Saturday, April 07, 2018

WHAT'S THE FREQUENCY ERIC?


The line in "Gateway To Europe" about a bridge being built to where no-one wants to go really chimes with me and these times. Then there’s the futility of almost everything but let’s not get into that now. The way people listen to things these days have stymied ‘the album’ as a concept. Especially those like this that has been sequenced to be experienced in a particular order. Like a good film or book that you won’t want to avert your attention from.

The mood that Construction Time and Demolition strikes isn’t always as bleak as it might seem though. As uncompromising as Suicide, there’s a cautious optimism coursing through the frequencies that somehow offers a respite that so many records simply don’t any more. I read about things and wonder ‘is this it?’ when I hear them. Not so with this. There’s an extensive tour coming up where the album content will likely be interpreted differently every night. It’s not going to be lurking somewhere out of view on a laptop to augment the performance nor vice versa. What you’ll see and hear in real time will add an extra dimension to the recorded version. That will also be the case if you hear the documented version prior to seeing the show.

You’ll likely hear some old stuff but it’s all about forging forward. Like your Neil Young and your Rab Zimmerman, this fella has absolutely nothing to prove. He’s presenting you with yet another set of songs that will allow you to catch up with that fact. You might be able to plot where he’s come from but you sure as shit won’t have any inkling as to where he’s going. Other than leading a bunch of us over that ‘bridge’ to whatever is in store. Hopefully a place where there is no such thing as a franchise in any shape or form. The majesty of the sound that is captured here is really quite astounding. That's saying something when considered against Eric's body of work.

Get physical copies of the album from the man himself during his extensive, upcoming tour dates in the US and the UK. If you don't find yourself anywhere near then hit up your local shop or wherever you buy your “gear” these days. If you want to get it digitally, please do so directly at Eric’s bandcamp page.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Sunday, April 01, 2018

IT'S OUR BIRTHDAY (PRINT EDITION)



All low key on this 41st NBT anniversary but I did recently happen upon this. Pretty funny. The comments suggest that this portal might have something to do with the ex-Sounds scribe Sandy Robertson but I might be wrong. It wouldn’t be the tenth time. I imagine that my ‘beef ‘with Sniffin Glue at the time was that I didn’t chime with their worldview and maybe thought I should have a go at the zine lark myself. Mark turned out to be a stand up guy. As did Tony D(rayton) and some other folks I might have had a pop at. The folly of (relative) youth.

Talking out of my arse is an activity that I reserve the right to practice to this very day. I did and said, often in print, some incredibly stupid things based on the flimsiest even non-existent premise. I don’t believe the claim that The Dictators were (and are) better than The Pistols to be one of those however and I stand by that original statement.

For better or for worse and irrespective of what any bugger thinks.

And congratulations to Sir Andy Shernoff for having our namesake appear in the Season 3 premiere of the TV show, Billions. I never watched it but those music placement folks on that show obviously know a contender when they hear one.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Friday, March 16, 2018

Friday, March 02, 2018

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

THE DYNAMITE JUST KEEPS ON COMING!



The Courettes are back with another dozen of those tunes that will hit you upside of your head. “We Are The Courettes” is maybe another cheeky wee nod in the direction of their spiritual Tacoma forefathers. It continues to outline just how much better these kids are than the slew of two person crews that are out there. Many of those are good for maybe one 45 but there’s an extra oomph to this combo. I don’t really want to try and quantify what it is, just so long as it just keeps on coming. The pop crunch of “All About You” is like supercharged Lulu. There are also ballads. That’s right. No, I hear you say? Oh yes and they really pace the sequencing beautifully.

I’ve no idea if Flavia knows who The Geator is and I’m hoping she doesn’t because “Strawberry Boy” is pure Jerry Blavat. And when all is said and done, there are few full on screams that compare with that of Ms Couri. Combine that with the fuzz and clatter and you’ll be grinning all over your fizzog.

The sonic boom that they’ve come to customise is intact but they’re growing into a multi-faceted rockin’ machine. I look forward to hear how the slower songs might be applied to the live set but the way “Fool Fool Fool” closes the album just makes me want to take the ride all over again.

They are The Courettes!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

SPARE A THOUGHT FOR THE GAL THAT LABOURS ON THE PAGE...



Starting off with “From philip roth@gmail to rzimmerman @ aol.com” it’s evident that these past years playing with Eric has arrived at a sound that really captures the edge that this girl has over the competition. The majesty of the jangle around the bass propulsion is verging on anthemic. Not that she doesn’t have a brace of anthems in the catalogue that trounces most everything but this album has an atmosphere all of its own. It has a Tom Petty-type undertow too and as a  statement of intent, it kicks things off at a damn high bar.

The place of Amy Rigby in the firmament of music is another example of something that people who have no idea of its existence could really do with hearing. If you’ve ever read her blog then you’ll know what this lassie can do with words. Before I even heard “Are We Still There Yet?”, it was one of the best song titles I’ve ever come across and to my mind there's just one person who could come up with it.

Her world-weariness is at once cinematic and also deeply personal. “The Old Guys” really hangs together as a piece where recent albums were perhaps collections of songs recorded where and when she could get it together.

So I could waffle on but I want you to hear how damn great this is for yourself. My favourite on the album is “Bob”. It’s like if maybe Joe Meek had produced Linda Thompson. The brass is spine-tingling and if anything it’s the biggest departure here as she relates the story of her old friend. The closer “One-Off” could be applied to several individuals I know but in terms of characters and entertainers, this Amy is in a class of her own. She may set her sights near the middle or somewhere below but what she comes up with is, to my mind, absolutely revelatory. Still the best. Still the champ.

Check out the tour dates here and if she isn’t coming round your way anytime soon then just order a physical copy hereIf it’s a download you need, enquire at her website or wherever such doohickeys are sold.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Monday, January 22, 2018

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

RIP - EVA GARCIA BENITO (SOUL BLONDE)



LOLA ARMY - Designed by Eva. 

There’s too much of the type of news you hope will never come. That which you desperately want to be fake or just plain untrue. Or even just plain mistaken. Today was another of those, when someone who is really just a kid departs in an altogether untimely fashion. Eva was something else, a gentle soul with a huge artistic, creative heart who apart from all that was just a wee gem that radiated. 
She and her life partner Murky blazed a trail across the Spanish Underground. Perhaps the best known of these projects is LCDD, who played all across the planet. Even in Glasgow.


Lisa Fancher, Eva, Old bloke
outside LA ALEGRIA in Madrid

November 2016

Photo by MURKY
During a fairly protracted period of illness, her creative edge never slipped and she was the mastermind behind LOLA. A wee Spanish wummin that can be found in regalo emporiums all across Spain. Eva presented me with one during Sesentafest and it was quite the honour to receive such a cool gift by the designer herself. Most importantly, it was she and Murky that masterminded our adventures in the real Madrid that really made me fall in love with the city.

Sitting in their tiny apartment listening to hopelessly obscure shellac is an experience fully scorched into my skull. It was especially crammed the night after The Dahlmanns made their Wurlitzer debut. So I’ll miss her physical presence the next time I’m in town but she’ll never stop being a fixture in our hearts and minds.  To Murky, we their friends will attempt to help with the huge hole this loss will bring him. We can’t begin to fill it but I hope he knows that we’re all around for him.

I thank both of them for those times of Alegria that hanging out with this cool couple brought to this old daftie.

Here’s her theme song...