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Song of the day – 561: Dial

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Dial (Jacqui Ham)

This music here. Right here. DO NOT FUCKING DENY ME! Listen to it. Go on. Listen to it. Shutter the blinds, draw up a virtual whiskey bottle, renounce the Internet. Turn the volume up to beyond endurance. Then turn the volume down so you can listen to it. And listen to it. Bruised and beautiful.

You want context? I’ll give you fucking context. Go and have a read of this. Go on. Now. I’ve probably seen Jacqui Ham – the voice on the Dial – perform on stage more than anyone this side of… I can’t think of anyone else. And I haven’t seen her perform in two decades. Coincidentally, this coincides with how long Dial have been around – experimental, if you want to call fucking with your innermost emotions experimental; discordant, assuming you believe there is a good and bad way to express emotion; free-form and improvised in places but more often than not so fucking tightly wound and coiled that you fear for everyone involved, the intensity is so… uh, intense. (I write “coincidentally” because it fucking IS: every time I hear a Dial album I CANNOT BELIEVE I haven’t witnessed this trembling exorcism, this mangling of guitar strings and BEAUTIFUL discordance and plaintive cries-in-the-dark  in the flesh.) This new album, this new album that this song is taken from, is called Western Front. (I had a song called ‘Western Front’ once also: before UT entered my life and altered my entire perception of what music could be.) It’s bruised. It’s beautiful. It’ll scrape and scour away at your very soul if you even give it a quarter of a fucking chance. LISTEN to the music. Listen to it.

Here’s a link. And here’s the band’s website. Whatever. I know you can’t be fucking bothered. You have your own paths and trails to follow, your own treasure chests to open full of mostly grey and unwarranted mediocrity.

Christ, you’re irritating the shit of me right now. Have a listen. Go on. FUCKING LISTEN. A feral epiphany right here in your fucking underwear. A dissonant surge.

5 Responses to Song of the day – 561: Dial

  1. Geoff The Postman March 16, 2013 at 12:57 am

    Dial played in London a couple of years back. I don’t think I need to tell you how good they were. The unannounced support act were Ut playing a very short set. This ultimately lead to Ut’s brief reformation which included them packing out London venue The Lexington. They started and finished their Lexington set as a three piece, the songs between they played with the addition of a drummer. The stuff with the drummer was good. The stuff they played as a three piece was a vindication of everything you have ever written about them. As good as they were when we both first saw them over thirty years ago.

  2. Candy Ballard March 16, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Impeccable.

  3. Nate March 19, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Who the fuck do these think they are? SONIC YOUTH?

  4. Geoff The Postman March 19, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon has been quoted as saying her group was always trying to catch up with Ut, the band Jaqui Ham of Dial started with Nina Canal and Sally Young in NYC 1978. Maybe the question Nate should have asked is “Who the fuck do Sonic Youth think they are? DIAL?”

  5. Geoff The Postman March 19, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    The following quote is from a Pitchfork “guest list” feature with Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore:

    And then there’s this group called Dial. It’s this woman named Jacqui Ham. She was in this band called Ut around in the 70s and mostly 80s, a New York, UK trio, all women. They played really outsider rock music. Sonic Youth actually toured with them a few times in the UK. I used to see them in New York in the early days, too. They were a fascinating group. The three women would change instruments between each song. This woman, Jacqui, had this amazing voice when she sang with the band. On one level it was really bored, and on the other level it had this passion. She has a thing now called Dial with these guys from Westport, Connecticut. They’ve done three CDs. This new one just came out called 168k . It’s on this label called CEDE. CEDE Records. It’s really cool. And the next thing will be this more extrapolated Deadsy jammer, with more rockish moves. They’re really cool. She’s really interesting. – Thurston Moore.

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