Friday, 30 September 2022

(No) Hot Water

Yesterday, Casa K found itself without hot water and the frankly unqualified and fruitless attempts to solve this mystery got in the way of any attempt to draft today's post. I'm also rarely organised enough to have 'emergency' posts prepped and ready to go, just in case, much preferring to make things up as I go along. Unfortunately, this doesn't get you anywhere in the world of boiler repair.

My friend Jayne was a huge Level 42 fan back when we were at school. I wasn't, but you couldn't ignore Mark King's formidable thumb and so Hot Water immediately sprang to mind as I stared helplessly at the control panel, hoping, praying that this time maybe switching it on and off again would actually make a difference....

After Mrs. K made multiple calls to the company that services the boiler (they always promise to call you back, and never do), she was advised with a sigh of indifference that to would be approximately 4 weeks before someone could call out to repair.

A few more calls around and we - hopefully - will get someone else out by next Tuesday. We think it's probably the same problem with a diverter switch that we had last year: we live in a very hard water area and the thing just got stuck on heating. However, it's internal and beyond the reach of mere mortal hands, so even a temp fix isn't possible. The reality is that the cost of repairing this will be inversely proportionate to the size of the item.
This situation - and the end of a particularly challenging week at work - made it all the more poignant when the single version of Shot By Both Sides by Magazine was the first song to explode from my car stereo when I began the long drive home.

I've found a YouTube clip of a live performance for Belgian TV show Folllies on 2nd July 1979. It's both rather odd and really wonderful and better than the Top Of The Pops appearance which inevitably is far too short and cuts away part way into the guitar solo. Criminal!
Barry Adamson apparently learned to play bass overnight so that he could audition for Howard Devoto and John McGeogh in 1977, joining Bob Dickinson and Martin Jackson in the first lineup of Magazine. Shot By Both Sides was Magazine's opening salvo less than six months later and sounds as exciting now as it did when I first heard it in the 1980s.
And, for this music lover, Bazza on bass beats Mark King every time. 
Normal service will resume on Saturday, but may start to pong a bit by Sunday...

Thursday, 29 September 2022


The link today is that this is my 535th post and all of the four featured tracks have (according to Discogs at least) a running time of 535 seconds or 8:55 in proper currency.

The selection's opening song is possibly the most demanding. It's a different, longer take of the closing song from The Velvet Underground and Nico's debut album, taken from sessions recorded at Scepter Studios in New York on 25th April 1966. A couple of acetates surfaced in the late 2000s, one of which found it's way onto bootleg vinyl, CD and MP3s. The sound quality wasn't great and the acetate was full of pops, skips and crackles. In 2011 James Eldred, creator of the mighty Lost Turntable blog, had a go at cleaning up and posting the Scepter Studios Sessions and I think he did a pretty good job. European Son is a testing listen in it's commercially released form and this version pushes the listener's tolerance further still. However, I can visualise Lou, John, Sterling and Mo going for it in the studio and it takes me past the inescapable shortcomings of the audio.

In my mind, the only way to follow that is with even more out there weirdness and cacophony. Step up, Cardiacs. The opening verse sets out it's stall immediately:

We cut all his eyes we didSqueezed the lids and down the grog into holeHe skip with cow eyed smile to the blissfulInto craggy dress and we will we praise himWe will praise him off his pinsClear him of all sinsOh my! we sang with strength to carry onEncouraged him to sing alongWe sang of all the world and praised him hooray!
By comparison, She's A Superstar by Verve (in 1992 missing the definite article) is lyrically in the realm of 6th form poetry:

She got my woeGot my handTook the dreams right outta my headShe bought the worldI paid the billsI took those pillsIt was wind in her sails
Nevertheless, Richard Ashcroft's vocals are softer and more complementary to the music, a swirling sea of sound, with drums, guitars and vocals coming in and out to great effect. I much prefer early Verve to the worthy, anthemic incarnation that came later.  

Julian Cope is no stranger to a witty way with words, often veering from the sublime to the ridiculous in the same song. Mighty Carl Jung is described on Head Heritage as a "pre-Autogeddon workout". This version was completed in 1997, placing it in the 'wilderness years' following his last record label album, Interpreter, in 1996. It's a decent enough song but didn't fit with the self-released and largely instrumental albums that immediately followed, Rite² (1997) and Woden (1998). Mighty Carl Jung eventually found a home thirteen years later on odds 'n' sods compilation Floored Genius 3 (also self-released) in 2000. The song is worth it for the lyrical pairing of Carl Jung and Donkey Kong alone.
1) European Son (Scepter Studios Sessions, 4-25-66: Mo Tucker Acetate Digitally Restored By The Lost Turntable, 2011): The Velvet Underground (1966)
2) Dirty Boy: Cardiacs (1996)
3) She's A Superstar (Full Length Version): The Verve (1992)
4) Mighty Carl Jung: Julian Cope (1997)

1992: She's A Superstar EP: 3
1996: Sing To God: 2
2000: Floored Genius 3: Julian Cope's Oddicon Of Lost Rarities & Versions 1978-98: 4
2011: Scepter Studios Sessions, 4-25-66: 1

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

C'est La Vie, Ma Cherie

One of my favourite songs of all time, No G.D.M. was first released in 1979 by Gina X Performance, a duo of Gina X (aka Gina Kikoine aka Claudia De Held) and Zeus B. Held (aka Bernd Held). The single was re-released in 1982, by now credited simply to Gina X. I have a (very crackly) 12" single of the further re-release in 1985, including an additional dub (but actually vocal heavy) version by Zeus B. Held, which I picked up secondhand in the late 1980s/early 1990s. My brother had a copy of the same 12" so I'm not sure if I first heard the song in his bedsit on Jamaica Street in Stokes Croft in the heart of Bristol, or one of the many indie/goth/alternative clubs that we frequented in the city centre.
I can't find the original promo video on YouTube but have stumbled across a rather entertaining fan-made homage by foxinaboxvideo, posted in 2009. The video includes snippets from the Gina X at the start, with scenes from The Naked Civil Servant interspersed throughout. The latter is a 1975 made-for-TV film dramatising the early years of Quentin Crisp, the inspiration for No G.D.M.
Unsurprisingly, No G.D.M. has been a significant influence on electronica/dance acts that have followed, several of whom have been unable to resist remixing the song. First up is Headman aka Robi Insinna, whose remix appeared on a 12" released by International Deejay Gigolo Records in Germany back in 2003, along with remixes by Psychonauts and Cat O'Nine Tales. The version featured here is Robi Insinna's rework from 2016.
Next up is Red Axes, their remix featuring on the Relish EP V 12" single, released by Robi Insinna's label Relish Recordings in 2014.

Last but not least, here's the Supa Edit of No G.D.M. by French producer Joakim Bouaziz, released on a Tigersushi 12" in 2002, which isn't far removed from my crackly 12" single from 1985.

There's only one official cover version of No G.D.M. that I'm aware of, by - no surprise - Erasure and featuring on the flip of their Blue Savannah 12" single in 1990. It goes without saying that it's not a patch on the original, so I'm not posting it here. 

In 2020, the city of Cologne awarded Gina Kikoine and Zeus B. Held the Holger Czukay Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award, the jury stating that
"Gina X Performance were way ahead of their time with their elegantly distanced electronic pop and extroverted performances. Even before pop icons like Grace Jones or the Eurythmics became famous for their chilled sound, Gina Kikoine and Zeus B. Held carried their androgynous coolness out into the world from Cologne.

The new wave pop made in Cologne celebrated chart successes in Austria, Canada, UK and Israel.

The sound of Gina X Performance has proven to be timelessly contemporary, as evidenced by the rediscovery of her music by star DJs such as Andrew Weatherall and DJ Hell.

The lyrics and above all the legendary performances of Gina X Performance, in which music, fashion, theatre and performance art merged, make the group pioneers of queer art in which questions of gender and identity are renegotiated."
I couldn't have put it better myself.

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Wild Wild Child Of The London Night

Adored And Explored was the lead single from Marc Almond's ninth album Fantastic Star, entering the UK singles chart at #25 in May 1995 and proving to be Marc's last Top 30 single to date. 
The video is very much of it's time, though it's an entertaining send up of pop celebrity, from the 'dad dancing' and 'hand harmonica' miming at the start, through to a multitude of costume changes, taking in Bowie, Bolan, The Village People, Elvis, Alex from A Clockwork Orange, Boy George and more. Almond is supported by a group of 'minders' straight out of Reservoir Dogs, who amusingly break into a cod pogo and other bad dancing in the closing section of the song. 

The harmonica on Adored And Explored is played by David Johansen and the song was co-written with John Coxon, better known (to me, at least) as one half of Spring Heel Jack and member of Spiritualized.
Marc has a new 6-track mini-album, Things We Lost, out next month. Much as I've enjoyed Marc's recent albums (2020's Chaos And A Dancing Star was a highlight), I won't be forking out £18.99 for the double vinyl. I'm also unconvinced that I want the expanded 3CD edition with Marc's full 37-song concert from The Royal Festival Hall in 2020, featuring Chris Braide and Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, for £20.99 either. Here's hoping Things We Lost also gets a digital release at some point.

Monday, 26 September 2022

Monday’s Lindstrøm Song(s)

Hans-Peter Lindstrøm hails from Norway and has been releasing music for nearly 20 years. I first heard Lindstrøm and fellow Norwegian Thomas Moen Hermansen aka Prins Thomas via their epic remix of Tito's Way by The Juan MacLean in 2005 and I've been hooked ever since.
Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas also released their debut self-titled album in 2005, with Lindstrøm's first solo album, Where You Go I Go Too, emerging in 2008, the title track stretching to an absorbing 29 minutes. In addition to several more albums both solo and with Prins Thomas, Lindstrøm has been a prolific collaborator. Real Life Is No Cool, Lindstrøm's 2009 album with Isabelle Sandoo aka Christabelle is another personal favourite. Other albums and 12" singles have been released in partnership with Todd Rundgren and Emil Nikolaisen, Rune Lindbæk and Todd Terje.

Today's selection features a snapshot of Lindstrøm's work, with one exception between 2005 and 2013. In my early days of owning an iPod with a 4GB capacity, I used to make edits of long songs just to fit more music onto my playlist. So, to open, here's my chopped down version of Tito's Way, cutting the original 11-minute Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas remix to about half the length, Nancy Whang's vocals still front and centre.
There are a couple of tracks from Lindstrøm & Christabelle's album, plus a couple more Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas remixes, first up DJ Harvey's Locussolus project, followed by a contemporary rework of Roxy Music's Avalon to close proceedings. 
I've also included Lindstrøm's remix of Blue Velvet, Lana Del Rey's version of the classic song originally recorded by Tony Bennett in 1951 and taken to #1 by Bobby Vinton in 1963. Completing the selection are a couple of solo Lindstrøm songs form opposite ends of the timeline, the original version of I Feel Space from 2005 together with Chris Massey's brilliant remix of Blinded By The LEDs from 2021. The latter is still available as a free download on Bandcamp, grab it while you can.
Lindstrøm has just completed a trio of DJ sets in the USA and - fingers crossed - will be back with new music imminently. In the meantime, this is just the antidote to the Monday morning drag of getting up in the dark and forcing a reluctant body and mind to get moving when all it wants to do is crawl back into bed. The cat will now doubt be bemused/horrified when I come to life and proceed to bounce around the kitchen.
1) Tito's Way (Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas Remix - Khayem's 'Lapta' Re-Edit): The Juan MacLean (2009)
2) Baby Can't Stop (Album Version): Lindstrøm & Christabelle (2009)
3) I Feel Space (Original Version): Lindstrøm (2005)
4) High & Low: Lindstrøm & Christabelle (2009)
5) Blue Velvet (Lindstrøm Remix) (Cover of Tony Bennett): Lana Del Rey (2013)
6) I Want It (Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas Remix): Locussolus (2011)
7) Blinded By The LEDs (Massey's Club Mix): Lindstrøm (2021)
8) Avalon (Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas Version): Roxy Music (2010)

2005: I Feel Space EP: 3
2009: Real Life Is No Cool: 2, 4
2009: Tito's Way EP (bootleg MP3): 1
2010: Remixes (Blue) EP: 8
2011: Locussolus: 6
2013: Blue Velvet EP: 5
2021: Blinded By The LEDs EP: 7

Sunday, 25 September 2022

Hokey Karaoke

Volume 1 of a CD-R of cover versions recorded for my friend Stuart on 19th August 2008.
I love a cover version and my forays into cassette compilations included many made up of people singing other people's songs. Many of the songs featured here have cropped up on previous mixtapes but I quite like the flow of this CD-R that I made for my friend's birthday a decade and a half ago. Always one for overdoing things, this was the first of three volumes that I gifted him at the time.

My Bloody Valentine start off with their version of the key song from the sixth James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service, originally recorded by Louis Armstrong in 1969. If you're expecting a typical MBV wall of noise, you'll be disappointed; unexpectedly, it's a faithful and rather lovely cover version.

A few cover versions go acoustic. Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly deliver an urgent Northern take on Gallic dance duo Justice. Devine & Statton aka Ian Devine (nee Pinchcombe) from Ludus and Alison Statton from Young Marble Giants and Weekend team up for a beautifully stripped down version of a New Order classic. I remember hearing this on the John Peel show back in 1989. Australian band Frente! were clearly paying attention. Deacon Blue aren't particular favourites of mine but anyone willing to have a stab at a Julian Cope song gets a thumbs up from me. 

Several versions take the song in interesting directions. Whilst not surpassing the originals, they've come up with a different approach that makes the song their own. Primal Scream are the first in line, with an amped up, dirty version of The Clash's Know Your Rights. Tunng go all folky with club classic Naked In The Rain by Blue Pearl, whilst Locust offer up an almost jazz lounge duet on Depeche Mode's Master And Servant. 
I'm also a big fan of Mark Eitzel's uptempo but downbeat run through Move On Up by Curtis Mayfield. Associates' bold debut in 1979, covering Boys Keep Swinging weeks after the original was released, is every bit as good as David Bowie. If I had to choose between the two, Anita Lane's unique take on Sexual Healing, ably assisted by Mick Harvey and Barry Adamson, surpasses Marvin Gaye's original.

Ciccone Youth aka Sonic Youth take things to the natural and extreme end with a version of Robert Palmer recorded in a karaoke booth. The video - recorded in the same booth for $25 - is a striking send up of the overblown original, Kim Gordon's deadpan singing and lacklustre dancing against a backdrop of images from the Vietnam War. I vaguely recall watching this on a late night TV show and the studio guests ripping the song and video to shreds, but they were woefully missing the point.

Speaking of overblown, sometimes the only way to do a cover is go even bigger and louder. Stairway To Heaven is one of those songs indelibly etched in the memory of my childhood listening to music on the radio and has been covered countless times over the last half-century. I remember being subjected to a version during a school assembly in the 1980s by a 'supergroup' made up of my Biology, Geography and P.E. teachers. It wasn't pretty.

Like many, seeing Aki Kaurismäki's 1989 road movie Leningrad Cowboys Go America was my first introduction to the titular Finnish band. Leningrad Cowboys continued to release records up to 2013 but they appear to have disbanded some time after. Their version of the Led Zeppelin song came from a collaborative album with The Alexandrov Red Army Ensemble aka The Alexandrov Ensemble aka The Red Army Choir, the official choir of the Russian armed forces. Tragically, on Christmas Day in 2016, 64 members of the Ensemble were killed when their plane crashed into the Black Sea.

The world has changed dramatically this year and collaborating with the official choir of the Russian armed forces is unlikely to be on anyone's wish list, now or any time in the foreseeable future. How different things were in 2008 when I compiled this collection.
1) We Have All The Time In The World: My Bloody Valentine sing Louis Armstrong (1993)
2) Know Your Rights (Full Length Version): Primal Scream sing The Clash (1994)
3) There's A Ghost In My House: The Fall sing R. Dean Taylor (1987)
4) Naked In The Rain (Rob Da Bank Session): Tunng sing Blue Pearl (2007)
5) D.A.N.C.E.: Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly sing Justice (2008)
6) Move On Up: Mark Eitzel sings Curtis Mayfield (2002)
7) Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime: Beck sings The Korgis (2004)
8) Bizarre Love Triangle: Devine & Statton sing New Order (1989)
9) Addicted To Love: Ciccone Youth sing Robert Palmer (1988)
10) Making Plans For Nigel: Datassette sing XTC (2006)
11) Boys Keep Swinging: Associates sing David Bowie (1979)
12) Master And Servant: Locust sing Depeche Mode (1998)
13) It's A Man's Man's Man's World: Natacha Atlas sings James Brown (2003)
14) Some Velvet Morning: Slowdive sing Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood (1993)
15) If You're Lookin' For A Way Out (Album Version): Tindersticks sing Odyssey (1999)
16) Sexual Healing: Anita Lane ft. Mick Harvey & Barry Adamson sings Marvin Gaye (1993)
17) Trampolene: Deacon Blue sing Julian Cope (1989)
18) Stairway To Heaven: The Leningrad Cowboys & The Alexandrov Red Army Ensemble sing Led Zeppelin (1994)

Saturday, 24 September 2022

Hell For Leather On A Helter Skelter

Sometimes, only a poptastic playlist will do. Over 500 posts in and I'm surprised that this is the first appearance on this blog for a-ha, The Lover Speaks, Kool & The Gang, The Kane Gang, Split Enz and ABC (unless you count the latter's appearance in a mash-up mix by Go Home Productions last year).
I have a large sub-folder of music, which was my go-to when Lady K was very young. Very loosely labelled "Pop", it is better described as upbeat, uptempo songs without any sweary bits, although I came a cropper when this one popped up in the car. Fortunately, Mrs. K wasn't present and the F-word wasn't firmly embedded in Lady K's vocabulary from there on.
I'm a little bit more relaxed about the playlist these days, although you still won't find me playing either "Part 4" of this song by Alexei Sayle from the 12" vinyl or the current single by Julian Cope when Clan K are within earshot.
No parental advisory for this selection, 11 tunes for a (hopefully) sunny September Saturday, wherever you are.
1) Take On Me (Extended Version By Alan Tarney): a-ha (1985)
2) Every Lover's Sign (7" Remix By Andy Wallace & Bruce Forest): The Lover Speaks (1986)
3) Think Twice (Edit): Ralph Myerz & The Jack Herren Band ft. Christine Sandtorv (2003)
4) Take It To The Top (Album Version By Eumir Deodato): Kool & The Gang (1980)
5) Funky Kingston: Toots & The Maytals (1973)
6) Beat The Clock (Short Version By Giorgio Moroder): Sparks (1979)
7) Six Months In A Leaky Boat (Album Version): Split Enz (1982)
8) Respect Yourself (R & B Mix) (Cover of The Staple Singers): The Kane Gang (1984)
9) Mystify (Album Version): INXS (1987)
10) I Want You To Know (Album Version): Charlotte Hatherley (2007)
11) Viva Love (Album Version): ABC (2016)

Friday, 23 September 2022

Party Like It's 2009

Back to the tail end of the Noughties with a bunch of beats to bring in the weekend. Some of the artists and DJs/remixers seem to have been dormant or relatively quiet in the past decade: US punk/indie/dance act Gossip, Japanese trio Lalory, Norwegian DJ and producer diskJokke. Others such as Burns, CFCF, The Field, Richard Sen and Daniel Avery have been prolific, the latter two transcending their early work. And Little Boots has been busy in the past year as a member of ABBA's live band on the Voyage tour.
A sign of the times that many of the featured artists's profiles on Discogs include links to MySpace, a reminder of how quickly the world moved on and away to other platforms. Says the man who resolutely clings to Blogger and mostly avoids other social media...!
1) Heavy Cross (Burns Remix): Gossip
2) Little Secrets (Lalory Remix By Tom Iwami, Kazunari Kadowaki & Kazuya Tamura): Passion Pit
3) The More That I Do (Foals XIII Remix): The Field
4) Compulsion (Padded Cell Remix By Neil Higgins & Richard Sen): Doves
5) Earthquake (Stopmakingme Mix By Daniel Avery): Little Boots
6) Tropics (CFCF Remix): Apache Beat
7) IRM (diskJokke Remix): Charlotte Gainsbourg

Thursday, 22 September 2022

Come On Down, The Devil's In Town

I'm on the mailing list for The The and received an unexpected email regarding Matt Johnson's brother, Andy Dog, who passed in 2016. My love of The The's music as a teenager went hand in hand with a love of Andy Dog's unique and striking artwork on their singles and albums. The email promotes the Andy Dog Collection, with a few new items of merchandise bearing iconic The The images but also including a couple of beautiful tributes to Andy from brothers Matt and Gerard.

Mrs. K bought me a The The T-shirt in 2020, featuring an alternative illustration of the character from the classic album Soul Mining. The latest addition is Andy's illustration for the Sweet Bird Of Truth single and will be another must-have. 

The The's videos have always been striking accompaniments to the music, lyrics and record artwork and I've previously featured a Dubhed video selection as well as standalone posts on Slow Train To Dawn and The Mercy Beat, from the ground breaking and jaw-droppingly wonderful video realisation of 1986's Infected album
Receiving the email immediately made me think of another video from Infected, the closing song of Side 1, Angels Of Deception. It's directed by animation legend Alastair McIlwain, whose career kicked off with kids' TV classic Roobarb in 1974 and has gone on to include films such as Heavy Metal (1981) and Pink Floyd’s The Wall (1982).
A perfect choice then for Angels Of Deception, which brings Andy Dog's illustrations to the fore via animation, model sets and Matt Johnson's make up. It's quite different from every other song on the video album, which makes it all the more amazing. I need little excuse to listen to The The, but it was joy to be reminded of this song, video and artist.
Thank you Matt, Alastair and, of course, Andy Dog, whose work continues to inspire and delight. 

Well, it's high noon at the U.K. corral, 
And it's high time I got myself back on the rails,I'm the lonesome cowboy, ridin' across the range,With just a hand held radio to keep me sane,Ridin' through the F.M. stations, the tumbleweed, the petrol stations,Will all on board this Yankee stationPrepare themselves for battle stations
 Jesus wept, Jesus Christ,I can't see for the tear gas and the dollar signs in my eyes.Well, what's a man got left to fight forWhen he's bought his freedomBy the look of this human jungleIt ain't just the poor who'll be bleeding!
 Most everyone round here thinks they're something special, That destiny will be kind, While they're digging for gold, diving for pearls, 
And aiming for heaven from this man made world.Come on down. the devil's in townHe's brought you sticks and stonesTo bust your neighbour's bones,He's stuck his missiles in your gardens,And his theories down your throat
And god knows what you're gonna do with him'cos I certainly don't 
Jesus wept, Jesus Christ,I can't see for the tear gas and the dollar signs in my eyes.Well, what's a man got left to fight forWhen he's bought his freedomBy the look of this human jungleIt ain't just the poor who'll be bleeding!
 Down by the river, I've been washing out my mouth,'cos deep in the heart of meThere's a frightened man breaking out.Oh, I was just looking for paradiseAnywhere in this worldWhile they're gunning for heavenFrom this man made hell!
(ad lib)
Well, oh 
God knows, 'cos they don't.
Come on down, the Devil's in town Oh, the Angels, 
Angels of destruction.The Angels, Angels of deception

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Dead Flowers On The Razor Wire

Side 2 of a cassette compilation, recorded 16th September 1991, featuring The Sisters Of Mercy, possessed body and soul (excuse the pun) by Andrew Eldritch
I posted Side 1 of this tape back in March and it's proved to be one of the most popular posts on Dubhed, remaining firmly in my Top 10, although visits have dropped off since June. Time then to dust off Side 2 and bring it back into the light.

Things start as they mean to go on with Body Electric, originally the Sisters' second single in 1982, then re-recorded for 1984's Body And Soul EP. The latter is featured here, simply because I didn't have the original version until the Some Girls Wander By Mistake compilation came out the year after I recorded this cassette. You can probably guess how much I like the Body And Soul EP, given that three of the four songs feature across the two sides of this selection.

Next up is This Corrosion, the definitive 12" version by Jim Steinman. It's the second time it's appeared here as track 2 of a selection in a little over 2 weeks, but I make no apologies. I briefly considered swapping it out for the 11-minute album version or even the slightly longer again version on the CD single. However, in the interest of maintaining some integrity with the running times of both sides, I've stuck with this, which is always my go-to version.

Ribbons is one of my favourite Sisters songs, though opinion (mine included) varies on the merits of the Vision Thing as a whole. The songs lent the compilation it's title and contains a classic Eldritch lyric
Her lovers queued up in the hallwayI heard them scratching at the doorI tried to tell herAbout Marx and Engels, God and angelsI don't really know what for
By contrast, the title track of Vision Thing is a kick-ass song, from the introductory cocaine sniff and crashing guitars to the opening lines
Twenty-five whores in the room next doorTwenty-five floors and I need more
The Reptile House EP from 1983 gets a bit of short shrift here compared to the Body And Soul EP, only one it's five songs on the 12" - Valentine - making an appearance here. Not at all a reflection on the quality of the EP but an example of the challenge when pulling together any compilation. On the original cassette, a 90-second excerpt of Burn was tacked on at the end to use up some dead tape time. It didn't really belong, so I've left it off of this recreation.

Colours featured in an earlier version on The Sisterhood's 1986 album, Gift. Whiffypedia contains the background to what can arguably be described as Andrew Eldritch's act of war/revenge on former band members Craig Adams and Wayne Hussey, who were touring as The Sisterhood at the time. The original version isn't greatly different to the subsequent B-side of This Corrosion, other than featuring vocals from Motörhead's original drummer, Lucas Fox, as Eldritch was unable to sing on any of The Sisterhood's releases. 

Alice was always a floorfiller at the indie/alternative/goth clubs I went to in the 1980s. Eldritch re-recorded the song as a B-side to standalone single Under The Gun in 1993, but the 1983 original with Doktor Avalanche is unbeatable.

The selection closes with the Sisters' cover of Hot Chocolate's 1974 single, Emma. I was very familiar with the song as it featured on one of my parents' K-Tel compilations that I played to death as a kid. Whilst the song was a staple of the Sisters Of Mercy's live sets, the first time I heard it was on buying the Dominion 12" single and hearing the crashing drums announcing the closing track on Side 2. Much as I love the original version, there's a primal, raw pain in Eldritch's performance that gets me every time. And so it ends.
Since recording the cassette, I expanded my Sisters Of Mercy collection with the aforementioned Some Girls Wander By Mistake compilation and it's bootleg companion, Some Boys Wander By Mistake, as well as the mighty re-recording of Temple Of Love with Ofra Haza and Under The Gun, featuring Terri Nunn from Berlin. A Slight Case Of Overbombing? Perhaps, but plenty more for a new Dubhed selection in future.
1) Body Electric (Special 12" EP Version) (1984)
2) This Corrosion (12" Version By Jim Steinman) (1987)
3) Ribbons (Album Version By Andrew Eldritch) (1990)
4) Vision Thing (Album Version By Andrew Eldritch) (1990)
5) Valentine (1983)
6) Colours (Full Length Version By Andrew Eldritch & Larry Alexander) (1987)
7) Alice (Single Version By John Ashton) (1983)
8) Emma (Cover of Hot Chocolate) (1988) 
1983: Alice EP: 7
1983: The Reptile House EP: 5
1984: Body And Soul EP: 1
1987: This Corrosion EP: 2, 6
1988: Dominion EP: 8
1990: Vision Thing: 3, 4
Side One here

Tuesday, 20 September 2022

The Days Of Rage, Yeah, Nothing's Changed

I stumbled across the video for Live With Me by Massive Attack featuring Terry Callier for the first time in years. It was released as a single in 2006 with another new song, False Flags, to promote Massive Attack's 'best of' compilation Collected. Whilst Collected is not sequenced chronologically, Live With Me is tucked away as the final track and, generally speaking, it's ended up being a song that I've unfairly neglected over the years.

The video is directed by Jonathan Glazer, who previously directed their Karmacoma video in 1995 and was responsible for similarly striking visuals for The Universal by Blur and Street Spirit (Fade Out) by Radiohead around the same time. His debut feature film was the brilliant Sexy Beast in 2000. starring Ray Winstone and with a star turn from Ben Kingsley.
Live With Me is a snapshot of a lonely life, centred on a woman (Kirsty Shepherd), who stops at her local off licence to stack up on alcohol, downing a bottle of vodka at home, ending up back walking the streets before collapsing on a bench. The closing sequence cuts back and forth with scenes of the woman falling down a seemingly endless spiraling staircase. 
It's a heartbreaking, compelling narrative, though one which slightly puts the music - Terry Callier's vocals, especially - somewhat at the back. If nothing else, the video convinced me to put Live With Me back on my playlist and retrospectively give it some of the attention that it deserves.

In the interests of balance, I also watched the video for False Flags. Ironically, although I bought the limited edition of Collection which included a second 'DualDisc' hybrid CD/DVD, I didn't have a DVD player at the time. I was also unable to play the DVD on my home PC, which a work colleague had built for me at a fraction of the cost in the early 2000s. So, I have no recollection of watching this video before, although I'm sure I have. 
False Flags is directed by Paul Gore, whose work I'm far less familiar with but has included videos for Snow Patrol (Run), Amy Winehouse (In My Bed), New Order (Here To Stay) and Paloma Faith (Trouble With My Baby). The song itself was inspired by the civil unrest and rioting in Paris in late 2005 and comments on the state of the European Union. The video itself is, to quote 3D, "a still life portrait of someone were they’re forced to be in a riot situation – throwing a petrol bomb. And it’s done in ultra slow motion." The target of the Molotov cocktail is initially seen to be a car, but the latter moments of the video cut to a burning EU flag. Those final moments also include what initially sounds like some form of prayer, but is slowly revealed to be the phrase, "Where do we go from here?". It's actually a sample of Thom Yorke from the title track of Radiohead's 1995 album, The Bends.

False Flags featured as the opening track of Collected's bonus 'DualDisc' and was released as a standalone digital EP, with the similarly politically charged song, United Snakes. Both are incredible songs that, without having to look too far, sadly remain relevant a decade and a half later.

Monday, 19 September 2022

Mo' Monday Blues

Today is a public holiday in the UK, the second additional day in 2022. The first, in June, marked Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee, the first British Monarch to reign for 70 years. The second, today, observes the funeral of the Queen, a day-long event starting at Westminster Hall, moving to Westminster Abbey then Windsor Castle and culminating in her burial within St. George's Chapel. As has been the case since the Queen's death on 8th September, there will be live coverage throughout the day, should you wish to follow it. Judging by the shelves at a local supermarket, I'm guessing many will be doing so whilst getting blotto on whisky.
I've hesitated to post anything about the event to date; this blog is primarily about the music I love, with little bits of my life story popping up here and there. I've been interested by how several fellow music bloggers have acknowledged their own feelings, whilst being aware that it's a potential minefield of trolling and negative comments. 
I'm at home at Casa K today. I won't be watching the TV but I will make the most of this opportunity to be with my family and be productive.
I've started as I mean to go on with a freshly curated selection of tunes. The theme is very simple and completely unrelated to the Queen's funeral: being Monday, the name of every artist featured begins with 'Mo' (or 'The Mo'). The shortlist was still pretty long - 50 songs - and I reluctantly left off a few that I thought would be a sure thing: Mogwai, The Modern Lovers, Mojave 3, Momus, The Moonlandingz, The Monochrome Set; even The Monkees failed to make the final 11.

However, I do like how the selection has worked out. Moaning and Movement 98 (featuring Carroll Thompson) were dead certs for the opening and closing songs. Mohamed Karzo is another delightful discovery from my Sahel Sounds compilation purchases, whilst Mount Sims first came to my notice in a collaboration with The Knife and planningtorock. Mono were late to the trip hop party but perhaps would have soundtracked Killing Eve in an alternate reality. The two cover versions by Moodswings and Monkey Mafia are sublime. The rest of the selection is made up with Moby, Moloko, The Mock Turtles and Mojave Lords.
Any connection that can be made between the song titles and today's events is, I promise you, entirely coincidental.
1) Don't Go: Moaning (2018)
2) There's Nothing Wrong With The World There's Something Wrong With Me: Moby & The Void Pacific Choir (2017)
3) C'est La Vie: Mohamed Karzo (2017)
4) Spiritual High (Original Edit) (Cover of 'State Of Independence' by Jon & Vangelis): Moodswings ft. Martin Luther King (1991)
5) Being Is Bewildering: Moloko (2000)
6) Long As I Can See The Light (Adrian Sherwood's Dub Lighting) (Cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival): Monkey Mafia ft. Shirzelle (1998)
7) Strings And Flowers (Single Version): The Mock Turtles (1991)
8) Sweet Little Down & Out: Mojave Lords (2014)
9) Hollywood Bride: Mount Sims (2002)
10) Silicone (Mr. Scruff Remix): Mono (1997)
11) Joy And Heartbreak (Future Mix (Airplay Edit) By Paul Oakenfold & Steve Osborne): Movement 98 ft. Carroll Thompson (1990)
1990: Joy And Heartbreak EP: 11
1991: Spiritual High EP: 4
1991: Strings And Flowers EP: 7 
1997: Silicone EP: 10
1998: Long As I Can See The Light EP: 6
2000: Things To Make And Do: 5 
2002: UltraSex: 9
2014: Unfuckwithable: 8
2017: Agrim Agadez: 3
2017: More Fast Songs About The Apocalypse: 2
2018: Moaning: 1