Tuesday, March 31, 2009
17th April in Newcastle Upon Tyne and 18th April in Portland, Oregon. Watch out for news of a red-hot remembrance coming down on Philadelphia very soon too.
It's all pretty quiet around here tonight. It's been like summer today and by all accounts it's to stay like this for a few days. Probably up to Friday...
Still, I completed my Adiam Dymott assignment and it came out OK I think. In addition to having made an amazing record, this gal is our kinda people! Much more about her as the story unfolds.
There's other stuff to relay I'm sure but I'm not really up to writing any more today. They've started to show The Wire on BBC2 at 11.20pm and there's something strangely satisfying about watching it being aired. It gives one a sense of something beyond just slapping in a dvd whenever you want. it requires a level of engagement and commitment. Like seeing something at the cinema maybe. I'm sure you know what I'm getting at here. This 24 hour society thing is way overrated. Nothing can be overground popular anymore for any longer than a blip.
Anyway, I hope to be able to catch as many as possible in this manner and might even have a wee kip now to make sure I can stay awake. I shall leave you with this...
“Birdsongs, Beesongs” includes new and previously unreleased tracks from acts like Hari and Aino, BMX Bandits, TWIG, Saturday Looks Good To Me, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, The Paper Merchants and many many other great acts. Give it a try.
So much great music in this release and Knut has worked so hard to get all these great bands to release new songs for this project. Downloading "Birdsongs, Beesongs - Volume A" is free, so get to it."
Stop Press - James King and The Lone Wolves myspace, courtesy of The Vinyl Villain!
Monday, March 30, 2009
So it was all a bit frantic this am. Just as well I had the new Wooden Shjips to audially sandblast on the journey to work. More about "Dos" closer to it's Holy Mountain release in May.
The priority tonight is to complete my Adiam D epistle so take a look at this and follow the instructions implicitly.
By the way this was post #4000.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
...there are more pressing things on the horizon. Like listening to these City Rock tracks kindly dropped in courtesy of the good offices of Doc. H. I've got an itch to search for a Michael Stanley Band comp. "Midwest Midnight" track whetted my appetite. I remember liking another song of theirs back in the stone age but can't remember the title. This gives me a chance to maybe get into listing some stuff that you might care to check out rather than get on with your life.
The new issue of Dig It! (#45) is available and as ever it flags up all kinds of stuff that I need to hear and in some cases get. It's all in French but it's literally dripping with that high energy enthusiasm that their crew never fails to deliver.
Not music-related but cool nonetheless is the Glasgow-based I Like. A site that I do, as a matter of fact.
Mr Rafferty caught this and figured you may be interested. Think of The Dictators "Avenue A" when you're reading it.
There's a book out about Eric's in Liverpool. haven't seen it but you can get the scoop here.
Back to CR... what's wrong with me? I'm thinking that Huey Lewis and The News "The Heart of Rock'n'Roll" is some pretty hot shit... and I'm not ashamed to say it. It's maybe even the metaphorical AOR flipside of "American Beat"!
Tonight's Monorail Film Club... "This month we're showing Lynne Ramsay's Morvern Callar, a morally ambiguous story about a suicide and its immediate, unexpected aftermath. Partly set in Oban and partly in Ibiza, Morvern Callar is based on an Alan Warner novel and will be introduced by Roddy Woomble of Idlewild at GFT - 7.30pm".
I always loved "Summertime Girls" by Y&T. Didn't you?? This is turning into some kind of multi-cultural melting pot for a Sunday afternoon. I hope you'll be able to keep up... woah, the guitar solo!! Bring back full-on rock stupidity, please!!? Somebody??
Wow, thanks for the tip on this one. For a minute I thought Andy Stewart had been cloned. So, there's no White heather club footage but there is this...
And then there's this, unearthed by Eric Fusco and facebooked. Captain Cruickshank has a copy of the 45. It has some tie-in to what would become Beserkley.
This trio should keep you amused while we all adjust to being short-changed an hour.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
- 520 pressed - artwork by Joan van der Werf - sound sample at afistfulofrecords.nl
If you heard a loud clang a minute ago, then that was the realisation of it dawning on me that this is March 27th. I'm lost in the vortex of time and space due to a mixture of work which involves a certain degree of play also. Confused? Not as much as me matey... then there's the case of not seemingly being able to read. I've misinterpreted more than my fair share this past day or so. I'm not sure new glasses would help. I think that it's what's behind the peepers that keeps misfiring.
Still, if you're around Cologne tonight then here's the hot ticket for that 'hood. If you're in Brooklyn then it's rockin' heaven tonight. I posted the poster yesterday for that particular mainline to a high ol' time. To paraphrase Margaret DollRod. So yeah, been kinda sidetracked but it's all for the greater good. I'm not complaining (for once-ish). Not sure about the weekend, I have an assignment that will take precedence but me will be dippin' in and out.
And of course we lose an hour on the Saturday/Sunday segue. Getting to Monday a little early, maybe some of you would fancy this Vashti Bunyan thing at Filmhouse on that very day.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips will be performing the UK premiere of
Home of The Skids, Suicide played there twice with The Clash and Elvis Costello respectively. Nazareth and Fay Rezillo also hail from there. How do you think she got her name? For those overseas, "fae" means from in these here parts.
Quite a coup for this prestigious venue, the small capacity will make this an incredibly intimate event, you better grab those tickets fast.
“13” is a multi-media presentation where Dean and Britta perform onstage with their band while the Warhol films are projected overhead.
A project jointly commissioned by the Andy Warhol Museum and Pittsburgh Cultural Trust for the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts 2008.
Wednesday 8 July 2009
Doors @ 8pm / Tickets £18 (full) £13 (concessions)
Superior class entertainment that offers sophisticated pop thrills in terms of art and music. If you're not familiar with Dean and Britta's music that’s perfectly OK. Check them out right here.
The recent Warhol exhibit in Edinburgh broke visitor records and this will undoubtedly be a hot ticket. Don't let the art crowd grab them all.
So there you go, Fife or France, what's it gonna be? This is certain to be the most exciting night in the kingdom since Ben Vaughn played The Path Tavern in Kirkcaldy.
The version on D&B's site is much better but there was no code for that. This should have you heading over there for more though...
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
"Winter's on the wane, dear friend, but Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.
continues to hold forth at our beloved Otto's Shrunken Head, with this week being no exception...
THURSDAY, MARCH 26th (and the last Thursday of every month!) / OTTO'S SHRUNKEN HEAD TIKI BAR & LOUNGE /
538 East 14th Street (just west of Avenue B) in Manhattan / Two temperate shows, from 8:00 sharp until 10:00 / No cover!
Seasonally yours- Michael
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.
"Ballads, Boogies & Blues"
Monday, March 23, 2009
The Cramps Fetish Night Psychedelic Safari
Sunday 12 April 8 - 1 at The Victoria, 110 Grove Road, London E3 5TH
£10, £8 with a can of hairspray www.myspace.com/undone4eva
Guests and Star Attractions: Fancy Chance, Captain Zip, Miss Cherry Contrary, Hitman Hearn, Lux and Ivy Shrines, Caged Go-Go, 8mm rarities; The Skeleton Dance, Magic Roundabuot No.1, Be My King, Jungle Princess, Space Projections, Palm Trees, Live Bands and DJs.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
In addition to this, much "published" media is cut and paste. Opinion isn’t involved. I get bombarded with unsolicited mp3’s, most of which I don’t even open. Same with cds, There’s no room or time for stuff that I reckon will waste my and your time. A little quality control, I find, goes a long way.
So, I’ve written about Robert Johnson and his instro-antics many times. It should be taken as read that the guy is a stone genius. These latest recordings go under the heading of “100% Pot Success” and are the first to feature his work with Playboy-Marse. A seriously groovetastic bucketful of tunes, this is a two man crew with an ability to score imaginary movies like it used to take an entire orchestra. Throw in essence of Carpenter, Lynch/Badalamenti and Cluster and you’re beginning to sniff at the sonic sculptures the two have created. With titles such as “Good To See You Too Roky” (not to be construed as good to see U2, not funny in textspeak or otherwise) and “Don’t Touch That Dial Or I’ll Mangle Ya!!!” – what the hell’’s not to love. “Bollocks to Your Picnic Chit Chat” is a foray into Revl9n terrain with a full electronica assault. I think my favourite at this point is “Dub for Mrs Seigner”.
Word is that RJaP will appear in Stockholm with Bob Hund and Pascal in early May. That’ll be a hell of a night. Table cleared with the black straight into the top pocket everytime, RJaP delivers only premium rib rock action. Go here, hear ‘em for yourself.
Maia Hirasawa’s “Gbg vs Sthlm” (Gothenburg versus Stockholm) builds on the foundations of “Though I’m Just Me” and it contains a song by that title just to underline that sense of continuity. “GvS” is a plush, grand sounding affair that both retains and builds upon the pop simplicity of her debut.
A very charismatic lady, I recall when HS played in Glasgow you could hear a pin drop during her opening set. This time out, the controls are set somewhere between Jonathan Richman and Regina Spektor but in reality she’s unlike either. Something about these songs make them feel like a spectacular Broadway musical score from the days when those things weren’t run by accountants.
Architecturally, it feels decidedly Scandanavian. There’s no clutter. A natural sense of space creates a minimal, spare feel. If you could breathe air this pure then I imagine, you’d never need to detox again.
An orchestral fragility like this can only come from a big heart and the necessary soul of a real artist. Not a theatre school wannabe that’s being groomed for limited pop stardom in these zip attention span times. Maia has a truly fresh design on pop music and “The Wrong Way” will warm the cockles of the most cynical heart. The quiet grace of this music commands attention. Something wistful like “I Will Sing For You” is almost Cole Porter in that it belongs to another, altogether more tranquil dimension. Maia won’t elbow her way into your life and she won’t crash your party but she’ll be there to soothe your earbones long after much of the alleged big guns have boarded up the shutters and moved on.
Already a big star in Sweden, one day Ms Hirasawa will make a sizeable dent everywhere else too. It might not be tomorrow or even next month but however long it takes, the world will be a better place for it. Meanwhile, I hope that she and Jesper and their crew will come out this way soon, it’s been way too long.
Listen to the album here, it’s out on Razzia this coming Wednesday.
I’m eternally surprised at peoples ability to keep all the facebook stuff going. Finding stuff and actually putting it on there continually. I don’t like the new layout either but I don’t have the energy to campaign agin it. And even if I did, it wouldn’t do any good. FB continues to turn up old buddies from my own chequered past though so that’s a good thing methinks.
I have to go out for a wee while now. See youse later.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
There was one night, a few years ago, that Dan Baird was in town on the same night as J Mascis and The Fog. It became apparent that Ron Asheton would be playing with Mascis but I never dug Dinosaur Jr or Snr so why the fuck would I go to that on the off chance they might do a Stooges tune. Who figured it would be the blueprint to Iggy's pension plan? Truth is while I’d have liked to meet Ron and that I’ve come to dig J’s film score work, I plumped to vote “Baird” that night.
I took some shit let me tell you but my roots rock shoots wouldn’t let me betray the fact that an evening in this guy’s company is always bloody entertaining. He’s an entertainer, in addition to being a first class rock’n’roll act. “Fresh Out Of Georgia, Live Like A Satellite” (granted - the title is a little cringeworthy but them's the breaks) outlines that fact but good as it is, the atmosphere at a show is something else. This guy brings the authentic roadhouse with him everywhere he plays. The song “I Love You Period” is an all-time favourite as are some of his others and they’re pretty much all here.
The dynamic of “All Over But The Crying” is a particular example of why he deserves to be playing bigger places but be thankful that he isn’t. Because that way you’ll get the full force. No huge moat filled with security or hangers-on.
You get Tom Petty to Springsteen via The Faces and in some regards Baird is better than all of those. You get the impression that he’s doing things the way he wants to and that’s no mean feat these days. With the exception of the Quireboys guy crashing the party at the top of the set, this is a good primer for the real thing. Elektra is spelled wrong on the captions during the interview section, what is up with that? That sort of neglect to detail kinda gets my goat.
One viewing and I doubt you’ll want to miss his next visit to your neighbourhood. Some of this might qualify as “City Rock” even? "Battleship Chains" Steve, whaddaya say??
Excellent interview with Jeremy Gluck by Jean Encoule at Mudkiss.
While you're there, mull around a while. It's a fun joint.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Can't find a poster but The Yum Yums are in Philly tonight and basically blazing a trail across East Coast USA over the coming week. Go see them.
On the other coast, tomorrow (Saturday) Girl Trouble celebrate 25 years of knocking out their primo rockin' ruckus. Wonderful folks, fabulous music.
Anybody know how to change a masthead on this blogger thing?
I feel like a change...
Thursday, March 19, 2009
There are very few things that I can say that I'd watch at home rather than see on the big screen but I think this could be a major downer in a theatre setting. I've seen my share and even been involved in a few train wreck type associations in my time but this guy took that to a whole 'nother level. It as if he was doomed from the get go. Still, he seemed to remain fairly upbeat despite the varying degrees of degradation and squalor he chalked up.
I know some of you folks met or knew (of) him, did you see this? Did it paint a true picture?? I dunno, it sort of bummed me out and I don't need that right at this minute. The Sundance Q&A with the director really gives credence to Eric's rant from yesterday. Don't tell me you didn't click on that? He's got the number of the "special feature" phenom and no mistake.
I wish I had a copy of "The Wrecking Crew" to bring me back up. Talking of which, there are screenings coming up in Cleveland (Ohio not Tyne and Wear), Florida and Alicante. Details here. A couple episodes of Car 54 are required to restore some kind of faith in the human condition. Maybe a Honeymooners too. Thankyer and goodnight...
Update 21/3 - Just incase you don't scan the comments, here's first hand info from The Hound.
I'm planning a sort of write-o-thon this weekend. Let that be a warning.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
A few things to keep you amused then...
Tom Phobic wishes it to be known... Hi kids, Well the credit crunch has fecked us all rightly, I'm potless, all my shares are worth nothing and the yacht and apartments in New York, Bermuda and Deptford have been repossessed. My team lost the Carling Cup and I'm getting balder as well. Already in 2009 Big Ron and Lux have been snatched away from us, and thats sad brothers and sisters it really is. Still, as Phil Spector once said "Look after Rock n Roll and it will look after you" and thats what we're gonna do - just for all you out there in myspace land. We've a gig to tell you about and without further horsesh*t here tis' - Saturday 21st March at THE MARLBOROUGH - 67 SEDGMOOR PLACE, CAMBERWELL, SE5 7SE with the very wonderful ZOMBIE MET GIRL.
And that's yer lot for now. There's more but it's gonna take some compiling. I'm going to try and knock the hour before I go to work thing on the napper also.
One last gem to leave you with here.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Just watched the Lefsetz/Simmons oratory set-to and now I’m even more depressed. True, I could have turned it off but for some reason I stuck with it. Time is precious and you can’t get it back so I’m signing out and looking to Maia Hirasawa’s new set of songs to maintain the ballast. I know it’s a fine thing and if anything can sweep those cobwebs away, then these will.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
"Take out an annual subscription to Rock's Backpages before 31st March and we will refund 50% of the first year subscription cost! It works like this...
... please go to the subscribe page and e-mail me at email@example.com to let me know you've done so and we'll refund 50% of the cost to your credit card account. That's it!
We now have over 14,000 articles in our archive from the 60s to to the present day? You can also listen to our expanding library of exclusive audio interviews with great artists, not available anywhere else!
Regards, Tony Keys
Lex died in 1975 and I guess almost no episodes or clips have survived so it was a trip to find this and two more. And then I also found some Chic Murray so that's an entirely different rabbit hole. See you around 2pm...
On the radio thing, Una tells a story about Lex playing Ayr that pretty much sums up everything some of us stand for. Amazing stuff. It seems as though this isn't available on the listen again feature yet. Maybe later. Here's the link to the page just incase.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Each and every cut is wilfully commercial. Taken individually it’s actually 10 one-sided singles backed up ready for take off. I imagine that you’re already familiar with “Miss You”. If not then you’ve not been visiting here much.
Out on Razzia this coming Wednesday, Ms Dymott has taken that classic Roxy Music swagger, added a heady dose of shake appeal and delivered something undeniable. There’s an upbeat twist to the relatively downbeat subject matter of the song titles. “Today Was Just a Downer” will make yours anything but.
The percussive attack of “Black Cloud” (maybe some mad mental Indian Chief?) is phenomenal. Imagine the finer elements of "Exile on Main Street" and think of how they might have benefitted from a “Wall Of Sound” treatment. When the bright white lights hit the audience at the point of guitar ignition then it’s gonna be pandemonium. I hope to be right down the front at just such a stramash before long.
"Holiday Inn" (not the Stereo Total song) closes things with an almost “Auld Lang Syne” meets Sam Cooke refrain with a big rolling BCR anthemic guitar lollup. Runrig vs Sigue Sigue Sputnik even. It takes the pace down a notch and fires up the emotional quotient. Absolutely fucking beautiful, if you excuse the vernacular. There could well be tears, depending on how liquored up any given crowd gets.
Don’t encourage Boner or any of these other "names" that are out to fleece you, you need something that will be a little familiar but presented in a way that’s so bloody infectious they’ll need to develop a balm for it. And even that will only work temporarily.
The album is streaming on her myspace, just hit the link at the start there...
Friday, March 13, 2009
I’ve been following the Lefsetz/Simmons thing. One of them has a point that he’s labouring and the other one doesn’t just have a chip on his shoulder, he’s balancing an entire sack o’ spuds on there. And then there’s the two gallon drum of snake oil he’s attempting to pass off into the bargain. Meanwhile elsewhere, trails are being blazed. Acts with genuine talent are building a following, almost brick by brick.
It’s heartening to read how Matt & Kim are trouncing Cut Copy. They’re doing this via hard work and playing their fucking hearts out. The clips of Hello Saferide that I posted the other day are so great that they give me goosebumps. To me, this is the reason why I keep banging my napper bloody against the wall. Watching The Quattros at DWC last week I wondered why the hell they weren’t a household name.
I’m not down with “pee the highest” contests. The terrain has shifted and cool things can happen. No arts grants or business plans tend to be involved. When the blue touch paper is lit. So come on folks, get to rubbing those sticks together to make some fire. Then we’ll get to running the dilholes that are choking the pipes all the way outta dodge.
That RT documentary on BBC Four just now brought back a lot of idealistic, bloody-minded memories. I could do with more of that kinda jump start activity on the noggin.
(Thanks to Brother Duano for stickin' out those cans!)
This past few days haven't been quite so rosy but at least I'm still in employment. The "jaicket on a shaky nail" scenario has receded for the immediate future but who knows what's in store.
Still, things could be much worse and I'm coming around to the notion of being appreciative of what does go on. Not exactly to a stage of thinking "half-full" but quietly thinking that "it's the little things" that really matter.
I'd dearly love to make up those facebook lists of fave records and things but I just don't have the time and energy. It's fun diggin' in to other peoples gear though. there have been some great ones. Is it possible for everybody to access these things or do you have to be "friends"?
Need to make a concerted effort to get some stuff done on here this weekend too but I'm a wee bit sidetracked by the fact that I'm waiting for somebody to come and (hopefully) fix the central heating. Next week it'll be the car service/MOT. I HATE all that crap but it's a necessary evil.
Why don't things just work? And keep on going?? Is that really so much to expect???
So, time to catch up on correspondence and whatever else my limited bursts of energy allow. have a good one whatever you're up to. I'm just about to blast the Adiam album at ear-splitting volume and will provide the lowdown in due course. It's out next week...
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Friday March 13th (ooh, spooky!) will see BigKegshandy and Steptoe return to Bristol's latest spot fer hipsters, flipsters and finger-poppers, The Lanes on Nelson Street, for another bowling brilliant evening of wild 45s fer dancin' plus live, Frome-flavoured freakbeat from Magic Tractor, featuring two former Bronco Bullfrog folks and a Bad Detective!
First strike is 9pm and it's a gutterballs a-go-go 'til 3am, all fer a measly £3!
So come quaff from a selection of reasonably-priced Euro biers, sling some classic bowling alley vittles down yer necks, rave to the band, make like a kingpin, and dance yer asses off!
See ya at the bar? Selah!
photo by Nicke Blitz
For the first time in 15 years, since the release of “We Want Everything”, the Nervebreakers will perform live. Only three shows are scheduled.
Friday, March 20th (5PM) at the Owl Tree Roasting, 3421 N. Interstate 35, Austin 78722.
Saturday, March 21th (7PM), at Antones Record Shop, 2928 Guadalupe, Austin 78705.
Saturday, April 11th, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm, Dallas 75226.(attached photo by Nicke Blitz)
Nervebreakers are a late seventies/early eighties Texas punk band considered by many to be the first of their kind in the southwest. Like many others of this genre, they started out as a high school garage band doing sixties / early seventies cover songs. What made them unique was their range of material; from the music of the English Invasion to Yummy Yummy bubble gum as well as songs from punk pioneers MC5 to true blue country artists like George Jones.
The array of influence from all those cover songs melded into a two guitar, bass and drum sonic assault with a wild child vocalist up front. The members of the band began writing some of their own songs. All aspects were in place and the band was primed when the punk movement broke in the mid-seventies. On July 24, 1977 the Ramones first blitzkrieged Dallas' Electric Ballroom and Nervebreakers opened. In 1978 the Sex Pistols set out to swindle America but it was Nervebreakers who stole the show at The Longhorn Ballroom. In 1979 when the Clash were calling here at Dallas’ Palladium, Nervebreakers let them know they weren’t in London anymore. By 1980 when the Police came to town, they were Nervebreakers fans due to Random Notes in Rolling Stone. The list reads on and on in NME, Melody Maker and High Times. Like a who’s who of punk rock history, our guys held their own as the Texas band to see. Nervebreakers weren’t just playing, they were the real deal. Home grown - born and raised. Texas proud and ready to kill.
They introduced punk rock with a bit of a ‘twang’ to the world and recorded it for all to hear. In the pre - D.I.Y. days of 1978 they self-released the EP “Politics” featuring “My Girlfriend is a Rock”. ”Girlfriend” became a hit in San Francisco, Sacramento and Boston and was later covered by the Angry Samoans and Wool - among others. This song (and the US invasion of Iraq) inspired sixteen year old punk upstarts, Spector 45, to put their spin on the song as “My Girlfriend’s in Iraq” in 2003. Other 7 inch gems that followed include “Hijack the Radio” b/w “Why Am I So Flipped” The black and blue vinyl “Girls, Girls, Girls, Girls, Girls” b/w a cover of the obscure Rolling Stones song “I’d much Rather be with the Boys”. The band also contributed two songs “So Sorry” (as the Barry Kooda Combo) and “I Love Your Neurosis” to the local punk rock compilation “Are We Too Late for the Trend” put out by ESR.
Other acts featured on this late seventies Dallas area time capsule include the Telefones, The Vomit Pigs, The Skuds and Superman’s Girlfriend. Despite being recognized as the biggest and baddest of them all locally, they were also huge fans of Texas predecessors such as the 13th Floor Elevators. This eventually led to the band contacting Psychedelic rock pioneer Roky Erickson. Roky had just walked out of a mental institution so they offered to open shows for him and provide the legendary musician with a backup group. The result helped Roky back in the public eye. And “Roky Erickson and the Nervebreakers Live at the Palladium in 1979” was issued on the French label New Rose Records.
In 1980, Nervebreakers took on their biggest endeavor yet, recording the full length album “We Want Everything”. Sadly due to band finances this effort was not to be released. Side projects and individual interest whittled away at the band until an eventual demise. Each and every off shoot of the band has been and continues to be incredible. Vocalist Thom "Tex" Edwards has fronted bands including “The Swingin’ Cornflake Killers”, “The Loafin ' Hyenas” and most recently “Out on Parole”. Lead guitarist, Mike Haskins, has led the instrumental spaghetti western band “The Big Guns” for the last decade. And guitarist Barry Kooda had a great run with late 80's band “Yeah Yeah Yeah” and as one of three front men in the 1990's country outfit “The Cartwrights”. But those are all other long stories so for now let’s just stick with Nervebreakers. “We Want Everything” did not see the light of day until 1994 when Texas rarities/reissue label ‘Existential Vacuum’ released it to rave reviews.
This was followed by a single reuniting of the band for a release party at Trees in Deep Ellum. Shortly thereafter this effort was picked up by garage/punk label ‘Get Hip Records’ and made available worldwide. In 2000 Italian label, “Rave Up Records” woke up and released “Hijack the Radio” a collection of singles, rarities and live cuts. Years after they laid the groundwork for thousands of other Texas bands, Nervebreakers were finally getting their due. Which brings us, folks; to 2009. After serving your punk rock needs for over thirty years the Nervebreakers have reunited.
All five core members have returned including vocalist Thomas "T. TEX" Edwards, lead guitarist Mike Haskins, rhythm guitarist Barry "KOODA" Huebner, Bob "WILDMAN" Childress on bass and drummer Carl Edmund Giesecke.. An anthology "Why Am I So Flipped?” of previously unreleased on CD songs has been assembled and a brand new effort of never recorded before material entitled “Face Up to Reality” has been taken into the studio and captured as well. Why now? Unlike most of their contemporaries they are all still alive. So there is an opportunity to re-emerge. The roots of the band and the music have finally brought things full circle. Prepare yourself because the best is yet to come.
Frank Campagna, Dallas, 2009
(Thanks to Tex for the heads-up)
RIP - Paul Skelton (The Cornell Hurd Band)
RIP - Jimmy Boyd
RIP - Herbie Duncan
RIP - Hank Locklin
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Which is a peculiar jumping off point because last night I was in an Edinburgh Lecture Hall at a presentation that found the humble fanzine thrust into the glare of academia. I'm still getting my head around it actually but it was very positive. Chris Atton made his case for the form fairly and squarely based on years of having been addicted to it. Seems like it's more than a sidestreet of alternative media to him. The fact that he's got the whole kaboodle this far must surely be an indictment on the times we find ourselves in. And you know what? Good on him. Because if I can go somewhere like this and hear Brian Hogg get a shout-out (I'm sure that's not the term in this setting). The underlying enthusiasm was barely concealed and I think that most of the people present got a beat on that.
I spoke to Chris briefly after his presentation and got the impression that he is well and truly on a mission. As it continues, and the National Library project gets underway, then I'll keep you posted. If nothing else, it might divert the contents of my loft from ending up in a skip. It was a pretty peculiar experience and a welcome alternative to crashing out before the second of two episodes of Corrie as so often befits a Monday. If I'd got to the shop that does veggie haggis samosas before it closed then it would have been a perfect night. Maybe not as outright groovy as last Friday but getting there.
Monday, March 09, 2009
Sunday, March 08, 2009
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11th / RODEO BAR /
375 Third Avenue (at the corner of 27th Street) in Manhattan / Two jumbo-sized sets, from 10pm sharp until 12:30am / No cover!
And, for those with a bent for brunch...
SUNDAY, MARCH 15th / SUNDAY BRUNCH at SUPERFINE! 126 Front Street (between Pearl and Jay Streets) in DUMBO, Brooklyn / Three digestive sets, from noon until 3pm / Free music! Reservations: 718-243-9005
Yours truly, Michael
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.
"Ballads, Boogies & Blues"
Not sure exactly where the last couple or three days have gone but they scooted by alright. National Express even got the train into town five minutes or therabouts early. Kings Cross station is undergoing major renovation and it's a pain the arse. Don't even get me started on the pastie kiosk not being there. Anyway, you have to go out to venture into the tube station so I noticed it was a cracking evening weatherwise. This brought me to the decision that I'd take the train to Hammersmith and walk around the Thames to Chiswick. If you've done that route then you'll know what I'm talking about. It's a very relaxing trek and so far removed from the hububb. Watching the sun go down as I approached my destination was a bit of a metaphor for the trip.
So a quick hit and run and we're headed for the centre of town for a wee aperatif prior to going to Madame JoJo's for The Jim Jones Revue. The spot was The Phoenix Artists Club and it's a nice slice of old London quaffing. Plus you have to get signed in after 8pm. JoJo's itelf is a cracking place too. Mainly a burlesque joint these days, it presents a classy club showcase atmos but the bar has no beer on tap!
I think that JJR album is pretty good but I have to say that I didn't rate the show. The sound was awful. Everywhere in the place. They do look good and make a first rate stab at channelling that 50's glam but I don't actually hear any songs. Making my way to the back I was thinking that this would make an ideal opening band for Primal Scream. By the time I made a quick pitstop in the wee laddies room. I came out and was standing three feet away from Bobby Gillespie. I don't dig those kind of omens. Maybe I'll see the JJR again if they play up north. Maybe I won't. I really do hope that my general verdict of style over substance was a blip but I doubt it. There were a lot of very good looking girls there so they must be doing something right.
So that takes us to Friday and a lunchtime hookup in Camden with Mike "Saucerman" Mastrangelo who has a new gig up that way. Couple of pints and some bangers and mash in The Worlds End really did the trick. After that we took a wee schlepp up to Inverness street to Mega City Comics and the fantastic "Sounds That Swing". I'm really glad those places are still there but really wish that "Rock On" and "Compendium Books" were too. I remember buying Back door man mags and "Home of The Brave" by Bonnie and the Treasures on the same day but don't recall much of what happened just this morning. We travelled to Camden by bus and went through many old haunts such as Praed Street home of Bizarre Records.
Arranging to meet BB, Suzy and Joey Quattro in the fabled Wardour Street watering hole The Ship, where some of had also been the night before. Another great spot that seems to have been untainted over the years. Some of the ROCK they blast is a little unnecessary but they have first rate bar staff. Some of whom wear very sweary t-shirts. Anyway as Dave and Penny headed home for a date with Toody and Muldoon I headed for the DWC with the Quattros. Such a pleasure to see the kids again.
So it's nearly showtime and it was cool to see such a cool coterie of folks come out. I have it on excellent authority that the opening band Vinny Vinny were line Ocean Colour Scene. I realise that perhaps there is a god after hearing this verdict having missed them. The Buckle Ups played a short, sharp punk rock dipped in metal set. Possibly the entire opposite of the opener. Such youthful optimism and an understanding of Ben Weasel's place in the scheme of things is something I wish more bands could appreciate.
And now it's Quattro time and I don't think that I need to take several paragraphs here. This was the best I've seen them. In terms of pace, playing and choice of songs then this was an excellent set. No fannying about or stopping. Just straight down the line first class. The version of "Too Late" was arenarocktastic. I think the crowd thought so too.
My Drug Hell followed them. I don't care for this at all. I'm not even sure why but maybe it's like the sound of this austerity trip that's going on. I want a bit of fun or glamour. And so did Ollekarlsson who made a surprise appearance in beautiful uptown(?) Tufnell Park. A bit of Quattrophenia, not some miserabilist exercise in making me even more forlorn. It's like music for students who oughtta be old enough to know better. Actually, the sounds aren't as bad as the band name. Blimey.
And that, as they say is that. Martin dropped Qina off then me but it was a grand evening. Train trip back was uneventful but I ran outta credit on my phone and couldn't call a taxi or anybody to come get me so I had to walk 3+ miles home in the pissing rain. Serves me right for having too much fun? Maybe so folks. Maybe so...
The Q's are in Brighton tonight so you really need to get down there if it is in any way possible. They've got the power to alter your worldview through pop music. No artificial stimulus necessary. By this time tomorrow they'll be back in Barcelona and you'll have missed your chance. But they shall return. And yo'll find all the info on that right here when it all goes down.
THE WAY HE WALKED
Years ago, for some inexplicable reason, the late Joey Ramone instigated a “Lux is Dead” rumor, pertaining to Lux Interior, the mercurial singer for the proto-punkabilly band The Cramps. Fortunately, this questionable replication of a “Paul is Dead” type hoax was hastily dismissed as the dark joke it was.
Ironically, that day I placed a call to Lux and Poison Ivy Rorschach, Interior’s lover, alter-ego and the Cramps’ guitarist and musical architect. Lux happened to answer and upon inquiring how he was, he snorted that he was “glad to be alive”. Unaware of the circulating hysteria, I listened incredulously as Lux laughingly related the details of Joey’s goofy prank.
Sadly, the news arriving from Glendale, California on February 4th was no careless hoax. Lux, one of RocknRoll’s iconoclastic and iconic voices, was silenced. This world will never seem the same again.
It was my great fortune and privilege to meet Lux and Ivy in 1977 when Alex Chilton, whom I’d encountered a few months prior, insisted I check out The Cramps. He further suggested I introduce myself, as they were great folks.
The baptism was hair-raising. My girlfriend Alison (The) End and I couldn’t believe what we witnessed. This was primordial pandemonium played by ardent missionaries, zealots recalling the basest instincts of the madmaddaddys who had originally carved out the form. But this was no exercise in mere reverent nostalgia. No, The Cramps dug up the grave of long dormant voodoo RocknRoll, rattled its’ rockin’ bones, dressed it up in horrormovie regalia, and fed it psychedelic mushrooms. Oozing a seething, sleazy sexuality, this was the ungodly white trash progeny of Frankenstein, Barbarella, Elvis Presley and Myra Breckenridge. In doing so, the door to the future blew wide open.
It was an apocalyptic event, the most devastating performance I’d ever experienced, chock full of instantly classic songs, wicked passion, sassy style, garbageman humor, boiling brimstone and, oh yes, imminent danger. It was a definitive, life changing moment.
This was the classic Cramps, swathed in black, so pale they appeared to have never considered sunlight:
Sweet lil innocent Bryan Gregory, as street talkin’ cheetah with a head fulla cigarette smoke and hairspray, a pock-marked sneer and polka dots, crossbones and a godawful racket everywhere….
Stoic, smirking, slickbacked – the mobmod matinee idol Nick Knox sat at the drums, impervious….
Lux, a hiccupping problem child, Ricky Nelson turned leering human fly, conjuring Nervous Norvous and Iggy Stooge in a dance with Dominodomino that made the devil dizzy….
And Ivy, a backstreet bombshell, ice and fire and twang, the decadent daughter of darkness Link Wray could only pray for….
Summoning our courage, Alison and I crept backstage, tepidly announcing ourselves. And we stepped forever into the slipstream of the eternal mystery of RocknRoll. It was like we shot heroin.
And we got hooked. We became fans/friends/acolytes, especially with Lux and Ivy. Removed from stage personas, they were the kindest, hippest, most elegant humans one could hope to meet. Intelligent, creative, witty and mystical, they shared a singular uniqueness.
We went to every Crampshow, we stayed at their Cramped NYC apartment, we haunted flea markets in hope of rare records, exotic clothing and pointed shoes, we listened mesmerized as they played their vast collection of rockabilly obscurities, we watched gorehound films and later at some 4 AM eatery ordered spinach omelets.
When we determined to start our own band, the eventual Sic Kidz, The Cramps offered continual inspiration and support, became mentors, teaching us how to be a band, how to conduct a rehearsal, a sound check, how to behave, how to wear sunglasses after dark. Our odyssey began thirty years ago, opening for The Cramps at The Hot Club in Philadelphia, Lux offering the introductory benediction.
But things change. The Cramps, on the cusp of their legendary stardom, moved west. Bryan, in a fit of wayward witchery, defected in a shroud of paranoia, delusion, and the Bee Gees. Alison (The) End passed away in 1980, buried with the guitar she got from Ivy. Still, a special relationship endured for decades.
Lux rocks now in another dimension, teaching the Lord a new kinda kick. But his spirit persists. He was a natural, a true believer, a pulpit poundin’ preacher whose calling it was to deliver the serum of RocknRoll as a life force, a source of salvation and repair, an alternative to eternal damnation. His like won’t be seen soon again.
This is not Lux Interior’s obituary, nor his eulogy. It is rather a testament to a friend whose rare essence touched so many. We will miss him terribly.
And I will recall, until the day I die, the way he walked.
Michael J. Ferguson
(aka Mick Cancer)
On behalf of The Sickidz
Thursday, March 05, 2009
"Tonight (Thurs 5th Mar) due to a cancellation elsewhere on the tour Suzy & Los Quattro will be playing FREE at the Hob with the Buckle Ups. Starts around 8pm."
So I guess Bristol bottled it for whatever reason. So anybody headed there, not from there, should make alternative arrangements to go to Brighton. I hope this means they'll get to "The London" earlier than planned tomorrow...
Postscript 8/3: The venue in Bristol closed. Something because of the council or licensing or whatever. Another nail in the coffin of live music. As if things weren't fucked up enough.
A quickie from Mr Spence... The SubCity live session's free admission and it's at the Glasgow University Post-Grad Research Club, 13 University Gardens, Glasgow G12. You NEED to be there by 7.45 at the latest, 'cos the set's going out live at 8.
And the Knavemen have had to pull out of the Friday night Edinburgh show due to unforeseen circumstances, despite being on the flyer - a suitable replacement may be found in time. Hope to see y'all there!
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
OK, this will be brief because time is of the essence and there is stuff to be done. This is likely to be it until Saturday or Sunday but we'll see. Operators are standing by, should the need arise...
Suzy & Los Quattro are UK bound, possibly as I tap away here, so check if there's a show in your travelling distance and get the heck along. If you're at the DWC on Friday, see you there!
And, if you're indoors for the duration - tune into Sophisticated Stefan Conrad's inaugural Boom Boom radio extravaganza via live stream... 7pm - 9pm in Germany but they're an hour ahead of the UK, right? Anyway, work it out and listen to this guy! He knows his way around a groovy tune alright!
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
UGLY THINGS #28. 208 pages / perfect bound / full-color glossy cover. We have several glamorous big-name cover stories this time around, along with our usual quota of obscure but happening sounds. First up, an exclusive interview with Trevor Burton of The Move, including lots of wickedly cool and rare photos. Also, a feature on Roky Ericksons pre-psychedelic adventures in Austin with The Spades, along with a big feature review on the upcoming 13th Floor Elevators 10-CD box set. Plus the great but terminally neglected Dave Clark Five, including interviews with Dave Clark and Lenny Davidson. Sixties garage rock predominates as always with stories on The Good Feelins, The Daughters of Eve, The Boy Blues, The Living Children and TVs Shindogs. We also reveal the strange but true tales of 70s Parisian proto-punks Angel Face, the Northwests once mysterious New Dawn, hard rockers Troyka, and New York cult underground heroes Hackamore Brick. Not to mention the bizarre saga of Philippe Debarge, the millionaire French playboy who made an amazing 1969 psych album backed by his favorite band, The Pretty Things. And thats not all. Jon Savage takes a look at the History of Rock Fanzines, Aaron Milenski gives us 50 Reasons Not to Hate the Synthesizer, and of course theres our extensive review section, covering all the latest reissues and music-related books and DVDs
Monday, March 02, 2009
You'll excuse me if I keep this brief there's stuff to be sorted out. On top of that the stockmarkets are in freefall, they're talking about hiking up the price of alcohol here in Scotchland and the bitter wind of the new austerity is blowing close to my kilt. Apart from that, everything is just (j.) dandy!
Oh yeah, the hack has been thwarted. Some dilweed in China trying to punt their wares... apologies again if you got some daft message supposedly from my hotmail.
Sunday, March 01, 2009
The kind of thing that you’ll casually overhear and wonder what the heck it is like an itch. This will eventually turn into a rash as the songs wash over you. There’s an understated swing to the undertow of “Newfound Friend” that’s way cooler than any Aimee Mann song I ever heard. “The Light” appeared late last year on the “This War” EP. It sounds like it’s been a bit buffed up from that outing.
The quiet assuredness works in a way that bludgeoning never could. Jonna and her crew have fashioned a wee gem that will surely infiltrate the hearing gear of anyone with ears. Be nice to see and hear how it works in a live setting, hopefully the UK will get a chance to do so in the not too distant future.
It’s been very remiss of me not to write about the “Lola Dutronic in Berlin” album before this. I’ve had it for a while and have played a lot. Their mix of varying electronica tempos and French pop is pretty damned exquisite. Again it’s not something that might grab you straight away. I’m a sucker for their craft and have seen people dismiss them and then come back to ask what that was again.
So, irrespective of whether it’s love at first listen or something that might grow, LD are in command of a quality product. The narrative of “Brigitte Bardot” is something I could just listen to over and over. When I folded and bought a cd player way back whenever, I kidded myself to think that I might listen to more jazz. That never happened but just lately, because of music like this I’ve taken to the highways and byeways of this kind of cinematic synth pop.
Not quite dance music but something that evokes time and space, irrespective of the place. This deserves to sell in Pet Shop Boys-sized truckloads. I remember once seeing The Pastels and Stereolab. Bob Stanley was playing records (or djing as the youngsters call it). The whole vibe was just indescribable, a happening in my heid at least. This album reminds me of that experience. They even roped in ex-Martian Spider, Mike Garson. Lola D combine these beats and offbeat orchestration to create an infectious exotica that could well be the soundtrack to an impromptu journey out of this world. That’s a rocket I could do with getting on board a lot more often. File under: Dutronica.