Alain Z Kan - Live(s) EP (1979 ?)

Deleted once again, re-uped once again. One day, I'll die, and the deletion will win. But until I'm off, the links will be on. Catch this rarity here.

A re-up of some live recordings by Alain Kan. One song is a Piaf cover and another one a musical adaptation of the famous Artaud text about drug legislation. There's some other rare material from this artist I have to re-up in the future but here's one. Keep patience.

This is a rare and essential testimony (withouth enough "mony" for him I fear) of Alain Z. Kan on stage. I got this recording by the same pathway than the unreleased ones posted earlier so I don't know which year this was recorded. I suppose it is around the Whatever Happened To LP, i.e., 1979, since "Le Charter" was on it. The 2 other "songs" are still more extra-ordinary than is this one. You won't find anything like this in entire anglo-american music (even Peter Hammill, Alex Harvey, Kevin Coyne, Nick Cave, David Yow or Eugene Robinson did not offer such a personal dilaceration) but you can in France (and Belgium) since only Edith Piaf, Léo Ferré and Jacques Brel were able to go that far in the representation of extreme feelings. The first is a musical transcription of the letter Antonin Artaud wrote to the politics who voted the law forbidding to sell drugs (and in particular opium) in drugstores (in fact pharmacies as we say here in France). It was called "Lettre au Législateur de la Loi sur les Stupéfiants" ("Letter to the legislator of the law on the narcotics"). No mystery than Alain Kan's interpretation is not only an historical and artistical one. His evocation of anguish takes your guts upside down. Do the experience. And if you are not French speaking, try to find an English translation of this letter (I did not find it on the net). The other song was initially sung by... Edith Piaf (what a surprise) and it's "Les Blouses Blanches" ("White Scrubs", a game on the same word designing in French the medical scrub and a little white dress). It was an audacious song by Edith Piaf at the time, and Alain Kan sings it with an intensity that is as provocative for today's times (at least at the end of the seventies) that it was in 1960. It was on the Heureusement qu'en France on ne se drogue pas LP in 1976 that you can find on the CD-box compiling his 3 first albums. I could go on and on for hours about Alain Kan, even in my poor English, but it is useless.

Lettre au Législateur de la Loi sur les Stupéfiants, par Antonin Artaud. Monsieur le législateur, Monsieur le législateur de la loi de 1916, agrémentée du décret de juillet 1917 sur les stupéfiants, tu es un con. Ta loi ne sert qu'à embêter la pharmacie mondiale sans profit pour l'étiage toxicomanique de la nation parce que : 1° Le nombre des toxicomanes qui s'approvisionnent chez le pharmacien est infime ; 2° Les vrais toxicomanes ne s'approvisionnent pas chez le pharmacien ; 3° Les toxicomanes qui s'approvisionnent chez le pharmacien sont tous des malades ; 4° Le nombre des toxicomanes malades est infime par rapport à celui des toxicomanes voluptueux ; 5° Les restrictions pharmaceutiques de la drogue ne gêneront jamais les toxicomanes voluptueux et organisés ; 6° Il y aura toujours des fraudeurs ; 7° Il y aura toujours des toxicomanes par vice de forme, par passion ; 8° Les toxicomanes malades ont sur la société un droit imprescriptible, qui est celui qu'on leur foute la paix. C'est avant tout une question de conscience. La loi sur les stupéfiants met entre les mains de l'inspecteur-usurpateur de la santé publique le droit de disposer de la douleur des hommes ; c'est une prétention singulière de la médecine moderne que de vouloir dicter ses devoirs à la conscience de chacun.Tous les bêlements de la charte officielle sont sans pouvoir d'action contre ce fait de conscience : à savoir, que, plus encore que de la mort, je suis le maître de ma douleur. Tout homme est juge, et juge exclusif, de la quantité de douleur physique, ou encore de vacuité mentale qu'il peut honnêtement supporter. Lucidité ou non lucidité, il y a une lucidité que nulle maladie ne m'enlèvera jamais, c'est celle qui me dicte le sentiment de ma vie physique *. Et si j'ai perdu ma lucidité, la médecine n'a qu'une chose à faire, c'est de me donner les substances qui me permettent de recouvrer l'usage de cette lucidité. Messieurs les dictateurs de l'école pharmaceutique de France, vous êtes des cuistres rognés : il y a une chose que vous devriez mieux mesurer ; c'est que l'opium est cette imprescriptible et impérieuse substance qui permet de rentrer dans la vie de leur âme à ceux qui ont eu le malheur de l'avoir perdue. Il y a un mal contre lequel l'opium est souverain et ce mal s'appelle l'Angoisse, dans sa forme mentale, médicale, physiologique, logique ou pharmaceutique,comme vous voudrez. L'Angoisse qui fait les fous. L'Angoisse qui fait les suicidés. L'Angoisse qui fait les damnés. L'Angoisse que la médecine ne connaît pas. L'Angoisse que votre docteur n'entend pas. L'Angoisse qui lèse la vie. L'Angoisse qui pince la corde ombilicale de la vie. Par votre 1oi inique vous mettez entre les mains de gens en qui je n'ai aucune espèce de confiance, cons en médecine, pharmaciens en fumier, juges en mal-façon, docteurs, sages-femmes, inspecteurs-doctoraux, le droit de disposer de mon angoisse, d'une angoisse en moi aussi fine que les aiguilles de toutes les boussoles de l'enfer. Tremblements du corps ou de l'âme, il n'existe pas de sismographe humain qui permette à qui me regarde d'arriver à une évaluation de ma douleur plus précise, que celle, foudroyante, de mon esprit ! Toute la science hasardeuse des hommes n'est pas supérieure à la connaissance immédiate que je puis avoir de mon être. Je suis seul juge de ce qui est en moi. Rentrez dans vos greniers, médicales punaises, et toi aussi, Monsieur le Législateur Moutonnier, ce n'est pas par amour des hommes que tu délires, c'est par tradition d'imbécillité. Ton ignorance de ce que c'est qu'un homme n'a d'égale que ta sottise à le limiter.Je te souhaite que ta loi retombe sur ton père, ta mère, ta femme, tes enfants, et toute ta postérité. Et maintenant avale ta loi.


The Saints - Every Day's A Holiday Every Night's A Party / Looking For The Sun fake 7" (1978)

Very good idea to aks me to re-up this fake single from the Saints. Below, some details about it in the first post (in 2011). No much to add. I think it would have been a fine single and maybe a hit. Interesting for the non-album B-side that has been released now on various re-issues of Prehistoric Sounds it's true. Catch it here.

The Saints have been one of my fave bands since their first single ("I'm Stranded") at the end of 1976. It was a shame they disbanded even if the Ed Kuepper's Laughing Clowns were a hell of a band too. The last LP of their magnificent tryptic was Prehistoric Sounds, one of the 5 LPs I would take with me on an island if I had to go there for the rest of my agony. In this wonderful album, a song should have been released as a single, and that song is "Every Day's A Holiday, Every Night's A Party", a sarcastic and desabused song on the way of life of rich youngsters it seems, and who seem to drink a lot (the reason I chose this interesting shot (don't know who took it) for the "did it myself" cover. If you listen closely, you can hear something of "Smell Like Teen Spirit" in it, the song that would throw Nirvana in the stardom circus 10 years later (or maybe it's a personal subjective impression, I'll never know). If I'm posting this fake single (nobody having released it in this format at the time), it's also to share the B-side, an unreleased track recorded during the Prehistoric Sounds sessions that did not make its way on the album and which was released on CD more than 25 years later on 2 very complete Saints retrospectives, quite hard (and expensive) to find today (and not with valid link on any blog presently). It's called "Looking For The Sun", and it's a rather unusual song for the Saints, quite dylanesque actually, but very good and that any Saints fan should know. 

Every Day's A Holiday, Every Night's A Party. Night time, neon sign, synthetic grin Fast cars, drag bars, ice in my gin Discotheques were all the rage, dancing til two Champagne and misery where are you? Let's have another drink Let's have another drink Loud music, crowds grooving, drunk at the door Life in the mirror cracked, sick on the floor Coffee addict, automatic pistols were drawn Be my suicidal heart-throb c'est de l'amour Let's have another drink Let's have another drink Everyday is a holiday and everynight it's party time 'Cause all the world is mine, all the world is mine Night time, neon sign, synthetic grin Fast cars, drag bars, ice in my gin Discotheques were all the rage, dancing til two Champagne and misery where are you? Let's have another drink Let's have another drink


The Monochrome Set - The Strange Boutique / Surfing S.W.12 (1980)

This is the first single the band issued on their new label. The A-side was extracted from the eponymous album (the last song), the B-side was not. Strangely, the latter has never been issued to my knowledge on any compilation, so I stole one vinyl-ripped that I found on the web. I chose the one with the best quality. It is not far to be equivalent to an official transfer. The band's style changed with this label switch. Less new wave (in its punk acception) and more new pop (close to Felt and Cherry Red records), it's less my "taste" but not bad either. Catch it here.


The Monochrome Set - He's Franck (Slight Return) / Silicon Carne / Fall Out (1978)

All details below. The 4th re-up of the band's early singles. I will go on with some of the further ones I think. Catch this one here.

This is the band's first demo tape, recorded 13 May 1978, released in Dec 1979 on the band's one-off label "Disquo Bleu" (logo adapted from Gauloises Disque Bleu cigarettes), distributed by Rough Trade. This is what is said about this EP on Discogs and I believe them. Surely the objective was for Rough Trade to capitalize on the success of the band's first singles when they were leaving the label for Dindisc (a Virgin child label). But it was a welcome addition (and addiction too) to the band's catalogue since the version was quite different from the official one and the 2 other tracks impossible to avoid for a MS aficionado. This offering to thank the band for the great moment they offered me last week when playing in Paris (actually Saint Ouen, at the Mains d'Oeuvres). They are really one of the rare bands of this period not to seem useless and pure-nostalgia. PS. Did a cover sleeve since there was none except the (ugly) Gauloise label.


The Monochrome Set - The Monochrome Set / Mr Bizarro (1979)

The third one. Catch it here.

Third single from the band, not a great one to my ears, but I want to stick to the order of relase so here it is. This is the short version of the song featuring on their first LP (Strange Boutique). The B-side is better actually, with its latino flavor. Enjoy it here.

The Monochrome Set. I fascinate, infatuate Emphatically You're dreary, you're base, deary Your face is weary for me I'm heaven sent, so eloquent And curiously I entertain your tiny brain So spuriously The Monochrome Set, Monochrome Set, Monochrome Set The Monochrome Set, Monochrome Set, Monochrome Set I'm charming, dear, disarming, dear Alarming to see You're lazy, you're limp, baby Your mind is crazy for me My rhetoric, so magnetic Aesthetically I'll nominate you to abominate Anticipate me The Monochrome Set, Monochrome Set, Monochrome Set The Monochrome Set, Monochrome Set, Monochrome Set I captivate, enraptivate Emphatically You're funny, you're dead, honey But you're always money to me I'm adorable, you're deplorable It's not a lot of fun It's gruesome, but we're a twosome So, hey, hey, hey, here we come

The Monochrome Set - Eine Symphonie Des Grauens (1979)

Nothing to add to the text I initially wrote. The A-side is a complete masterpiece. Catch it here.

This second Monochrome Set single is one of the greatest singles ever released in the post-punk years, and even one of the great singles in rock history. Everything to make it a standard. A real symphonie in a 2 min format, with a melody you remember all your life and an arabian flavour that is sapid for the least, all the quality that this period was able to bring with simple means (where are the today standards in the lo-fi secondhand bullshit that we are offered?). Another reason to show respect for Bid who was the author of this gem. And the lyrics are genius for sure.

Eine Symphonie Des Grauens. I’m dead and dank and rotten My arms are wrapped in cotton My corpse loves you, let’s marry (Get smart, once)Every night at sleepy time (Get smart, twice)I hang my skin out on the line (Get smart, sing) Oh, darling, would you be, be mine. I’m in love, I think I’m in love] I’m in love, I think I’m in love] I’m in love, I think I’m in love] (Chorus) I’m caught in a mesh of veins My fingers and flesh and brains My skull gives head, so let’s wed (Get smart, once)Every night when all alone (Get smart, twice)I drape my flesh around the phone (Get smart, pray) Oh, darling, would you be my own (Chorus) Don’t cry, beautiful, it’s just a phase To the father and the son and the holy ghost I chant and I pray, I love You know, God works in mysterious ways To the father and the son and the holy ghost I sing and I pray, I love I’m soft and slightly stinking My arms are small and shrinking My lips kiss dirt, oh, let’s flirt (Get smart, once)Every night at half past one (Get smart, twice)There’s a little taste of things in come (Get smart, chant) Oh, darling, can I be your son (Chorus) Don’t scream, baby, it’s just a coma To the father and the son and the holy ghost I chant and I pray, I love You go to heaven, I go to Roma

The Monochrome Set - He's Frank / Alphaville (1979)

Another re-up of the first Monochrome Set early singles as required by a visitor. Of course these songs are available on The Independant Singles compilations, but in their original wrapping and issue, it's better. Catch their first one here. Below the previous texts of the initial posts.

Following a visitor's comment, I reup the 3 Monochrome Set first singles. A nice way to give this great stuff an ear. I'm getting back more and more often in the music of this period these days. It's true it was the music of my youth. The only movement in which I really was involved in.

It was a real pleasure to see the reformed (at least 3 members) Monochrome Set recently (with JFG and his Regulars as support band). Some say Bid now looks a little bit like me (we must have the same age) and it could be worse as comparison. Between 1978-1980, this band was not in my faves (I was rather in ATV, Vic Godard, Buzzcocks, Wire, Only Ones or Soft Boys) but listening back to these tunes on stage, I remembered I found them quite sapid and they supported the test of time quite well. Not sure to post all their singles but here's the first, with 2 A-sides actually since "Alphaville" (anyone who names a song from a Jean-Luc Godard film got my respect) is a true gem. Strangely I find the present voice of Bid more appropriate to the melody than it was. But I'm surely getting old.

(Alphaville) She slits her senseless skin (Alphaville) In time to Fred Astaire (Alphaville) I know you’re always there (Don’t look now) She’s so debonair, she’s a manic depressive (Don’t look now)She’s a millionaire, and her bills are excessive (Alphaville) She feels her senses wane (Alphaville) In pleasant melody (Alphaville) I’ll take you now with me (Don’t look now) She’s a movie star, she’s a split personality (Don’t look now)She’s got oom-pah-pah, and Papa says it’s insanity Don’t look now, your mind’s deteriorating Don’t look now, and if it’s irritating I’ll know how to set it right again Don’t look now, your world’s collapsing, dear Don’t look now, and if it’s taxing, dear I’ll know how to put it back again (Alphaville) She sleeps in useless flesh (Alphaville) The rancid, blood-soaked breast (Alphaville) In sunlight and slow death (Don’t look now) She’s a movie star, she’s a little bit touched (Don’t look now) She’s so wünderbar, all gears and no clutch


The Soft Boys - He's A Reptile / Song N°4 (1983)

Last of The Soft Boys singles, at least during their first period. Once again, a single consisting of 2 songs recorded during the 1979 sessions that did not result in any album except the Invisible Hits that was released in 1983, 2 years after they disbanded. Not sure that releasing a single from this LP was a good idea. The B-side was, it's true, not on the album, but that was more mercantile than anything else. The 2 songs have been recorded during the same session (21.6.1979) which is a good idea, so featuring Matthew Seligman on bass and not Andy Metcalfe who had quited the band a month earlier. Although they are good songs, they don't reach the highest level that they sometimes attained when they are at their best. More to come from The Soft Boys on FS, but this time by sessions. Meanwhile catch this one here. Note that the single was released with 2 different cover sleeves. Don't know the reason why. Mine has the other one that I add below.


The Soft Boys - Love Poisoning / When I Was A Kid (1981)

The sessions recorded in April 1979, just before Andy Metcalfe left the band, provided various singles and were released 4 years later on the Invisible Hits compilation album. Sad it was not a true album that would have filled the gap between Can Of Bees and Underwater Moonlight. So here we have two songs among the load recorded on this session and featuring on a single released by the London-based music magazine founded in 1979 called Bucketfull Of Brains. The A-side is a very good tortuous and calm song that is a sign of the future Robyn Hitchcock solo direction. The B-side is a little bit crispating lyzergic psychedelic song not without reminiscences of Jefferson Airplane (in the lead guitar notably) and of the Kinks era Preservation Act II (in the reverse voice). Nothing unedited here (both were on later released Invisible Hits) but if you want to listen to this as a single, catch it here.


The Soft Boys - Only The Stones Remain / Asking Tree (1981)

A rather weird single since it consists of a new song on A-side ("Only The Stones Remain", recorded in July 1980) backed with a one-year earlier song ("Asking Tree", from April 1979) featuring Andy Metcalfe on bass. They could have backed it with "Bells of Rhymney instead, which was recorded during the same session than "Only The Stones Remain". It's a rather rough and raw tandem, showing the band in its more blues-rock side. Since they disbanded at the time this single was issued, it was a rather failing affair, but it would strangely not be the last from the band in the further years, although they wouldn't reform. I remember being a little puzzled at the time by all these strange released singles et compilations, but if none was good enough to compete with their previous work, it was always stimulating and good enough to be bought and heard. Catch this one here. PS. I have included 2 versions of "Only The Stones Remain" since the mixes are quite different. Listening to my original vinyl single, I would say that mix2 is more faithful than mix1, but the latter is a little bit more powerful.


The Soft Boys - I Wanna Destroy You / I'm An Old Pervert (Disco) (1980)

The single that accompanied the great Underwater Moonlight LP. Not different from the LP version this song is fantastic, either for the melody, the riff or the lyrics. One of Soft Boys' highpoint for sure. Simple and efficient, sad it was not a hit. On the B-side, there was an alt. version of "Old Pervert", a song featuring on Underwater Moonlight. Entitled "(Disco)", it was actually louder and heavier than the album one. Weirdly, on the CD versions of Underwater Moonlight, it was this disco version that replaced the original album one. Even in the later reissues, under the supervision of Robyn Hitchcock, the mistake was not rectified. A reason why I think I'll post the original real version of the album with the real album version of "Old Pervert". Not that the song is totally memorable, but no reason that this B-side version is substitued to the actual one that was on the vinyl album. Catch it here.

I wanna destroy you I wanna destroy you I wanna destroy you I wanna destroy you I feel it coming on again Just like it did before They feed your pride with boredom And they lead you on to war The way you treat each other Really makes me feel ill Cause if you want to fight Then you're just dying to get killed I wanna destroy you I wanna destroy you A pox upon the media And everything you read They tell you your opinions And they're very good indeed I wanna destroy you And when I have destroyed you I'll come picking at your bone And you won't have a single atom left To call your own I wanna destroy you I wanna destroy you Wanna destroy you Wanna destroy you Wanna destroy you


The Soft Boys - Near The Soft Boys 7" (1980)

The first thing I heard from the Soft Boys was this single and I instantly became a fan. This 3rd single is quite a masterpiece actually. Catch it here. Note thatin 1980 only "Kingdom Of Love" was on the associated album (Underwater Moonlight), and not the 2 B-side songs that were only released on late re-issues.

This is the 3rd single by the Soft Boys. The lineup had changed, Andy Metcalfe being replaced by Matthew Seligman on bass. Since Alan Davies had been replaced by Kimberley Rew on the previous single, only Morris Windsor on drums and of course Robyn Hitchcock were from the original Soft Boys formation that played on Give It To The Soft Boys that you can hear here. The music changed quite a lot, being more straightward and this is the Soft Boys I always liked the most. One month before the Underwater Moonlight LP, one of the great masterpieces of the music of the eighties, this 3-track single was released with a T. Rex crossed with Pink Floydian harmonies, "Kingdom Of Love", on A-side (a shame it was not a hit) and with 2 non-album tracks, "Vegetable Man", a cover of a rather rare Syd Barrett Pink Floyd-era song (the comics on the back of the sleeve is about this song and can be read below if you click on the cover), and "Strange", one of my fave Robyn Hitchcock song, all times confounded. It is a very emotional song about a man who freezed her wife immediately after her death and who tells us as it is strange when he goes down to see her lying in the freezer. This song always reminds me of the Dr Martineau, who had tried to maintain his beloved wife in such an artificial state in the minutes after she died, hoping she would benefit from a resurrection when science would be able to cure her illness. This mad plan was so romantic in a way that I never had the heart to judge the poor man ridiculous. And there is no mockery in the Robyn Hitchcock text, just a respectful narration of the atmosphere of this strange scene.