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‘People Who Do Noise’: a noise music documentary

Modified Casio keyboard by Tablebeast
Noise may not be to everyone’s taste (in fact by definition noise is classed as “unwanted” sounds) but to the hardcore few it’s a way of life. This documentary follows some of those artists and shows them performing live, often on homemade or radically modified kit, and talking about the philosophy and influences behind their work. You won’t have heard of many of these performers but that’s the point - they are not in it for fame or money, they are simply following their muse in as unhindered a way as possible.

Most of the artists featured in People Who Do Noise are based in Portland, Oregon, and here’s a bit more info via the site filmbaby:

The film takes a very personal approach, capturing the musicians working alone with no interference from a live audience. What often took place in crowded basements or dark smoky venues was stripped bare for the cameras, providing an unprecedented glimpse of the many different instruments and methods used.

Covering a wide range of artists and styles, the film features everything from the absurdist free-improvisations of genre-pioneers Smegma, to the harsh-noise assaults of Oscillating Innards and everything in between. Many of the artists in the film, such as Yellow Swans and Daniel Menche, have performed and sold records all over the world. In spite of such successes, noise music remains one of the least understood and most inaccessible of genres.

OK, so most of this is pushing at the very boundaries of what we call “music”, but that’s pretty much the point. Casual observers (and listeners) may not make it very far into this doc because of, well, the noise, but it’s worth resisting the urge to skip forward as you may miss some very interesting interview footage. While some of these performers come across as pretentious, regardless of what you think of the sounds they create you can’t help but admire their freedom and lack of constraints:

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
The power and glory of The Patti Smith Group: Live in Paris on Nov. 21, 2011

Photo: Philippe Taris.
Immortal and unstoppable. Next month will mark Patti Smith’s 65th birthday. Rock and roll is the fountain of youth. Back to back Patti posts on DM (scroll down) should make the case for that. The Patti Smith Group performing in 1977 and 34 years later shows none of their power, energy and relevancy diminished. May we all be as vital and commanding as this fucking band.

The Patti Smith Group at the Olympia in Paris last week was by all accounts in the French press absolutely stunning. This fan video seems to confirm there was some serious magic in the air.

Punk rock fucking lives!

More power and glory after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Amazing performances by Patti Smith on the Mike Douglas Show - 1976/77
10:34 pm


Patti Smith
Mike Douglas Show

Patti Smith with neck brace. Photographed by Robert Mapplethorpe.
I remember seeing Patti Smith’s first performance on The Mike Douglas Show in 1977 and thinking how unexpectedly cool that show was. Just imagine how dumbstruck daytime TV viewers must have been seeing The Patti Smith Group popping up between episodes of As The World Turns and re-runs of Dobie Gillis. Hell, I was even blown away!

I actually had to go to a friend’s house to watch Patti on the Douglas show because I didn’t own a TV set. It was the first time I saw her perform live and it confirmed everything I imagined The Patti Smith Group would be: wild, inspired, unadulterated rock n’ roll. And part of what made this particular performance so bona fide is Patti and the band didn’t condescend to or mock the daytime TV format they were operating in. They put their hearts into it. Every fucking show mattered to them, whether it was sandwiched between soap operas or on the stage of legendary Manhattan punk clubs. Patti was a punk without the wiseass, holier-than-thou bullshit. She wanted to spread the rock gospel throughout the nation, from the Bowery to double-wides in middle America. Everybody was invited to the party.

The first half of the video was shot on December 7, 1976 and broadcast on January 19, 1977. The second half, with Patti in a neck brace, was aired on Apr 19, 1977. It was her first live appearance after falling 15 feet off a stage and breaking several neck vertebrae in Tampa Florida on January 23, 1977.

Thanks to Jim Laspesa at Bubbling Over who continues to unearth gems from his impressive video archive.

Ask The Angels, Free Money, I Was Working Real Hard and Keith Richards Blues.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
People all over the world start a ‘Love Train’
12:40 am


Love Train
The O'Jays

Now more than ever!

People all over the world
Join hands
Start a love train, love train
People all over the world
Join hands
Start a love train, love train
The next stop that we make will be England
Tell all the folks in Russia, and China, too
Don’t you know that it’s time to get on board
And let this train keep on riding, riding on through

All of you brothers over in Africa
Tell all the folks in Egypt, and Israel, too
Please don’t miss this train at the station
‘Cause if you miss it, I feel sorry, sorry for you

Don’t you know that it’s time to get on board
And let this train keep on riding, riding on through

People all over the world (you don’t need no money)
Join hands (come on)
Start a love train, love train (don’t need no ticket, come on)
Start a love train, love train”

Thanks to Mick Stadium for turning us on to this rare promo clip for The Ojay’s immortal and always relevant “Love Train.”

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Mick Jagger: His first appearance on TV at 15

Mick Jagger makes his TV debut with some sensible shoes.


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Radiohead: Live at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, from 2003
04:39 pm


Shepherd's Bush Empire

As we sit around the camp fires of our flickering lap tops, let’sl sing-a-long-a-Radiohead.

Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London, May 2003

Track Listing:

01. “There There”
02. “2 + 2 = 5”
03. “The National Anthem”
04. “Idioteque”
05. “Go to Sleep”
06. “Sit Down, Stand Up”
07. “Karma Police”
08. “Paranoid Android”
09. “Everything in Its Right Place”


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Hawkwind: Documentary on Space Rock’s Sonic Warriors

They may have looked like the oldest hippies in town, but before Punk, Hawkwind was the unwashed boy band of counter culture. Their music - the hymn book for the disenfranchised, the geeks, the loners, the smart kids at school, who never tried to please teacher. To be a fan was like running away to some intergalactic circus. John Lydon was a fan, and the Sex Pistols regularly performed “Silver Machine” - Hawkwind’s classic Dave Brock / Robert Calvert single, with its defining vocal by Lemmy (Ian Kilmister). Like millions of others, this was the song that first introduced me to Hawkwind, when it was played under a visual cornucopia from a performance at the Dunstable Civic Hall, on Top of the Pops in 1972.

Formed in 1969, Hawkwind were a rather sweaty and masculine mix of Acid Rock (LSD was handed out at gigs) and Space Rock. They appealed to those with an interest in Jerry Cornelius, Ballard, Burroughs, Philip K Dick, Freak Brothers’ comics, black holes, Gramsci, Kropotkin, Stacia and Derek ‘n’ Clive. In sixth form at school, we discussed the merits Quark, Strangeness and Charm against Warrior on the Edge of Time; Hawklords versus Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music or Doremi Fasol Latido. Hawkwind were an albums band, unlike Punk and New Wave which then seemed defined by singles, issued as keenly as revolutionary pamphlets. There was a ritual to playing thirty-three-and-a-third, long-playing discs: opening the sleeve, reading the liner notes or lyrics, cleaning the disc and stylus, listening to all of side 1, then side 2. It was like attending mass and sharing in the holy sacrament.

Hawkwind evolved from its original line-up - Dave Brock (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Nik Turner (saxophone, flute, vocals), Huw Lloyd-Langton (guitar, vocals), John A. Harrison (bass guitar, vocals), Dik Mik (Synthesizer), Terry Ollis (drums), Mick Slattery (guitar), to include amongst others such wayward talents as poet and singer Robert Calvert (who died too soon), Lemmy, and author Michael Moorcock. Being a fan of Hawkwind was like a rites of passage, that opened doors to other equally experimental and original music.

More than forty years on, Hawkwind, under the helm of its only original member Dave Brock, is still touring the world, bringing an incredible back catalogue of music and tuning people in to a world of possibility.

Hawkwind tour the UK in December, details here.


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Fred Schneider: There’s a ‘Monster’ in my pants
11:32 am


Fred Schneider

Is this the fourth, fifth, or sixth installment of my never-ending, multi-part B-52s megapost? I can’t recall, but this one is a slight deviation from the rest, as this post pertains to Fred Schneider’s first solo record with The Shake Society.

At the end of 1984, I had just moved to NYC from London, and all I had was a Sony Walkman and a few cassettes—Nick Cave, Grandmaster Flash, and Nina Hagen’s Nunsexmonkrock album were my soundtracks to walking around the city back then, and this album, to me at least, was THE SOUND of New York the month I arrived. One morning just a few weeks after I got there, I saw a totally trashed-looking Fred Schneider walking down 6th Avenue and I’m not ashamed to admit I was thrilled, starstruck and satisfied that I’d made a good move.

HOW is it possible that a song with a hook this unstoppable, not to mention the over-the-top double entendre of the lyrics, wasn’t a massive, massive hit single??? It was even released twice and barely scraped the top 100 either time.

Actually, maybe it was the double entendre lyrics. Come to think of it, that’s probably, uh, exactly what the problem was. 25-years later, who would give a shit?

Below, the original mix of the song as it was released in 1984 (The 90s remix is a travesty and I was pissed off when I bought the CD and got the new version). Featured in the video are Talking Head Tina Weymouth, Kate Pierson, Keith Haring and the late, great drag performer Ethyl Eichelberger as the maid.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Hippie Thanksgiving
11:22 am

Pop Culture


Have a Hippie Thanksgiving.

01. “Love Years Coming” - Strawberry Children
02. “Walking Through The Streets Of My Mind” - Beethoven Soul
03. “I Don’t Mind” - Fat Mattress
04. “Better Way” - The Rainbow Press
05. “AM I The Red One” - Mick Sofetly and The Summer Suns
06. “Now” - The Paisleys
07. “The Man In The Moon” - Village
08. “Flashing Lights” - Screaming Lord Sutch
09. “Bottom Of The Soul” - Bonniwel Music Machine
10. “Machines” - Manfred Mann
11. ” My Degeneration” - The Eyes
12. “Lemonade Kid” KAK
13. “Pink And Green” - Shirley Hughey
14. “She Moves Me” -  The E-Types
15. “Don’t Let It Bring You Down” - Neil Young

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
‘Look Through Any Window’: New Hollies documentary released
06:14 pm


Graham Nash
The Hollies

I’ve been going through a Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young kind of “phase” for many months now since reading Barney Hoskyn’s great book about the Laurel Canyon rock scene, Hotel California, so when I heard about this new DVD documentary about 60s British Invasion legends the Hollies, I perked up a bit. When I found that it was released by the “Reelin’ In the Years” team (via Eagle Rock) I got even perkier (more on this below).

First off, The Hollies: Look Through Any Window (1963-1975) is fun to watch, with charming interviews of Graham Nash, Alan Clarke, Tony Hicks and drummer Bobby Elliott talking about the history of their criminally underrated band. Nash and Clarke met when they were six-year-olds at school in Manchester. They bonded over a mutual obsession with the Everly Brothers (and Buddy Holly) and formed a group. Those gorgeous vocal harmonies The Hollies were so famous for, they developed them the old-fashioned way, by practicing their hearts out.

Most American music fans are probably more familiar with the 1970s, post-Nash, almost easy listening sounds of The Hollies, say a ballad like “The Air That I Breathe,” or the ultimate middle-of-the-rad anthem “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother,” but as the DVD proves, they had much more to offer. They’re hovering somewhere at or just below the level of The Zombies or The Animals in the 60s beat pantheon, if you ask me. Personally, I’d go for “Sorry Suzanne” or “King Midas in Reverse” if I wanted to turn someone on to The Hollies’ sound.

And that’s what great about the DVDs put out by “Reelin’ In the Years”—they give you the ENTIRE clips seen in the documentary. There’s nothing worse than a tantalizing blip of something for 30 seconds in a rockumentary. The idea to give the punters unedited clips without people talking over them is what elevates the “Reelin’” productions above all others: They give you the whole song! You can watch the doc straight through or you can choose to watch just the music clips. Look Through Any Window contains 22 complete musical performances in all, plus footage of the Hollies recording at Abbey Road Studios in 1967 and backstage “home movies” shot on tour. (“Reelin in the Years” have similar DVDs out on Dusty Springfield and The Small Faces that are also worth checking out, to say nothing of their outstanding jazz releases.)

Although the string of chart topping singles petered out around 1975, The Hollies have never broken up and continue to perform. In 2009 they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Below, “Bus Stop” on German television, 1968.

After the jump, a nice performance (post Graham Nash) of “Carrie Anne” from 1969.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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