yes yes yes I’ve been listening to Prince Far I @leicester-bangs and Exodus (Bob Marley thread) but the summer isn’t all about showing the depth of your bass bins and your Trojan rareties. The sunshine does something to our taste filter, and makes stuff that we’d not give the time of day to on a grey March day appear mighty fine. I’ve been working my through Hed Kandi Summer 2006 this, the essence of disposable commercial clubbing mixes. It has a cartoon young lady on the cover and three CD’s of – well club bangers which sound brilliant with the car window open. So, which tracks are on your real summer playlist but, well let’s just say they are never going to be on your Desert Island Discs. ps this track is great, but like a proper club track the intro is 3 minutes long. Well worth it.
Platform:Playstation Age Rating:16+ Year of Release:1949 Review:
This batshit crazy Japanese manga-esque RPG explore-and-destroyer has been a game that’s broken through into the mainstream of gaming, selling millions of units worldwide and spawning an -ahem – active fan subculture around its characters and stories. We’ll return to that later. A sequel to the 2010 game Nier, N:A is set in a post-apocalyptic earth in which humans have retreated to space stations in orbit and the earth is ruled by clanky robots. Humanity sends super-smooth androids to earth to support the scattered resistance fighters left behind, and this is where the story starts. And how different the gameplay is from modern games. There’s no autosaves. The game starts with a near-half-hour section of sideways scrolling 90s retro arcade action. Die during that and it is back to the start. Rock-hard boss battles, wave after wave of enemies, sudden shifts of camera position: one day son, all games were like this. You play 2B, a severe female droid at the start of the game who goes through the entire game with a blindfold on, dressed as a sexy teenage dominatrix. Your sidekick is a somewhat wimpy boydroid called 9S. Combat is mainly » Continue Reading.
It has been fairly heavily trailed that Apples is going to sunset the current itunes programme, and split out music, TV/film and podcasts into separate apps, as already happens on ios. So how we are feeling – good riddance to what is a pretty bloated piece of progamming, or oddly sentimental about the potential end of such classics as ‘View as artists’ ‘Create new smart playlist’ and ‘sort by songs’. Having gone through the near-death experience of losing a decade’s worth of playcounts I am kind of more relaxed about it in terms of stats. However, it’s still insanely useful for those of us who burn CDs – and can’t help feeling that will go too. There are many around here who still use ipods, and I wonder what it will mean for them.
Year: 2045 Director: Chad Stahelski
The action hero movie has become something of an endangered species. In the 80s and 90s it was THE genre as Bruce, Arnie, Sly ruled the box office roost, supported by more niche musclemen like Seagal, Van Damme or Lundgren. These guys could wield a mean M-16, snap skulls with the back of the their hand, and drop-kick an endless parade of goons through the window. But they were just men. For the past decade these films has taken a back seat to all things costumed and be-tighted. Apart from odd spottings in the wild: the Liam Limper, a Jason Statham here and there, the action movie has become something that needs a twist (Bourne – he’s been programmed; MI – he’s a spy; F&F – the cars the star) or takes place in a historic, fantasy or scifi setting) or can’t be taken seriously (the Expendables). Enter John Wick. Something of a sleeper outing to date, the third chapter has seen Keanu’s suit-wearing assassin go seriously huge. As in 2 and 1 we start in fifth gear, and accelerate from there. Now ‘excommunicado’ from the secret league of international crime ruled by the High » Continue Reading.
Ok so no HJHs but it’s got analogue synths, the Grateful Dead, drugs, the sixties and a roadie in it. A very late April fool, or was the Grateful Dead’s roadie really called Oswley Stanley. Of course he was. I thought for a second that was Oswald Moseley – which would have been even better. Enjoy.
We have discussed the ‘one in one out’ rule. So a consequence is that while Hounds of Love or Station to Station can rest easy on the shelves, there are others whose continued place in the front room is up for grabs when they are pulled down for a listen. I approached The Definitive Impressions in this frame of mind. 28 tracks, early 60s, can’t consciously remember anything about the album…can this not go? There’s a new National album out.
Hell No. It’s just fantastic, and can’t believe that I didn’t think so when I last listened to it. Just listen to this – the vocals on ‘I sent away the girl loved’ after 40s, the brass arrangement. Curtis. And it’s just a B-side. So what else did you almost bin – only for a proper listen to reveal it’s greatness.
What does it sound like?:
What then is it fair to expect from a new Gong album? Original material, rather than asking Mike Batt in to layer some strings over your favourite tracks, is a good thing surely. There are four of them, ranging from 20-minute opener Forever Recurring to 2-minute trinket If Ever I’m Ever You.
The keynote here is psychedelic – but a very seventies synth-based psychedella rather than anything too sixties trippy. The first track unfolds gently in waves of anologuey-feel synths and phased vocals before guitar and bass kick in. It’s a bit Pink Floyd-ey, a bit Tangerine Dreamy, a more than a little bit System 7y, before they add their special sauce in the form of Ian East’s saxophone. If they’re in the team, they are going to want game time – and thus it is with the skroning and the parping that will perhaps decide for you whether it’s Gong or No Gong. My Sawtooth Wake is a bit more rhythmically based and perhaps is the track with the most going on, The Elemental is the most tune-based with the singer wibbling on about the golden age of man ending just as it » Continue Reading.
@kid-dynamite is starting to post up tracklistings for the sets where all reviews have been posted. Top set have already finished their work. So this is a non-too gentle reminder for those of you/us still scribbling away furiously to: Post your reviews of fellow setters efforts Post your tracklistings to @kid-dynamite
22 April will be the final, final deadline when tracklistings for all will start to be posted so get going!
Simple post-it thread. Songs with lots of lyrics, lots of verses. Occasioned by the 14-minute Gillian Welch epic I dream a Highway which has 11 verses (plus of course lots of choruses) over its 14 minutes. Another very famous multi- verser in the comments (19 verses probably, in this version). Line and verse counts welcome. And if you’ve not heard this you’re in for a treat.
moseleymoles on In which Mr Moles muses on his life through objects
Recent changes chez Moles have thrown more focus onto the shelves, racks and piles of stuff that we – chiefly I – have filled our des res with over the years. The re-organisation of the Front Room has led Ms Moles to make what she would like to think is a ‘full and final settlement’ of the space allocated for CDs/vinyl/books/comics/DVDs. That settlement in full:
The DVDs not to exceed their allocated shelving. Roughly 650 DVDs worth.
The fiction shelving not to exceed their allocated shelving. Approximately 800-900 including overflow onto the floor below and behind the sofa.
Non-fiction and vinyl not to exceed their allocated shelving. Vinyl is one area Ms Moles does chip in with approx. a third of the total. And no, we may have been together 30 odd years and produced two offspring but those collections remain unmerged.
New shelving to be provided in the front room as part of its redecoration for the CDs – I would reckon between 1500-2000 (maybe 300 Ms Moles). And for the comics – around 2500 (er…all mine, 90% 2000AD).
Though I instinctively bridle, I know that » Continue Reading.
New album in the works and gigs in Cardiff, Plymouth, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, London, Newcastle, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Belfast and Dublin. 02 holders can do the presale, everyone else its 10am tomorrow. See you at the Brum gig.
Short UK tour in Nov in (for them) pretty intimate venues. Am going to Academy Birmingham on Mon 11 Nov. Dates in Manchester, Edinburgh and London.
It’s time for the reviews no? We’ve reached the point in the CD swap where it’s time to spill the beans to your group on the music you’re received, for the amusement and edification of us all. This is a gentle hurry-up to those still unposted, while those wondering if track 6 on a received CD is the White Stripes or Great Whit,e then give it another spin and get writing. Each group gets their handles in a comment, so post all reviews and sub-comments under that comment. Should be clear.
Post reviews here and not the original swap post, as that already has 100 comments and review posts have in the past gone well past that. We’ll remind everyone with a deadline before the track reveals so post your track listings and any liner notes to @kid-dynamite and myself. Let the reviewening begin!
Discogs if nothing else has meant that I can give up vinyl that scores ‘149 from sale from 0.50p’ to Oxfam with a clear conscience that they’re not getting say the value of a first pressing of Surrealistic Pillow. Now if only there was such a site for comics, as the space squeeze chez Moles (more later) means that I am trying to slim down the comic collection. It’s clear that my Sandman no 1 is worth a lot, Hellblazer no 1 quite a bit. But is Cheval Noir nos 1-4 (no 1 currently listed on sale on ebay for £21) worth that or in fact 50p. I have no Golden Age or Silver Age superhero stuff but mainly indie/Vertigo style titles from the 80s. Any suggestions as to how I can get the stuff valued including with a dealer I’m happy to sell too. Can’t see anyone in Brum in terms of shops you could like walk into and ask them for an opinion.
What does it sound like?:
Ten weeks in and the first essential album of 2019 has arrived, I would contend. UK rap has in Dave a bona fide superstar, and Psychodrama is a staggeringly complete achievement. Like all the best rap, it feels like a communication from the last ten minutes. Psychodrama covers growing up in S London (Streatham), love (Purple Hearts), London (screwface capital) and two tracks that will stop you in your tracks. Black, the subject of some controversy before release, is a witty and impassioned critique of what being black means: prejudice, heritage, pride, confusion, .. then comes and a ten-minute story of an abusive relationship (Lesley) that recalls nothing so much as the shattering Boiler from the Special AKA.
The music scape is a world away from the clattering beats and jittery rhythms of grime. The music is sparse, downbeat and introspective. Piano is the most prominent instrument, and if you can think of the gauzy moodiness of Burial, crossed with the pop sensibilities and drops of The Weeknd you’re halfway there. Without any of The Weeknd’s appalling misogyny. It’s a compelling listen from start to finish.
What does it all *mean*?
It doesn’t sound » Continue Reading.
Year: 2046 Director: Hans Petter Moland
Every family has a film thing yes? Some shared collection of actors, genres and in-jokes that bind you all together in front of the screen out of all proportion to the quality of the actual films involved. I’m not talking Bergman or Roma, but an unaccountable affinity for the Police Academies, Eddie Murphy films, all the Die Hards or in our case perplexingly the Liam Limp Revengers. The Commuter, Non-Stop,Taken 1 and 2 (even younger moles will agree 3 is unwatchable), Unknown (slightly out of genre), Run All Night. These by no stretch of the imagination are good movies. But they bind the two siblings together and I’m happy to ride along, Ms Moles slightly less so and in fact they form a sub-category of ‘When she’s away’ watches along with Battlestar Galactica, the Die Hards etc.
So we all trooped along to the multiplex to watch the latest entrant, Hard Powder, sorry Cold Pursuit, sorry the Film that Liam was Meant To Be Talking About when he went Wierdly Racist on Us. Perhaps the furore has overshadowed this, as we saw it in the company of about 20 people in a cinema » Continue Reading.
The Institute, Birmingham
And so to the Institute in Birmingham to see Long Island’s finest, in the company of Daughter Moles and a friend of hers, BOC being friend’s second ever gig. Appearing at the Institute. Birmingham’s approximately fourth biggest venue marks a little bit of how the Cult’s appeal has become more selective. Let’s dispose of the support, Temperance Movement, who are the exact centre of a triangle featuring Free, AC/DC and Bad Company. The singer fulfils the rule that if the singer plays no instrument in a band they are always the most annoying member.
Dead on 9pm the Cult are on to the sounds of the Game of Thrones theme. Time has wrought its ravages on founder due Eric Bloom and Buck Dharma in subtly different ways. Eric appears freeze dried. There’s not a lot of movement or facial expression going on from Eric, a an vibe enhanced by the permanent shades. Buck however has comfortably spread, appearing now a bit like a seventies Elvis if he worked in IT. They’re flanked by rock-steady bassist Danny and newbies Jules on drums and Richie on guitar. Oh Richie. Eric and Buck don’t move around » Continue Reading.
Dull-as-ditchwater but usually on the money consumer periodical Which has branched out from fridge-freezers and broadband providers to consider the vinly revival. It, perhaps unsurprisingly sits on the fence when it comes to vinyl vs CD vis mp3, as rather sagely it offers this view:
Music has never been just about the sound itself. Music is about a sense of occasion. It involves rituals such as moseying around record shops or pulling a vinyl record out of its sleeve and setting it to play. Careful handling and respect is required – which appeals to purists – and that;s one reason many choose manual turntables. The very inconvenience of adjusting turntables means you tend to listen to and absorb an entire album…and when it comes to digital formats you can lose the enjoyment of admiring a cover or looking fondly at your carefully curated collection.
Amen, brother, amen.
Best buys and ones to avoid in the comments.
What’s your image of right-wing politics in music? EC being a tool, Oi and skinheads, country and western rednecks, Bowie doing that interview and gesture, New Order/Joy Division and the uneasy imagery of industrial music. The Quietus has a fairly jaw-dropping set of articles on the continuing and evolving influence of far-right and fascist politics in ‘alternative’ music. The one in this post is the introductory article, which surveys most of the above and sets the scene for the real eye-openers which occur in the second article, posted in the comments. They are not easy, and at the end you’ll know who the Order of Nine Angles are, which is actually a thing rather than a Dennis Wheatley invention. I will be fascinated to hear what you make of it all. I would maybe not click the links at work, as the politics is NSFW.
Friday saw the re-emergence of pepperoni pizza and scrambled egg chez Moles after all four of us managed 31 days of veganism. We have all got very acquainted with Naked bars, W Indian Veg Patties and the suchlike. The revelation was how quickly you can adjust to the 1000 forms of Alpro instead of milk in tea and coffee etc. The Oat is the best all-rounder, the almond good in porridge and they all make the base soya seem a bit gruel-like. Though we all like a little cheese, and eggs, I think I’m going to stick with trying to reduce milk consumption, as so much of it is unthinking and automatic, in tea, coffee, porridge etc. How was your January effort at reform then?
Listening to Love and Money’s excellent ….All You Need is Love and Money debut album yesterday, alongside better-known tracks Candybar Express and River of People is Love and Money. By Love and Money. On …all you need is Love and Money. Going the extra mile on the eponymiser. So, who else liked their name so much they put it on an album, and a track on that album. If only the Beatles had a track called The Beatles. Instrumentals allowed, though more points for a track not just called Love and Money on Love and Money by Love and Money, but with love and money in the lyrics. You get the idea. One incredibly famous not the Beatles example in the comments to clear that one up. No youtube clip for Love and Money though.
What better day than #bluemonday to swing the doors open to the CDswap salon for the first meet of 2019. For our new members we come to you from the wonderful world of the nineties, before Spotify playlists, when CD burning was a thing. It’s still a thing everyone! The idea is fiendishly simple: choose twelve tracks around a theme and pop them on a CD. Post them to a couple of other people, listen to theirs, then review online. As ever @kid-dynamite and your good self are your hosts.
So what’s the theme this time? We are going into colour people. Or rather in homage to a certain reissue we are going White. Get your musical mojo working on all matters white, colourless and pale. Artists called white, tracks with white, lyrics about pale riders, er…white albums…even an album you’ve got on white vinyl. Schedule, full details etc in the comments, where all you need to do is post a comment and you are in.
I’m not enough of a jazz aficionado to post a proper review but after last year’s discovery of the lost Coltrane tapes there’s another massive find from the vaults out there. In 1972 Charles Mingus broke a years-long musical silence, including concerts in Detroit with a quintet. Recordings from the run via a radio broadcast have emerged – clocking in at four hours of Mingus magic including interviews and announcements, from a short-lived artists space called Strata Gallery.
I don’t quite have the language to really describe these recordings but they sound absolutely brilliant. The tracks are long, long takes on Mingus classics and jazz standards. The quintet all sound at the top of their games, and it hits that spot where there’s improvisation going to the outer limits without ever losing sense of the tune at the base of it all.
Here’s the Pitchfork review which has lots of clever language and gets it right.
Charles Mingus: Jazz In Detroit/Strata Concert Gallery/46 Selden is on Spotify and emusic. Have a listen. It’s great.
Year: 1900 Director: Alfonso Cuaron
It’s weird how films can happen now. Time was when your local cinema got Star Wars six months after you read the reviews, and three months after the city centre Odeon. Then in the eighties films started to be in every single cinema in the world the day after the reviews came out, or the day before in the case of Steven Seagal movies. Now we’re back to the throttling of supply once more, only instead of your local fleapit being at the back of the queue, it’s anyone who doesn’t have Netflix. Roma, one of the foreign language releases of the year, by A-lister Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity, Children of Men, some Harry Potters) was in a few cinemas for a couple of week to get it into the Oscar listings. Then – bang- straight back behind the Netflix paywall to be a footsoldier in the streaming wars. Take that Prime.
Which is how I watched this film, on a friend’s reasonably large telly this Sunday. And if there’s a film I would go straight to the cinema to see it on a proper film screen it’s this. To the film’s overall tone of nostalgia » Continue Reading.
As we head off into 2019 let’s pause for a second to count up the achievements of last year. While happiness can’t be quantified, plenty of other things can. I did this a year ago and there seems enough reason to run it again if anyone’s interested. 2018 was for me…
12,734 scrobbles on last FM (up from 12270 in 2017) 75 books on goodreads (up from 67) 84 films on letterboxd (up from 70)
And 591k of running on Strava, up from 503.
Your Spotify wrapped, your Nike +, stepcounters etc are all welcome in the interests of our curiosities.