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Monthly Archives: October 2010

The Cinematic Orchestra ‘Man With A Movie Camera’ DVD Reissue

This might be old news by now but…

Wonderful music for a wonderful movie.

“Re-issued after 6 years, the jewel in the crown to many fans, The Cinematic Orchestra‘s ‘Man With A Movie Camera‘ is now available to buy on DVD from the Ninjashop and Amazon UK.  The video download is released on 2nd November 2009.

J Swinscoe’s The Cinematic Orchestra have been described as “classy and cerebral, but atmospheric and soulful too” (NME). They are one of the few bands of the last few years to successfully fuse contemporary studio production techniques with fantastic live playing, their take on jazz and film soundtracks fused together with a thoroughly modern sampler-generation attitude.

In late 1999, Swinscoe was asked by the organisers of the Porto European City of Culture 2000 if the band wanted to score a soundtrack to a silent movie to open the celebrations. It seemed a perfect opportunity to expand the ideas of TCO into the world which had given them their name. But the difference was this was for a one off live performance. The film was Dziga Vertov‘s ‘Man With A Movie Camera’, a 1929 early documentary cinema film from the Soviet Union. The performance in a old theatre space in Porto ended with a standing ovation of 3,500 people. Since that evening TCO have performed the score live at film festivals from Turkey to Scotland.”

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2010 in Jazz

 

THE LINES – MEMORY SPAN (PART 2)

What follows, is taken from the booklet of Acute’s re-release, The Lines – Memory Span covering on this post the rest of the releases of the band and hoping to boost a little the name of the band

Click here to read part 1.

“However, by the time the dust was settling on Cool Snap, the Lines were already moving on.

By 1980, like other bands of the period, the Lines were beginning to show a dub music influence.

Early and unreleased Proof and Lines material also shows that they always had an experimental impulse, drawing on the likes of Can and Faust as well as other avant-garde influences.

Their next release would show them beginning to expand their sound while perfecting their songwriting.

Nerve Pylon, released in early 1981, featured their richest production yet.

On the flipside, Over the Brow, the band fully accepts their dub influences, as the rhythm comes to the forefront, leaving guitar, forns, vocals and sound effects as atmosphere.

This would be the direction that the band would follow for the rest of their career, pairing deeply atmospheric pop songs with dubbier experiments, starting songs with rhythms and atmosphere and adding melody and structure on top instead of the other way around.

While this gave their music new layers and depth, it didn’t do much for their mass acceptance.

Their two releases, the Transit single and the Therapy LP, were recorded at the same time shortly after the release of Nerve Pylon.

During all of this recording activity, the Lines continued to perform playing with the Soft Boys, DAF, Bauhaus, Birthday Party, Theater of Hate, the Cure, 23 Skidoo, the Sound and others, including a spot at the 3rd Futurama festival.

In early 1982 they released the House of Crack/Old Town 12”.

This was followed a year later by The Lines second LP and final release, Ultramarine.

After Ultramarine, the Lines’ pace of performing and recording slowed.

Nick Cash began to play and tour more with Fad Gadget. Rico began engineering sessions at William Orbit’s Guerilla Studios while he and Jo Forty began the Lines’ final sessions.

These recordings – for what would have been the third Lines album – strow further interest now just in electronic experimentation but in electronic dance music.

After a year, the project was abandoned.

It was briefly revived in 1987 but never finished.

As the 80s continued, Jo and Mick concentrated on the visual arts.

Rico spent more time engineering, producing and mixing records, working with the Swans, Renegade Soundwave, Depeche Mode, Wire, Front 242, as well as continuing to work with his friend William Orbit eventually joining Torch Song, Orbit’s collaboration with Laurie Mayer.

In the 90’s, Nick Cash recorded two CDs with Giles Perring as Unmen;  he now plays with JC and the Disciples.

Rico eventually moved into sound design work, but continues to write his own music and most recently co-produced Laurie Mayer’s 2008 CD, Black Lining.”

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2010 in Music

 

No Man’s Land – Down By the Riverside

I found this rare video today.

No Man’s Land are still active today and their latest release was in 2008, titled “No Man’s Land”.

The video was on the Greek national tv, during the summer of 1990 with the band on a short interview and performing the song “Down By the Riverside” (taken from their debut album “Zallion” in 1988).

I suppose that was one of the last appearances of Evi Watson Hasapidou with the band, before she leaves to form her own band, Echo Tattoo.

You can check past posts about No Man’s Land here and here or you can have one more taste of their sound by clicking here

With the Greek underground rock scene experiencing a neo-psychedelic revival in the late 80’s, No Man’s Land managed to become one the top neo-psychedelic bands of the country.

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2010 in Psychedelic

 

An Obsessive Compulsion

An Obsessive Compulsion

For music and especially live music…

In this time of the “download generation”, economic recession, banking chaos and corporate control, music is still fundamental in giving a voice to those who like ourselves would otherwise never be heard!

Obsessive Compulsive is the name of a gothic, punk, metal, grunge ( that seems to have every genre covered ) rock band from the dark side of Manchester. With a healthy D.I.Y philosophy to life and music they are making big noises in small venues. A band that firmly believes in NOT ass-kissing unlike those music industry controlled puppets with little or no individual identity who are forced onto the music buying public.

Having recently been out on tour with the fabulous Acey Slade and the Dark Party as support, we managed to see the band live in Sheffield, York and Grimsby. Powerful driven performances which leave us wanting more. All this with an excellent new self financed album to promote. Dreams of Death and the Death of Dreams. Bring it on!!

Consisting of Kelii ( vocals ) Giz ( guitar ) Pete ( bass ) & Dani ( drums ) Obsessive Compulsive are musically and visually powerful. Flame haired singer Kelii delivers lyrical content with fire and brimstone while being flanked by Giz & Pete. Giz whirls around on stage, hair flailing in an almost shamanic trace delivering flesh cutting guitar riffs while Pete metronomically rocks back and forth playing a deep down dirty bass sound. All the while Dani drives their sound forward with power and ferocity on thunderous drums. Extra sonic interest is given when Kelii adds a second guitar to the mix. The band play with abandonment and self belief with the audiences responding positively. They may be the support band but they can hold their own as a headline act engaging the audience with songs like $$, Autopsy, Man Vs Machine and Dave’s favourite, Exit.

Having talked to both Pete and Kelii at a couple of the gigs they are looking to push the band forward, wishing to play and reach out to more people. The band were pleased to get a distribution deal with HMV but as Pete said it is a fine balance between breaking even or even making money!

Their debut album Dreams of Death and the Death of Dreams being released in May this year on Vociferous Records ( the band’s own rebel record label ) shows why Obsessive Compulsive are real contenders.

The band recorded the self-financed album at the Parlour Studios with the acclaimed producer Russ Russell at the mixing desk. The tracks are dark, bold, venomous, bleak with intensity and self belief. Lyrically the band pull no punches, hitting you squarely on the chin to deliver a knockout blow, typically epitomized by the lyrics from Man Vs Machine. ” I will not be machinery. I may be lost but at least I’m fucking free. I’ll fight your tyranny. You won’t get to me…”

The album consists of an impressive eleven tracks, with heavy powerful tracks sitting alongside more passionate emotional slower songs giving an overall continuous flow but all the while giving you the feeling it could exploded at any moment. A great debut album, well worth buying… Even better LIVE!!

You can check them out here:

Official Site | FacebookMySpace

Dreams of Death and the Death of Dreams is available to buy from: hmvamazonplay.com

The Pogo Crew

Jez Keefe. Dave Alucard.   XX1

Pictures :

Courtesy of Jez Keefe

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2010 in Music, The Pogo Crew

 

R.I.P. Ari Up of the Slits

On 20 October 2010, John Lydon’s homepage announced, on behalf of John and Ari’s mother Nora Forster Ari Up’s death that morning from a “serious illness”.

She was 48 years old.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

New Zero God + Drama Queen live

I grab the chance of the forthcoming gig of New Zero God to write a few things about the opening band of that night.

Drama Queen is a five piece post-punk act formed in Athens in the early ‘00’s

Initially they spent their time mostly rehearsing in the studio in order to create their personal identity.

The band was formed by singer Marilou (aka Christabel Etheriel), guitar player
Boneyard, bass player Panos and drummer Vaggelis.

After a few line up changes, today Drama Queen plan to record and release their debut album.

Their line up:

Cleopatra-vocals, Boneyard-guitar, Prok-bass, Panos-Synths, Bill-Drums.

You can check their sound here or find them here and here

Although the band is about 10 years old, some of the members are veterans of the Greek underground scene and have played with other Greek bands in the past.

So, check them out.

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2010 in Concerts / Performances

 

The Lines – Memory Span (part 1)

I am doing that because I like The Lines.

You know, it just hit me, so I started writing…

I bought their album “Ultramarine” back in the early 80s and I instantly fell in love with their sound.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t any information on the album and it took me a lot of years to discover what was going on.

You know these kind of records, that you love but there is a super mystery around them cause you know nothing about the artist ?

The Lines remained in that dark area of my record collection until I discovered Acute Records, an American label that re-released during 2008 their full discography in two CDs.

You may ask, what’s so special about  The Lines ?

As Dan Selzer, of Acute Records puts it: “Although they played shows with bands like The Cure, Bauhaus, The Sound and Birthday Party, and featured members of prag Vec and Alternative TV, they were never part of any scene. They never toured and rarely spoke to the press. For 5 years they rehearsed, performed and recorded to little acclaim, leaving only 8 releases on vinyl. While unappreciated in their time, they perfectly encapsulate the best qualities of the era: angst-ridden angularity, danceable catchiness, sublime dub-influenced atmospherics, sonic experimentation and killer hooks, with an unrivalled consistency.

What follows, is taken from the booklet of  Acute’s re-release, The Lines – Memory Span covering on this post the first 3 releases of the band and hoping to boost a little the name of the band.

The Lines played their first show in July of 1977 as Proof featuring Rico Conning on guitar, Jo Forty on bass and Bill Cran on drums. In early 1978, Bill was replaced by Pete Harker, Hywel Philips joined on lead guitar and they recorded their first single as The Lines.

It was recorded on February 24, 1978 at Clubland Studios and was produced by The Lines.

They released White Night / Barbican themselves (during April 1978, on Linear Records as Linear 001) delivering the copies via bike to stores and distributors like Step Forward and Rough Trade.

Initial press referenced the music’s mysterious cryptic quality and compared the Lines to 60s British pop like the Zombies and Kinks. But, soon after its release, Rico traveled to America and the band was put on hold.

In January 1979, White Night received greater exposure when it was re-pressed by Step Forward subsidiary Illigal Records (as ILS0011). Miles Copeland’s precursor to IRS.

After the re-release, Rico returned to the UK and reconvened the band, this time without Harker and Philips but with Nick Cash of prag Vec on drums.

Within a few months, this new version of the Lines recorded their second single (September 2, 1979 at the Soundsuite, Camden) the more tense and aggressive On the Air.

It was produced by The Lines and released during October 1979 on Red Records as RS001.

Press noted 60s references, as well as a Lou Reed influence but the single didn’t get as much attention as the first.

This would be the last time the subtiety of their music would get inder the skin of a few journalists and a small cult of fans, while missing the mark with a larger audience.

Zig Zag editor Kris Needs later wrote of their records: “The stumbling block for instant accolades seems to be the puzzling paradox that these are lasting pieces of work which require several listens before they finally take root in your soul”

Despite a lack of immediate success, the band increased activity and began playing as many gigs as they could.

Fleshing out their sound was Mick Linehan, formerly of Alternative TV, on lead guitar. By January 1980, the Lines had recorded their first John Peel session and had their first headline gig at the 101 Club. That May, they recorded demos including the unreleased songs Blisstability, Uneasy Affair and Time to Go and a month later, the Cool Snap EP (recorded June 2/4/5/6 1980 at Pathway, Islington produced by The Lines with engineer Nick Godwin).

An extension of what they began on the previous singles, Cool Snap had a minimal , skeletal production and their catchiest songs yet.

(It was released August 1st 1980 on Red Linear Records as RL 12005)

Rico would later complain that it sounded like a demo, but to most of its admirers, it is unvarnished perfection.

While this EP has become a sought-after collectors item and “desert-island” disc to Chuck Warner of hyped2death, it wasn’t a huge seller.

to be continued

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2010 in Music

 

Lonely Whistle Music

By Don Campau

Recently, I had a face book debate about giving  my music away for free or trade. This happened  on a guys page who happens to be a performing  musician, a guitar teacher and runs a web site that is fighting illegal downloads and piracy. He’s a good guy and a fine musician. Plus, he’s probably 30 years younger than me. He works hard, practices hard and puts his heart into his music.

Well, after I mentioned that I give or trade all of my music away ( people can buy it if they insist as well) all hell broke loose. He and his friends started really going off and one of them even started attacking me for daring to have my own opinions about my own music. I mean, I wasn’t asking them to give away their music but comments like “so I guess you think your music is worthless” started getting flung around. I calmly stated that I was not interested in the music business and explained why. The ugliness of the commercial industry, the fact that I’ve never met an indie musician that really had “success” in the way I define it. And here’s how I define it. Remember, this is my definition only:

Being able to pay the bills, buy a house, support my family, have health insurance and put something away for retirement and the future.

I have known plenty of musicians that actually did OK in their local areas and even some that have had international followings but NONE that meet my criteria of “success”. I have played several thousand artists on my “No Pigeonholes” shows and as far as I know, none of them have been able to achieve anything even close to this.

Still, I wished them good luck and I meant it. Perhaps they are young idealists and good for them. Maybe I am an old jaded man and in fact they all said I was being negative. OK, maybe that’s one interpretation. To me though, it is just being realistic. I gave up the idea of a career in music about 35 years ago. Long before the internet, longer even then these guys have been alive. However, they are welcome to their opinions and their experiences are valid. They kept complaining about being hurt by downloaders. Ok, how many people have downloaded their material illegally? Would it be enough to pay the rent, make ends meet, even buy lunch? I realize every dollar counts to anybody just making it these days. I am not questioning their experience but I do question their anger placement.

They kept using terms mouthed directly from the commercial industry itself like: “target demographic”. I pointed out the folly of the commercial music industry: mafia/ corporate control, using people as products, the degradation of women, the “ageist” bias, etc. Did they really want to be part of this side of the industry? Or did they want to be independent rockers, which is what I assumed. I really don’t know but I suggested another way, a new model of business, one where community is more important than lame ass jewel case CD profits. In fact, I’d say the idea of an independent musician making money, real money, on a regular CD is long over. In fact, it may never have existed to begin with.

I stated that a new model will offer something to people, to fans, that is special and cannot be downloaded. Things like hand signed CDs, private mp3s, special art work, handmade copies. These are things that cannot be downloaded ( well, maybe the private mp3s can be). I mentioned that Nine Inch Nails and Tool seem to “get it” by offering fans something unique. My own experience with NIN is getting the free downloads and then buying the actual release and buying the tickets to see them live. For me, it worked. Tool offers incredible art work with their commercial releases. Sure, some people are going to rip you off. Are they “real” fans? I doubt it. That’s where the community angle comes into play I said. Real friends are going to support and watch out for you much as my neighbors and us look out for each other when we are gone. There is the well known example of Radiohead having people pay what they like. Evidently, they did very well with this approach. Of course, these are groups that have huge followings and a large fan base. Still, the idea is to create a loyal fan base. That means a lot of hard work, and usually tireless and endless touring. And even after that, it is more luck than anything else is seems to me.

One of their arguments is that they went to music school, took out big loans and felt they deserved a living in their chosen career. That logic sort of shocked me really. I mean … you seriously think this ? I said there are too many bands, in other words too much supply for the supply and demand system. They countered with their experience that downloaders could be talked into valuing the music and creating more demand. Ok, point taken, but is that a game changer? Will that turn people who could care less into fans and then will they be willing to shell out hard earned money on a product and artist they know very little about? Hmm…I doubt it. No one owes you a living. It’s like having too many carpenters in this economy where very few houses are being built.

In the end, the main guy said that a “hobbyist” like me should not be able to comment in a blog about “professional“ musicians. To me, that’s not some big slap though. I like being a hobbyist. And are they really “professionals”?, not by my definition, no. By my definition, they are “amateurs”. And I don’t mean this in a vituperative or demeaning way. I really do wish them well with their careers.

Many of my brethren in home recording and Cassette Culture take offense to the term “hobbyist” because when we get done with our actual day jobs our minds turn to creating music for the fun and art of it. Then we make our Cds by hand, trade them with other like minded individuals worldwide, perhaps play music live and sell a few Cds, or , gasp… give them away. In other words, spend most of our waking hours away from work being “hobbyists”. I personally do three radio shows where I listen to indie bands, play their music, make the playlists, contact each musician personally to let them know I received their CD and played it on the air, post a podcast, and become a cheerleader for their music. And I have done this everyday since 1985. I have never made one cent for my efforts. In fact, it costs me money to do it. I do it because I love contact, community and the music many of these artists create. Does someone owe me a living? Definitely not. It’s been my choice all the way.

Once again, I am not suggesting that other people follow this path but for heavens sake, let me.

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2010 in Cassette Scene, Lonely Whistle Music

 

Pete and Royce

Pete and Royce was an Athenian prog-rock band which was formed in 1978 and released two full length albums: “Suffering Of Tomorrow” in 1980 and “Days of Destruction” in 1981.

Mutant Sounds quotes as follows:  “Led by painter Pete Tsiros, they have made a name in the underground network, based on lengthy “hazy” concerts and an uncompromising underground attitude. Their sound was deeply rooted in the UK progressive scene, sitting somewhere between the prog/psych sound of mid-period PINK FLOYD and the mellotron school (FANTASY, CRESSIDA, KESTREL, early B.J.H.), resulting in a style heavily relying on mellow soundscapes.

During spring 1980 they captured on self-released vinyl the best tracks of their live shows. “Suffering of Tomorrow”, was one of the very first greek private releases (on the mysterious Octoichos label) and the band’s debut album, loosely based on the concept of death and decay (it is dedicated to Tsiros’ deceased brother). A period piece undoubtfuly, but with that exquisite basement feel encountered in the early 70ies british proto-progressive bands it is one of the essential Greek progressive albums of all times. Their second offering “Days of Destruction” (1981 _Ocean) was somewhat more unevenly balanced, as folky progressive influences were blended together with a more mainstream and somewhat uninspired approach; funky orientated mainstream sounds and afroamerican female vocals. They disbanded in 1982, during the era of the punk boom, due to general indifference towards their recorded output and their members were lost from the music scene.

The Line up of Pete and Royce: Basilis Ginos, Panagiotis Tsiros, Fondas Hatzis, Elias Porfyris and Lavrentis Tsinaroglou.

You can click here if you want to see Basilis Ginos ‘s full discography.

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2010 in Prog-rock

 

the history of disk recording and other stories

Here is the first 6 minutes of a great documentary titled “Red Beans & Rice.” Filmed in Chicago, Milwaukee, Phoenix and California, Red Beans and Rice gives you the stories of various vinyl collectors and the collections they have acquired over their vinyl digging years. If you are a true vinyl digger, you should definitely check this out. Enjoy and be educated

The documentary Vinyl Wax Records examines and explores the views of a records store owner, battle DJ, and an ordinary older woman as they express their love for vinyl and what they feel makes the medium superior.

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2010 in Documentaries, Music