I’m off to The Lakes in a couple of weekend’s time with 2 very good friends from University days. We’re all now past 50 and we’re all consciously making time for each other following the death of a mutual friend. We’re attempting a couple of big walks including the 23km Kentmere Round that takes in 6 or 7 of Wainwright’s peaks. On the musical front I’ve been listening to and sharing with them via Spotify playlists a lot of American rock music in recent months and have really got into 70s ZZ Top and the sub-genre of Desert Rock. I’m familiar with what Josh Homme’s contributed to this style of ambient blues rock and my ear horn’s lasso also takes in bands like Calexico, Giant Sands and even The Pixies (e.g. ‘Ana’). I’d really appreciate any recommendations for songs that fall into this category and by way of example I’m throwing up ‘El Diablo’ by ZZ Top, a song that for me typifies the mood this genre evokes. We’re 3 blokes who have very diverse music tastes but this music is something that we’ve come to enjoy together when we meet up, walk for hours and then head back to » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
Some acts are quintessentially English: Cliff,The Kinks, The Small Faces, Soft Machine, Slade, Iron Maiden, Squeeze, Ian Dury, XTC, The Jam, The Smiths, Pet Shop Boys, Pulp, St. Etienne to name a few. To that list I’d add The Cure. Their Englishness is best represented by the band’s idiosyncrasy at both a musical and a visual level; a kaleidoscopic pop art band whose musical fantasia can as easily rock out a large festival crowd as soundtrack a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. From the late 70s until the end of the 80s Robert Smith and his cohorts created a unique (sight and) sound across 8 studio albums and 1 live album that both troubled the charts and charted the troubles of Smith’s fractured psyche. Collectively The Cure reimagined rock and pop music as a gothic carnival of contrasting neon lights and ominous darkened corners with at least something in the sensory spectrum to please some of the people some of the time; music that could perhaps evoke the Freudian scares of a haunted house or the thrilling dizziness of a wurltizer ride or even the youthful headrush and adolescent fumbles accompanying a ride through the » Continue Reading.
It’s the original line-up apparently. I’ll be honest I had to read that twice before I’d believe it after watching the video. The iconic hairstyle is gone, the waistline is gone, the ability to remove sunglasses upon entering a room is gone. The passing years have not been kind. They look older than the Stones and in worse shape. The good news is that the bass player seems happy with the reunion. Lead singer Mike Score has a ‘Brando as Colonel Kurtz’ vibe going on from a good angle; from a bad angle it’s ‘Brando as Dr. Moreau’. If you watch the video on mute and randomly freeze-frame you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re watching a Bad Manners or Black Grape comeback promo. Hey, it could even be a reformed Right Said Fred!
The new Parquet Courts album is a blast. A step up from a band that threatened to not deliver on its initial promise. This song “Almost Had to Start a Fight / In and Out of Patience” is a Venn diagram moment.
‘All the stuff I listened to before 1986’
‘All the stuff I’ve listened to since 1986 that reminds me of what I loved about all the music I listened to before 1986’
Year: 2017 Director: Tan Bing
DISCLAIMER: THIS REVIEW IS ONLY OF THE TRAILER.
See first Comment for the review.
Might appeal to people who enjoyed:
The China Syndrome. Simply because China Salesman is probably a sequel.
What does it sound like?:
Joshua Hedley’s debut album Mr. Jukebox is a throwback to the time country music shook off its raucous, Saturday night Honky Tonk Bar image in an attempt to compete with the nascent high quality studio sounds of pop, soul and rock ‘n’ roll. Thus was born the Nashville Sound in the late 50s, a slick production template that slowed the tempo, married strings with choral harmonies and cultivated a close-to-tears singing style that could out croon even Bing Crosby. It’s a sound that was itself usurped by The Outlaw Country of Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash, artists who wanted more direct control over the songs they recorded and the arrangements for them.
Since arriving in Nashville in 2004 Hedley’s earned his dues playing second fiddle on the fiddle for other country artists including Third Man Records label mate Margo Price. Hedley is only the second country singer to sign to Jack White’s hip record label. Indeed, there’s something of the hipster look about Hedley with his full beard and extensive arm tattoos that even a Nudie suit and pinch front cowboy hat can’t quite overcome. Look closer at those tattoos and there’s » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
Josh Rouse has quietly but assuredly been making a brand of wholesome American folky roots music for the past 20 years that stands or falls by the listener’s desire to hear output from an artist that doesn’t stray too far from a tried and tested musical formula. Damned by faint praise? Not a bit of it. Rouse’s formula works and works well because his particular brand of singer/songwriter strikes a high hit rate when it comes to melodic riches.
Briefly Rouse threatened to break big with his 4th album, ‘1972’ (2003), an unashamedly retro-fitting record that exuded class of a high quality but also of a bygone pedigree. It was the sound of an artist honing his craft to the sweetest of sweet spots from where his songs could nestle warmly and without fear of embarrassment among the classics of early to mid 70s AOR acoustic pop/rock from the likes of Paul Simon, Carole KIng, James Taylor and – on the funkier tracks – Boz Scaggs. Therein lay Rouse’s problem; an artist in the wrong time and place while simultaneously never sounding out of place in the company of his elders and, on a » Continue Reading.
The Guardian ran a piece this week ranking the best songs in teen movies (https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/mar/15/the-best-songs-from-teen-movies-ranked). Don’t You Forget About Me by Simple Minds came top as used in the John Hughes film The Breakfast Club. Famously not written by the band the song was passed around a few acts, each one rejecting it (including Billy Idol). Even Simple Minds weren’t convinced and only relented when Jim Kerr’s then wife, Chrissie Hynde, thought they should reconsider.
For a while John Hughes specialised in tapping into the mid-80s teen mindset and had a knack for giving a leg-up to British acts in the US (see also Psychedelic Furs in Pretty in Pink, The Dream Academy and..er..Sigue Sigue Sputnik in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Flesh For Lulu in Some Kind of Wonderful).
While considering The Guardian’s list I remembered that during the opening credits of The Breakfast Club some of the lyrics from Bowie’s Changes appear on screen: ‘And these children that you spit on/As they try to change their worlds/Are immune to your consultations/They’re quite aware of what they’re going through’. As good a summation of what the film is about as any film guide.
Bowie’s music is also » Continue Reading.
Apologies for hijacking the blog (I thought you could PM people via the website…?) but could @Dr_Volume please contact @bistography by the old fashioned method of email as I’ve tried contacting him using the last email address to no avail and wish to notify him of a forthcoming social engagement.
Thanks to Sting and Co for sharing the message within the message through the medium of popular song.
As it’s half-term this week on Wednesday the Bisto family took the train to Birmingham to buy some new clothes. Not for me of course, my primary role was to dispose of my income on behalf of the progeny but my eldest daughter did manage to convince me to buy a pair of Vans, not Bedford or Ford Transit, but a pair of canvas shoes that apparently are quite popular amongst the young folk. I’m quite pleased with them to be honest, the most comfortable canvas shoe ever to grace the Bisto trotters. While in HMV she bought herself a Rolling Stones T-shirt. Before agreeing to the purchase I insisted she tell me her 3 favourite tracks. Quick as a flash she came back with Paint It Black, Gimme Shelter and – and this one really took me by surprise – Fingerprint File.
“It’s sooo funky and good to dance to” she said.
My eyebrow suitably raised she explained that one of her friends comes in to her after school dance club every week with her portable turntable and a box of records and in between rehearsals she plays old records in the changing rooms by the likes » Continue Reading.
To recap for those stuck in ’71:HGY (Hepworth’s Golden Year).
Fergie (née Stacy Ann Ferguson) used to be one of the Black Eyed Peas, a musical act that built an unparalleled reputation for wil(-i-am)ful godawfulness. On Sunday night Fergie performed her unique version of America’s National Anthem at an all star NBA match. Operating under the misguided belief that Marilyn Monroe singing I Wanna Be Loved By You represents the high-point of female jazz voice, and with a vocal delivery that mangled so many consonants it caused a mass outbreak of Irritable Vowel Syndrome in millions of viewers, she vainly attempted to project the hitherto comparatively dull image of the American flag blowing in the breeze as the lyrical equivalent of a booty call.
As if her performance wasn’t proof enough of her lack of self-awareness her subsequent apology has raised the vanity bar even further reaching peak hubris with the following comment:
“I’m a risk taker artistically, but clearly this rendition didn’t strike the intended tone.”
Ignoring the fact that the only artistic risk she’s ever taken is choosing her stage name in tribute to the man who engineered the 1999 treble her statement begs the question: » Continue Reading.
New music: Yeah! Old music: Yeah! Yello: Oh Yeah! The Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Maps!
I read a lot, I can’t put it down – Nick Lowe
Sometimes it’s easier to retreat into yourself, to shut up shop, “shut out that stealing moon” – as Thomas Hardy described it – and simply exist in a penumbra of your life. When I sense I’m becoming maudlin and self-absorbed or over-burdened with worries, both real and imagined, I read. Reading gets me out of the shadows and helps me re-engage with the world. I have always at least 2 or 3 books on the go but when I get into one of my prolonged dark moods I seek out an extra level of compensation from the written word. Years of reading has helped me to help myself when it comes to choosing a book or an author to revive a part of me that feels undernourished, overlooked or sadly lacking in vitality.
For example I’ve been reading classic Westerns by writers like Zane Grey, Larry McMurtry and Louis L’Amour. Their books help me escape from an insistent gut feeling that I’m chronically (as well as chronologically) out of step with the modern world and should simply accept it rather than fight it. There’s something liberating about » Continue Reading.
The BBC news website has a feature on a shop that’s opened in Gloucestershire that has nothing to sell. Instead its shelves and drinks chillers are stocked with rubbish – packets, bottles and cans – collected in a half day in The Forest of Dean. There’s a 28 year old Worcester Sauce flavour crisp packet the local council was able to date by the competition Walkers was running at the time. The oldest dated item is from 1983, the year that Jacko’s Billie Jean, Bowie’s Let’s Dance and Kajagoogoo’s Too Shy were Number 1.
One picture in particular caught my eye. It shows a chiller cabinet standing in ancient woodland. Cue Grandaddy’s prescient song from 2000’s The Sophtware Slump, an album I’ve not listened to for a long time. It’s possibly the finest example of Ballardian Dystopia captured in music. I think I’ll give it a spin today.
What other albums are there that capture that capture a similar sense of the kind of sci-fi associated with Ballard, Philip K Dick et al rather than fantasy or space opera?
Slightly unrelated but quite excited at discovering the other day that Channel 4 will be showing a new science fiction series, » Continue Reading.
..and Spotify has just alerted me to the arrival of a new Lord Kitchener compilation. That’s the lunchtime music sorted at Bisto Towers
“Piccadilly folks, you can never trust them, beware if you ever meet them…”
How about you?
It fills me immense pride to see the review work of a few Afterworders is still present and correct on Amazon 2 years down the road.
Yes, the long handled Leo Sayer Bag is still going strong
I stumbled across this picture on the wibbly wobbly way this evening. It features two of my favourite musical people. It made me cry. Edwyn’s face is almost identical to the last picture I ever took of my best friend two weeks before he died last year of Glioblastoma Multiforme IV. That’s quite a mouthful I know and it’s very impressive a prognosis to drop it into conversations at dinner parties I can tell you. For those of you still not balking at the idea of a thread about cancer it’s the complete cunt of a cancer known as “The Terminator” (as in “I’ll be back”).
Like Edwyn my best friend’s face fell away on one side; in his case after brain surgery, multiple seizures and an ever bloating cocktail of bloating drugs. His face lost its chiselled jawed handsomeness and became a puff ball of optimism and determination that seemed to tell all those he loved and left behind that we should simply carry on regardless, living and hoping for something better even as he knew we knew his cause was lost. He died knowing who he was and what had killed him but he didn’t want us » Continue Reading.
The Independent and other news media are reporting that London is to get its first restaurant to cater for naked patrons. “Finally”, I hear you cry. Apparently it’s a pop-up restaurant…ooer. Alas it’s not going to be called ‘Starkers’ or ‘Raw’. It will be known as The Bunyadi.
No word on the menu yet. What should we expect? Will The Naked Chef be setting the menu? Will only the salads be dressed? Will they even be tossed? Will waiters don birthday suits? Will waitresses only wear a smile? Should I assume my waitress will be expecting a large tip?
I think we can assume all breast meat will be served with extra crispy skin. That said, will they risk flambèing Crêpes Suzette at your table and should I assume it’s buckwheat in the pancake mix? If it’s posh they’ll serve fish cakes with a parsley sauce. If not it’ll be fish fingers covered in some nondescript creamy white finishing sauce. Either works for me.
If there’s a large queue for the toilets then I’d give the Cock-A-Leekie soup a wide berth. I’m hoping a personal favourite of mine, Coq au Vin, will be on the menu but if » Continue Reading.
What does the term Europop mean to you? The Eurovision Song Contest? Novelty hits clogging up the charts all summer as bought by sun-burnt families returning from package holidays in Torremolinos? Perhaps you picture tunes sung by a “Johnny Halliday” type: overly beige men with the complexion and hair-style of a wrinkled scrotum who suddenly appear on TOTP dressed like a dodgy uncle from the 70s who’s been enjoying life in the Costa Del Crime but has come back briefly to remind us all of the good life in the sun. Or maybe it’s the female equivalent who springs to mind, the “Sabrina” type: erotically charged women with no concept of sexual repression, parading the most vital of vital statistics and promising the type of moral depravity and undercooked steak your mother warned you about as an impressionable teenage boy.
On its day, Europop often delivers fabulous 4 minute summations of what makes a great pop song: something you can hum along to, something to swing your hips to, something carefree to enjoy without any notion of being hip. Here’a a case in point, the rather lovely looking and deeply sounding Greek lady Monika and her song Secret in The » Continue Reading.
I really like this song. I’ve not heard of her before but I think this track called ‘7th Ray’ is exquisite and a great song in what people like to term the “classic songwriting mold”. Not that you’d know it but she used to be in The Brian Jonestown Massacre!
Sorry, video doesn’t allow embedding!
Peter Serafinowich imagines Donald ‘The Gonad’ Trump as a right tasty geezer.
Stan Dibben is 86. In 1953 he was World Champion in sidecar racing, not the driver of the bike but the ‘passenger’, the one who manoeuvres their body around the sidecar, almost lying horizontally onto the racetrack as the bike navigates bends at speeds in excess of 70mph. Stan was also part of Donald Campbell’s Bluebird team that successfully broke the land speed record in Australia in 1964. I’ve just sent a link to the video to my father-in-law who at 80 did 3 laps in a Formula 2 car earlier this year. Slacker.
A piece in The Guardian online today caught my eye. The writer talks about how, in his thirties, he has let his friends drift away and how he finds it difficult to try and get back in touch with them. Hopefully the link to the article works.
aka Where Mud met his Mudhoney
Donald Trump’s China Crisis