Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Fat Farewell Mix - a buncha stuff for y'all while I'm in Florida

I'm taking off for a week to Florida, alas I won't be frigging "blogging"...

I'll be getting lost in the rent a car, getting sunburned, cruising Alligator Alley & The Deco District & having allergic reactions to stone crab...

but if ya need to find me,
look for me on Collins Ave in South Beach at this joint...


The Mercury Resort
photo


here enjoy some key sunny summer vacation mix tracks



some links are yer right click & save stylee but a few are hosted remotely via
SaveFile.com



first up, we'll start mellow before we Rawk!:
 I came to say you that I from go away

Serge Gainsbourg - Je suis venu te dire que je m'en vais.mp3

I came to say that I must go away, a melancholy lil' track from '73

Paul Oakenfold vs Harry Nilsson - Starry Eyed Surprise.mp3

An inspired remix by DJ Sandstorm of Paul Oakenfold's Starry Eyed Surprise mixing in more of John Lennon drinking buddy Harry Nilsson's version of olkster Fred Neil's song "Everybody's Talking" mae famous on the Midnight Cowboy soundtrack. I play this sometimes when I'm bartending and find that the old timer's can dig it too! Perfect for gearing up for a lil' Miami nightclub trek.

Alex H - Minnie the Mod.mp3

a great mash up DJ mix with bits of Moby, some Toms Diner by Suzanne Vega and guest appearances by The Beatles, Bowie , Cab Calloway and even Pink Floyd !

Black Eyed Peas - Hey Mama

A dancehall blast from Will.I.Am's crew featuring guest Tippa Irie

Small Faces - All Or Nothing.mp3

I first heard this song in 1985 as a cover on the Ain't Love Grand album by X (produced by current Mr. Shania Twain himself and knob twiddler extraordinaire Mutt Lange. I fell in love with the epic chorus and plaintive wailing of a classic structured pop tune instantly. I used to sing along with the X version driving with Caroleenof
Waycross when we were squirrely teenagers on our way to hardcore punk shows in DC. At the time I had no idea who the mysterious Marriott in the credits was, but , hey times change and I'm now a big Small Faces fan. In fact one of these days I'll post a dangerously bloated history full of trivia and anecdotes about this key group's legacy. For now just download enjoy this track from the 60's as a segue into our next blast...

Cheap Trick - Southern Girls ( Albini mix).mp3

The boys from Rockford apparently recut tracks from their classic In Color album decades later with Steve Albini at the helm. This is the new mix of Southern Girls, which reatins the exhuberance of the original but features a more meaty guitar sound. Vocalist Robin Zander, now a resident of Clearwater Florida, as usual just sounds as great as ever . This has to be one of my all time fave tunes... and having lived south of the Mason-Dixon line, believe it boys.

Fastbacks - Go All The Way.mp3

A crunchy cover version of a creepy Eric Carmen hit from his 70's stint with the Raspberries , replete with charmingly off key warbled female vocals from these Seattle pop stalwarts. I had this on a cassette promo I picked up from Nils Bernstein at the Sub Pop suite in the St. Francis hotel at the Gavin Convention circa 1992. Kurt Bloch once told Magnet why he chose to cover this song.

“Go All The Way,” Raspberries
When it came out, there was nothing more kickass. It was louder than anything else and cooler. By ‘76 and ‘77, everyone started looking for scarce copies of Big Star and Badfinger, but “Go All The Way” was never really usurped as the reigning champion. Still have my 45, still sounds great at DJ night, a little worn—but it gets the job done every time.

Thanx Kurt for the tale... and now for the next cut

The Tears- Refugees.mp3

a swarthy glittering glam-tastic current track from the rehabbed & revamped Anderson & Butler, (the reunited duo behind the late brit pop sensations Suede). The UK group have a website at TheTears.org

Hot Hot Heat - Goodnight Goodnight

The poppy darlings of British Columbia do the corporate rock shuffle over from Sub Pop into official parent company Warner Music status with their current Sire release, and throw a farewell lullabye into our mix session


They & I now bid you adieu for a week or so ...




pssst...if you want to easily upload & share some files try a new site called
SaveFile

Monday, May 30, 2005

Marginal Man


The Marginal Man is a personality type that arises at the time and place where, out of the conflict of races and cultures, new societies, new peoples and cultures are coming into existence. The fate that condemns him to live, at the same time, in two worlds is the same which compels him to assume, in relation to the worlds in which he lives, the rôle of a cosmopolitan and a stranger. Inevitably he becomes, relatively to his cultural milieu, the individual with the wider horizon, the keener intelligence, the more detached and rational viewpoint. (Robert E. Park)


Marginal Man were also a ripping DC band in the early 80's. I have posted a few of their finer tracks from their debut "Identity" EP on Dischord. I dropped the $4 it cost, and practically played that record til the grooves wore off when it came out. I would consider them in some ways, along with Rites of Spring, as the godfathers of the Emo thing that finally took the country by storm about 20 years later. Singer Steve Polcari , guitarist Kenny Inouye ( son of a Hawaiian Senator) & drummer Mike Manos had been in a DC band called Artificial Peace before getting Marginal Man off the ground in early 1984.



Marginal Man wasn't as artsy as the DC band that emerged the next year called Rites of Spring, but they pushed the boundaries of hardcore into varied musical styles, and would get into some reflective lyrical terrain. In fact, the shows were such emotional occasions that I often saw guitarist Pete Murray end up broken down in tears during sets when singing about a suicidal friend who had died.

They were one of the best live bands playing around DC for an energetic period in the early 80's, and the lineup was rounded out by Andre Lee on bass. It seemed they had tons of potential, with a sound that was a little bit metal, and and a little melodic with edgy licks that any red blooded skateboarding kid could love. Their singer Steve very energetic as seen in the photo, and as the eighties wore on he began to favor a look almost resembling the singer of Ratt.





Their second release on Enigma wasn't as well received, and seemed to lack the punchy drive of the first EP. They began to flounder a bit, and stopped playing out as much, finally in 1988 they officially called it quits, and put out one last farewell release on Giant Records.


They were one of the only punk bands at the time to have any Asian & Pacific Islander presence as well and it was disapointing that a band with so much promise, just kind of fell off the way they did. I miss 'em... but here's some examples of their music.

from Identity (1984 Dischord)

Marginal Man - Marginal Man

Marginal Man - MissingRungs/Friend


from Double Image (1985 Enigma/Gastanka)

Marginal Man - Turn The Tables


from Marginal Man (1988 - Giant Records)

Marginal Man - Under A Shadow





pssst...if you want to easily upload & share some files try a new site called SaveFile



[Marginal Man]Dischord[Washington D.C Music Scene][1980's]

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Bono and his decades long struggle with Airline Food

Bono had some quotes published in the UK paper The Times of London today, he recounts his meetings with politicians like Gorbachev, G.W Bush & Jesse Helms and the day the Pope wore his bug eyed fly sunglasses. Then he tells an unusual tale from his childhood that I thought worthy of sharing. Seems he's got a thing for airline food that dates back to his dirt poor motherless childhood outside Dublin, long before he was an international jetsetter...

------------------- Bono's Tale -------------------

I hated mealtimes. It was comic tragedy. My brother, who used to work in the national airline, discovered he could buy airline food at a cheap rate. So he used to bring these packaged meals home and our fridge was full of it.

Then an amazing thing happened. Our high school was near the airport. They decided they were gonna do school lunches. So they bought them at the airport. I used to eat airline food at lunch. I would go home, eat the same f****** airline food for dinner. What happens then? You join a rock'n'roll band and spend the rest of your life eating airline food.
-----------------------------------------------------
more at
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2092-1631841_4,00.html

Pope Bono


In honor of U2 galavanting around the globe & likely eating a bit of airline food this summer while raking in an expected 300+ million dollars, we'll share the wealth of some items from their 20 year thick multi platinum back catalog.

First Up are a couple classics from the early 80's live EP recorded during the War tour at Red Rocks Amphiteater in Colorado. The amazing concert was captured on video, and was shot in the pouring rain, and is one of the best live vids I've ever seen. Bono climbed the speaker stacks, waving his white flag and permenently etched himself into the rock pantheon with this performance. The band played against the dramatic crags of this venue high in the Rockies and I recommend "Live at Red Rocks" as a must see.

Here is a robust version of Sunday Bloody Sunday and their set closer 40. Both songs musically explore the famed Irish band's emphatic take on "the troubles" of their home country & display the then mostly unknown singer at his charismatic & passionate best, commanding a sizable audience some 10 years before the band became cartoon characters & were invited to play a presidential inauguration & 20 year before their Super Bowl halftime show.

I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song

How long to sing this song?
How long to sing this song?
How long, how long
How long, how long to sing this song?

He set my feet upon a rock
And made my footsteps firm
Many will see
Many will see and fear

Fast Forward 10 years:

I'm also including a link to an Mp3 of The Temple Bar edit version of "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses" by U2 from their Achtung Baby album in 1992. The original track production was credited to a triumverate of class "A" knob twiddlers Steve Lillywhite, Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, but this single mix is listed as produced by Paul Barrett & U2. Not my favorite U2 track, but hey, whatever it's yours free for the taking...

You're dangerous 'cos you're honest
You're dangerous, you don't know what you want
Well you left my heart empty as a vacant lot
For any spirit to haunt

Hey hey, sha la la
Hey hey...

You're an accident waiting to happen
You're a piece of glass left there on a beach
Well you tell me things I know you're not supposed to
Then you leave me just out of reach

Hey hey, sha la la
Hey hey, sha la la

Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna drown in your blue sea?
Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna fall at the foot of thee?



and to close out the party, we'll move another 10 years ansd throw in The William Orbit Mix of Electrical Storm that first surfaced in 2002 on U2 the Best of 1990 -2000.

sample lyrics include these urban paens:

Car alarm won't let ya back to sleep
You're kept awake dreaming some else's dream
Coffee is cold, but it will get you through
Compromise, that's nothing new to you

Let's see colours that have never been seen
Let's go to places no one else has been

You're in my mind all of the time
I know that's not enough
Well if the sky can crack, there must be some way back
To love and only love



[U2]Bono[Airline Food][MP3]

Friday, May 27, 2005

A Rant on Bias ,Blogs, Bill Moyers vs Speed Metal Smokescreens, Peace Thru Annihilation & Chomsky on The Gov't Of The Future

my news scanning pal Scotty D sent me a quote he found on the "internets" from a notable character that spins the Orwellian irony into a new idiot stratosphere. I imagine even Goebbels is laughing in his grave.


the note from Scotty:

This guy is so stupid, he loses his thought and speaks the truth.
Another take might be that he is stupid, but so arrogant that he'll
take it out and wave it in public.
-SD-

"See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and
over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the
propaganda." —
George W. Bush, Greece, N.Y., May 24, 2005

Bush displays what is in the best interests of mankind



well... welcome to another fricking blog entry...

We all know why blogs and other web based communications forms are
taking off,
(at least amongst a burgeoning broadband enabled elite on the geek globe).


We are a people seeking info transmittal that is decentralized and
created by real people and not corporations that filter it.

There's a personalization factor in that we can look up whatever we need & want on the web, and in infinite doses, not just relying on the ten or so topics & viewpoints some editor chooses for us. We are now more fully able to find out
what we want to know about, or need to know about, and then can instantly share opinions on these matters with colleagues & virtual acquaintances spread across vast distances.

We're talking about info shared by real people, not official endorsed relayers of info... not "media figures" isolated from the experiences of the average person on the street. We the people...we are basically info volunteers, not darlings & drones...

Heck even CNN now routinely keeps it's global satellite linked audience up to date on what's up in the blogosphere. This morning USA Today actually editorialized that blogs are so Anmerican they are akin to sacred symbols like apple pie & baseball & guns ( see May 27 Art, blogs bare souls of yet another fighting generation -USA TODAY


We are not carreerists sharing opinions & news because we are forced to work together for the benefit of a corporate overseer under the conglomerate umbrella. We do not head home at the exact same time when the bell rings. We do not convene at company events drinking the kool aid in the workplace cafeteria, abiding by the same email privacy policy and secretly wishing & bitching about each other hoping the other gets laid off so they could the other's title & cubicle.

For the past year, beginning with the 04 election, the mainstream media has been starting to fret over the "bloggers" & even worry about them over the air and in print...

They see their limelight being spread thin, their control over the national dialogue measurably withered.. They constantly deride the legitimacy of bloggers, as if O'Reilly, Sam Donaldson & Ann Coulter all somehow have a lock on allworthwhile coherent thought in this country.

The truth is blogs are just like zines, vanity presses, or newsletters that people have published for years in the so called obscurity of the "underground" , although nowadays no ones publishing empire is further than a click away via Google, Bloglines, Technorati or similar search. Conceivably one can reach thousands of readers a day without having to use old school newstands & out moded delivery systems.

& so excuse my long winded essay but I'm on a "master of the obvious" roll kids,

My theory on what is really what's wrong with the modern American
media
,

[ let's just say it isn't their spelling]



it's their boring blah blah blah & bias.

The real bias in the media is not the old "liberal" vs
"conservative" argument , but that people who live in glass houses cannot throw
stones. In fact they don't even have access to the stones in the first place,
much less the manual & real life training to understand how they work.


The old media model is so outdated that it is
actually sad to see it falling apart. Anyone who knows me sees me carrying three
or four newspapers around, cluttering cars & backpacks, briefcases and floor
and table space with the day's dose of info. A good issue of the Wall Street
Journal or L.A Times might suffice, but I need more...


and the old media isn't cutting it for me, or
millions of others...


Basically, the establishment media has been
running a smokescreen for decades that's actually become a class war on the citizenry,
especially the poor & disenfranchised...

The media lackeys ( i.e journalists) barely seem to
notice that they are merely lackeys, and why would they mind
anyway?


We live in a fat country where the #1 cable news network issues news alerts and among the important alerts this week "Jay Leno is testifying at Michael Jackson's trial"! -- no kidding, according to a website called Newshounds (that claims they "Watch Fox News, So You Don't Have To") reported that this week Fox had an ALERT for that. I wouldn't know , because if I'm gonna kill braincells, Sean Hannity isn't gonna be the one to do it...

But having grown up in a media centric family with ties to info brokers like Fox, Gannet & CNN, I know from experience that your average daily newspaper reporter or TV talking head sound biter lives a fairly comfortable
life that would make a clock punching repairman, fast food functionary, nuclear plant worker or delivery truck driver damn envious.

Big media wasn't built by you and me, it was built for you
and me ... by The Hearsts & GE, Rupert Murdoch, VIACOM & Oil Oligarchs &
Defense Conglomerates. It's a tool to portray their numerous commericial interests in ways that keep meaningful
analysis & dialogue out of the meaningless analysis & dialogue.


Whether you are a west coast wacko wannabee or east coast establishment values type, the belief system that is reflected, instilled & force fed into so called journalists & editors does not have anything to do with the
truth of a vast sea of citizenry, here or abroad.



When a story arises out of the murk that challenges a reporter or editor's view of the world, they
instinctively do not want to believe it or support it.


When a story that fits their world view arises, they are quick to seize it & squeeze it
in...

The media is a mirror, and the editors show things in the mirror that they want to refect their worldview, whether concious or not...

Instead of frontpage stories explaining where all our tax money goes, we get crime news about local lowlifes instead of the white collar criminals draining our national treasury. Instead of honest examinations of clean air & water which affect us all, we get lightweight news and consumer lifestyle pieces on hot new MP3 players and wines, what cars are hip & the soaps & shampoos that the favorite spas of "stars" use..


We constantly see news organizations rushing to repeat any rumor, allegation & accusation
of the gov't or ruling corporations, yet we find common people, activists and
outsiders unable to get exposure for their viewpoints. The Undeclared &
Uncessary Iraq War is a dangerous precedent that has shown how easily those in
power can manipulate the public through repeated lies & doublepseak. We see a complacent, even proudly patriotic media cheerleading our country into a protracted and wasteful war.
It's doubtful that a cabal of manipulators in power could ignore the opposition of the UN & numerous
allies, and hold a war for dubious political reasons without the media's endless fountain of supportive ink & airtime

. Thanx to a complacent & irrelevant media that did little but repeat the Bush admin war hawk line, surveys of Americans showed that a majority believed Saddam Hussein was directly linked to the 9-11 attacks and
controlled weapons of mass destruction, while years have gone by & no evidence of either charge has never been found.

We are entering a period that the prescient Orwell himself would likely be shocked
at...

When it comes to actual news gathering, the media parrots government officials, PR Hacks and lobbyists allowing them to set the editorial agenda. The actual news editing & writing is getting sloppier all the time, with misspellings of simple words common in daily newspapers and the factual guarantees of the info ever more questionable.

Consider the case of a man who has sued CNN and Arab-language newspaper
Asharq Al-Awsat , seeking a retraction, damages and an inquiry into how his
picture was printed as that of terrorism suspect. Asif Iqbal, a 32-year-old
Pittsford, N.Y., software engineer of Arabic background had his photo used in
place of a British citizen nearly ten years younger who was being held as a
terrorism suspect by the U.S at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.


Journalism itself has fallen by the wayside along with staffing
levels at major news organizations as they attempt to cut costs and not offend
their clients , i.e major advertisers. Recently several companies have announced
they will pull all their ads from any publishing companies that print negative
stories on their companies. Recently due to negative coverage, GM announced they
would no longer advertise in the LA Times, even announcing it via a corporate
blog to give GM that warm & fuzzy regular geek next door vibe. BP Oil and
other companies have also announced their new policy to pull ads from any
publication that supplies negative coverage. Small tech press Wiley has had all
it's titles dropped from distribution through Apple Stores on command from Steve
Jobs, for a perceived trangression in a recent book.


Imagine our media as a type of robust vehicle that is capable of collecting stories &
freely travelling around the globe in search of truth. Yet, it merely circles
the parking lot of our shopping malls looking for easy parking spots.
Unfortunately, our mass media does not park it's vehicle unless there is a
convienemnt media parking lot ( or story angle) already set up. Few media
organizations want to delve deep into anything for fear of peeling to deep into
the onion & making the the power structure cry.

Instead of a informative investigations & an exchange embodying the ideal of thoughtful
discussions, our media focuses on polls. They do drive bys of most events, and
invest little in finding out more than a soundbite to share. The media
perspective seen in this country is skewed like that from a tinted bullet proof
window in a moving limousine.


The corporate media limo is not going
to stop, open up and let in the stench of the burnt out global villages, rotting
refuse piles, and mass graves of our politically confused world. The mass
media's job is to keep on trucking, bring in the cargo of profits and leave the
stories & competition hanging in trails of exhaust.


If you want to stop & know more about the
real issues, then you need to get your own transportation because this train has
already left the station for the next hotspot or blogspot as the case may
be.


The New York Times, CBS & USA TODAY are not
going to slow down long enough for their readers/viewers to get anything more
than a quick glimpse of the day's messes before they have to focus on newer,
glitzier and more tawdry subjects like Michael Jackson, Kobe Bryant, new video
games, some starlet's pregnancy or drug problem and maybe a random school or
workplace shooting. The apologists claim it's what people want.. just like they
want high levels of PCBs, mercury & saturated fats in their blood. The media
has proved people crave sweets, irradiated meat, higher levels of effluents
& exhausts from industry and 36 hour erections. Poll data shows Americans
prefer cheap foreign oil & sweatshop goods, violence & lung cancer from
asbestos & tobacco products.


The arbiters of taste & so
called "coverage" in the mainstream media aspire to have no opinion, to provide
"balance", but the whole system is so off kilter, how the fuck would they know
what balance is while high on cotton candy & drunk with power on a spinning
tilt a whirl at their own carnival freak show.

I hate to generalize, but
the media workers of the US are mainly middle class suckers for the most part,
united by their university backgrounds and love of wine & the bourgeois
trappings of so called "success'. They are kinda like well meaning but drug
addled prostitutes that are so used to sucking johns off & giving the
proceeds to their pimps thay can no longer understand what part of the pleasure
chain they are in anymore. Self absorbed columnists with cushy commuter jobs in
climate controlled towers & trend seeking young reporters that brown nose
& grovel for scoops from PR flacks cannot really relate to the perils,
passions & plights of those living & dying in strife addled developing
nations or neglected neighborhoods across town.


These media monkeys try to portray the stories they
are assigned, but above all, they must not make waves, always attempt to remain
"fair" and spin the topic so it appeals to an educated if uninterested
readership that has cyclical spending habits, and wants to perceive themselves
as an informed demographic. Our media system has no inherent empathy with truth
in any form, especially truth for those who might be desperate, or in despicable
detainment camps, urban ghettos or even, our own trailer parks, as they make
people uncomfortable. Front Page starvation stories do not sell furniture for
Macy's, and the world's problems are only interesting if they are are useful to
the media's momentary & monetary driven agenda.

It simply does not
behoove a modern media monkey to recognize the depth of suffering &
conflicts of interest in the stories they could or should be reporting. Their
job is not to explain the sordid history of situations long spiraling out of
control, but to simply report the so called "facts"... But remember as Reagen
once said "Facts Are Stupid Things".


If you are lucky , in a story
you see, you might get a who , what , when , & where. However, on a story
involving international incidents or corporate intrigue, notice that you rarely
get a 5th "W"... The mysterious "Why"... unless your content provider can
provide a succinct explanation approved by the W admin's unnamed source & a
favorite think tank.



Veteran journalist Bill Moyers
recently addressed a gathering focused on Media Reform in St. Louis. He
describes how Beltway journalism is guided by gov't handouts, and many issues
are only explored on air if Senators deem them newsworthy enough to talk about.


I'll quote some of the concepts he mentioned , but I also encourage you
to read the transcript of his speech: http://www.alternet.org/mediaculture/22021/


Quotes From Bill:


On his idea of balance in
America's political spectrum
: I've always
thought the American eagle needed a left wing and a right wing. The right wing
would see to it that economic interests had their legitimate concerns addressed.
The left wing would see to it that ordinary people were included in the bargain.
Both would keep the great bird on course. But with two right wings or two left
wings, it's no longer an eagle and it's going to crash.


On The Idealogues Who Wanted Him Off PBS : Who are they? I
mean the people obsessed with control, using the government to threaten and
intimidate. I mean the people who are hollowing out middle-class security even
as they enlist the sons and daughters of the working class in a war to make sure
Ahmed Chalabi winds up controlling Iraq's oil. I mean the people who turn
faith-based initiatives into a slush fund and who encourage the pious to look
heavenward and pray so as not to see the long arm of privilege and power picking
their pockets. I mean the people who squelch free speech in an effort to
obliterate dissent and consolidate their orthodoxy into the official view of
reality from which any deviation becomes unpatriotic heresy...That's who I
mean... And if that's editorializing, so be it. A free press is one where it's
OK to state the conclusion you're led to by the evidence.


Why He Became A Target : One reason I'm in hot water is
because my colleagues and I at NOW didn't play by the conventional rules of
Beltway journalism. Those rules divide the world into Democrats and Republicans,
liberals and conservatives, and allow journalists to pretend they have done
their job if, instead of reporting the truth behind the news, they merely give
each side an opportunity to spin the news.


On How The Minstream Washington Media Works : These "rules of the game" permit
Washington officials to set the agenda for journalism, leaving the press all too
often simply to recount what officials say instead of subjecting their words and
deeds to critical scrutiny. Instead of acting as filters for readers and
viewers, sifting the truth from the propaganda, reporters and anchors
attentively transcribe both sides of the spin invariably failing to provide
context, background or any sense of which claims hold up and which are
misleading.



On The Future of a People's Media : Pat
Aufderheide got it right, I think, in the recent issue of In These Times
when she wrote: "This is a moment when public media outlets can make a powerful
case for themselves. Public radio, public TV, cable access, public DBS channels,
media arts centers, youth media projects, nonprofit Internet news services ...
low-power radio and webcasting are all part of a nearly invisible feature of
today's media map: the public media sector. They exist not to make a profit, not
to push an ideology, not to serve customers, but to create a public -- a group
of people who can talk productively with those who don't share their views, and
defend the interests of the people who have to live with the consequences of
corporate and governmental power."

Moyer's Final Thought On America : We're big kids; we can handle
controversy and diversity, whether it's political or religious points of view or
two loving lesbian moms and their kids, visited by a cartoon rabbit. We are not
too fragile or insecure to see America and the world entire for all their
magnificent and sometimes violent confusion. There used to be a thing or a
commodity we put great store by," John Steinbeck wrote. "It was called the
people."





hear enjoy some sounds in reverse
chronological order....


Off Kilter Chicago Speed Metal from
Bludgeon - Smoke
Screen
(2002)


American Indian Movement Activist
John Trudell - Bombs
Over Bagdhad
( 1992)


Classic Bay Area Peace Punk
Crucifix - Peace or Annihilation (1982)


MIT's resident US foreign policy
critic -
Prof Noam Chomsky - Gov't
In The Future
(1970)


Hot Hot Island of The Honest Media Scapegoat , Beer In Decline, The Webb Master, Good Things, & That's Why I reach For My Revolver

I'm gonna throw y'all just a few bits & tidbits from here there and nowhere that ya may not wanna hear, and according to your personal worldview, may or may not tell a complete story...

but, deal with it... (if ya want something more more serene than cerebral & more coherent than caffeinated, hey peruse my darn archives of past posts..).

Michael Isikoff


Int'l Troublemaker ?


Firstly, it looks like Michael Isikoff of Newsweek is not alone anymore... ( we'll dedicate
Hot Hot Heat -Island of The Honest Man.
to the writer who is being blamed for the outcry about the dismal human rights record of the U.S concerning etc lately)


Last night I was surprised to see major news orgs finally acknowledge what & other human rights activists have been reporting for years.

Isikoff & Newsweek's recently retracted story is now being summarily backed up by a litany of mainstream news orgs including the BBC, NY Times, CNN and others who are now reporting on the existence of reports that mention interrogators using toilets & the Quran as a tool of intimidation of detainees at Guantanamo.

Last Week was a weird episode where the gov't was actually trying so hard to spin this story away from their own actions that they began SCAPEGOATING NEWSWEEK. A classic case of "Kill The Messenger", especially potent when the messenger in question is a product of the Washington Post family. The Post, the Beltway paper not owned by The Moonies, is the scourge of neo con freaks & right wing information twisters since the glory days of deceit when Tricky Dick Nixon ruled the Republican roost. Lyndon Johnson hated that rag too, just to be fair.

However, Bush's buddies blaming Newsweek for reporting what no one wants to hear was to be expected, but blaming the mag for the 17 deaths that occured in Muslim riots overseas and America's strained image was an outlandish example of the Orwellian right wing truth repair squads in serious denial.



http://www.alternet.org/mediaculture/22022/

But as noted in the Alternet article above : "Newsweek's retraction is ambiguous, suggesting they believe the incident may have happened but no longer can demonstrate that it was cited in the specific U.S. government documents, as originally reported."

Now, after a week of lambasting Newsweek for failing to tow the line, indeed the mainstream media have actually looked into the claims of detainees that their muslim holy books have been used for toilet training at Guantanamo, and guess what... it sorta appears that there's more than just an erroneous Newsweek report to go on...

The Red Cross even said last week it had told U.S. authorities of detainee allegations that muslim Qurans had been desecrated. It also offered a rare public rebuke in late 2003, calling the prisoners' prolonged detentions "worrying."

Declassified FBI records released Wednesday showed that prisoners at Guantanamo Bay told U.S. interrogators as early as April 2002, only four months after the first detainees arrived from Afghanistan, gosh golly, hmm... that U.S. military guards abused the so-called "enemy combatants" and desecrated the Quran.

here's a few links to sites other than the feeble retractable Newsweek

CNN FBI records: Detainees allege Quran abuse -
MSNBC FBI records cite prisoner claims of Quran abuse -
Washington Post -Guantanamo Guards Accused of Mistreating Koran in FBI memo that backs retracted allegations
Reuters FBI memo reports Guantanamo guards flushing Koran -
ABCNEWS.com FBI Records Cite Quran Abuse Allegations



I was actually kinda shocked when Newsweek so quickly retracted their story last week under obvious White House pressure... What's so surprising here? When we've all seen the photos of Abu Ghraib and heard rumors of prisoner neglect, torture and worthless interrogation sessions from the blackholes of Guantanamo...

One of the last great muckrakers in journalism, Greg Palast, fumed about the Newsweak incident in his column in the British Observer.

"It's appalling that this story got out there," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on her way back from Iraq.

What's not appalling to Condi is that the US is holding prisoners at Guantanamo under conditions termed "torture" by the Red Cross. What's not appalling to Condi is that prisoners of the Afghan war are held in violation of international law after that conflict has supposedly ended.


But sadly, he was mostly alone.

In a classic example of being focused on the wrong issues, America's media ignored the torture isues, & instead watched for the stock price of Newsweek's apologizing parent company to fall .
see quote from this link to MarketWatch, Monday, 05/23/05

The Washington Post Co., the owner of Newsweek, has no comment on the retracted story controversy. The company's share price doesn't appear to be endangered so far.


( uh... glad the stock is doing well and all, i guess thats' pretty great but isn't one of the real issues here the US reputation that is damaged?)

Call me friggin' crazy, but I don't think a one sentence blurb in Newsweek actually ruined our country's reputation as much as 5 unchecked years of internationally deploarable behavior by Bush admin goons.

Thank the lordy the Bolton vote has been blocked for now, that's all we need is a moustachioed misanthrope deriding the United Nations from within the United Nations for the benefit of the uh, global community.... >Bolton & his 'stache



also, aside from the mainstream media links i put above, here are the documents in PDF form where detainess mention their complaints about tactics used in their interrogations and a couple links to outside human rights groups & non profits that don't have shareholders & advertisers only eager to tow the pentagon line of denial...


Detention in Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay: statement by Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal and Rhuhel Ahmed (pdf)
Read the letter from Moazzam Begg (pdf)


Lawyers Committee for Human Rights
Centre for Constitutional Rights


A website called Political Gateway had some sentinent comments on the Newsweek / Guantanamo denial / accusation mess that I think are worth repeating, so here's their recount & spin: May 16th - NewsWeek retracts story



"Based on what we know now, we are retracting our original story that an internal military investigation had uncovered Koran abuse at Guantanamo Bay," editor Mark Whitaker said.



Over? Hardly



May 26th - FBI documents show story was most likely based on real reports

http://www.politicalgateway.com/news/read.html?id=3857




Detainees interviewed by FBI agents at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba complained repeatedly that military guards and interrogators mistreated the Koran, with one alleging that the Muslim holy book had been flushed in a toilet, documents made public Wednesday show.



The documents -- FBI summaries of interviews with detainees at the military-run prison in 2002 and 2003 -- show that the treatment of the Koran was a key point of contention between detainees and their guards, one that prompted hunger strikes and threats of mass suicide.



Afterward



Major news outlets have all posted this same information, both anti administration and anti newsweek. It is obvious to this reporter there is much more than a few 'fake dead' Afghans at the heart of this story. Both political machines levied this story to maximum advantage and incited many Americans. It was great in the beginning for the 'right' and now it is looking good politically for the 'left'.



We have great politicians in the US. We have great political strategists in the US.



What we need are great leaders in the US. What we need are less dead American soldiers.




Perhaps the root of the problem is this. "Every major supplier of the world's oil is run by a monarch or dictator." A percentage of almost every penny you spend at the pump lines the pockets of 'evil' leaders who incite hatred against America. Bin Laden's money did not come from anyone but people who bought gas.




I gotta give the folks at Poltical Gateway kudos for at least getting "radical" & addressing what they see as the root of these issues. Radix is a latin word referring to "the root", hence the origin of the term radical. There is nothing inherently radical about arguing on talkshows or blog comment boxes, tipping trashcans or spray painting slogans. Radical is about getting to the bottom of the problem. I see far too little of our country's simmering semantic discourse directed at the systemic and base issues involved in our current territorial travails...


Meanwhile, while mediocre megalomanical media mavens spin the Gunatanamo story, more torture tales drift around in the shadows. U.S. citizens of Pakistani descent charged on Tuesday that they were tortured during eight months of secret detention and that FBI interrogators were aware of the mistreatment by Pakistani security forces but did not intervene.

uh, I mean who is really surprised by that allegation ? ?
I'm sure the loyal Limbaugh alikes & near sighted neo con talk talk talk all the time pundits will disparage the credibility of these accusers ( if they bother to mention this item at all) ...
but, if you ever had your ass kicked by a cop or local bully (i.e security forces) for no reason other than the neighborhood you live in, look on your face, or color of your skin... you wouldn't have such a hard time believing it. Ask any 16 year old inner city or non-white kid hanging on a corner if he's ever been threatened or smacked by a cop ? I have had ribs bruised and scars cut into my face by cops for crimes like skateboarding right here in liberal ol' San Francisco. How much of a stretch is it to imagine what would happen in custody in Guantanamo or one of the 'Stans???

If the mainstream media has a hard time reporting this stuff, it does not bode well for freedom of the press, much less for the freedom of the rapidly expanding seas of humanity.

Oh Well...let's move on...

other stuff ( here, allow me to provide a new more festive MP3 soundtrack for the rest of this entry: How about the joyous pounding mayhem of ol' Chick Webb & Roy Eldridge gettin down on Liza ( All The Clouds Will Roll Away ) in the good ol' 1930's prior to WWII )

Chick Webb


MORE NON-NEWS:


Beer : THE DECLINE DEBATED

http://adage.com/news.cms?newsId=45049 ( requires registration)


The JIST:
Beer has been slipping in preference amongst it's core consumers as wine and hard liquor sales increase in the US.

The major breweries are making a product that's been slowly slipping into irrelevance...


Viewed by many as setting a new low in TV advertising was Anheuser-Busch's farting horse commercial

Future signs for the beer business are not good. A Morgan Stanley study found that spirits -- rather than beer -- have become the most popular drink choice among the 21- to 27-year-old set. Baby Boomers are aging and leaving beer behind. Sixty-one\r\npercent of those responding to an Ad Age magazine poll said it will take more than better marketing to reverse the beer business' decline. Along withseeking their poll vote, Ad Age also invited readers to share comments... Interesting points are made by respondents including consumers as well\r\nas higher ups at Heineken, Diageo, Minnesota Vikings, Microwbrewers etc.

Meanwhile , in what passes for news worthy around the world:

China has been scoffing at & rebuffing US request to revalue currency
http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3284844a6026,00.html

The US Treasury has changed Chinese textile quotas, because of China's rigid foreign exchangepolicy, which US manufacturers say undervalues the yuan by as much as 40 per cent giving Chinese exporters an unfair advantage in world markets. Chinese officials
bit back, telling the US "put its own house in order before blaming others" for its trade deficit.


http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3284844a6026,00.html



Relatively Quiet Nuke Plant Leak in UK,

http://www.guardian.co.uk/nuclear/article/0,2763,1479527,00.html
... what\'s scary is what's not being said...


Ted Turner Has a Job Offer for new Grads

CNN founder Ted Turner told graduates of New England College that they should consider getting jobs at his Ted's Montana Grill restaurants because such positions won't be outsourced to India.

http://www.concordmonitor.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050516/REPOSITORY/505160336/1031


MOYERS ADDRESSES PBS COUP
some words from Bill Moyers,

In this highly anticipated speech the veteran public
broadcaster takes on the Bush admin's PBS coup and its right-wing
engineers who are 'squealing like a stuck pig.'
http://www.alternet.org/mediaculture/22021/
-----------------------------

Rolling Stone Mag Returns To Focus? Rejects Its Inner "Lad" ?

Will Dana, one of three deputy managing editors at Rolling Stone, is being promoted to managing editor. The magazine is supposedly refocusing on politics, culture and music, as it sees the "lad" craze fade (ala titty rags like Maxim, Dennis, Esquire etc).

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/16/business/media/16wenner.html


In honor of Rolling Stone at least announcing an attempt to find it's long lost soul again we'll drop in an indie-esque track for ya

here check out Sebadoh - Good Things live on the vital non profit FM outpost known as KVRX in Austin TX
--

WARNING: WE DISCRIMINATE
---------------------------------------------------------

Boy Scouts now must sign a sexual orientation disclosure statement.
http://www.alternet.org/rights/22030/

WARNING: WE NEED EVEN MORE I.D

I lost my wallet again recently, it's kind of a tradition... The only problem is I have to catch a plane in less than a week and there is literally no way in the modern world to replace my I.D within the 8 days I have.

I've been pretty P.O'd at banks for years, they've stolen my money, withheld my money for unreasonable amounts of time, and recently decided they couldn't cash one of my paychecks, because I didn't have "two" forms of proper ID.

Looks like eventually the feds will soon insure I'll need three...

Over at News.com, Declan McCullagh files this FAQ about the Real ID act, which passed in the House recently.

What's all the fuss with the Real ID Act about?
President Bush's $82 billion military spending bill will, in part, mandate electronically readable federal ID cards for Americans. The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the package--which includes the Real ID Act--on Thursday.

What does that mean for me?
If you live or work in the United States, you'll need a federally approved ID card to travel on an airplane, open a bank account, collect Social Security payments, or take advantage of nearly any government service starting three years from now. Practically speaking, your driver's license likely will have to be reissued to meet federal standards.

What's new: President Bush has passed another $82 billion military spending bill that will, in part, mandate electronically readable federal ID cards for Americans.
Bottom line: The Real ID Act hands the Department of Homeland Security the power to set federal ID standards and determine whether state drivers' licenses and other cards pass muster.

In honor of all the funkless facist interference in our culture creeping into the enjoyment of our daily lives, I now leave you with Mission of Burma's classic track "THAT'S WHEN I REACH FOR MY REVOLVER
(Clint Conley)

©1981, Lambent
Music



Once I had my heroes

Once I had my dreams

But all of that is
changed now

They've turned things
inside out

The truth is not
so comfortable, no

And mother taught
us patience

The virtues of restraint

And father taught
us boundaries

Beyond which we must
go

To find the secrets
promised us, yeah

That's when I reach
for my revolver

That's when it all
gets blown away

That's when I reach
for my revolver

The spirit fights
to find its way

A friend of mine
once told me

His one and only
aim

To build a giant
castle

And live inside his
name

Cry and whispers
sing in muted pain

That's when I reach
for my revolver

That's when it all
gets blown away

That's when I reach
for my revolver

The spirit fights
to find its way

Tonight the sky is
empty

But that is nothing
new

Its dead eyes look
upon us

And they tell us
we're nothing but slaves

That's when I reach
for my revolver


(...but slaves)

That's when I reach
for my revolver

That's when I reach
for my revolver

That's when I reach
for my revolver

That's when I reach
for my revolver


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Eel's, Old Shit / New Shit , Blinking Lights & OTHER REVELATIONS

I was in LA last week and I was quite excited to hear when I woke up that the Eels were gonna be on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic to hype their new album... The new BLINKING LIGHTS AND OTHER REVELATIONS double disc set...



I sat by the hotel pool in Hollywood with my coffee, scone & radio tuned in and waited... and waited... and although I got to hear some of their new tunes...E, aka Mark Everett, the main morose singer dude was too busy to show up for the show before I had to check out of the hotel.

You know how these lazy musician types can be... What else would you expect from the guy who sang I Need Some Sleep ( uh, you now the drill...right click...save)

Anyhow, the stuff I heard off their new album is right along with the "traditional" Eels sound, which is manically mellow, demented dry humored horror show fuzzy logic kinda musique for loners & stoners. Like o'l Bill Shakespeare & even Bill Burroghs, they mix their comedy with tragedy and have a good time oozing out the creepy & crafty melodrama. But they may not be as well known in the literary world, but The Eels sorta seem more rhythmic & post modern or whatver than those other dudes...

I guess we'll cut to the chase here and offer ya some tracks from the new 2 disc set, instead of babbling on about 'em... and then I'll give a long winded spiel and overview with more MP3 evidence to go on than my wondrous prose eh??

Here's the first couple "emphasis" tracks. the melodic "Old Shit/New Shit" , that hit the racks on April 26. Also, I'm throwing in the swell, "Hey Man (Now You're Really Living)." which I hear is already rockin' VH1 with it's way low budget video and more unit shifting lyrical subject matter.


The Eels sem to have a love / hate relationship with show biz and despite the requisite late night TV show appearances & interviews they know how hard it is too sell their brand of music in today's sappy hit radio climate. Everett, who first major label album was released in 1992, has come to terms with this shuck & jive, and has long been labeled a cynical recluse & depressing curmudgeon by the industry at large. He's played pointless stints at Lollapalooza to kids waiting for Korn, he's been asked not to sing his own lyrics on TV at the Ed Sullivan Theater in NY.

Yet, despite the annoying setbacks, and industry b.s, he keeps churning out the tunes... even if the songs are about car accidents, paranoia & pariahs, death, disease & despair...

While this new indie release is not as likely a high profile appearance for 10 year olds as the tune he had on The Shrek soundtrack ( My Beloved Monster ) guests here include mature rock figures like Peter Buck, John Sebastian & Tom Waits, and if ya don't know or care who those guys are, the Mudvayne, Lindsay Lohan & Toby Keith fan websites are only a few clicks away on Google. Please just go there now...

Anyhow, here's the first song I heard from the Eels on Dreamworks, Rags to Rags circa 1996 a track that won me over with it's dark flavor to savor ( not too mention the clever Keane-esque cover painting from the album Beautiful Freak).

BEAUTIFUL FREAK

If you are digging that track, then dig P.S You Rock My World , & the sublime Last Stop: This Town from 1998's Electro Shock Blues.

They followed up the Electro-Shock Blues album with Daisies of The Galaxy, some of the better known tracks were "Your Godamn Right It's A Beautiful Day" and I Like Birds

Cover Art

Prior to finishing up the Blinking Lights project , The Eels assembled Shotenanny, a 2003 release with a less orchestrated feel. The single that got the band it's most acclaim off that final Dreamworks project was the sparse Lone Wolf. With it's melancholy feel and claim, "I am the lone wolf, I always was, and will be/ I feel fine, I am resigned to this."



All in all, Mr. Everett has produced 5 or so full length albums, 4 for Dreamworks, before this year's double disc effort arrived via Vagrant Records. Vagrant is an indie label that started out doing So Cal pop punk compilations ala Epitaph, but has recently put out material from Paul Westerberg. Maybe the Vagrant folks heard the Eels take on Missy Elliott's Get UR FREAK ON & decided there was hope reaching an under 40 demographic afterall.


Now free of the major label hassles ( & money ), Mark"E" Everett is making "Lone Wolf" music on his own terms without pressure from marketing executives breathing down his neck. This iconoclastic talent has got no one to be upset or pissed off about this album's total look & feel except his own bad self.
In his current website there's a post in which Everett, the son of a late preminent physicist, sums up his storytelling & approach:

"There are two kinds of Christmas people," Everett says, "those who like their Christmas lights to stay on solid and those who like them to blink. As a kid, I always had a thing for sitting in the dark and watching the lights blink on and off at random." Now he says this fascination goes much further. "In the end, what we have are these little, great moments. They come and they go. That's as good as it gets. But, still, isn't that great?"

For more interview material with The Eels , listen to Mark from an Australian radio interview in 2003


The band is touring with a string section this year, and the first US date is at SF's Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, CA, June 15th, and hits about 12 other major markets within two weeks. They are currently playing about twice as many shows in Europe where presumably people might actually appreciate them and even pay them for their trouble. The last show is at Patty Smith's Meltdown Festival at Queen Elizabeth Hall on June 12th.

head to their site for more info on

The Eelswith strings U.S. Tour.


EELS WITH STRINGS NOW APPEARING


Here's Two Recent Video Clips From A Man Called E and his latest album Blinking Lights & Other Revelations

HEY MAN (NOW YOU'RE REALLY LIVING)
HEY MAN (NOW YOU'RE REALLY LIVING)
QUICKTIME: (25.3MB)
REAL PLAYER: High Medium Low

Railroad Man
RAILROAD MAN
Jay Leno 2005
QUICKTIME: (15.5MB)
REAL PLAYER: High Medium Low

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Pigs vs Sharks and The End of Fear Factor as we know it...and why Joe Meek will not inherit the earth

"More people are killed every year by pigs than by sharks, which shows you how good we are at evaluating risk." - security consultant and author Bruce Schneier



( as heard on http://www.itconversations.com/shows/detail119.html which features a full streaming and downloadable interview regarding broad ideas about security and our useless department of . Bruce's own site is http://schneier.com/ where an informative "Crypto-Gram"newsletter and blog is hosted with well over 120,000 regular readers.

Speaking of irrational Fear, NBC's grotesque greed showcase Fear Factor is being pulled from the peacock network's fall broadcasting schedule. The show loosely based on Japanese gameshows that challenged contestants to participate in increasingly bizarre and humiliating rituals for prizes has finally dropped in ratings and is out. Sadly, I'm sure it will be syndicated on cable though for many years to come.

A recent survey published in Ad Week confirms that for 50 some percent of Americans, their favorite ranked weekend leisure activities are actually shopping at dicount chain stores, spots like Wal-Mart, Kmart and Target, and if income allows them access to membership stores, Costco & Sam's Club rank high as well. YAY!

In a related link the Christian Science Monitor has a look at the magic Wal Mart effect and what it means to so called "ethical investors" .

P.S Check Out San Diego's The Experiments w/ Fuck Wal*Mart a live mp3 version of a track from their 1998 Rock and Roll Weekend Release.


And now just because I can't leave ya without some extemporaneous audio I suggest this rare Joe Meek demo. Joe was a somewhat troubled young U.K record producer & songsmith whose biggest hit was Telstar in the early 60's. Compared to Phil Spector & Brain Wilson, not only for his virtuosity, but also because of his odd ideas & relentless pursuit of some bizarre romantic ideal audio world.

Artist Name

The BBC website provided this handy Joe Meek in One Minute overview

  • Producer of the Tornados' massive 1962 hit "Telstar", Margaret Thatcher's favourite record and the first single by a British group to reach #1 in the US
  • He was tone deaf
  • Claimed to have made contact with Buddy Holly during a séance
  • The first producer to record Tom Jones and Screaming Lord Sutch
  • On the February 3 1967, at the age of 37, Joe shot his landlady then killed himself



Here he is singing in a bit o' spaced out gibberish along to the instrumental track of his own Telstar, the 1962 hit song that heralded the launch of the first U.S communication satellite.

If ya dig the Joe Meek rarity , check out this page courtesy of archive.org that features lotsa similar selections from ol' Joe... and this BBC link to more Meek professional material and info




Thursday, May 05, 2005

Gang of Four - To Hell With Poverty

Last Tuesday night I was walking by the Fillmore Auditorium, and found out that there were still Gang of Four tickets available. Well, damn to Hell With Poverty, I dropped $25 at the ticket window and wandered on up those venerable stairs, past the free apples, to catch the legendary UK band in action.

26448-4 picture sleeve

Gang of Four - Damaged Goods

Your sweat so sour
Sometimes I'm thinking that I love you
But I know it's only lust
The change will do you good
I always knew it would
You know the change will do you good - Damaged Goods


Opening up the show was Radio 4, a NYC Based band that likely owes a little debt to Gang of Four in their sound and stylistic approach. They were energetic, and featured the standard nattily dressed & coiffed keyboard, guitar and bassist up front plus a really banging drummer, paired with a percussionist dude on timbales/congas. Radio 4 were putting down an interesting, damn near occasionally funky sound, and filled the room with their taut brand of aural bravado. I'd check these guys out again for shizzle...

Radio 4 - How The Stars Got Crossed

Gang of Four came out of their dressing room to sip cocktails, watch the band from the balcony and seemed to dig 'em. The newcomers from NYC were putting out a great set of fiercely ecsatic electro pop rawk to an audience of unappreciative and motionless San Francisco hipsters. I felt like hounding them after the set and apologizing for the weak crowd response. But instead I ordered another Tanq & Tonic and perused the old posters on the walls & chatted up old friends in the hall and waited for the main event.

As for the Gang, fresh from selling out the Fillmore the night before & playing the massive Coachella festival the day prior, the audience was definitely theirs for the taking . The band came out to rousing applause, with Andy Gill on guitar & vocalist Jon King frantically playing to the crowd, switching stage sides & mic stands numerous times. King was particulary animated, waving his arms, climbing atop the speakers & twitching his sinewy frame every which way. During "He'd Send in the Army", King beats furiously on a microwave to great symbolic & sonic effect, and as the oven gets dented and flayed, it's obviously great as a percussive instrument & theatrical prop. The fellas in the band up front were obviously not spring chickens, but were svelte, energetic & in fine form, tearing into the old faves like "At Home He's A Tourist" with those staccato guitar attacks, angulated rhythms & fat bass lines like they had been itching to play them for years.

The problem of leisure. What to do for pleasure. Ideal love a new purchase. A market of the senses.” ~ Natural’s Not In It, by Gang of Four

They originally formed in 1977, shortly after Gill & King, arts students from Leeds, went to NY for the summer and caught the punk scene up close like seeing The Dead Boys & The Jam at CBGB's.
"You'd be at CBGB's and Joey Ramone would be propped up at one end of the bar and down the other end of the bar, there'd be John Cale. It was great really. It was an exciting time...That first Television album was great and so was the first Talking Heads record. There's a shared interest in avoiding the rock-guitar cliché for sure. " - said Andy Gill in an interview with Worldly Remains magazine.

Gig Review The Gang of Four became noted for their sparse & funky twist on the rock idiom, combining shouted political lyrics & dancable beats to make a sound that was all it's own.

"Please send me evenings and weekends/ Please send me evenings and weekends ..." Reurn The Gift , by Gang of Four.

Gang Of Four never had great commericial sucess, partly due to their radio repelling punk/funk sound and attitude. They were once invited to appear on the UK's Top Of The Pops, but were dropped when they refused to remove the word 'rubbers' from the lyrics. They kept their street cred, but never hit the charts again. Over the years, they made impact, much like the oft repeated line about The Velvet Underground, they never sold very many records, but it seemed as if everyone who bought one must have been influenced to start a band.

Until recently the Gang has not played with all it's orginal members since the very early 80's, a time when they would be on Rock Against Racism tours in Britain. Gang of Four came about at a time when Thatcher's Britain was facing a steady economic decline and a rising tide of fascist youth called the National Front. Gang of Four provided rallying cries for the post punk pub & protest scene. Like hometown compatriots The Mekons & Chumbawamba, and to some extent groups like The Clash and Crass. They toured relentlessly back in the day, & drank & drugged & argued just as fiercely as they toured. Tourmates at times have included everyone from the Buzzcocks in the late 70's, to bringing along REM as a support act in the early 80's.

Now two decades later, they have respectable day jobs, in fields like e-marketing, teaching and corporate video and but decided to take leave of absences and make a go of a reunion. A sparse schedule, with just 5 UK dates, and 12 American cities was eagerly greeted by old & new fans alike.

Apparently the prospect of touring, while simultaneously pushing into middle age, has even made bassist Dave Allen hire a personal trainer before hitting the road. (Drummer Hugo Burnham looked a bit more like Jabba The Hut though, and despite his wife's staus as a Pilates instructor, one imagines his training regimen might have consisted of getting dietary tips from the "Supersize Me" DVD.)

Lots of attempts to milk the bands cult like appeal are currently being made with an expanded reissue of their classic & likely finest work "Entertainment!" on Rhino/Warner due May 17th, and a two-disc Gang of Four compilation, due August 30 on V2.

The two disc V2 release will contain "re-recorded" Gang of Four songs from their first three records — Entertainment!, Solid Gold and Songs of the Free — by the original reunited band members. The first single, the Gang's re-recording of "To Hell With Poverty," is available now on iTunes. The other disc is a tribute/remix collection slated to feature remixes & covers by bands like No Doubt, Moby, Beck, Yeah Yeah Yeahs & The Futureheads etc.

With so many bands now out and aping the G of 4 sound, with the world's politics even more convoluted & ugly, and the radio playing an even worse assortment of fluff and fodder than 25 years back...

"The timing couldn't be better," Allen recently told the Orange County Register, "because nothing has changed. If anything, it's gotten worse. That gives us incredible relevance. No one else is talking about this stuff."

download an MP3 of Gang of Four - To Hell With Poverty


9 43047-2 inner sleeve
click pic - password = stairway