SILENCE! #232

July 14th, 2017

“SOME LIKE IT SCOTT!”

With The Family Beast still busy chewing on cigars with the big boys of Amazon “Optimus” Prime, mere minutes away from negotiating a deal that will see them broadcast into living rooms and pockets across the world, Gary Lactus is forced to do the one thing he didn’t want to do…. negotiate with the Skype-inept monsters of Mindless North for a second episode running.

Despite the usual technical problems that occur when North and South try to get together – blame Nicola Sturgeon for nationalising Scottish Skype in a better reality! – Gary Lactus is joined by Illogical Volume and Mister Attack, their shirts wet with rain, their bellies full of macaroni and rage.

<ITEM!> Who sponsors Gary Lactus? Some guy called Dave.  Who sponsors the sponsemen?  Fuck it, I dunno, Geoff Johns probably.

<ITEM!> The gang discuss the recent Small Press Day, the life changing/band forming dangers of encountering strange works by shifty creators in darkened rooms and the explosive properties of turtles.

<ITEM!> Shifting effortlessly out of the classical forms he has already mastered and into the new realm of Perhaps, R. Gary R.R.R. Lactus presents his new science fiction masterpiece: A Westworld.

<ITEM! > The question of who the nicest Mindless One is raised again.  Will Illogical Volume prove that he is actually a callow, cynical monster whose whole existence is a lie perpetrated against human decency by actually holding a twitter poll to determine whether people think he is nicer than Mister Attack?  Only time will tell.

 

<ITEM!> In SILENCE!…Because The Film Has Started, Gary Lactus is surprised by Spider-Man: Homecoming, and the Scottish are grumpy about Marvel movies and enthusiastic about gingers and ants.

<ITEM!> With all the relevant admin taken care of, the trio dive arse-first into the Reviewniverse for purposeful wallow in the  inky pleasures of comics.  John Allison’s Giant Days, new non-hierarchical/anonymous arts project SLABAl Ewing, Dan Brown and Travel Foreman’s Ultimates 2 (which Illogical Volume has finally started to read!), Craig Collins’ Oubliette, Hot Trash Dimension and Ross Geller Fanzine, the cosy era of the Justice LeagueGumby comics, and the wonderful info-comics produced by the University of Glasgow’s Wellcome Centre for Molecular Parasitology.

After making a speedy exit from the Reviewniverse, the team take a brief detour through the pages of Show Call…

…and tolerate Illogical Volume promoting Cut-Out Witch (drawn by the wonderful Lynne Henderson), Looking Glass Heights and Living Rent before heading off in search of more dinner.

 

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This edition of SILENCE! is proudly sponsored by the greatest comics shop on the planet, DAVE’S COMICS of Brighton. It’s also sponsored the greatest comics shop on the planet GOSH! Comics of London.

It must be strange to be in Mogwai, and to read reviews that chastise you for sounding too much and not enough like yourself.  It’s a familiar pattern, but then Mogwai are a familiar band these days.  Perhaps that’s the problem: when they started out with the ten minute songs and the Blur: Are Shite t-shirts and the Bucky rage they were easier to idolise.  Eight albums in, they’re a more difficult journalistic proposition.  As comfortable noise merchants, opinionated men who are adamant that their music carries no pre-determined meaning, purveyors of defiantly mainstream art rock, what exactly are we supposed to make of Mogwai in 2014?

These concerns seem relevant in blog posts and in music magazines, but in the context of January’s show at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall they seemed utterly meaningless, even absurd.  It’s an observation that’s tired enough to seem trite by now, but Mogwai are one of those bands who you really need to see live in order to fully appreciate.  2010′s Special Moves is an excellent simulation of the band’s live dynamics that doubles as a testament to the quality of their later work, but even played at an absurdly high volume it never threatens to capture Mogwai’s true range.

There’s something in the grain of Mogwai’s live show that’s never quite made it onto their records.  It’s in that washed out, trebley guitar sound that starts out sounding like an inner ear itch and then grows until it batters you bodily.  The physical impact of this noise would be near-impossible to recreate without the help of plush PAs like the one in the Concert Hall, but you can hear an echo of it Mogwai’s quieter recorded moments – it haunts Happy Songs for Happy People and provides the undercurrent of barely controlled rage in their soundtrack to Douglas Gordon’s Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, for example.  You can hear it on Rave Tapes too, but what was merely a whispered rumour on the album version of opener ‘Heard About You Last Night’ is screamed loud enough to ruin hairlines and destroy reputations in concert.  

Speaking of damaged reputations, click here if you want to see me do more violence to my own!

Despite my seeming full mental breakdown after the first issue of Transformers: Regeneration One, I held on to my sanity well enough to continue buying it on a monthly basis.  Didn’t take long for a feeling to creep in that, beyond the initial shock, things were maybe… Off the boil? I continued to buy it more out of a sense of nostalgic loyalty than any actual engagement.  After all, who doesn’t want to see the creators of their childhood iconography still get paid, in this crazy work for hire world?

(assuming they haven’t espoused something morally dubious or engaged in something horrible)