James’ Brand New Blog

Where was I on June 24-25? Tonight (June 25, 2012), the NSB is still here. Forever.*

- June 25th, 2012

NSBnorecord

The cover image of No Record, courtesy of radioflyerreview.blogspot.com, where you can find a sensibly skeptical/respectful/retrospective review from c. 2009

Worked at Print Shop.

– June 24, 1966

Bought Turn, Turn, Turn/(indecipherable)

– June 24, 1967

Bought The NIHILIST SPASM BAND Record.

– June 24, 1968

‘The Jokers’ on TV movies.

Movers took the stuff.

‘Tommy’ in ‘This England.’

– June 24, 1969

“She Still Comes Around” in the mails (also 3 VV).

Started Porch. Visited Susan. Goat Band.

– June 24, 1970

Went to Broughdale Library.

Bought “Come On Let’s Go”

– June 25, 1966

Election Night — 23 NDP

Guitar — Daydream, Norwegian Wood.

Bought Mr. Tambourine Man

– June 25, 1968

Bough “Watch her Ride;” “Dreamer’s Dream” & MM

Up to Rick’s — Lost in Waterloo & Stocks.

NDP in Manitoba.

– June 25, 1969

Forty-four years & a day after the most influential album in #ldnont history entered the JBNBlog collection, the noise-meister Nihilist Spasm Band is welcoming distinguished guests from Europe.

Tonight, (Monday, June 25), European art stars Danielle de Picciotto and Alexander Hacke are back in downtown London. (I am guessing filmmaker and musician de Picciotto will be here because I hear German musician Alexander Hacke  joins our local heroes for one of their “every Monday night” gigs at the Forest City Gallery & a soundtrack is being conjured up). Anyway, get down there & enjoy. Hacke’s collaboration with the NSB at the dear, departed Pandemic in the summer of 2007 was the usual sweet & merry din, endlessly unique & quite the same as ever.

Here are some details via London arts ace Pam Haasen:

“Alexander Hacke (is) coming to London for a show with the Spasm Band at FCG (Monday) night. It should start around 8:30/9:00 and anyone is welcome. (NSB member Art Pratten) wanted to know if some press could be written up for this event. I know it’s last minute, but I thought I’d pass it on! Thanks!”

10q, Pam. Tonight. The Forest City Gallery, 258 Richmond St., which is more or less kitty-corner to the place where all that Budweiser is brewed. Can you believe Bud is actually Canada’s best-selling beer? Migawd etc.

Back to the past: No Record still sounds pretty good 48 years later. My dad (& thank you NSB member John Boyle for mentioning in the notes how Dad named your pet mouse Joan) was a huge fan . . . he would claim the band sounded “Oriental & restful.” Dubious. But there are moments. As on No Record’s finale Destroy the Nations Again as I’m hearing it right now.

The album notes are arranged so each bio/comment section matches the left to right stationing of our heroes at the back of the old York hotel (something I just realized this morning) in Ian MacEachern’s classic photo of the eight geniuses.

The notes set a standard for wit & wisdom unmatched over the decades. Still my favourite is this suggested influence in a list of 13 NSB inspirations in the late Greg Curnoe’s section.

“(8) The Sound of Small Cream Bottles Being Washed at the Edison Hotel, 1958″

Where was the Edison Hotel? I have never been able to trace it. London? Toronto? Anybody know?

Over the decades, the Spasm Band has become much/somewhat easier to listen to  – for one things, the wily veterans in the 2012 lineup don’t play as long & have found ways to make each non-note count more. The NSB also rely more on the witty lyrics, devised by sundry members & delivered in full Paradise Lost bellow by vocalist (& likely chief lyricist) Bill Exley. There are some good lyrics on No Record. Too many vomiting sounds abound, an avenue the NSB  soon abandoned for wry jests.

Bill reported the Nihilist Spasm Band encountered scores of youngish fans at the recent Nuit Blanche gig at Museum London, many of them hearing the sweetest noise this side of heaven for the first time. Encouraging. Our prophets may finally be winning more honour in their home town after gaining a determined niche of fans & allies around the world.

As for the other entries, it was a time for lots of music as well as the NSB’s noise music or no music. Music & the NDP. The NDP won 22 seats say the official results for the 1968 election & there were 23 in my diary . . . that may  be because we went to bed thinking the saintly Tommy Douglas had managed to keep his seat in B.C. When, in fact, Douglas lost in the tide of Trudeaumania. He returned to the House of Commons in a byelection & stood nobly against the War Measures Act in the fall of 1970. When good friends of mine at Trent U shouted abuse at him whenever he appeared on TV. A great Canadian.

All these years later, the NDP is the government in Manitoba . . . & with more than 100 MPs is actually leading the Conservatives 38-35 per cent in a recent Ipsos-Reid poll.

Which reminds the sorta can’t believe it JBNBlog. Among the witty tropes on 1968′s No Record is the observation (words approx) “Canada is already dead . . . poor old Diefenbaker.”

Dief was v. skeptical — at least for public consumption — about polls.

*An occasional series based on a v. cryptic diary kept as a pen&ink forerunner to JBNBlog during the late 1960s, when our family lived in London, Stratford (parts of summers of 1966 & 1967), Victoria, B.C. (July 4, 1968-July 4, 1969) and then London again until June, 1970 when I was in Grade 13.

Categories: Entertainment

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