Friday, April 30, 2010

I started to watch that TV gabfest last night. Then the next thing I can remember was waking up to hear it being discussed on the news. The narcoleptic episodes appear to be gathering pace and it’s not just limited to encounters with political debate. Got a lot to do before heading “souf” for the clan gathering so I better get to it. Mayday in this instance is not a distress call.

Would have liked to attend the launch of the new Eagleowl release in Edinburgh tonight at the Roxy Art House but it’s not possible. Don’t let that stop you though, this is kind of short notice I know but it’ll be worth it.

Trying not to disappear up my own hint end here, I shall take my leave. Hope to run into a bunch of you kids over the course of the next few days. My mobile phone skills, as some of you know, are not entirely proficient so bear with me. At the very least, I’ll attempt to remember to switch it on. Then there’s the problem of hearing it but don’t get me started on that.

Time is sure rattling on and my ability to keep any kind of beat on any of this is slipping. It’s an age thing and the recognition that it’s a precious commodity makes the fact that it’s disappearing like the proverbial off a shovel seems to accelerate the process.

For those “around the doors”... perhaps you could take in this... info just in from Mr Spence.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

What about that Gogs Broon? Displaying those famous people skills of his to deliver yet another blow to his party campaign. Not that it makes any real difference because as of midnight a week from today, we’re up the proverbial creek with no sign of paddles being delivered anytime soon. It would be high comedy if it wasn’t so serious in the run up to austerity plus.

Tonight’s final televised debate will be a sad state of affairs (always good to get an Amy Allison song title in) but I guess I’ll tune in for a while just to see how low they can go. It conflicts with "The Daily Show" and possibly the three episodes of "Treme" I have to watch. So much procrastination, so little time.

Saturday is the last day of trading for the institution that is Stand Out and Minus Zero Records on Blenheim Crescent in London. The end of another era. Mr Allerton and Mr Forsyth, the proprietors or this retail equivalent of a split single are presumably no longer able to sustain a business in this climate. Since trading went on to the interweb, things just haven’t been rosy for anyone who runs a proper record store. I imagine that they’ll trade individually in that sense themselves from here on in but I’ve been unable to establish exactly what the plans are.

Both Bills were huge supporters of this NBT malarkey back when it was in print form. I’d like to thank them for that indulgence and to wish them well in whatever they turn their hands to after the keys turn in the door this coming weekend. It’s a strange feeling to consider that the place was a huge player in the garage rock arena which included The Stooges when mostly nobody gave a shit. It’s a funny old world richt enough and not a fair one by any stretch.

In this airt, The Primevals will perform their short but snappy “Cramps” set at the SPOOKS show listed below.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The majesty of proper rock is something that has been diluted and putzed with to severe detriment in recent times. I cite Kings of Leon as being a particularly heinous version of this. It’s pretty incredible then a couple of bands, from Spain and Sweden respectively have turned up recently with something that doesn’t rely on authenticity like repro antique furniture does. They don’t sound like tribute acts but rather bring the excitement and air punching abandon back in addition to laying down some mighty riffola. It’s the sound that brings the ladies round as a sage exponent of the craft once commented.

The Midnight Travellers are from Barcelona and their lyrics are in English so this stuff could literally travel. Somehow they’ve managed to rassle some new-fangled way of recycling Stooges riffs with a little vintage Kiss seasoning and a smidge of Foghat that really works. “Time Has Come” really has it all and let’s face it, Spain is the last true outright rock territory. It’s in the blood and the genes. The very fabric of that country rocks. It’s enough to make the most hardy cynic (me) believe in the power of loud guitars, bass and drums pummelled at some inordinate volume. And it never sounds lumpy, even when it reminds me of bloody Pearl Jam.

Joe Traveller and his fellows are set to haul this monolithic caravan far and wide. If they could get a foothold in the European festival circuit then they could literally clean up. This is an honest reading of a riot act that was originally struck in the 70’s. It’s not authentic per se, it’s more dangerous than that because it comes from these kids hearts and souls. They believe and have the power to make you do likewise. “Ant Made” is out now on CD and vinyl courtesy of Wild Punk. As yet they don’t have a sister imprint known as Wild Rock but they might want to think about that.

So to Sweden now and the second volume of Dundertåget’s uncompromising celebration of the form, “Dour Feta Åreu Är Förbi” on that rad imprint known as Razzia. All the songs are in their native lingo. (Did I dream that they were going to issue this in English too?) and that’s the only thing that’s standing between these guys and world domination. Having picked up the baton that The Hellacopters failed (through no fault of their own) to beat any sort of sense into the public with, they’re going all out. Their own substantial abilities, when abetted by Martin "Konie" Ehrencrona at the sonic catedral that is Studio Cobra makes for a heady concoction.

In addition to delivering some mighty guitar slinging, there are other avenues explored. “Vingars Brus” is a duet with Nina Ramsby of Grand Tone Music and features viola, cello and something called a tonegenerator. They’ve been honing an already sharp ear for a dynamic and this one collects every shard of hard rock grandeur and pulverises it into a diamond of a sound that seems to resonate more these days than much of the chicken in a basket punk nostalgia that’s doing the rounds.

It’s not all hell bent riffing, there are a couple of more reserved songs there to bolster a sense of depth, light and shade. This might have its roots in the past but this stuff sounds as fresh as the proverbial daisy. Again, the strength lies in the songs not being just modules or approximations that plunder a theoretically stellar record collection.

Let a little Thunder Express into your life. Dundertåget is good for what ails yer.

Update at 7/5 - Yes, the "English" thing must have been a dream... Thanks Robert.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Now that I’ve been able to watch that MIA video through now something sprang to mind. While the brutality of the piece speaks for itself, I think that there’s a distinct attempt to introduce an element of satire in the rounding up of the “gingers”. The desert sequence is very “Punishment Park” too. Living here in Kiltland, I’ve come into contact will all kinds of prejudice against people with red hair. I don’t understand it myself but some entirely rational people have been known to have an irrational down on such a condition.

Obviously, in our society – everybody is fair game. Guilty until proven innocent but I’m sort of shocked to see “Born Free” being described as being so shocking. It wouldn't have appeared on my radarscope at all if it hadn’t been for the Suicide sample that propels it. The overall message of the piece may be as obvious as the nose on your face but I think framed in the current world situation, recognition of aspects of authority and government are becoming blurred and this looks like it could be all too real because actual reality is another concept that’s gone for a burton.

It’s a fairly powerful statement in a homogenised mainstream landscape. More shocking perhaps is that there's no mention at of Virginia McKenna, Bill Travers or Matt Monro – what’s up with that?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mr Percival needs your assistance. He has an interview that he did with The Ramones in Birmingham during the Mondo Bizarro tour in Dec 1992. It's due to appear in the legendary US zine "The Big Takeover" soon and he needs some photos from that period to accompany the article.

"What I need ideally are good quality shots - live or off stage - that will repro well in either colour or black and white. Can you help or do you know anyone who might be able to? Ideally I need them in the next week to 10 days. Thanks. Martin"

If you can, let me know and I'll put you in touch. There's no money in it but there's a certain glow that comes with this kinda activity.

Great to see Jaws on the big Hippodrome screen yesterday. It wears pretty well and I can’t remember when the last time I saw it was. Maybe 20 years ago. Anyway, there were a couple of things I noticed that were Twin Peaks related by coincidence. First one was the name of the harbour master being Frank Silva and it also being the name of the guy that played “Bob”. Also the dialogue of the old guy that comes up to Scheider and says that “we know all about you” was very reminiscent of The Giant in his old concierge guise as Cooper lay shot. Probably just me adding 2 + 2 and coming up with 5 but cool though. Certainly better than being out in the thunder and rain.

Discovered that the link to Marc Campbell’s MIA post had been pulled and found another that has been ixnayed also. It’s a leak (allegedly) and all that I can add is well put it in the soup you idiot. A “Ghost Rider” sample is used pretty snazzily and I’m not entirely sure what XL are playing at. I though viral was where it’s at? Gird your loins for an encounter with the real thing “dahn ‘ammersmiff” way next Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday.

Update at 6.44pm - found the full length versh... not good time music and not safe for work.

M.I.A, Born Free from ROMAIN-GAVRAS on Vimeo.

The spirit is inevitably unwilling on a Monday morning but on this one it had hit a new low. In addition to the lack of general motivation, it seemed like there was some kind of sedative helping it along. Whatever it is, it’s fogged up an already indistinct day. My iPlayer isn’t working and I missed the engineer by about 10 minutes and have had to reschedule. The damn thing hasn’t worked since they sent me a new card for the operating box. In all honesty, I wish that I could just bring myself to exist without any TV at all but I think that the electronic hearth aspect of it helps me fall asleep.I’ve heard that there’s an address you can send away to in order to have them send you a life. Not sure what size of SAE to put in there though.

My buddy Dusan out in Ljubljana is looking for acts to cover CZD material for his tribute project, “Mirror of Dehumanization”. Anyone out there up to the challenge? Let me know and I’ll put you in touch

Did anybody go to The Sonics or for that matter Wau and los Arrrghs during Le Beat Bespoke? I have heard not a smidge about either.

RIP - Alan Sillitoe

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Elvis Elvis... is imminent!

Yesterday's Loog discussion with John Cavanagh was a fine thing and played out to a packed gallery space. He's quite a character and I would make a suggestion that Bill Nighy play him in any perceived film of his books. He mentioned that the publisher of the first two isn't interested in picking up the third. Perhaps they're mental?

What happened to the promise of fine weather, it's chucking it down so thankfully there's a showing of "Jaws" along the road. Look forward to reliving the moment when Bert McMillan yelled "oh ya bastard!!" when the head falls down in the bottom of the boat at the top of his voice at the ABC in Falkirk. A bunch of us queued for the very first screening on Boxing Day 1975. Followed by steak pie and chips in the long-gone Tudor Restaurant afterwards. Good times.

Wow, I was bestowed the honour of being the sixth Dahlmann this morning. That's one louder than a knighthood in this neighbourhood.

Hungry for hillbilly? Get your fill with Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co., currently offering up two servings!

SUNDAY, APRIL 25th / BRUNCH at SUPERFINE / With special guest BABY MARIA! /126 Front Street (at the corner of Pearl Street) in DUMBO, Brooklyn /Three hearty sets, from noon sharp 'til 3pm / Delicious food -- free music! /Reservations recommended: 718-243-9005 /
Plus, for those on a tiki-themed diet... THURSDAY, APRIL 29th /
OTTO'S SHRUNKEN HEAD TIKI BAR & LOUNGE /Our long-standing last-Thursday-of-the-month residency continues! /538 East 14th Street (just west of Avenue B) in ol' Manhattan /Two big & bawdy shows, from 8:00 sharp until 10:00 / No cover!

Yours in service, Michael

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

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Tipped by Marty Thau, produced by Daniel Rey...

I'm not going to be on here for much of the day, certainly not until later in the evening...

So, just a couple of things. Alan has reminded me that it's the final OPTIMO tomorrow night. I imagine they'll be going out with a helluva bang, These guys don't do whimper.

Maybe see some of you at the ALO discussion in Glasgow?

The really exciting news is that Elvis, Elvis is on it's way!

This time next week, the destination will be "The London" for a big gathering of the clans. Some concert or other is on as an incidental.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Mark Hagen on Malcolm Mclaren

It was remiss of me earlier... meant to say that Penetration are in Perth tonight (Friday) at The Corinna and tomorrow at Stereo in Glasgow...

Further to my banging on about drinking water, I found some pills and was all doped up last night. As a result, I fell asleep just as the electoral debate kicked off. Mind bendingly dull is what I recall about what I did see although I did clock The Daily Show pisstake. Very funny indeed although reality in this case is way more twisted than any spoof. If one of them would just use “I’m Your Puppet” as their campaign song then I’ll vote for them. Or probably not, because that kind of integrity doesn’t exist in the wasteland that is politics here in the UK. If they spent as much time representing the public as they do on all this showbiz crap then maybe, just perhaps, everyone wouldn’t consider them a bunch of chancers.

Trust is a very important commodity. Once it’s broken then it can’t be gotten back. These sad sack parasites can’t be trusted because they’re surrounded by bobbers and weavers. Still, come May 6th something will have to give and I think that UK PLC will be in for a proper rogering on flipside of the dilapidated razzamataz.

It’ll get worse before it gets better but hey, it’s Friday. Let’s consider this on Monday.

In other news, The Batusis UK jaunt appears to have been postponed. In some respects this is good news because maybe I’ll be able to make the rescheduled show. But for those who were looking forward to it, maybe in light of not making it to either of the Suicide/Stooges gigs in London on May 2nd and 3rd, it’s likely to be a tad disappointing.

Iain had his advance tickets, numbers 1 (pictured) and 2 and he doesn't want to cash them in just yet...

RIP - Chuck Pulin

It’s not just Friday. It’s the NBT blog’s seventh birthday, as in the day that it went online. Still just a toddler with 4880 posts. Sir Jeroen Vedder set it up and despite him having seemingly gone away and gotten a life, he does tune in. Say hello to J via the comments facility. It was May 10th 2003 when I first put my fingers to the keys. I didn’t actually remember that but looked back in the archive and there it was.

This stuff lives forever, it’s pretty odd. A virtual version of yellowing newsprint that divnae discolour. Thanks for your continued indulgence and for linking/spreading the word, that sort of jazz.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I seem to have had an above average amount of colds this year and it’s getting to be a pain. My wee schnoz is bright red and me throat is giving me gyp. Without the sheer enjoyment of passive smoking in a some cool Spanish cabana. That’s worth doing a bit of suffering on the tail end of. I’m a believer in just drinking loads of water rather than any of these poxy alleged remedies. To my mind, these things just have to run their course but perhaps I’m feeling a wee bit hard done to because it’s awfy close to hayfever season. I’m not complaining, merely stating facts.

Before I forget, I should remind those of you around these parts about John Cavanagh’s discussion with Andrew Loog Oldham at the Street Level gallery on Saturday. It’s likely to be busy so it would probably be a good idea to get there before the 6pm start. It’s a piddling £2 entry and I’m hoping the sniffles will be history by then.

Oil City Confidential DVD out June 14th...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Matt and Kim trounce Coachella... the world can't be far behind!

It seems like things are moving again, however how long it’ll take for things to nudge normality is anybody’s guess. A little delay is one thing but as attractive a proposition of getting stuck anywhere but here – like Sweden or Spain – the reality is somewhat removed from that. The authorities revel in their jobsworthness and I wonder if there’ll be post traumatic travel stress disorder workshops for those who will have a fight on their hands insurance wise. Then there’s the mail backlog and all manner of other shenanigans. If this episode has taught us one thing, it’s not to get cosy with any system that seems to work.

Imagine the fun and games they’ll have if this other volcano decides to go off? I haven’t ruled out the possibility of it all being a bunch of Lord of the Rings outtakes or some CGI fest. However, whatever is going down – the disruption is all way too real. Where the means of communication with phones and everything else may be useful, the amount of disinformation seems to outweigh any actual hard and fast solutions. Other than those with the presence of mind to fleece the poor blighters that find themselves displaced. A little public humiliation for the perps is in order, don’t you think?

I’m still feeling a bit out of sorts... teetering around the brink of a cold. It’s pretty annoying.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

More top flight rock'n'roll action headed for Spain next week... The Master Plan!


Tuesday 27th -
Santiago de Compostela/Coruña (Radio Club)
Wednesday 28th - Valladolid (Porta Caeli)
Thursday 29th - Burgos (Estudio 27)
Friday 30th - Bilbao (Kafe Antzokia)


Saturday 1st - Barcelona (Monasterio)
Sunday 2nd - Vila-Real/Castellon (Japan Rock Club)
Monday 3rd - Orihuela /Alicante (La Gramola)
Thursday 6th - Valencia (Matisse)
Friday 7th - Madrid (Rock Kitchen)
Saturday 8th - Vitoria (Hell Dorado)
Sunday 9th - Ponferrada (Cocodrilo Negro)

Guess it started yesterday evening when I was trying to put something together for this. The dry throat, the aches and eyes like peeholes in the snow. By this morning, it was a little worse but I managed to drag myself out the door. At this point, having just about made it through the day, there’s a couple of things that HAVE to be attended and then the idea is to go and lie in a heap over there (points).

I noticed that someone making a point with regard to RSD should be “Record Shop Day” here in the UK. Provided that we’re all still here, I think that’s a valid distinction and would certainly second that emulsion. By the same token, it is hoped that someone might have figured out a way to keep the “collectables” (absurd word in this day and age) away from the touts. I’m not sure that I even believe the figures that are bandied about with regard to how many are available. In these days of limited edition chocolate bars, the term is quipped to be stretched out of all recognition. I’ll tell you something though Paul, that Kit Kat was a wee stoatir!

I just realised that having sent a couple of packages by air mail this past few days has been a bit daft. Nothing will be moving until the volcanic action ceases. Big mama nature might have a taste for kicking our pasty arses. After all that, maybe a few of these will come to the surface...

From the new set of covers by The Iain Shaw. Contact him if you’d like a copy and tell him who sent you.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Brogues is putting on this show at Mono tomorrow. If you're there then why not truck a long for a Tuesday night adventure... I'll hand you over...

One of the truly great guitar pop singles bands of recent years (check for proof!), The Lodger make a rare trip north ahead of the release of their 3rd lp. Out on April 26th via Slumberland (US) and This Is Fake DIY (UK) 'Flashbacks' is guaranteed to be brimming with pristine melodies and finely crafted songs. If you like your pop pure you know where to be!

Also playing are the catchy as all hell Water Wolves. Rapidly becoming the band of choice to play with the new wave of US DIY pop groups (Box Elders, Real Estate, Hunx and his Punxetc.) with whom they share an approach, Water Wolves brighten their corners with some smashing Go-Betweens-y guitar lines. Ace!

Ok, let’s see – due to the general disarray that I exist in, I have neglected to mention the following items that you should be hip to...

Brother Don does the Paul Revere and the Raiders thing over at Caught In The Carousel

The new Bucketfull of Brains is out and includes a cool Nick Kent interview, Roland S. Howard remembered by Jeremy Gluck and the usual host of other stuff that they do so well.

Robbie Fulks has issued his celebration of the late Michael Jackson entitled “Happy” that’ll make you exactly that. Rad interpretations by any stretch of your fevered imagination and it’s a testament that I doubt anybody else could pull off. And once you’ve logged on and ordered go back and read his blog. It teaches things that should be taught in schools and any facet of further education.

If you go down to the North Fork Sound, you can hear a new Angel Corpus Christi song from today... the big red button is over in the sidebar yonder but just to encourage you, click here.

Norton news includes a summer Eurojaunt...

LCDD are wreaking havoc across the Eastern seaboard of the USA this week, air traffic control willing...

BBC4 will screen Oil City Confidential this Friday (23rd) and also a live show from 1977.

In closing, those “Parlophone” RSD singles look really low rent. Generic bags and labels always look pretty good to me but not these. Adds insult to injury with regard to how manufacturing of just about anything has taken a dive to passable quality at best. Looks like next year's bunfight will be Saturday April 16th. Wonder what investments will be coming your way then?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Just looking at ebay there and surveying what the RSD touts are up to. Pretty sickening to be praying on what is essentially an addiction. I’d like to see measures to be brought in to crack down on these people. I know it’s impossible to instill any conception of fairness but one lives in hope. Not often but sometimes. It was a good social yesterday, culminating in the Wooden Shjips show. Ripley Johnson dj’d for an hour at Monorail too. There was a story going around that Moon Duo would play there but this was a misreading of Moon Unit who made an agreeable enough extended racket.

My travelling companions weren’t impressed by Trembling Bells but I was. They’re a little unusual compared to most of this “new folk” kerfuffle. Main bone of conention seemed to be the singers voice but after I recalibrated it in my head.

The Shjips were less loose than last time and the constant touring has toughened up that groove muscle. The rhythm section is locked down tight and the velocity of the percussion below the groove is what really makes this rumble. Their version of “Vampire Blues” has been injected with a Scientist-ific sense of bludgeoning and an intensity of The Cramps doing a particularly wonky “Mystery Plane”. The Shjips ability to swing is what sets them apart and if, for some reason, you have any misgivings about the recorded work then see them live and the final part of the puzzle will fall into place.

You see the words “trance” and “drone” associated with them but these provide little more than a flavour because the band is way more than that. “Fallin’” was transformed into something that resembled a minimal symphonic scrambling of a “Virginia Plain” harmonic loop reinterpreted by Neu and re-programmed back into Phil Manzanera’s bugeye glasses . By that time, my soul had been psychedelicised and looking around the room, it seemed like everybody else’s had been too.

A solid mighty oak vessel, capable of some pretty snazzy manoeuvres.

Ripley told me that Moon Duo might be here in July. To me, this is an exciting prospect indeed because “Escape” has been on heavy rotation since the tracks became available. They’re in Scandinavia at the start of that month so keep your fingers crossed. Soon as the news breaks then it’ll be here.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

What the discerning punter will be after this RSD...

Friday, April 16, 2010

A roots rock-flavoured RSD song by Ted Wulfers
(Thanks to Bryan Thomas for flagging it on facebook)

Breathtaking Friday night music recoded midweek in LA (Thanks to DA via facebook).

It’s RSD eve. If any of you folks want any of the overpriced swag that’s been struck to commemorate it then let me have your requests "by close of play today". How heinous is that expression on a scale of one to very? It’s common in the workplace as an adjunct to the equally barf-worthy “I can see where you’re coming from” that is also prevalent. Anyway, with the exception of the alleged scarcity of the Hold Steady and Flaming Lips things most of this landfill should be available.

Day two of the volcanic hoo-hah. This could be used as an excuse for all kinds of nonsense over the foreseeable future. Safety is of course important but jobsworths will have a bloody field day and then there’s all the knock on Health and Safety considerations. Of course by considerations I mean bollocks.

And if petrol goes up much further then Shanks’ pony could well become the transport mode of necessity. As Judy Tenuta once famously said, “It could happen”.

Still, it’s that time on a Friday when nothing much will bring me down. Plenty of scope for that after teatime on Sunday but for now it’s (mostly) good.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

This airport thing today is a bit of a to-do. The level of disruption caused by what I’m sure insurance companies will call an “act of god” is pretty much unprecedented. Even in these days of alerts and security hitches. I know that Saturday is some way off but I hope that Wooden Shjips are making their way to the UK by ferry rather than flight that day because they’re talking about this lasting into the weekend.

Volcanic ash? First Iceland stick the boot into the economy and now this. Well, you’ve got to try and laugh at least although I imagine that for anyone caught up in it that might not be entirely possible. Hopefully normal service will be resumed soon. And then there‘s the first of the 3 US-style political debates on TV here tonight. Don’t know why they just don’t open up the voting there and then and just get this over with.

It’d probably get a bigger turnout because that’s how the plebs like to do things. The £1+ per call charge could be donated to the national debt. No wait, sorry, what am I thinking. 50 quid (Hi Nick!!) won’t make much of a dent will it. Have you seen the expected viewing figures? Total fiction. "Election debate" - The new rock'n'roll? Doubtful but it'll be interesting(ish) just how slidey the whole thing gets. After all, these blighters are competing to see which one gets to take us off the cliff altogether. And I ain't talking that bloke that sings "Wired For Sound"...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Not sure if it’s the temperature and pressure fluctuations or the lack of air in the day prison but the headache that descended upon me yesterday is still providing me with the gyp. Not as bad but still irritating enough. There could be the aspect of sitting in front of a screen for too long too. With the best will in the world, it’s hard to break concentration when you’re in the middle of something. And come to think of it, it’s not just the waterbeds on legs that appear at the slightest sign of good weather. The gardeners set about disturbing the pollen and some of us know better than others what that means. I’ve even made a small start out there myself and have made an inner pact to try and do something every day with regard to that score.

In Mr Zaremba’s latest blog posting over at Busybuddy, he intimates the commitment that such a pursuit entails. My faltering attempts at updating every day are being hampered by several things not least of which is trying to attend to some stuff regarding home maintenance. Trying to drag the old hovel into some degree of good condition. There may even be some paint fumes that could get added to the mix at some juncture.

So excuse me while I shuffle some papers around but those of you in the US – Midwest/East Coast can rejoice that Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby shows are coming together. Brother Randall and Sister Donna will be pleased to note that they’ll be heading for Dallas. Anyway, check the dates here and under no circumstances miss them. Attendance, where possible, is mandatory.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I was interested and intrigued by Brother Patrick’s response to my facebook status this morning. With regard to the art of being positive, even if it’s just to provide a good example. In his case, he bears all the hallmarks of someone who genuinely radiates such energy. To his credit, the attitude to life that this guy portrays is that of the ultimate role model. Me on the other hand, I explained that I wasn’t very good at kidding. There’s much that hacks me off and generally I don’t care who knows it.

Lately though I’ve been getting to think about trying to draw off some of the bile. I see you smirking, maybe even breaking into a laugh, but it’s true. I’ll never stop being angry but that anger needs to be channelled into something less self-destructive and more, for want of a better word, positive.

I’m not talking about having more faces than the town clock and merely acting out a role. There are plenty who do that. That couldn’t be true to their school even although their pissant existences depended on it but conspire to pull whatever fabric over our eyes to conceal their true colours. We’re right it the centre of just such a panto as so-called politicians jostle for centre stage. It’s very hard to be positive when you’re dealing with this calibre of scum.

On a lighter note, I think I’m going to can “twitter“. Such as it is. And as it is, I don’t. Regular blogging and burning time on fb takes up enough of this most precious of resources. So if you’re on there and expect to see anything from me then you probably won’t soon, I doubt you’ll notice. F'book seems to have at least some uses but “friend” numbers fluctuate up and down. I don’t understand why but the fact that I spotted this suggests to me that perhaps there are other more prudent aspects to my daily routine that could do with an overhaul. Still – no point in mithering unduly – maybe I’m just hyper –observant. Er....aye...

And what about “obese”? That being the word which incidentally rhymes with “Grease” a word of a previous era as opposed to the substance that pours the pounds on the sensitive little dears. It’s not to be used in relation to kids and I agree sort of because I always preferred the term “fat” and its companion “fatty”. The O word is not to be used because it might hurt them. Aw, diddums. Is it just me or is this country the most pampered, lily-livered place on earth?

So yeah, being positive. It’s just about possible when you discover something like this...

Monday, April 12, 2010

It’s always a bit bumpy on the first day back after a baby cow (or Wee Calf as we say here). The time went past in a blip and several things conspired to end yesterday on a downer. Still, I believe there’s still no means of unscrambling eggs so one just has to deal with damage limitation and attempt to make sure that such events are not repeated. The learning curve of existence is quite possibly something that no-one can manoeuvre without the requisite scrapes.

What is it now? Three weeks on Sunday until the big Hammersmith do? Who’s going, what show, that kind of thing? I have two standing tickets for the Monday that I’m trying to shift for a friend overseas that can’t make the scene. I’m not sure that show is sold out yet but I think the downstairs is. Face value, £30 a pop. I have the tix in my custody so they’re not imaginary.

There’s a facebonk campaign going to make “Anarchy in the UK” # 1 during the week of the election. They’re doing it for Malcolm. I think he’d prefer Bucks Fizz’s “Making Your Mind Up” myself. Were they any less manufactured than the Pistols? Perhaps not. The whole country will be in the full throes of a closing down sale the week afterwards anyway. That bumpy I was talking about before is poised to get a whole lot bumpier.

Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. returns this week to the honky tonkin'est joint in town, the Rodeo Bar -- accompanied by our special guest singer, Rosalie Morris! Cold beer, Tex-Mex cuisine, and all the peanuts one can eat, you betcha... WEDNESDAY, APRIL 14th / RODEO BAR / 375 Third Avenue (at the corner of 27th Street) in Manhattan /Two tax deductible shows, from 10pm sharp until 12:30am / No cover!

Plus, in a rare Quaker State road trip, we'll be in Philadelphia on Saturday, April 17th, at the Fire -- as guests of our swingin' pals Delco Nightingale!

Sincerely yours,
Michael - Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. "Ballads, Boogies & Blues"

Sunday, April 11, 2010

This time next week it’ll all be over. Record Store Day that is.

I don’t imagine that there’ll be too many of you folks that won’t partake in one way or another? If there are “events” in your airt then let me know and I’ll post ‘em.

My own feelings about the day outside of the communal, social aspect is that it’s being used to flood the stores with overpriced, alleged collectables by an industry in tailspin. The business that it brings for one day needs to be the rule rather than the exception. But how do you educate those who never grew up with the experience and joy of a record store? Maybe you have to teach it in school?? Anyway, I don’t mean to bitch. In essence it’s a good thing although I’m more drawn to the home baking these days than the music. (KM – this means you!).

If my homies overseas need any of the UK stuff then let me know and I’ll try to fix you up. Can’t promise but I’ll do my best. I have it on sterling authority that there are plenty of MC5 and Stooges 45’s from last year still going too incase you missed out on those. There’s the heinous Ebay market to consider too. Vinyl touts will scoop up these already expensive artefacts and peddle them to people who almost deserve to be taken.

This revenue needs to be directed at the surviving store coffers, not some greedy bastards beer voucher fund. So please attend this event and make sure that you visit your most local emporium at least once a week from there on. I realise I’m preaching to the converted to some degree but you never know. It is Sunday morning, the perfect time for a sermon after all.
Plus I’m a little on edge, last day of the holidays and all that. All good things, turning back into a pumpkin, that kinda deal.

Here’s a list of what’s on offer as far as I know. I would urge you to buy something you want rather than something that will appreciate in value. There's a lot of cool, second hand stuff lurking in (some of) these places too so check out some of that action too.

Don't amble into chainstores or their affiliates. Support good old fashion(ed)- endangered species stores only - end of public service gab.

Update at 10.43am... here's a link to what's happening internationally locationwise.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Several small achievments have been made today. Nothing earth-shattering but still. You might recall my repatriating some signed photos of the musical group "Wild Horses" with fans in recent weeks. This is not to be confused with Bill and Ted's Wyld Stallyns. Anyway, I co-pro'd a show by then here in the dark mists of 1978 and couldn't for the life of me remember when it was.

The person who did the show with me had no recall that we ever did it at all so that was little help. So, that drove me to do something that I should have done at the start. I went to the library and looked at the local paper microfiche.

The result is here. My brother Iain shed further light by remembering that the openers were "Brody" and that they could have well have had ideas above their station in wanting a soundcheck. I remember nothing of the show whatsoever. Nada. But I never dreamt it so that's the important thing.

What I would say is that the library is a goldmine of information and today's experience made me appreciate the job these places do. And the staff were very cool and helpful. Greater world take a leaf out of their book please.

More "mimed performances" like this please... inspired by the Marc Campbell facebook thread that started off this morning with Middle of the Road's "Soley Soley" and also Kim Warnick's shout out for Montrose.

Flipside is back. This link (courtesy of Tim Stegall via fb) takes you to a downloadable PDF.

Great story, great song. 'nuff said.

Friday, April 09, 2010

RIP - Kenneth McKellar

A message from Murray...

The only covers band that I've ever really liked was the Ramonas - an all girl Ramones tribute. The New Edinburgh Dolls asked me if I'd like to put together a similarly styled tribute band and although my initial thoughts were to say no I thought "I'll get my pal Lizzy to be Izzy Pop and put together an all girl stooges band !"

The all girl bit didnt materialise, but come see us play some good songs badly at bannermans tomorrow, we've got two guitarists and a sax player so its going to be a big bad sound and visually should be a lot of fun, we'll be onstage at 9pm, followed by the New Edinburgh Dolls comeback and farewell show - this will never be repeated so if you're out on the town tonight (Friday), pop in, its only 3 quid !

Bannermans gigs now always finish at 11pm so dont toddle along at midnight thinking you'll just catch the N.E.D.'s !

I miss Borders books. And of course prior to that, Tower in Glasgow. Where you could go in and graze all the new magazines are gone. Oh, I bought stuff too and my attic is a testament to having kept print sales alive in my time. So enough with the huffing and puffing. Yesterday, on my way to Stereo - I was reduced to WH Smith and got a little depressed when I picked up and N*E for the first time in forever. Mainly to check out the new "design". I'll be hornswaggled if it hasn't got all the hallmarks of a Sunday supplement. Dearie me and not a snip at £2.30 a go. And what a great idea, make it available with 10 different covers each featuring an artist that I would take a big detour to avoid.

And the Uncut CD this month is a "Punk before Punk" compilation. A dear friend remarked to me via text from Sweden last night that "we're getting old" after hearing about Malcolm. I am for sure.

Anyway, enough of that... here's something to read that recalls the golden days of rock writicism... Don Waller on The Stooges and The Runaways.

The past has haunted me a little this past week. Furthest back was when I walked to the place that the Blood Donation bus on Wednesday. I was just sending an e-mail to Amy Allison about the “Glasgow overspill” and remembered that I walked past the area where my parents got their first house, a flat, where I lived with them. We moved when I was 9 or 10 maybe.

This is significant because it was here that I got my first real taste of pop culture. A rumour went out to the effect that Davy Jones of The Monkees was to visit his “aunt” in the next building. Of course it was bollocks but the crowd that showed up is something that I’ll never forget. It got a little ugly too as I recall when it was obvious that it wasn’t happening. I was only wee but recall that I could read the situation and got the hell out of there. The flats are still there but “the pipes” a play area where the youngsters used to gather are gone. That’s where we started to hang out with girls as teenagers. Listening to T. Rex on “cassette” a new format of the time.

Anyway, I was dropping off a Wild Horses photo on my way to the community centre and did so. As it turns out, when the lady opened the door – her son works but doesn’t live in the town – I recognised her immediately. She worked at the same stalag for years. Small world. From there to the blood letting and it was the place where we kids eventually ended up attending a Sunday night disco. That’s if your parents would let you go. And if they didn’t, you snuck there anyway. Of the many memories I have of that time, hearing “Please Stay” by The Cryin Shames is the most pertinent. I also recall partaking in an early form of “headbanging” to Deep Purple’s “Black Night” there. I walked around a lot of old parts of the town both coming from and going to the garage to pick up the car. It was in for a radiator replacement and somehow I was compelled to wander past and through areas of onetime significance for one reason and another.

Getting back to The Monkees thing, I often use the wind-up tactic to the effect of likening the Pistols to them. And sometimes Take That but I consider the former to be half true. The news of Malcolm McLaren was a surprise and obviously his work impacted greatly on all of us having changed the landscape of what would become possible. He was at the amazing Punk Kongress that took place in Kassel, Germany – late September 2004 and trotted out his manifesto like the entertainer he’d become. Even Johnny Lydon has used that description today in his soundbite. 64 though, blimey – and Alx was 59. This is all within my ballpark and it’s screaming at me to get things figured out. Of course, I’m pretending not to hear. Oblivious to the spectre of oblivion.

However, I am aware that I need to connect important factors of past and present and intoning “La la la” loudly isn’t going to fly for much longer. This I know. However, doing something about it is a whole ‘nother entchilada altogether. At this point, I’m more preoccupied with having to go back to work on Monday. Three days away. You don't have to tell me that's pathetic. i am patently aware. I hear pish about never looking back, that you should just look forward. As ever, irrespective of geography, status or social pecking order, I am generally drawn toward limbo.

And I ain’t talking about shimmying below an ever-lowering pole here. Or am I?

The mind dislocation continues with this that I discovered via Marc Campbell's phasebook post...

“Let’s Rock” lived up to its name then. In the subterranean lair that is the venue below the Stereo Bar. The decor is strictly “Owl Cave” after all. An ambitious project to stage 20 years to the day from the original air date and I’m pretty sure that, as Gerry Love remarked, a lot of those present probably never saw it then. Brogues g/f, Jane has NEVER seen it. Can you imagine how great it must be to be in that position?

In addition to the vibe and the music, there was coffee (no milk) – doughnuts/donuts and cherry pie and I can personally vouch that the CP was better than that served up in the Mar T, having been there. The short set by New Shoes (for Leo), thankfully not a Paolo Nutini tribute act hit the spot delivered a very excellent version of “Pink Room” and a twisted “Just You and I”.
I saw Tut Vu Vu before and they’re great. Glasgow’s answer to Oddjob even. They had some technical difficulties and your reporter had to leave for the train before they were done. There was a cassette release by them recently that I keep meaning to pick up.

So an unmitigated success then, kudos to Ms Tara Quinn for pulling off something that was not a tribute but a celebration. Put together with an eye for the all important detail. Bob never showed up as far as I could tell but you know how that one is. And nobody told the penguin joke but that might have been just too, too much.

All tolled, a chickadee on a dodge dart kind of an evening kids. I could maybe have done with Diane sending me some of those earplugs that Coop got to withstand the Icelander antics. Maybe I stood too close to the PA but my head is still ringing but in a good way.

Good practice for Wooden Shjips two weeks from tomorrow I guess.

One of the lines involved with where I've just come from is, "It's happening again". And it is...

RIP - Malcolm McLaren

Thursday, April 08, 2010

It can't be a bad thing to get up and find a message like this... so a reminder about the shindig tonight. The prelude to the greatest scene seen on TV in the last two decades. Scroll back a few days if you have no idea what i'm talking about.


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The latest in consistent static from Moon Duo is this two track 7" on Agitated. Timely as the Electric Eels single of the same name will enjoy a special release (on the same imprint) for the impending Record Store Day. While aspects of this "happening" scream racket at me, the kernel of the idea is an important one. The spirit needs to be sustained for 365 days not just 1. And I don't care how limited The Hold Steady release is, I still don't fucking want one. Thanks though.

So you've got "Catch As Catch Can" and a suitable incendiary re-telling of The Scientists "Set It On Fire". In addition to making compulsive noise they have excellent taste into the bargain. Can't find anyplace where you can stream it or grab an mp3 but really, you need to grab a copy of the single. This stuff is tactile and a "file" simply isn't enough to keep a lid on just how contagious this combo is.

Note to Phil Alexander - This is the best rock'n'roll band on the planet right now because the noise they kick up seeps right into your bones. There's nothing approximating a varnish thin veneer here, this is solid mahogany to the point of mighty oak. A real reason to howl.

Brother Don just sent me this. Way more impressive than anything CGI could ever hope to offer...

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Tuesday April 6th. The introduction of a 50% tax rate for high earners (which counts me way out) and also something called the “fit note” replacing the “sick note”. When I heard about that first, I thought it was some token Aberdonian lingo being sneaked into the mainstream but no. It’s another unnecessary pile of shite to contend with in the maelstrom of everyday existence. In addition, it’s widely believed that the general election will be called today. I’m thinking this isn’t Japanese but if it was it would be very apt, considering the members that are involved. At the present trajectory, I think that the UK will be closed from about May 15th.

I mentioned on Fizzogblag yesterday that I saw “Alice In Wonderland”. If you were considering it, don’t bother. It’s rubbish. If it hadn’t been for the tiffin cake, things could have really taken a dive. If you’ve seen the trailer then you’ve seen the best bits. It wasn’t in 3D incidentally but I didn’t relish having to wear another pair of stupid glasses over the gregs that I rely on to see anyway.

However, all is not complete doom and gloom. I’m heading for Glasgow and could well be there for some time. Catch you on the flipside.

Monday, April 05, 2010

It’s a dismal looking day outside. Still I’ve been determined to catch “Alice In Wonderland” at the cuppa showing since I saw it in the programme. I’m curious as to just how Mark Ryden it all is. That’s no convoluted rhyming slang by the way. The price has gone up by 5 bob since my last visit but you can’t really whack a film, a coffee and a cake for £5.25 at the real cool time of 11am.

I really like an early schlep to the cinema because the pond life doesn’t stir until later. Fingers crossed that the “poor weather conditions” will send any such individuals and their troupes in the direction of the malls or anywhere else. Few things to run by you, incase you find yourself on the computer grazing for stuff to pass the time.

I posted this NBT article on facebook yesterday I think but maybe you’d like to see it if you don’t hang out on that particular branch of time-wasting.

JD King has another episode of Metaphors (#19)up. I call them episodes now because it’s like a cool literary TV show. Cinematic with just the one picture. Just in... Ep 20.

Great Mose Allison interview (Thanks Amy)

Pictures of Margaret DollRod from Paris last week. Lucky so and so, Brother Patrick had a version of “Psycho” dedicated to him at this very shindig by this very bombshell.

And news of the imminent new album by Billie The Vision and the Dancers.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

On first listen I wasn’t struck. I’m not sure if it was just because I expected something else or on account of the opening cut “Devotional Number One” sounding like a field recording that Alan Lomax might have captured several moons ago. It swells during the course of the track to full sonic strength though.

I’m not familiar with his fellow Austin-ites Okkervil River and I know that there are some Rok zealots out there that aren’t amused. This set is an altogether different beastie to anything he recorded with The Explosives or The Aliens. There are aspects of both and a helping of Texicana (a specific strain of Americana). No demons, ghosts or gremlins with pictures, polaroid or otherwise. “True Love Casts Out All Evil” is quite a peaceful record, completely at odds with the – in my opinion disrespectful – documentary that I’m always surprised anybody likes. There’s no evidence of maelstrom or static, just one of the greatest singers of all time with the chance to do what he was put here to do.

Ambulance chasers may be disappointed as might those who want it to be a little louder or a little more rock. My own particular favourite side of the great man is his Buddy Holly/Bobby Fuller sounding material and this set does reflect this to some degree. So like I said, I was a bit indifferent at first but having spent more time getting acclimatised than I have with any other album in recent memory, the work is paying off. Of course, I’d love to hear him make a record with The Nomads or the version of Evil Hook Wildlife ET he played in NY with a couple of years ago. The thrill is essentially is that he can make music at all. The fact that some of it is so damn moving is an obvious plus.

“Goodbye Sweet Dreams” has been trailed over the past few weeks so I suspect that anybody who cares has heard that. You may be familiar with much of the other material in one form or another but if this introduces Roky to another generation of believers then its fine with me. I don’t really need to hear “You’re Gonna Miss Me” ever again, I can play it in my head at any given second. And this stuff is way better than any of those “Beast Is Coming” plodding blues workouts.

The album feels like a sermon of sorts. “Be and Bring Me Home” has a mournful Sally Army band swing to it. “Bring Back The Past” is more upbeat and ringing with the hallmarks that I mentioned before. “Please Judge” is perhaps the one that sticks most with it’s strange otherworldly fugue recalling “All that May Do My Rhyme” and Lou’s Berlin spine tingler “The Kids” directed by David Lynch. There’s a genuine strangeness that doesn’t involve monsters but I suspect Alfred Hitchcock would have dug it.

“John Lawman” is something that might have fared better in the hands of a more rockin’ combo but it sounds OK. “Forever” gets back to the vibe of the overall piece and guides it all back toward disturbed tranquillity. By the time it gets to “God is Everywhere” we’re back to the detached, pastoral element and it’s all over.

The album April 24th on Chemikal Underground in Europe and on April 20th on Anti- in the USA. I’m hoping that CU might be able to wangle bringing the man to Scotland as part of Celtic Connections next January because there’s a definite folk element to this that could sit under this umbrella. We’ll see.

Well, there goes today... Nick West posted a whole bunch of links on YouTube. Some fine, fine gear. Here's a couple of tasters...

And while it's on my mind, I believe there's a new issue of BoB out.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Two decades since Twin Peaks crashed some of our lives. I had never even considered drinking coffee up until that point. By way of celebration – an evening entitled “Let’s Rock” will take place on Thursday April 8th at Stereo in Glasgow.

Here are a couple of my favourite clips from the series...

Friday, April 02, 2010

De-mob frivolity, or perhaps just plain relief, probably just about covers it. The feeling of not having to go to the salt mines until a week on Monday. While there’s no real means of funding a blow-out, a low key rake about is planned. The "cuppa" showing of "Alice In Wonderland" on Monday for sure. And as always a consideration to try and bring order to the clutter that’s kicking about here, records, tapes, magazines, photos, posters, etc. I’ve a mind to find a cassette of The Dreamboys live at the Hotel International, here in Grangemooth sometine in 1980 if I recall. Their drummer at the time was a chap by the name of Craig Ferguson. I wonder what happened to Roddy Murray? Mr Stim having sent me the audiobook of "American On Purpose" is what prompted this.

With it being easter, the main point of consideration is how Cadbury’s Crème Eggs got to be so small in addition to the chocolate wall being thinner and the fondant filling reduced. No doubt the work of some bean counter (haw haw). It made me think of the deep-fried “Easter Special” that A Salt and battery in NY did some years ago.

I realise that with it being a holiday, you have better things to do than hang about online so off you go. Make good use of your time, don’t do as I do – do as I say. See you Saturday sometime.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

The day prison is less than a mile from the place that The Damned played 33 years ago today. I was thinking about that, and how my count with regard to time passed since the ‘zine began might be light because it doesn’t include leap the leap years. The band had made an appearance at Hot Licks in Edinburgh’s Cockburn street that afternoon. We’d made them spraypainted drumkit logo (like the back of the New Rose 45) t-shirts to celebrate their first headlining stint north after opening for T-Rex in 1976.

The Damned were easily my favourite UK punk band at the time and I wrote a letter to Punk magazine to back up that premise. Anyway, as I recall it was an eventful day. There were a lot of skirmishes at the show, just like the press reported happened at “punk rock” events during that time. The notion of there being something happening up and down the country was palpable. It was down to the bush telegraph and things took time to percolate. Not like now with things being over before they properly began.

Were things better back then? Don’t have time to get into that now but TV Smith is at The Citrus Club in Edinburgh tomorrow night (2nd). He’s one of the very few who’s still at it that’s worth seeing because he’s moving forward, not languishing in the kebab in a basket circuit. Even although this takes in some of the same venues.

I was hoping that the story about The L*bert*nes being back “together” is an April fool but I fear not. Another bunch of overrated tosspots out to soak up the cash and time of those that deserve to be taken. Please don’t even try to justify their existence to me because it won’t wash.

Still, I believe that next week’s rail strike has been averted so that’s a good sign. 5 more hours of relative purgatory then “school” is out. If I can shake this cold then I shall consider myself to have won the proverbial watch.

RIP - David Mills