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The history of The Pretenders in 19 videos
12:59 am



When The Pretenders appeared on the scene in 1978, Chrissie Hynde was as fully-formed a rock star as any of the great front men that came before her. She knew exactly what she was doing, bringing some powerful female mojo to a predominately male terrain and leveling the playing field. She kicked ass. Still does. And does it with such flash-free finesse that you won’t know what hit you until it’s too late. Her lyrics, attitude and look oozes classic coolness while bringing some of punk’s “fuck you” vibe to the mix. With a voice that can achieve crescendos of girl group sublimity and then shift effortlessly into a sarcastic snarl, Hynde works every angle, from lovely to lethal, with the supple toughness of well-worn leather. A chick who can sling words as well as a guitar and tambourine, she’s the whole fucking package.

The Pretenders were not Hynde alone by a long shot. The original line-up of Hynde, James Honeyman-Scott, Martin Chambers and Pete Farndon possessed an alchemical magic that subsequent versions of The Pretenders never quite duplicated. The loss of Farndon and Honeyman-Scott to drugs shifted the focus totally in the direction of Hynde, who could hold it, but the sense of The Pretenders being a “band” band was pretty much over. The strength of her songwriting, performance and partnership with Chambers keep the vibe alive, but that first incarnation (two albums) was a real monster.

Here’s a collection of videos that cover 25 years of The Pretenders history. An amazing legacy and one that continues still. 

Song list:

Talk Of The Town (Top Of The Pops, 1980)
The Adultress (Fridays, 1981)
The Wait (Alright Now, 1980)
Hollywood Perfume (Later with Jools Holland, 1994)
Brass In Pocket (Top Of The Pops, 1979)
977 (Later with Jools Holland, 1994)
Never Do That (Wogan, 1990)
Thumbelina (The New Show, 1984)
2000 Miles (Pebble Mill, 1995)
Night In My Veins (Top Of The Pops, 1994)
My City Was Gone (Phoenix, AZ, 1994)
Tattooed Love Boys (Alright Now, 1980)
Middle Of The Road (MTV, 1984)
Don’t Get Me Wrong (Top Of The Pops, 1986)
Criminal (Pebble Mill, 1995)
Roomful Of Mirrors (Montreaux Jazz Festival, 2003)
Louie Louie (Fridays, 1981)
Stop Your Sobbing (Top Of The Pops, 1979)
Tattooed Love Boys/Up The Neck (Old Grey Whistle Test, 1980)

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
The Clash: Listen to isolated tracks for ‘Safe European Home’ & ‘Rock the Casbah’
07:14 pm

Pop Culture


M’colleague, the wonderful Tara McGinley put me on to this exhilarating, stripped down version of The Clash’s “Safe European Home”.

Posted over at The Clash Blog, the track (from the album Give ‘Em Enough Rope) has been pared back to its constituent parts—vocals, guitar, bass, drums. These isolated tracks were posted on YouTube by user flip2k, as Clash Blog explains:

A good year or two back I wrote about the brilliant work being done by ‘flip2k’ on YouTube in relation to The Clash. I’ve still no idea who flip2k is but every time I share the work that he or she does a lot of people become extremely happy, myself included, so that’s reason enough to share the links again.

‘You see flip2k will from time to time take a track by The Clash and upload the segregated multi-tracked elements of just guitar, bass, vocals or drums. It’s actually far more exciting than it sounds. In the past I’ve focused on the amazing work done with Complete Control and London Calling but he/she has also added Safe European Home, Train in Vain and I Fought The Law. If you want to hear the precision drumming of Topper in its purest element you’ll just have to take the time to explore each of these. The same can be said for the enraged vocals of Joe (especially on Complete Control) and the almost motownesque harmonies offered by Mick on Safe European Home. That’s without me even getting into the guitar and bass tracks. I can guarantee you’ll hear elements you’ve never heard before, just try the guitar on Safe European Home for example.

Amongst other goodies, flip2k also has an isolated version of The Clash’s “Rock the Casbah” (from Combat Rock), which we’ve posted below. Enjoy!

Vocals—“Safe European Home”

Guitar—“Safe European Home”

Bass—“Safe European Home”

Drums—“Safe European Home”
Via The Clash Blog, with thanks to Tara!
Bonus stripped down version of the classic ‘Rock the Casbah’, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Too Much Junkie Business: Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers live at the Lyceum Ballroom, 1984
02:43 pm



Apropriatey walking onstage to Elmer Bernstein’s theme for The Man With the Golden Arm, Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreaks perform a shambolic, but great, set at London’s Lyceum Ballroom in 1984.

I remember debating on whether or not to see this very gig before ultimately deciding not to for reasons I can no longer recall. Of course it became regarded as a legendary show, my bad! You can get a pretty good sense of what Walter Lure thought of the proceedings at approximately 18:12.

Back then a concert like this at a place like London’s Lyceum Ballroom would have cost you only about 4 pounds…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Young David Lynch on ‘New Wave Theatre’
02:16 pm



A young David Lynch makes a brief appearance on New Wave Theatre sometime in the early 1980s.

New Wave Theatre‘s host, Peter Ivers, wrote Eraserhead‘s “In Heaven,” the number sung by the “Lady in the Radiator,” for Lynch in 1976. Ivers was found bludgeoned to death in his Los Angeles apartment in 1983 and his death remains unsolved.

“In Heaven”:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Never Mind the School Tie: Can you guess who this darling little boy grew up to be?
09:56 am



Just look at that sweet lil’ punim!!!


Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Blank generation on the TV station: Richard Hell visits a morning talk show
07:27 pm



Two out three gone. The needle and the damage done.
Richard Hell makes an appearance on Seattle morning talk show New Day Northwest. The host/interviewer is Margaret Larson and I think she’s quite charming.

My first encounter with Richard Hell was seeing his band the Voidoids at CBGB in 1977. The group was intense, complex and exhilarating. In the years following ‘77, I became aware of Hell’s decline into junkiedom. He seemed like a prime candidate for an early death.  Had you told me he’d be appearing on a morning chat show in the year 2013 I would have called you “crazy.” Had you told me I’d be alive and reporting on it, well…

With I Dreamed I Was A Very Clean Tramp, Richard Hell now joins Patti Smith and John Lydon among a growing number of ageing punk musicians that have written memoirs of real merit.

Rock ‘n’ roll survival tip number one: Put down the needle and pick up the pen.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Conspiracy of Women: Lydia Lunch’s Post Catastrophe Collaborative Workshop
11:26 am

Class War


Lydia Lunch sent me this post about the upcoming Post Catastrophe Collaborative Workshop that she’s curating in Ojai California on May 24-27.

I should think if there was anyone you’d want in your corner post-catastrophe, it would be Lydia!

To question why women artists need a workshop by and for each other in 2013 is to ignore the damage done to the sensitive psyche by the brutarian policies of kleptomaniacal plutocrats in their race for global domination.

From the imperialist profiteering of endless war, to the justification of the psychosis of bloodlust in the name of God, oil or natural resources, from austerity measures as punishment against entire nations for the fraud perpetrated by greedy corporations and their criminal finance ministers, to the blatant arrogance of corrupt politicians who do their bidding with utter disregard for the health of the planet or the life of its inhabitants, we as women demand a safe place in which to create from the ashes of this man-made destruction.

We are seeing in these times a striking attempt on a global scale to redress economic and social imbalance by sheer physical presence—the Arab Spring, the Occupy movement in the US. Pervasive ecological imperatives have been won (and lost) by indigenous-led groups in South America and Africa. This consensus is essential for large-scale change, and yet, the foundered promise of the movements of the 1960s and 1970s indicate the depth to which transformation must but has not yet occurred in the way we live.

The dominator model continues to run the world, and in so doing affects us in both obvious and unconscious ways.

Indeed this bespeaks a need for the attention to the microcosm, to the immediate community. In the West where we are not bound by blood tribe or homeland, we come together in kindred passions.

What is absolutely necessary is the fostering of environments, which we must learn together how to more adeptly create, in which the existing hierarchical, dominator paradigm can be further and further subverted by the constant intention to transform our learned ways of relating to ourselves and one another within this powerful action of collaboration/co-creation.

This by its nascent nature requires a protected space—here by and for women—in which to listen and share the deep language of the body; the creative impulse; the desire to collaborate and the methods to invoke; the experience of time, space and accomplishment unfettered by the anxieties of funding and recognition. This last is extremely important.

Our current model of success for everyone, artists included, remains competitive and largely solitary in the West.

Women who create and attempt to move within established systems find themselves indentured into the necessary sales pitch to self-promote, furthering the continuance of the established pattern, which fosters alienation and dissociation rather than community.

A workshop by and for women can provide a haven of inspiration, encouragement and a sense of community in these extremely trying times. The burden of often deeply traumatized women constantly having to manage their emotions and warp themselves to adjust to social situations that adhere to linear, rational, productive values is soul-killing.

Art has the ability to act as salve to the universal wound. It gives voice to the silent scream within us all.

It rebels as pleasure in times of trauma. It brings a sense of beauty and joy by rising up in celebration of life, a direct contra-diction to the widespread brutality of socio-sadistic bullies who seek to divide and conquer.

A space of protection and clarity to explore the strengths and weaknesses women possess, along with their innate neural capacity for emotional imprint and communal feeling; concurrently with the research and practice of creative techniques together can foster tremendous healing along with powerful work.

This is an essential contribution toward the continuance of the species and its shift away from trying to dominate the planet toward the recognition that it is simply part of all life.

This workshop seeks to bring together a diverse and multi-generational collection of women artists who comprehend the importance of community, collaboration and creation as an inspirational weapon in the war against divisiveness, division and death. 

—Lydia Lunch /Vanessa Skantze

Lydia Lunch will be curating the second Post Catastrophe Collaborative Workshop in Ojai California May 24-27, 2013



Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
More ‘Nuggets’: 60s garage, punk, psych on video megapost, part 2
10:57 am



The second installment of my attempt to locate video clips of the songs appearing on the Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-1968 box set (You can find part 1 here).

Not everything on the Nuggets box set can be found on YouTube, but what is available is a real treat.

Starting off with one of my favorites from the Nuggets, below, The Music Machine doing their great “Talk, Talk” number on Where the Action Is:

After the jump, many more garage-punk ‘Nuggets’ from the 60s…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Wax Witches are making the punk rock I wanna see in the world
08:55 am



Missing a little snot in your life? Wax Witches (punk project of Australian Alex Wall, also of Bleeding Knees Club) are putting out the snottiest of snot with noisy, California-style fuzz and rattle. Rumor has it Wall played every instrument on the debut album Celebrity Beatings, creating the kind of addictive, breakneck din I’ve been missing. Scooped together from bits and pieces of late 80s, early 90s detritus, Wax Witches stick out on the Burger Records roster, but the album is currently providing me with my daily dose of brat.

Even the vids look like something salvaged from the Lookout! Records basement. The new one, ”Alone,” is the kind of 90s nostalgia I can get behind.


Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
An effervescent Patti Smith… and her clarinet, 1979
03:18 pm



I know she’s giving Rockpalast presenter Alan Bangs a hard time here, but she still seems so sweet and so earnest!

Lenny Kaye seems to be attempting to salvage a sense of professionalism, much to the host’s relief, I’m sure, who appears to be struggling to translate every little Noo Yawk nuance into German.


Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
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