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One album wonders: World of Twist's Quality Street

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 24, 2014 08:00am | Post a Comment
WORLD OF TWIST - QUALITY STREET (1991)

World of Twist
are one of the greatest one album wonders, on par with The La’s and The Sex Pistols — if unfortunately much more obscure than either. Although they’ve been broken up for more than twenty years, their cult still remains small although it seems inevitable that they will some day be granted the adoration which they so deserve. It seems only a matter of time before an excellent documentary on them screens at Don’t Knock the Rock or appears on video. 




As with many one album wonders, though not prolific as recording artists, the World of Twist’s members were involved in music for many years. From 1977-1979, Dave Conner (vocals), Gordon King (bass), James Fry (guitar), Julia Adamson (guitar), and Tony Ogden (drums) played in a punk band called The Blackout when all were art students in Art & Design at Stockport College in Greater Manchester.

Around 1982, King and Fry followed the latter’s older brother, Martin (of ABC) to Sheffield, then one of the most musically interesting cities in the UK (see Made in Sheffield). Over the next few years the line-up grew to included Ogden, Andy Robins (synthesizer), and Rory Connolly (saxophone). After Robins quit they were joined by Andrew Hobson (bass) and Nick Philips (organ) and by 1984/’85 they had a repertoire of about a dozen songs which they recorded as demos. Three songs from 1985 were released in 1992 after World of Twist had split up.

World of Twist - "The Sausage" (1985)

As the Sheffield scene grew increasingly predictable and homogeneous, solidified around bleak, industrial post-punk sound, World of Twist were increasingly and defiantly at odds. They opened started a club, The Wigwam, at which aimed to meld Northern Soul vibes with the aesthetic of Andy Warhol’s Factory. Aside from Julian Cope and Dexys Midnight Runners, they weren't just out-of-step with Sheffield, but music of the era. 

In 1988 the band gave up on Sheffield and Hobson, King, and Ogden moved to Manchester where they shared a house with Martin Wright of Laugh. Fry moved to London to pursue photography and Ogden took over vocals. New members of World of Twist included Alan “Adge” Frost on synthesizers and visual effects, Julia “MC Shells” McGreechin on “swirls and sea noises,” and Angela Reilly on visual effects. Before long, Nick Sanderson (formely of Sheffield’s Clock DVA and later, Los Angeles’s The Gun Club) came along to fill Ogden’s vacant drum kit.



World of Twist gained attention in part for their live show, inspired by that of The Residents and progressive rock bands and which included an elaborate set pieces and effects. Their live show was described by various writers as “a dry ice fantasia” and “ a mesmerizing mix of Bacofoil, ancient technology, and Brylcreem” but because they were danceable, based in Manchester, and this was the late 1980s, that World of Twist were to be lazily lumped in with the Madchester/Baggy scene was inevitable. In reality, only fellow pastichists Happy Mondays approached the breadth of World of Twist’s bricolage, drawn as it apparently was from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, bubblegum, Detroit proto-punk, glitter rock, Joe Meek, Krautrock, mod, and space rock


A series of demos were recorded at the beginning of 1990 but the only label which showed interest was Virgin subsidiary Circa — then known for sort of adult alternative and sophisti-pop bands like Hue & Cry, Neneh Cherry, Julia Fordham, and Millions Like Us but as with all majors, Virgin were eager to sign a band from Manchester, which they did with World of Twist. In August, World of Twist sold out Manchester’s International 1. On 22 September, the newly-signed band recorded a Mark Goodier Session at Studio 5 in London.


World of Twists’s debut single, “The Storm,” was released 15 November, 1990. It was famed producer Martin Hannett’s last production work — he died in April 1991 of heart failure brought on by obesity and drug abuse. The band made their national television debut on Channel 4’s The Word. Guest Holly Johnson of Frankie Goes to Hollywood described them as great and likened them to "The Velvet Underground on acid." On the other hand, when it was reviewed on BBC's Juke Box Jury, a bit normal guest Bernard Sumner derided them as "a bit 'we are weird'." 




Although hotly tipped and huge at home, “The Storm” failed to connect outside the north and only reached #42 in the charts. On 23 December they sold out the Manchester Ritz, supported by Laugh, who’d recently changed their name to Intastella.

By the spring of 1991 World of Twist’s fame had grown sufficiently to the point that they sold out the London Astoria on 27 March, 1991 — supported by Saint Etienne (whose then-new singer, Sarah Cracknell made her live debut with them that night) and Sensurround. On 29 December, World of Twist returned to Sheffield for a homecoming band, supported by another band who’d left Sheffield in 1988, Pulp. Five recorded songs from the show were shown on Granada. On 25 June, they recorded a Peel Session



Music writer Simon Reynolds summed up World of Twist’s sound as “kitsch-adelia” but their next single, albeit again seemingly delivered with tongue-in-cheek, was the stomping "Sons of the Stage,” released the same month they again played The Leadmill again with Pulp, the then growing increasingly kitschadelic themselves. 


On 30 September, 1991, the World of Twist released the “Sweets,” dripping with saccharine  and ironically promoted with packs of cigarettes. The two singles did less well than "The Storm," climbing only to #47 and #58, respectively. Still the band were earning themselves fans, sometimes in high places.

Saint Etienne’s debut, Foxbase Alpha, was released the same month as "Sweets" and the lyrics of “London Belongs to Me” included the lines:
To the sound of the World Of Twist
You leant over and gave me a kiss
It's too warm to even hold hands
But that won't stop us from making plans

Likewise, Noel and Liam Gallagher were so enamored of World of Twist that they considered naming their dadchester band Sons of the Stage before settling on Oasis. They also used World of Twist's James Fry as their photographer and Liam Gallagher’s Beady Eye went so far as to record an unremarkable World of Twist cover. 


Tony Ogden (image source: Die Rache)

What was to be World of Twist’s only album, Quality Street, was released on 28 October, 1991. It included a cover of The Honeycombs“This Too Shall Pass Away” and nine, single-quality originals. However, the mixing and production of the original release were problematic. In a 2005 interview with The Guardian, Ogden claimed, “We spent £250,000 making an album with the smallest bollocks in pop history.” (A 2013 re-issue does wonders in correcting the mix and adds a disc of extras.) Quality Street only reached #50 in the charts (which were then populated with artists like Amy Grant, Bryan Adams, Roxette, and Seal) and their label dropped them. They had a meeting with Alan McGee and seemed like an excellent fit at Creation, but they didn’t sign. Ogden had let it be known that he no longer wished to sing or appear on stage.

NME announced World of Twist’s split in the 27 June, 1992 issue. Ogden became something of a recluse, moving back to his parents’ home in Stockport. He continued to write music as a solo artist (listen here) and later, as Bubblegum Secret Pop Explosion, who released the digital EP Escape in the Love Machines in 2005. Ogden also collaborated with Mum & Dad on 2000’s “Dawn Rider.” Fy, King, and Sanderson continued to perform together in a new band, Earl Brutus. The Pre New are comprises of Fry, King, Laurence Bray, Stuart Boreman, Stuart Wheldon, and Vincent Gibson.

Although World of Twist failed to top the charts or even record a second album, their influence could be heard several bands and scenes that followed. In 1992, the British music press tried to make a thing out of the so-called Glam Revival (The Auteurs, Denim, and Suede). In 1993 they pushed the junk-shop retro-futurist Crimplene Scene (Pulp and Saint Etienne). The more interesting bands of Britpop combined influences drawn from the 1960s, ‘70s, and ’80s. In 1995, Romo briefly attempted to correct for New Lad with some New Romantic revivalism. In 1997, U2's the sound and video of "Discothèque" suggested that the Irish veterans had discovered World of Twist.

Ogden died suddenly, at the age of 44, in 2006. Sanderson died after a long struggle with lung and lymphoid cancer on 8 June, 2008. According to his obituary, his idea of heaven was driving a train whilst listening to Steve Hackett’s Spectral Morning. In 2009, artist Jeremy Deller created a piece, Procession, which included a “We Miss the World of Twist” float. In 2012, Saint Etienne again sang about World of Twist in their song, “Over the Border,” which recounts a break-in to Peter Gabriel’s house by late Nick Sanderson. It's only a matter of time now before the rest of the world catches on. 


Special thanks to World of Twist (library) for keeping their legacy alive.


*****


Sing a song of eiderdowns

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 26, 2014 05:12pm | Post a Comment
It's blustery and breezy in Los Angeles today. A barely measurable amount of precipitation fell which inevitably resulted in chaos on the county's concrete freeways. I climbed out of bed at 5:30, an act made almost Olympian due to the combination of pre-dawn darkness, drops and drizzle, and the warmth offered by my eiderdown. 



Winsor McCay's Little Nemo in Slumberland

An eiderdown (according to the Collins English Dictionary) "a thick warm cover for a bed, made of two layers of material enclosing a soft filling" and thus not necessarily stuffed with the epidermal growths of the Common Eider for which the garment is named.


Eider duck female and chicks (with their eider down intact -- source: Thomas Reich)


As I fried hashed browns and veggie bacon in a wok and brewed coffee in the French press, my thoughts returned to eiderdowns, and to the songs which have celebrated... or at least mentioned them. "It's an eiderdown kind of day," as they say.

*****



The earliest musical expression of eiderdown that I know of came from Johnny Cash -- the "Man in Black" and not the Khaki Campbell which I had as a childhood pet (and never stuffed anything with the down of). In his 1961 Celtophile Country ballad, "Forty Shades of Green," he compared certain of his beloved's body parts to feather-stuffed bedding. Consider:

But most of all I miss a girl in Tipperary town
and most of all I miss her lips as soft as eiderdown
Again I want to see and do the things we've done
and seen where the breeze is sweet as Shalimar
and there's Forty Shades of Green






The second great ode to eiderdown was Roy Wood's Brummie Mod-Psychedelic band The Move's release, "Flowers in the Rain," in 1967. It was that song which was picked to be the first song played on BBC Radio 1. A few years later, when Wood was a member of The Electric Light Orchestra, it was recorded by Nancy Sinatra. The song combines rain effects and lyrics about getting out of bed -- which makes the eiderdown connection understandable:

Woke up one morning half asleep
With all my blankets in a heap
And yellow roses scattered all around
The time was still approaching
For I couldn't stand it anymore
Some marigolds upon my eiderdown










If eiderdown-mentioning songs had a Hall of Fame, it would surely include Pink Floyd (and probably no other bands). The undoubted rock masters of the eiderdown comforter mentioned them in at least three songs written by three of the band's songwriters. First was "Flaming," off of their masterpiece, Piper at the Gates of Dawn, released as a single (which didn't chart) in 1967. In it, the band's visionary psychonaut, Syd Barrett, sang:

Alone in the clouds all blue
Lying on an eiderdown
Yippee! You can't see me
But I can you





In 1968, after ejecting Syd Barrett from the band and releasing his composition "Apples and Oranges" as a single, Pink Floyd released "It Would Be So Nice" b/w "Julia Dream." The B-side was written by Roger Waters and sung by David Gilmour. It found them attempting to channel their recently departed leader and perhaps dwelling on duvets helped. To me it's easily the best thing Roger Waters ever wrote. It was also covered by Acid Mothers Temple and Mark Lanegan. The relevant eiderdown passage goes as follows:

Sunlight bright upon my pillow
Lighter than an eiderdown
Will she let the weeping willow
Wind his branches round
Julia dream, dreamboat queen, queen of all my dreams





Pink Floyd's Waters and Gilmour turned to eiderdowns for inspiration one last time with their collaborative composition, "Pillow of Winds," off of their 1971 album, Meddle -- which coincidentally is their last gasp of greatness. In that song, supposedly inspired by games of Mahjong played in Occitania, the eiderdown lyrics go thusly:

A cloud of eiderdown
Draws around me
Softening a sound
Sleepy time, and I lie
With my love by my side
And she's breathing low
And the candle dies



In September of 1967, the obscure Scots of St James released "Eiderdown Clown" (b/w "Timothy") on the short-lived Go








Before the Pink Floyd returned to eiderdown for a third time, The Pretty Things broached the soft subject on their 1968 concept album, S.F. Sorrow. On the song, "Bracelets of Fingers," Phil May (né Phillip Arthur Dennis Wadey) sang:

Fly to the moon on the curve of a spoon
I turn upside down
Tumbling through leaves as I scatter the seeds
On an eiderdown









In 1977, the Bill Evans Trio recorded an instrumental written by bassist Steve Swallow for the album Crosscurrents. 









On 1989's Protest Songs, Prefab Sprout's Sophisti-pop singer Paddy McAloon sings, on "Talking Scarlet":

Carry no bright torches for me
You hide under the eiderdown
All you can't sweep underneath the carpet
When you cover your neighbour's wife





Scouse band The Lightning Seeds -- namely Cosmic Scally Ian Broudie -- included the song "The Life of Riley," on 1992's Sense. The lyrics of that song, despite the title, apparently have nothing to do with the 1940s radio sitcom of the same name; rather they were inspired by Broudie's son, Riley. That fact, and the eiderdown-dropping lyrics, made it a natural fit for Match of the Day's "Goal of the Month" segments. The lyrics in question:

From cradles and sleepless nights
You breathe in life forever
and stare at the world
from deep under eiderdown








In "Acrylic Afternoons," off of Pulp's 1994 album, His 'n' Hers, singer Jarvis Cocker sang, sounding a bit like the Syd Barrett of the Crimplene Scene:

On a pink quilted eiderdown
I want to pull your knickers down
Net curtains blow slightly in the breeze
Lemonade light filtering thru the trees
It's so soft and it's warm
Just another cup of tea please (one lump thanks)





It wasn't, in fact, the first time that Jarvis had sung a song of eiderdown. That would be 1993's "Sheffield: Sex City" in Pulp's leader sang... or intoned really:
I didn't think we were gonna make it.
It was so bad during the day, but now
I'm snug and warm under an eiderdown sky.





Trip-hoppers Massive Attack included a lyric about eiderdowns in their 1998 song, "Inertia Creeps," released as the final single off of their album, Mezzanine. The eiderdown comes up when 3D, um, whisper raps:

She comes There be no sound in my eiderdown
Awake I lie in a morning's blue
Room is still my antenna in you
Nylon burns the bedspread with two
Gravity's zero see me stall
I bounce off walls lose my footing and fall
It can be sweet though incomplete though
And the frames will freeze
See me on all four's
It's been a long time











On Horslips' 2000 album, The Táin, the veteran Irish Celtic rock band mentioned an eiderdown in their song, "Charolais":

Her words were sharp, they cut him deep
In a war between the sheets
But when he brought his bull to her
It meant a woman making war
Beyond the eiderdown







In 2005, Birkenhead's Half Man Half Biscuit included "Restless Legs" on their album, Achtung Bono. The eiderdown verse in question was this:

Here she lies in a fleecy gown
By my side in the eiderdown
But she can't get a ticket to Morning Town
Cause I've got restless legs




And finally, in 2005 Astral Folk/New prog (natch) band, Pure Reason Revolution, bored into bedspreads with their song, "Asleep Under The Eiderdown," included on the 2005 EP The Intention Craft and which includes the repeated verse:

Living on this Eiderdown
It's just the place that we are
You've got to sneak in the fire
You've got to sneak in the fire

A pelican on the Redondo Beach Pier

Other songs that mention eiderdowns which I haven't heard include Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Buenos Aires," Antichrisis's "We Are the Witches," Badly Drawn Boy's "Tickets to What You Need," Baroness's "A Horse Called Golgotha," The Barry Walsh Band's "Eiderdown," Carly Simon's "After the Storm," The Church's "This is It," Danny Kaye's recording of "The Ugly Duckling," Dean Fields's "Run," Elton John's "Amoreena," Ephemera "Under My Eiderdown," Everything But the Girl's "Two Star," Gerry Rafferty's "Mary Skeffington," Gordon Lightfoot's "Bitter Green," Guided By Voices' "Mr. Media," Jimmie Dale Gilmore's "Farrow, Darcy," Lui Collins's "Almost (Eiderdown Quilt)," Shawn Colvin's "Polaroids," Shelia Nicholls's "Eiderdown," The Wondermints' "Tracy Hide." Any to add? Please do... and please stay comfy and cozy and... 

The 90s...the best albums of 1994...

Posted by Brad Schelden, February 8, 2013 05:44pm | Post a Comment
The year is 1994. Here we are in the middle of the 90s. This list of my favorite 10 albums of 1994 was not hard to come up with. But I honestly can't think of too many other albums that I loved this year other than these 10. I listened to a lot less music back in 1994. What I mean to say is that I listened to a lot less different bands. I listened to music a lot and it was a big part of my life. But in these mid 90s years I mostly listened to the same artists and albums over and over again. I was very into Britpop throughout the mid 90s. But there are really only two albums on this 1994 list that were really classified as Britpop. But there are some big albums missing from my list this year. Definitely Maybe by Oasis was of course also released in 1994. But I am saving them for my 1995 list. Blur released Parklife and Suede released Dog Man Star in 1994. And these albums was also a big part of my life and two of my favorites of the year. But I have already picked my favorite Blur and Suede albums for 1993. Split by Lush was another one of my favorites of 1994. But I already have them in my 1992 list. Maybe I should take another look at my self made rule of only putting one album by each band in my entire 90s list. But I still think it is a good idea. I don't need to keep talking about each band over and over again. And I always have my favorite one album for each band. There is just also usually a second album by each band that I love almost as much. Both 1993 and 1994 were two of my favorite years of the 90s. They were very similar and included many of the albums that I can't imagine my life without. Six of the albums on my list for 1994 were from bands from England. So no surprise there.
So here it is. My top ten albums of 1994...

Pulp-His 'n' Hers (Island)
1994 will always be remembered as the year that I discovered Pulp. I am still not exactly sure how or when it happened. But I know it happened at some point at the end of 1993 or the beginning of 1994. It is hard to imagine my life as existing before I discovered this band. What is funny is that this band had existed for over a decade already! They had already released It in 1983, Freaks in 1987 and Separations in 1992. But I don't think any of my friends had ever even heard of this band until 1993. The band released two singles in 1993. "Razzmatazz" and "Lipgloss." Both ended up on the U.S. version of His 'n' Hers. His 'n' Hers also included "Babies," "Do You Remember The First Time," "Joyriders" & "Acrylic Afternoons." This album was released in April of 1994. I probably listened it more than anything on this list. Pulp really did seem to take over in 1994 and 1995. You either loved them of you just didn't know who they were. Jarvis Cocker was the amazing and hilarious leader and singer of Pulp. I seriously did not know that this band existed before 1993. It is an amazing story that they even lasted that long and finally made the big time in 1994 and 1995. I didn't actually go back and discover the older Pulp albums until years later. Different Class was released the following year. It was probably one of the most anticipated albums of 1995 for me. And it also became one of my all time favorite albums.

Stereolab-
Mars Audiac Quintet
(Elektra)

I still remember the first time I heard Stereolab. It was the year before this in 1993. Transient Random-Noise Bursts With Announcements was released in 1993. One of my friends had it on cassette and I loved the name of the band. I loved the name of the album and the artwork. I didn't know anything about them. But I sort of already somehow knew that they would become one of my favorite bands. I never gave my friend's cassette back and I know I purchased Mars Audiac Quintet on CD as soon as it came out in 1994. I really did love everything about this band. I was hooked on this band for life after this album came out. They were seriously the coolest band that I liked and sounded like nothing that I had heard before. This was years before I had ever heard of bands like Neu! or Faust. They fit into my love of shoegaze and electronics. They were sort of a mix of lounge music and shoegaze. Emperor Tomato Ketchup came out two years later in 1996 and was probably their most popular album. Dots & Loops was released in 1997 and was probably the last album of theirs that I was obsessed with. But I will remain a fan of this band for life.

echobellyEchobelly-
Everyone's Got One
(Rhythm King)

Everyone's Got One was Echobelly's first album. I was hooked as soon as I first head "Insomniac." I think I might have read about this band a while before this album actually came out. But it really is one of the best albums from the years of Britpop. The album also featured "Father Ruler King Computer," "Bellyache," "Call Me Names" & "I Can't Imagine The World Without Me." Every album on this list takes me right back to 1994. But this album in particular. I am seriously transported right back to how I felt at the time. And I honestly remember being so happy when I listened to this album. This album just put me in a good mood. Echobelly went on to put out another great album On in 1995. They put out three more albums after that. But nothing was ever as great as this debut album. This is one of those albums that went out of print and is now surprisingly hard to find.

Heavenly-The Decline & Fall of Heavenly (Sarah)
Heavenly was probably the first band that I listened to on Sarah Records. A couple of years later I would be exposed to the greatness of Sarah Records and Blueboy, The Field Mice, Brighter & Even As We Speak. There is really nothing like this label. I love almost everything that they put out. But it all started with Heavenly. This was also the beginning of my love of twee music. Twee music and the jangly pop music associated with it had been around since the 80s. But I had not really been exposed to it until the mid 90s. Heavenly was basically a reformed Talulah Gosh. They had been around in the 80s. I would of course go back and become a fan of all things Heavenly after getting obsessed with this album. The album cover is ridiculously cute just like the music. Heavenly had already released Heavenly Vs Satan in 1991 & Le Jardin de Heavenly in 1992. And they put out one more album after this one. Those first three albums are all classics of the genre. Perfect and brilliant pop albums. Simpatico! by Velocity Girl almost took this spot in my top ten for this year. But Heavenly beat them out by a bit. But I did love both albums.

portisheadPortishead-Dummy (Go! Beat)
I can't think about 1994 without Portishead. I can't really even think about the 90s without thinking about this album. Dummy was everywhere in my life from 1994 to probably the end of the 90s. I am sure I listened to this album more than most anything else in my collection. This band seemed to come out of nowhere and just took over my life. I think most everyone I knew owned this album. This album was a blend of downtempo electronica and hip hop. Massive Attack had basically started the genre know as Trip Hop. But Portishead really made it crazy popular this year. Tricky released Maxinquaye the following year. This album is amazing from the beginning to the end. And it really still holds up after all these years. The album featured "Sour Times," "Numb," "Roads," "Glory Box" & "Mysterons." I really can't express enough my love for this album even all these years later. I did probably listen to it too much at the time. But after a bit of a break I still find myself going back to it a couple of times a year.

nine inch nailsNine Inch Nails-The Downward Spiral (Nothing)
This is another album that I simply could not ignore. This album was too important and too big to leave off this list. I was already a big fan of Nine Inch Nails way before this album came out. Pretty Hate Machine came out in 1989. However I probably didn't get really obsessed with that album until 1990 or 1991. The Broken EP came out in 1992. I was ready and waiting for this monumental album The Downward Spiral to finally be released in 1994. This album was huge. Like Dummy and Live Through This by Hole. They all dominated 1994 and 1995. I still watched a lot of MTV in 1994. And this album was all over MTV. The album featured "Mr. Self Destruct," "Piggy," "Closer," "March of the Pigs" & "Hurt." I don't think I listened to much else other then these 10 albums in 1994. Because I listened to them so much I really did not have time for much more. I do associate certain songs on this album with certain people in my life at the time. But I also did listen to this album a lot by myself. It is just one of those huge albums that will always be with me.

Sunny Day Real Estate-Diary
(Sub Pop)

Diary was the first album released by Sunny Day Real Estate. They were on Sub Pop like Nirvana and they were from Washington like Nirvana. They also infused elements of punk and metal. They were probably the first Emo band that I got into. I think I actually first heard this band on MTV on 120 Minutes. I was again hooked on another new band in 1994. Sunny Day Real Estate went on to release LP2 in 1995 and then broke up. They reformed in the late 90s and put out How It Feels To Be Something On in 1998. That album was also one of my favorites of 1998. This band always remained sort of a mystery to me. I knew very little about them. But I really did love this album and do still consider myself a big fan of this band. I go back to this album often. The album is an emotional journey for me. It makes me feel all emo again every time that I listen to it.

tortoiseTortoise-Tortoise (Thrill Jockey)
1994 will also be remembered by me as the year that I discovered Tortoise and the year that I discovered Thrill Jockey. I will be honest and admit that I only listened to this album because this dude I had a crush on told me that I had to listen to it. So I of course went and bought it so that we would have something to talk about. But I did end of becoming a big fan. This album sounded like nothing that I had heard before. I had never listened to anything remotely jazzy my whole life. I was into checking out new things this year. And Tortoise was for sure a new thing for me. They were a sort of post rock mash up of electronica and jazz and rock. This album is what I think of when I think of Chicago. This was their first album. I also really liked their next couple of records. Millions Now Living Will Never Die in 1996, TNT in 1998 & Standards in 2001. I became hooked on the label Thrill Jockey after this album. And got into albums by The Sea & Cake, Trans Am, Eleventh Dream Day, Mouse On Mars & Oval. I had not listened to this album in over 10 years probably. But it has been fun to rediscover this band and remember why I got into them in the first place.

bark psychosisBark Psychosis-Hex (Caroline)
This was one of those records that I bought just based on the cover. I knew nothing about Bark Psychosis. But I liked the name of the band and the cover. It also fit right in next to my Tortoise album. They were sort of a darker version of Tortoise. They were from London but still had that post rock sound. They have some instrumental songs like Tortoise. But they have vocals on this album as well. The album is sort of a combination of Cocteau Twins or This Mortal Coil with the jazzy post rock sound of a Tortoise album. This is sort of goth jazz. The album is still intense and dark. And I do remember often listening to this album when I was a bit depressed. But it always seemed to help me out of it. I am not sure this album would have the same effect on me if I was listening to it for the first time in 2013. I listened to this album many times throughout the mid to late 90s. I took a long break from this album like the Tortoise album. But it just got reissued on LP a couple of months ago so I was able to revisit it and fall in love with it all over again.

hole live through thisHole-Live Through This (DGC)

I still remember going to buy this album the week that it came out. It came out on April 12th 1994. Just a couple of days after Kurt Cobain died. I turned 20 a couple of weeks after that. It was an important year in my life for many reasons. Hole had already released Pretty On The Inside in 1991. But this was my first Hole album. It was just a crazy and sad set of circumstances surrounding this album. But the album still became a huge record that year. And everyone either hated or loved Courtney Love and Hole. I always try and imagine what the rest of the 90s would have been like with Kurt Cobain still around. But I was happy to have this album to console myself. The album featured "Violet," "Miss World," "Jennifer's Body," "Asking For It" & "Doll Parts." There is no denying how great this album really is. And it still holds up against any album released since then. I really got obsessed with this album and Courtney Love throughout the rest of the 90s. It is the kind of record that gets me a bit down and emotional. It is sort of like Courtney Love's version of emo. I can seriously listen to "Doll Parts" over and over again. This is another great record from 1994 that I will never forget. A record that will always be attached to my life in 1994.

Check for these albums here on Amoeba.com

Check out the video for "Glory Box" by Portishead from the album Dummy...



Check out the video for "Seven" by Sunny Day Real Estate from the album Diary...


Win Tickets to the Sold Out 2012 Coachella

Posted by Amoebite, February 29, 2012 03:15pm | Post a Comment
Spring is around the corner which means it's time for our hotly anticipated, wildly popular Coachella contest! Amoeba.com is giving away a pair of tickets to the April 20-22 weekend where you can see over 150 bands in the sunny California desert including The Black Keys, Radiohead, Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg, Bon Iver, Florence + the Machine, Pulp, Mazzy Star, and M83. Both weekends are way sold out so this may be your last chance to score tickets. 

Enter our Coachella contest here.

Coachella Lineup 2012

The Spooky Show & a Monster Party

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 12, 2011 05:45pm | Post a Comment
On 15 October, 2011 (this Saturday if you're reading this in a timely fashion), the very cool indie toy store & gallery, Monkeyhouse Toys and Gallery (for kids whose sensibility is more Roald Dahl/Tim Burton than Bratz/Hannah Montana) is opening an art exhibit, The Spooky Show.


Monkeyhouse Toys and Gallery The Spooky Show

It's curated by Terri "Tooter" Berman and features Halloween-appropriate works by Grace Albelda, Douglas Alvarez, Kim Bagwill, Brooke Bearup, Terri "Tooter" Berman, Airom Bleicher, Julie Bossinger, Jonathan Bueno, Michelle Caplan, Deryke Cardenaz, Marcel DeJure, J Fuchs, Cristian "Smear" Gheorghiu, John Michael Gill, Harrel Goldstein, Dan Goodsell, Kio Griffith, Patrick Haemmerlein, Walter Hall, Mary J Hoffman, Lisa Hull, Jinxed Art, Billy Kheel, Aaron Kraten, Supersmash Max, Isabella Electra McGrath, Marlon McWilliams, Jon Measures, Sal Mendez, Yuki Miyazaki, Delphia Nikolaus, Tom Oliver, Jerry Paeff, Vera Paras, Carol Powell, Sarah Ramirez, Shannon Rowland, Uddon Soup, Mike Street, Paula Tade, Mayumi Tanaka, Kelly Thompson, Paul Torres, Jessica Valencia, David VonDerLinn, Susan Catherine Weber and more...

It's scheduled to take place from 6pm to 9pm (although it might very well go a few hours later). There will be tarot card readings outside the store too~~ 

Meanwhile, next door at Brightwell (the only men's shop of it's kind in Southern California), starting at 5pm there's going to be a Halloween themed shindig... a haunted open house, if you will. Brightwell doesn't have any Halloween-themed art but will be featuring several DJs spinning music appropriate for a monster party. 



From 5:00 pm till 7:00, Gonzi Merchan will be spinning giallo scores, 80s goth, Penderecki, scary ambient and more


From 7:00 till 8:00, Matthew Matsel will play Goblin scores, Misfits, Samhain and non-Glenn Danzig related stuff like Freaks-era Pulp (if Cheryl gets her way).

From till the end, Modernbrit of Club Underground and Amoeba fame will be DJing who-knows-what!


From the History Channel -- oops, I mean Mr. Show

There's no guarantee of "bobbing for brains" or plasma pizza… but candy and wine are promised!

*****

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