A letter to John Brown asking him to step down.

words by Juliana Lykins

You’re a joke. Everything in your interview and about you (at least what I know) is a contradiction.

ghet·to /ˈgÉ›toÊŠ / Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[get-oh]

–noun, plural -tos, -toes.

1. a section of a city, esp. a thickly populated slum area, inhabited predominantly by members of an ethnic or other minority group, often as a result of social or economic restrictions, pressures, or hardships.

2. (formerly, in most European countries) a section of a city in which all Jews were required to live.

3. a section predominantly inhabited by Jews.

Hey your majesty, so by your implication of ghetto “revival” you’d like to bring back ethnic minorities forced to live in the same poor run down slums? Maybe what you were trying to say was slum revitalization?

We all know you’re “basking in the hate”, right now just like your little hero John Brown who was considered a terrorist, and a mad man, and a brutal murderer. He even hacked two men to death.

However maybe he’s the perfect alias for you, your majesty.

After he lost everything he basically decided out of no where that he wanted to abolish slavery, but really he just wanted to take over the country and even wrote his own constitution. He would have declared himself “King”, so the moniker John Brown, King of the Burbs, fits perfectly.

Now don’t get it twisted, I’m from Philly, and actually Philly not Allentown like “G-child”, and I also watched every episode of The White Rapper Show. My husband is even a huge fan of yours and I even considered buying a Ghetto Revival shirt for him….just playing, he thinks you’re a joke too. However you are probably are the best joke ever because of how delusional you are. It’s almost as if you just link words together that you think sound good. Persia should have won.

Josh Cheuse x Stussy exhibit @ Goodfoot

words by Aaron “A*maze” Joseph

The Stussy clothing company and renowned rock/rap musician photographer Josh Cheuse teamed up to present the “Rockers Galore” photo exhibit/party last week. The event was hosted by the good people at Goodfoot, at their recently opened Vancouver location (36 Powell St.).

The Josh Cheuse x Stussy collaboration brought a great night to the privileged few that were lucky enough to attend. The night began at around 8 p.m. and continued until the taps ran dry.

Those who attended seemed to really enjoy the works of the photographer whose “work rocks without effort.” The photographs seemed to please the crowd who celebrated the images on display.

There were also copies of the newly released photography book by Cheuse entitled Rockers Galore, which will be released by Stussy:books, as well as limited print tees being shown off to those in attendance.

The night was nothing short of great with complimentary drinks and great music by The Freshest Kids (DJ’s Seko, Rico Uno, Kutcorners, Marvel), playing fresh beats and tunes throughout the night.

The works of Josh Cheuse will continue to be shown at the Vancouver Goodfoot location for the rest of the month.

For more information on the Stussy x Josh Cheuse exhibit or Goodfoot, visit: www.stussy.com and www.getonthegoodfoot.ca

SUBDIVISION 1 year anniversary party

words by Aaron “A*maze” Joseph

On May 26, Subdivision celebrated its one-year anniversary. The store, which specializes in obscure and hard to find t-shirts and clothing apparel from around the world, is situated in a small underground spot in Gastown, Vancouver (2-306 Water St.).

The night began with lots of eager customers lining up for their chance to purchase the limited Subdivision x Devilock t-shirts — exclusive for the event. But like every good thing, it must come to an end, and the owner of the shop was eventually forced to utter those dreaded words “Sorry, Sold out.”

Regardless of this, the party went on until 11 p.m. Everyone left with a smile on their face, even if they didn’t cop the coveted tees. Those who stuck around were entertained by fresh faces, free drinks and music, spun by DJs Dana D and Rico Uno (Freshest Kids).

Anthony Mak, the owner of Subdivision told MVRemix.com that he would like to thank everyone who has showed support in the past year. “Thank you for showing love and imma still try my best to bring that hot shit into the shop.”

Mak, who hand picks all the clothing that goes into his store, believes that the reason many haven’t heard of the store is not because of its “secretive location,” but rather that he does not like to heavily advertise. “I like it to remain low-key. I want it to be something you hear about, not something that’s all up in your face.”

For more info on Subdivision check out www.subdivisioninc.com

The Stolen Bicycles Gang @ the Princeton Pub (Saturday May, 26, 2007)

words by Aaron “A*maze” Joseph

Last week, somewhere in East Vancouver, there was a great show.

The place was the Princeton Pub (1901 Powell St.), and the band was the Stolen Bicycles Gang.

The Stolen Bicycles Gang (SBG) consists of five high school friends with talent.

The members include: Simon Furminger (lead vocals and drums), Ben Ng (guitar), Jacques DesLaurier (guitar), Robert Cameron (bass) and Andrew Witt (keyboard).

The first thing you’ll notice about this band, other than their obvious talent, is their great sound and the fact that unlike conventional bands, the drummer is also the lead vocalist.

The SBG is a great band, and, according to the reception they received on this night at the Princeton Pub, they most definitely know how to rock. The crowd was very receptive to these young performers, and among the legion of female fans dancing, there were also older women and elderly males feeling the music. The band’s music, which sounds like a cross between Modest Mouse and the Arctic Monkeys, is fun enough to bop your head to or to dance to with a friend.

The Stolen Bicycles Gang will be playing at various venues this summer, upcoming shows include: June 1st at Hoko’s and June 3rd at the Railway Club.

For more information on the SBG and their music, visit them online at:


The Rap Game’s embrace of the Crack Game

words by Joshua Stohl

Cocaine and crack have always had a place in rap. What better preachers to push drug dealing ideologies than those that lived it. However every song I hear lately has a blatant reference to it. From White Girl to Pushin’, to White Lines and Dope Man, cocaine is a strongarm of the rap game, leaving runny noses in the dust. Often times it feels like there is a “pledge allegiance” to cocaine. Honestly, I get tired of hearing about dope. It gets dull and old, only a few rappers seem to actually pull it off in a luxurious manner (Jay Z, BIG, Clipse, NWA, Dipset, Ice Cube, Rick Ross, T.I.).

The rest seem to be on the bandwagon of slinging rhymes by the kilos. I will admit, I do have the occasional urge to blast some lyrically-crisp rap spoken through Vaseline-lubed bricks, however, the concept becomes over-done.

It’s ironic that many rappers who rhyme about it have never moved an ounce in their life. But the action of dealing really doesn’t matter, it’s the swift mentality, fluent delivery, and rugged rhymes that speak volume to the ear. Why sell coke if you can rhyme about it and get paid?

If you want to learn how to sell coke with swift finesse, just listen to Clipse’s “I’m not you” an authentic portrayal of dealing blow.

“I keep the Ziploc bustin at the stitches“
“From the panel to the dash, its four pounds of slab”
“Rappers is talking to me as if we in the same boat,
I tell them quick no I move Coke.”

Clipse brings a horribly riveting elegance to the coke trade, much like the film Scarface did. What I appreciate about Malice and Pusha (Clipse) is their genuinely candid lyrics that capture the pain of dealing drugs. “It shames me to no end / to feed poison to those that could very well be my kin / But where there’s demand, someone will supply / So I feed them their needs at the same time cry.” It’s a rarity in hip hop that rappers can not only effortlessly peel off lyrics about drug dealing, but layer them in such rawness.

Despite the inevitable outcome of drug dealing (prison, death), many rappers have had their fair share resulting in successful rap careers. Crack and coke have a ferocious appetite within the hip hop marketplace. If you sling crack crumbs on the corner or move “snowflakes by the O Z” (Jay-Z) through the hood, can passionately spit rhymes, then you may have an opportunity to win over anxiously waiting fans. Like Nas said, “Somehow the rap game reminds me of the crack game.” Rap reels in fans like dope fiends hit after hit.

Rap and pushing drugs often require the same necessities. Stamina, street smarts, ability to hustle, bravado, ego, strategic placement of products, expansion, commitment and a hostile persona of not resting on glory. Moving weight is big money.

Drugs make loot whether they’re being rapped about or smuggled across cities. I don’t hear rap songs about dealing weed too often. And heroin is too taboo to rap about, aside from a line by Clipse, “One give you the sniffles, the other, leave you with the itches.” Junkies don’t exactly portray an attractive lifestyle, but coke is a lucrative drug glorified by numerous celebrities and musicians. Now crack, well that just shatters souls hit after hit, but is definitely a vital component to many rap tracks.

“Ten Crack Commandments” has to be the number one rap song strictly dedicated to enforcing the rules of the crack game. “I done squeezed mad clips at these cats for they bricks and chips” , “Number five, never sell no crack where you rest at, I don’t care if they want a ounce, tell em bounce.” This song is preached by a man who practiced it. Biggie made slinging crack sound respectfully artistic in a street fashioned approach.

In the end, I appreciate artists that have consistently delivered albums despite what they rap about. I just get bored with every upcoming entrepreneur-rapper that boasts his claim to selling drugs and how they’re kings. It’s a joke to me. A king would be considered the legendary Pablo Escobar from Columbia who happened to create the coke trade within America over 30 years ago. If he were still alive and happened to rap, he’d be on the charts and the most sought after artist. Rappers fall off the market all the time and go unheard of. Like I said before, the rap game and drug game involve the same marketing tools to become triumphant.

DeNiro and Pacino Reunite

Original Source

CANNES — Robert De Niro and Al Pacino will team onscreen for just the second time in “Righteous Kill,” a $60 million indie production put together by Nu Image’s Millennium Films and Emmett/Furla Films.
Shooting will begin Aug. 6 in Connecticut, with some work in Gotham to follow. The two stars play cops chasing a serial killer. Jon Avnet will direct and produce and the script is by “Inside Man” scribe Russell Gewirtz.

Nu Image topper Avi Lerner and Randall Emmett, two of the pic’s six producers, did not disclose additional plot details or the source material during a short press briefing Thursday. Rights to all world territories are being shopped in Cannes.

Emmett said the idea for the film originated from the two actors’ desire to co-star. “They’re friends, and this really all got started from that,” he said.

With typical showmanship, seated in the Nu Image Noga Hilton suite overlooking the beach, Lerner went a step farther.

“This is an event in world history,” he said. “They were in two scenes in ‘Heat.’ In this movie, they are in the whole thing together.”

CAA, which reps the two stars plus the helmer and scripter, played a key role in the final negotiations, which wrapped in the wee hours Thursday. More casting is under way, but Lerner said CAA clients were not necessarily in line for additional roles.

The existence of such a high-octane indie project testifies to the health of the well-funded new players that have emerged in the past couple of years, Lerner said. While Nu Image is hardly a newbie at 15 years and counting, it is among the companies capable of steering a full-scale, studioesque production.

“We believe the independent world will do it more effectively, more cost-effectively and with more of the heart,” Lerner said. “When we make something, we allow filmmakers to be filmmakers.”

He cited “John Rambo,” “16 Blocks” and “Black Dahlia,” some recent and upcoming pics nurtured by Nu Image and eventually marketed and distributed by a studio.

Lonnie Romati negotiated on behalf of Millennium.

Aside from Lerner, Emmett and Avnet, the producers are Boaz Davidson, Georg Furla and Alexandra Milchan (daughter of New Regency’s Arnon). Exec producers are Danny Dimbort and Trevor Short.

Badly Drawn Boy ends tour with dreary eyes, cigarettes and rye

by Dwain Lucktung, April 2007

“I need a break,” he says as he stops playing piano and lights up a cigarette. “You’ve seen me; I’ve been up here for fucking two hours.”

Badly Drawn BoyIt was understandable that Damon Gough of Badly Drawn Boy was tired, as his band got stuck on the stateside border for four hours earlier in the day. Nevertheless, the fading enthusiasm just summed up what was little more than a mediocre live show.

No more than 500 people packed out Vancouver’s Richard’s on Richards on March 27 as BDB took to the stage. Glasses were raised up high as Gough said: “This is the only Canadian show that we’re doing, and the last show of our endless world tour,” but it’s hard to say that they finished strong.

At 10:40 PM, dreary eyes in the dark room needed a wake-up call. Legs on the balconies of the small venue were shaking in fatigue. The bored, yet patient crowd deserved something more after nearly two hours worth of severely forgettable supporting acts.

All cheered in appreciation and anticipation as Gough’s trademark beenie hat emerged from the darkness. On walked the scruffy, unshaven 37-year-old, set to breathe some life into the room with tracks from the band’s latest album, Born in the UK.

It started well. BDB opened the show with “Time of Times,” followed by “Journey From A to B,” both feel-good tunes that got the crowd swaying and bopping for really the first time in the night. Unfortunately, this was as exciting as it got for a while.

Only three people were really dancing—two punky-looking druggies and a middle-aged woman in an open-back blouse—by the time BDB got to “Nothing’s Gonna Change Your Mind.” Ironic, considering the song’s hook: “Lets dance to the beat of the drums.”

It was definitely not explosive, fist-pumping music, but then again, Badly Drawn Boy never was that kind of band. Their chilled-out stoner anthem sound is led by a front man who rarely changes his position on stage, except to switch from piano to guitar.

Nonetheless, BDB’s fans showed nothing but love for the few highlights on the night, which included a song request for “I Need A Sign,” an old favourite that Gough delivered as a sentiment to his loyal fans despite not having played it for 10 years.

Gough also gained some cheap laughs with the satirical “I’m the President…Don’t Ask Me,” a song where he takes the utter piss out of Big Brother, Friends and George Bush, among others. It wasn’t the funniest song, though Gough did admit the song was just an array of “random fuss.”

My personal highlight of the night: Getting my water spiked by some prick that was probably hoping my drink belonged to an already drugged-up girl. At the very least, it made things a little more interesting, making the entire spectacle an even bigger tiresome blur than it already was.

Obviously it won’t be the best show of 2007, and it simply can’t compare to the last BDB live performance I saw at UK’s V Festival a couple years back, where the former Mercury Prize winners were hailed by more than 20,000 indie rockers.

However, one must show respect as Gough did begin the show by announcing: “My grandfather’s funeral was this morning…but we’re still going to put on a good show for you.” Put that together with the stateside border fuck-up, and Gough can be forgiven for his subdued display and forgetting of words throughout the night.

Under such circumstances one could say it was a gutsy, brave and as ever terribly honest performance by Gough and his band.

Besides, when the clock struck midnight, the somewhat stoned crowd was treated to some rare Gough movement, as he walked across the bar near the stage half way through performing a song. For a thrilling 90 seconds, he shook hands with the fans, asked the bartender for a rye and coke, then threw his towel into the crowd.

Too little too late Damon, too little too late.

Original Article

El-P Interviews

El-P Interview

by Josh Potter

Having just returned from the first segment of his world tour supporting I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead, before departing for the European stretch, and after what he described as more interviews in one month than Elvis had done in his entire life, El-P was kind enough to talk about live hip hop, the hype-machine, and Paula Zahn.

MVRemix: How you feeling? I know you were sick last night.

El-P: Yeah. I’ve been running around like a maniac.

MVRemix: You still out in LA?

El-P: No, no. I just got back last night. MVRemix: Is this part of the tour or what?

El-P: Yeah, it’s the tour. Doing shows – it’s getting serious, you know. We just did six shows, then we go to Europe and then I come back to finish up the tour in the States, so, yeah, it’s officially on.

MVRemix: How’s the live thing working out?

El-P: It’s great. Incredible. Every show’s been sold out. We’ve taken our whole vibe and presentation way above and beyond what I ever thought was possible.

MVRemix: So the material’s been translating well to the stage?

El-P: It certainly does.

MVRemix: Tell me a little bit about your band.

El-P: It’s great. We’ve got an amazing lighting director, sound man. He does a bunch of projection work. The shit’s ill, man.

MVRemix: This album’s so conceptual in nature. How are you approaching the whole live set-up? Track by track, or are you trying to do the whole album straight-up?

El-P: Well, you know, you pick and choose — what you think are good performance songs. We’re not doing the entire record, but a lot of the record. At this point it’s really cool because I don’t have to do a bunch of old songs from other records. And, I think the way we’re approaching the live show — the theatricality of it — we can just do the new material and get out there with it. You know, it’s definitely a work in progress, but I guarantee it’s unlike any other hip hop show out there.

MVRemix: It’s cool that you’re taking on this whole world tour right now. Do you feel like the live hip hop thing is lacking in general?

El-P: Yeah. I’m trying to destroy that whole idea. Absolutely. I think the problem is people don’t take their shit seriously in hip hop. People don’t have any sense of theatricality. People don’t invest their money into the show. See, in the rock world they say, hey, let’s take all of our money from this show and invest it into the next show.

MVRemix: Right.

El-P: To me, it makes so much sense. And so basically, that’s what I’m doing. You know, people don’t want to invest in the presentation — don’t want to take a sound guy, don’t want to take a lighting guy. You know, and I think most people do get a little bit more this way, rather than seeing the same shit. You know, you go, you see a few people on stage, there’s no lighting, there’s no anything, there’s no drama, there’s no costumes… [laughs]

MVRemix: Just a DJ and an MC…

El-P: And then you go to see a fucking rock show and there’s an intensity.

MVRemix: Pyrotechnics and shit…

El-P: It’s just the premise of a hip hop show, and I can’t really say it’s wrong. Most guys are just standing there rapping, and that’s cool and everything, but there are people out there doing much, much crazier shit, so, you know, if you’re trying to compete, you’re losing.

MVRemix: I’m bringing to mind the Mars Volta here. Are you bringing any of those guys, or any of your guests, on stage for this tour?

El-P: Well, no no. The Mars Volta tour put the idea in my head. I mean, when I started hanging out with them and seeing their shows, I was being like ‘Holy shit! How the fuck…’ I mean, the lighting alone… And they were like, ‘we spend every dime on these shows.’ And it made so much sense, because, you know, we’re trying to go somewhere here, but in the hip hop mentality, the indie hip hop mentality everyone’s trying to pinch their pennies so hard, and to me I’m like, look, let me put the fucking money into something that’s gonna step it up a little bit, even if it’s just a little bit.

MVRemix: Yeah.

El-P: If those motherfuckers could just buy a few fucking strobe lights… Anyway, I could talk about it forever, but that’s what I want to do — step it up a notch. You know, it’s a different type of show.

MVRemix: I’ve heard you talk in the past about the whole ‘visceral’ element of music, in terms of your approach to song writing and beat creation, and it seems to play into the live aspect too. Does that sound about right?

El-P: I want to play the music that I can actually lose my god damn mind on stage with. There are only two things in this whole music industry that are actually fun: making records and performing them. The rest is bullshit. I can’t spend two years working on a record and then just come out under some hot white lights. [Laughs] That’s not happening.

MVRemix: Is it nice to get away from your second life of managing the label, for a little while at least?

El-P: Um, yeah, you know, it’s definitely nice. And it’s weird. I’m not, like, use to being self-centered. I’ve forgotten what it feels like to actually, sort of, focus on myself. It’s hard for me, like shit. Even the amount of interviews I do. I mean, it’s like, I’ve probably done more interviews than Elvis has ever done (laughing), like, in the last month. It’s pretty cool. I’m just not use to it. My life in the past five years has been so much more about the cats I care about, helping them get their careers off the ground.

MVRemix: Right.

El-P: But I will say that, yeah. It’s nice mostly because I have a piece of art that I’m excited about. And I also feel like, when my records come out, I get to kind of be the prototype of the working ambitions I believe in.

MVRemix: People had been talking about this album for months before it came out. I mean, the hype-machine was huge. How do you think that’s affected the way you’ve approached it? It’s such a personal album, but at the same time you’re forced to be out in the open so much. How does that affect the way you approach the material?

El-P: It doesn’t affect the way I approach the material. The material is created in a vacuum, whether or not people like it. All you can do is make music that you’re proud of, and put everything you have into it. And when you’re done with that bitch, you can put it out, and know in your heart that you used everything you had at the time. Whether or not people like your shit or hate your shit, that’s really not the point. So, it doesn’t change me at all. But am I happy? Of course I’m happy that people are responding to the record the way they are.

MVRemix: Hey, did you see that Paula Zahn thing about a month ago? It was a special called “Hip Hop: Art or Poison?”

El-P: [Laughs] No. I mean this is nothing new. It’s a question that’s been asked ever since white culture found itself faced with black culture. It’s really about fear, like, who the fuck cares if someone’s asking the question of whether or not hip hop is poison? It’s the fact they used that phrase that shows they don’t know what they’re talking about? The question is, why is everyone so shocked that people are fucking reacting right now. I mean, you can only put out one million fucking cocaine booty-rap songs before someone says something about it. And, I hate to say the typical thing — like, what everyone already thinks I think anyway — but I like MC’s, I like rap music, mainstream, underground, fuck — if you’re nasty you’re nasty. So let’s stop pretending that this shit is dope. As far as I’m concerned, the only people who should be doing drug rap music are the Clipse.

MVRemix: Ok.

El-P: And why, you ask? But you didn’t ask. Because they’re dope MC’s. And they’ve got dope beats. And they’re better than everyone else at it. So, why doesn’t everyone else just go find another style? And people in the mainstream are reacting to this shit because they agree. Intellectually you can see that, of course, it’s kind of wack. And it does have a certain effect that people don’t like. But, that being said, they’re wrong. They’re wrong. They’re only seeing one aspect of it. I think we’re at this point where club music and club culture can again stand up and define what it means to be involved in this. And frankly, they’re going to have to. Once again we’re being asked to explain to everybody in the world who’s looking down through the most distorted lens, “Why exactly is it that we’re supposed to take you seriously? Why exactly is it that this is a positive thing?” And if we can’t answer that question and we can’t look people in the eye, then it’s only our fucking fault.

Original Article


Luke Haines – Off My Rocker At The Art School Bop review

by Todd E. Jones

A myriad of albums in 2007 possessed an insightful focus on England. Although not outwardly popular, Luke Haines uses his United Kingdom heritage as the backbone of his latest album. Recently, many artists have been sharing their view of England in their work. Front man from Gorillaz and Blur, Damon Album created a super group and released “The Good, The Bad, & The Queen”, an album that attempts to display a musical picture of contemporary life in England. Lily Allen’s debut album represents London (especially on her single, “LDN”). Respect them or not, other popular British artists who showcase their English background are Robbie Williams, Damien Rice, and Kasabian. Like any major city, there are the dark streets, sinister stories, and underground legends. Former lead singer for The Auteurs, Luke Haines is the epitome of England’s intelligent underground pop/rock music. He is not some bubblegum pop singer or boy band member. He is one of the most underrated artists of the time. His sharp wit is complemented by his knowledge of interesting subjects and clever lyricism.

Impressively prolific, Haines has been in multiple groups and has released a plethora of albums during the past decade. Originally, he was the front man for The Auteurs. Their bewildering albums include “New Wave”, “Now I’m A Cowboy”, “After Murder Park”, and “How I Learned To Love The Bootboys”. Some classic Auteurs songs include “Showgirl”, “The Rubettes”, “Everything You Say Will Destroy You”, and “Chinese Bakery”. While a member of the group, Haines also created a brilliant side-project titled Baader Meinhof, based on the 70’s German terrorist organization led by Andreas Baader. The concept album, “Baader Meinhof” is an under appreciated classic. Haines also formed Black Box Recorder with John Moore and Sarah Nixey. Black Box Recorder possessed all of the intelligent themes and vibes of The Auteurs, but Nixey’s commanding vocals created a wonderfully sexy sound. As a solo artist, Haines released “The Oliver Twist Manifesto” LP and the official soundtrack for the film, “Christie Malry’s Own Double Entry”. His discography became enormous. A magnificent collection of b-sides, outtakes, and radio sessions were compiled for the excellent 3 CD set, “Luke Haines Is Dead”. In 2007, Haines left Hut Records and signed to Degenerate Music. His new solo album, “Off My Rocker At The Art School Bop” is a collection of songs that represents England in a multitude of ways. While other British artists sing about the obvious elements such as poverty, drugs, war, and social life in England, Haines sings about England’s history, artists, and underground scenes. Although his references are not particularly well known, a little research proves that his topics are wonderfully fascinating. Basically, every single Luke Haines album is both entertaining and educational.

“Off My Rocker At The Art School Bop” adheres to the Luke Haines style and formula of his past work. Short and sweet, the album is comprised of 10 relatively tight songs. Some are very catchy, but others require repeat listens to gain full appreciation. All of the songs display his historic knowledge weaved together by a sharp sense of dark humor. The opening title track is a solid representation of the album’s sound. The guitar hook is hard yet not simple or annoying. The up tempo electronic rhythmic beat creates a somewhat dance-friendly atmosphere. In the chorus, Haines sings, “Can you feel the beat of my art?” The following track and 1st single, “Leeds United” is remarkably British. The arena rock style of the chorus displays an intense pride for Leeds. “The Heritage Rock Revolution” is the album’s only disappointing track. Haines uses his shadowy lyricism to express his love for rock music, “…I love rock and roll / I hope it never dies / Put it in a chocolate box / Wrap it up in cotton wool / and bury it alive…” Another song with deep British undertones, “All The English Devils” is surprisingly catchy and deliciously twisted. The bouncy melody truly makes the song multidimensional. Haines sings, “…All the English devils / Scourge of the little man / my beautiful devils / Just want a little romance…” As a lyricist, Haines always had a fascination with the villains of the world. In this song, he sounds so proud of his country’s treachery. “The Walton Hop” is a song about a popular Thames club that ran from the late 1950’s to the 1990’s. The upbeat track has a driving guitar melody with a bouncy chorus. The album’s finest moment, “Fighting In The City Tonight” is wonderful single. “…I’m so in love with you / I’ll never fall in love again / I’m a lover not a fighter / Our love I will defend…”, sings Haines during the chorus. The track perfectly captures the romance of violence. Towards the end of the song, his love for England is displayed again as he lists parts of Great Britain where he will be “fighting”. “Fighting In The City Tonight” is a perfect Luke Haines pop song that includes his menacing humor, an English grace, a masculine aggression, and a little romance. “Here’s To Old England” is another track that toasts his country. The song is overflowing with astute references about the country’s definitive attributes. Haines sings, “…Here’s to old England / Sliced white bread and milky tea / Sarcasm, a well developed sense of irony…” The odd track, “Freddie Mills Is Dead” continues to display his fascination about death and celebrities. The change in melody and tempo that occurs during the song’s bridge is a refreshing surprise. Another excellent song, “Secret Yoga” is somewhat reminiscent of “Sick Of Hari Krishna” (from “How I Learned To Love The Bootboys” LP). Hypnotically mesmerizing, “Secret Yoga” has melodic mantra for a hook, “Mountains are not mountains and the sun is not the sun…” Atmospherically wondrous, the song is open to multiple interpretations. The album’s closing track, “Bad Reputation” is not as powerful as the other songs that have closed his past albums. Melodically, the chorus has a magically lush sound. Lyrically, Haines sings about the horrible Garry Glitter and how he destroyed The Glitter Band.

England should be proud of Luke Haines. There will never be anyone like Luke Haines. Some hard rock artists sing about gloomy topics like murder and revolution, but their music can be blatantly noisy and obnoxious. In contrast, Haines sings about his dark topics over his graceful music. His music has an intelligent structure and sound but maintains a powerful edge. The guitar melodies and drum rhythms are hard enough to be aggressive, but the music is also sleek and stylish. This whole package accentuates the sinister beauty of his art. “Off My Rocker At The Art School Bop” by Luke Haines is another fine collection of addictively rich songs. Unfortunately, the LP does not possess the same sinister potency of “The Oliver Twist Manifesto” or his soundtrack for “Christie Malry’s Own Double Entry”. Although the sinister themes and astute wit is evident, “Off My Rocker At The Art School Bop” is not as deliciously evil as his previous solo work. Luke Haines uses obscure yet interesting references known by few people. Could Luke Haines become like one of those people he mentions? Will there only be a few people who are familiar with this artist’s amazing work? Regardless of fame, Haines is a brilliantly unique artist who creates enthralling and timeless British indie-rock music. Any fan of his music will appreciate his latest solo effort. “Off My Rocker At The Art School Bop” represents the true underworld and unpublicized side of England. Cheers to Mr. Haines!

Original Article

MVRemix in The Source

Taken from December 2006, but just in case you missed it…