Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Soundproof, Joolz, and the New Model Army: 1980's nostalgia on Youtube

So, actually, Justin Sullivan of the New Model Army is not such a hard man to get hold of after all. We spoke this weekend and I'm in the process of transcribing the interview (while paying a buddy to transcribe Nels Cline, so I can get that off ASAP... please don't even ask about the Her Jazz Noise Collective piece...). More on that later. With the NMA on my mind, I did some surfing on Youtube and found three clips of note:

A) The original trio, of Sullivan-Morrow-Heaton (RIP), playing "No Rest," in 1985. This very video clip was my first exposure in any form to the New Model Army, when it was played on Soundproof, the Shaw equivalent of Night Dreams, a 1980's cable-access TV show that I used to watch religiously. I must have seen it shortly after it was filmed - because I was still in high school, I know that, and I graduated in 1986; I taped it on my parents' VCR, and rushed into the city to buy as many of their LPs as possible (No Rest and Vengeance, at that point; I bought The Ghost of Cain when it came out). Having fallen utterly for their raw/ rough/ real look, I was so immensely put off by the professional, MTV-friendly video of "Stupid Questions" a few years later that I decided, good punk that I was, that the band had sold out - and stopped buying their albums for several years, only picking up Thunder and Consolation and all subsequent albums upon my return from Japan, in 2002; hard to believe, because it's just great (as are The Love of Hopeless Causes, Eight, and High, my three favourites of their later studio output). To Sullivan's credit, he looks uncomfortable in the extreme in the more polished video... seems to be trying to keep his back to the camera, and positively blushing in embarrassment when it finds him. The contrast between his self-presentation between these two clips, filmed within five years of each other, could not be more dramatic. (They're still an amazing live band, btw).

B) I've also been thinking of New Model Army affiliate Joolz Denby (Sullivan's partner, the cover artist for most of their albums and singles, and - among other things, a poet, novelist, and tattoo artist). She was another person to whom I was introduced via Soundproof, where I remember her reading poetry and showing off her tattoos, which were plentiful and striking even back then. Turns out that there's a clip of the various antics of the Soundproof veejays and guests on Youtube, and that Joolz appears in it, briefly popping up around 3:40 in to say the words "the womb of some ghetto virgin," from one of those readings that made such an impression (truth be known, Joolz and the New Model Army were the only bands that Soundproof really broke, for me - I already knew about most of the other bands they played, or would find out about them elsewise. The show was still invaluable - as a teeanger stuck in Maple Ridge, I seldom made it to gigs, which usually weren't all-ages and often ended after the last bus left for the 'burbs. By the way, the guy who says "I'm sober" just after the split-second of Joolz looks to be Limey Dave of Tupelo Chain Sex, who sorely need to have their back catalogue - especially Spot the Difference - re-issued on CD).

Anyhow, I hope to have something on the Furies' show last weekend up in a day or two. But then I think I need to work on some non-blog stuff, so I may be a bit invisible here for awhile.


C O said...

Unrelated, but I figure you'd be into it:


Survive Style 5+ at blim. Yay blim, japanese absurd cinema and region-free dvd players!

ammacinn said...

I do like Blim and Survive Style 5+ sounds special - but I'm feeling like a homebody this weekend - finish transcribing the New Model Army, relax, do my laundry...

Found a more recent Joolz clip on Youtube that makes a delightful contrast to the one above, where she's talking about the buildings of Bradford, England (where she and Justin Sullivan live):


Anonymous said...

Yes, In fact, that Is Limey Dave for a split second saying, "I'm Sober". Also the rest of Tupelo Chain Sex is i the shot. Right lower corner Willie McNeil, Right upper corner Stumuk, Right lower corner Do "Sugarcane" Harris, and I'm leaning down into the mike behind Dave. trying to say something stupid probably. Wish I could see that whole interview. I have absolutely no recollection of doing it!

Thanks For The Good Memories,

"Tupelo Joe" Altruda