Wednesday, 27 November 2013
Sunday, 24 November 2013
With all the current media interest about JFK, I was recently moved to play James King and The Lone Wolves rather brilliant Texas Lullaby. I didn't really fancy blowing my head off with the Dead Kennedys, I was more in the mood for something slightly more laid back and mellow. Back in the early eighties James King and The Lone Wolves were jangly swamp blues rockers; Mean, moody and menacing, they could have been contenders, but tales of drunken and violent excesses and a no compromise attitude meant major record companies were afraid of the big bad wolf and went for the easy soft options like Lloyd Cole and The Commotions and Aztec Camera instead, and mainstream success eluded the Lone Wolves. The band split in 1985 and their legend faded into obscurity, or did it?
Anyway to cut a story short, after playing the 5 track Texas Lullaby 12”, a record I've held dear since 1984, I did an internet search on James King and The Lone Wolves, and found out that my radar had missed the fact that the band had reformed in 2011, to play a couple of tribute gigs and haven't looked back due to the positive reaction they received, they also started recording, and the four track Pretty Blue Eyes E.P was released earlier this year, available as a digital download from Amazon.
The opening track Pretty Blue Eyes, recalls the sound of the Velvet Underground, while Fun Patrol is a neo Rockabilly rumble, a re-working of an old song of theirs, now with added harmonica. Guitars reverberate as James spits out some of the wickedest lyrics ever written; “Would you crawl on broken glass for me?....Would you blow your fucking brain out with a gun for me?” Even Beatles Die is a swirling and sweeping statement with Thunders style guitar licks. Happy Home finds feedback infused guitars dropping in and out creating an atmospheric anthem of alienation “I don't want to crawl in your world I want to take a walk in mine.”
Has age mellowed James King and The Lone Wolves? No! They sound far darker and deeper on their walk to hell. The off kilter country vibe is still there, but there's more of a chugging and chopping three pronged guitar attack going on behind James's distinctive drawl which is akin to Iggy Pop, Johnny Thunders and Lou Reed having a fight on Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street. If the devil has all the best tunes, he got another four missing from his collection.
The Pretty Blue Eyes E.P is a haunting, emotional, intense and uneasy listen at times, the very essence of Rock'N'Roll; a groove that moves, an impassioned howl while wrestling with demons. These are twisted and tortured tunes of anguish. Tales of emotional turmoil and torment, broody and buoyant songs to drown in. This is life with all its beauty and ugliness affirming stuff! Single of the year? Definitely! Can't wait to hear their reworked Texas Lullaby which they are in the process of recording and mixing at the moment.
While I was on my internet travels I also found a couple of videos on youtube, from which I've ripped the audio (Thanx to the original uploaders) for your enjoyment. Here's Happy Home, Even Beatles Die and Fun Patrol. Live @ The Glasgow Glasshouse in March 2013, and there's Fly Away and Fun Patrol live on The Old Grey Whistle Test in 1985. Enjoy! or Destroy!
Saturday, 23 November 2013
So that Great British institution Monty Python have teamed up and got back together. When times are hard animosities and differences have been put aside. A sell out tour, DVD's etc will no doubt follow, and fill the bank accounts of all concerned. This isn't unfinished business, this is just.... business, and the joke is on anyone who buys into it.
I'm so glad The Clash never reformed, and so disappointed that The New York Dolls did, the dead can never, or should never be replaced. When Joe Strummer was still alive offers were turned down, which is why for me The Clash unlike the Pistols were the only band that mattered, but hey at least the Pistols had the honesty and decency to call their comeback tour The Filthy Lucre Tour.
For me the only reasons acceptable for re-unions and reformations are when the bands or artists have unfinished business i.e. ones that never realised their full potential, or feel they still have something relevant to say. I have no gripes about bands like The Fits, James King and The Lone Wolves, The Mob, Chelsea or The Outcasts all becoming part of the 20th Century retrolution circus. Perhaps they have a part to play in destroying the present obsession with the passive consumption of the past, which is giving us no future.
Those that ignore the past are condemning us to a future that has been written. Those that use the past to condemn the present can help write the future. I wonder what new material Monty Python will come up with?
Sunday, 17 November 2013
Thursday, 14 November 2013
This recording captures The Ramones in front of an enthusiastic Ann Arbor audience in February 1979 during their Road To Ruin tour, and months before they started recording End Of The Century. The set is a great selection of tunes from their first four albums plus a couple that would appear on the aforementioned End of The Century. It's fast, furious and frantic full throttle pedal to the metal Rock'n'Roll. Raw, rough and raucous even by Ramones standards. As a bonus there are also 7 tracks from various TV show appearances the band made between 1982 and 1995. Hey, Ho Let's Go!
Sunday, 10 November 2013
Some musicians us the term 'art' to describe their work, because as music, it's shit. However art defines any old shit because it is....art, and anything seems to pass for art if people are told it is art. Music doesn't need definition because people can hear it is music. When it comes to what people see, they have to be persuaded and seduced into looking at something for what it isn't when it is what it is....a pile of bricks, a dead cow or a floor covered in seeds, they are what they are until people are told it shows humanities darker side....blah, blah, blah. It's another case of the emperors new clothes, and all the media and service industries are in it all together; selling people more shit they don't really need by telling us it is something that it is not. The whole world is just gaga!
Looking in the mirror craving attention,
another love child of a narcissist nation.
Look out of the window, cannot see anything
another blinded child who always wants something.
Celebrity kills, creating a death culture,
bones of the past picked at by capitalist vultures.
Bought and sold, the new and the old.
By all the taste makers trend setters, movers and shakers.
Down from the hills comes a thundering sound.
A thousand marching feet across the ground.
Tattered and torn flags, flapping in the field.
There will be no surrender because no one will yield.
The blood runs over England’s green and now unpleasant lands,
everyone fighting something they don't understand.
Two world wars and one world cup,
a dead empire, who gives a fuck?!
British soldiers give Nazi salutes.
Fingers on the triggers, there are Muslims to shoot.
A grey mist covers a land with no hope or glory,
history tells a different story.
A storm is coming, a real rain will fall
knocking all the Humpty Dumpty's from off the wall.