MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 119 : Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" is a masterpiece. 13 July 2021.
Notcast Episode 119 : Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" is not only my favourite of his films, but in my top 3 films of all time. I talk about the film itself, the various cuts of the film, the themes and issues it explores, the use of mirrors, imagery, the Divorce / Haunted House / Creativity / Historical elements, continuity errors (or are they?), the flexible nature of reality in the film, and two deleted scenes that change the films meaning. 13 July 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 118 : Stanley Kubrick films ranked! Part One.. 1951-2001. 11 July 2021.
Notcast Episode 118 : And it's time to rank the Stanley Kubrick films - from 1951's "Day Of The Fight" to 2001's "A.I." [which is a Stanley Kubrick movie in my opinion, in the same way that "Return Of The Jedi" is a George Lucas film]. Including the short movies, there are 17 films to talk about, and I detail all of them up to No.2. The No.1 gets an episode all of its own, coming soon. 11 July 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 117 : Political Pop Music . 10 July 2021.
Notcast Ep 117 : When pop music is political, I talk about politics. I don't want to do it too often, but when it's relevant to the song or album, I will. At the moment, that's about 5 minutes every six months. Don't like it? That's not my problem. 10 July 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 116 : Pet Shop Boys "Battleship Potemkin","Fundamental", and 2004-2007. 08 July 2021.
Notcast Episode 116 and today I'm talking about Pet Shop Boys most political period, their 2004-2007 era, with the albums "Battleship Potemkin" and "Fundamental", the "Concrete" live album, as well as the "Back To Mine" and "Disco 4" compilations, the singles "Psychological", "I'm With Stupid", "Minimal", "Numb", "Integral", and the "In Private" promo, and the "Life In Pop" and "Cubism" live DVD. There's a guest appearance by a cat at the end! 08 July 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 115 : David Bowie's Early Years 1964-1967. 07 July 2021.
Notcast Ep 115 : David Bowie's early years 1964-1967 were a very busy time, with several singles, the quirky, music-hall inspired 1967 debut album, the singles "Liza Jane", "I Pity The Fool", "You've Got A Habit Of Leaving", "Can't Help Thinking About Me", "Do Anything You Say", "Rubber Band", and the good old "Laughing Gnome", as well as the compilations "Don't Be Fooled By The Name", "Images 1966-67", and the essential, and now deleted, 1991 compilation "Early On", as well as the aborted 2001 album "Toy" which saw lots of old songs re-recorded and reworked. I'm sure I've made a couple of minor errors, but I'm not a human Wikipedia, so don't get too upset. 07 July 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 114 : R.E.M's IRS Era 1981-1988. "THEY AIRBRUSHED MY FACE." 05 July 2021.
Notcast Ep 114 : "THEY AIRBRUSHED MY FACE" : 40 years ago this week, R.E.M. released their first single "Radio Free Europe", and 15 albums, 11 box sets, 63 singles, 2 sets of reissues, and umpteen world tours later, the band split up in 2011. REM were one of the greatest bands there ever was, and it's time for me to talk about them. I talk about the IRS years, the 5 albums ("Murmur", "Reckoning", "Fables Of The Reconstruction", "Life's Rich Pageant", and "Document"), a b-sides LP, and at least two Best-of's, as well as provide a quick guide to what to buy if you're getting started. 05 July 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 113 : The Tears + Brett Anderson solo 2004-2011. 29 June 2021.
Notcast Ep 113 : and today I'm talking about the post-Suede solo records by Brett Anderson and the shortlived collaboration with Bernard Butler, The Tears, with 2005's "Here Come The Tears", 2007's "Brett Anderson" and the "Live At Sheperds Bush"/"Live At The Union Chapel"/"Live At The Royal Festival Hall" albums, 2008's "Wilderness", 2009's "Slow Attack" and 2011's "Black Rainbows" and "Live At Camden" albums. The 2017 "Collected Solo Work Box Sets" also get a mention, as well as a special USB stick edition of an album, and a 2017 RSD release. In this era, Brett stripped his creative identity to its essence and rebuilt it with rewarding results. 29 June 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 112 : The Cure's "Disintegration" and 1989. 27 June 2021.
Episode 112 and I've not even talked about The Cure's "Disintegration", let's change that! There's plenty to discuss, with Lol's departure from the group, the album, the varying tracklists on LP and tape/CD, the singles "Fascination Street", "Lullaby", "Lovesong" and "Pictures Of You", the limited live album "Entreat", FNAC and HMV, multiformatting of singles, the 2010 reissue and "Entreat+" vinyl edition, the albums influence on post-rock and many other bands, as well as detours into alcoholism and the analogue world of print media.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 111 : Depeche Mode/Anton Corbijn 81-18 + "Construction Time Again." 24 June 2021
Episode 111 and I've not run out of records to talk about yet! Today I talk about Depeche Mode, the "DM AC 81-18" Anton Corbijn book, the bands early artwork, the album "Construction Time Again", the singles "Get The Balance Right", "Everything Counts", "Love In Itself", the bands influence on industrial music, the changing sound of the band, Alan Wilder joining and his contribution as a songwriter, The Falklands War, Threads, the Prime Minister, 'Are Depeche Mode the electronic Pink Floyd?', and the albums role as a political manifesto with synthesisers. 24 June 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 110 : The Wedding Present, "George Best" 1987-1988. 20 June 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 110 : The Wedding Present's "George Best". Today I talk about one of my favourite bands debut album, though I regard it as their second LP, George Best himself, James Bond, lots of singles, one of the best B-sides ever, Peel Sessions, live tapes, reissues, the Ukranians album, live in Dublin 2007, the worst Wedding Present gig, the 2008/2017 "George Best 30" Steve Albini version, "Something Left Behind" documentary, and the "Live 2017" album. 20 June 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 109 : New Order's "Get Ready" 2001-2002. 17 June 2021.
Notcast Episode 109 : Talking through New Order's seventh studio album, 2001's "Get Ready", the lineup change, the various books, the singles "Crystal", "60mph", "Someone Like You", "Here To Stay", the Finsbury Park 2002 show, the "Confusion" remixes, and the really no-good-very-bad-indeed box set "Retro". 17 June 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 108 : Antidepressants, ranked! 13 June 2021.
Notcast Episode 108 : On the John Grant Facebook Zoom call last week, John was asked "Has therapy or medication affected your creativity?". A great question!... though it wasn't directed at me. Today I talk through my experience with anti-depressants and rank them, as well as talk through if it affected my creativity. This isn't medical advice, by the way. Normal service - me talking about old bands - will be resumed next time. 13 June 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 107 : Pet Shop Boys "Release" 2001-2003. 12 June 2021.
Notcast Episode 107 : Pet Shop Boys eighth album - "Release" - came out in 2002, and with it, the singles "Break 4 Love", "Home And Dry", "I Get Along", "London", "Miracles" and "Flamboyant", as well as the "Closer To Heaven" soundtrack, "Disco3" LP, and 2003's course correction 'best of', "PopArt". I talk through this period of the band and my experiences of it, as well as my least favourite PSB song, and anything else that comes to mind. 12 June 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 106 : U2's "Songs Of Experience", 2017. 08 June 2021.
Notcast Episode 106 : On 1st December 2017, U2 released their fifteenth* - and their latest to date - album "Songs Of Experience", and this one is a great album : U2 face their own mortality, and this record feels like a series of letters from parents to their children with an eye on the past, present and future. The album also reprises a number of musical and lyrical motifs from "Songs Of Innocence", drawing connections between songs, ideas, and events, so that the two albums are complete when experienced together. Few bands ever get to be as vital and make art as interesting as this as they age, but great artists get better with the passing of time.
Despite me saying this is Episode 105, I was wrong! 08 June 2021.
*if you count Passengers in 1995. And I do.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 105 : Zack Snyder's "Justice League". 05 June 2021.
Notcast Episode 105 : because what the world needs more of is a bloke with opinions about superhero movies! Today I discuss Zack Snyder's "Justice League", the DC movies, "Man Of Steel", "Space Orphan Vs Millionaire Psycho : Fighty McFightface", Joss Wheedon, fan edits, extended TV versions, Richard Lester vs Richard Donner's versions of "Superman II", why I love physical media, and the last time I was in a completely sold out movie screening (2012, I think!). 05 June 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 104 : The Cure's "Kiss Me" LP and 1987. 03 June 2021.
Notcast Episode 104 : You voted for it, and I listened! The Cure's "Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me" was released in May 1987, and I talk about the album, the change in lineup, b-sides, cheap vinyl being replaced by shiny CD's, orange vinyl 12"s, the singles, a bizarre out-of-time EP only released in Germany, the Fiction Records sampler, the tour, live recordings, the running time of a CD, and why "Hey You!" was difficult to find on CD for a very very long time. 03 June 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 103 : The Wedding Present's "Tommy" 1985-1987. 31 May 2021.
Notcast Episode 103 : Who'd've thought I could talk for 45 minutes about The Wedding Present's 1988 singles-and-b-sides-compilation LP "Tommy"? Hardly anyone will watch this, because they're not a huge band (but they should be). Today I touch upon their first four singles, radio sessions, live shows, the 2014 3CD+DVD reissue, the 2018 re-recording of the album, John Peel, Library "Chuckouts", and Video Game design. I love this band, and you should too. They're great! 31 May 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 102 : Depeche Mode's "A Broken Frame" 1982. 29 May 2021.
Notcast Episode 102 : Today I talk through the second Depeche Mode album "A Broken Frame", recorded as the trio of Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, and Andy Fletcher, between November 1981 and June 1982, the singles "See You", "The Meaning Of Love", "Leave In Silence" and "Get The Balance Right", the addition of Alan Wilder, Martin's first band "Norman And The Worms", cuddling chickens and bad jumpers, some early songs, the unreleased songs "Television Set" and "I Like It", the Live At Hammersmith 1982 release, and Alan Wilder fanboys. 29 May 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 101 : Pet Shop Boys "Nightlife" 1999-2000. 24 May 2021.
Notcast Episode 101 : Today I talk about Pet Shop Boys "Nightlife" album from 1999, the 1999-2000 tour, the singles "I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Anymore", "New York City Boy", "You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk", the Japanese "Mini PSB" EP, the "Closer To Heaven" promo, and the "Montage" live DVD, as well as how Harvey Goldsmith never paid the band for their 1999 arena tour (with a total ticket value of around £2.5m) . I also talk about the catastrophic split in my life in February 2000, which seemed to be a brutal re-enactment of "I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Anymore". I thought I'd get more emotional talking about it than I did, but at the time it was unbearably hard, and very very expensive with a permanent impact on my health. 24 May 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 100 : The Best Gig Of My Life - U2's "Joshua Tree 30" Tour. 23 May 2021.
Notcast Episode 100 : I talk about The Best Gig Of My Life, and to be honest, I think it's going to stay in that spot for the rest of my life - the day we saw U2 play a dress rehearsal to 50 people in Twickenham Stadium on Friday 7th July 2017.
I also talk about U2's "Joshua Tree 30" Tour, and public stadium shows I saw in London, Dublin, and Brussels, although to be honest, I barely touch on those! 23 May 2021.