Categories
Music Punk

RIP Stranglers keyboard player, Dave Greenfield

Dave Greenfield, keyboard player with the Strangers has died at 71, after testing positive for Covid-19.

His band members paid tribute to him.

 On the evening of Sunday May 3rd, my great friend and longstanding colleague of 45 years, the musical genius that was Dave Greenfield, passed away as one of the victims of the Great Pandemic of 2020.

All of us in the worldwide Stranglers’ family grieve and send our sincerest condolences to [Greenfield’s wife] Pam.

 Jean-Jacques “JJ” Burnel, Bassist

We have just lost a dear friend and music genius, and so has the whole world.

Dave was a complete natural in music. Together, we toured the globe endlessly and it was clear he was adored by millions. A huge talent, a great loss, he is dearly missed.

Jet Black, Drummer

I am very sorry to hear of the passing of Dave Greenfield. He was the difference between The Stranglers and every other punk band. His musical skill and gentle nature gave an interesting twist to the band.

Hugh Cornwell, Singer/Guitarist

Greenfield’s organ and keyboard playing gave the Stranglers a unique sound among the furore of three chord, guitar/bass/drums punk combos crowding the late ’70’s music industry, prompting comparisons to ’60’s psyche-rockers The Doors.

Greenfield wrote the bands biggest hit, Golden Brown, which reached #2 in the UK charts in 1982.

Hs impressive and energetic playing can be seen and heard on this Top of the Pops performance of another hit single, No More Heroes.

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Categories
History Literature Politics

Contemporarily relevant dialogue by Chernyshevsky

“Your books say that we’re not supposed to live like this. Don’t you think I know that, Verochka? But in those books of yours it says that in order not to live like this, everything has to be organized differently; now, no one can live any other way. So why don’t they hurry up and set up a new order? Hey, Verochka, do you think I don’t know anything about those new systems described in your books? I know they’re good ones. Only you and I won’t live to see them! People are really stupid—how can you set up a new system with the likes of them? So let’s keep on living in the old order. That includes you! What sort of a system is it? Your books say that the old order is one of filching and fleecing. That’s true, Verochka. So if there’s no new order, let’s live by the old: filch and fleece. I’m telling you all this because I love you, becau . . . zzzz.”

Nikolai Chernyshevsky, What Is To Be Done?

Let us remember though, with the looming environmental collapse, we are on a deadline. If we don’t introduce new systems and ways of doing things soon, it will be too late. We are literally on a deadline here. Planet Earth cannot sustain capitalist models of society any longer, that is the only certainty we have now.

Let us “filch and fleece” no more. A kinder gentler world is not only possible. It is imperative.

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Categories
RPG Videogames

Scruffy Undertale Adventures (Part 4)

So I came across this Spider Bakesale. You could buy Spider Donuts or Spider Cider. 9999 gold each. I declined.

This poor fool did not decline. He spent everything he had on a Spider Donut. Rookie error.

After a boss fight with the spider lady running the bakesale (Muffet), I was ambushed by the killer robot Mettaton again. This time he sung a romantic, operatic song for me. The words actually seemed to fit perfectly with the chiptune opera soundtrack.

He then opened up a trapdoor beneath me and I had to solve some puzzles to escape from a dungeon.

I met some of his fans outside.

I’d defeated these two Royal Guardsmen (on the right) earlier by convincing them that a) the one on the left had a crush on the one on the right and b) to go and have an ice cream. They found the Ice Cream Seller (left) and bought all his stock. They told me they were taking a raincheck on the whole killing me thing.

I then came across the Resort. I had some dinner with Sans. The note to the right of me said to check the alleyway for great deals. Fearing it might be a trap I decided to check anyway. Milking this game for all the content I can.

Down the alleyway I encountered these two teenage girls, Bratty and Catty, who also happen to be an alligator and a cat. They were a laugh.

After buying some junk food from them, I proceeded to enter the Resort. The lobby was full of interesting looking characters. Note the Mettaton statue in the fountain.

And that was the end of this evenings gaming.

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Categories
Indie Rock Music Punk

Underground Rockers Vol.2

I came across this interesting 1992 compilation album while searching for Suicide Alley by Manic Street Preachers, as research for a piece I’m writing about Lo-Fi music. Not only does this compilation include Suicide Alley, but it also includes the B-side, Tennessee (I Get Low). This was later rerecorded for their debut album proper, Generation Terrorists, but this lower fidelity version was just what I was looking for for my Lo-Fi piece.

The original sleeve for Suicide Alley/Tennessee (I Get Low), 1988. Not at all inspired by the first Clash LP. image courtesy of Discogs.

Underground Rockers Vol.2 contains two songs each from several bands: H.D.Q., Senseless Things, The Abs, The Price, Manic Street Preachers, Identity and Suspect Device. It’s pretty much a punk album. It ranges from shout along ’70’s style, ’80’s hardcore and even ’90’s pop punk. I had personally never heard many of these bands before but I enjoyed the album and thought it deserved some publicity. It is an excellent time capsule for the British punk scene in the early ’90’s.

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Categories
RPG Videogames

Scruffy Undertale Adventures (part 3)

So, I woke up early this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep. So got up and played some more Undertale. So here’s some noteworthy stuff that happened.

Firstly, I added a border to my game.There are only three to choose from but I chose the sepia one. So after leaving the Ghost’s house I arrived in the traditional ‘lava level’. Every game has one. The first thing I found after the save point was a laboratory. Inside the laboratory, the scientist was watching me on a huge monitor.

After meeting the scientist, Dr. Alphys, she tells me that she has built a robot to be the ultimate celebrity/superstar. Unfortunately, she has also programmed it to be a human killing machine. Just as she’s telling me this it bursts through the wall.

This then turns into a boss fight where I have to answer questions until either I die or the robot gets bored and leaves. After the fight, I head out into the lava zone, solve some puzzles and meet a few interesting characters while remaining in contact, via cellphone, with Alphys. These characters on the bridge are talking about the quiz show I was on with the killer robot.

A couple of minutes later, i seamlessly walk from a lava field into a picturesque kitchen and the killer superstar robot reappears.

After taking part in Cooking with a Killer Robot, I return back to the start of the lava area (just in front of the laboratory) via a newly unlocked elevator. Heading south I find a river with a boat.

I can’t help but thinking of this person as Charon. and this river as Styx. I decide to get in the boat and we head back to Snowdin, the obligatory ‘snow level’ from earlier in the game. En route, the boat person (named River Person on the Undertale wiki) sings a jolly tune.

Well, that’s all for now. I returned to the save point as my real life doggo had awoken and was demanding to be taken out for toileting and exercise. Until next time.

Aforementioned real life doggo

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Categories
Indie Rock Music Punk

Thurston Moore – Various Pandemic Bandcamp Releases

Since the start of the lockdown, Sonic Youth guitarist & singer Thurston Moore has been steadily releasing unreleased archive material on his Bandcamp page. Since Moore has been kind enough to publish the lyrics to each track, and because he’s one of my favourite lyricists, I’ll reprint them here.

It started on 23rd March with TELEGRAPH which was written while touring with his former band Chelsea Light Moving in 2014. This track was originally performed on KEXP-FM under the title The Exstasie but later remixed in London.

Here’s where the mantra begins 
Where the wildfires reach for the wind 
Blue days break for yr pleasure 
And the gold rays color yr skin 
Here’s where we make our commotion 
Where the amplifiers all cry 
Raise yr guitar to sky devotion 
Let the high priests sing out the night 
And where do all the evil crazies go 
The drunken dripping demons down below 
This is where the messages rise above 
Shooting stars and candles lit for love 
Here’s where we fall into light dreams 
Where the flowers sweetly incite bees 
Yr guitar is a honey suck angel 
Drumsticks play in the free breeze 
And why do all the oceans erupt 
And all the mountains crumble to dust 
Destruction with no hope and no prayer 
Telegraph yr soul into the clear 

Next came a track called SUNDAY STAGE on 29th March. This was recorded circa-2013 by Chelsea Light Moving.

Sunday stage 
The ripped up page 
We’ll stay up late 
Til sunday babe 

Hush Arbors 
The dripping slurs 
The crushing verbs 
The smashing thirst 

NO GO, released on 4th April is a straightforward punk thrasher. Another Chelsea Light Moving recording from 2013.

SAY WHAT YOU WILL 
STAY WHERE YOU ARE 
SAY WHAT YOU WILL 
STAY WHERE YOU ARE 
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO 
NO GO 
NO GO 
NO GO 
NO GO 

INSTANT TRANSCENDENT CONJECTURE followed on 15th April. This was recorded by TMG (Thurston Moore Group) in 2016 during sessions for their Rock n Roll Consciousness album. According to Moore, it is a “cryptic suggestion into the realization of the poem as a springing into nature.”

WILD CRY STREAKING HEART REACTION 
ELEKTRO SOUL MAGNETIC ATTRACTION 

SOUNDING ROOM TELEVISON 
FREEDOM FLOWERS LIVE EXPLOSION 

INSTANT TRANSCENDENT CONJECTURE 
FEROCIOUS COHERENT REFLECTOR 

WILD CRY STREAKING HEART REACTION 
ELEKTRO SOUL MAGNETIC ATTRACTION 
REALIZATION COMPELLED TO RAPTURE 
COMPELLS A POEM TO IT’S CAPTURE 

MAY DAZE, released on 1st May is another Thurston Moore group recording. In the words of Thurston it is “a soundtrack for our usa sisters + brothers to register as voters today, if you still need to – we can change the world – free all political prisoners – insurrection for common decency – rock n roll consciousness – more to come”.

You must be on some kind of revolution kick 
Modernity is on the line and says you’re making them sick 
Wars and borders, prisons and swords we don’t understand how 
Let’s already overthrow overthrowing now 

I’m not the type of guy 
Who wants to change the world 
She’s not the type of guy 
He’s a new century girl 

Transparency especially in your soldier’s dress 
Screw policy if you’re in prison then we’re the one’s under arrest 
Star children have taken over they’re broadcasting peace 
Time and space have no place for a sister who needs to be free 

I’m not the type of guy 
Who wants to change the world 
She’s not the type of guy 
He’s just a new century girl 

You took me by surprise 
When you dared me to 
Glitter everything with change 
And i’ll break the rules with you

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Categories
Folk Music Punk

Billy Bragg – Can’t Be There Today

Can’t be there today is a slow and mournful folk ballad with clever and thought-provoking lyrics about the world we currently live in, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. The arrangement is very minimal composed entirely from gently strummed guitar chords, lap steel and Billy’s distinctive voice.

The lyrics mournfully detail the things we are missing out on as result of the lockdown like weddings, gigs, Mother’s Day and other things which we took for granted just a few short months ago. The chorus turns this mournful listing into a positive, stating that “I love you and that’s why I’m going to stay away”.

Can’t Be There Today is a moving request to everyone to please be patient and to think of your loved ones and relatives in this unprecedented time of existential terror and simultaneous boredom.

Here’s the song and I’ll reprint the lyrics below, as they’re so important.

Lyrics:

[Verse 1]
An invite to a wedding
That no one can attend
A poster for a show that never happened
Two tickets for a holiday
I can longer spend
And a gift for Mothers Day I won’t be wrapping
This is all I’m left with
In a world that’s been shut down
I wannna come see you mum
But I fear that thing I might bring in

[Chorus]
So I’m sending you this message
With a heavy heart to say
“I miss you but I can’t be there today
I love you and that’s I’m gonna to stay away”

[Verse 2]
It feels like hope has been postponed
All plans put on hold
Prospects fade and expectations shattered
But all through these uncertain days
I’ve come to understand
Those few precious things that truly matter
Mama you’ve been on my mind
As the world has slipped away
Promise me you’ll do the things
That must be done in the days to come

[Chorus]
I don’t know when I’ll get the chance
To hug you so I wanna say
“I miss you but I can’t be there today
I love you and that’s why I’m gonna to stay away”

[Outro]
The time will come when this is done
And I won’t have to say
“I miss you but I can’t be there today
I love you and that’s why I’m gonna to stay away”

Lyrics courtesy of Genius

As an unrelated bonus to this blogpost here’s a better picture of that beautiful guitar Billy’s playing in the pic at the top.

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Categories
RPG Videogames

Scruffy Undertale Adventures (part 2)

So next thing I found amusing enough to blog about was the Joke book in Sans and Papyrus’ house.

Also in the same town, I knocked on this door and the occupant said:

So I knocked again and:

Subsequent knocks were met with:

I also went for a burger at Grillby’s with Sans. He passed me the ketchup but loosened the lid first. The entire bottle’s worth went all over my burger. Cheers Sans.

Later, at a waterfall in the pouring rain I shared an umbrella with Monster Boy. We spotted a spooky looking castle in the distance.

After falling down from the waterfall into an underground landfill I am attacked by a ghost-possessed training dummy but saved by a ghost friend I’d met earlier. The ghost invited me to it’s house and fed me. After which it invited me to lay on the floor with it. Things went pretty cosmic when I accepted the invite.

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Categories
RPG Videogames

Undertale – first impressions

I’ve just started playing Undertale this afternoon on Nintendo Switch. First impressions are pretty good. I’m around an hour and half in and I’m really enjoying it. As well as a brief explanation, I’ve taken some screenshots that I think are amazing. These screenshots alone justify this post (in my humble opinion).

The game, at least so far, plays a little like a classic JRPG. The combat, for instance, shares visual similarities with the early Dragon Quest (or Dragon Warrior in Japan) games. The exploration is also similar to Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy. You walk around a 2D map solving puzzles and getting into random encounters.

The battle system is unique in that you don’t have to kill any of the enemies you fight. There is always another option. One monster I fought was a woodland creature a bit like a reindeer called a Gyftrot. Locals like to decorate the antlers of Gyftrots. You can “win” the battle by “undecorating” his antlers which makes him happy and you can select “Spare” from the combat menus.

I’m currently in a town called Snowdin. I love this bear’s grasp of political science.

Inside the bar, Grillby’s, that the bear is standing outside.

I previously had to fight the four dogs sat around the table in the four ground. I managed to spare them all from death with strategic petting. The two with armour and halberds had to be persuaded that I was a “strange puppy”. I had to roll around in the dirt and let them re-sniff me. Once they were convinced that I was a puppy, I then had to pet them again. Their minds were blown that dogs could pet other dogs and now they say their lives are changed forever.

Finally, I believe I may start using this picture at the top of any post I make about politics:

If you’re interested in this game, here’s a trailer to watch. Think it’s available on pretty much every platform except for Xbox. I bought it for Switch.

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Categories
Hip Hop Music Punk

Beastie Boys, late ‘80’s – Youthful Beastie Hijinks

Okay, see, what had happened was…I had a ticket to go see Bobby McFerrin, right, and you know, it was like, ’88 or’89 and Don’t Worry, Be Happy was a huge song and so I wanted to go and see what the fuss was all about. And I guess during the show I tried to start a mosh pit, and so security escorted me out. Adam and Mike were gonna pick me up outside at like 11:00, but it was only like 9, and so I hit the liquor store on the corner and sat on some steps to hang out to wait for them. They forgot to pick me up, but then remembered in the morning. I’m not sure, but I think the moral of this story is, get a tall boy instead of a 40.

Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz

And finally, here’s some music. Probably recorded around the time that the photo was taken. Depending on the reliability of Ad-Rock’s memory.

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