Featuring Mikey Dread, Tom Waits, Meat Beat Manifesto and more. Cheq out this promo for the Frank Chickens' "We Are Ninja (Not Geisha)". The duo consisted of Kazuko Hohki & Kazumi Taguchi and took their name from a Japanese pencil with the words Frank and Chicken printed on it for no apparent reason other than that it looked good because it was written in English. The track originally appeared on a double A side single with a cover version of Wanda Jackson's rockabilly classic "Fujiama Mama" as the featured track, with "We Are Ninja" as the AA side. Following the tracks success it was reissued with Ninja as the A side. The video would probably be banned now for propagating cultural stereotypes. It sees the girls dressed as geishas and also features Godzilla, Mount Fuji and a Japanese secretary getting unwanted sexual attention from her boss.
Black 2 Comm is a genre free radio show produced and presented by Paul Jackson. Each track connects to the following in a running order that switches between musical styles, dates and audio quality - often leading to strange and unlikely musical pairings. Avoiding the restrictions of mainstream radio play-listing and genre based programming, the sequence carves its own unique path through pop culture. It is broadcast live at 8 o'clock on Sunday evenings on Resonance 104.4 FM (in central London) and can be streamed from resonancefm.com.
Featuring MC5, Gang Of Four, Billy Preston and more. Cheq out this video for "Eighth Day" by Hazel O'Connor. The footage is taken from the climax of the 1980 film, "Breaking Glass" which was co-produced by Dodi Fayad. There's a definite dystopian vibe going on here as she sings of a world in which technology has taken over, while dressed in an outfit that owes a lot to Fritz Lang's 1927 classic, "Metropolis". What is most impressive though is the fact that she performs the three minute song without blinking once!
Featuring Jimothy Lacoste, Etta James, Negative Approach and more. Cheq out this great footage of The Damned performing Fan Club, Sick of Being Sick, Stretcher Case Baby and New Rose at Sussex University in 1977 while supporting The Clash on the White Riot tour. This is the original line up with Captain Sensible playing bass and Brian James on guitar. Rat Scabies bashes out the rhythm on a circular drum riser as Dave Vanian stalks the stage in a pair of flairs, yes flairs!
Featuring Pulp, Alexander "Skip" Spence, 4 Hero and more. Cheq out this karaoke style promo for Ciccone Youth's cover of Robert Plant's "Addicted To Love". Ciccone Youth were a Sonic Youth side project, Ciccone being Madonna's birth surname. The video supposedly cost $25 and was filmed in a "make your own video" booth at Macy's department store in NYC. A great example of trash culture turned into art. Bass player Kim Gordon puts in a cool vocal performance in front of the Vietnam war footage, even if she doesn't quite get the phrasing right in the bridge section. Infinitely better than the original at a fraction of the cost!
Featuring Bauhaus, Bhad Bhabie, The Telescopes and more. Cheq out this promo for Tyga's "Taste", released earlier this year. The young rapper, who's handle is an acronym for "thank you god, always", is currently hot stuff. The video ups the booty stakes once again and features 25 bikini clad honeys shaking their money makers on the balcony of a Hollywood Hills apartment, in the pool and at the rollerskating rink while the homeboys spray them with whipped cream and shoot them with high powered water pistols . . . classy!
Featuring The KLF, Alice Coltrane, Dead Can Dance and more. Cheq out this footage of The Pogues performing "If I Should Fall From Grace With God" at London's Town And Country Club on St Patrick's day, 1988. The clip is introduced by former Clash frontman, Joe Strummer who had stood in for guitarist Philip Chevron on their previous American tour. Strummer would briefly take over vocal duties in 1991 after the band took the unthinkable decision of sacking the increasingly unreliable Shane MacGowen. The singer looks like he would fall over if it wasn't for the microphone stand that he's gripping hold of as if his life depended on it!
Featuring Echo & The Bunnymen, Shonen Knife, Trippie Redd and more. Cheq out this incredible footage of The Miracles performing "You Really Got A Hold On Me" live in front of a studio audience in 1964. The song was written by singer Smokey Robinson in 1962 and reached a much wider audience the following year when The Beatles included a cover version on their 2nd album. The group drive the crowd of teenagers into a frenzy with their super slick choreography and impeccable vocal performance. . . when Smokey sings!
Featuring Mott The Hoople, The Crystals, Run-DMC and more. Cheq out this video that I found of Haysi Fantayzee performing "John Wayne Is Big Leggy" on German TV in 1982. Post punk had run its course and the movers and shakers were looking to pop as their new form of expression. The group came out when the music video was in its infancy and style was more important than content. Other related groups of the era included Bow Wow Wow and Adam And The Ants. Former Blitz kids Jeremy Healy and Kate Garner do their cowboy, dreadlocked, street urchin dance as the 'tached, mullet wearing audience look on bemused.
Featuring X-Ray Spex, The O'Jays, Special Request and many others. Cheq out this video for London grime don D Double E's "How I Like It". The Forrest Gate rapper has been spitting bars to various style beats for over 20 years, starting out on the jungle / garage scene. The promo is shot in and around his East London endz, starts in the barbers shop and proceeds through a list of the things he likes and how he likes them . . . biddy bop bop!
Featuring M.I.A., Slaughter & The Dogs, My Bloody Valentine and more. Cheq out this 1981 autobiographical film "Take It Or Leave It" which charts Madness' early years and rise to fame, from their humble roots as The Invaders. It was directed by Stiff Records boss Dave Robinson and filmed in and around the bands North London haunts, including The Dublin Castle pub and Pathway Studios. Soon to be infamous racist skinhead and Skrewdriver singer, Ian Stuart Donaldson puts in a very brief appearance as the group are chased down an alleyway.
Featuring The Sisters Of Mercy, Bhad Bharbie, The Shaggs and many others. I posted this a while ago but with the recent death of singer / guitarist Johnny Strike, I thought it was time you saw it again. Here's Crime performing to prisoners at San Quentin State Penitentiary in 1979. Second singer / guitarist Frankie Fix's brave girlfriend can be seen briefly, dancing in front of their "captive" audience. The group formed in 1976, billing themselves as San Francisco's first and only rock 'n' roll band. Their recorded output was minimal, only releasing three singles during their initial incarnation. Fixtures on the early Bay punk scene, they often dressed in police uniforms. They would turn up at events and partygoers would flush their drugs down the toilet, fearing that they were witnessing a bust!
Featuring The Clash, Clifford T Ward, Wynonie Harris and much more. Cheq out this gratuitous booty shake video from Australian rapper Iggy Azalea. This promo ups the bar once again, set in a southern style detached house turned strip club complete with poles in the living room and both the fridge and cooker overflowing with money. Strobes, UV bulbs and neon signs with the words A$$, BAG$ and CA$H light the scenes while the dancers shake their tings and Iggy reclines on a double bed covered in, what looks like a plastic bedwetter sheet! . . . dollar, dollar bill y'all.
Featuring Aretha Franklin, Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft, Eddie & The Hotrods and many others. Cheq out this performance of "Burning Down The House" by Talking Heads recorded at Hollywood's Pantages Theater in December 1983. The footage was part of their "Stop Making Sense" film which starts with David Byrne singing accompanied by only a beatbox, then members of the extended band are introduced song by song. This is the first track to feature the full line up including Parliament-Funkadelic keyboard wiz Bernie Worrell. Note that all of the mic stands, keyboard stands and drum hardware have been sprayed black so as not to detract from the performers that are lit with only white light. This version of the song is a little faster than the original and has a much more energetic feel, complimented by Byrne and guitarist Alex Wier's running on the spot dance.
Featuring The Smiths, Butthole Surfers, Suzanne Ciani and more. Cheq out this incredible footage of Husker Du at their wide eyed jaw chewing best, performing in their home town of Minneapolis at the 7th Street Entry in 1981. The group were subsisting on a diet of cheap amphetamine and cigarettes at this point in their career. They blast through a lightning set, similar to their "Land Speed Record" debut. They are all clearly whizzing their tits off while wearing Bjion Borg style headbands, for some inexplicable reason.
Featuring the Faces, Logic, The Orlons and more. Cheq out this footage of The Cure performing Cold in an old French cinema called La Davout in May 1982 while touring to promote their Pornography LP, which had just been released. Their sound at this point was minimal and bleak consisting of flanged guitars, syn drum splashes and doom laden vocals. Here singer Robert Smith plays keyboards, while Simon Gallup plays both organ pedals and bass guitar. Their relationship would soon deteriorate and the latter would leave the group at the end of the tour.
Featuring The Kinks, Amorphous Androgynous, Gemma Rogers and more. Cheq out this uncensored version of 2 Live Crew's Miami Bass classic "Me So Horny". The song samples a scene in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, in which two American soldiers are propositioned by a Vietnamese prostitute. The explicit nature of the song and the album from which it came, led the Crew to be successfully prosecuted on obscenity charges (which were later dropped on appeal). There were 2 versions of the video produced, the first featuring alternate lyrics and dancers wearing cycling shorts so that it could be aired on MTV. This cut sees bikini clad honeys shaking their butts at a strip club (while the guys make it rain dollars) and at a pool party, guarded by dudes carrying semi automatic machine guns. It's strange to think that it would cause such outrage when it was released, now that these things have all become rap video staples.
Featuring the Smashing Pumpkins, Marianne Faithfull, DJ Assault and many others. Cheq out this clip of Comm favourites Husker Du performing The Beatles' Ticket To Ride at the Camden Palace. The Camden Theatre originally opened its doors in 1900 and was eventually renamed The Music Machine in 1977, hosting gigs by many of the new wave and punk groups of the time. In 1982 it was renamed one again, this time as the Camden Palace and held club nights by Steve Strange and Rusty Egan of Visage and Blitz fame. Husker Du were visiting the UK for the first time here in 1985 and were performing with borrowed equipment. Guitarist Bob Mould looks equally at home strumming a Gibson Explorer as he did riffing on his Japanese Flying V copy.
Featuring Kraftwerk, Big Youth, The Electric Prunes and many others. Cheq out this tambourine 101 with Joel Gion from The Brian Jonestown Massacre. He's like an American Bez. From the Velvet Underground to The Byrds, if you want that authentic 60s sound, you'll be needing a tambourine person. In this video he shows some of his favourites from his extensive collection. If anyone out there knows where I can get one of those Ludwigs with the "Gene Clarke hole", let me know. Right on!
Featuring The B-52's, Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, Dub Synicate and others. Cheq out this video for Punjabi-Canadian "singer" NAV and Metro Boomin's "Perfect Timing". It features all the standard hip hop promo requirements including the counting of money, the sipping of "lean" from a double styrofoam cup and wrist watches that cost more than you'll earn in your entire lifetime. What is unusual though is that the objectification of women is turned up a notch in this video. Scantily clad strippers can be seen bearing their pixelated breasts while donning panda and rabbit heads . . . perfect timing y'all!
Featuring The Rolling Stones, Shonen Knife, Woah Vicky and more. Cheq out this incredible footage of the Flamin' Groovies performing "Slow Death" (the best song the Stones never did) on French television in 1972. Guitarists Cyril Jordan and James Ferrell are both playing transparent Dan Armstrong plexiglas axes, the latter wearing a shirt with collars so big, he's in danger of taking off. Frontman Chris Willson (who'd recently replaced Roy Loney) is seriously rocking out with four, yes four maracas . . . not even Bez could manage that!
Featuring Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band, The Sundays, Sonic Youth and more. Cheq out this interview that Dee Dee Ramone gave to MTV when he left the Forrest Hills Four in 1989. Many felt that the bass player was going through some kind of mid life crisis, having recently left his wife Vera and choosing to come off his medication. He felt that the constant touring was not compatible with his new found sobriety. He never did things by halves. He would attend three AA/NA meetings, buy himself a present like a new tattoo or a Rolex watch (at one point he was wearing three at a time) for every day that he stayed sober.
Featuring The Damned, Lil Tay, King Crimson and much more. Cheq out this footage of Tim Buckley performing "Song To The Siren" on The Monkees TV show in 1968. Monkees sticksman Mickey Dolenz, who directed this particular episode, had five minutes to fill and invited his friend Tim Buckley to play a song. He puts in an incredible performance, accompanied by his Guild 12 string acoustic in a pair of fawn jumbo chords. Buckley would go on to record a very different sounding version for his 1970 "Starsailor" album. The song would eventually reach a much wider audience when Cocteau Twins' singer Elizabeth Fraser provided the vocal on This Mortal Coil's version.
Featuring Faces, Candi Staton, The Normal and more. Cheq out this footage of The xx performing "Intro" on the Pyramid stage at the Glastonbury festival in 2017. The track is reminiscent of those early '80s bands like Cocteau Twins or The Cure. They look unlike other groups, with Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim dressed head to toe in black, swaying while playing their guitars as production wizard Jamie xx taps out the beats on his Akai MPC 500. It's much more than the smart phone clutching hordes deserve!
Featuring Black Sabbath, Patti Smith, The Techniques and plenty more. Cheq out this clip of The Byrds performing Bob Dylan's "All I Really Want To Do" on Top of the Pops way back in 1965. The group had perfected the winning formula of setting Zimmerman's minimal compositions to a Beatles beat. The band were rockin' some serious style with their bowl head haircuts, Gene Clark's tambourine moves and Jim McGuinn's rectangular granny glasses. Even the singer's botched miming seems to somehow add to the performance. Their influence would soon be heard in The Beatles' "Rubber Soul" album and even Dylan himself had begun to dabble with electricity.
Featuring Linton Kwesi Johnson, Trembling Bells, Edwin Collins and more. Cheq out this footage of The Jam performing "A Bomb In Wardour Street" live on The Old Grey Whistle Test in 1978. The band are on fire, dressed in their best Burton suits. A very young looking Paul Weller aggressively barks out the lyrics while thrashing out the chords on his Townsend inspired Rickenbacker. The back of a bemused 'Whispering' Bob Harris' head can be seen the end of the clip . . . tut tut.
Featuring Throbbing Gristle, PJ Harvey, The Infinity Project and loads more. Cheq out this classic footage of Joy Division performing "She's Lost Control" on BBC2's Something Else in September 1979. That particular episode also featured The Jam and Comm favourite, John Cooper Clarke. The band could easily be mistaken for a group of office workers if it weren't for singer Ian Curtis' spasmodic dance moves and glazed eyes.
Featuring Mink DeVille, The Go-Go's, A Guy Called Gerald and more. Cheq out this footage of Canned Heat performing "Human Condition" and "So Sad (The World's In A Tangle)" at the Kralingen Music Festival in June 1970. The three day happening took place in Rotterdam, one year after Woodstock and two months before the Isle of Wight Festival that saw Bob Dylan's return to the stage. The event was recorded by Dutch filmmaker George Sluizer and released under the name "Stamping Ground". The band were no strangers to the silver screen, having already made appearances in both "Woodstock" and "Monterey Pop". The video shows the group sharing a joint between numbers, public nakedness, unashamed idiot dancing as well as shots of windmills and canals (just incase you forgot which country it was filmed in) . . . groovy!
Featuring David Bowie, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Jona Lewie and more. Cheq out this footage of Buzzcocks playing "Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've). It was filmed at Manchester's Lesser Free Trade Hall on July 21st 1978, two years and one day after their live debut, when they supported the Sex Pistols at the same venue. At that point their lead singer was Howard Devoto who left the group to form Magazine (who were also performing on this occasion). Their guitarist, Pete Shelley took over vocal duties and can be seen here supporting a love bite on his neck!
Featuring Culture Club, Gee Mr. Tracy, Myra Barnes and much more. Cheq out this video of a 50 year old John Peel going to see Extreme Noise Terror play in Ipswich along with his wife and kids. The band shared the bill with Carcass, Bolt Thrower and Sore Throat and it only cost £3 to get in. The footage was filmed in 1989 at the city's Caribbean Club although I can't see many ethnic minorities in the audience!
Featuring Public Image Ltd, The Marvelettes, Atom & His Package and many others. Cheq out this video of The 13th Floor Elevators performing "You're Gonna Miss Me" on "Where The Action Is" in 1966. The program was an American Bandstand spinoff in which Dick Clark's voice would introduce the bands but he would rarely be seen on the show in person. The Elevators, who were already ingesting heroic doses of L.S.D., look out of place among the clean cut audience, happily clapping along to their raucous sound. Singer Roky Erickson would soon be institutionalised at Rusk State Hospital for the Insane, electric jug player Tommy Hall hid away in a cave for a few years and guitarist Stacy Sutherland became addicted to heroin, imprisoned and eventually shot dead by his wife.
Featuring The Stooges, Loretta Lynn, Model 500 and more. Cheq out this clip of Lightning Bolt playing in someone's apartment, between live dates. The Rhode Island noise rock duo are made up of drummer / "vocalist" Brian Chippendale and bass player Brian Gibson who usually perform on the same level as the audience. Chippendale plays a stripped down kit, wearing a mask that contains a microphone while Gibson plays an effects laden bass through a cobbled together stack. The footage is taken from a film called "The Power of Salad" which documented their 2001 tour of the states.
Featuring The Pretenders, Big Youth, Eddie & The Hot Rods and more. Cheq out this rare footage of Parisienne punk rockers Metal Urbain performing their second single "Paris Maquis" on French television in early 1978. The filming didn't go well as the group had fallen out with the studio technicians after singer Clode Panik requested a microphone stand, which they felt was un-necessary for a TV performance. Clode would leave the group at the end of the year and programer, Eric Debris would step up to take over vocal duties. The single is of historical significance as it happened to be the first ever release on British independent label, Rough Trade.
Featuring Peter Gabriel, UK Subs, The Ronettes and many others. Cheq out this incredible footage of The Ramones playing a full set on German television in September 1978. The performance was filmed for the Musikladen programme which was a continuation of the long running Beat-Club show. This is probably the best footage of the Forrest Hills Four playing live. Newly recruited drummer Marky adds a vital energy to their sound as they tear through the classics from their first three LPs, plus the more melodic tunes from their recently released "Road to Ruin" album. Dee Dee is on top form too, counting off some of the numbers with "eins, zwei, drei, vier" and performing perfectly executed jump-kicks for the handful of German punks seated at the front.
Featuring The Beatles, Eric B. & Rakim, The New Rotary Connection and many others. Cheq out the latest YouTube release from Comm favourite Jimothy Lacoste in which he berates his woman for rockin' too many Persians. You get to see him chillin' at his mum's crib and bustin' his trademark dance moves outside Ikea, dressed in a striped shirt and canary yellow donkey rides. The video also features another of his fantastic public transport stunts and finishes with him flushing what looks like a handful of real Xanax down the shitter . . . modern entertainment doesn't get any better than this!
Featuring Theatre Of Hate, The Pretty Things, Jungle Brothers and loads more. Cheq out this footage of Siouxsie & The Banshees performing at Manchester's Elizabethan Ballroom in November 1977 while supporting The Clash on their "Get Out Of Control" tour. They play one of their earliest compositions called "Make Up To Break Up" which was co-written by short lived guitarist, Peter Fenton. The crowd are an unusual mix of 70's long hairs and freshly shorn, pogoing teenage punks. Siouxsie's way ahead of the pack, as you might expect, in her Westwood / McLarren "tits" t-shirt and thigh high leather boots. The band sound vital, naive and primitive . . . a bit like The Slits if they'd had any good tunes!
Featuring Lil Xan, Television Personalities, Bow Wow Wow and many others. Cheq out this 'sick' video of teenage Soundcloud sensation Jimothy Lacoste, that's right JIMOTHY Lacoste. I managed to mispronounce his name on the show, but if you're gonna use a composite name, what do you expect? He's performing "Getting Busy!" while bustin' out some serious shapes and extolling the virtues of a keeping a packed schedule and eating healthy meals. He also puts his graffiti skills to good use when climbing up high to dance on top of a bus shelter or when clinging on to the back of a moving train. When I've shown people this, their first reaction is usually to ask "is this a joke?" It's hard to tell whether he's taking the piss or not. It's either pure genius or a fortunate accident and I'm inclined to believe it's the former.