Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Speak ya clout



I have next to no authority or even crediblity when it comes to this hip-hop game, and long may it continue; because i'm just getting started. I'll take the Polyrhythm Addicts as a case in point. I love Vaudeville Villain. It's probably my most played MF Doom release if you excuse "Mr Hood." Anyway, it was on the Viktor Vaughn album that I was first introduced to Apani B fly emcee. She guests - or rather, takes on - our Vaudeville Villain in "Let Me Watch," and certainly gave me cause to investigate further. Well, not that further. I soon learnt about the Polyrhythm Addicts; their fairly low key following; and spaced out electronically fused Rhyme Related. It ended up being the only album they would make before going on their separate ways, and is quite literally a cornicopia of different influences. Ok, it may not be your modern day critically acclaimed and innovative Hip hop record, but it's smooooth on the lyrical tip and encouraged by some seriously spaced out jazzy beats and scratchin'. Who wants "clever" when you can have music devoid of ego, and complimented with a female emcee that is clearly in a class of her own:

Polyrhythm Addicts - Not Your Ordinary

Friday, March 25, 2005

Drop the neddle down

Big Bang Who else has got that friday feeling? The weekend started early for a lot of people, but Friday is still where it's at. I'll cut to the chase. I wasn't going to post anything today, but as often happens, I came across something great, and since it caught my attention in such a way thought it only right that I should share it with you all as soon as possible - now, basically. No doubt a lot of you have heard of the Coldrice in Birmingham, well, Weird War are playing there on the 30th of April, so I really think you should aquaint yourselves with them, and quick. Basically, they work damn hard - I can't really put it into words - to book the bands that they do, and well, I came across their download section today. You might have already heard of Copter.. Well, i've already written something about how great they are. Anyway, they're from Birmingham and regularly play with The Big Bang, who are also natives of the Coldrice.

According to their website, The Big Bang formed in December 2003, with the line up of one drummer, two vocals and two guitars. Their manifesto was - and still is - to play as many shows, to as many people as possible within your calender year, and as their tour diary confirms they're going someway to fufilling that pledge. Well, no doubt you'd like to know what all the fuss is about? I don't know, I probably get excited about music too easily but The Big Bang just do everything right for me. I've been listening to The New Bomb Turks and The Little Killers today, and well, "Give The Man The Money Honey" is a rave-up on level terms with either of these bands output. Strong words? Listen to the following track for yourselves. It's fiercely full frontal assault of soul, punk and expertly executed squeals that will have your sneakers moving before you do. The Cramps? Pah!

The Big Bang - Give Me All the Money Honey

Their Website, again.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Pel Mel (No clever title today)



I'd like to start this post by alerting you all to the wonders of Strange Reaction. Things are shaping up rather nicely over there I have to say. Now, I could apologise forever about not updating this site regularly, but it inevitably boils down to me being lazy and well, there isn't much I can do about that i'm afraid. I'll try harder? Yeah, I won't say "sorry" because it's a word that people no longer take seriously in this country and I already use it a lot....What could that mean? Actually, i'm being unusually hard on myself. I just don't seem to have the time at the moment. Anyway, i'm here now, and you should all be (sort of) thankful.. I have some delightful angular and upfront Aussie based Punk courtesy of Tales from the Australian Underground - Singles 1976-1989. Yaas, it's compilation; it's cheating, but like i've already said: i'm tired. I can't wait for this long weekend you know. Pel Mel sound like an early Cure and Wire mixed with The Buzzcocks and although I can only listen to one track of theirs over and over, it's good and I don't care.

I have some information on Pel Mel that you might find interesting: Although largely unknown even now, they were one of the most easily recognisable inner city bands of the period - even if they never really recieved any further recognition for their music. It might sound crazy after listening to "No Word From China" for the first time, but they also evolved to become even more funk influenced, and despite a relentless amount of touring and hark work they never really broke through to the main stream. Members from Pel Mel went on to form The Limp, but that's another story. Anyway, you should all check out this retrospective. It's not as hit as miss as you might expect, and the compiler obviously put a lot of thought into the track listing. It certainly sounds like they were exciting times anyway. Lots of energy.

Pel Mel - No Word From China

Check out No Nights Sweat for further information on Pel Mel and Australian music.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

diet cokehead



Eat this sega boy! voila! and thus i present you the products of a Nintendo generation. 2005 and now those killer beeps and bleeps arn't just confined to super mario allstars. sounding like computer game music it may do, but this is far far better than the soundtrack to duck hunt.

signed to moshi moshi records, best fwends are two half-naked bastard spazcore fucks armed with 20 songs in as many minutes and a nasty electronic backdrop of retro classic game boys and a drum machine. nice.

Best Fwends - Cold Drank

Saturday, March 19, 2005

I'll Never Forget What's His Name

Negative For Francis What a strange week. Ok, so was St Patricks Day on Thursday (Guiness makes you do crazy things, kids), but what I do find strange - and slightly unsettling - is the amount of people talking to themselves in the street. I really don't know a lot about Tourette's syndrome, so you'll have to excuse my ignorance, but I was always led to believe that Tourettes was exceptionaly rare? I expect there is some kind of solar enlighmnent specific to my town at moment that i'm not aware of ... Ah well, I should really cheer up, it's the weekend. The Whitey album still isn't out yet, is it? Well, when they finally release "The Light at the End of the Tunnel is a Train," i'm sure the next buzz band on the 1234 Records label, Negative For Francis, will gladly take their fair share of the limelight. This London three – piece, are doing all the right things at the moment. Firstly, they're signed to 1234 Record and secondly, well, the new single was produced by Paul Epsworth (Phones), so you know it has a good chance already. Loud, fast, propulsive and replete with electronic noodlings, this song (their next single) glides, and swoops to kill - or something. It's new-wave influenced surf-rock with hand claps. Listen to it. Buy the single.

Negative For Francis - Love Bug

There we go, short and sweet.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Last of the atom men


Over the past few of years, something of an underground musical revolution has taken place in Nottingham. As the city's cultural stature grows, so too does the number of innovative and leftfield bands who call that fine city home. Wolves of Greece, Army of flying robots, Science!Bastard!, Birds of...., all of them subversive noisemongers, astounding and disturbing audiences in equal measure, forming the backbone of Nottingham's scene.

None, however, are quite so incendiary as Punish the Atom. Frankly, it's a pity that all we have for you is an MP3 of a studio recording, because nothing can better their live show. Stage left, strings are snapped and wooden necks abused, stage right electronics are plucked out from an intimidating array of equipment, skins are beaten with unerring accuracy and a total disregard for subtlety at the back, and at the front of it all, centre stage, is Joey Bell, Lord Joey of Bellingham, Nottingham's own Spiderman - baby faced record shop assistant by day, warpainted sergeant banshee by night, like the evil twin of Hank von Helvete placed in charge of a crack squadron of veterans of disorder. Punish's star is rising, and burning brighter and faster as it does. NME reviews, headlining tours, rapturous receptions in London, and a sound that just gets better with every passing month. This track, a ripsnorter though it is, is a pale imitation of the onslaught they provide in the live arena. For your own sake, make the effort to see them.

Punish the Atom - Negative Negative

Punish the Atom's online home can be found here

howard_sioux

Monday, March 14, 2005

Miminalist pop



Alice Fox------> Percussion, vocals
Jane Fox-------> Bass
Tracey Thorn---> Guitar, vocals

I'm probably speaking out of turn here, but i've never understood the cult status that Young Marble Giants seem to have. Why do people like "Colossal Youth" so much? Ok, it's different, i'll give you that. clearly that record has got a real do-it-yourself sound, and the music screams with originality, but it just doesn't get interesting. I don't know. It's almost like it's so different, so raw, and so challenging - in an anti-pop sort of way - that people don't want to question how repetitive, simplistic and dull the music really is. To me, that album just says: we can't play our instruments, but look past that, because we're just like you guys; we're really authentically different: we're really new-wave. No, I don't buy into that. Maybe if I was from the same town in Wales that they were from, I could relate to how revolutionary (?) they were for a couple of years? YMG sang about applying for bank loans, loneliness, boyfriends, and Alison Statton really just mumbles her lyrics lazily to the music... Oh, I don't know, "Include me Out" and "Brand New Life " are kinda cool, but a whole album of this stuff...Maybe i'll "get" it one day.

Ah well, I say all that, but the Young Marble Giants did go some way to influence a band that has made an impression on me over the past few weeks: The Marine Girls. In fact, in Stuart Moxham they even share the same producer. They're undoutedly influenced by Young Marble Giants; *ahem* similar in style, tone, and structure, but are a lot more engaging, despite their obvious and often striking musical shortcomings. Don't get me wrong, you could critcize "Lazy Ways" for the same reason that I have criticized "Collosal Youth." It has that same arkwardly melodic sound; most the tracks run at under two minutes long; and err, they're not cool to listen to. I mean, they weren't fashionable then, and they're certainly not now. Nevertheless, I like their sound, and they have the songs to pull it off. As a matter of fact, Kurt Cobain liked both of these bands. Now, while I don't like the mythical status he seems to hold now, but he did like some good bands and was a fan - first and foremost.

The Marine Girls - Falling Again

Buy the Marine Girls albums: Lazy Ways / Beach Party here. They're actually avaliable as a double cd. Ooooh...

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Chainsaws and bullwhips



Right, it's time to change the tempo. I've been in that sort of mood today. Loads of Husker Du, Naked Raygun and an even stronger dosage of punk (I didn't think it was possible either) courtesy of Cleveland band, Chargers Street Gang. These guys are totally new to me, and while the reviews had hinted at what I letting myself in for, I really wasn't prepared for the sheer power of "Holy The Bop Apocalypse." This album doesn't let up for one second, and it's to it's absolute credit that it successfully celebrates bands like New Bomb Turks, Drive Like Yehu, The Stooges and Fugazi without sounding like a pastiche. Well, maybe they do sound like a pastiche; but they're so loud, so agressive and so fast that you actually begin to wonder if it really matters anyway. They spit and scream their influences and wrestle them into a sound that is different enough to call their own.

Yes, i'm going over the top, but can you really blame me? They clearly make this music for themselves. It's cathartic for them, holy terror for everybody else, but cathertic for them. Chargers Street Gang are a massive fuck you to everything bland, stagnant and plodding. Actually words like restless and wild are probably more apt, but I think i'm trying to live up to some word count now that i'll never be able to fufill. Oh, actually, I can tell you it was produced by Tim Kerr, that they're signed to Get Hip and this album absolutely does not disapoint in any shape or form. It's also more terrifiyingly good music from a decade that even i'm still catching up on: So get on it. Joe Holzheimer, Lachllan Mackinnon , Chris Kulcsar, Matt Fish and Chris Rood do not sound like the sort of guys you want to piss off.

Chargers Street Gang - Omega Bro

I couldn't find a website - at least one that worked - but you can buy the album
here. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

His Name is Melody



Happy Band Of Japan is the heading for London based musician Dan Scott, who along with various guests and instruments - A 1/4 size nylon-string classical, old steel string acoustic, Big Muff Fuzztone pedal, tambourine, Sufi temple bells, various wooden objects, and whatever else they is able to pick up - comprise a musical project that has been several years in the making.

Although sometimes distorted and offbeat, these songs are like a swarm of bees on a rampage, like the once in a lifetime flowering of a wild and exotic orchid...You get the idea. They're painstakingly beautiful songs that are friendly, warm, optimistic and most of all fun. The music itself pays tribute to artists such as Lee Hazlewood, Julian Cope, Beach Boys, Sunburned Hand of the Man, Animal Collective, Serge Gainsbourg, Miles Davis, Boredoms, Syd Barrett and it's obvious that at his core he is still an avid music fan. Anyway, he writes these beautiful and slightly off-kilter songs because more than anything he wants them to be heard:

Happy Band Of Japan - You You You

Dan also plays and writes for the Black Elks so be sure to check them out if they play near you. Black Elks also do a cover of HBOJ's Freudian guitar collapse Have You Ever Been To Her House When It's Raining.

If you want to get in touch with Dan then i'm sure he'll be more than willing to sort you out a CD, and even some homemade artwork:

happybandofjapan@yahoo.co.uk.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Those aching blues



I'm listening to "Eternally Yours" [The Saints] at the moment and I can't help feeling impressed, no overwelmed, with the horn sounds that kick start "Know Your Product." Chris Bailey has always said that The Saints side-stepped the punk scene in the UK, and I think it has a lot to do with this album. Don't get me wrong, a lot of the songs on this would have worked on their debut, but they also have more soul and depth than most the punk bands they're forever associated with. Ah well, i've already included the word "punk" twice... I should stop. I actually started this article with a view to writing something about Jackson C. Frank.

Sad music in the night, sings a stream of light, out of chorus/Voices you might hear, appear and disappear in the forest/Short and tall, come throw the ball/ my name is Carnival

I remember reading an article on the life of Jackson C Frank last year, and his story has always stayed with me (You can read the full article here). I think it made more of an impression on me because I'd earlier read a short aricle on Terry Reid who is often given the title: "the unluckiest man in music." He famously turned down the chance to front Led Zeppelin - instead recommending Robert Plant and John Bonham to a young Jimmy Page. Was it a strange twist of fate? Or just bad luck? It often lamented that he never really lived up to his early reputation, but not even Terry Reid's misfortune can compare to the tragedies that shaped the life of Jackson C Frank. He occupies a niche in 60's british folk music, but he in fact an American who travelled to England in 60's when he was still in his early twenties. Artists like Nick Drake, Tom Paxton, Bert Jansch, and Dave Cousins would later go on to cover his songs, and he is known as one of the best singer/songwriters of his period. Unfortunately, he was only able to make scattered recordings, and even they were only able to make small impression of the British music scene in the mid 60's.

Jackson C Frank was found alive in 1995 but as T.J. McGrath reported in a interview with the singer: he is disabled (both of his legs are crippled and he has lost his eyesight in one eye), he has been living on state aid. For many years, especially in the 1980s, he was homeless and roaming the streets of New York City or in the hospital receiving treatment for depression. His life certainly had it's up an downs, and although the article i've already recommended reported Jackson C Frank as still being alive, he sadly passed away in 1999 before being able to make any more music. The recordings he made in the 60's were championed by John Peel upon their release, but they only ever really appear now as footnotes for other artists that he went on to influence. Nevertheless the reissue of "Blues Run the Game" and his other recordings in 2003 have once again given people the opportunity to discover his music: songs that cannot be matched for their honesty; often sparse, always reflective they're beautiful folk songs filled with meaning and hope. You reallycan't afford to not follow this up.

Jackson C. Frank - Just Like Anything.

Read the The Jackson C. Frank Story. There is also a popular fan page dedicated in memory of the singer. You can buy the reissue of "Blues Run the Game" here

I'd also like to recommend the excellent new entries on Smashed Robot! I'd had stopped visiting the site, but I think it's up an running again now for good(?). The Ego-Wrappin track is incredible - i'll definitely be following it up.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

This is how he rips shit

The Slits I'd like to preface this next entry by apologising if this artist has been covered via Soulsides (I'm almost certain that O-dub has covered The Hieroglyphics, and it is his town) or even Cocaine Blunts. I doubt i'll be the last blogger to cover this artist anyway. Casual was a member of the Hieroglyphics crew, and well-known associate of Del and the Souls of Mischief. This Oakland raised emcee has been releasing albums and putting down rappers for over a decade now. His debut ("Fear Itself") was released in 1994 on Jive and while it may not have made the dollar it certainly established him as a heavyweight lyricist (And since I'm-a rhy-mer, I need to take time to give niggaz reminders/ Who's the best, confuse the rest/ Abuse crews with the news they paid dues to my death/ slept on, long enough/So now I pissed the stronger stuff") and mcee. Casual revealed a deftness for trading witty rhymes with other less worthy rappers; and while always done with a a gruff vocal style and unique sense of humour, "Fear Itself" makes for a moody and often confrontational listening experience.

Of course, it's not all about this deep voiced Oakland emcees lyrical wordplay. The production while not too dismilar from other Hieroglyphics albums of the period, is built on deep funk, soul and some lush horns, vibes, guitar sounds. I just hope you don't scare easily:

Casual - We Got it Like That

The Hieroglyphics site has everything you need. Discographies, Biographies, merchandise...Everything.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Genuine Anthems



Right, it's time to bring out the big guns. Yes, that's right, The B-52's This really has been a long time coming. Anybody who caught the posts on The The V.C.s and The Long Blondes will testify to this. Their influence is literally everywhere at the moment, and I say that with no exageration. The bands on the Sheffield Phonographic Corporation label exist to prove my point - actually, that's unfair, but if you've heard Chuck, Beachbuggy and The Long Blondes then you'll know where i'm coming from. These new-wavers made the definitive debut album, and i'm sure even they couldn't comprehend how important their 1979 debut would come to come to be.

Yes, that's right, what indie disco wouldn't be complete without 52 Girls. Well, it should be a set in stone playlist special, but it's often ignored, or plainly unheard of - not possible! Really. Anyway, i'm here to change that right now, because this is a genuine new-wave-disco propelled anthem of synchronized sneaker dancing madness. Yes, that good. It's also one of their most accessible tunes, so if you don't like this, then God help us all.

You can buy their records everywhere. NOW. They also have a website, which you can get to by clicking here.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Where's my pen? = Need New Body

The Slits It's Wednesday, and i've already seen Need New Bodyand Love As Laughter. It almost makes up for missing out on ATP - almost. Anyway, on Monday I caught Need New Body, Dragon or Emperor, Spin Spin The Dogs and the Fabulous Foxes. The support bands were about as great as their band names suggest. *ahem* Spin Dogs: "Two peanuts are walking down the street, one gets asaulted." (The singer also liked to crawl around on the floor?); the Fabulous Foxes' set was literally ten minutes long (I've no idea what happened there, I would have liked more); and Dragon or Emperor were literally "amazing" in a not too uncommon two-piece set up: think Pere Udu/That Fucking Tank. So yeah, a good night to be had by all - I think the plan was to make it a sit down gig, but there were just too many people in the end. Err so yeah, that was Monday night basically. Incidentally, i've had internet problems over the past couple of days, so apologies for the lack of updates.

Hmmm, what can I tell you about Need New Body...This Philadelphia outfit have are the ultimate "disco-punk-cum-Beefheart-nonsense party band." Signed to and doing a fantastic job of representing Pickled Egg Records - in Leicester - They represent the nemesis of everything that claims to be alternative in the world. So much so that they've been namechecked as one of the top fifty live bands in the world today -although I don't really know if this is true or not. Their music is a patchwork of humour, improvisation, madness and catchiness (?)...I'm struggling. Sam Jayne was wearing a NNB t-shirt when I saw L/A/L last night, so what are you waiting for? Listen to the damn track already and stop reading this!

Need New Body - Show Us Your Heart

Support Nigel at Pickled Egg records and buy the NNB records at the label site: Here