Monday, June 7, 2010

City Limits, 1989


City Limits, 1989

After getting a satellite dish, I used to aircheck a lot of MuchMusic, the Canadian MTV. Last week, I watched (as I dubbed it from Beta to DVD-R) an episode of MuchMusic’s “City Limits” with Christopher Ward from the end of 1989.

This episode had a segment on the “Reading Festival of 1989” – with Pop Will Eat Itself, The Swans, Billy Bragg interviewing The Pogues, New Model Army, The Sugarcubes, The Wonder Stuff, The Butthole Surrfers and The Mission.

Also featured were video clips from The Jesus & Mary Chain, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pere Ubu, Wire (“Eardrum Buzz”), Happy Mondays, Mr. Big Mouse, Edelweiss, Robyn Hitchcock, The The (“The Beaten Generation”), Old Skull, Bad Brains, The Hoodoo Gurus, Sons Of Freedom, National Velvet, The Replacements and The Ramones. Not a lot of my favorite artists, however.

Well, most amusing to see a complete 2.5 hour aircheck in near-perfect quality from over 20 years ago. I am very OK with The The and The Wonder Stuff. I have lots of LP’s, 45’s, 12: singles & CD’s by both of these bands. I recently bought a few Hoodoo Gurus titles and – believe it or not – I recently found a sampler LP that featured Mr. Big Mouse (“Drop That Ghetto Blaster”) called something like “Hit The Perfect Beat” – and it was all stuff from Belgium on the Crammed label (which I usually like a lot). My Wire fandom generally stops with the “Swimmer” 45.

Clearly, 1989 was not my favorite time in pop music. I mean – Old Skull were a “punk rock” band of 10-year-olds. Yuck – then and now! Never a Bad Brains fan (though I will admit to owning a CD that is a “Tribute” to Bad Brains by Japanese artists). I once had the misfortune to see Pere Ubu play live in San Francisco at the Warfield Theatre – at one of the “Urgh” shows – I went to see Magazine! National Velvet were Canadian (but she wore a visible black bra!). I didn’t recognize the Sons of Freedom at all. Canadian, perhaps?

Of course, 1990 was a different story for me. I fulfilled a life-long dream of going to live in England, where I heard lots of good, new music – it’s where I first heard The Creeps! A Certain Ratio was signed to A&M and releasing albums and singles. I found 45’s by Kirsty MacColl and Frazier Chorus! And let’s not forget Alf Klimek and The Other Ones (their superlative 2nd album, “Learning To Walk”).

Same old story – one year is magical – the other can be not-so-good. How did it happen? Cursed with Jane Child, on one hand. But on the other hand I got to see The Charlatans (“The Only One I Know”) and Jesus Jones (“Real Real Real”) – when both were still ‘of interest’! And Dread Zeppelin toured England while I lived there! (I got to see them play live and M.C. their show in Birmingham, England – and in Amsterdam, Netherlands – a few years later).

No comments: