Category Archives: Music

BeCauSE I haTe yER Ears :P

So as the day gently comes to an end with Tea and Cake for Newts, I give you the gift of music. Shall I perhaps give you some Led Zepplin, with lion like Percy the Lion roaring gently pure nonsense while Grand Wizzard Sir James Pageofabook fiddles with his double necked penis guitar and Mr Big Beard of Bozo hits his beer bongos, all of them ignoring the bass player MR Dull? No I shall give you a band that has made me piss myself with laughter ever since I heard their classic “Let’s Eat The Baby (Like My Gerbils Did) ” on the late (and much missed) John Peel’s Late Night Show. So here we go on Day 23 of my Noise no one else likes….The Happy Flowers with “My I Gave The Cat Some Acid“.

You are responsible for creating your own Happiness

Wayne Coyne (lead singer of psychedelic rock band The Flaming Lips) on the subject of Creating Your Own Happiness.  It took me a long time to LIVE this one fully and I really wish I had done it sooner. Because it really is Awesome and Full of Win 🙂

P.s I have a wife that puts up with me as well 🙂

I found this completely by accient btw, while looking up cover versions of King Crimson’s 21st Schizoid Man (of which the Flaming Lips do a really trippy version – which I’ll post in a follow up post).

Of course I can’t get away with this post without including this graceful upbeat song by them 🙂

1970s Nightmares

For some reason I’ve been obsessed with the darker side of the 70s. Its bleakness, its repressed emotions…

Started by watching Ben Wheatley’s adaptabtion of JG Ballard’s High-Rise.

At its heart its a Sci-fi story (without ray guns, spaceships or robots) the setting really transported me back to that time in both style and tone. Outstanding performances by an ensemble cast. Jeremy Irons is particularly chilling yet very fragile and human as the Architect of the building and Tom Hiddleston as the lead character shines but does not outshine the rest of the cast.

Total recommend from me, reminds me of some of the dark stuff you’d used to see on C4 & BBC2 in the 80s (not surprising this was funded by Film 4). A highly intelligent and well shot film, but not one for when you need a happy-cheery film

Meanwhile Radiohead ruin and soil many people’s childhood memories of shows like Trumpton and Camberwick Green with their video of their song Burn the Witch.

And continuing the theme of music and Black Magic, I picked up the Dark Horse Comic’s Graphic Novel version of That Damned Band.  Without giving too much away its a beguiling mix of 70s Heavy Metal excess, the band that the story is about Motherfarther screams Led Zepplin (with elements of other bands of the time ), psychedelia (the cover which drew me in reminded me of the 13th Floor Elevators) and good old horror storytelling.

CA_DamnedBand1-630x420

Of course the prize for creepy 1970s goes to Scarfolk Council, the blog/book/design project about a town stuck in a paranoid version of the 1970s.

scarfolk

 

A fast-slow start to the year

2016 started off in a really epic way, no it really did. Things literally flew through the air into place and everything was nicely lining up to be Awesome and Full of Win. Then like a mirror image of the end of last year, when Rach and Henry were full of cold/Flu for a week, me and Evie (who is the healthiest of all of us) had a grotty cold which stopped us in our tracks. Its been a weird and frustrating week, there’s so much I wanted to get done, but I think the best advice I’ve read during this time is “Take a step back, slow down, and see it all coming” 🙂

Kinda summing it all up, especially in the light of the recent deaths of David Bowie, Alan Rickman (both this week) and Lemmy, is this short animation by the creators of Southpark, using a fragment of a talk by Alan Watts.

All this makes me want to live more intensely, be more present in the moment, but at a slower more graceful pace. Especially when I’m full of cold at the start of the year 🙂

2015 in music

2015 musically was a year of branching out as I gradually grow from the metal of my younger years.  There’s been alot of noodling about with Jazz, dabbling in chill out music and experimental electronic music.

A big discovery for me this year has been Phish a lovely intelligent melodic psychedelic band, who are huge in America filling out arenas, but strangely absent from European touring schedules (the lead singer apparently has a drugs conviction that prevents touring over here). My entry point was via the awesome Fuego which is their last album, after a hiatus and reformation. Then I consumed Billy Breathes which has the fantastically uplifting anthem Free. My final trip to Phishland was the appropriately titled Joy, a heartfelt epic of a long player.

Also rediscovered Ozric Tentacles via their latest album Technicians of the Sacred, which is their latest after reforming, and has all the joyous swirling dancey uplifting instrumentals that I remember them for from the early 90s, where I discovered them from my pals in Leeds University’s Psychedelic and Trash Society.

Clutch put out Psychic Warfare, which is a lovely blend of their ‘pure rock fury’ sound which has developed over the last couple of albums and the weirder sci-fi influenced lyrics of their early albums, bliss.

Faith No More came back strong with Sol Invitus, which is a wonderful continuation and evolution of their musical mission, not a plundering and invalidation of their musical backcatalog like some reformations are.

I was initially very excited about Killing Joke’s new LP Pylon. It hits all the buttons that a good Killing Joke release should. Perhaps that’s the problem, that after thirty odd years of them pushing my buttons I no longer need the cathartic release they used to provide. Going to see them live back in October certainly felt like I concluded business I started with them in the 90s. I dunno maybe after a break I’ll come back to them with fire and passion. Perhaps they will find a new and exciting direction.

Bandcamp has been a big find this year and I’ve taken the time to explore it. I really like the model of free streaming and then them nudging you buy (usually at a pay what you want price). Its become my main place to find new music. A lot of nice electronica, like the abrasive Igorrr and the relaxing Gnomes of Kush (check out their latest LP Honey) have come this way, as well as new geetar music – such as the swaggering garage punk of Gentlemen and Assassins and the math metal of Innerty (both groups have unfortunately seemed to have faded in real life, but their albums are still available in the virtual record store that is Bandcamp). Slovenian one man band Neurotech has combined the best of both worlds, with uplifting lyrics, sweeping symphonic metal and ethereal synths. Best of all it has the OST to River of Heaven by my mate Keef Baker in his Slipdrive guise :)

You can check all this out via my Bandcamp home page, which neatly catalogs both what I’ve bought (my Collection) and what’s on my Wishlish (stuff I’ll probably get when I feel less tight).

Uncle Lemmy RIP?

So they say Lemmy Killminster of Hawkwind/Motorhead fame is dead this week at 70 years of age?

Bollocks say I.

He’s not dead. Not to my 10 year old self bumping into 80s Motorhead fans at the local youth club, thinking “I’m going to be that confident and so self assured when I grow up, and wear denim and have a bullet belt”. Not to my 15-20 year self who worshiped the Holy Trinity of Overkill/Bomber/Ace of Spades. Not to my 30 old self who got picked up by his music every time I was beaten down into the dull routine of ‘grown up life’. Not to my 40+ self who knows the stars that shine the brightest are eternal 🙂

Nah he’s flying along in a big etheric Silver Machine through the higher frequencies, a new Sonic God to help the faithful kick out  the jams and hammer the boring and dull 🙂

and from his time in Hawkwind

Merry Midwinter break!

In my mid-twenties I took time to stop and take stock of what Christmas really meant to me.

Well it certainly wasn’t the Christian Christmas, since I’m not a member of that religion and the whole celebrating Jesus’s birth sort of falls down for me upon releasing that the whole thing was early Christians adopting pagan traditions (this happened all over the shop – Easter is another good one).

And its sure as shit not the bastardised Commercial Christmas with its Coca Cola Santa and its mantra of “Buy at Christmas or the Economy is fucked!“. I mean I like presents as much as the next guy but I hate the whole stress fest that goes around it. Oh and for your conspiracy theory lovers (and skeptics) out there, if you ever want to think about how easy it is to manipulate someone’s reality think about the ritual we go through with small children at Christmas time (thankfully its all fun and magic for them, and they soon see through it as they get older).

No for me its a time to have a break and celebrate that despite all the trials of the year gone by, me and my loved ones (which includes the whole of Reality seen and unseen) are still here (even the ones that have walked through the Doors of Perception) and that Reality is having a short pause for thought, allowing us mortals to stock up on summertime levels of energy through being “Excellent to Each Other and Party On Dudes!” (aka entering a state of pure love) , having a right good old knees up , before the whole Wheel of Time starts turning for another cycle 🙂

So without much more pontification here’s my favourite ‘Christmas’ Song 😀

Thinking of Dr Know

The Bad Brains weren’t one of the crop of punk bands that ignited my suburban teenage years, I only found them in my late 20s. But once found they kicked my butt to Mars!

So I’m sad to hear their guitarist Dr Know is in critical condition a hospital, so I’m cranking up the PMA Vibe machine and sending him some energy.

Talking of which here’s probably my favorite rebellion/self-realisation song of theirs 🙂

Don’t need no ivory liquid. Don’t want no afro sheen.
Don’t need the latest fashions. Don’t want my hair to smell clean.

I’ve got my automotion,
I’ve got that superpotion.
And if you think I’m going crazy,
Then pretty baby it might be true babe.

We don’t need no first class. Don’t need no second class.
All of the best-of, all that can kiss my ass.

I’ve got my claim to fame,
I’ve got that positive flame.
And if you think I’m going crazy,
Then pretty baby it might be you babe.