28/08/2014

CHUCK CLOSE

Title: Self-Portrait (1997) 
Chuck Close's work is most often associated in the popular mind with his own likeness. Although it has been chosen by the artist largely for the sake of convenience, Close's self portraits provide an interesting arena for gauging the development of his thought and work over four decades.

The insouciant stare of the young man in Big Self-Portrait makes a striking counterpart to the stolid, knowing gaze of the older Close as represented in this self-portrait of 1997. Indeed, the comparison illustrates the evolution from fledgling artist to international icon.

Compared to the earlier work, the 1990s Self-Portrait also shows how abstraction has come to play a more prominent role in Closes's portraits. Each of the individual units of the grid is a miniature abstract painting unto itself, comprising a panoply of colors and shapes that seem to have jumped directly to the canvas from the artist's palette.

 Close suffered a devastating spinal infection in 1988 that left him a quadriplegic. Since then he has developed an extraordinary technique using a complex grid-based reconstruction of the photographs that he works from - typically portraits of himself, his family and friends - to create really large-scale works. He has also been creating photographic montages on enormous sheets of Polaroid paper amongst many other techniques.

 Charles Thomas (Chuck) Close was born in Monroe, Washington in 1940. He graduated from the University of Washington in 1962 and from Yale in 1964. He was the 1997 UW Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus - the highest university honor for one of its graduates. Close's work is included in the collections of numerous museums, including the National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Guggenheim Museum (New York), and the Tate Gallery (London). The New York Museum of Modern Art held a special exhibit of Close's paintings and prints in 1998; the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York held an exhibit on Close's prints in 2004.

EDWARD HOPPER

Night Windows 1928 Hopper (born Nyack, New York 1882) is the best-known American realist of the inter-war period, once said: 'The man's the work. Something doesn't come out of nothing.' This offers a clue to interpreting the work of an artist who was not only intensely private, but who made solitude and introspection important themes in his painting. By 1899 he had already decided to become an artist, but his parents persuaded him to begin by studying commercial illustration because this seemed to offer a more secure future. Later, at the New York School of Art, he studied under Robert Henri, one of the fathers of American Realism - a man whom he later described as 'the most influential teacher I had'. In 1906 he followed the fashion to study in Paris but was later to claim that it had little effect on him - he hadn’t even heard of Picasso while there for instance. He visited Europe on two more occasions – in 1909 and 1910 – then never went to Europe again. Hopper had settled in Greenwich Village, which was to be his base for the rest of his life, and in 1923 he renewed his friendship with a neighbour, Jo Nivison, whom he had known when they were fellow students under Henri. She was now forty and Hopper fortytwo. In the following year they married. Their long and complex relationship was to be the most important of the artist's life. From the time of his marriage, Hopper's professional fortunes changed. His second solo show, at the Rehn Gallery in New York in 1924, was a sell-out. The following year, he painted what is now generally acknowledged to be his first fully mature picture, The House by the Railroad. With its deliberate, disciplined spareness, this is typical of what he was to create thereafter.

GRATEFUL DEAD - JEFFERSON AIRPLANE - HERB GREENE

May 20-21 1966 Artists James Gardner & Herb Greene. Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead at Fillmore Auditorium, SF © 1966 Bill Graham © James Gardner & Herb Greene

06/07/2014

HOLLY TERROR - ANDY WARHOL - BOB COLACELLO

                 Bob Colacello's "Holy Terror" Re-Released



Bob Colacello, the editor of Warhol’s Interview magazine, spent that decade by Andy Warhol's side as employee, collaborator, wingman, and confidante. In the rerelease of Holy Terror, Colacello brings us into Andy's world: into the Factory office, into Studio 54, into wild celebrity-studded parties, and into the early-morning phone calls where the mysterious artist was at his most honest and vulnerable. Colacello gives us, as no one else can, a riveting portrait of this extraordinary man: brilliant, controlling, shy, insecure, and immeasurably influential. When Holy Terror was first published in 1990, it was hailed as the best of the Warhol accounts. Now, some two decades later, this portrayal retains its hold on readers—as does Andy’s timeless power to fascinate, galvanize, and move us. Holy Terror: Andy Warhol Close Up, An Insider's Portrait by Bob Colacello Vintage Publications, introduction by Bob Colacello

R.I.P. ANNIK HONORÉ

Annik Honoré, the inspiration for "Love Will Tear Us Apart", dies aged 56. 

Annick Honoré / Joy Division - "A verdade atinge todo mundo". 

Annik Honoré, a promotora musical belga e jornalista, morreu aos 56 anos. Honoré era mais conhecida pelo seu relacionamento com Ian Curtis, que conheceu em Londres, 1979.

Nascida em 12 de outubro de 1957, na Bélgica, Honoré mudou-se para Londres em 1979, onde se tornou secretária na Embaixada da Bélgica.

Mais tarde nesse ano, Honoré e o jornalista Michel Duval começam a promover shows no Plano K, em Bruxelas. os Joy Division tocaram na noite de abertura do clube no dia 16 de outubro.

 Em 1980, Honoré e Duval fundaram a Factory Records, marca Factory Benelux, bem como o selo musical independente belga Les Disques du Crépuscule.

 Les Disques du Crépuscule lançaram registos de Michael Nyman, Josef K, Cabaret Voltaire, Gavin Bryars, The Pale Fountains, e a cassete, From Brussels With Love, que incluía contribuições de John Foxx, Thomas Dolby, Bill Nelson, Brian Eno e Durutti Column.

Honoré deixou o mundo da música na década de 1980 e trabalhou para a União Europeia, em Bruxelas.

 Falando sobre seu relacionamento com Ian Curtis, em 2010 Honoré disse: "Era uma relação completamente pura e platônica, muito infantil, muito casta ... eu não tive uma relação sexual com Ian, ele estava a usar medicação, tornou-se num relacionamento não-físico, estou tão farta que as pessoas questionem a minha palavra ou a sua: as pessoas podem dizer o que quiserem, mas eu sou a única pessoa a ter as suas cartas ... Uma das suas cartas diz que o relacionamento com a sua esposa Deborah já tinha terminado antes de nos conhecermos uns aos outros. "
Ian e Deborah Curtis separaram-se antes de ele cometer suicídio. numa série de entrevistas a proposito do filme, "Control". falou sobre o relacionamento do casal dizendo "durante o meu casamento eu estava completamente alienada dos meus amigos e da minha família".

 Os dois casaram-se em 1975, quando Deborah tinha 18 anos e Ian 19. Quatro anos mais tarde uma menina Natalie Curtis, nasceu, justamente quando os Joy Division se separaram.

O sucesso não foi bem-vindo, o casal tinha problemas de dinheiro, e a combinação da vida de um artista pop, a epilepsia de Ian, o seu temperamento e as depressões não aliviaram uma união estável.

No mesmo ano, quando a sua filha nasceu Ian começou uma relação com Annik Honoré, uma jovem trabalhadora na Embaixada da Bélgica.

 We're looking to give the world a truthful view of who Ian really was ... Given his suicide, there's so much concentration on the dark side of his life. We want to also concentrate on the energy that made people love Ian and Joy Division in the first place, while putting difficult elements such as his epilepsy into perspective. It will be a balanced approach - this isn't the rock and roll Shine."

 Honoré morreu a 3 de julho, de 2014, depois de uma doença grave.
Ian Curtis morreu a 18 de maio, de 1980, aos 23 anos.

28/06/2014

R.I.P. HORACE SILVER

Morreu o pianista de jazz e pioneiro de 'hard bop'. Horace Silver, a morte de um mestre do ritmo, de um ícone do jazz, 1928-2014.

 O pianista e compositor de jazz Horace Silver, pioneiro do "hard bop" na década de 1950, faleceu na quarta-feira, 19 junho, 2014, aos 85 anos, anunciou a NPR, a Rádio Nacional Pública americana, em sua página on-line, citando o filho do músico.

 Nascido em Connecticut (nordeste dos EUA), Horace Ward Martine Tavares Silva era de uma família originária do Cabo Verde e, desde a infância, foi influenciado pela "folk music" das ilhas da costa do Senegal. Horace Silver começou tocando sax tenor e, em seguida, passou para o piano, acompanhando o saxofonista Stan Getz em sua turnê. Depois, instalou-se em Nova York, onde trabalhou por 25 anos para o selo Blue Note.

Seu primeiro álbum, "Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers", é considerado a pedra angular do "hard bop", que se inspira no R&B;, no gospel e no blues, em oposição ao "cool jazz", o jazz "dos brancos".

 Começou por ser saxofonista no Connecticut natal, mas seria já depois de trocar o saxofone pelo piano e Connecticut por Nova Iorque que Horace Silver começou a destacar-se e a iniciar um percurso que o preservou como um dos fundadores do hard bop e um músico que, pela elegância e simplicidade melódica e pela dinâmica cativante do ritmo, se tornaria uma referência no final da década de 1950 e na seguinte.

 Nascido Horace Ward Martin Tavares Silva a 2 de Setembro de 1928, Silver tocou com gigantes como Stan Getz, o primeiro a reconhecer-lhe o talento, Miles Davis ou Lester Young. Fundou os muito influentes Jazz Messengers com Art Blakey, e ajudou a revelar talentos como o saxofonista Joe Henderson, o trompetista Art Farmer ou o baterista Billy Cobham.

 Filho de um cabo-verdiano imigrado nos Estados Unidos, John Tavares Silva, operário numa fábrica de borracha e multi-instrumentista (violino, mandolim) que seria influência musical marcante (o clássico Song for my father inspira-se nas tardes passadas a ouvir o pai e o tio tocarem mornas e coladeras), o pianista morreu de causas naturais esta quarta-feira na sua casa em New Rochelle, Nova Iorque, adiantou o seu único filho, Gregory, à NPR. Horace Silver tinha 85 anos. “Pessoalmente, não acredito em política, ódio ou fúria na minha composição musical. A música deve levar felicidade e alegria às pessoas e fazê-las esquecer os seus problemas”, escreveu no texto de acompanhamento de Serenade to a Soul Sister, álbum editado em 1968.

 Na década seguinte, iríamos encontrá-lo a procurar dar voz a essa necessidade, quando gravou uma série de três álbuns conhecida como The United States of Mind, os primeiros em que trabalhou de forma continuada com a voz, incluindo a sua, e que reflectiam um desejo de autodescoberta espiritual através da música.

 Os discos, editados entre 1970 e 1972, não foram consensuais, quer junto da crítica, quer junto daqueles que acompanhavam há muito a sua música. Reflectiam o seu desejo de mudança num mundo que, também ele, mudava rapidamente. Porém, Horace Silver é celebrado como um dos grandes nomes do jazz pelo que fizera antes.

Outras mudanças: é um dos nomes fundadores do hard-bop, ramificação do revolucionário bebop que, apropriando-se do rhythm’n’blues ou do gospel, colocava a ênfase no ritmo e numa maior simplicidade harmónica. Foi neste período que criou alguns dos seus temas mais famosos, como Filthy McNasty, The Preacher, Sister Sadie, a latina Señor blues ou a supracitada Song for my father. Começava a fazer o seu nome enquanto pianista no circuito local quando, aos 22 anos, Stan Getz ouve o seu trio no clube Sundown, em Hartford.

Trabalharia com o saxofonista durante cerca de um ano, antes de se mudar para Nova Iorque, onde não tardaria a tornar-se músico requisitado pela fervilhante comunidade jazz da cidade, trabalhando com Coleman Hawkins ou Lester Young. Em 1953, fundava com o baterista Art Blakey os Jazz Messengers que, com a sua formação de trompete, saxofone tenor, piano, contrabaixo e bateria, viriam a ser o standard para a instrumentação hard-bop, escrevia ontem Peter Keepnews no obituário publicado pelo New York Times. Keepnews destaca o estilo peculiar de Silver: “Improvisando com destreza motivos engenhosos com a sua mão direita enquanto atacava sonoras linhas de baixo com a esquerda, conseguia evocar simultaneamente pianistas de boogie-woogie como Meade Lux e beboppers como Bud Powell.

Porém, ao contrário de muitos pianistas bebop, Silver enfatizava a simplicidade melódica sobre a complexidade harmónica”. Horace Silver manter-se-ia com os Jazz Messengers durante dois anos e meio, antes de formar o seu quinteto, inicialmente composto pela mesma formação dos Messengers, com excepção de Art Blakey, substituído pelo então muito jovem Louis Hayes.

 Seria enquanto líder que gravaria álbuns como 6 Pieces of Silver (1956), Blowin’ the blues away (1959), Song for my father (1965) ou The Cape Verdean Blues (1965), todos eles editados pela Blue Note, a mítica casa discográfica à qual esteve ligado entre 1955 e 1980.

 Um dos nomes mais célebres do jazz em palco e em disco durante a década de 1960, com o groove do seu hard-bop a servir como banda-sonora perfeita para o período (influência transversal: os Steely Dan criaram o seu maior sucesso, Rikki, dont’t lose that number, sobre a linha de baixo de Song for my father), Horace Silver manter-se-ia bastante activo em palco e em estúdio nas décadas que se seguiram.

No início dos anos 1980, fundou a Silveto, editora de vida curta, antes de prosseguir carreira com álbuns para a Impulse!, Verve ou Columbia.

R.I.P BOBBY WOMACK

Morreu o cantor e compositor Bobby Womack.Tinha 70 anos. Calou-se a voz do "soul". Bobby Womack, escreveu letras para alguns dos maiores músicos do século XX. Womack nasceu em Cleveland, no Ohio. Iniciou a carreira na década de 50. Cresceu com o gospel e tornou-se uma referência do R&B e de nomes como Jimi Hendrix. A droga e os problemas de saúde acabaram, no entanto, por afastar o artista dos palcos. O norte-americano sofria de Alzheimer. Em 2012 foi-lhe, também, diagnosticado um cancro no cólon. Nesse mesmo ano, e depois de uma longa ausência regressou ao trabalho com o álbum intitulado “The Bravest Man in the Universe” pelas mãos de Richard Russell – patrão da editora XL Recordings. Para este verão, Womack tinha agendada uma digressão pela Europa. O músico iniciou a carreira ao lado dos irmãos no quinteto The Valentinos e colaborou com nomes célebres da música como Aretha Franklin e Ray Charles. A luta contra as drogas e problemas de saúde também marcou a sua vida. O cantor e compositor de "soul" Bobby Womack morreu, na sexta-feira, aos 70 anos de idade, anunciou a revista Rolling Stone, que cita um representante da editora do músico, a XL Recordings. Responsável por sucessos como "It's All Over Now" e "Looking for Love", Womack começou a sua carreira ao lado dos irmãos no quinteto de gospel The Valentinos, no início da década de 1960. Natural de Cleveland, Ohio e filho de músicos, Womack explicou, numa entrevista à BBC, que a primeira guitarra que teve era mais bonita do que todos os móveis da sua casa. «Se alguma vez tocares na guitarra vais ter de te haver comigo», foram as palavras que ouviu do pai, que tinha recebido a guitarra em troca de cortar o cabelo a um cliente durante alguns meses. Para além das colaborações com Aretha Franklin e Ray Charles, entre muitos outros, a carreira do génio do "soul" ficou marcada também por uma luta de vários anos contra a droga, contra um cancro do cólon e a doença de Alzheimer.

VILHS - ALEXANDRE FARTO

O artista Alexandre Farto, que assina como Vhils, “tenta questionar a cidade”, através da revisitação de trabalhos mais antigos e de outros “completamente novos”, na mostra “Dissecação”, patente a partir de 05 de julho, no Museu da Eletricidade, em Lisboa.

 Em “Dissecação/Dissection”, Alexandre Farto, de 27 anos, conseguiu juntar obras nas quais utiliza diferentes técnicas, que “fazem uma reflexão sobre o próprio conceito do trabalho, que tenta questionar a cidade, num ato quase de dissecação”, disse em declarações à agência Lusa.

 Este artista português começou por pintar paredes com "graffitis", aos 13 anos, mas foi a escavá-las com retratos que captou a atenção do mundo. A técnica consiste em criar imagens, em paredes ou murais, através da remoção de camadas de materiais de construção, criando uma imagem em negativo.
Na exposição será possível ver-se, através de ecrãs de televisão, imagens de projetos que Alexandre Farto desenvolveu em países como a China (em Xangai) e o Brasil (no Morro da Providência, Rio de Janeiro) recorrendo à técnica da "escavação" de retratos na parede, mas não só. Além dos muros, fazem parte do percurso de Vhils retratos feitos com cartazes sobrepostos (retirados de muros de cidades), em madeira, em esferovite ou outros "pintados" com o recurso a ácidos. Vhils pretende que se faça uma “reflexão sobre a cidade, a maneira como está a crescer e a maneira como afeta a sociedade em geral”. “[Haver] 50% da população mundial a viver em centros urbanos, é algo que nos afeta a todos".

Por isso procura "refletir sobre aquilo que ganhámos em nome do conforto que se conseguiu dar a um grande grupo da população mundial e, ao mesmo tempo, também sobre aquilo que se está a perder em nome do conforto”, afirmou. A mostra começa e termina com peças “completamente novas”. Numa delas, Alexandre Farto faz a dissecação de uma carruagem de metro, “comprada a peso num ferro velho”. Na outra, criou uma cidade em esferovite.

Esta peça só consegue ser apreciada do alto de uma espécie de andaime, montado no local. Para quem não conseguir subir à estrutura, haverá ecrãs que emitem o sinal de uma série de câmaras, "aludindo à videovigilância", apontadas para a peça. Esta vai ser a primeira exposição individual de Alexandre Farto num museu português. “Finalmente tenho uma oportunidade de mostrar um trabalho num contexto completamente diferente.
E finalmente aqui conseguiu juntar-se esses grupos de trabalho todos [já desenvolvidos]", disse.

 Apesar de o trabalho artístico de Alexandre Farto ter começado nas ruas, o artista lembra que sempre fez “trabalho 'indoor' [dentro de portas]”. “Sem dúvida que o 'background' e o que me influenciou a fazer aquilo que eu faço vem tudo muito da rua, e é uma das coisas a que dou mais valor no meu trabalho”, referiu.

Talvez por isso, a exposição não se confina apenas ao interior do Museu. “A ideia era que a exposição se abrisse à cidade, daí terem sido feitas intervenções em Alcântara [onde surgiu um rosto em grandes dimensões numa parede] e no silo [onde está uma série de rostos], aqui”, no museu. Aos 27 anos, Alexandre Farto tem o seu trabalho reconhecido a nível nacional, mas sobretudo a nível internacional. No entanto, esse “não foi o principal motivo” que o moveu ao longo da carreira. “A ideia sempre foi tocar nestes assuntos que sempre me preocuparam se alguma maneira. As paredes foram aparecendo e fui fazendo alguns projetos por iniciativa própria. E isso é positivo para o trabalho também”, disse.

“Dissecação/Dissection” estará patente de 05 de julho a 05 de outubro, e tem entrada gratuita. O processo de preparação da mostra pode ser acompanhado em www.vhilsfundacaoedp.com. No dia 04 de julho, data da inauguração da exposição, haverá uma festa na discoteca Lux, que conta com a atuação do rapper Chullage, do grupo Orelha Negra, em versão DJ set e com um convidado surpresa.

 Ainda no âmbito da exposição, ao longo do mês de julho, vai decorrer um "workshop" dirigido a jovens, que tem uma parte mais ligada ao hip-hop, da responsabilidade do rapper Chullage e dos 12 Macacos, e “uma outra parte mais prática, em que se vai trabalhar mais o material: stencil e serigrafia”, adiantou Vhils.

MAURIZIO BIANCHI

As one of the early pioneers in the industrial and noise fields, Bianchi never quite attained the same status as Whitehouse, Throbbing Gristle, or SPK. This might be because of his relatively short career: beginning as Sacher-Pelz in 1979 and continuing on under his own name until 1984, his time on the scene was brief, but prolific.

This reissue of one of his classic albums is augmented both with bonus tracks and a second disc of obscure/bootlegged tracks that showcase one of the bleakest, most desolate musicians of his time. The two side-long tracks that make up the bulk of the original LP have an overall consistent sound of dank , low register synthetic pulses occasionally overrun by static-y, stuttering outbursts. “Fetish Pinksha” moves along at a snail’s pace, the outbursts never taking hold over the otherwise slow, filmic sound. “Sterile Regles” incorporates a shifting, lugubrious, low-tech drum machine pattern with pieces of tremolo heavy feedback resembling a proto-industrial funeral march. Synth elements that now characterize the dark ambient genre, along with squealing bits of feedback, give the sound an overall more frightening quality.

 The two bonus tracks on this disc stem from compilation appearances around the same time span. “Placenta” has a more open, ambient science-fiction sound rather than the dark, gray ambience of the rest of the disc, while “Untitled” opens with the thumping, filtered, white noise that would soon become synonymous with the power electronics genre. It should be noted that the contents of this disc (including the mastering) are essentially identical to the release EEs’T put out some ten years ago. The second disc, originally a Japanese bootleg titled Genocide of the Menses, collects previously rare bootleg tracks onto a single disc. “Zyclombie” is another track of deep pulsing synths and sci-fi type oscillator sounds that originally appeared on the Japanese bootleg LP, Leibstandarte SS MB 2. It sounds surprisingly good given its raw sources. The two-part title track originally appeared as a limited-to-50-copies acetate 7” and is more in line with the Mectpyo Bakterium album: dour minor synth chords and static heavy noise elements that never overpower, but serve as a nice counterpoint to the depressive sounds.

 The second part’s dive-bomb synths and overdriven low frequency elements are an obvious precursor to the likes of today’s Genocide Organ and Anenzephalia and other such folks. The final four tracks originally surfaced on the bootleg M. B. Anthology 1981-1984 and show more of the variation of styles Bianchi employed throughout his career. “Neuro Habitat” is twelve minutes of what sounds like a silent film score organ augmented with a slow, primitive drum machine pulse. “Humus Nucleaire” features the same sort of rhythm track, but the synths have a lighter, more airy feeling to them, even though it doesn’t last.

 The raw electronics and beat boxes sound like a more lo-fi, slightly darker take on early Cabaret Voltaire. While many of his peers relished the anger and violence that could be created using the early electronic instruments, Bianchi was content to paint a bleak canvas of gray sounds that are more depressing than malicious. Never moping or self-loathing, it is instead a dark, cold style that, after some 26 years, has obviously influenced a multitude of modern artists working at the extremes of sonic art.
 Creaig Dunton

 The new German groups like Der Plan, DAF (Görl, one of those drummers…), Palais Schaumburg, Din-A-Testbild it was an older friend who introduced me to everything industrial. TG, Lustmord, NWW, later incarnations like Psychic TV et all, it was this LP from ‘82 that proved to last after rediscovering.

GRUPPO DI IMPROVVISAZIONE NUOVA CONSONANZA


Gruppo Di Improvvisazione was Ennio Morricone's jazz/avant-garde/classical group throughout the 60s and early 70s. The group's style changed in the early 70s from Stockhausen-esque possessive soundscapes to dry drum breaks with screaching trumpets and guitars. "The feed-back" is considered highly as an Italian avant-garde classic.

 'The feedback' showcases Ennio Morricone sounding off a flat trumpet that fits perfectly with the cold and cacophonous intermingling of instruments. "Seguita" is from 'Gli Occhi Freddi Della Paura' (Cold Eyes of Fear) a dramatic action movie Morricone soundtracked in 1971. The song spawns images of tall, dark men in black suits running through damp streets and narrow alleys. I haven't seen the movie so perhaps my mental image isn't too far from Morricone's theatrical intention.

 CD edition. Long-awaited reissue of this incredible and near-mythical 1970 album, remastered from the original master tapes with superior sound quality, replica of the original RCA LP (in gatefold digipack with additional liner notes) in a limited edition of 500 copies. An insane amalgam of avant-improvisation and motorik krautrock beats that, understandably, has become one of the most collectable LPs ever issued (original copies are impossible to obtain).

 Just as the first "krautrock" lp's were coming out in Germany, in Italy we had a surprisingly similar counterpart: this album. It consists of three long instrumental tracks, somewhere in between psych-rock, avantgarde jazz and funky jams. The sound is definitely experimental and ostentatiously "underground". None of the instruments involved tries to be reassuring: the guitar is scratchy, the trumpet sounds choked, piano and keyboards are always dissonant and a background of "proto-industrial" noises is present all along the record.

The music, anyway, is thrilling. The drum patterns, in particular, are extraordinary: regular, tight, groovy, and incredibly close to the "motorik" beat of Can and Neu!...Mystical, spaced-out free music at its best "The Group" was not a band of young beatniks. As a matter of fact, it's just a pseudonym for Gruppo d'Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, a project of renown soundtrack composer Ennio Morricone along with other important experimental musicians. The rock-focused attitude of the record is quite surprising for such a team of classically-trained men already in their forties!

DARREN COFFIELD - SEX ART MONEY

Darren Coffield and Graham Bignell - Factual Nonsense – Sex Art Money
Compston’s public work, such as the Fete, in many ways foreshadowed some of the recent public artworks by Jeremy Deller, yet aside from the public events, the book also highlights Compston’s more conventional artworks. Coffield praises Joshua’s ‘Other Men’s Flowers’ collection as “one of the most underrated and overlooked artworks of the last twenty years.”

 Coffield notes that he and Compston were interested in printed ephemera and says that the two of them would attend ephemera fairs at the Victory Services club near Marble Arch, with Joshua going on to recycle the purchased turn of the century paper curios by sending people letters scrawled on the back of “old ocean liner menus, Edwardian cheques and pre-war public health posters.”

Compston’s ‘Other Men’s Flowers’ project saw him recruit a number of leading British artists, old and new, to produce a series of prints, inspired by ephemera and based on old texts, so Mat Collishaw recreated a page from Lady Chatterley’s Lover, for example, while Henry Bond contributed a description of Monaco.

THE TRIFFIDS


Wary of high expectations, the Sydney Festival 4 night event was billed as a “rehearsal”, but there was heaps of fan anticipation when the original members of The Triffids, and a host of friends, took the stage to celebrate the words, songs & life of David McComb, principal songwriter & frontman of the band (who died in Feb ’99). It was, after all, the band’s first Australian performance in 18 years…

 Wary of high expectations, the Sydney Festival 4 night event was billed as a “rehearsal”, but there was heaps of fan anticipation when the original members of The Triffids, and a host of friends, took the stage to celebrate the words, songs & life of David McComb, principal songwriter & frontman of the band (who died in Feb ’99).

 It was, after all, the band’s first Australian performance in 18 years, And what a wealth of songs David wrote for The Triffids, The Blackeyed Susans, The Red Ponies, Costar and for others to sing. Hell, he & Alsy & an ever shifting line-up of friends self released 9 cassettes of material and a handful of singles even before the first Triffids album proper, “Treeless Plain”, came out in ’83. Songs just seemed to pour out of the man.

 The UK’s NME declared 1985 the year of The Triffids, but it may be that 2008 is much more deserving of that accolade: In January, Tornado Alley Productions commenced filming a documentary on McComb. Sometime this year is expected the release of a biography on him & The Triffids by NME’s Bleddyn Butcher.

And the exquisitely produced deluxe re-issues of the Triffids’ albums & singles have been released by Domino Records worldwide (and by Liberation Records in the Antipodes). And then there was this grand 3 hour event back at the Sydney Festival, with the band joined by members of The Blackeyed Susans & others (a stand out being Steve Kilbey of The Church whose vocal performance on a handful of songs was breathtaking).

 If you weren’t lucky enough to be in the audience, I believe footage from the 4 nights will be included in the documentary. In the meantime, you can listen here to 6 songs from the first night, each of which were originally on arguably the band’s greatest release, Born Sandy Devotional. Even tho recorded in London, the album is so evocative of Australia. At the time of its release, it was my soundtrack (along with the ‘tweens Liberty Belle) on my monthly “country-run” from Wagga Wagga, Albury, Bendigo, Ballarat & back to Melbourne, and the songs to this day evoke for me Australia’s horizon, wherever I am. R.I.P. David, long live the Triffids.


The Triffids & Friends: Metro Theatre, Sydney “A Secret In The Shape Of A Song” Jan 17, 2008 The Seabirds (vocals by Mick Harvey)
Tarrilup Bridge (vocals by Jill Birt)
Wide Open Road (vocals by Steve Kilbey)
Life Of Crime (vocals by Mark Snarski)
Personal Things (vocals by Toby Martin)
 Stolen Property (vocals by Steve Kilbey)
 photo courtesey of Jamie Williams

THE REPLACEMENTS - ALEX CHILTON


THE RESIDENTS




Residue Deux - Collected unreleased songs from 1972- 1983 LPx2 (2014) Residue Of The Residents collects outtakes, rare tracks and other experiments from this legendary San Francisco collective. Originally released on Ralph Records in 1983 and spanning The Residents' career up to that point, this first-time vinyl reissue has been expanded to a double LP and contains 26 songs from the late '70s and early '80s – the group's most fertile period. Highlights from the first LP include the Morricone-inspired "The Sleeper," the dreamlike "Whoopy Snorp" (initially on the LAFMS compilation Blorp Esette), the intense collage piece "Kamikaze Lady" from the pre-Residents 1971 Baby Sex tapes, and the RAO Studio Orchestra version of "Ups & Downs" (which may be the group's finest pop moment). The second LP features many insider favorites that have not been available on vinyl for decades: "Loser ≅ Weed" (initially released as the B-side to the Satisfaction single), "Death In Barstow" and "Melon Collie Lassie" (from the Babyfingers EP), as well as The Residents' contributions to the great Subterranean Modern compilation. Balancing the group's conceptual impulses with a dark palette of electro-esotericism, Residue Of The Residents is an intoxicating collection that serves as an ideal starting point for the uninitiated.

ADVENTURE CLUB SESSIONS

WAREHOUSE FIND 
ADVENTURE CLUB SESSIONSSUPER LIMITED EDITION


It was thought that these CDs were all gone (and indeed they should have been) until a few boxes turned up at my distributors warehouse. Only 4,000 were ever pressed up, so this is a very limited edition, and considering who's on the record, this has become the most sought after Reel George CD ever. In some circles, this has been changing hands for up to $30 in the US and ever more overseas. Why? Look over the lineup of tracks.
  • Ocean Colour Scene.........Alibis
  • Frank Black.....................Old Black Dawning
  • Jellyfish.........................The King Is Half Undressed *
  • Catherine Wheel...............Don't Want To Know If You Are Lonely
  • James.............................Lose Control
  • Cranberries.....................Linger
  • House Of Love..................Crush Me
  • Blur.................................Miss America
  • His Name Is Alive.............Baby Fish Mouth
  • Frazier Chorus.................Cloud Eight
  • Lilac Time........................Too Sooner Late Than Better
  • Trash Can Sinatras...........The Safecracker
  • James..............................Maria's Party
  • Frank Black......................Czar
  • XTC..................................Blue Beret
  • Lemonheads......................It's About Time
  • Lilac Time.........................Raspberry Beret/Kiss Me
  • Suede...............................My Insatiable One
  • Posies..............................Will I Ever Ease Your Mind *

PUNK DIARY 1970-1982

The publication of Punk Diary 1970-'79 and it's follow up Post-Punk Diary 1980-'82 set a new high water mark in formation about the underground rock movement in both the UK and US. Both of the books went out of print in the last few years and after repeated requests, they've been retooled, refurbished and put back into print! This new book takes BOTH of the original volumes and combines them into one massive book, 750+ pages long, completely indexed, with improved pictures, and with over 700 new entries and discoveries. Did you know that Devo first played in public in 1973? How about Oingo Boingo's debut single in 1976? A towering stack of records, newspapers, biographies and interview tapes has been distilled into the definitive volume of the times.

LAURIE ANDERSON

World Trade Center On the records
LAURIE ANDERSON Nice walk along the waterfront with similar view to Leo Sayer LP

DR. JOHN


DR. JOHN
Strange hybrid of NYC meets Los Angeles in wax!
World Trade Center On the records

ALLAN HOLDSWORTH

World Trade Center On the records

JAPAN - BIO

Japan in 1978. Mick Karn, Rob Dean, David Sylvian, Richard Barbieri and Steve Jansen.

Em setembro de 1969 David Batt começou na Escola Secundária Catford e foi colocado na mesma classe com Anthony Michelides e Richard Barbieri. Richard sentou-se à frente da classe e era trabalhador; Anthony (ou Mick como ele era conhecido por colegas de classe) era o palhaço da turma e David era o solitário tranquilo sentado na parte de trás. 

David e Mick logo se tornaram amigos. Mick se acalmou um pouco e David ganhou mais confiança através de sua amizade. David introduziu Mick ao seu irmão Steve, que era um par de anos mais novo na escola. O pai de David e Steve era um construtor, a sua mãe dona de casa. Eles também tinham uma irmã mais velha, Linda. 

David herdou a sua aparência de sua mãe, enquanto que Steve do pai. Música e ficção científica eram os seus principais interesses (apelido assumido de Mick Karn pode ter sido inspirado por uma história de Dr Who "O Cérebro de Morbius", com o muito glamour "Sisterhood Of Karn"). Como de David e Steve irmã era alguns anos mais velhos, cresceram ouvindo  o seu Tamla Motown e outros artistas negros, como Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye e The Jackson 5. Mais tarde, eles descobriram Bowie, Velvet Underground, New York Dolls e Roxy Music. 

David também ficou fascinado com Andy Warhol e toda a cena pré-punk de Nova York. É interessante que, em 1975, os Japan foram ver Roxy tocar ao vivo, e do grupo de apoio foi o Sadistic Mika Band, com o seu futuro amigo Yukihiro Takahashi na bateria. 

Richard Barbieri, embora compartilhando o seu interesse em Bowie e Roxy, também era um fã de hard rock e progressivo, como Hawkwind, Led Zeppelin e ELO. Ele também tinha um grande interesse em futebol e tênis, e no momento em que tinha o seu próprio grupo de amigos fora da escola. A idéia de formar uma banda surgiu entre David, Steve e Mick como algo para fazer fora do horário escolar, uma vez que não tinha o interesse em desportos, Rich tinha. 

Natal 1973, David e Steve tem uma guitarra e uma bateria pequena como presentes. Mick era para ser o vocalista, mas também tinha outros compromissosmusicais: 

Mick Karn: "Algo de um mito cresceu Aos biogs sempre digo que eu sou um multi-instrumentista e que eu tinha um fundo na música clássica sim, eu estava no LSSO como fagotista, mas eu nunca fui realmente... de formação clássica. Eles tentaram-me treinar, mas realmente nunca funcionou. Quando adolescente, eu sempre quis tocar um instrumento. observei que outras pessoas pareciam se divertir, e eu queria encontrar o que me faria sentir o mesmo. Tentei o órgão de boca, o violino. tive azar em minhas escolhas. eu era lento na leitura de música e confiei em tocar música de ouvido. a mesma coisa aconteceu com o fagote.que eu estava tocando para seis meses e houve uma audição para a LSSO  a minha escola mandou-me eu fui junto,.. eles estavam empurrando folhas de música na nossa frente como testes eu perguntei ao tipo  perto de mim para o tocar rapidamente para que eu pudesse pegá-lo rapidamente de ouvido de alguma forma eu fui escolhido e me devasta, era a última coisa que eu estava esperando.. eu tocar numa orquestra quando eu não estava preparado para o trabalho.. 

Em vez de ser a coisa mais agradável que eu previa, foi muito traumático. O  "salvamento" veio de uma fonte inesperada." No meu caminho de casa para Catford depois do primeiro concerto na LSSO, meu fagote foi roubado por um grupo de skinheads. Eles me perguntaram como me sentia no caso. Eu disse a eles. Eles me mostraram uma garrafa quebrada.Foi muito simples. A escola não iria me comprar outro fagote, assim como retaliação eu comprei um baixo por£5 de um garoto na escola e reuni-me com David, que estava tocando acoustic guitar." ("Karnal knowledge" by Louise Gray, The Wire 122, April 1994).

David também teve um tempo difícil na escola. 

David Sylvian: "Eu comecei a usar maquilhagem e tingir o meu cabelo quando tinha uns 14 ou 15 Não era a coisa feita na escola, eu era ingênuo o suficiente para pensar que as outras crianças ficariam do meu lado, e contra as autoridades... mas eu estava errado - eles me bateram. Então eu parei. Quando as pessoas não entendem o que está acontecendo eles te tratam com violência mas isso só me fez mais determinado,                              sempre fui extremamente teimoso, e isso ajudou.... me ao longo da época. foi um motivo de preocupação para os meus pais naqueles dias. Eles estavam muito preocupados com o que poderia acontecer comigo. E também sobre o que estava acontecendo em minha mente. Eles muitas vezes tentaram me convencer a mudar minha aparência -. por causa de uma vida pacífica "(de" Beauty & The Beast "por Huw Collingbourne, Flexi pop, dezembro de 1981) 

David Sylvian: "Eu fui expulso (da escola) por causa da minha aparência." (Smash Hits 3 a 6/9/81).

David, Steve e primeiro concerto de Mick foi no casamento do irmão de Mick. Minutos antes que foram devido a seguir em frente, um ataque de nervos por parte de Mick levou a um David relutante a assumir os vocais. 

Mick: ". ... Relutante, porque ele nunca realmente gostei do centro das atenções, e ainda não foi uma decisão conjunta do que faria-mos nos próximos anos, que eu seria a pessoa se movimentando e fazendo coisas malucas que as pessoas não o fizessem se focar tanto, mas palavras reais que Dave estava cantando, sempre foi muito mais importante do que as melodias;.. ele nunca foi um escritor muito forte em melodia, de modo que ele estava olhando para mim por isso, também eu acho que foi o treinamento de fazer o baixo e o vocal principal e deixar superfícial. foi interessante. (from "Beauty & The Beast" by Huw Collingbourne, Flexi pop, December 1981)

 Primeiro show a "pagar" foi numa faculdade do Sul de Londres, em Junho de 1974. Na época eles foram destaque na imprensa local, fotografaram David e a casa de Steve. 


Mick Karn:... "O nome Japan foi escolhido em desespero minutos antes da nossa primeira aparição percebemos que deveríamos ter um nome, Dave sugeriu chamar de Japan por enquanto, até podermos pensar em algo melhor eu gostei 
O resto. .da banda não. Mas o nome pegou no show) ... e foi terrível. terrível. Depois do show nós nos trancamos, praticamente afastados e apenas ensaiamos e ensaiamos. Smash Hits.

Japan separaram-se no 16 de dezembro de 1982 depois do seu concerto final em Nagoya, no Japão. Para muitos fãs, porém, isso não foi suficiente e eles provaram a sua lealdade, obtendo o álbum póstumo ao vivo, 
"Oil On Canvas" no UK top 5.

Os membros dos Japan continuaram a lançar álbuns, às vezes juntos, incluindo "Rain Tree Crow", em 1991, re-unidos David, Mick, Rich e Steve.

Rob regressou ao trabalho com o album "Beginning To Melt" na Medium,com Mick, Rich e Steve. 

A década de 1990 e anos posteriores provaram que juntos ou separados, os membros do Japan ainda fizeram música única, que não reconhece nenhum limite da convenção, "gosto", estilo ou forma. 


JAPAN

Tin Drum to me is a perfect, completely timeless album.
 Tracklisting:
 1. The Art of Parties Sylvian 4:09
2. Talking Drum Sylvian 3:34
3. Ghosts Sylvian 4:33
4. Canton Sylvian, Jansen 5:30
5. Still Life in Mobile Homes Sylvian 5:32
6. Visions of China Sylvian, Jansen 3:37
7. Sons of Pioneers Sylvian, Karn 7:07
8. Cantonese Boy Sylvian 3:44

 Notes:
David Sylvian - Keyboards, keyboard programming, tapes, guitar,
vocals
Steve Jansen - Drums, percussion, electronic + keyboard percussion
Richard Barbieri - Keyboards, keyboard programming, tapes
Mick Karn - Fretless bass, African flute, dida
 Produced by Steve Nye, Japan.
 Engineered by Steve Nye.
 Vocals - Yuka Fujii.
Violin - Simon House.
Cover Concept - David Sylvian.
Design - Steve Joule.
Photography - Fin Costello.

20/04/2014

JIMI HENDRIX - LEON HENDRIX

Jimi Hendrix with his brother Leon (left). A tumultuous childhood haunted them both. Speaking in the same interview, published in the latest MOJO magazine, Leon recalls the tumultuous home life that haunted the brothers as they grew up and explains how Jimi – whom he called Buster – used music to escape what was an increasingly fractured domestic situation.

“When he got that ukulele with one string on it, everything took off. He got free,” says Leon. For Jimi Hendrix, his graduation from ukulele to the six-string was to be the making of him. He left Seattle in 1961, initially enlisting in the US Army before becoming a sought-after guitarist. “He was the best guitar player so everyone wanted to hire him,” reflects Leon.

 By the time he’d joined Little Richard’s band, Hendrix had already played with Wilson Pickett, The Isley Brothers, Chuck Jackson and Sam Cooke.

While he knew his role as a sideman, his flamboyance was evident and appears to have caused clashes with Richard. Nevertheless, he stayed long enough to record one single with Richard – the smouldering, begging-and-pleading I Don’t Know What You’ve Got (But It’s Got Me)in early 1965, released on Vee-Jay – and he also made his first TV appearance while a member of Richard’s band, backing soul duo Buddy And Stacy as they covered Junior Walker And The All Stars’ Shotgun on Night Train, filmed in Nashville in the summer of ’65. The clip shows Hendrix resplendent in his dinner suit and bow tie, digging to the horn-powered groove. Less than 18 months later, Jimi landed in London and his meteoric rise had begun…

JIMI HENDRIX

In September 1964, aged 21, Jimi Hendrix joined Little Richard’s touring band The Upsetters, and further developed the unique guitar style that would shortly electrify the world. But this was not the first time that Hendrix had met the Georgia-born rock’n’roll star. According to Jimi’s younger brother, Leon, the budding guitarist initially encountered Richard in their home town of Seattle at the age of 12. “Me and Jimi met Little Richard in 1959 because his mom and sister lived in Seattle,” recalls the surviving Hendrix brother, speaking to MOJO. “I took a bunch of greens over to a neighbour’s house, Mrs Penniman, saw this black limo and Little Richard. I ran home to get Jimi, we rode bikes up there and sat there in awe at him preaching at the Goodwill Baptist Church.”

DIRTY PROJETORS


1. “Stillness Is The Move” (from Bitte Orca, 2009)

2. “Dance For You” (from Swing Lo Magellan, 2012) 3. “Useful Chamber” (from Bitte Orca, 2009)

 4. “Fucked For Life” (from New Attitude, 2006)

 5. “Gun Has No Trigger” (from Swing Lo Magellan, 2012)

 6. “My Offwhite Flag” (from The Glad Fact, 2003)

 7. “Depression” (from Rise Above, 2007)

 8. “Two Doves” (from Bitte Orca, 2009)

 9. “Tour Along The Potomac” (from The Getty Address, 2005)

 10. “Because Your Light Is Turning Green” (from Slaves’ Graves & Ballads, 2004

 The 10 Best Dirty Projectors Songs

 When Dirty Projectors mastermind and bandleader Dave Longstreth sings about being “in the gray mesh shorts” of his alma mater, honestly, I freak out a little bit. When he croons, “I boogied down gargoyle streets, searching in every face for something I can believe,” my stomach burns. Every time I hear about how his “college smells like vomit,” I can’t help but laugh and nod.

 I’d been listening to the Dirty Projectors well before I shared an alma mater with Longstreth — who famously dropped out of school to pursue his career in music — but being around campus and listening to his band’s catalog put things into an interesting perspective.

 Because soon enough, at school, I found myself kicking around the gargoyle streets, running in gray mesh shorts, and throwing up in dorm stairwells myself. I took biology on the “science hill” in “Off Science Hill.” And for me, anyway, he was right — about everything.

 Longstreth’s lyrics are littered with that kind of anxiety that would draw someone away from a set path: anxieties about death, and potential, and loneliness; yearnings for love, and success, and fire, and some sleep.

 He was exactly right about feeling 21 and wanting to do something that probably won’t pay well. And the craziest thing is that he got me feeling those things before I even got to school.
 stereogum

ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN - Meteorites

Echo and the Bunnymen acabam de divulgar a primeira faixa do seu décimo álbum, Meteorites, previsto para o dia 3 de junho, acabam de mostrar uma canção do seu novo disco, Meteorites. “Market Town”
"Finalmente fizemos o sucessor digno deCrocodiles, Heaven Up Here, Porcupine eOcean Rain", disse o vocalista Ian McCulloch, sem falsa modéstia. "Meteorites é o que o Echo and the Bunnymen representa, intocável, celestial, lindo e real."


1. “Lovers On The Run”
2. “Is This A Breakdown”
3. “Holy Moses”
4. “Meteorites”
5. “Explosions”
6. “Icarus”
7. “I Loved The Devil”
8. “Constantinople”
9. “Market Town”
10. “New Horizons”

tour dates:

May 2: Assembly Rooms, Leamington Spa, UK
May 6: Alhambra, Paris, France
May 7: Trix, Antwerp, Belgium
May 8: Tivoli, Utrecht, Netherlands
May 10: Academy, Oxford, UK
May 11: Wulfurn Hall, Wolverhampton, UK
May 13: Tyne Theatre, Newcastle, UK
May 14: Ritz, Manchester, UK
May 16: Queens Hall, Edinburgh, UK
May 17: Sheperds Bush Empire, London, UK
May 18: Academy, Bristol, UK
May 20: Philharmonic, Liverpool, UK

THE RESIDENTS - LIVE THE LIFE OF POP

The Residents bubbled up from a swamp in Louisiana, moved to the Bay Area in the late ‘60s, and set out to be a non-band. The Residents didn’t come together via a mutual love of jamming on guitars and drums and pumping fists and flinging tresses. No, the Residents were and are an ideas band, avant garde, okay, but with a sonic difference channeled through a perfervid love for pop culture garbage.

 So over 30 or more albums, films, DVDs, podcasts and, soon, iPads, they have parodied, deconstructed and severely warped such icons as the Beatles, Elvis, Hitler and god; they’ve done epic paeans to Eskimos and moles, too, in works loaded with dissonant electronic elegies to normalness, arcane spoken-word patches and a cast of sympathetic dweebs, dorks, scum and saints. And for lo these 40 years now, they have explored this elation and revulsion with popular culture while cloaked in utter anonymity.

THIS IS AN ERA WHEN TO LIVE THE LIFE OF POP super-ultra-megastardom means to have one's every pore pried and probed, as if the Truth could be confirmed in bacteria and glandular secretions. But what do we find? More flesh. How refreshing it is, then, to ponder the enduring mystique of a phenomenon such as the Residents, who for over 25 years have explored their elation and revulsion with the evil banality of American pop culture while happily cloaked in utter anonymity. Their giant-eyeball heads have no pores.

Recently, prior to the group's upcoming performance of their latest epic, Wormwood, I had a chat with one of the group's spokespersons, Homer, a folksy longtime associate of the "band" and co-head of the Cryptic Corporation, the Residents' production conglomerate. Homer amiably conveyed the group's way-out Weltanschauung, bizarre beginnings, current crazes and fears for the future.
The Residents, it seems, germinated somewhere in Louisiana, possibly a swamp, but packed their bags and moved to San Mateo in the late '60s.

They spent their early years honing their style and recording such unreleased masterpieces as "The Ballad of Stuffed Trigger" and "Baby Sex." It was here too that they met their guru, The Mysterious N. Senada, whose Theory of Obscurity later inspired them to record The Unreleased Album, a pure-art work created intentionally to be heard by no one.

Moving to San Francisco in 1972, the Residents set up a four-track recording studio in a small, windowless room. Their modest goal was to tell true stories about the real America, the one they knew from puerile pop music, terrible TV and horsepoo Hollywood movies. Significantly, it had dawned on them that any truly countercultural telling of the Great American Adventure not only had to shun stardom, it had to be interpreted in a musically original form –– for them, an honestly white no-soul music derived from disparate views of reality squished together for maximum cranial excitement.

You'll recall that in the wake of '70s punk rock there was a trend called new wave, which spit-shined the sweaty spirit of punk and took it to heady heights at the top of the charts. The Residents, having been discovered by the ravenous British music press, suddenly became the next big new wave thing, a phenomenon that spread into Europe and, in classic fashion, back to America.
Having been officially approved of by the people who wore skinny ties and rolled up the sleeves on their blazers, the group began to sell in sizable, if not exactly mass, quantities.

The Residents used this relative prosperity to found their own label, Ralph Records, which released high-quality uncommercial music by the likes of Fred Frith, Yello, Snakefinger, and Renaldo and the Loaf, and established Pore No Graphics to handle album-cover, poster and T-shirt art. Along the way, they won fans in Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. The Residents are huge in Greece

ANONYMITY HAS HELPED THE RESIDENTS ACHIEVE durability, but...the masks must become a burden at times. Surely the band wants to rip them off and proclaim, "Yes, it is me, John Johnson, who has created this art." And surely there's been some fanaticism to deal with, the mad compulsion of fans with nothing better to do than to unveil the men (?) inside the eyeball heads.

"It's there," says Homer, "but people seem to respect that it's important that the Residents be allowed to exist in their own little world. We've had a few people who've tried to crash through the backstage doors, or get through security and things like that. But it's like people have accepted that the Residents really want to be treated as a group, they don't want to be treated as individuals, and it's not to anyone's advantage that they be forced to give that up."

The Residents have thus maintained their mystery, yet they couldn't have done it without such ambitious music. From humble beginnings messing with tape loops, detuned guitars, one-fingered cheapo organs and twangy, retarded vocals, often reinterpreting to horrific effect the "best" of the rock canon (hilariously tin-eared and unfunky covers of "Satisfaction," "Land of a Thousand Dances," "It's a Man's Man's Man's World"), they've slowly developed a pretty slick production technique, largely due to their discovery of the Emulator sampler in the early '80s, and their exploration of computers and MIDI programming.

They've taken on works of gigantic scale, such as Eskimo, a history of life in the Arctic, and the ethnic-cleansing/dignity-in-work legend of the Mole trilogy (volumes 1, 2 and 4), which relates the struggle between the industrious, sincere Moles and cheerfully vacuous hypercapitalist Chubs ("We don't want your brow/We don't want your eye/All we really want is/For you to puke and die"). Consistently, they've established a distinctive homegrown tonality, owing equal debts to the Stones, Harry Partch, Mauricio Kagel and Don Kirschner.

Their Third Reich & Roll album, wherein Adolf Hitler imitates Chubby Checker singing "Let's Twist Again" and concludes with a discordant medley of "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida," "Hey Jude" and "Sympathy for the Devil," was also a nod at '70s Krautrock, the Residents demonstrating that America could generate its own avant-garde style derived from a purely American tradition.

The band has been prolific, with two dozen-plus albums released since 1974, wide-screen works loaded with dissonant electronic elegies to normalness, arcane spoken-word patches and a cast of sympathetic (sometimes) weirdos, gimps and losers. The recent two-CD retrospective Our Tired, Our Poor, Our Huddled Masses is a good intro.

THE RESIDENTS HAVE LONG RESIDED IN THE VANGUARD of new technologies –– as well as being among the first to use the Emulator, they've produced a number of award-winning videos and CD-ROMs (Gingerbread Man, Freak Show and their most recent, the bracingly grim Bad Day on the Midway, featuring such endearing characters as Benny the Bump, Herman the Human Mole, the Old Woman and the Sold-Out Artist) –– yet their music remains the product of a highly refined ignorance. The core members enjoy limited instrumental chops, though recent projects have incorporated skilled players and singers to better transmit the sickness.

"From the craftsman concept of musician," says Homer, "the Residents couldn't hardly be worse. From the idea standpoint of musician, with the emotion and energy for music, I'd say they can hardly be beat. With Wormwood, they would write things using the computer, and then print scores out, and then people would come in to play them. They feel like Wormwood, being about the Bible, it was really important to have that human spirit behind it."

Wormwood is, in part, the Residents' reaction to the severely literal-minded Christian atmosphere that has plagued the American consciousness in recent times. Gleaning insight from Jonathan Kirsch's book The Harlot by the Side of the Road: Forbidden Tales of the Bible, the group retells several of the hairier Bible stories without all the mayhem, humiliation and abnormal sex sanded off.
"The Residents watch television a lot," says Homer, "and they've always been fascinated by TV evangelists. Several years ago, they said, 'We have to find out. These people are waving this book in the air and telling other people how horrible they are because this book says they are, and it's time to sit down and read this book and see if it really does say that.' It didn't –– these evangelists were holding the Bible hostage."

The Residents' reading of the Good Book proposes other options. "The Bible," offers Homer, "is saying that it's okay to be failures as humans and as gods, because that's all there is. And it's really not about denouncing this group or that group. In fact, when you read it, everybody gets denounced at some point or another."

KNOWING THAT THE RESIDENTS LIKE TO KEEP UP with all the latest nifty trends, I ask Homer if there're any new bands they like.

"The Residents are very fond of the Spice Girls, and Hanson particularly," says Homer. "They like them a lot, because they really love pop music, and they think pop music should never last, that two weeks later you should forget entirely about the music and who performed it. So they like whoever does that."

Well, I guess these veteran Residents aren't a pop band then, going by their own definition. I wonder what they'll be doing 20 years from now.
"I've heard the Residents talking about what they'll be doing 100 years from now," Homer says, cryptically.

But...that's impossible!
"I'm not allowed to say, but they have some interesting schemes on how the Residents will live forever...They're thinking replacements. They're thinking apprenticeships and training."

The Residents, eminent purveyors of a grotesquely beautiful, sometimes anti-, sometimes pro-American art, are an American success story, having achieved a preferred way of life by precisely locating their audience. And who might that audience be?

Homer says, "You know, in high school you've got the majority of people that sort of rigidly listen to the same music, and they like the same things and dress the same way. And then you have this smaller group of people that stand apart from that –– they can't really relate to that larger group of people at all, and don't like anything they like. That's the Residents' audience. They're everywhere."

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