“silence is a riddim’ too…”

23 10 2010

With a mixed cultural heritage (German/British), mixed-up cultural focus (noise/reggae) and a mixmastered public persona (art school/wild child), Ari Up brought a disjointed beauty to her vocals that remain haunting.  I had seen her perform with the Slits @ Tier3 in 1980 (?), the foot-off-the-ground stage adding to the intimacy surrounding a band that never seemed all that distant.  I had met her a few times at the Rough Trade office in London also, back in the Rasta distribution area, a permanent cloud of weedsmoke hovering over the shipping desk, a time when it seemed the label, the people, the scene would go on forever.


Ari (Ariane Forster) died a few days ago.  She is survived by three children, a more than interesting extend family (publishing scions, Johnny Rotten),  jungle homes (Indonesia, Belize) and a very satisfying body of work.

My favorite (above) is the eponymous twelve-inch single containing “In the Beginning There Was Rhythm.”  Using a range of Jamaican musics as a jumping off point, the songs dispense with the heavy-on-the-upstroke Reggae guitar, replaced with a more than satisfying sharp No New York minimalist sound and solid base work.  It’s difficult for me to describe a music that was both discordant and charming.  But I’m not a critic.  But I never stopped listening to this stuff.

You can still get versions of the Slits’ “Cut” on CD, on Island.  When it was released it caused a bit of a stir because of the skin.  More importantly the name was similar to overusing ‘nigger’ by rappers, taking a pejorative and making it their own.  So while the stance and the cover produced some sales,  the band never charted in the US, only reaching #30 on the UK charts in Sept 1979.  No other single or LP charted here or there.  But the influences flowed into and from a variety of kindred spirits; The Raincoats, UT, Blurt, Flowers of Romance, The Pop Group, The New Age Steppers.

Ari’s Slits recordings were mostly produced by Dennis Bovell, but my favorite things were with the New Age Steppers and producer Adrian Sherwood.  Here Ari’s joined by second-gen Slitmate, Viv Albertine.  These two LPs are treasures, meandering deeply atmospheric dub, still clearly British.

You can get pieces of Action Battlefield on iTunes, but even the CD of the self titled LP is going for more than $30 used these days.  It contains one of the bands gems, “Fade Away.”  Nice records to be remembered by.

Here’s an alpha list of the Slits vinyl recordings @ the ARChive:

• “Animal Space”//”Man Next Door”/”In the Beginning There Was Rhythm” (Human Records, USA, YUS-1, 12″ 45rpm, vinyl disc single, 1980).

• “Animal Space”/“Animal Spacier” (Human Records, USA, HUM-4, 7” 45rpm, vinyl disc single, 1980).

• Cut (Island Records, UK, ILPS-9573, 12″ 33 1/3 rpm, vinyl disc LP, 1979).  One version here has a special custom label with a silhouette of the girls.

• Cut (Antilles Records, US, AN-7077, 12″, 33 1/3 rpm, vinyl disc LP, 1979).

• “Earthbeat”/“Begin Again Rhythm” (CBS, UK, CBS-A1498, 7” 45rpm, vinyl disc single, 1981).

• “Earthbeat And Earthdub”/“Begin Again Rhythm” (CBS, UK, CBS-A 13 1498, 12” 45rpm, vinyl disc single, 1981).

• “Earthbeat And Earthdub”/”Or What Is It” (Epic, USA, 49-02576, 12” 33-1/3rpm, vinyl disc single, 1981).

• ”In the Beginning There Was Rhythm” (Slits)/”Where There’s A Will There’s a way” (Pop Group) (Rough Trade/Y Records, UK, RT 039/Y-1, 12″ vinyl disc single, 1980).

“Man Next Door”/ “Man Next Door Dub” (Rough Trade/Y Records, UK, RT 004/Y-4, 7″ 45rpm, vinyl disc single, 1980).

• Return of the Giant Slits  (Urgent Records/CBS, UK, 85269, 12” vinyl disc LP with single containing an extra cut and interview, 1981)

• “Typical Girls”/”I Heard It Through the Grapevine” (Antilles, ANS-102, with a folded poster sleeve, 7″ 45rpm, vinyl disc single, 198?).

• “Typical Girls”/ “Typical Girls – Brink Style”//”I Heard It Through the Grapevine”/”Liebe And Romance” (Island Records, UK, 12WIP-6505, 12″ 45rpm, vinyl disc EP, 1979).

• Typical Girls Won’t Pay More Than $8.00 So Why Should You? (Basic Records, USA, BASE-1, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, Bootleg, 19??)

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Tour d’Arc

7 07 2010

A nice lil’ film by the good folks @ Goldmine Magazine and filmmaker Michael Cumella who have been documenting great collections – and of course, ARC’s included.





Minuet of Mayhem

22 04 2010

My ‘Minute of Mayhem’ honoring punk impresario Malcolm McLaren (who I was not a fan of, but, geeze, he did do something) is the 45 rpm 12” Booji Boy version of “(I cån’t gèt mé nö) Satisfaction” by Devo (BOY 1, 1977).  Malcolm was buried today, and the family suggested a fitting alternative to a minute of silence.

Boogie Boy was the boy’s own label outa CLE, Ohio.  It’s a sheer joy homemade mix, sticker pasted on a generic sleeve, with an opening that is way red, back when there were VU meters that needed to be adjusted.  No really, red as in the speakers are about to pop, what real pop is all about.  You can get the later, limited Warner Brothers and Stiff versions, professionally mixed by Eno – my favorite producer makes it palatable, but it’s no plate breaker.  So get loud for just a minute or so today.  My Earth Day is seismic.





Greil Marcus in Lipstick Traces “Live”

12 11 2009

Please join your friends at the ARChive as they present their first event up at Columbia University – Greil Marcus in Lipstick Traces: Live

Thursday, November 19, 6 pm
Free and open to the public

Altschul Auditorium, 417 International Affairs Building (SIPA), 420 West 118th Street

Lipstick Traces_flyer

In Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century, Greil Marcus delved into the cross-currents, tangles, and whirlpools that made such vastly different movements as dada, lettrism, the Situationist International, and punk part of a single current. To mark the just-published 20th-anniversary edition of the book, Columbia University presents Greil Marcus in a one-man performance of Lipstick Traces.

This will be smart AND fun!

A book signing will follow the event. Lipstick Traces: Live is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Columbia Libraries, the ARChive of Contemporary Music, and the Arts Initiative at Columbia University.

In addition, the Music & Arts Library at Columbia University will display books by Marcus, books that influenced him, and posters, records, and other materials courtesy of the ARChive of Contemporary Music. The exhibition will be on display from November 1 to December 15, 2009 at The Gabe M. Wiener Music & Arts Library, 7th floor of Dodge Hall, at 2960 Broadway.

Here’s a simple bibliography of Greil’s work:
* Rock & Roll Will Stand (1969), edited anthology
* Double Feature: Movies & Politics (1972), co-authored with Michael Goodwin.
* Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock ‘n’ Roll Music (E.P. Dutton & Co., New York, 1975/2008).
* Stranded: Rock and Roll for a Desert Island (1979, editor and contributor)
* Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century (1989/2009), a book on 20th century avant-garde art movements like Dadaism, Lettrist International and Situationist International and their influence on late 20th century countercultures and The Sex Pistols and Punk Movement.
* Dead Elvis: A Chronicle of a Cultural Obsession (1991), about the phenomenon of Elvis Presley in the years since his death
* In the Fascist Bathroom: Punk in Pop Music, 1977-1992 (1993, published in the US as Ranters and Crowd Pleasers)
* The Dustbin of History (1995)
* Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes (1998; also published as The Old, Weird America: Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes, 2001), an account of American folk culture, seen through Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes.
* Double Trouble: Bill Clinton and Elvis Presley in a Land of No Alternatives (2001)
* The Manchurian Candidate (2002)
* The Rose & the Briar: Death, Love and Liberty in the American Ballad (2004, co-edited with Sean Wilentz)
* Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads (2005), a “biography” of the Dylan song
* The Shape of Things to Come: Prophecy in the American Voice (2006)
• A New Literary History of America (2009, with Werner Sollers, Harvard University Press)

call or e-me if you have any questions :  B. George 212-226-6967  arcmusic@inch.com=

DIRECTIONS  –  International Affairs Building (SIPA) / Altschul Auditorium

Getting to Columbia’s Campus:
The main entrances to Columbia’s campus on Morningside Heights in Manhattan are at Broadway and 116th Street (where the subway station is) and at Amsterdam Avenue and 116th Street.

Public Transportation:
The best way to reach campus is using the subway. Take subway line number 1 or 9 local to 116th Street (Columbia University) station.

Parking:
You may park on the street or use the local parking garages. The 512-520 Garage is located at the corner of 112th Street and Amsterdam; the Riverside Church Parking Garage is located on 120th Street between Claremont Avenue and Riverside Drive.

Finding Altschul Auditorium on Columbia’s Campus:
The International Affairs building (also known as SIPA) is on the eastern side of Columbia University’s Morningside Campus. The building is at 420 W. 118th Street, on the south side of 118th Street between Amsterdam Avenue and Morningside Avenue (closer to Amsterdam). Altschul Auditorium is located in the lobby of the building on the first floor, room 417.

Entering From Campus:
From the main campus entrance (right by the subway stop at 116th Street and Broadway) walk east all the way across College Walk (116th Street) to Amsterdam Avenue. Go north two blocks to 118th Street and cross Amsterdam; the International Affairs building is there on the corner. The entrance is on 118th Street (south side).





All our Singles are Worthless Now?

10 06 2008

As you may know the ARC was the reciepient of one of the best solid rock collections in the USA when Jeep Holland gave us his record collection. Jeep was also the mastermind behind A2 (squared) records our of Ann Arbor (A squared), as both he and I (B-squared) went to the UofM there.

Today ACE Records / Big Beat released the definitive collection of Jeeps efforts, A2 (of Course) # CDWIKD 274, on CD. Here you’ll find “historic recordings by luminaries MC5, Thyme, Scot Richard Case and Frost, plus the rarely-heard Prime Movers, with a young Iggy Pop on lead vocals.”

The thorough and nice Alec Palao put it all together, and he had a long look at our holdings – and was kind enough to thank Freddie and B, although we could provide nothing new to his exhaustive survey.

But our sale is still on and if you want the the original A2 singles by the Frost, Thyme or MC5, come on down – we’re here until Sunday.





Goodbye Tom Snyder

30 07 2007

CNN’s reported that Tom Snyder died yesterday.

Snyder had lots of important musicians through his various shows over the years, including John Lennon, Johnny Rotten, Kiss, Iggy Pop, The Plasmatics, U2, the Grateful Dead and this band, The Clash:





Dashboard Confessional at the Knitting Factory Part II!

18 07 2007

As promised, here is a picture of the line for Dashboard Confessional’s free show at the Knitting Factory.

Later_That_Night

A few comments about the photo: I love how happy the guy in the front in the hat looks. And he deserves to be-he’s at the front of the line! Why, for that moment he was the hippest guy in New York City! But I have to wonder where the groovy guy in the green shirt from the first photo went. (Off being sullen somewhere?) I didn’t see him and I hope he got in – now, I’ll probably never know. As we move back in the line from the front, we see a couple of sullen girls. Then, a sassy girl in a blue shirt and a green bag looking very In Touch. Then, we have a sullen guy, being talked at by that red-haired girl. Then more mostly sullen people. What’s the deal with Dashboard Confessional, anyway? Oh yeah…the show was about promoting a book called Everybody Hurts, a veritable A-to-Z on everything emo. The emo playbook, if you will. I “Shudder to Think” what it might be like. (Ba-dum-dum. Thank you, thank you, ladies and germs, I will be here all week.

I hung out a little before hand…talked a bit with my friend Pat, a little with Diana from the ihearasymphony blog (who will doubtlessly groan out loud at the totally awesome joke I just made) and then left.

I left WELL before they let people in, but the place was already a madhouse. People jockeying for a place in line, important folks coming and getting people in because they could, the door folks having fun with the people in line. It was beautiful.

So, if you were there last night I hope the show made you less sullen.  I heard it was great!

dtn








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