Twang welcomes Skirky, Carl and Feedback File to the pod for a general natter taking in Danny Baker, shameful admissions, definitive masterpieces, what we’ve learned, recommendations of the week, music, books telly, pleasures and pain of owning a dog and heron control.
As a companion thread to Ganglesprockets “Thread of Sh**e’, how about the worst music video – i.e. the song may be good and so not warranting a mention in that thread, but the video is awful / cheesy / etc etc……
We all know that the actual worst ever video is David Bowie / Mick Jagger’s “Dancing In The Street”, but what else comes a close second…….
Jake Black aka The Very Reverend D. Wayne Love of Alabama 3 died yesterday, best known for “Woke Up This Morning” – the song played over the opening titles of the Sopranos.
I first saw Alabama 3 in 1998 supporting Primal Scream and subsequently bought their debut album “Exile on Coldharbour Lane”. I loved that album, still do, it’s their bestselling recording to date (a fact which I know pisses the band off after a dozen or so releases) and as the 20 year anniversary of its release approaches they are/were due to tour this autumn playing it in its entirety.
Recoding wise the novelty soon wears off with the country/acid house/gospel schtick, but a live Alabama 3 show was always entertaining, a festival set especially so, one can only wonder what will happen without D. Wayne.
The Cure are playing the Vivid Festival in Sydney next week, and you lucky people around the world can watch the live stream of their final show doing Disintegration on Thursday 30th, 8pm local time.
Here at The Afterword we pride ourselves on our good taste, our fine musical ears and on the fact that we just know what’s what.
But just as yin needs his yang, as light needs darkness, as God needs Satan, so we need to know what’s bad just so that we know what is good.
Amongst this small group of people, in this unregarded corner of the internet, I am vaguely known for my hatred of U2. The truth is, I don’t hate them because they are terrible, my hatred is there because they are mediocre, a far worse crime than being terrible, especially if this crime is abetted by strange popularity amongst the public at large. See also Adele and Ed Sheeran. Most things are terrible because they are mediocre and popular.
But can we define and recognise what is actually terrible? So terrible it acquires a strange grandeur? Provoking a realisation in the listener that only an actual genius could be this uniquely terrible?
I would say that Jim Morrison’s “Lament For My Cock” falls into this category wholeheartedly. It’s shockingly awful, from his unspeakable “poetry” album An American Prayer, which many years ago I paid actual money » Continue Reading.
I`ve had a lot of issues with Amazon lately.
I try to buy from independent record stores but sometimes they cannot get what I want in stock and I buy lots of physical music and movie releases, therefore finances have to be considered.
Checking my card accounts over the weekend I discovered that I had been charged up front for 15, yes FIFTEEN pre-orders.
Not just that, they had charged me for the same order twice, on two cards. And not just that they had charged twice on two cards for three different items. And not just that they have charged me for an item I had cancelled and that was a pre-order!
So I contacted one of the card companies and raised a dispute over the double charges and the cancelled item. So I`m not worried the card company will sort that out.
The problem is Amazon Customer Services. I have attempted to resolve the charging for pre-orders, speaking to over 10 different Amazon Reps in India, South Africa and The Philippines. I`m not going to go into their explanations except to say it is a load of bollocks.
So has anyone had the same issue?
Does anyone know » Continue Reading.
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.
Thanks to @rosbif, I have had the pleasure of hearing a new song from Shakespears Sister. They’ve been away too long (26 years), and the delightful tension of their rivalry which extends even to their contrasting vocal styles is present as it was in ‘Stay’, etc.
It makes me want to hear other examples of duets that delight, bringing contrasting styles that draw out the best of each performer. Can you help me out with your favourites?
Reading the excellent review of the Rory Gallagher / Blues album, it immediately went on my to buy list. However, I now see that it’s not released until May 31st.
With the increase in pre release reviews on here, should we add a field to the Nights In entry for Release Date, otherwise, could reviewers of pre release stuff just add a comment as to when it will be released ?
Nige was a regular writer for Word magazine for several years. In the interview we talked about his twin passions, music and sport, and went on to discuss the excellent books he’s written since the magazine closed.
I might struggle to argue with that list.
This in my inbox. So they’re not going bust! Yet…
Dear customers of the 7digital download store,
We are getting in touch to inform you that the store at www.7digital.com is moving to uk.7digital.com on Friday May 17th. Please update any bookmarks you may have saved.
7digital would like to thank you for your custom and look forward to welcoming you to the store’s new location.
Your 7digital account will remain active and you will continue to be able to access our services. Should you have any further questions please contact our Customer Services team.
My pal Lonesome Chris Todd filmed a promo last week for his new EP ‘Dark Horses’, using the faded grandeur of Lissan House in County Tyrone. It’s a beautiful track about complicated circumstances and a walk through a forest. Typical fare for a bluesman, obviously.
The King Crimson CD with the new issue of Mojo is really very splendid, and I write as someone who has always found them easier to admire than enjoy on my infrequest previous encounters. The track listing is in the link below (the first track is missing its ‘Schizoid’ rather than some unreleased obscurity).
What does it sound like?:
Much anticipated by a very loyal fan base, the increasingly prolific Big Big Train are back with a new album. The scope of “Grand Tour” moves beyond the quintessentially English material they have long been associated with. This time we are taken on a European Grand Tour passing through ancient Rome, admiring Leonardo De Vinci and mourning the loss of a Romantic poet. We also get a trip to the stars on board the Voyager exploratory space craft.
If you’ve enjoyed their pervious offerings you’ll love this one. If you haven’t then you’re unlikely to be convinced as it contains all the hallmarks that the “passengers” have come to expect. Brass bands, storytelling, intricate drumming, complex interplay between keyboard and guitar and strong, clear vocals.
The album packaging is a thing of beauty containing plenty of explanatory articles and some truly stunning artwork.
I like Big Big Train, I like them a lot. I’ve seen them live (twice) and will be seeing them again at the Hackney empire in November. That said, I’ve never been quite able to put my finger on it, but there is something missing. Mrs S probably nailed it » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
This 3 cd set trawls the Gallagher estate’s extensive tape archive, the ensuing results being split into electric, acoustic and live discs. It’s by no means a greatest hits set – there’s no Walk On Hot Coals, Moonchild or Tattooed Lady for example – but there is a fine selection of other goodies to enjoy. Roughly 90% of the material here is previously unreleased, and even the remaining 10% is rare stuff that is difficult to get hold of. The studio material comprises outtakes and alternate versions of songs from Jinx, Against The Grain, Blueprint, Tattoo and Deuce – check out the previously unreleased opening trio of Don’t Start Me Talkin’, Nothin’ But The Devil and Tore Down and you’ll immediately realise this release is going to be nothing but 100% prime Gallagher. That’s just the beginning though, as these are augmented by some great radio and TV sessions, including a superb Bullfrog Blues from US radio and a storming 1976 Whistle Test performance of All Around Man. Throw into the mix performances with Jack Bruce, Albert King and Muddy Waters, and even with Chris Barber and Lonnie Donegan, and what more is there » Continue Reading.
OMD’s Architecture & Morality, The Human League’s Dare, Soft Cell’s Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go 12″ and a handful of other 1981 pop singles played from vinyl on a top-flight hi-fi in the Courtyard Café, Papworth Everard.
Home-roasted coffee, loose-leaf tea, locally-sourced cakes, full bar including microbrewery ales.
2:30-4:30pm, free entry. Well-behaved kids and dogs welcome.
A couple of pennies that dropped for me this week about the differences between the Swedish and British school systems.
Firstly, while contributing to the AmDram thread I realised that the “School play” is a particularly Anglo-Saxon phenomenon. Locust’s classmates in Vasastaden never got the chance to see her as Lady MacBeth, Edda Gabler or Miss Jean Brodie as there is no teaching of drama in Swedish schools. And no Drama Clubs either. That is taken care of by an outside organisation such as Kulturama, an organisation do a marvellous job teaching music, dance, art.
Next, there are no school sports teams. Once again, this is done by sports clubs, where volunteer coaches do sterling work. So young players are loyal to their club not their school. (On one occasion alone, I played rugby for my school: they must have been really desperate for players. I was Walter the Softy pitched against 15 Dennis the Menaces from Wembley. Never again! I went back to languidly reading Baudelaire.)
Finally, there are no assemblies at any point in the school week. This used to be the starting point of every school day for me. The headmaster would always give a short » Continue Reading.
You know it’s been an interesting election when Prime Minister Scott Morrison, an evangelical Christian, called his victory last night a ‘miracle’, using the word in its literal sense. How Labor lost an unlosable election will fill the papers for months, but, just like Clinton vs Trump, you have to think that pretty much any other candidate would have romped home against a fragmented and unpopular government.
Shorten is a beige, uninspiring figure who would have trouble rallying the crowds in a bingo hall, let alone Federal Parliament, and every poll and survey in the last 12 months has indicated this. A mate of mine works in Parliament House and attended the Labor Party conference a couple of years ago where Shorten made his first speech as leader. He said the worried glances between attendees increased as the speech continued, and he suspects that many knew then that Labor was doomed at the next election. Labor put a set of challenge rules in place in 2013 to stop the revolving leadership door, and this made rolling him before the election almost impossible.
It’s going to be a long three years.
What does it sound like?:
America, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Kingdom Come – strange bedfellows united by having box sets of their albums released. Let’s take these one at a time.
First up is America, who most will associate with two songs really, Ventura Highway and the ubiquitous Horse With No Name. Sadly those are only available here in a live format, as the six albums included in this set are from the latter stages of the band’s career (1979 – 85), after co founder Dan Peek had departed. I wasn’t familiar with much of the music here, but the George Martin produced Silent Letter is not bad, as is the Russ Ballard collaboration View From The Ground. However, much of the remaining albums are very much in the same vein as one song blurs into another, with none really standing out – inoffensive but unremarkable. Actually, the live set is probably the pick of the bunch, as it includes more of their earlier (and frankly better) songs.
I vaguely recall Atlanta Rhythm Section being on the bill at the 1978 Knebworth, although sadly any memory of their performance is lost in the mists of time. For the uninitiated, » Continue Reading.
Reading the papers today, I came across trailers for Black Mirror Season 5 and the HBO / BBC adaptation of Phillip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials”.
So with Good Omens on Amazon at the end of the month (and BBC later in year), Black Mirror in June, season 3 of Stranger Things in July and His Dark Materials later in the year, this is shaping up to be a pretty good year of TV.
What else are folks looking forward to ?
Brown sauce every time for me
I’m getting in first before the AW server is overwhelmed by this year’s Eurovision chat. This clip whistles through all the entries – a few seconds each – which is all you need really for most of them.
Based on watching that, I want Iceland or Australia to win but Norway look like a strong contender. Laughs can be had from TV’s San Marino and apparently Madonna is performing her latest single during the interval. She’ll be hoping it’s a big hit like “Holiday!” or “Into the Groove”.
The UK entry is another weak effort. The tune is OK in a Backstreet Boys ballad-type way, but this was an opportunity to have a unifying lyric aboutt climate change. The Eurovison panels would bloody love that. The song is good enough to win but the lyrics and the stage performance are not. .
Anyway – I enjoy watching the show each year and I hope you do too.
London Palladium, that London
So I went to see a hologram. And you know what? It was rather good. The Zappa Family Trust, never slow in identifying new ways of monetising their late father, have assembled a touring band comprising some of Zappa’s most competent and least imprisoned members to accompany a full height hologrammed Frank, captured from 1974 footage. I brushed off the sneers of some of the Zappa cognoscenti and joined Billy Bragg, Steven Wilson, Nick Beggs and Carl Palmer to witness what I imagine will soon be a common sight – your favourite inconveniently dead star brought back to life to dip into his/her back catalogue and your wallet.
The hologram was actually the weakest part of the show, looking highly fake and rather small, being set back behind a scaffold structure that forced the drums over to the left. Thankfully, it only appeared on four songs. The taped period guitar solos were all outstanding – and unfamiliar to me, despite owning everything released from 73/74. The vocals were a bit echoey and distant – odd given how well recorded everything from that era sounds on disc. The visuals however were superb, featuring » Continue Reading.
Not wishing to bury him, but hard to praise the guy who appears to have gone over the edge in his views on the holocaust. See twitter if you haven’t already. AP’s feed @xtcfans appears to have been suspended, but you can still search for the handle and see his comments and the disappointed reactions.