Tuesday 31 January 2012

Retrosonic Podcast Episode 1: "We look like stars but we can't pay the rent..."

Welcome to the very first edition of the Retrosonic Podcast. Steve from the Retro Man Blog and Adam from The Jetsonics are joined in the Pod by Rock Photographer Paul Slattery. Throughout the series we will play and discuss some hidden gems and rare nuggets from Punk Rock, New Wave, Power Pop, Soul, Psychedelia, Mod, Garage Rock, Ska and Reggae from house-hold names to new and unsigned bands.

We'll also be broadcasting a "Bonus Track" where we will be inviting in various Special Guests from the world of music - including Musicians, Bloggers, Photographers and Artists, to discuss their work and their influences.

Retrosonic Podcast Episode 1: "We look like stars but we can't pay the rent" by Retrosonic Podcast

We have also set up a little Message Board/Forum called RetroBoard where you can register to comment on anything featured on the Retro Man Blog and RetroSonic Podcast. Discuss your thoughts and experiences about the music we play, we'd love to hear what you think.

There's a Facebook page too if you prefer to keep up to date there, or you can visit the Soundcloud page. The Podcast can be downloaded an MP3.

Contact us about the Podcast here retrosonicpodcast@gmail.com

Monday 30 January 2012

Song of The Day: The Black Keys "Lonely Boy"

Here's the great video for the superb new single "Lonely Boy" from The Black Keys brand new album El Camino, which is out now on Nonesuch records.

It defies you not to dance...!!

Thursday 26 January 2012

Retrosonic Podcast: Episode One - Coming soon...!

I'm pleased to announce new for 2012, the RetroSonic Podcast, which we will hopefully be turning into a monthly release. The first episode is currently in "post-production", whatever that means...and will be released very soon. I'll be joined in the Pod by Adam from The Jetsonics and we will be playing and chatting about a selection of hidden gems from the worlds of Punk Rock, New Wave, Soul, Power Pop, Psychedelia and Garage Rock. Expect album tracks, new and unsigned bands, hidden gems and classic songs. We'll also be discussing some of the Bands and Events featured in the Retro Man Blog, and there will be news and hopefully some Special Guests along the way... 

Our first special feature will be part one of our interview with legendary Rock Photographer Paul Slattery who has captured many classic bands such as The Clash, Motorhead, Ramones, The Fall and Joy Division. He has also been there at the beginning with acts such as The Smiths, U2, The Stone Roses and Oasis. In this Episode Paul will be discussing his own "Early Years" and playing some choice cuts from the music that inspired him to take up Rock Photography, such as The Pirates, Dr. Feelgood and Link Wray.

"The Smiths: The Early Years" Photographs by Paul Slattery available from Amazon or any good bookstore
Many thanks to the following for testing the Pilot Episode and supplying us with valuable feedback, and more importantly encouragement to do more of the broadcasts! We really appreciate it.

Hasse - Selander Art (Sweden), Wayne - Ice Cream Man Blog (Sweden), Kurt - The Big Nothing (Tokyo), Francis B-W (U.K.), Mike A (New York), Susan - Jim Morrison's Paris web-site (Paris), Steve - Angels In Exile Records (U.K.), Phil - Stuff & Nonsense  Blog (U.K.), Carolyn - A Drake's Progress Blog (U.K.), Push - Author and Pushblog (U.K.), Del - The Godfathers (U.K.), Steve - The Len Price 3 (U.K.), Geoff - Kast Off Kinks web-site (U.K.), Roger - Tenek (U.K.), Ola - Fula Fula Ord Blog (Sweden), Jim E (U.K.) 

The Pilot Episode featured us discussing a selection of 12 songs that included The Rezillos, The Past Tense, Shonen Knife, The Len Price 3, The Ruts, The Soundtrack of Our Lives and Radio Birdman amongst others.

The Pilot was very a work in progress, but if you would like a copy then please email us and we will send you an MP3 version. It's worth it for the great music alone! We have also set up a little Message Board/Forum called RetroBoard where you can register to comment on anything featured on the Retro Man Blog and RetroSonic Podcast. 

Contact us about the Podcast here retrosonicpodcast@gmail.com


Sunday 22 January 2012

The Godfathers confirm The Len Price 3 for Saint Valentine's Day Massacre February 14th Islington Academy

Great news..! The Godfathers have confirmed The Len Price 3 as support at their Saint Valentine's Day Massacre show at the Islington Academy gig on February 14th. They will be joining Punk Rock riffers The Lone Sharks in what is shaping up to be one of the not-to-be-missed gigs of 2012. 

If you love raw Rock 'n' Roll, Garage Rock and Power Pop harmonies then this is a dream line-up. 

Be sure to get your tickets HERE quickly as this is a sure fire sell out show! 

The Len Price 3 in action - Photo by Steve Worrall

Dot Dash - Washington D.C. Post-Punk featuring ex-Swervedriver drummer

Dot Dash is a post-punk-pop band from Washington D.C.They cite their influences as The Jam, Joy Division or The Byrds…or perhaps appreciation for the ancient sounds of the Postcard, Whaam and early Creation labels…

Guitarist/singer Terry Banks and bassist Hunter Bennett were in punky power poppers Julie Ocean. Before that, Terry was in a bunch of jangly guitar bands, including The Saturday People, Tree Fort Angst, Glo-Worm and St. Christopher.

Guitarist Bill Crandall was in the mod/pop band Modest Proposal. Drummer Danny Ingram began musical life in Dischord-label punks Youth Brigade before moving on to Strange Boutique and later, U.K. guitar-wranglers Swervedriver.

Dot Dash plays shows, mostly around D.C. In the recent past they’ve opened for Urge Overkill, The Godfathers, The Trash Can Sinatras, The Chameleons and Hugh Cornwell from The Stranglers.

"spark>flame>ember>ash" is released by Canadian indie label The Beautiful Music.

There is something lurking underneath the songs on this album, something you feel is ready to burst out and go wild. Yet at the moment the tracks are all very taut and controlled, there's a minimalist almost oppressive feel to them. This works extremely well on some numbers but over 14 tracks it just feels that the lack of variety doesn't quite translate to an album's worth of material. If I'd heard this as a 4 track E.P. or say, 6 track Mini-album, I might have been blown away.

Dot Dash - Photo by Peter Muise
Singer Terry Banks has a voice that reminds me sometimes of Robert Smith and yet on "There And Back Again Lane" it's Richard Butler from the Psychedelic Furs but hang on, now it's Robert Forster with "That Was Now This Is Then", a track which could be from The Go-Betweens "Friends of Rachel Worth" album. Maybe it's this lack of a distinct character that doesn't quite lift the weaker material such as "No Reverie" and "A Straight Line", maybe it just needs some stronger backing vocals and harmonies, I'm not sure. 

Having said that, I'm featuring Dot Dash because there are some great moments that show the band are capable of writing some really memorable tunes particularly on "Learn How To Fly", which has a chorus that comes close to their 'band-name-influence' Wire's "Map Ref 41N 93W" or "Outdoor Miner". More songwriting of this quality could certainly elevate the band to another level. Then there's the rumbling bassline and discordant guitar lines of "Dissolve" which reflect a paranoid Pixies-like little gem.

"Tragedy/Destiny" and "I'm Going Home" have a warmer more melodic feel and have huge potential, but are both crying out for more prominent backing vocals to lift them to immediate, catchy hits.

Certainly a band I will be keeping an eye-out for though and I'd love to get the opportunity to see them live, to see how well those hidden little gems burst out!

For more information on Dot Dash please check out the band's Facebook page. The album can be bought directly from The Beautiful Music, Amazon or iTunes.

Thursday 19 January 2012

Blank Generation: Original Punk Posters Exhibition January 27th - March 08th at 198 Contemporary Arts Gallery London

Blank Generation: A Collection of Original Punk Posters Exhibition 27th January – 8th March
198 Contemporary Arts Gallery, 198 Railton Road, London SE24 0JT Mon-Fri 11am-5pm

As an adolescent Gary Loveridge – music poster collector and punk historian - stole a Damned poster from the local record shop's sound proof listening booth. Then going to gigs in Bristol he would take down the record company display advertising the band's latest releases. On the way home Loveridge would rip down the fly posters and anything else he could get his hands on. This began a growing fragmented punk collage over his teenage bedroom wall, thus beginning Loveridge’s collection of music posters.
Gary with Spizz at Gaye Advert's Punk & Beyond Exhibition - Photo by Steve Worrall
Moving to London in 1987 Loveridge discovered Bermondsey Antique Market, Portobello and Camden, providing him with a good hunting ground for expanding his collection of posters and other memorabilia. The collection has changed over time as music trends have changed with Loveridge collecting Britpop in the 90’s and bands such as the Libertines more recently. Numbering well over 100, some have been lost, destroyed, or sold, but despite this the collection remains a vibrant and authoritative representation of an important era in British popular music history.

The Blank Generation exhibition at 198 Contemporary Arts & Learning presents a number of posters from Loveridge’s collection of music memorabilla. Alongside the exhibition there will be a series of events reflecting on 30 years of music and its associated art. The exhibition and events will consider an on-going punk movement and the relevance of punk in today’s creative and political climate. Blank Generation is also the inspiration for 198 and Central St Martins latest Creative Learning project. The group of young people from St Francis Xavier Sixth Form College in Clapham will be creating a new range of t-shirts influenced by the posters and the punk essence of youth, survival and the DIY aesthetic.  The t-shirts will be showcased and available to buy from Hustlebucks, 198@45, 5th Avenue, Brixton Village from Feb 23rd.

Good luck to Gary with the exhibition, I'll be sure to visit and post a report.

Monday 9 January 2012

Punk Rock Cartoons by David Worth

Adam Ant - by David Worth
David Worth is from Blackpool. He started drawing caricature cartoons in April 2010 and is self-taught. He has no art school background and his day job isn’t in design or illustration. The first cartoons he drew were of Public Image Limited and these were published on johnlydon.com and also on pilofficial.com.

This encouraged David to draw more cartoons and develop his own unique style.  Since then, David has drawn hundreds of cartoons of musicians, bands, movie subjects and TV personalities. He is quickly working his way through people and bands from the world of Punk, Alternative and metal. These include The Clash, Ramones, Sex Pistols, Motorhead, Henry Rollins, Beastie Boys, etc. He has also created cartoons of more mainstream musicians such as Katy Perry, Christina Aguilera, Fleetwood Mac and others. There is also a set of Hollywood Film Legends in progress.  

The Stranglers 1977 - by David Worth

The cartoons can be seen at his website, Punk Rock Toons and also on Facebook. They have raised a lot of interest on Facebook and some great feedback has been received from Killing Joke, Mike Joyce of The Smiths and Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols. Glen even uses a cartoon of himself as his profile picture.

Ramones outside CBGBs - by David Worth
David has shown his work at various exhibitions in the UK, including the Rebellion Punk Festival in his home town of Blackpool, which plays host to hundreds of punk bands and thousands of fans from all over the world every August. A cartoon of famous musicians born, raised or based in the local area has been displayed at the Blackpool Art Fair. 

Captain Sensible
He has also recently exhibited in Manchester and the sale of the prints from the various artists raised lots of money for a charity for children living in poverty in the city. He will also be displaying his artwork at the Punk Rock Museum at Ghettogloss Gallery in Downtown Los Angeles from 14th January 2012.
A cartoon of the Country Life Butter Advert was published in John Lydon's recent limited edtion book, “Mr. Rotten’s Scrapbook” and was the only cartoon featured in the book not drawn by John himself. It was given a full page, accompanied by John’s scribblings above and below the picture. The cartoons have also been published in Digital Arts and Front magazines and various newspapers. 
More of David's cartoons can be seen on the following sites:

Dave Vanian

- Under 26th July 2010 heading

- Find in show reports

- Country Life Cartoon used on Page 180

David would like to thank John ‘Rambo’ Stevens, John Lydon and Scotty Murphy, for initially publishing the cartoons and also to Taquila Mockingbird for giving David the opportunity to exhibit them in the U.S.A. 

Thanks to David for permission to use some examples of his excellent artwork, I'd like to wish him good luck with the Exhibition in Los Angeles and will certainly keep an eye out for future news and update here accordingly. In the meantime, please enjoy some more great Punk Rock Cartoons...

The Clash on Tom Snyder's Tomorrow Show 1981


The Damned - Black Album era
Don Letts and Mick Jones of Big Audio Dynamite

Charlie Harper with his Punk Rock Cartoon
John Lydon liked his cartoon so much he used one in his special limited edition book "Mr. Rotten's Scrapbook"
All cartoons and photographs Copyright David Worth

New Untouchables Presents - Timebox: Back 2 The Future on Saturday January 28th at The Strongroom London EC2A

New Untouchables Presents: TIMEBOX (Back 2 The Future) Sat 28 January 8pm-2am / free
@ the Strongroom, 120-124 Curtain Road, London. EC2A 3SQ
DJ's Dr Robert + guests Wayne Gibbins (Yum Yum) & Brother Jonno spin sublime psych/soul/funk/rock/garage & r'n'b blasts down the groovy cellar club!Arrive early!
Transport Tubes Liverpool Street/Shoreditch
Venue contact Tel: 020 7426 5103

Sunday 8 January 2012

The Machines - New album from 1977 Roxy and The Vortex Punk Rock veterans

The Machines, Southend's first Punk band, were formed in 1977 by Nick Paul, and are known for their infamous "True Life" E.P. (Wax Records 1978). This record  is now listed in Record Collectors 100 Most Collectible Punk records and with it, they reached the upper reaches of the Alternative Charts, with the late John Peel playing the title song many times on his late night show. The band burned brightly for a relatively short time between 1977-78, and together with the aforementioned E.P. they also managed to play the twin Meccas of London Punk - the Roxy and The Vortex. Fast forward to 2006 and the band regenerated with Nick Paul joined by Steve Reddihough on Bass and Backing Vocals and Steve Pegrum (aka Steve Machine) on Drums. The two Steves lay a driving, solid rhythm to which Nick adds his infamous crazed Guitar playing. In 2006 the band played a special show at The Boston Arms celebrating the release of a compilation CD featuring two rare Machines tracks from 1977.  

The band have played solidly around the U.K. since re-forming and in 2008 they played the Rebellion Festival in Blackpool, as well as The Brighton Fringe Festival. They have also managed to record new songs such as "Girl In Black" (dedicated to Johnny Thunders) and "Weekend", as well as recording lost '77 classics such as "Parents Zone" and "Don't Be Fooled". This debut CD by The Machines, and the first release on new label Angels In Exile, collects all the recordings the band have made, including the 10 songs that they have recently recorded with Barry Gardner. Also included are the two rare 1977 demos "Racing" and "You Better Hear" as well as all the tracks from the "True Life" E.P. which receives its first official release here since 1978. 

The Machines - Photo by Giacomino Parkinson
For further information please check The Machines official site, Angels In Exile Record Label or email: angelsinexile@gmail.com

It's a great album of uptempo, catchy Punk Rock 'n' Roll, no frills but lots of thrills with a sound that resembles Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers New Yorks Punk meeting The Clash's first album head on. The new recordings, such as the brilliant "Cyclone" and "Girl In Black", stack up well against the remarkably fresh sounding tracks of 1977 and '78.

Here's the track "Weekend" from The Machines
The Machines in 1977
Angels In Exile are also responsible for the superb web-site Southend Punk Rock History 1976-1986, which is an excellent local resource featuring loads of bands, fanzines and photos of the period. From local heroes such as Dr. Feelgood, Kursaal Flyers and Eddie & The Hot Rods to later post-punk bands such as Anorexic Dread and The Prey, you'll find a comprehensive archive on the site.

Saturday 7 January 2012

The Selecter live at The Cherry Red Records Stadium Kingston January 28th

The Selecter, one of the original 2-Tone Ska revival bands and responsible for such classics as "On My Radio" and "Three Minute Hero", will play at The Cherry Red Records Stadium, Kingston in Surrey on January 28th. The band are enjoying a bit more of the spotlight again recently following the well received publication of singer Pauline Black's autobiography "Black By Design: A 2-Tone Memoir".

The Selecter will then head out on tour in March to promote the excellent new album "Made In Britain", they kick off in Reading on March 01st at the Sub 89 Club. A full list of dates can be found at the band's web-site.

The Complaints Department - "Walking Hand In Hand" Tokyo Power Pop for Earthquake and Tsunami Relief

Tokyo based Power Pop band, The Complaints Department, have just released a new single "Walking Hand In Hand". Proceeds from sales of the single will be donated to help aid the reconstruction work in Tohoku, Northern Japan, following the devastating Tsunami. Of course, just because the tragedy of the Tsunami is now out of the news, there is still so much work to be done in rebuilding, not only the region, but people's lives and livliehoods too. The band have to be applauded for their efforts in doing something positive.

The Complaints Department is a 5-piece power-pop band, with an eclectic fusion of punk, pop, rock and anything that comes to mind. The Complaints Department came together in February 2009, and is a Tokyo-based band made up of Canadian and Japanese nationals. Each member comes with different musical interests and influences, producing a unique style of alternative music. The band often uses two vocal parts to produce a more powerful and unique vocal sound. Furious song-writing/re-writing and relentless behind-the-scenes plans are a part of TCD life. Forging ahead, the band filled in the missing lead guitar and bass sounds, and added keyboards. The Complaints Department performs live with other Tokyo-based bands, steadily building a local following. TCD concentrates on writing songs in English and Japanese to appeal to it's entire audience. 

"Walking Hand In Hand" can be bought from Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby, here's the video:

 Composer: Nate Gildart
Arrangementby : The Complaints Department (Nate Gildart, Ken Kishi, Akira Minakawa, Chris Lucier and Matt Rollo)
Cover Art: Stefanie Held 
Mixed and Mastered by Ryo Sugawara & Ken Kishi

Here's another video of a great slice of Power Pop, recorded live in Tokyo, "The Story Of The Year".