Luca said in a comment on yesterday’s post that to him house music is Brutalist architecture, a connection I totally get. Some music- Underworld’s for example and a lot of techno- isn’t abstract expressionism in the Jackson Pollock vein, it’s linear, straight lines, horizontal lines, parallel lines, railway lines, street lights on motorways shooting off in the distance in the dark, it goes from here to there. Those unchanging beats, sequenced basslines (they’re called lines for a reason), pulsing synths with minimal changes off the always heading forward route- forward momentum rather than the splashes of colour and drizzles of Pollock. Underworld’s Dark And Long (this version is off the e.p. and is nine minutes plus long) is just what I mean.

Dark And Long

Modernism’s Not For Everyone

Another eclectic two hours in the company of Andrew Weatherall and his Music’s Not For Everyone show courtesy of NTS radio, ideal for Sunday listening. Contains The Fall, Crocodiles and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and two songs from Weatherall’s new band with Nina Walsh, The Woodleigh Research Facility. Today daughter ET turns twelve- I’ve been trying to convince her that she should spend the afternoon of her birthday doing a walking tour of Stockport’s concrete modernist buildings, organised by the Manchester Modernist Society, but she doesn’t seem up for it. Kids eh!


Up In Heaven

This is an often overlooked Clash song, an album track from an album with more than it’s fair share of album tracks (Sandinista). Up In Heaven (Not Only Here) is a Mick Jones rocker with a taut guitar riff and tales of life (and Mick’s own childhood) in London’s tower blocks where ‘the wives hate their husbands, the husbands don’t care’ and the water pipes make banging noises, as do the neighbours.

Trellick Tower is a monolithic piece of 60s concrete brutalism that looms large in Clash myth and BAD psychogeography.

Up In Heaven (Not Only Here)


Brody Dalle is one of those punk girls our mothers used to warn us about- fags, tattoos, black eyeliner, bad attitude. Which only made them more attractive. She was in LA punks The Distillers and then the more alt-rock Spinnerette; both have engine revving guitars and a massive drum sound, her big husky voice and Joan Jett looks. If my LA punk gossip knowledge is correct she was married to Rancid’s Tim Armstrong and is now married to Queen Of The Stone Age’s Josh Homme. Brody has a solo album coming out- there is a song below to listen to (with Shirley Manson and Emily from Warpaint on backing vox). I quite like it in a regressive shoutalong kind of way.


Candy Says

Today’s song is a beautiful cover of the Velvet Underground’s Candy Says by British folk star Kathryn Williams. I had this on a compilation cd but can’t find it, can’t even remember what the cd was, it came with a magazine I think but I didn’t get around to buying the album. Anyway, this is quite lovely. I always thought it funny that she didn’t hit the high notes that Lou Reed did.

Candy Says

Your Lips A Magic World

This concrete brutalist building is a nunnery in Yucatan, Mexico.

This is a dub-disco re-edit of Echo And the Bunnymen’s The Killing Moon by Something For Kate. It is superb. You didn’t know you needed a dance floor version of this song… and yet you do. Mac never bettered himself lyrically than with this song- heavy duty, time shifting, portentous nonsense.

Pain Relief

This is one of those lovely dance tracks that abound at the moment- chugging rhythm, some nice phased effects and noises, throbby bass, a distant robotic voice to unsettle you ever so slightly…

Tronik Youth remixed by Sean Johnston (as Hardway Bros)


There’s something mesmerising about concrete brutalism. I’ve long been a fan of these post-war monuments to modernism and have occasionally trekked to stand beneath some, such as Trellick Tower in West London and Preston Bus Station (best viewed from a distance, up close it’s a dirty and somewhat unloved car park/bus station). I watched Johnathan Meades on BBC 4 last night. He operates on a different level- at times it’s best just to switch off and let his commentary wash over you while enjoying the visuals.

Richard Norris (in his Time And Space Machine guise) has remixed Temples. Temples are four young men from Kettering making psychedelic rock circa 1966-7 and have been tipped by Johnny Marr, Bobby Gillespie and Noel Gallagher (could be offputting to some I suppose). I saw them briefly supporting Primal Scream last December and the song and a half I saw were alright. Richard Norris loops them about the place, reverb heavy vocals, phased guitars and backwards guitars, psychedelia firmly intact. NME were offering a free download but I think the capacity got reached by a mad rush of 60s psychedelia fans.

Edit: free download is back.