Tuesday, September 30, 2008
I'm a big fan of all reggae, up to around '84, especially the DJ's, Roots, Dub and Rocksteady. As fr as I am concerned most of the current dancehall pretty much sucks and so because of that I ignored most of the early digital dancehall. Recently I have been digging a lot of Toyan, early Cutty Ranks and the like.....ripping stuff. Here we have Cutty Ranks decimating the Sleng Teng rthymn at a PNP rally....
Monday, September 29, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Gary Numan was the weird gay robot bloke who freaked you out a little bit when he came on Top Of The Pops. I have to admit though, I was really into synthesizer music when I was a nipper. I was into science fiction and computers, so stuff like the Pet Shop Boys, The Communards, and yes, Gary Numan seemed like the music of the future. After reading Simon Reynolds' post-punk history Rip It Up And Start Again I started revisiting some of that stuff. Some of it I just had to dig out my old records, but even more of it I found at Amoeba in the bargain bin. There wasn't a lot of demand for Heaven 17 singles for some reason. When it comes to this stuff, not much can touch The Normal or the first Human League single, but lately I've been coming back to Gary Numan/Tubeway Army a lot. I usually always drop 'Cars' when I DJ but he's got loads of good songs with some super hard, solid guitar or synth riffs and some amazingly solid drumming. Not showy, but expertly holding down prog/kraut rhythms and giving life to what could otherwise be fairly soul-less music. Maybe that's what a lot of electronic music is lacking: live drums. Anyway, check out the two Tubeway Army albums (s/t and Replicas) and the first Gary Numan album (The Pleasure Principle) if you get a chance. You won't be sorry. There's a Tubeway Army demos album which is supposedly more punk/new wave but I haven't heard that. Oh yeah, and as it turns out he wasn't actually gay; in fact, he married a member of his fan club.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I recently scored a bunch of great rocksteady and ska 7"s off ebay. One of them was Prince Buster's "Ten Commandments", just an amazing rocksteady tune. I can hardly wait to drop this sucker at the next B&M! I was going to post up the tune, but instead I'll link to this Youtube video of a woman making a necklace to the tune, with what appears to be a St. George's flag on the sofa behind her!
Prince Buster - 10 Commandments
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Ever noticed a recurring theme in the lyrics, single artwork, and music video of the Undertones' hit "My Perfect Cousin"? No? Well, it turns out the band was referencing a table top soccer game known throughout the world called Subbuteo. Much like soccer, most Americans couldn't care less about it. Upon first glance it looks like a soccer version of table top hockey. However the following video proves that people take it very, very seriously in other parts of the world. Go figure.
PS. The sweater choices alone make the Undertones video a mandatory watching.
Monday, September 22, 2008
I grew up in California (with a short stint in Ohio), so I'm not going to pretend I know fuck-all about soccer. It was Lunatic Dolphin's prolific postings on West Ham United that inspired this post about their infamous crest, and what it meant to a 15 year old Carl who just heard "Fed Up" for the first time. Football aside, the West Ham crest is a superb piece of graphic design which sums up the tough, working-class history of East London. The Cockney Rejects stole the crossed hammers to represent their allegiance, which in turn was stolen from them by the almighty Judge to represent the New York Crew.
I have no current plans to invest energy and time into a 90 minute game that may result in a tie. But if that day comes where I start waking up at 6 AM to walk down to the Mad Dog because I can't wait for the replay, there is good bet I'm picking my fútbol team based on possibly one of the best sports icons of all time. But like I said, I know fuck-all about soccer.
.I was recently blown away by Peter Beste's new book of photography 'True Norwegian Black Metal'. Unlike other books that try to explain the phenomenon that is black metal, Beste's book is just a bunch of photo's. Lots of great photos of bands like Emperor, Gorgoroth, Mayhem etc as well as random photo's of dudes in corpse paint in the woods. I just love the idea of this stuff, and while I can't take it very seriously I would definately count myself as a fan. When I was a kid the first real album I heard was ACDC 'Back In Black' (not counting the Showaddywaddy LP and 2 Genesis records I owned). My life was changed forever, and while my friends moved on musical pastures new I've always had a soft spot for the extreme (case in point my 12th birthday when my Mum bought me 'In League With Satan' By Venom). Beste's book has had me searching out newer Black Metal bands (thanks Pauladelphia and Brad), and so have been checking out ripping bands like Watain, Nachmystium, Shining etc.... siiiiick. My favorite find is a band called Vried. I hope they are not Pagan Nazis 'cos I can't understand a lick of what they are saying!!
Vried - Jarnbyrd
Herr Komandante Brooks was crackin the whip tonight on the lack of blog posts from some of us, so I thought I'd better slip a quick one in before bed tonight (wayhey!)... Me and the wife (and Neck and his bird) went to see the Wedding Present in San Francisco tonight. I'm a big fan of a lot of their stuff (at least up to Bizarro) but this show was pretty boring. I'd describe the crowd as small but enthusiastic, and the average age was pretty old (even by my decrepit standards...). They didn't play nearly enough old stuff: they seemed to be saving most of the hits (eg Brassneck, Why Are You Being So Reasonable Now? etc) for the encore, but we left before then. I had to come home and watch some old footage on Youtube as a palate cleanser. As the missus pointed out, this is one band that might have been better left as a pleasant memory from the past. Oh well, you can't win em all... here's an oldie for ya:
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Italian Gianfranco Zola's first match as West Ham's Manager got off to a perfect start with a strong 3-1 win at Upton Park against Newcastle's Toon Army. New signing and fellow Italian making his first appearance at home for West Ham, and sporting a Hitler mustasche(???), David Di Michelle, scored the match's first 2 goals. The second a wonderful goal after Newcastle's goalkeeper made an incredible save with his head as Michelle tried to punch the ball over the goalkeeper on a break away. Di Michelle beat the defense to the rebound and with a shot fake he got the ball around the defender easily and put the ball in the back of the net. Di Michelle had a chance for a third but crossed the ball to a wide open Matthew Etherington who was following the play on the far post. Etherington easily beat the goaltender and put the game away for the Hammers as Manager Zola and fellow former Chelsea man, Assistant coach Steve Clarke, celebrated on the sideline earning their first win at the helm of West Ham United.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I know a lot folks reading this won't know what fixed gear bikes are.... and some that do will think it's the domain of hipsters and kids.... well, you could be right - but here in SF there are a bunch of dudes who hammer down steep hills on bikes with no brakes. As well as being pure mentalists they are also a nice bunch of guys and I was lucky enough to help them edit their new video; 6 minutes of a gang of SF outlaws racing their bikes around Austin with Lance Armstrong. It was a blast to do, and hopefully a blast to watch. They launched their new website today - check it:
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
It's a familiar story... band comes middle of nowhere (Lincoln), doesn't look like they sound (smart mods playing punk) and so disappeared into the great obscure record collection in the sky. The Cigarettes were, by all account, huge in Lincoln... of course an assertion like that is relative. They knocked about for three years (1978 - 1981) and in that time produced 2 fantastic 7"s and a Peel session. In recent years, the vinyl fetishists have been tracking both discs down for ludicrous prices..... but in this case the tracks back up the price. They kind of had a punk sound...or is it a harder mod sound....powerpop in places? God knows but it's good. Luckily for folks with more sense than cash Detour records have done us a favor by releasing evreything the band has done. Its one of those rare cases where every track is a winner..... this came out quite a while ago, but I'm sure you could find one if you look hard enough.
Cigarettes - They're Back...
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Radio Silence: A Selected History Of American Hardcore Music. By Nathan Nedorostek & Anthony Pappalardo
Neck just recieved this in the mail today and I only had a few minutes to flip through but immediately knew I had to throw a post up about it. I think most people in the hardcore scene felt pretty let down by Steve Blush's "American Hardcore", it was still great to read some of those interviews and see those pictures of bands you never thought you'd see in a book on a shelf in Borders. The same for the film, while most of us were griping about the bloated 'heroes' of hardcore talking about how punk was dead, it was still great to see snippets of the Big Boys or the Dicks....even for a second. I guess "Fucked Up And Photocopied" and its sequel "Punk Is Dead, Punk Is Everything" managed to capture the aesthetics of hardcore flyers and art....but still.... where was the definate look of hardcore???? Well, I think this book might be it.... I haven't dug deep yet, and when we do, we will post up our thoughts, but on first viewing...this book looks astounding. Featuring never before seen pictures, shirts, sleeve mock ups, lyrics, set lists and more....this book makes your mouth water. I suggest you get a copy here... and in the meantime, here are are a couple of stills and the posting from the guys themselves on their myspace account:
"Hardcore music emerged just after the first wave of punk rock in the late 1970s. American punk kids who loved the speed and attitude of punk took hold of its spirit, got rid of the “live fast, die young” mind-set and made a brilliant revision: hardcore. The dividing line between punk and hardcore music was in the delivery: less pretense, less melody, and more aggression. This urgency seeped its way from the music into the look of hardcore. There wasn’t time to mold your liberty spikes or shine your Docs, it was jeans and T-shirts, Chuck Taylors and Vans. The skull and safety-pin punk costume was replaced by hi-tops and hooded sweatshirts. Jamie Reid’s ransom note record cover aesthetic gave way to black-and-white photographs of packed shows accompanied by bold and simple typography declaring things like: The Kids Will Have Their Say, and You’re Only Young Once.
Radio Silence documents the ignored space between the Ramones and Nirvana through the words and images of the pre-Internet era where this community built on do-it-yourself ethics thrived. Authors Nathan Nedorostek and Anthony Pappalardo have cataloged private collections of unseen images, personal letters, original artwork, and various ephemera from the hardcore scene circa 1978-1993. Unseen photos lay next to hand-made t-shirts and original artwork brought to life by the words of their creators and fans. Radio Silence includes over 500 images of unseen photographs, illustrations, rare records, t-shirts, and fanzines presented in a manner that abandons the aesthetic clich’es normally employed to depict the genre and lets the subject matter speak for itself. Contributions by Jeff Nelson, Dave Smalley, Walter Schreifels, Cynthia Connolly, Pat Dubar, Gus Peña, Rusty Moore, and Gavin Ogelsby with an essay by Mark Owens. "
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Jon sent me this track today while we ruminate on the concept of the new film we are doing with Lateef, Chief & Quannum. I am fussy as all hell when it comes to current hip hop...the over saturation of third rate garbage turns me off. Once in a while folks come by with shit that smokes, and these Oakland boys are hitting it. Lateef shows his skills as not only a great MC but also a smart thinker....
Blackalicious feat Lateef - 4000 Miles
Monday, September 8, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Here we have the almighty John Peel playing Chain of Strength on BBC Radio months after the record came out on Revelation. That means that unless you were wearing a white Gorilla Biscuits hoodie in 1989, a middle-aged English dude was into Chain of Strength before you were.
While me and allan were having a quiet drink in the sun yesterday, the peace was rudely interrupted by a Starsky And Hutch style car chase down the embarcadero. 5 cop cars chasing 1 car. It ended with the perps crashing into a van and making a run for it. In the end there were 10 cop cars, guns everywhere and 2 people face down on the street. Check the guns drawn on the woman leaning down in the first shot, with the car driver face down in the white shirt.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
I am pretty versed in UK punk, especially stuff from the late 70's and early 80's, so it came as quite a surprise when the neck blew my head in with this little obscurity. From 1979, featuring non other than slimy Radio One DJ Mike Read!!, this one will buzz around your head for days. Take note of the weird noise that comes in halfway through.... no idea what instrument it is ... or why... but it's genius.
Trainspotters - High Rise