We Don’t Need To Sell Our Soul

Insta Outcast: Golden Plates – Oxytocin

This is a song that was literally just released, I came across Golden Plates on Instagram and this song blew me out of the water when I heard it. We had the chance to do an interview with Elder Brycen, the spiritual leader of Golden Plates, which turned out awesome! You can read the full interview here, but here are some quotes;

On the band name Golden Plates and the origin of the song, Oxyticin;

I asked some friends what I should name my new band when I was living in my co-workers hobby closet on a camping pad, shortly after moving to Utah. Someone snarky said “Golden Plates”. I thought it was brilliant. I recorded a 4 song EP in that closet with a broken guitar and a 40 dollar microphone. Here I am, dozens of imaginary bandmates later, with a new single. Oxytocin!

I was arguing with a friend about whether or not I would upload my consciousness into an upgraded clone body, and if that would still technically be “me”. I claimed that the electrical impulses and chemical receptors that make up “us” are no different than binary code, though slightly more complex, and that transferring consciousness was no different than transferring a photo to a thumb drive. Everyone got mad at this answer, so I wrote a song about it.

I would like people who listen to the music to experience the entire gambit of human emotion. There’s so much to experience and so many people never even leave home. Watching Anthony Bourdain on TV is nothing like living like him out in the universe. And there’s a time and a place for relaxing at home with Netflix, but it’s not a lifestyle. At the same time, you can’t take any of it with you. It’s fleeting.

The source of my energy is the strength of Jesus Christ. Just kidding. He allegedly died for your sins, I’m just dying for your entertainment, which is way cooler. I think mitochondria is where energy comes from? I dunno, I pretty much run on whiskey and LSD, as well as the thought that maybe if my music can make one person’s day just a little less shitty, I’m doing something right.

I’m constantly finding tons of unknown artists with a killer sound that have like, 7 monthly listeners. I interview the best ones on my podcast, I Like Your Style with Elder Brycen.

These are excerpts, read the complete Golden Plates interview here!

The Short Wave Mystery – Signals from Afar

You would be hard pressed to find any background on this band. Most of their music was released on cassette tapes in the early 80’s.

Anyway, It took some digging, but here we go:

In 1983, Gregory Scoggin formed THE SHORTWAVE MYSTERY in Central California. Good guy that he was: He incorporated some of his friends to form the band. I’m saying he was a nice guy for doing so, because sadly he passed away after a motorcycle accident in 2014 

As influences for forming his band, he pointed out D.A.F (Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft), Der Plan as well as OMD and Depeche Mode, and in general the early 80’s New Wave movement. Which is good as his music was then about incorporating the right portion of melancholy and melody.

After mainly a lot of gigs and making just some Demo tapes and one EP (Pilots), the band faded into obscurity as all members of The Shortwave Mystery, most not over age 18 at the time of the EP release, moved from Central California to attend universities elsewhere. The group disbanded by early 1985.

Their tracks certainly stood up to the test of time, at least for me. The 1985 release “Pilots” became an incredibly sought-after and high-priced gem in recent years (it has been hyped immensely on eBay and the Discogs marketplace).  

The track I’ve selected was recorded in 1983 and finally re-issued in 2010. Guess who was the nice guy that re-released it, as well as most of their other stuff?

Exactly.  In 2010 Gregory Scoggin himself, after a 25 years hiatus and working under various psuedonyms as a producer for multiple independent progressive house and trance labels. He established the record label “World Service Collective Recordings” and reissued a lot of the early work of The Short Wave Mystery.

Infected Classic: The Stone Roses –  I want to be adored

Song from 1989 – now thirty years old. An improbable success, when you consider that it takes about 42 seconds for the bassline to even begin, and the song only starts after 1:30 minute. It also has just 4 lines of lyrics… Although actually these lyrics manage to go deeper than many songs with ten times the number of words. Those four lines are

I don’t have to sell my soul
He’s already in me
I wanna be adored
You adore me

Singer Ian: “The song is about sin, how individuals want to be idolized, and how we would do anything to attain that goal. A true artist should never sell his soul and should be careful to preserve the flame of creativity in him”.

So this young band, writing what would be the first song of their first album, already reflect in depth on the dangers of getting drunk on the attention of being up on the stage, and the ultimate loss that may ensue.

The band is mostly forgotten now, yet around 2007…

Music magazine Q voted the song 32nd in its list of 100 greatest songs of all time.
NME magazine placed “I Wanna Be Adored” at nr. 17 in its list of the 50 Greatest Indie Anthems Ever
VH2 placed the song at #1 on a countdown of their top 500 indie songs of all time.
Stylus Magazine also included the song’s bassline at number 17 in their “Top 50 Basslines of All Time”

The song appears on the soundtrack of the Michael Winterbottom film Welcome to Sarajevo
On the soundtrack of the 2005 film Green Street, starring Elijah Wood,
On the fifth season of American Horror Story (episode “Battle Royale”).
Finally, the song is also featured in the Netflix TV series Chambers.

Noel Gallagher, of Oasis: “It was the day after the Lord Mayor’s parade in Manchester in 1987, They played at International and I went there on a date… they were great and I’ve been a fan ever since. In fact, this gig inspired me to start our own band. It was just, like, ‘Phew, wow!’ Between 1987 and 1989 they were untouchable – they were The Beatles of that period. When I heard all the songs, they wrote the greatest songs of the late-Eighties, which sounded so simple and easy to play, and I thought, ‘Well, if they can do it, I can definitely do it.’

At that time, Noel was just a roadie for another Manchester band, the Inspiral Carpets. “I remember at a gig once at the university, keyboard player Clint Boon told me to take off my Stone Roses T-shirt when I was stood at the side of the stage. I thought that was very sad and I told him it was bad karma on his behalf. I think the bands literally f*****g hated each other. This was a breakthrough Alternative Rock album, of which Noel says: “It influenced the people who influenced the people who influenced the people who are influencing people these days. It’s that great lineage of The Sex Pistols into The Jam into The Smiths into The Stone Roses into Oasis.” And personally I would add the Kaiser Chiefs and the Arctic Monkeys to that list.

The Infected Trifecta

The music we select for this is interlinked with a theme. Sometimes obvious (because of an artist or track name) sometimes less obvious (stories behind a band or track or certain themes or lyrics). This episode’s theme is Cities.

Damascus – Richard Strange (Going – Gone album 1986)

As our listeners know by now: We’ve now mentioned Steve Strange in 2 episodes with me thinking about Richard Strange. Richard Strange (real name: Richard Harding)  is an English writer, actor, musician, curator, teacher, adventurer and the founder and front man of the mid-1970s art-rock band “Doctors of Madness”. A versatile figure.

He also has numerous movie appearances include Batman by Tim Burton and Gangs of New York by Martin Scorsese. And more recently in the last episode of Harry Potter.

Strange’s first band was Doctors of Madness, formed in 1975, recording three influential but non-commercial albums. The band was supported by the Sex Pistols, the Jam and Joy Division. He disbanded the band in 1978, after Dave Vanian of the Damned briefly joined him on vocals. He subsequently recorded as a solo artist, releasing two albums 

The Doctors of Madness sound like “the missing link between David Bowie and The Sex Pistols”. Exploding onto the music scene in 1975 with their theatrical, William Burroughs-inspired Sci-fi nightmare, they were misunderstood by many, but those who knew understood the importance of the band’s dangerous, uncompromising approach to lyrics, to music and to performance.

What attracts me in this song is the Cold digital Yamaha DX7 sound and overall mood. The buildup is nice and the Chorus is catchy. I found it years ago on IntergalacticFM, a radio station from The Hague and wanted to share it here, with you guys to enjoy .

There even is some commercial potential with this track. But the lyrics weigh down on the mood. In fact there is a discrepancy between the energetic feel of the music, and the hefty, political lyrics.

The lyrics describe the tragic situation in Syria is that suffered a similar fate to Lebanon in the late 1970s and early 1980s: a lost decade and a war that completely consumed the society. And inaction from politicians and the world stage of politics.

Paris – Black Atlass

Montreal Native Alex Fleming debuted as Black Atlass in 2013 with this very track as his debut. This track has that dark edge, just the way we like it, but you can also hear some R&B influences and it has an interesting breakbeat arrangement. I think it’s really impressive for a debut track. Especially when you consider he made this when he was just 15 years old.

The track took the world by storm, and ‘Paris,’ was used for Louis Vuitton’s ad campaign.  ‘Paris’ was also featured in an ad for a Saint Laurent fragrance and soon after, Alex was flown out to fashion shows and took part in Alexander Wang’s fashion campaign. Talk about a fast track to success!

Black Atlass biggest claim to faim came a couple of years later. He signed for The Weeknd’s label XO/Republic Records in 2018.  His track “Sacrifice” appeared on the Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack and was issued again on the Pain and Pleasure EP. I consider it a mainstream and ultimately forgettable track, much less interesting than debut track Paris, but it did generate over 35 million streams. Once more, proof that sex sells, even today 😉

There also is an acoustic piano version of the song Paris, which shows that Black Atlass is a versatile composer. Although the electronic treatment really augments the track, the song itself doesn’t necessarily need any production tricks, it definitely is a strong composition in its own right. A track strong enough to launch a career 😉

LA – The Fall

A great song about the depraved city that is Los Angeles, from the album “This Nation’s Saving Grace”. That album was also my first experience with The Fall, and I’m still bopping my head to it, with a smile on my face.

Certainly the 32 albums and EP’s by The Fall and Mark. E. Smith don’t all fit my taste, in fact, most don’t.  But that doesn’t matter: This Nation’s Saving Grace is a great album in its own musical right.

John Leckie was responsible for the fantastic production on This Nation’s Saving Grace. He was also the man at the sound controls for The Stone Roses(!),Radiohead and The Verve during the ’90s. And a glorious sound it is, the energy and production on this album is great.

The songs start with a ridiculously catchy bass riff, and Mark Smith who then murmurs and mumbles his way through the lyric verses like a drunk poet. Of course he WAS also known for being an alcoholic, and that is what he and the lyrics often also sound like a bit. He appears (appears 😊) to not take music or lyrics seriously all the time and has messed up the artwork but calls that “a happy accident”. He passed away in January of 2018 at the age of 60.

A little bit of background on The Fall: Mark Smith formed the band after attending the June 1976 Sex Pistols gig. Here we go with yet another link to The Sex Pistols 😊. During their 42-year existence, the Fall’s line-up included some 60 musicians. Smith had a difficult and complex personality. He was known for his biting and targeted wit, evident in interviews, for which he was much in demand by music journalists throughout his career.

The Fall would always be too divisive to become as popular as a band like Joy Division. Other bands of the time delivered the same cynicism as The Fall, but they delivered it in a more digestible manner.

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