David Bowie: Young Americans

Album number nine from Bowie, released in 1975, features the title track and Fame, co-written by John Lennon, Bowie also covers John’s Across the Universe on this, which John thinks is one of the best lyrics he had ever written. He plays guitar on Bowie’s version. Anyway, this is most excellent.

Album Count 2017: 47

Aldous Harding

Debut record from Kiwi singer Aldous, who with her second record is making waves in the music scene (signed to 4AD, with John Parish producing the new record), this is from 2014 and was recorded in Lyttelton and is more ‘folky’ than her new stuff. Really quite good, she’s a great singer and quite original. I have the new record coming my way in the post so more on that later.

Album Count 2017: 46

Some Kind of Monster

Wow, these guys are absolute twats. But this is an entertaining documentary, and well worth a watch. I am by no means a fan of Metallica, in fact, I can’t stand them. But I do love a music doco, and this is a corker, made by the filmmakers who made the excellent Paradise Lost films this is a rough and ready portrait of ego overdrive from everyone involved in the band, apart from lead guitarist Kirk Hammet, who seems like a nice chap. Filmed over a couple of years as the band record their 2003 St. Anger record it charts their attempts to stay together and make the record. Long standing bass player Jason Newsted quit the band just before shooting began, so to keep things together they hire a therapist ($40,000 a month!) to help them get along. Hilarity ensues as they squabble and act like dicks. I thought I was watching Spinal Tap a few times. New bassist Robert Trujillo of Suicidal Tendencies is the other nice chap in this, he looks great when he plays bass, stalking around the stage. Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield seem to have no control over their egos and are quite unlikeable.

Date watched: 10th June
Score: 8/10
Film count 2017: 29

Here’s Robert before Melattica:

A Few New Music Purchases

The CDs and downloads are piling up, so it is time to blog about them, then file them away in the CD shelf of goodness.

DJ Honda, HII – I have been wanting to check out DJ Honda for some time, so when I came across this CD at a very decent price of 280 yen (two and a bit cans of Coke) at Book Off recently I snapped it up. Not too shabby, but not as good as I was hoping. Might listen to it again some day. The cover is covered in an actual piece of metal.

Unsound – I was researching the Punk-O-Rama series and found that after the final CD was released (Punk-O-Rama Vol. 10) the record label released what was supposed to be a new series called “Unsound” in 2006. There are one or two bands that regularly featured in the Punk-O-Rama volumes, but most are new bands, and are a mixture of post-hardcore and rock bands. There is also a DVD with music videos on it (not watched it yet). Not bad, but Punk-O-Rama was better.

The Jam, Setting Sons – This is a 1979 release from the jammers, and jolly good stuff too.

Super Furry Animals, Rings Around The World – While I knew of their existence, I had never heard this band, so when I found it el cheapo at Book Off I had to purchase it straight away. Good stuff on first listen, but I will have to listen to it again before my final verdict.

The Divine Comedy, Regeneration – I got hooked onto this band a while ago, and have been slowly adding their albums to my collection. Good stuff, you just can’t go wrong with this band.

Fat Music Volume V, Live Fat Die Young – This is a compilation similar to Punk-O-Rama but released on a competing label. I have heard of some of the bands, but not all. Overall it is a good listen, but I think I prefer Punk-O-Rama.

Relapse Records, 25 Years Of Contamination – I downloaded a Relapse sampler release a while back and recently I decided to check out their Bandcamp page. I found this sampler with 194 songs for just US$5, so I thought that was pretty decent (0.025 cents per song). There is a lot of metal on it, but also some other stuff. A lot of it is good, but some not. Still, it was well worth the huge download, and five bucks.

Anaal Nathrakh, Desideratum – Another Bandcamp purchase here. Anaal Nathrakh are a British extremo-death-O-metal band that play jolly well fast. They are mostly a studio band, but do play live gigs on occasion. I haven’t listened to this, but their music doesn’t change much, so this will definitely be noisy and good.

I do have a few more to add, but it can wait for later.

Album count 2017: 55

Faraway, So Close!

This has been on my “watch again” list for some time. I last saw it probably in the mid-nineties, so I had forgotten a lot of it.

I last watched Wings of Desire back in 2011, so should really have watched this film soon after because the background story was important to figure out what was going on.

Most of the primary original cast were in this, and were joined by Lou Reed, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nastassja Kinski, and Willem Dafoe. Otto Sander was the main character this time, a fine actor (he died in 2013). A chap by the name of Heinz Rühmann also had a role, he is considered a film legend in Germany (he died the year after this film was made).

So the cast was all good. The story though was a bit disappointing after Wings of Desire, especially as it turned into a minor thriller at the end. I liked the wistful, thought-provoking story in Wings of Desire, which this film did not really replicate all that well. Not that it is bad, just not as good. Good soundtrack though.

Date watched: June 8th
Score: 7/10
Film count 2017: 68


Wilco: Summerteeth – I have often thought about getting into Wilco in the past and this $1 op-shop bargain has started my new fav band love affair. I now have two more Wilco releases, this one is from 1999 and is aces.

Tanya Donelly: Lovesongs For Underdogs – Picked this up for a $1, classic from way back.

Stevie Wonder: Hotter than July – Classic stuff from Stevie, featuring his birthday song to Martin Luther King and Master Blaster (Jammin’).

Crowded House: Afterglow – This is some deluxe re-issue I got out from the library, not had a decent listen, it’s a compilation of rarities and the like. Terrible cover artwork.

Cliff Richard and the Young Ones: Living Doll – Unfortunately this 12 inch is scratched beyond all hope but it’s worth it for the cover. The original version of the song was released in 1959 by Drifters (featuring Cliff Richard).

James: Pleased to Meet You – The man on the cover of this is a photo montage of all the members in the band, pretty cool. Tunes are alright too.

Pete Shelley: XL1 – This is a score, paid a pretty cheap price for Pete’s 18xx record, featuring the most excellent Homosapien dub mix. The last track on the record is a computer program! You have to pop the needle right while it starts and record the ensuring screeching sound, then plug that into your ZX Spectrum and hey presto, you have a program which featured lyrics and graphics which displayed in time with the music.

Prince: 4ever – Poor Prince and his medications.

Jackson Pollock: Jazz – This is a weird compilation from the MoMa gallery, oldie time Jazz with Jackson Pollack’s face on the cover. I guess he listened to this stuff when doing his splatter paintings? Top tunes to be had, bizarre ‘cash-in’ idea.

Stevie Wonder: Talking Book – Stevie’s top tune Superstition is on this excellent record, released in 1972 Stevie was right in his classic period. The cover and gatefold have braille printed into it. Go Stevie!

Divine Comedy: Secret History – I’ve been a fan of this band for a while now, but have only heard a handful of songs, so I thought it best to start really getting into them by getting a best of. This is from 1999 so there’s a lot more to listen too since this release.

Album Count 2017: 45