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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… “I Am The Greatest” by A House April 13, 2019

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I got tickets for the “A House is Dead – I Am Still The Greatest” show in the NCH at the end of June. “For this one-off concert Dave Couse, Fergal Bunbury and friends re-interpret the seminal 1991 album for 2019.
Having seen them umpteen times when they were initially on the go I’m really looking forward to seeing them again.

This Weekend I’ll mostly be listening to: Surf Friends – Dreams are real EP April 6, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to..., Uncategorized.
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Here’s an outfit I like a lot. A New Zealand group from the 2000s and 2010s, on the legendary Flying Nun, surely they were made for that label, who in their songs manage to produce something with guitar bass and drum machine that riffs on the greats of Flying Nun but also adds something – I’m not quite sure what, to the mix. It could be a sort of almost Factory records post-punk sensibility. So the garage rock aspect is shaped into something cooler, more glacial but also more chaotic (Swell Maps come to mind). They’ve not recorded in a while unfortunately, having two albums to their name, the last released in 2013. They’ve a raft of singles and this EP, from 2016. It’s a good one.  



Dance Tonight

Johnson’s Street

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… The Barracudas March 30, 2019

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The Barracudas were from Plymouth and lasted just a few years forming in 1978 and breaking up in the early 80’s. They’ve reformed occasionally since.
Never heard of them at the time but they were included in the excellent compilation “Children of Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the Second Psychedelic Era, 1976–1995” . I was listening to it again recently and I really liked “We’re Living in Violent Times” so went off to discover some more of The Barracudas.
It’s good “Power Pop Punk Surf Garage Rock” with an occasional nod to The Ramones….oh and “The K.G.B. Made A Man Out Of Me” is quite a song title.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Michael Cleveland March 16, 2019

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Michael Cleveland is a blind (and partially deaf) bluegrass fiddle player. His style is slightly unconventional and he has been nominated for Grammys in the past.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… God Is An Astronaut (again) March 2, 2019

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Went to see God Is An Astronaut in The Academy recently and they were brilliant.
A band I’d listened to for a while it was fascinating to see how their sound was actually produced. Live you can see and hear how the songs slowly build and are constructed. In songs where I’d thought was synthesizers was actually the lead guitarists voice. The metal influence also showed in a number of songs. Odd too seeing a frontman standing at a mic stand but rarely using it.
Incidentally God Is An Astronaut were after doing a World tour and played some massive venues around the place. The fact that there are no vocals/lyrics really helps Post Rock bands build their popularity across borders.
Must be great for an Irish band to be very popular elsewhere but not known much at home. You can earn a good living without any attention.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to…Joe Ely, The Lubbock Tapes February 23, 2019

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My brother meant to get this for me for Christmas. Mistakes were made and I ended up with the new Bob Weir album. Not bad, just not my cup of coffee. Last week he brought me the right album and I’ve been listening to it ever since.

The music speaks for itself, but it’s been a long time since I just sat in my truck and listened to an album over and over again. This album is early Joe Ely post Flatlanders but prior to hanging out with Joe Strummer and company. Enjoy, I know I am.


This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Vincenzo Zitello February 16, 2019

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Was at something a while back where someone was playing the Harp. To me The Harp had been the old Mary O’Hara album at home, the Bunratty Castle type harpist playing folksy Irish tunes at the school tour in the early 80’s (Was back in Bunratty last Summer and was very impressed with it), the harpist in the hotel lobby at the Cousins wedding reception. The Harp was just a nice and very old old fashioned instrument.
Then I stumbled upon Italian composer and Harpist Vincenzo Zitello and his wonderful compositions. The Dual harp set up is eyecatching and the added sound from the second harp is wonderful.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Bernie Pháid February 2, 2019

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Happened upon Bernie Pháid a few years ago in Dingle. Loved her performance which was a lovely mix of singing some traditional songs as Gaelige and beautifully sung folk songs. Hailing from the Dingle peninsula she has released two albums ‘Síol’ and ‘Spideóigín’. It was a track ‘Bog Brian’ played on the radio recently by Fiachna Ó Braonáin that got me looking up Bernie Pháid again.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… “Back In The DHSS” by Half Man Half Biscuit January 19, 2019

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“Dad… Who is Fred Titmus?

I was sitting down minding my own business when my son asked me that question….. Over the Christmas the old stereo had been moved from it’s previous perch hiding behind posters and leaflets in the attic to his room. Slowly he’d been going through the boxes of records , selecting a few at a time and playing them. He had come upon ‘Back in the DHSS’ by Half Man Half Biscuit. (previous TWIBMLT pieces on them here and here ) …… All of a sudden I was listening to it with him explaining all the 1980’s North West England obscure cultural references.
It started off with what the DHSS was in the first place and how the album name was a play on the Beatles “Back in The USSR”….
“God Gave Us Life” came on and references to Una Stubbs, Keith Harris, Little & Large, Thora Hird, Matthew Kelly, Wendy Craig and Lionel Blair (He Knew who Eartha Kitt was). So to the best of my ability I described the cultural significance of each! ….. Lionel Blair and Thora Hird were pretty tough going.
“Fuckin’ ‘Ell It’s Fred Titmus” wasn’t that hard only that Fred Titmus was a cricketer with Middlesex.
On then to “Sealclubbing” and playing the original David Essex tune ‘Nightclubbing’ so he could make sense of the “Me and my girl sealclubbing , me and my girl out on the ice” lyrics.
On then to “who is Bob Todd?” , looked up the old Dairylea ad, that James Dean died in a car accident, told him about Blue Peter….. Then on to “Time Flies By (When You’re the Driver of a Train)” , we found the original theme tune to Chigley and watched a bit of an episode. While we were there we found an episode of Trumpton just in case he ever stumbled across the “Trumpton Riots”.
On then to “I hate Nerys Hughes (From the heart)”. Nerys Hughes was an actress and was part of the popular show called the Liverbirds and that I had no idea why HMHB hated her.
Then to “The Len Ganley Stance”, Len Ganley was a Snooker Referee , I showed him a few pics and a video of him in action. “Venus in Flares” was easy enough just Kojak and Robert Powell .
Next track “I Love You Because (You Look Like Jim Reeves)”, Played a few clips of Jim Reeves, looked up Peggy Mount , then Tony Bastable which led to the children’s TV show Magpie.
Finally “Reflections in a flat” which led to saying who Lech Walensa, David Nixon and Ali Bongo were. That the Ali Bongo in the song was a shit magician rather than the current President of Gabon.

I’ve hidden the Aidan Walsh album ……..


This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Romeo Void January 12, 2019

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Watching the penultimate episode of the first season of Mrs Maisel recently – and that’s a subject for another day, I’ve very very mixed feelings, I was struck by the last song which played under the closing titles. And so I should have, for it was Romeo Void, the group members being Debora Iyall, Larry Carter, Benjamin Bossi, Frank Zincavage, Peter Woods. Now I only have one Romeo Void album proper, the second one, Benefactor, which had the peerless Never Say Never. I found that in Macs in the George’s Street Arcade sometime around 1984, a couple of years after it was released. To be honest listening to it then it seemed extremely cool and detached, albeit with a strong personal aspect to the lyrics. And as a document of US new wave it was just about perfect.

Anyhow hearing the track on tv more recently prompted me to take a look at the rest of their catalogue and what struck me was how close they remained to their original vision even as they added – frankly – commercial aspects to their sound to broaden it out.

The excoriating vocals, sometimes spoken, delivering a distinctly feminist view (and Iyall is someone with a fascinating life both during and after the group), the staccato percussion (four drummers or so during their career), the horn section which dovetailed neatly with the guitar and bass sounds. So one can hear Siouxsie and Joy Division like approaches on their first album. And later there was something not a million miles away from the Psychedelic Furs at their most commercial. And throughout curious almost funky excursions that with only the slightest nudge could have seen them in explicitly pop and dance territory. And yet the totality of their output makes a sense, the direction of the journey explicable by their own abilities and the broader context.

Here’s a sampling of songs from across their career in the 1980s. Early track White Sweater (a song with a genuinely tragic provenance) merges initial post-Joy Division gloom with something close to Young Marble Giants and US new wave. Never Say Never, produced by Rik Ocasek of The Cars who in a way was an unsung hero of early new wave (though I find them as a group all but unlistenable to at this remove, not sure why), is perhaps their standout track – and again deservedly so. Cool, cynical and yet far from unengaged, those jagged rhythms and chiming guitars propel this song into the musical canon. Sensibly they avoided leaning on it as their only approach later in their career. A Girl in Trouble (Is a Temporary Thing) surely has one of the greatest double-edged titles in rock history. A minor, and deserved, hit, it melds their energy and new wave detachment in something explicitly pop and works. As is One Thousand Shadows, which was previously unreleased before their early 1990s compilation – and yet listen to that pulsing bass. None more 1980s.

A fascinating group.

White Sweater

I Mean It

Myself to Myself

Never Say Never

Wrap It Up

Undercover Kept

Just Too Easy

A Girl in Trouble (Is a Temporary Thing)

One Thousand Shadows

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