Jack Carter may be smarter…

I watched Get Carter for the first time properly last night. Now I know where Alexi Sayle discovered the phrase “Ere, didn’t choo kill my bruva? Oh no that was me” from in Young Ones. It does seem to mostly be just Jack Carter (Michael Caine) bounding around like a better groomed lookalike of my old man as a young go-getting banker (the character upon which his performance was based I can only assume). He menacingly says ‘I wanna talk to you…’ before occasionally adding ‘later’. Particularly if you’re a local filly lacking in moral fibre and strangely unintrigued by the grisly end of one of your favourite regulars.  

The scene where Carter talks dirty over the phone to Britt Ekland in her black unmentionables (whilst his landlady’s chair rocks purposefully) had my mind harking back to Steve Coogan & Rob Brydon’s prolonged attempts to out-impression each other in Caine’s dulcet tones to a Spanish female during an episode of The Trip. 

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You’d hope for Geordieland’s sake that most of their portrayed cityscape has since been redeveloped with caring hands but without becoming too gentrified. I remember reading about the imminent demolition of the concrete skybeast of Trinity Centre Multi-Storey car park a year or two back from which Carter throws Brumby – a brutalist death to match the architecture. This rendered it an important yet grim landmark for early 70s British cinema but probably not something as a culture-savvy council you’d want to strongly encourage filmophile tourists to re-enact.    

The writer/director Mike Hodges also wrote the screenplay for The Omen II & directed Flash Gordon! The Omen sequel with its series of elaborate shocking deaths (the post-hockey icebreaker being the most gleefully helpless – I know that sounds sick) is not too far removed but to go from North-East industry & the fog on the Tyne being all crime to Brian Blessed’s winged hawkman diaper in under 10 years must require an intense period of personal growth.

My verdict? Top drawer Cockney vs. Geordie Splatterfest Showdown. 

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The Short, Short History of Detroit’s Musical Legacy in under 500 words

At the forefront of the scandal rock & roll caused in the early 50s and as the birthplace of Motown playing a radical role in the racial integration of pop music with ‘crossover appeal’, Detroit was always a hotbed of political and social tensions. Riots in Detroit during July 1967 lasted 5 days with 43 casualties; Dancing in the Street was written to quench these riots instead of fighting. Motown’s sound altered after this time to become more socially conscious culminating in Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On which Berry Gordy tried to bury. The Motown label left for LA in the late 60s as Gordy planned a film career with Diana Ross, a transition it completed in ‘72.

The MC5 & their manager/guru Jon Sinclair lived inside the riot zone whilst Detroit Police acted increasingly oppressive & Gestapo-like as civil disobedience sparked by the treatment of black communities & inner city living conditions worsened. As a result The White Panther Party was formed by the young white rebel movement including MC5 with a 3 point program: Rock & Roll, Dope & Fucking in the Streets! (Perhaps an alternate take on the Martha Reeves/Vandellas hit)

Kick out the Jams, the MC5’s debut live album later banned by their label Elektra over use of the word ‘motherfu*ker’, was quite simply the acid-drenched sonic embodiment of revolutionary uprising. Jon Sinclair was arrested for offering an undercover policewoman disguised as a hippy chick 2 joints. The Police were determined to make his charges stick since this rebel movement would effectively lose its figurehead as well as casting the MC5’s career ascendency from local recognition at Le Grand Ballroom to further national exposure into doubt. However 2 years into Sinclair’s life sentence John Lennon & Yoko caught wind of his plight & sang a plea to have him released which became the case 3 days later.

The Ann Arbor suburb of Detroit served as a major US military & religious base. A lot of early Stooges gigs were performed in a Presbyterian church within this same area that the MC5 had originated some years earlier.

Detroit by the mid 70s had become a ghost town with a decimated industry & declining population due to white flight syndrome down from 2 million to under half that where it still languishes at just over 500,000 today. With an 80% black urban population & a third of its inhabitants living below the poverty line some see modern day Detroit as one giant African American ghetto.

Vincent Furnier aka Alice Cooper was also born in Detroit, the son of a lay preacher who was active in his church until his teens. Although initially the name of his band, Alice (Vincent) honed his shock rock stage routine to be more calculated & prop driven than that of Iggy Pop (James Osterberg) although both used these alternative personas to great effect in establishing a dedicated live cult following.

From the earliest southern settlers like bluesman John Lee Hooker to present day White Stripes & Eminem, Detroit musicians have continued the city’s tradition of reinterpreting and blending black & white influences & audiences along 8 mile in an ongoing legacy of a long & rich rock & roll history.

*Editor’s footnote. Large sections of this article were lifted wholesale from a BBC4 documentary to be expanded upon at a later date. However the editor fully acknowledges that this piece also entirely overlooks other significant subcultures & genres which the city helped spawn & colonise such as early R&B, lo-fi garage blues, hardcore/ska punk & techno.

Can I Play “Doctors & Nurses”? The Medical Terminology/A & E Ward Playlist

I know that last post I said I was going away and I might be some time. That assertion has proved correct thanks to being laid off after 17 days as a foreman’s treemonkey. Alas more on that experience when I can distil it more accurately in writing with new useful yet crap quality photos.

Meanwhile in a Nottingham top floor bedroom somewhere across town a young man has devised another themed playlist for your delectation. Inspired by the fact that our band (Cosmic Funky Nuts if you still somehow don’t have it etched onto your sizzling retinas by now) have recently performed a couple of gigs at a maximum security mental clinic in Clifton where behind no less than 7 doors & with every musical possession accounted for we try to engage inmates with the uplifting power of funky rhythm. Often for them to reply “D’yer know any Boomtown Rats?” so in that spirit here are 12 classic choices for a surefire prescription from whack ass groovistitis:

Robert Palmer – Bad Case of Loving You (Simply Irresistible choice)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyvcoRfO-Ic&feature=related

Mudhoney – Touch Me I’m Sick (BELCH! “I won’t live long I’m full of rot” oh if Mark Arm only knew then the trajectory & length his musical life & career would take)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nGsT_qFMBs&ob=av2e

Gloria Estefan – Dr. Beat (long before Mylo, she was once credible ya know? Don’t jump Gloria, we CAN ease your pain)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQ0Drtft8-I&feature=related

Toots & The Maytals – Pressure Drop (lyrically simple yet deadly – I defy anyone to resist singing along)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JvoK6xtQsQ

Foreigner – Hot Blooded (Check it & see they really can still bring the noise)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElPHZp-Zw-s

UFO – Doctor Doctor (As covered by Maiden in tribute, here they’re at their mid-70s peak with Michael Schenker before he ventured deep into his own fundament)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWJoj-sWYvU

The Police – King of Pain (The only single from Syncronicity with no accompanying vid, best live version I could find)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K72P09J7un4

Richard Cheese – (Down With) The Sickness as heard on Dawn of the Dead remake

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ah0nWB7FezI

Pixies – Broken Face (Black Francis sounding like a crazed surgeon with Tourettes)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgxAwIybQ0g&feature=related

A Perfect Circle – The Nurse Who Loved Me (“She’s got everything I need, roxtopography keys. She acts just like a nurse with all the other guys” Aaaaah)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snyYIlhyjjI

Dr. Octagon – General Hospital/Waiting List (Slam Dunk! Double points!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvkUXKyl5wY

The Cat Empire – One Four Five (“He said listen to this daily with hipshakin’ & such things then he puts a record on grabs the mic & starts to sing…”)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObJw_NyvaZQ

Adam & The Ants – Physical (Bollocks to Olivia Newton John Travolta with her health fascism bastard pink & hi-vis lycra. I don’t wanna hear anybody’s body talk least of all hers however this grinding meaty classic b-side is all about deeper bodily exploration as covered by Nine Inch Nails…)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGFVna9Sgc0&feature=fvst

Mr. Bungle – Carry Stress in the Jar (What happens almost 5 minutes in on the album version no human brain could ever hope to comprehend…a poorly hidden secret track)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au843-YVAZU

The Icarus Line – Last Night All My Teeth Fell Out (Obscure Award Winner from their debut EP although obviously more dental related. This vid stars pirate penguins for reasons probably best left unknown)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jQkGribGAs

Any further suggestions will be gladly noted & included…