Sunday, December 9, 2012

Another Look Back at the End of the World

Since I have no column in this month's MRR i will put my aborted first paragraph here, and a top five. Sorry for crazy formatting I am no pro, lo pro, no pro.
Number one!

I have been listening to the Weekend '81 Demos on repeat. Weekend were Alison Statton's post Young Marble Giants band, and the LP and EPs are full of very polished lounge pop, somewhat reminiscent in feel of Paul Weller's post Jam band, the Style Council. The Specials also put a lot of lounge stylings on their later records, so it must have been a "thing" in post 1980s English music culture. Easy European influenced sounds meant to invoke a feeling of stylishness and a cosmopolitan post-war ease, but imbued with a post-punk arch distance made more vicious when you consider the brutal reality of life under a Thatcher government. The demo versions of the Weekend songs have an unease and awkwardness that brings them closer to Young Marble Giants work than the "official" versions, making them a perfect soundtrack to a month spent feeling out of sorts and disconnected.

WHY DIDN'T I BUY LUDELLA BLACK LPs and KYRA LPs!!! I have fifty thousand Holly Golightly ones!!! and delmonas and headcoatees. WANNIT!
This was a song i put on mix tapes from the delmonas LP, here is the original tin pan alley version, written by lou reed and john cale!  

THREE! I listen to comet gain a lot at work, have been revisiting this LP, though I much prefer Rachel as a singer, this girl holds no candle to Rachel's majesty! But still so many good songs! and her voice is cool  
FOUR I have been having a power pop moment, but only jams and no kreepy stalker boy power pearl drivel THE SHIVVERSSSSSS!!!!  

FIVE If you click on this you will see a magical video of Francoise Hardy floating thru picadilly circus in the 60s. it's not her best song but let's go back in time and hang out in London in the 60s, read Shena Mackay and imagine distant galaxies and stifled lives all at once

Monday, December 3, 2012

Learn to hate in the eighties

I am sitting on my sofa deflated and dejected, (like the Kinks song or the Lovechild song? You decide! If you have not heard either one I command you to do so immediately! 
Youtube either band name and word sofa and all will be revealed). My skin feels like it’s covered with wire wool, my bones are aching and my brains are dissolving. I cycled home from work last night and while I was stopped at a stop sign, in the pouring rain after an hour long cycle, some upstanding citizen in his seventies felt the need to stop his car and inform me that all cyclists were cocksuckers, myself included. I don’t understand why men think it’s OK to approach lone women after dark, literally when I am by myself commuting home from the night shift at my work, every fucking shadow is a potential attacker. Don’t talk to me or whistle while walking behind me, or catch my eye. Get the fuck away from me and let me go home without having to negotiate your potentially threatening presence. I imagined this shitty old man calling his grand daughter a cocksucker as she rode around on his front lawn on her bike with training wheels. I imagined him being one of those leaden republican trolls that have made the comments section on any news website unreadable with their bile and hate and rage. I imagined him driving into the concrete posts of the bridge I had just passed under as I bombed down the hill as fast as I could to get away from his shitty Giants baseball cap and Archie Bunker persona. I thought about my grandparents, both from Kentucky, both so kind and generous and sweet to strangers and friends alike. Two people who probably never called anyone a cocksucker in their lives, and wondered to myself what could have happened to this toxic human, probably considered to be part of the “greatest generation,” that made him think it was OK to call a lone woman commuter a cocksucker!? The internet has quickly made the most vile thoughts part of the national discourse, people’s bodies and politics are dissected by lizard like minds who haven’t read a book since some teacher made them do so in high school, if then. Being an ignorant hateful troll is considered real American home-spun apple-pie authentic; people who would have known previously to hide their secret hatreds let them ooze out into the public sphere, goaded by talk radio hosts and Palin like politicians.

I am sitting on the sofa listening to my favorite Francoise Hardy LP and drinking my second cup of coffee, gearing myself up for the cycle into work past oblivious blonde ladies driving Mercedes SUVs whilst screaming at the hired help on smart phones whilst simultaneously doing all they can to obliterate me and my bike with their tank like vehicles. Past guys with Euro-stubble in convertibles with “I Ride with Romney/Ryan” bumper stickers emblazoned proudly on the back blasting terrible Ibiza house jams. This is San Francisco! My bike ride takes me through the worst part of the city, inhabited by people whose biggest struggle is picking which brunch place to line up outside each week. Most of the time I see through them, and just charge up and down the hills towards my work, a bastion of radical thought and literature in a sea of gross dudes puking on their pleat fronted chinos as they veer from strip joint to strip joint. I have understandably never really hung out in this part of the city before, it’s constructed for the entertainment of oblivious yuppies and the hills above it are inhabited by the 1%. People who pay more in taxes in one year than I will make in ten years! Well, that’s if the tax cuts for the rich do not continue! It’s pretty insane when you hear about someone who will have to pay $130,000 in taxes on their income this year if the tax cuts stop. No wonder that jerk in the convertible rides with Romney. There is another half of this city where kids graduate from high school without being to write a sentence, where women work three or four jobs to make rent as boho youthful yuppies cycle past on $2000 fixed gear bicycles, farm to fork brunch-ward bound.
Anyway I am full of bile today, but here are some things that make life less hateful.
1) Finding a stash of old Flamin Groovies Filmore posters at my work, cool Monty Python meets Art Deco stylings.

2) Reading the book The Manuscript Found at Saragasso, I saw the movie, an amazing Polish psychedelic disturbance created in the 60s, but was intimidated by the book for some reason. I thought it was gonna be Don Quixote style work, but it isn’t. It’s a total pleasure to read, like Italo Calvino rewrote Chaucer. A million stories piled on top of each other and somehow though the book is as thick as Moby Dick you can’t put it down. Endless adventure!

3) The amazing Finnish band the Splits sent me their LP! It’s on P Trash and it rules so hard! They remind me of the Testors, the Dictators, but are all girl, and I think I already wrote this in my review of their 7” a few issues back, but they named themselves the Splits because they loved the Slits and the Splits equally. So rad.
4) Diane of Livid/Opt Out/Brilliant Colors fame joined my favorite local band, Index! Index is the best and they have a tape you should send out for OK? I am reviewing it next issue, but it’s so so so good! For people that love Sham 69 as much as they love the Kleenex 7”!!
5) Bona Dish! An amazing mostly girl band from the early ’80s who only had two tapes, both of which you can download if you can use an internet search engine or listen to on YouTube, total strange bedroom post punk constructions that are dark and poppy in a primitive compulsive fashion. They have a Facebook page with lots of links for you to check out!
That’s all the positivity I have mental capacity for this month.
Layla (at)