The Best In Modern Music – Video Playlist Number 2!

Let’s start with “the loudest band in the world”, A Place To Bury Strangers. Don’t believe them? Turn up the volume, turn up your speakers, then later apologise to the neighbours…

‘Keep Slipping Away’ is on Exploding Head and available from Amazon, iTunes etc.

“Flat cap gobshite fucked up again
Left his wife and kids in the rain
He calls out ‘watch out slatterns!’ as he enters the room
With a dried-up cornflake stuck to his chin
The clatter of glass
The rustle of paper
“I’ve come to see a man about a dog” “

vs. Big Electric is available from bandcamp

“I came across a dug hole- stump had turned to dirty coal
Belly’s gone, belly’s gone- The place I wrote my name upon.
I muddied off to see the worms, the coins, the dirt- all had turned skeletal.
They chopped it down.
They cut it’s throat.”

Summer might not last all year, but The Tea Street Band does…

The Tea Street Band is available from Amazon and the usuals…

A sudden change of tone as we find ourselves with Manchester’s best krautrock, prog and folk-horror band, Flange Circus:

Now for a band so dedicated to the motorik pulsebeat,  they make Kraftwerk look like Motley Crue, the sensational Warm Digits.

Right, now we’re all warmed up, let’s finish with a sing song! Here’s Glam Skanks! Have it!

It’s Black Market, Marty. Something’s gotta be done about Black Market!

Doc Brown: Marty! You’ve got to come back with me!
Marty: Where?
Doc Brown: Back to the future.
Marty: Whoa, wait a minute, what are you doing, Doc?
Doc Brown: I need fuel. Go ahead, quick. Get in the car!
Marty: No, no, no, no, no, no, Doc. I just got here, alright, Jennifer’s here, we’re gonna take the new truck for a spin.
Doc Brown: Well, bring her along. This concerns her too.
Marty: Whoa, wait a minute, Doc. What are you talking about? What happens to us in the future? What, do we become assholes or something?
Doc Brown: No, no, no, no, no, Marty. Both you and Jennifer turn out fine. It’s Black Market, Marty. Something’s gotta be done about Black Market!
Marty: Why, what’s wrong with Black Market? I love Black Market!
Doc Brown: How can you say that, it’s dub remixes of everything from Bowie to The Clash to The Beach Boys and even Star Trek and Batman! It’s bringing the music of the past to life again, and finding new ways to enjoy our favourite music!
Marty: How is that a bad thing, Doc? The dub of ‘Death Or Glory’ is really cool with the melodica added! And have you heard the ten minute ‘Let’s Dance’? It makes me wish I’d invented reverb as well as rock and roll. Bowie’s voice really suits dub, you know.
Doc Brown: Er, well I suppose when you put it like that, it is some serious shit.
Marty: Plus I gotta say, Doc, I ain’t going to 2020, that year sucks. It makes 2015 look good.
Doc Brown: You’re absolutely right Marty, we’re not going there.
Marty: Now that’s all cleared up, can I ask you a question?
Doc Brown: Of course Marty, anything.
Marty: You know that at the end of Back To The Future Part III one of your kids points at his junk, right? And when you see it, you can’t unsee it?”
Doc Brown: What do you mean, “junk”? What do you mean “kids”? What do you mean “Back To The Future Part III”?
Marty: Aw sorry Doc, I’m doing it again, revealing secrets about your future.
Doc Brown: It was bad enough when you told me I was going to be in The Adams Family… what do you mean “he points at his junk?”

A world of dub remix awaits you at bandcamp, our favourite is David Bowie – The Next Dub – buy everything!

Thanks to SMERSHPOD, the James Bond podcast for pointing out about one of Doc’s kids pointing at his junk, sorry not thanks, damn you.

Just because

Mirages and Dunes: IX presents System VII

As a new movie adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune is coming from director Denis Villeneuve, the time has come to lift the lid on an untold story, the 1990s adaptation that never was. We dish the dirt on the inside story!

Michael Mann, fresh from making Al Pacino and Robert Di Nero’s farewell Heat (not farewell to making movies, just farewell to making good movies) landed the directors job in a move that caused some consternation amongst studio execs, especially the ones who had seen The Keep.

In the end Mann didn’t contribute much to the Dune project, just spending a few months working on the colour scheme, “it was all green and blues” said an insider. “and an awful lot of colours of sand”.

Mann’s time on the project was curtailed when the studio wouldn’t let him end 80% of the dialogue with the words “slick” or “sport”. Shortly after the studio canned the entire project to fund Speed 2: Cruise Control. At that time Alien 3 was in living memory so everyone hated science fiction. It was still a couple of years before The Matrix made everyone love sci-fi again, then a few years later The Matrix Revolutions made everyone hate it again.

The only element of the Dune project finished was the masterful soundtrack by IX. In a bold and unusual move, Mann hired IX to provide the music, figuring the soundtrack would be so damn good he’s just make the movie around the soundtrack to fit. And how right he was, for IX’s soundtrack is a luscious, rich, evocative work, avoiding the cliches and pitfalls of the art. It shimmer and throbs at the right places and burst into rich, dramatic life at the right places. IX’s soundtrack would later be released under the title System VII and can be bought on bandamp here.

Michael Mann instead went on to make 1999’s The Insider, a movie so dull it might as well have starred Dustin Hoffman.

Among other works, IX was commissioned to provide the soundtrack for the PS1 game G-Police, in which gunships cruise around cityscapes, doing patrols and whatnot. His work so perfectly captured the sound of the cities depicted below their domes, and what sort of lives the people who lived there would lead, from the night clubs to the back alley drug deals, that the makers of the game realised the music was so good in fact, it would only draw attention to the how average their impossibly tricky bloody game was. So they replaced it with some generic stuff instead. IX’s soundtrack became 6EQUJ5 (reviewed here and available here). Over seven hours of G-Police longplay is available to watch here.

Considering that Villeneuve’s Dune movie adaptation is coming, it’s time to bring IX’s work to a new audience. And bearing in mind that the hired composer this time is Hans Zimmer; not always the king of subtlety, or dare we say, variety, it’s very tempting to say that System VII will be better than the one we end up with.

Or to be less controversial, IX’s work is easily on a par with Hollywood composers.

Everything You Need To Know About The Whispering Knights

Starring Jenny Agutter, Jean Marsh, Lis Sladen, Colin Jeavons and John Le Mesurier.

Music by The Heartwood Institute.

Action by HAVOC.

Effects made with glorious CSO.

Costumes mostly recycled from other shows.

Produced by Barry Letts.

Directed by David Maloney.

Available on overpriced BBC DVD release. Special features include audio commentary, documentary recounting the same stories as the audio commentary, location now & then comparison (exactly the same) and a text commentary you’ll never read. Plus a contemporary TV new feature with the BBC’s Alastair Fergus. The remastering is excellent though.

Originally released on double pack VHS in 1993 for the exorbitant price of £18.49.

The BBC junked episodes 3 and 5. Luckily episode 3 was discovered in a church vestry in Little Wapping and episode 5 was discovered in Sri Lanka.

Several cuts were made by Australian censors.

Preceded by Basil Brush.

Accompanied with jelly and ice cream.

The Whispering Knights is an essential album:

Rock Music Of Canada present Songs To Pleasure Thineself To…

There’s sorta an urban myth than someone sorta wrote ‘Three Idiots Make A Masterpiece’ when Beastie Boys released Licensed To Ill. Let’s not go overboard and call Songs To Pleasure Thineself a masterpiece, but it has that same sense of three kids not taking what they do very seriously, and then doing something better than all the people that do take it seriously.

Look, this is a band called Rock Music Of Canada, and they’re from Bolton. If that sorta silliness puts you off, might be best not hitting play. But if you want to get on board, strap in. They make loud, obnoxious songs with daft lyrics.

I could go through the album making comments on each song, but (a) being a bit lazy here, and (b) analysing the songs on an album called Songs To Pleasure Thineself To is missing the point. Their very nature refutes the notion of critical review or analysis.  Just turn it up and brace yourself. Play ‘I Am An LSD Factory’, you’ll then either want a badge, or to slap them. This is a divisive band; they make Sleaford Mods look like Enya. Which is a neat segue, Rock Music Of Canada are better suited to Twitter-y taglines than analysis. So here’s some:

  • Noisier than the crew of an oil rig on a Xmas do with a free bar.
  • More furious than Dead Kennedy’s having a danger wank.
  • Tighter and more pent up than Gang Of Four after 6 months on the ‘roids and now doing back  to back spin classes.
  • Make The Pogues look like Brian Eno’s Music For fuckin’ Airports.
  • Makes Richard Hell’s ‘Love Comes In Spurts’ seems like Coldplay’s ‘Yellow’.
  • Uncooler than Chris Hemsworth’s haircut in Blackhat.
  • Shallower than a night spent watching ITVBe.

In 2020 the world needs serious, political bands, but shit a brick, does it need some loud silliness too. So the world needs Songs To Pleasure Thineself To. Which is bloody silly. Which is why the world needs Songs To Pleasure Thineself to…

“Compromise”, “Bullshit”; Bullitt and the banal

From the moment we see a paramedic moaning that someone’s shut the door of the ambulance, it becomes clear that Bullitt is a movie about banality. Director Peter Yates has decided to make a thriller that’s such a police procedural, it emphasises what’s going on in Frank Bullitt’s life above the actual plot.

Look at the things Yates shows us. We see Bullitt eating a sandwich, reverse parking his cool car, getting a newspaper, buying some stuff from the shop. He takes Cathy on a date where loud flute-y jazz music is playing. He has to get her to give him a lift when all the cars are gone from the police car pool.

This pervades all parts of the films. The most important part of the lot, the revelation that Chalmers sent Bullitt to guard the wrong man, that the witness isn’t Johnny Ross,  is transmitted so subtly, so off handedly, it takes repeated viewings to even notice that this is the key point of the entire story. Yates spends more time and focus on the shot of all the cops looking endlessly at the telecopier. More emphasis is placed on an incredibly long depiction of the plane coming in to park.

And there’s a point, the climax of the movie takes place in an airport; the headquarters of banality. When Ross sees Bullitt and flees, most movies would use that as the moment to hit the music. Nah, fuck that. We’re just seeing parts of Bullitt’s life and this is an annoyance. This explains why the car chase, the best ever made, is without music, just the roar of the Ford Mustang. Of course there isn’t any fucking music, we’re in Bullitt’s head, of course he’s not thinking about music.

In the end Yates and Bullitt are the same. They’ll do things their way.

“We must all compromise” says Chalmers. “Bullshit” replies Bullitt / Yates.

The Best In Modern Music – Video Playlist!

Who better to get this party started than the band of the 21st century, The Lucid Dream?!

Compulsion Songs is available to buy from Amazon and the usuals

The Norse God of the Power Trio, Hey Bulldog kick out one of their finest singles, with one of the coolest videos since the Beastie Boys perfected the art form:

In two minutes, showing why they have more energy than a car boot full of cheap speed and Lucozade, it’s Three Dimensional Tanx:

God damn The Tapestry for splitting up:

In an alternate, better, reality The Watchmakers would be playing arena’s with their monstrous, party ready psych:

We once described The Maitlands as “half Morrissey, Half JMW Turner” to which Maits guitarist Ste Ackley replied “more like half Morrisons, half JW Lees”.

From Abergeldie’s to The Abercromby, LoneLady’s music represents the real Manchester…

Brining us to a close, our of our fave psych songs from one of our fave psych albums, with one of our fave vids, it’s Lumerians and the stunning ‘Atlanta Brook’:

Dance or cry? Garsa presents ‘Ghosts’

Martin Garside, aka Garsa, is sporadically releasing some very interesting and well seasoned songs. By day bass player with Celestial North and one time bass player with The Maitland, by night he’s carving himself a new career as a folk-psych protest singer for 2020+.

Blending a folk-tronic style with washed out shoegaze vocals, clipped drums beats closer to dance, some Morricone style guitar interludes; this song manages to be all over the place, but focused in intent. The result is like he’s taken a rainbow and turned the contrast down to make the elements blend together. He even adds vocals from his son Lachlan to the mix, without over-egging the pudding. Nope, wrong course at the dinner table, this is more like fusion food.

Note how the acoustic guitar starts like ‘Don’t Fear The Reaper’ (no, really) then the drum beats are like hand claps, with a buzzing drone in the background, then the spaghetti western guitar, then the breathless, maybe Inspiral Carpets-ish chorus, then back to the acoustic guitar, this song never settles down, this is a song that won’t sit still in it’s chair…

The song itself is an environmental parable, rather Peggy Suicide-ish with the voice of the next generation ending the song.

We suffer do you suffer more
The next generations will pay for these wars
Cold murder corruption and pain
Hatred and hunger are all day to day scenes

As divided as the world itself, but prettier.

You don’t know whether to dance or cry.

‘Ghosts’ is available for £1 at:

In That Heathen Light: Celestial North

In Julian Cope’s novel One Three One, the hero traverses Sardinia finding doorways to a pre-historical land. The music of Celestial North has a similar quality, opening up her bandcamp page is like opening mystical portals, to the best kinds of music, and finding the same life essence at work among them all.

Her (Victoria) most recent single, ‘You Painted A World’, has a shimmer, a big, forward facing viewpoint and a softly punchy chorus; “I don’t run just to anyone”. She has her head skywards and a sensitivity to the changing of the seasons. It’s post punk style mixed with post rock vistas and thoroughly Romantic (capital R).

Other doorways include the earlier song ‘Hey, Volva’ which has an almost folkish delicacy, a 1960’s quality where you can see the song being performed in tie-die, and shown on BBC4 archive shows. The song construction is almost John Cale-ish (“There is a spirit, without religion”) and would fit neatly onto Vintage Violence

‘Olympic Skies’, is close to her beloved Bunnymen, which has a bass driven thump to “take off thy raincoat and groove” giving the tune a chunky, cold Porcupine-y physicality, but she sings it with Patti Smith verve.

Then the doorway to ‘The Land, The Sea, The Human Race’ sounds like a goth disco on E.

‘Illuminate Yourself’ has a shrill, keening guitar yelp like Sigur Ros on their highest high peak. Victoria sings like a shaman, connected to the earth. Her music contains an empowering transmission of the power of nature, driven by the drums and the strength of the voice.

Her music isn’t really a genre, but a gestalt, the collective hive mind that lies behind all your favourite music.

All the songs mentioned above can be found, heard and bought for £1 each via the doorways at:

And you may also enjoy The Autumn Stones, who sound like a Mariachi Smiths – review here

And check out her compatriot Garsa who makes protest folktronica music, his latest single ‘Ghosts’ reviewed here

The real new Manchester: LoneLady

Imagine images of New Order cast through a diamond…

Soaring in the slipstream of all your favourite music is Manchester’s fiery, resolute and super cool LoneLady, soaking in the cosmic rays and gliding on sparkling dance-y, poppy tunes. With two full length albums under her Telecaster, she’s made an indelible mark with a slew of huge tunage.

This is Manchester music in microcosm as Nerve Up mixes up post punk guitars, ice cool chorus’, glacial attitudes and cool haircuts. The golden fleece on Back Turner Street.

Then Hinterland saw her follow New Order’s devotion to the New York dancefloor, and the days of Arthur Baker and Barney’s shorts, spearheaded by the monumental, shimmering single ‘Groove It Out’. The album rips up crisp drum patterns, scratchy, nervous guitars, and cool haircuts. 14 disco balls in Stretford Arndale.

This isn’t really a review, more a pointer, if you’re looking for new music built on the architecture of Manchester, that will make you dance and make you sing, then snap up both of LoneLady’s albums! In fact, never mind the shiny, glass filled new skyscrapers and street food cuisine, this is the real new Manchester…

Hinterland and Nerve Up are also available to purchase via Amazon etc

And if LoneLady is up your street, you may also like one of Manchester’s most talked about new bands, The Maitlands, “a mix of a sober Fall and a drunken Smiths”: