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Give me music and give me noise....

Monday, 22 July 2013

In the summer of '85

Meanwhile, in another place, I'm getting all nostalgic for those halcyon days of 1985 - The Style Council, Howard Jones, Sade and Adam Ant. Oh, our glory days! So dearly missed ....

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Taking the shine off

Another of my press-and-hope gig shots ... Mickey Gloss, with their pleasingly scorched indie sounds at Power Lunches in east London, 18/7/13.

The singer's Baconesque smear of a face is the reason I like this one, a nice visualisation of their blurring of styles - speed-punk, Fall-esque grind, arch faux-country ...

Sunday, 7 July 2013

The dreary sound of Joy Division

"It's so dreary, isn't it?"

My octogenarian mother's remark upon hearing Joy Division, as featured on the soundtrack of Anton Corbijn's generally excellent 2007 film, Control.

I seem to recall that before their noughties-era sanctification by mainstream music critics, this was a commonly-held view, even among rock music fans of a relatively "alternative" stripe. Ie, that Joy Division were OK, a decent band, but ultimately "depressing". As ever, my mum's generally on the money.

Anyway, to my unreconstructed pro-JD ears, it still provides a small thrill to see Sam-Riley-as-Ian-Curtis doing his freaky dancing and hearing snippets of the band, albeit snippets apparently done by the actors themselves.

Ian Curtis' Memorial
Pic: jayneandd

For me the film transcends the miserably mediocre level of most music bio-pics by focusing quite hard on Curtis' epilepsy and his falling-apart marriage. The music, rightly, is the background to all this.

I liked the shots where Corbijn juxtaposes old Victorian Macclesfield with its starkly modern post-war make-over buildings, and the final scene of smoke rising from a crematorium at Curtis' funeral is spot-on: very sad and very beautiful, with the hills of the Peak District shown in the background. But I thought the best scene in the film was the one where Curtis is confronted over his affair by his wife Debbie (Samantha Morton) in the hallway of their house. Each question she fires at him meets with an anguished silence. The silences are the scene's strength.

As so often, it's all about the sound production. Maybe the ghost of Martin Hannett had a hand in this excellent scene ...

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Communications, Podcast #95 (June 2013)

Yeah, big week for music this one. What with the Rolling Stones playing in Turkmenistan and Jennifer Lopez wowing the rock dads from Glastonbury's Pyramid stage. Or something like that. Anyway, I understand the Eavis clan have already got their eyes on most of the acts on Podcast #95. But hey, let's face it, they're just a little behind with their communications ....

1: zw:an, Radiant child (Delayzofthepas remix) (0-2:31) 
2: The Wharves, Renew! ((2:31-6:35) 
3: Communications (6:36-6:38) 
4: Alien Dread, Every man’s hand (6:39-10:44) 
5: Santos Wussies, No swog (10:45-13:16) 
6: Post, Monument to a lost cause (13:17-16:55) 
7: S&M, ? (extract) (Windmill, London 26/6/13) (16:56-24:05)
8: Ninjaman, New throat fe chat (24:06-27:49) 
9: Art Farmer Quartet, Lullaby of the leaves (27:50-32:04) 
10: Guns Or Knives, I can’t imagine (32:05-36:05) 
11: Exuma, Exuma, the obeah man (36:06-42:21) 
12: Trans/Human, Broken leisure (pt1) (42:22-47:48) 
13: Arabic (47:49-47:49) 
14: Audley Rollens, Be wise (47:50-52:23) 
15: Girlscoutcookies, Work will set you free (52:24-52:35) 
16: The Black Tambourines, 27-25 blues (52:36-55:32) 
17: Hélène Grimaud, Fantasia on an ostinato for solo piano (extract) (55:33-59:49) 
18: Reacting to events (55:50-55:55) 
19: Early Mammal, Two worlds (Windmill, London 26/6/13) (55:56-1:04:48) 
20: Family Cat, Mirror (1:04:49-1:06:11) 
21: Isaac Rohr, Twixt (1:06:12-1:09:14) 
22: 999, High energy plan (1:09:15-1:11:58) 
23: Ending Satellites, A day in Port-Royal (1:11:59-1:15:27) 
24: Winston Clarke, Rise and shine (1:15:28-1:19:57)

Monday, 1 July 2013