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.
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
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)
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.
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!
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.
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.
Oasis - Flip Sides 1
Take Me Away
I Will Believe
D'yer Wanna be a Spaceman
Bring it on Down
Up in the Sky
I am the Walrus
(It's so Good) to be Free
Half the World Away
Some Might Say
You've Got to Hide Your Love Away
It's Better People
Round Are way
The Swamp Song
Married With Children
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
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.
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"
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.
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
for the prolonged atrophy occurring here - the complete opposite of
what I intended - but it limps on; totally fucked but not dead yet, as
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 Assholeand Fuckin' Drivin' or Whate,p.s.
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.
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.
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.
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
'The Grobe' never sounded so mean; and with the clarity of the vocal, so bizarre!
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)
Even If You Don't
She Caught My Fancy
She's Your Baby
Back to Basom
if it's a more representative product of the older sounding Ween you
crave, this captured Internet performance may well be right up your
A request show broadcast on the web in 2003; Ween have a ball, making for a most entertaining and enthralling experience.
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
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
Cover It With Gas and Set It On Fire
Cold blows the Wind
Tried and True
Where'd the Cheese Go?
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!)
screams and rants in a most gratifying manner; Gordon big-ups
literature: "They don't censor violence in books, coz They don't think
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:
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.
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.
A couple of days into eating the car, Herman has a strange experience:
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
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.
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.
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]
'"He 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
The Way Out
Bring Me Down
Impressive, easily missed, only album from guitar virtuoso Bruce Cameron.
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'.
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.
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)
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
Before I go - for my work here is almost done - I wanted to resurrect a few more Remnants from the past.
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
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 showfrom
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.
Another fantastic Foetus-related item.
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.
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.
(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.
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
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.
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.
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.'
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
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.
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.
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
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.
appears to be pleasuring himself; captured in a manner reminiscent of a
dirty phone call, while Mosimann 'beats out' a Zeppelin like drum riff.
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
O-O (Where Evil Dwells)
Someone Drowned in My Pool
The Fudge Punch
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
Rollins Band - Do It (1988)
Move Right In
Black and White*
Lost and Found*
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.
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.
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
Song Against Itself
New Number Order
For the same reason Jack White insists on using valves, Florilegium insist on playing music using very old instruments.
results are impressive; and bring to the familiar something fresh and
exciting; not bad going for music written nearly three hundred years
Mine [and everyone else's] favourite baroque suite, is Bach's Brandenburg concertos; but this version has readily become my favourite.
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
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
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 Reznorspeeded-up; like NIN, but more jolly, and a lot more fun.
this recording is definitely fun; not yet the darker Foetus that would
soon expose its depravity, but a bouncy, danceable and singalongable-to Foetus.
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)
Thirlwell was always big on collaborations, and one of his best joint projects was Wiseblood: a collaboration with the Swiss' Prince of Darkness: RoliMosimann.
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 MusicaDiabolica: an assault on the senses from a tritone sequence repeated for seven and a half minutes.
"Death Rape 2000.
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".
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...
Wiseblood - Motorslug (1985)
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. Stinkfistin 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 [!].
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.
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...
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.
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
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
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.
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
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!)
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
Just what the world needs right now: another music blog.
The intention here is to share and discuss music that is seemingly unavailable anywhere else.
All the genre-bending time-hopping material, mostly vinyl (snap crackle pop) and casssssette rips, is drawn entirely from my own collection.
If you are moved in any way by anything on this blog please leave a comment. Thank you.