Watch this handy infomercial and have your mind blown. If you’re at work you may take the rest of the day off.
Save The Date
Got To Be Real
Look, I don’t care what you want to name your stupid song but there should come a time in the cycle of writing, recording, releasing and video-making where someone says, “Hey, wait, this title is way too iconic and automatically associated with someone else for us to use.” Think “Born In The USA”,”Back In The U.S.S.R”,”Blue Suede Shoes”, etc.
Well, apparently absolutely no one in The Rapture‘s camp could be bothered to think at all because here’s the troupe’s new jam improbably titled “How Deep is Your Love?”. And it’s not a cover of the Bee Gees‘ love theme from 1977’s Saturday Night Fever. Nope, it’s their own, new thing. I’ve listened to it a couple of times and it’s not all that bad as far as it goes but I can’t get past the title.
OK, yeah, maybe just maybe there’s some sort of really smart in-joke here whereby NYC’s The Rapture steals this title from one of the most popular songs from one of the most well-known “New York” movies of all time. Considering 99% of Saturday Night Fever takes place in Brooklyn (specifically Bay Ridge which is –admittedly– pretty far away from the Williamsburg/Bushwick/Bed-Stuy babysitter’s club) there’s the slight possibility that somebody somewhere thought this would be a very funny thing to do in a sort of “let’s see how many McCarren Pool partiers will pick up on this?” Maybe this is all just too clever for a body to take in.
But, probably not.
Glastonbury ’72 or ‘Palooza ’11?
TopShop is trying to sell this hideously gross “festival wear” but the kids in America won’t go for this, will they? We know THE MAN can’t bust our music! Oh, wait, nevermind…
No More Sweating the Big Stuff
I always spend too much time thinking about what I want to do instead of actually trying several things until I find what I’m looking for. I’ll spend weeks thinking of pieces to finish and post here but many (hell, most) lose their steam after a month or so and I talk myself out of writing them at all. Every now and again I’ll spend a few hours fiddling around with layouts and such and convince myself I’m doing very important things.
Mostly, though, I read a lot of other writers. There’s a lot of good stuff going on out there. Loads of thoughtful, educated voices that seem to have no problem producing 10,000 word pieces on things I’m actually interested in. If I’m honest with myself I know that these folks aren’t pumping out this stuff every day. Their publications have tons of writers and each only publishes something of heft once every few weeks. But when I look at the pitiful amount of writing I actually complete I convince myself that these other people are literary übermensch and I’m barely treading water.
What this all means is that I’m going to start spending less time sweating huge pieces and start trying to finish any piece. It’s unreasonable, anyway, to think that everything has to have a book written about it. Some things is worthy of mention even if that mention is limited to a paragraph or less.
Oh, yeah, I’ve been listening to the new Lady GaGa record all week long. So there.
A Nice Thin Light
A ridiculous amount of music from Sweden has made its way to these pages over the years. I’ve really got to start paying more deliberate attention to what’s happening over there instead of just stumbling across things. For example, how much more gratified would I have been if I had “discovered” Jonathan Johansson a couple of years ago? OK, not much more. Music has a way of finding you when you need it. A quick search of the regular music press shows that his album En Hand I Himlen got some positive reviews in the states. Most of the record is “fine, just fine” synth-n-dance pop (which I like) but this one song “Aldrig Ensam” is just an instant classic.
Just close your eyes and listen.
A rough English translation is available here.
Gimme An Hour
I had big plans this week (ok, small plans) to “recap” or “report” or whatever on SXSW but the truth is I did a lot of that already here, here, here and here and I don’t feel like going back over all that again in such short order.
So thank your lucky stars that the folks over at See of Sound have remastered and posted the 1980 (or possibly 1979) documentary Punk in England (reputedly originally titled Punk & It’s Aftershocks or, if you watch the actual film and see the credits, British Rock: Ready For The 80’s). I have no clue about the original or intended title and even after years of seeing tons of footage similar to what’s displayed here I’m always glad to find something I’ve not seen before. If you had any clue as to the literally thousands of hours I spent pre-Internet trying to hunt down stuff like this you’d feel right sorry for me. Actually, I feel sorry for me, too, after actually admitting that I spent thousands of hours hunting down stuff like this. Whatever. It’s got The Jam, Ian Dury, The Adverts, Madness, The Clash, Secret Affair, The Specials and more in it.
And I Won’t Take It Back
I’ve been meaning to post this for a long time. Actually, I started to do so before the beginning of the year, even, but I kept putting it off because I didn’t know which direction I wanted the narrative to go. I’ve finally decided to just get it up here because if I wait any longer I’m going to defeat my whole purpose which was always simply to get The Russian Apartments up at 24hourpartypooper.
My original story, which I’ve since decided was too personal, was a long, 1000+ word piece about how I met Michael Caulfield, the man behind the music, a little over 20 years ago and how, after a years-long separation, we finally reconnected. I may still write it one day but, for now, let’s suffice it to say that Caulfield is someone I immediately admired and who was a key part of my first year in Athens, GA.
Ever since I met him, I knew Michael (who’s from Keene, New Hampshire) as a singer-songwriter who played acoustic guitar. His songs, the ones I originally heard when we met and ones he would occasionally get to me through the years, were always knowledgeably constructed and poignant but lacked the oomph! I suspected he had in him. After switching things up to a music that is primarily keyboard based his creativity seems to have exploded. When I first heard these tracks I couldn’t believe it was the same person.
I’ve never held the belief that keyboards and synthesizers are necessarily emotionally cold. In the right hands they can wrench emotions out of a listener just as sure as the purest blues riff. I’ve gotten chills and been on the verge of tears every time I’ve listened to Russian Apartments’ Gods single. There’s only, basically, three lines of lyrics in the whole song but when Caulfield sings “When I was young I had my gods/And I believed in every one” there’s not much else to say. I’m floored by how he is able to so completely describe both youth and aging in a mere two lines.
The five sets of recordings available over at The Russian Apartments’ Bandcamp site are free. All you’ve gotta do is provide your email address. Caulfield specifically says to please not pay him for these records but to share them as widely as possible. So there ya go.
GNAR Tapes is going to release the Double Phantasm sometime this spring. The first track from it “Queen of America” and some ardent fan made a video for several months ago that Caulfield didn’t even know about until a friend told him.
A couple of wise folks interviewed Caulfield late last year. You can read those pieces here and here. I plan on doing my own interview with him, too, and I probably better do that in short order. For now, go download these records and pass them on. And would ya look at the links below and how easy I’ve made it for you?
“And here he was ruined. The frantic praise of the impotent meant recognition—actual somewhereness–to the hipster. He got what he wanted; he stopped protesting, reacting. He began to bureaucratize jive as a machinery for securing the actual–really the false–somewhereness. Jive, which had originally been a critical system, a kind of Surrealism, a personal revision of existing disparities, now grew moribundly self-conscious, smug, encapsulated, isolated from its source. It grew more rigid than the institutions it had set out to defy. It became a boring routine.
The hipster–once an unregenerate individualist, an underground poet, a guerrilla–had become a pretentious poet laureate. His old subversiveness, his ferocity, was now so manifestly rhetorical as to be obviously harmless. He was bought and placed in the zoo. He was somewhere at last–comfortably ensconced in the 52nd Street clip joints, in Carnegie Hall, and Life. He was in-there…he was back in the American womb. And it was just as unhygienic as ever.”
-Anatole Broyard, “A Portrait Of The Hipster” (Partisan Review, 1948)
Throw Something This Way
I’ve been singing the praises of Atlanta’s Neon Christ for what seems like (well, it is, actually) about 25 years. A whole bunch of footage was shot during what was supposed to be the band’s final show back in February 2008. No, they’ve not played since then but I didn’t think they’d play that one, either, so hope springs eternal, you know? Anyway, this footage is being worked into a full-length documentary primarily about Neon Christ but also Atlanta hardcore, then and now.
If there’s any doubt in your mind about my never-ending enthusiasm about this band please read this and this. And keep reading this post as well because the people behind this film titled All Alone Together: Neon Christ and Atlanta Hardcore have a Kickstarter campaign happening right now to raise funds for it. Watch the vid, decide for yourself. If you’ve got the bucks I encourage it heartily. (See how big and fat I made that link up there ^? That’s so you can’t miss it. Click on it. )
Oh, yeah, don’t bother trying to download any of those MP3s in the old posts I linked to. They’re long gone. here’s a couple of fresh ones:
MP3: Neon Christ-Parental Suppression (1984)
MP3: Neon Christ-Neon Christ (1984)
You May Ask Yourself, Well, “How Did I Get Here?”
Traffic has always been steady, if not really overwhelming, here at 24hourpartypooper.com. I found out a couple of days ago that throughout the whole of last year there were 17,000 unique visitors here. Sure, that’s nothing, really, in Internet terms but it sounds like a lot if you think in terms of donuts or pots of coffee or something enjoyable.
The thing is, though, I have no idea who you people are. Do you know who you are? Please vote below so I can tell what the hell is going on.