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An Interview with Mr Bobby Conn

November 2000

Mr. Bobby ConnBobby Conn does his very best to be the model of a post-Modern underground superstar. His two albums to date, Bobby Conn and Rise Up!, have placed him somewhere in a grey area between parody and genuine adulation of crooners, cabaret singers and all-round stars of the spangly stage. This interview took place after his New Orleans gig in November 2000, and as Bobby remarked “I could talk for hours about my favourite subject – myself!”. Fortunately, what the creator of the Continuous Cash Flow System has to say in person is usually as entertaining as his remarkable songs.

FREQ: What was the main motivation for you to start out portraying this particular image you have, as Judeo-Christian Edutainer, as a sort of Antichrist cabaret singer?

Bobby Conn: Egomaniacal delusions that I’ve had since I was a

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Suicide (live)

The Garage, London 25th November 2000

Martin Rev (Pic: Linus)Ahhh, poor Suicide… always just missing the boat but still trying to hitch a ride thirty years after Alan Vega claims to have coined the term “punk”. These guys are getting old now, and I must say I did feel a bit sorry for them tonight, faced with a boring as stiffs crowd and faint memories to go on.

Alan Vega (Pic: Olly)My sympathy was not needed really after all. Martin Rev and Alan Vega seemed to be having a time of their lives, happy to play about and remain undeterred from their purpose which was to play Rock and Roll. Perhaps they have mellowed; they have definitely dropped the pissed-off attitude. One wonders if the last two years since their most recent reformation has humbled them, or if the aging process has

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Coil – Astral Disaster

Label: Threshold House/World Serpent Format: CD,LP

Coil - Astral DisasterCoil, man. What the fuck can you say about Coil that even comes close? Whether they’re slowly frying your brain with drones and disturbingly unidentifiable sounds (Time Machines, for example, or the wonderfully bizarre Elph album Worship The Glitch) or beating the shit out of you with percussion and noise (much of Scatology) they plough a furrow very much their own. A cocktail of magick and drugs, of horror and beauty. Songs about Pasolini and LSD. Recent years have seen them fuck way off into the stratosphere, stranger than ever, with that sound you can’t describe, that keeps changing, but is always, in essence, Coil and can be recognised as such in an instant.

So this one then. Will it be sounds or songs? Nice or nasty or

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Bobby Conn/The Sex Hunter (live at the Shim Sham Club)

New Orleans 12 November 2000

The Sex HunterAgain, a third way around the world and this time for Bobby Conn. This is the Shim Sham Club, 615 Toulouse Street. A round of jokes on that one and 19,000 Heart Association convention goers available to egg it on (“Why are the French Navy’s bases on the Mediterranean like their sailor’s trousers? They are both Toulon and Toulouse…”). Other venues imitate this decor: shutters on real windows, glitter gold stage curtains, lesbian chic bathroom graffitti and the odd cobweb strung out over dark and ancient mirrors. The Amerikan accents are assaulting and this is a bit of Amerika with its own language. “Simmer down” means something here. No matter how hard I search the young faces for familiarity, I remember I am a stranger here.

To warm up the 30 odd audience is New Orleans (not so) boy

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Primal Scream – Exterminator

Label: Creation Format: CD,LP

“The time to rise has been engaged” – REM

Exterminator - sleeve It has occurred to me on more than just this one occasion that giving our seers and soothsayers money to throw about is often not the best thing for them. Witness the fate of Roxy Music and Johnny Rotten, Jefferson Airplane, Sly Stone, The Rolling Stones, Kurt Cobain and (most recently) Van Morrison and Prince. One of several things almost invariably happens. Either they dry up, they compromise their vision, trying to recreate past glories, but with a more commercial spin on it; more catchy, more popular. Or they get a taste for all the money thrown at them, and want more. Or else they spend it all on drugs. Some of them just can’t handle it at all, the machinations now surrounding them, the

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L.O.S.D. – 7 Songs/77 Frequencies

Label: God*Factory Format: CD

How to make a milk shake, the Laboratory Of Sonic Discovery way:

Ingredients: Milk, soya or otherwise as preferred; Vanilla ice cream or non-dairy substitute; Soft fruit such as bananas or strawberries; 1 litre jug (preferrably non-shatter or plastic); CD player; Amplifier; The largest speakers available, preferably with a rating of 100 watts per channel or more; 7 Songs/77 Frequencies CD Method: Warn neighbours that a milkshake is being prepared; Place CD in player connected to amplifier; Place milk, ice cream and fruit in jug on top of one speaker, or both stacked together for faster results. Make sure the speakers are connected to the amp! Stir the contents of the jug together briefly; Press “play” on CD player and keep a safe distance from the sound sources as there is some danger of hearing impairment in extreme situations; Bring the volume of the amp to

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Trans Am – You Can Always Get What You Want

Label: Thrill Jockey Format: CD

You Can Always Get What You Want - sleeve It all starts very well with “American Kooter”‘, funky in more ways than one and it reminds me of early Cabaret Voltaire; yes! “Now you die, Thriddle Fool” delightfully homicidal Electro or “Strong Sensations” – a riffing orgy the other side of Ritchie Blackmore‘s hair curlers.

But besides that it all gets a bit lazy. But so it should be, because this is a collection of out-takes and obscure live stuff. It’s for the fans, so to speak. Most of this material was released in Japan to flog the fanatical market there. The men of Trans Am seem to like to get drunk on Asahi rather than be big in Japan, as the pictures in the sleeve notes so graphicly depict. So, the guys decided to collect all this

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