Saturday, 28 January 2023

Jane And Barton – "Jane And Barton" (Cherry Red – MRED 53) 1983


The Otway and Barrett of Twee has to be Jane (Lancaster) and Edward Barton who,like Otway and Willy scored a minor chart hit across several continents.Especially when "It's a Fine Day" got used on several TV adverts,including a very bizarre one in Japan advertising Kleenex Tissues......they're bloody weird over there!?
In the grand folk tradition of unaccompanied singing,Jane and Barton,but mainly Jane,dare to be minimal,and alone, in an unforgiving world.
A gentler Indie Pop version of Folk legend, Ann Briggs if you want?
Its like being sung to sleep by your mother.And just like the death of your maternal parent,they never return to do it again when you are a fucked up adult.
So we need records like this,where someone called Jane is your mother replacement for a very short 20 minutes,which is probably in proportion with the average lifespan to childhood ratio that we are saddled with.
So we leave the mercifully short Edward Barton vocal parts to remind us of being forcibly pulled out of the womb into this horrific existence,then......well....you know what comes next.
Thanks for that Edward!? 

Tracklist:

1.There Is A Man
2.It's A Fine Day
3.You Are Over There (Part 1)
4.Mmmm
5.Of All
6.I Want To Be With You
7.You Are Over There(part 2)
8.Ha Bloody Ha
9.Leaves were falling

Friday, 27 January 2023

John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett – "Live At The Roundhouse" (Official Bootleg) 1977


Another who extolled the virtues of wood and its role in popular music,was one Wild Willy Barrett; whose work with the bard of Aylesbury ,John Otway,took unprofessionalism to new heights.
Wild Willy made his own guitars,and even made wooden sleeves for some of his solo releases.
Otway,as Willy called his rather eccentric partner,was one of those very British characters  on the peripheries of the pre-punk rock scene who seemed to exist as Stars in their own lunchtimes and in their own minds.Such as Johnny Moped,John The Postman,Chris Seivey,Wreckless Eric,and Sting,the Geordie Bono.
Like Sting, Otway,would literally do anything to achieve his dream of being a Star,but, unlike Sting,did it with an blatant sense of humour that suggested he also knew he would never make it.....surely not? But, briefly, he did. Mainly thanks to his more Punk than Punk performances on the Old Grey Whistle Test and Top Of The Pops with Wild Willy,which included Otway leaping on to Willy's amp, precariously perched on a chair,and subsequently falling off astride the amp crushing his family jewels,and disconnecting Barrett's guitar in the process,all on live national TV.
Catapulting "Really Free" to the lofty position of number 27 on the UK charts,and Polydor releasing their previously self-released eponymous LP,as financed by John's long suffering parents who re-mortgaged their home(?)in a desperate attempt to help their son to have a career....ANY career.
Of course the follow up singles flopped.Incredibly even the classic hymn to mindless violence "Headbutts", never broke the top 75!?
John then made sort of a career,post Wild Willy as a professional 'Failure',and his fans co-ordinated themselves to buy his "Bunsen Burner" single to get it into the top ten in 2002.
This pair were very representative of the generation of long hairs caught between Punk and Prog. Too young for Prog and too old for Punk,which really most of the Clash were too;but Otway and Barrett didn't have to pretend to be anything but themselves.Punk before Punk,and DIY before DIY.
This recording,headlining at the Roundhouse,was made at the height of Otway's micro stardom.Where our hero is supported by the marvelous  Fruit Eating Bears, Clayson and the Argonauts,and future hit makers,Squeeze...featuring the king of bland coffee table dad rock and boogie woogie criminal, Jools Holland...who,bizarrely, is the only one out of this lot who can still get on TV.

Tracklist:

1.Slewfoot
2.Only A Hobo
3.Really Free
4.Fire On A Mountain
5.Geneve
6.Beware Of The Flowers ('Cause I'm Sure They're Going To Get You Yeh)
7.Running From The Law
8.Cheryl's Going Home
9.Down The Road
10.Racing Cars (Jet Spotter Of The Track)


Wednesday, 25 January 2023

Edward Barton – "Here Is My Spoon" (Wooden Records – WOOD 10) 1990


 

Edward Barton looks and sounds like an artist,he may even be an Actor,for he once resembled a Drama student,or a member of Furniture (UK arty one hit wonders)...but we'll settle for 'poet'!?
Young Edward, first came to our attention attacking his acoustic guitar while writhing on the floor and screaming about his Mini on the exceedingly awful and sickeningly Hip early evening pop magazine programe ,"The Tube".The vile creature that spawned Jools Holland in his mission to make music as bland and pointless as yer Aunties cakes.A raison d'etre that this boogie woogie terrorist embraced with all the efficiency of a death camp Kommandant and the spiteful enthusiasm of his uncaged wife.
Inexplicably,YouTube has no footage of Barton's first appearance, but luckily there is a performance of his debut single,"I've Got No Chicken But I've Got Five Wooden Chairs".
Edward embraced this fifteen minutes of fame eagerly,and made it last about twelve minutes before spending the next thirty years in artsy obscurity.
His other three minutes of fame belong to the unaccompanied vocal Hit single Edward penned,With girlfriend, Jane, "It's a Fine Day", which was one of those rare 'Good' singles that hit the top ten in several countries.Other versions exist,including one by bloody Orbital!?
His songs,"It's a Fine day" excepted, have all the requisites that make Jandek's works so provocative,except I rather suspect that our Edward has the sense of Humour that The Corwood representative so patently lacks....which of course, makes it Funny.
Eddie's songs are funny too,but he actually intends this....so,he is an Artist after all, yes?
Alas, as a lifelong Mini owner,I thoroughly approve of Edward Barton. 

Tracklist:

1 Listen To Edward
2 Knob Gob
3 Sorry Dog
4 What Shall We Do Today?
5 Everyday I Try To Find The Man Who Killed My Brother
6 Barber Barber
7 Violence
8 In Dreams I Drive
9 King Of A Flat Country
10 Dear Dad
11 I've Got No Chicken But I've Got Five Wooden Chairs
12 Shover
13 Thin And Pale
14 I've Got No Chicken But I've Got Five Wooden Chairs
15 I Am A Mother
16 Two Cows
17 Me and my Mini (Bonus Track)

Friday, 20 January 2023

Rolo Tomassi – "Demo" (Mayday! – 001) 2005




This is a CD-r....Remember CD-r's.....No?..,and remember how hardcore punk bands each self-released several tapes a month called 'Demo'?..  and then there's MySpace......No?, and CD-r's??? ...why?
That's how bands promoted themselves back in the early naughties. CD-r's disintegrated over time, and MySpace killed itself by totally unnecessary restructuring nonsense and fiddling around with the format. It's still there, floating in cyberspace like the dead astronaut in 2001,after HAL had done for him. Maybe it was HAL who reprogrammed MySpace? If so, would HAL do us all a favor and  please go and reprogram Spotify?Then Twitter, and somehow abandon Musk in space. Probably when one of his stoopid rockets fucks up when he's onboard...can you fix it for us HAL? Please?...Branson and Bozos too while you're at it.
No doubt that Rolo Tomassi are on Spotify too these days,as I saw they did the Download Festival a year or so ago,on the very spot The Monsters Of Rock Festival used to be in the male only days of NWOBHM.....we don't count Girlschool as female by the way.
Rolo don't wear Lycra tights,or have massive curly mullets.Very admirably,Rolo have an unpretentiously sober dress-sense,which is all well and good,but i kinda miss taste-bypassed idiots like Twisted Sister, and Kiss....but they are Americans ;we need Americans to do the things more educated persons would never stoop to.Which leaves us with straight edged wild time signature tennis such as Rolo Tomassi,who are obviously too intelligent to wear make-up,or lycra....lead singer/screamer Eva excepted of course.
This type of Post-Hardcore Math-Jazz does have a tendency to be rather over-clever,and the group makes this mistake on the long third track,which has one of those long silences eventually revealing a wild hidden track, as they obviously had played their mum's Nirvana album and came away impressed by the delayed appearance of "Territorial Pissings" at the end of that horrible record(CD version)....ah well, Never Mind.

Tracklist:

1 Breathing Through A City (Is Much Harder Than Just Breathing) 0:36
2 The Tentatively Titled "Film Noir" 2:28
3 ...And Then The Mannequin Spoke 10:00


Thursday, 19 January 2023

Rolo Tomassi – "4 Track Demo Cassette" (danger!laser!phaser!razor!) 2005



Back to the long dead MySpace era for the first rebirth of DIY ethics,as continues with that Bandcamp,Soundcloud nonsense today,where the true gold is lost in an ocean of drone projects and bedroom bands with one member.
These Rolo Tomassi kids must have been 15 when they made this charming package of progressive abstract Jazzcore Math rock..They're like a cross between Gentle Giant and Tool. 
I say Tool,having never listened to one of their albums, and having just seen them live once so i'm imagining what other people say Tool sound like.
For want of better words, these kids must have had a granddad with a Prog and Jazz Fusion collection, and peers who dug slipknot and ...
ahem..Tool. While still at school.
It also helps that they have a sweet girlie screamer as a focus point, refreshingly free of tattoos and piercings, as are the rest of the group,from what i can gather......even today,as it seems that they are still going,but now in their thirties,and certainly rather too Metallic for my liking....but in the beginning...as always...they were nearly perfect.

Tracklist:

1 Codes Within Codes
2 From Ambience To Ambulance
3 Hiroshima 8.16am
4 A Cosmic Accident

Wednesday, 18 January 2023

Skullflower – "Exquisite Fucking Boredom" (tUMULt – TM212) 2003


Any of you cool kids out there like a bit of boredom going on? 
As previously mentioned,in the Stanlow Crickets post, the Great Erasure is coming,like a huge electro magnet realigning your digital media into straight lines of zero's.Comedians and social commentators will be silenced, vetted and vetted again for controversial comments and opinions,Popular music will be obsessed with the easy get out clause of the Love Emotion,and how cruel un-chemically castrated males were before the new potential rapist law made sure that Toxic masculinity was neutralised by regular Brain scans and testosterone checks.I don't wanna offend nobody cats,but i reserve the right to be offended,and to offend ,and challenge tabboos.It is this that makes one "Free".
So here's the rather fantastic Drone Psych Noise Skullflower group,playing the same riff for 60 minutes;and it hasn't gone unnoticed that they have used my favourite Dr Rhythm DR110 drum machine for the dour four four beat that accentuates the exquisite fucking boredom very nicely indeed. Like that Joni Mitchell song says,one needs to look at life from both sides,or you really won't know life...at all?

Tracklist:

1 Celestial Highway I 12:39
2 Celestial Highway II 13:48
3 Celestial Highway III 14:35
4 Saturn 9:53
5 Return To Forever  9:18
6 Celestial Highway IV 12:33


Tuesday, 17 January 2023

Stanlow Crickets – "Navigation Of Loplop" (Sound Of Pig – SOP #144) 1988




This bloke called Philip Seifert is responsible for this ,undoubtedly with the assistance of Al Margolis one would assume,it being on his Sound Of Pig cassette label.
Kerazzy musique concréte,with liberal use of a second hand emulator to blind the less informed with yesterdays science.
Yeah it gets on yer Tits,but somebody out there who was locked in a cupboard for their early adulthood will find this very novel indeed.
Its certainly fun to listen to the cutting edge of low budget sound technology in 1988,especially by persons who were thankfully clueless as to what those charming,....and this part is satirical,so don't cancel me,.... coloured gentlemen,... were doing with the same kit in Chicago and Detroit at the same time.....ie, stuff like this with a marching beat and a lot of electronic squelching noises stuffed in there....("Acid House is two minutes and 30 seconds of squelching noises" said an anonymous wag in 1988,rather like John Lydon's description of the sex act a decade earlier?...ok,rumbled....it was me wot said it,about five minutes ago!Ok?
As I notice that Jeremy Clarkson got cancelled by Jeff Bozos this morning for saying this very Die Or Diy observation on the subject of the lovely Megan Markle....i will repeat:
"At night, I'm unable to sleep as I lie there, grinding my teeth and dreaming of the day when she is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while the crowds chant, 'Shame!' and throw lumps of excrement at her." ....couldn't have possibly put it better myself.
The axe is being wielded for offense givers such as we and he,as one heads in a runaway bus towards the dull and sinister world of terminal fucking boredom during the horrors of the oncoming 'Nice' revolution....the exact opposite of Skullflowers superb "Exquisite Fucking Boredom" album (up next),but something more akin to "La Terreur" after the first bit of the French Revolution;except in that terror, you could still make a joke and survive.
Yes i did say 'Charming Coloured Gentlemen'...soon to be a capital offence punishable by forcing this smart arse to clean out the latrines of the Re-education centers that were once our homes.My father did the same thing during his incarceration by the Nazi's in World War 2, cleaning out the 'twenty holer',as he put it, latrine in the POW Camp.
The old newspeak word 'Degenerate' will be replaced with the Nadsat friendly term,'Offensive' in the realms of art and entertainment.
But at least the Nazi's oganized sn exhibition before they burnt it.Hide your hard-drives in a lead lined box before the "Great Erasure"....no,not the pop duo, the satellite Erasure beam that will cleanse the earth of anything Offensive.The Year Zero of Nice. 

Tracklist:

A1 Messy's Alarm Cock
A2 Furniture Cornices
A3 Ocelot Acrobat
A4 Passage To Dadaville
A5 Hebjirma
A6 A Pigeon Flies Against A Fish
A7 Mala Baka Haka
A8 Absorbing Roots Of Rest
A9 Radiophonics
A10 Scaffolds In The Collapsed Lung
A11 Preparation Of Glue From Bones
A12 Epoxy Faced Bison
A13 Dugong
A14 Distressed Goresa In A Plaid Tie
A15 Basket, Bottle, And Wallpaper
A16 Cacomixtle
B1 The Naivete Of Slirpin Serpents
B2 Intentions Of The Heel
B3 Slivery Moths Apply Their Makeup
B4 Birdman Gets A Bismuth Bath
B5 Slivery Moths Reach For Hands
B6 Thirsty Rain Doves
B7 Lustre
B8 Loplop Eats A Banana
B9 Wireless Sidesteps
B10 Outro

Monday, 16 January 2023

Burden Of Friendship – "The Head Of Your Goat - The Son Of Your Dog, Vol. 2" (Self-Released) 1985


One man's Friend is another man's Eric Burden; especially after he left the Animals and went a bit Funny,but still looked like an ex-coal miner in a kaftan.All this, While the humble geordies of Newcastle toon were left behind in the decidedly un-swinging sixties oop North.These simple un-tuned in folk were certainly not meeting the godhead through chemistry while Eric and his New Animals 'Turned On',absolutely Not!His old town mates were meeting their maker using such exotic delights as Emphysema and neumoconiosis.Newcastle is also a place that used the term 'Man'long before the Hippies popularised it.....'Why Ay man',is still used to express approval in certain areas of the North East. So I doubt yer redundant miner would have said 'Why Ay Man'when confronted with Geordie escapee Eric talking about peace and love with a flower sellotaped to his grown out short back'n'Sides. Not all the Ex-Animals wasted their time on such misogynistic nonsense as Eric did of course. Chad Chandler discovered Jimi Hendrix and formed The Jim Hendrix Experience,wisely In London and most definitely Not in Newcastle.And Alan Price wrote "Andy Capp-The Musical"..the less said about that the better.
Well know Punk Rock hater, Eric,does have one superior aspect that sets him apart from his hopelessly obscure U.S. Industrial counterparts Burden of Friendship;...he at least has some kind of Talent,no matter how naffola....but don't ask me what that is,but its probably something in relation to his writing some toe-curlingly bad boastful Flower-soul tunes that brighten up anyones day with its pure hippie naivity and toxic misogyny.
He accidentally created the sickening atmosphere that these legions of Throbbing Gristle-a-likes were trying to spew forth from 1985 onwards.
I could never write such a morally bankrupt pop song as "Man/Woman" by Eric Burdon and the New Animals", but I could easily churn out "The Head Of Your Goat-The Son Of Your Dog Vol.3" in my lunch-hour. No 'Talent' needed whatsoever to churn out endless 'Industrial Noise' cassettes.They are all the same, and Not at all funny like Eric's transition from hard geordie white man's blues thuggery to ugly older bloke with medallion who gets to shag loads of young women.....and they better thank him for it too. That's far more shocking than any Industrial experiment,but it does take...cough,slight retching of gastric juice....Talent!?
There are scores of tapes like this on this blog,and its time to post some more,'cus my public like it,and i've ran out of ideas...rather like Industrial music did in the nano-seconds after the Big Bang.
By 1985 however, these bedroom dwelling types could now afford a sampler,so the tape loops and found sounds from extermination camp documentaries became a lot easier to do....even less talent required.
But Fuck that...let's Boogie! 

Tracklist:

A1 The Lesson And The Knowledge Gained
A2 Thanksgiving At Unarco
A3 Novone Mix
B1 Joy
B2 As Much Static As Possible
B3 Horror & Mortal Terror Pt. 3
B4 Bison Remembers
B5 I Was Marlon Brando's Fat Cell
B6 And The Revox Played Itself
B7 Why He Joined The Army
B8 What Is The Doctor Doing For Lunch?
B9 Metaphysical Jabberwocky
B10 White Man's Living Room
B11 It Smells It Stinks
B12 Bosco's Stomp

Wednesday, 11 January 2023

Jandek – "Diverseworks" (Corwood Industries – CORWOOD 0856) 2022


After a lengthy series of stuff about recently deceased musicians,I will risk my life by returning,briefly, to the possibly Dead Jandek,with another pseudo-classical improvisation from the seemingly infinite vaults of old recordings.Rarely do we hear anything from contemporary Jandek. I suspect there's enough in storage for Richard Representative to achieve musical imortality.We will all be long dead by the time the Rep and his helpers exhaust the well.....that is, unless he has expired and they are doing this already.
Here we have Outsider music turned inside out.This is as far as one can get from that creepy guy in his mum's cellar banging out deranged versions of the human condition on an old piano.
Jandek,once a ginger mist with an out of tune guitar that drifted around various suburban parts of Houston,howling like a slow wind across freshly laid barbed wire;alas he is now a trilby wearing version of Nosferatu,hanging around the toilets in the music department en campus somewhere in the Texas system for further education.
His purpose?...Recruiting insider studentia to help him make this very seriously experimental music.Rather like how Madonna and Bowie used to 'look for ideas'by stealing them off starstruck upwardly mobile producers and musicians.
I doubt any student of modern composition would be Starstruck by the appearance of Jandek in their campus toilets,more likely they would run away,unless they knew better.
The ones who did know better,saw this as an opportunity to get on an avant garde record with a guy would would pay for everything.
Jandek does virtually nothing on this record,except for twanging his detuned bass somewhat furtively .Leaving the recruits to make it sound like one of those spontaneous improvisation records he spotted in the 'Other' section of his local record store,thinking, 'Hey, I can do that'!...or rather, 'i can get someone else to do that and i'll credit myself' on the traditionally credit-less Corwood jewel case artwork.
It has now got to the point where Sterling the Corwood representative is no-longer listed as an Outsider Musician on Discogs, but has joined the much despised ranks of the "Free Improvisers".
So now any collective gathering of Avant Garde improvisers can be heard to scream:
"Lookout! It's Jandek...and he's looking for musicians!"
Whatever the collective noun for a gathering of Free Improvisers is....maybe a 'Scrape' of Improvisers perhaps?

Tracklist:

 Rehearsal:

1-1 Part One 16:01

1-2 Part Two 28:28 

Concert:

2-1 Part One1 9:05

2-2 Part Two2 6:22

2-3 Part Three 16:03

DOWNLOAD this diverse insider crossover moment HERE!

Monday, 9 January 2023

The Associates - "Sulk (40th Anniversary Edition) 1982/2022


I'm in a sulk.....there are no associates left. 
Rankine died peacefully a few days previously, which is ironic as Sulk is one of the least peaceful Pop records ever made.Its full of several kitchen sink's worth of suffocating Pop genius. There's so much going on that one needs a crowbar to get the album out of its high viz glossy,but nameless,package.
None of yer average pop consumers knew what The Associates looked like, hence the need for the annoying sticker that fucked up the garishly botanical cover,and was impossible to remove.
There are few stranger records than "Party Fears Two" or "Club Country" that entered the top ten of the UK Charts.Right Up there with PiL's "Death Disco" and "Flowers Of Romance" as the weirdest singles to both chart and appear on Top Of The Pops.Subversive moments both.The associates also got on Top of The Pops with "18 Carat Love Affair", using chocolate guitars,which melted as Alan Rankine mimed playing them,and got eventually eaten by the audience,including the Spare one....Pop eating itself in action.

I'm supposed to write something else aren't I?..but i've been drinking some hard medicine,and i've become lost listening to this work of genius.Food?...who needs it?
One of my few claims to fame by proxy, is that I had an aggressively jealous Scottish girlfriend,who came from Dundee/Glasgow,and went for a night out with Billy mcKenzie!?...a predictably crazy and wild night was had by all accounts.Although if I went for a night out with Billy Mckenzie i'm sure she would have been less generous,and i would have received a few glancing blows from the flying crockery heaved in my general direction.But.....
Of course "Sulk" is one of the greatest ,most perverse Pop Lp's ever made.And Bill remains one of the greatest vocal acrobats ever.
Rest in noisy peace Bill and Alan. This album is your epitaph.


Sulk:

CD1-1 Arrogance Gave Him Up
CD1-2 No
CD1-3 Bap De La Bap
CD1-4 Gloomy Sunday
CD1-5 Nude Spoons
CD1-6 Skipping
CD1-7 It's Better This Way
CD1-8 Party Fears Two
CD1-9 Club Country
CD1-10 Nothinginsomethingparticular

Outtakes, Monitor Mixes & Rarities:

CD2-1 Ulcragyceptimol - Demo
CD2-2 I Never Will - Demo
CD2-3 Club Country - Demo
CD2-4 Me, Myself And The Tragic Story - John Leckie Recording
CD2-5 Australia - John Leckie Recording
CD2-6 Skipping - Monitor Mix Instrumental
CD2-7 It's Better This Way - Monitor Mix
CD2-8 And Then I Read A Book - Alternative Version
CD2-9 Ulcragyceptimol - Alternative Version
CD2-10 It's Better This Way - Alternative Version
CD2-11 The Associate
CD2-12 A Girl Named Property
CD2-13 Grecian 2000
CD2-14 Party Fears Two - 7"
CD2-15 Club Country - 7"
CD2-16 18 Carat Love Affair
CD2-17 Love Hangover - Extended Version

Associates Live - The Peel Sessions:

CD3-1 Me, Myself and the Tragic Story
CD3-2 Nude Spoons
CD3-3 A Matter Of Gender
CD3-4 It's Better This Way
CD3-5 Ulcragyceptimol
CD3-6 Waiting for the Love Boat
CD3-7 Australia
CD3-8 Love Hangover
CD3-9 A Severe Case of Career Insecurity
Associates Live - Gigant, Apeldoorn 10/01/81
CD3-10 Arrogance Gave Him Up
CD3-11 A Matter Of Gender
CD3-12 Nude Spoons
CD3-13 Paper House
CD3-14 No
CD3-15 And Then I Read A Book
CD3-16 Gloomy Sunday
CD3-17 It's Better This Way
CD3-18 Skipping
CD3-19 Australia

Thursday, 5 January 2023

Lemon Kittens - "Live 1980/81) (a Die Or DIY? product) 1980/81


A prolonged absence may have been noted by your faithful scribe,but i have been an unwilling victim of a Co-Vid variant!Despite having been vaccinated thrice, It fucked me over.and I was visited by the ghost of Christmas Future during my virus ravaged stupor.I was even planning how to keep the blog running after my imminent death!?
I's Still a bit fucked up,but managed to think of something to write about.....The Lemon Kittens of course?...i really don't know what i have been doing in the preceding weeks,but i'm already forgetting that terrifying dying feeling.Shit man, i was panicking about my estate rather more than yer actual fear of death. Soooooooo......!?

In the lengthening history of 'Out There' during the Rock'n'Roll era, there has been, actually, a gaping dearth  of genuinely fucking weird groups this side of the grand canyon of 'Out'. You've either got it or you ain't,and 99% of 'Weird' just ain't is it? There's trying (embarrassingly Hard) to be weird,Volcano The Bear (one lp on that NWW bloke's label!?) spring to mind, and there's just plain old. Weird. 
Early Residents were effortlessly weird until they discovered computers. Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica is the epitome of Weird ,but he couldn't repeat it!....nah....'Decals' is 'trying' not 'being',like all his post bat chain puller stuff, pretentious, like his shite Art works;but hey we all need to make a living don't we? We also have 'Ill' weird, like Jandek, Daniel Johnston,and anything Outsider. You have to be Normal (conforming to general standards of 'Normal) to qualify as achieving 'Weird' status...like Moondog?
There are plenty of early industrial acts who sound weird,but are far toooo normal to fool me....like the bloke from Nurse With Wound*...but his public schooled mate David Tibet knew he was far too fucking normal, and spent his career languishing in,slash exploiting,the truly weird,and wonderful ocean of Dark Folk...now that certainly IS weird shit brother,but we is talking the world of 'pop' here,and Lemon Kittens qualify as being within the 'pop' format, like Don Van Vliet before them, even though they were regularly featured on 'Industrial' compilations.
"We Buy A hammer For Daddy" (also on that NWW bloke label!?) is easily the equal of "Trout Mask Replica" on the pantheon of Weird,with a better follow up to boot.
I won't bust a blood vessel listing albums I reckon are effortlessly weird,but that list would be a slim volume indeed,dangerously treading on pamphlet territory.
Yup, The Lemon Kittens were effortlessly so.
So,in the light of a lack of new material,here's a quickly cobbled together volume of very rare recordings of Dax and Blake supporting This Heat at the ICA....the bootlegger obviously arrived late and missed most of the Lemon Kittens set...twat....and another one supporting ...erm...Modern English!?...dunno what their fans thought of of it all?
That first Modern English LP was rather good I remember?....certainly Not weird,but classic British pop music;just like Lemon Kittens were classic British Weird.
It's a fascinating subject is Weird innit?
Asking what is the Weirdest Album of all time is akin to asking what is the worst album of all time. Mostly, the same record tops both charts, and maybe even tops the Best Album Charts too.....this has happened to "Trout Mask Replica".Alas "We Buy A Hammer" is far too obscure to feature in any chart,even the Obscure Chart....and dare I say, far too Weird?

*once upon a time, That Nurse With Wound bloke,was selling his first LP to the record shops in Camden,when he approached the infamous Ted Carroll of 'Rock On'.Ted asked what kind of music it was.
"Sort of 'Weird'said MWW bloke.
"Nah!" said Ted, that ain't weird....This is WEIRD!"..and proceeded to play The Human League's, "Being Boiled",newly released on Fast Product.
Y'know what I agree with Ted.

Tracklist: 

1.Intro (The Venue, London 08/09/1981)
2.Up In Arms (The Venue, London 08/09/1981)
3.Popsykle (The Venue, London 08/09/1981)
4.Morbotalk (The Venue, London 08/09/1981)
5.Small Mercies (The Venue, London 08/09/1981)
6.Bookburner (The Venue, London 08/09/1981)
7.Funky 7 (The Venue, London 08/09/1981)
8.(unknown) (end cut) (The Venue, London 08/09/1981)
9.Afraid Of Being Bled By Leeches (ICA London 27-12-1980)
10. PVS (ICA London 27-12-1980)
11. This Kind Of Dying (ICA London 27-12-1980)

Friday, 23 December 2022

The Stranglers And Friends – "Live In Concert, Rainbow,London 1980"


Oooh Look! A one-off collaboration for two 1980 live concerts by The Stranglers from the spring of 1980. Naughty Hugh Cornwell was in Pentonville Prison for drug possession. With two gigs scheduled at the London Rainbow for 3 & 4 April, the management decided to turn things around by approaching a number of well-known artistes to fill in for the absent Cornwell on vocals and guitar.
However,what is notable about the various guest appearances is the number of deceased individuals on one stage.....not deceased at the time one has to note, but recently deceased, as in the case of Jet Black,Nik Turner ,Nicky Tesco and ,my guitar and sartorial hero, Wilko Johnson. 
There are other less recently deceased artistes of course, like Ian Dury and Larry Wallis,but mainly we're concentrating on the new wave of dead pop-stars,wot I have wrote about in the last few posts,with the exception of Wilko Johnson,for whom I couldn't find any words to express this great loss!
He being the only musician I know of who has a spoonerism for his nom des plumes. I also could not find anything (good) he did that I haven't already posted before.....that is, until discovering his guest spot on these live recordings by a Hugh Cornwell-less Stranglers. Nestling uncomfortably alongside Robert Fripp and his terrifying wife, Toyah......later to haunt us all with their insufferable social media appearances....another dreadful consequence of the Co-Vid Lockdown.....among various Pub legends,skids,blockheads and ex-proggers. Sure enuff an impressive turn out,and a more interesting way to listen to the Stranglers back catalogue. One of the few Tribute albums that actually features the band who are the subject of the tribute.
Farewell Wilko.


Tracklist:

1 Introduction by Jet Black 1:53

2 Get A Grip
Guitar – John Ellis, Robert Smith
Vocals – Hazel O'Connor 3:42

3 Hanging Around
Guitar – John Ellis , Robert Smith
Vocals – Hazel O'Connor 4:09

4 Tank
Guitar – John Ellis , Robert Fripp
Vocals – Pete Hammil 3:03

5 Threatened
Guitar – John Ellis , Robert Fripp 3:21

6 Toiler
Guitar – John Ellis , Robert Fripp
Vocals – Phil Daniels 5:19

7 The Raven
Guitar – Basil Gabbidon, John Ellis
Vocals – Pete Hammil 4:30

8 Dead Loss Angeles
Guitar – John Ellis, Wilko Johnson
Vocals – Phil Daniels 2:18

9 Nice'N'Sleazy
Guitar – Basil Gabbidon , John Ellis
Saxophone – Nik Turner
Vocals – Nicky Tesco 6:44

10 Bring On The Nubiles
Guitar – John Ellis, Wilko Johnson
Vocals – Richard Jobson 4:00

11 Peaches
Guitar – John Ellis , John Turnball
Saxophone – Davey Payne
Vocals – Hazel O'Connor, Ian Dury, Toyah Wilcox 4:34

12 Bear Cage
Guitar – John Ellis , John Turnball
Keyboards – Matthew Hartley
Saxophone – Davey Payne
Vocals – Hazel O'Connor, Ian Dury, Toyah Wilcox 4:41

13 Duchess
Guitar – John Ellis
Vocals – Toyah Wilcox 2:44

14 No More Heroes
Guitar – John Ellis
Vocals – Richard Jobson 3:49

15 Five Minutes
Guitar – Larry Wallis
Vocals – Richard Jobson 4:13

16 Something Better Change
Guitar – John Ellis , Steve Hillage
Vocals – Toyah Wilcox 3:43

17 Sewer
Guitar – John Ellis , Steve Hillage
Vocals – Jake Burns 7:36


Wednesday, 21 December 2022

Squad – "Red Alert" (Squad Records – SQS 1) 1978


And now Terry Hall also, has succumbed to the 'thing' that makes life utterly fucking pointless.... Death.
He did have a talent for conveying such pointlessness within his vocal style coupled with his natural deadpan presence.
Never a fan of The Specials meself,, however i did see them supporting The Clash with Suicide when they were the Coventry Automatics. blah blah fucking blah!
Oh sweet jesus, never has there been a band where the Tonic suited,Fred Perry and Pork Pie hat decorated audience all thought they were in the band,and Danced to order as their idols commanded.
Lots of Punky Bands started to bark shite like "Why aren't you Dancing" to the crowd....because we don't fucking want to??? If we wanted to dance we'd go to a bloody Discotheque wouldn't we? I'm here for the existential angst and the freedom to spill beer in the melee thanks. The Specials or Joy Division.....I know Where I'd rather be.
However musically not my thing Two Tone may have been,or not been, they were completely DIY in execution.,and incredibly successful at it.!?
Terry, was in the early line up for Coventry Punk Rockers "Squad"...whether it's 'The' Squad and not just the contracted version I dunno,but it was fashionable for record labels to drop the "The" at the beginnings of Band Names,like when Virgin insisted that The Ruts had to be called, just ,"Ruts", to be cool enuff for Richard Branson.
Terry was there, in "Squad", for about five minutes;but long enough to get a writing credit for "Red Alert",I don't think he got recorded, but the singer on the plastic does sound uncannily like him....Gus Chambers, who,i am told,is also deceased!? From imbibing  an accidental cocktail of his medication and alcohol...not recommended.
In fact "Squad" are a fine example of no-one is bigger than the team,as the line-up was totally different for their second,less charming, single as compared to the original line-ups...including terry, who went onto pastures during the first ten minutes of "Squad's" existence....presumably joining the Coventry Automatics, aka Special aka. 
As there were several bands called "Squad" in the UK, they could have had interchangeable personnel if only they knew of each others  being. 
Concrete Fly-overs, Lady Godiva , and Two Tone is what Coventry is known for, and Terry is part of that forever,the pleasant chap he apparently was....hopefully still is?

No, I don't own this record...its as rare as Hens Teeth.

ps....i'm gonna have to change tack...this is getting dee-pressing!

Tracklist:

A Red Alert
B £8-A-Week

Friday, 16 December 2022

Ashra – "New Age Of Earth" (Virgin – V 2080) 1977


 Now that everybody has posted "E2-E4 as a tribute to the recently dead Krautrock guitar hero Manuel Gottsching,and claimed it as the year zero of Trance....whatever the fuck Trance is? Sounds like House music to me; the genres of which I have no clue or indeed interest. The chess referenced record in question,apart from being rather boring,is just standard Berlin-School type kosmiche with the swirly bits taken out,to a hypnotic drum box beat......is it the drum box that they think started the madness that remains virtually unchanged for the preceding thirty years.This was what happened to nature after the pre-cambrian period,fast evolution then stasis.The dinosaurs remained unchanged for 10's of millions of years,just like House music variants; Gottschings ambient musings are the pre-cambrian oceans of electronics,but "E2-E4" is the dinosaur.
Most of Gottching's pre-cambrian guitar virtuosity is already available elsewhere on this blog,so as my tribute I have selected this shimmering ambient rock flotation tank muzak outing by Manuel as Ashra, dropping the Tempel part,and also dropping the band. Which is fitting as now all the original line-up of Ash Ra Tempel have now departed consciousness.
The cover looks unerringly like one of the world trade centers relocated to the outskirts of Auschwitz,beaming its truth like an enormous obelisk created by the alien god figure who began this experiment billions of years ago to discover the answer to the ultimate question. This rather disappointed 'God' has just begun to realise that it was all just a complete waste of telly-time. It was all predicted in the BBC comedy series "Hitchikers Guide To The Galaxy".......of course it's 42, innit....its the best answer I've ever heard.......and this LP is just north of 42 minutes long! If that ain't proof i dunno what is...
Anyway Manuel knows the answer, or lack of one, by now,if consciousness exists post-mortem for long enough to know this....probably something really boring like eternal nothing ,ness,more nothing than the nothing we think nothing is right now...ness. And the only way this big Nothing gets to actually BE Nothing, is if creatures like Homo-erectus part four have evolved to actually see and measure the nothing-ness before they blow themselves up;
Nothingness does indeed need defining boundaries before it can be defined....but, does that make it a something?
In fact even referring to nothing as nothing makes it a something.Even thinking about it proves it exists,as quantum reactions only happen when no-one's looking.
So is the only answer mankind can ever offer be 'God',the nothing that pretends its something,but only in the minds of men....homo-erectus.

Tracklist:

1.Sunrain 7:26
2.Ocean Of Tenderness 12:36
3.Deep Distance 5:46
4.Nightdust 21:52

Friday, 9 December 2022

The Stranglers - "Demo's 1974-76" (a Die or DIY? Compilation)


This comes under the category of groups who were social suicide to admit you like back in the halcyon daze of the Punk Rock wars of 1977. Basically they were obviously a lot older than a Punk Rock group should be,they had a keyboard player,and half of them looked like the kind of Pub trash you'd find in 1975,mustaches,suits and beards,like background extra's on the Sweeney.......not stylish Sweeney extras like Dr Feelgood,or The Pirates,but the ones who'd get beaten up by Jack and George to get information.
This may not sound like it, but this is an obvious attempt a a tribute for erstwhile Stranglers drummer and Ice Cream saleman, Jet Black, who passed away yesterday-ish at the remarkable age of 84!? He was older than Paul McCartney,and was 40 in 1978! This guy lived through the entire history of Rock'n'Roll! That's him with the beard and portly stance...was this the only Beard in Punk Rock?
Yeah, I secretly dug the Stranglers, most especially JJ Burnel, whose Bass sound and playing launched a tidal wave of Lead Bassists on the country, and made Post-Punk a reality. Unbeknownst to me Jean Jacques was an accomplished classical guitarist before he fatally thumbed a lift from Jet Black in his ice cream van,and ended up in The Stranglers in 1974. Yes that 1974, which Ramones fans always quote as evidence that they were indeed the very First Punk group......they did "I wanna be your Boyfriend" and the Stranglers did "Go Buddy Go" that year,and displayed uncomfortably long hair,....but, the Stranglers had less long hair,and were noticeably more aggressive.
They were in fact part of a very Proto-Punky movement,which fit their image far more than the glammed up MC5 or The Stooges, Pub Rock....of which one could argue that the Damned,Clash and The Pistols were also part of.
Nowadays, as Jet's Guardian Obituary states, The Stranglers were (accidently) the very First Post-Punk band, as well as tenuously the First Punk Band, with their "Darker" album, "Black and White",from 1978, beating previous favorites , Magazine, and Siouxsie and the Banshees to the title....which is a recently tendered attempt at rewriting history,by burks like John Robb and his equivalents  ,while forgetting  in retrospect,all this was still referred to as 'Punk'music at the time,and only later were things reassigned,depending on your definition of what its supposed to be.
For me, it was always the music that came after the first wave which obviously wasn't three chord Punk,like XTC,Devo,Talking Heads etc...which also included the 'Darker Side' like Joy Division ,Bauhaus, Pere Ubu etc.
"Punk Rock said Fuck You, and Post-Punk said I'm Fucked" has become the catchphrase these days.
So allow me to pick my own first Post-Punk album, and it ain't the Stranglers,or Television.....it's obviously Ultravox innit? "Ha! Ha! Ha!" from 1977....ticks all the boxes for me.
So to celebrate Jet's very understated underplayed drumming as part of one of the most un-categorisable  group from the Punk Rock era, here's a load of slightly dodgy pre-punk demo's from the magical year of 1974 onwards!?
I once thought "Go Buddy Go" was cover version when one first heard it,and was sure it had to be a UK R'n'R classic by someone like Johnny Kidd,until i knew better.....a JJ Burnel composition no less!?
Also the first time I saw a 'Punk' group on the telly was Stranglers doing 'Go Buddy Go' on Top of the Pops....the A-side,Peaches, was banned of course....tee hee hee...they swapped instruments.....and there may have been a rather naughty expletive on Burnel's T-shirt. However,JJ's hair looked a bit too fluffy for my liking,obviously just had a shampoo in the BBC make-up dept before the performance.
Jet, as always stayed in the background,gently miming his drums,which always sounded mimed anyway,so why bother?

Tracklist:

1. Charlie Boy*
2. Chinatown*
3. Make You Mine*
4. My Young Dreams*
5. I Know It*
6. White Wedding*
7. Country Chaser*
8. Bouncing man*
9. Wasted*
10. Go Buddy Go*
11.Strange Little Girl*
12.Bitching#
13.Peaches#
14.Tomorrow Was the Here after#
15.Down In The Sewer#
16.Grip#

*1974
#1976

Tuesday, 6 December 2022

Fleetwood Mac – "Bare Trees" (Reprise Records – K 44181) 1972



With a cover like it houses an Ambient Doom miesterwerk, this forgotten soft rock classic from a lost version of former UK Blues giants, Fleetwood Mac,finds our hero's searching,yet failing, for that elusive 'New',Saucy jack, direction that most groups from the 1960s strived for,but never found. Some were saved by having that career saving 'early death',like Jimi Hendrix for example, who was going downhill rapidly by 1970.
However, I find this a rather pleasant,if inoffensive listen ,and is my Fleetwood Mac record of choice.Showcasing, as it does ,the songwriting talent of the Late Christine McVie,to whom this is a back-handed compliment,she being one of the few members of the Mac who wasn't a complete tosser. 
The horrendous ego's of curly topped Lindsey  'I'm a Clash fan me' Buckingham and Stevie Nicks...I was always confused as to which one was which......the most dull rhythm section on planet earth,and Peter Greens narcissistic moral outrage. Also, forget yee not, that at the same time in 1972,recently former guitarist Jeremy Spencer joined the Children Of God cult,and released his ,quite mad but trad,children of God Cult Lp,as "Jeremy Spencer and The Children".There wasn't just one loony-tune in Fleetwood Mac at the end of the sixties.
All this eclipsed  Christine McVie's envious ability to be normal, and write a damn fine tune. All of the best tchoons in their successful period were hers I noticed, after watching a BBC 4 Rockumentary on said group......Of course I had nothing to do with Fleetwood Mac at all in my yoof,so it was a revelation that they had some rather tasty songs to back up the success!?
This Lp attracted my eye,for the cover basically,and playing it sometime in the 80's ,i was astonished at the mind crushing blandness of it all, reminding me of the good Captain's 'Bluejeans and Moonbeams, which I grew to love while swimming against the tide of hipster opinion......come on 'Observatory Crest' would have been a hit when Fleetwood Mac were selling their crud to the unquestioning masses, if it had been pushed.
I like the cool kid clearing qualities of stuff like this...it takes talent to be this beige,but we forget that's what was trendy back in those bland 'Singer-Songwritery' days of 1972.This is what did for the career of my other female songsmith hero,the long departed Sandy Denny,who probably didn't die early enough to save her career,and should have remained reassuringly, Folk.
In the end the only ones left standing after the brutal Adult orientated Singer-Songwriter wars of 1972/1973 were Fleetwood bloody Mac;who went on to reap the vast crops others had already sown.Above all of this is that their major rock'n'roll legacy contribution is proving that one should never,ever, work with your significant other.The same goes for Friends too incidentally. If you have to work with someone,Always,ALWAYS, work with complete strangers;or risk losing your loved ones.
The best tracks are by the outstandingly ordinary Christine,plus Mrs Scarrots "Thoughts On a Grey Day"!?,which ends proceedings,rather bizarrely with a zero Mac member monologue,narrated by someone called Mrs Scarrot...of whom i have have no idea?
Recently, all our favourite, and less favourite Pop Stars have been falling off the tree,which is looking increasingly bare as every week goes by.
I was trying,and struggling, to think of something poignant to write about my Guitar Hero, Wilko Johnson,when I heard the 'other one' from Fleetwood Mac had died too,so, as I was struggling to put John Wilkinson's brilliance into monosyllabic script(basically there are No Words!), I took a right turn to show that we're open minded on this blog in the tribute department,and say Rest In Peace Christine....the trees are certainly, almost bare.

Tracklist:

1.Child Of Mine 5:09
2.The Ghost 3:58
3.Homeward Bound 3:20
4.Sunny Side Of Heaven 3:10
5.Bare Trees 5:02
6.Sentimental Lady4:35
7.Danny's Chant3:16
8.Spare Me A Little Of Your Love 3:44
9.Dust 2:41
10.Thoughts On A Grey Day 2:03

Thursday, 24 November 2022

Andy Matthews - "Spring (or 'Bog​-​shed in lock​-​down')" (Ah! Records) 2020



Here's a band that the recently 'Late' Anton Fier (Feer)definitely didn't play in, as did NOT Andy Matthews of, I am Informed, 'Ah! Records'.Officially the least successful record label of all time(there's a lot of competition for that accolade); so says Andy anyway,who,these days, posts his labels albums,Ep's,singles, etc on that lovely Bandcamp place thingy.
Do you remember Bog-Shed? Yes?...well you should if you read this blog,'cus everything they ever recorded is available HERE!
Why bring this lot up again I don't hear you ask?...'Tis because Mike Bryson, a bass wielder second only to the great JJ Burnel, has died but a couple of weeks ago.Therefore we are in tribute mode,especially as 75% of Bog-Shed are now ex-ex-members of the mighty Shed,and the human race in general.
Also, do you remember the 'lockdown'?...I, personally, had a great time,and business was booming.I didn't want it to end.
We all coped with it in our own very different ways,and Andy of Ah! made the bizarre but understandable decision to make a Bog-Shed tribute album.
Eclectic is the watchword here,with every viable pop song form utilised to transform 20 of the most un-famous Bog-Shed tunes into a smorgasbord of different styles and non-styles.
Andy explains this inexplicable oddity using words such as this: "to keep from going mad, and in keeping with the times and my role within them, I embarked upon a project of near-pointlessness."
Sounds like normal life to me?!
But more to the point,what a great group was Bog-shed...remember them this way.


Tracklist:

1.the amazing Roy North penis band 04:04
2.Champion love shoes 02:48
3.The fastest legs 02:42
4.Hell bent on death 02:59
5.I say no to lemon mash 00:05
6.Into me 05:22
7.Little car 02:39
8.loaf 02:59
9.oily stack 02:41
10.old dog new tricks 02:04
11.packed lunch to school 02:49
12.panties please 03:55
13.people equal greedy 02:40
14.raise the girl 03:59
15.runner on a blunder 03:29
16.sing a little jam 02:33
17.sing a little tune 02:54
18.Summer in my lunchtime 04:48
19.Thunderballs 02:56
20.Tommy Steele record 02:40

Wednesday, 23 November 2022

Mark Shreeve – "No Holes Barred" (Church Road Records - MCCR6) 1986

 


From the less precious end of the recent deaths in music trophy cabinet, comes one of the more 'successful' prime movers in the UK Electronic Underground of the early eighties; as epitomised by such labels as Colin PotterIntegrated Circuit Records.
Mark Shreeve left world stage around the end of August this year,but again no one told me!? He features quite extensively in these pages,mainly for his DIY cred rather than his late period plinky plonky electronic Space rock and Jean MIchel Jarre-isms.
This self-released cassette shows us Marks jauntier side,with some largely inadvisable Prog Rock humour risk of recording Farts and Belches;as Roger Waters and Ron Geesin had an annoying penchant for.
Yes, Mark had just bought an Emulator Mark 1 in 1986, and there were certainly No Holes Barred for the prog novelty title track, where Mr Shreeve's Digestive Tract gets an unwelcome credit. Yeah, we all did it as soon as we got our old skool samplers out of their box? The Burp was utilised intermediately,with that generous 0.8 seconds of sampling time at the lowest Bit-Rate ......oh how we laughed....but at least we didn't sample the Dog,as Simon Cowell did early in his career disguised as "Wonder Dog",and his 1982 hit "Ruff Mix"...geddit? 
Although Cowell had access to £20,000 quids worth of Fairlight Aampling System to totally waste.....unlike Paul Hardcastles N.N.N.N.N.Nineteen,not?
Sad to say that Shreeve's "No Holes Barred" never cracked the top ten,unlike the previously mentioned atrocities did.
Personally I had to make do with my Commodore 64,equipped with a jolly expensive Sampling module attached at the back for my first sampling experience,which was, you guessed it, sampling a Burp!
Who needed a Fairlight in 1984 when you had this?...notice how none of the kids on the cover are sampling Farts or Burps.....obviously Posh Kids.
 
This was repeated several years later with a purchase of an Ensonique Mirage.You can't beat the old ones can you?
Well, there was one more Hole for Mark to use, unbarred to everyone, and that was his Grave.In which he now rests his plinky plonky fingers,and has given us all some much deserved peace.
I do however notice, that quite a few of these tracks do seem to harbor an unhealthy obsession with,...gulp... Death, 'the proud brother' as Criswell of 'Plan Nine from Outer Space' fame used to call it....a lot.
Shreeves' early work is rather good actually,if you like Tangerine Dream that is.

Tracklist:

A1 M.A.D. 4:33
A2 Crash Head (Early Mix) 4:05
A3 High Frontier 4:52
A4 Edge Of Darkness (Early Mix) 5:35
A5 Bandit 3:38
B1 Widowmaker 3:51
B2 One Last Cold Kiss 3:52
B3 Angel Of Death (Live) 11:08
B4 No Holes Barred 1:47