Saturday, 2 May 2015

Art of the Cover - Blur's "The Magic Whip" (2015)

The kings of Brit Pop are back ,.. yeah, baby, yeah!

Nice cover ... but is it not a rip off of this better one - the wonderful athmospheric neon-tastic cover to the recent excellent Chinese Fountain LP by The Growlers!

Anyway, the utterly charming Albarn and the utterly sober Coxon ... and the other guys ... are back together and it's all happy-clappy in Blur-land.

And, I have to say, it's a mighty fine collection they've concocted here.

The band's kinkily titled, eighth studio album The Magic Whip is their first studio album since Think Tank (2003), marking the longest gap between two studio albums in their career.

Art director Tony Hung met with frontman Damon Albarn in early 2015 to discuss the album artwork and was shown photos and ephemera from the singer's travels in Hong Kong.

Albarn also explained how the album came into being and his thoughts around it. "The album title The Magic Whip he explained was multifaceted," says Hung. "An ice cream in the UK, a firework in China and a 'whip' in a political sense. These extremes would reflect the different textures, breadth and depth of the album." Hung says that the band wanted a cover that touched on those themes and that also had a "rawer feel" to give a sense of how the record came together in Hong Kong (the band recorded quickly, in a small studio in the city)

The album has received nigh universal acclaim from music critics. Helen Brown of The Telegraph stated that the album "turns out to be a triumphant comeback" and noted that "it retains the band's core identity while allowing ideas they'd fermented separately over the past decade to infuse their sound with mature and peculiar new flavour combinations."

The album's odd oriental origin and unexpected genesis arose from a suddenly cancelled Japanese gig.

In May 2013, a reformed Blur were set to play Japan's Tokyo Rocks Music festival. However, the entire festival was cancelled for unknown reasons, leaving the band stranded in Hong Kong for an extra 5 days. In an attempt to distract themselves, they worked on new material in Avon Studios,

Much later, after the project was in great danger of being discarded, Albarn was inspired to come up with lyrics to match the music on the Hong Kong tapes.

In July 2014, Albarn had said ... "There are about 15 songs...the annoying thing is, if I'd been able to write the lyrics there and then about being there, we'd have finished the record. But sometimes, if you can't do it all at once, it dissipates really and I don't know what I'd sing about now with that record. There's some great tunes on there, but it may just be one of those records that never comes out."

However, in November 2014, Blur decided to work further on the recordings led by Coxon and producer Stephen Street, while Albarn was touring his solo album, Everyday Robots. Coxon presented the revamped music to Damon to see if it was worthy of an album. It definitely was and, on the way back from his tour of Australia in December, Albarn stopped in Hong Kong once more for lyrical inspiration. The words duly came.

Vocals were completed towards the end of January 2015 and the album's mastering was finished a couple of weeks later


1. "Lonesome Street"   4:23
2. "New World Towers"   4:02
3. "Go Out"   4:40
4. "Ice Cream Man"   3:23
5. "Thought I Was a Spaceman"   6:16
6. "I Broadcast"   2:52
7. "My Terracotta Heart"   4:05
8. "There Are Too Many of Us"   4:26
9. "Ghost Ship"   4:59
10. "Pyongyang"   5:38
11. "Ong Ong"   3:06
12. "Mirrorball"   3:37

Friday, 1 May 2015

The Art - Oh Calcutta

Art of the Poster - Ingmar Bergman's "Persona" (1966)

The Song - Ronnie & The Daytonas' 'Little GTO'

little GTO, you're really lookin' fine; three deuces and a four-speed and a 389 .....

Fancy some aural car porn?. .. OK then!!

Yap. it's that timeless vibrant paean to the the Gran Turismo Omologato here, by the wonderful Ronnie & The Daytonas.

Ronnie & The Daytonas were a short-lived surf rock group from the early 1960s.

Their 1964 debut single "G.T.O." reached No. 4 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart. "G.T.O." sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.

The G.T.O. auto had been introduced shortly before the song's creation. The "muscle car" was produced by Pontiac (a division of General Motors) in the US until 1974. Some 30 years later, Holden (GM's subsidiary in Australia) began producing it again until 2006.

Singer/songwriter/guitarist John "Bucky" Wilkin - a car fanatic - wrote the song as a high school senior in a physics class. Shortly thereafter, his mother, Marijohn Wilkin (a writer of Country music), helped him land a publishing deal and a session with producer Bill Justis (based in Nashville). Justis hired different session artists to record this song but then requested the song to be credited under a group name. It was then that Wilkin adopted the stage name of Ronny Dayton and the group became the Daytonas. No such group existed until this song was recorded. 

Lee Kraft (Wilkin's friend since high school) was the only true band member of the group, being featured on the majority of the band's recordings and in their live appearances. The rest of the "band" consisted of any musician who was free to work as a session player and/or perform on tour.

Ronnie & The Daytonas made a major stir with their debut and parlayed that into a subsequent single, "Bucket T" reach No. 54 on the Billboard chart that same year. 

After an album and tour in 1964, Ronny & The Daytonas had another hit in 1965 with a ballad, "Sandy", and an album that reflected a similar country-inflected surfer sound. 

In 1966 the band switched to RCA Records and released a romantic ballad called "Diane, Diane" and the upbeat "All American Girl", both of which had some success on the charts. 

Ronny & The Daytonas toured for a short time after these latter singles before deciding to call it a day.

Art of the Cover - VA "The B-Music of Jean Rollin 1986-79"

Some nice artwork featuring the beauteous Brigitte Lahaie, and harking back to Rollin 's classic Fascination, adorns this fine collection, celebrating the idiosyncratic and unique music across Rollin's works from his first decade as filmmaker.

Rising out of the smoky Parisian Mai 68 shrapnel and claiming his stake as the first French vampire movie director, the inimitable father of European Horrortica, Jean Rollin has smudged the painted face of surrealist cinema for over five decades.

Dragging his roots from beneath the Letterist/Situationist movements, avant-garde theatre, Belgian fine art groups and entwining them around the minds of sexual revolutionaries, the European comic book cognoscenti, the Parisian free jazz and rock scene, Rollin stopped at nothing to bring his macabre phantasies of zygotic vampirism and backward blood cults to Gallic cinemateques and beyond.

Celebrating the immortal legacy of the late director, Finders Keepers Records have compiled a detailed and comprehensive music cabinet of some of the finest musical moments from his initial directorial decade (1968-1979) that provided a much needed platform for the freak rock and free jazz that mirrored the distorted erotic visions in his own mind's eye.

Imagine Gong-Gone-Wrong meeting the Art Ensembles Of Châteauroux... Fantasy pop groups mutate and thrive within.

Featuring early recordings from mod rockers Unity, free jazz legends Barney Wilen, François Tusque and Jean-François Jenny-Clark and musical co-conspirators to Walerian Borowczyk and Fernando Arrabal, this collection unites a wide range of previously unreleased material with some of Finders Keepers' most collectable Rollinade vinyl moments for the first collection of this kind featuring music over forty years old.

Funky vampires cruising the streets of Paris in the 1960's looking for some hot blooded action. Freaky sex scenes, graveyard songs, chase scenes, this music is for a movie, or several movies, and I have not seen any of them. But I can have a pretty good image of what is going on in the scenes with this music. There is some real slinky skanky type of guitar stuff on here, and some of the arrangements are just bad ass. There are like 31 songs on here, some of them are very short, more like samples or sound-bites -- sound bites? Vampire fang sound bites! Blast this music on Halloween night during trick or treat. Rock out in your car on some foggy night on a country back road. Again, love for Finder's Keepers and all they do for wild crazy unusual music from all around the world!
by The Tuck 

1. Blind Songbird [From Viol du Vampire]
2. Le Frisson des Vampires [From Le Frisson des Vampires]
3. Gilda & Gunshots [From Jeunes Filles Impudiques]
4. L' Interieur des Ecuries [From Fascination]
5. Crotch Batterie [From Requiem for a Vampire]
6. Golden Panther [From La Vampire Nue]
7. La Château [From Le Frisson des Vampires]
8. Fallen Dancer [From La Vampire Nue]
9. The Curse [From Viol du Vampire]
10. La Valse Grinçante [From Fascination]
11. Batterie Fields [From Requiem for a Vampire]
12. Wedding Party [From Le Frisson des Vampires]
13. Jewel Thieves [From Jeunes Filles Impudiques]
14. Isabelles Demise [From Le Frisson des Vampires]
15. Jade Lake [From Requiem for a Vampire]
16. Bizarre Cult 2 [From Fascination]
17. Abstract Procession [From Les Femmes Vampires]
18. Flightless Bird [From Le Frisson des Vampires]
19. Blue Doll Baroque [From La Vampire Nue]
20. Murs du Château [From Requiem for a Vampire]
21. Jeunes Filles Impudiques [From Jeunes Filles Impudiques]
22. Doux-Reveil [From Le Frisson des Vampires]
23. Crimson Gates [From Requiem for a Vampire]
24. Blue Quadrant [From La Vampire Nue]
25. Violent Library [From Le Frisson des Vampires]
26. Skittles [From Viol du Vampire]
27. Croque Weasel [From Les Femmes Vampires]
28. The Memory of Eternal Darkness [From Le Frisson des Vampires]
29. Quatre Soeurs [From Viol du Vampire]
30. Apparation du Château [From Fascination]
31. La Cite Rouge [From Les Frisson des Vampires]

The Still - Baa Baa


AV Dolls - Ashlynn just does

Moving Models - All About Eva's

Art of JAV - Cabin Fever

Art of the Poster - Masashi Yamamoto's "Man, Woman, And The Wall"

Art of the Cover - Foo Fighters' "Songs From the Laundry Room" (2015)

Foo Fighters just released a 10-inch vinyl EP titled "Songs From The Laundry Room" for Record Store Day.

And it seems rabid Foo fans are nigh ready to rip faces off to get their sweaty mitts on this rare-as-fuck item!

A couple of copies are available on Amazon ... check links while they last.

Side A features Dave Grohl's early demos of "Alone + Easy Target" (very Nircana-esque!) and "Big Me", while side B contains a wonderful curio - a cover version of 80's Brit cutie Kim Wilde's anthmic "Kids In America" - and the previously unheard "Empty Handed".

The EP was recorded at Laundry Room Studio and produced by Barrett Jones, who co-produced the first Foo Fighters album.


1. Alone + Easy Target (Demo Version)

2. Big Me (Demo Version)

3. Kids In America

4. Empty Handed

Cult Cuties - Mylène's Magic Mirrors

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The Art - Afternoon Delight

The Set - Manhandling Maitland

Luscious Lorna 'au naturel' on the set of Russ Meyer's, erm "Lorna" back in 1964.

What exactly is that guy doing anyway?

More importantly, how the hell can I get a job like that?

Moving Models - Street Life

Adam Johnson Sophie Reade

Cinema Sweethearts - Call Her Mellow Yellow

The Still - A Silent Hush

Anna Karina with Eddie Constantine in Jean-Luc Godard's Philosophy meets Sci-Fi classic Alphaville (1965).

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