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Viv Albertine autobiog

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:55 pm
by AndyM
Judging by this review from Suzanne Moore, sounds like something to read --

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/m ... ine-review

Re: Viv Albertine autobiog

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:14 pm
by Adam Blake
Great that Viv has written it all down. (Well, not quite all. There was that funny bloke who taught her how to play her own guitar riffs when she had forgotten how to play them herself, having literally not played guitar for 25 years. I think he gets left out of the story. Probably just as well.)

Re: Viv Albertine autobiog

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:01 am
by john poole

Re: Viv Albertine autobiog

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:22 am
by NickH
There was that funny bloke who taught her how to play her own guitar riffs when she had forgotten how to play them herself, having literally not played guitar for 25 years.

During a recent Brighton Festival Q&A, Viv was saying Keith Levene taught her to play the guitar initially. Apparently a large part of the book is about life after the Slits, so plenty of opportunity for her second guitar tutor to put in an appearance too!

Re: Viv Albertine autobiog

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:43 am
by Adam Blake
I only gave her three or four lessons. That's all she needed. The pleasure for me was in hearing her start sounding like Viv Albertine in my living room. Once she had done that, she was off and away.

Re: Viv Albertine autobiog

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:30 pm
by Garth Cartwright
She was on Robert Elms yesterday and mentioned not playing for 25 years and teaching herself by sitting around the kitchen table practising. So I think your efforts have been airbrushed out, Adam. Artists love to sound like they did it all themselves - when Willy DeVille wanted to record Hey Joe he figured it as like The Leaves version but his producer took him to an LA Mexican restaurant and showed him a great mariachi band and suggested he cut it with them. Of course once it was a hit Willy claimed it was all his idea!

I'm amazed she sounds so home counties! I went on Spotify and had a listen to the Slits again and they sounded as awful as ever - very popular with my punk clique when I was 16, especially some of the girls, one particularly beautiful girl used to put glue in her hair and dress in requisite rags - i always wonder what she turned into once she outgrew punk. A couple of them took it all too seriously and died young. I guess people value them for their pioneering female rock vision. It can't be for the music. Their version of Heard It Through The Grapevine is torture.

Re: Viv Albertine autobiog

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:10 pm
by Adam Blake
Garth Cartwright wrote: I think your efforts have been airbrushed out, Adam. Artists love to sound like they did it all themselves


Oh most definitely! Imagine the embarrassment of a Feminist Icon going to A MAN to re-learn how to play their own riffs.

As for The Slits music, you know we will never agree there. I love their music. They were completely original - as very, very few acts were. I offer Exhibit A:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSB7fejYaXw

And Exhibit B, from which Bjork seemed to fashion large chunks of her artistic career:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXE5N-Fu4R0

Re: Viv Albertine autobiog

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:46 pm
by Chris P
Garth Cartwright wrote: It can't be for the music. Their version of Heard It Through The Grapevine is torture.


Have always really liked their music and still do. Their version of Grapevine is a favourite single.

http://youtu.be/Bac2wHZoT2Y

Re: Viv Albertine autobiog

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:04 pm
by NickH
Thanks for the Robert Elms tip, Garth. I don't like the sound of the expensive wine bar (£10 for a glass of wine!) selected by Viv in her Listed Londoner spot, but she's right about Cafe Oto being a great venue.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0206ppx
Adam's 'Exhibit B' is from the often overlooked excellent 2nd LP by the Slits. I fear Garth may remain unconvinced though.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwP9_ZX7OR0

Re: Viv Albertine autobiog

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:31 am
by Adam Blake
NickH wrote: the often overlooked excellent 2nd LP by the Slits.


Yeah, they didn't have any difficult 2nd album syndrome . I actually like the 2nd one better than "Cut" on a musical level, but "Cut" was so important to me in the early 80s. It was one of those records, like Patti Smith's "Horses" and The Modern Lovers 1st album (the one with "Hospital" and "Roadrunner" on it), that defined what kind of person you wanted to be as much as what kind of a person you didn't want to be. Squatting wasn't very romantic, but I do have fond memories of painting my room green to the sound of "Cut", with the sound of Dr Alimantado's "Best Dressed Chicken In Town" or This Heat's "Health And Efficiency" blasting out from the room downstairs while girls in shapeless dungarees and cruel haircuts would come and offer stoned lectures on the necessity of separatism in a patriarchal society. It was almost as much fun as could be had in 1981.

This one takes me straight back there. "Infatuated by madness..."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tI7aM0eKcg

Re: Viv Albertine autobiog

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:28 am
by Garth Cartwright
OK Adam, I listened to both your Youtube links and remain very unconvinced. The Slits are like The Fall - either you buy into their "genius" or you find them so incompetent, so tuneless, so full of themselves that you wonder what anyone sees in 'em. I do quite like some of the rhythms on Cut but as that's Budgie and Bovell best not mention it here. Can't stand Bjork so she may well have based her career on Viv's lot.I enjoy a lot of primitive rock - from Link Wray to The Cramps to The Runaways to Swell Maps and Blue Cheer and The Clean etc - but that stuff works cos it has a dynamic and a sense of fun. Pretentious primitivism just doesn't do it for me.

Re: Viv Albertine autobiog

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:40 am
by Chris P
Garth Cartwright wrote:cos it has a dynamic and a sense of fun


The Slits' dynamic is there, it's just different - not a 4/4 with epic swells like most - as for 'sense of fun', their music is full of theirs

Re: Viv Albertine autobiog

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:42 am
by Adam Blake
I am not trying to convince you, Garth. I love The Slits. You hate them. Your loss, bro. I don't like AC-DC or Aerosmith. My loss, I'm sure. What a boring world it would be if we all agreed on the same music. But I wish you wouldn't be quite so insulting. It's unnecessary and makes genuine dialogue more difficult.

Re: Viv Albertine autobiog

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:43 pm
by Chris P
In the Beginning, 11 minute Peel session version:

http://youtu.be/sHUJ3cxwm4k

freakin delightfully delovely. One of the best songs of the era imo

Re: Viv Albertine autobiog

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:10 pm
by Adam Blake
Chris P wrote:In the Beginning, 11 minute Peel session version:


Ha ha! Nice one, Chris. With Neneh Cherry, who was even younger than Ari at the time. Much as this puts a big smile on my face, I prefer the single version that came out on Y Records with The Pop Group on the other side. (I never played The Pop Group side...)

("Silence is a rhythm too..." I can't help thinking John Cage would have been chuckling.)