As readers of this blog are aware, from time to time I deviate from the world of comics and illustration
and venture into the potentially contentious zone of music. Each time I do I am aware that there is no greater divider of cultural morays than the world of rock and roll. I can well remember the week at Brighton Art College, when towards the end of an altogether very harmonious first year, someone thought with summer looming and final assessments for the year over, it would be really very chilled to have some music.
Enter - The Dansette Record Player.
Enter - Disc(h)ord.
Within a day the studio was polarised. Girls with platform soles (it was the early 1970's folks) tottered over to the infernal machine to pile up a stack of 45s as in revolutions per minute - but not much of a revolution if all you end up with is Gilbert O'Sullivan or David Essex. Over in my corner the Northern contingent would shake their greasy tresses and call for "sum Sabbath" and "there's nowt like a blast of Hawkwind", whilst my mate Dave espying a Beach Boys album tucked under the bri-nylon wing of one the graphic designers, declared that there was no effing way he was going to tolerate listening to a bunch of namby pamby surfers.
So I try not to venture too many opinions on rock - just occasionally as in from time to time.
Part of the problem is that I come from a generation that believes it's music was the best, partly this is a generational phenomena as in everybody believes that theirs was the best music and partly because the art form itself has stuck in a kind of time warp groove for the last fifty plus years. Big bands as in the Glenn Miller era were almost a blink of the eye in comparison.
So people of my generation cleave to their comfort blankets and if you want a reminder of how strong this urge is just look at magazines like Mojo when next you step into your newsagent.
In my opinion this is sadsville. I did have a subscription to Mojo magazine which I ran for several years until I got so bored with their dumbed down crop rotation system of:
Dylan, The Beatles, The Stones, Clapton, Queen, The Clash, Dylan, The Beatles, Zeppelin, that in a fit of hubris I sent the editor a letter to warn him if they didn't mend their ways and talk about happening music I would terminate my subscription. Something along the lines of "if I am in my fifties I don't need the constant reminders thank you". Needless to say no response, so I cancelled the subscription in a mood of self righteous ire. Mercifully before the next issue with a check list of 10 little known facts about Elvis Presley hit the streets.
Pity the poor journos who have to dish up this drivel, I could walk away they can't.
Not that I'm entirely down on old farts making a ruckus. As an example of the wonders of third age rock n' roll check out these madmen - aka The Special Branch, doing a cover of the immortal Dr Feelgood classic, "Going Back Home":
Wonderfully anarchic moment with the Tijuana Tin Sandwich!
But for the most part as with all artistic endeavors I like to face forward, so bands I'm listening to at the moment include this outfit:
Absolutely addictive stuff if your into psych drenched, feedback suffused, mesmeric music:
Another band that falls outside of the mainstream radar and ought to be checked out if they ever play a gig near you.
And in the meantime check out The Crocodiles MySpace for more of this exquisite stuff.