Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

May Drudion 008

May 2008ce

Hey Me Lords, me Ladies, me lovelies,

What with the timely William Blake motif still percolating right there on the hob, this month I’m gonna keep on the subject of Vision States again and, more to the point, discuss specifics. For, it was through being both an observer AND practitioner of certain accepted rock’n’roll traditions that I chose – from 1990 onwards – to describe myself thereafter as a Righteous Artist (à la MC5, as opposed to a self-righteous artist like Cliff Richard). Through the vision that I described on the inside cover of PEGGY SUICIDE, I believed that I’d become informed by a Pure Rock clarity and wanted to herald its clamorous poetry not with piety and quiet monkish meditation on some remote isle, but in as 1969 Detroit a manner as was possible, ie: as an erudite barbarian that demanded to look like a mad bastard, act like a mad bastard, but work harder at it than anyone in show business with perhaps the exception of James Brown. And those of you who’ve read my second autobiography REPOSSESSED may well remember just how much that initial trip was informed by the Blakean, nay, English Civil War-style idealism of my Detroit hero John Sinclair. Anyway, like some huge psychic North Sea Oilfield that tapped direct into the Underworld, my original Vision was such a fertile one that its fuel powered such pagan/heathen/polytheistic/atheistic works as PEGGY SUICIDE, JEHOVAHKILL, THE MODERN ANTIQUARIAN, KRAUTROCKSAMPLER, DISCOVER ODIN and over a decade’s other work, continuing unobstructed until the end of 2004, when another massive occurrence took place. That December, I was once again transformed both mentally and physically by a New Vision. Typically for me, this new Vision took place at a very specific juncture between rock’n’roll and the heavens, and it happened thus: after years of searching, I had just procured a fine example of a 1969 Ampeg Plexiglas bass, an instrument that I had coveted since way back in 1972, when I’d first spied Geezer Butler playing just such a bass on the gatefold inner of Black Sabbath’s VOLUME 4. Anyway, after several minutes of staring at the euphoric Geezer wielding the Plexiglas on this December 2004CE evening, I next began to focus on one of VOLUME 4’s studies of Ozzy, the one in which he’s thrusting twin peace signs into the heavens over the audience, not signs of the Horned God, mind you, but twin peace signs. Right on. Anyway, right after this event, I walked downstairs to be confronted by the BBC news report that several more Catholic priests had been done for paedophilia in the USA. And that’s when the clouds co-agulated and the Vision occurred. If – thinks I – these ingrown Religious pests can commit acts of such evil on behalf of the good lord Jesus Christ while, upstairs in my rock bedroom, Ozzy the so-called Prince of Darkness is throwing out peace signs, then I knew for shit-damn-sure which side I was on. Motherfucker. I walked upstairs and immediately wrote the song that would open my CITIZEN CAIN’D album, ‘Hell is Wicked’. In fact, it was the last song I wrote for the album and wasn’t even written until everything else had been completed. ‘Hell Is Wicked’ begins: “My forkéd tongue no longer force for Good.” From that moment on, I decided that I was, once again, with William Blake when he wrote: “Positive evil is better than passive good.”

A SEMBLANCE OF SOMETHING APPERTAINING TO DESTRUCTION by To Blacken The Pages

Okay, I’m gonna commence this month’s review section by eating a large portion of ‘umble pie’ and throw myself upon the mercy of Dublin’s finest band To Blacken the Pages (www.toblackenthepages.com), whom I unintentionally dissed in my last month’s Drudion Big-Up of our own Urthona. Shit, kiddies, only the very next day did this Irish ensemble’s brand new release drop through my letterbox, and – Sheesh! – but it’s easily the best Cunted Metal thing I heard in a new age! Entitled A SEMBLANCE OF SOMETHING APPERTAINING TO DESTRUCTION, this monstrous offering brandishes three epic instrumental missions for our delectation; the introductory ‘Trek In’, followed by the stentorian title track, concluding with my favourite of all, ‘Trek Out’. The record starts at the gates of the Underworld, takes you down for a guided tour, then leaves you there to have a go for yourself. Kiddies, I gots to scream this out loud, “Fuck Me It’s Good!” Me’n’the missus both musta listened to this sucker 15 times already (not even counting repeats). Again released on Paul McAree’s superb Colony Records (www.colony-records.com), To Blacken the Pages have, with this release, secured themselves a place in the hallowed ranks of the Uber Psychically Useful. Bravo gentlemen, U Dunnit!

THE RED HAND MARK by Crow Tongue

Which brings me to the subject of April’s Album of the Month, TiMOTHy Revelator and his excellent newest album THE RED HAND MARK (Dark Holler Records), once again recorded with percussionist Prydwyn as the duo Crow Tongue. Babies, I weren’t joking when I said this gent is knocking them out with clarity and extreme vision, AND six to the dozen. Unlike the previous release, herein, the Revelator has attempted to capture the band’s live-in-concert sound, severely reducing the instrumentation to plucked bass banjo and hand drums. But it’s a shocking melding of linear raga and electric blues, somewhat like sending Kalakackra’s legendary CRAWLING TO LHASA LP through one of Stockhausen’s potentiometers. Nice. Again, score this beautifully packaged sucker through www.somedarkholler.com.

PATHS OF IGNITION by Matt Baldwin

Next, rising from the midst of the new crop of acoustic guitar virtuosos is California’s Matt Baldwin, an uber tall and blond longhair with an immaculate first release named PATHS OF IGNITION on American Dust Records (www.americandust.net). As though appearing out-of-nowhere with just five epic tracks on the whole album were not enough, by choosing to cover Judas Priest’s ‘Winter’ and daring to commence his debut with his cover of Neu’s classic Michael Rother epic ‘Weissensee’, Baldwin sets himself right apart from the pack both in hipness and as one confident motherfucker with an amazing range of guitar playing. Shit, this stuff reminds me of some of the mid-90s stuff Doggen was pulling on the first TC Lethbridge LP MOON EQUIPPED, as hefty distortion rises from behind the spangly acoustic guitars. Hell, he even quotes Funkadelic’s FREE YOUR MIND & YOUR ASS WILL FOLLOW with the track ‘Eulogy and Dark’. Better still, as I listened to this record at 5.20 am last week, Matt’s first vocals from ‘Winter’ (‘In the morning when I wake up’) greeted me exactly as the first light of the spring sun’s orb cut through my window. Now, how righteous is that, motherfuckers? If you want one acoustic guitar record to stick on heavy repeat, make this one your first choice and you’ll not go wrong.

SAN FRANSISCO WATER COOLER

Okay, now the contrary motherfuckers of the month award must surely be the US duo San Francisco Water Cooler, whose KDVS Recordings debut vinyl LP has just been released with side one at 45rpm and side two at 33rpm. But this fascinating slice of schizophrenic Americana melds together a wild free electronics side with a trad psyche element that lifts the entire metaphor from the final 13th Floor Elevators’ Stacy Sutherland-led (and almost totally Rokyless) LP BULL OF THE WOODS album (‘Street Song’ most especially), replete with intensely gorgeous harmonies. What? Yeah, but even weirder, it works! Shit, how it works. Clad in a nearly handmade sleeve with mucho inners, San Francisco Water Cooler has a Residual Echoes provenance that shows once you’ve been hipped, yet still transcends its roots effortlessly. Score this limited bastard from www.kdvsrecordings.org and do it quick smart.

AMOLVACY

Ah, but now to the vinyl review of the month from the prolific Black Velvet Fuckere label (available from www.soundatone.com). Released on clear 12” vinyl housed in an exquisite die-cut multi-layered sleeve, Amolvacy’s suberb debut LP HO-HO-HUSS is an astonishing explosion of rampant female holler’n’percussion overload, like some turn-of-the-80s Rough Trade-meets-On-U-Sound spectacular. Vocalist Sheila 16 is an enlightened Mother Goddess screeching/hollering out an Uber-Feminist post-Ari Up post-Pink Military barrage of militancy over a backing track of incessant post-commune AfroKraut. Amolvacy is the 21st century Last Poets Scenario in which Sheila 16 demands to know just why – at this supposed late stage in Western Democracy – women are still the niggers of the world? Right fucking on.

ZEITGEIST: THE MOVIE

I’ll now conclude this review section with a few words about the bizarre and concpiracist internet documentary ZEITGEIST: THE MOVIE, a vast work that aims to sum up the woes of the entire Western World, nay, entire world in just three hefty bite-size segments. The first accuses Christianity of being nothing more than a parody of prehistory sun worship, the second attributes the so-called 9/11 terror attacks on the World Trade Centre to the CIA, whilst the final section claims that the Unites States – even while the props of their society were still being put in place – fell victim to a secret order of Central Banking, leaving the world open to manipulation by a select few men, whose ruthlessness even found them arming the Soviet-backed Vietcong whilst simultaneously arming their own US Army. Now, as I know a hell of a lot about prehistoric religion, and I’m almost psycho in my determination to trace the roots of Monotheism, I can tell you that the first section is 1) flawed in its details, and 2) willing to fudge dates slightly in order more successfully to make its point. However, the overall religion picture is generally portrayed in an accurate enough manner to have me give the filmmakers the benefit of the doubt in the other two sections, of which I know next to nothing. What I’m saying here, kiddies, is although this researched shit they’ze laying on us don’t entirely stick, it most certainly stains and leaves a big old ring that won’t easily wash out. Watch ZEITGEIST: THE MOVIE (for free at zeitgeistmovie.com) not to be entirely convinced, but to help you get … Very Angry with the Greedheads & the Priests. Those of us who are already very angry might be best adjudging the simple act of watching this documentary is a Step 1 to getting people out on the streets.

Okay, there ends this month’s reviews section and now, after having written so positively about all the great contemporary crop of rock’n’roll artists, I’m sorry to have to turn negative at the final furlong. However, as an Odinist warrior poet motherfucker, I ain’t never claimed to be any of that la-di-da peace/love/dove Zen shitola, so I gots to tell y’all that when I heard the other day that the Bunnymen’s Ian McCulloch is writing his autobiography, I nearly shat my undies laughing so hard (good job I don’t wear any!); Ian Mac write a book? A man for whom completing a single song on his own is a struggle of Everest the Hard Way proportions is hardly going to write a book. Ian, I’m speechless at your continued arrogance in the face of no evidence whatsoever. In my opinion, you’ve been a dried-up shell of a husk of a man since just after OCEAN RAIN, so don’t embarrass us all with your ludicrous claims that you’re gonna write an autobiography. Two words… No Way. Writing a book involves discipline and hard work, two things you never nailed in the past and never will. As I heard it, you even said in the press that your book will be better than the Bible. Well, in two ways it may well be like the Bible: 1) it’ll be full of half-truths and outright lies, and 2) it’ll have been written by umpteen uncredited writers and you’ll name yourself solely as its author. There you go, dummkopf, I just handed you the map: don’t even bother buying yourself a pen, son; just do what you’ve always done throughout your career; get someone else to do most of the work then claim all the credit yourself. I even have a title already: MAC USER. And with that, I shall sweep off into the Beltane sunset. Yowzah!

Oh yeah, and see y’all at Brum Town Hall on May 26th,

Love on ya,

JULIAN (Lord Yatesbury AKA Archdrude of Wessex)