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Archive for October, 2006

DANANANANAYKROYD – Some Dresses (Jealous Records)

Posted: October 18th, 2006, by Marceline Smith

Yeah! Remember when music was fun? Dananananaykroyd do.
The day I got this record I played Some Dresses approximately 14,000 times in a row and every single time I got excited by the off-mic entire band chanting at the beginning. They make being in a band look like the most fun thing to do in the world (Which it should be, or else why are you bothering?) and they’re going to inspire so many new bands. I’m glad party bands are back, bands who understand that songs should have dynamics, who know how to work a crowd and get them involved. Like Lords, Dananananaykroyd make complicated music look piss easy: observe the way Some Dresses breaks down into a complete shambles half way through only for them to casually pick the melody back up and carry on. They’re the kind of band that can twirl their drumsticks and their guitars and not miss a beat. The funny thing is, Danananaykroyd have timed this perfectly. If they’d put this record out 3 or 4 years ago it would have got lost in the post-post-rock/math-rock aftermath boredom years but now in the midst of our Franz clever-ironic hipster doom, this sounds so fresh and vibrant. Picture the scene at Indian Summer this year – Dananananaykroyd casually whipping the early afternoon rained-on crowd into some form of cult style frenzy – and know that fun and fervour are back. Yeah!

Jealous Records
Dananananaykroyd on Myspace

PATRICK WOLF – Accident & Emergency (loog)

Posted: October 17th, 2006, by Alasdair R

I’ve put off posting about this song for a while because I’m not sure if I can really capture in words how much I enjoy it. If you haven’t heard of Patrick Wolf yet he is a (seemingly) sweet natured young guy from London who makes great pop music from a wealth of instruments and machines. His last two albums were masterful pieces of work that showcased a truly individual spirit alongside a great talent for rich and textured song writing. Patrick can oscillate between acoustic and electric with ease while his singing surprises at every turn.

“Accident & Emergency” is a beat-boxing, casio explosion of a folk-disco record. Drum machines make surprisingly easy bedfellows of accordions and siren samples punctuate the call of Wolf’s growling vocals. It is damn near perfect and it is out on Monday the 23 of October.

myspace – www.myspace.com/officialpatrickwolf
his own site – www.patrickwolf.com
youtube – Patrick Wolf ‘Accident & Emergency’ video
loog – www.loogrecords.co.uk

Help me pick some music

Posted: October 17th, 2006, by Marceline Smith

Hello. I have 50 free song downloads from www.emusic.com. My mother gave them to me. I was fairly excited about this as it’s an independenty version of iTunes with no nasty DRM and it has a pretty good selection of labels involved including Dischord, Kill Rock Stars, K, Wiiija, 4AD, Touch & Go, Matador, Chemikal Underground etc etc.

BUT, what with my recent listening being mostly major label pop music and tiny local bands I am actually finding it rather difficult to think of anything I might want and trawling through things randomly is getting tiresome. So far my ‘Save for Later’ area has ‘Starlite Walker’ by Silver Jews (which I haven’t heard in FOREVER) some Lung Leg songs I only have on vinyl and a Comet Gain album. So suggest things I might, or should, like and if they have it I will download it and let you know what I think.

Also if anyone wants a free trial let me know and I’ll recommend you so I get even more free songs.

No Music Day

Posted: October 16th, 2006, by Marceline Smith

Bill Drummond presents No Music Day

From the desk of the diskant Overlord – October 14th

Posted: October 14th, 2006, by Marceline Smith

I’m not sure what’s happened but I am suddenly awash with brilliant ideas. I am famed for having approximately 14 brilliant ideas a day, and intend at some point to open an Ideas Consultancy, but few of these ever relate to diskant. However, this week I have thought of literally 5 great new things for diskant and I will hopefully find some time to create them sometime soon. All will be revealed soon (unless end of year poll time looms first) but here is the first:

Exciting news!
Believe it or not, the diskant newsletter will soon be resurrected and will be entirely awesome. Turning up once or twice a month, it will let you know about all the new interviews, features and reviews on the site, what’s up on the blog, some tips on cool events and websites you should check out and whatever else we think you might want to to know about including EXCLUSIVE NON-WEB CONTENT*. Wowee. You best sign up now if you’re not already a member. You can do so here.

Possibly my new-found enthusiasm is due to the fact that it’s quite clearly Autumn now and this brings happy anticipation of jumpers, snow and the annual joys of Instal and Audioscope, not to mention my first jaunt to Winter ATP. I’m glad I kept half my holidays for the end of the year as once I run out of things to anticipate it will be practically next year. By the looks of things this could be a Grand diskant ATP Reunion and we’ll maybe even manage some kind of report back, as these have been sadly absent since, well, I stopped going. Look out for some Instal reportage next week once we’ve had our fill of noise.

I have also been reading an awful lot of books recently so I will try and put together some recommendations for next time.
Current listening: Squarepusher, Trail of Dead, Dananananaykroyd, Girls Aloud, Joanna Newsom, The Rapture.

diskant interview slackness stats: Interviewees: 2, Me: 3

* This may just be some jokes about pie but, you know…

Arrrghhhhh! I AM SO EXCITED

Posted: October 12th, 2006, by Chris Summerlin

COME ON!!!!!!!!!

Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait

Posted: October 9th, 2006, by Alex McChesney

First, a confession of prejudice: I don’t like football. In fact, sometimes I hate it with a passion. The antipathy comes from growing up in a soccer-free household and being the wilfully unsporty kid who always got chosen last for school playground matches anyway. The strong dislike comes from living in Glasgow. I’m not sure if that part requires explanation or not. Anyway, my heart sank rather when, upon signing up for a course on contemporary international cinema at the GFT, I found out that the first screening would be a documentary about a footballer.

But Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait isn’t your average documentary. The film follows Zenedine Zidane throughout the course of the Real Madrid vs Villa Real game of April 23, 2005, in real time, from the moment he steps onto the pitch, to the moment he leaves it 97 minutes later. The progress of the game itself is mostly incidental; what’s happening elsewhere on the pitch is of little or no interest to the camera. Only Zidane himself is important.

The majority of the film keeps him centre-screen, following him around the pitch, but it is punctuated by shifts in style. The camera will drift out of focus, or become momentarily distracted by some tiny detail – the goal netting, or a television camera – or disappear to the very top of the stadium and take in the whole-game in long-shot. We are briefly treated to a short series of subtitles from, presumably, an interview with the man himself, in which he talks about playing football as a child. Sometimes we hear his every breath, muttered word or thump of ball-against-foot. Presumably he has one or more radio mics on him. Either that, or this film deserves an oscar for foley work alone. At other times, only the excellent Mogwai soundtrack is audible. At one point, the sound of the match is replaced with that of children playing.

The problem is, for all its technical excellence, and the bravery inherant in making such a film, is that Zidane isn’t particularly enjoyable to watch. For much of the film, he is blank. Stoically focussed on the progress of the game elsewhere on the field. When the ball does come to him, it’s gone again in moments, and with a couple of exceptions you are left with little or no sense of where it went or how his actions affected the outcome of the match. The film doesn’t stick with him at half-time, preferring instead a montage of images from around the world on a single day, and by never allowing him an existance beyond the pitch, he becomes a sweating, spitting footballing machine whose final product you have precious little chance to appreciate since, whenever he does encounter the ball it is gone again in moments. The film doesn’t really care about the game, only the player, but divorcing one from the other leaves him diminished and dull.

If the intention of a portrait is to give you some insight into the person depicted, then you come away from this film having learned that Zidane is a professional footballer who’s concentration on the game is absolute, except on occasions when his temper bubbles over, as in the incident which earns him a red card, ending his game, and the film, anticlimactically.

And so you wait, patiently, for one of the film’s aforementioned breaks from watching Zidane run on a giant green treadmill, and when they come they can be surprisingly beautiful. In one brief sequence the roar of the crowd, and the accompanying Mogwai soundtrack, are filtered and distant as we are taken on a walk from the corridors behind the stands into the stadium proper, like a fan who had to nip out to piss and his hurrying back in case he misses something. Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, these moments impart a sense of place, and the communal event taking place, and seem far more powerful than watching Zidane spit for the 80th time.

If the point is to give you a sense of a man withing the same framework as you, a member of the public, might otherwise experience him (by watching a game), but with all extraneous detail stripped away leaving you with just him and his game, then as an experiment the film is a success. Unfortunately, the findings of the experiment seem to be that there isn’t much to show.

But, then, maybe lacking the gene that allows the appreciation of football also means being unable to appreciate lengthy closeups of sweaty footballers. I think I’m happy about that, come to think of it.

Zidane, un portrait du 21e siecle at the IMDB

MP3 Round-up

Posted: October 7th, 2006, by Marceline Smith

I have been downloading stuff more than usual lately, using MP3 blogs rather than slsk which I have not bothered to install on my new mac yet. I like this way better as you don’t have to think about what you want, instead you just cherrypick from a rush of MP3s being flung at your ears. And, as a bonus, sometimes you get some good writing about the tracks. It’s even good for The Artists as MP3 blogs generally only post 2 or 3 tracks from an album, making me much more likely to buy the album than if I’ve got all the tracks off slsk.

So, here are some new things I have heard that I have added to my buy list.

…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – So Divided (some MP3s here and here)
Oh, how times have changed. I didn’t even know Trail of Dead had a new album coming out! This is where MP3 aggregators are great. I spotted some unfamiliar TOD tracks, clicked over and discovered the new TOD album, complete with pretty cover art. By the sounds of things, TOD have finally made the major label album they always intended to. Where Source Tags was a bit too commercial and throwaway and Worlds Apart a bit too sprawling and bloated, So Divided sounds like it could be the one where they get their prog-pop in perfect balance. Stand In Silence, the only likely hit song so far, sounds so much like another band but who? Anyone?

Squarepusher – Hello Everything(some MP3s here)
These tracks are so good that after one listen I was all set to get off the bus and go buy the album before the shops shut. Except it’s not out til next week. I’m no major Squarepusher fan, more someone who picks up a cheap album here and there bt nothing I have sounds as great as this. It’s so clean and warm and layered. I love Hello Meow’s xylophones, like Tortoise gone pop and Welcome to Europe’s insanely clever interlacing, warped melodies. I am so excited about this album.

Joanna Newsom – Ys (some MP3s here)
I was pretty much in love with The Milk-Eyed Mender when it came out but I wasn’t entirely sure whether I’d buy her new one. A long wait at the bus stop on a rainy morning listening to these two 10 minute long songs and I’m thinking I probably will. These songs seem less attention-grabbing, more subdued but still sweet and strong. Sounds like it will be perfect for cold, damp autumn days.

Ellen Allien & Apparat – Orchestra of Bubbles (some MP3s here)
I’ve been pondering buying this for a while now but it hadn’t drawn enough attention to itself. I’m a big fan of Ellen Allien who I find so much more playful than your average techno artist and so far this is softer than her recent releases, sounding vulnerable and a little unsettling.

MP3 BONUS – Those of you who haven’t heard the wonder that is Gay Against You, you can now download their CDR album for FREE! Do it.

I will try and do this on a regular basis and if anyone else wants to join in please do. What have you been downloading lately?

POPUP – Lucy, What You Trying To Say (art/goes/pop)

Posted: October 6th, 2006, by Alasdair R

I heard some positive whispers about this band a while back but being the casual music fan that I am I didn’t take notice and I didn’t check them out. I now fully regret that lack of commitment as, on the basis of “Lucy, What You Trying To Say”, Popup are now my new favourite band.

The story of Lucy, a slightly shy girl on a night out on her own, is touching, warm and funny. In a does-what-it-says-on-tin kind of way, Popup have delivered a great fun, up beat pop song. Their vocals shine with personality, guitars gleefully deliver exuberant hooks and the drums boast beats that wouldn’t be out of place on a Beyonce CD.

I particularly enjoy that the Scottish brogue of lead singer Damien Gilhooley reminds me slightly of The Proclaimers and not at all of River City. This a good thing.


Chicago Trip

Posted: October 6th, 2006, by Chris Summerlin


Like great adventurers of yore, Team Damn You! set off to Chicago in September to attend the Touch & Go 25th Anniversary.
We took a squillion photos and they, along with some diary style blurb is here:


Sitting opposite the base of the 'Corn Cobs'

Enjoy with your brain!