Released in 1954, restored in 2012 this will be a must-see for fans of rare, rewarding film experiences. Read More
Terrific band The Psychedelic Furs and I thought I knew them pretty well, love the debut and particularly love their third album, Forever Now; that’s a go-to for me – Love My Way is the song, one of my all-time favourites by anyone ever, and a DJ-staple. And I had a compilation that covered a few missing things like, of course, the great song Pretty In Pink. That’s from this album, the middle one in that brilliant opening trio – a record a year across 1980, 81 and 82.
So here again, I know the band, love the band, but still had – for no real reason known to me – got to this album; certainly hadn’t been avoiding it, just hadn’t ever played it through. Read More »
I absolutely expected to hear a few more duds doing this challenge. But shit it’s been good. A lot of great albums I knew about and therefore kinda knew I’d missed and a lot of things I genuinely didn’t know about or certainly didn’t know just how great they would be. I guess there’ll be some duds further into the 90s perhaps – when the datedness of chasing trends/fads plays out a bit more.
Here we are still in the early 1980s though and it’s gem after gem. Read More »
Jack Kerouac’s sonorous
voice rotted more
brains than just his own.
Mine was nearly one.
Mine was nearly won.
Mine was nearly wondering.
Mine was nearly one-dimensionally focussed
for a time.
Old Jack and Bill and Corso too,
the best minds of my generation
were destroyed by cell phones,
internet rage, intermittent signalling
all around – or when it was around,
the sound of inertia tuned to acid-jazz,
turned on its ear, with the only drain
being the phoney sonic of it all.
Howling, howling, howling, howling, howling, howling, howling, howling
after too many beers and not enough attention.
Howling, howling, howling, howling at
the moon or at any pack of loons, or at
the notion that things might never actually
be so bad so you have to be sad, you have to be mad, you have to
want to make it seem like you could never be glad, you could
only be lonely, you could only be confused…
if they only knew – if those others, with or without sisters and brothers, could
only know, if they only knew, if they only knew, if they only knew
what you alone had put yourself through.
but it’s only words.
Just absurd. So absurd, how silly can you get?
You got pretty fucking silly…
as you imagined your own high coup
being to record your words with the drift
and waft of a saxophone in the background, the clatter
It happened once.
You were there on the stage. You had a blank look
and a full page. And the band stood behind you
And the notion that all you
actually had was the nothing
that you had to say – that in the end
you did try to display –
seemed the best summation
of this phase.
i walk along the
terrace, see the flat
i lived in for years
i had no cares, back
then, beyond knowing
where the next CD
was going to come from.
my flatmates thought
i was mad.
and these were people that
cheated on their girlfriends,
took carving knives with them
for late night walks – you know,
just in case.
one of them tried to kill
a mouse by smearing peanut
butter on a golf-putting return-machine,
one of them drank cups of
tea while shitting,
one of them watched
pornos while doing
i wanted to shout – “and i’m
the bad guy” like michael
douglas does in that film (hang on,
maybe i hadn’t quite seen that, just
it was madness though. that’s
for fucking sure. no one carried a
key and one day when the window
wasn’t unlatched, for someone to
open and step through,
someone just threw his drink bottle
through it, pushed the glass
aside – and stepped in…
when it was my
night to cook – i’d write
a cheque for the pizza place
and disappear. go elsewhere.
(possibly in a bunker, because
the cheque would likely bounce).
i had a room full of music
and cigarette smoke, a head
full of – possibly – undiagnosed
anxiety (or more likely laziness)
and i had about 50 or 60 square-grid
maths books that i wrote poems in.
(the others in the flat could not
the time when i found a guy
taking a piss into an electric
frying-pan on my bed seemed
reasonable – particularly when he
explained that the drinking game in
the other room had it that no one
was allowed to urinate. several of
the others had pissed themselves
in front of each other, probably mid-swig,
but this guy had standards…and a
and this wasn’t even the worst thing
that could happen of a night.
we rode a shopping trolley down the
stairs and into the wall, missing a giant
window that could have launched at least one
of us into a waiting hospital bed,
we drank a 5litre bottle of whiskey on a
pouring frame in one night.
someone got laid out for denying
and all of this, and so much more
comes flooding back to me, on
wednesdays, after lunch, having
finished one job to get to another
and then from there down the road
to collect my son from his school.
i look across the road at the house – somehow
still standing – and think of tom waits and
bukowski and teaching drum lessons
in the lounge, while my protesting flatmate
tried to watch tv at the same time.
his arms folded, his brow knotted.
i think of baxter and sam hunt and lauris edmond
and the one-night-stand that was referred to
as a spear-chucker, presumably because of the
colour of her skin.
and that any of these sins don’t come close to
the very worst of the behavior back then.
i heard one of the guys is a merchant banker – well, why
not, he was rehearsing for that gig
when he was sleep-walking blind-drunk to shit
on a couch.
the other two, i have no idea.
and they graduated long before me.
we’re all lucky to be alive.
and beyond that, to not know anything
much about each other anymore.
I think the theme for any of the albums I hear for the first time in this challenge across the years 1980-84 is going to be that I know about the artist, even quite like the artist, but given my age I’m familiar with the radio hits and I only ever explored further by following later material or getting a career-covering compilation.
That’s certainly the case here. I know Soft Cell and even people that don’t know Soft Cell know their extraordinary reinvention of Tainted Love; well, some may still not know it’s a cover. But they know the song at least. Read More »
I’ve seen a lot of Wim Wenders films. I’ll watch almost anything that is scored by Ry Cooder. I love Harry Dean Stanton, and Dean Stockwell too for that matter. I’ve read plenty of Sam Shepard including his Motel Chronicles which was the basis for the script of this picture.
And yet I have never seen Paris, Texas. Read More »
I was quite into some of the Belinda Carlisle songs – and through that I found out about how she was once part of a band called The Go-Go’s, many years on I had a double-compilation of Go-Go’s material; pretty good. But no curiosity to check out individual albums.
Flash forward many years – and I was never a “fan” of Carlisle as such, well not really – and I am at a Belinda Carlisle gig. I was there as a reviewer. It was pretty good. Well, it was a terrible turnout. I actually felt sorry for her. She was good. Great songs, sounded great, the band was fine. But just no market for it – or it was poorly promoted. Or both. But I felt very sorry for her. She did a Go-Go’s song. And I remember thinking, then and there, “must check out more by that band”. Read More »
the old photographs
me – I broke free
found my way
to anywhere else,
to where(ever) I’m
meant to be…out
on the road
else – no people, no
subject, no reason
but to be free.
That’s always the reason.
Another example of why this challenge has been good for me. I know of Heaven 17 of course – I even know Temptation very well and a few others. But I have never listened to a Heaven 17 album, at least not knowingly; at least not until I finally sat down with Penthouse and Pavement despite meaning to years ago. And fuck it’s terrific. I love New Order and lots of things in this sort of wheelhouse – and perhaps most ridiculously I really love Human League. So why had I never arrived here before? Read More »
This piece first appeared on The Spinoff and is also included as one of the pieces in the book “Is It Bedtime Yet?” by Emily Writes & Friends
I always wanted a daughter named Billie. Simple really. As soon as I heard Billie Holiday’s voice I was sold. Her voice, that sound, and the idea of her name being Billie – it all just hung in the air there for me. I wanted, nearly 100 years after her birth, for it to be my tribute. I get as close as I ever get to crying when I hear her voice. But we knew we were having a son. We had no names for boys. Besides they all sounded like something you’d name a dog. Otis. Hugo. Rufus. Mongrel…We settled on Oscar. Happy with that we returned home from the hospital to hear the neighbours whistle their wee dog a week later. “Oscar…” Read More »
Long believed lost and the film’s director Thavi Na Bangchang died in 1970, believing the last 35mm print had been irreparably damaged when it was shipped to London in the 1950, we are lucky to present a restoration that was some six years in the making. Read More »