ONE-OFF PIECES OF VINYL (1)

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Another new series, which will be of an occasional nature.

Some pieces of vinyl sitting now in various locations in the Towers are one-offs in that the single or album happens to be all I have by a particular singer or band.  Such as this, from 2000:-

mp3: Add N To (X) – Plug Me In

I didn’t actually buy this in 2000 – indeed, that was a period when any new music was almost exclusively on CD.  It was picked while I was browsing among the small selection of vinyl in a bric-a-brac shop on the south side of Glasgow just a few months ago.  It’s a song that I recall hearing back in the day, and I’m sure I saw the promo video on television at some point, although the fact that wiki states said promo consists of porn actresses playing with sex toys means I’m surely much mistaken!

Anyways, the song turned out to be everything I remembered, a funky piece of electronica, although listening more closely to the lyrics than I must have done in 2000 reveals it very much on the risqué side.

Add N To (X) first started making music in 1996 and had made two albums, as well as going through some line-up changes prior to signing to Mute Records in 1999.  The trio who made this single were Barry Smith, Ann Shenton and Steven Claydon, with Shenton the only one left from the original line-up.  After three albums for Mute, they called it a day in 2003.

The b-side has a cracking title:-

mp3: Add N To (X) – The Vic Hallam System

I thought that it was a tribute to a footballer from the 1970s who had played for many clubs but is best recalled for his contribution to Sunderland’s FA Cup winning run of 1973….but it turns out his name is spelled Vic Halom.

Turns out it is named after the owner of the construction company which produced prefabricated timber-based, flat-roofed classrooms for schools in the 1950s.  Known as the Derwent System, the method enabled authorities, at a time of shortages, to quickly and cheaply provide space for pupils.  The method was also deployed to construct office buildings.

Not surprisingly, the use of such materials and the style in which they were built led to severe problems within not more than a decade, and very few examples of the buildings remain in situ.

JC

PS : A Public Service Announcement

5.30pm on Monday evening. Just back from accompanying Rachel to an afternoon showing of Moonage Daydream, the recently released documentary on the life of David Bowie.

I’m no great fan, so my instant reaction that the two-and-a-quarter hours felt like four is perhaps understandable.  Rachel, on the other hand, is a lifelong fan (having seen the Ziggy Stardust tour as a 14-year old back in the day).  She was scathing of the film, thinking it was all over the place and that it ignored far too many periods of his career; but the biggest failure was the lack of acknowledgement for the roles certain people played in his life – she singled out Angie Bowie and Iggy Pop.

Neither of us understand why so many critics are fawning over it.

9 thoughts on “ONE-OFF PIECES OF VINYL (1)

  1. thanks for the film review, sounds as though it was disappointing, I definitely fall into the Rachel camp as a life long fan and am very envious of her seeing the Ziggy tour. Did the film include many good live show clips?

  2. I know the name ADD N to (X) not the music though – it isn’t for me.

    The gushing reviews for the Bowie documentary have had me suspicious. I’d consider myself a fan, in my own way. I know a little about his personal life however his music, from the late 60s to early 80s, remains a constant. There was a time I was able to list every song on every album in the order it appeared (what it was to be a bored teenager). These days I might struggle to put those same LPs in order of release.

    I will watch the documentary but I’m in no rush – certanly not now. I hope Rachel has duly recovered from the omissions and has sent a stiff missive to all involved.

  3. I’ll play devil’s advocate here. I actually drove 2 and a half hours two weeks ago to see this on its final IMAX day in America. In a theater that had sold seven tickets, so I was fine with going – masked! “Moonage Daydream” was not a Bowie biography. There are those already. It was an impressionistic audio-visual collage/tone poem on the subject’s creativity.

    Yes, others were vital to realizing this [Angie, Ronson, Garson and certainly Iggy] but ultimately it was down to what Bowie wanted to explore artistically. And this was an almost completely unprecedented approach to take to such a subject; hence the acclaim from film criticism quarters while the Bowie fanatical have been notably contrary in their dismissal.

    My biggest criticism? The almost shocking absence from the climactic ★ period in the film which was everything he had been working towards for his entire artistic life. On that note, I stand with my Bowie-fan wife who saw the Philly Dogs tour when she was 15. At the end of his life he delivered a masterwork under what couldn’t have been easy circumstances. And I would have liked to have seen more of that in the mix. My second biggest criticism? I had never seen an IMAX film. It was too loud [or I’m just too old].

    Bonus third and harshest criticism: The trailers before the film were ghastly beyond belief! The “Avatar” sequel looked like a computer animated Yes album cover! No one asked for that! Then came two superhero film trailers for movies that were so mind numbing [this after an “Avatar” film trailer!] and aesthetically repellent [and excessively loud] that I had to close my eyes and plug my ears to prevent brain damage! I don’t let that garbage through my firewall.

  4. Oh, and I wept upon seeing the David Hemmings footage of the 1978 Earls Court performance as it was every bit as legendary as word had been on that subject!

  5. Check out King Wasp by Add N to X – that’s the only song I know by them and it’s great!

  6. There were some decent clips, but none to get overly excited about other than Heroes from the Earls Court gig of 1978 (as referenced by PPM).

  7. I like Add N To X and this song especially. But I also remember the review in the Face (I think) which said Add Fuck To Off which had me spraying tea out of my mouth and still raises a smile now.

    I’ve seen different opinions about the Bowie film and some negative ones by people whose opinions I generally trust.

  8. LOVE Add N to (X)
    I liked Moonage Daydream, but didn’t LOVE it. I thought the same as Rachel – not enough on the whole of his career and missing out SO many people.

  9. I’ll see the Bowie film eventually. My sister, whom I trust, wasn’t knocked out by it. Nor were any other folks I know to be pretty big fans. But now my expectations are low enough that I’ll probably get something out of it.

    As for today’s tune–sounds like something one of the pervy killers would have on in the background of a Stuart Macbride novel.

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