Last self-indulgent post, because I’m totally letting down the team lately

Ok, so I was supposed to do this thing for Slate last year on gothic rock, via Editor Meaghan O. (who’s a stone mensch, and beyond reproach for any political stuff published there). Didn’t end up finishing it, but got reacquainted with a bunch of bands like Skeletal Family, Black Tape for a Blue Girl, etc.

And sometimes you hit a song on the ear-pod playlist that’s just right for the moment.

Chameleons UK, ‘Up the Down Escalator.’ The mope-rock aesthetic makes you think they’re poof-haired ponces, but when you see the video, you see a normal bunch of brown-haired guys with guitars, and it all snaps into place. They’re northern, and a normal-style rock band for there, in the mid-’80s, as high-school Van Halen bands were normal in the US. Only they’re good, and got a single deal, then an album deal. They’re a good band, objectively. With good songs.

Their best, I think, is ‘Swamp Thing,’ but you get more of a proper rock feel with ‘Up the Down Escalator.’ They were reportedly pretty loud and snarling onstage, and a cult exists still, in the UK, that luvs-luvs-luvs them.

Otherwise, back to political bootfisting on the morrow. We’re all human, summat-like.


Comments: 24



300, 301, BEEEEYOOOOOTCHEZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!1!!!!11!




Charlatans were more early 1990s than mid 80s I think. They were also notable for their keyboard player who not only died just as they were getting famous, but who also impeded their rise to stardom by spending two years inside for armed robbery between their first and second albums.


Chameleons, Charlatans…whatever


Hey! HEY! I was a poof-haired ponce in the 80s, and I’m goddam proud of it.

I’ve since abandoned the poof-hair part, though.


strange times is a great cd- swamp thing is my 3rd fave track on it- people say interpol rips off joy division on their first album, but they really rip off chameleons UK- these guys had the reverby guitar down


I think my fave is “Time the End of Time” . I think it will be tomorrows Song of the Day. If not it will be another Chameleons track, and the Uncanny One will shit on it because he “doesn’t like the guys voice”

Canadian Douche.



this is a self indulgent post as well. mostly my work, see the end.

A major independent research institution has just announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element has been named Governmentium445. Governmentium has One Preton, 9 Suprons, 100 Sentrons, and 335 Reprons, each orbited by lepton-like particles called peons, held by fields of ‘influence’. Peons are not countable by current methods. Fortunately for this discussion, peons have no net weight.

Since Governmentium has no electrons or protons, it is absolutely inert. However, it can be easily detected, as it is pervasive. As Governmentium is capable of slowing ANY reaction with which it comes into contact, extreme discrestion must be used when allowing Governmentium into your home and especially into your bedroom.

Raw Governmentium can slow a simple reaction for days or weeks. A minute amount of refined Governmentium instantly slows any reaction to an
absolute halt. This effect can be similar in effect to unsuccessful Unium interactions. Also, interactions with Gold, Silver, or Platinum will form Bureaucratic Acid, a known human stress-hormone. It is a silent killer which exposes it’s sufferers to 1/2 as many peons, but well more than twice the normal concentration of

WARNING: Concentrated or unprocessed Governmentium may suck the oxygen from a room.

The most quantum and contentious of the Govermentium particles are called morons, as they are apparently capable of making anything opaque and reflective simultaneously. Morons are unavoidably common and gain mass based on their interactions with peons. As of this writing,
the exact spin of morons cannot be determined reliably, nor has the workings of the peon-moron attraction. It is known that vast numbers of peons can be drawn to morons through the application of
cathode rays.

Beyond the abstract, Governmentium can and historically has been weaponized.

Within the last hundred years, the an unprecedented application of Bureaucratic Acid (as recently documented by the USPS) has generated conditions under which morons readily influence the spin of other morons, and, in the presence of high-energy cathode rays, peons have even been known to turn directly into morons. Should a peon-moron be energized to form a radical-moron, and that radical-moron is then transformed to Preton, the consequences could be terrible for us all.

There is a bright side.

Governmentium has a normal half-life of 4 years; but does not decay normally. Instead an intense field of electorons is generated and the
particle undergoes a barely remarkable internal reorganization. Most often a portion of the Sentons and Reptons exchange places, occasionally (and this is the point of much debate and concern) with the morons. After a large electoron spike, one sub-particle, seemingly at random, will transform to a Preton. This transformation is always superficial, especially if the sub-particle was known to be, at any prior point, a moron.

Another, more practical view of ‘peon-moron-promotion’ theory is that Governmentium is inevitably formed whenever peons reach a certain concentration in the mere presence of morons, spontaneously generating an isodope of Governmentium. This hypothetical quantity of peons(F!) is referred to as “Critical Morass”. Due to these unique characteristics, most notably the regular promotion of peons, Governmentium445’s mass will inescapapbly increase over time.

For the sake of caution, immediately minimize your exposure to Bureaucratic Acid, Cathode Rays, and most especially, Radical Morons.

(this was inspired by a much less filled out version of the Governmentium Story. Kudos to the Original Author, whoever you are)


I think it is Govt545, and it has 435 Reprons. And a massive assless Rovion.


MGT is up.

Chameleons are discussed at Song of the Day.

Hey, Gavin- you know all music, what are your thoughts on Happy Mondays “Wrote For Luck”? I love that song so much, yet everyone I play it for looks at me like I am on Kaye Grogan special. Maybe it is a 80s thing.


Chameleons UK? You mean Chameleons, right?

Are you one of those people that think that there really *was* a band called London Suede or one called The English Beat?

Just because the US is all uptight about band name confusion, doesn’t mean that those actually are the band names, other than for legal purposes.


Dude, totally know that. there was some 50’s band named the Chameleons. But they actually sound cooler named Chameleons UK, Charlatans UK and the English Beat. The Beat sounds stupid like The Jam. But the English Beat, totally cool. Although The English Jam may or may not be an improvement. We do know Suede as Suede as they didn’t change their name until they 100% sucked. But when the CD and the concert ticket and the DJ say “Chameleons UK” what are you supposed to do?


Chameleons UK? You mean Chameleons, right?

Are you one of those people that think that there really *was* a band called London Suede or one called The English Beat?

Yup, and Alf Moyet sang for Yaz, and the Clash’s first album had ‘Complete Control’ on it.

BTW, the American band, ‘The Beat,’ was also called ‘Paul Collins Beat.’ For a time, they and the English Beat were on MTV in about equal rotation.


what are your thoughts on Happy Mondays “Wrote For Luck”?

I never really got them, honestly. They seemed to be an interstitial kind of thing, post-La’s and pre- Blur/Oasis. But I might be dead wrong. I’ll download it and listen…


Oh, the La’s are going to be Song of the Day on Friday. We got a request already for tomorrow. That Happy Mondays is different from their big hit album- it sounds more like a Factory records song, and the baggy beat is very strong on the song, stronger than their other stuff, and very Stone Roses, but still…Shaun Ryder-y

Here’s what I wrote about it awhile ago.


The key is the long version. Sometimes when they shorten a song to 3.5 minutes it just doesn’t get to the same place. Even though pop music is repetitive, sometimes songs need to be longer for you to really feel it. 10 minutes of Fools Gold works better than 5. I can’t explain it. I didn’t really love that song until I heard the non-radio version (they always played the short one in SLC, Utah). Utah Saints had such a different meaning there.


To draw a very very poor comparison

Neil Young’s ‘cowgirl in the sand’ is better at 15 minutes than at 10.

something inside you brain gets numbed or placated, THEN the music works.


I’ll totally check that one. I’m glad somebody knew what I meant. I know it doesn’t mean I’m not insane, but at least in my insanity I can convey information.


the mondays’ “wrote for luck” is one of the best drinking and partying songs ever. tribal drums, junk-pop guitar…brilliant. the album it’s on, “bummed”, is good but not as good as a whole as that song is.

the best album is “pills & thrills & bellyaches”.


…and i totally agree about WFL needing to be the full length, and the argument about “fools gold” being better at 10 minutes than 5. i spun “fools gold” as the last song of my set in reno this past weekend and as it went on, you could just see people focused on the groove, not wanting it to end.


The Paul Collins Beat was a very good band sounding more like The Ramones. The Beat actually toured with The Ramones as well as The Jam and The Police. The English Beat sounded more like ska, which was good style but hasn’t had the success of The Ramones. English Beat had Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger who became General Public an 80s band. Paul Collins had his 1st band called The Nerves where they 1st did the song Hanging On The Telephone but Blondie did a cover later on of course. The Nerves was basically 1 of the 1st punk rock bands in U.S. I see more videos of Paul Collins Beat on Vh-1 classic and MTV-2 than English Beat, but yes they had about the same success in the late 70s/early 80s. English Beat broke up and Paul Collins Beat kept going until 1989 when Collins went solo to record with Chris Isaak’s Silvertone and Jeff Trott from Sheryl Crow. I’ve been seeing the videos to All Over The World and Always Got You On My Mind many times on tv but occasionally Save It For Later by English Beat. If I had to pick it would be a tough choice but I’d say Paul Collins Beat because they are still a band today and they make good rock/punk music.

Paul Collins Beat
Dave Wakeling of English Beat


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