Saturday, January 30, 2010

R.E.M. Again.

This is the ticket for the gig where I got the setlist.

Not a bad night out for four quid.


'Futuristic Abeba' is Afrobeat infected house and electronics, combining strains of raw Fela Kuti style funk with spaceways electronics and deep house roll-idge to occupy your internal dancefloor. It really sounds like little else out there right now and should appeal to the Afro electronics fan that resides in all of our hearts and minds.

Literally, exactly what I want to be listening to today, right here, right now. This is seriously, mind-blowingly awesome. If I still smoked, I would be sparking up a huge one for this.

Link Expired.


My trawl through the archives continues.

How about this though? An autograph from John McGeoch that is LITERALLY written on the back of a fag packet. The Armory Show were kind of a supergroup with McGeoch and John Doyle from Magazine and Russell Webb and Richard Jobson from The Skids.

I'm not sure, but I think this was one of their first gigs. They were absolutely fucking awesome that night, but I don't think they ever got their brilliance down on record.

Virginia Astley was there as well, as she was going out with Russell Webb. I was very "confused" because I was very much truly, madly, deeply, in love with her. In a word, it was a "hormonal" evening. For me, at least, if not for her. I've got photos too, if anyone's interested.

The Futureheads

Great, itchy, new wave power pop from straight outta Sunderland. The Futureheads debut is a terrific mess of super catchy XTC-isms that embed themselves into your cortex immediately. Produced by Andy Gill (Gang Of Four), this has the credibility and the authenticity to become one of the accepted texts for the post punk, new wave movement, 25 years after the fact.

320 Kbps.

Link Expired.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Stephin Merritt - Showtunes

To celebrate the release of the new Magnetic Fields album, "Realism" I though it might be a good time to revisit this strange little album from Merritt's long and diverse discography.

I'm not going to lie to you, some of this is simply terrible. Irritating and grating. Chinese opera something, something. But do you know what? His gift for melody, pathos, drama and structure cannot be hidden. He is undoubtedly a genius and like Eno, his misfires are almost as interesting as his triumphs.

Link Expired.

P.S. And in no way am I dismissing Chinese opera or Chinese culture in any way. I'm just saying this seems a bit of dilettantism. Don't ask me about their human rights record though.

I'm Still Going Through My Old Stuff.

And let me tell you, nostalgia IS what it used to be.

The Smiths, Lancaster University, 09/03/84.

Poorly attended as I recall. This was the first album tour, although I'm pretty sure they played "Barbarism".

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Slits - Cut

I was going to try and write about this album, but Simon Reynold's fantastic book, "Rip It Up And Start Again" makes any of that stuff seem so futile when it has been cooked to such perfection already. I therefore take the sensible option of reproducing the pages in full.

Just click on on the pages to see the full size texts.

Suffice to say this was such an important record for all right thinking new wavers at the tail end of the Seventies. The choice to appear veri-semi-naked on the cover was a big deal at the time, but absolutely summed up the whole attitude in *such* a clever way. Would that any of today's bands were so on the money when it came to political and ideological motivation. Or am I just being an old fart? Discuss.

Sincere and heartfelt thanks to my best mate, Fat Bob, who donated this CD to the blog (along with loads of other stuff appearing on Spinster's Rock). Bob had upgraded to the Deluxe Edition of "Cut" and my original vinyl copy was well and truly fucked, so I flogged it at the Record & Tape Exchange for to buy some beer tokens a long time ago. I'm afraid we are probably going to have to wait until Bob had gone to another realm before I can prize the Deluxe Edition from his cold, dead hands.

320 Kbps.

Link Expired.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Diskjokke - Staying In

As previously mentioned, Diskjokke is 30 year old Norwegian mathematician, Joachim Dyrdahl.

"Staying In' is at the most accessible end of the disco resurgence. Diskjokke got his big break from fellow Scandinavian dancefloor emperor, Prins Thomas, who put out a couple of 12"s via his Full Pupp label. Being a part of the Nowegian dance scene that gave birth to the likes of Lindstrom, Todd Terje and Rune Linbaek, you'd hardly expect the Diskjokke debut to have a title like Staying In, but despite being compatible for dacefloor detonation these pieces are curtailed versions of the tracks Drydahl would play out in a club environment, taking on a far more succinct, poppy structure, far more conducive to a leisurely playback in the comfort of your own home. What's more, the album never strays too far from an actual tune, with particular highlights like "Flott Flyt" and "Staying In" itself (which is quite reminiscent of Royksopp's 'Eple') placing a heavy emphasis on bloopy synth melodies.

Best of all though, is "Folk I Farta" which starts from a Wim Mertens piano figure and turns up the disco heat from there. First, an eerie sci-fi melody appears, only to be dwarfed by the biggest, valve driven, radiophonic riff that there has ever been. Fantastic stuff.

Link Expired.

R.E.M. Setlist

A handwritten setlist from an R.E.M. gig in Manchester, circa 1985. I think this is Peter Buck's handwriting, although I can't really remember now. It was definitely written by one of them. Autographed by Berry, Buck, Mills and Stipe. Stipe wrote "11 shadows on your sleeve" which is a direct quote from Murmur track, "Perfect Circle". I had named my band Perfect Circle after this song and gave them all a copy of our 7" at the gig. Good times.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I've Been There Time and Time Again

I had the best Christmas and New Year ever, but suffered a bit of a comedown, I think. I don't know if this was due to the end of the medication regime, or as a result of rediscovering the joys of alcohol. Perhaps a little bit too much booze, in direct contravention of the rules. Whatever. I'm back and feeling better than I have for quite some time. And I'll tell you something else, (on reflection, deleted).

Although it's been a tough few weeks for me while I re-adjust, there has been salvation, (as ever) in the form of some beautiful, healing music. I have become obsessed with a little known strand of music centering around some Nordic and Scandinavian producers of the most exquisite, uplifting disco music. This stuff is a whole sub-genre which is ripe for exploration for those who are interested. It is my mission to pass on the love.

Foe starters, you have to get your listening gear around this unbelievable collection of remixes by Norway's Diskjokke, known to his Mum as Joachim Dyrdahl. I'm pretty sure this is the best remix collection since the Beyond The Wizards Sleeve album. And you all know how brilliant that was.

In particular, you have to listen out for the remix of Lindsrtrom's "Breakfast In Heaven", the opening "Heartbreaker" remix by Metronomy and the amazing remix of Sunday by Bloc Party, which is better than any of their actual records.

More to come...

Link Expired.

Updates Today...

Thanks to everyone for your patience. It's taken me a few weeks to get it together following the Christmas and New Year festivities. More updates coming later today, I promise.

I found this Julian autograph while going through some old stuff this week. I got this at a Cope gig in Lancaster. This was on the "World Shut Your Mouth" tour, his first tour following the demise of the Teardrops. It was supposed to be at the University, but got moved to a venue in central Lancaster called The Sugarmill because tickets weren't selling too well. He was absolutely brilliant as I recall. I gave him a lump of dope and he autographed my hanky. Fair's fair.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders

More obscure brilliance from Finders Keepers.
Finders Keepers make musical history once again with what they regard as their very finest, darkest and most magnificent hour as they release the delicately haunting and sacred score to Jaromil Jires' essential Eastern European hallucinogenic-baroque-witch-flick 'Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders'.

It has taken Andy Votel almost 12 years to finally get his grubby vinyl-magnetic mits on the original studio recordings of this previously unreleased score. A futile decade of Eastern European phone calls, continental crate digging and eventually wicked web scouring confirmed that like most Czechoslovakian film scores 'Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders' never benefited from a commercial vinyl release and was condemned to a life imprisoned in the vaults of the original film production company sheltered from political duress and controversy for ever more... until now.

Aided and abetted by his counter cultured compadriats at Finders Keepers a black virgin-vinyl and CD duplication of the original master-tapes are now available for one and all to enjoy courtesy of the men who performed previous death-defying escape missions for Stanley Myers soundtrack music to 'Sitting Target' and providing psychedelic amnesty for buried treasures by Jean-Claude Vannier, Susan Christie and a veritable hoard of progressive Welsh folk music. And what better time and climate to unleash this Baroque folk masterpiece to an audience of bespoke music lovers as now - as our affection for traditional mystic music reaches a healthy hiatus.

Lubos Fiser provides what is perhaps the greatest musical score of all the maligned Czech New Wave feature-films with a gossamer-fragile blend of pastoral-orchestral folk songs and clockwork harpsichords. From the very first delicate chord to the final crescendo this joyous sound is as addictive as the bizarre imagery seen in this seldom celebrated cinematic gem (which was screened in front of 3 hundred mesmerized patrons of this years Green Man festival).

Naturally the list of musical pioneers who freely confess there allegiance to the score verifies it's elevated place in contemporary pop. Birmingham's dedicated concrete-pop-psych combo Broadcast recently paid homage to the soundtrack on there 'Ha-Ha Sound' LP while groups such as Espers, Fursaxa and Marissa Nadler recently contributed to a live performance of the soundtrack as a homage to its unwaning influence on their music. Echoes of the score can also be heard in recent music by Vashti Bunyen and it has been cited as a huge influence to the likes of Tim Burton who based the carnival scene at the end of 'Big Fish' on the original film.

Previously unprepared for public consumption the immaculate release has been compiled in close accordance to the original storyline which was released in 1935 as a surrealist novel by Vladislav Nezval. The orchestral suites of music have been separated into 23 chapters with titles derived from the controversial novella. This seminal release comes complete with unseen archive images, original international poster designs and new and extensive sleevenotes by Andy Votel, Professor Peter Hames and Trish Keenan from Broadcast.

Link Expired.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year Part 2

Best thing so far from Norris's Time And Space Machine Project. Bring on the album, please...
Colours swirl, patterns collide… it’s time to turn on The Time and Space Machine. The Time And Space Machine was conceived in 2008 as a sound that solidifies Richard Norris’ decades of collecting, releasing and writing about psychedelic music.

Richard’s journey into psych began as a teenager when he worked for the legendary UK psych label Bam Caruso, who released dozens of psychedelic and freakbeat compilations alongside artist albums from the Seeds, the Left Banke, the Walker Brothers, John’s Children, July and many more. "It was like attending psychedelic university," says Richard. He also co-edited Strange Things are Happening, a pop art magazine that pre-dated the likes of Mojo and other reissue magazines.

In partnership with Erol Alkan as Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve, Richard has firmly cemented his position in the Psyche-scape. Their series of re-edit 12” mini albums were not only instantly snapped up in stores but also led to a series of high profile remixes for artists such as Chemical Brothers, Goldfrapp, Franz Ferdinand and more.

The “You Are The One EP” opens up with lead track “You Are The One” a is a slow-jam cosmic bliss out. “Mushroom Family” adds a touch of 70’s sheen and evokes a trip in a field of joy with the sun shining down. Things round off with ‘More Cowbell’ which takes things in a more dance-floor, groove-driven direction which leaves us all wondering which trip Richard is taking us on for the rest of the album…

Weaving a Psychedelic, Balearic and occasional Krautrock path, prepare for the album in 2010.
More here.

Link Expired.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year

Happy new year, everyone.

I can honestly say that this has been my best Christmas holiday for many, many years. I sincerely hope you all had a great one too.

More posts later today...

Popular Posts