Category: music

Music.

The UsVsTh3m crowd really gave me the horrors with this app, at least when it was returning UK No.1s. Mine has a fast start – Odyssey, in July 1980 – but then plunges into two Spice Girls tracks and, Christ!, Wet Wet Wet. And Frankie Knuckles has left the building. This of course was an excuse to Listen To All The Things.

Here he is (thanks to Les Inrocks) in 1977.

The amazing thing here is that even then, when there were no conventions for this sort of thing, it’s all already there. It even sounds pretty fresh.

Here he is on the radio in 1986.

And live in 2012:

I saw him play in November that year at XOYO. I had flown back that morning from Dubai; I probably wouldn’t have done that for many other artists. He projected; DJs are infamous for hiding behind the machinery, and either making a virtue of being a faceless technical force or else trying to escape it and looking like a twat. But he seemed to host the night in a real sense, projecting welcome and acceptance. I also remember that he didn’t play much of his own stuff. Nothing could have been easier than running through a conventional, conservative set of the classics, but he wasn’t going to do that.

Anyway.

even if I prefer this version:

Thursday Music Post, On Thursday

So, Patti Smith played Cadogan Hall. This sounds incongruous, but according to her gloss of Mapplethorpe in Just Kids he’d have fit right into the Sloane Square crowd. Even though as a visual artist he had patrons who wanted mithering, while she had a job and then a paying public*, he was a killer snob. I think I reviewed that his social climbing, in her account, divided them more than his bisexuality. I can well imagine that. But I have lost the blog post in question. How did I manage that?

By chance the gig was also the 100th anniversary of William S. Burroughs, which coloured it. The location made it necessary to play against type. We got a reading from the Wild Boys, who aren’t round there very often, except perhaps as single spies. The cash point I used had a big sticker for Bond & Mayfair, London Escorts, after all.

The ticket – I’m looking at it now – advertised “an evening of words and music”. This meant a succession of readings, songs, and anecdotes. This sounds potentially awful. A churlish view would be that it might be like listening to the last member of the 1st Punks regimental association, and you do get a fair few tales of the Chelsea Hotel. That said, they’re her right, and a lot would work as pure standup.

This is beside the point, though. Fools would come for stories of the leftover Beats, good as they are. The pacing was expert, building steadily in both music – louder – and words – more extreme, and then flipping the show into a focused, intense blitz through the best of the songs. The band is tight as hell and loud. Unlike a lot of rock, the songs were built for dancers. The voice is still gripping, probably the most working-class white voice in America. A pome might quote Pawl Vallery, and damn right too. Us “English dogs” were called on to howl and we did.

So, a raucous and dance-minded blitz from a performer of deep autodidactic reading and epic stage command. Get in!

*We were a paying public, and some

Music.

FreakyTrigger recalls the Chemical Brothers’ Setting Sun going No.1. I associate myself entirely with the following sentiments:

If you’d have asked me in 1996 who my favourite band was, I’d have said the Chemical Brothers, without hesitation. I was 15 and knew next to nothing about dance culture or psychedelia or hip-hop but their music was a route into all of these things and more

Also this, from the other place:

Ive always tried to tie in british dance music with britpop cuz i was really into it at the time and so were a lot of indie kids/britpoppers. Noel certainly was and at loch lomond and the gigs before it everyone was hoping oasis would do a screamadelica and go dance. It was set up for them. But no , they had to make be here now and look what happened after.

Note: If you follow that link into Facebook you can also see me flaming Neil Kulkarni and getting a rise. That, at least, is one ambition from 1996 I can tick off.

Meanwhile, Twitter was all over this lot this week and with good reason, and rather wonderfully some French TV station has put a whole one of their gigs on the web.

And because we can:

Also, anyone else a bit underwhelmed by new Wild Beasts?

Utterly self-indulgent Friday music post

Music post, single-malt version.

Really, isn’t this totally prefiguring all those fuzztone semi-R&B people who appeared over the last year or so? Just with Bootsy Collins and therefore more funk. Beats anything here.

The video is ridiculous, but why didn’t this sell a ton just as daft party music? Also, rhyming “chaos” and “never was a great loss” is both awesome and unavoidably Yorkshire.

Also great. What about this?

Or this?

Sod the Fatboy Slim comeback, bring back the Lo-Fis. I remember in 1996 the Face called them the new Stone Roses, which was actually a remarkably accurate assessment but not in a good way, predicting the loss of key members, toxic ego wars, and under-achievement. That said, they have still released more actual songs than the Roses ever have.

For some reason, searching for their stuff on YouTube tends to really fox the recommendations algo, which has plainly given up and started pushing completely random things on me. In the future, we will come to cherish anyone and anything whatsoever that achieves this effect. We need a name for it.

An opportunity that may never come again

OK, so here’s your chance to be me for an evening.

I have two tickets to the last-ever Belleruche gig, at XOYO on the 13th of November. Unfortunately, I will be in Dubai. I’m out fifty quid. The successful candidate, having passed the programming test, quiz set by the readers of Jamie Kenny’s blog, simulator checkride, etc will be expected to a) uphold the ethos of Harrowell and b) not get me barred. Beyond that, knock yourself out.

Music!

Well, this sums it up pretty well…

Yes, I was there, having cried off last year on the grounds of not wanting to roll in nostalgia or spend money. And they played Elephant Stone. Also Going Down, Standing Here…so how well do you know the words?

It was pretty much a multi-sensory definition of the word lairy; it was good humoured, which helped with the occasional blundering beer-monster crisis; and it rendered my trainers into a biohazard, thanks to the people who created a river of piss uphill of the urinal. Thanks guys. During Waterfall/Don’t Stop of all songs.

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, anyway, and especially after all those times I’d heard the songs and used the codewords, and always in the knowledge I’d probably never actually hear them played. It also struck me how many people were evidently discovering them for the first time – not just a northern exile pissup.

(That said, it did remind me a bit of Challenge Cup Final day with the informal social control switched off.)

Photos, even if Soizick thinks “Ian Brown sings” is missing a set of inverted commas. (I don’t think you think like I do, no matter how how hard I try. I thought I had the answers.) Review +ve, review -ve. Mani looking disturbingly like Keith.

culture page post it’s safe to ignore

So, I went to the Bowie exhibition. I went midweek on a fairly grim windswept evening, so part of the deal was showing up at “Secretariat Gate” and being ushered into the V&A down miles of corridors, sometimes past a security control room, sometimes past a masterpiece, pushing ahead of the dame. It gave the whole thing something of the pleasure of a good gig. Reasonable people are off being reasonable or whatever it is they do. We are here.

I’d like to say that one of the best things was the David Bowie Is…Losing Money Hand Over Fist hall dedicated to his business ventures, but to be honest the joke is a little cheap. There is a reference to the ISP tucked away somewhere, though; a prize to readers who went and spotted it. No reference to the securitised bond issue, though.

More seriously, much more seriously, the whole show makes a case that his work should be considered as part of an integrated British aesthetic that arose in the very early 1960s, to one side of the mainstream and ahead of it, in music, in the visual arts, and in science fiction. Bowie and a variety of other musicians, the Independent Group, and the New Wave writers. This worldview was both deeply international, and in a new way for us – it didn’t care about the former empire as such, it looked at the United States like things in the zoo, and it wanted to be European or Japanese or just elsewhere. In that sense, perhaps it had a touch of Priestley’s Bradford. Especially looking at the white plastic Italian sax from 1950-odd that shows up, you could argue it was also deeply Mod.

J.G. Ballard is an obvious case in point, and is repeatedly referred to, but he always said his favourite song was the Teddy Bears’ Picnic, something which is either deeply creepy, or possibly a suggestion that the writer in English most intelligently fascinated by the visual arts was tone deaf. He had after all been blown up.

And, of course, the stuff; yards and yards of notes on set designs, bills for session players, randomised text generation…yeah, like so.

Simon Jenkins Jenkins we know a Literature, Simon Jenkins we know a major party leader, David Cameron, as the lead to the US even put an aircraft carrier on standby should the islands is free, is a major party leader (David Cameron as it was God’s will).

Note: the location-based soundtrack works, but wear it with one headphone off to listen to other visitors. Nobody else did.

the tape recorder, for special music

So I was talking about Iraqi GSM networks. Now, d’you know what they’re dancing to up in Kidal, or at least they were before music was illegal, or before the French shot the piano player? No. But somebody did that as recently as 2011, asking people for tracks they had on their mobiles’ SD cards, and you can get it right here.

What else? This:

This:

And this:

Dry

Best talk between songs ever:

This song is from is my mom’s favourite out of the four records. Because I don’t scream on it. My dad prefers it when I scream but my mom prefers it when I…sing pretty. So this song is my mom’s favourite. It’s called “Damaged from the Start”.

(And later in the game: We’re trying to be good Canadians here.)

not at all Thursday, so a music post

I’m so bored of the U….K. But occasionally I go to lunch in UKIP country and people ask me to play music through their monster Samsung staff purchase murderous sound system you drive from a mobile phone. Sadly, although it was all pulled out of spotify, it doesn’t push the playlist back into it, so I had to put this incomplete playlist back together. Doesn’t have any of the Paolo Conte or Mobb Deep or the French guy yelling “femmes, je vous aime!” but this may be a feature.