Saturday, June 30, 2007
Stranded... in Edinburgh - I put this together some time ago and it needs to be updated but what the hey, Pablo just done put it up on the interweb anyway. If anybody out there has any tips for the update then let's be 'avin 'em... Looking to put together a Glasgow versh also maybe.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
A quick note on tonight's show (Saturday, June 30th). They changed the venue again (for the third time)!!! Now we are playing inside at Tiki Bob's. Tiki Bob's is hands down the best club at High Falls. The place is incredibly cool with a huge stage and a wonderful sound system.
the atomic swindlers
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Oh, I know I've lost the plot, that's not what me mean... OK got the new Ben Weasel and will use that to try to get back to terra firma in the car this morning. And talking about Ben's... Mr Gart kindly sent this report about The Fleshtones visit to the Windy (not windae) City on Saturday past...
"The Fleshtones were great. A cool little place I've never been to before -- The Subterranean (funny though...it was on the second and third floor of the building. It's an old theater-type room -- reminds me of what could've been a little Vaudeville place or old nightclub. Stage at one end, not a lot of room, bar at the other; stairs that go up and down, leading up to the next floor where there are restrooms and another bar and tables/chairs -- it all enables you to watch the show from that floor too. Here's a couple of pictures of the place: http://www.planet99.com/chicago/bars/subterranean.html. And here's a great pic from the second floor (what a cool little chandelier): http://www.subt.net/images/pics/subtpics/subt/subt1.html (from the club site). On to the show...
The Hentchmen were alright, interesting little garage rock combo. Was a little familiar with their output from Norton, but not really my kind of stuff. Good energy, but didn't grab me that night. Missed the first band, the Havocs, but Peter and the boys seemed to get a kick out of them and invited them on stage (more on that later). After the Hentchmen, I got to meet Ken while he was selling their wares; a really nice, cool guy.
I bore witness to something incredible last Saturday night. Things kicked off at midnight, with Keith and Ken playing the opening riff to "Hard Lovin' Man", hard to locate where the noise was coming from but eventually they appeared from the second floor balcony and made their way down to the first floor through the crowd, as Peter and Bill came around too. They all made way to the stage and the festivities began...wow, what a great show! So much energy, humor, charisma...even if there were non-fans in the audience, they must've been converted that night. Sure, there were some technical problems throughout the show (Keith's amp mic went in and out during a lot of the show, but he overcame and things got fixed eventually). Even if they never make way back to Chicago, at least I got to see them this night. They cranked out some of the stellar tunes from Beachhead, mixing in some older tunes and covers that were totally satisfying. Keith, Ken and Peter all moved and danced around the stage and audience throughout the entire show, including going up and down the stairs numerous times. The audience were all treated like friends at some crazy old party, and we were all being let in on the biggest secret. Keith dared to pull out a folding chair and played "Ready For The Mountain" from atop the rickety thing (later, bringing it out into the audience and standing on it there too). They ran through "Saturday night/Sunday morning", "...Do You Swing?", "I Am What I Am", "Way Down South", "Feels Like A Woman", The Dreg/Vindicators" , "Sha La La La (pts 1 & 2)"...they brought both openers up on stage with them, let Johnny Hentch wail on the harp...killer encore) and so many other tunes that night. The highlight for me...The Opus, is a medley of "I've Gotta Change My Life", "Hope Come Back" and "Stop Foolin' Around" -- a shame they were abbreviated but still wonderful to see them and the audience eat it all up. Hearing these old songs mixed in with the new one shows indicate how crafty and consistent they have been all these years. And then they flattened us with the stunning capper of "Bigger & Better". How can one band give so much from beginning to end? Amazing, simply awe-inspiring stuff. The kind of experience that makes people go out and start their own bands. Was truly a night I did not want to end...if only they could have kept going on. I think it's fair to say that The Fleshtones are the true heirs to the Ramones' throne of RnR royalty. They are what is right with rock and roll. I wanna know what their secret is -- how have they done it? I guess I'll wait for Sweat.
The energy they exude is simply incredible -- like every show is their last and they're going out with a bang. Amazing that they have been doing this for so long and have no plans on stopping soon. If only everyone could experience the Fleshtones once in their lives.
This rates among my top 10 shows, ever."
Thanks for testifying Ben!
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Anyway, check it out next week or if it's repeated or whatever. A wee bit of culture for a Tuesday nicht. Earlier I was trying to get to grips with shooting short clips using a digital camera. With varying degrees of total ineptitude. Watch this space but don't hold yer breath.
So let's close up tonight with some news on those Ferriday Fireballs...
...THE TWO MAN TERRORS TEAR IT UP IN LONDON THIS WEEKEND.
THURSDAY AT THE CORN ROCKET CLUB @ RYANS BAR, STOKE NEWINGTON.
FRIDAY AT THE DIRTY WATER, BOTH SHOWS WITH MUCK AND THE MIRES.
THURSDAY, JUNE 28th / OTTO'S SHRUNKEN HEAD TIKI BAR & LOUNGE / 538 East 14th Street (just west of Avenue B) in ol' Manhattan / Two shows of reasonable horsepower, from 8:00 sharp 'til 10:00 / No cover!
And, speaking of horsepower...
SATURDAY, JUNE 30th / RUMBLERS NOMADS CAR SHOW / 4th Annual Rumblers Nomads Car Club "Rumble In The Country" / Terryville Fairgrounds, off Route 6 in Terryville, CT / Bands, food, hot rods & nature! / Noon 'til 6pm / http://www.rumblersnomads.com /
Yours truly (and UL approved), Michael
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.
"Ballads, Boogies & Blues"
PRIMITIVE VOLUME 4 RECOLLECTIONS by Lenny Helsing
We, that being The Wildebeests, arrived into Primitive at the Waterfront in Rotterdam late on the Friday night, thus missing all of Thursday’s action, where the likes of Mark and the Spies, The Staggers and The Ugly Beats played, the latter having the good fortune to have the great Ronnie Splinter from the Outsiders play a couple of songs with them… all of this was taking place in the main hall. I’m bugged too that I also missed the action from the Café, as it included The Timeflies, a group featuring Robert Muter, vocalist from my old pals The Kliek. Perhaps someone will post something up on the groups I’ve missed out!
…so the last noises we caught of the Friday night came from Spain’s the Del Shapiros, and USA’s Muck and The Mires. Maybe it was the sound that wasn’t terribly inspiring or something, or the fact that I was just getting to grips with being there, drinking beer and clocking some faces I knew… but I was a little underwhelmed by both, though that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy some of their songs. I did. Muck & co were at times giving off a very early ‘80s Boston rock’n’roll aroma, with plenty of harmonies and strong pop moves in the mix. The Del Shapiros came on like a revved-up cartoon version of San Diego r’n’b greats The Crawdaddys ’n’ The Tell-Tale Hearts together, they dressed it too - in finest dukes of hamburg-kaiserthreads but after a few minutes it seemed clear there was very little to make them really stand out on their own.
Kim Fowley was Master of Ceremonies for this year’s event, and could be seen around the place a lot of the time. I passed a few pleasantries myself with the great man after being introduced to him in the main hall by Primitive main man Dave; although I know of a fair few folks over the weekend who could, and did, get out of his way anytime he came near them, ha ha…
For me and Russ (Wildebeests’ guitarist), Saturday began with a walk around a bit of the city, paying a visit to the market down Beursplein way, not to mention a couple of beer stops and coffee stops; dodging in and out of the rain. So, back at the Primitive scene, café style, in mid-afternoon Das Aldi Combo were missed, and we didn’t catch much of the Del Shapiros (again) with Kim Fowley either, as we had to try and sort something out with regard to amps and drums, and checking of the sound in the main hall: The Yardbirds who were gonna play last on the bill, changed their minds late on and wanted to play earlier so’s they could catch some kip…so we Wildebeests were chosen to go on last instead, so we thought we may as well try and get the sound we could be good with.
The Montesas and their particular brand of swingin’ kraut-twang were the first I caught and they were pretty cool. They were certainly getting everyone going in the heaving café and included in their set a pretty wild rendition of the soul classic ‘Uptight’. I also spent some time chatting outside with one of my big heroes, none other than Outsiders guitar legend Ronnie Splinter…and whatta totally great guy he is! His group The Dam were originally billed to play this year’s Primitive but they pulled out, so maybe they’ll play next year?
First up in the main hall Saturday were Sardinia’s garage gang The Rippers. Man, these cats are a pure frantic beat punk riot, an all-black apparition of nervous energy that definitely got feet moving and heads shaking, not to mention beers spilling etc. For some reason to this here old punk they somehow recalled some of the sounds that the very early Dead Kennedys were making, mainly due to the vocal sound and general speedball scuzz of their chosen setlist. The crowd were well up for it too…next to arrive was the legendary sixties outfit from Boston USA, yes, The Rising Storm, introduced not by Kim Fowley, but by vintage beat collector guru Hans Kesteloo. Well, as a lot of you know this group is not your typical garage-style band we’ve become accustomed to in these modern days. The Rising Storm play not so fast, not so hard or aggressive, and are surely best known for the ultra-moody, melodious songs that adorned their only LP ‘Calm Before…The Rising Storm’, a real rare rare rare LP in its original format, but which was heard by us via Eva’s illegal reissue from the early ‘80s.
Do I have to tell you it contained gems such as the rarely paralleled ‘Frozen Laughter’, ‘She Loved Me’ and various covers of Love, Rockin’ Ramrods and The Remains. Again, with these kinda groups that are brought out of the shadows into the bright light once more, years after their formation and initial demise, to be directly in front of you, you have to think beyond the sometimes detrimental sound of PA’s and monitors etc and concentrate on the songs themselves. For me and a lot of folks in the crowd they delivered the goods most of the time; there were technical hitches and glitches and lost vocals and Hammond, but there were especially wonderful moments when they played ‘Mr Wind’, the afore-mentioned ‘She Loved Me’ and, for example, ‘Bright Lit Blue Skies’…Hey, their opening salvo, their cover of their beloved Remains’ ’Don’t Look Back’ was no slouch either. Barring the bassist, it was all the original 1967 group too. Playing bass for them was all-round genuine ‘60s afficionado Erik Lindgren, head honcho of the label Arf! Arf!, and the man who brought us not only loads of great comps. like ‘No No No’, ‘Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’, ‘Sigh, Cry, Die’, but who was also responsible for issuing the Lyres’ awesome debut 45 on his Sounds Interesting label. Now that is monumental! The Rising Storm you will pleased to hear were all real cool and personable guys too, which is always an added bonus.
The Yardbirds were on next after Mr Fowley gave them a short and beat-poetic introduction. This was one of those affairs that I enjoyed… for a little while at least. This was mainly down to the fact that I love the original group’s records I think. There was a definite sense of anticipation to see whether a group like The Yardbirds could pull off something like Primitve. Let’s see…here’s what I remember. The lead guitar really squealed a lot of the time and the player made all those horrendous faces one associates with Ten Years After at Woodstock. The harmonica playing was up to the task, with really enthusiastic playing, etc…but we could have done without the contrived ‘distorted microphone’ sound, well at least some of the time anyway. And the actual playing itself couldn’t have been more over-egged even if it tried. Jim McCarty, the group’s original drummer, should have been limited to one or two tom toms …not 4! He is joined by original rhythm guitarist, Chris Dreja, who I think did a fine job. Singer / guitarist these days is John Idan, and he didn’t do too badly either, especially with all these totally revered songs like ‘Heartfull Of Soul’, ‘Shapes Of Things’. OK OK he ain’t never gonna be Keith Relf – let’s face who is! I hated it most when it just got too noodly, with the guitar going off one on more than a few occasions.
Hey! I know The Yardbirds did go off on one in their prime anyway, ha ha, but it’s one thing for the Jeff Beck / Jimmy Page-era group to be doing stuff like ‘Dazed and Confused’… and quite another to hear something like that being somewhat laboured over …A lot of folks I know were more down on them than I was, saying things like “Pontins” and “Butlins” and “shouldn’t be calling themselves The Yardbirds at all”…but maybe that’s what happens if you spend a lot of time doing these super-solid-golden-sixties-type shows…I dunno. A lot of the songs were played exactly like the records, but somehow much of the feeling wasn’t there.
I can say nothing about The Wildebeests aside from the fact that we played for around 50 mins and seemed to be some kind of saving grace for a lot of the more garagey, rock’n’roll types in attendance…and we played things like Devo’s ‘Mongoloid’, a never-before attempted go at The Milkshakes’ ‘It’s You’, …and of course the ‘Elevators ‘She Lives In A Time Of Her Own’ plus a bunch of our own dimboid creations too. What more can I add…oh yeah I think we maybe winged it a bit here ‘n there, vocals were maybe a bit lacking on several items due to the lateness of our appearance and the provision of lots of beer before, and during our set, which was gleefully consumed…At one point I think there were around 4 or 5 of the Primitive go-go girls onstage with us. How very cool.
There were some pretty great records being spun anytime we ventured into the café area, and in the hall too, between groups and all weekend long with the go-gos giving it all they’ve got… A lot of time was spent catching up with old faces, drinking and talking, and with new faces too…All in all it was a great party and I’m glad The Wildebeests were the group to end Saturday’s main hall proceedings.
You want photos? Click here...
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Anyways, I liked the clips of Lily Allen and also Amy Winehouse. They're proper pop stars. The Stooges stage invasion and after show appearance was entertaining. Ron Asheton was resplendent in his wellies and Iggy never got his willy out. Result. Plus they never showed any of the turgid new material on BBC2. John Fogerty was great and it made me think again about how he really should do "Starry Eyes". Check out this vintage Iggy and co action from Missouri via The I-94 Bar.
On the "what the chuff was that about" side of the coin, The Killers lived up to their name by boring me rigid. Lord knows how long it must have felt like if you didn't have a FF facility. The Klaxons - kings of "new rave"... dearie, dearie me and so it goes on. I saw one song by The Hold Steady which just underlined what I already figured and that singer really needs to vary the incredibly irritating mugging. Saw billboards in Camden for The Pigeon Detectives and am inclined to make gloating observations about droppings but I imagine that a Kaiser Chiefs understudy is not a high priority for the remainder of the UK. But who knows. Nick Lowe was on, that was good, then they started to show the sodding Killers again and to avoid a Bill Grundy type situation, I opted for the off button. From here I'm going to tackle some listening and reading that various chores have kept me from.
I'd much rather be doing what I was doing last Sunday at this time but you know what they reckon about too muckle of a good thing. I should add that "Seven Ages of Dork" wasn't too bad last night, still all over the place but liberty taking was minimal. Maybe the wine was chilling me out?
Saturday, June 23, 2007
When I got back from London there was a message in my inbox from Sandy McLean about an old associate of ours, Kai Davidson.
I met Kai when he belted out the truth on bass with The Cateran, a band from Inverness that was at the forefront of what would eventually catapult Nirvana into the bigtime. Their debut mini-album “Little Circles” remains to this day something way more dear to me than a truckload of Orange Juice or Josef K singles. Sandy and I, er, “produced” the band’s “Last Big Lie” single. Of course neither of us will be bothering Tony Visconti anytime soon but it was fun. I remember being a bit pished one night and doing a HDM with them for a rendition of “Search and Destroy” at Potter’s Row or someplace too. Crivvens. One day the rest of the world will rediscover that band. Kai also managed The Proclaimers in their early years and also went on to be in The Joyriders with fellow Cateran-er and amigo Murdo McLeod.
He was a very nice man. I can’t even begin to understand the turmoil he was in this past few years and my thoughts are very much with his friends and family. I’m sure they're utterly devastated and wondering what they could have done to prevent such a tragedy. I imagine the answer is nothing, which makes it all the more bloody heartbreaking.
Here’s the link provided by Sandy. I didn’t want to post it raw.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Doubt I'll be back on this thing tonight. Been feeling wabbit all day and I think that bloody cold that's been threatening is about to kick my jacksy. Don't want to be artexing the screen now does I. I'm going to be tuning into some of the Glastonbury coverage and perhaps shouting at the telly over the weekend.
Oh yeah, the Primitive Festival is on too in Rotterdam. Perhaps J has cut along yonder?
Anyways, whatever you're up to - don't let the bastards grind you down.
Don't forget, it's Gearfest in Stockholm.
Murray tells me that TV21 and Vic Godard are at The Citrus Club in Edinburgh tonight.
and The Star Spangles are at Arlene's Grocery in New York.
Me? I won't be straying far from the midden heid here...
Thursday, June 21, 2007
So I head south to catch some of my favourite artists of all time, people who have shaped my existence and provided the soundtrack to it. And also to hang out with old, and newer, dear friends. Three shows over four days and several pints of Guinness later I’m back and trying to figure what just happened. Could it have been real? Well let’s try and recap… you guys be Melfi.
Let’s leave the shortcomings of the transport system be and cut straight to Part One, a free show by Alan Vega at The Roundhouse. A place I hadn’t been since I saw The Dictators open for a bunch of hippie bandwagoners in November of 77. Driving into Camden, we went past CSM. The man who has been providing that authoritative “Seven Ages of Bollocks” rock knowledge this past few weeks courtesy of the BBC. No punch up the hooter is forthcoming because, well, what if we couldn’t get in?
It was timely to just walk in as the lights were going down for the inaugural STATION broadcast to begin. With a successful ATP appearance in the bag back in May, anticipation was high. As Alan prowled the stage, Liz conjured up the dense techno demos from the contraption that is part Dr Who prop/part theremin as designed by IBM. The man who does the best “uh huh huh” this side of Sun Elvis was delivering his manifesto. At a couple of points, Alan and Liz’s son Dante also took the stage. It’s a family affair... Somebody handed him a “no smoking” sign during the performance. This was momentarily brandished and despatched even quicker. A special law will have to be passed so that Alan Vega has dispensation to smoke wherever the heck he likes. Don’t these people have any idea who he is?
Sunday is generally considered to be a day of rest and this can take many forms. This one meant meeting Bigor and Viva and hitting a bar called “The Gun”. They’d come from Ljubljana to pay respect to the man who would be playing his first UK show ever the very next day. He’d (always) been here before when the CBS album came out but only for press. Our Slovenian friends were familiar with this part of London. I’d ever been down there before but it’s like another world. A whole new outpost of culture, very little of which felt much like being in England. The music at Café 1001 might have sucked but the vibe was happening. We ended up in a Punjabi restaurant called Tayyabs which was just plain great. Way different to that type of food in this part of the world. If you’re down London way then it’s well worth getting off the beaten path for. I had a ball down there. When I was leaving the underground station to walk from Hammersmith to Chiswick it started to piss with rain but this was one waterproof parade, the ideal night for a wander around the edge of the Thames.
Monday kicked off with meeting Howard at the hotel. He’s been at the coal face of the Suicide phenom since he worked with Bronze Records thirty years ago. Consequently, coincidentally, whatever way you wanna call it, three of the acts he signed back yonder have shows in London over the weekend. Four if you want to include Dean and Britta and factor in Luna. First was Motorhead who kicked off Meltdown on Saturday. Some smart folks had the presence of mind to cut to the AV show straight after. That’s initiative in action right there. H is also responsible for the CBS Roky album that would provide the centrepiece material for the RFH show later that evening. Much as I love “You’re Gonna Miss Me”, it’s no “Bloody Hammer”. Anyway that’s a helluva cv. Maybe none of those acts sold a gazillion records but their influence on all manner of culture is impossible to measure. If there’s a pigeonhole marked “classic rock’n’roll” the I guess you could put the blame on H. Man, it was great to catch up. He showed me a copy of a flyer for the upcoming Suicide wreckrospective that was from 1971, and it mentioned “punk”. Alan and Martin were presented with a Mojo award that evening and there will be a major feature in the magazine, I think in the August issue.
We’re talking pioneers here. People who forged something out of seemingly nothing to touch history. While H and the Frankies were whooping it up at “The Brewery” with Alice Cooper and Ron Asheton (who incidentally LOVES “Cake”) I was living it large at the RFH, the scene of Roky Erickson’s first ever performance on UK soil. Expectations weren’t high. Mainly fuelled by what I consider to be an invasive, mean spirited documentary which was shown the day before the performance. While I take on board Brother Joss’s observations that there were two glimpses of the real Rok in there, the rest is a mess which I consider to be disrespectful. If you’re not familiar with the background then you’re just gonna think it’s more disfunction. But anyways, Clinic opened up (did you see what I did there?) and I lasted a couple of songs. The sound at that point sucked and the band was perfunctory.
Time to go back to the bar and see a few more familiar faces from across the years, man that was a blast! The show itself was pretty overwhelming and I’ve read a couple of very lukewarm reviews that must have been written out on the Terrace bar. They certainly didn’t reflect what I, and everyone else I spoke to, thought. It was very emotional and “Starry Eyes” turned me to mush. To see this bright, beaming character on stage was a revelation. The suspected train wreck never happened and the audience was great. They never sat and looked at their phones and gabbed through the set. When was the last time that happened? Where are these people all the rest of the time?? If this was humankind then I’d go out more. “Creature”, “Bloody Hammer”, “Night of the Vampire”, “Zombie”. I never ever thought I’d see these performed. Roky is my Brian Wilson and “Teo”, the album H brought to CBS is my “Pet Sounds”. The band was great too and they provide a great spiritual ballast to him. The fact that he can do this is an example of the closest thing to a miracle that I’ve ever seen. And it didn’t end there.
Meeting Bill Allerton, (the man behind the fine Stand Out Record Emporium situated on the RH side of 2 Blenheim Crescent in the capital) in the bar afterwards he said he had a spare aftershow pass. And would I like to have it. The gods were smiling on me longer that day than I was ever used to. To be honest, I was wary. A hundred “what if’s” flooded my mind but “what the fuck” pulled rank and I was soon scuttling off backstage. When I got around there it was deserted but a very helpful French lady directed me to the 5th floor where sure enough, there he was. I got to shake his hand and I told him that it would be great if he could come to Scotland. I asked him if he remembered Howard and he said he did. “Say Hi to him for me” he beamed. Now, if you want to believe that story you can but it all seems kinda like a very cool dream to me. When I made it back to the bar I was something of a gibbering wreck (nothing new there then I hear you wags gurn) but this was different. It was like meeting god without playing sabbaf at 78rpm. Young David was next to get the pass and he too met the great man who is so generous with his time. I’ll remember him this way always and hope it’s the first of many. It had been a magical Monday night. I doubt I’ll ever have another like it.
Tuesday and we head to see another old bud. Mike Mastrangelo at Sanctuary Records. During the walk there I spoke to H and he told me that it was Bill Allerton that was instrumental in him meeting Roky's management prior to the CBS period. Things had all gone full circle and I'll have another box of this kinda mysterious ways action. Anyway, I digress, Mike is the archivist there and his most recent release is “Da Blood Done Signed My Name” by The Gun Club. Mike used to run the GC fan club which was sorta based on the LOTC model. He was only wee then and the first time we actually met was when I was covering the Lyceum gig for Sounds some 20+ big ones ago.
So after that it’s a cheeky Guinness on the Chiswick High Road and off to Highbury for a rendez with Messrs Thompson and Thewlis. Our mission to catch Suicide play a tiny club show at The Buffalo Bar as a warm-up to the Grinderman gig the following evening. As a bonus we caught what must be the best soundcheck I ever saw. “Ghost Rider”, “Che” and “Girl” in front of maybe 10 people. Seems like we were blessed. These two guys always were and will always be several leagues ahead of everything. What they do always comes directly from the gut. It seems like the only way. Electronic music can have soul and they mapped and continue to develop the form outside of conventional wisdom. During the actual show which is more of an event than a gig, I managed to burrow almost to the front for “Frankie Teardrop”. The crisp, clear shards of the sound that was evident at the soundcheck was being absorbed by the weave of bodies that formed a solid mass in the tiny venue. It wasn’t comfortable and it wasn’t meant to be.
It was a Saturday to Tuesday that’ll keep them there dreams smouldering for a wee while longer. The music of true originals and the company of damn nice people, that’s something we could all do with a little more of.
Jay Reatard live in Paris, Point Éphémère 16/6/2007
Le Point Ephemre is a great place for shows that used to be the docks, next to the Seine. That was the scene of the Born Badfest with Jay Reatard, backed by the Boston Chinks, the Magnetix & Deche Dans face.
Deche Dans Face (recent album is on Sub Pop) is a duo from Bordeaux composed of Pludwinski (Flytrap) and Dechmman (Soledad Brothers). They opened the evening’s entertainment with a garage punk lo-fi degenerate primitive blues (sort of) show. Some great tunes like “Zuzu (the motherfuckin’ dog)” and the Stones “Little By Little” but also a few boring, too long songs.
Then came another duo, the fantastic Magnetix: Looch Vibrato on guitar / vocals and Aggy Sanora on drums. Close your eyes and you’ll bet that should be at least 5 people on stage to make this much “noise” but it’s all down to an (athletic) guy and a (sexy) girl. All of their songs are catchy, fun, melodic and energetic. Magnetix are the best current French garage band, like a cross between Link Wray and the Gories. They have a bunch of singles and are just about to put out an album on Born Bad records.
Then came a short, brilliant set by the Boston Chinks who have a a great EP out on Goner. They opened for Jay on the other dates of this European tour.
3 out of the 4 BC’s (exit Mr bassman) came back a few seconds later to back Jay who is also the frontman of the Reatards, Lost Sounds and collaborator with countless other acts.
I’ve been a devotee since his Goner debut in 1997. “You Ain’t No Fun No Mo”, made when he was 17 is the wildest song I heard since Mad Mike & The Maniacs “The Hunch” and Ralph Nielsen & The Chancellors “Scream”. In that genre. His solo album “Blood Vision”, with its Dwarves-ish cover is great. The songs / voice / high energy melodies. 4 singles have been released on 4 different labels and these are even better. More Devo oriented which may be the reason why some critics say that it’s new wave. Is “Blockhead” by Devo new wave ? If it is then ok, so I love new wave (but I didn’t know !) It was a short intense set (20 minutes, 10 songs). Jay is a kind of Jonathan Richman, in that, like Jojo, he gives his all. Mere words can’t describe the passion of this guy on stage. There are gigs coming up in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Italy & the Netherlands before they fly home to the USA. Check the schedule…
11:00 -- Johnny Carlevale & His Band Of All-Stars
10:00 -- Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.
9:00 -- The Wrong Reasons,
And, for your more refined tastes...
THURSDAY, JUNE 28th / OTTO'S SHRUNKEN HEAD / (Our last Otto's show until August 30th!) /538 East 14th Street (just west of Avenue B) in Manhattan / Two big & bawdy shows, from 8:00 sharp 'til 10:00 /No cover! /
Yours truly, Michael,
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.
"Ballads, Boogies & Blues"
There's a heap of information coming but it's taking a little longer to get back on the beam than expected. I'll try to assimilate all that as I gather my thoughts about London... got some rather bad news today also about an old compadre that's been somewhat sobering. That's been mulling around since Sandy sent me the link also. In such circumstances, blogging seems like a pretty futile exercise. Anyway, you'll be hearing from me and also Brother Patrick very soon. And now I have to go sort out a birthday present...
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Not sure if I have the will to ramble tonight but we'll see...
As I type, Suicide will be onstage opening for Grinderman. They'll also perform two songs, one of which is "Harlem" with Cave and co. The Frankies have it!
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Suicide (that's the band not the act) tonight hot on the heels of their Mojo award!
Saturday, June 16, 2007
On the fiftieth anniversary of its release, Steve Van Zandt tells how a song survived the wrath of J Edgar Hoover’s FBI to become one of the most performed, recorded and influential of all time.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
firstname.lastname@example.org or Hitherto
You can see the process at the events section of the Hitherto site.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
This new issue (#21) is (by reader request) a final tribute to everybody's favorite punk rock hangout: CBGB. It contains several interviews with people you might (and might not) expect to see in PUNK: Richard Lloyd, Lenny Kaye, H.R. (Bad Brains), Jayne County, Bobby Steele, Harley Flanagan, Alan Vega, Pete Koller, Roberta Bayley, Godlis, Jed Davis, Tibbie X and others. Plus we got exclusive photos of the Ramones, Bad Brains, Television, the Patti Smith Group, the Dead Boys, Blondie, Talking Heads, Destroy All Monsters, LES Stitches, Lester Bangs (with Birdland), The Jam, Suicide, the Cramps, Helen Wheels, James Chance, The Fall, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, Nico, the Magic Tramps, Hilly Kristal and even some early CBGB graffiti. Plus we got some comic strips by Steve Taylor, Bruce Carleton, Rick Trembles and Avi Spivak. And just wait until you see what Robert Romagnoli did in this issue...
Pretty much the same reservations I have about the Television book (reviewed below) can be lined up again when it comes to this new MC5 biography. The story is there, and pretty much accurate as far as I can tell, but again there's no heart and a serious lack of new insights. Callwood did talk to most of the surviving participants and the thing actually has some weight to it (as opposed to the magazine sized TV book) But nothing in here comes close to the kind of excitement generated by the A True Testimonial film. The author keeps his distance, seems to be afraid to step on people's toes and lacks the perspective to do the job right (he came to the band relatively late and writes for metal and musicians mags) The Testimonial disaster gets glossed over, even tho' it's probably the only thing able to (re-)affirm the band's importance to future generations.
Again there's the "selected discography", and coupled to the fact that there's no index it doesn't even work as a reference guide.
I don't wanna slag this off entirely 'cause it's not that bad, but anybody who has seen the film knows that there's a real story here; inspirational, glorious, tragic, but hardly ever does that come across in the pages of this book...
hal ashby, usa, 1973, 103 mins.
sunday 17th june, 7.30pm
stuart murdoch of belle & sebastian will present hal ashby's the last detail as part of the monorail film club's 'series of important film' or 'cinema we want to see' which takes place this sunday, 17th june at 7.30 pm in the gft, rose street, glasgow. the last detail from 1972 is part of what has been termed 'the new hollywood', which presented an unbeautiful american experience or america coming down cf. the last picture show, the french connection and taxi driver.
starring jack nicholson and randy quaid, in the uk it has hardly ever been seen, even on late-night television, mainly due to its full-on language. according to murdoch it contains no excessive swearing whatsoever. bring it on.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
A book on the history of Television is something this world could well use, 'cause bein' one of the finest bands to emerge in the 70s their tale is still seriously under-documented. So it's just too bad that Tim Mitchell's attempt is just that, an attempt.
With no direct info from the main players Mitchell has to make do with quotes from other people's work. Sure, the general outline is there, and the author seems to know his stuff by and large, but in the end this book is in serious need of a heart and/or vision, as the text fails to ignite the kind of excitement the book's subject was able to. Besides, overlookin' the release of Little Johnny Jewel is inexcusable, and statin' that Andy Johns produced Goats Head Soup is plain ol' ignorant.
The book claims to be an "illustrated history", but all you get is a handful of gray record/CD sleeve reproductions. Did I mention the "selected discography"? If you wanna know about Television, you'll have to listen to at least a dozen versions of Marquee Moon and Little Johnny Jewel as documented on a pletora of bootlegs to get a sense of the band's mighty improvisational skills, and a guide to these recordings would have been very useful.
Like his book on Jonathan Richman, this is comes in handy, but only until the real thing comes along...
What's that? You say you've been looking for more mid-week, mid-evening, midtown Manhattan amusement? Okay, so we didn't say it either. Yet, Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. still cordially invites you to join us this Wednesday, June 13th, downstairs at Spanky's BBQ in Times Square for an evening of "ballads, boogies & blues" and all the fixins' -- whether that be merely a cold beer or a full-on barbecued feast. And we'll be joined in the cozy, countrified confines of Spanky's by our special guest singer Rosalie Morris!
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13TH / DOWNSTAIRS
@ SPANKY'S BBQ / FREE! /
127 West 43rd Street (between Broadway & 6th Avenue), NYC / One hour show at 7:30 sharp,
followed by the Rob Ryan Band /
Yours truly, Michael
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.
"Ballads, Boogies & Blues"
And to add to all this, I just watched the last Sopranos episode and am somewhat dumbfounded. In many ways the ending was perfect but it's over. This will do for Journey what South Park did for Styx. The "music beds" also included "You Keep Me Hangin' On" by Vanilla Fudge, good score. Of course, the perfect song to have rolled over the closing credits would have been Parlor James' "Hell To Pay" but I guess you can't have everything...
Sunday, June 10, 2007
As much as I admire Patti's 70's output I never actually got to see her in action back in the day, 'cause by the time I got aware of her she was already playin' the arena sized places I've always refused to attent. The 80's comeback, the 90's comeback, I never really felt the need. But a couple o' years ago I figured that I had to see her at least once. I missed out on the first opportunity as it was sold out in minutes, but got lucky this time around. Lucky that is, before I found out her latest disc featured nothing but versions of songs by (a.o.) Paul Simon and Tears For Fears... I've been very close to selling off the much in demand ticket at a serious profit, but in the end decided to go anyways and try my luck... Of course I shouldn't have worried, mere seconds into Kimberly and I was caught hook, line and sinker. Six decades on this planet and Patti still commands plenty more stage presence than just about any contender you'd care to mention. Free Money was next, and dealt the fatal blow. The adoring crowd lapped it up without any reservation and for once they were right. From the new album her take on Are You Experienced was the absolute highlight w/ a long intro where she played some fine Coltrane-like clarinet. But just about anything paled next to the stuff we all know and love: Gloria, Set Me Free, Pissing In The River, Ain't It Strange and an absolutely scorchin' Rock & Roll Nigger as a final sign-off. She did two long wordy improvs on Amsterdam's most famous citizens; Rembrandt and Anne Frank, that would have been beyond cheesy in the hands of just about everybody else, but she pulled it off with such a honest to God sincerity I had actually trouble holdin' back the tears at one point... Somewhere in between all this Lenny Kaye got to sing Pushin' Too Hard (that seemed to go over most of the crowd's head) and durin' the encore they were joined by Peter Buck for an unrehearsed Everybody Hurts. She easily captivated the crowd with a set that lasted for well over two hours, w/ no lettin' up... Go and see here if you get the chance, 'cause Patti Smith live is one of those life affirming propositions you can't afford to miss....
Saturday, June 09, 2007
El Rancho Relaxo is at Brel from 6pm so that all sounds like the logical conclusion to the day.
And talking of California, those in LA will surely be taking in the event at KingKing on June 25th.
"THE BLUE SHADOWS feat: Bill Bateman, Javier Matos, Johnny Bazz & friends. This show is going to be filmed & recorded for an upcoming documentary following the legendary career of Bill Bateman."
The Cramps inability to realise when they're on to a good thing is everybody else's gain...
Wonder what "Seven Arse Ups of Rock" has in store for us tonight? The latest instalment will cast its less than detail specific eye on the wonderful world of heavy metal. Wish them luck...
Friday, June 08, 2007
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Everything or at least something comes to those who wait. I agree that waiting is a pain but what can I tell you. There's a free White Stripes 45 with NME this week that apparently makes up a double etched set os some such carry on. If any overseas readers want one then then me know and I'll try to scare up copies from aound the local shops. Yours for cost plus postage.
A bit early in the morning for a public service announcement but there you go. Now I have to try and wake myself up.
Update @ 6.41pm:
Scratch that WS 45 thing, I just did a reccy to try and get some and they're all gone. Probably snapped up to be ebay'd. A couple of early birds got lucky but other than that I'm afraid you're clean outta luck. If I do come across any then I'll grab 'em but it's unlikely...
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Holland's CHIPZ on the dutch TOTP show for One Day When I Grow Up, just last fall 2006 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDXUvnsJhZY (Dutch TOTP, One Day When I Grow Up / CHIPZ, 2006) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gErEAyoR97Q (the original video for the song, also sublimely retarded in a great way)
the TOTP clip = this is absolutely fucking insane, almost dada-esque. the 2 guys in CH!PZ (it's a 2 girls/2 guys pop group that formed barely a nanosecond after the A*Teens broke up, but without any real singer(s) unlike the greatest pop group ever next to ABBA, the duhhh A*Teens) -- are REALLY into it. i mean they're like fucking crazed on pep pills or something. are they gay? straight like the 2 guys in the A*Teens were? (and therefore w/a subtext of hustling or impressing the opposite sex). i now really need to know the "back story" on the personalties on this band. they can REALLY fucking dance, too. my eyes bugged out when I realized this group is doing = a 4-person version of the old MTV Say What Karoke HALL OF FAME ROUND (all seasons' winners, head to head against each other) champions, the greatest MTV SWK act ever, the lunatic LeeJay, Ernesto, & Christine from long beach (two of them executed more or less planned/choreographed stuff, while the third member/second guy just went nuts/crazy like a lunatic, breakdancing or just rolling around and/or making wild movements around the perimeter).
if you do not know who LeeJay, Ernesto & Christine are/were, you know nothing about the highest level of performing arts and you should probably go back to Summer School 101, aka "Rock And Roll = It Was DANCE music!!" but anyway the 2F/ M singing/dancing quartet in Holland's awesomely awesome CHIPZ all DO DIFFERENT STEPS/MOVEMENTS when dancing. and they're reallly fucking good, ie athletic. so it looks WILD (4 people not in one bit duplicating any 1 of the other 3's steps/movements), but at the same time extremely energetic and professional.
(TV clips of CHIPZ, One Two Three) more TV clips of CH!PZ dancing like loopy madmen fucking genius. the guy with the long--ish hair (a beatles haircut) is insane. he is REALLY INTO THIS SHIT, ie the performing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UabqZJhoZm8&mode=related&search= (store promo) should you doubt my "insane" theory, here is a record store promo (on clip) with "Mr Insane" on camera offstage i need to see his astrology chart! need to talk to his mother! his brother! his schoolmates! how did such a one of a kind human male mutant come to exist? oh wait.
HOLLAND. both AQUA (the amazingly great "barbie girl" album AQUARIUM) and their great clone TOY-BOX (the equally great FANTASTIC album from 1999) were based in Denmark. (and Lene of Aqua was a Norweigan transplant) wow, the CHIPZ Greatest Hitz album (16 songs) is not only the greatest pop/dance album of the last umpteen years, and a mandatory item for every pop/bubblegum/bubblegumdance fan ever but it's like Holland's refraction of the old Aqua/Toy-Box precursor and the DJUMBO album JUMP is even better (all their songwriting/production/playing/recording for DJUMBO, is done by a two-man writing/playing/production team = auteur theory at work at its highest!)
their "dancing" is so bad as to be hysterical/cute but that's a different story. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PE0w_UfpNmc (Djumbo Jump video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtIm2umbOKc (the Eyahe single, great hit song when played with full stereo volume)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQCaOEKUtCc (supermarket in-store) omg good lord the dancing is so godawful it's almost cute. skinny white chicken arms flailing -- euros living up to their "worst dancers in the world" rep, yep.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcTTyci3Pa0 (Undercover but not the orig video, a pastiche live-candid thing) all of this pales compared to the coolest pop/rock song ever, a No. 1 hit in Year 2000 Germany http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usSlUG3jvBM Skaterboy / JUNIA (long BEFORE avril dork's song)
-- metal mike 6/ 1 / 2007
Sunday, June 03, 2007
The ARChive of Contemporary Music featuring Mssrs Hammer and Phast.
Robert Barry Francos (of Ffanzeen fame) is now online.
Lost-in-Tyme (thanks to Mr H for this link, if you figured YouTube was a rabbithole...)
Time for some air I reckon...
Anyway, this is a cool little summer breeze not unlike an altered Strawberry Switchblade. It's also like Martin Rev programming The ShangriLas. A couple of weeks after that London show they got in tow with David Lynch when he was doing a book signing. This also recalls his "Floating Into The Night" Julee Cruise period. Not as haunting but similarly hypnotic. I can hear now how he'd be smitten. So i'm not sure it works live but I think I'm gonna be coming back to this over the weeks to come. Christ, it might even make it out to the car tomorrow morning...
Not only chronologically deficient, the whole thing was just a mess. History being reduced to bite-sized misinformation and yet another example of The Voidoids being mistaken for Television. This series has been "critically acclaimed" but in actuality does the documentary form an extreme disservice. And Charles Shaar Murray, I can't believe that he's indicted in the morass. But anyway, what the heck. It was good to see Joey and Johnny on TV for an instant but not to even mention the Dolls and The MC5 was utter sacrilege. The Stooges got one mention via the Pistols. Dearie feckin' me...
And loosely related to several ages of something or other, I found a tour itinerary book for Television among a pile of other stuff. I didn't realise that the band's first UK show was in Glasgow. I'm fairly sure they hadn't played in London prior to that but could be mistaken.?There's also a Verlaine autograph on NBT paper... I remember him being somewhat obnoxious but he was a punk, right? Ha ha. Also found a couple of Christmas cards from 1979 and 1981 from one Steven Morrissey and also postcards from Jim Kerr as Simple Minds made their way around the world. One from New York and another from Berlin from whence Young Jim claims he drew Noddy on the Berlin Wall with lime green chalk. Now that's rock'n'roll...
Saturday, June 02, 2007
VIC GODARD & the SUBWAY SECT + BRICOLAGE
GLASGOW ACCIES CLUB
23 June 2007, 8pm - Helensburgh Drive, Jordanhill, Glasgow, G13 1RR
Cost : £10
Tickets available from Alan -0780 444 7511
VIC GODARD & the SUBWAY SECT
The 7th of May, 1977: This is the date when everything changed forever, as the Clash’s “White Riot” tour hit Edinburgh. However, it wasn’t the Clash that connected with a bunch of teenage punks in the audience who would go on to form the fulcrum of “the Sound of Young Scotland”; it was Vic Godard & the Subway Sect. Their ramshackle grey-glare/treble-to-the-max guitar sound was THE major influence on Postcard Records’ Orange Juice & Josef K, and Fast Product’s Fire Engines. In recent years, Vic’s output has been more sporadic. 2002’s “Sansend” being his last release. However, a new recording of the tracks that were scheduled to appear on the original debut Subway Sect album, is about to be released. This album was scrapped by Vic’s then manager, the notorious Bernie Rhodes, and has remained in the vaults ever since. In the 1990s, Vic Godard reignited his Scottish connection when he signed to the rescusitated Postcard Records for the Edwyn Collins produced “End of the Surrey People”. This Scottish connection continued when Vic hooked up with the Creeping Bent Organisation in 1999 to release a 7”, “Place We Used To Live”. Vic started working with Creeping Bent outfit The Leopards around this time, this resulted in some of his best recordings and gigs. His 1998 performance at Glasgow’s CCA, where he headlined a Creeping Bent event that also featured Adventures in Stereo and The Secret Goldfish, was truly legendary. More detailed information at http://www.vicgodard.com/
Bricolage released their debut limited edition 7”, “Footsteps”, on the Creeping Bent label in June 2006. Since then, a further limited edition 7”(“Looting Takes The Waiting Out of Wanting”) has been released, this time on the Fantastic Plastic label in March this year. The group is now signed to the Memphis Industries label, July sees their first fully flown single release, “The Waltzers”. Bricolage are the latest in a lineage of Scottish pop groups influenced by the genius of Vic Godard. Live excursions have seen Bricolage support an eclectic array of artists (1990s, Long Blondes, Fire Engines, Sun Ra’s Arkestra), however anticipation in the camp about supporting Vic is reaching fever pitch. www.myspace.com/bricolagetheband
Check out this short tribute to BBC Radio Scotland in Queen Margaret Drive by Tom Morton. I think the move to all purpose hell-hole on the south side is complete. I know a lot of you folks that read this have been there, some have worked there and some have some damn good memories from there. There's even a shot of the "Geezer Butler" courtyard but not one of the big studio where they did orchestra recording etc. The first time I was ever in there was in 1967 or something, with my father when he was recording with Muirhead and Sons Pipe Band. I wonder what will happen to that and sincerely hope it becomes a soundstage as was mooted.
The end of yet another era is upon us and Byres Road may never be the same again...
Friday, June 01, 2007
Anyways, Tom Phobic has kindly supplied the following and I'm off to wreck a computer...
New York Loose - Dirty Water Club London 18th May 2007
"Oh Yeah! Make some calls - I'm going out - put some lipstick on my mouth and if you snub me - well, I don't care you can't tell me where to go, I'll go anywhere - and they say I'm a BITCH - well go on call me a BITCH -I guess I'm a BITCH if you say so.. "
So begins a gig I've been waiting for the best part of a decade for, the memory is spluttering trying to remember. It feels like a fucking decade tonight just waiting for the support bands to get on and off, and, as sometimes happens at the Dirty Water Club, the night overruns to the extent that people have to leave before they get to see the band they came out for. I'm not moaning, I know the drill and the odd hour between friends makes no odds to me. However, bass player Tommy Spencer (ex Yo Yo's) has recently broken up with his girlfriend and has filled the time apparently drinking the entire rider single handedly to ease his broken heart, and coupled with the ever delaying stage time all is not ticketyboo in the NY Loose camp.
A preamble ramble ... The current band comprises founder member and native New Yorker, Brijitte West on vocals n battered white SG and baseball boots, who should need no introduction to NBT readers as Mr Hutton has been flying the NYL flag for some time. On guitar, another former Yo Yo, Rich Jones, whose CV and reputation goes before him. (All you need to know is Rich was a founder member of Canadian Uber Glamsleazepunks The Black Halos). Finally, squaring the magic circle, on drums is the mysterious Laura Fares, 24 years old and all the way from Buenos Aires! Brijitte reckons she's an amazing drummer and that is tonight's understatement!
Those in need of a history lesson should immediately (you can finish this later) click this link http://www.myspace.com/nyloose and check out NYL in their glory, maximum rock n fucking roll guaranteed and a few choice videos to boot. Back to business, BITCH, the debut 45 from the 90's is as fitting a set opener as you could wish for, beautifully bastardized Personality Crisis riffola, smart lyrics (see above) and more attitude than a South London Comprehensive School. Walk Out quickly follows - brave choice as it's a brand new song, but it fits in seamlessly. My first (addled) impression is it tells of Brijitte jumping off the industry image focused rock n roller coaster, tired of LA hogwash and heading for these septic isles for repair. Luckiest Girl is dispatched with gusto and Tommy's availability is announced from the stage, to which he responds by trying to gee up the crowd. Mess of Myself, the second debut of the night never misses a beat and seems a companion song to Walk Out Brijitte writes from the heart and the guts, base emotions and feelings, with and about love, hate, kicks, betrayal, disillusion, confusion, and pain, we all wanna be 16 forever, but sometimes growing up is a box worth ticking. Life's short got that pen ready? Detonator and Broken from the Year of the Rat album ring familiar, and smiles increase in the vicinity, the latter coulda bin writ up in the confession box an a more hook laden toon youâ€™d be hard pressed to find. Tommy is still trying to work the crowd as Long Island Lolita the third and final debutant, chugs out of the PA and the requests come thick and fast. Rip me up does what it says on the label and the band return for Pretty Suicide which, if there was any justice on this planet would have been one of THE biggest hits of the last decayed decade.
Writing this and looking back, I must have dreamed that they played Monolith Kids, but I got the set list from Brijitte and it aint there so blame it on the booze. 9 songs whizzed by, I woulda been happy for another half hour, but for openers this left the punter wanting more, which after all is a good thing. When you take into account the years of ring rust, new line up, late running and poor Tommy's achy breaky heart, tonight the New York Loose were flawed, but not floored! I stole that line from an old review of Johnny Thunders So Alone album by the way, only steal from the best, kids! With a few gig under their collective belts this outfit are more than capable of smoking most, if not all punk pretenders, and I'm fucking glad people are giving due respect to one of the most influential and overlooked bands of their era. NYLoose kicked the doors down for femme fronted classic punkrawk/pop but unfortunately never benefited from it themselves, while a host of inferior watered down copycat bands gained chart success.However, the desperate hopeful can find solace and succor in the long awaited recently released retrospective album aptly entitled Born To Loose which covers pretty much everything you'll need from the first 7-inch singles, the Loosen Up EP, rare tracks and a slew of unreleased stuff. And you DO need this. Get ya card out now and click here! www.fwmusicstore.co.uk