MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 66 : My Favourite Live Albums! 05 March 2021.
Notcast Episode 66 : Today I talk about my 25-ish favourite live albums drawn from 30 years of gig-going and 40 years of buying music. Some obvious candidates (and bands) are not here - and probably some unexpected choices! The rules are simple : if it was only a VHS or a DVD, it doesn't count, and if it was meant to be a live mini-album or EP, but got hobbled by chart rules into being a single, it counts. See if you can keep track of how many of these albums I was actually at the gig for! 05 March 2021
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 65 : Suede's "Head Music" 1998-2000. 02 March 2021.
Notcast Episode 65 : Today I talk about Suede's "Head Music" album, and the 1998-2000 period, including "Sci-Fi Lullabies", the worlds first Minidisc single, "Electricity", "She's In Fashion", "Everything Will Flow", "Can't Get Enough", the Swedish only "Let Go" single, the "Live European Tour" CD, promo artwork, live shows in Manchester, Perivale, Stafford, Wolverhampton, The Pepsi Chart Show, tracklistings, gazillions of demos, where the album went slightly wrong by putting some bad songs on , and anything else comes to mind. 02 March 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 64 : The Office Is Dead? 01 March 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 64 : According to the Head Of Strategy at Canary Wharf, we're all fatigued by not being able to spend £10k a year commuting three hours a day for 2,000 miles a year so we can pay £8 for a Ham & Cheese Panini at the foot of a skyscraper. The old way of working 9-to-5 24/7/365 in an office has changed completely, and the future is here. 01 March 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 63 : Karl Bartos, the unsung genius of Kraftwerk. 24 February 2021.
Notcast Episode 63 : It's 24th February 2021, and that gum you like is back in style. Today I talk about the unsung genius of Kraftwerk, Karl Bartos, whose melodic touch and compulsive rhythms (alongside Wolfgang Flur), propelled Kraftwerk to mainstream acceptance with co-writing credits on almost every song on "The Man Machine", "ComputerWorld", "Electric Cafe", as well as contributing significantly to "The Mix" (uncredited), and then formed Elektric Music who released "Esperanto" in 1993, joined Electronic for "Raise The Pressure" in 1996, released "Electric Music" in 1999, and two excellent solo albums "Communication" (2003) and "Off The Record" in 2013. 24 February 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 62 : The Great PPE Scandal? 23 February 2021.
Today I talk about current events, and namely one of the major items in the news, where it appears that the landlord of Matt Hancock's local pub has won a contract to provide medical vials* and protective equipment with his small (and newly formed) business that specialised in takeaway food packaging and plastic cups. Here I talk about the legislation and regulation, the breaches of legislation, the costs and implications of this, the perceptions of "Cronyism" and "Chumocracy", potential corruption and the risk to life that the supply of unsuitable, and grossly overpriced, equipment can provide. *Sorry, I thought it was PPE in my discussion, turns out it was vials. But the principle remains.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 61 : New Order's "Low Life" and 1985-1986. 19 Feb 2021.
Notcast Episode 61 : Today I talk through a great New Order album, 1985's "Low Life", and the singles "The Perfect Kiss", "Subculture", "Shellshock", "State Of The Nation", the soundtracks to "Pretty In Pink" and "Salvation", the live "Pumped Full Of Drugs" VHS and DVD, the books by band members, the awful John Robie r-r-r-remixxxx!es, and the Razormaid DJ mix series which feature easily the best remix of "Subculture". Also, very quick shout out to Hacker T. Dog! 19 February 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 60 : 30th Birthday of "30 Something", 18 Feb 2021.
Notcast Episode 60 : 30 years ago today, Carter USM released "30 Something", and I saw them play Birmingham's Goldwyns the same night. So I didn't know the songs! Today I talk about 1991, the rewriting of history, Happy Mondays, Nirvana, the greatest lyricist in music, the album "30 Something", the singles "Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere", "Bloodsport For All" and "Christmas Shoppers Paradise", a unique claim to fame (it's a very, very thin claim indeed!), and the album as a narrative detailing the slow collapse of the life of an alcoholic. 18 February 2021
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 59 : U2's "How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb" . 15 Feb 2021.
Notcast Episode 59 : U2's "How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb" gets dissected today, with a discussion of the aborted 2003 version of the album, the early / alternate versions, a lot of discussion of the lyrics for "Vertigo", "Miracle Drug", and "Yahweh", The Bible, mortality, parenthood, The Circle Of Life (Man), the singles "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own", "City Of Blinding Lights", "All Because Of You", the b-sides, the multipack CD/DVD releases, 10" and 12" singles, and some other stuff including the unreleased song "Mercy". 15 February 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep58 B : "What's Behind You?" Part Two. 15 Feb 2021.
Part Two of "What's Behind You?" : a tour of my shelves of pop trivia, drumsticks, Tangerine Dream LP's, Rococop action figures, weird tapes and other rubbish. This is 35 years worth of buying music with pocket money here!
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep58 A : "What's Behind You?" Part One. 15 Feb 2021.
Part One of "What's Behind You?" : a tour of my shelves of pop trivia, Top Trumps, 3" CD singles, old VHS tapes and other rubbish. This is 35 years worth of buying music with pocket money here! Part 2 to follow : I had to move some furniture in the middle of the room to get access...
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 57 : "Rise Of Skywalker" is really very bad indeed. 14 February 2021.
Notcast Episode 57 : Today I round up the Skywalker Saga Star Wars films with my thoughts on "The Rise Of Skywalker", because what the world needs is another video where a middle aged man talks about Star Wars. Today I talk through narrative logic, Kubricks theory of Non-submersible units, "2001 : A Space Odyssey", General Withnail, character arcs, Good Actors with Bad Scripts, the worst thing Spielberg ever directed, the trilogy of trilogies, Basil Exposition, release dates, and the fact that "The Rise Of Skywalker" is clearly fanfiction playing Star Wars Bingo. 14 Feb 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 56 : My Favourite Band T-Shirts 1990-2020. 09 February 2021
Mark's Notcast Episode 56 : My Favourite Band T-Shirts 1990-2020. I love band T-Shirts, and I'm sure you've noticed that ... after all, I've worn one in near enough every episode of this I have made. Here I talk through the type of band T-shirts I don't tend to buy or wear, and take a chronological tour through the highlights of my collection from 1990 to 2018, stopping off via loads of bands such as Depeche Mode, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, The Wonder Stuff, The Cure, Pop Will Eat Itself, Therapy?, Beastie Boys, R.E.M., The Flaming Lips, Metallica, Pink Floyd, The Wedding Present, The Stooges, The Twilight Sad, Idles, Orbital, and more. 09 February 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 55 : My Favourite Horror Movies. 08 Feb 2021
Mark's Notcast Episode 55 : Today I talk about my favourite horror movies (bypassing the obvious choices) from 1931-2021. Hopefully you'll hear about some movies you haven't seen that catch your interest. I start with the oldest first, and end with a 2019 release. Lots of choices from the summer of 1983, for some reason! Next episode is me talking about some of my favourite band T-shirts, but as a bad scriptwriter would say "That is a story for another time." 08 February 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 54 : New Order's "Power, Corruption And Lies" and 1982-83. 06 February 2021.
Mark's Notcast Ep 54 : Today I talk about New Order's 1983 album "Power, Corruption and Lies", the 1983, 2008, and 2020 releases of the album, the box set, the singles "Blue Monday", "Confusion", "Thieves Like Us" and "Murder", bootlegs of Perth and Manchester, live shows from Hacienda and Kilkenny, the 'Play At Home' documentary, the 1982 Peel Session, sleeve artwork, and I manage to get interrupted three times (firstly, finding a quote from a book... secondly a wonky inner sleeve... thirdly, a Knock At The Door!), as well as mocking Reaction videos. Maybe I'm not watching the right ones? 06 Feb 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 53 : U2's "Best Of 90-00". 03 February 2021.
Mark's Notcast Episode 53 : U2's "Best of 90-00", in which I talk about U2's 1990-2000 Best of (released in 2002), the Elevation Tour, the Boston and Slane DVD's, "Electrical Storm", the remix/re-recordings for the best of, the proposed 2002 Elevation Stadium Tour, The original lineup of Manchester United, a TV show called "Bond Of Brothers" with all the ex-Bond actors in, the B-sides, remixes, and anything else I can think of! 03 February 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 52 : Changing Lineups and The Lure Of Nostalgia. 02 February 2021.
Notcast 52 : Changing Lineups and the Lure Of Nostalgia. "If it's me and yer granny on bongos, it's The Fall.", as Mark E Smith said. Do people listen to a band to remind them of their youth, or as a constant that changes through our changing lives? Here I talk through changing lineups of bands, what makes a band a band - generally a nebulous and everchanging identity that transcends individual members - the case for a Universal Basic Income, dole queues, the threat of art becoming just a plaything for the rich, why lineups might change, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Faith No More, The Fields Of The Nephilim, Guns N Roses, Iron Maiden, Kraftwerk, Morrissey, The Mission, Orienteering with Napalm Death, Pop Will Eat Itself, Queen, U2, The Wedding Present, and anything else that comes to mind. 02 Feb 2021
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 51 : U2's "All That You Can't Leave Behind", 28 Jan 2021
Mark's Notcast Ep 51 : Today I talk about U2's 2000 album "All That You Can't Leave Behind" which (surprisingly) is now nearer to the release of U2's debut than it is the present day. I talk through the film "Entropy", "The Best Of 80-90", "Million Dollar Hotel" soundtrack, "Beautiful Day", the albums imagery and iconography, the album itself, sequencing, how "Wild Honey" and "New York" are two of the worst U2 songs, how side two of the album is the worst side two of any U2 album, "Stuck In A Moment", "Elevation" and its gazillion remixes, "Walk On", "U2 7" EP, the Elevation Tour, the Boston, Stockholm, Manchester and Slane shows, and anything else I can think of. 28 January 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 50 :"The Last Jedi" 26 January 2021
Notcast Episode 50 : "The Last Jedi". In which I talk about an interstellar bubblegum-chewing, name-taking Magic Lightsaber Grandpa, how we don't do the same things at 57 that we did at the age of 22, narrative and character believability and authenticity, What Is The Force Anyway?, mistakes and how not to repeat them, the emptiness of JJ Abrams 'Mystery Box', how you can hide the fact your script doesn't make sense with GET IN THE CAR NO TIME TO EXPLAIN!, and how Poe's raison d'etre is "Bomb Everything You Can". 26 January 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 49 : New Order's "Movement" and the 1980-1982 years. 22 January 2021.
Mark's Notcast Ep 49 : New Order's "Movement" - today I talk about my least favourite album by one of my very favourite bands, the two versions of "Ceremony" (which has its 40th birthday today!), the "Everything's Gone Green", "Temptation" and the 1982 Christmas singles, "Movement" itself, the 1981-1982 Peel Sessions, the books by Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, and Bernard Sumner, Peter Saville's artwork, the Rob Gretton book "1 Top Class Manager", live performances from New York, Glastonbury, Manchester and the BBC, and the difficult production of the album by Martin Hannett. Plenty of links to rare audio in the comments as well! 22 January 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 48 : yet another video about "Star Wars : The Force Awakens".
Mark's Notcast Ep 48 : "Star Wars : The Force Awakens".... because what the world needs is yet another video of a middle aged dude talking about Star Wars movies : I also touch upon the Bond movies, narrative payoff, Damon Lindelof, the "Beer And A Puppy" theory of character writing, and how we're all the hero in our own story. 19 January 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep. 47 : U2's "PopMart" - a band in crisis? 17 January 2021
Mark's Notcast Episode 47 : U2's "PopMart" - a band in crisis? Here I talk through U2's bonkers, bold and batty PopMart Tour - from the early days of an under-rehearsed band playing rough shows in half-empty stadiums to the final show in Johannesburg a year later, the way the band structured the narrative of the show to reflect upon themes of death, sincerity, conflict and resolution, the medium of the band as brand selling music as a product, the use of pop and art in the tour, high ticket prices (I paid less to see them in 2015 than I did in 1997!), The Instagram Moment, and how "The Best Of 80-90" was a moment of consolidation and regrouping after the perceived failure of the tour and album.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 46 : U2's "Pop" ... (or "Shouting At God").15 Jan 2021.
Mark's Notcast Episode 46 : U2's "Pop" ... (or "Shouting At God"). This time round a deep dive into U2's flawed, fascinating tenth studio album*, the failure of selling 7 million albums, mid-life crisis, the use of classic Pop/Art imagery such as Warhol, Munch and Lichtenstein, the lyrics and narrative structure of the album, CD Bloat, Directors Cuts, why the worst songs of every U2 album are named after places or countries, "The Crunch", music as a brand, the McDonalds Arch of Pop, Pop/Mart, the premature nostalgia of "Discotheque", the greatest U2 gif on the Internet, the remixed/re-recorded and revised versions on the singles and the compilations, and the best Jarvis Cocker quote there is.