Wednesday, 8 July 2009
Imagine a monster. Imagine Giorgio Moroder in a Rick Wakeman crisis with a Bontempi home studio. Imagine the Epicus Doomicus Metallicus of Candlemass influenced by Star Wars instead of every Heroic Fantasy tales with some laryngitic Attila Csihar on vocal. Imagine some quite vulgar glam women choir for the chorus.
Well, those things really happens. Not only in the mind of outter-the-extreme-limits-of-Good-Taste fan (yes, I genuinely like John Maus, Esquilax and Hans Edler).
Someone in Germany, in 1982, really recorded all these things. Together. In the same time. On the same record. In the same songs. Yes, a real band really sounded like that. And get signed. And recorded two albums. And even had a minor hit. Their name: Warning. And you should be. (And I should apologised for this one).
Since I download this, 2 months ago, I just spend my time try to get my "out-the-limits" friends into it. Kind of "I saw the bottom of bad deviant horrible taste and I want you to fall into it". This record blow my mind away. Because it's not amateur like The Shaggs, not weird pre-Lo Fi like Joe Meek or the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, it's not a music mokery like LAFMS, it's not challenging like Whitehouse or Prurient. No. It's professional. It's a real record truely, genuinely made to be pop. Even the great Lennon/McCartney Tijuana Style on Music For Pleasure (a easy listening instrumental cover album between the BBQ ambiance and the 70's porn soundtrack) is not that bad. Warning is the bottom, the worse of the worse; the "you can fail that much" record.
Even the cover got a great Turkish Star War feeling: some pink and blue halo in a stair where 2 sub-Imperial Guard stand.
Spoooooky. Yeah not really.
I said earlier they had a minor hit. Even the title got a cheap surrealism spirit: Why Can The Bodies Fly. Yeeeeees. That's good.
Honestly, it's certainly the only song from the album sounding more or less like a single . Well less than more, but still more than the rest of the album. A disco-glam sound on a sub-Sabbath riff, a Gary Glitter inspired-rhythm and some good guttural voice somewhere between Lordi and Rob Zombie. And a sub-Yes keyboard solo as well.
Yummy yummy yummy...
You understand now that the real question is not "how someone could have done that " but "how this thing could have been a hit " (even minor, it's still a hit).
Tuesday, 7 July 2009
After the mid-july 3 day heatwave, it's raining over London. Well, perfect weather for staying at home, eating homemade raisins bread with exotic jam and diving deep inside the music folder of my Portable Mighty Memory Machine. And I found that:
That is (drum roll)Entertaining Edwards, a bootleg cassette-only of demo and live and other rarities of The Pastels from 81/82. So, a poorly-recorded, not-so-well played (and of course not authorised) cassette of The Best Band In The World So Far. Yes, you want that. Well, I also dream every night of having that thing close to my C-86 cassette.
What's inside? The two first demos, a song from their first live ever, some great "Poor Me Boo Boo" 20-second track of Stephen and his guitar, their best song or so "I Like Painting" and even some truly innocent and naive and cute noise experimentations sounding like Delia Derbyshire remixing Le Forte Four. And some live introduction with the sexiest accent ever. Glasgow, my love.
Obvisously not the beginner stuff but perfect for a nerdy stupidly crazy fan like me. ("Oooh a test pressing of "I Am Alright With You" in a blank cover with the original Creation ad stick on for only £10").
By this time, The Pastels didn't had that much songs, and did like every band when it's come to make up their lake of creativity: COVERS. Yeah!
Lots of them: Modern Lovers ("Roadrunner" and its immortal punchline "Bye, Bye/Not Really") , Buzzcocks (a medley of two of them: Boredom and a really noisy I Love You, Big Dummy) , TV Personnalities (Part Time Punk with new lyrics), Troggs (Wild Thing), and among lots of VU cover, something I believe being of a cover of Sister Ray (unfortunatly less good than the live cover of Subway Sect/The Slits, but at least far better than the Joy Division one)
Yes, Sister Ray and Wild Thing. Yes, The Pastels was a really baaaaaadaaaaaass band.
All that singing with the cutest childish duck voice ever.
And... And the Shangri-Las' Past Present Future. The best Shangri Las song singing by the best amateur band, that's something. That's the peak of this cassette. Incredibly... beyond I don't know what, but definitly beyond. (well I just notice than Tea Time Song is actually a semi-cover of Past Present Future)
Well actually, the real peak is another song. And I can't tell if it's a original or a cover: (Alone In The) Painbox.
Ok, I explain: on one side, we've got a almost perfect melody, obviously too perfect for the Pastels of this period. 2 verse, 2 chorus and... 1 bridge!
Do you imagine The Pastels putting a bridge in their song? No, I can't really. Or maybe around 85 or 86. Not in 82. 82 is the year of Song For Children. Heaven's Above and Tea Time Song. Not exactly the kind of with-a-bridge song.
But... On the other hand, the lyrics: "I am alone in the painbox/I wish you paint with me" and after, some great rhymes with "together" and "love forever" and some "pastels shades". Who else can dare to sing that except Stephen Pastel?
Monday, 6 July 2009
Thursday, 2 July 2009
YM's Top 5 Summer Songs
1) Kyuss - Green Machine
Ok, Kyuss: lonely town under summer sun; slow, heavy, desesparate. Sand, dust and no wind. How can be more summer than Kyuss?
2) Bardo Pond - Be a Fish
I saw once Invocation For My Brother Demon (officialy the only cool Kenneth Anger movie, kids) without the Mick Jagger soundtrack. Instead a slow, long and deep song remainding of Bardo Pond. So, Be a Fish...
End of the day. It still warm and the night begin. In a dirty and destroyed house, a bunch of mates, all of them high. And a fragile wall of noise, a voice close to the extinction flying above. That's Be a Fish.
(BTW, if anyone know about the soudtrack of this version of Invocation, give us a shout)
3) Acid King - Free
An unreachable Lorelei in Stahlhelm M35 riding a huge chopper in slow motion.
Think She-Devils on Wheels. Mighty girls cast as knight of Apocalypse on mighty bikes. (OK, the band of badass girls is a total cliché. But that cliché fucking rules!)
4) Velvet Underground - White Light/White Heat
Commune house again. Everybody waisted again. Semi-improvised song, out of tune solo, distorded backing voice and the whole tape melt in excess. Summer end of night.
5) JJ Johnson - Theme From Cleopatra Jones
Quite the opposite of the other songs, classy, soft, well recorded, even danceable. And an other cliché: Cleopatra Jones.
A female James Bond from the ghetto, she's tough and funny, she's kicking drugs out and helping the kids to stay in the straight way. Yeah, she's in the police. But she's funky, she's riding a nice car and even say "Damned" to her superior. And that's pretty cool.
BTW, if for the summer you rather go to the beach with your parents and not with your friends to camp in the desert with loads of LSD, the two albums of the Marine Girls are totally perfect.