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.
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.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 330 : Morrissey goes solo with "Viva Hate" in 1988. 06 November 2023.
And further into the fog we fall... Morrissey released his first solo LP ("Viva Hate", or ... if you're in Australia "Education In Reverse"), in 1988, with an uncertain future, not knowing if he would be successful or disappear into obscurity, exploring three lyrical obsessions - the end of a relationship, the shadow of history and legacy, and post-fame identity - with new musicians, a new writing partner, and a number of obscure, unreleased-for-decades songs that slipped out on reissues over the years. This is a fascinating period, and I dart around talking about managed decline, Liverpool, the end of something, the start of something else, life under Conservative rule (sound familiar?) and anything else I can think of. 06 November 2023.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 329 : The Exorcist Movies ranked! 30 October 2023
An utterly superfluous and terrible new "Exorcist" film, "Exorcist : Believer" came out a few weeks ago, and so I have ranked all the Exorcist movies, including "Beginning", "Dominion", "Exorcist", "The Heretic", "The Ninth Configuration", "Legion", and the new one. I can't talk about the worst without pointing out all the reasons why the best Exorcist movie is the best one, so I start at #6, and then build up to #1. Basically, don't let David Gordon Green touch franchises, he doesn't understand what he's doing. Happy Halloween! 30 October 2023.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 328 : Pink Floyd's "Obscured By Clouds" (La Vallee) 1972. 26 October 2023.
Pink Floyd's seventh studio record - "Obscured By Clouds" - is often overlooked as one of those Not Very Good Soundtrack LP's, but that's wrong. It's a strong cohesive record that executes a number of strong songs and instrumental pieces, including the never-played-live "Free Four" [one of my favourite Floyd songs], and a lot of stuff that has been unjustly written out of history. I also mention unofficial releases 'one and done' copyright exploitation releases, The Early Years box set, bad seventies films, post-rock, prog-rock, stadium rock, obscure singles, and the live premiere of "Dark Side Of The Moon" in Brighton over a year before it was released. 26 October 2023.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 327 : David Bowie's Top 10 Movies...and artist in exile 2004-2012. 23 October 2023.
If David Bowie had just been an actor, he would be very, very respected and regarded as one of the finest lesser known talents in his field. I talk about my Top 10 Bowie movies (and his roles in them), and his exile in 2004-2012, where he made guest appearances and vocals on other artists work and quietly became a myth. Hopefully you''ll find a film you'll love! Also, I think I'm still at the back end of this cold/flu thing so maybe not at my most sparkly in this one. 23 October 2023.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 326 : Kraftwerk's "Radioactivity" 1975-1976. 18 October 2023.
Kraftwerk's fifth (or second, if you're Kraftwerk) studio album "Radioactivity" came out in Germany in October 1975. So happy 48th birthday to it! It came out in January 1976 in the UK, and didn't chart at all here. This elegant, song length poem/hymn to the power of power, energy, radio, information, and technology, forms part of Kraftwerk's "complete work of art" ethos, showing the durability of the ideas, melodic strengths, and the power of strong songwriting to create a satisfying, linear narrative. I go into chart positions, technology of the 1930's, line ups, the structure of bands as businesses, singles, live shows, touring, and live premieres of new material as the band worked up their next record on the road. 18 October 2023.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 325 : Manic Street Preachers "Futurology" + "Holy Bible20" Tour. 16 October 2023.
Back to the Manics, and their twelfth album, 2014's "Futurology", a determined, vibrant forward looking album about history, politics, art and society. I talk a lot about nostalgia, history, culture, music, the emotional connection of art to the audience, mortality and death, changing expectations and personal evolution and growth, the decline of the single, the painful experience of early Record Store Days, nostalgia tours, and living in the moment. 16 October 2023.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 324 : Flaming Lips, "Dark Side Of The Moon" / "Embryonic", 2009-2010. 12 Oct 2023.
To prove that I don't dislike every re-recording of "The Dark Side Of The Moon", I talk about The Flaming Lips and their 2009-2010 period, with the release of the enormous monster that was "Embryonic" [released 14 years ago today], the death of the single, the rise of streaming, their 2009 re-recording of "Dark Side Of The Moon", extra tracks (and the end of the 'B-side'), Directors Cuts, spinoff bands, and the sprawling nature of a wide, authentic creative vision. 12 October 2023.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 323 : Don't buy Roger Waters "Dark Side Of The Moon : Redux" 10 October 2023.
Breaking with tradition to review the latest Roger Waters studio album "Dark Side Of The Moon : Redux", where Roger re-records his 1973 album with Pink Floyd, takes out all of the guitar solos and inventive drumming, mumbles his gravelly voice reciting the lyrics, as well as weird lucid dreams, emails to dying poets, and the words to Pink Floyd's 1972 "Free Four", and well, it's not very good. Everything that was great about the original album seems to have been taken out of this version. Save your pennies and buy something else! 10 October 2023.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 322 : Guns N' Roses "Appetite For Democracy" live! 2009-2014. 05 October 2023.
Knives out! "Chinese Democracy" came out... and nothing much happened for a year. Tours were planned, cancelled, scuppered, and surrounded in lawsuits. The band released no singles, no videos, did no TV or radio, and instead toured to ever-shrinking audiences, as their appeal became 'more selective' and they also started playing to tiny audiences at Fashion Shows and Rich Peoples Weddings for ca$h . Then came Vegas residencies, a low-profile live DVD, and a quiet, exhausted end as the band appeared to finally ran out of steam in 2014 in a managed decline. This is where I stopped caring about the band and became a vaguely interested observer.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 321 : Pink Floyd's 1971 - "Relics", "Meddle" + "At Pompeii" 02 October 2023.
Pink Floyd's sixth studio album - "Meddle" - came out 52 years ago this month, in October 1971 - and I feel OLD. Well, I don't, really. But this album is older than me! I talk through the recording of the album at Abbey Road and Air, the need for 16-track studios, live shows, European copyright laws, Italian bootleg labels, a cut price compilation in "Relics", the "Early Years" box set, the worst - and best - Pink Floyd songs, the "Live At Pompeii" Laserdisc and DVD and Bluray, the "Meddle" album itself, a Japanese 7", and a serendipitous link to a Stanley Kubrick film. And a hidden 5.1 mix! 02 October 2023.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 320 : Happy 36th Birthday to The Smiths "Strangeways, Here We Come". 28 September 2023.
The Smiths fourth and final studio album, "Strangeways, Here We Come" was released 36 years ago today! The band had split two months before, so by the time it came out, the band was over. With four singles - "Girlfriend In A Coma", "I Started Something", "Last Night I Dreamt", and "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before", 10 songs, 2 b-sides, and a bunch of alternate versions to fill out the B-sides, as well as weird international singles. Often overlooked, many of these songs are bleakly funny and shot through with a very British gallows humour. I also talk through the last days of the band, the EMI Contract, and the unexpected transition to a solo career for Morrissey. 28 September 2023. Transcript
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 319 : The The Soundtracks and Comebacks.. 2010-2023. 26 September 2023.
I've got some new kit (hopefully I will look, and sound, a little better!). Today I'm revisiting 2010-2023 as a The The fan, with 7 soundtrack albums, a compilation EP, and the 2018 Live At The Royal Albert Hall Comeback Special CD/Blu Ray, as well as some Record Store Day 7"s for you! Join me, and The Most Ungoogleable Band Ever, as we revisit our vanishing - but recent - history. 26 September 2023.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 318 : Nine Inch Nails... go to the movies! 2014-2023. 24 Sept 2023.
I've been pretty busy, so here we revisit Nine Inch Nails last decade from 2014 to 2023, via the EP's "Not The Actual Events", "Add Violence" and "Bad Witch", two surprise instrumental albums "Ghosts V" and "Ghosts VI", and soundtracks to "Gone Girl", "Before The Flood", "Patriots Day", "Bird Box", "Mid 90's", "Waves", "Watchmen I-III", "Soul", "Mank", "Bones And All", "Empire Of Light" and "TMNT". The EP's call back frequently to previous parts of Nine Inch Nails mythology, and explore the themes of sleeping/wakefulness, identity, and reality. 24 September 2023.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 317 : Kraftwerk's "Autobahn" 1973-1975. 14 September 2023.
Released in November 1974, Kraftwerk's fourth album - "Autobahn" - is the first official part of their Gesamtkunstwerk - a complete work of art where every element from music, lyrics, sound, design and aesthetic form a unified, conceptual whole, with the album reflecting the liberation of technology geographically, and the journey through night to day. I talk about the formation of the classic quartet, the first use of the 'Man Machine' concept, Brutalist architecture, prison food, Motorway service stations, the Forton Tower, a German only 7", different voltages on tour, the 2004 and 2009 remasters, the 2017 re-recording, and anything else I can think of! 14 September 2023.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep.316 : David Bowie's "Reality" 2003-04. 11 September 2023.
David Bowie's 26th studio album - "Reality" (and his eighth in ten years), was released in September 2003, and it was - for a while - where the Bowie story came to an unexpected end. There were DVD singles, ill-advised remixes, deluxe editions of the album, a live DVD packaged with the album, another live DVD - "A Reality Tour in Dublin", a 2010 live CD, and then.... silence. "Reality" is an album focused on defining your own world, your own reality, and what it means to grow old in a world that values youth and beauty. 11 September 2023.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 315 : 17 Questions About 50 Years! 03 September 2023.
The Oldster Magazine has lots of interesting questions about time, and age, so I stole them for this episode as I had a big birthday recently. 03 September 2023.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 314 : The Films Of Terrence Malick. 29 August 2023.
Renowned film maker Terrence Malick has made 10 films - ranging from 1973's "Badlands", via "Days Of Heaven", "The Thin Red Line", "The New World", and "The Tree Of Life" to a late period resurgence with "To The Wonder", Knight Of Cups", "The Voyage Of Time", "Song To Song" and "A Hidden Life" in a short seven year burst : here's my ranking of the films, as well as a discussion of the lost projects (including "Che" and "The Elephant Man") and what some of them became! 29 August 2023.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 313 : Manic Street Preachers "National Treasures"/"Rewind The Film". 26 Aug 2023.
The Manics released their second singles compilation ("National Treasures") in 2011, and their tenth studio album "Rewind The Film" in September 2013 : I go deep into the album, the themes of identity, community, nationality, class war, precarious economies, politics, nostalgia, history, memory, and the internalisation of external anger. It got more political than I expected! I also explore the B-sides, deluxe editions, live tracks, weird digital only bonus songs, and the death of a digital ghost. I really didn't connect with this album when it came out, at all. 26 August 2023.