We herewith induct The Wolfgang Press into the BOMBAST Hall of Legends, where they join The Dub Syndicate, A.R.Kane, Little Annie, Dif Juz, Prince Far I, Coil [part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4], Billy Childish, Stereolab [charter members], and The Fall [charter members].
Some of you, no doubt, are visiting for the first time,
having been lured here by The Wolfgang Press. A special welcome to you. Maybe this post is the only one you would care about here, but I invite you to do as much poking around as you like. The hyperlink above will take you to a loose description
of the Hall of Legends, and this page
describes the "idea" of the show, such as it is. The prose you find
everywhere on the site is mostly for my own entertainment, since this is
my outlet; if you enjoy it, that's a nice bonus. Audio's at
the bottom of the post if this is all TMI.
Bombast listener "Paul" wrote to me sometime in late 2013 and more or less "nominated" The Wolfgang Press for the Hall of Legends. I found this daunting and hilarious all at once. In the grand scheme of things this entire program is a deadly serious joke. But a listener nomination is a momentous thing, and would have to be addressed, at least. Fortunately, and embarrassingly, I actually do keep a list of "Hall of Legends" candidates somewhere, and TWP were already on it. But this was certainly a catalyst.
One determining factor in these specials is that I have to feel like interviewing the band members will actually fill some information vacuum. Hopefully this will explain to anyone who cares (and I'm not sure anyone does) why the Hall of Legends includes this person but not that one, why certain artists have gotten "the nod" (whatever that's worth) and not others (yet, anyway). Some people have already bared all through interviews, blog entries, and social media. And then other people go and publish books. I can't exactly figure out, or at least it will take me longer to figure out, how to contribute any kind of value to the existing discourse in some cases.
And yet--isn't this all terribly patronizing, or self-aggrandizing, or both? I'd find it awkward, presuming to do anyone a favor by featuring their music or "helping them tell their story" on this little radio show that airs in the middle of nowhere. This would be the "deadly serious" part. As I've said elsewhere, I was never really "punk" and have never fully internalized the world free of boundaries that said movement was meant to promote. Try as I might to dispel the notion, in my mind there are still "rock stars," it is still surreal that I occasionally talk to the people who have made some of my favorite records, and as I have no journalistic pretensions to objectivity or gatekeeping I just feel fortunate that they give me the time of day.
Anyway, for me it all began with Big Sex. [Isn't that true for all of us? --Ed.] That was the formative experience, mid-stream though it was. I was 18 years old. I was just starting a band, sort of. I was just beginning a stint at a college radio station. I was not knowledgeable enough to make associations, through discography or label affiliation or whatever. I just had a sense of what sounded good and what didn't. This did. God I miss that time.
Thankfully, though, I did read every word that anybody bothered to print on a record. So I made connections. And through that I found out about Rema-Rema, and Mass, and In Camera. There are no Holy Grails in music of this kind, but there are rich, Historical veins, and this was certainly one. And at the expense of telling you something the music already makes clear, it's an a-historical vein as well. This music is outside of time in the sense that it never sounds like its era, so it could just as easily be 1979, or 1989, or last week, or next.
Enough of that. I also remember Bird Wood Cage getting me through a difficult time, and Queer getting me through another difficult time. What is music good for if it doesn't do this? ASIDE: Why must there be so many difficult times?
Anyway, the actual interviews with Michael Allen, Mark Cox, and Andrew Gray yielded much more material than would fit in this broadcast. So those interviews will be posted in full early next week, either on Soundcloud, or Mixcloud, or here. I'll let you know. Those three deserve my thanks, and yours, for giving up time and being patient with me. (You have no idea.)
Also, there are a bunch of other people who helped make this possible, either in an immediate sense or a long time ago. They include an aforementioned ex, "Friends of Bombast" Mr. D and Jeremy, Steve Webbon at 4AD, Hall inductee Richie Thomas of Dif Juz, Kel and Craig of The Wolfgang Press Facebook group, and finally Lady Catharsis for giving me time and space to do these interviews at odd hours.
BOMBAST playlist, 2014 May 14, 2100-2300:
- "Cut the Tree" | The Wolfgang Press | Lonely Is An Eyesore | 4AD
- "Rema-Rema" | Rema-Rema | Wheel In The Roses | 4AD
- "Fond Affections" | Rema-Rema | Wheel In The Roses | 4AD
- "Co-ordinates" | In Camera | Fin | 4AD
- "You and I" | Mass | You and I / Cabbage | 4AD
- "Prostitute" | The Wolfgang Press | The Burden of Mules | 4AD
- "Deserve" | The Wolfgang Press | The Legendary Wolfgang Press and Other Tall Stories | 4AD
- "My Way" | The Wolfgang Press | Water | 4AD
- "Heart of Stone" | The Wolfgang Press | Sweatbox | 4AD
- "My Life" | The Wolfgang Press | Standing Up Straight | 4AD
- "The Wedding" | The Wolfgang Press | Big Sex | 4AD
- "Bottom Drawer (live at Cabaret Metro, Chicago, 1989)" | The Wolfgang Press | not on album | unreleased
- "Shut That Door" | The Wolfgang Press | Bird Wood Cage | 4AD
- "Birmingham" | The Wolfgang Press | Queer | 4AD | "Listening Parlour"
- "Sucker" | The Wolfgang Press | Queer - bonus 12" | 4AD
- "Executioner (Adamson Mix)" | The Wolfgang Press | Everything Is Beautiful (A Retrospective 1983-1995) | 4AD
- "People Say (live)" | The Wolfgang Press | Everything Is Beautiful (A Retrospective 1983-1995) | 4AD
next time: an inevitable letdown. Enjoy the music! --kid catharsis