Categories
Post Punk Punk Song of the Day

Song of the Day (The Chain): The Stranglers – Golden Brown

Day 21. As discussed in yesterdays post, Massive Attack’s Angel was featured memorably in the soundtrack for the Guy Ritchie move Snatch. While looking at what else is on the soundtrack for todays entry, I couldn’t choose anything other than Golden Brown by The Stranglers. Mainly in tribute to keyboardist Dave Greenfield who sadly passed away back in May.

Golden Brown is an unusual song with a strangely baroque feel. The composition is centred around a looping harpsichord riff, eccentric time signature (3/4 but every fourth bar is in 4/4) & lyrics dealing with addiction, desperation & dependency. An unusual radio & chart hit, it appeared on Top Of The Pops & reaching number 2 in the UK Pop charts.

Golden Brown texture like sun
Lays me down with my mind she runs
Throughout the night
No need to fight
Never a frown with Golden Brown

Every time just like the last
On her ship tied to the mast
To distant lands
Takes both my hands
Never a frown with Golden Brown

Golden Brown, finer temptress
Through the ages she’s heading west
From far away
Stays for a day
Never a frown with Golden Brown

(La la la la la la la la leeeah)

Never a frown
With Golden Brown
Never a frown
With Golden Brown

Keep up to date with the Song of the Day (The Chain) Spotify playlist.

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Categories
Mental Health Politics Post Punk

Joy Division & Depression

I really wanted to share this paragraph by Mark Fisher about depression, in relationship to Joy Division’s music, but I wasn’t sure exactly about the context I was able to give with this.

It struck a chord with me & I wanted to share it. He’s kind of talking about the difference between sadness & depression. Melancholia & someone feeling melancholic.I think that if someone is feeling sad or melancholic & isn’t sure whether or not they’d describe it as depression, this is a really succinct description of what depression feels like. I hope it helps.

The depressive experiences himself as walled off from the lifeworld, so that his own frozen inner life – or inner death – overwhelms everything; at the same time, he experiences himself as evacuated, totally denuded, a shell: there is nothing except the inside, but the inside is empty. For the depressive, the habits of the former lifeworld now seem to be, precisely, a mode of playacting, a series of pantomime gestures (‘a circus complete with all fools’), which they are both no longer capable of performing and which they no longer wish to perform – there’s no point, everything is a sham.

Mark Fisher, No Longer the Pleasures: Joy Division

In addition to sharing this paragraph, I also wanted to share some of Joy Division’s music videos. Primarily because I love them & hope you can get something out of them too. At the top of the post is an unofficial video for the excellent opening track from Unknown Pleasures, Disorder. Here too is the official performance video for the amazing single, Transmission.

I do plan to write more detailed & helpful posts about depression, & how it ties into our contemporary reality & what we can do to combat it, but I don’t think I’m ready yet. I hope this post helps a little & that you enjoy the music.

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Categories
Post Punk

Red Light Skyscraper – Your Hand In Mine (air instruments Explosions In The Sky Cover)

You may remember a blogpost a while back showcasing some of what Italian Post-Rockers, Red Light Skyscraper have been up to in quarantine. The previous post featured a Mogwai cover using only smartphone apps & a This Will Destroy You cover which was 1% performance/99% editing.

This time Red Light Skyscraper have released a humorous & fun video of them playing the moody Your Hand In Mine by Explosions In The Sky on air instruments. I particularly like the use of sound effects in to enhance the humour. The Homer “Doh!” & the meowing cat are particularly funny.

Hope you enjoy this & be sure to check out their stuff on Spotify or YouTube etc. They’re tight & atmospheric so if Post Rock is your thing, then I’m fairly sure you’ll enjoy them.

Check their most recent single, Matisse, from last year.

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Categories
Indie Rock No Wave Post Punk Punk

Desolation Centre – Underground Music Festivals Documentary

Desolation Center, a new documentary charting the underground, DIY, experimental music & art festivals which were put on in the California desert in the mid-’80’s, is coming to streaming services on the 23rd June.

Produced by Stuart Swezey, Desolation Center is a mix of archive footage (including live performances) & interviews chronicling the chaotic & loud phenomena which would go on to inspire larger, more official desert festivals like Burning Man.

Among the bands which performed at Desolation Center events (& appear in the film) wer Sonic Youth, Minutemen, Meat Puppets, Perry Farrell, Redd Kross, Einstürzende Neubauten, Survival Research Laboratories, and Savage Republic.

Ahead of the release, a couple of excellent film clips have been released. The first show’s us fantastic footage of a psychedelic Meat Puppets performance where they asked for the lights to be switched off so they could play by moonlight. The second features Perry Farrel (Janes Addiction) & George Hurley (Minutemen) talking about playing a show on a boat in the LA harbour.

If that’s got you interested, check out the theatrical trailer from last August.

Categories
Indie Rock Music Post Punk Punk Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z): Fugazi – Waiting Room

Day 23 (W) & here we are, Post-Hardcore perfection. Waiting Room by Fugazi is a spiky slice of furious & bouncy Punk Perfection. It’s an ode to the DIY work ethic which Fugazi are famous for. I’m including two videos because the live one has terrible sound, but demonstrates Waiting Room’s power to electrify an audience like few other songs can. Don’t you just want to be there?

A better audio quality on this version:

I am a patient boy
I wait, I wait, I wait, I wait
My time is like water down a drain

Everybody’s moving,
Everybody’s moving,
Everybody’s moving, moving, moving, moving
Please don’t leave me to remain

I’m in the waiting room, I don’t want the news
I cannot use it
I don’t want the news
I won’t live by it
Sitting outside of town
Everybody’s always down
Tell me why?
Because, they can’t get up
Ah, come on and get up
Come on and get up

But I don’t sit idly by
I’m planning a big surprise
I’m gonna fight for what I wanna be
And I won’t make the same mistakes (’cause I know)
Because I know how much time that wastes (and function)
Function is the key

I’m in the waiting room, I don’t want the news
I cannot use it
I don’t want the news
I won’t live by it
Sitting outside of town
Everybody’s always down
Tell me why?
Because, they can’t get up
Ah, come on and get up
I’m from the waiting room

Sitting in the waiting room
Sitting in the waiting room
Sitting in the waiting room
Sitting in the waiting room (tell me why)
Because, they can’t get up

Stuck for something to listen to? Why not wrap your ears around this playlist of my Song of the Day (A-Z) series.

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Categories
Music Post Punk Synth Pop

Billy Nomates – No

I may not have verbalised it thus far, but the primary purpose & concern of Scruffy Theory is discovery and rediscovery. It’s about discovering new music, literature & art then attempting to share & spread my enthusiasm for those things as far & wide as possible. There may be some politics & respectful marking of certain anniversaries & holidays, but they’re not the primary focus.

So there are various ways that one can pick up new leads & ideas for new pathways to follow in the cause of discovery. This morning, for example, I was watching an interview on YouTube with Jason Williamson, vocalist with Sleaford Mods. One question he was asked was what new music was he currently enjoying. He answered with new English artist, Billy Nomates. He described Billy Nomates as like Sleaford Mods (but nost), Post-Punk, like early Madonna & ’80’s soul combined.

Rhythmically, No by Billy Nomates is quite similar to Sleaford Mods, with that driving beat & solid bass. Vocally there is an element of speak singing in the verses but the choruses definitely live up to Jason’s early Madonna comparison. It’s solid Post-Punk/Pop crossover music which will hopefully make an impact on the mainstream. & if it doesn’t, I’m sure the Indie scene will give Billy Nomates the love & respect they deserve.

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Categories
Music Post Punk Punk Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z): Wire – Outdoor Miner

Wow, we’re already at day 15 (O). This is one of my favourite songs of all time & quite possibly one of the songs that started the whole Indie Rock ball rolling, Outdoor Miner by Post-Punk pioneers, Wire. Taken from their second LP, 1978’s Chairs Missing, Outdoor Miner bears striking similarities to much of the Indie Rock which came along in it’s wake.

Always eager to find new & interesting things to write about, the experimental lyrics to this song are based on bassist Graham Lewis’ fascination with the Serpentine leaf miner, a fly larva, & details it’s life cycle. The song is even mentioned on it’s wikipedia page.

No blind spots in the leopard’s eyes
Can only help to jeopardize
The lives of lambs, the shepherd cries 

An outdoor life for a silverfish
Eternal dust less ticklish
Than the clean room, a houseguest’s wish

He lies on his side, is he trying to hide?
In fact it’s the earth, which he’s known since birth

He lies on his side, is he trying to hide?
In fact it’s the earth, which he’s known since birth

Face worker, a serpentine miner
A roof falls, an under-liner
Of leaf structure, the egg timer

He lies on his side, is he trying to hide?
In fact it’s the earth, which he’s known since birth

He lies on his side, is he trying to hide? 
In fact it’s the earth, which he’s known since birth

He lies on his side, is he trying to hide? (he lies on his side)
In fact it’s the earth, which he’s known since birth (is he trying to hide?)

He lies on his side, is he trying to hide? (he lies on his side)
In fact it’s the earth, which he’s known since birth (is he trying to hide?)

He lies on his side, is he trying to hide? (he lies on his side)
In fact it’s the earth, which he’s known since birth (is he trying to hide?)

Outdoor Miner has been covered by many different Indie bands over the years. A personal favourite of mine is the version by Flying Saucer Attack, below.

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Categories
Industrial Music Post Punk

Einstürzende Neubauten – ALLES IN ALLEM

German Industrial Post-Punk pioneers Einstürzende Neubauten release new album, ALLES IN ALLEM.

I’ve never really listened to Einstürzende Neubauten as much as I should have but I’ve always enjoyed what I’ve heard. I particularly like their use of bizarre percussion, such as metal sheets, which gave their music that distinctly industrial sound. This industrial sound went on to influence the formation of the entire Post-Punk sub-genre we now call Industrial.

ALLES IN ALLEM is relatively downtempo from the get go. Opening track, Ten Grand Goldie, revels in electronic kick drums and bizarre metallic clangs. The melodies are incredibly simple and eerie. Dark. The vocals throughout the album have a haunting, chanted quality which fits well with the dolorous soundscapes.

As with the majority of their material, industrial percussion is embedded deep in the sonic texture. Möbliertes Lied seems to have grinding glass and/or bags of stones being played as instruments. There’s a high pitched sound, somewhere between a klaxon and a road drill, at the start of the following track, Zivilisatorisches Missgeschick. It soon breaks down into a minimal composition of delay-drenched xylophone-esque sounds and synth stabs. Occasional cracks & clangs of white noise based percussion cut through the gloom like an air raid.

This may be outside of some folks comfort zones, as it is incredibly dark & incredibly weird experimental. It’s an exercise in unusual sound design and dark vibes. Unfortunately, this writer cannot comment on the lyrics as he does not speak German but I can still feel the emotions in the melancholic vocal melodies.

ALLES IN ALLEM is out now on all the usual streaming services. Check out this excellent video for the title track and then head on over to Spotify (or wherever) & give the album a listen. You (hopefully) won’t regret it.

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Categories
Indie Rock Post Punk Punk

Wire – The Art of Persistence

I was surprised, pleasantly, by the release of a new Wire single today. A reworked version of The Art of Persistence from their forthcoming compilation of reworks and stray (I’m guessing they mean unreleased) tunes, 10:20.

10:20 was initially conceived as a Record Store Day exclusive but after the organisers pushed the event back due to the pandemic, Wire decided to release the album on 19th June, reading it today with The Art of Persistence. Originally intended as a vinyl only release, 10:20 will be released on all platforms in the absence of Record Store Day. 

The Art of Persistence is a hauntingly atmospheric slice of almost elegiac New Wave. The lyrics seem to detail failed attempts to communicate, saddened by the anxiety of failure. “Persistence, survival, a test of the wills”, sings Colin Newman, giving this Communicative impasse an almost competitive element which is helped along by the quick pace of the songs galloping rhythms. 

Wire previously released Small Black Reptile in March, which also appears on 10:20. Both singles are available now from digital outlets & streaming services.

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