Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Some Things We're Loving This Week

In the absence of A) a new magazine (soon come, honest) and B) anything to really talk about, thought we'd just do a list of some crap we're loving...

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy "Cursed Sleep" single on Domino
the Midlake album "Tales Of Van Ocupanther" - the Fleetwood Mac revival starts here
Juana Molina - bit late to pick up on her, the Latin-psych-folk movement starts here
The Go Betweens "Streets Of Your Town" - Grant McLennan RIP
Youth Group "Start Today Tomorrow"
anything by The Andrew Loog Oldham Orchestra
the last My Morning Jacket album (still)
Smog "Cold Blooded Old Times"
Muse "Super Massive Black Hole"
Jon Savage's Meridian 1967 comp
TV On The Radio "Return To Cookie Mountain"

and, cos it's Summer here in London (ish), a good weather top 5...

Sleepy Jackson "Caffinne In The Morning Sun"
Spiritualized "Lay Back In The Sun"
The Zombies "This Could Be Our Year"
Brian Eno "On Some Faraway Beach"
Hole "Malibu"

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Richard Ashcroft - Honorary Socialist?

God, I never thought I'd see myself typing those words out... the guy is beyond dull, a pompous old twit revelling in those former glory years when every single one of the UK's beer boys decided they had a sensitive side and embraced his band to their ample Stella sodden bosom. Then, Britain's soaraway Sun newspaper unearths this.
  • Read about the return of Mad Richard here
  • Tuesday, June 20, 2006

    In Other Magazine Related News

    The new issue of The Believer, the monthly mag from the makers of McSweeneys, is a music issue and is the best goddamn magazine we've read in a long, long time. The free CD is remarkably good too, not the usual kind of free guff you lob straight into the bin 'cos you know the Record & Tape Exchange will literally spit on you for trying to flog to them. Anyways, 10 page articles on 'My Way', interviews with Wayne Coyne and the bloke from Death Cab For Cutie, something about the Eurovision Song Contest and a load of other stuff have got us all excited. Available from Magma and Borders in the UK, no idea where outside of here (other than Ariel Books on Oxford St in Sydney - random shop info) or from
  • here
  • Monday, June 19, 2006

    Socialism Salutes Arthur

    Our friend Jay over at Arthur magazine in the States recently had the pleasure of being given an interview with the singer of US metal band Godsmack. Godsmack's music is currently being used in recruitment campaigns for the US military. Jay decided to quiz him about it. The interviewee is at first confused, then gets flustered and finally ends up incensed. It's brilliant, confrontational journalism. Hat's off. The comments at the bottom are worth a look too.

  • Read a transcript here
  • Thursday, June 15, 2006

    Seemed Like A Good Time To Re-Run This...

    So it's official. Glitter's appeal has been quashed, the crazy nonce is was frog marched out of a Vietnamese court room shouting "It's bullshit! I'm not a paedophile!" Well, surely no smoke without fire. We here at Socialism have been intrigued by the Glitter case for sometime now. We wrote the piece below when he first got banged up, when we still wondered if he might face the firing squad. Sadly, our holiday plans were scuppered and he got a few years in, hopefully, Vietnam's most rat infested prison eating nowt but steamed rice. Anyways, in case you needed reminding of the whole thing, here's our take on where it all went very very wrong.

    What now for Glitter?

    On a restless November Monday night, after a day spent in the pub speculating on the grim realities of the modern world, Socialism begun feverishly hallucinating about the possible last days of a British pop icon. We tripped out (delirious from the Magners coursing round our veins) and begun to picture the scene. Imagining a stadium in the baking heat of Ho Chi Minh City rapidly filling with tourists, munching on popcorn, beer stocked foam domes pulled tight over heads to block out the worst of the sun’s rays as tonight’s show commences. First up, a few random floggings as petty thieves are punished. This is nothing. Next up, a couple of migrant Bangkok sex pests are maimed horribly, their hands brutally removed with machetes, a lesson to all, their screams echoing round the concrete walls, drowned out by the jeers of the angry mob. But this is still not the main event. The crowd grows restless, itchy, angry even. How much longer must we wait? they demand. Finally, from the depths of the ground, pushed forwards from the dressing room, he comes. One last fitting of the wig. One last time into the stack heel boots. The headline act moves towards the stage as highly polished guns are cocked. From the cheap seats, the chant goes up. ‘Come on, come on, come on, come on…”

    Back in the real world and these are strange, unsettling times for Paul Gadd it seems. Once he was a strutting Bacofoil wrapped, quiff headed rock colossus, as much a fixture of a British Yuletide as Slade, turkey and repeats of Del Boy. Now, with Christmas rapidly approaching, he’s a sinister looking bald man seemingly on permanent tour of South East Asia. Once the leader of the gang (I am), now potentially finding himself blocking the path of a hailstorm of bullets, blindfolded and roughly shoved round the back of a Vietnamese prison. One has to ask oneself, where did it all go wrong for Glitter?

    When the most recent story first broke, Socialism begun its vigilant Glitter watch. Papers scoured, internet searched, any news was feverishly consumed, lapped up, processed. Although (we must point out) not currently charged with any crime, Monday’s Evening Standard headline says it all – “Glitter ‘Faces Death Penalty’” (21st Nov ’05). A bespectacled Glitter, apparently dressed in some crazed Afflecks Palace rave-top circa 1991, was shopped to the authorities by the News Of The World and is now held after attempting to leave Vietnam for Thailand, already a refugee from a holiday in Cambodia. A 12 year old girl claims they had sex, him stretching to as much as £5.50 for “ a romp” (The Sun, 22nd Nov ’05). He claims he had been “helping the girls to ‘learn to speak English’’” (The Times, 22nd Nov ’05). Surely Glitter must be sat in his cell thinking “Didn’t Jerry Lee used get away with this kind of thing?” If found guilty of the accusations, his future seems bleak to say the least. Black might be a more appropriate word.

    When controversy in 2005 is reduced to one of Glitter’s peers, Ozzy Osborne, waving his freshly waxed arse at the UK Music Hall Of Fame, maybe the only thing left in rock n roll that can truly shock is this – that this guy, this loveable, daft old sod who had been a such a permanent fixture on our TV screens via Top Of The Pops and advertising campaigns for British Rail and Heinz soups is actually a demented sex pervert possibly facing the end of his life on the wrong side of a five man firing squad. My god, this guy was starring in bloody ‘Spice World’ a few years back (NB – segment cut, Glitter on cutting room floor, not even fit for the DVD extras on the special edition). You can’t help but watch with a morbid curiosity as the whole, frankly unbelievable Glitter story has unfolded. His life for the last few years has been like a car careering wildly across the central reservation of morality towards the inevitable collision with the law. Having been smoked out by the British tabloids this month, even if he isn’t charged, he seems unlikely to be allowed to live any kind of a life, although, Socialism won’t be the first people to pose the question "Should he..." of a man found guilty of downloading over 4000 pornographic pictures of children to his computer (by the way, do you reckon perverts still bother going to PC World?)

    In the end, when whatever will be comes to be, what will happen to the music, the Glitter legacy? One has to figure that that “Another Rock ‘n’ Roll Christmas” will quietly get removed from “The Greatest Christmas Album In The World… Ever!” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Part 2” will disappear from SU discos forever. That the Glitter cover version that the Spice Girls did won’t make the box set. So this is how it pans out. The Leader, once the staple of every office Xmas shag fest, has been wiped from the musical landscape, records rarely to be spotted outside of ill informed car boot sales, a 20 year career wiped from history. A bloke who once strutted like a human peacock now scrubbed up to reveal a seedy sex tourist sweating under the lamps of a foreign jail, a shameful old nonce counting out his final days on a concrete bunk eating nowt but boiled rice.

    Makes you wonder if anyone will ever wanna be in his gang again.

    Tuesday, June 13, 2006

    new website plus some stuff we like

    June 2006, it's just gone from blazing sunlight to furious, evil rain in Soho. Launched the new website yesterday, hope you like. In case yr interested, this is what's getting us going this week:

    Square Pie World Cup - we're getting deeply involved now
    the Nicky Wire solo album ('Bobby Untitled' is a masterpiece)
    The Wire (the TV series)
    the thought of a Jet comeback this year
    Glyn off of Big Brother
    The Teardrop Explodes
    Mitchell and Webb
    the Muse single
    'Catching & Killing' by Youth Group
    Adnams Regatta (and Explorer)
    Moondust by Andrew Smith
    Towers Of London 'I'm A Rat'

    Not so excited about The Wicker Man remake's trailer. Well, it was never going to work, was it?

    Monday, June 12, 2006


    So Keef has fallen out of a tree in Fiji whilst coconut picking, pissed out of his gourd on vintage bourbon, own-brand sensimillia and a few pints of his favourite tipple, triple vodka and tango. Is there, really, any better advert for the glories of rock superstardom? Whilst Chris Martin, Bono and David Cameron warble hand-wringing, eco-friendly platitudes whilst sending zillions of CFC’s into the atmosphere (I mean, how carbon neutral do you reckon X&Y really is?), Keef is out there providing a living example of how life should be lived - procuring his own food whilst giving the locals - and us - some much needed entertainment. Now he’s even about to make brain surgery seem interesting (what the hell are they gonna find in there?)

    Now that’s what I call Fair Trade.

    ARCHIVE STORY: A Day Out In London Town

    They say a change is as good as a rest so, listless and itchy footed, Socialism woke up to the idea that it needed a change of scenery. It was decided that its AGM should move from the back table of the bar in Little Portland St., W1 to pastures new. Shareholders were informed, a new venue was settled upon. So, on a bitingly cold November lunchtime, the two of us repaired to The Boot, Cromer St., one of the few hostelries untouched (untouchable?) by human progress. The Boot has long been our favourite place to head to when alighting from Kings Cross or St. Pancras stations. It’s like an airport hotel stop off on the way home from a trip away, a delaying tactic before facing the grim realities of a doormat covered in bills and fliers for local cab companies, before picking up the slack of the unfinished argument with the Mrs from the day you left. The Boot is the kind of place you tell your secrets to because no one here is listening, no one is judgemental, no one gives a shit.
    Lunch started with four bottles of Magners. Not even sure why we’re so enamoured with the stuff, it’s clearly this year’s Hooch, an iced alcopop dressed up as some kind of traditional Irish tipple. All we knew is that it gets you where you want to go.
    Remembering that this is a long haul mission, we moved to the chalkboard to check the menu.
    ‘Pie & chips - £3.50’.
    “What’s in the pie?”
    A look from the landlord that seems to the reading the invisible ‘I’m A Cunt’ badge on my coat. He is wearing a vest, nothing else on his top half.
    “You don’t wanna know.”
    A man sits on his own, next to the door (open, freezing), belching loudly once every couple of minutes. He does this for three hours.
    They have The Box on the TV, “Mysterious Girl” by Peter Andre seems to be on a perpetual loop.
    The food is served at a temperature so hot it could melt icecaps.
    The Magners keeps on flowing.
    The guy keeps burping.
    “Ooh oh oh oh oh, mysterious girl, I wanna get next to you…”
    My God, The Boot is fucking brilliant. This pub should be our new office. Why this place isn’t in the Time Out Pubs and Bars guide is beyond me

    It’s dark when we staggered out, pissed up, lurching into the road. A biting Autumnal wind tries to prise its way through layers of clothing like icy fingers. Onwards towards the Scala. We had rustled up a posse of likeminded souls to see our current favourite rock n roll band, hair farmers extraordinaire Black Mountain. At points sounding like Spiritualized with added amyl rushes, this was heavy-metal-hippy-space-rock by way of the Manson family, the Velvets and a whole heap of drugs. In a fog of booze, we imagined that this was what Cream were supposed to sound if you listen to anyone old enough to still think Clapton Is God. The difference was that Black Mountain rule and Cream are shit.

    Come midnight, the new licensing laws kicked in. All week, the Evening Standard had predicted a riot, going so far as to print numbers for the authorities in case rampaging packs of booze hounds were spotted IN YOUR AREA. What actually happened was a typically British response – disgruntled apathy. Now many hours into our session, we decided to head to our narrow boat owning friend’s boat club behind Kings Cross station for a nightcap (by this point, it was always going to be more a crash helmet than a cap). The boat club is a tiny chalet, four or five tables, resident boat owners and their guests only, kind of like a seafaring Masonic lodge. One table were silently playing Scrabble only using nautical terminology. A round for 6 people clocked in at seven quid. Good job we took out 60 quid at the train station…
    Much as we’d love to recommend it, there isn’t much point trying to go there for a cheap drink – it’s behind massive steel gates that you won’t get past without a ladder or a trampoline. The last person found on the premises who wasn’t known to the committee, a stray crackhead wandering by the boats like an extra in Romero zombie movie was forced to swim out of the place.
    Eventually we felt our way home, now more alcohol than human being, the bright streetlights merging with taxi lights. An old bat in a Rover stops somewhere near Camden and reveals she’s a mini cab driver. So plastered, so cold, we take her up on her offer to get us to Mare St. we are so drunk, she thinks we’re speaking French. She rips us off five quid (not sure whether that’s cos she assumes we’re tourists sans string of onions), all the while looking like the witch off Rentaghost. We pay up, safe in the knowledge that it’ll be another year before the next AGM.
    Well, thank God for that.

    ARCHIVE STORY: Socialism Appraises Bogan Rock

    Most people these days probably remember Angry Anderson mainly for being a bald muscle bound tattoo’d midget who sung some old mush at Kylie and Jason’s wedding back in the day. Thank God then, that riding the bus to work, the fickle hand of fate (i.e. the shuffle control on the ipod) steered me towards Mr Anderson’s masterpiece, Rose Tattoo’s legendary “Bad Boy For Love”, a song I'd not heard in way way too long. Check out the lyrics if you needed any proof of its worth…

    “Thirty days in the county jail
    Let me out and I just wanted to wail
    Some fool tried to hold me down
    I got drunk and I ripped up the town…

    “Well I...I went around just to see my chick
    I found her room and it was candle lit
    She's makin' love to another man
    I shot 'em both and they locked me in the slam.”

    Over the last few months, since a trip Down Under, I’ve begun to truly appreciate this singular style of music - Australian rock 'n' roll of the 1970s. It’s a no messing, beer swilling, hog fucking, Chopper music. While the rest of the world was obsessed with “Tales From The Topographic Oceans” and Led Zep crapping on about goblins and the like, down South they were concerned with the things that mattered – booze, shagging and crime. If the music was in any danger of disappearing up its arse, the Aussie mentality soon brings it back to Earth with a deafening thud. Obviously everyone ever born knows AC/DC, the genius heavy metal equivalent of a saucy seaside postcard. Them aside, much of the good stuff remains unknown outside of Australia, well outside the kind of crates that trendy record collectors are digging through, sitting there gathering dust and beer stains. Thankfully though, my own recent fact finding mission turned up one of the greatest greaser metal bands of all time, the mighty Buffalo.

    Take their classic work “Volcanic Rock”. The cover is a painting that some low rent Roger Dean has whipped up, in all probability off his noggin on cheap sulphate. It’s some kind of epic nonsense featuring a crazed warrior man, naked, stood howling atop a lava spitting hilltop. So far, so prog. Then double take. You notice that the guy is holding aloft a massive severed penis. His own penis. Dig a little deeper into their catalogue and you find the track “I’m A Skirt Lifter Not A Shirt Raiser”, possibly the pinnacle of Bogan macho rock posturing. Also, in my humble opinion, one of the best records ever made. The band’s biog at the time stated, confidently that “The music and the themes Buffalo use are so strong, so powerful, they frighten some of their audience into believing the band itself is evil.” Subtext – Fuck off you fucking lily livered Nancy boys, there’s some serious mans work to be done here. To hear it once is to think "Yes. This is good music. This is my kind of music."

    The sad thing is, I’m sat here now wondering where the hell are the successors to Buffalo, to Angry, to Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs, to all the greats? Where are the young men willing to say it and play it LIKE IT IS? Apart from The Monarchs, one of the heaviest, most fiercesome rock experiences of recent years (check their single "2001" which is like The Stooges being willingly drowned in VB and album "Make Yr Own Fun" which is the same only more so and better - they have only been allowed to leave Australia twice due to fear of over rocking un prepared countries), we seem to be stuck with ten thousand bands that sound like bad Sham 69, rejected Cockney Rejects, the gimlet eyed children of Pete Doherty, all content to sound cheap and cheerful whilst greedily eyeing contracts, deals, money money money? Surely it’s about time someone came along and kicked a little dirt in their faces, some bunch of sleeveless denim clad long haired bullies clutching lukewarm lagers with breath strong enough to stun cattle and riffs heavy enough to level mountains? If anyone had the balls in 2006 to make music that sounded like they were actually enjoying themselves (that was very probably recorded whilst pissed as a rat), they’d be the biggest thing on this dismal planet for sure.

    Well, we’d be down the front anyway. Fucken oath we will!

    ARCHIVE STORY: It's been a while...

    Sorry for the lack of communication - we've been pretty much glued to Big Brother over here... we were going to write something last week about Shabbaz (Honorary Socialist or something) but then he walked... we were going to write about the Welsh chick but she gets less appealing every show sadly... we were going to write about the new trannie they put in the house (very weird rosy cheeks) but gave up... anyways, scouring the world's news, as we do, we came across this, surely the greatest practioner of the law ever, being send off in style down under. If Socialism magazine was in court, this guy would have been our first choice for legal advice and also to go out on the piss with.

  • Rest In Peace

  • In Socialism news, we're just finishing off the new one, the Rural issue, will be with you in a week or two...