Paul Fuzz Presents: Flew In From Miami Beach BOAC
New / Old Music - a barely coherent rant
So...a few weeks ago I posted a piece about OLD & NEW MUSIC, the basic theme being that I'm a big boring crank & I should get out more if only I could tear myself away from my Chicago Transit Authority records & I know there's plenty of great music being made today (I just heard the Black Mountain LP, which is just AWESOME... Sabbath-esque heavy rock) but basically I have a preference for music recorded before the late seventies because personally I dig the way records sounded back then, though of course there are exceptions and I also dig plenty of early hip-hop, 'Madchester' indie, shoe-gazing stuff ie My Bloody Valentine, Ride etc, some Big Beat stuff, the Dee-troit garage scene The White Stripe emerged from, New York punk (Ramones, Blondie, Heartbreakers etc), and anything else good that appears on my radar, and it also must be noted that I of course recognise the fact that THE SIXTIES produced utter shlock like any decade, and THE LSD SOAKED FREE LOVE SIXTIES as we understand it today was only experienced by a minority of the Western World whlist everybody else got on with their 9-5s & generally it stands as an OVER-HYPED decade that we all need to get over if we're ever gonna get anywhere ourselves.
BUT!! And I think this is the bottom line...the mid - late sixties were exceptional because the Top 40 was full of genuinely innovative, ground breaking pop records, and however much similarly experimental / exciting / original music has emerged since that period (ie: tons & tons of it, though most of it (at least guitar-wise) has it's roots here too...house & techno are pretty SHOCK OF THE NEW, I guess), it has rarely had an impact on the mainstream on the scale it did during this period. Here are THE STATS:
From the Cashbox US Top 100, this week in 1967
.2. The Doors - Light My Fire
.8. Procul Harum - A Whiter Shade Of Pale
.11. The Jefferson Airplane - White Rabbit
.14. Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood - Jackson
.24. The Bar-Kays - Soul Finger
.27. The Beatles - All You Need Is Love
.37. The Parliaments - I Wanna Testify
.47. James Brown - Cold Sweat pt1
.55. Dave Allen & The Arrows - Blues Theme
.61. The Who - Pictures Of Lily
.66. Jr Walker & The All Stars - Shoot Your Shot
.67. Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl
.70. Moby Grape - Omaha
.72. The Kinks - Mr Pleasent
.85. Glen Campbell - Gentle On My Mind
.86. The Third Rail - Run, Run, Run
.87. Vanilla Fudge - You Keep Me Hanging On
.90. The Beatles - Baby Your A Rich Man
.93. Buffalo Springfield - Bluebird
So...in there we have 4 ALL TIME
GREAT ROCK/POP SINGLES BY ANYBODY'S STANDARDS, REGARDLESS OF GENRE (Doors, Procul Harum, Jefferson Airplane & Van Morrison - 2 of which could be considered PRETTY WEIRD CHART HITS (Procul Harum, Jefferson Airplane, arguably the defining statements of UK & US psychedelia respectively), 4 ALL TIME GREAT SOUL/RNB SINGLES (Bar-Kays, Parliaments, James Brown, Jr Walker & The All Stars - 1 of which - James Brown's Cold Sweat -
is a gen-u-ine-ly important record, one of the earliest bone fide FUNK records), 2 AWESOME GARAGE / PUNK SINGLES (Dave Allen, The Third Rail - both good enough to be included on the Nuggets box-set), 2 ALL TIME GREAT INSTRUMENTALS (Dave Allen & The Bar-Kays again, Soul Finger
being 2nd perhaps only to Booker T & The MG's Green Onions
in the canon of STAX instrumental hits), 2 showings by ALL TIME (non-Beatles) BRITISH ROCK BANDS (The Who, The Kinks) 1 DEFINITIVE US HEAVY / PSYCHE ROCK SINGLE (Vanilla Fudge), and thats before we mention Lee Hazelwood, Buffalo Springfield, Moby Grape, Glen Campbell...and 2 songs by little known British beat combo called The Beatles, one of which - Baby You're A Rich Man - is certainly one of the weirder in their canon.
What you have just eyeballed are stone cold facts
. Now, sure, there were plenty of great
acts around not
racking up sales - Velvets, Stooges, Beefheart, etc - and the charts were certainly full of alotta dross too, but that's really all by-the-by. It would be a remarkable Top 100 if it contained only
had 'I Wanna Testify' by The Parliaments (proto-psychedelic soul from the band that would become Funkadelic) , or only
'Blues Theme' by Dave Allen & The Arrows (rampaging buzz-saw surf-punk instro) and every other one of the other 99 songs were a buncha garbage.
But there's 20 ALL TIME SMASHES here. In ONE WEEK!!!! Thats, like a FITH
of that entire weeks Top 100 being made up of records that history will (already does) record as being some of the best, most creative pop music ever made. The jury is in.
It's the sheer amount
of good mainstream music I'm talking about here, facts & figures. I could list 20 great 80s acid house records or 20 great early 90s grunge records - BUT:
a) they wouldn't have sell as many copies as those listed above
b) they didn't have the same impact on the mainstream
c) they didn't all appear in the same chart on the same date
, if they made it into the chart at all.
So...the point is not that there is no good music made today. Far from it. There's plenty of great music being made today, much of it the equal of what I've listed here...well, apart from the James Brown, Mar-Kays, Parliaments & Dave Allen songs, they don't get much better than those, but whatever, there's certainly stuff being made today as good as anything The Who ever did. The lack of mainstream success / impact by today's Moby Grapes & Van Morrisons speaks ill not for their music but ill for the time & culture in which they operate. And don't get me wrong, this isn't some snobby anti-pop thing. The very core of my argument is that 'White Rabbit' by Jefferson Airplane WAS POP MUSIC.
And that's the difference. I'm a pop freak. I'm excited when something gen-u-inely great makes it into the charts...let's say 99 Problems
by Jay-Z, or Maneater
by Nelly Furtado, or I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor
by The Arctic Monkeys or Biology
by Girls Aloud or the new Christina Aguileria song...I dug that Eric Prydz remix of 'Call On Me' the mostest, which goes to show there's no accounting for taste because it's clearly the trashiest piece of trance crapolla ever produced but whatever, y'know, you only dig what you dig & there ain't nothing you can do about it. I'm no snob. Well, maybe I'm a bit of a snob. But my love of 50s-60s pop music has nothing to do with snobbery. Aw, jeez...I'm just defending my crankiness now. You don't need that. You're all busy people.
THE ACTUAL POINT: every decade produces good & bad music. The idea that music works in 'decades' is dumb. Any given late sixties Top 100 was more interesting, diverse and culturally significant than the current Top 100, but that is the industry's fault, not a reflection on the quality of music being made today. Radiohead's 'OK Computer' or Nirvana's 'Nevermind' are examples of LPs which could gen-u-inely be regarded as reflecting / shaping the times on the same level as, say, the first Hendrix LP. LPs are an entirely different kettle of monkeys to 45s, and we'll leave that subject to another time. Maybe. 'Jumping Jack Flash' by The Rolling Stones was a great song. So was 'Don't Look Back Into The Sun' by The Libertines. 'Louie Louie' by the Kingsmen was better than both. Pop music in general is the greatest thing in the world. Even 'Call On Me' by Eric Prydz.
The Revolutionary Freaked Out Fuzz Club Paul Fuzz DJ set list
For the sake of my own sanity ( & and maybe one or two of you might be interested too) I've decided to record here my set list from last night's Revolutionary Freaked out Fuzz Club, the monthly 50s/60s psyche/blues/funk night I run with a couple of friends down at the City Screen Basement Bar in York...I drink too much Stella and my set is always a mixture of 'on the fly' making-it-up-as-I-go-along DJing and semi-planned stuff, ie the Beatles medley, so by the time the next Fuzz Club come 'round I've forgotten what I played, what worked & what didn't etc. So I figure if I collect my thought here it'll help me next time.
So...making their debut on the Fuzz set list were Black Sabbath's The Wizard
(there's always one
song that loads of people come & thank me for playing, and The Wizard
was definately this Fuzz Club's HIT) , Can's Halleuwah
(a phenonemal song, don't know why I've not 'spun' it before), Hawkwind's Hash Cake 77
(not really a floor filler to be honest, but groovy in a I'M FLYING THROUGH THE COSMOS way...sounds remarkably like early Verve...don't think I'll be playing it again), Chicago's I'm A Man
& Augustus Pablo's East Of The River Nile
(brooding oragn/vibes/melodica heavy dub reggae instrumental, one of my ALL TIME TOP 10 RECORDS). Noticeable by their absence were James Brown & Captain Beefheart (who I almost always play something by), and Booker T & The MG's Green Onions
(possibly the first time I haven't included this in my set at the Fuzz Club, another ALL TIME TOP 10 RECORD).
Can - Halleuwah
Dave Hamilton - Soul Suite
David Axelrod - General Confessional
Funkadelic - I Bet You
Funkadelic - Free Your Mind (And Your Ass Will Follow)
Hawkwind - Hash Cake '77
Jimi Hendrix - Who Knows
Jimi Hendrix - If 6 Was 9
Augustus Pablo - East Of The River Nile
Shuggie Otis - Oxford Grey
The Mogol - Sunset In Golden Horn
The Electric Flag - M-23 (from 'The Trip ' OST)
Rex Garvin - Strange Happenings
Bad Boys - Black Olives
Rex Garvin - Strange Happenings
Black Sabbath - The Wizard
Bobby Franklin's Insanity - Bring It On Down
Blood, Sweat & Tears - Lucrecia McEvil
Ides Of March - Vehicle
Chicago - I'm A Man
Howlin' Wolf - Spoonful
Hound Dog Taylor - Let's Get Funky
The Bar-Kays - Knucklehead
Reno & The Chosen 3 - Soul Bagg
Bob Dylan - Sitting On A Barbed Wire Fence
Aretha Franklin - The Weight
The Beatles - Paul Fuzz Mix: A Beginning
(Anthology 3) into Helter Skelter
(Anthology 3 version) into Strawberry Fields Forever
(Anthology 2, Version 3 - from beginning of Ringo's drum coda
) - over top of - first string crescendo from A Day In The
Life into Glass Onion
The Kingsmen - Louie Louie
Neil Armstrong - "One small step" dialogueLouie Louie
is the greatest song in the whole world. The bit after the guitar break when they come in wrong and the drummer cobbles together a rubbish fill to get them back on track is possibly my favourite moment in the entire history of recorded popular music. A key text of 20th Century American-trash-pop culture.
Paul Fuzz: Boosh Widow
BRIEF INTRODUCTION... Look. I don't know how to set up links to other people's pages. But if you wanna make sense of what follows, go find Anna Wait's blog. What?! I dunno! Google it or something! Jeez...Oh,man! I just remembered! Anna put a link to her page on here when we set it up! Use that! Enjoy the show!
...Oh, boy. Can we pur-lease
I mean, ok: he's a big Syd Barret freak, which is exceptionally cool. He's one-half of the Mighty Boosh, the greatest comedy duo this country has produced for over a decade. He has the best hair in the world (season two, folks - only girls like season one Noel hair). And he's drop dead gorgeous. But all that aside, what's the big deal, huh? You think I'm looking forward to spending an evening in Nottingham with my sister & my girlfriend reduced to wibbling drool-o-matons , hangin' 'round the stage door like a pair of love-struck jibber-monkeys hoping The Great Haired One may just lower himself to grace us with his point-nosed presence?
"NOOOOOOEEEELLLLL!!!! NOOOEEEEELLLLLL!!!! HERE HE COMES!!!! OMYGODOHMYDOOHMYGOD!!!!!NOOOOOEEEEELLLLLL!!!OVER HERE!! OVER HERE!! OHMYGODOHMYGOD!!D'YA SEE THAT???!! HE LOOKED RIGHT AT ME!! HE DEFINATELY
LOOKED AT ME!!! WHAT??? HE LOOKED AT ME!! NOT YOU!
NOEL WOULDN'T LOOK AT YOU!! WHY WOULD HE LOOK AT A TRAMP LIKE YOU??!! NOEL'S MINE!! MINE!!! I'LL KILL YA!!! I'LL KILL YA!!!"
Jeez. I'll be in the bar, ladies. Anyway, I gotta new comedy hero now, you dig? Demetri Martin! He's got cool hair too! And he's on the Daily Show, der greatest American export for a decade! He plays guitar & harmonica! He's like a young comedy emo Bob Dylan! Only good! Go look on youtube or something! Check out the 'TRENDSPOTTING' bits from The Daily Show! They're the greatest!
The Beatles, The Grateful Dead, Record Collections etc
Oh, man! It's one of those posts that invites a response from the blogging community! Like the 'Fave Beatles Song' thing! Hey, remember the 'Fave Beatles Song' thing?
..."I like Maxwell's Silver Hammer
best!" "Maxwell's Silver Hammer
sucks! I like 'Flying
' best!" "Flying
sucks! I like The Ballad Of John & Yoko
best!" "The Ballad Of John & Yoko
When I returned home from work today my old lady was Having A Big Sort Out
of all my records, reason being that due to post - DJing sloppiness on my part we are increasingly plagued by that most irritating of music geek phenonema:That thing where you suddenly really wanna hear a particular song (let's say it's Dark Star by the Grateful Dead) you rush to your record collection, spend 20 minutes starring at row after row of LP spines muttering "I put it here...I know it was here...I just saw it the other day...oh, man...I swear to God these things move themselves....(shouting upstairs to girlfriend who has 'just got out of the shower') REBECCA! REBECCA! I'm trying to find Live/Dead! WHAT? NO! The one with the cartoon guy smashing an ice cream cone over his head is Live in Europe '73! This is just Live/Dead! Yeah, they're both live albums! They did quite a lot of 'em! They're the most widely bootlegged live act in rock history! I'm tying to find the one with the title in big medieval script on the front! Yeah, the one with 'Dark Star' at the start! WHAT? Dark Star is certainly not a dull hippy jambourie which at 18 minutes is about 17 minutes too long...OH, MAN! FOUND IT!" Only. To. Discover...that the record isn't in the sleeve. DUH DUH DUHHH!
So I was wondering if anybody has a system for filing their CDs / LPs / C90s / Wax Cylinders. I've 'genre-ised' my collection a couple of times after I've moved house, but I've only ever managed to keep it up for a week or so. I've NEVER alphabetised or chronologicised. Does anyone have a particularly interesting system? Or one which is super easy to maintain? Does anybody have any hilarious record collection related anecdotes they would like to share?"So I said to him, 'uh, I think you'll find that 'Revolver' was released in the US a week later than it was in th UK, and yet here on your February 1966 - June 1966 shelf you've got the US version filed before the UK version?!' Yeah! Way to be chronologically accurate!"
Kate Bush, Mercury Prize, Billy Joel etc
Mercury Music Prize Nominations
Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - Ballad Of The Broken Seas Editors - The Back Room Guillemots - Through The Windowpane Richard Hawley - Coles Corner Hot Chip - The Warning Muse - Black Holes And Revelations Zoe Rahman - Melting Pot Lou Rhodes - Beloved One Scritti Politti - White Bread, Black Beer Sway - This Is My Demo Thom Yorke - The Eraser
....WHERE IS THE KATE BUSH LP? A glaring omission. I'm glaring as I write this. GLARE!!!!
It probably goes without saying that I haven't heard any of these LPs. I like the odd thing I've heard by Richard Hawley, other than that I'm utterly clueless or vaguely unimpressed. Editors have put out a couple of passable Joy Division pastiches. I thought the Hot Chip single about a monkey was a reasonable slice of new new-wavery, achieving a level of un-feeling, post-modern emotionally dis-connected blankness Blondie et al could only dream about about. Muse I don't dig at all. I think Thom Yorke is a fine lyricist but an irritating, wrong-headed human being who shoulda realised by now that ripping off ideas Aphex Twin had 10 years ago ain't no better or valid than an 'orthodox' rock band ripping off ideas Paul McCartney had 40 years ago. I heard a couple of tracks offa the Sway LP, I don't know jack about the current UK hip hop/grime scene but it sounded powerful enough stuff. Guillemots are named after a bird. And the Arctic Monkeys...jeez...I think their time has already past, hasn't it? It's July 2006 now. They're a February 2006 sorta band.
I enjoyed Anthony & The Johnsons winning last year, 'cos it shut the NME the hell up. "Oh, the Mercury Music Awards, they're everything we're not, boy oh boy, every year these corporate suck-balls compile a list of the lame garbage they've read about in Q Magazine plus a couple of half-way decent LPs they have no intention of giving it to, like f'instance the Anthony & The Johnsons LP this year, you think they're gonna give a wonderful little indie LP like that an award? You gotta be kidding us! If you wanna see an album like that get some recognition, you're gonna have to wait for the NME Awards, now THERE'S
an award show that celebrates interesting new music...oh."
WHERE IS THE KATE BUSH LP? FEEL MY GLARE!!!!!
Oh, man. I heard Billy Joel being interviewed on the wireless today, and he said that when he was at school, he told his headmaster that "I'm not going to Columbia University. I'm going to Columbia Records." What a jerk.
New Music, The Pink Floyd, Muddy Waters etc
So this bloggin' cat goin' by the name of Mouldy hits me with some rap about how I go on alot about 'old' music, but wants to know my opinion of 'new' music, and the deal brothers & sisters is this: I know
'new' music (by which I guess we mean POST-LIBERTINES INDIE ROCK) but I don't really feel like I've got much of a handle on it, if you catch my etc. I rely on the indie-orientated cats & kittens I know to hip me to what's currently flipping wigs on the rock scene, and I hear CONTEMPOARY ROCK being played at parties or in people's cars or what haveyou, or maybe Joe Whiley'll play somethin', or I'll get a FREE CD with the NME, or I might have to review a NEW BAND for the paper, and I sorta ingest it that way, but I basically make absolutely no pro-active effort to know what's happenin' today,
'cept buying the NME, which is more outta habit than anything anyway. Like, Anna Waits digs The Arcade Fire (have they even got a 'The'? They should. They should be called The Arcade Fire..like, The Pink Floyd sounds way
cooler than Pink Floyd, I've got an old John Peel session of Pink Floyd from '69 and he introduces 'em like - 'Ladies & Gentlemen...The Pink Floyd'
. It's the coolest thing in the world...aw, jeez - this is OLD music, sorry) & I can see that it's all very dramatic high quality Waterboy's sorta stuff, and there's a million of 'em, and they play zithers and stuff, and it's obviously VERY GOOD music...but I just don't really, y'know, feel
them particularly. Alot of this is down to production, (and I'm gonna sound like I'm a dull muso shmuck now, but I guess you'll have figured that much about me anyways) and it basically boils down to the simple fact that I Like How Records Recorded Between The Early 50s And The Mid 70s Sound. I ain't gonna lay a rap on you 'bout 'how drum miking techniques'
changed or none of that boohockey, but it's enough to say that there's a vibe about the Muddy Waters - Early Led Zep (that'll do) era that I dig, and I guess that ain't no different to somebody sayin' they're a fan of a given era of literature, film, art yadda yadda yadda. The other big factor here is HISTORICAL CONTEXT, and my obsession with music from this period is part & parcel of a much wider fascination with mid-2oth centuary culture and history in gen, from Kennedy, Marilyn, beatniks the Bay Of Pigs to Nixon, Watergate, hippies & Vietnam. The music of this era is PART of the history, and that simply ain't the case now. Razorlight don't say anything about Iraq, Blair, Bush etc, and I find that sort of hard to get past, in terms of really liking them
. Post mid 70s, the only stuff I really, truly dig is - ahem - old skool hip-hop (ie rough, badly recorded, very basic, very loud James Brown drum breaks being shouted over by a buncha school kids called something like The Incredible Disco 5) which I dig for the same reason I dig Jimi Hendrix, which is to say I dig it because it's so authentic a reflection of the desperate, fascinating climate in which it was produced -it's THE SOUND, THE SMELL of the drug / gang / Vietnam fallout that decimated the Bronx district of Manhattan circa 1977. I don't get that sorta feeling from much these days. Which means I'm missing out, fer sure. I envy young cats who dig the new scene. I like The White Stripes alot, infact I think they're utterly brilliant, but they're basically a garage/punk RnB band who got lucky, so they really don't count as New Music anymore than any Nuggets-revivalist band from Dee-troit does, ie The Mummies, The Greenhornes etc. I like & enjoy alot of new music, I think The Kooks write nice songs, I think The Arctic Monkeys are basically A Good Thing, I think Madonna is pretty great, I think The Flaming Lips are wonderful entertainment & very smart, I think Pete Doherty remains an interesting if pitiable figure and I think Lilly Allen is pretty NOW and good luck to her.
I while ago Keith Richards was interviewed in Q Magazine and they asked him what he thought about the 'NEW CROP' of BRITISH GUITAR BANDS; ie Razorlight, Franz etc. His reply was that he didn't really know much about them, and ended his response with the following question:
"I mean - are they as good as Muddy Waters?"
Q Magazine had to concede that no, of course they weren't. Keith thus considered the matter closed - if they're not as good as Muddy Waters then he's not really missing out, and he may as well stick with Muddy Waters. Keef's an old blues reactionary, possibly of the worst kind, and on one level his attitude sucks. But on another level, I sorta know what he's saying, and my attitude to NEW MUSIC basically boils down to: nobody has the time to Be Into Everything. If you're gonna devote your life to collecting all the great blues LPs in the world, you're never going to have the time, energy, money or inclination to really get into anything else. Things will appear on your radar, like a really great single by some great new band, but if it comes down to deciding whether your £10 is gonna go on an LP by A New Band That Sounds Like Black Sabbath or an LP by Black Sabbath, my money's always gonna go on Black Sabbath.
I run and DJ at a 60s funk/psyche/prog/RnB club called the Revolutionary Freaked Out Fuzz Club, and we have a motto, which I think I half- ripped off from Lester Bangs; "It's Not Retro, It's Just Good Taste." Whether it's good taste or not is up for debate, but I certainly don't think of it as retro.
Marilyn Monroe, The Rolling Stones & Muse
So I'm sat outisde in my yard flickin' thru this real trashy Marilyn Monroe biog called 'Goddess' (I really only dig real sleazy, dirt raking biogs, like f'instance check out the hatchet job Albert Goldman did on Lennon, it's a blast, quite frankly I couldn't care less how accurate a portrait
a biographer paints of their subject, jus' as long as they're imaginative and immoral enough to creates as many myths as they debunk) and I'm eyeballin' this story 'bought how she took LSD with Tim Leary in '62, and I'm sipping my cheap red, it's 6 in the pm & all's well in the world, & two doors down some cat sticks on 'Wild Horses' by der Stones real loud. Now it ain't my fave Stones track by any stretch, (for what it's worth, that dubious honour goes to the slide guitar white-boy funk of 'Ventilator Blues' from yer Exile on Main Street
) but any vintage Stones on a sunny July evenin' is A-OK by me, especially as it's a nice enuff loping country ballad and the saintly Gram Parsons gave it 'em & it's just about right for my state of mind at that precise moment. So I'm a happy buckeroo. Then 'Wild Horses' trots to it's conclusion, an' I'm casually ponderin' wether this two-doors-down cat is gonna treat me to a whole evening of pleasent country rock, maybe some Flying Burritos, some CSN&Y, maybe if I'm real lucky he'll even spin some Sweetheart Of The Rodeo
So it goes without sayin' that when my neighbourly DJ 'drops' some Muse LP I bum hard. Now, I ain't familar enough with contemporary indie rock to recognise der Muse instantly, but I figure pretty quickly it ain't David Crosby churnin' out the sub-Queen robo-metal dirge I'm being assaulted by, and even more depressin' still is that once I do recognise 'em I realise it ain't even their new LP, which at least woulda won my neighbour points for contemporaneousness (?) and woulda meant that if I were stopped in the street by the Indie Marketing Board and quizzed on my reactions to Supermassive Black Hole et al I coulda held forth with an INFORMED OPINION, insteada which I'm just gonna have to rely on my firmly held partially informed estimation that Muse suck, and their new LP probably sucks just as much as their last one and all the ones they did before that, and all this boohockey 'bout how the new single is some sorta big 'departure' for 'em, 'cos it's, like inspired by listenin' to cutting edge dance music in New York clubs,
is just a PR exercise to disguise the fact that it actually just sounds like a Marilyn Manson b-side, and that if I were a cutting edge New York DJ I'd wanna tell Muse to shut the hell up and stop draggin' my good cutting edge name thru the mud, jeez, cutting edge New York DJs don't sit around mapping out the future of electronic drug music just so a buncha Jeff Buckley ripping off muvvafuggers can get their kicks in their club for a couple of hours and go home to tell the NME 'bout how the've had their horizens widened
by hanging with drag queens an' listenin' to 'banging' Franz Ferdiand remixes in der Upper East Side.
Anyway, if you wanna hear something really good, check out 'Chicago: Live At Carnegie Hall'. It's a quadruple LP brass blues funk rock monster. That's quadruple LP.
4 LPs. 8 sides of vinyl. Two posters. A colour booklet. A nice cream box. That's called value for money, brother.
Black Sabbath, Beards, The Flaming Lips etc
So after my last experiment in streamofconciousness blogging, I figured I'd sit down tonight with anuvva glass of the cheap red and artificially replicate a semi-successful formula. I don't know how many of you are Black Sabbath fans, I just bought a cheap-ass Best Of CD at the weekend & I gotta say while half a dozen or so cuts are righteous downer blues fug most of it is pure bunk, especially as it's a double set arranged chronologically and they didn't record a thing I wanna hear ever again after about 1974, I sorta bought it 'cos I know Mr Coyne from der Flaming Lips is a monster Sabbath freak & they do War Pigs
live yadda yadda 'cos it's, y'know just as relevent today yadda yadda
& seein' as Wayne's near as dammit the hippest cat on this or any other planet, (I mean, just check out the cat's beard, just his beard
is better than most bands entire back catologue - see also Macca circa Let It Be
, whose beard alone justifies The Beatles as der greatest, beards are very important, Jim Morrison had a groovy beard too, which is why hipsters hatin' on The Doors need forget obsessin' 'bout the whole Bonzo Dionysis Lizard King thing and give the guy a break) so I figured they've gotta have summfin', which most certainly do, just not as much as I woulda hoped, but I guess if you were some Romilar cough syrup glugging street punk kid from Nowhere USA in 1970 who, y'know, likes
Led Zep 1, but is pissed 'cos it doesn't really bug his folks as much as he'd like, even when he's playin' it real loud at 3am, these buncha satan worshippin' black magik Hammer Horror dirge churnin' muvvas musta seemed like the greatest thing in the whole world, way better at least than Alice Cooper which is just Barnum Pantomine Circus freakery and not really the real deal at all, so it makes sense that Wayne digs 'em so much 'cos he was a Romilar cough syrup glugging street punk one time too, even if now he's like a benign, Father Christmas style The Man 8 out of 10 Indie Kids Would Choose To Be Their Dad, anyhoo, Black Sabbath recorded, y'know, some
stomping tunes, The Wizard
is a harmonica crazed monster...like the mighty MC5, I sorta dig the the idea
of Black Sabbath ("Ladies and Gentlefreaks! Come have your heads stomped by the world's evilest scuzz shovelling horror-show B-Movie super heavy goat sacrificin', bat chompin' friends of Satan rock and roll 3D gore-o-vision shlock merchants!") more than that actual band, and ain't nothing wrong with that. Rock music is bunk, but the idea of it is potent as hell.
Lester Bangs, The Velvet Underground, Making Movies etc
I'm the worlds least prolific blogger. The last thing I stuck on here was a link to a Beatles video at youtube, was has gotta rate as pretty much the lamest post ever, and even that was two weeks ago. I check out alotta your blogs most days, and the sheer volume of verbiage you cats manage to churn out makes me wanna weep. I figure you must be a buncha speed freaks or summfin. So I figured I'd just sit down with a glass of the cheap red and write about whatever the dickens wanders into my mindspace. I've been re-reading the Lester Bangs anthology 'Psychotic Reactions & Carburetor Dung.' Now there's a cat who could really churn it out. There's a review of 'Astral Weeks' 9 pages long. I dig Lester alot, I mean, the guy was a
Dee-troit bum and he wasted his talent like a shmuck, but at least the cat realised that the important thing 'bout being a rock and roll writer ain't the rock and roll but the writing, and I wish he were still around, he'd be kicking Fall Out Boy's lillywhite MTV Corpro-punk ass all over the parking lot, ranting magnificantly 'bout how Iggy Pop didn't roll around in glass and get beaten up by Hells Angels so this
buncha jerks could turn up 30 years later and buy a house in the Hamptons with their Million Dollar advance from Geffen or whoever the hell it is they sold their Mothers to in exchange for drugsmoneygirls. Plus, he loved The Velvet Underground, who I dig the mostest 'cos I've always sorta figured they're like....The Anti-Beatles
, mutant Noo Yoik beatnik pop-art wraparoundshades street punk metaphetamine reflections of The Fabs, deepest dark where The Beatles were (gen-er-ally) dazzelingly bright, the distorto-Fabs, influential as hell but didn't sell squat, and, man, were they ever the greatest - jeez, I was just listenin' to The Gift (from White Light / White Heat, der numero uno DEFINITIVE Velvets LP in my humble etc) the other night, and I remembered reading that the lyrics (John Cale recites monotone exitentialist bizzaro short pulp fiction) were recorded on one channel and the music on the other, so you can listen to them both, or just one of them, so I pilled a wire, cut out the lyrics and just sat digging the music, which is pretty much the funkiest the Velvets ever got, (I mean it ain't James Brown but it ain't a million miles away from early Funkadelic neither) - a huge monster heavy fuzz bass riff from hell, Mo Tucker cavewoman stomp drums and, after a fashion, yer standard Velvets freak-out feedback guitar auto-destruction. Check it out, pop-pickaroos: IT'S A HIT!
So I've been listening to der Velvets and readin' Lester Bangs, which I guess makes sense. The other thing I've been doin' is making a film, summfin I've wanted to do ever since I saw Apocolypse Now (I'm a barrel of terrible cliches) back in...I wanna say high school
...sixth form (I ain't ashamed of my Yankophilia, but you gotta draw your own line somewhere) and, y'know, turns out making a film is a whole lotta work. I wasn't really expecting that. I write music reviews for a local paper, that ain't work. I DJ at and organise a club (The Revolutionary Freaked Out Fuzz Club, check out our myspace etc) - that's some work, but mainly it gives me a chance to play David Axelrod and Howling Wolf records real loud, so that ain't really work neither. I work, that's some work, but it's work, so that's pretty much parta the deal. I figured Making A Film would probably fall somewhere near the Club Organising level of Work, But Not Really Work. Turns out it's actually just Work. The film I'm involved with (storyboarding, filming, setting up scenes, shifting boxes of props around town like a shmuck yadda yadda yadda) is summfin we're doing for three local bands (Cardboard Radio: post Libertines indie rock'n' roll, Hijack Oscar: heavy blues Carnival music & Boss Caine: Rolling Stones-styled alt. country) who have a big-deal one day festival thing coming up soon and wanted a video to project behind them, so 'cos they all think they're such a big buncha badass rock 'n' roll outlaws we've watched a ton of Leone movies and 'The Cincinnati Kid' and made a 15 minute film noir black and white cowboy poker movie, with 'em all sat round a dingy bar swigging Jack Daniels, smoking fat cigars, talking trash, playing cards, hustling each other outta dollars and chips yadda yadda, all real cliched but it looks super-cool and that's all that really matters anyway (check out the Midsummer Movie myspace, etc). So essentially I've had my first taste of making a music video. I thought it was a lot of hard, slow, frequently dull work. The finished thing's gonna be a stone wig flipper, but the process itself I haven't dug nearly as much as I always thought I would. I studied Film Theory at Warwick University, and the whole experience of making a film (however amateur, low budget, badly organised it's been) has forced me to accept something pretty down-heartening, which is I think a Film Theory course which contains absolutely no practical film making...is completely bunk. You cannot understand film unless you've been exposed on a least some level to how a film is ACTUALLY MADE. I knew alot about film before doing this, (not as much as I should perhaps, but enough), but I was shocked as to how naive I was about the reality of film-making, both the nature of a shoot and the post-production, editing process. "So...it looks like they were in the room together at the same time...but actually the shot of him
and the shot of her
were filmed on...what...totally seperate occasions?
" I'm playing for effect, but it's not so far from the truth.
Which brings us nicely back to Lester Bangs. Lester was essentially a student of music theory, he played harmonica a bit and he wrote lyrics and sang der blues a little, but was basically not a musician, ('cept of course anybody who can bang a cooking pot is a musician, but that's a seperate issue.) In the late 70s he went into the recording studio with a band he'd put together, I guess figurin' 'Hey, if the chumps I bin writin' 'bout all these years can do it, I sure as hell can', and I remeber a quote I read once from his producer which basically went along the lines of "I couldn't believe LESTER BANGS, the man who understands rock and roll more than anyone on the planet, could be so naive about the recording process. He was shocked that not everything- bass, drums etc- were done together, live. He was sort of disapointed."
And that's the end of that chapter.