burdened by the weight of his own genius, guitarist and master drill sergeant Johnny; and drummer Tommy (who was followed by a parade of other drummers, including Marky and Richie Ramone). Looking like extras from THE WILD ONES with their black leather jackets, bowl haircuts and Converse sneakers, they ripped through three-chord songs about sniffing glue, the neighborhood, teenage sex and angst. They were a gang of misfits from Forest Hills, Queens, united in the belief in salvation and deliverance through the power of rock 'n' roll.

It was a rocky road for the pseudo-brothers: the success that always seemed around the corner continually faded in the distance, as British bands they inspired were crowned the "originators of punk" by the mainstream music press. The film's title refers to their 1980 album of the same name, produced by the infamous, gun-toting, hit song guru Phil Spector, an endeavor that strained the already tenuous relation between band members. Poor record sales turned dreams of rock glory into gigging as a means of employment. All the frustration they felt against an industry that gave
up on them and abandoned their cause divided them further as they seemingly turned their anger against each other.

New York-based filmmakers Michael Gramaglia and Jim Fields share a life-long love of punk music and their passion is evident in this candid portrait of a band torn by internal struggles and consequences of the lifestyle. END OF THE CENTURY moves from the band's CBGB and London heydays, the decade-long silence between Joey and Johnny caused by a dispute over a girl, through to the deaths of Joey and Dee Dee Ramone
and their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in 2002. Together with unseen live and studio footage, extensive interviews with ex-band mates, family, friends and figures from New York City's punk scene, END OF THE CENTURY not only documents an important chapter in music history, but also chronicles the bonds of childhood friendship and their gradual breakdown.

Imagine if Texas really had a grasp on funk. Consider that Sharleen Spiteri could effect a soul transfusion and you wouldn't even get close to the refreshingly sophisticated stylings of this fine Motor City combo. Hot on the heels of their Ghetto Years collection on the In-fidelity imprint comes this 12" vinyl only monster that pumps and pulsates with a stomping authority that must blow minds played on tilt in a club. Said slab includes a gloriously psychedelicized, super-rock type slant on Donna Summer's "I Feel Love". All hopped up with everyplace to go.

"The Come Ons just released a 4 song 12" deejay single on MoPop Music. Recorded at The Tempermill with Jim Kissling at the helm, you can get your very own copy at your favorite record shop in and around Detroit (Young Soul Rebels, Pure Detroit, Stormy Records, Record Time, Car City Records). This record is also available through Revolver Distributors in the USA and Cargo Distributors in the UK."

Get with The Come Ons. They know you want it and they have got what you need. Sounds like a sweet deal to me...
The great HANK RAY will be toting his unique brand of dustbowl country interpretation at the following venues over the next wee while...

10.03.D-Hamburg, Molotow

12.03.D-Hannover, Chez Heinz

15.04.D-Leipzig, Conne Island (+Teenage Fanclub) 16.04.D-Dresden, tbc

13.05.D-Beverungen-Orange Blossom Special (Glitterhouse Festival)
More bad news... former Revillos guitarist Kid Krupa passed away on Friday at age 41. Jeez... no details but hell, the guy was a youngster by my standards.

THE REZILLOS will undertake the following upon their blitz of SXSW. Info from their latest newsletter.

Later in April the band will be doing a series of dates in the UK running through May/June to promote the "Rezillos Radio Times" session cd to be released on the Damaged Goods label. (

The following dates are now confirmed:

Friday May 6 Dundee-Reading Room

Saturday May 7 Durham University with The Damned

Sunday May 8 Leicester- Princess Charlotte

Saturday May 21 Brighton-Concorde 2

Sunday May 22 Morecambe Wasted festival (

Wednesday June 1 Manchester Academy 3

Thursday June 2 Portsmouth-Wedgwood Rooms

Friday June 3 Bristol -Bier Keller

Saturday June 4 Stourbridge-Rock Cafe 2000

Sunday June 5 Leeds-Cockpit

Saturday, March 12, 2005

UNRECORDING RECORDS GUN CLUB tribute is now available. Make all that hard work worth their while...

Kiki Lorraina checked in to ask that you check out her combo, THE LORRAINAS. I investigated her credentials and can hereby recommend that you take up this offer.

Friday, March 11, 2005

I've just been made aware of the fact that my old friend Gordon Spaeth, onetime Fleshtone and Action Combo figure has taken his own life. He was troubled for sure but I thought he'd found some kind of peace in recent times. I certainly hope he has now. My experience of Gordon was of a sharp, funny, cool individual who it was a pleasure to hang out with. I'm saddened at this and even although I haven't seen him in a long time, my memories of "The Wheelman" are fond ones.

Whilst I basically understand the sentiment behind the cliché that is “Thank God/Whoever/Expletive It’s Friday” it’s become a trite tape loop delivered alleged pleasantry of “Have a Nice Day” proportions. It’s like “What did you get up to at the weekend?” generally delivered by somebody whom, with all and any due respect, has no real business of knowing. This faux bonhomie irritates the eff-word outta the cut to the chase philosophy that drives me. If I want to convey my activities to someone then I will, but shall not, almost never, yatter my brains out unnecessarily, to a point that to some - getting “information” from me might be akin to extracting teeth. What’s wrong with me? Well, the only folks really qualified to have an opinion on that are my therapists that operate out of a practice on Anza in SF. I’m down with their findings and scientific methods of measuring such activities. I’m not sure anybody else would have the technology.

That said, Friday is the gateway to a few hours when my open plan goldfish bowl hell recedes without the aid of pharmaceuticals. Particularly inspiring on a clear, cold day like today. For something like forty hours, my purgatory doesn’t exist. The spectre only looms after 5pm GMT on a Sunday and at this point that’s pretty far away. This afternoon has been productive because I’ve been to the bank, had a conversation with one of the old guys that runs the local museum here in town, got a haircut and made the tea prior to switching this blighter on. Hopefully I’ll hook up with two of my Punk Kongress chums in Edinburgh sometime tomorrow and all will be as well with the world as I’ve come to expect of late.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Hasil Adkins wheels for sale...

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

This Just in...

"Ladeez an' Intensive Care Partie de Bateau est arrivée!!!
You may've heard whispers......'tis true, we're having a boat party in April, and here are the details.

Intensive Care Boat Party Saturday 2nd April 2005, 8pm till 2am.

Leaves from, and returns to, the same location near the Palace of Westminster in Central London. Rest of the time, we're sailin', baby! Ticket price £15 DJ's include:

Declan and Perry (Intensive Care)

PJ (Dirty Water Club)

Joss & Joe (Sonic Reducer)

Playing Live, all the way from Memphis: Jack-O & the Tearjerkers (aka the Tennessee Tearjerkers) This band will blow your nuts off (yours too, ladeez!!). Band leader Jack Yarber used to be in Memphis garage rock legends the Oblivians. They are revered by everyone who likes their rock 'n' roll raw 'n' alive. The Hives decamped to Memphis en masse to see a recent reunion gig, and then hauled them over to Sweden to play in Dr Matt Destruction's bathroom. These guys incite fever in all who encounter their scorchin' trash. Jack now has two bands: the Cool Jerks, in which all four members sing; and his Tennessee Tearjerkers, in which only he sings, and which is more of a classic bar-room country-rock edge....perhaps you're beginning to see an Intensive Care marriage made in Valhalla......Our friend Todd says they're like JSBX with proper songs......yowzayowzayowza!

Now, friends, this is not the usual half-arsed IC arrangement. News of this one-off Tearjerkers appearance has spread like wildfire on the 'Net. People are gathering on messageboards, plotting trips from all over Britain and EUROPE and even AMERICA top come to this. Unlike previous years, you will not be able lazy-ass your way to the weekend of the party and bag a ticket. It will be sold out by then, no word of a lie. So please contact me or Dec to buy a ticket, pronto. Some tickets will be sold thru the Intoxica record shop at 231 Portobello Rd, W11.

If you want to save yourself such hassle. I will be at the Stag-O-Lee club (@ New Evarista in Greek Street) from 9pm tonight, and at Dirty Water on Friday 11th, watching Monsieur Jeffrey Evans. After that, amazingly, I'll be away for ten years. When I get back, I'm pretty sure it'll be all gone, ausverkauft, foryoumyfriendzewarwillbeovaaaaah..........apx"

Contact Intensive Care: Declan 07786 9378055 Perry 07970 924393

Sunday, March 06, 2005

The SCREECHING WEASEL reissue program is in full swing. Get the set...
Another Radio veteran is off to that great station in the sky... RIP - Tommy Vance
Aha... of course it should have been obvious and my recognition faculties are evidently at a low ebb but "I Don't Wanna Go To The Party Tonight" is a RIVERDALES song which appeared on their "Storm The Streets" album. These Australian SpaZZ lassies evidently have good taste...

Something else I've thus far failed to do in my unravelling state is to plug the Rev Davie Scott's programme on BBC Radio Scotland entitled "CLASSIC SCOTTISH ALBUMS". 1st one was Bert Jansch, the most recent AWB's (Average White Band) "White Album" and comin' up Teenage Fanclub's "Bandwagonesque". If you have the technology to do the ol' internet on demand thing then these are very entertaining half hour snapshots that don't rely on you being familiar with the subject matter.
Nearly time for the mind-boggling SXSW in Austin where Laura Cantrell will play on Friday March 18th. From the program info... "Born in Nashville and based in NYC, Laura Cantrell has built a dedicated following on both sides of the Atlantic by combining a love of traditional country and folk music with a modern sensibility that informs a sound both timeless and thoroughly original. She recently completed her third album "Humming By the Flowered Vine", which will be released by Matador Records this Spring. She continues to host the weekly "Radio Thrift Shop" program on freeform WFMU in Jersey City, NJ."

Also at SXSW... The Rezillos on Thursday March 17th as part of a Scots Showcase Event (The lord deliver us...)which will run from 23:30 - 04:00 at the Tillery Street Theatre, Austin, Tejas. The self-same 'zillos will also appear on a bill at Elysium the very next evening (18th) with Shonen Knife (yay!), The Alarm (yay not!), New Model Army (you're kidding right?) and Wreckless Eric (saved at last!)
From Mod to Odd

These are some of the better pictures I took in and around New York & Jersey City last year. Mostly of rock and roll bands, but some cityscapes and what I like to call “barscapes”. The bands run the gamut, from Mod (The Insomniacs) to Odd (Pink Steel, New York’s Premiere Gay Heavy Metal Combo).

Others include (in no particular order) The Martinets, George & the Giblets, The Waldos, The Master Plan (featuring Keith Streng of the Fleshtones and Andy Shernoff of the Dictators), The Woggles, Muck & the Mires, The Billy Filo Starship masquerading as The Dead Boys for a special Halloween show, Holmes, the Dansettes and more!

The pictures were taken with a Canon Powershot SD10 Elph, a camera so small it can fit in a cigarette pack. Then I tweaked the pics in Photoshop to give’em that Roberta Bayley/CBGB’s vibe.

Comments? Feel free to contact me at

Rather than churn out an “authentic” two-D garage sound, these Texan kids who call themselves THE UGLY BEATS but indulge in anything but, have seen fit to ingest a healthy dose of their own high-octane enthusiasm into this Get Hip mix. The result is "Bring On The Beats" - a seriously infectious party down that could well reinstate their musical form with the respect it once had. Their version of The Easybeats “I’ll Make You Happy” indicates that The Cramps used this song as the undercarriage for their “Mean Machine” and also throw in a cheeky wee Human Fly run just to bolster their recognition. Good call.
It all started off with a seemingly harmless slice of Ramonophonic abandon on the Rock and Roll Disease set where they trounced the competition easily. How was I to know that the song, “I Don’t Wanna Go To The Party” would lead to my becoming a full blown Spazzy addict in such a short space of time? Their album Aloha! Go Bananas on the Fur imprint is just about as infectious a short sharp set as I’ve heard since The Boonaraaas. Recorded big and loud and blowing a raspberry in the direction of anybody that isn’t captivated by its spell. This Aussie lass 3-piece has picked up the baton dropped by The Eastern Dark and they’re gonna shimmy all the way to the finish line. THE SPAZZYS would get top grades in the R&R High School for their crisp line in 1-2-3-4 abandon. What's not to like about a band that closes their album with the gloriously stupid statement of intent that is "I Wanna Cut My Hair Like Marky Ramone"?

Slovenian hillbluesgaragebilly and beyond combo Crazed Farmers have harvested a swinging monster with their gloriously frenzied debut entitled First Crop (Nika Records). While there are influences to be found there, I can’t recall them being poured outta the sonic blender quite like this. Choppy but never in that grating angular fashion, these guys put their back into their land with more gusto than it's perhaps safe to consider, to sound like something that ain’t quite playing with a full deck. These boys will puree and pummel just about anything to full tilt. Whatever they spray their produce with out there then I'd like a regular supply.
Howard Wall reports that Glasgow's ain Beat Poets dust off their equipment for an appearance at The Pearce Hall in Govan, Weegieville on Friday March 18th. Described in the draft programme as "twanngy", this is the local pronunciation of "twangy".

Saturday, March 05, 2005

So I'm at the stage now where I don't know what's going on with this bloody e-mail. Some stuff seems to go out alright. Other stuff bounces back and thusly I dunno if anybody is receiving anything other than when I get a message back. I can't promise that this situation will be rectified because I dunno what's causing it. What I do know is that I feel like launching the bloody thing outta the window. However, i'll try to cool those beans and get on with addressing the pile of groovy stuff that I need to hep you to.

One thing, as traffic increases I get more and more requests for links to be placed on the blog. All I can tell you is that if something is worthy it'll go on there but there's a vetting procedure. If you're reading this and are thinking 'bout making such a request - try to get a beat on the environment we've created thus far - if you think you fit the loose criteria then fine but we're not pasting up a bunch of bogus "music" connections for the good of our health. Quality control will out and I'm unlikely to be hosting much in the way of rap anytime soon.

Just found out that MONK isn't on today again. It's been bumped in favour of Athletics - don't people pay subscriptions to Sports Channels for that kinda crap? It's enough to make you wanna cancel your TV licence...

Heap great photos of the beyond cool Croatian mutant-surf titans, The Bambi Molesters (thanks to Bro' BIGor for the tip)

Friday, March 04, 2005

A missive from Monorail Music to those in the greater Metropolitan area of Glasgow...

Monorail Music12 Kin
"Monorail is proud to announce the launch party for Alasdair Roberts' excellent new album, No Earthly Man. We are often found listening to Roberts' music, his crisp Caledonian tongue ringing out on a bright afternoon with impressive, austere authority. Roberts moves purposely forward with every release, and on No Earthly Man he presents a set of traditional British ballads and songs, each concerned with death. If this idea seems potentially drab or gothic, the album is far from. It is a celebratory, sometimes positively joyous album, lovingly sourced and compiled (often from different versions of the songs) by Roberts, who manages to bridge the worlds of historian and singer unselfconsciously and brilliantly. No Earthly Man is produced by fellow traveller, Will Oldham."

Further info at Monorail Music

12 Kings Court, King Street, Glasgow, G1 5RB. 0141 552 9456
So what validates the “brand” of a band for you? I’m talking about a combo who meant something in a previous dimension that maybe disbanded, or didn’t play for a while or well, just about any combination of all that. For me, I think that at least two previous members should be involved. If something is particularly good with just the one then I’d let it slide but that is almost never the case. I bring this up because I saw “The Saints” last night and to be honest, it wasn’t very good. It didn’t outright stink but it was very pedestrian. Had it been billed as a Chris Bailey show then the low expectations may have been ratified. He’s a disarming enough performer but his “band”, nice guys as I’m sure they are, just don’t cut it. “I’m Stranded” was the second song in the set and it appeared to be set on muffle. In fact, despite the guitar wrangling aerobics of Chris’ axeman the sound was decidedly fluffy. The loudness usually associated with The Saints clout just wasn’t there. And it wasn’t the club PA, because earlier The Primevals kicked up a gutsy, strident traipse through their not insubstantial back catalogue in readiness for a collection that should be out on Last Call in May. The Primevals always existed outside the axis of Glasgow pop and were somewhat more successful in Europe than they ever were in the UK. The straddled a kinda Gun Club meets Radio Birdman terrain with a soul bravado that sounded really sharp last night. If they can do this after two rehearsals then two dozen shows down the road, they’ll take your head off. This manifestation of that “brand” consists of people who have been involved in and around the band for a while. Their contributions allow the material to breathe and take on additional matured shape. The shapes that Chris’ most recent Saints throw are altogether more superficial and I don’t get any pleasure out of saying that. When you see Bailey with a real band like The Nomads, hammering out his “I’m Stranded” hymn then maybe it sets the bar too high. What can I tell ya? Mr Spence told me that they were better than they were eight years ago. There may be some solace there but not for me.

RIP - MARTIN DENNY... the great grandfather of exotica is gone!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

News updates plus a preview of the sleeve for the upcoming Viva Dictators CD at The Official Dictators Website.

RIP: Michael B. Smith AKA Big Mick. (news c/o Joris at
Some wag (for want of a better expression) has been knocking about here changing all the calendars to March. What do you mean it IS March? How can it be?? So that means The Saints are at King Tuts in Glasgow tonight. I figured that was at least two weeks away… Talk about running on empty. I could blame it on the weather and a bunch of other things but where would that get me exactly? No fucking place is right. I’m aghast at the way time is passing. It doesn’t go in quickly when I’m at work in the bloody goldfish bowl but “freedom” goes by in a flash. I guess it’s the same for everybody, right? So I’ll just quit kvetching (for now). Got a lot of info to convey if I could just muster a little corner of that time stuff to put it together. Let’s call it “in due course”.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

OK, shoot me, but this was the view on my way back home from work this afternoon, and it just happened to make my day...
This month's releases from Ace Records.