If you’re a fan of Nick Cave, The Birthday Party, Fucked Up, Alec Empire, Primal Scream, !!! and many, many other purveyors of politically-charged musical rage, you owe Mark Stewart a pint. Joining you in the queue at the bar will likely be Annie Clark aka St. Vincent. She’s been cranking out covers lately that are a surprising foil to her haunting, ethereal pop – “Kerosene” by Big Black and most recently, a very hot version of The Pop Group’s “She’s Beyond Good and Evil”, which she busted out on US TV show Jimmy Fallon last night. It’s sending the internet all aflutter, and with good reason. Her unhinged version more than does the original justice. It’s prompted a twitter exchange between Annie and Mark (who fronted The Pop Group as a teenager), which in turn has prompted rumours that the man himself will join her onstage at tomorrow night’s show at the South Bank Centre in London. Which would be incredible. Unless I can’t get in, in which case, LALALALAICAN’THEARYOOOOUUUUU.
Although the track covered here is 30 years and a bit old, Mark Stewart is one of those rare artists that has not only remained steadily prolific over the course of three decades, he continues to inspire and with apocalyptic results. The next one in line is a limited 7″ AA release later this month for the Black Friday Record Store Day, which works on so many levels, I don’t know where to start. The A is a cover of T.Rex’s “Children Of The Revolution”, recorded over many miles and years with The Bug (Techno Animal, King Midas Sound). The AA is “Nothing Is Sacred”, a collabo with Eve Libertine from Crass. The record is limited to 500 copies, which in Record Store Day terms means it might as well have “rarer than rump steak still on the cow’s ass” stamped on it, and each record sleeve is an individual piece of Mark’s bombart. The queue starts, like, yesterday.
In the meantime, here’s both St. Vincent’s and The Pop Group’s versions of “She’s Beyond Good and Evil”. I’ll post the new Mark Stewart stuff sometime after black Friday. Check his YouTube channel for more.
UPDATE: They’ve only gone and done it as a DUET. I tend to think of “duets” as more like Lee & Nancy, Dolly ‘n Kenny an’ that, so this is on another plane altogether, even if it’s just on a phone: