Friday, February 29, 2008

I just discovered this Duffy conspiracy theory thing and figured I'd share.

Whatever the story... this is THE track.

Haven’t really rallied from the lurghi totally but nonetheless ventured out on Tuesday night…

To my mind, The Cathouse is perhaps the worst venue in Glasgow. It's a dank, dark and - despite the Rawk vibe - it's a disco where bands of said variety, at a certain level, are cursed with playing when they come to the city. Making the trek on a driech night and getting there while SohoDolls go through a semblance of a soundcheck was never the idea but really, if they hadn't been playing then I'd have "stayed in the hoose". So eventually, at about 8.30-ish, they come on, do a short, sharp set and depart. I can't figure out if this is a good career move or not but they went down OK. Their marriage of “Empires and Dance” type electrocrunch and glam is sweet in the Eric Cartman sense but how do you get a prospective audience to notice. I spoke briefly to their guitar player Toni who says they're about to concentrate on their next album. Let's hope that offers up the necessary options.

And I like Hanoi Rocks but the sound was absolutely fucking awful. Mike Monroe mentioned something about the bus breaking down and making the best of them not soundchecking but this was beyond the pale. We left to catch a train out of Dodge. On one hand to get away from the racket but also to evade Hot Chip and Editors fans who were also packing into town.

The live music cattle market is someplace I have no desire to be anymore. Save for a few excursions to catch acts that I've supported my entire tenure, I'm exiting stage left from the whole sorry shebang. Sod it, some semblance of spiritual fortitude may even ensue. Then again, probably not, but even I wasn’t the oldest codger in the audience and one or two had gone dressed as their grandmother done up like a burst couch. It's unfortunate that we don't have anything akin to the Dirty Water or Debaser experience anywhere around here but them -as people are so fond of telling us - is the breaks.

And woah, you know that things are screwed when it's deemed newsworthy that The Black Crowes and Nas were the victims of bogus reviews in a lifestyle rag. The world has indeed ended. These bastards should be glad that their names make it into print anymore at all far less bleat about it not being cricket. All publicity these days is simply that, it doesn't work because the very nature of much of it is cut and paste advertorial. There's no soul in it. The further up the flagpole it runs, the less use the information actually is. It’s all bollocks. Everything is overloaded, on tilt. The only important filter is your own ability to smell shite when that particular aroma is wafted in your direction.

Can’t you just taste the desperation as the ever-depleting buck slides into the sea?

If the strategy of directing prospective audiences to the show, or to buy the t-shirt is indeed the future then count me the heck out. Who can read the type on cd booklets anyway? And, as for downloads, the only positive thing I can muster about that malarky is at least it doesn’t create landfill. A round of applause for that chill, inclement wind then...
RIP - Mike Smith (Dave Clark 5)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Edinburgh Live bootleg available now!

Friday tomorrow... not before time... should be able to play catch up then. All outta antibiotics, still barking at the moon. The episode of The Wire I just watched had a Fleshtones song in it, I take that as a decent omen...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Care to check our specs, friend? Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. *guarantees* its workmanship to meet or exceed minimum industry standards. We welcome you to come and inspect for yourself...
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28th / OTTO'S SHRUNKEN HEAD TIKI BAR & LOUNGE / And the last Thursday of every month! 538 East 14th Street (just west of Avenue B) in Manhattan / Two large shows, from 8:00 sharp until 10:00 / No cover! Need further proof? Boy, tough customer...
422 Seventh Avenue (at 14th Street) in Park Slope, Brooklyn / Two teutonic shows, from 10:30 sharp until 12:30 / No cover!
375 Third Avenue (at the corner of 27th Street) in ol' Manhattan / Three thirst-inducing shows, from 10:00 sharp until 1:00 / No cover! Industrially yours, Michael
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.
"Ballads, Boogies & Blues"

Well-Rounded Radio: Episode 044 features an overview of the Fleshtones and an interview with Peter Zaremba. The interview is illustrated with several clips from "Take A Good Look" and offers a fascinating insight into the recording of the band's latest album. A Podcast is available for downloading on the Well-Rounded Radio website.

Monday, February 25, 2008

There's a lot of information to process during "A Life In The Death of Joe Meek".

The success of such a venture is largely down to access. Not only to people who were there but also to individuals with a passion for the subject. Short of digging out the old ouija board and doing the Captain Howdy with Meek himself, the filmmakers have amassed a wealth of material. Of course, it gets to the stage that it's perhaps all too much but this "work in progress" cut set out the stall very well. It was good to see George Miller and Mike Stax in there with Chas Hodges and an array of the musicians who recorded with him during his short tenure on this earth. The Edwyn Collins clips are kind of precious too. Would it benefit from having your Jimmy Page or Richie Blackmore and the like in there? In my opinion, not much - other than status but I imagine it would be easier to make people who need crowbarring take notice. The freedom of ownership of the film means that this could actually be customised to any specific audience that sees it. There could be a template that ranged from informative introduction all the way through to a marathon nowt left unsaid. This one clocked in at 119 minutes which went in a lot faster that I expected it to. LITD doesn't pander to the usual stream of alleged experts and professional talking nappers. It went further and deeper.

I'm not sure what Alex Kapranos added to the debate. Evidently a fan but with nothing tangible to bring to the table - we are in Glasgow after all -Franzdabbidozi, all well and good but however, it's quite possibly just me... NBT readers will find a lot to love in this film and to that end, expect a nod to it's whereabouts as screenings gather momentum over the weeks and months. I think that Howard S. Berger and Susan Stahman have come up with a unique slant on a profoundly British institution. Not an easy thing to pull off in any case but pull it off they indeed have.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

RIP - Joe Gibbs
(Thanks to Duane Sherwood for the info, can't find a news story about it.)
The disruption of the biggest part of last week has really thrown me. I'm a little jarred at how knackered I feel after doing pretty much nothing but sleep for longer than I have in recent living memory. Shouldn't I feel more refreshed? I guess these batteries are more or less unchargeable at this point. And I just "discovered" that the Joe Meek thing runs for over 2 hours, blimey... it's also sold out so let's go find out if it's any good.

Not over-confident about making a stop-off on this ol' keyboard later but stranger things have happened. Maybe the fresh air will invigorate but I'm not extending any false hope of such.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

RIP - Bobby Lee Tramell (via Staysick)
Sometimes I feel like I'm making progress of the recuperation front. Then I try to up the pace and end up feeeling like I've been kicked down a flight of stairs. Very peculiar. But anyway, stopping by at Amy Rigby's diary today - it was great to catch a new posting there about their latest adventure. Every one a maserati...

Firefox AKIf I Were A Melody (Razzia)

The follow up to “Madame Madame” has been assembled in Berlin and the electro-stamp of that environment is the cornerstone here. There are echoes of the dreamier moments of Suicide amongst a Kraftwerkian smorgasbord. Glistening and pulsating in equal measure, this type of sound used to be employed to evoke the future. I’ve been reading a lot of positive reviews regarding Gary Numan recently and there are elements of Tubeway Army about this too. “Winter Rose” must sound pretty mighty pumping out on a high-spec club PA.

At one time, such synth driven things were considered cold or remote, but now machines can emote warmth. It’s no longer just about bpm in this post-Moroderist age. fAK is about 3000 times better than anything New Order ever even hinted at and Andrea Kellerman’s voice is an integral part of what sets it apart. The heart of which is pure analogue, the placement of the vocal within the electro-mentation strike me as finite. The guy who put this together evidently did that by design and not accident. This ain’t remotely rock’n’roll but it does verge on soul, albeit of an android-gynous variety. But hey, why read my gibberish when you can listen and make up your own mind.

NiccokickThe Good Times We Shared, Were They So Bad? (Startracks)

Well, these Scandanavian kids have conjured up a noise that welds an Aha type commerciality to Pixies QuietLoud staple. But in addition to that, they’ve employed the secret weapon of a crack horn section plus some serious orchestral grandeur. I don’t mean brass players that are addicts stupid, I’m talking top notch players.

These Söderlund brothers are only youngsters but they’ve crafted another collection of real quality pop here. “The Art Of Doing Nothing” swings like The Skeletons Vs The Herd and there are acts that have been hauling their carcasses around the earth for decades that couldn’t muster that.

Here in Blighty, this could be lumped in with “Indie”. Niccokick’s sound is overwhelmingly optimistic bordering on stadium rocktastic. I’m not sure it has any place in this world because things have become so cynical that their oeuvre could be mistaken for something that it isn’t. I honestly believe that this could rid the world of yer Coldplays and Snow Patrols given a smidge of a chance. It won’t whet the whistle of some NBT readers but even they would have to recognise the luxurious musical fabric these guys have woven.

And whilst we're in the manor of sound, don't forget the screening tomorrow of "A Life In The Death of Joe Meek" at the GFT. See you there...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Having spent a lot of time staring at the ceiling, sweating, this week – and not in a good way – it was something of a relief to even feel like listening to music and going through the dreaded e-mail backlog. Lot of cackle on the wires about two “hotly-tipped” female artists – Adele and Duffy and I’m compelled to air my tuppence worth. Adele emits a formless, shapeless style to me. Apparently a graduate of the dreaded Brit-School, it’s like Michelle McManus goes lite Jazz. I spelled it that way purposely. Jeez, at least Kate Nash has a whiff of Kirsty MacColl about her however... And Duffy – well this “Mercy” thing is fine if you like pastiche. “Rockferry” was better in my opinion in its MacAlmont and Butler sort of swooping pop way but really – this is saving the beleaguered music business? Well if y’all say so. There’s something very calculated and maybe even cynical about both of these artists swift rise to “popularity”.

It’s not their fault, they’re doing a job. They’ll jump through hoops for their respective imprint but the way all this appears to work makes any kind of longevity unlikely. I keep hoping that Mari Wilson would just come back and be done with it. The concept of being groomed to be a pop star or whatever must surely cause advance precipitation of the dry boke followed by the full on heave. At least Duffy didn't go to class to come up with her Bonnie Tyler goes Dusty faux beat. Give "The Brits" their own TV Station where the sheep can subscribe and be kept up to speed and maybe free up some other areas for acts with no such tacit connections to the sad mafia that seem to have a grip on the what passes for entertainment industry. Did you see poor old Ozzy on that awards shit the other night? He deserves better than that surely.

I think it’s maybe time to wrap up (warm) and go outside. I must be recuperating because this shit is winding me up.

Ghost On The Highway dvd coming soon...

Did they ever sort out the music licensing for this? Either way it's a must see...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Fleshtones return Europe in May for a series of dates in France. As usual, the men who added "Super" to "Rock" will zigzag across The Hexagon while performing strategic sorties on Holland, Italy and Germany. How do they do it? Do not attempt these dangerous manoeuvres at home, simply head for one of the following destinations and join in the fun!

May 12 - Locomotive, Paris, France
May 13 - Vauban , Brest, France
May 15 - Bikini, Toulouse, France
May 16 - Poste à galene, Marseille, France
May 17 - Nikea, Nice, France
May 18 - Garage, Milan, Italy
May 19 - Cafe Atlantik , Frieburg, Germany
May 20 - Le Fil, Beauvais, France
May 21 - BBC , Caen, France
May 22 - Aknathon, Amsterdam, Holland

Needless to say, further dates will be added. Why, there is even talk of a stop-over in Geneva. How the hell are they gonna fit that in?
RIP: Jim Jones
News just reached HQ that the Fleshtones will end their next Euro tour in Amsterdam on May 22! No details yet on pre-sale tickets or anything but we'll keep you posted. In the mean time start making travelling arrangements and book those cheap flights!
Apart from the ongoing headaches and gut considerations, I generally get by on the health front. However, this past few days has caused me to make a doctors appointment. Being laid out and having to just peg out in the old scratcher until it kind of passes was my only option. Plus I've got this nagging stitch "pain". It's not really pain but rather irritation. I have no faith in doctors really but there's enough going on to require some kind of check. Have to say that it goes 100% agin the grain but these things seem to happen sometime.

You'd think that being forced into taking days off work would be a relief but not really because I've had no energy to do anything. I don't like that. I don't like wasting time languishing but there was nothing else for it. Hardly seems possible that it's a week already since The Nomads. What is that Cher was on about about turning back time? I'd definitley bodyswerve the connection with the lurghi bug.
Forget the cast of "Heroes", these folks COULD actually save the world!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

"No, the birthday boy won't be there to celebrate his 76th, but we will be -- it's the annual "Johnny Cash Birthday Bash" this Saturday at Southpaw! Alex Battles and his Whisky Rebellion will be joined by a pantheon of stars to perform Cash classics, including "Live At Folsom Prison" in its entirety -- with a set by SIT & Die Co. to open the show!

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 23rd / "JOHNNY CASH 76TH BIRTHDAY BASH" at SOUTHPAW / Presented by Alex Battles' Whisky Rebellion / with guest SIT & Die Co./ 125 Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn / Doors at 8pm / $12 in advance (tickets are very limited!) /
And next week, for something a bit more intimate...

And the last Thursday of every month!
538 East 14th Street (just west of Avenue B) in Manhattan / Two big shows, from 8:00 sharp until 10:00 / No cover!

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

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I'd like to be able to tell you that the shivering and shaking that's going on here was induced by some finite rock'n'roll record but alas no. The symptoms are down to some damn virus that made it's presence felt on Sunday and finally laid me out today. It's a pretty miserable interlude to be sure but anyway, hopefully it'll pass to feed on some other mope sooner rather than later.

Hot on the heels of their festive exhumation of "Dead By Christmas", SohoDolls will be opening for Hanoi Rocks on their tour which kicks off next week. Bear in mind that they'll probably be on stage by 7.30 most nights too so get there early.

I'm off to partake of some more fluids...
RIP - DD Meanie (from Bruce Milne) Click on the image to enlarge.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Lou Molinaro interviews Mary Weiss.
RIP - Joaquim Costa
Not long back from "the london". Train wasn't as mobbed as it was on the schlep down so that was good. Arrived back pretty close to schedule and caught the connection with just about a minute to spare. Result. I imagine it's all downhill from here...

Anyway, if you are within travelling distance of Brighton then I hope you'll be heading for The Nomads show. It's the second of a quick UK hit and run and their first gigs here in 6+ years.

So last night's DWC stint went spiffingly. Unfortunately The Cannibals couldn't open with a short set like they were supposed to because Mike had to fly back home to the US. So that meant that The Sweet Zeros were first to bat. They bang out a nice line in teen punk that is far more multi-faceted than the "Motorhead with tits" description would suggest. it would be fair to say the none of 'em are teens, or even punks but they embody the spirit and the fun that make this stuff run. By the time they finish with their brudder-ified version of "Rehab", I think they made a lot of friends. I'll be watching their progress closely.

Next it was The Fugitives, who in my opinion were flat out lumpy. An "oldies" band that slung out patently lukewarm versions of songs that deserve better. "A Question of Temperature" had me pining for Brownsville Station and that's about the only positive thing I can say about their set. It seems unlikely that they'll be getting chased anywhere and I'm sure they're doing it for fun but it simply isn't from my side of the fence. You know the one about the road to heck and the main ingredient of that particular asphalt.

So finally it's time for The Nomads and the relief, not to mention the anticipation, is palpable. I'm incredibly biased when it comes to this band. They are dear, dear friends but they'd expect me to be honest if I thought they sucked. And they never, ever do. They set the bar for the perfect measures that all I hold dear about this rock'n'roll lark. they even rolled out a version of "Who Dat?" which I don't recall them ever doing when I seen em before. The kids, as they say, dug it and were baying for more for some time after the last strains of "16 Forever" reverberated through our noggins. I'm always inspired when I leave the Dirty Water. It's my kinda people who go there. We can but dream about having a shindig like that up thisaway.

Missing in action but attending in spirit were Ms Hermansson and Ms Zetterberg. And also Field Marshall Vedder and the very Rev. M. Percival. It was a cracking night of the type that trouble us all too rarely. I oughtta be in Brighton, that reality is burning in my napper but t'was not to be. like I said if there's any way on earth you can make it then cut along now. I think it'll be stowed.

On a related note, The Sonics are now playing on the Sunday night also with The Horrors and another support tba. So if you didn't score tickets for the Friday then all is not lost.

Friday, February 15, 2008

So, I made it to Friday. The weather doesn't suck and all eyes are on tonight's show by The Nomads in (uptown Nigel) Tufnell Park at the famed DWC. More info by clicking on the sidebar, just to the left of this. Catch you on yonder flipside hillock...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bone up on your français... #42 Available now!
(spelling corrected following reprimand from Brother Patrick)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

RIP - Steve Gerber (Creator of Howard The Duck)

(Thanks to Ben for the link)

Today started way early but the fog actually burned off to reveal a cracking blue sky. Too bad I couldn't make it outside. The warden put paid to that. Hoo'ever - it's just two days until those Nomads hit "the London". To quote my big buddy Joss - "see you at the bar...".

Saturday night they're in Brighton so maybe that's more convenient for some of you? Just don't flippin' miss them, OK?


And I almost forgot, but you shouldn't - that Fay Fife makes her "solo" debut at The Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh this coming Thursday. That's Valentines Day, 14th February.

Monday, February 11, 2008

There's a new movie on Patti Smith doin' the rounds on the film festival circuit. Dream Of Life sounds like a hot one by all acounts.
Here's the trailer and here's the press conference Patti and director Steven Sebring gave at the Berlinale.
Tom Morton to the rescue. Jim Dandy was a no show...

He also reminded me about the great David Roter who left us 5 years ago this coming Saturday. Time is sure hurtling in...

Check out his oeuvre at Cellsum!
RIP - Roy Scheider

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Saturday, February 09, 2008

As we career toward hell in the proverbial handbasket, fate dealt another blow earlier today. I know, stock market's are crashing and there are wars on etc, but nobody told me that Malcolm Allan had shut down. That's my (breakfast) haggis dealer to you or any of my homies that have stopped by in recent years. Now I know how you potheads feel when your connection goes down but never fear, I'll pull myself out of the tailspin and will find another. In the interests of "normal service"...

There's a pile of new music lying here ready to check out. However, am I doing that? No, I'm not. I pulled out Bachman Turner Overdrive's "Not Fragile" and am reminiscing about peceived better days. When I saw them in Glasgow, Thin Lizzy opened. It was fucking great. Big lumberjacks wielding wailing guitars. Rock'n'roll was much less complicated back then. I mean, the MC5 were OK but ye cannae beat the real thing eh, Rich? Ha ha.

So maybe I'll check out some of this recent hootch later, or maybe I'll regress further and pull out some more "back catalogue". Time will indeed tell.

Friday, February 08, 2008

"Hey ho, kidlets!
The Stripchords return to the stage in Londinium next Friday night, February 15th, to headline at The Gutter Club, Francois Dirty South's mash-up of rockin' sounds – "Zounds, what sounds!" as yer Brian Matthew would say... be sure to request a free Stripchords bumper sticker from a member of WOOFF! (Worshipful Oglers Of the Female Form), to decorate the tail of your hardtop, speedster or motor launch...
See you at the ball rack...
Selah! The Stripchords"
The Stripchords - February, 15thThe Gutter Club @ Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes,
Bloomsbury Hotel, London, London WC1H 9EU
£3 after 9pm

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Tom Taber just set four copies of the new Almeron imprint Symptoms live cd loose on Ebay for a cool $20 apiece including worldwide postage. Go get 'em...

Not much time for blogging at the minute coupled with a serious attempt at trying to cut down on the amount of time I spend on a computer. If anything urgent comes up then, of course, it'll be reported but until then... there are episodes of The Wire to watch.

Meanwhile, It's just a little over 7 days until The Nomads hit Blighty...

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The UK Dolls...
Amazing footage from the 1977 Stiff tour featuring Nick Lowe, Larry Wallis, Dave Edmunds, Ian Dury, Wreckless Eric etc: Heart Of The City, Reconnez Cherie, Blockheads plus scenes from backstage...

Monday, February 04, 2008

RIP: Jeff Salen
Beleaguered just about covers it for me at this point tonight, maybe preceded by an expletive or two. I’ll spare you the details and crack on...

“Nous Sommes The Tremolo Beer Gut Qui le Fuck Êtes-Vous?” translates as “We Are The Tremolo Beer Gut, Who The Fuck Are You?” Charmed I’m sure…

Reminds me of this wee oily creep that goes up to a good looking girl way off his beat and says “What would you say to a wee fuck?” The girl replies, “Hello wee fuck”. Ha ha but anyway, let’s get on with the meat of the matter. This Danish instro-Mental combo has the chops to back up the bravado of that title. This isn’t just another surf flavoured sturm und drang. We’re cruising the fjords sailed by the likes of The Bambi Molesters and Robert Johnson and Punchdrunks here. Cinematic with a dash of Morricone and Nietzsche (Jack , natch) Heavy duty fare, not that piss thin proto-garage that so often let’s the side down. This is somewhere between The Scientists shooting the curl on that "Blood Red River" and Link Wray blasting us from beyond the phantom zone. Coming at you in their own, patented “Wide-ass Stereo”. “9 Times The Pain” has an analog Moroder groove. “Junkie Tools” deconstructs Cliff’s “Devil Woman” and shimmies dangerously close to the tomb of Joe Meek to whip up something more damaging than a mere tornado or three.

Special guest stars such as Matt Verta-Ray and The Micragirls drafted in to make the party swing but this is some sick, twisted fun alright. Top tuneage with great titles like “(She’s Got) Peter Lorre Eyes”, what’s not to worship.

Available now on the Crunchy Frog imprint.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Greetings, Earth people! This email comes to you on the 50th anniversary of the launch of the very first US satellite, Galaxy I a/k/a Satellite 1958 Alpha on January 31, 1958! And in commemoration of that launch, we at Norton blast forth with news of many jet-powered events and releases! Let's get with the countdown-- minus two, minus one... BLAST OFF!

Resident DJ Josh Styles spins mayhem with Billy and Miriam of Norton Records with the MADDEST sounds from Nortonville and beyond! Also appearing birthday gal Jodie Artichoke and talented semi-pro torso twisters! Washable duds, people. THIS IS IT! THE WILDEST!!!! BEAUTY BAR, 231 E. 14th St. Btwn 2nd & 3rd Ave. NYC 11PM-4AM

A-Bones attack LA with Roy Loney in tow on Sunday night of this fabulous Presidents Day three night fest costarring a veritable pantload of talent including Nikki Corvette (Miriam's teenage pen pal), Haunted George (Norton A&R genius who discovered the U-Turns), Ape City R&B, Rock N' Roll Adventure Kids, Guilty Hearts, Tina's fab combo Special Ed, the Dazes, Thee Cormans, Wild Weekend, Jail Weddings, Deke Dickerson's All Star Frat Band, Th' Losin' Streaks, the Lateenos, the Jinxes, Les Hormones… and much mo'! This is a rare chance to catch the A-Bones (with Ira Kaplan on piano, no less!) as they tear it up on the West Coast!!! DJ's will be spinnin' wildass records all night long!! MR. T'S BOWL, 5621 1/2 N. Figuera St, Highland Park, CA 323-256-7561 21+ (sorry kiddies!) Promoter sez "Get advance tickets or you'll be sorry!" TICKETS ARE $12 A DAY OR PURCHASE A SPECIAL 3 DAY PASS FOR $30 @ DON'S MUSIC 4873 EAGLE ROCK BLVD EAGLE ROCK, CA (323) 255-3551 OR BY PAYPAL!! SEND PAYMENT FOR TICKET OPTIONS TO:

SAT. FEB. 16 - LYRES, CLUB MIDWAY NYC Boston's fantabulous Lyres return
to bop NYC on the noggin with their superb sound. Last go-round at Magnetic Field, and co-billed at the Warsaw with the Sonics, proved Monoman & crew to be the ultimate contenders. Go, Lyres! Billed w/Black Hollies, 25 Avenue B, NYC

SAT. FEB. 23 - THE A-BONES BAM "NEXT" MUSIC FESTIVAL, MAGNETIC FIELD, BROOKLYN Back from their surfin’ safari, the A-Bones return to their tip top home stompin' ground hangeroo sporting tans, possibly but not probably! Also on the bill for your enjoyment, the Mess Arounds! People, for real, this date commemorates some very important holidays: International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day and National Banana Bread Day. It's also the 113th anniversary day of the Tootsie Roll. Wonder when Interstellar Pepto-Bismol Day is? http://www.myspace/theabones

SAT. MARCH 1 ROKY ERICKSON AND THE EXPLOSIVES, WEBSTER HALL, NYC The first of two fab nights with superstar ROKY and the legendary EXPLOSIVES settin' the big town aflame with rock & roll of the highest order. Roky's lauded return to touring last year caused quite a commotion and for good reason- jaw-dropping performances, spot-on delivery, perfect pitch and flawless sets! Not to be missed! Webster Hall is the old Ritz on East 11th Street.

SUN. MARCH 2 ROKY ERICKSON AND THE EXPLOSIVES, MAXWELLS, HOBOKEN Getcha tickets to both shows now, but especially for this exclusive Texas Independence Day performance in glittering Hoboken! How the promoters of this posh venue managed to secure the services of Texas' best and most legendary star alive on a holiday of this magnitude is beyond the big brains at Norton! See you there!

FRI. MARCH 7 & SAT. MARCH 8 THE A-BONES IN MEXICO CITY Los A-Bones invade our southern neighbors for el stomp fest grande! Stay tuned for the nitty gritty and join us on this mid-winter double-header in sunny Mexico! Friday at Bar Grotesk (with Los Sicoticos and Los Mustang 66 and Saturday at Multiforo Alicia with Los Sicoticos, Los Mustang 66 and Los Twangers! http://www.myspace/theabones

SAT. MARCH 15 ALLENTOWN RECORD FAIR Where wax reigns supreme! Miles of aisles of round sound pounders, styrene savagery and shellac sharpies! Start turning in those pop bottles, this show is just six weeks away! 100,000+ 45s and 78s - no LPs/CDs!!

SAT. MARCH 22 MARY WEISS NYC! Dig Mary in Manhattan at the posh Blender Theatre at Gramercy! And as fate would have it, fable fans, Mary's date coincides with the ancient Roman festival held in honor of Minerva, the INVENTOR OF MUSIC! There is no such thing as coincidence, kiddos! Tickets available now!

SAT. MARCH 22 THE SONICS IN LONDON! Josh Styles to DJ! Our revered in-house Gods THE SONICS head acros the pond for their first show out of the US.. ever at Dr Robert's Le Beat Bespoke in London, England! Look out world, this is gonna be a brain blaster, especially with Stalker Josh Styles DJ'ing the event!

SUN. MARCH 30 BLACK ACE BOOKS 29th ANNUAL PAPERBACK COLLECTORS SHOW! 9 AM-4PM Paperback goddess Rose of Black Ace Books presents the ultimate paperback collectors tour-de-force fantasy camp where piles of pulp are proffered! Tons of guest authors will include top icons Victor Banis, Earl Kemp, Charles Nuetzel, Don Glut, Ray Bradbury and more! Outta towners, fear not: "All the rooms are equipped with electronic door locks." Swank! Call Rose at 323 661 5052 or Tom at 818-349-3844 for mo' info! GUEST HOUSE INN (formerly MISSION HILLS INN), 10621 Sepulveda Boulevard, Mission Hills, CA 91345

Late breakin' news! The world famous Pretty Things return to blow our little minds to bits with a pair of NYC shows! Details in next newsletter!

TUES-WED APRIL 29-30 PONDEROSA STOMP! It's still a couple blizzards away, but PONDEROSA STOMP is set for APRIL 29 & 30 in New Orleans with their biggest showcase weekender yet! What a lineup- check the Stomp site for the fll-on ballyhoo, get tix and reserve rooms now for Mary Weiss, Roky Erickson, the Green Fuz, Nathaniel Mayer, Question Mark and the Mysterians, the Collins Kids, Ronnie Spector ... with lots mo' supah-stars!!!! Details at


CHARLIE FEATHERS - WE'RE GETTING CLOSER TO BEING APART/IF YOU WERE MINE TO LOSE (45-142) Two more powerful rockabilly offerings from the master! To be followed up by THREE big albums of rare and unreleased Charlie Feathers demos. Sorry for the long wait - we can't hardly stand it oiurselves!

THE BO-KEYS - CONGRATULATIONS/ROYAL PENDLETONS - TELL ME (45-9659) Our popular Rolling Stones 45 cover series continues with our 19th nervous breakdown, yes the 19th single in the series! This double dip of slow drag burners showcases the Mad Lads lead singer John Gary Williams teaming up with Memphis soul sensations the Bo-Keys on the terrific topside, while Southern slop lords the Royal Pendletons tell us they're coming back to us in grand style!

THE DICTATORS - MANIFEST DESTINY Vinyl reissue of their 1977 Asylum platter comes complete with original doofus cover and incredible Andy Shernoff anthems like Science Gone Too Far, Exposed, Heartache, Young Fast And Scientific and mo'!

MARCH/APRIL NORTON RELEASES! Official space helmets on extra tight, loud sounders- we're about to blast out several savage slabs that may cause erratic behavior! We hepped you to a threesome elsewhere in this email but no mo' yap about the others quite yet... just when you thought things couldn't get any better, louder, wilder, more sensational!!!!!!


Two of the biggest stars in our galaxy passed on January 10th. If Vampira and Dave Day had met at a cocktail party, they would have gotten along famously.
MAILA NURMI (1921-2008) Maila Nurmi Syrjaniemi, better known to the clued-in as Vampira,
passed away January 10. Maila, along with Joyce (Sirola) Randolph of Honeymooners fame, represents the greatest of Finnish TV and Movie Stars, that is if you don't count Pamela (Hyytiainen) Anderson. This beautiful, talented femme fatale inspired the careers of countless vamps via her work with Ed Wood in the fabulous PLAN NINE FROM OUTER SPACE, but her legacy includes a deep friendship with James Dean, her own TV Show ("The Vampira Show") and precious cameos in Too Much Too Soon, The Beat Generation, The Big Operator, The Magic Sword and I Passed For White. She also dated dreamboat Orson Welles. Our gal grew up in Ashtabula, Ohio on the banks of Lake Eerie, leaving for Hollywood after high school. She will forever remain the definitive blood countess, although young raven-hair'd vamps would be hard put to match Maila's famous 18-inch wasp waist and mystic gaze.

Super great cat and total NW genius Dave Day of Torquays/Monks fame, headed for the great beyond same day as Vampira. Billy and I first met Dave at Jeff Miller's killer house party in 1998, where an impromptu living-room jam session turned into a garage fan's wildest dream, with Larry Parypa, Jerry Miller, Larry Thompson, Jim Valley and, yes, Dave Day making the scene and making a racket! Dave played rhythm guitar in the Torquays, who formed in 1964 in a US Army base in Germany in 1964. The "de-volved" as Dave put it, into the Monks in '65, one of the most superlatively primal rock & roll combos ever. Dave played banjo in the Monks, but there was no "Deliverance" in his style- he pounded the sucker into submission, forging an new and wild sound that is yet to be replicated. The Monks broke up in '67 when all but Dave returned to the US. The Monks blew everybody's ears into orbit and hearts into some fantastic, distant stratosphere when they blasted away at the 2004 Las Vegas Rockaround, the same weekender that had Sky Saxon storming the stage during the A-Bones set and Rudy Ray Moore and Hasil Adkins providing the ebony and ivory wig-out bookends to one heck of a soundsational sandwich. It was the last show Hasil ever played.

For More Nortonic Information:
I was reading Amy Rigby’s latest blog entry about the new Jill Sobule record. The way she’s financing it isn’t groundbreaking but I’m sure it’s going to work out. For every label like Razzia or YepRoc that do a solid job of promoting their artists there are 50 that just coast. That are just an overhead for the artist. I dunno about you but I’d willingly pay a subscription to my favourite artists. To aid their continued existence and to make the music they want to make. I’m not sure how that will pan out but there has to be a way. After all, there are plenty of wingnuts out there who will gladly sign up to their tracking device. On one hand you’ve got U2’s manager – an outfit that has more money than some countries – baying for the blood of the download pirates. Why doesn’t he use some of that untold world to fund some scheme that might ultimately mean that all bands and musicians get a cut? The genie is out of the bottle bigstyle so it’s time to try and cajole people into putting themselves in the acts position. Would we like somebody to come into our house and just have ‘em help themselves? No. And somebody needs to think about the independent shops too, they need to make a living too.

Music is an important staple of everybody’s existence. To a lesser or greater degree. Consider operations like Norton, Ace or RPM. All mining to bring us top grade packages with liner notes, design and information. There has to be several tiers. If some donkey just wants the track for their phone or iPod, that’s one thing. But some of us want more. It would indeed be great if people would attend shows and buy their product direct from the artists. However in these economically challenged times, there’s not a lot of disposable income to go around. So things like music are the first to suffer. It’s an expensive consideration to go to a couple of shows every week.

There’s just so much stuff. It’s hard to process it even if you have the will to do it. I’m swamped, but in a good way. That’s why I want this to be a positive filter. Some folks have asked me, why don’t I publish any bad reviews? Well for obvious reasons. There’s no point. I might be the ultimate grouch but I want to direct you, the browser, to something I think you’ll get a kick out of. Something that’ll give you a lift, even for a second or five. In these days where you can actually hear, and see if you agree, then there’s no damage done. I don’t want or expect everybody to agree. Whether you do or not is immaterial. Not owning an iPod, I’m old school. I want the physical item. Checking out mp3’s is useful but beyond that there’s the whole sound quality argument. It's a pickle alright and no mistake...

Saturday, February 02, 2008

OK, I know - I said I was bailing but let me just leave you with this Fleshtones Video Chronology and Kim Salmon talking about Blood Red River and other stuff at the I-Bar in the run-up to impending Scientists ATP shows in Australia next week.

A missive from Mr Taber...

"Hi, folks!

In what will likely be Almeron Records final release, I've just received 500 copies of "Always Heed the SYMPTOMS- 'LIVE' in 78".
27 cuts in excellent sound quality, with a total time of 78 minutes. Some classics done LIVE from their classic (and valuable!) original lp, plus a nice mixture of 50s, 60s, and 70s well-known (and not so
well-known) classics. It doesn't suck!

It's $14.99 plus $3.01 postage ($7.01 overseas)= $18 (or $22).

Paypal to, or check, m.o. to Tom Taber, 3746 Tuthill Road, Albion, NY 14411. USA.

Thanks, Tom

p.s. Want an extra copy for a friend (or to put away still sealed)? Just add an extra $10!"
On top of sundry other headaches, I've been having trouble with Blogger and Google today. Pretty low on the list of priorities but just another hassle. This shit should work right?? In these days when we're expected to be contactable etc every hour of the day?? I tell you, this week has made me an arbiter of this ditch MySpazz/Faceblock/Blogger movement that's gathering momentum. Unfortunately I'm addicted so we'll see but one of these outages is gonna push me too far. On top of that the apocalyptic weather conditions that were supposed to engulf us haven't materialised in this part of the world.

The quality of light as I drove back from my daily penance yesterday evening was comparable with summer. Bloody cauld mind you but that's not a problem. There was a micro show flurry this morning but other than that nothing. Even the high winds have subsided. I'm sure that by Wednesday, when we least expect it, mother nature will put her climate boot up our collective jacksy. Anyway, I'm about to switch this blighter off until tomorrow. Aye, right...
Peter C Johnson 1978 – 1981 compiles tracks from the A&M and CBS albums he made during this time. This limited reissue has been put together to benefit the Mark Sandman Music Project in Cambridge, Ma.

Mark Sandman of Morphine died onstage in Italy in 1999. He was “an essential thread in the fabric of Cambridge life” and this facility has been set up in his memory. For anyone who doesn’t know PCJ was all about minimal instrumentation/maximum atmospherics before most. His alumnus includes Nils Lofgren and Bonnie Raitt as well as Carlene Carter and Irene Cara (!). The song “Snowblind” is one of my favourite cuts of all time because every time I hear it I’m transported to another place. It’s dream-like ability to conjure up a trancelike condition has been long overdue. My vinyl copy can rest up now.

Hopefully, as well as providing much needed financial aid to a good cause, this compilation will introduce PCJ to a whole new generation. People who need this kind of aural pop kaboom to soothe away the bullshit that passes for what’s left of the established music biz. This stuff sounds a lot fresher than most all of the stuff that was “happening” at the time. Built in obsolescence wasn’t part of the gameplan back then. There was room to breathe. 30 years later we can use all the clean musical air we can get. So head over to CD Baby, listen to a couple of cuts and see if you agree.

Don’t lollygad though, you need to score one before they’re all gone and you have to live with yet another regret on top of that pile you have already.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Next Saturday night in Edinburgh...