Epilogue: JG Thirlwell’s inspiration

JG Thirlwell by Scott Irvine 2006

Since my first post was about how JG Thirlwell inspired me, it seemed only fitting to let the Foetus man have the last word. 

.

I’m sorry to see Princess Stomper’s entertaining blog disappear and hope she continues her observations elsewhere. In light of the “inspired” theme of her blog, I was asked to comment on what inspires lately. You can get an idea of this by looking at my Tumblr blog, where I make entries about cultural events that I’ve experienced and other stuff.

But I’d like to comment on the fertile community of artists in NYC that work outside of the gallery system, and create unselfishly for the love of it, and in doing so have created their own cosmos. Continue reading

Advertisements

Top 100 singles of all time: from Bjork to the Beach Boys

367px-Björk_Rock_en_Seine_2007_by Bertrand

It’s an almost sad feeling as I wrap up this list – bundling in the top 40 in one final swoop – before tomorrow’s grand finale. I don’t even know what was going through my mind as I wrote the original list, beyond how far I agreed (or disagreed) with the traditional entries on such charts. Perhaps what surprised me was how orthodox my tastes are – perhaps simply because those songs are undeniably good – though I hope my more detailed individual postings have entertained, imparted a bit of trivia on your favourite songs, and maybe introduced you to something you hadn’t heard before.

With that in mind, I’m going to skip over the ones you already know well – Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir (which always sounds oddly weedy compared to the bowel-shreddingly heavy version in my head); River Deep, Mountain High; House of the Rising Sun, etc. (my top 40 is dominated by songs from the 60s). I’ll pause to mention Higher Than The Sun, because however many accolades have been awarded to Screamadelica, it still does not have the recognition such an otherworldly, transcendental song deserves.  Continue reading

The new rules of growing old gracefully

Nick Cave 2009 New York City David Shankbone

I was reminded an old post I made here, back when I could write. It’s not that I’ve forgotten how to do it, or magically been zapped by some wicked witch, but I’ve just run out of time and enthusiasm. I wonder if that’s what happens to everyone in the end. When was the last good Metallica album you heard? Isn’t the best recent Ministry album a pale copy of Psalm 69? I might hope for a good new NIN album, but we’ll likely get a dull slab of corporate dad-rock with some tinkly bits.

What happened to us all?

We got old. Rock ‘n’ roll comes with a deadline, and when you reach it, time to die or move on. You’re not supposed to still be there at 50.  Continue reading

Most horrifying fan art ever

Nicolas Cage Jurassic Park t-rex dinosaur

This made me laugh a lot. See, I can sympathise. My own attempts at fan art have suffered a little in the execution. For example Continue reading

15 of your favourite people … as ZOMBIES!

Sarah Michelle Gellar by David Shankbone - zombiefied

I don’t give much of a crap what Kim Kardashian looks like as a zombie, but Sarah Michelle Gellar is another matter. Those nice people at The Walking Dead have put online an app that allows you to to turn yourself into a shambling flesh-eater. Buzzfeed had a little fun with your mainstream celebrities, but I figured it would be much more fun to put the likes of Grimes and Bat For Lashes and the cast of Doctor Who through the zombie-making machine … Continue reading

Top 50 songs of 2012: 10 to 1

tashaki-miyaki-8785

10. Buke & Gase – Misshaping Introduction

Buke & Gase have more potential than any act I’ve heard all year. Their last album was startling, if not quite classic; their next should dispel all doubts.


Continue reading

How to interview

Written for Collapse Board

I start to wonder if he’ll ever answer.
“Rome,” he says.
Good, good. That’s a start. OK, get him to elaborate.
“What did you like about it?”
“It was nice,” he says.
Did he really just say that? I wait for him to continue.
He doesn’t.
Well, that’s it. I mean, I’m out of questions. Panic.

A Clam, says ex-Kerrang! man Jason Arnopp in his book How to Interview Doctor Who, Ozzy Osbourne and Everyone Else, is “the interviewee who opens his mouth to say some words, then shuts it again after saying the minimum required of him“. A 16 year-old fanzine hack, I was faced with a bored, tired Richard Ashcroft who gave only one-word answers to this rookie unprofessional.

“Zere is no reality!”
We both look towards the door. A middle-aged, portly, dark-haired woman has burst into the hotel lounge and made such a declaration, and stands impatiently, waiting for a response. I think she’s Dutch or something. European. Strong accent.
“Pardon?” says Ashcroft.
“Zere is no reality!” she repeats.
Oh, good grief. I’ll just stay quiet and let the obviously more professional one of us explain to her that we’re in the middle of an interview and ask her politely to leave us alone.
I glance over to Ashcroft.
He gets up and walks over to her … and then begins to argue with her that there is a reality and she is obviously quite wrong.
“MY CAR!” she squeaks, pointing at the window. Seconds later, she waddles out at top speed to chase the tow truck down the road.

I suppose you could make it up, but why would you? I somehow convinced Ashcroft to pose for photos in the Mad Hatter’s Teacup Ride down by the seafront – wonderful snaps long since lost – and Nick McCabe gave me a signed 10″ of ‘Gravity Grave’. A great anecdote, fine photos and a great single – but the interview, let’s face it, sucked.  Continue reading

Today is the first of September!

Yeah, yeah, people have been quoting this all day – just as they have every year since I’ll Meet You In Poland came out in 1984. The version I’m going to play is from MALE!, circa 1992. You could argue (and many have) that the original take, from the album HOLE, is superior – since it is basically a capella with Thirlwell’s voice looped and chopped into dozens of layered samples to provide the “music”. His voice there sounds harsher, slightly deranged, whereas the MALE! version is simply beautiful. The first time I heard the latter was the first time I realised I was in love with Thirlwell’s voice – one of the very few acts where I’ve been sold on a band purely from the music without knowing anything else about them.  Continue reading