(Planet Me)
Thursday, March 02, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 272 : Metallica's "Death Magnetic", live shows, box sets and more! 02 March 2023

Notcast Ep 272 : 2008 saw the release of Metallica's ninth studio album "Death Magnetic", and the period 2008-2010 birthed three singles, 5 live albums, 6 live DVD's/Blu Rays, fan club releases and live shows, a documentary, an unusual box set, and some innovative packaging. This was a busy period and it is one of my favourite Metallica albums. 02 March 2023.

Sunday, February 26, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 271 : David Bowie's "Earthling" and lots of live albums 1997-98. 26 February 2023.

February 1997 saw Bowie's 21st (or 23rd-ish) album, "Earthling" released just before the Britpop bubble burst, one of my favourite Bowie LP's that showed that growing old didn't have to mean going boring, a set of songs that addressed the notion of British identity in exile, and how we self-identify who we are, the early days of the Internet, a guest appearance by a cat, a minor accident, B-sides, A-sides, live albums, birthday parties, and much, much more! 26 February 2023.

Monday, February 20, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 270 : Unhappy 39th Birthday to "The Smiths"... 20 February 2023.

On 20th February 1984, The Smiths released their debut album "The Smiths". It really doesn't seem like that long ago! I talk about the band, growing up in rainy England in the 80's, Smithdom, the world of Smiths sleeves and their universe, singles "Hand In Glove", "This Charming Man" and "What Difference Does It Make?", chloroform, the importance of a bassline, and the album as a refutation of then typical masculinity, desolate hillsides, Whitesnake, and more. Or less! 20 February 1984.

Friday, February 17, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 269 : The Best Break Up Songs Of All Time? 17 Feb 2023.

Another request, this time from someone I know In Actual Real Life (!!). As it's Valentine's week, I thought I'd celebrate the crass commercialisation of love with a talk through my favourite/best break up songs of all time. Some of these you may not know. Get in loser, we're going crying! 17 February 2023.

Thursday, February 16, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 268 : U2 in Vegas... and my favourite U2 album. 16 Feb 2023.

Notcast 268! U2 announced they are playing a Vegas residency with a different drummer, and I have opinions about that. I hope the shows are fantastic, but Vegas is not for me. I was also asked why I preferred "Zooropa" over "The Joshua Tree", so I talk about why that is. 16 February 2023.

Wednesday, February 08, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 267 : Nine Inch Nails "Year Zero" 2007. 08 February 2023

16 years ago this week, Nine Inch Nails started their "Year Zero" campaign, a dense, futuristic album - and augmented reality experience - that detailed a logical conclusion of a post 9/11 authoritarianism world where God, Guns and Greed controlled and defined the world, and where a mysterious entity called The Presence proved the existence of a power beyond humanity. This period featured one retail single - "Survivalism" - a second limited single, "Capital G", a remix album, as well as callbacks to unfinished old songs, drum patterns, motifs and ideas from other albums, and a surely not-a-coincidence set of images from "The Fragile" album. Another Version Of The Truth is here.... 08 February 2023.

Wednesday, February 01, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 266 : The The's "Dusk" and 1993-1994. 01 February 2023

Notcast 266 - and The The's "Dusk" is 30 years old this week.. (well, last week, technically!). Since I was busy making flatpack furniture the past week or so, it took me a little longer than usual to talk about the album! I mention the "Shades Of Blue" EP, singles "Dogs Of Lust", "Slow Emotion Replay" and "Love Is Stronger Than Death", the "Live In New York" promo album, remixes, B-sides, a VHS tape, the "Dis-Infected"/"Solitude" release, Top of The Pops, record companies, and I get annoyed at certain solo singers who used to be in much better bands... 01 February 2023.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 265 : David Bowie takes us "Outside"... 1994-96. 18 January 2023.

Released in 1995, David Bowie's 20th studio album "1.Outside" is pretty bonkers. A non-linear Gothic Hypercycle (whatever one of those is), his first studio double album, a full 19 songs of art, murder, literary and artistic allusions, bizarre spoken word segues, full on industrial metal and artrock, it's a strange, wild, and weird trip through Bowie's mindset of the end-of-the-millennium Lynchian worldview, influenced by "Twin Peaks", cop shows, and a whole bunch of weird stuff, including a double headline tour with Nine Inch Nails, three posthumous live albums, a whole bunch of box sets, and a re-recorded single with Pet Shop Boys. When the going gets weird, the weird release a non-linear Gothic Hypercycle! 18 Jan 2023.

Sunday, January 15, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 264 : The Flaming Lips 'early years' 1983-1996. 15 Jan 2023.

Notcast 264 : The Flaming Lips are flipping great - though their early years aren't really my type of thing! Since I want to talk about their later stuff, I have to also mention their "early years" of their first seven albums, several EP's, a number of reissues, with a more conventional sound, the post Nirvana scooping up of any American band that was vaguely weird, as well as talking about my experiences of Oklahoma - where I spent a lot of time in the 00's -, the evolution of the band, and the nature of key creative relationships that make bands work. 15 January 2023

Wednesday, January 11, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 263 : Guns N'Roses "Spaghetti Incident?", "Live Era" + more 1993-1999. 11 Jan 2023.

It's Notcast Ep 263, it's 11th January 2023, it's dark, and I'm not wearing sunglasses. 30 years ago, Guns N Roses mammoth Use Your Illusion Tour finally ground to a halt... and so did the band. They released a held-together-by-gaffer-tape covers LP "The Spaghetti Incident?", solo LP's by Duff, Slash and Gilby, everyone in the band left the band, and in 1999 a Frankensteined live album "Live Era '87-93" made from loads of shows (apparently with overdubs aplenty!). Covers albums are the last gasp of the creatively bankrupt, yet "The Spaghetti Incident?" still sold 2.7 million copies... yikes. 11 January 2023.

Sunday, January 08, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 262 : Manic Street Preachers "Send Away The Tigers" + solo LP's, 2006-2008 08 January 2023

Notcast 262, and it's time to get to Manic Street Preachers eighth studio album - "Send Away The Tigers", solo LP's by James Dean Bradfield and Nicky Wire, singles "Underdogs", "Your Love Alone Is Not Enough", "Autumnsong" and "Indian Summer", B-sides, multiformatting, postcards, posters, box sets, reissues, touring, cover versions, and more. This is the first time the band tried to 'Return To Form', which is often the first sign of a band starting to run out of road. 08 January 2023.

Wednesday, January 04, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 261 : Depeche Mode's "Delta Machine", "Live In Berlin", VCMG + solo stuff. 04 January 2023.

Notcast Ep 261! Depeche Mode's "Delta Machine" is ten years old [already!], and I talk about the album, tour, singles "Heaven", "Soothe My Soul", "Should Be Higher", the Remixes 81-11 box set, VCMG "Ssss", and Soulsavers/Dave Gahan LP "The Light The Dead See". Lots of live shows, some great T-shirts, and a deep dive into exactly how awful a remix can be and still get released. 04 January 2023.

Monday, January 02, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 260 : Metallica's "St. Anger" + "Some Kind Of Monster". 02 January 2023.

Notcast Ep 260! Happy New Year, and since it's 2003, that means Metallica's unloved "St. Anger" album is 20 years old already. Yikes. I talk through this period, which sees Metallica learning how to be Metallica again, forgetting how to write songs, some appalling production and Pro-Tools choices, the best version of the album to listen to - it's not the CD! - live shows, therapists, psychobabble, one of the best music films ever made, B-sides, and more... 02 January 2023

Sunday, January 01, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 259 : My Best And Worst Movies of 2022. 01 January 2023.

Of all the years, 2022 was definitely one! Today I talk about what I regard as the best, and worst, films of the year. I try not to go too spoilery, but there are significant hints around Nope [the best] and Avatar 2: More Avataring! [the worst]. 01 January 2023.

Thursday, December 29, 2022
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 257 : Underworld 2010-2012 : "Barking", "Frankenstein" + The Olympics. 29 December 2022

Notcast Ep 257 : Underworld released their eighth studio album "Barking" in 2010, the soundtrack album to "Frankenstein" in 2011, and scored the 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.. as well as several singles (both under their own name and with others), a greatest hits Collection / Anthology, a live CD + DVD, and some other stuff. This one goes into how the album soundtracked a revelation after years of struggle, and how the 2012 Olympic Games ceremony was a well deserved look back at what put the Great into Britain. I do ... um, steer into politics at the end, but this is unscripted and unplanned - and it shows! 29 December 2022.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022
MARK'S NOTCAST EP 256 : David Bowie's 1993 "Black Tie, White Noise" + "Buddha Of Suburbia" . 27 December 2022.

Notcast Ep 256! 1993 was a busy year for Bowie, and he released "Black Tie, White Noise" in April (... that was somewhat stillborn as his label went under weeks after it came out,) and later, the much overlooked, poor selling, and frankly bloody brilliant "Buddha Of Suburbia" soundtrack album, which was a curious and weird, largely instrumental album of lovely noises that hardly anyone bought at the time. This was Bowie, for the first time, looking back over his history, and his feelings, without any apparent remove or defensive layer. 27 December 2022.

Friday, December 23, 2022
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 255 : The Cure 2010-22.. "Bestival", "Anniversary", and the 2022 Tour! 23 Dec 2022

Notcast 255! After a 19 day break, where I went on tour, did 1,000 miles, 150 songs, 5 shows, 2 bands, and 4 inches of snow, as well as work and family stuff, I am back... talking about The Cure's 2010-2022 period : the "Reflections" shows, the "Bestival" live album, 2012 Festivals, sporadic live shows, the 2016 tour, the 40th Hyde Park show, the Curætion-25 Meltdown show, the "Anniversary" live box set, more touring, and the "Shows Of A Lost World" tour this year where I saw one of my favourite Cure shows of all time. It was an emotional tour, where I finally felt that perhaps, maybe I / we'd mostly survived an enormous catastrophe that was 2020-21... mostly. 23 December 2022.

Sunday, December 04, 2022
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 254 : Nine Inch Nails "With Teeth" / "Besides You In Time". 04 December 2022.

Nine Inch Nails released their fourth album - "With Teeth" in May 2005 - and it was the first post-addiction album from a reconfigured version of the band, with a minimal, raw album that explored the nature of compulsion, addiction, and how to rebuild your life, as well as living with the consequences and legacy of our personal histories, and how we can't escape our pasts.

There's a new band, two essential singles "The Hand That Feeds" and "Only", a remix EP, a live release "Beside You In Time", unreleased songs, and a series of collaboration radio sessions with a lots of cover versions. And I talk about them all! 04 December 2022.

Thursday, December 01, 2022
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 253 : The Wedding Present "Going, Going", 2015-2018. 01 December 2022.

The Wedding Present released their ninth studio album, "Going, Going" in 2016, a comprehensive 20 song double album that tracks the failure, and rekindling, of a relationship using the geography of America as a basis for this : I talk through the single "Two Bridges", the re-recorded "Valentina", the deluxe edition of the album, bonus tracks, live albums, 5 radio session releases, the re-recorded/updated "George Best" and "Tommy", and more... including the end of relationships, and why this is my favourite Wedding Present album. 01 December 2022.

Sunday, November 27, 2022
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 252 : The The "Mind Bomb" 1989-1990. 27 November 2022.

The The released their third studio LP "Mind Bomb" on 11th July 1989, with a new lineup including Johnny Marr, James Eller, and David Palmer, a new look, and a new sound. At the time, I did not like this album, because where I was as a 16 year old was not where this record was - I caught up with it later - with a dense and mature album that detailed the conflict between people and between politics and power, that yielded three singles, a lot of weird format box set 12"s and etched discs, a world tour, several live broadcasts, two filmed live shows, a sell through VHS, a non album single, and an EP with some cover versions on. 27 November 2022.

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