Saturday 23 March 2013

100 Secret Rock Albums of the 80s

I've got to say I'm Impressed by Woebot's 80s list. There are 10 artists I've never even heard of. Of the 33 records he specially recommends I only own 9. There is one worry in the Goth category, that's Sisters Of Mercy's Floodland. Is that a joke? Then there is Thin White Rope's Moonhead which is in the highly recommended category. This is an LP I expected to love when I heard it, maybe 3 years after it was released and was shocked that I couldn't stand it. I must admit I've recently thought I should give it another go. Hey Woebot how secret can a Police LP be? Is this in the hiding in plain sight category. Hey Man Without Shame Rapeman's Two Nuns And A Pack Mule gets a recommend. Is it becoming a cult internet record all of a sudden? It's had 2 mentions in 1 week!

Here's the unknown 10 (well as it turns out only 5 are unknown artists).

??? Just saw this was produced by Philip Glass!

Turns out this is Charles Hayward's post This Heat
project. Who knew?  Gotta check this out.

Turns out this is Gil Trythall who I do know and actually
own a few of his records including the title track of this
 LP which I think was recorded in 1973. 
Bill Laswell & Rammellzee. Bootsy on da bass on
one track.
This is a Bill Laswell project with Manu Djbango
amongst others.
Electronic Canadians apparently.
French bloke.
Arthur Russell plays cello on this and Pete was the
trombone man on many of Russell's trax.
Disco dude.
I wanna hear this one 


Funnily enough I was looking through some old emails and came across this last nite.

Which I barely recall coming out but it was an answer to my question on my blog from sometime last year. What happened to the Woebot archives? Where can I access them? So he'd taken down his blog only to later on sell it in electronic form. Sure it's only $10 so who cares? Anywho last night I was downloading a kindle app so I could read that and this

Then this email turns up today from woebot with another list. This time it's the 100 Secret Albums from the 80s which can be found here

Friday 22 March 2013

m b v - other uses

I'm leavin m b v in its box for now.  I had an idea to perhaps exhibit or collect everyones unwanted copies to make some kind of statement concept art stylee.  Perhaps it would be about a redundant cultural artifact now becoming of use as it's included in some kind of intellectual discourse on redundant cultural artifacts.

Then there would be the whole Schrodinger's Cat thing. You wouldn't be allowed to peak inside so how would you know if it was in there or not? At one stage I must admit that I thought the whole website and ordering of mp3, cd and vinyl may have been a scam. I half expected this package to not arrive. Funny that in the end I didn't care if it arrived or not.

If this conceptual art jam were to take place though, would it not make these mass produced artifacts more valuable than the rubbish they were destined to be? Then you would have the situation where perhaps you would have to start verifying whether or not the said lp was inside the box. Wouldn't peeking inside the box kill the concept? Maybe instead of a physical exhibit you could have a virtual one where everyone posted a photo of their box onto the blog/website.

*'s Cat. Would there be a dead cultural artifact and an alive one at the same time? I would presume yes. The dead would be the recorded music which could be seen as a dead/failed piece of pop culture and the alive would be its rejuvenated self that is now part of a living/relevant artistic concern ie. the exhibition.

Tuesday 19 March 2013

Ian Svenonius, Shite Endings & The Replacements.

Got this the other day. I bought it because I thought I was gonna hate it. Having a quick glance though, it looks really funny. I dunno why I thought I'd hate it considering I didn't hate the Make Up and I really enjoyed some of those Weird War records. This guy's got the gift of the gab. I don't necessarily agree with everything Joe Carducci has to say but fuck I love the way he writes. So Mr Svenonius is probably a similar case. We'll see.....

*Worst non ending to a film I've seen recently would have to be the Australian film Wish You Were Here. How about an ending guys. Grrr...Thanks a fuckin lot.... another couple of hours I can't get back.

**Were The Replacements an indie band?  Talk about a band in the wrong situation. There was nothing cool or fashionable about The Replacements They were as anachronistic as Tom Petty Or The Georgia Satellites and yet they were seen by rock crits as an integral part of the 80s musical landscape. They would have been better off being sold in a more rock Sunset Strip kinda way doncha think? They probably should have been a mainstream band (like the bands they influenced Green Day, Nirvana, ugh! Goo Goo Dolls).  They were just as rockin and catchy as Bon Jovi or The Boss! They weren't willing to play the game though. I guess that made them outsiders.  One of them I noticed ended up in a later version of Guns & Roses. That makes total sense to me.  If Robert Christgau starts liking your band is it time to start dismantling your group.

Ya think Kurt Cobain liked this track?

Saturday 16 March 2013

Umberto - Confrontations

What's lost is now found. This is the 4th Album (well I've got 4) for one of my favourite groups of the last few years Umberto. I was gonna try and write about them without mentioning Dario Argento, John Carpenter or Goblin but hey that's absurd. On this record though I could probably chuck in Giorgio Morroder. The cover says it all really: Nite driving with an alien invasion. Italo-Disco meets Italo-exploitation with added hand claps. This could be my favourite of their releases so far. I could listen to this all day and all nite, er.... that's what I've been doing. Something tells me these aliens aren't gonna be that nice and might be wearing hockey masks but you kinda want them to land anyway.

Friday 15 March 2013

Faust, Bono & Benedict Cumberbatch

Wake me when all the bad nows have turned to good nows. Listening to Faust's Faust on my ipod reminded me 'Did I need to get that Can triple cd I think it was called the lost tapes maybe....It's probably awesome....must get that tomorrow I think...That'll have some good nows and some good thens.

'We've arrived in the 70s again man.'

Reading about Scratch Acid yesterday on the interweb on a man without shame reminded me that The Drones sometimes remind me of them along with a band I barely recall The Laughing Hyenas, am I right? Who the fuck knows? Tried to watch 2001 the other day on the digital telly thinkin yeah this'll be great. Half an hour in I wanted to smash in the screen. Watched the new HBO show VEEP and thought it was just tryin to be an American The Thick Of It. Watched The Newsroom as well. It was so cheesie i almost liked it. Jack whitehall does Bono have to apologise to you personally for tryin to make the world a better place? It's a fucked up world that belittles people trying to abolish poverty! Am I like CJ from Eggheads? He likes all the same stuff as me. Five shirts arrived from London yesterday and I haven't even opened them all.....CJ would probably like them. I've lost the new Umberto album. 2013 seems like the least yeary year in my life. Are the 2010s the 2010s or the tens or has everyone given up on decades. I loved decades but they must have been a 20th century thing. What about female popes? When are we gonna have one of them? Can I become an Ecclesiastical Tailor? That's an impressive job title! Dug out Just Keep Eating pretty funny....Hey man without shame! Rapeman were a top band.... Is Game of Thrones good or a pile o shite? I like the sex and violence but I'm not so sure about the supernatural stuff and well c'mon dragons... I'm not 5.  Do I need to be more of a geek? Hey I've watched the first two seasons though. Where is dvd of season 5 part 1 of Breaking Bad mofos?? m b v turned up on my doorstep tonight. What shall I do with it? It's just sittin there mocking me saying "Gee that's $42 well spent." I was nearly over it and it turns up on a Friday nite! Benedict Cumberbatch ....

Wednesday 6 March 2013

Saigon Rock And Soul

Dug out this classic compilation the other day after watching Apocalypse Now Redux. This LP was only released in 2010 and contains Vietnamese trax from 1968-1974. Sublime Frequencies is the excellent excavation label it was released on. This label is run by American Alan Bishop and some other dude. Bishop would be known to underground music lovers as a founding member of Sun City Girls. SCG played warped exotic avant rock and existed from the 80s right up until around 2010.  This treasure trove has got the lot! (like pretty much all the releases on said label). Who knew previous to this release that there was such a happening scene in Vietnam during this era? While watching Apocalypse Now the other day I was struck by the lack of any non-western music in the film. Imagine  if some of this shit was used. This archival package features Asian fuzz rock, sultry divas with slinky rhythms,  psychedelic jazzy soul with horns, forays into acid rock, female pop singers swathed in twang and wah wah and incredibly funky beats all lovingly compiled by Mark Gergis. Some of this music puts me in mind of French style beat pop of the era and other Asian styles of the time like Thailand's Luk Thung and Molam genres. Perhaps the Vietnamese style here is a bit more western influenced than those Thai genres, probably due to the presence of the American army and French colonials during this compilations timeframe.  Like the Thai music of the time though, this was a fleeting and ephemeral pop culture that has taken a long time to be collected and showcased to a Western audience. On this LP is some of the most vital, tantalising and far out pop/rock from any time and place.

*Here's an ABC radio documentary Saigon's Wartime Beat which features interviews with some of this compilation's musicians and its compiler that I discovered after writing this.

Tuesday 5 March 2013

This guy was on my bus today

Did he fake his own death only to
wind up living in Box Hill?

Spoiler Alert

Two movies in 2 days featured the tunage of Led Zeppelin. Firstly there was When The Levee Breaks in a scene in Argo. This film was set in 1980 and once you got past most of the characters giant spectacles, it was quite convincingly set in its time. It looked like an American film from the late 70s/80. I wonder if this was a vibe they were going for. It's a pretty good idea to put people in mind of the greatest era of American film making (late 60s through to 80) in your 2010s film. This may have subconsciously put it into the minds of the awards voters. Also it's an incredible story. The producers were given a gift with this true story about the CIA getting American citizens out of Iran during the hostage crisis. Well they may have paid a lot of money for this story but the script would have virtually written itself. It would have been pretty hard to fuck up this tale. To make this heroic story more palatable and not make it look like American propaganda they've made the USA look pretty bad in the context of the Iran-USA conflict. This in turn almost makes Ben Affleck's character an anti-hero but not quite. He still saves the day and gets the girl. Anyway Ben Affleck turns in one of the most minimal acting performances ever put to screen. You can feel the fear and tension of the 6 embassy officials who need to be rescued. This is superb film making. My only gripe was at the end where they seem unable to resist a dash of cheese. Affleck's character reunites with his wife who he's been separated from. This appears to be for no reason as I doubt she would have been allowed to know the case he was involved in and what had transpired. The truth was not released to the public about this event until many years later. You get the feeling the studio execs put Affleck, director of the film, up to this saying "Hey this will double your audience. All you need to do is put this minutes worth of footage in your film otherwise we wont bankroll you."

Led Zeppelin's What Is & What Never Should Be features in a chaotic scene in the film Silver Linings Playbook. This is a love story about 2 people who have had a rough time and experienced varying amounts of mental illness. There is no doubting Jennifer Lawrence's magnetic star power. The camera absolutely loves her like no one I've seen in recent memory. For Lawrence to be the standout, in a film with Robert De Nero in career best form, is a testament to her presence and talent. She looks set to dominate the movies and their awards ceremonies for the foreseeable future. Bradley Cooper is also convincing and compelling as Jennifer's love interest and fellow fuck up in this romantic comedy. De Nero is getting better, Jackie Weaver's late blooming continues and the rest of the ensemble rises to the task. My favourite scene is when Cooper's character throws a Hemmingway book out of a closed window in the middle of the night.  I thought: It's about time someone took a stand against tedious literature that is forced upon us. Fuck the cannon! It's a curious thing that now for me (and many others I presume) to accept a love story it has to come from a very twisted, fairly sad and dark place. This was also a very funny film though.

Friday 1 March 2013

Ex Cops

Barry Divolla from Australia's Who Magazine(Aussie equivalent to USA's People) writes this week about Ex Cops. Ex Cops are some new band probably from Brooklyn. Barry says if The Chills, early REM, Velvet Underground, The Feelies, The Smiths and Galaxy 500 mean everything to you then check out Ex Cops' LP True Hallucinations. All those bands I love (the first 3 REM LPs are gold and so are their 5th & 6th) so I wont be checking out this new record. Why the fuck would I? I'll just listen to those old records. The late 60s and the 80s are a long time ago. I can't really imagine this band being anywhere near that league of bands. That league is the highest water mark in underground guitar pop/rock ever. At this late stage it's hard to imagine anyone coming close to those epochal legends.

I wanted the Murmur version of Pilgrimage but couldn't 
find it. This is just as good anyway!


More Yay!

Jesus they were really cookin' with Craig Gannon
on 2nd guitar. This fucking rocks!

How good?
Gotta have another!

'Listen to the Byrds sing on the tape recorder.'