Thursday, Nov. 29 at the Footage and Firkin, Oxford
- two weekends next
April (19-21 & 26-28) at All
Tomorrow's Parties, Camber Sands Holiday Centre, East Sussex.
This looks like quite a line up of bands - very tempting.
appears that Spen Birtwistle is no longer in the band. There was a new
drummer at the Footage and Firkin gig who had 45 minutes to rehearse beforehand,
according to Jim Watts. It's a shame -- I was very impressed with his
drumming at the New York gigs.
are vast quantities of recent gig reports and photos in the Fall News
archive: UK dates in October 19, European dates
in November 5, the London Forum gig in November
13, and the US tour in November 28.
you want to send me a review, it's not too late. I'll add them to the
a link to yet more photos of Sunday's NYC Knitting Factory show (Nov.
25) thanks to Alexei Dechevoi.
a few French and German reviews of the new album on the
web; if someone can translate any of these for me I'd be very grateful.
I've seen the results with the Alta Vista Babelfish translater, and they
aren't pretty; I think it'll need a more organic approach.
From Andreas Dobbert, news of a German radio show on the Fall:
I just wanted to
let you know that German radiostation "Deutschlandfunk" is sending a
2-hour-programme called 'Rebellious jukebox - Mark E Smith & The Fall'
on Friday night (or rather Saturday morning, Dezember 15th) from 1.05
am to 3.00 am (that's the time in Germany). Anyone interested can listen
to it at http://www.dradio.de ->
Although these nightly
features are usually a bit lame they are also quite enjoyable in an
old school way of radio broadcasting.
Also, although this
has probably been mentioned somewhere in the Fall News before: Amongst
many others the discography in David Toop's excellent book 'Ocean of
Sound' contains a record by Avante-Composer La Monte Young. Never had
a chance to hear it but it's title sounds promissing and to some extend
familiar: "The Second Dream of the High Tension Line Stepdown Transformer
from The Four Dreams of China".
There's still no news
about the postponed / withdrawn The Present EP, or about the rerecording
of the tracks for Pander, Panda, Panzer.
and Firkin, Manchester, Nov. 29, 2001
Peter van Der Bruck
kindly sent in some photos.
Got to get one thing
out of the way first, the support band. Usually, they are pretty dull
before a Fall gig but these stood out as the biggest shower of shite
I have ever had the misfortune to experience. Dunno their name, but
they were from Runcorn, a fact easily discernible as they were constantly
calling out to their mates in the audience. The strange thing was they
appeared to have bussed about fifty of the pseudo-scouse fuckwits over
to the gig, including, tragically, their parents complete with video
cameras!! They sounded like an even worse version of Stereophonics with
a female singer . Parading like megastars with their sub HM shite. Look,
Heavy Metal was never good and the fact that these turds are trying
to justify their dodgy childhood music tastes is sickening. When the
Fall hit the stage the entire entourage retired to the balcony which
they had privately booked where the mums and dads and friends dressed
in party gear looked on aghast and disinterested. Reminded me of the
Kurious Oranj story about the women in the front row in the theatres
in ball gowns with their fingers in their ears. I know this is a bit
of a rant but it was pretty irritating having the entire gig hijacked
by a gang of pseuds.
Any, THE FALL. I
saw an earlier show on this tour and the most noticeable thing about
this gig was the extent to which the band has tightened up and developed
the set. Jims The Fall then Cyber Insekt kicked it off, complemented
by an excellent sound and an MES that appeared to be enjoying(!) the
proceedings. An excellent stripped down version of And Therein followed
which really showed how comfortable the band are. It seems that in recent
years MES has allowed the vocals to be raised to an audible level. Or
is this because I always stood at the front in my youth where I now
stand at the back tapping my feet? Excellent versions of Two Librans,
Way Round, Bourgeois Town, My Ex-Classmates Kids, Kick The Can Mr Pharmacist
and I am Damo Suzuki. And as a special treat a MES monologue taking
in bits off Post Nearly Man and rants about Blackpool FC and his mate
Michael (apparently a fuckin bat eared twat). Probably some other songs
too but I'll have to leave the memory bit to other people reviewing
night, the last three shows I have seen have surpassed any others I
have been to (and I have been to many). The sound is good, the songs
have regained that FALL edge and MES seems to have found his second
wind. If you don't have the new album, get it, Reprise alone makes it
having just got home:
A curate's egg.
Some magic moments, but some moments when MTV hits! on the double big
screens was more interesting, particularly Sophie Ellis Bextor dancing
to Way Round.
Mark was in good
spirits and good voice, drinking from what appeared to be a glass of
water - surely not. Near the beginning he said something like "Escape
from New York! But no fucking favours for you lot".
90 minutes, which
amazingly seems standard now. Usual set list.
They re-worked And
Therein as a very pared-down, spare, bluesy number - sounded good.
Damo sounded a bit
Snatch of Beefheart
(Dropout Boogie) during Dr Buck as at Liverpool, and a bit from Kurious
Orange during Crop Dust (that one that goes 'give it to me softly baby
uh-huh' or whatever).
But the best bit
by far was the My Ex-Classmate's Kids - Northern Quarter/Modernity -
Wake up in the City sequence. Absolutely spellbinding, a great Fall
Worth the price
of admission, then.
Good to meet Yousef,
Simon and Ian.
Just got back too,
missed the second encore (if there was one). Best songs were 'Borgeois
Town', 'Kick The Can' (which went on & on & on) & 'Two Librans' - it
was my first time seeing them, and when he approaches the front of the
stage, about to sing, he does this little thing with his throat that
reminds me of that guy from "On The Buses". Really good gig - Aziveed
supported - reminded me of a dodgy indie- rock band I was knew. Great
gig, great atmos, great. I agree it was odd that pop videos were being
played on a double screen over the bar.
Good gig - 8/10
And I almost forgot
- that woman out of 'Ladytron' was there, too.
The signs next to
the stage said
10 - The Fall
No Trigger Happy.
That would account
for the "fuck, is that The Joke...? oh shit we're still upstairs" moment.
Still a bit torn
on this one, meself. Crop Dust was a tremendous thing and Mr Pharmacist
was great (bluesy guitar squaks notwithstanding.) Though I have to say
that hearing Folding Money played slick as you like was a bit strange.
All very competent and loud and energetic but a lot of the time something
just wasn't clicking.
So for tonight I'll
say great band and a good gig but I've yet to be convinced they're a
great Fall line up. J-Lo swingin that big butt of hers to Dr Buck's
is a sight that'll live with me forever, though.
Nice to meet Paul
and Ian and always a pleasure to see Simon (sorry about the mystery
More thoughts to
Last night's gig
was exactly a year to the day since the brainmelting show at Jilly's
and not one member of that line-up remains. (Well, one does.) So here
are my thoughts on Mark E. Smith and the Fall (feat. Mark E. Smith)
in Manchester 29/11/01.
venue - ceiling so high you could almost forget it was there and the
most prominent security I've ever seen at a gig. I don't know if the
dual large screen TVs were left on as a joke or to provide entertainment
for the band (Jim certainly seemed to be getting an eyeful of Kylie,
Geri et al) but they gave the impression that you were down the pub
for the evening and there just happened to be a band on in the corner.
were crap but different enough from your usual indie support sludge
to be mildly diverting (and they cheekily did a dead ringer for Deadbeat
Descendent.) Trigger Happy's surprise non-appearance meant that Simon
and Paul and I were still upstairs scrutinizing the fool who had modelled
himself on a c1982 MES when the band took the stage.
No surprises on
the setlist - Joke, Two Librans, Cyber Insekt, And Therein, Way Round,
Touch Sensitive, that three song medley with Foldin Money & Kick the
Can, Mr Pharmacist, Exclassmates' Kids-spoken word-Wake Up in the City,
Damo. 1st encore was Dr Buck, 2nd - Crop Dust. (Slightly out of order
and I guess there must've been a couple more new ones, didn't make much
of an impression, though - I'll sort out a correct listing over the
As has already been
said, it was a competently played and reasonably energetic set. The
highlights were great, but there were more than a couple of moments
when I felt completely bored; Wake up in the City and the stripped down
Way Round just went on too long. MES sounded pretty bored himself during
And Therein but seemed to be genuinely enjoying Pharmacist, so I'll
was a horrible parody of what was once quite an enjoyable tune; very
little 'hey hey hey'ing, strange new 'up to the hilt' lyrics and some
inappropriately tuneful backing vox from what I assume was Ed Blaney.
This was another one that went far over length. As it finished, some
wag was clearly heard to ask, 'who was that cunt on backing vocals?'
Dr Buck's also featured
this additional vocalist - you could see what they were trying to achieve
by singing against each other, but they couldn't quite pull it off.
If they get it sorted out it could be quite impressive.
For me, this line
up is the first one that confirms the granny on bongos theory - these
are efficient musicians and the quality of the gigs would appear to
be pretty constant; the only variable is MES himself. Which I guess
has always been the case to some extent, but there was something soulless
about last night's performance and I reckon the presence of what are
essentially session musicians must be related to it.
I'm sounding way
too negative here; it was a good gig and the band were great so if I'm
pining for the sound of 96 I guess that's my lookout. As Simon pointed
out, if you think back to how the Marshall Suite line-up sounded at
this stage of their development, things bode well for the new lot.
So if Ark was like
watching your best mate die on stage, last night was a bit like a nice
evening down the pub with him (and a couple of his new mates.) All very
entertaining and enjoyable but nowt to write home about. He says, 500
i thought that the
roundabout tune worked suprisingly well considering it was just guitars
and drums - crop dust was an excellent ending to the night - i also
thought that this new band have grasped how to play Mr Pharmacist a
lot quicker than the last one did.
support band seemed
competent but were ignored (the sandmen destroyed my interest in fall
support awhile ago) and unless we got there late i dont think trigger
happy played (am i wrong on this?)
1) the roundabout
theme was very good for bass geetar and drums - altho i thought that
jim was asked to fill in for way too many parts for a bass guitar player
- doing a keyboard solo was way past the normal call of duty. i will
disagree with Y on this one - it did not go on to long
2) during toush
sensitive i thought jess conrad had appeared for a medley of Joseph
and his Technicolour Dream Coat (Blackpool Grand arounf 83/4)
3) during Dr Buk
i had trouble working out what ed (was it ed?) was singing - if it had
been a bit louder it might have been a lot better - sont on the whole
4) damo wasnt good
- after that i was glad they didnt do paintwork
5) crop dust was
fan-fucking tastic-and well worth the price of admission (ie swapping
a sexy pic cd of the holy bible for a non pic disc version) alone
6) not normally
sexist - but where do all the corsetted lace busted and apparently single
women of manchester fall gigs come from ? - we spotted the smith entourage
and these girls were not with them - why are they never in the "Indie
F" section of vinyl exchange?
struck dumb and
full of young thumbs
This was a polished
performance by Fall standards and strangely I got home feeling neither
disappointed nor elated - just sort of somewhere in between.
Liked the spoken
word thingy, enjoyed Two Librans, F-olding Money, the medley type thingy,
Damo Suzuki. Can't really think of any standout comedy moments.
Nice to meet Matt
who was horribly young - I felt like giving him some fatherly advice
on what will happen is he persists with following The Fall. You think
you can handle it now but...
Managed to spend
the evening avoiding Y, S and P. They finally caught up with me while
I was in the bog at the end. What a great night; a shit day at work,
a few pints with my mate Peter and then the mighty Fall. MES was on
top form, sober and in fine voice. Great band, much punkier than previous
versions, with a very definite sound of their own. Final encore of Crop
Dust was a particular highlight. Crappy venue though; ceiling too high
and ugly bouncers marring the view. That gig performed in The Wychwood
would have been tops. Great to meet you lads; sorry it was so brief.
Back to Leicester in a bit; I do love seeing The Fall in Manchester!
Well, I managed
to get to the Footage & Firkin gig last night and got near the stage
- but regrettably no set list (I was told that there had been none -
they were making it up as they went along!) I am sure that there was
a piece of paper on the guitarists amp and that Mark consulted a scrawled
and tattered piece early on in the gig. Nevermind, my track record on
setlists remains derailed. If I ever get access to a decent scanner,
I will e-mail the images of the ones I've got to you.
A few brief thoughts
on the gig from my vantage point at the front-side of the 'stage':
Yep, the support
were crap, but half as bad as the bloody audience they had brought with
them. Bet they're all from Runcorn New Town too (sorry, me Mum is from
Runcorn Old Town).
I'm sure they opened
with The Joke, but I thought the set generally was very good - decent
selection rather than just the new record - nothing to prove. Mark certainly
seemed to be on form and enjoying himself.
MES & Guitarist
- a running entertainment - MES would turn the volume up, only for guitarist
to look pained and turn it back down as soon as he could. This happened
a few times. Guitarist also broke a string about two-thirds of the way
through but kept on (MES commented on this - I though he called guitarist
'Dan'). MES also turned him to face the audience at one point when he
was playing with his back to us.
MES seemed to be
drinking wine (as well as a can) - the glass looked like it had wine
in it and from behind the stage a wine bottle (empty) was handed in
to the bar staff...didn't look worth $500 though.
Bouncer - When MES
arrived on stage, a bouncer was there too looking very conspicuous.
MES stared at him with a 'who left that on my stage??' look. Bouncer
The stage was crap
- a drinking area with solid wooden rails surrounding and obviously
awkward access, provoking band to leave/return to stage through the
audience. MES seen climbing over said rail for first encore.
Drummer - seemed
to have a folder of hand written notes by him of the '3/4 time' variety.
Any ideas who the
other (occasional) singer was? - or indeed who the band members are
these days (and where does MES find them?? Surely there can't be any
musicians who haven't heard that 'the Fall' and 'job for life' don't
go together by now??!)
Strange to hear
some of the songs done by a four piece - in the past when I've seen
them there has always been a fifth person to add some texture, second
guitar, fiddle etc
Really good gig
overall - band and crowd, a good way to spend yer 31st birthday (not
sure wife agrees, but I she is coming round to the idea that if the
Fall are playing and I can go, I will go).
Travelled up from
Brum / watched the gig / all the evidence of my senses told me that
it was a belting performance / delighted that my bike wasn't stolen
from outside the pub / got the 2.04 train back and then couldn't find
anything even slightly interesting to say about it.
Ever had that feeling
at a gig that you are watching a 'live' video at 2.30 am? And you can't
be bothered to get into it because you know that you can rewind it and
watch it again, or pause it to nip out and make a cuppa, or watch it
again later when you are not tired? And you only half watch it anyway
because you know it has been selected and edited to be a 'respectable'
performance, not embarrassing, not mindblowing? And you have stayed
awake to watch it purely because you are a completist twat wanting to
tick off this previously unseen footage in your mental twitch book?
And all these aforementioned thoughts are distracting you from the performance
as they arise anyway? Feels like the front of yer brain has been injected
with a mild local anaesthetic? And you can already see the black poxy
plastic video case with a thick layer of dust on it as you shove it
into a black bin liner 5 - 10 years down the line? Must have a cold
coming on or something.
was no Jims The Fall / irritated that the bass couldn't be heard / glad
the knob fiddling was very little in evidence. Ibis-Afro Man I would
like to have heard again too as at Liverpool it was one of those startling
snappers that slaps you round the ears like The Fall versh of Strychnine
used to be, leaving the audience stunned and thinking "Hang on... what
was THAT?", much, much better than the album versh. Cycled past a hotel
Ibis on my way back to Piccadilly Station. Agreement on Touch Sensitive
- it was reduced to a sludgey riff, I used to like the drums only part
which has now gone. The Enigrammatic Dream more than compensated though,
it left me more in the mood for a whole evening of chanted word backed
by lone guitar than for the gig in hand.
You Are Missing Winner (Cog Sinister COGVP131CD)
is out on CD in the UK (and Europe?). It's also been spotted at a few
stores in the USA, e.g. Vintage Vinyl, Other Music, Newbury Comics. Sadly
it wasn't available at the US gigs, and there doesn't appear to be a US
If you want to order
it from Action Records
(£11.99), tell them you came from the Official Fall website to get
a 10% discount (they ship very quickly too - I've had great success ordering
from the USA).
"The Fall" (M.E. Smith/J. Watts)
Town (R. Johnson arr. M.E. Smith)
(S. Birtwistle/M.E. Smith)
Ex-Classmates' Kids (M.E. Smith/E. Blaney)
the Can (M.E. Smith/B. Pritchard)
See Jane (R. Dean/Taylor)
Man (M.E. Smith/J. Watts/I. Pop)
Jane - Prof Mick - Ey Bastardo (Spencer/Blaney)
A few unconfirmed
- there'll be a limited
edition vinyl picture disk.... the horror. On Nov. 8 Rob Ayling of Voiceprint
sent a message to Fallnet saying there'd be a pressing of 1,000 numbered
and according to Opal Music:
"FALL Are You Missing A [sic] Winner -- (UK double LP picture disc)
... 13.95 released 03 Dec 2001"
- Jim Watts says
the shop version of the CD will have different artwork -- although it
looks like the ones in the shops now are the same as the ones sold at
the UK/Euro gigs, except that they've inexplicably switched Crop-Dust
with My Ex-Classmates' Kids on the cover.
- MES called Rob
Ayling at Voiceprint "requesting some changes to the tracks."
(further creative critiques would be welcome; email them to firstname.lastname@example.org)
- The cover is truly,
TRULY dire, breathtakingly, dreadfully crap.
- They should have
had somebody crap on a piece of paper and photocopy it - that would
have been better. May have got a bit squished in the photocopier though.
- The new fall cover
looks like a fall cover, is all. most are crappy looking, but at least
they're shabby in a way that's recognizeable as being fall shabbiness.
when i saw the unutterable cover, i thought, oboy, this looks halfass.
of course, i was pleased to hear what the album sounded like. it's among
the band's recent best. then i took a closer look at other covers, like
infotainment scan, marshall suite, cerebral caustic, the frenz experiment,
the wonderful and frightening world of the fall, middle class revolt--some
of which are cool-looking, if shabby--and i realized that the fall are
more hit and miss with art work than they are with music. still, i s'pose
fall fans like to grouse as much or more as anyone else. here's hoping
for more crap covers to come!
- Jesus.. it's appalling,
isn't it? Looks like some monkey was let loose on Corel Draw 5 for 10
minutes. You know what... it actually discouraged me from buying the
album. I was wavering already (what with the negative views prevalent
on the list), but the artwork tipped me over the edge. A shame :-(
- Thanks to Ian
Willey, here's the cover inversed
with Photoshop. That's Mark and Elenor (sp?), his wife, I've been
Voiceprint has two
Real Audio selections (encoded @ 16 Kbps) on their site:
The first batch of album reviews are on the November
11 news page, the second batch is in November
28; the latest ones follow...
From the Sunday
Times, November 25, 2001:
Pop: New Releases:
Two stars: Good
One star: so-so
No stars: Give it a miss
THE FALL Are You
Are Missing Winner?
Cog Sinister COGVP131CD
quarter-century odyssey has seen all front-man Mark E Smithís former
band-mates slain or abandoned on rocks. The new incarnation eschews
the electronica of recent years for the needling rockabilly sound they
slithered from Salford with in 1976. Scuzzy production foregrounds Smithís
unmistakable misfiring moped voice, as he hurls words at us like plates
in a Greek restaurant. Highlights are Ibis, evidently recorded in a
tin filled with seagulls, the steamroller garage punk of My Ex-Classmatesí
Kids, and Ey Bastardo, a cover of R Dean Taylorís Gotta See Jane recycled
to back Smith playing various disgruntled foreigners. As he extemporises
upon his doubtful parentage and responsibility for a bass playerís hair
loss, Smithís daring self-awareness threatens to humanise the aloof
persona he has cultivated for 25 years. Two stars, Stewart
Your humble narrator,
here with a review of sorts.....
* * * * *
The Fall Are You
Are Missing Winner?
GOOD EVENING LONDON,
YOU LUCKY LUCKY LUCKY PEOPLE!
I'm trying to counter
the accusation that all of my reviews boil down to just: the words "BUY
IT", or, infrequently (because they say I like too much), "DON'T BUY
What makes The Fall
a real force to be reckoned with (for about 25 years now) is the fact
that main guy Mark E. Smith just keeps on making choices that are really
close to being correct (or, leeway granted, are actually correct). As
close as damn it really. I'll look you in the face and freely admit
I couldn't do any better, and I'm a big stupid big shot know all music
crit who thinks he knows how every song should be played.
Simple as that:
correct choices and perhaps precious little else.
what a good M.O. that is. Just amazing. Quite a bit better than the
reverse, wouldn't you say?
All of which I must
modify by asking: are The Fall world famous yet? Are they? Are they?
Well not really,
but after listening to this I must say I think it says more about music's
current distribution channels & quirks in its hype machine than about
either humanity or this one long-lived fiercely-uncompromising band
from Manchester that keep REFUSING to suck for about 25 years now (okay,
there was that whole Kurious Oranj phase that kept me away for a while).
If they are known
much at all, it's usually by word of mouth, and even then only by a
small core flock. But left to is [sic] own devices, and even knowing
he's is own worst enemy, Mark probably sees the life of The Fall very
clearly (probably much clearer than any of is diehard fans):
(1) people will
ask you things
(2) people will demand certain things
(3) you will want to do certain things
(4) all you have to do is choose correctly
(5) simple as that
Amongst us small
core flock types, there are only a few bands that have done what The
Fall have done, and -- upon hearing this new one -- continue to do.
Sorry. Strike that
last comment. I added a clause in haste and it ruined my point.
NO OTHER BAND exists
that CONTINUES to do what The Fall do.
Most have learned
that they didn't become world famous, and eventually quit. Simple as
(Just look at Pavement.
They only had one really killer album, and even then it was only because
it sounded a lot like The Fall. Seriously. Hey, I love Pavement as much
as anyone but this isn't exactly secret knowledge I'm espousing here.
For that matter, the only Cornershop song worth listening to is the
one that sounds like The Fall ("Call All Destroyers")).
After a while, they
all start to sag, fade, wither, wane.
After a while they
start to suck.
In the world of
art, painting, music, writing etc. we have a stereotype of the person
who is so involved in the decisions they are making that they don't
have enough room to experiment. In fact, almost nearly every time, if
you see someone experimenting, it's almost a sure sign that they have
the basics down and are somewhat bored with the basics thank you. We
don't need no steenking basics.
People who are worried
don't have the time.
This new Fall album
has all the time in the world, actually, which I must modify by creating
an analogy: it's a whole whole lot lot [sic] like seeing an unfamiliar
sketch by Picasso HASTILY TAPED TO THE WALL IN THE FUCKING LOUVRE thank
No one knows how
it got there. Someone must've just come in with it and scotch-taped
it to the wall next to the fire extinguisher, &c. The stupid little
piece of scotch tape is an insult to the work it is barely adhering
to the wall, see, but there it is.
This album has NO
production values. ZERO. Forget it.
Cover art? NOPE.
forget it. You don't get any. Sorry.
Song titles? YEP,
but they're fucked up & out of order. Forget it.
Songs? Well, yeah,
but in some ways not really (it's almost Anti-Songist in how it observes
Can's techniques of building a groove up slowly, methodically, over
time........lot of time? yeah sometimes....but build it all the same).
But yeah. Definitely. The songs contain this shit so yeah. There are
some good songs. But not really.
What it does have
are a lot of correct choices. The real choice choice [sic] being: completely
get rid of your band. Get rid of your band.
Because it was so
Absorb that for
a second while I prattle on about one of the songs here: "Ibis-Afro
Pinning the entire
nine minutes some odd seconds down is a bass riff so relentless that
it completely DESTROYS. It's a Mozartian/Wilsonian ascension of decidedly
Punk fucking currency. It just goes UP UP UP constantly. It just won't
stop, we've tried asking. Meanwhile, Smith completely DESTROYS the game
rules of MELODY and even MUSIC-uh the exact same ways he did with elder
tracks like Bug Day, Paintwork, Midwatch 1953 and so on with other parts
played out of sync with the main lead like he really DOESN'T GIVE A
FUCK. Too bad: he does. Obviously. Because he made all the right choices.
This song is about nine fucking minutes of realizing a tape is running
and ergo filling it up with whatever will make the most impression:
a completely corroded tape sample of monkeys screeching? Great! throw
that on for a couple minutes. Then bring back in the instrumentation
(but leave the corroded taped voice of a prior take running please).
It's completely relentlessly unreal the effect created here. Sure, it's
not for everybody; sure it's not for the Brittney Spears crowd, granted.
Sure it's not for the casual indie-rock fan, although ... now that I
think about it. .... and speaking really honestly from rock-critic to
reader: this review is probably most likely an attempt on my part to
show how the casual indie-rock fan may in fact really benefit from hearing
this shit. Someone on Fall Net called it a Lo-Fi masterpiece and I would
say that taking out one or two of these tracks & substituting "I Wake
Up In the City" (from a recent limited edition 7") would pretty much
seal that charge.
I've been a writer
for many years, and have learned the nine and ninety rules of art for
describing various situations. I have no description for this song.
All I can do is
just mumble and point, just like all of them ever did, just like all
good writers can ever do.
This review in one
This review in
three words: fucking really great.
This review in several
words: fucking really great, though this is for people who don't have
to understand music on a formal level, but happen to know what they
like, and happen to like, well, more often than not, really on-point
fucking rock and roll.
This review in a
paragraph: fucking really great, but there are no attempts made by the
band to satisfy their fans in the way of PACKAGING in the way of PRESENTATION,
things that fans get off on myself included. Only by belting out solid
on-point fucking rock and roll the way old garage bands used to do in
the sixties, and in general roughing up their sound to where even the
most ardent punt rotter will start headbanging a bit, and (and this
is crucial) while keeping their own idiosyncratic decidedly uncompromising
(but let's face it, how uncompromising are you when you clearly have
nothing left to lose) version of history, music, sound, and most important:
versions, et. al. intact.
This review for
lovers (solely) of The Unutterable: not the same sort of approach at
all. Please consult your physician. Your mileage may vary.
This review for
Fall Fans: get it. It's not quite as good as some of the classics, but
it really is good.
This review for
CONFIRMED Fall Fans: is there really any choice at this point?
to feel [sic], ahem....clears throat.....BUY IT!
This weekend I was
pleased to find AYAMW at Vintage Vinyl (St. Louis), as well as Speed
Trials. My review of Speed Trials will have to come later, because I
keep listening to AYAMW over and over.
First listen was
on headphones, while waiting for the yyprg to finsih something up as
we were on our way out the door. I just gave each song 30 seconds to
get an overall feel. The production sounded utterly fantastic - akin
to Dragnet, Grotesque, or 27 Pints.
Second listen was
in the car with the yyprg. We both thought it all sounded better live
than on the CD. I particularly liked "Crop-Dust," she particularly liked
"Gotta See Jane." After a bit of Ibis-Afro Man, we fast-forwarded, and
the rest of it seemed pretty spotty. She rolled her eyes at the silly
lyrics in "The Acute" and kept singing "Jerusalem" over top of "Hollow
Third through dozenth
listens during the last few days (I'm using up vacation days that won't
roll over to 2002). The overall scummy garage sound is more appealling
to me than the slickness of Unnutterable. "Crop-Dust" sounds like a
Fall classic. "Gotta See Jane" and "The Acute" remind me of 90-91 Fall
- seems like not much effort or passion went into them, particularly
when compared to all the snarly rocking going on around them. "My Ex-Classmates'
Kids" kicks ass, but part of the power might come from it being ten
times louder than everything else. "Kick The Can" is a grower. The others
all have the wonderfully clattery, raw Fallness that I love, but it's
a bit different. More distortion than ever before.
starts out with a long and thoroughly unenjoyable piss-take (shrieking
monkeys sound good on paper, but not on tape), although it kicks into
something fairly interesting once MES starts singing "Race With The
Devil." Similarly, "Reprise..." is the junk I've come to expect at the
end of a Fall rekkid until it turns into a take of "Gotta See Jane"
that obliterates the earlier version.
Verdict: I like
it. Love it in parts. "Wake Up In The City" shoulda been on here, though.
I love The Fall
and I heard horrible things about this album. When I got it, I was not
expecting a classic but I was not expecting garbage. There are some
incredible songs on this album but the extreme lo-fi sound quality and
extremely cheap cover will throw people off. It seems like it only took
10 minutes to make the cover and it was made in my basement... Still,
my favorite Fall albums include "Extricate", "Frenz Experiment", "Infotainment
Scan", "Levitate", "Marshall Suite", and "Light User Syndrome". The
new Fall album "Are You AreMissing Winner" is right under those albums
in terms of great songs. The sound quality can't help but bring it down
"Jim's 'The Fall'"
is a great way to kick the album off.
Town" is a classic track! It's perfect! It has everything I love about
The Fall in this song! "I'm in a bourgeois town, spread the news all
"Crop Dust" has
some great rhythm but does not stand out lyrically nor is it catchy.
That is one reason I like it. ply
"Kick The Can" is
a two-part song. The first part is slow and loud but the rward 2nd part
is quick with an upbeat somewhat rockabilly sound.. "Gotta kick the
can (or they'll send ya to a foreign land)".. I don't know what he says
but the backing vocals of the band gives it a great touch.
Kids" is a great track but the vocal level is all messed up and Smith's
yelling will hurt eardrums. The hook is great and will have people singing
along. Too bad the mixing and levels are messed up.
"Gotta See Jane"
is perfect! This cover track only reinforces that I think The Fall should
put out an LP of all covers one of these days. Real catchy, real upbeat.
Even with the lo-fi sound, it sounds great!
is a joke. This song is so long and boring. At first listen, it's funny
since the monkey sounds truly throw the listener off. But after a couple
more listens, I use to do songs like this when I was 13 years old and
stoned out of my mind. Sure, it's bold but The Fall has done stuff like
this before and it's not needed.
"The Acute" ...
another wonderful track!
another wonderful track!
" Reprise: Jane
- Prof Mick - Ey Bastardo".. This is a long track that uses reprises
"Gotta See Jane". I love how it stops and then starts up again.. This
happens a couple of times. It's obvious that this was an improve but
the whole "Svet is a bastardo" repetition is hilarious. The weird Spanish-like
accent that Smith uses is fresh. He's never did that before (at least
that I know of).
As a whole, I don't
think this album will gain the Fall NEW fans. This is for die-hard Fall
fans...really, Mark E. Smith fans. Since the old band were sacked, this
is Smith and some new musicians. I wish the sound mix was better and
of course, I would love it if they used some keyboards. "Bourgeois Town"
uses these extremely cheap sounding keyboards but it sounds so perfect.
This is The Fall very stripped down, very loud and guitar driven. It's
almost the antithesis of "The Unutterable" since that album seemed like
it was produced well. "Are You Are Missing Winner" with it's mis-spelled
title has the 'back to basics' approach. It's not for everybody but
since when is The Fall for everybody? It's another great Fall record....period.
THE FALL "Are You
Are Missing Winner" (Cog Sinister, UK) CD $14.99
The Fall's 22nd
non-compilation studio album is one of their weirdest and messiest ever,
right up there with "Room to Live" for the "what the hell were they
thinking?" factor. "We are the new Fall," the band bellows, and once
again it's true -- the indefatigable Mark E. Smith and lead guitarist
Ben Pritchard are the only survivors of last year's lineup. A mangled
cover of Leadbelly's 'Bourgeois Blues' is inexplicably credited to "R.
Johnson arr. M.E. Smith," and they've dipped into the R. Dean Taylor
catalogue again for 'Gotta See Jane'; otherwise, the band approximates
rockabilly, Smith attempts with some difficulty to form words, and the
album's filled out with a ProTools collage of session fragments. The
disc's centerpiece is 'Ibis-Afro Man,' a freeway-blocking pileup with
several discrete recordings of a galumphing groove superimposed for
almost ten minutes, along with random parakeet squawks and semi-coherent
Smith mutterings ("I eat a monkey for breakfast-uh! I use no fork or
knife-uh!"). Either his brain has completely
dissolved, or he's a deeper genius than we'll ever understand. [DW]
from Jeff Cashdollar:
I have a remix I
want to give you that I just finished. It is called Fall At Once and
is made up of 310 Fall songs being played simultaneously. Sounds kind
of like getting hit by a train and then thins out as various songs end.
An interesting experiment in horror.
There's also a remix
of Smile on Jeff's site.
There's a novella
out by Camden Joy and Colin B. Morton (aka Carlton B.
Morgan, one-time Fallnetter) called Pan.
Quoted from http://www.highwaterbooks.com/books.html#pan
"At a performance
in New York on 7 April 98, Mark E. Smith did all he could to break up
his band, The Fall. He fought the drummer, shoved the bassist, and repeatedly
whipped the guitarist. The sole untouched member was Smith's girlfriend,
the keyboardist (later that same night, Smith was arrested for beating
Colin B. Morton
(one-half of the cartooning genius behind Great Pop Things) joins Camden
Joy in savagely satirizing their very favorite Manchester band, outlining
a delightful conspiracy of time travelers, primal gods, pun-filled Welshmen,
nostalgic lesbians, corporate raiders, and Captain Beefheart enthusiasts.
Full of unsparing observations and bracing wit, Joy and Morton give
us rock's first sci-fi occult hagiography thriller.
There's also a review
of sorts here: http://www.laweekly.com/ink/01/41/weekly-dalton.shtml
An interview with
Mark from Time Out New York by Jay Ruttenberg