Friday, 20 October 2017

Super Slimey - Future & Young Thug


This actually has me excited about music in 2017. I hope it lives up to at least half of it's potential. I love this years records from The Residents, Laurel Halo and Rangers. Only two other LPs have had me in as much excited anticipation as this recently announced collaboration between Future & Young Thug though. They were the 2017 releases from Ekoplekz and Ariel Pink and I just haven't ended up in the blissful places that I thought they might take me (yet). So hopefully this combination of the worlds two best rappers with come through with the goods.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Rabbit Hole Part 2 Featuring Michael Hutchence, Flame Fortune, Troy Davies etc.



Now Flame Fortune is a forgotten footnote in Aussie Pop Music history. I always thought writing a book or at least a long form article on her life would be an interesting prospect. She was from LA and the above tune was produced by Michael Hutchence. Sex Symbol was recorded with an amazing Australian supergroup that included members of INXS, The Models, The Divinyls, Australian Crawl and The Angels. You would have thought 'How could this not be a hit with that kind of hit making pedigree behind her in the studio?' She appeared on the cover of Countdown magazine sometime in 1985 (I had that issue) when this single was released. Strangely enough the dude in the video is Troy Davies, the subject of the previous post. So it turns out he was everywhere in my pop cultural 80s but I just wasn't aware of who he was. It's kinda funny how not raunchy she is in this video compared to say Madonna or Vanity and later sex pots Britney, Beyonce & Nicky. I guess it's closer to new wave-y like maybe Berlin than those recent absurdly sexually athletic stars who are quite often not sexy at all.

So it turns out that Fortune was supposedly only 14 or 15 in the Sex Symbol video which was directed by Richard Lowenstein (Of Dogs In Space and Autoluminescent fame). This is definitely not true. She wasn't actually born in 1971 and was born in either 1969 or most likely in 1962 (as some articles state). I have a recollection that her and Michael Hutchence had a fling, maybe that was just a rumour.

Anyway to a 14 year old me, I thought she was pretty weird because she had this whole God/Sex dichotomy thing going on. I wasn't really aware that this was a staple personality trait in pop ala Little Richard, Al Green, Prince etc., at that stage of my life. The single flopped and as far as I can tell there was no follow up album. Fortune soon disappeared from the pop universe without becoming the star she thought she should have been. Six years later she was allegedly  murdered back in LA. Some information claims she may have committed suicide. It's all a bit sketchy. I can find little more information than this about her tragic life.



*Someone with time and money to do the research into this mysterious story will now have a fantastic Rolling Stone or weekend supplement article to write. Or if someone wants to make me an offer feel free to leave your details.

Rabbit Hole Featuring Michael Hutchence, Richard Lowenstein, Troy Davies etc.



There was a documentary on Michael Hutchence last night on telly. It led me down this strange rabbit hole of half remembered videos and collaborations. I have a vague memory that perhaps Speed Kills was in conjunction with Cold Chisel's Don Walker for some kind of soundtrack which appears to be the 1982 Australian flick Freedom. What about that fabulous hair?





This video appearance from Hutchence in Eccohomo's Motorcycle Baby was a late night staple of late 80s Aussie music tv. At the time I just assumed it was another Hutchence collaboration with Ollie Olsen. I think I was half right, but it's a Troy Davies project. He's the dude in the beanie and the woman on the back of Michael's motorbike. He was an actor, artist, Sharpie, drag queen, man, woman, some kind of performance artist and much more.



Admittedly I knew fuck all about Troy Davies until tonight but I think he makes an appearance in this film clip as well as being part of the film crew. He was a friend and a colleague of film and video clip director Richard Lowenstein. Talking To A Stranger is a 1982 Aussie post-punk classic from Hunters and Collectors. The Avalanches would remix this as Stalking To A Stranger 30 years later.



This sheds some light on Peter/Vanessa/Troy Davies.



More light shedding. Apparently there's a documentary on Davies, Ecco Homo, directed by Richard Lowenstein and Lynn-Maree Milburn. This was screened at the Melbourne International Film Festival in August 2015. Having moved away from Melbourne in 2013 I totally missed that. So while all this stuff is news to me tonight all you Melbourne hipsters probably know all about it, whatever. More info.

Monday, 16 October 2017

More On Movies


7 MELBOURNE FILMS
Dogs In Space (1986)
I resided in Richmond, where this picture was filmed, for many years. People still make pilgrimages to the Dogs In Space house. I drove past it once...er...it's just a house.
Malcolm (1986)
A whole lotta Melbourne in this one. Collingwood, Flemington, Kew, Thornbury, South Melbourne & The Central Business District. The titular character Malcolm works for Melbourne trams. I first saw this at that cinema in Balwyn when I was a kid visiting Melbourne.
Romper Stomper 1992)
All I can remember is Richmond Train station and scenes in Footscray but there's probably a few other locations.
Death In Brunswick (1991)
The old Bombay Rock Club in Sydney Road and that theatre in Coburg are the two locations I can recall. I lived in East Brunswick for almost a decade in the 90s before it got taken over by hipsters in the new millenium. The Lomond used to have lesbian country bands, The East Brunswick Hotel was v dodgy. There was a good video shop on the cnr. of Albert & Lygon. Maybe Mark Hartley worked there...is that right?
Chopper (2000)
Locations include Pentridge in Coburg which had closed down by then and Bojangles car park in St. Kilda which I'm sure didn't exist by that stage.
Patrick (1978)
Shot in East Melbourne, Brighton, Prahran, South Yarra and probably more. I used to know which number tram was in the film but I've forgotten.
Ghosts Of The Civil Dead (1988)
This was made in Melbourne but it was set in the middle of nowhere, adding to the eerie vibe. It's not for Melbourne-y location trainspotters really.

MOVIES I KNOW I'VE SEEN BUT CAN'T REMEMBER A SINGLE THING ABOUT THEM
Jaws (Well it had a shark)
The Babadook (Dunno what it had. I assume a babadook, whatever that is)
Subway
Friday The 13th
Serial Mom
The Parallax View (Well it had a Warren Beatty)
Shampoo (A Beatty, a Christie and a Hawn)
Donnie Brasco

FILMS I'VE NEVER SEEN
The Titanic (Do I need to see it? I hear it's not bad)
Beverly Hills Cop

GOOD OR BAD? I DUNNO
Eyes Wide Shut
Moulin Rouge
The King Of Marvin Gardens (Sometimes Jack Nicholson just gets on me tits!)
Death Wish
My Bloody Valentine
Barton Fink
In The Mouth Of Madness
Traffic
Death Bed

7 FROM THE 70s FROM ELLIOT GOULD. Surely he's THE ACTOR of the 1970s.
The Silent Partner (Perhaps the most underrated movie of the 70s)
California Split
The Long Goodbye
Little Murders (Really weird)
Busting (Gould stars alongside non murderer Robert Blake)
Nashville
The Lady Vanishes

RECENTLY WATCHED 
Night School (1981)
Pretty good. Sort of a Giallo made in America.
Death Wish (1974)
Did I need to be 14 to enjoy this, just more macho or maybe another human entirely?
Popcorn (1991)
Good ideas and production values but not quite executed to its full potential. A definite curio though.
Get Out (2017)
??
IT (2017)
Pretty good. The kids in the cinema seemed to like it, it's a kids film innit?
Gerald's Game (2017)
Such a naff ending it ruined the rest of the film which was probably only a 5 out of 10 anyway. Don't waste your time on this one.

I THOUGHT THEY WERE DEAD, BUT THEY'RE NOT
Peter Fonda
Tippi Hedren
Gena Rowlands
Kirk Douglas (Surely that is not correct)

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Gabba

I was thinking the other day 'We've been waiting for some kind of gabber recommencement since 2016 flipped into 2017 but nothing's happened.' I guess the scene has probably continued on in the same way that drum'n'bass still exists. What I really mean is that gabber/doomcore/gloomcore godfather and legend Marc Arcardipane hasn't resurfaced as far as I can tell (not that I've really looked). In the 90s Arardipane had this logo on many of his releases See You In 2017. 

Here are some dudes (below) with the historical knowledge of gabber giving it a retro-gabba crack.
(Via Energy Flash)



I wish this lecture (above) was real and was going to continue on for another 45 minutes. The track by DJ Balli & Giacomo Bella ChickenFIAT that was posted at Energy Flash is fun but hardly revelatory, hey what is these days?



God I love that thick squally synth sound! Rotterdam Terror Corps were mentioned in that above trailer.



Hardcore



70s rock (Queen samples, traces of Sabbath riffage in the synth) influences in 90s Hardcore!





Cold Rush. Atmos-Fear was recorded several years earlier than the other above tunes. This is Marc Arcardipane & Marc Arcardipane ie. he is The Mover & The Rave Creator. This is the true soundtrack for 2017.

It's 2017?
Where are you Marc?

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Nadir


I took a screen shot of this from maybe pitchfork a month or two back because I thought it was hilarious and depressing. I'd rather hear The Venetians cover Noiseworks. It's really hard to come up with a combo that is worse. Suggestions most welcome.

Monday, 25 September 2017

I Love/Hate Movies

Here's some movie lists I've put together after listening to a lot of movie podcasts and looking at my favourite films list on my blog profile. That's an off the cuff list written in like half an hour. Many films are not included because I haven't re-watched a lot of those old favourites (listed below). My brain also doesn't feel the need to have rigid rankings for things anymore. I would have once had strict well thought out lists for the top twenty movies of all time, the top ten films set in Melbourne, top seven Scorsese movies, top five worst actors etc. I could probably add to my favourite films list a few more Italian, Polish, Japanese, Czech and German films, horror movies, noir, documentaries and a few more from Robert Altman, Woody Allen and......

*Disclaimer

*These lists are by no means comprehensive, just what I came up with one night when I couldn't sleep. I didn't get out me Leonard Maltin or do any research, otherwise this post would then have taken up the entire internet.

**I didn't have a vcr until 1987 or 88 (my late teens) plus had boringly strict catholic parents so I missed a whole lotta horror/trash/comedy/action stuff from the 80s. I was not an 80s teenage video shop nerd. I didn't love Joe Dante, John Hughes or teen tits and arse sex comedies. Never seen a Charles Bronson movie, Troll or Labyrinth. I've actually never seen Porky's from beginning to end but I do remember seeing Recruits. I have no interest in kids or teen films now. I think a lot of people's love for those genres comes from nostalgia ie. seeing them at the right age. By the time The Goonies came out I was too old for it but people just a couple of years younger than me cherish it.

I'd love to be into just one genre like Krimi, Nunsploitation, Gialli, Turkish Rip-offs, Czech New Wave, Made For TV Horror, Rape Revenge or Blaxploitation. Being middle aged I've come to terms with the fact that I'm a middlebrow dilettante though. If I find a film I like, I haven't found a tribe - I've found a movie I dig. The films I like/dislike don't define me (Insert quote from Groucho Marx "I don't want to belong to any club...."). I've lost interest in sci-fi. My patience for slow films has dwindled. I've forgotten a lot of (pre 60s) old hollywood classics, musicals, comedies, monster movies, British films etc. that I once saw on telly and liked. I've also forgotten a lot of the names of avant-garde, arty and foreign films that I liked and would have seen at the Melbourne Cinematheque, arthouse/cult-y theatres and The Melbourne International Film Festival. Remember The Carlton Moviehouse, The Valhalla, The Lumiere, The Panorama (that was in Brunswick St. for like 10 minutes during 1993), The Astor, that one that was in Swanston Street?.... I've probably forgotten a few others too.

MOVIES I ONCE LIKED BUT CAN'T IMAGINE LIKING NOW (But you never know though)
Trust
Dazed & Confused
Chasing Amy
Reality Bites
American Beauty
There Will Be Blood
Stalker
Donnie Darko
Badlands
New York, New York
Leaving Las Vegas
Spirits (of The Air Gremlins Of The Clouds)
Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas
Betty Blue
Hiding Out
Bad Lieutenant (Watched this the other day. Keitel was wavering between utter shite and really convincing as a depraved cop. Then came the whining/wailing scenes towards the end. That tipped an already ordinary and obvious film into total nonsense for me. Being young and impressionable makes you like strange things. Bad Lieutenant has put me off watching any of the other films in this particular list because I've proved myself correct twice)
Buffalo 66
Faster Pussycat Kill Kill (Probably couldn't sit through this without being wasted man)
The Trip
Suspiria
Rolling Thunder
Wings Of Desire
Kiss Of The Spider Woman
Sex & Zen
Dead Man
Jean De Florrette
Manon De Sources
The Lover
Down by Law
Thelma & Louise
Unbearable Lightness Of Being
Better Off Dead (Actually watched this the other day too, pretty naff and oh so quirky. Maybe kids would like it, probably not. I mean this was great for an 80s fourteen year old me. Now all I see is that John Cusack's really fucking annoying)
Simple Men
Two Hands
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Hot Fuzz
The Holy Mountain (I'm sure if I smoked a holy mountain of weed I'd like it)
Shine
Surviving Desire
Magnolia
Fellini films
Bergman films

MOVIES I ONCE LOVED BUT HAVEN'T SEEN FOR OVER 15 YEARS (So who knows? But I reckon I might still like 'em. Middlebrow alert!)
My Life As A Dog
Brazil
Sex, Lies & Videotape
Bad Boy Bubby
Love Serenade
Naked
Bliss
La Haine
Millers Crossing
Midnight Express
Angel Heart
3 Women
Stop Making Sense
The Elephant Man
Hana-Bi
End Of The Century
A Better Tomorrow
Paris Texas
Scanners
Deathdream
The Man Who Fell To Earth
The Living End
Pure Shit
Stone
Hardboiled
The Filth & The Fury
Drugstore Cowboy
Delicatessen
Tokyo Drifter (Watched this after I put up this blog post. Classic)
Fresh
To Die For
Proof
Rain
Targets
Race With The Devil
Marathon Man
The Getaway
Performance
Re-Animator
If
Stroszeck
Night Of The Creeps
Lenny
Raiders Of The Lost Ark
The Temple Of Doom
Woyzeck
The Ice Storm
Eating Raoul
Shock Corridor
Deep End (A 70s British film with a Polish director and Can on the soundtrack. How could you go wrong?)
Melvin and Howard
Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf
Three Colours Trilogy
Breaking The Waves
Mulholland Drive
Last Temptation Of Christ
Secretary
Day Of The Dead
Akira
Pink Flamingoes
Branded To Kill
Le Samourai
Shaft
Truck Turner
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover
The Comfort Of Strangers
Nil By Mouth
Fun
Gas Food Lodging
Sexy Beast
The Fourth Man (Nobody ever talks about this film. It was directed by Paul Verhoeven in 1983 before he moved to Hollywood. It's his best film, I reckon.....although I only saw it once, maybe 28 years ago. John Hinde presented it on ABC TV)
Going Down
Death In Brunswick
Romper Stomper
Bachelor Party
Lantana
The Boys
Chunking Express
Do The Right Thing
Repo Man
Predator
Family Plot
Trees Lounge
Colors
My Beautiful Laundrette
Meantime
Living In Oblivion
The Age Of Innocence
Roadside Prophets
Route 66
Those 80s and early 90s Jon Jost films I saw, maybe at the Melbourne Cinematheque.

MOVIES I ONCE LOVED BUT NOW HATE
Clerks
Wild At Heart
Raising Arizona
2001: A Space Odyssey (Maybe this just doesn't work on blu-ray/telly ie. not in a cinema. I originally saw it in the early 90s on a 70mm print in the best cinema in Melbourne and it blew me young little mind)

MOVIES I'M INDIFFERENT TO (AKA Meh...What's all the fuss?)
Kill Bill I & II
Heat
The Proposition
DIG
Vertigo
One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest
Lord Of The Ring Trilogy
The Departed
Scarface
Blade Runner
The Breakfast Club
The Big Lebowski
E.T.
The Graduate
Cinema Paradiso
The Princess Bride
Rocky
Marnie
Robocop
The Hateful Eight

MOVIES I NEVER LIKED (yeah I know)
Harold & Maude
The Life Aquatic
Last Tango In Paris
Angel Baby
Top Gun
Star Wars
Pretty Woman
Priscilla: Queen Of The Desert (One of my heroes, Philip Brophy, wrote a monograph on how much he hates this movie. What a legend!)
The Last Waltz
Shawshank Redemption
Schindler's List
Boondock Saints
Forest Gump
Fight Club
Silence Of The Lambs
The Green Mile
Gladiator
Japanese Story
Gangs Of New York
Memento
Snatch
Dead Poets Society
Chinatown
MASH
Easy Rider
Citizen Kane
Broken Flowers
Lost In Translation
The Castle
Pump Up The Volume
24 Hour Party People
Wonderland
Swingers
Before Sunrise
Inglorious Bastards
....and a million more

MOVIES I USED TO HATE BUT NOW QUITE LIKE
The Shining
The Godfather
Groundhog Day
Taxi Driver
Crocodile Dundee
Dirty Dancing
The Tenant
Psycho
A Clockwork Orange (Well half of it)
Rio Bravo
Zabriskie Point

LOVED IT, HATED IT, LOVED IT AGAIN
Dogs In Space

MOVIE DIRECTORS I CAN'T STAND
Todd Haynes
Wes Anderson
Terrence Malick
Michael Winterbottom

NEVER SEEN
Tootsie
It's A Wonderful Life
Razorback

THREE CLASSIC 70s FILMS I ONLY DISCOVERED IN 2017
Chilly Scenes Of Winter
Puzzle Of A Downfall Child
(Thanks to Bill Ackerman & Mike White for alerting me to those above two)
The Dion Brothers
(Discovered this on a very dodgy print at either youtube or a pirate-y site while I was having a Stacy Keach fest. Hey its got Margot Kidder as well. This film's also known as The Gravy Train. Funnily enough it's written by Terrence Malick. He also wrote the script to Pocket Money which I really like too. He seems a bit looser and just plain better when he's doin the script sans the directing gig)

Friday, 22 September 2017

93 Darkside/Jungle



This one goes into the category of 'Heard it but never knew what the fuck it was and jeez it's a hardcore bewdy!' More dark 93 bizniz, this time on a funky jungle tip.



This is from the same EP. Melodic rhythms, bleepedelia and trippy kindness, you know what I mean. Lovely but it also gets a bit dark (I always wondered where the Omni Trio acolytes were).



Not so lovely, this one. Fantastic euphoric gloom.  Get on a bad trip and send your brain down the gurgler. This one will make you see spiders on the wall,


Thursday, 21 September 2017

The Hip Hop In 2017

A REALLY DEEP ANALYSIS OF RAP FROM A FAN LOSING INTEREST

I finally got the urge to play some rap for the first time this year. I had five albums waiting in the wings - Thugger, Migos, RJ and two from Future. After an initial listen to Thugger Girls I thought 'Hmmm.....I dunno....I think listening to Future's 2014 mixtape Monster sounds like a much better idea'. It was a great idea because it seems even better than it did three years ago. Monster was the first place Fuck Up Some Commas appeared and contains the two below classics.





I guess it's pretty easy to get overlooked if you're from LA as Kendrick is so ubiquitous, has anybody got any room for another LA rapper? Last year however there were two excellent LA albums Schoolboy Q's Blank Face and Still Brazy from YG. This year we've got RJ's proper debut album. He has made guest appearances on DJ Mustard's Ketchup (2013) & 10 Summers: The Mixtape (2015). RJ's done a handful of mixtapes but his best album so far is the collaboration he recorded with Choice Rich off Mackin. The new record MrLA, on initial listens, doesn't seem as effortless as that collab with Choice but it's better than anything that K Lamar has done since Good Kid...

Two hours plus of Future was a hell of a lot to take in. His two albums are the best of this bunch though. HNDRXX seems much stronger than than the self-titled effort....

Culture from Migos seemed ok, much better than Beautiful Thugger Girls anyway....

I dunno I guess I have to give all these albums more of a listen. Then there's Drake, Young MA, DJ Quik & Problem, Kehlani etc..... can I be bothered though?

Maybe if I still had an hour and half commute daily or drove a car I'd be more in the mood to be digging this stuff.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

93 'ardcore/Darkside.....



I'd heard Megadrive's Takin Control EP which contained the tune Demon from '92. I thought I'd come across Mega 2 before but perhaps I haven't. Classic hardcore into darkness/92 into 93 bizniz.



God I thought A1 was good but hold your little horses check out A2. That mental liquid bass frequency drop at 0.53 is astounding then the keyboard/bass/whatever the fuck it is riff comes in at 1.20 like it's straight from an Iration Steppas track. Mind and ears blown. Rewind!



The cheap and cheerful, made in 10 minutes style doesn't always work for everybody but fuck this works. What a ruff diamond. So Tight is pretty odd. The vocal science here is psychedelic and creepy. At the 3.36 mark it's crazy/weird time as the hoovers enter and the beats go off the charts. Never even heard of this until tonight = v happy.



This like So Tight is from The Man With No Name's '93 Follow The Leader EP. I guess there are a bunch of darkside tunes similar to this like Boogie Times Tribe's The Dark Stranger. You know, with a repeated sample of film dialogue, dark synthy strings and atmospheric lulls. It's a great formula joined here with some choice choppage and mentastic smears. The Painted Man sounds like a really scary horror monster of a thing but according to youtube it's a sample from Peter Pan (?)!



I've just figured out how I ended up back in 'ardcore/darkside zones. On the weekend we went to the pictures and saw IT which was pretty good. Anyway I couldn't get that bit of dialogue from the 90s tv mini series of IT out of my head and had to come home and play it. I didn't always like Neuromancer's Pennywise but the song has featured in several of my favourite darkside dj mixes. Over the years that demented "They all float down here" refrain has wormed its way into my brain (whoops....this one is from '92).

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

93 Darkside



Wow. Loving this. I don't think I've heard it before. Maybe it's in an old mix but I've never ID'd it before. I tried to listen to some current music today (rap and even some 2017 drum'n'bass) but I ended up here in 1993 darkside zones soon after. There's a good reason for that, which is that this music is so much better than anything from the here and now. This was the future and there was more future to be heard the next day....blah blah. I'm still discovering stuff from this era so it's not all a sad nostalgia trip. Uncovering unheard gold from '93 is still exhilarating.

Many rate Skanna's Night Stalker EP as one of the classics of 93 darkside. I'm not about to disagree with that!



Now I know my ears have never come across this one because that steppy bass drop at 3.38 is totally unfuckingforgettable. These records are now going for absurd prices on discogs. I missed the boat collecting these. I should have started six or seven years back when I got back into 'ardcore/darkside/jungle. The prices weren't so obscene then, I mean they were still high but...

Monday, 11 September 2017

ZANOV - Green Ray



Green Ray is another recently discovered killer space jam from France, sure it was on my radar but I'd never bothered to check it out. I'm starting to think maybe the French released even more cosmic synth LPs than the Germans did. I don't love them all, some are just good like Oliver Roy's Pochette Surprise and Cristal by Phillipe Guerre but I guess those two incorporate romantic classical aspects into their progressive electronic sound. Zanov's Green Ray (1976) is all pulsating drones and swirling analogue synthesisers. Strap yourself in for close up encounters with space weather then set the controls for an ominous metagalactic chase through the asteroid belt.

Monday, 4 September 2017

RIP Walter Becker













Six years ago I finally succumbed to the genius of The Dan. I could have posted their entire first 4 LPs and a couple of others. So much pleasure, so many levels. Thank you Mr Becker.

Didier Bocquet - Eclipse



Another space synth jam that was unknown to me until I discovered it on the youtubes. It's another bewdy, this time from 70s France. Eclipse's tone is one of robotic gloom and dark solitude which becomes unforgivingly frosty. This might be the best of the recent interstellar discoveries on the blog which have included Anna Sjalv Tredje's Tussilago Fanfara and the previous post Hingus from Sven Grunberg. Get in your obsolete spacecraft to traverse the infinite void and disappear into Didier Bocquet's intense deep space trance.

Didier puts on his space hair before the voyage.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Sven Grünberg - Hingus



Been on a cosmic synth bender listening to a bunch of stuff Ive never checked out before despite these acts being on the peripheries of my cosmic radar like Clearlight, Automat, Dominique Guiot and Czeslaw Niemen (Thanks Hardly Baked). In the midst of this retro-futuristic space rabbit hole I came across Hingus, a 1981 LP from Estonia. I'd never heard of it before but this is a little classic of the aforementioned genre. It's great to know there's still a few things out there left to surprise and delight us all. Check out this epic space jam from Sven Grunberg.



This is the final track of the album which had me in intergalactic astonishment. Wow man.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Lanark Artefax



Gotta say I was very sceptical about this recently released tune. Thought it was a 90s IDM throwback....which it is really. By the end of the track though, a pleasantness creeps into the stark beats which had me transfixed.

I heard somewhere a while back that there was an IDM revival happening. Did it ever really go away? Anyway these guys must be a part of that. Whether or not they can get beyond Tri Repetae or LP5 I guess only time will tell.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Suburban Lawns



Their one great moment. If only all their stuff was this good.

The nostalgia for ye olde sharity blogs continues. I found the debut Suburban Lawns LP 10 years ago on a blog I used to frequent often but can't remember the name of now, I'm sure you can probably track down an mp3 or maybe it's been reissued since then.

Singer Su Tissue is an enigma with quite a fanboy following on the interweb. The discussions usually entail whether she is autistic or just an art school hipster and speculation as to what she is doing doing now. Her online presence is nil so this all adds to the mystery.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Ariel Pink - Feels Like Heaven



This washed away all the dark and negative vibes in my life today. Like when you loved a pop song when you were little. It's all about the 3 and a half minutes of bliss. Then you can play it again. The verses are a bit Morrissey-esque doncha think?

Friday, 4 August 2017

Upper Astral - Crystal Cave - Back To Atlantis


Here's some more Upper Astral. This is the A-side and fucking amazement, even my dog loves it! and he hates most new age usually because it has rain or thunder in it. Weirdly, this track occasionally dips into a little bit of darkness. So it's not all euphoric vistas that we think of as new age today. These were the early days of new age though. Skybirds and Journey To The Edge Of The Universe are the other two Upper Astral tapes that I would highly recommend. I'm sure I first heard those due to the Crystal Vibrations blog. New Age was never a bad word in my world though, as my brother introduced me to some stuff when I was in my teens. There used to be a new age shop in every second Melbourne suburb in the early 90s as I recall. It was usually a creepy vibe in those shops. I hated all the other shit apart from the music though. Now I think I wish I'd bought some of the art, really? no not really. Maybe there are still some of these shops out there? I wouldn't know, I live in the middle of nowhere these days.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Anna Själv Tredje - Tussilago Fanfara


Discovered this vintage cosmic synth LP from Swedish duo Anna Sjalv Tredje the other day. Here it is in full on youtube. Tussilago Fanfara was released in 1977 on Silence, the legendary Swedish label. Berlin school electronics for the most part. The second track is tres spooky with its sinister whispers, foreboding washes of sound and black night tones of gloom. The final tune changes it up a bit with a Cluster/Ashra style jam. An underrated gem.

sleeve!

new age



This is the only part of Channel For The Light on the youtubes and the best bit isn't on it!

I've discovered a few new age related things on the interwebs since that post where I mentioned the Crystal Vibrations blog. Hidden Valley has been keeping the scented candle burning for old new age tapes on the blogosphere since CV became inactive in 2012. This dude is obsessed with the legendary Californian label Valley Of The Sun. Many of that label's classic catalogue of 80s tapes have been posted there, a couple of which i've not heard.

For those who need more there's a whole bunch of new agey stuff at the Sounds Of The Dawn blog too.





Upper Astral had an incredible run of tapes from 1981-1983.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Twin Peaks: The Songs So Far...



So nearly every episode of the new season of Twin Peaks has featured a song played live in the Bang Bang bar for the final credits sequence. Chromatics paid ethereal homage to Julee Cruise at the end of the first or second episode. The only other time I've heard this group was on the Drive soundtrack a couple of years ago. The tune in that film was pretty ordinary but Shadow's got a perfect vibe for Twin Peaks. When that synth swells up it gets very very lovely.



I've skipped ahead to episode 4 because the band at the end of episode 3 were fucking awful - the music and their hair! Anyway at the end of the 4th episode were Au Revoir Simone with Lark, which I really enjoyed. Is this the worst band name in the history? This group's been around for like 15 years. Can't quite put my finger on what is magic about this tune, just a beautiful classic melody I suppose. The keyboard player on the right is the star of the band with her Addicted To Love schtick.



I would never bother listening to Sharon Van Etten but Lynch made me sit through this slowcore country folk tune and I gotta say it was the best thing about episode six. That might not be saying much though as this instalment was the fucking pits and made me stop watching the new season for a month. I was later advised to keep checking out the new episodes which I eventually did.



A second appearance for this badly named synth trio. Like if 80s indie pop was informed by Stereolab and Broadcast. Backwards not possible pop.  Another lovely tune.



This is the lady who sang a Spanish a cappella version of Crying in Mulholland Drive which was amazing. This is a good vocal performance too if not quite as mind-blowing. Moby, who once sampled the original Twin Peaks soundtrack on his smash hit Go, is playing guitar with Rebekah Del Rio here at the end of tonight's episode.

*I've left out a couple of performances ie. NIN, Hudson Mowhawke etc. as they were underwhelming.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Great LP Covers II - Scientist





These first 3 got my vote as I actually own the albums but the bottom 3, which I've just discovered at discogs, are also the fabulous. There are some other great Scientist records like the Dub Landing series but those covers are not so great.



This put me in mind of an old comic from Britain Tiger & Scorcher. My older brother used to read it in the 70s. I remember it had motor racing, stunt men, wrestling, soccer and maybe it had boxing too. Cricket? Dunno...if only they'd invent a machine where I could instantly research such things.


This one might actually be the best of the lot. I wish I was at that contest! Just quietly I reckon Scientist would have won.

*Great LP Covers Part I

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Quiet Evenings - Transcending Spheres





After that previous post about Not Not Fun I had a chuckle to myself and thought 'What am I going to do next check out the new releases on Digitalis or Hooker Vision?' These labels covered the scene(s) of many names hypnagogia, glow fi, tropical, neo-kosmiche, altered zones, nu age noise etc. I had a little look on the intewebs only to find Hooker Vision ceased operations in 2014 and Digitalis seems to have perhaps closed its doors around the same time. So I won't be doing a post featuring 2017 releases from those labels. Maybe I need to check out Gift Tapes, Pizza Night, Taped Sounds, Olde English Spelling Bee or Catholic Tapes. Those labels probably don't exist either. I reckon 6 years is the perfect amount of time for a label to exist anyway. Don't hang around too long to become boring. Imagine if Flying Nun or Ghostbox halted after that amount of time, they would have been perfect.

From the ye olde Hooker Vision blog

Anyway I did discover an old album by Quiet Evenings from 2011. Quiet Evenings contain the husband and wife team, Grant and Rachael Evans, who also ran the Hooker Vision label. Rachael's other musical project is the fab Motion Sickness Of Time Travel and her husband was in Nova Scotian Arms, Crippling and a whole bunch of others. Transcending Spheres turns out to be a lost classic that funnily wasn't released on any of the aforementioned labels. It's here at bandcamp though. Synths drift and hover, beats remain discreet and guitars even appear amongst the narcotic glaze. It's dark, it's haunting and it's sublime.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

On the Hi-Fi in July - Not Not Fun

I really don't recall how I ended up here but I'm glad I did even though it's probably not very cool. I can't remember the last Not Not Fun album I bought. It was a couple of years ago at least, that Rangers Reconsider Lounge record maybe. Tonight somehow I had arrived at the label's bandcamp site and ended up coming away with three of their 2017 releases. There was a time when everything they released was really bloody good. I perceived that they had reached some kind of peak around 2010/2011 with a gradual drop off of choice releases in the following years. After listening to these recordings tonight though, perhaps we were a bit hasty in our move away from this great label. Or maybe I'm on a hypnagogic nostalgia trip. Either way it doesn't matter to me, I really enjoyed all of these albums. So with a little help from your friends go ahead and check these out.


Video Salon - Video Salon
Video Salon's haunting drones and shimmering vocals are delightfully mesmerising. This is seductive classic stuff. Brian Pyle (Starving Weirdos, Ensemble Economique) and Galya Chikiss are the duo Video Salon.


Iguana Moonlight - Wild Palms
A synth voyage into the tropical hot dog night. Lovely sonic sketches of solitude by the seaside. These sounds match that cover art perfectly.


Robedoor - New Age Sewage
While we're still in drone territory here, this is much darker and turbulent than the above two releases. New Age Sewage is amorphous psych drone noise on an epic scale. I'm kinda amazed by this actually. I was not expecting to like this so much. By far the best Robedoor thing I've ever heard.


Canada Effervescent - Crystalline
This is retro new age. Crystalline sounds like a tape from the 80s heyday with it's faux harp, piano and environmental sounds amidst the gentle ripples of the cosmic lite synth and other new age accoutrements. This is perfect sleepy time music. I feel calmer already. Nice.

Does anyone remember the great blog Crystal Vibrations? One of my favourite blogs of all time, I wish he still did it. Crystalline reminds me of the many great new age tapes that were posted there.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Shango Dance Band - Position Pass Power

SPACE DEBRIS GOES TO THE NIGERIAN ARMY BARRACKS



Deep in a rabbit hole on the youtubes last night I discovered this lost gem of psych tinged afrobeat from the early 70s. Some of these dudes were from Fela Kuti's 60s group Koola Lobitos. Position Pass Power is on the Shango Dance Band LP which was reissued last year.

I'm amazed that there is any undiscovered stuff from 70s Nigeria left after the massive excavation of the last 20 years. They made a hell of lot of great music in those parts during that era. I still haven't got around to listening to Now Again's Ten years in the making 4 LP compilation from 2016 Wake Up You: The Rise & Fall of Nigerian Rock 1972-77. I thought that was probably going to be the epic final chapter in Nigerian 70s archival sets but maybe not. Let's hope the gems continue to be unearthed.

Monday, 3 July 2017

TV Movie Of The Week


I was aware of some 80s and 90s tv movies from America thanks to HSV7's The Midday Movie in Melbourne hosted by the late Ivan Hutchinson. To be honest I reckon Duel was the only 70s one I'd ever seen or at least remembered until recently. After checking out a lot of 70s British telly lately I decided it was time to investigate the American tele-movie of the 70s. The history of American made for tv movies is fascinating. In the 70s these films were big events that would get astronomical ratings figures. Then there's also this whole feminist angle of it as well with a lot of these movies being primarily targeted at ladies in the 18 - 49 demographic. These movies were often female driven with strong ensemble casts of women.

Amanda Reyes was instrumental in me undertaking this exploration. She is an American tv movie expert who originally came to my attention last year via the podcast world. She has featured as a guest on The Hysteria Continues and Supporting Characters but she has her very own podcast Made For TV Mayhem. Reyes has recently published the book Are You In The House Alone? Growing Up With Gargoyles, Giant Turtles, Valerie Harper, The Cold War, Stephen King & Co-Ed Call Girls: A Tv Movie Compendium 1964-1999. I keep hearing her pop up as a guest on different casts of pod promoting this book. Reyes is the most unpretentious academic I've ever heard. Her passion for tv movies knows no bounds plus she's incredibly knowledgable and articulate on the subject. Heaps of people know lots of stuff out there on the interwebs but most of them are really really fucking boring or are just plain horrible. Amanda however is a star with her infectious sense of humour and amiable personality.

Spoiler Alert! 4 From THE MADE FOR TV MOVIES Cannon



Night Terror aka Night Drive (1977)
Wow this was a great entry point into the genre. Valerie Harper plays Carol a meek housewife who is chased in her car across country by a psychopathic cop killer. The killer has no vocal cords and has one of those portable voice box devices that you put up to your neck when you need to talk. It rains a lot. Strange stuff happens on this harrowing journey. Night Terror's got creeps in petrol stations, weird drunk people etc. After an exhausting night on the road Carol reaches full transformation in order to survive the killer's last ditch attempts to eradicate her.

All movies should be car chases at night in monsoon like conditions!

Reflections Of Murder (1974)
I couldn't believe how good this one was either. I haven't heard Amanda talk about it but I'm sure she'd love it. It's set in a boarding school on an Island near Seattle. Three of its teachers are involved in a love triangle that goes awry more than once. Rainy atmosphere with lots of rain, actually come to think of it water is a ubiquitous motif here. There's a drowning in a bathtub, a body in a skanky swimming pool, a ferry ride etc. The main dude in this is Jack McCoy from Law & Order...er....that's Sam Waterston. Reflections Of Murder comes with a twist.

The Victim (1972)
Elizabeth Montgomery is an icon of made for tv movies. Here she stars as Kate the sister of a missing person. A storm has has trapped her at her sister's strange overly furnished mansion. Where is her sister? Is she dead? Why is the maid so creepy? What's in the hamper? What's with the lying husband of missing sister? The power has gone off and the phone line is dead. It's raining a lot. Where's the dog? Will Kate survive the night?


Trilogy Of Terror (1975)
Karen Black stars in this famous telly movie anthology. We've got three separate stories here and Black plays different characters in each. The first segment where she plays Julie a college professor who is coerced into a sexual relationship by a student is very unsettling.

The most famous segment is the third one where Black's character Amelia is terrorised by a Zuni Fetish Doll that comes to life while she's on the phone to her mum. After a very entertaining battle Amelia eventually overcomes the crazy doll or does she? No rain in this as far as I can recall but there was satanic wallpaper. Trilogy of Terror tips into the comedy horror category.

Anthony White - Block Party

SPACE DEBRIS GOES TO THE DISCO - PART 12


1977
More funky 12" mix gold from Walter Gibbons. How bout those high-hats and that cow bell? 

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Loleatta Holloway - Hit & Run 12" Remix

SPACE DEBRIS GOES TO THE DISCO - PART 11


1977
Gibbons this time does a proper remix as opposed to the cut & paste of 10 Percent. Mmm mm....that fuzz guitar is soo good. 

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Double Exposure - Ten Percent

SPACE DEBRIS GOES TO THE DISCO - PART 10 (%)


1976
According to Turn The Beat Around: The Secret History of Disco, Peter Shapiro's excellent 2005 book, this was the first disco mix released commercially on a 12". Walter Gibbons was to go from strength to strength in the remix department. Ten Percent was an auspicious start.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Ariel Pink - Another Weekend


2017 just got a whole lot better. Ariel Pink has a new album Dedicated To Bobby Jameson due out in a couple of months. Something to look forward to.


Love the artwork. If you wanna know who Bobby Jameson was check out his blog. AP loves his LA mythology. It's a wonder Ariel didn't try and get him to do something for Pom Pom? Jameson would have fitted right in with Pom Pom's maverick LA contributors Don Bolles and Kim Fowley.


This video's from a couple of months ago. Tears On Fire is not on the new record, it was on the Ariel Pink & Weyes Blood collab EP Myths 002 which was released in January and I totally missed it. 


Classic tune from his great Pom Pom (2014) LP. Never seen this video until today and it's amazing. I know I'm not paying attention but whatever. One of the best videos of the century so far. It makes me wanna drink cheep beer, have a ciggy and be weird.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Ye Olde BBC Horror


While music hasn't exactly been floating my boat lately I've been getting into some small screen classics. It all started a while back when Simon Reynolds alerted me to Robin Redbreast. Robin Redbreast is a BBC Play For Today from 1970. This 76 minute telly film has been loosely aligned to the faux genre Folk Horror in recent years.

Folk Horror seems to have been coined by serious film people a few years after the hauntologists had been excavating the same area. So cult pieces of the hauntological puzzle have been thrown into this so called sub-genre ie. The Wicker Man (1973), Witchfinder General (1968) and Blood On Satan's Claw (1971). Then there's the tv side of things including the many MR James adaptations, Nigel Kneale telly scripts and a handful of Plays For Today including A Photograph (1977), Penda's Fen (1974) and Red Shift (1978). The hauntology taste makers also love their public information films, weird children's telly, sci-fi, recent televisual drama and much much more though.

The following 3 short pieces of television are distinguished and totally unforgettable. These horror stories are all about sinister landscapes, unsettling pagan undercurrents, malevolent spirits and oppressive rural atmospheres.

Robin Redbreast (Play For Today, 1970)
Nuts In May and Abigail's Party are two BBC Plays For Today that have been long time favorites but I must admit I had not seen Robin Redbreast until recently. Hey there's only another 300 Plays for Today to catch up on (well whichever ones still exist). I couldn't believe how good this was for such an obscure film....I know the BFI released it on dvd 5 years ago but still.....

Norah a thirty something feminist city slicker heads to a remote cottage for a taste of bucolica after a relationship break up. Things are not what they initially seem though. Before long the idyllic country life starts starts to close in on Norah to a frighteningly claustrophobic degree. Her encounters with the local villagers become increasingly more creepy and detrimental to her well being. Robin Redbreast has been described as sitting somewhere between Rosemary's Baby and The Wicker Man thematically, who am I to disagree.


The Exorcism (Dead Of Night, 1972)
The Exorcism is a play written and directed by Don Taylor that was included as part of the Dead Of Night anthology on BBC2.

A middle class couple who have just moved to the country invite their friends to Xmas dinner at their newly renovated cottage. It starts to get seriously freaky when the electricity blacks out, the wine tastes like blood and darkness becomes absolute. This play is an odd mash up of horror and political diatribe. It's definitely a product of its time, the horror is great but the didactic socialist message is heavy handed and embarrassing.


Whistle And I'll Come To You (Omnibus, 1968)
This is probably the most famous piece of film based on a MR James story. It's a tale of a bizarre and solitary academic. This aging professor's eccentricities have made him an awkward man. Professor Parkin goes on a seaside a holiday in the off season, staying in an isolated hotel where there are very few other guests. On a walk Parkin finds himself in a graveyard where he discovers a ye olde whistle. Blowing the whistle sets off an uncanny chain of events that leave Parkin a terrified mess.

Michael Hordern's remarkable acting performance as Professor Parkin make this one of the most memorable pieces of telly I have ever seen.



*Coming up next: American tv movies from the 70s

Friday, 16 June 2017

Disengaged in 2017


Honestly I think Ghost Of Hope by The Residents and Texas Rock Bottom from Rangers are the only 2017 albums that I've listened to. I haven't listened to one new dance tune, rap ditty or top 40 pop song. LPs I would have normally checked out from the likes of Gas, Shinichi Atobe, Actress, Sun Araw, Mark McGuire, IX-Tab, Children Of Alice, Lo Five, Omar Souleyman, Future, Migos, Arca, William Basinski, Second Woman etc. remain unplayed and unheard. I never listen to the radio and I no longer have a cable music channel so I don't know any new artists or pop stars. I no longer buy or read magazines. I hardly read the interweb music suff either. I've stopped reading my Boomkat (an online music shop) e-mails, I used to really like whoever wrote their copy despite it being advertising. The Feelies, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Ride, Royal Trux and St. Etienne have all reformed and recorded new records in 2017 apparently. Why don't I want to listen to any of this stuff?

This time I can't blame it on the music because I haven't heard any of it. I can't make stupid blanket statements like '2017 sucks' or 'This is the worst year in music since....' I'm afraid this disinterest is probably all about me. Is it age, depression or ennui? I don't know. Is it that the last few years in music have been so disappointing that I've had enough and am not willing to put in the effort and time for such little reward. I haven't listened to much old music either though, just what I've previously mentioned on the blog. So perhaps its choice paralysis. Has my blog become redundant? It was primarily set up to discuss music. If I'm not listening to any music is there a point? Maybe I need to start reading music magazines again.....and er....listening to music again. Both of those things are hard if you don't want. Ok I think I've disappeared up my own arse quite enough.

Ekoplekz have just released their new album Bioprodukt which I've just bought. That's a start but am I going to get the forthcoming Focus Group, Belbury Circle or Young Thug albums? Who knows? I'd like to want to but I just can't necessarily trust that I'll give a damn when these recordings are released.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Lo-Fi with Pavement, Fly Ashtray & Thinking Fellers Union Local 282



I must admit I did listen to Slanted & Enchanted 100 million times back in the day. This tune still sounds pretty bloody good. As much as I now find Malkmus a tool, Perfume-V is undeniable. It's all about that great guitar sound innit?



The 'insect going through a vortex' guitar on this track is pretty cool too. These 2 tunes were the best and most outre on Slanted & Enchanted as I recall. There was also a bunch of stuff that was way too Mark E Smithy ie. Two States, Flame Thrower, Conduit For Sale etc. That's a bit of a shame because a lot of the guitar work was ace but it got let down by the vocal delivery. The thing is though, as the Mark E Smith-isms started to disappear so did the great guitar bits. They became lame immediately after this LP. Is this the exact point where underground/indie rock died? Or was it just Pavement who couldn't push forward (?).



It's funny how everyone knows who Pavement are but nobody's heard of Fly Ashtray. Fly Ashtray formed in NYC in 1983 but didn't release their first single until 1987. Clumps Takes A Ride is the 1991 follow up to their debut full length album, Nothing Left To Spill, which was a self-released tape from 1990. I don't think I ever saw a Fly Astray review outside of a fanzine. If you like your early Pavement check out Clumps Takes A Ride. The tracks on this tape (well I had a tape) were recored between 1988 and 1991 and issued by the Shimmy Disc label.



I guess a few more people would be aware of Thinking Fellers Union Local 282. Some of their LPs received good reviews including this gem that I still quite like. Lovelyville was another record from 1991 that got played a million times. It's a high water mark of early 90s underground noisy experimental art rock or whatever you wanna call it. I recall that their following 2 LPs were also good if not quite as mental as Lovelyville (haven't re-listened to those yet though). Unexpectedly Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 still have a mysterious charm. If the kids are checkin out Pavement and Royal Trux there is no reason they shouldn't be checking out these supremely elusive nutters.

I thought going back and listening to these 'lo-fi bands' was going to really tedious but I've really enjoyed listening to Fly Ashtray and TFUL282. I still dunno if I can bring myself to listen to Fantastic Palace or Trumans Water though. I fear that those records will not hold up like Clumps Takes A Ride and Lovelyville have.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Grunge



Simon posted this article from December 1992 about grunge V lo-fi. Check the comments for a discussion on all things 90s alternative rock, indie, grunge, lo-fi, major labels etc. It made me want to check out Paw to see if their tune Jesse was any good. Last night I thought it was a little grunge gem (if such a thing is possible). Being so serious/angsty/yelly about a dog made smile. Jesse is way better than I remember.



This is a band we both don't recall. I'd never heard Slightly Under in my life until last night. I think this tune was released before they signed to a major label. These dudes were ex-members of a group called Scream whose drummer was one Dave Grohl (according to wikipedia). This could have been a hit with its generic Helmet meets Alice In Chains vibe.



Jesus I hated Helmet back in the day, just didn't understand the attraction. They just weren't as good as the bands they were obviously enamoured with ie. Killing Joke, Big Black etc. Enjoyed hearing this tune last night though. Was I deliriously over-tired? Nostalgic? Maybe time has just whittled away the youthful prejudices?



Speaking of groups I used to hate.......


*Bands You Once Hated But Now Don't Mind is a topic I shall return to soon.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Rush



I finally got around to watching that Rush doco on Nettflix a couple of weeks back when I woke in the middle of the night and couldn't sleep. Rock docs have become oh so boring and cliched over the last 10 years (How bad was The Gun Club one? and The Tribe Called Quest one and....). So I thought I would quickly fall asleep to the soothing sounds of Rush and a bunch of dull talking heads. Two hours later I was wide awake, compelled and quite moved.

2010's Beyond The Lighted Stage was put together by the Banger Films production co. from Canada. Don't let that put you off though. Director Sam Dunn doesn't go gonzo on this one. He takes a back seat letting the band do all the story telling. Banger do the web show Lock Horns which is a metal sub-genre debate show. There's like 50 hour long episodes on Youtube. Lock Horns has good episodes on Essential Black Metal Albums and Essential Doom Albums. Banger Films were also responsible for Metal: A Headbangers Journey, Global Metal and the 11 part tv series Metal Evolution. They've also produced docs on Alice Cooper and Iron Maiden but I'm yet to see those.

Anyway back to Rush. I was amazed at how many of their songs I was familiar with considering I've never been a Rush fan or even friends with a Rush fan. Hey I've known many a metal/prog head in my life but nobody with a passion for Rush. This documentary is a good little film with some surprisingly top tunes. I'm not gonna play the instant expert and tell you the story and what their best albums are, just go and watch Beyond The Lighted Stage. Suffice to say it's not the usual sex, drugs, Rock & Roll narrative. These guys were nerdy as fuck, enthrallingly idiosyncratic and accessible at the same time. Rush are/were not arseholes which has got be the rarest of qualities in Rock.



Limelight from whence the title of the film came.



I recently saw Tom Sawyer covered by a Rush cover band on a shite American sit-com which made me want to watch this doc.....here it is below.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Twin Peaks Returns


???

Well I've done it. That is endured the longest 4 hours of 2017 so far. Today was Twin Peaks day. I tried to act like I was more enthused than I was, suspecting that maybe I was over this teenage obsession. We specially signed up for the streaming service Stan so we could watch the show immediately. Bored, angry, tense, duped, old, sad and bemused are just some of the things I felt whilst watching the 2017 season of Twin Peaks. I would have been quite happy to discontinue watching the show after each of the first three episodes. However speechless Emma kept going so I sat and hoped that it would improve. It's worth remembering though that most of the second half of season two (aired 1990-91) was unwatchable and incredibly disappointing.

During tonight's first three episodes I just kept thinking 'Am I too old for this shit?' 'I'm just not the same person anymore.' 'Am I too depressed to enjoy this?' These thoughts were perplexing. Then I thought hang on this is Lynchian but it's not really Twin Peaks is it? It wasn't until the 4th and final episode, for this week, that it started to feel even remotely like the Twin Peaks of old. The thing is Twin Peaks of the early 90s was almost entirely set in Twin Peaks and its surrounds. Scenes not in the town were rare. In this new season however only about a quarter of the scenes so far have been set in Twin Peaks. Nobody has had pie yet. Dale Cooper has only had one sip of coffee and he spat that out. This is quite possibly a punkish statement of intent from Lynch ie. He's not gonna give us the nostalgia trip of a warm and fuzzy agent Cooper drinking endless cups of coffee while quipping enthusiastically about their merits.

The stories and soap opera/cop show vibes are barely there. Leaving us mainly with just the weird and horror portions of the show. If the ratio used to be 90% soap/whodunnit and 10% weird and scary, this time Lynch has flipped it so it's the other way around. I don't actually know what the fuck happened in episodes 1-3 tonight. It felt like I was drugged and can't remember what happened except for a few strange inexplicable dark segments. Who were all these new characters? How and why were we supposed to give a shit about them? A lot of the first three hours felt like a student film or 70s Dr Who on acid. Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive and Inland Empire were invoked more than the original Twin Peaks itself. Cast members from these films turn up too, further entwining all things Lynchian into the tv show.

By the time we got to the fourth episode, it ever so slightly started to feel like Twin Peaks. I will watch the next episode unreluctantly but.....I want more Douglas Firs, damn fine coffee, absurd quantities of donuts, cherry pie, that original sepia tone, cheesiness, other pies and the town of Twin Peaks! (Oh dear, I am the sad nostalgist Lynch doesn't want to pander to). The funny thing is 26 years ago I probably would have wanted less goofy soap and more mental shit. The bizarre and scary scenes had more impact back in the day because they were used more sparingly though.

I did sit on the couch and watch four hours of the new season of Twin Peaks in a row. That means something, I guess...



*One game I played when I got bored was - Who has aged best? The winner being David Lynch (Gordon) himself closely followed by Madchen Amick (Shelly). The rest looked old, hey that's life.

**If only Mark Fisher were still alive today to give us his analysis.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Throbbing Gristle - Live At Oundle School


The only music aired at home in the last 2 months has been TG24(24 Hours) and TG+. That is like over 30 hours of live Throbbing Gristle. I can't put anything else on. That's ok though, because I've rarely wanted to listen to any music over the last 2 years. The above performance was released on VHS and audio cassette in 1980 but is also featured on the first cd of the box set TG+ from 2004. It's very hard to believe this concert took place in a boys boarding school in front of a bunch boys aged 8 to 18. The story goes that one of the students convinced a teacher to book the band because he said they were similar to John Cage. Now how many grains of salt? Great myth or true story? Who really cares?

To fully comprehend Throbbing Gristle you have to go past the handful of proper LPs and immerse yourself in their live recordings. So it's pretty handy that all their live performances from their original incarnation (1975-81) were all recorded and released.




Sunday, 14 May 2017

Spacer Woman - Charlie

SPACE DEBRIS GOES TO THE ITALIO DISCO



80s electro disco Italian stylee. Weird....how about that vocal science? Hypnogogic 20+ years early, hints of deep-tech...quite the curious artefact.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Blue Wing Console

SPACE DEBRIS GOES TO THE LIBRARY



Kinda somewhere between Goblin and Numan, I guess. Splendid synth tune played by The Blue Wing Console, a pseudonym for library music producer Simon Park. Motives is taken from the LP Sun High released on the Music De Wolfe label in 1976. 

Monday, 17 April 2017

Where's My Towel/Industry Standard - Big Boys

UNDERRATED GEMS


I cannot believe this record's status isn't 'post-punk classic'. Minutemen, James Chance, Mission Of Burma and even Wipers get all the kudos for this kind of thing. Is it not the best American punky post-punk LP though? Big Boys were Texans who made ye olde angular punk that got pretty fuckin' fonkay at times. It was possibly a big influence on third albums by Meat Puppets and REM. This 1981 album didn't get a mention in Rip It Up & Start Again or its pdf appendix Discography Part Two: Post-punk Esoterica. Where's My Towel... is pretty hard to categorise which might be a reason it remains on the outside of subterranean rock historyAll Music Guide once again prove their irrelevance by giving it only three stars. Just because Where's My Towel... doesn't rate in the rock-crit consensus doesn't mean it's not magnificent though.

MCR, a Light In The Attic subsidiary, thankfully rescued this recording from languishing in obscurity in 2013. There was a comp, The Skinny Elvis on Touch & Go in the early 90s, which contained this LP in its entirety along with the Frat Cars EP and their side of Live At Raul's. The Skinny Elvis was endorsed by Rollins, Coley, Moore & Mackaye in its sleeve-notes (How 1993). However I don't need those dudes to tell me what a fabulous record this is. Maybe the cult of Big Boys is still building and one day they'll be more than just a footnote to Scratch Acid, Rapeman et al.


Saturday, 15 April 2017

Sweet Sixteen - Diga Ryhtm Band

SPACE DEBRIS GOES TO THE LOFT


Bloody amazing mental exotica from 1976. Kinda like Martin Denny after a few lines of speed and a tab of acid. This was big at NYC's The Loft apparently. Produced by Mickey Hart who was the drummer in The Grateful Dead but don't let that put you off.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Nude For Satan



Wow...only discovered this recently but haven't been able to track down a soundtrack. I can't find any evidence of it ever being made available to the public actually. The film is on youtube but I'm yet to watch it. I have been led to believe the best thing about this movie is its soundtrack though. It's a little surprising that one of the record companies that specialise in horror soundtracks haven't reissued this yet. Alberto Beldon Bembo was apparently a very famous singer in Europe in the 70s.

Monday, 3 April 2017

On The Hi-Fi In Brief - Autumn 2017


SONGS OF THE HUMPBACKED WHALE - Roger Payne (1970)
Been meaning to listen to this LP for like 20 years. I'm sure this was the first ever album released that contained whale songs. It apparently became a massive hit. This is pure whale song with no crashing waves, pan pipes or gimmicky new age keys. Aquatic animal dub jazz masterpiece.


READY FOR THE HOUSE - Jandek (1978)
I've never actually taken the time to sit down and given Jandek a proper close listen until now. Most outsider musicians I can take or leave but Jandek feels more essential than that. He really came up with something unique. This is a man alone with his voice and a strangely tuned guitar. The way Jandek plays and sings is incomparable to anyone else before him. I've tried to come up with a description of what he does but his music is beyond words. Ready For The House is spooky rudimentary acoustic blues played randomly..... I tried.......but that does not do Jandek justice.


THE GHOST OF HOPE - The Residents (2017)
I did not think I would be listening to a current LP from the legendary Residents this year but hey I am. The residents are in the midst of an absurdly productive phase. They've issued over 15 recordings since the beginning of the 2010s. The couple I've heard are terrific, better than their 80s and 90s output, almost up there with their 70s golden period. The Ghost Of Hope is a concept record about train disasters in the olden days. These tales are compelling, grim and quite touching.


PAWN HEARTS - Van der Graaf Generator (1971)
Van Der Graaf Generator released a bunch of ridiculous prog albums in the 70s that are cherished to this day and not just by prog fans. Their influence was broader than that, glam and punk people also appreciated this singular and very British vision. If only the rest of prog was this good. VDGG's 4th record is colossal in its chaos. Epic.