Thursday, 30 June 2011

Video Disturbeo: Revolting Cocks.

Ah, who says you can never go back? In October of 2010, I highlighted a few acts who recorded under the Wax Trax! label out of Chicago, Illinois. Somehow, I'd managed to look over Revolting Cocks while including their musical home-base of good ol' Ministry. I swear, it will never happen again.

Originally conceived as a side project for Front 242's Richard 23, Luc van Acker, and Ministry's Al Jourgensen (modern folklore states that the name "Revolting Cocks" was chosen after a particularly brutal bar brawl on the evening of celebrating the beginning of their collaboration – as they departed the fracas, the owner of said pub reportedly screamed after them, "I'm calling the cops, you revolting cocks!"), Revolting Cocks (also commonly known as RevCo by their fans) recorded one album for Wax Trax!, Big Sexy Land, in 1986. Richard 23 left soon after, citing "creative differences," and ever since then RevCo has always had in it a rotating cast of characters. 

In 1993, they signed to Sire Records (home to such luminary acts as Depeche Mode, Erasure, Talking Heads, and Ice motherfucking T) and released probably their best album, the seminal (ha ha) Linger Fickin' Good. van Acker and Jourgensen, aligned with Chris Connelly, William Rieflin (from KMFDM and Pigface, among other similar acts), and Jourgensen's partner in Ministry-related crime, Paul Barker.

One of the tracks off of Linger Fickin' Good is a raunchy and giddily off-the-charts bit of certifiable madness – RevCo's absolutely inspiring "cover" of Rod Stewart's 1978 classic "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" My gosh, it's pretty damn awesome what RevCo did with it – it's grungy, it's squelchy, and it's quite frankly hilarious. When Connelly sings/mutters the line "He says I'm sorry but I'm out of KY Jelly," he himself can't stifle a laugh. Needless to say, the video for "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" is NSFW. Featuring cartoonish satanic imagery, strippers with peeling skin, and copious amounts of flesh, you still can't look at this video and not think to yourself, My God, those guys are having a shitload of fun.


Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Electro Classic Jukebox: Berlin.

Oh, I had such an immense crush on Terri Nunn back in the day. Their first (and most controversial – many radio stations refused to play it on the grounds of its "graphic" lyrics) single, "Sex (I'm A)" practically made my 12-year old head explode. Even now, nearly thirty years later, listening to Nunn's purring and sexually charged voice can make my blood pressure shoot through the roof. But arguably their greatest moment came with the release of "The Metro," which stands out in my opinion as one of the greater achievements of synths-as-purveyors-of-mood in the early '80s, period. I mean, just listen to it! It was a truly defining moment for the New Wave synth-pop movement back in the day – a gleefully wondrous and thrilling mix of punk and pop that utilized the multi-layered synths in such a way that the listener was immediately transported to another time and place. The longing and loathing of the lyrics were perfectly captured by the brilliant Nunn, whilst the constantly driving and thoroughly exciting music nimbly captured the feel of trundling motion underneath the City of Lights. Nice touch at the end, utilizing the French police sirens, as well! In 2004, Nunn (alongside an entirely new Berlin lineup) decided to rerecord "The Metro," as well as a few other of their greatest hits – sorry, hon, but it's nowhere as cool, original and refreshing as the originals. Accepting no substitutes!

From Berlin's 1982 sophomore record, Pleasure Victim, here's Nunn and company with their awesome track "The Metro." Enjoy!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Throbbing Gristle, Re-Issued.

(from XLR8R:)

"After the untimely death of founding member Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson late last year, the future of pioneering industrial outfit Throbbing Gristle was thrown into question. Thanks to a new post on the band's website, that question has been partially answered. Most importantly, the remaining members have elected to no longer perform live as Throbbing Gristle, following the sentiments of a statement made by Christopherson prior to his passing, who remarked that it would not be "possible for any changed band or variation of personnel to perform live as Throbbing Gristle without all the original four of us on stage." While TG diehards might be disappointed by that news, the group has not gone completely dormant. As detailed on their website, the band's contract with Mute Records expired last year, and the group has now chosen to reactivate its dormant Industrial Records imprint, which will be the sole representative for selling Throbbing Gristle's music. Furthermore, on September 26 the label will be releasing a series of remastered, deluxe vinyl reissues of TG albums The Second Annual ReportD.O.A. The Third & Final ReportHeathen Earth20 Jazz Funk Greats, and Throbbing Gristle's Greatest Hits. The remastered albums will also be available digitally and on CD."

So now you know. Keep an eye out – I'm looking forward to the vinyl. Here is a video of TG performing "Persuasion" at San Francisco's Kezar Pavilion (you can watch the whole damn thing on the YouTube if you wish) in 1981, right before they broke up.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Icelandic Soundscapes: Sigur Rós.

Sigur Rós

It was about five o'clock in the afternoon that December day in 2007, and the Sun had almost completely gone down. A huge and mysterious Moon was swollen in the sky, and all the Christmas lights and candles were lit, turning the main shopping and nightclub streets of Reykjavík – Bankstraeti and Laugavegur – into brightly lit holiday backdrops. Salvation Army volunteers were set up on every block giving out free hot chocolate for the donation of a few Kronar plunked into their little red pots. The broken glass from the previous evening's rúntur had, for the most part, been swept up and away. Little flecks of ice and snow fell from the edges of the rooftops, and the cobble stones of the footpaths tended to be a little loose in spots, resulting in the occasional stubbed toe or trip-up. Children ran about and played and laughed and shouted with little parental supervision. Shops, bars, and cafes all had little candles by their front entrances, the flames flickering in the sub-Arctic breeze. A giant glacier across Reykjavík Bay dominated the landscape as the Moon rose behind it, the clouds that partially obscured it were painted radiant shades of red, yellow and purple by the rapidly sinking Sun. A twin-engine propeller plane roared overhead on its way to the local domestic airport. People glanced furtively upward as it passed, only a few hundred feet above Austervöller Square. An elderly gentleman with crazy hair drives past slowly in the Christmas traffic, his window ajar, Zydeco music blaring from his car stereo. He grinned at me, and pumped his fist in the air. A little kid wearing a bright red jumper with white stripes down the arms and his mum smile as I danced a little jig for the old guy. I could hear his music from a block away as he took a right turn and disappeared from view. I stopped in a charming little cafe called Kaffitár; festooned with strings of hanging purple lights and sporting a dazzling selection of juices and pastries, it seemed like a great place to chill out for a few moments and collect myself. I ordered a single coffee with milk and one of the tastiest orange juices I've ever had, and retreated to the window seat and settled down into Reykjavík's English language music and culture magazine, The Grapevine, and then happened to glance at the thin gentleman sitting one seat away from me. I performed a double-take when I realised that the gentleman in question was the lead singer and guitarist of Sigur Rós, Jónsi Birgisson. I kept stealing sidelong glances, not quite sure if it was just a guy who looked a lot like him (that hairstyle and the build and the facial features – "elvin" comes to mind – seemed to be the norm). But yes, sure enough, he was blind in one eye. I didn't say anything. I was just thinking about how I'd often laugh with my friends and every now and then, with the dream of one day showing the band my Aegytus Byrjin tattoo on my back. Needless to say, I did not show Jónsi my tattoo. I finished my OJ and my second cup of coffee, folded up my newspaper, and stole away into the darkening afternoon. The shorter the days, the longer the shadows. But before I left, I captured his attention, and softly said, "Takk ..." He looked at me and smiled with a mellow shyness and went back to his reading.

sigur rós
Aegytus Byrjin

Monday, 13 June 2011

I L U.

School Of Seven Bells

From time to time (but not as often as I'd like), a song swoops out of the ether, seemingly coming out of nowhere, and smacks me upside the head with its sheer brilliance and power. The dreamy and sensual track "I L U," off of School Of Seven Bells' second album, 2010's Disconnect From Desire, is one of these songs. My goodness, it's such a lovely song.

Brooklyn, NY's School Of Seven Bells (also known as SVIIB) used to be a trio. Comprised of guitarist Benjamin Curtis, who'd left his brother Brandon's band Secret Machines, and identical twins Alejandra and Claudia Deheza from On!Air!Library!, SVIIB have created a sound that literally drips with passion and ethereal mysteriousness. 

Sporting spidery guitar work reminiscent of Cocteau Twins and Wayne Hussey-era Sisters Of Mercy, angelic and breathy vocals, shimmering electronic whooshes, and poetic lyrics, "I L U" is nothing short of a revelation. The accompanying video does the song proud – it's a genuinely breath-taking piece of art that stands on its own in regards to visualizing the pains and the passion of falling deeply, madly, and crazily in lust. It just has to be seen to be believed. 

One can visit SVIIB's MySpace page to be treated to more of their music – both off of Disconnect From Desire and their 2008 debut Alpinisms, if one is interested. For now, watch this video. It's incredible. And it's mildly NSFW, just so you know.

School of Seven Bells - I L U - Official Video from Vagrant Records on Vimeo.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Happy Birthday, Lizzie!

Even though the Queen's Birthday being celebrated today is largely symbolic (her actual birthday was the 21st of April - making her a whopping 85 years old), we still have a soft spot for the monarchy here at SDU. So cheers, Lizzie! Happy Birthday, and hopefully you get some more corgis for your collection.

From their 1977 album Never Mind The Bullocks: Here's The Sex Pistols, here is the brilliant and quite scathing "God Save The Queen."

Friday, 3 June 2011

Video Disturbeo: Soft Cell.

Oh. My. I really don't think I've ever actually seen the original video for Soft Cell's "Sex Dwarf." I mean, I probably would have remembered seeing it; it's a fairly memorable affair. Directed by Tim Pope, the prolific British director who's responsible for some of the greatest Cure videos ever made, this little film of absolute madness is one of the strangest things we here at SDU HQ have laid our eyes on in recent times.

A naked lady is strapped to a hospital gurney. Dave Ball is smirking in the corner of the white room, playing the blades of a chainsaw like a cello, surrounded by hanging hunks of raw meat. Marc Almond, whilst caressing the struggling naked lady, crows the demented lyrics as the room fills with half-dressed and BDSM-attired people who then proceed to commence an orgy. AND – just when things can't get any whackier, a leather-bound midget (the "sex dwarf" in question, I'd reckon) enters the fray and begins throwing raw meat everywhere.

This is just wrong. But when we here at Second Drawer Up say "wrong," we mean it in a good way. And – hoo, boy – is it NSFW.

From their 1981 debut album Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, here is "Sex Dwarf" by Soft Cell, in its original, uncensored form – the way it was meant to be seen. Fucking brilliant.

Soft Cell - Sex Dwarf (Original Video) from Sergio Diaz on Vimeo.