Friday, July 04, 2008

Suicide by box set
"A fertile year for No Wave nostalgia reaches its apex, as one of the movement's forefathers is honored with a year-long series of special releases. Suicide formed in 1971 when artist, gallery-owner, and singer Alan Vega met Martin Rev, a keyboardist who had studied with jazz great Lennie Tristano. The downtown New York duo created confrontational, cathartic rock, with Rev churning out warm, minimalist keyboard melodies — a blueprint for synth-pop — while Vega literally and figuratively attacked the audience with spastic spoken word. As Lydia Lunch [who recently played with the reformed Teenage Jesus and the Jerks] says in Marc Masters' new book, No Wave, "[Suicide] were one of the most extreme things. I just fell to my knees in praise of the gods. The terror was such a beautiful thing to me."

The limited-edition, raw-sounding six-CD set Live 1977-1978, released in June in the UK on BLAST First (Petite), contains concert recordings drawn from New York shows and a support slot for the Clash and Elvis Costello on the group's first European tour. Only one of the live recordings, "23 Minutes Over Brussels" — which ends when the pissed-off crowd steals one of Vega's microphones — has ever seen official release.

In addition, a monthly series of 10-inch vinyl singles (also available as downloads) begins in July, with each installment containing a Suicide rarity along with covers by both an established and upcoming act. The eclectic array of "established" contributors includes Liars, Spiritualized, Sunn O))) and Pan Sonic, Peaches, Nick Cave's Grinderman, Klaxons, and, surprisingly, Bruce Springsteen, reportedly a fan of Suicide's "Frankie Teardrop." - Pat Sisson, Earplug.

Alan Vega recently turned seventy.

Ghost rider, live, 1979. Youtube link. "Video was recorded By Paul Tschinkel at Max's Kansas City in New York in 1979 for his cable TV show 'Paul Tschinkel's Inner Tube'." More here.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

More Glasto...
Why Didn't Anyone Tell Me About Ethiopiques At Glastonbury? [Shows I've Missed This Year, Chapter XXXVII] - "We covered a bit of the Glastonbury lineup announcement, had our bit about Jay-Z as headliner, even that stupid "upside-down house" tent, but at no point did I hear that an all-star band comprised of those featured on the 23 volumes of the Ethiopiques series would be performing.
Not that I would have been able to fly out to England or spend three days in mud/fecal matter-soaked fields, but I would have at least wanted to know, so I could wistfully stare eastward on Saturday dreaming of Mulatu Astatke and his band. I'll get over the pain somehow, but it's some consolation that the act's set is available to watch on BBC's site for a week or so, along with full sets from the Verve, Candi Staton and Massive Attack. [BBC]"

(Only seems to play in IE not Firefox, and ignore the "content not available" sign that comes up when you click play - it seems to start ok after that.)
ADDED - started watching it - Mulatu's vibes are largely inaudible, thanks to a lousy sound mix. Crap. Band is the Either Orchestra.

Monday, June 30, 2008

99 Problems and Oasis aint one

Check out this clip - introduction from our boy Zane Lowe, getting paid to watch Jay Z. Damn, that's hard work.

From Idolator - "After months of buildup, Jay-Z played his much-discussed headlining set at the Glastonbury Festival last night, and he opened it with a special dedication to Oasis' Noel Gallagher, who was quoted in the buildup to the festival as saying that Jay was an inappropriate addition to the Glasto bill because it was "built on a tradition of guitar music." Jay strolled out with a guitar, strumming and warbling along, last-call-on-a-long-night-style, to "Wonderwall" before breaking into "99 Problems." I think this is a way to tell Gallagher "your move," although I shudder to think what an Oasis cover of "Big Pimpin'" might sound like. [YouTube]