Wednesday, April 30, 2008
With regards the fuel crisis, I imagine that's the excitement just about over. We'll see how the Union Vs Ineos dispute goes from here. Not only does the company sound like something from Dr Who, the general mantra of their representatives isn't terribly far removed either. Let's hope that something can be figured out so we don’t have to suffer the pontificating. Meanwhile, the rice "crisis" will perhaps be next to conjure up panic buying. I'm all out of the stuff and who knows when it'll be possible to get some more. Jings.
I wonder if anyone has come up with electronic ration cards yet? Seems like those could be in demand across a number of sectors very soon. The term "emerging markets" seems to be a new term for greedy bastards.
I just read something about Madonna being Number 1 for the second week. I'm not purposely avoiding her music but I haven't heard it. I've read that she has a new record out but none of the old channels which would have flogged it to death in the run-up to release exist any longer. Is that a good thing? Well, it kinda cuts two ways. There's too much information to process these days and the ubiquity once afforded those with a high profile is spread more thinly over far, far more outlets.
It's not that I'm not interested. More that I'm not THAT interested. I like to keep my finger on the pulse if possible but there aren't enough hours in the day anymore. Maybe it's great. Maybe it would make such an impression that I'd get it as a ringtone and everything. But wait, I'd have to get a phone first for that to work.
Anyways, what I'm getting at is that it's very easy to avoid things. You don't even have to be actively avoiding it, you just make the call based on your attention span. If it ain’t on Cake – well chances are it doesn’t exist.
Half the opus that Suzy & Los Quattro have christened "Stick With It" is available for your listening pleasure on their myspace now. It'll be out in May on Wild Punk (cd) and Screaming Apple (vinyl). Order your copies now direct or from Soundflat!
I Are Droid includes the great Konie and the ubiquitous Jens Lagergren. The sound of their first Razzia "single" illustrates what happens if some Clash genes were to invade a test tube with some John Foxx era Ultravox bone samples! Sweeping pop prog from Sweden.
You can help them make an extended celebration when they come to your 'hood to introduce you to their recording debut as a couple also. They're great kids as well as being great - kids! Lang may their collective lum reek!
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
It is a cover version of the new single by our friends and labelmates from First Floor Power. It will be released next week on their 12 inch maxi single called "The Jacket" and includes mixes from Karin form The Knife, Bjorn from Peter, Bjorn and John and a couple more that we don't really know so much about. Just like we did with the Blues Explosion track and the Superheroes track before this one we recorded our own old school version of the song instead of doing a remix. The spectacular result is boldly entitled "Le Jaquet" and you can listen to it on our myspace-site right about now (find the link under "The Skinny"). If you decide you NEED to own it - and we can understand if you do - then you'll have to get it on Vibrashop.com as soon as it is released next week.
Apart form that all is well in TBG-land. We had a get together last weekend to brush up some old songs for the upcoming shows in the weekend at Debaser in Stockholm (on friday) and at Rust in Copenhagen (saturday). Hope to see a lot of you out there!
The special shows with Sci-Fi SKANE and Snake and Jet on may 23rd in Malmö is also shaping up. There's gonna be cajun food, cold beer and a couple of cool DJs. All for just 100 kr.
The T to the B to the inevitable G
Monday, April 28, 2008
Coldcuts Productions is now editing the Fleshtones documentary titled: "Pardon Us For Living But The Graveyard is Full".
We are looking for live, interviews, photos or any footage that you would be the sole owner. Making documentaries are often stopped by the lack of release from the archives owner.
If you have shot with your own camera a concert or interviews with the Flesthones and own the right to it, please share it with us.
Please send any materials with the brief letter with your name and contact stating that you are authorizing Coldcuts productions to use the footage for the documentary to:
36 South 4th Street Suite c6
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Anja Bigrell and Marie Eklund make an unusual sound that comes over like Roxy Music going equal parts exotica/electronica. Anja’s vocal reminds me of Eva Parker from the great Scandopunk group Parker, with a little twist of Bjork but maybe that’s just the inflection rather than the voice itself.
Imagine if Shakespeare’s Sister had decided to introduce a Rev/Vega aspect to their work. I never heard anything quite like and their songs come across as oddly infectious. I don’t think that you can listen to “Ages Ago” at their myspace but have a wee taste of what is there. The first word in “Whose Blood” is “Saunter”, one that I don’t associate that with the Swedish language at all. “Nice White Boys” is a tad Carl Stalling.
In the interest of "world events", in addition to the choicest rock'n'roll - I just took a stroll fout or the Sunday paper. The BP garage closest to the plant is 5 minutes walk from here. The forecourt was empty and the "won't get fueled again" scares of the media seem to be a good distance away. Further along the road, the pickets or whoever were assuming their positions.
There's a heightened police presence and I walked past two sauntering along Powdrake Road. That was the hotbed of activity last time but it's all quiet along there too. Trees have been strategically planted around the perimeter to reduce visibility in recent times, it's a while since I was round that way.
The plant itself is a little quieter. The birthday candle type flares are out and the hum has been replaced by the hiss of cooling. Janine from Spinal tap might describe it as being like "non-dobly"... Plumes of steam are rising from here and there but it is a tad quieter. Grangemouth itself is something of a fortress in that area these days. While you have to drive through the middle of the plant to get to Bo'ness, it's impossible to walk down the perimeter of the Grange Burn to the dock gates. Something to do with security. Or is it a further erosion of the right to roam? I always get those two mixed up.
So anyway, there's plenty of petrol here at the minute and BP and Jet tankers drove past me from the distro area evidently bound for an outlet near you. The scaremongering tosspots that caused this furore must be pretty pleased with themselves and the blame culture is revving up to demonise the union. Whilst I can't say that they won't miss a couple of days pay at their rates, the picture for further into the dispute looks muddy. For the minute we don't need the fuel that's alleged to be headed to the UK from elsewhere in Europe. Let's see where we are by Tuesday. Me?, I think I'm sorted until next weekend so that seems like an eternity from this point. There are no meeja vans parked along the street so just as well that I let that haggis roll idea go.
If I can be arsed, I might take another toddle out closer to the "action" later. But then again...
Saturday, April 26, 2008
So let's play catch up on some stuff you may have some fun with...
An interview interspersed with the music of Danny Federici. An integral part of the E-Street sound.
The Nomads are the kings of rock and roll despite their protestations. But of course - WE knew that!
Back in Sweden, the land of understated band names, Tunic provide free music and you can sample it here on their myspace and download their album for nada. I particularly dug "Seventeen".
This interview with Walter Yetnikoff is pretty entertaining. The link came from a recent Lefsetz mailing but I didn't find the time to catch it until now.
Pascal are still banging away in the background. Fuck the petrol shortage, these kids could light up a city with this kind of energy!! Now if only I could figure a way to harness it as an alternative to fossil fuel...
Friday, April 25, 2008
Don't know what the post office situation is in your corner of the world but here, it's a pricey business. Had the need to send off a few sizeable packages and was, to use Brother P's favourite expression - flabbergasted. As one who spent most of his pre-cyberspace existence in the Larbert PO most lunchtimes holding up the queues to dispatch print to however many corners of the world there are. It was costly then but now, blimey, I think there's a conspiracy on to price the service out of the common or garden ballpark.
That coupled with the end of the world – or as they’re calling it here – the fuel shortage, suggests that we’re all headed for hell in yon proverbial handbasket. The refinery is said to have been shut down but it was still emitting that trademark hum when I got home. I don’t mean stink, rather the low buzz that permeates our airspace here in the belly of the beast that’s poised to bring the entire country to it’s sobbing, pampered, over-privileged knees. If anything really gives – particularly when they’re firing the place up again – then you could well hear it here first.
Or then again…
Some R&R reportage coming up this weekend. Probably.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
The shows are Saturday 14th , Sunday 15th and Monday 16th June. Tickets go on sale tomorrow (25th April). Just incase any of you overseas folks fancy a wee jaunt...
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I imagine that indie kids everywhere are salivating at the very thought...
The Hippodrome has got a lottery grant via Scottish Screen and that would suggest that the vast collection of archive material might get a big screen airing. That would be better than just being a place to screen the same old circuit contenders time and again. It was pretty busy over there, lots of older citizens of the town going back to see what’s up with where they probably spent some of their formative years.
The opening is scheduled to take place in 2009 so the format of the programming should be starting to take shape. This A listed building doesn’t look like it’ll play host to live music though. I think that early intentions in that direction are unlikely to happen but you never know. It certainly seems like it would be a good place for acoustic/singer-songwriter type acts.
On the road out to Bo’ness, there were council workers picking up litter. They don’t seem to be evident here in Grangemooth though. I’m thinking about noising up the authorities a bit over the coming months because this place is a dump and getting worse by the second.
Of course BP selling out to Ineos has put the cat amongst the proverbial flying rats. And with the strike there pending next week, conspiracy theorists are packing tales of opportunism to 86 areas that they don’t want no more. Shutting down the plant is one thing but what about firing it up again? Might not have to bother about the litter problem.
Ruptured pipes, air in the bloody things, a downright inability to have any real scoob as to what could happen in the aftermath. That’s what’s shakin’ just a short distance from the bunker. The main bugbear of the dispute is that the employees are being asked to contribute to their own pensions. Boo and indeed hoo. As somebody who has just been rogered in terms of my own facility should I stumble on to retirement age, I don’t have much sympathy. On the other hand, they’re prepared to make a stand when so many just roll over. Meanwhile there’s a fuel shortage pending and people are making like they’re at the bread counter on Chrishmaz Eve. Don't you love the de-evolution of (in)human nature.
I’m half hoping it all escalates – just to see what the outcome is. Devilment an' that...
As you might guess, I had mixed emotions stepping foot into CBGB again now that it's been re-opened by designer John Varvatos as an upscale clothing boutique. But curiosity got the best of me and I appreciated the fact that the opening night party last Thursday was a benefit concert to support the Save The Music Foundation. Plus, the night promised a terrific linuep of talent: IAN HUNTER, RONNIE SPECTOR, CLEM BURKE (Blondie), CHEETAH CHROME (Dead Boys), ALAN VEGA (Suicide), HANDSOME DICK MANITOBA (Dictators), the LOSER'S LOUNGE band, and a rare reunion gig from L.E.S. heroes D GENERATION.
So I dutifully bought my ticket (thanks Lindsey) and took the subway down to CB's.
The interior was certainly recognizable as CBGB. Portions of the sticker-covered original walls still remain, though they are now behind protective glass covers. The original stage is gone but for the night's festivities they had installed a replacement stage in approximately the same location as the original.
I winced at the vast number of security staff inside the place, all wearing headsets and dressed in black designer suits. And then there were scores of people with designer hair running around with t-shirts that said "Birthplace of Punk" on the back. ICK.
But I can't say anything bad about the concert. The concert ROCKED. I spotted a couple of the original sound guys from CB's and the Continental, and everything sounded perfect. In addition to the aforementioned musical guests, Varvatos and crew managed to gather a jaw-dropping lineup of unannounced "special guests" including JOAN JETT, WAYNE KRAMER (MC5), TOM MORELLO (Rage Against The Machine), PERRY FARRELL, SLASH, JERRY CANTRELL (Alice In Chains) and SEN DOG (Cypress Hill) among others.
I was right up against the stage and documented the whole thing. I got several shots of the new interior, including three of the new "chandelier" that now hangs in the middle of the space. All my photos are here:
Here's an additional take on the night, this one provided by my pal Madeline Bocaro, who was pressed up against the front of the stage all night.
CBGB - ONE MORE TIME! By Madeline Bocaro
On April 17, 2008 we stood outside under the new black 315 Bowery awning as ropes were put up, and limos pulled up. I don't know where these people thought they were, but I was at CBGB! The CBGB gallery next door(now Morrison Hotel Gallery) exhibits a huge poster in its window announcing Bob Gruen's exhibit Rockers, featuring Sid Vicious smashing a condiment-loaded hot dog into his own face, sporting a badge that says, "I'm A Mess".
A guy approaches me asking, "Where's the Bowery Hotel?" and I recognize him -former T. Rex/Led Zep publicist, B.P. Fallon. Elements of heaven and hell and surrealism permeated the evening. Up walked the cowboy from The Village People. The only logical explanation is that he probably has Alzheimer's and wandered into the most inappropriate place for him on earth!
DGeneration are magnificently sound-checking inside while way too many security staffers are strategizing the guestlist/wrist band coordination. When I roll my eyes, someone asks, "Wasn't it ever like this before?" I reply, "There hardly was a door - people just stumbled in and out of the cavernous hole all night long."
Tonight, we enter and there's an eerily empty space to the right where dear old gray-haired owner Hilly used to sit and stamp hands. But the place is pretty much intact. It feels the same. It even looks the same, but a bit cleaner.
All the graffiti and historic crap stuck to the walls has been preserved under glass, with lots of cool rock posters and framed photos everywhere. Alice Cooper, T. Rex, the Jam and Iggy Pop music is playing. It feels like the line in Bowie's song "Heroes", "We can steal time, just for one day." A new bar is placed right where the old one used to be, and as we enter deeper and see the stage, it's just like old times - except the infamous bathrooms are gone. (There were Port-O-Pottys set up outside).
The new tenant, designer John Varvatos has retained the spirit of the old place. It could've become a Starbucks or a bank, but here we are -at CBGB again!
It's an opening bash for the Varvatos boutique (not a garment in sight) and a benefit for VH1's Save The Music. The cavalcade of stars begins. First up is a group of kids under age 12 – maybe even 9 - Care Bears on Fire. If I didn't feel old when I walked in, I sure did now. Next was another group of teen boys, Pop Girls etc.. They were the pimply cretins of the class whom all the girls ridiculed, dressed in pointy boots and too-tight jackets. They had no idea how ridiculous they looked!
Up next was the DGeneration reunion - the first in 10 years. My god did they rock! Incredible memories of how great they were. "No Way Out", "Frankie" and "Degenerated" floored everyone! Bassist Howie Pyro flew in from L.A. I reminded guitarist Danny Sage that he once told me I'd see them at Madison Square Garden, and I did - when they opened for KISS in 1996. He yelled down to me from the stage at MSG, "I told you!!!" Now he said, "Look where it got us, right back here!" A wild blast from the past.
I guess Debbie Harry had better things to do that night, so Clem Burke backed up the Losers Lounge with some singers who did T. Rex, Blondie and Bowie songs. Then came the redemption of Ronnie Spector! She looked incredible and sang her gorgeous rendition of Johnny Thunders' "You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory". She wiped away tears and said, "This place started it all - so many faces are running through my mind like - Joey Ramone..." At least SHE remembered! Then she sang the most beautiful "Be My Baby" knocking down the confining wall of sound...just her pure "Woah oh oh oh oh." It was heavenly. I've always admired her - a true pop diva from another era who stepped down from her throne to appreciate and befriend the underground creatures of CBGB.
Without hesitation, they announced Ian Hunter. I wasn't ready for another of my most precious heroes so suddenly, but out he came amidst the loudest cheers of the evening for "Once Bitten Twice Shy", "Central Park N' West", "Roll Away The Stone" and "All The Young Dudes."
Alan Vega from Suicide, still ever so insane did a mystifying version of ? And The Mysterians' "96 Tears" - at once classic and ridiculous. Joan Jett, looking amazing, did "Bad Reputation". The Dead Boys' Cheetah Chrome came out for "Sonic Reducer" and the Stooges' "I Wanna Be Your Dog". The Dictators' Handsome Dick Manitoba, MC5's Wayne Kramer and others jammed on "Kick Out The Jams". Then came Slash and Perry Farrell, and later members of Cypress Hill. The evening became confusing as it derailed and degenerated from Degeneration to this.
But at least we know that a stage still can be pulled out at any time, and anything can happen in this preserved historic place where we all grew up.
"I am super successful, because I live the life I love and I love the life I live." - Margaret Doll Rod(s)
Margaret just issued her new (and second) album, called "Scintillating" on Gonna Puke records. An Italian label mostly distributed on ebay, it seems. It deserves to available more widely, so spread the word.
I've always thought of her as a kind of female Jonathan Richman (by coincidence, both she and Jojo just issued a new records and are touring Europe at the same time) : same kind of emotional, down to earth person. Always giving their best, even if the audience is limited. They’re not disillusioned by a certain lack of what is often perceived as success. These people are beautiful human beings.
Patrick: I remember you once told me that the artists that inspired you the most are Hasil Adkins (RIP) and Jonathan Richman. What can you tell us about the?.
Margaret: I can't tell you a whole lot about Jonathan Richman, because I have never met him. I do however love dancin my booty off at his shows. Hasil Adkins on the other hand was one of the sweetest and kindest crazy men I ever met. We'd talk for hours on the telephone and see who could holler the loudest and laugh our butts off. When we met he always treated me like a little girl swinging me around and then ask me sumthin kind of sexy. Like do you wanna hunch. He made me cassettes of songs he would like to hear me cover, but I never did. I just liked listening to Hasil. He would tell me about my picture that he had up on the wall, and well I don't eat no more hot dogs (“No More Hot Dogs” is a song by Hasil Adkins).
P: Have you ever thought of covering a Jonathan Richman's song and if you have, which one ?
M: I never thought to cover a Jonathan Richman song, crazy thing is I rarely even think
P: You recently explained why you decided to stop the Demolition Doll Rods. Were they the very first group you were involved with? Before that you toured with the Gories in 1992, dancing on stage while they were playing, right?
M: The Demolition Doll Rods was the first band I was ever in. I did not decide to stop the Doll Rods. I would never leave the Doll Rods. I always have and still do love them with all my heart. Christine. a.k.a Thump had a baby and decided to devote herself to her little one which I would do the same if she were mine. Danny left the band to find himself. I did help the Gories out on their first tour selling records, carrying equipment, sewing the crotch of Micks pants every other night, and well I couldn't help myself. I do love to dance. So for sure like all shows I go to you'll find me dancin. Heck I dance even when there isn't any music playin’.
P: Was the show at the Fillmore on Halloween 2006,opening for the Cramps, the ultimate highlight of DDR's career? Can you tell me about your friendship with Lux & Ivy?
M: The Doll Rods have had some pretty amazing highlites in this life time. The Fillmore was a great time. Anytime I can spend with Lux and Ivy is out of this world. They are a main line to a good time.
P: I would have bet that you were living in Italy those last months. But I guess you miss your sister in Detroit, too. Are you living partly in Detoit and Italy ?
M: My home is where my heart is. Usually on the road, sometimes in the air. It's true what they say about me I definitely get around. I do spend a lot of time in Italy these days and whenever Italy and I are together it definitely feels like home. The same goes for when I stay in Michigan such an amazing place. You know people came from all over the world to stay there. The crazy thing is it's not where you come from it's where your goin to. Yep my heart is my home.
P: Your latest album, called "Scintillating " was been recorded in Brazil at the same time of the previous one (Enchanté), why did it take such a long time to come out ?
M: I did record "Scintillatin'" in Brazil some time after “Enchante” was released. While at the same time, I was making costumes for myself and sometimes for Danny. Writing songs for the Doll Rods constantly. Touring with the Doll Rods constantly and of course making albums with the Doll Rods. So as hard as it was to stop playing with the Doll Rods it gave me a chance to give a little time to myself and put out this album.
P: It's a limited edition of 500 on Gonna Puke. I only saw it available on ebay, no info anywhere else... Don't you think that a brilliant album with such a beautiful cover deserves to be widely distributed ?
M: It is my dream that this music that flows through me is available to everyone. So I just keep dreamin and am so thankful for every bit of help I get.
P: The cover of the album mentions Margaret Doll Rods. Has the “s” been added because you’re a full (one woman) band ? Or else ?
M: I don't know why I added the s, but I did and I like it.
P: The sound on this new album, produced by you and Marco Butcher, is far better than on the previous one. Please tell me more about the recording.
M: It was simple and straight up. I played the songs - instruments and vocals all at once like I do on stage. We didn't have much time because I was also on tour at the time promoting the last album. So we just got in there, I played and that was it. If I had an idea I would tell it to Marco and he would translate for me and I knew Clayton (Clayton Martin, the owner of the studio where Margaret’s album was recorded) understood because he did exactly what I asked for. Really great guys!
P: Marco is the leader of Thee Butchers Orchestra, the best Brazilian group ever, one of their albums was produced by Danny and they even covered a DDR song (Move To The Music). How did you meet them, are they your connection with Brazil ?
M: Marco and a girl named Debby wrote us years ago asking us to please come and tour in Brazil. The Doll Rods toured there for two weeks. It was a really great experience so for sure, when they asked for me to come back, I was happy to go back and tour there and make an album. It was crazy!
P: Another place where you’re famous seem to be Slovenia, where you played you’re 1st solo show a couple of years ago, right ?
M: I was also fortunate enough to play my solo show in Slovenia.
P: The new album is a real masterpiece with lots of powerful ballads. Except for some few backing vocals on “This Lil’ Light ‘O Mine”, it’s a full one woman band record, right?
M: Yes of course except for the backing vocals on this Lil' Light O' Mine. I play everything and sing everything all at once. It's the only way I know how. It's all me. Sometimes I feel all woman and sometimes I feel part girl, and a little bit of who knows what!
P: Yep! This gospel song “This Lil’ Light O’ Mine” could have featured on the latest (I hope, not last) DDR album. This lil’ light o’ mine is the light of love ... This song fits perfectly with your philosophy about hearts that should be “big and always open”, as you wrote in the liner notes of your album.
M: It's strange I don't believe I have a philosophy on love or life. I just try and follow my heart and listen, and if my heart has something good to offer then I share it with those that would like some.
P: Apart from this song which is traditional (credits generally goes to Harry Dixon Loes) and Big O’s “Dream Baby”, all the songs have been written by you. They’re all killers with Margaret’s touch, no filler and as I already said, the sound is perfect. What is your personal fave on the album ?
M: I think my personal favorite is Hey Lil' Stranger
P: My fave Big O album is “Roy Orbison Sings", from 1972, do you know this one?
M: Please burn me a copy of the big O CD. I'd love to have something new to listen too
P: An album is completely perfect on if it has a beautiful cover. And this one has ! You’re not as naked as on the previous one but you’re sexy as ever (please, don’t imagine i’m crude or whatever – hey, come on, you know you’re sexy, ahahah). In the liner notes, you mention Bambi painting you – do you mean that those pix on the cover are paintings, like those by Guy Pellaert or Edward Hopper ?
M : Thanks! Bambi is a make up artist. She just put make up on me so no the album is not painted. I just feel like I am personally being painted when people put make up on me. It is such a strange feeling the brushes on your skin. I feel like a canvas. However I do love Guy Pelleart. I don't Edward Hopper.
P: Is there something else that you’d like to say about your album or your current tour ?
M: Not really I am just excited to have the opportunity to play.
P : See ya soon – in Paris, May 1st
M : Thanks Patrick, if there is anything else please write, and I will see you real soon.
Margaret Doll Rod(s) on tour :
Forthcoming shows :
Saturday, April 26th @ Gaswerk, Winterthur / Sunday, April 27th @ the Swamp, Freiburg / Monday, April 28th @ the Tsunami, Cologne / Tuesday, April 29th @ Le Pot au Lait, Liège / Wednesday, April 30th @ the Pit's, Courtrai / Thursday, May 1st @ Le Rocher, Paris / Friday, May 2nd @ the Cosmic Trip Fest, Bourges / Sunday, May 4th @ the Ratpack, Clermond Ferrand / / Monday, May 5th @ Donald's Pub, Tours / Tuesday, May 6th @ Barbarella, La Rochelle / Tuesday, May 13th @ the Mau Club, Rostock / Wednesday, May 14th @ White Trash Fast Food, Berlin / Thursday, May 15th @ Bessunger Knabanschule, Darmstadt / Friday, May 16th @ Deep Inside, Dijon / Saturday, May 17th @ the Party, Nolay / Sunday, May 18th @ TAF, Montpellier
The album is available at Gonna Puke records.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Dear Fellow Laborer-
Please be assured that Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. supports our common cause this week, with two hard-working displays of solidarity uniting two boroughs.
THURSDAY, APRIL 24th / OTTO'S SHRUNKEN HEAD /
538 East 14th Street (just west of Avenue B) in Manhattan / Two union-sanctioned shows, from 8:00 sharp until 10:00 / Free to the masses
SATURDAY, APRIL 26th / HANK'S SALOON /
46 Third Avenue (at the corner of Atlantic Avenue) in Brooklyn / One striking set at 10:00 sharp, with the "Cemetery & Western" stylings of Ninth House at 11:00 and the gothic angst of Bitter Grace at (appropriately) midnight / No bourgeoisie cover
And, Comrade, what of next week, you may ask?
SATURDAY, MAY 3rd / RODEO BAR & GRILL /
375 Third Avenue (at the corner of 27th Street) in Manhattan / Three unified sets, from 10:30 sharp until 1:30 / No cover -- and free proletariat peanuts
Industrially yours, Michael - Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.
"Ballads, Boogies & Blues"
Saturday, April 19, 2008
So no big chain stores or chucking a Duffy cd into your basket along with the oven chips at Tesco or wherever, OK? You want music on this day, you seek out the little guy or go without, while there are some still out there. So you can explain to your grand kids what these things were if nothing else. There are so many reasons why we need this kind of community more than ever.
Every Saturday should be Record Store Day...
Friday, April 18, 2008
The world has lost two great accordion players this past couple of days.
Before I went to work this morning I checked the Gaffometer total and saw it was making steady progress. Checking the "stats" a little later, I came across a google that somebody had typed in "chris gaffney rip". When I clicked on it, it took me down a rabbit hole that I really didn't want to navigate. It was the OC Register obit that really hit home that it was in fact true. A reply to an e-mail sent to Dave in a mild panic confirmed what I already was in a tiz about.
I discovered Chris Gaffney via Art Fein who sent me "Road To Indio" when it came out. Many years later I would get acquainted with the man himself when he came to Glasgow with Dave Alvin and the Guilty Men. Tom Hamilton and I put on a show at Glasgow's Grand Ole Opry at which Chris opened and captivated everybody in the room. It was quite a night. Earlier that day we all made our way from London to Glasgow by train. Quite the trek but what a great time we all had and that memory will stick with me for as long as I'm around.
It became obvious that Chris was something special both as a human being and a performer.
He ought to have starred in his own TV show. He had such strength of character and was in many ways larger than life. The guy was also a gentleman in the most honourable sense of the word.
It was a pleasure to be in his company the few times that I was privileged for that to happen. This was a man that really seemed to have lived and despite not having become a household name like he deserved to, he made more of a mark in his short time on this earth than any of us might be aware including, in the end, his own good self. If he’d won some kind of title as the funniest guy on earth, I wouldn’t have been surprised.
Tonight I'm gonna spend some time with his music and will hoist a couple of bottles while doing so. One thing I'll remember is the proud look on his face when we were playing his (at the time) recently completed Hacienda Bros demos in the bar at Glasgow's Central Hotel. Chris was also a huge boxing aficionado and Ken Buchanan was a big hero of his. The younger Chris was pretty nippy in the ring by all accounts too.
I feel a great sense of loss with regard to Chris' untimely passing. My thoughts are very much with his family including the great David Alvin Esq, all of whom must be devastated. The world has lost a great, great artist who many have yet to discover and I kind of envy them that. Getting knocked out by those golden tones, the very essence of country soul.
On the other hand, as I tap away here, Gaffney is singing Joe Ely’s “Are You Listening Lucky” which is just about to segue into the Cold Hard Facts definitive roadhouse version of Deep Purple’s “Highway Star”. This guy had all the bases covered and our big backyard is not a better place for his not being around.
Hacienda Brothers homepage.
I didn’t know Danny Federici of the E-Street Band on the other hand but he was always an integral part of the Springsteen sound. To hear that he’d passed away today was a surprise and he too touched a great many folks over the years.
The Customs are back, for one night only though...
...with The Tigerlillies (from Ohio as I recall but can't find anything on the web strangely) who almost appeared on the never-released NBT comp way back when such considerations could almost be realised.
That and The Quick are on myspace. can't be sure what year I'm existing in but all of a sudden the soundtrack has gotten real good!
Thursday, April 17, 2008
RIP - Hazel Court (Link courtesy of Ben Gart)
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
I sometimes wonder what he thinks about his group becoming bigger than The Beatles.
The world has certainly gone down the pan since he exited dontcha think? "It's gonna be alright, it's gonna be OK". Aye right big fella.
Today this message came in from an old NYC pal...
I'm excited to announce the release of “Trains and Boats and Planes,” my first new recordings in three years.
"Trains and Boats and Planes" is a collection of covers, based around the title track by Burt Bacharach & Hal David. It is not being sold in stores, but is available now for download from iTunes, Amazon, eMusic, and most other digital retailers. I've posted two of the new recordings at My Space, and the entire EP is streaming at AOL Spinner and MP3.com this week.
After the birth of my daughter, I found myself at home more than I had been in years, having previously traveled a lot playing music. Walking the floors with an infant, I couldn’t shake the idea that a music life was moving faster somewhere out of my reach. My solace was time spent with my musician friends as we wrung every bit of emotion out of songs like "Trains and Boats and Planes." To satisfy the urge to move, we decided to record a set of songs using "TBP" as a theme, and to see where we could transport ourselves from the confines of a Brooklyn studio, crossing depths of water and hopping a few trains. By the time we returned to mix, my now not-so-tiny baby was tearing up the recording studio, and all felt right in the world.
The songs I've chosen to cover are "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" (Gordon Lightfoot), "Silver Wings" (Merle Haggard), "Howard Hughes Blues" (John Hartford), "Train of Life" (Roger Miller), and "Love Vigilantes," by New Order (I'm also honored to have my version of "Love Vigilantes" included on the soundtrack of the documentary film "Body of War"). If you chose to download the entire "album," you also receive three transportation-themed songs from my previous releases.
These mostly-acoustic sessions were recorded by Mark Spencer at his Tape Kitchen studio in Brooklyn, and feature Mark on guitars, Jimmy Ryan on mandolin, Jeremy Chatzky on bass, and Steve Goulding on drums. Ted Reichman contributed accordion to a couple of songs, and Jenny Scheinman lent her violin and voice to two tracks as well.
I'm not planning to play much beyond the New York area for now, but we hope to see you down the road somewhere soon!
Monday, April 14, 2008
Anyways, The Primevals now have their own site in addition to myspace, take a good look.
Also, if you fancy a new screen saver, there are bings to choose from at this portal. Brought to my attenshun courtesy of the very Rev. David Arnoff.
Normal service? Whassat then??
Sunday, April 13, 2008
I imagine that those doing the bleating on that front were at the cinema and couldn't get a ticket for "Atonement" or some muckle pish.
Cheech Marin in the "Machete" trailer is absolutely unstoppable and did you know that Katie Melua was in one of the fake trailers too? Neither did I. The soundtracks are fantastic and I get goosebumps when April March's "Chick Habit" blasts in on the close. This is going to be doing the rounds so see it, even if you've seen the individual films on dv-fucking-d. I don't care how big your TV is, this has to be seen in a cinema.
Nearly hung on to catch the Scorcese Stones film as a conduit to the Laki Mera show opening for Paul Haig but didn't quite have the stamina. The timing was a bit off as I forgot that the Grindhouse "feature presentations" would be shorter than the individual versions. What a daftie...
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Tigerfest in Dunfermline throughout May '08... Tigerfest Scotlandwide...
Fri 2nd - Molly Wagger/ Hippo /+ Dj set from the Joint Chiefs of Staff -
Monty's - 9pm £5
Fri 9th - The Manicdotes / System Arcade / Established - Tower House 7pm - £2
Thu 15th - The Twilight Sad / Frightened Rabbit / Dirty Summer -
Carnegie Hall 7.30pm - £8
Fri 16th - Norman Blake / David Scott - Carnegie Hall 7.30pm - £10
Sat 17th - Idlewild / Foxface / The Scottish Enlightenment -
Carnegie Hall 7.30pm - £18
Sun 18th - Paul Haig / Fangs / Laki Mera - Carnegie Hall 7.30pm - £10
Fri 30th - Yoshi / Ives / Chameleon Jersey - Monty’s 9pm - £5
Nothing much else to report. If I get shot of my chores then I'll return with some live reviews. That is put a record or cd on and just spill my gibberish into the computer. Was up very early today to finalise-ish my liner note for the upcoming S&LQ belter entitled "Stick With It" and am feeling a wee bit tired so I think some fresh air might be in odour. Plus "Monk" isn't on again on BBC 2 Scotland because of the bastarding rugby.
One bummer so far today is that I tried the haggis from the new place in town and it's a thumbs down I'm afraid. I can see all of you fearties out there thinking "is it really?" with a sarcastic, bordering on horrified frown.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
It's going to be an unprecedented event when the independent stores across the world join forces to celebrate the essential cultural and economic roles they play, both in their local communities and nationally. During these tumultous times, it's been so encouraging to hear of the widespread support this initiative has garnered from fans, artists and the industry.
Each and every day, independent record stores of all shapes and sizes (and the people who own, manage and work in them) bring not only their heart and soul, but also their creativity and their financial investment in the success of the music business. Artist development...customer service... innovative marketing and promotion... the list goes on and on. They have more than earned this chance to step into the spotlight and take their well-deserved applause from an enthusiastic and appreciative audience.
Here's to a wild... and wildly successful... Record Store Day 2008 and many, many more to come!
No big chainstores, Tesco or any other supermarkets, OK? Independent mail order is fine but lay off Amazon for that day too.
Monday, April 07, 2008
Borders is located a easy walk just one block from the Oxford Circus Tube stop, via the Central, Bakerloo, and Victoria lines. Phone: 020.7292.1600
Yes, yes, this is Dad Griffin again plugging his recent 94,000 word Million Dollar Bash book which is of course about the Basement Tapes which are of course important which is of course interesting so you of course should be there with all 'yer pals. Of course.
You need not bring a bicycle. Alas at this performance Esther Mae Griffin will NOT be singing her own unique take on "Quinn The Eskimo" as she is off to Millie's in Walthamstow for a sleepover but Dad will be yakking at authoritative length and singing a few Basement Tapes tunes as well.
All the Griffins hope to see you there. "
Fast forward an hour or so and I go to read the electricity and gas meters and find that the gas one's l-e-d's are gubbed. Hoping this won't be the start of another round of hassles with the supplier, the fault was duly reported but who even approaching their right mind would trust these people?
And the icing on the cake, I figured it was time to donate a pint of blood. Putting aside my utter hatred of the venue, I venture over to find that it's not all running smoothly. Not at all. But anyway, wishing to have the blood taken and to get out of there - a modicum of patience was summoned and I make it to the bed. Only to have the person who puts in the tube make an utter lady's front bottom of it. So now I'm gonna have a technicolour forearm into the bargain. Joy of joys. So, note to self - make an appointment at the proper donor centres in either Glasgow or Edinburgh in the future. The evil spirits that inhabit the "Sports Complex" won't get their chance to screw me over twice.
So here's an admission - I may have been better off going to work today. Nurse - the screens and the padlocks!
I look forward to the remainder of this day passing without further incident but you never know...
Sunday, April 06, 2008
There was a light dusting of snow here today but it was all gone by the return train trip as the light ebbed. Too bad. I like the bright, clean white of the landscape while it's cold enough for the blanket not to be turned into slush. Anyway, that's about your lot for today... take a look at this piece about Chris Gaffney that Lloyd sent a link to.
Saturday, April 05, 2008
Here are the Margaret Dollrod dates... Patrick is working round the clock to complete his interview with the lady herself for your reading pleasure. It'll be along in due course...
6/04 Lucera @ Arcisonica (I)
8/04 Catania @ La Chiave (I)
11/04 La Spezia @ La Skaletta (I)
12/04 Vigevano @ Coffee Pub (I)
13/04 Cuneo @ Circolo dei Briganti (I)
17/04 Firenze @ Ulysee (I)
18/04 Piacenza @ Circolo Arci for Sale (I)
19/04 Bolzano @ Bunker (I)
20/04 Rovigo @ Ungawa Tiki Bar (I)
27/04 Freiburg @ Swamp (de)
28/04 Cologne @ Tsunami (de)
29/04 Liege @ le pot au lait (be)
30/04 Courtrai @ The Pit's (be)
01/05 Paris @ le rocher-Malakoff (fr)
02/05 Bourges @ Cosmic trip fest (fr)
04/05 Clermont ferrand @ Ratpack (fr)
05/05 Tours @ donald's pub (fr)
07/05 Toulouse @ Fairfield pub (fr)
08/05 Perpignan @ Divine Comédie (fr)
13/05 Rostock @ mau club (de)
14/05 Berlin @ white trash fast food (de)
15/05 Darmstadt @ Bessunger Knabenschule (de)
16/05 Dijon @ deep inside (fr)
18/05 Montpellier @ secret place (fr)
Obviously you should check with the actual places for any further details.
Friday, April 04, 2008
Not a bad start to the weekend, got home to find a DVD of the Säkert! TV thing so I can watch it properly and not on this gas-powered pc with tinny sound. Thanks Lennart.
On top of that there are some new Girl Trouble songs on their myspace. Hear 'em and wish you were going to The Dive tomorrow night. Heck, maybe you are?
If you're in LA, Lysa Flores and El Vez are at East Side Luv tonight. When you're in Rome on April 4th what do you do? You go see Margaret DollRod, that's what.
Her Eurojaunt kicks off tonight and all going well we'll be catching up with her via Brother Patrick. Doesn't include the UK unfort but one of these days...
OK, if this mood persists then I might get some work done this (long) weekend. We'll see.
DJs Tall Paul & Angus; 60's garage, pop, mod, beat, soul, ska, psychedelia, girl groups, French pop, and punk.
Upstairs at Studio 24, Calton Road, Edinburgh.
11pm til 3am, Admission £5/4.
First Saturday of the month, next 'un Saturday 3rd May..
Thursday, April 03, 2008
The recent concert broadcast of Sakert! from Malmo last December can be accessed via this link and includes their very soulful, haunting version of The Wannadies "My Hometown". Not to be confused with the Girl Trouble or even Springsteen songs of the same name.
The skinny on Ben Vaughn's honest to god "first band". (Thanks Ben)
I still haven't watched the rest of that Strummer thing and after watching The Dictators from Randall's Island (courtesy of Brother Patrick), I might give it a miss altogether. We'll see. It's nearly Friday again and not a minute too soon, computer shenannigans are not altogether solved but we're getting there. Thanks to all of youse that have sent me yer e-mail addresses, the addy book is slowly coming together and now I know how to back it up properly. Possibly...
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
On a more upbeat note, another NBT stalwart, Ms. Laura Cantrell has some new songs on her myspace. I'm away to rassle with my Mudhoney assignment...
Just before that though, not only have I lost my computer address book - I've mislaid my handwritten backup too. So if you could send me a quick e-mail so I can rebuild the lost info, that would indeed be grand.