Thursday, December 30, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
Looking to get a head start on your New Year's festivities? Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. returns to the newly refurbished back room of Otto's Shrunken Head for New Year's Eve Eve action! Fare thee well, 2010 -- and welcome back Otto's!
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 30th / OTTO'S SHRUNKEN HEAD / 538 East 14th Street (just west of Avenue B) in Manhattan / Two most festive shows, from 8pm sharp until 10pm / No cover!
Happy snowy holidays to all!,
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.
"Ballads, Boogies & Blues"
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
A festive missive from Sir Thomas Phobic...
The Phobics – Deptford Calling
Formed in Deptford Fun City, south London, a few years back by a bunch of punk survivors and misfits with a love of raw rock n roll and bored with a smug and complacent music scene.
The band DNA? Well, Punk destroying the moral fabric of society and running riot the UK in 1976, NYC's rock n roll underground of the 70s, Detroit’s finest revolutionaries and dozens of 60’s and 70’s garage psychos.
As if we need to spell them out; Ramones, Pistols, Damned, Dead Boys, Heartbreakers, Dolls, Real Kids, Stooges, MC5, Motorhead. All this and more, you know the score. When sex, drugs and rock n roll meant something other than corporate rehab...
The sound? Think Ramones and the Heartbreakers kicking the crap out of each other as The Roxy burns and the Damned serve up the drinks. Sometimes tight, sometimes not. Occasionally sober but always eventful.
The Phobics have gigged and caused chaos with kindred spirits like TV Smith, Johnny Moped, The Briefs, the Vivians, The Vibrators, The Star Spangles, Peter and the Test Tube Babies, The Bermondsey Joyriders, The Plague, Menace, The Cherry Reds, The Parkinsons, The Stalkers , Chlorex Girls, Viva Las Vegas, The Meteors, Ed Tudor Pole, Johnny Throttle, Thee Graverobbers, Zombie Met Girl, The Fallen Leaves, Lone Sharks, The Bucha Effect, Monkish, The Duel, Thee Faction and John Otway amongst others.
“Deptford Calling” will be released in January 2011 on CD and later on a very limited vinyl run of 150 – watch out for some tasty album launch gigs and more, give yourself a musical kick up the arse with 12 great tunes that’ll hook you deep.
Contact details:firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
"Electric Hero" by Caddy is an unassuming item. The entire album has been played, produced and assembled by Tomas Dahl who did time with T*rbonegro and now bashes them drums for the mighty Twisteroos. I was fortunate to meet him some weeks ago in Madrid and he crossed my palm with this fine selection of tunes, released on the Diner Junkie imprint out of Buford, GA. This Norwegian fella has taken extract of Redd Kross, Teenage Fanclub and Imperial State Electric and come up with a veritable power pop cracker.
Take a dusting of ELO, Beach Boys and the glammier end of Hellacopterism and I wouldn’t be sticking my neck out to suggest that regular NBT types wouldn’t LOVE this. A one man Fountains of Wayne/Weezer, fans of those bands will find solace in “This Good Feeling”. It’s chock full of that radical dynamic twist but done like The Shoes.
The cable motif on the digipak is a simple declaration of the content. Everything about Caddy is understated except for the contents of this excellent debut.
And while we’re on an “understated” kick, The Britannicas self titled set on NJ label, Kool Kat Musik peddles some of the same influences, in particular TFC. They also employ an NRBQ/Skeletons device (“The Girl from Malasaňa”). In my opinion, the “band” name is terrible and the artwork isn’t doing it for me either but the content is what counts. As it turns out, these “Brits” are three guys operating from Stockholm, the USA and Australia to put together their take on anglophile pop that always seems to shimmer better when it comes from outside this sceptic isle.
I was so relieved to find out that they didn’t sound like The L*bertines and the homemade nature of the tracks add a certain character just like “Black Vinyl Footwear” did all those years ago.
“One of these Nights” is not the Eagles song but rather a neat little number that could easily sit in a Rubinoos set. That should go some way to explaining that we’re not dealing with musical chopped liver here - even when it all goes a tad Flaming Lips.
So while we’re cruising the pop avenue, you ought to be aware to the point of having renewed your sub that there’s a new Bucketfull of Brains out. #76 includes a Chuck Prophet cover story and also a Kim Salmon interview. At 2 quid a scud, I don’t know how they do it but they do and it’s important that they can keep on doing so.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
The bunker has been kind of out of commish most of this week. Normality is gradually being restored but it’s taking longer than anticipated. I’m looking at all this weather shit that’s happening “dahn sahf” and thinking about how lucky I was to have got down and back for the Bambis last weekend. I’m also mulling over how sad I am not to have gotten down to see Amy and Eric this weekend. Still this time next week it’ll be Boxing Day. I’m hoping that there won’t be too much more in the way of this snow stuff before mid-day on Christmas Eve. Then it can do whatever it chuffing wants. I’m off into Edinburgh now for a last tootle around some shops and the Friends of Filmhouse event. Complete with mince pies and mulled wine, it kicks off a little after noon. Very civilised.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Inflation rises unexpectedly! No shit Sherlock. Perhaps “unexpectedly” is pushing the envelope of credibility a touch too muckle. We’re being kneecapped fiscally and it’s set to get worse when 2011 comes creeping in. The bunker is in a state of flux. Disarray plus. Day one of the boiler saga has been fraught.
All the weather crap of the past couple weeks has conspired to leave everything out of whack but at least it’s happening. The aftermath is what concerns me. Much as I’d like to embrace the “everything happens for a reason” premise, the actuality gets my goat but a perspective needs to be sought. Hell a snow plough came around this lowly area this morning but I’m praying that the forecast dollup of show will give us a bodyswerve. At least until January 4th-ish.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Where to start? Did I dream London or did it actually happen??
The Luminaire is a great venue and quite unusual for das capital. For some reason, it’s about to become the latest casualty of this sick climate where cool places disappear and the stinkers flourish. There’s even a notice in there indicating that idiots that talk during a bands set will be ejected. An action that should be mandatory across the country. In keeping with the quality of the venue, the people who work there and the crowd were top notch also (hey Jasmin, hey Mr Boris) . At this point, kudos should be heaped upon Mariajane (of TPBR) who made the entire prospect possible.
The Penny Black Remedy struck me as something that could fly. An Arcade Fire meets Gogol Bordello via Strummers Mescaleros take on Joe Ely kind of deal. Their main problem is perhaps that they have to convince the people who like those bands that there’s room in their hearts for them too. A ska angle offsets their “Never mind The Balkans” folk aspect so that altered kilter might work in their favour as might an appearance on something like Jools Holland.
There was no danger of anyone being able to yap during The Bambi Molesters. Their UK debut underlined their greatness and rubber-stamped the firm belief that this isn’t a surf band. Of course they embrace elements of that but their cinematic soundscape takes the calibre of instro-mental to a whole ‘nother level of intensity. Augmented by brass and keyboards (Luka from My Buddy Moose) this is a big, big sound that ebbs and flows and utterly immerses the audience. When Lada told be that they’d play for 90 minutes I was a bit worried that might be too long. As it was, it passed in a flash and proved to confound the onset of ADD element that has come to pass in recent times. And let’s face it there are so many bands that don’t have 20 minutes worth of material let alone 90. We’ve all had to suffer them, right?
Aside from the fact that it was a gas to have them here in the scabby old UK, the dynamic of how they play is what sets them apart from the chaff. This is intenstrumental music where the dynamic underplays to maximum effect. Their control and subsequent flexibility is along the lines of Robert Johnson and Punchdrunks where the currents can be at once calm and choppy, just before the squall. It's the atmosphere.
Dalibor and Dinko’s guitars create a wash for the rhythm. Hrvoeje’s drumming seems to calibrate the balance. This guy is from the Nick Knox/Bill Bateman/Leanne Cowie style of making every hit count. No flash fills or overplaying just concise percussion with Lada’s bass completing the storm. I would hope that somehow or other they’ll be back over this way soon or hell we should just go to them. What the hell is there to stay here for anyway?
I wandered through a relatively deserted Camden just a little before 5am on Sunday morning. Pondering if what I thought happened happened. According to other witnesses it did, so a big shout out to all those that made the night crackle and pop. My recent hit and runs on “the London” have been taking their toll but I was just relieved to have gotten there given that the weather has been wreaking havoc and is said to be just about to do so again.
If it could just hold off until January 2nd or thereabouts then I’d be obliged.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Not long back from "the London" where The Bambi Molesters gave The Luminaire a right royal pasting of the cinematic instrumental variety. I need to gather my thoughts. Heck, I actually need some sleep but we'll see how that all pans out in due course.
Shocked to read about the explosions in Stockholm and hope that none of "the massive" were affected by these f*ckers.
Friday, December 10, 2010
It's the Seasonal Vibeke Stramash in old Oslo tomorrow night at the John Dee! Oh, to be there... but that don't mean you can't be and The Dahlmanns are playing too.
And if you can't (and really I'm not going all Derek and Clive on you) , you can still get some mulled, heart-poppin' pop stylings of a Christmas nature by my dj tag team partner from the good offices of Pop Detective.
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
PROJ A SHOW, CHARLES DOUGLAS
Wild conditions here in Glasgow, we are open of course.
We are extremely pleased to announce this year's Project Ability show which brings colour, vibrancy and excitement to the walls of Mono. This year's show features the work of Tommy Mason, one of the founding members of the artist-led group, Artrek & Friends, who has been with Project Ability since 1990. The exhibition opens on Thursday 9 December from 7pm with performances by Alasdair Roberts and R M Hubbert and International Airport djs. There will be raffles, prizes and a small shop full of handmade original items. This is a free event.
There's a record we've been enjoying a lot since we got a promo of it back in September. Charles Douglas, The Lives Of... on small Manchester imprint, Broken Horse is a real curio. It first appeared on the No.6 label in 1999 and after selling out its pressing disappeared. Douglas is a smart, deadpan New York City kind of guy who writes hilariously about this doomed record in the sleevenotes – Mo Tucker on drums and production, Kurt Ralske (UVS) and Dean Wareham couldn't save it or the group from their own junkie fate. But what they left behind is a nugget of a record; classic, melodic scuzz in the great style of the Modern Lovers, Jim Carroll Band and inevitably, the Velvet Underground. In the end - a winner.
Monorail Film Club returns on Sunday 19 December with seminal horror, The Omen presented by filmmaker, Gregor Johnstone who will also be screening his own short, I'll Be Right Here. GFT, 7.15pm.
This weather is providing hands-on survivalist training if nothing else. My shovelling skills have improved as has the improvisation of getting the car out of stuck situations using a spade and some random cardboard. It’s all a bit Blue Peter (not rhyming slang). Should be thankful for small merci’s though because at least I’ve made it to work and back (thus far). Some folks have been stuck on the motorways overnight as the freak conditions get evermore freaky. It’s minus 15 and plummeting but that’s nothing compared to what other countries have to deal with in winter.
The people at the sharp end of the authorities are fending off a barrage of complaints and the frustration of disgruntled punters. It’s the management that’s woeful but that’s par for the course in my experience. I just completed another spell of trying to make the bunker accessible, there doesn’t seem to be any sign of a gritter/plough being sent around here anytime soon. Them’s the breaks and I hope I ain’t tempting the fates here, so far nothing is broken. Contrary to popular belief, I’m not big on disruption even though I’ve been known to cause it on occasion.
Photo by Lewis McGowan from the BBC website
Sunday, December 05, 2010
What's on *your* shopping list for this holiday season? How's about the economical solution of "ballads, boogies & blues" -- from Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.! That's right, three more *free* shows this month, sure to please even the most finicky folks on your gift list. Well, those with moderately good taste, at least. Happy holidays from SIT & Die Co.!
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 8th / RODEO BAR /375 Third Avenue (at the corner of 27th Street) in ol' Manhattan /Two slightly seasonal sets, from 10pm sharp until 12:30am / No cover! Plus, further into the shopping season...
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 19th / BRUNCH at SUPERFINE / 126 Front Street (at the corner of Pearl Street) in DUMBO, Brooklyn /Three warm and satisfying sets, from noon sharp 'til 3pm / Delicious food -- free music! /Reservations recommended: 718-243-9005 /
And, lastly, for a head start on your New Year's Eve debauchery... THURSDAY, DECEMBER 30th / OTTO'S SHRUNKEN HEAD / 538 East 14th Street (just west of Avenue B) in Manhattan /Two cork-popping shows, from 8pm sharp until 10pm / No cover!
Happy holidays, Michael
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.
"Ballads, Boogies & Blues"
P.S. For those who like leopard, here's a festive pictorial from our last show at Dances of Vice's wild "Jungle Rock" party!
Fatboy are back with another instalment of premier twang that would immediately be right at home on the True Blood soundtrack. They’re capable of doing bad things to you but with the best of intentions. Entitled “Overdrive”, there is no Bachman or Turner but plenty rockabilly thrills.
It’s not easy to evoke a tangible mix of The Mavericks and The Cramps with shades of Isaak and Orbison. The songs are great and their sense of dynamic sets them apart from most every team of roots rock weirdoes. On the surface it all seems very traditional but there’s a three dimensionalness that breathes fresh life into their swingin’ rattle and roll.
The title cut builds on the notion of Deep Purple’s "Highway Star" as cut at Sun. The opener “Bad News From Pretty Red Lips” is something that Lux could have sung and would be easy to compare to Jace Everett’s TV theme. What I like about Fatboy is that they don’t operate in a claustrophobic pigeonhole. They’re kind of combo that should be on (inter)national TV, cutting a swathe outside of the Jools Holland clique. “What Would Elvis Do?” they ask, well it occurs to me that he might want to jump on stage and join in. A concise 10 songs , in – out and a fair amount of shakin’ it all about with a side of panache.
That brings me to a guy who might just be Scotland’s best kept secret, Mr John Miller. There are a number of individuals from up this way that seem to have a higher profile but in my opinion aren’t fit to be mentioned in the same sentence. So I won’t. “Still Carrying A Flame” is the latest by this onetime Radio Sweetheart, abetted by his Country Casuals and the first release by Charles Staines’ Folk’n’Western Recording Co. imprint.
It seems like a lifetime ago that Sid Griffin and I were standing watching The Sweethearts in Glasgow’s King Tuts. They were playing “Living Without You” and this was a song so potent that it had to have been a cover. But it wasn’t. Incidentally, this set features a revisited version of “Take Me Back To San Francisco” another song by John’s old combo. He is also accompanied here by his old amigo, the ubiquitous Sir Francis of Macdonald.
Contagious country that takes the odd foray into the outskirts of western swing then, in addition to tidy songs, John’s voice is a vital component. He’s a veritable Don Gibson and I think that “Take It From Someone Who Knows” could sit nicely on roots radio alongside “Sea Of Heartbreak”. These tunes tug on the old ticker pretty darn good. One thing’s for sure, this guy deserves to a be a lot more famous than he is. When those galoots that think they can write come to their senses then they might yet beat a path to John’s door. I sure hope so. And I really wish he’d cut a definitive version of “Living Without You” because the Swing Set version is good but this is still an anthem in waiting in the opinion of these ears.
Saturday, December 04, 2010
The increased hit rate might be down to the launch of the heinous talent contest that continues to take our name in vain. Whatever. I’m more perturbed about the snow business debacle and hope this taste of true winter might abate until mid-January or something. I’ve spent 8 hours over the past few days digging the car out and by this time tomorrow I might even be able to get it out of the drive. If not then I’m likely to be going no place fast. Or wait, I’m already on that road and don’t exactly relish the reminder.
Anyway, I’m trying to keep moving for fear of seizing up. Not being used to manual labour – I’m feeling the strain from shovelling snow. Makes a change from what I usually use that kind of implement for but not my pastime of choice however, needs must. During daylight hours tomorrow, I hope to be writing about music while listening to it, something of a novelty in recent times.
On an art kick, a friend directed me to the work of Ken Bastard. I’d seen his stuff before in Juxtapoz because I recognised the Pete Townshend piece but I hadn’t seen the Johnny Ramone painting. In addition to musicians, he does a nice line in twisted – many with a smoking bent.
More tomorrow – if I don’t get up from here then I’m likely to require surgical removal from the chair.
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Hmmmm, strange that November should be the highest hit rate ever and possibly the least activity-wise for me. The reasons for this are varied and not about to be dragged through this particular neighbourhood. Inclination is another aspect, the nights have fair dawn in to the point that it’s pitch fucking black when I leave the bunker and pfb’er when I return. Generally spark out in front of the idiot box by 8pm til about 11pm and then I can’t sleep so a rather irritating cycle is taking place.
I don’t remember snow this bad since about December 1979. It was rough last year around Christmas but this takes the cake. Compared to other countries it’s nothing but this one just isn’t prepared and never will be. This morning I got out of my drive and immediately got stuck. If it wasn’t for a neighbour and a taxi driver then I’d possibly still be there. This is the earliest period of disruption in my living memory and it’s causing a considerable amount of heartache. Wonder if there’s a way to claim against the council for not providing adequate services?
The economic situation is bad enough but what if a person has had to drop wages because the country is so poorly equipped that it can’t keep things moving?
For instance, Sweden gets many more times the pummelling and things keep rolling. As of this point tonight, Central Scotland is pretty much goosed. Expectations fully delivered.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
My processor can't handle this but maybe you have the technology...
Before we all split for drinking and food comas I wanted to make sure you heard about our rock and roll documentary New Garage Explosion!!: In Love With These Times. It's now online at VBS.
Watch New Garage Explosion: In Love With These Times
Here's a brief description:
After a brief nod to garage's humble beginnings amongst American youth in Detroit during the 1960s and its contribution and influence on '80s punk, the documentary focuses on the scintillating present. As it pans trans-nationally, the camera profiles artists like the late Jay Reatard, Black Lips, The Dirtbombs, Thee Oh Sees, Smith Westerns, Vivian Girls and many more in an attempt to understand not only the exponential ascent of garage rock's popularity but the reason these people feel so passionately about it. A wide-eyed glimpse into a musical movement, New Garage Explosion: In Love With These Times is as much about the music as it is about the people contributing to the distinct scenes of the San Francisco, Oakland, Detroit, New York, Memphis, Atlanta, and Portland garage communities.
New Garage Explosion!!: In Love With These Times is a gritty cross section of one of rock's most exciting subgenres, garage. It will run as three parts over the next three days and then will stream in it's entirety on Thursday the 25th.
VBS directors Joseph Patel and Aaron Brown worked with producer/journalist Mike McGonigal to offer a particularly in depth examination of a multi-dimensional and often misunderstood slice of popular culture unfolding in front of us. New Garage Explosion: In Love With These Times is a candid snapshot of this magically vibrant moment in rock history, inspirational and brimming with DIY purity and is sponsored by Scion AV.
Rory , Vice Media
Friday, November 26, 2010
Friday again and the festering season is almost upon us. Bit of tumult going on around these parts but it goes with the territory. It’s (Black Friday) Record Store Day in the USA and there’s a Roky Erickson and the Black Angels DVD/Vinyl release to mark the occasion. Bunch of other stuff too, no doubt the scumsuckers are up and about early hovering up these items to hop them up via a certain interweb auction conglom. That aspect stinks as I have touched upon before.
Listen, I haven’t dumped the Mojo's yet but will definitely be doing so this weekend if no one wants them. If you have a wants list then let me know. They’re yours for the postage. I’m thinking the Zigzag's might be next up for getting rid and I really don’t want those to end up in a bale someplace. It makes me a little sad to do this but “there are nae pockets in a shroud” as they say. I might go the ebay route with some stuff but I kind of hate that now after run-ins with the kind of trolls that inhabit that particular universe.
Pretty certain you’re all familiar with them.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
We are extremely pleased to announce that the Monorail Film Club this Sunday features Tim Hunter's cult thriller, River's Edge. River's Edge is a story of blank youth and confused morality set in a drab looking Sacramento suburb. It features an incredible barnstorming performance from Crispin Glover (playing lead over Keanu Reeves!), Dennis Hopper, and music from Slayer and The Wipers. It will be introduced by Mark 'Horror' Hiller.
As ever we recommend booking tickets in advance from the box office on 0141 332 6535.
Tim Hunter, US, 1986
GFT, 12 Rose Street, Glasgow G3 6RB @ 7.30pm
Monday, November 22, 2010
As a died in the wool info junkie, the experiment of trying to process less of that particular drug isn’t having the life-affirming effect that one might have expected. And as for spending that time wisely then that’s simply never come to pass. I have started on the bunker improvements though so I imagine the heid nip of that is a substitute of sorts. It takes SO DAMN long to get stuff done. A staunch believer in sensory gratification should have options, right?
Did take some time out yesterday though, to catch the first two-thirds of The Millennium Trilogy at GFT. The six hour shift of a Sunday afternoon was a good investment (I think) and primes me to catch the final third this coming weekend. Probably.
I’m a little sick of the interweb. Nothing updates quick enough and even the BBC seems to be sluggish. My inability to function in terms of being able to write reviews or just compile a simple post isn’t terribly up to snuff either. I do lapse in and out of a feeling of guilt if that’s any consolation? Better out than in, right?
Peter B. Kaufman was kind enough to send me the link to this and from there I found the Amy/Eric clip. I'm very privileged to be able to call three of these performer's friends. These videos really brought that home to me.
The guitar in this is heartbreaking... nice one Young Eck!
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
I didn't make it out the other night but Murray did so here's his report...
First up in Henry's, The Murderburgers - if you like your pop punk like Screeching Weasel then go no further, you dont need to hear these songs twice to like 'em, tighter than my bosses wallet on a night out and all the usual lyrical ingredients.
Second on is a last minute addition to the bill of the world famous Shock And Awe with Paul Research - Robert King was meant to have been the secret special guest, a little live practice for them both before the xmas bash at the picture house, but he's been sick all week. So it becomes jazz night with one song featuring one chord and one lyric "why dont you kiss me" and sounding like something stolen from the stooges when ron and james were both in the band then up steps the legendary Paul Research for a hugely extended version of "yesterdays kids" complete with sax and an improvised jam through the velvet undergrounds "what goes on" with the lyrics stuck up on the wall - they treat playing music like kids playing in the playground, its all about having fun for themselves and its infectious
Next up its The Plimptons who'd originally booked the gig as an album launch night and its difficult to know where to look, a non stop skattish soundtrack where everybody moves and every available mic in the house is used. I couldnt make out the words and wondered if the songs would be more fun or just more annoying if I heard them on cd. They'd forgot to bring them anyway ....
Coming in at the very last minute were SPECTORBULLETS, they'd played a showcase gig in Edinburgh at the voodoo rooms already on tuesday and for Swedish singer Gustaf Heden this was a late night alcohol laced party. Theres something about them that remind me of Mike Watts old band fIREHOSE and I loved them. off kilter song structures, full scale drumming, guitar and bass following their own paths in unusual ways. And the singings got that same sort of tone. This maybe makes them sound like a difficult band to get into, but their not. Gustaf was in full on rock and roll front man mode which I personally found entertaining and thats the reason I go to gigs and seldom listen to music in the house these days.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Pffffff… you might well have noticed that activity here has been limited over the last wee while. There are reasons rather than excuses and pretty dreary ones at that, not all associated with trying to spend less time in front of a computer.
And then there’s all the crap about the catalogue that’s suddenly available on i-Tunes. WTF are these people thinking about? Haven’t they ripped their CDs by now if they do need to hear that rubbish? I really despair and doubly so when I see the marketing exercise cleverly tied in with the other big blight on the music business front that has legitimised karaoke in recent times. Are these just signs of the apocalypse? Did Nostradamus predict the Echh Factor?
I don’t think that I’ve ever felt so out of step with what is alleged to be popular culture on any level. No style. Even less substance. That’s the order of the day if you want to make it in the UK. However, there is evidence of a god at work in other territories. Matt and Kim continue to make headway in the USA and Annika Norlin shifts albums in good old Sweden.
Friday, November 12, 2010
This weekend I plan to be busy. To can the procrastination and achieve something. That means in terms of the bunker and some impending “improvements”. That means catching up with music. Things are a bit wobbly and could be subject to change though. I did manage to get a haircut though such as it is. So that could be construed as a start.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Monday, November 08, 2010
The latest hit and run on “the London” entailed the usual whirlwind of activity. When will I learn about not trying to pack to much in on such a trip? Sometime never mayhap but in the interests of survival, this could be an avenue that warrants exploration. Maybe in time for the next sojourn on December 11th…
Got to town around 2pm and made for the bustling Lie-chester Square. A teeming hedgerow to be sure and the peaceful bolthole known as the Phoenix Artists Club wasn ‘t opening until 5 but a suitable alternative was found that allowed the afternoon’s social to proceed. Mr Thewlis is deeply pissed off with the PAC though and we may have to enlist a potential alternative for future soirees. I’ll tell you something though, their pizza and chips is pretty damn good.
From there to meet the Rev. Nick West at Kings Cross in order to head for the uncharted territory known as Stoke Newington. It’s a nice area of town but a bit of a bastard to get to although the buses are a skoosh when you get a beat on the inside track. Things were running a wee bit late at The Drop and it was around 9.30 when The Boonaraaas!!! Took the stage. It’s always a pleasure and they were top notch as always. I expected Tine to be back and the “No Blokes in The Boonaraaas!!” lobby grumbled a bit but on the whole were very pleased to have Trich, Christina and Laura “in the house” as they say in the dance music subculture. Of course the Boonaaas are practised in real dance music and not the disco annexe. Photographic evidence is presented here and Christina has been charged at looking into how we can make a visit to Scotland happen.
Thee Vicars seem to be introducing a younger element into the pleasures of garage beat and this is a good thing. The fact that I find it all a bit underwhelming is neither here or there. I salute their crusade and what they’re doing in league with Dirty Water. Good to see PJ and thanks to him for assembling the evening. It got pretty damn busy in that room. Los Explosivos are a primo live act that mixes a savage punk rock flavour with a couple of dashes of The Hellacopters sieved through Grand Funk. This Mexican combo more than live up to their name and detonate on a number of occasions. They have a great entourage too and a night in Madrid at the Wurlitzer with this crowd would likely be quite the concoction.
From there, back into town and a wander over to The Betsey Trotwood. A very groovy Clerkenwell hostelry that played host to the first stay behind in the capital that I’ve attended in a very long time. A cool crowd (Hey Amy, Hey Gurbir) supped and danced into the wee small hours and it was somewhat reassuring to have an autographed poster for the BMX Bandits “Down At the Hop” hanging on the wall at the end of our table.
I’m keen to return there in the daytime to sample their pub nosh. From there, a further wander through the deserted streets of that area of London where urban foxes of the furry variety went about their business. Stopped off at the BOB HQ for literally 4 hours before it was time to once again head north. Pretty much died upon returning to the bunker. Hoping that the Boonaaa gals made it safely home to Germany.
And then, it was Monday again…
What does the future hold? Why, Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. at the Rodeo Bar this Wednesday for its monthly residency! Read on, palmists, if you please...
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 10th / RODEO BAR /375 Third Avenue (at the corner of 27th Street) in ol' Manhattan /Two telling sets, from 10pm sharp until 12:30am / No cover!
Plus, peering further ahead...
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 20th / DANCES OF VICE'S "JUNGLE ROCK" /Room Fifty5 Lounge / 210 West 55th Street in Manhattan / Voodoo rhythms, burlesque, swing dancing -- and SIT & Die Co.!
Handily yours, Michael
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co."Ballads, Boogies & Blues"
Sunday, November 07, 2010
Thursday, November 04, 2010
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
Yowza, Yowza! It's a Saturday night swing extravaganza with Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. and the high-steppers at Swing Remix -- featuring dance lessons for all levels of hoofers, vintage dance scene movie clips, and all the live hillbilly boogie a body can handle!
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 6th / "SWING REMIX" / in the Goldman-Sonnenfeldt Auditorium at the JCC /334 Amsterdam Avenue (at 76th Street) in ol' Manhattan /Three solid SIT & Die Co. sets, at 8:30, 9:30 and 10:30 -- plus dance lessons all night!
The Goldman-Sonnenfeldt Auditorium is a state-of-the-art theater at the JCC, featuring a beautiful wooden interior and dance floor, multi-media projection and sound system and a fabulous balcony for those who prefer to view from above. The JCC is conveniently located on Manhattan's Upper West Side, accessible by the 1, 2 or 3 subway lines and the M7 or M11 bus lines.
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.
"Ballads, Boogies & Blues"
Monday, November 01, 2010
This clocks back/forward nonsense is irritating. It all ends in being dark when you go to work and likewise when you return. An hour is neither here nor there. And then there’s the excuse about it being for kids going to and from school. Generally they’re ferried there by their mollycoddling parents.
Fat lot of good that extra hour did me… I was ready to get up a little after 3.30am. Of course, if I was in Madrid – I’d more than likely still be up at that time. Looking forward to heading south on Saturday for a rendezvous with those Boonaraaas!!! They’re at The Drop in Stoke Newington and PJ tells me that they’ll be on around 8.30pm so make sure you’re there in plenty time. Last time they were here, at Ryan’s Bar – there was a traffic mishap that meant I missed most of their set. That will NOT be happening this semester.
Today is the most depressing day of the year according to the news. I’m not sure what the unit of measure is. Used to be meechs (pronounced like loch – provided you know how to say that) but I imagine there’s some kind of euro alternative. Mondays are generally pretty sore, just in terms of having to throw one’s lot in with the chain gang. If you don’t do the lottery or if you’re not independently wealthy then you’re,um, er, what’s the word?
Oh aye… "fucked". That’s the one.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Matt and Kim’s “Sidewalks” drops on Tuesday (2nd) and reading some reviews of the album really underlines what is redundant about music writing. This isn’t something that requires the slightest bit of chin-stroking. You’re either with it or you’re not and the double whammy of “Block After Block” and “AM/FM Sound” encapsulate totally what to my mind sounds like some seriously infectious frequencies. Matt has admitted publically that he and Kim don’t write songs anymore, they make anthems.
I admit, when I hear some twonk say “I know where you’re coming from” in a conversation then my hackles go up. It can mostly be translated as “fuck your opinion” but in the case of the song, in the hands of these kids – it's sincere. They mean it. It’s all about how the message is delivered and what some pockets of dissent can’t seem to handle is the unity and sheer positivism that these two exude. It’s practically evangelical. I don’t mind if you’re sceptical but if you experience one of their rallies then you’ll get it. No question.
Some regulars think that I’ve lost my mind. There’s no point in labouring the main ingredient that sets them apart. It’s a chemistry thing. The two of them and an audience makes for an explosive combo. It makes you realise that maybe having a stupid, good time isn’t such a bad thing and this Village Voice review pretty much nails it.
Just like you can’t deny that those Lady GaGa singles are well made, or that “Oops I Did It Again” is better than anything Pavement ever did. M&K’s oeuvre occupies a spot that connects in a way that is both visceral and comforting. How or why is immaterial, as the world skites ever closer to the U-bend, this is a pretty cool antidote to the grind on my telly.
Friday, October 29, 2010
The vid quality isn't great but check the audio... via Staysick
If you are in San Francisco this weekend, on Halloween specifically, you won't find a better show than Nobunny performing as THE CRAMPS at Thee Parkside. I hope some of you can make
it. There are a few bands covering some of the greats:
Nobunny as The Cramps
Uzi Rash as The Monks
Apache as The Damned
Monster Maus as The Velvet Underground
Tumore Boys/Space Titanium as The Stooges/Destroy All Monsters
Nobunny played as the Cramps last year too.
Seriously great, totally wild and fun in the spirit of The Cramps. I imagine early Cramps shows were like this. No offense to any "psychobilly" bands that cover the Cramps, you know the ones with the greasy hair and the stand-up bass and the leather pants, but Nobunny is some real deal, wild and raw rock and roll live.
Actually, I don't concur with that last bit. Total offense to those "psychobilly" bands. It's time Nobunny came to Scotland methinks.
It’s been remiss of me not to mention this before.
The McBurnie/Hammer tag team has put together Grade "A" Fancy Mag. The browser that I view it in isn’t ideal but its quality gear and if your computer is up to snuff then you won’t have any problem. Can’t help thinking that these kids should be running a proper magazine but there’s not that much call for such a thing these days.
Related to this… not sure if I posted Amy Rigby’s blog entry on Ari Up. Did I? If not then I’ve certainly got a reminder to do so scribbled on one of these many pieces of paper scattered around. Not so much stream of consciousness at the minute, more the occasional dribble. And keeping up the thread, I was overjoyed to hear about the return of Wreckless Wradio. And while we’re on the subject, Eric is up for producing YOUR album. Talk to him about it.
As for the tie up between this and how the posts appear on farcebook, it could be to do with the version of blogger that I use. Don’t really have the time or inclination to alter the format at present, being of the “if it ain’t broke” persuasion. Sometimes it works, sometimes it don’t. The notifications are skew wiff also. Been futzing with the crackberry and making slow progress, not that I use it to any great degree but I will try to update this thing from there at some point to see how that works. The racket that is the concept of “the mobile phone contract” is not something I’m enamoured with to be honest. That will come as a surprise to you no doubt?
Guess that brings us to Thursday...? The Village in Leith is a neighbourhood bar that’s not easy to reach if you’re not in a car. That said, if you do make the effort to get there - it’s a great spot. So, long rydin’ Sidney G and them Coal Porters were bound for Bute but something went awry and Paula McNally of The Sunset Delay stepped in and sorted out this alternative. I didn’t realise she’d come back to Edinburgh from London but anyway, it means the band is active again and to prove that, they opened the evening’s entertainment.
The CP’s did that bluegrass thing in support of their Ed Stasium produced latest album, "Durango", no 95 in evidence. Fiddlegal/singer Carly Frey from British Columbia is a great foil for Sid and Neil, I don’t think she was in the band the last time we saw them. They’re in the Borders someplace tonight then they scoot back further North for a show at The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen tomorrow.
It’s Friday, a little spurt of progress was registered earlier but I feel the strength ebbing away. This weekend is 1 hour longer than recent ones though so some solace can be gleaned from that. What will you waste your extra 60 minutes on?
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Not sure what could be more perfect than a Hallowe’en matinee of Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein at the Bo’ness Hippodrome but not much in my estimation.
The Coal Porters with Captain Sid Griffin are in Edinburgh – or Leith rather – tomorrow evening at The Village. The Sunshine Delay are opening and it starts at 8pm.
As well as everything else that’s going on in the big fankle, I’m trying to arrange work in the bunker and it’s proving to be a giant pain in the arse. There are less daylight hours, it’s heading into winter, yada yada and the flesh and spirit are vying for which is the least willing. I’m sure I’m not the only one with experience of this.
But we gain an hour on Sunday when the clocks go back, how's that for a spurt of optimism? Or postponing the inevitable??
It's maybe not the most halloweenish thing you could do this Sunday but the film club has lined up a potential gem. We are screening Timothy Neat's rarely seen Play Me Something and have the director in attendance.
Neat is an uncompromising Dundee-based auteur and academic (an amazing character really) and as far as we know Play Me Something is his only full length feature film. The film, set in Barra and Venice features John Berger and Tilda Swinton, and will be introduced by David Mackenzie, who is a massive fan.
At the airport on the island of Barra, a small group of people await the delayed plane to Glasgow. Among the local passengers is the mysterious Stranger (John Berger) who captivates them with a story of love set in Venice.
'A singular, groundbreaking and beautiful piece of filmmaking.' The Herald.
Play Me Something
Timothy Neat, 1989
Monorail Film Club
Sunday 31st October, 7pm
12 Rose Street
box office: 0141 332 6535
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Title: I KNEW BUFFALO BILL
Artist: JEREMY GLUCK & FRIENDS
Release date: October 18, 2010
(600 copies limited edition)
CAT #: MR 293
"The first indie supergroup" (more than 20 years ago!)
Featuring Jeremy Gluck (The Barracudas), Jeffrey Lee Pierce (Gun Club), Roland S Howard (Birthday Party) and brothers Nikki Sudden and Epic Soundtracks (The Swell Maps)
A unique record with a rootsy, haunting sound, which mixes dark folk, swamp blues and the ghostly side of country music
Expanded edition with many tracks not on the original album (demos, live material and B sides)
Vinyl only reissue. Limited edition of ONLY 500. Double LP. Liner notes by Jeremy Gluck
Deluxe vinyl reissue of this 1987 album, featuring Jeremy Gluck (The Barracudas), brothers Nikki Sudden and Epic Soundtracks (Swell Maps), Rowland S Howard (The Birthday Party) and Jeffrey Lee Pierce (The Gun Club). Includes demos, B-sides and live material.
In 1987, at the time of its release, "I Knew Buffalo Bill" was greeted as little more than an underground curio. The "first indie supergroup" tag conferred upon it by Flicknife owner Frenchy Gloder was possibly true; in any case, having members of The Barracudas, Swell Maps, The Birthday Party and The Gun Club share its credits marked it out at least as a compelling creative cross-section of the alternative scene of the day.
It was 1986, autumn. Over the years Nikki Sudden and I had discussed, planned and written songs for an eventual collaboration. Nikki was working his music full-time; I was writing and raising my kid. One day Nikki calls pretty much out of the blue and says he is in Fairport Dave Pegg's lush Woodworm Studio recording with his brother Epic Soundtracks and Rowland S Howard, and do I want to tack a week on and do an album? I started packing. When I arrived at the studio one gorgeous afternoon, the band had just laid down the backing track to Nikki's remarkably beautiful 'Gallery Wharf'. I was awed and enchanted.
I still love that song and my good fortune in performing its only recorded incarnation is humbling.
In the years since, "I Knew Buffalo Bill" has been heard more, evaluated further, loved by a few fiercely, liked by many more, overlooked by millions. The unusual combination of players and pieces, and some great production, have earned it a niche all its own. In that time, four of its key players - Nikki Sudden and Epic Soundtracks, Rowland S Howard and Jeffrey Lee Pierce (whom I only met briefly before and during the sessions) - have passed away. It seems unreal to me now that four of them are gone. Great artists, wonderful characters, dedicated journeymen.
It gladdens me that our work on the album has been the cause of one excellent shared homage (Italians Circo Fantasma's "I Knew Jeffrey Lee"), and that one of its latter tracks, 'Burning Skulls Rise' (from the eponymous EP that followed the original album), was covered by Rowland and Lydia Lunch. Subsequently it has appeared on a handful of European compilations and even one modern B-movie soundtrack, for "I Pass As Human", directed by former Flesheater Chris D.
On this deluxe edition I've included all but one track of the original album, demos, B-sides and, to bookend the album, live material reinventing the songs Nikki, Rowland, Epic and I laid down recklessly over 20 years ago. My favourite line of Nikki's, from 'Gallery Wharf' - "What's done can never be put down" - speaks for all of what is here for you to remember, discover or rediscover. It's a strange pile of sounds and songs to have helped create.
1 LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO FALL
2. TOO LONG
3. GONE FREE
4. TIME UNDONE
5. ONE MORE STORY
1. GALLERY WHARF
2. FOUR SEASONS OF TROUBLE
3. ALL MY SECRETS
4. TIME GOES FASTER
1. BURNING SKULLS RISE (Demo)
2. FOUR SEASONS OF TROUBLE (Demo)
3. SORROW DRIVE
4. EPISODE IN A TOWN
5. APRIL NORTH
6. THE PROVING TRAIL
7. THEY'RE HANGING ME TONIGHT
8. LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO FALL (Reprise)
1. NO SOUND
2. THREW THIS AWAY
3. THE OLD MAN'S DREAM
4. PRAYER OF A GUNMAN
5. GRAD'S HOTEL
6. BAR WITH NO NAME
7. NOTHING TO ME
Been a hectic few days, kicking off last Thursday evening with Mr Iain Shaw venturing over to the east coast for his fist show there. It went well and would have gone even better if the chattering buggers that bumped their gums all though the set had been muzzled.
Friday night saw The Primevals and Charles Randolph Rivers Slim Rhythm Revue tear up McChuills as part of Oxjam. When anyone tries to tell me how the JJR are some hot shit then I’ll refer them in the direction of the former because those fauxsters are NOT in the same league. Sadly never made it to Buckfest but I imagine that it went well? Sometimes it’s just not possible to do everything just like good guys don't always wear white.
Sunday was the UK premiere of Herschell Gordon Lewis – Godfather of Gore at GFT. Part of a Cult Labs day. It’s really great and with the man himself, Dave Friedman (This is a Something Weird production), John Waters and even Joe Bob Briggs in there too, well I don’t think that anyone with a penchant for the man’s work could be disappointed. It was much scarier outside the movie theatre because Rangers and Celtic were playing and Bigot Central was going full swing. I managed to pretty much body swerve all that apart from a smattering of them on the train home.
And last night... Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. I hadn’t seen any version of the band since they opened for Graham Parker in (I believe) 1977. Hardly seems possible but in my recent tour of the past, it seemed like time to revisit this particular boardwalk. Particularly as they were playing a proper theatre, The HMV Picturehouse in Edinburgh not the Renfrew Ferry.
Strange that I end up scoring a ticket outside from the Rev. Ralph MacGillivray. Although we correspond through facebook, it had been many years since we’d met so that was a welcome coincidence. Being a bit knackered, I had pondered the option of sitting in the balcony but the upstairs wasn’t open. Haven’t experienced the sound up there and it was going to be a long set.
The opening band was awful. A terrible mix of overbearing confidence and the curse of competence. Not a good combo. They seemed very pleased with themselves and the audience largely encouraged them. This was the first time that I’ve been to a show in recent times that I definitely wasn’t the oldest person there. And besides, SJ doesn’t need an opening act and this was no warm up.
It’s a measure of a show’s calibre when 2 and a quarter hours goes by in a flash. I won’t say that there were a couple of moments where I didn’t flag, but that was more down to my tiredness. At the very high points, like “Talk To Me” and “I Don’t Want To Go Home”, it was like standing on the corner of exhilarating and heartbreaking. Those horns were not set on stun. The show was so far ahead of Springsteen’s recent performance in Glasgow that I can hardly quantify the difference.
I guess this is what you might call entertainment... things are in a bit of a fankle around here. No idea if or when normal service might be resumed.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Continuing our West Coat jag, Margaret Dollrod wishes it to be known...
I'LL BE GIVIN' MY ALL ON THE WEST COAST! IN THE RIGHT HERE AND THE RIGHT NOW NOW!
NOVEMBER 4th THEE PARKSIDE (San Francisco)with Mean Jeans, Shannon and the Clams, Therapists and Skumby
NOVEMBER 5th TIL TWO CLUB (Long Beach) with Mean Jeans, Shannon and the Clams and Therapists
NOVEMBER 6th 5 STAR BAR (Los Angeles) with Mean Jeans, Shannon and the Clams and Therapists
NOVEMBER 9th THE HEMLOCK (San Francisco) with Apache and Nectarine Pie and TRRMS
NOVEMBER 10th THE KNOW (Portland?)
NOVEMBER 11th BURGERVILLE (Oregon or Vancouver?) with Mean Jeans
NOVEMBER 12TH THE FUNHOUSE (Seattle) with Butts
Saturday, October 23, 2010
This, quite literally, just in from Brother Don. Timely too with SOTS having an SF "three in a row" this AM.
"just got back from Thee Parkside all the way across town here in san fran where i saw an incredible set by Roy Loney and the Phantom Movers.(sans Danny and James). Roy was most excellent. he strummed a Fender cutaway acoustic. Larry Lea played lead and they had their old bass player too. they opened with "Don't Believe Those Lies". and moved along with old faves like "Emmy Emmy", "A Hundred Miles an Hour", and "Born to be Your Fool". place was jammed and the crowd was groovin like crazy.
it was almost like being back at the Mab (which Roy mentioned) or those great Whisky shows where they opened for the Groovies. then Cyril came up and there was a roar from the crowd when Roy introduced him as an "old friend...and very dear friend". they did"Second Cousin", "Teenage Head" and "Slow Death". unbelievably great!!! Cyril took some INCREDIBLE solos!!! it was absolutely stunning and just like the old days. everyone went totally insane and they were called back for an encore and they did Chuck Berry's "Bye Bye Johnny".
Roy and Cyril together is just EXPLOSIVE!!! now i have an inkling of how great the New Orleans shows must've been. i congratulated Cyril afterwards but didn't get a chance to thank Roy so if you're out there Roy: FANTASTIC JOB!!! wow!!!! i really hope these guys get together some more. just tremendous. Cyril's guitar solos were effortless and magic. Roy was in excellent voice. what a night!"
Friday, October 22, 2010
I’m not about to make any promises I can’t keep today. Still, it is Friday after all.
The Primevals and Charles Randolph Rivers are at McChuills in Glasgow tonight. An Oxjam show.
Tomorrow, The Handsome Dicks will be at The 13th Note’s Buckfest. On at 9pm (apparently).
It’s just come to my attention that Sir Andy Shernoff has a website from whence you can navigate all his cyber outlets. He has shows coming up so check that now.
Cool event at GFT on Sunday including the premiere of the Herschell Gordon Lewis documentary.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
I concur with the too many RIP’s. I mean Guccione was kind of old but the Ari Up thing was a bit of a shocker. She was 5 years younger than I am. Been thinking about mortality quite a lot of late. Not sure why. Possibly because there’s a lot of stuff left to squeeze in and it seems as though there can’t be enough time to address that. I’ve also been thinking about the lyrics to “Whole Wide World”, intensified by their being paraphrased into “Do You Remember That?”. All pretty deep stuff for me really and I can’t divulge the connection for fear of my being exposed as even more of a prat than I usually am. Watch out for a brand new Wreckless and Amy song coming up very soon on Radio Free Song Club. The kids have been beavering away and I’d imagine that it’ll air when they get to the US in November.
Bryan dropped me a line to say that The Beav’s mom left this theatre the other day also...
RIP – Barbara Billingsley
Bit of a shock too to learn that Louie Appel has also passed away via a post from Eric (Roscoe) Ambel on facebook. The onetime Asbury Juke was here a couple of years ago with Ronnie Spector and we all headed out to Sloans for some bar food. Louie also played on wir ain Ms Rigby’s “Little Fugitive” album and a gazillion other sessions. A lovely big guy and cool company that has checked out way too early. No details as to how. My heartfelt condolences go out to his friends and family at this time.
RIP – Louie Appel
I’m heading for Edinburgh now but you might want to investigate what Kogar has lined up for you.