Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
From last night, a mixed bag for sure. A spirited disintegration here and there but on the whole, they pulled it off. Rehearsing in public might well catch on...
First up, Lord Rochester... and you'll recognise the other guys. Apparently they're staying in the UK to make a new album after this series of shows. Those Cluny shows in Newcastle next week should be a hoot.
Le Weekend 2010
14th – 17th October @ The Tolbooth, Stirling.
LW Classic Playback Series – Horace Tapscott/ The Dark Tree
Critical Mass – Mats Gustaffson & Agusti Fernandez
Sten Sandell Hammond Organ Trio with Johan Berthling & Paal Nilssen-Love
Big Noise Improv Team
LW Classic Playback Series 2 – Soft Machine/ Volume 2
Piano Tapes – Bill Wells & Stefan Schneider
Ass – Andreas Soderstrom
Murcof & Francesco Tristano
Film Screening 1 – Animal Riot by Mandy McIntosh
The Room 3 versus Junk Music
Film Screening 2 – Patti Smith/ Dream of Life by Steven Sebring
The Music of Alvin Lucier 1
Oceans of Silver & Blood – Mark Wastell & Joachim Nordwall
New String Theory – Rhodri Davies, Lina Lapelyte & Angharad Davies
LW Classic Playback Series 3 – John Zorn/ The Big Gundown
Peter Nicholson – Songs
Tetuzi Akiyama + Chris Forsyth
Notes From The Underground
The Room 4
The Music of Alvin Lucier 2
Film Screening 3
LW Classic Playback Series 4 – Roxy Music + The Darnely Dinner
John Butcher & Gerry Hemingway
The End of An Ear – All Things Must Pass
Thanks to Rab Buchanan for the info.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Been a woolly few days, some heady highs and some way down lows - all part of the rich travesty, sorry – tapestry, of my existence. If you were to plot a graph it would certainly be a largely downward trajectory with a little rally here and there.
Still, a jaunt to “the Madrid” is on the cards so that’s always a tonic. Tonight my spirit has shot the craw to Stockholm and the Razziathon that is underway as I tap.
The weekend will bring much blogging maybe, or at least a little. I have flyers for Eric and Amy to guillotine tonight. It’ll be like going to the gym.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
We've been asked at the very last minute to play with the Tango Rhums in the ballroom at the Voodoo Rooms (the big room upstairs in the Cafe Royal) this MONDAY the 30th of August. Tommy Shock cant make it so I've drafted in his bass brother Big Wullie Shock and Stephen StAndin is back in the drumstool for this one - if you enjoy a bit of jazz, you'll love this gig ....3 bands, 5 quid, first band on at 8 all over by 11
Also coming up is the return of Wreckless Eric And Amy Rigby - Thursday September 16th - this time they are playing at the Citrus club, expect them to be on for a full set between 8 and 10 with no support from the acoustic shock and awe this time sadly, but I'll be there to see them anyway - but dont panic,
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
DIXY BLOOD TO DEBUT
By Dixy Bliss
“Go tell ma, go tell pa, go git sis outta that mud, we’re gonna go see Dixy Blood!”
Dixy Blood is a new/old area quartet who specialize in classic country ‘n’ western themes played with a rawness, intensity and attitude that suggests a sneering punk aesthetic. No surprise, as the group is comprised of members of The Sickidz, a local mainstay since the original Hot Club era. Dixy Blood, however, constitutes a striking new direction south.
But no Hee Haw jokes, Buckaroo, ‘cause this here ain’t no laughing matter.
“We exhausted The Sickidz,” explains lead singer Clarence “Mick” Cancer, “and I had absolutely no impulse to do anything musical. But we reformed, in a truncated version, to perform a Lux Interior/Cramps tribute. It was a satisfying experience and the line-up presented intriguing possibilities.”
The line-up being Cancer’s eternal cohort Rockin’ Richie Lustre on guitar, Drummer Moe Jo, and rising diva Ms. Bettyloo Gee providing lead vocals and hay bales.
Cancer has long harbored a deep appreciation of country and it recently developed into another full-blown teenage obsession.
“I always loved songs like “Please Help Me I’m Falling” and Leroy Van Dyke’s “Walk on By”, all that old hillbilly and honky tonk stuff, the Gram Parsons ethos,” states Clarence, “and over the last few years listened to it almost exclusively. I swallowed the genre whole.”
“After the Cramps show,” continues Mick, “I began to think that this outfit could potentially concoct a unique and also valid approximation of that style.”
But this is no mere alt-country escapade.
“My heroes are guys like Webb Pierce, Wynn Stewart, Floyd Tillman, Mel Tillis, hard-core trailer park honkybilly.” exclaims Clarence, “and our material is drawn from that vast source. Country music often reflects bleak, damaged lives and some very twisted, stark situations. We try to play it accordingly.”
So what exactly are the aspirations of these honkybilly punks?
“I suppose we’ll play out somewhere,” speculates Clarence, “and hopefully we’ll record it, document it, you know, in a room, live, one take, put it out on cassette and listen to it at home someday.”
Nonetheless, during their existence as Sickidz, the band frequently played with some of the artists they most respected such as The Cramps and Iggy Pop…
“Oh sure, you bet, “enthused Mick, “we wanna open for Merle, Paycheck, Coe, Jamey Johnson, The Dixie Chicks, whoever else is left alive. I mean, why the fuck not!”
Hee Haw indeed.
Tritone, 1508 South St, Philadelphia, PA
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2010
DIXY BLOOD – 10 PM
PALMYRA DELRAN (with The SlotCars) – 11 PM
JUKEBOX ZEROES – 12 PM
Monday, August 23, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
All the news that's fit to print? Facts aside, Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. meets "The Gray Lady" -- with a nice bit in The New York Times for our show at Otto's Shrunken Head this week! And such handsome lads...
THURSDAY, AUGUST 26th / OTTO'S SHRUNKEN HEAD / 538 East 14th Street (just west of Avenue B) in ol' Manhattan /Two newsprint-free shows, from 8pm sharp until 10pm /
Yours in home delivery, Michael
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.
"Ballads, Boogies & Blues"
Saturday, August 21, 2010
VARIOUS ARTISTS - 35 !!! Years BEAR FAMILY RECORDS - BCD 17035 PR
3-CD Box-Set (LP-size), 208-page hardcover book
GENRE: Various styles
PLAYING TIME: 219:07
BEAR FAMILY celebrates its 35th year in the business
BEAR FAMILY boxed sets continue to set the standard for reissues, worldwide
Exclusive anniversary offer for our friends at a very special price
Musicians and songwriters join to pay tribute to BEAR FAMILY
Original recordings -- not available anywhere else
BEAR FAMILY RECORDS came into being in the late summer of 1975.We want to celebrate the company's 35th anniversary with a very special release.
A CD/book edition has been produced just for this event. You may purchase this item at a special price. Our friends in the music industry, musicians and songwriters, have written and recorded a collection of 'Bear' songs especially for our anniversary. These original recordings -- 68 in all -- are available exclusively on this LP-sized BEAR FAMILY boxed set.
Especially interesting are the songs that deal not just with any old bear, but with our own BEAR FAMILY label -- Jim Diamond: Bear Family; Deke Dickerson: Bear Family Talking Blues; Roland Heinrich: Sixteen Discs, and Kim Lenz: What I Crave.
In the accompanying book, some of the world's leading music critics and experts pick their all-time favorite BEAR FAMILY releases. This CD boxed set is an unprecedented celebration because BEAR FAMILY is a record company without peer -- and because a 35th anniversary only comes once every thirty-five years!)!
The Lola Dutronic “Musique” EP reconvenes some older material as new mixes with the title track based on the Martin Rev bedrock. Their mix of electro and europop is as lush as all get out. The way “Brigitte Bardot” sweeps out of the speakers is just about as groovy as you’re likely to be able to stand and that accent... jings, crivvens, help ma boab! The faux cha cha cha ending rocks too.
“Whisper” itself is chilling. It takes a "J’taime..." ambience into a Blade Runner as interpreted by David Lynch type setting. It’s a sensual assault that must sound monumental pumping out of a full-on club PA. Actually I’m not sure my heart could take it but I’d certainly be willing to give it a go. This is where Suicide intersects with Gainsbourg to create something genuinely not of this earth. Check out this clip but be reminded that its probably NSF most avenues of W.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Joe Franklin's real class and here's his encounter with Joey and Marky (Raymone)... check out the T-shirt Joe is wearing on the press photo (taken by Monte)... blimey. Brings us all back squarely to The Dictators without which, many of us over here would never have known who JF was. Popular culture works in mysterious ways. (Thanks to Marc Campbell via facebook)
I wonder. If I stare at that pile (points) of CDs for long enough, might they just disappear?
Sometimes I get very dejected but more often than not something comes along to revitalise the nerve endings that have been narked. Right now there’s a whole bunch of great stuff about to come out. It’s difficult to keep up with let alone keep a perspective on. Not really a problem or an iffy position, particularly on a Friday with an entire weekend ready to roll.
Matt and Kim are down south in Engerland this weekend at the V Festival. They shine like the proverbial stream of bat pee from an otherwise typical festival fare. Their new single “Cameras” will be available from August 31st.
Eric and Amy are in that same part of the world at the Rhythm Festival. I was listening to “Do You Remember That?” last night and thinking we should start a facebook campaign for it to be Christmas # 1. Yep. I said the C-word and I’m getting ahead of myself but as popular music goes, when it gets a release is likely to hit my all time favourites chart with a bullet. It tells a fantastic story that warms the cockles of my very hard to please heart.
And in keeping with the cool story theme, check out this one about Lorraine Ellison’s “Stay With Me” over at the So Many Records portal.
More when I figure out what it is that I ought to be doing.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Having been out on two consecutive school nights, procrastination here in the bunker is just hovering below code red. This needs to be addressed this evening so today’s epistle will be puh-retty short.
Yesterday was a little frantic. I was pretty knackered before the show and fried after. A mix of the music and the activity of the day, the alarm actually woke me this morning or I might have caught up on something that’s apparently referred to as sleep.
Never saw Moon Unit, the openers. Already scratched that itch on the last Record Store Day. Although well attended, this wasn’t sold out by any stretch. Had it been in Glasgow, I think it would have. It was all a bit louder than expected and perhaps a touch of pastoral would have altered the states of the general movements. There was also the issue of the sound in that place too but where we were standing, in the pit, it was pretty good and on occasion quite disorienting in the positive sense.
Local commentator, Eno Sharples considered that Steve Shelley’s drumming was too rock here and there. Mini Cauldwell was unavailable for comment. While I agree in part, he does a pretty good job of approximating Dinger’s obviously singular style. The consideration that we’re gathered in 2010 witnessing this is not to be disregarded. My main criticism was that the electricity built up was just killed between songs. There needs to be continuity even if it’s was just a bleeps or three, maybe a little white noise. Just some kind of audible bond between the massive slabs of energy. Some of it soared, some of it glided but it was seldom less than invigorating.
This music still sounds pretty damn futuristic and despite the fact that jetpacks or any other similar form of transport haven’t been forthcoming, this soundtrack still makes it all entirely seem entirely likely that foreseeable needn’t be the end of the world. I'm of to do the ironing to a soundtrack of La Dussseldorf. Toodle pip.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Fending off recent press tosh regarding the fact that she is quitting music, Annika Norlin returns with her Säkert! crew to prove otherwise. Conclusively.
“Facit” is the second album by Säkert!, her Swedish language combo. Those of you who pay attention will already be on tenterhooks. It’s worth noting at this point, that versions of these songs in English will be coming down the pike in the not too distant future. You can be sure that the subtitles will be every bit as potent as these originals.
I’ve written about how you need to listen to Annika a lot over the life of this portal and make no apologies for that. In any lingo, her attention to detail and ability to turn me into an awe-struck fan is unsurpassed. If I ever feel like knocking this malarkey on the head, I listen to Annika and that reboots my faith in the thing called popular music.
“Fredrik” kicks the proceedings off, reminding me of an early Wannadies song that I must have seen that band play when I caught them first in Berlin at the 1990 BID. “Rotary” also employs this wonderful spirit. “Honung” (“Honey”) has a similar tempo to the Robyn cover that Ms Norlin did with Anna Järvinen on Swedish Television some time ago. It breaks in a choral wave against a chiming guitar that will undoubtedly pack quite a kick when they get it out on the road. “Isarna” (“Ice”) is a lyric trade off between Annika and Lovisa that’s anything but frosty with a beautiful, almost African guitar flourish below the main thrust. Adding to the majesty as it races toward the finish line.
“Fär Jag”(“May I”) is a quiet, symphonic song that uses her voice to maximum effect while the slow burn of the band bathes the track in a shimmer. “Riot” ultimately transplants a Black Angel Death Song screech into a brooding anthem that will undoubtedly become a staple. Imagine Nico with a warm mulled wine kind of accent. It never quite spills over but the tension is palpable. The recorded equivalent of the last few frames of the final episode of The Sopranos, I felt pretty wiped out after my first encounter with this one.
No sign of “Fallar Isär”. The vinyl version of the album will include an additional song, “Ner i gruvan” ("Down In The Mine" – According to Google translation!).
This band just swings from pillar to post. The way the guitar occupies each song is an utter joy and the percussion too. Nothing overstated, nada overdone. "Facit" is something that you can only chalk up to chemistry.
Burning many degrees hotter than The Arcade Fire for me, Henrik Oja has produced the perfect blend of folk and pop and makes sure the band lives up to their moniker. Nothing is more sure than this deserves to blaze a trail right across the planet. I’ve never been more certain of anything. Of course, If that doesn’t happen then I’ll hold each and every one of you accountable.
Out September 15th on Razzia Records. Pre-order it here.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Thursday 26th August - Edinburgh
60's Garage Beat mini-festival, Henry's Cellar Bar, 8 Morrison St, Edinburgh. 8pm - 1am. £5.
Local French beat/yéyé combo Les BOF! are hosting this mini 3 bands garage rock festival. Opening with Lord Rochester (blues/R'n'R from Dumfries/Edinburgh) and headlined by The Carpet Sellers (garage rock from Paris) + DJ. A unique blend of French 60's beat served with a Bo Diddley style starter. Not to be missed!
Sunday, August 15, 2010
There’s a rumour of Television too in terms of the mercurial guitar interplay. The piano is what skews it and ultimately adds that all important x ingredient. These are head turning tunes alright. If you heard one on the radio then you’d stop the car so you could write down who it was.
“Praxis Tape” is the most peculiar cut, like Santana if they’d started out in CB’s circa ’65. “You Done My Head In” is like a cousin of Mose Allison’s recent “My Brain”. David Dundas’ “Jeans On” as realised by the Velvet Underground. “Children of Light” is St Marks Place Motown. Classy gear.
“Slowpokes” by Rebecca Turner is one of those albums that creeps up on you. It features my old friend Rod Hohl on guitars, that was a nice surprise. Some of you might recall his playing with Mary Lee Kortes way too long ago. 11 songs delivered without fuss or clutter in a pop Americana style.
Rebecca has a voice that’s easy on the ear, maybe a little downwind of Suzanne Vega or one of The Roches. She calls the content “a casserole of styles” and that pretty much sums it up. If comfort food were songs then they’d sound like this.
Ludwig Bell of Dreamboy (singular – not to be confused with the Peter Capaldi/Roddy Murray/Craig Ferguson combo) is just about to release his debut solo set on the rarefied imprint of Razzia. It’s a grandiose Aztec Camera-esque feast of sumptuous pop, all in Swedish.
I’m thinking of adopting “Jag är en Idiot” as my theme song, whaddaya reckon? Check out the video for “Kärlek Slutar Alltid Med Brak”. The Stockholm locations make me homesick for a session at Tranan. I am in relative awe of the roster that this label has a beat on.
Listen to all the upcoming Razzia gear...
Mixed fortunes yesterday and the result that I felt fried after I got home so I just turned this thing off. I had the best of intentions too...
Rolled up to the station to catch the minute from noon train as I'm prone to do. Thought nothing of it. Managed to get on but only just. Surely all these people aren't going to see the "Gainsbourg" movie, I thought? And this might all seem light hearted now but it was a fucking nightmare. I'm pretty sure it was way over capacity - maybe not in indian terms - but certainly for here. Where are the health and safety zealots when you need them? OF COURSE, nowhere to be seen.
Anyway, the journey was hell. Spent ticking like a time bomb. I was thinking, what must visitors to this pathetic country think? Such a rinky-dink transport system and anything but even quaint. Getting off at Haymarket and ambling up toward the Cameo was quiet. That part of town isn't affected by the scumhordes. At the cinema, I thought that I was to have the place to myself but 3 other people came in. Still, not bad to have such a big space realtively unscathed. And you don't get pond life in there anyway, that's why it's a pleasure.
Dug the film and the two hours passed quickly. No one who has an interest in it's subject will be disappointed. It is a little peculiar though and the question of the music is largely dealt with in terms of the soundtrack.
From there, I headed down to try and pick up my Neu ticket but can't do so until the night so that was a bust. From there to the Book Festival location and that was totally chocka too so headed for the high street where it took a lifetime to go the distance of something like a block. there were that many people rammed in to see the poxy street theatre bollocks that I'm surprised there wasn't an incident. The tourist fleecing was in full swing. Couldn't really do what I set out to do up there so in relative defeat and bealing with anger, I went for the train home.
This wasn't quite so sardine-like but full of noisy bastards. Why does travelling have to be an ordeal. Even such a short distance? It's true, I could drive but that's even worse. Actually that's a misnomer because you can't "drive" anywhere once you get into town. It was with equal relief of getting off the train earlier that I arrived in Polmont wanting nothing but to get as far away from these trolls as possible. I mean no ill to actual trolls you understand. It was good to be back in the bunker where I yakked on the phone, ate and fell asleep watching something on TV. No idea what it was at all at this point.
Oh yeah, one of those spambot feckers has infiltrated the blog here and added a comment to the last however many posts. I can't be arsed removing them, there are more than twenty. This is a sign of the times, one of the many that steams my bean.
I intend to try and sort out some more reviews today. Let's see how that pans out...
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
18 years ago today, I was in Dallas TX hanging out with Brother Randall and Sister Donna, just a wee bit before we headed for Memphis on the “In Search of Elvis” tour. I remember it like it was yesterday. Said US trek also included a pilgrimage to Springfield, Mo. And my SF debut to finally meet them Stims. Quite an adventure.
However, I’m feeling a tad long in the tooth because my nephew Jamie turned the age of that Alice Cooper chestnut today. I’m not sure if I want to seize the day or scuttle off and hide. If I’m being honest, the latter more suits my demeanour. Milestones like this flag up the concept of the long, strange road. They amplify the fact that what passes as an existence is all too short. If you don’t know what you want and you don’t know how to get it or you know what you want and you don’t know how to get it, how does that play out?
I’ve had enough of knowing how to get what I don’t want though. Still, I shouldn’t grumble. My own particular alternative universe isn’t such a bad place to be when I stop kvetching and think about it. I understand the concept of always wanting what you can’t have but it would be a right royal trip to buck that particular malady.
Crossed the 700 mark in terms of faceplook friends last weekend and I think I’m getting immune to status updating in direct correlation with the increase. Coming back to the valuable commodity of time, if we added together all the time we’ve spent/spend on there, that’s a hefty chunk that we’ll never get back. This was never factored in to my already waning time management skills.
I notice that a couple of blog posts actually turned up there but have no idea how the hook up works. Sometimes it rankles me, mostly I don’t care.
Need to polish my baseball mask and cleaver for tomorrow. Bye.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
A wee state of the nation gathering of this and that might be in order ahead of the slide into autumn. Last night we had 15 minutes of the heaviest rain that I recall ever having seen. Pretty amazing and thankfully the drainage dealt with it. Touch and go though. Pretty busy around these parts with a couple of potential adventures on the horizon, I’m not gonna jinx them by blabbing too soon.
Some very cool new releases coming up by some house faves too and all will become apparent on that score very soon. The nights may well be drawing in but the drawbridge ain’t going up just yet. Plenty of time for that.
Need to take care of pressing demands but here’s a lengthy interview with “wir ain” Ms Lisa Fancher ahead of marking three decades of Frontier Records that’ll keep you amused.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Bandita Trails present
Part Wild Horse’s Mane On Both Sides
Neil A. Simpson
at Leith Dockers’ Club on August 22nd 2010
(Academy Street, Leith, EH6 7EE - 0131 225 2042)
7pm - 11pm tickets £5 on the door
***Squeals and groans, cheap drinks, no flyers!***
PWHMOBS (Singing Knives): From Lyon (via Manchester), avant-primitivism of real beauty on flute, voice and an assortment of percussion courtesy of Kelly Jones and Pascal Nichols of Stuckometer/Cooper-Jones/Axis Mundi etc.
USURPER (Giant Tank): From Edinburgh, “(mostly) miniscule free-noise tantrums wi busted instruments from the mongs what brought youse Giant Tank and Pizza Boy Delivery.”
TUBE O’MOULD (Total Vermin): A new collaborative project from Rhian Thompson (Hockeyfrilla / Giant Tank) and Stuart Arnot (Smear Campaign / Total Vermin Records).
NEIL A. SIMPSON Repetitive guitarist (of Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo).
RED DEATH (Braw Industries): Synth syncopation and psychedelic drone.
A collaboration between Tracer Trails and Screen Bandita.
Two home shows in one week for The Nomads coming up. One of those with the mighty Problem, to be repeated in Malmo also. I envy those who can attend. Details here.
And while we're out in that 'hood. Check out the new Razzia gear at their myspace.
Monday, August 09, 2010
I wasn’t ready for it being Monday and that condition hasn’t really altered through its course. If anything I’ve kinda fallen away. One thing I did do late last night was spring for a Hallogallo ticket for next week. HT saw them in NY last week and reckoned it was great. What price transportation to another dimension for a bit? Let’s just hope the sound in the HMV Picturehouse is up to channelling the sonic majesty of the raw material.
In case you didn't get Murray's message earlier, the Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby show at The Citrus club in Edinburgh (Thursday September 16th) is ON. £9 in advance/£13 on the door. You know what to do.
Twang or swing?
Have no fear, for SUSQUEHANNA INDUSTRIAL TOOL & DIE CO. has got you covered this week with both our monthly residency at the rootin' tootin' RODEO BAR -- and our first appearance at jive happy SWING 46 and its spacious dance floor!
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 11th / RODEO BAR /375 Third Avenue (at the corner of 27th Street) in Manhattan /Two honky tonkin' shows, from 10pm sharp until 12:30am / No cover!
THURSDAY, AUGUST 12th / SWING 46 / 349 West 46th Street (between 8th & 9th Aves.) in Manhattan /Three hep sets at 8:30, 9:30 and 10:30!
Swingingly yours, Michael
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.
"Ballads, Boogies & Blues"
Sunday, August 08, 2010
“Across The Atlantic” by Sarah MacDougall is a disarming set of songs. Born in Sweden and based in Vancouver, BC – Ms MacD apparently toured here earlier this year. A fact to which I was oblivious but that’s my loss in this particular instance, “ATA” is just 10 songs long and indicates a nice line in the ability to leave people wanting more. She has that infused folk pop thing that seems to be in the Swede dna down pat and this swings from start to finsh.
Beautifully sung, played and recorded, “Ramblin’” and “Biggest Mistake” might be the standouts but I think that consideration could be subject to change. I would actually venture out to see this gal so hopefully my radar will be in better shape when she heads out this way again.
Tori Sparks “The Scorpion In The Story” (Glass Mountain) is likely to appeal to you folks that reckon that a new Mary Lee’s Corvette album is overdue. Billed as a “tale in thirteen parts”, it includes Will Kimbrough and Fats Kaplin among the musicians involved.
Root and branch music as opposed to regular Americana, it’s quite a broad canvas. Ms Sparks has one of those pristine voices that’s a little bit country and an equal part pop, similar to Eddie Reader before she turned into a folkie diva and without the affectation. Carlene Carter also comes to mind. Love the sound of “Rubbernecking” and those horns in “Background Music” evoke HS’s “Leaving You Behind”. What’s not to dig?
Bummer’s “Vintage Rock” is eight years old. That in itself is older than most claim to be “vintage” at this point. Note however the difference between this and the expression “classic rock”. The Spaniards embody the hard rock’n’roll ethos as pretty much only they and the Swedes can.
For the most part although there are exceptions in and around Newcastle, Glasgow and thereabouts. So if you like a little Foghat mixed with your Nomads/Hellacopters/Dictators flavoured kicks then I imagine that you’ll have a very good time in the company of these guys. “Party Lights” kicks the door in and “On The Moon” might well punt you over la luna. Thanks to Juancho for hooking me up, I can't find any links though...!
Woman are a NY combo that sound like they come from Australia. They have that solid Scientists style barrage and a Beasts Of Bourbon snarl. It’s a fairly intense wallop that they pack. Not unlike you always read that The Birthday Party did but never seemed to register on my seismograph. This has the bottom end that was always missing from that to the point that there’s a genuine danger of boiling over here. A tension previously only broached by maybe The Chrome Cranks. Brought to you courtesy of Bang Records.
It’s not an easy ride if you’re prone to bruising and you know the Hell hath no fury adage, right?
The Onepercentres are from Tokyo and their exuberant “Daydreaming Horses” album is an action painting of youthful punk pop energy. If Blink 182 had embraced the doctrine of Redd Kross instead of the route they took then they might have sounded like this. There are shards of The Yum Yums and Fountains of Wayne too plastered on their harmonic wall.
Had the pleasure of hanging out with Osamu at Jon and Suzy’s wedding and he tells me the band will be hitting up Spain in October when this will be issued there by Wild Punk. I love the spelling of the name too, it skews the meaning somewhat because they sound like they’re actually giving at least 119% at any given time.
“Nuisance” (a term I’m used to hearing) and “Wish” are like songs that might have been in a hyperactive Japanese re-make of “That Thing You Do”. The guitar hooks are provided plenty of light and shade to shine and the shifts in pace punctuate the basic song structures, never reducing them to a leaden thump. The harmony vocals are utterly charming too.
The expression “psychedelic” is overused these days in much the same way as “garage”. These terms have been misappropriated by hacks that use them to dupe the unsuspecting punter. It’s timely then that a combo like Donovan’s Brain can straddle all of that six week shelf life piffle to create something like “Fires Which Burnt Brightly” (Career Records). Pink Floyd and Crazy Horse via Traffic and Soft White Underbelly are just part of the complex equation that beats at the heart of this concept. This one even ropes in Sir Roy Loney so you just know that you’re gonna be getting something a little more classy than what anyone might tell you about the latest Str*kes effort.
Few can pull off the dark jangle like these days just check out “High Street Hit Man” if you ever considered what Teenage Fanclub might have sounded like if they’d sprung out of the Pacific Northwest. Not unknown origins then but a lovely way to burn nonetheless.
The Senders “Outrageous and Contagious” collects material from 25 years of r&b hellraising between 1976 and 2001. These guys were the Feelgoods crossed with The Heartbreakers and a little Lenny and the Squigtones thrown in. The opening cut “You Really Piss Me Off” pretty much sets the tone for a roughass but jaunty history lesson of a NY staple that kind of got lost in the punk-rock kerfuffle because they didn’t kow-tow. I think I saw The Senders at Continental Divide one night. When they used to give you the plastic dinosaurs in yer drink? And when I used to be able to put it away.
Devils Jukebox has put together this retrospective in a quest to see some justice done in bringing the band to the attention of the wider rock’n’roll consuming public. Couple of tracks even include Johnny Thunders for those of you that require to have everything the man ever did. Outrageous? Maybe back in “the day”. Contagious? For sure.
Vermillion Sands (Alien Snatch) is a cool Italian combo that do a nice line in twisted Nancy Sinatra flavoured pop. With 60’s roots but not stuck in some timewarp. They have a very contemporary frisson and “Monsoon Blues” reminds me of the way that SAHB used to arrange standards like “Delilah”. Listen to them. You’ll see.
I wonder whatever happened to my old amigo of the same name that used to work with the Rev. Nick Jones at Illegal Records back when everything seemed possible. V? you out there??
“Cry Tomorrow” by Stephanie Finch and The Company Men (Belle Sound) is a fine piece of femme pop that evokes two of my favouritist artists. Ms’s Angel Corpus Christi and Laura Cantrell are both pointers for this splendid set. It’s got a kinda Velvets chug to it too. Not overdone but just enough to skew it. Ms Finch is Mrs Chuck Prophet and the bloke has percolated quite the diggable sound here. Bet they’re amazing live because it just swings in a comfortable yet never obvious style. Like Eleni Mandell, there are a multitude of influences coming together to fuse something altogether special.
This is a keeper, check out “Tina Goodbye” or The Modern Lovers-tastic “She’s The One” for the type of sensory gratification one should demand from all popular music.
Saturday, August 07, 2010
Been a bit preoccupied this week but I’m hoping that catch up can commence to some degree soon.
Just watched a really great Hoodoo Gurus documentary entitled “Be My Guru” that takes the story up to 2004. It’s part of a double DVD release that includes dozens of clips (live and video). I haven’t got to those yet.
Doctor H sent me this review of “Inception” that I thought was damn funny.
"Inception is the kind of movie that makes you think. It makes you think, "There go $13.25 American--admission for one senior and one adult--and two and half hours I'll never get back."
I’ll probably never see it because it won’t show at Bo’ness on a weekend afternoon. I’ve heard mixed reports and don’t really care.
Here’s Mr Alan Vega pictured in NYC just yesterday courtesy of HT.
The Dahlmanns are playing Madrid on September 24th as part of the Wonderful Wurlitzer Ballroom Fifth Anniversary shindig. (Thanks for the scoop Line).
Eric and Amy at The Citrus Club in Edinburgh on Thursday 16th September. Two shows in two nights, (Glasgow Stereo on Friday 17th) woo hoo!
OK, normal service just around that corner...
Friday, August 06, 2010
The Subway Surfers “Three Chords and a Mission” combines what made punk rock great from both sides of the Atlantic. Combining elements of The Barracudas, The Gizmos, The Fleshtones and Dead Kennedys to come up with something convincing isn’t easy. Just listen to the squillions of alleged PR hacks that are hauling their racket around the planet. Incidentally I include several of those from back then in that squall too. These guys should be at the Rebellion festival in Blackpool this weekend.
Hailing from Jersey City in the Garden State, there’s an element of this that reminds me of The Dictators demos. TCM isn’t a career statement but its bloody good fun. As you may be aware, authenticity alone doesn’t cut it with me. These guys are evidently old enough to know better and that’s what makes it. They imbibe the familiarity to the point where I think, if I had a band, I’d be pretty pleased if they sounded half as cool as this.
Among the ladies proudly sporting their SS buttons on the inside of the digipack is Ms Miriam Linna so this also signifies a certain pedigree. And what’s that riff on “Last Man Standing” again, and top marks to Fuzzco for his Peter Zaremba-like singing? I thought “Robot Love” was going to be The Valves song but it’s not and it includes a guest spot by Cynthia Santiglia.
“Punk Rock Casualty” closes the set and will appeal to anyone in various stages of that condition. There’s a roll call of credits that takes such an honour one step beyond the CD jacket too. You’ll like these guys because they’re doing this for all the right reasons. Is there any higher accolade?
The album is on the Deep Eddy imprint out of Austin, TX.
Thursday, August 05, 2010
I’ve had that condemned property feeling today. Woke up like that this morning and haven’t been able to shake it. Wabbit with a side helping of “cannae be arsed” and pretty much the polar opposite of perky.
This is more entertaining than anything I'm likely to come up with...
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Many moons ago, a popular beat combo coined the phrase once you get The Cramps you can’t get rid of them. Old times will remember that. Well last night I got excruciating cramp in my left leg. It caused me more pain that looking at the cover of “Fiends of Dope Island”. Haven’t experienced anything quite like it in quite some time. It seemed like a logical extension though of everything else that went down last night.
Although there was no apparent reason for the way everything went to shit, it did cross my mind that some miscreant might be sticking pins into an effigy of me and twisting them. Of course, as always – this stuff is relative. I’m aware that I have it relatively easy and that I’m my own worst enemy. Couple things coming up on the horizon then...
Ms Brijitte West at The Gaff next Tuesday, go there and score a copy of her latest album if you haven't already.
It's GO-GO! time again... this Saturday (7th August) DJs Tall Paul & Big Gus playing top 60s tunes til 5am with Guest DJ Lenny Helsing (The THANES) playing garage and psych.
Doors 11pm. free entry up til 11.30pm£5/4 after.
Upstairs @ Studio 24, Calton Road, Edinburgh. (Next date... Sat 4th September).
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
Do you think that TV placement of songs actually helps a band anymore? I mean, how does anybody find out what something is? With a movie, you get the closing credits but on a TV show – do they all have websites with soundtrack info? I should check that but I don’t have time right now. My reason for asking is that I heard Frightened Rabbit’s “Swim” on Chuck last night and it sounded pretty good as that "music bed" or whatever they call that stuff.
I wondered if it got a spike in downloads when that aired? Of course, no-one watches the same things at the same time anymore so maybe it was or is gradual as opposed to steep. It made me think what a great job it would be to be able to score a soundtrack. I really think that I could do that. In addition, I’d like to do that and there’s not much I can say that about.
Anyway, I came home full of good intentions tonight and have been worn down with this and that. Equal measures of both to be honest. That hasn't happened too often lately so I'm hoping it's a blip. What's the adage? These things are sent to try us?? It's not wrong. If I can rassle myself outta this tangle then I might be back later, if not - I'll sleepin' with the TV on.
Monday, August 02, 2010
Iain sent me a message about this, finger must have been to the left of the pulse on this one...
TUESDAY - August 3rd 2010
Tracer Trails present
& Muscles of Joy
at Hyndland Community Hall, Glasgow
(Hyndland Road / Novar Drive, G12 9JE)
8PM BYOB ALL AGES
Tickets £6 + b.f. from Monorail (still £6 on the door)
Wednesday August 4th 2010
Tracer Trails present
Ben Butler & Mousepad
at Pilrig St Paul’s, Edinburgh
(Leith Walk / Pilrig Street, EH6 5AH)
8PM BYOB ALL AGES
Tickets £6 + b.f. from Avalanche (still £6 on the door)
Thanks to Emily at Tracer Trails for the poster art.
Saw four films at the weekend, three at the cinema and one here in the bunker. Toy Story 3 on Saturday afternoon… I think it’s one thing for kids under say, 5, to watch a dvd at home on whatever size of TV their parents have but another thing entirely to expect them to sit through something in a cinema. This screening wasn’t that bad but there were a few as young as maybe 3. So you can imagine the kvetching and the launching of popcorn from buckets that are almost as big as they are.
The film itself is pretty good, with characters that bear (no pun intended if you’ve seen it) some investment. Indicating more soul than many modern actors that thrash about amid blue screens and cgi. That evening, I watched the DVD of Edgeplay, Vicki Blue’s Runaways doc and it bummed me out. This is a prime example of why it’s maybe best not to know about what went on in the background with regard to a band that you gave a hoot about.
Managed to drag my tuchus out of the house on Sunday to catch a double bill of “Please Give” and “Friends with Money” both by a filmmaker - Nicole Holofcener, that I never heard of prior to this. In a coincidence with the title, “Friends” includes Jennifer Aniston and you get to listen to her cursing. It’s OK and closes with a great Ricki Lee Jones track that I never heard before. “Please Give” is a kind of "Crossing Delancey" type, New York based semi-black comedy with a good heart. Genuinely funny and touching with a great ensemble cast. Best film I’ve seen since "Cigarette Girl", no question about it. I was going to post the trailer but it gives too much away, best just to see it fresh. It's around UK cinemas now so if it's anywhere near you, treat yourself.
I seem to be having messages returned around 24 hours after I sent them out. Is the interweb gubbed again or is just me? Being paranoid I’m pretty sure it’s the latter but are any of the rest of you, particularly of the blueyonder persuasion experiencing anything similar?
Sunday, August 01, 2010
27 Forever! - Eight of the fourteen songs on The Riverdales “Tarantula” clock in well under two minutes. A prime example of quality over quantity and as concise a burst of pure punk rock abandon as you’ll ever encounter. The guitar on “Infection” sounds like Tony Iommi doing a John Cummings and the closest this combo may ever have come to “a solo”. Continuing exactly where Invasion USA left off, there’s not one gram of flab. They’ve got that crunch down pat by now and by time that the hopped up, almost Bo Diddlified “Girls Town” closes side one you have the exact time that it takes to flip it over to catch your breath.
“Soultaker” is a ballad of “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” proportions and I could have imagined Joey singing this one. There are even bells and at that point, if there was any composure left, then you’ll be toast. The doo-wop commotion of “Crash of the Moons” is equally potent. By the advent of “Time Chaser” you should be checking the listings to see if they’re playing anywhere near you tonight.
If you don’t get a charge out of The Riverdales then I really don’t know what to say. They’re shaking up a can of the very dna of everything I hold dear and true when it comes to life-affirming rock’n’roll. "Tarantula" is coming at you via San Pedro’s Recess Records in several formats. I recommend the footlong.