(Planet Me)
Sunday, December 31, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 350 : Happy New Year! 31 December 2023

"It's the end of the year..." Well done for making it to the end of 2023. 2023 was one of the best years I've had in a long time, where I started to find some answers to some long standing questions I've had in my mind for at least four years around my health and myself. 2024 is also the year of "Highlander II : The Quickening", so as long as 2024 is better than THAT, we're good. See you next year! 31 December 2023.

Saturday, December 30, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 349 : Albums Of The Year 2023-style! 30 December 2023

It's 2023! There's been loads of great albums released this year, and whilst I haven't heard all of them I've heard enough to know it's been a fine year for music I like - and music I don't. I pick my Top 10 - presented alphabetically - alongside my favourite 'new' album of the year (which was released in 2021), and 2 compilations of old stuff. Happy New Year. 30 December 2023.

Friday, December 29, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 348 : Kraftwerk's "The Man Machine" 1978. 29 December 2023.

One of the best albums ever made, yet still not the best Kraftwerk LP, "The Man Machine" was released in May 1978, and is the apex (to that point) of the bands body of work, seamlessly integrating musical, visual, lyrical and conceptual themes together concerning the end-of-the-millennium technological leap, space travel, industrialisation and capitalism, drawing heavy influences from Russian suprematism, classic and modern science fiction, the modern international co-operation from a potentially amazing future where borders and countries were as important as postcodes. I talk about the singles - "The Robots", "The Model" and "Neon Lights", a luminous 12" single, the 2004 and 2009 remasters, coloured vinyl editions, and the 2017 3-D Catalogue revision. What a wonderful album this is! 29 December 2023.

Thursday, December 28, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 347 : Random Record Russian Roulette! #1 28 December 2023

I tasked my 14 year old with selecting 1 7", 1 12"/LP, 1 CD and 1 DVD/Bluray from my collection for me to talk about at random - and he did it! I had no idea what these were until I took them out of the bag. Hope you like it. 28 December 2023.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 346 : Morrissey's "Bona Drag" 1989-1990. 26 December 2023

It's Boxing Day! What better way to spend the day than to spend an hour talking about 'The Pope Of Mope', Morrissey? Well, I talk about his 1988-1990 period, which saw him play one solo gig in Wolverhampton, record five singles and B-sides, abandon an album, and convert it - "Bona Drag" - into a singles compilation, change writing partners several times, face legal bother, a joke Melody Maker headline, and ever lower chart positions. Some of the B-sides languished in obscurity and long deleted singles for decades, and a 2010 'expanded' version changed the mixes of at least two songs, as well as 5 unreleased songs including some recorded years before, or after, the rest of the album. I also discuss fame, crime, the nature of love and belonging, the innate need to experience pleasure, Dolphins and Pufferfish, George Osborne, The Conservative Government, manipulating statistics to bend reality, the YTS scheme, and well, anything else I think of! Get yourself a meat-free sandwich, this is the longest video yet! 26 December 2023.

Sunday, December 24, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 345 : 80's Christmas Movies! 24 December 2023

Fed up with watching the usual Christmas stuff? Here's 10 movies from 1978-1990 set at Christmas that you might not know are Christmas films. Some not very good films are in here, to put it nicely! Have fun, shake up your Christmas viewing, and collapse on the sofa eating crisps watching some of those. 24 December 2023

Friday, December 22, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 344 : Guns N'Roses "Not In This Lifetime" nostalgia tour 2016-23. 22 December 2023

Guns N' Roses are a nostalgia act. With only four new songs in the past 15 years, and each one of those being a remixed/re-recorded/overdubbed "Chinese Democracy" reject, GNR got some of the old guys back in, and went around the stadiums of the world, grossing half-a-billion dollars, and shifting bazillions of T shirts and fancy lithographs with pictures of semi-naked women and monsters on. I also mention how terrible 1991 was, would I reform with my first girlfriend for millions of ££££, why Motorhead are better than Megadeth, and the regular mention of Maslow's Hierarchy of Rock Needs. 22 December 2023.

Monday, December 18, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 343 : Suede's deluxe edition.... and how to open it! 18 December 2023

"Autofiction" by Suede was released in a deluxe 3CD edition last week, and the tangible, physical nature of the packaging infuriated some people. Me? I slit open the bottom with a craft knife instead. I talk about the packaging, contents, themes and influences on the record and design, and how to open it. 'How To Open It' starts about 6 minutes in. 18 December 2023

Wednesday, December 13, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 342 : Here Come The Gatekeepers! 13 December 2023.

Let's talk about gatekeeping! After being told "Could you do better? Then shut up.", I wondered about who has the right to have an opinion about, well, anything really. Talk about football but not a professional player? Shut up. Not a politician? Shut up about the state of the country. Can't play guitar? You have NO right to an opinion. Stay in your lane. Know your place. I talk about what a load of rubbish that viewpoint is. 13 December 2023.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 341 : Blur's "Leisure" + the early years 1988-91. 12 December 2023.

Talking about the EMI-pretending-to-be-an-indie record-company-interference baggy-bandwagon-jumping focus-grouped-made-redundant-by-Nirvana Indie Band Blues, 1991 style! Blur's debut, and their route to 1992, saw three singles - "She's So High" / "There's No Other Way" / "Bang" and a bunch of good B-sides - as well as an interfering label that couldn't stop remixing songs, dictating tracklists, and generally getting in the way of the bands integrity and vision. I wasn't a fan of the band in this period : they weren't good enough yet for me to like them! 12 December 2023.

Thursday, December 07, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 340 : From The Midlands With Love... 07 December 2023

Getting a little personal, today I talk about my relationship to Birmingham - where I grew up - and my decision to leave in the year 2000. As well as about what Birmingham and The Midlands have brought the world : Plastic, computers, X-rays, Black Sabbath, and um, UB40. Home isn't a place it's a feeling, and Birmingham stopped feeling like home a long time ago. This is probably the most personal, and vulnerable episode yet - feel free to skip it! 07 December 2023.

Sunday, December 03, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 339 : Manic Street Preachers "Resistance Is Futile" 2016-2019

The Manics thirteenth album "Resistance Is Futile" was released in April 2018, and on the backs of the "Holy Bible 20", "Everything Must Go 20" and "Truth 20" anniversary tours in 2014, 2016, and 2019, I found it difficult to engage with a band that was becoming a nostalgia act. I think that great art speaks to, and about, the times in which it was made and which we live in - and its difficult to connect with a band that seems so determinedly keen on revisiting its past at the expense of living in, and experiencing, the current moment. There were some average 'singles' (what is a single anyway?), some extra tracks, a Indies only 7", a deluxe CD with demos, and some predictable live shows. I'm harsh on this album, but only because I hold the bands I love to a higher standard than bands that I think are rubbish. 03 December 2023.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 338 : The Flaming Lips Go Weird! 2011-12. 28 Nov 2023.

Mercifully free of the ravages of commercialism, The Flaming Lips found themselves without a record contract for the first time in 25 years, and so, went weird! Every month in 2011 saw a new major release, several 12" collaborative EP's, weird gummy body parts with USB sticks in, a 24 hour song on a USB embedded in a Human Skull, a Christmas LP, later Record Store Day LP editions, and more... if you were a Flaming Lips completist you were in for a tough, expensive time! Record Store Day reissues saw many of these songs presented in more accessible, available forms in 2012-2014. It's gonna get weird.... 28 November 2023. Transcript

Sunday, November 26, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 337 : The Sisters Of Mercy 'The Early Years' 1981-1983. 26 November 2023.

The Sisters Of Mercy are a rock band. And a pop band. And an industrial groove machine. And intellectual love gods. And one of my favourite bands. From 'a squalid hole in Leeds' to selling millions of records, and being the most bootlegged band on WEA, I talk about their early years, first gigs, independent vanity label singles, benefit fraud, the importance of the working class to a vibrant arts culture, my first nightclub, the singles - including "Body Electric", "Alice", "Temple of Love" and the "Reptile House EP", compilation albums and BBC radio sessions. 26 November 2023.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 336 : New Order "Substance 1987" + Definitive Editions. 21 November 2023.

New Order's "Substance 1987" gets a long overdue expanded edition reissue, in an affordable 4CD set with lots of B-sides and a previously unreleased, glorious live set from Irvine Meadows in 1987. I also give an overview of the botched 2008 2CD Collectors Editions, and the contents / packaging / pricing of the expanded multi-disc CD+DVD Definitive Edition box sets of "Movement", "Power, Corruption & Lies" and "Low Life". I get to "Substance" about 30 minutes in. In short, I recommend the Substance 4CD set unreservedly. 21 November 2023.

Sunday, November 19, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 335 : David Bowie "The Next Day", 2013. 19 November 2023.

From out of nowhere, David Bowie's 27th studio album - "The Next Day" appeared in 2013 with a surprise single release, the poignant "Where Are We Now?", and an album that explored identity, agency, history, fame, and the changing nature of time, our place in it, and where we belong. With a media blackout - no interviews, no live appearances - the album became the focus as a work of art in itself. An unexpected, vital album, with an ever shifting track listing, expanded editions, limited vinyl singles, glorious packaging and one of my favourite Bowie songs of all time. After the grand finale, there's always a Next Day. So what happens next? 19 November 2023.

Saturday, November 18, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 334 : Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon" 1973-74. 18 November 1973

It sold 50 million copies - 21.8 million in America alone, .. and I have 5 of those. It's Pink Floyd's eighth studio LP "Dark Side Of The Moon", that has been reissued, repackaged, remastered, Quad-mixed, 5.1-mixed, 'Dobly'* Atmos-mixed, and issued in many different forms, including a 2011 Immersion Box Set, and a 50th anniversary 2023 boxset that I don't rate. Take a tour through the album, demos, live sets, international 7" singles, a 1981 re-recording and more! 18 November 2023.

*yeah, that's Spinal Tap.

Sunday, November 12, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 333 : Kraftwerk's "Trans Europe Express" 1976-1977. 12 November 2023.

The sixth Kraftwerk album - "Trans Europe Express" - released in 1977 - is a timeless classic that addresses the overlapping issues of identity, reality, nationality, technology, travel and communication - and sounds like a glorious glimpse into a future that maybe never quite happened. Given it barely sold when it came out, maybe it didn't!

The album was preceded with a short European Tour that saw the band roadtesting the songs before final mixing was complete, saw two singles "Trans Europe Express" and "Showroom Dummies" (the latter of which was released three times in 1977, 1978 and 1982), and was released in English and German - with different cover art and track listings. It was remastered in 2004/2009, before finally being released in the 2017 3-D Version.

Lets go in, track by track, into the album that made #2 in France, and #119 in the US...

Saturday, November 11, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 332 : The KLF's "23 Seconds To Eternity" 11 November 2023.

31 years after they split up, The KLF finally released "23 Seconds To Eternity", a compilation of most of their filmed work on Blu-Ray and DVD, via the British Film Institute this week. I go deep into the contents, presentation, what's missing and what's included, as well as a whistle stop tour of some of their major releases. Is this worth getting? 100% yes.

Wednesday, November 08, 2023
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 331 : The Beatles "Now And Then", 1977 - 1995 - 2023. 08 November 2023.

Well, every other YouTuber ever has talked about it, now its my turn. Time to crack open a sacred cow, and talk about popular beat combo The Beatles new, final single... "Now And Then". I talk through my own snobbery about the band when I was younger, the change of the UK singles chart, physical releases, B-sides, the Red and Blue Albums (and the shortcomings of the 'expanded' versions), 1995's Threetles recordings, AI, demos, Abbey Road, George Harrison's blunt thoughts on the song, the video, and loads of other stuff. Does this get The Seal Of Approval? 08 November 2023.

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