Someone was asking the other day, which contemporary albums really do it for me. A not insignificant portion of vinyl that we covet here, on Planet Marylebone comes from the rose-coloured epochs of yore. However, there’s plenty of hot, lithe vinyl that’s been pressed over the past ten, even five years and I derive a certain pleasure in laying some of that black stuff slick & heavy on a machine which dreams of a future that never happened. We’ve already been over the Mosshart/White collaboration and that Monkey’s record still gets time, so y’all know how I feel about them. How d’ya fancy something with real baby shark teeth?
Bully’s first album, ’Feels Like’ (Columbia Records, 2015 and yeah, I got you for the Discogs data) will cut you at volume. Album opener, ‘I Remember’ sets it out like so, with tight, dry drums, punk rock guitars, a mildly psychotic baseline and vocals that…female Kurt? All I can say, is that despite how long it took to finally get a copy into my eager, moist paws, I am very glad to have it with me now. It’s really personal and Alicia Bognanno gets real fast. ‘I remember that box of letters / I remember that naked photo / and I remember things getting better.’ Side A closes out with the victoriously angry ‘Trying’, while Side B fucking starts with ‘Trash’ which could easily be one of the best, post noise / grunge tracks that Nirvana never wrote. To boot, I realise as I link stuffs here that, like any band worth their salt, the live stuff has chops to match the recorded stuff. Note the KEXP session for one and that set at Bonnaroo in 2016 for seconds.
Both ‘Six’ and ‘Picture’ feature some of the record’s best lyrics, the former spinning us a yarn of that one time Alicia accidentally broke her sister’s arm as a kid, rounded out by a chorus that’s an affirmation of love and solidarity - ‘and I would never make you feel / the way some people have made me feel before / I wouldn’t do that to you / cause fuck those jerks they’re only angry / and they don’t know you’re great but I do’ - the latter telling y’all snappers just how much she hates having her picture taken. A far, far braver man than I rare even thinks about putting a lens anywhere near Bognanno’s face, let alone locking her in the booth at Steve Albini's Electrical Audio in Chicago. The band toured a whole bunch following the release of their sophomore, noisier album, ‘Losing’ and while it looks as though they’re taking a bit of a breather now ‘till November, that shouldn’t prevent you from getting your fangs stuck into this one and thrashing your way to closure.
I claimed last week that I’d topped the T in terms of rarity with that Wailer’s Zippo. I was wrong. This, again comes from the more recent end of the spectrum but I can see the curve and ascension lain fore and its description is that of a hockey stick. Published in Reykjavik by Island in 2006, ‘The Water People’ is Brian Griffin’s love letter to Iceland, its harsh and fittingly alien landscapes and peoples. It’s also a modern day folk tale, concerned primarily with Professor Divine’s study of the mythical water people and for that reason alone I could be enthralled. That being said, I feel like I must have touched a nerve somewhere because Brynja dropped by the shop with this, following on from our previous encounter and made it the most humbling of gifts. The design is something else and what’s more, it’s signed by all of them. And stamped. The photos are typically excellent with the most expert hand applied to contrast and the strongest of lines throughout.
Some photos also feature that delicate screen thing w/motif and it has the feel of an artefact in the making. There is a CD in the back that may or may not be a DVD and this leads me to believe that there is accompanying audio as well as a film? I’ll be right back. In case you were even mildly curious, that black/pink design that occurs both before and after the body of the book, is a representation of a particular type of lichen than grows on moss [are you sure?] in Iceland and they use it like rosemary for seasoning. Also for soap. And it has medicinal purposes. Weird. Perhaps one of the most interesting things about it is the way in which it is divided into the stages of an expedition. The final chapter, looks at evidence bought back to stand testament to the existence of this strange, hidden race. The objects themselves, taken out of context, appear even more strange than the culture from which they originated and there is something to say there, about the marked difference between meeting people firsthand and the disassociated nature of anthropology. Maybe. The Ashmolean remains my all time favourite week out and I don’t see that changing any time soon.
It really has been a while since I threw any film out there and so I made an extra special effort to actually develop some shit earlier this week. Please see above for precisely four snaps, taken from what was a fairly good roll. As usual, I had forgotten much of what I’d shot and getting hold of the negatives is always a little bit like Christmas or results day? I remember results day. Kinda. More often than not, it’s a combination of the two. There’s a dinky little auto number in white outside The Gallery Of Everything, which was sort of perfect, one casually fabulous portrait of The Angelic One (yay, she of CO fame), a nice empty street somewhere near Pheonix Wharf, Wapping - the weather and light has been bonkers for this sort of thing the past few weeks in London and I can only be sorry that I haven’t shot more - and the obligatory photo of Mr. Rigot being Mr. Rigot.
The grain on the Ilford 400 stuff diffuses so beautifully. If you’re quick, careful & cute about it, you can take stuff in super low light with a relatively garbage flash and peeps be lookin’ glam. Y’all can have a few more on Thursday, which is the day after tomorrow and also before Friday. Oh yeah, apparently Tim Allen, The Tool Guy released his entire collected works onto every platform everywhere last week. I know because according to certain people, it is now International Tool Month. I am happy for them. Elsewhere, there are now two singles/videos from the new Pixies album, coming in September, one of which released today. You can check both here and here.
You know where I am.
JD - TACOCAT