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inkwell.vue.418 : Jon Langford: Skull Orchard Revisited
permalink #26 of 94: Angus MacDonald (angus) Thu 15 Sep 11 19:15
    
        What was in the Soviet ships? Were they buying coal?
  
inkwell.vue.418 : Jon Langford: Skull Orchard Revisited
permalink #27 of 94: Angus MacDonald (angus) Thu 15 Sep 11 19:21
    
        Also, how did you happen to write the dolphin/whale story? 
        It seems kind of like an animal fable, but those aren't
usually in the first person.
  
inkwell.vue.418 : Jon Langford: Skull Orchard Revisited
permalink #28 of 94: Jon Langford (jon-langford) Fri 16 Sep 11 01:55
    
I don't know for sure what was on those ships but Newport is where the
coal went out and the Iron Ore went in. When I was kid I heard stories
about the banana boats and friends Dads finding tarantulas... Day oh!

The short story about the Whale and the Dolphin is a re-telling of
Moby Dick from the perspective of the whale - It was an idea for a vast
musical theater production featuring me and the choir, the Sadies and
the Good Brothers that was dead in the water before we'd finished our
pints.... 

Off on a plane to New Orleans for the Ponderosa Stomp right now
(thanks Dr. Ike). Will try to keep checking in through the day but
don't count on any coherence...
  
inkwell.vue.418 : Jon Langford: Skull Orchard Revisited
permalink #29 of 94: X (joeyx) Fri 16 Sep 11 06:06
    

Have fun in New Orleans, Jon. Thanks for checking in!
  
inkwell.vue.418 : Jon Langford: Skull Orchard Revisited
permalink #30 of 94: Ari Davidow (ari) Fri 16 Sep 11 07:57
    
Listening to the music/reading the book is such a treat. The choir is 
there at the right points--they aren't turning this into choral music 
(which might be grand, but would be a different production). I love the 
interleaving of photos and writing about Pill and other places in Wales, 
mixed with the gorgeous murals(? or smaller paintings) 
illustrating/embodying the song lyrics, and your own stories.

It does seem, as someone already remarked, like a love letter to the place 
in which you grew up, but one with tendrils to the imagination and your 
own life that give the whole a context that a "mere" "Now let us praise 
famous men" would not accomplish.
  
inkwell.vue.418 : Jon Langford: Skull Orchard Revisited
permalink #31 of 94: Jon Langford (jon-langford) Fri 16 Sep 11 23:37
    
I am in New Orleans and shattered after a long day of PONDEROSA STOMP
- when you've had a chat about Tom Jones with Lazy Lester in the men's
room there's not that much left to live for. Drove round down by port
today and realized that despite the weather and the bright colors New
Orleans and Newport have a similar feel... red brick warehouses,
concrete with weeds busting through, forgotten stuff

It's a tough love letter. 
  
inkwell.vue.418 : Jon Langford: Skull Orchard Revisited
permalink #32 of 94: Ed Ward (captward) Sat 17 Sep 11 01:06
    
Did you perform there, or did you just get flown down as a guest? I
keep hoping they'll put me on a panel there, but it never happens. 

I also gather Newport's never had a hurricane or other natural
disaster on the level of Katrina...
  
inkwell.vue.418 : Jon Langford: Skull Orchard Revisited
permalink #33 of 94: Jon Langford (jon-langford) Sat 17 Sep 11 05:21
    
I did the artwork for this year's poster so I went down to sign a big
pile of them. Had a strange humbling moment when a sharpie wielding
Eddie Floyd asked me to sign his copy!  

There's much discussion about whether New Orleans was the victim of a
natural or man-made disaster (see Harry Shearer's excellent THE BIG
UNEASY) and South Wales has suffered much at the hand of neglect and
disdain from Westminster. In 1975 there was an earthquake in Newport
that emptied all the pubs but many just assumed it was an IRA bomb.
  
inkwell.vue.418 : Jon Langford: Skull Orchard Revisited
permalink #34 of 94: My free and simple demeanor set everybody at ease. (pdl) Sat 17 Sep 11 06:56
    
I hadn't thought of the connection between New Orleans and South Wales
before, but that's spot on--they are both the sites of colossal, man-made
disasters.

Although Katrina was a hurricane and was going to cause damage as a natural
event regardless, the main damage and deaths from Katrina were caused by the
failure of the levees, along 9th ward and elsewhere.  The fact that the
levees had problems and needed work was known by the US army corp of
engineers for years before katrina struck.  I think a lot of the conspiracy
discussion about the levees being blown up misses the point--if they are
broken and you knowingly neglect them for years, it is just a matter of
time, hurricanes come along the coast--that sort of knowing neglect is just
as good as blowing them up, imo.  This sets me off--but Katrina was a man
made catastrophe--and disentangling all the threads will take you through
some of the crap that is at the very core of this country.
  
inkwell.vue.418 : Jon Langford: Skull Orchard Revisited
permalink #35 of 94: My free and simple demeanor set everybody at ease. (pdl) Sat 17 Sep 11 07:01
    
ok, enough of that, i wanted to post 2 more clips of songs off of SOR.

Youghal
<http://youtu.be/wboyldSxvrg>

Trapdoor
<http://youtu.be/rnAmTm4DJTQ>
  
inkwell.vue.418 : Jon Langford: Skull Orchard Revisited
permalink #36 of 94: Jon Langford (jon-langford) Sat 17 Sep 11 21:16
    
Just played a street fest with the Waco Brothers - it's been a long
day. Anyone who hasn't seen The Big Uneasy should see it.
  
inkwell.vue.418 : Jon Langford: Skull Orchard Revisited
permalink #37 of 94: My free and simple demeanor set everybody at ease. (pdl) Sun 18 Sep 11 13:48
    
Was your first interest in art?  What prompted you to start drawing and
painting? What artists interested you when you started?  Did you ever go
through a phase drawing and painting comic books?
  
inkwell.vue.418 : Jon Langford: Skull Orchard Revisited
permalink #38 of 94: X (joeyx) Sun 18 Sep 11 16:27
    

Hey Jon, what makes doing Skull Orchard (and SO Revisited) different
from a Mekons (or Wacos) album?

Also, are you still doing Great Pop Things, or is that back burnered
for now?
  
inkwell.vue.418 : Jon Langford: Skull Orchard Revisited
permalink #39 of 94: X (joeyx) Sun 18 Sep 11 16:28
    

I should have said, "What made doing Skull Orchard..."
  
inkwell.vue.418 : Jon Langford: Skull Orchard Revisited
permalink #40 of 94: Jon Langford (jon-langford) Sun 18 Sep 11 19:44
    
Oh, I feel like I'm still definitely doing Skull Orchard... it is not
put to bed yet

The original album was my first solo record and it happens almost
accidentally quite late (it seemed at the time)in my sorry career. I
was living in Chicago and writing songs that just didn't fit into the
Mekons' peculiar writing  process and weren't fast (or American) enough
for the Waco Brothers. They just piled up and I didn't know what to do
with them but after a while I recognized some sort of thematic unity
which seemed to point back at Newport. They are mostly songs I wrote on
my own which was unusual for me and basically just a response to
arriving in Chicago.

Great Pop Things was an amazing thing to do for 10 years but it's
really hard to do a weekly comic strip and have much else going on in
your life. It is on the back burner charring up  storm. My favorite
thing about doing it was getting these grubby little envelopes through
the mailbox from by mate Carlton B. Morgan in Wales and reading his
hilarious stream of consciousness tirades. 

I always knew I was pretty good at drawing and really good at copying.
I used to draw from life a lot, people's faces mostly and copy
photographs, usually of Newport County soccer players and later
sub-Dali style eyeball head dudes in bleak martian landscapes. I
remember liking the surrealists a lot but that was the time when every
bugger had a soft watch or an Escher on their wall. I wasn't that into
comics but I loved the covers on my brother Dave's SF books and spent a
lot of time drawing spaceships. His bedroom was like a weird public
library dedicated to Asimov, Bester, Heinlein and Dick.
  
inkwell.vue.418 : Jon Langford: Skull Orchard Revisited
permalink #41 of 94: X (joeyx) Sun 18 Sep 11 20:25
    

Never underestimate the power of a sibling with a well
stocked bookshelf or record collection!

sSince you mentioned it, what is the Mekons writing process
vs. well, non-Mekons writing?

And related to the spaceships, did Dave turn you on to Dan
Dare, the Pilot of the Future, and arch-enemy of the Mekon?
  
inkwell.vue.418 : Jon Langford: Skull Orchard Revisited
permalink #42 of 94: X (joeyx) Sun 18 Sep 11 20:33
    

...as well as Mekon song title?
  
inkwell.vue.418 : Jon Langford: Skull Orchard Revisited
permalink #43 of 94: X (joeyx) Sun 18 Sep 11 20:36
    

Also, Tom Jones shows up a fair amount in you talking about
Wales. Have you actually had any contact with your fellow
countryman? Perparhaps an underwear throwing incident you'd
like to come clean about?

How about John Cale? I know I'm operating on the assumption
that all Welsh musicians hang out and know each other.
  
inkwell.vue.418 : Jon Langford: Skull Orchard Revisited
permalink #45 of 94: X (joeyx) Sun 18 Sep 11 20:41
    

Here's a tinyurl of that: http://tinyurl.com/3bc5ogk
  
inkwell.vue.418 : Jon Langford: Skull Orchard Revisited
permalink #46 of 94: X (joeyx) Sun 18 Sep 11 20:42
    

Good to see Tony on bass!
  
inkwell.vue.418 : Jon Langford: Skull Orchard Revisited
permalink #47 of 94: X (joeyx) Sun 18 Sep 11 20:43
    

Ah, that video is super fun and sounding great!
  
inkwell.vue.418 : Jon Langford: Skull Orchard Revisited
permalink #48 of 94: X (joeyx) Sun 18 Sep 11 20:49
    

Okay, this is weird. The video you posted was put up
by my pal Angus, and in looking at his other videos,
I see he has a file up of me, and some friends, racing
couches mounted on wheels down a hill at a 24-hour
Tom Waits party I helped host.

http://blip.tv/angus/couch-toboggans-145505

Odd, small digital world.
  
inkwell.vue.418 : Jon Langford: Skull Orchard Revisited
permalink #49 of 94: Jon Langford (jon-langford) Sun 18 Sep 11 20:54
    
Lu Edmonds describes the Mekons writing process as: "nobody's allowed
to have an idea" - We have a rule that we don't bring much to the
table. It's not really enforced and there are blind eyes and loopholes
galore, but I wouldn't ever write a whole song and bring it along...
Some people generate a lot of material, other work in quality control
and brutal editing

You can't overestimate the sheer manly mightiness of Tom Jones in
South Wales. He is of course a national hero, a beer drinker and a sexy
man. My grandmother liked me to get up on a chair at Xmas and sing the
savage murder ballad Delilah. Green Green Grass Oh Home is virtually
the Welsh national anthem. When I met Lazy lester the other night he
asked me if I knew Tom Jones. I don't. Shirley Bassey neither! 

BUT yes I did meet John Cale once in Austin (at a benefit show I was
playing for Alejandro Escovedo) and despite all the warnings I'd
received about him he was actually quite lovely. I know his cousins in
Newport quite well and I think that saved me. His recording from the
early 70s Paris 1919 and Vintage Violence are huge influences on the
S.O.R. record.

I can't remember how I discovered the Eagle and Dan Dare but my
brother Dave did take me to see 2001 when it came out in 1968 and blew
my 10 year old mind maaan

The band was originally named Dan Dare & The Mekons and at the first
gig they were pushed onto the stage on a sofa with the word SPACESHIP
written on the side. I wasn't actually at the first Mekons gig being
far too busy going to the beach in Wales.
  
inkwell.vue.418 : Jon Langford: Skull Orchard Revisited
permalink #50 of 94: Jon Langford (jon-langford) Sun 18 Sep 11 20:55
    
I enjoy the tinier size of that url
  

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