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Archive for February, 2007

Misguided press officer activity

Posted: February 27th, 2007, by Simon Minter

This, from a recent e-mail I received from a press agency:

Hi Simon,

How are you?

I am working with Danish model/singer/presenter Anine Bing who is soon to be launching a new webiste featuring some of her best shots and her tracks form her forthcoming album. It will also feature a forum area where fans can chat directly to Anine.

Anine is best known in this country for the Ellesse ad that featured her cavorting in the rain on a tennis court with a male model. The picture was banned on billboards due to a large amount of crashes due to distracted drivers, and helped propel Anine into the FHM 100 sexiest women list!

Outside of the UK Anine is a huge star. Working in Los Angeles as the presenter of a top celebrity entertainment show, she has been linked to the likes of Jim Carrey, Tobey Maguire and Anders Svensson.

I wanted to know if you would consider running a news piece on the launch of the site. I thought it would be suitable for your readers as they will be able to chat directly to Anine and the site will have some great pics (examples attached).

If you could let me know your thoughts I would really appreciate it!

So readers, I consider this a news piece. Is it suitable for you?

The underground noise music scene

Posted: February 26th, 2007, by Simon Minter

This from the most recent Volcanic Tongue e-mail update:

“Totally vile artwork on this new ultra-limited handcut lathe courtesy of Nate Young of Wolf Eyes’ AA records from European actionist Andy Bolus. Sound is suitably disgusting noise mong with blasts of automaton crud and a particularly queasy aspect that’s all his own.”

…but can I dance to it? That’s what I’m asking.

You have to love the stupidity/pretentiousness of the underground noise scene at times!

Buy records here: Volcanic Tongue

TD LIND – Radio Proposal (CD single, Tall Tale Records)

Posted: February 24th, 2007, by Simon Minter

I ended my review of TD Lind’s previous single ‘Come In From The Cold’ with the suggestion that he ‘could be pushed into the mainstream with the help of a hitmaking producer and an integrity-free manager’. What do you know, on ‘Radio Proposal’ that seems to have happened. Kind of.

Admittedly, the producer here is Lind himself, and I can’t say who he’s managed by. But where his previous single was a chirpy blues number without many connections to the current foibles of mainstream music, ‘Radio Proposal’ borrows from the mid-70s pop stylings of Supertramp or Godley & Creme (and, perhaps tellingly, with their recent success, The Feeling). It’s all one-two-one-two rhythms, plonking goodtime piano and overblown production. It’s not particularly offensive or unpleasant, just strange as a follow-up to TD Lind’s previous single – simplicity and subtlety replaced by pomp and musical-comedy style arrangements.

For my money, it’s one of the other two songs on the CD that proves a better indication that Lind is capable of more interesting work. ‘Last Kiss’ echoes ‘Come In From The Cold’ with quiet and repetitive backing music to a simple vocal delivery, building and receding in intensity and featuring a bowed saw solo that is as bizarre as it is pleasing.

On the basis of the two singles I’ve heard, TD Lind is slightly struggling to find his stylistic feet. If he can choose the path of invention that seems open to him, he could fare very well.

TD Lind

diskant brain injection

Posted: February 24th, 2007, by Marceline Smith

As promised, a few posts ago, I have created A MONSTER RSS FEED which includes the following:

– full posts from the weblog
– full reviews from the reviewsblog
– daily links from diskant’s del.icio.us
– photos from the new diskanteers Flickr group
– updates on new features, Talentspotters etc.

If you are an RSS hero, add this link to your reader NOW. It is a beta link so some things may change again. The current RSS feeds will continue to work so you can still keep subscribed to them if you don’t want all this extra stuff. It’s fine, we understand.

If you are currently an RSS dullard (and I see from the reader survey that we have quite a few) now is the time to learn. I am really not joking when I say this will change your life.

RSS is a way of subscribing to the content of a website which means all the content comes to you, as it happens, instead of you having to go over there and see if anything’s changed (which is hasn’t except for as soon as you leave, then they upload tons of stuff which you don’t see til the next time you visit). You can subscribe using a web-based RSS reader such as Bloglines or even your personalised Google Homepage, or you can download a free desktop RSS reader such as NetNewsWire Lite (for Mac) or RSS Owl (for PC). You can also subscribe using Firefox and even IE7 but I haven’t tried this yet. With both these options you can add all your favourite website feeds and there are literally millions of them. Almost all of our blog friends linked down the left side there have RSS feeds. I will post a guide to my favourite RSS uses on the web soon.

Once you’ve added all your feeds, you just sit back and let everyone else do the work. If you have a desktop reader, it will automatically go off and fetch new content for you which you can even read offline. If you have a web-based reader then you have one site to check in with regularly that will tell you if there’s anything new to read. You usually get the full content though you will have to click through to the site to see comments or full articles. Speaking from experience, it will immediately half the time you spend faffing on the internet as you will no longer have to trawl through a bunch of sites only to see nothing has changed. Unfortunately, you will start discovering so many new things on your RSS feeds that you will quicky fill that time back up.

So, don’t be scared. Give it a go and come join us here in The Future.

This is the URL you should add for the diskant feed:

Bring down the NME from the inside

Posted: February 23rd, 2007, by Simon Minter

So it seems that NME, the “world’s greatest rock weekly” (a quote that would have applied pre-1990 more readily than it does today) wants a new features editor:

Department: NME
Contact: To apply please complete the following potential cover feature treatment for three bands: The Twang, My Chemical Romance and Razorlight

– Cover photo concept/structure
– Main cover sell
– Feature picture concept
– Feature headline
– Feature sell
– Brief for the feature with word count
– Two potential feature pull-quotes

Include a CV and email to: editor@nme.com

Closing Date: 23rd February 2007
Email: editor@nme.com
Reference: (M&S608)

(Also see here)

Get your applications in today, people, and you could be hyping the next flash-in-the-pan self-created ‘scene’ within weeks. Bring on New-Nu-Post-Rave!

In other news, the new IPC Media logo has effortlessly repositioned them into what looks like a local graphic design company from the mid-1980s.

From the desk of the diskant Overlord – February 22nd

Posted: February 22nd, 2007, by Marceline Smith

Well, February has been….interesting. My trip to London was good fun with lots of shopping and wandering and eating but then the next day there was hella snow and I got stranded at my sister’s with no plane home! This did mean I got an extra day to have a peek at the V&A and buy more expensive Japanese books but all the extra expense has not done my purse any good. Typically, there was not a drop of snow to be found in Central Scotland. Gah! My purse was refilled slightly by the DADA/Miso Funky Market where I sold a few things and had some fun and sewed up a few new purses. There’s a few things available at my Etsy shop if you’re interested.

The big news at diskant is that we are doing A READER SURVEY to find out what we’re doing right, what we’re doing wrong and what we should be doing in future. The response has been brilliant so far, confirming some of my thoughts and giving me lots of great new ideas. If you have a few spare minutes do please fill it in so we can make diskant even better. There’s even an amazing prize on offer.

The main call so far is for MORE CONTENT, MORE OFTEN which is always our biggest problem. The reviews blog is ticking along as always and the weblog is picking up again but hopefully your comments will inspire our writers to get working on some new interviews and articles. I’m certainly feeling a lot less like giving the whole thing up which is always good.

Current listening: Margaret Berger, Asobi Seksu, Robyn, Joanna Newsom, Errors.

Things for you to read

Posted: February 22nd, 2007, by Marceline Smith

Some things that caught my attention recently:

– A very interesting interview with Thurston Moore about his Ecstatic Peace label at Austin Sound (via TMN)
– Andrew at The Morning News scoffs at us lightweights and our annual roundups. He’s working his way through the top ten albums of EVERY YEAR since 1978.
– the pie debate reaches a whole new level of mentalism over at Freaky Trigger
OxfordBands.com has had a makeover and looks much cleaner and more streamlined. And orange! We need more orange on the web.
– How could I forget?! I have had to create a website at work using our new web building product for testing purposes and so there now exists Bunny Bento, the lazy girl’s guide to bento. I think I will actually keep updating this.

Don’t forget I am adding new links on the home page regularly. I am working on some kind of ALL ENCOMPASSING RSS feed that will basically inject diskant’s every move straight into YOUR BRAIN your RSS reader. Until then, you’ll have to do the work yourself by clicking on this link occasionally.

Charles Gocher R.I.P.

Posted: February 21st, 2007, by Dave Stockwell

Some extremely sad news chanced upon just as I’d finished listening to Sir Richard Bishop’s superlative debut LP “Improvika” for the first time in too long:

Charles Gocher R.I.P.

Everyone needs to have at least one Sun City Girls album in their collection; it’s a real shame there’ll be no more added to the millions you can already choose from. A chapter closes on a wholly singular band.


Posted: February 20th, 2007, by Marceline Smith

I knew that would get you clicking! diskant is undertaking A READER SURVEY so that YOU (being the reader) can TELL US (that’ll be the survey) what you think about diskant and what you’d like to see more (or less) of in future. It’s only ten short questions and you don’t even have to answer them all if you don’t want to. diskant collects no personal information and will never bother you again.

As well as the satisfaction of helping steer diskant in the best direction, one lucky random person will win A PRIZE consisting of the following.

– Some half decent CDs that have been reviewed on diskant or have been sitting here so long the band released something newer. Will likely include some things by FatCat, Resonant and Fortuna Pop!
– A Japanese origami paper covered notebook, handmade by me
– An Asking For Trouble box set, if you don’t already have one
A tin of German soup containing chicken, mango, pineapple and banana (no, really!)*
– A highly sought after diskant badge
– A corporate branded pen from my work
– A plastic stress monkey with googly eyes
– A plastic light-up pen with a dog on top
– A plastic San-X WanRoom table in the shape of a dog (from JAPAN!)
– Whatever else comes to hand in diskant HQ

How can you resist? Here is a picture of some of it. I haven’t gone through the CDs yet.

So, what are you waiting for?


*In the event of our winner not residing in the UK I am not even going to try posting the soup. If this happens I promise to eat it myself and report back.

Trail of Dead, Oran Mor, Glasgow

Posted: February 18th, 2007, by Marceline Smith

It really has been a while. I last saw Trail of Dead live maybe two years ago (maybe three!) and this was a bit of a come down for both of us. They had been downgraded from the QM to the much much smaller Oran Mor and I was reduced to standing on a chair at the back of the venue rather than stageside. They are so much more suited to smaller venues though that it was more of a treat then anything. But first there was Forget Cassettes, the other band of one of the new TOD guys (I keep getting them mixed up…) who had so many technical difficulties that they only got to play about 4 songs. With retro grumbly keyboards, strong female vocals and swathes of guitar noise they were a bit like a noise goth PJ Harvey, the singer similarly striking. I was not in good shape though so they mostly gave me a sore head. Later I managed to totally bash my head in and have a nice bump to show for it. In the olden days this would have been due to excessive fun, these days it is because of tiredness and not looking where I’m going. Sigh.

So, Trail of Dead. The first two songs were utterly atrocious, so much so that I actually almost left. Relative Ways has never been in my top 100 TOD songs and I don’t think Conrad has ever managed to hit those high notes so it was all quite painful. Surprisingly, it was another song I never liked, The Best from Worlds Apart, that turned things around and had them back at what they do best – riot action prog rock. A few Jason songs with him careering around the place like the mentalist he is ( in the audience, up the speaker stacks) got everything properly started and from then on it was all good, if a bit ragged round the edges. Never having been the biggest followers of professionalism or, well, being in tune, they just pulled out all the old stuff and had fun with it, the new guys helping free up Conrad and Jason for more audience interation. Totally Natural, Richter Scale Madness and, of course, A Perfect Teenhood all got the extended fervoured spoken word extended middle treatment and were triple the fun. It all felt like a celebration, like those early days of mayhem and over-excitement. I felt quite nostalgic really. They may have never fulfilled their potential or made their millions but they still know how to work a crowd and how to entertain and how to make me laugh and that’s good enough for me.