Samstag, 24. November 2018

Lipstick Traces - A Secret History Of The 20th Century (1928-92)

This is a soundtrack or audio companion to Greil Marcus' book 'Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century' (1989), originally published in the US by Harvard University Press, in the UK by Penguin Books, in Germany by Rogner & Bernhard (Zweitausendeins), in Italy (as 'Tracce di Rossetto') by Leonardo Editore, and in Spain (as 'Rastros de Carmin') by Anagrama - a book of comparative history by rock-music critic Greil Marcus that examines popular music and art as a social critique of Western culture.

From the liner notes:

"It happens. You feel alien. You are other. Nothing in your culture, in your experience gets near to what you feel. You want to be elsewhere. If you can't be elsewhere, you want to see everything brought down. These thoughts explode in your head. You can't sleep, you grind your teeth. You get migraines. You shake.

Then you walk into a room. You see or hear four people making a noise, playing the limits of electricity and the room's ambient space: like a switch tripping, your life is changed forever. Out of nowhere, the terrain is cleared and the possibilities stretch before you.

This will only happen once, with that certainty. It may happen before and afterwards, in precognitions, aftershocks, conscious attempts to recapture that first shock of recognition: when you find the piper that calls your tune.

This collection exists for many reasons: for fun, to be played alongside a book with words and pictures, to rewrite Punk in terms of a still hidden female history. Most of all, it solves a perceptual problem: how to recapture that first hearing of the Sex Pistols' 'Anarchy in the UK'.

Nearly seventeen years after its first release, 'Anarchy in the UK' sounds, well, tired. If not quite a generally recognised 'rock classic', then its familiarity, and indeed supersession by generations of Punk and Rap groups, has meant that the song, and the time which it heralded, have lost their immediate potency. How to hear them in a new way?

In this particular example, to hear and see the Sex Pistols/the Clash/the Saints (among others) in 1978 was to feel this: 'Everything that is normally taken for granted as the way God planned it, as the way human beings were meant to be, is suddenly refuted, loses its reality, loses its pull. And people glimpse two things: they glimpse that the world they've been raised to accept is a fraud and a sham, and that another world is possible.'

This is a sensation at once galvanising and terrifying: you will hear it on most of the selections here. Just jump into the tunnel with the Slits, like Alice after the rabbit: by the end of this sixty minute journey, you'll have a composite picture that takes you right back to Punk's original, primal alienation.

I'd love to hear this collection condensed into a six minute rap tune, or a twelve minute techno mantra, but in the meantime we begin, with a giggle...


1. The Slits "A Boring Life"
A 1977 demo, recorded by Ari Up (vocals), Tessa Pollitt (bass), Viv Albertine (guitar), and Palmolive (drums). One of the few documents of that 1977 sound. (Originally released on 'Once Upon a Time in a Living Room', Y/Rough Trade, 1980, UK).

2. The Orioles "It's Too Soon To Know"
A No. 1 R&B hit in the USA in 1948, and also a more spectral hit among whites, the sort the chart couldn't fully register: 'a meeting of cultures' in a segregated society. Composed by a white Jewish songwriter named Deborah Chessler, performed by a black Baltimore group at first called the Vibra-Naires: Sonny Til (lead), George Nelson (second lead), Alexander Sharp (tenor), Johnny Reed (bass), and Tommy Gaither (guitar). (Originally released on It's-a-Natural, 1948, US).

3. Trio Exvoco "L'amiral cherche une maison à louer" (Tristan Tzara, Marcel Janco, Richard Huelsenbeck)
Composed 1916, performed in the same year at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zürich, recreated here by Trio Exvoco (Hanna Aurbacher, Theophil Maier, and Ewald Liska). Written, sung, and chanted in German (Huelsenbeck), French (Tzara), and English (Janco): 'proto rock 'n' roll'. (Recorded 1980; from 'Dada For Now', Ark, 1985, UK).

4. Jonathan Richman "Road Runner"
Accept no substitutes. (Originally released on Beserkley, 1975, US).

5. Guy Debord - Excerpt from soundtrack to 'Hurlements en faveur de Sade'
A film first shown in Paris in 1952 at the Ciné-Club Avant-Garde. See Debord, 'Society of the Spectacle and Other Films' (London: Rebel Press, 1992), for a translation of the screenplay ("Howlings in favour of Sade").

6. The Roxy, London - Ambience
From the two nights at the end of April 1977, recorded by Mike Thorne for the album 'The Roxy London WC2 (Jan-Apr 77)' (EMI, 1977, UK) - an accurate reflection of English Punk's early gamut, with X-Ray Spex, Wire, Buzzcocks, Slaughter & The Dogs, Eater, Johnny Moped, and the Unwanted).

7. Jean-Louis Brau "Instrumentation Verbale (Face 2)"
A 1963 recording in the style of 1950 ultra-lettrist Paris sound poetry. (Originally released on Achèle, 1965, France).

8. Buzzcocks "Boredom"
Recorded by the late Martin Hannett in Manchester, 12/76. Mostly put down in one take by Howard Devoto (vocals), Pete Shelley (guitar), Steve Diggle (bass), and John Maher (drums). (Originally released on New Hormones, 1/77, UK).

9. The Adverts "One Chord Wonders"
Second version, recorded by T. V. Smith (vocals), Howard Pickup (guitar), Gaye Advert (bass), and Laurie Driver (drums) for 'Crossing the Red Sea with the Adverts'. (Originally released on Bright Records, 1978, UK).

10. Raoul Hausmann "phonème bbbb"
Berlin dada sound poetry, composed 1918, performed 1956/57. (From 'Poèmes phonetiques complètes', S Press Tapes, 1978, W. Germany).

11. Gang of Four "At Home He's a Tourist"
Recorded as the band's second single by Jon King (vocals, melodica), Andy Gill (guitar, vocals), Dave Allen (bass), and Hugo Burnham (drums). (Originally released on EMI, 1979, UK, and on 'Entertainment!', EMI, 1979, UK / Warner Bros., 1980, US).

12. The Adverts "Gary Gilmore's Eyes"
Personnel as on "One Chord Wonders." (Originally released on Anchor, 1977, UK).

13. Kleenex "Ü (angry side)"
Recorded in London by by Regula Sing (vocals), Marlene Marder (guitar), Klaudia Schiff (bass), Lislot Ha (drums) from Switzerland. (Originally released on Rough Trade, 1979, UK). [liner notes erroneously states this to be recorded in Switzerland]

14. Guy Debord - Excerpt from the soundtrack to 'Critique de la séparation' (Dansk-Fransk Experimentalfilmskompagni, 1961)
Music: Bodin de Boismortier, 'Allegro movement, Op. 37 - Concerto in E Minor in five parts'. Narration: (Debord): "The sectors of a city are, at a certain level, legible. But the meaning they have had for us, personally, is incommunicable. like the clandestinity of private life. of which we possess nothing but pitiful documents." See Debord, 'Society of the Spectacle and Other Films', as above, for a translation of the screenplay ("Critique of Separation").

15. The Clash - Stage talk, Roundhouse, London, September 23, 1976
Joe Strummer recorded while supporting Crazy Avan and the Rhythm Rockers. (From the Jon Savage Archive).

16. Mekons "Never Been in a Riot"
Recorded 1977 with Andy Corrigan and Mark White (vocals), Ken and Tong (guitars), Ros Allen (bass), Jon Langford (drums and vocals). (Originally released on Fast Product, 1978, UK).

17. LiLiPUT "Split"
Kleenex after a name change; as above, with Chrigel Freund replacing Regula Sing on vocals, plus Angie Barrack, saxophone. (Originally released on Rough Trade, 1980, UK).

18. Roman Bunka, Holger Czukay, Raymond Federman etc. "röhrenhose-rokoko-neger-rhythmus"
from 'dr. huelsenbecks mentale heilmethode' ("Dr. Huelsenbeck's Psychological Salvation System"). Written and produced by Herbert Kapfer and Regina Moths as a radio play for Bayerischer Rundfunk, Munich, Germany, 1992 - an aural biography/autobiography of Huelsenbeck, but on this track the all-night argument over "Negro poetry,", aesthetic dictatorship, and untrammelled desire that was Berlin dada. (Originally released on Rough Trade Rec., 1992, Germany).

19. Essential Logic "Wake Up"
Recorded by Lora Logic (alto/tenor saxes, vocals), David (tenor sax), Phil Lip (guitar), William Bennett (guitar), Mark Turner (bass), Rich Tea (drums). (Originally released on Virgin, 1979, UK).

20. Kleenex "You (friendly side)"
Details as on "angry side" above.

21. Gil J. Wolman "Megapneumies, 24 Mars 1963 (Face 1)"
In the invention of ultra-lettrist sound poetry, Wolman was Braque to Jean-Louis Brau's Picasso, or vice versa. (Originally released on Achèle, 1965, France).

22. The Raincoats "In Love"
Recorded by Ana da Silva (vocals, guitar), Vicki Aspinall (vocals, violin), Gina Birch (vocals, bass), and Palmolive (drums). (Originally released on Rough Trade, 1979, UK).

23. Guy Debord - Excerpt from soundtrack to 'Hurlements en faveur de Sade'
Details as above.

24. Marie Osmond "Karawane"
Dada sound poem composed and first performed by Hugo Ball in Zürich in 1916, performed by Osmond on the syndicated US television program "Ripley's Believe It Or Not", c. 1984. As host of a special show on sound poetry, Osmond was asked by the producer to recite only the first line of Ball's work; incensed at being thought too dumb for art, she memorized the lot and delivered it whole in a rare 'glimpse of freedom'.

25. Bascam Lamar Lunsford "I Wish I was a Mole in the Ground"
A traditional Appalachian ballad: 'one little mole is enough to bring a whole mountain down.' (Originally released on Brunswick, 1928, US - taken from 'The Anthology of American Folk Music', compiled by Harry Smith and released by Folkway Records, 1952).

26. Mekons "The Building"
Performed by Mark White (vocals, foot). (Originally released on 'it falleth like the gentle rain from heaven - The Mekons Story, 1977-1982', CNT, 1982, UK).

27. Benny Spellman "Lipstick Traces (On a Cigarette)"
Composed by Allen Toussaint. (Originally released on Minit, 1962, US)."

Thanks again to Mr. Lucky!

Lipstick Traces - A Secret History Of The 20th Century
(192 kbps, cover art included)

4 Kommentare:

L:) hat gesagt…

Hi there, zero! If you need an upgrade or scans, I still have it. But it's perfectly enjoyable in 192 as well, of course. :)

Cheers, Lucky

zero hat gesagt…

Hi Lucky, thanks a lot for your friendly offer. A better bitrate would be wonderful, if you find the time... Greetings!

Jeff Gee hat gesagt…

Hey, Lucky! Missed you since your blog vanished, you introduced me to dozens of artists I never would have discovered on my own. Many thanks to you, and of course to the fine folks here at Zero Gee

zero hat gesagt…

Thanks a lot, Jeff Gee, you are welcome!

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