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Give me music and give me noise....

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Set Sun Ra to maximum spin cycle

Sun Ra says spin me right round like an orbiting planet in a faraway solar system ....

Thursday, 21 November 2013

For the Commonwealth, Podcast #99 (Oct 2013)

Dear oh dear. It's already the 21st of November and I haven't even posted the podcast for October yet. It's really not good enough, is it?

Well, I can only throw myself at the mercy of the court and say, most humbly, that I laboured for weeks and weeks over this pathetic 78.15 minutes of music. Crafting, refining, chipping away here, chipping away there. And you know what? It was all done out of love for the Commonwealth.


1: Ando Guerillo (0-3:01) Nicoffein
2: Simon Matheson, Most unkind (3:02-4:36) 
3: Luminous Fridge, Sacrifice to the god of 808s (4:37-6:42) 
4: Dumb Girl Plague, Honey (6:43-10:20) 
5: Gerardo Sansón & Fred McDonald, Doble cero (10:21-13:16) 
6: Agnès Pe, Discutir a sangre (13:17-15:50) 
7: Mahlathini & The Queens, Umkhlwenyana (15:51-18:54) 
8: To buy cocaine (18:55-18:56) 
9: Botany, Anchor (18:57-22:15) 
10: We Are A Communist, Civilisation to Planet Nova (22:16-24:16) 
11: Sly Dunbar, Cocaine (24:17-28:02) 
12: Alligator Indian, I gave myself a science lecture (28:03-31:12) 
13: Kapnobatai, Doaga lipsa (31:13-32:56) 
14: John McGrath, Four hills (32:57-36:20) 
15: I’m not sure (36:21-36:22) 
16: Reso Kiknadze Trio, music for My Grandmother (Rich Mix, 2/10/13) (36:23-39:46) 
17: The Notes, Bourgeois (39:47-41:00) 
18: The Creatures, Inoa ‘ole (41:01-44:44) 
19: Henry Skewes, War waltz (44:45-47:24) 
20: EMP-T, Son of satan (47:25-49:54) 
21: Mmdelai, White world (49:55-53:09) 
22: For the Commonwealth (53:10-53:15) 
23: Samira Taoufik, Ya awlad el-halal (53:16-57:59) 
24: Muhmood, Organ etude (58:00-59:16) 
25: Luke McDaniel, Huh baby (59:17-1:01:30) 
26: The Fucked Up Beat, Fear in the dust bowl (1:01:31-1:05:36) 
27: Leroy Smart, Happiness is my desire (version) (1:05:37-1:09:09) 
28: Common Dominator, Bury you cockaroaches (1:09:10-1:11:57) 
29: Chin Yi, Dida (1:11:58-1:14:50) 
30: The Inspirations, who you gonna run to? (1:14:51-1:17:19) 
31: The Craters, 800080 (1:17:20-1:18:25)

Sunday, 17 November 2013

This one goes out to Mark E Smith's yappy little dog ...

This one goes out to all those Fallheads and John Peel worshippers, forever droning on about the genius of MES. Yes, YOU! 

Sunday, 10 November 2013

The mohican: time to celebrate a classic haircut

A bloke I was sitting behind on a flight the other day had a mohican haircut. One of those freshly-strimmered, flattish-strip-down-the-middle ones. Robert De Niro's Taxi Driver cut, only in this case it came with a short beard. All in all, a surprise hit of a look!

Mohicans are so deeply uncool that I find myself quite liking them these days. Imagine a setting - any setting - where a mohican haircut wouldn't look out of place. It's well nigh impossible. The haircut is utterly reviled, the lowest of the low.

You sneerin' at me?

When, very occasionally, someone appears at a gig with a mohican my instinct, I must admit, is to give said mohican-ed person a wide berth. But why? They're championing an unfashionable haircut, but so what? It must take a certain amount of nerve to go around with the double-scalped look. It risks marking you out as a throwback, an antediluvian fan of The Exploited or Anti-Pasti. And if that wasn't a heavy enough cross to bear, there's every chance that mohican man (very, very occasionally mohican woman) is going to catch people smirkingly eyeing them up wherever they go. There's no hiding place!

No, it's time to rehabilitate the humble mohican. I seem to recall that certain "full-on" music scenes like the techno one in London in the mid-90s would include a version of the mohican amongst some of its afficianados, a welcoming in, as it were, of a kindred spirit, one ready to embrace the extremity of 200bpm at Turnmills on a Sunday night, haircut at the ready.

So next time you see someone with a mohican repress your cowardly little sneer. For that mohican-ed stranger is probably a brave soul with a brave heart. They may like music infinitely better than the dull stuff you like, and they may be witty and smart to boot. And of course, as sightings of properly mohican-ed people become rarer and rarer, you never know - that person across the room from you may even be the very last of the mohicans ...

Thursday, 7 November 2013

I (don't) want to be straight

I've said it before and I'll say it again ... too many gigs these days are ... er, too straight.

They're regular. Normal. Featuring bands (comprising perfectly nice people no doubt) who dress in regulation jeans and t-shirts, run through the usual "thanks to everyone else who's played" nonsense, and seem to want to drain the gig of any sense of the peculiar or extraordinary. These bands are often fairly good, but they could be a lot more exciting. Capito?

What I'm saying is that - one way and another - the better gigs are often from artists who endeavour to go out on a limb. Y'know, ones that push the boundaries, stretch things, go further. So for example, in the space of three days last week I saw Diaphram Failure doing their dada-meets-improv-rock thing, followed by My Therapist Says Hot Damn, with their played-for-laughs-but-still-ocasionally-thrilling riot-grrl rock stuff. Both very much what the doctor ordered if you ask me. DF worked because they created a deliberately deranged atmosphere where the vocalist's freeform ranting sat nicely above the band's rock-drone rhythms. In this context it made perfect sense for the topless, big-bellied-and-big-bearded singer to intone "What ya doing with my fucking shopping?" about 38 times in succession as another band member rifled through a bag of small objects (sweets?, little-whistle-type things?) which he proceeded to lob at people in the audience. Kerr-azy! I also liked the way the singer would vary the line - "What ya doing with my motherfucking shopping?" - every now and then. See! That's musicianship, that is.

Meanwhile, MTSHD's shtick was that the male bassist hammed up his OTT rock moves in a rather fetching black and red dress and white-face make-up. This sat alongside the band's smart lyrics and decent riffing. I particularly liked a very fast tune about vodka which featured a nice faux-grindcore guttural growl from an amusing female singer. Good stuff.

As I said to my gig companion at the latter bash, there are sadly too few bands featuring men wearing dresses on the scene at the moment. (Or are there in fact dozens and I just don't know about them? Er, send me a message. Full confidentiality guaranteed). Indeed, cross-dressing in all its forms (apart from laddish "drag" stuff) is to be encouraged in rock music in my opinion. I've mentioned before how I liked the fake moustache sported by a female member of Hunx & His Punx at a gig a few years back, and most efforts to do away with the hetero-normative damp floorcloth of much modern rock is ... a thoroughly good thing in my book.

Now please excuse me. The latest Monsoon catalogue has just dropped through the letterbox and I have to go and pick out a few new outfits. Ciao a tutti.