[UPDATE 2015 January 2]
The Hall of Legends continues to grow, slowly. There are now 15 inductees:
The Fall [charter members, explained below]
Stereolab [charter members, explained below]
Billy Childish [inducted 2012 December 9, audio below]
Coil [seasonal inductions--Winter Solstice 2012; Spring Equinox 2013; Summer Solstice 2013; Autumn Equinox 2013]
Prince Far-I [inducted 2013 April 13]
Dif Juz [inducted 2013 June 26; Gary Bromley interview; Richie Thomas interview]
Little Annie [inducted 2013 August 21; interview]
A.R.Kane [inducted 2013 August 28; Rudy Tambala interview part 1 and part 2]
The Dub Syndicate [inducted 2013 October 19]
The Wolfgang Press [inducted 2014 May 14; Mark Cox interview; Andrew Gray interview; Michael Allen interview]
Ivo Watts-Russell [inducted 2014 June 4; interview]
Breathless [inducted 2014 August 19; Ari Neufeld interview; Dominic Appleton interview]
John Peel [inducted 2014 August 30]
The Durutti Column [inducted 2014 November 25; Vini Reilly interview]
Heidi Berry [induction 2015 January 6]
We herewith induct Billy Childish into the Bombast Hall of Legends. The Hall, as I mentioned in an earlier post, is a sparsely-populated place.
There are only three members. [UPDATE: see above.] First of all, I chose the word "legends" as opposed to "fame" because the show tends to celebrate music that is mostly un-celebrated by the larger world. Second, as you might guess, I have some weird standards in place to assess candidates and determine membership.
One door to the Hall of Legends is marked "utility." No, it is not a closet, but instead a recognition that the show "uses" someone's music or ideas on a regular basis. In fact the two existing "members" of the Hall of Legends entered through this door. I don't have the time to give induction speeches here, but I will explain how they "got in."
(1) The Fall: "Bombast" is the Fall song that you hear as the usual introduction to the broadcast [when the show is not specifically-themed]. That song, especially the phrase, "feel the wrath of my bombast," works in the same way that the show tries to--you can read it according to its contemporary meaning, that is, "expression too pompous, inflated, or pretentious for the occasion," or its archaic meaning, the stuffing or padding that filled out a garment, i.e. superfluous fluff not meant to be seen directly. Is that enough to justify inclusion? Hell to the yes, but were it not for this, they could easily have entered the Hall through its other door, probably as the first inductee.
(2) Stereolab: I mentioned this earlier, but they provide the usual underscoring to Lady Catharsis's introduction to the "Listening Parlour" segments. Is this enough? Unlike the Fall, they just provide underscoring rather than an enduring concept for the program. But they, too, would probably have entered through the other door, sooner or later.
What is that other door? "Sustained Extreme Genius Without Much Appreciation," through which our third inductee strolls on this podcast. "Wait," I hear you saying. "Aren't those first two bands--as well as Billy Childish--pretty well appreciated?"
No. I mean, sure, their fans are devoted, but feel free to PM me when any of them turn up in a Victoria's Secret holiday special, or a hurricane relief concert. Or when Coachella offers them seven figures to reunite and headline, instead of relegating them to this or that tent.
What is "Sustained Extreme Genius?" Okay, here's where I admit I just make this stuff up as I go.
How about this for a totally subjective litmus test: a 2-hour [or thereabouts] program entirely devoted to this artist's music is just enough to barely scratch the surface of the awesome stuff. How about--instead of picking ten albums* by 10 different artists that would make an extended stranding on a desert island** bearable, I would feel totally complete being stuck with just about any ten records by this one act?
*the exact number isn't important.
**I never understood this tired hypothetical exercise--if your iPod doesn't run out of power, is that a long enough stay for you to call it "being stranded?" If it does lose its charge, what does it matter what you've loaded onto it? Or--if we substitute a device that won't run out of power--why would I have been traveling near this remote place with a wind-up gramophone? What was my destination? What was my agenda? Wouldn't those circumstances have determined what music I was carrying with me?
Anyway. There are other totally subjective litmus tests in play, but those are the two that came to mind most readily. Childish aces them both. Also, anyone with the authority to send Jack White to the dunce's corner has to at least make the Hall of Legends ballot. "Momentary Extreme Genius at a Time When Someone Needed to Display It" might be a third door to the Hall, but I fear that it would become more of a floodgate.
As expected, the follies continue. I refer to Childish the painter as "William Hamper" instead of "Steven Hamper," his given name, although I would hope to be forgiven for this since Billy has used several noms de guerre over the years, and "William Hamper" does appear here and there in the discourse. Also, I narrowly avoid "striking out" in my attempts to play my first vinyl records at the station. I get nervous and say stupid things like "I'm lowering the needle onto the stylus" or whatever it was. ["You're a nervous host," Lady Catharsis tells me.] "Strike 1" and "Strike 2" provide some lengthy bits of dead air before I finally bloop a base hit with "Headcoats On." This leads me to think I'm Rod Carew or something, giving me enough false confidence to plow forward with ambitious plans for the subsequent program. But that is a discussion for next time.
BOMBAST playlist, 2012 December 9, 2-ish-4 p.m.
- Thee Mighty Caesars: "Wiley Coyote" [Big Beat]
- The Buff Medways: "Troubled Mind" [Transcopic]
- Thee Milkshakes: "I Can Tell" [Hangman's Daughter]
- Holly Golightly: "Virtually Happy" [Damaged Goods]
- Thee Headcoats: "Pocca Hontas Was Her Name" [Damaged Goods] ***"Listening Parlour"
- Mickey and Ludella: "Stop and Listen" [Vinyl Japan]
- Thee Headcoatees: "Louis Riel" [Vinyl Japan]
- The Pop Rivits: "Laughing at You" [Sub Pop]
- The Pop Rivits: "Kray Twins" [Sub Pop]
- Thee Headcoat Sect: "Headcoats On" [Hangman]
- Thee Mighty Caesars: "Strange Words" [Crypt]
- The Buff Medways: "Don't Hold Me Back" [Vinyl Japan]
- Thee Milkshakes: "I'll Use Evil" [Hangman's Daughter]
- Thee Milkshakes: "Can't Seem to Love That Girl" [Hangman's Daughter]
- The Delmonas: "Temptress of Love" [Sub Pop]
- Thee Headcoats: "My Dear Watson" [Estrus]
- Mickey and Ludella: "Do I Expect Too Much" [Vinyl Japan]
- Thee Headcoat Sect: "Deerstalking Man" [Hangman's Daughter]
- Holly Golightly: "Head Start" [Damaged Goods] ***"Listening Parlour"
- Thee Mighty Caesars: "Death of a Mighty Caesar" [Big Beat]
- The Buff Medways: "Mons Quiff" [Transcopic]
- Thee Milkshakes: "Seven Days" [Big Beat]
- Thee Headcoatees: "Ballad of the Insolent Pup" [Vinyl Japan]
- Thee Headcoats: "All My Feelings Denied" [Crypt]
- Mickey and Ludella: "That Look You Gave to Me" [Vinyl Japan]
- Thee Mighty Caesars: "Don't Break My Laws" [Crypt]
- Holly Golightly: "Look for Me Baby" [Vinyl Japan]
- Thee Headcoats Sect: "Ready Sect Go" [Vinyl Japan]
next time: hopefully we do more good than harm. Enjoy the music! --kid catharsis