Monday, November 30, 2009
Last night’s screening of “Eating Raoul” went pretty well. A healthy turnout for a “cauld school night”. The reassuring sound of genuine laughter being generated by a criminally unseen gem is a pretty decent tonic for what ails ye, or at least me. If only “Bland Ambition” had gotten off the drawing board. I mentioned to Mary Woronov that maybe she could appear in Curb to sort Larry out. She told me she had no idea who that was. Amazing. Talking of Lar, I’m signing off to watch the remainder of the latest season after I press "publish" on this.
Thanks to those who came along for their kind indulgence...
Never been much of one for setting goals, far less realising ‘em but one ambition is to attend a gathering at The House of Rock in Moss, Norway. Tomorrow – December 1st sees Baby Shakes enter that hallowed portal. Colour me jealous.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
The Tripwires “House To House” takes equal parts Big Star and Squeeze and fuses this with a little NRBQ-drizzled XTC. This superior pub pop strain is a product of the individuals concerned being rampant anglophiles. That’s just a guess you understand. Just as the sixties garage bands inverted what was heading out from England, the result is closer to The Raspberries or the Groovies.
Teenage Fanclub aficionados will also find much to love here. A “supergroup” of sorts... The 'wires feature Pacific Northwest alumnii Jim and Johnny Sangster with Mark Pickerel and John Ramberg and you can find this stellar collection at Spark and Shine. That’s a label not a street corner and the music does possess both of those qualities. “Ned Beatty’s In Love” as a title alone has to have tweaked your interest buds, right? And “Dismantled” has a roots Rezillos thud that should paint some kinda grin on your coupon.
“HTH” is a solid sender all the way through its twelve tracks with possibly “Look At It This Way” being my favourite. If you aren’t smitten with that then I can’t help you. Overall it’s like a 21st century Brinsley Schwarz and you know we need one of those.
“The World Famous Hat Trick” by Vibeke Saugestad has been out for some time now but I only just got a copy from the lady herself. Regular visitors will be aware that The Yum Yums blew me away in Spain recently. Guilty as charged. These crazy kids have the power to make the most died in the wool cynic believe. As well as being part of that combo, Vibeke has her own career in the topsy turvy world of pop in conjunction to this. Coming out of the traps with two songs like “He’s Peculiar” and “Keep On Dreaming” is something of a 1 – 2. They’ll knock you flat on your back. After that she could have gone for the easy option of taking her foot off the pedal but no.
This fine, fine product features the one and only Morten Henriksen who, it has recently struck me, is the mack daddy of the post-Ramone-ic sound here in Europe. I’ve heard the expression “bubbly” be applied to pop gals but Ms Saugestad is a bright shining positive force for music as therapy. Her voice reminds me of my friend Mary Lee Kortes and that’s never a bad shout.
This CD is out on Pop Detective now with additional tracks. It’s also on vinyl via Screaming Apple (order via Soundflat).
I thought that the lyric in “He’s Peculiar” was “watching the snow fall listening to Mud” which would have been too perfect but not out of the question given that this young lady, who really isn’t old enough, is a big Slade fan. Turns out that it was "Muffs" which is almost cooler, so while we’re on the subject grab the album and her Christmas EP in one handy mailing from CD Baby.
“Hat Trick” has been on heavy rotation since it arrived and shows no signs of loosening its grip. It may just get tighter. Great songs performed with an extra dollop of gusto. Guaranteed to deliver that heart punch that will make your ticker race, if it doesn’t then I’m not sure that you’re in the right place. You probably rate The Strokes. Here’s the young lady in action in case you have any reservations...
Niagara and The Hitmen pairs the Detroit chanteuse with Sydney’s finest to create a document of what was obviously a heady night down under on February 23rd 2008. Steel Cage has issued this sonic documentation in the form of “St Valentine’s Day Massacre”. Fitting really because it was that very continent that arguably brought the motor city to the attention of the world at large via Radio Birdman. Other groups from closer to home may have cited The Stooges but nobody actually sounded like them.
This is warts and all, howling at the moon rock. It hasn’t been patched up and is all the better for it. Sydney’s finest provide the perfect ballast for Niagra’s holler. You may think that the idea of yet another version of “Little Doll” or “Real Cool Time” is pushing it a bit but chances are that you’ve never heard them like this. Even if you were there.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Of course, it's not possible to be everyplace but I have more than a hankering to be in Stockholm tonight. Joining my homies at the historical epicentre of the garage disease. The Nomads started off their record-releasing life by celebrating the band that nobody thought they'd ever see. And here they are together. I think that The Fuzztones opened for The Sonics in Berlin, right? Rudi too, was a keeper of the faith.
So there'll be high jinks out that way tonight. Hell, even Mr Ulf will be making the scene. He doesn't leave the house for just anything. So we'll be hearing how that goes too nae doobt in the fullness of time.
I finished the little "Eating Raoul" zine and have a limited amount of the printed copy and also a PDF for anybody who cares. Just e-mail me and I'll send 'em out. "While Stocks Last". I hear that the Kid Congo show last night was a stoatir too. Nice to hear that there was a healthy audience despite all the last minute organisation. Good job by everybody that pulled it together.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
It turned out to be a reasonable morning in terms of weather. The biblical, horizontal rain stopped and the sky went all that cool wintery bright blue. As it is I was looking out the office window, watching the last vestiges of a rainbow fizzle out as the rain swept in. There’s no pot of gold at the end of this one but Airthrey Castle, site of the first ever radio thing I did with Mark Hagen is only a few metres away. It’s some kind of teaching college now. Then it got bright and the rain got torrential again and by the time it got to leaving for the day, the bloody storm returned. Demons wrestled in my napper and I had to admit that going into Glasgow to a show where the doors are supposed to open at 10pm wasn’t wise. Taking into account the fact that these things seldom run to time I had to make the difficult decision to stay home and fold zines. I can do this listening to "The World Famous Hat Trick" is a pretty reasonable alternative.
Monday, being St Andrews day, marks the end of this year of “Homecoming” events (I get the boke just typing the word). Attempts to tie in Rabbie Burns with cajoling ex-pats and visitors to visit the daftest wee country in the world have by all-accounts been a damp squib. Could this have something to do with the gut-churning advert that went along with it? Most Scots, in my opinion, have an inherent hatred for this style of lame grandstanding and are embarrassed by it to some degree.
There are a couple of shows, well one, this weekend that is worth supporting. Also, Teenage Fanclub and The Vaselines are playing on a bill spread across three halls that’s supposed to represent the cream of the history of this nation’s music. If that is indeed so then we’re screwed. A laughing stock. If TFC had booked two nights at the Barras it would have been stowed out because they are a credible force on the world stage.
It does give credence to the perception of popularity though. On paper it probably looks like a winner but people have been up-ended enough. There’s no coinage left. Plus it’s in the worst venue on earth, or at least in Glasgow. What’s not to shun?
Ok, so I have paper to fold. DIY or die.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Lifers are aware of course that the very first Nomads 45 was a celebration of Tacoma's Sonics. Fast forward to Friday 27th November 2009 and the band is sharing a bill at the fine establishment Debaser Medis.
Who could ever have thunk it? Anyway, it's gonna be a helluva night and I'm mightily jealous of those who are able to attend. It'll be a shindig to remember.
And then, Stockholm's finest are headed for Spain.
Mardigras, Travesía de la Torre, 8. 15002. A Coruña.
And Jason Ringenberg the evening before. Did I ever tell you that Spain rocks? In addition to the generous helping of roll. So see 'em if you can, when you can.
Things to bear in mind...
Matt & Kim are on The Radio 6 George Lamb Show this morning at 11.30am.
and lest you forget...
A rare schlep North for Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds tomorrow nicht at Soundhaus in Glasgow.
And on Sunday...
I'll be back later with more for you to process.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
My opinion with regard to the “Top Ten Albums of the Decade” is pretty much that of Brother J.
However, in addition to that and the fact that any list that includes the two sets of jokers at the top of the NME one then I’m sorry but please. Fuck off now. When I first read it, I thought great - a list of Scott Kempner records. If only.
And furthermore, what’s with this 2000 – 2009 pish anyway? 10 to my mind goes 1 to 10, not 0 to 9. Don’t argue. End of. So will I be listing my albums of the decade? No. Provided I’m spared ‘til then, there’ll be the usual end of the annum resumé (in alphabetical not numerical order) at the turn of the year but that’s it. A blanket resolution for next year should be fewer lists. Particularly those that appear everywhere as some kind of marketing ploy for what passes as an “industry” to squeeze some more money out of gullible would-be rats to their karaoke pied piper. It's time their tune was cut short.
On an upbeat note, the very excellent Caroline Andersen has a launch party in Oslo for her debut hot pink 7" entitled "Birthday Suit" on Thursday 26th. Released on L'Edonista via the fine Italian Rockin' Bones imprint - you need to score one of these puppies. All the details at this young lady's outpost on the web.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sealing their transition from lofts to smaller clubs to seasoned entertainer status, Matt and Kim were the scrum-diddley-umptious filling between two other acts last night in the west end of Glasgow. They scored the Best Video award from MTV before flying out for a lengthy European tour that runs until December 20th. The “ceremony” has yet to be aired but it all blasts off with this particular dynamo of a duo. They’re probably thinking, what the hell are we doing here? It’s a pretty selfless sacrifice to go to another planet when the popularity back home stateside is headed, deservedly, for the stratosphere.
If you’re sharp you can catch them in Manchester tonight and then London. After that they’re off to Madrid, Barcelona and everywhere else. Go to their myspace, it's all there.
When this side of the big puddle finally catches on that rabid fandom will ensue. That “Lessons Learned” didn’t become ubiquitous over the summer is an indictment of how the rickety machinery works here. That being a continual failure to recognise the difference between passion and going through the motions. Or if you’d rather, a rubber ear in terms of being able to spot a cracking tune. This isn’t about paying for visibility or perceived popularity. These kids did it their way and succeeded. They’re not peddling something that’s sanctioned by those rags that aren’t even good for the bottom of your budgies cage. The genuine positivity that they exude is infectious. Plenty of the audience last night knew the songs and by the time that “The Final Countdown” segued into “Daylight”, the patented Glasgow appreciation was in full flight.
I think that M&K felt the love and hope that they’ll reciprocate by coming back soon. Bypass England by all means but Scotland needs you.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
It seems absurd to me to be mentioning something that is happening in September 2010 but when The Scientists are involved I make an exception. Mark (Arm) told me that they would probably be playing with the Stooges in NY in September, just prior to seeing Iggy's fizzog on the side of a bus. It was an omen and I think it freaked Mark out just a wee bit. Not the thing you'd expect on the street in Edinburgh.
Auld Reekie played a huge part in Mr Pop becoming the new Ozzy (kinda). Anyway, all the info you need is here.
And while you're at it, have a wee look at the deluxe version of Spiritualized's "Ladies and Gentlemen..." that's poised to appear.
Just so you know, I could be out the back of the bunker right now. Punting a gondola up and down the new boating lake but I’ve decided that I ought to get to some blogging. Maybe catch up on stuff that I meant to draw your attention to.
I picked up a tabloid format paper called Loud and Quiet that’s getting national distro now. It’s pretty good and note as prone to layout don’ts as The Stool Pigeon. Not sure that I’m up on much of the stuff they cover but it’s not done in an impenetrable smartass hipster style so more power to them. If your local (UK) record store deals with Forte then you should be able to score a copy there.
And while we’re on the subject of publications you can pick up for free, anybody who’s visiting these parts and indeed anyone who lives in Central Scotchland ought to pick up The Skinny. It’s a free paper that has exhaustive gig and club info for the entire month ahead and to my mind it trumps The List these days. Plus, the price is right. Again, much of the music they cover is outside of my remit (ie – I divnae care for it) but recently they had Mudhoney and Yo La Tengo in there. I like Phoebe Henderson’s sex column, it reminds me of something that might have been in Al Goldstein’s Screw back in the last century. I don’t think I ever saw any of those that Mike Edison was involved with. The Skinny is also online so you can plan your schedule that way too. Some music then...
Any band worth their salt will tell you that they’ve been booked to play a gig to almost no-one. Almost no-one generally being the bar staff who are quite possibly earning more than the entertainers. On the night that Clawhammer played Dallas in May 1995 there were two people watching them. It’s not clear whether that was over and above the people working there but that’s not so important. "Deep In The Heart of Nowhere!" Was recorded that fateful night and Munster have issued this document under some sort of freedom of information edict and as ugly blues goes it’s pretty hard to beat. Check this – from Bob Lee’s liner notes... “we plowed (that’s how American’s spell ploughed) into an epic version of Sick Fish Belly Up that deteriorated into one of the most spastic, earsplitting, fist up the yang noise jams I have ever been part of”. The rest of the performance is pretty ramped up too. Clawhammer was never about half measures.
My nerves were a wee bit fried after this so I figured that I’d go for something a little more subtle. Ah, American music. When it’s done right then it really hits the spot. The Down-fi has done just that on “America Now”. This isn’t roots rock, or rather it is but a different type of root altogether. That permeated by the Velvet Underground and dragged through Cleveland tied to the back of a truck. This is that strain of rock’n’roll music. The DF includes Craig Bell who you’ll know from being one of Rocket From The Tombs. The Cleveland band that could have altered the course of popular music, there’s even a Eighteen-esque version of “So Cold” on here to reinforce that claim. Add a smidge of Buffalo Springfield jangle psych and then you’re in the ballpark of what these guys sound like.
It’s evocative of obscure US 45’s, the like of which you would have been happy to part with 3 quid each in the days of Hot Licks and Bruces. But it’s happening now, straight outta Indianapolis. “’62 Hawk” has a muscular Peter Gunn type undertow and it’s cool to hear Craig resurrect Peter Finch’s “mad as hell” tirade for “Network".
The Down-fi really swing. It sounds like they’re having a great time cranking it out and thusly, you’ll have a ball soaking it up.
So time to crank it up again with a different kind of intensity with Kent Steedman and The Tubular Greens – Live at Gruta 77 in January 2005. Once again, that country displays its impeccable R’n’R credentials by being the origin of this DVD/CD double whammy. The Celibate Rifle enlists the services of a crack Espanan (is that even a word?) combo to pummel and pogo a set of Aussie Rock gold into the noggins of those of us who couldn’t be present on the night. Fernando and Miguel Pardo of Sex Museum take up guitar and vocal duties.
And let’s not forget the stoic solid bass stylings of the ever-present Juanco Lopez from the combo, Bummer amongst other things. Among the fray you get such Oz chestnuts as “Hindu Gods”, “C’mon”, “I’m Stranded” and “Born out of Time” plus plenty more. All delivered with a sucker punch. Not a tribute but a celebration. There’s a BIG difference.
Stuff to be done ahead of heading into Glasgow for the M&K shindig later. They’re full blown pop stars in the USA now and are at Oran Mor tonight opening for a Swedish band called The Sounds. I need to go score some mobile phone top up and other lowly bullshit. Yes, I should assign a card to this but I’m still basically opposed to these things. So I like to make it difficult y’dig?
And I need to check that the trains are running. Some bugger might have spread leaves on the tracks and you know where that leads don’tcha? That question is directed to folks in the UK, I know that you Europeans have trains that can handle such things. Maybe you could hep Scotrail to exactly how that works?
Finally, I meant to catch Daniel Johnston when he came through here recently but completely missed it. Here’s a Narduar interview clip that I found sort of uncomfortable but yet compelling.
And finally for this section of the program, this just in via Robert Hull on facebook. David Lynch’s Dirty Dancing. Sorry, it ain’t embeddable.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
From Congo's facebook... "Great news is that our Glasgow show has be re-housed we are confirmed for the 26th November at Soundhaus. Doors will be at 10pm, on stage around 1030-1100pm, & we will just have a DJ as support.. Tickets on the door; £7 to club members & £8 to everyone else. SOUNDHAUS, 47 HYDEPARK STREET, ANDERSTON, GLASGOW, G3 8BW... Please tell everyone the good word". Consider it told.
Sir Tom Phobic has a message for you...
Getting old can be fun, trust us.......
We have been invited to help celebrate Neil (Cherry Reds) Birthday, at The Fox and Firkin, in Lewisham/Ladywell this very Saturday 21st November. So instead of swearing in front of the TV at the X factor twins who look like the guys off the Rice Crispies box, bemoaning our crap national footie teams, the sad passing of Edward Woodwood (look it up younger readers) or just being a lazy Billy no mates stop at home, why not come down to experience the tried and tested (to destruction) combination of Music and Alcohol in a friendly Sarf London boozer.
Expect the usual loud fun and frolics, special guests, surprises and whatever else we can bring to the party and get your bottoms down pronto.
Check the flyer for more info if you need it and lets give Neil a night to remember and a hangover to forget......
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
It was touch and go with whether it would be necessary to build a bloody ark today such is the non-stop rain. Almost all the wee, quick routes to and from the salt mine were closed tonight which meant that everybody was going the same way to get to the feckin’ motorway. Thankfully it was my co-pilot that was driving because it’s a pastime I despise. Particularly in the dark when it’s pissing down. A wee bit of a long road for a short-cut but we made it unscathed.
In addition, the visibility never got lighter than grue, grum grey all day. All part of the grinding down process at this time of year and the run-up to the seasonal stupidity. Things are pretty busy but it would be ideal just to slope off someplace. I mean really, in the grand scheme of things, who would even bloody notice.
Been toying with the activity of putting bite size reviews up here, sort of the length of a Twitter post with a link. The challenge being to capture the essence and provide a link to see if you agree. Of course, do or don’t… it won’t make any difference either way. The prospect of five recco’s every Friday went by the wayside, it required a modicum of focus. Maybe I just hear too much stuff, it muddies the perspective. Blunts the senses.
Don’t consider that a complaint at all, I’m just typing out loud. Or am I?
Very stoked about the prospect of Matt & Kim dropping by ith their management. Those two won the “Best Video” award at the MTV Awards last night for "Lessons Learned". No doubt on the back of the landslide of votes from readers of this very blog? Here’s a photo from the show last night. A dress rehearsal for Glasgow on Sunday I believe...
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
The 38th Annual Thanksgiving Eve Party
with the Modern Skiffle Quartet...
Wed. Nov. 25th @ THE CINEMA BAR - 3967 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City 90230 (between Venice Blvd. & Washington Place).
Also: DAFNI (9:15pm)
MSQ features: Ben Vaughn, Dan Janisch, Lucas Cheadle & Kevin Jarvis.
JOIN THEIR GROUP!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I’m putting together a little commemorative ‘zine thing or pamphlet (not sure of the exact format yet) for the upcoming screening of "Eating Raoul" at GFT in Glasgow on November 29th.
The response from the folks I’ve asked to contribute has been nothing short of amazing. The generosity of time and spirit is an inspiration and the energy that the information is imbibed with indicates that all is not lost in these peculiar times. I know that most of you folks won’t be able to attend because let’s face it. The transport from mainland Europe or the USA isn’t really up to scratch on a Sunday evening but you should search out a copy of the film somehow and take a look at it.
Eating Raoul is a fine slice of entertainment. If you haven’t seen it then you’re in for a treat. It would seem to have been tailored exactly to the NBT demographic – should there be such a beastie. Here’s the trailer…
This rare big screen outing is something we ought not to take for granted and I only wish there were more cinemas with the chutzpah to show this type of perhaps gone (in more ways than six) but never forgotten masterpiece. So I need to spend some time on this project tonight to keep the momentum going.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Pilgrims and Indians agree -- Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. appears at Otto's Shrunken Head this week for pre-holiday hillbilly high jinks. More stuffing, please!
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19th / OTTO'S SHRUNKEN HEAD TIKI BAR & LOUNGE / Our monthly residency arrives a week early -- for Thanksgiving! /538 East 14th Street (just west of Avenue B) in ol' Manhattan / Two fully dressed shows, from 8:00 sharp until 10:00 / No cover! /
Plus, a chance for more gluttony...
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 22nd / SUNDAY BRUNCH at SUPERFINE! / 126 Front Street (at the corner of Pearl Street) in DUMBO, Brooklyn / Three hearty sets, from noon 'til 3pm / Delicious food -- free music! / Reservations recommended: 718-243-9005 /
Michael, Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. "Ballads, Boogies & Blues"
Any incident of agreement with sentiments expressed by the Boomtown Rats is entirely coincidental Although I did see them a couple of times and it wasn't horrible but I digress. Monday is getting to be a bugger of a day. It always is but when you’re travelling to and from work in what seems to be darker than pitch black then somehow it seems worse. In keeping with my trying to spend less time in front of this thing – and trying to keep some other balls in the air – we’ll keep the fnar fnar factor going by calling this a quick in and out.
As Nigel Tufnel sez “What’s wrong with being sexy”… Maybe you saw this video that in addition to being easy on the eye sports a damn good Stereo Total-tastic electro-tune. IT MUST BE STATED THOUGH THAT IT PROBABLY ISN’T SAFE FOR WORK AND COULD LIKELY CAUSE OFFENCE TO THE NARROWER OF MIND. This includes the more purist music fans who deplore the music style. On my telly – “it’s a hit”.
For the more staunch, there’s some great commentary on The Stooges Brazilian Caper over at The Houndblog. OK, there's work to do.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
The ongoing uncovering of a vast treasure of music from the sixties continues with Los Yetis - NADAÍSMO A GO-GO (Munster) Colombian combo that mixes covers of “Rave On” and “Twist and Shout” with their own material. It indicates that South America was also indulging in taking the blueprint of the alleged British invasion and modifying it into something that would have the same seismic effect on the teens in their country as the much hyped English version. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that the UK strain had in turn stolen it from rhythm and blues material that made its way in through ports and military bases.
The nuggets effect has been far reaching in recent times and material is being constantly uncovered. These guys even did the Country Joe/Barry Melton song “Love” and you can hear that here. Time capsules such as these are very important. They introduce sounds to new generations hungry for gear out with the continual repackaging of guff that was never out of print and that isn’t even an eighth this cool. Who knows, this is exactly the kind of sparks that could set the heather alight. And coming soon, from Peru ... Los Saicos...
There’s A Razzia Going On Volume 2 has been out for a few weeks now and it features unreleased Hello Saferide and Säkert! songs. The HS track is “I Fold” that would have been the flipside of “Anna” if a 7” had ever materialised. The S! Cut is the ensembles amazing Swedish language version of The Wannadies “My Hometown” (“Min Hemstad”). In addition to these fine tunes, other artists from the wealth of talent on this imprint include “Violent Playground”, The Nitzer Ebb song by Jonna Lee and the unreleased “With Lowered Arms” by mighty atmospheric rock geezers – I Are Droid.
The latest addition to the Razzia roster is Joel Alme who is represented here with the string-tastic “You Remember The Good Times But The Good Times Don’t Remember You”. Not a snappy title but a bloody good song that sounds like Pete (Wah) Wylie going a wee bit Ian Hunter. His first single, “You Will Also Get It Once” is also recommended. It’s not everyday that something reminds you of The Herd.
Annika Norlin completists should also search out “Retur Waxholm”. A celebration of 50 years of MNW that includes a cover of “Jag Vill Inte Suddas Ut”. (“I Don’t Want To Be Erased”). The album contains versions of catalogue staples performed by contemporary artists.
Vic Chesnutt's "Skitter On Take Off" (Vapor) was produced by Jonathon Richman and Tommy Larkin. Nothing to do with the Scots definition of “skitter”, at least not the most common one. To call it gentle is an understatement. The fragility of the sound is its strength and “Rips In The Fabric” is a quiet meditation on life. Even when the pace steps up, as it does on “Society Sue” the mood is still refreshingly spacious. There’s an evident lack of clutter that makes it the perfect accompaniment of the increasingly difficult pastime of thought.
“Skitter...” has a tempered backwoods acoustic soul and no intrusive embellishments. What you hear is what you get. Tortured folk tales given room to breathe.
It was a surprise and a pleasure to meet Paul Collins in Madrid. His renditions of “Rock’n’Roll Girls” and “Walking Out On Love” with The Yum Yums somehow brought me back full circle to why I do this. This was another indication of how success can be measured in other aspects beyond generating huge amounts of money. Creating music that lasts like so much of what’s happening today won’t.
Paul Collin’s Beat "Ribbon Of Gold" (Rock Indiana) comprises 10 songs cut in 2007, I guess came out in 2008 and as soon as “Hey DJ” starts up it sounds like an old friend. And this was produced by an old friend, Capt Chips Kiesbye too so there goes that small world thing again. I always appreciate that. Anyway, here are 10 fine reasons to be grateful for the fact that this guy continues to supply the twang. Many of us live by the credo of “Big Pop Song”. For that’s what gets you through after all.
My thanks to Juanco Lopez, a member of this Beat “combo” and all round rock’n’roll guy for acquainting me with this amazing album that I never even knew was out there. I’m on a real pop jag at the minute and there’s more coming up soon. Not sure about today but soon. This will include The Down-Fi, The Tripwires, Vibeke Saugestad and Donovans Brain.
The Cramps Fetish Night, Saturday 12th December, 8pm - 2am, The Cube Cinema, Dove Street South Bristol, £5 on the door.
A fetishistic worshipping of rock 'n' roll outfit The Cramps, the December show stars Miss Alternative World 2009 Fancy Chance, fuzzed out garage monsters El Toro, psychotic rock reaction The Eviltones and The Misfits tribute band featuring Emily Breeze. Horror go-go girls jostle across the themed rooms, including an Abandoned Noir Movie House, Poison Ivy Dungeon and Lux Interior Parlour. Music? Why, strictly depraved garage and '50s schlock, of course! DC: Leopard print. Think Anna Nicole Smith. Think Elvis frickin Presley.
Image credit: Jack Duplock
Saturday, November 14, 2009
You might be pondering gifts around now? At the very top of my suggestion list, let me recommend The Yum Yum’s “Sweetest Candy”. A collection of more turbo-charged, good time, bubblegum punkrockin’ than it’s probably safe to consume in one sitting. A cornucopia of sonic E-numbers that while undoubtedly inducing chronic hyper-activity, ‘tis a small sacrifice given the undoubted rewards.
It brings together material from all across the shop into one handy dispenser on Kid Tested , home of The Parasites, Sloppy Seconds and The Manges and includes cuts from scattergun releases from labels like Sneakers, Alien Snatch and Screaming Apple plus more. All collected in one handy vessel for your listening pleasure. This is one instance where the CD format is double handy. Think what Ramonesmania was to the brudders, this collects The Yums likewise. 25 pulse-pounding chestnuts including the monumental "9,999,999 Tears", "Prince Of Dorkness" and their version of The Distractions "Valerie". It's enough to restore your faith in the power of popular music.
And in a synchronous burst, Screaming Apple is offering a repress of “Sweet As Candy” to be available in early December. Here’s the blurb...
“Finally here is the re-release of the most important power-pop album of the nineties. This album is a real masterpiece.These Norwegians deliver all you need, a perfect singer, excellent songwriting, catchy as-hell melodies and ace production make this album the perfect soundtrack for every season of the year!!! 12-songs that make you wiggle & go-go like you've fallen in love for the first time! These guys are the missing link between the RAMONES and the PLIMSOULS!!! Album includes their version of The Pointed Sticks "Out of Luck" and Jane Weidlin’s "Rush Hour". Comes in thick blue vinyl, limited to 300 copies only!!! "
E-mail Screaming Apple and reserve your copy now... email@example.com
I can personally vouch that these guys can elicit a far better looking stage invasion than that hairy-arsed display in San Paolo the other night.
I was ahead of myself earlier but I'm not sure that's still the case. There also seems to be an e-mail glitsch. Some is getting through, some ain't. What can I tell you? Steve, I got that one e-mail and replied using both addresses. Maybe you could try facebook? Anyway... let's kick off today with hepping you to yet another cool Spanish event that I can't attend. Don't let that deter you though...
Friday, November 13, 2009
I’m gonna get a couple of gripes out of the ol’ system and then it’s on to the music or whatever. It’s a nice afternoon, I’ve got my errands done and things are generally fine. I was going to keep it zipped about these YouTube Stooges clips but I’ve had at least two dozen e-mails from individuals raving about how great they are. I disagree so you’ll just have to bear with me on this. It’s not outright horrible but Iggy irritates me now to the point where I can’t watch him. I agree wholeheartedly about the choice of material and it just makes me wish that the regrouping hadn’t been compartmentalised into “acts”.
Imagine if Ron and James could have worked through any differences? And been together on stage to wrangle all the songs?? So that’s my opinion. Based on this, there’ll be a space in the standing area of the ‘Smif Odeon on May 2nd after Suicide is done. Of course, watching a clip is no substitute for being at a show so I’m perfectly prepared to be blown away given that expectations are low. I am looking forward to the occasion that will bring so many of us together, that’s the important part of all this for my tuppence worth.
If you haven’t seen what I’m on about then there’s an assortment here. Make up your own mind. My other bugbear is “the mobile phone”.
Not knowing your mobile phone number is considered as retarded in most quarters these days. I know because when asked for mine, I have to look in the phonebook. I only use it if I absolutely have to. It isn’t switched on unless I’m expecting or have to make a call. Sometimes I turn it on to find a voice message or text from two weeks ago. Everywhere else, (nearly) everyone – young and old – are welded to these fucking things. Staring at the screens on their portals. Packs of ‘em walking down the street, all having individual conversations. Is that progress? Not on my telly. No. But other than that things are pretty loose.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
And what about this furore about Taylor Swift and some German guy by the name of Otto Tune? I guess he’s one of those hotshot producers?? Oh wait – autotune, now I get it… C’mon people. Really, there’s a vast army of backroom people involved with stuff like that and they’re completely culpable. The amount of artists that “mime” (at best) is considerable. Everybody knows that. Christ, these shows that are all over TV stealing the food from real artists mouths are all about deceit, in addition to shaking gullible and just plain stupid people down.
Although I’d prefer my entertainment to be bona fide, I’m not averse to a bit of “pretend”. Something that can make the audience believe and more importantly forget real life is a plus these days. Only trouble is that the stuff that that’s raking it in from such cheating is the lowest common denominator. Still I blame the “handlers” not the artist
There are none so blind… or is it in the kingdom of the blind, the one–eyed person calleth the shots, opposite sides of the same coin. No disrespect to the sight impaired is intended because I know that these folks are a damn sight more sussed than I am on every level.
History will be made tonight in the fair city of Madrid as Wau Y Los Arrrghs!!! team up with Erwin Saico to elicit a full on Demolición at their show with The Black Lips tonight.
I was just catching up with facebook , listening to LCD Sound System’s take on “Bye Bye Bayou” when Marc Campbell tells me that the guy who played drums with them had been killed in a really terrible accident in Brooklyn. Bloody horrendous. So thanks to Marc for this link...
RIP – Jerry Fuchs
I’m looking forward to tomorrow being Friday and blasting the Vibeke CD that I got in the mail today at TILT volume en route to the final shift of the week. More about that in due course...
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Please help to get The Wrecking Crew documentary out on DVD by clicking here. Chew over the details and consider what you can do to get this show on the road. When you think of the stuff that comes out all the time, then the companies that turned this chestnut down out to be heartily ashamed of themselves.
New Jet Black Berries EP out this Friday (13th)... all the details here.
and November in Nortonville seems like the ideal haunt for you kids on these dark, winter nichts... they have all the hooch to keep you double-arm!
I know. You think this is a skoosh right? Like the blogging fairy comes in every day and deposits some info for your surfing pleasure? If only that were so. In many ways we’re a victim of our own success in that I get inundated with information that folks want to have passed on. Like I’ve said before, many of these individuals have no idea what this page is about. Or what it stands for. And that’s why I’m so hot on the delete button. Blam blam blam. Offsky with your pesky blurbs. I’m not about to go all Lefsetz on you but really, what is that makes some folks reckon they have what it takes to make this grade. Ha ha.
The emphasis on whether something can really get the time to happen has shifted. While it used to take weeks, months and even years to track something down, virtually anything can be tracked down. The possibility of anything being transmitted via the ether is limited. Especially when there’s so much opportunity for approximation. That seems to be enough for today’s conned-sumers. Eat and run also describes the way they listen to music. That’s how consummate charlatans worm their way into people’s hearts and minds. Their delusions suggest that what they’re offering up is art but in reality it’s the equivalent of what the golden arches have done for food. And talking of that very thing, maybe I'll feel more like chinwagging after I've eaten. Maybe see you later then...
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I’m out of commish and before any suggestion is made, much as I’d like a mac or indeed any piece of kit that works – I don’t have that option. Unless I unconsciously buy a lottery ticket and actually win then there’s little chance of such a scenario. I might be able to stretch to a pac-a-mac, but that’s about it. And what use is one of those without the Zodiac?
Being at the stage of being overwhelmed, I wonder if I’ll ever catch up with stuff. The time spent “off the air” earlier in the year has never been fully clawed back. It’s quite possible also that nobody other than me actually cares. I don’t like to repeat like a cucumber sandwich and could well be running out of things to say. Or at least that’s what it feels like but maybe it'll pass.
The Drones shows in Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh are cancelled. No idea why. I'll see them one of these days...
Monday, November 09, 2009
It was a cold one this morning. Hard frost. The shape of things to come for the foreseeable future and something that will undoubtedly eat into early morning blogging time. Drive to work in the dark and home likewise. If I glance up from my work station then there are bright blue winter skies to be seen. Shame I don’t have a camera. Still, I got my OX column in on time so that was something given my diminishing powers of recall at the minute. Motivation is another factor that seems to be lacking but cynicism is flourishing. These are peculiar times and I feel further away from the consensus than ever. Certain aspects of stuff that one might have taken for granted are also in question as time marches on. It all begins to make you think. Or at least me anyway.
All this talk about Berlin on the news today makes me realise that it’s way too long since I was there. Something I need to address because it’s an amazing place with so much going on. I’m not talking about the Boner Squad and Jay Z slaughtering “Get Up, Stand Up” in the shadow of the Brandenburg Gate either. Did you clock any of that? It was way beyond the pale. Actually I should say pail because I nearly spewed – if you forgive the rather graphic detail. This (atrocity) exhibition plumbed new depths of an already deep abyss.
My own memories of the city are very fond though and the first time, the year before the wall came down, Norton Records was just starting out... my, how they've grown!
New fiction from Kicks Books...
SWEETS by Andre Williams
Who: Andre Williams, paperback writer!
What: Debut reading by Andre from his fabulous, action-packed new pocket book SWEETS with Q&A and autograph session, followed by all-Andre dance party-- stay to Shake A Tail Feather, as Chi-town boss DJ John "Mr Wiggles" Phillips spins Andre record 'til closing time!
Where: Phyllis Musical Inn, 1800 West Division, Chicago IL
When: 8 PM this Saturday night, Nov. 14
Duds: Casual, washable
How Much: Free! It's a tavern, so 21+ only, please
SWEETS will be available for purchase from the author--
Limited first edition PBO!
Bad boy music legend Andre "Mr. Rhythm" Williams will be reading excerpts from his hot off the press, semi-autobiographical collection of stories, SWEETS. Please join hosts Miriam Linna (Kicks Books) and John Phillips (aka Mr Wiggles) for a fantastic voyage into the imagination of Andre Williams! Get your heads rearranged and your books signed by the Godfather of greasy R 'n B and swing to the fine tunes of Mr. Wiggles! Mr. Williams will be fielding questions, so come prepared - this promises to be an historic evening! ANDRE!!!!
Come as you are, or tramp through the rigors of a facebook hazing
Full press release and excellent forward by Nick Tosches
Announcing Kicks Books
Order a copy today
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Yeah, yesterday turned out to be a bit thin on the blogging front. I headed into Glasgow to drop off an Eating Raoul poster at GFT. The good burghers of the Monorail Film Club have seen fit to screen this fine movie at their next event, scheduled for November 29th. I don't care what size the telly you watched the dvd is, you haven't really seen it until you do so at the cinema. And this isn't one of those where the audience will irritate you, this a safe haven from the scumhordes. To my experience.
I didn't report on Friday night's jaunt to Edinburgh either. "Telstar" kind of sidelined me and while I enjoyed it I guess, it wasn't quite what I expected. The "performance" sequences in particular were a tad "Phoenix Nights", however authentic they might feel.My advice, should you wish to take it, is to lower expectations and when you see it - you might be surprised.
The Edinburgh thing was fun although The Lurkers did their damndest to fork that up. Did they really play for an hour? It certainly felt like it. "Shadow" wasn't funny then and it's possibly less so now. I was prepared to give it a chance but it soon descended into purgatory. And not in a good way. Penetration I'm pleased to report gave a much more satisfactory exhibition. Nice to meet Pauline after many, many moons. I have to state here that I was never really an afficianado of the band but they certainly deserve some kudos in terms of history. It was all perhaps a bit too "roots of goth" for me back at the time although they did, and still do, retain a bit of old Detroit.
It was busy too and many there were saying how they'd waited 30 years for this very evening. By my estimation they weren't shortchanged. Plan is to record some new material and get some perspective on what's happening. They don't seem to be in any hurry to tour the arse out of their legacy. A good move I would say.
Down the road apiece, Saxon and Anvil had been rocking The Picturehouse. I saw a pretty smashed Lipps from the latter trying to hold on to a pizza box as fans had their pictures taken with him and I presume another guy from the band. Not Rob Reiner though. I didn't recognise this one from the film. Concensus on the train seemed to be that these guys trounced Saxon. If you were there then maybe you'd like to disagree. Dunsy was there, I know that. I salute his appetite for this particular brand of deconstruction. Of course, during all of this my heart and soul was with those who were grooving to The Fleshtones in Spain. As I write, I'm REALLY looking forward to seeing Matt and Kim in Glasgow, two weeks from today and maybe even KP!
Right now I'm wondering if I can be bothered going to see the Terry Gilliam "Dr Whassname" film. Maybe's aye but then again...
Saturday, November 07, 2009
Friday, November 06, 2009
The bastards. That being the Forth Ports Authority here in Grungemooth. They've been and gone and blocked off my cheeky wee quiet route to the supermarket. Used to be that you could walk all over the dock area here. It used to be a means of exercise for scores of people but that has long been off limits. Because of the terrorists and safety and all that hogwash. The last vestage was this little short cut and now it's gone. So it takes me approximately five more minutes to get to and from now. File under "disappointed but not exactly unexpected".
November driechness versus the Friday vibe. I don’t really care what the weather brings on. Tonight, and I realise that I have to be careful in the way I phrase this - I’m going to see Penetration, and The Lurkers are opening for them. Last time I saw them (the L's) was in 1977 at The Maniqui in Falkirk and the memories are not fond. Still, I know that Christina Boonaraaa arranged some shows in Germany for them so maybe I’ll get a pleasant surprise. I’d settle for just a surprise at this point though. Brian Coyoteman is part of Pauline and Robert’s crew and I think they have a new single available, might be able to tell you more later.
Last time I saw Brian was at the Eric/Amy Newcastle shindig. Yo La Tengo are in Glasgow at the 02 ABC tonight but sadly they’re not in tow like they will be soon elsewhere in Europe. I can bring glad tidings regarding their self-released single – “Teflon Wok” c/w “Bobbing Head Doll”. They’ve taken delivery and this fine offering will be available to buy either via their websites and even from here. If you want to score one then let me know and I’ll fix you up.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Another step closer to the ol’ senior (as opposed to senór) citizen’s travel card then and here we are on Guy Fawkes Day. Not something I care for but it would be good if those who wanted to gawp at fireworks could go to one of these “organised” displays. Away the fuck from my locale. Maybe if the rain stays on the idiots around here that literally burn money with have to postpone their whizzbang fest. Unlikely though. They’ll light that blue touch paper in all weathers. Is there something we can do to them that’ll scare these tosspots the way that they put the shits up animals and old people who really just want to watch Coronation Street or whatever.
This should not be construed as having anything to do with the onetime, er, “musical” combo of the same name from Dallas. Them I like.
OK, it's time for another instalment of The Go Go...
Saturday, 7th November with Tall Paul & Big Gus (The Thanes, Les Bof) on the decks.Upstairs @ Studio 24 Edinburgh.
The night before, tomorrow (6th) Penetration are at The Citrus Club with The Lurkers. What year is it again?
Also coming right up, but down "the London" some Maher action as Tori and Reiko Kudo appear at Cafe OTO.
The rain is off so I expect that the bloody noise is about to start so I'll be kicking up some of my own. Tomorrows postal strike appears to be off so that's something. Significant movement in the negotiations eh? Who'da thunk it.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
So I got my glasses back and I can see again. Just about. Or as good as I have in recent times. Auld age and all that. Next time I have to get a pair then I’m going for something a little more robust in order to try and head this kind of thing off at the pass in future. Accidents happen. Particularly when you’re having too much fun. It comes with the territory. In addition to this, I think I went a wee bit overboard with the haircut. As my amigo types know, there's a big hole been worn in the back of what used to pass for a mane.
"The gress disnae grow (rhymes with wow) on a busy street" was a favourite war cry of an old work colleague, no longer with us. True, but it's also unlikely to appear on fallow ground. Anyway, the weather is a wee bit inclement and I'm feeling it so time to disturb my wooly hat methinks. At least until I get acclimatised. I'm about to try and get a wee list of stuff together that you ought to know about. Trouble is that my ability to compile and cut and paste is a wwe bit gubbed but let's see what happens.
I am indebted to Mr Duff who tells me that there's a James Ellroy event at GFT in Glasgow on Thursday. And furthermore that Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds are at The Captains Rest on November 26th. Time be marching the heck forward alright.
Monday, November 02, 2009
Another week, another clutch of niggles. Not least of which is the ongoing glasses predicament. My peepers feel like burnholes in a blanket. Or pissholes in the snow. Whichever you prefer. Maybe a little of both. Add to that, a little ongoing brush with technology and that’s enough to raise the hackles more than a tad. Still it could be much worse and I’m at the crossroads of not being able to rule that out. Guess I’m still a little mellow after Spain. Maybe.
Talking of which, the Fleshtones are starting their Spanish Stroll in Valencia on Wednesday. Incidentally, it's 26 years tomorrow since they played in the home of haggis. Or at least Glasgow. And having trashed Espana, The Yum Yums are landing in Italy right about now. Readers there are urged to check out the show dates and get along to indulge in some pre-Festive season festivities. Believe me, these two ensembles are far more worthy of celebration than the Baby Jesus or whatever. Pretty flippant huh?
And that's your lot for tonight, I've got to go out and see to something that I could see far enough. Still, it could be worse. When I come back, I ain't switching this thing on again until Tuesday AM. He typed confidently.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Managed to haul my arse out to see "Cat People". 12 people in the cinema not including staff. More than I expected given the weather. Puh-retty serious flooding 'tween here and there so I'm happy to have made it back to the bunker. From whence I ain't moving tonight.
I imagine that the roads between here and the stalag might be troublesome in the AM. Still, that is some way off at this point. The Coal Porters are at Brel in Glasgow this evening if anyone is that locale. Seeing as my throat is better, I'd like to rewind to my location last Sunday night and maybe I'd order something different from the menu even. Sigh.
So there goes October... the slide into the festering season is well and truly on. The weather out there is "frightful". Hell it'll be 2010 afore we know it.
last month was by far the busiest month ever in terms of visitor numbers. Pretty incredible really. Lots of people looking for those dodgy talent night perhaps? Who knows. Anyway the stats don't lie. Or do they. Marketeers can make such info reflect what they want it to. You know me, I'm sceptical about everything.
In addition to that, maybe the lurghi is finally upon me. And these temporary specs are driving me uo the fecking wall so I'm not entirely sure how long I want to spend in front of this blighter today. Time will surely tell but my time management skills areespecially woolly at the minute.
There several "event nights" going on around the world that take our name in vain. However, I'm more than happy to share our moniker with my old pal Gary Pig's ensemble. Just got this note...
"Attention !! THE NEXT BIG THING (that's Shane Faubert, Jeremy Lee and Gary Pig Gold) along with Many Many other good musical friends (that's Jana Peri, Cracked Latin, Sonic Blue Sound Revue featuring Michael Mazzarella, Dreaming In Stereo, The Grip Weeds, and Dave Rave) shall be appearing as part of The 2009 New York INTERNATIONAL POP OVERTHROW Festival Friday NOVEMBER 6 at KENNY'S CASTAWAYS (that's at 157 Bleecker in NYC) starting at 8 PM. We'll be celebrating the release of our grand new NBT-4-CNP CD... and It's DOREEN'S BIRTHDAY too, so act accordingly."