Friday, October 31, 2008

Spinning Around

Photo taken by this talented lady

I was going to post something tonight. One of the many stories that have accumulated and jammed up both mind and soul.

But I just couldn't.

I feel like I'm going around and around on some infernal carousel, sometimes awake, sometimes asleep, sometimes a bit of both. At times the ride is thrilling, but mostly I just want to get off.


Red Lorry Yellow Lorry - Spinning Around (buy here or e-here)
Music for Zombies - Carnival of Souls (buy here or e-here)
Christian Death - Sleepwalk (buy here or e-here)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Seven in a Row

Typical. It's like the bloody bus; you wait ages for one to come by, then several show up at once. However, in this case it's not a curse, but a blessing; right now there are soooo many fine shows coming up in Vancouver that I just couldn't sit in the bus shelter and watch them drive by.

Recently I've been to see The Wedding Present and Abigail Washburn (about which more at a future date). Then over the next six weeks I'm off to with Frightened Rabbit supporting The Spinto Band, gory thrashers GWAR, garage noiseniks King Khan & BBQ, and finally the delightful Holly Golightly.


And last night, Dearest Friends, I finally got to see The Legendary Pink Dots, whom I've long wanted to experience. It was a bit of a dilemma, for Wire were also playing that same evening, supported by the mighty Japandroids. But The Dots it was. LPD have been floating around the fringes, in the ozone, and underground for the past twenty-eight years, during which time they've prolifically released thirty-six albums plus a clutch of LPs. How to describe them for the uninitiated? Um, with difficulty. But here goes: LPD weave a dense and vast musical mesh of fairytale whimsy, surreal mysticism, and unsettling menace out of strands of electronica, goth, krautrock, folk, techno, dub, and psychedelia. Think (WARNING: Facile Artist Comparison Mishmash Alert!) early Pink Floyd meets Skinny Puppy meets Hawkwind meets Nurse With Wound meets Gorkys Zygotic Mynci meets Joy Division. I was hooked many years ago when I first heard frontman Edward Ka-Spel feyly singing of etchings and licking wax off moustaches in "A Day At The Dreamies."

LPD did not play that tune last night, but concentrated instead on their latest album, the excellent Plutonium Blonde. The show was, like the curate's egg, good in parts; the surrealy twee "My First Zonee" and the stalking, malevolent "Torchsong" were particular highlights for me. Oh, and I was particularly tickled when Niels van Hoorn, the mad saxophonist, went walkabout in the crowd, his instrument blasting out a fierce light from its bell with every bleat. However, I fear that overall the LPD live experience fell somewhat short, at least on this occasion.

Perhaps it was the venue; Richards on Richards is a rather soulless box, and last night it was only about a quarter full - perhaps everyone else was at Wire. But that aside, LPD's albums are glorious, grand, sweeping, immersive, mysterious things, and the group wasn't able to replicate that on stage. The three insistent strobe lights and the rather feeble pfft-pfft-pfft of a dry ice machine were a bit embarrassing, and the enigmatic Ka-Spel, clad in a black robe with a pink pashmina, looked like a cross between wee Ronnie Corbett (Yanks: see video in previous post, bloke on the right), Ozzy Osbourne circa 1971, and the singer from The Polyphonic Spree. While it was all quite endearing in an am-dram sort of way and the crowd was fiercely appreciative, it left me all rather underwhelmed.

Driving home in the rain after the show, I slipped Plutonium Blonde on the car stere-ere-ereo. As its otherworldly magnificence unfolded, the car brakelights in front of me became skittering cosmic paramecia and the windshield wipers the flapping wings of a mothlike pixie that sprinkled comet dust on my windscreen.

Now that's more like it!

The Legendary Pink Dots - Torchsong (buy here or e-here)
The Legendary Pink Dots - A Day At The Dreamies (buy here or e-here)
The Legendary Pink Dots - Princess Coldheart (buy here or e-here)

P.S. Here's a splendidly wibbly video of "Rainbows Too?," another fine track from Plutonium Blonde:

Monday, October 13, 2008

I Know My Place

There's stuff in the works, Dearest Friends, believe you me. In the meantime, I was tickled to within an inch of my life by my discovery of this absolutely stunning gem from 1966. Featuring a young, pre-Python John Cleese and The Two Ronnies, this Frost Report sketch sends up the British class system something wicked. Quite possible one of the cleverest, most biting, ninetysome seconds ever committed to celluloid.

The Monochrome Set - The Ruling Class (buy here or e-here)
Hello Saferide - Middle Class (buy here or e-here)
Ringo - Working Class (buy here or e-here)

Monday, October 06, 2008

Tidying Up

No, I'm not going to crap on about how busy things have been and how I really want and intend and promise to post more frequently. Although I just did and I do.

But it is time, Dearest Friends, for a spot of housekeeping. You see, my blogroll has been in dire need of updating for some time, but I've been most negligent in attending to it. So this evening I invite you to join with me as I slip on my pinny and rubber gloves (did you hear that lovely latex Snap! as they went on??), pick up my mop, and get ready to tidy things up...

First, it's time to part with a couple of blogs that seem to be no more. The Roaring Machine has not roared for many, many months, and I can but hope that Her Highness Dearest Liz, Queen Supreme of Tweegoth, is happy and serene on the Isle of Man with her Spoilt Victorian Child consort. Likewise, the Diary of a Contemporary Dandy has not been e-scribbled in since January. The blogosphere is a poorer place without Dearest Gayest Neil's frothy and hi-LAAA-rious prose.

Fret not, Dearest Friends, for as I sweep clean with mop in one latex-enrobed hand, so I restock with my other. And so, my shelves heave and groan with the addition of not one, not two, but SIX blogs! Who knew tidying up could be such fun (snap!)??

Pretending Life Is Like A Song is not actually a new blog round here, but the splendid reincarnation of an old favourite. Dearest Adam has been back with us for some time, and his wonderfully scribed reflections on songs picked out of his Bag of Excellent Taste are well worth your and my whiles.

A Stubborn Mule's Perspective isn't really a music blog per se, but please don't let that put you off. Dearest Sean from Oz explains things ranging from the financial to the mathematical to the interwebby in language that thickoes like myself can understand. Moreover, he and I go waaay back and have shared stories (which you'll never hear) involving bums, welts, grease, vodka, hospitals, cinema seats, Ministry concerts, dissolute coyotes, and gas masks.

It All Started With Carbon Monoxide, according to Dearest Agnes, who's also from Down Under. And from there it moved on to stories about music and other compelling matters, all with a refreshingly Aussie slant. And no jokes about shrimps on barbies; they're actually called prawns. And koalas are just koalas, OK? Not koala bears.

I Correct Myself, I Mean All The Time says Dearest Tart, but I don't believe her since there's nothing at all correct about her blog. Which is what makes it so delish. Drop your inhibitions and drop on by for heads of bread, music ranging from Motown to electrosleaze, and libido a go-go.

Dearest Mulrine is indeed extremely Pop Cultureddd, so you should visit chez elle in the hope that some of her cultcha may rub off on you. And you might get a dollop of sociology on the side, along with the main course of yummy words and fresh, hot music.

The Roman Empress reigns over a most stylish blog whose empire encompasses, inter alia, London, timeless music, priests, and, er, moustaches. She is a most benign monarch, and worthy of your adulation.

There, that's looking proper spic 'n' span now!! Now just a quick rubdown with some appropriate tuneage:

Echo & The Bunnymen - Do It Clean (buy here)
George Formby - When I'm Cleaning Windows (buy here or e-here)
Eminem - Cleanin' Out My Closet (Jacknife Lee Mix) (This RAWKS!!! Buy some Eminem here)