Monday, August 30, 2010


"Clause one: Rough Trade and dot dot dot agree to make records and sell them until either or both of the parties reasonably disagree with the arrangements. Clause two: We agree that once agreed recording, manufacturing, and promotional costs have been deducted, we will share the ensuing prophet equally."

Yeah, that's basically it, the entire manual on How To Fairly Conduct The Music Business. Except that nowadays there aren't that many records to sell. There's still plenty of great music, but I can't see a record company like Rough Trade ever existing again, unless all personal computers suddenly stop working. That's a little cynical, though... couldn't a band still sell 30,000 copies of a record on this level? That's what the "TV O.D. b/w Warm Leatherette" single by The Normal sold. For all I know, maybe Pitchfork-approved bands can still sell 30,000... how many copies has the Best Coast album sold? I guess what I'm really asking is couldn't a GOOD band still sell 30,000 copies of a record on this level?

Anyway, I'm way into all this 1978-1984 stuff right now because I'm reading Simon Reynolds's book Rip It Up And Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984. I was never really a big Reynolds fan, having read his techno history Generation Ecstasy and various random articles over the years, but this book is just great, gathering up all the stray ends of an amazing time when music exploded with creativity and individuality. Plenty of great descriptions of the music, like this one: "Another Cabaret Voltaire hallmark was the dehumanizing of Mallinder's voice via creepy treatments that made him sound reptilian, alien, or, at the extreme, like some kind of metallic or mineralized being."

So many sweet tunes, like "TV O.D." (better than its more famous B side "Warm Leatherette")...

Thomas Leer "Private Plane"

Desperate Bicycles "Smokescreen"

Cabaret Voltaire "Nag Nag Nag" (so killer!)

Orange Juice "Falling and Laughing"

Scritti Politti "Skank Bloc Bologna"

And last but totally the opposite of least, Public Image Limited doing "Death Disco" live on Top of the Pops in 1979. Keep smilin', Jah....

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


This is actually kind of a creepy vid. If Yoko is a witch at 1:42, delivering a rather desert-dry drug riddle ("shooting is exercise"), well then John and Paul are rather warlocky, John with the harsh drug patter and Paul chiming in with a desert-dry "Too much, Pete" as they seem to want to get rid of Mr. Sellers, who, consummately talented as always, knows when to play the (American-accented) straight man, complete with early exit.

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