March 16, 2010
Blur / Oasis on the cover of Melody Maker, 9th December 1995. Photo by Tom Sheehan.
So last night I saw the Blur doc, No Distance Left To Run which left me feeling a little disjointed. It’s hard to put my finger on why. I suppose, as the cliché goes, I’ve grown up with Blur. But it’s more than simple nostalgia. They’ve somehow bisected with my life in a way that no other band has and while I watched Blur’s youthful exuberance become slowly grubbied by alcohol, cynicism and (whisper it) heroin, I was repeatedly reminded of my various triumphs and failures. Mostly failures. Fuck it, it is just nostalgia isn’t it?
I was at art college in London in 1990, not Goldsmiths, but one very close by. One group of friends had come from Colchester art college and were good friends with Damon’s sister. One even ended up marrying her. It all came back last night and more.
I remember how I heard Leisure at a BBQ weeks before it was released. I remember Damon running off to get the tube after coming to our graduation show; and how shortly afterwards, Modern Life is Rubbish, ended up sound tracking my hateful commuter walk during the misery of my first full time job. I remember the lonely walks from Hackney to The Barbican on Sunday afternoons. I remember the Subterranea and how you could often find Damon puking his guts up in the toilets. I remember Britpop, the Loaded parties and the hangover that kicked in around 98 when we all suddenly realised we weren’t young anymore and had stopped talking to each other. I remember the scurrilous rumours, the friends boyfriend who’d shagged Justine and how I’ve had to leave that life behind me. I remember thinking how much they’d done and how little I’d done. I guess I felt sorry for myself.
But most of all…most of all, I remember thinking…make another fucking record.
Here’s a great recording of the pre-Blur Seymour, clips of which were shown in the doc.
Public Enemy on the cover of Melody Maker, 28th November 1987 in response to another request that came through. Photo by Andy Catlin
And so here’s the first post since the BBC announced the planned closure of 6Music. Who knows if it’ll happen or not but I’ll be one of the many to be sad to see it go if Thompson does pull the plug. I often sit scanning to Freak Zone on the iPlayer – why not add to the sites traffic by taking a listen too – I guarantee you’ll hear something new and incredible.
Over at the continually amazing Quietus, Luke Turner nails the situation completely and drew my attention to this revelatory Information Is Beautiful graphic breaking down the BBC’s annual budget across major categories. To summarise, in terms of cash spent; Norton, Robinson & fucking Clarkeson = 6Music. And really; £2m for 3 days of Jo Whiley et al driving everyone absolutely fucking mental at Glastonbury, that’s a fucking disgrace! Only a fraction of the bands are actually filmed and then the footage can only be shown on iPlayer 7 days due to rights issues – how is that value for money? It was all very different not so long ago and much the better for it.
EDIT: Worth drawing everyone’s attention to this link from the comment left by Matt
Good points about 6Music. Why not tell the BBC this (I have) via their consultation survey? The more who do so, the more likely the station will be spared the axe. https://consultations.external.bbc.co.uk/departments/bbc/bbc-strategy-review/consultation/intro
February 12, 2010
Robert Smith and J Mascis on the cover of Melody Maker, 6th May 1989. Photo by Tom Sheehan.
These days J seems to be morphing into a bizarre cross between Jonathan King, Daniel Johnston and Gandalf the White. Google for it if you don’t believe me.
And here’s Just Like Heaven on Spotify although the intro guitar part isn’t how I remember it – are there other versions out there?
February 9, 2010
February 2, 2010
Swans on the cover of Melody Maker, 22nd April 1989. Photo by Tom Sheehan.
This issue in response to a reader request. In case you didn’t know Michael Gira has recently announced their reformation. Read more here
January 24, 2010
Perry Farrell on the cover of Melody Maker, 21st January 1989. Photo by Joe Dilworth
I just never got Jane’s Addiction. I really tried with Ritual de lo Habitual but it just didn’t click.
But then there was a time in L.A. around 2000, when, hopelessly stoned and locked away in the 4×4 for my own good, Perry Farrell spoke to me. Sang to me. Communed with me. However long it lasted I can only compare it to a religious experience. And then I sobered up and the music sounded shit again. Drugs eh? Who needs em?
January 20, 2010
The Beloved on the cover of Melody Maker, 27th January 1990. Photo by Tom Sheehan.
So the big news today came from this link where IPC announced plans to revive the Melody Maker name with a comprehensive online archive of the magazine.
I’ve joined the good folks over at the WSC forum in expressing my cynicism that it’s anything more than just hot air. I’d love to see it happen but won’t be holding my breath.