Thursday, 22 December 2016

Best Of 2016 - Part II


LONG
Professional Sunflow - Laraaji & Sun Araw
Caramel - Konx-Om-Pax
Rock To TN34 - eMMplekz
Purple Reign - Future
Creaking Haze & Other Rave Ghosts - Assembled Minds
...Presents The Mechanical Abrasions Of (Volumes 2&3) - Ashtray Navigations
Strands - Steve Hauschildt
Blank Face - Schoolboy Q
Toll - Kemper Norton
2845 - Convextion
Blackstar - David Bowie
Club God 5 - Beatking
Colour - Katie Gately
Pacific Image - Hybrid Palms
Lodestar - Shirley Collins
Stranger Things OST - Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein
Black Peak - Xylouris White



FENCE

I, Gemini - Let's Eat Grandma
Sometimes I think this is a fantastic missing link between Kate Bush, Grime and god knows what else, other times I just wanna smash the stereo in.
Jeffery - Young Thug
Some good tunes here but something about the production is not quite right....but it's good though...I think... maybe it's still growing on me.
Borderland: Transport - Juan Atkins & Moritz Von Oswald
Classic intersection of Detroit techno and 90s Berlin dub-tech or a bunch of old geezers recording trax for the electronic music preservation society?

WTF?
Islah - Kevin Gates
His mixtape run up to this, his major label debut, was unsurpassed. What happened?
New Ways Out - Belbury Poly
Their previous 4 records were ace, this however.....
The Life Of Pablo - Kanye West
I listened and listened again but I'm sure there's only two good songs here.



ARCHIVES
Close To The Noise Floor (Formative UK Electronica 1975-1984) - Various Artists
No Cabs, Numan or Depeche, but hey you've heard them. Have you heard Third Door From The Left, We Be Echo, Storm Bugs or 5XOD?
The Emperor's New Music - Gerry & The Holograms
Even unplayable art prank 7"ers are getting reissued. Why not?
When A New Trick Comes Out I Do An Old One - Moon Wiring Club
A 3 cd compilation of archive material from Hauntology's finest.
Venezuela 70: Venezuelan Experimental Rock In The 1970s
Soul Jazz Records go in search of further afield South American sonic delights and strike gold.
Boogie Breakdown: South African Synth Disco 1980-1984 - Various Artists
Get down to these sweet South African soundz courtesy of the marvelous Cultures Of Soul Records. Tonight we're gonna party like it's 1984!
Doin It In Lagos: Boogie, Pop & Disco In 1980s Nigeria - Various Artists
Soundway Records does it again! Get down to these sweet Nigerian soundz. Contains one of the greatest tunes ever in Steve Monite's Only You.
Space Echo: The Mystery Behind The Cosmic Sound Of Cabo Verde 1977-1985 - Various Artists
Get Down To These Sweet soundz from Cabo Verde. Another Analog Africa joint.



TELLY

Fleabag
Atlanta



BOOK
Shock & Awe: Glam Rock & Its Legacy - Simon Reynolds
Grant & I - Robert Forster



Sunday, 18 December 2016

Best Of 2016


CHOONZ
Pick Up The Phone - Young Thug & Travis Scott feat Quavo
Purple Reign - Future
Perky's Calling - Future
The Face In The Mirror Is Not Mine - Assembled Minds 
Why You Always Hatin' - YG feat Drake & Kamaiyah
So High - Beatking feat Gangser Boo
Eat Shittake Mushrooms - Let's Eat Grandma
That Part - Schoolboy Q feat Kanye West
Starboy - The Weekend feat Daft Punk
Guwop - Young Thug feat Quavo, Young Scooter & Offset
Awake Awake/The Split Ash Tree/May Carol/ Southover - Shirley Collins
Wolves (Balmain Campaign) - Kanye West feat Sia
Webbie - Young Thug feat Duke
Low Life - Future feat The Weekend
Lazarus - David Bowie
50 On My Wrist - Sonny Digital
Black Beatles - Rae Sremmurd feat Gucci Mane
Do Ya Mind - DJ Khaled feat Nicky M, Chris B, August Alsina, Jerimih, Future & Rick Ross
Bad & Boujee - Migos feat Uzi Vert

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Angel Rada



This is taken from the Soul Jazz comp Venezuela 70 which was released this year. I don't think I'd ever heard anything from Venezuela before. I have many records from Brasil, Columbia & Peru but this is a new territory for me. The above tune is the outstanding one for me on that collection - South American space synth jam dedicated to Klaus Schulze.



This one's on Venezuela 70 as well.... pretty good too. Details about Rada on the web are v sketchy. He was in the band Gas Light then went solo. He studied music in Germany in the 70s. That's about it.



Wow...this tune is not on the Soul Jazz compilation but is incredible. Upadesa puts me in mind of an even stranger Illitch if that's possible. This is fabulous lost Kosmische synthesiser music. A musical revelation to the eardrums. So all of the above tracks were on Angel Rada's record Upadesa released sometime in the 70s (???). This is the kind of thing that would have been posted on Mutant Sounds back in the day. Is there more unheard gold out there?

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Sister - Sonic Youth

TIM'S ULTRA ROUGH GUIDE TO ROCK - PART 9?


Sonic Youth - Sister
I think Schizophrenia, which opens Sister, was the first Sonic Youth song I ever heard. This was on a visit to the big smoke in 1987 and it was played on either 3RRR or 3PBS in Melbourne. What an introduction to a phenomenal band. I’d listened to the Primitive Calculators, The Birthday Party and Cosmic Psychos before but who knew you could make noise beautiful? This is probably the Sonic Youth album I’ve played the most. The cover was perfect. This is the sound of skyscrapers, cows. suburbia and intergalactica all rolled into one. Cotton Crown still sounds unbelievable today with its girl/boy vocals and those swirly out of tune guitars then when that change where the bass goes bezerk Sonic Youth elevate rock to one of its loftiest peaks. This band were on an outstanding roll that had begun with the two previous LPs and would continue for their next three records. Then as elder statesmen/women of art rock they had a terrific late re-flowering and issued a classic trilogy of albums that began with 2002’s Murray Street. Sister = Awesome!


Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Hashim - Al Naafiysh



Just discovered this classic bit of old School electro from 1983 the other day...mmm...mm!

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Hip Hop's Founding Fathers




We're not talking about Kool Herc or The Bronx here. This doc tries to set the record and history books straight on who the real innovators in hip-hop were. Founding Fathers presents an alternative narrative to hip hop's past that shines a light on a bunch of forgotten cats who were involved in block parties from other boroughs of NYC other than The Bronx. It's all about turntables, big sound systems, DJs, Bigger sound systems, park jams and really big sound systems. Chuck D narrates. I wouldn't post it if I didn't think it was excellent.

Monday, 31 October 2016

Halloween - Ennio Morricone Edition



One of Morricone's lesser known scores but it's another fucking cracker. I only came across this one last year and it blew my mind a little bit, couldn't believe my ears. Kick off your festivities with this cranked on the hi-fi. This is the score to a 1972 Giallo directed by Massimo Dallamano which features saucy female students, sleazy teachers, nudity, abortions, girls on bikes and murders. What did you expect?



Now this has to be one of Morricone's most underrated horror scores. If you're dropping acid at your festivities tonight this will be the perfect soundtrack! I've never watched the film but the sounds here get pretty insane, perhaps I'll finally watch it tonight. They even made an Exorcist III ...who knew?



Ooh...I just found this. It's a collection of tunes from a bunch of Ennio's Giallio scores, nothing new to me here but looks like it'll be a great creepy mix. Tracklist below.

COSA AVETE FATTO A SOLANGE? (TITOLI) from “Cosa avete fatto a Solange?” 00:00
1970 from “Il gatto a nove code” 02:37
NEBULOSA PRIMA from “Il segreto” 11:17
VALZER from “La corta notte delle bambole di vetro” 16:49
SEGUITA from “Gli occhi freddi della paura” 19:07
OSTINAZIONE AL LIMONE from “Cosa avete fatto a Solange?” 22:21
IL SERPENTE from “Il serpente” 24:48
BAMBOLE DI VETRO from “La corta notte delle bambole di vetro” 31:24
SPASMO from “Spasmo” 38:07
OLTRE IL SILENZIO from “Il diavolo nel cervello” 40:04
EMMETRENTATRE from “La corta notte delle bambole di vetro” 43:32
LE FOTO PROIBITE DI UNA SIGNORA PER BENE from “Le foto proibite di una signora per bene” 47:45
TRIO INFERNALE from “Trio infernale” 52:23
INSEGUIMENTO E FUGA from “Revolver” 56:30
SENZA MOTIVO APPARENTE from “”Senza movente” 01:00:15
LA RAGIONE, IL CUORE, L'AMORE from “Il diavolo nel cervello” 01:04:38
EVANESCENZE from “Gli occhi freddi della paura” 01:08:04
L'ATTENTATO from “L'attentato” 01:11:25
NINNA NANNA IN BLU from ”Il gatto a nove code” 01:16:04


Don't ya just love this cover. Eyeballs, eyeballs, eyeballs. Eyeball goodness. Eyeball art! Below is a review I once did on this soundtrack.

Gli Occhi Freddi Della Paura - ENNIO MORRICONE
Now this was another 1971 soundtrack but it didn't get a release until 2000. I didn't miss this one. I think it has been reissued again in the last year or two. So Morricone recorded this with his improv band Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza. This score is not only one of the best soundtracks ever, its also one of the best albums ever. I guess people into AMM, Nihilist Spasm Band, Spontaneous Music Ensemble or Miles Davis in the 70s should take a special interest here. This is some top notch improv jams under the direction of the one and only Bruno Nicolai. Produced by none other than Gianni Dell'orso. We've got fuzz guitar duelling with jazz bass and electronics. That's just for starters. This LP is so unpredictable you never know where it's heading next. There's many a clank and a scrape to be heard amongst other haunting sounds. The group had been going since 1964 and are considered one of the pioneering collectives of experimental composers. It was by no means Morricone's band. Other members included Egisto Macchi (library music legend), Walter Branchi and Franco Evangelisti. I think it was Evangelisti who got the whole thing together. They were aspiring to a new form of composition through improvisation and other methods such as (like John Cage) chance. Apparently they sometimes used the game of chess as an inspiration. Anyway the credits on this one go to Morricone but that seems arbitrary as surely everyone contributed to each tune. Fabulously free percussion mixed with of sour sax/trumpet(?) and textural keyboards play their part on this recording. More than anything though its not the separate sounds that make up the music, its the sound of the unit itself. This is an incredibly switched on unit comparable to Can and the ensembles Miles Davis put together in the 70s. Half the time I don't know what's making the sounds anyway. This doesn't sound like any other soundtrack I've ever heard. Most of the time you forget this incredibly fluid music even went with images as the tangent of where the hell they'll go next has you so engaged. You start to feel that your own ear is also an integral part of the unit as well. This is a hell of a strange trip that never gets old. They have other albums as well, maybe I'll discuss them another time. Its quite hard to believe a film director just saying 'yeah sure' to this mental project. This is a unique record that could have a special place in your heart if you give it a listen. Like Harmonia's Deluxe this is an unheralded classic of 20th century music that deserves a better status.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Chewed up VHS - Part 2


REWIND THIS (2013 DOCUMENTARY)
Here's another doco on VHS culture and another excellent cover/poster. This one is a bit all over the place but it is watchable as opposed to Adjust Your Tracking from the same year (more on that another time). It feels like they're trying to cover too much of video culture all at once though. As if they were in a rush to cover a little bit of each part of the dying, ephemeral culture of video stores and VHS before any other filmmaker got there first. Rewind This was at least compelling enough for me to make it through to the end of the film.

They could have really made 4 or 5 in depth documentaries covering certain aspects of video culture because there is some great subject matter here ie. Cover/poster art, nostalgia for video libraries, how B-grade and horror videos got their foot in the door ahead of studio/hollywood stuff, the bootleg trade/grey market and who the hell is going to preserve straight to video videos. Speaking of straight to video videos, any form of a convincing case isn't really put forth that there is any greatness worth preserving. There however will always be people who are willing to archive and preserve anything no matter how crap or inconsequential it may be because 'it's all relative man.'

Thursday, 27 October 2016

HALLOWEEN Edition




Here's some of the soundtrack to the 1968 Giallo film Death Laid An Egg. Why doesn't somebody reissue this classic. I have to thank Kat Ellinger and Samm Deighan of The Daughters of Darkness podcast for introducing me to this film and in particular this fucking great soundtrack. They referred to it as 'noise-core chicken jazz'. I think a lot of the noisy chickeny bits have been left off here just leaving the score, which is great on it's own anyway. Bruno Maderna was a serious conductor but he composed as well. He did 10 soundtracks and this was his last.



Speaking of great soundtracks, we've been waiting for a reissue of Messiah Of Evil for years but to no avail. Some odd gems are getting attention though like Richard Einhorn's Shock Waves OST which got issued last year. Einhorn's other great one Don't Go In The House remains out of print. Releases of film soundtracks like Let's Scare Jessica To Death, Deathdream and Slaughter Hotel would be most welcome. Some of these may have used library music though...er...haven't done much research into them.

Anyway check out this creepy movie. It stars the very beautiful Marianna Hill and Anitra Ford. Don't go looking for a cohesive narrative here. I see at it more like a series of disturbing surreal scenes, many of which are unforgettable. It's in the public domain so here's a download link.


HORROR PODCAST
The Hysteria Continues 
I missed this podcast in my recent set of podcast posts. This must have been introduced to me by Bill Ackerman of Supporting Characters. This is the best horror movie podcast I've come across. We've got 4 chaps in three different countries (England, USA & Ireland) discussing their favourite genre of film - slasher movies. They've got the balance just right. Nobody talks over anybody else, they don't speak too fast, they're knowledgable, passionate, funny and have a good formula.

I'm not even what you would call a slasher fan. Sure I like Black Christmas, Halloween and Slumber Party Massacre plus some of the influences on slasher like Peeping Tom and Psycho as well as many Giallo movies. But as I've mentioned before I missed the whole 80s video thing due to boring parents. The Hysteria Continues has had me watching the likes of Happy Birthday To Me, Mortuary, Funeral Home, My Bloody Valentine, House On Sorority Row, Pieces, Slaughter Hotel, Prom Night, The Burning, Chopping Mall and Terror Train. The hosts have also been kind enough to make me avoid many slasher titles which sound like total and utter shite.

The Hysteria Continues have occasionally covered proto-slashers, quasi-slashers and Gialli too. They don't just talk about slasher related things though, they go through general horror films and television in their 'recently seen' segment and often veer off into conversation about other things. Who thought anyone would be talking about Toyah in 2016? There's a great segment on 'top 3s' covering such topics as best final girls, best theme music, best death scenes, best killer masks etc. One of the hosts Justin Kerswell wrote The Slasher Book aka Teenage Wasteland as well as running the website Hysteria Lives. The website The Body Count Continues is/was(?) run by one of the American co-hosts....see what  they've done?...er...combined the two website names and come up with the podcast name. If you can handle puerile humour coming out of the mouths of grown men and love your genre cinema this comes highly recommended.


*Finders Keepers Radio have done a Halloween podcast here.
**FACT have done a Hip Hop Halloween mix where each tune contains a horror movie sample here.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Chewed Up VHS Part I

After listening to a lot of movie podcasts I've decided to have a little look at some documentaries that have passed me by in the last few years. A plethora of documentaries on VHS culture, horror movies, collectors, censorship, video nasties etc. have been released in the last 5 or so years. I've finally caught up with many of these titles and will do a mini review on a few that I've watched. Here's the first. 


Slice & Dice: The Slasher Film Forever (2012 Documentary)
Slice & Dice is hardly a revolutionary documentary. It's not particularly insightful or comprehensive about its subject matter. Even for the casual slasher fan there isn't anything particularly exciting or noteworthy to learn about the genre here. To combat the staid talking head formula they've framed each head inside a slasher motif ie. a cabin window or a rear view mirror. The most entertaining interviewee is Corey Feldman. I don't really know much about him or his role in slasher pictures, I think he appeared in one or two of the later sequels to Friday The 13th. He is entertaining despite or maybe because of coming across as someone who's been through some kind of trauma and/or addiction though.

The documentary makers go through a bunch of cliches such as the rules of surviving a slasher and how to be a final girl, like none of us had ever seen Scream. They didn't exactly enlist the sharpest of horror commentators for this film either, making analysis of the genre rather half arsed. Like a lot of the videos/films they are talking about here the best thing about this doc is the cover/poster (see above). I guess what kept me watching was the excellent slasher greatest hits clip show that runs throughout. Here's 75 minutes to pass the time or depending on how you look at it, waste it.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Podcasts - Bowie Edition


David Bowie has been there all my life. He was on the radio, on the telly, on my brothers tape deck, played at discos, on production duties for some of my favorite albums, in my music magazines and in books I owned. He was only ever fully accepted as a musical entity into my music brain in 2013 though. I always had problems with him partly because by the time I'd reached double figures his best work was behind him. I remembered the great tunes from when I was little Ashes To Ashes, Rebel Rebel and all the stuff that never went away because it was on the radio. I didn't hate Modern Love and Let's Dance but even then I knew he wasn't at his peak and after that geez....he certainly was no longer very cool Blue Jean, Glass Spider, Dancing In The Street, Absolute Beginners etc. Then there was my brother, I mean I thought it was totally naff that he was listening to Tin Machine when Sonic Youth and The Pixies were at the peaks of their powers in the late 80s. Later I liked that tune off the Lost Highway soundtrack but that was pretty much it.

For some reason I decided to chuck all my prejudices away in 2013, well just go back to the good stuff. I always knew it was waiting for me plus it wasn't like I hadn't heard it all previously. I suppose 2013 was the year I went out of my way to listen to those records by choice as opposed to having them thrust upon me. That was a strange year for me as I had moved away from Melbourne where I'd lived for over 20 years. I was unsettled, lonely, missed the big smoke and was in some kind of culture shock. I'm still figuring it all out. Anyway I got all his records from 1970-1980 and immersed myself in them. He got so popular round here on weekends I would have Bowie breakfast. I drove the Mrs mental, I think. Enough about me and my insanity, I thought we'd have a little look at some of the podcasts dedicated to Bowie. Some of these were before his death and some were tributes after he had passed away. All these podcasters have been discussed in the previous 3 posts.

SOUND OPINIONS #347 - This show is dedicated to the classic album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars.

SOUND OPINIONS #381 - Toni Visconti discusses working with the great man here.

SOUND OPINIONS #529 - This episode is called Remembering David Bowie.

MY FAVORITE ALBUM... - With Neil Finn (Split Enz/Crowded House/Finn Brothers/Solo) where he discusses among other things one of his heroes David Bowie.

MY FAVORITE ALBUM #120 - Ben Blacker talks about his love for Bowie's Alladin Sane.

MY FAVORITE ALBUM #138 - In this fantastic podcast actor/podcaster Stephen Tobolowski talks about The Ziggy Stardust LP and how it affected his life.

WORD PODCAST #188 - Great writer Peter Doggett (of Man Who Sold The World: Bowie & The 70s fame) and Paul Du Noyer join The Word wankers to discuss Mr Bowie.

LATE EDITION....
One of the greatest rock writers in history, Paul Morley, has written a book on David Bowie called The Age Of Bowie and here he is the other day with just one of The Word wankers for WORD PODCAST #256. Morley is on a superlative roll and I'd have been happy for him to continue on for another hour. Good stuff!

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Podcasts - Part 3


We're winding up the podcast series with perhaps one more post after this. Another pet hate that creeps into the podcast world is dudes doing their research on the the fly. Some of these podcasters will tell you they are looking up wikipedia and skim through the info, reading it aloud while recording then not bothering with editing. This is lazy and not an enjoyable listen. Microphone technique is another huge problem. Some casters will go from inaudible to screaming into the mike, v annoying. Getting shitfaced whilst recording your show doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be entertaining either. After all there is only one Headly Gritter!

STUFF TO BLOW YOUR MIND
From the same network as the enjoyable Stuff You Should Know podcast. This is similar with good introductions and overviews of interesting topics like MSG, coincidence, shame, Satanic Panic, weird snow, MDMA, science of beards etc. Occasionally I feel a bit like I've had fast food for dinner and need a hearty nutritious meal ie. I haven't been fully satisfied with the information presented. That's the nature of these types programmes though, I guess. You can then go and investigate further on the subjects that intrigue you.

STUFF THEY DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW
As above, this is another podcast from the howstuffworks.com crew. More introductions to topical subjects. They've covered cannibalism, serial killers, devil worshippers, genocide, the internet, North Korea, the war on drugs, the bible, Osama Bin Laden and a bunch of other stuff. This show's a bit more on the conspiracy theory side of things but looking at the information with sane objectivity.

The aforementioned Stuff You Should Know podcast stills rules the roost for this network though, mainly due to the chemistry of the hosts Josh & Chuck.

THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY...
There are some excellent episodes of this podcast. Recorded live in front of an audience at the library I assume. The classic here for music fans is David Fricke interviewing Lou Reed, Mo Tucker and Doug Yule ex-members of The Velvet Underground in 2009. Other episodes include John Waters on his book about hitchhiking Car Sick, Matthew Wiener creator of Mad Men, Joan Didion, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry & Chris Stein, Laurie Anderson, Jay-Z, Timbaland, Russell Simmons & Rick Rubin on Def Jam and many more.

THE PROJECTION BOOTH
Along with Daughters Of Darkness this is the finest film podcast my ears have come across. Mike White & his co-presenters articulate their knowledge of film with great finesse. The high quality of this show reminds me of Film Buff's Forecast, the brilliant long running 2 hour radio show on Melbourne's 3RRRFM. Every podcast instalment of The Projection Booth I've listened to has been terrific. Who knew Bruce Dern almost made the American olympic running team?

One of their outstanding projects was the 4 hour epic VHS Extravaganza followed up a month later with a 2 and half hour episode The Revenge Of VHS. This double feature of podcasts was a fascinating look inside the resurgence of VHS culture, video collectors, documentaries about VHS, nostalgia for video shops, clam shells, cover art and everything else in between. At over 6 and a half hours it's a testament to The Projection Booth team that I didn't get bored.

An episode on Let's Scare Jessica To Death was first rate as director John D Hancock was interviewed along with Lee Kalcheim who wrote the original script. Who knew this underground movie was a multi million dollar success?

Their discourse on Two-Lane Blackop was a marvellous episode too as it contained an interview with the film's director Monte Hellman.

I could go on and on.....In fact there's something like 300 episodes of this podcast so that should keep any film aficionado going for a very long time. Obviously this is highly recommended for those willing to go really deep into Movie culture.

HENRY & HEIDI
No matter what you may think of Henry Rollings (sic) there's no doubting he can spin a good yarn. Here he co-hosts a podcast with his manager Heidi May who is the yin to his yang. So if you can stomach listening to the man prattle on, there will be much here for you to enjoy. They recorded just 15 episodes of this podcast over a 6 month period in 2015. Hear tales about Hubert Selby Jr., William Shatner, Rollins Band, Lollapolooza, Charlie Sheen, California, acting and RuPaul. Who knew that there was an unreleased musical collaboration between Hank & RuPaul from the 90s?

Scared Jessica

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Podcasts - Part 2


After listening to some of the less professional podcasts I've got some new pet peeves. I now can't stand people saying 'I love this' or 'I hate that' or 'He's one of my favorite directors', 'That record is just shit' or  'You must like this....!' etc.

I get the kind of DIY thing that some of the podcast kids are going for, but sometimes the amateurish approach to their recording, equipment, research and articulation on their subjects leaves a lot to be desired and can be unlistenable. Here we continue our little squizz at the world of podcasting.

DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS
This is probably the best podcast discovery of the year and it only kicked off in March. Samm Deighan and Kat Ellinger host this show on cult movies with equal amounts passion and knowledge. They present Daughters Of Darkness with great conviction and eloquence. This show is incredibly well researched and Samm and Kat have a delightful chemistry. So far they've covered Lesbian Vampire movies in a 3 part series. Then they brought us a a four part season on Polish director Andrzej Zulawski who recently passed away. Next they investigated the subterranean world of indie American exploitation films that featured in Stephen Thrower's top book Nightmare USA. There's plenty more too. This one is for the cinephiles and lets hope it continues with such high quality.

DIRECTOR'S CLUB
Another podcast dedicated to film and man there are a lot of them out there. This one's a bit too haphazard for my liking. It's a bit like overhearing a conversation in a bar about a film director. Perhaps that's what they're going for. It might be enjoyable to be in that conversation, not so much fun to listen to it.

STORIES THAT MATTER
This is an excellent podcast presented by The Peabody Awards. Great interviews with award winners Anthony Bourdain, Serial's Sarah Koenig, Documentarian Alex Gibney and Sopranos creator David Chase. This could have been one of the great podcasts in history as Matt Shedd is a fabulous interviewer but it came to an abrupt halt after just five shows.

ADAM BUXTON...
Supposedly this is a comedy podcast! It's remarkably unfunny despite the occasional interesting guest ie. John Ronson, Rob Brydon, Louis Theroux etc.

RICHARD HERRING'S LIECESTER THEATRE...
If you can get past the acquired taste of so called comedian Richard Herring you may well be able to enjoy some of these episodes. Sometimes I can't listen to him and other times I can tolerate him. As the title suggests his show is recorded in front of a live audience and he's had the cream of the comedy crop turn up for this podcast which ensures hilarity often. Comic legends such as David Mitchell, Stephen Fry, Ross Noble, Steve Coogan, Sarah Millican, Jessica Hynes, Lee Mack, Eddie Izzard and Vic Reeves have all graced the Leicester Theatre stage for these recordings. The two episodes that stand out have been when David Cross and Bob Mortimer were guests stars and in fine form. He's had his share of turds too ie. Russell Brand, Sue Perkins, Jake Whitehall etc.

BY THE WAY, IN CONVERSATION WITH JEFF GARLIN
Jeff Garlin of course plays Larry David's manager in the classic sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm. The best podcast is the first one and it's with Larry David. This instalment is like an elongated scene between the two in an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, depending on your view of the show you'll either love it or not. The other episodes have been disappointing. He got a bit cringeworthy during the podcasts with Lena Dunham and Amy Poehler.

Mulligan and O'Hare!


Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Podcasts - Part 1


In 2016 I have mostly been unable to enjoy or even listen to music, much to the detriment of my blog. I put on normal TV for the first time in over 12 months this April only to discover Australian telly is just as shite as the last time I turned it on. I knew there was a reason I got got rid of cable a couple of years back. The free to air idiot box is even worse. The only 2 shows I've been able to enjoy are Gogglebox and Have You Been Paying Attention?, sometimes they even wear a bit thin. There are so many unfunny comedy shows, unlikable comedians, overtly crass witless characters, formulaic reality tv, terrible American tonight shows where the hosts have no craft (Fallon, Colbert & Corden all seem to be in the wrong format) and don't get me started on the ABC (Australian Broadcasting commission) let alone fucking ABC2. My love for Aussie Rules footy has waned and sports broadcasting seems to be at its lowest ebb (The Olympics) as well as being at saturation point. I didn't even fully engage with this years season of Girls, which has been the best show of the last few years.

In the search for something to fill a void for my natural curiosity (I've only been able to read one and a half books in 2016) I have tuned into the podcast world. Previously I have enjoyed The Ricky Gervais, Stuff You Should Know, Bret Easton Ellis, Finders Keepers Radio and No Such Thing As A Fish podcasts. I decided to go deeper this time. I've been checking out certain podcasts to see what the fuss is about and just came across others. Fuck there is some shite out there but a couple of gems have come to my attention. So here's a brief look at some of the casts of pod I have wrapped my ears around.

SERIAL
This is the one everyone talks about and it even won a Peabody award. Sarah Koenig and her cohorts excel with their 2 seasons. The first is 12+ episodes investigating a murder trial gone awry. The second is a bizarre 11 part story of an American soldier who goes AWOL in Afghanistan. Recommended.

WTF
Marc Maron presents interviews with an array of cultural figures. He's really bloody annoying and comes off awkward when talking to women. I don't think he's actually a comedian . Don't understand the popularity of this one. Wtf?

THE NERDIST
This is also quite annoying. The presenters (who call themselves comedians??) come across as so needy and desperate (also see above) while they interview people from current pop culture. Like Maron the interviews with women sometimes come across as awkward and even a bit creepy.

WORD
This one is a bunch of annoying British men who love the sound of their own voices and find themselves 'oh so interesting'. However there have been a couple of good episodes particularly the shows where excellent authors Pete Doggett and John Savage have been guests.

SOUND OPINIONS
This is a well researched and professional podcast about music presented by a couple of old rock crits from Chicago Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot. It's a bit old hat but the old hat bits are the best bits. Slayer, Bob Dylan, Toni Visconti on Bowie, John Savage on punk, Sarah Marcus on Riot Grrrl, Jac Holzman on Electra Records and Stanley Booth on The Rolling Sones are amongst some of their choice episodes. Get your retro rock information fix here.

MY FAVORITE ALBUM
Jeremy Dylan has a guest on each episode talking about their fave LP. Records covered are usually of the canonical variety although Comsat Angels, The Shangri Las, The Blue Nile and Shuggie Otis have had episodes dedicated to them. Dylan does his research but many episodes depend on how eloquent his guests can be about the music they love. Bob Harris on Forever Changes, Stephen Tobolowski on Ziggy Stardust, Robyn Hitchcock on Plastic Ono Band and Bad Dreams on Unknown Pleasures are some of the highlights ......Oh and Dylan loves his Beatles, he could probably do a separate podcast on that little known group. This show is at its best when host and guest are just as engaged as each other by the LP being discussed.

SUPPORTING CHARACTERS
Bill Ackerman does a very good job presenting this show with a different guest each week discussing Horror/Genre/B-Movies etc. His guests include writers, exhibitors, bloggers, zine publishers and documentarians. He's had some of the best authors in the field featured on his podcast including Danny Peary, JA Kerswell, Kier-La Janisse and Daniel Bird. The highlight so far was episode 2 with guest Samm Deighan, she writes the excellent blog Satanic Pandemonium and has just started co-presenting the fabulous podcast Daughters Of Darkness (more on that next time). Supporting Characters is just 14 episodes in, making this a relatively new podcast on the block and he's setting the bar high. Recommended for film buffs and cult movie fans.

Kathleen's Hanna

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

D.W. Suite - Mac Bits II


Only came across D.W. Suite this week after watching an old episode of Northern Exposure, couldn't believe my ears! That opening minute fifteen, mmmm. DW stands for Dennis Wilson apparently. 

Sunday, 24 July 2016






TIM'S ULTRA ROUGH GUIDE GUIDE TO ROCK - PART VII?


SUICIDE - SUICIDE
Neon lit psychotic synth punk biker boogie. This future has yet to arrive. Suicide were an entirely electronic duo. Martin Rev created one hell of a hypnotic, paranoid and insistent sound with just a broken farfisa and some homemade electronic effects. Lyric subject matter covered pop culture, love, sex, murder and the grim reality of urban/mental squalor. All this was sung by a reverbed to the max Alan Vega, who was an intergalactic rockabilly performance artist. Seminal.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Broken Hearts - Part 2


Loved this when I was little too. Children are strange. The teacher who did the 2 The Langley Schools Project LPs in the 70s said that the kids responded much more to the strange and emotional songs than the straight ahead pop tunes. 

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Broken Hearts - Part 1


It's funny how songs like this appeal to you as a child. I guess it was like a portal into what adulthood intensity was going to be like. Little did we know how painful such things were going to be and that we never really wanted to go through a scenario such as the one outlined in this song. Great songwriting but if you look a little closer this is actually quite a disturbing tune. In there somewhere seems to be a suicide threat.



I loved this when I would have been 10. Quite possibly the greatest heartbreaking tune of them all. It's all too much! That voice too.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Mac Bits....


I loved this when it came out. I would have only been like 8 but it got played to death on the regional radio station of my childhood 3MA when I lived in Buronga. Of course I wouldn't have realised the Stevie Nicks connection. Maybe I thought it was Fleetwood Mac though, I mean it's co-produced by Lindsay Buckingham. I think I actually only learnt that a year or two back!






This was on a hits compilation (Chartbusters?) when I was like 10. I wouldn't have realised who he was until at least 5 years later. I remember my sister thinking he was a bit of alright. I dunno though, he's stacked on a few pounds and isn't as cool as he was during the Rumours/Tusk era or even circa The Dance. Is this a good tune? I have no idea. I can't get it out of my head though.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

In Love With These Times: My Life With Flying Nun Records


Finally a book on Flying Nun written by the guy who started the label. Haven't read it yet. Here's a podcast from the other day with the author and a bunch of old film clips. Can't help but think this might be quite boring though, like that podcast. How sycophantic is that interviewer as well? Bruce Russell once hinted that Flying Nun's signings weren't necessarily based on aesthetics or great judgement but just whatever bands existed on the south island and other parts of NZ at the time. They were lucky there were so many good ones. This was further demonstrated in the late 80s when, after Flying Nun did some major label deal, a lot of the better acts started getting their work rejected. Anyway I hope it's good or do I?.........I wonder if the Axemen will get a mention?

I kind of liked it when you knew very little about underground music from NZ or Flying Nun. In the 80s I reckon there were only like 5 videos that ever got played on Rage. You'd see a small news article on The Clean or Verlaines in RAM back then plus the occasional review or bit on The Clean or The Chills in NME and Melody Maker. In Clinton Walker's 1983 (published in 84) book The Next Thing, which was about the current state of Australian rock, there was one paragraph at the end of the book mentioning The Clean, Victor Dimisich Band, The Chills and The Gordons. Walker speculated that perhaps there was something cool going on over there in the land of the long white cloud. He wasn't even sure if The Clean were still together! That's how little information there was at the time. Finding a Flying Nun record was like discovering treasure. Now all that fabulous mystique has gone and we're way too over informed more and more each day. I miss the mystery. I don't wanna know how much a Bats LP cost or how many copies they manufactured. It was all about these peculiarly beautiful tunes that seemed to come out of nowhere or maybe from a parallel time and universe. New Zealand seemed so mysterious and so far away then, even though it's just a short flight from East Coast Australia.












Robot/Copy - Plastics


1979 B side


A side
Released on Rough Trade.

Monday, 16 May 2016

The Dadacomputer

Again & Again &...

Whilst moving house recently a printed out image of the cover to this tape came out of one of my boxes. I'd printed it out a couple of years ago as I thought it was an incredible piece of pop art as previously mentioned. I'd only seen the cover and heard one of their tunes back then but a few months after that original post I found a cd in a second hand record shop in Melbourne. It was a little confusing though as it was credited to The Birth Of 5XOD. It was only like $6 so I bought it anyway. When I finally got home and did the interweb research I discovered it indeed was the same album Minimal Wave had reissued. I'd just never heard of 5XOD (or Five Times Of Dust) but I soon discovered they'd released 4 tapes in the early 80s and contained members Mark Philips and Robert Lawrence who were the original band Dadacomputer. Confused? Anyway it wasn't until blog Die or DIY? put up a file of 5XOD in 2014 that I ever heard them. Last year Johnny Zchivago of the aforementioned blog put up a whole lot of stuff from Mark Philips, Robert Lawrence and other associates of The Dadacomputer/5XOD and fuck that was like an avalanche of revelation

Getting back to the original Dadacomputer tape from1981, it has since become a cult classic at my home, on the internet, amongst electro fiends and.....er... hipsters and continues to grow in stature by the minute. So much so that a tune from the tape has been included on the 4 CD compilation of UK electronic music from 1975 -1984 Close To The Noise Floor. In fact it's the first track on that collection, as if the compiler was trying to make a statement about the merits of the band. There's also a tune from 5XOD included as well. Anyway The Dadacomputer tape is a classic of it's ilk. The primitive melodic electronics are like an unholy union created in the interzone of Computer World and 20 Jazz Funk Greats except it is fabulously unique. Which makes that description kind of deceptive. The contents range from computer-y disco to proto-house to trippy journeys into sound to minimal pre-IDM through to the just plain weird/normal. The Dadacomputer are neglected alien space babies lost inside el cheapo computers from 1981. On the surface it seems sonically rudimentary but on closer inspection it is perhaps sophisticated. Had enough paradoxes, oxymorons, confusion etc? Well I'll stop there.

Eventually I'll do a post on Map 7 which is an epic 10 tape series by Map (ie. Mark Philips 1/2 of The Dadacomputer) from 1981 because it is awesome.


Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Blog Stagnation


I will explain in this little post the reasons for the continuous interruptions to transmissions of my blog suffice to say health problems and a David Toop style dry patch have played roles in this. Didn't Toop retire from The Wire because he couldn't write about or listen to music anymore? Since last November there's probably been only 7 or 8 days where I've wanted to listen to music. This has made writing my blog a bit hard as it's primarily music based. Culture is a funny old thing, when you are really ill it ceases to have any meaning whatsoever for me. So in the past at least 7 months I've seen it as trivial and inconsequential. That could be the art of Tracey Enin, Mike Kelley, Christian Marclay or whoever to music like Miles Davis, Love, The Fall, Omni Trio or Young Thug to beloved movies like Bring The Head Of Alfredo Garcia, Don't Look Now, King Of New York etc. I don't want to be disengaged by the things I admire artistically and time will tell if the passion can make a return. I mean I'm pretty much done with movies, particularly those of the last 20 or so years but also retroactively such as films I once admired as a younger person. I cannot imagine sitting through a Hal Hartley film now (or at any time in the last 10 years) but I once rated him very highly. So anything could happen with regards to me and culture high or low (like there's any distinction in my brain with regard to that anyway) in the future.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

RIP


Had the 7" of the above back in the day but fuck I should have bought the 12" as it's way better and still so good.





One of Prince's great gifts to the world was his songwriting, producing and playing with women. In the case of the above Vanity 6 tune he even gets to be a woman in the song. He wasn't going to be pinned downed by society's sexual conventions. I was going to write a long personal post about sexuality, hating aspects of my own gender etc. with reference to Morrissey, Robert Forster, Michael Hutchence and of course Prince but I thought fuck it the past is the past. I didn't want to write a self therapy session. Don't get me started on Therapy! What a load of shit. Anyway I didn't need to write it as there's a terrific article by Simon on Prince, Gender & Music here.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

What's On The Hi-Fi - 90s Nuum Mixes


Pearsall Presents - Beyond Ecstatic: Hardcore Goes Jungle.
Another excellent mix from Pearsall from SonicRampage. These are tunes from 94/95 at the intersection of hardcore and jungle. I didn't really know what to expect from this mix as it all seemed a bit recalcitrant and probably not something I would have dug back in 95 but it's a bewdy and I think he achieves his goal. I suppose you can decide for yourself. Tunes from Ratty, House Crew, Essence Of Aura, DJ Seduction etc. Many of these are lesser known tracks by these well known artists, at least by me anyway. Pearsall describes Beyond Ecstatic as
'Jungle from hardcore producers, jungle released on hardcore labels, jungle remixes of hardcore tunes …'


Pearsall Presents - Truly Dread: A No U Turn Crew Special. 
This is another classic mix from early Feb that's on the Tech-Step tip and it doesn't disappoint either. We've got the cream of the Tech-Step crop here Nico, DJ Trace, Optical, Ed Rush, Dom etc. Get battered darkness points here. An hour and a half of 90s gold.


Law - Hidden Agenda Mix
Only really knew a handful of Hidden Agenda tunes before this. Most jungle with jazzy vibes gets a bit tedious but Hidden Agenda do something right that doesn't lure you to the off button. Props to Law from the great Drumtrip site for this killer mix. Am I getting old? Or just realising stuff you liked a bit in the 90s is 200 times better than anything currently being released?

Friday, 18 March 2016

Bass Bits Winds Up But...

God I could on forever. Don't get me started Peter Hook, Tina Weymouth, The Contortions, Gang of Four, The Fall, The Moodists, ESG, The Slits, Ian Rilen, The Pop Group, 70s reggae, PIL, liquid Liquid, Joseph K, Can, every band from the 60s, Michael Henderson, Bootsy fuckin Collins, every soul/funk band from USA in the 70s, Paul McCartney, Fire Engines, Minutemen, Jon Entwhistle, Died Pretty, Pete Wells, Gary Gary Beers, Mark Ferrie, James Freud, Steve Hanley, Andy Rourke, Bruce Lose/Will Shatter, Debbie Googe, Grant McLennan, Steve Kilbey, Kim Deal........somebody stop me.

I wrote this bit about bass players in July 2012. Now I wonder if they've all been covered. I've noticed some omissions though ie. Well I missed the Meat Puppets and all of 80s New Zealand but did Kim Gordon, John Frenett (Moonshake/Laika), the dude in Les Rallizes Denudes, Paul Raven etc. get mentioned in the Bass Bits celebration?


 Honey and Heat is a mesmerising off kilter urban dub tune with see-sawing samples. The samples here are meticulously crafted and create an entirely unique peculiarity. 


Red River could be a Moonshake tune with it's squalling sax, tense noisy guitar shapes, claustrophobic minimal bass and tumbling out of control beats

* Words on Laika taken from me bit here.


Paul Raven plays the bass here with great vigour...a bit like a 60s/Noo Wave guitar style with that chopping of the strings thang. I like this song but I also think it's kinda funny....the seriousness of it all. No mistaking that 80s vibe though. Did Killing Joke make it to the stadiums? Probably only as a support act I'd say.



The sound of late 80s Australian indy psych pop bass. Beautifully melodic and swirling. There's even a break at the 3.08 mark, nice. What's not to like? Always thought it was the dude Mark Lock who was the bass player on all Died Pretty's recordings up to1988 but discogs tells me it's Steve Clarke who took over bass duties in 1989 from whence this tune came.



Classic Flying Nun bass from Robert Scott in 1981! Written by Peter Gutteridge (RIP), later of Snapper.



How could I forget this one? Not played by Kim Deal who'd moved onto guitar but by Joesephine Wiggs. Her name's rather apt here as she fully wigs out here.
                                         

GOOD(idea) TRIBUTE




David Barbe does an incredible impersonation of Kim Deal here. Sugar fully admitted this was their homage to The Pixies. Very bloody faithful. 

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Loveless - My Bloody Valentine

Tim's Ultra Rough Guide To Rock - Part VI


After my previous post on Debbie Googe I thought I'd put up this old bit I wrote on on Loveless.

MY BLOODY VALENTINE - LOVELESS [1991]
Really do I need to spill another word onto a page about the merits of this LP? This recording is one of the most pillaged albums in rock’s history. The Jesus & Mary Chain laid down the blueprint via Phil Spector, The Beach Boys, The Velvet Underground, The Ramones, Dr. Mix & The Remix, Aeroplane Runways and more. Dinosaur Jr., Husker Du and Sonic Youth added the extra flavour and My Bloody Valentine made noise rock at its most beautiful, blurry, melodic, disorientating and come on I have to say it, BLISSED OUT (er..thanks Mr Reynolds). Kevin Shields provided his considerably unique guitar talents along with Belinda Butcher. They together did their extraordinary girl/boy vocal thing. The rhythm section was none too shabby either with the aforementioned Deb Googe on her heavy, dubby and sometimes pummelling bass. Colm O'Ciosoig provided the drums as well as occasional sampling/production/engineering duties. It all began to come together in 1988 with the release of the You Made Me Realise EP and Feed Me With Your Kiss followed by the brilliant LP Isn’t Anything. My Bloody Valentine were on an incredible roll that turned into an avalanche with 1990’s Glider EP & 1991’s Tremolo EP followed by Loveless! Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation may have taken rock to its furthest reaches but Loveless took it beyond the universe and even into un-rock regions ie. ambient and ultra vague dance-rock. This was future rock’s cherry on top. We thought ongoing sonic exploration of rock was to continue but this was it. Loveless has now become an almost melancholy sonic document, like modernist Russian architecture that’s now in ruins, because it was never bettered. Don’t let that get you down though because this is a hell of a peak for rock’s innovation to go out on. Here come the cliches. Loveless was hazy sweet languidity with a noisy and chaotic undercurrent played with frenzied and laconic enthusiasm. Like the band’s name suggested a conundrum was at work here where apathy and hysteria were used to describe the same song. Did I say deliriously indolent? No? Well I have now. What about listless exhilaration? One tends to forget this record also fucking rocked as well as swimming in oceans of intoxicating euphoria, sometimes all at once. Oh yeah, Loveless is also pop music at its finest. Ecstatic aural pleasure at its Zenith.




Someone once commented 'Why didn't they do a whole side of the sort of stuff like Touched and the in between track hazy ambient gear?' That would have been great wouldn't it?


Best opening tune to an LP ever?

That's a good game: Best opening songs to albums. Simon should rally everyone for that can of worms.

* My original review taken from the HC Website. 

Friday, 11 March 2016

Bass Bits - Deb Googe


The mythical Instrumental 2 from My Bloody Valentine. This was issued on a 7" with the first few thousand copies of 1988's Isn't Anything. Deb Googe was soo good. This predates stuff like Aphex Twin, Seefeel, all your dub/hip hop influenced post-rockers and Boards Of Canada by many years. Incredible stuff!



Then there's this. The opening tune to Isn't Anything where Googe gets heavy (wo)man.....She would later get lost amongst the euphoric guitar storm on later records. My Bloody Valentine could have been a whole different band had they continued down these paths......just a thought.

*Sorry if these have already been covered elsewhere in Simon's Bass Bits party, which continues on, but I've only sporadically been able to follow the discourse (due to the rupture in my life's flow).

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Royal Trux


There's a good 2 hour special here on Royal Trux, who were the most consistently great rock group of the 90s. This is a career retrospective of the band and Jennifer Herrema is interviewed throughout by Ajay(?).

Herrema has now got her own dublab show named after an old Royal Trux tune The Banana Question. There are 2 episodes so far and it's an amateurishly ramshackle affair with 80s hip-hop, metal, disco, classic rock etc. all sort of shabbily dub mixed. Quite entertaining. I imagine pro DJs will hate it.


Take the 90s Avant-Rock challenge here with Twin Infinitives. Hey, it took me a couple of years to realise this was a mental scuzzy masterpiece.


They started to get a bit more accessible after Twin Infinitives. Driving In That Car was a few years later from the great 1993 Cats & Dogs LP.


Morphic Resident is reaching almost FM worthy commerciality but they're still them. I'm pretty sure the story goes that the band handed over these tapes to Greg Archilla and he just did what he wanted with the mix. The band liked it and 1997's Sweet Sixteen was the result, another classic.


Another gem from Sweet Sixteen.