December 22, 2011
The Great One died earlier this year, magically at the age of 69. The man who painted with sound and ended his days painting with paint. As with his music, his visual art did not simply defy convention, it refused to acknowledge it.
The Captain was not like us – he was a precious idiot-god. Probably functionally illiterate, seeing music in drawings and drawings in sounds, I doubt anyone could have ever seen the reality he perceived – an endless source of grief for him, especially when bumping into immovable objects like Zappa.
He was without a doubt the man who poisoned me – life changed when at age 16 I had my mind permanently deformed by Doc At The Radar Station. I blaspheme by considering this his greatest work, alongside Lick My Decals Off Baby. Trout Mask is, dunno, beyond me, but still a masterwork, a communion for once a year perhaps, a sacred experience – black putty music. But Doc and Decals do it for me.
So, 35 years later, something all of us with fins have been waiting for, is finally being released from the vaults of Virgin records after being stuck in legal limbo. Bat Chain Puller is coming. There are many tracks from this that were subsequently re-recorded and added to later vinyl, much of it amongst the best of the best, like the sublime Owed t’Alex (raw live version, no doubt in a pub with sticky carpet and a faint vomit smell, the way I like it)–
Here’s a cut from Doc: Sue Egypt –
And one from Decals: Buggy Boogie Woogie (probably my all time fave) –
I salivate at the prospect of Bat Chain Puller.
December 10, 2011
Perhaps the greatest tragedy to befall avante guano1 was The Residents actually earning enough money to buy real instruments and start believing all the bullshit from music pundits praising their genius.
How to destroy creativity – reward it and relieve it from hand-to-mouth starvation.
The Residents last worthwhile output was probably Diskomo, in my elitist opinion. Ever since then, they have started believing the nonsense that they are artists – and the volume of crap they churn out has grown exponentially to feed the less discerning.
Their music was most interesting when they didn’t know how to play and used trash and toy instruments – not the state of the art electronica they now employ.
November 15, 2011
I drew the comparison to Dada, as have numerous other commentators, and I think it is a valid one – the heady, defining days of the movement were an expression of absolute rejection of existing norms and contempt for the meaninglessness of consumer culture, undermining it by, literally, fucking the system off and doing everything yourself with its discarded scraps. From a creative perspective it was utopian, but as a business model it was worthless. (more…)
November 12, 2011
Punk shits me. Especially the dogmatic little dweebs that insist it’s a British creation. Super-especially the talking rectums with monkey-see-monkey-do eyebrow piercings (which I always have to fight temptation to grab and twist) and Green Day t-shirts today that insist in proclaiming it’s “not dead!”
Even if you do place some tiny bit of credence in the British perspective on this matter, it was dead by 1977, everything since is just marketing. *FLOOMPH* – like a firework factory fire, it burned very brightly and very, very briefly. And was a wonderful thing, while it lasted.
In actuality it was a much broader cultural explosion fueled by the general social despairs of the times – in Britain particularly, as the entire country was falling to pieces whilst the proletariat was being distracted by the bread and circuses of the Royal Silver Jubilee, a crisis which eventually resulted in Thatcherism as radical remedy, compounding everyone’s despair. There were a LOT of pissed off people. This was also the birth place of the industrial scene, best exemplified by Throbbing Gristle. (more…)
October 22, 2011