Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cover versions

So The Charlatans' Tim Burgess just got a new tatoo, choosing to adorn his colar bone with FAC33. FAC33 was of course the catalog number for the debut New Order single 'Ceremony'. Both 'Ceremony' and B-side 'In a lonely place' were Joy Division songs that were never recorded before Ian Curtis died...

If you were to choose a Factory catalog number for a tatoo, I'm sure FAC10 (Joy Division's 'Unknown Pleasures') would be up there with the most popular. The seminal LP is 30 years old this year and to celebrate you can watch the pulsar wave form morphing away whilst listening to 'UP' here!

Just as good is the purple version I created for The Protagonist! website a couple of years ago:

Manic Street Preachers at The Avalon

Apparently, the Manics haven't been to LA for 10 years so there was very much an air of anticipation inside the Avalon last night! Indeed, the crowd were not disappointed by a brilliant show right from an impecable 'Motorcycle Emptiness' to an anthemic 'Design for Life'. The set was perfectly paced and included a couple of acoustic songs ('Small Black Flowers' and 'This is yesterday') midset before building to a deafening crescendo. Other stand out songs were 'Faster', 'You love us', 'Everything must go', 'You stole the sun from my heart' and a blistering 'Motown Junk' which was preceeded by a minute or so of The Small Faces' 'All or nothing'... Fantastic show - best gig I've been to for ages!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Happy faces...

The always entertaining and slightly mad The Happy Hollows featured on Pinpoint playing 'Faces' from the forthcoming debut LP Spells:

The Primitive Electric

Anyone in LA between October 17th and November 14th should check out a new exhibition by the multi-talented artist/musician/hipster Faris McReynolds:

Here is the press release from the Roberts & Tilton gallery:

The Primitive Electric
October 17 - November 14, 2009

Opening reception for the artist: Saturday, October 17th, 6 to 8pm
Roberts & Tilton is pleased to present The Primitive Electric, an exhibition of new paintings by Faris McReynolds.

In his third exhibition at the gallery, Faris McReynolds continues his exploration of imagined space and time, manifesting multiple ideas and ways of seeing through the literal movement of paint on the canvas. This recent work stands as an embodiment of culture, addressing specific themes of alienation, boredom, restlessness, partying and escapism.

There’s a sense of aimlessness about these portraits as each one resists a simple narrative reading, opting instead for a more expansive, albeit more complicated view of the world. McReynolds desires to paint in a primitive manner, yet this “primitivism” derives less from stylistic choice than from the intention to communicate multiple versions of the world at once.

Here the traditional portrait is turned on its ear as figures merge into one another, blurring literal and cultural boundaries, exposing their bodies in weirdly grotesque ways, yet without shame. McReynolds wants nothing more than to allow these paintings to communicate freely on a variety of levels, and each exists as a visual testament not to the artist himself but to the vagaries of a flawed and failed culture.

Born in Dallas Texas, McReynolds has shown both nationally and internationally at Goff & Rosenthal in Berlin, Gallery Min Min in Tokyo, and the Tim Van Laere Gallery in Antwerp.

Monday, September 21, 2009

RIP Arthur Ferrante

Ferrante, one half of the piano duo Ferrante and Teicher, died age 88 of natural causes. The easy-listening duo recorded many adaptions of movie themes such as The Apartment, Exodus, Lawrence of Arabia, Cleopatra and Midnight Cowboy in their 150 albums. Teicher died last August age 83...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Happy Mondays & The Psychedelic Furs at Club Nokia

Amusement Parks on Fire started the night off in shoegaze style. Their whimsical vocals bring to mind Mew but the long, guitar driven songs are more MBV-lite. Indeed, they actually sound like Ride!

Happy Mondays sounded really good, although the occasion failed to match the Coachella appearance (complete with Anthony H. Wilson introduction) of 2007. However, Sean Ryder seemed really together and his singing was more confident than a couple of years ago, despite getting his lyrics from a laptop which confined him to center stage. With Ryder static and no Bez (passport problems) Julie E. Gordon took up the slack with an energetic performance and some great vocals. Highlights were the groovy 'Step On' and a feverish 'Reverend Black Grape' but all the old stuff was excellent. The songs from 'Uncle Dysfunktional' sounded ok but in truth only 'Jellybean' approaches vintage Mondays.

The Psychedelic Furs looked and sounded just like they did back in the 80's. Richard Butler has aged amazingly well and is still pencil thin. The problem (now and back then when I had 'Talk Talk Talk') is I can't listen to them for more than 30 minutes - it's all too raspy! With Butler's raspy vocals and heavily featured saxophone in every song it's all a bit samey after a while.... We made a dash for the exit, missing the inevitable pandemonium that I'm sure accompanied 'Pretty in Pink'. By the way, we heard that The Killers wouldn't let The Psychedelic Furs play 'Pretty in Pink' when the Furs supported them a couple of days ago. In fact it's worse than that - The Killers played it, with Richard Butler coming on to guest. Another reason to hate The Killers...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

RIP Mary Travers

Mary Travers of folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary has died aged 72. They had a number 1 Number One hit in 1969 with 'Leaving On A Jet Plane'... The trio disbanded in 1970 to pursue solo careers.

Are you listening Noel?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I'mma Let You Finish

RIP Colin Sharp

The author of 'Who Killed Martin Hannett' has died after a short illness. Sharp was also singer with an early incarnation of The Durutti Column.

RIP Bobby Graham

Legendary session drummer Bobby Graham has passed away, aged 69.

Graham played on an estimated 15,000 records in his lifetime, including Petula Clark's 'Downtown', Dusty Springfield's 'I Only Want To Be With You' and 'Gloria' by Them. Alongside those acts, he also worked with The Kinks, playing drums on both 'You Really Got Me' and 'All Day And All Of The Night'. He was allegedly approached by Brian Epstein to replace Pete Best in The Beatles but turned down the request as The Beatles were at that point unknown...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Glispering Prize!

If you've been reading everybodystalking for any length of time you may recall that I did some voiceovers and incidental music for a documentary called 'Next tooth one mile' by Los Angeles filmaker Cassi Glisper.

Well, 'Next tooth one mile' just won Best Documentary at the International Film Festival of Ireland. Congratulations Cassi and everyone associated with the documentary!

Cassi with the Mayor of Clonmel at the awards ceremony...

RIP Jim Carroll

The New York punk poet, musician and author has died of a heart attack, aged 60. Carroll became a heroine addict aged 13 and documented his teenage years in his book The Basketball Diaries, later made into a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Guitar heroes...

In a week when The Beatles legacy was brought kicking and screaming into the 21st century by the release of The Beatles: Rock Band!, it seems not everyone is happy with their digital band-mates being immortalized in a game. Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl just released the following:

This is a statement regarding Nirvana, Guitar Hero and the likeness of the late Kurt Cobain.

We want people to know that we are dismayed and very disappointed in the way a facsimile of Kurt is used in the Guitar Hero game. The name and likeness of Kurt Cobain are the sole property of his estate – we have no control whatsoever in that area.

While we were aware of Kurt’s image being used with two Nirvana songs, we didn’t know players have the ability to unlock the character. This feature allows the character to be used with any kind of song the player wants. We urge Activision to do the right thing in “re-locking” Kurt’s character so that this won’t continue in the future.

It’s hard to watch an image of Kurt pantomiming other artists’ music alongside cartoon characters. Kurt Cobain wrote songs that hold a lot of meaning to people all over the world. We feel he deserves better.

Cobain - judge for yourself...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Drugstore cowboy...

Interesting story about a bitter feud between Damian Hirst and graffiti artist Cartrain. Cartrain used Hirst's image of a diamond encrusted skull in some of his work and was hit by a barrage of legal letters... Cartrain took revenge by stealing a box of pencils from Hirst's installation piece Pharmacy... Read the full story from the Independent here...

The Pharmacy installation:

If Hirst and Pharmacy sound familiar you may have been to the Notting Hill bar/restaurant called Pharmacy - designed by Hirst and opened in 1997. I went there once or twice and it was a hip place although somewhat sterile and cold... The bar came into dispute with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, which claimed the name, the pill bottles and the medical items on display, could confuse people looking for a real pharmacy. The name itself was breaching the Medicines Act 1968, which restricts the use of the word pharmacy. The bar's name was subsequently changed to Army Chap, an anagram of pharmacy and closed in 2003...

Pharmacy Bar/Restaurant in Notting Hill:

My opinion? Hirst needs to get over himself. For a start he is recycling his own 10 year old ideas for the Pharmacy installation. He should also read what Peter Saville wrote about appropriation/plagiarism:

In this post-modern era, the notion of plagiarism didn't come into it. If Jeff Koons took a photograph of a Nike ad and put it in a gallery, at the time nobody called it plagiarism. He was obviously making a statement about Nike and the art market. To me, it was better to quote Futurism verbatim, for example, than to parody it ineptly. It was a more honest, more intellectual and in a way more artistic approach. It was so literal and so obvious that it never crossed my mind that people would think that I invented this work. But some did. People were shocked because they thought that I had created an original and were disappointed to discover that it was reinterpreting a previous work. I think they were missing the point.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

SLR and Railroad to Alaska at Octane Alley

Octane Alley is a sports bar in a strip mall next to a Vons supermarket. Despite this it's actually a pretty cool venue! The band room is separate from the main bar, although the two TV's at the bar and the sports projected onto the walls were an unnecessary distraction, as were the flames painted on the walls behind the stage! However, the PA sounded great...

SLR sounded brilliant as Sean dashed through a short set which featured 'Sunlight into Space', the beloved 'We still love them', 'Spanish Boots' featuring Dana guesting on guitar, 'Venus de Milo' and finally 'Demolition 45' with Justin Suitor joining Sean for the tongue-twisting coda...

Mr Suitor was soon back on stage with Railroad to Alaska who also sounded brilliant. As they were riffing through their set I was thinking this is so not the style of music I listen to! However, the reason it works for me (aside from the brilliant musicianship) is that the band don't look like a rock band - they look like regular indie hipsters! That and Justin Suitor is a star - his transformation from a shy friendly guy into a cross between Jimmy Page and Robert Plant is startling! He also has the best hair in rock, with guitarist Jeff Lyman a close second!

Apologies to Brookline and Free Lions for missing their sets - I wanted to get back and see Laura before she left for Ireland early Sunday...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Wire Train, Translator and Romeo Void at the Knitting Factory

Three of 415 Records finest embarked on a short California tour starting at LA's The Knitting Factory. Romeo Void (or Debora Iyall and friends as it was billed) started off the evening in spritely fashion and it was great fun. It's easy to see how Iyall's voice (particularly on songs like 'Never say Never') was a massive influence on Britpop's leading ladies like Justine Frischmann (Elastica) and Louise Werner (Sleeper)... The set started out in semi acoustic fashion with Translator's Dave Scheff joining on drums as they worked their way up to a brilliant 'Never say Never'.


I must admit I missed out on Translator in the 80's - they didn't get the exposure in Europe that a number of strong support tours afforded Wire Train. Not dissimilar to early Wire Train, Translator are all chiming jangly guitars and driving basslines - singer Steve Barton an anglophilic cross between Howard Devoto and Terry Hall! Not sure whether Translator play together a lot but they sounded great - everything held together by Scheff's rock-steady drums.


It's been about 5 years since Wire Train last played live - for the pilot of VH1's Bands Reunited. The current reunion (hopefully longer than the three dates on this tour) sounded an all together more planned affair, with the band running through songs from the recently released 'Snug' LP. 'Snug' was rejected by MCA in 1993 for being "too weird" and stayed unreleased for many years. It doesn't sound at all weird now, although you can just imagine the execs at MCA shifting uncomfortably in their chairs when listening to the first track 'Who gives a shit'... The best songs from 'Snug' last night were 'Superstar' and 'Enemy', the latter featuring some fine soloing from Jeff Trott. Aside from 'Snug', WT played songs from all their LP's including the iconic 'Chamber of Hellos' and 'Last Perfect Thing' - their UK hit from the early days of MTV. They finished with one of my favorite tracks '17 spooks'... Great show, and with the tracks from 'Snug' sounding really fresh, this was so much more than an 80's nostalgia trip. Who gives a shit? I certainly do!


Friday, September 4, 2009

RIP Jake Brockman

The former Echo & the Bunnymen keyboard player has been killed in a motorcycle accident age 53. The crash is a tragic repeat of the 1989 death of Bunnymen drummer, Pete De Freitas.

Jake Brockman