A chance comment the other day and news items about the BBC got me thinking about British comedy. I like a bit of comedy, me , but find much of today’s output ( especially on the BBC) pretty feeble and lacking in laughs.
I began to wonder if this is a symptom of me growing old. Each generation , naturally, has it’s own comedic zeitgeist which , like an old photograph, is bound to fade over time.
I do think, though, that a path can be traced, in Britain, in which , though each generation succeeds the previous it also draws inspiration from it.
“So what, Big Ears ?” I hear you, rather rudely, enquire.
Winter sun through a window in Pamplona (C)lgconnolly
So with all of the excitement in the world of organised religion this week, I found myself pontificating (how apt) about the strangeness of it all. It was prompted specifically by some comment that I read about “primitive religions” worshiping the Sun – and for some reason that really rankled with me… Continue reading →
In case you’ve been on the moon all day, My Bloody Valentine have released a new album. I went onto their website and was greeted by this stentorian pronouncement:
This vinyl album has been recorded as an analogue album. It was recorded on 2 inch 24 track analogue tape and mixed onto half inch analogue tape and mastered with no digital processing involved.
The vinyl is a true analogue cut, i.e. it hasn’t been put through a digital process during the cutting process unlike over 90% of all vinyl available today.
Nielsen Soundscan stats published by Billboard suggest vinyl LP sales in the US were up 16.3 percent, with 3.2 million units sold. According to the estimable Kevin from Avalanche Records (who knows a thing or two about stats, the universe and everything) UK vinyl sales were up 10.3% to just short of 259k.
If MBV are to be believed, no more than 26,000 UK vinyl sales are truly analogue in nature. Is studio-to-speaker analogue treatment a half-hearted raging against the dying of the light or OCD type behaviour? Or is it just the audio equivalent of a hand-dived scallop on a bed of foraged grass clippings: an enhancement to the brand that fans come to expect?
Heard that a few times haven’t you? Talk about damning with faint praise.
I’ve paid good money in to see quite a few stinkers: vanity projects, over-hyped and massively over-dubbed. I’ve seen one or two reasonable efforts. But are there any great ones?
Now you may hold views on the concert movies which might be too withering in their honesty for publication over on RR. Here, however, you may choose to pay homage to your favourite such flick, delight in cruelly exposing ambition/narcissism interlaced with a bewildering lack of talent, or diss the concept of the concert movie and yes, even a considered meh is fully acceptable. Any stance should be supported with some form of evidence or justification.
My end of year round up is now turned into the ‘spill game:
you know the score DUMP one (or all of them – see if I care)
It’s pop and it’s fun – don’t take it too seriously.
Remember, they are my most played – I’m not claiming they will change the world – I just liked them.
Band names in BOLD – for those who believe I make stuff up:
1 Stroke My Curls The Dodoz Forever I Can Purr 2012
2 Cuka (feat. Ikonoklasta) Batida Batida (feat. Mck, Circuito Feixado, Ikonoklasta, Beat Laden 2012
3 The Empty Man Whitey Lost Summer 2012
4 Genevieve Stealing Sheep Into The Diamond Sun 2012
5 Horn For The Whole Damn World Lazarus and the Plane Crash Horseplay
6 Passenger Emily Wells Mama 2012
7 Kevlar Sweethearts Diablo Swing Orchestra Pandora’s Pinata 2012
8 Be Strong (Blakkat Remix) The 2 Bears Be Strong (Deluxe Edition) 2012
9 Rat-at-at The Skints Part & Parcel 2012
10 Clap Hooded Fang Tosta Mista 2012
11 Circus Sunday Driver The Mutiny 2012
There are rarely moments for reflection in the run up to Christmas, but when you finally get to sit down in a heap, the halo of good cheer can sometimes hover uneasily above the head of the curmudgeon. Is it fair or appropriate to spoil the party with a good old fashioned rant? Let’s face it with RR on hiatus and Shane’s much anticipated fix a few days away, this perhaps may offer a chance to vent some spleen without jeopardising domestic harmony.
In a departure from the normal format, this week’s Waste Of Space opens the floor to the Spillers’ unseasonal ranting. That’s right folks, you get to deal from the bottom of the deck – it’s no trump for this hand – so please step forward into the annoying glare of the Super Trouper with your very own Waste Of Space nominations. You don’t have to stick to musical objects of derision, although some might prove entertaining.
Now you’ve gone and left me and there’s nothing here,
But a tenner in my pocket and a fridge full of beer,
There’s an aRRmy around the country, we’re all stuck in our rooms
It takes a lot of preparation to make a move.
1 Foot Soldiers (Star-Spangled Funky) Funkadelic
2 A Brighter Beat Malcolm Middleton
3 On My Shoulders The Dø
4 Brave Tin Soldiers Sarah Nixey
5 The Happiest Place on Earth Desaparecidos
6 Soldier’s Grin Wolf Parade
This week’s object of affection/derision is Peter Gabriel. It has to be said that the ladyllama is no fan, but he has had a varied career and I guess a fair chunk of it may have passed her by. Remember the Genesis era theatrics, or the political conscience? Or the jokes going round Africa about needing to quickly hide the rhythms any time he or Paul Simon showed up? Recently he has been reduced to revisiting his back catalogue. Has the man any talent or is he rock’s own jerkin-clad Chauncey Gardiner mucking around with a mixing desk in his oversized garden shed?
Now you may hold views PG which might be too withering in their honesty for publication over on RR. Here, however, you may choose to pay homage to some of his ouevre that moved you or delight in cruelly exposing overarching ambition interlaced with a bewildering lack of talent and yes, even a considered meh is fully acceptable. Any stance should be supported with some form of evidence or justification.
Your fellow bandmates think your songs suck – possibly because you’re the drummer. You can’t get them on the album, and you’re feeling unappreciated. Perhaps you need to get our of your recording contract, so it seems expedient. Maybe – just maybe – you are better than them and this will be the proof.
So is it going to be a Primitive Cool or a Nightfly? Your thoughts, please, on the solo album. Particularly the “while I’m still in the band” solo effort.
Now you may hold views on the solo album which might be too blistering in their honesty for publication over on RR. Here, however, you may choose to pay homage to your favourite or delight in cruelly exposing ambition (or writer’s block) interlaced with a bewildering lack of talent, and yes, even a considered meh is fully acceptable. Any stance should be supported with some form of evidence or justification.
Mr Roboto. Two words to send a shiver down the spine from Styx’s Kilroy Was Here. Not convinced? Let’s try two more: The Elder. In the dock this week is that hoary old crisis-induced mid-career stop-gap, the concept album.
Pink Floyd. Marillion. The Beatles. Radiohead. The Thin White Duke. Mike Oldfield. Kraftwerk. Rush. The Who. The Art Of Noise. They’ve all done them. So far, so predictable. More intriguing and less likely protagonists include The Streets, Daft Punk, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Sufjan Stevens and arguably The Chemical Brothers and The Beastie Boys.
Now you may hold views on the concept album which might be too withering in their honesty for publication over on RR. Here, however, you may choose to pay homage to your favourite concept album, delight in cruelly exposing ambition (or writer’s block) interlaced with a bewildering lack of talent, or diss the concept of the concept album and yes, even a considered meh is fully acceptable. Any stance should be supported with some form of evidence or justification.
Tokyo all female three-piece TOQUIWA release their hi-energy J-punk in the UK on October the 22nd, 2012. Scopitones announced TOQUIWA’s self-titled debut on digital release and limited edition tour CD.
They begin touring the UK on 26/10 in Bournemouth – I’m going to be there (in a home made bright orange TOQUIWA T-shirt) – I also made a T-shirt using the ticket from a live Wedding Presents Ukrainian Sessions gig. But I can’t wear both.
This is the track listing and below the review are Smash Hits style questions sportingly answered by the band.
(I want to post this today – so I will have to ask Sakura to advise if I’ve got anything in the wrong places)
Photograph of the band used with permission – all designs created by arTEEsane are not for profit – please don’t use.
illustrative track from Music Ripple recorded as Pinky Piglets
The self titled album by Toquiwa on the Wedding Presents Scopitones label, should almost be called go out and get ‘em girl – such is the frantic pace that they erupt with perfect pop rock. The first 13 seconds set up the album (you heard right – 13 seconds sets out their manifesto) – Fantasticly playing the many influences and condensing them into a tight Toquiwa package.
Strangely managing to be extremely talented musicians yet still exuding that punk ethic of innocence and naivety.
The tracks have so many astonishingly catchy segments and hooks, you wonder how the pace can be kept up, but keep up they do, building and building, twisting styles and era’s together as if timelines were squeezed, squashed and smashed into their musical brains. Until in comes out sounding as though these things should always have sat together (superbly) in each 3 minute track.
Not only that, they know how to sequence an album – just as your head might explode keeping up – (ten second bar room blues, into superfly 70′s style, into a quiet millisecond break – roaring back into .. you get the drift – I’m loath to compare because it all sounds so Toquiwa – but as reference you could detect The Animals merging with a Curtis Mayfield track with hints of Kirsty MacColl’s weariness and wonder, while a Status Quo repetitive rock riff underpins a track – and quiteloudquiet indie rock aesthetics jostle in) they take a breather with a ballad – and then we are invited to party hard once again, ending with an enthusiastic Wedding Present adaption to thrill and inspire while closing the album out.
It’s fantastic fun – superbly performed and feverishly played. Total enjoyment.
Would they be happy to answer my frivolous questions linking to each song on the album?:
There are more than a few people in music who divide opinion, and here is your chance to share your tuppenceworth. Some are talentless, while others waste what talent they have. Some are pretentious or may even have poor table manners. A Waste Of Space is all about creating an alternative history for the week’s subject, fuelled by the opinions, reminiscences and musical tastes of Spillers.
Now you may hold views on the subject which might not be considered acceptable over on RR. Here, however, you may fawn over the object of your affection or diss the blighter and yes, even a considered meh is fully acceptable. Any stance should be supported with some form of evidence or justification.
Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno
This week’s subject is Brian Eno, who used to wear make-up and ostrich feathers and has since made a virtue of baldness. That’s all you’re getting from me – it’s up to you lot to write the rest of the Life of Brian.
The latest lineup of Guildford punk band Hearts Under Fire
So here it is. After nearly a year of the Guardian running ‘is rock music dead?’ stories and readers’ polls to find Britain’s best band with results that make me weep for humanity, this punk fan is finally hitting back. I could go on a rant about major media outlets refusing to interview The King Blues because they were ‘too political’, I could talk about the Guardian beginning their pattern of dismissing UK rock last year with a story on the death of guitar music a few days before Sheffield metalcore torchbearers Bring Me The Horizon released their critically-acclaimed and commercially-successful third album There Is A Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen It, There Is A Heaven, Let’s Keep It A Secret… but I won’t. Instead, I’ll introduce you to some of the UK’s leading lights and rising stars, and let you judge them for yourselves. Please note that this list is selective: I don’t listen to much metal, and wouldn’t feel qualified to talk about it, so I’ll mostly be focusing on punk, pop-punk, emo and post-hardcore. Maybe Chinny would do a piece on modern British metal? (hint, hint…)
Wearing Influences On Our Sleeve-Less T-shirts – Electric President
I’ll be at Chatsworth Road Market, Hackney – I believe that’s in London (in the Rushmore Primary School playground) on Sunday between 11 and 4 o’clock if anyone wants to come along and say Hi – I’ll be the one with bright orange t-shirts and Brainasaurus books to sell.
Hopefully, Sunday night I’ll be back to add some phone songs – until then, have fun everyone.
**************************************** Continue reading →
This has been one illuminating topic – I’m not in the camp of: “this has nothing to do with the songs” – this has everything to do with the songs. Any choice and any dond this week illustrates a unique glitch or shinning diamond in people’s character.
Doesn’t everyone look at a music collection and analyse the owners ability to live day to day? – you really can judge (you might not judge correctly) – but it’s good enough for me.
The ability to take on new and interesting tunes must be great – if our teenage selves could understand what we are doing here – they’d be shell shocked to see aged replicas of themselves loving and conversing and inspiring … this thread totally nails why RR is an important release for those with a strange disposition in creating playlists – they say SO much.
If you read the song titles here – the overwhelming idea would be ‘run for the hills and take any sharp object‘ but, it is a playlist using black humour to cope – all I did when I was young, was cope .. I don’t now. I relish what I do – but music has an important part to play in how I survived, and how I grasped a way forward – these songs are not depressing; listen to the words in Teenage Suicide, the important part is the repeat of “don’t do it” – I like that turning on the head of snap judgement. It’s a dumb pop song with little depth – but it works for me… other songs here have a greater depth – serious drugs for instance – go on – listen.
That is why I delve deeply into songs and their words, it’s the feelings they give me… and the nodding in agreement to a life similarly experienced – and a need to express that artistically. (or it’s a great bit of fiction – shhh – don’t tell – the mystery intensifies)
My teenage self would sink his teeth into this list and ponder… he’d also find all the double bluffing bloody hilarious.
To those more blank than Frank and more dark than shark – enjoy:
1 Get Better Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip
2 Why Tell The Truth (When It’s Easier To Lie) Brakes
3 Weak Become Heroes The Streets
4 Sweet Words for the Sour Whitey
5 I Never Said I Was Deep Jarvis Cocker
6 My Struggle Withered Hand
7 Teenage Suicide (The Glass remix) Clubfeet
1 The Truth Hurts So This Should Be Painless Her Space Holiday
2 Write Record Release Blues Jesus & Mary Chain
3 Serious Drugs BMX Bandits
4 Extra Medication The Manhattan Love Suicides
5 Medication Karaocake
6 Anything For Destruction Her Space Holiday
About a year or so ago I did a post on 1991. Ever since, I’ve been wondering how I could possibly do a follow-up post, and have finally come up with the idea of doing one about 1992. Clever, huh?
1991 was a vintage year, bringing classic albums like Screamedelica, Nevermind and Blue Lines. 1992 can’t compare – NME thinks Sugar’s Copper Blue is the album of the year – but even so, whittling this playlist down to just 12 songs was hard.
Because when you’re 13-14 years old and just discovering the wonders of music, 1992 is bursting with amazing records. Melody Maker, NME and Select magazine are fonts of wisdom. Mark Goodier is a musical guru. The Chart Show indie chart is a highlight of the month. All my paper round money goes on cassettes from Our Price (usually around £7.99).
Here are a few of the things I was listening to… more about them after the break.
In the meantime, shall we pretend we’re doing a Festive ‘Spill for 1992? Let’s have your top 3…
1 Always Gold Radical Face
2 Gold For The Price Of Silver (Erot Collaboration) Kings Of Convenience
3 Inside The Golden Days Of Missing You Silver Jews
4 Gold Sol Seppy
5 Gold Mine Gutted (Her Space Holiday MIx) Bright Eyes
1 Black Gold Foals
2 Cream of Gold_mix2 Astrid Swan
3 Realms Of Gold Hopewell
4 The Golden Boy Parov Stelar
5 Solid Gold The Golden Filter
1 Calypso Gold Princeton
2 Turn It Gold (Derek Allen Remix) Hestra Prynn
3 Gold In The Fire (We Have Band Remix) Monarchy
4 Gold, Tan, Peach, And Grey Bodies Of Water
5 Attack on Golden Mountain Subrosa Continue reading →
An automated theft machine or (ATM), also known as a hole in the scruples in British English, is a computerised telecommunications device that provides the suckers banking with a financial institution with access to financial transactions in a public space without the need for a cashier, human clerk or bank teller having to face outraged disgruntled customers.
On most modern ATMs, the customer is identified by shafting a plastic get out of jail free card in their orifice. Authentication is provided by the customer giving their hard earned money to a millionaire via the bank, the government, and any old bonuses the managers wish to add.
The newest ATM’s operate without ethics or morales of any sort. Do nothing and a boss will automatically withdraw the cash.
Engineers in Britain developed their own cash machines during the early 1960s. The first of these that was put into use was by Barclays Bank on 27 June 1967. This machine was the first in the UK and was used by English comedy actor Reg Varney, at the time so as to ensure maximum publicity for the machines. Thus cementing the fact that Barclays should always be remembered as one huge Piss Taking JOKE.
I hate Moustaches ! ! ! He was so handsome without it ! ! !
I wanted to start a series of occasional posts about how I came to discover some different artists and this will be the first of the series. So this series will be about how I discovered some different English language artists and I tell the story by including tracks by the artists that lead me to the discovery.
Right. Lake Tahoe, one of the key songs on Kate Bush’s recent 50 Words for Snow album. Starts as a ghost story, warning people not to swim in the lake but only to look; they might see a woman in Victorian clothes, who clearly drowned when she was out looking for her dog Snowflake. Then we switch to the point of view of the dog, who’s old now and can’t move very well, but dreams of running along beaches and through fields and woods looking for her, and then dreams that he comes home and she’s waiting for him with a bone and a biscuit and lots of love.
This story has been bothering me to a ridiculous degree. Initially it seemed terribly sad; she’s dead, and the dog was left alone, missing her. Then I thought, yes, but what’s the alternative? She died searching for her pet, and actually Snowflake wasn’t that bothered and just got on with his life? That would be really sad. But then it occurred to me what an anthropocentric attitude that was: I would prefer that the dog lived out his life in sadness, rather than finding a new life with a new family that might love him just as much, just so that the death of an imaginary person wouldn’t be too pointless?
I don’t think Kate Bush hates dogs, but I suspect she may love them only insofar as they are sufficiently loyal and human-dependent. Of course, my view may be affected by the fact that I live with four cats who love me insofar as I am sufficiently loyal and cat-dependent, and produce ample supplies of chicken on demand.
It also occurs to me that it may all be a metaphor – for ‘dog’ read ‘husband’ – but that’s for another day.
I’m going to try and write something about these tracks over the weekend and add the ‘old woman’s beard’ selection in a separate post – but it’s a little celebration of what has been tickling my ears this past year.
Tunes after the jump – enjoy. Continue reading →