Friday, July 31, 2015

Obsessed with these two songs at the moment -

Trying to think of what a prototype for "Twin Layers" might be...

The closest thing -  not that close - I could come up with was this 

A single year in New York's musical life is the The Go-Betweens's starting point -   Talking Heads 77, Marquee Moon...

Reminds me of the advert that future members of Orange Juice put out calling for musicians - "A New York band forming in the Bearsden area"

But Bearsden couldn't be much more unlike the Lower East Side.  

That's even more the case with Far North Queensland, where Grant McLennan spent much of his childhood, as evoked in "Cattle and Cane" and other Go-Betweens songs.

You can take the boy out of the _____  but you can't take the _____ out of the boy. 


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

mouth music (vocoder soul)

Surprisingly the 12-inch versions of these were not on YouTube. Indeed the B-side semi-instrumental wasn't up at all. So I took the liberty....

Both really take off after the 4.15-ish mark - i.e. where the album (and 7 inch) version fades out.

Vocoder and synthesizers courtesy of one Mike MacEvoy - who worked with Adam Kidron on a bunch of Rough Trade aligned albums, and went on to be a screen composer.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

munnen musikk

but what I really want to hear is:

"Omgivelser" ("Surroundings") was a commissioned piece made for the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) in 1970. It was made as a soundtrack for a short TV-film of the same name that was made by director Jan Horne. The idea was to melt abstract film impressions that showcased different sides of the environmental debate of the 1970s, together with experimental electronic music in order to create a singular expression. Kare Kolberg travelled to the famous Studio Eksperymentalne in Warsaw, run by Jósef Patowski, to record the music. Together with sound engineer Bohdan Mazurek Kolberg crafted the piece using the studio’s vast sound archives and two pre-recorded tapes that he had brought from Norway. One tape consisted of different sound recordings Kolberg had made with experimental jazz singer Karin Krog and the other contained different field recordings by Kolberg, including a Norwegian nursery rhymes sung by Kolberg’s eldest son. In the studio they processed this material with ring modulators and filters, and added different modified instruments created by an engineer at the studio. The piece was recorded using what were at the time the Rolls Royce of tape machines: two Telefunken Magnetophon M10s. The piece was originally broadcast to Norwegian homes in 1970. Since the standard TV-volume levels are set so low, the dynamic range of Kolberg’s music was not optimal. Kolberg kept the original master tape and over the years Omgivelser was presented several times at different electronic music concerts."

From her 1978 album "Cloud Line Blue" w/ John Surman who does amazing things with saxes and moog here... 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

RIP Dieter Moebius

an interview Moebius did with Geeta Dayal a few years ago

Monday, July 20, 2015

I can't tell you how delightful it is to be able to link to bloggage by k-punk and Woebot in the same post.

Serious old skool blog-era time travel!

I shall have to muse a bit more on Matt's "The Ascent of Man" thesis, which is both hilarious (Homo Albumus!) and serious.

But I'm not sure I completely buy this assertion:

"Whilst generally this discussion is dominated by ideas about content, how X artist of the past was superior to Y artist of the present; to my mind the key question, the location of the fetish if you like, is first and foremost the format."

But how would you ever become emotionally bonded to a content-delivery system if not for the content?

For instance, I think fondly of the public library system in Britain because as an avid reader with limited spending power in my youth I could access way more books than I could otherwise afford. But I feel particularly fond of it - such that I feel a nostalgic pang now thinking of those bulky camera-apparatus devices at the front desk, under which the book you were taking out was whisked by the librarian to photocopy info about when it was withdrawn and by whom  - primarily  because of all the science fiction I could access (including obscure works via the inter-library loan system). If U.K. libraries of the 1970s had only contained biographies or historical romances, would I have ever developed the same degree of attachment to the system?

Likewise, when you think about the vast range of stuff that was released via the long-player vinyl format - pretty much everything: plays, poetry, comedy, sound effects, natural sounds, as well as every form of music from classical to brass band....   it is striking that only the aficionados of certain genres of music exhibit the Homo Albumus mindset. Fans of rock, of jazz, of a certain era of soul and R&B ... a few others areas...  these are the people who fetishise the format today, or look back nostalgically to it.  Some genres of music worked particularly well with the 20-minutes on each side / 40-minutes-long-in-toto creatively sequenced journey structure, and with the concentrated, immersive listening approach.  Other genres of music didn't particularly suit it - weren't enhanced or necessarily heard to their utmost at that length (classical music for instance worked better on compact disc, with the picked-out sound separation and the 80 minute duration lending itself to uninterrupted listening to symphonies).  The aging fans of these other genres don't think wistfully of long-playing vinyl particularly - but they might do that for formats or listening-situations (radio, discotheques, etc) through which they encountered the music most potently. So it's the combination of the particular kind of content and the particular properties of the format / playback apparatus that creates audio-cathexis. And even then only for some listeners - a type of person. Most music consumers have a more desultory relationship with sound, and will go along with whatever's most convenient, what's available, affordable, least-hassle.

Another example: you don't get comedy LP fetishists to anything like the same extent that there fetishists of rock LPs or jazz LPs. That's because the comedy LP was only ever a stop-gap surrogate, during that period before the arrival of commercially available video and video-players, so that you could see the  comedians in performance, not just hear them.

I think Matt is dead right about the Homo YouTubus thing, though - today as the era where video has really come of age. For sure, we've had promo videos for decades; Music Video Television dates back to the Eighties. But the idea of pop as indivisibly audiovisual seems at its most dominant now.

My daughter is nine and she listens to music almost entirely as videoclips she watches on her handheld device or on TV.  Except when we're in the car with the radio on, there are nearly always pictures as well as sounds for her. She doesn't listen to pop; she listens-and-watches pop.

This has had at least one interesting side effect  - she loves to dance, but she only dances for an audience, whether for her parents's delight or as part of some school performance. Well, that's not exactly true: she will practice her routines, alone, or with her friends, but the idea is that it is ultimately intended as a form of display, a show. Dancing is spectacularized; to dance means to make moves like the ones she sees in pop videos - choreographed, gymnastic, strenuous.  The idea of dancing in a crowd of people, anonymously, or of grooving in a relatively low-key, "lost in rhythm" sort of way - skanking, boogieing, frugging, raving etc - is foreign to her at this point.


Completing the old skool bloggers trio... a link to this post on Zardoz by Carl Neville - not at his usual outlet but another sporadic (semi-secret?) blog of his....

The Zardoz post is #2 in a series of mini-essays on utopianism - this is the first

Zardoz!  What a film. Only saw it for the first time a few months ago...

About this point of Carl's...

"The thing about the worlds of these Seventies' utopias is that people (or at least, the elites) really do enjoy equality and abundance, material comfort and personal liberation especially in sexual relations, though without taboo or danger these sexual freedoms themselves lose frisson, become dryly technical, passionless encounters. Connery in Zardoz represents the jaded bourgeois eternal longing for a bit of rough, but also, as Phil Knight would have it, the need for sterile, juiceless metropolitan centres to suck some manna and mojo in from the hinterlands, the untermensch, the subaltern"

The archetype of this would be John the Savage, who grows up in a conservation zone where atavistic passions and neuroses are allowed to persist, then gets thrown into a Brave New World of engineered emotions and modulated moods - a utopia that is really a dystopia.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Summer Window Mix

new mix from Moon Wiring Club!

"STRAP yourselves in and don those 4D glasses as MWC present an hour-long mixture of synth-spoken eeriepop-squash from outside the flickering Summer Window. REVEL to the sugar-swirly delights of old favourites, new favourites, new-old favourites and old-new favourites ~ all lavishly glued together with deftly-clipped voices and an overdose of fuzzed-up fidelity. Ideal for a warmish Friday evening in a beautiful metropolis after the cosy catastrophe... "

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

music music # 16

The final countdown?

Evan Kindley says "If I'm not too late" as he proffers:


Nick Neyland saw Jaws the other night and noted the scene "where the three main characters break out into song. It's the classic 'Irving King' song from 1925, "Show Me the Way to Go Home," which references itself in the lyrics: "Everywhere I roam/ Over land or sea or foam/You can always hear me singing this song: Show me the way to go home"

Hmm, I reckon there's probably a lot of songs that reference the act of singing or the song being sung... not sure if that's really what I'm chasing here, but then again I'm not sure anymore exactly what it is I am chasing here... originally, it was songs that had some kind of simple-but-true wisdom about the role of music in a life.... then it got into self-reflexivity (genre-specific national anthems, celebrating the style for doing what it did to a body or crowd of bodies)....  then into music that critiques or comments on other music...  or the music industry.... and, later in this final (?) post, even more specific subsets of the culture around music.... 

Graham Sanford from Our God Is Speed confesses to being as puzzled by the criteria of the call-for-submissions as I have evidently become, despite being the submissions-caller in the first place... but nonetheless proffers a few nominees, prefaced by some musing: 

"... I'm used to a lot of music that is some way or another about music -- if only by way of its being conscious and paying tribute, building and expanding of of precursors. "Hard bop"-era jazz and hip-hop of the late 80s/90s vintage was always very mindful of its game-changing instigators. Lots of "quoting," lots of effort put into contributing to a cultural/artistic jump-cut evolution, of pushing that evolution forward. "

On the subject of P-Funk's Funk-As-Cosmology tunes, Graham says that the one that came to his mind was this one, which "suggests volumes of socio-historic, intra-land diasporadic connections

Also on that album: 

Kool and the Gang had a bunch too, he points out:

As did Earth Wind and Fire, and The Temptations: 

Crowleyhead, again, via Twitter, 

Michael Smalle, again, with this oddity:

"I'm in a Rock n Roll session and I'm waiting for Michael"
"Rock 'n roll station is a session where we can do what we want to do"
"Jack's bicycle is music."

Which is also covered by Nurse With Wound: 

"Speaking of which, Stapleton on Perez Prado. Such a beautiful piece of music"

(If you think about the NwW List on the first album, case for saying NwW's whole career is music about music)

Keeping with the England's Hidden Reverse crew, Michael also points to: 

Now I mentioned above "even more specific subsets of the culture around music"

And it doesn't get much more specific - or reflexive - than songs about music journalists 

Ben Squires reminded me of the existence of Nick Cave's "Scum" - a flexi-only song inspired by an NME journalist who shared a house with Cave and other members of the Birthday Party, or perhaps it was The Bad Seeds by that point... and who in an astonishing act of perfidy (as far as Cave was concerned anyway) let slip in print some information he was privy to that he should not have let slip 

Songs about music journalists - always negative songs, mind! - is a whole subcategory:

Sonic Youth's jibe against Xgau in "Kill Your Idols"  - "I killed Christgau with my big fuckin' dick" etc (for which impertinence he rewarded them with an A or A minus grade for just about all nineteen of the albums that followed)

The Soft Boys legendarily wrote a song called "The Lonesome Death of Ian Penman", which is odd because I'm fairly certain IP wrote a pretty favorable early piece about them but perhaps he turned coat later on - ("bloody music press, they build you up just to knock you down grumble grouch moan whine mewl whimper kvetch") ... still whatever the case may be,  Robyn Hitchcock was irate enough to write a ditty in anti-tribute, although it was never recorded I believe.... ah, actually it appears to have been captured as a rehearsal and possibly even released as a bonus track on some reissue or other.

The Adam Ant B-side (and killer tune) "Press Darlings" has negative name-checks for Nick Kent and Garry Bushell

"And if evil be the food of genius
There aren't many demons around
If passion ends in fashion
Nick Kent is the best-dressed man in town

Are we different? No
We are exactly the same
There are no boxes for us
The ones you love to hate, so read on

Press darlings, press darlings, press darlings
Press darlings, press darlings
We depress the press, darlings

And if evil be the food of genius
There aren't many demons around
If passion ends in fashion
Bushell is the best-dressed man in town"

Kevin Quinn chips in to this sub-discussion to remind that Paul Morley was also immortalised by The Cure in a John Peel session of 1979 with the song "Desperate Journalist" a/k/a "Desperate Journalist In Ongoing Meaningful Review Situation" - a response to his brutal takedown of Three Imaginary Boys

Apparently a reworking of "Grinding Halt" with Morley-targeted words.  And Penman gets an anti-nod too in there!

All this reminded me of Dexys Midnight Runners's "There There My Dear" - Kevin Rowland's response to a music journalist (I assume -  or could it be a DJ, perhaps? Or even a rival musician?) called "Robin":

"Dear Robin,
Hope you don't mind me writing, its just that there's more than one question I need to ask you.

If you're so anti-fashion why not wear flares, instead of dressing down all the same?
Its just that looking like that I can express my dissatisfaction.
Dear Robin, let me explain, though you'd never see in a million years.

Keep quoting Cabaret, Berlin, Burroughs, J.G.Ballard, Duchamp, de Beauvoir, Kerouac, Kirkegaard, Michael Rennie.
I don' t believe you really like Frank Sinatra.

Dear Robin, you're always so happy, how the hell do you get your inspiration?
You're like a dumb dumb patriot.
If you're supposed to be so angry, why don't you fight and let me benefit from your right?
Don't you know the only way to change things is to shoot men who arrange things.
Dear Robin, I would explain, but you'd never see in a million years.

Well you've made your rules but we don't know that game, perhaps I'd listen to your records but your logic's far too lame and I'd only waste three valuable minutes of my life with your insincerity.

You see Robin I'm just searching for the young soul rebels, and I can't find them anywhere.
Where have you hidden them?
Maybe you should welcome the new soul vision.  Maybe you should welcome to the new soul vision. Maybe you should welcome the new soul vision"

Great swathes of the career and output of Dexys is music-reflexive really - "Geno"!  "Burn It Down" etc

Even the cover versions - "Jackie Wilson Said!"

But going back to songs about music journalists, I can't think of any from the last 30 years.... unless this one counts 

Ed Torpey swings by again to inquire if songs where the singer refers to themselves by name count.... 

"This is Phil talking"

"Martin, maybe one day you'll find true love" 

And this one

I think this is to stretch the concept a little too far, Ed.

Pete Diaper points out that The Fall and Mark E. Smith take some beating in this area of music-about-music, 

For instance, here's "C'n'C's Mithering" which in addition to references to the record biz and the music press in general also contains a slight dig at Garry Bushell, which means that he's equal first with I. Penman as regards song-diatribes! (There was probably some Gaz-poz songs from Oi! bands, though, to balance it out)

"There was America
We went there
Big A&M Herb was there
His offices had fresh air
But his roster was mediocre
US dirge, rock 'n' pop filth
Their materials filched

All the English groups
Act like peasants with free milk
On a route
On a route to the loot
To candy mountain
Five wacky English proletariat idiots

You think you've got it bad with thin ties, miserable songs synthesized, or circles with A in the middle.
Make joke records, hang out with Gary Bushell, join Round Table. "I like your single" "er, yeah great!"
A circle of low IQ's.
There are three rules of audience.

My journalist acquaintances, go soft, go places, on record company expenses.
Lose humor, manners become forth-righteous, don't know it.
The smart hedonists, same as last verse, allusions with H in electronics, on stage false histrionics, corpse mauling dicks, pose through a good film, him, him Stop mithering

I'm not joining conventional rock band.
The conventional is experimental, the conventional is now experimental, And is no way noble, and I'm no chock stock thing.

They say I rip off Johnny Rotten
They always strike for more pay.
They say "See yer mate..Yeh...see yer mate"
To their mothers they sing
Stop mithering!"

Pete also points to 


But strangely he didn't think of: 

"repetition in the music and we're never going to lose it"

(also a lovely little nod to "Blank Generation" in the fade)

And then this one

About which M.E.S. said (to Barney Hoskyns, in 1981)

"And also, a lot of those kids who went to the Wigan Casino ... this is what 'Lie Dream Of The Casino Soul' is about ...y'know those kids are not interested in rock at all, it's fuckin' tragic. Young, healthy kids ... I mean, that's why record sales are going down, coz it's lot of shit, man, and of course these kids think of The Fall as the same as all these other pretentious groups." 

From which I get the sense he meant "what a waste of good sulphate" up all those Northern nostrils, when they could and should have been soundtracking their speeding with Can, VU...  and The Fall

I'm sure there's many other Fall candidates that are slipping my mind

"Lie Dream" reminded me of The Mekons circa "The Dream and Lie of..." and Rock and Roll

"So blow
Blow your tuneless trumpet the choice is yours
We don't want the glamour the pomp and the drums
The Dublin messiah scattering crumbs"

 - have a guess who that's about!

Kevin Quinn, comes again, with this one, a bonanza of name-checks to peers and rivals

"Aside from the ‘Rolling Stones from Liverpool’ line this is a perfect nod to their peers and rivals (I can’t help but hear snark in there, maybe it’s just me)"

Ben Squires, who we saw earlier, back with a few more

as covered by Madonna and Killdozer, let the record state.... 

And then this group Shift whose Altamont Rising has some kind of Stones-referential thing going on in it 

Which - I'm afraid to say - seems like something that would have been played out by 1987

But then again, maybe not, given that I sometimes think Exile in Guyville was the best song-oriented rock record of the Nineties (perhaps because it doesn't really -  not in any significant way -  have much of a relation to the Rolling Stones or that particular record -  neither musically nor thematically - the songs are actually about stuff - real, raw stuff - rather than record-store-clerk reference-mapping) 

1993 was a big year for dementia referentia  in alt-rock - indeed that was the year I wrote the big piece on Record Collection Rock for New York Times.   The year (or thereabouts - 92-93-94)  of Pavement, Urge Overkill, Teenage Fanclub, Royal Trux, Stereolab, Pooh Sticks Lord-help-us and many many more).

Also the year of the debut album by The Auteurs.  

Kevin Quinn (him again!) points out that Luke Haines has "got his own monopoly on this" i.e. music-about-music:

"from 1999’s How I Learned to love the Bootboys – ‘Johnny and the Hurricanes’ and ‘The Rubettes’"

"Post Auteurs/Baader Meinhoff/Black Box Recorder he’s seemingly become obsessed with concept albums about misremembered/forgotten/ignored phenomena:

"2006's Off My Rocker At The Art School Bop – ‘The Walton Hop’, Jonathon King et al’s old (ahem) stomping ground and ‘The Glitter Band’.  Haines said in an interview with Time Out:

‘Gary Glitter records were much more inventive than anything punk did. The last track on this album is about how all those happy memories of him on “TOTP” are now obliterated. Still, it’s The Glitter Band I feel sorry for. They’re not going to get another gig in a hurry, are they?’

"2013’s Rock and Roll Animals wherein Nick Lowe is a badger, Jimmy Pursey is a fox and Gene Vincent is a cat"

"2015’s Adventures in Dementia - A Mark E. Smith impersonator’s caravan holiday is ruined by Skrewdriver’s Ian Stewart"

Here's a few Kev didn't mention: 

And then there's the other recent Haines solo record, New York in the 70s, which I reviewed, and therein went into the whole rock-reflexive thing in a bit more depth. 

Rock and Roll Animals is pretty darn amusing in a Mighty Boosh phantasmagoric-vortex-of-rock-memory kind of way, but New York in the '70s struck me as pointless pasticherie. In the review, I made an invidious comparison between what Haines was doing in 2014 and what Denim were doing, well, in 1992, a year before The Auteurs's debut

There were demo versions of these tunes, and the next one, on a cassette circulating  a good while before the album Back In Denim came out, and they were much better than the gussied-up proper studio versions that were released. 

Irony was that by the time this song came out on Back In Denim Lawrence was already enthusing about the Eighties - or at least about Kim Wilde's debut album. 

I'm sure there are many other examples from the Lawrence songbook both pre- and post-  Denim.... 

There was actually meta-glitter even during the glitter era, though: 

Finally -  finally! -  Jenny Gray reminds me of this 

Monday, July 13, 2015

mouth music (mouth scape)

"Musique Concrete with vocalizations by Francois Dufrene"

"This is one of Henry's lesser known works, in which he combines two compositions simultaneously. La Noire was created in 1961 using "sounds concrete"; Granulometrie was created the following year using atavistic vocalizations from the sound poet Francois Dufrene. Henry decided to combine them late in 1969. The vocal parts are transformed and re-orchestrated. The result, produced in the special Paris based Studio Apsome designed for experimental music, is very interesting." - YouTube poster.

mouth music (highly strung)

could just post all of them really

mouth music

"The more I listen to 2015, the more I realize that this year’s theme is vocal fragmentation. Today, more than ever, I’m hearing so many clubby, loungey musicians — forming in legion on SoundCloud — make syllables dance, pushing language through a shredding machine; beatmakers and sample-heavy musicians also do the same, appropriating without end. And then — like a deus ex machina hacking your computer — there are musicians like C. Spencer Yeh, steeped in an avant-garde tradition with more ties to the University than the Nightclub. On Solo Voice I-X, Yeh records vocal utterances, looping them and leaving them mostly dry, with minimal editing. The result: a hyper-materialistic, ultra-zoomed in composition, with an almost nauseous, anti-musical allure"- review at Tiny Mix Tapes

Wild Things

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

music music # 15

The last blast? 

Suzanne Spiers reminds me of

A cover of this - once very hard to find - which is why it's the first time I've heard it

Neil Cooper with a heap of suggestions

Based on a Sly and the Family Song of course

and also 

but  Neil could also have mentioned

and probably a bunch of others

Sadmanbarty proffers a bunch of George Clinton "Funk-as-salvation songs"

 and also mentions "Who Says a Funk Band Can’t Play Rock Music"   

which reminded me of the disappointment of buying One Nation Under A Groove the LP as a cut-out in some Berwick Street record store in the early 80s and discovering when I got home that it didn't all sound like "One Nation Under A Groove" the track. Indeed the only other song that I dug even a little on the record was this one - 

Disappointment does not even begin to describe the emotions felt when I played the free bonus 7 inch inside with its live versions of "Maggot Brain". I was not ready. Not in 1981.

Sadman also mentions AC/DC's various rock-themed rockers ("Let There Be..." "For Those About To"), Kiss's unmentionable, and some house tunes with the word "house" in.  And Led Zep's "Rock and Roll" which I find really bludgeoning. 

And also from Sadman, a couple from Jamaica: 

(the latter on account of its repeating "music" utterance

David Pascoe comes with just the one 

Hal in London suggests

C.J. comes again with some self-reflexive hip hop (but isn't most of it?)

Kevin Quinn drops by once more 

Rebecca Rosengard offers 

Is this the only pop song about a kind of spotlight?

Jenny Clare is very surprised this one hasn't occurred to me yet, seeing as  she knows it's a personal ab fav of mine

Melanie Brewer  says if you wanna talk about reflexivity

Jessica Maynard says come on now, this is undeniable 

Ah but Jess, let that through and it's a slippery slope to this - 

music music # 14

"music, sweet music / I wish I could caress"

Monday, July 06, 2015

music music # 13

Seventies is the golden age of reflexive rock - rock that tells you what it is going to do to you

Whattagroove...  Blew my mind when I saw this on Old Grey Whistle Test repeats some time in the late Eighties.

Very disappointed when it turned out  that Little Feat's songs didn't all sound like this.

More about the lifestyle of music - being a musician - than music per se.  The three-and-half minutes that redeems Grand Funk Railroad's existence. "The hotel detective, he was out of sight" - does that mean he was a cool rules-waiving kind of dude, or literally just not around to interfere with the shenanigans?

Also more about being a rock star, than rocking, as such.

About the Fifties, yet nothing could sound more (first half of the) Seventies.

Well, when you think about it.. .nearly everything from Mott is about either the salvation-power of R'n'R or the tribulations of being a rock'n'roller by calling.

And finally, this -  about the rock biz

"He just doesn't understand the rock media"  -- would that lyric would be improved as "he just doesn't understand the rock medium"?

old bit on the drummage in this tune

It was kind of his thing, David Essex - reflexivity

The studio version of "Good Ol' Rock and Roll" is triffic but unavailable on YouTube

Friday, July 03, 2015

a legend returns

Legendary blogger Matthew Ingram - who retired about five or six years ago - is  back in the game!

You can imagine my surprise and delight on learning this today.

Matt already has a bunch of posts up at the new Woebot:

This one explores his reasons for dropping out, what propelled him in the first place, and the mysterious, not-quite-accessible-to-consciousness impulse that has brought him back.  (And who can say what motivates any of us to do what we do, really? )

This latest one concerns a recent book about Rough Trade and contains some interesting, potentially feather-ruffling thoughts about the role of cultural entrepreneurs - and "job-creators" generally.

It's good to have you back, man.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

music music # 12

Meta-musicians par excellence - Elvis Costello and Paddy McAloon

Elvis is always complaining

"take that chewing gum out of your ears"

"the dancing was desperate, the music was worse"

and from the same, awful album

"Her transistor offers no salvation or regrets
No pool, no pets, no cigarettes
Just non-stop Disco Tex and the Sex-o-lettes"

There's no name, no name for the place
Or pain we'll cause you again and again
If you do not cooperate with the Invasion Hit Parade

"listening to the sad song that the radio plays / have we come this fa-fa-fa to find a soul cliche?"

This was about the soul 'n' passion thing in the U.K. in the early Eighties, and specifically Dexy's Midnight Runners -  

From a great interview by Barney Hoskyns from the time: 

EC - ""I think perhaps when I wrote it I was asking myself the question. You know, is that all there is? Is there nothing more from within than just saying there's stuff from within? Is it enough to say 'I'm a soul man', without being one? "I always suspected songs that spoke about how much you spoke. I love a lot of Graham Parker's stuff, but there was one song I could never abide called 'Pouring It All Out', because it was a whole song about how much he was going to tell you. I'd much rather he'd just told me. And that's my bone of contention with Kevin Rowland, that he spends his time saying 'I'm gonna tell you, I'm gonna tell you, I'm gonna tell you', but what does he tell you? At the same time, I like a lot of the mannerisms he uses."

Good points Elv, but then again isn't it even more emptily meta to write songs critiquing meta-soul, or commenting on trends within music?

(Does remind me that could probably do a whole Music Music" post just on Kevin Rowland)

Paddy is less bitter, more wry

Apparently aimed at Bruce Springsteen and his ilk - and seems to be based on a reductive misunderstanding of Springsteen, if that is the case.  "Some things hurt much more than cars and girls"... Cars, agreed, but girls?  They are right up there in the category of things that  can cause hurt, as far as pop music subject matter, I'd have thought.

Never liked that song and the album it's from was most disappointing after Steve McQueen.

Concept song-suite about Abba - more info here. My second favorite bit on the album, behind the concept song about Jenny Agutter.

One of a bunch of songs on Jordan: The Comeback about Elvis P. Yawn.

"any music worth its salt is good for dancing". "I'd rather be the Fred Astaire of words",   Cute.

What have I missed? Dozens I'm sure. Wasn't he once going to do a concept album about Michael Jackson? 

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

music music #11

Ian Dury has a few

About rock and roll as vocation

About a rock and roller

.. and rock and rollers.

Only one-third about rock and roll...

I wouldn't say I agree with "S & D & R&R" as a philosophy - seems a bit limited. If I was doing the song, I would append another fifteen  things at least, including walks in the country, cups of tea, books, curry, and a bunch more, which would spoil the scansion and generally undermine the rock'n'rollness.

Mind you, Ian himself doesn't even agree with the "is all my brain and body needs" bit, because he devotes a whole verse to style - "every bit of clothing / ought to make you pretty" - as one of the bare necessities.

That's my favorite bit actually: "See my tailor / He's called Simon / I know / It's going to / Fit"