Art/Roots Ashtray Chat Music

Echo & The Bunnymen – Full Concert – Liverpool – 2009

This band, one of my most beloved of the long lost 80’s, effectively died for me w/ 1990’s Reverberation which featured a shitty replacement singer and hooks lifted straight from The Stone Roses, the reigning alt guitar gods of the day. So when the reunited Echo released Evergreen in 1997, I flat-out ignored it, despite the avalanche of praise the album received. No, strike that “despite;” I ignored Evergreen because of the praise which i took for mere corporate-funded hype. I was (and remain) a cynical prick. So I ignored all the subsequent releases as well, all five of them, all the way up to Meteorites (2014). Which strikes me as odd, writing this now. Cynical as I am, I have never been so steadfastly incurious about a band or writer or artist or filmmaker who once gave me pleasure. And man, I loved Echo’s first four albums so much, and maybe that was my problem. Those first four albums were the incessant soundtrack for a very potent period of my life, two C90 BSAF cassette dupes that were always in my car or in my stereo’s deck and played endlessly at 11 while I nursed a broken heart and endured Earth-shattering disappointments and shit like that. Yeah, this is something we can all relate to: one really can love something or someone too much. Duh.

Anyway, Echo came up in casual conversation the other day at The Creep’s new dayjob, and in the course of the chat a deep embarrassment fell over me like a lead-weighted net: one of my favorite bands, huh, yet I had willfully thumbed my nose at their last six albums? My poor widdle heart had healed a long time ago, I was a big boy now. I resolved to give the “new” Echo albums a spin.

I was pleasantly shocked.

The material felt familiar, yet new! That special, original and unique spark was still there! (Yes I’m making fun of myself.) Bottom line: the music was good. Very good. A certain band couldn’t hurt me. “That was long ago in another country, and I am a different man. Besides, the bitch is dead.” Chesterton. I think.

In the course of my explorations youtube kindly shoved this live performance from 2009 down my throat, and I said “Thank you sir may I have another.” This is an enormous concert, recorded right off the sound board so if somebody fucked up it would have been a sonic Nagasaki but amazingly there is not a single misstep, the entire gig is “note perfect.”


Here’s to resiliency, and new beginnings, and healed hearts. Aaw.


Ashtray Chat HEXES the sunday spectra

HEXES: The Votes Are In! And The Winner Is…


Comp C by a hair. Note corrected/improved setting of features.

The runner up was…


Comp B. A favorite of many, including me. Rest assured, this will be a HEXES cover sometime in the future.

Some notes.

The features “Echo and The Bunnymen LIVE” and “Sexy Girls” will be dropped from this issue and replaced by a shout-out for the new BIG CLICK featuring an essay by Barry Graham and a new exciting daily blog post by Matthew Kressel, 36 Days of Judaic Myth; Day 1 features Lilith.Sexy Girls” will no longer appear in HEXES but move instead to that “other” webzine we infrequently pub, ANGRY MORON, a much more appropriate space to squat. HEXES is a zine of class (we hope); a feature like “Sexy Girls,” an unashamedly borderline misogynistic gallery that caters to The Male Gaze has no real place in HEXES. Unlike all the other “respectful” pics of sexy witches and shit, right?

The Echo concert and the intended Sexy Girls gallery will run as separate stand-alone posts later today.

Thanks again for voting, thanks to everybody who got the word out!

And that is all for this hour. Carry on. To Arms. Up the Irons. Keep Calm and Kill Zombies, etc.