Whiskey on Sunday & tears on our cheeks: Pour one out for Pogue Shane MacGowan

I first heard the Pogues at age 15 on KXCI’s Sunday afternoon Celtic Crosscurrents present. 

Shane MacGowan and firm had been incessantly on the playlist of this “conventional” music present, which balanced the same old Irish and Scottish people ballads and British Isles proto-prog with a heavy dose of post-punk-era Celtic rock ala Large Nation, Sizzling Home Flowers, the Waterboys, the Alarm, early U2 and the like. 

The present additionally all the time snuck in a little bit of sedition as properly, together with a weekly sign-off insulting the Queen and Margaret Thatcher. However that is one other story.

A number of listens in, and my teenage self managed to get to the document retailer to accumulate a cassette copy of “If I Ought to Fall From Grace With God.” I might need skipped a cafeteria lunch or two to provide you with the funds, however it was price it. 

I wore that tape out, my soul alight on the melodic cacophony of songs like “Fiesta,” “Turkish Tune of the Damned,” and “Sit Down By The Fireplace,” fists shaking in righteous indignation on the injustice cataloged in “Streets Of Sorrow” and the immigrant plight of “Hundreds Are Crusing,” coronary heart breaking within the areas of the lyrics of “Lullaby of London,” “Fairytale of New York,” and the gloriousness that’s “Broad Majestic Shannon.” 

Extra good albums made their method into my assortment through the years. Specifically, the remainder of the Pogues catalog (“Rum, Sodomy and the Lash” being the very best) and the primary couple Shane MacGowan and the Popes compilations. The music remained a part of my perpetual consolation soundtrack for years on finish. My notions of the person behind all of it had been combined, as I think about was the case for a lot of followers.

Fellow Pogue Spider Stacy’s memoir of life with the band, which I learn just a few years again, paints an image of Shane that ought to shock none of us. A gifted and good lyricist, deep thinker and prolific reader. A proficient, however inconsistent (and generally sloppy) musician. A beneficial however tough good friend and coworker, the best way that addicts so typically could be.

I bear in mind being gutted watching a stumbling, slurred and all however unintelligible Shane carry out with  the Popes on the previous IFC Henry Rollins present within the early 2000s. I used to be conversely overjoyed to see MacGowan’s biopic documentary of a decade or so in the past, during which he documented his proud Irish heritage, tough London youth, his life as a musician and rabble-rouser and his efforts to kind of get his shite collectively. 

In his final decade, with the assistance of his accomplice and eventual spouse, Victoria Mary Clarke, the previous bandleader mounted his famously damaged tooth, weaned off of gear and appeared to have discovered some peace finally till just a few days in the past, when a extensively publicized hospital mattress picture of MacGowan started to make the rounds of social media.

Regardless of a optimistic spin by Clarke, celebrating Shane’s launch from the hospital, a cursory look at his sickly pallor and rail skinny countenance made it clear that our man was not lengthy for this world. And, certain sufficient, right now the information got here as anticipated. 

Shane MacGowan has died and the world is poorer for phrases right now. Increase a glass of no matter is your poison, and grin like a madman, even when your smile is lower than good.

The Walrus is John Polle

Tucson musician John Polle (Whispering Wires, Dirk Wednesday, Monsignor Wednesday’s Guitar Mass) simply is perhaps the toughest working multi-instrumentalist in Tucson music as of late. Working example: the newest releases from Polle’s present tasks the Web sites and the Gem Present, each of that are, or will quickly be, accessible in your listening (and buying) pleasure this vacation season.

The Web sites – “Hit Counter”

First on deck is the newest by the Web sites, a duo composed of John Polle (aka “John 1.0”) on drums and vocals and John Sweeden (“John 2.0”) on “guitar and riffs,” are a band that’s on the one hand crazy-talented and catchy as hell, and alternatively inherently ridiculous. 

Within the custom of bonkers geniuses just like the Lifeless Milkmen, They Would possibly Be Giants and the Beastie Boys, the Web sites couldn’t write a “critical” lyric to avoid wasting their lives, however are simply as unlikely to play a foul stay present any time on this specific universe. The thematic content material of their output consists of odes and laments to digital dwelling, with matters starting from malware to on-line buying to the hunt for human customer support interplay.

“Hit Counter,” the cyber-themed pair’s second EP, reiterates the band’s signature promise to interrupt up and cease performing in trade for a million (after taxes) so for those who do not agree that this is without doubt one of the extra entertaining native data you have heard shortly, you sort of have recourse. For a worth.

The remainder of us broke native document collectors will do exactly wonderful to seize a digital copy of this little gem and benefit from the Devo meets Beefheart occasions the B52s vibe of such tunes as “AI Captain,” “1-800-LIf-Hack,” and the additional particular weirdness that’s “Dolphin Simulator.” 

The Gem Present – “A Mountain”

I’ve seen the long run and it’s on coloured vinyl.

Full disclosure right here, for the reason that final time I reviewed a launch by Tucson’s the Gem Present, your pleasant neighborhood music scribe has developed a kind of a band sibling relationship with the band as two bandmates of mine (Tony BallZ of Spitegeist and Stephanie Levi of Not Sorry, respectively) are at present within the stay lineup for the group, together with Exbats/Wanda Junes/No Stones alum Bobby Carlson. 

Does this make a distinction in my evaluation of the Gem Present’s music? 

That is for you  to say, expensive reader. Whereas Tony and Bobby (in addition to recording engineer Jim Waters) do make important musical contributions to this document, as a bandleader John Polle tends to jot down, document and infrequently play the majority of what finally ends up on any given Gem Present album, together with the upcoming launch “A Mountain.” Thus, I would daresay that the purpose is moot this time round.

Moot. However undoubtedly not mute.

That is music greatest performed LOUD. 

Whereas the Web sites are winking and playful, the Gem Present is power-pop-flavored storage rock, critical as the guts assault Polle generally seems to be having mid-gig whence within the depths of intense on-stage drummer/vocalist gymnastics.

The principle bandmate-in-law privilege your trusty reporter does lay declare to is having seen the take a look at urgent and heard the whole thing of the album. It is a banger.

However till you get your sizzling little document hoarding fingers upon the coloured vinyl launch, you may try the title monitor “A Mountain” on Bandcamp within the sidebar of this very column.

Keep tuned till subsequent time for extra document evaluations from Tucson’s best, together with Freezing Arms, Class and extra. And within the meantime…

Verify your native listings…

In case you’ve received a gig developing and you would like your occasion listed on this house (or in case your native band has a serious announcement or a brand new launch) drop me a line at [email protected].

Have a gig that I did not record? Discuss with my earlier column Tucson Sounds: I hate the ‘Gram – a neighborhood music love story for this columnist’s ideas on the present state of native music promotion. 

And attempt to hit me up subsequent time, so I do know.

Friday, Dec 1

  • The Working Folks, Sewer Bitch, Alex Wilkerson and Them – 10pm @ Che’s Lounge

Saturday, Dec 2

  • Buckets, Shit Knife, Excessive Rise II – 7pm @ Blondie’s
  • A Winter’s Night with Ryanhood – 7pm Resort Congress

Sunday, Dec 3

  • Gnarwhal JRZ, the Soiled Licks, Debra’s Home – 8pm @ Thunder Canyon Brewery
  • Black Cat Bones – 4:30pm @ Resort Congress
  • Laura Jean Band – 4pm @ Che’s Lounge

Tuesday, Dec 5

  • Steve Roach’s Ambient Lounge – 7pm @ Resort Congress

Thursday, Dec 7

  • Outlaw Mariachi – 7pm Resort Congress

Coming Quickly…

Gem Present, Drunk Bastard Glee Membership, Saguaronauts – Friday Dec 8, 9pm @ Brodie’s

Thelma and the Sleaze, Stuntdriver, Lenguas Largas – Saturday Dec 9, 8pm @ 191 Toole

Money Lansky, Large Ox, Cruz Ocho, KlassicMCee – Saturday Dec 9, 8pm @@ Thunder Canyon Brewery