The old New York Dolls classic given a stripping down and lyrical overhaul for no discernable or redeeming reason.
Jet Boy (live Arts Centre, Salisbury 7 May 1999)
posted @ 13.15 PM, November 25, 2009
Finale: Tom Ragazzi
With a spaced out Wah Wah, vocoder and deep deep thump of bass and drum - this is a helluva infectious Fall disco groove thang. The chant of 'Tom Raggi Raggi come down off the hill' burrows into your head like a mad nursery rhyme, along with 'You gotta circumnavigate the valley.' A veritable triumph of vocal as rhythm and confounding of expectations.
Finale: Tom Ragazzi (The Marshall Suite double LP limited edition, 1999)
posted @ 13.00 PM, January 03, 2008
On My Own
Powered by some fine piano stabbing and sundry effects, this paean to aloneness paints a melancholy picture of dreary, cold, streets, junk mail and quietude. One of my favourite lines is, 'Good luck to all that sail on the buses going the wrong way.'
On My Own (The Marshall Suite, 1999)
posted @ 14.00 PM, December 21, 2007
Mad. Men-Eng. Dog
Lo Fi clicking experimental track with random wordage. Not as bad as you'd think. Well, more bearable than some of the other Lo Fi clicking experimental album tracks.
Mad. Men-Eng. Dog (The Marshall Suite, 1999)
posted @ 13.25 PM, December 20, 2007
Sombre, restrained and a little dull. Whether MES is being sincere is always hard to tell, and on this occasion, his apparent willingnesss to lay bare 'another side you never see' is offset by the jokey 'it’s there, on the right/I’m pointing to it now.' It's like a spoken word piece over some ambient mood music, with romantic, wistful, but nevertheless powerful poetic imagery such as, 'in dreams I stumble towards you/Knees knocked, as you evaporate,' and 'a leafy winding spiral ablaze.'
Birthday Song (The Marshall Suite, 1999)
posted @ 13.10 PM, December 19, 2007
The Crying Marshall
A booming great assault on the senses with keyboards, guitars, bass and percussion throwing out some LOUD LOUD LOUD sounds. The lyrics are eventually abandonded half way through, reduced to several magnificent 'hyup's. The second half almost blows your head off and when it stops, if you're still in one piece, you're left panting for more. Mind numbing stuff. The 'Real Life' version is a completely different beast altogether. Equally fantastic, more 'regular' but with added energetic yelps alongside the boings and fuzzy disco.
The Crying Marshall (The Marshall Suite, 1999)
The Real Life of the Crying Marshall (F-Oldin' Money B side, 1999)
posted @ 13.30 PM, December 18, 2007
Early Life Of The Crying Marshall
If you ever wondered what the soundtrack to a cartoon by The Fall might sound like, then here you go. Squeak! Whooooooosh! Boing! Plink plonk. Parp! Ssssss.
Early Life Of The Crying Marshall (The Marshall Suite, 1999)
posted @ 13.05 PM, December 17, 2007
Anecdotes + Antidotes in B#
Of course, us sad musician types appreciate the B# reference, as there is no such note. Ho, ho, and indeed, ho. This crazed companion piece to Antidotes (see 1998) includes some bizarre wah wah noises, a funny 'Ah' scream and great thumping bass and drums. The chewing gum chewer resurfaces and, elsewhere, obscure lyricisms abound. The ending, however, intrigues me. To these ears, it sounds like 'And the bitter you have got is Meat Loaf on your sharps'!
Anecdotes + Antidotes in B# (The Marshall Suite, 1999)
posted @ 13.05 PM, December 14, 2007
Another unsung treasure. Starts and finishes with a nice bare guitar sound and the bass is brilliant throughout. However, it's all the wee plinky plonky keyboard sounds of weird instruments like the cor anglais/snake charmer type sound that make it spectacular. Some stuff about Burmese and 'the law of the planes and the prams' sprinkled throughout, plus an almost touching 'Bye bye bye baby' phrase near the end. I'd say achingly sad, but that sounds pretentious.
Inevitable (The Marshall Suite, 1999)
posted @ 12.45 PM, December 13, 2007
The original was a 1959 single by Tommy Blake, probably most famous for being accidentally shot dead by his third wife on Christmas eve 1985. It's along the lines of 'Summertime Blues' and is a great old stomper. Top vocals from MES and a brilliant minimalist guitar solo in the middle. My favourite couplet is 'I went to the bank just to get a little money/When he told me their requirements I started feeling funny. 'The live version is fairly lacklustre but includes some extra bile for a 'speccy-eyed bastard.'
F-Oldin' Money (single, 1999)
F-Oldin' Money (live, New York, 2001)
posted @ 13.30 PM, December 12, 2007