Today, We Lost An Icon.

It was my typical rushed Monday morning, when I sat down to glug back a cuppa, and have a quick look at my phone for my social media fix (some people light the first fag of the day, I write my first tweet).

On my timeline, a newsflash.

At first, hope that this was yet again another ridiculous hoax, like so many before it.

Alas, no.

Today, the world got a little less cool.

David Bowie, icon, legend, purveyor of styles, sounds and songs which launched a thousand other acts, a million other stories and memories, has died.

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The fact that this style and musical God left us in the classiest way possible- two days after the release of another cool album, with not a word of the 18 months of illness he suffered through- says it all.

His music, his art, will no doubt live on through generations to come.

From kids like my youngest, who today experienced the first major loss of a hero, to old fans like me who first saw him as Bowie, the actor in the Labyrinth, and beyond to glam rockers old and not so old, Bowie will be remembered as one of the last great and true icons.

Who could be named from our generation of musicians as inspirational and highly regarded as him across decades? I can’t think of any.

He was a cut above, a genius.

Whatever your go to Bowie era, play it loud, play it proud.

RIP.

 

THE SLITS, CUT

Today I’m bringing you a cult slice of punk ska fusion from The Slits.

Sadly this isn’t an original pressing (sob) but a reissue bought this year as my “birthday pressie to myself” from Amazon.

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the slits cut

The Slits-Cut reissue 2005 on 4 Men With Beards label

SIDE A:

Instant Hit

So Tough

Spend, Spend, Spend

Shoplifting

FM

SIDE B:

Newtown

Ping Pong Affair (Ping Pong is listed upside down and back to front)

Love Und Romance

Typical Girls

Adventures Close to Home

“Created by The Slits and Palmolive”

Studio Ridge Farm”

“Photos Pennie Smith”

Originally made and released in 1979 on Universal-Island Records Ltd, it says much for the girls that demand is great enough to reissue it years later.

Fusing the punk origins of principal songwriter and ex Flowers Of Romance Sid Vicious cohort Viv Albertine with the wild teen shoutiness and sound system/early ska appreciation of lead vocalist Ari Up (just 14 when the band was formed), it bridges the gap between the dying days of Punk with the emergence of a new sound for the disillusioned masses.

It was the last time the band were a four piece as original member Palmolive left shortly after and hence is credited as an individual.

The Slits are probably one of the most underrated punk bands of the time, and often forgotten about due to the musically less superior likes of The Sex Pistols, sadly down to the fact they didn’t court controversy.

My favorite track, probably unsurprisingly, is Typical Girls. Written during a brief break up with The Clash’s Mick Jones, Viv was angry at a comment made in a magazine about what boys liked in their typical girl.

The angry shout of it is just great and should be used anywhere women are made to feel less than their best.

BALEARIC BEATS, VOL 1

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Balearic beats

The first record I’m going to bring you is a classic in so many ways.

Balearic Beats Vol 1 on FFRR

Tracks

SIDE A:

Jibaro-Electra

Drop the Deal-Code 61

Sure Beats Workin’-Beats Workin’

Blackout-Enzo Avitabile

Mandy’s Theme (I Just Can’t Wait) (Cool and Breezy Jazz Version)-Mandy Smith

SIDE B:

Kaw-Liga (Prairie mix)- The Residents

Why Why Why (Live)- The Woodentops

Join in the Chant- Nitzer Ebb

De Testimony (Collapsing edit)- Fini Tribe

Jesus On The Payrol-The Thrashing Doves

“Compiled by “Razor” Tong, Oakey and Trevor Fung”

“Illustrations by David Little direct art Green link”

1988

Favorite track on this is so hard. I was only aware of Jibaro prior to him indoors getting it via eBay which in itself is a classic dance track.

I love the mental-ness of Nitzer Ebb (fun fact: on the back of hearing Join in the chant, him indoors went along to one of their concerts at The Dome Tufnel Park or someplace in London Bridge and found it to be quite the scary prospect musically and not at all Balearic, but a far more studded leather affair), as well as Kaw-Liga which has a kick arse Jackson sample too.

However, my overall fave is Why Why Why by the Woodentops. It makes no sense lyrically. At all. But the bassline in places is amazing and the little points of “Are You Ready Now” are just great. Its also live and musically the band are brilliant (and its a shame they never really blew up).

It comes from an era I am seriously jealous of not being old enough to have experienced myself like him indoors. The artwork is just cracking (Jibaro also uses one of the eye logos on its 12 inch single).

Go find some of the tracks on Youtube