Pussy rules the world

FIRST of all, this is a bit of a long one, so if you’re not interested in 17th century poetry, punk rock fanzines, bleepy sounds from Sheffield, Badly Drawn Boy, bossa nova or cats, you’d probably best fuck off now. I promise I won’t be offended.

Now, are we all sitting comfortably?

The best ideas are often the simplest.

Whoever it was at Punks is Hippies who came up with the genius idea of scanning old punk fanzines and sticking them online as downloadable pdf files deserves a medal – although thinking about it, they’d probably prefer a dinky little button badge.

Among a ton of UK publications from the Eighties (like Acts of Defiance, pictured), you’ll also find a treasure trove of more recent European zines such as Vapaus! from Osijek, Croatia featuring such mellow, middle-of-the-road acts as Zudas Krust (Indonesia), Kääska (Brazil), Derriba Tus Muros (Brazil) and Chaos Destroy (USA).

Punks is Hippies is allied to the equally worthy Digital Fanzine Preservation Society and the UK Zine Library (where I was very pleased to see a couple of my old publications and even better, several issues of legendary Scunny punkzine Fuck Off & Drop Dead) and I think it is just about the best idea I’ve come across in oooh, weeks.

Consolidating and building your brand through social media is also a pretty simple idea but it’s surprising how many organisations get it so very wrong.

One organisation which seems to have got in very right indeed is We Love Sundays at Space.

The people behind the marathon 22-hour parties on the Playa den Bossa next door to Ibiza airport have added a thoughtful and well put togther blog to the main site which expands We Love Music’s musical and cultural horizons way beyond its stock-in-trade thumping electronic psychedelia – although there’s plenty of that too.

As well as interesting little Q&As with the likes of Derrick May, Jeff Mills and Carl Craig, recent entries have also included appreciations of The Thick Of It, Jean Giraud aka Moebius and blotter art, as well as an ongoing serialisation of Bill Drummond’s thoughts about the music biz.

The thing that really blew me away was a piece on a poem by Francis Bacon – which, incidentally, gave the much revered BBC Radiophonic Workshop its motto.

“Wee have also Sound-Houses, wher wee practise and demonstrate all Sounds, and their Generation. Wee have Harmonies which you have not, of Quarter-Sounds and lesser Slides of Sounds. Diverse Instruments of Musick likewise to you unknowne, some sweeter than any you have; Together with Bells and Rings that are dainty and sweet.

“Wee represent Small Sounds as Great and Deepe; Likewise Great Sounds, Extenuate and Sharpe; Wee make diverse Tremblings and Warblings of Sounds, which in their Originall are Entire.

“Wee represent and imitate all Articulate Sounds and Letters, and the Voices and Notes of Beasts and Birds.

“Wee have certaine Helps, which sett to the Eare doe further the Hearing greatly. Wee have also diverse Strange and Artificiall Eccho’s, Reflecting the Voice many times, and as it were Tossing it; And some that give back the Voice Lowder then it came, some Shriller, and some Deeper; Yea, some rendring the Voice, Differing in the Letters or Articulate Sound, from that they receyve.

“Wee have also meanes to convey Sounds in Trunks and Pipes, in strange Lines, and Distances. ”

That was written in 1624. Seriously – Bacon wrote it in 1624. Hundreds of years before King Tubby was born. Mind-blowing.

Mind you, the geezer couldn’t spell to save his life. Maybe he wasn’t that clever after all.

Webswise, this month I am also digging Webmong (random web effluent, pix and shit, yeah? Safe as fuck) and a rather marvellous interpretation of the cover of Unknown Pleasures.

More freebie download love has come from the general direction of my Sheffield man dem Black Dog since the last time we did this. Relaunching their Dust Science label, the In The North EP was available as a free download for a short period but you have to pay cash money if you want it now, oh Johnny / Jenny-come-lately.

The good news is, it’s fucking ace, with four very different artists from Sheffield representing their small sounds “great and deepe” . The Bass Soldier’s nasty and dirty You Live With Your Mum is my big favourite this week, although the Black Dog also come correct with the Detroit-meets-S2 throb of Tesco (Dark House). The In The North EP also wins big with a fantastic ‘cover’ image of Sheffield’s long-lost Hole int Road. Space age.

But no fish tank?

More northern class comes in the shape of Damon Gough aka Badly Drawn Boy. He’s the very definition of an ordinary bloke with an extraordinary talent and while I’d like to pretend everyday, ordinary geniuses like Damon are ten-a-penny up here, on both sides of the Pennines, they aren’t. The guy is a one-off. The fact that every so often I see him down the pub (he lives around the corner from me) does not diminish my regard for his talent.

I’ve not heard his new album, but it’s always worth paying attention to Badly Drawn Boy, whatever it is he’s up to. We went to see him at some charity do at the Ritz a few weeks back. Damon seemed a bit tense, what with the new material and the weird crowd. By ‘weird crowd’, I mean there were lots of Brummie lads who’d apparently up come with the Twang, and who were largely characterised by beer bellies, bad sportswear and worse haircuts.

I’m being needlessly cruel – but they were a set of desperate, tragic fucks, it has to be said, lurching about the Ritz like portly, pissed bantams channelling Liam Gallagher.

Anyway, Damon and his latest backing band (which now includes Stephen Fretwell on bass) played a few songs from the new Badly Drawn Boy album, a couple of oldies and a couple of covers, and I liked them a lot. I wasn’t on duty, so that’s about as much of a review as you’re going to get. Here are a couple of numbers from the night – the sound isn’t great but my trusty Flip does have its limitations:

Badly Drawn Boy will probably turn up on a few album of the decade lists, most likely. I don’t get this pointless fixation with lists many of us seem to develop towards the end of the year – or the decade in this case. Why do we feel we need to quantify culture? The idea seems to be that if enough people think the same way about something, it becomes true. It doesn’t.

Hold the front page: Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band isn’t really the best album ever. There is no such thing as ‘the best album ever’. It’s all made up crap.

I’m not exactly backwards at coming forwards at telling people exactly what I like and dislike throughout the course of the year anyway and, to be honest, I don’t really care what most other people think about music – and in particular I don’t care about the musical tastes of people who have the time and inclination to sum it all up in some stupid list. It’s just too fucking tedious for words.

But Adam Bunch from Toronto-based online magazine SoundProof got in touch and asked me to contribute to their poll of Manchester albums. And SoundProof is pretty cool, and I thought it might be a good way to promote Expletive Undeleted, and yes, alright, it was very flattering to be asked to contribute, especially with as it would be alongside people like Fat Roland, and Lyndsey Hayes and Marie-Claire Daly from Helen of Troy Does Countertop Writings.

And also Alan McGee, I suppose.

I am a shameless publicity-slut. You can see SoundProof’s list here.

My list differed to the final list in that I had Grotesque at number one (alongside another three Fall albums in my top 20), while the Stone Roses just scraped into my top 10. I also had the Ting Tings, Barry Adamson, Mr Scruff and Crazy Penis in there too.

But my big problem with SoundProof’s list is the absence of Squirrel and G-Man 24 Hour Party People Plastic Face Carn’t Smile (White Out) – how can you have a list of Manchester albums without that being somewhere near the top? That’s just crazy talk – but I guess that’s daft bloody lists for you.

Speaking of minor disappointments, I was planning to get a new easy / bossa mix together over the weekend but I was utterly defeated by various bits of technology ganging up on me. So, here’s an old, old mix, just in time for the Xmas party season – although probably more suited to accompanying a few cocktails and some pleasant conversation rather than full-on miaow and ketamine-fuelled turbo-mayhem.

Expect heart-stopping melodies, hip-twitching rhythms and effortless sophistication from the likes of Astrud Gilberto, Ana Laan, Suba and Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66. Get in touch if you need a full tracklist.

To make up for this abject mixtape failure, soothe your troubled brow with this sterling international audio-visual collaboration between Finnish photographer Heikki Siltala and my old chum Mondo del Fuego and me, aka the Monkey Boyz.

Heikki provided the pictures of the strange and beautiful European felines and me and Mondo supplied the music (and yes, balearic cat DJs, a WAV file is available).

Pussy really does rule the world.

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8 Comments

Filed under expletive undeleted, hyperbole

8 responses to “Pussy rules the world

  1. Particulary outspoken and sweary today. Nobody does it better.
    x

  2. undeleted

    Oh dear, am I coming off as a rent-a-gob? That wasn’t the idea at all. Oh well, we all have our crosses to bear I suppose.

    Good to hear from you Foxy.

    xx

  3. No, not rent-a-gob. I don’t know if it’s because I know that really you are a big softy but somehow you manage to do that ‘writing about people in a very rude way’ without it coming over as just spiteful and mean. It’s funny.
    x

  4. undeleted

    Ha ha, good, I’m glad to hear it.

  5. Andre the Giant

    nice article

  6. undeleted

    Thanks very much Andre.

  7. You’re right, I would much prefer a button badge, with a band I like, than some filthy medal. Thanks!

  8. A shiny new Skumdribblerz badge is winging its way to you now Tony ..

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