Just got termination notice from rapidshare on a few uploads, so if you didn’t grip the Adam Ant and The Sound posts from last month, you should do so now.
Public Image have more than their share of toss away tracks. Just saying.
Maybe it’s something inherent to their type of experimentation, or was just a way to spend Virgin Records’ money, or maybe it was all part of the plan, regardless, for every Public Image there is a Cowboy Song, for every Careering there is a Suit (and maybe a Chant too), for every new ground the band broke, and they broke quite a bit of new ground, don’t get me wrong, there was some boring half-baked, half-finished, half-song, or two.
Even Fodderstompf, for all it’s (as Simon Reynolds tells us) importance as the prototype for the earth shattering and alien sound the band would emerge with on Metal Box/Second Edition, and change everything, is really, when you get right down to it, a total fuck song. Not that there’s anything wrong with a fuck song, it’s just PIL’s ratio of Gold to Shit ain’t that great, it’s a good thing their shit shines brighter than most folks gold, and their gold, well, we all know Poptones when we hear it right?
A few years ago I tagged along while my girlfriend at the time accompanied a certain Indie Pop Darling on a small tour of the UK with a few dates on the Continent. After returning to London from a few days in Paris, I decided to stay in the city for the evening to check out some shows around town before catching up with my girlfriend down the road in Liverpool. John, our incredibly hospitable host in London, and owner, operator, sole employee of the wonderful Where It’s At Is Where You Are records left me the keys to his, by my standards, POSH flat in Hammersmith, and escorted the band on to their next show in Cardiff.
My plan was to trek out to the Chisenhale in east london to check out an installation by Florian Hecker, then after popping back to the flat, head out to catch the U.S. Girls in Islington. The gallery proved harder to find than I had expected. After wandering around Mile End for what seemed like hours it was nearly dark by the time I was rapping on the door I believed to be that of the Chisenhale. After a while a very pleasant young gallery attendant answered the doo, and informed me that the show was in fact only open on Wednesdays, go figure. I pleaded a North American upbringing as the root of my incompetence, and appealed my case on the grounds of the incredible distance (Canada by way of Hammersmith) I had come for the show. After considering my plight the attendant graciously bid me entrance, and arranged for a private viewing of the show. A blissful hour of solitude in one of the worlds greatest and most populous urban centers, with only the disembodied psychoacoustic illusionist for company in the cavernous and austere gallery, it was more than I could ever have hoped for.
On my way back to the tube station, I tucked into a chip shop a block or so down the road, as a small brass plaque on the side of a railway overpass had informed me, from the site of the first V2 Rocket to touch down in London. The shop seemed reputable enough, with a steady stream of patrons coming and going. I got a two piece fish and chips to go, which I shouldn’t have done as the meal was stone cold and soggy by the time I made it back to the flat nearly two hours later. I had just enough time to scarf down half the portion and have a couple of pulls at a bottle of duty-free scotch before I needed to start making my way out to Islington for the U.S. Girls show.
Fortunately I had been out to the neighbourhood the show was in a week previous to see Dum Dum Girls and Male Bonding play, which made finding the venue a significantly less time consuming effort than my search for the Chisenhale had been. I cruised through the door just in time to grab a pint and find a seat with a mostly unobscured view of the stage. Megan of U.S. Girls did her thing, and it was good, full of warble, hiss, and reverb. The other acts that I caught that evening were largely uninspired and utterly forgettable. I only stuck around long enough to drink my four pint limit for the night.
After getting back to the flat, I was still quite awake, and despite the beer I had consumed, pretty hungry. So i polished off the remaining fish and chips, poured myself a glass of scotch, and settled into John’s couch to watch some British cable-vision. I should have popped a disc in and watched a couple of episodes of the incredible Early Doors which John had just introduced me to earlier, as there was absolutely nothing on the TV. Yes, cable across the pond is just like it is here, there is nothing ever on. I finally landed on what appeared to be a heavily edited version of Terminator 2, and gave up the search for something more entertaining, and eventually dozed off.
Around four a.m. I awoke in a sweat to the sounds of the climactic steel-mill showdown scene of T2. Something was wrong, I was freezing cold, drenched in sweat, and felt as though I was about to become violently ill. Doubled over in pain I crawled into the bathroom, and there I spent the next 2 hours or so, immobile except to heave, with my head resting on the century old porcelain throne, disgorging what felt like a years worth of meals and drink, until there was nothing left. Then all I could do was heave, and heave, and heave…
Was it the alcohol? Not likely. The cold fish and chips I’d left on the counter all evening? Quite possibly. Or maybe it was the eight pounds of raw shellfish I’d consumed with my girlfriend the night before at some well-to-do seafood restaurant by L’Opera in Paris? I don’t know. I will say, at that particular time in my life, because of various circumstances my average daily intake of liquor was considerably more than I had that night, and, as I would later discover, nearly simultaneous with my own affliction, halfway across the country my girlfriend also took ill with similar symptoms.
The train ride to Liverpool the following evening was hell. Screaming children, fluctuating compartment temperature, and needless to say, the motion, all took their toll on my tired, nauseated, battered body and mind.
Before we shipped off back home, John pushed this and many of the other fine releases on his label into our hands.
In John’s words Help Stamp Out Loneliness are like “Nico fronting a tight pop band with song’s written by Morrissey and Marr”.
Incredibly strange and obscure synth punk from LA circa ‘79. Amazing cover art, almost Dzama-esque with that randomly inserted smoking pistol. Beautifully manufactured too, the sleeve is a miniature tip-on (google it) style jacket, like some impossible tiny Martin Denny meets dadaist cabaret record form the 50’s, but fucked up.
Further on the Denny tip, the group had a surf-rock alternate configuration called The Tikis, and thank bubblegum record collector and Exotica aficionado extraordinaire Boyd Rice in the sleeve notes, go figure.
Oddly, my copy came with a 4”x6” signed glossy head shot of James Mason.?.
Everyone is healthy,
Everyone is happy,
Everyone is crying.