Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Monday, September 26, 2016

wrapped up like a douche

used to love this song as a nipper - what a production!

i don't think i've ever listened to Brucie's original

really different. i prefer the non-original, but yeah, it's alright

The longer album version

Manfred could pull it off live too

I have yet to investigate their albums discography, shamefully

One of them - 72's self-titled debut - is one of the very very few proggy things to make Greil Marcus's personal canon of the essential rock-era records at the back of Stranded.

late 70s

school TV programme from 1977 looking behind the scenes of the making of Rock Follies

late 70s starting to seem as a mysterious and as long ago as early 70s and sixties to me... even though i was aware and alert during them, actively following what was going

what was going on was a lot more and a lot different than what i was following i.e. postpunk / new wave

Friday, September 23, 2016

punk parody

including a character based on Caroline Coon

also Rock Follies gets mocked

see also

p p p p p p p p p pokerface

Old Wave New Wave switcheroo

Englishman Philip Lithman, pub rocker (Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Peppers, before that in Junior's Blues Band) becomes ...

However it seems the association with Residents preceded the pub rock phase (he first moved to San Francisco in '71 and then moved back later)

Bluesology going Noo Wave - what i'm reminded of slightly is this

would you believe i read the whole of - and reviewed - the autobio by Bill W?

YouTube sidebar for "Je Suis" led me to lameness...

no lamer than this though

there are Chilli Willi videos i cannot post on account of the scarcely believable offensiveness of the cover to the LP Robot Rhythmm

Acid Reflux

anal ized 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

fLizzy miss fLizzy

they didn't only do cover versions, Flying Lizards

but mostly they did

(that one is Brecht-Weill by the way)

the joke.... wore.....  a bit....  thin, didn't it?

the original non-original's still the greatest

oh but this came before "Money" didn't it

the secret dub life album is a good listen - a companion perhaps to Jah Wobble's solo album In Betrayal

fascinating story behind the existence of this record, not what i expected to learn at all

he loved his echo, Mr Cunningham - this B-side to "TV" is a dubmix of the A-side

Well here's an odd thing, Deborah Evans-Stickland, who did the debutante-like "Money" vocal, went off and tried the own F-Liz deadpan classic-cover trick on her own - with this Dennis Bovell produced ditty

it did not get back on her TOTP

Debs interviewed

Deb 'n' Dave interviewed back in the day

Saturday, September 17, 2016

lean stodge

if stodge somehow could also be lean

if fare could somehow be plain yet tasty

if a band could somehow plod swiftly, nimbly

then the ultimate British decade-straddling scene-filler that's surprisingly filling would be

S-Quo seemed so boring and lame to me at the time but....

well, Phil Knight persuasively argued for the Quo fast-chug as a U.K. Neu! or something like that a mini-aeon ago...

still this one just is plod-plod-plod innit

it's a very thin sound.... the vocals are barely there

as though purposely designed for audience participation - sing along to boost them up in a matey sort of way

the sound is such a perfect homology-in-effect fit for bleached 'n ' faded denim

yes really it's only "Down Down" that is any kind of moment

like a "Silver Machine" that never takes off....

stays level....


postscript - my Hardly Baked semiotic breakdown of the video for "Something Bout you Baby I Like"

Thursday, September 15, 2016

strident purity / witchy 'n' commanding / That Voice, the Return

A band I always wanted to like more than I do, for some reason, Curved Air.

I mean, I like 'em well enough - the clean swagger of this one, frinstance:

overall quite enjoy the way the Curved Air sound is ornate and floridly frilled out but still quite tough and energetic

But in truth I've never felt the compulsion to delve too deep into their stuff, or go back to it after I've done the initial delve

so why would I like to like them more than I do?

well it's the name partly

also the singer, to be honest

Sonja K was one of a certain ilk of Euro songstresses whose voices had a strident piercing power and purity with few precedents in Anglo-American rock singing apart from maybe Grace Slick, and Dorothy Moskowitz of United States of America

now i think about it, I have blogged about that style of female vocal before, long time ago, calling it That Voice - with follow up blogs here and here and here  - containing the thoughts of other folk.

Actually looking at it again I did come up with a few other precursors, most notably Lynn Carey who did the lead vocal on the songs of the Carrie Nations in Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. 

However apart from Sonja K I didn't in those 2007 blogs mention any of the Euro ilk really (Nico doesn't count because while ice-queeny she doesn't have the sheer belting lung power that is a prerequisite)

Here are some more Euro Queens of Strident Purity

Anisette Koppel of Savage Rose

Edna Bejarano of The Rattles

and my favorite out of this whole lot  - singer, maybe;  song definitely -  (although "The Witch" is not far behind)

Mariska Veres of Shocking Blue

Common denominator for all of them is a certain witchy dark beauty and commanding aura of imperious hauteur

Any more?


postscript 9/16

Anonymous in the comments has a couple of suggestions, both by "the mighty Earth & Fire" - another Dutch band

And Andrew Parker finds this little gem of a quote from Sonja K about the inspiration for "Back Street Luv"

“When I was 15, I used to skip off school and one day noticed a blond man standing on the steps at the local snooker hall. I became fascinated with him, and ended up chasing and seducing him. He looked like a pop star, although I found out he'd been in prison and had a wife and child. But that didn't deter me from my interest in him and also some of his friends. However, I could never think about taking him home as my father ran a borstal, and this guy had once been an inmate there. So my dad would know who he was.

“I got found out eventually, and was suspended from my convent school. But the whole episode gave me the idea for the song.”

postpostscript 9/17

Andrew P further points out there's a fair few modern exponents of the strident purity vocal thing, and directs me to the "Hail The Witch Queen" section of this blogpost by A.S. Van Dorston at Fast 'n Bulbous (scroll down a bit), which is dedicated to "female-lead psych noir"

These actually make me thing of Heart if anything! But then I think I included Ann Wilson as a potential That Voice-er in one of the original blogs.

Certainly the image is very much in the Witchy 'n' Commanding tradition

this group actually have the Wilson sisters look, if not the sound

Quite a lot of black metal strays into this zone, via paganism

Something I just stumbled on via YouTube - from Finland, Jess and the Ancient Ones

from Italy, imperious-femme-vocaled  "Occult/Stoner/Blues Rock"

perhaps a bit bluesy-raunchy (vocally and musically) to really fit the mold...

postpostscript - later on 9/17

ooeee -  with a shudder i discover that I already blogged, here, on this very subject, only four years ago. Senility, ahoy! Or perhaps it's just that Music History has simply become for me a series of inwinding and overlapping ever-decreasing-circles I traverse, such that inevitably I will retrace my footsteps, indeed the same mental tracks carved into my brain...   as i wander the Archives looking to kindle sparks of amusement/amazement out of often unpromising or already-used-up materials

postpostpostscript - 9/19

Andrew P suggests Renata Knaup

Definitely commanding, slightly screechy though

Now Knaup must be the same roots as Knapp, my mother's maiden name (one of the oldest words in the language - as in knapping flints, and also apparently, a word for a hill).

Monday, September 12, 2016

70s stodge

stodge, cos of the multi-track production / arrangements tend to gassy bloatation and starchiness

but stodge also in the hamburger-helper / meatloaf sense of padding out the music scene...  

see at any point in rock history there's a LOT more going on in terms of records being released and concerts played and radio plays and chart entries than what  History will subsequently tell us about an era

there's the picture it'll paint of what mattered and what counted and what Happened...

but that'll in reality only ever have been a fraction of all that was going on

there's always a lot of stuff that doesn't fit the narrative

there's the totally anomalous, off on its own path

or there's the stuff that's a lingering, persistently popular continuation from a previous phase of music

and sometimes that'll be earlier phase bands sticking doggedly to what they're about

other times they'll be slogging on but tenaciously adapting to the times.... proggers or pub rockers going New Wave.... punkers and postpunkers going New Pop.... shoegazers going Britpop

proving that there's a lot more fashion-following and a lot less integrity/consistency than we'd perhaps imagine in music

so let's hear it for some (not-so-)Great British Ballast, with a sampling this round from the late Seventies 

Pub-rock survivors Ducks Deluxe reformulated, or some members of the group at least, as New Wave-ish pop slags The Motors

Would you believe that tune was John Peel's #1 single of 1977? In the so-called Forgotten Festive Fifty (Not the listeners's choice, his own personal fave).

Touted in '78, this lot

Radio One deejays put their weight behind a lot of the ballast of the era, they seemed to have an unerring ear for what would be quickly evacuated from memory

Another group that were a sort of staple of the scene - passed over by a million glazed eyes scanning the music papers, the name tugging at your eyeball form out of those little boxed ads for individual concerts at the Rainbow or Marquee or  full pagers for their tours / new albums -

i think of these groups as a bit like the fish fingers or beans on toast, or shepherd's pie  .... staple stuff that pads out the family's dinners but nothing to look forward to... 

probably a lot of people went to see this sort of group on the off chance, as a second choice - or perhaps nothing else on in their small town in the provinces... nothing much else in the local record shop that week but you got the itch to buy something so you try something...

with all these sort of groups, pictures, unappetising pictures, swim into my mind's eye

roadies's hairy arses as they haul the PA through the back entrance of  mid-size concert halls in Leicester or Middleborough

 ... brown ale breath

...  the fug of cig smoke in a van cramped with gear and musicians 

...  a desultory blow job in a toilet stall 

...  greasy spoons on the M1 at 2 AM on the way back from a show up north

This lot were bringing back the blues... and sharp suits

"good live bands"

how Paul Young started...

Well, actually, there was this wasn't there...

Made me think of this for some reason

Now Brand X weren't stodge at all, in fact they were rather excellent  - bejewelled and spacious in their sound ... but very much against the New Wave grain... I remember their full pages ads in the music papers very well and not being able to get a fix on what they were, me not having the full map of music scene in my head yet .... was intrigued by the blank name... but not sure if I ever heard them at the time (they wouldn't have been played on late night Radio One)

Another kind of stodge is the kind of  hamburger-helper scene-filler that makes Change seem more total because, look, LOOK at the numbers

In fact you only really need the first-div stuff (generally more individualistic anyway) but all that second and third-div make-weight stuff (generally more standardised and conformist in sound) fills out the scene and helps establishes the dominance of the new musical episteme.

New Wave stodge

Punk stodge

Punk stodge #2

Punk stodge # 3

There's many many more from the late Seventies of course

Perhaps I should do the Brit 90s next - no end of stodge there 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

pstill a psucker for psych

oh it can be pso psilly, pso psickly-effete, pso psuperficial in its bandwagon-jumping gimmickry ... but i'm pstill psuch a psucker for psych

imagine I would have been a pserious hippie if i hadn't been four + five at the time

it's always fun when they try to get into musique concrete / electro-acoustic -y zones

when I have a pspare moment I am going to give this enpsyclopaedic treatment of the music-as-music a proper read  (yet another very chunky Faber music title - a corpus to which I shall be adding psomething equally corpulent in exactly one month)

yes i wish psych had gone on a bit longer, the backlash into all that woody / backwoodsy sounding folk-country-blues jammy bearded  music is one of the worst things ever. much prefer psecond-div rip-off psych pshite to second-div rip-off heavy'n'roots shite. well to be honest i prefer the psecond-div psych pshite to most of the first-div heavy'n'roots stuff.

I mean given the choice between


Friday, September 2, 2016