Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Death Magazine 52 - Mermaid 1983

I found this picture of the venue on Google, apparently taken the day after the gig. Whitehouse weren't fucking about that night, let me tell you. I'm presently sorting out all the digitised music files on my PC so as to free up space for more material which will eventually be shared here (in case anyone was wondering). In the meantime, I found this. It was originally part of a catch up blog post (scans of fanzines, FLAC files etc.) because it's only about five minutes long, which I'd reverted to draft for the sake of keeping everything tidy. Here's what I wrote back in 2017:
This left me with nothing much to post, so as it's been a Death Magazine 52 kind of month - what with the Family Patrol Group material I posted a few weeks ago, and Mike Grant of the same commenting, and my getting hold of a copy of their excellent retrospective double album released by Harbinger a couple of years ago - I figured I may as well digitise my tape of the Death Magazine 52 performance from when they appeared on the same bill as Whitehouse and Family Patrol Group at the Mermaid in Birmingham back in 1983. I don't recall D.Mag 52 / SHC being particularly amazing that night, certainly not compared to Family Patrol Group, but it seemed like the tape should be of interest to someone. So I digitised it and immediately realised why they had seemed so underwhelming: they played for about six minutes and knocked it on the head, so it's really just a track rather than a live gig. The evening is described in more detail in the Family Patrol Group post, and I therefore gather that whichever two - or maybe it was three - of the Death Magazine 52 collective had turned up to play that night must have felt as though it had been a mistake and pulled their own plug or something. It's a shame really. There's a tantalising burst of rhythm about half way through the track (which I don't remember at all from the event itself), hinting at the kind of material I've heard more recently on the Harbinger album, but I guess it just wasn't happening for them. Anyway, if you're interested, this was Death Magazine 52 briefly live at the Mermaid, Birmingham on the 27th of August, 1983.

While we're here, you might want to take a look at this.

That's all for the moment, I'm afraid. I'll be back when I've sorted more of my shit out.


Monday, 29 June 2020

Six by the Sputniks (1986) 10"

I intended to share this one a while ago seeing as I'd digitised it and even edited out all of the pops and clicks, but Tim of the Sputniks never replied to my request asking whether it would be okay to give away his work for free. I actually don't think he would have had a problem but suspect he never saw the message, being an oldie like myself, but one less able to navigate all the convolutions of this new-fangled facebook shite - and I didn't want to ask again in case he had seen the message but had been too angry to formulate a response.

Who the hell am I talking about, you may ask. Well, he was my pal and he recently bought the farm, which is upsetting, and I already wrote about him at length here.

For someone who was so busy, musically speaking, it still seems weird that Tim should have left such a scant recorded presence - this 10", a few tracks on the Hangman compilations, and I expect there are still tapes of Johnny Gash and others in a box in someone's attic which will probably remain there, which is a real shame; so that's why I'm sharing this now that it's gone posthumous, in memorial to a guy who deserves to be remembered better than he probably will be. If you want a physical copy, there's still a couple on Discogs last time I looked.
Thanks a fucking bunch, 2020, you utter fucking cunt.
Rest in peace, Tim, old buddy.

1 - Rawhide
2 - Let's Talk About Living
3 - Besame Mucho
4 - Bumble Beat
5 - Danny
6 - A Swingin' Safari

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Friday, 8 May 2020

Envy - 1987 Demo (1987) C20

I'm quite excited about this one as I thought it was beyond hope, having already tried and failed to digitise the thing as I explained here. But, having recently discovered that the other player on my double cassette deck can just about cope with tapes which have otherwise succumbed to wow and flutter, here we are. It still sounds a little wobbly in places, but I'd say it's listenable, and at least it no longer sounds like Bourbonese Qualk outtakes. There's a programme called Capstan, I think, which one can download and use to eliminate wow and flutter, but I don't have it. If anyone wants to send me a couple of hundred dollars so I can buy the thing, that would be great.
Anyway, this was, on reflection, possibly my favourite line-up of this band (including the one which had me as a member) and these are fucking great songs, at least providing you like that sort of thing, which I did, or still do in the case of this tape. I've a feeling Paul was pulling towards being the Swans of Chatham (hence being named after one of the seven deadly sins, just like Greed) while Rajun and Prez were pulling in what was almost the opposite direction, which is why it worked so well, in my opinion. Someone should track down the master of this and stick it out as a 12" - fucking brilliant stuff.

1 - A Suicide
2 - Killing Man
3 - Prove Yourself
4 - Fear of the Dark
5 - Just For You

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Friday, 1 May 2020

SWANC - Mouldy Roll (1992) C90

Here's another one which fell off the back of the Pumf catalogue. Older boys and girls will recall Neil Campbell from ESP Kinetic and from er... being Neil Campbell, accounting for the NC of the acronym. The SW is Stewart Walden who was involved with Smell & Quim amongst other things. I looked him up on Discogs to see if he'd been a member of Bruce Hornsby & the Range or anyone else you will have heard of, and discovered that I actually know the guy on facebook under a different name and never realised; although to be fair this isn't even the first time this has happened. Come to think of it, the previous bloke turned out to have been in Smell & Quim too, which suggest there's a bit of a pattern there.
Anyway, apparently this was their third album. As you will hear, it belongs to the general pissing about with a tape recorder genre, in this case yielding a ton of short, occasionally tuneful blasts of absurdity, of which I feel Morons is, in particular, a masterpiece of its kind. As a whole, the thing reminds me of the Residents' Commercial Album, albeit vaguely. Mr. Walden has informed me that the live bonus tracks were actually Stan's idea - they appear in two selections at the end of each side on the cassette, but this sounded untidy to me so I've shuffled them all together to the end of the thing (tracks 40-52).

1 - A Song for Stan
2 - (song)
3 - Good Old Casio
4 - The Park
5 - Mankin' Mr. Big Tits
6 - Fankle
7 - The Ballad of Sticky Foster
8 - Teenage Lobotomy
9 - Waiting for Little Red Riding Hood
10 - Middle Eight
11 - Git
12 - Something of Love
13 - Middle Eight
14 - Rub Down Transfer Song
15 - How to Tell Kids About Pee-Wee
16 - When I Fell in Love
17 - Ten Stewart Walden Lookalikes
18 - Windmill in Old Amsterdam
19 - Me 163 Komet
20 - Hit the People Who Can't Hit Back
21 - Skateboard Song
22 - Caspar the Friendly Ghost
23 - Mouldy Roll
24 - Morons
25 - Twenty-Twenty
26 - Prophet of the Age of Hourous
27 - Screaming Trouble
28 - Backpack
29 - Fit a Little Song
30 - Locked Groove
31 - I'm Glad
32 - Dr. Hungry Casio
33 - Woman in Love
34 - Working Men's Feet
35 - Hatstand Man
36 - Turnip Tulip
37 - Windowsill
38 - Ogle Drive
39 - Don't Pass Me By
40 - SWANC
41 - Feelin' Groovy
42 - Sound of Silence
43 - Morons
44 - Mmmorning
45 - Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue
46 - Lenty!
47 - Home on the Range
48 - Got It Together Again
49 - Caspar the Friendly Ghost
50 - Here's What to Do...
51 - Mom, I Gave the Cat Some Acid
52 - Motorbike Song

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Friday, 24 April 2020

Cyclic Amp - Concrete Island (1989) C90

Now that COVID-19 has been defeated and no-one has it and we're all back to normal, kissing strangers in public and openly touching the faces of restaurant staff as we sip our Dettol mixers because 'Murica has this lil' thing we like to call the Constitution, buddy, we're likewise back to normal service here at Ferric Archaeology Towers and thus picking back up where we left off with Cyclic Amp. This is the last tape I have, and as with A Certain Sacrifice, I'm not entirely sure how I got it, beyond that it almost certainly turned up on my shelves at the same time. It's actually a tape of their vinyl releases - two albums and an EP - but without the sound of anyone dropping a needle on a record (when the drum beat goes like this) and so, I assume, almost certainly some promotional thing direct from either Probe Plus or the band themselves.
So here you go. If you enjoyed the last two, you'll definitely appreciate this one. I know I listened to these tapes but it had been a while and all I could remember was that they were noisy with maybe a bit of a Killing Joke vibe; but the more I listen to this stuff, now that I've dug it out, the more it becomes clear that they very much had their own sound, and it's surprising that they aren't better remembered. Maybe Probe Plus sunk all the promo money into Half Man Half Biscuit or something.

1 - Dance
2 - Carrion
3 - Him
4 - Kill
5 - Caress
6 - Turkey Shop
7 - Dead Cop
8 - Slave
9 - Power
10 - Gun
11 - Human God
12 - Ugly Thoughts
13 - Christians
14 - Meat Slab / Holiest Image
15 - Concrete Island
16 - Slope
17 - The River
18 - Eat


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Monday, 20 April 2020

Philip K. Dick

Week four of the end of the world (at least here in Texas), and week two of me sharing digitised spoken word or dialogue tapes in the vague hope of helping someone, somewhere get through the lock in. This time it's Philip K. Dick, and I'm sure you will have heard of him seeing as the media is busily turning every last note he ever left out for the milkman into blue and orange action thrillers wherein various chiselled men resembling Tom Cruise stand in the rain and wonder if they are themselves real. One or two of you may also recall that he wrote novels, and a lot of novels, and novels which were mostly great. It's the novels I'm interested in, probably because I'm a snob and I think I'm summink special but I ain't all that, or I be a hater, or something along those lines. If you're a massive fan of Blade Runner or some associated bingetastic Netflix crap but haven't read any of the guy's books, this probably won't be of much interest.

I have a couple of Mr. Dick's interview tapes, one dating from 1974, one from 1981, plus a recording of some spoken notes he made for a work in progress, elements of which you may recognise. The 1974 interview (with Paul Williams) is pretty lucid, occurring at the end of the year in which Dick famously encountered the pink beam of light. The 1981 interview (with Gregg Rickman) dates from shortly before he died, and is kind of wild, but somehow works better on tape than in print, which fails to carry some of the tone. Both appear in the excellent The Last Interview published by Melville House. If you've read much Dick, and particularly if you've had a go at the Exegesis, you should find this stuff pretty interesting.

The stuff appears in reverse order because a) that's how it was digitised and I couldn't be bothered to copy/paste the 1974 interview to the beginning of the file or b) because, as Phil discusses in the Exegesis, time is running backwards, which we know from the contradiction of how evolutionary forces bring form from disorder, and universal entropy which seems to resemble this same process in reverse. Therefore time is running backwards and 1981 comes before 1974.

This material derives from tapes sent to me by a Welsh bloke back in the nineties, although I'm not sure where he came by the material. I seem to recall seeing bootleg cassettes of Dick interviewed on the counter at Compendium in Camden right next to the Bukowski stuff, but who knows? I can't seem to find any officially released version of this material, so hopefully I'm not stepping on anyone's toes here, and no attempt is made to supercede established copyright etc. etc., although if my sharing these is somehow keeping money from finding its way to anyone's wallet, I'm pretty sure it isn't Phil's. If you enjoy these recordings, maybe buy a few of his books, because as I say they're mostly great; or maybe buy a few of Tessa's books because I'm sure she would appreciate it, and I can strongly recommend her The Darkening of the Light as a powerful and compelling novel in its own right.

Anyway, click on this link and bag yourself a heapin' helpin' of Phil.

Normal noisy service will probably be resumed next week.

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Friday, 10 April 2020


This week features a slight detour from the normal programme and its associated steady flow of recordings of someone's fridge as it sounded in 1987, because everyone in the universe is presently confined to quarters and thus in need of light relief. The ever wonderful Die or D.I.Y.? recently did their bit to help us all power through the end of civilisation as we know it with a generous helping of Ivor Cutler; so in the same spirit, at least based on the idea that spoken material is good for coping with periods of solitary confinement, particularly if it's funny, and because even music you love will usually get on your tits after a while under certain circumstances, here's all I have of Smilin' Charles Bukowski.
If you're not sure who Bukowski was, I'm sure you have it within you to look him up. I've seen it opined that he's one of those authors whom no-one actually reads but instead simply claims to read because they think they're all fancy and like really lush but really they ain't and they don't know nuffink, but in my experience this has mostly been opined by aging babymen still reading children's exciting adventures at fucking forty and is therefore horse shit. Bukowski wrote about his life, which was mostly screwing, gambling, and alcoholism, but he wrote with a sharp eye and an astonishing wit, and I would honestly rate him as one of the greatest authors of the twentieth century. His readings were pretty powerful, often very funny, even touching, and I have four tapes - three live, and one of Bukowski at home reading into a tape recorder back in 1970. These were lent to me by the late Andrew Cox, who actually properly introduced me to the guy's work by lending me Ham on Rye. The four tapes were sold from the counter of Compendium Books in Camden, if that's still even there - photocopied covers, presumably bootlegs of things which were either out of print or never officially available, so I don't own the copyright, and nor do I claim otherwise, and hopefully my sharing these isn't injurious to anyone's cash cow, although as Chuck himself is no longer with us in any case...
I bought a Bukowski album on piss coloured vinyl about a year ago, one of those 180gsm reissues, which turned out to be one of these readings - not sure if it's the same recording but whatever. If you enjoy this stuff, please seek out more...
...and hang in there. We can do this, unless it actually is the end of civilisation.

Sod it - on an unrelated note (aside from being speech rather than music), here's the Sex Pistol's Heyday cassette while we're here - something to do with Fred and Judy Vermorel and originally issued by Factory.
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