Monday, March 27

Time for a post....for some time.

So, that's rather scary then.

I turn over to see what the South Bank Show is doing tonight and it turns out it's a special on PD James. This, in an odd way, reminds me immediately of a certain Mr Banks who'd also like to do a special on the said same person. Only in his case it would be one of those Mortal Kombat moves that she wouldn't write her way out of.

So, this thought in mind, I hop over to his virtual place and end up having a read through the last couple of posts I've missed. They're stupidly readable (or readily stupid, I forget which) but then I spot that he's kindly linked to me due to the Julian Cope stuff I'm foisting on him on an increasingly frequent basis. I'm glad to see the Arch Drude sinking into Rays musical make-up - he's one of those artists that does take a couple of listens before the payoff and many never get that far.

It's all fair though as he keeps me on the Waits and narrow (sorry) too and we do overlap on a few things, especially recently. The Black Heart Procession is one of them, by the way, so go search them out and love them too.

Anyway, I used the word 'scary' at the top and unless I link back to it you're going to think I make this up as I go along. That'll never do.

What's so scary (see, I did it) is that it's been a month since I posted last. A whole gang of weeks or, if you will, a full club of days. I was thinking to myself that I was glad to have posted recently in case anybody popped by.....then I find it's actually been that long.

It's a bit of a surprise. How do you lose that gap of time ? It's not like a tangible thing you find in one of your many trouser pockets after washing them ("Hey, I found those four days - damn they're clean now")
so where do these periods go ?

The only thing I can think of is that they break free and end up going to those people who live to be 140 or whatever. They say 'money goes to money' so I'm guessing that 'time goes to time'. It's a radical idea, and one which I have no backup for, but I'm sticking with it unless any of you provide a better thesis on my desk before the bell. 300 words minimum and no double spacing.

Next time I fail to post for a few days you'll now know I'm just selflessly extending somebody elses life.

The scary thing (yes, I've got a second payoff from one lead line) is that I have PD James to thank for this train of thought.

Thursday, February 23

"Out of my mind on Cope and speed"

So, then, Julian Cope at the Northumbria Uni last night ?

Fan-bloody-tastic - I was stood about two feet in front of the Drude himself for the 2 hours of the show !! When they rocked they REALLY rocked (hence the ears still ringing quite badly) and Julian did a little solo bit part way through with just him and a guitar. For the main belly of the set it was a very loud, "goes up to 11", three-piece of Mr Cope, regailing us with vocals, bass and anecdotes, Mr E on drums & facepaint and Dogan (once of Spiritulised) on lead and pulling rock shapes.

As promised they dropped in some old stuff including a few Teardrop Explodes too. Oh, and some great between song banter about Red Bull, kissing girls in the crowd and posing for potential puzzled onlookers at motorway services at 4am in the morning.

In a (just corrected) running order of:-

Nothing To Lose Except My Mind
White Bitch Comes Good
She's Got A Ring On Her Finger [And Another One Through Her Nose]
Double Vegetation
Shot Down
Highway To The Sun
World War Pigs
Mr. Invasion
Hanging Out & Hung Up On The Line
Soul Desert
I'm Your Daddy
Julian H Cope
Out Of My Mind On Dope & Speed
Robert Mitchum
Hell Is Wicked
World Shut Your Mouth

I couldn't believe he played 'Robert Mitchum' AND "out of my mind.....' as these were two tracks I love and was hoping he'd play but to get both of them was a most pleasant surprise - I was well happy !!

He was bloody funny when he was rambling on between tracks - a proper entertainer. Oh, and he was wearing the exact same gloves as me and he noticed part way through and smiled.

How good is he still and how much fun was the show ? I bought three CD's at the show and ordered two more online when I got in. That's how good he is/was !

That'll take me up to 23 Cope albums !!

Tuesday, February 21

Gleehead Detector

So, what have I been doing since the last post ? That's the last post on here not that somebody has played 'the last post', just in case you were wondering.

Well, I've been blogging like mad. Ah. No. I've not been, have I ? Like the above it's an easy mistake to make.

Still, I'm here now as it's a pre-gig mix of nervousness and excitement as I'm off to se Julian "Arch Drude" Cope tomorrow night. I've had his albums on shuffle for the last day or two and I'm realising that there could be no way I can 'swat up' ready for the show.

He's vowed to play a two hour set or more each night, varying what they play from his 20yr history so as to feature as many tracks as possible over the tour. He's even said in a newspaper interview this morning that they'll be squeezing in some rarely play Teardrop Explodes tracks too. I smiled a big "w00t" smile at that bit. Maybe I'll hear 'Perky Jellypop Jean' ?

With 39 albums, some of them doubles, under his belt I know it's going to be a night to surprise and amuse. For all his eccentricity I've always found him to have a pretty genius turn of phrase and the sleight of hand he uses to shoe-horn wordplay into his lyrics is a constant throughout. Add to that the ability to hit the floor as a three piece Stooges wig-out or a gentle acoustic solo and even the nature of the show is up for guessing.

Either way, it's one of the most daunting gigs I've had lined up for a while due to the unpredictability of him. Hmm. If I know he'll be like that, does that make it predictable instead ? I'm confused now.

As for the title, that's something for the Cope-heads out there.

Wednesday, February 1

Bat where they belong......Bauhaus '06

Bauhaus from Monday night then - I reckon I ought to post something.

Soooooooooo good - far better than it had any right to be.

The setlist included the following:-

Burning From The Inside
In The Flat Field
God In An Alcove
In Fear of Fear
Terror Couple Kill Colonel
Swing The Heartache
She's In Parties
Passion of Lovers
Silent Hedges
Kick In The Eye
Hollow Hills
Rosegarden Funeral of Sores
Stigmata Martyr
Hair of the Dog
Dark Entries
Transmission feat St. Vitus Dance
Telegram Sam
Ziggy Stardust
Bela Lugosi's Dead

The cover (and a quite breathtaking one at that) of Joy Divisions 'Transmission' was dedicated to "a dear friend" - the place went ballistic !

This Carpathian is soooooooo happy right now - been wanting to see them since '79 (literally since then) and when I did they were everything I'd hoped.

I stood no more than 4ft from Peter Murphy through the show - (un)dead centre and at the front. The guy is a certifiable genius....or a genius and certifiable ;)

Anybody wondering about going to a gig on the tour or if they still 'have it'....let me tell you they are still as vitally captivating as ever and beyond the scene that spawned them way back when.

Probably in my top five gigs ever.

Saturday, January 28

Lights ! Music ! Carpathian !

Right, it seems my list of nights out has just grown again !

I've got Bauhaus on Monday, off in a bit to get tickets for Julian Cope in Feb....and now just heard that Gary Numan is touring up here in April.

This is turning out to be a seriously good year for gigs already !!

Might see what's on in March and aim for a gig a month of some sort !

This Carpathian is very happy !

Monday, January 23

Music : 2005 - Part 2 (kind of)

Ok, so here's the thing.

Since I posted my "Part 1" music thing I've been writing, re-writing, scrapping and altering the "Part 2". It's logical that as I'd done one, there really ought to be the other.

The problem is that I just can't get the damn thing down.

The first bit was quite easy - there was a natural flow to things and a link between some of them. My head could hear some and still be in the same place when writing (and thinking) about the others. Sounds crazy that I've put this much thought into it as it's only a Blog post in what is currently a rather erratically updated Blog.

That is, in a nutshell, the exact issue though.

I love music with a passion. You should all know that by now and if not then you'll have to refer to your revision notes. Making the second part of the list was always tough, pulling a handful of totally separate music down to sum up a year. For every one album I had down, I thought about and juggled with about 3 others. That's probably an understatement.

I can't let one album get treated like the poor relation to another - that's how music gets me. If you knew how many single tracks, EP's and albums I've probably listened to over the last 12 months you'd chuckle then reach for the phone to the brain doctors. Everyday sees my nearly full 20Gb Zen Touch used going to and from work and then things parped out of the PC in the evening, usually whilst finding, buying or grabbing more music too. It's what I do, to an extent who I am, and the reason Nick Hornby would love me.

How do I decide what to include - do I make it heavy on the rock side or waffle on about some progressive tech-house that's got to me ? Even that in itself made me rake through stuff.

So I guess that's my music post "Part 2".

I've listened to so much old stuff, and a surprising amount of good to wonderful new stuff, that I can't make a post from it. If I list 6 albums, two artists, a riff and a breakbeat then that really doesn't sum it up in the why stress about it and bother ?

I'm sure that if I can get myself motivated I'll get posting again, even if only silly things to tide me (and you, of course) over until something worth posting comes along.

It will do, I'm sure.

Most likely when I've got some good music on ;o)

Friday, December 30

Music : 2005 - Part 1

Björk - "Drawing Restraint 9"
"Screaming Masterpiece OST"
Sigur Rós - Pretty much everything, but mostly "Takk"
Apparat Organ Quartet - "Apparat Organ Quartet"
Björk - "Gling Glo"
KUKL - "The Eye"

This years theme, in terms of the music making this Carpathian most eargasmic, has been Iceland.

To an extent that shouldn't be a surprise as I've always been a rather slavish fan of Björk since seeing the Sugercubes "Birthday" video on SNUBtv back when it first came out. She was small and her voice was huge, the Icelandic lyrics twisting and turning in my head until I was transfixed and nearly at the verge of tears. Occasionally, I get rendered speechless by something musical - this was such. Over the last few months I've returned to her and expanded outwards from there.

First came her soundtrack to the Matthew Barney film "Drawing Restraint 9", a two hour film devoid of dialogue or obvious narrative. Previously known for works like "The Cremaster Cycle" this film see's Björks most experimental works to date and a role for her within the film. Traditional Japanese instruments and vocal techniques including throat singing meet sparse, almost disjointed, arrangements. Even as a fan willing to lap up anything by her I was a little worried that she'd finally pushed herself beyond the elastic musical boundary she's always leant on. Though still very tough going I'm now, some months on, seeing that she's right on the money as ever. I'm listening to the the hyper-nightmare that is "Storm" as we speak - even that one track, the most Bjork-like, is enough to scramble brains as easily as eggs.

In November I saw that the film "Screaming Masterpiece" was being shown locally and decided to go to the opening night special showing. It was more than the director, Ari Alexander Ergis Magnussen, managed as while we were sat in the cinema waiting to hear his pre-film talk, he was in Iceland having had flights let him down.

The film drew a review on these very pages and sparked off a real push to hear more new music. I'd seen and heard bands like Sigur Rós, Múm, The Sugercubes and, of course, Björk but pretty much without exception the 87mins were filled back to back with stuff that caught my ear from the off. Rock, folk, prog, retro, pop, punk, avant garde - you name it. All there, all present and all very much correct.

One of these pleasant surprises were "Apparat Organ Quartet". Four guys, a mound (if that's the collective term) of old keyboards and a fifth guy acting as the live drummer providing them with a backbone. As a clue to their sound I'd say imagining Kraftwerk signing for Stereolabs label and dabbling with a mixture of dark excessive prog, CAN and the Glitterband. But only if it could be imagined taking place in Iceland. In the 80's. In an upbeat pop fashion.

Hmmm. Didn't really help, did it ? Try this:

Around the same end of the year Sigur Rós, the current darlings of crossover potential, released “Takk” (Icelandic for ‘thank you’) and at a point when the weather was turning for the colder and the world was falling in on itself (both naturally and man-made) along came the aural equivalent of a jumper that hugged you and gave you a toasty feeling like a comfort blanket. Importantly, though, it didn’t smother you with a cloying saccherine sweetness. This was music as at home in the sweaty rock venue as it was the gallery or MP3 player – a huge heartstring pulling sound that managed to be both unearthly and totally grounded in human emotion. Where “Von”, “Von brigði”, “Ágætis byrjun” and “( )” had beguiled, puzzled, and peeked above the parapet, “Takk” stood on it and waved a huge flag. Politely though, of course.

Bringing the year full circle was me heading back into puffin pixie land and finding a copy of "Gling Glo". It's credited, rather wonderfully, to Björk Gudmundsdottir & Trio Guomundar Ingolfssonar. This was a revelation to me as I'd heard about it but never actually got it until now. Back in 1990 she got together with a renowned jazz/swing trio and recording this - the first 14 tracks being in Icelandic with the final 2 in English. With the ever increasing range of styles she's currently exhibiting it's easy to forget that when she sings, especially in her native tongue, she really can knock out a tune and then some. This is just such. It's fun and the language barrier does nothing to stop pretty much anybody spinning this and grinning from ear to ear.

Going further back to 1984, back pre-Sugercubes, Björk (and later cohort, shouty trumpet mugger Einar Orn) were part of K.U.K.L., a shortlived two album band releasing on the now (in)famous Crass label. "The Eye" saw them falling somewhere between a Banshees/PIL swirl, an anarchic collective pulling in five directions at once and the later sound which the 'Cubes would discover. It's as far removed from Björks current music as the jazz workout but equally storming. If you're a Banshees fan that still holds a torch for that era (much against the rather revisionist public taste) then this is a stormer.

Finally, for this first part, a disclaimer: I'm a tiny fraction through this and it's obviously going to sprawl so I'm afraid I'm not going to put in links to everything. God knows that would take me longer than the text. You did get a few pictures so I hope that will suffice.