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Archive for November, 2003

Hello

Posted: November 28th, 2003, by Chris Summerlin

My lack of posting is actually because of 2 things. First of all my pathetic computer is really up shit creek this time. It freezes all the time when I’m online (blue screen of death) so to combat this I hurled the keyboard at the screen in frustration as I tried to chat to my girlfriend on the other side of the world and it froze again. Luckily I only damaged the keys but for some reason it doesn’t register every key when I type in Blogger.

Also I started a new job which is notable only because I’ve managed to exceed all my previous efforts at finding the worst job ever. I am an archivist for 3 weeks on temporary assignment putting a huge companies files in alphanumerical order and devising a filing system for it after the boss wisely got his kids in over the 6 weeks holiday to do it and the fucked it up. I think the first requirement of filing is to know H comes before J. Anyway, I sit in a huge empty room, just me and my files, all day. No one talks to me. It is a piss poor state of affairs but I need the money. The only relief is burying myself in the files with a book, this week I’ve got through The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin and am 1/2 way through the Prison Letters Of George Jackson. Both books have the capacity to floor you, I’ll write more about them in the future.

But I need a new job. Does anyone know how you get to be a journalist apart from get some talent and stop swearing, using the “…” three dots at the end of every sentence and stop starting every paragraph with “Anyway”?

Anyway, fuck…

PW Long / Golden

Posted: November 21st, 2003, by Chris Summerlin

I’m liking this Blogger lark. Makes me feel like I’m living a worthwhile life if I post everything on an internet site and 3 people read it. Last night I got to tick another band off the ‘bands I’d love to open for’ checklist when Lords played with PW Long. Wish we’d played better or more people had been into it but PW and drummer would have kicked our asses even if we’d have hired dancing showgirls and a juggling monkey.

I just got stuck in a horrific traffic jam en route to Northampton but it turned good as I got to listen to the mighty GOLDEN over and over. What a band. If you have never heard them don’t fear, I’m going to get my shit together and track one of them down for an interview for Diskant but basically its guys from Trans Am, Six Finger Satellite and Royal Trux playing scorching saucy rock. With a weird South American latino salsa feel. Their first records (S/T and Super Golden Original Movement) piss on Oxes for ripping weirdo metal. Then you’ve got Golden And Rhythm-Beat Jazz which is the Golden chiefs with the horn section from the Boom/HiM. Next up is the awesome Golden Summer which is like Freddie Mercury fronting the greatest rock band imaginable instead of Queen. Then a couple of years ago they put out Apollo Stars. What a bitching record. The singing on it is just unbelievable. And the guitar solos. Wow. I don’t think they’re active anymore though, the drummer Jon Theodores in the Mars Volta, Phil Manleys still doing Trans Am, Alex Minoff was in Make Up and now is in the Scene Creamers and someone told me Ian Eagleson was an ethno-musicologist. They fucking COOK. So go sell all your nasty math rock bullshit and get a Golden shower. If you’ll excuse the pun. APOLLO PIZZA: PUT IT IN YOUR MOUTH!!!!!

Franz Ferdinand

Posted: November 18th, 2003, by Chris Summerlin

Aaaan another thing. A while back I started basically working as a guitar pimp on the side. If anyone sees Franz Ferdinand play then you’ll see one of “mine”. I looked through the NME last week and there was my old guitar. Lovely chap too.

So, if anyone wants a specific guitar drop me a line. Current peaches are a 1963 Mosrite bass and a Fender Mustang. For info and prices just email me.

Lords

Posted: November 18th, 2003, by Chris Summerlin

I forgot to draw your attention (and your links pages) to the Lords website:

www.honeyisfunny.com/lords

New and improved…

Hello. I smell awful

Posted: November 17th, 2003, by Chris Summerlin

I don’t know how bands go on tour anymore. I just played 2 gigs in 2 days and I smell like the underside of a racehorse. But we had a weird time, Elvis our drummer said that I would probably “post a load of rubbish about the weekend on some website somewhere” so I don’t want to disappoint.

We played Worthing on Saturday as part of our plan in Lords to only play places we haven’t been before and/or places by the sea. The gig was with Hey Colossus the new Stanton/Econoline/Yeast supergroup thing. They rocked hard, they sound like Isis and are nearly as loud. We had fun. Between songs I noticed Elv was rubbing his titties and Phil called everyone ‘FUCKING FARMFOODERS’ at one point. We played a new song that sounds like Santana. Guitar solos rule, especially when you’re as piss poor at them as me. The last band were really funny, they had really expensive guitars but no cases and they were all arseholed so were dropping these things about in the street. Stayed at promoter Colins house and sat up with him and his son talking rubbish, his whole family were super friendly generous people. Watched a great kids show on Sunday morning with 2 guys going into museums an quiet places and seeing who can shout “Bogeys” the loudest without gettin kicked out.

Which reminds me of a joke:

Q: “Why did Madonna feed her child dog food?”

Even the Lords wagon pissing diesel everywhere on Sunday morning was treated like a bit of a laugh. Dave Crofts was in tow but had already gone to the pub at 8am on Sunday to see the Rugby so we went to the beach and were seriously considering unloading the gear and doing a Magic Band style beach gig at one point. We fucked about all day then headed to Brixton where we were playing a squat with Cat On Form.

The squat was a really cool place, an old pub that can’t have closed too long ago as everything’s still set up for a pub or bar. It was pretty hectic as 5 bands played. Birds Of Paradise played first and were pretty ripping, they had a dude on drums who looked like Cee Cee Deville from Poison and his drumming style was well rock school. You kind of got the impression that some of the band had the option of horse riding or music as a hobby and opted for music, they seemed equine. Claque were grand, they had an awesome drummer who was pounding out really brittle clattering rhythms and a guy playing guitar through a bass amp and a girl on viola and vocals. It was really loose and at times gorgeous and at times really heavy. It reminded me of The Ex and also Ganger somehow. We quickly got pissed off, we played pretty badly too. There was a guy DJing who was playing fucking terrible music so we asked him to play a CD we had when we were setting up and he looked at it (John Coltrane) and asked us why so Welding told him we were a jazz band. By the time Hey Colossus had played and COF were playing I was so narked with the place. COF were really supportive of the squat onstage but I dunno, it seemed to me like the people squatting there did so because they could, not out of necessity or a out of a desire to remove themselves from something they find distasteful. Some squats I’ve been to have been set up in a way that’s really efficient and that works and is amazing but this one had the feel of a bunch of kids who could go home at any point living it rough for the feel of it. It was well organised and cool and the girl putting the gig on was really sound so I’m not getting on her case, the gig was great but something jars badly with me when you have tables full of Stop The War leaflets but there’s awful, commercial nightmare punk rock playing through the PA all night and you have these dickhead rich kids running around acting like students pissed on MD 20/20. OK, I’m pretty tired. I guess I liked the place and the people I met but there were some people there who were just really bizarre and not what I was expecting.

I did hear some awesome music at the weekend at peoples houses though – Lord Buckley is a new one on me. A spoken word artist who performed as early as the 30s and lived the life of a Lord in every way. New Nebula album is completely incredible too, not sure when or if its out as this was a CDR. Heard some recordings by Becomes The Water Of Death too that sounded great too.

A: “She couldn’t help it. Its what came out of her breast”

Eight days of live music

Posted: November 16th, 2003, by Dave Stockwell

Today ends eight successive days of seeing live music (I’m practising tonight instead). Saw some great stuff, and some not so great stuff. Here’s a definitive breakdown for you:

Saturday 8th: Enon were really good fun, with lots of danceable bits and nice hooks and riffs, and none of their songs sounded like another. Grade B+ good fun (I still can’t be bothered to buy one of their records).

Sunday 9th: Melt Banana were astoundingly good. I would have like them more if I wasn’t so completely shattered. They played Spathic, We Love Choco-Pa and covered the Damned. Words cannot convey how much better this band is at playing than ANYONE ELSE YOU’VE EVER SEEN. At times I forgot that I was watching a band playing twice as fast and as well as anyone else would dare, because they were pulling it off so well. Just fucking insanely good ridiculous spastic noise blasts, with incredibly hooks and jabs. Local support Designer Babies did an excellent job of blowing unsuspecting heads off too with their extremely unique brand of strange/spastic/twisted/twisted some more. Look out for a 7″ on Gringo Records at some point in the near future. No nice words for The Vexers though, who were the worst elements of this current post-punk revival summed up in one band that didn’t deserve to play a sixth-form college. Just sub-sub-sub-sub-The Rapture and not a lot else. Yuck.

Monday 10th: Grandaddy at Leeds Met Uni were a good band in a sucky venue, playing what was obviously the umpteenth date on their upteenth tour. They’ve got amazing songs, but the sound wasn’t that great, and there were some idiots singing along tunelessly with Jason’s amazing voice in my ear. Plus, how the hell can you mosh to songs as slow as these? When you’re very very drunk and keep falling onto me. I think the Melt Banana hangover didn’t help things much. Shame, because they played well.

Tuesday 11th: Killa Kela, or some such rubbish. A human beatbox for an hour, bookended by lots of old tired-sounding drum ‘n’ bass, incredibly samey hip-hop and even the odd hint of garage by DJs who obviousluy didn’t bring enough records, because there was an annoying amount of repetition of tunes. Lots of people who desperately wanted to be black who drank stupidly expensive vodka purely because it was vanilla flavour or something. Not a lot of fun, but I was at work and therefore paid to be there. The last DJ did end the night with Dead Prez’s ‘Hip-Hop’ though, so I can’t grumble too much.

Wednesday 12th: M83 and their incredible gurning faces played some really nice instrumental stuff. Their album sounds like (the good couple of songs by) Air playing My Bloody Valentine through an ’80s computer, but the live show was much more direct and straight-forward. They pushed a lot of obvious post-rock buttons, but the electronic elements kept things more interesting. It aslo helped that the band were really into the emotional velocity of their music and sweated a lot. I think I prefer them on record.

Thursday 13th: I went to the same The Murder Of, Cat on Form, Army of Flying Robots and Little Girl With Cherries gig as Chris. LGWC, as ever, were amazing in their rhythms and progressions, and continue to to get better every time I see them… at this rate they’ll be the best band in Britain this time next year. I’ve seen Katy sing back in 2001 or so, but apparently they’ve ditched vocals forever, so I guess that deal with Virgin/Warners isn’t going to be forthcoming just yet. I don’t have much to add about AOFR or COF (Chris did a pretty excellent job of summing up both), but it’s worth mentioning that The Murder Of Rosa Luxembourg played last, and were very impressive indeed. Again, I was really tired, so couldn’t get as into it as the madly dancing/shoving crowd.

Friday 14th: Took a trip up to Leeds again to see Soeza, Polaris and Little Girl With Cherries (again), for the princely sum of £3.50. [Almost all the amazing DIY stuff in Leeds is associated with the amazing Cops And Robbers collective, who are broke and desperately need your support, so go over their webpage and, er, read about some amazing shows you can go to.] Unfortunately thanks to Friday night traffic we missed LGWC this time, but I was assured that once again they conquered all who stood before them; which was just as well because the gig was upstairs in Joseph’s Well and there were far more than the legal capacity of 60 people in there at any given time. Polaris seemed to play a completely different set than from when I last saw them a couple of years ago, and did an occasionally uncanny impression of June of ’44. Their chords were absolutely lovely sounding though, and Neil their drummer (also of Bilge Pump and thousands of others) is absolutely amazing, so they were really nice to watch. By the time Soeza played, I couldn’t get into the room after having gone out for a breath of fresh air, so I got to listen from the fire escape. They played some really sublime stuff too, and everyone left with a smile on their face.

Saturday 15th: Liars finally came back to the UK, aided by KaitO and Punish The Atom. PTA were “okay” (snore). KaitO were really quite good, and much better and more visceral than I remember their old records being. Plus, they had a guitarist who gave everyone earache with his effects pedals. Liars were something else. I think they alienated a good two-thirds of the crowd, judging from talking to folks afterwards. They played no recognisable old songs, and quite possibly no tunes. Instead, they played what must be virtually the entirity of their forthcoming album, which was a lot of experimenting with noises, samples, signals and loops, both pre-recorded and manipulated live – definitely a real departure from their old sound. Coming out next February, it’s going to be a tremendously interesting trip. It would appear that the Liars have been listening to a lot of Throbbing Gristle of late, because now they sound like they would be far better suited to sharing a stage with the likes of the Boredoms, The Dead C, or Black Dice than all this post-punk bollocks (here I go again) that they’ve been lumped in with to date. Maybe someone has at last taken the *good* stuff from the No-Wave experiments of the early ’80s and decided to take it further, rather than just using dancey beats and tinny guitars. So yeah, I loved it. A fair few other people were pretty angry at paying a tenner for what was “supposedly all artsy and experimental but actually just bollocks really” (one disgruntled punter at the cloakroom afterwards).

Oh, and expect Talent Spotter to open up with at least one very special label interview around December time. It’s getting all very exciting…

It’s a fanzine!

Posted: November 16th, 2003, by Simon Minter

I was very pleased when an actual, paper fanzine dropped through my door the other day. ‘Do people still make fanzines?’ I thought to myself, before thinking of course, they obviously do. Simply because I’m too lazy to keep up, it doesn’t mean the world has stopped. Anyway. One of my main problems with fanzines is often the sloppy nature of the writing – I don’t take half-arsed attempts at journalism with no bullshit filter and no quality control to equal Punk Rock Attitude – but luckily ‘Stereo Sanctity’ fanzine (number two of which I have here) is pretty consistently high quality in its writing.

Content-wise it’s kind of what you’d expect – reviews, interviews, etc – but with a few interesting things to spice up your life: namely some reviews of comic books and some comic strips and ‘comment’ pieces. The interviews are with Oneida and Meanwhile, Back In Communist Russia… and are a combination of knowingly unoriginal questions (‘what are your favourite records’, etc) and more personalised, reactive questions which elicit interesting responses from the interviewees.

I admire anybody who still bothers to put together fanzines and put the time and effort into photocopying, mailing out, and so on. So why not make Stereo Sanctity’s writer Ben work hard for my admiration by writing off for a copy right now!

It’s £1.50 (according to the cover), plus some postage money or stamps I guess, for 36 A4 pages, from Ben at 3 Ferry Cottages, Cosheston, Pembroke, Pembrokeshire SA72 4TY.

Cat On Form, Army Of Flying Robots, Little Girl With Cherries

Posted: November 14th, 2003, by Chris Summerlin

Howdy. Went to see some bands last night. Little Girl With Cherries are instrumental math rock of the top drawer and last night Katys guitar was overboard loud too. Made for good listening but I still reckon they need to sing. I suspect Katy is hiding a singing voice like Paul Gascoigne or something. Army Of Flying Robots are friends from way back but I haven’t seen them much since Chris left and they went back to one vocalist (Henry). Seems to me like they discovered tunes, the sound could have been better but it was still pretty ripping. Cat On Form impressed too though the scope of influences is pretty slim (Fugazi) to my ears anyway. But it seems like most bands at the moment are about posturing and style so its good to see COF wear their hearts on their sleeves. I don’t think the world of independant music is quite as black and white as they may think though. If you’re going to call people out for selling out or not being independant then how far do you go? Fugazi have a press agent and a booking agent. Southern records use marketing techniques and target audiences for particular releases. You can stretch this to suggest that even having T shirts constitutes pulling away from the purpose of a band and drawing towards commodity. I’m not laying this on COF, I’m just saying that sometimes the argument can’t be summed up neatly into “us” and “them”. But then again at least COF are interested in the argument more than their hairstyles.

Anyway, changing the subject I’m going back to school next year hopefully. Primary school that is. I’m doing teacher training if I’m accepted. Wow. Career direction, you got to love it.

Weird links to diskant #35

Posted: November 13th, 2003, by Marceline Smith

An article on John Peel’s Home Truths website entitled Middle-Aged Groupie has a link to diskant at the end. WHY? It also links to the Obsessive Fan Sites website which trawls the web for horrendous fansites and pokes fun at their use of frames, java and enormous photos and is quite funny if you’re bored. Which I’m not, obviously.

What I’ve been up to

Posted: November 12th, 2003, by Marceline Smith

Hah, that Wolves! (of Greece)/Gringo news not being online is all my fault. I forgot to upload the updates Matt sent me. Duh. Go see here now: www.gringorecords.com. Lots of Gringo in the new, final Careless Talk Costs Lives which I’ve only browsed through quickly so far. Looking good though. I will surely miss it (if you can miss something when you could never find it in the first place..) but ET and Steve’s new projects sound Exciting so it’s not so sad.

I’m also putting a record out on my new Asking For Trouble label which is involving way too many forms and jargon. I’m normally great with forms (I could win a fastest DSS form filling competition for certain) but this is like suddenly losing all your brains. I had to go tackle some MySql databases to make myself feel clever again.

I watched the new Ghibli film, The Cat Returns, the other night after being told it wasn’t being shown at the GFT after all. I’d forgotten how difficult it is to keep up with subtitles while eating your dinner but the subtitles were pretty random so it didn’t matter too much. Once the story reached its climax the subtitlers obviously got bored and stopped subtitling for ages, leaving me highly confused. I ended up having to check the synopsis at Nausicaa to find out what the hell had happened. Anyway, translation traumas aside, it’s a fun little film though nowhere near Miyazaki standards. It’s all about a girl Haru who saves a cat’s life. Only he turns out to be the Prince of Cats and lots of cats from the Kingdom of Cats offer their thanks in many bizarre ways, eventually kidnapping her and turning her into a cat so she can marry the Prince of Cats. Oh no! etc. Luckily more cats in the shape of the Duke and his fat friend (who drowns temporarily in a vat of jelly in a truly Homer-esqe scene (Mmmm, jelly)) come and save the day. Cue elaborate escape scenes. Actually it’s got a similar feel as The Castle of Cagliostro, if everyone was cats.

I want to watch Totoro again now, particularly after reading an interview with Nintendo Hero Shigeru Miyamoto at Zelda.com (Flash required but it is lovely) where he mentions that he based much of the look of Zelda WindWaker with the Amazing Eyes on Totoro. Best film ever inspires best looking game ever. Speaking of, I completed Zelda Link to the Past the other night and now I need a new game. Suggestions please.