J's Indie/Rock Mayhem

Playlists, podcasts and music from WQFS Greensboro's J's Indie/Rock Mayhem

Monday, August 20, 2007

extra mayhem - 19th august 2007

[tonight's show was a 4 hour long extravaganza which i used as an excuse to do an in-memoriam for the late tony wilson who passed away about a week ago at the age of 57 from a battle with cancer. i featured two wholesale albums for the week, both connected to wilson and his incomparable work in post-punk. i skipped on recording this week's show due to the fractured nature of it (i did one album during the 9 o'clock hour and the second during the traditional 11 o'clock) and am just focusing here on the albums i played. so enjoy.]

The two albums I chose are acceptable markers as bookends for the bulk of Wilson's influence on the Manchester music scene. The first comes from 1990 and is often pointed to as the high-water mark for the Madchester/rave scene that was bubbling over in the late 80s/early 90s. That scene largely grew up out of Wilson's club, the Hacienda, and was driven by great music and a lot of drugs - chiefly ecstasy.

The Happy Mondays were a band that Wilson championed from the get go - Steve Coogan's famous portrayal of Wilson in 24 Hour Party People has him calling Shaun Ryder the best English poet since W.B. Yeats, and while that is certainly a bit of a stretch, Ryder had a thuggish brilliance about him that was hard to ignore. Their masterpiece as a band is 1990's Pills 'N' Thrills & Bellyaches, the Paul Oakenfold/Steve Osbourne produced Madchester manifesto. The production finally gives the Mondays the sympathetic ear that they needed behind the board and the results are an amazingly fun listen. It's impossible to not get caught up in the party feel that permeates the record - and whether you've had experiences on drugs or not, picturing yourself seeing this Mancunian circus live at the Hacienda, or anywhere that they took their mad celebration, is a glorious thought to behold. The first Wholesale album of the week is...

Track Listing

1. Kinky Afro [click here to listen.]
2. God's Cop
3. Donovan
4. Grandbag's Funeral
5. Loose Fit [click here to listen.]
6. Dennis and Lois
7. Bob's Yer Uncle [click here to listen.]
8. Step On [click here to listen.]
9. Holiday
10. Harmony

The second album serves as a marker of the end of the first period in Wilson's influence. Joy Division was a band that, truly, without Wilson's club (his first one - Factory) and his record label (Factory, again) might never have seen the influence and success that they saw. Imagine a world without "Blue Monday"'s reigning influence. One can only assume without Joy Division's success, there would've been no New Order either. The reason I chose their 1980 swan song, Closer, as opposed to the more-name-dropped Unknown Pleasures is because of its promise. Closer is the album that shows Joy Division exploding and preparing to create high-art that went well beyond what their initial genius had created. Martin Hannet came along for the ride as producer, expanding his own work behind the boards to make Closer a more diverse and, ultimately, a much more emotional and moving album than their debut. Even separated from the untimely suicide of Ian Curtis that would follow mere months after the release of the record, it's a cathartic and deep experience. The second Wholesale album of the week is...

Track Listing

1. Atrocity Exhibition
2. Isolation [click here to listen.]
3. Passover
4. Colony
5. A Means to an End [click here to listen.]
6. Heart and Soul
7. Twenty Four Hours [click here to listen.]
8. The Eternal
9. Decades [click here to listen.]

That'll do it for Extra Mayhem. I'll see you all again on Wednesday for Indie/Rock Mayhem. Until then, take care.



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