Saturday, June 30, 2012

Further to my update the other day, I’m spending a lot of time ruminating over the fact that I have maybe 20 years left. Give or take. I see the sands of time disappearing and although I don’t want to waste time at all, it feels like that is exactly what I’m doing right now. Still, motivation is not a commodity that’s in plentiful supply right now.

As I may have mentioned back yonder, the EIFF is on. Pulling itself up by the bootstraps after a couple of years in the wilderness. I’m scheduled to see “Sailor Suit and Machine Gun”. I even lifted my Cineworld embargo to take in “God Bless America” last night. Might go to the Filmhouse “Best of the Fest” screening tomorrow too. I hope the festival can recuperate to retain former glories.

Whilst in Auld Reekie last Saturday, I watched Kevin McDermott play a solo acoustic set to a scatttering of people in the square outside the Sheraton Hotel. I was never really a fan but as a progenitor of the Derek Amitri school of Scots Pop, he has his moments. I was thinking to myself, why isn’t this better attended but I’m not sure if anyone knew it was on. Couldn’t help thinking that if it had been in George Square in Glasgow it would have been an entirely different affair. How do you connect a prospective audience with something they might like if they just don’t care. Sure, the interweb can create a flash mob. It can lead the proverbial horse to the trough but it can’t make the blighter neck it.

A woman in the sparse crowd played and danced with her kids during the set clearly familiar with all the songs. Maybe she was related but I don’t think so. I prefer to think it was someone who this ultimately intimate setting meant something to. That’s the closest I’ve come to a romantic notion about the thankless world of the singer songwriter in a week. Last time was watching Eric and Amy do their world-class thing to a similarly less than rammed scenario. The week before out in Moss, it was different. The locals came in out in force to experience the phenomenon that exists on their doorstep. The entry price was just pennies more than the cost of a pint for chrissakes.

Over the past weeks, there’s been a bunch of stuff I never got around to posting. Not so sure I would have posted the earliest known photo of Lux and Ivy. After all it’s been doing the rounds for a while and as historically hysterical as some might find it, it’s sort of intrusive and I’m a little hyper-aware of that. I did make a note about Bert Weedon but it got buried in amongst a ton of other scribbles. So obviously, everyone in the UK knows he died but maybe readers overseas don’t. Or even don’t know his significance.

No idea if I'll ever catch up at this point or will ever find the time to try. Ideally I would disappear of the face of the earth to see out the rest of my tenure on earth doing something worthwhile with people that I like to hang with. Sometimes, I think it could happen and then I wake up.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Ostensibly a kid’s record, there’s more punk rock spirit swilling about the KinderAngst rumpus room than you’ll find on most albums of that actual persuasion right now. Or perhaps pigeonhole would be more apt.

The idea is that this will provide some top beat for your brat(s). Something that will ideally extricate young minds from the cesspit of talent(less) shows and the general malaise that haunts the mainstream. There could be no better role models for a mutiny agin the mundane than Ms Palmyra Delran and her compadre Rachelle Garniez.

Kicking off with “Alphabet City”, this is old school NY punk pop action the way it was before the lower east side got all Disney-fied. The absolute highpoint is “Rat” with Palmyra’s enunciation of “huh?” during “Let’s Play” running that a close second. It's so her I can't even begin to explain. One of these days the purported meet between Ms P and Amy Allison will take place and then we'll be in real trouble.

Debbie Harry guests on one song ("Do It Yourself") so that should help the profile but someone should be working this up into a series. This is a savvy set of songs for children of all ages and a franchise begging to happen. This market is very sophisticated these days and there’s actually hope that in a couple of generations time, O*e Dire*tion will end up in a war crimes court for their filching of the Ramones T-shirt design. As sacrilege goes – I applaud the idea but never has an institution been so badly misrepresented.

But these gals – their altogether fizzier brew might just jump start future generations to embrace popular music as true art and not another spreadsheet exercise. At this time on a Friday afternoon, anything is possible.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A festival with House of Rock style credentials in Italy this weekend. Nice bill.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Whether on the air or on the stage, Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. keeps cool this week with back to back shows! Relatively cool...
*WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27th / WFMU'S "SEVEN SECOND DELAY" SHOW / Broadcast live before an Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre audience! /

On the air at 91.1FM and / 6pm to 7pm

*THURSDAY, JUNE 28th / OTTO'S SHRUNKEN HEAD / 538 East 14th Street (just west of Avenue B) in ol' Manhattan

Two artificially cooled sets, from 8:00 sharp until 10:00 / No cover!
Tropically yours, Michael

Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.

"Ballads, Boogies & Blues"

Monday, June 25, 2012

I know naff all about sports but I know who I like...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Thanks Philippe!... Vive le French TV!

I was kvetching to a friend about the guff mountain I have to climb and she implied that the “climb” might have to start sooner rather than later. Sage words. My procrastibility is sky rocketing with a seemingly endless appetite for distraction. And no shortage of that particular commodity.

And that brings me to something that seems forever ago now but was actually just two months. And to tie in the fact with that Dave Alvin and the Guilty Ones are coming back this way to “do” Ireland en route to Italy in three weeks time.

The show in Glasgow was at The Arches and depending on where you found yourself in that particular venue, the sound sometimes left a little to be desired. Also, it was a decent audience but it should have been rammed so the concert going public of that parish should hang its collective head in shame. The main thing was that they blew in, delivered and headed for Newcastle, as did I.

Just the second show by Dahlmanns 2.0 and even at this early stage, it’s clear that we’re dealing with another level. Whilst the previous incarnation was damn good, it was an approximation. The train is well and truly hurtling down them tracks now.

In addition to everything else that’s come down about me lately, I’m having to put up with some old glasses before my new greg’s are ready. This makes looking at a computer screen (or phone) problematic. I’ve been in full Magoo mode for longer than I care to think about. Totally blind folks have better coordination than I do right now. Or than I ever have - no doubt according to some... this won’t solve all my inadequacies but it’ll be a start. So when I get the vision sorted, then I’ll maybe go into these recent adventures a bit more. I also have the Voladoras, KinderAngst and Bruce Anderson/Rich Stim album action info to pass along.

I’ve made a few pilgrimages in my time – NY, Solna, Snoqualmie, Moss, Springfield, Mo. (to name some) and the latest - last weekend – was to the fine city of Hull to catch their #1 son (and daughter in law) provide top flight Saturday evening entertainment to the very nice people at the New Adelphi. Next morning, I took some pictures of historic landmarks on my way back down to the railway station.
Events over the first half of this year have really made me reconsider what I should be doing. The realisation of living forward and learning backward are conspiring to suggest that there’s surely more to life than slogging one’s guts out.

This has been brought harshly into view by what happened to my folks. This brush with mortality has forced me to face mine in some regard and anyway, who the hell knows what might happen or indeed when. So who knows if this’ll actually “publish”? I forgot all about the “cookies” furore that’s going on so maybe that explains this disconnect between my pedal-powered pc and the blogger interface. I’m sticking pretty close to the bunker today after making a foray into Edinburgh for the Film Festival yesterday. Long gone are the days when I’d do 3 or 4 films a day for the duration. The programme is pretty good this year but I don’t have the time or wherewithal to see more. Next weekend is “God Bless America” on Friday and a couple more on the Saturday (I think). Better check the tix.

So there’s a wee catch up. I haven’t disappeared off the face of the earth but that is one appealing notion alright.

This is great. Thanks to Casa D for the tip!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Really hope that you folks around these parts can make this screening. Not in a conventional cinema but let's thank Denny Tedesco personally for making such a great film.

There are other showings around the country and I'll get to those but Glasgow, being the UK's premier rock'n'roll town, needs to step up to the plate here.

Stereo, Glasgow. Friday July 20th.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

There's something wrong with Blogger - the formatting just keeps kicking me out.

In addition to everything else, like wearing glasses two prescriptions old, a bit of gallivanting and a whole mess of other guff - This thing is taking a back seat. I'm not dead but I'm most certainly not resting.

My thanks to those that are keeping yours truly afloat every which way. So let's see if this works...

Friday, June 15, 2012

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

A late Monday for a school night reiterates the fact that I’m too old for this. Although signs in some of the sounds would indicate that I could be travelling through a timeslip. One look at the back of Mojo and the fact that much of the “music” on show tonight is firmly rooted circa when I came in to the fray during the early 70’s.

Ultimate Thrush yada yada have a long, long name. This isn’t necessary and first impressions suggest that they’re Los Murky without the charisma. They go on and on in some kind of studied melee and they have an album out on Chemikal Underground that I really don’t need to hear.

Next up - Holy Mountain. A hairy three piece that apparently includes a guy from Idlewild. I sort of warmed to them when, at the end – they teetered on the brink of BOC and whipped out a little Skynyrd frisson. I’m hoping that they recognise the fact that this is daft. Mighty riffs are capable of great magic sometimes and this amalgam of Sabbath, Black Widow, Led Zep, Taste and the Nuge actually works to a degree. If they looked like Guitar Wolf then they could rule the world.

Which brings we to that very beast. As a concept, the Wolf is brilliant. Theoretically crossing The Cramps with The Ramones and then whapping them into a blender with some serious stoner tendancies is something you’d like to hear. But it all comes back to songs and these guys don’t really have any. Even as an experience, with the volume – the “lock and loll” begins to grate. Mickey asked me if I heard the bit of “Kick out the Jams” and had to admit that I didn’t. Oh there were little elements of all sorts but we couldn’t help pondering that if Guitar Wolf morphed with Holy Mountain’s riff ammo then truly we might have something.

As it is, sadly we don’t.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Friday, June 01, 2012

Having closed May, one expected (by me) occurrence hasn’t happened. The ongoing situation is making it difficult to find the time and energy to actively post here. This has all intensified the consideration that I’m sick of jumping through hoops and somewhat sickened at other crap that’s going on in and around my vicinity. This general malaise has resulted in a lot of “sleeping with the TV on” only there’s no recollection of William Powell dying amidst any of it but anyway it’s a while since I just wittered on so let’s see where some of this goes.

I’ve read acres of yatter about Adele’s record and how great it is but there’s not one song on it that comes anywhere near Amy Allison’s “No Frills Friend”. Nothing to do with being contrary just calling it like I hear it. Now if the aforementioned multi-million seller were to recognise this and record “Hell To Pay” then we’ll say no more about it. Anyway, it’s my plan this weekend to not travel far from the bunker. To try and knock it into some kind of shape or at least just plank stuff up in the loft, to paraphrase another Amysong “out of sight, out of mind”.

Eric is back and blogging as only he can.

Much is being made of the alcohol pricing being mooted to “save lives”. Now I’ve heard some pish being spouted but this ranks right up there. Really, do they think our heid’s button up the back? Now, if one really thought such a levy would benefit the health service then it wouldn’t be a problem but the revenue stream will be diverted into some other lamebrain scheme. I don’t trust government to do anything but to keep pruning our civil and sundry other liberties. That particular pastime is the sum total to which they excel.

Finally got around to finishing “You Only Rock Once”, The Jerry Blavat book I was gifted last fall. It’s a star-studded affair that tells the story of the Philly legend that actually invented the televised rock’n’roll hop. I was particularly taken with his remarks regarding The B*atles. The Geator is still packing them in along the South Jersey Shore and beyond and there’s no sign of him letting up. If you haven’t had the pleasure of Ben Vaughn’s Birthday tribute to the Boss with the Hot Sauce then do so now. The book expands upon the theme set down over the course of that two hours but the sheer excitement generated during Ben’s celebration is pretty damn infectious.

Sometimes when the TV just goes over the score in terms of shite, an executive decision to watch more Car 54 (Season Two) has been taken. So let’s see what transpires tonight but expectations should be kept on the DL. Punk Britannia is on tonight and so is the TV Smith documentary. The big question around here is “will BB Quattro be in it”?

In relation to the recent deaths of Robin Gibb and Donna Summer I was thinking about the pigeonhole known as Disco. Of course it has since taken on the mantle of “club” which is probably supposed to sound better. Certainly more vague. My early encounters with the form were odd. While there were good records, the whole ‘lifestyle’ aspect just didn’t appeal when measured against that of the various strains of rock’n’roll. When I saw Saturday Night Fever, I hated it apart from the use of White Castle. After all, this was where The Dictators were pictured on the inner bag of Go Girl Crazy. SNF at that point was as close as I ever expected to get to it.

The “Death To Disco” movement was sort of fun too and it seemed like a good idea at the time. The notion of life being cut and dried is as far from reality as a galaxy way, way out there (points to the heavens). It seems even further away now. I have no idea what the deal is with physical postage overseas but the recent hike here is less than agreeable.

Pay more for a crappier service seems like the order of the day. So I guess the outcome of this is that I’ll be forced to use the service less – or find lighter things to mail overseas but records, confectionery and haggis tends to be weighty. Consolidation isn’t the answer either but I’ll figure something out.

And to top it all off, we’ve got to sustain all this jubilee guff. The country is close to being towed out into the ocean to be sunk and we’re being force fed an antiquated notion that went out with the ark. A historic occasion apparently. Well not to me. And as for this upcoming “sporting” event, that’s an even bigger obscenity just visible on the horizon. Most of the "events" will be papered due to a mass epedemic of cannae-be-arsed. Even the idiots aren't on board for this bun fight.

But hey, it’s the right side of Friday and the BBC is serving up Punk Britannia to celebrate our sceptic isle. Oh how the more things change, the more they stay the same. But it could be worse, right?