Closing down sale: Blogshite

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So far, you have missed an extremely drunk video interview with Mr Andrew Weatherall, a not-remotely-drunk Q&A with Piers Sanderson, director of the Blacburn rave documentary High on Hope and a piece on the very finest band you have never heard of, as well as the usual un-informed opinion and foul-mouthed invective.

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Thank you and goodnight.


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Hip Replacement: The Power Of Love by Frankie Goes To Hollywood (ZTT)

OF COURSE, there were a lot better singles in the pop chart but what can you do? Beige will prevail.

A combination of guilt-tripping peer-pressure and a genuine if naïve and perhaps even misguided desire to make some kind of a difference to the world meant that banal, mindless, oblivious conformity won through in the end.

It wasn’t anything to do with music. It was all about marketing, hype and good, old-fashioned bullshit.

How could we have ever thought that it would be any different? It was a foregone conclusion. Shit floats. Always has, always will. And there are an awful lot of dullards and impressionable kids out there. Thinking about it now, it would have been surprising if the crappy charity protest record didn’t get to the top of the Christmas chart.

Then again, who really gives a fuck about the pop chart at any time of the year, up to and including Christmas? This is not the concern of adults. Teenage girls and people who work in the music industry, I can understand. Anyone else, not so much – and this was just as much the case a quarter of a century ago as it was earlier this week.

Twenty-five years ago to the day, Band Aid’s execrable response to the 1984 Ethiopian famine, Do They Know It’s Christmas? was the Christmas number one – even though everyone knew it should really have been The Power Of Love by Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

Continue reading

Hyperbole: Pussy rules the world

FIRST of all, this is a bit of a long one, so if you’re not interested in 17th century poetry, punk rock fanzines, bleepy sounds from Sheffield, Badly Drawn Boy, bossa nova or cats, you’d probably best fuck off now. I promise I won’t be offended.

Now, are we all sitting comfortably?

The best ideas are often the simplest.

Whoever it was at Punks is Hippies who came up with the genius idea of scanning old punk fanzines and sticking them online as downloadable pdf files deserves a medal – although thinking about it, they’d probably prefer a dinky little button badge.

Among a ton of UK publications from the Eighties (like Acts of Defiance, pictured), you’ll also find a treasure trove of more recent European zines such as Vapaus! from Osijek, Croatia featuring such mellow, middle-of-the-road acts as Zudas Krust (Indonesia), Kääska (Brazil), Derriba Tus Muros (Brazil) and Chaos Destroy (USA).

Punks is Hippies is allied to the equally worthy Digital Fanzine Preservation Society and the UK Zine Library (where I was very pleased to see a couple of my old publications and even better, several issues of legendary Scunny punkzine Fuck Off & Drop Dead) and I think it is just about the best idea I’ve come across in oooh, weeks.

Consolidating and building your brand through social media is also a pretty simple idea but it’s surprising how many organisations get it so very wrong ..

Read the rest of this piece at the new home of Expletive Undeleted here.

Interview: Terri Walker

TERRI WALKER is trying to convince me that her barely stifled yawns are due to her heavy schedule over the last few weeks and have absolutely nothing to do with my interview questions.

“This month has been kinda crazy,” she says with a sigh as she relaxes into a sofa at her management’s offices in Shepherds Bush, “but you know, it’s worth it.”

Walker’s debut album, Untitled, was among the nominated albums for last month’s Mercury Music Prize, and although Dizzee Rascal’s Boy In Da Corner eventually won the £20,000 prize money, the exposure the competition afforded Walker has given her profile a big boost. She’s a busy girl.

“I’m glad Dizzee won,” she says. “He’s young, he’s giving hope to those kids out there that feel they have to beat someone up or shoot someone in order to get ahead in life. It’s not about the bling-bling. He did it up in his little studio and when he accepted that award, it really touched me. I nearly cried. He deserved it.”

Terri Walker deserves her day in the sun too. Although at the time of going to press it remains to be seen whether she will have any success at the MOBO awards – she was nominated in no less than four categories – whatever happens, Untitled is one of the most assured and accomplished debut albums to have emerged from the British soul scene in years.

Read the rest of this piece at the new home of Expletive Undeleted here.

Interview: Mark E Smith *2

MARK E SMITH of the Fall is talking to me, eyeball to eyeball, giving me a few pointers about how I might like to approach our interview:

“Is he an idiot like Oasis? Or is he friendly like New Order? Or is he reclusive like Morrissey?” he whines in a fey, airhead manner, before snapping back into reality and fixing me with a surprisingly steely and clear-eyed gaze. “Say what you want. But watch your back.”

MES doesn’t have much time for the people others might regard as his contemporaries. If you see Manchester as one big happy musical family, Smith is the surly step-child in the corner, loudly singing off-key and out of time, spoiling it for everyone. Loving the fact that he is spoiling it for everyone ..

Read the rest of this piece at the new home of Expletive Undeleted here.

Hip Replacement: Cream Corn From The Socket Of Davis & Psychic .. Powerless .. Another Man’s Sac by the Butthole Surfers (Fundamental)

I KNOW I make it seem effortless, but pulling this shit together isn’t half as easy as it looks, y’know.

Yes, I could easily spend a couple of lazy days on the internet, max out the credit cards, order a mountain of vinyl and probably just about manage to get hold of every dusty old record that I’ve somehow conned myself into believing I need to buy again.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a bottomless bank account, and in any case buying music online doesn’t really float my boat. Compared to the thrills and spills of buying vinyl in the real world it’s a clinical, sanitised, altogether less satisfying experience. Where is the thrill of the chase?

There is no journey, no endeavour, no striving. No fun.

Having said all that, the journey, the endeavour and the striving can become tedious. Especially when you find yourself yet again looking through endless racks of punk, rock, psychedelia and US alternative tunes in search of the elusive category in which that particular shop has chosen to file the resolutely uncategorisable Butthole Surfers.

Read the rest of this piece at the new home of Expletive Undeleted here.