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The Blue Aeroplanes - Poetry And Dance In The Mind And The Ears

Nov. 6th, 2006 | 08:05 pm
location: The Blue Aeroplanes
mood: calmcalm
music: Anything On 'Swagger.'

Back in the days of what was the explosive ‘Woodstock’ music scene of Bristol, a vocalist emerged from the new genre, known as indie, in the shape Gerard Langley. Hardly, as you would first think, a name to be reckoned with in the glitzy world of music showbiz, but a fairly stable name even so. Along with his brother, who took up the position of drummer, they soon gathered together a collection of some of the most talented and composed musicians in the city area. In fact, they were, as they called themselves, The Blue Aeroplanes, known to have the biggest ‘musician - participation’ in, probably, modern music history.

Although their commercial contribution to the world of music looks vaguely more successful that a Pop Idol winner, their gritty and uniquely timed anthems had far from been on the same level. Langley, the headman was known, in the fast growing indie scene for his deep, menacing and half spoken vocals and other than supporting a then, little known U.S band called, R.E.M, although the band had collaborated with Michelle Shocked on one track.

It would appear that there seems to be a silent, yet, growing interest in this distant indie band who, tragically, graced only the bottom half of the Top 75 at any given time. It perhaps should be more the question of why didn’t they ever make the grade? Well, that could be answered as simply as bad timing. Due to their haunting renditions of a familiar Smiths sound, they would have been noted as to be almost a decade out of date. I do believe that if they had been around a lot earlier, then their level of success would have vastly improved. That comatose style of backing vocal, at the time of, ‘Jacket Hangs’ was the tones of Rodney Allen, Alex Lee, John Langley and Andy McCreeth, was more along the lines of The Waterboys, which, is certainly no bad thing, but on listening back to Blue Aeroplanes tunes today, we find ourselves puzzled as to why they weren’t better recognised. What we don’t perhaps remember, is how much the talent odds were stacked against them. With a sound that was unique and so in tune with the outside world, it was also the backdrop of every other band at the time. Not to mention that their members list grew to around thirty…

It is also arguable that there were far less talented bands around the time of the mid Eighties to the early Nineties, who, simply didn’t deserve to achieve the success that they did. Who really could have forgotten that rhythmic perfect of John Langley’s drum backing and that non melodic, jangle effect on guitars from Lee and Allen? They fused together as a band and never failed to let their fan base down. They might have been predictable in their approach to their own expression of indie music, but at least that meant never having to cringe ferociously at surprising and embarrassing diversions.

Their first notably successful album, ‘Bop Art,’ in April 1984, may have sounded more like a Gene Vincent take on an old Transvision Vamp album, but it was surprisingly fresh enough to create a lasting appeal on certain listeners who, it would seem, became the backbone of the circle of devoted fans today. Although, since their early days, when their influences swayed heavily towards Elvis Costello and The Velvet Underground, they have somehow taken what they had learnt from these artists and actually drawn up, by themselves, a sound that, truly, came from themselves. We wonder how it came to be that they had come and gone from so many record labels. Their career path has certainly trodden a steady route through all the alternative labels of that time. Finally, standing firm behind the legendary label that brought us Icicle Works and Gene Loves Jezebel - Beggars Banquet, they had driven the idea through following bands, that it was the way that stable, tight knitted bands worked to get the maximum coverage.

Albums followed plus a couple of singles that failed to make any lasting notability with the regular record purchaser. ‘Tolerance’ in 1986 and ‘Spitting Out Miracles’ in 1986, after which, they enjoyed little in the way of pleasing positions from a string of EP’s and one or two singles that followed.

They did, however, change their attitude through this far from joyful period in their early career. Shifting from Art Rock and layered pieces to dirty, simple guitar rhythms and slapping drums, their move towards the indie scene seemed sensible and optimistic. To singles followed through another label, Chrysalis, ‘Jacket Hangs,’ and ‘..And Stones,’ first in February and second in May 1990. Both failed to cut into the Top 70. Albums trailed accordingly in the shape of ‘Swagger,’ (1990), ‘Beatsongs,’ (1991) and ‘Life Model,’ (1994). The middle of these, ‘Beatsongs,’ graced the Top 35, but failed to hang around longer than three weeks. They had, already, toured with R.E.M in 1989 by this time, who, were enjoyed critical acclaim with their politically observed, ‘Green,’ the year before.


They had achieved as much as they could in those early times. They appeared in such audience participating venues such as the Town And Country Club in Kentish Town, North London; a venue known for the closeness felt through band and crowd. It was a favourite for indie and up and coming bands. Regulars there had been Hard Rain, Then Jericho, Three And A Half Minutes, not to mention, unknown Scottish smilies, Wet Wet Wet. Some, who got to see the B A’s always commented on their live performances, noting them as born gig masters. After all, not all bands could boast their own Polish dancer in the shape of Wojtek Dmochowski.

It has undoubtedly crossed the minds of some of you when we say we must still remark on the history of The Blue Aeroplanes when they seemed to have achieved so little. One is for sure, they have remained true to themselves - never faltering in any shape or form, always pleasing to the eye and enjoyable to listen to. They do take you back in time to a place in music history where bands were made up of young people who actually played instruments. Any band of that time, composed, rehearsed and performed over and over again to get it right. They worked hard, sweated and were devoted to their craft. Unlike today when a band is only made up of people who can just about sing and who couldn’t compose a tune and lyric if their lives depended on it. This, I think it why, we should still celebrate bands like The Blue Aeroplanes for their determination and continuous contribution to British music. Whether it was experimental with different musicians and arrangements of sounds laced together with synths and percussions or taking the dive into all that was the bitter edginess of the birth of indie, they have gathered up the growing trends into their arms and come with their own style of sound. They came back with gusto in 2000 with the album, ‘Cavaliers/Roundheads,’ and now, just this year, 2006, we see the release of a long awaited, two CD set of a remaster of the 1990 album, ‘Swagger,’ probably about their most rewarding and well received album of the decade. This re working contains 14 bonus tracks and goes, unmistakeably as, ‘Swagger Deluxe.’ The B.A’s are back, still standing strong and still eagerly eclipsing new sounds with rational B.A rhythms and techniques.

As for the band themselves, exactly where, when, how and why the band formed and who gelled with who is not entirely known, their initial birth seems to be a mystery, and perhaps only known by Bristol residents and those who knew them, so it is with this, that they remain intriguing and their records, desirable. These ordinary student, type guys, who are now in their forties, still capture a moment in time when music was still exciting and new; when records were still bought in Woolies on vinyl and singles were only 45’s for 45 pence. As far as The Blue Aeroplanes themselves go, all we know is that in Bristol and also in certain places of the Globe, this band still takes a secret pride of place in the musical Hall of Fame.

For more information, please use the following links;

http://www.geocities.com/waddly/blueaero.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blue_Aeroplanes.

http://www.epitonic.com

©Michelle Duffy 2006

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Stack Another Orchestral Layer On Top, Why Not!

Oct. 30th, 2006 | 07:10 pm
location: On A Journey To Prog Rock
mood: artisticartistic
music: Anything by Supertramp

Journey’s tour of duty from progressive rock to pop rock didn’t reach its peak until the mid eighties when after the heights found by the release of ‘Raised On Radio,’ (May 1986), the band suddenly and very surprisingly split deciding individually to follow solo pursuits. The beginning of their ‘journey’ started with the release of two albums. The self titled, ‘Journey’ in April 1975 and the quickly followed ‘Look Into The Future,’ in January 1976. The birth of the rock band from San Francisco, California was introduced to the public with strong ‘art rock’ themes. A swathe of guitars and mixed strangled keyboards were the fore front of frightening fast drum rhythms that were the basis of their primitive progressive roots. Using experimental guitar riffs and collaborating different textures of sound, it was doubtful, at first as to were the band was heading musically. Their ‘Look Into The Future’ album was a definitive soup of grungy, depressingly loud hard rock and light ,airy soft rock pop.

Formed in 1973, a few line up changes had taken place under the guidance of manager Walter Herbert. Once a road manager for Santana, he had not been a strange, unknown face to the band as vocalist, Gregg Rolie and guitarist Neal Schon were both ex Santana members, in fact it was Rolie who had co founded Santana with Carlos Santana only a couple of years previously. By the time ‘Look Into The Future’ had been released, guitarist, George Tickner had left the band. (The rather famous vocalist Steve Perry didn’t join until 1978, the man who gave the band their supreme, unique sound.) Liverpool born Aynsley Dunbar replaced Prairie Prince on drums who subsequently went on to a successful career with The Tubes. Ross Valory, however, remained sturdy on bass who, incidentally once was a firm member of The Steve Miller Band.

Originally named ‘The Golden Gate Bridge,’ an unusual rock band title, they were advised shortly after forming to change their name by Herbert who decided on a public vote through a local radio station. A name for a rock band should be just one word, but never more than two. With one name, they could be easily remembered and recognised, and besides, ‘The Golden Gate Bridge’ sounded ridiculous, thus, Journey was born. Not, however, the only time that the music industry has called for the help of the viewing or listening public. More recently, Wet Wet Wet asked the public’s help when choosing the name for their album which was decided upon someone calling in with ‘Popped In Souled Out.’ I now promise not to mention Wet Wet Wet again in this review…(!)

So here’s the ‘Look Into The Future’ album, and we start off with the cover. Brightly orange with a large paperweight in the middle, the scene is looking through one doorway after another (the same effect when looking into a mirror in front of another.) Our four members are in a hazy blue as though Scotty is about to beam them onto an unknown planet to save the world from the dreaded cling ons. With all the visual trappings for a progressive rock group stuck in the mid seventies, our members are splendidly clad in enormous perms and somewhat shiny jumpsuits. Hoorah for prog rock fashions…!

Released by CBS, we will only encounter eight tracks on the entire album. This is pretty much a standard role call for a progressive rock album. Not very well known in the U.K, this particular album doesn’t seem to be noted as being a position holder in the U.K chart at the time of release. In fact, British releases didn’t appear until 1982. Albums up until now had only been recognised by the U.S charts. Only four albums released between March 1982 and May 1986 managed to swim across to our shores and only a pathetic two singles appeared over here throughout their career. The first one, ‘Don’t Stop Believen’.’ only scraped in at number 42 and stayed in the charts for a very short month. It will probably be not surprising that a lot of you will wonder who on Earth Journey are…

Despite the efforts of Journey to please the crowd around them in the seventies, it wasn’t until their album, ‘Infinity’ released in 1978 that they finally found superior rock band status. When this album went platinum, they thought that they could go no further and the future was bright. Actually it wasn’t, when celebrating their good fortune on this album, Aynsley Dunbar was escorted, shall we say, out of the studio due to indifferences with other members of the band. I felt that there was always an underlying resentment for Dunbar as his career to date when joining the band read more like a Who’s Who in the rock world. Journey’s and Herbert’s financial asset, Nightmare Productions took Dunbar to court over overpaid wages to the tune of sixty thousand dollars, but Dunbar shot back and managed to successfully sue Nightmare Productions for 3.25 million dollars for a long list of angst’s including unfair dismissal from the band. Nightmare productions, in every sense it would seem…

Although Journey are now far from our minds, their influence is still felt in rock bands today. Very much of their time, their biggest followers were bands around in the mid seventies to mid eighties the same as them. It is quite a debate as to what might have happened if Journey had stayed together. Perhaps not quite the same status as Pink Floyd, but they wouldn’t have been far away from it. For those who dote on their aging progressive rock, you would certainly not need to be told about this album. For those who fancy finding out where Spinal Tap came from, then move the dusty records up an inch and make room for a rock band who needs to be remembered…


©M.Duffy (sam1942) 2006

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Oooh, Baby I'm A Star!

Oct. 30th, 2006 | 07:00 pm
mood: depresseddepressed
music: Purple Rain


EzineArticles.com Platinum Author


The Depths Of Vanity And Insanity...


‘Purple Rain’, a film written as a semi autobiographical account of a young, talented boy growing up in a tough and poor neighbourhood failed to attract any form of positive recognition. The critics jumped all over it calling it pretentious and a waste of money. The soundtrack, on the other hand had earned Prince World fame. His first real taste of British acclaim came with the single, ‘Little Red Corvette,’ in April 1983. Prince had needed to maintain is pride by keeping on the same high cloud. ‘Purple Rain’ arguably became the greatest achievement of his career. A moment in his time, that the artist hasn’t really topped since. Even though ‘Parade - the soundtrack from ‘Under The Cherry Moon’ (1986) actually reached a higher position in the album chart , (‘Parade’ claimed number 4 where as ‘Purple Rain’ only claimed number 7) it is ‘Purple Rain’ that stands alone in the corridor of excellence.

His royal purpleness, encaged by an ever growing entourage of purpalies had created an atmosphere of total stardom. Of his own making, he had now reached the summit of God dom and hasn’t been able to come down from it since.

His recent performance at the Brits was received with the same exuberance and excitement as if he had donned a Louis XIV wig, purple frills, straddling a purple motorbike and rode it as his entrance on stage. We could forget for one moment that it has been over two years since any releases from him. Hard to believe he is soon to be 48.


‘Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life….’ like a James Brown sermon in The Blues Brothers, we open this album with Prince the Preacher dictating to us his understanding of life and the after world. He is about to give us his greatest lesson like Sammy Davis Jr telling us to take a dive and swim to Daddy…our eyes are opened as well as our ears. We get ready for a lesson in throwing away care, kicking troubles in the groin and tweaking the nose hairs of strife, yes, its Prince giving us a taste of the album complete with ecstatic keyboards and low guitar riffs. We hear the artist’s adaptation of rock, pop and anything gloriously arrogant.



I personally was devoted to the purple, glitzy ear when it was all about super stardom. That I feel, was the best of the eighties. This type of class act, we just don’t get anymore. As much as we are two minds over Michael Jackson, we fail to remember that it was twenty years ago when he wowed us with his incredible, precisely choreographed dance routines. Madonna still wasn’t a household name and still laughed at to a point, wondering how long she was going to last, when Prince with his gaiety and stupendous cabaret of a travelling circus delighted us and enchanted us where we liked it or not. A professional at his craft, he produced his masterpiece with this album. The very one that we will eventually remember him by.

At The Brits this year, attending the after show party. He sat down with his now non purple brigade of guards and babes around him like a human fence. He ordered a DVD player and sat and watched films and didn’t flutter an eye lash at the surrounding scene of hundreds of drunken, rowdy stars once.



Now, that’s Rock and Roll.



Take a bow, your Purpleness.


©M Duffy (sam1942) 2006.

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Won't You Please Please Help The Bands...??!

Oct. 12th, 2006 | 01:28 pm
location: The Tale Of Two Websites...
mood: bouncybouncy
music: I Wanna Know What Love Is...Foreigner...

The difficulty with running a blog such at this one is the question of TIME, or at least, in my case, a distinct lack of it. As the constant writing of reviews based on my thoughts and passions to this subject gives me great joy and pride, during the last year, it has made me financially nothing. I now start to wonder if it is worth continuing.

The main problem in this situation is the not knowing if you are actually being read or not. One would love the idea of the fact that a blog is getting around a hundred hit’s a day, but is that reality? I doubt it. When if is easier to click onto the next blog and fail to leave a quick comment on the last, we don’t have to prove our existence on a web page, we would like to think that the author of that page dose not need reminding that someone has once passed through…

That’s fine for most writers out there who want to write down their thoughts and feelings or just what their dog has eaten today for just the sheer joy of seeing it on a web page, let alone if someone reads it or not. For me, the desire to find readers somewhat needs to hit home rather more successfully than for my fellow bloggers…

What was just a cloud like idea when my nephew approached me a year ago and asked if I would come and see him play in his band at a working man’s club, I have decided that it would be a real thrill to promote his band at little bit better than they had done themselves already. As I enjoyed playing around with websites and templates, I realised that I could hit a wider audience for my nephew if I just put out a small piece on his band out on a website or a blog.

Because we are all aware that there are some great free website builders and blogs out there, I decided that, because I was on small budget, I could somehow build as many websites and blogs as I could and spread the word around even further.

Well, after a while, I had an even better idea. What if I could promote ALL local (South Of England) bands and artists who play instruments and writer their own songs?! I felt the need to open my plan out to not just a select few but to everybody.

I get this really under way, I had to show that I could write good pieces in the first place, so I chose to write about famous bands and their best albums, this caused a growing audience and I learnt how to review correctly and as professionally as I could. All I needed to do was start up as many sites as I could.

So far I have three websites and three blogs, which is pretty hard going to maintain at the moment, but ever hu8ngry for more, I will not stop there. I hope to have at least twenty websites and an equal number of blogs around the Web as much as I can. I will probably need a heck of a lot of help when I get to that stage, but that is a little far off yet and I have a long way to go but I shall get there.

What I would like from you is your support. If you just like to read my blogs then that’s great, and I thank you very much for that. If you would like to donate then any spare change would be gratefully received. If I can’t back the idea then I will have to throw in the towel and the whole thing will shut down. If you really would like something in return and I don’t blame you, I know I would! Then please visit two of my shops that I have just opened at Café Press. I have launched a couple of simple designs that got together with the idea of the promotion. I would love to see the day when someone wearing one of my tee shirts is walking down the street!

So, the platform is getting bigger. If you have a band, musician or know of one who needs a little help. If they write their own songs and would like to be heard, then I can offer the very stage for them to be read about. If you would like to submit something to me so I can place if on one of my sites or blogs then I would be more than happy to help!

We need to hear great music again or it will die with the best names in the business. We all like to have a good old giggle at the X Factor or Pop Idol, but it is these very programmes that are killing off the hopes and dreams of the people who really o have a talent, and not just a good voice….

Lend a hand, if you can, in any way. If you just want to read, then please say a ‘hello’ on my comment board,

Just so I know someone is there…..


Many thanks….

Websites;

Never Mind The Bloggers This Is Generationsounds.
http://paperback-writer29.tripod.com







Never Mind The Bloggers
http://nevermindthebloggers.bravehost.com

Generationsounds Main Website
www.generationsounds.co.uk



Weblogs;


The Ramblings Of An Old Rocker
http://bohemianwaffle.blogspot.com

The Moped’s Musings
http://paperback-sam.livejournal.com

The Generation Sound Suite
http://www.angelfire.com/planet/soundsuite/rockcocoon

The Rhythm Rock And Blues Machine
http://paperback-writer29.tripod.com/blog/index.blog?topic_id=1079309

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Lest We Forget How Fragile We Are...

Oct. 3rd, 2006 | 12:00 pm
location: Sting's Reflections...
mood: complacentcomplacent
music: That Gordon Sumner...

From front man of one of the greatest new wave acts to come out of middle class Britain in the Eighties, to world -concerned, Global pioneer, singer songwriter in the Nineties. Sting has managed to launch a thousand careers from one voice in a fairly short space of time. Regarded as one of the most intelligent of pop music’s deep thinkers, this man grew from the moody, adolescent, self obsessed, trio we came to love as The Police.

With absolutely nothing in common with the actual boys in blue driving around in panda cars, this band gave us, not just a few songs to get sullen for, but the shy, blond mop top of Gordon Sumner. Sting himself.

Stretching out his utter most creative wings in 1982 with the dire ‘Spread A Little Happiness,’ it would have appeared to the discerning listener that his solo career was doomed to be short lived, but how wrong could we have been? Sting has made it a life long ambition to disperse his thought provoking melodies across our pop charts for now, over twenty four years. Daring not to rest for only one brief moment, only to perhaps ponder over the plight of the Amazon rain forests, he has never let his audience drift over to another artist for long.

It is perhaps, not totally surprising when on embarking on a more in-depth look at this album, ‘All This Time,’ to find that it was actually recorded on the 11th of September 2001. None of us, naturally, need any reminding as to what this day stood for in the history of the human race. It also goes without saying that in the greatness of respect to those who lost their lives, this album was solely dedicated to them.

Is it then that we see this album in a sobering light? With this dedication on the first page of the inside sleeve, that we change our mood somewhat vigorously, especially when it is only the lyrics to the opening track, ‘Fragile,’ are the only ones included in the sleeve booklet. The rest of the pages are dedicated to the various moody poses of Sting, the God of lyrics.

Age brings an introverted and retrospective influence to the fore when one is an artist of a certain calibre. With Sting, the World in it’s current state became simply a source of defining music around heart felt lyrics. The very essence of the man and his music plays no more of an important part in engaging his audience in this album as it has done in any of the other collections of Sting melodies. What is defiantly significant is fundamentally, the date on which it was recorded, at Il Palagio in Italy.

As a live recording, it flows, especially in the second track, ‘Perfect Love…Gone Wrong.’ as the mood is more Dave Brubeck than up to date Sting. Each musician takes a two minute centre stage in true Gladys Knight style to cool applause. In ‘All This Time,’ the opening flutter with the drum stick across the side puts the listener immediately in thought of Belinda Carlisle’s ‘Circle In The Sand.’ Yet it is with this lighter moods that we discover the idealism of Sting. He had learnt, at some stage in his existence how to master each genre he put his creative abilities into. He is as much at home with a group of stunningly pronounced Ethnic backing singers as he is with the edginess and rawness of ‘Every Breath You Take,’ which you will be pleased to know makes an appearance as the last track of the album. It gives us a familiar wink as it has hardly changed at all to fit in with the rest of the gentle touch of the album.

What we do have here is a mixture of Sting and Police collaborations and some new twists on these old songs will not be appealing to some hardened new wave ears, mine included. If we put aside our own musical up bringing, then life being breathed into these old songs again, isn’t so bad. What is interesting is how the Police tracks sound so strange, slowed down to Sting mode, yet his own tracks sound beautifully drenched in emotion, romance and dream like qualities, that they seem to be quite angelic. Some of us cringed at the new workings of ‘Don’t Stand So Close To Me,’ and ‘Roxanne,’ which, has been unduly slaughtered here. The latter has never once been designed to be a drippy slow folk song. Not ever….

However, some of these reworkings do actually work, dare I day it. Even the ‘Set Them Free,’ sounds predominately better when a few trumpets and some stronger drum beats are added. Even ‘Brand New Day,’ gets The Commitments treatment .There is one track that he could never tamper with and that’s the pasteurised ‘Fields Of Gold.’ Could it be said that actually, anything that Sting turns his hand to, turns into fields of gold. A nice jazz touch is added to ‘If I ever Lose My Faith In You,’ but it is with tracks as strong as this, that their structural impact could never be destroyed, no matter what genre you decided to dip them into.

Despite the sobering dedication at the beginning of the sleeve, the majority of the album can be described better as a visual description rather than musically. Picture a smoky bar with dimmed blue lights. Imagine a cool looking black guy rocking ever so easily while his teases the keys on a shiny piano with his freshly manicured fingers. Think of the singer, half perched on a tall stool, black leather clad shoulders, hanging on to the equally tall microphone stand for all his worth. The music may not actually stir up any emotions other than the usual respectful head swaying at the genius of Sting, but what it will do is appreciate him as an English institution. His music may not be full of boxer like punch anymore, but he has found, that it doesn’t need to be. He has made, certainly more of a statement about himself since embarking on his journey through his mind and the World around him, than he ever did as a young, impressionable singer.



He continues to please with his charming melodies as well as educate us to appreciate the World. We may still long for the days of the monochromed Police but that was only to train Sting for the great outdoors- the World beyond new wave. He has shown us over the years that he has grown, although we all may not have grown with him.





I for one, still dust off the vinyl once in a while for a fix of the old days, but, Sting, in recent years, has taught us to listen.











Tracks include;

Fragile,
A Thousand Years,
Perfect Love,
All This Time,
The Hounds Of Winter,
Mad About You,
Don’t Stand So Close To me,
When We Dance,
Dienda,
Roxanne,
Set Them Free,
Brand New Day,
Fields Of Gold,
Moon Over Bourbon Street,
Shape Of My Heart,
If I Ever Lose My Faith Ion You,
Every Breath You Take.

All songs written and composed by Sting,
(additions by Kipper, Kenny Kirkland and Dominic Miller.
Produced by Kipper and Sting
A+M Records Inc. 2001.
HMV £9.99 (2004)

©paperback-sam 2006.

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An Explosive Day Of Insanity

Sep. 28th, 2006 | 12:50 pm
location: Single Review from Forthcoming album
mood: crazycrazy
music: Punk, Funk and Wild

Wailing, wild and dipped in compelling mania, this latest single from DreamFirstBorn is to be released to kick start the launch of his second album; Gutter Trash: The Last Days of Vanity. Released through the independent empire of New Funk Order, this track, about a kidnapper of a young female artist, is perfectly titled, ‘My Psyko Song.’ Like an electrified zombie, the energy of this artist’s performance is disturbingly creative to the point of bowing down gracefully to the Gods Of Punk.

By resurrecting the wildness of the obliterating Punk scene, this style maybe nearly thirty years old, yet it still holds some great significance to the way artists’ compose today. This track is aggressively appealing complete with all the ‘oo’s’ and ‘arh’s’ of a Mowtown backing group. It’s hyper hysterical performer is ready to pull out his hair with angst at any given moment.

It’s a stunning piece of new age Punk that still produces the same rawness and edge of the Malcolm MacLaren, The Damned and The Buzzcocks era, but without the pink and blue hair and safety pins. Punk Funk it could be classed, even so, it’s energised, basic and stripped of all that it neurotically mass produced and commercial.

=============



If you’re passionate, like the rest of us about keeping the bareness of pure artist composition alive, then I strong suggest checking out www.newfunkorder.com for that very reason. It is littered with artists on the cutting edge of a new generation of retrospective punk, rock and funk. The downloads are free as well as numerous pages on the mission of the site and it’s members. The idea is to ‘ensure the continual freedom of music and the arts.’ Thus performing the following actions;
‘Providing original music and other art works freely to the public.’
‘The artists duly reap in personal recognition..’
‘Ensure the artists continually have complete control over their music and their rights….’

It is an organisation that needs your support. If you’re an artist with dreams and need a stage to perform and get noticed then they need you to!

Musicians with hearts, compositions and with instruments in their hands are very welcome!

www.newfunkorder.com

Check out ‘My Psyko Song’ and it’s video at;

http://newfunkorder.com/Video/MPS.html

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Surfing With Style On The Big New Wave...

Sep. 26th, 2006 | 02:02 pm
location: Boomtown Rats, the Gods Of New Wave
mood: crazycrazy
music: Rat Trap


www.AllAboutDance.com


Moody, miserable and sneering like Billy Idol, the front man of The Boomtown Rats was the vastly opinionated and occasionally angry Bob Geldof. After forming his band in a small, sleepy town near Dublin, Ireland in 1975, he led the way for the era of meaningless new wave. With Johnny Fingers on keyboards, Simon Crowe on drums, Pete Briquette on bass, they were joined by Gerry Cott and Garry Roberts on guitars, they originally called themselves The Nightlife Thugs. Thankfully after reading Woody Guthrie’s ‘Bound For Glory,’ they changed their title to the name of a gang mentioned in the story.

The highlight of their relatively short career was with the release of this 1979 album, ‘The Fine Art Of Surfing,’ heralding the number one single, ‘I Don’t Like Mondays.’ The late seventies saw the fusion of punk and something resembling senseless pop. Guitars were juddery and lacking in talent and the songs were fast and jumping with little tune and virtually no bass. The lyrics were meaningless and superficial but yet catchy enough for this strange genre to take off, albeit, rather briefly. New wave was a loosely based term for anyone who had a hit after the mid seventies other than disco or glam rock. Guys in suits and mop hair cuts, the image visualised new wave in television characters such as Mickey Pearce in Only Fools And Horse. The branch off new wave eventually was Ska which, fundamentally was the fusion of beat and reggae. It was new wave that was the fore runner of Ska but using Mersey beat’s shallow themes and American pop rock. Bands rarely survived from this genre to thrive into anything else that followed. The best example of success was probably with bands like U2. Vocals were strained and tuneless and most leads sounded as thought they were suffering from a cold. Short lived, it actually was quickly dated and many bands faded out just as quickly. It was Ska that seemed more survivable.

Geldof took the right course of action. Perhaps realising immediately that the band were going to be short lived, he extended his morose identity into a political stance thus making him the ultimate missionary for all of humanity when the music failed. This album marked the end of their career although other albums followed in moderate fashion, they featured more middle of the road pop rock. The band split in 1984 and Geldof slipped quietly into the shadows of the music industry and into his obsessive involvement of saving the world from poverty.


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Give A Wham! Give A Bam!

Sep. 26th, 2006 | 01:55 pm


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There hasn’t been much to grace our hit parade in the form of well hardened, matured cheese, until we witnessed the birth of the God Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou (or George Michael to you Mr Spell-check) in the popped up, leather clad outfit named Wham! This unusual Greek from the even more unusual Finchley in Middlesex with his finely crafted jaw bone and mop of continental curly hair dragged the more unfortunately good looking Andrew Ridgley off his feet and they started a firm friendship.

Attending the same school in Bushey, London, they left and formed a amateur set up called The Executive. Being Ska driven around this time of 1979, it appeared rather quickly to the youngsters that everyone was trying to be in a Ska band and unless your name was Terry Hall, your chances looked pretty slim. Hitting the big time was going to have to be approached at a different angle, so they focused on a duo set up along with their stunning faces with bodies to match and called themselves Wham!

Andrew and George might have been seen as all brawn and no brains but they knew immediately that they could literally sell themselves. Sex sells, as we already know, and considering that the vast majority of the record buying public were young, high hormoned, giggly girls, Wham! homed in on their attention like two greased, hit seeking missiles. What they actually did accomplish, almost overnight, was the ultimate dream teen team. Perfectly polished and truly greased to Godliness, they pouted, shuffled, slouched and drove girls of twelve years old wild with their Elvis-like visual themes.
Many a wet knicker was achieved and the hits started rolling like an avalanche.

The only down fall of the super clean, all snarling duo was their unfortunate brush with a dodgy record label. ‘Innervision,’ the short lived label gave out very little, if none at all in loyalties for the success that followed ‘Fantastic’s’ release in July 1983. Sadly failing to recoup any monies owed to them , they signed up with Epic before any other record was going to be released although it was another year before the battle with the dirty label was finally over.

‘Fantastic’ was primarily a British release. With its photo album style inner sleeve featuring shots of the boys at different ages and a slick, leather clad image of the pair on the front cover, it denotes the genre within. It was going to be with their single, ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go Go,’ in May 1984, before America started to sit up and take note. Featuring four top ten hits, it wasn’t a surprise to find the album go straight to number one. Staying for an incredible 116 weeks in the album chart, they were, as they predicted, the technicoloured line through the darkly morose eighties pop chart. Being fed up with the monochromed existence of the new wave generation, to finally see something in all the brightest colours imaginable was a blessed relief. Sun kissed lads, out having a good time on the beaches, chatting up babes and sipping cocktails took us gleefully away from the dull, droned sounds of likes of Blondie, The Cure and others. In the height of the Thatcher years, the future of Britain looked dark and featureless. Wham! Had given us hope, light and something to feel happy about again. So, without further or do, let’s leave the dreariness of the wet weekends behind make an unforgettable entrance in to the world they called Club Tropicana.

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Join In The Debate Of The Moped's Mutterings..

Sep. 26th, 2006 | 01:08 pm
mood: creativecreative

What do you reckon?

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The Best And The Worst And The Curse Of Blondie

Sep. 26th, 2006 | 12:54 pm
location: The Curse Of Blondie
mood: contemplativecontemplative
music: One Way Or Another....

The sultry, well defined cheek boned face of a young Miss Deborah Harry is probably not difficult to imagine as once the pretty face of a playboy bunny girl. The low but cheeky voice of the female lead of Blondie formed the band with her boyfriend way back in 1974 in New York. After a mixed line up change every so often and a couple of uninteresting singles, they finally hit Britain with ‘Heart Of Glass’ taken from the album ‘Parallel Lines.’

Frank Infante, a guitarist, later rhythm guitarist joined the band in Autumn 1977 after the release of the first Blondie album at Christmas 1976, simply titled, ‘Blondie.’ It was this album that failed to make the charts although a new song featured was ‘Ripe Her To Shreds,’ a song that was later made known to growing fans in other albums as well as live sets. Nigel Harrison joined very shortly after Frank in November 1977. It was then that Frank switched to rhythm guitar and Nigel took bass. With Chris Stein, Debbie’s boyfriend on guitar, Clem Burke on drums and Jimmy Destri on keyboards, the line up was complete and there, they stayed until the bands first split in 1982.

A punk outfit at first with a splash of sixties fizzy pink girlie pop, Miss Harry, a severely bleached throw back to the later years of Marilyn Monroe, she was the perfect punk goddess to stand amongst the moppy haired, young suited and booted boys. Surprisingly American, they had always come across severely British. The cover for Parallel Lines, a design thought from their manager, Peter Leeds and photographed by Edo was to Miss Harry’s disgust. She hated the shot and immediately said that it looked flat. It was, however, to become an iconic view of the band. The sharpness of the black and white, bold stripes behind the black suited band and Debbie in a white dress and shoes denoted the new wave feel that the music held within. For 1978, it was design ahead of its time and a style that was soon adapted to the up and coming Ska movement of that time. Blondie, were very much the fore runners for a new type of sound. It is within this album, that the listener can generate the music tastes that were going to happen in the near future. Very much a Blondie album, it experimented with different music genres that were big in the late seventies. The examples of this are, ‘Heart Of Glass’, a fusion of disco and glam to suit the diverse vocals of Harry. ‘Hanging On The Telephone’ is pure Blondie punk, although not their own song, it was originally the product of a band called The Nerves, even so this very immature, sweaty sound of hard thumping, microphone stand shaking new wave might as well have been natural to Blondie as throughout this album, they adapt gracefully to each and every style.

That was new wave, a musical stage that passed a lot of us by. Actually what was happening to music after new wave was far more intriguing. It is surprising to learn that Blondie were one of a handful of bands in the world who created so many number ones in such a short space of time. Between Jan 1979 and November 1980, they racked up five in total. Their last number one was with ‘Maria’ in February 1999 after reforming the band in 1998. A long string of compilation albums were churned out every so often between 1982 and 2003 with also ‘No Exit’ and ‘The Curse Of Blondie.

Although we’ve yet to see anything from the band in the 21st century, we can be safe in the knowledge that we will always have the late seventies new wave movement to fall back on. It is ironic actually, that the historic Blondie and leader of all that came after them, have grown both musically and performance wise in recent years.


Perhaps the very curse of Blondie was new wave….

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