THE POP GROUP / “ROCK IN REYKJAVIK” / THE STRANGLERS / RIB BIB / DAVID BOWIE

My butt’s somewhat better, hemorrhoids so I’m back at work, urologist in front of an Internet connection for the first time in a week.

THE POP GROUP – various live stuff, more 1980

Trouser Press sez it all:

The seminal Bristol band synthesizes Beefheartian structures and tribal dance beats to create a didactic soundtrack that barely lets you breathe. Their two primary albums are alternately brilliant and intolerable, with exhortatory songs like ‘Feed the Hungry,’ ‘Rob a Bank’ and ‘Communicate’…[d]espite the limitations of their own records, the Pop Group made their influence strongly felt, both as credible rock minimalists ahead of their time and via the members’ subsequent musical ventures. Bassist Simon Underwood helped found Pigbag; multi-instrumentalist Gareth Sager formed Rip Rig + Panic; singer Mark Stewart is well known under his own name.

These live tracks are just what Trouser Press mentions: funky and intolerable. Enjoy.

The Pop Group – various live stuff, 1980 (ZIP file)

“ROKK Í REYKJAVIK” soundtrack (1982)

The film in question here was an Icelandic version of “The Decline Of Western Civilization”. In the past, it’s only been available in the U.S. as an import VHS, but I’ve not yet heard of any plans for it here on DVD.

Some random Bjork fan site sez:

It took punk two years to travel across the Atlantic all the way to Iceland back in 1979…”Rokk í Reykjavík” is an ambitious 2CD-compilation that gives you a great overview of the Reykjavík-anarcho-scene as it contains contributions from lots of different punk-bands ranging from many different directions. It was recorded in 1982, when the era was about to fade and a lot of bands split up. You’ll find some quite traditional, left-wing-radical UK-type three-chords-aggro-stuff performed by bands such as Vonbridgi and Fraebbblarnir. Some other bands are heading in a more pop-oriented, guitar-solo-based direction. The…Björk-fronted Tappi Tíkarrass adds elements of funk and jazz to their music, which makes it a good counterpart to the more traditional UK-oriented acts. Another band worth mentioning is Q4U, a riot-grrrl-combo in the vein of Siouxsie & the Banshees, with very humourous lyrics. “Rokk í Reykjavík” also contains contributions from some experimental, freaked-out surrealist acts like Sjálsfróun and Purkur Pillnikk, fronted by a very young Einar Örn Benediktsson (later with The Sugarcubes…

Some of the best songs are performed by the band Theyr, which featured the drummer Siggtryggur Baldurson (later with The Sugarcubes), as well as one actual former Killing Joke-member. Their music is slower and more gothic-oriented compared to the other punk-acts and the singer has an audible David Bowie-complex…My definitive favorite on the album though, is the dark, haunting and heavily Joy Division-influenced ”Where are the bodies” performed by post-punkers Bodies. The song was recently covered by Utangardsmenn, the most popular rock-band in Iceland today and it’s so advanced I’m surprised it didn’t give Bodies a breakthrough outside their native country. The CD-version of “Rokk í Reykjavík” contains one piece by oddball noise-avant-gardist Bruni BB and some traditional Icelandic Middle Age chanting by Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson, the founder of the Icelandic pagan-worshipping community.

Somehow, even though I clearly remember copying everything from the 2xCD, there’s three missing tracks, so what’s below is about 90% complete.

Various Artists – “ROKK Í REYKJAVIK” soundtrack: Disc 1 (ZIP file)
Various Artists – “ROKK Í REYKJAVIK” soundtrack: Disc 2 (ZIP file)

THE STRANGLERS – live in Toronto, Canada, 1980

Two things I noticed: 1) “Dead Loss Angeles”, originally found on “The Raven” (1979), is one of my new favorite Stranglers songs; and 2), the Toronto radio station’s intro to the set uses the tagline “The spirit of radio!” to promote the station. This was in 1980. Rush’s album “Permanent Waves” also came out in 1980. Its leadoff song is called “The Spirit of Radio”. Rush were from Toronto. A + B = C!

Stranglers – live in Toronto, Canada, 1980 (ZIP file)

RIB BIB – “MY IOYEY IST FUYUY” EP (2006)

For a while, I was in four bands at once. Sounds fun in theory, but in reality it was way too hectic, with scheduling rehearsals, shows and all. One time, three of the four bands had shows all in the same week. This led to a bit of burn-out on my part, but none of these bands are dead — some of them are just on hiatus. Rib Bib was kinda like Mission Of Burma meets Cluster, with a more genteel version of Wayne/Jane County fronting it. It was two basses, electronic drums, and my ex, in drag, as the lead singer — tension galore!

Rib Bib – “My Ioyey Ist Fuyuy” EP (ZIP file)

DAVID BOWIE – live on “Musikladen”, 5.21.78

A killer band backed Bowie for his “Low And Heroes” world tour in ‘78, including guitarists Carlos Alomar and Adrian Belew. While in Germany, Bowie and the band laid down a 45-minute set for the television show “Musikladen”. My favorite performances from this gig are “Heroes”, “TVC15″ and the opening instrumental “Sense Of Doubt”. The “Alabama Song” cover is also pretty lame.

David Bowie – live on “Musikladen”, May 21st, 1978 (ZIP file)

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158 Responses to THE POP GROUP / “ROCK IN REYKJAVIK” / THE STRANGLERS / RIB BIB / DAVID BOWIE

  1. Thanks for all these goodies. This may be out of the blue, but considering some of obscure things you’ve posted from this vintage — have you ever heard the utterly charming synth-pop LP “Life Is A Grand…” by ex-Damned bassist Henry Badowski? Seems like it might be up your alley and I’ve been trying to find it again for years. I’d gladly trade anything in my collection if anyone were to post mp3s….

  2. Hank says:

    Hey, good to have you and your butt back. Thanks for the Bowie show!

  3. Mug says:

    I was at this Stranglers show. It’s true CFNY (later known as The Edge) did use the tagline “The Spirit of Radio” but it was an alternative music station and I don’t recall them ever actually playing the Rush song. In fact, I think Rush wrote the song about CFNY, which always struck me and my friends as weird considering they were a band who wouldn’t ever get played on the station. At least, that’s how I remember it. But I was young and drinking and smoking and ingesting and snorting everything that came in my path, so I could be wrong.

  4. Alison says:

    I just found you again since Post-Punk Junk shut down. It’s so good to have you and your stuff back on the internet.

    Thanks for the Rokk Í Reykjavík soundtrack, I’m really enjoying it.

  5. extrmntr says:

    Do you happen to know where I could find “Rokk Í Reykjavík” (the film) in downloadable digital format? (even a VHS rip would be greatly appreciated). I searched for it everywhere, made requests, but nothing.

  6. swarez says:

    Here’s a link to a Rokk i Reykjavik torrent.
    http://www.mininova.org/tor/2268372

  7. ginger ape says:

    great site and shares…thanx!