Thursday, July 31, 2008


Tip from And check out the track listing.

I'm not a big fan of remixes.

Who remembers when Soft Cell re-grouped for a short time to release a collection called "Memorabilia" in the early 90s? It also included some of Marc's solo hits. If you'll remember, most - or I think all- the Soft Cell tracks were re-done in the studio with new vocals. Which for some reason did not do it for me. I never understood the re-doing of songs. We always go for the originals no matter how much better the artist has improved on their sound and vocals. Because in the original songs is where the real memory of it all is. I remember the newer version of "Say Hello..." and I said to myself "I just don't feel anything with this new version." The original one was full of heartbreak and you can feel it in Marc's voice. So I'll be interested to hear all these re-mixes anyway, there might be some gem hidden in there somewhere.

According to Marc's website, the old Soft Cell albums are getting their re-issue/re-package routine. But according to Marc, he's not very happy at how Some Bizarre (the record label under all of Soft Cell's albums are released) are handling it. Marc wants to really give something to the fans (b-sides, etc..) and it seems that the label company is not cooperating and things are getting very complicated. At this point, Marc feels they should just release as they see fit and he wants to just concentrate on the new stuff rather than go back to the past. The reissues include "Non Stop Erotic Cabaret", "The Art of Falling Apart" (my favorite) and "This Last Night in Sodom."

"The Art of Falling Apart" to me is one of their best efforts. The images they invoke - of lonely hearts, insanity, fantasy, seedy, smokey bars aglow in deep red, on your last legs. not to mention the song based on the John Rechy classic "Numbers". The album was released as a double LP which included a synth version of a Jimmy Hendrix medley and "Martin" - "Martin" was a George A. Romero film about a kid who thought he was a vampire. Never saw the film. But I read the book while in high school.

"This Last Night In Sodom" - Marc says, this was their "Punk" album. Somehow, I don't think "L'esquelita" is so punk. About a drugged out drag queen, down in the dumps (a prequel to Saint Judy?) - Actually, L'esquelita was a drag bar here in the Times Square area, and during the time in the 80s when that area was all prostitution, drugs and XXX theaters, I'm sure the bar was quite a scene. Marc misses this part of NYC and later wrote a book of poetry which came with a CD of him reciting a few of the poems. The book/CD was titled "The End of New York"

"Sodom" was also a great effort. Songs like "Little Rough Rhinestones" and "Meet Murder My Angel" are some of my favorite tracks from this album. I've always loved Dave Ball's approach to mixing. Making it non-polished, dark and less robotic with the sequences.

There's no other like Marc. I hold him dear to my heart. I mean, he sang dark and emotional songs for the gut-wrenched, miserable person. And some were just pervy. I just loved that about Marc. I remember the first time I laid eyes on him. It was during the "Bedsitter" video. A long time ago if you had HBO, you'd remember that between feature films, they used to show music videos. And one day "Bedsitter" came on and I was transfixed. I thought to myself "My god, a poofster like me.. in eyeliner and all in black," he's my man. Must know more. Must find out. Must get..... I think I was 16 or something. The rest of the family shouted "What the hell is that!?" Well, you just knew that at the disapproval of the family, it had to be good to get into Marc Almond and Soft Cell!

Anyway, that's my thing on Soft Cell (for the meantime). Long live Marc. Long live Soft Cell.

Little rough rhinestone
Where will your love go today?
Sometimes you think
You had none to start with anyway

Sunday, July 20, 2008

And I find - I'm knocking for a good time - YAZ Live

It was a total treat last night watching YAZ perform at the Beacon Theater.

What can I say about Alison's voice? It's as good as you'd hear it in the recordings. Full of emotion and soul. You know those other girls out there move about the stage with their fit slender bodies doing all those moves, and you think off course they can do all that. But a healthy gal like Alison letting lose during Situation seems to me far more enjoyable and real. The show opened with Nobody's Diary and I thought how great is this now that I get to see this live after all those years of listening to it on a mixed tape. All those years ago when I'd skip school to listen to my walkman, walking around in the NYC streets.

Vince kept the mix to its original format. Not like most bands who think years later when they perform something old, they have to change to a newer format to conform to today's sound. And all Vince had was a laptop and some tiny itty bitty controllers (it's like something out of Pluto Nash). He provided some backup vocals - in vocoder style. At some point, it looked very Kraftwerk. Behind each member was a screen depicting images. During Bad Connection, the images were that of computer games like Space Invaders and such. It was cute. Oh, and when they performed In My Room, Alison was seated in the middle of the stage on a chair clutching a pillow while behind her on the screens, a red light bulb swayed back and forth. During the middle of the show, Vince brought out a reel-to-reel from the side of the stage to the middle, pressed play and he and Alison left the stage. I guess it was a new thing he'd worked on for the show that didn't have vocals. Just sampled voices over the music. It was interesting. What else? All the party favorites were performed, Good Times, State Farm, Don't Go, Situation. And not to mention a most favorite of heartbreaking, pull out your hair, I've lost that man song - Midnight.

Vince has enjoyed a long time career making smart, enjoyable pop songs (the king of catchy single note melodies) with Erasure. But it was so great seeing Alison getting that reception last night from all those adoring fans who never thought that in the 2000's they would get to finally see her perform live. I wanted more. I want them to get to the studio and do some new stuff.

The sucky picture was taken with my cell phone. You want to go here to see some better one's of last night's performance.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Beyond the Bowl

I saw this on Cosmic Variance and wanted to share. Click on Bruno to go there.

Anyway, I have a friend whom I converse on the phone with once a week and eventually, the conversation turns to either philosophy, religion, science or personal beliefs. Sometimes it gets heated up and sometimes it's just fun to get each other's take on what the universe is up to or what we think it is up to or what they tell us it is up to. But the last conversation left me in bitter tears and I wasn't able to handle it well. It was the statement made - that I am limited in my thinking! Oh there wasn't any name-calling or anything like that, but it was getting there. Two opposing views can sometimes really shake things up.

I'm an out-of-the closet Skeptic and proud of it!

You know if there are an infinite number of other universes out there, you know there's gotta be one universe where the Flying Spaghetti Monster is really god.