on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2015 28 Sep

Good Stuff for Long October Nights

von: Michael Engelbrecht Filed under: Blog | TB | 2 Comments

2015 / 2075 (?). „Fallout never felt so fun“. What? Not that I’m interested in political correctness, but, c’mon, that’s a bit heavy. Yes, there is an underground in rotten times, a certain vibe of doom and devotion can easily be detected. Ravers know you can be lost and delivered to those eternal moments where your body and the dancefloor become one. The melting process, the escapism. I got it, and you’re right, Luke Haines is a damned sophisticated guy! John Peel, I’m sure, would have loved „British Nuclear Bunkers“.

1939 – 2014. A voice in the choir of his generation – that he surely was. I remember listening to him one night in a cheap hotel room near Earl’s Court, I missed the one I loved, the one who had left me a week before, I was walking through the streets, looking for relief, being everything from a half pint of Lager (Foster’s – be a snob when you’re lonely!), keeping the conversation alive with strangers, fuckin‘ on empty. But there I was, lying on my bed, hearing the voice of John Peel talking about the „correct use of soap“ and playing a song from that Magazine album. Pure adrenaline and joy. Now a book is about to be released about the life and times of DJ John Peel.

1968, 1969. Special times in London. John Peel was still young, the clash of the generations in full bloom in „Swingin‘ London“. Fabulous to have a thriller here that precisely evokes the spirit of that era without many flowers in its chapters, William Shaw has written an arresting book, „Kings Of London“. Can it already be called „a historic crime novel“? Crashing dreams happens all the time. The book is a slow burner, and first rate time traveling.

1970 – 1975. And there we go with another step back in time. The Faces. (formerly, in the late sixties, known as „The Small Faces“). You remember? Too long ago? Ronnie Lane, young Rod Stewart. „You Can Make Me Dance, Sing or Anything“ is a five-CD box set that collects well done remastered  versions of the Faces’ four studio albums, complete with previously unreleased tracks. The box is quite cheapish,  but I don’t feel anymore I always need lengthy, sometimes self-indulgent liners notes, or pictures of memorabilia. Just give me great music with a great sound. Okay, some good insight is always welcome, and Jeff Strowe’s review is a fine, condensed history lesson.   Old Europe. Quite anglophile, this October selection. 



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  1. Jochen:

    As far as I remember, listening to John Peels radio show on BBC after midnight somewhen in the eighties, I took notice of a remarkable voice I´d never heard before and that I could not classify. Someone was interviewed to promote his Solo-Debut-Album. The singing voice sounded a bit like Brian Ferry, but it definitely wasn´t the singer of the famous Roxy Music band, when hearing him speaking.

    „What´s your current reading?“, Peel asked.

    „Jean Cocteau – The Difficulty of Being“, the mysterious musician answered.

    Hey, wow! But who the f… was this band called Japan they were talking about? Never heard of. While listening to the songs of the album named Brilliant Trees, it felt like this was the best I´ve heard over the last ten years. Next day I went to the record shop.

  2. Peter Femdon:

    Have been at the „John Peel Lecture“, some days ago, an annual event in which an artist makes a speech on a subject of their choice. This year it was Brian Eno, and he visited, beforehand, Peel Acres, the radio DJ’s expansive archive, as part of the BBC’s coverage. He discussed hearing the Velvet Underground for the first time on Peel’s show in 1967, as well as the time Peel played Fripp’s and Eno’s Evening Star album in its entirety, backwards, live on air.

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