Saturday Apr 24, 2021
Saturday Apr 24, 2021
Saturday Apr 24, 2021
A great show awaits you, and in even better news, it's my show! The only element missing is Lady Catharsis, who has arrived by and by at a grudging respect for The Fall, tonight's featured artiste.
Here is yet another posthumous Hall of Legends induction, since I lazily made the band charter members and then for whatever reason never asked to talk to the man himself. I need to start talking to people again.
Anyway, I guess this is where the origin story goes but once again there really isn't one. I have a weird memory of being 17, and being driven by my mother to a halloween party (I didn't get a driver's license until age 25), insisting on listening to KDVS in the car, and hearing a very distinctive song that stuck with me for about a decade before I figured out it was "Barmy." In my early days deejaying for that same station I would play "Hey! Luciani" and whatever the U.S. equivalent of Bend Sinister was. Jeremy, Friend of the Program, had a copy of In: Palace of Swords Reversed and we all loved "Marquis Cha-Cha." I had a copy of the Steve Barker compilation Bugs on the Wire and still think the version of "Wings" on that is the best one. In the waning days of the record store at which I worked, I gave myself a very special discount on the 458489 A Sides cd compilation, which tided me over until graduate school, during which time all the Beggars Banquet albums were reissued on cd and my obsession really began. Mark E. Smith used to say that Fall fans were the salt of the earth; as with Coil, there's no great explanation why this cishet black guy with a doctorate is among them; life just bounces!
Recommendations: the two best three-album runs are Perverted By Language > The Wonderful and Frightening World Of... > This Nation's Saving Grace and The Real New Fall L.P. > Fall Heads Roll > Reformation. If for some perverse reason you must own only one thing by this band, make it the Peel Sessions box set. That is the real story, right there.
I feel like I have to address this: by several accounts Mark E. Smith is a first-class asshole and an easily cancellable person. I know this. As a recovering abuser myself I give him a certain forbearance. That is all.
Anyway, "Why Are People Grudgeful" goes crazy on the turntable but winds up sounding alright. Otherwise I think the show is a technical success. It's a perfectly fine but random selection; at least I manage to play things I have not played before, unlike the Coil program from a week ago.
I don’t know why I had to remind people that it was a live show? Was it because I hadn’t spoken for a while? Or because I made some embarrassing error that has been memory-holed by post-production magic? Editing was so long ago.
Since this program was broadcast, 415 days ago now, I've gone "on the air" 56 times. I have delivered 54 pre-recorded episodes on account of the pandemic. "It's a living," I would say, if it were a livelihood and if I were truly living. Maybe someday.
BOMBAST playlist, 2020 March 5, 2100-2300:
- "Bombast" | The Fall | This Nation's Saving Grace | Beggars Banquet
- "Totally Wired" | The Fall | Singles 1978 - 2016 | Cherry Red
- "Brillo De Facto" | The Fall | New Facts Emerge | Cherry Red Records
- "Systematic Abuse" | The Fall | Reformation Post T.L.C. | Narnack Records
- "Stepping Out" | The Fall | Short Circuit - Live At The Electric Circus | Virgin
- "Lucifer over Lancashire" | The Fall | Bend Sinister / The Domesday Pay-Off Triad -Plus! | Beggars Banquet
- "Pay Your Rates (Live in Vienna 16/4/88)" | The Fall | Seminal Live | Beggars Banquet
- "Plug Myself In" | D.O.S.E. Feat. Mark E. Smith | A World Bewitched: Best Of 1990-2000 | Artful
- "Why Are People Grudgeful?" | The Fall | Why Are People Grudgeful? | Matador
- "Blindness" | The Fall | Fall Heads Roll | Narnack Records
- "Sing! Harpy" | The Fall | Extricate | Cog Sinister
- "Kurious Oranj (Live)" | The Fall | Cab It Up | Beggars Banquet
- "Arid Al's Dream" | The Fall | Volume Four | Volume
- "Barmy" | The Fall | This Nation's Saving Grace | Beggars Banquet
- "The Rhinohead" | Von Sudenfed | The Rhinohead / Slow Down Ronnie | Domino
- "Theme from Sparta F.C." | The Fall | The Real New Fall LP (Formerly 'Country On The Click') | Action Records
- "Put Away" | The Fall | Mixed Peel | New Musical Express
- "Chicago Now" | The Fall | Extricate | Cog Sinister
- "Cruiser's Creek (Single Version Remastered)" | The Fall | Singles 1978 - 2016 | Cherry Red
- "2x4" | The Fall | The Complete Peel Sessions 1978 - 2004 | Castle Music
- "Pacifying Joint" | The Fall | Fall Heads Roll | Narnack Records
- "(I'm) In Deep" | Coldcut | What's That Noise? | Tommy Boy / Reprise
- "A Day in the Life" | The Fall | Sgt. Pepper Knew My Father | New Musical Express
Winter lives in my heart
Monday Apr 19, 2021
Monday Apr 19, 2021
The pandemic has made me extra-fond of this episode, because it's one of the last "specials" I did before the lockdown, but I think this episode might be suitable for the pantheon in any timeline. I had of course already inducted Coil into the Bombast Hall of Legends, in four stages, to go along with their "equinox" / "solstice" series. Early days! But here I wind up with airtime on what would be Peter Christopherson's birthday, so it's a "proper" chance to devote the full two hours to their music (and other things, with apologies to Jhonn Balance).
I pronounce PC's surname like "Kristofferson" although I don't really know if that's correct--I become wistful about the Dif Juz HoL induction, triggered by that very question. How lucky I was that at least two of them are alive to answer the question. But not in this case. This program is for the spirits, and for the fans, and for the uninitiated.
There is no cool or interesting origin story for me and my Coil records. I'm sure that Jeremy, Friend of the Program, used to encourage me to play Scatology late at night on the radio, many years ago. And there was a kind docent at the local record store, Alex, who insisted I take home The Unreleased Themes for Hellraiser 10-inch. I'm not a pagan, I'm not into male-only onanistic rituals or anything, I'm just a black cishet guy who loves music that is unusual and good and unusually good. My tastes are probably almost as boring as I am.
I guess I stuck with Coil over the years because they were prolific and restless, building a catalog that is almost self-sufficient--not merely a "desert island disc" but a desert island body of work. In that ridiculous hypothetical, you'd hardly need anyone else's records. Also, there are only a handful of “industrial “ artists who (to me) are unproblematic. It’s a depressingly short list--Coil, Cabaret Voltaire, Chris & Cosey, Test Dept., Bourbonese Qualk, Einsturzende Neubauten, Nocturnal Emissions, Zoviet France, I'm not sure whom I'm forgetting...Everyone else seems too close to Alain Jourgensen, too close to Douglas Pearce, or is actually Genesis. This last bit is less trivial than it sounds--Coil's presence on a compilation is a really good indicator of quantity. I've "discovered" a lot of good sounds just picking up the various "various artists" records on which Coil appeared. And I take the willingness to do comps as an indicator of niceness in a person--easygoing, plays well with others, etc.
So I guess that's it.
It was a lovely evening sitting in the studio and letting the music flow through me, loudly, though I couldn’t seem to say anything correctly when it was time to speak. There is a certain magic(k) in the air whether you listen to this in blinding sunlight or at nighttime as intended.
Since this program was broadcast, 418 days ago now, I've gone "on the air" 57 times. I have delivered 53 pre-recorded episodes on account of the pandemic. I am most definitely biased but I have to say that none of those episodes are better than this one.
BOMBAST playlist, 2020 February 27, 2100-2300:
- "First Dark Ride" | Coil | Unnatural History III | Threshold House
- "Who'll Fall" | Coil | Stolen & Contaminated Songs | Cold Spring
- "20 Jazz Funk Greats" | Throbbing Gristle | 20 Jazz Funk Greats | Mute
- "Red Skeletons" | Coil Presents Black Light District | A Thousand Lights in a Darkened Room | Eskaton
- "Homage To Sewage" | Coil | Life At The Top | Third Mind / Abstract
- "Futhur" | Coil | Stolen & Contaminated Songs | Cold Spring
- "Princess Margaret's Man In the D'jamalfna" | Coil | The New Backwards | Important Records
- "Amethyst Deceivers" | Coil | Autumn Equinox: Amethyst Deceivers | Eskaton
- "Distant Dreams (Part Two)" | Throbbing Gristle | The Industrial Records Story | Illuminated
- "Love's Secret Domain" | Coil | Stolen & Contaminated Songs | Cold Spring
- "Feeder" | CTI With Coil | Core - A Conspiracy International Project | Conspiracy International
- "Panic" | Coil | Unnatural History III | Threshold House
- "Cowboys In Bangkok 1995 (Coil vs Elph Mix)" | Chris & Cosey | Twist | T & B Vinyl
- "The Snow" | Coil | Love's Secret Domain | Threshold House
- "In My Head A Crystal Sphere Of Heavy Fluid" | Peter Christopherson | Foxtrot | Chalice
- "The Last Amethyst Deceiver" | Coil | The Ape of Naples | Important Records
- "Neither His Nor Yours" | Coil | A Diamond Hidden In The Mouth Of A Corpse | Giorno Poetry Systems
- "Dark River" | Coil | Love's Secret Domain | Threshold House
- "The Lost Rivers of London" | Coil | Unnatural History III | Threshold House
Everything is good and divine
Wednesday Jan 07, 2015
Wednesday Jan 07, 2015
Wednesday Jan 07, 2015
We herewith induct Heidi Berry into the BOMBAST Hall of Legends, where she joins The Durutti Column, John Peel, Breathless, This Mortal Coil, The Wolfgang Press, 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].
Welcome to all, but first-time visitors especially. I hope you stick around and listen to a "regular" program or two sometime, whether live or at your convenience. This website is not just an archive of the program, but a blog / diary / collection of unpublishable prose / whatever. It's free to you, so I make no apologies for what's here! You want audio only? Just page-down until you find the link.
"I don't like singer-songwriters," I once told my boss at the record store. We were arguing the merits of...oh, probably better if I don't say. "Ah, this must have been before Heidi Berry," you are thinking. No--it's still true, I don't like singer-songwriters. (Regular listeners will have gleaned this.) But I do like Heidi Berry's music, and always have. That it hasn't turned me on to Nick Drake, or Sandy Denny, or Tim Hardin, or Bridget St. John, or whoever, could well say something about my shortcomings as a person. Or maybe, instead, it says something about the Heidi Berry records, and what complete experiences they are.
In the Lost Girls liner notes, Patrick Fitzgerald describes Heidi's voice as "stately...demanding to be heard." And it did make this demand of me, under circumstances that now seem completely accidental.
We've been over the issue of compilations. I love them, but not everyone does. Why I bought Doing It For The Kids, exactly, I don't know. It must have had something to do with liking Felt, and how difficult it was to find Creation records 6000 miles from London, and how dirt-cheap this record was. [Aside--if you think I never wrote to Alan McGee about how expensive Creation records were, much less wrapped that note around a demo tape to which he never responded, YOU DON'T KNOW ME AT ALL.] Anyway, I remember getting hold of it sometime around its release, listening to it once, not having it make an impression on my addled, distracted consciousness.
For whatever reason I was drawn back to it sometime later, no doubt during some adolescent crisis or other. I found myself listening to it really late at night, and quietly, so as not to wake my roommates. Somehow, amidst all the "boy rock bands," it was that song that stood out: "Northshore Train," with that voice, insistent. "who is THIS?" I more or less told myself it didn't matter, because I'd never see one of her records. Oh, well; at least I'd have this tune, which was much better than nothing.
The thing about working at record stores, though--sooner or later everything comes through. In comes a seller, looking to unload Below the Waves and Firefly: yoink! "Wonder what she's up to now," I thought, with a few more Creation comps (there certainly were a lot of them) in my collection, and no sign. This must have been 1991--news travelled so slowly pre-internet. Then, a few months later, 4AD and Warners trumpet their ill-fated marriage with yet another compilation--the Lilliput cd/book/t-shirt combo [you know I still have the shirt], with--what?--WHAT--on it? A Heidi Berry song? But what's she doing here? And how did my store and my radio station miss her latest album, which was almost a year old at this point? [I'm telling you, life was rough.] Anyway, my point, to the extent that there is one, is about accidents, and music falling into one's hands against all probability.
I've learned, often the hard way, that nothing is meant to happen. There is only what actually happens. Happily this music crossed my path (those comps are good for something), and now it's crossing yours, if it hasn't done so already.
But here's another thing I said once: "I have to listen to Heidi Berry records all day." I said this just the other day, to Lady Catharsis, as I was finalizing the tracklist you see below. Listen: you'd do well to hear a record with Heidi Berry on it every day [I AM A DOCTOR AND I PRESCRIBE THIS], just like you'd probably enjoy a decadent dessert every day. All day, though? "I wish I could be more direct sometimes," Heidi tells me in the interview, but personally I couldn't take much more directness than what I think is already on display in these records. Noise, beats, bleep-bloop, textural studies, distancing? This I can listen to all day. There's plenty of it archived on this site--knock yourself out! It's perfectly cool, I have much fun with it, but TBH it doesn't always demand to be heard. Is that a new criterion for Legend status? What do we call it--intensity? I'll have to think on it.
Anyway, thank-you to Heidi for her music and time. And to you, for your indulgence.
BOMBAST playlist, 2015 January 6, 2100-2300:
- "Needle's Eye" | Lost Girls | Lost Girls | 3 Loop
- "Scheherezade" | Heidi Berry | not on album | Soundcloud self-release
- "Gather All the Hours" | Heidi Berry | Below the Waves and Firefly | Rockville | "Physical Evidence"
- "For the Rose" / "Follow" / "Ariel" / "Dawn" | Heidi Berry | Heidi Berry | 4AD
- "Abduction" | Lost Girls | Lost Girls | 3 Loop
- "Up In The Air" | Heidi Berry | Love | 4AD
- "Nobody Tells on You" | Heidi Berry | Below the Waves and Firefly | Rockville | "Physical Evidence"
- "Unholy Light" | Heidi Berry | The Moon and the Sun | 4AD
- "Firefly" | Heidi Berry | Below the Waves and Firefly | Rockville | "Physical Evidence"
- "Houses Made of Wood" | Heidi Berry | Below the Waves and Firefly | Rockville | "Physical Evidence"
- "Below the Waves" | Heidi Berry | Below the Waves and Firefly | Rockville | "Physical Evidence"
- "Forgiven" | Lost Girls | Lost Girls | 3 Loop
- "Folk Fuck" | Lost Girls | Lost Girls | 3 Loop
- "All Fall Away" | Lost Girls | Lost Girls | 3 Loop
- "You Upset the Grace of Living When You Lie" | Heidi Berry | The Moon and the Sun | 4AD
- "Japanese" | Lost Girls | Lost Girls | 3 Loop
- "The Mountain" | Heidi Berry | Miracle | 4AD
- "All For You" | Heidi Berry | Below the Waves and Firefly | Rockville | "Physical Evidence"
Friday Nov 28, 2014
Friday Nov 28, 2014
Friday Nov 28, 2014
"I'm at a cafe right now that has good reception," Bruce tells me. "I'm going to get Vin, bring him right back here, and then call you." [So, how was your Saturday morning?] Half an hour later, he rings again. Vini's brought his phone, Bruce says. He's going to give me his number, and I'm to call him back. I do, and he's out of the gate like a thoroughbred.
Finally, after many missed connections, false starts, and bouts with business, depression (mine), and crippling shyness (mine again), I was talking--listening, mostly--to someone whose records I have carried with me for nearly thirty years.
This is the recording of my conversation with Vini Reilly of The Durutti Column on November 22, 2014. For you gear-heads, this was a Skype-to-phone interview. I was at Chez Bombast, or as Lady C calls it, "The Warren," and Vini was at the aforementioned hotspot. The audio has been compressed. Portions of this interview aired on the Hall of Legends special featuring the music of The Durutti Column. If I recall correctly, the segments I used in the radio program were actually in "chronological" order, but that was an accident. At any rate, here's the whole thing.
It strikes me that talking to Vini Reilly, for someone like me, is a bit like an audience with royalty, or the Pope. You just let the other person talk about whatever he wants. That is pretty much what happened. But after multiple listens I find this to be holistic and probably more focused than what my "list of questions" would have produced. Considering what Vini says about the structure of a piece of music, this conversation is very much like that. Portions of this discourse reprise things Vini has said before, notably in the revelatory Town Hall conversation with Paul Haslam at the Campaign Against Living Miserably benefit in 2013, and elsewhere Vini shares some insights I had never heard or read from him before.
Here's a secret: I like to lurk at Steve Albini's studio discussion forum, waiting for the occasional pearl of wisdom. [Aside--don't you think a Durutti Column album recorded at Electrical Audio would be the fucking bomb? I do, but anyway.] Once, Albini suggested that an effective recording, regardless of production values, should give the listener some idea about the personalities of the people who wrote and played the music. I think this is a good litmus test for recorded music [albeit one of many]--sometimes it tells you, quite accurately, that you're dealing with jerks, and sometimes it tells you that it comes from warm, friendly, thoughtful people.
It hardly needs saying which kind Vini and Bruce are. Many thanks to them, for being willing and helpful. And to James Nice at Factory Benelux / LTM and to Phil Cleaver at Kooky for issuing / reissuing the tunes. And to you, for listening.
Thursday Nov 27, 2014
Thursday Nov 27, 2014
Thursday Nov 27, 2014
We herewith induct The Durutti Column into the BOMBAST Hall of Legends, where they join John Peel, Breathless, This Mortal Coil, The Wolfgang Press, 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].
Welcome, first-time visitors! Enjoy whatever on this site strikes your fancy. 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, and you're welcome. Audio's at the bottom of the post, so scroll down whenever my words bore you.
Quite early on I said that this special was a thing that needed to happen. It was delayed by my own sloth and nervousness, and of course by Vini Reilly's circumstances. But happily, and totally unbeknownst to me prior to speaking with Vini, those are improving. As to my own stuff, don't even ask!
It doesn't need saying that The Durutti Column's music is unique, but it is unique to me in a personal way. So much of the music I embraced in my formative years, and which still matters to me, came into my life with the help of some close friend or other; you might say my experience was curated in some way. But Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say was a mystery beckoning me from the rack in my hometown record store. Seeing "fac 114," I knew it was the same label as the New Order and Joy Division records I loved, but there was no information hinting at what the record was like, just a brilliantly simple design. These were the days when you could trust design. I picked it up knowing nothing else about the contents other than that the experience they gave me would be mine, first-hand.
Having participated very loosely in the old Durutti Column email discussion group in the internet's early days, I discovered that people come to the DC for different things. There are fans who love the acoustic pieces most of all, or at least the pieces without drum machines. But SWYMMWYS is a drum machine record, big-time. I have always been drawn to these records--Fidelity, Obey The Time, Greetings--that remind me of this, although I like everything that Vini Reilly does and over time I have come to appreciate what a monster drummer Bruce Mitchell is. But this EP, on first listening, sounded like nothing I'd ever heard, DMX or no. It was, as another legend has said, music you could lose yourself in, and I certainly have!
Needless to say the musical selection from this program is...odd, I guess? But as I say I've already used LC, Chronicle XL, and Red Shoes as the "Physical Evidence" component of other programs. As for the rest of it, there's no "best of" thinking at work here, just some old chestnuts. Make your own mix if you don't like mine!
BOMBAST playlist, 2014 November 25, 2100-2300:
- "Art And Freight" | The Durutti Column | Obey The Time | Factory
- "Fanfare" | The Durutti Column | Chronicle - 2011 Pre-release | Kooky
- "Geh Cak Af En Yam" | The Durutti Column | Rebellion | Artful
- "Only Love" | The Durutti Column | Return Of The Sporadic Recordings | Kooky | "Physical Evidence"
- "Finding The Sea" | The Durutti Column | Vini Reilly | Factory Once
- "How Do U Think It's Going To Feel?" | The Durutti Column | Return Of The Sporadic Recordings | Kooky | "Physical Evidence"
- "All That Love and Maths Can Do" | The Durutti Column | Without Mercy | Factory Once
- "Silent Nite" | The Durutti Column | Return Of The Sporadic Recordings | Kooky | "Physical Evidence"
- "Tomorrow" | The Durutti Column | Circuses And Bread | Normal
- "Blue Period" | The Durutti Column | Sex and Death | Factory Too - FFRR
- "Real Drums - Real Drummer" | The Durutti Column | Vini Reilly | Factory Once
- "Sketch for a Manchester Summer" | Vini Reilly | The Sporadic Recordings | TTTTTTTT
- "In Memory Of Anthony" | The Durutti Column | Love In The Time Of Recession | Artful
- "Waiting 4 The Earth" | The Durutti Column | Return Of The Sporadic Recordings | Kooky | "Physical Evidence"
- "One Christmas For Your Thoughts" | The Durutti Column | LC | Factory Once
- "Zinni Tune" | The Durutti Column | Return Of The Sporadic Recordings | Kooky | "Physical Evidence"
- "Fado" | The Durutti Column | Sex and Death | Factory Too - FFRR
- "The Room" | The Durutti Column | Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say | Factory
- "Diazepam 5mgs" | Vini Reilly | The Sporadic Recordings | TTTTTTTT
Friday Oct 17, 2014
Friday Oct 17, 2014
Many things could have gone better on this outing. In my ongoing quest to live out this show's purpose I tried doing something I used to do all the time, doing all the voice-overs with "bed music." That will, I hope, get better. We had some technical problems, particularly ill-timed given the solemnity of the night. But: the airplay computer was only playing out of the left channel, which is obvious for some of the goofy "traffic" spots early on; with a lot of "coaxing" I managed to get it stereo, though that made the first few Dub Syndicate tracks an adventure in listening. I still don't know if that problem is fully solved, but hey, WRFI has a general manager now, so for once I don't have to feel like it's my problem.
About Dub Syndicate: fucking hell. I am just so sad. I will let other people deliver eulogies; I wrote some words about my history with Dub Syndicate a while ago, when I brilliantly put Style Scott in the Hall of Legends without interviewing him. "I'll get to it later," I probably told myself. There is no later. Anyway, someone smarter than I am got a pretty good interview here.
Oh, and then Mark Bell of LFO had to go and die, too. Quite a week! Everyone reading this, be well. I mean it.
BOMBAST playlist, 2014 October 14, 2100-2300:
- "Slow Down Speedy" | LFO | Volume Three | Volume
- "Specimen Question" | Anjou | Anjou | kranky
- "Mayor / Surveyor" | Shellac | Dude Incredible | Touch & Go
- "Rosies Prayer" | Ravioli Me Away | The Inevitable Album | self-released
- "Sunny Tunnel" | Daisuke Tanabe | Floating Underwater | KI
- "A Lover's Prayer" | Vernon Green & The Medallions | Slow Grind Fever | Stag-O-Lee
- "Snipe" | Call Super | Suzi Ecto | Houndstooth
- "N'na (feat. Salif Keita)" | Les Ambassadeurs | Les Ambassadeurs Du Motel De Bamako, Vol. 1 | Sterns Africa
- "Urges" | Thomas Dolby | The Golden Age Of Wireless | Harvest | "Listening Parlour"
- "Ratted Out" | 50 Foot Wave | "Night Blooming" - Works In Progress | not on label
- "Mosemannen" | Trulz & Robin | I Takeskogen | Full Pupp
- "Moogies Bloogies" | Delia Derbyshire & Anthony Newley | Moogies Bloogies | Trunk
- "Another Side of You" | Souls of Mischief | There Is Only Now (Remix) | Linear Labs
- "Jimmy's Laughing (Lake People Remix)" | Lee Burton | Busy Day For Fools - Lake People Remixes | Klik
- "1983...(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)" | The Jimi Hendrix Experience | Electric Ladyland | MCA - Experience Hendrix
- "Lost In Gracac [excerpt]" | Cedric Stevens | Hanging in the Wires | Discrepant
- "Ravi Shankar" | The Dub Syndicate | Live At The Town & Country Club April 1991 | On-U Sound | "Physical Evidence"
- "No Alternative" | The Dub Syndicate | Live At The Town & Country Club April 1991 | On-U Sound | "Physical Evidence"
- "Stampede" | The Dub Syndicate | Live At The Town & Country Club April 1991 | On-U Sound | "Physical Evidence"
- "Stoned Immaculate" | The Dub Syndicate | Live At The Town & Country Club April 1991 | On-U Sound | "Physical Evidence"
- "Secret Laboratory Dub" | The Dub Syndicate | Live At The Town & Country Club April 1991 | On-U Sound | "Physical Evidence"
- "Slummy Ghetto" | The Dub Syndicate | Live At The Town & Country Club April 1991 | On-U Sound | "Physical Evidence"
- "Cuss Cuss" | The Dub Syndicate | Live At The Town & Country Club April 1991 | On-U Sound | "Physical Evidence"
- "Too Hot To Handle" | The Dub Syndicate | Live At The Town & Country Club April 1991 | On-U Sound | "Physical Evidence"
- "Simple Life" | The Dub Syndicate | Live At The Town & Country Club April 1991 | On-U Sound | "Physical Evidence"
- "Walking On The Edge" | The Dub Syndicate | Live At The Town & Country Club April 1991 | On-U Sound | "Physical Evidence"
Monday Sep 22, 2014
Monday Sep 22, 2014
Monday Sep 22, 2014
This is actually the second time I've done an all-Peel Sessions program, but the first since I've started doing the "celebrity birthday observances" thing. The first such program, from December 2012, was early days--a ragged show but still one of the best I've done. At the time the "Hall of Legends" wasn't even a thing, though it would be very shortly. At any rate you probably don't need anyone to tell you why John Peel was important, or what he meant, to the world or to them personally--but just in case you do, my own testimony is at that first hyperlink. I've probably said this before in some way or other, but my nearest approach to that kind of greatness only happens when I play the music that Peel and his producers commissioned, and maybe also when I play things at the wrong speed or botch the segues.
On that note, there certainly were some glitches in this program, so I do consider it a proper homage. I didn't have Persephone riding sidecar this time, which would have been perfect, but I did have engineer Slade mucking about in the studio while I was trying to cue records. Sometimes he just hears that I'm on the air and considers that a green light to visit the studio and do some work. Don't get me wrong--we'd be lost without him. My show is mere bombast, after all, especially when I commandeer a time slot that isn't "mine." Still, is my show really as depressing as he says?
This is a bit of a departure for the Hall of Legends--prior to this induction, the Hall had been musicians-only [yes, even Ivo]. I wasn't anxious to branch out, and Peel seemed, as I say early on in the broadcast, "too obvious." What I really mean is that it's almost unnecessary--he's universally loved/respected/admired/whatever. Then again, he's not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, nor does it seem like he's about to wind up there, which seems like, I don't know, a bit of an oversight? In a previous life someone actually paid me to teach the youth, and one of the things I tried to impart was that Aristotle [as critic/theorist/"idea person"] was way more important to theatre than countless playwrights, actors, directors, and so on. This is true of John Peel and music and at the end of the day I guess I didn't care if I was just joining the chorus.
But no more DJs. That wing of the Hall has room only for one.
BOMBAST playlist, 2014 August 30, 2000-2200:
- "Do It Better" | Happy Mondays | The Peel Sessions | Strange Fruit
- "In Fear of Fear" | Bauhaus | Spirit | Alfa
- "Here Today" | The Chameleons | The John Peel Sessions | Dutch East India Trading
- "5-8-6" | New Order | Mixed Peel | NME - Strange Fruit | "Physical Evidence"
- "Coffin Ed & Grave Digger Jones" | The Flaming Stars | The Six John Peel Sessions | Vinyl Japan
- "Scratched Bicycle / Smell Memory" | Mum | The Peel Session | FatCat
- "Raquel" | The Specials | BBC Sessions | EMI
- "No Escape From Heaven" | Curve | Radio Sessions | Anxious
- "Blind Dumb Deaf" | Cocteau Twins | Garlands | 4AD
- "Ride A White Swan" | T. Rex | Mixed Peel | NME - Strange Fruit | "Physical Evidence"
- "Levitate Me" | Pixies | Pixes At The BBC | Elektra
- "Apocalypse" | In Camera | Fin | 4AD
- "Love Gets Dangerous" | Billy Bragg | Mixed Peel | NME - Strange Fruit | "Physical Evidence"
- "Rich Kids" | Rich Kids | Winters of Discontent | Strange Fruit
- "Felicity" | The Wedding Present | The BBC Sessions | Dutch East India Trading
- "Land's End" | Siouxsie & The Banshees | Voices On The Air | Polydor
- "Arthur's Farm / All I Want For Christmas Is a Dukla Prague Away Kit" | Half Man Half Biscuit | The Peel Sessions | Strange Fruit
- "Smile" | The Fall | The Peel Sessions | Strange Fruit
- "Naked Cousin" | PJ Harvey | The Peel Sessions 1991-2004 | Island
- "New Rose" | The Damned | Mixed Peel | NME - Strange Fruit | "Physical Evidence"
- "Enchanted" | The Wild Swans | Winters of Discontent | Strange Fruit
- "I've Changed My Address" | The Jam | The Peel Session | Strange Fruit
- "A Matter of Gender" | The Associates | Winters of Discontent | Strange Fruit
- "Straight To Your Heart" | Loop | Wolf Flow | Reactor
- "Start From Scratch" | The Nightingales | Winters of Discontent | Strange Fruit
- "Fire In Cairo" | The Cure | The Peel Session | Dutch East India Trading
- "Here Comes The Summer" | The Undertones | Mixed Peel | NME - Strange Fruit | "Physical Evidence"
- "Hope Against Hope" | Band Of Susans | The Peel Sessions | Dutch East India Trading
- "Radio One" | Jimi Hendrix Experience | The BBC Sessions | MCA
Thursday Sep 18, 2014
Thursday Sep 18, 2014
Thursday Sep 18, 2014
Here is the interview I conducted with Dominic Appleton of Breathless. Portions of this conversation appeared in the Hall of Legends special featuring the band's music.
This conversation took place on August 15, 2014, via Skype-to-phone. I was at my place and Dominic was at his. Very nice of him to give me about an hour on a Friday evening!
It pains me to say this, again: I would love to describe this as the "full recording," with everything in a clear, linear context. BUT. My laptop decided it was time for more software glitches. If you've heard the interviews with Andrew Gray, Michael Allen, or Ivo Watts-Russell, you're familiar with my digital mishaps. Anyway, I did manage to capture Dominic's voice just fine, which is the important part. Who needs to listen to me, anyway?
Hence, as with Michael Allen, it's soundboard time. Feels very 2005, somehow, but we do what we can. 25 brief responses to what may have been 25 questions of varying incisiveness. I suppose I could have strung all of these together into a lengthy monologue, but that seemed weird. In a half-hearted stab at integrity I have posted these soundbites in the order in which they happened in the interview.
References: "Ivo" is of course Ivo Watts-Russell. Ari, Gary, Martin, and Tristram are obviously bandmates. Anne Clark you should really know--and check out The Sitting Room! "Virgin" is Virgin Records, a.k.a. the Megastore. See? Record-store employees can achieve great things. There is hope for me yet.
That's the last of the Breathless interviews. It made me so happy to speak to Ari and Dominic--"rosy-cheek park" happy, you might say. I told Ari at the beginning that these interviews wreck my nerves, and they usually do--no such thing to report this time.
For audio, click any of the hyperlinks below. Enjoy!
How did music become your creative outlet?
Did you know Anne Clark personnally before assisting on her album, The Sitting Room?
How does Breathless develop new songs?
Do you keep your old rehearsal tapes?
Why do your songs have such unusual structures?
Your lyrics focus on love and relationships; what makes a good love song?
How important is it for Breathless records to have a sonic identity?
What was it like working with Kramer and Drostan Madden?
How spontaneous is Breathless in the studio?
You've discussed "sounding like Breathless without wanting to." What does that mean?
Didn't you have momentum in the USA in the 80s? Did you tour America?
Was running your own label always part of the plan?
Who's responsible for the cover art on your records?
Was the band broken up during the long gaps preceding Blue Moon and Green to Blue?
Why the recent interest in remixes?
Which songs do you perform live most often?
Do you have any interesting tour stories?
Is it true that you began voice lessons recently?
Do you gig out of necessity rather than desire?
How do you assess regional preferences for this or that album? Do fans write to you?
What's the most meaningful feedback you've received from fans?
What are you currently working on? [and Tristram Latimer-Sayer's status]
Do you listen to your own back catalogue? What is that experience like?
What impact would you like your songs to have on people?
Thursday Sep 11, 2014
Thursday Sep 11, 2014
Thursday Sep 11, 2014
This is the recording of an interview I conducted with Ari Neufeld of Breathless on August 17, 2014. For you gear-heads, this was a Skype-to-phone interview. I was at Chez Bombast, or as Lady C calls it, "The Warren," and Ari was at home in London, I presume. I've compressed the audio a bit because loud is good.
Portions of this interview aired on the Hall of Legends special featuring the music of Breathless. Here's the whole thing, in order, with everything in its proper context. I am still a bit embarrassed about my "lady bass players" question--I left out a personal favorite, Josephine Wiggs, as well as Naomi Yang. But I was trying to think on my feet, which is usually a mistake. Also, I don't know what I was thinking re. the cover image of PiL's "Second Edition." I guess I just visualize it that way.
References: "Gary," "Martyn," and "Tristram" are, respectively, Gary Mundy, Martyn Watts, and Tristram Latimer-Sayer, bandmates in Breathless. "Ivo" is...come on.
Anyway, I hope the conversation is as fun for you as it was for me.
Friday Aug 22, 2014
Friday Aug 22, 2014
Friday Aug 22, 2014
We herewith induct Breathless into the BOMBAST Hall of Legends, where they join This Mortal Coil, The Wolfgang Press, 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, I have to guess, are visiting for the first time, having been lured here by this special occasion. So--a special welcome to you. Poke around as you please. 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.
I'd like to think I'm past the "music reviewer" phase of my life, so "just listen" is my advice to anyone who wants to know what Breathless records sound like. Or, you can take it from Ari and file them away under "Space-Rock Melancholia," which is in the ballpark, I guess. While she sees "similarities" between the band's music and other records, I'm hard-pressed to find them [then again, the record store where I worked wasn't a Virgin Megastore in London, so maybe I've been listening to the wrong things, or not enough things]--this seems to be one of the unwritten prerequisites for Hall membership. And that the music must be "out of time" somehow.
However, my first experience of the music is rooted in a specific time. This would be the "Weird Summer" of 1987: first summer after college; reunited with "friends" from high school who now seem like "strangers," somehow; living in an apartment for the first time, and with not one but two ex-"girlfriends," all the while carrying on another ill-fated dalliance; whiling my days away at a dull job almost literally in the middle of nowhere; nonetheless not having enough money, and living on peanut butter sandwiches, it seems. My only consolation during this time was that the listening rooms at the radio station were often empty, and the records were free. Sometimes [Dif Juz, Wolfgang Press] I would search deliberately; other things [A.R.Kane, Little Annie] would fall into my lap. Breathless were one of the latter. Maybe, in my mind, I should start calling this the "Summer of Legends" and not the "Summer of Starvation," which is how I actually recall it. I was learning fast, as one hopefully does pre-twenties.
So I guess you could count me as one who's gotten through "tough" times [by First World Problem standards, anyway] with the help of this music.
As it seemed to do back in those days, time moved differently for different bands when it came to record distribution, so we got The Glass Bead Game a year late, albeit at the perfect time. Dominic talks about making music in which to lose oneself, and...YES. "Across the Water" and "All My Eye and Betty Martin," on side one, were enough. John Fryer and Blackwing aside, where on earth DID this sound come from? Not too long thereafter, a friend gave me Three Times and Waving when it came out--somehow that did make it over here quickly--and that was it, for life, I guess.
There were those two periods when the band seemed [to someone far removed] to be broken up, or on extended hiatus. But in the 1990s I was out of my mind, in graduate school. And in the oughts I was similarly chasing some ill-conceived, fruitless "professional" goal. Like a lazy Death Eater, I didn't look for Breathless when they weren't around, but was always happy when they were, and are. Remarkably--because I normally can't stand "comebacks"--Blue Moon and Green to Blue are two of their best. Even better, the margins are so thin it doesn't matter. The "worst" Breathless record, whatever that might be, surpasses most of what's out there to begin with. I look forward to 30 more years of hearing from Lady Catharsis that I play this music too much.
Finally--I didn't know about Tristram Latimer-Sayer's circumstances until I spoke to Dominic last week. My sincere wishes for a speedy and thorough recovery for him.
BOMBAST playlist, 2014 August 19, 2100-2300:
- "Come Reassure Me" | Breathless | Blue Moon | Tenor Vossa
- "Heartburst" | Breathless | Chasing Promises | Tenor Vossa
- "Everything Is Us" | Breathless | Green to Blue | Tenor Vossa
- "I Never Know Where You Are" | Breathless | Between Happiness and Heartache | Tenor Vossa
- "And So The Dream Goes On" | Breathless | Behind The Light | Tenor Vossa
- "Don't Just Disappear" | Breathless | Don't Just Disappear | Tenor Vossa
- "Stone Harvest" | Breathless | Two Days From Eden | Tenor Vossa
- "Is It Good News Today?" | Breathless | Three Times And Waving | Tenor Vossa
- "Pride" | Breathless | Two Days From Eden | Tenor Vossa
- "Ageless" | Breathless | Heartburst | Tenor Vossa
- "Across The Water" | Breathless | The Glass Bead Game | Tenor Vossa
- "Walk Down To The Water" | Breathless | Blue Moon | Tenor Vossa
- "The Next Time You Fall (Jim Sclavunos Remix)" | Breathless | Please Be Happy | Tenor Vossa
- "Please Be Happy" | Breathless | Green to Blue | Tenor Vossa
- "The Warmest Kiss" | Breathless | Nailing Colours To The Wheel | Tenor Vossa
- "Just For Today" | Breathless | Green to Blue | Tenor Vossa