Sunday, November 28, 2010


Erm, so my wife's waters just broke and she's in labour . Out of interest I was listening to some ridiculous late 70's French synth compilation that did not incidentally come out on vinyl.

The thing about french synth wave or dark wave is that it's a little bit fruitier or warmer than the stuff coming out of say German or Belgium at the same time. It's also clumsy in the respect that a lot of the lyrics just plain don't make sense..

Oh, no, here we go. This one is going to have to wait.

Holy fucking fuck.


And another?

I'll be honest, I'm killing time while my wife paces the room, gets down on all fours or sits on a pile of cushions five feet high. She's slowly going in to labour. The plus side is that the house is spotless, apparently they call it 'nesting': Whilst I haven't woken up at 4.00am to find her scrubbing the kitchen ceiling (supposedly this is not unusual) everything is neat, tidy and in its place ready.

Ooooh! There goes another one. They are still a good 15 minutes apart at the moment as we are still coming out of 'False Labour'. No I'm not referring to those cunts led by the Hamburglar's body double that we only just ousted from power (arumpatish!) Apparently It's some kind of bodily fake-out. Labour but not labour. Anyway, I'm rambling. To be honest I am doing anything I can to take my mind off what's coming. Not in a bad way, I'm not in denial, it's more of a self preservation kind of way. I honestly think that if I sat sober in a cold room and dwelled on what happens next for more than a few minutes I'd shit my pants. Excited? Fuck yes. Prepared? What as in do we have a stroller? Yes. Prepared mentally? Fuck no!

Anyway, another great album that didn't get a look in on vinyl 'Sweet Sixteen' by Royal Trux. The fact that this bad boy never made it onto everybody's format of choice is nothing short of a mystery. In fact as and when I get to heaven and meet The Baby Jesus it's first on my list of questions.

'Come my child, you have led a kind and gentle life, now I welcome you to heaven, do you have any questions?'

'Well, there is just the one....'

(Two actually if you count Lembit Opik's unfathomable and continued success with the ladies)

That to this day 'Sweet Sixteen' is the only Royal Trux LP not available on....LP. It's fucking retarded. I mean didn't they think to reissue it around the time of the Weird's War album or the first RTX (Jennifer post Trux) record?

It's absence remains a crying shame.

Sonically 'Sweet Sixteen' is Royal Trux's most ambitions record. There is so much going on at any one time that multiple listens will identify layers that you didn't thing were there the first time.

'Is that a marimba?'

It's still dirty and somehow lo-fi but it's an all together different ball game from 'Twin Infinitives' era Trux. It's the same blueprint, it's made with the same fucked beyond fucked post-Stones 'up all week in the same clothes' stylings but this time out two heroes are joined by what sounds like a cast of thousands... well okay, four or five maybe. This is the '70s rock' record, stadium filling pomposities coated in coke and triple live concept albums.

Oh, we're going for a walk to try and induce real Labour....

Holy shit it's cold out there - Weather man says minus 17 and snow on it's way.

Anyway, where was I? The story goes that the Trux made this record deliberately over-baring and in-accessible in an attempt to get out of their record contract, a kind of 'Metal Machine Music' fuck you. But if that really is the case, they failed massively because the likes of 'Morphic Resident' and 'Golden Rules' are the band at their best.

How are you supposed to prepare mentally for father-hood? Well there's a million books out there, a few decent films like 'Away we Go' and okay, I can only think of 'Away we Go'. I'm sure there are seminars, counciling sessions and the like but really what's that actually going to do other than take up 'transitional time'? The last 'me time' until I'm pensioned off to some retirement home to piss my pants and argue over the remote.

Ha! I'm going to read this back in a few months and feel bad. In the meantime I'm going to listen to the Royal motherfucking Trux.


Right so first out the gate..

Without my disappointing change in policy this honest to God slice of amazingness would never have graced these pages. For whatever reason Spain never saw fit to release their second effort on vinyl. I used to lie awake and wonder why? Maybe they forgot, more plausibly it could be that the good folks at Restless Records told Spain that they had and Spain went to bed happy, content that they had succeeded in creating the greatest break up record of all time across all formats. Wow, I bet they were pretty bummed when they saw it come back from the pressing plant as a cassette and CD only...

Spain 'Hey did you guys here our new record?'

Everyone 'No, but we saw your CD was out...'

Yeah, that's fucked. Nearly as fucked as the conversation Neil and Jennifer must have had when Sweet Sixteen hit the shops.

Anyway, despite this 'She Haunts My Dreams' is out there in a pocket sized, take it to parties and wow your friends friendly format... Not that I would suggest playing this at a party for a second, not unless the guests were recovering from heartbreak, a death in the family and or on diamorphine.

I don't want to sound too much like I have Spain's balls in my mouth although yes, admittedly that is the way it's going. She Haunts My Dreams' is a one trick pony. A mono-tonal pean to lost love and heart break, nothing more and nothing less. But holy shit, it does it so well. Its beautiful. It's Sinatra's 'In the Wee Small Hours' for the 2000s. Yes the lyrics border on bad Grade School poetry in parts and there isn't a single unnecessary note or flourish but this stripped down restraint is part of the magic.

I first heard this back in 2000 and was introduced to it by a record shop colleague who had been rotating between this and whatever Pinback were doing at the time for a week or so. After a couple of listens I was hooked, to the extent that for a long time this was one of six or seven CDs that I owned.

What can I say, I've had sex to it, been dumped to it, drunk copious amounts of red wine to it and looked out the window on a winter morning hung over as fuck to it.

'She Haunts My Dreams'

Does what it says on the tin.



I've been toying with the best way of breaking this, mulling over, deleting half written entries -Half cocked explanations of my change in policy, whilst scratching my head. After a couple of months of living with this life-alering changer in policy I have decided that the best thing to do is just come out and say it.

I have resumed the purchase of Compact Discs.

I know, what the fuck? Right? Only six months ago that I suggested there might be a link between international terrorism and the CD. But there you go, I have fallen back in with that now nearly dead format of school girls and house wives.

Part of me feels like that guy at the back of the Dylan concert back in 1966 'Judith!', the other half, or just over half is pretty smug about it all. Why? Well have you seen how cheap CDs are nowadays? Ever since the MP3 meant that music could rain magically from the sky and directly into your computer nobody is buying them, nobody. That makes for a pretty healthy hunting ground in my new and digital remastered opinion.

It also takes the edge off the fact that two of my better sources for interesting vinyl have dried up, One due to geography and one at the hands of a caped Phantom of the Opera like character who has a gift for raping the bins and exiting stage left with anything even half decent before I'm even out of bed. This coupled with my distaste for vinyl re-issues goes some way to explaining away my turn-coat actions, It just makes sense. Not least because I can now listen to music I always imagined was out of reach. In retrospect it seems nothing short of perverse that I refused to budge from my single-minded vinyl only (and no reissues) approach in the first place. But then hey, what's life without opinions and discipline?

SO now to get on with enjoying this new-found technology, this compact, space and pocket friendly every-man alternative without sounding too much like Lord Haw Haw of course....