Monday, June 30, 2008

July 1 - Liquid Room - Edinburgh
July 3 - The Audio - Brighton (NOTE VENUE CHANGE!)
July 4 - Forum - London
July 5 - Guilfest - Guilford
July 8 - Open Air Free Concert - Town Square of Palma, Mallorca, Spain
July 9 - Kafe Antzokia - Bilbao, Spain
July 10 - MadridEl - Madrid, Spain

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Finally some downtime to recharge these virtually unrechargeable batteries. Much as I'd like to see The Dolls tonight, I don't do the place they're playing. Perhaps I'll have to re-think that somewhere down the line but not today. Never say never.

Re-assessment does happen y'know, despite my overwhelming ability to cut my nose off to spite my face. Glasvegas are sort of an example of this. One of the main things that put me off them was the fact that Alan McGee was/is so keen. They tend to attract O*sis worshipping meathead fuckwits as a result.

It is rowdy, there's a lot of cussing and it sounds kinda exotic in the Scots brogue. That's one thing we're very good at. Swearing. We do it better and more expressively than any race on earth. Even the French. However, this "Geraldine" single is great, like Slik vs JAMC, and there are no swearies in it so it's radio-friendly. There's no question that they have a great sound. Founded on many of the things I (and you folks) hold dear so we'll see how it pans out. Maybe the music will do the talking in the end.
Glasto gets hip hop karaoke, Peace and Love gets something a little more god-like. It really happened and Björn kindly sent this link to prove it. I know photoshop can make anything possible but this was for real. While we're waiting for visual and audio action from the event, go to Roky's myspace and listen to "Wait For You". I'm keeping my fingers crossed for "I Have Always Been Here Before". Anybody out there up for filing a report?

Kjell just sent me this review and my limited command of the language suggests that our team played a blinder.

Woah, first photographic evidence! (I guess you have to be logged in to view 'em)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Got back too late last night, plus it felt like Saturday for some reason. Edinburgh seems to be a haven for packs of drunks way worse than I ever noticed before. However, as long as they keep themselves to themselves…

So let’s rewind to Thursday. My friends Valerie and Greg run Music4Games which is involved with pretty much what it sez on the packaging. They’re great kids and 150% immersed in the medium. They fixed it for me to go see the Video Games Live extravaganza in Glasgow. I’d never played a video game in my life until two weeks ago. If you read my Stockholm report then you perhaps remember that I was trounced by a 6 year old Vincent Vahlberg at Wiii (how many i’s?) Bowling. Anyway, getting the chance to hear the RSNO and choir perform the soundtrack to these alien forms (to me) seemed like a good idea.

The Royal Concert Hall is the perfect venue for a show like this. Where electric, bordering on rock shows can sound a bit tame, the orchestra sounds full and crisp. Plus its very civilised, the polar opposite of the Barra’s. Being unfamiliar with the material, it peaked and troughed in terms of the visuals but the sound was phenomenal. Some of this gear is very John Williams in terms of grandiosity. Very nice but quite bland. It was the stuff that hinted at Mancini or maybe Percy Faith that I got a kick out of. At one point, I even detected a little Esquivel maybe?

This is composition like soundtracking a film. Built to evoke emotional ties to the visuals and my problem with a lot of the graphics is that they have the same effect on me as your average costume drama. It’s not the same as anime or straight animation. It also has that Lord Of The Rings vibe which I’m not down with. This ain’t a hobbit for me anyone? A couple of earlier games looked like Hanna Barbera cartoons, those I could get a beat on.

Essentially, I never felt quite so out of my depth since I nearly drowned in the pacific. It’s a pretty slick affair and while I dug some of the pieces, the rendered nature of the stuff going on with the screen just began to blur. It impeded being able to watch the players. That’s the musicians not the “gamers”. One person I did see during intermission whilst trying to scope out the M4G banner which wasn't there was the writer, Ian Rankine. I'm sure his creation, Rebus, would share my trepidation for the format being celebrated. All the evangelical zeal in the world probably won’t snare me into going anywhere near a console anytime soon. I am curious about these "Guitar Hero" and "Rock Band" things though. I might well take another spin with the RSNO though.

So, Friday (the day that felt like Saturday)… back into film festival mode and an early start. How do you feel about the smell of Truffaut in the early afternoon? Well the practically full house for “The Bride Wore Black” at 2.30pm were certainly eager. It’s a pretty good period piece and said to be the kernel of the idea seed that was "Kill Bill". Tarantino apparently claims to have never seen it but what the hey. It’s these stories that give it all a little mystery. Closing the Jeanne Moreau season, it hit the spot, great Bernard Herrmann score too. Thinks were looking up as Artistic Director Hannah McGill introduced it, finally it seemed like an effort was being made.

Couple hours to kill before Werner Herzog’s “Encounters At The End Of The World” in a very wet Auld Reekie trying to keep out of the rain. So, back into the red with regard to effort, no intro, no nothing lights down and away. I like Herzog but this is too long and his dry, piss-taking style sort of started to grate. Some of the underwater photography is mind-blowing and turns out that this footage was shot by Henry Kaiser. I think it’ll look pretty good on your flat screen TV. The soundtrack is by Kaiser and David Lindley who also did “Grizzly Man”.

Once more into the pissing rain and down to Haymarket, missed a train by two minutes and had to wait a half hour for the next one. This is the back arse end of beyond in terms of public transport but it’ll all be different when we become indie-fucking-dependent. At this point, I’m about 50/50 not going to the Bill Plympton screening tonight. There’s a noon screening of "The Cool World" tomorrow and those Hoodoo Gurus at The Liquid Rooms on Tuesday. I think I’ve had enough of the cinema for now though. I’m all cultured out.

But hey, the sun just came out so who knows. My spirit is in Borlänge, what can I tell ya...

Friday, June 27, 2008

It's PRIMITIVE weekend in Rotterdam and I don't know if J is headed that way or not? Maybe there'll be a report if he is. But I DO know that Lenny Helsing will be performing with The Outsiders so you'll be hearing about all this one way or another. Don't let Graham Day and the Gaolers put you off, get along there if you can.
Meanwhile in Borlänge, The Roky & The Nomads show draws ever closer. That's where my spirit will be trying to gain entry without a ticket tomorrow evening. Who could ever have perceived that these generations would come together like this? It's a pretty cool thing... makes a guy think that there could be a grand plan after all. God was perhaps not an astronaut then, judging by this weekend's events - he's a garage rocker. Pray then that he's not a scene hopper.
Me, I have two more film festival days to go and I'm done but my heart just isn't in it. Innit?
I did have a wee adventure, aff the beaten track last night though. More about that later...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Caught a whiff of ganja on my way into Filmhouse last night... a couple obviously limbering up for the movie.

The Upsetter is as good a summing up of Scratch’s work as could probably be achieved in a little over 90 minutes. Mostly narrated by the man in his thick, bordering on martian rather than Jamaican brogue, it's thankfully subtitled so you can get at least a scoob about what he's saying.

Best bit for me is the clip of him performing "Daniel Saw The Wheel" in his alias of Piecock Jackson (?). It's quite simply mental. The years of ingesting the weed and everything else has created quite a monster. He's in the country because he has an Edinburgh show tomorrow, why wasn't he paid whatever was necessary to bring him to the film festival? Again there was no introduction or owt. I know it was the second screening but c'mon, this is supposed to be a special event.

The closing encounter with a Canadian in a San Francisco gift shop is funny to a point. It feels like a bit of a set up - irrespective of whether it is or not.

The Upsetter is certainly worth a look and I imagine that when it comes out on dvd there'll be a ton of extras to wade through. Strange that the clip of Junior Murvin is from TOTP2 and not the original film but maybe there's some kind of presentation reason for that. Who knows. Anyway, the best way to watch this would probably be at home. Where the only person(s) rustling bags of whatever might be you and yours.

It played with a short film called "Made In Queens" about some kids in the NY borough that build huge sound systems on to their bikes. Pretty sharp.

Been feeling below par since Monday so a mixture of that and needing to deal with sundry guff has resulted in my having to make an executive decision. The all-out fun fest that was Stockholm was sure to catch up with me eventually. I'm hankering to catch this Roky/Nomads action but alas tis not to be.

So no Harlan Ellison doc, my needle is nudging empty and I can't face another schlep into Edinburgh. No. Not tonight. Catching up with Season 4 of The Wire it is then.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Thanks to Larry Shell for the link

Monday, June 23, 2008

The first year I can actually recall attending the EIFF was 1979. In particular, the premiere of Alien, that's where I caught the bug and when I got the buzz. Uncle Lou is in the capital this week and like he said, "those were different times".

I'm not sure that I'm going to make the 30th anniversary scene next year. I might just sit it out and go with its smaller Glasgow cousin instead. Maybe I've just had my quota but I remain adamant that there's nothing better than watching something, maybe anything on the big screen. Not a costume drama though mind, I draw a line at those.

The Best of the Fest has been announced for Sunday and it seems decidedly calculated, even by recent standards. Maybe the switch to now has worked, maybe it hasn't. There were certainly plenty of people in FH last night to see the "Stone of Destiny" film and punters talked excitedly about seeing Robert Carlyle there.

So anyway, I’m feeling a little bit under the weather tonight, sort of relieved that there are no films. However, here are my findings on yesterday’s sojourn.

Ornette - Made In America was the first of the Shirley Clarke retrospective screenings. I’d love to see all of those but scheduling doesn’t permit it. As documents go, this is primo stuff. The free jazz aspect is one thing but there’s way more to it. Ornette Coleman is one of the few still living legends, now in his late 70’s I guess. During the film he tells us that Buckminster Fuller was his big hero. His “There is no up and down – only out!” is a credo his art has pushed the boundaries of at all times. Charles Williams of the Smithsonian talks about his “attack on the reed”. I’ve no idea who Chutney Dugan is, the name comes up in the credits, but it’s one cool moniker alright.

Next up was the international premiere of Strange Girls. I’d love to be able to tell you that I discovered some great new thing to recommend but in all honesty can’t. It’s not bad. There are echoes of Lynch and Waters but mainly it just made me want to see Eating Raoul because it’s more Bartel than anything else. The strangeness is pretty contrived but not without a certain charm in places. The security guard part (Max) would have been a great Dick Miller role. The guy who introduced the film reckoned that they’d coined the new “Under The Radar” strand to show films like this. I think this might be hovering there for a wee while yet and it registered a “meh” from where I was sitting. Would have liked to have hung around for the Q&A but it was a school night.

Tomorrow, I’m supposed to go see the Lee Perry doc but we’ll see. I’m feeling kind of weary. Like I’m coming down with something. Maybe I’m just od’ing on culture when all I really want to do is watch The Wire Season 4.
RIP - George Carlin

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Birthday salutations to the one and only Alan Vega for today! You don't get many of those to the pound (or kg if you prefer).
Remember those days of very cool label compilations? Like The Age Of Atlantic, or The Rock Machine (Turns You On) or even You Can All Join In? Well here's the 21st Century equivalent. Weighing in as a sampler and also a damn fine selection of now music (as opposed to junk like That's what I Call Cannon Fodder Vol whatever). There's A Razzia Going On Vol 1 (with Wee Vega on the front there) collects the label assets and presents their store front as it means to go on. HS needs no introduction but Adiam Dymott's "Memory Loss" is very Sparks-like and just an utterly amazing cut. I'm not sure where they find them. Tripoli's "Walk On" was another new one on me. Like Sharleen Spiteri taking some time out in the black lodge. Other faves like Firefox AK, Konie and the Droid fellas are here too. You might have missed Svenska Kürkan's "Besatt" with it's Westworld meets The Stooges skiffletronica. Well here's another crack at scoring it. Their garnering quite a stable here. All pure thoroughbred pop for every occasion.

It's all too easy to become jaded with the state of music but this is the proverbial shot of jolt cola or even mountain dew. As refreshing as it is entertaining, the Razzia hit machine will turn you on. Lang may it's lum reek!! New Hello Saferide album, title TBA on September 24th. Blimey.

So finally, it's ready for action. Kevin Patrick's So Many Records, So Little Time is a brand new blog that'll have NBT regulars (and anybody else with the bug) burning many hours on 'ternet.
The tracks and the stories provide seamless entertainment that will thrill music nuts to the core. Prepare to discover new gems and be acquainted with old standards that you've perhaps forgotten. Might as well plonk it into your favourites right now.
Keeping and restoring faith in one fell swoop!
So to the first EIFF to take place out of the context of Festival City in August. There are several opinions and counter rumours as to why this actually happened. None of which I feel like dragging through the neighborhood right now. I approached the programme this year with the outline that I wouldn't go to anything at Cineworld. First up was Louis Malle's Viva Maria. You can't go far wrong with some very safe burlesque positioned within an extended episode of "The High Chapparal" with "Wild Wild West" tendancies. The fact that Jeanne Moreau and Brigit Bardot are involved don't hurt none either. Of course, it's utter tosh but pretty good fun with the girls coming on like the Morecombe and Wise film, "The Magnificent Two" which came out around the same time as this did originally.

Good to see Mr McKay so we retired to a local pub between screenings. By the time we left there, the heavens had opened and things got a bit damp. Patti Smith: Dream of Life is a documentary which meanders in alternative chronology but on the whole is very good if you dig Patti. I'm sure that there's a double length version someplace and that it was probably difficult to shoehorn into just over 90 minutes. I particularly liked the bits where she went to visit her parents and also when she and Flea shared peeing on the hop stories. Her son's Jackson's likeness to Fred Smith is uncanny. It also features Benjamin Smoke on stage with the PSG group just before he died. Actually I thought he was dead by that time. There was no introduction or appearance by the director or Ms Smith. That sucked. If the film maker isn't up for attending then their film shouldn't be in the programme. Simple as that. So I still don't have the answer to my Geator dilemma but the quest goes on.

From there, it was on through a horrible, drunk strewn Edinburgh which seems to be under construction. The grassmarket is something of a maze to be negotiated. Packs of stag party fuckwits roaming with their pointy faces toward Burke and Hare's strip joint. There was a pertty bad vibe in town and there were little posses of police trying to keep a lid on it. It was the polar opposite of my experience in Stockholm the previous week. And these people could drink the scumhordes from here under the table twice still there was no overbearing nastiness.

So I finally made it to the Liquid Rooms just as The Five Aces were closing their set. It was underattended to the point of Phoenix Nights. The Primevals were their usual stonking selves and it seemed to by in a heartbeat. If you can make it to the show in Stereo tonight then do so.

More packs of ugly, pished idiots were negotiated on my way to the station and sitting on the train I was thinking to myself, fuck this for a game of soldiers. Ostensibly I have another couple of films today but I'm not altogether sure that I can get it together to drag myself into town. We'll see, loathe as I am to waste the tickets - the flesh and spirit are competing for the accolade of weakest.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I hope Amy doesn't mind me swiping this picture off her site to convey that the word is out. The Wreckless (Eric)/(Amy) Rigby album will be coming your way on Stiff Records. Yes, you read that right. Back where it all began where it was semaphore signals we used, not the internut. Anyway - the full bhoona on that in due course. It's also the Grangemooth Gala Day (which means the rain won't be far away) and my mother called me last night to tell me about this. Who could have thunk it'd make the news today.

OK, if I'd switched my phone on last night then I'd have known but you know how I am with these things. Anyhoo - The Nomads will perform with the very Rev. Roger Kynard Erickson at the Peace and Love Festival next Saturday (28th @ 8pm). A very, very special event, I hope it will be recorded/broadcast for posterity. Maybe I should spring for a lottery ticket? Or better yet, move to Sweden.

If you're at a loose end in Glasgow tonight, check out this Raymond Scott celebration at the Panopticon.

Friday, June 20, 2008

All of last night and for much of today my mind has been on the restaurant we visited in Stockholm last Friday. Whoa, those meatballs. That monster mash, with a gravy that well, quite simply was beyond any mere gravy by a wavy mile. The place is called Tranan (thanks M) and if you ever find yourself in that fair city and if you're not of the veggie or vegan persuasion then you have to have these. This dish isn't on the regular menu but you have the inside track here. I rarely get that excited by food but by crikey, this made an impression.

Truth be told, I've been wishing it was last week all day today however, the weekend is finally here and it's a busy one. As for the news I mentioned yesterday, it's not absolutely set in stone but it is said that a certain Swedish rock'n'roll combo with credentials and a Texan legend will be taking to the stage together at Peace and Love - next week!? Of course, when it becomes available, the whole enchilada will be here. Still awaiting the nod on two new exemplary blogs too. You've got a lot coming up so fill your boots with fresh air while you're still able to tear yourself away from the computer. Or maybe you're mobile with all this stuff? There's a scarey thought.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Murdo sent a myspace message to the effect that The Primevals have two shows in aid of the Kai Davidson Trust this coming weekend. I knew they were coming up but not so soon. Anyway, Edinburgh Liquid Rooms on Saturday 21st and Glasgow Stereo on Sunday 22nd.

Also, some very exciting Nomads news... soon as I get the nod...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Murray just dropped me a line with a reminder about the New York Dolls show at The Garage (Glasgow) on June 29th. I actually thought it was July... plus DKT/MC5 is at The Arches (Glasgow) on July 16th. Not sure I'll be at either of those but will be in attendance at The Hoodoo Gurus at The Liquid Rooms in Edinburgh on July 1st. Tickets for all of these from the usual places. It's about time The Fleshtones were brought north of the border, dontcha think?
So the EIFF kicks off tonight and my semester is supposed to start tomorrow. We'll see. I might blow that out. Can't make my mind up at the minute. The thought of dragging myself into town isn't doin' it for me but you never know. Culture, and the pursuit of it can be a peculiar mistress. I'm still reverberating from Stockholm - talking to my friends at the bar after Sakert! on Thursday, I remarked how NOBODY could be expected to follow that. However, I'll give you some respite from that now.

But, like I said before, you never know. If Patti Smith is at the screening of her documentary then maybe I'll get an answer to my Geator question. I guess I could always ask Ben but this is something of a mission. There's a lot going on and I'm not exactly sure where to start. Quite possibly not at the beginning...

IN NYC TONIGHT! June 18th...New York Night Train presents...


With top NYC DJ Mr. Jonathan Toubin... and they finally asked ME to guest DJ!!!
10pm-4am me and Jonathan will be tag-teaming behind the turntables. Expect beat from England, rock'n'roll from America and anti-raggare punks from Sweden. Ludlow st at Rivington st. NYC.

The Jadewalkers welcome Charly on rad addition celebrated with two free shows this weekend!



Four bands live on the roof. BBQ - be a doll, contribute to the buffé, specially if you're vegan or something. Free aquavit snaps!!! Beer Chasers will be present by the keg, 3 dollar cups! On the glorious stage looking out over the skyline and river.... Magnetic City Kids - Phillie, P.A. The Rats NYC, The Homosexuals - NYC/London (yes! Original Bruno Wizard, formerly The Rejects). 5pm. 6 Stanwick St, Brooklyn, NYC. J to Myrtle. If you get lost call, Jadewalkers hotline: 718-443-3177 or Emma at 917-374-8556

JUNE 21st


Part of the Time Out New York Summer Music something something (who cares?!). MF Gallery is moving from their well fitted spot on Rivington St. (god damn gentrification...). Let's wave em' off with a blast! Both shows are free.

Come to Motor City...listen to our new songs on myspace! Let us know what you think! Rough live cuts but with no doubt The Jadewalkers new line-up and new songs. "King Of Sweden"/"Spanish Sun" will be the forthcoming single (aug/sept). Double A-side, might be called "The International Single"...duh. "Weazel Man" is up on Emma's personal space. See address below.

Emma Vikingskull
The Jadewalkers/Writer/DJ
The Stripchords' Summer Season

June 20th & 21st – this Friday & Saturday!

Hey ho, kidlets,

The Stripchords are set to play a brace of gigs in yon Londinium, this coming Friday & Saturday (June 20th & 21st), both for yer general amusement and to facilitiate bouts of eyebrow twitching from both sexes. You must keep in shape, and a single Stripchords set can be considered one of your recommended five daily portions of fruit'n'veg!

Friday June 20th will once again see Captain Rex, 'Keg, Dil and Gluey Louie mount the stage at Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes, to play another strike at Francois Dirty South's Kingpin club. Feel the reverb, get a spare, shake a leg, have a pint, get the nightbus – it's that easy to have fun! Free before 9pm, £3 afters...

Saturday June 21st will be the first All Music Trends nite at The Purple Turtle, Mornington Cresent, headlined by Irish garage nogoodniks & Dirty Water Records artistes The Urges. Come along and make Melary's first event a success! The Stripchords will be joined onstage by burlesque artiste Miss Cherrylicious ( so it should be a goodie!
Fortified by two rounds of live performance, The Stripchords will finally be entering the recording studio on Sunday 22nd June, to 'lay down' a quartet of tunes in a 'live to tape' stylee. We welcome suggestions for these recordings from friends and lawyers.

Meanwhile, you'll find two new 'berks in progress' up on our myspace page, namely Lilac Hayes, a Bert Weedon style take on Mr J Hendrik's personal tribute to his good chum Melvyn, the 'lah di dah gunner' hisself, plus a cover of Johnny & The Hurricanes' Sandstorm, a personal favourite of European royalty and our own Captain Rex. Do have fun with them, won't you? A little but of wonky does a boy or gel the power of good! See you up the lanes or down Mornington Crescent way!

Selah, The Stripchords

The Kingpin Club - Friday June 20th
Bloomsbury Hotel, London, London and South East WC1H 9EU Cost : £3 after 9pm

The Purple Turtle - Saturday June 21
Crowndale Road, London, NW1 1TN Cost : £6
RIP - Cyd Charisse

And more Sakert! from Hultsfred...

All of the clips posted so far are here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Just a wee follow up on yesterday's opus. I've been searching for reports on Sakert! ruling Hultsfred and one particular thing really got my goat. To the effect that the fact their lyrics are in Swedish and this was offputting to the person who wrote it. It made me want to partake of a little shot-putting right on to his noggin. Maybe bang some sense into there...

Now where was the festival? Have a guess?? Sweden? Absolutely right. What language is the band's record in? This is where it gets difficult but bear with me. I've no idea why I was so sensitive to such abject stupidity. Maybe it's because this person got to witness it and I didn't. If you read my thing down there you'll understand that it really doesn't matter. The noise songs touch your soul beyond language. Everything else is a bonus.

So anyway, that's the beef. I'm going to kick back with a wee beer and the brand new S&LQ.

In the off chance you can't do likewise, check out this great pop song!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Never mind the trossachs

It was an early start on Thursday and everything went according to the open-ended plan. Arriving at the Centralen just a smidge past 1pm, I had just texted (people who know me will be sniggering now) Qina as she was walking toward me. This gal is so organised she’d even found the time to collect Ollekarlsson earlier that morning.

So from there we headed for Björkhagen station and a spot of orienteering around the woods in that hood. Absolutely beautiful, like the Golden Gate park crossed with the Trossachs. Qina was looking after her brother’s dog, Nemi and a more ideal place to walk (er, maybe that should read run) an animal perhaps doesn’t exist. Oh yeah, and I was charged with the responsibility of taking Ollekarlsson to Nenne, which is something of an honour that doesn’t come along every day.

Due to a hectic schedule, this was the only time I got to see Qina this trip. She was headed for the tranquility of her summer house and I was generally headed for the opposite of that which translated into a very fine time. There was a vibe of utter symmetry to the whole entchilada, to the point to being able to meet Nick at the subway station on the way to Jocke and Hanna’s where I was staying.

From there, we headed for Solna for The Nomads show in the park where it all began, back to the source. The great Hans Ostlund still lives in that part of the city and tonight on their own turf, the band provides an abject lesson in rock’n’roll supremecy. As you know, I can bang on about how important this combo is for hours. I even talked to a guy at the airport yesterday that said he’d check them out in light of their being responsible for The Hellacopters. The campaign never ends and never shall. A lot of old faces and family was present and it was a privilege to be there.

Nenne had turned up too and I made the safe transfer of Ollekarllson, with this guy comes great responsibility. I think he was pleased to see her. I was too. Robert Johnson introduced me to Playboy Marse, the man who has joined Punchdrunks and the word on the pavie is that this is perhaps the coolest incarnation yet. Always a blast to meet up with Jens “Ubi” Lagergren and he told me they were just about to start mixing the new Hello Saferide record due in September.

Organised by Black Sheep, this is an annual event that encourages music in the area. The show also provided a platform for the debut public performance of I Are Droid.

So do they deliver? Do they meet the mighty criteria that their album suggests?? Could they???

Well of course, I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen an outright first show by a band before. Probably not. The sound of the PA was unfeasibly good for outdoors as The Nomads had just proven. It was loud and very clear, something that isn’t always in evidence.

And well. In answer to that last slew of questions, yes they do. The guys have a gig on the Friday that may determine a stratospheric rise in their combined stock. The word “agent” is involved and my opinion of that sub species is not altogether rosy. Essentially, if any prospective booker doesn’t grab the potential from the album then perhaps they require “retraining”. It’s not your average rock bluster and the show underlined that, there’s some very specific sonic alchemy at play here. My suspicions that Konie is a genius are confirmed and Peder and Frederick complete the blueprint. They should have been introduced to the crowd at Where The Action Is. Next year they deserve to be shooting up the bill. My opinion?, the Dirty Pretty Things should have been bounced to make way for them. I’m a controversial old hector innit.

So from there, some good old fashioned imbibing of alcohol in the park. Reminded me of going to see Slade and the Sleaze band in the Cally park circa 1971. Good vibes, stellar company. Alright! Saw my old pal Bengtsson too and myspace bud Janne Punk who gave me a minature of Pors Brännvin.

Next thing I recall is looking at my watch and it’s nearly 10. Time to head for Debaser and the Sakert! warm-up for Hultsfred. I’d kind of given up on seeing this in a small venue but the gods (Martina and Mr Ulf) smiled on me and gave me another chance. My excitement was palpable, even in the event of extreme tiredness. It was an utter trip meet the Razzia’s, Martina and Daniel Ledinsky run the enterprise that brought and continue to bring us the music of Annika Norlin. I’m not entirely sure we’re worthy.

The set started way later than anticipated, part of a club night called “Falling And Laughing”. The irony of this isn’t completely lost on me as I’ve never seen the fascination of the Postcard records phenomenon. Anyway, I digress, time lost all consequence when the curtain opened. The audience was 110% in from the start and sang every song like this was their last night on the planet. It was fairly overwhelming to be among it and there was more than a handful of times when I found that I had something in one or both of my eyes. By “Alt Somm Är Ditt”, I was completely overcome with emulsion. Of course you know that Annika is incapable of putting a foot wrong but the band is just so damned together. No ordinary combo in any way shape or form. Their interpretations of these fine, fine songs, sung in a language I have very little command of suggest that I’m only getting a fraction of the overall effect. I’m in trouble if Nenne gets those translations together. My plan to get Sakert! To Glasgow for Celtic Connections starts here and now. World music fused with traditional folk and pop values doesn’t come any more potent than this.

I guess I was grinning like a fool when I went back to the bar. Don’t think I’ve been in greater need of a drink in living memory. It was a perfect end to as fun a day as it’s legal to have. I felt like I’d had as good a time as Kim (of M&K) has when she plays. Off the flippin’ richter scale.

Up bright and early to start again, kicking off with a groovy walk up to Bonnier Amigo to put Ulf off his work for a bit. I really began to get a hang of where I was going without having to consult a map too much. Thought about going to sound pollution but didn’t have time.

We walked to Pet Sounds where I got the new Billie’s album and The Solution cd that came out last year. There’s a print/dvd store called Paper Cut that’s well worth a visit if you find yourself there. Managed to look some stuff that I’ve only ever seen pictures of. Nicely curated place.

Dropped the gear at Mr U’s and headed for Razzia for our historic lunch pow-wow. It was like one of those things that world leaders get involved in. The restaurant also served the finest Swedish meatballs I have ever had or are likely to. And I’ve had my share of those. Martina and Daniel have a very cool thing going on there and deserve to rule the world in terms of popular music and on several other fronts. It was an honour to visit the nerve centre and a pure pleasure to spend time with them over the course of the whistle stop.

Schlepped around a little more and got back to the most exclusive music listening zone in Stockholm. Nick and Eva dropped in during the evening and we were treated to a selection of the finest tuneage that has been created over the years. It wasn’t long until it was time to head for Debaser Medis, the site of the “I Are Debut” release party. Part of the where The Action Is “weekend”. Nice joint, pretty swanky and the room was great.

Their set was delivered in no uncertain terms. Bristling with an intensity that was like Aha if they’d been imagined by Trent Reznor. I’m convinced that their racket will be reverberating through enormodomes before too long. Small venues with little in the way of blast zones need not apply. The viceral nature of what they do came across more directly than it had in the park the previous day. Playing at night with some strategic lighting suits the heights that the material scales. IAD is a full-on rock monolith in waiting.

La Puma kind of drove us out of the building and on to Broderna Olsson and Nenne left us before we rounded the night off at Pet Sounds bar. The good times were persisting and I left Nick and Eva in the little square in front of their place and trundled off toward Jocke and Hanna’s place. They were out of town but heading back on Saturday.

My tour manager called when I was on my way to Konsum. Word was that Pascal might be playing. Turned out to be false but the prospect presented a frisson. Hooked up with Nick and Eva and went with them to pick up their son Vincent at Eva’s mums. She and Vincent had been baking Bullar and I managed to score a bag to bring home. I should have got Pölsa too but wasn’t sure how it would travel. And, just across the road from my friends parking garage, on a quiet street. It's possible to enter a 50's style Narnia called Sivletto. An entire parallel universe. They do mail order too so check out their site. Nice bijou spiral staircase entry opens out into a wonderland of everything you'd need to further the lifestyle. Even a pickup truck!?

Lot of fine food on this trip and the bolgnese pizza at Elies was no exception. I’m always bemoaning the lack of decent pizza and the quality of this went some way to shut my cakehole good and prop. A huge downpour ensued and our thoughts were with those at WTAI. Cats, dogs and plenty other animals would best describe the tenor of the rain.

Having been trounced at Wii bowling by a 6 year old, Nick and I headed for Landet to catch The Dee Rangers at 99th Floor. They should require no introduction to regulars but I’m hoping that folks around these parts might get to see them in Edinburgh. I have to contact Mr Helsing with regard to that. Anyway, it’s a fantastic room in a place that has a kind of Maxwells (Hoboken) vibe. The band hit the stage at 10pm and proceeded to instill their distinctive beat frenzy. Jocke joined Nick and I at the bar where I noticed that you could by a cocktail called a Laura Palmer. I like the sound of that.

Good to see the Vola girls (La Novocia and Doña Tella) there too, hopefully that particular phenomenon will be happening again soon. And not just in Sweden neither (right Patrick?). Spent sometime gabbing outside to some very nice folks. Most of them seemed to be surprised by the fact that I’d come to see Sakert! Mr Ericsson hailed a cab and we were soon speeding toward our final destination. The WTAI after party shindig. I met so many people there at it’s actually a blur. Mona (of The Nagz) was there and I’d completely forgotten that she had been in Glasgow with Voladoras once. I never put two and two together even via myspace and I felt like a prize putz when the penny dropped. She’ll forgive me maybe?, my being a card-carrying member of CRS (Can’t remember shit) these days. It’s an age thing.

So I remember a few beers, lots of cool people – including Nicke and Robert Hellacopter. Always a solid gas to see those guys. When I do though, it makes me think that it should be them that enjoys the stature of something like the Foo Fighters or QotSA. The rest of the world missed the real boat again, settling for burger instead of steak that kind of thing. I’m too tired to think of a veggie equivalent. The other new Punchdrunk was in attendance and PM did me the honour of an introduction to Maria (of Revl9n). I also remember dancing to Sweet Jane with a very nice young lady who wouldn’t take granpaw’s puzzled looks of “me?” for an answer. As we left, the Droid minus Konie had arrived. From there it was off into the Stockholm night in search of a cab. Soon as we got in, the cab light flashed “game over” because that it was.

And that’s just about us. I made it to the airport in half-shut knife mode and home buzzing with the excitement of it all. As total blasts go, this was the proverbial neutron bomb.

My thanks to everyone who made it such a memorable trip, they know who they are. I hope that I can reciprocate the deluge and kindness that was bestowed down the road apiece.
Photos courtesy of Ms. Nenne Zetterberg

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Ok folks. I'm back and there are thoughts to be gathered. Meanwhile, here's the first clip I've been able to find from Hultsfred...

It would be great to understand the lyrics but it really doesn't matter. So dig it while I adjust to reality.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Brother Patrick has been talking to an Angel...
actually THE ANGEL!!

Since I discovered this awesome and soulful woman, I enjoy every single or album issued by Ms Andrea Ross, with the help of her accordion and talented musicians like her husband Rich Stim (he was a member the legendary MX-80) and the “flamin’ groovy” Don Ciccone.

The album “Louie Louie” is a tribute to one of Angel’s heroes, Lou Reed. Mostly covers but a few originals, like “Lou Reed’s Hair”. My first questions will be Lurid oriented :

Patrick: Since I got your album “Louie Louie”, I tried to find a connection between Lou and “Louie Louie” (this song was composed by Richard Berry, 1956, and wasn’t even covered by Lou. But I remember Lou saying that one day he’ll be rich with a song based on “Louie Louie” riff played backwards). So Angel, what is the reason why your tribute album to Lou is called “Louie Louie” ?

Angel Corpus Christi: I don’t understand this question but I like the idea of the Louie Louie riff played backwards!

P: Many of his early fans think that Lou Reed is not interesting anymore in (except for his album “New York”) since “Berlin” or “Coney Island Baby”. What’s your opinion about Lou’ more recent works ?

ACC: It’s all good. It’s all great. I could never allow myself to say that I didn’t like any of Lou’s work, recent or not. I am not worthy. He is my hero. All hail!

P: And what’s your fave Lou song ever ?

ACC: He hasn’t written it yet, but I hope he will someday. Its title will be “ANGEL I LOVE YOU”. Ha ha. And he’ll sign my copy “thanks for the inspiration”.

P: What is the origin of your name? Is there a relationship with this city called Corpus Christi where indians live?

ACC : No relationship to the city at all, just another dumb decision on my part. It’s a stupid name! Where to file it? Under A or under C? Is it a metal band? From Texas?

Back to history :
ACC issued a total of five albums between 1984 and 1989, all of them full of nuggets.
Her brilliant debut,”I Love New York” (originally issued on tape), as you guessed, was a tribute to this city, with covers of the Ramones, Richard Hell and Suicide (with Alan Vega – another ACC hero – as a guest) among others.

Then came “Wake Up And Cry” featuring the should have been a hit “Too late For Linda”, then “Dim The Lights”, followed by “Accordion Pop Vol. 1” who features another bunch of more ("Love Me Tender" ...) or less (Rolling Stones ...) oldies; hear these tunes like you’ll never hear ‘em again ...

The last one of this first period is the largely acclaimed “The 80’s”. This album received great reviews :- “The 80's is easy-on-the-ear, low-tech art rock that's a cross between Nico and Jonathan Richman. This gal manages to melt your heart” said the New Musical Express;
- "Maybe the most brilliant female pop/rock artist in America, just because she has the guts and brains to break free so simply and completely." This one was from Sounds.
My personal faves on this album are the fantastic and poignant cover of Alice Cooper anthem ”18”, the magical “Way Out West” and the original “John Cassavetes”, which is Angel's loving tribute to a deceased hero.

P: Your career can be divided in three periods : the 80’s, who saw the realease of five albums on confidential labels / gap / an album on bigger label in the mid 90’s / gap - a few 7” and 12” to fill the gaps / two albums in 2003 / THEN ?
– what about “Accordion Pop Vol 2” ?
- or “The 2000’s as a follow up to “The 80’s” : what songs would you choose to cover (it’s a view of mind – in other words, what are your fave songs from the past two decades).

ACC: Well, for years I’ve been thinking about recording a collection of metal ballads. “Nobody’s Fool” by Cinderella is a great song. “Love Song” by Tesla is a great song. And of course, G ‘n R’s “Sweet Child Of Mine” is a terrific song; the lyrics are beautiful and I like playing the guitar solo on the accordion. And the project wouldn’t be complete without “Eat The Rich” by Motörhead, because I like swearing and cussing in songs. “Bite down on the son-of-a-bitch” !!! Yeah! I’m aware that might scare some people, an accordion-playing female singing a Lemmy song. There’s a Youtube comment about my cover of “Jet Boy Jet Girl”: “Welcome to Hell, here’s your accordion”. Ha ha!!

P: You covered “Never Too Late For Linda”, which is a song written by your friend Don Ciccone for his group. The Trip, at the time (mid 80’s) recorded a mini album that still remains unissued. I have the chance to own this album, which is, to me, almost as good as the Flamin’ Groovies Sire trilogy (Shake Some Action / Now / Jumpin’ In The night). What can you tell us about “groovy” Don ?

ACC: He’s never early, he’s always late, first thing u learn is that u always gotta wait! And, he’s a dynamite guitarist.

P: On “The 80’s” album, there’s this song “Way Out West” that sounds like there has been a magical moment during the session. Do you remember something special happening in the studio that day ?

ACC: Yes, you’re right, something magical and special did happen on that song, and it was Don Ciccone’s guitar playing. He captured just the right feeling and mood and emotion of the song. Especially toward the end, leading to the end, the “outro” (author : Big Star fans, take note). Even to this day, all these years later, when I listen to his playing on this song, it makes me cry. It sounds like he is playing his guitar outdoors, sitting on the hood of his car, parked at the beach. And the waves are there, and the setting sun is there and people are walking by…groovy with a capital G.
(P: I forwarded Angel’s kind words to Don, here’s his reaction : the “Way Out West” session was my favorite moment of all with Angel. Funny thing about that solo was that the engineer couldn't understand it. He said, “you want it to sound like that?”. He kept trying to make it sound "better" but i wouldn't let him. I was trying to make it sound like the Velvet Underground. For any guitarists interested i used an old Gretsch guitar thru a very old Vox ac4 amp - tiny little amp that has a very special sound).

P: Your album “White Courtesy Phone”, issued in the 90’s on a bigger label (Almo, distributed by Geffen) didn’t receive the success that he deserved. But there’s that song “Threw It Away” who was a big success, as covered by Dean Wareham and Britta Philipps. Does this hit record bring you a bigger audience and a little money at the time, or did Angel Corpus Christi remained a “well kept secret” ?

ACC: Ha! For a minute there, it looked like we would make some money with “Threw It Away” when it was used as in-flight music on American Airlines. But it was categorized as a promotional use, which artists are not paid for. And speaking of crying over songs, in the studio recording this song, Hal Blaine cried while he was playing on it. I will never forget this moment as long as I live.

P: So what about Herb Alpert and Hal Blaine ?
(Herb is the famous trumpet player and Hal is probably the most prolific drummer in the r’n’r history; he played with Elvis, Phil Spector ...).

ACC: Oh boy, don’t get me started. Because once I start I may not be able to stop. I’ll tell you what happened in the recording studio during the making of “White Courtesy Phone”. First with Hal. What you have to understand is, I grew up loving and memorizing all the drum parts to all those songs Hal Blaine played on. Of course, at the time, I wasn’t aware of who he was, I just knew I liked that sound, those beats. So imagine the thrill I had in the studio watching Hal unpack his special percussion, which he took out of a big, old, taped-up cardboard box marked “Spector Stuff”! I asked him if this was really the stuff he had used on all those recordings and he said it was. Whoa! I lost it! I realized that this same stuff was gonna be used on MY record and I just lost it! I had to go in the bathroom and splash cold water on me face.
Then with Herb, I had an overwhelming moment when he took out the sheet music we had sent him to the song “Lazy”, and I saw that he had written notes to himself on it, different marks etc., and I understood that Herb Alpert had been at home practicing my song. In the 60s I’d had a crush on Herb and had a big poster of him over my bed. Naughty naughty!

P: For me almost any song by ACC is like almost any song by Roy Orbison or Lee Hazlewood : when you have the chance to hear it, you fall in love with it at first sight – er, I mean first hear, but like love at first sight. The problem for ACC music is that you can hear it nowhere. I’m sure that if someone with good taste had the idea to use one of your songs for a TV ad or a film, you’ll become famous.

ACC: Thank you, that’s very nice. I could never compare myself to Roy or Lee tho. I think I sound more like Alfalfa on Our Gang (Our Gang, also known as The Little Rascals or Hal Roach's Rascals, was a long-lived series of American comedy short films about a group of poor neighborhood children and the adventures they had together. Created by comedy producer Hal Roach in the early 20’s).

P: Ok, but what are your fave songs or albums by ACC ?

ACC: I like my version of Motley Crue’s “Home Sweet Home” (P : featuring on 2003 album “Divine Healer”, among other cool covers like “Eve Of Destruction” or “Hurdy Gurdy Man” and great original songs too) , the slippery slinky mix Dean Wareham did of “You” (Dean also played guitar), and Pete Kember’s mix of “Femme Fatale” (Pete also played omnichord and Britta Phillips played bass). The song sucked until I took out my vocals, then it sounded brilliant! Ha ha! Not a good sign when your song sounds better without you singing it!

P: You already told us about Lou Reed. What about Alan Vega and John Cassavetes ?

ACC: Maybe it’s time to tell a secret. I don’t usually like to say who a song is about, or where I got the inspiration, but the lyrics to the song “Fall”, on White Courtesy Phone, are kind of about John and his wife, Gena Rowlands. It’s surprising, isn’t it, how much we can love someone we’ve never met? I like the way that song turned out. If you listen carefully, you can hear Rich singing back-up parts. And Craig’s guitar solo is genius.

P: About Rich : except MX-80 and playing / composing with you, did he get involved in other projects?

ACC: Rich and I had 2 musical projects prior to ACC. Playette, and Poetraphonics. On Playette, we used this fabulous little mini-synth by Electro Harmonix that I just loved. It had black and white keys, but they were just painted on, to resemble a keyboard. It was kind of modern, but also low-tech. In Poetraphonics, our big moment was opening for Nina Hagen! My instrument in Poetraphonics was an electronic "clapper". No accordion. I just clapped along, quite happily!

P: A word about Alan Vega ?

ACC: Have u ever had the experience of feeling like u were hallucinating while watching Alan onstage? During one of his performances I saw him transform into a kind of giant beetle creature that was encrusted with jewels. I felt like I was seeing the “real” him, that he was only masquerading as a man. That’s my word on Alan Vega! He’s a bug!

P: I saw Alan Vega and Suicide twice, end of 70’s and more recently. I noticed that he “had the “bug”, considering the way he moved / shaked, but not that he was a bug. Probably because men don’t know but little girls understand ...).

P: You live in San Francisco (I just came here for one day, to see the Cramps one year and a half ago, and I fell in love with this city). Can you give us good reasons to visit Frisco – or even live here (I now some guy who’d like to).

ACC: You’ll never see any George Bush bumper-stickers, ladies with mustaches are accepted, and so are men with breasts!

P: Do you like the Cramps, got records, saw them play ?

ACC: I love the Cramps. It’s fun to sing their songs live because the crowd goes kinda crazy and of course, it’s always fun to sing nasty words… “You Got Good Taste” and “What’s Inside a Girl”, “Somethin’s tellin’ me it’s a ‘hole ‘nother world!” (P: please Angel come tour around here - Europe, or at least release a live album : I wanna hear those songs !).

P: You covered Serge Gainsbourg's "Je T'Aime, Moi Non Plus" (I love you, neither do I ? Serge was awesome for playing with words). Is there any other song by him or another French artist you even think to cover ?

ACC: No. Do you have any suggestions? I tried to sing with a French accent once. Unfortunately, I sounded like Pepe Le Pew.

P: Well, I’ll suggest a song that would fit perfectly to your style / class which is my fave Gainsbourg song. It’s called “Le Canari Est Sur Le Balcon” (the canary is on the balcony), a song by Jane Birkin. It’s about someone who has commited suicide by gas and who left a letter with only those words: the canary is on the balcony. A real tearjerker, it features on “Je T’Aime” US album (the one with a blue/pink cover).

One last question : is there a question you've never been asked in interviews that you would like to answer ?

ACC: This is a really good question, for which I have no answer!

Thanks Bro Patrick, a nice interview. I enjoyed it.
I'm about to undertake an important mission and will be incommunicado(ish) for a wee while.

So, while I'm offsky, take a look at this - from the land I'm bound for...

Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. returns to the rootin' tootin' Rodeo Bar this week for more rootin' *and* more tootin'!

Join us, won't you?


375 Third Avenue (at the corner of 27th Street) in Manhattan / Three comprehensive sets, from 10:30pm sharp until 1:30am /
No cover -- and free peanuts!

Yours truly, Michael

Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.
"Ballads, Boogies & Blues"

Monday, June 09, 2008

Step this way for The Fifty Worst Album Sleeves. Link courtesy of Jean-Marc Rimette over in the land of Dutronc.
Very jazzed about my impending Säkert! encounter. Trying to concentrate on that to take my mind off the trauma of earlier today. I was ko'd. Outta action for a good couple of hours. If you have to attend hospital and you're offered a sedative then take it. Regret could well be the order of the day if you don't. I'll leave it right there.

Amidst the distraction, I never got the stuff done that I wanted to but here's a great Ben Weasel thing by Larry Livermore to keep you amused, scroll down to 28th May posting.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Spike Priggen is a guy that I’ve been meaning to hep you folks to for many weeks now. Ever since Innes Reekie sent me “There’s No Sound In Flutes" actually. With it’s Peter Bagge cover you just know that it’s gonna hit the spot. So since then I find out that Spike stayed in Edinburgh for a while in, I guess, the mid-90’s? Anyway, this fact never cut across my radar at all which is a damn shame because I feel like I really missed something.

Since his return to the US, he’s cut three albums. “Flutes” (which actually had a UK release on Re-Action Recordings – there’s a copy in Avalanche, Glasgow for anybody in the locale) and also “The Very Thing That You Treasure” and “Stars After Stars After Stars”. All available from him, in terms of shimmering Big Star/Db’s type pop it doesn’t get more dazzling than this.

He has an “all-star” cast abetting him too which includes Jon Graboff and Mark Spencer, two of the finest musicians currently languishing in NYC or anywhere. Bun E. Carlos and Ivan Julian join in the fun too. I’m not sure what’s on his myspace page but it’s sure to put a smile on your mug.

“Stars” is comprised of cover versions and I’ve no idea what some of the originals sound like. I can’t conceive that they’re anything like this but anyway. Those that are familiar – Ward Dotson’s “Be Married Song”, Chilton’s “Nightime” and Alice’s “I’m Eighteen” aren’t just a casual run through ala tribute band. The Ramones “Questioningly” is reborn as a country standard once again underlining just how great the songs were. “Big Store” is credited to Stephen Duffy. Is that Tin Tin? I don’t recall his output sounding like this but I’ve been known to wear blinkers at inopertune times. Green Gartside’s “A Slow Soul” too… who’da thunk it?

“The Very Thing” kicks off with “Every Broken Heart” which reminds me of the heady heights of TFC’s finest work. Graboff’s 12 string on this is fecking heartstopping. It ebbs and flows in all the right places and then there’s the twang, woof! The Dwight Twilley/Phil Seymour feel is uncanny too and it’s never pastiche or knock-off. This stuff is up there with your favourite albums. No question about it.

“Flutes” is the latest release and takes its name from the infamous Buddy Rich incident. It continues the succession of sublime timeless pop that will never go out of fashion. It may not garner acres of press but when you hear something this accomplished then it makes a difference. The strings on “Hideaway” swathe Spencer’s guitar solo in a setting that just elevates the whole production, like Burt Bacharach conducting Uncle Tupelo. Elements of this remind me of the great David Scott Esq. “Everyone Loves Me But You” should be a 7” single – no question. The Skeletons do The Archies style of “Something” is another surefire hit in an alternative universe where manufactured music is outlawed. A place we’d all rather be where all the bars are like the Lakeside Lounge.

So yeah, I missed the boat on this guy alright but you can’t win ‘em all. Plus I was able to play catch up in the end so all’s well that ends as such. If you get the cd’s then there are “hidden” tracks on there too, I don't imagine those would be involved in any download situation.

All three are fine, fine records. Utterly recommended and certain to become sought after. Not content with making downright groovy music, Spike is also the guy behind this.
RIP - Bob Anderson

Saturday, June 07, 2008

It's a Wunderle world!
The very Rev. Billy Miller is on the WFMU Fool's Paradise today with Rex. They'll be presenting a Charlie Feathers tribute between 1 and 3pm EST. Check out the time difference and (wo)man your internet radio portals!

Friday, June 06, 2008

It's Friday evening and time is of the essence. Another week of graft closer to oblivion and there are several hurdles to leap en route to next week's scheduled lollygadding. It's good to glimpse a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Blimey, I nearly used a word that could have been misconstrued as a racist slur there, must be way more alert than I feel.

To your left there, is the cover of the upcoming Dig It. This issue (#43) includes Brother Patrick's report on the family outing to see The Sonics in London forever ago.

Looking forward to introducing you to two rip-roaring new blogs in the near future but they're not quite ready to go public yet. It'll be more than worth the wait so expect a fanfare soon.

Depending on my flakeability, I'll try to get some review action going but my liner for the upcoming Munster dvd by The Zeros must take priority. It's a belter and one of the extras is an interview with the band's first manager - the great Phast Phreddie Patterson.

Now that the garden refuse bin has been emptied, I'm duty bound to fill it again. The purpose of all good citizens is to at least attempt to keep their place straight, right? Aye. Right...

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The most ubiquitous men in Scandanavian music make up half of I Are Droid. A bionic fusion of pre, post and prog fragments brewed cask strength.

Konie Ehrencrona and Jens Lagergren have teamed up with Peder Bergstrand and Fredrik Bergström to create the cool frankenstein that is “I Are Debut” (Razzia). Their influences, according to their myspace - where you can hear the whole album - are listed as "wine, midgets and reversed circus music - in that order".

Sonically, I detect elements of BÖC, (Systems of Romance, pre-Midge) Ultravox!, Big country-esque dynamics and even Franz flippin’ Ferdinand. Some mighty sounding stuff, majestic even - without falling foul of the pomposity that often befalls such a beastie. I can think of no better complement to describe the closing strains of “Before The Fall” than it could have come from “Secret Treaties”.

IAD are packing the kind of sound that could sweep the world. My brother reckons that there’s more than a touch of the Foo Fighters about them. My own opinion is that Grohl’s crew throw great rock shapes but have no songs, the Droid do and they fit the sensurround like a glove. With the chops to turn yer average arena into a church, a sweet lightshow would clinch the deal and make them virtually unstoppable. Like one of the machines they take their moniker from, there's some kind of unbridled electricity running through these collective veins and "I Are Debut" is quite the cattle prod.
Norton News for June.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

There goes another one. (Gracias to Mrs Stim for the link)

RIP - Alton Kelley

and another...

RIP - Mel Ferrer

I've been at the pointy end of them horns what be connected to a dilemma for about a week now. Not really one who is given to bursts of spontaneity, I finally folded. Do a hit and run on Stockholm next weekend or not? That is the question or rather was. Key to all this is a "secret gig" by possibly the only band/artist left on earth that I really want to see in a perfect location, i.e. a wee place before they go stratospheric. In addition, there are opportunities to see The Nomads and I Are Droid too. Maybe even The Hellacopters and The Hives but I have no desire to watch the Foo Fighters or QOTSA so we'll see. Most importantly, I get to hang out with friends I see all too infrequently if hardly ever. Add a handy flight from Edinburgh to Arlanda to the mix and we're off. Not exactly flush financially but as they say hereabouts, "you're a long time deid". As is proven by the rash of shuffling off this mortal coil that people have been doing of late.

Plus, as the fuel is running out and there's gonna be no food to speak off - I figure I should make the proverbial hay. While the sun is still visible to the naked eye.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

You're in Manhattan tonight? Cut along here...

And coming later this months, cool UK stamps for a change...

Monday, June 02, 2008

This is a big one...

RIP - Bo Diddley
RIP - Yves Saint Laurent

RIP - Harvey Korman (I missed this last week, thanks to Ben for flagging it up)

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The recent posting of the Jonny Dongel video of “Sorry Simon” precipitated a goodly amount of e-mail thumbs up. Since then, Martin at Gravelsauce has sent me a copy of the album and I’m pleased to report that it’s certain to be right up the alley of NBT regulars who have been seeking solace with the recent Mats Olsson comp and beyond.

It’s so goddamn authentic to the intersection between pub and punk rocks that it should be on United Artists or Stiff. I’m not altogether sure that it’s not Christopher Guest channelling Ian Gomm but there you go. Sometimes the accent is just a little too Nigel Tufnel to be true but all songs are certified belters. Dolly Dongle’s backing vocals remind me of Ellen Foley (and again) too. Sailing this close to pastiche would be dangerous in any other hands but “A Fifth of Nowhere” is just so damn solid. From the outset of Snocker, Snog and Shag” it’ll have you misty-eyed and pulling out your Ducks Deluxe and Wreckless Eric records. The guitars on the title track are reminiscent of the Robert Johnson that released records on Ensign, not to be confused with the “Crossroads” geezer or Stockholm’s finest. (Thanks for the heads up on "Snocker", Prof)

JD has a knack of penning tunes that dad rockers like Weller and his ilk never came close to. Jonny is quite possibly a virtual pop phenomenon. Ostensibly an ex-pat from Bristol exiled in NY it really makes no difference. This Dongel fella has made an album that’ll have you grinning and turning up the car (or home) cd to tilt.

Just like you do when Tenpole Tudor comes on…

PS - God I love YouTube, more Ellen Foley...

Somewhere in this dump I have an autographed poster, organised by the great HT, the man that brings you the fine Cake internet radio extravaganza...