Tag Archives: Bowie

Blast From The Past: Velvet Goldmine

In a response to one of the posts about bubblegum music, a reader states that glam is like “bubble gum with pubes”. Vile, yes. Disgusting? Absolutely. But not a bad analogy.

Glam is bubblegum’s older brother/sister, more streetwise, more decadent, more overtly sexual, but at its core it’s still pop music with gigantic hooks. Aural glitter, if you will. These songs don’t hope to catch your attention with a wink of an eye; that would be far too subtle. Glam is zippers and bulges and leering innuendo – wham bam thank you ma’am.

Many films tried to accurately portray the scene; few succeeded. Velvet Goldmine not only had a great storyline – think Eddie and the Cruisers but starring Bowie and Iggy – but a killer soundtrack that still holds up today. I heard the soundtrack prior to seeing the film, and it only accelerated my desire to do so. Faith rewarded in both media.

Todd Haynes co-wrote and directed the film, which featured a stellar cast including Christian Bale, Ewan McGregor and Eddie Izzard, among others. But the music…ahh, the music.

My thoughts from 1998, first printed in TransAction Magazine

I confess up front that I havent seen the movie, although that has not been a deterrent to appreciating soundtrack records – they usually have little to do with the plot anyway. But I know good glam punk when I hear it. Shudder To Think does Bowie incarnate with “Hot One”; Placebo gives Bolan a workout with their version of “20th Century Boy”.

Also included are some great turns by Teenage Fanclub (“Personality Crisis”), Thom Yorke and star Ewan McGregor (a ripping version of “TV Eye” backed by Ron Asheton, Mike Watt and Thurston Moore, among others!). Plus how can you go wrong with Eno, Lou Reed, Roxy Music and Pulp?

And for those who forgot Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel in Mott’s wake, heres a reason to dig out your vinyl. God, the energy, the passion, the feeling!  So tell me again how the pulse of the music world had its balls shrink into raisins over the past few years?

Velvet Goldmine soundtrack

Velvet Goldmine film

Clip: Placebo rocking “20th Century Boy”


Filed under Film/TV, Music, Reviews

Under The Radar: The Everyothers

Gum courtesy of PhotoShop

Gum courtesy of PhotoShop

Even if this EP sucked, Pink Sticky Lies has got to be one of the best album titles in recent memory. Thankfully the record is worthy of its name.

Owen McCarthy must have gotten his ticket punched at Iggy School, but I mean that as a compliment. (At least that sounds better than Bowie aping INXS, which sounds better than it looks in print.) His songs blend catchy, straight ahead rock with toned-down glam sheen, resulting in infectious, memorable songs. He’s also smart enough to be a playful and variant vocalist, like the way he jacks up the vocal cadence on the chorus of “Something Wrong”. It’s an impressive and irresistible theatrical effect that could slide right onto the soundtrack of Hedwig and the Angry Inch and it would fit hand in glove.

The Everyothers quietly released a solid record in 2003 that got many spins on my player, and like so many other good bands, I feared they were one-and-done. This five track teaser from 2006 is more than reassuring, but I need more and I need it fast. Give me the record I can shut The Strokes up with, please!

(Hmmm…I see a pattern…2003, 2006, 2009?)

Got a penny? Buy their first album on Amazon.

Hear The Everyothers at their MySpace site.

Video for “Ticket Home” plus two others here.

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Filed under Features and Interviews, Music, Reviews