The End Is Nigh...

Walker says: Time to take a break. I'll be back in about four weeks. From then on things will be a lot slower here, maybe one post a week. I don't want to stick things on here just for the sake of it, I've always tried to keep it to music and topics that I'm genuinely interested in. I'll post any music updates on Totally Fuzzy.
Thanks for your support people.
UK readers: While I'm away keep an eye out in the red tops for the trial of Zorro ( September 11th).

International Compilation Mute (1991)

Nice diverse compilation from Mute featuring:
Crime & The City Solution, Depeche Mode, Fortran 5, Mark Stewart, Inspiral Carpets, Easy, Laibach, Erasure, Wire, Renegade Soundwave, Nitzer Ebb, AC Marias, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Ohi Ho Bang Bang.


It’s our blood you mean...

Theatre may not be revolutionary in itself, but it is a rehearsal for revolution.
Augusto Boal-Theatre of the Oppressed (1972).

Augusto Boal (1931 -2009) was a Brazilian theatre director, writer and politician. He was the founder of Theatre of the Oppressed, a theatrical form originally used in radical popular education movements. This is an extract from his book The Rainbow of Desire (1995).

One day – in every story one day comes along sooner or later – so, one fine day, we were performing one of these splendid musical plays for an audience of peasants in a small village in the North-East – and we sang the heroic text “Let us spill our blood!”, to our rapt audience made up only of peasants. At the end of the show a huge peasant, a great big strapping colossus of a man, came up to us, on the verge of tears:
“Here’s a fine thing – people like you, young people, town people, who think exactly like us. We’re right with you, we also think we must give blood for our land.”
We were proud. Mission accomplished. Our message had been received loud and clear. But Virgilio – I will never forget his name, his face, his silent tears – Virgilio went on:
“Since you think exactly like us, this is what we’re going to do: we’ll have lunch [it was midday], and afterwards we’ll all go together, you with your guns, we with ours, and send the colonel’s bullyboys packing – they’ve taken over a comrade’s land, set fire to his house and threatened to kill his family – but first, let’s eat….”
We had lost our appetite.
Trying to match our thoughts with words, we did our best to clear up the misunderstanding. Honesty seemed the best policy: our guns were theatrical props, they were not real weapons.
“Guns which don’t fire?” Virgilio asked, in astonishment. “Then, what are they for?”
“They are for doing plays, they can’t actually be fired. We are serious artists, we believe in what we preach, we are quite genuine, but the guns are…fakes.”
“OK, since the guns are fakes, let’s chuck them. But you people aren’t fakes, you’re genuine, I saw you singing about how blood must be spilt, I was there. You are genuine, so come with us, we have guns enough for everyone.”
Our fear turned to panic. Because it was difficult to explain – both to Virgilio and to ourselves – how we could be sincere and genuine and true even though our guns wouldn’t fire and we didn’t know how to shoot. We explained ourselves as best we could. If we agreed to go with them, we would be more of a hindrance than a help.
“So, when you true artists talk of the blood that must be spilt, this blood you sing about spilling – it’s our blood you mean, not yours, isn’t that so?”
“We are true to the cause, absolutely, but we are true artists not true peasants! Virgilio, come back, let’s talk about it….Come back.”
I never saw him again.

The Teardrop Explodes- Wilder (1981) / The Buff Manilla (1982?)

Wilder was the second album by The Teardrop Explodes. It was written exclusively by Julian Cope and was more diverse in sound than Kilimanjaro.
This CD reissue features 8 tracks reputedly from a US only release entitled Buff Manilla. Other than the reference to Buff Manilla on the cover of this CD I can find no information whatsoever to verify its existence. Perhaps our readers in the USA will provide us with some info?


Working class culture?

I asked this question in response to a comment on Ian Bone's excellent blog. What do you think folks? Is there such a thing as working class culture? If so, what is it? Is it possible for culture to be exclusive to a certain class?

Ladytron- Commodore Rock (2000)

If you want to know anything about Ladytron, read what Simon Price has to say about them.
Here's one of his articles from 2005 .

Commodore Rock
Miss Black

Line up:
Helen Marnie
Daniel Hunt
Mira Aroyo
Reuben Wu


Working Class Hero…

Harry Dobson was a miner at Blaenclydach Colliery in the Rhondda Valley (Wales). A strong trade unionist he was a member of the Miners' Federation and the Communist Party of Great Britain .
Dobson was involved in the campaign against fascism, and following a demonstration against the British Union of Fascists in Tonypandy, he was gaoled.
Concern was growing over the Fascist attacks on the democratically elected government of the Spanish Republic, and in September 1936 the Comintern began organising the formation of International Brigades. An international recruiting centre was set up in Paris and a training base at Albercete in Spain.
On leaving prison Dobson’s first question was ‘how can I get to Spain?’ He decided to join the British Battalion. Dobson avoided the French-Spanish border by sailing from Marseilles to Barcelona in June 1937. However, the ship on which he was travelling was torpedoed . Some of the men drowned but Dobson was able to reach land and eventually joined up with the International Brigade .
The great Will Paynter, who also fought for the Popular Front government, described Dobson as "quiet and unassuming but a great comrade." In his book Miners Against Fascism (1984), Hywel Francis adds that "Harry Dobson …best combined the qualities of courage under fire, coolness and shrewdness in leadership with a profound political understanding."

Dobson took part in the fighting at Brunete, Belchite, Teruel, Huesca ,Gandesa and Ebro. He became a Political Commissar of the Major Attlee Company.

Of the fighting at Ebro Morris Davies later recalled: "I was given orders to capture a ridge. As I advanced with six other men we were peppered with enemy fire. We would not have achieved our objective had not Harry Dobson of the Rhondda given us cover-fire. Harry and I were caught by shrapnel. He insisted that his wound was not as bad as mine and... that I should be taken back on a stretcher first".
Harry Dobson died of his wounds on 28th July 1938.
The governments of Europe refused to act in support of democracy and the Spanish Republic was crushed by the fascist alliance.


The Breeders- Last Splash (1993)

The first incarnation of The Breeders was a folk rock group formed by twins Kim and Kelley Deal in the 1970’s.
In 1988 the name was revived for a project involving Kim and the Throwing Muses’ Tanya Donelly , spawned when the Pixies and Throwing Muses were touring Europe together.They were billed as a‘Boston girl super-group’.
By the time this, their second and most successful lp was recorded, Donelly had left to form Belly and the line up was as follows:

Kim Deal - guitar, vocals, moog, casiotone
Kelley Deal - guitar, Kenmore 12-stitch, vocals, (lead vocals on I Just Wanna Get Along)
Josephine Wiggs - bass, double bass, vocals, cello, (drums on Roi)
Jim MacPherson - drums

U-Roy- Your Ace From Space (1969-70)

Wake the Town! Here is U-Roy- recognised as the Godfather of DJ music. These 30 tracks were recorded for producer Duke Reid at The Treasure Isle Studio, Kingston JA, in 1969-70. The rhythm tracks are provided by Tommy McCook & The Supersonics.


For three years I lived the life of a girl. It was most dull…

This recent debate regarding Caster Semenya and indeterminate gender in sport reminded me of more innocent times.
When Nazi Germany, which we are told had more than its proportionate share of mad professors and evil doctors, became despairing of their chances of winning any medals at their showcase Olympic Games in 1936 they turned to…
What? Complex hormonal treatments? Performance enhancing drugs? Sinister experimentation that blurred the boundaries of gender?
Er, no. They got a guy to grow his hair long, wear tight pants under his shorts and enter the women’s high jump.
Dora Ratjen, who had a distinctive deep voice, wouldn’t change with the other girls and used a private bathroom instead of the communal showers.
Dora finished fourth in the high jump. Gretel Bergmann, who equaled a national record in the high jump a month before the games, was excluded from the German team because she was Jewish
Ratjen’s detection as an impostor was not the result of any complex laboratory tests, but the presence of five o clock shadow. In 1938 Ratjen was barred from further competition. He never competed in athletic events again.
In 1957, Ratjen came forward and said "she" was actually male (named Hermann Ratjen) and was forced by the Nazis to disguise himself as a woman for the sake of the honour and glory of Germany. For three years I lived the life of a girl, he said, It was most dull…

The Wendys- Gobbledygook (1991)

Bought this after being completely seduced by the single Pulling My Fingers Off (and at the time was involved with somebody who had actually cut one of their fingers off in despair).
Produced by Ian Broudie, this was a Factory release but I hesitate to label it Manchester. The band were from Scotland and sent Tony Wilson a demo at the behest of the legendary Derek ‘Horseman’ Ryder – father of Shaun and Paul, after he saw them supporting Happy Mondays.

John Renton -vocals
Ian White -guitar
Johnny MacArthur -drums
Arthur Renton -bass

Some NME articles here.


The's- Bomb The Rocks- Early Days Singles 1989-1996.

The's make some other so-called garage groups sound like Genesis. Plenty of vigour and urgency here. No extraneous polish.

This is a compilation of their early material.


Saint Etienne- Foxbase Alpha (1991)

Young people are not correcting society. They are regurgitating it.
Jeff Nutall, Bomb Culture.

In 1987 Andy Warhol dissapeared.
In 1988 When Saturday Comes went national.
In 1990 Bruce Forsyth returned as host of the Generation Game after a 13 year absence.
In 1991 Heavenly Records released Foxbase Alpha by Saint Etienne.
Nostalgia, misrepresentation and postmodern pastiche.
Nostalgia, the social disease, the repetition that mourns the inauthenticity of all repetition (Susan Stewart).
Mickey Dolenz, Billy Fury...Space 1999, Moonbase alpha...1976 European Cup Final-Bayern Munich 1 St Etienne 0.
Neil Young- Euro Disco, I Can't Wait to See My Baby's Face- Dusty Springfield...
Journalists making records. Metroplolitain living.

Sarah Cracknell - Vocals.
Bob Stanley - Roland Jupiter 4, Korg M1, Tambourine.
Pete Wiggs - SCI Prophet 5, Emax sampler, Bongos.
Ian Catt - Guitars, Keyboard Programming.
Moira Lambert - Vocals on Only Love Can Break Your Heart.
Harvey Williams - Bass on Only Love Can Break Your Heart.


Anti-Pasti- No Government (1980-1984)

The so called second wave of Punk ( although in reality it was the how manyth wave?) bracketed together a number of diverse bands. Discharge were quite anarcho pacifist and laid the foundations for more extreme genres such as grindcore; The Exploited were mucky Bash Street Kids types... Anti- Pasti were, on reflection, a no nonsense band who had a great name that baffled many. What these groups shared was a three chord up and at 'em approach. No Government by Anti- Pasti became the song for garage bands to cover- simplicity itself.

This is a collection of their singles.


Talking Heads- Demo (1975)

This is the demo that Talking Heads recorded for CBS records in 1975. They were not signed, and it was another 2 years before they made it onto vinyl.

David Byrne- vocals, guitar
Chris Frantz – drums
Tina Weymouth- bass

http://d01.megashares.com/dl/cJzxPRi/talking heads demos1975.rar


The First Record I Ever Bought Was...

Here we see Baby Walker with the Beatles LP he bought when he was a week old. He thought it was shit.

People will say some shameless things when asked what the first record they bought was (Giles Smith, as ever, is pretty hot on this topic in his book Lost in Music q.v).
I knew punks born in the late sixties who swore blind that the first record that they had ever bought was Raw Power by The Stooges, or Anarchy in the UK. Unlikely…
I think my son can justifiably claim the B52’s, which is pretty cool even if it was The Flintstones music, but I can hand on heart say that it was Bowie for me.
Let me think, was it the spaced out Space Oddity that first rocked my rocket? No? What about the fantastic sexual ambiguity of the metarockstar of the Ziggy Stardust era? Mmm? Did my ten year old sensibilities find kindred spirits in the Bowie and Eno of the Berlin period? Nein!
What drove me to Falcon Music in 1973 was the reissue of The Laughing Gnome.
There, it’s shamelessly revealed to a potential audience of millions that this was Walker’s first foray into record buying. I didn’t get a picture cover- but I did get an addiction to the feel and smell of the vinyl platters in their flimsy paper sleeves and to the racks of albums and cases of styli on display.
The b-side intrigued me, and made me think about the songwriting form as a potential career (although I remained convinced for years that Pat Hewitt was Fats Hewitt).
Sadly I don’t still have that 7” record, so I hope you’ll indulge me in a bit of fakery.
Oh, and I still love Bowie.

Ps- I checked the veracity of this with my mother and she said: Are you sure, dear? I thought you bought an import copy of the rare Ultima Thule 7" by Tangerine Dream the week before with some money that Auntie Bunty gave you?

David Bowie- The Laughing Gnome 7" (1967/1973)

Here it is,thank you David:

Sorry, the file is no longer available for download.


Внимание! Русские читататели...

В сентябре я еду в Россию и хочу использовать эту возможность для того, чтобы пополнить мою музыкальную коллекцию. Из моего блога Вы уже знаете, что мне нравится панк-рок/новая волна и независимая музыка. У меня уже есть записи групп "Кино" и "Ленинград". Я буду рад, если Вы порекомендуете мне что-то из новых (или классических) групп, на чье творчество стоит обратить внимание.

Thank you to Natalia for the translation.

We Do 'Em Our Way (1980)

An anonymous reader kindly pointed out that the link to this was dead- due to an oversight on my part back in March when I was just getting into the swing of this blogging caper.

So here's the whole thing with a fresh link:

Fond memories of this little £2.50 gem, which we played endlessly in my mate Rob's bedroom in 1980. As far as I am aware this was the Music For Pleasure label's only real foray into the world of the 'new wave'*. What we have is a selection of punk and punkish groups, some very well known, some not so well known, playing covers of fifties and sixties hits.

Sex Pistols- Rock Around The Clock
Devo- Satisfaction
The Golant Pistons- Friday On My Mind
Sex Pistols- Stepping Stone
Those Helicopters- World Without Love
The Hollywood Brats- Then He Kissed Me
The Flying Lizards- Money
The Slits- I Heard It Through The Grapevine
The Stranglers- Walk On By
The Hammersmith Gorillas- You Really Got Me
UK Subs- She’s Not There
The Dickies- Nights In White Satin

* I was wrong, of course, they featured Blondie and the Stiff label acts.


1001 Books- a follow up post...

I went to the library this morning (fiction- it was days ago now) and took out 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. And I was disappointed. Not because a lot of the cliched stuff I expected to be there was (and then some, but 1001 is a hell of a long list I suppose) but because it's (almost) exclusively a list of novels.

A bit presumptious I thought; the primacy of the novel over other books. Why isn't the book called 1001 Novels You Must Read Before You Die? I was reminded of the words of Borges (possibly the greatest writer of the 20th century; he never wrote a novel): It is a laborious madness and an impoverishing one, the madness of composing vast books -- setting out in five hundred pages an idea that can be perfectly related orally in five minutes.

I wouldn't have any issue with a book 1001 Novels You Must Read Before You Die, I probably wouldn't read it, because I gave up reading novels long ago. I have read many novels, but frankly within days of finishing reading them I can hardly remember a thing about them. I'm with Germaine Greer here: she said: I don't read novels! Why do people think that reading a book means reading a fucking novel? You finish reading the book and you think "Well, that's over. There's four hours down the drain." At least in non-fiction you might pick up some information you can trust. My whole world is built out of books, but they aren't Booker prize-winners, which I frankly always think are overrated.
The world of The Novel is a ghetto of snobbery. People read 'good newspapers' which tell them if a novel is any good or not and then they read it (conspiciously). They might even join groups in which they can talk about having read it...
Fiction holds up a mirror to society, to history, to the human condition, but are we only able to comprehend these concerns through what essentially are entertainments, made up stories?
But 1001 Books... now what potential is there! Imagine what a book that could be!
And of course, there would be some novels in it.
Please rip this to shreds:

Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players- Vintage Slide Collections From Seattle, Vol 1 (2004)

They turn strangers’ old slide collections into mini rock operas.

Ok, a guy who looks like Rick Moranis, his wife and eleven (or is it nine?) year old daughter. They acquire old slide collections and he writes songs about them.
I’m not sure how much of that I really believe and I can’t be bothered to do any research to confirm or deny the truth of these claims.
The booklet is included in the download file.


Half Man Half Biscuit- Back in the D.H.S.S.(1985)

The most authentic English folk group since The Clash- Andy Kershaw (2002).

My how we laughed…
But seriously folks, these boys from Birkenhead were ahead of their time. Name checking eastern bloc football teams and 1970’s B list personalities might have become de rigueur in about 1989- but in 1985 it was just plain mad.
Every song is based around a pun or whatever the less subtle juxtaposition of totally unexpected elements is called.
Often overlooked, the music is fantastic trippy low fi psychedelia.

Nigel Blackwell -vocals, guitar
Simon Blackwell –guitar
Neil Crossley -bass, vocals
David Lloyd -keyboards
Paul Wright -drums


Gun- Word Up (1994)

Scottish rockers Gun scored a hit with this thumping cover of Cameo’s 1986 number.
It belted out of pub jukeboxes across the land.
The faceless rock of the other tracks on this CD EP illustrate why they soon returned to relative obscurity.
I've had this knocking about for a while now, having picked it up for 50p in a charity shop, but it never felt like the right time to post it. Funny that, somedays I look at my stuff and think 'I'll post that one, and that one, and that one...' and I build up about a week's worth of posts. Other days the same stack of records and CD's yield no ideas at all. I suppose it's an extension of that dreadful feeling that you get when you look at a wall full of discs and can't for the life of you think of anything that you really want to play.
So, I saved it for a time when I had nothing else to post. Which is now.


1001 books that I think you might want to read before you give up reading…

I was looking at this book the other day and I thought, surely, the first book in this book must be 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die ?
If it wasn’t on the list you’d never know what the other 1000 were, would you?
Also, what if you’d already read the 1001 books in the earlier editions of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die only to find that some of them had now been demoted from the list?
Also, does the newest edition of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die automatically supersede the earlier editions in the list?
To be honest I didn’t look- firstly because I knew in my heart that 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die wouldn’t be included in the list of 1001 books you must read before you die.
Secondly, I thought that Ulysses by James Joyce would be in there, along with Moby Dick by Herman Melville, and I found this inevitability quite depressing. Then I thought that Martin Amis might get a mention and I almost soiled myself...But then again, maybe some books should be included in the list of 1001 books you must read before you die as examples of overrated books or just plain rubbish.
I am currently working on my own series of books:
1. 1001 books that I think you might want to read before you give up reading…
2. 1001 books that I think you might want to pretend to have read under certain circumstances...
3. 1001 books that I think you might want to avoid reading...

To save you having to read any of these books which are, after all, just lists of other books, I'll post the lists that make up the books on Burning Aquarium in the near future.

Miranda Sex Garden- Madra (1991)

I haven’t heard any of their later stuff, but apparently Miranda Sex Garden , with Katherine Blake on vocals, went on to become some sort of gothic / industrial combo. This, their debut, is an entirely different affair- a capella renditions of English madrigals. What would that be then, late sixteenth early seventeenth century I’m guessing? About the time of Shakespeare?

Katharine Blake
Kelly McCusker
Jocelyn West


The People’s Game…

Wouldn’t it be great if football clubs had kept their original names? In the Premier League we would be watching the likes of Dial Square (Arsenal), Newton Heath (Manchester Utd) and St Domingo (Everton). But when I was reading up on South American football the other day I came across one that really takes the biscuit.
Argentinos Juniors are a bread and butter team from the suburbs of Buenos Aires. Known as The Nursery (El Semillero) they have nurtured many talented players who have gone on to greater things, most notably Diego Maradona, Daniel Batista and Riquelme.
As their other nickname, Bichos Colorados (Red Bugs) suggests, they play in red, inspired by the club's socialist beginnings (now we are getting there).
In August 1904 a group of young men from the La Paternal Barrio , inspired by socialism and the movement to promote May the first as an international workers’ day, founded a football club, which they called Mártires de Chicago (the Martyrs of Chicago), in homage to the eight anarchists imprisoned or hanged after the 1886 Haymarket Riot in Chicago.
Yes, that’s right. A group of young Buenos Aires guys named their football club in honour of a group of American anarchists.
Sadly the name change came early on in their history, and there seems to be little evidence these days of any reverence for the likes of August Spies, Albert Parsons et al at the Estadio Diego Armando Maradona.

These Immortal Souls- I’m Never Gonna Die Again- (1992)

5 years on from their vinyl debut These Immortal Souls came up with this follow up.
Check out this earlier post for information on band members.

Now available here


Leningrad & The Tiger Lillies - Huinya (2005)

This 2005 album was a collaboration between the Russian ska band Leningrad and the darkly eccentric English cabaret trio, The Tiger Lillies.
Essentially the songs here are Tiger Lillies compositions translated into Russian. Both acts contribute to the performance, so we get to hear both the world weary gravelly tones of Shnur (a Slavic Tom Waits perhaps?) and strange falsetto of Martyn Jacques.
The word huinya in Russian mat translates as dickness.


Pixies- Peel Session, May 16th 1988

Black Francis - guitar, vocals
David Lovering - drums
Mrs John Murphy (Kim Deal) - bass, vocals
Joey Santiago- guitar
Pixies were the alternative band of the late 80’s. This is their first session for John Peel.

Simon Bolivar said...

Simon Bolivar said: An ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction.


Supergene – Get Out (2006)

All good bloggers emphasise that music is posted on a try before you buy basis, you’re only borrowing it, please support the artists etc. Well on this occasion I’m being particularly sincere.
I don’t know what’s going on with Supergene- I don’t know if this album is still available. I know they’ve undergone some line up changes.
I bought this off singer/ guitarist Aled on his own doorstep (literally) the day he got his box of copies.
Have a listen to this. If you like it and if it’s still available please splash out a couple of quid on a copy, or any of their other stuff.
I’ve labelled it as Welsh, but only a couple of the songs are in Welsh.


The Go-Betweens- Send Me A Lullaby (1982) (expanded re-issue- 2002)

Here’s a poem by Sam Shepard:

I keep praying
for a double bill

If I was going to pray for anything I’d pray to hear a group that were as good as certain critics thought The Go- Betweens were:
Exquisite, poetic guitar pop. The ultimate cult band- Uncut.
A dream of what a pop group should be- NME…
This is the CD reissue of 1982’s Send Me A Lullaby- the 12 track UK version, not the 8 track Aussie one. There is a discsworth of bonus material, including a collaboration with The Birthday Party.


The Birthday Party- Peel Session December 10th 1981

This was the fourth Peel Session recorded by The Birthday Party. It features 3 tracks from Junkyard and a Rowland S Howard number called Bully Bones that I don't think appeared on any other studio recordings.


Chas Jankel- Ai No Corrida (1980)

I’d forgotten about this record until I was doing some reading on The Blockheads the other day.
Quincy Jones’ version was a top 20 hit in 1981.
Jankel had been in Ian Dury’s previous band, Kilburn and the High-Roads. He played on New Boots and Panties!! and Do It Yourself, and was responsible the funk element in The Blockheads music. He later appeared on Dury’s post Blockheads LPs.
The song takes its title (literally translated as Bullfight Of Love) from the controversial Japanese movie In the Realm of the Senses.


The Special AKA / The Selecter- Gangsters/ The Selecter 7” (1979).

Good time music from Coventry.
This was the first release on 2 Tone records.
Information on the record can be found here.
This is a rip of the original single.


The Wedding Present -Українські Виступи в Івана Піла (1989)

Surely one of the strangest career digressions in the history of popular music- dour Leeds based indie guitar band The Wedding Present recorded a series of adaptations of Ukrainian folk songs.
This, the 2000, Fresh Ear Records re-release of Українські Виступи в Івана Піла, was expanded to include all three ‘Ukrainian Peel Sessions’ and Hopak, the song with which it all began, making it a complete collection of Ukrainian-themed songs recorded by The Wedding Present.
Peter Solowka – accordion, mandolin, tambourine, backing vocals; lead guitar on Hopak
David Gedge – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Keith Gregory – bass guitar
Shaun Charman / Simon Smith – drums
Len Liggins – vocals, violin, balalaika, flute
Roman Remeynes – vocals, mandolin