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South Africa's Spoek Mathambo's Inspired Cover of Joy Division's "She's Lost Control"

Posted by Billyjam, March 13, 2011 01:05pm | Post a Comment

Spoek Mathambo "Control" (2011)

I've heard a great many Joy Division covers over the years, but this version of "She's Lost Control" (retitled simply "Control") by South Africa's Spoek Mathambo ranks among the most inspired covers; especially when coupled with the ever compelling Pieter Hugo and Michael Cleary directed video above. Johannesburg's Spoek Mathambo, who before going solo was the front-man for the electrorap outfits Sweat-X and Playdoewho, labels his African fused electro/hip-hop musical hybrid as "Afro-beat, new wave, & rap." The artist has the distinction of being of Ndebele royalty, descended from the Maraba royal family of Polokwane.

Spoek Mathambo, who has been described as "a slippery post-Apartheid glam-rap prince from Soweto" and whose sound has been labeled "Afro-futurism," counts among his many talents being a DJ, singer, rapper, songwriter, dancer, graphic designer, illustrator, and fashion figure. His version of [She's Lost] "Control" can be found on his current solo 14 track CD Mshini Wam, released last August by BBE. Look for it under electronica at Amoeba, and look out for a lot more from this artist in 2011. Below is a live version the original "She's Lost Control" by Joy Division including the late great Ian Curtis doing his trademark dance moves onstage.

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IAN CURTIS WOULD'VE APPROVED

Posted by Billyjam, July 15, 2009 01:54pm | Post a Comment
Joy Division
I think Ian Curtis, the late, great lead singer of Joy Division, would have approved of this Caribbean steel band cover of Joy Division's classic song "Transmission." It's by Steel Harmony and was part of Jeremy Deller's Procession from a couple of Sunday afternoons ago in Ian Curtis' hometown of Manchester England. Although, judging by the reaction, or lack thereof, by most of the crowd, I would say that this inspired cover went mostly underappreciated. 

To compare this instrumental steel band version with the original version, below is the band performing it live 33 years ago in Salford, Greater Manchester. "Transmission" was played onstage in the film 24 Hour Party People (available on DVD at Amoeba) in a scene where Curtis suffers an epileptic fit. Orginally a single, the studio version of the song can be found at Amoeba on several Joy Division releases, including the JD collections Substance and The Best of Joy Division. There are also several live versions out there, including one on Joy Division: The Peel Sessions, recorded in 1979. Over the years numerous other artists have covered the song, including UK electropop stars Hot Chip, the Minnesota slowcore group Low, and of course, most recently Steel Harmony.

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IAN CURTIS' HEADSTONE STOLEN

Posted by Billyjam, July 2, 2008 04:53pm | Post a Comment

In a creepy crime similar to an incident that happened to the late Mac Dre's resting place three years ago when the slain Vallejo rapper's headstone was stolen, the gravestone of former Joy Division front man Ian Curtis was stolen sometime between yesterday and this morning from the Macclesfield Cemetery in Cheshire, England.

As reported earlier today by the BBC, "Detectives said the stone, which has the inscription "Ian Curtis 18 -5 -80" and the words "Love Will Tear Us Apart" was taken...There is no CCTV in the area and there are no apparent leads as to who is responsible for the theft."

The local authorities went on to speculate that the recent surge in interest in the singer might have led to the unusual theft. Last year's biopic on the singer, Control, and the documentary, Joy Division, which was released earlier this year, have both undoubtedly led to an increase in interest in the talented Curtis, who hung himself in the kitchen of his nearby Macclesfield home back in May 1980 when he was 23. Cheshire police have pleaded with anyone who has information to contact them.

This incident brings to mind both the theft of Jim Morrison's headstone from P’re Lachaise Cemetery in Paris in 1990, and the aforementioned Andre (Mac Dre) Hicks graveside robbery from Oakland's Mountain View Cemetery in 2005.  Despite the fact that a large reward was posted for the recovery of Mac Dre's headstone (and a beat-down promised if the perp was ever caught), the headstone was never recovered. Eventually it was replaced with a new one that was tightly secured.

He's Lost Control Again! The UnControllable Hulk

Posted by Charles Reece, June 21, 2008 12:12pm | Post a Comment

An experimental mishap with gamma radiation transforms Joy Division frontman into uncontrollable Id.

As a young lad in Manchester, Bruce Banner discovered a love for the proto-punk music of David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed.  Although possessing a high aptitude for science, Bruce dreamed of being a rock star. However, he had to pay the bills, so he took a top secret government research job in what back in the days of WWII was called the Super Soldier Project. The Project was an intergovernmental operation existing between the Yanks and Brits. What it produced was a gamma-radiated concoction called, appropriately enough, the super-soldier serum. After testing it out unsuccessfully on a bunch of minority servicemen in the US Army, the science team found one skinny white dude named Steve Rogers who was turned into the Nazi-fighting hero, Captain America (soon to get his own feature film -- directed by John Cassavetes' son, Nick -- which, in turn, will lead into an Avengers movie). Poor old Cap was frozen in ice and thought to be dead, leaving it a mystery what was so special about his cellular structure. But Bruce is unaware of the Project's history, naÏvely believing he is using his degree in molecular biology for finding a cure to epilepsy, not developing a human killing machine.

Control

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 29, 2007 11:21am | Post a Comment
    

I saw Control with Morten. It's the movie about Joy Division and more specifically Ian Curtis. It's funny because the first I heard of it was critics tripping over themselves to point out that they liked it though they'd never heard of the band. The point is always pretty much, "I'm a square. I'd never heard of these guys but I liked the movie, although for a rock band, they sure weren't that much fun." I wonder what those critics were listening to back then. To me, Joy Division is one of those bands that, if you have taste, you should've at least heard during their existence if you were teenage or older. I mean, how separate are the worlds of music and movies that you'd have us believe you've got great taste and an ear to the underground if you still haven't heard of Joy Division? What bigger independent bands were there in the late '70s? And didn't you review 24 Hour Party People not five years ago?

Back to the 24 Hour Party People then. When that came out I saw a lot of dour Raincoats leaving the theater expressing their wish that whole film had been about Ian Curtis and not those awful acid house Blue Tuesdays or whatever was going on after Ian Curtis' death, at which point their lot zoned out 'til the credits. Pity them. And I thought of how awful that would be -- a film about Joy Division. Biopics are so suspect. Made For Cable movies that sit in the wings like vultures to be released in theaters only in the event of the subject's death because what is an awful film will likely reap the awful rewards at the Oscars.

Control is directed by Anton Corbijn, which I didn't know till the end. Whatever you think of the guy, and I love his videos, you've got to admit that his images always have to easy to appreciate visuals. I mean, Bryan Adams got him to direct "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman," after all. He's f---ing Dutch, for Christ's sake.

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