Categories
Punk Rock And Roll

Iggy Pop – Frenzy

“I’m the guy with no shirt who rocks.”

Peter Pan of Punk Rock is an iffy title that calls to mind dodgy allusions to everyone’s nana’s favourite pop star, Cliff Richard, but Iggy Pop is 75 and has just released a single he says will “beat the shit out of you.”

Frenzy is a three minute punk thrasher that starts with the sound of an amp gently humming to itself with barely contained menace. The guitar tone (courtesy of Guns N’ Roses’ Duff McKagan) of the chords which rush in a fraction of a second later is fuzzy and resonant, warm as an acid bath. The drums (provided by Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ Chad Smith) are precise and trimmed down to just the bare essentials, light on frills and fills, but coursing with electrical energy. 

The vocals are as taught and abrasive as classic Pop and incredibly youthful and energetic for the septuagenarian punk rocker. The energy comes from somewhere though, obviously. Pop is railing against the shitshow which the world has become on the only way he knows, he’s allowing himself to be worked up into a frenzy at all those “fucking pricks” and “goddamn dicks” who are responsible for this shit. His frenzy is egged on by classic punk rock band shouts over the pummelling chorus.

I don’t know if it’s because I’ve had a few beers or not, but I’m finding Frenzy to be as compelling and essential as almost anything else in Iggy Pop’s discography. Bless him. 

More like this please, Mr. Pop.

Checkout the amazing animated video for Frenzy below.

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Categories
Art Grunge Punk

In celebration of Kurt Cobain’s 54th Birthday, those classic Incesticide Sleevenotes

“Kurt” (a 2014 oil on canvas painting) by Todd Bienvenu, a tribute to Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain (20 February, 1967 – 5 April, 1994)

On what would have been Kurt Cobain’s 54th birthday (for seven more minutes anyway, it’s nearly midnight as I type this) I would like to share with you the legendary sleevenotes for the 1992 compilation, Incesticide. I also hope you enjoy the oil painting of Kurt by Todd Bienvenu (above) & the video for early Nirvana single, Sliver. Much love.

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Art Politics Punk Rock And Roll

Manic Street Preachers – 1991 gig poster, King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut

I found this poster on a Manic Street Preachers fan page on Facebook and I just liked it so much I felt the need to share it. Hope you like it as much as I do.

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Indie Rock Pop Punk Punk Song of the Day

Song of the Day (Chaotic Neutral): The Offspring – All I Want

Day 11.

Weird how we’ve travelled from the paranoid, Post-Punk prog of Peter Gabriel’s Games Without Frontiers to this absolute powerhouse of a Pop Punk anthem. I might not talk, or write, about ’90’s Pop Punk artists very often but I do love The Offspring & a bunch of their contemporaries through a mainly nostalgic vibe. All I Want is just the perfect expression of rage against authority. I especially, as a working class warehouse worker, get a shiver down my spine from “I’m sick of not living to stay alive.”

Copying & pasting these lyrics has left it in a really weird formatting. The professional thing to do would be to correct it, but truth be told, I kind of like it:

Day after day your home life’s a wreck
The powers that be just
Breathe down your neck
You get no respect
You get no relief

You gotta speak up
And yell out your piece
So back off your rules
Back off your jive
‘Cause I’m sick of not living

To stay alive
Leave me alone
I’m not asking a lot
I just don’t want to be controlled

That’s all I want
All I want
How many times is it gonna take
‘Til someone around you hears what you say

You’ve tried being cool
You feel like a lie
You’ve played by their rules
Now it’s their turn to try

So back off your rules
Back off your jive
‘Cause I’m sick of not living
To stay alive

Leave me alone
I’m not asking a lot
I just don’t want to be controlled
That’s all I want

All I want
I said it before
I’ll say it again
If you could just listen

Then it might make sense

Looking for some great music? Why not check out the Song of the Day (Chaotic Neutral) Spotify playlist?

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Categories
Politics Punk Song of the Day

Song of the Day (Chaotic Neutral): TV Smith – Expensive Being Poor

Day 10.

This song by Punk legend Tim “TV” Smith has been on my mind a lot this week. The general response from right-wingers to the UK government’s refusal to offer the poorest children free school meals, has been to bemoan & harass them for the crime of “owning an iPhone” or “smoking cigs”. Typical mean-spirited stuff from the Tories & their legion of trolls. This song, as well as the attached Another Angry Voice infographic, has formed my own personal resistance to this callous & brutal disregard for our fellow man.

And the car is of the road 
But I never had a car 
And I pay more for food 
‘cos the supermarkets too far

 
It’s expensive being poor 
Because everything cost more
Knocking on a closing door
It’s expensive being poor
Someone throw me down some crumbs 
I will eat them off the floor
It’s expensive being poor 
But I look good when I get desperate


And the box is on the fritz
It’s a black and white, or was
I tried taking it to bits 
Now the picture’s just a grey fuss


It’s expensive being poor 
Because everything cost more
Someone pick me off the floor
It’s expensive being poor
How can I live with what I did 
When the cinema is 6 quid’ 
It’s expensive being poor 
But I look good when I get desperate

Let the good times roll 
Into a bottomless hole 
With job friends and future 
My ideal home furniture
Let the trumpets sound 
As my house falls down


And the dust begins to clear 
And I’m lying on the ground
And I’m standing on a path 
In an unknown part of town
And the path leads me away 
Over hills and out of sight
In the blazing sun by day 
And the hanging moon by night
And I wind up in a place 
Where I never have to count
And I never see the waves 
As I push my leaking boat out


It’s expensive being poor 
Because everything hurts more
Knocking on a bolted door
It’s expensive being poor
Someone throw me down some crumbs

I will eat them off the floor
It’s expensive being poor 
But I look good when I get desperate

Check out the Spotify playlist.

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Pop Punk Song of the Day

Song of the Day (Covers): Joey Ramone – What A Wonderful World

Day 17. This excellent cover of Louis Armstrong’s What A Wonderful World appeared on Don’t Worry About Me, Joey Ramone’s solo album which was released posthumously as he sadly died during its production.

For my money, it’s an absolute tour-de-force of Pop Punk. Distorted Punk riffs, a powerful, simple rhythm section & Joey Ramone’s gloriously soulful vocals combine to make one of my favourite covers of all time.

The video also reminds me that I too used to own a green N64 controller.

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them blue before me and you

And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night

And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Or also on the faces of people going by

I see friends shaking hands, saying “How do you do?”
They’re really saying, I love you

I hear babies crying, I watch them them grow
They’ll learn much more and I’ll never know

And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

Yes, I think to myself
What a wonderful world

Oh yeah

Looking for some great music? Why not check out the Song of the Day (Covers) Spotify playlist?

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Categories
Indie Rock Pop Punk Song of the Day

Song of the Day (Covers): Ash – Cantina Band

Day 11. This is Ash’s great version of the famous piece of music (composed by John Williams) played by the Cantina band in the first Star Wars movie.

Ash deliver a fairly faithful version of the piece, livening it up with some sci-fi sound effects & a Pop Punk tempo for good measure. Star Wars always had a special place in Ash’s hearts. Their debut album, 1977 (the year of Star Wars’ release), opened with the classic (& terrifying) sound effect of a T.I.E. Fighter in flight.

Cantina Band is an instrumental, therefore it has no lyrics. In their place here’s a pic of the Cantina Band in action:

These guys

Looking for some great music? Why not check out the Song of the Day (Covers) Spotify playlist?

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Categories
Art Indie Rock Punk Visual

Controversial Album Art: Sonic Youth – Goo

Sonic Youth’s major-label debut Goo is a solid, respected Indie Rock album. Sonically, it continues the bands evolution from No Wave inspired noiseniks to the tunefully dissonant elder statesmen (& woman) of Alternative Rock.

The cover art, by artist Raymond Pettibon (famous for record art for underground artists like Black Flag & Minutemen), depicted a black & white, ink line drawing of “two sunglasses wearing British mods” (wikipedia). A caption read : “I stole my sister’s boyfriend. It was all whirlwind heat, and flash. Within a week we killed my parents and hit the road.” This image has become embedded in the cultural consciousness via T-shirts, posters etc. There are hosts of tributes to it featuring characters from other media.

What I wasn’t aware of until very recently though (I’m probably the last to know) was who the image depicted. The drawing was modelled on a newspaper image of two witnesses in the Moors Murders trials. The witnesses pictured were actually Moors Murderer Myra Hindleys Sister & Brother -in-Law, David & Maureen smith, whose statements to the police eventually led to the arrest & incarceration of Hindley & her fellow murder Ian Brady. It’s an interesting choice of subject. I find it ties into similar themes to artwork like Jamie Reid’s Sex Pistols sleeves or the détournement of Gang Of Four’s Entertainment! It’s designed to either shock the viewer or to instil feelings of vague discomfort.

Jamie Reed’s God Save The Queen artwork & Gang Of Four’s Entertainment!:

Other examples of Raymond Pettibon’s sleeves:

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Categories
Electronic Music Industrial Punk Song of the Day

Song of the Day (The Chain): The Prodigy – Firestarter

Day 40. The connection between Close (To The Edit) & Firestarter is that Firestarter prominently uses a sample from The Art Of Noise’s tune. The female vocal “Hey!”

Firestarter was a huge commercial hit in the UK when it was released, topping the charts & fusing Dance music & Rock music in a way that was entirely original & fresh. Sampled, mangled guitars (from The Breeders), ultra-heavy drum breaks (Ten City) & the late, great Keith Flint’s John Lydon influenced Punk vocals combined to create something truly thrilling indeed.

I’m the trouble starter, punkin’ instigator
I’m the fear addicted, a danger illustrated

I’m a firestarter, twisted firestarter
You’re a firestarter, twisted firestarter

I’m a firestarter, twisted firestarter

I’m the bitch you hated, filth infatuated, yeah
I’m the pain you tasted, fell intoxicated

I’m a firestarter, twisted firestarter
You’re the firestarter, twisted firestarter

I’m the self inflicted, mind detonator, yeah
I’m the one infected, twisted animator

I’m a firestarter, twisted firestarter
You’re the firestarter, twisted firestarter

I’m a firestarter, twisted firestarter starter

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

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Post Punk Punk Song of the Day

Song of the Day (The Chain): Public Image Ltd. – Public Image

Day 36. In my mind, The Clash & The Sex Pistols are the main bands of the first wave of British Punk. So from Mick Jone’s Post-Punk band (Big Audio Dynamite) to Johnny Rotten/John Lydon’s (Public Image Ltd.)

Public Image is probably the PIL song closest, sonically, to the Sex Pistols but it does have much stronger Pop vibes. The bass heavy production & the reverb-soaked guitar tone create a unique sound which, unfortunately, I haven’t really heard since.

Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello.
Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha.
You never listen to word that I said
You only seen me
For the clothes that I wear
Or did the interest go so much deeper
It must have been
The colour of my hair.

Public image.
What you wanted was never made clear
Behind the image was ignorance and fear
You hide behind his public machine
Still follow the same old scheme.

Public image.
Two sides to every story
Somebody had to stop me
I’m not the same as when I began
I will not be treated as property.

Public image.
Two sides to every story
Somebody had to stop me
I’m not the same as when I began
It’s not a game of Monopoly.

Public image.
Public image you got what you wanted
The Public Image belongs to me
It’s my entrance
My own creation
My grand finale
My goodbye

Public image.
Public image.
Goodbye.

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

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