Friday, 30 October 2009
'Geek Love' was championed by John Peel as a perfect example of a band self-financing their debut single; he famously stated, "Even if they never made another record, they'll have achieved more than most of us do in our entire lives." The near 10 minute 'Spangle mix' was voted number one in his Festive Fifty in 1992.
Geek Love * 7" Mix
Geek Love * Spangle Mix
Geek Love * Irrisistable Force Remix
Geek Love * Irrisistable Ambient Mix
Bang Bang Machine: Geek Love E.P.
Wednesday, 28 October 2009
2. kool g rap & polo - ill street blues
3. jeru the damaja - come clean
4. reflection eternal - fortified love
5. redman - tonight's da nite
6. ed o.g and the bulldogs - i got to have it
7. de la soul feat. tribe called quest - she's fe mc's
8. special ed - i got it made
9. black moon - who got the props
10. gang starr - dwyck
11. the alkaholiks - make room
12. the beatnuts feat. the punisher - off the books
13. naughty by nature - uptown anthem
14. epmd - you gots to chill
15. jungle brothers - straight out the jungle
16. yz - thinkin' of a masterplan
17. black sheep - flava of the month
18. sunz of man - shining star
19. method man - bring the pain
Download Kenny 'Dope' Gonzalez Presents: Hip-Hop Forever.
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Music, It's the Victoria falls of yearning, its a rush of blood to the head as well as the loins, its many things to many people, most of which involve a surging in the chest as if something momentous and life changing is about to occur. Music prompts people to act on their impractical desires leave town, drive all night, hit the city, ask the girl out, lean forward to kiss the girl when shes out with you. Its about youth. It suggests you must pursue your dreams, which, in truth, is possibly the most suspect and stupid of all musics aspects, words born on the breeze and dying as quickly on the wind. If you pursue your dreams and dont find them, where does that leave you? Too tired and bruised to even want to dream? All regrets and melancholy smiles, blown on a wish?The criminal alternative, however, is never to feel what your favourite records feel never to feel young, gifted, good looking and over confident. To be running from, not running to the place we really want to go Heaven, Paradise,,,, wherever!It triggers searing, visceral memories, of how you used to pull a girl close to you, just so you could feel each breath shed take, the smell of her hair,,,,, and of how now sometimes those memories come back to haunt you. Is a dream a lie if it doesnt come true or is it something worse? Or are we all missing the point: That true love requires a leap of faith? To cross that line you never come back from that means your going along for the ride, the whole ride, all the way to the end of the line. Wherever that is? Music asks all these questions."Everything dies and thats a fact, but maybe something that dies can come back."Its about these dreams and our disillusions and how we deal with that intense longing that all we Human Beings have for something and someone, and how sometimes you get to that point in life when you realise that you have not achieved that. The disappointment is there but youre still willing to go back and try to hang on to something intangible.Its the way that sometimes you pray for one face that knows you, that looks at you the way it always did. Its about hovering on that point where sheer desperation and hope battle it out, a snap-shot picture of the chasm that exists between the reality that IS, and the reality you THINK is out there. Its the first rays of the new sunrise that shines a kind of harsh light on the real world and sticks a little needle into you that says that true love doesnt always last forever, money doesnt always solve things and the truth isnt always on the lips of those you expect. But still, knowing that never stops you hoping.Our favourite music informs us of things at the most base of levels. She Bangs the Drums and Sugar spun Sister tell me that life is both momentous and sad, but not destructive of hope, and maybe that makes me a self-dramatising depressive, or maybe it makes me a happy idiot. Either way those songs know who I am, and that, in the end, is one of the consolations of art.Music has the gift of making things near prefect at times, when I hear Minnie Ripperton sing Les Fleur, or Marvin Gaye tearing through Inner City Blues, or even Marvin and Tammi Tyrell singing Youre All I Need I swear I can hear my own heart crack.But in the wrong hands music can cause much harm, no-body ever loses their virginity to the song theyd like to lose it to, in a perfect world, it would be Marvin Gaye or Al Green, in actual fact its more likely to be one of your parents M.O.R. rock albums that was already in the C.D. player. Just imagine theres probably some poor soul out there who popped his cherry to one of his Dads Simple Minds albums! Pity him good people.For me it was a satisfying fumble to the sounds of some unlistenable noise that John Peel was playing when he used to do his evening show on radio 1 at 8 oclock on a midweek night, I remember it like it was yesterday! Now in a perfect world, obviously, it wouldnt have happened that way at all. But that was still one of the defining moments in my personal/musical history, but not the most important.That honour lays firmly with Led Zeppelin, and the first time I heard Robert Plant unleash his primal howl to mark the beginning of Communication Breakdown. I was 13, and had just gotten in from school when my friends brother told us that he had just bought some new records and a game for his spectrum, so it was with joystick in hand I waited to play Way of the Exploding Fist while my friends brother cued up side 1 of Zeppelins debut album, he didnt however tell me that the next barrage of sound I heard would change my life. It thundered out of the speakers and filled the whole of the room, the walls shook as Plant let go his scream. By the end of it I felt both confused and Exhilarated, the only other time I had felt anywhere near this was my first wank!In order to understand the cultural impact of the ideals which shaped my thinking behind this document, it is necessary to examine what came before all this, starting with;Back in 1977 almost a quarter of a century after they first started printing the singles charts, the NME polled its writers to determine the 100 greatest singles of all time. When the votes, dimpled or otherwise, were finally cast, the candidates were duly sifted and the result solemnly declared. And the winner was Layla by Derek And The Dominoes. The list as a whole reflected the prejudices of its day serious music was white guitar orientated and technically proficient,,,, and preferably bearded! Punk, just then coming round the mountain to blow away this complacency like dandruff, couldnt arrive quickly enough. The NMEs list not only highlights the dangers inherent in such exercises of looking extremely silly, but also indicates the extraordinary changes wrought in music over the pat quarter of a century.Punks arrival in 1976/1977 created a schism in rock history whose impact was bearly recognised even as it happened. Whether it was a roar of working class (or should that be art School) discontent, a situationist prank with suprisingly long-lasting implications, a back to basics after the excessive colonic investigations of prog rock, the cultural product of a profound sense of boredom, alienation and economic gloom in British Society, it transformed everything. Its simple proposition that anyone could do it meant that music was no longer about proficiency but about ideas. All channels were now open: post-modern irony (Devo), feminism (Blonde, The Slits), multiculturism (The Specials, The Clash) all came bustling through the door, throwing up unlikely permutations. 1977 however would be pivotal for another reason the electrification of dance music. Donna Summers I Feel Love introduced the sequencer to Disco, while Kraftworks electronic epic 12-inch Trans-Europe-Express would trigger off an electronic storm of chain reactions that would impact on everyone from Bowie to Bambaataa. Just about every great single of the past 25 years has been determined by these two revolutionary occurrences. Punk and Electronica have made a melting pot of rock culture, breeding supersonic hybrids, feeding off each other, synthesising, colliding, mutating. Which is where this document comes in, a much needed celebration of our own incendiary era.For example, the prevalence of all the Best of.. compilations, and all time 100 charts, most of them repeat the same sub-text that we should cringe in shame and awe of the old masters. Hence, an anthology of Beatles singles ascends to No1, a reminder of the days of proper music. This point is irradiated into our psyches by ads, and film and T.V. soundtracks, all of which are crammed with classic retro pop and a general culture of retro-chic that reminds us that such class ceased to be issued in music after 68. In short, this generation is labouring under an unwarranted musical inferiority complex.Not to cheapen or sully the Old Masters, or indeed side-step the argument put forward in some quarters that the analogue recording methods in the sixties enabled the singles of those times to develop in a way they no longer can in this digital era. Only a philistine would argue against the immortality and unreachable uniqueness, of great sixties music. But since 1976, the emancipating opportunities of new technology, the increasingly rich heritage of past music to feast upon and fuck with, the continuing liberalisation of cultural attitudes, and the overall expansion of the universe of ideas and sounds has enabled post punk generations to produce work which frankly, would have done the old masters heads in. Curse the mono limitations of their era!Trouble is modern music has been the victim of its own staggering eclecticism. The dreary retro-chic of the mid-nineties, was a subconscious response to the sheer mass and sampladelic diversity of these sonic times. Too much the public seemed to say a few years back, we just want a common talking point, like in the old days when it was just The Beatles or The Stones and we all knew where we stood. Hence, the excesses of Britpop (Oasis, and O.C.S. especially!) culminating in the timid M.O.R. tunesmithery of the truly awful Stereo-fuckin-fonics and Travis, a return to an agreed-upon sensibleness, and, again reflecting a pinning for some Tory musical notion of the classical, reducing rock from a convulsive, revolutionary wave to a cottage craft.If the musical landscape today seems devoid of quality, its not due to a dearth of new ideas but in a perverse and complex way to an overload of them which resulted in a relapse into conservatism. Which means practically the only left-field incursion into the charts youll get nowadays, from all the bubbling babble of contenders, is the plodding, emotional sobriety of someone like Coldplay. A band guided to pre-eminence by a conspiracy of marketers and Radio 1 playlisters who decided there should be at least one Indie style band broken this year. And theres your second problem; the triumph of the science of marketing, into which so much creative energy is channelled nowadays.Such wasnt the case in the aftermath of Punk, then, a door opened briefly. Record companies, unsure of what the hell was flying around, adopted an oh well, I expect you know what youre doing attitude towards new acts, an attitude which has always proven fertile in the art versus commerce stakes. The single, previously scorned by the likes of Zeppelin and Floyd, came into its own. The Buzzcocks, Elvis Costello, XTC and The Pistols all stormed the ramparts. And there was a sense of a storm too you could see the fear in Noel Edmonds eyes as he introduced The Ramones or The Undertones whilst he affected a glazed look of forced jollity at these gatecrashers on Top Of The pops. This was to say nothing of those like Magazine, The Clash and The Gang Of Four who refused to go on TOTP because it ran counter to their principles, oh,,,, and they thought it was shit!Then came the great wave of Avant-pop in the early Eighties, from ABC and The Associates, to the likes of Heaven 17 and Talking Heads, once and forever punks working in primary colours, but informed by a romantic excitement that pop music could be more than just wall paper, a collective revolution, that culminated in the glory that was Frankie Goes To Hollywood. A little more downbeat but equally vital was the 2-Tone surge, headed by The Specials and their three minute, monochrome studies in social realism.Economic boom years tend to be indifferent pop years, and so it proved to be in the mid Eighties before the recession hit late Eighties-early-Nineties brought a crop of disaffected insurgents over the wall: The Happy Mondays, Primal Scream, The Stone Roses, all ripped to the tits on Punk, Rave and Acid, as well as the likes of Sued, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Sonic Youth, The Jesus And Mary Chain, The Manics, Dinosaur Jnr, Radiohead and The Pixies, each beneficiaries of the reinvention of Rock in the late Eighties, later came Britpop with its occasional moments of nation uniting magnificence such as Pulps Common People.But this isnt merely about the crossover successes. Many of the Bands I've mentioned didnt even chart. But they moved the world at a deeper more seismic level nonetheless, in terms of their power and influence and, later, reputation. See Lee Perry, Wire, The Fall! Primal Screams Higher Than The Sun failed to breach the top 30 in 1991, but now who remembers the fluff that kept it at bay that week, Chesney fucking Hawkes, Sonia? So what? Even New Orders Blue Monday never made it to the coveted number one spot. Yet it was one of the best selling 12 singles of all time in the long term.This is about records and bands that rocked the world not those that popped the world. This is sternly anti-kitsch, no Bee Gees, no ABBA, no Spice Girls, no Madonna even - and certainly none of that big boisterous blank, Robbie Williams. Drawn as we increasingly are to the gawking vortex of celebrity, you have to snap your fingers to remind yourself that for all their zillions, people like Williams are not actually happening, that their cultural, historic impact is, like that of the Osmonds, nil.This is about what did happen and what soundtracked those pivotal events of peoples lives, the music that left these scorch marks is still smouldering, this is the music that is in danger of being written out by those potted TV retro-histories of pop, in which the Seventies mean Elton John and Queen, the Eighties Live Aid and the Nineties, more Elton John and Queen. Of course by saying this Im not installing myself as some kind of self-appointed monitor of cool,,,, no, rather regard this as the tip of an undoubted iceberg.This is about the music of our very own, very recent times. And. It. Is. Gigantic.
Till next time.
Big Love. Moogar X.
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Ask the average man who wrote the plays entitled Hamlet, Romeo And Juliet, King Lear and Othello, and in most cases he'll snap confidently back with "The immortal Bard of Stratford-Upon-Avon." Ask him about the authorship of the Shakespearean sonnets and see if you don't get the same reply. Now put these questions to to certain literary detectives who seem to crop up every now and again over the years, and don't be surprised if you get answers like Sir Frances Bacon, Ben Johnson, Queen Elizabeth and possibly even Gabrielle Batistuta. The most recent of these theories is to be found in a book I have just read that attempts to prove conclusively that the real author of Shakespeare's works was Christopher Marlow. The book makes a very convincing case, and when I got through reading it I was not sure if Shakespeare was Marlowe or Marlowe Shakespeare or what. I know this, I would not liked to have cashed cheques for either one of them - and I like their work. No, in trying to keep the the above mentioned theory in perspective, my first question is this: If Marlow wrote Shakespeare's works, who wrote Marlowe's? The answer to this lies in the fact that Shakespeare was married to Anne Hathaway. This we know to be factual. However, under the new theory, it is actually Marlowe who was married to Anne Hathaway, a match which caused Shakespeare no end of grief, as they would not let him in the house. One fateful day, in a jealous rage over who held the lower number in a bakery que, Marlow was slain - slain or whisked away in disguise to avoid charges of heresy, a most serious crime punishable by slaying or whisking away or both.
It was at this point that Marlowe's young wife took up the pen and continued to write the plays and sonnets we all know and avoid today. But allow me to clarify. We all realise Shakespeare (Marlowe) borrowed his plots from the ancients (moderns): however, when the time came to return the plots to the ancients he had used them up and was forced to flee the country under the assumed name of William Bard (Hence the term "Immortal Bard") in and effort to avoid debtors prison (hence the term "Debtor's Prison") Here Sir Frances Bacon enters into the frame innit. Bacon was an innovator of the times who was working on advanced methods of refrigeration. Legend has it he died attempting to refrigerate a chicken. Apparently the chicken pushed first. In an effort to conceal Marlowe from Shakespeare, should they prove to be the same person , had adopted the fictitious name Alexander Pope, who was actually Pope Alexander, head of the Roman Catholic Church and currently in exile owing to the invasion of Italy by the Bards, last of the nomadic hordes (the Bards gave us the term "immortal bard") , and years before had galloped off to London, where Raleigh awaited death in the tower.
The mystery deepens for, as this goes on, Ben Johnson stages a mock funeral for Marlowe, convincing a minor poet to take his place for the burial. Ben Johnson is not to be confused with Samuel Johnson. He was Samuel Johnson. Samuel Johnson was not. Samuel Johnson was Samuel Pepys. Peyps was actually Raleigh, who had escaped from the tower to write Paradise Lost under the name of John Milton, a poet who because of blindness was accidentaly hanged under the name of John Swift. This all becomes clearer when we realise that George Elliot was a Woman.
Proceeding from this then, King Lear is not a play by Shakespeare but a satirical but a satirical revue by Chaucer, originally titled 'Everyone Loves a Gobby Northerner', which contains in it a clue to the man who killed Marlowe, a man known around Elizabethan times (Elizabeth Barret Browning) as 'Old Vic'. Old Vic became more familiar to us later as Victor Hugo, who wrote 'The Hunchback Of Notre Dame', which most students of literature feel is merely 'Coriolanus' with a few obvious changes. (Say them both fast.)
We wonder then, was Lewis Carroll caricaturing the whole situation when he wrote Alice In Wonderland? The March Hare was Shakespeare, the Mad Hatter, Marlowe, and the Doormouse, Bacon-or the March Hare, Marlowe-or Carroll, Bacon and the Doomouse Marlowe-or Alice was Shakespeare-or Bacon-or Carroll was the Mad Hatter. A pity Carroll is not still alive today to settle it. Or Bacon. Or Marlowe. Or Shakespeare. The point is, if you're going to move, notify your post office. Unless you don't give a shit about posterity.
Dusty Springfield * Breakfast In Bed.
Blur * Strange News From Another Star.
Clinic * The Return Of Evil Bill.
Be Your Own Pet * Adventure Pt 1.
Elliott Smith * Everything Reminds Me Of Her.
Lupine Howl * Vaporiser.
Grizzly Bear * While You Wait For The Others.
Till next time.
Big Love. Moogar. X.
Friday, 16 October 2009
8:30. Wake to catch the beginning of a particularly pathos laden episode of 'Fraiser'. This causes me to become immensely introspective and start examining my moral and religious ideologies. Do I believe in God? I did until Mother's accident. She slipped on the wet floor in the kitchen and had her spleen penetrated by quite a warm feta salad recently purchased from Asda. She lay unconscious in hospital for months, unable to do anything but sing '5 Years' by The Dave Bowie Band. Why was this Woman in the prime of her life so afflicted - because she dared to defy convention and get married smoking a church-warden pipe?
9:00 Prompted by an old episode of 'Will And Grace' have cause again to explore my value system. How can I believe in God when only last week I caught my tongue in the roller of an electric typewriter? Am plagued with doubts.
10:00 Switch on the radio. Listen to news. What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet! If God would only give me a sign. Like making a deposit in my name at a bank in the Caymen Islands.
11:00 Have coffee with Jules. She looks rather resplendent this morning. Very chic in fact, all lithe and sporting a very health glow. Her brown hair let down, tumbling across her shoulders like a chocolate waterfall. I recognise the Dior Homme jacket and Marc Jacobs trousers she's wearing,,, and hold on, are those my old Predetor's she's got on? J'accuse!
Storm out of coffee shop incandescent with rage at the discovery that she's had it away with my favourite old footy boots. (And after she's said 5 times that she won't have sex with me today.)
12:00 Lunch. Jules phones to apologise for pinching my footy boots and says I can have them back anytime after the weekend. We chat about her idea of having all government officials dress like hens.
(Still no nearer any sex. I can tell that this is going to be a war of attrition!)
1:00 Play idea: A character based on Richard Swinney, but without quite so prominent a big toe and the rampaging cock-rot. He is sent to the Sorbonne to study sandwich making. In the end he dies not having realised his dream - to sit up to his waist in gravy. (I see a brilliant second-act curtain, where two midgets come upon a severed head in a shipment of volleyballs.)
2:00 while taking my afternoon walk today I have more morbid thoughts. What is it about death that bothers me so much? Probably the hours. Plato said the soul is immortal and lives on after the body drops away, but if my soul exists without my body I am convinced that all my clothes will be lose fitting. Oh well then.
Here's some records to listen to as a reward for reading the previous. You deserve it.
Mazzy Star - Into Dust
The Rolling Stones - 2'000 Man
The Pixies - Motorway To Roswell
Wilco - Nothingsevergonnastandinmyway (Again)
Mark Lanegan - Strange Religion
Rare Earth - I Know I'm Losing You