The Cure, great article on “the Top” at Unfinished Line

Great article on one of my favourite Cure LPs – the Top – on the Unfinished Line:

Somehow, “The Top” has gone down in history as one of The Cure’s minor works, but that is unfair.  Perhaps because there was only one hit single – the dreamy folk pop of “The Caterpillar”, a trip down the rabbit-hole that’s both irresistibly catchy and laden with opium smoke.   It’s pure imagination on a grand scale for a pop song, with bits of textures and sound that ornament a campfire sing along on acid.   It’s impossible to credit that only a couple of years earlier, Robert Smith’s band was churning out a soul-searingly bleak album like “Pornography”, a collection of songs as unforgiving and harsh as any released in the rock era.   A wailing wall of towering rage and hopelessness.   “The Caterpillar” is another universe entirely, but just as manic and disturbed in its way.

via The Unfinished Line: The Cure: “The Top”.

(via the ever-spinning, fantastical Chain of Flowers)

Today is World Goth Day, apparently. Great Guardian article.

Would you know it, but today. May 22nd, is World Goth Day – with a website and everything. The Grauniad have honoured it with a cracking article (“World Goth Day has roused dark memories in me“):

Before I knew it, I had borrowed my granddad’s mac and my sister’s pixie boots, and was hanging out in the town graveyard, listening to Sisters of Mercy and the Mission, reading the Apocrypha and The Sandman and experimenting with incense. I saw the Damned perform on the Young Ones, and read in Smash Hits that their lead singer, Dave Vanian, slept in a coffin, which was about the coolest thing I’d ever heard. But it was the late 1980s, and just like so many middle class white boys, I soon discovered the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy, who are respectively much funnier and angrier, and so the joss sticks were put away.

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Killing Joke’s Jaz Coleman interviewed by Ian Camfield

The YouTube interview below sprung up recently on the home page for the Killing Joke official website.

It is a five-minute interview with Jaz, waving a spliff around and discussing the impending doom surrounding the end of the worked in December.

It seems Killing Joke may be organising a gig in New Zealand to celebrate the end of the world – sounds like a gas!  And Killing Joke would be the perfect headline act – their back catalogue is tailor-made for this!

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The Cult perform live on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show

On 18th May 2012, the Cult performed five tracks (22mins) on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show (whatever that is), including three new tracks from the imminent Choice of Weapon LP:

01. For The Animals
02. Wild Flower
03. Honey From A Knife
04. Lucifer
05. Love Removal Machine

The ever-wolfy Dark Circle Room have posted a link to the HD download version of this show, but a couple of the tracks have escaped onto YouTube (below):

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Epitome: Siouxsie – “Israel (live)”, from the Nocturne video, Royal Albert Hall, September 1983

As I said in this post over here, 1983 was a hectic time for the Siouxsie and the Banshees and Cure families.  Robert Smith was cosied up with Steve Severin, consumption and creativity levels were high and thus was formed the Glove.

Smith still found time to play guitar with Siouxsie and the Banshees on tour.  He’d played with the Banshees before in 1979, when the Cure had also supported them – busy night for Bob.

So, the Banshees toured and played the Royal Albert Hall on September 30th and October 1st 1983.  Both nights were recorded and the best tracks selected for Nocturne – on video, double LP (with four extra tracks), later on CD, and latest on DVD (along with the 45min Channel Four music show “Play at Home” [discussed here, with the entire show via YouTube] and the Dear Prudence promo video).  The opening track is “Israel” – another of those pesky standalone singles which were released between LPs (like “Fireworks”) – and it really sets the bar high for quality – both of song and delivery.

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ARP Omni-2 – the classic Joy Division keyboard

I found this the other day on YouTube – if you like Closer or Atmosphere and have any interest in synths, watch the video below.

When I was a teenager in the mid-1980s, like many of my teenager friends I was very fascinated by Joy Division, in particular by their album “Closer”. I remember that in those days I used to put Closer on the turntable, turn off the lights in my room, and fall asleep to the music. The music from Closer was very beautiful and hypnotic, and left a big impression on me. In particular I loved the synth strings used in that album. It was the ARP Omni-2, also used in other songs by the band. A great album, a great performance by the band, a masterful production by Martin Hannett, and a big influence for my music since those days.

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Unsung guitar heroes – Kevin “Geordie” Walker from Killing Joke

Geordie from Killing Joke is truly an unsung guitar hero.  His early guitar sound proved seminal in two ways – what he played and how it sounded.

Geordie uses almost discordant guitar chords – lots of flattened notes and diminished structures – challenging, relentless riffs.  And his huge, signature sound combines distortion, chorus/doubling and reverb in a wall-of-sound assault.

The other day I stumbled across the (9:30 min) video below, which shows examples of Geordie’s guitar lines (mainly from songs from the early 80s) played really well:

This is my fourth video in my ‘Unsung Guitar Hero’ Series. I’ve only been able to get a snapshot into Geordie’s back catalogue (as he has a HUGE repertoire of stuff with Killing Joke, Murder inc, Pigface etc). Really underrated guitarist, such a big influence on modern alternative music.

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