MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 233 : Depeche Mode's "Playing The Angel", 2005-2006. 14 September 2022.
Episode 233! Depeche Mode released their eleventh studio album - "Playing The Angel" in 2005 - and it was arguably their last classic LP, with a stack of strong, focused songs, interesting production, and was far far better than any band 25 years into their journey often is. There's great singles in "Precious", "A Pain That I'm Used To" and "Suffer Well", strong B-sides, a tour, a live DVD, about 40 live albums, and a Best Of/Hits set. I run out of time at the end, but forgive me! 14 September 2022.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 232 : Metallica's "Reload" and the disappointment of mediocrity. 11 September 2022.
Notcast 232 : and it's an episode I've been sort of dreading. Metallica released the utterly average "Reload" in 1997, an album of reheated leftovers and unfinished gruel from the 1995-96 "Load" sessions, polished off to a vague standard, and it's the worst Metallica album yet, with three singles "The Memory Remains", "The Unforgiven II", and "Fuel", and lots of touring. Time has not been kind to this unfocused album of low grade stadium rock. 11 September 2022.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 231 : Underworld 2005-2006 ("River Run"," Live In Tokyo, and soundtracks). 07 September 2022.
Notcast Ep 231 : Today I talk about Underworld's 2005-2006 era, which saw 3 EP's (called the "River Run" series), a limited edition "Live In Tokyo" 3CD set, 5 vinyl only singles, the "Breaking And Entering" soundtrack, and three webcasts of live shows and studio jams. I also talk about format impermanency, where music and film moved from vinyl to CD to filesharing and back again, DVD to BluRay to streaming, and how many of these releases have long disappeared and can't legally be purchased anymore. 07 September 2022.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 230 : Suede's "The Blue Hour" 2018-2019. 4 September 2022
Notcast Ep 230 : Suede released their eight studio album - "The Blue Hour" - in 2018, and I take a deep dive into these dense record with recurring lyrical and musical motifs, obscure inspirations, and a linked narrative around the transition from childhood to adulthood, growing up in a broken family, and the cycle/circle of life. It's a rewarding, intense album with repeated themes and ideas, and in "Flytipping" one of the best Suede songs of all time. I also talk through the singles "The Invisibles", "Life Is Golden" and "Don't Be Afraid If Nobody Loves You", as well as bonus tracks, box sets, Midlands Heavy Metal, scary kids TV in the Seventies, and the good old threat of Nuclear War. (I run out of time at the end!) 04 September 2022.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 229 : The The's "Soul Mining" (and a lost album) 1982-1983. 30 August 2022.
Mark's Notcast Ep 229 : The The released their first (or third) album "Soul Mining" in 1983, a staggering 39 years ago! I talk through the 'lost' album "Pornography Of Despair", the singles "Uncertain Smile", "Perfect", "This Is The Day", "Dumb As Death's Head", weird formats, a double pack 7", a rare 12", an expanded cassette edition, alternate artwork, re-recordings, adolescence and Thatcher's 80's. 30 August 2022.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 228 : R.E.M.'s "Accelerate", 2008. 28 August 2022
Notcast 228! Surprisingly it's two months since I last talked about R.E.M., and today we're up to 2008's "Accelerate" album, the "Supernatural Superserious" and "Hollow Man" singles, the "6 Days" documentary, live shows in Austin, Paris, Milan, the Royal Albert Hall, Oxegen Festival, Athens, and Twickenham, a BBC Box Set, and a genuine return to form R.E.M. record that sounds like the band that made "Murmur" .... but older, wiser, and louder. This is an underrated album I love dearly, and the live shows were great. 28 August 2022.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 227 : The Wedding Present's "Valentina" 2010-2014. 21 August 2022.
Notcast Ep 227 : The Wedding Present released their eighth album - "Valentina" in March 2012, and I loved it. I talk through the album, 3 live releases, 4 EP's, 3 x 10"s, 7 7"s, a book, a documentary, the 2010 "Bizarro" tour and 2012's "Seamonsters" tour, and lots of other stuff. Has anyone ever written any songs about love quite as good as David Gedge? Not many. 21 August 2022.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 226 : David Bowie's "Never Let Me Down" + "Blah Blah Blah" 14 August 2022.
Notcast Ep 226 : It's 1986, and David Bowie produces (and co-writes most of) Iggy Pop's "Blah Blah Blah" album, before returning to the same studio with the same team to record his 17th LP - "Never Let Me Down". Widely regarded as one of his worst albums, and with a somewhat embarrassing accompanying tour - The Glass Spider Tour - the album has aged poorly, despite three or four strong songs including the much overlooked title track. Two live shows - Montreal and Sydney - were released, alongside three singles, and a much improved 2018 remix of the album. Let's go for a ride through his 'Phil Collins' years! 14 August 2022.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 225 : Metallica's "Load" 1994-97. 08 August 2022.
Notcast Ep 225 : 4th June 1996 saw the release of Metallica's sixth studio album - the under-rated, but still not very good, "Load". It's a huge, sprawling 79 minutes of unfocused, and weird rock with simplistic drumming, detuned guitars, and messy, uninspired lyrics that resulted in a good 8 song LP stuffed into a 14 track epic. It birthed the singles "Until It Sleeps", "Hero Of The Day", "Mama Said" and "King Nothing", as well as lots of B-sides/remixes/live things, a tour, and a concert DVD. I talk through the 1994 tour, a weird documentary, and a bunch of other stuff. 08 August 2022.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 224 : Nine Inch Nails "The Downward Spiral" and 1994-1995. 31 July 2022.
Notcast Ep 224 : Nine Inch Nails released their gazillion selling "The Downward Spiral" in 1994, and suddenly became very, very popular, with the singles "March Of The Pigs" and "Closer", soundtrack albums, lots of live shows, a huge (and complicated) remix release "Further Down The Spiral", the "Quake" soundtrack and lots more. This is a strong album, created with multiple repeating musical and lyrical motifs and themes, immaculate production, and a lot of remixes.. including my own. 31 July 2022.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 223 : My Top 13 Movies! 30 July 2022
Notcast Episode 223 and I thought I'd tell you about my favourite 13 movies, with a vague ranking and why. The oldest film comes from 1950, the newest from 2019. Some of them - and some omissions - may surprise. Only one film per director as well! Films here from John Carpenter, Stanley Kubrick, Ari Aster, Francis Ford Coppola, David Lynch, and more. If you ever think "Mmmm, I can't think of a film to watch", try this! 30 July 2022.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 222 : Depeche Mode remix box sets, solo LP's, and more 2003-2004. 26 July 2022.
otcast Episode 222 : 2003-2004 was a weird time to be a Depeche Mode fan, seeing the first solo LP's (and tours) from Martin Gore and Dave Gahan (that sounded like Depeche Mode B-sides), live DVD's, and a contractual obligation remix box set that presented an incoherent set of random remixes in no chronological or sensible order, left off loads of the best remixes, and generally had an air of "Will this do?". 26 July 2022.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 221 : David Bowie's "Tonight" and lots of movies 1984-86. 24 July 2022.
It's Notcast Ep 221! It's 24th July 2022! It's 1984! It's Time For David Bowie's "Stadium Reggae" LP made of mostly bad cover versions of Iggy Pop songs....: "Tonight"! And yes, this is the worst David Bowie LP that has any original songs on. "Tonight", which gave us the singles "Blue Jean", "Tonight" and "Loving The Alien", is the sound of a man racing to hit a deadline to cash a big cheque by delivering product. And "Tonight" is most definitely product : it's Bowie at his least inspired, with nothing to say and no ideas of how to say them. Thankfully, he followed it up with a fantastic appearance in the movie "Into The Night", and film and soundtrack work for "Labyrinth", "When The Wind Blows" and "Absolute Beginners." This also means I now... ulp... have music by Genesis and Tina Turner in my collection. 24 July 2022.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 220 : Manic Street Preachers "This Is My Truth" ... 1997-1999. 18 July 2022.
Notcast Ep 220 : 14 September 1998 saw the release of Manic Street Preachers fifth studio album "This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours", a luxuriant, measured album that addresses depression, despair and Welsh identity, via a number 1 single - "If You Tolerate This, Then Your Children Will Be Next", Kylie Minogue, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, the singles "Everlasting", "You Stole The Sun", "Tsunami", live shows in Cardiff, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Kinross, and Stafford, a live DVD, "The Abyss", "The Medusa Touch", a drowned village, the secret world of twins, and a 20th Anniversary Legacy Edition that futzes the running order. What songs would I keep, and which ones would I relegate to B-sides? Find out here! 18 July 2022.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 219 : Suede's "Dog Man Star [Live]" and "Night Thoughts". 2014-2016. 13 July 2022.
Notcast Ep 219 : Suede's seventh, and frankly, absolutely brilliant album - "Night Thoughts" was released in January 2016, and I talk through the bands 2014-2016 cycle, with the 20th anniversary of "Dog Man Star" - and the associated live album, live shows in London, Brussels, Brixton, Bexhill, Camden, and elsewhere, the songs premiered live, my favourite Suede song, the death of the single, a coloured vinyl box set, a film, and how the album reflects the last thoughts of a dying man. And it still feels like I've just scratched the surface of this dense, rewarding record. 13 July 2022
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 218 : The The, "Burning Blue Soul" ...and the early years 1978-1982. 12 July 2022.
Notcast Episode 218, and today I go into the early years of one of my favourite acts, The The, the name under which Matt Johnson and colleagues have worked (on and off) since 1981. I go into the first demo tape (later reissued on cassette and CD in 2019), "See Without Being Seen", the early The The singles "Controversial Subject" and "Cold Spell Ahead", the Matt Johnson solo album "Burning Blue Soul", 1984 and 1993 reissues, Matt's work in The Gadgets, the recent "Bootleg Series" releases, and more! Including the time Depeche Mode and The The shared the same 'drummer'. 12 July 2022.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 217 : Underworld's "A Hundred Days Off" 2001-2003. 08 July 2022.
Notcast Ep 217 : And it's a nice change from the news, with Underworlds 2002 album "A Hundred Days Off", the singles "Two Months Off", "Dinosaur Adventure 3D", "Born Slippy:2003", the "1992-2002" best of, B-sides, the early days of the Internet and dialup, cheeky cats, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, live shows, all nighters, and lots of early website downloads. 08 July 2022.
MARK'S NEWSCAST Ep 216 : Boris Johnson finally resigns. 07 July 2022.
The Notcast gets rebranded as a Newscast for one episode only : Ep 216. Boris Johnson resigned today, and mmm, the tea is *lovely*. Political, sometimes sweary, and yes, I break a golden rule and do a 'Reaction' video.
Also, apparently it wasn't a KGB agent who got promoted to the House Of Lords, but a KGB agents son. Which makes it not at all dodgy at all. 07 July 2022
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 215 : David Bowie's "Let's Dance" / "Serious Moonlight" 1982-1983. 5 July 2022
Notcast Episode 215 : David Bowie spent a year dead for tax reasons, like Hotblack Desiato*, in 1982, to ride out his remaining commitment to his former management company... then exploded like a rash all over 1983, with the "Let's Dance" album, the $35m grossing "Serious Moonlight" tour, the films "The Hunger" and "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence", and released the singles "Let's Dance", "China Girl", "Modern Love". His former record company stuck out some exploitative compilation LP's, and the 1983 tour was released on 2 VHS tapes / 1DVD, as well as the 2016 photography book "Ricochet", and the 2018 "Loving The Alien" box set that saw the first release of the "Serious Moonlight" live album. 05 July 2022.
*not quite, as he recorded the theme to the "Cat People" movie, with Giorgio Moroder
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 214 : R.E.M. "Live"/"Live At The Olympia", 2004-2007. 28 June 2022.
Notcast Ep 214! And it's time for me to natter about R.E.M.'s 2004-2005 tour, the "R.E.M.LIVE" album and DVD, "Live At St James Church" on the BBC Box Set, Live 8, the "Live At The Olympia" 2007 release, the worst video director in the world, and loads of other stuff. 28 June 2022.