Julian Cope’s ‘Krautrocksampler’ in PDF form


 
You have to love someone who scans every single page of their favourite book just so they can spread the wordy magic with their friends on the internet. So, big thanks then to Evan Levine at the Swan Fungus blog for doing just that with the rare-as-hens-teeth Krautrocksampler by Julian Cope. A history and compendium of German rock from the 60s and 70s, Levine says of the book:

Back in the great, distant era of erm…the mid-’90s, there was a chap by the name of Julian Cope (ex-Teardrop Explodes/music-writer geek), who decided he wanted to chronicle the history of the Krautorck genre. So, he wrote an excellent book, called Krautrocksampler, in which he not only tells readers exactly when and wear he bought all these much-sought-after-now-sadly out-of-print LPs, but paints a great picture of West Germany in the ’60s and ’70s. When he’s not waxing (his bikini) poetic, he recounts crazy stories, and draws very cool connections between projects and personalities. Cope even proclaims that Klaus Dinger “directly influenced David Bowie to take his Low direction” and “had a direct effect on the Sex Pistols, via Johnny Rotten”. Thassalotta influence!

Having wanted this for a while, now I can read it while I try to track down a copy. In case of imminent yankage I recommend anyone else who wants it gets it now too.

Thanks to Pee Six.

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
Enter the ‘Pleasure Palaces’ with Errors


 
Here’s a little something by Glasgow purveyors of rocktronica Errors, in the run up to the January 30 release of their new album Have Some Faith In Magic on Rock Action Records. Taking as much influence from modern and classic electro as they do from shoegaze and kosmiche, Errors genuinely bring something fresh to the table, and have been steadily building up momentum over the last five years. From the Rokbun website:

A group who emerged at the tale end of a period when anything purely-instrumental and guitar- based became lazily tagged “post-rock,” Errors have now distanced themselves from that loose genre so much that any fleeting comparison to it is now completely redundant.

Have Some Faith In Magic is an LP of sprawling pop, with delicious hooks applied liberally across post-electro scatterings; a complete turn away from previously lauded albums It’s Not Something But It Is Like Whatever, and last year’s Come Down With Me - not least with vocals now being included prominently for the first time.

“It was just something that naturally happened,” comments the group’s Steev Livingstone, “we had the idea to put vocals in the music a while ago but we always intended that they should be treated as another instrument.

“We’ve used them in a way that sits really naturally so the music and the vocals don’t feel like separate entities.”

Judging by the simultaneously wistful-yet-pumping sounds of “Pleasure Palaces,” the new album could be very special indeed. As for the video… well, I don’t really understand it, but I do like it. A lot. Directed by Rachel Maclean, and coming across like New Order by way of Tim & Eric, there is a whole host of strange and humorous imagery to digest here:

Errors “Pleasure Palaces”
 

 
You can pre-order Have Some Faith In Magic from iTunes or physically from the Errors webiste, and for more info visit www.havesomefaithinmusic.com.

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
Don’t Need You - The Herstory of Riot Grrrl documentary


 
As an introduction to a brief but important music movement, or even just a simple nostalgia piece for people who were around at the time, Kerri Koch’s 2006 documentary Don’t Need You: The Herstory of Riot Grrrl makes for interesting and compelling viewing.

For a brief while in the early 90s it seemed Riot Grrrl was everywhere. It was a breath of fresh air in the male-dominated grunge landscape, though some of those grunge bands did their best to promote it and more pro-feminist ideals (the ghost of Kurt looms into view in a flowing, floral-print dress). But Riot Grrrl was met mostly with derision in the mainstream media, what with its core values of fanzines and localised press, not to mention of course feminism, self-expression and the forcing through of female self-determination in a male-oriented world.

Looking back now It’s hard to believe how much of an uproar some female musicians simply being angry could cause, but then as has been mentioned numerous times no-one wants to see women being angry (supposedly). Pretty soon Riot Grrrl was reduced to a simple concept of being merely “angry girls”, and made easy to dismiss. UK Riot Grrrl contingent Huggy Bear famously got ejected from the studios of tacky yoof program The Word (on which they had just performed) for heckling the presenters about their Barbie doll-imitating porn star guests. This got the band into the national media, but also sealed their fate as mere rabble-rousers while ignoring their efforts to create alternative spaces and dialogs. But still, Riot Grrrl was oppositional, it was dramatic, and it was fucking exciting. 

Just as quickly as it bubbled up however, Riot Grrrl seemed to fizzle out. I guess my perception of this was skewed hugely by the mainstream UK music press, which was my only port of access to alternative music and culture in those pre-internet days. It was a mutual love/hate thing (more hate/hate I guess) with the performers and the scene itself withdrawing from the mainstream attention and the negative associations it brought. In a very interesting read called Riot Grrrl - the collected interviews on Collpase Board, Everett True (the editor of Melody Maker at the time, and the person chiefly responsible for breaking the scene in the UK music media) explains his own role and that of the press:

Riot Grrrl was basically about female empowerment – females doing stuff on their own terms, separate from men, making up their own rules and systems and cultures. Sure, men were welcome, but they had to understand that for once they weren’t going to be automatically given first place. (One of the reasons my own role in the gestation of Riot Grrrl as a popular cultural movement became so confused was that after a certain period of time I began to listen to those around me – female musicians, activists, artists, human beings – who felt that having such a high-profile male associated with a fledgling female movement was absolutely counter-productive. This is almost the first time I’ve spoken to anyone since then.)

Don’t Need You - The Herstory of Riot Grrrl is important because it lets the creators of the movement speak for themselves. The editing may be rough in places, and the story may jump around in chronology a wee bit, but you get to hear first hand from the original Riot Grrrls themselves what informed their third-wave feminist views and what inspired them to start their own scene. Featured interviewees include Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill, Alison Wolfe of Bratmobile, Corin Tucker of Heavens To Betsy / Sleatter-Kinney and Fugazi’s Ian McKaye:
 


 
That’s part one - part two and part three are after the jump…

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
‘Ave Satanas’ - Satanic psyche rock and proto-black metal from 1967 - 1974


 
The second of this week’s seasonal mixtape treats, and this one is quite a departure from yesterday’s Disco Argento mix. Ave Satanas is (as the name would suggest) a compilation of Satanic rock from the late Sixties and early Seventies, that could be considered the roots of what we now know as black metal, though at the time it would have been classed as psychedelic. It was compiled by one DJ Goatface Killer, better known as Russell Elder from Glasgow’s Mono music emporium.

There are culty groups aplenty on Ave Statanas, like Germany’s Lucifer’s Friend, Chicago’s Coven (pictured above), Leicester’s Black Widow and the original Iron Maiden (not to be confused with Bruce Dickinson’s lot). The music represents a time when rock was getting heavier, drugs were getting harder and post-hippy culture was getting darker, hence the inclusion of extracts from both Anton LaVey’s “The Satanic Mass” and Bpbby Beausoleil’s score for Lucifer Rising. It’s also unlikely that you’ll hear the word “Satan” uttered so much in the course of around 80 minutes - below is the tracklist featuring the year and country of origin of each track:

01. ANTON SZANDOR LAVEY (USA) / THE SATANIC MASS (EDIT) (1968)
02. ANTONIUS REX (ITALY) / NON FIAT VOLUNTAS TUA (1974)
03. BLACK WIDOW (UK) / IN ANCIENT DAYS (1969)
04. COVEN (USA) / BLACK SABBATH (1969)
05. BULBOUS CREATION (UK) / SATAN (1969)
06. THE RATTLES (GERMANY) / THE WITCH (1968)
07. THE GHOST (UK) / NOW YOU’RE DEAD (1970)
08. THE GUN (UK) / RACE WITH THE DEVIL (1968)
09. THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN (UK) / FIRE (1968)
10. ROKY ERICKSON & THE ALIENS (USA) / WHITE FACES (1977)
11. LOLLIPOP SHOPPE (USA) / YOU MUST BE A WITCH (1967)
12. DUFFY (UK) / JUDGEMENT DAY (1971)
13. BEDEMON (USA) / CHILD OF DARKNESS (1973)
14. LUCIFER’S FRIEND (UK / GERMANY) / LUCIFER’S FRIEND (1970)
15. IRON MAIDEN (UK) / GOD OF DARKNESS (1969)
16. AFFINITY (UK) / THREE SISTERS (1970)
17. SAM GOPAL (UK) / THE DARK LORD (1969)
18. BOBBY BEAUSOLEIL (USA) / LUCIFER RISING PART II (1972)
 

 
Download DJ Goatface Killah pres Ave Satanas here.

BONUS! The original video for “The Witch” by The Rattles:
 

 
Yes, there is one rogue track from 1977 on the mix, care of Roky Erickson and The Aliens, but I’m sure we can all let that oversight slide. After the jump, audio clips of some of the tracks featured on Ave Satanas…

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
We Dance On Your Grave Every Night: Nation of Ulysses live in DC 1991


 
There was a time when Nation of Ulysses was the most influential underground rock band in the world. It may not have been for a very long time, and it may have been 20 years ago, before Nirvana took punk aesthetics into the heart of the mainstream, but for a while it seemed like everyone who heard or saw this band just couldn’t shut up about them. It’s not hard to see why Nation of Ulysses drew such cultish adulation - they were always about much more than being a simple band. They had a defined visual aesthetic that drew more from jazz and Soviet art than hardcore. They spoke politics. They worse suits. They described themselves in statements that by today’s standards would spell career suicide for a rock band:

We’re not only a political party, but also a terrorist group. The imperative started with the recognition of the colonialization of youth culture by youth imperialists and the establishment. It was initially formed as a response to that, but now we’ve broadened our breadth to encompass a complete destruction of the American legacy. We understand the workings of oppressions big and small.
...

At the time [they formed] was Ulysses Speaks your primary medium?

Yeah, we were mostly just proliferating literature and bombing buildings, and then we realized the medium of noise not only creates a perfect cover for our organization but it also creates a camouflage for maniacal riotous behavior and provides a context for acting like an idiot and going beyond the structures of everyday behavioral codes. When you see a show, everybody is jumping up and down screaming—if it’s good—and that’s because they’ve been allowed to step outside the boundaries of regular behavior. We want to go one step further. It’s absurd behavior—dancing is incredibly absurd—and we want to take that one step beyond, and that’s why we have so much violence on stage; we’re trying to bring it to the next level. We’re fighting a war there in the room…the room that we took over.

Since you began this mission, have you become more optimistic that you can effectively utilize the facade of populist entertainment to convey the party message?

Yeah…our message is visual, it’s aural, and it’s olfactory. Our message couldn’t be progenitated properly just with sound. We see the whole idea of music as a sound phenomena as really bogus and an idea which has only taken root since the proliferation version of recorded medium, like records. Before then, nobody would have ever thought, “this is only attacking my ears”, because there’s always a visual side to that whole phenomenon. We’re into the true experience, and that’s why the whole idea of music has really aligned us. What we’re wearing on stage and the way we move on stage has just as much to do with the idea that we’re getting across as the sound that we’re putting forth.
...

Have you been able to stir up as much antagonism as you might have hoped for?

Yeah, you know - the old order; people who sense the dissolution and the proliferatrion of new ideas. There’s a Kill Ulysses conspiracy - It’s called the Kill Ulysses National Workers Socialist Party; they’re just trying to destroy us. Rock and Roll is trying to destroy us.

From The New Puritan ReView, 1991 - read the whole interview here.

Still, for all the word-of-mouth hype that surrounded Nation of Ulysses in their brief but dazzling career, for kids like me who lived in the sticks their music was harder to come across than hen’s teeth - another situation that seems impossible by today’s standards. Back in the days when you had to travel to a big city and visit a specialist record shop in the hope of picking up an import 7”, it was easier to find releases by Ulysses’ UK adherents like Huggy Bear than it was the band’s own originals. Thankfully, the hardcore NoU fan base still exists and has been doing a pretty good job of disseminating footage and material on the internet, ensuring the band’s legacy will live on and attract more fans. Sure, Nation of Ulysses weren’t the first punk act to adhere to hardcore left-wing politics, or to have a well defined look and outlook, but no-one did it with this much goddam style

Nation of Ulysses “Introduction/Spectra Sonic Sound” live 1991
 

 
OK, so the audio quality in that clip was pretty poor, but it gives you an idea of what their shows were like. Plus, I do love that washed out, third-generation VHS-copy look. Here’s another clip of NoU live from 1991 (minus suits):

Nation of Ulysses “A Comment on Ritual” live 9:30 Club, 1991
 

 
You can now buy the Nation of Ulysses back catalog direct from Dischord.
 
After the jump, even better quality footage of NoU live in DC circa 1991, including a further 30 minutes of that 9:30 Club show above (in color)…

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
We Heart Girls
09.16.2011
09:01 am

Topics:
Drugs
Music

Tags:
rock
San Francisco
indie
Girls
Matador records


 
Father, Son, Holy Ghost is the new album by San Francisco indie boys, um, Girls. Their debut album, called simply Album, made waves on its release in 2009 and this follow up is even better (if you ask me). There are sounds here reminiscent of early 90s grunge and shoegazing, but more than that Father, Son, Holy Ghost just drips mid-70s FM radio rock vibes. In a good way. Whereas some bands can really over egg their puddings using the kitchen sink-formula (choir! organ! strings! fuzzy guitar! bland mush!) Girls have got it just right, tempering their mix with the right balance of romance and melancholy. Check out this sweet car-fetish video for the single “Vomit”, which is available as a free download from the band’s Facebook page:

Girls - “Vomit”
 

 
Don’t worry - despite the title there’s nothing sick or NSFW in there, even though I detect shades of both Dazed And Confused and Cronenberg’s Crash. Father, Son, Holy Ghost is out now on Fantasy Trashcan/Matador records - there’s more info, including tour dates, on this page. If you like “Vomit” you can listen to the whole album right here:

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
Watch The Melvins live at Hellfest 2011 in full
09.07.2011
03:23 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
rock
live
grunge
The Melvins
heavy
stoner
Hellfest


Poster by Alan Forbes, from Secret Serpent blog.
 
That’s some heaaavy shit. A full length, hour-long video of the original stoner/sludge/grunge/whatever rock icons The Melvins playing at France’s Hellfest earlier this year. Now with added second drummer for extra impact - ooft! I have yet to experience these guys live, but after seeing this I will be ordering tickets for their next tour later this afternoon. Setlist:

Hung Bunny

Roman Bird Dog

The Water Glass

Evil New War God

It’s Shoved

Anaconda

Queen

Second Coming

Ballad of Dwight Fry

Sacrifice

Hooch
Honey Bucket
With Teeth

Sweet Willy Rollbar

Revolve
Night Goat
 

 
Thanks to Lee Mann and uploader EvilManTheOne.

 

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
Excellent Sparks live footage from 1974


 
Man I love Sparks! They are simultaneously the geekiest AND coolest band in the history of rock. We need to be showing more love to the brothers Mael and their highly literate, fun, sexy and intelligent music here on DM - they are California boys after all. This bizarrely brilliant short concert film is the perfect excuse to post about them.

Sparks always move with the times, and frequently they were well ahead of it. In 1974 they took baroque opera-pop to the top of the UK charts, a whole year before Queen did the same thing to more acclaim. In 74/75 they pretty much invented New Wave (the proof lies in this film)  and 4-5 years later when it had caught on Sparks had already moved on to inventing that staple of 80s pop, the synth-duo (through their incredible work with Giorgio Moroder). That’s not even taking into account the theory that 1976’s Big Beat album paved the way for power-pop. By the early 80s the brothers had settled down and repositioned themselves as perhaps THE quintessential New Wave band, hooking up with uber-fan Jane Weidlin of the Go-Gos along the way, and delivering the MTV staple “Cool Places”. Sparks were on the ball with their music videos too, recognising that the moving image was going to be key to music in the coming decades, and hiring a certain director called David Lynch to helm the promo for their classic 1983 stomper “I Predict”.

And that brings us back to this concert film. It is of course a brilliant look at the Sparks live set-up of the mid-Seventies post-glam era, but it also gives us some unintentionally funny moments too. It must have been a bit of a nightmare for the record company to position this brainy, sarky, odd-looking band as being another teeny-bop pop product, but boy did they try. See the over-enthusiastic reaction from the crowd to every single move the band make! Hear the roars that sound like they were from a different concert! Feel the prodding from assistant directors for bored audience members to get up and dance! Still, none of this hides the true, what-the-hell weirdness that shines out of Sparks, and particularly Ron Mael. Just check the moment at 1:40 when Ron gives a wry smile to an audience member and we see her shocked reaction.

This film is pretty short and only features four songs (“Something For The Girl With Everything”. Talent Is An Asset”, “B.C.” and “Amateur Hour”) and pop spotters will also be interested to see that Sparks are given an introduction by none other than Keith Moon and Ringo Starr:
 
Sparks Live 1974 Part 1
 

 
Part 2 after the jump…

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
The Flaming Lips meet Lightning Bolt (in space)


 
This is one for the noise cognoscenti out there. Two of the best modern rock bands in America come together for a collaboration (full title: The Flaming Lips With Lightning Bolt EP) and the results are pretty unusual - though not necessarily more than you’d expect. ‘Cos let’s face it, it’s highly unlikely that the genesis of this project was a desire to push either of these acts further up the charts. I’d like to think it had more to do with a shared love of acid-burnt neon psychedelia.

The clue may be in the song titles. “I’m Working At Nasa On Acid” and “I Want To Get High But I Don’t Want Brain Damage” are the first two tracks and the Flaming Lips’ main contributions, being the kind of bass driven psych-garage we’ve come to expect, but now with a whole extra layer of fuzzy noise on top. The remaining two tracks are reworks of the first two by Lightning Bolt, which feature even more noise and, of course, the furious drum chops of Brain Chippendale. These reworkings are called “NASA’s Final Acid Bath” and “I Want To Get Damaged But I Won’t Say Hi”.

The EP has been released on 12” mixed-color vinyl (some copies feature translucent vinyl mixed with black) but because of its limited nature was only shipped to some shops a few weeks ago. It’s likely to have completely sold out. If you really want one, I say get in touch with your local decent independent record store and ask if they can get it - failing that it has already turned up for sale on eBay. In the meantime though, here is the lead video introduced by Wayne Coyne, and the other 3 tracks:
 
The Flaming Lips and Lightning Bolt - “I Want To get High But I Don’t Want Brain Damage”
 

 
The Flaming Lips and Lightning Bolt - “I’m Working At NASA On Acid”
 

 
Lightning Bolt and The Flaming Lips - “NASA’s Final Acid Bath”
 

 
Lightning Bolt and The Flaming Lips - “I Want To Get Damaged But I Won’t Say Hi”
 

 

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
Yacht: From Utopia to Dystopia via ‘Shangri-La’
07.26.2011
08:15 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
rock
electronica
dance
dystopia
indie
Yacht
utopia


 
Fans of forward thinking pop music and alternative/electonica, here’s something that’s definitely worth checking out - it’s the new video (and album Shangri-La) from DFA’s Yacht.

A little bit arty, a little bit metrosexual, Yacht have been round in some form or other for nearly a decade, so while their aesthetic might seem achingly hip and oh-so-now, it helps to remember that they’ve been doing it longer than most. Centred around the core duo of Jona Bechtolot and Claire Evans (Evans joining Brechtolot in what was previously a solo act in 2008), their live show expands the ranks to become a fuller five piece band.

Although having released albums on smaller independent labels in the past, Yacht are now part of the DFA stable, and fit very neatly into that label’s bracket of electronic rock, wearing those particular disco-meets-punk and electronica influences on their sleeve. Their recent live shows have seen them cover both the B-52’s “Mesopotamia” and Judas Priest’s “Breaking The Law” both of which make sense for different reasons. I gotta admit that I was not much of a fan of Yacht in the past, but this new album has taken me by surprise. It’s pretty damn good, and contains a few really cracking tunes, such as “Love In The Dark”, “Beam Me Up” and “Tripped And Fell In Love”. 

Worthy of particular mention though are the album’s two opening tracks, “Utopia” and “Dystopia (The Earth Is On Fire)”, which lay out Shangri-La‘s themes of dualism from the get go. Although they are two separate tracks, they have been both comped into one video, which is quite the novel idea and makes me wonder if it has been done before? Either way the video is great and definitely worth a watch - it may be cheap but it is very well done. However, if you are not a fan of triangles, you might want to look away…

Yacht - “Utopia” / “Dystopia (The Earth Is On Fire)”
 

 
Yacht - “Love In The Dark”
 

 
Yacht - “Tripped And Fell in Love”
 

 
Shangri-La is available to buy here.

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
Pop stars and their packages
07.17.2011
10:29 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music
Sex

Tags:
sex
rock
pop
jeans
crotch
genitals
package

 

Freddie Mercury, at Live Aid, Wembley Stadium, 1985

 
The package, the parcel, the meat house, the fruit basket, the lunchbox, or just plain old junk - call it what you will but the bulging male crotch has a long and noble history in popular music. From the banned-from-the-waist-down wiggling hips of Elvis Presley, to the King of Pop’s trademark grab-and-yelp, all the way up to the nut-busting, skin-tight jeans of the Kings of Leon, VPL (Visible Penis Line) has taken root as a firm fixture right at the very heart of rock’n'roll culture. Generations of hormonal girls (and even some boys) have long stared at glossy posters hanging above moistened teenage bedsheets, and sighed longingly at the thought of what mysterious pleasures lay behind the zippered fly.

Before the internet, before the iPhone, before sex tapes and the widespread consumption of free pornography, a well defined package (visible only through a thin layer of pant material) could be the making or breaking of a wannabe pop Adonis. The times may have moved on, but the crotch still holds a magnetic attraction to music fans. With that in mind, here is a selection of some of the finest packages that rock and pop have had to offer over the last half century:
 

One of the reasons Elvis was banned from the waist down.

 

Bruce Springsteen showing you who is boss.

 

David Bowie in Labyrinth - surely not suitable for kids?

 

Prince - the man, the myth, the legend.

 

John, Yoko & Andy engage in a 3way crotch grab. But who’s groping Yoko’s boob?

 
EDIT
 

But, egads, how could I possibly have forgotten Die Antwoord?!

 
Much more crotch action after the jump - NSFW!

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
Hear The Horrors’ new album ‘Skying’ in full


 
British garage act The Horrors are set to release their new album Skying through XL Recordings on August the 9th (US) and July 11th (UK), but you can hear the album, in full, via the widget below. In fact, it’s not really fair to describe the Horrors as “garage rock” anymore - that may have been their initial template when they burst onto the scene five years ago, but their sound has evolved and mutated quite a bit since then.

I admit I was put off the band when they first started getting press attention, consigning them to the hype bin based on their highly coiffured hair and dandy dress sense. But all that changed as soon as I actually heard them - here was a band that was keeping alive the swamp rock / dirt blues flame of acts like The Birthday Party and the awesome Gallon Drunk. Their second album Primary Colours, produced by Portishead’s Geoff Barrow, marked a shift in tone towards something deeper and a bit more pastoral, while retaining the all important dirt and grit. With nods to krautrock, kosmiche and shoegaze, it won the band some high praise, even becoming the NME’s album of the year for 2009.

Skying continues where Primary Colours left off, though taking us further away from the 70s and 80s influences. The ghost of shoegaze still haunts The Horrors’ sound, but now, rather than the woozy, noxious and slightly nauseous tones of pioneers My Bloody Valentine, the layered guitar and synth noise is more akin to the lush soundscapes of bands like Slowdive and The Telescopes. The early Nineties seem to be what the band are tapping into for inspiration just now, and some of the tracks even feature, surprisingly, a shuffly, Madchester-style beat. “Monica Gems” is like Suede dragged backwards through a thorny hedge and there are shades of The Doors here, but as refracted through the prism of Echo and The Bunnymen (in particular the excellent track “Still Life”) . For me the album highlight is “Moving Further Away”, which starts as gorgeous, driving Germanica before before being engulfed in layers of blissful synths and ending as a dirty rock dirge. Listen for yourselves:
 

 
For more info on The Horrors, visit their website, or their record label XL Recordings.

 

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
Destroyer ‘Kaputt’: The Sound of the Summer


 
Destroyer is a Canadian band, but it’s also principally the work of singer/songrwiter Dan Bejar. Earlier this year Destroyer released their 11th album, called Kaputt, to a mixed reception. I kind of get why - this is an album that smells of sun tan lotion, so a mid-January release date seems a bit odd.

Ok, first off I have to admit that I am new to this band. This is worth mentioning at the start because Destroyer have been around for over a decade, have released ten albums already, and Bejar has worked with the acts Swan Lake and New Pronographers. The response to this album from the Destroyer fanbase has been mixed, as it is quite a departure from their better known sound. Some have been turned clean off it by the musical reference points (Avalon-era Roxy Music, Don Henley, Prefab Sprout, mainstream 80s soft rock, I even detect a smidgen of Enya in there). But this hasn’t put me off at all - not just because I admit to having a soft spot for that kind of thing, but because Bejar infuses the album with such a strong personality and sense of musicality that he makes it work, especially over the two final tracks that combined last more than half an hour.

If there was one word I would use to describe this record, it’s “Balearic”. The longest-running myth about the British dance scene is that in 1987 a group of DJs went on holiday to Ibiza, discovered ecstasy, and returned to London to start the acid house revolution. The problem with that is that the renowned DJs in Ibiza at the time were not really playing acid house - they played a mixture of different genres that all tended to fall under the British umbrella term “Balearic” (after the group of islands of which Ibiza is a part). In essence “Balearic” was anything that sounded good on a beach, and in practise this could include some music that dance snobs and music purists would find reprehensible (Chris Rea, The Blow Monkeys, etc).

To me Kaputt captures the essence of those musics perfectly. It’s music for lazing around on sunny summer holidays, for playing on the drive to the beach, or after the barbecue. It’s a perfect post-club record too, as the tracks blend seamlessly into one another bringing to mind a more 80s sounding Air, all held together by Bejar’s unique songwriting and delivery. If there is any justice, this will get picked up by dance fans as their new classic comedown soundtrack.

Destroyer - “Kaputt”
 

 
Destroyer - “Song For America”
 

 
Destroyer - “Savage Night At The Opera”
 

 
Destroyer - “Suicide Demo For Kara Walker”
 

 
You can get Kaputt (on double vinyl) here.

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
‘U PAY YOUR TAX 2’

 
From last night at the Glastonbury festival, where U2 made their debut. The balloon reads “U PAY YOUR TAX 2?”, referring to the fact that U2 don’t pay taxes in their native Ireland, despite being one of the country’s biggest exports. Methinks Ireland, which is pretty fucking broke, could do with Bono and co’s extra dollar right now…

From BBC News (where you can also see footage of the balloon and the Glastonbury festival security’s over-the-top reaction to it):

[U2] played a greatest hits set that included Where The Streets Have No Name, One, With Or Without You and Beautiful Day. They also played on as protest group Art Uncut inflated a 20ft balloon emblazoned with “U Pay Your Tax 2”.

Scuffles broke out when the protest balloon was removed by festival security, although many of those in the 50,000 crowd were probably unaware of the minor incident. Security staff sought to stop the protest by about 30 people at the end of U2’s opening song Even Better Than the Real Thing.

So the next time you see or hear Bono patronisingly droning on about some sanctimonious twaddle, just think these three words: “Pay Your Taxes”!

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
Strange new video for Fucked Up’s ‘Queen Of Hearts’


 
This is the first video by Fucked Up to be taken from their current album, the very highly acclaimed David Comes To Life. Sure, Fucked Up may have made some skits to accompany their music before (namely standing around in public places while their music plays in the background), but this is a real music video, with actors, a story, production values, the whole shebang. And as such it’s pretty damn unusual. To say the least. Presumably it ties in with the narrative of the album, which the band have described as being a rock opera. But don’t let that put you off. To quote Richard Metzger:

Two thumbs up. WAY UP.

A thing of intense beauty. And unexpected. Unexpected is hard to do these days!

 
Fucked Up - “Queen Of Hearts”
 

 
Previously on DM:
Listen to Fucked Up’s ‘David Comes To Life’ in full
Fucked Up: The best live band in the world deliver the single of the year?

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
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