This is another of those unfinished posts, the video clip for Rattle’s new-ish split single with Xylouris White on God Unknown records. It’s their usual telepathic, wonkily melodic drumming goodness. Part of the reason this post never got written is that it appeared the same week as Childish Gambino’s ‘This Is America’ and a stately, largely slo-mo clip of joggers along the banks of the river Trent and love locks on Wilford suspension bridge just didn’t seem to hold the same densely packed cultural fascination. If I had the energy I’d be attempted to tease out a deconstructive reading of its own buried symbolism. The dark whirl of compulsions that fuel the desire to run needlessly, the lock’s need to give symbolic form to emotion, the contrast between Nottingham and Paris, and the bridge itself, an Edwardian aqueduct. There’s something inherently odd about a bridge that carries water across a river don’t you think? Plenty to chew on, not that there’s necessarily any real relation. The location is more likely merely convenient, the thin thread of repeating lyrical phrases “harder they come” and “rolling off the tongue” don’t offer much either. Just as well.
The second reason is I recently saw Rattle play live again, supporting Protomartyr, and I also vaguely considered reviewing that. So here you go – Rattle were as great as ever – hypnotic and surprising. Protomartyr singularly failed to solve the riddle of their existence for me. I quite like them, but I forget about them and from time to time I hear them and think, ‘that’s pretty good’. And so, they were pretty good. Not terrible or hateful but not a revelation that opened the key to their musical charms either. Just there. Stodgy, midwestern, earnest and inoffensive. The singer pulls a successive string of beers from his jacket and mumbles. They think they’re Guided By Voices but they’re really The Hold Steady. I bet they worship The Replacements. Weirdly, even with a stray stage light shining in my damn face their charmlessness failed to annoy me. I still kind of like them. But I’m not going to live forever. I probably don’t have time for this.
here’s a nice shot of the bridge from George Carless photography
Rejoice friends! Beloved charity shop cosmonauts Pram return from their interstellar wanderings to bring us some more of their beautiful hand made space music. They’ve got a sweet video diary type clip here for new number ‘Shimmer and Disappear’ and a new album out next month. Ten years or so they’ve been gone and they seem to have lost Rosie along the way. Perhaps they took her back to her home planet. Some will think this a most welcome development, I often preferred their instrumental work myself, but I loved Rosie’s words too. The Moving Frontier is so long ago now I can hardly recall it. Best dig it out and have a go. With Pram at least, we can probably rest assured they won’t be setting out on a 20th anniversary of North Pole Radio Station tour playing the record in full and grinding the wonder and joy of their music to a thin grey paste. This new tune sounds just like they always did, wonderfully so. Unburdened and unselfconciously adrift in their own universe. A quarter century since they looked out into the vastness of space and advised us ‘. . . Stay As You Are’ they seem to have stuck by that. I generally eschew excitement as a shallow, vulgar emotion and merely the harbinger of new and deeper disappointments but, I have to confess, I’m quite excited about this.
The blog limps on across the playing fields, dragging a battered shopping trolley of random relics behind. Their vitality and significance known only to their guardian. . .
That #hearher day on 6music the other day reminded me of a clutch of half made posts. This among them because what do you say about this? A couple sketchy sentences or a phone book thick hallucinated history of the potent cultural currents crossing and rushing through their ragged howl? Special Interest are a raw, female fronted, synth punk noise from New Orleans. The album opens with Nina Simone talking about how she wants to shake her audience and it’s produced by NOLA legend Quintron. It’s brilliant, messy, wide open, furious and smart, and you can dance to it. What else you want? What annoys me about this is the vanishingly slim chance of ever getting to see them play live over here. They’d make for an incredible double bill with ILL.
Even the corpse painted, eternally suffering children of the night . . . and so on, and so forth, and such like . . .
Yeah, yeah I know “where’s the Supernormal write up?” So much things, so little time. Have a little Hey Colossusness baby. This is my favourite tune off ‘The Guillotine’ and they’ve made a little stolen footage video for it full of disturbed nuns and strange goins on. I’m firmly of the opinion that the passing resemblance of the self flagellating monk to their singer Sykes can’t have been a coincidence either. Calenture is a tropical fever suffered by sailors, often accompanied by hallucinations in which they would apparently picture the sea as lush green meadows and wish to dive overboard into them. ‘Calenture boy, why not just jump?’. Earlier today the HC boys unearthed this little promo clip from the original release of ‘Happy Birthday’ to celebrate it’s final arrival on the vinyls. In it nonchalant cows and Joe’s then young kids splash about in Somerset’s flooded fields as the grassy meadows become a sea. It seems unlikely that calenture affects cows.
awesome acapella rendition of old murder ballad from Richard Dawson. Not on his ‘best-of-year’ new album but absolute hairs-stand-up-on-your-arms greatness. Even with the mistake.