Friday, November 7, 2008

Another year, another couple hundred records

It's my birthday today, another one, jesus.

Here's my all-year horoscope from the New York Post, which seems, I dunno, kind of noncommital and irrelevant, but at least it doesn't say you'll lose your house and get divorced and gain 50 pounds.

November 7, 2008

You won't lack for opportunities over the coming 12 months, but will you make the most of them? According to your birthday chart you are still waiting for that one really big chance to come along. But what if it never does? Work with what you've got.

So, as I sadly write off my "really big chance" (hah, I did this at 23), I do have some new music writing type stuff to point out.

First up, my review of A Darker Bloom, a collection of Blue Orchids material, including early singles, the one great album and some subsequent stuff. I would never have heard about Blue Orchids except for Michael, and am still not sure I'm really worthy of reviewing this stuff. (I got the assignment by commenting "ooh Blue Orchids" on a Cherry Red mailer forwarded to Dusted writers.) You might also want to check out the Crystal Stilts review today, by Ben Tausig, since he gets everything I've been thinking about this album out in full, easy-to-read sentences (which has eluded me). You may recall the free-for-all trying to establish exactly which early 1980s British post-punk band Crystal Stilts sounded most like...apparently, they say the Blue Orchids are the key influence.

Anyway, here's my review.

Artist: Blue Orchids
Album: A Darker Bloom – The Blue Orchids Collection
Label: Cherry Red
Review date: Nov. 7, 2008

Post-punk has been many things, but rarely beautiful. The Blue Orchids, out of Manchester, turned its thrift shop formula of damaged guitars, stuttering rhythms, badly-tuned keyboards and corrosive visions into something as rare and unlikely and delicately gorgeous as the band’s name-sake. A Darker Bloom traces the band’s development from its first abrasive singles, through its stunning only full-length The Greatest Hit and its last original line-up EP Agents of Change. There are also some songs from later iterations of the band, reformed in 1985 and 1991.


And here is a video of the band backing up Nico sometime in the early 1980s

And here they are playing "NY Gargoyles"


Ian said...

Well happy birthday, in any case.

jenniferpkelly said...

Thanks, are you getting along with the John Berger?

Syd The Squid said...

great job with the review, "Agents Of Change" IS weak... &... er... HAPPY BIRTHDAY me dear... i will drink in your honor... Mxxx

jenniferpkelly said...

Oh, thanks Michael...i'm going to do a bit of drinking myself in a little while. Everybody's gone, BIll in New York, Sean in some patriotic tourist site (Gettysburgh today, I think), so I'm going to have a drink with my friend Pat. I had a nice run. Used to run my age on birthdays, but I can't do that anymore.

Syd The Squid said...

that running stuff makes my skin crawl... although i still do the bike stuff a lot... but that's fun!!!

jenniferpkelly said...

Running is the one thing between me and a middle-aged ass -- so I intend to keep it up as long as possible. But biking's cool, too.

robp said...

Hey, I'm late for the happy birthday (although it's still Friday in this time zone).

Read this on a break at work, was gonna say something pro-Crystal Stilts but haven't made it to the review yet, and anyway all yr music talk distracted me from yr aging process. Well Ms Dorian, yr photo hasn't aged a bit.

so of course best wishes, whenever you read this, i think my wife said a few months back that i like women three thousand miles away but you know, although i'd prefer most people at that distance, you're one of the long distance folks i wish was closer.

best to you and yours, the music comments will have to wait, just wanted to make sure you got yr happy bday only one day late.


Ian said...

I don't actually have a copy of the Berger, I am just hoping to track down one at some point. I've been reading old Philip K. Dick short stories and Bolano's Nazi Literature in the Americas. How about you?

jenniferpkelly said...

Hey, Rob. I think both Ben and I liked the Crystal Stilts...that is, we enjoyed it while feeling that we were somehow being manipulated by the kind of echoey, lo-fi production that is Pavlov to our inner dogs. At least that was how I felt and how I read his is nice when other people put your thoughts into words better than you can do yourself.

As for women 3000 miles away, jeez, you make it sound like a convention. How many of us are there?

thank you for the birthday wishes, everyone's back now and I think we're going to go out for dinner, nothing fancy...

And Ian, if you send me your mailing address offline, I can send you that book. Bill wants to read it first, but when he's done you're welcome to it.

I have been reading a couple of fairly bizarre things...a Michael Houlebeque novel about clones living on after the apocalypse and just started a book by Peter Hoeg (of Smila and her Sense of Snow), which seems to be a manners novel involving an escaped ape...(on GoodReads it is easier to look up spellings and titles than here, so I apologize for the loosy-goosy-ness of my description.

I tried Bolano a couple of years ago and couldn't get past the macho-ness of it...I know he's south american. It just seemed a bit too male fantasy-esque a world to spend much time in.

robp said...

A convention of long-distance women: I'm definitely there! Well, that is, here, must keep the distance.

I like long-distance dudes too, I'm a bisexual music whore for sure. Keep em coming! (the tunes, of course)

Derek Sunshine said...

Happy (Belated) Birthday. I would have posted earlier but have had a cold the last few days and not keeping up in my Interweb.