Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Excuse me, I'm in a modicum of discomfort here having burned the skin off the roof of my fecking mouth and it's smarting like something that's smarting a lot...

So how do you stand on the reported imminent death of the “album”?

I’m not so sure that it’ll directly affect fans of music per se. Maybe the countless thousands on the periphery never gave a hoot anyway? If it stops a bunch of chancers assembling something around one track to milk the hard earned moolah out of folks who are easily duped then bring it on. Been reading a lot of opinion on all this and it seems to me that the end result will be the fall of your Virgins, HMV’s and the like. HMV has reportedly bought some FOPP's and plans to reopen them ASAP but they want to retainthe identity they had. And how's that supposed to bloody work? The megastores gave up on music ages ago anyway. Banishing it to other floors to embrace the dvd so fuck them. They also charge too much but they have to pay their rent somehow I imagine. Wherever possible, I urge you to buy your stuff directly from the artist or from an independent shop. The dust may well settle when these huge outlets finally crash.

While I am prone to downloading a little bit, I can’t see it being the way I enjoy music ever. Not being an ipod or mobile phone receptacle owner, I’m waiting until the global jukebox model hits. This will involve the act registering their material in a huge inventory that will be accessed through a portal such as TV or monitor. The “purchase” of a track or several will then be administered at source and the owner of the material will be paid. Not unlike selling an article on ebay or whatever. These huge stores are just overheads. They serve no social purpose. Which makes me think, I’ve been meaning to watch High Fidelity again. To bring back the (gooder) old days to the rapidly aging, increasingly agitated yours truly.

Having stuck my toe in the fetid waters of ebay once again recently, it wasn't terribly pleasurable. On top of the palaver itself, the way the mail setup here is now means that there are all kinds of whys and wherefores to consider. While magazines seem to pass for "letter rate", everything else (records, cd's etc.) is "packet" which means that they rack up the cost. I think I mentioned before that recent activities by this once proud organisation definitley indicate a trajectory of freefall. On top of that you get nickel and diming with regard to postage. I charge postage at cost, that means if somebody wants recorded delivery then that's what they get. At exactly what it costs to mail. Some people just fire in an inordinate amount to begin with, which doesn't seem to deter buyers. I've paid a couple of quid for something I know was only 34p to ship but that's a symptom of the disease. It's not enough to get all bent outta shape about but it rankles and is the fundamental reason why I try to work the way I do. Most people are fine to deal with. Some of 'em are even a pleasure but it's the fineglars that spoil it. My old practise of actually mailing stuff before it was paid for hit the dust a long time ago. You can just never tell. Oh sure, I want to get rid of the stuff that's gathering dust before I turn to same but is this the best way to go about it?

Angel said to me the other day "you made it".

I did but it's been a bumpy, stuff-festooned journey.

Monday, July 30, 2007

More schniztel, please! Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. offers a taste of old Vienna this week as we journey to the quaint Cafe Steinhof in Brooklyn's Park Slope. Two big shows are on tap -- not to mention an assortment of Austrian and German beers -- and the kitchen's open late if you're hankering for Viennese comfort food...
CAFE STEINHOF /422 Seventh Avenue (at 14th Street) in Park Slope, Brooklyn / Two shows, from 10:30 until 12:30 / No cover! /
Also, later this week and through August...
Red Hot & Blue Rockabilly Festival (Montreal, Quebec)
SATURDAY, AUGUST 18th / 2007 Coney Island Rockabilly Festival
THURSDAY, AUGUST 30th / Otto's Shrunken Head (East Village, Manhattan)
Internationally yours, Michael
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.
"Ballads, Boogies & Blues"

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Rebellion festival press release

The biggest punk festival in the world is back on August 9th to 12th for another raucous celebration of the music that refuses to die. Fresh from selling out in Amsterdam in May 'Rebellion' returns to its spiritual home of Blackpool with high expectations. Last year 10,000 people went to the sell out show last year at the Winter Gardens- the venue’s ballroom dancers having to take the weekend off as the punk rockers come to town!

It's fitting that the 30 years after ‘God Save The Queen ‘ was number one that punk can still put on a massive event. All shades of punk from The Damned and TV Smith and The Bored Teenagers to the Adicts from Conflict to the Cockney Rejects, there are big American bands like The Casualties, The Dwarves, hardcore heroes Madball and Leftover Crack as well as legendary groups like Slade and Chas and Dave as well as punk and post punk names like Penetration and the UK Subs as well as some of the scene’s new leading lights like Goldblade. Showing off the variation of styles encompassed by Rebellion is Neville Staple and even Alabama 3 as well as bands from all over the world- a collection of legendary names and a selection of upcoming young bands reflecting the huge renaissance.
‘Rebellion’ attracts people from all over the world with its all ages policy. Reflecting punk’s massive status on the worldwide stage where it has become the main youth music for disaffected Russian youth to Brazilian kids in the favelas to Mexican street kids in LA.
150 bands, acoustic and cabaret stages and market stalls that stretch around the venue. This is the biggest one yet, the most bands and the biggest expected audience, for one weekend, Blackpool gets a riot of its own, a rock n roll riot!

If you want more information please get in touch with John Robb at
Johnrobb1@btinternet.com 07940 514 622

We can arrange interviews with any of the bands- the festival makes a great story for TV. Radio and the press.

"Rock and roll is a pretty egalitarian affair. On any given night any band can be the best band in the world, if for only ten minutes. The amazing thing about the Fleshtones is that every night for the last thirty years they have consistently been the best live band on earth. Year in, year out -- high, low and in between -- the Fleshtones have embodied the very essence of rock and roll. This great book by Joe Bonomo really gets to the heart of who the Fleshtones are, and the price they paid. Now it's up to you to check out the Fleshtones when they hit your town. And in my own defense, that fire that Keith and I started in France was really a very small fire. Not worth mentioning at all. Please."
Peter Buck, R.E.M.
Jr. Grenadier, as far as I know, doesn't have a myspace page. He seemed to drop off the face of the earth after putting together the six track "What Is A Kiss" cassette in 1986. I just found said tape and hooked up a deck to see if it would measure up to the memory? No problems on that score. It sounds just as good now as it did at the time. Maybe even better in that it was always like it was ahead. So anyway, not a lot is known about the identity of JG. Some clues may lie with the other musicians on the recording. These include Dave Mahoney, Bruce Anderson and one Angel Corpus Christi. It was recorded in San Francisco too so maybe that's another clue and it reminds me a bit of Poetraphonics. Anyways, that outro to the title track sounds like Phil Manzanera doing a Rick Neilsen. And that has to be a good thing. If Junior is out there, and by some twist of fate might be reading this, then I urge him to make these fine tunes available to the ipod generation and whatever is on the cards to follow that. This gear would sound great blasting out of anything, anywhere.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Ben Weasel and his Iron String Quartet
These One’s Are Bitter (Merdota Recording Co.)
I came to Screeching Weasel relatively late and somewhat by accident. Having had them pegged as some kind of terrible hardcore group. Not sure why exactly but I couldn’t have been more misguided. And it’s fairly clear to anybody with a penchant for rollercoasting pop that Ben may well have been able to save The Ramones. We’ll never know for sure but I reckon that he and Joe King could have been their Leiber and Stoller. So anyway, he's moved on and will always move and shake a good sight faster and louder than any alleged talent that thinks they’ve got something to offer. Shuning the trappings of conventional popularity but toting all the chops to leave the competition, if there was any, in the dust. This guy has nothing to prove to anybody but he’s just made a benchmark album by enlisting the All American Rejects to provide the ballast. The result is 14 tracks that should be lighting up the airwaves if there still were such a thing. The sound is immense, like The Who crashing skulls with The Dickies to create a dynamic that’ll flash up a dirty big dumb grin right across your mush. "These Ones..." is only available as a download for now but it will be available on vinyl and as soon as that happens, you’ll find out where to score one here as close to first as I can muster. The one slow song “In a Bad Place” is a heartbreaker which could pack out a stadium on its own if there was any justice or indeed if the guy who wrote it gave a shit about such hollow trappings.

The LeftoversOn The Move (Rally Records)
A quick google on the name throws up many bands called The Leftovers but this is the three piece from Portland, Maine that we’re dealing with here. Imagine The Smithereens wearing jetpacks and harbouring some Tommy James and The Shondells intent. 13 songs clocking in at just below 29 minutes, looking at them on the cover, you’d never think that three youngsters could kick up such a full-blooded racket. They’ve been abetted in their mission by the aforementioned Mr Weasel and his sequencing has been carried out with precision rock’n’roll action in mind. This is what I expected The Fratellis to sound like according to their press. Superior pop hammered out with a gusto that’s rare in these processed pre-packed, pigeon-holed times. I’m sure that yours truly is well outside their demographic but they’re bloody stuck with me. The sound is as clean as a whistle and that drum propulsion really carries the epic proportions of the “teenage excitement, romance and mystery”. The Leftovers are anything but.

The music will always transcend the T-shirt. Won't it?
(Thanks to Mr Percival for the link)
The Soho Dolls are embarking upon an extensive expedition to take their electro-glam-twang stylings to the highways and bye-ways of the UK. In the olden days, an appearance on TOTP and a cheeky wee Saturday morning TV spot would have been enough to drive the kids out to the record store with their pocket money but things are different now. It's the 21st century apparently. The tour is to promote the album "Ribbed Music For The Numb Generation". Anyway, check out their wares on YouTube and Myspace and get ready for some real old-fashioned future pop.

04.09.07 London Hoxton Bar & Kitchen
13.09.07 Taunton Café Mamba
14.09.07 Crewe M Club
15.09.07 Milton Keynes Pitz Club
17.09.07 Newcastle Cluny
18.09.07 Glasgow Kings Tut’s
19.09.07 Aberdeen Tunnels
20.09.07 Greenock Red
21.09.07 Carlisle Brickyard
22.09.07 Staffordshire University
24.09.07 Leeds Joseph’s Well
25.09.07 York Fibbers
26.09.07 Hull Lamp
27.09.07 Barrow-In-Furness Nines
28.09.07 Liverpool Barfly
29.09.07 Oxford Bar Academy
01.10.07 Derby Susumi
02.10.07 Leicester Charlotte
03.10.07 Bristol Louisiana
04.10.07 Cardiff Barfly
05.10.07 Swansea Sin City
06.10.07 Coventry Colosseum
08.10.07 Southend Chinnery’s

09.10.07 Guilford Boileroom
10.10.07 Brighton Barfly
11.10.07 Plymouth Hub
12.10.07 Winchester Railway
13.10.07 Southampton Lennon’s
16.10.07 Cambridge Soul Tree
17.10.07 Manchester Night & Day
18.10.07 Sheffield Corporation
19.10.07 Doncaster Priory
20.10.07 Wolves Little Civic
23.10.07 London 93 Feet East

(Thanks to Maya for the info)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Suicide are at the South Street Seaport in NYC tonight.

If you're in the tri-state area then cut along... and while we're on the subject, Mr Percival sent me the following

"Saw this on the Revega Yahoo Groups... Suicide Documentary Film Posted by: "suicidefilm" suicidefilm@yahoo.com suicidefilm Date: Wed Jul 25, 2007 12:15 pm (PDT)
My name's Mike and I work for a TV production company in London called Start. We're just about to commence work on a documentary film on Suicide, which is being made with the full co operation of Alan & Marty. We're really keen to get hold of any personal photos or footage that you may have, either of the band themselves or the venues they played at (particularly the early venues - like the Mercer Arts Centre, Max's etc) - or really anything that you think might be interesting! Please feel free to get in touch either through this forum or by emailing me directly at mike.kerry(at)startproductions.co.uk - please substitute @ for at (am trying to avoid any un-necessary spam). Thanks."

Seems like a worthy endeavour, let's hope it's done for next year's EIFF.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Laura Cantrell shows in NY next week!

with Jimmy Ryan on mandolin, Jeremy Chatzky on Upright Bass and
Mark Spencer on Acoustic Guitar and Weissenborn. (info via Mark Spencer)

July 31st at...

11th Street Bar
510 E. 11th St.,
New York, NY 10009 (nr. Ave. A) 212-982-3929... Free


August 1st at...

Stuyvesant Town Outdoor Series
Stuyvesant Town Oval (enter at 16th street and First Avenue )
6:30pm, co-bill with Christina Courtin and the Running Kicks Free

So did you hear the news? It's the patio heater that's the culprit in all this climate change kerfuff. Breathe easy you SUV drivers, Chinese and Indian Power Station owners and Airlines. I bet all those barbeques aren't helping the environment much either. Think about that when you're scarfing your burgers and steaks, or veggie kebabs if that is your particular barbie poison of choice. Have you ever heard so much pish? Actually, I imagine you have but really, this is news? And what will it do to Garden Centre profits? Did anybody think about that?? No it's just me, me, me with you people. And as I look out at the sweeping rain I'm thinking, the experts are too late.

The latest mail strike made me think of the days when I spent my entire lunch break at the post office. The sheer volume of stuff that I used to send out was pretty incredible. At the time you would have thought that a business like the PO would always be there, now I have my doubts. The spectre of competition coupled with a marked reduction in quality of service can only suggest that their fate is sealed (no stationery pun intended). The opening hours of the collection office have been reduced to the point of daftness to a slim window of 8am until 12 noon, nae bleedin' use to me. You can't not have some sympathy with regard to the erosion of conditions that workers are facing but that’s happening to all of the great “institutions”. Actually it’s going on across the board, everywhere. It has little or nothing to do with the people who actually work in any given location. It's the greedy bastards at the helm who fear for their inflated existences that are invariably running once reputable ships aground and making off with the spoils in full fucking daylight.

Oh yeah, this is supposed to be about music and entertainment isn’t it? Well I imagine we’ll get back to that at some point. I'm just relieved that I don't have a patio...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I signed up for this facebook thing but have entirely no concept of what it's meant to do or be. Let alone how to operate within it. Maybe I should I enlist in this Second Life carry on also? However, I figure it might be appropriate to try and sort out my so-called existing life on this plane first. That's just a notion mind, it's not necessarily do-able. So if you've contacted me and I've become your "friend" on Faceache then bear with me. I may well never get around to doing anything about figuring out how it works. It's bad enough with myspace which I kind of have a handle on but never seem to be able to establish a permanent link. My ISP sez it's not their fault and to be honest, I don't really care. In the grand scheme, it's really not important and not even in the same postcode as my list of priorities. I just got the The Leftovers "On The Move" today and it's reverberating at a volume that I'm sure is making the neighbours teeth rattle. It's like the anti-Fratellis, god bless 'em so more about that later.

Bunch of info on upcoming shows and stuff to compile for an anticipated bumper post so look out fot that but no holding of breath, OK?

And finally, Sharon Osbourne's auld fella passed away... RIP - Don Arden
Martin Rev... three shows on the West Coast starting tonight in Silverlake... back on the Eastern seaboard on Friday for the South Street Seaport appearance of Suicide.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Still somewhat out of sorts, I saw a movie yesterday called The Chumscrubber. Once again duped by a comparison to Lynch on the poster, it was OK. More post-Donnie Darko or maybe an episode of the OC that Mark Frost could have had a hand in. It was sharing a bill with DD but I didn't stick around for that. A mix of couldnae be arsed tempered with just wasn't up to it, and besides I've seen both "cuts". I'm not altogether sure how much in charge of my own destiny that I am at the moment. Circumstances and situations could be better but on the other hand, worse is always a possibility. Driving to the stalag this morning, it was sunny then foggy then a few spots of rain and then sunny again. All in just under 20 miles. Listening to the radio it was all about the flooding down south. That's where the "could be worse" swings into view. And now it's thunder and lightning. I don't think it's climate change, maybe we're just fucked?

It's as good an explanation as any, right? Certainly this carbon offset scam, "pssst gimme 20 quid and I'll plant some trees to compensate for your flights to all over the shop", needs to be kicked into touch. I mean do you trust anybody to do that on your behalf? Aye thought so.

Was a tad distracted by the new Magic Dirt video on their myspace. Adalita is wearing a Cramps "Bad Music..." T-shirt in it and it's a Motorheadophonic stonker! I may have told you before that this combo should rule the earth. Or at least large chunks of it.

I also have a lot of time for the Soho Dolls. Some synth haters might be skeptical but give 'em a chance, they list Suicide and The Nomads as influences on their myspace domain. Irrespective of that, they're headed your, mine and everybody else's way. The Tuts show in Glasgow is with The Vivians.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Excellent documentary on BBC Radio Ulster about 70's Northern Irish Punk. Broadcast this morning, it's on the Listen Again feature for a week. (Thanks to Liam for the info)

Mr Rafferty sent me this link from The Guardian site which led me here and here...

Friday, July 20, 2007

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Time is of the essence so check out this stuff if you're at a loose end in front of your computer at home, work or wherever. Nothing here likely to cause alarm. It's all good clean fun fun fun.

Chris Wilson website with all kinds of Groovie stuff (thanks to Bjorn and Patrick for the link info)

The Handsome Dicks (Knocking 'em dead in Knewcastle...)

Hello Saferide's daytrip to the UK (Reported in the unique Annika Norlin stylee)

Ruff Trade on Brick Lane innit guv... (sorry, I couldnae resist that)

Roky in Dallas (link courtesy of Brother Randall)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Obstacles and the circumnavigation thereof. That seems to be the order of every day in recent living memory. Tractors and roadworks add to the general hindrance. Whatever happened to being able to get from A to fecking B? But anyway, some vinyl, the format of choice in this neighbourhood, to report upon… as the cd hurtles toward oblivion, black (or whatever colour) plastic will always be with us.

Libyan Hit Squad
Death Metal In Jerusalem EP (Bony Orbit)

A cheeky wee four track 7” from this Fla, outright punk troupe. Think Black Flag via The Samoans with a little touch of, I’m sure unconscious, BOC rifforama. Lead cut is a thuggish Jello-like version of “The Witch” but their own stuff (“sXe punk”, “Mirrorball”, “Sickness”) is all blessed/cursed with a hefty dose of what is presumably themselves. Not an easy task to breath fresh fetid air into this form buy they do. The EP plays at 33 but you can’t have everything.

Phantom – Rockabilly Vampires (Demon)

There’s nothing even vaguely ‘billy about this reggaefied soundscape that evokes Morricone via Strummer. A theme for a twisted imaginary western that’s yet to be made. Flip is a dub version that doesn’t add to the original concept whilst remaining true to the form. This 7” is to be given away with a line of clothing called D.I.E and the label is not to be confused with the Brentford label of the same name.

Various Artists – “I Wanna Punk Rock” –
The Singles Collection (Castle Music)

A 10 single vinyl edition of Step Forward singles with an edition of “Sniffin’ Glue” thrown in to validate the contents. This box contains the formative years of The Fall and the pre-Ant activities of Marco Pirroni with The Models, Mark Perry had a hand in collating this slice of history that also includes The Cortinas, Sham 69 and The Lemon Kittens as well as Chelsea, the latter doesn’t age well at all. I remember being introduced to Gene October once and he was a right obnoxious tube. I can think of another word but let’s keep this office friendly shall we. Anyway, this is also available on cd but if you want this stuff then this is the way to hear it, the way it was.

Salmon – Rock Formations (Bang Records)

A double, none more black, sumptuous vinyl edition in gatefold, embossed sleeveage, limited to 500 copies. Kim Salmon’s Five Guitar/Two Drummer special forces unit coming out louder and heavier than you care to imagine. Rawk orchestration hewn to be enjoyed at volumes hitherto never explored, man I wish I could get along to the show they’re doing in Melbourne on August 2nd. It’s at the East Brunswick Club there. In terms of carbon footprint, this is obviously a monster. The soundtrack to the last night of the poms even. It must take a heckuva lot of energy to run something this monolithic but I can’t think of a better use for fossil fuels. We might as well go down punching the air with bloody big fixed grins, right? Salmon is the sonic equivalent of Godzilla. Go, go with the flow or get stomped - it's your call.

Boris Sujdovic – Fuzz Machine (Bang Records)

Reviewed the cd of this a few weeks ago and as much as that flies outta the trap, this 45rpm footlong provides an additional dimension of thud. It’s a loud, deep cut that emits a paint stripping sound when turned up to tilt. Like with Salmon, this is a limited, numbered pressing of 500. Available from Soundflat, that’s where mine came from and it got here faster than one of them speeding bullets.

¡feliz cumpleaños! Suzy Chain

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

T h e R e z i l l o s

19th July 2007, 7:30pm (band onstage at 9:00pm)
@ The Corinna Hotel, 44, Atholl St, Perth, Perthshire, PH1 5NN.
Tel: 01738 622201 Entry : £8

A special show in the intimate atmosphere of the "Corinna",
prior to their Scooter Tent headline at the Wickerman Festival the day after.

Honky tonkin', anyone? In our lone NYC appearance for the month, Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. returns to the Rodeo Bar this week for a whole mess o' "ballads, boogies & blues" (as is our motto) and all the in-the-shell peanuts we can shuck!
http://www.rodeobar.com/ /
375 Third Avenue (corner of 27th Street) in ol' Manhattan, NYC
/ 10:00 sharp until 1:00 / No cover! /
And, coming up in the far off, distant future -- August...
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1st / Cafe Steinhof (Park Slope, Brooklyn)
SATURDAY, AUGUST 4th / Red Hot & Blue Rockabilly Festival (Montreal, Quebec)SATURDAY, AUGUST 18th / 2007 Coney Island Rockabilly Festival
THURSDAY, AUGUST 30th / Otto's Shrunken Head (East Village, Manhattan)
Yours truly, Michael
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. "Ballads, Boogies & Blues"

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Next weekend in Germany - undisputed NBT favourites,
The Boonaraaas!!! and Suzy Y Los Quattro. Blimey!
OK, after an extensive schlep through the EIFF programme, I've come up with a half-dozen items that may appeal to NBT readers. There's plenty more good gear in there if you want to go to the site and have a root about. Some of you who may not have received your printed copy in the post can get on with today's Sunday Herald. I'd like to have the downtime (and the loot) to do the Berlin Alexanderplatz thing but it's not an option...

John Waters: This Filthy World (16th August screening has Q&A)

Comrades In Dreams

Control (The Ian Curtis biopic by Anton Corbijn)

Death Proof (for some reason it's not being shown with Grindhouse but maybe Rose MacGowan will turn up anyway...)


Anita Loos - Retrospective

Saw the Edith Piaf movie yesterday, good film but bloody miserable. She had a hard paper round that woman... time to go into training for spending extended periods in a darkened room. Also on a culture tip, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival...

Hamell on Trial - The Terrorism (of Everyday Life) ----- Book here
Well, I thought it was next week but this much hyped/furore "Free" Prince cd is available with the Mail on Sunday here in the UK today. Any overseas readers who care should give me a holler before noon (gmt) today, the usual bollocks apply in that I doubt you'd want the "newspaper" anyway. I personally wouldn't thank you for the "musical content" either but each to their own and all that. At least for this time on a sabbath am.

Far more down with my jurisdiction is this. (Thanks to Frankieteardrop)

Suicide appear on July 27th 07 @ South Street Seaport, NYC. Entry is free!(Thanks to HT for the tipoff)

Back later if I can put a lid on this sneezing...

Friday, July 13, 2007

Well, I finally got my mitts on the Edinburgh Film Festival programme. No thanks to the post office being on strike and whatever else. I'm going to have a right thorough rake through it so will get back to you. Hannah McGill appears to have been able to breath new life into what was becoming a tad stagnant. There's a broad church of stuff in there. Back tomorrow...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

There are a number of distractions going on. Most of them not good. That's the reason why the posting frequency has slowed to a trickle. If you've sent something and there hasn't been a mention or whatever then don't panic. It's more than likely coming. There's no sell-by date on anything around here apart from perhaps myself. There's a draft of change on the horizon that could well blow up into a full blown gale. The old "always darkest" palaver. We've been there before though, right to the brink so maybe it's more of that and thusly things are a tad approaching the designation of "pisser". It's a kind of scale like the terror warning but ends up with "disaster" as the highest alert rather than "severe" or some daft colour.

No sign of the film festival programme yet either and there's a sodding postal strike tomorrow. Drastic-ish action will have to be taken. Other than that, it could be a lot worse. That's what I've taken to trying to convince myself. More adventures tomorrow...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

John Waters is headed for Edinburgh...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Nothing much going on at the minute 'cept chores. Things that have been left undone and that need attending to. In addition to these, I have a Hello Saferide article to amend, a recipe for veggie haggis to check out and some e-mail to answer before the last of the Paris documentaries comes on. Will there be life après Sandrine Voillet? That is perhaps the most pressing question at this particular minute.

And at noon tomorrow, the EIFF programme comes out so that has to be picked through and the schedule arranged. It's all bleedin' go innit?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Stands to reason doesn't it. There's more (alleged) music on TV these days at a time when it seems to be well down the priority list despite the ipod ownership. And no wonder. It's almost uniformly duff and seemingly scheduled by the ailing music business. Wouldn't it be something for there to be some objectivity from the presenters too? Like they could cut away from some honking set to see everybody holding their noses or holding up a card with "stinker" sharpie'd on to it?? Never gonna happen but think about how great it would be if there wasn't all the fawning and hard-sell. Would it be such a bad thing to express an opinion? Just one??

It's my own fault I know but I like to see and hear what's supposed to be popular. That creates a perspective for me between what is and what, in my opinion, should be popular. Just because this stuff is peddled en masse doesn't mean that it's actually popular either. HMV did a mailout today trying to capitalise on the LiveArse thing. Selling product by the artists cheap that included the Al Gore documentary. This was the dampest of damp squibs, these things simply don't work anymore. The world has moved on, not too much further but maybe 100 yards or so.

Even Spinal Tap wasn't as exciting as the prospect of them appearing but it was OK. I read some report about how they has falling rocks as stage props. Dearie me. You just expect people to be cultured. If the drummer had "exploded" at the end, now that would have made all the difference. However, being introduced by Marti De Bergi was a nice touch, irrespective of carbon footprint considerations. And why did the BBC cut away as they went into "Big Bottom"? Would the expression "bum cakes" cause the nation to run amuck?

And as I sit here The Fratellis "Chelsea Dagger" is blasting into the ol' bunker from Nedstock™ (courtesy of Mr McLean) and it's all very perplexing and so very, very dull. I'd really like to have seen a couple of songs by The Skids but you possibly have to have that cable or satellite caper involved so I'll wait for YouTube.

Another weekend over, running on fumes and careering toward the inevitable. Need to go and look out my Martin Rev albums, inspired by the fact he's playing in San Francisco on July 26th.
OK let’s cut to the chase, some music that will blast away the cobwebs of anything you’ve seen on TV this past few days. Masquerading under the banner of a cause or just playing for maximum bucks in a muddy field. I’ll take that back if HS end up on TV next weekend but until then… as always, myspace links are provided so, no need to take my word for it, even although you should.

The Shorebirds “The Heavy Hands of Hunters”
(Groover Recordings)
From Brooklyn, this combo have the chops and the songs to cut quite a dash. Like Rank and File jostling with primo Cockney Rebel. Mark Ephraim’s vocal has a kind of “Steve Harley” enunciation. There’s an understated glam-ness that’s a little Luna and a nice line in understated almost country tempo. This makes them quite contemporary and equally appealing to fans of groups like say, The Pixies. They don’t do the quietLOUD thing because they don’t have to. The fairground pulsebeat of “We Want It Bad” sounds like it would have been a 45 on Island Records around 1975. “If you don’t understand then get in the van”, ha ha, great. “Hovering Light” will appeal to fans of The Strange. It has that Dire Straits via The Modern Lovers vista. Roxy Music is mentioned in their roll call of influences and I can hear that too. It’s the early stuff though as you’d expect in such an esoteric setting. The Shorebirds emit a warm glow that I could hear echoing through darn big venues in years to come. Nice booklet art on quality paper too so this comes from a place that goes that wee league extra. Of course you expect a quality product from Groover and they never let you down. And I don’t think these Shorebirds will either.

Grand Mal
“Congratulations You’ve Re-Joined The Human Race”
(Groover Recordings)
Bill Whittlen was in the band St Johnny. The longer in the tooth of you might remember them being signed to Geffen something like 14 years ago. I recommend a visit to the directors cut of the bio to get the full picture. It’s quite the long winding road to get us here. Character building even. So anyway, this is a very New York record. But Max’s as opposed to CBGB’s if you get the gist. It tells a story like a Lou Reed album used to. It retains an opulent Velvets-like romanticism that’s long since been hosed off the streets of the city itself. “Cold As The Stars” has a lush, bleak beauty and “You Should Be So Lucky” explodes off the back of the final piano key stroke. Like Teenage Fanclub going T.Rex. In fact there’s more than a touch of Bolan about the whole album but not in an obvious way. In more of a spiritual sense than any sense of copping a style. This is music that is very much out of time. I think it’s the piano driven nature of many of the tracks. It doesn’t sound old but it feels weathered and thus reflects an authenticity that much of today’s disposable, flash in the pan, 15 minute wonders could never hope to capture. No matter what producer they care to rope in.

The Double Agents “Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time”
(Infidelity Recordings)
Dirty country blues with a shot of Scientists dynamic? Oh yes and if you too are leaning toward the affirmative then this Melbourne combo will be your tipple of choice. This kind of finite garage isn’t as easy to pull off as it may seem. I like the way they alternate vocals between Kim Walvisch and Dave Butterworth. It keeps the album from seeming like a race for the finish line. “Wasting My Time” has a great Sticky Fingers-y Stones swagger to it. “I Won’t come Running” reminds me of US variety X while “You Make Me Feel” is sparse, atmospheric and verging on total disintegration. Somehow the expected crescendo never manifests itself bit it comes un-nervingly close. Greg Cartwright’s “Sour and Vicious Man” is the only cover on the album and it fits snugly with their oeuvre, if that’s not a contradiction. Must be a damn good night out to catch them in person but for now this’ll have to do those of us outwith the Antipodes.

The King Brothers “Blues” (Infidelity Recordings)
According to Eric Oblivian “The King Brothers are the best rock’n’roll band in the world”. I’m not altogether convinced that it’s possible to capture the sheer insanity of the real thing on a wee shiny disc but “Blues” is a good shout at attempting to try. Not that I’ve seen them, other than on the live dvd that accompanies this album. What on the face of it seems like the apocalypse raging out of your speakers, The King Brothers register a strange kind of restraint to inject a twisted Detroit soul transfusion amidst the cacophonous racket. Of course, in time honoured tradition they’re not real brothers in the biblical sense. They are however bonded sonically by an almost pathological disregard for making the listener comfortable. There’s nothing coffee table about this, unless you plan on wrecking one. I’m not sure it would be safe to drive with this on your player either, unless you want to get someplace very fast. Adrenalin levels need to adjust to this “rock’n’roll from the future”. Look what happened to The Ramones within 30 years, it’s a strange old world and “69” sans the “19” takes high energy into a whole different scale of voltage. This is the real “new rave”! I think my poor cd player is in shock.

Rotterdam Rumble 2007

Saturday, July 07, 2007

A report from the "the trenches" in Denmark by Mr Percival...

Roskilde, Denmark - one of the longest running festivals in Europe. I nearly made it here in 1983 when I was the right age for such occasions (19) with my pals Dave and Chris but it was not to be. I never thought 24 years later I would finally put in a appearance with my 18 year old daughter Ellen.

On Thursday it LASHED down with rain making the site an absolute quagmire. Fortunately I had brought my boots with me. I have never been a big festival goer and I was rapidly thinking "what the hell am I doing here?". Glad to say that Friday has been a dry day and the music has been fun.

First up were Camera Obscura, who many people had told me I would like. When that happens I tend to be cautious but they were indeed correct and the band from Glasgow put on a great first gig in Denmark before speeding off to the airport to head home for T in the Park (or P in the Dark as Lindsay calls it!)

Next up was New Young Pony Club. All the rage currently back home. What I had heard I liked and my daughter loves them. They were very good . Poppy electro rock with great hooks and a lot of fun live. Probably not the the taste of most NBT readers, but worth checking out just in case.

Next up was the legendary Roky Erickson. I know the Scandinavians love their garage rock legends and they do not come much more legendary than the founding member of the 13th Floor Elevators. 60 in 10 days time (1947 was a good year with Iggy and Lux also entering the world) and he was in great shape. I’d don’t think I’ve seen quite so much hero-worship in a very long time. The tent was packed out with the local Viking descendants going absolutely crazy. Roky was clearly having a great time with his very tight band. I don't know a huge amount of his material but "You're Gonna Miss Me" closed the main set and " I Walked with a Zombie" ended the evening with the crowd literally baying for more. He could have played on all night and kept the locals very happy. A great set from a true legend who has been a massive influence for so many great bands. Well worth seeing if you get the chance.


Friday, July 06, 2007

This thing wasn't working earlier or last night and I keep meaning to call the ISP but can't work up the enthusiasm. Having no faith or confidence in anything being done about the problem, this guy would would rather not bother than be fobbed off. More rain and a damp time in prospect for this weeks festival goers. I hope that the weather turns in time for the Hello Saferide visit to Latitude next weekend (Sunrise stage/Sunday 15th July). Also, I need to try and remember that Spinal Tap are part of this Live Earth carry on tomorrow. Wonder if there's a rundown of what's on when anywhere? Anyways, more serious news to impart before the weekend kicks into gear...

RIP - Bill Pinkney (The Drifters)

RIP - New York

So now to click "publish post" and we'll see wha''appen...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

RIP - George Melly
RIP - Boots Randolph

Unseen of The Cramps (circa 1986) at Stockholm Rock Action (Thanks Johan)

Coming up this weekend in Edinburgh...

Once more into the torrential rain...

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Second episode of the three part BBC OU programme about Paris with Sandrine Voillet was on last night. She reminds me of Françoise Cactus and that reminds me about the Stereo Total album "Paris<>Berlin" that came out a couple of weeks ago.
Anyways, I'm tempted to order the dvd of Paris, in order to brush up on places to visit the next time I'm lucky enough to swing a trip out there. Anyways, this is just a quick in and out to post the following items...

Suicide live in Hamburg circa 1978 anyone?

Gregg Turner at Cool Dude Quarterly

Still Game meets Big Brother (Thanks to Mr McLean for this link)
It's a funny old world. I imagine that there's an Anti-terrorist "Team" getting down to manoeuvres in and around Glasgow as I type... "they" (the would-be bombers) have absolutely no idea what they're letting themselves in for.

Another record retailer down... (link courtesy of Mr Percival)
It seems like it's hard out there. Support your local real record store. Not Virgin and HMV. Proper record stores. If you don't use them...
Celebrate July 4th with some CAKE!

A broad church of great music, going LIVE this very Independence Day...

"CAKE’s play-list is a deep mix of tunes covering (primarily) rock, reggae, punk, ska, blues, rock & roll, soul, r&b and pub-rock, but with some skiffle, funk, outlaw country, psychedelia, electronica, folk-rock, protest, instrumentals, jazz and, occasionally, a little classical thrown in. “New” tracks get added every day so by the end of the week the entire play-list has been refreshed."

There's a permanent "button" over there on the sidebar to help you connect easier.

Artwork by Alan Suicide.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Monday, July 02, 2007

Ladies and gents... the geezer they call JD King!!
RIP: Benito Gasolini (Nitwitz)
When I was just about finished reading "Chasing Cool", I happened upon something that was the polar opposite of this much sought commodity. The “Concert for Diana” from Wembley Stadium in London. What a stinker, the biggest karaoke event in history (maybe) but supposedly it had more viewers than Live Aid.

Which surely made it "cool"? Er, just joshing... It shocked me too but then I got to thinking. We’re always striving for consensus and this travesty of alleged entertainment nailed it by getting the biggest viewing audience in recent living memory. More than Live Aid back in whatever day.

There’s a theme throughout "CC" that sort of irks me and that’s the constant mention of the sodding ipod but let's not dwell on that. Cool is a perception that has been co-opted by those that bastardise expressions and descriptions for their own evil ends. If it even exists anymore then the commoditisation (is that even a word?) of it has been devalued to the point of being simply a label. Or maybe a big indelible pen mark on the forehead.

Cool is understated. Something that doesn't know or care that it makes a difference, it just does. Many, many things to different people but rest assured, any tangible pursuit of it is misguided. Anyone or anything that claims to be c**l almost never is. If on the other hand, an individual reckons something is of worth then it's their call. The fact that an ipod seems to be both well designed and easy to use is perhaps an indication of a successful product but that isn't necessarily cool. You hear twonks blurting out "c**l!" during their mobile phone confabs. Some people think those things are the bee's knees but in my humble op, they are the spawn of something way more wayward than satan. They're homing devices that will ultimately be the portal that handles all of your entertainment, at a price.

It will aid the compilation of vast amounts of information to be used agin you but never mind. Could be worse... The title is perhaps purposely misleading to snare those who actively do just that. “Chasing Aesthetic” simply isn’t as catchy. I should admit also to never having heard of most of the participants. Neither mover nor shaker do I claim to be.

“Standing Out in Today’s Cluttered Marketplace” is the strapline, but will it help you achieve that? Quite possibly not but the material is presented in an easy to browse format. I disagree with Ahmet Ertegun though in retrospect I think his angle that “celebrity sells” should be updated to read “celebrity sold” or “used to sell” but the public is equal parts fickle and sophisticated. The lifespan of most everything in this conned-sumer society has rapidly accelerated and nothing lasts anymore. And then came that "Diana" concert, I bet that all of that audience have ipods and have been downloading Kanye West and Did Puffy (or whatever his name is) all day.

Like an extended magazine article, "Chasing Cool" is as easy to dip in and out of as it is to read in one reasonably lengthy train journey. Info-mation isn't really my bag but this is a constructive pot-pouri that doesn't take itself too seriously. Careful with that C-word...

"Chasing Cool" by Noah Kerner and Gene Pressman is published by Atria Books.

CAKE... is coming!?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Mr Percival tells me that the archive thing isn't working again. If you type what you're looking for into the search bar at the top of the blog then it'll navigate to the info you want to find.
They keep referring to these people who caused the kerfuffle in Glasgow yesterday and the potential carnage in London as "terrorists" rather than "fuckwits". Or some comparable term that could be aired prior to the watershed. As stated before, disruption is preferable to what could have happened but the TV and radio is awash with minutae. Technology has made all reportage look like Big Bogbrush. But anyway, I hope my friends made it out of there yesterday before all this. Not sure when they were supposed to fly...

Tis July and last month saw a jump in our hits. Been trying to keep this updated so gracias for sticking with it. Also, Mr Arnoff showed me how to add "music" to the myspace page so I try to do that regularly too. However, I still don't manage much activity on there.

Several deadlines are looming so I'm off to deal with those. However, there's always the chance of distraction and just plain cannaebearsedness.