Wednesday, December 31, 2008

OK kids, if you're heading out tonight then don't forget to wrap up warm.

Me? I'm going noplace. There's a sofa ower yonder beckoning me. Wouldn't be entirely surprised if I'm in the land of nod prior to any foray into another year. What a saddoe, eh?

Anyway, there's "Standing In The Shadows of Motown" to watch and sometime tomorrow "The Apartment". That's what passes for a good time around here, not freezing yer knackers off watching Glasvegas in Edinburgh that's for sure. All that remains is to bid seasoned greetings to you and yours for the supposedly bumpy ride that is captioned 2009. It's already here down under so give it laldie wherever you are and whenever it happens. Or not as you see fit.

Found this on 45 blog via So Many Records... and incidentally, the SMR player gremlins are a thing of the past. Dig in, I expect you'll be up for air sometime toward 2010.
I left the bunker a short while ago with the mind of getting to the supermarket before the locusts do. Part ways down the road, I was just hit by the realisation that I couldn't face it. So this is the way that 2008 ends? To add insult to injury, they're claiming that '08 will last 1 second longer than expected. Not sure about you but to my mind, it's all just numbers. There is no significance other than getting the chuff on with whatever is for me. Or for us.

Of course, it is my solemn desire that none of us have to suffer any more nonsense than that which be pre-ordained but I figure that you know what I mean here. Bring it the sweary word on!
Brother Patrick just laid this news on me....

Pour l’amour d’Ivy
par Alain Feydri

"Bien plus qu’une simple biographie cet ouvrage très documenté détaille avec précision l’univers de Lux & Ivy."

320 pages, format 15 x 21 cm incluant un livret de 18 photos inédites couleurs et N&B de:

David Arnoff, Buddy 87, Eric Catarina, Stevie Dixon, Emmy Étié, Tony Lacoponelli, Pat Melleville et Ronan Seiryen,
ainsi que 14 illustrations de Jacques-Olivier Leroy.

Prix unitaire : 25 €

(frais d’envoi offert pour toutes commandes passées avant le 31 Mars.)

Julie Production
4, rue de l’imprimerie

Achat en ligne :

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

RIP - Robert Ward

I discovered this when Amy Rigby sent me the link to Andy Schwartz's Dictators post on Ted's blog. Please take some time to read the other stuff too because there's some damn fine writing to be enjoyed there. And you didn't seriously want to get up from in front of the screen anyway, right?
Checking out the Nobunny interview at Turn It Down, I discovered Stuffed Animals. Cool beans...
I've just spent the last wee while railing (ha ha - i'm a right comic) against the abysmal public transport that exists here in Scotland. I began to get a bug up my bahookie about this yesterday when I took the bus into Edinburgh (and back). It's possible to do this from just along the road rather than take the car to a train station but anyway. It also allows the individual to have a couple of drinks but it's not wise to have any more than two pints. I would also advise that you make sure that you evacuate that before you get on. As if you have a choice...

So the service is worse than crap but the actual journey is fine. Particulary if you have a good book (in this case, Popular Music by Mikael Neimi) and some music to listen to. Company would be OK too but most folks won't entertain it. Doubt if I will again as it happens either but it was an experiment. No animals (except me) were harmed in its being carried out.

I could really do with seeing the movie of this book again but a copy with English subtitles seems to be unobtainable.

Anyhoo, to cut a long story short, I've written curt messages to Transport Scotland, First Scotrail and also the Scottish Parliament Transport Minister. Woe betide each and every one if I get a form letter response. I have a feeling in my water (see how I brought that back to the pee thing) that this one could run and run (haw haw). My sides are aboot to split here... or are they?
So here we are in the no-persons land between alleged celebrations. Things are about to get very hairy indeed but you wouldn't think that to see the droves in Edinburgh. The place is teeming with people spending money like it's about to be worth nothing. Oh, wait a minute - maybe they're on to something there? It was good to hook up with Peter Tjolsen, my old mucker of the Oslo parish over there yesterday for a couple of libations in the Bow Bar.

A place has opened up straight across from there which I think is fairly obnoxious. They carve up a pig carcass in the window and serve it up to eat in and maybe even out. It seemed to be getting a fair bit of attention. Having not been aware of it's existence I'm curious as to how it got the go-ahead. Edinburgh is in such a palaver to grab the tourist buck that I'm surprised they never considered the feelings of vege/vegans and or people who might find it vaguely disgusting. Imagine if you stoated into a kebab shops and there was a big head on the top of the meatblock? Well it occurs to me that what they're punting is akin to that.

Peter gave me a copy of Vibeke Saugestad's Christmas EP "... From All Of Me" which feature 5 very cool original songs that'll give you a rosy punk poppin' glow from the outset.

"I Must Have Been So Good" is a spiritual cross between Darlene Love and The Ramones. Rip roaring guitars and sleighbells, a lethal concoction. There's a knack to creating that festive mood and those "Hey Ho's" that punctuate "Mistletoe Kissing" prove that these folks have got it down pat. It ain't easy to sound old but not backdated. I really need to get my hands on a copy of her (third!) album that came out earlier this year. This gal is a high calibre singer, "A Christmas Carol (for the Losers in Love)" reminds me of Maria McKee. As the outro of "Christmas Is Calling Me Home" trickles away, it stands out as a further example of how far ahead Scandanavian pop acually is. Clocking in at just under 15 minutes, you wish it would stay around just a little longer.

RIP - Freddie Hubbard

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Voladoras in action a little less than 24 hours ago(ish) courtesy of Bgrrrlie!
Its round up time and there are undoubtedly things I’ve missed or forgotten or both. It’s an auld age thing. As always, these are presented alphabetically (by artist). I don’t do numerical. Also, in a bid to have you get a tad interactive, I haven't made links. They're all here though if you use the the sidebar or the search facility at the top. Plus there's always Google or whatever your search engine of choice be. You could be in front of this blighter for hours if yr not careful...

4 songs

Memory LossAdiam Dymott (Razzia) Can’t wait to hear the album, coming soon…

Ron Asheton’s LoafersHyper Plastic (Novoton) The tune lives up to the title.

Sorry SimonJohnny Dongel (Gravelsauce) Primo UK punk rock via NYC.

Good ol’ fashion nightmareMatt and Kim (Green Label Sound)
The next big thing for kids of all ages.

5 blogs

Angel’s Non-Tour Diary – Does exactly what it sez on the masthead.

North Fork Sound Blogspot – Great stories from a guy who was and continues to be there.

So Many Records, So Little Time
Enter a wonderful world you won’t feel much like leaving.

Amy Rigby’s Diary – This lady never loses a beat, you’ve heard her songs – follow her diary. And then click on the link to Eric’s.

The Houndblog – Jim Marshall is another guy with a heckuva way with words. Another lifer.

6 shows

Boonaraaas!!! – London – Always a complete pleasure…

The Dictators – Barcelona – Anthem after anthem after anthem… fuck ac – fucking-dc.

Matt and Kim – Glasgow – This fine Brooklyn couple radiate good vibes and are capable of causing chaos in a live situation.

The Nomads/I Are Droid/Säkert! - Solna/Stockholm –
All in one fantastic evening. There’s photographic evidence so I didn’t dream it…

Suzy & Los Quattro – Barcelona/Madrid – What can I say, they make an old guy who is old enough to know better, renounce his impending senior citizenship. Thanks kids!

Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby - Edinburgh/Glasgow – Two very special entertainers that get better and better every night.

10 albums

Death is not my Destiny – Robert Coyne (Turpentine)
Rob is a genius, time for the world to discover that…

A Fifth of Nowhere – Johnny Dongel (Gravelsauce)
Knockout 1978 stylee pop delivered straight from the heart with no small amount of irony.

More Modern Short Stories from Hello Saferide – Hello Saferide (Razzia) If there is any justice then Annika and her crew will rule this sorry-ass planet by this time next year.

Saving Grace – Scott Kempner (02.59)
Top notch songcraft from another great fella that could use a break or three.

Have You Heard About The World? – The Lost Crusaders (Everlasting) Mike Chandler’s R’nR evangelism is something we could all use a dose of right about now.

The Maxwells – The Maxwells (Staggeroo)
This is so recent that I haven’t even dropped a proper review yet but I will.

Galgberget – Pascal (Novoton)
All in Swedish but pound for pound Pascal kick Glasvegas’ hindquarters up and down the park.

Stick with it! – Suzy & Los Quattro (Wild Punk) Deserves to surpass one million, million sales. Guaranteed to sandblast the cobwebs from the most jaded cynic.

Suicide Live 1977-1978 (Blast First Petite) An audio documentary that you have to experience at least once in your life, start to finish, in one sitting.

Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby (Stiff) Made for themselves to be enjoyed by anyone for an ear for the real deal. I wish it had been a “double”.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I'm pretty sure that you probably can't get to see TOTP2 from outside of the UK because of dumbass restrictions but the latest instalment included a great performance of "I Can See For Miles" by The Who that I don't recall seeing before. There was also Nena's "99 Red Balloons", the Associates with the exquisite Martha Ladley doing "14 carat Love affair" and "Sonic Boom Boy" by Westworld. Their hymn to Pete Kember... pretty good comp if you skip the Duran clip and a couple of others...

The UK needs a pop music show that covers all the bases. Unfettered by cronie-isms, that can restore some faith in the art. Some people who inhabit the BBC are up to the task, others - further up the tree - are bricking it. And they'd rather do nothing while Rome burns rather than commission something that might just catch on. Especially if Jools flippin' Holland doesn't crash the party with his patented piano invasions.
T'was a heavy frost-athon this morning. I've clocked up a lttle over three miles on the old pins and I'm probably indoors for the duration. Might unearth more relics or could well plunk down in front of the TV. The world is my oxter, I'm never sure if that's how you spell that colloquialism for armpit and to be honest, I can't be arsed googling it.

One comedian tells me that he'll donate some green to the American Nazi Party in my name if I let him have one of the ACC 45's. He might even be kidding. I could add a quip about being the straight man here but I'm sure that could get twisted too.

There's a copy of "The World's Greatest Sinner" here with my name on it! (Thanks Ben!!) So that's a priority. Haven't seen it in at least 2 decades from a crummy VHS. This one aired on TCM lately and is said to be looking mighty good. I always figured that Nic Cage ripped his schtick off Timothy Carey, even in terms of appearance. Does anybody know if that could be so? Anyway, looking forward to getting reacquainted with that and generally not over-extending ma'sel'.
RIP - "Johnny Cakes" (Info via BLR list)

Friday, December 26, 2008

During the less than strategised archeological dig up in the loft, I found three copies of Angel's dream-mungous take on this Dictators chestnut that originally came with NBT 27 back in 1997.
If you'd like to adopt one and give it a good home then let me know. All I ask is that if you do score one, then you'll make some kind of donation to a charity of your choosing, provided that it's not yourself! There's no such thing as free maybe but this is as near-gratis as it gets.
No need to report the people who made this poster to the trades description department. Even I would leave the house for this!...
RIP - Tris King (Bogshed)
It’s Friday. Never sure which day is which at this time of year. The fact that there are no trains between here and either Glasgow and/or Edinburgh is a complete disgrace but no surprise in this backward nation (I'm referring to the entire UK here as well as Scotchland). The bargain hunters are forced, possibly still pished and high on turkey sandwiches and Santa knows what else into their cars to head for the sales. Being a confirmed nae-sayer – I take no part in it. There was nothing of any consequence to buy in the run up, what are the chances of there being anything now? The stock rooms of the nations struggling high streets will be emptied into the stores and the rose-tinted gel of greed will convince the lemmings that its all good.

I have a plan at the back of my mind that to try and liberate some of the gear that’s squatting in my loft over the time that I’m not at work. This consideration is somewhat flawed in that I’m very easily sidetracked. If the phone rings, or I find something particularly interesting then that’s likely to halt the “dig” indefinitely.

Still I need to keep busy or I’ll drive myself nuts. I’m on a wee bit of a jag to photograph button badges to put up on facebook. This too could be shortlived. The world is my oxter basically and this is what's going down in lieu of actually having a life.

Rezillos vid for No. 1 boy on TOTP2 tonight but there’s a lot could happen afore then. I’m not saying it will but there’s always a rumour of a possibility. A wee backtrack over the past 12 months may also be in order but it'll be all new. No cutting and pasting or edited highlights.
RIP - Eartha Kitt

Thursday, December 25, 2008

RIP - Harold Pinter

The fabulous Voladoras + Emma Vikingskull will be at Debaser on Saturday.
File this one under too much fun, but don't dare miss it!

Wherever you are, whoever you're with, no matter what you're up to - I hope it's all going your way.

Thanks for continuing to drop by in these peculiar times.

Catch you on the flipside of this Christmas thing...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Christmas Eve and you don’t want to be going out anywhere really? Do you?? Bollocks to that, you want to be firing up the computer and tuning into OH NO IT'S CHRISTMAS with a couple or three of what constitutes your tipple of choice. It’s on Swedish Radio P3 at 8.30 GMT and for that additional, practically radioactive glow, you should listen as it goes out. Don’t fret though because it’ll be available for 30 days after if you insist on going someplace and features...

Annika Norlin, David Sandström, Britta Persson, Adiam Dymott, Robert ”Strängen” Dahlqvist, Jonna Lee, Salem al Fakir, Veronica Maggio, Markus Krunegård and Ison & Fille (whoever the heck they be?).

Ha en KUL JUL!!
(Extra special bumper Christmas cheer to Ms Nenne Z)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Made it to the finish line. It was looking dicey but the old perseverance went into autopilot. I even made it into work today saving 1 whole annual leave day, a very valuable commodity, particularly in the long stretch to March. The days are fair drawing out again but it ne'er got semi-light until at least 9am today. At one point this afternoon, it looked like summer outside.

Need to attend to supplies and then I think I'm gonna baton down the hatch and treat myself to a Twin Peaks-a-thon. That's the semi-plan, provided I don't succumb to the shivering and shaking as so many people are. It's un-naturally mild and therefore the wee viral beasties will be continuing their field day.

I'll be back and forth electronically. catching up on posts and just generally not having to drive anywhere for more than a week. Only thing on the horizon is that I might try to catch Fangs this coming Sunday at Tuts and of course hooking up with the Rt Hon Oslo ambassador, the Rev. Peter Tjolsen. So, all tolled, the mood is reasonable, might be different when I get back from the supermarket but that's a chance I'll just have to take. Actually, sod it - i'll strike bright and early tomorrow, before the greedy bastards get out and about to scarf up everything as though the shops wouldn't be open for a month. It may come to that in 09 but let's get this one over with first shall we...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

As much as I would like to see The Rezillos tonight it looks unlikely. Having not been stricken with the lurghi that's been doing the rounds for weeks now, it looks like somebody called my number. Order has kind of been restored to my cd storage over the weekend though so I imagine that punishment is due. That's how it works, right?

With regard to the impending madness, I'm bodyswerving the subliminal guilt trip that certain sections of the media are peddling. That we've got to go to the shops and spend what we (or I certainly) don't have on what nobody needs. The economy is flatlining and yeah, reports of people queueing to get into stores are going to make ME want to join in...

A valiant (really) attempt to find stuff for a select few hit the rocks last weekend. I don't want (and will not) give or send people, shite that can be gotten anywhere in the world.

On top of all this, I started backing up some stuff from the computer this morning. To make some space - thinking it might improve the running speed, etc. 2GB leaner and there's no tangible proof that it has made one shred of an iota of difference. Very frustrating but not altogether unexpected in this half-empty world. I possibly sound pretty p.o.'d right about now.

Nothing new there then... McNuggets anyone?
HT on MX-80 Sound.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Video by Bgrrrlie
RIP - Dock Ellis (link courtesy of Griffith)

The Munster festive 45 series continues with this cool little number from The Hi-Risers. You can listen to the A-side here.

The flip will have you "ridin' a toboggan and eggnoggin'", these guys are chock full of the christmas spirit. If you aren't familiar with them then you're in for a treat.
The Rezillos gig scheduled for The Liquid Rooms on Monday will now be in The Picturehouse on Lothian Road. There was a fire in the building upstairs last night so I imagine that any impending shows there will also be moved. If you're headed there then I'd advise you to check.
The e-mail shennannies continue, meanwhile Prof H has located these festive Sonics downloads for your ipod'ing or whatever pleasure. December 16th post.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Here's what the Scottish Parliament is up to... makes you proud innit?!
These things are set to try us, Part 537B.

It has come to my notice (again) that some messages aren't getting through on my e-mainline. Please use the link on the blog here, or my hotmail, facebook or myspace if you've been attempting to reach me and heard nowt.

Same goes for outgoing, I have no idea what gets to its destination or not without an undeliverable message so I'm operating somewhat in the dark here. I'm aware that won't surprise some of you but with the best will in the world, this stinks. I will investigate but have less than no confidence in my ISP but there's no real alternative either so I'm kinda stuck with 'em for now.

Please bear with my having to bear with it.

Professor H just hepped me to this, it's them Wooden Shjips comin' sailing in with a krautrockin' krishmish groove via the good offices of WFMU!

A must for psychedelic psantas and psantesses everywhere!

RIP - Jack Douglas (Alf Ippititimus)
Bobby Lloyd Hicks sent me this a couple of weeks ago and I forgot about it until today... spiritually seasonal and unfettered by brand names...

Been a fraught couple of days and the fucking rain outside is virtually horizontal but that be mattering not a jot now. Why? because I'm indoors for the day and having a cup of coffee in the company of the Tom Morton show. Only one one work day, (maybe two at the most) to go and then it's holidaze time. 12 days off in a row, yowzah!

I also have this Dewey Cox movie to watch because I believe it has a bunch of tunes in it penned by the great Sir Robson Fulks.

So while i'm drying out, getting my bearings, I just discovered this via the BLR list...

RIP - John Byrne (Count Five)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Those of you in Glasgow won't want to miss this festive appearance by thse guys.
John is still recuperating but Jimmy Doak (from The Jolt) is subbing for the big fella.
Update Friday 19/12 - This is postponed but Mickey will be doing a "wheels of steel" thing there tonight rovided the lurghi doesn't get him too.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I did the Glasvegas thing and with that particular itch scratched I can get on with my life. You’ll recall that the album knocked me out. I know some of you are shaking your heads at this point but stick with it (as The Quattros would say).

It’s almost a year ago since I was last in the hallowed environs of The Barrowlands. For The Proclaimers with Wreckless Eric. Opening tape was good to middling, Righteous Brothers, Danny and The Juniors, Dion and the Belmonts, would have been nice to hear a wee bit of Suicide in there just to wet the whistle but anyway. For one fleeting moment when they burst through the intro to “Flowers and Fitba’ Tops” I felt the majesty of the record, a good ripple if not exactly a wave.

However from there it all went a little awry. My favourite thing about them – the drum sound – was intact but I’d like to hear a little more Tony James and a little less of The Edge. Actually, there was enough dry ice to make Andrew Eldritch proud in there tonight and the place went sort of ballistic but not quite. There was plenty of beer flying around but the audience was way less Oasis-like than I expected. This is good I guess but if you ask me “Go Square Go” was no match for The Proclaimers “I’m On My Way”. I remember being out front with Amy Rigby when they played that and the floor action was way more seismic. As they finished their short set, there was virtually no reaction. It was as if their parishioners had ejaculated collectively and altogether prematurely. I imagine that they came back out and did “Daddy’s Gone”. By that time I’d had enough and figured that a wee detour for chips en route to the train was the best idea. Whilst Polmont was on their collective minds at one point, I needed to get to Larbert. Being that's where I left the car....

So can they do it live, I’d have to plump for no. Nae doubt they’ll headline T In The Park this year and that’ll be their captive audience right there. Of course, there’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay coming up a lot sooner. Isn't it all a bit sweary for Auld Reekie's outdoors? Actually, way more offensive than the cursing, James Allan does a really irritating pointing at the audience thing, neither big nor clever but he does remind me of Midge Ure in Slik. I was hoping for some evidence of a sense of humour but did not register one iota of irony. The guitar and bass dervishes over egg the pudding too. They need to get used to the fact that they’re no I Are Droid in the big sound department. I’m actually pretty disappointed and wanted to be proved wrong quite badly. It's not that any big expectations were harboured going in there but I wanted, needed to be blown away. My perception was of something much more spiritual, seemingly bigger than the sum of it's parts. Me and these rose-tinted gregorys...

By the time I got out of the train and into the car, I put on The Raveonettes “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” and all was right again, partially because of the tenterhooks caused by the news that reached me late this afternoon. Annika Norlin performed that very song, in Swedish, at “ONIC” on Sunday. Stand by for news on how you can hear this magical rendition on Christmas Eve over this thing they call the interweb! And while we’re on the subject, anybody who reckons that Fleet fecking Foxes and Weejvegas (That’ s probably one of Sandy’s although I’m not sure) are better than More Modern Short Stories from Hello Saferide are at best deaf. Possibly delusional. Probably a bit of both.

I’m up again and on the road in a little over 5 hours so goodnight, god bless etc. Over and out.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

"A suggestion for Music Commerce" via Rockrap, I think it makes some sense, although there are artists who make great music that have no plans to tour or play anywhere. We need to factor them into the equation. Discuss...



My name is Jack Ely and I'm the one whose voice is heard daily on The Kingsmen's 1963 recording of Louie Louie, (may it rest in peace) so you know I have some music business experience.

First I'd like to express an opinion that probably will not be very popular but which oozes with truth. In the early '60's when I was recording, records were thought of as a tool to help promote live performances. The live performances were the main revenue stream and the records were just promotional tools to get people to come see the shows. Somewhere this mode of thinking got turned upside down. Consequently in years hence, record companies, producers, et. all, have made recordings, hoping to profit from the sale of those recordings alone, regardless of whether or not the artist could ever pull it off live. This did some things to the music business that weren't very healthy. First it made available to the general public, music of artists who may or may not be good live performers; almost anyone can make a good recording with enough cut-ins and loops. And... it made music by groups of players who never ever intended to perform that music live, and who may or may not have ever been able to get along with each other long enough to really sustain any kind of a road show.

Music is meant to be played for the enjoyment of the audiences. For instance, if I go into the studio with an acoustic guitar and simultaneously play and sing on a recording, people would come to see me perform in that same mode; I.e. playing guitar and singing as a solo act. I don't think they would come to see me expecting a full band. Conversely, if I advertised a 'Night with Louie Louie" people would come expecting to see a rock band that they could dance to, and would be quite disappointed if I showed up with just my acoustic guitar.

The suggestions that recordings are produced today just to sell recorded music is all backwards and the sooner the record companies and producers and artists figure this out the sooner they will all quit sniveling over the fact that the entire world is freely sharing their music digitally and isn't willing to stop; and in fact will do anything to circumvent their efforts to get paid for the recordings alone.

The days of producers and musicians putting bands together just to get a recording deal so they can get paid by the record company for a product that usually never even gets released; those days are over. It's time record companies went back to their roots and became what they started out to be; entities who record working acts in order to 1) capture the performance for posterity, and 2) make a promotional tool to get audiences to the next show.

The solution is to give the world all the free music it wants, but to give the recording entity, whether it be a record company or a producer, or whomever, a cut of every live performance. That will do at least two things and maybe more that I haven't even thought about yet. First it will give everyone involved in the recordings a source of revenue (pay day) for all their hard work of producing and promoting the recordings. Second, it will weed out all the so-called "recording artists" who couldn't, in a live venue, perform their way out of a paper bag. In a down economy the public craves live entertainment, so what better time to get back to basics. The timing couldn't be better for a profitable turn around. So now is the time to get it going.

I send you these thoughts in hopes that just maybe a new/old perspective on the subject of recorded music can be presented to the entire recording world and they can all start making a real profit.


Jack Ely

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I'd ideally be in Stockholm right now. The "Oh No" charabang will be in full swing. It was cool to see "White Christmas" this afternoon but my mind kept drifting. I went into town early, in the hope that I could get a few things but it was a disaster. Jenners food hall is gone! What the chuff is up with that? It's been replaced by a Valvona and Crolla!. Now I like that place fine but not in place of what used to be there. Here is another aspect of change that sucks in full swing.

My other attempts at "shopping" were similarly dismal. Fueled by the fact that I don't think there's anything that isn't available everywhere. I even braved Marks and Sparks only to leave empty handed. I'm really not good at this, never was but have evidently gotten a lot worse.

Anyway, as a closer - I urge you to support your independent cinema and go and catch one of the old films that is playing. The way they look on the big screen is much better than your widescreen LCD whatchamacallit or on your laptop screen. It's like the difference between paste up and photoshop. No comparison. So if you have a "local" that's screening a classic, bodyswerve the multiplex and get in there. I actually felt festive for about 5 seconds until I had to get on the train home with the scumhordes that had been buying up all the shit that they'll pass for gifts this crimbo.

I'm hoping that all you overseas homies will visit the UK in 2009. Our currency is not worth a whole heckuvalot. Time to get your own back and come visit your Uncle L.
It's hard to tell what time it is in the mornings at the minute. Yesterday, it didn't get semi-light until after 9am and it was pretty much the same all day. I have a yearning to be in Stockholm where the Oh No... it's Christmas extravaganza is taking place at Nalen. I think I could get a festive glow on if I was there.

But no, I'm heading for Edinburgh instead and ultimately a Filmhouse friends screening of "White Christmas". I like seasonal films and music but don't care for the other trappings. There are things that need to be got so I figure it's time to bite the bullet. The pre-movie mince pies being the prize that'll tempt me out. How's that on the sad-ometer? It would be way easy to procrastinate on this one, believe me.

Keeping up the festive thing, there's a new version of "It still feels like Christmas" up on Angel's myspace. I can't add it to mine though unfortunately. Hoping that the Ben Vaughn opus from last year might make an appearance too.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It was full on seasonal cadence last night at The Tolbooth in Stirling. Davie Scott’s mulled music extravaganza warmed the souls that came out and for a couple of hours, reality took a backseat. A small army of musicians took to the stage to present a mix of folk and pop that was something that only this guy could pull off. By the time they got to the rafter-raising version of “Snow Plus Christmas”, there was a row of people even older than me (maybe) doing the push along with the D man. So The Pearlfishers were augmented by Duglas Bandit, Karine Polwart, Bill Wells and others. Standout for me was Kim Edgar who I’d never heard before. Some digging/research has pulled up the facts that she’s actually doing a show in Edinburgh tonight with someone who is anathema to me in terms of songcraft and opening for Joan as Policewoman.

But anyway. Kim’s contribution including a whopping synth solo in an uptempo jamboree I can’t recall the name of right now, was really very good indeed and left some of us eager to hear more. Karine Polwart also played harmonium on one song and it was positively ethereal. I love the sound of these things to the point that I might even try to get one. The "Oscar In Venice" animation that accompanied the Morriconesque instrumental that is "Ice Race" was pretty sharp too.

The gist here is that nobody could pull off a stunt like this other than Davie. All the shameful Scots Music that has gained popularity over the years by churning out processed white soul doesn’t even come close to what he can do. You know the stuff and the perpatrators. However if you want to hear finite example of the intersection between Rundgren and Bacharach then look no further, nspired and inspiring at all times. This guys love for pop music in infectious to the point of viral and even in its cheesiest moments, the honesty and love just kills any misgivings.

Tuning up to launch into another song, he looked at Duglas and said “whattaya think, close enough for jazz?” to whit Mr Stewart replied, “Ask Bill”. That, me amigos, is entertainment.

One other thing today, if you find yourself in Edinburgh today and want to keep the hell away from the shopping scumhordes then head for the fine Elvis Shakespeare on Leith Walk. Live music all afternoon and a great spot to browse if it isn’t too crowded. Eagleowl were supposed to play but don’t seem to be on the roster but perhaps they’re one of the "surprises". Hope I didn't spoil it if that turns out to be the case. Really.

The Hound on Christmas. Definitely couldn't have put it better myself.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

'nuff said...


Forget that we're all headed for the U-bend, here's some relief for those in the Stirling area tomorrow evening.

See you in the bar for mince pies at approx. 7pm.

It's a shame about Woolworths. It's still one of the very few stores that I would actually have a browse in. Where am I going to futz around when I'm between Filmhouse and The Cameo of a Sunday avo when Woolies disappears for good? Of course there's all the people who work there to consider, they don't deserve this treatment for chrissakes. More victims of the greedy bastards that paddled us up this particular creek. Not to be confused with those who pochled the odd pick and mix. Which I was never guilty of incidentally.

I remember when Falkirk had its own Woolies record store but way before that my prize score of all time in there was a copy of The Standells "Try It" for 25p (I'm pretty sure it was just after decimalisation) which I still have.
Just heard a news report which says the company reported it's highest daily sales ever. Too bad it was down to the vultures. The way things are going, the UK will be closed soon - not just the businesses that we thought would be around forever.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Good news this cauld winter night, I just had it confirmed that The Wrecking Crew documentary will screen as The Monorail Film Club feature during the 2009 Glasgow Film Festival. Two screenings, at Glasgow Film Theatre (7pm and 9pm) on Sunday 22nd January 2009. Clear your diaries and make that the only date you keep that weekend.

Coming up in that very location this Sunday is the excellent Sling Blade and Who I am And What I Want @ 7pm.

Karl Childers, now a grown man, is released from a psychiatric hospital where he has been hospitalised since the age of 12 for the murder of his mother and her lover. Karl settles in his old, small hometown, occupying himself by fixing motors. Directed by Billy Bob Thornton, this character study of several Southern misfits possesses the remorseless inevitability of a Greek tragedy.

We are also screening short film, Who I Am And What I Want (7 minutes), a David Shrigley and Chris Shepherd animation.

Selected and introduced by monorail's tallest customer, Glasgow-based artist, David

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Just saw this bulletin from Brother Bruce Bennett on Facebook and figured it might perk some of you folks up...

"It's official. We (A-Bones) are gonna back up Roy Loney and Cyril Jordan from the Flamin' Groovies together for the first time in 30 something years at the 9th Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans in April. I knew I was staying alive for something. Roy and Cyril have already made a set list and since I'm honor bound to keep it a secret (good luck prying anything out of Mim, Billy, Ira, Marc or Lars) all I can say is, well, wow! Hopefully we'll back up Ray Sharpe, too. The last time with Ray it kinda got to sounding like the Bizarro World Yardbirds..."

RIP - Beverly Garland

RIP - Oliver Postgate

RIP - James "Jimmy IV" The Cat

Monday, December 08, 2008

For some reason, yesterday garnered our biggest daily visit ever. For why?

I have no idea but thanks to everybody that drops by. It's not always possible to update every day but generally at some point the terrain is refreshed at least once. This effort will persist and could increase once I go into semi-hibernation here in the bunker over the impending madness.

There's a good possibility I'll be taking an extended seasonal break because of circumstances somewhat outwith my control. An upside to the recession? I'll believe it when I find myself having been spat out on the other side. Meanwhile it's time to hunker down. No time to yabber tonight, more later if anything really urgent shows.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Been catching up on some viewing too these past few days. Let's see, I started off with "Pineapple Express". That was pretty awful really, the highpoints? No pun intended were that Mountain and Humble Pie are in the soundtrack.

Season 1 of "30 Rock" hit the spot though, hadn't caught any of the TV run so it was cool to be able to get acquainted with it in a large chunk. Like a cross between "On The Air" and "The Larry Sanders Show" via "Rhoda", I'm gonna stick with this. There's evidently a lot more to Tina Fey than her Sarah Palin.

Finally, the Spanish horror flick [●REC], been meaning to catch this for a while and it's a pretty wild ride. Wish I'd seen it in the cinema, it'll keep you hooked right up to the end and George Romero fans will find much to get their teeth into here. Closing title music is excellent too but the text was too small for me to read. Tried googling it but it but so far no joy.

Anybody know who it is?
While I was listening to The Fleshtones tear it up on WFMU last night, I was trying to vote for Hello Saferide in the Swedish radio polls thing. I still haven't fathomed it out yet and Martina has been trying to coach me but I don't get it. Being as thick as three (one louder than the usual two) short planks, I can't get a beat on what they're asking me to do. It's not even vote rigging. I am honestly trying to go about my duty and can't grasp what has to be done. There is the wider question of do these kind of things matter? Well, I don't care about that, I just want Annika to win.

Have you seen the lighting in the second part of the "X" video when she mimes the "heart attack" lyric? Sandra Löv has captured a pristine Lynchian moment that combines the twisted 50's look with something altogether futuristic. The whole clip is high art and a reminder of times when it was possible to reach a large number of people through consensus. There's also an alternative version of the song on the HS myspace which is pretty damn spectacular.

So, I’ve been threatening some music coverage for a while now. Somehow the confuzzled nature of my existence at the minute makes it difficult to focus. I guess it’ll either bottom out or it won’t, meanwhile time is marching the feck on.

Hyper Plastic’s debut 10” on Novoton is a pulsating electrock’n’roll chestnut. Kicking in with a tasty little number entitled “Ron Asheton’s Loafers” it contains four songs that tick all of my boxes when it comes to solid entertainment. You can check out this sonic smorgasbord for yourself at the HP myspace. An impressive debut to be sure and a one man crusade against the often soul-crushing grind of what passes for popular music in the 21st Century.

The Nixe were the first Dutch all-girl punk band and their complete 1980 – 81 recordings have been collected on vinyl by the French label, Pollymaggoo Records. A project coordinated by our own Rt. Hon. Jeroen Vedder of this very parish ably assisted by Fenderwoods. J provides an extensive liner note too on these Utrecht girls exploits. He was right there with that able finger on the pulse.

He’s pretty much convinced that this wouldn’t be my bag and at the time it may well not have been. However, as I survey the seams that I often wrote off in pursuit of cheap rock thrills, this comes as a very entertaining surprise. I’d call it more post-punk or DIY buy there’s a certain primal energy that sounds more full-blooded than much of the UK material of this type. Often compared to Kleenex or Lilliput, presumably because of their gender rather than the music they make, The Nixe display a blatant pop edge. I heard Orange Juice’s “Blue Boy” on the radio recently and it actually sounded pretty good. maybe this condition has been caused by the time I've been spending in the Messthetics mines have conditioned my ears. Maybe it’s just been an acquired taste. I think this is limited so check out your favourite vinyl dealer sharpish before it vanishes, Volcanic Tongue definitely had copies. Try contacting Pollymaggoo too, I imagine their stash may be gone by now but it's worth a shot.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

So after a shaky start to their UK jaunt, The Mary McBride combo made it North and hit Glasgow last night. It’s always a real gas to meet up with Joe and Springsteen’s oversight of not having him step into Danny Federici’s place is definitely Mary’s gain. So she’s on a bill with The Quireboys. I saw them soundcheck and y’know, in weaker moments I could even like them. That Faces, touch of glam, south of metal stramash is something I have a weak spot for. That’s more than I can usually say for the venue (The Cathouse) but last night was a minor sensation on that front because the sound for Mary and Co was actually very good.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I’d heard the tracks on the website and done a bit of digging but possibly reckoned on a more blues rock type set up. In actuality, what she does is very rooted in the pop end of rhythm and blues of the biblical variety, not that sub-disco malarkey. Her voice reminded me of Nicole Atkins and she can really belt it out as pure and clear as I think I’ve ever heard. In the right setting, she could blow people away and I think she made a few converts that will definitely be rousing the rabble for her next visit which will hopefully be soon. I also wasn’t aware that she cut Dan Baird’s “A Bottle and a Bible” before he did. Ms McBride threw us a storming version of that.

She’s a real sweetheart too and called the great Lou Whitney while we were hanging out. One of the relatively unsung rock’n’roll heroes of all time. Keeping up the Skele-quotient, JT did the very briefest snippet of "Trans Am" as they finished their soundcheck. I don’t remember the surnames of the guitar player or the drummer but I’ll clarify that down the road apiece. Bassman, Greg Beshers was in a band called The Pill Crushers that I wasn’t familiar with but their myspace songs sound pretty dandy. Couple of guys talked to him after the set and commended him for the band having done a W.A.S.P. song. He was baffled. Turned out that they meant “I Don’t Need No Doctor”, I think the conversation went onto be even more confusing with said punters thinking that Ray Charles had covered Blackie Lawless too. It’s all in the perspective. Or is it?

So Mary is plying her trade across the rest of the UK for the remainder of this coming week. Check the tour dates and if they’re in your town I think you’ll dig it. Unfortunately their Glasgow set was curtailed a little because Ricky Warwick ex of The Almighty was also on the bill. Robbie Fulks once said that country music is not pretty. That being the case, RW’s brand is downright ugly. He has an audience though and they lap it up. Me, I’m way too old for all that. So, to the Horseshoe Bar for a swift aperitif and it’s all over. A very pleasant evening all tolled and home in the bunker by midnight.
From Randy Haecker in NY...

Hey folks, my buddy Jenny Lens is taking discount pre-orders for her first eBook, and the subject is THE RAMONES. Her eBook will feature over 100 groovy images from the band’s first tour of the West Coast in 1976, most previously unseen by anyone except Jenny! This might very well be the first-ever eBook devoted to rock photography, so be a part of history and pre-order your copy today. You can get a FREE 16-page preview by visting the weblink below.


Ramones First West Coast Tour, 1976, Highlights, V1, the first in a series of eBooks from the Jenny Lens Punk Archive. The ONLY way you will see so many rare and large photos! Limited intro $15 sale. BUY NOW before price goes up!

FREE 16 page book sample eBook download

BUY NOW (or for more info)

HELP SAVE the Jenny Lens Punk Archive! My work has been published more than anyone in LA, very likely in all of punk, 1976-1980, in ALL the numerous major books published the last three years.

With YOUR HELP, the archive and my work can survive. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. And please spread the word!

There's also a Jenny Lens photo book available, I saw it in Spain and I would imagine you can get it via Amazon and that sorta place. Looked very cool.
Betty Page is gravely ill. (link courtesy of Brother Duane Sherwood)
Doesn't get much better than this... from the latest So Many Records instalment...

I need to go out into the cold and do a quick Tesco raid but meanwhile, If you're looking for an excuse to sit in front of the computer, check out these links to cool stories on the old days of NYC clubs. H's thing on Ruth Polsky is great. Yesterday would have been her 52nd birthday.

Amy Rigby sent me this link to Andy Schwartz's piece on Tier 3.

Now most of the action has moved to Brooklyn but reading these you'll get a feel of how it can never be again. Not nostalgia, just real reminiscences from the folks who were there.
Sad but inevitable.

RIP - Forrest J. Ackerman

Friday, December 05, 2008

A message from Tom Phobic...

Hi kids,

We are at long last proud to announce our new permanent drummer, Mr Charlie Gurney, who the more observant amongst you may have spotted has been present at our last couple of gigs.

Well, the obligatory ransom demand has been met and blood brother ceremony taken place and charlie is now a bona fide PHOBIC! It is a particularly sweet moment for half centurian (we don't know what the other half is) Tom who is reunited with Mr Gurney, erstwhile sticks man in both Bad Karma Beckons and Helltrain, cult garage legends of the 80's.
Still, the time is now, and in particular next Monday 8th December 2008 the place - the New Cross Innand the event -a true legend of punk rock comes to our back yard,

His reputation, and that of the band is the stuff of legend - go find out for yourselves cos the internet is handy like that.

We will be opening the show then MONKISH hit the stage and helmets and as protection are recommended. Finally, JOHNNY MOPED will assault your senses and sensiblilty so for a manic monday look no further than this gig. Be there or stay in for Watchdog on BBC1...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The western world it is imploding… just heard that Pinnacle Distribution has hit the skids. Blimey. That’s going to fuck things up a bit. And what about all those people that have lost their jobs? It's like a big game of dominoes with no end of the toppling in sight.

It's nearly Friday and I’m looking forward to heading for Glasgow to hook up with Joe. The Mary McBride Christmas album and another set DO feature The Skeletons. I just had that confirmed so you need to be checking those out.

More good news to beat back the glumness of real life is that in addition to the big screen debut of Steve Coleman in The Fleshtones doc on Friday in NY, the super-rockers themselves will be doing their sanity clause thing live on WFMU this coming Saturday. The Cherry Blossom Clinic with Terre T is where this particular action will take place. Thanks to Ben for the info…I hope that when Steve gets his Hollywood call, he’ll remember us little people back here on the ranch.

There was no snow today so it better keep the fuck away until the weekend is over. These are troubling times but there’s nothing else to do except keep the heid doon. Better than getting it shot off innit.

Fingers and everything else crossed... (thanks to DD Banter for the link)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

This was the ominous but pretty cool looking scene in Stirling this morning. Snow is forecast but I'm skeptical. Can you get a lotion for that? Awaiting the arrival of one Joe Terry Esq. here in Scotchland with Ms Mary McBride. You can download a couple of gratis seasonal songs from her website and I swear one of them sounds like she's backed by The Skeletons where the lady trades vocals with Joe. I need to confirm this but it's good stuff irrespective. Not sure I'll be spending much time in front of this thing tonight... we'll see...
RIP - Odetta

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Wow, this coming Friday night in NYC! An early Christmas present and Super-rock celebration!

"Pardon Us For Living But The Graveyard is Full", the story of the legendary new york band, The Fleshtones.

WHERE: New York Film Academy, 100 East 17 Street (2nd floor), NY 10003

WHEN: Friday December 5th, 2008 - 8pm

If you're in the 'hood, then contact the good burghers @ Coldcuts Productions regarding entry via

The brand new Sandra Löv directed video for Hello Saferide's "X Telling Me About The Loss Of Something Dear, At Age 16". It's braw!

Monday, December 01, 2008

This morning I got up and out early. T'was a heavy frost, not entirely as bad as it looked from the window but nippy enough. Tonight I was just watching Venus swing down around the crescent moon from the scullery window. It's a very clear, cold looking sky out there so with all that cosmic stuff in mind, I'm gonna keep this short. There is one important thing you should be aware of if you're in travelling distance of Glasgow...


Monorail Music and Mono are proud to announce this year's Project Ability exhibition. Project Ability is one of Scotland's leading specialist arts organisations and we have a long-standing and happy association with them and love having their artists' brilliant, raw, vivid work on our walls. The opening is on Wednesday 3rd December at 7.30pm with Remember Remember, whose debut set for Rock Action is our album of the month, and The Pastels (dj set). It's a free event and there's going to be an excellent raffle.