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Archive for December, 2007

2007 Digested

Posted: December 31st, 2007, by Pascal Ansell

Cracking albums of 2007

Animal Collective – Strawberry Jam
Battles – Mirrored
No Age – Weirdo Rippers
Deerhoof – Friend Opportunity

Less amazing:

Songs Of Green Pheasant – Gyllyng Street
Z – Mikabe
Hauschka – Room To Expand

GIGS

That Fucking Tank + (argh I forgot their name…)– Port Mahon, Oxford: dancing in my boxers
Shellac + Lords – the thingy in London… oh what’s it called…
Rolo Tomassi – Port Mahon
Jazkamer, Mogwai, Sunn O))), Shit & Shine, Modified Toy Orchestra, Qui – Super Sonic Fest, Birmingham
Othello at the Globe – alright not a gig, but still incredible
Acoustic Ladyland – Zodiac
So So Modern – Cellar, Oxford
The Turn of the Screw – London Coliseum

3 BEST THINGS
Singing in an opera
Peru
Skinny Rugby http://hs.facebook.com/group.php?gid=5561864423

3 WORST THINGS
Hella latest album
Hella latest album
SHITE INDIE TRUCK FEST

Overall: Fee Fi Fo Fum, AS Levels, Uni visits, Finland, Pe bloody Ru, Tenor & Bass, Verdi’s Requiem, Baths, Horndean Special Bitter, teaching guitar, Oxfam records, Taize, Thelonious Monk, 18, Matt Bayliss.

My 2007

Posted: December 28th, 2007, by Marceline Smith

Where is everyone? Having fun or something? Bah!

Records

Scout Niblett ‘This Fool Can Die Now’ – just lovely. The Will Oldham songs are great but I could easily have managed without them, the rest is so good.

Girls Aloud ‘Tangled Up’ – Oh shut up. There is no way to dislike this album.

Prinzhorn Dance School S/T – Purposefully treading a thin tightrope of brilliance between shouting nonsense lyrics as read off a newspaper on one side and pretentious art-rock sneering on the other. With added Skinned Teen naivete.

The Royal We S/T – just FUN, and so Glasgow. A real Saturday night party band.

Sunnyvale Noise Sub-element, whatever the hell it is called – Hurrah! It really has been far too long in the making but worth it, especially as now the old songs sound new again.

Electrelane ‘No Shouts, No Calls’ – a keeper

Margaret Berger ‘Silver Fairy’ – Adorable Scando-electro-pop.

Souvaris ‘A Hat’ – wasn’t feeling this at all until walking home in freezing fog. Now I get it.

Blood Red Shoes 7″s – ALBUM NOW PLEASE

Live Music

Robyn at the Classic Grand – I have never seen anyone have as much fun onstage as Robyn.

Lords at ABC2 – Lords + lunar eclipse = Hurrah!

Joanna Newsom & Northern Sinfonia at City Halls – just perfect in every way

Errors at various places – ALBUM NOW PLEASE

Prinzhorn Dance School at Sleazys – loud, minimal, shouting, arrogance.

Mogwai at Supersonic – heartbreaking

Watching

I have been to the cinema precisely twice this year and managed to miss half the things I wanted to see. Thus this is more of a DVD list. I also watched nothing on TV this year except for Doctor Who. The joys of starting your own craft business.

NANA 2 – I don’t like the new Hachi but it was still cool seeing my favourite manga coming to life. I’m also recognising areas of Tokyo with ease now which makes my heart ache for JAPAN.

The Golden Compass – disappointing as expected but still entertaining. It just could have been oh so much more.

LOST S3 – Thanks to Greg Kitten I have spent much of the year watching LOST and babbling incomprehensibly. S4 looks like being similarly awesomes.

The Wire – So good I had to re-upgrade my Amazon DVD rental as I am watching them faster than Amazon can deliver them.

General Highlights

JAPAN – Even better than last time even though we just stayed in Tokyo the whole time. I’m sad I never got to bore you with the details but you can still look at my 7 million photos or read my incredibly popular Tokyo Shopping Guide (still in progress).

Gifted – I was very honoured to be included in this exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland. Even more so to have been asked to restock after my stuff started selling out. It’s still on if you’re in Edinburgh before the 6th.

Asking For Trouble – I am still fairly giddy about complete strangers buying things I have made and shops and galleries wanting to stock them. Not looking forward to self-assessment though, argh.

Holland – our little family excursion to visit all the family history sites was really fun in a way that family things usually aren’t. Yay for family windmills!

Supersonic – My only festival outing this year and a very enjoyable one, not least for getting to hang out with some of my favourite people and see a bit more of Birmingham.

Portsoy Boat Festival – unless this counts. The boats themselves weren’t so exciting but I had the best company, the most perfect Summer weather, the glory of the North East coast, my mum lading the table with her greatest dishes and the sort of road trip that involves chips in Forfar. More road trips next year please.

Lowlights

No Audioscope – damn you UK railways! Why is it so expensive to get to Oxford now?

No ATP – None of the lineups really grabbed me this year. Also lack of holiday time. BOOOOO.

No-broadband November – Losing your internet in the run-up to Christmas when you have an online shop is very stressful. I never want to go back to dialup hell. Yay for big refund apology though!

Overall for the year

Hm. It’s been an odd one. Lots of excitement but not much momentum. 7/10

Things I am looking forward to in 2008

My Bloody Valentine!! thanks to surprise ticket gift.
New diskant
New exhibition (more on this soon)
My 33 and a third birthday
Seeing my friends again

My year in photos

Posted: December 27th, 2007, by Marceline Smith

Yesyes, I am working on my 2007 in review post. In the meantime, here is my year in photos. One for each month! This was very hard as I have taken approximately 14million photos this year. But here we are:


(L-R, top to bottom)
October – Tokyo at night from the Mori Tower.
March – Visiting the family windmill in Zaandam, Holland
June – Shop at The Barras with Miso Funky
November – Finnieston Crane in Glasgow taken from a bus stop
January – Starting the new year with bento lunches. Still going strong!
February – Stranded in London by overnight snow
April – Blossom on Glasgow Green
May – Me on the bus for Flickr’s 05/05 contest
July – Supersonic at the Custard Factory
August – Making purses for the Gifted exhibition
September – Gocco printing
December – Having a kawaii Christmas

You can view them full size with descriptions at Flickr by clicking here.

MERRY KARPMAS

Posted: December 24th, 2007, by Chris Summerlin

KARP IN ALABAMA NOVEMBER 1996

THE WHIP IN OLYMPIA

MERRY DEAFMAS!

I Return

Posted: December 21st, 2007, by Marceline Smith

5 weeks in dialup seems like a lifetime but I am BACK. Sadly just in time for the quietest time of the year. I will post my review of 2007 on Monday probably and hopefully everyone else is planning theirs. Please check my blurb on the homepage for what’s happening round here. This bit is particularly important though:

RECORD SUBMISSIONS ARE CLOSED FOR 2007. We are not accepting anything for review until January 2008. You can continue to mail the robot if you wish and he will let you know when we decide something. Until then we will be concentrating on getting the all-new diskant ready and launched and see where we go from there.

Some Enjoyable Things About 2007

Posted: December 4th, 2007, by Ollie

It sounds like the big annual end of year round up won’t be happening this year (thank BT) so here is my blog-shaped summary of the last 11 and a bit months….

Recorded Music

PANDA BEAR – PERSON PITCH
Really, really spectacular. Up there with Sung Tongs for general mind-hurting magic.

JUSTICE – [bastard html cross]
Bangers.

JAMES BLACKSHAW – THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING
His finest hour so far. Saw him play these songs very quietly to a room of about 800 very noisy people and got sad.

FLOWER-CORSANO DUO – THE RADIANT MIRROR
Did this come out this year? I don’t care, it’s shit hot.

MENEGUAR – STRANGERS IN OUR HOUSE
A weird one at first but a real grower. The best indie rock band in the world.

RACCOO-OO-OON – BEHOLD SECRET KINGDOM
The point at which this band really fucking came together, and the closest document to their blazing live set.

MAGIK MARKERS – BOSS
Never liked Sonic Youth this much.

OM – PILGRIMAGE
Admittedly not a patch on the previous two LPs, but still hits that sweet spot, and the only reason I’ve paid Southern Lord any attention all year.

CELEBRATION – THE MODERN TRIBE
Managed to ignore this band for ages. Saw them on MTV2, courtesy of The Horrors.

ANIMAL COLLECTIVE – STRAWBERRY JAM
Still got it. For Reverend Green makes me grin.

DINOSAUR JR – BEYOND
Am still yet to fully recover my hearing after seeing them 18 months ago. Why aren’t there more records like this being made? Makes me feel about 13.

VIBRACATHEDRAL ORCHESTRA – WISDOM THUNDERBOLT
Searing electric joy, with added Matthew Bower.

GANG GANG DANCE – RETINA RIDDIM
Could probably get a mention under film too. Like hearing Aphex Twin for the first time all over again.

Live Music

JUSTICE at Primavera Sound, Barcelona
Holy fucking shit. Epic.

FLOWER-CORSANO DUO at the Portland Arms, Cambridge
The kind of thing where you can’t really believe it’s actually occurring. To quote Chris Summerlin: “Smokin”

VIBRACATHEDRAL ORCHESTRA at Palimpsest, Cambridge
Been waiting for years to see them and they were more than worth the wait. Got cosy on the floor at the front and was caressed into a state of total brain death over 45 minutes.

WOLF EYES at the Man on the Moon, Cambridge
Finally.

TRENCHER at the Portland Arms, Cambridge
One of a few bands that suddenly seemed to get really good this year. Like getting stabbed up by carnies.

ISIS at Primavera Sound, Barcelona
Couldn’t have predicted this at the start of the year. Absolutely fucking IMMENSE. The first few seconds of ‘The Beginning and the End’ was like the entire history of rock music condensed into a single moment. Wanted to explode.

MENEGUAR at the Portland Arms, Cambridge
Feel weird putting this since it was my gig, but they really were magnificent. High stress yields best results, it turns out.

RICHARD YOUNGS at Palimpsest, Cambridge
Really divided opinion, but for me he was transcendent. Totally a cappella, and caused feelings in me that I’d literally never felt before. Wild.

TIGHT MEAT w/ SONNY SIMMONS at the Portland Arms, Cambridge
The point at which I ‘got’ jazz in general probably. Still reeling from this now in fact, especially given how much I didn’t enjoy their set at Palimpsest.

SUNSHINE REPUBLIC at the Portland Arms, Cambridge
One time provincial ‘noise/drone’ no-hopers split my head/the whole world in two. Something like undergoing experimental kidney surgery in the empty back room of a pub.

JOANNA NEWSOM at the Royal Albert Hall, London
Biggest gig I’d been to in years and years, and really the perfect setting for her. Lovely lovely lovely.

Film

TRANSFORMERS
Fuck the haters. Right from the opening line it felt like my entire life had been leading up to seeing this film. There was a huge sense of “Well where the fuck do we go from here?” upon exiting the cinema. So immensely entertaining I wanted to cry.

I’m tempted to leave it there, but cos I’m a sucker for lists…

INLAND EMPIRE
Completely emptied my head of any thought for a good hour after seeing it. Felt like the future of filmmaking whilst watching it, this may have been a slight overstatement, but still terrific.

RESCUE DAWN
Herzog. Bale. Yes. Really surprised by the lukewarm reception this seemed to get, some moments of total genius in there.

CONTAINER
This probably came out last year, but I’m putting it anyway. Only discovered Lukas Moodysson over the last few months and have loved everything of his I’ve seen so far, but this is easily his standout work for me. Abstract weird shit about identity, celebrity and cross dressing maybe, but it struck a few chords with me that few other films have for a very long time. Still not as good as Transformers though.

General Highlights

ICELAND
Still regret not just staying there forever.

BARCELONA
Party town.

TWO WEEKS OFF WORK
Managed to cram about a years worth of fun into 13 days.

EXCELLENT HOUSE
With excellent people. Never want to move ever.

MEAT
Eating the flesh of dead things makes me feel ALIVE.

WII
Zelda: Twilight Princess, Resident Evil 4 and Super Mario Galaxy have all kept me out of trouble for long periods.

H&M
New clothes for the first time in about a decade.

Overall for the year:

8/10

Things I am looking forward to in 2008 include:

Bjork in Wolverhampton
My Bloody Valentine in London
Primavera / my birthday in Barcelona
Other places that are not this country
Forgetting all about gigs and music and getting into hiking or scuba diving or something
New job? Probably not actually