Friday, July 31, 2009

formal disclosures

toulouse, 2008. photographs by rory lindsay.

So much has been written here and elsewhere regarding Brooklyn's once forgotten finest that I will resist the temptation to embellish, save for the reminder that chief songwriter, Mike Brown was just sixteen years old when this rarified gem of an album was recorded in his father's studio above a beauty school just a block from the infamous Brill Building. And vocalist, Steve Martin a mere two years his elder.

A quick glance at my iTunes play count reveals that this song is well up there in my own Top 50. Like several others on their debut LP, the song's inspiration lay in Brown's well documented infatuation with
Renée Felden, a young woman introduced to the boys living out of 1595 Broadway through mutual acquaintance, Tom Feher.

According to bassist, Tom Finn - who eventually secured Felden's affections - on the original session the drums were laid down by an anonymous jobbing 802 Union professional; the bass provided by classical cellist, Seymour Barrab; and the strings - oboe and cello - by friends of Michael's dad, including George Marge.

Recorded in the bleak winter of 1966, this is the sound of unrequited passion without the almost inevitable acrimony.

Steve Martin (Caro): vocals ;
Rick Brand: guitar;
Jeff Winfield: guitar;
Mike Brown (Lookovsky): harpsichord, piano;
George Cameron: drums;
Tom Finn: bass.

Written by Michael Brown.
Produced by Harry Lookofsky; Steve Jerome; Bill Jerome
at World United Studio, 1595 Broadway NYC.



Thursday, July 30, 2009

two rum cherries spells casino ruin

one armed bandit. photograph by yale joel, 1951.

I like berries. I do not like fruit machines. Slot machines.

The term "one armed bandit" seems hideously appropriate. Like a shrunken Mexican purse snatcher lying in wait in a dark alley in Vegas. Or the deserted parking lot at the back of the diner.

As I mentioned here previously, I have an aversion to gambling. It is not quite a hobbyhorse, this disinclination to let my money ride, but in light of those other vices I have embraced or accumulated it
is something of a small saving grace.

Flutter. Another ominously fitting tag. Moths dancing around the flame; glued and twitching on the backlit glass as the the bars and cherries refuse to settle on the line. I have known people thousands of pounds in debt thanks to those bells and whistles. Sober, god-fearing bastards who have never smoked a joint. They pass one bar after the other without a backwards glance, but still they are hooked. They avoid the beer gut but the cold sweat waits to spring forth just the same. The anxiety and panic is always there lurking.

I have heard the police
come knocking at six o'clock in the morning to spirit away the inveterate debtor, and have felt relief it was not me. Shivering under the quilt like a coward. One fist balled in my mouth. It could have been far worse, of course. It just as easily might have been debt collectors with razors and saturnine threats. Ivory cue balls rattling on the stairs.

Pony necked, slab thighed yobs with running eyes and too much aftershave. They collected an uncle of mine that way, the bastards.

The slot machines have kept pace with shiny trends in entertainment, but the thugs employed to break arms and dislodge teeth have not changed to any remarkable extent. The interest repayments are invariably unmakable. The vigorish remains vigorously outlandish.

Still. We all have our vices. It is not merely a capitalist failing. Everyone begins a winner; flushed and flexing muscle. All bets off as the starting pistol barks.

Now, pinball, well; that's another story.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

step off the grass and into the crop circle

My favourite fruit is the blackberry. Brambles, we call them. They grow wild by the roadside in the late summer months into autumn, protected from pickers by a vicious array of thorns. If I remember correctly, their appearance on the vine broadly coincides with the first bloom of psilocybin. Cars travelling over the speed limit with two wheels inches from the ditch pose a more significant threat.

I like blueberries too. A staple in the US, with hardier varieties grown in some parts of Europe, we have to have them imported.

Those blueberries don't travel well.

The best arrive frozen in transit. I am only really fond of them when they retain that keen note of sourness; a bitter tang like the best of grapes and sherbet.

I suspect those 'visitors' which plague late August skies have not come to
harvest berries. They seem more intent on vivisecting cattle in situ. Or spiriting the odd hapless berry-picker off for a haircut and manicure, only to deposit said victim several hours or days later close to the original scene of their abduction.

Probably it is no small co-incidence that many of these strange occurrences take place near military installations. On desert plains, or deep in woods infested with all manner of foreboding notices. Take it as read. Those particular beings are riddled with all too human failings.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

communis exalti


1 the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, esp. when the exchange is on
a mental or spiritual level : in this churchyard communion with the dead was almost palpable. See note at CONVERSATION.

ORIGIN late Middle English : from Latin
communio(n-), from communis (see common).

From wiki:

"Whitley Strieber was born in San Antonio, Texas, the son of Karl Strieber, a lawyer, and Mary Dro
ught Strieber. He attended Central Catholic Marianist High School in San Antonio, Texas. He was educated at the University of Texas at Austin and the London School of Film Technique, graduating from both in 1968. He then worked for several different advertising firms in New York City, rising to the level of vice president before quitting in 1977 to become a free-lance writer."


"The CD was basically the project of Guido Erfen, one of the guys behind the So Healthy Music label. He got involved with the Ukrainian underground music scene when he was language student in Kharkov in 1990."

The CD, "Break Through in a Grey Room" comprises a collection of cut-ups recorded in the 1960's in various hotel rooms in New York, London and Paris. This key piece was recorded circa 1965 with Ian Sommerville between the Chelsea Hotel; 210 Centre Street, NYC and London, and owes as much to Sommerville's technical innovations as Burroughs' readings. 

Sommerville was a much respected contributor to the underground scene in London during the period, working out of a studio allegedly furnished by The Beatles' Paul McCartney.

faux cover designs by ib.
collect the full set!

TOVARICH (ALIEN): BLUES from "Novaya Scena - Underground From Ukraine" CD 1993 (Ukraine)


when the not so weird turn pro

A couple of nights ago I watched Alex Gibney's "Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson" on terrestrial tv. I have not read any Hunter for quite some time, although I have a good several of his key publications from 1965's "Hell's Angels" through to 1979's retrospective, "The Great Shark Hunt".

Benign and savage on the turn of a sixpence - in life and in prose - Hunter Thompson was not so much a man of contradictions as a man, like all of us, on a mission. Through his various assignments, constantly pitched against the deadline, Hunter sought to carve himself a reputation Sam Peckinpah might have been proud of, and a niche in the real world of politics he simultaneously despised and adored. Ultimately, he may even have created his own living nightmare; an elaborately manufactured similacrum of Mary Shelly's "Frankenstein", warts and all - the inescapable shadow of his own unique self. The angry fist of Gonzo f@cking himself right in the ass. With little or no lubrication.

In the final analysis, shrouded perhaps from too much wine, I found myself agreeing pretty much with his first wife, Sandy Conklin Thompson - now Sondi Wright - regarding his suicide. A single, self-inflicted gunshot to the head within earshot of his one son, Juan. Yes. Hunter S. Thompson was not yet done. He may have had enough, but he was not yet done.

From the suicide note subsequently published in Jan wenner's "Rolling Stone", fondly entitled "The Football Season is Over":

""No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun — for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax — This won't hurt."

I remember reading about his suicide in "The Times" in 2005 with an unholy mixture of sadness and a far from admirable delight, maybe, in a chapter finally closed. At the time, perhaps, I too felt Hunter was done. Simply because I was done reading him. That is one hell of a confession. The world has moved on, I told myself; no more Vietnams, or crooks or peanut farmers in the White House.

Speak about premature ejaculation.

From Bush's foray into Iraq and Afghanistan, to Barack Obama's election as a black candidate, what is missing in today's theatre of politics and corruption is the unrequited observation from the bleachers of a Hunter S. Thompson.
Cigarette holder or Gonzo fist rammed home or not.

Last night I had a dream. The Chinese had invaded, or maybe the invasion came from deep space. Whatever. Twenty-three to thirty of us were detained by day in a 're-education centre', and allowed home at night to complete an assignment. The Chinese were very efficient. And suave in their Jimmy Chu/Mao Tse-Tung suits and elegant footwear.

I had a crush on a female translator with obsidian eyes and a bull horn.

I did not complete my assignment. I missed the deadline. The very next morning I was surrounded by a smiling host of fellow Caucasians shyly unveiling beautifully executed Cartouches depicting the righteousness of occupation.

"You, who have done, have done well. You have exceeded your birthright by stint of meritocracy. In due course, your contribution shall be rewarded. Ruminate."

All I had managed was a cover note outlining my reservations. Even that appeared half-assed. The girl with the bull horn told us to congratulate ourselves. Our contribution to the revolution was inviolate. The best of us could expect to be summarily re-educated and set to work immediately. Women and men to my left and right threw high fives freely.

Their relief seemed infectious. Like Swine Flu blown in on an exotic breeze.

I could not believe my ill fortune. I had failed. Again, it seemed. I could not make it in the world of squares; I could not make it come the revolution.

I sat their forlornly and stared at my shoes. And waited to be expelled.

, 2005

Monday, July 27, 2009

small and stately

The fifth 45 release from the Small Faces, hitting the #1 spot on the British singles chart two weeks after its release on August 5th, 1966; sharing the top position with The Beatles' "Yellow Submarine", quite bizarrely. Think Rod Stewart's cover of P.P. Arnold's "First Cut is the Deepest" pipping the Pistols' "God Save the Queen" to the post in 1977, and the jubilee jigsaw begins to make sense.

File next to Them's "Gloria" for maximum agitation. For Small Faces' completists, there exists a live session version of the same song recorded for the BBC which seriously rivals the definitive Decca release in raw energy and sinewy bubblegum snapping arrogance. I can think of only a fistful of prime Small Faces numbers which do not at the very least threaten 3rd degree violence. Or the promise of a slap. Not so much domestic abuse, per se, as antisocial loitering. With intent.

From Wiki:

"According to Kay Marriott, Steve's mother, Steve wrote this song about his split with ex-fiancee Sue Oliver, though first wife Jenny Rylance states that Marriott told her he wrote the song for her as a result of her split with Rod Stewart
. Both statements are said to be correct."

I want to see your mum in hot pants, motherf@cker. It's in my freekin' blood.

The smell of damp nylon on rainy Mondays. The crackle of heat and testosterone fueled impatience. Throw all the flowers on the fire and break out the wine.

The towels are in the wash and the baby is hungry. It's just spilled milk and aspiration. Unpaid bills and shopping for pacifiers. Scratching a dire f@cking itch.

Written by Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane.
Produced by Don Arden.

Recorded at IBC Studios in Portland Place, London, England.

SMALL FACES: ALL OR NOTHING from "All Or Nothing b/w Understanding" 45 (Decca) 1966 (UK)

paging mr. lee


A fractured slice of almost indecently perfect pop from the late 1980's, penned by Merseyside mysterioso, Lee Mavers, and prompted by this interesting tidbit recently posted on Blank Stares and Cricketclaps.

Produced by Bob Andrews, formerly of Brinsley Schwarz; Dr. Feelgood; and The Rumour. Andrews also contributed piano and hammond organ to Johnny Thunders and Patti Palladin's collection of covers, "Copycats", from the same year.

THE LA's: THERE SHE GOES from "There She Goes" 7' & 12" EP (Go! Discs) 1988 (UK)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

byrd with coils

albinio banana california king snake.

A Jaques Levy & McGuinn composition from The Byrds' untitled 1970 LP, featuring Clarence White, Gram Parsons and Skip Battin. Also including the great Terry Melcher on piano in pieces, this was undoubtably the last release from McGuinn under the Byrds banner of any merit. McGuinn's voice on this live cut is a barbed thing of wonder; strangled and bitter and devoid of Christian rectitude.

For the most comprehensive and concise detail on Clarence White imaginable, move directly to The Adios Lounge. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200, or gain surplus pounds. And hang on to your "Get out of Jail" card, brothers and sisters.

THE BYRDS: LOVER OF THE BAYOU (LIVE) from "Untitled" 2 x LP (Columbia) 1970 (US)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

pour a little sugar on it

The Archies, of course, were the saccharine comic-book-creation-made-flesh of Bubblegum Svengali, Don Kirshner; the evil impresario who also played his hand so well in the cynical manufacure of The Monkees. Devised originally in late 1967, there was so much of a liberal sprinkling of sugar on this one that even Kellog's were soon queuing up at the door, cheque in hand.

Written by producer, Jeff Barry and newly appointed staff writer, Andy Kim, and released on the Calendar imprint initially, the 45 - also available on the LP, "Everything's Archi
e" - was subsequently one of the biggest selling singles for media giant, RCA of all time.
Archie Andrews: guitar;
Reggie Mantle: guitar;
Jughead Jones: drums;

Betty Cooper: tambourine;

Veronica Lodge: keyboards.

Jeff Barry;
Ron Dante;
Ellie Greenwich;
Toni Wine.

A Man with the Golden Ear production.

The Chilton cover was culled from those solo sessions reco
rded at Ardent Studios, Memphis in 1970, directly after the collapse of The Box Tops. Lacking cohesion in totality, the projected debut solo vehicle was ultimately shelved. Raucous and deliriously lacking in any attempt for mass appeal, I would easily have revelled in a whole LP's worth of this shit like a pig in muck. Not least because "Sugar, Sugar" may just be one of the finest songs ever written. Sadly, the rest of the material chewed over here comes nowhere close. Think on what might have been.

As Beer N. Hockey recently opined, who wouldn't have fucked Veronica ? Spoiled sugarbabe or not.

THE ARCHIES: SUGAR, SUGAR from "Sugar, Sugar b/w Melody Hill" 45 (Calendar) 1969 (US)

ALEX CHILTON: SUGAR SUGAR / I GOT A FEELING (Heavy Medley) from "1970" CD (Ardent) 1996 (US)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

capricorn one

A Gerry Goffin & Carole King composition, of course, allegedly named after Pleasant Valley Way; a road in West Orange, New Jersey which stakes out a path from the heart of suburbia into the Watchung Mountains. Or so I am informed.

Produced by Douglas Farthing Hatlelid
(aka Chip Douglas).

Mike Nesmith: lead guitar;
Peter Tork: keyboards;
"Fast" Eddie Hoh: drums;
Micky Dolenz: vocals;
Chip Douglas: bass guitar.

photograph by crowolf.

Famously sporting a riff stolen from The Beatles, the 45 release - issued on July 10th, 1967 - featured in the second series of their hit tv series, and peaked at #3 in the Billboard Charts. It also appears on the group's fourth LP, "Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd." released in November, 1967.

THE MONKEES: PLEASANT VALLEY SUNDAY from "Pleasant Valley Sunday b/w Words" 45 (Colgems) 1967 (US)

philadelphia freedom: drake's cake iced

protect yourself, people. back up.

The following post on Philly Soul legends, The Intruders - sans all audio links - originally ran here on December 3rd, 2008 and was very recently the subject of a DMCA Takedown Notification. If you are fortunate to own their "Cowboys to Girls" LP on Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff's fledgling label, count your blessings.

As it is, there are myriad CD compilations - not least a retrospective, "The Best of the Intruders", issued under the "Cowboys to Girls"
banner on Sony Records, which can be purchased for less than $8 through Amazon - lurking in basement bargain bins and charity shops in a city near you.

From Wiki:

""Don't be evil" is the informal corporate motto (or slogan) for Google, originally suggested by Google employees Paul Buchheit and Amit Patel at a meeting. Buchheit, the creator of Gmail, said he "wanted something that, once you put it in there, would be hard to take out," adding that the slogan was "also a bit of a jab at a lot of the other companies, especially our competitors, who at the time, in our opinion, were kind of exploiting the users to some extent."

"Don't be evil" is said to recognize that large corporations can often maximize short-term profits with actions that destroy long-term brand image and competitive position. By instilling a Don't Be Evil culture, the corporation establishes a baseline for decision making that can enhance the trust and image of the corporation that outweighs short-term gains from violating the Don't Be Evil principles.

While many companies have ethical codes to govern their conduct, Google made "Don't Be Evil" a central pillar of their identity, and part of their self-proclaimed core values."

The issue here, as stated previously, concerns the wholesale deletion of original user content over and above potentially offending infringement; which might, in itself, be more properly resolved on a mutually amicable basis. In short: identify the offending content and make transparent who is acting on whose behalf.

Anything less is mere corporate bullying. The sort of revisionist tactic employed by agents of those with something to hide.

philadelphia, 1968. photograph by jill freedman.

north philly, 2006. photograph by etombotron.

south philadelphia, 1968. photograph by bill wingell.

"Formed in the early sixties, The Intruders were four Philadelphians... Singing together since 1961, the group blended Philly's street corner doo-wop tradition with black gospel influences that attracted Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff to sign them to their fledgling record company, Philadelphia International Records."

The Intruders:
Sam "Little Sonny" Brown; Eugene "Bird" Daughtry;
Phillip "Phil" Terry; Robert "Big Sonny" Edwards.

Produced by Kenny gamble & Leon Huff.
The Sound of Philadelphia.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

luna reduxe: and the moon is full of wrinkles

"It was forty years ago today..."
Well, almost. Essentially a re-up of a post from a year back; on this
occasion simply to commemorate what many continue to regard as an elaborate
hoax designed to cement President John F. Kennedy's vision of the USA's
triumph in the Space Race and set in stone the mission statement
first put before a joint congress on May 25th, 1961.

from Wiki:

"On September 9, 2002, filmmaker Bart Sibrel, a proponent of the Apollo moon landing hoax theory, 

confronted Aldrin and his granddaughter outside a Beverly Hills, California hotel. 
Sibrel confronted Aldrin, shouting, "You're the one who said you walked on the moon and you didn't!" 
He then called Aldrin a "thief, liar and coward".
Aldrin, at that time 72 years of age, responded by punching Sibrel in the face."

"I saw the new moon late yestreen,
Wi' the auld moon in her arm:
And if ye gang to sea, maister,
I fear we'll suffer harm."

From the anonymous Scottish ballad by Sir Patrick Spens.

Credit to DJ Danny from Office Naps for unearthing following Johnny Harris composition.

THE POGUES: SUMMER IN SIAM from "Hell's Ditch" LP (Island) 1990 (UK)
THE ROLLING STONES: CHILD OF THE MOON from "Jumpin' Jack Flash b/w Child Of The Moon" 45 (Decca) 1968 (UK) 
BIG STAR: BLUE MOON from "Third: Sister Lovers" LP (PVC) 1978 (US) 
THE JOHNNY HARRIS ORCHESTRA: FOOTPRINTS ON THE MOON from "Chance b/w Footprints On The Moon" 45 (Warner Bros) 1969 (UK) 
ELVIS PRESLEY: BLUE MOON from "Elvis Presley" LP (RCA Victor) 1956 (US) 
KRONOS QUARTET: MARQUEE MOON from "Rubaiyat: Elektra's 40th Anniversary" CD (Elektra / WEA) 1990 (US) 
NICK DRAKE: PINK MOON from "Pink Moon" LP (Island) 1972 (UK) CUL DE SAC: THE MOON SCOLDS THE MORNING STAR from "ECIM" CD (Northeastern) 1992 (US)


houston, we have no problem


I did not intend to let this 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing pass unremarked. Launching on July 16th, 1969 from the Kennedy Space Center at 9:32 AM, local time - in the unlikely event that you may have missed all recent television coverage on it - Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins splashed back down to earth four days later on July 20th with just 25 seconds worth of fuel remaining.

Unbuckle your safety belt and grab an earful of Cozy Powell's barefaced homage to Jimi's "Third Stone from the Sun".

The Eagle has landed, siblings. And Eugene lingers on the dark side of the moon.

COZY POWELL: DANCE WITH THE DEVIL from "Dance With The Devil b/w And Then There Was Skin" 45 (RAK / EMI) 1974 (UK)


auditors and auditties

big star trip thru kansas?

poul•tice |ˌpəʊltɪs|
a soft, moist mass of material, typically of plant material or flour, applied to the body to relieve soreness and inflammation and kept in place with a cloth.

verb [ trans. ]
apply a poultice to : he poulticed the wound.

ORIGIN late Middle English : from Latin pultes (plural), from puls, pult- ‘porridge, pap’.

If anyone were ever bothered to perform an audit of my day to day listening vices, doubtless he or she would find my returns very odd indeed. Much of my regular listening fare is banal in the extreme. File under furtive.

I am not merely waxing bubblegum.

I am talking unadulterated, diuretic pish. The sort of thing which leaves a watery stain at one's crotch.

In fact, I have so much of this litmus neutral crap it is positively unhealthy. I do not possess an iPod, per se, but my MP3 vaults are so inundated as to be diluted of any essence of credible vitality.

There. Let it be on record; laid bare like a warped slab of vinyl under a blunted stylus.

These are the kind of sounds I seek solace in the wee small hours of the morning, or whenever the wine rack runs on full flow. From White Plains to Sinatra, there it can be unearthed and called upon like a healing poultice. Maudlin; wheedling; toothless and draining.

Setting out on the road with a wet nurse
or two and glimpsing Dorothy's discarded shoe in the undergrowth.
picture sleeve, 1977 Island reissue,
b/w "Beautiful People".

KIM FOWLEY: THE TRIP from "The Trip b/w Big Sur" 45 (Corby) 1966 (US)

Friday, July 17, 2009

road runner (thrice)

spirit of '76

In which Rotten, Jones and chums throw up - not without some revolutionary affection - on the spirit of 1956, if not Boston's JR or 1776. Stern and bow, like time travelling pirates from William S. Burroughs' "Cities of the Red Night". Rather aptly too, since it appears a couple of previous posts on the original '74 demo (once) and the definitive Modern Lovers version (twice) have mysteriously been erased... Ah, those witch trials and the puritan spectacle of the ducking stool.

A pox on you, sir.

Spooky. Thank you, John and Jonathan.

SEX PISTOLS: ROAD RUNNER (WESSEX STUDIOS REHEARSAL SESSION, OCTOBER 1976) from "Box Set" 3 x CD (Virgin On The Ridiculous) 2002 (UK)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

white line fever #1

"undertakers to the industry – if they're dead - we'll sign 'em".

A curiosity. From the early compilation - SEEZ 2 - from 33 Alexander Street, London W2; that original little shop of horrors.
An entirely different take to the one which made its way onto their debut LP on Chiswick.

Lemmy: bass, vocals;
Eddie Clarke: guitars;
Philip Taylor: drums.

Written by Ian Kilminster.
(originally catalogue # BUY 9, but previously unreleased)

MOTÖRHEAD: WHITE LINE FEVER from "A Bunch Of Stiff" LP (Stiff) 1977 (UK)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

agitated: another porky prime cut

RT 008.

Recorded on May 25th, 1975, and released on Geoff Travis' UK label some three years after these Clevelanders finally disbanded; by which time Nick Knox was firmly installed in the percussive seat of psychobilly cheerleaders, The Cramps.

Dave E. (McManus): vocals; Nick Knox : drums;
Brian McMahon:
rhythm guitar; John Morton: lead guitar.

Written by Brian McMahon. Recorded By Paul Marotta.
Artwork by John Morton.

THE ELECTRIC EELS: AGITATED from "Cyclotron b/w Agitated" 45 (Rough Trade) 1978 (UK / US)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

music city and the wild things

Occasionally, some unexpectedly fine stuff feeds its way under the wire and into my mailbox. Such is the case with Max and the Wild Things, a self-proclaimed "3-piece NewCountryPunkWave band from Nashville".

Not only is it encouraging to find concrete evidence that Tennessee continues to distil raw proof talent of the calibre of a first rate Jack Daniels, it is also unexpectedly heartening to hear it hailing from Music City and not Memphis; unparalleled purveyors of prime sound from Alex Chilton and the Box Tops to Elvis Aaron Presley and Sam Phillips' Sun Records.

Originally a sibling two-piece from West Swanzey, New Hampshire, the brothers Traynor have teamed up with drummer, Brendan Leahy for their debut EP: "Hands Down Mans Down". The following cut, while not on that release, more than admirably captures the visceral slap and punch of Max and the Wild Things in live performance. Expect to hear more from this quarter, here and elsewhere.

Welcome to 1979, the recording company responsible for getting it all down,
has been described as a "refuge from 2008", utilizing only analogue equipment manufactured in the mid-seventies as the perfect antidote to compressed digital orthodoxy. Job well done.

Aidan Traynor: banjo, guitar, vocals; Cole Traynor: bass, vocals;
Brendan Leahy: drums.

Written by Aidan Traynor.
Recorded live at The Basement by Welcome to 1979.



Monday, July 13, 2009

after the stooges...

above and below: 1970. camp, subjects and photographers unknown.

Hey Keith ?

I never got to summer camp as a kid. It is - or was - a uniquely American phenemonon.

However. This is as close to a soundtrack, short of Charlie Brown, as is feasible.

from "Damned Damned Damned" LP (Stiff) 1977 (UK)

a teardrop explodes

who ate all the pies ?

a drug prepared from the dried leaves of foxglove and containing substances (notably digoxin and digitoxin) that stimulate the heart muscle.

ORIGIN late 18th cent.: from the modern Latin genus name of the foxglove, from digitalis (herba) ‘(plant) relating to the finger,’ from digitus ‘finger, toe’ ; suggested by German Fingerhut: ‘thimble or foxglove'.

When they appeared on the same stage as the Clash in the UK in 1977, Alan Vega and Martin Rev famously prompted howls of derision and an explosion of glass too close for comfort. That was a shame; although I suspect Ian Curtis and his triad of electronic subversives might have provoked a similar neanderthal response at that juncture.

To be expected, if not quite alright.

That first wave of brown shirts were not on ball for informed or distressed 'digitalis', as Jayne Casey would later observe. Sadly, it was their - the bondage trousered sheep's - loss.

More spastically muscular
and incisive than Helios Creed and Damon Edge's Chrome, brittle New Yorkers, Suicide, fully deserve to be remembered for more than just their superlative 45, "Cheree" or the much covered, "Rocket U.S.A.".

There. I prohibit you - siblings and motherf@ckers - to remonstrate or otherwise disagree.

Produced by Craig Leon and Marty Thau.

SUICIDE: FRANKIE TEARDROP from "Suicide" LP (Red Star) 1977 (US)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

a fine fellow

I am standing in the off sales at the counter - in conversation with the proprietor through the open grill - when the bell over the door behind me tinkles and a hand settles none too lightly on my shoulder. All sense of good humour evaporates in an instant.

A mendicant with a melting face appears just to my right and covers his brow apologetically as I wheel about to confront the cause of this impertinence. The purchased bottle is reassuringly heavy should provocation warrant my lashing out.

"What say you, sir, " I demand.

"Have you no manners at all, you impudent fellow ?"

The scoundrel is scarcely more than a midget, luminescent eyes set in a tiny wizened countenance not unlike a monkey's.
Awash with madness and decrepitude. He opens his mouth to offer some imbecilic retort but succeeds only in drooling incoherently. Silver threads of spittle lace the upturned chin.

Quite disgusted, I brush him aside and make for my exit.

"Good day to you, sir," I sneer.

Crablike, the awful creature sidles to the door and holds it ajar. If only I had my cane, I mourn. A damn sight more efficacious than the ungentlemanly swing of a loaded bottle.

He accompanies me out onto the street, persisting still in his ridiculous attempt to engage me in what must pass for banter in the lower orders.

What new foulness is this ?

He rolls back his coat sleeve and and raps on what is evidently some loathsome wooden appendage; a prosthetic of unfathomable crudity.

"Hnnnn... See ?" he croaks, and wags the painted fingers at me in a positively Dickensian gesture. "Fuckin' see ?"

"What's this ?" I snarl. "I'll have no truck with such nonsense. Be off with you,
I say. At once!"

It is not yet dark, else I might bludgeon the grotesquerie to the pavement and make my ill temper manifest. As it is, I feel compelled to stay my hand. Given
the woeful disparity of his circumstance, I can ill afford witnesses.


I lean into him and bare my teeth.

"Fuck off, then," I tell him. "I don't give a pickled rat's arse."

He stares at me uncertainly. Well. We do what we can.