The Von Pip Musical Express Podcast – Episode 7 – November 2011

The Von Pip Musical Express podcast featuring an eclectic mix of indie classics and the best new music around. This month we feature the awesomely excellent Two Wounded Birds, sure to be big in 2012 Beth Jeans Houghton, the dark majesty of The Bookhouse Boys, the frenetic sparkling beautiful melancholy of  Veronica Falls alongside indie gods such as  The Cure, The Jesus And Mary Chain And Magazine amongst others. Listen out for special guest appearances and maybe even a  Hollywood legend (or not!! 🙂 )

Listen below or via Mixcloud

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Fuzzy Logic – Milk Maid Interview /Review.

Milk Maid Interview

‘Not Me‘ By Milk Maid.

We have often banged the drum with regard to the fact that you don’t neccesarily need a huge budget and fancy production techniques to produce great music.  Milk Maid’s debut album ‘Yucca’ once again adds weight to our argument. Recorded in songwriter Martin Cohen’s flat during the indefinite hiatus of Nine Black Alps, [bands never simply split-up these days]  it reveals Cohen’s keen ear for a pop hook, juxtaposed with dark lyrics and visceral guitars. It’s an album that conjures up the ghosts of early Creation record bands such as The House Of Love  and the Jesus and Mary Chain  and there will doubtless be comaprisons made to current slacker poet laurete Kurt Vile’s oeuvre.


Lovers of turd polished, vacuum packed pop will no doubt find the lo-fi nature of this album something of an aural quagmire but in many ways it’s the uncontrived insouciance  and couldn’t give a fuck slacker attitude of ‘Yucca’  that’s part of it’s easy charm.  As with any collection of songs it’s ultimately  the quality of the songwriting that an album will stand or fall by and there is no question that  ‘Yucca‘ contains a wealth of great songs.  ‘Dead Wrong’ channels the spirit of the Velvets whilst recent single, the stomping ‘Not Me’ contains echoes of The House Of Love’s anthemic ‘Christine’. ‘Girl’ could be a Slacker Springsteen and the forty five second ‘Kill Me Again’ sounds like the Mary Chain meets Jackson Browne.  Cohen can certainly pen great pop tunes and in many ways ‘Yucca’ feels like something of an experiment, of a songwriter finding his feet and indeed delighting in the freedom that the D.I.Y. ethic affords, free of big label meddeling.   For lovers of lo-fi, fuzzed up, hook laden garage pop with explosive guitar riffs ‘Yucca’ certainly delivers the goods and you sense there’s plenty more in Cohen’s arsenal, if of course he can be bothered 😉 .

8/10

We had a chat with Martin about Milk Maid and his own musical influences.

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VP:For those who are new to Milk Maid’s music , who are you and how did the band get together?

MARTIN: I’m Martin.  I sing and play guitar in milk maid.  Rick Entezari plays guitar,Luke Towart plays bass and Ian Hodson drums.  We met through friends, or friends of friends or brothers of friends.  This line up has been around for about 3 weeks.

 

VP: Your debut album Yucca is just about to be released and was recorded in your flat?  How long did it take to get all the songs written and recorded? Was it enjoyable to be able to do it at your own pace without say a big label/suits giving you deadlines?

 MARTIN:   I recorded the drums at a practice room then recorded everything else at home one song at a time as they were written.  Even though the songs are really simple it takes me ages to write but I manage to finish recording the songs within a day and then mixing can take anywhere from an hour to a couple of days.  All in all it took about a year to write and record.  When I first started recording it was pretty much an experiment in writing so playing live or even having enough songs to fill a record couldn’t have been further from my mind.

 

I’m fairly good at working toward deadlines!! it just the other stuff that comes along with some labels can become distracting when you’re trying to record.

VP:  A number of tracks conjure up the sonic fuzz of bands like The Jesus And Mary Chain and the melodies of  Spector style pop. Which sort of music would you say has had an influence on your song writing?

 

 MARTIN : it’s really weird, I’ve never been into the Mary Chain, [ VP: GASPS!] people have mentioned them a lot though.  Most of the time I just try and write really simple songs, like nursery rhymes, very basic melodies and chords.  Big Star and Come are 2 bands that I really like at the moment.

VP:  Would you say you’re becoming a prolific songwriter?  I’m sure I’ve read that you’re already writing album number two?

 

MARTIN : I basically work on the law of averages so i try and write as much as possible so i never really had a cut off after finishing ‘Yucca’ which means there’s a bunch of new stuff already written….there are 5 songs that we’re intended for a split lp that never happened and there’s another pile of 6 songs…it had crossed my mind to put them together to make the next LP but they’ve both got fairly different feels to them so I’m not sure what’s going to happen.  I want to have the next album recorded out pretty soon though

 

VP: Lyrically beneath the rich melodies, there sometimes emerges a slightly sinister edge, was this something you particularly were keen to draw out, or did it just kind of evolve in an unplanned way as the songs took shape.?

 

MARTIN : I’m always drawn to the darker stuff that comes out of my mouth.  Sadness is more interesting.

VP: How did you hook up with Suffering Juke box records?

 

MARTIN:  I’ve know Jack Cooper for a while and he just heard some songs I’d put on myspace.  fairly simple!

VP: After being a member of Nine Black Alps rhythm section have now you become acclimatised to being at the forefront of a band, having to make decisions which maybe you took for granted in the past?  Have you been surprised by anything you’ve had to do?

 

MARTIN:   There’s just a shit load more to think about cos I’m managing myself too.  I like knowing what’s going on with everything and overseeing it all but there are some days where I just want to play guitar but I can’t cos I’ve got other things to sort out.  It’s not a bad thing cos it means I’m busy doing band stuff but there’s loads more organising to do which was a little surprising.

VP:  And you’re responsible for the album art work?  Does the image for the ‘ Yucca’ cover  have any special significance in the context of the album or was it a case you thinking ‘that’d make a good album cover’

 

MARTIN:   Afraid it’s nothing more than seeing it and liking it! It’s a photo of my grandmas head I took on holiday last year.

VP:  What’s been your weirdest gig experience, either with NBA or Milk Maid ?

MARTIN:   Any show from the tour we did with Social Distortion in America.  Major culture clash!

VP:  Do you take much notice of the current music scene?  Any new bands you’ve been particularly impressed with?

MARTIN:   I don’t really keep up.  He’s not a new one the radar but ‘Smoke Ring For My Halo by Kurt Vile is so good.  There’s a band from Bolton called the Kiss Off who I think are amazing but they don’t play that often. 

 

VP:   And finally…. If you could sum up ‘Yucca’ in five words….

 

MARTIN:   Up down up down down.

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The VPME Podcast Episode 3 June 2011

The VPME Podcast Episode 3- June 2011

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Yes, it’s back !  June’s VPME  podcast features classic tracks nestling coquettishly next to new and upcoming artists. Hosted by Ringo Von Pip there’s surely something here for everyone, oh and keep an ear out for some special guests too. Listen below

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The VPME Podcast – Episode 2- May 2011.

The VPME Podcast - May 2011

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It’s time for another pod-cast folks! After our triumphant appearance on BBC 6 Music it’s back to reality with the soothing, laconic,  sensual (sic) some would say semi comatose tones of  Mr Von Pip.  In this episode we have special guest appearances from Emma Anderson of Lush, Ritzy from The Joy Formidable, Sarabeth Tucek, Paul from The Primitives, Sarah From The Good Natured and much, much more . We hope you enjoy .

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As ever big love and manly handshakes to all involved 😉


The Von Pip Musical Express Podcast Episode 1- April 2011.

The VPME Podcast

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Ever dreamt about  listening to music presented by somebody who looks like Bill Oddie‘s  tiny wizened scrotum with a sad little face drawn on it, yet who sounds like an intoxicating mix of  Ian McCulloch fused with Ringo Starr inside a beehive situated  in Brookside Close ? You have? Well listen to The Von Pip Musical Express Podcast Episode 1- April 2011 Cloudcast on Mixcloud or below for musical and spiritual fulfillment.

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[Ps you can scroll through the podcast by clicking on the bar right at the bottom of the ‘cast’  if you so wish]

Thanks to Cat fom Pris, Drew From Islington Boys Club, Julia from the Indelicates, Laura from Dimbleby and Capper, Sarah from Let’s Buy Happiness and Dave Cromwell from NYC.


Interviewed By Record Of The Day.

Andy Von Pip ROTD Media Spotlight

Record of the Day is the music industry’s favourite daily digest providing a raft of original and aggregated news from all UK and international media outlets, encompassing press and online. And the tables were turned when they recently  interviewed me!! …. The PDF of the interview is available here (Record Of The Day Interview with Andy Von Pip)  if you’re interested ( Hello Mum!!)  and there now follows a transcript of me on my soap box 😉

Name: Andy Von Pip

Role: Editor/Writer/interviewer/photographer – The VPME

The last music I purchased was:

The Joy Formidable- The Big Roar- Despite already having the promo I was seduced by the allure of the now sold out limited special edition. Beautifully packaged, with the album, two DVD’s, a nice enamel badge, signed note and an additional CD, sensibly priced too at just over twenty quid. This is the way forward for bands with a reasonable fanbase, creating something fans are willing to buy, it’s not rocket science it’s simple economics .Mind you I think when you start charging thirty quid plus for a CD the vinyl and a replica of Thom Yorke’s toenail and calling it a special edition you maybe are starting to take piss? And if it’s not a limited edition, is it really that special?

The music that’s exciting me at the moment is:

I think 2011 has got off to a very strong start to be honest. At this very moment in time I’m totally in love with Sarabeth Tucek’s second album ‘Get Well Soon’, it really is genius. Scanners new album Submarine is getting innumerable plays too , as is Wye Oak’s Civilian’ . I’m also currently smitten with Pris, I’ve only heard demos so far, but they have made ears reverberate with undiluted joy. Hopefully the power pop punk revival starts here because really, I think we have reached total saturation point with earnest nu-folk troubadours now.

‘Wooden’ by Sarabeth Tucek.

A recent trend I’ve been enjoying is:

I’ve been very much enjoying the lo-fi revival that’s emerged in the last few years, such as Dum Dum Girls, Frankie rose and The Outs and i suppose to a degree, The xx. it just goes to show that you don’t need to employ blaring horns and masses of perfect guitar noodling loops to make an interesting sound. Just decent songs and self belief.

A trend I have less time for:

I’ve noticed the tendency for people at gigs to secrete themselves at the front of the stage and then as soon as the artist starts to sing proceed to talk in a booming voice over the songs. I mean if you want to have a good old chin wag why not stand at the back, or stay at the pub?

How I’m listening to my music now:

Most new music is still loaded onto the trusty IPod, I love sound cloud for streaming and sharing and keep meaning to upgrade my account.  I suppose I really do need to get on board with Spotify, it looks great, but sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day. You can’t beat the physical product though; I like to have something tangible other than an mp3. Vinyl of course is beautiful although due to lack of space I’ve recently given quite a bit away. Mind you I know it’s gone to a good home so I can sleep easy.

The best thing about my job is:

Helping promote music you actually believe in and being invited to amazing musical events such as Glastonbury, people may knock it but it is a truly magical place. I’m just gearing up for Sound city in Liverpool which is a festival that seems to get bigger each year. Oh and If anybody fancies sending me to SXSW next year I’m sure I could free up my diary  🙂

The worst thing about my job is:

Not enough hours in the day and the raging guilt that consumes me when I can’t answer every email that arrives, I wish I had more time. Mind you I do wish people wouldn’t send music what is obviously not my thing at all. Euro trance ? No thanks!  I’m also looking at trying to find time to podcast too, the initial response however is that I sound like Ian McCulloch on ketamine.

How have recent changes in the media world affected what I do:

Why what’s happened? You must remember I’m from the north were electricity is still a novelty!  I haven’t noticed any massive changes lately other than the differing ways content can be produced and accessed. I’m also offering thanks that parts of Murdoch’s news empire have been encircled by a pay wall. I’d certainly pay to make sure it stayed there thus ensuring we’d all be much happier as a nation.

The best interview I did recently was:

Well it’s not for me to say, but being a huge Jesus And Mary Chain fan interviewing Jim Reid with regard to the 25th Anniversary of ‘Psychocandy’ was of course a thrill. Now if only I can get William to talk to me !

The worst interview I did recently was:

None immediately spring to mind, I suppose the worse case scenarios are those in which you get three word answers, shrugs or a young fellow with all the verbal dexterity of Marcel Marceau. I do appreciate people can get fed up with the same generic questions, but y’know, manners maketh the man and all that.  I did interview a band who shall not be named,and their PR people suggested maybe I could make them sound more interesting? I replied, possibly if I even had the slightest clue what on earth they were talking about …..mind there was a slight herbal aroma in the air.

What other music magazines or writers do you read?

Almost everything I read is online now. Blog wise I’m a fan of Breaking More Waves and God Is In The TV as well as the bigger outlets such as DIS and Pitchfork. As for newspaper journos, Alex Petridis makes me laugh, possibly not always intentionally but I do like his way with words and I admire Laura Barton’s poetry and total honesty. Laura and I tried to get together at Glasto but a combination of phone signals and logistics meant we only managed to meet on the very last day, barely coherent, broken by lack of sleep and in my case suffering from the aftermath of too much cider.  We also realised we had been but three tents away the entire festival!

One change I’d make to the music industry would be…

Labels actually investing in real talent not X factor style warblers and blaming file sharers for all the ills within the industry.  Instead why not expend more energy on something positive such as seeking to engage music fans, and here’s a novel idea, actually ask them what they want! Pledge Music, Corporate Records, Ash’s A-Z series have all embraced new ways of delivering music, in a variety of formats in a way that people are willing to spend money on whilst making the fans feel part of the process. That’s the future, really I see no point in continually carping about the insidious nature of the net, and looking for government approval to adopt punitive measures such as the 3 strikes and we cut your internet connection. For one it won’t work and for two it’s draconian and will only fuel resentment.  The old model is broken and they really need to engage with the fans if they want a sustainable business model.

One act I’d really like to succeed this year is.

Oh dear there are loads !  Ok, I’d have to say two, The Good Natured, we tipped her at the beginning of the year, and she just goes from strength to strength. Great pop with a dark electronic twist. And Pris, ready to break hearts, shatter egos and add colour, attitude and fun to the current bland po-faced magnolia hued pop scene.

‘Icon On A MotorBike’ By Pris.

If I didn’t do this job, I’d…

Probably live a life of quiet desperation, replete with slippers, a nice cardigan; I may even have a collection pipes and experiment with various blends of shag tobacco on occasion. On Sunday’s I’d listen to the Archers omnibus with a vague sense of unease and wonder where it all went wrong. Without music my existence would be considerably diminished, as would most peoples I wager.

The VPME AWARDS 2010.

 

The Von Pip Musical Express Awards 2010

As 2010 draws to an end it is required of all blogs to list their favourite albums, it is in fact, the law.  And so, croaking from my sick bed I attempt to reflect upon the music that inspired and moved us this year . In one way trying to rank your favourite albums numerically is a little silly. On any given day any of the top 10 these albums could have been classed as our ‘ album of the year’, but for  the purpose of  much revered  VPME Awards, we have put logic to one side and attempted  to list our favourites in some sort of order.  As ever we award the victors a rather magnificent statuette, made from purest pixels.

ALBUMS OF THE YEAR

NO.1

“WYWH”- The Concretes.

VPME - Album Of The Year- The Concretes WYWH

“My Ways” – The Concretes

‘WYWH’ emphatically proves that anybody who has previously written the band off following the departure of former vocalist Victoria Bergsman will soon be choking on large slices of humble pie because ‘WYWH’ is without doubt, a triumphant return.  The Concretes have reinvented themselves and in doing so produced an album that sparkles with a fragile beauty and a sense of yearning which is perfectly communicated by former drummer and lyricist Lisa Milberg’s airy, delicate ethereal vocals.” Also, the NME wasn’t too keen on it  which, by definition,  means it must be good!

Interview here

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No. 2

I Will Be – Dum Dum Girls.

Albums Of The Year the VPME - Dum Dum Girls - I Will Be

‘I Will Be’ – Dum Dum Girls.

Dum Dum Girl’s début album for the legendary Sub-Pop label, “I Will Be” is a raw, adrenaline fuelled white knuckle ride through heartbreak and B-movie cool which employs Ronettes style vocal harmonies allied to discordant Mary Chain guitars and old school garage punk.”

Interview Here

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No3.

Songs For Swinging Lovers” By The Indelicates.

The VPME Albums Of The Year - The Indelicates - Songs For Swinging Lovers

Songs For Swinging Lovers” is a musical and poetic tour de force that tackles subjects with the sort of brutal honesty that would give most traditional record labels coronaries.  Make no mistake this is a magnificent album that enthrals, shocks and delights in equal measure, full of dark poetic lyricism whilst demonstrating an unerring ability to cut through the bullshit and dismantle accepted societal truisms.”

Review here

Listen to and download album here .

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4. Plastic Beach‘- Gorillaz.

I always found Blur a tad overrated, and conversely often found Gorillaz a mite underrated. Often dismissed by many as a clever clogs, art school ego trip, ‘Plastic Beach’ is Albarn’s opus and proves finally that he really is a clever clogs, art school, ego-tripping genius. Like him or loathe him, the musical world would be a lesser place without him.

5. ‘The Hundred In The Hand- The Hundred In The Hand.

This really is a marvellous début from the seemingly endless stream of bands that appear to be pouring out of  Brooklyn at present. Dark electro pop that manages to be seductive yet stand offish, and is as you’d expect from a hip  Brooklyn duo, achingly cool without really trying..  A bit like me.

6. Grinderman 2- Grinderman.

7. Stridillium II- Zola Jesus.

8. Crazy For You – Best Coast.

9. Slide Over – The Kiara Elles.

Release a great début and split up in the same year, that’s proper rock n’roll innit. In an industry that is unwilling to take risks and one which will generally always go for the safe bet, maybe the Kiara Elles fate was inevitable.  Mike  Sizemore’s tweet referencing  The X Factor loving public, possibly summed up the current state of play best  “I wish all the real musical talent that we’ve lost over the years could rise from the dead and tear you all limb from limb for watching shit.” Or as the band said ” Unfortunately the record industry machine prefers to plug away at Scouting for Girls and other shit we hate to have time for us so there you go”

‘Laser Shot’– The Kiara Elles

10. ‘I Speak Because I Can’ -Laura Marling.

Still only twenty, Ms Marling sings as if she’d experienced a thousand lifetimes in an album that covers heartache, betrayal, death and redemption.  All the good shit.

11. Sex With An X – The Vaselines.

12.The Fool – Warpaint

13.  The Family Jewels- Marina And The Diamonds.

Possibly not achieving the longevity I’d anticipated upon first hearing the album, it’s still an excellent ‘pop’ album.   Maybe in retrospect if I was being honest, I’d have preferred an edgier approach in terms of the production, as it can seem a little too polished at times but hey ho .  The real winners on this album  are the slower numbers such such as Obsessions, Numb, Rootless, and of course Iam Not A Robot  as these contains the seeds of potential greatness.

14. Boo- Dag For Dag

“Hands & Knees” By Dag For Dag

15. “In The Wooded Forest’ – Savoir Adore

16. “Sugar For My Soul” -Sweet Jane

17. “Total Life Forever” – Foals

18. Treats – Sleigh Bells

19.  “Release Me” – The Like

20. ‘Postcards From A Young Man’ – The Manic Street Preachers

Despite appearing on “Strictly Come Dancing” (“We destroy light entertainment” ) and despite the overblown duet with Ian McCulloch, which in theory I should of loved ,there’s still enough in this album to merit a place in my cynical jaded old heart. So there. ‘Don’t Be Evil‘ is possibly my favourite, and lets face it the lads are getting on, you can’t be a ‘Generation Terrorist’ for ever.

21. The Noyelle Beat – Standard Fare

22. “Disconnect From Desire” – School Of Seven Bells.

“Windstorm” By School Of Seven Bells

23.  Frankie Rose & The Outs -Frankie Rose & The Outs

“Girlfriend Island” ByFrankie Rose & The Outs.

24. “The Ballad Of  The Big Machine”- Emiile Simon.

“Devil At My Door” – Emiile Simon.

25. In Debt’- Johnny Cola & The A Grades

“The Party’s Over”– Johnny Cola & The A Grades

26. ‘A Coming Of Age’- Lucky Soul

27.’ Fire Like This’  – Blood Red Shoes

28. ‘The Suburbs’- Arcade Fire

29.  ‘Without Why’ – Rose Elinor Dougall

30.  All0 Darlin’ – Allo Darlin’

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Best Songs Of 2011

The VPME - Songs Of The Year 2010

1.  ‘Ill.’- The Indelicates

Really, this kind of sums up my year!

 

2.  ‘Sea Talk’ – Zola Jesus

As I’ve said before, this is the aural equivalent of the sun rising.

3. ‘Nine Lives.’- The Kiara Elles

Maybe not the most obvious choice on the album, but kind of sums up the appeal of the band for me. It’s the sort of music  that recalls a young me furtively listening to John Peel under the covers via an old tranny ( that’s a radio, not a transvestite I hasten to add.) The Au-Pairs, Delta Five and The Passions all spring to mind. Which is of course a very good thing.

4. ‘ Melancholy Hill’ – Gorillaz

Reminds me of the stone circle at Glastonbury. Which is nice.

5. Palaces Of Montezuma’ – Grinderman

All you need to know about this song is that whilst  Joe Public laps up utter shite like ” “So I got busy throwing everybody underneath the bus /And with your poster 30 foot at the back of Toys-R-Us” Mr. Cave gifts us lyrics such as “The spinal cord of JFK / Wrapped in Marilyn Monroe’s negligee.” That is all.

6. ‘Undertow’ –Warpaint

7.  ‘Wreckin’ Bar’ –The Vaccines

8. ‘Get Some’ –Lykke Li

9. ‘Early Bird’ –Savior Adore

10.  ‘Crazy For You’ – Best Coast

11. Spanish Sahara’- Foals

12.  ‘Jail La-La’ –Dum Dum Girls

13.  ‘Don’t Ask’ –Blood Red Shoes

14.  ‘Don’t Be Evil’ –The Manic Street Preachers

15.   ‘Numb’ – Marina And The Diamonds

16. ‘Bleed’ – Sweet Jane

17.  ‘Raptor’ – The Horn The Hunt

18.  ‘Binary‘ – Ash

19.‘Your Body Is A Machine’ – The Good Natured

20.  ‘Confessions’ – Blindness

21. ‘Isles’ –Little Comets

22. “Civilian’-Wye Oak

23. ‘Commotion’– A Hundred In The Hand

24. Kiss Your Lips- Allo Darlin’

25. ‘You Forget So Easily’– Exlovers

26. ‘Five Trees’– Chapel Club

27. ‘Release Me’- The Like

28. ‘I Should be A Communist” – Too Many Boyfriends

29. ‘Carry On’ – Rose Elinor Dougall

 

30.”Violet’ – H Bird

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Video Of  The Year

THE VPME VIDEO OF THE YEAR - ASH- BINARY

1. “Binary” – Ash.

Ok so the footage wasn’t shot this year, but it’s the first sight we’ve had of the infamous Ash slasher movie. Oh and it features a Charlotte Hatherley shower scene.

2. ‘Isles’- Little Comets

3. ‘Melancholy Hill’ – Gorillaz

You cant watch it here, you’ll have to follow the link.

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Compilation/Reissue of the Year.

Need you ask ?

“Upside Down- The Best Of” – The Jesus And Mary Chain,

Upside Down - The Best Of The Jesus And Mary Chain

“All Things Must Pass” – The Jesus & Mary Chain.

Interview here

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Gig Of The Year – Glastonbury – 40th Anniversary

 

And a couple of nice quotes from the year

“How did this violent thug become the nation’s sweetheart?” – Bill Bailey

 

“Maybe it’s time for the people who complain that they can’t make enough money from music , to stop making music  ?”Julia Indelicate.

“He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands, Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al-Qa’ida and taliban leaders?”Sarah Palin on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, proving she’s a fucking lunatic.

‘”When I seen bands like The Drums being fawned over, it makes me feel ill, there is literally no soul in that band. They’ve taken nothing from the depth or poetry or amazing lyrics of Ian Curtis, they’ve just taken his kooky dance. The whole generation is attired in American Apparel, there’s no individualism any more.” – Nicky Wire (Manic Street Preachers) -Amen to that.

 

“There is a gulf in values between myself and David Cameron. They have no progressive reform agenda at all – only an unbearable sense of entitlement that it’s just their time to govern”Nick Clegg, proving he’s a c*n*t. Which leads us finally on to. . .
TWAT OF THE YEAR
Nick Clegg.
Nick Clegg Liar