Step 2: Throw away your sneakers. They are classic? Who gives a shit. Just uninspiring flat shoes. Start wearing something more sophisticated and, hell yeah, classic: pointy shoes, snake skin Derby, leopard loafers, brothel creepers.
Step 3: Watch closely the video. You can learn a thing or two from Nick Cave and the rest of Grinderman geezers.
• The video is from Grinderman’s performance of “No Pussy Blues” at Live on Later in, probably, 2007 • The featured image via Deezer
There are happy synthpop songs. There are sad synthpop songs. And there are synthpop songs that instantly bring you to tears. Here’s one of them.
Don’t get fooled by the title: (Feels Like) Heaven. It talks about a bitter breakup, not a love story. One of my main anthems for gloomy days.
This classic track is by the Scottish band Fiction Factory and appears on their debut album Throw the Warped Wheel. It’s a regular feature on 1980s and new wave compilations. In 2016, the song was performed live by Manic Street Preachers during their Everything Must Go 20th Anniversary Tour.
Heaven is closer now today The sound is in my ears I can’t believe the things you say They echo what I fear Twisting the bones until they snap I scream but no one knows You say I’m familiar cold to touch And then you turn and go
June 1979, 40 years and a month ago, Unknown Pleasures, Joy Division’s debut studio album, was released. It has been named as one of the best albums of all time by publications such as NME, AllMusic, Select, and Spin. But, there’s more, the oh-so interesting story behind the legendary album cover, as told by The Magic Sugarcube:
“The cover art for Joy Division’s 1979 album Unknown Pleasures was originally published as a black-on-white science plot by Harold Craft in his 1970 PhD thesis Radio observations of the pulse profiles and dispersion measures of twelve pulsars. Page 215 shows 80 successive pulses of the first pulsar observed, CP1919, tastefully stacked on top of one another. The plot was subsequently reproduced as a white-on-red image for the cover art of the 1970 International Astronomy Union General Assembly Highlights of Astronomy edited by Cornelis De Jager, as the green-on-white image in Ostriker’s article mentioned above, as a white-on-black image in Walter Herdeg’s 1974 Graphis Diagrams: The Graphic Visualization of Abstract Data, and then in the black-on-white style in Simon Mitton’s editing of the 1977 edition of The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Astronomy.”
Happy birthday, Imelda May! Johnny got a boom boom!
Today, 10 July, is Imelda May’s birthday. This Irish singer was first known for her musical style—and fashion: that trademark blonde streak and leopard-print dress!—of rockabilly revival; she had adored rockabilly since encountering Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran on a tape she borrowed from her brother’s bedroom aged 13. Her second studio album, Love Tattoo, with the debut single “Johnny Got a Boom Boom” made her gained significant popularity in Ireland and the United Kingdom. She made her solid breakthrough after she met with a booking agent for Jools Holand. The guy gave May a support slot for Holland at Kew Gardens, London, quickly followed by a 10-date tour. Immediately, record companies started calling. She then signed with Decca. In July 2015, she was asked by independent.ie whether her next album would retain her rockabilly sound, a big mistake million-dollar question. “People see my hair and they think rockabilly, and I mean there’s a lot of rockabilly in what I do, but there’s equal amount of blues and jazz and there’s all kind of genres. It happens all the time that people ask about it and people presume, but I’m not a rockabilly artist and I never have been.’ Oh well, happy birthday and thanks for your contribution to rockabilly, Imelda May!
Cover photo via NPR. Slide photo via Azaria Magazine.
Today, 62 years ago, Elvis Presley scored his first UK No.1 with “All Shook Up”, (his tenth UK single release). It stayed at No.1 for seven weeks.
Composed by Otis Blackwell, it features Presley’s on percussion by slapping the back of his guitar.
Ranked #352 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, according to Elvis during an interview on 28 October 1957, the idea of the song came after he had quite a dream and woke up all shook up. He then phoned a pal and told hm about it. “By morning, he had a new song, ‘All Shook Up’.”
According to biographer Mark Lewisohn in The Complete Beatles Chronicle, The Beatles regularly performed the song, from 1957 through 1960 with Paul McCartney on lead vocal.
Suzi Quatro recorded “All Shook Up” for her debut solo album, Suzi Quatro, in 1973. The Jeff Beck Group, featuring Rod Stewart on vocals, released a version on their 1969 album Beck-Ola. While in 1991, Billy Joel recorded the song for the movie Honeymoon in Vegas.
The video here is from a television special starring Elvis Presley, aired by NBC on 3 December 1968: Singer Presents…Elvis—commonly referred to as ’68 Comeback Special.