verily yeah…

I buy Fall records when I come across them.

It reminds me of the arguments of my youth that they were anti-music and shit. This opinion was always guaranteed to elicit the best responses from the floppy haired overcoat wearers in my audience.

Secretly I was fascinated by the guttural amphetamine driven vocals of Mr Smith and his beat group. I had secret tapes of them hidden amongst the Hatfield and the North and Henry Cow albums. Stupidly I was not able to recognize the connection of course I also had not discovered John Cooper Clarke by then either. Not that that is the connection. It was really the single minded commitment to an art form or was it anti-art.

For a brief moment we fell out. Well I became more interested in Americana. It’s easy to do when you live here and let’s face it Mark E. Smiths particular type of Mancunian invective is not exactly popular in the good ole US of A.

This afternoon as Thanksgiving or the national day of mourning for some drew to an end and the neighbors unleashed their particular celebratory arsenal on my ear drums I was reminded of the Fall. It was something to do with the constant gunfire and the cloud of blue gunpowder smoke rolling across the creek.

It was time to get confrontational with myself it seems. Everyone went to bed and zombie shows didn’t call to me.

So I went for what is apparently their most accessible album. The Infotainment Scan. Still it’s full of grumpiness and vitriol although the musics a little more together. And there’s the cover of Lost In Music to get all groovy to. It’s a paranoid feast of danceable grooves man. Well you can dance if your an angry amphetamine driven Mancunian.

Somewhere along the way it drove the sound of gunfire out of my brain.

It’s also on some lists as a good album. Even one you should listen to.

I often wonder if those floppy haired overcoat wearers are still listening and getting all morose still. I should be less judgements I suppose.

I’ve been struck a thousand times or more…

Psychedelic man.

Let’s start here.

It’s as good a place as any.

I came to the spiritualized party late. I attended a Spacemen 3 gig sometime in the late 80s bought some twelve inch singles sold them to a record store by the train station in Southport. Walked away and never looked back.

In the late 90s I was six thousand miles away and careering down Burnside in Portland Oregon having lost at pool, drunk too much cheap beer and whiskey when I was dragged into La Luna by Matt for the gig. Those were the days it seemed you could buy a ticket on the door for any gig, how things had changed pre-pandemic.

About halfway through the fog I realized I’d seen that singer before and the Spaceman 3 connection was closed.

It’s not as crazy. It’s intense it’ll break your mind on some days and I’m glad I fell through the door of La Luna. Who knew really.

So to the music, there’s mellotrons, an accordion, a choir and some spacey not so jammy and long songs of reflection, it’s an easy slide into the latter half of the night, it’s not going to keep you up unless you listen to the lyrics closely then you may have to take some time to decompress.

Damn that was 24 years ago it seems.


I used to spend a lot of time laying on the floor having some significantly deep thoughts. Some days I would actually solve the problems of the day in approximately 45 to 60 minutes without moving at all. Just laying there.

At times when I listen to music I first heard in my teen years I sometimes have brief flashes of some of those thoughts. They always seem to have resulted in some sort of utopian ideal. A sort of never ending enlightened toga party with grapes and chilled beverages.

I am often amazed at the amount of attention I must have brought to the music to have allowed my mind to wander that way. These days it’s hard to bring that amount of attention to the activity of listening. I occasionally try and get there again. Sometimes on an airplane about five hours in it happens and my thoughts flow with the music. More frequently I tend to find myself wondering in and out of attention and distraction.

Blackdance is allegedly Schulzes third album. Its a strange affair. Twelve string guitars meandering organs VCS3 synths and drums. The album sleeve adequately describes the otherworldliness of the music. I think throughout much of the eighties this scene was a recurring part of my dream life.

When I listen to this these days I get a feeling of possibility and hopefulness a sense that things can get better. It’s not in the music which is strange and wondering abs ethereal it’s more to do with me tapping into that thirteen year old self that plucked this out of the rack in the library and gave it a go.

but you can’t always trust your mother…

There are only so many cities that deserve a song never mind an album. New York however probably deserves the whole double album treatment and is there a better songwriter than Lou Reed to do that.

I’ve never really got the whole Lou Reed myth thing. Yeah he knocked out a few good songs. His first band influenced the world. He immortalized bananas and the sleazier side of the soft underbelly of the world which may very well be the same thing.

The best albums from the 80s sound like they were recorded in the 70s and New York is one of them. No bigger than life drums massive gospel choirs swooning in the background or over achieving lead vocals. In fact many times it sounds like demo’s.

John Mellencamp said it sounded like it was mixed by a grade schooler or something like that. At the end of the day rock ‘n’ roll should be basic, uncouth, angry, barely in control and occasionally borderline psychotic. It shouldn’t be polite and sanitized. So maybe more grade schoolers should mix more records.

As Lou says on the cover “you can’t beat two guitars bass and drums.” And it’s true.

Lou’s vocals are laid back conversational and his guitar is dirty and raw and all in the left speaker,and the cymbals are kept to a minimum as we all know cymbals eat guitars. The lyrics are searing. Self righteous at times and honest to a perspective that is Lous.

I have a longer story about this album that involves all sorts of meanderings and convoluted moments of indecision and revelations leading to a moment sitting on the beach staring west into the darkness and dreaming of America and New York.

I’m still not the greatest fan of Lou Reed. I don’t have a desire to own everything which for a bit of a completist is unusual but the bits I like are effectively whole albums. He’s either on or missing the mark as far as I am concerned.

It seems 1989 was the year the old guard made a come back. Young, Dylan and Reed all made career saving albums in 1989 that are still relevant today. Lou’s may be the most coherent statement though.

Oh yeah the reissue is clear vinyl and who can resist that.