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May 6, 2010 9:05 AM   Subscribe

This excellent article concerning Cardiacs and the heart attack of stalwart frontman Tim Smith, prompted me to write this post. They've been on the go since the late 70's and as one would expect, they have attracted a number of fanatics who catalogue everything. They've even been featured in the Sunday Sport! Personally, I find it hard to describe their style.

Much to my delight, their entire back catalogue has been on iTunes. Also, I heartily reccomend a listen to ex-member Mr. W. D. Drake and also the North Sea Radio Orchestra (which is comprised of a number of Cardiacs associates).
posted by Homemade Interossiter (13 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Eponysterical, much?

I like them. Thank you.
posted by e.e. coli at 9:13 AM on May 6, 2010

I've been meaning to do a post on Cardiacs for a while but procrastination has gotten the better of me. What a great band they are though! I finally got to see them 3 or 4 years ago and they were absolutely massive live. I have never seen anything like it.

I should warn folks though, for years I have tried to turn my friends onto the band and have not yet found any takers (though more than one has complained that their music made them nauseous).

WFMU's Beware of the Blog had a post on their seemingly most famous video.

I'd also like to second that special attention be paid to former member William D. Drake. Even if you're put off by Cardiacs you might find a lot to like about Drake's solo work. Great, weird pop songs on one hand, twisted solo piano on the other. Sadly I couldn't find a link to my favorite song of his "Within My Skull". His stuff is also available on iTunes too.
posted by ericthegardener at 9:36 AM on May 6, 2010

I wanted to do a Cardiacs post, too, but was waiting until something happened - there are currently pending at least three DVDs (a re-release of All That Glitters Is A Mares Nest, a record of one of their Astoria gigs, 2005 I think, and the complete rehearsal-in-a-shed footage) and a new album (of which Ditzy Scene* was a magnificent preview), so there would definitely have been a hook to hang it on.


It wasn't just a heart attack - it was a massive heart attack and a stroke, brought on by a My Bloody Valentine gig, which is fairly rock 'n' roll.

I do miss the enormous slab of guitar-based stuff that's Dirty Boy live.

*Which is my current ringtone, or at least the bit where the guitar and aah-aah vocals kick in.

Get well soon, Tim.
posted by Grangousier at 9:47 AM on May 6, 2010

Oh, and NSRO also wonderful, yes! - End of Chimes, The Music of Vernon Eliot, Uncle Feedle from Bagpuss


Italian Guy does acoustic cover version of Dirty Boy.
posted by Grangousier at 9:54 AM on May 6, 2010

Hail Majestic Corporate Might.
posted by alasdair at 10:15 AM on May 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Fiery Gun Hand is in my top-5 favourite songs. Cardiacs rule!
posted by Drexen at 10:23 AM on May 6, 2010

Just now watched the live Firey Gun Hand vid and discovered another favorite band I'd never heard of before. Further proof that there is too much good music out there, and that there is no excuse to have to put up with bad music.
posted by ardgedee at 10:42 AM on May 6, 2010

Reminds me a bit of these guys.
posted by kinnakeet at 11:53 AM on May 6, 2010

I first heard of the Cardiacs when Coilhouse wrote them up, awhile back... "Fiery Gun Hand" and "Tarred and Feathered" hooked me immediately. Fantastic stuff.
posted by ActualStackhouse at 12:04 PM on May 6, 2010

I am yet another person who was considering making a Cardiacs post at some point but got beaten to it.

I discovered them a few months ago and was completely blown away, in a "you're allowed to make music like that??" sense. I can't believe that it took them decades to get on my radar, given how out of my way I will go to find interesting music.

I have trouble actually recommending them to anyone, since most people's reaction seems to be aversion, but I do love them to bits.

For people who are interested, I made a list of ten YouTube videos of theirs to check out here (many of them have already been linked to in this thread).
posted by dfan at 12:34 PM on May 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Oh, Cardiacs. Good timing.

They once offered to smuggle my 17 year old girlfriend into one of their own gigs in a drum case, past an over-zealous bouncer. Though our plan was foiled, I have loved them ever since, and travelled far to pay homage.

Everything is Easy, yeah?
posted by ceiriog at 3:27 PM on May 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

And you're right, that is an excellent article. Thanks for this.
posted by ceiriog at 3:41 PM on May 6, 2010

There’s a reason their fans call them “the mighty Cardiacs”. And there’s a reason their critics consider them unlistenable. As for myself, after being introduced to Sing to God and Special Garage Concerts Vol. 1 and 2 I realized that I was experiencing a parallel universe of music, one that has at times ensnared and amazed me. After watching All That Glitters is a Mare’s Nest – several times – I found myself asking how the hell they memorize even a tenth of their own music.

Lyrically, Tim Smith has the uncanny ability to soar to the greatest heights while simultaneously delving into the most infernal depths. Trying to delve into 30+ years of music and an incredible roster of side projects, including the sublime Sea Nymphs, may be an exercise in futility, but boy is it worth the attempt.
posted by vverse23 at 2:54 PM on May 7, 2010

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