All posts tagged: Adam & The Ants

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LET THERE BE DRUMS: An Interview With David Barbarossa

David Barbarossa is, undoubtedly, a man of many skins.  He was part of the early punk scene as drummer in the original line-up of Adam and The Ants.  As we all know, when Malcolm McLaren took the band’s managerial reins, he took the Ants and created the now-equally-famous Bow Wow Wow, for whom Dave drummed, with those famous tribal rhythms, until their split in 1983.  He later played with Norman Cook’s Beats International, Republica and Chicane.  Last year, he wrote and released his debut book (which was reviewed on Popdose).  The semi-autobiographical novel, Mud Sharks, met with a great deal of acclaim and appreciation at the warmth of such a personal and powerful piece.  Now, this seemingly tireless legend is back behind the drums with singer Eva Menon and synth programmer David Harman in the highly energetic, dance charged Cauldronated, who have just released their debut EP, the aptly titled Buy This Thing. I recently had the good fortune of catching up with Dave for a few minutes and had the opportunity to ask him …

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BOOK REVIEW: “Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists & Songs That Defined The 1980’s” by Lori Majewski & Jonathan Bernstein

  This book is a proverbial “Top Of The Pops” greatest hits – most of which can be looked upon with a warm nostalgic smile as “’80’s Top 40” pop but not “new wave”.  Calling it “new wave”  is very misleading.  Many of the bands who are in this 300-plus page volume made their entry into the music world via the immediate post-punk era or flirted with punk-era bands, but this is all pop.  In many ways, what makes it a pleasant read are the authors’ commentaries, as it’s their memories and deep appreciation of these songs and bands that are the driving motivators of this book. Some of these bands – such as Devo – started off with more subversive ideas and intentions – but most became fleeting “pop stars” (to use the U.K. term) or popular for a moment. A lot of one-hit wonders, which is, in truth, what this is when you look at their careers in the United States:  Spandau Ballet (who I genuinely like), ABC, Kajagoogoo.  None of these bands …

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VIDEO (DOUBLE) EXPOSURE: Loveland Duren, “Birthmarks”; Cauldronated, “Ibossa”

It’s not often that I enjoy music videos – but when I do, I feel it necessary to help give them exposure.  And it would be unprofessional of me to not share with you this debut video from Loveland Duren, the Memphis-based act I have fallen under the spell of.  Their debut album, Bloody Cupid, is on constant play in my iPod and on my CD player; I cannot help but rave to everyone I know – quite unashamedly, I proudly admit – that this album of theirs is something special.  Because, goddamnit, it is.  I don’t get like this often, but when I do, you should just listen – not to me, but to the music.  Well, yes, listen to me – get a copy and then let yourself be drawn in. So here is the first official video from Ms. Vicki Loveland and Mr. Van Duren; “Birthmarks”, which comes from Bloody Cupid…  ENJOY! I also want to alert you to a different type of music – danceable; hypnotic – a little different from …

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BOOK REVIEW: “Mud Sharks”, Dave Barbarossa

Mud Sharks is the first novel written by former Adam & The (original) Ants and Bow Wow Wow drummer Dave Barbarossa and it is a remarkable debut.  A powerful story of a young man’s journey from a painful adolescence into the early London punk rock scene to success and all the emotions that go with these phases.  It is a tale of heartbreak, heartache, abuse, drugs, sex, joy, fame, loss and realization – everything you could want in a novel.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t know the “Britishisms” in the way the book is written – you will completely be absorbed in the story and feel the ups-and-downs that Harry, the story’s protagonist and narrator, experiences.  It is a gripping tale that held me from the first to the end. Rather than give away too much of the plot, I will simply suggest that you track down a copy of this fine piece of writing (it was a little difficult to get) and read it for yourself.  I look forward to seeing what Mr. …

The Friday Mixtape: 7/31/09

We, at the site, really do strive to bring the coolest stuff possible to the readers and I think you’d agree our commitment pays off. But sometimes things float through our transom that don’t make it to the site for one reason or another. Such was the case when your own, your very own Dirk McQuickly Jason Hare e-mailed some links to the staff. A friend of his transferred old cassettes recorded from radio broadcasts in the ’80s, complete with commercials, DJ banter and other ephemera, to MP3. Nerdlet that I am, I downloaded as many as I could and reveled in a little regressive therapy at maximum volume. Then I recalled, “Wait a minute. I’m a notorious packrat! I might have a few tapes of my own!” I did, in fact. Recordings of the fabled WPLJ from 1980s New York actually existed in a tape box that had an inch of dust congealed atop it. I thought this would be a very cool addition to our little Internet menagerie, and it would have been …

Lost in the ’80s: Wide Boy Awake

Here’s an example of a great song that couldn’t be confined to a B-side. Wide Boy Awake was Adam & the Ants bassist Kevin Mooney’s first project after splitting from the Ants following 1980’s Kings of the Wild Frontier. While his new group only released a handful of tracks, two became club hits, one of which is still fondly remembered and played on “retro” club nights to this day. “Chicken Outlaw” (1982) was not that song.  It was, however, the first official Wide Boy Awake single and did fairly well in the UK, charting decently and getting the band on a few TV shows where they mimed the song in the usual fashion. It also got some scant airplay on new-wave radio stations and in progressive clubs in America, but it wasn’t exactly the group’s best tune. Wide Boy Awake’s best song was hidden on “Chicken Outlaw’s” flip side, just waiting to be spun: “Slang Teacher” is a funky new-wave number that couldn’t be denied, as club DJs gladly flipped the disc to spin this …