Thursday, November 30, 2006


Venezuelan-born Miguel Trost Depedro is the DJ/producer known as kid606. Now based in San Francisco, he runs Tigerbeat6, his own record label, and is part of a burgeoning breakcore scene which employs the talent of Bong-Ra, Venetian Snares, Duran Duran Duran, and plenty of others.

The key to kid606, and what separates him from the crowd, is its accessibility. Particularly in his recently released, Pretty Girls Make Raves, he combines the traditional hard hard beats, rough rhythm, and pounding drum machine with danceable elements that borders on techno. He's opened breakcore open to a wider crowd. Genre-melding is his game, dance to it or make spastic head jerks - your choice.

kid606 - Chicken Fight [mp3] [buy]
kid606 - Meet Me At the Bottom [mp3]
kid606 - Who Wah Kill Sound? [mp3]

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Wall of Sound

Scandinavian shoegaze (or "newgaze") has been fairly prominent lately - Serena Maneesh and The Radio Dept. spring to mind, as does the Icelandic collective Singapore Sling. 'Sling formed in Reykjavik in 2000, released their debut album, The Curse of the Singapore Sling, in 2002, which was met with some glowing reviews and high expectations for the future.

As expected, the band thrives on distortion, thick dense layers of feedback, shrieking guitars, and shrouded vocals. Pop-tones are prevalent, sometimes gritty (a la Velvet Underground) and sometimes sweeter (in the noisiest way possible) like The Jesus & Mary Chain. Not surprisingly, these guys are extremely similar to JAMC - Henrik Bjornsson's vocal stylings sound like a carbon copy of Jim Reid's with an added snarl at times. However, they do bring a lot more power to the table than most shoegaze bands, raucous sounds bouncing off walls in every direction.

Their second album, Life is Killing My Rock 'N' Roll, is a lot heavier and noiser. It falls further from JAMC and closer to Sonic Youth in their Daydream Nation days. Not full-on noise to the point of spazz, but adequately imbued with thrashing and drowning sounds. It's also darker with a guitar and buzzed out voice that's drawn up comparisons to BRMC.

Singapore Sling - Summer Garden [mp3] [buy]
Singapore Sling - Dirty Water [mp3]
Singapore Sling - Sunday Club [mp3]

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Bark Bark bark

I really dislike Malcolm McLaren. He's despicable, vile, and most importantly a manipulative greedy bastard. He was fake. He manufactured images for monetary profit. He valued integrity less than the money from last week's paycheque (I didn't get one). He was a businessman and capitalist, not an independent artistic producer. He destroyed punk's primary values in the way he ran the Sex Pistols.

When you allow the shroud of controversy to clear though, he's quite an impressive man. Following the Sex Pistols bust-up, he put his guile to use and took on a new project. Bow Wow Wow was formed out of a defunct Adam & The Ants (defunct because of McLaren's doing, which isn't surprising I suppose). He carefully created one of the most original and fun groups in post-punk. Not to mention an extremely unlikely cast pairing.

BWW's debut was the amusingly titled See Jungle! See Jungle! Go Join Your Gang, Yeah, City All Over! Go Ape Crazy!, released in October 1981. Its bass and percussion runs wild. The album is raw, seemingly untouched and unstained by impurities. Looking beyond the surface reveals the bizzareness of the lyrics, song content, and Annabella Lwin's vocal stylings. The backbone of their sound (in the beggining) is tribal, yet the vocals (apart from the chanting) and guitar don't fit with it. Songs about televisions and such, it really was a fascinatining experiment - transplanting African sounds and rhythms to the West and mixing it with new-wave. I almost feel like I'm listening to Dexy's Midnight Runners when 'Jungle Boy' comes on. Certainly they did turn to simple synth-pop in time, but for a short while they were unique and progressively brilliant amongst their contemporaries.

However sarcastic it was meant to be, one line that struck me as odd, in 'Chihuahua', is "I'm a Rock 'N Roll puppet, in a band called Bow Wow Wow." Given McLaren's reputation, and having Lwin pose (at only 15) for See Jungle!, I'd be willing to bet there's more truth to it than originally believed.

Bow Wow Wow - Jungle Boy [mp3] [buy]
Bow Wow Wow - Chihuahua [mp3]
Bow Wow Wow - (I'm A) TV Savage [mp3]
Bow Wow Wow - Golly! Golly! Go Buddy! [mp3]

Friday, November 24, 2006

Mash-Up Roundup

I've spent a good part of the past two and a half years hunting for interesting mash-ups, regardless of the artists involved. Sometimes two artists mix well together, regardless of how shitty one (or both) is on their own. Case in point, Mark Vidler's mash of the Beastie Boys and Las Ketchup. Mark Vidler (pictured above) is the man behind Go Home Productions, the first (and still the best) masher I've listened to. His back catalogue features mixes of The Stone Roses, Public Enemy, Television, My Bloody Valentine, Elvis Costello, and hundreds of other notables. Besides GHP, there are several other DJs that provide mp3 links on their websites, as well as forums that offer them, including GYBO (get your bootleg on). Below are a selection of some recent favourites.

Beastie Boys vs. Las Ketchup - Beastie Ketchup (GHP) [mp3]
Daft Punk vs. Dead or Alive - Spin Me Harder (DJ Tripp) [mp3]
DP vs. U2 - Around the World on New Year's Day (Martinn) [mp3]
Elvis Costello vs. The Police, etc. - Wrapped Detective (GHP) [mp3]
Gorillaz vs. White Stripes - Dirty Doorbell (Jimmi James) [mp3]
Klaxons vs. Todd Terry - Can You Feel Magik? (Dunproofin') [mp3]
Radiohead vs. The Beatles - Karma in the Life (GHP) [mp3]

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Post-Punk Mix [DAN 001]

1. The Durutti Column - Sketch For Summer [mp3]
2. Cabaret Voltaire - Nag Nag Nag [mp3]
3. A Certain Ratio - Do The Du [mp3]
4. Orange Juice - Rip It Up [mp3]
5. Josef K - Romance [mp3]
6. Aztec Camera - Oblivious [mp3]
7. Subway Sect - Ambition [mp3]
8. Swell Maps - Let's Build A Car [mp3]
9. Pere Ubu - Nonalignment Pact [mp3]
10. Public Image Ltd. - Careering [mp3]
11. James Chance & The Contortions - Contort Yourself [mp3]
12. Minutemen - The Big Foist [mp3]
13. Mission of Burma - That's When I Reach For My Revolver [mp3]
14. This Heat - S.P.Q.R. [mp3]
15. Gang of Four - I Found That Essence Rare [mp3]
16. The Specials - A Message To You Rudy [mp3]
17. Au Pairs - You [mp3]
18. The normal - T.V.O.D. [mp3]
19. The Fall - Barmy [mp3]
20. Suicide - Cheree [mp3]
21. Killing Joke - Follow The Leaders [mp3]
22. Throbbing Gristle - Hot On The Heels Of Love [mp3]
23. Devo - Mongoloid [mp3]
24. Joy Division - She's Lost Control [mp3]
Length - 82:00

I've switched mp3 hosts to a private one provided by myDataBus, which provides 5GB of webstorage free of cost - highly reccomended. I've decided to start things off with the next host by posting a mix of mine. I posted this mix up a few months ago on my, but the download link has long since expired. These are essentially a roundup of some of my favourites of the post-punk era. There are a plentitude of artists that are missing and I'd like to add them on a future mix I create. Joy Division's 'She's Lost Control' was not in the original listing, but decided it was worthy of inclusion. Ian Curtis, Joy Division's frontman, is pictured above. If you're interested in buying this material, click the artist link which will lead to their page, which can be followed to Amazon.

Au Revoir

A few days ago Mazarin, a great indie-pop collective from Philly, were legally bullied into retiring their band name. Apparently an obscure (and stubborn) Long Island group shared the same name and released music before the Philly boys did.

The final solution, from the band's site:

In short, MAZARIN A and their attorney decided: either cease and desist, or we go to court. Considering MAZARIN B had no disposable income to fight the case, plus information had come to light revealing that one of the members of MAZARIN A was in poor physical health, yet still paying his attorney some four hundred dollars an hour, all the while desperately soliciting donations for their legal and medical funds via their website, MAZARIN B and their management concluded the whole predicament was so sad and despairing that instead of dragging out a lengthy litigation, which they had neither the time nor money to commit to; fuck it. Clearly, the name is cursed.

Shame, I always liked the name. I discovered them while I was studying French history and the ancien régime (Mazarin was an influential French minister for Louis XIV) so I felt an interesting connection with it. Oh well, apparently the band's members will release new material, in time. Good to hear, a really promising band.

I've posted up 'Another One Goes By', an absolutely brilliant pop number. Shades of Orange Juice's fantastic guitar pop (the Glasgow band) and the Shins' blooming vocals and precious structure. Their finest song from a great album.

Mazarin - Another One Goes By [mp3] [buy]

Monday, November 20, 2006


Love or hate the English press, they're a powerful instrument. Whether it be oversensationalist claims (#5), or... well actually that's about all they're good for. The NME has been pushing for this "new rave" genre as of late. A proposed renaissaince of sorts for rave, which was huge in the UK by the early 90s. Groups like 808 State, A Guy Called Gerald, the Prodigy, etc. thrived under the drug-crazed genre, packing clubs like Manchester's Haçienda. For several reasons it eventually died off and split into a bunch of sub-genres which retain remnants of the dead genre.

This all leads up to yet another group the media are warming to, the Klaxons. They've been getting a lot of press lately, largely in part of the blogosphere. And they're interesting to say the least. Whereas the Arctic Monkeys seemed a tad simple-minded, the Klaxons appear to be fairly well read and intelligent. They're avid fans of avant-garde novelist William S. Burroughs, a writer I've recently taken an interest in. As for their sound, it's not quite like the rave of old, but more modern and edgy (what I'd expect). They've got an indie-rock pedigree (bass and guitar that sound very garagey), but the hard electronic backings are evidence of the rave influence.

Their first EP, Xan Valleys, was released a month ago, a good listen. Their full-length debut is apparently set for January, which I'm looking forward to.

Klaxons - Gravity's Rainbow [mp3] [buy]
Klaxons - Atlantis to Interzone [mp3]
Klaxons - 4 Horsemen of 2012 [mp3]

Friday, November 17, 2006

Jim Noir

Bowler hat, blazer, matching slacks, striped shirt and tie. He's a proper English bloke, a fine gentleman. Noir is from Manchester, the borough so many richly talented artists have called home. His music is a nice blend of charming pop and multi-instrumental psych-folk.

To date he has released one album, Tower of Love (Barsuk, 2005). This past summer he rose from obscurity to minor fame when 'Eanie Meaney' was used in that wonderful Adidas World Cup ad campaign (Jose+10) in which he sings "If you don't give my football back, I'm going to get my dad on you". Surely an allusion to his childhood days in Manchester, supporting the city blues. 'My Patch' is another great nugget, his single from this past May. Fightin' words with some nice strings. It's also the funniest vid I've seen in a while, featuring a fight with a giant chicken. His sound has been continuously compared to that of the Beach Boys, and while I don't completely buy it, certain songs ('Turn that Frown Into a Smile', 'A Quiet Man') have sonic similarities to older pop groups fused with eclectic instrumentals and dreamy soundscapes.

Jim Noir - My Patch [mp3] [MV] [yt]
Jim Noir - Eanie Meany [mp3]
Jim Noir - Turn that Frown Into a Smile [mp3]

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Post-Punk Artist Du Jour - Thomas Leer

Leer was a DIY pioneer, literally making his music single-handedly in his flat. Amazingly, in his early days he didn't use a synth to create the seemingly electrostatic feel. Instead he created several methods to improvise for this absence - heavily processed instruments and extremely primitive electronic gizmos.

Private Plane was his first single, released on his own label, Oblique. It was successful, especially for a DIY, becoming the NME's single of the week. 'Private Plane' is very celestial. It starts off with a bassline combo'd with a scrambled transmission from a "plane". Leer whispers meekly throughout - so that his girlfriend, who shared his flat, wouldn't be woken at night, but hey, it perfectly fit the song. As the song closes, further bleeps and blorps are heard. Again, amazingly without use of advanced electronics. " International" is similar, in that it's a quiet exposé of Leer's vocals, but it also includes a great guitar 'n bass combo. While other Leer tracks are more experimental ('Letter from America' is a kind of mutant funk) and unfocused (possibly in a good way), these two are his most accessible.

Thomas Leer - Private Plane [mp3]
Thomas Leer - International [mp3] [buy]

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

La Dauphine Marie

Film begins. I'm hearing a familiar angular and spiky guitar. Oh wow, it's Gang of Four! And look, the lettering for the film title is all new-wavey. So this is definitely going to be an interesting watch - a postmodern exhibition of Coppola's take on a the French queen. Oh, I'm a liar. Sorry. This film stinks. Like food scraps left to rot, perhaps? Maybe a croissant. It's a monotonous journey of boredom. Attempts at making it quirky and cute are countered by mundane banter to the point where I was nodding off for an early nap. I realize that it's historically inaccurate. I don't care, that should make for some more artistic freedom. I realize that Antoinette lived in her own confined world. Fine by me. Poor plot, acting gone awry, disastrous dialogue. Not cool.

I can't fault the soundtrack though. Like Lost In Translation before this, Sofia Coppola has a proven knack for putting together quality soundtracks. It's a nice mix of ambience, post-punk, indie, and electronic. And I'm quite glad to see the Radio Dept. having a prominent role in this - very deserving. The inclusion of 'I Want Candy' is a clear jab at Marie's childlike demeanor (and subsequently her scorned presence at Versailles), but Shields' remix is nothing of importance. I prefer his work done on 'Fools Rush In' - very surreal.

Soundtrack listing courtesy Wikipedia:

Disc One:

  1. "Hong Kong Garden" – Siouxsie & The Banshees [mp3]
  2. "Aphrodisiac" – Bow Wow Wow
  3. "What Ever Happened" – The Strokes
  4. "Pulling Our Weight" – The Radio Dept.
  5. "Ceremony" – New Order
  6. "Natural's Not in It" - Gang of Four [mp3]
  7. "I Want Candy (Kevin Shields Remix)" - Bow Wow Wow
  8. "Kings of the Wild Frontier" – Adam & The Ants
  9. "Concerto in G" – Antonio Vivaldi / Reitzell
  10. "The Melody of a Fallen Tree" – Windsor for the Derby
  11. "I Don’t Like It Like This" – The Radio Dept.
  12. "Plainsong" – The Cure

Disc Two:

  1. "Intro Versailles" – Reitzell / Beggs
  2. "Jynweythek Ylow" – Aphex Twin
  3. "Opus 17" – Dustin O’Halloran
  4. "Il Secondo Giorno (Instrumental)" – Air
  5. "Keen On Boys" - The Radio Dept. [mp3]
  6. "Opus 23" – Dustin O’Halloran
  7. "Les Baricades Misterieuses" – Francois Couperin / Reitzell
  8. "Fools Rush In (Kevin Shields Remix)" - Bow Wow Wow [mp3]
  9. "Avril 14th" – Aphex Twin
  10. "K. 213" – Domenico Scarlatti / Reitzell
  11. "Tommib Help Buss" – Squarepusher
  12. "Tristes Apprets.." – Jean Philippe Rameau / W. Christie
  13. "Opus 36" – Dustin O’Halloran
  14. "All Cats Are Grey" – The Cure
Buy it here. Enjoy it. It's one of the better OSTs I've seen in recent years.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Nag Nag Nag (+Nag)

Not only three nags (Cabaret Voltaire), but four, for Art Brut's new single, released today (November 13, 2006) entitled Nag Nag Nag Nag.

"It's about, and it can't just be me, when I was younger and my parents had a go at me, or I was in a bad mood I'd put my Walkman on and go for a big long walk to sort myself out. And I was thinking about how much I did that - ignored my parents nagging me - and realising that people who do that grow up funny - you miss something you should have been told because you weren't listening. I don't feel any different now to when i was 17 - I'm 26 now - I don't think you change really between those periods and maybe it's because you're not listening to people. I dunno it sounds very pretentious when I say it but it's just about putting your walkman on, stonking out of the house and coming back again" - Eddie Argos (Artrocker, Sep 2006)

AB is definitely the vanguard of ironic rock. Without their Velvet Underground mocking, their excessive ambitions, and their distant relations with popular culture, they'd just be another UK garage flash in the pan. I listened to Bang Bang Rock & Roll over and over (and over and over and over) to the point where when I finally saw them live, I was one of the very few fans chanting along, for every song.

The first time I heard this track was at the Opera House in Toronto on October 14th, part of their latest tour, which features We Are Scientists as the support act. It's a good single with catchy guitar hooks and their trademark execution of sarcasm+irony+cockney accent. Admittedly it's better onstage than on record, though the band is spectacular live so I can't complain. My favourite line - "Wet trousers in the washing machine, but I'd rather be damp than seen in jeans." For some reason, which Eddie explained but I can't seem to remember, the band don't like jeans. Hah! Can't win them all I suppose.

"Art Bruts, NAG! NAG! NAG! NAG!" as Eddie said.

Art Brut - Nag Nag Nag Nag [mp3] [buy]

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Le Sport

Ugh, what a cheesy picture....

These guys have New Order written all over them. Layered with '80s house beats and comical lyrics, this is the latest Swedish group to catch my attention. The synth-laden songs leave behind very catchy breaks at times ('I Do Renounce Them', 'Your Brother Is My Only Hope'). Judging by the artists they've mentioned on their Myspace (Human League, Heaven 17, Yazoo, etc.) the ends result isn't surprising. Sexual ambiguity is present, but later homosexuality seems to be a big theme - playing with the '80s house trend perhaps, first with the album art (pictured above) and a few of the song titles ('Show Me Your Penis, 'If Niall Tennant Was My Love').

Sadly, the new-wave revival has been cut short - the group disbanded a few weeks ago.

Le Sport - I Do Renounce Them [mp3] [buy]
Le Sport - Your Brother Is My Only Hope [mp3]

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Embassy

The Embassy are yet another pop band from Sweden, and the latest to pique my interest. Heavy synth use at times remind me of New Order, while their rhythmic styling is very reminiscent of "Pills 'n Thrills"-era Happy Mondays. It's a wonder that they're from Gothenburg rather than Manchester...

The name seems to be more suitable to a club or concert venue than a band name. My best guess leads me to believe that indie bands are now going through the dictionary, word by word, to use up every possible name of the "The + noun" variety.

The Embassy - Some Indulgence [mp3] [buy]
The Embassy - Time's Tight [mp3]
The Embassy - It Pays To Belong [mp3]

Friday, November 10, 2006

Peter Bjorn & John

Sweden's been a fairly rich font of pop music in recent times. I'm From Barcelona, Jens Lekman, and The Radio Dept. to name a few. One of the nicest pop albums I've heard this year comes from Stockholm trio Peter Bjorn & John.

Writer's Block is their third album, released a few weeks ago. Not nearly as ecstatically joyous as 'Barcelona, nor as melancholy as Jens, it's somewhere in between, showing great instrumental skill that rides through. They've been treated with a bit of fame lately - a favourable Pitchfork review and a spot on last week's Grey's Anatomy. Looks like I'm somewhat late! 'Young Folks" has a sort of boyish charm to it with a genuine whistle that brings a grin to my face. "Amsterdam" is a delicious pop nugget telling tales of the Dutch capital. The flute 'n synth combo makes it a gem. It's infectious. "Start To Melt" is very reminiscent of the Shins, a poptone that sets the album alight. Further displays of musical prowess and diversity are found in "Paris 2004", a wonderful exposé of strings.

A very enjoyable listen, definitely will feature as one of my favourite '06 releases.

Peter Bjorn & John - Young Folks [mp3] [buy] [MV]
Peter Bjorn & John - Amsterdam [mp3]
Peter Bjorn & John - Start To Melt [mp3]

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Certain albums resonate very personal affinities and ties with us. Familiar sounds; clattering cymbals; wry remarks; incorrigible attitudes, whatever. Album art gives these aural qualities a face. Political undertones, philosophical connotations, or perhaps something as simple as an aesthetic pleasantry are reasons for this allure. I'm no anthropologist, nor do I particularly care for the study of human nature, so suffice to say that we like this art. Interpretations are imperative. Artistic freedom allows for the simple pleasure of having no single correct view, but multiple possibilities. Unless of course the artist has blatantly stated what their art is representative of - tough luck.

Here are a select few of my own favourites:

Killing Joke - What's THIS For...!

Desolate, dystopian, and gloomy. This looks like a ghastly isolated town recently hit by a nuclear bomb. The emptiness suits the hollow feel of the album. And that woman's also got some strong calves, she must work out. Unfortunately her gym is a pile of rubble.

Primal Scream - Screamadelica

This here is the delightful blob of paint that I've come to know as Mr. Screamadelica. Many a time have I received compliments regarding him (he has been my IM display picture on several occasions) and I greedily accepted them without mentioning that I never painted him. I wish I did paint him.

The Human League - The Dignity of Labour Pts. 1-4

Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, is depicted on his way to receiving an honourary medal from Nikita Khrushchev, to the delight of the ecstatic crowd. Small in stature, he became a Soviet celebrity and a critical piece of propaganda to gain sufferance towards his nation's cause. Is there much dignity in labour? Perhaps, but he's clearly put on a pedestal, looking down on the mere peasants that constructed his ship. Isolation. That's a big theme in this EP. It's extremely isolated and atmospheric; vast meandering sounds reflecting the space-world. Proto-Industrial from Sheffield.

Gang of Four - Entertainment!

It's fair to say that Gang of Four were a bunch of politicos, both in word and voice. Chants of injustice and hypocrisy abound, they took the extra step to ensure their views were noticed - as is seen in short phrases depicting the "white man" robbing the indigenous.

Gza/Genius - Liquid Swords

A battle on a chessboard - Chessboxin'. This album carries on with the Wu-Tang fascination with samurai culture and the animation shows. Gza's rhymes and wit are lyrical swords, knocking down his prey. Checkmate.

Killing Joke - The Fall of Because [mp3] [buy]
Primal Scream - Don't Fight It, Feel It [mp3] [buy]
The Human League - The Dignity of Labour Pt. 1 [mp3] [buy]
Gang of Four - Natural's Not In It [mp3] [buy]
Gza/Genius - Liquid Swords [mp3] [buy]

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Hip-Hop 2520 Test #1

Now for some more genre-hopping! Tomorrow will be the first test in my Hip-Hop class. It's a listening test. Basically the prof., a former hip-hop head turned radio host in the late '80s, plays 10 songs (for 3 minutes each) and I've got to write down the artist, track title, record label of association, and the year released, for each of the 10.

For example, this would constitute a perfect mark: Grandmaster Flash & The Furious 5 - The Message [Sugarhill (1982)]

The full list of songs we've listened to in class is compiled here. Tonight I've been going through the lot and memorizing the necessary info. Since this is the first test, the roots and influences of the genre are the theme at hand. James Brown, Isley Brothers, Booker T & The MGs, Average White Band, Fatback, Chic, Fatback, Sugarhill Gang, Grandmaster Flash, etc. Certainly not my usual genre (soul/funk) and I'd first listen to James Chance before the other James, but I'm not complaining!

The following are a few of my select favourites from the list. And of course they're listed in a way to help me study!

James Brown - Papa's Got A Brand New Bag Pt. 1 [King (1965)] [mp3] [buy]
Bobby Byrd - I Know You Got Soul [King/S12 (1971)] [mp3] [buy]
Fatback - King Tim III (Personality Jock) [Perception (1979) [mp3] [buy]
Grandmaster Flash & The Furious 5 - The Message [Sugarhill (1982)] [mp3] [buy]

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Let's Take the Subway

Admittedly, much of my post-punk discoveries derive from Simon Reynolds' fabulous Rip It Up And Start Again - a nice overview of the p-p/new-wave years (1978-1984 according to Mr. Reynolds). I've posted a link of it on the right hand side-bar of this page, which will direct you to the Amazon UK store - definitely worthy of a read.

One such discovery that he pointed out was the Brit-punk group Subway Sect, headed by Vic Godard. Teaming up with very notable company including The Banshees, Clash, and Sex Pistols, Subway Sect were in a very true sense, an original punk band that would precede the upcoming wave. And not only original in the chronological sense, but more-so due to their uniqueness. Without stealing too much of Reynolds' findings, suffice to say that they had a rebellious punk spirit, but never overtly expressed it like their contemporaries. While the Pistols would vehemently make snarling lyrical quips, Godard intelligently crafted his music to defy what "rock music" was. Cutting ties with the past, starting anew, and certainly ignoring the norm, Godard purposely made music that deviated from the pack. Not to mention their style, strange antiquated getups, not quite meshing with the punks.

This all sounds fantastic - fresh and vigorous ideas from a band solely concerned with creating new unique music; new styles; new ideologies; new everything. This begs the obvious question - why are they unknown while the other contemporaries I've mentioned all rose to fame? Their single "Ambition" was extremely well regarded and sold quite well following a rise in the charts and being featured in several prominent musical publications. Godard was even hailed alongside other forward thinking punk champions such as Mark Perry (Alternative TV), John Lydon (Sex Pistols to P.I.L.) and Howard Devoto (Buzzcocks to Magazine and later Luxuria). Despite this, the band manager, Bernie Rhodes, also happened to be the manager of the Clash, and made no secret of the fact that Subway Sect were his second fiddle. As a testament to that fact, the band's debut album never saw the light of day. That'll surely sully any chance of success. Having said that, it truly mystifies me as to why another label wouldn't have picked them up and subsequently released the album, especially considering the eagerness of many label heads to jump on the punk bandwagon and sign anyone that showed a remote inkling of prowess.

The interesting thing to me is that Subway Sect were thinking ahead to post-punk just as punk had started. Godard's quiet rebellion which brought about his forward-thinking demeanor is an extremely notable attribute and was mirrored soon after by the likes John Lydon of P.I.L, following his breakup of the Pistols. Sadly, my collection of Subway Sect is very limited, though recently I've found a small source for more of their singles. I've included Ambition, easily their most successful work. It's quite catchy and enjoyable mainly due to its pop-twinged synth-line and light nature.

Subway Sect - Ambition [mp3]
Buy it from the Rough Trade Shops 25 Years Collection

Friday, November 03, 2006


Amidst my recent forays into electronica, shoegaze and dream pop have forever held a significant grip of my musical fibre. Lush soundscapes painted onto my eardrums, goop by goop. Dreamy (dreamy to describe dream pop, how creative of me..) vocals of majestic proportions. Lazy beauty carved into my ears.

Last night I had the notion to listen to Mazzy Star and, true to the title of this entry, I was star struck. Hope Sandoval's gentle introspective chants heard throughout So Tonight That I Might See washes my uneasiness away, just as it did the first time I heard it. And while I certainly don't discount David Roback's contributions, namely the wonderful drones from his guitar, it certainly is Hope's vocals that catapult them into the top echelon of dream pop. Her voice has a timeless beauty to it, similar to that of Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins). Hopefully I'll always be allowed the pleasure of returning to that assuring voice, despite the sonic abuse I've given my ears over the past few years.

Enough chatter, I'm off to the dreamland, nearly there...
Mazzy Star - Fade Into You
Mazzy Star - Bells Ring
Like it? Buy it!

Talking To Myself

OK, so now I'm going to ask myself some questions and answer them. Nay, I'm not schizophrenic, this is just my way of answering questions for you, assuming of course that someone out there is reading this. Though I'm also partially questioning myself as to be clear on whatever I'm doing here.

So I will begin - Why start a blog in the first place? I like music and I need a place to house my musical thoughts, rather than have them run around in my mind, and subsequently driving me mad. Sure, I could write them out on paper, but what kind of security is that, what if my house happens to burn down? Catastrophe - my notes turned to ash! Blogger, as I understand it, is part of the almighty Google Empire. Ergo (that means therefore) their legions of slave workers will assure me of invulnerability, right? (Note to self - back up my musical ramblings in .doc format) Order? I don't think there will be one, at least not chronologically. Whatever comes to mind will go up, be it modern or not-so-modern. Themes? I'm liking the artist/band-centred posts, as opposed to genre-wide ones. But maybe one given length of time (say, a week) could be focused on a particular genre or idea, while another could be dabbling in other notions. Frequency? Hopefully I can update this 3-5 times a week. It depends on how creative I feel, whether I have the time/will to do it, and quite simply how late I'm staying up at night. Ulterior motives? Who, me, what do you take me for? OK fine, I guess I wasn't telling the whole truth before. I do listen to quite a bit of obscure music, and I wouldn't mind giving those artists some more exposure. Yeah, I know, that's an extremely conceited (and pretentious!) ambition - me vaulting these obscurities into a slightly lower degree of obscurity? Well, one can dream. But maybe these artists don't want exposure and make more and more music just so that they're the most indie of the indie bands. Well then, I apologize for any disservice I may have caused and congratulate you on being a living piece of irony (I reallllly like irony!). Favourite Food? Pizza.



- • adjective attempting to impress by affecting greater importance or merit than is actually possessed.

Prattle - • verb talk at length in a foolish or inconsequential way.

noun foolish or inconsequential talk.

— ORIGIN Low German pratelen, related to PRATE.

Source - Oxford English Dictionary