Peter Hook and The Light: The Setlist Acquisition

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A new gig mystery in which Lapsed Vinyl Goddess acquires her first set list after going to shows for 40 plus years.

One of my Twitter followers from the UK kept bugging me. He noticed that Peter Hook and The Light were hitting Portland this fall. The tour included playing New Order’s Technique and Republic, with a Joy Division and New order mixed set at the end. He kept nudging, you should really go! I had noticed that Peter had been touring with the band the last few years and some of his other bands, Ad Infinitum and Monaco.  I had been a bit skeptical about Peter Hook and The light as they were touring with New Order albums themed shows at their start and wasn’t sure about it. Sometimes the retro tours work and sometimes they don’t. Also, at the time I wasn’t living in a music town, yes, that 13 years of hell. I couldn’t get to see them play.

I should have known better, that one of the founders of Joy Division was driven to play music from the past he helped create, and that he just loves to play shows. It was totally evident in this weeks show on November 7, 2019 at The Wonder Ballroom. It was a complete sellout show and absolutely pumped.

What was tantalizing was a promised Joy Division set. I was a fan of the early days of New Order, but after Brotherhood their music wasn’t doing anything for me anymore. I had hoped that a live show would prove different. It certainly did. I arrived early, near the head of the line. I managed to make it up to stage front and continued hanging out up front with people I had met in line. I found myself right in front of vocalist and guitarist David Potts (Monaco), who was a bit of a card and teased me about my photo taking. Got him back for a tease later. Peter was all over the stage and on top of speakers surfing his instrument.

Peter-Hook-Light-tour

I glanced over the top of the stage and when the stage hand taped down the set lists, we were all craning to see, upside down, what the music was. Dead Souls (Joy Division) was at the top of the last set. I was emboldened. You see I have Twitter fiends who have been snagging set lists for years. I have never been so bold. But it was tantalizing me. After the last set where we all belted out and sang horrendously along, and Peter flung his sweat soaked Fact Tee shirt into the crowd, the house lights went up and the hands were clearing up. I couldn’t quite reach the set list so I pointed and smiled. And I got it. I promptly took a snap when I got home and copied Peter on the Twitter posting, thanking them all for a tremendous show. He used it the next day for SF show reminders. 

The tours is finishing up this week in the US. However, Peter announced that they would be doing a 40th Anniversary Joy Division show starting in Spring 2020 in the UK. It will feature Unknown Pleasures and Closer, with a New Order set. If you are traveling to Europe in the Spring, especially try to get to the legendary Barrowland in Glasgow, Scotland, the tickets are selling quick! Here’s hoping they bring it to the US next Fall.

Screen Shot 2019-11-10 at 11.39.59 AM

That’s MY setlist. 

Peter Hook on Joy Division’s 40th

 

Echo and The Bunnymen: The John Peel Sessions 1979-1983

echo-and-bunnymen_john-peel-sessions

If it weren’t for John Peel, the champion of musicians on airwaves through his Radio 1 BBC show, Echo and the Bunnymen would never have made it past gigging in the UK in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Like many of their contemporaries, getting airplay was difficult and meant making tapes, recording a single or two, and sending it into John Peel, and any other radio station that you hoped would play it. If he really liked what he heard, thousands of UK and European teens would hear your music. Then you would come in and play live on the show and get recorded. Many bands over the years have recorded for John Peel Sessions, some of the best quality live performances and recordings to be had. If he didn’t like it, it would get pushed aside. Better luck next time.

Echo (Ian McCulloch, Will Sergeant, Les Pattinson, and Pete De Freitas) was lucky in that they were invited back on several occasions. This last September, the band released the collection of recordings from these sessions through Warner Bros/Rhino Records on a limited run (500) hot red 2 x LP, black vinyl, and CD. The records include all of the John Peel Sessions recordings from their early years with commentary by Will Sergeant.

I fought hard and after originally being denied access to buying a red copy, due to some online SNAFU at Rhino Records. I was given a second chance and secured a copy in pre-sale. After waiting 4 weeks and since it was my birthday, it showed up, I was thrilled. Sadly, every corner of the cover was mashed up, Rhino does not ship in really sturdy record boxes like other online vendors do. Luckily the records themselves were alright and I could play them. Unfortunately because there had been a limited run of 500, I could not exchange the records and hopefully have them ship a nice, clean copy with less cover damage. I will be writing to Rhino shortly.

For more John Peel sessions, which came out usually after they aired on the Radio 1 show and can often be found at second hand shops, you can search online for reissues by other bands like The Cure. If you’s like to hear a good sampling of them, check out my friend Scots Post-Punk radio show.

UNAMERICAN Radio Ep 35 John Peel Sessions

 

Talking Heads Fear of Music Turns 40

IMG_3104It’s the first solidifying album of Talking Heads, 70s and 80s New Wave Art House band. Their second album, More Songs About Buildings and Food, was a step away from the debut record, in that they were starting to find their feet. The band, David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth, and Jerry Harrison, decided that the record should not just be a bunch of singles, or singles driven. The next one needed to have more of a theme going on, and actual direction. They also wanted to produce on their own and have more control over the project. This would prove to be an error as they bit off a bit more than they could chew.

After original demos were not going so well, they called back legendary Brian Eno to produce and help get the record on track. It appears that the teenage independence wasn’t working to their advantage. It’s a good thing they did. Fear of Music became Talking Heads transitional album, taking them from their beginnings into young adulthood and expanding audiences.

Fear of Music is still not a polished product, that’s exactly why it’s my favorite Talking Heads album. It still has that angst going on, that reality of life not being what the Great American Promise said it should be. It’s messy and strange. The first Single did not perform well on the charts, however it has been a cult classic, “Life During Wartime”. I always felt that this song was a great discussion of a dystopic future after the apocalypse. Themes of the late 70s and early eighties were surviving the years long cold war and living with Thatcherism and Reaganism on the horizon. George Orwell was being read again, and the fact that this time period should have been the best of times, it was only so for the privileged few. One of the reasons this song is still valid today. It contrasted with “Heaven”, the bands iconic slow favorite. It’s a story about a place you can go, a bar, a place where you know everyone, and can feel you can go.

There are many great songs that talk about the shock of life and reality after you grow up and the teen years fade away. I like to think of this album as an intro to adulthood record. It’s also one of the records my crazy art teacher in high school drummed into our heads while we threw paint at each other. I guess that left an impression.

RSD Black Friday Finds 2018

Waterboys, Nick Cave, and Peter Hook and the Light

Upcoming gigs for this fall in the PDX, time to get your tickets before sell out.

Returning for the first time since 2015, The Waterboys will be playing the Wonder Ballroom on October 7, 2019. Mike Scott and Steve Wickham bring their current lineup of the band that won’t be pigeonholed. From the 80s Big Music to soul and blues, folk, and rock and roll. As of this publication, there is no support band.

The Waterboys at The Wonder Ballroom in Portland, Oregon on October 7, 2019 at 8:30 PM All Ages Show.

Wonder Ballroom 128 NE Russell St Portland, OR 97212 Tickets Here

An Evening with Nick Cave is the following night on October 8, 2019 at the Revolution Hall, 8PM 21+ show.

Nicky Cave is coming to town in that lovely spooky month of October, to have a conversation with you. Check out his show. I have Twitter pals who have seen the show in the Uk and said it’s an eye opener. Intimate evening with the Prince of Darkness, talking about musicianship and his music. This show is sold out. Hope you got yours.

The Revolution Hall SOLD OUT!!!!!!!!!!

Peter Hook & The LightTickets are still available for Peter Hook and The Light Buy Tickets

Tickets are on sale for Peter Hook (Joy Division founder and New Order) and The Light. If you haven’t seen them yet, they have been through Portland a few times. This visit will feature a set of Joy Division, then they will perform New Order’s Technique and Republic albums.

Hooky was very kind and gave me some details very wee hours of the morning after a show in Europe. More details coming. Check out The Wonder Ballroom site for details.

Unknown Pleasures Turns 40

downloadThe eponymous first full album by Joy Division, and the only one Ian Curtis was alive for, Unknown Pleasures was released on June 15, 1979 a on Factory records. The album was a more solid performance for newly renamed Joy Division. Warsaw, as they were previously called, changed their name to avoid confusion with another band, Warsaw Pakt.

Oddly, no singles from Unknown Pleasures were released, with “Transmission” released as a single separately that would attract attention to the album that was slow in selling. While sales were slow to begin with, since its release it has been named one of the best albums of all time by Spin, AllMusic and NME.

Produced by Martin Hannett, using some very un conventional production techniques (AMS Digital Delays, Marshall Time Modulators, and tape echo) The 10 track album lists some of the classic Joy Division catalog including “She’s Lost Control” and “Shadowplay”, a rerecording of a Warsaw song. Previously the band had self produced and released a EP An Ideal for Living after being released from a recording contract with RCA records. The band had three weekends to record for Unknown Pleasures at Strawberry Studios in Stockport.

The iconic cover art of radio waves from pulsar CP 1919 was adapted by Peter Saville, who worked on advertising and posters for Manchester’s Factory club 1978 (The Hacienda). The image is reversed from black on white, and was originally printed on the first editions in a textured card relief. The image has ben morphed and modded over the last 40 years as images for anything from mountain ranges to beer labels. It’s initial run was 10,000 copies, which sold at a very slow rate after the initial 5,000 sold in its first weeks, but copies sat around. After the single “Transmission” came out, the rest of the initial pressings sold out. Joy Division would go on tour supporting The Buzzcocks and a profit of £50,000 in album sales would finally result, being split between Factory records and the band. Sadly, Tony Wilson spent the profits mostly on other Factory Records projects and the band saw very little of it. It would not make it to the UK music charts until after singer Ian Curtis’ death in May 1980, and the release of the second album, Closer, lead to a rerelease of Unknown Pleasures. Finally the album reached No 71 on the UK Albums Charts. It did however reach No 2 on the UK Indie Chart.

Did you get your 40th anniversary Unknown Pleasures album on hot red vinyl on Friday June 14? I’m waiting for the import copy I special ordered. to arrive. Until then I’ll listen to my current playable Canadian molasses version, yeah it’s a vinyl that when you hold up to the sun looks like black strap molasses. How many versions of this album have I owned over the years, two vinyl, one tape, one CD….?

Unknown Pleasures at 40: How Joy Division and singer Ian Curtis changed what rock and pop could be about

Rhino Records Re Release 40th Anniversary Unknown Pleasures

IMG_2966

40th Anniversary Reissue of Unknown Pleasures by Joy Division.

Kalifornia: The Old West Coast Punk Scene Captured

download-2

Flipper

It’s the way back machine here. Back in the day when punk hit the western US States, we usually think of Los Angeles as the main hub. While it’s suburban sprawl helped to disenfranchise just about everybody, no more so than kids who came from both the wrong side of the tracks and the suburbs in NorCal did. It’s Kalifornia, we were all disenfranchised and gentrified out. It all started back in the late 70s when suddenly everyone in the world wanted to live in California, and riots weren’t just in LA.

Many kids would say you weren’t punk unless you came from an extreme lower class situation, east side big cities, or lived 6-10 deep in squats. Many of us were annoyed at the upper middle class kids who ran the punk crowd, and showed up to gigs in their parents hand-me-down Mustang car that actually worked. Many of the punk musicians came from white middle class suburbia, and so did many of us fringe kids who flocked to LA or San Francisco to become part of the urban landscape of the industrial warehouse scenes. Wherever we came from we all railed against it, the American myth of tract housing, with the Regan Era death nell on the horizon. Armed with cassettes of California punk bands, punk art gig flyers, and zines, we along with the rest of the punk scene fans from all over the world displayed them in our flats and plastered the walls of our little music shrines.

In the late 70s and early 80s, the California Punk Scene was an interesting mix, and definitely had two distinct flavors, the NorCal and SoCal arenas. LA had insane mosh pit meisters Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Wasted Youth, The Dickies, and Agent Orange to name just a few. Other fringe bands, that had their own cultish following and played many of the same venues or shared gig bills were The Cramps (Pychobilly, Gothabilly) and X. Southern California was greatly influenced by the ethnic makeup of the LA basin, while many punk bands had all white male members on the East Coast. Proto Riot Grrl artists like Alice Bag, a Chicana and a female lead in a band (Masque Era and The Bags), pushed at boundaries within the punk scene. With the diversity of the LA area, it was all in, and the freedom to gig wherever you could before the police or fire marshal came.

download-1

Alice Bag

Best LA Venues: Whisky a Go Go, Starwood, Cathay de Grande, Cuckoo’s Nest, House of Blues, Hong Kong Café.

NorCal punk was a different flavor, Fog Town SF being the center of it. San Fransisco still had that 60s hippy vibe, but much political upheaval with the Harvey Milk Assignation, and the riots that ensued changed into an ugly feel. Punks were in it, fighting for the rights of all to live and breathe in San Francisco, follow what sexuality they desired, have a place to live and not be forced out by the first gentrification waves, and not to fear the police. The NorCal scene encompassed San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, Alameda Co., and Sacramento. The bands that would make SF famous in the scene were Flipper, The Nuns, Fright Wig, Crime, The Mutants, and of course The Dead Kennedys.

San Francisco was near the heart of Silicon Valley, and not as intensely packed in populations as LA. The bands mostly came from lower-middle class backgrounds, suburban kids who migrated to the big city. The SF scene tended to be a bit more artsy-punk, with many shows being on small suburban college campuses with often a mix of Punk/Rockabilly and maybe a Goth Band. Then if there was enough of a following for the band, they would play larger venues in San Francisco and Berkeley. One of the best spots to see some very “interesting bands” was The Farm, an art commune property and community center off Army Street. But arguably one of the most typical places to see punk was The Mabuhay Gardens.

As the movement grew on the coast, punk would follow a nomadic touring loop between San Francisco, Sacramento, down I-5 to Bakersfield and LA proper, then loop back up again. You would pick up the local small paper or go to the record shops to see when the bands were playing that month and at which clubs, if not arrive in gangs on any given night on Broadway Street and get plastered with band promos. This Nomadic movement would later become part of the late 80s and early 90s phase of the Nomad and Tribalism movement, in the creation of huge concert/art/cultural venues like the Burning Man and Coachella Festivals culminating in a 90s version of Counter Culture.

Searchanddestroy2Check out the San Francisco scene I once knew with this great article. The best venues in SF for the punk scene were: The Farm, The Elite Club, Cloyne Court, The Deaf Club, The Mab(uhay), The Warfield Theatre, and Trocadero Transfer (yeah it was a Disco heaven back in the day).

Ruby Ray, Photographer

Ruby Ray was one of punk scenes photog fiends and has captured a vast wealth of the West Coast Scene in her new book Ruby Ray: Kalifornia Kool. Bending the rules herself in being a female photographer in a male dominated field, she captured the pure audacity that these bands had, along with her own. DIY music labels, art, dress, and anti-establishment lyrics made this scene and she captured its essence. Ray began her career with her work being shown in Search and Destroy punk-zine, and later in its followup, the ever thought provoking and in depth table art zine RE/Search.

ruby-ray-kalifornia-kool-2

Articles

Kalifornia Kool: San Francisco punk culture in the 70s and 80s – in pictures

Alice Bag: The Latina Girl Who Rioted Before Riot Grrl

Bay of punks: remembering when punk rock invaded San Francisco

Slash Zine Article

San Francisco Visual History Punk Indie Garage Flyers and Posters

Survival Research Labs

Lost SF Punk Clubs

Mabuhay Gardens

Punk Rock Captured

Ruby Ray, From The Edge of The World  Out of print and hard to get

Jim Jocoy We’re Desperate, Order of Appearance

Michael Stewart Foley Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (Dead Kennedys)

 

 

Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die Exhibit New York

040919_JBascom_2T0A3703_0.jpg

Photo by Jenna Bascom

MADMuseum.org

THE MUSEUM OF ARTS AND DESIGN
JEROME AND SIMONA CHAZEN BUILDING / 2 COLUMBUS CIRCLE / NEW YORK, NY 10019
(212) 299-7777

Traveling to New York this spring or summer? Get yersel to the Museum of Art and Design (MADMuseum.org) to see this exhibit. Sponsored by none other than Dr. Martens boots, for who better to do so? This exhibit features the art and design behind the DIY movement that was started by none other than punk rock fans and musicians, and focuses on the design concepts, not necessarily the music itself. Bands represented by The Ramones, Television, The Damned, Joy Division, Buzzcocks, Black Flag, Pere Ubu and more.

The exhibit features the  punk rock of the New York scene and British groups from 1976 to 1986, their posters for gigs, fanzines, badges and any other promotional in-your-face graphics, mostly done as cut and paste DIY in most instances. Hand drawn and inked, pasted, and whatever it took flyers, club promos, and DIY independent labels for records. The mainstream music industry shied from punk and post punk bands until they saw how lucrative they were becoming. Sadly, punk itself died out by 1980, as bands signed on to larger labels and started morphing into the post-punk phase of music.

There are several events hosted by the museum over the next few months centered around the punk scene, with photographers David Godlis, and Marcia Resnick. Other events include record label execs, and a Global Punk Film Series.

You know it’s scary when AARP has an article about this. Yup, we’re getting old.

Article on Gothamist

Punk Film Series

Confessions of a Punk/Post-Punk Makeup Fan