American Valhalla!

iggy pop lust for life

Not so long ago a missed out on a limited edition bundle of Iggy Pop records on coloured vinyl but I decided to get the same bundle on ordinary black vinyl when that was released on preorder because why not. It doesn’t really matter whether it’s pressed on red or black vinyl at the end of the day, even though I have to say it’s quite pretty watching coloured vinyl spin around, but it is mostly about filling the gaps and building a decent music collection.

iggy pop the idiot

I’ve always liked Iggy Pop and although a little young at the time to appreciate his older stuff, Post Pop Depression for me was a great album and not just because Josh Homme was involved. Obviously I’m educated in the classics, though I have found out recently that he released an album consisting of French cover songs.

iggy pop live 77

My music posts aren’t really about how great a pressing is, or the quality of the sound or even whether it is limited edition or not, I think it’s more about my own personal journey with music and how it influences me and that it is okay to like what you like for no reason other that you do. Though I do like collection albums that are related to the year I was born in, so this 1977 live fits in well with that.

Iggy pop bag

iggy pop bag 2

I get that most people will probably find my music posts a bit pointless and boring but I have a double-sided Iggy Pop tote bag to carry all my ‘I don’t give a fucks’ in!

On a different but connected note, the other week I found out that Josh Homme was doing a Q&A before the showing of a new documentary he is involved in about the making of Post Pop Depression. I snapped up two of the last remaining tickets and despite feeling crappy tootled along.

american valhalla q&A

As I said I really liked Post Pop Depression as an album, I know some didn’t or were sceptical because it didn’t sound like classic Iggy but it’s always interesting so see how an album is put together, especially a one-off project. The though process in choosing band members, who’s writing the lyrics, how musicians work together, and the stories behind the songs and the album title.

The documentary is directed by Homme and Andreas Nuemann and charts the times through the conception of the idea through to tour that followed the album. I managed to see Pop at the Royal Albert Hall last year and he was phenomenal, he is a show man and he love being there every bit as much as we did.

The Q&A itself was interesting  and informative. Even the drunk dude who turned up late, put on his sunglasses in a dim-lit theatre and proceeded to strut straight into a pillar before professing his love to Josh and bestowing him a gift, didn’t distract too much from the proceedings.

If you can, check out the documentary. You can find out more here at the site.

 

 

Music Monday: House of Pain

Fine Malt Lyrics
Yes I’ve had this copy for approx 20 odd years!

The other week we went to see House of Pain at the Forum, unfortunately Danny Boy couldn’t make it, it was hot so we skipped the support bands and turn up just to see the main act.

One of my friends was surprised that they had three albums, it will not surprise you that I have all three albums, on vinyl from when I used to collect before and it went out of fashion and everything went to CD, then digital but yeah I was a fan of House of Pain.

SAM_7913

I’ve seen Everlast perform a couple of times as a solo artist but I never got to see House of Pain, I saw Cypress Hill probably because I was complete stoner back then and had a major crush on DJ Muggs.

SAM_7914

It will not surprise you the gig was pretty much full of middle age white men drunkenly jumping around to er well Jump Around whilst the support act kept invading the stage to repeat his name over and over age so no one would forget who he was. The problem with these type of reunion/anniversary gigs is no one ever goes for the support act, they go for the nostalgia and momentary reliving of youth. Don’t get me wrong there were die-hard fans there that new ever beat and lyric but for most it seems like a trip down memory lane.

house of pain
Obligatory rubbish phone photo from the back of the venue!

So was it the gig I expected, well in honesty yes but that’s not to say it was and thing. It’s a shame Danny Boy wasn’t there, never did find out the reason but it was still good to hear my favourite tracks played live.

Music Monday: Mark Lanegan

mark lanegan notebook

I once had a friend telling me they would probably turn up to hear Mark Lanegan sing the telephone book! But then I agreed because Lanegan just has one of those voices, deep, soulful, soothing to the point it quelled even my horrendous foul and ill-tempered mood on Thursday when we went to see him perform at the KOKO.

mark lanegan gargoyle

 

With nine studio albums and a plethora of collaborations under his belt, there is quite a back catalogue to choose from but I never get tired of hearing my favourites. Sometimes I purposefully don’t listen to a new album if I’m going to see an-artist live shortly, sometimes I just like going to a gig and hearing a song for the first time. I bought the new album whilst I was there, no surprises I chose the red coloured vinyl edition and a notebook. Maybe I’ll write that ercury prize-winning album now!

mark lanegan gargoyle red vinyl

I have I think seen Lanegan perform maybe 10/11 times over the years in various guises, The mark Lanegan bans, The Gutter Twins, with Soulsavers, with QOTSA, by himself. He’s not you average front man, there is no charismatic jumping around on stage, or joking around with the audience. He walks on sings, says thank you every now and then, introduces the band, gives a small wave and walks, not always necessarily in the order but trust me this is enough. Some artists you go to see perform, others you go to listen to, he falls in the latter category.

mark lanegan gargoyle back sleeve

I didn’t stick around for the signing, I’m not good with queuing but I have my album and notebook, and he ended the show with two amazing covers of Joy Division songs which is all good. Love will tear us apart is one of my all time favourite songs. Cover versions are one of the rare things I get snobby about, I hate a terrible cover versions but then again there are some really good ones out there. I doubt that there is a song that Lanegan could cover that wouldn’t be just as good as the original, in fact due to him covering other songs, I discovered some amazing artists to add to my back catalogue.

So until next time I have Gargoyle to listen to along with the many others but some artists are just better heard live, Mark Lanegan is one of those artists!

mark lanegan notebook inside cover

 

Music and Mourning

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Last year we lost a lot of great artists, Lemmy form Motorhead left us (though technically that was 2016 but I still feel that is what set off the catalyst for 2017), then David Bowie and then it was like they all said fuck this crazy stupid world and up and left. Although death is inevitable and it wasn’t really the grim reaper going round on a drunken spree swinging his scythe willy nilly, more to the fact there are a lot more actors and musicians because there are just a lot more people last year just felt like one big long conga line of talent that couldn’t wait to get off this godforsaken planet. I was going to write about earlier but then decided against for whatever reason, then something happened last week and I feel the need to ramble a little.

Most of deaths didn’t shock me that much, although these days being in your 70s isn’t considered that old any more, it’s not really that shocking when some one in their 70s does die, I don’t mean that in a horrible way but it seems normalish. Or when it is revealed that they were sick and it lessens the blow a little because we can reconcile that. But when someone dies in their 50s for no apparent reason, it hits a little more home, not just because they are closer to your age but also because 50 isn’t even past retirement and so by that theory not old.

So Chris Cornell’s sudden death at the age of 52 was pretty much a shocker, in fact I spent pretty much most of the day in denial. It was even sadder to find out that his death was ruled as suicide by hanging, a few weeks after Piers Moran declaring that men need to man up and shut up about their feelings, it’s not hard to see why male suicide rates are higher. Depression or suicide doesn’t discriminate, it doesn’t care and it leaves a lasting imprint on those left behind.

Each Generation has their idols, their music, rock n roll, Prog Rock, the Beatles, punk music, for me it was Grunge, so this is the context from which I speak about music. I was always a fan of music from a young age, I loved dancing and singing despite not being able to do wither but Grunge, Grunge woke me up, it was something I could finally connect to, it opened up my music world and with each band I discovered led me to discovering more bands and the bands that influenced them and the writers and the movies, it was the first time I feel I belonged to something, the first time I could be a part of something. I also feel that if it wasn’t for Grunge, Riot Grrls and being apart of generation X I probably wouldn’t be as political or pissed off about injustices as I am. This wave of music didn’t just open doors for me to discover new music but also to think and to challenge.

This music wasn’t passed down to me by my parents or an aunt or uncle, this music I discovered myself, this scene came to life just as I becoming a teen, most of my friends were lusting after Take That. New Kid on the Block were the last ‘boy band’ I ever loved and then I discovered Grunge and I had to educate my parents about what noise I was listening to and why. Soundgarden were a major part of the Grunge scene, the Grunge scene was a major part of my life as a teenage and I’ve lost count the number of times I watched Black Hole Sun on MTV back when MTV was an actual music channel.

But thing about Cornell wasn’t just that he was part of this scene, it was his voice, his amazing powerful voice. So many singers dragged me out of my teen ennui and made me pay attention because of their voice. That was another thing about the Grunge scene it wasn’t just a new wave of music it was a new wave of amazing singers that came with it. Like Cornell, Eddie Vedder, Layne Staley, Kat Bjellend, Mark Lanegan, Donita Sparks, all had powerful voices, raw and powerful and distinctive voices telling you their stories, stories that you need to hear again and again.

We lost a few too soon, like Kurt Cobain, Layne Staley, Andrew Wood, Stefanie Sargeant but they live on in their music. We will obviously never feel the loss that their families do but there is a reason we mourn artists. They may have been strangers but they shared a  part of themselves through their art to which we could relate and it made us feel like we belonged, it made us feel connected, and maybe that is the loss that we actually mourn.

(pic credit: youtube)

10 Favourite Movie Soundtracks

Soundtracks are one of my favourite genres of music, they can make or break a movie, sometimes the score can be iconic in its own right. I listen to movie soundtracks a lot so I decided to list my top ten favourite soundtracks.

Midnight Express

Midnight Express OST

This was one of the first movie soundtracks I ever fell in love with. I used to nick my mum’s copy and play it all the time when I was younger. It’s typical 80s synth soundtrack but I was an 80s kid so it was pretty standard film scoring at the time especially with Carpenter making movies and scores. I was pretty young when the film came out but you’re never too young to start appreciating good music. I’m quite fortunate to have parents with good musical taste and the reason I can legitimately call myself a heavy metal disco queen!

Fame

So I’m talking the 1980 Alan Parker version, I’ve not seen the remake and to be honest I’m not sure I want to. I love this film and I love the series as a kid, unfortunately for me it turns out I’m not gifted in the co-ordination department so I never did become that prima ballerina but I still love this soundtrack and play it a lot. I especially love I sing the body electric, Out Here on My Own and Hot Lunch Jam, maybe I just love Irene Cara’s voice.

Saturday Fever

Saturday Night Fever OST

Like Fame despite it being a film revolving around dancing, it dealt with some pretty gritty issues but also had a pretty amazing soundtrack. Mostly featuring the Bee Gees which I will to admit to liking, the obvious choice on this is A Fifth of Beethoven. I was gutted ages when I passed up a copy of the vinyl in a charity shop for a fiver but then I found a copy for a £1, it was a little scratchy for being stored badly but then the other week I got another copy for 99p in a local charity shop so I guess it all balances out in the end.

Pump Up the Volume

Any film soundtrack that introduces you to the work of Leonard Cohen causing you to be branding as the weird one of the family as a teenager has probably done it’s job to be honest! But seriously this is brilliant soundtrack and who hasn’t jumped around to Henry Rollins and Bad Brains version of kick out the jams!

Purple Rain

Purple Rain Ost

I still haven’t seen this film, sacrilege I know. I actually bought it on DVD to watch but still haven’t got through the never-ending pile of DVDs I need to watch but really this soundtrack needs no justification, it’s Prince that’s all you need to know and if you don;t like Prince, then we probably can;t be friends (kidding sort of)

Judgement Night

This is one of the occasions where the album is way better than the film, it’s not a bad film but it’s not great either. At the height of the whole rap/rock cross over, there are a lot of great collaborations on this like Cypress Hill and Sonic Youth, Biohazard and Onyx, Faith No More and the Boo Yaa Tribe, I still listen to this album a lot.

Lost Highway

Lost Hightway OST

Let’s see Rammstein, David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails, oh and Angelo Badalamenti all lend their talent to this one. This is one of my favourite Lynch movies, it probably inches ahead of the others because the soundtrack which really does makes this movie. It’s an eclectic mix which is fitting really.

This soundtrack recently got a repressing on yellow and black vinyl, so you won’t be surprised that I snapped that up for my collection.

Lost Highway yellow Vinyl

It Follows

It Follows OST

This was one of those soundtracks that I went out and bought pretty much straight after watching the movie. Someone told me that when they went to see it in the cinema the soundtrack sounded even better and I can totally believe that. Scored by Disasterpiece, a bit electronic, a bit synth, a bit 8 bit (that would be courtesy of Rich Vreeland video game soundtrack background) this soundtrack really makes the movie,  it’s atmospheric and Vreeland has done a great job in scoring the horror movie which I think is quite brilliant.

Virgin Suicides

I adore this soundtrack which is completely composed by Air, it’s one of my favourite books, so I was glad the film wasn’t a disappointment and I think their score helped that.   On a side note my copy of the CD is currently stuck in the CD draw of my midi player (yeah I’m that retro baby) but obviously I have a download so I’m too fussed. Still debating whether to get on vinyl (that would be I am getting it on vinyl but it’s not high prioroty!)

Drive

Drive OST

I like Drive, it’s visually a treat to watch, slick and stylish and you would expect from a neo noir crime flick and don’t even get me started on Christina Hendricks but let’s talk the soundtrack. I’m not a big electronica fans but the music on this good enough for me to buy it on  pretty pink vinyl and more importantly make it in the top ten of this list, just! There are number of limited edition vinyl variations of this sound track available at Invada records, although I believe this anniversary edition in neon pink has sold out.

Drive Neon Pink Vinyl

There are lots of amazing soundtracks out there I know, there were loads I wanted to include but didn’t such as the Crow, The Craft, Kill Bill, Reservoir Dogs, Only Lovers Left Alive and pretty much anything by John Carpenter.  I have loads of singles bought just because I heard the song in a movie., I have deiscovered so much great music because I heard it in a movie, I’ve also heard a number of good songs ruined because they’ve been reworked for adverts but adverts suck anyway!

Do you have any favourite movie soundtracks?