We like the look of London's upcoming Doc'n'Roll film festival which features, amongst many other attractions, a doc about Detroit's lost proto-punk pioneers Death and a film about rock photographer Jini Dellaccio. Also there is Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle director Julien Temple. So, unearthed from the unvisited archive, here's an interview I did with Temple about his Joe Strummer documentary, The Future is Unwritten, which also shows. Below, our favourite Clash moment.
This weekend's Raw Power festival in London featured a raw and - I think you know where we're going with this - powerful line-up drawn from the outer-reaches of twenty-first century psychedelia (a term so hard to define that Windows declines to include it in the spellcheck facility. Read in to that what you will.) We'll cobble together some thoughts and links imminently. For now however, there's this:
That would be Evil Blizzard: four bassists in masks delivering lead-heavy, post-punk freak-outs made from abandoned bits of PiL, a strange strain of organ-disordering hypno-funk and, well, early Hawkwind. Fascinatingly, Mark E Smith - not noted for his enthusiasm for anything much - invited them on tour. And to revisit that earlier point, that's four bassists and no guitar. Here's a professional at the Quietus to explain properly.
You know how we feel about early Hawkwind round here. Now the band's endless excavation of their own past throws up this extraordinary bid for the charts. Brian Blessed declaims his way through Sonic Attack, written by novelist Michael Moorcock in 1974 and originally conceived as a paranoid satire of Cold War-era public information broadcasts. Bob Calvert's intonation back then gave it an eerie sense of authenticity. It's hard to be sure what's happening with this new version, but here it is, along with links to download etc. "Do not panic..."
Twenty-eight years ago this weekend you could have witnessed this extraordinary - in several respects - line-up at the Reading Festival. As, in fact, we did.
Cardiacs - skulking away down there at the bottom of Sunday's bill - were/are an unclassifiably brilliant hybrid of all rock's most eccentric impulses, played by people whose lives appeared to depend on their ability to reach the note after next. In 2010 Cardiacs' creator Tim Smith suffered a heart attack after watching the reformed My Bloody Valentine. That story's here. Squint your ears and you can feel their influence in everything from Blur to Devin Townsend. As Wire magazine recently noted, though they've been mysteriously written out of history, theirs is the real story of England's hidden reverse. Here's our favourite moment:
What we were hoping to bring you today was a clip or two from the hypnotic new album by unsung heroes of trance-inducing Krautrock Ziguri who, just in case there was any doubt about the matter, helpfully describe themselves here as purveyors of 'trance-rock from Berlin-Kreuzberg'. Alas, YouTube hasn't yet caught up with new album Kolsch-Scirkhert-Erdenreich (these being the surnames of those involved) so below is the mysteriously titled Pyramid Self Help System from 1997.
While we're on this sort of mesmeric t(r)ip, here's the magnificently mechanised groove of Japanese experimentalists Nisennenmondai, whose new album N does one thing - and one thing only - for 39 minutes and 16 seconds. Here is that thing, in its entirety:
An agent's early eye on the first chapters of our novel Fire Behind Glass generates some very encouraging feedback. Key, you won't be surprised to discover, is the soundtrack, which is grounded in late 1980s and early 1990s noise. This kinda thing, basically...
While we're on the subject: St Vincent's serious cover of Big Black's Kerosene comes next: "Lived here my whole life..."
Back in 2007-ish, we caught one of the Jim Jones Revue's earliest gigs - they were supporting Gallon Drunk at Dingwalls. For the next seven years we told everyone who we thought might be slightly interested how enormously great they were. Now they're calling it a day. Stepping into the breach, however, are the amazing The Amazing Snakeheads - a band so violently intense that two thirds of them already appear to have left. Below: how The Birthday Party might have sounded, had they been conceived in contemporary Glasgow...
Do something wrong once and it's a mistake. Do it twice and it's jazz...
This blog enjoys its third encounter in four years with the revivified Swans. We won't haul you through all our baggage again. In 2010 we said this. But perhaps they, and us, have evolved since then.
Some albums are about love. Some are about wild abandon. Some are about despair. (A small picture, there, of how we like to roll round here.) Swans' new album To Be Kind is about all these things. But mostly it's about the forceful power of what, back in the 1970s, music journalists called the groove. Grover Washington Jnr's Masterpiece and Fela Kuti are as much a part of this now as the downtuned sturm und drang. (This exciting-sounding German idiom is something you used to encounter often in the music press. It means 'storm and urge'.)
We catch them in Brixton. Afterwards, unable to really hear anything at all, we loiter around suspiciously and eventually say hello to Michael Gira. Then we go home. (Our affected adoption of the first person plural introduces a degree of ambiguity to that sentence, but you get where we're coming from.) All of which is a lengthy introduction to the link below: a universe, sung in reverse...
Slightly after the event, here's a brief and unhelpfully perfunctory round-up of things we witnessed at DesertFest - home to sludgy, stoner, doom-driven and experimental psychedelia, annually enacted in the sandy dunes of London NW1.
Hey Colossus were kinda new on me. At three in the afternoon, in front of a couple of hundred people at the Camden Underworld, they embark on half an hour of public primal screaming. (To be clear, we mean this very much in the Janovian sense), under which churns a squirming, Melvins-style groove. You could string a whole bunch of words in a line and still fail to convey quite how powerful they are. And because we don't like stringing words in lines unnecessarily, below is the thing (in) itself...
The Cosmic Dead are our other great discovery. Wisely, they sound exactly as you imagine a band called The Cosmic Dead should. Below: 42 minutes of unmapped space travel. If you like that kind of thing, which you will, check out their Bandcamp page for more.