Monday, August 20, 2007

"I'll tell you what's wrong with the youth of today: they don't know boredom. We didn't have a telly in our bedroom. We had to beg our parents to be able to watch TOTP or TOGWT. We used to listen to transistor radios under the sheets & listen to the same 10 records we had on poxy record players. We were so bored & frustrated that it gave us time to build up our determination & do something about it. Back then there was a real Establishment, men in suits & bowler hats, a genuine cultural divide. Now it's all blurred" Mark Perry, Open Up & Bleed Fanzine, 2000

Wow. The man's got my number. Far beyond "telly in the bedroom" tho.

Been reading Ed Brubaker's pretty wicked crime comic, the aptly named Criminal. Guy's taken on two of Marvel's flagships (Daredevil and Captain America) on the condition that he gets to do this title with absolute freedom, and he's taken the opportunity to put in an essay or round table on 'film noir' at the end of each issue. What a treasure trove of miserablism! Really, the only one so far that I'd seen or heard of was Touch of Evil. (Insert tired "Charlton Heston is a Mexican!" joke.... here.) But Allen Baron's ultra-obscure proto-Taxi Driver, Blast of Silence, Robert Altman's weirdo Raymond Chandler update, The Long Goodbye, and Mike Hodges' grim Michael Caine beatdown, Get Carter, have all been revelations, while John Boorman's Point Blank made an instant jump into my top ten. If Le Samourai is a dream and Get Carter is ugly reality, Point Blank is a fever dream, drifting and jolting between both until you don't know which is which. You get the feeling Lee Marvin's stone-carved protagonist doesn't know either, but he just stoically plows ahead.
So now that I've got my foot in the door, it's starting to open up. Like anything, you gotta know something to learn something. That's why I's been on a dub spree. Here's the mix:

lee 'scratch' perry : soul fire
dub specialist : taurus dub 2
the upsetters : ipa skank
johnny clarke and the aggrovators : a ruffer version
king tubby meets vivian jackson (yabby you) : jerusalem dub
jackie mittoo : ayatollah
glen brown : tel aviv drums
the upsetters : black panta
dub specialist : running dub
augustus pablo : king tubby meets rockers uptown
king tubby : a noisy place
lee perry & the upsetters : bush weed
dub specialist : in cold blood version
lee 'scratch' perry : give thanx to jah
the upsetters : dub organizer
dub specialist : chase them version
lee 'scratch' perry : city too hot

I might post this on Podomatic sometime, but you can get 90% of these tracks on Lee Perry's Dub Trip-tych, King Tubby's In Fine Style and the Studio One Dub comp. Dub Specialist is Clement Dodd's b-side alter ego, and if you ask me, badman don't get nuff respect pon de Dub ting-a-ling. Sorry. But, yeah, he does some pretty wacky shit, and he had some of the best rhythm tracks to work with. Take Running Dub, which features the catchiest hook here, while the vocal actually sounds like it's drowning, scrambling for air in a churning sea of reverb and delay. Tubby and Perry's 4 track collab, Blackboard Jungle, (part of the Trip-tych) is just retarded. Everything sensible gets pushed to the margins while madness rules the day in the vast middle space. Truly uneasy listening, har har har.
Geez, I don't know. What's to talk about. Lynch's Inland Empire is some deeply scary shit. Drag City's Yaala Yaala imprint is killing it. Fucked Up's Year of the Pig is the song of the year. Funkadelic's Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow is the greatest thing ever. I'll just list stuff.

mala - lean forward/learn 12"
skream - sub island/pass the red stripe 12"
sick llama - born again to die
oxbow - the narcotic story
jandek - manhattan sunday
the fantastic voyage of goblin - the sweet sound of hell


Blogger JohnWayne said...

Blast of Silence rules. Should be 90000x more famous. Point Blank is great as well. A few other greats that come to mind are The Killer is Loose, The Narrow Margin ('52) and The Killers ('46). Also I just caught a great Criterion release of Louis Malle's first film Elevator to the Gallows. Awesome French noir with a Miles Davis soundtrack! btw, love the blog...

3:15 PM  

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