So, this is it. The final single by Ric Ocasek was by the reformed Cars’ from 2011. Richard Otcasek died now, aged 75 this September after a long and varied career from early psych-soft rock to The Cars, Producer of Suicide, Bad Brains, Alan Vega, Romeo Void involving mega-stardom at the height of the 80’s with a.o. “Drive”, co-starring on Live Aid 1985, working as A & R Man a few years besides releasing his own solo records.
He was a father to 6 sons (!), a genuine wordsmith and a songwriter par excellence. He lived a live between underground and stardom, 80’s fame including marriage with a model he met during music video shootings.. Paulina Porizkova. He was a guitarist, keyboardist and singer with a own voice. A typical American in the best way who enjoyed his personal freedom and individuality. Always interested in art, photography and life.
In 2012 he published his collected lyrics and prose in bookform, paired with some b/w photographs, had some exhibitions of his pop art influenced paintings over the years.
In 2018 The Cars where inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018 – 40 years after their debut and without Benjamin Orr who passed away in October 2000.
The Cars and Ric Ocasek always held a special place in my heart even if they where perhaps the most conventional ‘Rockers’ amongst the American New Wave – DEVO, The B-52’s, Talking Heads, Blondie.
After the 25 Years celebration compilation monster “The United World Underground” issued in 2017, he digged even deeper in his glorious tape label / DIY past to present you (as promised) digitized and mastered works of the dark past where nearly nothing was instantly available nor free nor digital.
This is meant to be the final collection celebrating the past before Mick Magic might make his words true and explore further territories in outer and inner space with a new album by his own Magic Moments At Twilight Time…
See The Magic Net for more downloads and take the chance to get hold of the lovingly remastered reissue of M & E’s top selling CD Album ‘Creavolution’ (read all and more about it here) and get a decent hardcopy at TMR Records.
Click to go to the official info site. Official Release : 06/09/2019. Expect a Bang.
As expected this promises to be another wild sonic ride – from psychedelic, experimental, goth, electro to somewhere else with loads of shades in between. As a first glimpse a bonus virtual C90 is already out with some introducing words by Lord Litter (another survivor) over at the Electronic Cottage.
ACC / A Colder Consciousness started as Radio Show via. Resonance FM by Fiona Pitrolo, all shows are archived on mixcloud. Basic themes are cold wave, extraordinary underground and eastern European alternative scenes as far as I can tell – all with a melancholy hint.
Last year they expanded their activities and started publishing music too. The first (re-)release was Jugoslavian’s Bastion debut LP / DL from 1984.
In due course of their label specials they interviewed Marco Pustianaz about HAX Materiali Per La Communicazanione and the Italian underground and experimental post-punk scene (still online here), got in touch with Marco Milanesio, one of the other driving forces behind the label collective and wow (now) here is actually an old / new release by DsorDNE and it’s preceeding incarnation Novostj:
(Limited Vinyl) LP & DL, remastered by Marco Milanesio himself from his old masters. Gracie !!!
A new video for DsorDNE’s signature song in it’s live version featuring New Noveta is here too.
Listen / buy / enjoy & find more details and lyrics at ACC’s bandcamp.
Additionally, released in February via Triple Void Records, Turin was a great electronic EP with two remixes by DsorDNE from the Italian postpunk darkwave electronic project Ginevra‘s latest album.
A great shot showing Marsh / Andrews / Baker in full form performing at the Paradiso in Amsterdam 23 / 09 /2017.
The final gig of this year’s return to live performance with the aid of many old allies – Steve Halliwell (Keys) also in the background to be seen, The Syd’s i.e. Sarah and Wendy Patridge on Backing Vocals, Mike Cozzi (Gtr.) and on the Bass Scott Firth (PIL).
Shriekback used the Kickstarter Platform to make this possible and played many tracks from 1985’s ‘Oil And Gold’, a few from ‘Big Night Music’ and some classic singles like ‘My Spine Is The Bassline’, ‘All Lined Up’ in updated versions but only one song from their recent ‘Without Fish And Strings’ album; ‘Recessive Jean’ which is not the strongest imho but worked fine as a medley with the incredible groovy ‘Feelers’.
It was hard to tell who was more delighted that this happened, the band or the fans – a great night out in a great City. Thanks to modern tech nearly every move is documented somewhere but to have been there is actually still priceless.
“2017 marks the 40th year since Martha and the Muffins was founded in Toronto by Ontario College of Art students David Millar and Mark Gane, along with Martha Johnson, Carl Finkle and Tim Gane. Several months later, the band was augmented by two more members, Andy Haas and Martha Ladly. ‘Summer of Song’ is a remembrance of the early days of the band, when we were young and everything seemed possible.”
A very dreamy and thoughtful ballad, well i guess only a few miss getting calmer while travelling through the decades.
On another note Echo Beach released a second Compilation of M&M Remixes in July, called ‘Where Blue Meets Green (balearic edits)’, Martha and the Muffins tracks re-edited, re-sampled and “focused” by DJ’s Sir Billy, TC Sunshine and Martin “ez” Fekl. See and hear the promo video to get an impression of the sunny spirit here:
Andhere’s a bonus remix of their brandmark single “Echo Beach” which is semi-surprisingly not included in the above mentioned Ibiza inspired DJ mixes and only available currently as a free promo download.
Semi-surprisingly indeed if you consider Echo Beach already released a limited CD full of remixes of this one song in 2010 at the 30th anniversary of the original Single release.
Of course not only Nicolai Beverungen (the label head) was caught by this catchy melancholic danceable working class lines, “Echo Beach” was rightfully a Canadian, Australian and British Top 10 Hit and is still remembered as one of the classic New Wave / Post Punk tunes of the 1980’s.
Finally their debut Album Metro Music will receive the deluxe treatment from Universal Music Canada and be reissued as CD / 2LP with bonus tracks unknown yet.
Hard to believe but this will be just the second CD issue of this classic Album at all (…).
For me this is an classic since I heard it first and with raising temperatures outside it came to mind once again.
Fay Ray came from Bangor, Wales, U.K., evolved out of Hot Water and Dick Dick & the Dicks published one Single ‘Family Affairs’ on Nigel Gray (Most famous for Production and Recording work on eaarly Police stuff) before signing to WEA.
The single and the sole Album Contact You never took off for reasons beyond my understanding. A second fully recorded Album was not even issued by WEA (and remains unreleased) due to the commercial failure.
Well perhaps it would’ve helped if the invested a little more effort in the rather pointless sleeve design. This 1982 Video to their sole Single on WEA was uploaded by Tony Travis, the original bassist.
As a bonus for the curious – Where are they today ? How do they look today ? What happened ? – here is a rare re-union take from an instore gig 2010. ‘Family Affairs’ live at Cob Records, Bangor. Recorded on Saturday 17th April at 1:45pm. The Event was part of Independent Record Store Day.
After several re-formations and Barry Andrew’s near-solo efforts [Cormorant, Glory Bumbs and Life In The Loading Bay] via Malicious Damage Shriekback evolved once more into a more or less proper group with the ever reliable Martyn Barker and Carl Marsh back on board.
Well expectations hung high here after their last utterly brilliant 2010 Album I dedicated a whole post too on the first (now lost) version of this blog. Just in short : get it while stocks last.
For more details concerning their new release (also currently available with bonus disk Shriekback Vs. The Caretakers) “Without Real String Or Fish”
…and plenty of related in-deepth stories see their busy tumblr here and buy at shriekback.com direct from the band.
Here’s another current track in a live in the studio version, these official videos should give you a taste of what to expect. Well sort of…
The face & singer of Visage died February 12th in Egypt, aged 55. He lived a colorful live like few others – from being a Punk in Wales, working with McLaren in London and starting a new futuristic scene with Rusty Egan at the famous Bliz Club. Visage started as a in hindsight post punk supergroup featuring members of Ultravox and Magazine and are still best known for their classic “Fade To Grey”. Steve Strange was never short in trying different outfits and living out his version of fashion which got him more recognizion than any of his musical projects …and overshadowed them in a way. David Bowie early saw the importance of the New Romantics and invited him to appear in his iconic 1980 Video “Ashes To Ashes”, in itself a very New Wave influenced and great Single.
In 1982 Helmut Newton photographed him for the artwork of the 2nd darker and underrated Album “The Anvil” and accompanying singles and it looked like nothing could stop Visage …..
….but commercial success (and the members of Ultravox Ure & Currie) drifted away with the 3rd and disappointing slick “Beat Boy” – an insightful interview with Steve aobut this era can be found over at Electric Club. The remaining members called it quits soon after and a row of best of collections and Remixes was all to come until the 2000’s.
Steve Strange surfaced 1986 with a more rock-orientated but short-lived outfit Strange Cruise before turning his back on Music Production and returning to Club Business more or less succesfull. In his 2002 published Autobiography “Blitzed!” (Orion, UK) he revealed his struggle with Heroin Addiction and his long way back to a performing artist which he started slowly but surely with different line-up’s of Visage culminating finally in the rightly praised comeback Album “Hearts & Knives” in 2013 and a resurrection of his alliance with Rusty Egan in Blitz Club Records. After touring and releasing different singles from the Album in 2014 the new line-up issued another Album “Visage Orchestral” including a newly recorded take of “Fade To Grey” which now became his last single.
It is save to say that the 80’s music world would have been different without him – The Human League’s Dare, Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet to name but a few owe him and the Blitz Club a lot. He brought back the colour into the post Punk Pop world – daring, searching and believing into different forms of expression and individuality.