Saturday, 6 February 2010

Thursday, 28 January 2010

the basics

reasons i was wrong about the 80s.

"heavens above".

there but for fortune

oh - wait a minute.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

the basics

julio iglesias: making CREAM like that n--.

willie knows how awesome this is.

bonus mathematics:

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

the basics

suspended bicycle. bug-eyed gallic horndog. moral panic.

"when you go to the boondocks..."

full whack:
it's not just for workers rolling barrels.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

the marsden rattlers - 'the lambton worm'

this story scared the be-jesus out of me when i were a lad. up in geordie-land, GMS' far-northern correspondent confirms, they taught the song to schoolchildren, in full dialect. fierce.

from bbc's folk on 2 presents: northumbrian folk

Thursday, 21 January 2010

gigsplurge 28: the mclusky reunion remuneration proposal

mclusky, bullingdon arms, oxford, 18 january 2001 etc. etc.

i'll be honest: i'll struggle to write much about mclusky on the gigsplurge. the band played oxford approximately once every three months, for three to four years, playing the same venue virtually every time, always with a similar set of rasping, buzzing, Pavement-gone-ADHD, Albini-nasty punk screeds, always with a different set of sacred-cow targets for between-song Bill Hicks-riffing onstage outbursts.

mclusky were never less than the best, funniest band in britain, never much different. they had an evangelical preacher's knack for making you feel good by telling you you're a piece of crap. andy falkous could make you feel a craven moron for shilling for a 'blur: are shite' t-shirt. so:

mclusky's posthumous veneration as something bordering on the best british punk band since the pistols (if you hate the clash) or the clash (if you hate the pistols) is one of the more baffling--and pleasing--developments in the stateside indie media during the last ten years. in some sense, it provides a nice karmic balance to the equally-odd embrace of post-OK Computer radiohead records, balancing the pretence and pomposity of the latter lot with directness, energy, honesty, and an ironic wit blunt enough to cross the ocean. there we have it.

having seen a lot of the funky troupes of my provincial youth reunite for "that cheese", i'm brewing a formula for band reunion finances. ten points:
(i) the angle of incidence of increased critical acclaim is clearly a key factor, as is
(ii) the lack of people who saw the original incarnation.
(iii) the quality of subsequent bands' outputs, divided by
(iv) the profile of said bands also acts in msclusky's favour, what with all future of the left reviews announcing a great record by a band that isn't mclusky.
(v) the likelihood of a fracas, reigniting old tensions, and thus keeping the reunion short and maximally profitable.
(vi) three LPs, three nights at camden koko on the Don't Look Back Circuit.
(vii) the kanye of acerbic lo-fi post-punk, falkous will say something funny at the first gig, equalling mad blog hits.
(viii) the age of the target audience should be borne in mind for maximum cheddar extraction: GMS just turned thirty and found himself rich beyond the dreams of avarice (try it).
(ix) ATP didn't book them the first time around. as someone who has booked mclusky, that's a serious dent to credibility on the cut-throat alt-rock circuit. automatic headline slot at butlins.
(x) posters.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

rest in peace: a blogger-slash-writer respects

GMS is pouring liquor on the ground for those that ain't make it. don't worry, i have an absorbent cloth.

XXXXX had a major effect on me at a hard point in my thesis life. their passing made me reflect on the records they released commercially and think which mp3 or youtube video-link i would post, unless they were wrestlers, in which case a different kind of tribute is called for.

hope you're doing good, blog readers. stay strong.

*Note: Scott Walker isn't dead. The video is a "thematic choice".

Monday, 11 January 2010

gigsplurge 27: workhouse, reynolds, december 2000

Workhouse, Reynolds, Bullingdon Arms, Oxford, 21 December 2000

As promoters, we generally had two ideas. One was greasy, swaggering blues punk in thrall to Jon Spencer, the Birthday Party and the Gun Club. The other was chugging minor chord post-rock made by blokes who felt Steve Albini had a 'look' worth cultivating.

Both sort-of-genres wore their budget credentials with a wry British underdog wit; neither had much success in the 00s, although there was the odd glimmer in chancers like Hope of the States and the Libertines. Indie-punk moved towards aloof CBGB revivalism, funk flailing or emo histrionics; post-rock headed for the earnest triumphalism of Explosions in the Sky or took a left turn towards Four Tet and Boards of Canada's pastoral electronica.

Workhouse still chug along, Reynolds split in 2007. Here are the latter, with what I'd describe as an agreeable stoner lurch. Very nice:

Sunday, 10 January 2010

gigsplurge 26: gold blade etc., december 2000

the GMS gigsplurge almost reached the end of 2000 by the end of 2009, and generated a lot of japanese spam in the process. a victory that you, reader, are welcome to share.

Gold Blade, Holy Roman Empire, Twister, Toby Slater, Bullingdon Arms, Oxford, 14 December 2009

amidst the ruins of britpop and in the absence of anything else particularly coherent, a pattern has emerged across 2000: ageing punky greasers with impressive hair playing deranged blues riffs to hopeful punters (liquor for Rowland S. Howard). hence, to round off 2000 we have gold blade, mancunian motormouth punk pundit john robb's nation of ulysses bootboy band, sham 69-ing christmas carols and hitting the stage from a broom cupboard in the corner of the bullingdon arms, the better to underline their grinning goon strummer-isms.

long since having retreated to bare-chested punk revival all-dayers, the blade in their prime (that is, the first one-and-a-half albums) rivalled king prawn in their toilet-venue omnipresence, and in their ability to inspire concurrent pogoing and frugging in the moshpit--the more delightful at the height of nu-metal and the NIN stomp. this gig was booked under the aegis of our then-online mag, full; but with the website stagnating (writing crap on the internets never being the most rewarding) it was also the launch of our promoting venture, strictly hardcore--named, appropriately, after the blade's single, the logo written on an arm like richey manic. it's beginning to look like we had an unhealthy belief in this sort of stuff.

support from the holy roman empire and twister, already covered in this series, and from toby slater, who sang songs locally and i believe still does.