Friday, August 04, 2006


Arthur Lee. Aw, more. Please don't take no more of 'em... you only just took Syd.

Gonna have t'get drunk now and play you know what.

Yeah, I know, I know, I'm a walking fucking cliche.

Feelin' sad.


Looks like Sunburned Hand of The Man are playing Bristol on 17th Aug at the wonderful Seymours Family Club: an utterly fantastic venue that has to be seen to be believed...

Some initial confusion about the date: they'll be playing with Hawk and a Hacksaw, whose site lists the gig as being the 24th, but Cloudboy, who will also hopefully be in attendance, tells me that the various ticket-sellers (one here) all seem to be saying that it's the the 17th it is.

Sunburned's contribution to the Three-Lobed subscription series is "The Mylar Tandrum", which, I believe, is their alt.soundtrack to Ira Cohen's legendary film "The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda"...I don't have a copy of the DVD yet, which has been released by those wunerful people at Arthur magazine...

Man, I looove Arthur magazine:

...but, anyway, I got very pissed w/ Ron Schneiderman (well, I think it was Ron Schneiderman) and checked out the film when they showed it at The Cube, Bristol, earlier this year as part of an evening of Sunburned-curated mayhem, and I stick by my original contention that it's the druggiest film ever made tm...Ron (if indeed it was Ron and not some random passing stranger) told me they'd met Ira Cohen at Dundeeā€™s Kill Your Timid Notion festival and hung out w/ him and he ended up asking them to record an alternative soundtrack to the film...fuck me, what an honour, but if anyone could do it, the Sunburned boys could...watching it whilst I was, frankly, off me tits, I found myself getting drawn deeeep inside Cohen's otherworldly warped opiated-opticals and SHOTM's neo-tribal drugscape...the film is decadently languid and shot on garishly saturated old colour-stock, invoking a sort of Smack Babylon, a druggy parallel-universe alternative history costume (psycho-)drama that reminds me of Kenneth Angers's movies or one of Sun Ra's Pseudo-Egyptian Intergalactik Blacksploitation epiks.

Cohen used sheets of mylar as flexible wobbleboard mirrors to real-time reflect & distort images until the film resembles a psychedelic funhouse, hence the title of the CD...and Sunburned's music initially reflects this queasy bending and bowing of faces and bodies...There's a hestitant seasick accordian/harmonium motif/figure that I remember from the film showing; it gives the soundtrack a sense of being off-balance, like being onboard a ship, as the room suddenly lurches from side to side and angles cease to make sense...there's a palpable feeling of nausea & unease in the music that perfectly summons up the initial onset of some serious Class A's. Guitars rattle and pulse; percussion clicks, scrapes and clings; sporadic wails and moans from other people in the room...we're locked inside our own mini drug-movie, but all around us people are knocking things over, bumping into each other, but we're trying to pretend they're not there and we don't want to be reminded that they are...that sense of effortless, glacial drug grace that Cohen's film invokes is false; in real life, stoned people trip up and drop things, they freak out when they can't understand what someone else is saying...drugs are messy; they make a complicated world almost impossible to navigate...

Then out of this dissonant, awkward world builds a percussive, almost gamelan pulse that lifts itself out of its surroundings: everything/everyone moving together now, shifting and writhing, orgy-like, as one...well, almost everyone...that harmonium prowls restlessly around the room, like a fully-clothed voyeur at a swingers party...later everyone starts to come back down and there's a plaintive but wordless wailing-song from one of the revellers accompanied by a flanged wobbly bass and clicking feels like we're trying to make our way across a bedouin tent, tripping over semi-prone bodies in search of some water. It's been a while since you stood up and walking is difficult...people complain as you tread on them... sorry...gotta get out...gotta go get some fresh air...