Mark is Dead

Finally we’ll have a chance of keeping up with Mark E. Smith’s output.

We have a machine at home that has hundreds of CDs downloaded onto it and a few of mine have made it there. Every now and then, when the machine is on random my wife says “is that The Fall”. And she’ll ask to skip to the next track. Yes, darling, if it sounds like The Fall then it is bound to be The Fall again. I love the band but I often have had to agree and say “yes, please skip it”.

I found The Fall in the 1990s with their album The Infotainment Scan. A friend gave me the CD. If you have a friend that finds you music, please hug them regularly for they are the best of your friends. I thought the album was great and in that vein I shared it with my friends. “Sounds like Louis D____ on drugs” said another friend who felt that Louis D_____ already mumbled a lot. “Paranoid man… Puts head down when girls pass in the street… Got my hat and my corny brown leather jacket” some lyrics seemed profound; others just stream of consciousness.

So I looked for other albums and found a SMILE… The Best of the Fall that was pretty terrible -there are much better ones. Then a tape of Code Selfish that was great. Then getting into records, and you rarely see original Fall records -the people that own them tend to keep them as you don’t get into the Fall temporarily. Finding Code Selfish restored my Fall fandom and I became a Fall fan and I discovered The Monks. Thank you Mark for that.

But I gave up seeking out the earlier music after deciding I couldn’t afford it! In John Peel’s words, “Always different, always the same.” I was never able to keep up with The Fall. But I’d always read the interviews, read the book and kept an eye out for a live show.

I went to see The Fall at the Edinburgh Picturehouse a few years ago before it closed and Mark came out for 10 minutes then spent the rest of the gig singing incomprehensibly from the dressing room. The band were really tight but it was a pretty terrible gig experience. Play the hits! What hits? It’s an underground band… We left early and pretty disappointed. I put on Bend Sinister when I got home and all was well again.

Mark sacked so many members of his band that we’ve had a shop joke that everyone has either been in the Fall or is related to someone that has been in The Fall…

I found a 7 inch copy of an early single, Totally Wired (on Rough Trade records) in a second hand collection last year and of course as a fan, I took it home. It sounds amazing. If ever there’s a single to show how records can sound better than digital, it is this one. Which is no use to you reading this. Sorry.

This is just meant as a brief blog post salute to a renegade music maker who has my utmost respect.

I’d like to say that I’ll get Totally Wired and that I’m going to drink a jar of coffee and take some E in homage to Mark E. Smith but I will probably just go to work as usual and make a point of not eating any vegetables tomorrow.

I love The Fall and there is so much to love.

Thank you Mark!

Lost in Music.

Bill Is Dead

Last week after “Dynasty”
I had crows feet under my eyes
Paid two days for getting high
Got pasted in a bar
I hope I’ve got the number
These are finest times of my life
This is the greatest time of my life
This is the greatest time of my life
These are the biggest times of my life
But just lately seeing you
I rise a.m. off pink sheets
I am renewed
I am aglow
Red brick and green is the streets
You dressed today as if for riding school
Your legs are so cool
Came twice
You thrice
These are the greatest times of my life

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VoxBox Music became the newest record shop in the world on May 21st 2011. We buy and sell vinyl and other formats of music. We are independent and sell mostly pre-owned records although we are slowly branching into new vinyl too.

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