P R A Y E R S T O A B R O K E N S T O N E Vol. 2 Issue 3 Nov 1993 the Editor's Den (this should have come out, oh, about six months or so ago, but it didn't and i'm too lazy to change much of the out of date information, so just deal with it, i'll add footnotes where i feel like it.) ____________________________________________________________________________ Oooh, don't even _ask_ why the hell this is so late, you don't wanna know. If my life got fucked up any more we'd have to find a new word for it. This is part of why I like having a zine, I can ramble on, blathering my whiny drivle and you can skip over it, and everybody feels better. :-) Lesse, not much in the way of Sisters news. There is a tribute compilation coming out Real Soon Now(tm). It was _supposed_ to be out for Christmas. It features all pre-First and Last and Always songs, well, _sort_ of. The Faith and Disease song, the only track I've heard so far, is Bury Me Deep from the No Time To Cry 12". It's really, really good, so I have high hopes for the rest of the album, even though I've never even heard of most of the bands. 12 bands, about 20 songs to choose from depending on where you want to start counting. So your favorite pre-First and Last and Always song is probably represented, tho hopefully not Temple of Love, nobody will ever top Creaming Jesus' version. :-) [And i was right, the comp is ok, some great stuff, some drek, but all interesting anyway. a real review will happen eventually, maybe.] Prayers to a Broken Stone Vol. II, Issue III Publisher: Morpheus Laughs Productions Chief Blabber-Mouth: Corey W. Nelson Contributing Writers: John McDongh, everything else by me. ______________________________________________________________________________ Copyright Notice: This zine is copyright 1993 by Corey W Nelson for the contributors, except for the bits that I've shamelessly stolen. Those bits are of course still copyright by their original creators. This zine may not be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without express written permission from me. Permission is given in advance for a printout for yourself. Just because you get something for free via the net doesn't mean it's public domain and you can do anything you want with it. ______________________________________________________________________________ ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ______________________________________________________________________________ Interview with Andrew Eldritch Conducted by Ted Mico for Melody Maker "After the Flood" MM 11/14/87 I've had to wait two years for Andrew Eldritch to come round to my flat bearing the fruits of his labour, _Floodland_, an album he feels certain will justify his place in our hearts and will be a worthy successor to his debut _First_And_Last_And_Always_. Thirty seconds after the needle hit the plastic I know he's right. Eldritch has spent over half his adult life studying languages, yet still finds most conversations an insurmountable obstacle course. Given the right people to talk to (he finds conversing with my cats easier than most humans) he is the most articulate, erudite and intelligent man in ripped jeans. Eldritch doesn't belong to the world of the commonplace, the land of the autoteller, the plastic charge or polystyrene mind. He belongs to the fragile and fragrant world of a serpentine imagination, a spiraling chaos. To understand Eldritch is to understand defeat, and then know how to conquer it. The struggle is all. He has stared defeat in the face and merely hiccupped. Now he has offered to take you on a journey through _Floodland_ - a guided tour of the watery canals that tenuously link The Sisters Of Mercy to the real world. "It sounds somewhat strange to me now after all this time. It's a solid album, almost subsumed by it's own weight. The first side you need an awful lot of drugs to get through it. The second is more textured, more powerful." Is there a visual soundtrack that could accompany _Floodland_? "Perhaps a slow motion shot of the Aurora Borealis exploding, or the scene on the heath in _King_Lear_." And who would play Lear? "Reg Varney." A long pause. "I'd be a good fool. Knowing you're being stupid has never stopped me being stupid." _Dominion/Mother_Russia_ was a Wagnerian opera until a Bolshevik Chevy convertible crashed into the chorus. "I think _Dominion_ has it within it to entice the unwary. I made the mistake of getting caught in central Europe when Chernobyl started sprinkling it's residue over the land. It's part of my hate/hate relationship with America. I just had the idea of all them huddled in their mobile homes while _Mother_Russia_ rained down on them. They deserve it. I suppose the song is really about the prostitution of Europe by the Americans." This brings us to the drowning funnel of love of _Flood_I_. A lugubrious passage through water with serrated edges. "I never really knew how much I missed the water until I moved to Hamburg. I love to be next to it. Water is the most impressive thing you can almost get to grips with. The problem with _Flood_I_ is that it was written in a certain state of mind, shall we say, and I haven't visited that place again. You know...altered states." Amid a deluge of lines about rain, oceans, seas, rivers there's a peculiar inclusion: "While strange men rent strange flowers". What the hell does this mean? "What happens in Hamburg is that, at two in the morning, these Turks come round the bars selling roses to couples who aren't quite couples yet but might be by half past two. I rather liked the idea that these couples could rent these flowers until they became couples then they could give them back and they would be recyclable. The Turks would make more money and the couples wouldn't get burdened with these thorny things." He pulls his glasses down from the bridge of his nose. "Actually, I think it's a metaphor for ephemeral love," he adds in his finest Roger Moore supercilious accent. The compassion in _Lucretia_My_Reflection_ is trussed with barbed wire - a most succulent torture. "That's my welcome on board Patricia (Morrison - SOM backing vocalist) song...I've been proclaimed dead so many times, I've created things that others have tried to take, this is my answer. I had to fight very hard to preserve what was mine. Not only with the band split but in a general sense too. I spent two years retrieving my physical health." Why choose a woman whose name is synonymous with mass murder and poisoning? Lucretia Borgia isn't exactly most people's idea of a good lover or a good cocktail waitress. "I think she was quite benign in her own way. Patricia always strikes me as a Lucretia-type person. I still don't understand why state-ordained murder is acceptable, but in this age of free enterprise, the individual act of killing can still be punished. The sanction of the state is something I've never understood." "Friends of mine killed just because of the way the state operates. Buildings fall on people in New York every month so obviously as a result of the enterprise culture. They're designed to fall down. I used to carry a steel bar up my sleeve but only for the purpose of defense. Myself, I feel constantly assaulted by the state but I can't take a steel bar and whack it one and I'm always at great pains _not_ to encourage others to do the same. The youth leader whose idea of fun is leading young people into pitched battle seems immensely stupid. These are dangerous subjects to talk about..." The Sisters Of Mercy will not be performing live in the foreseeable future. Eldritch has too many memories of life on the road. "I like the idea of concerts," he says, "but tours? That's something else. Night one you haven't got your act together. Night two, your voice is fucked. Night three you're already going through the motions. Night four you're trying to stand stationary and stop slavering and by Night five, you're resorting to the old you-know-what just to keep going. From then on it's downhill all the way. It's that hideous rollercoaster ride that turns you into a beast. There are some people that function very well in the beast mode, but sadly I'm not one of them." This leads us to the next stop on the tour, the melancholy ballad _1959_, Eldritch's birthday, Eldritch's star-turn. "1959 was of course a special year for the world. I guess the song is about innocence - inherited as opposed to environmental. I had a time a year and a half ago when, for the first time in my life, I was totally happy _and_ I realised it at the time. It lasted about two weeks. There are still some strands of the song _I_ don't understand. I can tell I don't understand because I can still marvel at it. It's the only one here that still does that to me. It's unassailable, even transcending my own ability to superimpose myself on the song. It's out of control." It is also the only time in his career when Eldritch has approached the word child, or children without a scratching contempt. "But even then it's close," he hisses. Do you like your audience? "Yes I'm incredibly fond and protective of them, hate to see them abused by other people and accept second best," he says leaving a purpose built silence. "Our audience was always different - when they kicked the shit out of each other they used to apologize afterwards. They're very sharp as well. They always know what I'm talking about. I can't express myself coherently in anything other than songs. It might not sound coherent when I sing it, and even when it _is_ it may be too oblique to be of any use to anyone, but it's almost all there." His face cracks with a satisfied smile every time _This_Corrosion_ is mentioned. His eyes look out for the fatted calf. "It's my war cry," he says warmly. "Despite the title, it's actually a constructive song because nearly all of it should be thought of in quotation marks. It would be too confusing to print them all, Basically it's a very poor form of argument - putting words into someone else's mouth and then explaining how stupid they are. It is, of course, directed at somebody and it doesn't take a genius to work out who, although it'll probably take the person concerned some considerable time. I find it embarrassing watching people humiliate themselves for their absurd idea of rock'n'roll." _Flood_II_ revisits the seascape etched on Side One but seems to lurch against the tide to greater effect. "It's certainly more focussed. 'I' is 'Are you sure we really want to do this?,' and 'II' is 'Yeah, here we go!' In normal circumstances, the raising of arms is a sign of exultation but, if you're surrounded by water, it's complete submission, 'Down we go'. This is both at once." Is the flood a baptism or simply annihilation? "It's sex - at least in this context. Most people, if you think about it, only get wet under certain circumstances..." The left eyebrow arches. "It's also a little bit about what happens to me in water. Water and I do NOT mix. I can't breathe well when I'm in it. I taught myself to swim at a very late age, which took a lot. I'm always impressed by water. Frightened? No, fright implies some element of surprise and I'm never surprised by water. You know what it's there for - it's there to impress you! Water is something so mammoth, so a flood is emotionally _very_ stimulating. To surrender to it so willingly with such enthusiasm I think would be quite exciting. It seems a brave move." From Noah's Ark to Joan Of Arc, religious symbols litter the album. Are you a religious person? "I might be. I was brought up on religious symbolism so it's very difficult to escape. Until someone writes a book as good as The King James' Bible I think it's the best alternative. I firmly believe in oblivion though. I can't see the point of my flood unless it leads to oblivion." Throughout _Floodland_, Eldritch's main preoccupation is the struggle against futility under the sign of the mushroom and the sound of big bang. He is utterly convinced he'll never make it through his natural lifespan and seems concerned only whether Hamburg will be vaporized or meet with a tidal wave. He hopes for the latter. "When I first moved to Germany I didn't realise that they practice nuclear alerts. When the siren went off, bloody loud, all across the state at 10 in the morning, I thought it was really happening. A friend gad just met a violent death two weeks before and my first thought was, 'What a pity she's going to miss this', because I knew it was going to look _brilliant_. It seemed sad that something so important was going to be missed by anyone." And your second thought? "I was just about to stand in the middle of the road because I thought I'd get a better view from there and thought it would be less painful, and then it occurred to me that it might be a chemical attack so I stood indoors waiting. When I knocked on my flatmate's door, she just giggled at me. I felt somewhat foolish about it afterwards." We move to the plaintive roar of _Driven_Like_The_Snow_. The humorist suddenly gags, when considering his own near destruction that followed the demise of his one and only love affair. "There's not a decent vocal on this because I could never get to the end without having to stop. It's like the song on the first album, _Nine_While_Nine_. This is really _Nine_While_Nine_Part_II_. Too close for comfort." It's strange Eldritch should use ancient metaphors like 'white as snow' to illustrate such individual trauma. "They're not familiar to me. I'm not familiar with them because I've never really sorted nature - been at one with it. I find the outside perpetually strange. It's not _real_, like indoors is real so, when I encounter it, it feels like a fresh metaphor. I didn't really want to write or sing it, but I think the song helped to explain very logically why we had to fall apart. There's a logic to pain you can't ignore." Besides singing _Driven_Like_The_Snow_ what else has made you cry this year? "I don't really express myself even _to_ myself well enough to really cry over things. The songs do a better job than I can." Our final stop leads us to the fragment called _Neverland_ - a call of anguish and an echo of joy that this time defies gravity (in both senses). "I had this vision. You know in the summer if you lay on the grass and stare at the sky, you can almost see beyond the stars, but cannot quite get a grip on what's there? Well, sometimes it's very difficult to work out exactly what it is that keeps you pressed between the earth and the sky and why you don't whoosh off into oblivion. _Neverland_ is coming about this the other way: the entire population of the earth starting to travel from some indefinable point in space toward the earth at increasing speed. It would take an eternity to reach the earth -by which time you'd be reasonably spiritualised - and even when you reached the destination, you wouldn't actually hit the ground. You'd be going so fast you'd just go through and out the other side, where there is another eternity of nothingness. I just tried to write a song about these impressions." It was soon after this that Eldritch stopped taking hallucinatory drugs. "It felt very liberating at the time. Like the fifth day of playing 24 hour Scrabble when you don't want to use any letters because each one means a world to you because you're so deranged." At this point I make a fascinating discovery. If I wear my mirror shades and look into Eldritch's, all I can see is my reflection within his within mine within his within...This is as close to oblivion as either of us wish to get at four in the afternoon so we call a truce, remove the mirrors, and devise promotional devices for the release of _Floodland_. (END) ____________________________________________________________________________ ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ____________________________________________________________________________ INTERVIEW WITH COMMON LANGUAGE conducted by MikeK, exciting rock journalist May 92 shamelessly stolen(ok, I asked :->) from Throwrug #2, see last issue on how to get your very own copy of Bellingham's _other_ zine worth mentioning. [ They've signed with Blast First! and should have a new CD out eventually,ask your local store to order it. Unfortunately, it's going to mostly be re-recording of the songs from Scar, can't have everything I suppose. They've also got a 10" from Blast First that you _should still be able to get, look for it.] _____________________________________________________________________________ "Common Language is a way cool band that you should go see." I overheard this comment in the Viking Union the week before Common Language's recent show at Speedy O'Tubbs [local club, ed.]. Their minimalist, yet intricate compostition creates a lush, sensual aural landscape that leaves audiences emotionally drained. Sing song about urban isolation and pain to a devoted and growing following. A Common Language show is rich in visual experience that may include as many as five dancers performing onstage with the band. I interviewed them at Speddy O'Tubbs while the opening act was doing their soundcheck. If I have misquoted anyone, or wrongly attributed any quotes, I hope the offended party will consider the circumstances. Common Language is: C: Char Easter, Bass/ Vocals G: Gretchen Wenner, Guitar M: Mary Lake, Guitar L: Lisa Orth, Head of Big Flaming Ego records [Common Language's former label] MK: MikeK, the interviewer and Common Language fan _____________________________________________________________________________ MK: Do you have a name for your drum machine? C: No MK: No? Never named it? G: The drum machine... C: ...is going to have a drum solo. G: WE're going to have a drum solo for the drum machine like in the seventies, you know, when they always had those big long drum solos--- we'll have a spotlight and a strobe on it, and we're all going to put down our instruments. C: Cheer it on and hope that it doesn't have a heart attack. -Mary comes in- G: Hi Mary. MK: Mary, could you say something to the tape machine so it will know who you're Mary? M: No, the tape machine wouldn't know I was Mary if I said anything. I usually don't talk. MK: How long have you guys been together? M: Three years MK: Three years? How did you get together? L: Char, you get to tell... C: What? MK: How did you get together , or how did yu meet? C: I was looking for a guitar player, and was having a really hard time finding one, and so Mary was my friend and she said, "Well, I used to play classical guitar." G: Mary said that? C: And she was a visual artist and so she just started reading up on the guitar effects, manuals and effects for her guitar. L: And Gretchen? G: Well, I had just been babysitting my grandparents after open heart surgery and they had given me some money for my birthday and I was just going to spend it on sonmething for a guitar. I had just moved here not too long before, and I didn't have any friends or anything, and no one liked me. C: She was just playing really great air guitar and I... M: Air guitar? G: Yeah, I was trying out one of those inflatable, blow up guitars... L: 'fraid not... G: Oh yeah! It was soft man! It was like, cushiony... C: Bouncing off the walls... G: Benbding it in half, and leaping on it and stuff... MK: Uh, name? Common Lnaguage? G: Kinda generic. MK: Kinda generic? C: Yeah...It's from an Adrian Ridge poem "Dream of a Common Language"...which she did not give us permission to use... M: But as Robert Browning once said, "Never borrow, always steal..." C: 'Cus on the Urge to Forget 12" we have someone speaking it clearly, that poem, at the beginning of the song... but we couldn't get the rights, officially, to use the song on the release, so we had to... G: ...put it in backwards.... M: ...and in German. C: So it didn't work out as we... MK: Right. C: But that's inside information... MK: Anything to say about influences? C: We don't have to sound like our influences, do we? G: No...All the people that people say I sound like are people that I started listeing to after we started the band. MK: Do you have any new releases coming out soon? M: We have a 7" coming out. L: It might be the last Big Flaming Ego release. [and was, ed.] MK: What videos do you have out? M: We are currently in the editing stages of a video... C: Two videos. M: One from the new 7" Sharks to Blood and one off the CD [Scar] of Dead White Horse. C: It's very Amadeus. G: And we have two very bad videos out. But they're going to be recalled, and... C: (laughing) Yeah, really. We're going to destroy them. We could let everyone see them on Bombshelter. [Local video program. ed] L: Plus they just did a soundtrack for this film that's going to be out soon. It's calle Symetry and ... I think they're complimenting the soundtrack more than the actual film, so .... (laughter) MK: I have your 12" and (sounds of whooping, them MK proceeds, oblivious)--- I was personally wondering if you had anything else out. C: No, we don't. That and the 7" are the only ones, but we're going to record a bunch of new songs soon. MK: Where do you bank? G: Bank? MK Yes, where do you bank? C: I thought we just switched banks. G: Yeah, and everytime I see my new bank, I say, "There's my bank!" M: We used to bank at [bank name deleted], but they only had one branch and it was right smack dab in the middle of Seattle... C: And they had no cash machine... M: ...and we couldn't get there, so we switched to [bank name deleted]... I think we just got out first batch of checks today. MK: I'm closing in on the end of what I have written down, so what's your favorite interview question and what's the answer? L: Go for the Barbie Dolls! G: You didn't ask us a question about the Barbie Dolls before? C: Didn't you ask us if you had to be dolls, what would you do? If you had to be on Star Trek, what character would you play? G: Or what position would you want? C: I'd want to be Data. G: You'd want to bump Data out of the show? C: No, I'd want to _be_ him. G: That's what I said, but she said you had to be his position. [drum check obliterates remaining interview squawks] Common Language Discography ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Urge to Forget b/w Cover Me/Arabian Crunch 12" Sun and Steel Records SAS3 1989 Scar CD Help Us Find Klaus/Dead White Horse/Urge to Forget/Such a Price/Pumping (My Heart)/Engel/Life in the Grand Hotel Big Flaming Ego BFE03 1990 limited edition of 1000 Sharks to Blood b/w Mute 7" Big Flaming Ego BFE07 limited edition Urge to Forget 10" Blast First ______________________________________________________________________________ ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ______________________________________________________________________________ Toyah-A Career Retrospective [ed. note: I originally wrote this for a local bb to sort of spread the gospel as it 'twere, :-) it has suddenly occured to me that i can take up three more pages by including it here. :-) anyway here it is, in the hopes that it sparks just one of you to give her a try, because she is my own personal goddess and it is my duty to seek other followers :-) Toyah born Toyah Ann Wilcox Birmingham, UK , May 18 1958 Sheep Farming in Barnet, the Blue Meaning, Toyah! Toyah! Toyah! [These three are really of a set, so i'll comment on them as such] (all available on CD, but good luck finding them, ask me for the catalogue numbers and then try special ordering them, used lps on the other hand shouldn't be that hard to find) SFiB was released in 1979. Toyah combined the aggression of punk with a firm sense of musicianship, toying with musomadness, sad sax solos and concept albums, the very things punk was trying to eradicate, and yet still gathered a following amongst the punks, enough to earn a top forty placement for the Blue meaning. The dnx.comparison I've been able to come up with is cross- breeding the first Siouxsie & the Banshees album with Nina Hagen and Kate Bush. Highlights of the first two albums are 'Danced' (which was featured in, URGH! a music war), Victims of the Riddle, and Ieya. Toyah! Toyah! Toyah! is the soundtrack to the special of the same name and features live versions of songs from the first two albums and both sides of the Bird in Flight single. Recommended place to start on the early stuff is the live album ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ bridging the gap between the first three albums and the next are two eps which i doubt you'll find so i'll content myself with saying they are both excellent and indicate the direction of things to come, a polishing of the rough edges and a firmer move towards more overtly poppy music. ______________________________________________________________________________ Anthem 1981 (available on CD + the Four from Toyah ep, but again good luck, i'll give you the catalogue number if you want to try ordering it) Toyah finest work to date, she has finally parted ways with any punk influences and started into her own unique style. Guitar based rock songs stand side by side with keyboard based pop with nary a hint of conflict. Her lyrics have also matured, ranging from the simple pop restless youth song, "I Want to Be Free", to the science fiction inspired "Demolition Men" and "Jungles of Jupiter". This is album of incredible depth that never ceases to amaze me when I listen to it. For those that need a referance point, this album went to number 2 in th UK, one point higher than Kate Bush's "the Dreaming". Phil Spalding (known, sadly, to most americans as the bass player in GTR) played on this and later work, providing the glue that anchors it all together with his subtle and understated playing. the Changling (sadly not on CD yet, digitally recorded) The album that got me started on my little pet obsession. The range of this album is incredible, slow, complex mood pieces dominate the album and it is an _album_, listened to from start to finish is the only way to fully appreciate it. It also contains the classic Toyah songs, Street Creature and Angels and Demons, one of my personal favorites and a rather harrowing glimpse into madness. A highly recommended album. Warrior Rock-Toyah on Tour(2LP) (not on CD) A live album from the Changling Tour. The older material from the first two albums holds up extremely well against the newer and more complex songs. And again, it probably the only place you're going to locate several single tracks. Love is the Law (not on CD) A transition album between the last two records and what was going to end up on Minx. It's a bit uneven, but still contains several excellent songs like Broken Diamonds, Love is the Law and the Vow. The main redeeming feature is Toyah's lyrics, which have continued to develop and at times work extremely well on their own as poetry. Minx (available on CD) Every artist has to make a bad album at some point. This is Toyah's. It marks Toyah's first and only foray into the land of major labels(all previous albums being on her own Safari label). Her lyrics are the only attraction for anybody except for diehard Toyah fans and synthpop addicts. Joel Bogen(the guitar player and former boyfriend) and Phil Spalding are gone, and so is everything that made Toyah unique. At the hands of her various producers, she is relegated to pop singer status, playing no instruments and co-writing only 6 of it's 12 songs when she had previously written or co- written everything. The cover of School's Out, while amusing, is pointless. If you're addicted to technopop, go ahead and get this, otherwise save it for last. Desire Toyah gives up in disgust at major labels and return to an independant label, this time EG. Unfortunately, EG apparently liked Minx and saddled her with yet more producers and their choices for covers are simply ridiculous, the total ludicrousness of a woman Toyah's age singing about _high school_ is obvious I would have thought, but noooo, they had her cover the Donna Summer disco classic, "Love's Unkind". ewwww Fortunately, the stupid concept of covering Martha + the Muffins early 80s technopop hit, "Echo Beach" was actually executed _very_ well. In fact, I prefer it to the original, but I'm biased, remember that. :-) After that, Toyah seems to have wrested back control and the rest of the album contains a few clinkers and a few classics like "the View" and "Moonlight Dancing". It also marks the emergence of Toyah's feminist ideals, with "Deadly as a Woman" and "When a Woman Cries", things that would come to spectacular fruition on Prostitute. It also begins her association with Robert Fripp(they collaborated on the title track and another album that i shall comment on later). Prostitute (should be readily available on CD and tape) Disgusted by her recent experiences with producers, Toyah retreats into the Studio with multi-instrumentalist Steve Sidelnyc and Tony Arnold(friend of Robert Fripp and is coproducer on the King Crimson reissues/remasterings) and produces her finest album ever. Playing the majority of the instruments herself and writing or co-writing everything once again, Toyah made an album of intensely personal and breathtaking scope. The oppression of women in western society is the main theme, done with great irony and extremely pointed sarcasm that at times makes me very embarrased to be male. Quoting a few lyrics is the best way to show you, from "Homecraft", the tale of a suburban housewife that has finally had enough, ' i must, i must not, i must wear dirty clothing, i must be antisocial, i must, i must not, i must not be quiet, i must answer back, i must, i must, i must be foul-tempered in company. i must, i must bury the vacuum cleaner somewhere in the garden...." and from Prostitute, 'prostitute, now don't quote karl marx at me, what yours is yours what's mine is ours, when you touch me i can feel the media printing porm across my female form, cigarette burn on your jacksaw chin, come on i need a girl, if you can't do what she can man, they say when something begins, there is no sin chorus...' An album that I highly recommend to anybody without reservation Ophelia's Shadow Represents the final incorporation of Robert Fripp's influence(they were married by this point) as the personel on the album is exactly the same as the band for Sunday All Over the World, their joint project. This is a superior album to the SAOTW album tho. Touches of Prostitute here, touches of the Changling there and new influences of the World Music ala Peter Gabriel variety combined into a very pleasing mix. Ophelia makes two appearnces, in the title track and "the Woman Who Had an Affair With Herself", a hilarious little bit of Shakespeare mocking. Not quite up to the standard set by Prostitute, but a very good album nevertheless MISC. Toyah and Fripp-the Lady or the Tiger? Toyah reads the story of the title as well as it's sequel on the b-side, with Robert Fripp contributing background music in the style of his League of Crafty Guitarists work (they lend a hand on the music for The Discourager of Hestitancy). Your milage my vary depending on how much you like the stories and the League of Crafty Guitarists, i personally find it the ideal thing to listen to when falling asleep. Sunday All Over the World-Kneeling at the Shrine As you can tell if you've gotten _this_ far, I'm, a die-hard Toyah fan, yet I found this album to be rather a disappointment. It never seems to *quite* come together. it's pleasant enough to listen to, but it never reachs out and grabs you the way the best of Toyah's solo work and Robert's music does. Odd considering it is the same band + Robert that produced a minor- classic in Ophelia's Shadow.
and that is _that_, if you have any questions whatsoever about Toyah, I will be extremely happy to talk to you and maybe arrange a tape trade :-> ____________________________________________________________________________ ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ____________________________________________________________________________ MUSIC REVIEWS ============================================================================= Ratings Guide: ***** absolute classic, essential listening **** extremely good, buy at the first opportunity *** a good, but not great record, buy if you have the xtra $$$ ** not actually bad, but give it a listen first * if you really want it, tape it off somebody silly enough to buy it. - don't even bother ============================================================================= Attrition Smiling, at the Hynogonder Club Third Mind TMLP 13 1985 Rating: *** 1/2 Track Listing: Look Out, Hedonist/the Game is Up/Feel the Backlash Mind Drop/Pendulum Turns/Fusillade part 1/Fusillade part 2/Hallucinator/My Eyes/Fate is Smiling Attrition In the Realm of the Hungry Ghosts Third Mind TMLP 14 1986 Rating: **** Track Listing: Vigil/Into the Waves/In Your Hand/Surge and Run Marianness Dream/Dreamsleep/the Last Refuge/the Beginning of the End Attrition are a band that I know very little about, and for the longest time were just another name on the Gothlist that I despaired of ever finding an album by. Luck has at last rewarded me by sending me two, for which I am extremely grateful. The little I do know is that they're probably British and there are four of them. I would also gather that they're unfortunately on the obscure side even in England since there's nary a mention in Mick's new Gothic Rock book. The two albums are extremely different, Smiling is vaguely reminiscent of a marriage between the March Violets and Clan of Xymox when they were good. Dark dance music that goes beyond being dance music and just something to wiggle your butt too. Realm on the otherhand, is something I`ve been searching for without realizing it. It does for Goth what Coil do for Industrial. It's not quite mellow Goth in the way TMC and Dead Can Dance are. Those are sort of the E-Z listening of Goth spectrum, which I realize *sounds* derogatory, but it's just the way I tend to think of them in review writing mode. Realm is more like ambient Goth, a dark swirling muisc taht just happens to keep the bpm in the lower double digits. :-) I fell in love with this record from the moment the need hit the groove. ________________________________________________________________________ Simon Bonney Foerever Mute/Elektra 9 61328-2 Rating: **** Track Listing: Ravenswood/Forever/ A Part of You/Like Ceasar Needs A Brutus/Saw You Falling/Someone Loves You/There Can Be Only One/Now That She's Gone/the Sun Don`t Shine Ravenswood(reprise) For those that don't know, (and you should be shot if don't) Simon Bonney is the singer/songwriter of Crime + the City Solution. A God- like band that you should be into, go, buy Paradise Discotheque, now, who cares if it means not eating this week. Normally I'd be a bit worried if a member of one of my favorite groups put out a solo album when nary a peep had been heard out of them in two years. But if Simon can continue putting out albums of this quality, well, I won't miss them _that_ much. That is assuming that this signals the end of Crime, which isn't necessarily true, since Neubauten and Nick Cave both put out albums last year and Crime shares members with those bands. Simon may have simply decided to keep busy whilst waiting. Bronwyn Adams, Crime's violinist and back-up vocalist contributes to the album, so things _look_ ok. :-) I had thought Simon would have a great deal of difficulty topping Paradise Discotheque, but he's done by going an entirely different direction. Forever is an album of deep, understated beauty. Using the trappings and influences of country music, with country-like song-structures to evoke the feeling of being up at some mountain cabin, over-looking the most beautiful and pristine lake you've ever imagined. Ok, I'd probably listen to Simon Bonney sing a phone book, but an unbiased review is a boring review. This album is just _so_ good. The songs are full, lush even in places, but still allowed to breath so that they never sink under their own weight. If you like Crime + the City Solution, you MUST have this album. Even if you don't, you still need it. Crime and Simon go way beyond the even the vague boundaries of Goth into the land of genre-defying excellence. Christian Death Skeleton Kiss cd5 Cleopatra CLEO58412 Rating: ***1/2 Track List: Spiritual Cramp(Sacrifice)/Skeleton Kiss(Fright)/Skeleton Kiss(Alternate Death)/Resurrection-Sixth Communion(live) This is a cd single for remixes of tracks from the Christian Death album, the Iron Mask, which itself contained re-recordings of classic Christian Death songs with Rozz Williams, CD's original singer and head-dude. Confused about now? Don't worry, there won't be a test. Not having the album as yet, I can't comment on how _much_ different these are from the Iron Mask versions and will just comment on whether they're any good and how much they differ from the originals where I'm familiar with the originals. Spiritual Cramp is originally on Only Theatre of Pain. Firstly, the sound quality is much better. The guitar sound has had the edge taken off it just slightly, making it a more polished version, as opposed to the almost punk version on OTOP. The backing vocals are also much better used in this version, but then I'm also a great fan of well-used backing vocals. Basically, it's not _that_ much different from the original, but it sounds better so I'd give it a big thumbs up, but it's hardly indispensable. The two versions of Skeleton Kiss are also quite good. The first getting a treatment similar to that given Spiritual Cramp. Almost like taking the best bits of what Shadow Project do and adding some of the old Christian Death's fire to it. The second version is a slowed down one with a lessened guitar presence and added keyboards. More the way a remix should, _very_ different from the original, and thus the most successful song on the CD in my opinion. A very good version and an interesting new take on an old song. Resurrection is just a live version, not to dissimilar from the original, presumably from one of Rozz's reunion shows. The disc doesn't bother to tell you when or where it was recorded. Decent version. but again, hardly indispensable. On an amusing note, you gotta wonder where Cleopatra's proof reading dept was, Resurrection is misspelled everywhere on the CD. :-) The whole thing is about 14 minutes long, those early Christian Death songs weren't known for their epic qualities. I'd say it's worth the $$ if you haven't tried Christian Death out yet or are a diehard fan. All others can probably pass and not have their life ruined. :-) ______________________________________________________________________________ Christian Death (Review (c)1993 Prometheus) "Limelight 14.8.88" (Cass) Review by John McDongh Live Bootleg Recording Quality: **** Rating: ***1/2 Track Listing: A: /Cavity/Sick of Love/Face/Vanity/Four Horsemen/Dogs/ Strapping Me Down/Ashes/Gloomy Sunday B: Tales of Innocence/Jezebel's Tribulation/This Glass House/1983(C.D.) Sleepwalking/Will o the Wisp/Ventriloquist/(Lament)/Ventriloquist I wish to thank a generous net member for sending me a copy of this bootleg. This is a good quality recording of an excellent Christian Death concert. I'm not sure if this is from any particular tour. "The Scriptures" was released a year earlier. It features a good many(5) tracks from Atrocities (1986) which is a bit surprising, as are the Rozz tracks: Cavity and Dogs. These make for an interesting concert. Also noticeable is the lack of any tracks from "Sex, Drugs and Jesus Christ" which was released in 1988. It makes me wonder do Christian Death write any of their songs prior to going in to record an album. During this gig Valor has a few tales to tell. He slags off the management of the Limelight for the background music they played. He tells of his hatred for those "assholes in Red Lorry Yellow Lorry" who almost got him put in jail. And we also hear of Kota's trouble with customs as some guy Edward guests on bass. Intro is of course one of Valors sermons. Not as interesting :) as some of them however. I was surprised to hear Giatne singing Ashes. Not as good as Valor though. This tape re-affirms my opinion that Gitane can't sing live. I love her voice on some songs, but live she sounds whiny. The one verse of Lament is sung during a power cut with misc. crowd chanting. Also disappointingly the tape runs out as "Church of no Return" begins. Christian Death are great live and on vinyl. This concert has made me get out my copies of Scriptures and Atrocities and listen to them. Until now they were my least favourite albums. Maybe now I'll learn to appreciate them. --oOo-- _____________________________________________________________________________ Contagion Scratch cd single World Domination c2 0777 7 15895 2 2 Rating: ***1/2 Track Listing: Scratch/Scratch(twitch remix)/Scratch(12" extended edit) Aggress/Aggress(suicide mix) Contagion are in that middle ground of industrial dance. Too tunefull to be genuinely industrial, and to hard-edged to be pop. But with Ministry having given that sort of thing up after only one album and a few 12"s, it's that to have somebody else to rely upon. Which is pretty much all the recommendation most of you are going to need. If you like Machines of Loving Grace, Pretty Hate Machine, and that sort of thing, you need to get this, it's that simple and that good at what they're trying to be. It's not particularly original, just good. ______________________________________________________________________________ My Diva self-titled ep Manna medep01 Rating: *** 1/2 Track List: When You Met Azrael/ One Step Behind What I Think I Know/Angie My Diva were among Seattle's small coterie of Goth vaguely goth bands. Sadly, also another casualty, but at least we got this out of them. There isn't actually a lot to say. Either you like the sorta etherial female vocal lush- like thing or you don't. If you don't, skip to Neubauten, if you do, write: Manna 915 E. Pine Suite 122 Seattle WA 98122 ______________________________________________________________________________ Einstuerzende Neubauten Interim cd single Mute 9 61509-2 Rating: **** Track List: The Interimlovers/Salamandrina/3 Thoughts/Ring My Bell Rausch die interimliebendem It's nice to know that even Neubauten, last stalwarts of the original days of clanking on bits of metal, aren't afraid to try something new. This time they've discovered song structure, and, scary though it may be to some of you, melodies. Not that the Neubauten we all know and love is gone forever, they've just found a new way of perverting the system from within. As you all know, I despise digicraps, but this one's fairly nice. You get a fold out with a portrait of the band and lyrics in English and German for all the songs. The Interimlovers is the closest EN have ever come to making a dance song in the general sense of what most people thik of as the dance side of industrial music. It's damn a damn good one too, if the shock doesn't kill you. Salamandrina is the first EN song I'd ever call pretty, but that all fits with Blixa lyrics about Elves and Fairies and all sorts of cute little sylvan critters. They appear to be attempting the same gut wrenching affect of the old pots and pans with extremes of contrast. Works too. 3 Thoughts is the song they wrote for the La La La Human Steps Modern Dance Troupe. The same group that commissioned Skinny Puppy's LaHuman 8 from the Inquisition single. Ring My Bell is really just a fragment of a song, kinda pretty, but pretty pointless too. Rounding things out is the German version of the Interimlovers. Strangely, the song sounds better in it's English counterpart, although I'm inclined to blame the mix. Or rather the excellent remix of the English version by Gareth Jones. Not likely to break them big, but EN have never really been candidates for widespread acceptance now have they? ______________________________________________________________________________ Red Lorry Yellow Lorry Spinning Round b/w Hold Yourself Down 12" Red Rhino RED t60 Rating: *** the Lorries Crawling Mantra ep Homestead Records HMS 082 Rating: *** Red Lorry Yellow Lorry have always been one of _those_ bands. You know, the band that you inexplicably like. They're not incredibly great or anything, just good, and a band you can always buy something new from and know you won't be disappointed. Which is probably damning with faint praise, but it is true. Since the British seem to have some fundamental inability to put copyright dates on records, I have no idea when 'Spinning Round' came out, at a guess, 86, maybe 84. My basic point is that it's not as amazingly good as "Hollow Eyes", but then, wht is. But it *might* encourage you to go buy a copy of Smashed Hits, which is really where you should have started anyway. The Crawling mantra ep on the other hand, is from 1987, when they tried calling themselves just the Lorries. Not that any major changes in style occured. Just solid and reliable music from a good bad. Which, again, may _sound_ like a slam, but it's not. There are some bands where failure to change is death. Others merely need to continue being good. Which doesn't seem to be a problem for RLYL. _______________________________________________________________________________ various artists the Whip CD Cleopatra CLEO15752 Rating: **** Track Listing: Dave Vanian-Tenterhooks/Carcrash International-the Whip/Andi Sex Gang w/Marc Almond-the Hungry Years/Rosetta Stone-An Eye for the Main Chance/Christian Death-Still Born\Still Life/Spahn Ranch-Machine Politics/Play Dead-Bloodstains, Pleasure Brilliant-Scream Like an Angel/Kommunity FK-Junkies/Usherhouse Permanent Red/Superheroines-Chasing Bars/Screams for Tina-11:11 UK Decay-Slavedrive/Nosferatu-Pictures of Betrayal/Naz Nomad and the Nightmares-Just Call Me Sky/Mephisto Waltz-In the Room That Love Exists/Sex Gang Children-Oh Funny Man Carcrash International-the Whip II The Original Whip was put together by Dave Roberts in 1983 of Sex gang and Carcrash International. Now Cleopatra (my fave label these days and the home of Goth in the US) have re-released most of it plus some new tracks to make a Whip for 1993. My usual track by track dissection follows in it's usual witty and erudite manner. Dave Vanian-An intrumental track for some unnamed, unfinished b-movie. Kinda cool, but there's a reason Dave's usually a singer. Carcrash International-Almost, but not quite what you'd expect from a Sex Gang off-shoot. Rather dancy in ways SGC never imagined. This is new version remixed by Matt of Spahn Dirge, so there ya go. Andi Sex Gang-It's Andi, and therefore cool. Andi with Marc on the other hand was a rather strange idea, but not _so_ strange that it came as stupid. Blend SGC with Last Night in Sodom Soft Cell and you get the idea, *if* you can even picture that one in your head. :-> Rosetta Stone-Title track to the album. How much you like Carved in Sand Mish will determine how much you like it. As soon as RS develope their own style, they will be _the_ band to watch for. Christian Death-New track by Rozz's new version of CD and far closer to the older Rozz CD than the path of Sorrows was. Sort of the best bits of Shadow Project mixed with that old CD magic. Spahn Ranch-LA industrial band in the Ministry vein. Good, but certainly not exceptional in any way. Play Dead-If liked their track on the Gothic Rock comp, you'll like this too. Dark, rockin music. Kommunity FK-From Close One Sad Eye, their second album, now re-released by Cleopatra(my, what a strange coincidence). This rather Joy Division like, and thus not terribly representive of them. Nevertheless, Kommunity FK are a sadly under-heard band and this will tell you whether or not you should track down the re-release. (hint-the answer is YES) Usherhouse-From Chicago. Picture early Modern English produced by Steve Albini. Decide if you like this picture and go for it. Superheroines-An unreleased track from 1985. Which basically means OTOP style Christian Death from an all-woman band, not a bad thing at all. With Shadow Project kaput apparentyly, they're getting back together. Screams for Tina-Part of the resurgence of guitar based Goth still in the "working on our style' phase. Points for effort, but not not very distinctive. UK Decay-Booklet sez last thing they ever did, Gothic Rock sez the band is Slavedrive and a post UK Decay one-off by most of the band. You figure it out, it sounds not a whit like Southern Death Cult, which UK Decay always did to me, so i'm inclined to believe the liner notes are confused. Good tune tho. Nosferatu-Another of the bright young things on the scene desperately trying to escape the shadow of First and Last and Always. A good try and a good soung, but originality has so far escaped them. Nax Nomad-The Damned playing around under a different name. A prime example of why rock bands with too much studio time on their hands and much to drink should just go home and sleep it off. Mephisto Waltz-Returning from the dead, two ex-Christian Death members and their new singer attempt a little shimmery goth/pop and succeed quite well indeed. Sex Gang Children-You know my opinion of Sex Gang by now, need I really tell you how terribly wonderful they are? Thought not. Carcrash International-The 92 remix and even dancier that the other one. Music for your money wise, this is indispensable. With any comp you get an expected amount of crap in exchange for a hopefully high percentage of wonderfulness and this one delivers with a lower than average amount of crap. _____________________________________________________________________________ VIDEO REVIEW ______________________________________________________________________________ the Sisters of Mercy Untitled bootleg video compilation Rating: * Total Running Time: 80min Track List: Key: P= promotional clip T= TV appearance B= bootleg video footage No Time To Cry(P)/Black Planet(P)/Interview-Belgium(T)/First and Last and Always(T)/Marian(T)/WEA report/Dominion(P)/Wake selections(different mix) Body and Soul(P)/Heartland(B)/Gimme Shelter(B)/Walk Away(P) Adrenochrome(B)/Jolene(B) One of these days, some industrious bootlegger is going to do a comprehensive Sisters video compilation right and make a killing. Unfortunately, until then we have to live with things like this if we want to see any Sisters videos. I'm gonna critique this too ways. First, how good the actual video itself is, and then the quality of this particularly copy. Keep in mind that my copy of this is a copy of somebody else's original bootleg. No Time to Cry is stylistically very similar to the way Wake was shot. Not actually bad, but it's not terribly inspiring either. Depends on whether you like the way Wake was shot I'd bet, I personally think it's kinda boring. Granted it has an inherent coolness factor built into it because it's the Sisters, but if it was a video by some band I'd never heard of before, it wouldn't capture my attention. The quality of the picture is at least pretty good, but unfortunately, as is common on this tape, the first half second or so is cut off. Black Planet is a distinct improvement. It mostly involves Andrew driving the original MonkeeMobile around Southern California while Wayne and Craig sleep in the back. In an absurd sort of way, it fits the song really well and probably amused Andrew to no end. It's at least an unusual video, if not an actually great one. The picture quality isn't quite as good as the previous, there's a little color and picture fade thru the generations, but it's still very watchable. Interview, with Belgian subtitles no less. :-) Promoting First and Last and Always. The reporter clearly had no idea what he was getting into and Andrew pretty much tears him to pieces for it, without the guy really noticing it. High on the amusement scale if you enjoy seeing Andrew play with reporters. It also features brief clips of Walk Away and No Time to Cry. Picture quality is fairly good, fuzzy in a few places but watchable. This Corrosion is, of course, _the_ video that gathered a lot of new fans to the Sisters in '87, including me. A grandiosity to fit the pompousness the of the song. A classic when it was released and still a standard of excellence to shoot for. Unfortunately, it's largely incomplete on this tape and you pretty much only get the middle bit. Sad First and Last and Always and Marian are the Whistle Test Studios performances and thus of great historical value as Gary Marx's last official act as a member of the Sisters of Mercy. Both have a little bit of the beginning cut off, but are otherwise complete. Marian has a little bit of sound drop-out. The performances are solid, but I think that the Sisters live just doesn't across that well on tape, could just be me tho. The WEA report is just the internal sales primer thing sent around to the sales reps. It has a bit of Black Planet and then proceeds onto No Time to Cry from the WAKE video. The narration bit is solely concerned with the number of units sold in various places, if you've ever heard one of these things, you've heard them all really. Only the band names change. :-) Dominion is of course the great video epic to end all video epics. The Sisters, lotsa extras, and the city of Petra, what more could anyone possibly want out of a video? Yet again, the beginning and ends get chopped off by lousy editing. 'Tis a shame really and a contributing factor to my rating this tape so poorly when it had the chance to be highly recommended indeed. The Wake selections are: Intro by Andrew not on the tape version, Possession , Emma, Amphetamine Logic.A Rock and A Hard Place, Floorshow and Alice. Claims to be a different mix, but _I_ can't tell any real difference. So therefore the only real attraction of it's inclusion is Andrew's intro, which is stretching it's desirability quite a bit since it's also *quite* short. Body and Soul. Ah, the Sisters first attempt at a video and third one I ever saw. Not exactly an awe-inspiring debut, but it has it's charms. The band bops about pretending to play their instruments amid a fairly good Roman ruin set with lots of dry ice. This one even features the countdown clock from the original tape, but do you think they could at least get the whole video on this time? You would think, but no such luck, they cut of the first note of the bass-line yet again. The picture quality also leaves a great deal to be desired. A _lot_ of color bleed. Heartland and Gimme Shelter are from the bootleg video of the infamous York Racecourse Festival. These are apparently two of the few songs that Doctor Avalanche decided he wanted to play that day. Not that they aren't without their problems. Craig's bass quits on him part way into Heartland. It's amusing to see them in the daylight, but only on tape. They seem so out of place that it would be rather pathetic in person. At least Gary seems to be having a good time. :-) Sound is actually pretty good, but the camera was a long ways away, so details are pretty nonexistent. Walk Away also features the countdown clock and they actually managed to get it right with this one. It is by far the best of the Sisters four pre-Floodland videos. Very little pretending to play instruments, some well- used, simple video effects, and a great deal less seriousness. Thus we come to the end of the tape and the real reason to want this example of an excellent opportunity blown to shreds by lousy editing. These two songs were shot in Glasgow in '83 when Ben Gunn was still in the band and as far as I can recall, the _only_ footage of the Sisters with him. The band was still rather young and into what they were doing, the performances are very good. The camera work is rather on the amateurish side however, tho the picture quality is pretty good considering the source tape's age and the number of generations that must lie between that original and this tape. This could have been *the* tape we'll all been waiting for, all of he Sister's pre-Floodland videos, some rare bootleg footage with the Floodland videos thrown in as icing. Unfortunately, the editing on this tape is so lousy that watching it can actually be painful at times. So, take my comments for what you want and decide how much having these videos mean to you. I got mine for free, but I probably would have bought it anyway as long as it wasn't _too_ expensive. It's certainly not really worth more than $20. Hopefully, somebody will eventually do this right, instead of cutting corners.