Anyone go to their final two gigs in Dublin & Cork? I’m just interested.
Daily deal is Kenney Jones Let the good times roll as featured on Word in your Ear last time around. Only £1.49 today only
The Barbican, London
So Microdisney won the IMRO/NCH Trailblazers award. No me neither. But the joyous thing was that they reformed in order to collect it, and decided to play 2 gigs to celebrate. The London gig seems to have been pretty much a repeat of the Dublin gig, and I wish I had been at both. Some people were.
After 30 years the first question is can they still do it? Luckily the Barbican has a video of Sean and Cathal playing Dolly which proved “yes they can”, so I could relax on the trek down from Bradford. People came from further – I bumped into a couple from Dusseldorf as we were trying to find a way into the Barbican.
First off is the Clock Comes Down the Stairs album in full. The problem with these album live events is that the audience knows the record note perfect so there is no room for error for the band. Luckily the original band was backed up by Rhodri Marsden (friend of the Word), and an additional guitar player and singer (whose names will surely come back to me in a minute) to help reproduce » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?
Not terribly much like a DC comics concept album, though that was apparently the original intention. There are recurrent themes and characters, but don’t let that put you off. Mostly there are a lot of good tunes, and a surprising amount of interesting sounds that some of their more straightforward Britpop contemporaries lived without. This has a hand full of hits (Wide Open Space, Taxloss, Mansun’s Only Love Song) with singalong choruses, good tunes and a fair dollop of humour. The hidden track Open Letter to the Lyrical Trainspotter (“The lyrics aren’t supposed to mean that much, They’re just a vehicle for a lovely voice”) show them able to laugh at both themselves and us at the same time. There is a very British preoccupation with vicars in drag (Stripper Vicar and Dark Mavis).
The songs aim for the epic, and generally get there, which might get a bit wearing but they avoid that because there is a lot going on in the background. Bass lines that remind me of Air, melodies that skirt “Walk on By”, interesting bits of almost hip hop. I wasn’t a fan before but repeated plays made me enjoy it » Continue Reading.
Not only do they live in Glasgow, but the line up for Summer Nights at Kelvingrove Bandstand looks particularly good. And for me the standout is Roddy Frame.
(Waits for Bingley to announce what if anything it is doing this year)
I imagine this will sell out. Really annoyed that I cant go.
What does it sound like?:
ToH, ToH, ToH, ToH, ToH. 5 live albums from 1981 to 2012, one unreleased from 1982. And they all sound very good. Driving drums, impassioned vocals, wailing saxophones… the thing is though, that there are 5 albums. Similar set lists, similar presentation. It gets a bit samey. The early three are slightly rougher around the edges, and all the better for that. The recent two are a bit better recorded. But it is hard to tell one from another. Which means they are consistent, but if you want multiple live CDs you want some progression and variation (like with Talking Heads, or even Lorde help us Grateful Dead). Three songs are on all 5 CDs (Legion, 63 and Incinerator), and four on 4 – Incinerator is even there six times. But they are very good songs and its very enjoyable. If you’ve heard one ToH song you know what you are going to get. If I had to pick one show I’d go for Leeds 1981 because I was there, but better is Berlin 1981 (the two initially released albums) because it is slightly more polished and it has Westworld on it. To be » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
1983 in La Phonographique in Leeds, or the Batcave in London. Probably. Venus in Furs with a drum machine. And surprisingly, quite a lot else. There are a lot of echoey vocals and guitars, lyrics in low tones about death, and rigid percussion (when it’s not a straight drum machine). But you knew that. It doesn’t sound like a summer in the park, but it’s ideal for winter in a rainy Northern town.
What does it all *mean*?
Goth is one of those genres where the leading lights claim that they were never themselves part of it. But if you think Goth you think: The Cure, Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, The Mission and Siouxsie & The Banshees. All present and correct apart from Siouxsie, who is ably represented by a number of sound alikes (Attrition, All about Eve amongst others). This is not Goth’s greatest hits but a 5 CD/83 track deeper dive. The big bands are represented by mostly lesser known tracks, and there are lots of one Peel Session wonders who never got so far that Grunge could kill them off. There are some names you would not normally associate with Goth, » Continue Reading.
The tax dodgers are selling Hookies New Order Kindle book for 99p today (sunday 19th March) .
If only I had the money to buy it even at half price… (or the time to play it, or the talent to be worth a nice guitar)
Another first world problem – but this one IS music related. The shops are busy pushing an album for Father’s Day which in a wild display of imagination is called How it Works: The Dad: The Album. With a wittily ironic fake Ladybird book cover.
What irks me is the content: Foreigner, Meat Loaf, Journey, Rainbow, ZZ Top, Deep Purple, Jefferson Airplane… its all the 1970s/80s soft rock classics. I think the newest song is Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus (2000).
It’s all ok, and pretty good value if by some amazing chance you want some of these songs and don’t have them.
BUT, and you knew there was a but, the average father in the UK is 33, meaning he was born in 1983 and came of musical age in 1996. Post Nirvana, Post Grunge, post post-grunge, post Acid house.
So shouldn’t The Dad album be called the Grandad album? And more to the point, what tracks SHOULD the album have for fathers for whom the most significant era is 1990 to 2005? Oasis obviously. And Blur. What else?
(and yes I have teenagers, but lots of my contemporaries have grandkids so I’m not being ageist).
For those Afterworders who like comics, the rather wonderful (and musical) Phonogram by Kieron Gillen (wasn’t he in Dr Who?) and Jamie McKelvie is on sale today at Comixology. The whole thing of 19 issues is only £12.99
3 series – one about who killed Britpop one about a night out at a rather interesting indie club (I think I love Silent Girl) in 2006, and one called Immaterial girl that I don’t know about because I haven’t read it yet
This is seriously underselling it, but it is very good.
Only by the night album free on Googleplay. Today only?
Not a fan, but isn’t it nice to see them top of the Premier League this far into the season? Or any club outside of the big 3/4/6. You might even think it was a competitive league.
I’m under the weather in a distant hotel room letting MTV wash over me, and it occurrs to me that I was short changed by my favourite bands. There sings werent written fir them by a Swede, but all they did was stand there and play them. There’s a bloke here dancing on a Swegway whilst singing (miming?). Kate Perry was skipping with a rope. Today’s kids do know how to put on a show.
On another post I was added a Buzzocks YouTube video, and it occurred to me that I haven’t given them any money for probably 25 years (though I can sing every word of their first dozen singles, and play mp3s of their CDs. Got me thinking – if I want to channel (a tiny amount) of money to my favourite struggling artists, what gives them the best return? Should I stream them on (Free) Spotify, Amazon Prime, Googleplay, or YouTube? And on YouTube does it have to be the official channel for them to get money? Any one know?
And here is one of my favourite struggling artists on what I think is his official channel. https://youtu.be/VnEryrw4-G8?list=PL4S3FyuYt-BHIXTfH1O4CJLgATwr4rQY9
I caught a bit of Tim Farron and Nick Clegg on the radio. It sounds like they have both decided that what the populace wants is more of the policies that lead them to the edge of extinction last time (cozying up to the Tories whilst tutting loudly). Given that the Labour Party has decided that the major problem with Ed Miliband is that he wasn’t left wing enough, that the SNP thinks the answer to everything is Independence, and UKIP see the refugee crisis as proof that they are right… the only party flirting with change is (amazingly) the Tories. Who are busy trying to steal old New Labour policies and UKIP ones at the same time, which is tricky but at least a recognition that they need more voters.
Paul Weller has done a Tiny Desk Concert – available as a podcast. I’m not a big fan, but this was probably my favourite thing I’ve heard from him for a decade. He does look rather old though – which probably means I do to. Maybe best to just listen not watch?
So last year one of the Afterworders introduced me to the Velvet CD swap programme. Like all of us (I imagine) I am desperate to find new suckers on whom to inflict my mix tapes. This swap programme allows you to bombard three totally random strangers with your musical tastes and whimsies. It allowed me to promote the joys of Juliana Hatfield’s Nirvana (“makes me wanna go fuck shit up” – was ever truer musical criticism set to music?) – see rather dodgy new video below All it costs is your time, some postage, 3 recorded CDs and of course, willingness to receive 3 tapes in return. I mean CDs. It was quite a laugh – if surprisingly time consuming. Still with a shed load of work to write and incredibly tight deadlines, what better use of my time could there be? http://velvetcdswap.com/sign-up/
The newly teenage son wants a gaming pc to suplement his xbox. Last time I played a PC gane it was Half Life, which is what ten years ago. Any ideas in the siort of spec we should look for in a budget system? Ta.
His autobiography is 99p on Kindle today only
I am sure we all have it, but only 99p on Google play this week. Just in case.
So, that ramps up the battle quite a bit. Do you want to pay £10/month for music at Itunes or Spotify, or £6/month for music, films and free delivery at Amazon? The ability to download albums and and play them off line is a bit of a boon – can you do that with Itunes? I know you can with Spotify premium.
I’ve got free Spotify, Netflix, and Amazon prime for the delivery mostly. This probably stops me upgrading Spotify or going to the Itunes subscription, even though it has only 1 million tracks which is less than Spotify or Apple music
Price war coming?
Google Play are selling a bunch of new(ish) albums for £1.99, including the new AC/DC and First Aid Kit albums. Also Mark Ronson’s new one, and Version for 99p.
Amazon seem to have stopped running such offers. No free singles at ITunes either. sob.
In the gym in a disappointingly futile attempt to hold back the ravages of time (why yes, old school friends have just cropped up on Facebook) I was delighted that the ipod cheered me up with two delightfully joyful and silly songs. Thou shall always kill by Dan le Sac and Scroobius Pip and Formed a Band by Art Brut. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nek-YO7v3Yw Nice way to start a Friday. Better than being in the gym anyhow.