Unauthorised item in the bagging area

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Lewi's Dub

Duncan Gray, as blogged about here in August, has been drip feeding long chuggy ALFOS dancers through the Bandcamp page of the tici taci record label. This one is a lost track, recorded in 2014, played by Weatherall and Johnston at their A Love From Outer Space nights and then sitting gathering dust on a hard drive. For the princely sum of £1 you get six and a half minutes of slow motion, electronic dub disco, all drums, weird noises and lovely bass.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Monday's Long Song

Robert Frank died last week aged ninety- four. In 1957 he published a book of his photographs called The Americans, a collection of pictures taken across the USA over a two year period in the mid 1950s. The photos showed a different US from the one portrayed on TV, in the cinema and the magazines, the brightly coloured, neon lit America of the Eisenhower years- Frank's America was the lives of people at the margins and shots of the places most people passed by or through. Arriving in the USA in 1947, an immigrant escaping post- war Europe, the son of a German Jew who lost his citizenship in the 1930s. He began to see the USA as a bleak and lonely place for those excluded by poverty.

The Americans had an introduction written by Jack Kerouac, whose own travels across the continent mirrored Frank's. He shot his pictures using only his Leica and the light that was available, and what his pictures show more than anything to me is that the key thing needed to take good photographs isn't a piece of equipment but the eyes. Frank saw a different America and photographed it. He looked at it from another angle. He saw that he could frame scenes differently. An article at The New Yorker in the wake of his death said ' Frank’s nakedness to what was to him an alien land terrified us, and we were joyous. In a way, this amounted to a callow extension of American exceptionalism—postwar national hubris, only negative. Tragedy with its foot to the floor. We were special, all right. Also fucked. Sure.' R.I.P. Robert Frank. 

Anyway, back to the music- a long song for Monday and completely unconnected to the above. This is some lengthy progressive house from 1992 by The Aloof remixed by Fabio Paras. Paras was one of the original DJs on the London scene in 1988, playing in Ibiza and then at The Astoria and Flying. Fabio's remix of On A Mission opens with drums and percussion, huge tribal beats building before the chopped up vocal comes in. 

On A Mission (Fabio Paras Remix)

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Green On Blue

Double Weatherall action for Sunday, four hours of the end times sound system, across two different online radio shows.

First Lord Sabre's monthly jaunt to Hackney and NTS Radio. Music's Not For Everyone this month has the familiar, disparate collection of outsider sounds- garage rock, dub, post punk, more synths than you can shake a stick at and a new Weatherall remix of Ashley Caselles. Tracklist.

Meanwhile, broadcast a day later on Worldwide Radio, Andrew is in the studio with Heidi- some overlap with Music's Not For Everyone but with The Fall and The Cure too, to make a similarly eclectic and barnstorming selection of songs.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

On A Thousand Islands In The Sea

Thurston Moore is going to release three 7" singles in November and each one will have the same B-side, a cover of New Order's Leave Me Alone. I've said before that I'm not a massive fan of covers of New Order songs. Lonelady's recent cover of Cries And Whispers and Galaxie 500's slow burning take on Ceremony are two of the few exceptions. Thurston's cover will join those ranks, a rather lovely and chilled out take on the song, starting out quite Byrsdy and ending with a restrained squall of acoustic guitars and feedback. Thurston recorded in his version in Salford, Sumner and Hook's hometown, dipping his scuffed Converse into the River Irwell and coming up trumps.

New Order recorded the original at Britannia Row in Islington in 1983 and it closed their Power, Corruption And Lies album, a quantum leap forward from 1981's Movement. Hooky's divine bassline and Bernard's acidic guitar spiralling around each other for ages before Bernard starts singing his plea for solitude. People often cite Age Of Consent and Your Silent Face as the singles that Factory should have released from Power, Corruption And Lies if Factory and New Order had been in the business of something as mundane as releasing songs as singles that had already appeared on albums. Leave Me Alone is right up there with those two songs, a gem surrounded by jewels.

Leave Me Alone

Friday, 13 September 2019

My Senses Are Sharp And My Hands Are Like Gloves

I was in a record shop recently- I know, a record shop, imagine!- and there was something horrible playing on the in-store sound system (1980s Queen I think, almost enough to make me turn round and walk out). But within a minute the horror ended and a familiar drum beat started up and I knew I was going to be in there, browsing the racks, for at least the next ten minutes.

The song was Television's Marquee Moon, title track of the group's 1977 album, a record that is a key NY punk record but doesn't really sound anything like punk. Tom Verlaine and Richard Quinn's guitar playing is jagged and sharp, precise but fluid guitar solos and single notes, none of the fast thrash of The Ramones, the slashed chords Stones-isms of the New York Dolls. Verlaine's vocals are thin and expressive. The vox, twin guitars, bass and drums are all perfectly balanced. In the song Marquee Moon the band pull off some ace, super sharp stop- start sections while Verlaine drawls about Cadillacs pulling out of graveyards, darkness doubling and lightning striking itself, and the parts where his voice is left alone 'just waiting' and 'hesitating' are stunning.

The first side of the album is so good that on the occasions I play it I rarely get to turn it over, See No Evil, Venus and Friction setting up the way into the title track. I don't think anyone involved in the making of Marquee Moon ever did anything as good afterwards which must be a terrible thing to live with in one way but a brilliant thing too.

The only other occasion I've posted anything by Television I posted Marquee Moon and while that was many years ago I'll post something different just for difference's sake. All I said before about the music is true on Venus, the twin guitars, the dynamics and the electricity plus Verlaine's lyrics and delivery- the line about Richie saying  'we could dress up as cops, just think what we could do' followed by Verlaine's 'you better not'. There's also the pay off of the chorus as he falls 'into the arms of Venus de Milo'.


Thursday, 12 September 2019

Autumn Sweater

Indian summer yesterday, autumn sweater today. In 1997 Yo La Tengo released I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One, a double album of perfectly formed New York indie rock. Within the four sides of vinyl lies possibly their best song, certainly one of their most affecting.

Autumn Sweater seems to tell the story of a couple who've reached the end of the road and the regret that that entails. Songs about relationship break ups and endings are ten- a penny but Ira Kaplan manages to find a new way to express something about this opening verse

'When I heard the knock at the door
I couldn't catch my breath
Is it too late to call this off?

We could slip away
Wouldn't that be better
Me with nothing to say
And you in your autumn sweater'

Songs about relationship break ups and endings a ten a penny but Ira Kaplan manages to find something new to say in the opening verse. There's insecurity in there, not knowing what to do, wanting to turn the clock back and a feeling that escape would be for the best- and the thing that sticks in his mind most is a piece of clothing. The sense of loss comes through again in the middle eight section...

'I'll try hard, I'll try always
but it's a waste of time
it's a waste of time if I can't smile easily
like in the beginning
in the beginning'

Musically there's just bongos, drums and organ- from the opening drumbeat and shakers to the descending chords and fuzz part, nothing is overcooked. A mini masterpiece. What's more you can hear the leaves turning brown. 

Autumn Sweater

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Indian Summer

This mix from Rich Lane is the perfect way to spend two and a half hours today, a midweek pick-me- up, lots of chuggy end of summer tunes, some head nodders, beard strokers and foot tappers. There's a possibility that some warm, even hot, weather is on it's way, thanks to those Saharan heat plumes.

Prequels - Rich Lane / (Cotton Bud)
9:AM (Rich Lane Remix) - Did Virgo feat. Johanna / (La dame Noir)
Araf - The Long Champs / (tici taci)
Irusu - Thoughtless / (Reinhardt)
Penumbras (Noche Remix) - Utopyk & El Fulminandor / (Fulmen)
The Science of Plants (Peza Remix) - Kieren Holden / (tici taci)
Trapped (feat. Snem K) - Duncan Gray / (tici taci)
Sleepstream (Ewan Pearson Remix) - Languages / (Days of Being Wild)
Dumb It Down - Rich Lane / (Cotton Bud)
La Nuit Des Tropiques (Field Of Dreams Remix) - Les Crocodiles / (Pleasure Unit)
Duncan Gray - Long Haul / (tici taci)
Jack Butters - Rotten Road / (tici taci)
The Long Champs - A Postcard / (tici taci)
Just Want to Touch (Cabaret Nocturne Remix) - Two Mamarrachos / (Nein)
Touched By The Hand of Cicciolina (Rich Lane Cotton Dub) - Pop Will Eat Itself / (unofficial remix)
Toucan (Mr BC Remix) - Quantal / (Sub:Sonic)
Power To The People (Markus Gibb Remix) - Pardon Moi / (Roam)
Imani's Dress (Original Mix) - Satori / (Crosstown Rebels)
Around Me (Rich Lane Cotton Dub) - ONUKA / (unnoficial remix)
Erotica Nervosa (feat. Sarah Rebecca) - Duncan Gray / (tici taci)
Plague Of The Zombies - Scientist / (Greensleeves)
City of Culture - Rich Lane / (Cotton Bud)
Tecno Misógino (Bufi Remix) - Moderna Y Theus Mago / (La dame Noir)
Gorian Dray (MontCosmik Remix) - Monoblock & PLSKTR / (Play Pal)
Subtractive Ocean - Dark Strands / (From the forthcoming album 'Lights Out')