Friday, 20 July 2012

Just like to say thanks to all those who commented on my Valediction post.
Appreciated.

I'm surprised at how much traffic the site is still generating, so I will leave it up for now; once the hits dry up, puff, I'm gone; so grab 'em while you can.

Wishing you all well.
Shanti. roy

To Lebuzz, who left us today

Lebuzz
(1997-2012)


Thursday, 28 June 2012

Valediction - The Best Till Last

Five years ago, when I first began Rocket Remnants, music blogging was cool.
Now it's really in the hands of those posting new releases.
The retro blogger, whether of shows, deleted albums or general rarities, well, they're all gone now: "blog no longer exists"; words all read up; links long dead.

I joined in thinking I had something to add; it looked like fun.
I was also about to digitize much of my own collection, the leap from ripping to sharing was short, so as long as it wasn't widely available I'd put it on here, adding a word or two.

That process has now come to an end, as does this blog.
So I'll finish with what has to be one of the greatest albums of all time, ripped from a cassette that has accompanied me for the majority of my life.

For many, Trout Mask Replica is the one; the best; the magnum opus of Beefheart's oeuvre; perhaps of alternative music!
But I think Decals is better.

From the immediate attention grabbing opening gallop, you know you're in for one hell of a ride; and once that slurring, booze soaked vocal kicks in, well, you're soon convinced the driver is one hell of a crazy motherfucker, and he could be leading us anywhere! Everywhere!
And he does.
From Mississippi to Ornette Coleman, from Boogie Woogie to classical pastiche, from the heartfelt to the truly absurd.
This is one hell of a journey!
And what! Never released on CD?
Good.
Proving that Lick My Decals Off, Baby is the most anti-bourgeois album ever released.

The musicianship throughout Decals is simply phenomenal; mainly co-written with guitarist Zoot Horn Rollo, many of the snazzy syncopations absent of conventional notation leave you breathless; they just sound so hard to play.
(Well worthy of becoming "The Magic Band", no longer "His".)

The mania is suitably juxtaposed with moments of calm, brief understated instrumentals, segueing into discordant beauty: Ed Marimba's marimbas, Drumbo's drums and Rockette Morton's impossible bass adding obliquely to the fabulous, unique melee.

There isn't a better album in which to bring this to an end.

BANG!

Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band - Lick My Decals Off, Baby (1973)

Lick My Decals, Baby
Doctor Dark
I Love You, You Big Dummy
Peon
Bellerin' Plain
Woe-Is-Uh-Me-Bop
Japan in a Dishpan
I Wanna Find Me a Woman That'll Hold My Big Toe Till I Have to Go
Petrified Forest
One Rose that I Mean
The Buggy Boogie Woogie
The Smithsonian Institute Blues (or The Big Dig)
Space Age Couple
The Clouds are Full of Wine (Not Whiskey or Rye)
Flash Gordon's Ape

Excellent cassette rip @320kbs
Lick away here

Shanti

video

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Crack'd

A divisive piece this for my penultimate post.
It has been known to raise conflict; not the best choice to play at a dinner party with your in-laws. Apparently.

Yep, you either love it or you hate it; give it love or give it disdain: it has no desire to be tolerated.
Personally I think it's a gas; just the kind of audacious noise you'd expect from people who like this:

Better than The White Stripes, better than The Ting Tings, better than the Kills; here was a mixed gender duo who really should have gained more attention; this still has the power to surprise and thrill.
(Never heard 'Crack Attack'? You're in for a treat!)

Big Stick - Crack 'N' Drag (1988)

Crack Attack
Crack Attack (Remix)
Billy Jack Paddy Wack
I'm Amazed
Friends & Cars
Shoot the President
Drag Racing
I Look Like Shit
Hell on Earth
Jesus Was Born (on an Indian Reservation)

Decent vinyl rip @320kbs
Get Sticky here

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Sound Bites

Simon Boswell said of his score for the movie Hardware: 'It's as if a Celtic Ry Cooder on acid had discovered God and decided to write opera'; and for the climax: 'I visualized a scene in heaven, with Jimi Hendrix, Stravinsky, and the Moscow State Choir all jamming in a small room'.
Which sums it up quite well really.

Add a track from PIL, one from Ministry, a slice of Rossini's Stabat Mater, some nifty sampled dialogue from Lemmy and Iggy Pop, and you end up with a soundtrack album that has withstood the test of time far more ably than its progenitor.

Simon Boswell & Others - Hardware Soundtrack (1990)

No Flesh Shall Be Spared
Good Morning Amerika (with Iggy Pop)
The Order of Death - PIL
Reno's Reindeer Steaks
Alligator Heart
Everything is Under Control
Mark 13
Jill Burning
A Message From Our Sponsors
A Piece of pipe - Kadula Massi (with Lemmy)
Stigmata - Ministry
It's Horrible, I Love it ,What is it?
Cockroach Tea
Crucifixion
Hardware
Stabat Mater - London Symphony Orchestra

All tracks performed by Simon Boswell unless mentioned otherwise.

Excellent cassette rip @320kbs
Gain Hardware here

Sunday, 17 June 2012

pH 1

Long, long ago, before Love, Hate or Everyday Chemistry, an ambitious DJ named Nasty Little Dog decided to remix The Magical Mystery Tour, thus becoming the Granddaddy of much Beatles' bricolage that followed in its wake.

In terms of nowadays technology this is simple fare - think Transglobal Underground, Loop Guru, et al - and to be honest takes a while to get going (the first two tracks are a little laboured), but once true psychedelia hits the palette the beats ebb and flow in a most curious fashion. 'Walrus' and 'Flying' are particularly gratifying: pleasantly mind-bending, and may even encourage a little shuffle.

But really this is more ya chillax; your IDM; beats for those who take their dance music cross legged.
And to gratify those whose minds like to wander there's some well chosen quirky samples: spoken word and beyond.

Added to the remixes is a small gathering of "Bonus Tracks": a strange piece of anti-acid prop in a country and western stylee; a curiously recorded version of 'I'm Only Sleeping' ("early acetate"); a bizarre, lysergic soaked piece credited to George Harrison entitled 'Pink Litmus Shirt' [can't believe "Mike Love" had anything to do with it...]; and ends with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore singing their paean to acid 'The L.S. Bumble Bee', which is alone well worth the download if you've never heard it!

Odd job!

Excellent cassette rip @320kbs
Tune in here

Friday, 15 June 2012

Koo Koo Ka Choo-Uh

Unofficial gathering of B sides, 2's and 3's, live tracks and rarities; providing Beatle tropes from Slade-like blokes, iffy rhymes and the odd surprise.

Highlights: live 'I am the Walrus', with adopted sneer - could have been written for Liam; he really believes it, man - cracking version of 'Columbia'; live 'Supersonic': super, sonic; Innes inspired 'Whatever' - rarely heard now ("I'm not giving that cunt anymore money" [sic]) - anthemic 'Cloudburst' with Boneheaded power chords; out and out boogie in a live 'Swamp Song'; Weller assisted 'Come Together'; and the best of all: '(It's so good) to be Free', justifying all the fuss.

Bangin!

Oasis - Flip Sides 1

Take Me Away
I Will Believe
Columbia
D'yer Wanna be a Spaceman
Alive
Bring it on Down
Up in the Sky
Cloudburst
Supersonic
I am the Walrus
Listen Up
Fade Away
Whatever
(It's so Good) to be Free
Half the World Away

Excellent rip from cassette @320kbs
Smash


Oasis - Flip Sides 2

Talk Tonight
Acquiesce
Headshrinker
Some Might Say
You've Got to Hide Your Love Away
It's Better People
Rockin Chair
Live Forever
Round Are way
The Swamp Song
The Masterplan
Talk Tonight
Fade Away
Come Together
Married With Children
Morning Glory

Excellent rip from cassette @320kbs
Grab

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Radio Dada

John Shuttleworth - aka Graham Fellows (aka Jilted John ('Gordon is a Moron'), aka Brian Appleton (Musicologist)) - is Fellows' absolute masterpiece.
A totally credible character whose subtlety is truly sublime.

A middle-aged, working class, Sheffield residing, Ambassador driving, family man, John also happens to be a musical artiste (clubs, hospices, old folks' homes - have Yamaha keyboard will travel).

Radio Shuttleworth
, a post modern radio show about the making of a radio show, allows John to reveal his pataphysical reality; one inhabited by everyday grotesques such as Mary (wife), Ken Worthington (neighbour and sole agent), Joan Chitty (gravel-voiced family friend) and Katrina (drop in guest and Radio 2 DJ).

Despite the programme's wonderful incongruity, the cheesiest of faux jingles are dropped in, and regular features emerge from all the apparent verisimilitude.

And it's one of those regular features that makes this edition really stand out.
Ken Worthington - John's sole agent - is always on the look out for jobbing acts to add to his stable.
Impress an Impresario is a kind of mini X Factor - mini, as there's only one competitor attempting to impress, and there's only one judge: Ken.
The competitor in this instance happened to be Robert Wyatt, who solidly acts himself and performs very twisted versions of 'Soup Song' and 'Signed Curtain' (you know, the one that goes "This is the first verse" etc.).

John finds it all a bit much; Ken has his mind totally blown, no longer endorsing the wild excesses of the 60s, swearing to change his ways (he is a devil for the Malibu); and Robert leaves laughing.

Very English.
Brilliantly funny.

Graham Fellows - Radio Shuttleworth (2000)

All voices supplied by Fellows except those of Katrina and Robert Wyatt who provide their own.

DVD captured radio broadcast @320kbs (30 mins)
Grab an earful here

Monday, 11 June 2012

Resurrection 3

Sorry for the prolonged atrophy occurring here - the complete opposite of what I intended - but it limps on; totally fucked but not dead yet, as they say.

Out of the whiff of decay comes the last batch of revived, Lazarus-like links: fulfilling requests, righting some wrongs and generally adding colour.

So this time we start with some live Bach flavoured jazz with Jacques Loussier and his nifty Trio; diversity abound as next up is my favourite Sabbaff boot Megalomaniac Architect. Where the reason Ozzy is who he is can be found - just in case you were wondering....
There's also the greatest recording from a band you've never heard of, the magical Softwood Music: Under Slow Pillars, by one of Finland's best kept secrets: Sielun Veljet.
The best of the bunch of solo Butthole Surfers' projects, Paul Leary's marvellous The History of Dogs; as well as a couple of essential recordings from Silverfish: the Total Fucking Asshole and Fuckin' Drivin' or What e,p.s.
Or how about some blaxploitation inspired funky incidental music? As well as some of the best hard boiled dialogue ever to come out of British television. All captured on The Sweeney soundtrack album: Shut It! The Music of The Sweeney. Guv-nuh!
Whilst on the beat, why not move towards The Infinite Beat, with what has to be Psychic TV's most accessible recording, Towards Thee Infinite Beat.
And whilst wearing your best dancing plimsolls, carry on skanking with one of the Island's best with the almost forgotten Ini Kamoze album Statement. Criminal!
Some good old rock n roll from Country Joe McDonald [!] and his far out Rock and Roll Music From Planet Earth.
Live Pronk, from the Pronk Masters, Cardiacs, and their live album, unimaginatively titled Cardiacs Live - but don't be put off; they saved all their creativity for the music.
And finally, most appropriately, a very cool late seventies' set from ex-Airplane and Hot Tuna guitar hero Jorma Kaukonen. Essential.

So, if you missed any of those first time around; or you need to check out something new, grab 'em while you can.
As for this blog and its desperate throes; I'll keep it ventilated for a couple more weeks; enough time to cram in a few palliative posts to ease the pain, but the end is inevitable.
Act accordingly.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Weensday

So Gener's decided after twenty-five years to call it a day.
Ween is no more.

(Why does everything have to die, Mummy?
If things don't die albums such as La Cucaracha get released.)

Okay, it's hard to maintain true greatness for a quarter of a century.
Yeah, it was inevitable, really.

Perhaps the last half decent studio album Ween produced was White Pepper. True, it's hardly God Ween Satan and not a patch on The Pod, but it did rouse interest.

This collection of demos offers an alternative listen to White Pepper, and mainly due to the live feel and heavier sound, achieves what could be a more satisfying listen (the absence of 'Bananas and Blow' only endorses that).

'The Grobe' never sounded so mean; and with the clarity of the vocal, so bizarre!
If I had any clout or influence, which I most certainly do not, 'The Grobe' should be promoted to every number one slot around the planet, as a true act in memoriam.

And if 'Back to Basom' fails to move - you got no soul!
Let it wash...!

Ween - The White Pepper Demos (1997)

Stay Forever
Even If You Don't
The Grobe
Stoker Ace
She Caught My Fancy
Pandy Fackler
She's Your Baby
Falling Out
Ice Castles
Back to Basom

CD rip
Gain Peppery goodness here

But if it's a more representative product of the older sounding Ween you crave, this captured Internet performance may well be right up your alley.

A request show broadcast on the web in 2003; Ween have a ball, making for a most entertaining and enthralling experience.

Not only are some of their greatest songs exquisitely executed, but the listener gets the chance to hear a full battalion of Stallions, as all five versions (yes, five!) are trotted out and paraded in all their splendour.

Imperative; Ween fan or not (as if...).

Ween - All Request Live (2003)

Happy Coloured Marbles
The Stallion Part 1
The Stallion Part 2
The Stallion Part 3
The Stallion Part 4
The Stallion Part 5
Demon Sweat
Cover It With Gas and Set It On Fire
Awesome Sound
Cold blows the Wind
Pollo Asado
Reggaejunkiejew
Tried and True
Mononucleosis
Stay Forever
Where'd the Cheese Go?

CD rip
Locate the cheese here

Other Ween goodies still live and kicking are Axis Bold as Boognish, their first proper release (cassette only) from back in 87; live recordings from 91 & 92 captured At The Cat's Cradle and beyond; Ween's Peel Sessions from 92 & 93; their lost 1999 album Craters of the Sac, Deaner's delight; and the tastefully recorded Chicago Concerts from 2003.

Something Brown for everybody. Check 'em out.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Cockaigne


The passionate cries of Albion's residual voice screamed out in opposition to the Iron Lady's whim.

Mainly quiet times publicly for RH - highly unfashionable during those yuppie years - privately: enthused, energised, with plenty to moan about.

'Short and Sweet' in all its glory, as Roy intended (pop version emerged on Gilmour's first L.P.); 'Hangman' heavier than Anathema could ever Hope for or muster.

Solo and with others, a fine encapsulation of the alternative voice of Merry England.
O, for one of those days.

Roy Harper - In Between Every Line (1986)

One of Those Days in England
Short and Sweet
Referendum
Highway Blues
True Story
The Game
One Man Rock and Roll Band
Hangman

Decent vinyl rip @320kbs (some crackle and pop, mainly during the quiet bits)

Cop Lines here


Going back even further; RH on top form; exemplified by neat compilation from early recordings; original post here, with new link.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Crewsing

Not a band named after a book or even a quote from a book, but a band named after an author; which was either an extremely deferential piece of homage or one of the most off the wall marketing campaigns ever.
(Even puts Radiohead to shame. [Whose latest gimmick is a real corker: exuberant ticket prices!
Maybe you should have thought that one through, guys].)

Harry Crews: The Band:

A short lived project created by female post punk heavy weights Lydia Lunch, Kim Gordon and Sadie Mae.

Crews, the writer, is their muse, and they make much of his themes, words and ideas.

Their music is most appropriate, capturing the mood of the writing in their bombastic sound.
(Think Big Black [with sticks] with a mighty injection of oestrogen, so more scary!)

Lunch screams and rants in a most gratifying manner; Gordon big-ups literature: "They don't censor violence in books, coz They don't think anyone reads."

Not an easy listen, but there is a Sonic Youth song and even a Teenage Jesus and the Jerks' number to appease the ol' folk; a couple we can hum nervously along to after being chastised by Lunch: "ALL MEN THINK THEY'RE CHRIST!" [her capitals]

Several tracks take their titles from Crews' titles: Gospel Singer, The Knockout Artist, and what I think is one of the best novellas of the twentieth century: Car.

If you've never read it: SEEK IT OUT! [my capitals]

Harry Crews, the writer:

Car

A man, Herman, is thrilled by cars, they are his life.
He's so passionate he decides to eat one.
People around him see opportunity: Herman eating a car will be a public event, a spectacle, a wonder.
Ka-ching!
He will eat a half ounce a day, in public, that half ounce will be shat out the following day, in public - but behind a little screen: some decorum, please - the shat out piece of car will be moulded into a tiny replica of the very car Herman is eating. And then sold.
Ka-ching!

A couple of days into eating the car, Herman has a strange experience:

'
His eyes were open, but he felt himself dreaming. He heard his blood roar in his ears, and he heard cars in the roar. He saw cars in his blood. They squealed and careened through long curving veinous highways. He took his hands off his stomach and held tightly to the bed. He had not expected this.
   Filled with terror and joy, he tried to wake up. But he was not asleep. His eyes filled with cars. They raced and competed in every muscle and fibre. Dune buggies raced over the California sands of his feet; sturdy jeeps with four-wheel drive and snow tyres climbed the Montana mountains of his hips; golden convertibles, sleek and topless, purred through the Arizona sun of his left arm; angry taxis, dirty and functional and knowledgeable, fought for survival in the New York City of his head.
   And his heart. God his heart! He felt it separate and distinct in his chest. Isolated and pumping, he knew its outermost limits. And every car that raced and roared in his vision of himself finally ended in his heart. An endless traffic of Saabs and Fords and Plymouths and Volkswagens and modified buggies of every sort and Toyotas and cars from all over the world lined up and entered his pounding heart.
   He watched, amazed and stupefied, as he filled up with cars tighter and tighter until finally he was bumper to bumper from head to toe. His skin stretched. His veins and arteries blared with the honking of horns, jammed with a traffic jam that would never be over because it had no place to go. Cars cars everywhere and no place to drive.'

So Herman can't eat it.

But what about the money?

Herman has a twin: Mister.
No one would know; Mister will eat the car.

But can Mister manage it?

The first performance doesn't go well: Mister is in pain with a seemingly damaged throat.

Attended by a doctor, who believes Mister's problem may be psychosomatic, they are joined by an anxious Herman, an agitated promoter, Mr. Edge, his assistant Junell, and Mister's hooker girlfriend Margo, who goes on to make what has to be one of the greatest and most surprising speeches ever uttered in the whole of modern literature:

[Warning. Explicit]


'"H
e wanted to eat it," said the doctor, "but he didn't want to eat it, if you see what I mean."
   "I don't see what you mean because what you say doesn't mean anything," Mr. Edge said.
   "His throat kept closing up on him," said the doctor, "trying to expel..."
   "I can tell'm what you mean, doc," Margo said. "I can explain it."
   They all turned to look at her where she stood with Herman by the window. Even Mister, his throat swollen and red, cut his his eyes in her direction. He was lying back on the bed. His breath whistled in slightly parted bruised lips.
   "Everybody's got a gag reflex," she said. "If you put something far enough down your throat, you gag, everybody gags. You don't have to think about it, or want to do it, you just do it. That's why it's called a gag reflex. Right, doc?"
   "Right," he said. "But..."
   "But listen to this," she said. "There are whores who have no gag reflex." She paused and they stood silently watching her. She saw the look in Junell's face and shrugged. "I'm a whore. It's my business to know such things. Some whores can open their mouths and let a man fuck their throats. It's a beautiful trick, but it's not something you can learn. You've got to want the cock in your throat. You've got to want it so bad that the reflex just doesn't work. Such whores are few and far between because as everybody knows, most whores hate fucking. But once in a while a whore really loves cocks and she's got the best of both possible worlds. A whore like that can make a fortune, an absolute fortune in two or three years. It's a speciality act. And everybody loves a speciality act. But you think a whore like that quits with her fortune? Of course not. Because finally she's not doing it for the money, anyway. She's doing it for the love of cocks. And she keeps that throat of hers in service as long as there's a man who wants to put something in it."
   "Jesus," said the doctor, "Jesus Christ!"
   Mister's throat was pulsing and heaving while Margo talked.
   In a tiny voice, Junell asked, "Can you... Do you...?"
   "No," said Margo. "I can't. I don't." She looked at Mister. "And he can't either. He's trying to fake it." She walked over to the bed and looked down into Mister's stretched, bloodshot eyes. "You poor son-of-a-bitch, you can't fake it. It can't be faked."

Harry Crews - Naked in Garden Hills (1990)

About the Author
Man Hates a Man
Dystopia
You're It
Gospel Singer
Knockout Artist
The Way Out
Bring Me Down
Car
SOS
Orphans

Decent vinyl rip @320kbs
Harry's Angels here

Selected extracts from Car, cited in Classic Crews, Gorse. 1993.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Lycidas

Impressive, easily missed, only album from guitar virtuoso Bruce Cameron.

Despite the obvious comparisons to Hendrix (not helped by the presence of remaining Gypsies; Mitch Mitchell; and that white Strat), Cameron is more akin to Kpt.Kopter; but really, I think Cameron grew up listening to British players, sounding more like Kossoff or even Robin Trower (without the pout or the gape [or the boredom]).

Cameron made this and then decided to end it all.
If you're wondering... it's all there in what has to be the heaviest track on the album, 'I Want to be Late'.
Confessional?
Of course: "rock n roll!"

So it's a blast.
Kind of what you expect, only better.
Cameron showers notes all over the place - but without Van Halen pomposity or Santana-like ostentation.

Yet perhaps the two most outstanding tracks are those least expected.
Two instrumentals: one, 'Day After Yesterday', with old Mothers' wind man Bunk Gardner; and the other, a remarkable piece entitled 'So, Aliens Have Been Here'; a ditty well worth a listen; a world away from the rest, and something that marked Cameron out as being more than just another quirky shredder.

Bruce Cameron - Midnight Daydream (1999)

Midnight Daydream
Doctor Please
Mind Gardens
Miles Away
Born to Lose
I Want to be Late
Forever Rebel Girls
Just Like a Spaceman
So, Aliens Have Been Here
A Thousand Moons
Raining the Blues
Day After Yesterday
Falling Up a Mountain
She's So Gone

CD rip includes art & info.
Revive BC here

Friday, 27 April 2012

Resurrection 2

Before I go - for my work here is almost done - I wanted to resurrect a few more Remnants from the past.

No real agenda, merely things I like being available: posts that capture, in some way or other, the ethos of what this blog is supposedly all about.

Okay, to start off, and there's no better way to start than a fresh link for The Temple City Kazoo Orchestra, in all its horrible 128 glory. Continuing the absurd, I've Resurrected Edward Not Edward, songs by Edward Barton performed by others (includes: Stump, Inspiral Carpets, Dub Sex, 808 State, A Guy Called Gerald, Ted Chippington and others). One of my favourite live recordings, a truly fantastic gig that no fucker attended: Barry Melton (CJ & the Fish), Micky Jones & Deke Leonard (the two Man guitarists) captured live at...wait for it...: Baglan Social Club, Baglan, Swansea! Honestly, you won't hear a better acid-edged jam from a trio of SG wielding plankers anywhere. And it's one of the last recordings made by Micky Jones (a player Zappa rated very highly), reason enough to check it out. There's a little bit of Hawkwind: Warrior on the Edge of Time, one of their more proggy albums, released in '75; the last recording made while Lemmy was still in Dave Brock's favour. And talking of Dave Brock, I've re-upped his debut solo album Earthed to the Ground, well worth a visit. There's also two albums by the original space poet, Bob Calvert: Hype, and the excellent Test-Tube Conceived; two albums so different, it's hard to believe they came from the same artist. There's a bit of hard-edged, jazz tinged seventies' rock courtesy of Patto & Halsall's debut Boxer album Below the Belt, proving that British rock from the mid-seventies wasn't all shit. For a nostalgic reminder of what happened just a few years later, I've Resurrected Magazine's return show from 2009: a wonderful greatest hits set, with the band on top form fronted by an even camper than usual Howard Devoto. And finally, after all that dynamic sonic action, chill out with a tasty slice of Jamaican Culture: Culture's unofficially released Africa Stand Alone: heavenly sounds from one of the Island's finest.

O, there's also one of those Resurrected naughty posts below.
Shh!

Shanti, roy

Bloody Hell!

Another fantastic Foetus-related item.
Mean, dirty and in your face; this is the best material J.G. Thirlwell (Foetus, or in this case Clint Ruin) produced while collaborating with the bombastic percussionist and no wave master producer Roli Mosimann: collectively known as Wiseblood.

Put together in the mid-eighties, with this album released in 87; Wiseblood are long gone; but their legacy of sound lives on, and it still sounds as stunning today as it did twenty-five years ago.

The beats and percussion on this album are absolutely immense; Mosimann creating the perfect rhythmic pallet for Thirlwell's words, delivery and soundscaping to possess and inhabit.

From the opening utterance: 'Gonzola', the mood is immediately set - how Thirlwell manages to make the mere mention of an innocuous substance such as gonzola sound so dirty and disturbing I don't know. But he does.

With the lyrics accompanied by a clipped, sharp beat and a massive guitar sound, again we see Thirlwell responding to the zeitgeist. Post-hardcore (Big Black, Sonic Youth et al.) and avant electronic music (Aphex Twin, Autechre et al.) were the new sounds that many members of Wiseblood's audience would have been interested in, so Thirlwell, a true bricoleur, readily absorbed those styles into his sound.
Consequently this album has a far more metal and bombastic sound than the Motorslug e.p. released two years earlier in 85.

'O-O (Where Evil Dwells)' is a track that in a way could be seen as reportage; as it tells the horrific story of Ricky Kasso, a murderer who inspired by mescaline, Anton LaVey and Satanism decided to commit an act of human sacrifice on a camping trip with some 'friends' on Long Island, New York, in 1984.
Once taken into custody he soon hanged himself, so no trial ever took place; which has led to enormous amounts of speculation and machination about what actually happened.

It caused an awful lot of fuss in North American media at the time as an association was soon made with the fact that Kasso listened to heavy metal music.
This all fitted in very nicely with Tipper Gore's activities: recruiting for and eventually creating the obnoxious pressure group the PMRC.
(She was soon joined by her husband Al; and I know he seems to have acquired a saintly persona of late, what with his saving the world and all, but he did make comments back in the mid-eighties that parents who allowed their children to listen to punk rock and heavy metal music were committing an act of child abuse - he also expressed a desire for the American government to take total control and heavily regulate the Internet and the World Wide Web. Funny how things change... Jeepers, I'm starting to feel like Winston Smith!)

Anyway, Wikipedia has a page about the Kasso case; if you're interested go there and check it out.

'Stumbo', one of my all-time favourite Thirlwell songs, is like a graphic novel or comic book captured in sound.
A repeated pig-like oink or grunt is the foundation of the track's beat, really adding and enhancing its surreal noirish atmosphere.
Once you hear the track 'Stumbo': Stumbo lives!
You can visualize him. You feel him. You fear him.
And rightly so, coz:

'STUMBO GONNA STEP ON THE HUMAN RACE
STUMBO GONNA SUCK OFF YOUR FACE'

'Someone Drowned in my Pool' begins ethereally; hardly Thirlwell-like at all.
A spooky piano, lo-fi dissonant guitar chords accompany a deeply remorseful, timorous voice; a voice that attempts to explain the corpses that keep turning up within his immediate vicinity:

'She told me she was breeding
Then slipped backwards downstairs
Someone died in that womb.

I turned round to find
that miscarriage of justice [nice!]
Someone drowned in my pool.'

Of course he may sound innocent at the beginning, with maybe just the slight hint of contrition evident, but he's just a victim of circumstance, right: a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But you know by the end of the song, that the speaker is guiltyasfuck!
The track becoming a wonderful Dostoyevskian delineation and study of guilt.
Proving, if any proof were needed, that Thirlwell is a true artist of the highest calibre.
Musically and lyrically unique; and not at all afraid to deal with the most taboo of subject matter.

LONG LIVE THE NEW FLESH ... LONG LIVE THE NEW FLESH!

The final track, 'The Fudge Punch' is a spiteful piece of misogyny (just dwell on the title).
And it's a blues! well, kind of.

A monster metal guitar, provided by Mosimann's band mate, Swans' guitarist Norman Westberg, and with Mosimann's kit right at the front of the mix, the track has an enormously powerful drive and momentum.
Thirlwell spits outs the words: a delivery full of spite, venom and hate:

'Hey baby, keep your big mouth shut...
Bite the pillow...don't talk back...roll over...lay down
AND SHUT YOUR TRAP'

How can it be interpreted? Well, I guess as with so many things it's down to the ears of the beholder.
Me? I like to see it as satire; and with the big metal sound, I feel Thirlwell is attacking the misogyny associated with so much metal music; especially that which could be considered to be no more than 'cock-rock'.

But he is very convincing in his delivery. So take from it what thou will.

The climax to the track, and therefore the album, sounds just like that: a climax.
Thirlwell appears to be pleasuring himself; captured in a manner reminiscent of a dirty phone call, while Mosimann 'beats out' a Zeppelin like drum riff.

And the final sounds are given over totally to the kit; the beats play out alone, and with a great Bonham-like flourish the album comes to an end like the slamming of a door.
Which always seems to me a great way to end anything.
End with a bang. Not a whimper.

Wiseblood - Dirtdish (1987)

Vinyl rip @256kbs

Tracks:
Prime Gonzola
O-O (Where Evil Dwells)
Stumbo
Someone Drowned in My Pool
Godbrain
The Fudge Punch

Go get it here

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Don't Think About It!


Before the brawn, brainy discourse or movie stardom, Rollins took the Pink Fairies' passionate call for action and made it imperative.

A studio/live split, Do It adopts a kind of funky Sabbath, Stoogey blues sound for the Ian MacKaye produced studio tracks; and live: sounds more reminiscent of the mid to late seventies - sort of Dolls-like: with a more existential kind of camp, but minus the narcs, of course.

Rollins Band - Do It (1988)

Do It
Move Right In
Next Time
Black and White*
Lost and Found*
Followed Around*
Wreckage*
Lonely*
Hot Animal Machine 1*

*Live in Holland, 1987

Excellent vinyl rip @320kbs

Some of the segues on the live side are so slick I felt it intrusive to interfere; so edited to two files.

Start Doing It here

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Bugs!

Once Big Black had finished, and Rapeman had been fully exorcised, Albini moved on to greater things in the creation of Shellac.
1000 Hurts is their third album, and in my opinion, their best.

It features what must be the greatest opening track, ever.
It's not the greatest track - although it is a sonic blast - but it is, without doubt, the best of openers - check it out; you'll hear what I mean.

The vinyl edition came in a 12" box, emulating in design and size an Ampex Professional Recording Tape packet.


It also included a free CD edition [!], included here:

Shellac - 1000 Hurts (2000)

Prayer to God
Squirrel Song
Mama Gina
QRJ
Ghosts
Song Against Itself
Canaveral
New Number Order
Shoe Song
Watch Song

CD rip
Hurt yourself  here

O, and do check out Steve Albini's food blog.
Seriously. It's very cool.
And often recipes include a little diatribe about something or other. Funny.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Tooty Flutey

For the same reason Jack White insists on using valves, Florilegium insist on playing music using very old instruments.

The results are impressive; and bring to the familiar something fresh and exciting; not bad going for music written nearly three hundred years ago.

Mine [and everyone else's] favourite baroque suite, is Bach's Brandenburg concertos; but this version has readily become my favourite.

Along with their longing for keeping it real, Florilegium Early Music Ensemble often like to play around with convention: they include difficult sequences that other chamber orchestras may leave out; they play complete pieces where others abbreviate; and as in this case, they often play around with what has become conventional arrangement and order; deciding in this instance that the concertos should be played 1,6,3,2,5,4, rather than the conventional numerical order.

Okay, hardly The Sex Pistols on Today, but anarchic none the less.

As for their playing, well, beautifully recorded (Radio 3 have had a lot of practice at this sort of thing), very breathy, very live, and at times Florilegium aren't a million miles away from a live Mothers of Invention (think Lumpy Gravy, Burnt Weeny Sandwich, Uncle Meat periods); revealing Bach's importance and quite ubiquitous presence in the most peculiar of places.

J.S. Bach - Brandenburg Concertos (circa 1720)

Performed by Florilegium at the Chipping Campden Music Festival, 2011.
DVD captured Radio 3 digital broadcast @320kbs

1,6 & 3 here
2,5 & 4 here

The Post Below

The post below is one I posted a few years back but had a little, ahem, problem with; so I've put it back up with new link and no label.
Pushing my luck perhaps, but my luck I shall push as this blog is soon to go into retirement.
Grab it while you can

Foetal Remnants

Quadruplets of prime Foetal matter.
A brood of Thirlwell e.p.s from the eighties for aural delight.

As his first adopted persona: 'Foetus', J.G.Thirlwelll really did bring something new to life during that horrible dour period of the mid-eighties. Full of drama, overt machismo, threatened violence, sadism, misogyny, black-vaudeville-type [ironic?] humour and musical theatrics equal to the grandest of grand opera, here was an artist who although quickly labelled as a member of the 'no wave', was unique. Incomparable then: greatly emulated since; you can hear his influence throughout so many sub-genres; and this e.p. from 85, a You've Got Foetus On Your Breath production, shows how Thirlwell was already having big fun with rap and dance music. Accompanying it with what was already becoming his own familiar style of art work, adopting stark red, white and black cover designs, which often incorporated comic book and iconographic styles; in this case obvious Socialist imagery, but doing a bit of an Escher with it.

And why not?

Sometimes it seemed as if Thirlwell existed years ahead of his time. I could imagine, at the time of listening to this on release, this is what the music of the future will sound like; and on listening to this e.p. now, 'Slog' especially sounds very relevant; and if it wasn't for the crackles on my recording (just imagine it as a DJ Shadow mix) it wouldn't sound that out of place amongst what is going on now, twenty-five or so years later, in the 'alternative indie dance scene'.

Cem, on first hearing Foetus described it as sounding like Trent Reznor speeded-up; like NIN, but more jolly, and a lot more fun.

And this recording is definitely fun; not yet the darker Foetus that would soon expose its depravity, but a bouncy, danceable and singalongable-to Foetus.

But things were about to change: for as the decade moved on, selfishness, greed and smack were all becoming the fads and flavours of the day, and Thirlwell was to be our mirror, our own little no wave Caliban.

You've Got Foetus on Your Breath (1985)

Wash It All Off
Today I Started Slogging Again

A couple of releases later and Thirlwell was becoming just as much a composer as he was a radical artist and musician. This e.p. from 87, indicates how much he had progressed musically: the Stravinsky-like stringed outro on the track 'Ramrod' is stunningly arranged and executed; full of foreboding, darkness and power: a truly incredible piece of music.

The flip side adopts a more industrial edge, with the track 'Boxhead' sounding a little like an Al Jorgenson production; but due to its idiosyncratic soundscaping and theatricality, Thirlwell's sound allowed him to retain individuality: Ministry-like, perhaps, but a very dark vaudeville version.

Along with the previous album Nail, Thirlwell had established a place in the music scene akin to a cult film director working in Hollywood; a Lynch-like character.
This e.p. is Thirlwell's Eraserhead.


Scraping Foetus Off the Wheel (1987)

Ramrod
Boxhead
Smut

Thirlwell was always big on collaborations, and one of his best joint projects was Wiseblood: a collaboration with the Swiss' Prince of Darkness: Roli Mosimann.

And apart from the obvious percussive elements, Mosimann brought a lot of production value to Thirlwell's sound. This is most notable on the Dirtdish album, featuring songs such as the comic monster blaster 'Stumbo' and the wistful 'Someone Drowned in my Pool', both of which were later released as singles.

Motorslug, 1985, was the first Wiseblood e.p. release. Petrol-head's delight: strap yourself in and GO:
"Keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel"

 Minimalist is too busy a term to describe 'Death Rape 2000'.

With just three notes, Thirlwell attempts to conjure up a demonic state with a blast of Musica Diabolica: an assault on the senses from a tritone sequence repeated for seven and a half minutes.

"Death Rape 2000.
An Instrument.
An Instrument of Torture/An Instrument of Music

Maximum Volume and Minimum Distraction is Suggested.

Playable At Most High Speeds.

Recommended Listening Environment:

Under Fast Strobe And/Or At High Speed"

Using the tritone, or Devil's Interval is not uncommon in dissonant music; and since the Middle Ages has always been considered to be audio code for evil or the Devil; so much so, that the Catholic Church censored and banned any piece of music that included the diabolical musical interval: any sequence of notes spanning three whole tones.

It has become most familiar now through Tony Iommi stumbling across it and choosing it as the riff to open the theme track 'Black Sabbath'. He claimed to know nothing about the diabolical connection with the augmented fourth (probably the most diabolical of all tritone sequences), he claimed to be just searching for "something that sounded right... something that sounded really evil and doomy".

And I believe him, serendipity is an amazing thing; and who knows, maybe the devil took his prosthetic fingertips and guided the digits through the sequence. Well you never know.

More conscious uses of the Devil's Interval pop up in Sibelius and Wagner; Britten uses it in his War Requiem; Hendrix used it in 'Purple Haze'; Metallica in 'For Whom the Bell Tolls', and Danny Elfman used it to open his theme for The Simpsons!
Go on, sing it to yourself.

On seeing Foetus around this time, I was expecting to walk out on stage (remember this was years before the net, when an image is merely a click away, and Foetus didn't appear on BBC television that often) some dude with a bone through his nose, draped in shrunken heads, carrying a spear in one hand and the Bible in the other; but no, he was just a real regular looking guy. In fact, someone commented at the time, that he looked a little like Rick Astley...

Rick Astley

Wiseblood - Motorslug (1985)


Motorslug
Death Rape 2000

Long before Nick Cave and Polly Harvey became the darlings of the hip-goth set, or Dita got it together with Brian, Thirlwell got it on, both romantically and creatively, with musician and all-round vamp, Lydia Lunch.


One of the results of their creative entanglement was the release of the e.p. Stinkfist in 1987, with Thirlwell adopting his favoured collaborating moniker: Clint Ruin.

A vast amount of percussion and 'metal' was used in this recording, with Thirlwell even drafting in extra skin and metal thumpers - Cliff Martinez amongst them - to add some professionalism to the cacophony.

Very tribal and dancy, Thirlwell created a ritualistic sound; again foreseeing future trends, and anticipating the fusion of the industrial sound with dance, and much of the thematic thrash and hardcore that was soon to follow in its wake.


The percussion and beats are highly textured and massive on this piece and it really builds as the track progresses. Accompanied with vocal group chants and moans and groans from Lunch, it almost becomes reminiscent of White Noise's 'Black Mass in Hell', but essentially it has Love at its heart:

"In the beginning there was STINK. PULSING. POUNDING. PULPING. Repetitious and vicious cycles of SEXAMORPHOSIS, HYPNOSIS and TRANCE INDUCTION PROBING SEXUAL and RITUALISTIC INSTINCTS. WHEN THE LIFE CYCLE TERMINATES THE MANTRA WILL CONTINUE IN A CELEBRATION TO THE END. TO THE END..."

I like to play along with the spoons.

The flip side allows Lunch to take the reigns, and we hear her creepy, seductive, femme fatale voice utter, spit and shout the words of her 'Meltdown' poem. Thirlwell provides a fitting dockland soundscape, with the sounds of distant heavy machinery and fog horns [!].

As her final "I'm terminally fucked up" is decaying, it is met with an enormous barrage of explosive percussion, squeals of feedback, and ending with erotic sounds that could have been taped from a sex-line.

At very nearly eleven minutes long, this may well be the true heart of this e.p. and in many ways is the most collaborative of the three tracks, as it is just Lunch and Thirlwell providing all the sounds.

'Son of Stink' sounds to me like some diabolical tap-number from a warped-out horror movie that nobody has been quite warped-out enough to have made yet. I'm sure its time will come.

Again, another good one for the spoons. Well, while you've got them out...

Clint Ruin & Lydia Lunch - Stinkfist (1987)

Stinkfist
Meltdown Oratorio
Son of Stink
Foetus

All Foetal Remnants @320 here

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

St. Patrik's Day

Here's a rare thing: a tribute album dedicated to a single artist that's actually very good; consistently very good, in fact.

There's something extremely conducive in Patrik Fitzgerald's songs that make them ideal cover fodder.
No matter what the genre - although there is a natural tendency towards punk and post punk - the diversity and range across this two disc package creates interest, surprise and a little bit of nostalgic pleasure.

Bands, artists, poets, from all over the place get in on the act: some old, some new - there's a lot from Norway [!]; PF must be big in Norway - but all in all, homage indeed for one of the original urban folkies.

Most gratifying this.
Enjoy!

Various Artists - All Sewn Up - A Tribute to Patrik Fitzgerald (2009)

Punch - Motorpsycho (feat Jello Biafra)
Laughter Far Away - Terry Lee Hale
Live Out My Stars - Max Lorentiz
Ragged Generation - Milk Kan
Safety Pin Stuck in My Heart - Isreael Vis
Banging & Shouting - Betong Hysteria
Trendy - Seven
Little Fishes - Jim Jasmine
How the Fuck? - All Trouble
Animal Mentality - Sister Rain
Tonight - Lez Marwick
Work, Rest, Play, Reggae - Benjamin Zephaniah
Backstreet Boys - Attila the Stockbroker
One Little Soldier - Pog
Island of Lost Souls - Reilly Express
Set We Free - Bladed
When I Get Famous - The Legend!
One By One - Dog & Sky
Shadow of a Man - Jackie Leven & Michael Cosgrove
Unaware - BC
All the Years of Trying - Geoff Berner
Bingo Crowd - The School
As Ugly As You - Try Love & the Taxis of Evil
Personal Loss - Kevin Hewick
Optimism/Reject - Hook Line & Sinker
No Fun Football - Liliedugg
Paranoid Ward/All My Friends Are Dead Now - The 3rd & the Mortal (feat Attila the Stockbroker)
Improve Myself - Thomas Robsahm (feat Vera & Jara)
All Sewn Up - Monolithic
Cruelest Crime - Max Lorentz
Same Coin, Different Madness - Motor Incubator

CD rip
Down Pat here

Friday, 30 March 2012

To Bee Frank

Much of this sounds like The Mothers of Invention from back in the Freak Out! days; after all, look who's on it:


All mixed up with some heavy tape manipulations (kind of Weasels or Only in it For the Money-like); some dialogue: some bizarre (Lumpy Gravyish), some informative (Joe's Corsage); and some heavy psychedelic lifting.


So, if you've ever wondered what the Mothers (minus Frank) might have sounded like if they'd ever got together with a Smile era Beach Boys (accompanied by Roy Wood [Circa The Move], tagging along for the ride), well, find out here.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Sense and Senserbility

Like RDF, Senser have a female, bit-part singer who looks like she's in the wrong band.
In fact, when Senser first emerged, they all looked like they were in the wrong band.
True fusion.

As one of the early pioneers of 'nu metal' - although it wasn't called that then, it soon became a term best avoided, harbouring poor connotations due to the likes of Limp Bizkit and Alien Ant Farm - Senser were categorised as 'rap metal' and other clunky, hybridized genre definitions.

This album, their first, captures Senser at their peak, and it was during the festival seasons of 93 and 94 that the band gained most attention, helped by televised performances from Glastonbury and Reading, where moshing occurred on a major scale.

So think Transglobal Underground on amphetamines; Stereo MCs with balls; Beastie Boys with better references (and better accents); Rage Against the Machine much improved; or, imagine if DJ Shadow was kidnapped by a metal band (and a girlfriend) from the early nineties, well, this is the music they'd make once the Stockholm Syndrome had kicked in.

Okay. Bounce up and down, up and down, ad infinitum.

Senser - Stacked Up (1994)

States of Mind
The Key
The Switch
Age of Panic
What's Going On
One Touch One Bounce
Stubborn
Door Game
Peanut Head
Peace
Eject
No Comply
Worth

Excellent cassette rip @320kbs
Gain good Sense here

Saturday, 24 March 2012

N-Acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine

Fulfilling a request - prompted by the last post - and satisfying an urge for a hit of nostalgia, this live recording from '93 is rather hard to find nowadays.
Released initially as mail order only - a mere 1,000 were made (re-released soon after due to popular demand, but again limited: 5,000 this time) - this superb recording captures Spiritualized in L.A and Frisco during their 1992 tour.

Gorgeous - the best - version of 'Medication', and a gloriously stretched performance of 'Shine a Light', featuring two, yes two, of those classic, bombastic Spiritualized crescendos.

(Can't help thinking of Hawkwind - no bad thing - when the sax joins the party!)

Party on!

Spiritualized - Fucked Up Inside (1993)

Take Good Care of It
I Want You
Medication
Angel Sigh
Walking With Jesus
Shine a light (Clear Light/Clear Rush)
Smiles

CD rip.
Prescribed dose here