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The Fall - Live at the Witch Trials & Dragnet

Live at the Witch Trials 03/16/1979, Step Forward
Produced by the Fall and Bob Sargeant

Dragnet 10/26/1979, Step Forward
Produced by the Fall and Grant Showbiz

Mark E. Smith is a fucking genius. If you're reading this, and The Fall is completely new to you, stop now. Don't read another word until you've picked up Hex Enduction Hour and/or This Nation's Saving Grace and/or The Wonderful and Frightening World of the Fall. If you like modern indie post punk psych or just plain rock, The Fall have been doing what you like, and doing it amazingly well, for thirty years. Sonic Youth, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Jesus Lizard, Nirvana, even No Age and Animal Collective are all indebted to the Fall.

The Fall never seem dated. It probably helps that Live... was recorded in one day, Dragnet in three. From the title track to their debut Live at the Witch Trials:

We're still one step ahead of you/
I still believe in the R&R dream/
R&R as primal scream

And it's true as ever.

I am at a loss for words when it comes to this band. Mark E. Smith, however, is a true rock and roll icon, never at a loss for words: (from "Crap Rap 2")

We are the Fall/
Northern white crap/
that talks back/
We are not black. Tall/
No boxes for us/
Do not fuck us

Dragnet has less polished production, without sacrificing any of what makes the Fall so transcendent. This album adds Craig Scanlon and Steve Hanley on guitar and bass, who would form the Fall's sonic backbone for the next decade and some.

They've never stooped to naming an album All Killer, No Filler, because that would be redundant. These first two albums are as essential as everything else the band has done.

I'm sure I'll be just as shit at trying to review the rest of their catalog to date, so I'll leave off here, as to have more useless shit to say for the rest of their oeuvre.

Jethro Tull - Stormwatch

rel. 09/14/1979 - Chrysalis Records (US), Island Records (UK)

Produced by Ian Anderson and Robin Black

So, the iPod thinks I should start with one of my namesakes, Ian Anderson, and who am I to disagree with the almighty shuffle?

The last album to feature bassist John Glascock, who died of a congenital heart defect shortly before the album's release. This contributed a shift in lineup leaving only Anderson and Martin Barre as full members.

So, what makes Jethro Tull great is all here. The folk-psych-rock, the tight songwriting with evocative lyrics, obsessions with public good and mythology, driving melodies, and Anderson's signature flute.

Of particular interest are "Dark Ages, "Something's on the Move," and "Old Ghosts."

Dark Ages/ shaking the dead/ Closed pages/ better not read/ Cold rages/ burn in your head

"Dark Ages" is sprawling epic-rock, at nine minutes and change. Hard rock with great change-ups, the drumming and bass (Barriemore Barlow and Anderson, respectively) especially perfect on the track. Big orchestration with strings, organ, piano, and flute help this track sound positively modern even thirty years on.

"Something's on the Move" and "Old Ghosts" are both agreeable Tull rockers, describing climate change of one sort or another. Great party music.

Also of note is the bonus track "A Stitch in Time," from the 2004 remaster of this album.

I work in dark factories/ A cog in the big wheel/ Driving gray satanic wheels/ And weaving sad stories

Okay, so I'm a sucker for pretty much anything that says "Life is short, live it."

The perfect Romantic murder weapon is born - a death rosary

Posted in
Batman#663 by Grant Morrison. Crappy prose issue w/ shitty computer graphics. Proving that even geniuses can churn out incoherent crazy dribble w/ a billion beautiful amazing off the wall sentences that - when put together as a whole - can make something totally mediocre (or worse). [Think about how disappointing "On the Road" was when you finally got around to it.] It SHOULD be cool, but kinda ISN'T.

by time you read this...

Posted in
you'll already be bored.

Dear Machine Intelligence(s)

Posted in
Faithful follower here. Pls to download first.

I can has functional immortality?


Dear Alex Proyas,

Are you finished making cinematic abortions of my deeper childhood influences and shit M. Night Shyamalan thought was too cheesy?

I mean, everything before I, Robot and Knowing was great. Have you finished your Hollywoodland suckfest yet? I mean, good job making the world end without any sympathy whatsoever, and removing any semblance of Asimov's philosophy; that takes chops.

But, The Crow and Dark City and Garage Days...

Yours in hope,


Posted in
Is 'rat' the creature, the first sound a machine-gun makes, a police informant, or the second word in this sentence?

Reno 911

Posted in
When this show is good, it's fuckin great. Sometimes it falls flat on its face. It's a little strange to see a show that's allowed to fall last so long. But I'm not complaining. More laughs-per-hour than most other shows.

-- Post From My iPhone

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