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Low Cut Connie: Dirty Pictures (Part 1)

Low Cut Connie: Dirty Pictures (Part 1) (Contender Records)

Philadelphia quintet Low Cut Connie is pretty much the brainchild of singer/songwriter/piano pounder Adam Weiner and if its’ latest album is any indication of their future musical trajectory then this is a band to watch. “DPP1” is bursting with irreverent rock‘n’roll and cannily introspective tunes that most bands just can’t seem to wrap themselves around effectively for a full album anymore. Opening track “Revolution Rock‘n’Roll” sets the scene with flair using Weiner’s languid boogie-woogie piano figure and solid vocals as an underlay for a story of night club rebellion where he chides “Come on children rip it up, let the jerk offs clean it up, touch my body touch my soul, revolution rock and roll”. When these guys are firing on all cylinders they sound like a less drunken Replacements if led by Jerry Lee Lewis in his prime. Covering Prince’s “Controversy” is one thing but they get even funkier on the buzzing soul/rock of “Love Life” and the tough “Death and Destruction”. Weiner speaks to his romantic inadequacies and admits them in “Angela” where he proclaims “You’re just to hot to date me… you should move to L.A…. you should be with a gorgeous guy, I know I’m a real far cry”.

As the album progresses it reveals deeper layers of this bands’ ability to sound like they only want to party yet are keen to deliver another side to the bar tab. “Montreal” is a lovely and heart warming story of the gentle passing of social diseases amongst friends while the sweet “Forever” and album closer “What Size Shoe” are romantic enablers that will bring a tear to even the hardest, beer addled heart. While ostensibly sounding like they don’t want to prove anything-here Low Cut Connie actually do. Their talent lies is being able to raise the roof while giving you songs that actually grab your attention for more than the length of their running time. That in itself is a colossal achievement. Bring on Part 2!

(10 tracks – 33 minutes)

Jeff Monk
-30-

BUY YOUR COPY HERE!


Jeff Monk

Long serving music writer and hermit from the frozen center of Canada JM spends his days creating a pleasant environment for world class ballet dancers while a looping soundtrack of loud rock and roll music boils continuously in his head. This is something that can't be fixed. At your service. Now buy him a cigar and exit.

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May 8, 2017 By : Category : Blues Cult Dark Eyeplugs Garage Reviews Tags:,
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DozenQ – Darren Deicide

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series DozenQ5

Darren Deicide was born on Halloween in the rhythm and blues filled environment of Chicago. Colorful reviews describe his playing style as ‘blending the best aspects of blues, rock n’ roll, and punk!’ We recently caught up with Darren and here’s what he had to testify…

01 How did you get started?

One day Satan said ‘Give them hell’, so I did.

02 Where did your name come from, being based on the IOW how does that influence things?

‘Deicide’ was a nickname I was given from old friends, and it has stuck since childhood. I think a combination of alliteration and my natural disposition named me.

03 Who are your major influences and inspirations and who do you despise?

I think any artist that is genuinely engaged in their process absorbs influences from every angle, like a sponge. I couldn’t exactly point to everything that makes each one of my songs what it is. I’m simply a byproduct of Americana, a mutt living against the grain of an empire in decline. So I consider my music a return of sorts. It’s a return to the aesthetic trends that existed before we bred a certain type of pretension into American culture, and I despise all the forces that are driving this decline. The complacent, the obedient, the fake, and the willfully ignorant are all at the top of my shit list at the moment.

04 What drives you to make music?

I wake up and ask myself that question all the time. I think this goes back again to the difference between a genuine artist and someone just repeating a schtick. I make music because, for whatever reason, I was hardwired to do so. To not, would be a life bereft of something. There are a lot of musicians like that right now, who exist in the undergrounds of America, and regardless of whatever the zeitgeist, they will continue doing what they do simply because they are compelled to push the aethers in one direction or another. Musicians are explorers who just can’t not take the muse into new and strange places.

05 What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live show?

They can expect to boil a hell-broth with me. They can expect to be taken to an unholy church of drunkenness and rage. They can expect to hear the primal call of shamanistic blues. They can expect an infernal juke house. Don’t be surprised if I wind up stomping on your coffee table.

06 Who writes your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

I write all of my songs. Inspiration comes from many different directions, but I consider my music a type of playful terrorism. To me, that has been the tradition of the blues, from its roots to all of its mischievous children that have been spawned through the decades. The blues is a subtle rebellion, an innuendo of that which dare not be spoken. In this day and age, there is no shortage of subjects that need to be mocked and ridiculed with the prod of surrealism, eros, and fantasy. I am merely assuming the mantle.

07 How has your music evolved since you first began playing?

I think it has gone a number of different directions. It began as a sort of amateurish and crude version of what I do now, as I started in a bunch of punk bands. I still was working that energy out, until I started exploring some conceptual angles with Temptation and the Taboo, Part 1 and The Jersey Devil is Here. The Blues Non Est Mortuum really feels like a finished product to me, the culmination of everything that I’ve been doing with equal parts of everything and nothing overstated.

08 What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Were you been able to overcome this? If so, how?

I think the biggest challenge I, and most musicians face, is to overcome the invasive presence of media. Just about every venue, especially in America, has televisions up and an audience with their eyes glued to cell phones. It has created a horde of people that just aren’t present and it is sapping energy from the value of musical performance. On a great night, that is overcome, smothered by hand claps and a singing audience that have given themselves to the rapture. How else can we overcome it? Might I suggest smacking cell phones out of people’s hands and leaving its fate to the mosh pit?

09 Do you play covers? If you could pick any song, which would you like to cover most and why?

I have covers up my sleeve, but I generally don’t play them live. I do like the idea of taking ‘traditionals’ and reinventing them, as what had been common practice in the folk tradition. I’ve always liked to see the evolution of Americana classics in that process, which somewhat mimics ‘The Telephone Game’. My contribution was to take Skip James’ ‘Devil Got My Woman’ and transform it into ‘Devil is my Woman’. I was nudged by Rev. Adam Campbell to do it. Don’t worry, buddy. I didn’t forget you. I played it for Back from the Dead: The Harsimus Sessions, my live video series, and it’s on The Blues Non Est Mortuum. But I don’t get into covers as a matter of course. The bar cover band is a useless, old charade. It’s time to get relevant and original, people.

10 Where do you envisage being in five years time?

I don’t know. Predictability is overrated.

11 Who would you most like to record with?

My partner in crime, Ethel Lynn Oxide. Soon she will be evoked from the fog.

12 What should we be expecting from you in the near future?

See question 11. There will be no spoilers yet, but don’t expect me to disappear anytime soon. There will definitely be more touring in the works if I don’t wind up in a place like jail. You’re all going to have a hard time shaking this guy.
 

Web Links

Facebook: facebook.com/darrendeicide
Twitter: twitter.com/darrendeicide
Instagram: instagram.com/darrendeicide

Tour dates:
Shows can be found at darrendeicide.com

Link to buy the current LP:
The Blues Non Est Mortuum, the latest vinyl release, can be found RIGHT HERE

 

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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April 3, 2017 By : Category : Blues Dark DozenQ Folk Interviews Music RnB Tags:, , , ,
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Jimi Tenor talks to Eyeplug

Jimi Tenor 

Born 1965 in Lahti, is a Finnish musician. His artist name is a combination of the first name of his youth idol Jimmy Osmond and the tenor saxophone. His band Jimi Tenor & His Shamans released its first album in 1988, whilst Tenor’s first solo album appeared in 1994. “Take Me Baby” became his first hit in 1994. He has released albums on Sähkö Recordings, Warp Records and Kitty-Yo record labels. Tenor has performed several times with the avant-garde big band Flat Earth Society. In 2009, he contributed a cover of an Elektroids song to the Warp20 (Recreated) compilation album, as well as having his song “Paint the Stars” covered by Hudson Mohawke. Eyeplug caught up with him recently for a friendly chat.

01 You were born in Finland in the 1960s, what was your childhood like there?

I lived in a small town called Lahti. I was a very shy child, but I was very active. I played piano and flute at the local conservatory. I was also very interested in theory of music. But I was also into sports and was playing all kinds of sports. Street hockey was a big thing for us.

02 At what stage did you veer towards music as a career direction?

That was quite early. I transferred to a music school and we had a good choir there. There were regular performances with the choir and I always enjoyed performing. Then later when I was 14 I started to play in various bands and that was kind of it. I really loved everything that had to do with bands. The music, hanging out. That’s what I wanted to do.

03 What were your early musical inspirations?

Finland in those days was a special place. The radio was really old school and wouldn’t play much the kind of music that I was interested in. But I remember from early childhood big radio hits like Sergio Mendez’ “Mas Que Nada”, some Beatles hits, Harry Belafonte. But at home we would listed to The Rolling Stones, Iggy and the Stooges. OK these are things that people know internationally, but what I would really hear everywhere in Finland was Finnish music. Mostly it wasn’t anything I was interested in until Punk Rock happened. Finnish Punk Rock was quite brutal, very lo-fi. I loved that.

04 How did you develop as an Artist and a Creative outlook?

I have always been interested in repetition. I don’t have a “golden ear” or perfect pitch so sometimes it’s a bit hard for me to hear very complicated chords. Maybe that’s why I naturally have been drawn into repetition and music that doesn’t have too many changes. I saw a TV series about minimal music and that was important. I got into the idea of shamanism, on order to try to get to another mental state via repetitious music. I formed a band called the Shamans. To be honest we weren’t anywhere near repetitious enough to get to another level! Later on I found an article about Futurism and Luigi Russolo. I wanted to make my own noise machines and make music, without keys or chords.

05 How did you find the dynamic of forming bands and working with others?

I like playing in bands and hanging out, but I don’t like to organize rehearsals, equipment, transport. Also calling people and making sure everybody is going to come to rehearsal space is a drag. So at some point I got into drum machines and found electronic music. It was interesting technically, but also socially. I enjoy being alone and with drum machines I could do cool stuff. I noticed that with a machine making repetitious music is much easier. In fact it’s really hard to make any changes. The old drum machines were not so sophisticated when it came to changing patterns, so you needed to work to get things out of them. And that’s exactly what I liked. I enjoy the struggle.

06 What challenges have you encountered and how have things changed over the years?

One of the biggest challenges was to get out of Finland. Finland was mentally far away and I wanted to do stuff. So we started to play in Berlin in mid-80’s and got some ideas how things are done. But one of the biggest challenges has always been the language. I like music with vocals and I like to sing a little bit. I tried to find an angle where I could sing in English and make some kind of sense. Make simple lyrics. Of course I could sing in Finnish, but the way the world is it’s hard to to get gigs outside Finland if you sing in that language. Like Japanese people also most Finnish people listen to English language music as instrumental music. What I mean for us the language is mostly sounds, different syllables. The lyrical content doesn’t mean much to us, the main thing is the sound and the feeling. Maybe I’m simplifying a bit, but that’s more or less the case. Of course these days I do understand quite a bit, but still if I go to sing English language songs in karaoke, I will definitely need the lyrics underneath.

OK now the world is very different from 80’s. It’s easy to get contacts wherever in the world. I think the new challenge is to try to keep a certain amount of mystery about oneself. If you expose all your secrets in social media, you become a local guy so to speak. And you can’t be a messiah in your own country. Your place in the social media is your new country in a way.

I guess one challenge is to make enough money to survive. For me things have been quite similar always. You play gigs and sell records after the shows. That is still very much valid. Sure, some big names made plenty of money in the 70s, 80s , 90s from record sales. I never really experienced that lifestyle. Maybe briefly in the 90s but that money went into all kinds of nonsense like video clips.

07 What types themes do you embrace within your compositions?

Lyrically I try to use plenty of metaphors. But the basic themes are always pretty much the same: Love and our place in the universe. That’s about it for me. I do a lot of pseudo scientific lyrics, titles like “Selfish Gene” and “Black Hole”, but they are love and sex in the end. Having said all this about lyrics I have to point out that most of my music is instrumental. 90%. I think it’s easier to talk about lyrics than music. I would really love to do long interviews about theory of music and what I try to go for in terms of composition, but I find it hard to explain anything in short interviews. But when I start writing a new piece, I try to go for something fresh. Not always start with piano, or drum machine. I one always starts with piano, like many do, then you end up having music that is good for piano. For example when I write music for afrobeat band, I would try to get a rhythm going that is natural for that specific band. I think about the players and what they can do. In this sense I agree with John Cage: you need to know the musicians you’re writing for. You need to know the band, and then when I do horn lines, I play them with horns on the demo. I don’t play them with keyboard because keyboard is not a horn. I don’t want to play keyboard lines with my saxophone! Even when I do big band music, I try to play the parts myself. Get into the feeling how playable a part is and how musical it is.

08 How do you technically prepare for the studio side of your work?

That depends. When I’m in my own studio I use drum machines, sequencer, a couple of synths, flute and sax. That’s my normal thing, but I use a lot of percussion, DIY instruments. I try to have a mike always ready to go right next to my chair. I work really fast. I get an idea and I will play it with my flute or sax. I don’t know it’s it’s a technical aspect, but I try to get something down right after my first morning coffee. If I have hard time figuring out a melody I would wait until next morning and try to do it after one cup of coffee. It usually works out. I’m talking about rough ideas here. But I don’t necessarily make a difference between demos and final recordings. I would say about 40% of my releases were originally recorded as demos. You never know when the right feeling is there. So I record everything with a good mike and good sound. My studio is a horrible mess, but I’m very strict about the signal that goes to the recording device. Everything high quality and no extra nonsense in the signal path. No buzz, hum, or noise. Unless it’s required of course. When I record horns I try to get a little bit of feeling of the room where it was recorded at. I don’t enjoy really dry saxophone or vocals sound. I want there to be a bit of life in the recording.

09 How do you find playing live these days, what stands out and why?

I enjoy it very much. Those are the moments I feel alive. I haven’t noticed any big changes of how I feel on stage. Maybe a bit more relaxed these days. I ‘ve noticed that I’m more comfortable playing saxophone these days. Experience helps. Flute playing is the most natural thing for me and I feel wonderful when I play solos. It just flows.

10 What is your typical productive or creative day like, what shape does it take? What would make it a succesful day?

Like I said it starts with coffee and then I have immediately a writing session for about one hour, sometimes more if I have a deadline. I start really early, you know 8am or 9am. Most of my ideas are gone by 11 o’clock and then I start doing the arrangements and the less intuitive things. Then I go to get some food and afternoons I run errands, take my kids to hobbies. In the evenings I tend to do more music. Might get more ideas, but that happens seldom. When we go to studio with a band then of course those days are full on creative rush. We don’t go to studio that often and the time there is always very restricted. So once you’re in there you have to go for it! But those days are special. Normally I do my music in a disciplined way. Everyday, but not too much. I don’t want to ruin the fun side of it.

11 How do you feel the wider Music Industry relates to artists such as yourself? Do you have strong thoughts on how it works today?

I don’t exists for them. I don’t think I have any role in the mainstream music industry. And I guess that’s fine. They can keep their “idols” TV-shows and all that. I don’t want to have anything to do with Live Nation and that kind of bullying music business. Having said that, it’s kind of hard to avoid Live Nation. They’re everywhere. I’m happy that there is an underground scene and I belong there. I don’t need to talk to A&R people, I don’t need to do show-case gigs.

I like the idea of digital releases, but I’ve noticed people don’t take releases seriously if they have only been released in digital format. That might change quite soon. LPs are back and that’s fun but I don’t care about the formats that much, as long as I hear the music I’m fine.

12 Being from Finland, yet living and working in various other Cities and places, do you retain a spirit or deep flavour of your homeland, how does that manifest itself?

I don’t try to sound Finnish on purpose, but I think my music still sounds Finnish. That’s fine with me because that’s who I am and I’m thankful that I have that special flavor. I have worked and I still work from people around the world. It’s easy to get lost in the multitudes of sounds and styles that I’m exposed to. I want to embrace different cultures but same time I want to be myself.

13 Please tell us about your recent work?

Well, I did a single for Philophon calld ‘Tropical Eel, Order of Nothingness.’ That came out in March 2016. I released a big band album on Herakles Records called ‘Mysterium Magnum’ in Sept 2015. At the moments we’re working on an “Itetune” album. Itetune is a band that uses only DIY instruments. We actually finished the mixing last night and it’ll be out on Sähkö Recordings. We’re also working ona new album with Jimi Tenor & Kabukabu.

14 What plans have you got for 2016 and beyond?

2016 I will play gigs here and there. Jori Hulkkonen and I will perform our film “Nuntius” in Vilnius on June 17th. Nuntius is a special project. It’s a silent film that will not be released. It can only be seen when Jori and I perform it live. I mean we do the music live. Sometimes our actor Mr Normall also appears on stage as himself, so the project has a bit of theatre in the mix.

15 Can you tell us a short, funny story please?

I asked my North Korean friend “how’s it going”. He said “Can’t complain!”


Discography

Jimi Tenor and his Shamans
Total Capacity of 216,5 Litres; LP (1988, Euros)
Diktafon; CD/LP (1989, Poko Records)
Mekanoid; CD/LP (1990, Poko Records)
Fear of a Black Jesus; CD/LP (1992, Bad Vugum)

Solo
Sähkömies; Digital/CD/LP (1994, Sähkö Recordings)
Europa; Digital/CD/LP (1995, Sähkö Recordings)
Intervision; Digital/CD/LP (1997, Warp)
Venera; EP/CD, (1998, Warp)
Organism; Digital/CD/LP (1999 Warp/Sire Records)
Out Of Nowhere; Digital/CD/LP (2000, Warp)
Cosmic Relief; Digital/EP, (2001, Sähkö Recordings)
Utopian Dream; Digital/CD/LP (2001, Sähkö Recordings)
Higher Planes; Digital/CD/LP (2003, Kitty-Yo)
Beyond The Stars; Digital/CD/LP (2004, Kitty-Yo)
ReComposed by Jimi Tenor; Digital/CD/LP (2006, Deutsche Grammophon)
Live in Berlin; Digital (2007, Kitty-Yo)

With Abdissa Assefa
Itetune; LP (2011, Temmikongi)
With Kabu Kabu[edit]
Sunrise; EP/CD (2006, Sähkö Recordings)
Joystone; Digital/CD/LP (2007, Sähkö Recordings)
Mystery Spot; 7″ (2008, Sahco Records)
4th Dimension; Digital/CD/LP (2009, Sähkö Recordings)
Mystery of Aether; Digital/CD/LP (2012, Kindred Spirits)

With Tony Allen
Inspiration Information Volume 4; Digital/CD/LP (2009, Strut Records)

With Lary 7, Mia Teodoratus; Soft Focus
Soft Focus; Digital/LP (2013, Sähkö Recordings)

With Nicole Willis; Cola & Jimmu
Enigmatic; Digital/CD/LP (2013, Herakles Records)
I Give To You My Love And Devotion; Digital/CD/LP (2014, Herakles Records)

With Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators (As also Jimmy Tenor)
You Better Change/Raw Steaks; 7″ (2003, Sahco Records)
If This Ain’t Love (Don’t Know What Is)/Instrumental; 7″/Maxi/WL/CD (2005/2007, Timmion Records/Above The Clouds/Differ-Ant)
Keep Reachin’ Up; Digital/CD/LP/Cass (2005/2006/2007/2008, Timmion Records/Mit-Wit Records/P-Vine Records/Light In The Attic/Above The Clouds/Differ-Ant)
My Four Leaf Clover/Holdin’ On; 7″ (2006, Timmion Records)
Feeling Free/Instrumental; 7″ (2006/2007, Timmion Records/Above The Clouds)
Tell Me When/It’s All Because Of You; 7″ (2013, Timmion Records)
Tortured Soul; Digital/CD/LP (2013, Timmion Records/P-Vine Records)
Paint Me In A Corner/Where Are You Now; 7″ (2015, Timmion Records)
Happiness In Every Style; Digital/CD/LP (2015, Timmion Records)
One In A Million/Instrumental; Digital/7″ (2015, Timmion Records)
Let’s Communicate/Instrumental; 7″ (2015, Timmion Records)

With Nicole Willis featuring Tony Allen
All For You/Touching; 7″ (2015, Sahco Records)

With Myron & E with The Soul Investigators
Broadway; Digital/CD/LP (2013, Timmion Records)

With Willie West & The High Society Brothers
Lost Soul; Digital/CD/LP (2014, Timmion Records)

With The Soul Investigators
Vulture’s Prayer/Bad Viberations; 7″ (2015, Timmion Records)
Soul Groove; Digital/CD/LP (2015, Timmion Records)

With UMO Jazz Orchestra
Mysterium Magnum; Digital/CD/LP (2015, Herakles Records)

Website
jimitenor.com

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

More Posts - Website

April 22, 2016 By : Category : Articles Beats Dark Exotica Front page Interviews Jazz Music Pop 0 Comment

Jeff Monk LP Reviews June 2015 (Part 1)

Lost Dawn: Lost Dawn (Easy Action)

lost-dawn
Falmouth’s Lost Dawn has the kind of fearless attitude that makes some bands great and others not so much. Their self-titled premier full-lengther is the kind of album that will grow on even the most jaded fan of this kind of music – a cross between overt pop inclinations with a slight psychedelic twist, and loose nut, rave-up experimentalism. The first two-thirds of “LD” lo-fi’s its’ way into your brain cells wonderfully. There is a distinct Marc Bolan vibrato to the effects-driven vocals that meshes well with the reverb boogie of “Breaking Bad” and “Count On Me”. Drums splash and attention spans expand and it all makes perfect contrary logic until “Manchild” when, for over six minutes the band builds from a fairly typical rhythmic pattern and heads for the very outside edges of their sound. Call it a rave-up or simply a progression to the limits in the confines of the song-it works to create a new sense of what this band is capable of when they stretch. Closing with hippie dream ballad “Kennedy”, Lost Dawn turns the tables again and all told this pleasing set builds a strong case for watching what this band does to follow this.
(11 tracks) GRAB A COPY HERE

Honey: Weekend Millionaire (Easy Action)

HONEY
Blame grunge. Blame Courtney Love. Blame anything else but poor Cornwall, U.K. trio Honey for their immediately identifiable retrograde sound. Sure, every band has roots and most bands can’t shake a sound-a-like framework at the outset of their careers. We’ll give the three in Honey their first fault. Originality is a difficult and delicate thing to grab and shape into something a band can stand behind proudly. It needs to come from within the group rather from their record collections… eventually. Singer/guitarist Sarah Marie Tyrrell has guts to spare yet mewls and roars like you’ve heard it before. Points given for a guitar-centric roar that chop chops at chords defiantly while drummer Sammy and bass guitarist Ele complement heroically. That part works. Sometimes the deck requires a quick re-shuffle before the players can get down to a serious game. Honey is at the table and ready to deal except the cards are marked and the dealer already knows exactly what will be played next. Next?
(10 tracks) GRAB A COPY HERE

Jeff Monk

Long serving music writer and hermit from the frozen center of Canada JM spends his days creating a pleasant environment for world class ballet dancers while a looping soundtrack of loud rock and roll music boils continuously in his head. This is something that can't be fixed. At your service. Now buy him a cigar and exit.

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June 22, 2015 By : Category : Dark Eyeplugs Features Front page Indie Music Post-punk Psychedelic Reviews Rock Tags:, , ,
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Cherry Red Album Reviews – Jan 2014 by Scenester

Peter Murphy

Peter_Murphy

Love Hysteria: Peter Murphy (Cherry Red CDBRED570)

Enough time has elapsed since the appearance of Peter Murphy’s second LP, to make a critical re-evaluation desirable and necessary. Often unfairly dismissed as a mere throne-warmer for Bowie, the LP shows both experimentation and originality, taking on a more positive and eclectic sound, even if Murphy doesn’t entirely leave his gothic roots behind him.

‘All Night Long’s staccato glockenspiel opening picks up on the age’s vogue for all things Japanese, with some building, overarching vocals complementing the picture and completely belying the nightclub feel of the title.

‘His Circle and Hers Meet’ has voguish metal-bashing supported by slicing guitar work over Murphy’s characteristic stentorian vocals; keyboards soar like uplighters in the background. A track to loosen the rigid spines of many of the Batcave crowd, who were still following Murphy in his solo days.

‘Dragnet Drag’ creeps up on you slowly, then the scattering rhythm kicks in, and Murphy tells his tale of inescapable peril with puzzling, wistful lyrics.

‘Socrates the Python’s hypnotic Eastern rhythm is a stand out, with its meditation on belief and credulousness a surprising subject for a song in an era notorious for its shallow materialism.

The pleasing, winding rhythm of ‘Indigo Eyes’ , with its triumphal stops, makes up for some impenetrable lyrics on the challenges of the spiritual life.

‘Time Has Got Nothing To Do With It’, a reflection on the certainty of death and mankind’s fetishistic fascination with it, is put over in a gentle vocal over a typically 80’s repetitive, piping backing and processed drum rhythm.

A longing for a different situation is subtly put in the lyrics of ‘Blind Sublime’, an otherwise straight-ahead train-like rock rhythm that should have sat very comfortably in 1988’s pop charts, had the era’s pop kids been a little bit more open to it.

‘My Last Two Weeks’ has another fascinating keyboard figure, but a distant lyric that doesn’t bear up to analysis rather undermines the impressive atmosphere of the track.

‘Funtime’ closes the original LP, its Iggy-like lyric and delivery an obvious affectionate tribute to an old idol that even the most uncharitable among you will definitely enjoy.

This expanded edition’s second CD also brings in the demos of much of the LP’s content, with ‘I’ve Got A Miniature Secret Camera’ providing a surprisingly funky diversion in an otherwise rock-heavy assemblage. ‘Blind Sublime’ is one of the original LP’s great strengths, but surely four extra versions is pushing it?

The LP’s unfortunate lack of success only serves to remind us why some other stars are reluctant to step outside of their comfort zone, and the price some pay when they do. BUY HERE! 

 

Four Tops

fourtops

Indestructible: Four Tops (Soul Music Records Classics) SMCR5111

The mention of their name is enough to transport us all back to a particular place and time when Motown staked its unique place in the world of pop music, and sweet soul music was welcomed into all our hearts. Twenty years on, The Four Tops’ glory days may have been over, but they could still worry the music charts with their updated sound.

As the recently re-released and expanded edition of their 1988 ‘Indestructible’ LP shows, this classic band were still doing what they were good at, but to an older and more world-weary audience than in their 60’s heyday. A mixed bag of songs on the eternal issues of love, regret, disappointment and the sheer joie de vivre we’ve all felt at some point; it doesn’t disappoint.

Title track ‘Indestructible’ is a solid, shaking rolling beat with those electronic drums, omnipresent in the 80’s, which now tend to date a record badly, but who can possibly grumble when these great, throaty voices take hold of the song and build it up, up and still further up until you’re feeling the best you’ve felt since, …well, since you last heard it.

The simple sentiment expressed in ‘Change of Heart’ and the heartfelt duet of ‘If Ever A Love There Was’ with its lush strings and deep, thumping drums will have the soft hearted among you going belly-up, and why not?

‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine’ a regretful lament over the loss of a former lover, is expressed in a winding rhythm that leads into a typically 80’s echoing sax solo, the production a million miles from the similarly named tour de force from the Walker Brothers.

‘Next Time’s bright, echoing bass and processed drums do not detract from a great tune with excellent supporting harmonies. Its placement next to the barnstorming UK hit ‘Loco In Acapulco’ is a good two-pronged button-pusher, with its repeated three-note guitar solo and jokey despair-to-elation story, irresistible to all but the curmudgeonliest of listeners.

‘Are You With Me’s descending spin leads us to a good, driving beat with a challenging message to the lady in question, and good supporting sax, even if the chorus is a little weakly written.

‘I’m Only Wounded’s plaintive voice over a ‘candle light’ backing and twanging bass gives us another great ‘getting back up’ song, wound around another lifting sax solo.

‘When You Dance’ is a typically 80’s production, all tinkling piano, brassy chords and bright drums, a little redolent of that confused musical decade to be considered a classic, but enjoyable enough in its place. The original LP closes with ‘Let’s Jam’s bright guitar, finger snaps and honeyed vocals, a real confection, with those saxes hanging round ‘til the end.

Bonus tracks are three, surely unnecessary remixes of ‘Loco In Acapulco’, ‘The Four Of Us’, and an extended ‘Indestructible’, a sign of a musical decade that never knew when to call a halt.

The collaborations on this LP read like a Who’s Makin’ Hits’ of the 80’s, making good use of talents as diverse as Narada Michael Walden, Aretha Franklin, Lamont Dozier, Diane Warren and Huey Lewis. Some would turn their nose up at an LP of this era, but I’d like to bet if I lent them a copy of this CD reissue, it would be in the feeder tray, sharpish. BUY HERE!

 

Any Trouble

anytrouble

The Complete Stiff Recordings 1980-1981: Any Trouble
(Cherry Red CDTRED597)

Cherry Red has come up with a neat package of three CDs spanning the Stiff Records tenure of Any Trouble, a capable bunch of riffers from Lancashire.

‘Where Are All The Nice Girls? (1980)’, their first LP for Stiff, shows them to be up to the job, but the comparisons to Elvis Costello and the Attractions are all too apparent here. The bouncy opener, ‘Second Choice’, has a good winding chorus, and the urgent, military style drumming and twangy bass, so emblematic of the late 70’s/early 80’s, turns up in ‘Playing Bogart’, among other songs. The slower material of ‘Foolish Pride’ and ‘Nice Girls’ is well worth cocking an ear to, so long as your tolerance for self-pity is turned on.

‘Turning up the Heat’ has a good, beaty feel to it, even if the chorus (‘The Heat The Heat’) is a little uninspiring, with ‘Romance’s neat bass runs and urgent guitars following, perhaps a little later in the LP than it should have.

‘The Hurt’ is an absolute standout, a good energetic, crashing beat, and why it wasn’t a single is beyond me. The self-loathing returns in ‘Girls Are Always Right’, but this time, with a well-written song to bear it out. Sad, soaring, country-tinged guitar notes, a restrained backing and an effective catch in the voice gives the LP a depth other bands of the period were struggling with.

‘Honolulu’ is a light, breezy, summery sort of ditty, leading into the ska-style riffing and poppy organ of ‘(Get You Off) The Hook’, a pleasant tune with a good chorus that would not have sounded out of place in the repertoire of a band such as Madness.

A few B’sides and demo bonuses round off this enjoyable, but not entirely satisfying first LP.

‘Wheels in Motion’ (1981), Any Trouble’s second outing, is arguably the debut LP that should have been. It hits the ground running with ‘Trouble With Love’, a great descending chord pattern and a powerful chorus that is followed by ‘Open Fire’, all echoing drums, strong, chunky keyboards and winner’s chords, and a call and response verse that keeps on building. ‘As Lovers Do’ sees a return to the twangy bass, but leads into great verses with soaring lyrics and just enough tension to carry it.

By the time you’re into ‘Walking In Chains’, you’re beginning to wonder if Any Trouble can keep it up, but even the slightly lumpen feel to this track is compensated for by a rousing chorus and that timeless twang of bass. ‘Dimming of the Day’ has a liturgical feel, the gospel tinged, climbing vocal saves it from bringing down the so-far impressive atmosphere.

‘Another Heartache’ is a reminder that the band have not entirely left their ‘luckless in love’ house style behind, this time with up-and-at-‘em chords, and a good, strong chorus, even if the verses are a little on the patronising side. ‘To Be A King’s apologetic tone does little to add to the LP, but ‘Power Cut’s rich guitar figures, leading into a sparser beat with better than usual singing offer a change late in the LP, but strangely, the band fail to capitalise on it. ‘Eastern Promise’ shows little of exactly that, with its held down riffing, leaving it to ‘The Sun Never Sets’ to close the LP with a drum tattoo the only livener.

‘Live at the Venue’(1980), previously issued only in Germany or as a promo, shows Any Trouble to be a band far better at putting themselves over live, than tweaking and twiddling in the confines of the studio. Wisely opening with ‘The Hurt’ and utilising their better songs, ‘Second Choice’ has a depth not found on the LP version, and ‘(Get You Off) The Hook’ has great, thumping drums that only benefit from a live setting. Their cover of Abba’s ‘The Name of the Game’ is a pleasant enough diversion, and their ‘Girls Are Always Right’ is superb, the guitar refrain far better here than on record. ‘Follow That Car’ is back to basics riffing, but hugely enjoyable. A Bruce Springsteen cover is perhaps the last thing we might have expected from these guys, but ‘Growing Up’ is capably performed, unfortunately with ‘Turning Up The Heat’ offering an unfavourable comparison. ‘Working on the Night Shift’, a fine ‘sweet Little Sixteen’ style riff, is unfortunately too late in the set to come over well.

The late 70’s/early 80’s were a little overcrowded with bands of this stripe, but you could do worse than make a little place for Any Trouble on your shelf.
BUY HERE!

Scenester

Scenester lives in London and Brighton, as time allows. Enjoys music, film, television, books, design and anything else which won’t leave well alone. Old enough to know better.

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January 6, 2014 By : Category : Dark Features Front page Genres Music Reviews Soul Tags:, , , , , , , ,
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Cauldronated speak to Eyeplug

Cauldronated are A punky, drum-centric, techno adventure featuring Eva Menon (Italian extrasolar poetess), David Harman and Dave Barbarossa (Drummer with Adam and The Ants, Bow Wow Wow, Republica, Chicane…

01 How did you first get started in music?

I deputised for the drummer in Adam and The Ants and Adam took me on.

02 Where did your direction come from?

My love of music and the drums.

03 Who were your major influences and inspirations and who do you despise?

I despise artificial passion in music, I can smell it like shit on my shoe. Far to many influences to mention.

04 What inspires you to make your current type of songs and sound?

I am driven to create uniqueness. Anytime I’ve gone the straight route in music, I’ve been deflated. ‘Cauldronated’ is a strange brew; House/tehcno scenery, impassioned alien vocals and mental drums.

05 What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live shows?

Complete commitment to the instrument. Spellbinding singer, modern sounds.

06 How do you begin your song creation? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

From a beat, or a groove, a vocal line, everything is thrown into the Cauldron. The themes are historical yet, futuristic.

07 How did your music evolved since you first began playing?

I have followed my heart. I play what pleases me.

08 What has been your biggest challenge? Were you been able to overcome this? If so, how?

To not sell myself out. To follow the teachings of geniuses I have worked with.

09 Do you play covers? If you could pick any song, which would you like to cover most and why?

I don’t play them.

10 Where did you envisage being in five years time?

‘Top o’ the world ma!’

11 Who would you most like to record with?

Cauldronated.

12 What should we be expecting from you in the near future?

More mental beats, Italian style and heady grooves, all live, all full-on.

Web Links:

cauldronated.com
facebook.com/cauldronated
facebook.com/BarbarossaBeat
soundcloud.com/cauldronated

Cauldronated @ The Finsbury – 21st Nov 2013

A welcome blast of superheated noise from the stage of this vast Manor House pub on one of the year’s coldest nights, Cauldronated lived up to my every expectation. Hard to believe that it takes just two people to make this brimming, bone shaking sound, the beat provided by Dave Barbarossa, veteran of such chart-bruising acts like Adam and the Ants, Bow Wow Wow and Republica, the voice and yet more drum work courtesy of the mysterious Eva Menon, she of the dark locks, tattoos, and more than a nod to the classic female rock stars of the much missed late 1970’s. With just a hint of synth to flesh out the sound, this heady brew showed its strength from the word go.

Playing the ice maiden with considerable relish, a huge 80’s cut jacket thrown over her slight shoulders, Eva glares, struts and swerves in front of her mike, coldly intoning the bullet-point vituperative lyrics, as synths wail and scream, Dave pounding out a thunderous beat that will tolerate no dissent. Difficult to characterise in one heading, Cauldronated seem to inhabit a world of their own making, somewhere in the wastes between rock, synth pop and trance, but without getting enmired in any of them.

Every young woman who ever picked up a microphone in anger seems to be embodied in Eva, her Siouxsie/ Ronny persona showing up most of today’s so-called cougars for the compliant puppets they really are. Dave’s enviable drum pedigree ensured a solid wall of rhythm for every song, with their electronic friend’s unobtrusive wailing a perfect backup.

Throwing her huge jacket aside, revealing a one-piece man-drag outfit that perfectly complemented her onstage self, Eva’s voice ran the gamut from Siouxsie to Poly, with even a suggestion of Diamanda, as she spat out yet more bile to the accompaniment of the screaming synth and rumbling drums which she shared stage with.

Scenester

Scenester lives in London and Brighton, as time allows. Enjoys music, film, television, books, design and anything else which won’t leave well alone. Old enough to know better.

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November 12, 2013 By : Category : Beats Dark DozenQ Gigs Instruments Interviews Music Reviews Tags:, , , , , , , , , ,
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DozenQ – Vanity

This entry is part 2 of 20 in the series DozenQ 3

Vanity is an Italian based band including members from Switzerland, Palestine and Italy. Their first full lenght Occult You is an album inspired by European culture and a challenging combination of Doom, Black Metal, Indie, New Wave and Gothic with fascinating vocals and shades of electronic.

01 How did you get started in music?

F: I think we are very different person with a different education in life as in music.We came from different places and we have different ages, but I can affirm with no doubt that thanks to the rock music and it’s sub genres that we started making music. Making music will always be essential self expression for us all, that could ever be absent from ourselves.

02 Where did your direction come from?

F: Not speaking about category and genres of rock music, I think the fundamental direction for our music is a heavy, slow, psychedelic, and obscure sound.

03 Who were your major influences and inspirations and who do you despise?

F: We are influenced by our years and years of listening to different music, so it’s not possible to say what are the predominant influences. But if we talk about the influences that make us able to write down the songs of our first album Occult You, I’m not afraid to mention Type O Negative, and Kate Bush. There is so much good music to listen to out there at the moment, that we have no time to despise any other bands or artists.

04 What inspires you to make your current type of songs and sound?

F: For this album I think the sound was influenced by a very dark period we all passed through, not only musically but also personally. The songs instead are influenced from a never published novel of N (the singer) “Occult you” which became the album title.

05 What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live shows then & possibly even now?

F: In our live act we try to recreate the sound of the album but with the emotionality of a live concert .We try to be as loud as possible not loosing the deep atmosphere of our sound.

06 How do you begin your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

F: During the whole creative process of “Occult You” we had all the lyrics almost done. So we started writing the songs trying to translate in music what the lyrics were expressing.

07 How did your music evolved since you first began playing?

F: We are a pretty young band at their first album, so it’s difficult to say that our music evolved during the process of writing Occult You. We can better say that our music will evolve in the next pubblication we are going to release, or better this is what we expect to do.

08 What has been your biggest challenge? Were you been able to overcome this? If so, how?

F: The biggest challenge for us as a band was to keep believing in our music when nobody outside there did. We did overcome that, after publishing our record with our label Church Independent, having a lot of good reviews of the album in Italy and also all around Europe.

09 Do you play covers? If you could pick any song, which would you like to cover most and why?

F: Yes.We usually play live Red Water, a song of Type O Negative. We also made an acoustic version of this song with piano voice and guitar, in the occasion of the 3rd anniversary of the death of Peter Steel. You can find the live video on our youtube channel.

10 Where did you envisage being in five years time?

F: Keep on playing our music and be satisfied with that.

11 Who would you most like to record with?

F: Right now with Chelsea Wolf, we all really appreciate her as both a singer and an artist.

12 What should we be expecting from you in the near future?

F: We are working on a couple of new video for two songs from our debut album “Occult You” cause we need to express our music also with a visual interpretation.So we like to make videos for our songs. We are also working on planning our european tour for the next autumn.

Web Links:

facebook.com/VanityDoom/
twitter.com/VANITYdoom
myspace.com/vanitywaves
youtube.com/user/VANITYwaves

Tour Dates 2013:

09/06/2013   MI AMI Rock Festival, Milano, Italy

Link to buy the current single:

ITunes
Amazon

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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June 5, 2015 By : Category : Dark DozenQ Front page Indie Interviews Music Tags:, ,
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DozenQ – The Sherpas

This entry is part 1 of 20 in the series DozenQ 3

From Exeter (UK). The Sherpas has been generating a local and national buzz making quite a name for themselves. They are young musicians and stunning live performers, they flip from memorable indie rock to pure passion. Now Soirée sees them racing to ever greater heights. Wave To The Water taken from forthcoming EP Soirée out 27th June. James Fuke – Drummer & Pierre Roxon – Lead singer talk to eyeplug.net

01 How did you get started in music?

Pierre: I started as a guitarist because my Mum and Dad both play, I loved blues and used to write instrumental numbers. I never planned to be a singer or front man, things evolved and now that’s what I do.

James: As a child my Dad and I used to watch live videos of Genesis, after watching Chester Thompson and Phil Collins playing a drum duet I had to pick up the sticks.

02 Where did your direction come from?

Pierre: Well we were all doing lots of things with music before we got together but a sense of direction as a band has taken some time to form. We just started playing what felt comfortable and slowly that morphed and we found more of a personal voice as a group. (Still lots more directions to cover!)

03 Who were your major influences and inspirations and who do you despise?

James: I listen and respect a lot of drummers E.g. Benny Greb, Dennis Chambers, Virgil Donati and Vinnie colauita. I listen and try to keep an open mind to the other band member’s musical interests… We all like Jeff Buckley.

Pierre: Yeah Jeff Buckley is a massive influence as are The Maccabees. I’m inspired by lots of other art forms and have been truly hooked on Matisse’s paintings for longer than I can remember. As a band we all loath what Rihanna stands for… I’m sure she is a nice person but that whole part of the music industry NEEDS to implode.

04 What inspires you to make your current type of songs and sound?

James: The Bands we have been listening to mostly.

Pierre: We would be stupid to say we didn’t owe a lot to our inspirations. I don’t think we really have a type of song. Each has its own personality and structure. We all like to experiment with different reverbs and delays. We recorded a set of wine glasses with water tuned to a chord which we use as a drone. We find things like that really fun to work with.

05 What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live shows then & possibly even now?

James: The Bands on stage chemistry is the best its ever been. We still consider each one of our shows as a learning curve… The different venues and audiences we perform to adds up.

Pierre: We have drum duets between James and Chris (bass) which the crowd loves. We have sections of improvisation; I think the audience feed off those moments. It gets us going and does the same for the crowd. I like to get in and jump around with the audience.

06 How do you begin your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

Pierre: Anyone of the band will come up with something… and we just spend time on it, normally it sounds completely different to the initial idea by the end. For me as a songwriter, I use a lot of imagery from my childhood, I sometimes write songs as if they were letters to people I know. The subjects are normally personal… surreal or both.

07 How has your music evolved since you first began playing?

Pierre: The main way it’s evolved is that we have all become much more versatile as musicians.

James: Since starting playing I’ve listened to a wider range of styles also from day one I’ve had friends and family who are also musicians who I could talk to and produce music with. Playing with other musicians in general gives you a better understanding of where you sit in the mix which is essential as a drummer.

08 What has been your biggest challenge? Were you been able to overcome this? If so, how?

James: Just organisation in general really.

Pierre: Yeah as a group of people we weren’t the best when we started out, everything was up in the air we wouldn’t know where we needed to be, but we have become a lot better, thankfully we have Jake (guitar) who is the most organised, he is also one cool cucumber.

09 Do you play covers? If you could pick any song, which would you like to cover most and why?

Pierre: My Sharona! Because it’s cracking that or Blue Monday but we don’t really enjoy playing covers as much.

James: We’re always trying to write new material… covers can be fun though.

10 Where did you envisage being in five years time?

James: Hopefully touring and seeing more of the world… even if it’s peering from a van window.

Pierre: Making albums that all sound completely unique and with an amazing live show that we can play to as many people as possible.

11 Who would you most like to record with?

James: Lianne La Havas, Sting… would be nice to party with Stevie Wonder.

Pierre: I would love to do a song with Laura Marling that would be incredible.

12 What should we be expecting from you in the near future?

James: Our first EP is out on June 27th. Our first music video just came out but there will be more very soon.

Pierre: Over the next month we are playing shows in some interesting places to publicise our EP we are playing in a vintage clothes shop and a cave to name a few. In the next year we will be gigging everywhere possible in the UK.

Web Links:

facebook.com/TheSherpas
twitter.com/TheSherpasUK

Tour Dates 2013:

18th June – Hanger 142 Exeter, UK
27th June  – Mama Stones Exeter UK – EP Launch
29th June  – Rooster Records Exeter, UK
7th July  – Rock Otočec Festiva,l Slovenia
12th July – Tiverton Balloon Festiva,l UK
23rd August  – Morefest Dorset, UK

Link to buy the current single:
Telescope –  itunes.apple.com/telescope-single

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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June 5, 2015 By : Category : Dark DozenQ Front page Indie Interviews Music Tags:, ,
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