Nico, 1988

I saw this new film last week with friends. None of us knew much about the film, it had just opened, but it was Nico, about whom good books have been written, and who sang three songs on the first Velvet Underground album (the banana one). We knew that Lou Reed hated her, that Andy Warhol added her to his house band perversely, and our favorite song of hers was a cover of Jackson Browne’s melancholy These Days. Rael thought the trailer was a stinker.

But the movie was very good. Most notably, Trine Dyrholm acts and sings as if she’s living the part of the mordant junkie who can’t help but talk about how she feels and why she lives. But the movie makes excellent narrative choices that pile up, like leading with Nico’s These Days, and then moving on to her much broader music made in an atmosphere of chaos and imprecision.

This review on Slate by Carl Wilson does a good job of explaining the film, and puts it into the context of many other movie bio pix that don’t follow the form of Ray and Walk the Line. Read that, see the movie, and I’ll leave you with this. Not a spoiler, but a game changer in the film’s narrative, surprisingly enough.

 

Wussy, Teenage Wasteland

This is another one h/t to the Dean of American Rock Critics, though he didn’t plug this song. I found it on the YouTube.

These guys are old and weird. The first two songs of theirs I listened to were called Gloria, and this one, which was once a Who song. Neither was a cover.

They skew to the indie side of rock, but I’ve put this clip on repeat. I liked them at first hear. They sound like they need to do this more than anything. That’s enough for now. Maybe more later.’

 

The Dead South, In Hell I’ll Be In Good Company

Clever video. But simple.

Simple song. But maybe clever. The lyrics seem to show a dark murder ballad, though I didn’t get that on first listen.

Whatever. Somehow this cute video and folkish trad song has scored 44 million plays on YouTube. That’s huge, it is real money, and it comes from Canadians into bluegrass, even if the music isn’t bound by genre exactly.

More power to them. This isn’t rock, but if these folks can earn green on this fine but totally uncommercial song, I’d say they’re successful remnants.

Also, good title and band name. Especially for northerners. Maybe not as good as The Band.

Hank Wood and the Hammerheads, Go Home

I’m halfway through this elpee on YouTube, listening at top volume while editing the biographical info of quarterbacks for the Fantasy Football Guide. Blame Hank and Co. for any errors.

There aren’t many modern punk bands that grab me, but this is clangorous driving rock n roll, a little garage-y, with some fun song ideas a la the first and second wave of bands with ugly album covers. These guys have that, too. But they don’t sound derivative so much as inspired to make their own noise. So they do!

I think this is their first album. The second one is called Stay Home, or it could be the other way around.

The Little Bits, The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)

The version of this song you may know, by the Four Seasons, is a gorgeous slow burn, though a version by the Walker Brothers that has a touch of Merseybeat baked in was a bigger hit.

This version was recorded first, and it punks it up, as Gene might say, in a Spectorish way. The common denominator is Bob Crewe, who wrote the song with Bob Guadio, and whose record labels released both versions.

La URSS all hands on deck

Yesterday’s post about Blackball lead to this Andulucian punk band. I love this music, because it starts with the Clash’s London Calling as its aesthetic baseline.

If I lived in Andsalucia/a>, I bet it would hit more notes for me. For me, the Clash hit the same notes more immediately, because of the English thing mostly. Home is where the heart is.

But maybe you should listen to the whole thing. It’s really good, if a bit familiar.

Peter Perrett, Woke Up Sticky

This is a fantastic tune by Peter Perrett, the singer songwriter at the heart of the Only Ones. This is by his 1996 band, the One, and was released on an elpee also called Woke Up Sticky.

It makes total sense that between their like (love?) of drugs, their romantic perspectives (cut by jaundice), mastery of classic rock tropes, and ability to twist them to their visions, Perrett and Johnny Thunder would bond.