Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co., and here's hoping yours is both merry and bright.  Ho, ho, ho!


It's a Boxing Day special at the always festive Otto's! / 538 East 14th Street (just west of Avenue B) in Manhattan / 8:00 sharp 'til 10:00 / No cover charge or tithing required  


Our monthly Rodeo residency continues into 2014! / 375 Third Avenue (at the corner of 27th Street) in Manhattan / Three bell ringing sets, from 9:00 sharp 'til midnight, with no cover

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

Monday, December 23, 2013

As I may have said in the past, I have no real problem with Christmas in general. It’s just all the extraneous gubbins that it’s come to embody that I can’t abide. Each to their own, but the less I have to deal with then the better it is for everyone. I’m luckier than most in that respect because I just retire to the bunker and that’s pretty much what is on the cards.

“New year” is never that. And the hale fellow well met, hollow greetings that surround it further stick in this particular craw. Of course, one wants their friends and family – often the same thing – to enjoy some kind of gratification ALL the time. Not just for a couple of commercialised up the wazoo weeks a year. This year, I’m stuck in the salt mine until 1.30pm on Christmas Eve. Them’s the breaks. It comes with the territory and as the clock creaks toward that finishing line, it can’t come quick enough. As bah humbuggers go, I’m pretty set in my ways but there will be good times had over the course. I get to see some folks that I get way too little of and will undoubtedly communicate with many other from here in the confines of base camp. There may even be some proper blogging here and there but no end or best of the year lists. There are already plenty of those doing the rounds.

So – do whatever it is you need to do to make it through the bunfight. May your days and nights be merry and bright. The polar opposite of something that rhymes with that last word.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

This latest palaver with being asked at the post office what is in the packages you’re sending is getting right up my humph.

They’re only following orders but really, if someone is putting something iffy in there – would they tell the truth about the contents? Er, perhaps not on your nelly - divot postal wallah that came up with this particular annoyance. So with the advent of the ongoing price hikes and this most recent invasion of privacy, I’m pretty close to stopping sending stuff out. And I should stop ordering stuff too because I’ve no room for it so maybe it’ll be like stopping smoking or something. Perhaps I’ll save myself some money if I could discipline myself to follow through with all this. As much as I'd like to start unloading "the archive", this further makes it seem unlikely.

Me no' big on interrogation. If someone starts trying to get something out of me that I don’t want to tell then the hackles go right up. Bloody jaggy they are too. I don’t actually want to divulge what is in what I’m sending. Customs labels are bad enough. It spills the beans for the recipient and it could spoil the surprise. I'm trying to figure out who I can harangue about this. No point in giving the counter staff both barrels. Not all of them anyway.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Saturday, December 14, 2013

One week from tonight...

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

'Tis the season for holiday cheer. And Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. is full of it -- starting with a rare Friday night visit to Otto's this week!

It's the official pre-party for the 4th Annual NYC Beard &Mustache Competition! / 538 East 14th Street (just west of Avenue B) in Manhattan / Three well-trimmed sets, from 9:00 'til midnight / Free, and open to all!

And, in slightly less hirsute shows to finish out the year...

It's a hillbilly holiday edition of our monthly residency! / 375 Third Avenue (at the corner of 27th Street) in Manhattan / A trio of merry, merry sets, from 9:00 sharp 'til midnight, with no cover.

We return to Otto's to bask in the Christmas afterglow / 538 East 14th Street (just west of Avenue B) in Manhattan / 8:00 sharp 'til 10:00 / No cover -- and free holiday cheer.  

Yours in holiday spirit, Michael
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.
"Ballads, Boogies & Blues"

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

And it kind of seems like it was just yesterday...

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Last night in Glasgow, as Kid Congo and those Pink Monkey Birds were doing a nice line in “Can’t Find My Mind” and later “Green Fuz” transported me back to December 1980 (or was it '81? My mind done shunted off, pretty sure it was the former though) at the Lyceum in London. This was Blighty’s first encounter with the man in question, when he was drafted into The Cramps after Bryan baled. So it’s nice to see a packed house, once again on a Tuesday night, come out to welcome him. I like Nice’n’Sleazy as a venue but the name always makes me shudder, being that I actively loathe its source - both the band and the particular song. However, I realise this is a prejudice of my own manifesting – nothing against the establishment itself.

If Kid is coming anywhere near to you then I do believe you’ll have a high old time should you find it within yourself to drag yourself out. There’s a show in London at The Pipeline on Thursday (Newcastle tonight!) and you can get the other show details here.

In other news, the winter of my particular discontent is in full swing. Hibernation might be an option but I’m sure it would all just kick off again when I did wake. The latest issue of Mojo and all this best of the year guff depressed me today and further fed my belief that the much-touted acts of today are mostly not anywhere near up to snuff. I never really had cause to dislike Arcade Fire because I never heard them but now I’ve heard enough and it’s really nothing special. I feel kind of burned out at the best of times but just lately, swimming against a tide of constant underwhelm has made me feel like taking time out. In addition, sitting in front of a screen isn’t something I want to be doing too much of in my so-called leisure time so much less facebagging will be done for starters . I did think about canning it altogether but it does have a few uses (he grudgingly agreed).

As we descend into the stupid season, a recent attempt to go “Christmas shopping” was utterly thwarted by the stuff in the stores being total crap. Why would you give anyone that just for the sake of going along with it all? The thing that I’d most like is to feel like there was some kind of purpose. Not and never to be confused with “porpoise” – just in case some smartarse was thinking along those lines. Although, thinking about it, maybe even that would be something.

Beyond all this, there are decisions to be reached. How the heck one tackles that particular bugbear is another can of wigglys altogether.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Friday, November 22, 2013

22nd November  - Sonic Ballroom · Köln GERMANY
23rd November  - Alte Hackerei · Karlsruhe GERMANY
24th November  - Sedel · Luzern SWITZERLAND
25th November  - Feierwerk · Munich GERMANY
26th November  - Chelsea · Vienna AUSTRIA
27th November  - Chemiefabrik · Dresden GERMANY
28th November  - Wild At Heart · Berlin GERMANY
29th November  - Glocksee · Hannover GERMANY
30th November  - Café Excelsior · Brussels BELGIUM

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

It’s 5 weeks ‘til Christmas Eve. For me that means an extended period away from the day prison. I’m trying to figure out what might happen in 2014 and how I can maybe circumnavigate the rat race. Plans are one thing, schemes are another. Seriously pondering out a way to bring these things together is not entirely straightforward but then again, what is? Take blogging for instance, I can’t claim to have writer’s block but attempting to steer clear of a computer screen is another of those dalliances. I spend 8 hours a day in front of one at work and the last thing I want to do is several more at home.
And now that people can hear virtually anything for themselves, is there any point in trying to cajole them into listening to something? Actually, there is. We all rely on filters. Recommendations. Pointers. You can’t rely on what passes for conventional media, that’s for sure. Although sometimes I figure that it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to be a lemming. Don’t fancy being a sheep though, all manner of unpleasant activity can be directed at those poor creatures.
It was very dark tonight on the way back to the bunker. Driving in the dark is no fun at all. Even less so when idiots coming the other way won't cool it with the full beam. Shut-In status is looking pretty damn good right about now.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Crunch album “Busy Making Noise” finally made it through my letterbox.  A “supergroup” of sorts that ought to strike joy into the hearts of those that reckon “Give ‘em Enough Rope” is the best Clash album and that “Only Lovers Left Alive” was the best record Dave Tregunna ever made. Add a wee dash of Mott and Lizzy and we’re all set to revisit the heady heights of 1978 when anthems were a lot less complicated. Clocking in at 40 minutes dead, this is a rip-roaring adventure from start to finish and the icing on a very tasty cake is Idde Schultz weighing in on backing vocals. I’ve long considered her the Scandic Ellen Foley and the “duet”, “A Little Bit Of Grace” pretty much vindicates that notion. If there was ever such a thing as a pub-punk rockin’ take on Roxette then this is the blueprint.
The band is Sulo Karlsson, Terry Chimes, Mickey Geggus and the aforementioned Dave T and absolutely yes, they’re all old enough to know better but thank fuck they didn’t let that get in the way. You can just tell they had a ball making it to the extent that it’s almost like an “original cast” recording of some kind of crazy musical celebrating an era that’s unlikely to be better represented. Authenticity is one thing but it’s the spirit that makes this bugger fly. Maybe I’m just a sad sack clinging on to the past but I swear, as clichéd as some of this might seem – it made me misty-eyed. If they’re half as good live = and I suspect they'll be better - then I can’t wait to see them, preferably in Spain where the kids appreciate this type of ruckus. As it is, they’re in London this impending December and I’m otherwise engaged that weekend or my bahookie would be on the train for sure.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Solo UK tour by Eric in December:  

 08 WORCESTER, Marr’s Bar
Woodend Bowling & Lawn Tennis Club
13 EDINBURGH, The Citrus Club
14 GATESHEAD, The Central ...

15 LEICESTER, The Musician

on 5 December, live session on The Marc Riley Show, BBC 6 Music

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Monday, November 04, 2013

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Saturday, November 02, 2013

I can't get the embed code to work so go check out The Wrecking Crew Kickstarter deals.

If you've seen it then you know it's worthy...

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Del Lords long anticipated return to this side of the pond is now underway and the inaugural show in Newcastle on Saturday night was a stone gas. As the band exploded into a muscular lollup through “Jumpin’ In The Night” it was clear that the room may not be big enough to contain such expurgated rock’n’roll thrills.
Mixing back catalogue with material from the recent "Elvis Club" release, it was all over way too quickly. How many bands do you wish would play longer? Not bloody many.
So here we are hanging on the intersection of The Bobby Fuller Four and Crazy Horse. Blazing guitars, a bigger than big beat and a bass undertow to bolster the whole glorious shebang. Oh yeah, and songs. Remember those? Scott Kempner was/is the heart and soul of The Dictators. Never forget that. Without him, The Dictators are Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom. So despite the sadness of what’s going on with all that, The Del Lords have a new lease on life.
Cultural differences such as Sharpies and marker pens notwithstanding, Newcastle has always been a rockin’ town and this was rockin’ time. (All hail Tyneside’s 16 Forever). They recognise greatness down there and by the time Roscoe delivered the hymn that is “Judas Kiss” over a Creedence-esque rumble then the game was in the proverbial bag.
The Cluny 2’s bijou theatre vibe was perhaps a little polite for the occasion on Saturday. By the time they get to Spain then the dance floor ante action is likely to be raised substantially. “I Play The Drums” was pretty much perfect and it seemed as though the roof might cave in such was the mightiness. Frank Funaro is one hell of a pounder and Steve Almaas does a fine job now that Manny is gone. His days in Beat Rodeo are likewise from the days when Americana was called Roots Rock.
If they’re anywhere near where you are then you have to go and get some of this most righteous, practically religious experience. Let’s leave the best definition of what we witnessed to a Del Lords fan that just checked out...
"Nothing beats two guitars, bass & drums." - Lou Reed

All of the show dates are here, Spain, London, Germany and Sweden... take a look and cut along!


Sunday, October 27, 2013

RIP – Lou Reed
I’ll get to last night’s storming Del Lords show in Newcastle a bit later. I was talking to Scott and Frank about Lou and how he was a great supporter of the band. To come home and find out he’d died was a shocker. Though he never made a record I liked for years, Lou was a huge influence on me. In fact, his was the first and only fan club I ever joined.
The Rock’n’Roll Animal tour show in Glasgow was one of the best things I ever saw. Years later I would discover that my dear friend, Lady Miriam Linna had attended a Lou show in Glasgow I was also at when she and her sister visited Blighty for the first time. I like to imagine the were sitting just in front of where I was but anyways...
Of course the Velvets stuff was great but when they got back together, I couldn’t listen to them for years. I felt they’d diddled the legacy in much the same way as I feel The Stooges are doing.
But “Berlin” is one of the greatest records ever made. It never fails to destroy me. The fact that he went on to play those terrible headless guitars was his perogative but his body of work contains some astonishingly heart-rending stuff. Mi amigo Stewart Cruickshank had an amazing experience making a documentary for Radio 2 about him during which time the famed curmudgeon really came through and I believe created something magical.
So this news is devastating. It marks another landmark of my formative years leaving the theatre. The line “I’m gonna stop wasting my time” from "Sad Song" is ringing in my head and it makes me wonder how the hell long I’ve got.  The life-affirming nature of the show we just saw in Newcastle and the need to hang out with friends at every opportunity suddenly takes on even greater importance.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Saw something on facebook at lunchtime stating “Grangemouth to close”. Of course it referred to the petrochemical plant where the union trubb has been used as a smokescreen to ram through something that a corporation hell bent on a get out clause has been handed as a star prize. The people whose livelihoods it impacts on are the cannon fodder as Wee Alec and his entourage flail at long defunct windmills. It’s a sad indictment on the struggle to survive. The town itself has been “closed” for years and I’d be interested to find out exactly how many actual local people work there.
It will also exponentially affects other businesses and households. The puppeteers must be fucking delirious with glee right about now. This could also well even have an effect on my “property” so maybe that long threatened ebay shop ain’t too far away. Or that one way ticket to Espana or wherever. All joshing apart, I imagine that The Proclaimers are working on a new verse, adding “Grangemooth” to their list of “no mores”.
Whatever happens next will depend on how far the stage management of the soap opera politics is  prepared to go. It could get pretty far-fetched as people’s lives disintegrate. Divide and conquer has long been the order of the day and things are poised to take a turn for the decidedly uglier. I’m referring to the scumbags that orchestrated this who are so minted as to be constructed of stuff so Teflon-coated that it’s actually scary. At this rate, the whole of Scotland could well be closed by next September ahead of the big fire sale that is “indie”-pendence.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

In my capacity as agent for the Madrid Tourist Authority, I think the next stage is a one way ticket.
Hitting the city at full pelt on Friday night may have been a tactical mistake but that's the way it all shaped up. Maybe just taking the foot off the gas a tad may have set us up better for Saturday but when you’re in the eye of a storm like this, the last thing you’re thinking about is moderation. The locations that we found ourselves in were as follows Casa Parrondo, Templo Del Gato, Weirdo!, Wharf 73 and Wurlitzer. All 150% recommended with the NBT seal of approval if you’re in town.

Line and Andre at the excellent La Alegría (Happiness)
by Blanca Velasco Navarro.
After that a wee siesta was in order before the show and all the fun stuff like sound check. The city was teeming with people and an attempt to partake of an Asturian joint was thwarted. Despite the best efforts of Corporal Laura to instill some discipline in the hapless waiter that was fighting a pretty valiant losing battle. She had an excellent Plan B that involved regular haunt Ovni and that provided the necessary croqueta action for the boozing to follow. From there to Wurli, just in time for Los Brackets – a fun punk combo from Valencia that have the Ramones end of Screeching Weaselness down pat. They just rattle it out in machine gun fashion, no pissing about. Bang. Bang. Bang. You don’t even notice the comedy Proclaimers type glasses they don when onstage. I’m a sucker for this kind of thing. Particularly when it’s rattled out this well. They and their crew were very cool kids. Incidentally, in combing the net, I discovered that Brackets are teeth braces in Spain.

Potential wardrobe malfunction thwarted, The D’s took the stage and proceeded to wipe the floor with us. They just get better and better and even although I’m biased, this could well have been their best show in this hallowed hostelry yet. I hadn’t seen them do “Crush On You” before into the bargain. The hang out there afterwards was of the usual high standards and I thank Helena, Alvaro, Jorge and birthday boy Benito for throwing the bash that would colour much of the next day...

The band left horrendously early and I spent much of the day in a semi-coma until I met up with Sir Marco of Ghost Highway Industries. A wee bit later Inigo and I had a couple of beers and further croquetas but that was the extent of the festivities. As I wandered toward the hostal, my inner demons were battling with a modicum of sense. I wanted to go to Wharf to see Alvaro, and also to make a final 2013 pit stop at Wurlitzer but bottled it. Somehow I was back in my digs just a little after midnight. This was founded upon having an early breakfast and not wanting to go to the airport feeling any more miserable than I would at having to leave. Compounded by finding out that Jonathan and co would be in town just hours after I’d gone.

Them is the breaks though and one should be thankful for the blessing that is taking part in such malarkey. Upcoming shows by those Flamin Groovies and Redd Kross are tempting but I guess it’ll be a bit before I’m back. Three times this year is a pretty sound innings and I’d like to thank everyone that makes that possible spiritually and every which way. They know who they are.

My croqueta jones is in full swing. I wonder if they’re available on prescription anyplace?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Weekends generally disappear fast but none more so than the one that just done gone. I must be getting real old because time truly is scooting by. Friday night saw Laura Cantrell return to Glasgow and captivate a rammed St Andrews On The Square. A very civilised venue about as far from being a honky tonk as you could possibly imagine. It was once a church. A wee bit of an echo provided a sound echo here and there but once that was sorted the whole thing soared. And it should be stated that there was no slouching up to that point either.  The encore of Cowboy Jack Clement’s “Just Someone I Used To Know” was utterly spine-tingling. Try to catch a show as she heads south over the next couple of days.

The Nomads return to “the London” for the first time since – I think 2008 – all went swimmingly. Almost literally. And to keep up the water theme, the show was in a place called The Pipeline. A decent crowd made the scene and I have never been present at a sweatathon like that since The Ramones at The Barras in 1985. Them Dahlmanns made a whistle stop from MRC and I actually met someone from Moss that I didn’t know. The Hip Priests made the backline possible and I didn’t see either them of The Outbursts because I was too busy catching up with people I see all too seldom.
Essentially delivering the quality of rock action seldom seen outside of Spain, it turned out to be quite a night. Plus I heard “What’s Up With That?” on the jukebox and figured exactly that. Or did I dream that bit?
All of a sudden it was Sunday and time to head north again. A full English and a blether with Admiral Nick West of the good ship BOB sealed the deal. I don’t think I blogged about the most recent issue of that esteemed publication so if you haven’t grabbed one yet, do so here.
All in all, a very convivial weekend. The only thing that could have topped it would have been if those that couldn’t make it would have been there. They know who they are.
On Monday night I decided to make the jaunt into Glasgow for the launch of Sam Knee’s "A Scene In Between" book.
It was a palaver because train problems meant that a replacement bus service was involved. Never a plus point. Then when I got to town I got bloody soaked on the way to Mono. So things were being sent to try me. Once there however, things took a positive turn and I wish I could have spent another hour but couldn’t take any chances with the prospective ability of Scotrail to bugger things up. As it was it took 2 hours to get home and on a school night after the weekend I just had well, that’s not ideal but t'was a necessary schlepp.
And now it's practically Thursday, how exactly did that happen.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Friday, October 04, 2013

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Just noticed that I didn’t post anything here on Saturday past. The fact that I thought I had is further grist to the mill with regard to where my heid is. However, activity is on the up and if we can scrape out of September with just one such oversight than that’s not too shabby. There will be times when I am MIA and I’ll tell you right now, I’m not about to be updating this from a bloody phone.

So I’d gone to see a thing called Pompeii: Live. A bit of culture for “Roman Week”. But what did they ever do for us, you may ask? Whatever it was, you can bet your bag of otter’s noses that I won’t be partaking of such a bunfight ever again.

Many of the presenters involved were of that advertorial gushing variety that one would never tire of hitting. Add a whiff of what I perceive those terrible NT cinemacasts to be like and you have something a little short of what I call entertainment. If anyone from the British Museum is tuning in to this – the premise needs a rethink. Encourage people to go to the exhibit by other means because I really don’t think this was a great moving billboard for it.

What it did do was make me think that if there had been an ebay or gumtree in old Pompers then a lot of this junk might have enjoyed another type of recycling. Plus, to add insult to injury. Not one mention of Frankie Howerd. A little Lurcio would have gone a long way.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Out tomorrow, just ahead of a short series of UK dates, is the new Laura Cantrell album, “No Way There From Here”. Once again on the Spit & Polish/Cadiz imprint, it’s time for another birl the way only this lassie can serve it up. “No Way”... is the first full set of all-new material since her Matador release. Kicking in with “All The Girls Are Complicated”, she immediately transcends the pigeonhole labelled “Americana”. Or whatever sub-division of that you might consider her to reside in. This is American music though, through and through with all the twangs in all the right places.
Not sure who the musicians are this time out other than Mark Spencer but they serve up just the right backdrop for Laura’s tales. I think my favourite is “When It Comes To You”. This little nugget is set to become a classic like “Do You Ever Think Of Me?” or “Two Seconds”.
You may have heard “Can’t Wait” before. It made its debut on the Radio Free Song Club a wee while back and the recorded version here provides the connection with “Not The Trembling Kind”. Pop country perfection. As is the case with everything nowadays, you can just nip over to wherever and hear snippets and full tracks and decide for yourself. I hope to see some of you folks in Glasgow or that you’ll go to one of the shows and help the lady out by treating yourself to what can only be described as a proper album. Not a bunch of tracks that became so because there were enough “in the can”. “No Way There From Here” marks a time when a long player never outlived its welcome.
For a large part quiet and understated, just the thing for heavy rotation as the light fades earlier with every passing day.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Out on Monday... more about that over the weekend!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

So we're just over halfway through September. Even although I haven't exactly been able to get much together in the way of gabbing, I have managed to post something each day.

One of these days I will get around to "reviews". Probably.

Meanwhile, I hope you've got your tickets for the big rock show on Saturday October 5th?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Forgot how great this was...

Friday, September 13, 2013

Sadly not in Amsterdam to catch these fine folks tomorrow...

Chrome Cranks at the Wurli tonight!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

For some reason, I scribbled BC on the calendar just below next Wednesday, 18th September. I have no idea why and it doesn’t look like the noggin is about to present the answer anytime soon. This is all symptomatic of the on-going memory fug. It’s embarrassing. Particularly when you can’t introduce someone to somebody else because you’ve forgotten the name. This happens more and more. Not just with people I maybe met briefly once. Oh no, this goes for folks that I know to some degree. Pffff...
And what's with this Post Office thing? After my tirade the other day, the public flotation is happening and I would imagine that further sounds a death knell from a once excellent service. It's quite likely that the UK will be owned outright by an overseas conglomerate sometime very soon. Irrespective of whether Scotland goes "indie" or not. We'll get unloaded as fixtures and fittings if that happens. The best we could hope for is to be a larger "Pimlico" cica the good old Ealing Comedy days. Oh how the world will larf.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Back from summer vacation?  Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. is -- and back this week for its monthly residency at Rodeo Bar!
375 Third Avenue (at the corner of 27th Street) in Manhattan /
 We return to our second-Wednesday-of-the-month residency! /
Three back-to-school sets, from 9:00 sharp 'til midnight, with no cover.

And, speaking of residencies...

538 East 14th Street (just west of Avenue B) in Manhattan /
8:00 sharp 'til 10:00, with salty snacks and no cover!

Yours in all seasons, Michael
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.
"Ballads, Boogies & Blues"

Sir Wreckless Eric... solo US shows!

25.09  RICHMOND VA, Gallery 5 
26.09  KNOXVILLE TN, The Pilot Light 
28.09  MEMPHIS TN, Gonerfest 
30.09  SPRINGFIELD MI, Lindberghs

The ordering and sending of stuff by mail is getting crazy. There used to be a rule of thumb with a care package. If the post cost more than the contents then that was a cool thing. Nowadays there’s almost no danger of it being anything else.

I no longer send anything like the amount of packages I used to and that’s probably a good thing because if I did, then I’d likely be bankrupt. I don’t mind shelling out to bring joy to others but what I really do get into a kerfuffle about is when ordering from these fulfilment places that the post and handling amounts to more than the band or artist will get.
It doesn’t cost $20 to mail a record from the USA to Europe. It might be $12. Maybe, but even worse is the cost PER item. “That’s the way the system works”, I’ve been told but that’s simply robbery. Tempered with laziness. Post at cost with a wee bit on top would be fine but lining the halls of the postage service is not in my remit.
It’s pretty rough sending things out too. Since they started going by bulk rather than weight sometimes the costs can be eye-watering when you get to the “window”. It’s at least twice the price that it used to be and there’s been no improvement in the service. Indeed postal workers across the planet are being squeezed by the system. I don’t mind shelling for something that appears to work. However, when it takes 4 weeks for something to reach its destination when it’s alleged to be a 5 (working) day delivery then I get a little pissed off. With the advent of budget flights, it might be worth considering personal delivery.
The reason I bring this up is that I’ve been considering selling up the archive. Maybe via e-bag, maybe not. I tend to actively dislike the type of individual they’ve come to attract. And I don’t like getting stuck behind one of the entrepreneurs they’ve encouraged in the post office.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Saturday, September 07, 2013

RIP - Maralie Dawn Whitney

Apparently it’s Cassette Store Day. Another niche commodity that’s enjoyed a resurgence of late and I have to admit that I have a soft spot for the format. Whatever becomes of it, I really hope that it doesn’t turn into the evil shakedown that Record Store Day has become. Looking at the website, I was immediately turned off by what I saw but you shouldn't let my predudices spoil your enjoyment.
I’m fairly sure that the chains won’t be partaking in this and finding an outlet might be outside the remit of the fuckwits that buy for ebay activity. Let’s keep everything crossed on that score. And no one is seriously suggesting that tape is better than vinyl here. I see all kinds of annoyance but I figure this as more of a quaint harking back to the past. Albeit a type of landfill.
A mix tape was always a much more romantic proposition than a mix CD. It was certainly more time-consuming as a pastime because of all the pausing and changing the record. Laterly, such tapes were possibly compiled from CD and vinyl with sound levels going all over the place. All part of the fun and the effort. Then there was the insert, with scribbles and hand-lettered titling.
Of course there was the typewritten version too. It was all very creative. Then these dull shiny discs came along and kind of ruined everything but that was nothing compared to what the interweb and mp3’s did to music. They devalued it together to end up where we are now. Where artists aren’t compensated for their work and if it’s not that then “collectors” scarf up and resell to folks that might not have a store in their town. I’m getting away from the point here though so cut along to wherever and check out this tape phenomenon while there are still machines around.
I have several players and thousands of tapes that will probably end up in a big skip in coming years. The ignorance of future generations almost guarantees that.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Dig this tomorrow night...
Mañana sábado día 7 de septiembre les tenemos preparado un programón cargado de locuras y maravillas a 78rpm para celebrar la Sexta Temporada de Melodías Pizarras Novelty vaquerito, blues blanco, western swing, mazurca antillana, calypso, cubanos, swing, hillbilly, old time… ya saben, géneros y artistas que sólo suenan en Melodías Pizarras, y en su formato original !! Aquí una pequeña muestra de los 30 temones que les sonarán a gloria bendita:
Old McDonald Had A Farm”. The Kidoodlers (VOCALION, 1938)
“A New Salty Dog”. Allen Brothers (BLUEBIRD, 1930)
“Ragtime Cowboy Joe. Girls Of The Golden West (VOCALION, 1938)
Does My Baby Love Me?”. Jimme Revard and his Oklahoma Playboys (BLUEBIRD, 1937)
“Alimony Blues”. Al Dexter and his Troopers (VOCALION, 1941) 
"The Pants That My Pappy Gave To Me". Hoosier Hot Shots (VOCALION, 1939)
“Bravo, Bravo!”. Alphonso y sy Orq. Típica Antillana  (ODEÓN, 1949)
“Movin’ The Boogie”. Pete Johnson and Albert Ammons (VICTOR, 1941)
“I Feel So Good”. Big Bill Broonzy (COLUMBIA, 1941)
“You Upset Me, Baby”. B.B. “Blues Boy” King (RPM, 1954)
“Taint What You Do”. Jimmie Lunceford Orq. (VOCALION, 1939)
“Jump. Jack, Jump”. Andy Kirk and his Clouds Of Joy (BRUNSWICK, 1938)
“The Caissons Go Rolling Along”. Jenks Tex Carman (CAPITOL, 1953)
“Old Grey Mare”. Elmo Newcomer “The Pipe Creek Kid” (CROMART, 1939)
"One, Two, Three, Four". Criterion Quartet con Ferera y Franchini (VOCALION, 1923)
“Honky Tonk Blues”. The Lonesome Pine Fiddlers (RCA VICTOR, 1953)
No se lo pueden perder!!!
Salud y pizarra!!!

Well I did pretty good this week for posting here... and it's Friday. Another week closer to Laura Cantrell's OK shows and The Nomads / The Dahlmanns / The Hip Priests and The Outbursts down in the London. The weather is back to normal and I shall not be venturing far. So maybe there'll be more action here... and then again.

Right now however, there is travel-agenting to be done!

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Coming soon on Last Summer Records...

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Dark earlier, light later... the autumnal nature of the past week or two signals that it ought to be time for hibernation. I had to drag myself out an hour early yesterday morning and it was hard. Not to get up but to get out. I hate the commute too, an ever escalating haemorrhaging of time that I’ll never get back. In recent times this has been exacerbated by traffic lights at bridgework (not of the dental variety) for a local white elephant that’s currently under construction. An abject waste of time, money and everything else that goes with the territory.

And the reason for the time slip was that it is once again time for the six monthly dental check up. These half yearly events come around very quickly. Too fucking quickly for my liking.

But I shouldn’t whine. Monday morning brought the news that one of my brother’s closest friends passed away late Sunday night. Just a matter of weeks after the guy was told he wouldn’t make it until Christmas. Hell, he barely scraped into September. I’m not entirely sure how a person can process a situation or information like that. Maybe I would have asked him that when we were travelling to the Del Lords show in Newcastle. He was really looking forward to that, Couldn’t the supposed higher powers have cut the guy a break to at least have gotten there?

Evidently not.  Anyway he’ll be with us very much in spirit on October 26th doon the big toon. My thoughts are with his friends and family at this cruel time. You never know what’s ‘round that next corner so don’t let valuable time slip away (like I’m inclined to do).

I went to donate blood tonight. I had to convince them it was a full 24 hours since I’d been at the dentist or they weren’t gonna take it. Rules, regulations, health, safety. It’s all about covering your arse. Or blaming someone else. Take your pick.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Monday, September 02, 2013

Sunday, September 01, 2013

It was kind of, sort of my intention to start September with an intent to update this daily where possible again. I have nothing prepared so we'll see what becomes of this notion. Last eek at this time I was in MRC basking I the sunshine and excellent company. Today, I'm in the bunker looking out on a decidedly autumnal day expecting the rain to pish down at any second. Most likely when I go out the front door.

There's a bunch of stuff that I guess I want to write about but I don't know if that will actually translate into wordage. One thing I'm not going to do is continue with a slew of RIPs. Of course if something significant should occur (and I hope to hell it doesn't) then of course I'll have to bend that but let's hope that these are few and far between. The other thing I'm a little aware of is that "the blog" has had it's day. Not just this one, pretty much all of them.

As have websites that don't "sell" stuff in general. I don't find that I have the time to trawl anymore. Not that I'm really doing anything else of great importance but the web bores the heck out of me. As for viewing stuff on mobile devices, don't "eben" get me started on that shitstorm. However, this portal exists and there enough visitors here to suggest that I should at least make an effort. I don't like this laptop as much as I did the fixed PC that I used to have. I'd much rather be anywhere else but where I'm stuck but there are flecks of light out there on the horizon.

As I sit here contemplating, Mr D'uff just flagged this up...

And  as I set sail last Friday, some wonderful new ACC music dropped in so as you can see, sonically - things are going OK.

I can't get the widget thing to appear so click here to go to the Soundcloud page where other wonders from Sausalito also appear.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Monday, August 26, 2013

Still shell-shocked after an all too short roll in the Moss Rock City thunder. Got back V late last night and the fog outside replicated that which is in my heid today. Two Dahlmanns sets over the course of Saturday in the shadow of the old paper mill that was an employment staple forever until the interweb made their product obsolete. However, don’t get me stated about that. Look at the company logo. Isn’t that great?
So the kids were suitably enjoyed by the attendees. The festival itself wasn’t exactly run with military precision but it got there. Missed Black Debbath but heard their almighty racket from town as we wandered toward the site. This was the first time I heard the D’s do “I Know You Want Me Back Again”, a song that will be a 45 sometime sooner rather than later I hope. Written by the hit factory that made “Solna” the solid treat that it is.
Quite a late finish on Sunday morning because some smartarse (me) took a wrong turn on the road back to base. I’m glad I did though because wandering in the maze on a clear night was quite a peaceful exercise. It must be great to stay in that location tucked up on the hill yonder.
A low gear day and we had a Svele party at Casa Andreassen. A Svele is a big pancake, double the thickness of a crumpet and about the same circumference. Tasty gear. A wee wander afterwards to say au revoir to my dance partner and a quick pit stop at the beach completed the trip that is hopefully my last to Torp. Much as I love the ferry journey, it’s a pain in  the arse for Andre to schlep me there and back.
There is good news. Ryan-err are starting to fly from Edinburgh to the much closer Rygge on November 6th. That will make such trips considerably easier from both sides. Not that the citizens there need fear constant bombardment by me, I hope some of them will come out this way to the daftest wee country in the world before things go completely skew wiff.
The fog outside is gone. Things are getting autumnal but the gridlock in my napper continues abated. The next jaunt is to The Pipeline for The Nomads/Dahlmanns London bash with The Hip Priests and The Outbursts. Approximately a month away. And once again, Madrid not long after. I'm kind of seizing the moment here...

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Thursday, August 15, 2013

When I saw Rich Nesin’s note about Allen Lanier this morning I had to do a double take. Been keeping the RIP’s in check lately but this one resonates. Blue Öyster Cult made a big impression on a 15 year old me and opened the door to pretty much everything. They were punk rock at the time before the term was corporate-ised. Often lumped with the metal albatross, the band was closer to something like the MC5 but the songs were really something else. The concept of “stun guitar” was an exciting prospect and it all made some kind of sense when they claimed “we’re pain, we’re steel, a plot of knives...”. It still does. Listen to any of these early records and they stand up to the test of time far more than anything by The Clash. Actually the best album those guys made were with BÖC’s producers. Go figure.
And of course those same producers were responsible for something by the name of The Dictators Go Girl Crazy. Indeed HDM mentioned today that Lanier played some keyboards on there, presumably he was Alan Glover? Don’t think I was ever aware of that.

RIP - Allen Lanier

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Just lately it hasn’t been too easy to get away from myself. After a bit of gallivanting I crashed back to earth and find myself wondering WTF is going on. Attempts at getting out of the house on weekends have met with mixed results. Even to the cinema. Although that had a positive blip last night because I dragged my hiney out to see Beyond Midnight. I’ve always liked Julie Delpy and even bumped into her once in Edinburgh with her parents when “Two Days in Paris” was at the EIFF. The follow up to that wasn’t good but I don’t really blame that on her. It seemed mean spirited and that’s something I don’t think she is. She was back up to her usual standard here.
Anyway, it’s good and a worthy catch up in the cycle of this Linklater trilogy. Could there be another instalment? Who knows the way things go in these franchised times but if I’m still around then I’ll give it a whirl. Probably.
One of these days I might even get around to writing about music again. I’ve become a fan of silence. And even quiet. This often manifests as boredom however and has a habit of keelhauling any semblance of sleep. Pass out sometime around 8, wake in a stupor around 11 and then only feel like sleeping when it’s time to get up. Maybe I’m stuck on Madrid time but unfortunately the distractions which exist there aren’t available here.
The Del Lords shows in Newcastle (October 26th) and London (November 11th) have been announced so those look like the bookends to the euro-trip. There’s a festival in Spain on November 2nd where they’ll share a bill with The Dictators NYC. It’s a bit of a pickle...
The latter part of the ’13 looks like being hectic. The Nomads/Dahlmanns/Hip Priests and another combo in London on October 5th is something of an opening salvo. Ms Laura Cantrell is in Glasgow the night before we head down there. All show details here. It’s good to have her back and I’m just waiting on the nod as to when the “No Way There From Here” album will be released. I’m guessing maybe the Monday before that but I’ll confirm that in due course. “Can’t Wait”? Me neither.
There's something fucked with the font size on this blogger thing. Maybe it'll sort itself out, maybe it won't. I can't figure out how to correct it and it's stupid crap like this that makes me want to walk away from ever being on a computer ever again. Also, depending on the browser you're viewing it on, maybe through a bloody phone or a "tablet" then it could look even worse. If you do then don't fret - there are bigger fish to fry. Truly.

Sunday, July 28, 2013