Thursday, February 25, 2010


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


(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


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


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.


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


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


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


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... 


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


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?