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Give me music and give me noise....

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Wealth of the nation, Noisepod #8 (July 2016)

The following took place in a record shop about 30 years ago. I was working there as a shop assistant and, in all my gauche youthful ineptitude, I'm involved in some sort of lunchtime conversation about ... er, music. At one point I happen to mention that I listened to the John Peel programme. Big mistake. Quite angrily, a colleague suddenly rounded on me: "That's not music! It's just noise!". Woah. And this, remember, is a conversation among young people working in a record shop.

Anyway, I hear that thankfully this particular person's now dropped all that mumsy "just noise" nonsense and wised up to the thrill of a good Siberian Ass Torture tune. So I hereby dedicate this podcast to her and anyone else who's ever complained that what they personally don't like is not music, just noise. Because you, dear noise-averse music hater, are the very wealth of the nation ...

1: Enslaved Chaos, Say you love satan
2: Infect, Vocé não é seu passado
3: KlitoriX, Menstruation'z over
4: xDELOREANx, The blacksmith must not die
5: Siberian Ass Torture, Jirre poes!
6: Actual word in question
7: Chain Gang Grave, To the sea
8: Beards, Infinite lawn
9: Condominium, Let's die
10: Corrupt Moral Altar, Whiskey sierra
11: Ilsa 25, Cromwell
12: Dixie, Morbidon spider
13: Perspex Flesh, Black magic
14: Wealth of the nation
15: Kind Eyes, More amps, less angst
16: Like Rats, Russian midnight
17: Good Throb, Psycho disco
18: Negative WorM, I really don't care
19: Fist Of Fury, Fuck the system
20: Starkweather, Bitterfrost
21: Crass, Fun going on
22: Siege Stompers, Loud & clear
23: Slur, Insanity of war
24: A great environment
25: Nuclear Witch, Forever hell
26: Otoboke Beaver, Akimahenka
27: Dyslexic Fudgicle, Fetus hat
28: I Loved, I Hated, Broken homes
29: Ill Fat Liza, Kick in the stomach
30: 100 Demons, Ne desit virtus
31: Help She Can't Swim, Cut the biography

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Very difficult to know, Podcast #131 (June 2016)

After you didn't like the first 130 podcasts I did, what chance is there you'll like the 131st? Answer: it's very difficult to know ...

1: Just Jace, Sidestep
2: Very difficult to know
3: Pale Kids, ? (Audacious Art Experiment, Sheffield 24/6/16)
4: Fragile Tom, Just you know
5: G.L.O.S.S., Give violence a chance
6: Golden Grey, Don’t stop running
7: Jherek Bischoff & Konono No1, Kule kule
8: The Cavemen, Swamp thing
9: Casulairs, Satisfied
10: Hack Musician, Reluctant acceptance
11: Gate, IWD4u
12: Rene Hall/Willie Joe, Twitchy
13: Plaza, ? (Victoria, London 16/6/16)
14: Subset, Taganga
15: Asha Bhosie, Dum maro dum
16: Doctor Turtle, I’m what you’d be without her
17: Kode9 & The Spaceape, Nine samurai
18: Nachthexen, ? (Audacious Art Experiment, Sheffield 24/6/16)
19: Alireza Mashayekhi, Development 2, op24
20: Full access
21: Patsy & The Count Ossie Band, Pata pata rock steady
22: S.Brinks/M.Cipollone/C.Freshard/G.Fisher, Robot stano
23: Bass Clef & Kasai Allstars, The incident at Mbuji-mayi
24: D Smilez, We are the ravers

Saturday, 9 July 2016

DIY music: death by a thousand sincere announcements

So there I was, at a small gig (about 25 people) in a small venue in Brooklyn, NYC, when ... the singer in the band starts rambling away on the mic between songs. It happens quite a lot. People in bands with "stuff to say". Not necessarily a bad thing - depends what they're trying to say and how they're saying it.

But ... it's kinda dangerous. Long-winded on-stage communications are a sure-fire mood-killer. Ya gotta get it right. Anyway, this was slightly different. He wasn't thanking the other bands (dull), expressing his gratitude to the promoter (also dull) or advertising his band's merch stall (dullest of all). Instead our loquacious New York entertainer began an extended soliloquy on "how great" it was to be part of "DIY indie-rock culture".

For real! This over-sincere Williamsburg dude droned on about "DIY culture" at regular intervals throughout his band's entire set. Even by the very low standards of most stage chat, this was exceptionally cringeworthy stuff. By the third or fourth time I wanted to charge up and grab the mic off him. PLEASE STOP! Was he doing it as some kind of twisted performance art? Tormenting his audience with sincerity until they snapped and caused a scene?

I dunno, people eh? Lest I be misunderstood, I'm the first to extol the virtues of so-called DIY music culture. It's undoubtedly where it's at, and has been for decades. As far as I can tell, there currently seem to be some very good DIY-type venues, promoters and artists in the UK, in New York, in Tokyo, in Italy, and doubtless in numerous other places dotted all over the world. Cool. But no need to shout about it.

Punk, lo-fi, outsider, alternative, squat, community, grassroots: call it what you will, it's a healthy thing and fosters a lot of great music. But phew, it can get suffocating. The Brooklyn gig had one of those hand-written bar signs that - like a lot of chalkboards outside cafes these days - specialised in cloying cutesyness. "Always tip you bartender. Be cool out there. And don't pee on the bathroom floor", said this one. Even worse, a gig I went to in northern England recently had an actual mock "commandments" tablet onto which were written the rules-cum-principles of the venue. Knowingly ironic, but still ... rules for niceness?

At gigs I dislike boorishness as much as the next twee indie rock kid, but ... please stop hectoring or suffocating me like this. Being "shushed" at quiet gigs is bad enough. I think I can just about disport myself in a non-offensive fashion without having to be be reminded that your gig is extra-specially "safe", "inclusive", fully-progressive and just won't put up with bad behaviour. Back off you rule-makers.

No, I'll keep going to these gigs (despite my complaints, they're frequently my favourite ones). But please spare me the ten commandments for "cool behaviour" and stop preaching from the script of "DIY indie-rock". I might be twee and utterly non-violent but even I have my limit. Cool, yeah?

Monday, 4 July 2016

Jamming with the Taliban

 ... meanwhile, in another place, with newer smartphones and snazzier training shoes, I discuss the Taliban's particular style of music criticism. A clue. It involves AK47s and suicide belts ...