Posts Tagged ‘glam rock’

Strange In A Stranger Land

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

Here we have the trailer for the new Hope For The Future Collection. Our last two trailers for HFTF were greeted with worldwide acclaim, and grown men were seen to weep openly in the streets and embrace their former enemies, inspired by the sheer awesomeness of extremely limited animation and a burst of some tasty tunes.

This is no different, as you can see, but this time we decided to write some lyrics in order to fully express the mind manglingly cryptic themes of this epochal comic book series. The ideal musical medium for this was naturally a vaguely glam rock mid paced guitar stomp, with plentiful harmonies, because, as Brian Eno says,  backing vocals solve everything (although he’s never heard my nasal rasp). Many many thanks to our resident musical director Oliver for putting the whole thing together, and to our pal Ben who played the bass.

Let’s not forget the real message here, which is BUY HOPE FOR THE FUTURE BOOK 3, which is something you can do at the UK Web & Minicomix Thing, next Saturday, March 27th at London’s Queen Mary University in Mile End.  You can also buy a bunch of our other crap, pick up our contribution to the Dino-Saw-Us project, get a sketch, or just say hello. We will probably have Quality Street. I also have a four page strip in the Dinosaur Themed Official Anthology, but that’s the last time I’ll be doing fully painted comics as it takes too long!

Even though our Be In The Next Issue Of The Comic and Twitter Feed Scavenger Hunt went down like a fucking lead balloon at November’s Thoughtbubble, we’ll be doing the same thing here, so if you want to appear in HFTF issue 13 pop over and buy something, or repeat something from our Twitter feed to us to get some cool free junk.

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Got Wood

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Clitaclysm are, sadly, fictional, but fans of obscure 80s glam rock will no doubt be able to recognise that they are in no small part inspired by a couple of real life bands, Malfunkshun and Mother Love Bone. Both bands were fronted (and without a doubt, led) by Andrew Wood. Wood called himself L’Andrew The Love Child, and he claimed to have come from “Olympus” with the intention of bringing “Love Rock” to Earth. So you see, Clitaclysm could be said to be a complete rip off, I prefer to see it as an affectionate homage.

Wood’s heroes were Bolan, Bowie, Mercury and, particularly KISS, and while this is not particularly remarkable when it comes to 80s American metal bands, he joyfully embraced the inherent sense of the ridiculous in rock music, which many rockers of that era seemed unaware of. Truthfully, while they had a couple of good riffs, Malfunkshun were fairly jokey, and are more an idea of a band than a real one. The whole enterprise was created around the rock star persona that Wood had created.

It’s Mother Love Bone that were the real deal though. Mixing funk, glam and the nascent sound of grunge (flange?), they also had a clutch of terrific pop songs. Many metal bands were either trying to appear to worship Satan, or to be hard drinkin’ groupie shagging misogynists, but Mother Love Bone stood apart as being full of positivity and humour. Many songs were based around words that Wood just found appealing, like Mindshaker Meltdown and Stardog Champion (one of my favourite lyrics of theirs was “Bloodstains on my gazebo”).

Sadly Andrew Wood died from a heroin overdose, just days before their first album was to be released. He may have been apart from the angst ridden tortured rock stars that were to become the norm, but his death was depressingly cliched. It’s often said that if he’d lived, Mother Love Bone would have been massive. I’m not so sure. While they were head and shoulders above the likes of Poison and Mötley Crüe, a first time listener would doubtless have lumped them in with all the other hair metal bands, all of whom were on the verge of being swept away by grunge.

Ironically, MLB guitarist and bassist Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament went on to hook up with a frontman who was equally charismatic but diametrically opposed to Wood, Eddie Vedder, and  formed Pearl Jam, and they became one of the next era’s biggest bands. As a young fan of Ten back in 1992, I was quite taken aback when I heard Mother Love Bone, with their wide eyed, brash and funny take on cock rock (to quote Capricorn Sister: “Got my mama in the kitchen, She always bitchy, bitchy, bitchin’, So I made my proclamation, To control my masturbation, babe”). However I soon found that there was an edge of melancholy that ran through their music, albeit often under the surface, that got fully expressed in the later band (here they are performing MLB’s Crown of Thorns).

There’s a terrific essay on Andy Wood and Mother Love Bone in Mick Wall’s collection Appetite for Destruction, which I can wholeheartedly recommend, as well as the band’s history in their own words from the video The Love Bone Earth Affair.

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Guten Tagge

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Star Wars Bubblegum cards were a big deal back in the late 70s. It was one of the only ways you could get any info on the movie (not to mention really disgusting flavoured gum). There were the original blue cards, and, if you were really lucky you could find the super rare red cards as well. Researching them now, I was surprised to learn that there were a further three sets, yellow, orange and green. I don’t know whether those were actually available in the UK. Those later sets appear to have some photos I’ve never seen before, which is pretty remarkable as I’ve been obsessing over this movie for the past 35 years.

The cards always seem to have weird airbrushing on C-3PO, and the occasional bright coloured backgrounds that didn’t appear in the movie. Ultimately, the they made Star Wars seem much bigger, particularly for a kid who wouldn’t see the movie for another couple of years. Back in those days, the licensees didn’t hook up the way they do now, so we didn’t get cards featuring Expanded Universe characters, so these pics are my little gift to my five year old self. As a nerd in training, a padawan, if you will, I liked things matching up and relating to eachother.

I guess knowing that Marvel (and Alan Dean Foster’s novelization, which they drew on heavily) got Admiral Motti and General Tagge mixed up won’t get me anywhere in life. They created The House Of Tagge – the Imperial officer’s family were a bunch of aristocratic fuckers including Silas (mad scientist, “food paste” enthusiast), Domina (space nun, secret bad girl) and the head of the clan, Orman.

Wisely avoiding overusing Vader, Marvel nominated Baron Orman Tagge as the principal villain of the early years of the series. He was determined to replace Vader as The Emperor’s right hand man – presumably he didn’t know that Palpatine was a Sith (to be fair none of us did – he may have even not been at that point) – partly for his (yawn) lust for power, but partly because he held a long standing grudge against Vader. The Dark Lord had blinded Tagge for some reason – probably for talking smack about The Force – so The Baron look up the lightsaber and made it his mission to depose, then kill Vader. No prizes for guessing how that one turned out. But at least it gave Marvel a strong villain to do with as they wished, and brought a bit of Glam Rock style to a galaxy far far away.

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Top 7: Eurovisionaries

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Every year television audiences are subjected to hours of unbearable tedium, tuneless caterwauling, and an enormous waste of money. But that’s enough about The X Factor, let’s talk about The Eurovision Song Contest. The standard line that most (slightly xenophobic) British people trot out is that all the other European nations are incapable of making decent music, take the competition way too seriously, and hate our guts. Well, I would probably agree that they do hate us – but the fact that we never win is likely more to do with the fact that our entries are invariably wank. In 2011 we sent Blue, for fuck’s sake  –  for that we deserve to be kicked out of Europe forever.

So here is my rundown of the best of Eurovision through the ages – Yes, yes, obviously Waterloo by ABBA is brilliant (although not as good as the live version of Does Your Mother Know, replete with guitar solos and “stupid sexy Flanders”), but by “best” I obviously mean “most ridiculous”.

Svetglana Loboda – Be My Valentine (Anti Crisis Girl)

It sounds like Mikki Disco from The Fast Show covering Flight Of The Conchords, but Anti Crisis Girl has a serious message. I can’t be certain, but I think it’s about the Global Recession. Topical in 2009, topical now. It seems this proactive Ukranian has this covered, however, and she’s going to sort out the worldwide economic meltdown, presumably by using her Sexy BOM!

Teräsbetoni – Missä Miehet Ratsastaa

Metal! Battle Metal is not something you would normally expect from the competition that brought you Ding a Dong (Netherlands, 1975) and Diggi-Loo Diggy-Ley (Sweden, 1981), but The Finns clearly love metal as much as they love Moomintroll. It’s probably a good thing Teräsbetoni didn’t win, however, as some trophy or other would have been an insufficient prize for these musical marauders. They probably would have demanded their enemies crushed and driven before them, and to hear the lamentation of their women.

Lena – Satellite

Being cute never hurt anyone. Your average British racist sees The Germans as humourless, cold and officious – or at least angry, intimidatingly stylish, or good with computers. Lena didn’t fit any of these stereotypes  – imagine Amélie, with Björk’s mangled faux cockney accent, singing about her underwear. No wonder it won the competition in 2010 – we all know those Europeans are dirty!

Lordi – Hard Rock Hallelujah

Monster Rock! Finland entered these rubber clad panto rockers in 2006, and they well and truly brought home the demonic bacon. Sadly this didn’t open the floodgates for vast hordes of Euro metal bands to take part in subsequent years ( Teräsbetoni notwithstanding), but we live in hope. Lordi are named after their singer, Mr Lordi, so they must be a sort of monster version of Winger or Bon Jovi. Despite all looking like Citadel Minatures, they have done some pretty decent radio friendly rock anthems over the years. Best of all they have their own movie Dark Floors, an atmospheric Twilight Zone ish affair. Sadly, it doesn’t feature the band all that much, but it does include one of their better tunes Beast Loose In Paradise.

The Ark – The Worrying Kind

Glam! Sweden’s 2007 entry didn’t win (boo) but they’re still ace. The Worrying Kind is suspiciously similar to Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes by Edison Lighthouse, has definite shades of The Sweet’s Blockbuster, and quotes Bowie’s Quicksand, so what’s not to like? They’ve also toured with The Darkness, which should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone.

Ruffus – Eighties Coming Back

80s! Songs about international brotherhood and understanding took a back seat to this baffling entry from Estonia in 2003. Less a boyband, more a bunch of dudes who have taken way too long to put together their GCSE music coursework. It’s hard to tell whether Ruffus (original name: Claire’s Birthday) consider the fact that the Eighties are Coming back a good thing or a bad thing- It’s fairly upbeat but the singer apparently “wakes up in the middle of the night in terror”, maintains that “it makes you wanna cry” and yells out “I can’t stand it”! Also, those deep synthesiser sounds really freak you out.

LT United – We Are The Winners

Confidence! Crazed electric violin solo! Idiot dancing! Shouting into a bullhorn! Five blokes that look like second division Football managers! What more could you possibly want?

LT United were Lithuania’s entry in 2006, and should definitely put paid to the old chestnut that all the non UK entries take things way too seriously. The group was made up of musicians and television personalities, all well known in their home nation, and the official video featured clips of each of them- brilliantly out ofcontext for the rest of us. Their stated aim is “to represent the truth”, but this mostly consists of repeatedly telling us “We Are The Winners. Of Eurovision”, and suggesting that we “vote”.

Sadly, the truth is that they didn’t win (2006 was a strong year, at least for crazy gimmicks), but they did manage the (admittedly easy) feat of making Daz Sampson look like a fucking idiot. Who is Daz Sampson you might well ask? He had the UK entry that year, Teenage Life, a sort of embarrassing chummy hip hop number. Daz looked like the kind of guy that would hang out around schools, trying to pick up the hot 25 year old schoolgirls that were onstage with him (unconvincingly lip syncing the Grocer Jack style kiddie chorus). Immediately following We Are The Winners and perhaps realising he had been blown off the stage by our Lithuanian pals, he capped off the performance by  bellowing “Vote for the music!”, as if to say Teenage Life was a serious piece of musical theatre, rather than a dopey joke song.

That year Daz came 19th, with with a total of 25 points. LT United came 6th, with 162 points. In your face, Bus Stop!

Bonus vid- presumably a rehearsal version where they can’t be arsed, yet somehow 98.5% more awesome. Vote!

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