REM

R.E.M. stands for Rapid Eye Movement, which is what your eye does when you’re in deep sleep. I knew that after someone told me at some point or other, and I knew about the group REM from quite a few years before they were popular, but I didn’t really actually know anything about them, just that they existed from quite a way back in the 80s.

Well these guys moved into my flat, using the room next door for sleeping, there were three of them, when they first came and knocked on the door there were 2, I’d only expected one, since there was only one bed, but 2 turned up. There was a knock at the door, and there were these 2 guys, with eyes like saucers looking back at me, it made me laugh, cos they were obviously high on something as if I wouldn’t guess.

SO anyhow, they moved in, and this other guy just showed up at some point after that, so there were 3 in there, when they were home, which wasn’t that often. They were getting through an awful lot of ganja these guys, so much of it, I was higher than I’d been for a while just by knowing them – I guess they kept me sweet that way. So of course I was curious as to what made them tick, I liked music, and got chatting to one of the guys about that, he liked REM, he told me it stood for Rapid Eye Movement, and about how he liked these songs they do. So we got like really stoned, and he told me about how he’d been in this car accident, the car had rolled on this road I know quite well, and how he’d had to have a false heel done in an operation, around which point I just fell asleep for a bit, it was probably 4 am or something, those guys used to come into the flat at way past 2, and doss down – 3 of them in a room meant for one, so I’m meeting my neighbors, and I’m trying to stay awake, and when I wake up he’s showing me his foot, he’s got his sock off and his heel is like white, cos its some sort of plastic insert, pretty freaky, – then I wake up again, and I’m like fuck this I got to go to bed, and he’s like “you want it don’t you?” I’m thinking WTAF? Its another misunderstanding, I completely forgot whatever the subject was. He said well that’s where I want to be – I liked him, he knew where he wanted to be. Maybe this song was in my mind? I have no idea, I was totally confused! Don’t Go Back to Rockville,

I really can’t remember – they all thought I hated them for a while, and I did off and on, cos of course you do when you live with someone, there was another couple of guys living in the flat at the time, quite a few people came and went, it would have been more fun if they’d paid the bills and contributed to the running of things a bit more, know what I mean?

I quite like this one about Wild Heaven

Fucking beatniks! LOL I do remember this one – Pop Song 89


Could be from years later for all I’d know, I don’t really remember that much from that time, things got a bit frustrating, there were some other guys sleeping in the front room, this guy had such cheesy feet, I have no idea where he came from, but he drove me nearly insane – I don’t need some guy with stinky feet in my kitchen every morning for weeks on end, it don’t matter how high one is, that just doesn’t work for me – no way!

Looking at the dates, I’m talking about the 80s, but I’m thinking more like the mid to late 90s, so maybe I got it all wrong, could have easily been a throwback. I remember this one – Radio Song

I’m just wondering what REM songs I knew at that time when I told that guy I quite liked REM? I have no real idea what was going on at that time, I’d lost my mind in an incident involving magic mushrooms a year or 2 before, anyway, I liked this guy, he knew what he wanted, or where he wanted to be or whatever. Anyhow, they all moved out, in a bit of a hurry to do with cops and the law or whatever. Love this song, it definitley wasn’t out at that time, cos I remember hearing it later – (I think) – such a classic! What’s the Frequency Kenneth!

There was a knock at the door, and there were these 2 guys, with eyes like saucers looking back at me, it made me laugh, cos they were obviously high on something as if I wouldn’t guess. SO anyhow, they moved in . . .

 

[Edit] – I just want to add, R.E.M. are such an amazing band! I went into my collection and found so many good songs on this various collection I’d got. Its just got me floored how good they were – I added a few tracks, check it out,

reml

I only really play them from time to time, its not really my thing, and yet when I do, I go nuts! Its brilliant!! I’m only really interested in the hits, but there’s so many, writing this blog reminded me of the missing songs I needed – its just refreshed my admiration all over again! 😀

Faderhead

This guy! I seen him a few times in Sheffield, they don’t have that scene like they used to – about a decade ago it was pretty busy, now they play Manchester – or don’t come to the UK at all, just London, but Sheffield was pretty happening 10 years or so ago, you could see at least half a dozen industrial dance bands a year there.

Faderhead played a few times, I signed up for the newsletter and got some very interesting insights into his music career – he’s called Sammy, and he’s a good guy! One time when I saw them, I was surprised to see he had fans, with actual Faderhead T-shirts! Well, why not? They were pretty good!

Anyway, here’s a 10 min doc to bring you up to speed! 🙂

Cover Versions

Bit of a rant –

When the Corrs did their version of Dreams by Fleetwood Mac I was appalled. It was a good choice of song, it’s always a good one to hear, but really, the Corrs are almost entirely talentless, they just added that stupid Celtic fiddle, put frocks on their size zero figures & sold it like manure! 

Mick Fleetwood himself came out to congratulate them on a great version! What a joke! I’d have been more pleased if he’d come onto the stage with an axe, and chopped them all up!

Thing is, I like to think “the Mac” were an amazing talent, the best ever most highly evolved pop musical genius. Closer to the truth would probably be to say they had talent, and with the help of the industry, sold a lot of records. No one is suggesting the Corrs are / were better, or are / were they? This whole thing makes me mad! I want to believe that “the Mac” really were special, you can’t tell me different, look at the catalogue!

Don’t even let me start on Barry Manilow’s Could it be Magic as covered by Take That – SACRILEGE! An appalling insult! If I were Barry Manilow, I’d go berserk with a machine gun!

When I hear a song, 9 times out of 10, the first version I hear seems definitive, unless I later decide the original is better, which normally it is, or if it’s not, then the original was unrecognisably different. 

Here’s a conundrum, I have loved the song Blue Flower by Mazzy Star for quite a while, I thought it was among their best songs, but then I recently found out its actually a cover of a song by Slapp Happy!

Well I never! Anyhow, here’s the 2 songs, if you not heard the Mazzy Star one before, you might find it a bit scuzzy, but overall, I can’t see me ever preferring the original – they definitely added to the song and made it their own, but I can just about understand people who prefer that sort of bluegrass thing too.

Slapp Happy – Blue Flower

Mazzy Starr – Blue Flower

Lords of the New Church

I was just reading its 30 years since Stiv Bators died (following an accident) – 4/6/90. I went and saw him fronting the group Lords of the New Church several times, and they were always blisteringly good. He was probably the best lead singer as far as exciting visual performer I ever saw.

The Lords were a supergroup, in that they were comprised of members who already had success in other groups. (The Damned, The Dead Boys, Sham 69) Stiv was the sort of rock n roll guy who fronted anything he encountered, very up there & in your face. Good music came out of the mayhem which he portrayed – they certainly whipped up some energy!

They have some softer songs

And there’s kind of rebel pop

Tribal teenage religion rant

Here’s one from his time with the Dead Boys

This scene reminds me of the sort of thing he did on stage – sticking his head in the bass drum! LOL He’d do anything to try to tip things over the line! What a guy! 😀

American Honey

This was a good film I saw on TV a while ago, its not really just like the trailer, which makes it look like a Bonnie & Clyde thing, which it is in a way, but not at all really, its one of those you have to see to get it. One of the things I liked most about it was it captured something about youths and growing up, at that stage where its all out there for you, just waiting for you to discover it, but then you soon begin to find out about the details, and the real nature of what you’re up against. 

There’s views of the real America, unlike the Hollywood version, where they go to housing estates filming the characters working, larking about, and all this stuff that happens, you have to see it –  but they also go to some really stunning places and have experiences they’ll remember forever kind of things. Its a real good one to watch, cos weeks or a month or 2 later, you might think what was that bit where . . . and there was this . . . and then . . . 

That’s how it was for me, cos I was watching something on TV tonight, and it reminded me of American Honey – and how good that film was, something about it. I hate Bonnie and Clyde BTW, so its really not like that!

I looked the film up after I saw it and it turned out that the cast weren’t actors, the director just went out spotting kids for the roles in car parks and beaches and stuff – the group seems to gel together really well, there’s parts where they’re all singing their favourite pop songs together, its quite touching. 

Here’s Mark Kermode doing a review of the film better than I can do 🙂 

Messages

I’m on a bit of a downer and probably shouldn’t be typing – I had a couple of drinks, the cat brought a bat into the house, yes a bat, she caught it in the garden, its spring, and she’s top of the food chain round here. The bat has been mauled rather badly, but its survived over 24 hours in a box, so its going to a bat friendly person tomorrow if it lives. It seems strange to think about things, when there’s an injured bat in a box upstairs. Its been eating some cat food if there’s some irony in that perhaps?

[updated with photos!]

Look at that cute thing hanging upside down! (Thats not batshit – its cat food!)

 

Tiny – but plucky! His wing is a wreck, but hopefully it can be healed.

 

I watched some stuff on TV, then I popped onto instagram and heard this:

Mariana and the Diamonds – Gold

Sort of quite like the sound of it, Colorado? Is that like Kempston? I used to live there, off my tits smoking cannabis, we had this place with 6 or 8 windows, on a curved wall overlooking the river, it was wonderful, strange times, there was this hole in the ozone causing this incredibly hot weather, it was like they fucked the weather up, so WTF? Were we meant to care, or just get blasted? 

REM – Orange Crush

REM were in the charts around that time with this sort of thing, so looking at google, it must have been late 80s, I lost perhaps between 2 years and a decade around then – god, I sound like Keith Richards! Nearly everyone wound up dead, or fled the scene, hard drugs you know, I just drifted around thinking WTF Now? People floated in and out of my life like it was some surreal story book, and REM in the background, what brought it on? How in the living fuck did that come to make sense? And now – look at us now, its a global pandemic, its not just some minority group of losers, its everyone! Its happened to all of us, and its worse! Far worse! How is this going to effect our consciousness – will they even allow us to feel it.

OMD Joan of Arc

OMD Maid of Orleans

Yah, been playing a bit of OMD, they had a live thing during the lockdown, weird music, from a different time. Did people care more in the 80s? Had we all gone surreal by the 90s? Thatcherism + Reganism were a big mistake perhaps? A bit like everything else since then? 

OMD Messages

Or maybe OMD were just bonkers? Is that it? Could be! 

The pop videos I posted all got messed up, so I just embedded them, don’t know what happened there!

Flash Fiction!

I watched the final Star Wars film tonight, not bad at all really – yesterday I re-watched the previous one, just to remind me what was meant to be going on in that Star Wars universe. Its all bollocks of course – but what an impact the series has had on cinema – or cinematic culture, for what its worth? Not much perhaps, or maybe it really IS important? I don’t know, does anyone? 

The way I see it, the original Star Wars film is the pinnacle of trashy time wasting bullshit, but its flawless in its perfection! Perfect crap! Well, its all harmless, you’d have to be a bit of a grinch (or whatever) to complain, and yet people do! Some people don’t even like McDonalds and Coke! Well we all know the arguments, perhaps one day we’ll all realise how right those people were – but for now, in these last days of the old order, lets just enjoy it before its gone – or not? 

Maybe one day, in a better world, we’ll look back on the horror that was – and think about how glad we are to have evolved beyond those times when heroic suicide missions were the stuff of entertaining fantasy fiction. Could that happen? Where are we as a species? Are we meant to think that after watching the 9th Star Wars film over a spread of what? 40+ years? 

Next up – Flash Gordon!! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jibber Jabber

Well we’ve been on this lockdown now for what? 7 weeks? At least! And what have I done? Well, Ive eaten a lot of chocolate I can tell you that! Its easing off a little now, so I went out for a motorbike ride, its pretty, but in a sad and sombre way – every village you go through there’s kids drawings of rainbows & NHS support posters, all the little shops have queues outside, socially distanced spacing, its like driving through a weird post apocalypse movie scene. Of course lockdown might have been less long and severe if the country hadn’t been run by a bunch of lunatics, letting it come to this in the first place, and where do we go next? How much more of it? 

Yesterday I was thinking about Lizzie Siddall, why was that I ask myself? Well, I forgot, but I looked her up for some reason, something on TV or whatever prompted me, she was the girl in the painting of Ophelia, it was something to do with that.

Anyhow, she was from a fairly working class background, and met up with painter Rossetti, had an affair with him and eventually they got married, but supposedly Rossetti’s sisters didn’t like her much, cos they were more classy, knew what spoons to use at dinner and so on, so the whole thing didn’t work out that well, or it did, but Rossetti liked to shaft other women, being a bit of a rogue and all that – anyhow, she died of a laudanum overdose, and Rossetti put a book of his unpublished poems in the coffin with her, then years later had her dug up to retrieve and publish the poems, but the public didn’t like them so much, perhaps because of the morbid connotations. Anyhow, Siddall had support from art bigwig John Ruskin, he liked her poems and pictures, which is quite interesting, cos Ruskin himself was also an interesting Victorian character, always opinionated and a bit odd in this day and age perhaps, but there you go.

Following links from that info + more about Rossetti’s life (which was interesting too) I read about John William Pollidori, who was Rossetti’s uncle, he used to hang out with Byron & Shelly and was at the famous mansion at Lake Geneva, out of which came the book Frankenstien, (Mary Shelly) and his own book “The Vampyre” (first ever published book in that genre). Ken Russel made a bonkers film about it!

I got the film Maleficent to watch, I bought it before lockdown, but haven’t watched it yet cos it seems frivolous to sit and watch when the older generation are all locked up in this dreadful situation, now its easing off a little, I might finally watch it. I watched Star Wars the other night, not bad, not good, just trash! LOL Enjoyable I guess, bit silly, bit pointless. Its all based on War really isn’t it? Hardly progressive, but when did Disney ever care about anything? They tell it like it is, shit, with good bits, there’s a piece of brain missing in Disneys ethos non?

This morning, they were playing some reggae song and it reminded me of this phrase that goes “Its a long long way” – similar vibe, so wondering what song it was I was thinking about. So I googled the lyrics, and I don’t know if its this song or not, cos clearly its not reggae, but it may have been this one by OMD. Once I hear an OMD song, I can’t think outside of the OMD box, cos its so distinctive.

– anyhow, its not a bad song or owt, and I got informed about the actress Louise Brooks by it, so I googled her, and it seems that she was quite an interesting character – That guy out of OMD is quite good at finding heroines to write songs about (RE Joan of Arc) I found this quote about Louise Brooks
“…the eminent Herr Pabst described it to me over a cocktail in the Bristol Bar, Berlin. ‘Louise,’ said Herr Pabst, ‘has a European soul. You can’t get away from it. When she described Hollywood to me—I have never been there—I cry out against the absurd fate that ever put her there at all. She belongs to Europe and to Europeans. She has been a sensational hit in her German pictures. I do not have her play silly little cuties. She plays real women, and plays them marvelously.'”[69]
Well, what does he mean by that? You may ask? There’s something weird about that – Hitler banned the film because he didn’t like her, or that sort of woman I suspect, you don’t want to mess with right wingers, not if you’ve got a brain worth using!

Here’s a nice picture of Louise Brooks I like 🙂

Birdman!

I wonder how many of you have seen the movie “Birdman” I re-watched it last night, and I think its just great!

 

 

 

Now for the spoilers! Well, I thought it was all about how some guy thinks he’s better than everyone else, or he knows actually he’s not, he actually knows he’s worse, but he wants to be better to sort of make up for it – then there’s this other guy, who is actually better than him, but its just cos thats how he is really, or something like that, maybe he just stirs things up to be better than everyone, cos everyone likes to think about stuff like that. Maybe he’s no better at all, and its all just how you come across?

Anyhow, is it better if you’re involved in the arts to be a nice person, or a brilliant person? Its a difficult one really, cos it all depends how you’re wired, but we all like to have a go at being good at things don’t we? It all gets out of hand and people delve into the realms of fantasy – and what genre is more valuable? Fantasy or more earthy gritty stuff?

Whats clever about Birdman is it gets all that into the story, very clever, pretty much a masterpiece!

 

In other news, I haven’t been out much (what else is new) I spent the last few hours of my life trying to find some crazy techno from the 90’s to listen to! I recall one time going off on holiday to Wales, I can’t remember what year, but it was around that time, and they were playing some really wild techno on the radio, it was mind bendingly euphoric! LOL I often wonder what that song was and if it would sound as good if I re-located it. Well, just one of those loose ends you want to solve –

 

Its only 2 hours long, and there’s another 40 or 50 of these videos available, so might be busy for some time! 🙂

😀 Happy Easter 😀