Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I'm too pissed off to engage with you folks tonight so I'll leave you in the capable hands of Brother Don. He saw The Fleshtones in SF last night...

Just got back from the Fleshtones at Bottom of the Hill. I ask you, who else but the Fleshtones can make you twist, jerk, swim, monkey and then get down on all fours to do a set of push ups?! Yes, at one point, while the beat kept on going, the front line got off the stage and started doing push ups in the middle of the floor! And then it was our turn, as ordered by Sergeants Streng and Zaremba. I didn't know I was in a competition until I got up and referee Streng raised my arm high above my head in victory.

This kind of showmanship hasn't been seen since the days of Paul Revere and the Raiders. The fact that these guys are still going strong.... it's just astounding... running all around the place, hopping up on chairs--- even up and down off the bar. And never missing a beat of course. The 50 or so people who showed up (Tuesday night's about the worse you can play in this town) never stopped moving throughout the hour plus set and on into the half hour encore. Streng used a wireless sparkly Gretsch thru silver face Fender Deluxe Reverb.

Peter's weaponry included a Vox Continental organ, harmonica, and whistle. Drummer and bass player (old Fender Jazz) were just phenomenal. How do they do it? After all they're not only old enough to "remember the Ramones", but also Chris Montez and the Beatles (with an instrumental "Day Tripper).

I remember the first time I saw them. They won a battle of the bands at NYU. It was the Zantees, Nervous Rex and the 'tones. 1976 or 77. I think Lenny Kaye and maybe Clem Burke were among the panel of judges. The crowd went berserk with the Fleshtones. Absolute mayhem. 35 yrs later and they're truly just as maniacal as ever. Unbelievable. God bless em and I hope some band sings "I remember the Fleshtones" many years from now.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Have ill-fitting orthopedic undergarments got you down?

is at Otto's Shrunken Head this week, and on the last Thursday of *every* month!

538 East 14th Street (just west of Avenue B) in ol' Manhattan /
Two comfortable shows, from 8pm sharp until 10pm / No cover!


Dances of Vice, The Salon, Wit's End and Champagne Riot present "The Liberty Belle Spectacular", a second annual vintage Fourth of July party on top of West 63rd Street's Empire Hotel! With live music, burlesque, dancing, patriotic cocktails, a fireworks view --

and adequate support from SIT & Die!

Yours trussly,
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.
"Ballads, Boogies & Blues"

The Norton Records 25th Anniversary Jamboree -
all the details here!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

On the blurb for "Sound It Out”, a documentary about the last Teesside record store standing, it claims “High fidelity with a northern accent”. I don’t agree. Certainly, anyone who has spent time on either or both sides of a counter in such a place will chime with a lot of this. It’s equal parts comfortable and sad, sometimes both at once. The shop customers that appear run the gamut from a guy and his wife that might give Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer a run for their money to the most real and sincere being a Quo fan called Shane. To my mind, it's lazy to compare anything to do with record stores to "HF".

Director Jeanie Finlay and shop proprietor Tom Butchart attended the screening. It was explained that there were drawbacks such as having music playing in the store because it would ultimately have to be cleared if it appeared in the film. "SIO" feels more like "Anvil" to my mind, without the happy ending. It’s anybody’s guess as to how long the shop will remain there. Shots of Stockton’s high street indicate the decline that’s going on across the country. What can’t be denied is the community spirit and camaraderie that surrounds the place. Or the therapy that it provides many of the outsiders that frequent it.

Spotted copies of Up for A Bit with The Pastels, A Date with Elvis and The Residents Duck Stab on the store walls. I wonder if they ever sold the copy of “Love Missile F1-11” ?

See it and make up your own mind.

TRAILER: SOUND IT OUT - A documentary by Jeanie Finlay from Jeanie Finlay on Vimeo.

Thanks to Shona for getting me in after I failed to book a ticket in time.

Friday, June 24, 2011

RIP - Peter Falk

RIP - Gene Colan

An important message from Tony Bailey
about The Big Stramash

Dear friends,

It is with great disappointment that we have to announce that due to circumstances beyond our control THE BIG STRAMASH has had to be postponed until later this year.

We apologise unreservedly to those who have bought tickets and will be very happy to refund all ticket holders. Alternatively all tickets will still be valid when the event is rescheduled.

We are very positive at this moment that the bill will remain unaltered at it's new date but please check the website for regular updates. Again, our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused.

A gig will be happening Thursday night at Henry's Cellar Bar with 'Lord Rochester' + guests (tbc) and Friday night at Studio 24 will feature a gig with 'The Higher State' + guests (tbc). Saturday night at Studio 24 will bring you the 'Lucky 7 Ska Club'.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

It’s just gone midsummer. The adage, “the nights are fair drawin’ in”, is resonating through the halls and technically that statement is true. The first half of 2011 sucked pretty hard but with the advent of the HOR and the Moss-pitality out there, I think that jump-started me. In recent days, there’s been a bereavement in the family and that was a bit of a shocker.

My uncle, Jim Hutton passed away on Monday after a period in hospital. I’m concerned about the effect this has had on his family and indeed my father and his other siblings. One thing I will say is, he had a number of great expressions and one of them was “he’s aboot as guid as twa men aff their work”. I can translate that if necessary for anyone out there.

So yeah, this type of thing has a way of creating a perspective. It’s time to try and move things forward. And some of the other recent theatre exits have spawned some fine music writing in recent days and this one is up there with Scott’s thing on Clarence. I never knew who Steve Popovich was but it sounds like he was one of us. Gabba gabba.

Gracias to JD King for flagging this one up...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

Scott Kempner on Clarence Clemons.

For some reason, I can't embed the Nomads video I'm trying to post so just head over here and dig ALL the clips.

You would have ended up there anyway...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

We could use a little levity, right?

Still can't find the photos but then I got to thinking, everything's on YouTube - right?

RIP - Clarence Clemons

Like I maybe said before, my experience of meeting musical heroes has seen a pretty decent success rate. None more so than running into Clarence during that all important first jaunt to NY in the autumn of 1983. The LOTC had just gotten canned and HT was working at Columbia. CC was putting together his first solo outing with the Red Bank Rockers and we got invited to the video shoot for "A Woman's Got The Power". Anyway, in this - he was depicted as the President of the USA and he carried that pretty damn good. I've been looking for the pictures and the only one I can find right now is this one. He was a lovely guy that loved the bagpipes and the last contact I had with him was when we sent some bagpipe reeds that my dad gave me over to him in New Jersey. So long Big Man.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I can’t believe that I hadn’t been to Norway before either. Having had a long association with the country since the mag was in nappies, it was only after a monumental connection with The Yum Yums in Madrid that this wrong would have to be righted. So when Morten and Caroline built the inaugural House of Rock (Festival) then it was a cinch that people would show up from all over. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. I’m not sure how this report will bob and weave or even show up. There’s a lot of information to process and it’s making me a little sad/mad that I ain’t still there. A mix of great folks, top notch combos and sociological experiments eating gas station forecourt pizza was just the tip of the iceberg.

Message to Ryanair – Torp is nowhere near Oslo. Why don’t you change the Edinburgh flight to arrive and depart from Rygge? I’d really appreciate any consideration that could be given. Thanks. Anyway, I digress. It was straight to Oslo after dropping my bags at Casa Dahlmann. It was there that I met up with Peter Tjolsen, the man that could be blamed for igniting my association with this particular area of Scandanavia too many moons to remember ago.

First full day Thursday (9th) ended with an appearance by The Yum Yums at Cafe Mono in Oslo. No relation to its Glasgow cousin but a nice joint nonetheless. I have to admit that I didn’t know who Jo Nesbø was. I don’t (can’t?) read as much as I’d like to so there you go. Seems like he’s the most famous person in Norway though and is having a meteoric rise across the rest of the world too with his first book now on the NY best-seller list. What matters in this neighbourhood is that he had the good taste to pick this band to play at the launch for his latest (tenth?) novel “Gjenferd” (Phantom). I need to discuss his character “Harry Hole” with Andre. He’ll find it, er, funny.

I was sitting at the soundcheck considering what an enormous privilege it was to be watching these kids prepare. Sure, winning the lottery would be OK if I ever bought a ticket, but this was pretty satisfying. I was kind of in a daze through the whole evening and it wasn’t the booze. It was like the revelation of El Sol all over again. Hit after hit after hit. Nesbø did a version of a big hit he had in a previous life, “Jenter som kommer” (“Girls Who Come”) with them. I imagine this one was a little more turbo-charged. He should record it with them and help them crossover into the major leagues where they deserve to be. I just found out he’s coming to Edinburgh for the Book Festival so I’m looking for a posse to doorstep him. JN’s twin brother was on backing vocals with Ms Vib there might even be a photo of that here if any of ‘em came out. I’m SHITE at taking pictures.

And so it was time for day one of the House of Rock extrav. I guess we were ready but not quite ready for the scale of the big fun. The location had changed from the HOR compound to Café Brandstrup. At the behest of the local constabulary. Great venue that had been part of a local brewery, lovely old place with some cracking wood features (huh, huh – he said wood). The Quattro crew were already there and as we gathered, it was sure a sight for sore eyes to see them Fleshtones enter the bar following a raid on Bergen the previous night.

Soon it was time for the music to start and Caroline and the Treats were a fine place to start. Jonathan had told me how great they were and to drop everything and get to Spain earlier this year when I was moping. That advice should have been taken. Rather than bang on, I’m gonna try to provide clips of the bands so you can hear and see the joy. Commentary will be provided where necessary.

I didn’t see Crimson Highlights but I think this was their second show ever. Word is that they were great and that’s coming from someone that knows her onions. Or should that be kebabs?

Shouldn't need to tell anybody here that Suzy & Los Quattro are one of the finest bands on earth. If you disagree then there’s really no hope for you. They have a great new drummer – not that Yuri wasn’t – some banging new tunes and they’re coming to get you in September.

Death By Unga Bunga are an amazing, young Moss collective that make an almighty racket which acts that have been around for yonks can’t muster. Sebastian is a ubiquitous feature on the scene and I think these kids will be breaking out across the planet in due course. They have charisma though so I hope that doesn’t set them back. It won’t where it matters.

The Yum Yums twice in two days could be considered a musical OD but I survived the palpitations. This performance was even better than the previous night and the clip I posted during the week nails it. There was a huge festival happening in Norway close by this same weekend and I’ll be fucked by the ragman’s coronet if any of them even came close to this.

And then it was time for some more old scores to be settled. The Nomads with Robert Erikson on the drum stool. I may have been trying to convince someone that the upcoming show in Solna would have both Joakim and Robert ala The Glitterband. It wasn’t me – it was the liquor talking. Possibly. Introduced by Colonel Zaremba, the band tore us all down right up to the final whistle.

And the night wasn’t over. Gry literally got on her bike and led a squad of us down to TivoliKjeller'n where I was ”disc-en-spinnering” (c) P Zaremba - that some folks went several degrees of nuts to. I really appreciate that indulgence, it makes an old git feel all warm and I don’t mean that I’d pe’ed myself.

My homie, Sus Kiwi and I then hit up the kebab shop and took the piss out of some locals. It was a perfect end to a perfect day and something that is likely to stick with me until that final taxi.

By the time we all surfaced the next day, things were a little more subdued but like the troopers we are, the challenge was risen to. My first beer of the day was in the early evening, fate wasn’t being tempted. Musicwise, it was The Twisteroos job to get this particular section of the party started. These people start off with this level of octane. What’s wrong with them you say? Nothing at all – they just have very high standards.

Next up was The Dahlmanns. If you consider the privilege that was sitting watching The YYs soundcheck then it an equal mind fugue to have these kids in my extended family. And not content with being great, great people – they have the potential to make the airwaves safe again. Having heard what will be their debut album for the most part then you better be prepared to be blown clean off your feet. They could be Abba-mungous. Really. I’m beginning to take a Beavis-type fit just thinking about it and can’t find any clips to ease that jones.

Miss Chain and The Broken Heels were next. I never quite got the records but in person they’re an infectious commodity. The way they shimmied their set into the consciousness was exactly what was needed at that point in the day. I need to go back to the records. Damn nice people too.

Had to grab some food at that point and hoped we could have gotten back for Kepi Ghoulie starting. As it was, we missed a few songs but what we did clock was really stunning, combustible fun. If only we could have held out until Use Me to settle the munchies but wodjagonnado?

Then it was time for the finale. A super-rock sensation that summoned all of the life force we had left. Like one of those churches in the deep south. Again, down the road there were a ton of bloated would, has and neverbeens that aren’t fit to polish these guys sneakers at “Norwegian Wood”, the perennial journeymen were giving “Whatever It Takes” to a perfectly formed crowd in the backyard of a cool Moss hostelry.

Another afterparty that went on to the wee hours, I was standing in a taxi queue and a guy walked in at the back and hooked (punched) a woman that was standing there. A small fracas ensued and I had to do a double take. Nope, I wasn’t in Glasgow. Eventually I got back to Jeløya and had a closing beer with Andre in the beautiful greenery outside their place. It never quite gets dark there at this time of year.

Was surprisingly sprightly both days and it was an early start on Sunday to head for Oslo again. The Cocktail Slippers are hosting a BBQ event every Sunday afternoon throughout the summer at Dattera Til Hagen. This one included Steve Van Zandt,Beat Tornados and them fabulous Dahlmanns. The Tita Nah Nah Nahs brought the hula too on a wonderfully sunny afternoon. The D’s were on first and once again wowed the audience with their perfect pop stylings. First time I’d heard them do The GoGos “Has The Whole World Lost Its Head”. They were immense – get used to it.

Little Steven mumbled his way like he does in the UG broadcasts. Apparently Silvio turned States witness and had been relocated to a mob annex in Norway. I need to investigate this TV show thing.

The Beat Tornados were OK but they played too long. Less is way more in such situations. Nice to see Rocket Queen with The Slippers but was a little taken aback to hear them start with a cover of “Material Girl”. They just got a new singer (Hope) and seem to have relinquished the more rock'n'roll aspect. My tuppence worth is that Stine deserves to be a huge star and that this direction might hamper that but maybe Wicked Cool has plans? I hope so because the band works hard and the don't strike me as being cut out to be a "tribute" or "oldies" band but maybe it's just for this setting because at this point there are a lot of sabath afternoons to go. And besides - like Sgt Schultz in Hogans Heroes, "I know nothing". Just attempting to be objective.

And that’s about it, topped off with a get together at the apartment of a young lady that was having a fish cake party. Gonna happen every Sunday night apparently so I think I oughtta be setting out about now.

I cannot thank my hosts enough and really hope to get another hang together soon. I’m still hopped up on that finite Moss energy. You know “Have Love, Will Travel”? Well it’s more than apt in this case.

Check out Flameboy’s photographic evidence here and if you’re on facebook I’m not sure if you can access non-friends photos or not, probably the latter. HOR – The Sequel is scheduled for July 6th and 7th 2012. I hope that more of you will kommen down and get with it. And here are some more from the local paper.

One week later, I just keeping looking at this stuff. For confirmation that it happened if nothing else. May the House of Rock reign forever. The bar has been set so high I’m getting vertigo. Thanks for helping me off the cobwebs brothers and sisters. It was a gas.

When I was trying to post this, blogger wasn't playing nice so I'm not sure how it'll turn out layout-wise. If anything needs fixing or whatev then consider it a work in progress.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Although I had contact with Imants (Krumins) I can’t claim to have known him. He’s one of those that I always figured I might run into though and I consider him to be the Brian Hogg of Canada. I bought my first copy of Teenage News at Compendium in London and never considered for a minute that I’d sell my fanzine in there too. Finding out about his passing on Friday was a shock. After Bruce told me, I’d been thinking about something to send him in the hospice and never really figured on anything because to me, he had everything already. In some ways – my being in Norway, attending the House of Rock extravaganza. That’s something he might have done. So when I saw Ken (Fox) at the venue I told him, knowing that he and the man had some form from the days in the trenches out there. Chris’s obits on both Imants and Shane Williams are heartfelt. I know that leery blighter doesn’t want us to think he has a heart but it’s cool he let that guard down. Bruce has also written a great tribute here and I should dedicate my advanced years crowd surfing exploits to Imants.

I’d lost touch with Shane in his recent years on the outside too. I remember sending him some Boonaraaas postcards after the Punk Rock Kongress but not hearing anything back. Sometimes I wondered if he was still on the outside so this news was pretty bamboozling.

A week ago from tonight was the start of my House of Rock extravaganza and I'm still buzzing. Maybe over the weekend I'll get to documenting or more likely be in a strop wishing I was still there. I'm off to see "Cedar Rapids" tonight. Just one chance to dance with this one.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mr A has a brand new cyberpad...

David Arnoff Photography

It seldom, if indeed ever, gets better than this...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

RIP - Carl Gardner (The Coasters)

I am nowhere near having my shit together... just so you know.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The expression "festival" will never be the same again... I need to gather my thoughts. So here's something from the Flame Boy library to act as a taster...

Friday, June 10, 2011

RIP - Imants Krumins

RIP - Shane Williams

(thanks to Prof H for the info)

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Catch you on the flipside or maybe even during...

As a precursor to HOR, this is a happening that will take place tomorrow night in Oslo.

In Cafe Mono... is it aware of it's cousin in Glasgow? We'll find out.

Odin will bill a tad displeased if you're anywhere near this and you don't go... just saying...

Monday, June 06, 2011

Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. supplies a double dose of protein -- with Rodeo Bar peanuts on Wednesday and a Superfine brunch on Sunday!

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8th / RODEO BAR / 375 Third Avenue (at the corner of 27th Street) in ol' Manhattan / New show times! Two early bird sets, from 8:30 sharp 'til 11pm / No cover!

Plus, for the brunch bunch...

SUNDAY, JUNE 12th / BRUNCH at SUPERFINE / 126 Front Street (at the corner of Pearl Street) in DUMBO, Brooklyn / Three savory shows, from noon sharp 'til 3pm / Delicious food -- free music! /
Reservations recommended: 718-243-9005 /

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

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Friday, June 03, 2011

RIP - James Arness

Caroline Munro at GFT this Sunday...

The best powerpop and garagerock festival in Europe this summer! Check out the line-up! :)

Now, you know how some people are prone to make claims that simply don't stand up?

However this one is justified and I'll even let that "smiley" go because it's there to punctuate the truth. This time next week (Friday) one hell of a party will be kicking off in Moss, Norway. There's still time to make your arrangements. Those of you that already have will no doubt be aware that the venue has changed. All the up to date info is but a click away. Look forward to seeing you there.

In the run-up... The Fleshtones are in Stockholm tonight and heading toward Moss in a logistically complex trajectory (Portugal tomorrow) to superrock next Saturday night.

The Nomads are in Lyon tomorrow for a Moss pre-match warm up.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

There's plenty more fun like this just a click here away...

Big thanks to Rich Lustre for making it all available