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Archive for March, 2005

A Few Things Of Note

Posted: March 5th, 2005, by Marceline Smith

A Few Things Of Note

– I’ve tidied things up a bit here, you may have noticed. Hope you like it.

– Congratulations to Stewart and Beard for winning the EMAP Fanzine Award for best music fanzine presented by, of course, Steve Lamacq. The new Beard zine is well worth buying and not just because there’s an interview with me in it, ahem.

– Those of you missing listen-to and/or looking for a new Friendster/Myspace fix should sign up to Audioscrobbler which tracks your listening habits if you play music while online and links you with other people with similar listening tastes. Typically, I recognised a few of mine from zine/blogland. My page is here – feel free to mock me.

Black Flag

Posted: March 5th, 2005, by JGRAM

I just saw the Wannadoo advert on TV again with Black Flag’s “Nervous Breakdown” as the soundtrack to a bunch of “rebellious” young whippersnappers choosing not go to with AOL. Oh man, when I saw that I thought (hoped!) I had imagined it.

Sent to AOL Customer Services yesterday

Posted: March 4th, 2005, by Chris Summerlin

“Hello AOL

I wish to cancel my account with immediate effect.

My main screen name is Chrissummerlin77

My daytime phone number is 0115 847XXXX
Although not even a free wad of money and a blowjob would convince me otherwise.

With thanks
chris”

So email me from now on at (my website name, spelt correctly, all one word) @fastmail.fm

FIREWORKS NIGHT – It’s a Wide, Wide Sea (Organ Grinder)

Posted: March 2nd, 2005, by Alex McChesney

In all fields of entertainment, there’s much to be said for the carefully planned opening move that grabs your audience from the get-go, leaving them rapt and attentive for the rest of your set. Fireworks Night clearly took this advice to heart, because “The Gold Leaves”, track number one on this, their debut album, immediately makes the listener sit up and take notice. And not with a gimmicky sledgehammer to the ears, either, but by being such a mournful and delicate song it makes you feel like slipping into a warm bath and opening your wrists. It’s a lovely, dark thing constructed out of minimal, booming percussion and delicate vocals. Sadly, It’s also the best song on the album, which does the collection as a whole no favours. Fickle buggers that we are, being grabbed in the first minute isn’t quite enough when you spend the rest of the album’s running time waiting for one which does the business as well as the opener.

It’s a pity, really, because, on first listen at least, it takes a lot away from what are generally fine songs. The Bill Callahan-esque baritone never returns, replaced by a Wayne Coyne-like squeal, though the trend for carefully understated but imaginative instrumentation happily survives intact. While the acoustic guitar reigns supreme, there’s still room for some nicely trashy banjo, and a precisely-judged cheap organ sound that brings to mind a dusty back room in which there’s an old woman accompanying Daniel Johnston on an ancient Casio. But maybe that’s just me. The mood of the record is more hopeful than it at first appears, as though, once kicking you into the gutter, they invite you to take a peek at the stars. And it works, to a point. But misery is a force to be reckoned with, and it’s only on subsequent plays through the album that the beauty of some of the later tracks reveal themselves.

Entertainment is all about tweaking your emotions, and making you feel when the drudgery of day-to-day living has left you numbed. Fireworks Night are yet to break new ground in this area, but they have the tools and have demonstrated the ability to do so. I’ll be expecting big things from album number two. Don’t let me down, guys.

Fireworks Night