heard on the wire

We’ll live in holes and disused shafts


There aren’t many bands capable of discarding a song as good as this.

That Joy Division could discard this song and for it only to surface on a post mortem release might have been seen as an oversight, had they not also overlooked at least half a dozen other songs that other bands would give up an entire back catalogue for.

Ice Age was recorded in late 1979 but with a sound more reminiscent of the band’s early days, it missed the cut when they released their second LP, the monumental Closer, the following year.

It subsequently appeared on Still, the 1981 collection of unreleased tracks and obscurities and a live recording of their last concert on 2 May 1980, a little over two weeks before singer Ian Curtis committed suicide.

Nothing will hold
Nothing will fit
Into the cold
No smile on your lips
Living in the Ice Age.

Joy Division :: Ice Age

Audio MP3


I have no idea what gems are languishing unreleased on No Age’s hard drives, but thankfully the LA-based duo didn’t overlook this track when they put together their 2010 LP, Everything in Between.

No Age :: Life Prowler

Audio MP3


Pocketbooks, on the other hand, would be understandably excused had they left this unlikely slice of boogie woogie piano off their 2009 debut, Flight Paths. The apparently defunct five-piece were normally inclined more to the indiepop end of the musical spectrum, but there’s always a time for some jaunty whistling.

Pocketbooks :: Skating on Thin Ice

Thin ice safely navigated, hurtling forward in time from the Ice Age to the Machine Age brings us to Secret Hits: For Your Ears Only, a sampler released in 2012 by Glasgow’s eclectic Chemikal Underground label. Label stars Mogwai, the Delgadoes and Arab Strap appear, alongside lesser known lights, including Found.

Tommy Perman, Ziggy Campbell and Kev Sim are a trio of artists and musicians who have been confounding people’s expectations, subverting song structures and generally bewildering the fuck out of people for the past two or three years.

Not least, by releasing a chocolate single that you can still buy at your own risk. This, less edible, track appeared on their debut LP, Factorycraft, whence it made its way onto the aforementioned free compilation.

Found :: Machine Age Dancing ⬇ [free]

Audio MP3


Talking of “unreleased” Joy Division songs gives me an excuse to return to a track I posted without comment a couple of months ago that bears repeating. Recorded during the Love Will Tear Us Apart sessions, like Ice Age it didn’t surface until Still. That it didn’t make the cut earlier only adds further confirmation of the unrelenting brilliance of Closer.

Joy Division :: The Sound of Music

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And talking of whistling…

DJ Riko :: Whistler’s Delight ⬇ [free]

Audio MP3


Original photo: Wallonie Ice Bar, Brussels; some rights reserved.

Related posts: As routine bites hard; What else is there to do than watch some Scooby Doo?; Love of life makes you feel higher.

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