Music Notes: June 2017

June 30, 2017 at 8:15 pm (Uncategorized)

School’s Out for  Summer, but probably not forever…

1  Chrome – Half Machine Lip Moves

One of the first issues of the New Musical Express that I bought contained a pull-out guide to punk and New Wave . One of the entries was Chrome an grinding post-punk, before that was a thing, pre-industrial, before that was a thing, Krautrock, and that was a thing, band from the US. I ignored it looking for UK punks instead. Wrong. A searing, testing intense album that is utterly compelling.

2. Ultravox – “Hiroshima Mon Amour.”

Seek out the band’s second album Ha Ha Ha. There’s two versions of the song on the record, which neatly chart the band’s future and its past. The alternative version is a lot like Roy Music, the released version, synth-pop. Both great versions of the song, but it’s the synth-pop which is majestic.

3. LCD Soundsystem – “Call the Police “/ “American Dream”

Download single from the band. Listened to it twice, and it’s good. Not great, but maybe enough to convince me that the reunion is not a mistake (although it feels odd given the big dis-band a few years back).  However, I will note that this is usually my reaction to their stuff. Check in next month and I’ll tell you it’s a masterpiece.

4. X-Ray Spex – Germ Free Adolescents

I didn’t buy this when it came out, but picked up the CD years later. And I didn’t realize until last year, the Caroline release plays with the running order and adds tracks. Still, quite wonderful. I feel a need to track down the demos and outtakes.

5. The Kills – “Desperado”

I still have mixed feelings about the studio version of their last album (the songs sounded fine live), but this is great. The Kills take on Rihanna.


6. Alison Mosshart – “The Passenger”

While I was looking for the link to the video above, I came across this cover of Iggy’s “The Passenger.” Better than Siouxsie’s version, but of course, not anywhere as epic as the Ig’s. From the Sons of Anarchy soundtrack.


7. Mojo : Children of  Pepper 

I don’t like the Beatles. There, I’ve said it. It’s not that I hate everything they’ve done. No, I like a lot of their songs and one of my first record buys was the “Red” album. I guess I don’t like the front runner. Still, there’s a good focus piece on Sgt. Pepper  in the new Mojo and a pretty neat CD with it. Not covers, but “inspired by. ” Includes Ty Segall, Cosmonauts, Thee Oh Sees, the Essex Green and more. Worth a listen or two.

8.  The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses 

I plugged this record in a column in 2009. It’s been 8 years, so I think it’s OK to mention it again, especially since they are gigging again. Utterly brilliant. Possibly the greatest British record of all time. Beatles fans and haters, ready your keyboards.

9. The Velvet Underground – “Rock and Roll”

I was in a coffee shop recently, and this song came on. I stopped and listened and waited for it to end before I left the store. When I got home from work, I listened to Loaded. Still remarkable.

10. Ruth Pearson

I didn’t know the name either, but Pearson was a longtime member of the Top of the Pops dance troupe Pan’s People. Not sure how many times I saw TOTP, but pretty much every week until 1980 when I got a job on Thursday night, and they were on for most of that time.  She passed away age 70 on June 27.

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June 14, 2017 at 1:38 am (Uncategorized)

The International Communist Current used to say that Internationalist Perspective had as many perspectives as it had members. The ICC  thought this tremendously witty, and saw the fact that IP often published articles disagreeing with other articles by other IP members as a sign of weakness. We saw it as a sign of strength that we could disagree, btu in fact we were joined around a common set of perspectives.

I’m reading McKenzie Wark’s book The Beach Beneath the Street on the Situationist International. At one ponit, Wark quotes Guy Deborg ‘s thought about the “line” of the organization:

Quite surely, never any doctrine; perspective. A solidarity around these perspectives.

Yeah, I’m down with that.

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I Saw a Frightened Rabbit on the Danforth

June 14, 2017 at 1:30 am (Uncategorized)

OK, this was two weeks back, but I’ve been busy.

I first saw Frightened Rabbit at the Mod Club in October 2012. Then at the Phoenix six months later. And a third time in October 2013 at the Kool Haus. now, I love this band, but by that third show, it felt like a bit too much. Four years later, and it felt fresh to see FR again.

Like the other shows with Frightened Rabbit, it was sold out, and it didn’t take long to realize why: Frightened Rabbit are a fantastic live act. Maybe you’ve seem other bands like this; that create an immediate sense of intimacy, a rapport with the audience. Scott Hutchinson spent a fair bit of time at the beginning of the set being critical of border crossing officers (and anyone who has had to cross boarders surely had sympathy with the band). /and we responded in kind; so quickly we were caught up in that moment, singing along with the songs we knew, and grooving to the ones we didn’t.

A sweaty, glorious eighty minutes of rock and roll.

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