The nagging synth riff at the beginning of Underworld’s Rez is one of my favourite moments in music. It’s like the end of Close Encounters (where the scientists and the mothership are playing notes at each other) taking place in a sweaty warehouse around 1992, only the scientists are all pilled up ravers and the UFO is a massive speaker stack. Brilliant. Listening to it yesterday set me thinking about other great riffs that aren’t played on electric guitars. There most be some more corkers out there. Synths, trumpets, thumb pianos, fiddles, kazoos… – lay them on me, groovers!
and my heart is set on you
In the hate thread I just said how I like Bastille because one of them supports the same crappy unfashionable football team as me. Couldn’t give two hoots about their music, such as it is. So then, Afterword, who else have you got a soft spot for even though their records are rubbish?
What does it sound like?:
I think I wrote about Chris Forsyth’s last LP back at the old place, and I’m pretty sure I would have used the phrase “Television jamming with the Grateful Dead”. Which is a shame for those of you with long memories because I’m going to say it again. This new album combines the fluidity of the Dead with the angularity and NYC attitude of the See No Evil hitmakers, as well as their distinctive trebly twin guitar interplay. It even feels a little like a Dead live recording, as relatively concise and structured songs give way to long extended jams. The heroics are all in the first half, as Forsyth and his foil Nick Millevoi evoke the great guitar partnerships of Verlaine and Lloyd, Garcia and Weir, and Moore and Ranaldo. The calmer second part introduces trumpets and saxophones and starts to sound like ‘Agharta’ era Miles, especially on the excellently titled ‘The First Ten Minutes Of Cocksucker Blues’, all percussion and brass. Finally, in a shameless bid to curry favour with the lucrative Afterword demographic, the record finishes with a cover of Richard Thompson’s ‘Cavalry Cross’ and a glistening extended solo. All of » Continue Reading.
For once, I am in full agreement with our colonial cousins’ approach to dating. If one renders today’s date as 3/14/16, then one will not fail to notice the similarity to everyone’s favourite constant, 3.14159 (with a spot of rounding)
So in honour of this conjunction of mathematics and calendars, I ask the Afterword, what is your favourite pie?
NB Fray Bentos is not an acceptable answer.
It seems Frank Kelly, who played Father Jack, has died. One of the all time great sitcom characters, his touching portrayal of the late Elvis will live long in the memory . RIP
Year: 2015 Director: S Craig Zahler
Sorry Quentin, but Bone Tomahawk is probably the best Western starring Kurt Russell that’s been released so far this year. We open with a close up of a throat being slit. It’s a shocking start, but calculatedly so. The next ninety minutes are going to be fairly slow paced and incident free, but this reminds us that this kind of messy violence is part and parcel of the Old West setting, and it leaves a little ripple of disquiet that becomes a raging sea in the final act. The opening bloodshed sets in motion a train of events that end with the kidnapping of a murderous drifter, along with the nurse treating him and a sherriff’s deputy, by a nearby tribe. A local Indian warns of their savagery, but, unfazed, a small team saddles up and rides out to the rescue. This middle section takes up the lion’s share of the film. It’s a showcase for the lovely arid cinematography, and writer / director Zahler’s superbly novelistic dialogue. There’s a great amount of pleasure to be had from the interactions among the four man posse, as their characters are revealed by incident and conversation. » Continue Reading.
It’s dancing night on the Afterword. What better time to learn some moves from a future A-lister?
(I posted this earlier, but it’ll have got lost halfway up the movie canon thread, and it’s far too good to be wasted like that).
It’s alright, he’s coming back
Wed 25 May, Manchester Etihad Arena Wed 1 Jun, Glasgow Hampden Park Fri 3 Jun, Coventry Ricoh Arena Sun 5 Jun, London, Wembley
Be nice if Cardiff gets added later again like it did last time
Europe In Autumn is set in a near future Europe, where in the aftermath of pandemic and economic collapse nations are splitting and fracturing into smaller states and entities. Devolution is the order of the day, from a bunch of organised football hooligans who have commandeered an ageing tower block estate, to an entire transcontinental railway line that runs from Portugal to Siberia. As countries spin off ever more republics, duchies and polities like glaciers calving icebergs, border crossings and controls have become very tightly enforced, which in turn leads to a black market in couriers who can transport data, documents and even people across lines the local authorities would prefer them not to. The lead players in this market are Les Coureurs Du Bois, a cloak and dagger organisation dedicated to an idealistic vision of a world without borders and complete freedom to move – Schengen 2.0.
We are introduced to Les Coureurs through Rudi, an peripatetic Estonian chef working in a Krakow restaurant. An chance (maybe) encounter with some rowdy Hungarians ends with him being inducted into their ranks, and embarking on a series of training missions where we see him build his operational knowledge, from » Continue Reading.
Simon & Schuster is proud to announce the world-wide publication of Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography, Born to Run, which will be released internationally on September 27, 2016. The work will be published in hardcover, ebook, and audio editions by Simon & Schuster in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and India, and rights have already been sold to publishers in nine countries.
Springsteen has been privately writing the autobiography over the past seven years. He began work in 2009, after performing with the E Street Band at the Super Bowl’s halftime show.
In Born to Run, Mr. Springsteen describes growing up in Freehold, New Jersey amid the “poetry, danger, and darkness” that fueled his imagination. He vividly recounts his relentless drive to become a musician, his early days as a bar band king in Asbury Park, and the rise of the E Street Band. With disarming candor, he also tells for the first time the story of the personal struggles that inspired his best work, and shows us why the song “Born to Run” reveals more than we previously realized.
“Writing about yourself is a funny business,” Mr. Springsteen notes in his book. “But in a project like » Continue Reading.
Bingo and I discussed rereading Cerebus at the beginning of the month in the Resolutions thread. Well, here goes.
For the majority of AWers out there scratching their heads and wondering what Cerebus is, some background is in order. I”m going to cheat and copy the description from Page 45’s website (www.page45.com – Britain’s finest comic shop):
CEREBUS was written and drawn by Canadian Dave Sim from start to finish over the course of 23 years. He was joined halfway through CHURCH & STATE on backgrounds and colour covers by landscape artist Gerhard, a man whose meticulous crosshatching puts him right up there with Bernie Wrightson (FRANKENSTEIN), Franklin Booth and even Gustav Doré, and whose architecture is as extraordinary in its own way as Schuiten’s.
“What’s CEREBUS about?” is the usual question.
It’s about 6,000 pages, 300 issues and 16 graphic novels long, plus extras.
It’s about life, death and the bits in between: war, greed, faith and religion, exchange rates, politics, love, freedom of artistic expression, the repression of artistic expression, the war of the sexes, sickness, friendship, loyalty and betrayal, idolatry, adultery, delusion and old age. On reflection I guess it’s also about the bits before and » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
If there is a Venn diagram showing Liege & Lief and Dorset sludge metallers Electric Wizard, Crumbling Ghost sit right in the tiny little bit of overlap in the middle. They’re new to me, although this new EP follows two full albums of material from the traditional English songbook, all with a solid core of psychedelicized doom. Of the five songs that give the record its name, one is an original composition, and the others have been previously recorded by, amongst others, Shirley & Dolly Collins (Are You Going To Leave Me?), Mike Waterson (Swansea Town) and Davy Graham (Maajun). It might be hard to imagine those stalwarts getting behind the crunching guitars and distortion on offer here, but this is firmly in the English folk rock tradition celebrated in AW favourite Electric Eden. It taps into that feeling of old English strangeness that we love in films like The Wicker Man and A Field In England, and the broadening of rock’s vocabulary in the decades since Fairport’s heyday means that these songs of misery, poverty and death (the highlight here is murder ballad Omie Wise) receive a fitting musical treatment. The combination of » Continue Reading.
Gamers have probably heard of the Humble Bundle, where a bunch of games are rounded up and sold cheap with proceeds going to charity. Humble have now launched a comics bundle with Image comics, and it looks frankly incredible.
Some of these (Wytches, Ody-C, Bitch Planet, Outcast, No Mercy) I’ve been meaning to get for a while anyway, quite a few more I’ve been curious about (Trees, Injection, Nowhere Man), some I can recommend from having read before (almost everyone on this site would enjoy Phonogram, a comic about the magic inherent in music) and then when you add in things like the entire initial run of Stray Bullets it’s a no brainer.
Year: 2012 Director: Shinichiro Watanabe
(We worked our way through this earlier this year, and I meant to do a Nights In then, but life (apathy) interfered. Tigger’s jazz thread has bought it back to mind, so here goes.)
Kids On The Slope (Sakamichi no apallon) is a twelve part anime series based on the manga of the same name. Taking place in early 60s Kyushu, it is the story of Kaoru, a timid high school student who has to start at a new school thanks to his father’s move to a new job. He is a classical pianist, but soon falls in with Sentaro, a wild and undisciplined student who is also a drummer. Sentaro introduces him to jazz, and they begin to play together in the basement of the local jazz record shop, with the store owner joining in on double bass. The owner’s daughter, Ritsuko, becomes the third main character, and the narrative of the series is driven by the shifting relationships between them. These various love triangles can get a bit wearyingly adolescent, but the plot is secondary to the joy in music that is expressed in every episode. Jazz fans will recognise a parade of » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
Detroit native Deepchord (aka Rod Modell)’s new album is two and a half hours of smeared, hazy dub techno. I’d call it epic if that wasn’t exactly the wrong word for something that is so determinedly interior focused. This is an album to listen to on headphones and float away into a private world. It’s gorgeously liquid ambient stuff, full of echo, delay and reverb, but with a beat never far away under the fog. There’s something of the pastoral quality of Boards Of Canada here, but with an ascetic techno sensibility. It really is marvellous – the only disappointment for me is that the track “Gulf Breeze” isn’t a cover of the old Eat Static crusty trance classic.
What does it all *mean*?
Goes well with…
putting your headphones, closing your eyes and writing off the rest of the evening
Might suit people who like…
The Deadbeat & Paul St Hilaire album that got a bit of traction here last year, Monolake, Boards Of Canada
It’s hardly news that the last fifteen years or so have seen massive technologically driven change in the music industry. There’s a narrative that everyone knows, but under that there is a much deeper story that has remained largely untold until now.
The book follows three main strands. There’s the story of the German research team who invented the mp3, and their difficulties in launching it amid format wars and arguments over standards. There’s Doug Morris, the powerful record company executive who gets the internet completely wrong but then monetizes the hell out of it at the eleventh hour, and then there’s Dell Glover. Glover’s is the story you probably don’t know. He worked at a CD pressing plant in North Carolina, and was also an early adopting computer geek. Through him, we discover a darknet of exclusive topsites, warez and organised piracy. Glover embraced this scene with open arms, and was soon smuggling prerelease discs out of his factory and uploading them. His team was responsible for leaking 20,000 albums over a decade, and kept one step ahead of the FBI for almost as long. And yet Glover is an engaging character who you can’t hep rooting » Continue Reading.
Inspired by defending Tremors in the bad film thread, let’s talk about those other films, the ones that went straight to video, the ones that were made on a budget of whatever the director could find down the back of the sofa, the ones that a studio didn’t know what to do with, the ones that were just too weird / cool for the mainstream. Films that you love, flaws and all, but when you tell other people about them you just get a blank look and a change of subject*. The main criterion I’m thinking of here is: Could it have been on Moviedrome?
How about Miracle Mile. A post-Top Gun, pre-ER Anthony Edwards intercepts a wrong number, discovers that nuclear war is imminent, and spends the film trying to find his girlfriend and get out of a panic stricken LA before the missiles hit. The denouement is one of my favourite film endings ever. It’s great. The linked clip is the Siskel and Ebert review from 1988 (ish) – a pretty accurate view from Ebert I reckon.
but can I really be the first person here to post the news that the Pope is releasing a prog rock album?
Pope Francis will release a “prog-rock-infused” album titled Wake Up! this November. The LP features His Holiness delivering sacred hymns and excerpts of his speeches inItalian, English, Spanish and Portuguese, paired with “uplifting musical accompaniment ranging from pop-rock to Gregorian chant,” Rolling Stone reports. This isn’t the first time the Vatican has released an album by a Pope. Wake Up!‘s producer and artistic director Don Giulio Neroni said: “I had the honor to work with John Paul II, Benedict XVI and now Pope Francis. As in the past, for this album too, I tried to be strongly faithful to the pastoral and personality of Pope Francis: the Pope of dialogue, open doors, hospitality. For this reason, the voice of Pope Francis in Wake Up! dialogues music. And contemporary music (rock, pop, Latin etc.) dialogues with the Christian tradition of sacred hymns.” Musician Tony Pagliuca, who composed several Wake Up! songs, was formerly a member of prog-rock band Le Orme. Wake Up! is out November 27 with the iTunes pre-order now available with an instant download of ‘Wake » Continue Reading.
“single” out now, album in January. Sounds good to me. Even, dare I say it, a bit goth?
One day champions!
Previous commitments meant I couldn’t make it Lords, but I’ve had an eye on the live text all day. At half past five we looked dead and buried, by five past six we’d won. I bloody love cricket.
After years of procrastination, I have decided to catalogue my CDs and LPs (and probably books and films down the line) so I have a list I can wave under the insurance company’s nose should the worst happen, and to stop me buying things I already have (no chance). I don’t need any bells and whistles, just something that will take a barcode (which I could ideally scan using an iPad or phone app instead of forking out for a scanner), identify it and put it in a spreadsheet which I can put in Dropbox for offsite backup. It doesn’t have to be freeware, but I don’t want to spend loads if I don’t have to.
I’m sure some of you lot will be doing something similar- any recommendations?