Tuesday, March 31, 2009

SLAYER - REIGN IN BLOOD

I was in one of those shitty high school heavy metal bands that changes it’s name every second week. Given that at the particular catholic school I attended there were six or seven people with instruments and a shared interest in all things metal the band usually consisted of any five, six or all seven of us. We used to practice in my mum and dad’s garage. Practice was peppered with quarter hourly ‘fag’ breaks and people randomly quitting the band, practice would usually end prematurely when the bass players amp blew a fuse and we would have to get a bus into town to replace it.

When it finally occurred to somebody to buy the fuses in bulk, practice ended prematurely due to a mutual craving for cheap lager, custard creams and family sized bags of crisps. These would be summarily gorged upon under a bridge (just like in that song) between my house and the local corner store.

On getting back no other excuse was needed not to play music as it was late and we were too noisy for late. Instead the evening would disintegrate into TV and more alcohol and in later years a trip to a pub called the anchor. Drunk, bored or tired we would retire, the rest of the ‘band’ sleeping on my bedroom floor or on camp beds.

And that’s when it would happen. Invariably and given that the alternatives were zero whoever had decided to quit the band that week would have over the course of the evening decided that he wanted to be back in the band. It was rare for anyone to object. There was only one hurdle facing the now ‘new member’.

I was fourteen when I first heard slayer ‘reign in blood’ the week it came out, totally dismissing it as being ridiculous. I believe the money went on a copy of Cinderella ‘night songs’ instead. Then a few weeks later a girl friend said she didn’t like the record and did I want it? To be honest I didn’t but it did mean my meager collection of records was now one louder so I said yes. Over time it grew on me and eventually led to an obsession with ‘thrash metal’ and then ‘hardcore’.

slowly the sound of rain and drums would fill the dark, silent and over-crowded bedroom. The rain and drums would be followed by a familiar high-scale and distorted guitar riff, shortly after came a second more highly pitched guitar and then, and then all fucking hell would break loose.

Deal was if you wanted to be back into the band you had to be ‘slayerfied’, being ‘slayerfied’ meant having the living shit kicked out of you for the duration of the title song ‘reign in blood’.

Looking back it was hugely gay: a pile of partially and invariably sweaty bodies clammering with fists, punching and occasionally kicking each other as dave lombardo’s drums beat out an unholy rhythm that non of us could hope to follow.

Despite the imagery, there were no hand jobs.

Aside of the two unknowns, of those sometimes involved, one became a chef, one does stuff with computers, one emigrated and one died.

‘reign in blood’ is really fucking good.

Monday, March 30, 2009

MILES DAVIS - IN A SILENT WAY


i just wrote the most awe inspiring review of the above and my log-in timed out before i published it. i logged back in and it said 'blog succesfully published', i clicked on my page and there was no blog. there was no blog.

my tribute to miles davis and what has to be contender for his greatest album is now gone, vanished into the nothingness. i'd like to think i could pull something cathartic from this experience, walk away from it like a buddhist monk might his sand drawing, tossed to the wind. as it is i am wiping spit from my monitor and cursing with fucks.

...and it's such a fucking shame. after today saw me sitting silent and lunch-less due to the worst offering of food this side of wormwood scrubs i likened 'in a silent way' to a cure for bad food, to a potential soundtrack to my daily canteen fuck-pit.

talked of years gone by where i would sit in the bath not fully understanding what i was listening to, can of cheap lager in hand.  shriveled penis, the water luke warm at best, the boiler being on the blink and the bath itself being  from the turn of the century and made of wrought iron. i would get out and dash wet foot prints across the sticky red rented carpet in order to turn the record over and hear the title track before returning to that shitty bath, bubbles fading due to the residue of cheap soap and beer turning to flat.

i like in a silent way, i think i bought my copy from relay records in bristol. relay was a great shop with great staff. i think it's a multi-storey car park now, i wonder if the guy with the long hair still pays in THEE HEADS.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

BEGGARS OPERA - ACT ONE ...IT'S SHIT



picture the scene, i am in nuremberg's 'music von cd und lp' or whatever it's called scouring 'act one's' sleeve notes between being wowed by the truly brilliant gatefold sleeve when i decided that i had to have this record. never occurred to me to play the record on the 'ten minutes and fuck off' in store listening post. the sleeve turned me into a true cavalier, i handed the guy the cash money and thought 'it's on VERTIGO and the sleeve is absolutely incredible how can this possibly go wrong?'

well at least there is no longer a 'beggars opera' shaped gap in my musical learning. 'act one' is a truly fucking rancid album. sounds like really, really bad ELP: orchestral prog taken to the edge of music school based wankery. honest to god, you can almost hear them sucking each other off.

if you are ever in a record shop and you see this record and you think 'i know, i'll check my *INSERT INTERNET FRIENDLY MOBILE PHONE HERE* and read the reviews on rateyourmusic.com' don't. those guys are fucking liars who got sucked into the same 'awesome album sleeve' trap that i did.

instead take the sleeve from the racks, ask to see the record and then rather than inspecting it for scuffs, spindle marks and scratches, place it carefully on the floor, pull down your pants, take a big fat steaming shit on it before calmly leaving safe in the knowledge that you have done god's work.

CLAUDINE - COLOURS

i knew the 'merry, merry month of... march' was special for something. it is, give or take a few days the 33rd anniversary of caludine longet's famous ski lodge 'mishap'.

march 21st 1976, aspen colorado - following a gak fueled argument claudine shot and killed her then husband vladimir 'spider' sabich (not to be confused with the drummer of 'comedy metal band' BAD NEWS, this 'spider' was in fact an olympic skier). anyway she walked and the state pen's lesbian communities loss was our gain. having intimate relations with with robert f and andy williams obviously pays dividends as well as gas bills. sadly she never kicked out the jams again opting for a quiet life away from the limelight... and one would like to think the powder.

the above, 'colours' claudine's 4th album bombed on release peaking at 155 in the US charts and sinking shortly afterwards. perhaps opting for the true english spelling of the album title confused the american music buying public sufficiently to condemn it to a premature death in the cut-out bins.

'coloooors, what the fuck is colooooors? i used to dig that claudine chick but colooooors. fuck that shit i'm buying me some sergio mendes, at least motherfucker knows how to spell.'

anyway. i like 'colours' and amongst the many softly spoken and aft whispered gems on here is what is for my money the best ever version of 'scarborough fair' (scarborouge fair, what the fuck is scarborouge fair?) and if that's not enough the record has one of those inter-active sleeves like phil collins' seminal 'no jacket required' that you can hold up to your face in front of the mirror and pretend to be said artist.

i pretended to be claudine for the first few tracks of 'colours' and can honestly say it was the kind of fun that really isn't so easy to come by in this the year of our lord 2009. it was a truly magical experience and almost like being there.

anyway, the rest of the album is just as good as 'scarborough fair' and ms. longet has to be commended for the kind of 'hauntingly sexual' delivery that you can only otherwise get if you order pizza from a dead hooker.

if i had anything else by said fair french maiden this would surely be the start of 'claudine week' but i don't so i cant. i might post her doing 'nothing to loose' from that racist peter sellers movie 'the party' though... if only for her utterly perfect hair and billion dollar legs...

you can still get this pretty cheap on ebay and there are re-issues out there, though if you get a re-issue there is every chance that you will spend eternity roasting in the black pits of hell, so don't say i didn't warn you.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

ELVIN JONES - POLY-CURRENTS

there i was in mississippi records in portland OR on an end of the month and totally skint 'i really am just looking today, this is strictly an exercise in browsing' type exercise when i happened across this bad-boy in the racks, 'alvin jones poly-currents'.

i think it was the look on his face that said 'take me home' and after all nothing says 'buy me' quite like a cheeky looking black guy in a leather waist coat accompanied by a very attractive asian lady hiding behind a rock.

...and i would love to know what was going on during the album sleeve shoot, some kind of free jazz game of hide and seek.

'elvin! can you see me? can you see me?'
'shut up woman and hand me my drum sticks.'

'poly-currents' is basically great.

drums... flute, drums!.. drums!.. drums!.. more drums!.. flute!

trumpet!... drums!... cymbals! (i think that strictly speaking cymbals falls under 'drums')

'agenda' the 13 minute 55 second opener says it all really. closer 'whew' is also something of a highlight, nice clean trumpet stabs and subtle brush drums until the saxophone comes in and takes things 'off road.' well worth not eating for a day or two for and as leonard feather the sleeve note guy says:

'time has already told us enough to make the point; all it takes is time expended in listening, carefully and repeatedly, to the music of Poly-Currents and the marvel of Elvin Jones'.

well there the fuck you go.

buy 'poly-currents' dress like a disco bin-man and maybe you to will find an attractive asian lady hiding under a rock, sure beats using mailorderbride.com.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

JOHN AND YOKO'S EXCELLENT 'BED'VENTURE

turns out it is 40 years to the day that john lennon and more importantly yoko ono staged their 'bed in'. plan was to stop the war in vietnam by staying in bed and doing precisely 'shit all'. sadly and with great surprise to all involved it didn't quite work... but the BEATLES did break up less than a year later so it wasn't a complete waste of time.

i used to live just around the corner from the hotel in amsterdam where they did the whole bed in thing and people used to say to me 'hey is that the place where john and yoko did that whole 'bed in' thing?' and i'd say 'yes, yes it is.'

five days of sitting in bed can get messy in all sorts of ways. i have often wondered but do not know what the toilet arrangements were, did going to the bathroom constitute a violation of the 'bed in' manifesto, was john forced to shit where he sat? (for those of you interested in hearing what that might sound like listen to the 1973 album 'rock n' roll', partially produced by wall of soundster and ladykiller phil spector)

what you also have to remember is that they were, at this point newly weds and that yoko ono, despite having the biggest bush in music (see 'two virgins' lp sleeve) was pretty hot. this would lead me to conclude that there was some kind of sex, potentially in front of the ever present media. this brings me neatly onto the above picture. now whilst they are obviously not having full intercourse something else may well be going on. if you look closely you will see three, not four hands, yoko's right hand is missing, under the sheets. add to that the vacant smirk on lennon's face and i know what you're thinking:

'OMFG! all round important artist, member of the fluxus movement, author and sometimes musician YOKO ONO is pulling off that guy out of the beatles in front of the world's media!'

and you are probably right...what we have is an honest to god hand-job and that hand job was 40 years to this very day.

DON CHERRY - HEAR & NOW

I'd like to say i bought this to see what trumpet blower and all round jazz master Don Cherry was doing in the year that the SEX PISTOLS broke and punk rock came into it's own. I didn't, i bought it because Don Cherry looks like a mildly retarded boy scout wearing his mom's christmas jumper on the front cover and I thought 'If this sounds even one tenth as good as it looks then this could be a contender for my all time hot fifty.'

Sadly it does not.

...This is not to say that 'Hear and Now' is bad by any means, it's just not the sound of a cross-dressing idiot boy with a thing for the scouting movement. It actually sails dangerously close to 'jazz fusion' and at times even 'funk'. it sounds scary but luckily there are moments of bizarre brilliance in there that manage to level it out into something exciting and listenable.

There's a theremin, some steel drums, a nice bit of what i shall call 'soul scatting' and the first track 'Mahakali' even even gets some heavy guitar, also and back to the heart of the matter there is no shortage of truly formidable trumpet work courtesy of the guy on the sleeve.

I wonder if he made that necklace himself?

I am listening as i write this and i have to say 'Surrender Rose' side 2 track 4 is lovely. Harps and angels, harps and angels. 

What 'Hear and Now' lacks is any kind of lengthy jam, most of the songs hover around a very respectable 5 minutes which means nobody can really break loose and destroy shit... And shit needs to be destroyed as don himself would tell you were he not busy looking like a cross between a children's TV presenter and the vacant and fully indoctrinated member of some transglobal love cult.... 

Oooh! congos and a Fender rhodes. 

I like this and can totally justify the 20 euros i paid for it off of ebay.de

In closing i rate it 52.6 out of  jazz

 

HOUSE BY THE EDGE OF THE AWESOMENESS


video

i just re-watched 'house by the edge of the park' which features the above scene and the song 'do it to me (once more)' which i am guessing is by RIZ ORLANDI the guy behind the rest of the soundtrack ... guessing. i could check the titles but i prefer the uncertainty, the mystery.

anyway, sometimes at boring parties or on long car journeys people do that whole 'if you could invite anyone dead or alive to a dinner party....' thing and people always say bullshit stuff like:

my dead grandad, einstein, jesus, pat benetar and john wayne...

fuck that shit. i have my answer right here.

...and i want dancing lessons off of giovanni radice.

for those of you who haven't seen 'house on the edge of the park', go see 'house on the edge of the park'. if you don't want to go and see 'house on the edge of the park' but want to pretend to people that you did see 'house on the edge of the park' so you can look cool at parties i have prepared the below:

SPOILERS

lady with short hair and white dress gets raped

brunette with red dress is about to get raped but doesn't and then later decides she wants it anyway

bald black chick says 'hot diggidy'

midget guy with girl hair and tall guy also with girl hair both get beaten up

awesome dancing dude gets stabbed with a straight razor but lives

guy from 'last house on the left' gets shot in the cock and does not live


hot diggidy.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

SPANDAU BALLET TO REFORM


wowzers! first TG and now SB. in this latest move of awesomeness from god we see SPANDAU BALLET get back together! its as if somebody read my secret wish list of secret wishes.

in all seriousness if they handle this right, ie: not like duran duran did. this could be both very lucrative and well worth a look.

i saw duran duran

'play rio! play rio!'

simon le bon ' hey fellas! let's play 'astronaut!''

and whilst it was a teenage girls wet dream they just didn't seem to understand the basics of a nostalgia based reformation... plus they canned andy taylor again a few months later making the appeal of ever seeing them again about zero.

anyway, tony hadley has promised us a 'new spandau ballet' and given they managed a visual rethink for everyone of at least the first four albums the judges really are out on which way this one might swing.

...just give us leather and fur and make sure you do 'communication'.

PLASTIC ONO BAND - LIVE PEACE IN TORONTO 1969

lets get the unpleasant part out of the way. side one of this live album is fucking junk. with the exception of 'cold turkey' it reads like a list of musical 'dont's'....

'blue suede shoes'
'money'
'dizzy miss lizzy'

...matters are compounded by the inclusion of eric 'slowhand' clapton  in the line-up. it's dirty, bad dirty.

side two on the other 'slow' hand is this fantastic watershed moment. 

it starts with john lennon addressing he crowd with a note of uncertainty in his voice, 'were gonna let yoko do 'er thing now!' shortly thereafter yoko does ''er thing'.

what makes this side of the album so wonderful is that the crowd are obviously there to hear BEATLES songs or at least watch the boy clapton wank his stratocaster but what they get for the latter part of the set is yoko turning her shit up to eleven.

yoko succeeds in challenging the crowds perception of popular music before the album ends in a hailstorm of feedback and more wailing. 

i like to imagine her standing there just before she starts up looking at the crowd thinking 'right you canadian college boy fucks, i am going to eat you and when i am done eating you i am going to take drugs and have sex with your favorite beatle.'

apparently there is accompanying video footage for this performance as well.

i rate it 47 out of 5.


Monday, March 23, 2009

RE: NICO - DRAMA IN EXILE

this is what i was talking about... 'back to mystery city' by hanoi rocks. i'm pretty sure somebody somewhere accidentally picked this up thinking it was that NICO album or vice versa. they both rule so way i see it everyone's a winner.

METRO - METRO....METRO


this record looks like it is going to be soooooo amazing. something about the parisienne writing and the slick hair and spring suits. i was expecting it to be the secret place that AIR came from, some kind of unspoken awesome slice of synthipop. 

....it kind of nearly is. 

but actually isn't at all really. problem is that somebody (and i am guessing the ugly guy who got demoted to an appearance on the inside of the gatefold sleeve only) was obsessed with sounding like theatrical aids-rockers QUEEN.

first song kicks off and i am all 'oh yeah....' and then somebody sounding suspiciously like brian may pipes up with what can only be described as a twattishly dramatic guitar sound destroying the song outright.

it does reign it back in but then by track 2 the singer has got a case of the 'is this a kind of magic's?' and is doing his best impression of the boy mercury.

track 3 is good to go but then wait... grand funk railroad are in the house. it's nothing that can't be forgiven but it's just not what i had expected from those 'fuck you' looking suits on the sleeve. they said 'moody moog music for burning working girls with cigarettes to'.

basically METRO could have ruled if they had reigned in the singer, shot the guitarist and....and is that a fiddle? ... there is an honest to god fiddle solo at the start of side 2. bumming.

this album  is okay at best.

it just tries to hard... are these guys scottish? i think they are scottish? WTF is with the name and the suits if they are scottish. trade description violation surely? i want french accents and the smell of gauloise and dirty, hairy sex. if they are scottish and you put this in to the context of what other bands in scotland were doing at the time this is lousy. SIMPLE MINDS were doing 'life in a day' around the same time these guys were 'news of the night at the day opera'.

definitely not the thing of legend but it looks pretty and i can always put it on EBAY with the word 'BEATS' or 'samples' in the title and sell it for twenty quid cos of the sleeve.

if you want to hear it play an early queen album... and then stab yourself with a plastic fork for playing an early queen album.

NICO - DRAMA IN EXILE

Nico! Nico! Nico!

So i don't know when she died but this is late so I am guessing she fell off her bike shortly afterwards. you only have to look at the sleeve to see that it's been a long few years since she was looking totally hot on the cover of 'Chelsea Girl'.

Anyway, great album. I waited a while to get this for a couple of reasons, first because the 'Nico' writing always looked a bit too 'New Wave' and that concerned me, and second cos its from 81.. Which is in retrospect probably why the 'Nico' font looks so worrying. There's something else about the sleeve, something not...quite....right.

....Shit, i know what it is, it looks just like a Hanoi Rocks album sleeve, 'Girls From Mystery City' or something. I'll post it at some point so i can do a nice compare and cotrast.

Anyway, fucking killer album. the opener 'Ghengis Khan' is the thing of awesomeness. Great Bowie sounding guitar opening before her well worn and life-tired voice kicks in.... Actually the opener is kind of like if Nico had done the theme music to 'Knight Rider'. Wow, imagine that and only instead of David Hasselhof, Knight Rider was actually Lou Reed circa 'Bells'.

'Hello Micheal'.

'Fuck you KITT and don't even think about asking me any questions about the Velvets... Now lets go cruise for gay sex.'

Anyway, this album destroys aside of a couple of cover versions on there that don't stack up too well.

Really nice surprise this.

I should start rating the records i post. if i was rating this it would get a good score.

Again if you want to listen to it go to your local record store and ask for a copy on record.

ASH RA TEMPEL STARRING ROSI


So this is basically that guy with the hair - Manuel Gottsching and somebody called Rosi... probably his girlfriend or something. 

So Ash Ra Tempel... i don't know everything about them but I think it's mostly this guy Gottsching, his hair and a couple of other guys also with hair.

This is one of those 'Cosmic Couriers' records, as in its part of somekind of series of records that says 'Cosmic Couriers' on it with a kind of Sun Ra/Saturn Research looking logo underneath. Again I need to read up more but from what i know the 'Cosmic Couriers' were basically a bunch of crazy drug-loving german guys with thick and luxurious hair trying to make 'space' music. 

Anyway, couple of killers on here, mostly the ones where Rosi sings. The opening track is one of those 'Oh shit, did I really just pay 25 Euros for this from CDandLP just cos of the cover?' moments but once its done sounding like the theme music from 'Top-gear' it picks up.

aAcouple of truly glorious moments on this, plus Rosi is hot and you totally would.

If you want to hear the album go and buy it on record from somewhere...

OH GOD WHY?

Hey! And welcome to 32RPM. It's a list of records that I happen to be listening to. Sometimes there will be pictures.