Sunday, December 12, 2010

Montgomery Chapel - Search Party



My new born based musical experimentation hasn't really reached the heights I had hoped it might. In fact beyond the occasional foray into the late 70's disco based inferno or dip into mid-period Neil Young our house has been as quiet as a mouse.

One thing that hasn't been as quiet as a mouse or in fact quiet in any way what so ever is my still nameless son. Some days he sounds like a lamb with it's neck trapped in a barbed wire fence, some days it's closer to an air raid siren. I've actually tried 'getting in to it'.

It was the middle of the night and the scream was in full effect.

'If this was a Merzbow record...Imagine it's an alto saxophone... Pretend it's Alvin Lucier' I thought.

Didn't work. In fact the entire internal dialogue was pointless as Japanese porn with it's annoyingly high-pitched moaning 'schoolgirls' and pixelated pubic areas.

Hard to believe I have a life-time of this as I honestly have no idea how I am not going to puncture my ear drums with a geometry compass or one of those things my wife uses to make sure that the insides of jacket potatoes cook through.

Anyway, one thing that did slip through the net was the CD reissue of Montgomery Chapel's 'The Search Party'. Apparently it's a bootleg and the Erebus record label is a new front for the guy that did all the UK prog bootlegs on Radioactive a few years ago. If it is we should lay siege to Amazon and rise up and stab them with the pointy edges of our broken CD cases because that's where I got it from. Forget the student riots over tuition fees,'potentially pirated Xian space folk' is the real issue here.

I don't condone musical piracy, that's the reason for the lack of MP3s on this site (that and a lack of basic understanding of how you might put MP3s on a blog) but if this hadn't been released (rather shadily) then I for one would never have heard it which would have been a massive shame because it's really rather good.

It's out of tune lo-fi West Coast psyche inspired genius for the most part. Yes there's some shit filling in the gaps of awesomeness but don't let that put you off checking this. There appears to be very little information out there about this band, which is good, it means I can make stuff up...

The lead singer was called Snowflake Jackson and she was a born-again ex- go-go dancer who stole money from the mob to make this record in an attempt to spread the message of our lord to a wider audience through this private pressing. She employed the help of three other members of her congregation none of whom had ever picked up instruments in their lives but instead relied on the guidance of Jesus Christ to show them how to make chords and blessed musical shapes.

Sadly this dream was short lived as a few days after the modest launch party the mob caught up with Snowflake and glued her to the tracks of the roller-coaster on Santa Cruz pier before running a car over her. They found her head in the candy-floss maker.

There really isn't much else aside of a sinister back story that could make this record, I mean CD any more exciting. The Xian angle is toned down to the point of depressing so it's in no danger of being a buzz killer. In fact the entire package from the cover to the tempo says 'pagan witch cult' way more than it does 'praise the lord' so don't let the the worry of accidentally being bathed in the light of our lord Jesus Christ when you listen to it put you off.

Well impressed with this, even if I did sound a lot like Violent J from ICP in that last paragraph.

'Fucking magnets, how do they work?'

Oh and lucky for me my vinyl based format snobbery is on a temporary hold because a copy of this goes for north of $1200.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

MY NEWBORN BABY Vs FAUST IV



Less than a year ago I was leaning out my apartment window despite of the snow drinking red wine and playing Faust IV really, really loud. Did I honestly think than only a few months later my world would have changed so much? That's a negatory.

Let me start by dispelling a few myths about the birth process. Yes, I know this 'blog' is about vinyl records and that shiny new Dutch invention, the saviour of the music industry the CD but if you ever go there or already have the inside track this might be worth your time.

When a baby comes out it is purple, it has a point head (just like Jefferson Airplane said) and it's covered in goo. It looks at you silent and exhausted with black eyes with an expression that can only say 'what the fuck?'. This is a far cry from any Hollywood or soap based pregnancy, no smiling pink and healthy little man, instead you are faced with something that could well be an extra from a bad Sci-fi horror.

The bonding, the serotonin rush of unadulterated chemical love.... Again, not something that necessarily happens straight out the gate. In total honesty my first night as a parent was spent wondering why my wife was holding a plastic stunt baby and me trying to work out if there was any way to reverse the whole process.

Day 2 on the other hand, when I held him. Not something I can describe beyond saying I have never felt so alive or unconditionally in love. I don't know his name, (for now we call him MR X like the Ultravox song) but I do know that I am a proud father and more than that a guardian, the Secret Service agent willing to take a bullet for his very own little Richard Nixon.

Anyway, back to that night in German, my leaning out of he window trying to annoy the overly noisy club goers below by playing Faust IV...

A few people including Julian Cope formerly of turgid and foppish New Romantic's 'The Teardrop Explodes' have this in their 'Top Hot Kraut' lists, one guy in particular, a german music journalist from way back, I forget his name (tell stories much?) has this as his all time favorite album ever. Would love to know why? For me it sways between half decent but 'done better' to utterly unlistenable. In fact my soul reason for choosing it was to aggravate the lederhosen wearing idiots below: A kind of declaration of sonic warfare along the lines of the US military attempting to oust that Southern dictator by playing Twisted Sister really loud.

It's just not very good. It's obvious, outdated and done better.

'Would you care to expand on that?'

Not really I'm off to see if I can find a Ramones baby grow instead.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fuck!

Erm, so my wife's waters just broke and she's in labour . Out of interest I was listening to some ridiculous late 70's French synth compilation that did not incidentally come out on vinyl.

The thing about french synth wave or dark wave is that it's a little bit fruitier or warmer than the stuff coming out of say German or Belgium at the same time. It's also clumsy in the respect that a lot of the lyrics just plain don't make sense..

Oh, no, here we go. This one is going to have to wait.

Holy fucking fuck.

ROYAL TRUX - SWEET SIXTEEN

And another?

I'll be honest, I'm killing time while my wife paces the room, gets down on all fours or sits on a pile of cushions five feet high. She's slowly going in to labour. The plus side is that the house is spotless, apparently they call it 'nesting': Whilst I haven't woken up at 4.00am to find her scrubbing the kitchen ceiling (supposedly this is not unusual) everything is neat, tidy and in its place ready.

Ooooh! There goes another one. They are still a good 15 minutes apart at the moment as we are still coming out of 'False Labour'. No I'm not referring to those cunts led by the Hamburglar's body double that we only just ousted from power (arumpatish!) Apparently It's some kind of bodily fake-out. Labour but not labour. Anyway, I'm rambling. To be honest I am doing anything I can to take my mind off what's coming. Not in a bad way, I'm not in denial, it's more of a self preservation kind of way. I honestly think that if I sat sober in a cold room and dwelled on what happens next for more than a few minutes I'd shit my pants. Excited? Fuck yes. Prepared? What as in do we have a stroller? Yes. Prepared mentally? Fuck no!

Anyway, another great album that didn't get a look in on vinyl 'Sweet Sixteen' by Royal Trux. The fact that this bad boy never made it onto everybody's format of choice is nothing short of a mystery. In fact as and when I get to heaven and meet The Baby Jesus it's first on my list of questions.

'Come my child, you have led a kind and gentle life, now I welcome you to heaven, do you have any questions?'

'Well, there is just the one....'

(Two actually if you count Lembit Opik's unfathomable and continued success with the ladies)

That to this day 'Sweet Sixteen' is the only Royal Trux LP not available on....LP. It's fucking retarded. I mean didn't they think to reissue it around the time of the Weird's War album or the first RTX (Jennifer post Trux) record?

It's absence remains a crying shame.

Sonically 'Sweet Sixteen' is Royal Trux's most ambitions record. There is so much going on at any one time that multiple listens will identify layers that you didn't thing were there the first time.

'Is that a marimba?'

It's still dirty and somehow lo-fi but it's an all together different ball game from 'Twin Infinitives' era Trux. It's the same blueprint, it's made with the same fucked beyond fucked post-Stones 'up all week in the same clothes' stylings but this time out two heroes are joined by what sounds like a cast of thousands... well okay, four or five maybe. This is the '70s rock' record, stadium filling pomposities coated in coke and triple live concept albums.

Oh, we're going for a walk to try and induce real Labour....

Holy shit it's cold out there - Weather man says minus 17 and snow on it's way.

Anyway, where was I? The story goes that the Trux made this record deliberately over-baring and in-accessible in an attempt to get out of their record contract, a kind of 'Metal Machine Music' fuck you. But if that really is the case, they failed massively because the likes of 'Morphic Resident' and 'Golden Rules' are the band at their best.

How are you supposed to prepare mentally for father-hood? Well there's a million books out there, a few decent films like 'Away we Go' and okay, I can only think of 'Away we Go'. I'm sure there are seminars, counciling sessions and the like but really what's that actually going to do other than take up 'transitional time'? The last 'me time' until I'm pensioned off to some retirement home to piss my pants and argue over the remote.

Ha! I'm going to read this back in a few months and feel bad. In the meantime I'm going to listen to the Royal motherfucking Trux.

SPAIN - SHE HAUNTS MY DREAMS




Right so first out the gate..

Without my disappointing change in policy this honest to God slice of amazingness would never have graced these pages. For whatever reason Spain never saw fit to release their second effort on vinyl. I used to lie awake and wonder why? Maybe they forgot, more plausibly it could be that the good folks at Restless Records told Spain that they had and Spain went to bed happy, content that they had succeeded in creating the greatest break up record of all time across all formats. Wow, I bet they were pretty bummed when they saw it come back from the pressing plant as a cassette and CD only...

Spain 'Hey did you guys here our new record?'

Everyone 'No, but we saw your CD was out...'

Yeah, that's fucked. Nearly as fucked as the conversation Neil and Jennifer must have had when Sweet Sixteen hit the shops.

Anyway, despite this 'She Haunts My Dreams' is out there in a pocket sized, take it to parties and wow your friends friendly format... Not that I would suggest playing this at a party for a second, not unless the guests were recovering from heartbreak, a death in the family and or on diamorphine.

I don't want to sound too much like I have Spain's balls in my mouth although yes, admittedly that is the way it's going. She Haunts My Dreams' is a one trick pony. A mono-tonal pean to lost love and heart break, nothing more and nothing less. But holy shit, it does it so well. Its beautiful. It's Sinatra's 'In the Wee Small Hours' for the 2000s. Yes the lyrics border on bad Grade School poetry in parts and there isn't a single unnecessary note or flourish but this stripped down restraint is part of the magic.

I first heard this back in 2000 and was introduced to it by a record shop colleague who had been rotating between this and whatever Pinback were doing at the time for a week or so. After a couple of listens I was hooked, to the extent that for a long time this was one of six or seven CDs that I owned.

What can I say, I've had sex to it, been dumped to it, drunk copious amounts of red wine to it and looked out the window on a winter morning hung over as fuck to it.

'She Haunts My Dreams'

Does what it says on the tin.

PHILIPS INTRODUCE THE COMPACT DISC!


NO, REALLY.

I've been toying with the best way of breaking this, mulling over, deleting half written entries -Half cocked explanations of my change in policy, whilst scratching my head. After a couple of months of living with this life-alering changer in policy I have decided that the best thing to do is just come out and say it.

I have resumed the purchase of Compact Discs.

I know, what the fuck? Right? Only six months ago that I suggested there might be a link between international terrorism and the CD. But there you go, I have fallen back in with that now nearly dead format of school girls and house wives.

Part of me feels like that guy at the back of the Dylan concert back in 1966 'Judith!', the other half, or just over half is pretty smug about it all. Why? Well have you seen how cheap CDs are nowadays? Ever since the MP3 meant that music could rain magically from the sky and directly into your computer nobody is buying them, nobody. That makes for a pretty healthy hunting ground in my new and digital remastered opinion.

It also takes the edge off the fact that two of my better sources for interesting vinyl have dried up, One due to geography and one at the hands of a caped Phantom of the Opera like character who has a gift for raping the bins and exiting stage left with anything even half decent before I'm even out of bed. This coupled with my distaste for vinyl re-issues goes some way to explaining away my turn-coat actions, It just makes sense. Not least because I can now listen to music I always imagined was out of reach. In retrospect it seems nothing short of perverse that I refused to budge from my single-minded vinyl only (and no reissues) approach in the first place. But then hey, what's life without opinions and discipline?

SO now to get on with enjoying this new-found technology, this compact, space and pocket friendly every-man alternative without sounding too much like Lord Haw Haw of course....

Saturday, September 11, 2010

THE FLIRTATIONS - THE FLIRTATIONS


So lets turn this shit up yo.

The first time I heard 'Nothing But a Heartache' was at a very low budget Northern Soul night above a pub in the Derbyshire town of Chesterfield about fifteen years ago. I seem to remember the music being played on one of those 'Disco Van' two turn tables and a microphone all-in-ones perched atop a randomly flashing home made light-box. I might be wrong but the entire proceedings definitely had an early evening tenth birthday party feel, to the extent where if the beer had been served in plastic beakers with a side of crisps and fairy cake it wouldn't have been massively out of place.

The sound was terrible and the majority of the clientele as clueless as I was: Not a bowling shoe, vest or baby powder puddle in sight (not a bad thing). Even so I still managed to get shit from somebody who was more 'Northern Soul' than I was (not exactly difficult) for dancing to it 'all wrong'. My interpretation of the music had been very much 'Elvis '68 comeback' hips and flailing arms. Apparently this was not how it was done...

Anyway, the song came to an end I asked the guy with the confusingly heavy metal hair and collection of 7" carry cases what I'd been listening to. I promptly forgot the name but not the song and after a couple of bad karaoke iterations to friends in the know managed to track down a copy of the album it appears on.

I'd like to be able to review the entire album, say that each track on it lives up to the promise of the record's opener. That the masterful orchestration and genuine sound of almost punk like urgency that makes the title track so compelling resonates through out but I can't. Truth be told I have never managed to get past that first track. Not because I have heard the first few bars of whatever comes next and opted out but because I can't help but skip back to the start in order to relive the total, utter and complete fucking glory of 'Nothing But a Heartache'. In the unlikely event that you don't know what I am talking about 'Nothing But a Heartache' goes something like this...

video

No, I have no idea why they are on the set of a Black Sabbath photo shoot either but I am already searching Ebay for a bright orange fitted jump suit. It's only a matter of time before this song ends up as a bi-line, a sampled beat or backbone to some Beyonce bullshit musical poison in the same way The Four Season's 'Beggin' got re-appropriated by Madcon and then played out and to death so enjoy it while you can, before it' selling you some shoes you really don't need.

THE EAGLE HAD FUCKED OFF


Or rather I have fucked off from 'the eagle'.

So why the long pause?

Nervous breakdown? So shocked by the piss-poor re-mastering of Duran Duran’s self titled debut that you have been unable to face daylight since it’s release?

Well there was that, but the main reason for my taking the foot off the proverbial gas was that my ramblings were in danger of turning into a diatribe of my seething hatred for my surroundings and circumstance. Thankfully both have since changed for the better and I can now say from safe distance:

FUCK BAVARIA AND FUCK A CERTAIN SPORTS FOOTWEAR BRAND.

But rather than going into deep and personal detail about the trials and tribulations of the past 24 months and how re-locating to ‘that’ part of Germany was the worst decision of my formative years, I will breathe deep and move on safe in the knowledge that what didn’t kill me at least armed me with an enviable collection of interesting Brazilian and German records.

I can’t let ‘Ze Deutcher experience’ go completely though, it has after-all stained me, filled me with such disdain for certain people, systems and situations that my experience will no-doubt provide teeth-grinding reference points throughout my witterings. But for now at least consider it ‘parked’. Besides, this is supposed to be a blog about listening habits and not my all consuming desire to set fire to the place I used to work.

So moving on, I also felt it important to revisit and re-activate 32prm because I now have a different angle, an ace in the hole, a perspective that was not there before. NO, I didn’t become a Wings completist and shell out a grand for the picture disc of ‘Back To The Egg’…. I am going to be a dad. A Goddamn shit-sucking dad.

Each father before me has uttered the same weary and tired-eyed line ‘It changes everything y’know…’ So safe in the knowledge that my world really is about to be turned upside down for ever, lets see what it does to my listening habits…

Oh and as a footnote. It hasn't escaped me that it is 'that' day. RIP WTC Krew, my thoughts are with you as always.

Monday, April 19, 2010

SHUT DOWN



Executive decision made. Won't be updating 32rpm for the forseeable future. Am growing a huge beard and thinking of starting a Cult though if anybody is interested?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

JAZZ SUNDAY







Today started with the best of intentions, early rise, go to the gym, make a start on my ever growing 'things to do list'. My first mistake was getting up late and starting the day by trying to clean my bike in the bathroom shower, my second was deciding to cook dinner while my bike dried.

The problem with cooking with wine is that it is physically impossible (if you have a mouth) to not drink said wine whilst cooking. Given that I was already one glass of red down by midday the chances of me ever seeing he treadmill or that thing from Empire Strikes Back that is supposed to improve upper body strength are zero.

So what to do? Well the kitchen is a mess, I have a glass of Italian red in front of me and I am now on my third 'Jazz' record of the day. That makes it 'Jazz Sunday'. I have never had a Jazz Sunday before but a good friend of mine swears by them, not every Sunday of course, the only things that should happen every Sunday are fairy cakes and 'Last of the Summer Wine'.

Anyway, onto my 'Jazz Sabbath'.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

CELESTE BOURSIER-MOUGENOT AT THE BARBICAN, LONDON

video
So this is the thing I went to a couple of weeks ago at the Barbican. No idea who the guy with the girls name is but this was really well worth a look, even if we did have to wait in line for over an hour.

The basic idea is that he gets birds to unwittingly play human instruments by landing, shitting and or building nests on them. The effect as you can see was surprisingly coherant.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

LAURA ALLAN - REFLECTIONS


Right. I've set myself a task: Review the Laura Allan album in the time it takes my ravioli to boil. Why? You might ask. Well it's challenges like this that keep us on our toes, give us the edge so that if ever we should need to do mind-battle with other-worldy creatures we are ready. My body might be that of a tired and approaching middle aged man but there is no reason (degenerative mental illness aside) that I shouldn't have the mind of a mother fucking ninja well into my 90's.

Monday, April 5, 2010

SCOTT WALKER - SCOTT


It made sense to continue my Easter listening with something in a similar vein, vocally led and easy on the ear. An afternoon spent reshuffling my records and realizing I don't currently have a copy of 'Fifth Dimension' pulled this out. I got very enthusiastic about this about a year or so ago when I re-discovered 'Such a Small Love' the second track on side 2. It's a very rare thing indeed - A perfect song. So what about the rest of the album. To be honest I don't think I have listened to this in it's entirety since college.

BRIDGET ST JOHN - ASK ME NO QUESTIONS


I might be wrong, but I think it all started with The Animal Collective. After much musical squirming to fit their particular peg into the 'Mainstream Alternative hole' they finally became music press darlings about five or six years back. With them they dragged much from the past, Vashti Bunyan, The Incredible String Band and to a lesser extent and through lazy press name checking rather than anything else, Bridget St John. I suppose a one sentence review of the above might read: 'Bit like a female Nick Drake' but then that would be selling BSJ, for that is how I intend on referring to her for the duration of this review.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

DUSTY SPRINGFIELD - DUSTY IN MEMPHIS

It's been a quiet couple of weeks in the wonderful world of the unhealthily obsessed. I did manage to take a mid 70s press of 'Bryter Layter' off the wall of the Soho branch of MVE at the weekend and yesterday I got the Marvin 'Hannibal' Peterson LP I'd been after for a while but aside of that, all quiet on the Western Front.

That said there was a period of about 40seconds last night when I thought that one of the big numbers on my Vinyl bingo card was finally going to get crossed out in blobbly red marker pen. I was in the always unpredectable, often over-priced tatt store 'Music and Books' flicking through the 'Justins' when I came across a copy of the first Ash Ra LP. Holy cock up a lamp-shade. At 30 Euros I decided it would have to be way beyond fucked for me not to take it home.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO 32 RPM! 1 YEAR OLD TODAY YES.

Ahem...

(Sung to the tune of the traditional 'Happy Birthday')

'Happy Birthday to me, yeah that's fuckin' right... Cos it's been a year today, since I did my first post.'

Has it really been an entire year since I first got the idea to document my listening habbits? Well, according to the Gregorian calendar, yes... yes it has!

So, am I any wiser? Have I come close to making any sense of it all? Finding reason behind the pointless compulsion, behind the seemingly endless collecting of neatly packaged music-based ephemera? No.

Monday, March 22, 2010

RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK - PREPARE THYSELF TO DEAL WITH A MIRACLE

So it's been a tough week for reviewing records, not least because my aurally focussed time has been taken up in the main part by reassessing the first three Metallica albums on CD. Much as I would like to tell you about how well certainly 'Ride the Lightning' and 'Master of Puppets' have stood the test of time and how Cliff Burton shits all over Phil Lynott I can't, for the simple reason said listening pleasure was had by means other than vinyl. Stupid I know but without rules what are we? I review a CD and we are one step closer to total chaos, just like on that film about the guy who is trying to escape from that futuristic prison island. I think it's called 'Escape From Futuristic Prison Island'.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

ROLLIN RECORDS - WEST WICKHAM, LONDON


So I've actually visited this place twice in the past month or so and only narrowly managed to avoid making it a hatrick this weekend. Why? Because 'Rollin Records' is a pretty fucking good record shop. It's not cheap but then if it was it would be empty. It's certainly not local - Took me about 90 minutes each way from Camden but it is well worth a visit, should you be stuck with a few hours to kill one Saturday (NOTE: They close at 5.00pm) my advice is hop on a train to West Wickham and get elbow deep in the racks.

So what does makes this place so special? For starters the Mr Rollin (Whose real name I imagine to be Dave) is one of the few people out there who seems to know what 'Mint' means. None of that piss-poor psuedo-American grading here: If it doesn't look like it just came out of a still smoking time-machine fresh from a trip to 1967 then it isn't mint, that simple.

I won't bore you with a list of my purchases, but I did come away feeling a bit like a big bass fisherman from the cover of Angling Times.

'It was this big!'

(And I am no longer looking for Unhalfbricking, Five Leaves Left or S.F Sorrow)

As well as an interesting stock 'Rollin' prooves an enjoyable place to shop. Friendly owner, attractive wife both of whom are totally accomodating, there are browsing stools for the lower racks and if that's not enough they have a more than adequate discount policy if you are buying a few records.

There's even a decent chippy across the road so you can have pie and chips while you wait for your train back to Cannon Street station to show up, what more could a man want? In fact the only down side I can think of is that they are strictly cash only and the nearest cash machine is about ten minutes walk away, still it's all good exercise.

Not sure when the above was taken but you will be releived to know that they no longer sell guitars - Guitars get in the way of records, they have a habit of falling over when you least expect it and besides a record shop that sells guitars is the same as a Video rental shop that sells Film based fancy dress (which come to think of it is as close to a bankable business plan as I have ever had).

Anyway, for some reason this is shaping up to read almost like honest to god 'copy', makes me wish there had been a fire or at the very least a mysterious smell anyway, I might as well end it in the same tone...

Come to 'Rollin Records' because I honestly can't think of a better record shop in or around London... And that's saying something.

BLUE CHEER - VINCEBUS ERUPTUM

So exactly what the difference between 'the birth of heavy metal' and a dull and elongated electric blues jam is I do not know. 'Vincebus Eruptum' is cited by some as the starting point of all things metal, a pre-cursor to Sabbath a slow distorion-laden exercise forming the 'A for apple' at the start of the heavy metal alphabet. So why does it sound so much like 'boogie woogie'?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

MAGMA - ATTAHK


In the words of the great Nickelback 'it's been a while'. I did write an aborted entry that explored in great detail the pros of removing Beyonces head with a bread knife but when it came to justifying it, it wasnt that I couldn't, but more that I shouldnt let such trivial things as that fact that I actually believe her to be the devil bother me. So that particular slice of music based torture-porn will at least for now stay in my 'draft' box.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

RECORD PALACE OF AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS


So last week saw me in the fair city of Amsterdam for work based reasons and on Thursday night I found myself with just over an hour between leaving work and a business based dinner. Hmmm, what to do? A former resident of the city I was armed with two things: The knowledge that Thursday night is late night shopping night and a mental map of at least nine record shops within the city limits. Before even plotting a course I found myself marching briskly alongside a canal in the rough distance of 'record shops'.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

BEATLES - YELLOW SUBMARINE


(This is them circa 'Magical Mystery Tour' before you get upset)

'Chart wise' at least this is generally considered as The Beatles 'crappest' album and whilst this isn't the only reason for it's inclusion here this fact certainly helped in my decision to dedicate column inches to a review of it. Why? Because despite them being insanely listenable and directly responsible for the shape of modern music, I am not a Beatles fan. Why? Because they are the Manchester United of the music world? I think that's fair but no, it's because when something becomes so over explored, analysed and revered it looses much of its appeal.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

IGGY POP - ZOMBIE BIRDHOUSE

IggyPopZombieBirdhouse.jpg image by GothBrooks
Over recent years Iggy has reinvented himself as a man of the people. His baby friendly face is now the thing of insurance adverts, the new Iggy could quite happily sit on a bill of the Royal Variety Performance without raising a single eyebrow. And despite this being a million miles away from his trailer park roots, his appetite for heroin or the fantastic insanity of his out and out nihilism I wish him nothing but well. Is it selling out? Who gives a fuck. He's 63. I don't think it's asking too much to afford the guy who invented The Stooges a little bit of grace here. Despite there being something of a grey area in his output a world without him would be Pottery Barn with a Coldplay soundtrack.

Monday, February 15, 2010

CLUSTER - CLUSTER '71

So this is actually the 1980 reissue of Cluster's first album. My defence for owning this particular beast? The sleeve of the original is massively shit. It looks like bad robot art. I mean not to say this is much better but it does have a certain DIY aesthetic that is an improvement on the first press. I picked this up in the US when I was going what I call 'Ebay crazy'. It was around the time that the GBP and the US Dollar were going two for one and despite being paid in US Dollars I talked myself into believing that everything everywhere in the US was in fact half price.

GAL COSTA - GAL

The thing I like most about Tropicalia stalwart Gal Costa is that she has not just one but two eponymously titled albums, 'Gal Costa' and 'Gal' (as in Costa). That is the kind of nihilistic behaviour that can only be matched by calling your first studio album 'The Best of: Double Live'. 

I will skip the politics and the revolution, the imprisoned musicians and the giant tea cup Rogerio Duprat is holding on the front of the scene setting 'Tropicalia' compilation album and instead go for Brazilian music's neck, stabbing it repeatedly with my blue Biro pen...

Much of what came from the Tropicalia scene is below average. There I said it: At times it is little more than badly disguised Bossa Nova music wrapped up in third rate outsider art.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

KRAFTWERK - COMPUTER WELD


The screaming kids have replaced this morning's drunk revelers and once again I am up and about. There should be a saying 'Dead like a German Sunday'. I will refrain from using this as a forum to go off on the German Church again but thanks to those guys (worship and kebab's aside) there really isn't anything at all to do here on the Sabbath. So once again I am faced to find entertainment by making some sense of the wall of records that dominates my sitting room. I pull out a copy of 'Computer Weld' and think about cleaning the kitchen.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

SATURDAY NIGHT - MIDDLE AGED MAN'S AGORAPHOBIC MIX TAPE NUMBER 2


And so it begins again. What started as a search for my copy of 'The Velvet Underground' has turned into another 'Middle Aged Man's Agoraphobic Mix Tape'.

Why was I searching for the VU album I hear you ask? Was it perhaps to play the albums closer 'After Hours', a perfect soundtrack to the short days and apocalyptic weather that are currently suffocating my apartment? Was it to see which way Lou Reeds arm's are pointing on the back sleeve? (Apparently there are two different versions, one harder to find than the other - Amazing what you overhear at record fairs or not.) Nope, it wasn't because of that either. It's 'cos I just picked up a very nice early Stereo copy for ten Euros. Bit of a click here and there but still a lovely bit of history. But you already had a perfectly good copy of the record minus barcode? Yes but this one is a bit older....

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

TREES - ON THE SHORE


So I'm going to go out on a major limb here and say it...

'I want to fuck the chick out of Trees'.

There, it's done, I got it off my chest.

I have no idea what she looks like and my admittedly appalling maths tells me that she is anywhere between 60 and dead years old. Why such a wild and potentially flawed gambit? I hear you ask. Well Celia Humphris for I believe that is her name just presented me with the first music I have wanted to masturbate to since Belinda Carlisle did 'Leave a Light on'. Actually, wait, no. I did briefly flirt with the idea of banging one out to that Hillary Duff single from about five years back as well but anyway... 

TEST SUBJECT 2.b - ROB MARS (FORMERLY OLLIE GRIND OF CRUCIAL YOUTH) NEW YORK, NEW YORK


Rob pictured second from right

1.) Why do you think people become obsessive about records?

For me much of record collecting is about the hunt. This has become increasingly easier in the past 15 years with the internet making everything available to us. Prior to that I would be so excited to wake upon a Saturday morning and scour the bins at St Marks Sounds, VenusRecords, and all of the other NY record stores for any of the records onmy list. Records also have a great format to accompany the sleeve art. Once CDsbecame the new format for music it lost its magic. Noone really likes things that are small!

Monday, February 8, 2010

D.O.C RECORDS - HOLLOWAY, LONDON


Three days later I am still really not sure how to put this in to words. Occasionally I write reviews of used record retailers, worship the great, lament the better ones and have a bit of a dig at the shit shops (Da Capo of Berlin I am talking to you). What to do then when you are confronted by a shop so far from the mark you are forced to re-evaluate the past?