Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Weejvegas thing continues to be a source of debate both via the comments and e-mail. To draw a line under it all, let's see how it stands the test of time. I'm not sure what it is about them that I "get" but I'm a sucker for that sound. It's like how I always get suckered into going to see movies that compared to "David Lynch". With no where near as positive results. So until their Transylvanian Christmas record shows up, let's leave it at that.

Let's see, what else... although I haven't had it confirmed, Wooden Shjips are supposed to play at Sloans in Glasgow on November 2nd. It's a great venue. More about that when it is indeed definite. Tickets will be available at Monorail when it is.
So far many of the reviews that have appeared with regard to this have tended to err on the "not for the squeamish" side. In my opinion, there's another aspect to this snapshot of a period in the evolution of one of the most important acts that has ever existed. The contents of this box, culled from front-line field recordings provide a documentary-like timeline from the period where Suicide entered the mainline of music for the rest of eternity. The reverberations have been felt worldwide ever since.

As Alan Lomax did with the dawn of folk, Howard Thompson and co developed a pathological need to capture the sonic fermentation. Irrespective of the recording gear, the primitive nature of the equipment complimented the primordial ruckus that was unfolding in these unsuspecting venues.

By the time they got to Europe and were opening up for the biggest acts of the time. They'd captured the ghost of Elvis in a jamjar and processed it through electronica that was at total odds with any of their hosts. The hostility of the idiots that never got it fed the energy. That Suicide suffered for their art is not in question. I guess that the reward has been that they've permeated every strata of music ever since.

There was never anything premeditated. Anything could have and often did happen. To this day, the appropriation of Suicide's ouevre continues unabated. The most successful aspects of this generally happen by accident. In much the same way as it did when these recordings were made.

In many ways, this is a companion piece to the Red Star original as co-produced by Marty Thau and Craig Leon. This gathering of these soundscapes was made possible as a direct result of Marty hooking up with Bronze here in the UK. One of the coolest things about this package is the inclusion of Miriam Linna's original manifesto press releases. I hope that when a film documentary comes to be made about Suicide, that all the players can be assembled. I believe, that if Kevin Patrick hadn't sent HT the first album and that he hadn't had the gumption to go to NY and do the deal with The Chairman then the entire map of musical history would be way, way different. We're talking Elvis, Chuck Berry and Little Richard proportions here. And there would be no Billy Idol either. Suicide and its individual components have made many recordings over the years but the legend is founded on what happened during the 1977/78 slipstream.

There's nothing out there now that could have the same traction. There are approximations but nothing so pure. Alan Vega and Marty Rev's unique chemistry begat something where seismology met an (un) popular music form. It sounds as unique now as it ever did. A lot of folks never got that when it first crawled out of the NY sewers. As it continues to morph, and when somebody like Springsteen can forge a version of "Dream Baby Dream" like he did, then maybe the slow burn of their sonic pop-art domination is just something that will twist and turn through the bloodstream of music for the rest of time. 1 cd of most artists is more than adequate but in this case, a half dozen doesn't feel like enough.