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!