Monday, February 25, 2013

back from the dead??

An admission.

In July of 2009, I got an email purporting to be from Google, with a cease and desist order. This related to an old blog post, featuring some very OLD music.

When I started this MP3 blog (and that term seems very quaint and antiquated now!), I was under no illusions that what we were doing was anything other than... well, illegal. Copyright Infringement. That sort of thing.

But I sold the idea to the other members of Johnny Domino as a way for us to stay in contact with each other and maybe promote the "work" we were doing.

Anyway,  I always told myself (and my now-wife), that if I ever got a C&D order I would pull the plug.

So when it came through, I - quite frankly - freaked out and deleted all of the posts.

WHAT I SHOULD HAVE DONE:

All the files (images and mp3s) were stored on the Johnny Domino website server, so I should have just disabled hotlinking from the blog. That way, all the writing we worked on (and all the lovely comments we received) would be safe forever.

Durr.

However...

Before I pulled the posts, I created a PDF of the whole site. And I have most of the comments as Blogger automatic-notification emails.

So - for no real reason AT ALL - I've decided to put them all online again, linking wherever possible to the songs we talked about on Spotify. I'll even add a comments digest for posts.

This will take time! And who knows? Eventually we might add some new stuff (somehow!).

But for the moment, I'm just enjoying looking back at a time when (really) pretty much all we cared about was music, before we all got married and (some of us) had kids - hilariously, this is pretty much as wild as our wild young days got.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Friday, July 25, 2008

drop me in for the badda-das

Bad News was the spoof New Wave of British Heavy Metal band featured in the first series of The Comic Strip Presents... This metal spoof was in production at the same time as This Is Spinal Tap.

Obviously Tap has had more long-term success but Bad News put a quintessentially English-toilet-circuit spin onto the pretensions of musicians, heavy metal or otherwise. Sometimes they overdid the 'we can't play our instruments' jokes but anyone who has ever been in a band (especially one that has been in a recording studio) will wince in recognition at some of the studio dialogue here.

The lines 'drop me in for the badda-das' and 'I've never had to move my arm up and down so many times in my life' definitely passed into Johnny Domino lexicon.

Bad News - Excalibur



Bad News - Warriors Of Genghis Khan



Bad News - Hey Mr Bassman



The characters were in the main extensions of the Young Ones archetypes - Ade Edmondson's Vim Fuego had the same barely-controlled rage as Vyv (just slightly more coherent), Rik Mayall's Colin Grigson was self-important, effete and pretentious in the same way as Rick, and Nigel Planer is just as dopey being Den Dennis as he was as Neil.

It's pretty clear that the Bad News boys had been listening to the infamous, hilarious Trogg Tapes. For more band-based shenanigans see also Father Ted's A Song for Europe - "play the f**king note!"

Buy - Bad News
Visit - Bad News


Friday, June 27, 2008

yah dude!

The world is funny old place and as A Tribe Called Quest said, "things go in cycles".

I have been on at dear brother Ox for absolutely AGES to do a post about The Stupids - or lend me his vinyl of "Peruvian Vacation" so I could do one. I've finally got round to doing it. And what do I see in today's Guardian? A review of the same album's swanky new deluxe edition CD...

I have to say, I'm really chuffed that a band like Les Stupides is getting the reissue treatment. As the review says they were a strange band - perrenial Peel-faves who often popped up on the pages of Smash Hits.

And, as the kids would say, they certainly did shred... make no mistake.

The Stupids - Virgin Bombshell Fucker / It's Fun To You




This is the opening one-two punch that opens Peruvian Vacation and for me it will always be the sound of hay fever.

To explain: there is a really cold room in our parents' house where me and Ox would go to get some respite from streaming noses and sneezing during the summer holidays. Days were spent playing records and eating ice lollies, and Peruvian Vacation was one of our favourite albums to play, representing a level of energy and enthusiasm that we could never hope to acheive post-sneezing fit. Good times.

It also makes me think of my old skateboarding school friends, Batesy and Fletch - do people still wear Vision Streetwear?

Buy - Peruvian Vacation
Visit - The Stupids (myspace)
Visit - The Stupids (wiki)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

knucklehead

With apologies for the extended period of radio silence - I hope this will make up for it. Just right for the second day of British summer time - looking out my window at some increasingly mouldy garden furniture.

But who needs to feel down when there are footstomping party-bangers like this?

Bar-Kays - Knucklehead



Taken from "Soul Finger" which my dear brother Ox gave me for my recent birthday. Vinyl is always appreciated, and this track fair took my face when I first played it.

Buy - Soul Finger
Visit - Bar-Kays (home page)
Visit - Bar-Kays (wiki)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

gary shandling

I've been thinking about posting some Butthole Surfers stuff for a while but the announcement that the (kind-of *) classic line-up is reforming for some US and European dates seems like the perfect opportunity.

(* By the way, the "kind-of" is because Paul Leary's involvement seems pretty much minimal. Wonder if Ta-Da the Shit Lady will be coming along for the ride...)

Anyhoo, the Buttholes album I've listened to the most is piouhgd. Not - admittedly - the coolest choice but for a long time this was the only album of theirs that we actually owned (who else misses tapes?).

I recently got hold of the Latino Buggerveil reissue which also includes the Widowermaker EP. We had this track on tape off an old Peel show for years and it was great to hear it again.

Butthole Surfers - The Colored F.B.I. Guy



Funnily enough, I was convinced it had a somewhat less contentious song title back then (a series of numbers, something like "1408" - any ideas?). Whatever, it just goes to show that maybe Gibby really did want to be in REM after all (from Double Live).

piouhgd has apparently been disowned by Gibby and Leary but one of the reasons I really like it is the weird way in which it has been recorded. All of the drums sound exactly like the default settings on an Alesis HR-16 drum machine - and I do mean EXACTLY, even down to the stereo positioning and the fact that, unless you change the levels, the hi-hats and cymbals are way too loud.

Did they have a complicated technological set-up that enabled King Coffey to play the sounds live? or most likely, did they programme the whole album onto a drum machine in this configuration? Whatever, it's quite odd for a band who had previously had two drummers to drop live drum sounds.

Similarly, it's an odd decision for a band so closely aligned to the 1988 Melody Maker Arsequake scene that it sounds clearly like the guitars weren't recorded going into amplifiers but were stuck directly into the mixing console - that's why the distortion is so very fuzzy and hissy. The whole album is pretty tinny sounding - whatever, a band called the Butthole Surfers were never going to be Steely Dan, were they?

Yes, there are some crappy stoner humour tracks (and possibly a few too many versions of Lonesome Bulldog) but the opening double whammy of both "Revolution"'s is still one of my favourite Buttholes moments. I've stuck both the tracks together for your improved listening pleasure. Enjoy!

Butthole Surfers - Revolution Part 1 / Revolution Part 2






If you're wondering, Gary Shandling is "just one of those people who haunt me", according to Gibby.

By way of aural demonstration of the recording style, there's an old Johnny Domino song that we recorded with the exact same sounds. It's part of The Best of the Shithouse Masters download available here. Lead guitar and distorted bass straight into the 4-track and more-or-less default settings on the HR-16 that we used on all of our "proper" recordings. It's the Scorpions/Euro-rock pastiche called Reachin' For a Reason (and that's still the most righteous guitar bit I ever played, even if it was a joke).



piouhgd was released in 1991 and - along with albums by The Jackofficers and Leary's History of Dogs - was one of the reasons that Rough Trade filed for bankruptcy in the same year. Quite the legacy!

Buy - pioughd/Widowermaker
Download - pioughd/Widowermaker from iTunes
Visit - Butthole Surfers
Buy - Michael Azerrad's Our Band Could Be Your Life - the chapter about the Buttholes is worth the price alone

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

i feel sorry for the elephants

Being 10 years old at the time, The Young Ones TV show came about at completely the right time for me and my mates at school. So when they rose from the dead to record the first Comic Relief charity single, I couldn't have been happier.

Little did we know that this would eventually lead to The Stonk by Hale & Pace.

As Vyv says, "Completely ready when you are, Shaky!"

Cliff Richard and The Young Ones - Living Doll



The Young Ones - (All The Little Flowers Are) Happy



This is the B-side to the single, the kind of fly-on-the-wall-in-the-studio scrapping that Messrs Mayall, Planer and Edmondson would perfect with Bad News. But that, my friends will have to wait until a later time...

Visit - Comic Relief
Visit - The Young Ones
Visit - The Young Ones at the BBC
Visit - Cliff Richard