14 September 2019

Thoughs and Current Playlist - The one about Tool and other things - September 2019


News and thoughts

* - The main dominating that has been released recently is Fear Inoculum.  Can't get moved for every Tom, Dick and Harry talking about it, I've been called an "edge lord" (cheers Jonesy) for not saying it's the best thing ever upon release and reserving my opinion until I've listened to the album a few times.  Tool have also finally decided to allow their music on streaming services (as well as preparing for the release of new music for the first time in thirteen years.  Now, whilst I can see why there is a lot of excitement about this, I have to question that excitement as well.

Let's look at the streaming thing first, and most of my comments here are going to be about streaming services first.  For the record, I love the music of Tool, I have seen them live a couple of time, I own Ænima, Undertow, 10,000 Days and Lateralus.  But, I already own these, so having them on streaming services is not something that affects me too much, more on that later.  I've a strange relationship on streaming services anyway.  Even though I use them for review purposes, placed links on said reviews, I've always struggled to find one that gives back to the artists financial what they're worth.  There is also something soulless about them, something that takes away from the magic of having music in your life.  This is not due to choice, there are a million+ songs, EP's and albums that I would love to listen to.  It's also a very useful way to listen to bands before purchasing albums (either digitally or on CD/Vinyl/Cassette/WHS/Betamax/Wax wheel).  I get that some people have fallen for the idea of not owning the physical, to keep their houses like minimal hovels of beige vanilla thunder.  Or, if you have a young family, to make sure that records are not used as plates or colouring boards.

But I digress here, which brings me to my "however", and this is a big "however".  I cannot get excited over a back catalogue that I already own on these services,  I just don't see the point.  If you don't own the back catalogue, then that makes sense, but I'm one of those guys who likes to own records.  There is also a strange thing which happens now when bands let their wears out on the cheap.  This was the same with other big announcements (The Beatles, AC/DC, etc), it just drifts by to a certain degree.  You have the initial buzz and then it's over, the mystery is gone and the next shiny ghost comes along.  Also, when I can play anytime on my iPod/MP3 player/Phone by uploading copies I already own, sort of makes it even more redundant.  "But why won't you stream it Carter????" I hear you cry.  Well, in a Wi-Fi area, that might make sense, but I don't want to give a lot of my data package to this sort of thing.  For me, it's something that I could have done for any time for years.  Not a brag, it's probably a little (or a lot) condescending.  But I really don't care, I'm just old school in that way - or "edge lord" (copyright Jonesy).

As I mentioned earlier, I cannot get excited when bands/artists are paid a criminal amount for each stream! When you get a chance, check out the figures.  I don't think Tool are short of funds, they are doing canny well for themselves.  It's more to do with the way that smaller bands who are at the poor end of the streaming spectrum, the ones who are starting out and struggling.  They are the ones who get nowt and it sucks ball.  I just wish bands were paid properly for their music by Spotify/Tidal/Deezer etc because they are the ones who have created the music in the first place.

Whilst I'm personally not excited by Tool joining the streaming world, I can get why other people were excited, that makes a lot of sense.  Again, it comes down to being able to check out a band before purchasing it, which is good these days.  But something I've heard over the last few years (especially what I heard when I appeared on the Bearded Gentlemen Music Podcast from May 2018, when the boss man John talks about his experience, you might think differently too), it dented my enthusiasm a little. They've not joined Ryan Adams, Morrissey (and by default, The Smiths), The Orwells and others on the condemned pile, but it's getting close.

Now for Fear Inoculum itself, an album that has launched a thousand debates and blood feuds along the way.  How do I feel about this one.....

When you look at anything that Tool release, you immediately look at the back catalogue at the same time. The measuring stick of any band or artist (unless it's their first release) is their own work.  For Tool, they're the measuring stick against which a lot of other bands are measured as well, so already you've got a hell of a high standard to match.  Anticipation is also a factor for this record, thirteen years between records is a bit Axl Rose, no matter how great you are!

Musically and production-wise, you cannot fault Tool here, they are at the top of their tree for good reason.  You can feel that everything has been looked at so many times, painstakingly works on and that when performed live, it will have that same amount of effort and drama.  In that regard, I can see why a lot of people are hyped and excited.  Yet for all this hype, for all this excitement, I've found myself listening to this and having no connection.  The drama of the songs has been played out on other Tool albums, which was the first thing that came to mind at the end of the record.  "Pneuma" could have been on Ænima. "Invincible" feels like a track that would have been great on 10,000 Days.  Whilst this might be great for other bands, Tool were always the pioneers and not the band to sound like anyone else, even themselves.

Also, you can sort of tell that this is not how Tool wanted to release this record.  As the whole album was too short for one CD, but would have been too short for two, you're missing part of the picture.  I've heard that this was supposed to be one seamless record, which would explain the recurring themes and movement changes.  You can hear the full version with extra songs on streaming sites, but the CD version is missing some tracks (and was stupidly expensive - £74 in the UK!!!! Fuck off on that one).

Another thing about that has come out of this album is the nastiness of both Tool fans and Tool haters.  I mean, you can be a fan of a band and get that people don't like an album, that is a natural position in the world.  It's also natural that some people love it, I really get that one too.  Just because this is not for me, does not automatically make it a bad album for everyone else.  It just means that it's not for me.  Yet it would seem as if this album ignites a passionate love or hate, no matter where you stand.  For me, I'm just sort of not feeling it either way.  Which brings me onto the reviews I've read for this, and I've read a fair few.  I get some people are really excited, some people are really not excited.  But when I read a review that says something along the lines of "if you're a Tool fan, you'll love this", that sort of gets on my wick!  I've learnt (the hard way) that you should not write assumptions, as it comes back to bite you in the ass.  The irony here is not lost on me, truly I get I am showing the highest double standard, but as this is my blog - my rules!

Fear Inoculum is not without charm, like a bad pizza, it's still pretty good.  But by Tool's own benchmark, it's below average and missing something, which is a bit of a shame to be honest.  I'm not saying this to be edgy, or to be controversial or hip, I'm saying this because it's how I feel about the record.  I love long songs, I love music you can lose yourself and happily ignore the world.  Fear Inoculum is not that sort of record for me, so I will leave it at that and move on to other topics (as stuff apart from Tool has happened).

Daniel Johnston, rest in peace!
* - Recently, the lo-fi legend Daniel Johnston passed away.  He was never the biggest star, but he influenced so many of today's acts and artist, that his passing is a massive loss to music as a whole.  He had lots of issues with his mental health, but through it all he had his music, which was his way of communicating with the world.  I love the innocence of his music, the beautiful and simple artwork and finally, the man himself.  Yes, he was truly not for everyone, but those who heard and understood found something wonderful.  May you rest well Daniel, may your demons finally give you peace and may your music inspire future generations to greatness!


* - At present, I'm still without a permanent spot on Nova Radio.  I was offered one on a day which I cannot do, so I'm stuck waiting until something becomes free that suits me and Nova.  Whilst I wait, I have been offered cover slots, but these have not been something that I can always do, I do have outside commitments and things which will always take priority over everything I do.  Also, an audience cannot be built by bouncing around the schedule in a free-form style, so unless everything aligns, then I'm without a UK show.  This is not a "cry for help" or trying to stir the hornet's nest, but at present, there are no slots available to suit Nova and me.  If this changes, great and I will produce a brilliant show.  If it doesn't change, then so be it - no harm or foul and things will move forward as they always do.  However, if you do want to listen to either station (which I would truly recommend), you can visit the websites of each station and listen to Nova here and the Flytrap here!

* - Speaking of Flytrap & Across the Pond, in July I aired three episodes which formed the first specials I have recorded for Flytrap.  These focused on the bands and artists of the North-East of England and they have been well received.  I loved compiling them and I will be curating some more very shortly.  You can listen to these shows (and other episodes of Across the Pond and Attention Please) on my Mixcloud account here.

*- The announcements for the next round of Marvel films and new TV shows had some good surprises.  The introduction (or reintroduction) of Jane Foster as the female version of Thor is a good way to change the character.  It follows the comic at least, it also means that Helmsworth can become Odinson and drift out of the MCU for a bit.  The TV shows which will appear on Disney's own TV network sound good as well.  I like the fact they've not brought in the Fantastic Four or X-Men straight away.  They can take their time with those characters, as long as Deadpool is the new cameo performance to replace Stan Lee.

* - Gonna pick up a couple of reviews for this blog which I've promised to people over the past year.  I figured I owe people a few things.  The reviews are going to be for a few Cruel Nature Records releases, Dunes and This Is Not A Drill.  They will be up very soon, together with a round-up of the year so far music-wise.  The image at the top of the blog is what I've been listening to over the last few weeks.  You can listen to the new playlist (as I don't have time to do the usual list) here - ATTIWLTMOWOS PLAYLIST SEPT '19!

* - Speaking of Dunes, I was lucky enough to attend the recent album launch party for Take Me To The Nasties, my review of which is linked here.  It was a fantastic night at the Nemix studios!  First up was Sign Again Syren, who brought the blues-rock and dances to every band for the rest of the night.  Creature were up next with their Grunge sound and I was truly impressed by them.  I love their studio output and live they sound massive.  Next was Kkett (another band who danced all night) and they are hard to pigeon hole.  They describe themselves as Joycore and that sort of suits them.  They have to be seen to be believed and their album Kketterwaul is amazing too!  Then, it was time for the Dunes boys, who arrived on stage to a hero's welcome.  They're such a great band and they didn't disappoint the audience, apart from having no encore (but they had reached the curfew time).  A great night was had by all, I'm hoping to see each of the bands live again very shortly.

* - Buck Rogers in the 25th Century has not aged well at all, I mean it is incredibly hard to watch.  I've got a feeling it's what makes people like Donald Trump feeling like a man and how the future should be.  Let's put it this way, I'd rather watch Love Island than repeat that again.  The joy of childhood ruined by the reality of the present. To be fair, it was never something I really thought about, but age has changed me (for the better) and I cannot stand casual racism any time I see it.

* - New episodes of "Then There Were Two" are being released shortly!  We missed August due to my Assassin's Creed addiction, but there will be two released over the next few weeks!  Once available to the public, you'll be able to stream them on Podbean here or download them from iTunes here!

* - Well, as Tool took so much time (I mean, by christ, they took up far too much time - and I'm a fan), it's time to go!  Until next time, take care! - Eddie

14 August 2019

Dunes - Take Me To The Nasties


Well, if you're going to keep a promise, might as well do it for a band you hold in high regard!  What we have here is the debut album from the mighty Dunes!  Now signed to Sapien Records, Take Me To The Nasties will be released on 6th September to the world.   Since first seeing them supporting Idles in Newcastle, it's been my pleasure to share their company, played their songs on both my radio shows, spent time in their company and above all, enjoyed their music!  Their first two EP's (my reviews can be read, as well as a review of their performance at the Aran Glover tribute earlier in 2019 here) are both still on heavy rotation in my house.  So, there is a large probability that this review is going to be slightly biased.  However, this is not how I operate, I like to tell it as it is!  So, let us look at Take Me To The Nasties, track by track!

01 - Take Me To The Nasties

Starting the album is the title track, which was also the first to be released as a single back in May 2019 and what a little cracker!  "Take Me To The Nasties" sets out the stall for Dunes early, there are links to the sound "Love From Below", one of the first songs I heard by Dunes.  With a new sense of confidence and attitude, they steamroller you with a promise that the hooks will be worth it.  Not that Dunes ever lacked either confidence or attitude, but this has been added to the heavy rotation list in my house, it's one of my favourite songs over the last three months.

02 - S.O.S.

There is a swagger to "S.O.S.",  with a deep hook to the bass and guitar work, all of which that is thundered home by Nikky Watson on the drums, this song is another top draw effort.  If this song was a herb, you could roll it up, try to sell it and be prosecuted for possession of a controlled substance.  It's a super heavy stoner tune, which plays to all of the strengths of Dunes and it's been stuck in my head for days!  Influence wise, I'm hearing a mixture of Queens of the Stone Age swagger, Marilyn Manson street shouting, cowbells and a riff of their own creation.  It's one that thunders through you, "S.O.S." is going to be a winner in their live set for years to come.

03 - Been Expecting You

Ah, the slower stoner number has arrived!  "Been Expecting You" is the first track on TMTTN that has a certain familiarity about it, even as a new song.  There is a style that comes with Stoner, a certain rhythm that is commonplace, but it's always welcoming to the ears.  To be honest, it reminds me a lot of a speeded-up version of their cover of "Fool" (originally by Nadine Shah) which was released as a b-side to "Seapig".  "Been Excepting You" is no exception to this rule, but it has a fantastic bridge in the middle, with a slow build that gives you shivers each time it comes around.  It's also a song that they could extend live if they so wished to jam out, if they so wished to do this.

04 - Release the Clowns

"Release the Clowns" is the first song on this album that changes the formula, moving towards a heavy rock/punk/stoner combo, sort of like a hybrid of QOTSA, The Wildhearts and Alice in Chains jamming out together.  For me, this is one of the more intriguing songs of TMTTN, if only for the fact it points towards something else, that they have more than one style (which I always knew anyway).  As with the vast majority of this record, "Release the Clowns" is also a total ear-worm and will be stuck in your head within moments of being played.

05 - Phantom Head

"Phantom Head" is the midway point of the album, which slams the breaks and brings in the heavy artillery to TMTTN.  Upon my first listen, it didn't really grab me.  It felt a bit washy and I was wondering where they were heading, or if they'd been on the special brew again.  But as "Phantom Head" progresses, you can see the slow build coming together until there is a wall of noise towards the end.  This was an unexpected and welcome surprise, making me reach for the repeat button a few times before I had to review the rest of the record.  If you were to cherry-pick the best songs of all the Dunes releases, this will probably be at the top end of that list.

06 - Danger Mouth

"Danger Mouth" is a fine, straight forward rock number which has the unenviable task of following "Phantom Head".  It happens on albums all the time, some tracks live in the shadows of their other buddies on the record.  There is a bouncy feeling to "Danger Mouth", it's got a fantastic little riff, great drumming, and the sort of bass rumbling that you'd expect from these fine gents.  However, it just follows one of the best tracks I've ever heard from Dunes.  So - good song, just following a gigantic number.

07 - Shakamoto's Revenge

The two words that come to mind with "Shakamoto's Revenge" are fast and frantic.  Their Punk attitude comes out here, with a large dose of Alternative Rock as well.  You can feel steamrollered by the energy here, which is never a bad thing.  It's not the shortest song on here, but it goes by at such a pace that it feels like a two-minute anthem.  Of course, I love it!

08 - Lantern

"Lantern" is a song about trying to keep things together, a sense of union and love with education, hope and determination to keep things going all mixed into one song.  It's a decent number, one which is certainly worth checking out, but it's not my favourite one by the band.  That said, Nikky's drumming at the end sounds great as ever!

09 - Denim Casket

"Denim Casket" was the second song to be released in anticipation of the release of Take Me To The Nasties, with radio play far and wide.  It's easy to see why they picked this one, the massive hook, the energy and charisma that could charm any man or woman to their side is there for all to see.  As they are known for their double denim stylings (going full Quo, or so I have been told), "Denim Casket" is a song that sounds as if they're ready for a fight, with whatever drink they can get hold of and bring great woe on whoever gets in their way.  I love the riff, I love the lyrics, it's just another great number from a great band.

10 - Everything is Blue

Alas, all good things must come to an end and Take Me To The Nasties is no exception to this rule.  "Everything is Blue" is a stomping track, with a tried and tested mixture of slow verses and a heavy and loud chorus combo.  Even upon the first spin of "Everything is Blue", you could tell that it has everything you'd want from an ending track!  Ten tracks is a perfect number for an album in my head, always has been and always will be.  "Everything is Blue" has ending track written all over it, it's a natural track 10 and you could not place this anywhere else on this record.  The ending solo and breakdown that just screams to be played at the end of the record!  It brings down the curtain on TMTTN in style and leave you wanting more.

Take Me To The Nasties is a brilliant debut record from one of the best live acts coming out of Newcastle, one that shows that they've starting to look outside their original sound.  With each release, they've taken a step forward and tried something a little different from their last release.  With each spin of this album I discovered something else about each song, each track grows in stature and it just keeps delivering the good.  If you've been listening to Dunes for a while, you can see this progress.  With Take Me To The Nasties, they are starting to see the fruits of their labour being rewarded ten-fold here.  I'm torn between "Release the Clowns" and "Phantom Head" for song of the album (i'll pick one in a bit), but each track has a lot of positives, even "Lantern".  This is an album that's full of energy, passion and determination, something that is lacking from a lot of Rock music these days.  I love this album and my order for the vinyl is going in on payday!!  On a side note, a little story here - Many years ago, I was in a band who claimed to be the kings of Stoner Punk.  I can safely say that this title now belongs to Dunes!  Take it as a given and understand this, Take Me To The Nasties is one of the premier releases of 2019, you need this record in your lives.  The kings are dead, long live the kings and purchase Take Me To The Nasties now peasants!

10 out of ten - This is proof there is a deity

Top song - Phantom Head (but only just)

You can visit the Dunes page on Sapien Records here.

Once Take Me To The Nasties is released, it will be available on the Sapien Records webstore, which you can reach here.

You can follow the activities of Dunes on their Facebook page here.

Once Take Me To The Nasties is available on Spotify, it will be on their artist page which is linked here.

Once Take Me To The Nasties is available on Deezer, it will be on their artist page which is linked here.

Now, the way that Tidal is formatted, it has lumped about five different bands that operate with the name Dunes onto one page. However, once Take Me To The Nasties is released on Tidal, it will be on this linked page.

14 July 2019

Thoughts and current playlist - 12th July 2019


Originally posted on The Gorehounds of Horror Facebook page - check them out - https://www.facebook.com/Gorehounds.of.Horror/
* - I think that I will be posting two music review blogs on here soon, it might be three, but definitely two as I made promises for these to be done.  The main reason for no blogs being completed is quite simple - every time I go to post one, I have a wave of fear come over me.  I have absolute dread and my mind goes blank, I have been sitting in a sort of fear about putting a review up.  It's a form of writer's block, which is something I'm going to have to work on - especially for Bearded Gentlemen Music - but it's something that I will do.  If I'm being totally honest, it's something that has been building and I need to confront whatever is holding me back in that way.  Hopefully, by doing this one, it will lead to other blogs finally coming to fruition (as well as some other good results in other areas of my life). 

* - I've been asked by a few people about my opinion about Morrissey and his recent rants.  Well, let's be honest, he's now become the racist uncle that you're embarrassed about.  He's shitting on his legacy from a great height, I mean a great height.  People are entitled to their opinions, but by that token, they have to realise that they can also be wrong.  Because of his rants and leaning, he is now an artist I will not follow.  Some people are trying to disassociate the artist from the art, but I cannot do that.  It's the same as when an artist has been found to be a bit of a shit when it comes to sexual relations (Ryan Adams for example), they are no longer someone I want to listen to.  Because of this, it's ruined the works of The Smiths for me now, I cannot listen to it without thinking about what Morrissey has become.  So - fuck Morrissey, you've joined the likes of Ryan Adams, Chris Beniot and Lost Prophets in the fuck you list.

* - There are some great gigs coming to the Newcastle area; Jaya the Cat,  Boston Manor, Whitfield Crane (Ugly Kid Joe singer), Johnny Lloyd, HR (from Bad Brains), Feeder, Less Than Jake, Goldfinger and many more.  Who says nowt ever happens in Newcastle!

* - It's a shame that the Wasteland Festival had to change their venue, but logistical problems can happen.  Obviously, I'm not privy to what has happened, but I would not be blaming the organisers here.  They would have tried their hardest to make it work and when outside contractors don't deliver, what can they do? Sometimes you have to accept that things are out of their hands. and to rant about it like some people have makes those people sound like arses, to be honest (and don't both messaging me to argue, you know who you are).  Yes, people had made plans, but circumstances can change.  At least two of the shows are still going ahead, be thankful for that at least!

* - The radio shows are going fine, Across the Pond is currently in the middle of a three-part special on North East of England artists.  With Attention Please, I'm covering a slot that is usually for non-league football, so I'm confusing many people.  Hopefully, I will have a regular slot sorted soon, keep your eyes peeled for that.

* - The podcast which I've launched with Mr Andrew Oyston is now available!  It's called Then There Were Two, basically it's two bearded old men talking bollocks and trying not to get too drunk. It's is available on Podbean and iTunes and the links are below (two episodes are available at the time of writing):

iTunes link to Then There Were Two 

Podbean link to Then There Were Two 

* - Still stuck on this one - Every time I listen to Middle Kids, I fall more under their spell - Damn you Jonesy!

* - Recently, we had Pride month.  Now, I'm very dubious when big companies start changing their logos to have the rainbow flag, because I sometimes feel this is a PR exercise.  Pride is something that should be held for every day of the year, not just for this tiny celebration.  This is because we live in a world where people fear anyone who is not like them, which is something I just don't understand.  the people who try to detract from this think that they are being excluded.  But they are also the people who've never been excluded.  Unless you have been outcast of society, then you will never know how that feels and you don't need a day/month of celebrations to create awareness.  I think that just because someone has found love or a new identity which is not someone else's sense of "normal", does not mean anyone has the right to tell others that they cannot be the person that they were born to be.  You don't have to like it (but why would you not?), but you have to respect it as it's none of your business if you feel it offends you.  From here on, beforehand and always afterwards, this blog will be having a Pride life.  The rainbow is always flying for everyone, no matter how you identify and how you view the world.


Now and always, this flag flies!
* - I've been watching some of the set from Glastonbury on the BBC.  Idles were fantastic, as were Interpol.  Mavis Staples had a small audience but delivered a good set.  The Jeff Goldblum set gave us the best music, but the worst fashion sense award as well.  Janet Jackson's set was plagued with issues, but it was a pop concert at the wrong venue.  Kurt Vile was a letdown, he just sounded awful on a stage where Idles had sounded magnificent.  Wu-Tung were on top form, it's good to see that as they can be inconsistent.  The Chemical Brothers were a joy as always and that is most of what I have caught.  I'm still to watch The Charlatans and I think that will be it, apart from Stomzy, who I have to watch soon.

* - I've been watching films with my Dad, ones that he would not usually watch.  Here are his views in short sentences:

Blade Runner: 2049 - Beautiful, but a hard watch that asked a lot
Oceans 11 - Very entertaining heist movie
Oceans 12 - A confusing follow-up that did nothing for the original
Oceans 13 - Now they're taking the mickey and why did they take so long, still better than 12
Star Wars: The Force Awakens - A good one, better than the prequels
Dr Strange - Well, I don't need to try acid now.
Iron Man - I like Robert Downey Jr, he was entertaining.
Murder on the Orient Express - Now that was a good movie and Kenneth Branagh didn't ham it up!
Mission Impossible: Fallout - What a great movie, I can't believe I like a film with Tom Cruise in it!
Teen Titans GO: To the Movies - Where did I go wrong with you son?
Iron Man 2: That one was rather good!
Thor: It's a bit like Game of Thrones, but without the nudity and politics.
Captain America: The First Avenger - Once I got past the symbolism, you see a man trying to do right.  Is there any more?


This is going to be an ongoing series, there are so many movies he's not seen.

* - It was my tenth wedding anniversary recently, I love my lady so much and I thank her for her support and patience with me!

* - Who'd have thought that I would have spent so much time watching the cricket world cup, it's been so good and I usually cannot stand the game!  One day, limited-overs are the way to go with this game!

* - What the hell is going on with Newcastle United, it's a shame for the club, but until there is a change in ownership, there will always be this issue.

* - Anyway, I think that is all I want to say at the moment.  Please find the usual playlist below, hope you're all well and expect some other posts soon (I hope, this writer's block is really getting me down).

Here is the playlist as well as the Spotify version here!

Leatherface - Razor Blades and Asprins: 1990-1993



 










Ghost//Signals - A Means to Kill Your Scene (Single)



 










Maxïmo Park - Risk to Exist



 










Biffy Clyro - Only Revolutions














The Smashing Pumpkins - Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. 1: No Past, No Future, No Sun














Eels - Shootenanny



 











Leftfield - Rhythm and Stealth



 










Tellison - Hope Fading Nightly



 









 

Thundercat - Drunk



 










Weakended Friends - Common Blah



 










Machine Head - Burn My Eyes



 










The Auteurs - After Murder Park



 










The Wannadies - Be A Girl



 











Ryan Hamilton and the Harlequin Ghosts - This Is The Sound



 











Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank



 











Fluorescent Half Dome - Jewel Tones



 











Glassjaw - Material Control



 











Otherkin - OK



 










Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea














The Winter Hill Transmission - The Winter Hill Transmission














Metz - Strange Peace














Lindisfarne - The Best of Lindisfarne



 










The Cramps - Big Beats from Badsville



 










Yak - Alas Salvation

2 June 2019

Thoughts and current playlist - 2nd June 2019

Reason I'm ill, going to an outdoor gig in a hoody in the rain!

Thoughts:
  • Being ill as you all know sucks, as I'm currently having my substantial backside handed to me by a virus.  Obviously, there's worse illness to have, I don't need to make a list.  But being ill has stopped me from finishing a long-promised review/post for Bearded Gentlemen Media.  That has to be resolved soon, even if it does require a Tolkien appendix.   Once that is up, I'll be posting a link here, as well as on my other pages.
  • I think the main reason I got ill was due to getting wet over the weekend at This Is Tomorrow.  This was a three-day event that was held in Newcastle, headlined by Foals, Stereophonics and Noel Gallaghers' High Flying Birds.  It was a great event, with some excellent bands.  I really enjoyed seeing Sick Joy, they had a great show, even if it was to a crowd of indifference.  I love those guys, such a Grunge vibe and pissed off attitude.  Embrace were another high light as well, another gig off my '90s alt. indie list, I'm also thinking about going to see them if they do their own show back up here.  As event go, apart from the first day when there was an issue with a barrier, it seems to have gone really well.  I hope that it comes back next year.
  • I also finally got to see William Denton Wilde at the Cluny, in all his high-heeled glory.  His one-man heavy bass player noise is fantastic, it sounds like the band from the black lodge in Twin Peaks doing Bowie/Bolan songs, with a twisted turn on the drum machine act.  How one reviewer compared him to Muse is bemusing (for want of a better word).  Check out his stuff on Bandcamp here.
  • The Mummy (2018) was not as bad as I've been made to believe, that said, my views on films could be warped after seeing Aquaman (2019) - officially my worst movie ever.
  • The first recording session for Then There Were Two went well, four episodes were taped, including a two-part introduction.  The format will be explained once they've been posted, I'm just awaiting approval from Mr Oyston that this has been done.
  • I've been watching Au service de la France, aka A Very Secret Service. This is a French comedy-drama series created by Jean-François Halin and produced by Gilles de Verdière, which aires on Netflix in the UK.  The premise is based around André Merlaux, a young man who joins the French Secret Service as a trainee officer. He will be watched over by the operations director Moïse (Operations Director),  Moulinier (in charge of African affairs), Jacquard (Algeria), and Calot (Eastern Bloc), he tries to get to grips with a world in flux. Set at the height of the Cold War and the position of France as a Great Power is in crisis, there are other pressures with calls for independence from the colonies of French West Africa, above all the fight over the independence of Algeria. French society is also changing at home as well, with a rising counterculture exemplified by growing feminism and New Wave cinema.  Whilst it's not a canned laugh out loud show, it's well acted and I love the dry sense of humour.  I hope that a third series comes at some point.
  • The more I see mainstream news channels, the more I despair.  No wonder people have their review reinforced time after time.
     
  • There are so many gigs coming up in Newcastle, whoever said nothing happens up here needs a swift kick in the balls.  Over the last 24 hours Therapy?, Jaya the Cat, The Wonder Stuff, John Power, Whenyoung and others have announced gigs in the Toon.  That's without mentioning all the DIY gigs that have been set up as well.  It's a great time to be based here, such a diverse area for music and art.
     
  • AEW seems to be on the up, which is a good thing for wrestling.  You need more than one major brand in wrestling, WWE has become a little stale.  Well, at least on the main roster.  NXT is the best thing that they've got going, hopefully, they can look to that for hints of what to do.  The main issue with WWE is ironically "over-exposure".  You have two shows which are over three hours each week, PPV's which are over three hours in length and the stories are not anchoring these matches.  There is an air of the end of WCW at the moment, which was not a nice thing to see the first time.
     
  • I was so wrong about Middle Kids.  In my original review, I gave Lost Friends five out of ten (you can read my review here).  But over the last few weeks, I've returned to that album and it's improved with time.  My knee jerk reaction was so wrong, so here is my public acknowledgement.  I made a mistake!
     
  • Both my open mic slots on Nova with Attention Please and Across the Pond on Fly Trap Radio seem to be well received.  It's an interesting time in Castle PCP in that fashion, long may it continue.  I'm hoping that I can get a full show on Nova, but it will need to be right for both them and myself.
     
  • So proud of Mrs C, she's been travelling for her new job and has been so brave.  Love her so much.
     
  • I received an email asking why none of the album covers had links to downloads.  Well, if you don't read the sidebar, I'm not going to explain it to you again.  Anyway, that's all for this time - here is the playlist.
Middle Kids - New Songs for Old Problems













Dunes - Take Me To The Nasties













Joy Division - Closer













Talking Heads - Little Creatures













Bloods - Feelings













Wand - Golem













Ultravox - Ha! Ha! Ha!













Father John Misty - Pure Comedy













Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Me Your Bones













Fucked Up - Dose Your Dreams













Benjamin Booker - Witness













Frank Zappa - Zoot Allures













Scott Michael Cavagan - 21st Century Love













TANKENGINE - TANKENGINE EP













Rammstein - Rammstein













Jaga Jazzist - One-Armed Bandit













Ozzy Osborne - No More Tears













Nada Surf - Let's Go













I've also made another Spotify Playlist, which is linked here.  Unlike the last one, I've managed to find at least one track from each release on Spotify. I hope you enjoy it.

Eddie (recovering from a virus, enjoying the cricket.... I must be ill).

17 May 2019

Thoughts and Current Playlist - 15th May 2019


Thoughts

  • Enjoyed Hit the North over the first May Bank Holiday weekend! I got to see some great bands.  The first one I saw was Pip Blom from Holland at the Think Tank; a Dutch four-piece who had a fantastic vibe and energy on stage.  They have a bit of a Stereolab vibe about them, which is not a bad thing to be honest.  Next, at the Think Tank Underground was Swimming Tapes, they sounded like a laid-back Teenage Fanclub.  Their music was good, but for a five-piece band, they were very quite.

    Next was a rapper called Sweets at the Head of Steam.  It was crowded, the audience seemed to be well into the music and then he started to rap.  I lasted a few tracks and it was not for me.  If you like it, more power to you!  After this was Sophie and the Giants at the Boiler Room, who turned out to be the revelation of the day.  Four piece Indie Pop with who will appeal to fans of Florence + the Machine, which is not a bad thing.  The best thing was singer Sophie Scott, her vocals were stunning.  I was down there with a couple of friends.  One guy is a Guns 'N' Roses fan, the other wishes he was Barbara Streisand.  All three of us agreed that they were the band of the day.

    After this, I flew solo for a little bit.  First up I saw Spielbergs from Olso, Norway.  I bumped into my former NE1FM colleague John from the 145, which is always a good sign for a band.  It was held at the Brewdog and I had an issue with this venue.  It was one where you could get in without a ticket for the festival, which meant that you had stag do's and people generally being arseholes.  There were doormen, but they were as effective as a dead frog in a rainstorm.  If you have a venue as a festival venue, keep it for the general public.  Anyway, Spielbergs were spot on, their post-punk/new Hardcore/Indie hybrid is infectious, such a good band who I'll see again when they return to Newcastle.

    The final act I watched was The Lake Poets, back at the Think Tank Underground.  Now, The Lake Poets are a Sunderland act, one of their songs, "Shipyards", was used to great effect on the Netflix documentary Sunderland Till I Die.  So, they came on stage and were full of great banter, mocking the Toon fans and the fact that the sound from the other venues was bleeding into the venue.  Originally, this set was supposed to have been played at Newcastle Cathedral, but it was changed at some point.  I think it might have worked better there, but it was still a wonderful set.

    After that, I headed home.  There was no-one I was aching to see, but I heard that other sets went off so well.  I'm already looking forward to next year's, obviously no idea who is playing, but it's a great event for the city!
  • It's been my birthday recently, which was a nice and gentle affair.  I went to Tynemouth for a bit, finally saw Avengers: Endgame (more on that later), bought far too many records (given) and had a great time off work.  Livin' small is a much better way to celebrate, took me a long time to learn that lesson.
  • Avengers: Endgame.  What a movie, I mean that was an event.  I'm not going to go into too much dealt (in case you've not seen it).  But I can say the following:

    The scene with Thor and ***** was heartbreak, wish I could have a similar conversation with my ***.

    The first half of the movie was a disaster survivor film, it's a fantastic piece of cinema.  Once you reintroduce Ant-man, the tone of the movie changed.

    It does get silly (even for a Marvel Movie) and it feels like a victory lap at times, but never at the expense of the story.

    The send-off for ********, *************** and ********** were a mixture of heart break and beautifully framed. 

    The handover at the end was brilliant and in keeping with the comics.

    It's not the best Avengers movie, not even the best Marvel movie, but it's a fitting ending to the Infinity Saga.  I would recommend seeing it in the pictures.
  • I'm hoping to go to the This Is Tomorrow festival.  Not for the headline bands too much, more for the local acts early on in the day.  Should be a laugh.
  • My ex-Duma colleague, Mr Chris Jermyn has a new band called Green River Messiah.  He's trying something new and I wish him all the best.
  • If you get to hear one album this year, make sure it's the new one by The Wildhearts.  It's called Renaissance Men, it's a real grower of an album.
  • Why the living fuck is M+S selling something called Porn Star Martinis?  This is a place where the average age of the patrons of these stores in their 60's, what do they want from porno! ;-)
  • I've got some ideas in my mind for BGM, it should be a laugh.
  • Also, the first recording of Then There Were Two with Mr Andrew Oyston, more on that once we start to post them.
  • I'll be posting a blog soon which I wrote in the aftermath of leaving NE1FM.  It's not a gritty detail or full of bad press, just how I was feeling at the time.  I never got around to posting it, but I still feel that I need to get it up.  At least for a milestone for that era of the show.  As I've posted in other places, I have a few things on cooking radio wise.  I'll be presenting a show called Across the Pond on Flytrap radio which is going to broadcasting out of Nashville in America (at least I think it is, Keith - can you confirm?).  I've also been doing some Open Mic slots on Nova Radio North East in the UK, we'll see how that goes.  If both start running, it's worth pointing out that they'll both have two slightly target audiences.  Across the Pond will be a show with a Parental Warning, the show on Nova will be your standard "no swear, no issues" show.  Musical, sort of similar, but one will be edited to a degree.  That is something I'm cool with, but I'm also excited for both opportunities
  • My family life is sorting itself, thanks for messages and all that jazz.  Looking after loved ones is hard, but very rewarding too. If only there was less Game of Thrones. ;-)
  • Well, that's all the points I wanted to raise here.  Until next time, take care!
Current listening:

David Bowie - The Next Day












The Cranberries - Everyone Else is Doing It, So Why Can't We?













Frank Zappa - Chunga's Revenge













Dunes - Take Me To The Nasties








Ben Folds - Rockin' the Suburbs













Lovely Wife - Audible Beef









Puppy - The Goat













The Wildhearts - Renaissance Men













Massive Wagons - Full Nelson













The Mute Gods - Atheists and Believers













Brad - United we Stand













Logic - Supermarket













Marvin Gaye - What's Going On













Andrew Bird - My Finest Work Yet













Most of these should be available on streaming sites, apart from Dunes and Lovely Wife which is out later in the year.  That one is a belter!  Here is a Spotify playlist with my favourite moments.

Eddie (currently melting in this global warming heatwave - Newcastle upon Tyne, 16th May 2019)

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