June 16, 2004

met him pike hoses (o rocks!)

Happy 100th anniversary of Bloomsday, everyone. 17 years ago, when I first read Ulysses (thank you, Prof. Frances Restuccia), I thought: "On June 16, 2004, I must be in Dublin!" And then I figured that 1) every hotel in the city would be booked up for months in advance, 2) there would be tens of thousands of people trying to follow Bloom's peregrination, 2a) woe betide anybody walking barefoot on Sandymount Strand after 9 PM or so, and 2b) while all the Bloomlets were out eating their mashed potatoes and liver gravy, "Blazes" Boylan would be making time with their spouses. As it turns out, a friend of mine is in Dublin right now on her honeymoon, but I'm here on my couch, listening to Edie go "Mkgnao!"

The closest I'm getting is the British Isles writ large--but hey, Manchester's just like Dublin, except without the Liffey and with a big "North-West Gas" sign.* Tools You Can Trust"s "Messy Body Thrust" (removed) was the B-side of the second single by this Manchester band--there's a good early article about them here. They were originally a duo (as I think they are here), and later went on to accumulate a few other members, and make at least one album and a videotape called "The Tools for Better Labour." This song's clangorous and wild-eyed, the sound of a couple of people freaking out in a room full of sheet metal. It was released in 1983, and in some ways it's definitely post-Flowers of Romance, but it's also got that '80-'81 D.I.Y. attitude I love so much, and the vibe of the early bands that came out of the Manchester Musicians Collective (the Diagram Brothers, the Mud Hutters... perhaps we'll hear some of them here at some point). Thanks to Ben Stedman for permission to post this. (And can I encourage people who are enjoying the MP3s to comment, please?)

*This is totally not true.

Posted by Douglas at June 16, 2004 12:03 AM | TrackBack

I've been downloading, but haven't had a chance to listen to all of them until now.

That Shams song is great. I've never liked what I heard of Amy Rigby much so never even thought to check them out.

Posted by: Aaron on June 16, 2004 9:58 AM

Some really interesting tracks on here so far. "Thug Parade" was blowing my mind until I heard Tools You Can Trust and felt like I was stuffed in a garbage can and tossed down a flight of stairs.

Posted by: Scott on June 16, 2004 12:11 PM
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