Concrete, Bulletproof, Invisible and Fried: My Life As a Revolting Cock – Chris Connelly

There’s a photo in the middle of the book from spring 1988 attributed to “unknown”, which I recognise, because I had it on my wall. This would be my cube wall at my first job, which was a shrine to the industrial rock legends of the day – Al, Trent, Ogre … the people in this book. You may remember Chris Connelly – the skinny Scottish self-styled also-ran eternally upstaged by his bandmates – from such freakshows as Ministry, RevCo, Fini Tribe, Pigface, Murder Inc and The Damage Manual. And he’s about to tell you everything.
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30 day song challenge: day 08 – a song that you know all the words to

Sunburn. Chronic hayfever. Having to wear sandals and then getting little stones trapped in the sandals. Any one of the myriad reasons why July is not my favourite month. Plus it’s usually pissing down – I mean, this is England. Cold, wet feet in sandals with a stone in the sole, and hayfever. I’m not quite sure why Chris Connelly hates July so much (as opposed to, say, April), but whenever this month rears its ugly little head, this song just pops its way into my brain and I find myself humming it by the water cooler.

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Revolting Cocks – Linger Ficken’ Good

Revolting Cocks, aka RevCo, were a side project between Ministry’s Al Jourgensen, Luc Van Acker and Richard 23 from Front 242. Richard left and Chris Connelly (Finitribe) joined, along with Paul Barker, Bill Rieflin, and anyone else they could drag into the studio. Although not every song was humorous, I mostly associate RevCo with a certain tongue-in-cheek hilarity.

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Pigface – Glitch

I don’t have a huge number of music DVDs, but the ones I own are generally great performances that have been polished up a bit in the studio afterwards. That’s as true of, say, Foetus’s ultra-low-budget MALE DVD as it is for Skinny Puppy’s slick The Greater Wrong of the Right. What this messy cacophony does is put them in the same band.

Martin Atkins (Public Image Ltd, Killing Joke) had the bright idea of putting members of Ministry and KMFDM on the stage together. From there it “sort of exploded” and he wound up with a “supergroup” that, in its 20 years of existence, has featured members such as NIN’s Trent Reznor, Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Wayne from Static-X and Black Francis from The Pixies. (Full list of members here.)

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I replaced this immediately on realising that the old VHS copy I owned was broken. I did this despite recognising that, for the most part, Pigface are f***ing abysmal. Although JG Thirlwell is credited twice (both as ‘Clint Ruin’ and as ‘Jim Thirlwell’), the actual track he did with them (available for download from Amazon) is the worst, most tuneless racket it has ever been my misfortune to hear (and I’ve seen Iron Monkey live). Thankfully it doesn’t actually appear on any of the 31 tracks on offer here, which is why you might be staring mystified at the credits. I couldn’t make out David Yow (The Jesus Lizard) or Lori Barbello (Babes In Toyland) either.

Most of the fun comes from trying to work out who’s who, since the footage between the two halves (Glitch and Son of Glitch) and the “special features” (bonus tracks) were filmed many years – and haircuts – apart. Genesis P-Orridge looks fairly terrifying at the best of times, so you can’t miss him, and KMFDM’s En Esch provides a few unintentional laughs.

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Adventures in Music: Last.fm

Pandora always had the sense to see that my taste wasn’t “industrial” or “rock” or “pop”, but “songs with strong hooks and elements of electronica, featuring syncopated rhythms, in predominantly minor keys, with strong vocals and extensive vamping”.

It’s all moot now, though, because Pandora stopped streaming to the UK a couple of years back, which means we just have Last.fm, and Last.fm streams by genre. That means that a fan of NIN must automatically like Stabbing Westward (not really!); that if you like Blur then you have to like Oasis (*shudder*); and heaven forbid you type in Gwen Stefani unless you really want to listen to Fergie (and, let’s face it, most people don’t).

Still, I thought I’d give it another go yesterday on the recommendation of a friend, and installed their ‘scrobbling’ tool, which rummages through your record collection to dig out the stuff you really actually listen to. Wow! Have I really listened to Foetus over 280 times in the past month? OK, then: let’s see what “Foetus Radio” throws up. I read on Twitter that one person hated their Foetus station on Pandora because “it didn’t know which style to pick”. That, my dear, is precisely the point …
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Jarboe – Red
I don’t even know how to begin to classify this, except that I could definitely listen to more. It reminds me a bit of Ruby – or more specifically, of when Silverfish’s Lesley Rankine was singing for Pigface: just abrasively feisty female vocals over searing breakbeats.
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Steroid Maximus – Chaiste
Hooray! Quentin Tarantino wrote a soundtrack! OK, technically it’s JG Thirlwell, but it’s what would happen if QT did write soundtracks.
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The Damage Manual – Sunset Gun

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I saw this lot live once – accomplished my dream of walking up to Jah Wobble and saying, “Mr Wobble: may I shake you by the hand?” (He obliged). They sound exactly what you think ex-Killing Joke members fronted by Chris Connelly would sound like. One of those promising bands where nobody can quite work out why they weren’t enormous.

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Nurse With Wound – Wash The Dust From My Heart
I had a lot of preconceptions about what a seminal goth-industrial band ought to sound like: unfavourable enough to ignore them, at any rate. They’re actually very good – quite mellow and listenable, and not at all what I was expecting. It actually reminds me of dreamy Creation act The Telescopes – that very warm double-bass sound and lazy jazz aesthetic.
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Chris Connelly – July
OMG! I had totally forgotten this album existed! I probably have it in the attic somewhere. I still know all the words. Connelly impersonates David Bowie over a pared-down indie-rock guitar sound. Good song.
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