Thursday, January 31, 2008

Well, I had intended heading for Auld Reekie to catch FANGS but the weather is somewhat inclement. Another couple of episodes of The Wire Season One it is then. I'll believe in the snow fairy provided I can't leave the house tomorrow but I think it's just 80mph winds and horizontal rain for this part of the world.

So anyway, back on Monday yonder I caught Billie The Vision and the Dancers opening for Jools Holland/Mojo phenomenon, Seasick Steve. Have to say that despite not being able to see what anyone sees in this guys albums, live he's something of a hoot. Playing banged up instruments is various stages of disrepair and generally sounding like a one man Led Zeppelin. But anyway, BTV was the reason I was there. Having dug their latest album "Where The Ocean Meets My Hand" which includes "Overdosing With You", I wasn't exactly ready for the power they pack in person. Bitchslapping the UK is right. This 7 piece ensemble is just about the freshest pop combo I've seen in ages. Their mutant power folk combines almost skifflelike acoustabilly with a mariachi glam undertow. Soaring and percussive and toting a hell of a trumpet player.

BTV singer, Lars is like a cross between Zal Cleminson and Jayne County. Mixed up and shook up like a great entertainer should be. You'll be hearing more about them here when I properly digest their previous two releases. In he meantime, I hope they're planning to come back to capitalise on their Glasgow welcome. I feared it might be a Cramps/Police or Suicide/Clash scenario but it wasn't. That Seasick Steve crowd is open to new things that don't conform. Good for them, it makes me think that all is perhaps not lost after all.

I also saw part of the set by Glasgow's criminally unknown The Martial Arts but had to bale to catch the last train. It was a school night too but well worth the next day knackeredness. Hopefully, before too long, I'll catch a whole show but they can deliver. Count on that. This Groover Recordings combo isn't your common or garden amalgam or identikit indie ranch stash. Bear in mind that Redd Kross never broke through but O-arse-is did. Most people are not like the Seasick audience. They like their music cut up for their consumption and they like to be spoonfed. For instance, this Glasvegas mob that are getting big licks. Doesn't their 45 just sound like a Proclaimer singing with The Mary Chain? It's not bad, maybe quite good but not world beating. Not like Billie The Vision and not like The Martial Arts. What they do comes from the soul with a couple dollups of heart thrown in.

Been a bastard of a week, roll on Friday. Hey, that's tomorrow... there goes the phone...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Indeed, Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. is on the air -- and on the stage! This week, for your consideration...

THURSDAY, JANUARY 31st -- SIT & Die returns to the airwaves of WFMU and the "Strength Through Failure" program with Fabio, performing live and giving away canned hams from noon until 3pm! Should we mention that our last risque appearance resulted in Fabio's suspension? Um, let's not. Available at both 91.1 FM on your radio dial.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 31st -- Same day, same canned ham...but the setting is Otto's Shrunken Head Tiki Bar & Lounge for our last-Thursday-of-the-month residency! Two big and bawdy shows are in store, from 8:00 sharp until 10pm, and there's no cover. 538 East 14th Street (just west of Avenue B) in Manhattan's "East Village".

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2nd -- Lastly, we set out to Brooklyn and Freddy's Backroom for a "Found In Brooklyn" extravaganza of art and music, featuring a group art show at 7:00 and a set by yours truly at 9pm. Also with Les Sans Culottes, The Anabolics and Georgio Valentino -- and it's free! 485 Dean Street (corner of 6th Avenue) in Prospect Heights.

Yours truly, friend, Michael Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.

"Ballads, Boogies & Blues"

Monday, January 28, 2008

Take in some American Beat as seen in Manitoba's on Saturday night (thanks for the link Ben...) There are also some great Redd Kross clips in this section. Great to see some "Third Eye" songs on there...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I haven’t been making the most of my Cameo membership. The intention to go there every week hasn’t materialised but when I saw there was a screening of "Juno" at 11am this morning then I decided to cut along. That’s a great time to go to a movie theatre. If the shows started at that time normally then I’d have no problem. Wouldn’t have no time to convince myself not to leave the bunker.

However, the psycho-ology of this is not of your concern. The local flooding never even fucked the train schedule up and I ran into Happy G on the way back, total result. The only route from here is downhill. No, not Dowan Hill... Anyway, J is a pretty decent way to while away a little over 90 minutes. It’s like a modern day Bill Forsyth movie. Evidently the result of a fevered indie music mentality, the scene where Juno spits, “I bought another Sonic Youth album and it sucked” resonated somewhat on a number of plains.

A film about a 16 year old Stooges/Patti Smith fan with a smart mouth. What’s not to dig in terms of plain old entertainment? I enjoyed it a lot more than “No Country For Old Men”. I think?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Voodoo Rooms proudly presents


Pharoah Sanders - Saxophone
William Henderson - Piano
Nat Reeves - Bass
Joe Farnsworth - Drums

The legendary saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, best known for "The Creator Has a Master Plan", who recorded with John Coltrane, Sun Ra and Don Cherry, makes a rare visit to Scotland. An unmissable opportunity to see a Jazz legend in an intimate venue.

For more Pharoah Sanders info please click here

Doors 7.00 p.m. 2 (hour-long) sets at 8.00 p.m. & 10.00 p.m.

Tickets £25 in advance (stbf) from Ripping Records, Tickets Scotland, 127 Rose Street, Edinburgh, The Voodoo Rooms, & Underground Solushun.

Buy tickets online here

Please note that this show is standing only.
RIP - John Stewart

Friday, January 25, 2008

It's been a quick week. I'll concede that. One in which my last remaining, precious leave day was burned because of the bunker water being cut off due to a burst around the corner. Made me feel for the poor blighters who have to go days, weeks and longer without any. Not a cool scene, with or without wet wipes.

Anyway, there was some solace in that Steve Forbert brought a cracking band with him for his Glasgow show the other night. I also had the pleasure of catching up with Mr Bobby Lloyd Hicks of The Skeletons. Always a good thing. I'm not a Forbert fan but he has his moments and a reasonable following. Highlight was a little number called "The Glasgow Rock" which they worked up just for this one Celtic Connections appearance. Lloyd announced it as "a Ramones outtake" so that'll give you an idea of where it sat sonically. John Williamson gave the musicians a bit of a roasting in The Herald but I disagree with his opinion. The show was too long for sure. I hesitate to use the word, stool, but SF falls somewhere between Springsteen and Earle without having anything like the firepower of the former or the songs of the latter. He brought one of the greatest r&r drummers on earth with him though and I’m definitely down with that.

Anybody going to see this Seasick Steve guy on Monday night?

Billie the Vision and the Dancers are the support so get there early and see them. I hope the SS audience will be open to what they do because it’s nothing like the headliner. And at 9pm, The Martial Arts are playing at Bloc on Bath Street in Glasgow. So if everything comes together, I’ll be at both of those. He typed optimistically, probably intoxicated by the fact that there’s no schlep to the stalag tomorrow…

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Glasgow Film Festival programme is available now. It includes a Monorail Film Club screening of "A Life In the Death of Joe Meek" on Sunday February 24th. Here's a clip...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Anna Järvinen & Annika Norlin - För varje hjärtslag

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Say, is the cat lucky? You'll have to join Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. this week for a visit to The Lucky Cat in Williamsburg to find out! It's an evening of readings and musical performances -- with us doing more of the latter than the former. Which is pretty lucky in itself:
245 Grand Street (between Driggs and Roebling) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn / Program begins at 8:00, with one SIT & Die set at 10:00 /$5 cover, if you mention SIT & Die -- a hefty $10 otherwise!

And more good fortune...

THURSDAY, JANUARY 31st / WFMU / On Fabio's "Strength Through Failure" and later that same day... OTTO'S / Our East Village monthly residency

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2nd / FREDDY'S BACKROOM / Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 23rd / SOUTHPAW / Park Slope, Brooklyn

Luckily yours,

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

and sticking with Brooklyn, The Fleshtones "Take A Good Look" is out today on YepRoc. More when my copy arrives but in the meantime, you can take a good listen here...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Lou Reed - Kill Your Sons (from The Bottom Line 1983)

(link courtesy of Sonic Producer/Please Kill Me)

Managed to drag myself out of the bunker yesterday for some culture. Starting with the Coen Brother’s “No Country For Old Men”. It’s not bad but is it a return to “form”?, I’m not sure. It has its moments and one particularly great line. Can’t tell you what the correlation is with the book because I haven’t read it. Javier Barden’s remorseless killing machine could be being set up to take on the winner between the Alien and The Predator. I’d like to see the Coen’s take that on. So yeah, it does have ripples of “Blood Simple” and it’s not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon but I wasn’t convinced that it was the tour de force the meeja is painting it as.

So after that, I had a rake about a couple of bookshops and some dvd racks. The sheer amount of stuff out there is alarming and the way it’s presented is generally soulless, as is the packaging. Saw the Ace book but it was shrink wrapped but the same publisher has another one on Rough Trade which is a very good-looking tome.

So on then to The Pearlfishers at the Classic Grand, first time that I’ve been in this relatively new venue. Good size. Better sightlines than Tuts. This old porno cinema has scrubbed up very well into a very cool room. Openers Finniston were on already and their homogenous folk pop was going down OK but it wasn’t for me. Mr Blake noticed that one of their songs bore a resemblance to Cliff’s “Wired For Sound”. I think we’ll leave it at that.

The Pearlfishers aren’t like anything else. Particularly when they can employ the full strings and horns bhuna as they did last night. In this day and age of the bottom line, quality is often sacrificed but not here. I believe that if this could be presented around the country and beyond like this then it the penny would finally drop. The version of “New Stars” convinces me even more that Teenage Fanclub should record it.

Playing tunes from all stages of their existence, it was a classy affair. There’s only one person on earth that I’d forgive for slipping a Paul McCartney song into a set and that’s Davie Scott. A lot of heart and a similar helping of soul arranged to perfection the way you (almost) never hear it anymore.

So let’s tackle a couple of cd’s that mine something of the same field…

The 17th PygmyBallade of Tristram’s Last Harping (Trackwerx)

So here’s the paisley overground. A lush, soaring psychedelic psmogasbord that seems to connect Fleetwood Mac with Wooden Shjips. Beautifully packaged, which seems to be a trademark of Trakwerx quality and very tastefully recorded. If there were such a thing as airwaves in the traditional sense then this would or should be all over it. These lysergic folk pop hark back and pull forward at the same time. The result positively shimmers. If they can pull this off live then there are a wealth of REM and Dream Syndicate fans out there that are starved of something substantial. “Beautiful Lie” sounds like something Debbie Harry could use. In fact Meg Maryatt bears quite a striking vocal resemblance throughout.

She also plays accordion which is a big plus point. Heard a feature on the wireless this morning about that instrument being back but it was never away if you knew where to look. (Hi Angel!)

If you want something substantial that has elements of the Radionapper/Brian Jonestown formula then those vibes don’t come much closer than “Just Like Brian Jones”. Being that there’s no consensus anymore, I’m not sure how you get something like this to the people who would go gaga for it. In terms of what I perceive to be broad commercial appeal then this has everything. It doesn’t require hype, it just needs to be heard. It’s one of those things that if you heard it in a record store (remember those?), you’d be up at the counter asking what it was. I don’t believe there’s a higher accolade than that.

“No tambourines were harmed in the making of this album”. Damnit, they’re funny too.

Cult.With.No.NamePaper.Wraps.Rock (Trackwerx)

This is a strange concept that initially sounds like a lounge pianists outing with a piece entitled “the morning after the night before last”. This is as far away from “rock” as I’ve been in some time. Drifting way out to sea and I think that the calming effect is something I could use more of.

There’s something quite Roxy Music about it without them sounding anything alike. Kinda abstract Ben Folds territory even. Or Todd Rundgren? It kind of reminds me of The Pearlfishers with a darker streak too.

PWR is a grower. I was sceptical at first but their songs have somehow wheedled themselves under my skin with repeated plays. Look at the influences listed on their myspace as you listen. Go easy on the head scratching though.

If you fancy something atmospheric, fairly relaxing with shades of Julee Cruise then check out Laki Mera for the princely sum of exactly nowt.

And finally for today, I’ve just found out that Redd Kross and Wooden Shjips are paying the upcoming ATP vs Pitchfork. Fingers crossed that both will tack a few more shows on to their respective visits.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

I haven’t felt much like writing lately. The responsibility of updating this thing doesn’t seem to square with the amount of time that’s available. With that comes the pressure of needing to get the word out but not being able to. There’s no statute of limitations on this stuff though so that’s something. You read about something here then it’s a keeper. Sometimes there's so much coming out that it’s hard to keep up never mind being able to consume it all.

I was just about to go into Glasgow thinking that The Pearlfishers show was tonight but its tomorrow (20th). Paul Burch is on tonight but I don’t have the readies to do both. And I need to get a Pearlies cd for Amy Rigby too so that would scratch that itch. Hey, these are good options to have. Getting royally screwed in the day to day employment scenario sometimes pales into insignificance. There’s nothing one can do about it anyways so why spend so much time mothering? I could always buy a lottery ticket, right? I’m done with trying to make any sense of it, that’s for sure. He typed stoically.

Riches come in many forms and these are not always to be measured in hard currency. I should write that Bart Simpson-like until I get it into my skull. There’s certainly no recession dawning in terms of good music to be enjoyed. So some of that will be coming up in due course.

Talking of which, John Kongos is on CAKE (click on the link in the sidebar, directly below DWC). Great to hear that again… the proprieter of this fine portal was responsible for bringing this to the attention of Happy Mondays who baggified it in the early 90’s.

So yeah, plenty of distractions and no work until Tuesday. Good deal!

If you find yourself out Stockholm way on February 9th...

Friday, January 18, 2008

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Chris Wilson in London on 7th February... (info from Brother Patrick)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

With Sonic Youth's first night in Sydney performing Daydream Nation at The Enmore Theatre on Monday February 18th sold out, Feel Presents and ATP are proud to announce a 2nd and final Sydney show for Sonic Youth. The show takes place on the following night, Tuesday 19th February again at the Enmore Theatre.
In support are The Scientists, presenting the extended version of the grunge-template Blood Red River.
In addition to Sydney, Sonic Youth sold out their Perth Arts Festival show in just three days, and their appearance at Melbourne's Metro Nightclub followed closely after. There are no plans for a further Perth show but a second Melbourne Metro show on Thursday 21st February has been placed on sale. Again this is a double bill with The Scientists.
Tickets for the new shows are on sale now, and are available online from
Downtown, you say? Then downtown it is, as Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. makes a trip this Saturday for the kickoff of the Knitting Factory's new monthly "retro" music series! (Retro? And here we thought we were on the cutting edge of songs about animals and self love.) Also on the bill is the US film premiere of "Rockabilly 514", a documentary look at the seedy underbelly of the rockabilly subculture of Montreal -- ooh la la!
SATURDAY, JANUARY 19th / KNITTING FACTORY "TAP BAR" /74 Leonard Street (between Broadway & Church) in Manhattan / One set at 10:30, following "Rockabilly 514" at 9:00 / No cover! Also, on the near horizon...
THURSDAY, JANUARY 24th / LUCKY CAT / Colonial Williamsburg, Brooklyn / THURSDAY, JANUARY 31st / WFMU / On Fabio's "Strength Through Failure" / THURSDAY, JANUARY 31st / OTTO'S / Our East Village monthly residency / SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2nd / FREDDY'S BACKROOM / Prospect Heights, Brooklyn /
Truly yours, Michael,

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

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I'm not sure what happened to fun. Sometimes it does visit but only fleetingly. I'm even less conscious about where time goes. Recently the routine has gotten ever more mundane. Spending too much time in the dark both metaphorically and figuratively. According to that Death Clock thing, I'm supposed to peg it this year.

I hope that it's not before the new Hello Saferide, Suzy & Los Quattro and WReckless WRigby releases see the light of day.

Celtic Connections is just about to kick off in Glasgow this week. There are a lot of shows, too many really but we'll see how it pans out. Looking forward to seeing my old mucker, Bobby Lloyd Hicks when he's here with Steve Forbert. It's not often that Springfield, Mo. dignitaries come around these parts. Of course, it's The Skeletons that SHOULD be playing at CC but as you know, justice is seldom forthcoming. Particularly in terms of what is perceived to be a draw and what isn't.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Nothing going on here today really. Got some upbeat news in the latter part of my sentence this afternoon but it's all a bit premature to put into print.

Meanwhile, carrying on the metal theme from yesterday, why not check out D4D? Thanks Steve...

I really must check out the availability of "Heavy Metal Parking Lot" on dvd. Have you ever seen that? Blimey, it is... let's check "Neil Diamond Parking Lot"...

Both of these are classics. Really. Anyway that's yer lot, throws hail satan sign - sticks tongue out a la Dio and switches on TV. It's time to veg.

Oh, here's Roky on PBS to be going on with then...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Still battling with this cold and a general inability to function. I did kind of consider a schlepp to the pictures but wouldn't want to cough and splutter my way through the feature. It's called consideration for other people. Some of the dolts around these parts should try it sometime.

Of course, if certain parties would just lock themselve s away when the lurghi comes over them then the fallout would be limited but no. Everywhere you turn there are individuals who want to share their germs. And not in any positive way. So hopefully this'll subside soon and some kind of normality which doesn't include the red raw Rudolph look will ensue.

So that's an explanation of sorts in between sneezes. Normal service is a struggle for now. If anything pressing comes up then I'll let you know. Until then, I'm out of here - it - and whatever else...

I'll just leave you with this thought, as pondered by "hair" band Candy. Thanks for the link Jonathan...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

RIP - Rod Allen (The Fortunes)
From Larry Shell...

RIP - Maila Nurmi (Vampira)

"One of my favorite 50s icons, Maila Nurmi, who became synonymous with her character, Vampira, passed away in her sleep yesterday at the age of 86. She was born Maila Elizabeth Syrjäniemi on December 21, 1921, in Petsamo, Finland - now Pechenga, Russia.

Maila came to America and started her career as a model, actress and dancer in Hollywood, but her life was forever changed when she attended the Ball Caribe Masquerade Party in Hollywood in 1953. She attended dressed as a vampish character based on the Charles Addams drawing of Morticia from the New Yorker magazine cartoons. She beat out 2000 contestants in the costume contest and won first prize! She also won the attention of ABC channel 7 producer Hunt Stromberg Jr. who hired her to host the station's new late-night horror show, called what else? The Vampira Show!

The show premiered in 1954 and Vampira quickly got national attention. Fan clubs and magazine articles followed. Soon she was jet setting with Hollywood icons like James Dean and Marlon Brando. Unfortunately, she was fired from the studio after only just a year and a half. Why? Vampira claims she was blacklisted from Hollywood because she didn't cooperate with the Hollywood factory.

Despite Vampira’s short-lived television career, the character was to set the standard for an entire legion of horror hostesses, actresses, and even cartoon characters to follow. Maila Nurmi’s film oeuvre includes the Ed Wood-directed cult classic, Plan 9 From Outer Space, Sex Kittens Go To College and The Beat Generation.

A documentary, Vampira: The Movie, was released late last year and can be found here:

Obit by Ellis Dee Plagiarized from several sources"

Friday, January 11, 2008

A missive from yer Uncle Tom...

"Hi kids,

Unlike the majority of the nation THE PHOBICS have lost poundage over the festive period and are now a four piece tag team. Come and see the new lightweight (in pounds, not power) line up play our debut 2008 show alongside our old muckers The Cherry Reds at The New Cross Inn on Saturday 12th January.

It's sure to be a fat free, sarf london punk rocking extravaganza and we'll confirm times, prices and full line up as soon as those lovely Modern Love people spill the beans.

For those who get confused crossing the river,The New Cross Inn is easypeasy to get to, and back from -


It's directly opposite "The Venue", so just look to the left of the queues of drunk students with no musical taste. The New Cross Inn is right on the corner, sticking out like a beacon of salvation.

BUS ROUTES:45, 453 (24 hrs), 436, 177, 171, 36, 21,136, 225, 321, 453, 53, N89, N36, N171.


Open Daily mid-day to 2am 020-8692-1866

Alternatively, enter "Best Punk Rock Gig of the Night" into your sat nav and it'll get you there.

RIP - Ken Nelson
RIP - Dave Day (The Monks)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Misfits - Sunday 13th January at 5pm

This month, the Monorail Film Club is proud to have Tracyanne Campbell presenting The Misfits. Based on an original screenplay by Arthur Miller, this elegiac, beautifully shot modern Western gave his then wife Marilyn Monroe arguably her greatest dramatic role. She plays a divorcee in Reno, Nevada who gets hooked up with a trio of disillusioned cowboys (Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift and Eli Wallach) reduced to rounding up wild horses to sell for dog food.

Introduced by Tracyanne Campbell of Camera Obscura.

Come and join us in the bar afterwards to talk music, cinema and life in an informal and random way. Hope to see you there!

GFT, 12 Rose Street, Glasgow. 0141 332 8128.

We recommend booking tickets in advance.

Happy New Year from the Monorail Film Club


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Hot on the heels of scoring #1 album here, these results just in from the Swedish Grammi's

Årets Kvinnliga Artist (Best Female Artist)

Säkert! – Säkert!

Årets Textförfattare (Best Lyrics)

Annika Norlin – Säkert!

Stick with us, we know the score! Congrats to Annika and her crew!
The Star Spangles in Spain...

january 10th 2008 - Estudio 27 - Burgos

january 11th 2008 - Boite - Madrid

january 12th 2008 - Sals Beat - Tomelloso

just a quick hit and run...
Ok, so the tickets are on sale now.

If you just want Sonics tickets, Click here!

If you want a pass for the entire Le Beat Bespoke 4 weekender then, Click here!

I suggest you grab them quick. The Forum holds 2110 apparently but circumstances prevail that these will sell out. Don't leave it too late and likewise divnae say you weren't warned.

There is other pressing work to be going on with now. Annika Norlin and Maia Hirasawa are up for Swedish Grammi's tonight. May whatever force they require to be with them weigh in where necessary.

And lastly for tonight, but decidedly not least, dig SPACEACHE while yer cybershopping for tickets...

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I'm told that tickets for The Sonics LBB shingig will be available tomorrow. Spoke to someone at the ticket office at 229 The Venue but there was no info available on what time this would take place. If I find out anything before I leave for work then I'll post the info for you folks overseas that are keen to get your mitts on them. That just leaves those of us outside the London to deal with potential engaged tones up the wazoo. Looking forward to that (not). It's not clear that there will be an online booking facility.

It's pitch black outside, the weather is tipped to become nasty and I've had a hellish day. The mail seems to be awry too but apart from that, everything is just james dandy... Meanwhile, I can't stand to look at a computer screen for one second longer so see yers...

Oh yeah, PJ has The Stems at Dirty Water the night before the Pacific Northwest comes to town. Details can be yours by clicking that DWC button to your immediate left.

Monday, January 07, 2008

D.I.Y. and (very) indie post-punk from Scotland, ’77-81

Messthetics’ first Scottish installment focuses on a brief, intense scene of ardently independent bands who got started rubbing shoulders with 1977 punk then paid no attention at all to London after that. (London returned the favor.) The sound was based on guitars of all sorts, ingeniously skewed melodies and unashamed local accents. Naturally, it all fell apart as soon as “The Sound of Young Scotland” became a marketable commodity, but they left behind a rich cache of lost ‘alternative’ hits. Plenty of ‘traditional’ D.I.Y., too…

24 songs on the CD plus nine bonus MP3 tracks. 90 minutes of music.
24-page booklet, lovingly documented with histories & photos galore.

Messthetics #105 features rarities by the Fire Engines, Scrotum Poles, 35mm Dreams, The Exile, Commercials, Fakes, Metropak, Tony Pilley, Visitors, Article 58, Radio Ghosts, Rapid Dance, Strutz, Vertical Smiles, Restricted Code, Brills, Rhythm Method, He's Dead Jim, Paul Reekie, and Friction.

Unreleased first recordings by The Dirty Reds [who became the Fire Engines], 35mm Dreams, Jazzateers, International Spys [pre-Radio Ghosts, Wee Cherubs, Bachelor Pad] and Edinburgh’s legendary Ettes. Plus other never-before-released material from the Scrotum Poles, Commercials, Tony Pilley, Article 58, Radio Ghosts, Vertical Smiles, and Restricted Code…

Mess+Aesthetics. Between 1977 and ’83 hundreds of U.K. bands put out their own records and tapes –on the cheap and utterly without apology. With “D.I.Y.”, Punk and everything that came before it collided gloriously with D.I.Y.’s fresh aesthetic of making and sharing music without any pretension to popular success. There’s no common style: instead these songs are united by wit, enthusiasm, musical risk-taking …and a conspicuous lack of pose.

More about this later... blimey, this jump-started what is left of my recall...

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Tickets for Le Beat Bespoke 4 will go on sale on Tuesday 8th January (Elvis's birthday)

Here's the link.
So without further ado, let's get to business...

The RoysHolus Bolus (In-Fidelity)

Imagine a peculiar intersection between Crowded House and The Gun Club. There’s an inordinately commercial aspect to this album. The title means “all at once” and is something that I remember my old man saying a lot when I was a nipper. Anyway, they kick up a mighty agreeable racket with all manner of musical shards to trade up a broad swathe of appeal. It’s fairly understated in the way it gets under your skin and isn’t too much like anything that I’ve heard in recent times.

“Sabrina” recalls The Johnnys and that’s no bad thing at this point on a driech January Sunday morning. In these days where it’s almost impossible for a band to appear on media radar, The Roys brand of acoustic country blues could undoubtedly appeal across a whole mess of demographic twaddle. A whip-crackin’ hell of a time is here to be had by all. The closing “All I Had” is a great, great song that combines the best country and pop aesthetics to arrive at a something quite timeless in terms of twang.

Klondike’s North 40The Straight Path (I-94 Bar)

The esteemed Antipodean info-portal is now a label and what better way to kick off such a venture than with Chris Masuak’s current outfit. I know that most of you folks of a certain vintage are familiar with this guy’s guitar slinging prowess. However, there may be readers that fell by here by accident so let’s address that possibility. Chris is the Australian Ross The Boss and Scott Kempner sort of rolled into one. His work with The Hitmen (Shock has just reissued two sets to prove it) and Radio Birdman is the stuff of legend. Heck, he was even on the Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom album. We’re not dealing with chopped liver here.

Several generations of rock’n’roll kudos are wrapped up in all this. Old and in the way but positively bustling with that trademark stringbending. “Recipe for Disaster” takes place in the good old Four Winds bar. A tale of a bona fide catastrophe. “The Straight Path” is a head-banging example of a man wearing his indulgences well. It might introduce younger folks to these at the same time as it pushes the buttons for those of us who miss those rolls in the thunder. BOC fans will find much to transport them back to their old haunt. Screamin’ dizbuster cocktails all round.

The place where this would work most effectively is presumably in a club, louder than hell in a churchlike environment. The surf/metal cut and shut of “Gershwin May Consider” is a prime example of what is and always shall be the holy grail of our raison d'être here at this cyber rag.

The MaharajasIn Pure Spite (Low Impact)

To Sweden then, and the latest instalment of primo r&r from these past masters of the form. Garage and pub rock hops are brewed in measures only known to themselves. This allows them to pour their hearts and souls out with a gusto seldom heard in these cynical, formulated times. As has been suspected for some time though, there’s something in the drinking water over there. Some strange crystals or something that transforms those who imbibe into authentic purveyors of the music that’ll be around long after the latest fad is consigned to landfill. It’s all about recycling and if you can serve it up like this then there’s surely a nobel prize in the pipeline.

“Suckerpunch” sounds like a lost Hoodoo Gurus nugget. In fact the whole shebang is like some unexploded bomb that’s just gone off. Maybe I should take that authentic claim back, or at least put it into some kind of perspective. It might suggest that this stuff is contrived which of course it isn’t. It’s a concoction arrived at by people who know the form inside out. The knowing refrain of “it’s a buzz buzz buzz” on “Not A New Sensation” is especially great. “the flavour of the month, lasting for a week”. These guys know their product inside, outside and all points between, when you get to digging that then “In Pure Spite” gets even better.

The Friggs Today Is Yesterdays Tomorrow (Singles and unreleased songs) (Apex East recording)

A collection of gal-punk gold log considered lost to the world. For the uninitiated, The Friggs were the missing link between The Pandoras and Girlschool. An east coast phenom that included the great Palmyra Delran who has been a collaborator with Ben Vaughn in a squad of great North Jersey groups over the years. In fact, Ben produced the bulk of these sides so you know its packing heat. These were previously scattered across Apex, Sympathy and Telstar releases and of corse, these demos have never seen the light of day until now.

This is available now from CD Baby and with the dollar rate the way it is then I’d advise you pick up these 15 songs for the price of a couple of pints. The sounds will intoxicate you and induce a noggin crunch but you won’t feel the worse for wear. In addition , they’ll be there for you to revisit time and time again. What’s not to dig?

Saturday, January 05, 2008

I believe, from a reliable authority, that the tickets for the Le Beat Bespoke shindig will go on sale next week. As soon as the info is available, it'll be on here.

And don't forget The Nomads are at the DWC in just about 6 weeks. If you can, and you don't attend that, then you forfeit your op to party with the Easter bunny. Well, in a perfect world...

Friday, January 04, 2008

... in Edinburgh tomorrow night, while SONIC BOOM and ST. DELUXE are at the new STEREO in Glasgow. Unlikely I'll be at either the way things are going but you never know...
I'm sure there are things happening all over but it takes some time to get back into any sort of swing. One things for sure, soon as I find out anything hard and fast about tickets, etc. for The Sonics then such info will be posted faster than straight away. Can't say nae fairer than that.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Started the annual grind today so it was cool to come home and (courtesy of Mr Spence) found the new Carbon 14 waiting. That being the case, I'm going to investigate that so I can give you folks the full lowdown in due course.

The only other positive spin I can muster with regard to today is that it's nearly Friday.

Don't feel much like jabbering but I do have a hankering to turn this thing off... a habit I'm keen to embrace here in this much vaunted but thus far more of the same thing called 2008.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

In a bid to take my mind off the fact that I have to return to work tomorrow, it seemed fitting to rake in the archives. While I have no tangible resolution to do so, some order needs to be restored to what stays and what goes. Landfill is not an option but recycling certainly is.
Anyway, I found this and thought it might be of interest to some of you folks. particularly in far flung places. The intention to update this at least once a day is still in place although the spirit is oft weak. I'll get back to the actual business of the music soon, but not the music business.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Well, I guess this 2008 beast is well and truly ring-a-ding'd (or is that dung'd?) in. Thanks for the various massages, etc. I've been a right lazy sod today and intend to keep that practice up for the duration. Watched "The Apartment" and then "McLintock" came on so old square eyes is considering how to follow that, possibly with a Twin Peaks-athon after I rustle up a snack. In the meantime, hopefully what you're up to - or have been up to - hasn't resulted in a sorry heid or worse. No resolutions made thus none to break. I can feel the inevitable pumpkin-ness coming on. Normality, or whatever passes for that, is just up over that ridge. Them nights are once again fair drawing oot...