sabato 23 gennaio 2010
giovedì 21 gennaio 2010
..."The question here is not whether the group has talent, but what it intends to do with its obvious skill. This Athens, Georgia-based quartet has a sharp, unfailing grasp on `60s garage rock-anyone with a fondness for the form can sink into the atmospheric, 12-string strums and Merseybeat harmonies with a relieved sigh of familiarity and give thanks that the style is alive and well. As with other young undiscovered (by the masses) but appreciated (by the critics) bands like the Fleshtones and the Bongos, R.E.M. holds tight to a tradition of mid-tempo, slightly psychedelic songs that would feel equally at home in another Nuggets or pop/rock collection, and the production stresses that simple, almost tinny sound that `60s rock vets grew up on. So what next? The lyrics only drift through in fragments, so it’s hard to tell if R.E.M. is using the classic mode to say anything new. Only time-and perhaps a lyric sheet-will tell. For the moment, however, these 1980-81 demos cassette is well worth it for anyone who thinks great rock died with the coming of the 16-track studio"...
sabato 16 gennaio 2010
For years I hoped to find another band just like the Smiths, perfectly knowing that it was a kind of illusion. Amongst the best groups that sounded alike, I like to remember Ian H. band called "Bradford", coming from Blackburn (!?). They had great singles out in the beginning ("Gatlin' gun" & In Liverpool" were my favourites!) and an interesting compilation album on Midnite Records France. Later they began recording for Stephen Street's Foundation Label but the magic of the first years seemed soon to be lost. Morrissey himself loved the band and he also recorded his own version of "Skin Storm" as a bside. ".... Ian H, once Bradford’s frontman, says that the reason the band folded had nothing to do with Morrissey. “In a word, the reason was ‘Madchester’. Bradford, in some respects, were Britpop five or so years too early. We were five Northern working-class lads with skinhead crops, the odd Fred Perry, Docs, Harrington, Levi 501s and red tab jackets in the wardrobe, singing about a Greed And Pleasant (sic) Land etc. All completely out of step with the baggy/dancey/ravey Manchester which, of course, became legendary. We had lots of press, but while we scraped into the indie Top 10 on several occasions, we didn’t (to use the bean-counting parlance of the modern record companies) ‘shift enough units’. Sire dropped us in America and that’s you, mate – three years of indie fun then back on the dole. Did Morrissey help? A resounding yes. We’ll be forever grateful and flattered by the attention. I still have ‘silly notes’ he sent me and postcards, plus the accolade of a major icon recording Skin Storm, a song I wrote. However, I never received a penny in royalties from record sales or publishing for the substantial sales of this track. So if anyone can help out with this on a no-win, no-fee basis, get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org).” Ian H, now with a band called Acoustic Uprising, adds that he still has contact with other Bradford members. “Cherry Red were planning the re-release of a 20-year-old album of ours in April and we were all at bass-player Jos’s house discussing it. Some virtual jousting commenced but legal/ownership issues put the kibosh on things.” From MOJO # 189, August 2009
mercoledì 13 gennaio 2010
Back in the days of the first italian wave Bologna was the centre of the world, you can ask the Scritti Politti for further informations. Around the university, underground culture and alternative music rised just in front of the barricades where the students fighted for their rights.. New sounds came out from the frequence of Radio Alice, the first true Free Radio in Italy. The "toosoonforgotten" Roberto's Terzani Windopen were one of the best bands around at the time, too polite for the harpo's underground aspirations, too punkish for the major labels that wished they could go soon to the Sanremo Festival. "We were idealistic idiots" said Roberto some years ago in a letter he wrote to his old fans... don't know if they could have been bigger than the Beatles (or the Pooh, here in Italy...) but they remained a great example of musical integrity, real "...street rockers, with their anthem “Sei in banana dura” and the sleazy “La testa”... Windopen founder Roberto Terzani later joined Litfiba as a bass player when Gianni Maroccolo left the band, in 1990 and he still have a great site where you can have details about his own personal history with the band. In other case, no doubt that Windopen were a real classic of the first italian wave as you can hear in their wonderful anthem "Windopen Rock" or in their outrageos "Strazzami i Maroni". Enjoy to their sound and please, send me a digital recording of their first harpo's tape because mine is damaged!!!
lunedì 11 gennaio 2010
For years, just four years to be unforgettable... this was the story of The Smiths, "the only band that really matters" (The Clash will understand...) I said for years to all my friends. From those old Tate recordings (Dear John?) to the Strangeways misuranderstandings, it was all too brief. Almost any British band that picked up a guitar in the '80s and banished synthesizers from its sound was influenced by the Smiths, a quartet that favored street clothes to haute couture and played ringing, hook-rich songs sung by the always eccentric and outspoken vocalist. And God, what kind of songs, easy but c