Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Always one to support new bands; especially those with a connection to (former) New Order alumni, however tenuous, meet the slightly mighty Sex Education. Hailing quite literally from Liverpool their album is out now - a download being readily available from their myspace site.

Sex Education

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Native New Yorkers...

Somewhat terrifyingly, it's 33 years since the creation of Tony Fletcher's seminal, real bible of the beats, 'Jamming!' magazine. This was a magazine which catered for all tastes; most importantly, TB's own imperfectly formed, fiercely prejudiced ones. The cover shown was possibly 'Jamming!'s' most successful issue featuring an almost frightening array of PROPER POP STARS.....(that's enough nostalgic reminiscences).

Fletcher has also recently written a rather wonderful history of the music of New York City - from 1927-1977. It's unique in the sense that it successfully attempts to properly put into musicological context the city's pre-eminent position as the music entertainment capital of America. That it does, again very successfully, against a backdrop of changing musical styles, thwarted and realised ambitions and apathy from an all too often anatagonistic City Hall, gives the book its real resonance.

Ella Fitzgerald 'All the things you are'

The Chantels 'Maybe'

Tito Puente 'El Cumbanchero'

The Fugs 'Kill for peace'

Ramones 'Judy is a punk'

Thursday, July 15, 2010

He gave the people

Sugar Minott will be remembered for many things - not least among them the ability to successfuly translate his musical ideas over four decades and a plethora of distinctive styles. Most memorably however, was his decision to work with Reggae legend Coxsone Dodd pre-empting the subsequent revitalisation of Dodd's incomporably influential 'Studio One' record label. Minott also played a huge role in developing young Jamaican talent; among them Tenor Saw, Tony Tuff and Garnet Silk. His distinctive voice, which effortlessly brought joy to his many devotees, will live forever.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

...repulsive beyond belief...

It was with great sadness that the death of Dame Beryl Bainbridge was received last week. Bainbridge was one of England's most entertaining writers. Her work carried through it a characteristically mordant, self-deprecating streak, typical of many writers from the North of England - where hopelessness and haplessness are doled out in equivalent addictive measure. Although not perhaps her best novel 'A quiet life,' written in 1976, has all the hallmarks of her very particular fiction: familial alienation, thinly veiled despair and, that old familiar, barely concealed violence; of one kind or another. In common with most great artists her work retains and confides a marvellous humour and it is this overriding quality, which she ably demonstrated throughout the bulk of her work, which remains central to her story-telling.