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Allegory and Self was a watershed moment in Psychic TV’s timeline (as much as a band that morphs, dissembles and fledges chronically can cultivate a cogent turning point). It had taken everything that came before them, everything that was happening around them and threw in a few instants of prescience, and unceremoniously flung it forth. Folk, psych, new-wave, art punk, industrial squeals, noise, minimalism, ambient and a dozen of other sub-sub-genres came together in decidedly ungraceful fashion to make something vilely pretty. “Thee Dweller”, better than any other track on the LP stands for it all – difficult and punishing, it stomps on, amid howls, muttered mantras, noisy outbursts and a synthetic backdrop. A good song to open a night of no sleep.

 

Bristol post-punk antiheroes The Pop Group recorded their dub-punk freakouts to mixed acclaim. I don’t know if they understood at the time that they were making one of the most important albums of its time. Dance music for the infirm, “Thief of Fire” permeates the cranium the way sickness does – against a tide of instinct and protection, to forge something eerier and better.

 

When Pete Doherty sang about Albion as some dreamy ultra-tolerant place where the subversive felt normal, I doubt many fans knew that he’d pilfered the concept from Ted Milton – poet, marionette despot and rotten saxophonist. Blurt, his art rock outfit, were driven by a rough-edged garage band propping up Milton’s manic recitals and saxophone shrieks. “My Mother Was a Friend of the Enemy of the People” is a strange little beast, groove-heavy and metallically clunky at once. Fit for all who aren’t fit.

 

Little is known about this math punk band from Finland, except for the fact that they are Finnish and play math punk. If Mark AM of Mudhoney fronted Slint, then Superfuzz Spiderland could have cracked through concrete.

 

A song-long mid-career revival, “Hey! Student” made The Fall sound as fearless and immovable as they once seemed to so many kids mired in an industrial depression. If two people walked out of university every time Mark E. Smith shouted “Hey Student”, your local barista would be less entitled. Then again, you can’t spell Utopia without Pout. Or UTI.

 

All underground hubris and the desire to stay uncorrupted aside, Mancunian post-punkers Manicured Noise could have huge for the briefest instant. Heady and brass-balled, they were a sort of mash of Talking Heads jerky white boy funk, Television-esque surgically-thing guitar lines, all topped off with a neurotic, unsettled no-wave heart.

 

Recorded on hallowed ground of CBGB’s in New York for his Sabotage/Live album, “Rosegarden Funeral of Sores” is John Cale’s tribute to Christianity, sadomasochism and venereal disease. Deliriously sinister-sounding, the song plays like a sermon from the mouth of a priest long-collapsed to vice. They’ve got swollen breasts and lips that putter.

 

Bat Chain Puller’s recordings were smeared with petty squabbles and money melodrama. Financed off Zappa’s royalties without his consent, the album was shelved as a result of the ensuing argument. After Zappa’s demise, his estate opted to upkeep the palatry behaviour and didn’t release the LP (originally made in 1976) until 2012. Shame too, because the album and Owed T’Alex (a tip of the hat to Alex St. Clair, Beefheart’s guitarist) in particular are wonky wonders, asymmetry made so brilliant and clear, it’s a wonder why we all walked straight.

 

Ohio gatekeepers of all things off-kilter and experimental, Pere Ubu were one of the first to show everyone how weird punk could get without sacrificing passion or formlessness. And like so many firsts, they remain unchallenged, unbeaten, untouched.

 

The darkest, densest, and perhaps most wrenching song John Lydon ever put to record, this dubby fevered cover of “Swan Lake” is awash in unhappiness. Lydon sounds haunted. Everything that had plagued him, from childhood to the Sex Pistols and on got corralled into one stretch of lunatic disco off the iconic Metal Box. Strongly recommended at 4am, when sleeplessness reaches its 56th hour.

Hope you enjoy,

Sincerely,

your un-friendly

neighbourhood

butcher..





butcherboy
06.22.18
thanks much, Johnny.. you're a gent..

Papa Universe
06.22.18
i just came

Frippertronics
06.22.18
Pop Group, Ubu and one of the best songs Cale put to tape all in one spot..

I may have to second Pop's claim

Frippertronics
06.22.18
Pop Group, Ubu and one of the best songs Cale put to tape all in one spot..

I may have to second Pop's claim

Papa Universe
06.22.18
Pop Group, Ubu and one of the best songs Cale put to tape all in one spot..

I may have to second Pop's claim

bgillesp
06.22.18
Group, Ubu and one of the best songs Cale put to tape all in one spot..
I may have to second Pop's claim

bgillesp
06.22.18
Gosh darn copy paste fail

JohnnyOnTheSpot
06.22.18
np, can’t pass on a Pere Ubu nod

butcherboy
06.22.18
Ibu, Ubu, we all bu for Ubu..

JohnnyOnTheSpot
06.22.18
gonna drink out of a styrofoam cup rn while I spin modern dance, can I Bu harder than that?

butcherboy
06.22.18
you cannot.. you are Mr. BU tane 2018..

Papa Universe
06.22.18
the list could use Quiet Sun. they have a song that is named after butcherboy, "Mummy Was An Asteroid, Daddy Was A Small Non-Stick Kitchen Utensil"

butcherboy
06.22.18
i'll stick a kitchen utensil into your quiet sun in a second..

Papa Universe
06.22.18
oh could you, Sweetheart Captain Ubu? stuff me full of Manicured Cale and make me Fall on the TV Image till I Pop and Blurt.

SandwichBubble
06.23.18
I can feel the heat emanating off this list it's so good

bgillesp
06.23.18
Now the gang is all here!

butcherboy
06.23.18
we will not multiply!

Papa Universe
06.23.18
yeah, some of us have sperm to unsterilise first

butcherboy
06.26.18
strongly recommend playing all 10 of these at the same time.. better than kamasi washington..

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