The long-lost demo of Sex Pistols’ “Belson Was A Gas” was recently discovered during a record label transition. The controversial song has been released in various live and alternate versions over the years, but the demo version with Johnny Rotten on vocals has been much sought after and long-since written off. With its sarcastic Holocaust lyrical theme (allegedly written by Sid Vicious), the band was simply trying to offend the powers that be, using as sensitive a topic as it could muster at the time, since taking the piss out of the Queen was old news by then. You can barely hear the vocals in this mix, so I’m not sure anyone could claim offense at this point. It features the stellar musicianship of one Sid Vicious on bass. The track will be tacked onto the Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols super-deluxe boxset due for release on September 24th via Universal Music UK.
The Dismemberment Plan‘s latest reformation seems to be sticking. News has been trickling out about new songs. The bands seems to be having a blast playing live, too, as this live video at The Metro Gallery clearly indicates. A new official band YouTube page has surfaced featuring “Mexico City Christmas,” which sounds like vintage D-plan crica Emergency & I. I can’t believe it’s been a decade since the comparatively somber Change came out, but I’ll gladly welcome a new album should it happen.
Having promised retirement after her successful sophomore solo album, It’s Not Me, It’s You, Lily Allen, now know by her married name, Lily Rose Cooper, has returned to music (surprise). Now, the way in which she has returned is slightly unexpected in that it’s by way of a duet with perennial chart mainstay Pink. “True Love” is a but Pink-er than anything you might expect from the Lily Allen of yore, but it’s nice to hear from her anyway.
Talk Talk’s final two albums, Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock, respectively, are two of my favorite records, but they were Talk Talk’s least commercially successful because the band utterly ignored its synth-pop, new wave roots (and its audience) to embark an an experimental tangent that has influenced a generation of songwriters. Ex-Depeche Mode keyboardist Alan Wilder has compiled a tribute album to a band he says “experienced a career in reverse.” He continues, “There was a direct correlation between the quality increase and the popularity decrease.” Talk Talk stormed onto the charts with a string of pop hits in the early 1980’s, replete with layers of synths and grandiose, unforgettable choruses. It was its third album, 1986’s The Colour of Spring, where band leader Mark Hollis began to steer the band away from such overtly catchy pop music to create a much more introverted scape of sounds and structures. The band’s final two materstrokes, the aforementioned Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock, are so enigmatic by virtue not only of the music therein but also by their secretive recording processes and the fact that no one related to any of those recording sessions will discuss them. It’s a bizarre story. After Talk Talk dissolved, Hollis has only released one self-titled solo album in 1998, which was just as obtuse and beautiful as his final Talk Talk recordings. The Guardian has a much more in depth look at the band’s career and the subsequent evolution of the tribute out now on Fierce Panda. The tribute features artists ranging from Alan Wilder (Recoil, Depeche Mode) to members of Bon Iver, White Lies, members of Arcade Fire, Guillemots, Lights, Turin Brakes, and many others. The official tribute site has more details. The deluxe edition is sold out.
I often have to be in the mood to listen to certain bands, but one band I can put on regardless what I’m doing or how I’m feeling is Stereolab. There’s something about Laetitia Sadier’s voice that just mesmerizes me. Her solo work is slightly more intimate and freer than Stereolab’s syncopated, droning machinations. Sadier’s new album Silencio is out now on Drag City. And I could listen to it all day. [via Stereogum]
09/15 – Chicago, IL @ Schuba’s
09/16 – Pontiac, MI @ Pike Room at Crofoot
09/18 – Toronto, ON @ Drake Hotel
09/19 – Montreal, QC @ Pop Montreal Festival
09/20 – Cambridge, MA @ Middle East Cafe
09/21 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
09/22 – Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory
09/23 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
09/25 – Washington, DC @ DC9
09/26 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Thunderbird Cafe
09/27 – Cincinnati, OH @ Midpoint Music Festival
09/28 – Urbana, IL @ Pygmalion Music Festival
09/29 – Madison, WI @ University of Wisconsin
09/30 – Minneapolis, MN @ 400 Bar
10/03 – Seattle, WA @ Barboza
10/04 – Portland, OR @ Bunk Bar
10/05 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill
10/06 – Los Angeles, CA @ Culture Collide Festival
10/10 – Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive
10/11 – Lincoln, NE @ Lincoln Calling Music Festival
11/05 – Manchester, UK @ Deaf Institute
11/06 – Glasgow, UK @ Captains Rest
11/07 – Edinburgh, UK @ Sneaky Pete’s
11/09 – Dublin, IE @ The Workman’s Club
11/10 – Galway, IE @ Roisin Dubh
11/12 – Cardiff, UK @ The Globe
11/13 – London, UK @ XOYO
11/14 – Brighton, UK @ Sticky Mikes
An old friend and fellow WUSC alum pointed me to this amazing documentary of early punk and new wave compiled from Tony Wilson’s “So It Goes” series that was originally shown on Granada TV on Channel 4 in the UK. It features (in order) Sex Pistols, Elvis Costello, Buzzcocks, John Cooper Clarke, Iggy Pop, Wreckless Eric, Ian Dury, Penetration, Blondie, Fall, Jam, Jordan, Devo, Tom Robinson Band, Johnny Thunders, Elvis Costello, XTC, Jonathan Richman, Nick Lowe, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Cherry Vanilla & Magazine. [via]
Former Cataract Falls drummer and current DJ Chris Lawhorn has pieced together an album of instrumental tracks using samples from every single Fugazi song in the band’s discography. Fugazi Edits will be released on October 30th on Case/Martingale Records. Lawhorn has the band’s blessing and all proceeds of the album’s sales will benefit senior citizens of Washington DC as well as global victims of disaster and civil unrest. To check out samples from the forthcoming record go here, where you can also sign up for more information.