Sunday, October 31, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Matt and Kim’s “Sidewalks” drops on Tuesday (2nd) and reading some reviews of the album really underlines what is redundant about music writing. This isn’t something that requires the slightest bit of chin-stroking. You’re either with it or you’re not and the double whammy of “Block After Block” and “AM/FM Sound” encapsulate totally what to my mind sounds like some seriously infectious frequencies. Matt has admitted publically that he and Kim don’t write songs anymore, they make anthems.
I admit, when I hear some twonk say “I know where you’re coming from” in a conversation then my hackles go up. It can mostly be translated as “fuck your opinion” but in the case of the song, in the hands of these kids – it's sincere. They mean it. It’s all about how the message is delivered and what some pockets of dissent can’t seem to handle is the unity and sheer positivism that these two exude. It’s practically evangelical. I don’t mind if you’re sceptical but if you experience one of their rallies then you’ll get it. No question.
Some regulars think that I’ve lost my mind. There’s no point in labouring the main ingredient that sets them apart. It’s a chemistry thing. The two of them and an audience makes for an explosive combo. It makes you realise that maybe having a stupid, good time isn’t such a bad thing and this Village Voice review pretty much nails it.
Just like you can’t deny that those Lady GaGa singles are well made, or that “Oops I Did It Again” is better than anything Pavement ever did. M&K’s oeuvre occupies a spot that connects in a way that is both visceral and comforting. How or why is immaterial, as the world skites ever closer to the U-bend, this is a pretty cool antidote to the grind on my telly.
Friday, October 29, 2010
The vid quality isn't great but check the audio... via Staysick
If you are in San Francisco this weekend, on Halloween specifically, you won't find a better show than Nobunny performing as THE CRAMPS at Thee Parkside. I hope some of you can make
it. There are a few bands covering some of the greats:
Nobunny as The Cramps
Uzi Rash as The Monks
Apache as The Damned
Monster Maus as The Velvet Underground
Tumore Boys/Space Titanium as The Stooges/Destroy All Monsters
Nobunny played as the Cramps last year too.
Seriously great, totally wild and fun in the spirit of The Cramps. I imagine early Cramps shows were like this. No offense to any "psychobilly" bands that cover the Cramps, you know the ones with the greasy hair and the stand-up bass and the leather pants, but Nobunny is some real deal, wild and raw rock and roll live.
Actually, I don't concur with that last bit. Total offense to those "psychobilly" bands. It's time Nobunny came to Scotland methinks.
It’s been remiss of me not to mention this before.
The McBurnie/Hammer tag team has put together Grade "A" Fancy Mag. The browser that I view it in isn’t ideal but its quality gear and if your computer is up to snuff then you won’t have any problem. Can’t help thinking that these kids should be running a proper magazine but there’s not that much call for such a thing these days.
Related to this… not sure if I posted Amy Rigby’s blog entry on Ari Up. Did I? If not then I’ve certainly got a reminder to do so scribbled on one of these many pieces of paper scattered around. Not so much stream of consciousness at the minute, more the occasional dribble. And keeping up the thread, I was overjoyed to hear about the return of Wreckless Wradio. And while we’re on the subject, Eric is up for producing YOUR album. Talk to him about it.
As for the tie up between this and how the posts appear on farcebook, it could be to do with the version of blogger that I use. Don’t really have the time or inclination to alter the format at present, being of the “if it ain’t broke” persuasion. Sometimes it works, sometimes it don’t. The notifications are skew wiff also. Been futzing with the crackberry and making slow progress, not that I use it to any great degree but I will try to update this thing from there at some point to see how that works. The racket that is the concept of “the mobile phone contract” is not something I’m enamoured with to be honest. That will come as a surprise to you no doubt?
Guess that brings us to Thursday...? The Village in Leith is a neighbourhood bar that’s not easy to reach if you’re not in a car. That said, if you do make the effort to get there - it’s a great spot. So, long rydin’ Sidney G and them Coal Porters were bound for Bute but something went awry and Paula McNally of The Sunset Delay stepped in and sorted out this alternative. I didn’t realise she’d come back to Edinburgh from London but anyway, it means the band is active again and to prove that, they opened the evening’s entertainment.
The CP’s did that bluegrass thing in support of their Ed Stasium produced latest album, "Durango", no 95 in evidence. Fiddlegal/singer Carly Frey from British Columbia is a great foil for Sid and Neil, I don’t think she was in the band the last time we saw them. They’re in the Borders someplace tonight then they scoot back further North for a show at The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen tomorrow.
It’s Friday, a little spurt of progress was registered earlier but I feel the strength ebbing away. This weekend is 1 hour longer than recent ones though so some solace can be gleaned from that. What will you waste your extra 60 minutes on?
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Not sure what could be more perfect than a Hallowe’en matinee of Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein at the Bo’ness Hippodrome but not much in my estimation.
The Coal Porters with Captain Sid Griffin are in Edinburgh – or Leith rather – tomorrow evening at The Village. The Sunshine Delay are opening and it starts at 8pm.
As well as everything else that’s going on in the big fankle, I’m trying to arrange work in the bunker and it’s proving to be a giant pain in the arse. There are less daylight hours, it’s heading into winter, yada yada and the flesh and spirit are vying for which is the least willing. I’m sure I’m not the only one with experience of this.
But we gain an hour on Sunday when the clocks go back, how's that for a spurt of optimism? Or postponing the inevitable??
It's maybe not the most halloweenish thing you could do this Sunday but the film club has lined up a potential gem. We are screening Timothy Neat's rarely seen Play Me Something and have the director in attendance.
Neat is an uncompromising Dundee-based auteur and academic (an amazing character really) and as far as we know Play Me Something is his only full length feature film. The film, set in Barra and Venice features John Berger and Tilda Swinton, and will be introduced by David Mackenzie, who is a massive fan.
At the airport on the island of Barra, a small group of people await the delayed plane to Glasgow. Among the local passengers is the mysterious Stranger (John Berger) who captivates them with a story of love set in Venice.
'A singular, groundbreaking and beautiful piece of filmmaking.' The Herald.
Play Me Something
Timothy Neat, 1989
Monorail Film Club
Sunday 31st October, 7pm
12 Rose Street
box office: 0141 332 6535
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Title: I KNEW BUFFALO BILL
Artist: JEREMY GLUCK & FRIENDS
Release date: October 18, 2010
(600 copies limited edition)
CAT #: MR 293
"The first indie supergroup" (more than 20 years ago!)
Featuring Jeremy Gluck (The Barracudas), Jeffrey Lee Pierce (Gun Club), Roland S Howard (Birthday Party) and brothers Nikki Sudden and Epic Soundtracks (The Swell Maps)
A unique record with a rootsy, haunting sound, which mixes dark folk, swamp blues and the ghostly side of country music
Expanded edition with many tracks not on the original album (demos, live material and B sides)
Vinyl only reissue. Limited edition of ONLY 500. Double LP. Liner notes by Jeremy Gluck
Deluxe vinyl reissue of this 1987 album, featuring Jeremy Gluck (The Barracudas), brothers Nikki Sudden and Epic Soundtracks (Swell Maps), Rowland S Howard (The Birthday Party) and Jeffrey Lee Pierce (The Gun Club). Includes demos, B-sides and live material.
In 1987, at the time of its release, "I Knew Buffalo Bill" was greeted as little more than an underground curio. The "first indie supergroup" tag conferred upon it by Flicknife owner Frenchy Gloder was possibly true; in any case, having members of The Barracudas, Swell Maps, The Birthday Party and The Gun Club share its credits marked it out at least as a compelling creative cross-section of the alternative scene of the day.
It was 1986, autumn. Over the years Nikki Sudden and I had discussed, planned and written songs for an eventual collaboration. Nikki was working his music full-time; I was writing and raising my kid. One day Nikki calls pretty much out of the blue and says he is in Fairport Dave Pegg's lush Woodworm Studio recording with his brother Epic Soundtracks and Rowland S Howard, and do I want to tack a week on and do an album? I started packing. When I arrived at the studio one gorgeous afternoon, the band had just laid down the backing track to Nikki's remarkably beautiful 'Gallery Wharf'. I was awed and enchanted.
I still love that song and my good fortune in performing its only recorded incarnation is humbling.
In the years since, "I Knew Buffalo Bill" has been heard more, evaluated further, loved by a few fiercely, liked by many more, overlooked by millions. The unusual combination of players and pieces, and some great production, have earned it a niche all its own. In that time, four of its key players - Nikki Sudden and Epic Soundtracks, Rowland S Howard and Jeffrey Lee Pierce (whom I only met briefly before and during the sessions) - have passed away. It seems unreal to me now that four of them are gone. Great artists, wonderful characters, dedicated journeymen.
It gladdens me that our work on the album has been the cause of one excellent shared homage (Italians Circo Fantasma's "I Knew Jeffrey Lee"), and that one of its latter tracks, 'Burning Skulls Rise' (from the eponymous EP that followed the original album), was covered by Rowland and Lydia Lunch. Subsequently it has appeared on a handful of European compilations and even one modern B-movie soundtrack, for "I Pass As Human", directed by former Flesheater Chris D.
On this deluxe edition I've included all but one track of the original album, demos, B-sides and, to bookend the album, live material reinventing the songs Nikki, Rowland, Epic and I laid down recklessly over 20 years ago. My favourite line of Nikki's, from 'Gallery Wharf' - "What's done can never be put down" - speaks for all of what is here for you to remember, discover or rediscover. It's a strange pile of sounds and songs to have helped create.
1 LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO FALL
2. TOO LONG
3. GONE FREE
4. TIME UNDONE
5. ONE MORE STORY
1. GALLERY WHARF
2. FOUR SEASONS OF TROUBLE
3. ALL MY SECRETS
4. TIME GOES FASTER
1. BURNING SKULLS RISE (Demo)
2. FOUR SEASONS OF TROUBLE (Demo)
3. SORROW DRIVE
4. EPISODE IN A TOWN
5. APRIL NORTH
6. THE PROVING TRAIL
7. THEY'RE HANGING ME TONIGHT
8. LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO FALL (Reprise)
1. NO SOUND
2. THREW THIS AWAY
3. THE OLD MAN'S DREAM
4. PRAYER OF A GUNMAN
5. GRAD'S HOTEL
6. BAR WITH NO NAME
7. NOTHING TO ME
Been a hectic few days, kicking off last Thursday evening with Mr Iain Shaw venturing over to the east coast for his fist show there. It went well and would have gone even better if the chattering buggers that bumped their gums all though the set had been muzzled.
Friday night saw The Primevals and Charles Randolph Rivers Slim Rhythm Revue tear up McChuills as part of Oxjam. When anyone tries to tell me how the JJR are some hot shit then I’ll refer them in the direction of the former because those fauxsters are NOT in the same league. Sadly never made it to Buckfest but I imagine that it went well? Sometimes it’s just not possible to do everything just like good guys don't always wear white.
Sunday was the UK premiere of Herschell Gordon Lewis – Godfather of Gore at GFT. Part of a Cult Labs day. It’s really great and with the man himself, Dave Friedman (This is a Something Weird production), John Waters and even Joe Bob Briggs in there too, well I don’t think that anyone with a penchant for the man’s work could be disappointed. It was much scarier outside the movie theatre because Rangers and Celtic were playing and Bigot Central was going full swing. I managed to pretty much body swerve all that apart from a smattering of them on the train home.
And last night... Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. I hadn’t seen any version of the band since they opened for Graham Parker in (I believe) 1977. Hardly seems possible but in my recent tour of the past, it seemed like time to revisit this particular boardwalk. Particularly as they were playing a proper theatre, The HMV Picturehouse in Edinburgh not the Renfrew Ferry.
Strange that I end up scoring a ticket outside from the Rev. Ralph MacGillivray. Although we correspond through facebook, it had been many years since we’d met so that was a welcome coincidence. Being a bit knackered, I had pondered the option of sitting in the balcony but the upstairs wasn’t open. Haven’t experienced the sound up there and it was going to be a long set.
The opening band was awful. A terrible mix of overbearing confidence and the curse of competence. Not a good combo. They seemed very pleased with themselves and the audience largely encouraged them. This was the first time that I’ve been to a show in recent times that I definitely wasn’t the oldest person there. And besides, SJ doesn’t need an opening act and this was no warm up.
It’s a measure of a show’s calibre when 2 and a quarter hours goes by in a flash. I won’t say that there were a couple of moments where I didn’t flag, but that was more down to my tiredness. At the very high points, like “Talk To Me” and “I Don’t Want To Go Home”, it was like standing on the corner of exhilarating and heartbreaking. Those horns were not set on stun. The show was so far ahead of Springsteen’s recent performance in Glasgow that I can hardly quantify the difference.
I guess this is what you might call entertainment... things are in a bit of a fankle around here. No idea if or when normal service might be resumed.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Continuing our West Coat jag, Margaret Dollrod wishes it to be known...
I'LL BE GIVIN' MY ALL ON THE WEST COAST! IN THE RIGHT HERE AND THE RIGHT NOW NOW!
NOVEMBER 4th THEE PARKSIDE (San Francisco)with Mean Jeans, Shannon and the Clams, Therapists and Skumby
NOVEMBER 5th TIL TWO CLUB (Long Beach) with Mean Jeans, Shannon and the Clams and Therapists
NOVEMBER 6th 5 STAR BAR (Los Angeles) with Mean Jeans, Shannon and the Clams and Therapists
NOVEMBER 9th THE HEMLOCK (San Francisco) with Apache and Nectarine Pie and TRRMS
NOVEMBER 10th THE KNOW (Portland?)
NOVEMBER 11th BURGERVILLE (Oregon or Vancouver?) with Mean Jeans
NOVEMBER 12TH THE FUNHOUSE (Seattle) with Butts
Saturday, October 23, 2010
This, quite literally, just in from Brother Don. Timely too with SOTS having an SF "three in a row" this AM.
"just got back from Thee Parkside all the way across town here in san fran where i saw an incredible set by Roy Loney and the Phantom Movers.(sans Danny and James). Roy was most excellent. he strummed a Fender cutaway acoustic. Larry Lea played lead and they had their old bass player too. they opened with "Don't Believe Those Lies". and moved along with old faves like "Emmy Emmy", "A Hundred Miles an Hour", and "Born to be Your Fool". place was jammed and the crowd was groovin like crazy.
it was almost like being back at the Mab (which Roy mentioned) or those great Whisky shows where they opened for the Groovies. then Cyril came up and there was a roar from the crowd when Roy introduced him as an "old friend...and very dear friend". they did"Second Cousin", "Teenage Head" and "Slow Death". unbelievably great!!! Cyril took some INCREDIBLE solos!!! it was absolutely stunning and just like the old days. everyone went totally insane and they were called back for an encore and they did Chuck Berry's "Bye Bye Johnny".
Roy and Cyril together is just EXPLOSIVE!!! now i have an inkling of how great the New Orleans shows must've been. i congratulated Cyril afterwards but didn't get a chance to thank Roy so if you're out there Roy: FANTASTIC JOB!!! wow!!!! i really hope these guys get together some more. just tremendous. Cyril's guitar solos were effortless and magic. Roy was in excellent voice. what a night!"
Friday, October 22, 2010
I’m not about to make any promises I can’t keep today. Still, it is Friday after all.
The Primevals and Charles Randolph Rivers are at McChuills in Glasgow tonight. An Oxjam show.
Tomorrow, The Handsome Dicks will be at The 13th Note’s Buckfest. On at 9pm (apparently).
It’s just come to my attention that Sir Andy Shernoff has a website from whence you can navigate all his cyber outlets. He has shows coming up so check that now.
Cool event at GFT on Sunday including the premiere of the Herschell Gordon Lewis documentary.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
I concur with the too many RIP’s. I mean Guccione was kind of old but the Ari Up thing was a bit of a shocker. She was 5 years younger than I am. Been thinking about mortality quite a lot of late. Not sure why. Possibly because there’s a lot of stuff left to squeeze in and it seems as though there can’t be enough time to address that. I’ve also been thinking about the lyrics to “Whole Wide World”, intensified by their being paraphrased into “Do You Remember That?”. All pretty deep stuff for me really and I can’t divulge the connection for fear of my being exposed as even more of a prat than I usually am. Watch out for a brand new Wreckless and Amy song coming up very soon on Radio Free Song Club. The kids have been beavering away and I’d imagine that it’ll air when they get to the US in November.
Bryan dropped me a line to say that The Beav’s mom left this theatre the other day also...
RIP – Barbara Billingsley
Bit of a shock too to learn that Louie Appel has also passed away via a post from Eric (Roscoe) Ambel on facebook. The onetime Asbury Juke was here a couple of years ago with Ronnie Spector and we all headed out to Sloans for some bar food. Louie also played on wir ain Ms Rigby’s “Little Fugitive” album and a gazillion other sessions. A lovely big guy and cool company that has checked out way too early. No details as to how. My heartfelt condolences go out to his friends and family at this time.
RIP – Louie Appel
I’m heading for Edinburgh now but you might want to investigate what Kogar has lined up for you.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Just heard about General Johnson this minute when checking North Fork Sound...
RIP - General (Norman) Johnson
Not sure about the quality of this clip but I can't check it. Just wanted it up there and I envy you if you never heard this version before. First time I did, it reduced me to rubble. Still does.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Today is the last day of the final “Le Weekend” in Stirling. James Johnston will be playing with Faust (North) tonight but sadly I can’t make it. Would have liked to have seen Tut Vu Vu also but another conflict. I did spend the day there yesterday though and got there just as the Jean-Herve and Zappi were concluding their presentation. There had been an impromptu performance and some discussion as to how improvised it was seemed to be the subject. I recall the expression “non-linear” being used. Interesting characters...
Wandered around town with the rest of the living dead for a while, with the exception of Europa and The Tolbooth, it’s a pretty depressing place these days. And if you add to that the fact that the last train out is at 11pm then it’s hardly worthy of city status at this point. Of course, in terms of public transport – Glasgow and Edinburgh aren’t much better. Still, after the “cuts” on Wednesday, the UK will be officially to be tarmac-ed over to make way for a giant car park. Wee bit of politics there for a Sunday forenoon.
Couldn’t help but notice the sleeve of Peter Brotzman’s Machine Gun in the bar area. The Tolbooth, in my opinion is a severely underused asset. Probably down to what they’re able to do with what little they’ve got but they really need to make provision for food and draft beer. Like these wee sausages they used to do. Anyway, that’s by the by at this point. Just putting it out there. There are few better venues in Scotland and the main auditorium seating might not be comfortable for the taller person but the facility itself is absolutely fantastic in terms of sound, light and space. Hell, they even have a ghost – right Amy?
Oceans of Silver and Blood & The New String Theory performed their commission in the nearby Church of The Holy Rude. Ideal setting and sound, perhaps a tad hit and miss but I make no claim as to what any of it was about. I prefer to break it down into what i consider cinematic. Wore a hole in my chin by stroking it trying to get a beat on what was going down. Once again the expression improvisation seemed to be evident. Some attendees apparently found the filming of it intrusive, your resident philistine thought it might be part of the performance. Like Bez.
Met Mr Bruce in the Cafe and had a natter that briefly interrupted by a guy called Peter Nicholson who performed on cello and “songs”. It was all a bit Richard Youngs for me but I did like the brief interlude where it sounded like a drunk bagpipe.
Marilyn Crispell and Raymond Macdonald were next up and I kind of dug some aspects of this. Ms Crispell plays the piano in a manner not unlike that which I used to get a row from my granny for. The realisation that I was maybe a child prodigy was almost too much to bear. The less squonk type moments appealed most.
Chris Forsyth upped the ante ext with a brooding Link Wray versus Tom Verlaine via Glenn Philips blues thump. Things were looking up and then Tetuzi Akiyama tore it all down again. I escaped and met up with Stephen and Katrina. Stephen tells me that it seemed like the two had done some kind of role reversal. Usually when I leave or don’t attend something it takes a turn for the better. Mr Bruce told me that on this occasion it did not get better so I was buoyed by that.
Tarwater came on a wee bit late so I missed much of that having to split for the aforementioned train. They were like a bubblegum Joy Division juggling splinters of Empires and Dance era Simple Minds. Pretty good and worthy of investigation. Maybe this being the last “lw” could be reconsidered. It’s a cool gathering of hipsters and the socially inept and consider myself part of the latter category of course.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
What’s with Roky not heading all the way north? Hopefully it’s because there are plans afoot for Celtic Connections and not just that nobody has had the gumption to make it happen. Guess we’ll know soon enough.
The Pretty Things are in Glasgow tonight (Saturday).
It’s the final Le Weekend in Stirling this weekend too, see you over there today.
Screening of The Runaways film in Bo’nyucks tomorrow afternoon, much as I think it’s tripe I’m going to attend just to see if there’s anyone there.
Need to make a concerted effort to get this damn thing up to speed but will stop short of rash promises based on recent experience. Still harbouring a deep mistrust of my recently acquired tracking device, sorry Blackberry and can’t really seem to concentrate on anything for any length of time. A cocktail of senility and ADD is what it feels like but still, one cannae unscramble eggs as I’ve stated before so whatever will be is seldom how it’s planned at any particular point in time.
Friday, October 15, 2010
It’s not possible to be in a number of places at once and when Willie Nile was in Largs (!), I was at the other end of the country. He and his band will be in the UK for at least another week as far as I know so you should check these dates. The Kaptain has been testifying all bloody week to the affect that this restored his faith in this thing called rock’n’roll and this is a man not prone to exaggeration.
Willie’s new album “The Innocent Ones” pretty much picks up where “Night Of A Thousand Guitars” left us. More tales from the American Music songbook performed with not a smidgeon of bluster. Truth is that this guy could have gotten to be where Springsteen is. Or Tom Petty for that matter but for some reason it wasn’t to be. The fact that he’s still knocking out material of this quality at this point speaks for itself. The Boss hasn’t come close to anything this heartfelt in years that I’ve come across. And I wish the comparisons to The Clash would cease, latter day Strummer when he took on the mantle of being a kind of Joe Ely maybe - but never the former.
Nile and Ely along with Scott Kempner, share an ability for retaining the romanticism and timeless passion of how music can make things alright. “Singin’ Bell” comes in like “From The Underworld” and is soon hitting a Rockpile pace that recalls “Guitar Town” era Steve Earle. “One Guitar” sees the 1000 whittled down to just the single digit. Not sure what he chose in the end but it sure sounds good. “My Little Girl” is Bobby Fuller via Buddy Holly, it doesn’t get too much cooler than that.
The standard is high here and my own favourite is “Can’t Stay Home” but what I really acn’t wait for is a chance to see the canon performed during his next time around. There’s nothing new here – hell there’s nothing new on this earth – but there’s precious little around that’s guaranteed to hit the spot like this. There’s no substitute for honesty and “TIO” sweats that rare commodity profusely.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Brother Don caught Teenage Fanclub in SF last night...
"Show was unbelievably GREAT!! TFC rained down a torrent of majestic pop -- one gem after another in a relentless onslaught of melodic gorgeousness!!! they were even better than last time if that's possible. not one but two encores. place was packed and crowd was euphoric throughout as was the band (especially mr blake).
To backtrack a bit... radar bros opened. quite good. kinda remind me a little of that band Spain. a little Spain, a little Luna, a little Floyd - post Syd/pre-dark side and a touch of The Band if that's possible.
TFC opened like gangbusters with "Start Again". Norman had a Gibson 335 which he kept trading for a cherry red Epi 335 with capo. small fender amp -- vibra-something. Bass was a fender precision thru big ampeg tube head and 8 X 10 rig. lead guitar was a fender jag thru slightly bigger fender amp than Norman's but similar (w/reverb). Frank had Gretsch drums. keyboard guy had I a Roland (i think) with a little casio mt-40 (!) on top. they quickly moved to stuff from the new album which went down very well: "The Past", "Shock and Awe" and then the masterpiece: "Baby Lee" -- as good a song as the band has ever done (and that's saying something and a half when you think of how many killers they've delivered over the yrs).
they also did another new fave of mine: "When I Still Have Thee". Plenty of classics to keep all happy: “Sparky's Dream”, “Ain't That Enough”, “I Don't Want To Lose Control”, “The Concept” (talk about killer songs!), “Don't Look Back”. the encores... “Can't Feel My Soul”, “I Need Direction”, “Everything Flows” (keyboard guy played a Tele on that so there were 3 guitars and it was just massive). 2nd encore included an explosive version of "What You Do To Me". just unbelievable.
my only criticism is that it was almost too much of a good thing. .."
Guess I didn't post yesterday at all. I did start but sidetracked.
Whistle stop weekend and posting Phast’s favourite Solomon Burke song ties in nicely with an episode during said Saturday into Sunday, phew...
Met up with Sister Qina down “the London” and packed as much into the allotted time as was humanly possible. This included eating at The Pillars of Hercules, meeting Tony and Vanessa and going to The Phoenix Artists Club, heading for Camden and another reacquaintance – Sister Donna Reeves of Dallas , TX. Grand to catch up and even put in a call to Brother Randall who is minding the store at home. I hadn’t seen Donna since they dropped me in Springfield, Mo. in the summer of ’92. Cue Percy Faith via The Skeletons.
This was the first of two visits to The Spreadeagle, the second after we met young Nick West at The Blues Kitchen. This was just a couple of weeks after visiting the Rock Kitchen in Madrid. Anyway, we went there to see Swedish combo, Stupidity and someone who was with them told me they’d be on at 10.30pm.
This turned out to be tosh because when we got back, I think we only caught the last 5 songs. They were great though and the Rev. Sid Griffin said it was the best he’d seen them. They brought a little bit of the ol’ Hope and Anchor to that corner of London on Saturday night. Prior to that, it was very cool to run into Nick Garrard and Rob Hughes. I had never met Rob and it must be at least a quarter century since I last saw Nick and he hasn’t really changed. In general, recent re-connections are going a long way to keeping me afloat – I hope there are a few others in the pipeline and I feel that the most important one was the catalyst for all this. Never figured myself as the spiritual type but I have my moments. Nice to see Mia there too, it was her birthday!
Nick travelled back to the area we were staying with us and we had a nightcap at Broderna Ollson in Frith Street. I always dug those joints but there was a wee hiccup in that I was told they didn’t accept Scottish money. Being that I make a point of carrying nothing but that, this was the first time I’d encountered such behaviour in a considerably long time. Just as well that Nick had some “real” money then. Cheers man. From there, Qina and I set off in search of some food to end what had been a very entertaining evening. Typical of the UK in general and London in particular that all we could find was Subway. It was fine though because we were famished. So then breakfast and the 9am train back north.
Qina is in Hong Kong now, starting a big adventure that I just know will be a gas.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. returns to the Rodeo Bar this week for the cold beer and free peanuts -- not to mention our monthly residency -- and takes to the road next week with a first ever visit to Boston!
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 13th / RODEO BAR / 375 Third Avenue (at the corner of 27th Street) in Manhattan /Two rootin' tootin' sets, from 10pm sharp until 12:30am / No cover!
And, should you find yourself up New England way... FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22nd / MIDWAY CAFE / Boston, MA / With Memphis Rockabilly and your host, WFMO's DJ Easy Ed!
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.
"Ballads, Boogies & Blues"
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Friday, October 08, 2010
Thursday, October 07, 2010
In some kind of half-assed bid to get with the 21st century, I just got one of these Blackberry things. By all accounts it’s a good deal and it’s all hopped up and ready to go but I’m reticent to use it. Some of you will understand that and others will be yelling as to why the hell not. Maybe I’m a little feart that I’ll become a crackberry addict although I doubt that’s the actual reason.
It’s more likely a deep seated aversion to being connected to what is essentially a tracking device. My trusty wee Samsung does everything that I actually need but for some reason, I felt the urge to be able to check e-mail on the hoof but reckon I’ll be using my existing method for a while yet. Being a little out of step with these times or any times really isn’t a bad thing to my mind and I ain’t about to buckle just yet.
Someone who definitely was made for these times has a couple of shows coming up in LA. If you’re out that away then drop any plans you have to attend. Between 4 – 6pm on Friday (8th) and 8pm on Saturday (9th) Hello Saferide in da 'hood...
And I have a pretty hectic couple of days coming up too so don't expect much from here until at least Sunday.
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
I think it’s pretty much rained since I got back from Spain. Pretty hellish really, the murk and grey doesn’t help the general demeanour much. Donated my 69th pint of blood earlier tonight and achieved not much else. Had to take the car because getting drookit wasn’t in my game plan.
So, in light of this - lets close with a favourite, recently a victim of the youtube police. Lola Dutronic's "Whisper" can now be found at Vimeo.
Not safe for work probably due to the nudity but damn fine nonetheless.
Might be more to share tomorrow...
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
To whom it may concern. This blog has nothing to do with any competition that has taken our name in vain. I’m getting e-mails asking for crap to do with that and here’s where it gets shouty… THIS NEXT BIG THING WAS AROUND A LONG TIME PRIOR TO THE VARIATION ON A BATTLE OF THE BANDS EVER EXISTED.
As Lux said “DO YOU UNDERSTAND?...” This time out I’m not even doing the courtesy of answering such misguided souls. There’s been a disclaimer in the sidebar there since the first time it all happened, evidently these people can’t read or are in such a desperate state that they don’t look for clues.
I mean, does this place look like we might care about something like that? I sincerely hope not but still, it’s bad enough trying to keep on top of everything without having to deal with this nonsense. If you want advice, Start a real band. Be a real artist. Don't plan your trajectory via a spreadsheet. Work Hard. Play often and build an audience. Stay away from competitions that thake our name in vain. Thanks.
Monday, October 04, 2010
That Madrid report took it out of me. Needed to do it justice but shards keep coming back. I’m discombobulated. Can’t believe it’s been a week since I was out there because the memories are still burning pretty bright as opposed to some other sensibilities.
My thanks to Helena at the fantabulous Wurlitzer for getting back to me to say that the band that opened for them Twisteroos goes by the name of Suann. They were damn good, with a singer that really smoulders. A little different from yer average blues-rock combo.
There’ll be some music reviews or at least tips at some point. Like I said before, it’s not always going to be possible for me to update this every day right now. Not because I don’t want to but I just feel sort of worn down with it all. In addition, I’m trying to get through on the phone to two major companies. All I get is this automated button pressing bullshit and I’m not a happy camper.
I want to be where my homies are at!? Stamps feet several times, no clicking of heels.
Sunday, October 03, 2010
The only guff thing about going away is that you have to come back. And that means dealing with the stuff that you procrastinated with prior to heading into the sunset. A Groundhog life and we ain’t talking Tony McPhee here. Nor is that rhyming slang although I imagine it could be. So yeah, high jinks wis had in “The Madrid” – let’s take it from the top.
The air traffic control tosspots out yonder in Patrickland did their utmost to harsh the mellow but it just amounted to delay. Some poor buggers suffered full on cancellation though. It looked a little bleak earlier last week when I got the e-mail warning of the disruption. At this point, with the world going to hell in the proverbial woven accoutrement, I’m not sure what strikes prove other than that they manage to fuck people up going about their business. There has to be a better way of sticking it to the bastards that got us into this shit and I’m fairly sure that it’s nothing to do with stopping us getting from a to b or even c. I can think of a word that begins with that last one which applies to individuals like those air traffic controllers.
In the end I was maybe 4 hours late and wasted no time in heading round to Munsterville to check in with the troops. Just the day before, I’d learned that Redd Kross and those Hoodoo Gurus were playing that night. Note to London, NY (and elsewhere), the Gurus are headed your way. Master of Ceremonies, Francisco had everything under control as always, leaving Iňigo and I to have the first aperitif of this trip. Jorge held the fort with some of his compadres and I had every intention of meeting the lovely Ulla for breakfast around 8am on Friday morning but we’ll get to that.
The show was way across town in a place called Rock Kitchen. It was possibly once a cinema that turned into a disco. Someone mentioned a salsa club if I recall. Good sight lines and to my mind good sound. Halfway back on the floor, I distinctly heard the frisson of guitar in “I Want You Back” and “Leilani” was simply amazing. The audience is always what makes a show in Spain special. To hear them sing “Stoned” or “Pretty Please Me” or “Annie’s Gone” is to wonder what a world would be like where stadium crowds across the world did likewise instead of worshipping O-arse-is. We got “Blow You A Kiss In The Wind” but not “Zira”. Possibly just as well. Band of Gold got together what seemed like the ultimate fantasy bill. And made it happen.
Grand to see the YFF team and Mark Arm and to make the acquaintance of my friend Maria for the first time. Her capacity for this rock’n’roll stuff is really something. After the show, she took me to Funhouse with some of her crew for a real cool time that involved drinking and dancing though not necessarily in that order. This would be the first 5am stint of my visit and the joint was still jumping (what’s Spanish for a stay behind?) when I left. Your reporter had been on the go for 24 hours at that point and I had a breakfast date coming up in just a few hours.
Had a powernap as opposed to sleep and I was just about 15 minutes late to Munster. I think this was the day that I met Murky, King of Shellac and much more just at the corner outside in what you could call an example of very perfect timing.
Ms U and I caught up in a cool place just around the corner and all too soon she returned to work as I hauled it back to the hostal in a bid to get some actual kip. Must have been moderately successful but I was soon back at Munster ready to go again. Several wee beers were quaffed ahead of the arrival of team Dahlmann and it was quite a pleasure to see them play their first actual show ever in the first city of rock’n’roll. You’ve heard me banging on about The Wurlitzer Ballroom and you’re probably sceptical. All I can say is you have to go there. The atmosphere is utterly unique. My friend Sara puts it like this...
“Wurlitzer is like the bar appearing in the film From Dusk Til Dawn, where Salma Hayek dances sexy and then everyone is a vampire!!”
Pretty succinct. (Sara and Riff pictured in mid-transformation)
Cracking Chinese food courtesy of Capt. Alvaro ahead of the shindig meant that some ballast was provided for what would be a booze marathon for a general lightweight such as myself. The band did great and I hope that they’ll get crack-a-lackin' (thanks F) on their debut album so that the rest of the world can see and hear their pop thrust. Seb Dahlmann is but a nipper, albeit a tall one, and he had just been drafted in but you’d never have known. I think Andre’s religious icons would be proud.
So there was much revelry after the set. For me it lasted to the requisite 5AM and I began to buckle. In order not to miss the bulk of the next day I made an executive decision to stagger back to my billet in the glow of the Tio Pepe sign. Maybe I stopped to get some pizza, don’t remember. The Jager can do that to you.
Saturday would be a relatively quiet day but one that required some stamina because it was to last deep into Sunday. Great to hang out with the Pastors and from there it was time to go hook up with the Dahlmann posse to make plans for later in the evening. Met up with Field Marshall (Simon) Birrell and he took us to the area where we’d hook up with Eva, Murky and Jorge for a taste of real Madrid (nada to do with football).
This was one of the great experiences. Top company, food, drink, environment, everything. I could quite happily ride that particular roundabout for eternity. Couple shots of Mama Juana (rhymes with whammer jammer) for the road to the Murkster’s lair where there dwells music that the world will hear one of these days. Talk about a laboratory of sound. What great kids!
If you find yourself in this amazing city then you gots to go to these places...
Simpatia Latina II
So where did we end up you’re probably asking yourselves... see if you can guess? I slept until after noon on the Sunday having been smashed in the most pleasant of circumstances.
Went for a long walk to clear the heid, ahead of the arrival of my next compadre to make the scene. Mr Claessens hit town for the YFF show on the following Tuesday that I would sadly miss but I think I was doing, am doing pretty good. We had a couple of snifters, called by Inigo’s to be treated to a percussion set by his son Gari and headed off to wait for The Twisteroos who as it turned out had been stopped by the fuzz en route from Barcelona. This ended up causing a delay and more of those aperatifs. Met Marco, head honcho of Ghost Highway Recordings. Proud purveyors of serious rock action in 7” slices. What a great guy, more about their wares after the logbook entry.
So they eventually got to town after Jonathan managed to persuade the law to let them continue rolling down the highway. Ice t has an expression that we might employ at this point. Didn’t he use it in a Body Count song? It was great to see them roll out of the van because that meant game on!
Don’t recall who the band was that opened but they were good. I’ll update this when I find out. The T’s had no soundcheck, they just came out and blasted forth. This is rock’n’roll that covers all the bases that reaches the parts that most simply don’t. You know what they say about pictures vs words. And afterwards, Vibeke and I did a little tag team DJ stint that was so much fun that we’re planning to do it all again although sadly not in December like we figured. It was the perfect end to a rip-roaring few days and this time I definitely did have pizza as did the others.
I retired and hit the digs at 5.49am, to be up again and out by 8am. Rolled around to say my goodbyes to the earlybird Munsters, had an orange juice for the road with Iňigo and checked in with Jonathan who looked way less shell shocked than he had the night before.
From there it was time to head for the aeropuerto toward reality. I was pretty much hornswaggled but I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. And I will. I’m sure there’s a lot more than this but there’s an aspect of if you remember you weren’t there to all this. Sorta like the sixties condensed into 4 days. Madrid is good for what ails you. Me certainly.
Thanks to the crew (they know who they are) and all the folks I met for the first time. Hope it won’t be the last. There are too many to list here but special commendations to Benito, Helena and Alvaro for providing the activity room.
Gracias - mi amigos and amigettes!
Photos by me except the Tio Pepe and Twisteroos - courtesy of Mr Christophe Claessons of the Antwerp parish. CC runs Universal Trendsetter .
Perfectly composed vino pic by Eva.
Mary and Maria at Funhouse courtesy of Ms Maria Bonet