Friday 28 February 2014

I Like The Old Stuff Better Than The New Stuff

So far this year there's been 3 releases that have arrived but I hardly want to play them at all. Before I started my blog I had a renewed interest in all things current in music from like 2008 to pretty much the start of last year. The only things from the recent past still getting an airing are that Gesaffelstein album Aleph, which I just can't get enough of (the best album of 2013 I reckon) and the Logos album Cold Mission. My most played music of last year wasn't new at all it was Steely Dan in fact. This year its been T-Rex, post-Eno Roxy Music, 70s Bowie (is there any other?), Suzi Quatro singles, New York Dolls, The Runaways and The Dictators. Who can explain where your head is gonna go? Youtube is probably the most influential catalyst for my listening, not radio, tv or print media. In fact I haven't listened to the radio or bought a music magazine for six months. The occasional blog or website might put me on a path but its mainly my own brain that leads the way. Listening to Ultravox, Tubeway Army and the subsequent solo outings from John Foxx and Gary Numan makes sense. I can thank Genesis P Orridge for a renewed interest in The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter by The Incredible String Band and the discovery of Dr Strangely Strange's Kip Of The Serenes. He mentioned liking those recently on the interweb.

It's not lookin good for these 3 new records. I've skipped through Sun Araw's Belomancie and it seemed a little annoying so I dunno if I'll return to it? Sun Araw's Beach Head, Heavy Deeds, On Patrol and Ancient Romans are some of my favourite recordings of last few years. Cameron Stallones last LP under the guise of Sun Araw The Inner Treaty didn't really appeal but his collaboration with M Geddes Gengres and The Congos Icon Give Thank from 2012 was great.

I got a little excited by the arrival of Pye Corner Audio's Black Mill Tapes 3 & 4.  I dug the previous Volumes 1 & 2Sleep Games and The House In The Woods (his side Project) LP Bucolica, but I don't even think I've played this new one all the way through yet and I've had it for over a month.

After these two underwhelming releases I wasn't expecting much from Kemper Norton's album Carn. Maybe there was no life left in the farmer in the city, gumboot industrial, rustic bunny blah blah but thankfully it sounds bloody great (after one listen) and this one I will be returning to right after listening to The Groundhogs Hogwash, Gary Glitter and DJ Extreme's Tom & Jerry Mix  of course....

Wednesday 26 February 2014

Mommy Mommy Where's My Brain

Someone telling Nick Cave to shut-up, priceless. Who's this Johnny Public? I can't find anything about him, but I like his low fi Suicide-esque shtick. That AC/DC thing's good too. 

Toni, Alannis, Robin and Guy Chadwick

Where are they Now?
So it turns out Guy Chadwick can be added to the club that Toni Halliday (see previous post) belonged to. Guy was apparently some kind of failed new romantic before he gained credibility (whatever that means?) during the House Of Love's heady rise and quick demise in the late 80s/early 90s. I reckon Creation Records who the House Of Love were signed to probably tried to hush this up at the time.  I only heard about it the other day after watching that doco on Creation Records. This turned out to be mainly about Alan McGee. But I think one on Guy & Terry would be classic. Chadwick was terrible at drinking and drugs according to himself. One facet they failed to address in the film was all the unsuccessful artists (artistically and financially) McGee signed. That would make a very long list. Slowdive didn't even get a mention, I mean Noel Gallagher had to tell us one more time about all the drugs he's done and how awesome he is so what did you expect? Did anyone ever notice that Oasis were like a third rate version of the fabulous 60s band The Creation and that's what the label was named after? 

Here they are.

Shoegazers II - The Pale Saints

When I said in that shoegaze post that the Pale Saints had their moments that seemed a bit dismissive. I meant they had some superlative moments. The Pale Saints energy and dynamics were harvested to great affect on their recordings. Something about them was different from the Thames Valley bands. There was more to them than floppy fringes and stripe-y T-Shirts. They seemed just as informed by MOR and Wire as they were by My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus & Mary Chain. They had a vibe that was effortless and assured. Maybe they were just more talented than the rest and you felt like they could be stars because they were like real artists.

Hair Shoes with it's startling intensity, still sounds astonishing to this day. This is from their second album In Ribbons.

Thursday 20 February 2014

Sometime in my preteens I got my first tape recorder. It was a mono portable Panasonic thing. The first blank tape I ever bought was given to a friend and he recorded a handful Devo songs on it. I vaguely remember a live version of Freedom Of Choice. This may be it, I dunno. When I first heard The Pixies their guitar sound put me in mind of Devo and this tune in particular.

*PS (2 hours later)
It seems after some research that the tunes put to that tape must have been from the DEV-O Live EP. This had six tracks recorded in 1980 and released in 81. It spent 3 weeks at the top of the Australian singles charts.

Wednesday 5 February 2014


I saw that Slowdive were reforming on a website. I thought I'll dig out those early Slowdive tapes (no one ever stole tapes) and cds. The first 3 EPs Slowdive (90), Holding Our Breath (91) and Morningrise (91) plus most of their debut LP Just For A Day (91) I always rated. Listening back to them the other day revealed that I was perhaps correct, well I enjoyed them anyway. They had some stellar tunes Celia's Dream, Catch The Breeze, She Calls & the amazing epic Primal. They were definitely the most Cocteau Twins influenced of the shoegaze brigade whereas say Ride, early on, were probably more influenced by 80s noise rock. The meeting point for all these bands was My Bloody Valentine, they would be the centre of your Venn diagram. On the outside would be girl groups, stadium rock, cutie, goth, fx pedal worship, ambient, psych pop etc. Of those Ride tunes I recall diggin the first four EPs Ride, Play, Fall (all from 90) and Today Forever (91) as well well as like three quarters of the debut LP Nowhere (90) but only a couple of tracks from the follow up Going Blank Again (92). I saw Ride play live a couple of times and they were a powerhouse wall of noise band (gee the drummer was good) compared to their more sedate recordings, I liked that dichotomy. What about the others? The Pale Saints and The Boo Radleys had their moments, Chapterhouse didn't. I didn't hate Lush I just didn't buy their records.

Then there was Curve whose first couple of EPs were terrific but I don't think you were meant to like them. They were the corporate machine co-opting the underground once again and perhaps signalling the end of the scene. The lead singer of Curve Tony Halliday was one of these Allanis Morrissette, Robin Thicke types who was signed to a major label, had a failed pop career then somehow got a second chance as a totally different type of artist. There was even a shoegazing band from Sydney called Jupiter who I saw once in a South Melbourne pub. They had a great tune Sense (note to self track down that EP). There was a time circa 90/91 when you thought this thrilling bliss would last forever. America even had a go with The Drop Nineteens whose record Delaware (92) was pretty good (I listened to it the other day) as was Medicine's Shot Forth Self Living (92) LP. Anyone remember Smashed Orange (very vague memory of them) or The Belltower's Outshine The Sun? Some kind of award should go to Lilys who sounded so much like My Bloody Valentine it was preposterous. They were so absurd you couldn't help but admire their commitment see their LP In The Presence of Nothing from 92. There were many more I don't remember but when a girlfriend at the time showed up with a record by Revolver (a C-grade Ride rip off) you knew the end was near. I never bought Slowdive's Souvlaki (93) or the follow up Pygmalion (95). Some people rate these highly maybe I missed out, maybe I didn't. Worth missing out on though were The Boo Radleys Wake Up (95), Ride's Carnival Of Light (94) and The Pale Saints had lost it by Slow Buildings (94). After the release of Loveless in 91 My Bloody Valentine went AWOL for the rest of the 90s and even Lilys changed their style mid decade. The spirit of MBV lived on with Seefeel, Third Eye Foundation, Moonshake and Flying Saucer Attack making excellent music in other genres during the 90s. There have been resurgences and revivals over the years....some current groups probably consider the original wave of shoegazers an influence.

Award winning genuine fake.