SOME STUFFS: Andrew Poppy to release new album, followed by a three-night concert series in London

The first time I heard of Andrew Poppy was in the mid-1980’s, when I was absorbing and collecting anything and everything that was Zang Tuum Tumb. Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Art Of Noise, Propaganda, das psych oh rangers, Anne Pigalle, all of it. Then came The Beating Of Wings (or The Cheating Of Things or The Seating Of Kings, depending on how you looked at the album cover equation). At the same time I was becoming more familiar with Frank Zappa’s works and that was the closest thing I had to classical music stepping out of the classical norm. This was adventurous and while I had no idea at the time what to call it, I found myself loving it. “32 Frames For Orchestra” seemed to be a piece that could go on and on, the mixture of 4/4 and 3/4 time signatures in “Listening In” was incredible, and “Cadenza” was brilliant as it seemed to be focused on a musical phrase that would slowly peel itself until it placed a focus on a singular note. Over time I found myself liking certain styles of music for different music, be it jazz, progressive rock, or hip-hop, and would later discover that the drones I admired and what some would call monotonous was called minimalism. When I started exploring the music of Terry Riley, I got into his composition “In C”, which lead to me discovering that Poppy’s “Cadenza” was in honor of Riley and “In C”. It made me appreciate The Beating Of Wings and his other works even more.

Poppy will be releasing an album on the 27th of November called Shiny Floor Shiny Ceiling (Field Radio), and for this he has collaborated with Claudia Brücken, James Gilchrist, Guillermo Rozenthuler, Margaret Cameron, Lula Pena and Bernardo Devlin, which means the album is a mixture of music and voices, and before the album is released, Poppy will be doing a three-night stand at the Jackson Lane Theatre in London from November 8-10th, highlighting the new release.

A review of Shiny Floor Shiny Ceiling is forthcoming.

RECORD CRACK: P.S. I Love You – Propaganda’s “Duel”

As an avid fan of the Zang Tuum Tumb (ZTT) empire, I enjoyed obtaining anything and (almost) everything the label released from 1983 to about 1987. One of the primary groups of ZTT’s early days was Propaganda, and sadly they did not make a major or minor dent in the United States, despite the fact that they made some incredible music.

“Duel” was the second single by the group, and the first single to be released in the U.S. on ZTT/Island. The painting was done by photographer Anton Corbijn, while the photo of vocalist Claudia Brücken was shot by David Levine. If you bought the 12″, it would feature vocalist Susanne Freytag in an equal photo of rage. Two sexy women getting angry? Awesome. As a Corbijn fan and a huge fan of how ZTT designed their covers, this just worked for me. Plus, when you bought the record, you could hear the calm synthpop of “Duel”, flip the record over and then year the much angrier take of the same song, but called “Jewel”.

The group would go on to release a few more singles (including “P-Machinery”) but outside of “Dr. Mabuse” being used during the intro to the film Some Kind Of Wonderful and “Duel” being used in mid-1980’s promos, Propaganda’s impact in North America was close to non-existent. Brücken would move on with a number of other projects and do work under her own name, but for me, it goes back to the glory of “Duel”.

SOME STUFFS: The Buggles go live in the age of digital

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Even though both Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes have played live countless times with the various projects they’ve worked with, including the brief time they were together with Yes, they have never played a full-length show as The Buggles. There have been isolated performances, including the 2004 Prince’s Trust Concert and a ZTT shwocase in the 1990’s, but that’s it. Along with original member Bruce Woolley, they are about to change that with a London concert they’re calling The Lost Gig.

Unless you’re in London or plan on traveling there, the September 28th show at the Supperclub (12 Acklam Road) will be the only chance you’ll get to see this historic event. The group will be playing The Age Of Plastic in full, which means a chance to hear not only “Video Killed The Radio Star”, but also “Living In The Plastic Age”, but “Astro Boy”, “Clean, Clean”, and the almighty “I Love You Miss Robot”. Horn, Downes, and Woolley also promise “special guests’ to join them.

On top of that, Orchestral Man0euvers In The Dark will be opening up, and sitting in with them will be Claudia Brucken of Propaganda fame.

Outside of reuniting for reuniting’s sake, there is a special cause behind this performance, as it is a benefit show to raise funds for the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability. All proceeds both from The Lost Gig and accompanying online auction will be donated to the hospital.

You can find out about tickets by clicking to See Tickets.

(Mahalo to Matt Verrill for corrections.)