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Archive for May, 2005

JULIAN GASKELL – Demonstration Recordings

Posted: May 9th, 2005, by Tom Leins

Julian Gaskell is part of the Icons of Poundland collective that wreaked musical havoc in the north-west with their home-baked folk/skiffle/punk mischief. He now resides in the more sedate climes of Falmouth and writes spooky, upbeat songs that sound like Tom Waits strung-out on fresh-air! The four tracks that make up ‘Demonstration Recordings’ aren’t a million miles from Mr Waits’ often-potent light jazz/dirty blues cocktail, and rattle between whacked-out, lowdown gritty stompers like ‘Learn From Your Mistakes’ and the gothic, gypsy-blues of ‘Gather! While Ye May’. His voice is full of bedraggled, smoky mystery and he plays guitar, harmonica, balalaika, banjo and zither. For anyone who doesn’t know what at least one of those instruments sounds like, the answer is: pretty special. This CD bubbles along like a particularly bucolic avant-folk experiment. If you like your avant-folk experiments bucolic then you’ve come to the right place.

Contact: julian@iconsofpoundland.co.uk

Damo Suzuki live in Leeds, May 4th 2005

Posted: May 6th, 2005, by Jon Goodwin

Hi all. I know Chris wrote extensively about Damo about this time last year but I thought I’d break my main blog duck by telling you all about his gig the other night.

It was ace. Damo’s ‘sound carriers’ for this gig were Joe and Neil (Polaris / Bilge Pump) on guitar and drums respectively , Stu (Leeds DIY PA guru) on bass, a keyboard player who was having the time of his life, and a percussionist with a snare drum, cymbal and a box of tricks including a whistle, a football rattle and a baking tray full of pennies. He was my favourite.

For those who haven’t seen Damo recently, he is about 5 foot tall, with long grey hair and a goateee beard. He was wearing a gojonnygogogogo tshirt at least three sizes too big for him. At the start of every ‘song’ he’d point at the person he wanted to start it. They’d play a bit, then the others joined in and Damo sung. He’s got two voices, one is his Can voice and the other is this Tom Waits-like gruff howling. Sometimes he’d swap between these voices during the song, so it was a bit like watching a 60 year old Japanese schizophrenic.

Good job I like 60-year old Japanese Schizophrenics.

I think the band perhaps were a bit nervous at first. Not that it wasn’t ace, it’s more that they started out sounding a bit like Can, but then slowly gained the confidence to do things their way. By the end of the set they were in full flow, doing free jazz bits, spacey bits, krauty bits etc etc.

After every ten minute song (they probably did about 8 pieces, they were on stage well over an hour) Damo would applaud each member of the band in turn, applaud the audience and then point at the guy he wanted to start the next song.

When they finished there was the longest, loudest call for an encore I’d ever heard, so they came back on to do two more pieces… I think the band may not have been sure whether people were enjoying it up to this point because during the encore they were having the time of their lives, laughing, playing with / off each other, the keyboardist looked like he was high, the drummers were having call-and-response battles on the drums. The second to last song was awesome – faster and groovier than everything that had gone before it, and the previously reverential crowd indulged in a bit of dancing down the front.

When they finally, finally finished, Damo announced he was ‘going to bed’, but then shook hands with most of the audience and then sat down signing autographs etc.

Feh, you can call it self-indulgent or arty or whatever (couldn’t find anybody to come with me!) but I thought it was ace, and it was never noodly or muso-ey (apologies to any musos or noodlists reading this).

Damo! Damo! Come back on, and do another song!

Vote Bean

Posted: May 5th, 2005, by Simon Proffitt

The first candidate on my ballot paper this afternoon was Captain Beany, representing the New Millenium Bean Party. Because this is a secret ballot, I reserve the right to tell you whether I did or did not vote him. But check out the manifesto – it actually makes a hell of a lot of sense. Especially the bit about giving Prince William a bachelor pad in Cardiff Castle so he can date Charlotte Church.

The best is yet to come – for some strange, mesmerising reason I think this page is possibly the funniest thing I’ve seen in weeks: The Wales Yearboook General Election Guide

Update: Beany received 159 votes, just 17,833 short of what would have been a fantastic victory for Cardiff, baked beans and Prince William. Meanwhile, in nearby Cardiff North, the Vote For Yourself Party candidate received 1 vote. Presumably from herself.

CHARLES E. CULLEN – Welcome to the world of… (Thee Sheffield Phonographic Corporation)

Posted: May 4th, 2005, by Simon Minter

Weird, weird, free-associating anti-folk which makes me think that Charles E. Cullen has done too much acid and spent too much time living on his own, rocking wildly and intently on a hand-made rocker on his hand-made porch. Twenty songs of bluesy, reverbed vocals and beginner-style guitar with a variety of comedic titles (‘I got a rare poultry disease’, ‘Kenny’s outdated muscle relaxers’ etc). They remind me of very early Beck; stream-of-consciousness glimpses of strangeitude recorded without apparent reference to anything, and played with the fervour of the Shaggs on an off-day.

The enjoyment of the sheer oddness on display is slightly tempered by the volume of material, which is sometimes overwhelming. I feel this might be a good CD to put on after picking up a sketchy hitch-hiker: make sure to turn up the guitar solos, which sound like the scratching feedback of a murderer.

Thee Sheffield Phonographic Corporation

It was only a matter of time…

Posted: May 4th, 2005, by Marceline Smith

Well, at least it’s not a toilet brush.

Vin Diesel

Posted: May 4th, 2005, by Ollie

I haven’t been able to stop looking at this for like a week.

Funny stuff.


Posted: May 3rd, 2005, by Chris Summerlin

I just searched Google for something (quite innocent!) and it returned results with the following 2 headings:

1. Trousers to his manga gay porno an old codger is wacking off when…

2. Free Banana Tits