Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Lux tribute night was going full pelt when I left for the train at 11.30pm last night. I played some sympathetic sounds and caught The Fnords and The Primevals. The short sharp set of the latter defining the future of popular music and leaving the audience wondering what hit ‘em. The Fnords version of “Sheena’s in a Goth Gang” hit the spot despite the sound “behind” the band being barely audible as anything other than a buzz buzz buzz.

For anybody that cares, here was the playlist. Not in order of appearance I hasten to add.

Funnel of Love – Wanda Jackson (from Heart Trouble w/ Lux and Ivy) (USA)
Rocket True Temper 20oz – Robert Johnson and Punchdrunks (Sweden)
Swampland – The Scientists (Australia)
Tutti Frutti – Pascal (Sweden)
Party – Pascal (Sweden)
Peter Gunn – Poison Ivy (USA)
(I’m) Out of It – The Nomads (Sweden)
He’s Peculiar – Vibeke Saugestad (Norway)
Lonesome Town – The Legendary Tigerman with Rita Redshoes (Portugal)
Light Me Up Twice – The Legendary Tigerman w/ Claudia Efe (Portugal)
Radio & TV Blues – The Legendary Tigerman w/ Cais Sodre Cabaret (Portugal)
Motorcycle, I Love You – Moon Duo (USA)
Bend Over I’ll Drive – The Cramps (USA)
It’s Mighty Crazy – The Cramps (USA)
8 Piece Box – Southern Culture On The Skids (USA)
Chaotica – The Bambi Molesters (Croatia)
Delinqente – Wau Y Los Arrrghs!!! (Spain)
Demoliçion – Los Saicos (Peru)
Hook Rug Dance – Angelo Badalamenti (USA)
Drive In – The A Bones (USA)
Mr Wild Guitar – Kare and the Cavemen (Norway)
Graveyard Line – The Forbidden Dimension (Canada)

I have no aspirations or delusions about being a DJ. It's good to be able to play stuff out and in the spirit of the great "Living Jukebox" Andy Dunkley. OK, things to do. Sadly can’t make the GFT scene but sometimes it isn’t possible to be everywhere you need to be. I’m operating in a peculiar fug at the minute and hope that the way below zero climate in Stockholm next week will restore some kinda equilibrium.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A message from Mr Faulkner...

DEFINITION: A botnet (also known as a zombie army) is a number of Internet computers that, although their owners are unaware of it, have been set up to forward transmissions (including spam or viruses) to other computers on the Internet. Any such computer is referred to as a zombie - in effect, a computer "robot" or "bot" that serves the wishes of some master spam or virus originator.

Well, well - here we all are again.'Purity Of Essence' comes out in a little under two weeks.

This endless waiting is agonizing.

So what can you do for us (besides buy and enjoy our album, but let's not talk about that)? Yes, what CAN you do for us?

Funny you should ask: I have concocted a megalomaniacal plan to recruit YOU to join our Human Botnet Project.

Huh? Wazzat??

Let me explain: we'd like you to spam all the friends in your address book (and get them to do likewise to theirs) with the link to the first episode ('Day One') of our little web-series 'Must Travel On Wheels'. Well, "spam" is a little harsh-sounding - let's just call it "flagging": please flag your friends (and frenemies) the word about our new mockumentary serial. A new episode will be posted every week for six weeks and each one will contain a full song performance, plus the "story" about the making of 'Purity Of Essence'. We think our little drama is a world first. Yes, you heard me right: A WORLD FIRST! There have been other web series, some even containing music ('Flight Of The Conchords' springs to mind) but never has a real band built their music videos around a fake "tell-all documentary" and posted it online as a series. Whether we SHOULD have is another question...

You can watch the first episode for free (as they all will be) right now at Bigpond Music however, if you want to, you can buy it as a download for your Telstra mobile phone. In a week's time this episode will also be available on iTunes,, YouTube and other places but Bigpond Music will have every new episode exclusively for a week while the series runs. I have one sad bit of news: Mac users (like myself) will have to wait a week until the content is posted elsewhere (as mentioned) because Bigpond's video streaming does not support Mac: we're simply incompatible. Boo! If you live overseas and are also having trouble accessing Bigpond content (I dunno if that IS a problem) remember we'll ALL get to see it on YouTube and elsewhere, starting in one week.

So, join the Gurus' Human Botnet Project and annoy all your friends with your Gurumania, then get them to do the same to their friends until we achieve a critical mass. We want the 'Crackin' Up' video to turn into a DOS attack (Denial Of Service) leading to internet chaos...well, maybe not. But it would be nice if it made a few more people aware of the Gurus and 'Purity Of Essence' in particular. Let's test that whole "six degrees of separation" theory! I want Kevin Bacon talking about us! Maybe we should threaten seven years bad luck or promise lottery wins if the recipient forwards our link to six other friends...(god, I hate those emails).

So enlist in our zombie army, annoy your friends and join us for laffs a-plenty (at our expense). 'Must Travel On Wheels' is a slow burn but it will definitely repay your attention.Anyway, unlike other 'net spam, at least ours is offering free entertainment. Take it or leave it.

In the immortal words of Hedley Lamarr, "Do do that voodoo that you do so well"



Sunday (28th February) sees the Monorail Film Club do the Glasgow Film Festival thing. It's a year since "The Wrecking Crew"? Good grief. From the programme...

The Delian Mode/Dope at GFT, Glasgow - 4pm
Click here for tickets.

"Shot in a lilting, evocative style by filmmakers Sheldon and Diane Rochlin (now Flame Schon), Dope was praised as a film “ahead of its time” by Ricky Leacock. It works as a magnifying glass into the swinging London drug scene of the ‘60s with a great soundtrack mixed by Mark Dichter and includes rare footage of Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd. Beautiful as well as chilling, Dope melds shots of that inbetween realm - the fragile edges of reality and dream, order and chaos, inertia and motion-reflecting transience, mortality and impermanence. Dope will be preceded by Kara Blake’s The Delian Mode (25 minutes) a fascinating documentary on Delia Derbyshire, the pioneering composer and BBC Radiophonic Workshop innovator who realised the original “Doctor Who” theme and whose influence today is stronger than ever.

This event will be introduced by John Cavanagh, broadcaster, musician and friend of the late Delia Derbyshire."

Inset: Dope (from GFF website)

Friday, February 26, 2010

What a week it’s been… (serial) killer whales, traffic chaos, the worst T in the Park bill in living memory (and you know that's going some)… what the flip is the world coming to? I’m thinking about trading the car in for a wee boat. It would certainly serve the current conditions better. Anyway, I’m back indoors for the duration of today so sod it. However tomorrow... this...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Incase we’d forgotten how it was to exist inside a giant slurpy tank, the weather decided to weigh in with a wee reminder today. Yes, we’re having a traditional winter – the way they used to be – and we’re not used to it. Not wishing to be seen as a climate change denier or anything but this is the first time in eons that it’s been this inclement. I’m not complaining, merely providing a commentary.

And, weather and other logistics permitting – I’ll be doing my “Andy Dunkley” bit at this weekend’s Lux Tribute in Glasgow. This means that I’ll be playing music, not dj’ing per se. Full details are here and it would be grand if you could drop by. This time next week I’ll be Stockholm bound and it cannae come soon enough. Tonight’s mission is to score some travel insurance and a bus ticket into the metropolis.

A Real Cool Time Revisited is out on March 3rd (next Wednesday) and you can order it here at CD ON. The big release shindig is on March 5th (next Friday). You can download an English language synopsis of the liner notes here.

In this world of Chinese phisherfolk and the continual deluge of crap, it sometimes feels like I’m drowning. The anti-spam filters and “protection” doesn’t seem to stem the tide. Every day starts with a delete-athon. The nuisance of this will surely chime with all of you folks. Life is short enough as it is. And what of the piss artists that connive to send and actually perpetrate this cyber commotion? Can there really be anyone out there that gets taken with the supplying of bank info and identity details because they receive an ill-spelled request from wherever. The more sophisticated scams maybe – at a push.

And how much Viagra and other meds do they think that I need. A guy could develop a complex. I’m sure that the perp’s never considered that. They’d make better use of their time if they had, right?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Got word today that an old co-worker of mine passed away. Old in this case being 87 years which means he retired 22 years ago. Hardly seems possible. Anyway, Donald Hardiman was his name and he was the Laboratory Manager in a previous version of the salt mines. A pretty funny guy, he was always pretty taken with the picture of Ivy that I’d taken in Leeds that was at the top RH corner of my board in the drawing office. He was a character. Remember those? We don’t have many of those anymore and it makes it all the more clear when another one departs.

Donald was an avid jazz fan and someone who would often write letters of complaint to the broadsheets. Last time I saw him was at the funeral of another colleague that didn’t enjoy any real time in the sun after he’d completed his service. I travelled in the car with him and it was a pretty hair-raising experience being that it came to pass that his eyesight was shot. Still, it was good to see him again even though a tad dangerous.

So when I got the call this morning it seemed like the close of another chapter, one that I associate with better times and an element of camaraderie. I used to call him “a daft auld bastard”. It was a term of endearment that he seemed to enjoy.

Hot on the heels of that, I took a walk into the factory and heard “Romeo” by Mr Big (UK variety). That always makes me think about Ali(stair) Beattie and how we spent an afternoon in December 1976 looking for copies of “Anarchy” (EMI2566) in a local junkshop basement. Needless to say we didn’t find any but there was a wheen of Mr Big discs (EMI2567) down there. Ali left at a very young age a long time ago but anytime I hear this, it takes me right back to that basement. There was something down there. However, it wasn't Pistols singles.

The snow came back today, nothing drastic but enough to cause minor grief. I’ve allocated myself one hour in front of the computer screen tonight and that is close to being up. Anything else will have to wait until tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

As if I wasn’t confused enough. Jason and the Scorchers are back sounding like they’ve never been away on “Halcyon Times” their new record on Jerkin’ Crocus. The turbo-charged roots rockers are one of the combos that lit the blue touch paper on the Americana malarkey. Lifting it out of the “country rock” pigeonhole and invigorating that foundation with whopping dollups of rock. Straight out of the traps, “Moonshine Guy” (in a six pack world) is about an individual that digs The Stones but doesn’t care a jot for The Doors. Like a Nine Pound Hammer hoedown where they’re doin’ it for Hank. “Land of the Free” should tickle fans of the Drive By Truckers “Southern Rock Opera” as it includes shards of both Skynyrd and BÖC plus a whole lot more.

“Days of Wine and Roses” sounds familiar because it taps into the mood of all the great loud country we’ve come to appreciate like premium liquor. The twang that matters combined with a predilection for a good riff. And is that Dan Baird on “When Did It Get So Easy (to Lie to Me)?”Here are 14 songs that’ll be sharing a stage with the “hits” when the band takes to the road in May. “We’ve Got It Goin’ On” boasts the finale. If that means a rip-roaring, punk-rockin’, honky tonkin’ snifter for what ails you then they have indeed.

... and here’s some guys that used to be on EMI America too. They both outlived the imprint and are indelibly tattooed in hearts and minds across the planet. Blessed are the faithful indeed.

Here comes Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. with a double dose of
“ballads, boogies & blues” this week! The particulars…

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25th / And the last Thursday of every month! /
OTTO'S SHRUNKEN HEAD / 538 East 14th Street (just west of Avenue B) in ol' Manhattan / Two snappy shows, from 8:00 sharp until 10:00 / With DJ "Son of Scratchy",
salty snacks -- and no cover!

46 Third Avenue (at the corner of Atlantic Avenue) in Brooklyn /
One striking set at 10:00, preceded by the gothic angst of Bitter Grace at 9:00 and followed by the "Cemetery & Western" stylings of Ninth House at 11:00 / No cover!

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

Monday, February 22, 2010

I’m at that stage again where dropping off the face of the earth seems like a very agreeable situation, too much going on, too little time and in a sense, way too little inclination. The prospect of those meatballs at Tranan next week and hanging out with Martina and Daniel not to mention my other Stockholm compadrés makes the immediate struggle almost bearable. I’ve given up on whether or not facebook or e-mail or whatever is working because I never know what’s going where. I do know that a couple of links never made it from work to home today but it’s no biggie, I twigged there was a problemand dealt with it innit..

The start of May is shaping up to be real busy on the prospective entertainment front. That said, a bit of mis-scheduling and just plain bumpy logistics means that I’m gonna be out of whack with some of the shows. Just one of those things I guess but bloody irritating. Sometimes things don’t work out and cloning doesn’t appear to be an available option. Still, it’s a minor grumble in the grand scheme of things. Full details of these “events” will be forthcoming - as and when venues are confirmed, etc.

Often accused of having impossibly high expectations with regard to the quality of how something turns out, it’s fair to say that these are seldom realised. I’m not sure if corners are cut or that calibrations are shoddy but somehow or other, the finished product falls a little short. This happened to me today with something at work. Possibly this is a mild OCD, along with the habit of having to constantly refine things. Shouldn’t that always be the case? Of course, there are exceptions when something happens to distract or flummox me completely. Like getting two names mixed up that are nothing alike. It’s not always possible to find the mistakes in one’s own blogging or copy writing.

You’re too close. And spell checks only provide a cursory safety net. I guess it’s not so bad on screen, it’s when this happens in hard print. That’s when the authority is called into question. Mistakes can easily be made, often because too many tasks are being undertaken at any one time. The human condition doesn’t allow for much slack.

This new Tim Burton version of Alice in Wonderland looks like a Mark Ryden landscape come to life. Been listening to all this guff about Odeon not screening it because of the window of op in relation to DVD release. There are two audiences for this with a big overlap but who in their right mind would pass up seeing this thing in a cinema and plump for grabbing it on disc. Cinema then DVD surely.

But what do I know...

It's shaping up to be another of these weeks. I just tried to wash my face whilst wearing my gregories. Not sure about where we are in time and space, maybe something to do with the release today of the latest Jason and the Scorchers album. More about that later though. The Eighties didn't altogether suck despite the impression of what the nostalgia business might suggest.

Also, of late, I've been making some right foxes paws. Please, if you notice things that look like complete fiction, let me know. I'm not sure how exactly I got Jake Starr and Dave Champion mixed up. Perhaps it's these glasses, but most likely the more haste, less speed nature of yours truly lately.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

There’s a certain band from the West of Scotland. They were everywhere a year or so ago and now it seems like they’re nowhere. Strangely it was a Swede that first alerted me to their existence. I'd seen the name but blanked it because it was so godawful.

When I played Pascal to people, the initial reaction was that they sound like the combo in question. Albeit that the songs were in Swedish. This was ultimately proven wrong over the course of a whole record because these here folks are consistently multi-dimensional. They positively flicker with energy whereas the others have one trick that they do pretty good but sometimes that ain’t enough.

And now is the Gotland trio have further honed their buzzsaw symphonies into a splendiferous racket. Light and shade and space blaze and bleed in their relentless, passionate throb. The MC5’s “Back In The USA” led off with a version of “Tutti Frutti” and "Orkanen närmar sig"(“The Hurricane Is Approaching”) does likewise but instead of bolting out of the traps, this one undulates in a Cramp-tastic fashionIt’s in no hurry to get anyplace beyond under your skin. "Måne över Fårösund” establishes a mood and never lets up. Pascal pulsate. That’s what sets them apart. They swing too and that’s a pretty lethal combination. Dynamic-wise.

I imagine that the language barrier may impede them becoming as popular as they deserve to be. This is the problem with populist culture in general. By the time you get to the eye of the storm, they could be gesticulating in Swahili for all that matters. It’s the sound they kick up that matters. The instro-mental, “Party” channels a message from Link Wray wherever he is and the title song is a brooding, twang-st ridden masterpiece that ebbs and flows kind of like the phenomenon it takes its name from.

This has been out on Novoton since the end of January and the band is currently traversing their home country. Pascal is a tsunami-like force of nature and one to be reckoned with. One of these days I’ll do a little storm-chasing to attend one of their zombie “dansa” shindigs but until then, their recorded squall will have to suffice.

Here's a taster of what we missed last weekend and keeping up the pop element, there's a connection between the two. Div you ken what it is?

Twangtastic stuff... The Tripwires!

It’s a melancholy time following Doug Fieger’s exit from the theatre but the power pop torch still burns braw and bricht. There’s no finer example than this upcoming 7” single from Suzy & Los Quattro and The Rubinoos taking on The Raspberries “Play On” and The Sweet’s “Fox On The Run”. Straddling two generations of titanic “teen” pop collide to bring you the listening equivalent of how space rocks used to go off in your mouth. Elements of The Who and T. Rex bleed into the crunch re-energised for these largely anthem-deficient times. Two ace acts come together for your considerable listening pleasure and a finite example of why everyone should be smitten with these Barcelona-based champions.

Soon as I get a link to where you can hear it, I’ll hook you up. It’ll be available in digital format too but you’ll want to get your paws on the vinyl. That will definitely be available from the illustrious Soundflat in Germany but I’ll let you know where else as soon as I do.

I think we'll go for a pop theme today... whether it's been some time since you saw this or not, it's a heckuva place to start.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

RIP - Iain Burgess (thanks to Ben for the info)

I like this... link via Roy Trakin...

If you're in Edinburgh tonight then head along to the Henry's Lux tribute. It will then head along the motorway/railway line to happen again in Glasgow next Saturday.

This is the third time I started this. Last two, there have been power outages so who knows, maybe this one will go the same way. So, I was saying. Yesterday had a bit of a medical flavour to it. Visited my dad in hospital, Mr Henderson recommended a combo by the name of The Ambulances and saw First Aid Kit in Edinburgh at an altogether too small location.

That said, Sneaky Pete's was not as I remembered it. Could I have seen The Cateran there in a previous life? Definitely Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham and The Queers (not together) upstairs at a place called The Attic. SP’s is very small and holds about 100 with sightlines a bit skew wiff behind the big supporting pillar toward the stage. The sound however was excellent and the audience surprisingly attentive for both acts. Quite a rare occurrence these days. Gibbering and phone antics were kept to a minimum.

Openers, The Last Battle exuded a Paradise Motel/quiet Arctic Fire type vibe. A wee bit Fence Collective but to my mind better than Kaptain Kreosote or whatever that guy’s name is. Actually I know exactly what his name is but I just took the opportunity to drop in a wee funny. Or maybe you don’t think so. I think that TLB come from Edinburgh and there’ a kind of Swede aesthetic to their sound. Bit heavy on the maritime subject matter but most enjoyable and their set was just the right length to leave on a high note.

First Aid Kit are something else. If you’ve heard the album then you get the message but in person this takes on an additional dimension. The two sisters, Johanna is the one with the Miriam Linna bangs, Klara the sort of less communicative one that gets razzed by her sibling all the time are joined by a drummer/percussionist and the sound they can kick up is an organic dream. Taking equipment blips and false starts in their stride like seasoned professionals, their 50 minutes flew by in an instant. Forsaking the equipment to sing “Ghost Town”, the shiver to spine ratio was pretty damn high. They got a lot of attention on the back of their Fleet Foxes cover but their own material is just so much better. I can’t remember if the last song “I Met Up With The King” was the one where Klara did a Keith Emerson flourish and ended the song with her leg on the keyboard a la Jerry Lee. They really ripped it up. They have a charming line in clowning and the chops of champions.

Wrapping with a rousing version of Gram’s “Still Feeling Blue” and a “field” version of “Waltzing With Richard” in the audience. It was over. I urge anybody who can to go to Tuts in Glasgow and catch them tonight because the additional banter that’s likely to ensue should be pretty entertaining in itself. Likely to go on to much bigger things, First Aid Kit comprises a little tonic for what ails all of we.

An extensive UK tour is underway now, check their myspace for details. SXSW after that.

Friday, February 19, 2010

As part of the short series of “ticketing” posts, I got notice that my admission voucher for May 2nd was on its way. Although there were fees and what have you involved with that – it seems almost “fair” compared to what went down the other day. Some of the folks who were excited about seeing FAK have decided not to attend in protest. Being that the place is so small I doubt that'll affect the busy-ness. After all if they sell all the tix then they’ll make 300 quid on top of alleged face value. I hope the Söderberg sisters will get a cut of this revenue.

Unlikely you'll be hearing from me on this side of heading for Edinburgh but you never know...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Brother Duano also sent this...

...for all of you folks who are going to "The London" to see the duo in May. And also those who can't make it. And if you're in the mood for reading, Mr Zaremba's Norwegian travelogue is over at BusyBuddy. Doing his bit for Scandanavian tourism.

Brother Duano tells me that there’s a problem with viewing this here blog on a Mac using Safari & Firefox browsers. Have you experienced this? Intuition tells me that it’s possibly something to do with not having changed to the updated version, but maybe not. The important question is, does anybody know how to rectify this problem or the root cause? Any info would be gratefully processed. It’s bad enough reading stuff from a screen without it being all scrunched up.

It might even be something to do with that facebook “networked blogs” palaver that I found myself getting into. One of those “devil making work for idle fingers (as opposed to hands)” type deals. I apologise for this aesthetic problem and assure you that teams of technicians are working on fixing the problem. Nothing, as I’m sure you know, is ever simple. And even if it was, if anyone could find a way to get into a fankle then that would be me. I have witnessed this browser problem for myself now and will do what can be done to rectify the situ. Even if it means having to ditch this format.

I’ve no idea where we’re at with all that or where the blog is accessed from. Going forward, that’s where efforts will be focussed. There’ll be a fizzogbook presence to up until they start to try and exact a subscription. Myspace, I never or hardly use. Messages do sometimes appear there but anyone who is in regular contact surely knows by now that isn’t a reliable method of contact. Twitter is about to be jettisoned. I don’t do the mobile thing so that is of little point. I did think about starting a series of 140 character album reviews but thus far haven’t got to first base with it and probably never will.

Still smarting from being fleeced with almost £3 in additional guff with regard to the FAK tickets. I would happily give the act £12 a scud. More even but the murky world of add-ons and handling fees – particularly for shows of this size in tiny venues – ensures a revenue stream for the promoter and seller but I wonder how all that breaks down with regard to the artists cut? Likewise, a record store selling tickets is entitled to a cut for their trouble however it pales into insignificance compared to this. Tickets were £8 each - £2.90 (36.25%) each added for the ticket agency. Not a consumer friendly percentage by my estimation.

Just have to chalk it up to a necessary evil in this instance. My own particular opinion on this is to boycott events that use this type of agent. Support the ventures that sell via the record stores, individuals and venues themselves. In essence, those who add a perfectly reasonable small charge per transaction. As rackets go, the sale of tickets tends to dwell at the more heinous end of the street. Body swerve this practice at every opportunity and be critical of it publicly.

I doubt we’ll be able to shame the bastards but it’s worth a skelp.

My planned Glasgow Film Festival antics look likely to be curtailed this weekend. A mix of priorities and necessity I’m afraid. That and a train strike on Saturday which Scotrail reckon won’t have a detrimental effect but have heard that one before. Besides, I need to conserve my energies (and meagre funds) for Stockholm in two weeks time.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Nortonville on Dale Hawkins

In the last instalment, I was threatening to watch the industry bunfight on TV last night. As it is, I sat down with a cup of coffee – drank it – and subsequently passed out before the nonsense began. I vaguely remember waking to see Stringer Bell on the box but then just turned it off. I’d never have been able to pick up the plot thread.

It was a shame because I sort of wanted to see Lady GawGaw as Cheryl Cole would pronounce it. Or maybe I didn’t really. People are horrified when I admit to sort of liking her hit singles. I warmed to her after Eric Cartman “covered” “Poker Face”.

The Friday FAK show is being reported as sold out. This is a tacit boot up the jacksy with regard to arranging to get tickets in advance. In this instance, my confusion about the size of the venue (approx 100) with someplace down there that Laura (Cantrell) played has resulted in probably having to go to Tuts on Saturday. It’s 300+. Lesson learned. Update @ 7.30pm - Not sold out. Entry vouchers only available via everybody's "favourite" ticket dispenser. Paul "The Cat" Johnston made this discovery. And much as it sticks in my craw, I sprang anyway.

Been having some e-mail hiccups again. In addition to not being able to find time to deal with what’s coming in anyway. Add a sprinkling of trying to reduce the computer addiction and it all adds up to a wee, if not entirely insurmountable problem with logistics.

RIP - Lee Freeman (Strawberry Alarm Clock)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A welcome diversion to my routine yesterday and some logistics juggling abetted my much-attempted ambition to stay away from the computer. Sir Tom Phobic (nee Crossley) dropped by and it was a lot of fun to go over war stories , play music and just sort of get a grip on why all this stuff is important. The general wearing down process can seem all-enveloping sometimes but events like this create an often obscured perspective.

If you’re not familiar with The Phobics then you should be but more mature readers may recall Tom’s tenure with Bad Karma Beckons (not Beckhams, clothears). Anyway, this guy has a star-spangled punk rock pedigree and is one of life’s total gentleman. As ACC sez Been there, done that. He also proudly wears the t-shirt.

Something that came back to mind yesterday after talking to Tom was remembering how I used to go and take out loans to publish the magazine and all that guff. It seems unthinkable now and they’d probably chase me. However, yeah it was all funded in that way and even although it never “recouped”, the spiritual return on that investment of time and green has been amazing. That only really becomes clear when time can be spent with fellow “veterans” or the extended family across the planet. Never something that should be taken for granted.

This will swing into sharp focus again when the Stockholm trip goes down in a couple of weeks. That’s something that real life won’t be able to mark with the proverbial ice axe. Here’s to the next summit down in Tom’s “manor” in May. We’ll be the guys at the bar when The Stooges are on.

Of course there’s stuff I SHOULD do but I’m inclined to watch “The Brits” tonight. A wee bit of rhyming slang with regard with what is likely to be portrayed but I’m curious as to just how lamentable it’ll probably be. The hollow self congratulatory hype notwithstanding, I find the concept of how anybody could rate that caterwauling bisom Florence (and her apparatus) anything other than trés poor bordering on pitiful. Either that or the other way about, take your pick.

So here's a couple of things to keep you occupied...

The v. prolific JD King just keeps knocking out the great stuff and Chapters 12 and 13 of metaphors are available for your perusing pleasure.

Isn’t there a publisher out there that recognises that this ought to be an actual book? I realise that publishing is possibly even more shot than the music but really, their equivalent of A&R operatives are overlooking genuine gold here.

A cyber-chinwag with The Chairman (Marty Thau) by Dick Porter is over at Mudkiss.

The fog hasn’t lifted all day here and the sun is on its way down. I’m going to prepare a wee snack and buckle down to suffering for the closest thing to an art that I‘ve got. Hope me ‘eart is up to processing the anger palpitations.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Not a good start to Monday then... this just in from the Rev. Jon Hammer....

RIP - Dale Hawkins

RIP - Doug Fieger (The Knack)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

“Teenage Excitement, Romance and Mystery”. That’s our strapline. It could also be applied to the brand new album by Brijitte West and the Desperate Hopefuls. Ms West, with whom I hope you’re familiar, led a combo by the name of New York Loose. They should have been huge in the days when the record industry had some clout but for some reason it never happened. God knows why. In addition to knocking out a fine line in post-Max’s scuzz rock anthems, Brijitte should have had teenagers of both sexes crying themselves to sleep.

The whys and wherefores are irrelevant at this point because here are 10 great songs that have all the hallmarks of her former band injected with some hybrid vigour. It’s a glam slam, punk rockin’ good time with plenty of cheeky wee shards of her old stomping ground of NYC. Add a dash of Muffs/Fastbacks to the equation and what you’ve got is something that can’t be faked. It’s all about spirit and there are gallons of that here. “Mess of Myself” is the best Runaways song that Joan’s crew never recorded. “Hey Papito” must be a real crowd pleaser when they’re cranking it out in a club, gotta love the rumour of “Girl from Ipanema” that’s sprinkled in here.

I’m thinking that the kids in Spain will love this. They know what they like and this has plenty of that. “All Roads Lead To You” has an infectious, almost Boston-sized riff that’s impossible to get outta your noggin. The skirl of those guitars is largely why the fuck we’re all here. Closing track, “How To Be Good” is a duet with Jesse Malin. I lost track of him when he started hanging out with that Ry*n Ad*ms dufus. Murray is always telling me that I’m missing out and this suggests he’s probably right. This is Suzi Q at her most Jackie DeShannon and would sound manifique blasting out of a little portable tranny and probably equally so on one of those iPod things. Keep an ear peeled for a couple of very tasty little “Chinese Rocks” flourishes also.

Let Brijitte and her gang lift you like the proverbial rocket. The listener will likely remain in orbit for the entire duration of the flight and for some time thereafter. Giddiness is a likely side effect upon descent.

The album is out on Devil's Jukebox on February 22nd.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

First Aid Kit’s “The Big Black and The Blue” has getting pretty decent licks in the press since it came out a couple of weeks ago. Apparently a stooshy came about when these two sisters covered a Fleet Foxes song. One of those internet phenomenon deals we keep hearing about. Let me just state hear and now that I don’t see what the fuss is about with those beardy guys. This is an altogether different kettle of fish, particularly after you get over the baroque nature of the harmonies.

These two young Swedish sisters have made the record that Gillian Welch fans should search out ahead of their heroine making another album. The Appalachian nature of this displaced duo is uncanny. Klara and Johanna Söderberg are the offspring of Lolita Pop man Benkt Söderberg so they have an excellent musical pedigree. This is their first album and I think Witchita have as close as there can be to having a hit on their hands. “Ghost Town” is amazing and no, it’s not a cover of The bloody Specials. It’s a plaintive hymn hot a million miles from something wir ain Ms Laura Cantrell might have come up with. “Winter Is All Over You” and “I Met Up With The King” along with “Hard Believer” al emerge as songs that have elements of excellent acoustic pop in addition to being chestnuts of isolated folk.

First Aid Kit will be playing in the UK from next Friday night. Catch them now before the heather ignites.

Anybody that can even come up with the idea of recording covers of Calum Kennedy, The Ramones and The Damned far less pull it off has to be on to something. You might recall being hepped to Mr Shaw’s “Blitzkrieg Bop” somewhere back yonder? Well, he’s brought his unique twist on acoustic routes through this special “covers” album. It’s free and available from the man himself ahead of his first proper set of self-penned material.

His version of Uncle Tupelo’s “Gun” underlines his ability to strip back and apply an altogether mood to songs that you may consider impossible to consider in any way but the original form. Maybe it’s a symptom of being a Lewis native that has forged his unique ability? Being isolated from the mainland and soaking in all manner of influences. Like the way the Australia interpreted The Stooges and sold them coals back to “Newcastle”. One thing’s for sure, you haven’t heard Franz’s “Take Me Out” performed like it is here.

Iain Shaw’s populist outsider folk is headed for the mainstream pulsebeat, infectious in its simplicity and utterly charming. You need to hear it to believe.

This is the way a show should be planned. Two great bands, together. Promoters, take a good look at this and take a leaf out of this book willya? It's not likely that such a practice could ever happen hear but one lives in misguided hope.

RIP - Richard Delvy

Friday, February 12, 2010

It’s a big weekend for greeting card manufacturers, florists and choccy sellers as they up-end individuals on account of "Valentines Day". Cue Hello Saferide song. I just found out that “Before Sunrise” and "Before Sunset” is The Cameo double bill on Sunday. It reminds me of meeting Julie Delpy with her parents just along from Filmhouse once. I spoke to her and I’m sure she hadn’t a scoob what I was saying but she was nice. I sort of like those movies but don’t fancy attending as a gooseberry.

As befits this time on a Friday, I am brimful of positive intentions. This extends past the normal cut-off point because I’m off until Tuesday so the potential for industrious behaviour knows no bounds. Still, let’s see what’s been achieved in real terms before my strong suit of procrastination kicks in. Time is slipping by and with every passing day it’s difficult to figure how so much got done before. Now even a simple trip to the post office is fraught with problems being that the service isn’t what it once was.

And don’t even get me started on how long it takes stuff to get from A to B or indeed if it makes it to the requisite destination at all. This isn’t just something that’s going down here. There’s a bunch of stuff hasn’t made it here (yet) either. For instance Caroline, who has a show tonight (see flyer above) sent 45s from Norway and guess what? That's right, it appears someone has snaffled them. Not that I blame them for coveting the contents of this package but I will foot their collective arse if I ever discover the culprit's identity.

So yeah, it's a braw, bricht, cold blue sky outside so I'm about to grab me some of that.

See you sometime around nightfall.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Following on from the Moon Duo stuff yesterday, I believe it hits the racks today so go get it and bake in its sonic majesty. These people do it right. They drip feed their mesmeric excursions in short number. Although this could be considered a long player because of the length of the four cuts, it’s really a mini album. But what matters is that it’s wall to wall enriching. The y don’t deal in filler. A lot of guff is spread around with regard to psychedelic music but this swirls into places that your mind ain’t been for a while if ever. “Escape” is a space rock concerto in 4 movements. It sounds like it was conducted by Joe Meek using a bizarre world Tornados (or “oes” if you prefer the American spelling).

“Motorcycle, I Love You” revs in like a theme from a never made ITC show that could have been called Department X. This wax before that letter became synonymous with karaoke and worse. There’s a cinematic aspect to Moon Duo that isn’t entirely present in Wooden Shjips. These are soundtrack pieces waiting to be synched with something pretty far out. “In the Trees” is like Neu cut loose in Badalamenti’s “Pink Room” and they’re bouncing off the walls. The title track imagines Rev/Vega hurtling back through space and time to crash the recording sesh for Al Casey’s “Surfin’ Hootenanny”. Peculiar things be goin’ down on the percussion front.

Apocaleptic music for the mind and body, a leading practitioner* of Rawkology has called it “Kraut Mask Replica” *. It's quite a squall alright.

* “Kraut Mask Replica” is a trademark of Dr Steve Hesske of Havre, Montana.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Gracias Marcela (via facebook). It'll all be kicking of in your place tonight!!

“Best value”. That’s another expression that rips my knitting. It’s used as a smokescreen to trick people into thinking that’s what is delivered. Invariably it’s another erosion of trust. A further devaluation of language to cajole a sale. I heard some arsehole on the radio gabbing on about it this morning. An offensive strain of blah used to puff up some empty target strategy. To make some other duffer look good and so it continues up to cloud base. Quality as a spiritual entity is all but gone. It’s all about cutting corners. Creating a façade. Guaranteed obsolescence. What was it I heard recently? “A recession is a hiatus during an extended period of growth”. All well and good as that relatively harmless sounding statement is fired of to illustrate that we’re actually in a shallow depression. Which part of that is expected to snap the world out of its freefall?

I almost never do anything on myspace because all the daft graphics that people use to adorn their pages caw the heck out of my system. Facebook is for having a chinwag and/or a laugh. I don’t do mafia wars or any of that crap and draw the line at Li’l Green patch and Li’l Blue Cove (despite my aversion to seafood). I’m not inclined to add any apps or join a campaign where a sausage roll can attract more followers than Cheryl Cole.

I have no quibble with that particular Geordie lass and besides, it depends on what kind of SR is being touted here. Is that stated anywhere? Trying to regain a semblance of real life as opposed to that of a drone is high on my agenda. By the time that the days come to stretch out properly then maybe it’ll become fact.

Until then, bobbing and weaving in addition to crashing and burning is probably in order. I was mentioning yesterday that I’ve heard some utter guff lately. This does not include tuneage by The Primevals, Ms Brijitte West, Pascal nor Moon Duo. Dr H provided a portal to that today and I’m just about to partake of my initial blast of that particular delicacy.

I think that this and yesterdays sermon pretty much sum up the state of this particular rickety nation. No more pontification is forecast.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

I haven’t seen this performance by “The Who” that took place during the Superbowl. Nor do I really want to. However, the fact that it maybe wasn’t up to scratch seems to have surprised and even horrified people. Are individuals really still so naïve as to think that any semblance of glory can be retained by a couple of guys who patently didn’t do what they sang about all those years ago? I remarked to a colleague this morning about how none of us are getting any younger. A couple of stark examples of this have presented this to me in IMAX terms these past few days.

The “live” performance is a peculiar beast. You’re never sure who is doing it for real or who is miming. There are two aspects to this. Making the people who are believe and react, to entertain them. We’ve all been at shows with hairy sound and all kinds of problems but it rises above and becomes an experience. Then there’s the almost mechanical, wheel on – wheel off “performance” that never differs. This is more akin to a theatre production with a very slim margin for any possible error. The latter seldom results in rousing the rabble. When I see the barrier between an act and the audience in most venues, it automatically makes my heart sink.

Rock’n’roll and health and safety are like oil and water. If you extract the “danger” then chances are that the ignition required will fail to take place. I feel the same about lengths of set and the number of bands on any given bill. My own opinion is that there should be not more than two bands. Any more than that and it qualifies as a festival. And also, do 20 or 25 minutes and leave me wanting more. Don’t risk 35, because chances are that it ain’t happening. This may be interpreted as harsh but fuck it. Let’s have that line in the sand be recognised because time, despite what Mick Jagger claimed übermoons ago, is not on the side of any of us.

It is the most precious commodity known to mankind and the supply is running out. Conserve it and use it wisely. No point in concerning ourselves with the pros and manifold cons of the new facebook format. We have to deal with it or shut the bloody thing off.

Almost as irritating as the unsolicited links and mp3s I get sent are the URLs that I send to myself. At the time with all the good intentions of reading them only to be deleted 3 weeks later when I realise that if I do that then what about the others. Trying to be selective is all very well but it doesn’t work for me. My head seems to be a lot more scrambled these days. Yes, I realise that might come as a shock – followed by the question – how could it be?

Writing these days too provides cause for concern because I’m all written out. Sometimes it’s easier than others but essentially I am pathologically opposed to trotting out the same information each time. This manifests itself in log jams. It tests loyalties and ultimately responsibility. Not that I have much experience of the latter recently.

Obligation has no significance in objectivity. It’s a bit like compromise. The problem with so much stuff these days is that nobody is prepared to offer opinion for fear of causing offense. Or appearing to go against the preferred tide. This isn’t a good foundation. Subjective objectivity on the other hand is something that always comes in useful. That and only kicking something to death in print to create a perspective. Ha ha.

I’ve heard some unbelievably average albums and "music" recently and some that I really, in all honesty, can’t bring myself to feature in any way shape or form. There are others that I want to do something with but haven’t come up for air. There’s no schedule – it all just happens. Sometimes the queue can be jumped. Let’s just leave it at that. You don't grudge a guy in his dotage that - surely?

Sort of went off on several there, must have been needing to vent...

Mr Spence wishes it to be known...

"The Brutes are outta hibernation and tearing up THE CAVE at the Flying Duck, Glasgow this Friday (12th Feb). Headliners are the Blackbirds - a Beatles covers band.

Feel free to come w/ polystyrene rocks in yer pockets, and
re-enact Johnny Ramone's visit to Shea Stadium for the real Beatles back in the day! Even tho' it's a club night, bands are on pretty early (8 til 11).

So come on out and stamp on a Beatle!!!"

The inimitable Roy Loney is in Spain this week with The High Risers.

El Sol tomorrow night!!

Monday, February 08, 2010

My mind has been churning over and all roondaboot this past few days and the upcoming short jaunt to Stockholm can’t come quick enough. It should be quite a gathering and a top event. A lot of effort has gone into making it a real cool night (revisited). Three weeks from this coming Friday. Bit of scooting about to be done tonight so this will be brief.

Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. offers more quick draw Rodeo Bar action this week, pardner! No need to check your shootin' irons at the door, neither...

RODEO BAR / 375 Third Avenue
(at the corner of 27th Street) in ol' Manhattan /
Two shiny, silver plated shows, from 10pm sharp until 12:30am / No cover!

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

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Very excited about the imminent release of the new album by The Bambi Molesters. Coming this week on Croatia's Dancing Bear label with a Glitterhouse version for Europe coming later (this?) month.

So we’ve been to-ing and fro-ing between Australia and Sweden these past few days. Sadly not physically but that’s the plus of this interweb thing, you can be someplace else in seconds. Heading back down under then and The Soul Movers “On the IN Side” that Career put out toward the end of ’09. This is a superior brand of what The Detroit Cobras are doing. These folks aren’t relying on mining obscure gems.

Their originals feel lived in and Lizzie Mack’s voice is a warm, honeyed instrument that just sits right. She reminds me of Frankie Miller. The Soul Movers count Deniz Tek and Pip Hoyle among their number. This is showing signs of another side of Detroit than what you’re used to hearing them play. I’m not sure what the story is with regard to live shows but I think they were in Spain fairly recently. This stuff would sound pretty damn sweet spilling out of the El Sol sound system for sure.

There are no fancy production tricks just an obvious traction with their roots and it sounds like they had a good time laying these tracks down. If they could somehow get on Jools Holland’s TV show, they’d be on the fast up elevator.

The Intercontinental Playboys (note – not incontinent) “Hymns of the Flesh” is a recent addition to the I-94 Bar canon. It’s unashamedly sixties-ish with a constant Hammond flourish to punctuate that. Fans of latterday Cramps and “Bad News” period Fuzztones will dig these guys. They’re not trying anything fancy and contrary to popular belief, the keyboard motif does not make them sound like the fucking Stranglers. They’re not out to change the world here.

“The Maestro’s Shadow” reminds me of The Johnnys and let me tell you, that’s no bad thing on a Sunday afternoon when the logistics of the next few days are about to descend. The Playboys could easily have been added to “A Real Cool Time Revisited” and passed off as a Swedish combo from the mid-eighties. That’s a compliment by the way.

And finally for your listening pleasure, The Hitmen’s expanded “Tora Tora DTK”. The latest instalment in the Savage Beat resurrection of their catalogue, it includes their “Moronic Inferno” album and a host of extra gear that displays exactly that these guys were the antipodean Dictators. To the extent that Chris Masuak’s “Cowboy Angel” mini album even sounds like The Del Lords. I hadn’t heard this stuff before. “Tora Tora” itself is one of the great live rock’n’roll records. Up there with “On Your Feet Or On Your Knees”.

The band was writing songs that should have swept the world like those of AC/DC. I’m not sure what happened. Maybe there were no videos for MTV or maybe it’s just another case of not being able to see the wood for the trees. “Didn’t Tell The Man” sounds better to these ears than any old Clash bollocks you might care to recommend. They even did a cracking version of Shakin’ Street’s “Solid as a Rock” and also “Shake Some Action” way before it was hip to do so. That Barman, he’s a busy one because there are extensive liner notes here that explain exactly why The Hitmen are an important commodity. They’re another one of the bands that made it possible for you to see The Stooges. They never stopped being “Rock’n’Roll Soldiers”. Not ever. They’re limbering up to play shows around their homeland in April with Niagara. You’d be a fool not to see them.

“Treat Me Like Dirt” is an oral history of punk in Toronto and beyond by Liz Worth. It’s an exhaustive tome that goes into the minutiae. It can do this because of the book’s “two column and small font” format. Edited by our pal, Gary Pig Gold – no stone is left unturned. It’s taken me a while to get through it because of the conversational nature of how the various individuals portray what happened. Much of it centres on the destructive nature of The Viletones and in particular Steven “Nazi Dog” Leckie who may have benefited from a good hard kick up the arse at the time. Countered by the more conventional nature of Teenage Head’s relationship with bands like The Dolls and The Groovies, Ontario's scene seemed to mushroom in much the same order as it did in other major cities across the world. Then there was the more avant-rock that Simply Saucer was building. Attempts to acclimatise them to the burgeoning movement were fruitless. I guess it would have been like putting MX80 Sound on at the 100 Club.

In essence, it had more to do with what was happening in the UK than NY per se. This continuum was much more punk. The music was angry and unperturbed by what would eventually become new wave. The Ugly lived up to their name too. I always thought that they were like a proto-oi band but listening to then now, it’s a lot more Alice Cooper/Dead Kennedys. I don’t think that I ever heard The Curse. Some years ago, the Other People’s Music imprint issued a bunch of collections of recordings by some of these bands. I imagine that they’re still available if you scour the web. They don’t seem to be available from that label anymore. The B Girls who also feature, had a similar set "Who says Girls Can't Rock" too.

Anyway, this digest – published by Ralph Alfonso’s Bongo Beat Books – is the best example of its type since Brendan Mullen’s “We Got The Neutron Bomb”. It documents the years 1977 – 1981 in forensic detail with possibly way more information that is absolutely necessary but it’s interesting to read how it chimes with what was happening here for instance.

Don Waller recently, correctly, noted that many of the histories that are becoming available are being put together by people who either weren’t there or that hardly had a ringside seat. This one is the work of people who were in the trenches. They fought in the war that was supposed to put an end to stuff like Muse. Shells raining overhead, the whole nine yards, respect is due above and beyond.

“Treat me Like Dirt” is available in the UK from Proper Books. Or go direct to Bongo Beat.


(info via Mark A. Pyskoty's facebook)

This is great. It includes The Dictators and the word "galumphing". Not together I hasten to add.

"my name is john martin and i am putting on art exhibition in mono bar in glasgow on feb 11. the opening night part is on that date and starts at 8pm along with a reggae disco and collection for haiti disaster commitee-free event. the theme is mostly pop art inspired tributes to musical heroes such as ALAN VEGA - POISON IVY - SCOTT WALKER - B.A.D along with early primal scream gig posters (1984-1987) and posters from a mid 80s club called SPLASH 1 where the likes of SONIC YOUTH-23 SKIDOO-WIRE performed-hope you can list this piece of info -much appreciated-thanks john m. "


RIP - Sir John (Johnny) Dankworth

Saturday, February 06, 2010

RIP - Ian Carmichael

Cork, Dublin, Belfast... look lively!

It had been hoped that today would have been a case of playing catch up. Things however, have not gone to plan and circumstances prevail that aren't entirely conducive to concentration. Shit, like it used to say on Axl's t-shirt, happens.

“Up North/Down Under” is the subtitle of Volume 1 of Bootleg Booze’s “Bootleg Series”. Obviously the contents are not illicit but like a strain of moonshine, it’s damn strong stuff. As the title suggests, Sweden and Australia’s raucous-est upcoming acts slug it out with the liner commentary supplied by Dave Champion and Craig “The Barman” Regan. You’ll be aware that this label only deals in the highest octane sonic firewater.

The common denominator is varying degrees of sounding like they were born in the Motor City. Detroit style rock is very much the order of the day and that’s pretty much a staple constituent of the finest gear from these territories. The Sewergrooves “Easy to Pretend” sound strangely like Franz Ferdinand might if they’d discovered the SRB. It’s difficult to figure what band comes from where, such is the continuity of spirit. There might be a hint of an accent here and there but when the vocals are being screamed rather than “sung” over a consistently boss racket then the lines get a little blurred here and there.

The emphasis here is on rock. Spelled R-A-W-K. Never lumpy, always blazing - of particular note I think the tracks by Leadfinger, Sure Fire Midnights and Rio Grande will tickle you, as will Sator’s take on The Weirdos “I’m Plastic”. It’s more “Hollywood” than Ann Arbor and they were “made to last” alright. The more astute will note the latter straddling the then of yesterday’s comp with the now of “Up/Down”. It’s hardly comfortable on the turntable until it’s time to flip the beastie over.

I realise these things don’t just come together overnight, or from under a gooseberry bush but wonder what’s in store for Volume 2?

Friday, February 05, 2010

I found myself doing the facebook "networked blog" thing yesterday for some reason. Apparently I can "invite" 20 folks at a time to join but I know what a pain in the ass these "become a fan" messages are. Rather than add to any fb stress, I figured that I'd mention it here - like I did on fizzbang yesterday - and if you want to get on board then you can.

I won't be canvassing hard and sending message after message attempting to wear you down. There are people out there that do that. You'd think that after attempt #10 that they'd get with the program. But no.

Here's the link...

I guess it was sometime around 1982 when I got to be aware of the emerging Scandinavian penchant for garage rock. It took a side road off the punk highway and created a strain which matched Australia for passion and authenticity. Often it would pick up on additional influences and styles that would set it aside from just being reconstructed or merely authentic. The people who played this music weren’t throwbacks or wannabe “cave teens”. These kids had a taste for the hard stuff and they played it fast, loud and loose but never necessarily in that order.

This anthology maps the nascent genealogy well and kicks off with The Nomads version of “I’m Five Years Ahead Of My Time”. They were the pathfinders who kicked the stable door open. The cut of their jib was evident seeing as to how their first release was two songs by a combo by the name of The Sonics. Rock’n’roll archaeologist Four-Eyed Thomas resurrected ancient knowledge long considered lost and in putting this project together has brought the cycle back full circle. There have been several generations of solid Swedish sounds and somehow, this is the logical “rattle and roll” follow up to “Searching For Shakes”. A 2-disc (or bundled download) selection of choice cuts that might inspire or just plain re-ignite your faith in what a good old racket (as in noise) is capable of. It makes me think of our departed pal, Lennart.

It hardly seems possible that much of this stuff is more than a quarter century old. It was The Cramps and Panther Burns that unlocked the possibilities and lit the fire. Nuggets, the Pebbles and Back from the Grave series and other comps recycled relics from the past and this continues that legacy. "A Real Cool Time Revisited" documents a juncture when there were no borders. These bands stormed the battlements and their music reverberated around the world.

Sweden has always boasted a far and away more fertile scene that that perpetrated here by the like of Creation. The jangle and twang never came over as studied. You could never stage-manage a force of nature like The Stomachmouths. The Backdoor Men and The Crimson Shadows displayed a fervour that was like Bomp magazine come to life. The Sonic Walthers “No Lies” is like the Hoodoo Gurus channelling Slade. Remember, all of this was happening when the UK was lapping up shite like Bauhaus. “When I Get Home” by The Hijackers is simply one of the great 7” singles by anyone from anyplace. If you haven’t had the pleasure then it’s right here. And they were real teenagers too.

Union Carbide Productions was another combo that wasn’t afraid fly their Stooge flag even when Iggy didn’t. They sounded dangerous then and they could still eat and spit out The Jim Jones Revue who are more or less peddling a much lesser ramalama. The BottleUps gave us the one and only Robert Johnson whose surf and destroy guitar action continues to light up the galaxy. He’s using technology to mutate the form these days but I think his battleplan is pretty much on track. The world will catch up with him one of these days, like they never did with Problem, a big RJ influence. Thinking Wray as opposed to Dale.

"Carry On" by The Public Vein on Garageland Records (from Umeå) always reminded me of Scotlands own Primevals and how they translated The Gun Club’s off kilter blues. Sator’s “Pigvalley Beach (remix)” is The Ramones vs Sigue Sigue Sputnik on a deserted landet wasteland. The Leather Nun’s “Primemover” is no relation to that of Zodiac Mindwarp but it does predate Marilyn Manson by a good many years. I recognise that “can you feel it?” mantra. Ha ha.

So I could spoil the whole enchilada by jabbering on but you’ve seen the tracklist. It was a very male domain back then. I think that the only girl involved is Anna Nystrom who was in The Stomachmouths? Or was there a gal in The Pushtwangers? I don’t recall. Please feel free to correct me or add info in the comments section. This twofer offers a bloody fine ride back in time and it never ever sounds backdated in that “what was I thinking?" sense you get when you tackle “Sandanista”.

Måns, Johnny, L-P and Mr 4-ET himself did a bang up job in assembling this time capsule.

All that remains to be said is that Debaser in Stockholm is the place to be when this will all take human form for an all star revue Real Cool Night Revisited on March 5th 2010.

See you in church.

More Oil City screenings...

Vue Romford 05/02/2010, Filmhouse Edinburgh 5-7/02/2010, Empire Basildon 08/02/2010, Phoenix Arts Leicester 11/02/2010, City Screen Cinema City, Norwich 16 - 18/02/2010, Aberystwth Arts Centre 03- 04/03/2010, Phoenix Arts Leicester 09-10/03/2010, Glasgow Film Theatre 20/03/2010, MacRobert, Stirling 14/04/2010

Kogar's at it again, this time with Slickee Boy Dan. More cool Lux antics.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

As I get ready to turn this blighter off for the night, I recall last February 4th very well. Duglas Bandit called me around 11pm and asked if I'd heard what happened. At that point I hadn't but set out immediately on a mission to prove that it wasn't true. As you know, that mission failed miserably and as it turned out, this time it wasn't a rumour or a mean-spirited lie. So yeah, I've been thinking of this post-Lux world a lot today. Life has gone on of course but it's hardly the same. I'm going to watch TIN4 and I'm not answering the phone. Not tonight.

Click on the image and head over to Kogar's. He has something you'll like!
(Thanks to Nimereht via staysick)

OK, here's the info I was tapping away about earlier...

So I Can Remember, What Made A Wreck Of Me

A year ago today, Lux Interior, the singer in a band that quite literally changed the world and changed the lives of so many of us, died aged 63. It’s some indication of the impact that he and the band he created with his partner and paramour, Poison Ivy had, that one year on tribute events in honour of this great man are taking place all over the world.

If you’re in Scotland on February 20th, cut along to Henry’s Cellar Bar in Edinburgh to tear it and get fucked up in the company of nine of Scotland’s premier combos carrying the torch each giving us 2 or 3 songs from the Cramped canon. We won’t tell you what they are, you have to come and find out.

The Fnords
The Primevals
The Rohypsters
The Pharisees
The Wee Baby Jesuses
Uncle Dad
The Trumpton Radiophonic Workshop

And if that wasn’t enough, there’ll be tunes from Mr Colin D’uff, a raffle for rarities and ephemera, a special memorial CD compilation available for one night only, and a whole lot more…. Don’t push, don’t shove, there’s room for one and all…

Wrong way tickets available on the door (so come early to avoid disappointment) for the pittance just £5.

Lux’s own comments on rock’n’roll and do-gooding notwithstanding, All funds raised go to DEC


last year was a riot.... let's do it all again.... let's get fuuuuucked up!

I'm waiting on the scoop of an event coming up to mark one year of Lux's passing but in the meantime, here's info on a couple of shindigs you may care to take in. Should you be in the immediate proximity of course.


Saturday 6th February.

DJs Tall Paul Robinson & Big Gus will be paying a DeeJay homage to Lux Interior and the music of the Cramps.... (ie we will be playing Songs by The Cramps, and songs they covered etc)

60's garage, beat & pop, soul, mod, girl groups, psychedelia.

11pm til 3am.

Upstairs @ Studio 24, Edinburgh
£6 / £4 students and S24 members.
free before 11.30pm.
next date Saturday 6th March

And, in N. Ireland... The Sabrejets are limbering up.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Are you gonna be there... at this once in a lifetime garage extrav?

Good to see a big turnout at GFT last night for "Oil City Confidential". The satellite link up all went tickety boo also and the "show" was pretty good with the odd lurch into the blues noodle. Alison Moyet was bloody good though from where I was sitting. And he might be a decent moothie player but I can't abide CSM.

With being out on the town last night, things are a little behind. No jokes about bum steers please. I'm getting together some info on celebrations to mark a year since the big fella checked out. Of course we'd rather that he was here but you know that he is really, despite not making the earthly scene. Raise a glass of red tomorrow and play nice.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Feelgoods doc in Glasgow tonight with additional live set by Wilko (notice the K?) so it’s unlikely I’ll be back on here tonight. If any of you folks have Lux tributes or whatever going on over the next wee while, let me know and I’ll put the word out.

Hard to compute that it’s been a year but the calendar presumably doesn’t lie.

... and there's another Wreckless Wradio instalment available for your listening pleasure.

Monday, February 01, 2010

I'm really not in the tid to be spending much time on here tonight/today but if you've dropped by in the hope of finding some entertainment then head over here.

Some really fine, good old music writing.

Jings, JD is serving them Metaphors chapters quicker than I can post them...

Chapter 10 and
Chapter 11