Hawkwind: Psychedelic Space Rock Warriors on the Edge of Time
03.13.2014
02:44 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Hawkwind
Motörhead
Michael Moorcock


Barney Bubbles cover for Hawkwind’s Space Ritual

When you’re writing on a daily basis about popular—or unpopular—culture, it sure helps if you’ve got a great deal of enthusiasm for the topic at hand. You can’t feel lukewarm because if you don’t care about something, why should you expect your readers to care, right? The whimsical nature of what we cover here at Dangerous Minds does come down to an editorial policy of, well, whimsy on a daily basis. Luckily we’re all enthusiastic people!

Like many of you, I’m on a never-ending quest to find “something new to listen to” or something old that’s “new again” if only because I missed out on it the first time. Right now, the thing I am absolutely off-the-scale enthusiastic about is Hawkwind. I am hoping to share my enthusiasm here with you the reader in the hopes that you’ll get something out of it.

The other day—Monday—I noticed that there was a new-ish (2013) box set of Hawkwind’s Warrior On The Edge Of Time album and that it had been remixed for 5.1 surround by the incomparable Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree. As I have written here in the past, I’m interested in pretty much everything and anything when it comes to classic albums that have been snazzed up by Mr. Wilson—his name is the mark of quality when it comes to 5.1 surround—even stuff that I normally wouldn’t be that interested in (Yes, Jethro Tull, XTC). That’s not the case with Hawkwind. As soon as I saw that his Warrior On The Edge Of Time existed, via an Amazon recommendation, I couldn’t hit the buy button fast enough. “Assault And Battery” on the human anatomy—my human anatomy—in 5.1 surround as remixed by the one and only Steve Wilson? Count me in.

It arrived the next day—Tuesday—and that evening, after inhaling copious amounts of entertainment insurance (the nice little man who sold it to me called it “Lemon Skunk,” I think, and he said that it was the best weed in the shire!) I sat down in the darkness to let the majesty of Hawkwind’s Warrior On The Edge Of Time LOUDLY wash over me.

Now I should mention that I have not listened to this album in a very, very long time. Don’t get me wrong, I know every note of it but I probably haven’t heard Warrior On The Edge Of Time since 1983. My sense memory of listening to the LP I owned as a teenager is still very strong however, so maybe that’s what had me salivating over the prospects of what the extended audio field of a 5.1 remix could do for such a freaky, wild sounding album.

I was not disappointed.

Hawkwind was/is a band that had to either be recorded live in concert or else live in the studio. They’re hardly a jam band, but to lock into that monolithic Stooges meet Neu! groove would have been impossible to achieve otherwise. The way that Wilson has refashioned Warrior On The Edge Of Time gives the listener an amazing sense of what it would have been like to be IN the studio with them (not in the control room, but standing among them in the studio) and then he takes the weirdo electronic “space rock” noises they were known for—and Nik Turner’s sax—and weaves those distinctive sonics in and out of the 5.1 configuration in a manner that is both trippy as hell, and from a creative standpoint, the choices he made are simply thrilling. The vocal treatments JUMP out of the speakers and hover around you in the room like holograms or ghosts.

It’s really impressive stuff. I was stoned, true, but then again I usually am. These motherfuckers were just… far out. Hawkwind were a group who set out to push the boundaries as far as they could go at a time in history when boundary-pushing was all the rage. They to my ears, are the sole British prog rock group of the 1970s who were looking to Amon Düül II, Can, Neu! and other Krautrockers for inspiration. In that regard, a pretty good argument could be made that Hawkwind are also the missing link between prog and post punk via their influence on groups like Public Image Ltd. or the Psychedelic Furs. And of course there’s that whole Motörhead connection…

It’s kind of strange how low of a profile Hawkwind have in the US. I think most people who have never sampled the wares write them off as a “crazy hippie” band or assume that because Lemmy played bass with them during their classic era that this implies the music must somehow be moronic. Maybe it’s the participation of fantasy overlord Michael Moorcock and the spoken word bits that marks Hawkwind as “music for nerdy boys,” I don’t know. The only people who seem to care about the band stateside seem to be Motörhead fans, whereas YOU, yes YOU THERE listening to Faust reading this, you might find that there is much for you to enjoy, too, in the classic Hawkwind albums.

Have a listen to Hawkwind’s Warrior On The Edge Of Time in stereo and try to imagine how sick it would sound coming out of five speakers and a subwoofer.
 

 
The promo film for “Silver Machine” that was filmed for Top of The Pops. This would explain why their amazonian gogo dancer Stacia has her clothes on…

 
Below, Hawkwind do “Urban Guerilla” and here Stacia is more casual in her attire, you might say…

 
The terrific BBC documentary on Hawkwind over the decades:

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Sex Pistols, Clash and Motörhead covered Celtic folk style by Vyvyan from ‘The Young Ones’


 
Dangerous Minds has checked in on English actor/comedian/musician Adrian Edmondson before, to talk about The Idiot Bastard Band, his group with Bonzo Dog/Monty Python habitué Neil Innes, and his beloved BBC comedy The Young Ones, on which he played the insane and violent postcard-punker archetype Vyvyan Basterd. But we’ve only given passing mention to his fine band The Bad Shepherds, and that’s just absurd. The band’s specialty is Celtic folk covers of classic punk, though songs like Elvis Costello’s “Shipbuilding” and Kraftwerk’s “The Model” have found their way into the repertoire. They’ve released three albums worth of such interpretations, 2009’s Yan, Tyan, Tethera, Methera!, 2010’s By Hook Or By Crook and last year’s Mud, Blood & Beer.
 

 
Given Edmondson’s history in comedy, you could be forgiven for assuming this was a joke band, an inversion of the tired old novelty punk covers trip. But before you leap to conclude that, hear Edmondson out in these excerpts from an excellent recent interview with Outline Online

The whole mechanic of taking on cover songs is a huge mantle for you to take on; has there ever been a song that’s been too difficult, that’s wriggled away from you, that can’t be tamed?

Oh, hundreds of ‘em. Loads of ‘em. Yeah, we try loads of stuff and what we do probably represents about a quarter of what we try to do. It’s not that we don’t like the ones that don’t work, it’s just we haven’t found a way of doing it. We generally take the songs completely to pieces and then put them back together again without thinking about the original and try and find instrumentation for them. Primarily they fall down on lyrics because I’m a middle-aged man and they’ve got to suit my age, and most folk and most punk songs surprisingly do because they’re surprisingly adult in content, most of the punk canon, y’know. They were written by people who were really thinking; they’re not just solipsistic, selfish kind of ‘ooh, I’m in love, I’m not in love’ songs. They’re about social commentary and social protest and things like that and it’s very exciting. But some songs, for example, we’ve tried a few songs by The Damned and none of them worked because they’re all – and I don’t mean this to deride The Damned but they’re all just a bit childish when you take them to bits and you read the lyrics without thinking about what the music’s about. It just doesn’t work. It doesn’t go anywhere. We tried moving up the years as well thinking there must be a load of stuff in the 80s with Tears for Fears and OMD and stuff like that, so we scoured through those and tried to work on that and again, that kinda falls short, lyrically. It’s too childish. I mean, they’re brilliant, original things but they don’t fit the ethos of our band; they don’t become folk songs.

What is it about those genres that seem to lend themselves so well?


Because they’re forgotten songs and people all imagine that that sort of era is full of jumping up and down, shouting and spitting and it didn’t mean anything apart from anger in the performance. They’re disastrously wrong; they’re some of the most complex songs. The idea that all punk songs are three-chord wonders is completely erroneous. There are vastly complicated chord sequences and tuning in some of the songs we play.

 

The Sex Pistols’ “Anarchy In The U.K.”
 

The Clash’s “London Calling”

After the jump, Motörhead’s “Ace Of Spades” and more…

Written by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
Righteous Motörhead Christmas sweater
11.07.2013
10:47 am

Topics:
Fashion
Music

Tags:
Christmas
Motörhead

Motörhead Christmas sweater
 
It’s a little early to be grooving on Christmas merch, but this was too good to resist. The online store Shredders was offering this fucking fantastic Christmas sweater with the Motörhead hell-boar on it, but it’s been yanked. (They used to have a Wu-Tang sweater too, but that one too is no longer available.)

I’m guessing a stern message from Motörhead’s legal representatives put an end to that.

So hey, Motörhead—why don’t you offer an official one? I don’t want to support copyright infringers if I can help it…. I just want my own Motörhead Christmas sweater. Is that too much to ask?

Thank you Annie Zed!

Written by Martin Schneider | Discussion
Lemmy Kilmister being as Lemmy as he can be, a lesson in heavy metal semiotics
04.02.2013
07:13 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music

Tags:
Lemmy Kilmister
Motörhead

Lemmy
 
Not sure if it’s the sword, the “Daisy Dukes” cut-offs, the confused nationalist iconography or his absolutely manic, speedfreak smile, but the Motörhead frontman may have actually out-Lemmy-ed himself with this one. Yep, this is Lemmy at his Lemmyest.

Written by Amber Frost | Discussion
The Motörizer Bunny: Lemmy celebrates Easter?
03.28.2013
09:24 am

Topics:
Amusing

Tags:
Lemmy Kilmister
Motörhead


 
Eat the rich, save the bunnies…

Written by Tara McGinley | Discussion
Robot band plays Motörhead’s ‘Ace of Spades’


 
Here’s Compressorhead playing Motörhead’s “Ace of Spades.”

If you feel inclined to “like,” this is their Facebook fan page.
 

 
Via Nerdcore

Written by Tara McGinley | Discussion
All I Want For Christmas Is A F*cking Mötörhead Glitter Ball!
11.28.2012
08:44 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music

Tags:
Motörhead
Ornaments


 
This Motörhead glitter ball ornament by ElectricLadyland1 can be yours over at Etsy.

With thanks to Cherrybombed for that title!

Written by Tara McGinley | Discussion
Motörhead Russian nesting dolls
09.06.2012
03:43 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Music

Tags:
Motörhead
Nesting Dolls


 
According to the description on Amazon for these Motörhead Russian nesting dolls:

“Hand made hand painted ** Limited addition ** Quality - excellent. ** Very colorful, detailed artwork. ** Lacquer finish. *** Signature on the base. **”

They’re $31.00 + shipping for the 5 dolls.

Motorhead Russian Nesting Doll Hand Made 5 Pcs / 6 in
 
Via Cherrybombed

Written by Tara McGinley | Discussion
Bastards Lager: Motörhead launches new beer!


 
Just in time for Summer BBQs, Motörhead unveils their latest beverage, Bastards Lager.

As Cherrybombed puts it, “I was hoping for a bit more than a 4.7% punch from a lager with the words “Motörhead,” and “Bastards” on it.”

Anyway, it looks like it’s only available in Sweden, but you can order it online from System Bolaget.

 

Written by Tara McGinley | Discussion
Motörhead trash a hotel room


 
Lemmy and Phil “the Animal” Taylor getting up to some hotel trashing shenanigans on French TV. They also put the French journalist in a headlock towards the end.

“We are not violent!”

 

 
Via WFMU

Written by Tara McGinley | Discussion
A needlepoint portrait of Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister
03.28.2012
11:02 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Music

Tags:
Lemmy Kilmister
Motörhead


 
Etsy shop Defiant Damsel is selling a one of a kind 8x8 cross stitch portrait of Lemmy for just $50.00 + shipping. Maybe a nice housewarming gift?
 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Lemmy visits Glamor Shots
 
Via Cheryybombed

Written by Tara McGinley | Discussion
Motörhead Vödka!
12.12.2011
10:31 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music

Tags:
Motörhead
Motörhead Vödka


 
I was really hoping to promote Motörhead Vödka as a great stocking stuffer idea, but it appears that it’s only available in Sweden right now (which you can pre-order here).

(via Cherrybombed)

Written by Tara McGinley | Discussion