Back By Popular Demand! (Kind Of)

For the first time since 2006, Waist High would like to proudly announce the (possible one-time) return of "Living In The Eighties News," a once very popular feature here at the world's most beloved new wave music blog. The return is prompted by the rash of new WH converts, including one now full time reader linked here from his Google search listening+to+The+Fixx+feel+my+nuts shriveling, but also because there is just too much going on. The Specials are reuniting for God's sake (kind of).

"Living In The Eighties News," as originally announced on 4/13/2005: "After a long and exhaustive selection process, Waist High would like to reveal the first of two replacements for the now permanently retired, much loved, crass, and extremely hateful 'Kern County Drunkard Watch.' Waist High, no longer wanting to GO TO HELL, would like to present: 'Living In The Eighties News,' which 1. Begins today. 2. Promises to keep you up to date on everyone from Haysi Fantayzee to Waist High pal Dave Wakeling. 3. Will steal it's material almost exclusively from
Remember The Eighties News, on a weekly basis."

And so we find ourselves here at the end of 2008, back together again, let us begin with the band responsible for the 4 greatest words ever written, "Living+in+the+Eighties."

KILLING JOKE will release Duende - The Spanish Sessions in January 2009, the "fantastic live session recorded with the original Killing Joke line-up back together for the first time since 1982."

About the release, lead singer Jaz Coleman said, "Can you imagine it, the original line up hasn't been in the same room since 24th February 1982 and I am waiting for Paul to arrive here at Youths studio in Granada, Spain at any moment. Like most preconceptions the reality is always different. The door opens and there he is, we embrace, still the same athletic build, the same impeccable manners, the same fire in his eyes. Inwardly I am delighted for I feel we have truly transcended any petty differences of the past.

"As most people are aware there have been many incarnations of Killing Joke over the years, however the original line up bears no comparison to later line ups, neither socially or musically. For example there are always two people moving in opposite directions. In the present tense this manifests as Youth insisting that we write some new songs for the tour whereas my concern is learning five hours of music (ie two sets) always the revolutionary and the reactionary, simultaneously.

"Our conversations and debates follow a similar pattern. As for the sound it is far from polished to put it mildly but when it locks in it is both emotional and devastating. For me, my life seems strangely complete with these characters (who, when all is said and done, are family). We started as teenagers together. Killing Joke was our further education and now we are all approaching fifty!"

1. Requiem
2. The Wait
3. Tomorrows World
4. Bloodsport
5. Psyche
6. SO36
7. Millenium
8. Tension
9. Primitive
10. Are you Receiving
11. Whiteout
12. Pandemonium
13. Eighties
14. Love Like Blood

JERRY DAMMERS condemns The Specials' 2009 Reunion tour. The keyboardist, who is one of the group's founding members, said he was surprised to hear about the reformation - and was "deeply shocked" to have been left out.

He also claimed that he had never been extended an open invitation from frontman Terry Hall to join the group's 30th anniversary tour next year, as the singer has previously claimed.

"The prodigal sons came home, kicked me out, and have left the door open, great," Dammers said.

A statement, released on the keyboardist's behalf, continued: "These claims also contradict lawyers' letters stating that former members have resolved to go ahead without him, and that Jerry is not to speak to any of them.

"Attempts to imply that any proposed tour has Jerry's 'blessing', at this stage, are also highly misleading. These seem to be part of a wider attempt to rewrite the whole history of the band, in order to try and justify what is currently going on.

"Jerry does not wish to go into too much detail at this point, except to say that for over 25 years he had dreamed that his former bandmates might come back one day, and was deeply shocked to find that when they did, for some of them, it was apparently to kick him out."

The statement claimed that Dammers was not invited to a meeting where the band discussed their plans, but "Jerry turned up anyway and played the music he had started recording, and suggested starting serious rehearsals, but was subjected to a severe dressing down from people who had barely spoken to him in 25 years.

"Apart from the recording, Jerry wanted to try and aim for a proper reunion and 30th anniversary celebration, including (performing) the best part of both Specials albums, The Ghost Town EP, and a small amount of new material, in proper concerts, in venues worthy of the band's status and legacy."

The statement added Dammers saw the "whole thing as a takeover, rather than a proper reunion... At the moment this is not the proud reunion and 30th anniversary celebration Jerry had hoped for."

As previously reported on gigwise.com, The Specials will play six dates around the UK next year as part of their reunion.

MORRISSEY AND JOHNNY MARR are to reunite. The Smiths are said to be on the verge of reforming after Morrissey and Johnny Marr settled their past differences.

The band, who split in 1987, would likely embark on a series of live shows in 2009.

A music industry source told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "The very fact that they are talking again is the most hopeful thing in years.

"A lot of people think of them as the best thing since The Beatles. They'd fill stadiums many times over."

In October, similar claims suggest the group were in talks to headline next April's Coachella Festival in California.

A reformation of the band's original line up would mark the first time Morrissey, Marr, Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce have performed together since 1987.

FACTORY RECORDS are set to release a 30th anniversary box set. Whether off the lip of a name-checking record store clerk, through such feature films as Control and 24 Hour Party People, or by way of some of the label's flagship acts, you've probably encountered the hallowed words Factory Records at some point in your travels.

But there's more to the legendary Manchester imprint and music culture institution than Joy Division, the late, great Tony Wilson, the infamous Hacienda club, and the whimsical assignment of catalog numbers: there's the music, of course, something A Factory Box Set will positively teem with when it arrives January 12 in the UK, courtesy of Rhino, via idolator.com, (confirmed by publicity).

Spreading some 63 Factory favorites across four discs in rough chronological order, A Factory Box Set indeed includes a healthy sampling of Joy Division and New Order, as well as representative offerings from New Order offshoots Electronic, Revenge, and the Other Two. But the set also finds room for other post-punk heavyweights and lesser-knowns (Cabaret Voltaire, A Certain Ratio, Section 25, the Wake, Quando Quango), Madchester staples (Happy Mondays, Northside), and even a few folks who would go on to bigger things (OMD, James).

There through it all is perhaps the imprint's one true constant, the Durutti Column, who gets a track on each of the four discs. Factory buffs may notice the conspicuous absence in the tracklist of ESG, who are reportedly not included here due to licensing issues. A Factory Box Set commemorates the 30th anniversary of Factory Records' 1978 founding. No word just yet whether this thing will get its own honorary catalog number.

Photo: plastichead.com
plastichead.com, gigwise.com & pitchforkmedia.com
"Eighties" lyrics courtesy Universal Music Publisher Group