Thursday, March 24, 2011

Turk from Belong turned me onto Cleaners from Venus

practically the minute I played the CD-R (largely drawn from the early cassette-only stuff rather than the cleaned-up official later releases) I thought: hmmmm, wonder if Ariel Pink is into this stuff? Because there's a resemblance...

now I read that Pink associate Gary War has co-founded a label Fixed Indentity to release "next-level psychedelic achievements of the present, past, and future” and FE 001 is a reissue of head Cleaner Martin Newell's 1985 cassette Songs For A Fallow Land

turns out it was Ariel who turned Turk onto the Cleaners when Belong toured with Haunted Graffiti in 2006

and hear "Gamma Ray Blue", their best song next to "Drowning Butterflies", here

it all finds a small but special spot in between Soft Boys, 1st-album Psych Furs, XTC and... Television Personalities (Newell songs like "Song For Syd Barrett", "I'm in Love with Scott Walker", "Julie Profumo", the Man from UNCLE-refering "Illya Kuryakin Looked At Me" which includes priceless lyrics like "David Hemmings will be waiting with a job for David Bailey")

conceptual niggle: is it weird that the Pink-process somehow retroactively legitimises Sixties-into-Eighties recyclers/epigones that I'd otherwise have looked askance at during the actual 1980s? If pop temporality has gone haywire --"the present, past, and future” that Fixed Indentity refer to, now all jumbled up--then does that mean that revivalisms from the past no longer seem so culpable?

Mind you I didn't look askance at all Sixties-into-Eighties action, not at all.. I loved the Jesus & Mary Chain, Spacemen 3, and various Byrds-imitators and Love-lovers... for some reason it was the Syd Barrett admirers that irritated, the Brit end of psychedelia that seemed played-out and corny

and here's something super-conceptual: Belong's cover of The Cleaners From Venus's cover of the Syd Barrett song "Late Night"

you can hear the extra prism of New Wave/Newellism intervening between the Barrett original and Belong's version