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....


I shall refrain from thinking too hard on the above and instead perhaps carve the word 'obsessive' into my forehead with an art knife after I've completed the task ahead:

Pick enough records at random to fill a 74 minute CD and see what comes out the other end...

God your interesting.

Yes, yes I am. You can call me 'Mr Funtime' if you like.

No, that makes you sound like a particularly low-budget male escort who has in-call premises minutes from Kings Cross Station and offers a special that might be called 'Wigan Ass Sandwich'.

'Uncle Funtime?'

'Oh yes, that's much better.'

So, onwards and upwards....

'Middle Aged Man's Agoraphobic Mix Tape Number 2'

First off the starting block is is Embryo with 'Warm Canto'. I have unintentionally set a very laid back mood, what sounds like the slow brother of 'Whiter Shade of Pale', Procal Harum with learning difficulties if you liket. It's a very loose Krautrock jam pulled together on occasion by an organ and what sounds like violin. very sombre, very downbeat, utterly in keeping with the city of fuck outside my window. Anyway, lets see what fate offers up for track two...

I run my fingers across a face of spines and pluck at random. Huh, Pink Floyd 'Meddle'. Not bad. 'One of These Days' actually dove-tails in really nicely even if David Gilmore does come very close to killing it stone dead with some Brian May-like guitar wankery. If this is a shape of things to come I'm going to have a veritable Hippy fest on my hands. A truly cosmic night in. Oh, I'm liking this.

Unrelated why is tinned soup so expensive in Germany?

So this time around I don't need to attempt to justify my actions: I know that this is not how Saturday nights are meant to be spent, I know that this is horribly antisocial especially given that I am 'supposed to be' at some new bar opening. But maybe this can be seen as a glorious fuck you to the norm, the expected. Yes that's right, I'm starting a social revolution by sitting on my ass and listening to music whilst drinking beer. Who knew that stimulating positive cultural change would be so easy. At this rate 'Strictly Come Dancing' will be punishable by death and Davinda MaCall's head will on a pole outside parliament by the end of the week. Ooooh Anarchy. But would a fascist police state really be the lesser of two evils? Yes. Yes it fucking would.

Rolling Stones - You Can't Always Get What You Want

Never a truer word spoken. Now where were we? That's right, back to swapping Davinda McCall's severed head for some social freedoms. Still sounds like a bargain to me and tonight I shall sleep and dream about the live televised execution of that shampoo advertising shit monkey.

The maudlin sound keeps a rolling as we head from the Stones assisted choirs of the previous track right into Flying Saucer Attack territory 'In The Light of Time' is one of the better songs on the album 'Further'. I always felt that FSA could have been so much better than they were. Like with much of their output 'Further' is patchy at best and unfashionable as it is to say so Mogwai did it so much better.

Holy Shit if the mix tape god isn't smiling down on me!

Pierre Henry 'Le Voyage' jumps from the shelf. This is Peter's concept album based around the Tibetian Book of the Dead. I believe the opening track 'Breathe' concerns itself with final breaths, spirits and shit. Anyway, much breathing, what sounds like flies and balloons being deflated, definitely one to play at parties this. Oh this is good, even if the gatefold sleeve does smell a bit moldy.

More poetry! Moebius and Plank 'Rastakrautpasta' and from it the albums opener 'News'. Awesomeness! I would be even more enthusiastic if my knuckle wasn't bleeding all over my keyboard. I cut it open slamming my window violently as some feeble show of discontentment at the beered up Germans outside. Why the fuck didn't the Marshall Plan make provisions for this? Blip, there it goes, my 'K' key just got a crimson make over.

Blood loss and shakey fingered typing aside this is really starting to come together. 'Candy Maker' chugs from the speakers. This Tommy James and the Shondells track from 'Travelin'' is a favorite and something that I would actually put on a comp. were I making one. Its Royal Trux through and through. Underrated band Tommy James and pals. It seems this evenings musical adventure is actualy evolving into a perfectly shaped statement of some sort, laid back, down-beat and ever so slightly cosmic.

I spoke to soon. Grace Jones is up. I'm not knocking her for a second but 'La Vie En Rose' from 'Portfolio' just blew my late night moody battleship out of the proverbial water. Continuity aside this is a stunner of a song.

Cold beer hisses open and middle finger is raised out the window in the direction of the nosiest club in Nuremberg. Fuck you ambivalent bouncer! I am listening to the crazy Jamaican with the man's hair and there is nothing you can do about it.

Ladies and gentlemen we apologize for that brief detour into Gay disco land, I am pleased to announce that we are back on course with Nico 'We've Got the Gold' from 'The End'.

Deadpan experimentation out of the way we move on to 'Fresh Maggots' and 'Rosemary Hill' from 'Fresh Maggots'... But it's a Re-issue! Traitor! sell out! Tell you what, send me your RCA copy and I'll gladly donate this to the Spastics. 'Rosemary Hill' is nothing short of a shining star. It is what I can only describe as worryingly beautiful and no, I have no idea what that means.

And now there is blood on my sofa.

Mythos just launched us into space with 'Robot Nurse' from their Quasar album. Interesting record this and something that will get it's own review in the very near future. It sounds a lot like somebody took the theme music from the Krypton Factor and decided to turn it into afully blown concept album. Good work Mythos. Not sure if this is where The Locust got their keyboard sound from or not but its exactly the same.

Next up, Suicide is in the house! Okay this was actually about the fifth record I pulled out but things seemed to be going so well I really didn't want to drop a Ramones shaped spanner in the works and spoil the flow, I opt for 'Rocket USA'. I firmly believe that if Sigue Sigue Sputnik hadn't handed he rains over to Pete Waterman for their second album they would be remembered just as fondly as Rev and Vega. 'Flaunt It' has become something of a main stay on my Ipod and it's fucking tight.

Once again I have rigged the vote. Broadcast 'Still Feels Like Tears has to come next. It is the perfect evolution. What is weird is that there are far too many blue looking record sleeves, I mean it's almost spooky, especially when I just pulled Eddie Gale's 'Ghetto Music', another blueish sleeve. The track 'The Rain' is this odd spiritual folk jazz anomaly all detuned acoustic guitars and gospel wailing sandwiched between trumpet attacks. It destroys planets, once again my mix tape is fully operational.

So the length of the opener means that the next song is the last, the closer, the pay-off. So lets see what it is. Back to the rules for this parting shot and no cheating....

Okay, so I cheated. It was the Butthole Surfers but seeing as they featured in the last one of these things I did I figured I would instead pick the next record along which was none other than Jon Lucien's 'Rashida', so we end with the title track. Nice as Jon's voice is even if the lyrics are a bit 'Chocolate Rain' it's the strings that make this: harp, violins, what may or may not be a mellotron. What else do you want for Christmas? I leave the record to play out and to a click.

Anyway, to recap this is how the chips fell, admittedly yes, there was an element of manipulation but nothing beyond grabbing the next record along or thinking 'now is not the time for an eighteen minute jazz odyssey.'

Embryo - Warm Canto
Pink Floyd - One of These Days
Rolling Stones - You Can't Always Get What You Want
Flying Saucer Attack - In The Light of Time
Pierre Henry - Breathe
Moebius and Plank - News
Tommy James and the Shondells - Candy Maker
Grace Jones - La Vie En Rose
Nico - We've Got The Gold
Fresh Maggots - Rosemary Hill
Mythos - Robot Nurse
Suicide - Rocket USA
Broadcast - Still Feels Like Tears
Eddie Gale's Ghetto Music - The Rain
Jon Lucien - Rashida

So, to conclude, pretty spot on that. I am very much a happy camper and the hunt for more Jon Lucien starts now ! ...Okay, once I have dabbed the congealed blood from my finger and laptop.

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