Christmas 1979

Today’s door on the advent calendar brings us an unexpected treat – Wild Billy Childish and the Musicians Of The British Empire’s ‘Christmas 1979’ album of mostly seasonal numbers has been a solid festive favourite here for the past ten years. Never though had I imagined that Billy would have lowered himself to making a lip synch video for it. It’s just not his thing at all is it? Billy still inhabits a world before such unfortunate modern contrivances. Yet here it is. It’s not a big budget number with dancers or anything, mostly close up on Billy singing. Turns out the single was reissued in 2013 and he made an accompanying short film about a nativity scene and this clip. This explains the CTMF on his guitar as that band had just come into life at that point after a relatively quiet phase for Childish. This year’s CTMF album ‘Brand New Cage’ is a cracker by the way. Obviously it sounds just like all his other records, but I think it’s among the better ones. Christmas being in many ways a festival of nostalgia it’s an obvious fit for someone as drawn to the past as Childish. Still it’s hardly a cosy dream of childhood he brings us here, christmas seems not to have been all that jolly that year. It’s worth watching this to the end if only to see him crack a smile at the songs doleful closing mantra.

For historical context here’s a TV ad for the hot albums Woolworths were pushing that year, fronted upsettingly by a little kid pretending to be Elton John, and below that Jan Leeming brings the season’s glad tidings on BBC News. The more things change . . .


The final girl of finger foods


13009791hey there lucky people, it’s Friday 13th (again – trapped in an ever recurring nightmare) – who wants to come to a cabin in the woods this weekend and get totally shitfaced? No? Don’t be chicken. We can fight evil too if you like. Persisting beyond all reason into 2017, thee monkey’s claw scraped up a pile of queasy ‘he’s behind you’ ambience, blasts of noise terror and lots of “shit, RUN!!!” beats into the kind of dubious party mix that’s always the last thing left on the side, looking a bit sad there, sort of picked at and only getting eaten once everyone’s too drunk to taste anything. The final girl of finger foods. or something. Anyway, not only is it Friday 13th again but it’s hallowe’en just around the corner so get in the grim mood with this queasy buffet of drones,weird noises and pounding techno dotted with decaying 80’s pop smashes . . .   

download it – (if you dare!!!)

Mamiffer –  13 Burning Stars
Puce Mary –  The Temptation to Exist
Pye Corner Audio – Ganzfeld Effect
Demdike Stare –  Dyslogy
Raime –  Dead Heat
Pye Corner Audio –  Transmission Thirteen:Line Of Sight
Johnny Cash – Reads From The Good Book
Marreck – False Martyr
Coil –  Tunnel of Goats VIII
The Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu -It’s Grim Up North (Part 2)
Barker & Baumecker – Club Entropicana
Wham! – Club Tropicana
Aphex Twin – B side (DFN2016)
Dalhous – Statistical Order
Mark Kozelek –  13
Nurse With Wound – I Put My Mouth To The Lips Of Eternity
KETEV – Women / Animal Skull
New Order –  Elegia




funtime radio hour : songs and stories

It’s Friday then, how is everybody? The autumnal damp got into your bones yet? Here’s another of our sporadic online broadcasts. A surefire bunch of toe-tappers herein to keep you warm, possibly even get you moving about. We’ve got cover versions, nostalgia, weirdness, mid-western power trios, deep fried texans galore, english garage bastards and a decent amount of wonky diagonal electronic gear. I don’t usually go in for over explaining but I probably had too much coffee and there’s just a teeming web of interconnections going on here that’s put me off balance, so bear with me. First up while we were saddened by the recent losses of Holger Czukay and Harry Dean Stanton, they were pretty old guys. Grant Hart was still only in his fifties and had survived SST records, heroin and a mistaken HIV diagnosis only to get taken by cancer. This hardly seems fair, not that death ever plays fair, the news was thrown into harsh relief by the recent announcement of ‘Savage Young Dü’ a box set of early Hüsker Dü demos and live recordings arriving in a couple of months. So, yeah maybe we should have kicked off with something off ‘Intolerance’ or from his more recent solo records but the box set news had got me listening to old Hüsker Dü stuff already so there’s a couple of his songs to start with. I find a lot of live Hüskers stuff sounds pretty bad, particularly on Grant’s songs because he’s trying to drum and sing at the same time. This is a really good live version of ‘Green Eyes’ though. One of the other things tugging on my sleeve about this mix was a rolling stone piece about how Songs About Fucking is 30 years old.  ‘Warehouse: Songs and Stories’ is also 30 this year, something about the similarities in the titles and the fact it saw both bands bow out made me want to come up with some gruesome Frankenstein hybrid title but thankfully I though better of it. 1987 was a pretty bumper year looking back through my tinted shades, it also saw The Smiths bid farewell with ‘Strangeways Here We Come’ – three of the only legendary bands to have resisted the gaudy allure of reformation all quit in one year. There’s an ill thought out conspiracy theory hiding in there somewhere. Other 30 year old monsters of varying degrees of importance to us around here include ‘You’re Living All Over Me’, ‘Sister’, ‘Come On Pilgrim’, Yo! Bum Rush the Show’, ‘Locust Abortion Technician’, ‘Children Of God’, ‘The Young Gods’, ‘Scum’, ‘Darklands’, ‘Floodland’, ‘Sign ‘O’ The Times’, ‘Frank’s Wild Years’ and also The Triffids’, ‘Calenture’ – a concept that, as far as I know, has not troubled underground rock music in the thirty intervening years until Hey Colossus’ ‘Calenture Boy’ this year. It’s a tempting stack of tunes isn’t it? I managed to resist that particular wormhole but put I some Big Black in. I went with ‘Pavement Saw’ just because, although it probably should have been ‘The Model’ going into USA Nails‘ ‘The Robots’ which sticks it to Florian and Karl and their whole robot schtick. Casting our minds briefly back to Supernormal there’s some Hot Snakes and that cover from Death Pedals. I did kind of go off down the worm hole kicked off by Grey Hairs though. There’s their version of Roky Erickson‘s ‘I Think Of Demons’ from the new EP and his own of the other tune they do ‘If You Have Ghosts’ both from hallowe’en favourite ‘The Evil One’. Roky is currently on tour in the US, he’s playing a couple of nights in San Francisco at hallowe’en, that could be pretty cool although it’d be full of burnt out old west coast hippies in tie dye and greying manes of smug. Night of the living dead heads. To my great surprise ‘The Evil One’ can be found on the bandamp –

If any band could make a stronger claim than The Butthole Surfers to be Roky’s bastard muscial children I’d be surprised to hear it. They take a pretty faithful run at the 13th Floor Elevators’ ‘Earthquake’ kicking the tempo up a bit, a straight vocal with no gibbytronic weirdness and great guitar from Leary. I know some folks were pretty upset about them not making it over for Safe As Milk this year, so it goes. Apparently we’re getting a new record out of them at some point. Experience suggests this sort of thing can almost only lead to disappointment, we should all perhaps recall more clearly how patchy their recorded output was overall and adjust our excitement accordingly. On the other hand, Pinkus and Leary’s efforts as part of The Melvins were impressive and King Coffey seems to be on something of a roll. If it was always destined somewhere dank and unsettling that Craig ‘Shit & Shine’ Clouse would one day make a record with one of the Buttholes USA/MEXICO is none the less a perfectly named and brutal Rio Grande mudslide of filth, ‘Yard Of The Month’ takes its name from Coffey surprisingly taking this crown of civic pride and good citizenship a couple of years back. Concerning the band’s parentage, that smiling guy on the cover is Gibby’s dad, Mr Peppermint. Yep. Enslave The Zombie is a kid who makes music on garage band with a little help from his dad. This sweet, if subliminally disturbing, version of ‘Moving To Florida’ is from his album ‘The Magic Of The Butthole Surfers’ a thing that exists and if nothing else proves that the last thirty years have surely seen some changes. Drain is an older project of King Coffey’s, in this case dismantling the actual King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s ‘Crawfish’ over some thundering drums. Shit & Shine does something similar with a drawling Dave Lee Roth interview kicking off the last section which turned outto be a bunch of wonky business on Powell‘s Diagonal records, including star of Supernormal Container, as well as Not Waving and Prostitutes


Grant Hart with Chris Strouth
Hüsker Dü –  Green Eyes (live)  [Spin concert 8-28-85]
Hüsker Dü –  Pink Turns To Blue  [Zen Arcade]
Big Black –  Pavement Saw [Songs About Fucking]
USA Nails –  The Robots  [Shame Spiral]
Hot Snakes –  If Credit’s What Matters I’ll Take Credit  [Automatic Midnight]
Death Pedals – Plenty For All  [Rip This Joint Compilation Vol 1]
Grey Hairs –  I Think Of Demons   [On And Off EP]
Roky Erickson & The Aliens –  If You Have Ghosts  [The Evil One]
Butthole Surfers –  Earthquake   [Where The Pyramid Meets The Eye]
USA/MEXICO –  Yard Of The Month  [Laredo]
Enslave The Zombie –  Moving To Florida  [The Magic Of The Butthole Surfers]
Drain –  Crawfish  [Pick Up Heaven]
Shit and Shine –  Excess, Laziness, Egotism  [Total Shit!]
Holy Fuck – Bird Brains  [Bird Brains]
Powell – Jonny [feat. Jonny]  [Sport]
Not Waving –  I Know I Know I Know  [Animals]
Container –  Radiator  [Vegetation EP]
Prostitutes –  Ah Yeah  [Dance Tracksz]
Martin Rev  Concrete  [Demolition 9]

Square Peg / Black Hole

Square Peg - Black Hole

My time as acting reviews editor of Narc is coming to an end: once that’s out of the way I’ll enjoy being able to listen to music for pleasure again, and returning to writing the Panic & Carousels column too.

For now, here’s a mix that collects releases that have got my arm hairs tingling over the last few months (including a mere handful of yet to be released selections). Some of this is comparatively old but it’s all fantastic stuff. It’s yr standard Hickey mix of riffs, beats, filth and oddness, and if you get past the fantastically discordant Sly & The Family Drone & Dead Neanderthals / Penderecki double-whammy, there’s some lovely , gentle tunes to see you out including two selections from Kemper Norton‘s stunning Hungan album.

Here’s what’s included and there’s a dropbox link to the file here (although this will only last for a while)

  1. Bill Doggett – Honky Tonk (from the Blue Velvet soundtrack)
  2. Circle – Terminal
  3. Boris – Memento Mori
  4. Part Chimp – Bouncer’s Dream
  5. Snapped Ankles – Jonny Guitar Calling Gosta Berlin
  6. Lone Taxidermist – Hammered In Homebase
  7. Jane Weaver – The Architect (Andy Votel’s Brutalizt 250kg Ready Mix)
  8. Daniel O’Sullivan – Apocryphonium
  9. Impulse Array – Low Orbit Burn
  10. Ekoplekz – Acrid Acid
  11. Housewives – Excerpt 5
  12. Moon Duo – Sevens
  13. Thurston Moore – Smoke Of Dreams
  14. Mirrored Lips – S&V
  15. Downtown Boys – Violent Complicity
  16. Lower Slaughter – Tuberculosis / Bad Choice
  17. USA / Mexico – L.A.
  18. UFOMammut – Warsheep
  19. Sly & The Family Drone & Dead Neanderthals – Ghoul Whispers
  20. Krzysztof Penderecki – De Natura Sonoris II
  21. Kemper Norton – Gull Creek
  22. Jessica Moss – Glaciers Pt I
  23. Astrid & Rachel Grimes – Mossgrove & Seaweed
  24. Blackdamp – Cannily, Cannily
  25. IX Tab – The Smoke & The Birds
  26. Kemper Norton – Dinah Hamlyn





let’s revisit an old 4th July Panic & Carousels show here, bunch of American artists and their conflicting ideas about music and US culture and so on and so forth. Loads of great stuff included from harcore punk to modern classical via plain weirdness. fun for all the family on this special day. Does not feature Yo La Tengo doing ‘We’re An American Band’ or any God Bullies. Or Fugazi. hmmm. Might be time to think about doing another one some time. D/L by clicking the handsome pic there. No Unsane! No Whores . . . does have all this good stuff though ->

Negativland – Ramones – Culturcide – Sonic Youth – Hüsker Dü – Minor Threat – Butthole Surfers – Cheap Trick – Shellac – Arcwelder – Guided by Voices – Live Skull – Oozing Wound – Pain Teens – The Melvins – Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 – Love Cup – Pissed Jeans – Guerilla Toss – Crash Course in Science – Negativland – Trans Am – Oneohtrix Point Never – Drexciya – Dan Friel – Dan Deacon – Steve Reich – John Cage – Sonic Youth – Earth – The Body – Swans – Prurient – Moondog – Tuxedomoon

Dynamite Monster Boogie Concert

Dynamite Monster Boogie Concert

I don’t get much time on here these days, so props to Thee Monkey’s Claw for keeping things ticking along. I don’t get time to do the Panic & Carousels blog for NARC. magazine at the moment either, although people keep sending me good stuff. I get what I can in the mag itself, and I listen to it all. But hey, here’s a mix – all either not long out or not even released yet.

Some of this stuff might just contain enough rage to give you some sort of release as this whole fucking island topples into the abyss.

Also, pop.

Here’s what’s on it:

  1. Jac Berrocal, David Fenech & Vincent Epplay – Alienor en Aout (Pt 1)
  2. The Cosmic Dead – Psych Is Dead
  3. USA Nails – Play It Again, Johnny
  4. Ho99o9 – United States Of Ho99o9
  5. The Bug Vs Earth – Snakes Vs Rats
  6. El Mahdy Jr – Time To Sell The Golden Teeth
  7. The Pessimist – Peter Hitchens
  8. pHarmerz – Sheena Is An Acid Casualty
  9. Basic House – Janet Terminal Blue
  10. Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs – Icon (Chlorine Remix)
  11. Pye Corner Audio & Faten Kanann – The Darkest Wave
  12. Portland Vows – Applications
  13. Nicholas Britell – Chiron’s Theme (Chopped & Screwed)
  14. Sophie Cooper & Julian Bradley – Love Letters
  15. Gnod – Bodies For Money
  16. Temple Ov BBV – What Happens To Memories When You Die?
  17. Part Chimp – Lies
  18. Bad Guys – Dickhead For Love
  19. Petrol Girls – Phallocentric
  20. Fret! – Surf
  21. Hey Colossus – Experts Toll
  22. King Champion Sounds – Fool Throttle
  23. Oxbow – The Finished Line
  24. White Hills – Attack Mode
  25. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizards – Hot Wax
  26. Mary Ocher ft Your Government – Zah Zah Pt 1
  27. Phantom Dog Beneath The Moon – All I Meander Even Ever
  28. $un $keletons  – Winding Down The Gramophone