Thursday, November 22, 2007

Current Interests (Tyrannosaurus Rex and The Mekons)

I just wanted to toss something up before going away for the weekend so that this bored doesn't go completely stagnant (thanks Paul for keeping up with it, and to everyone else: POST! I want to know and hear what you're listening to lately).
So here's a couple of songs by the Mekons and Tyrannosaurus Rex, two things I've been listening to a lot of while I do my billing all day at a scaffolding company.

The first is a song that Phil and I are working on covering in our band (Dropping Out). I first heard this song (and sadly, of The Mekons) when Graeme sent me a mix CD with this as its opener, and a finer opener I cannot think of. It's got that anthemic and rough quality that I've always loved in the early British punk, and I've found that the rest of the album comes across as a kind of rougher and more dissonant sounding mix of The Clash and Gang of Four, but without the normal strict adherence to tempo and melody that seemed to be so consistent in first wave punk (though I guess they're more of a 2nd wave punk band, forming in 1977 and putting out this first album in 1979). Work All Week completely contradicts what I've just proclaimed, but if you can find the album The Quality of Mercy is Not Strnen, then you'll understand what I mean. I've not heard anything else by them, but I'd love to hear more, and if anyone can suggest a suitable starting point I'd be grateful. So, here it is, the first song I heard that completely sold me The Mekons:

Work All Week

Next is a slightly different song (that I feel will back up what I was saying before), which is, I believe, about anorexia (as they say anorexia nervosa repeatedly, I feel like I'm pretty close on that one) BEETROOT

And lastly is something that sounds like a precursor to TV PARTY called What are We Going to do Tonight.

Next up, the Marc Bolan fronted, acoustic guitar and bongo, Tolkienesque, precursor to founders (I think) of glam T. Rex, Tyrannosaurus Rex. I feel like I could put up just about every song from the first three albums on here, but I've shaved it down to less than that.
First is the fabulous Deborah, this song needs no introduction and encompasses all I enjoy about this band: the over the top and unnatural singing, the infectious melody, the fast tempo that seems to differentiate it from much of the tamer and lamer folk of the time, just about a perfect song but perhaps the backwards sampling at the end goes on a bit long. This is the first song from Prophets, Seers and Sages the Angels of Ages and it sure sounds good:

Next up is one of their Spanish tinged and more fantastical songs entitled Consuela

And lastly is Scenescof from , which has a slight bit of the Tolkien imagery, but it's hard to tell what Marc Bolan is saying a lot of the time. I've not gotten into a whole lot of the fantasy telling that is so heavily involved in these first three albums, but listen to them, there's a lot of nature, pagan and unicorn imagery. I'm no hippy and this appeals to me more than a lot of folk(maybe i'm some sort of ultra-hippy?), this will also help you understand what a hack that crystal-buying Devendra Banhart is (did you know he spent 2/3 of his recording advance on crystals? no joke).
Scenesof from My People Were Fair and had Sky in Their Hair, Now They're Content to Wear Stars

Alright, that's all, I hope everyone has a great weekend, and if you have time I'd love to know what everyone thinks of my two current strong interests.


Blogger The Deadly Mantis said...

I too just heard the Mekons for the first time recently and it's nice to hear some more. T Rex I've been meaning to check out for years, mainly because every 70s punk band credits them as an influence. I like what I hear.

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Mike Deane said...

T. Rex and Tyrannosaurus Rex are two very different things (except for Marc bolan's wizardry) I'd check out the Slider if you want to hear more of the Rock Bolan rather than the mystic-folk bolan. I've got so much Mekons now, including their 80s reggae/folk cover of Work all Week, off the album Punk Rock. They're great. Let me know what you know.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Juan Juanderson said...

I agree wholehartingly Devandra B. ripped off his sound from that early Tyrannosaurus Rex stuff. Its kind of silly how much he rips them off. I wonder why he was never called on it during the time period he was being hyped so heavily.

8:15 AM  
Blogger MTD said...

I totally agree Shaun. Being somewhat of an ignoramus when it comes to comprehensive rock music history, when I first heard Devendra I thought he was really original (as all I really knew from Marc Bolan was Bang a Gong). Later when I started listening to TYR REx, I couldn't get over it. I also find it weird that rather than expand on, or improve, TYR Rex, Banhart just made it even flakier and hippier. He is now nothing to me, at least they like him in Australia.

12:01 PM  
Blogger George Chen said...

i always recommend the second mekons album, "devils rats and piggies" to people more into the gloomy skronky side of things. a little closer to swell maps and bauhaus even than the country vibe

3:49 AM  

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