TWO REPEAT POSTS COMING UP

JC writes…

The world and its auntie went crazy for the headlining performance by The Cure at Glastonbury a couple of weeks back. I was going to write something on the back of it, linking in to the fact that the next Simply Thrilled event is on Friday 16 August immediately on the back on an outdoor show in Glasgow by the band at which the special guests will be Mogwai and The Twilight Sad. But no matter how hard I would try, it would never top the ICA written back in March 2018 by our late and much-missed friend Tim Badger, for which there was also, uniquely, a superb scene-setter the day before.

Today, myself and Aldo are off to Dublin and tomorrow we will make our way by train to Westport where I’ll again take part in some celebrations to remember the life and times of my late brother, Davie, who died in a car crash in Ireland exactly nine years ago today. I also intend to raise a toast to Tim’s memory.

It somehow seems fiiting and appropriate to use the next two days to repost Tim’s amazing words about Robert Smith & co.

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON 8 MARCH 2018

A GUEST POSTING by TIM BADGER

Quite a while ago, my blogging buddy SWC and I went to the cricket, and as usual we decided to do one of our ‘Mucking Around ICAs’ each, when the 11th song came on the iPod. My 11th song was The Cure (SWC’s was Blur by the way and he has so far refused to write it). So I contacted JC and said I would write him an ICA on The Cure. Then I went to Australia so it got parked.

Last week I decided to write it. However I started this story as an introduction and realised that it was quite a long story in its own right, so I decided to send this in on its own and the ICA could follow.

A very very long time ago, I had a jumper. It was old, battered, baggy and black. It was an almost exact replica of a jumper that Bob Smith from The Cure wore. I loved that jumper. Girls loved that jumper. I am not ashamed to say that I called that jumper ‘Bob’, after the aforementioned lipstick smudged singer from The Cure.

One night I went to a pub in Leeds called Churchills, it was a big pub frequented by the alternative crowd, largely because around ten pm the upstairs part of the bar would be transformed into a nightclub and an indie disco would take place and occasionally a band would turn up and play. I would wear Bob over the top of a band TShirt alongside a pair of black drainpipes and a pair of Doc Martens and try and look cool in the corner. I would then wait for the DJ to play The Cure or the Pixies or New Order or if I was feeling daring Ministry and then I would launch myself on to the dancefloor, Bob’s sleeves causally pulled down over my hands in order to give myself a bit more mystique.

I used to have a great time at Churchills, it was one of the few places left in the city that served snakebite and black, a legendary if not slightly lethal drink adored by the alternative and big haired crowd. Basically cider, lager and blackcurrant – which gave it a purpleish hue, Goths loved it obviously. Now that night in question I drunk a little bit too much snakebite and black (let’s be honest two pints was enough for anyone – if the ridiculously strong cider didn’t get you the sickly sweet Ribena substitute would). I knew I was drunk because I danced to a New Model Army track and no one danced to New Model Army and still expected to be considered cool at the end of the night. About two am I left Churchills, I’d like to say I left on the arm of a beautiful girl called Angela (who as it happens was a dead ringer for the singer from The Cranes but this being 1990 she didn’t know that yet), but I know I left alone but manage to share a cab home with a bloke called Gavin – I know this because he vomited on the pavement outside my house and the stain was there for about a month afterwards.

I woke up in the morning and felt like death. My head pounded, I was all shaky and clammy, about midday I started to feel a bit more human and I realised that I was cold, so I turned to my go to warmth (I was a student, heating was too expensive) – Bob – I mean it would have stunk of cigarettes (back in the days when you could smoke in a pub) but it kept me warm. So I went to the chair in my bedroom where clothes would have been slung last night.

Bob wasn’t there.

I had a vague recollection of taking Bob off when dancing to The Stone Roses. I’d popped it in the corner where I was sitting, just by where the lovely Angela normally sat with her mate Gemma. Oh God, Bob.

Now, I know what you are thinking, “Man up Badger it’s only a jumper”, and you are right, but that jumper was unique, sort of. Well ok, it wasn’t, it cost me a £2 from a charity shop, but I loved it, apart from my copy of ‘Substance’ on double vinyl, it was probably my favourite thing in the entire world – it was certainly the warmest thing I owned.

I sort of hoped the lovely Angela had taken it home with her and next week (After she’d finished cuddling it for a week) she would come up to me and smile her sweet smile and hand me the jumper and take me by the hand and we would walk into the moonlight, bangles jangling – but in reality I knew that I had left it on the long seat thing in the corner.

So ladies and gentlemen, I got the bus back to town. I sat there sulkily (still hungover) with my Walkmen attached to my ears. I think for some inexplicable reason I had ‘Babble’ by annoying Derry punk popsters That Petrol Emotion on the stereo, this didn’t improve my mood.

I got to Churchills around 2pm. It was open, thankfully, but the upstairs bit wasn’t. So I meekly asked the nice lady behind the bar if she could check if my jumper was up there, in the corner by the long seat, she reluctantly agreed. So I sat there at the bar for what seemed like a decade, cradling a lemonade, the sugar helped quite a lot to be honest, and then she returned.

She was holding Bob and I could have hugged her.

She handed Bob to me and then she said “Me Grandads got one just like that” and crushed what was left of my cool. I mumbled a ‘Thanks’ and walked out of the pub. I got roughly twenty foot around the corner before I stopped and popped Bob over my head.

Five minutes later, as I approached the bus stop, I saw a familiar face, the lovely Angela, sat forlornly at the bus stop, looking bored.

“Hi” I said. Slyly pulling the sleeves of Bob over my hands.

She definitely smiled……

The Upstairs Room – The Cure
Gigantic – The Pixies
Everything’s Gone Green – New Order
Big Decision – That Petrol Emotion

TIM BADGER

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA

Hopefully, this mix doesn’t need too much of an explanation

Various – Born on the 4th of July

TRACKLIST

Bob Dylan – Subterranean Homesick Blues
The Magnetic Fields – I Don’t Want To Get Over You
Hole – Mailbu
The Velvet Underground – Rock & Roll
2Pac feat. Dr Dre and Roger Troutman – California Love
The Ramones – Baby I Love You
The Drums – Let’s Go Surfing
Devo – Come Back Jonee
Tori Amos – Professional Widow
Bodega – Name Escape
Dead Kennedys – Holiday in Cambodia
10,000 Maniacs – Don’t Talk
Blondie – Sunday Girl
Lambchop – Grumpus
LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends
Violent Femmes – Ugly

JC

DISARMED IN LIMBO – A MIX FOR TURNING 56


It’s becoming something of a tradition, merely for the fact that I want a new hour-long mix to listen to when I’m heading to work.

Feel free to join in with a download.

mp3 : Various – Disarmed In Limbo (a mix for turning 56)

TRACKLIST

Whatever Helps – Siobhan Wilson
Happy Birthday – The Birthday Party
Dare – Gorillaz
Ciao! – Lush
The Passenger – Iggy Pop
Say Sue Me – Say Sue Me
All Fall Down – Primal Scream
Humble – Kendrick Lamar
Intergalactic – Beastie Boys
Taste The Last Girl – Sons and Daughters
Why Are People Grudgeful? – The Fall
Let Them All Talk – Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Promises – Buzzcocks
Sister – Tracey Thorn feat. Corinne Bailey Rae
Juxtaposed With You – Super Furry Animals
This Is The Day – The The
Monkey Gone To Heaven – Pixies
Intuition Told Me (Part Two) – Orange Juice

JC

NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL AN ICA (v)

I’m due back in Glasgow at some point today and will get the blog back to some sort of normality in due course..

Just a reminder that this series has been a pastiche of the NOW albums which, since their inception in 1983 have been, for want of a better word, a shit listen, bought in the main by folk who don’t explore much beyond the mainstream fodder.

The words used to describe each of the songs have been lifted from the particular individual ICA in question. There’s a multitude of contributors, but I’ve decided against highlighting who wrote what…..I like to see this, and indeed the entire output of T(n)VV as a collective.

NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL AN ICA….(v)

SIDE A

Daft Punk is Playing At My House – LCD Soundsystem (Track 1 from ICA#9)

I’ve gone for Soulwax Mix simply because of the bit where it goes ‘DOWNTOWN’

This was LCD Soundsystem’s most successful song, earning a Grammy nod and reaching No. 29 on the UK charts. It’s not hard to see why. Murphy always knew how to start a party, from the opening “OW! OW!” to the smashing hi-hats to cowbells and even reminding us that he had moved the furniture to the garage. A belter of a record.

Electricity – OMD (Track 2 from ICA#151)

The first single by OMD and less polished that the later re-recorded and better-known versions for DinDisc.

The story goes that following a successful debut gig at Eric’s in Liverpool, at which they supported Joy Division, the duo sent off a tape of their demo to Tony Wilson in the hope of having it released on Factory. The boss wasn’t that keen on it, but his wife, Lindsay Reade, thought Electricity sounded good and so he decided to release it on a one-off basis with it becoming just the third piece of vinyl to be issued by the label, with 5,000 copies pressed up. It received a fair bit of critical praise and although it didn’t chart, set the duo up for a multi-album deal and the initial steps along the road to fame and fortune. How different might have the Factory story turned out if OMD had been offered and signed a long-term deal with the label…..

The Hellcat Spanged Shalala – Arctic Monkeys (Track 3 from ICA#193)

After ‘Humbug’ the band abandoned trying to be a South Yorkshire version of the Queens of the Stone Age and returned to making beautifully wistful guitar pop and it suited them down to the ground – and you know what – I think right now, ‘Suck It and See’ is my favourite of their albums, is it their best – not sure – but I personally don’t think that they have ever sounded as confident and as sparkling as they do in this song. It’s marvellous.

I Wanna Be Sedated – The Ramones (Track 4 from ICA#185)

“I Wanna Be Sedated” was described by the author Brian J. Bowe as one of the band’s “most classic” pieces of music. After a show in London, Joey told manager Linda Stein: “Put me in a wheelchair and get me on a plane before I go insane”. This quote would be the chorus to “I Wanna Be Sedated”, whose lyrics invoke the stress which the band was under during touring. It is the most downloaded song from the catalog by The Ramones.

Party Fears Two – Associates (Track 5 from ICA#141)

The 45 that delivered on Billy’s dreams and ambitions. Their best known few minutes and among their finest. Enough has been written before about, both on this blog and elsewhere. Just enjoy the full majesty of the 12” version with its fabulous drawn-out ending.

SIDE B

Who The Fuck? – PJ Harvey (Track 6 from ICA#63)

Now we’re talking! PJ’s angry. Someone’s pissed her off and she can’t wait to tell us. Coming across like a demented Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, WTF? kicks like an angry mule, a fuzztoned, vocally distorted, brilliant mess of a record.

It’s a sloppy, stroppy, brilliantly sweary track. If you took ten wasps in a jar and stuck them in a food blender with the short-lived RRRRRiot Grrrrrrl movement, it would sound something like this.

Pump It Up – Elvis Costello & The Attractions (Track 7 from ICA#136)

I observed that, while I wasn’t that fond of Costello’s genre exercises and anemic later-career albums, I rated his early LPs so highly that “I don’t think I could narrow down a 10 song ICA from just his recordings with the Attractions.” It was Brian who responded: “Nobody has had the guts to do that so far.”

Of course Brian’s right. I once made a playlist for my daughter of ‘essential’ EC songs and there were almost 100 on it.

No, there’s absolutely no way to have a 10-song Elvis Costello ICA. So, what the hell — with no discussion of the songs at all here’s an ICA of the TEN BEST songs by Elvis Costello and the Attractions.

Echo Beach – Martha & The Muffins (Track 8 from ICA#27)

I nearly didn’t put Echo Beach on this compilation. After all, you already know it, you’ve probably got it, and if you want to hear it, you can just hang around any supermarket with an in-store radio station and it’ll turn up soon enough. But it’s here anyway, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, because inevitably nothing else on “Metro Music” really comes close. I was going to use the follow-up single Saigon, but the write-up came down to “it’s pretty good, but it’s not Echo Beach”, so what’s a diligent compiler to do? More importantly, if we’re going to pretend that this could be a proper vinyl album, then let’s face it: there’s no way on Earth that you’d ever do a Martha And The Muffins compilation and NOT put Echo Beach on it. Apart from anything else, it’s just too damn good. So good, in fact, it was very nearly a career killer.

Man In The Corner Shop – The Jam (Track 9 from ICA#52)

There’s something intrinsically sad about this mid-paced number which I’ve always thought is a hidden gem of a song.

I’ve never thought its central message was that everyone is born equal; nor do I think Paul Weller thinks that to be the case and so his tongue is very much in his cheek when he sings those particular lines. The sadness come from the fact that neither of the factory worker or shop owner are happy with their lot and both believe the grass on the other side is a much more favourable shade of green. Even sadder isturning your thoughts to what was likely to have happened to the protagonists in real life over the subsequent 2-3 years….a factory closure and redundancy for the blue-collar worker and the end of the family business for the shop owner as the supermarkets take over? Most likely…..and and as for the factory owner….well, he was never really ever any better off than the other two….maybe just a little bit richer in financial terms. In other words, the central message of Man In The Corner Shop is really quite simple……………………….

Life Sucks.

There Is No Ending – Arab Strap (Track 10 from ICA#14)

The closing track on the closing album. After dozens of songs that dealt with teenage and 20-something angst here’s one that celebrates love lasting forever until you grow old.

For a band that had to face up to so many accusations of being latent miserablists this is an extraordinary way to sign off and it captures Aidan Moffat for what I think he is – romantic at heart. For the most part in the Arab Strap canon he’s been a sad and depressed romantic all too often seeking solace in the comfort of the bottle or from the drugs cabinet but now at last he’s happy and looking forward to the future and he wants the world to know it.

A joyous and wonderful anthem to finish things off.

ENDS

NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL AN ICA (iv)

As I explained back on Monday, I’m in Toronto and its surroundings this week and have come up with a way of keeping things ticking with lazy posts, but hopefully in a way that will provide interest. .

For the most part, the NOW albums, since their inception in 1983 have been, for want of a better word, a shit listen, bought in the main by folk who don’t explore much beyond the mainstream fodder. This five-part series, of which this is the second instalment, will hopefully bring some sort of balance.

The words used to describe each of the songs have been lifted from the particular individual ICA in question. There’s a multitude of contributors, but I’ve decided against highlighting who wrote what…..I like to see this, and indeed the entire output of T(n)VV as a collective.

NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL AN ICA….(iv)

SIDE A

Tears Are Cool – Teenage Fanclub (Track 1 from ICA#86)

So, there’s this girl, we’ll call her Aerosmith Girl, actually let’s call her Sally, and she was lovely. I had a massive thing for her in the early to mid nineties. She drunk in my local pub – where I lived at the time. I ignored the fact that she loved Aerosmith because she was so lovely.

Anyway, one night in the pub, I saw her crying, sitting there on her own, crying. I went over and spoke to her, turns out her cat had died (to be honest, she should have just stayed in – the attention seeker) anyway, after about five minutes, I said “its ok Tears Are Cool” – taking it from the song that Teenage Fanclub had released on their most recent album.

On Saturday night it was Open Mic night, when a few people turned up with acoustic guitars, played for fifteen minutes and then sodded off to claim two free pints. That night, for the time ever, I got up to play – I mumbled my way through an acoustic version of a Levellers song and then something in my head went “This ones for Sally” and I looked straight at her and did a little fist pump. I know. Sorry.

Then I sang ‘Tears Are Cool’. When I finished she wasn’t even sitting where she was when I started it. Twenty minutes later I saw her outside eating chips with a bloke called Gavin. Chips. Gavin. I’d sang my heart out in there and she fucked off and bought some chips. I never sang in that pub again. Come to think of it I don’t think I’ve ever sung live again.

I Was A Teenage Armchair Honved Fan – Half Man Half Biscuit (Track 2 from ICA#8)

A cracking indie tune backed by a lyric that namechecks an obscure Hungarian football team, and then comes up with a pretentiously marvellous couplet for making toast:-

I went dans la cuisine in a bilinguistic mood
And Morphy Richards popped up with the goods

It then takes the piss out of rock band clichés before closing out with an extended repeat of the song’s ultra catchy one-line chorus.

Out Of This World (a Gino Washington cover) – The Detroit Cobras (Track 3 from ICA#34)

Normally, dear friends, coverbands rather are an atrocity, they exist to – more or less – “entertain” you at family parties. The Detroit Cobras from, obviously, Detroit, though take the cover business seriously and they are doing this perfectly fine since 1994. The music that the band play is a mix of soul, Motown, R&B and R&R, that is literally stripped from Mary Ramirez’ and her music partner in crime, singer Rachel Nagy’s record collections. They play other people’s music, but more specifically they cover other artists’ B-sides and deep cuts, and they do so with such a raw and ferocious energy that the songs rarely sound anything like the original versions, but all of them end up sounding like Cobra songs.

Breaking Point – Bourgie Bourgie (Track 4 from ICA#66)

The opening burst of cello will grab you and look to get you hooked immediately. If that doesn’t work, then surely you won’t be able to resist the voice.

This was my personal introduction to Paul Quinn as a lead vocalist in his own right (I’d first heard him on Barbecue which was a b-side to the 12” of I Can’t Help Myself by Orange Juice). In all truth I was as excited by the fact that Bourgie Bourgie was going to have a number of ex-Jazzateers in its line-up as I felt they were one the great ‘lost’ Scottish bands of the era. (If you don’t have a copy of their 1983 self-titled debut album on Rough Trade then I can only recommend you track down a copy – there’s a few out there at not too stupid a price.) But once I heard that voice I was smitten.

Worth also noting the classy and crisp production courtesy of the then little known Kingbird, aka Ian Broudie, whose work with so many bands in Liverpool and then later in his guise as Lightning Seeds has lit up many an indie disco over the past 30 plus years.

Psycho Killer – Talking Heads (Track 5 from ICA#115)

The bass line of God. Psycho Killer is a song that I hold close to my heart. It was less than a year since the killing spree of the Son of Sam killer, David Berkowitz when Psycho Killer came out. I lived not 4 blocks from the next to last of his killing scenes at local discoteque, Elephas, in Bayside, Queens. The events of that killing changed my neighborhood for years. Psycho Killer was the darkest song I had ever heard. The motorik influence of the song brings out the detached nature of the song. Its darkness is still powerful 40 years on.

SIDE B

Bluebeard – Cocteau Twins (Track 6 from ICA#195)

In 1993 I was fed up with all the music in my collection and was listening to the radio in search of something new to get into. The moment I heard the gleaming guitar riff on this intro, I thought “That’s the one for me, I’ll go straight out and buy this.” By the time Liz’s vocals started, it was clear that everything I knew was true and that the world was spinning smoothly on its axis. Robin once said he couldn’t stand those Pink Floydy guitarists who can play all six strings at once; I think he manages at least three on this.

Love Will Tear Us Apart – Joy Division (Track 7 from ICA#160)

Millions of words have been written about LWTUA and I don’t have anything new or fresh to add. One thing that does stand out for me, however, is that despite it being by far and away the most popular and most aired of their songs, I never ever get tired of hearing it. Oh, and I’m pleased that a promo video was shot for it as it did provide some high-quality footage of the band before it became tragically too late.

Nimrod’s Son – The Pixies (Track 8 from ICA#6)

I can’t think about most Pixies songs without thinking about them being performed live – and that means thousands of people shouting “You are the son of a mother fucker”. An absolute joy.

Burn The Witch – Radiohead (Track 9 from ICA#108)

In which Radiohead go all Camber-wicker Green. A genuinely great song and one that is, even without the video, genuinely disturbing, with its lyrics of low-flying panic attacks, red crosses on wooden doors and, most ominously, “we know where you live”. Add the sawing, minor-key string backing and this isn’t going to pack the floor at your local indie disco in quite the same way as Creep. A song for these times, where Washington has become Summer Isle or, perhaps, Salem.

Moaner – Underworld (Track 10 from ICA#25)

JC posted this song recently so I was in two minds about whether to include it – but for me, there isn’t really any other song that could have ended this compilation – it’s almost impossible to follow. They pretty much always played it last as it was guaranteed to get you dancing like a machete and give you whiplash.

ENDS

NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL AN ICA (iii)

As I explained a couple of days back, I’m in Toronto and its surroundings this week and have come up with a way of plastering the blog with lazy posts, but hopefully in a way that will provide interest. .

For the most part, the NOW albums, since their inception in 1983 have been, for want of a better word, a shit listen, bought in the main by folk who don’t explore much beyond the mainstream fodder. This five-part series, of which this is the second instalment, will hopefully bring some sort of balance.

The words used to describe each of the songs have been lifted from the particular individual ICA in question. There’s a multitude of contributors, but I’ve decided against highlighting who wrote what…..I like to see this, and indeed the entire output of T(n)VV as a collective.

NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL AN ICA….(iii)

SIDE A

Weirdo – Charlatans (Track 1 from ICA#42)

Don’t you just LOOOVE that intro?

One of the best noises on any record. Weirdo was the lead single from the Charlatans’ second album and was the best thing they’d done up to that point. It slapped me around the face like a wet kipper before cheekily skipping off, enticing me to chase it. I followed it of course and fell for its cheeky charms. It’s still one of my fave tunes by the band.

Tupelo – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (Track 2 from ICA#13)

Talking of dark and menacing, how about the tale of Elvis’ birth delivered Cave-style? A fine example of how a rock band can create an uncomfortable atmosphere and mood. Nick’s growling vocals, Barry Adamson’s ominously brooding bass, Blixa Bargeld’s scratchy guitars and Mick Harvey’s pounding drums combine to create a song that’s blacker than black.

The Facts Of Life – Black Box Recorder (Track 3 from ICA#179)

Although the BBR songwriting chores were shared between Luke Haines (who, I’d guess, had more hand in the lyrics) and former Jesus & Mary Chain drummer John Moore, the band’s greatest asset was arguably Sarah Nixey.

I find it difficult to write about Ms. Nixey objectively without coming across as an old letch… but the best way to describe her would be in twisted comparison to Saint Etienne’s Sarah Cracknell. Imagine a cartoon where a lovelorn young bloke has a pure, perfect, sweet-voiced angel dressed in white sitting on his right shoulder, encouraging him to be good and kind and virtuous. That would be the Sarah Cracknell angel. On the other shoulder, however, would be Sarah Nixey, dressed in black, also sweet-voiced… but that’s where the comparison ends. Now imagine that second angel was the teacher in your Sex Ed class…

Welcome to The Facts Of Life, a single which took Luke Haines into the top 20 for the first and only time in his career. If you’d asked me before I started compiling this ICA, I’d have told you this song must have been Top 10, probably Top 3… I mean, surely this was one of the biggest hits of the year 2000? It was in my head, anyway. In reality, it scraped #20 for a week then disappeared from the chart forever. A true sign of quality.

Better Things – Massive Attack w/ Tracey Thorn (Track 4 from ICA#76)

In my mind, far superior to ‘Protection’. ‘You say the magic’s gone. Well i’m not a magician. You say the spark’s gone. Well get an electrician’ Just genius!

Delilah Sands – The Brilliant Things (Track 5 from ICA#163)

This is my favorite BC Song. I can’t get enough of it. There’s just something about the way it’s all put together, from the unusual bop ba da da bop cold start through to the brilliant trumpet line. This is my go-to whenever I need a little pickmeup. BC firing on all cylinders to be sure.

SIDE B

Happy When It Rains – The Jesus and Mary Chain (Track 6 from ICA#94)

More rain, but this time the band are a bit happier and as it happens, this is my favourite JAMC track. Its my favourite for one single reason, once in 1992 in the pouring rain outside the Army and Navy pub in Rainham, Kent, Our Price Girl gave me the best kiss of my life – at the time at least – and then sang this to me sweetly in my ear as the rain dripped off our hair. We then walked three miles, soaked to the skin hand in hand and hardly said a word, because frankly she said it all.

Shining Light – Ash (Track 7 from ICA#190)

It’s difficult to say much new about this song. It is their biggest selling single and probably their most recognisable song and one I have grown to love more as the years have gone by. A wonderful melody, with lyrics full of religious imagery, not surprising really, as Tim Wheeler grew up in Northern Ireland in the 70s and 80s, when the church really dominated society there. Fun fact, this song won an Ivor Novello songwriting award.

Shot By Both Sides – Magazine (Track 8 from ICA#35)

One of the great post-punk anthems, the debut single had the audacity to reach #41 in the singles charts and somehow trigger off an appearance on Top of The Pops. The sight of Howard & co obviously frightened everyone concerned for instead of it climbing into the Top 40 the following week thanks to being exposed to millions of viewers/listeners it dropped like a stone. The band never got near the singles charts again despite releasing a run of cracking 45s over the next three years.

The album version of the song is marginally different (the thing most noticeable is that each chorus of the single begins ‘Shot, Shot by both sides’ while the LP is simply ‘Shot by both sides.’ It’s a tune co-written with Pete Shelley who loved it so much that he used it for the track Lipstick some ten months as the b-side to the hit single Promises but rather naughtily didn’t give Howard a writing credit……….

Bloodsport For All – Carter USM (Track 9 from ICA#50)

When I was 15 I nicked a fiver out of my dad’s wallet, I then walked four miles to Chatham and bought this on 12”. It was my first ever 12”. Ironically I bought it from Our Price – the same shop that I would later meet Our Price Girl in. I told my dad two days later about the fiver – he grounded me for a week. It was worth it – every second.

St Anthony- An Ode To Anthony H Wilson – Mike Garry and Joe Dudell (Andrew Weatherall Remix) (Track 10 from ICA#102)

Mike Garry’s wonderful poem for Tony Wilson, a celebration of the Factory boss and ‘Manchester music, marijuana, majesty and Karl Marx’, was set to music by Joe Dudell, a string quartet version of New Order’s Your Silent Face. Weatherall took it back to the electronic roots of Power, Corruption and Lies.

ENDS

NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL AN ICA (ii)

As I explained yesterday, I’m in Toronto and its surroundings this week and have come up with a way of covering the next few days with lazy posts, but hopefully in a way that will provide interest.

For the most part, the NOW albums, since their inception in 1983 have been, for want of a better word, a shit listen, bought in the main by folk who don’t explore much beyond the mainstream fodder. This five-part series, of which this is the second instalment, will hopefully bring some sort of balance.

The words used to describe each of the songs have been lifted from the particular individual ICA in question. There’s a multitude of contributors, but I’ve decided against highlighting who wrote what…..I like to see this, and indeed the entire output of T(n)VV as a collective.

NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL AN ICA….(ii)

SIDE A

Time To Pretend – MGMT (Track 1 from ICA #138)

There is of course only one place to start when we are considering an ICA on MGMT…….

“Lets make Some music, make some money, find some models for wives…” this track couldn’t be any easier on the ear if it tried. Shamelessly poking fun at rock star dreams and ‘living fast and dying young’. Brilliant drenched in synths and catchy riffs, MGMT announced their arrival to the world with not just a terrific single but with one of the best tracks in the last ten years.

Seven Seconds To Midnight – Wah! Heat (Track 2 from ICA#43)

Pete Wylie is my favorite Rock Star of ALL TIME…Probably because he’s the only one I’ve gotten drunk with until 7am in a New York Nightclub 4 nights on the trot, and definitely because he NEVER attained Rock Start status but was always prepared for it.

JC, you’ve picked the three songs which earned him the rank of a great artist. But I will add three that I just can’t live without, and one is among my 10 favorite songs of all time.

The first, and one which first blew my socks off and sucked me into WAH!’s aural vortex was Seven Minutes To Midnight. There might not be any more urgent Post Punk song ever written.

Reflection of The Television – The Twilight Sad (Track 3 from ICA#3)

More loud and wailing guitars, pounding drums and a killer hypnotic bass line. The opening track of the second LP. The song was later given a complete remix by Errors for inclusion on the Wrong Car EP – by complete I mean the drums, bass and guitar are almost completely replaced by electronica and a dance beat. And such is the greatness of the song and the music that the remix more than holds its own.

Ping Pong – Stereolab (Track 4 from ICA#174)

Mars Audiac Quintet was a huge leap forward for Stereolab, the first album on which they really integrated their love of lounge, exotica and bubblegum with the familiar krautrock grooves half-inched from NEU! and Can, and this was its most accessible song. Indeed, probably the group’s best-realised attempt on mainstream pop ever.

A Promise – Echo and The Bunnymen (Track 5 from ICA #41)

If Postcard could claim to be the Sound of Young Scotland then those who came to prominence through Zoo Records are entitled to claim the same crown for Young Liverpool. This particular single could easily have been written and recorded by Wylie, Cope or The Wild Swans and it would have been equally majestic. Will Sargeant teased a ridiculous amount of stunning sounds from his guitar over these damn near perfect four minutes.

SIDE B

Free Range – The Fall (Track 6 from ICA#147)

This single from 1992’s slight “Code: Selfish” album is an example of what Smith and his fans claim to be his psychic or “pre-cog” abilities. The lyrics may refer to the history of Balkanization, or they might presage the coming Bosnian War. Smith seemed to predict the 1996 Manchester City Center bombing in the song Powder Keg, and Terry Waite Sez preceded Waite’s kidnapping.

Stay Together – Suede (Track 7 from ICA #209)

Their joint biggest hit (along with Trash) and the only standalone single they ever released. This was the first notice that Bernard Butler wanted to start producing epics and this longer version definitely feels like a production where the kitchen sink has been thrown at it, particularly in the four and a half minute outro. A clear signpost to what they would go on to produce on the Dog Man Star album.

Cattle and Cane – The Go-Betweens (Track 8 from ICA#98)

The single version is some 20 seconds shorter than the version on the LP Before Hollywood. I’ve mentioned before that this is a very special song to me for a number of reasons; nowadays, it makes me sad as it reminds me of Grant’s sudden and very unexpected death but it is a song, along with a few others, that I associate with some of my happiest days, weeks and months on Planet Earth when I fell properly in love for the first time.

Some facts : It was written as a recollection of childhood in a London flat in an effort to combat homesickness with the band as far away as can be from their native Australia, cold and skint and fearing they’ll never succeed. It was written using the acoustic guitar belonging to the owner of the flat while he lay comatose from drug abuse. The guitar belonged to Nick Cave.

Sublimely beautiful.

Join Our Club – Saint Etienne (Track 9 from ICA#47)

Another great pop single that dropped in between the first two albums. It’s all about finding your ‘tribe’ through music, particularly at a time when rave and grunge were dominant. It does, however, reference pop music through the ages and how it brings people together. It’s a subject they would revisit on more than one occasion.

Feel Every Beat – Electronic (Track 10 from ICA#205)

A five-minute version of this closes the debut album and tempting as it was to use that here, I have to bow to the remixing skills of Stephen Hague who chops about a minute off the original and helps deliver something which captures perfectly what Jonny and Bernard wanted Electronic to sound like and what they wanted a band to be….’we don’t need to argue, we just need each other’

ENDS