Wednesday, June 30, 2010
THIS SUNDAY, JULY 4TH 2010, THERE IS A VERY COOL LITTLE FESTIVAL HAPPENING AT MONO, KINGS COURT GLASGOW. 10 HOURS OF MUSIC INDOORS AND A COVERED BEER GARDEN OUTDOORS.
TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE AT MONORAIL (0141 552 9458) & TICKETS SCOTLAND
HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!
REGARDS, MONO. :)
There goes June and with it the summer. Dark clouds are gathering and we’re expecting a bid daud of rain tomorrow. The old “the nights are fair drawing in” can be resurrected too because it’s a good week now since the longest day. Not to be confused with most days during a working week. However, looking back over 2010 thus far – things haven’t been too bad so I shouldn’t mump too much. Maybe I’m actually smiling somewhere deep inside. Ha ha.
My listening habits have been hijacked by this Ben Vaughn tribute to Philly legend, Jerry (The Geator) Blavat. Two hours of solid gold that'll knock you the heck out. If it doesnae then you must have already been pronounced deid. Coming your way on WXPN this impending weekend.
There are plans and schemes afoot that require my concentration/attention and this means that blogland draws the short straw. Make the best of this weather where you can head outside, you'll be back to being cooped up soon enough.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Still a bit raggedy today and the logistics ain’t helping. Having to go into town for the dental biz is a little inconvenient but such is the nature of such things. If you cancel it takes months to get another one. And that in turn is generally inconvenient too. Do you understand this ramble? I’m not entirely sure that I do. I tried to clean my specs today but the result wasn’t too Johnny Nash. I think it’s my actual peepers that could do with a burnishing. As grand as it would be to have perfect sight, like everybody had before the advent of these damn things – it severely unlikely that I’ll ever have the readies to pay for such a luxury.
Somebody should liberate this baby. Not only does it include Amy Allison’s “Cheaters World”, there’s a bing of other great stuff on there too. Plus the price is most definitely right so I figured one of you folks might consider grabbing it.
There’s a distinct possibility that there’ll be a week coming up that this thing will go into suspended animation. We could all do with a break and even although I’m not going anyplace (fast or otherwise), I feel like forcing myself not to be trapped in the cycle of updating every day. Who knows, it could do us all good. This is likely to be sometime in July or August, I haven’t entirely decided and maybe I won’t have the self-control to pull it off given the habit/addiction that blogging has become. What if something important happened during such a hiatus? I imagine that remains to be seen (but not heard).
Monday, June 28, 2010
The best way I can describe my mode (not mood) today is “struggling”. Based on today’s experience it’s going to be a long week and I’m considering posting a “closed” notice over next weekend. Maybe I’ll be over the hump by then but we’ll have to wait and see. It’s about as much fun as a visit to the dentist and that’s where I’m bound tomorrow. To the hygienist actually which, in the grand scheme of things, ain’t so bad if sparkling gnashers are the only outcome.
I thnk I might be suffering from sensory overload too. Hearing too much music, watching too many films. The information junkie aspect can be overwhelming and it creates a skewed perspective. I’m lucky to be able to check out all the stuff that I do but maintaining that objectively subjective demeanor can be a strain. It’s hard to keep up, even when you care so what must it be like for the ADD crowd?
There has been some good news... Minus Zero lives, info at BoB.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Just came off listening to a two hour celebration of The Geator with The Heater that Ben Vaughn put together to celebrate 50 years of the man on Philly radio. The show will be broadcast on July 3rd and I’ll post the link then, incidentally Jerry Blavat (The Geator) will be 70 that same day.
Which bring us to the House of Rock, an establishment situated in Moss, Norway and they’ve just started a label, the first release of which is just about the only credible way I could think about following what I just heard. The Twisteroos could be considered to be the Scandinavian Detroit Cobras but they’re actually much, much more than that. For a start they have the one and only Ms Vibeke Saugestad on board. When they request you to jump on board and head for “Where The Action Is” you just do it. “Twisted” is the party album of this or any other summer. Mr Henriksen, Mr Dahlmann and Mr Frehley Jacobsen let fly with a brew that leaves their Michigan cousins standing. Effervescence is the key and this is the veritable creamola foam. Cool covers and credible originals nuzzle together in a completely unbreakable embrace. They’re serving up “Chills and Fever” and I urge you to grab some.
You always wished that The Rezillos would make another record, right? Well this is as close as you’re likely to come to that with a whole lot of cream on top.
HORR2 is Caroline and the Treats “Bad All Over” and I’m pretty sure that The Dave Clark Five never saw this coming. Girl-powered pop punk never goes out of fashion and this revitalises all of the parts that were killed off after seeing The Runaways movie. A direct descendant of that, Caroline Andersen is Joan Jett to Morten H’s Kenny Laguna knocking off the short sharp nuggets bang bang style. “Make Out With You” is where the Ohio Express take on “I Wanna Be Sedated” to create a monster. Wah-ooh!! There’s that Ramones/Riverdales wallop running from front to back here and I do know that you kids, like me are suckers for that. There’s a couple of songs here that I could hear The Boonaraaas!!! doing too. I like the way the rock aesthetic rubs up the sixties and seventies garage disease. That angle keeps things fresh rather than just authentic. Something like the harmonic guitar “solo” that slides in on “It’s Cool To Rock” underpins the message of the song and straddles that fine line without any degree of chafing. Excellent rip-roarin’ version of The Angels “Wow WowWee” here too.
And with the adage that things happen in threes, HORR3 is a domestic release of “... Whatever Rhymes With Baby”, an album for all seasons that contains at least three songs of inordinately huge proportions. If there was such a thing as joined up Rock’n’Roll Radio where consensus could drive a tune into an international breakout hit then The Yum Yums would be stadium rockers.
They make music that is twice as infectious as any of these idiots that you might have seen on Glastonbury this past weekend. I saw something called The Cribs that are supposed to be some great shakes but there was something missing. Oh, I know what it was now, songs. Anyway, this version of the album is different to the Wild Punk version in that 4 numbers have been re-recorded with recently acquired drummist – Ulf Bendiksen.
All 12 songs here pretty much define the art of the pop song the way I like to hear it. They have a chemistry that has taken years to perfect but if this stuff was any more potent then it‘d be downright dangerous. This here is for teenagers of every vintage and it may well contain some sonic elixir for eternal youth as it's been known to make grumpy old bastards punch the air. And smile even.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Welcome to blogpost #5000. That’s it for me, film festival over for another year. Haven’t seen as many movies at this one and have missed a couple of things but that couldn’t be helped. I imagine that my peepers are relieved.
Been a Mississippi kind of week, starting off with the John Michael McCarthy stint. He’s from Tupelo originally. Last night I saw a show by a guy who has been called “The Sage of Tippo”, Mr Mose Allison. I was a little wary having only found out he was playing two weeks ago. Turns out that it’s been in the Jazz festival programme since Spring, talk about a communication breakdown.
Anyway, it’s a testament to the city that there was a sizeable, attentive crowd. Billed as The Mose Allison Trio, it turned out to be the man and a double bass player. Took an instrumental workout to get the sound right but by the time the singing started, it was crystal clear. What followed was an abject lesson in the blues drawing on originals and standards. I’d say he was pretty much at the top of his game and the audience was with these guys all the way. He even cracked out “My Brain” from the new album, I certainly didn’t expect that from this “Certified Senior Citizen”.
I think it was recorded by the BBC so I’ll try to find out when that might be broadcast, so that you can hear that I’m not telling porkies.
Today, I managed to haul my tuchus into Edinburgh a wee bit early thinking I could pick up a 45 that had been spotted in a charity shop. Turns out it wasn’t what I thought it was. Then I did a kind of good deed on my way to Filmhouse so maybe I’m not overdrawn at the karma bank.
“Soulboy” is about Wigan Casino. It’s always been a regret of mine that I never went there. A couple of friends did but I guess I was deep into the punk rock thing. That was really about 5 years before there was an actual commodity called that. In those days it would have been Stooges , Dolls, Groovies, Alice Cooper etc. I didn’t really come to appreciate soul music properly until maybe 1976. There's a record store in it that reminds me of the one I used to work in apart from the listening booth.
Anyway, it’s good. A bit of a crowd pleaser that’s kind of like if Bill Forsyth directed The Full Monty and shot it on the same film stock as “On The Buses”. It has a beginning, a middle and an end in addition to a great soundtrack. There’s not much that can beat The Marvelettes “When You’re Young And In Love” ringing around a theatre. Solid entertainment and a loving reconstruction of the times with a happy ending. No sign of a sequel and all the better for it.
All going well, I’ll be back to the music tomorrow but of course I will be dipping into Glasto just to see how low it can go. The Editors are on right now, how heinous are they on a scale of one to quite?
Friday, June 25, 2010
Just a little fried still from the activities of the past few days. Stir in a dash of the “back to work” shakes and you can imagine that your reporter here might be toiling a tad. I did a google search on the movie from the other day and was a little surprised to see a couple of really pointless barbs. Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion, however wrong or misguided but in these cases, the individuals seem deluded and just out for a bit of cybergum bumping.
The intention of getting on here last night fell by the wayside. Whys and wherefores are unimportant, it just didn’t happen. As it happens, time is off the essence again today but at least it’s the weekend and things are slowing a bit but there’s a Mose Allison show tonight and one more film at EIFF tomorrow (“Soulboy”) and I’m done for a while. The Memphians have done gone and returned to Gracelandland and I hope Mike managed to get a Nick Cave souvenir for Cori.
In these days when contrivance is everything, it’s kind of refreshing to come across something that’s pretty much unreconstructed. I’ve been reading reviews of “Cigarette Girl” and I’m wondering if there are actually two films of the same name and these divots saw the other one. I’m considering the possibility that these are the kind of people that would have complained about Suicide or The Cramps, even The Ramones as not being able to play let alone be conventionally musical. Irrespective of whether one enjoys the film or not, some of these maroons evidently operate at a much more highbrow level than me.
Been an eventful month all tolled, started off with the glamour of Barcelona. I did think about calling it a “bang” but figured that could be misconstrued. Furthermore, chance would be a fine thing. It’s likely to end with a whimper and a diet of bread and water but I’ll be darned if that might not be the nature of show business, particularly at my lowly level. It’s been a short week at the salt mine though and if there are any higher powers out there at a loose end then, anything that could be done to delay the onset of Monday would be greatly appreciated.
I wouldn’t be averse to praying if that might help.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
It’s Wednesday already according to the calendar. I haven’t yet weight up what the spectre of austerity has in store and I imagine that it’ll all become clear soon enough. I spent the past few days in Edinburgh and haven’t really had time to jump on here.
I need to rewind a bit to Sunday and “The Runaways”. When the film started with Nick Gilder’s “Roxy Roller”, I garnered some hope that what I’d heard about it wasn’t true but this turned out not to be the case. Sadly, it reminded me of V*lvet G*ldmine and threw in a dash of BH90210. Kristen Stewart as JJ wasn’t awful, the guy who played Fowley was uncannily close if a little hammy. He’d make a good Lux if ever such a possibility presented itself. The guy who plays Rodney was like a hybrid of Smashy and Nicey.
All in all it’s a bit of a mess. There are perhaps reasons for the band to have a fictitious bass player and for Lita Ford’s involvement to be swept under the carpet. In the end, the final result doesn’t properly represent the subject to my mind and it certainly doesn’t address the phenomenon such as it was. I’ve seen worse but I’m not entirely sure who this is directed at. Despite the fact that The Ramones and The Runaways played many shows together, Joey and Co weren’t even mentioned. Artistic licence is one thing, a blatant disregard for the facts is another.
Last night’s “Cigarette Girl” screening was totally sold out and a it’s a testament to the film that nobody left the sweltering theatre. You’ve possibly had a look at the trailer and you might be thinking, yeah – they always throw the best bits into those. Mike McCarthy’s shot at the next level has much to commend it over and above the obvious charisma of its star Cori Dials. The composition of the frames is a refreshing shake up of the recent tired trick of bringing comic book aesthetics to the screen. It looks at least three miles better than all these effects that dampen action back to 2D in order to snare in the geeks.
There’s something quaintly old fashioned about this that cuts a little deeper than the Tarantino gloss and bluster. In terms of result versus money spent, this is a triumph pure and simple. There’s a possibility that it’ll become a graphic novel, overturning the usual route of trying to drag such a thing from the printed page to live action. Ultimately most might end up seeing this on DVD but I urge you to try and see it on a big screen. "Cigarette Girl" is blessed with a skewed vision of good old fashioned noir with a pneumatic heroine that channels her decision to stop puffing into making her demons work for her. A morality tale with much to commend it, I hope this sets up the director with a chance to tell the many other stories that are hammering at his noggin, looking for a way out.
I am perhaps biased but if this didn’t ultimately make the grade then I’d tell you. It pushes all the right buttons and never comes off as contrived. That in itself is a rare commodity in a world where style is often everything. Chalk this one up for substance(s).
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
RIP - Tam White
from Lenny Helsing... Tam White - legendary singer / founder of Edinburgh, Scotland's 1960s R&beatsters THE BOSTON DEXTERS and THE BUZZ died yesterday of a suspected heart attack. He would've been 68 next month. Tam was a phenomenal singer, and in the garage punk world his voice will surely always resonate due to leaving behind the audacious and terrifying 1966 Joe Meek-produced freakbeat-punker 'You're Holding Me Down' recorded as by THE BUZZ, and written by the 'Dexters / Buzz guitarist Johnny Turnbull... Tam also made his mark with a couple of earlier garage/R&B stompers, especially the rarefied stomp of 'Nothing's Gonna Change Me' waxed up for the the Contemporary label circa 1964.
The 'Dexters were whisked off to London, where they would record a couple of 45s for Columbia, before a split happened, two leaving and two staying with THE BUZZ being the result. Once the beat boom died Tam stayed in London, and would go on to carve out a singing career on the Middle Earth (including the great psych-etched 'Future Thoughts' b/w 'Lewis Carroll' 45) and Decca labels that took him well into the 70s. He then briefly had his own Scottish TV show...before the blues came howling back into his heart, and he pursued that, and his jazz leanings right up until his death. RIP Tam.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Time has completely run away from me this morning. Did you see what I did there? So that means I'll have to defer any explanation as to why I wasn't enamoured with the movie last night until later. Probably even tomorrow. You can amuse yourself until then, right? Good.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
First thing I usually do of a morning is turn on the radio. Even before the computer. And today, “Seventy Six Trombones” came blazing out. This was one of the first pieces of music that I ever remember hearing and I’m pretty sure that if I looked, there’s a 45 of it at my parents house. On the Embassy label as I recall... anyway, it kind of weirded me out. I don’t really recall much of what happened last week but hearing this took me back someplace pretty vividly.
Visited the EIFF yesterday and hooked up with Mr McKay and for a short while with Mike McCarthy. The aspect of the festival being in June now seems to have had more of an impact this year. Maybe the hub is at Cineworld now because it didn’t seem to be at Filmhouse. Not that it wasn’t busy for the screenings but the hubbub seemed greatly reduced. I’ll get the taste of what’s happening up the road at “The Runaways” tonight. The big question is still will Joan Jett be there? Something that would make it a little special for sure. The feasibility of attending a press screening of “Cigarette Girl” was sketchy so a better use of my time is getting the bunker ready to receive guests.
I did see the Steven Soderbergh documentary about Spalding Gray entitled “And Everything Is Going Fine”. Trying to remember when I saw him at the Assembly rooms, maybe 1985, but the grey matter ain’t budging. I always liked his monologues and know a couple of people who really didn’t. He was an odd character for sure and this, to my mind, requires that you have a background appreciation of his work. It’s a little like a compilation of “extras" that might accompany a DVD collection. It purports to be a final monologue but it’s not.
I think it would be pretty impenetrable for anyone coming in cold but you never know. His wife said at the Q&A that it was about keeping his work alive and maybe introducing it to new people. I think that releasing the actual monologues might be a better way of tackling that and it came to light that something might be available that doesn’t kick back to the family. Such are the trials and tribulations of anything that has artistic value.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
It's been a spartan week blogwise. By the time I dragged my carcass into work and back again the energy level was lacking somewhat. The city limits of what passes for normality are being approached and things should be picking up. I say picking up but what I mean is that I'm not sure that the lost time can be regained. I'm thinking more of a line in the sand kind of deal. Anyway, we'll see.
Look forward to meeting Michael McCarthy today for a toddle around Auld Reekie. His film "Cigarette Girl" is playing at the Edinburgh Film Festival and I urge anybody who can - to get down to the Filmhouse on Tuesday night at 9.15pm.
Here's the trailer in case you missed it on previous postings.
And a wee story about it by Brother Joss who is heading north with Nadia to make the scene. It'll be a stoatir and I can almost guarantee that Sean Connery will not be there but you never can tell.
Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth - I need to clean up and return a lawnmower...
I think there's just a little over a week's worth of Eric and Amy gigs across the US left so get out there and partake of a fine evening of entertainment, the like of which isn't widely available these days anywhere. Milwaukee tonight, Minneapolis tomorrow... the dates are here.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
After all my kvetching, I managed to get an appointment for today. One that didn’t entail any complicated logistics in terms of travel or leaving work early or anything like that. All a bit of an anti-climax compared to the apoplexy of yesterday. My experience of dealing with red tape and “the system” is severely limited. I have no idea how to play it and no desire to do so. The fact that nothing is ever simple galls more than anything and must surely ramp up the inefficiency that riddles even the most apparently straightforward procedures. There’s never any problem to my experience with the people who do the job. It’s the management and peripheral jobsworths that are the menace. This includes the dimbulbs that prepare the legislation.
So anyway, I have my antibiotics scrip’ but was advised to see how it goes over the next couple of days. Apparently it’s not really advised that one should neck such a thing unless it’s absolutely necessary because of all these superbugs. So we’ll see. I reckon that if I lay low until the weekend, I’ll be clear. If I were in NY, then this would be where I’d be this coming Saturday...
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. takes to the borough of Brooklyn this week with a pair of shows sure to suit most any taste -- be it at Red Hook's genteel Jalopy or at downtown's divey Hank's!
THURSDAY, JUNE 17th / JALOPY THEATRE /315 Columbia Street (between Hamilton and Woodhull) in Brooklyn, USA /One hefty horseless set at 10:30, preceded by the twangy Wicked Messengers at 9:00!
SATURDAY, JUNE 19th / HANK'S SALOON / 46 Third Avenue (at the corner of Atlantic Avenue) in Brooklyn /It's "Cemetery & Western Night III", with one slighty gothic SIT & Die Co. set at 10:00 sharp, followed by Ninth House at 11:00 and Shattered NYC at midnight -- and no cover!
Yours across the East River,
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.
"Ballads, Boogies & Blues"
Something of a lost night yesterday as I finally recognised that maybe I need to address the matter of this cold that’s plagued me since I got back from Barcelona. Ate, went for what I intended to be a short nap and didn’t surface until much later. Even then I was like a half-shut knife. So I propped myself up in front of the TV for a short while – not entirely aware of anything approaching being compus mentis. Nothing new there, I hear from the back of the class.
The intention of heading into Glasgow tonight to catch Iain Shaw has also gone by the wayside. Got a busy couple of weeks coming up and need to be firing on most –if not all –cylinders and it be patently obvious that I’m not.
I won’t go near a doctors surgery unless it’s absolutely necessary . This compounds the annoyance that it’s never possible to get an appointment when you need one. I have to call them at 8am tomorrow morning whereupon I’m telling you now, it’ll ring off the hook. If I wasn’t so conscientious I’d bunk off work and go down there but even then, it’s pot luck. I’m sure there are appointment touts operating. So if I peg it meantime you’ll know who to thank/blame (delete as applicable).
Seems as though farcebook has dropped a couple dozen blog posts on my unsuspecting “friends” in the past few hours. I have absolutely no scoob as to how that thing operates and had noticed that the blog synch didn’t seem to be working. The random nature of the status updates alone are enough to drive me barmy and I envy those who can stay away from it. Twitter is something I have absolutely no trouble in staying away from to the extent that I’m finally removing the link to it from here. And adding the EIFF button.
Ideally the relentless nose-blowing and coughing. If it was a game of charades, I’d be doing the title of a Screeching Weasel album.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Not sure if it’s the ol’ hayfever or some kind of general congestion but I’m out of sorts, not helped by yesterday’s stint outside trying to restore a semblance of order to the drive. The intentions of preparing a “loose ends” post hit the wall because I passed out in front of the TV, that terrible remake of Bewitched I think it was. What a stinker. Not really sure that I’ll fare any better tonight to be honest, the flesh and the spirit seem to have abandoned me. I’m not entirely convinced that my batteries are in any way rechargeable.
Anyway, I'm grateful to Duglas T for sending this - very lo-fi but top notch.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
The past couple of days have been something of a bust. With seemingly simple logistics taking on the shape of a well known item of fruit in addition to other things just going phut and not in a good way. Still the film festival is on the horizon and what about that news of Mose Allison heading for Glasgow?
I need to try and gather together various strands that have been left to drift today. I should be outside continuing with the garden tidy up but that horrible smurry rain has come on. Maybe things are looking up. This will give me time to search back the e-mails for info that I’ve neglected to pass on.
Like the news about The Primevals album for instance.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Glasgow gave a rousing send off to an honorary citizen of its musical community last night. In the true tradition of the man that it celebrated there was a looseness in the house and aside from featuring Alex’s own compositions, equal billing was given to the human jukebox element of his work and how he liked to introduce covers, that could – in the end – have been his own. He was a deep miner of forgotten gems. Like The Cramps, I imagine that could have been part of the attraction in them coming together way back whenever.
To my mind, Chilton never “mailed it in”. the closest I ever came to seeing him do that was the Big Star reunion at QMU. Every other time, and there were many, you went away having really felt privileged to having been given a lesson in popular (and not so) music history. He had a long and chequered career on either side of what he gets most kudos for. I think that what may people miss is the character and he was alive yesterday evening through stories related from the stage. I know for a fact that a few of these guys could do a season of spoken word shows on the tales.
There was no Panther Burns or indeed “Bangkok”. Perhaps in retrospect, The Primevals would have been able to do something with that but then the show would have had to be even longer, and I feel like a burst ball as it is. It did cross my mind too that ideally The Nomads would have been on hand. Short of it is that the assembled artists pulled off what they set to do, with no small amount of gusto.
First up was Milk. I’ve no idea who they are but they tackled “Human Fly” and in this setting it was fine. Their version of “The Letter” vexed me a bit by making me remember the name Blue Rondo A La Turk, before it disappeared down The Gaslight Anthem’s idea of E- Street. Before long, a nervous Francis Macdonald kicked off with “Margie” and did a great version of a Frederick Knight song that I’d never heard called “Claim To Fame”, based on Lx’s version from “Live At Chalen”.
The reconstituted V-Twin were really smokin’ with a little Ernie K Doe action, a version of “Hey Little Child” that had a Gun Club-like intensity and the anthem known as “In The Street”. In my head I was screaming “We’re All Allright” as it came to a close.
There was an intermission where some video clips were shown. Hot Chip sent up some songs specially for the bash and an amazing clip of “Never Found A Girl” of Alex and Teenage Fanclub from some TV show called “Up On The Roof”. STV or BBC? I don’t recall that at all. Probably 1995-ish? Anyway, Duglas told me it’ll be on Youtube soon and you’ll see it for yourself. The way it nestles into “A Summer Place” is spine-tingling.
It was a pleasure to meet Laura Chilton. She told me that she came to Glasgow to see what Alex loved about it and I think she knows now. Laura recited a version of “Past, Present and Future” with accompaniment from David Scott plus Duglas, Jason and Mike. A lo-fi industrial symphony with a Lynch frisson.
The Pearlfishers/BMX Bandits portion was when Davie got to tell his Rockin’ Sidney story and to perform "Thirteen". Duglas delivered an amazingly poignant “Thank You Friends”. Forensic verbiage at this point seems meaningless, you had to be there. A straight off the plane Stevie Jackson performed Hoagy Carmichael’s “Memphis in June” and a rousing “Alligator Man” abetted by Francis. The TFC portion was charged with no small amount of electricity. Being that they were entirely responsible for any of this route of history being taken. They are the blue touch paper that allowed so many of us to become so familiar with the subject. It’s a strange world and in this case, for all the right reasons.
Jason did The Olympics “Mine Exclusively” with the Fanclub and declared it to be “like Booker T and the MGs”. There is no bigger keeper of the flame in these parts than this guy. He put this revue together, most likely with some input from his spiritual brother from the other side.
One last hurrah was a run though “September Gurls” that was positively incandescent. Several leagues better than the version that the reconstituted BS ran through at that Glasgow show I mentioned earlier. It took me back to that version of "Telstar" in Glassford Street and the soul-saving nature of loud guitars.
It was a triumph on the part of all concerned and something that could only have happened in Glasgow. Take a look at some great photos here and here. And the setlist and some videoclips can be found on the TFC board. It was abuzzbuzzbuzz with activity before I left for the salt mine this morning. God bless 'em.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
This time last week, I’d just checked in the airport… sheesh. In a little over an hour we’ll be heading for Glasgow to catch the celebration of Alex Chilton at Mono. Teenage Fanclub, BMX Bandits, The Pearlfishers, Francis Macdonald and V Twin plus others will play songs from the extensive catalogue of the man. His widow, Laura will also be in attendance.
As I think I might have mentioned before, Alex had an incredible bond with Glasgow and this is one of those nights that you might think could only happen in NY, or New Orleans, or someplace – anyplace but the West of Scotland. Not so and I’ll give you the skinny on what happens later. There might even be some clips to share. Who knows. Curated by Jason McPhail, for one night only. This will never. Happen. Again. (Thanks David).
To anyone that's attending, this will make perfect sense once the show gets underway.
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Following the info about Craig Lorentson the other day, Brian Guthrie sent me a message...
"Craigs funeral is on Friday (11th) in the Falkirk crematorium at 12.30 p.m. and all are welcome - a reception and celebration of his life will follow at the Auld Toll function room (Grangemouth). Craig did not want flowers and such like - rather he wished people to make a collection for C.H.A.S."
He's putting together an obit and when he does I'll post a link.
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
We hear every day about how the Spanish economy is heading in the same trajectory as that of Greece. It’s a kind of smokescreen I think. To mask the fact that the UK is punching way above its weight in the poorhouse stakes. However, if greed wasn’t the sickness it is and indeed value was measured in spirit or passion, maybe just the ability to embrace life then Spain is surely the richest country in the world trading to the tune of trillions.
If I didn’t have witnesses or indeed photographic evidence then it’s possible I wouldn’t believe the high jinks of last Friday. Suzy and Jon got married out Sant Cugat way and verily it was the stuff of legend. For instance, when was the last time you attended such a do where the couple burst into the reception to the strains of “Who Will Save Rock’n’Roll”?
However, we’re getting ahead of ourselves here – I was in Barcelona for a little under 48 hours. Arriving after midnight at Girona and taking the bus into town. I’d managed to sleep on the plane and was woozy but refreshed so it was straight from the bus terminal to Barbara Ann in a cab. I never took luggage to a party before but they didn’t seem to mind. As luck would have it, the president and the first lady were still there so I managed to have a wee beer with them before they left. As is the order of the day when I’m out in that neck of the woods we closed the bar.
My old comrades Chris and Clive of Surfin’ Lungs were there and also some new compadres, including Osamu (Onepercentre) Iimura who had come from Tokyo to be a witness. Checked into the digs sometime around 3.30am and was up and out again a little after 9. I don’t like holing myself up in a room when I’m away. Breakfast at the handily located Cafe Dibar just across the street and then off to the beach. Chris and I ambled down to meet Clive, past the amazing looking fruit and veg stalls, chortling at the melons.
It felt right to be headed for the seaside with two members of the UK’s primo surf combo and there was chilli and chips to be had down the boardwalk. You can take the Brits out of the UK... From there it was back to base camp to get titivated up for the big event.
An earlier arrangement to head over to the location of the wedding using public transport was bumped in favour of the international delegation taking taxis to Sant Cugat. What we perhaps should have factored in was that no city cab driver knows how to get there but it was nice to drive around that area of the city, high in the hills and interesting to see that there are more roundabouts up there than there are in the UK.
Our guy kept asking people until we found someone who actually knew the place. Coincidentally I met a couple that were heading to Edinburgh and the lady actually worked in that part of town. She was familiar with the aspect of taxis from town having no idea where anything is up there.
La Masia is a very nice spot to the point of posh but not snooty. The ceremony itself took place in a large conservatory type structure to a sold out crowd. When the bride arrived, The Rubinoos burst into the first of three acapella numbers – a version of “My Girl” that was perfect on so many different levels. A poignant reminder of some sadly absent friends was marked by a performance of a song called “All You Dead Boys” by Harry Coltello. It could have been sombre but it was spiked by an optimism that the politics of everyday life is seldom if ever blessed with these days. This day was not about artifice but kinship and the fundamental importance of that. I was sure that the “Rubes” had performed “Chapel of Love” too but Jonathan informs me that they didn’t. Maybe I dreamt it because it was a dreamlike evening for sure. The other two songs were “With This Ring” and “I Love You”. Doowoptastic!
From there it was time for S + J to run a gauntlet of rice and some fairly fantoosh confetti to the area where an extended alfresco soiree took place that involved a myriad of appetisers and the odd aperitif. It was a great looking gathering (perhaps with the exception of the Brits, ha ha) and coming from a climate where it’s not too common an occurrence to gather outside, even at the height of summer, you’ve gotta dig the balmy heat and the seriously high grade company. The reception was a spread of a magnitude that I have NEVER seen. I’ve been to a few corkers in my time but never one where the couple burst into the hall to zigzag around and through the guests on their way to the top table. Andy Shernoff would have been very proud.
Just prior to The Rubinoos playing, Jon told the story of how the first trip he and Suzy took was to see the band in Italy. I guess the seeds of what went down there led directly to June 4th 2010. And no ash cloud or any other “act of god” could have altered that trajectory. Watching the band, I couldn’t help but feel that it was an enormous privilege. They played what Jon shouted out and I got to thinking that so many acts stick to tried and tested set list complete with repeat banter because they don’t want to look like charlatans. If there was any real justice then this band would have enormodome status. They have the tunes after all and the chutzpah, it was like standing in the set of “That Thing You Do”, belting out that anglophilia as only those Americanos can can. Utterly immense.
And it wasn’t over at that, Suzy & Los Quattro played a couple, just for good measure. The great times were rollin’ like the proverbial juggernaut. When it got to be 4am and it was all over, I thought about what Joey Ramone would say when you were about to leave Paul’s Lounge. “Wha’? Yr leavin’ already!?” in that amazing drawl of his. Truth is that a shindig like this is something that you’d never want to leave given half a chance. Like a “feelgood” Outer Limits episode.
It was a truly great experience and rather than just run off at the keyboard, I have permission to share some of the photos because you know what they say about the image to word ratio.
I ran into many amigos and made a few more – I hope they know who they are and look forward to seeing each and every one of them someplace/anyplace down the road. My sincere thanks to Suzy and Jonathan for counting me in. To be out there havin’ fun in that warm Barcelona sun is a wonderful thing, gimme three cha’s already.
Images from the top -
Running the gauntlet
Sword photoshopped out as BB gets a whupping from his wife
(not really, they were about to cut the cake) - (photo by Osamu Iimura)
The Rubinoos belt it out doowop style (photo by Sissi Wolf)
Suzy and Jonathan tear it up with Marky and Donn (out of shot) - (photo by Sissi Wolf)
Pat and Sisuca of top Barca combo The Moviemakers with some old bloke.
The occupants of Table Five (Photo by Anna Fedosseeva/Chris Moscardi)
Monday, June 07, 2010
Obviously there’s some kinda psychological thing going on where it’s no trouble at all to walk for miles, stay up until stupid o' clock, drink way more than I ever could at home and not feel the worse for wear until one is home. I was away for a little less than 48 hours and had a total blast and be trying to formulate all that into a report. Coming in due course.
Ian Calvert tragically died on the 1st of April this year. In recent years he'd been suffering from Parkinsons disease and was unable to dance about like a maniac at the front of the stage at gigs. He turned his lack of mobility around and reinvented himself as the camera man, standing still at the side of the stage filming the bands.
On Friday the 11th of June we're having a wee festival for him in Henrys to celebrate his life. We'll be showing some of the footage that he shot in recent years including video of the Skids final gig in Dunfermline in May and a whole load of stuff nobodys seen before including the Vic Godard and Subway Sect at the Citrus Club last year and footage of the Sex Pistols, 999, Penetration, Lurkers and many more Its 5 quid to get in, all profits go to his daughter Samanthas charity www.justgiving.com/iancalvert
The bands playing are all friends of Ian's - Izzy And The Stoooges, Shock And Awe - with special guest Paul Research on guitar for some of the set and another very special guest ... The Axidents, Isaac Brutal and the Hired Hands, Chinese Jocks, The Media Whores and Sad Society.
See you there if you can make it ? 5 pounds - Friday 11th June 7:30pm til 3:00am,
Henrys Cellar Bar, 8 Morrison Street, Edinburgh.
Dear Ladies & Gentlemen,
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co., purveyor of fine "Ballads, Boogies & Blues", performs this week at the world famous Rodeo Bar in New York City. Thank you in advance for your patronage. WEDNESDAY, JUNE 9th / RODEO BAR / 375 Third Avenue (at the corner of 27th Street) in Manhattan /Two near-patented shows, from 10pm sharp until 12:30am / No cover!
Industriously yours, Michael
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.
"Ballads, Boogies & Blues"
Sunday, June 06, 2010
RIP - Craig Lorentson (Lowlife/Dead Neighbours)
Craig was a local guy who was the singer in Dead Neigbours, the closest this area ever came to having band that existed in the wake of The Cramps. That morphed into Lowlife (I think?) and they made a few records that never did anything for me but the band enjoyed some popularity across Europe and the US. Particularly Italy as I recall. To my ears they were moody, bordering on Bauhaus-esque goth and not as Wikipedia sez alternative rock/dream pop but lets not dwell on any of that. 44 is way too early to up sticks and leave the earth irrespective of of what I consider his band to have sounded like.
If an online obit becomes available - I'll link to it in due course.
Saturday, June 05, 2010
It's very frustrating to come back to ISP bollocks. I'm assured that "engineers" are working to correct this but we'll see. Meanwhile, it is possible to access the interweb a bit although facebook has also fallen in its arse several times tonight. If I was still where I was yesterday then I wouldn't have a scooby that all of this was going on. I dig the concept of that.
I imagine that it could have been something like that which tipped Frankie over the edge.
Thursday, June 03, 2010
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
A strange thing happened yesterday. Nothing to do with the event that hijacked our namesake but the stats recorded the largest hit rate in (our) history. The reason for this is that Mr Paul Lukas gave we a shout out at UNIWATCH. A site that - on the face of it relates to sports - but underneath is so much more. I’m not sure that those visiting were or are looking for the stovies recipe but they’re welcome nonetheless. Maybe some of ‘em will even come back now and again. One thing is for sure that Paul’s site has some hardcore clickers going on and I thank him for his indulgence. I think I might start a band called The Vintage Stirrups...
Tried to collate a PDF of the film festival programme but it’s all skew wiff. In addition to "Cigarette Girl", I notice that "The Runaways" movie is on. Word on this ranges between stinker and pretty good but of course I have to see it. This could of course be problematic because it has that “Twilight” bint in it. Another minus is that it’s playing at Cineworld. Chances are it’ll be at “Best of the Fest” so maybe I’ll wait and see. I was at the band’s first show in the UK (Glasgow Apollo) and also The Roundhouse back in the olden days when they actually existed and also stood behind Joan Jett at a Sire Records party where the Flamin Groovies played.
It would be fun to ask the director why Lisa Fancher and Phast Phreddie are not portrayed. Most likely because no actor or actress could do them justice but I won’t accept that as an excuse.
Chugging a little of that Fridayness in these latter stages of Wednesday and a host of stuff to complete. Whatever I’ve done to my back isn’t getting a whole lot better but I’ll live. And meanwhile, some excellent news so it’s worth hanging in until September kids!
A letter from Säkert!:
Hey. Just wanted to let you know that we made a new record with Säkert! It's called “Facit” * and it's due September 15. The first single, “Fredrik”, will be released in August. This is new: we worked slower with this album. We even had some sort of plan before we started recording it. That plan obviously didn't work out, but still! Producer Henrik Oja also wrote some of the songs with me. This is old: we're the same people. Henrik, Mats Hammarström, Daniel Berglund. Lovisa Nyström and Jakob Nyström. (They are all involved in a lot of different bands incl. Isolation Years, Two White Horses and The Spacious Mind.) The songs are bigger than last time around. The production is bigger and the topics are huge: funerals, weddings, elections. Oh, and also we'll be recording the songs in English, especially for those of you who liked last Säkert! but got sour you didn't understad the lyrics.
All the best,
PS. My other project, Hello Saferide, is still around as well.
"FACIT" is the Swedish word for "result" or "answer". The correct pronunciation using phonetic symbols is [fa:sit]. The "A" pronounced like in "father".
Educational and informative. Meanwhile, I have a Film Festival programme to trawl through.
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
It all started off badly today and fell away, this is so often the way when the routine is affected. In addition to “sleeping in” (by my reckoning) there was a message that kind of brought on a mild strop. And several others that I didn’t have time to respond to because of my sleepy-heidedness. Mindful of the probability that the EIFF programme will take up much of my time when I got it, I’ve pretty much written the day off. The portals of destiny seemed to be running OK and I don’t take kindly to any turbulence. Still, it could be way worse, I might not be headed for big fun with my Catalonian (Catalan?) homies this coming weekend.
It did get a little better despite my not being able to download the EIFF brochure. Their website collapsed due to "demand". Have had to make do with one of these browser viewer things so maybe you've had experience of those things yourself. If you haven't then good for you. Anyway, now it can be told... I did post the trailer incognito a couple of weeks ago...
Cigarette Girl - a film by J. Michael McCarthy - Filmhouse 1 on Tuesday 22nd June at 9.15pm with the director in attendance. It is entirely your bag, have a look...