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Give me music and give me noise....

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Thith ith Thoth

The rather impressive Thoth at Power Lunches in east London, 19/8/14

Monday, 18 August 2014

Nostalgia for an age yet to come

A recent conversation touches on the subject of nostalgia in music. Yeah, nostalgia.

It's awful but unavoidable, I say. Memories (definitely not based on nostalgia) come to mind of Radio One in the 1970s. Playing “oldies” like The Beach Boys, The Mamas & The Papas, The Beatles, The Kinks. Or even Elvis Presley. Bewilderingly ancient stuff when you’re 14 and it’s 1978. Why do they always play the same records, you sort of (dimly) ask yourself. You put up with it. Then, gradually, gropingly, John Peel drags you out of the mire, the quicksand of the old-but-supposedly-loved ...

Great! Now it’s all Spizz Energi, The Lurkers, Siouxsie And The Banshees. Brand new stuff. Except ... then there's that corny Peel institution the All-Time Festive 50, showing us even then that punks had quickly become the new conservatives. Always voting Anarchy In The UK and Love Will Tear Us Apart into the top three. No more Beatles or Rolling Stones indeed.

Worse, John Peel then apparently has to fend off wave after wave of refuseniks. People hating rap (“What's this Sugarhill Records crap?”), hating acid house, hating drum and bass, hating grindcore, hating nu-Country (er, no, that was probably me actually). Oh god, take me back, back to the Roxy ... Nostalgia for “real punk” (for “77 Punk” as I’ve recently seen it described) has probably been the most virulent strain of all the nostalgias of recent decades. Punk’s not dead etc, but it certainly likes to revive the nearly-dead ...

So, as I say, it’s awful. But nostalgia's also horribly unavoidable. Reformed bands. Tours to promote “classic” albums. Faithful” (ie reverential and deeply boring) cover versions. It goes on and on, and over time … it doesn’t get any better. Unsurprisingly, the world of commerce treats all music as one giant set of "nostalgia" buttons - ready to be pressed whenever it aids the selling process. Bit of Rock The Casbah. Kerching! Bit of Girl From Mars. Sold mate!

Nostalgia milked for profit is surely one of the most nauseating aspects of modern life. It almost makes you want to flee the present, to seek out a better time.

In a recent WIRE review of a book about hyper-dedicated record collectors (indeed collectors of 78s from the 1930s), Sukhdev Sandhu quotes a collector who says the intense appeal of this collecting is that it's "a world that can save you from the modern world". Right. It's a beyond-nostalgia form of nostalgia. There are better worlds ...



Thursday, 7 August 2014

Very ambitious vision, Podcast #108 (July 2014)

You know you're doing something right when elephants stampede toward you, lifting up their trunks saying, in their distinctive elephant language, "Hey Niluccio, what about another of your great podcasts?". 

And you know me, I never like to disappoint my friends Elephas maximus and Loxodonta africana. They're maybe a bit too keen on that trumpet noise they make, but I've always said ... they have a very ambitious vision.

(Link removed for space reasons, but can be re-upped on request).


1: Coconut Monkey Rocket & Cow/Moo, Another uneasy night 
2: Sissy Hex, Housewives 
3: The God In Hackney, Holt, Jarmara 
4: Big Joe Williams, I’ve been wrong, but I’ll be right
5: Petra Matejova & Katarzyna Drogosz, ? (Sala Koncertowa Uniwersytu Muzycznego Chopina, Warsaw, 12/7/14) 
6: The Ethical Debating Society, Kill you last 
7: SwamiMillion, Postscript 
8: Very ambitious vision 
9: Sonny Rollins, When your lover has gone 
10: Oozing Wound, Welcome to the spaceship, motherfucker 
11: Ste Mccabe, Queer clubbing 
12: Fed., Ruff you 
13: Big Joanie, Giant 
14: The Soft Pink Truth, Teachers 
15: The Broken Oak Duet, ? (JT Soar, Nottingham 25/7/14) 
16: Domotic, Le demon (theme) 
17: Back to their home towns 
18: Music Blues, 91771 
19: Cayos, Briefcase wormholes 
20: Faggot, Greta Garbo (Wharf Chambers, Leeds 26/7/14) 
21: Jackie Mittoo, Brain mark 
22: Coppe, Figment of imagination 
23: Almost treated as legal 
24: Grumbling Fur, Dancing light 
25: InĂ©s Navarro, Brown bag 
26: Asmahan, Ya layali el bochr 
27: Black Twig Pickers, You play the high card