Monday, March 31, 2008
Is it really just over a week since The Sonics? Seems like bloody forever ago...
I passed out in front of that Joe Strummer doc last night but will endeavour to watch the whole thing again. It has to be said though, it's pretty dull. When Boner from U2 comes on, you know it's time to go and pour a cup of something. I walked past him in East Berlin once you know.
Somebody told be that this was better than "The Filth and the Fury". That is, no pun intended - really - bollocks. It does indicate to me that my relative indifference toward The Clash has been completely vindicated. One thing that is evident is that Simenon spits/spat a lot and that is neither big nor clever. Clarty blighter.
Anyway, I have a couple of pressing tasks to undertake, then I have to attend to my facebook exit. I'm being encouraged to ditch the applications and stay on there but that's unlikely. The urge to make like my Razzia pals and bale is strong.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
So here's a very cool looking clip for a song of the recent Ben Weasel album to keep you amused...
Friday, March 28, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Word is that The Stems show was an unprecedented gas, good shout. But the trip out to Nigel Park wasn’t to be for the auld yin here.
And Good Friday turned out to be great. Everything went pretty much according to plan give or take. A George IV pie saw us off into town to hook up with the Malmo-mian division at The Ship. This pub played host to all the luminaries that played the sadly long-gone Marquee just along the road.
A pint with Per and Mats and then of around the corner to Berwick Street. Primarily to meet Brother Patrick and the Bainee family who were hooking up with Sean and Lynn there. It also provided an op to check out the ailing record store situation. It’s pretty bleak on that front but I think it’s pretty much the same everyplace. And besides, we were due in Kentish Town for what turned out to be something of a gathering of the clans.
The touts were out in force to capitalise on tonight’s hot ticket. These fuckers are the scum of there earth and the quicker something can be done about ‘em the better. No dampener of course because we all had tickets and The very Rev. Martin Percival even had one to sell but there didn’t seem to be a lot of actual prospective punters looking to buy. I hope the scalpers lost their shirts. Despite these rats being all over the streets, there was indeed that magic stuff in thon air.
Another ale in The Bull and Gate (hadn’t been in for years) where time seemed to have stood still. From there it was off to The Pineapple, to try and establish who the opening acts were and whether or not they’d be worth catching. The remainder of our crew were in there and by the end of play there was a small army on the go. Brother J was holding court in the conservatory (with the fag packet – sounds like something outta Cluedo, right?)
The social aspect of it all, and not the actual Guinness, was a little disorienting. It was great to discover that the great, grammy-nomnated Alex Palao who I hadn’t seen for well over 10 years was also “in the house”. It was a complete and utter pleasure to also discover that the esteemed Lutz Rauber of Soundflat was also in attendance. A General in this NBT army for forever, it was a gas to finally meet. What’s more, he brought glad tidings that Trich Boonaraaa had travelled from Germany with his crew. Of course, the B’s should really have been opening instead of what did but…
So I made a quick return to the B&G to inform the troops that, in my opinion, it’d be best to stay in the pub because The Sonics were gonna be on at 9.30pm. On the way back to the jaggy fruit, I walked straight into Ms Eichert. The gods were indeed smiling.
So finally getting into The Forum, familiar faces festooned the ruddy place. It was a meet and greet session all the way to the (almost) front Roslie hand side of the stage. The atmosphere and stench of wanton anticipation was palpable. This was perhaps the coolest audience I’ve ever been a part of. Particularly in the UK. I took my place beside General Rauber and the lights went out. The church-like, singalonasonically speaking waves of noise lapped over the crowd all the way to the back. You want to know what they played? Well, it was the same as Cavestomp far as I recall. I was having way too much of a whale of a time to be taking notes.
It’s not necessary to get into a forensic account here but I will say is that they turned the place into a giant frat house. I overheard some dunderheads mumping about the “Vegas-style” intros and some of the hard rock tendancies. For me it added to the social club-ness of the show. While I think the Brooklyn venue might have been more akin to the places they played back in the mists of the 60’s, this London venue was duly transported back to that proximity.
I see (and hear) plenty of allegedly delkiver the goods, that people wet their breeks over and I’m telling you straight. Almost none of them could match these old guys pound for pound.
If you want to remember how it was before there was anything like The Sonics then you can do that by visiting the catalogues of Norton and Big Beat. It seems incomprehensible that anybody reading this doesn’t have the entire catalogue but you never know.
By encore time I had worked myself forward a little more and ended up with just Trich Boonaraaa between me and the stage. That and punching the air to “he’s the git”, (to the “tune” of “The Witch” is a heady mix that was to be savoured. I imagine that if there was an odd look on my coupon, it was most possibly a grin.
The “programme” intimated that they’d play a song entitled “Boss Hog” but they didn’t. I wonder if it’s about the Jon Spencer combo or the guy off Dukes of Hazzard. Perhaps we’ll never know…
Dirty Water Sonics pics here....
Went to the meet and greet thing afterwards and got a couple of things signed for folks. It was a solid honour to shake hands with the guys who probably invented punk rock. Larry Parypa reckoned that the crowd was a little reserved. Then again, he may have been kidding.
Ran into my old mucker Rudi Fuzztone in the bar. It must have been nearly 18 years since the COF days. Of course, he’s done more than most to push the music of The Sonics over the decades since they called it quits. Along with The Cramps and The Nomads, these Pacific Northwest anthems have been delivered in an evangelistic whammy like an uppercut to the hooter. Lest we forget that Girl Trouble are from the same town, Tacoma.
There’s a new Fuzztones album in the pipeline, ready to drop fairly soon. Whether the world is ready or not.
Saturday saw a reconvening in the aforementioned Ship for another couple of snifters. Penny went home, per and mats headed for the airport and the ARP (Auld Rockers Posse) headed for 229 Great Portland street, albeit a tad later than anticipated. This meant that we missed The Branded and got there as Los Chicos were doing their thing. Most entertaining it is too and I’m not used to seeing something this good of a Saturday afternoon. Turns out it’s a warm-up for a show in Stoke Newington later that evening. No rest for the wicked and that’s what this combo is. Brother Tony Thewlis joined them for a rousing rattle through “Shake Some Action” and wir ain Steve Coleman could barely contain himself as they served up a slab of super rock in the form of “Living Legends”.
Sir David of Arnoff went back to Chiswick and the rest of us headed out to Wood Green. There a stonking evening was spent soakin’ up the hospitality of Yan and Steph. The soundtrack started with Steppenwolf and ended up with Bo Diddley via The Lolitas and Nancy Sinatra. Time took it’s toll and it was time to head back.
Sunday was much lower key. Mr Cruickshank was heading back north and after we dropped him at Kings Cross, Penny, David and I went to the celebrated Filthy McNasty’s. Very cool hostelry that I’d heard about but never crossed the threshold of. We decided that this would be an ideal spot for Mr Arnoff to have his punk rock photos displayed and hatch a plan to make that happen. Watch this portal for details.
From there we dropped in on T+V who entertained us with a couple of episodes of Greg The Bunny and some vintage Aussie glam. It was almost all over.
So the trip back was somewhat uneventful. There were a couple of things left undid but we didnae half pack in a veritable mess of action. It was all kind of humbling in a sense because this type of camaraderie is all too rare. The choice of alleged support on the Sunday show never happened so that was a blessing. Maybe it was one of those urban myths? Had it come to pass it would have been a great steaming bowl of wrong.
I’m sure the Sonics gave it everything though because that’s what they’re in the business of giving. They gave us a damn good wallop on Friday night, that’s fer damn sure.
Since then I’ve had all kinds of conned-puter scares. At one point the patients vital signs were in doubt altogether so I’m kind of relieved to have gotten this far. The grey matter is beginning to feedback. The festivities continued last night as Mr Stefan Conrad and his entourage hit Edinburgh. It is largely down to this guy that I discovered the joys of those Boonaraaa lassies.
So it was a pleasure and a privilege to spend time with you folks. I doubt it could ever happen again but I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it might.
Hopefully this stream of unconciousness makes some kinda sense... ?
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. says "draw, pardner!" at Otto's Shrunken Head this week -- meaning that our usual last-Thursday-of-the-month show will feature a free raffle drawing! Darn tootin'...
THURSDAY, MARCH 27th / OTTO'S SHRUNKEN HEAD TIKI BAR & LOUNGE /
538 East 14th Street (just west of Avenue B) in Manhattan / Two big shows, from 8:00 sharp until 10:00 / No cover charge -- and featuring a FREE RAFFLE of SEMI-FABULOUS PRIZES conducted by the mysteriously alluring RAFFLE GIRL!
Yours on the range-
Michael, Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. "Ballads, Boogies & Blues"
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
"For reasons too boring to relate, this Thursday's Dirty Water Club will be happening in reverse order, commencing at 8.30pm with Khalid and PJ spinning tunes in the Boston pub.
We shall move on to the Music Room at 11pm to see The Stems, who shall be followed by Muck & the Mires and Los Cretinos.
Apologies if inconvient or, possibly, confusing but circumstances beyond our control compel us to do it this way.
The beer is cheap and the music good, so see you there! http://www.dirtywaterclub.com".
I think that pretty much counts me out but I'll be darned if that ain't showbiz.
If I'm about bright and early tomorrow am then there might be one last epistle prior to this here computer getting a wee service. Then again...
Monday, March 17, 2008
A full report will be forthcoming on yonder flipside...
Sunday, March 16, 2008
A Jumpin’ Jackpot of Melody (Czecher Records)
This double vinyl extravaganza should appeal to those who have been following the Wooden Shjips since they left port. The DCC specialise in extended Velvet-ine workouts with some Neu/Barret era Floyd groove to help it along. Ranging from the almost serene to a downright squall, these jams are pretty damn fluid. I know that Chris reviewed it over at BTC some time ago and there’s little I can add to his findings. You just stick it on and let it work, providing a soundtrack to whatever it is that requires to be done. Far as I know this is only available on vinyl although you can test run some tracks on myspace.
It’s the commentary on Side 4’s closer that adds a disturbed element to the piece. A brass band sample ushers us out. Part military, part N.O. funeral band segues into the musical box finale and cut. Pretty peculiar considering the remainder of the album. And that’s what it is. You can’t shuffleplay this kids.
The disc only road in the gatefold is a commendable one. The format is all part of the experience. Like it was before music was doomed to be consigned to iPods and PC/Mac speakers. This would sound just as sweet on a one speaker dansette, maybe even more so. Transporting the listener back to a time when it felt as though everything was simpler and that anything was possible. It’s out of synch with the realities of petrol being £1.07 a litre and counting. Yours truly is down with anything that dulls the pain of that.
Pascal – Galgberget (Novoton)
So take the undulating skewed blues nature of The Cramps and add some Marco Pirroni-style Morriconeisms. Stir in a hint of Bob Hund and Television via Sigur Ros and Stereo Total and you’re beginning to get a beat on where Pascal are at.
“Cadillac” is like The Move’s “Do Ya” with a transfusion of the Mary Chain. The only thing standing between this combo and total world domination is the fact that it’s sung in Swedish. To be honest, I’m not sure that matters. While the world and it’s granny is caught up in the desperation of SxSW, the Novoton imprint is harbouring two likely contenders for having critics wet themselves.
You folks will love, love, love this album. I’ve never been more sure of anything in recent weeks. If they can deliver this live, then we’re all in big trouble. Clocking in at just under 33 minutes, “Galgbergat” is a monster and it comes in a beautiful embossed gold foiled package too. Exquisite.
Paper – An Object (Novoton)
Another serious feather in the cap of this new to me label is this trio. On the face of it, the name is unassuming and I’m not familiar with any of the other bands that these guys are involved with. The packaging is kinda like a 70’s prog vinyl gatefold deal lulling the listener into a false sense of security no doubt. Closer scrutiny indicates the involvement of the ubiquitous Konie and that puts an altogether different complexion on things. Paper as it turns out are something of a La Dusseldorf/Neu throb with shards of Joy Division or even Mogwai. The bumf mentioned Wire but this is way less contrived than that. It’s organic to the point of being hypnotic. And the sound is very full blooded to the point of relentless, like Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark spiked with something Franz Ferdinand couldn’t ever conceive of. “Strider” is an instrumental which pits a Martin Rev-like jolt against some solid repeato-riffage.
“To Her” reminds me of New Math while “Aphid” gives some idea of the kind of welly Wilko Johnson might have brought to the post punk table. “Our So Long” kicks off positively Mike Oldfield-esque and melts into a more Being Boiled era Human League synth pattern.
Über-eclectic and recalling an era that is definitely in some sort of vogue, Paper are recycling an unassuming monolith that rubbish like Foals with their acres of press will never even get near.
The Things – Tiger EP (Psycho Sound)
If you recall, last time we caught up with these Dublin kids there was a pretty high Cramped factor going on. I’m pleased to report that they’re really beginning to develop and fill out. This one is conjuring up aspects of Pere Ubu and The Jet Black Berries to arrive at a more keyboard driven deconstruction of the rock form. The vocals are definitely bound for Crocus Behemoth-era David Thomas. I wonder if they’re familiar with Rocket From The Tombs? Anyway, grab the limited edition 7” while you can because that’s the way to experience their fumes for sure.
I guess the tracks are up at myspace so you can drop by there for a swatch if you’re so inclined.
Glasgow will be visited by Matt and Kim in May and BÖC in June. Actual dates nearer the time. My dalliance with facebook will come to an end on March 31st, the time-wasting has to cease. It’s not a hard habit and breaking it should be easy, like the first of some twelve step program to be surgically removed from cyberspace.
Very excited about the new SYLQ which will be dropping (that’s record industry lingo for “being released”) very soon. All and any info on that will be conveyed on that in due course also. Meanwhile, here’s the first photo of the new line up…
Friday, March 14, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
"the world famous Shock And Awe are playing with the Dangerfields (from Belfast) and Richard Bacchus (from NYC) - should be a great gig - Friday the 21st of March, not this Friday but next, only a fiver - on sale in advance available at the bar,
There are also shows at Stereo in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee...
Monday, March 10, 2008
The pressure is building so I'm gonna switch this thing off now. There's nothing earth-shattering to report anyhow but if you're in the weather-beaten south I hope you're faring OK and the veritable roof is still secure. A little over a week until The Sonics and counting...
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Saturday, March 08, 2008
Friday, March 07, 2008
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Billie The Vision and the Dancers
I Was So Unpopular In School and Now They’re Giving Me This Beatuiful Bicycle
The World according To Pablo
Where The Ocean Meets My Hand
(all Love Will Pay The Bills)
Well I’ve been playing these constantly since I saw the band a few weeks ago. That title on the first one may well be a typo but that’s what it sez on the sleeve. But anyway, these three albums feel like 3 seasons of an ongoing drama. Maybe something on HBO with all the thrills and spills and heartache such a thing would be peppered with. There are themes and characters popping up all over the three albums. It’s unusual to say the least and some of this deals with adult subjects which you don’t often hear in such a hip, bossa nova setting. Some of the stuff reminds me of the time I saw The Wannadies in Berlin during BID1990.
BTV have concocted some kind of twisted wild, not entirely innocent shuffle on a Malmo boardwalk. Is there such a thing? I don’t recall seeing one but whatever inspired this, I’m glad it did. The narrative nature of the songs is telling the story of Pablo, a cross dresser who gets into all kinds of scrapes because of “his” lifestyle. All set in this amazing folk pop tapestry. As I make my way through the various episodes, I discover that the exquisite “Overdosing With You” on Series 3 recalls the intrinsic theme of “I’m Pablo” from Season 2.
Maybe some enterprising Scandanavian film director could piece together this thing and make the Billie guys and girls into full-fledged stars, because that’s what they deserve to be. After seeing them play, there’s so much more to get. They’re almost outrageous in some sort of way but not because the singer dresses up in women’s clothes. More because the flavours they dare to put together probably shouldn’t be so addictive. So anyway, they’re looking for a label or distribution here in the UK so do you know of any such thing that’s looking for a genuine phenomenon? Let me know and I’ll put you in touch.
Meanwhile, in lieu of the world catching up, order their albums direct. If you’re not sure then check them out at their myspace where you can hear their heartbreaking ode to Andy Sipowicz. If that doesn’t move you then nothing will. Their striking visual presence is one thing but it’s matched by their interplay. These people are having a ball and they want you to join in. Please consider doing so. The rewards will be far greater than those to be gleaned by hitching a ride to the likes of them Arctic Fires or Arcade Monkeys. If you saw The Brits recently then you just know that the entire business is due a considerable dose of salts.
Monday, March 03, 2008
Greetings music maven;
Clear the decks next Thursday for a very special Wang Dang Doodle. The Phast One has asked little old me to join him on this outing with a mind to spin some classic swing. It's kind of like Hank Aaron asking the peanut vendor to bat clean up, but I have a few choice cuts up my sleeve. If you make it you will hear some quintessential swinging from the Jimmie Lunceford, Don Redman, and Claude Hopkins organizations, a little boogie from Freddie Slack and Will Bradley, maybe slip in some Diz for you boppers. And we'll try to answer the musical question:
Whose band rocks harder, Lucky Millinder, or Hamp?
Honest, Jackson, it'll be all reet.
Thursday, March 6, 9:00 at The Royale, 506 Fifth Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn, USA, and wear your dancing shoes, you will want to move.
Saturday, March 01, 2008
The Pankrti documentary "No Fun" has been released on dvd. It's on Continental Films out of Zagreb, Croatia. I can't find a mail order contact but will pass on info when it becomes available.
Damir Avdic now has a myspace profile.
Coming up on Perpetrator Records - of New Zealand - a brand new Jeremy Gluck three track 7" comprising "I Am Time", "Breaks Me" and "Anybody". Myspace crashed so I don't know if those songs are up there or not. There's an album coming together too so watch this space and his myspace too for all the info.
Vampisoul is to release Ben Vaughn's "Designs In Music" on vinyl in April. (Brother Patrick spotted this on the SR mailout.)
The Duffy conspiracy thing caused a small ripple of excitement and I'm wondering what it would take to convince her to record Amy Rigby's "All I Want". Of course, Bernard Butler could just remix - or rather re-record the Ronnie Spector version using his industrial strength fairy dust.
There was some other news to impart but I can't figure out what I've done with it. i imagine it'll turn up in due course. Meanwhile, whilst we're with the "Wall of Sound" motif, let's head out with some sartorial leisure wear...