April 17, 2011
March 26, 2011
While you won't find any "real" mid-60s Nederbeat at flea markets anymore, compilations from the turn of the 70s are still plentiful; I always like to check them out for the lesser-known tracks. The bands on the 1970 LP pictured above aren't "Nederbeat" anymore (no "Nederteat" jokes, please), but have split into pop and rock camps just like their colleagues abroad. It's funny to hear just what bands were all the rage that year; at least three bands (the post-Robbie van Leeuwen Motions among them) go for an all-out Blood, Sweat and Tears sound, not my cup of tea(t). Eddy Owens, who later turned into Danny Mirror of "I Remember Elvis Presley" infamy, does a Cats-type ballad. Ginger Ale do a pretty horrible faux-classic piece. Tee-Set and George Baker cover the teeny-bop area. There are three real finds: the reformed Q65's great heavy pop thumper Don't Let Me Fall; After Tea's beautiful desert-fried Sun (Calexico could have done this one), and Penny Wise (forerunners of glam rockers Amsterdam) whose Lily Come Near Me is actually "proper" Nederbeat as it's from 1968.
February 26, 2011
NO LEATHER, BRISTLES, STUDS, BUT ACME
February 12, 2011
After this 7" they also released a 9-song 12" called Terminal. After that they returned to NZ.
(Actually, both pieces of vinyl are still available through me, if anybody's interested... (> email@example.com).
February 06, 2011
FIRST FIX OF THE YEAR AT DROPSTYLE, PT. 1
January 04, 2011
In rock music, words and music belong together; separating one from the other makes no sense (exhibit A: Bob Dylan lyrics books). With punk, you could go one step further and say you can't separate the music from its package. A punk song is just a pop song, only louder and cheaper sounding. A punk record, now that's something else! Its crude homemade graphics, funny catalog numbers, self-ridiculing sleeve notes ("recorded at home in their spare time"), even its smell are just as important as the actual tunes engraved in its vinyl. The best punk blogs out there recognize this fact and obsessively post scans of not only the records' front and back covers but also labels, lyric sheets, stickers, coffee stains, etc. etc.
Seen in this light, putting together a punk compilation CD is a bit of a challenge. It's not just a case of "you had to be there", but also of "you had to hold, feel and sniff the actual 45s".
Black Hole, last year's compilation of early Californian punk put together by the great Jon Savage, got reviewed in a regional newspaper last week; it got only two stars. Now the guy who reviewed it had Zucchero in his top ten year list, so I guess it's no big deal. But it got me thinking. If the aim of a punk compilation is to introduce outsiders to its greatness, then you have to separate the music from its package (and historical context) and treat punk songs like pop songs. Looking at Black Hole's track listing, I can see it's expertly put together but relying too much on historical importance and too little on killer tunes. Here's the changes I've made while compiling my own modified Black Hole (now called Ack Ack Ack Ack; easy to Photoshop!):
- Forming (Germs): the historic first LA punk record, and a mess. Changed it to Lexicondevil, their second record.
- I Hate The Rich (Dils): brilliant but an acquired taste; I went for Mr. Big, their Pop Song.
- Peer Pressure (Screamers): changed it to Vertigo for no particular reason.
- Murder By Guitar (Crime): swapped it for Hot Wire My Heart so the listener can say: hey, I know that song!
- Wimp (Zeros): replaced it with its A-side, Don't Push Me Around.
- We Are The One (Avengers): kept it of course, and used it as the CD's opening track.
- Anti Anti Anti (Consumers): great to include this little-known band (that were from Arizona, but never mind), but I went for Concerned Citizen, one of their songs later exhumed by 45 Grave.
- ABCD (Randoms): first release on the great Dangerhouse label, but you need the B-side, Let's Get Rid Of New York.
- Trouble At The Cup (Black Randy): hmmm, the Awful Noise aficionado in me says "Yes!", while the Punk Evangelist says: let's swap it for the Deadbeats' Kill The Hippies, skewed but also catchy.
- Nothing Means Nothing Anymore (Alley Cats): Classic. Stays on of course.
- Solitary Confinement (Weirdos): prefer A-side We Got The Neutron Bomb, slightly slower and with a Dolls-ish swagger.
- Beat Your Heart Out (Zeros): traded in one Zeros track for a track by those other great Mexican punkers the Plugz: Achin'.
- We're Desperate (X): Great, but changed it to Los Angeles nevertheless.
- 624803 (Offs): I'd swap this punky reggae ditty for the Nuns' classic Decadent Jew.
- Seventh World (Sleepers): We're treading sensitive terrain here, I've been a huge Sleepers fan ever since I found their first EP, and for years it seemed the only other person in the world who shared my admiration was Mr. Savage, who did all he could to revive interest in the band. So, from one Sleepers fan to another: Seventh World... great! She's Fun... ever better! Psychedelic Punk with backward guitars, how can you go wrong?
- Situations (Middle Class): Another Savage favourite and half post-punky, half ultra-fast hardcore-before-hardcore, I'd go for the hardcore bit: Out Of Vogue.
- Survive (Bags): A no-brainer, one of the greatest songs in the history of mankind.
- Media Blitz (Germs): traded it in for the equally short but catchier What We Do Is Secret.
- Love Is Just A Tool (Middle Class): We've already had Out Of Vogue, so why not give another brilliant Tooth And Nail track a chance, and add another female voice to the proceedings: UXA by UXA.
- Pony Dress (Flesh Eaters): great choice (Jay Reatard should have covered this one).
- Black Hole (Urinals): talk about Jay Reatard, but, great as this is, I'd change it for Ack Ack Ack Ack for short sharp shock value.
- Victims of Terrorism (Aurora Pushups): if we're going to do obscure one-offs, why not the Eyes' Take A Quaalude Now (aka TAQN)?
- The American In Me (Avengers): stays of course, but be sure to use the more in-yer-face version off their 12".
- California Uber Alles (Dead Kennedys): well, with Jerry Brown back, how can you go wrong? Single version, of course (slower and less smurfy).
- Sound Of The Rain (Dils): two Dils tracks and no Black Flag?? The sound of the rain gives way to the sound of a Nervous Breakdown.
- Los Gatos (Sleepers): yes, I know they're brilliant but let's just include their pals Negative Trend and the slow, haunting Black and Red (you can hear Flipper lurking around the corner).
There, that's it; I've changed 20 of the 26 tracks but I hoped I stayed true to Jon Savage's vision (I could have added some suburban pop punk like Red Cross or the Crowd but didn't).
Hope it gets 3 stars this time around.
Changed the running order around a bit and you get this:
1 avengers - we are the one
2 germs - lexicondevil
3 dils - mr. big
4 randoms - let's get rid of new york
5 crime - hot wire my heart
6 x - los angeles
7 weirdos - we got the neutron bomb
8 nuns - decadent jew
9 alley cats - nothing means nothing anymore
10 sleepers - she's fun
11 zeros - don't push me around
12 deadbeats - kill the hippies
13 plugz - achin'
14 screamers - vertigo
15 bags - survive
16 consumers - concerned citizen
17 uxa - uxa
18 middle class - out of vogue
19 eyes - taqn
20 germs - what we do is secret
21 avengers - the american in me
22 flesheaters - pony dress
23 urinals - ack ack ack ack
24 black flag - nervous breakdown
25 negative trend - black and red
26 dead kennedys - california uber alles
December 16, 2010
FROM THE ENGLISH PISSPOT
November 25, 2010
November 12, 2010
YOU SHOULD HEAR THE SINGLE VERSION, PT. 1
October 13, 2010
PHANTASTIC PHRONT COVERS PT. 2
October 09, 2010
OH WHAT A GIVEAWAY
October 03, 2010
NOT THE SIMPLE MINDS SONG
I have a sneaking suspicion all the DC/Dischord-related records I've been scooping up at the local 2ndhand record store lately (Deadline, Dain Bramage, Rain etc.) are actually the very same copies I offloaded at that place some 15 years ago... But then who can explain this find? I've never owned a copy of the Alive and Kicking comp. EP, and god knows I've been looking for it back in my DC-obsessed days. It's worth it's weight in gold alone for the presence of the greatest Gray Matter track ever, Walk The Line; an earlier version than the one on their own record, more primitive and with Jeff Turner doing some great almost Darby-like screaming.
The rest ain't no great shakes, although I'll post Marginal Man's re-recording of er, Marginal Man, because it sounds better than the one on their first LP. Oh yeah, and Mission Impossible's I Can Only Try, for being the world's first recording featuring Dave Grohl!
P.S.: I'm proud to say I once got this very Gray Matter song on Dutch national radio, when a band I was in in the 90's was invited to play some favourites on air. Of course, the other guys forgot to take CD's with them, so it was my party. (Since you asked: this track is also on the Gray Matter CD) (Since you asked pt. 2: the other stuff played was Johnny Burnette's Train Kept a-Rollin', some old K-era Beck song and the Louvin Brothers' When I Stop Dreaming - during which our very hip record plugger started laughing, thought it was a great joke)
September 17, 2010
DEAD LETTER BLUES
I often hear people remark how this whole internet business should have been around 25 years ago, in the "punk days", when everybody was writing loads of letters and sending eachother records, tapes, etc. Another remark that gets thrown around a lot is how "blogs are the fanzines of today". Here I beg to differ: when as a wee 16-year-old I started my own 'zine, I filled it up with whatever bullshit (bios, lyrics, doodles) I had lying around; it didn't really matter that much as it wasn't about content, it was about communication, walking up to people at gigs pestering them to buy my little rag. With this blog it's the opposite: I only post when I think I really have something to say, and then, sitting at home, sipping my Tullamore Dew and clicking my mouse, it disappears into cyberspace. All content and no communication.
This letter-writing stuff we used to do 100 years ago actually held a lot of advantages over today's emailtwitspacebook. For instance, you could wait two or three months before replying, and blame the postal service! Try waiting 2 months before replying to an email (which I do, in most cases); they'll think you're dead, or an asshole (or both). Also, the tapes/ flyers/ zines/ records that would arrive through Ye Olde Snail Mail were real artefacts that you could hold, look at and smell. Try smelling an mp3.
One of my most treasured cassettes ever was taped for me in 1986 by a certain mr. Ian MacKaye. Thinking about it now it amazes me how someone like him would even take time to reply to my stupid letters, let alone send me a tape of unreleased music! (Sure beats a myspace page.) I was totally crazy about the tape, must have played it 3 months on repeat, Embrace and Dag Nasty were my new favourite bands. Oh yeah, and then there was this old demo from 1982 tagged onto the end of side B by Deadline, a short-lived band that I knew from Flex Your Head. Back then I thought this was "just" pretty good old hardcore punq.
Funny how nowadays I find it hard to recall the chimey sub-U2 sounds of Embrace, but the Deadline tape has grown and grown to be an absolute classic! Much more powerful than their Flex Your Head tracks (although I liked those as well), but still sorta primitive, this is a perfect example of more-than-the-sum-of-its-parts hardcore. No overdubs, sloppy drumming, out of tune guitar, and yet it's so powerful and slightly sinister to boot, in a Mecht Mensch/ Tar Babies kind of way.
This tape was eventually released as a one-sided LP in 1989; I had a copy but sold it long ago; luckily I found another copy in the Dropstyle bargain bin last week! The mastering on the LP is incredible, the low-end jumps out of your speakers. Dischord have recently reissued it on CD, if that's your cup of tea. Anyway, here's some highlights... No, let me rephrase that: here's some randomly chosen tracks, as all 11 tracks are equally great:
Outside The Law
September 05, 2010
THIS IS ROTTERDAM, NOT THE MISSISSIPPI
OK, so tell me which town the following bands are from: 10CC, Barclay James Harvest, Sad Cafe. Any idea? Now tell me which town these bands are from: Joy Division, Buzzcocks, Fall. Got it in a micro-second?
In the immediate pre-punk era, there was no way of telling where a certain band was from; all local peculiarities were wiped out in favour of a generic Trans-Atlantic style and accent; no local references were used except for generic mythic Rock & Roll places like Mississippi, New Orleans, etc, places where the band in question probably had never ever set foot. This was one of the things that Punk "fixed": bands would sing about their own lives, in their own accents, again. Well, some of them. For a while.
Over here, Rotterdam bands like Rondos and Tandstickorshocks had a very identifiable sound of their own, as far removed from "Rock" (and most of their Amsterdam "rivals") as they could get: staccato, clean, primitive. I've posted the incredible 12-song Tandstickorshocks EP before; what I didn't know at the time is that their singer/leader Ronnie Roteb (nicknamed after his employer, the Rotterdam Waste Disposal Company) also sang for Railbirds, a band from 1 or 2 years earlier. They were on the 1979 Rondos debut/split EP, and couldn't be further removed from the "Rotterdam style"! This is meat and potatoes punk Rock with guitar solos (!) and ruff singing, in fact it's hard to believe this is actually the Tandstickor... guy. So much for local peculiarities.
Lonely (from split EP with Rondos, 1979)
Dancing With God And Pogo With The Devil
Go To Hell (from King Kong Records double EP, 1979)
August 31, 2010
BIG ANGLOPHILE WILL NAVIGATE US THROUGH A CHANGE OF STYLE
In 1965, while on a U.S. tour, Ray Davies of the Kinks smacked a Musicians' Union official in the face; as a result the Kinks were banned from playing the USA for 5 years. This turned them from British Invasion hitmakers into an obscure, exotic acquired taste. The Kinks' American record company shrewdly turned their inability to come over and promote their records into an asset, cultivating their faraway English quaintness and printing up Union Jack badges with the band's name on them. This pretty much started a whole subculture of American Anglophiles who, sick of Woodstock pompousness and L.A. cowboy fashion, turned to Old Blighty for their musical heroes.
Dangerhouse records pretty much epitomized all that was cool, new and extreme about L.A. punk; their legendary catalog of a little more than a dozen 7 inchers (Bags, Dils, Weirdos, Avengers etc. etc.) contains nary a clunker. Then there's Howard Werth's "Obsolete". The least favourite and collectable Dangerhouse release by about 1000 miles, everybody seemed to wonder what moved them to put out a record by an old English hippie who used to sing for prog rockers Audience. Well, now you know.
August 29, 2010
PHANTASTIC PHRONT COVERS PT. 1
This beautiful French 10 inch declares Lionel Hampton to be squarely in the "R 'n R" (R et R?) camp, a reminder that back in the Fifties mr. Heybabareba was universally slagged off by Serious Jazz Critics. Also note that, while mr. Hampton is holding his cymbal in the air, there seems to be a piece of the cymbal stand still attached to it!
August 25, 2010
TAKE THE STICK FIGURES CRAYOLA BOWLING
August 23, 2010
BE A VENGER! (SUMMER SALE PT. 4)
August 13, 2010
August 11, 2010
SUMMER SALE PT. 2
Even though I never heard Modern English, and always had a vague suspicion they were a sub-Joy D. doomy kind of band, I had to scoop this one up. Big surprise! Their Swans On Glass/ Incident 45 from 1980 is actually a slab of great, catchy, scratchy and slightly unhinged post-punk, sort of like the Scars circa "Horrorshow".
August 09, 2010
SUMMER SALE PT. 1
August 01, 2010
A Mekons fan once wrote: "Rock is the only kind of music that sounds better when performed by people who can't play". This doesn't hold true for every type of rock though: nobody wants to hear badly played funk, jazzrock or metal. But badly played punk, garage and soul: can't get enough of it! Personally, I'd like to rephrase above saying as "rock (punk/garage/soul) sounds just as good when performed by people who can't play", as I like slickly-produced, well-played punk (Rezillos, Generation X) as much as I like the Mekons. Likewise with soul, I love slick stuff like Etta James + strings just as much as yer ultra-primitivo Fortune records stuff.
One of my favourite soul singers, Joe Tex, put out loads and loads of singles in a bewildering variety of recording quality and slickness. In his case, I prefer his more primitive stuff, which for some reason can mostly be found on the "big" Checker label (I guess some smalltime producer leased them the recordings). 1963's "You Keep Her" was an answer record to James Brown's "I Found Someone"; I love the flubbed trumpet note in the first chorus. "Baby You're Right" is more or less the same song (or vice versa as an earlier recording predates "You Keep Her"). Both songs sound like they're recorded in some barn using one microphone. Joe Tex would achieve superstardom only months later with the great "Never Been In A Riot"... er, "Hold What You've Got".
You Keep Her
Baby You're Right
July 31, 2010
THE MAJORETTE, THE MAJORETTE
July 23, 2010
July 21, 2010
LOST SOUNDS FROM A LOST YEAR
Infexion, Castricum, 1979
1979 seems to be the Lost Year of Dutch punk. The first bunch of bands faded away, the second bunch were just starting out. There were maybe only one or two records released in that year, but as a gestation period for punk's second wave ("punks that started making music" as opposed to "musicians that started playing punk") it was a hotbed of activity. Activity that slowly switched from the "big" clubs like Paradiso to small, squatted, self-organized places like NoName and Kaasee, where loads of legendary bands like Bugs, Gospelfuckers, Infexion, 123, the Duds, Ketchup, (Amsterdam) Scabs, Motorboat etc. would play, bands that never got around to making records to assure their place in "KBD" annals.
Early 1979 I spent a lot of time in Amsterdam. My parents and I went to the Scientology church every week; this wasn't as bad as it sounds, the people working there were mostly nice (if misguided), underpaid hippies, and the boredom of their "communication course" was relieved by the thrill of walking around Am'dam during the coldest winter ever. (Ironically, that very Scientology church was briefly squatted and used to put on punk gigs in the early '80's.) It's funny how, a stone's throw from much of this punk activity, the 11-year old me never, ever encountered punks or saw other evidence of punk (flyers, grafitti). I guess that goes to show how much of history is dictated by the artifacts future generations can hold, look at and listen to. In other words: records!
Infexion from Amsterdam were one of the "biggest" punk bands of the period; they played at the legendary 1979 Punk Festival that had the village of Castricum invaded by crazy punk hordes (and was called off after one day!). On these two demo tracks you hear a band that's already moving towards the ultra-fast 4/4 style of the Nitwitz and Pistache BV.
Dumb Dumb Cop
July 19, 2010
THE FIRST PSYCHEDELIC RECORD EVER
"Nobody Knows What's Going On (In My Mind But Me)" by the Chiffons, 1965. Written by Brute Force, later of "King of Fuh" fame.
July 15, 2010
Punk was over by 1986. That doesn't mean there weren't any great punk records made after that, but that particular dynamic that fueled all the changes and mutations up 'til then had gone static. Howard Devoto called it Negative Drive, I call it WHATEVER'S POPULAR OR COOL, DO THE OPPOSITE! To some, punk mutations like Grunge, Straight Edge, Cowpunk or even Twee Indie Pop might seem silly in retrospect, but the whole point about them was, they came about because people would go: EVERYBODY HATES COUNTRY; LET'S PLAY COUNTRY*! (*Insert Disco or Metal at will.) Or: EVERYBODY'S PLAYING AS FAST AS THEY CAN, LET'S PLAY AS SLOW AS WE CAN! Or: EVERYBODY'S INTO TAKING DRUGS AND LIVING UNHEALTHILY; LET'S, LIKE, DO THE OPPOSITE! By the mid-80's, all these twists and turns had become rigid institutions themselves. The last spasm of this Punk Dynamic might have been that often misunderstood thing called Emo. So, what was Emo all about? It was Hardcore kids going: EVERYBODY'S RUNNING AROUND WITH SHAVED HEADS, ACTING TOUGH AND SINGING ABOUT RONALD REAGAN; LET'S WEAR GLASSES, READ POETRY, THROW FLOWERS AROUND AND SING ABOUT OUR DEEPEST EMOTIONS! Makes sense now, doesn't it?
Even though the bands involved hated the tag - which means something entirely different today anyway - the greatest Emo bands in my book were Rites of Spring and Gray Matter, who both put out brilliant LPs in 1985 before promptly disbanding in true Dischord Records fashion. Another fine example of the original spirit of Emo was the 1988 EP by Moss Icon. Greta Garbo on the cover, that's brilliant! Someone at MaximumRocknRoll must have gone: "What's this? Why don't they use pictures of El Salvador torture victims?" Even better is singer Jon Vance's dedication on the lyric sheet: "and lastly, thanks to the beautiful Greta Garbo for... well, you know what I thank you for Greta, rest well dear, sweet girl, Rest." (Picture bald HC dude going "HUH??") I bought the EP off the band after hearing it on John Peel, it came packed in a piece of recycled cardboard. I love the primitive, almost clumsy sound, it reminds me a little of early Funeral Oration. Oh yeah, check out the sob at the end of What They Lack!
P.S.: I sold my copy a couple of years ago to someone who was desperate for it, which is why i asked a ridiculously low price. Just last month I found another copy, at a ridiculously low price. Whoo, karma!
Hate In Me
What They Lack
I'm Back Sleeping Or Fucking Or Something
Kiss The Girls And Make Them Die
July 13, 2010
ROOTS OF PALINGPUNK
July 12, 2010
(A while ago I wrote the following piece for Christoph Lampert's photobook We Call it Punk, to accompany some pictures he shot of the Vernon Walters)
"The Vernon Walters were a little band I played guitar in, around the mid/late eighties. It wasn't my first band, nor my last one, nor the best or most successful one. But somehow it's the band I have the fondest memories of. The combination of endless, alcohol-fueled fun and zero responsibilities that came with crossing the continent in a smelly old van at that particular age is something that will never come back. Me and (fellow ex-VW) Joost's current band Sack-o'-Woes still occasionally try to live it up, but there's all kinds of stuff that gets in the way; like for instance having a driver's license. Why on earth did I ever take driving lessons? In the old days we just jumped into the van, started having fart contests or Rubberen Robbie singalongs, and rolled out when we'd arrived at our destination. Now I have to do all this boring stuff like drive, find the place, park the van, sip Coke all night, etc. etc.
Well, it's just one of those things that will never be the same now our Tour Mother Hans Engel has gone (he died in 2003). Apart from being the Vernon Walters' frontman, main lyricist and singer, he was also the one arranging the shows, putting out the records, contacting the people and getting us anywhere we had to be. He did pretty much everything short of wiping our bottoms, giving us free rein to behave like a bunch of idiots. It was great. The tours of Germany were the best; I think we did about five of them. Loads and loads of fun places to play; cool non-stuck up audiences that would go crazy even if they'd never heard of us; all the beer we could drink; nice places to crash. Two or three weeks of that and our mental age would be lowered to about half our actual age. I recall Joost walking around in Hamburg pretending to be a retard, jumping in puddles when unsuspecting citizens were passing by. Or me drawing penises on every person depicted in every magazine and newspaper I could find in this bar. Or the time when our drummer Danny started the drum intro to one of our songs at half the proper speed. This went on for about five minutes without any speeding up, us scratching our heads and leaving him to it. He then quit, to bemused looks of audience and band members. Upon which he started again, at the exact same speed. After another two minutes we grudgingly started to play along, snail-like; after that, the tempo picked up ever so slightly, to reach just about the right amount of bpm by the time we reached the end of the last chorus.
A big factor in this process of losing our minds was the sheer scale of the punk/squatting scene in Germany at the time. I mean, in Holland we had a couple of cool squats here and there, but Hamburg's Hafenstrasse, that was something else! It felt like the squatters had taken over the whole of St. Pauli, especially when we first glanced upon the famed Stortebeker building, painted from top to bottom in loud designs and slogans. About halfway through the first time we played inside the building, the electricity broke down. While doing some a capella improvising we saw several cop cars outside, lights flashing. In a matter of seconds there was a riot going on between a bunch of squatters and the riot squad, all done up in helmets, shields, the works. We stood looking through the window fearing for the windows of our van, but as suddenly as it started, it stopped. So we played the rest of our set. The day after, the newspapers wrote about how the squatters had started (huh?) a "terrible riot" landing "several policemen in hospital". The police were apparently looking for a "car thief" who, in the next column, mysteriously morphed into an "ex-RAF-member". Wow! This piece of villainous Bild-style gutter press put the icing of the cake of our first Hafenstrasse experience.
We'd play the Hafenstrasse another 3 or 4 times later on, always great. No more riots though."
Here's 3 tracks from the VW's first record, the Hoodoo-Do Da Coruba EP. This was before I joined them and it's my favourite. Hans had sorta dropped out of punk a couple of years before, so when they started the VW it sounded more like 1981 than 1986, without any of the post-Hardcore cliches then rampant.
The Truth About You
Y Va A Caer
July 11, 2010
SON OF EETUSMAKELIJK, PART 1
March 11, 2009
Although I haven't posted in over a year, I still check the comments from time to time (why? cuz I don't have a life, that's why); nice to see they're still coming. I don't think I'll post any more mp3s, but I think I'll put up links to stuff that I like and that might interest you. We'll see.
March 09, 2008
Gepopel - No One Can Stop Advance (1983)
January 23, 2008
THEY WHO CANNOT BE NAMED
The Only One
December 28, 2007
BELATED CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
No, you're not going to get any punk Christmas songs from me. But, just a couple of days after Christmas, I thought of something Christmassy to post anyway. It's a recording of the legendary Rock Against Religion festival held at punk club Kaasee, Rotterdam, on Boxing Day 1979, featuring the cream of Dutch punk like the Squats, Tandstickorshocks, Ketchup (of the prophetic song "Herman Brood Val Dood") and Jezus and the Gospelfuckers. Live recordings as well as on-the-spot interviews were broadcast by VPRO radio the week after; I was too young to hear it first-hand but luckily someone recorded this from his/her radio so we can plunge into the hissy depths of history now... (If someone has better recordings of this, please get in touch!)
The broadcast starts off with a sort of VPRO Theme Tune which I'm pretty sure is played by Dorpsstraat, the ramshackle neo-60s-without-knowing-it outfit whose "Lepeltje" was the second best track (after Ivy Green's "Pak 'm Beet") on the Uitholling Overdwars comp. Then it's over to VPRO's resident punk Marjoke Roorda, whose chewing-gum-in-mouth delivery sounds a bit studied to these ears now. She announces first act Jules Deelder; now this guy became very famous over here later on, and it's my guess that the TV showing of this very appearance, that showed him getting soaked in phlegm, might just have helped a tiny bit...! Now you can hear for yourself what it was all about; legend had it he never flinched under the Green Rain that poured down, but aural evidence shows he did lose his cool towards the end.
More than the music (great though it is, although I'm still looking for recordings by Tandstickorshocks; I have the part by Neh but didn't post it cuz it's boring), the interview bits are fascinating; some hippie VPRO guy walking around asking some random bystanders smart stuff like "Are you here for the music or for the anti-religion message?" What strikes me most is that back then, everyone still had their own regional accent; you can hear if someone's from Amsterdam, Rotterdam or Nijmegen (home of the Squats, who apparently took a bunch of fans with them). These days it seems like everyone in Holland has adopted the posh Gooi accent with the flat "R"...
When interviewing Jezus of the Gospelfuckers Himself (well, it was his birthday after all), the VPRO guy starts talking how some Youth for Christ guy he knew "felt just like his mother was raped" after reading their band name... It's the clash of the "We're sooo permissive (as long as...)" 70s and the "Fuck shit up!" 80s.
I've cut the broadcast (or the part that I've got) up in 4 parts; I haven't separated the music from the talking; a big apology goes out to my non-Dutch readers!
Theme Tune/ Jules Deelder
P.S.: These recordings were done by the RAR organisation themselves, straight from the mixing desk, and lent to the VPRO, who apparently were so slow in returning the tapes that a planned compilation LP never materialized! Too bad, as this would have been the first Dutch DIY punk comp.
December 16, 2007
I Can't Come
December 06, 2007
NOW IT CAN BE TOLD
A nice moment of glory came a few years ago when, while sleeping at this guy Clint's place in London (he runs Short Fuse records and is crazy about old HC), we were talking about obscure records; he'd show us one insanely rare record after another, then he opened some drawer in order to show us the piece de resistance, the Family Jewel...and out came a copy of Alle 55 Kort!