Monday, May 31, 2010

Much of Englandshire and I think the USA are on holiday today I think?

They’ll all be down the pub or wherever. Many of them well blotto by now. However here in the domain of the heathen, it was business as usual. Gazing out from the day prison at the rather cracking looking blue skies but that, as “they” say is how it goes. Sometimes. Most times to my experience although I am pencilled in for a dose of respite this coming weekend.

In a further skewing of time, there was Tony Blackburn on the wireless playing Be*tles records that he’d have spun on his first time out. I’d just gone down the factory and thought been caught in a timeslip. It’s pretty simple to confuse me right about now anyway but I admit to having done a triple take. A Bank Holiday special treat or the sinister shape of things to come at Radio 2? There’s a lot worse out there that TB though but if there was never another Be*tles record aired, would anybody really care? I mean, the hardcore have multiple copies and boxsets, etc., It’s time to maybe give the rest of us a break.

The Edinburgh Film Festival programme launches at noon tomorrow (June 1st) and then I’ll be able to divulge news of a very happening event that will be taking place at that very event.

Nothing much else to report right now and a fair bit of listening to be undertaken plus my back is giving me gyp. Enough to be going on with,

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Robert Coyne’s “Woodland Conspiracy” is an altogether different beastie from “Death Is Not My Destiny” in all but one way. They both include versions of “What A Pleasure It’s Been”. It’s a stripped down, acoustic album. I’m tempted to use an overplayed cliché from the 90’s here but won’t because Rob deserves better than that and he’s just about as far away from MTV fodder as you can get. Not because his stuff isn’t commercial because it is. I mean more because it simply reeks of quality. I can never get away from mentioning Silver Chapter when I consider one of Mr Coyne’s ventures. As mere youngsters they always pushed the envelope.

Real teenagers making grandiose pop music but never in a pompous way, Pete Kember knows what I’m talking about. I’m pretty sure that Rob is sick of me asking him why there’s no one stepping up to the plate to compile that great old gear but I do it anyway. And there was Mean Vincent too. They should have been able to cash-in on that with the name alone. It’s a bit better than Elbow, you have to admit.

So yes, this is another treasure. Available on CD and also vinyl from the Meyer Records imprint. The closer is a version of “Sugar Candy Taxi”, recorded live. It’s a song that Robert wrote with his dad. There’s no big ad campaign or media push to go with this. It would be cool to think that something of such obvious worth would percolate on to the radar of those who need it most. This is what mags like Mojo ought to be raving about but Rob isn’t about to be booking ad space in the hope of making that happen. Always a pleasure to hear, see or hang out with this gent. That remains the whole truth and nothing but.

When I was looking for Silver Chapter, I found this. Britney goes Alan Vega via SSS. For Bill Henderson – The Big Kahuna – out there in Tacoma, WA.

Reading more about this Mojo (Kerrang! and Q) kerfuffle, perhaps there’s some way for a new publication to come together that might make it a priority to look out for the IP of the contributors. Those who populate the blank pages to make it worthy of buying or even just reading. The latest issue with the Waitsy cover is a bit of a stinker, all topped off by a thumbnail review of The Fleshtones Raven comp that is, in my view, written by a philistine. I don't reconise the name of the person.

Still, here is another example of something that is very successful – influential and authoritative even – being sniffed out because of corporate greed. Good music writing is a dying art as I’ve said before. It relies on cut and paste skills and inherent ability not to provide an opinion. While I might not have much time for what’s been in Mojo of late (I never see the other two), I certainly wouldn’t want to hear of its demise. I imagine that Bauer’s most bankable titles may have been diagnosed with a terminal illness as a result of all this.

I’ve turned down “paid” work in recent times because I’d rather that individuals who do this thing to make a living got the gig. It’s flattering to be asked and am under no illusions of possessing any such skills. Anything I do outside of this blighter now is done for the love and appreciation of the subject. I think Brother Joss is the same? All the goalposts have changed since the dawn of the interweb and ownership seems to be the drug of choice for the bean counters in board rooms that come up with this kind of rampant theft.

More power to those who haven’t just signed their livelihoods away.

Further info on the situation...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

RIP - Dennis Hopper

I've been messing about with Brother Patrick's lengthy Kogar interview. Wondering exactly how I can do it justice here without cutting it way down. These blog things aren't really very good for reading longer pieces. In my opinion anyway, mainly because reading off the screen for any length of time really scrambles my peepers. So meanwhile, I'll keep trying to figure out a solution.

Been caught up with other stuff today hence the radio silence. Expecting houseguests too so maybe I can file that as an excuse?

Here's some good news, release date is actually July 27th according to Britta's FB,

Friday, May 28, 2010

Jeez Willis...

RIP - Gary Coleman

Barring any further acts of god, I’ll be far away from here this time next weekend. The excitement is palpable. And until then, there’s a fair amount going on and the probability of houseguests so I need to get my ‘arris in gear. Figured it was the perfect time to float this old favourite that fits a Friday afternoon mood like a glove.


We would like to invite everyone to this Sunday's Monorail Film Club. Selected and introduced by Glasgow-based composer, Craig Armstrong, The Shout by Jerzy Skolimowski is a fairly wild slice of late 1970s British cinema with a robust soundtrack by Tony Banks. The Shout is a strange, disturbing, and elusive tale of a mental patient, Alan Bates, who, having once lived with a tribe of Aborigines, has learned the secret of "the shout," which has the power to kill. Told in flashback during a cricket match that takes place on the grounds of a mental asylum, the film follows Bates's relationship with experimental composer John Hurt and his wife, Susannah York. Bates moves in with the couple, and gradually his disturbing presence takes its toll.

The Monorail Film Club runs monthly at the GFT although this year we are taking a summer break and this will be the last screening until September. You can reserve tickets here: 0141 332 6535. GFT,
12 Rose Street, Glasgow G3 6RB

Sunday 30 May (7.15)
Director Jerzy Skolimowski
Cast Alan Bates, Susannah York, John Hurt UK 1978, 1h26m

Thursday, May 27, 2010

If I was flush (in the wallet dept.) and possessed of more energy then I’d be heading for tonight’s Heavy Trash show at Stereo in Glasgow. As it is, I’m blessed with neither. The physical dragging of my carcass into either town is problematic at the minute. It’s fine once I’m there but the bit in between, particularly the travel, is a hard slog. The last train palaver is just part of it, often like a zoo, and if you’re not pished it can get pretty annoying. I never am inebriated these days and potentially irritable at the best of times. I could drive to Glasgow and Edinburgh but I won’t. It would have to be an emergency and even then I’d consider alternative options first. Being that our public transport sucks, there’s not much room for manoeuvre on that score.

Today is Mr U’s final Thursday in his particular salt mine. Tomorrow he’ll be set free into the wild and will blaze a trail across the planet in due course. I wish him well with whatever presents itself next. This is the guy that connected me to the Swedish mainline some 27-ish of your earth years ago. Thanks man.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It’s official. Nothing is sacred. Today started well with the Annika song and then I got to work and heard about this. Unless they’ve annexed May 26th as an adjunct to April Fools Day then this is true. And look who else is on the bill. Horrible. I feel physically sick at the thought.

Watched the phenomenon known as “The Scheme” last night having forgot to tune in last week. It’s like "Still Game" directed by David Simon. Well not really but it makes Baltimore look like Bearsden. Or a bizzarro world versh of "The Jersey Shore", take your pick. Mr Longmuir described the location as a “methadone metropolis”. There are two ways to consider this – one is that perhaps it’s time to get the exterminators in or the other that it’s “ah pure laugh an’ that”. Possibly the reality is somewhere in between but it’s compulsive viewing. A whole ‘nother world beyond dysfunction in the wilds that's undoubtedly considered some kind of exercise in societal engineering and a finite example of not being able to make something up. I can see the must have T-shirt of the summer, emblazoned with "Dayna's No' A Dafty". Y not ie.

This was a big surprise this morning... thanks Brogues.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Just less than one week of May left and it’s been a sair fecht. Streaking by to some degree and positively crawling in otherwise. I feel like I’m creaking under what ain’t exactly strain but rather a need to re-organise how I go about populating this thing. My pathological mechanism to update every other day needs to be reprogrammed to maybe make it every second day. With some kind of dispensation if something noteworthy comes up. That sounds reasonable, right?

It could be the heat. Or the garden stuff. Or both to some degree. Whatever it is, it’s become blindingly obvious that I’m not equipped to be gallivanting on school nights anymore. It’s not even as if there’s any real inkling of partying. Just some nice civilised hanging out with good people, when the alarm went off at 5.35am this morning, it’s lucky that it was out of my reach because it meant that I had to actually shift my ‘arris to get to it. And by then, it was too late. I was up. Not firing on much beyond a half cylinder but up nonetheless. I feel old. And fucked. Neither of these in a good way but it’ll be different next week. I’ve printed my boarding passes for Barcelona and to paraphrase that old Starship cliché – “Nothing’s gonna stop me (now – within reason)”.

Teetering on the edge of nuclear attack or the world cup. Perhaps the de-evolution of the Euro-economy is steaming your bean. Whatever it is, things sure look like all of our jackets are on shaky nails. No point in mithering about it unduly. In light of what’s happening out in Korea, I figured I’d inject a bit of pop levity and a damn good song to boot. I should try to find “Wrap Up The Rockets” by The Freshies too, get a wee bit of a semi- apocalyptic whoosh going.

There seems to be some activity with regard to building upon the tracks that will become the "new" Joey Ramone album. Not sure when it’s likely to see the light of day but it’ll be cool to hear how it turns out. The most important thing is that we get to hear his voice again, by all (reliable) accounts, the vocal performances are really something. I’ll be keeping at least one eye and one ear out for progress on this. Maybe someone might feel like leaving a comment as to how it’s all progressing, if that’s possible.

And on that note, I’m offsky to listen to the spanking new Lola Dutronic EP that Red Star Digital is about to unleash. Laters...

East Coast USA down to Tejas... they're coming to get you!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Been a bit light on the blog posts over the past week, it’s sort of like a diet. I’m pretty sure you could all use a break from my yattering. Hell, I could use a break from my yattering. Still, a couple or three visitors have noticed that the frequency dropped. That says something about them and also about me but if I get my act together, and take care of the chores, then there might be time to shoot the shizboobah over the course of today.

I saw two of these “touted” bands on TV – The National and Yeasayer. I’d clocked the names and saw the ravings but had never heard (or seen) either. Needless to say I was less than impressed and if those are the future then I want no part of it. There were no redeeming features and I actually had to turn off the TV. What with those and the constipated angst of The Hold Steady, no wonder the kids would rather fouter about with flippin’ video games. There is obviously an appetite for acts that just regurgitate past moods with no soul. It’s like lego music, made outta wee building blocks. Like airbrushed pixels.

You can approximate all you want but that will never ever hold a candle to music like you’ll find on these here releases...

The Dahlmanns debut EP on Pop Detective is just out. It kicks in with a versh of Amy Rigby’s “Dancing With Joey Ramone” and adds that patented Norwegian bubblegum gusto. The 4 songs here run for exactly the length of time that it takes me to drive from here to the car park in Bo’ness. 9 minutes and 42 seconds. I remember the first time I heard the song. It was in Laurie’s Bar in Glasgow when Amy was here with Hazel and the two of them stormed “Domino”. Anyway, Amy had not long written “Joey” and I don’t mind telling you that it choked me right there and then. Subsequently, every time I hear it or play it – I think to myself how it perfectly captures the guy who was our Elvis. It was quite a thrill then to get acquainted with André and Line in Spain last October. When I spun the song at the Wurlitzer, Line told me that they wanted to do the song and they have. They’ve done it justice too.

“I Want You Around” isn’t the Ramones song but it’s a belter. “Holiday Road” is a powerpoppin’ revup of the Lindsey Buckingham song and The Hitmen’s “Didn’t Tell The Man” rounds things off perfectly. Leaving you with bated breath for the album that is coming sometime in the latter part of the year. These kids get it. In addition they’ve got it. And you better grab this while you can. A 7” will be available soon but I’m not sure that it’ll include all these songs so maybe better grab both. Safety copies of great singles should always be considered as an option.

Jack Skuller’s “Love Is A Drum” (BarNone) is a hopped up Marshall Crenshaw-like heck of a debut for a real teenager. It has a nice Knack type crunch to it. You think of kids these days being all about that hippity hop music or whatever but this one seems to have a beat on what makes a short, snappy pop chestnut. This was produced by Daniel Rey, who also plays guitar and bass on it - under any reasonable circumstance – this kid ought to have a big future ahead. The only obstacle as I can see it is that he appears to have actual talent. Ex Fuzztone/Nada Surf (did they split?) man Ira Elliot is on drums. Cheers Daniel.

And around the same age, I finally got a copy of the Magic Kids 45 from Brother Joss. He picked it up on a recent jaunt to Memphis. Several of you will already be familiar with it but on the off chance you’re not and you still have a thing for Spector-esque, Beach Boys abandon then this is entirely your bag. “Hey Boy” sounds like it was made in Bellshill or East Kilbride. That part of Scotland was secretly twinned with Memphis some time ago. You weren’t aware of that?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

RIP - Anna-Lena (Löfgren)

Dean and Britta are doing their amazing "13 Most Beautiful" thing at The Barbican in London on July 30th! If it's possible for you to go, then you have to go.

I think they're in France and Spain over the next few days too.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The weather is supposed to be good this weekend. It’s bloody warm now and Saturday is being billed as "scorchio". We’ll see. These things can turn on what used to be a sixpence. It’d probably be 5p now, which is twice the value. That’s inflation for you though and with wages and everything else in reverse – the impending austerity is set to kick our collective arses. Doing more with less will be the order of the day as we traverse in reverse to doing everything with nowt. Heck though, let's not get all blue about that just yet. Keeping up the theme of the week, thanks to Scott Cornish for supplying this...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I purposely didn’t post anything else yesterday because I didn’t want anything to detract from the Ramones clip(s). I mean, you did look at the other part – right?

Having linked this thing up to facebook, I can’t figure out the intermittent manned in which “posts” appear over there. Sometimes two days later at the moment. It’s no big deal, merely a little annoying. I expect instantaneous blanket coverage, don’t you? That’s easily preferable to privacy surely. What is that these days anyway? The whole methodology of contact has changed. The only time I can get to the post office anymore is on a Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. I used to be in there every day.

The volume of actual mail has reduced to a trickle across the board. That which comes in is a high percentage of junk mail and circulars. And the semi-recent shift to pricing in relation to size and bulk has really ramped up the cost. It was originally meant to rationalise not fleece. Or maybe those are the same now. In this day and age of drones being surgically attached to mobile phones and other devices, most no-one notices that they’re being turned over at every opporchancity. It's been a slow news day and there's something I need to do so I bid you farewell until sometime tomorrow. At that point, I might feel like yapping.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

It’s Joey’s birthday, remember him this way! Thanks to KP for finding this...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

It’s Joey’s Birthday Bash time again. The annual event takes over Irving Plaza to raise money in remembrance of the big fella. Loosely related, Martin sent me this Lauren Laverne thing you might enjoy. She always struck me as being an enthusiast, irrespective of whether you agree with her or not.

I’m just about to consign a large box of Mojo magazines to the recycling bin. Attempts at online dating to pair them up with prospective suitors have failed and I need to reclaim the space. It makes me a little sad to be honest but it’s all part of a process that I’m not altogether in control of. I need to be more ruthless where clutter is concerned but I don’t think it’s in my DNA. Once a pack rat… but I am trying to change that. I don’t ebay anymore because it’s riddled with shysters for the most part. Just yesterday I learned of a scam that was pulled on an acquaintance of mine in recent times who is rightly out for blood.

Anyway, I gotta go and grab that box. I’m psyching myself up, switching this off and heading for that big blue bin. In many ways it would be easier to deposit myself in there and let someone else have to bother about all this other crap.

Monday, May 17, 2010

This is real. I didn't make it up but I was pretty thrilled to learn that this thing actually works. My thanks to Filippo for agreeing to let me reproduce it... although I think we'd like to see the picture, right?


I just wanted to thank you. I have been following and loving Shonen Knife for 20 years but weren't it for your account of Glasgow I doubt I would have gone to see them. As previously mentioned on the comments of your blog I live in Italy and the whole trip to Barcelona (trains + flight + crappy hotel) cost me more than 300 euro, which is quite a hole in my pocket. But it was totally worth it. Totally.

The venue was small (according to a sign the capacity was 300) and far from being full. Yet they gave everything, played an amazing show and even did an encore. Local people explained to me that it was the normal turnout for a gig of this kind in Barcelona, still I was hoping for a much bigger audience. They deserve to be huge.

On the other hand that allowed me to be so close to the stage that when Ritsuko was headbanging on the edge her hair touched my face and Naoko was just a few steps away. I was happy like a child throughout the whole set.

Before the show they were locked out of the club with the public for a while (it was quite surreal). I could not resist and I asked them to take a picture together and exchanged a few words. On the picture I have an unbelievably stupid grin on my face. I'd never thought I'd be such a fanboy at 40. They were incredibly kind and after the show they were selling their own CDs and signing them for everyone.

It was the best show of my life (a spot previously held by Arthur Lee) and a very, very happy night.

So thank you again. You were pretty convincing ;-)


The state of this particular nation is relative disarray. Still it could be worse and progress was made on the landscaping front. I call it landscaping but it was really tidying the drive, mowing the lawn (neither of these are euphemisms), that kind of thing. Tonight, there will more manual labour out there. It’s the bane of my life but sadly necessity, because no-one else is going to do it. Gardening, in any form is not the new rock’n’roll, going out, in or a substitute for black. It is a soul-sucking exercise in tedium. It could well be an art form in the hands of others, not me.

The only TV I watched over the weekend was Peter Bogdanovich doc about Tom Petty that aired on BBC Four. It was really good and despite lasting nearly 4 hours it was an attention grabber. Would have been good to have had a wee bit more of how it all blew up in the UK but otherwise I found it both informative and entertaining. And I never dropped off during it so that’s perhaps the highest praise of all.

Wish I had the energy to go and see The Dum Dum Girls at Stereo tonight. The album is good and the lead gal’s name is DeeDee Dum Dum. I like that, another combo that subscribes closely to the blueprint of the Shop Assistants. There have been a slew of those lately.

Ronnie James Dio’s exit was a bit of a shock. It was just a week ago tonight when Naoko Knife namechecked him prior to launching into “Muddy Bubble Hell”. It was a surprise that he was 67 too. It’s difficult to get a beat on exactly how old people are, particularly when one is particularly aware of their own advancement in years. Still if your number is called, these “hail satan/devilhorns” have to count for something. Can’t say I was ever a fan but he was a character, and we need more of those, not these chinless divots that seem to become popular these days.

This ash cloud thing is getting to be a right pain in the ‘arris. Being that it seems to be a regular occurrence, I’m wondering how it’ll affect my quick hit and run on Barcelona in a couple of weeks. Hopefully not at all because I don’t want to be fannying around checking with the airline. Paranoia and an expectation of inconvenience are combining to bug me. With every news report I see, my toes curl ever further.

It’s a year ago tomorrow that the Rev. Lennart Persson left the theatre. Hardly seems possible. It’s also Sir Eric Goulden’s birthday – many happy returns to this “alien of extraordinary ability” as it states on his US visa. As it is he should be given the freedom of the whole galaxy, not just a poxy country. Eric and Amy have a show scheduled for “Stereo” in Glasgow on Friday September 17th. Verily a cause for celebration. Do this by ordering a copy of “Two-Way Family Favourites” in advance or hold on to your dosh until you see them play. Or both. While you tune into episode 26 of the radio show!

"Elvis Elvis" is a seven song celebration of The King that comes courtesy of Angel Corpus Christi. It’s an ambient, quasi-Badalamenti take on the Presley oeuvre and I can pretty much guarantee that you haven’t heard these songs like this before. Aficionados of David Lynch soundtracks should dive right in because the atmos is just the way you like it, tweaked rather than twisted.

The way this all came together is something of a departure from the normal ACC way of working, there are many more instruments and the accordion isn’t so pronounced. It’s a little disorienting in that respect. “Teddy Bear” (you’ve already seen the video – right?) is nothing short of breath-taking. With its torchy, trip-hoppy doo-wop-a-bop pacing, it’s a little Lola Dutronic in construction. Man, it’s great to have her back on the airwaves. “Don’t” has a spare, red-room, after midnight jazz feel. I think this would be Dale Cooper’s favourite cut. “Are You Lonesome Tonight” reminds me of Berlin transposed to some Parisian after hours joint.

A perfectly formed little number resplendent in a nifty Bob Basile slipcase, available now from CD Baby and all the download culprits.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

RIP - Ronnie James Dio

Youtube link via Mans P Månsson...

Wow, I'd never seen this before. Links via The Bambi Molesters facebook page. During Part Two, Lux declares them as the best Surf band he's ever seen. Imagine, just imagine how great they must be 12 years down the pike?

The Bambi Molesters are always on heavy rotation here in the bunker. They make music for every occasion and they make it count. Perhaps they’re not the most prolific combo on the block but on the avenue where nature takes its course, the follow up to “Sonic Bullets” is out now on Dancing Bear. It’ll be unleashed on the remainder of Europe by Glitterhouse in a matter of days.

“As the Dark Wave Swells” is another collection of main title instro-phonic action from the intersection of cinematic and surf. There's nothing incidental about this gear. Themes from imaginary films performed in the spirit of a picture being worth at least a thousand words. A soulful twang that swings. Some of the titles are begging to be made into flicks – "The Kiss-Off", "Wrong Turn" and "Panic Party" to name but three. And then there’s “Lazy Girls Hangout”.

“What are they then, another surf band?” is often the question. “No” (rolls eyes) will be my short reply and then when I put it on the listener tends to understand completely. Eyes tend to bug out and toes will get to tappin’. It would take a right dose of lughole constipation to register anything other than complete surrender in my opinion. The Bambi’s are just very good at what they do. They take their own sweet time and they do it right. Pure and simple.

There should be some euro shows in October, Dalibor tells me that clubs weren’t keen on booking shows during the impending football daftness. This news made me hate the game even more than I do already and those of you who know me will know that’s a monolithic bowl of dislike. Still, long after that crap is over with – The Bambi Molesters will be there to delight and confound, sometimes both at once. Such is the nature of their pristine composition. A smidge over 38 minutes of outright dynamite.

Available on vinyl and CD (and download too I guess).

Saturday, May 15, 2010

It’s that time again. Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby are headed for the USA. They’ll be carrying copies of their brand new “Two-Way Family Favourites” album. A collection of songs by other artists turned out in the couple’s inimitable style. This will not be available in stores although I’m sure that if you run such a thing then something could be arranged. Sadly you won’t be able to pick it up with your groceries as far as I know. I’m perfectly aware that the world would be an entirely better place if you could. So please, make a date in your diary and go to the nearest show. You don’t get an opporchancity like this every day.

Tuesday June 1st - Private event
Wednesday June 2nd - Bop shop presents at The Lovin’ Cup - Rochester, NY
Friday June 4th - The Bowery Electric (w/ McGinty & White) - New York
Saturday June 5th - Private event
Sunday June 6th - Sixth St. House Concert - Media, PA
Monday June 8th - The Saint - Asbury Park, NJ
Tuesday June 9th - Black Cat - Washington DC
Wednesday June 10th - Berkeley Cafe - Raleigh, NC
Thursday June 11th - Star Bar - Atlanta, GA
Sunday June 13th - Private event - Houston, TX
Tuesday June 15th - Mohawk - Austin, TX
Wednesday June 16th - Bryan Street Tavern (w/ Salim Nourallah) - Dallas, TX
Friday June 18th - Schuba’s (early show) - Chicago, IL
Saturday June 19th - House concert - Milwaukee, WI
Sunday June 20th - 400 Bar - Minneapolis, MN
Thursday June 24th - Majestic Cafe - Detroit, MI
Saturday June 26th - Cafe Nine (w/ McGinty and White) - New Haven, CT
Sunday June 27th - TT The Bears (w/ McGinty and White) - Cambridge, MA

All the dates with additional links to the clubs, tickets, etc are right here.

RIP - Tom O'Grady

Very sorry to hear about this. I was introduced to Tom a year ago past the recent Record Store Day by Duglas Bandit and was immediately struck by his passion for music. And it turned out that we had a whole bunch of mutual friends and acquaintances. So we spent the best part of an afternoon banging on about this and that. You know, the kind of instances that remove you from the day to day bullshit and that makes everything worthwhile. It's always a trip to meet a like-minded traveller. My condolences to his family and friends.

Friday, May 14, 2010

That Friday feeling, another week down, so much to process and do, so (relatively) little time. Here are a few things for you to have a look at while I consider my options as to what to put off until later or tomorrow at the earliest.

JD King is coming to the end of Metaphors. Just one final chapter after this.

Also on a literary plane, Joe Bonomo has a 33.3 tome on AC/DC’s “Highway To Hell” available now. This guy is on a roll. Much as I’m itching to make a snack pun there, I shall withhold that urge in the interests of trying not to be a pillock.

A forensic study of the Los Saicos Munster box , Jon Mojo Mills is flogging one...

Alan Vega on the blower Pt 1.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Audiences are a funny thing these days. Outside of the hyped acts, it’s always difficult to call but I expected Tut’s bar to be a little busier last night in the prelude to their Chuck Prophet show. It possibly GOT busy but I was on the train home by that time. Anyway, Iain Shaw landed an opportunity to play downstairs prior to that event. In theory, it was a good opportunity to be seen by people who would like what he does. In actual terms all it gave him was perhaps the idea to dub the sound of a puggy (fruit machine to those not familiar with the term) into the backdrop of his next recording.

Still, he valiantly worked through a three-quarter hour set and displayed that what he’s doing works. I’m hoping that the subliminal effect of hearing an acoustic version of “Sonic Reducer” will have intrigued a handful of the stragglers to try and find out what was going on. In retrospect, it might have been a good idea for them to chalk the fact that he was playing on the door like they do with the main room event. Mr Shaw is a one-off alright.

No further gallivanting in the cards then, certainly not pre-Barcelona. And no TV. Although I might bend that a little to watch “Treme” on DVD but would prefer to leave that until the weekend. Ah, the weight of the world comes in many forms.

I read something today about how this new regime will affect culture. This is possibly the least of our worries. It’s likely to ignite something approximating the punk rock wars of the late-70’s but who knows what form that might take. Channelling the pissedoffness will be an artistic endeavour that will percolate amidst the discontent and unrest that must surely on the horizon. You can’t have the Olympics AND culture. I say “you” because I couldn’t give a rat’s bahookie about any kind of sporting antics, least of all that bullshit. And the ConDem’s (the n has been dropped for some reason) have just agreed to take a 5% pay cut. Hands up who reckons that the proles will be encouraged to do the same, or at least settle for no increase. The country is in trouble don’tcha know?

The whys and wherefores of possible recompense via ex’s (as in expenses) remains to be clarified. Several people have suggested that I give them (the new government) the benefit of the doubt. Not possible. They can prove me wrong, right. The hatches are set to be batoned down and I hope we all emerge from the austerity sound of mind and body at least.

Tomorrow is Friday, we’re approaching the city limits of upbeat already. Some garden tidying of a graphic nature may ensue...

Suite 69 + Les BOF!

Friday 14th May, The Roxy, Roxburgh Place, Edinburgh. Doors 9pm. Band on at 10pm. £6 DJs Big Gus (The Go-Go) & Marquis De Jardin (Floral Riot)

Now in its 8th year, SUITE SOIXANTE NEUF
is the ultimate Swinging Sixties French Discotheque, bringing you the Ye-ye sounds of Serge Gainsbourg, Johnny Hallyday, Brigitte Bardot, Jacques Dutronc etc. Plus: Fresh from finishing their debut album Les BOF! play authentic French garage beat. On stage at 10pm. Expect the usual psychedelic lightshow, video and wall hangings.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Expectation, by my reckoning, should always be low. This reasoning has served me pretty well over recent years. All of this post-Election stress disorder has ramped up this disposition. It looks like the cast of a sitcom/soap opera is now running the country. I’m toying with the prospect of no TV or radio for the next while because, to quote Popeye, “I can’t stands no more of it”. The horse-trading that has been going on will end in tears and I don’t want it to be yours or mine. Working on the assumption that we’re doomed, there’s everything to play for. The daftest wee country in the world is all set for a beating and as Hannibal Smith of The A-Team (don’t get me started about the remake) once said, “It’s always darkest just before it goes completely black”. And we ain’t talking African American.

I only just came to the realisation that Tigerfest will have started.

It’s another one of those evenings where there’s about a half hour to turn things around but I’m not expecting this to be a late night. I’m too fecking old for two of those in one week *.

* Different rules may apply if I’m in another country (includes Englandshire)

Anyway, Iain Shaw – downstairs in Tut’s between 7 and 8pm. maybe see you there? Pre-Chuck Prophet entertainment. No Cover charge. You may well be able to score copies of his albums too. Seems like a primo deal. Won't promise that I won't be back later but I'm angling not to be on anything like the last train. Wish me luck...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

There’s never that much on at Tuts anymore that I feel like seeing but having said that, there are a few things coming up over the course of this month. Iain Shaw is playing in the bar downstairs prior to the Chuck Prophet show tomorrow night and wir ain Sir Jon Graboff is due with Neal Casal on the 24th.

Got there last night about 5 minutes after Nanobots had started. Had no idea there was a third act and hoped there wouldn’t be but it did seem unlikely. This duo take offcuts from Man or Astroman and The Rezillos"Destination Venus" in particular that might have seemed sort of futuristic in 1977 but now it’s more like pastiche. The audience seemed to like it some but I really wasn’t in the mood.

Suspire are a local band with plenty of youthful exuberance that can crank out quite a racket. It’s all a bit post-Franz via Biffy filtered through the more boisterous Talking heads moments. Lot of tempo changes but the (girl) drummer really keeps the whole melee together. If I were being objective and let’s face it, when was the last time that happened? OK maybe last weekend a little bit, when I conceded that The Stooges were “no’ bad”. Anyway, I think this trio could arrest the hearts and minds of a considerable swathe of 20-somethings with a flexible catchment for you more musically promiscuous elders.

Shonen Knife was just flat out great and never flagged once. “Twist Barbie” was the second song in the set and they are charm personified. The assembled throng punched the air and exclaimed “barnacle – hey!”, rode on a rocket and they even got away with a version of “Jet”. Iain remarked to me that it won’t sound anything like that in Hampden come the summer. Too true. Sound was great, performance was top notch and the good vibes were reverberating all around. These days, the Knife is founder blade Naoko Yamano, Ritsuko Taneda and newest recruit, drummer Emi Morimoto. They motor like a perfectly formed force of nature and Ritsuko has the sunniest disposition you'll see this side of Kim Schifino. If you get a chance to see them, take it and if you’re disappointed then abandon anything approaching hope.

Here are the rest of their Euro show dates, there's no better tonic to the wearing down process. Really. They're here to help you. Thank them for coming any way you can.

Tonight! - 8:00 pm - The Musician, Leicester, UK

12th May - 8:30 pm - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, UK

13tha May - 10:30 pm - Mattisse, Valencia, Spain

14th May - 9:00 pm - BeCool, Barcelona, Spain

15th May - 11:00 pm - Gruta 77, Madrid, Spain

17th May - TBA - Paradiso, Amsterdam, Netherlands

18th May - TBA - Kultchurbunker, Cologne, Germany

19th May - TBA - Cafe Glocksee, Hannover, Germany

20th May - TBA - Kato, Berlin, Germany

23rd May - 7:30 pm - The Freebutt, Brighton, UK

24th May - 7:30 pm, The Scala, London, UK

A wee taster from last night of the high jinks that awaits...

RIP - Frank Frazetta

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday night and it's a quick turnaround. Heading into the weej to catch a rare appearance by Shonen Knife. Unlikely that there'll be anything further from me tonight. In other news... I heard about this too late to do anything about it earlier.

RIP - Lena Horne

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Being the astute individuals you are, you’ll have noticed that I haven’t been blabbing my heid aff this weekend. This is for a number of reasons, not least of which has been getting caught up on correspondence, listening, watching and all the other things that have been let slide. I even made a start on what passes for a garden. Nothing too crazy mind you, like I said – a start.

Saw “Kick Ass” and “Whip It!” along the road too. Both pretty good and the best performance from Nic Cage I’ve caught in a long time. For reasons that would be immediately apparent to anyone who clocks it. Entertaining films that allow you to leave your mind in the cloakroom for a bit, something I’ve been needing to do.

This weekend has been a stark contrast to last week. No big social scene to be making but the time is fast approaching Monday and we all know what that brings... Shonen Knife in Glasgow of course!

Been hearing some very fine music this weekend too, all of which will become clear in the fullness of something or other.

For those who are going to Tuts tomorrow night and also for those who can't.

Indeed, come flip *your* lid with Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. -- at the home of the free peanut, the Rodeo Bar!

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

Always yours,
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.
"Ballads, BoogiesBlues"

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Friday, May 07, 2010

I'm playing catch-up on e-mail and listening. That kind of stuff. Not really that interested in when the UK closing down sale will be starting. If I get enough done then hopefully I can drag myself out to see a couple of movies over the course of the weekend.

I just read a Lefsetz thing entitled "Going To The Gig" that sort of depressed me because on one hand I sort of agree with some of it. It's another extended kvetch in which he once again indicates unashamedly that he has no taste and, in addition, operates in a privileged universe away from the pulsebeat of real fans. Then he tries to qualify it by throwing in his lot with Nick Hornby. The plot is over there Bob. No wait, it's behind you.

Never mind though, there are many cool things up and coming. I'm jealous of anyone who will see Hello Saferide this weekend at ATP and am not ashamed to admit it.

Further solace from idiots can also be gotten in the latest Wreckless Eric Radio Show.

Seek it.

The Standells in London anyone?
(click the image to order tickets)

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Not a lot of action around the Polling Station when I was down there a wee while ago. Wonder how it's all going to pan out and expecting the worst.

The summer of discontent will likely spill over into autumn and winter. You guys (outside of the US) don’t call it “the Fall” do you? No point in dragging mark E. Smith into all this. As the EU economy teeters on the brink of collapse we need our rock’n’roll jollies even more than ever. Apocalyptic conditions notwithstanding with regard to volcanoes and earthquakes or whatever else mother nature intends to set on our ass, this is not the time to be settling for it all going completely black just yet.

There is always a way to circumnavigate the congregation of clowns, I say this with no disrespect to that actual variety of individual. I’m merely using the term in place of “politician”.

As always, "Guilty until proven innocent" is the only tagline. And talking of which I'm not real talkative tonight so go take a look at this "Machete" trailer. For some reason I can't embed it and it's been removed from YouChump. It's pretty damn entertaining and quite possibly NSFW.

Nothing much worthwhile ever is...

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Before I start – some important news (literally) just in via Russell’s fb... Moon Duo at Stereo in Glasgow on Monday 26th July.

Today was a struggle and this will be a short attempt at flinging something up here because the flesh and the spirit are in cahoots. Making me pay for a few days of high jinks down in merry old Engerland. It’s only right that I should be punished. On top of that, my OX column is overdue and that will be my priority prior to falling over. And it’s the “General Election” tomorrow, this could be misconstrued as a Japanese translation – no offence to out far eastern friends intended. This attempt to make light of the situation is actually a thin veil over an overwhelming cloud of depression. In anticipation of the clobbering we’re about to receive when the dust settles on the result. When all the already hollow promises are exposed as utter bollocks in what must rank as the very, most rancid campaign that it’s been my misfortune to live through.

What was it Iggy said, being that he’s more ubiquitous than any politician? “We don’t believe in anything, we don’t stand for nuthin” or something like that. With a slogan like that, high office is almost guaranteed. Looking at his mug on the giant billboard as the train pulled out of Peterborough station yesterday, the notion of how we came to be at this point crossed my mind. I harrumphed a bit and decided to try and go back to sleep in the hope that my next bout of waked-ness (Yes, so that’s not even a word) would find me in a more agreeable scenario but as it was, the train was heading back to reality and what’s more it was on time.

I would ideally go and see “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” tonight but to be honest, I’m running on fumes as it is. The decompression after two Suicide sets and first day back is still taking its toll. As an exercise on the corner of visceral and primal, Sunday night could well have established a new record for loose expression. There’s only one act on earth that can get away with that. Hearing and seeing clips is further disorienting because capturing the feeling is like harnessing lightning in some cockamamie jar. Documentary evidence is one thing but there are greater powers at work here. There has to be. It’s pretty funny to read the stuff from the haters. And it’s especially funny when these same individuals don’t get tickets because they don’t want to deal with seeing them. While The Stooges weren’t entirely dreadful they were anything but monolithic (on my telly). A wee bit leaden but it’s a free(ish) country and old people should be permitted to enjoy themselves and/or hang on to past glories in most occasions.

Conditions might apply though.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Saturday’s journey down “the lahndon” was altogether leisurely. I kind of expected the train to be heaving but am pleased to report that it wisnae. A wee hold up outside Peterborough but seamless otherwise. I think I even managed to nod off for a bit as befits a person of my advancing years. The customary wander from ‘ammersmiff to Chiswick took an unexpected twist though. High tide and torrential rain earlier meant that the Thames was flooding my route. I was forced to have a wee paddle in order to reach my destination. A somewhat drookit me turned up on the doorstep of my hosts. There would be no gallivanting across town that night but a most convivial evening in The Cross Keys was had with some of the crew that weren’t going to the shows. Actually Rob was but the nature of Monday meant that I didn’t see him.

Sunday was a packed schedule, heading in to town for a rendezvous at The Pillars of Hercules with Mr U and Gert-Olle. From there it was out to the’smiff to try and hook up with as many folks as it was possible to see. During this Brother Joss intimated something very cool that is happening during the impending Edinburgh Film Festival. I won’t jinx it but as soon as it’s 100% official then you’ll know.

A grand hang was had by all (they know who they are) and Sunday there was the first time I’d been in that place since I saw Kiss there in 1976. The same day as I picked up an album by RAMONES at Harlequin in Dean St. Anybody know what happened to them? It would really have been a gas if someone had the presence of mind to include Andy Dunkley in this big stramash. He as much as anyone kept The Stooges spirit alive when almost nobody cared. The only real difference was that downstairs is standing – like terracing - although I believe they do have seats sometimes too. It’s a good venue with excellent sightlines, unless of course a muckle giant decides to stand directly in front of you.

Suicide were due on at 8.10pm and around that time, Paul Smith walked on and threw the switch on his Seeburg Rhythm Prince. This robotic throb would pulsate until NY’s finest took to the stage. As the noise which greeted the intro to an approximation of "Ghost Rider" kicked in, Alan dedicated to his recently gone amigo- Alex Chilton. A nice touch being that he was a fellow traveller that never “mailed it in”. It became clear that this wouldn’t just be a run through their debut. Some of them would be barely recognisable other’s would be eerily beautiful but every second was wonderfully awry. Rev pummelled and Vega prowled and screamed. Both of them grimace as almost nobody can and continue to create shapes that are routinely sculpted from some wild energy that can’t be of this earth. They can still polarise an audience and they did that on Sunday alright. No missiles were thrown but have you noticed how difficult it is to sneak an axe into a gig these days?

Several conversations were overhead that went along the lines of “What was that?”. Ha ha.
As you know, I have no real interest on the continued celebration of Iggy and the Stooges. I watched a little of the set and thought that “Your Pretty Face...” was good. The sound was pretty awful and it reminded me a little of Status Quo. The completely and utterly spontaneous stage invasion seemed to be conducted way too early in the set but it did include Spizz and his self publicising LED-wear. I left the hall and met Mia out in the bar. She’d seen John Otway the night before. By the end of the night I’d consumed way more drinks than I’m accustomed to. When Monday rolled in, me 'ad a fuzzy heid that lingered for the entire day.

I wasn’t even going to attend the second night but Per sent me the tickets he couldn’t use and it took me a long time to get someone to take the spare. It turns out that despite the marquee saying “sold out” there were plenty of tickets available. Nice to finally meet Mr Nick West. Suicide were entirely different on Night 2. Still uncompromising but bordering on symphonic in comparison. Shards of “Dream Baby Dream” seemed to percolate through “Che” and the version of “Cheree” was ethereal. I was fortunate enough to be able to go back and see Liz, Alan and Marty during The Stooges set so that’s what I did. Always an honour and a distinct privilege. I stayed there until yer Nick Cave’s and whoever started coming in. T’was time to take my leave and wander back along the shoreline toward what passes for reality. One of two people I passed was walking a huge dog.

Several shades of fun was had over the past two nights and rather than pass out on the couch in front of the TV I felt I oughtta get my report filed.

There are photos of Suicide by Martin and Brian here.

Sadly there were no USB presentation sets of Alan and Marty’s set available after the show. If you want The Stooges one then go here but really, why would you?

I know most, if not all of you, disagree with my disgust of the catalogue milking. Next up for shaving is “Kill City”. I’m happy for Iggy to make money just as I don’t have to watch him. Or hear him for that matter. You can tell me how great it was, and I can read five star arse licking reviews in The Guardian but I don’t understand what the fuss is about.

Give me Matt & Kim any old time and please don’t try to change my mind. That is all.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

The GO-GO!

A Mayday special with Glasgow's hottest new combo; The Shiverin Sheiks.

Expect Gene Vincent, Chuck Berry, Elvis covers as they plough through a hi-temp Rockabilly/Rock and Roll type set. Doors 11pm. Band on at midnight but free entry up til 11.30pm£6/4 after.

DJs Tall Paul & Big Gus pre-band and til 3am. Playing 60s garage, mod, psych, soul, girl-groups, and BOSS rock and roll!

Studio 24, Calton Road, Edinburgh.

Saturday 1st May. 11pm til 3am.


Next dates Sat 5th June, Sat 3rd July, Sat 7th August.