Welcome

diskant is an independent music community based in Glasgow, Scotland and we have a whole team of people from all over the UK and beyond writing about independent music and culture, from interviews with new and established bands and labels to record and fanzine reviews and articles on art, festivals and politics. There's over ten years of content here so dig in!

 Subscribe in a reader

Recent Interviews

diskant Staff Sites

More Sites We Like

Archive for September, 2006

MY TURN MY TURN MY TURN TO SHOW OFF

Posted: September 28th, 2006, by Simon Proffitt

First record you bought and do you still own it?

The Cult: Revolution 7″, bought from Morrisons in Staveley for 99p. I still have it, but it doesn’t get played too often these days. In those days Morrisons was a rich source of cheap ex-chart vinyl. Revolution really opened the floodgates. I don’t remember the second – probably something ridiculous like The Gap Band.

Last record you bought

4 LP box set of 14th century secular French music from Oxfam in Bath. Haven’t had the courage to listen to it yet.

Last song you downloaded

As we speak (as I type) I’m in the middle of downloading mnortham’s Geosynclines (processed recordings of natural geophysical phenomena, or something) and Will Guthrie’s Spear, which is a solo improv percussion album that I’ve heard people losing their minds over, which must be especially good given that it’s only actually 8 minutes long.

Last song/record you went to enormous lengths to find

I dunno, everything seems so easy these days, what with the internet and stuff. I’m lazy, too – I can’t imagine anything ever being worth tremendous effort. I mean, how good can a piece of rare music really be? Ha ha.

Most elaborately packaged record you own

My currently unreleased solo album is currently packaged in a Ford Fiesta.

Last song you listened to

Cheer-Accident: Graceful Beautiful Animal, from the soundtrack to Gumballhead The Cat. I’m pretty sure that Cheer-Accident are a band that it’s not possible to introduce anyone to. You can’t play anyone individual tracks of theirs, because none of them are particularly memorable or exciting. You have to listen to whole albums. And it’s the kind of music that you have to have a sense of ownership to enjoy. I think that if I overheard someone else playing it without knowing what it was, I’d probably write it off as crap.

Favourite mixtape someone made you that you still listen to

The Mintster made me a great tape of 60’s psychedelia a while ago that would still get played often if the cassette player wasn’t presently upstairs in a box. Mar-c also made me a great mix of POPMUSIC that I actually started to review but never got round to finishing. It will happen, I promise.

What records are you going to buy next?

I’m not allowed to buy any more at the moment.

What are your top 10 most listened to songs on iTunes/last.fm/whatever

According to iTunes:
Shock Headed Peters: Say No To Funk
The Godz: Quack (I’m a Quack)
Thuja: The Magma is the Brother of the Stone
Todd: Hog Blood River
U.S. Maple: Letter to ZZ Top
Sicbay: Herculaneum
Haohio: Marimo
Piero Piccioni: Mr Dante Fontana
Traw & Rhodri Davies: Sgwd Yr Eira
Bing Crosy & Rosemary Clooney: Ol’ Man River

THINGS I LIKE

U.S. Maple
Field recordings
Iceland

NOT

Laying laminate flooring
Dust

Here’s an additional question for future quizanswerers, which I’ve asked some of you before: what are the ten worst/most unlistenable songs in your collection?

NEWAGEHILLBILLY – IV: White Walls (MT6 Records)

Posted: September 28th, 2006, by Graeme Williams

While working in a bookstore, I learned that despite what the cliche says, you can, by and large, indeed judge a book by its cover. It’s not an infallible rule, but it does act reasonably well as a way to filter out crap. And so I approached IV: White Walls with some trepidation, as neither the band name nor the album’s artwork inspired much confidence. Thankfully, I was wrong about this and IV: White Walls turned out to be pretty decent.

Newagehillbilly is the alter-ego of Baltimore’s Alex Strama, a self-described “one-generator of noise, grooves, and moods”. The buzzing, spaced-out electronics of some tracks remind me of LSD-era Coil, while other songs go for a more straight forward heavy/stoner rock feel. There’s a bit of dark electro-pop and even a track that has a Gong/Hawkwind/AMT feel to it.

As you’d probably expect from something so stylistically diverse, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Personally, I think that his electronic tracks are better than his rock tracks (with the exception of “Ghost”), though that may be in part my aesthetic preference. He sounds like he’d be a lot of fun to watch live.

http://www.newagehillbilly.com/
http://www.mt6records.com/

V/A – Total Gaylord Records presents: Cwistmas Twee (Total Gaylord Records)

Posted: September 28th, 2006, by Graeme Williams

So if my maths aren’t complete shit, there are a mere 89 shopping days left until Christmas. That means that it’s probably time to finally review Cwistmas Twee on the aptly-named Total Gaylord Records. The songs on this compilation range from multiculturalist liberal rubbish from Colin Clary (“Meow, Meow/If you don’t believe in Christmas/I still respect your holiday/I still respect your holiday”) to flat-out lies (According to The Specific Heats, “Girls look cuter in winter clothes”, when everyone who has endured hard winters knows that they look a lot cuter when they start wearing sun dresses after the spring melt) to self-pitying nonsense (for instance, “If I get buried by this winter/Who will ever know” from the Snoozer song). The other contributors include The Icicles, Spoilsport, The Lil’ Hospital, Shumai, The Smittens, The Sheets, The Diskettes, and Thee Moths, and it’s largely sentimental jangly indie tripe about snow, rosy cheeks, parkas, snow forts, and so on. Personally, I’m sticking with The Fall’s version of “Jingle Bell Rock”.

www.totalgaylordrecords.com

Quiz?

Posted: September 27th, 2006, by Graeme Williams

First record you bought and do you still own it?

I believe it was The Empire of the Sun soundtrack LP. I couldn’t tell you why. I’m sure it’s sitting in a box somewhere at my parents’ house.

Last record you bought

The double CD reissue of Pavement’s Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain.

Last song you downloaded

I couldn’t tell you, as I don’t really download music. I did, however, copy Psapp’s cover of “Everybody Wants To Be A Cat” recently.

Last song/record you went to enormous lengths to find

The World of Need, Land of Greed compilation LP that Trustkill put out sometime in the mid-90s. It was a bunch of hardcore bands doing covers of Embrace songs, I think to benefit a charity. I wanted it for the Sparkmarker song on there–this was before I knew who Embrace were–but I passed it up when they were selling it at a show, and I didn’t see it again until probably close to five years later at Crosstown Music in downtown Vancouver. I bought it. The record isn’t very good, but it was a satisfying purchase.

A few months ago, I scoured ebay for a copy of Patti Smith’s Piss Factory/Hey Joe 7″ with the Mapplethorpe cover, but using ebay for record collecting is cheating.

Most elaborately packaged record you own

The Roswell Project 7″ on Bacteria Sour. Not a very good band or record, but worth owning for the packaging. For the Pushead nerds out there, I have the green cover version with the file folder.

Last song you listened to

Cerulean Transience Of All My Imagined Shores by Disembowelment.

Favourite mixtape someone made you that you still listen to

I don’t have a cassette player anymore.

What records are you going to buy next?

I haven’t thought about it. Since I’m in a 1990s nostalgia phase this week, probably some Superchunk or Dinosaur Jr or something along those lines.

What are your top 10 most listened to songs on iTunes/last.fm/whatever

From my work itunes (in descending order):

Lisa Loeb – Stay
Kids – This is Rock n’ Roll
Descendents – Bikeage
Patti Smith – Pissing in a River
Three Mile Pilot – On A Ship To Bangladesh
Descendents – Hope
Flying Saucer Attack – For Silence
Articles of Faith – Hollow Eyes
Descendents – Catalina
Descendents – Jean Is Dead

THINGS I LIKE

Cats
Pandas

NOT

I’m trying not to be as negative anymore, so I’m not going to answer this.

KESER–Esoteric Escape (Alex Tronic Records)

Posted: September 26th, 2006, by Dan Pretzer

There is a party happening out there in the wilderness. A small house with a few close friends. Enya knocks on the door. Everyone is milling around, most are on the couch contemplating the same math problem. An overhead projector bulb pops, a strategically placed microphone catches all of this on magnetic tape. The phone rings, it’s on there. Who is on the line? “I want this looped and put a beat I can dance to around my head!” They all comply. I am having trouble breathing. The first thing that comes to mind is all the mistakes I’ve made in the last twenty minutes. This is the many moods. This is the many moods. I’m not in the mood. I’m not in the mood. I should get up and leave this party. In closing, you open that yogurt and the bottom of the lid says “Try Again.” You throw it away.

Keser website

LANTERNA–Desert Ocean (Jemez Mountain)

Posted: September 26th, 2006, by Dan Pretzer

You are alone in the basement with what’s left of the Allman brothers, they keep playing a tape over and over again. They ask you questions like:
“What do you think of this one?” “What do you think of that one?” “Why aren’t you saying anything?”
Your head keeps telling you that the outtakes from the Karate Kid soundtrack or some self help book’s lost chapters is no way to build an album around. A sharp pain hits your foot. The dead Allman brother is repeating himself. There are moments when things feel allright but the majority of the time, you feel not so good. I want to hear some fury and power coming out of my amplifier, maybe when my moods change, this will come back like an old friend and we will talk and find out how much we have in common, but right now…I need some time to myself.

FOREST GIANTS – Planes Fly Overhead (Cherryade)

Posted: September 26th, 2006, by Dan Pretzer

Jolly green forest giants with feet as heavy as lead and hands that find a chord and stick to it, like wolves these fingers mate for life. I see folks in a sweaty garage…who’s gonna play keyboard? Who’s gonna play guitar? Who’s gonna save me and who’s gonna save you? I hear a chord, one chord and then maybe one more, rammed into the ground till the tape runs out and starts to flip flip flip. Third track has Thom Yorke covering his good eye and hoping to hell they don’t come back here again, somebody’s doing his act and doing it better, much better. Small fires are breaking out in the distance, the arsonist stares at his yearbook photo and reads what his English teacher wrote years ago…”You’re gonna be famous someday…” Someone somewhere yells drunkenly GBV! GBV! GBV! Not much argument here but baby, his accent is REAL. Happy birthday. All in all, to qoute Meatloaf….2 out of 3 ain’t bad…..2 out of 3 ain’t bad. Tell me once again what constitutes failure….

BLOOD ON THE WALL – Awesomer (Fat Cat Records)

Posted: September 26th, 2006, by Dan Pretzer

Akin to scoring a ride home from high school with that cute punk rock girl you’ve had your eye on since the first time you roamed the hallways feeling those teenage kicks getting you out and over what was left of the dial. Bumming a few licks from the Sonic Youth vocal training school and the Mark Arm technical academy. The message I hear is loud and clear, at some parts not quite there all the way but enough to have you turn to her as she drives you home and you ask Who is this? She tells they’re called Blood on the Wall. She tells you they’re good, she’s seen them play. Your ears perk up and record every word, sound and inflection coming out of the speakers. Your street, your house and your goodbye come quicker than you planned. You thank her for the lift, grateful for a handshake, (you got to touch her at least, and you’re never washing that hand again.) You get out and walk inside. You pick up a pen and some paper. You write Things to Do at the top. Number 1: Get Blood on the Wall. Number 2. Bum ride from her tomorrow.

From the desk of the diskant Overlord – September 20th

Posted: September 20th, 2006, by Marceline Smith

Some new web things I like

Flickr’s new Map featurewww.flickr.com/photos/diskant/map
Absolute genius and immediately lost me an hour of my life as I mapped all my photos. It’s nice to see how much of Japan I did actually see though locating Mt Fuji was more difficult than expected. I love that you can look at all the photos everyone’s taken in your hometown or wherever. Flickr is possibly my most favourite website ever. Also do enjoy me and Alasdair dressed up as the Super Mario Bros.

BookMoochwww.bookmooch.com
List your unwanted books, send them to other people and ‘mooch’ books in return. Brilliant idea and tied into Amazon so you can check user reviews of the books that sound interesting. I’ve given away two books I would never have read again and will be getting a hardback book of Japanese poetry in return, for FREE. Marvellous.

ThisNextwww.thisnext.com
Odd little site that I need to spend some more time with – you recommend products you like and these are categorised and tagged in similar ways to Flickr and del.icio.us for easy searching and browsing. You can also make lists of related products like Maki’s Recommended Japanese Snacks.

Bloglineswww.bloglines.com
I have mostly been using this as a Blog search engine, to find out what people have been blogging about a gig or event recently. Much better than trawling through pages of unrelated stuff on Google. For those of you who haven’t jumped on the RSS train (and if so, why not? It will literally change your life), Bloglines is a simple entry, a web-based RSS reader that will keep a track of new posts to the blogs you subscribe to.

Current listening: Girls Aloud, CSS, Bertine Zetlitz, Jamelia, Ladytron.
diskant interview slackness stats: Interviewees: 2, Me: 3

Quiz n Shit

Posted: September 20th, 2006, by Chris Summerlin

First record you bought and do you still own it?
The first record I bought myself was the Snap album “The Power”. I don’t still own it. The first record I remember having was The Beatles 67-70 and I still have that though it’s not the same copy.

Last record you bought
I bought a load of stuff in Chicago at the same time: Eddie Murphy “Comedian” LP, Pharoah Sanders “Tauhid” CD, Reissue of “Blind Joe Death/John Fahey” LP, Borbetomagus 7″, UOA 7″, Sun Ra LP the name of which escapes me, Earthless LP, Ornette Coleman “Dancing In Your Head” LP, Thurston Moore/Nels Cline Live CD, Loren Connors “The Departing Of A Dream Vol II” CD, Ken Vandermark’s School Days “In Our Times” CD. It’s the most music I have bought in ages and I’ve only listened to a small bit of it.

Last song you downloaded
I am not a big downloader but I did get all the old Scratch Acid stuff off Soulseek.

Last song/record you went to enormous lengths to find
Not counting Tauhid by Pharoah Sanders (as I settled on the reissue CD) it would be this weird double 7″ called Burlap Fantasy (it’s an 8 track dub-style mix of Mississippi Queen by Mountain) that I heard on WFMU.

Most elaborately packaged record you own
Harry Smith Anthology Of American Folk Music Vol 4 on Revenant. Or “America” by John Fahey.

Last song you listened to
“Holy Teeth” – Comets On Fire

Favourite mixtape someone made you that you still listen to
Chris Thrash made me a really good one called “Don’t Sweat The Technics” a long while ago that was great. Luke Younger made me a few too that were equally good and all feature still in my bath time tape collection.

What records are you going to buy next?
God knows. Probably Bonnie Prince Billy.

What are your top 10 most listened to songs on iTunes/last.fm/whatever
I use none of the above so will guess from my stereo/car stereo.

Comets On Fire – Holy Teeth
Comets On Fire – The Swallow’s Eye
The Gories – Thats The View From Here
The Kills – Cat Claw
PW Long – Stand Up!
The Monorchid – Beard Of Bees
The Monorchid – Distortion
Awesome Color – Hat Energy
Awesome Color – Free Man
Excelsior – Hoedown at the Thunderdome (aka Hoedown At Dude Ranch)

THINGS I LIKE
Going boating on a canal (www.flickr.com/photos/sumlin)
Being in Chicago
The Monorchid at The Note, Chicago
Uzeda guitarist Agostino
Buying a copy of my own guitar for £100
Awesome Color live
My new Polaroid
New Felix songs

NOT
Being in Nottingham
My next door neighbour practising his rapping skills (sorry, skillz) at 7am at concert volume
Being skint
The people of Sneinton