The death of truth. A turning point.

Today I have been thinking about truth: it ain’t what it used to be.

I have been half-watching the Republican Conference clusterfuck.
Mrs Trump-o-tron ripped off her speech from Michelle Obama.

VP-to-be Pence is the sort of deceitful BlakeCarringtonesque Republican demon you’d think was too cliched if he was in a movie.

The racists are out in force and brazenly, proudly making their cases for white supremacy and, through the magic of Fox, are given a soft ride, to put it politely.

Mr Pence is, of course, against abortion. Even in the case of rape. indeed: “We’d then have an epidemic of women claiming to have been raped just so they could have an abortion. And that has to be stopped at all cost.” He makes it sound fun! Do you think for one second he’d stick to that if it were his daughter?

Pence has made it legal to refuse to serve gays in Indiana. And he doesn’t have the cojones to admit it on TV.(http://www.lgbtqnation.com/…/pence-refuses-to-answer-yes-o…/)

That 60 Minutes interview at the weekend with Trump and Pence was one long comedy sketch. Except not. The highlights (http://gawker.com/all-the-most-excruciating-moments-from-th…) redefine everything for me.

it’s the new way of doing things.

But here’s the problem. Americans have had their education standards eroded, and their prejudices endorsed on TV way longer than we have. We’ve seen in the few weeks since the Brexit vote what happens when racists are not slapped down on TV.
America has had this since Jimmy Carter really, so they’re a full generation deeper into the stupid.

And now the US is firmly embedded in a post-truth or post-facts world.

It’s a much bandied about phrase but it’s frightening.

Terrifying.

It means that, for some, you can get way with anything, cover it with a pissy half denial on a soft interview (usually on Fox) and that’s it.

Let’s not forget, VP Dick Cheney shot a man in the face.

A man wearing a luminous orange jacket.

In the face. At pretty close range.

Hardly anyone batted an eyelid.

Ah but, you might say: it was an accident.

So then he’d have said sorry, right?
(he hasn’t http://thehill.com/…/269143-dick-cheney-has-yet-to-apologiz…).
He’s laughing at you.

In your face.

So that’s cartoon Americana.

But it’s coming here. I can feel it. That madwoman May has put in charge of schools is super blase about the cuts to schools. It just has to be, it seems.

The twisted, vengeful gimp, Gove, who has instigated/accelerated this rundown of education, said during HIS Brexit campaign that British people are “bored of experts” with their panic and their worries
and
would, presumably, prefer self-serving LIES from a confident chimp in a suit to FACTS.

Post-truth.

The vote on Trident didn’t surprise me but it’s a shame that the youth have not got the message yet that the madmen with ever-more-advanced weaponry, the generals straining-at-the-leash that we are supposed to be worried about. The ones looking covetously at weaker countries and jumping in there starting wars…that’s us and America.

I thought we’d figured that out a generation ago.

We have loads of nuclear subs. Plenty. We don’t need more. it’s a lie. We are never going to use them anyway. This cold war deterrent parity bullshit is the same nonsense logic that gave rise to all the betting on the stock-market rather than investing in firms’ shares.

If you have to use it, then it wasn’t a deterrent, was it?

(Side effect: everyone in the world dies)

We need more education, more jobs, better hospitals.

British men and women are dying. Not abroad on a battlefield in a blaze of “glory” but here in forgotten towns and shameful poverty.

We need to vote for politicians who will give us
better education,
better infrastructure,
trains that run and don’t cost a small fortune;
more hospitals
more funding of the arts and scientific research.

This will create jobs. And bring stability. Maybe even growth!

Most of the UK’s money comes from Financial Services and Arms sales. and you know that money doesn’t trickle down anywhere but the toilet floors of criminally expensive restaurants.

We don’t need to give £200bn to Lockheed Martin to defend against imaginary 1980s Communist Russia.

We can’t afford it.

It’s needed elsewhere badly.

I think Jimmy Carter is right when he says the world is at a turning point.http://bigstory.ap.org/…/jimmy-carter-world-turning-point-m…

When Trump wins in November, what do you think is going to happen?

The world is already divided into the haves and havenots. It just so happens that many of the the have-nots are Islamic countries.
And we are bombing them. A lot. and have been, off and on, for all of these angry young men’s lives.
It’s not really anything to do with religion. It’s just young men growing up seeing the shiny cities and fast cars of America and Europe on TV, and their own bombed, shattered cities of the middle east.

It’s bound to make them angry.

Like Tony Benn said, it’s the Blitz spirit. The bombs stregthen your resolve. It’s not a British idea. They have it everywhere, so there will be more nutters in trucks, nutters with rifles, weak-willed fools with suicide vests and crazy people with household tools on trains. More and more and more. And they won’t be defeated with walls or bombs of any kind.

The governments will say that the people demand a response.

Some twat drives a lorry through a crowd in Nice and the French government launches air strikes against the people of Raqqa.

That’s not strength.

It’s weakness. and stupidity. Hollande hasn’t the balls to stand up to the media. Nor have any of our recent Prime Ministers.

Now think back to Trump and the ever growing mob of thrashing, foaming, hate-filled nutbags trailing in his wake.

They want to bomb the shit out of….whoever. Anyone really – to make them feel better, bigger.

Great again.

EURANT

What to do?
 
You’re no more a racist than you are an economist.
 
It’s confusing.
 
But a choice between standing with the racists or the economists is easy.
 
If you’re standing with Farage, it must feel wrong. Deep down in your gut.
 
NF with a golf club tie is so very much not the best of Britain.
 
I love Britain.
 
On a clear day, you can see forever.
 
Today is not that day. At all.
 
And I agree with Boris. Believe in Britain.
 
Be strong.
 
But be stronger in Europe.
 
Lead Europe, don’t leave it.
 
Take our country back? Fuck that. I want to take it forward. ‪
 
Think there is much wrong with the EU?.
 
Good. You’re right.
 
Then fight to change it to make it better for us.
 
Don’t give up and run away back to 1950s Britain with your fingers in your ears.
 
That Britain was a big baby that was scared of things it didn’t know.
 
It was ignorant.
 
It tolerated abuse.
 
It had funny uncles, sheepish wives with bruises. and families that moved away.
 
It was ACTUALLY SCARED of gays. Wooooooo. Coming to get you.
 
Britain didn’t like curry. So spicy.
 
Or pasta.
 
Or mayonnaise.
 
Sweet AND sour. That’s mad, that
 
RAW FISH. Oh my, that was a big one.
 
Do you see the pattern?
 
Of course yo do.
 
Even now, Britain definitely doesn’t like working on farms, picking strawberries, cleaning toilets, working nights, running shops until midnight.
 
We have all been happy to let immigrants do this for years.
 
Uncomfortable to think about it, though it may be.
 
Does a Polski Sklep really cause YOU that much of a problem?
 
Our economy IS in the toilet. the bastard Osborne has just borrowed and borrowed. Doubled our debt.
 
Doubled. Why?
 
Because the collapse of 2008 is still with us.
 
AUSTERITY IS STILL HAPPENING.
 
That’s why you can’t get a GP appointment,
 
It’s not because there are 0.005% more people in your town.
 
Do the maths.
 
It is not because of Polish people.
 
Immigrants hold the NHS together because we aren’t training enough nurses.
 
Cos now they have to pay to train and the salaries are a JOKE.
 
Would you start your job if they saddled you with a £20,000 debt on joining?
 
Of course you wouldn’t.
 
Austerity is why the NHS is collapsing.
Austerity is why the schools are falling apart.
And yes,
Austerity is why there are potholes.
 
The EU is why Manchester was rebuilt.
The EU is why you have paid holiday.
The EU is why we still have a farming industry.
 
It might not be right in front of your face but the benefits of the EU are everywhere in all of our lives.
 
We didn’t join for a laugh.
 
Turkey?
 
Give me a break.
 
Turkey was bribed by the EU to take 1.5 Million Syrian refugees, so WE don’t have to.
 
Membership was dangled. It was a lie.
 
Did you see the Turkish foreign minister on TV last night?
 
He was about to cry. He knows he’s been had.
 
He didn’t think Cameron would lie to him.
 
What we did to Turkey was pretty fucking low. Disgusting.
 
But please, see it for what it is.
 
There is ZERO CHANCE of Turkey joining the EU.
 
So
 
Don’t rage at Polski Skleps.
 
Rage at endless betting shops, BrightHouses, Cash Converters. pawn shops. Shuttered shops. Lost jobs.
 
Rage hard. get off your arse and do something about it.
 
And start tomorrow by voting IN.
 
 
David

PIANO WIRE. Summertime rolls.

Broken Hands

waiting

That feeling.   The one that makes the difference in the day ahead.   The feeling that things are going to be fine. Better than fine.  There’s nothing like it.  If you could bottle it, you’d be rich.

Well, I am getting that feeling a lot lately.  And it’s down to music – as it so often is.

PIANO WIRE have started work on their debut album.   It’s exciting.  It’s all new.   It’s sounding noisy as hell.   All hard-as-nails riffs and dark explosive choruses.   What they have recorded so far is…intense.

The band has come so far in a year.

They released the best of the demos they’d recorded to date as The Genius Of The Crowd EP last summer.  It was fast and furious and rough around the edges but got them a lot of press and a LOT more national radio play than you’d expect from demos.   Down to the tunes, I expect.  Their songs are weirdly structured but always, always packed with hooks and surprises.

The album is shaping up to be everything they said it would be a year ago.  They have absolutely delivered on their promises.  So proud.  It’s going to surprise and amaze YOU..

They will be playing some of the new songs at Camden Rocks on Saturday at the Barfly.   If you are going, do yourself a massive favour and come along.

PIANO WIRE will have some announcements to make on Monday.

PIANO WIRE offer you a FREE Live show – and a trip inside their heads

Hi

This week PIANO WIRE play a free show in London.

PIANO WIRE Lock Tavern ad copy

 

The band are recording their debut album and will be playing a bunch of new songs.

What does the record sound like?   Well take a peek inside of Sean,Tim,.Andy and Sym’s minds, via the magic of Spotify and add £0.0002 these bands royalties.

These are four really excellent selections.  If you don’t know some of these songs, now is your chance for enlightenment.

Why PIANO WIRE are becoming an important band…

I spent some time on the road last week with PIANO WIRE.   They are fun and inspiring to hang out with, as ever and, at my age, going on the road a little is quite enough excitement by itself.    They’ve always been a great live band.  That’s what caught my eye about them in the first place.  Obviously.  There’s an amazing history behind Andy and Sym with 80s Matchbox and now Sean and Tim have taken that spirit and channelled it into something bold and completely new.

But something has happened.   They’ve worked really hard in the last year and have been writing lots and lots and discarding lots of lots and getting better and better.   Dragging themselves up by their own bootstraps.   The live set has changed at a furious pace.

But something has happened.  They don’t just play the songs now.  They are locked in battle with them and the energy is furious and ragged and the result is burned right through your eyes and ears and nailed to the inside of your skull.    It’s loud.  And that’s an essential part of it but that’s not what makes it deafening.   It’s a beautiful noise, a righteous fury that channels your attention and shuts out all other sensory input.   It’s physical and it’s exciting and the songs pile up, one after another, hook after hook, Andy and Sean firing guitar and vocal melodies at each other.   PIANO WIRE command your whole attention and leaves you breathless and spent at the end of the show.

That’s the goal, right?

Here’s a live track shot on iPhone in Scotland last week.  It’s called Get A Life Dishonour and it’s badass.

Don’t take my word for it, though.  The legendary Steve Gullick (who shot the I’ll Kill You video) and Stevie Chick from Loose Lips wrote this brilliant brilliant piece on the band after witnessing them take strips of London’s Lexington a month or so back.

pianowire1215gul3

photo by Steve Gullick

Last friday’s SOLD OUT show at The Social featured DJ sets from Faris and myself.

Here’s a Spoti-link to my set, or something like it. Seems a lot of my selections are not on Spotify

  1. HOWL                                                  Holy Strays
  2. FRANKFURT ADVICE                      Weatherall
  3. LOVE IS THE DRUG (TERJE)        Roxy Music
  4. LAZARETTO Jack White
  5. MANIPULATOR                              Ty Segall
  6. FREAKIN OUT                                  Death
  7. WEST COAST                                    Fidlar
  8. COOL                                                   White Reaper
  9. SONG #1                                              Fugazi
  10. PRO ANTI ANTI                              Liars
  11. CHROME RADIO ROCKS               The Toes
  12. THE QUARRY                                   Urbe Blanca
  13. STAGE OR SCREEN                         UMO
  14. SHAKE                                                Cowboy Rhythmbox
  15. STONE FIST                                       Health
  16. LIST OF DEMANDS                         Saul Williams
  17. BLACK SILK STOCKING                                Chrisma
  18. ELEPHANT (RUNDGREN MIX) Tame Impala
  19. SELECTIVE WALKING                   Weatherall
  20. POLICE ON MY BACK                    Clash
  21. FUNN                                                 White Reaper
  22. BRAND NEW CADILLAC                Vince Taylor
  23. YOU’RE GONNA MISS ME           13th Floor Elev
  24. LEVITATE ME                                     Pixies
  25. COULD YOU BE THE ONE?           Husker Du
  26. CAB IT UP                                           The Fall
  27. SWEAT LOAF                                     Butthole Surfers
  28. CALLING ALL DESTROYERS          T Rex
  29. IT’S OVER                                          Ty Segall
  30. INTO THE CAVE                               Lonelady
  31. WATER WATER                              Empress Of
  32. GBG BELONGS TO ME                  Air France
  33. I CAN NEVER BE MYSELF            Chromatics
  34. I LOVE A MAN IN UNIFORM      Gang of Four
  35. HARD TIMES                                     Human League
  36. OCTOBER LOVE SONG                  Chris & Cosey
  37. STRAIGHTEN ME UP                     Shaun Ryder
  38. MUSCLES & JUNGLE                     Urbe Blanca
  39. PUBLIC IMAGE                                PiL
  40. I WANT CANDY                               Bow Wow Wow
  41. HARMONY IN MY HEAD              Buzzcocks
  42. HEADACHE                                        Metz

 

PIANO WIRE + HYENA team up for Feb tour, single

Hi

PIANO WIRE and HYENA team up for a tour  and split 7″ single next month.

More details later but here are the dates.

POSTER FINAL PW 1st copy INTERENT USE

 

FEBRUARY TICKET LINKS

22        NEWCASTLE            Think Tank   TIX

23        EDINBURGH             Sneaky Pete’s TIX

24        HULL                           O’Riley’s  TIX

25        DERBY                       Hairy Dog  TIX

26        LONDON                    The Social £5 on door w/guests Swedish Death Candy

27        READING                   Oakford Social  FREE

What was the biggest cool or interesting record of 2015?

Was 2015 a good year for music?   Of course.  Every year is a good year for music and every year adds more ideas and more melodies and more amazing records.  I bought a lot of albums last year.  I am old-fashioned that way.  I even went back to buying some records without having heard a note, just get that First Listen experience in full.  It’s quite rewarding, I think, jumping in the deep end.  The media does rather lead you by the hand these days, through the warm, shallow waters and then, when you’ve heard 4 songs (and they don’t usually pick the less impressive ones first), the “album experience” does lack the element of surprise.

But looking at my Year End Albums list, there were only a few records on major labels.  Maybe three.  And they weren’t THAT good.  My tastes are a little left of centre but not excessively so – I do like a tune.    The majors didn’t have ANYTHING I was passionate about last year.  I don’t expect to like most of their output, of course, but there’s usually some gems; diamonds among the dogshit.

And looking at the Year End sales charts, along with the actual Top 40 throughout December, there was almost nothing that I thought was any good at all.   The Weeknd, maybe.  It’s not my thing but I “get” it.

Catalogue release outsold new artists last year.  That’s a bit sad.  Not that people shouldn’t buy older records, of course.  They should.  These are however safe purchases.  You know what you are getting.  New artists ought to be more exciting.   Music ought to be exciting and inspiring.

It is inching ever closer to the time when the Top 10 album chart is full of dead people, as a friend of mine is wont to say

What was the biggest cool or interesting record of last year?   Which good (artistically interesting?) record sold more than a 100,000 copies in the UK.  I am not a Blur fan but I suspect that probably did.  Just.  Although it wasn’t in the Top 200 by Year end.   Kendrick just got past 100,000.  Foals got close.  Looking at MOJO’s Top 20, only Blur or mebbe Dylan have got close to 100,000 sales.  Even Q, which is obviously a lot more broad, only has Florence and Noel, as Top 20 albums of the year that have sold over 100,000.

Streaming, I know.  Different ways of listening to music.  I KNOW.  But it’s not like albums aren’t selling.  Ignoring A***e, which is an anomaly, there are plenty of records selling lots of copies.

The thing is, there were a LOT of great records last year.  They just didn’t sell much.  Even Julia Holter’s hugely well received (and totally beautiful and accessible) album hasn’t got to 20,000 sales yet.   Buy it; if you even remotely think that you’ll like it, you WILL.

Some of the many records I bought got just the one spin, some have come forward with me into 2016 as records I’ll be playing for years to come.  And some, most of them probably, have wonderful sounds, ideas or songs on them but fall short of being fully fantastic.   That’s OK.  These are now artists, whose next albums I’ll look forward to.  That’s exciting.  The future is so hot right now.  “Hotly anticipated” is, of course, one of the most common lies to grace a press releases ever, but “kinda anticipated” and “quite curious” don’t really deliver in terms of piquing excitement, I suppose.

However, there is much to look forward to in 2016.  Really though, there are LOTS of amazing records incoming.  Not all will live up to that hotly anticipated status.  So be it – but many will – and, of course, there will be new things, surprises and twists. I hope that some of them sell a lot.   I want the 2016 Year End charts to be more encouraging about the future of music, as opposed to solely the future of record sales.

David Bowie’s album is already tragically amazing classic.  There will be new records from Suede, PJ Harvey, Radiohead, Missy Elliot, Chromatics, Ty Segall, Lorde, Iggy’n’Josh, Savages, Animal Collective, Beck, Santigold, Sigur Ros, Springsteen, Spiritualized, The XX, Phoenix, Kanye, Lush, Bon Iver, NZCA Lines, M83, Shins, Strokes, The Horrors, Warpaint, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Shaun Ryder, MIA, Gorillaz and a host of huge acts that I don’t like all that much, along with debuts from Hinds, Holy Strays, Ratboy, Piano Wire, Aurora, Lapsley and Nevermen.

It looks like 2016 is somewhat hotly anticipated.  At least by me.  But please, people, buy some albums, especially from smaller labels.  If the majors have given up, there are still a lot of people trying to make and release interesting records.

Buy some records, take some chances.