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Category Archives: Books/Literary

Anthony Reynolds – Cries and Whispers (Burning Shed 5 April 2019)

Anthony Reynolds to release new Japan book ‘Cries And Whispers 1983-1991’ via Burning Shed

Burning Shed has announced the ‘Cries And Whispers’, the long-awaited follow-up to A Foreign Place’ (2015), the hugely successful biography of iconic British new wave innovators Japan by author Anthony Reynolds.  It is being made available as a limited deluxe hardback first edition from Burning Shed.

Detailing the fascinating musical adventures of David Sylvian, Richard Barbieri, Rob Dean, Steve Jansen and Mick Karn from the time following the band’s split in December 1982 until 1991, the book takes in David Sylvian’s work for his first three solo albums, The Dolphin Brothers, Dali’s Car with Bauhaus vocalist Peter Murphy, the brilliant but ill-feted album they released under the name Rain Tree Crow, and more.

The book also explores David Sylvian’s collaborations with Holger Czukay and Ryuichi Sakamoto, the latter of which resulted in their epic ‘Forbidden Colours’, which  featured on the soundtrack album of the hit film ‘Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence’.

‘A Foreign Place’ was the first serious book on Japan. It was translated into Japanese and published in Japan, where it held at number one on the Japanese Amazon Pop Music Biography chart for four weeks. It has sold over 4000 copies to date, including the Japanese edition, without any external distribution.

Both books include previously unpublished photographs, including many from the private archives of the band members themselves.

‘Cries and Whispers’ also features a cover by renowned graphic designer Carl Glover, plus contributions from Bill Nelson, Johnny Marr, Simon Raymonde (Cocteau Twins/Bella Union), Ivo Watts-Russell (4AD Records), Bill Bruford (King Crimson), Martin Fry (ABC), Paul Morley (NME/ ZTT Records), Thomas Dolby and the late Colin Vearncombe (Black), among others.

Initially a glam rock-inspired band, their sound and stylised visual appearance led to an unintentional association with the early-1980s New Romantic scene. The band split just as they were beginning to experience commercial success in the UK and abroad. They were unquestionably one of the most influential and innovative pop groups of the 1970s and 1980s.

photo by Cathy Boyce

“Is it shameful to be 40 something and still have a ‘favourite band’?  If so, colour me shamed.  Japan are my favourite band and as a fan I wanted to write and publish books on them that would enrapture and delight the fan in me. I hope I’ve done so, matching Style with content and mystery with beauty,” says author Anthony Reynolds.

Apart from ‘A Foreign Place’ and ‘Cries and Whispers’, Anthony Reynolds has published biographies on Leonard Cohen (a bestseller), Scott Walker and The Walker Brothers, and Jeff Buckley. He has also published two collections of poetry. To date, his books have been translated into 12 languages.

In 1993, Reynolds founded the critically acclaimed group Jack, releasing three albums between 1996 and 2002. Since then, Anthony has released 10 other albums under various guises plus innumerable singles and EPs, playing various concerts around the world. He also scored the soundtracks for feature length films ‘Open My Eyes’ and ‘Adrift in Soho’.

Burning Shed is an online record label/store since 2001 specialising in progressive and art rock music. Burning Shed hosts the official online shops for Jansen, Barbieri and Karn, Porcupine Tree and King Crimson, among many others.

In 212 pages, this 210 x 210mm square, hardback book is cloth-bound with a gold and silver foil debos and features approximately 260 pictures. All copies of ‘Cries and Whispers’ come with a postcard signed by the author. Both Japan books are available exclusively through Burning Shed at https://burningshed.com

Japan members:
* David Sylvian – vocals, guitars, keyboards
* Mick Karn – bass guitars, saxophone, backing vocals (died 2011)
* Steve Jansen – drums, percussion, keyboards
* Richard Barbieri – keyboards, synthesisers
* Rob Dean – guitars, backing vocals

Japan’s biggest UK album was ‘Tin Drum’ (1981), which featured hit singles ‘The Art of Parties’, ‘Visions of China’, ‘Ghosts’, and ‘Cantonese Boy’.

The band achieved nine UK Top 40 hits in the early 1980s, most notably the ethereal oddity ‘Ghosts’, which reached No. 5 in 1982, and scoring a UK Top 5 with the 1983 live album ‘Oil on Canvas’.

Keep up with Anthony Reynolds
Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Burning Shed

Keep up with Burning Shed
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Posted by on January 31, 2019 in Books/Literary

 

Elvis Presley: The Searcher (HBO 2018)

I generally like documentaries, so last night I had on last year’s “Elvis Presley: The Searcher” directed by Thom Zimmy.

Before I write the following, I’d like to note that although I am not a Presley fan, I know a great number of his songs, since I come from a generation whose parents were playing songs from the Greek islands, Latin music, Greek pop of the ‘60s, rock’n’roll bands from the US and the UK, 60’s mod jazz, etc.

The funny memories of my relatives holding each other to do the yanka dance and then mambo with Greek bouzouki are parts of my childhood.

In any case, throwing two different music styles into a melting pot and mixing them is interesting and still happens today, maybe more than ever before…

I won’t refer to Presley’s political views here, since the documentary only states his strong religious beliefs.

I will try to see the whole thing from a different angle, with good intentions, and with a sociological interest (as much as I can analyze it that is):  A white young man named Elvis Presley was born in the decade of the Great Depression in Tupelo, Mississippi, and relocated to Memphis, Tennessee, with his family when he was 13 years old.

He was born in the two-room shotgun house.

The poorest of the poor lived in those houses.

His twin brother didn’t survive birth, and his father went to prison for a period of six months after he was found guilty of altering a check written by his landowner.

As most of us that live on this side of the pond, have in mind this image of the American South, on which, on one hand, you have the poor African-Americans and on the other hand you have the white supremacists.  I’d like to add a third group of people to the equation: the poor whites who were living under the same conditions as the African-Americans.

All these poor people, regardless of their skin complexion, were living together, working together, being friends with each other, having fun at the same places, and were going to the same churches.

It wasn’t just the poor African-Americans that the white supremacists didn’t like, they didn’t like the poor white people either ’cause they associated with the Afro-Americans.

Interracial marriages were out of the question of course, being banned in some states until the mid-1960s.

Loving” is an interesting movie dealing with this very subject.

Produced in 2016, “Loving” tells the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, a couple whose arrest for interracial marriage in 1960s Virginia began a legal battle that would end with the Supreme Court’s historic 1967 decision.

Living 65 years later in a far away land doesn’t help us to fully realize under which conditions this social class was surviving.

Since we are talking about both colors, I think this is the proper definition, and I really consider it to be the “working class” in these American states. It is actually the poorest level of it.

I find this to be of great interest and that’s why I write this blog, to point out what a white musician, who was acceptable by the wide white audience of his era, due to his color, could succeed by playing African-American music, which would not pass to the wide white audience in any other case.

I saw someone quoting that “rhythm and blues and gospel music had a baby and it was called rock’n’roll” and that sounds right to me.

But if you are interested in the living conditions of those African-Americans, look for the history-making classic “Black Like Me” by John Howard Griffin.

“Griffin was an American journalist and author from Texas who wrote about racial equality.

He is best known for his project to temporarily pass as a black man and journey for six weeks through the segregated Deep South (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia) of 1959 to see life and segregation from the other side of the color line.

He first published a series of articles on his experience in Sepia Magazine, which had underwritten the project.

He published a fuller account in the book “Black Like Me” (1961). This was later adapted as a 1964 film of the same name.” – Wikipedia

What happened to John Howard Griffin – from the outside and within himself – as he made his way through the segregated Deep South generated a number of so many threats, that when his book was published, it made him take his family and leave the US.

Back to Elvis Presley.

Through this everyday friction of the white boy with the gospel songs of the church, music went straight to his soul.

There wasn’t much to do in the area apart from music and the church so I can fully understand that these songs, passionately sung by the believers during the Sunday sermons, worked as a way of expression, as a psychological relief, and way to have a good time for those poor people.

By the age of 13 Elvis and his family moved to Memphis and by the age of 17 he would hang out in the Flamingo Room.

Music giants such as BB King, Rufus Thomas, Johnny Ace, and Bobby “Blue” Bland used to play in little neighborhood juke joints, and, like Ike Turner quotes, “Elvis would park his truck in the alley behind the club and he used to come around to the back of this place…” and he would watch them play…

The story of Presley’s evolution is more or less known to most of us but for anyone who wants to spend three and a half hours of his life with country, blues, and rock’n’roll music would enjoy watching “Elvis Presley: The Searcher”.

But, the way I see it, if Elvis Presley did not exist, we probably wouldn’t listen to the music genre that we call “rock music”.

In any possible musical form …

So, how would life be without, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Sex Pistols, Motorhead, or any other band like these?

Irish writer and musician Larry Kirwan came very close to what I am trying to say here with his book “Liverpool Fantasy” that was published in 2003 (an alternate history where the Beatles split up after recording “Love Me Do“).

To explain myself:
The teen’s opinion regarding the music that would be played in the house was worthless before 1955 as all that mattered on that section was father’s music taste.

The emergence of rock’n’roll created a new consuming power: the teenagers.

Young boys and girls started spending their pocket money buying records and that was great news to the ears of the record companies.

A new target group for the entire music industry.

At the same time, there were other musicians playing rock’n’roll, but they were either black, or white that didn’t have Elvis’s background and were lacking the knowledge of black music that he had acquired.

On the bottom line, maybe they just weren’t lucky enough…

To cut a long story short, there were others out there playing rock’n’roll too but only Elvis was # 1, only he became “Τhe King”.

Yes, he was playing African-American music and as you realize those were difficult times to filter it into the “white” market but there were a number of reasons the people of the industry used in order to work things out and skip any undesired obstacles: he was a “good” hard working, God-fearing Southern boy that loved his mama.

He was probably shaking his hips a little more than what was needed but for every shake of his hips the sweet sound of dollars echoed in the cash desk of the record label/manager/promoter, etc.

The queue of people who made money out of the idea of having a 19 year-old white boy playing black music was endless.

His influence reached the islands across the ocean.

Young English musicians were waiting for night to come to break into the customs office, open the boxes with the rock’n’roll singles that were imported from the States, learn how to play these new songs and perform them live at the local club the following night.

That’s how the Mersey scene was founded and all those music bands that followed and brought this music to me and you, spreading it to the mountains and the deserts.

Songs were penned expressing political opinions, philosophical ideas, religious views or simply erotic confessions in every spoken language of the world.

People conceived babies, becoming parents while listening to this music genre while others heard a song and cried because they had shared it with someone who they were no longer together with anymore …

I hope that now it’s obvious why I wrote this post…

 

Mark Fisher to release XTC book ‘What Do You Call That Noise?’ with support from all XTC members

Mark Fisher to release new XTC book ‘What Do You Call That Noise?’

Quotes from ‘What Do You Call That Noise?’

“The song is a little machine. If you take apart the machine, it’s not a clock any more and you can’t tell the time by it.” – Andy Partridge

“Music… I couldn’t imagine life without it. It’s always there.” – Dave Gregory

“I was always quite envious of XTC because they weren’t put in the same pigeonhole as punk bands. They were regarded as a bit more arty than that. We always had to fight off this flag, being under the banner of punk… XTC never seemed to fall into that trap. They had that freedom.” – Rick Buckler ( The Jam)

“Seeing them on TV was like being in a tribe. Together I thought we might rule the world… Yes, I stole from them. I’m sure I was not the only one. The wit did woo mee. I fell head over heels for the clever word play, the charge of the story and the sentimental Britishness of it all.” – Chris Difford (Squeeze)

“XTC’s music has always been there in my consciousness. I think about it a lot when I’m making records… They come across as an everyday group of people and that’s very much what Barenaked Ladies were about too – living as ordinary a life as you can in a bizarre lifestyle like rock’n’roll.” – Steven Page (Barenaked Ladies)

“I remember when I first heard Making Plans for Nigel on the radio… I absolutely loved the song, especially the drum part… Terry’s drumming was so rhythmic. I was very much influenced by him. In fact, I would drum along to XTC songs to warm up. It was very inspiring to me!” – Debbi Peterson (The Bangles)

From Mark Fisher, the editor of ‘The XTC Bumper Book of Fun for Boys and Girls’comes a new musical exploration of one of the most essential pop groups of the 20th century. ‘What Do You Call That Noise? An XTC Discovery Book‘ is a compelling 228-page book that involves some of the world’s leading musicians and keenest fans of XTC. Here, they come together to discuss what makes this Swindon band so very special and the extent of their impact of their music worldwide.

Every member of XTC also makes an appearance. Andy Partridgespeaks about mixing, Dave Gregory on arranging and Barry Andrewson the piano. The book also features interviews with XTC drummers Pete Phipps, Pat Mastelotto, Ian Gregory, Prairie Prince, Dave Mattacks and Chuck Sabo.

“Every XTC album that got ignored gave the band a real power jolt. It was like being the Duracell bunny and getting a fresh set of batteries in your back. It made us want to strive harder,” says XTC frontman Andy Partridge.

“Weirdly, it does feel like the band is being appreciated now. We’ve become a historical artefact that’s more important than when it was a pot in Cro-Magnon times. As a museum exhibit it’s become priceless, but as a Neanderthal pot nobody wanted to bother pissing in it. It makes me feel valued – as long as I don’t go into national treasure territory!”

Fisher also offers an in-depth review of Colin Moulding and Terry Chambers playing live for the first time in 36 years as TC&I. during their recent Swindon Arts Centre residency, a performance named on BBC Radio 6 Music’s Marc Riley show as one of the gigs of 2018.

Contributing musicians include:
• Rick Buckler: The Jam
• Chris Difford: Squeeze
• Debbi Peterson: The Bangles
• Dennis Locorriere: Dr Hook
• Steve Conte: New York Dolls
• Steven Page: Barenaked Ladies
• Chris Butler: The Waitresses
• Tracey Bryn: Voice of the Beehive
• Jason Falkner: Jellyfish
• Andrew Falkous: Future of the Left
• Peter Gabriel
• Mike Keneally: Frank Zappa

Plus Anton Barbeau, Todd Bernhardt, Chris Braide, Mikey Erg, Anne McCue, Jim Moray, Erich Sellheim, Rosie Vela, Mark Vidler and David Yazbek, as well as members of Fassine, Big Big Train, bis, Cosmic Rough Riders, Odds, Tin Spirits, Palm Ghosts and many more…

2018 marked the 40-year anniversary of XTC’s first studio album ‘White Music’. While XTC was founded in 1972, it wasn’t until 1979 that XTC had their first UK charting single. Colin Moulding and Andy Partridge continued their partnership until the group’s dissolution in 2006.

Lately there has been renewed interest in XTC, in part due to the release of eye-opening XTC documentary ‘This Is Pop’ about the band’s history and legacy, which looks at XTC and their journey from mercurial pop outsiders to full blown national treasures and one of Britain’s most influential yet unsung bands.

‘What Do You Call That Noise?’ will be released on March 4. Anyone ordering ‘What Do You Call That Noise?’ before midnight on Sunday, January 27 will be inducted into the Venerable League of Neon Shufflers and have their name published in the book. The book can be obtained for £17.99 + free UK p&p (from £5 international p&p)

Praise for ‘The XTC Bumper Book of Fun for Boys and Girls’

“A sumptuous compendium… The most comprehensive and incisive book about XTC yet published” – Dom Lawson, Prog Magazine

“Music publication of the year” – Dave Jennings, Louder than War

“Varied, surprising and fun” – Samantha Burke, Cent Magazine

“Dotted throughout those original pages and some relaxed, genuinely insightful interviews. Fans new and old will pore over this” – Jamie Atkins, Record Collector

“A delicious thing to dive in and out of” – Iain Lee, Talk Radio

Keep up with Limelight XTC
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Posted by on January 19, 2019 in Books/Literary

 

The War of the Worlds 80th Anniversary

October 30th, 2018 will mark the 80th anniversary of Orson Welles‘ legendary live radio play broadcast of H.G. Wells’ science fiction masterpiece, The War Of The Worlds.

In honor of that occasion, Stardust Records is reissuing the broadcast as part of a limited edition, 2 CD collection that includes the complete original 1938 broadcast along with a rare February 1955 broadcast and a October 1940 conversation between Orson Welles and H.G. Wells.

This set was produced for release by Athan Maroulis who compiled it and penned the accompanying liner notes.

As a child, Maroulis, known primarily as the vocalist of Spahn Ranch, Black Tape for a Blue Girl, and presently in NOIR, became fascinated by this story after watching a made-for-television film about the panic that ensued after the original 1938 broadcast.

Later, Maroulis began collecting memorabilia relating to both The War of the Worlds and Orson Welles, which he put to use during this project.

Painstakingly remastered, this version of The War of the Worlds sounds even better than it did when it first reverberated out of vacuum tube radios back in 1938.

Stardust Records, a division of Cleopatra Entertainment, will release this pioneering science fiction collection on October 19th, 2018 on compact disc and all digital formats.

You can place your order HERE

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2018 in Books/Literary, Radio

 

Zealot in Wonderland: The Wildhearts: One Love, One Life, One Band by Gary Davidson

Full of laughs, introspection and rock ‘n’ roll antics, Zealot in Wonderland is the story of one man’s unexpected thrust into a powerful obsession with British rock band The Wildhearts. Like every honeymoon period, this one begins with the sun in the sky and the stars to aim for. However, as I get to grips with my own life, relationships, and debilitating depression, what once seemed like a simple journey to my younger self spirals out of control, until my longing for an interview with The Wildhearts’ lead singer, Ginger, causes the honeymoon to turn sour. But through it all, it is ultimately the music which sees me through.

www.goodreads.com

More information about this book, directly from the author at: http://www.wildhearts-book.co.uk/

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2018 in Books/Literary

 

The Incomplete Angler – 10 Years of Fruits De Mer Records – by Dave Thompson

For the first time, the full, unexpurgated story of the world’s most collectible 21st century record label is told, through the words of its founders, associates, friends, collectors and, of course, its musicians.

Featuring over fifty interviews, a full label discography, illustrations and more, The Incomplete Angler is the complete anorak’s guide to the Fruits de Mer, Regal Grabompphone, Strange Fish and Friends of the Fish.

Available now from HERE
and HERE

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2018 in Books/Literary

 

The Mission – At War With The Gods

The Mission - At War With The Gods (Cover)UPDATE:

Author Alex Daniele has announced that his recent release, “THE MISSION – At War With The Gods (26 May 2014) will soon be available for purchase through The Mission’s Official Store.

Distribution will also be made in Greece through Ars Nocturna – Gothic Books.

Supplies should be stocked within the coming two weeks.

This hand-numbered limited-to-1000-copies edition is 350 pages and filled with more than 200 rare and exclusive photographs.  Pre-orders filled quickly and took a good portion of books off the market before it even hit the market.

More:  Original tribe4mian article | 21 May 2014

 

THE MISSION - At War With The Gods - Official Website

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2014 in Books/Literary, Goth, etc., Music