Watching old indie vids on You Tube at the weekend (lots of the old Shelter video compilation on there) it struck me just how few of the groups looked uniformly good. So often there would be at least one member who just didn’t look right; wrong haircut, wrong jacket, wrong shoes, wrong moves, whatever… The only groups I thought looked great as a cohesive band were The June Brides and Laugh. The Junies looked especially good walking down the street in their suits, whilst Laugh just looked so casually smart, so right. I kept wishing the video for 'Paul McCartney' hadn’t employed all the dodgy home video effects and had instead focused on just showing how good the group looked and moved. Sharp as a needle.
"48 tracks from the birth of Indie Pop." What would your tracklisting look like?
1. Velocity Girl - Primal Scream 2. Sun A Small Star - Servants 3. Around And Around - Hurrah 4. Why Does The Rain - Loft 5. Vibrato - East Village 6. Pristine Christine - Sea Urchins 7. What Went Wrong This Time - Siddeleys 8. Anorak City - Another Sunny Day 9. Get Out Of My Dream - Clouds 10. Golden Shower - Boy Hairdressers 11. Ask Johnny Dee - Chesterfields 12. He Blows In - Raw Herbs 13. Beat Girl - Wishing Stones 14. You Didn't Love Me Then - Hit Parade 15. Like Frankie Lymon - Weather Prophets 16. Sunday To Saturday - June Brides 17. I Had An Excellent Dream - Dentists 18. Everybodys Knows The Monkey - Mighty Mighty 19. E102 - BMX Bandits 20. Talulah Gosh - Talulah Gosh 21. Cut Me Deep - Jasmine Minks 22. I'll Still Be There - Razorcuts 23. Bodines - Therese 24. Paradise Estate - Television Personalities
Disc: 2 1. Upside Down - Jesus & Mary Chain 2. Really Stupid - Primitives 3. It Always Rains On Sunday - Groove Farm 4. Black Country Chainsaw Massacre - Pop Will Eat Itself 5. Come Get Me - 14 Iced Bears 6. Sign On The Line - Fizzbombs 7. Anti Midas Touch - Wolfhounds 8. This Boy Can Wait - Wedding Present 9. Bible Of The Beats - Age Of Chance 10. Safety Net - Shop Assistants 11. Just Too Bloody Stupid - Close Lobsters 12. Dukla Prague Away Kit - Half Man Half Biscuit 13. Don't Slip Up - Meat Whiplash 14. I Could Be In Heaven - Flatmates 15. If I Said - Darling Buds 16. Poised Over The Pause Button - This Poison 17. Jack And Julian - Bachelor Pad 18. On Tape - Pooh Sticks 19. Flowers Are In The Sky - Revolving Paint Dream 20. Whole Wide World - Soup Dragons 21. Frans Hals - McCarthy 22. Like An Angel - Mighty Lemon Drops 23. Why Popstars Can't Dance - Big Flame 24. Baby Honey - Pastels
Everett True will be making one of his increasingly rare and eccentric onstage appearances live on stage next Tuesday as his alter-ego The Legend!, accompanied by reclusive Australian film star Noah Taylor (Shine, Max, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory) on improvisational guitar, violin and sundry other instruments. There may be other guest musicians, depending on whether they're informed or not.
Show time is around 8.30-9pm, and the pair have been told they can play for as long as they want
Venue: upstairs at Fitzherberts, New Road, Brighton (just along the street from the Theatre Royale) Admission: free Date: Tuesday, 26 September
There was a time I used to write often about being in the Boston Tea Party. Then there was a time where it fell out of favour thanks to the rudeness of the staff (well okay, of one member of staff in particular) and now… well, and now it’s back in favour. A bit. It’s my second port of call on a Saturday morning after breakfast at The Plant. I had the usual Persian baked eggs. Yum. It’s a bit like Huevos Rancheros only without the refried beans, pitta bread instead of tortilla and baked eggs instead of poached. It’s bloody good though. I like Plant a lot, although it can be too warm indoors (thankfully the weather here hasn’t quite realised it’s nearly the end of September, however, and we were able to breakfast al fresco) and it isn’t cheap, but meh, you have to support the local independents in the face of the Starbucks invasion. You know until less than a year ago there was not a single Starbucks or Costa in Exeter and now there are several. Coffeehouse madness. I do admit however that I would be tempted to use them if they offered free wireless Internet as they apparently do in the US. I’m not that much of an anti-corporate snob.
So yes, it’s back to the Boston and the shabby sofas and creaky tables. The student shabby chic. Speaking of whom, the University will be cranking back into action soon, and Exeter will swell with, ah, ‘young people’ all sporting ridiculous haircuts and dubious musical taste. Ah, to be young again. I’m glad I’ll be out in the country.
As for the rest of the week, it has passed in a blur of activity and exhaustion. Meetings, more meetings, bouncing ideas for projects, developing ideas for projects, answering emails, writing emails, blah blah and more blah. Oh, and teaching lessons. Musn’t forget The Kids. They’ve been doing some cool stuff this week; Warhol blotty drawings and taking photos of details around the school. I also did walking drawings with my AS classes, after showing them my own ‘going to London’ and ‘Leaving San Francisco’ work. That was funny. I didn’t tell my Year 11 girls it was my work, just got them to talk about it, get some responses. Mostly it was positive, and even the negatives were good: “it looks like a child’s drawing”, “it looks really rushed” and so on. But they did some cool drawings walking around the school, so hopefully it was worthwhile. Nearly all of them found it challenging, particularly getting their heads around the idea that although they were moving through space, the drawings themselves did not have to concern themselves with notions of depth (or illusion of depth). The only person who didn’t find that a challenge was one who has grown up amongst a lot of Eastern influences, which I thought was fascinating. So we talked about Eastern art traditions versus Western, interest in two dimensional surface pattern and decoration versus infatuation with creating illusions of three-dimensional space. This is about as close to teaching multi-cultural individuals as you get in the heart of Devon.
In terms of new technologies I’ve been struggling to get things moving with any kind of focused pace. Everything seems to take so long; always someone wanting to fret over the little things, to keep control. I’ve taken over responsibility for monitoring students who get their web access disabled. They get knocked off after ten ‘banned’ pages. Banned sites seem to include Amazon, Ebay, anything with the word ‘games’ in, and, well, just about everything kids might be interested in. I’m starting to find it unfathomable. We’re ‘punishing’ them for doing normal kid things. One young person, who has a reputation for being a very difficult student, keeps cropping up. I check out the pictures he has been trying to look at, fearing the worst. And it’s trucks. Lorries. Toy trucks, monster trucks, whatever… And that’s deemed ‘inappropriate’? To coin a phrase, WTF? And my time is being wasted because of this. I feel the need to implement some sweeping changes soon.
Warning- tech geek stuff coming up
I’m also getting very cross with Navaho, who supply the proxy equipment for the school. Ever since OS X 10.4 launched, there have been issues (to various degrees, but all ultimately crippling) running Safari and Firefox browsers. Neither of them will properly interact with the proxy server to verify passwords. Safari just crumbles and stumbles and falls, whilst Firefox seems to want to authenticate for every single file in the web page (images, CSS file links etc). It basically means that we cannot run 10.4 on our machines, which is very frustrating. We’ve been in touch with Navaho to see if they can identify the problem, but all they say is that it’s the browsers. Ironically, the ancient and no longer in development IE works fine! So presumably it is something in more advanced browsers with greater security levels that cause problems with the proxy… that’s logical, right? But oh dear no, Navaho just say ‘it’s the browser’, and have been noticeably silent ever since I asked them if they had by any chance possibly tried to replicate the problem or indeed if their system had been tested using OS X 10.4 and Safari and that they could therefore categorically state that it should all work.
Not sure if I mentioned this before (I'm sure I did, since I wrote the sleevenotes!) but the ace "Someone To Share My Life With" tribute album to The Television Personalities, was released a while back by But Is It Art? of Sweden (in collaboration with The Beautiful Music of Canada, home of the original TVPs tributes series). Updated news is that it's finally got UK distribution through CARGO, so it should be much easier to get hold of. And get hold of it you should, cos it's ace.
SIDE 1 BMX BANDITS - Girl At The Bus-Stop PACIFIC RADIO - This Time There's No Happy Ending SUMMER FACTORY - Look Back In Anger SEMION - The Prettiest Girl In The World NIKKI SUDDEN - If I Could Write Poetry
SIDE 2 TWO ANGRY MEN - Part Time Punks LOVEJOY - Someone To Share My Life With (Rehearsal Mix) SWELL MAPS - 14th Floor THE SHAMBLES - If I Could Write Poetry THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS - The Engine Driver Song (Alternate Mix) JONATHAN CAWS-ELWITT - Geoffrey Ingram
Don't say i didn't warn you to get your orders in early... And hey! that event at the ICA looks great. Wish I could go, but sadly school commitments render it impossible.
*************************************** LOST GIRLS SELLS OUT IN ONE DAY ***************************************
Lost Girls hit stores on Wed Aug 31st, and the entire 10,000 copy 1st printing sold out on that day. -- It even hit the "Top 20" on Amazon.com, which has never happened to a Top Shelf title before. -- By that Friday, the back orders in the Diamond system had already exceeded the 2nd printing of 10,000, which is scheduled to hit stores in October. So, we went ahead and ordered another 20,000 copies for the 3rd printing, to arrive in December. If you see a copy, be sure to pick it up right away, as these new printings are likely to sell out in short order as well.
In any event, if you still need convincing about this groundbreaking "adults only" title, over fifty articles, reviews, and interviews with Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie have already been published in USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and many other publications. All are brilliantly informative about the project, and we've linked to most of them here (in case you'd like to read some of them): http://www.topshelfcomix.com/news.php?article=147
*************************************** ALAN MOORE & MELINDA GEBBIE SCHEDULED FOR EXCLUSIVE LONDON "LOST GIRLS" EVENT ON OCTOBER 12TH ***************************************
To celebrate the release of Lost Girls, London England's Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) and the Blackwell chain of bookstores are presenting an exclusive "Lost Girls" event with Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie on October 12th. Alan and Melinda will be in conversation with comedian, broadcaster and comic fan Stewart Lee. Details are as follows:
-- Thursday, 12 October @ 7pm -- Venue: Logan Hall, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, England -- Tickets: Â£8, Concessions: Â£6 -- To book tickets call 0845 456 9876 (from the US: 011-44-845-456-9876) (lines are open Monday - Friday, 9:30am to 6:00pm London Time) or visit Blackwell, 100 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H OJG, England (Nearest tube: Leicester Square or Tottenham Court Road)
Please note that even though we will be unable to sell copies of Lost Girls at this event (due to the UK/EU distribution issue listed below), this will still be a very rare opportunity to see Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie in person, and hear what they have to say about the creation of Lost Girls.