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Archive for January, 2008

RIP Dave Day

Posted: January 17th, 2008, by Chris Summerlin

Dave Day, the master of the amplified-banjo-in-the-name-of-lunacy passed away last week.

From the WFMU Blog

Here’s some rare footage of Dave kicking the collective ass of a studio of German youths and, thanks to You Tube, all of us too.

2007 – "the worst year of my adult life"

Posted: January 3rd, 2008, by JGRAM

2007

Not a vintage year, oh no. And yet on paper I accomplished a fair bit but the amount of effort it all took made me question whether it was worth the hassle.

A few months ago we did a blah blah blah of our current tastes and trends and mine didn’t really change much in the final third/quarter of the year. My year actually started with GRINDERMAN and has now ended with GRINDERMAN – I seem to be able to relate to the lyrics more than ever. Seeing them perform at ATP was a true highlight of my year although the best live show I saw was easily DEVO at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire in April.

Despite her silly performance at said ATP, CAT POWER remains my favourite artist although I fear this is both a) predictable and b) what is making me so morose. I’ve managed to find Jukebox online already and it is fantastic – be no means her best recordings but no means her worst.

Also one last ATP shout out to ALAN VEGA whose set blew me away with its beats, ridiculous dark humour and message. The subsequent album completely matched the performance as did the SUICIDE support slot for GRINDERMAN at Kentish Town Forum.

The first gig of the year I went to was THE HOLD STEADY at the Borderline and that was a very tough benchmark to beat for the rest of the year. Without being spectacular or pretentious here was a most earnest of outfits looking to get drunk and have a good time, such drunken shenanigans I hadn’t seen since GUIDED BY VOICES. By the time we saw them on the main stage at LATITUDE their legacy was solid gold. Attempting to catch up on their popularity (and slowly getting there) LES SAVY FAV came out with a fantastic but for some reason really fell flat live, despite Tim Harrington climbing over all and sundry. QUI were also in a similar boat, alt rock legends (well, Yow) making some kind of a comeback. The record was so so but the live show was terrifying in the best possible way although slightly tarnished by the reality that the audience was full of oldsters – young people just do not seem to be into this kind of message anymore. Their lose.

I still listen to RADIO ONE semi religiously at work and I swear modern pop producers are some of the most savvy people in music. I experienced almost first hand the tidal wave of TIMBALAND and DR LUKE at work, with their demands and entourages. The first being genuinely talented and the latter some kind of chancer riding the coat tales of CATHY DENNIS. Personally my favourites are BOOTY LUV. Its basically the two birds from BIG BRUVAZ doing covers but they fucking rule!!!! Every time DAVE GROHL appeared on the radio however I felt like vomiting and killing his family.

THE GOSSIP fucking ruled my world this year. The record, a 2006 release I will admit, obviously spawned Standing In The Way Of Control and to have it all over RADIO ONE follwoed by Miss Ditto all over the tabloids, it genuinely felt like back in 1991 when Smells Like Teen Spirit broke – here was “one of us” representing in the mainstream. Sadly The Gossip ain’t Nirvana and Beth is playing the game a bit too well and basically acting way too fucking nice (say something nasty, be controversial and piss people off – PLEASE!!!!). However every time those crappy recorded drums (by Guy from Fugazi) came on the radio it felt briefly like revolution. Almost hand in hand (the Mudhoney to their Nirvana) CSS briefly appeared in a number of places on their way to their American Apparel endorsement. The record doesn’t hold up but Lovefoxxx most definitely does. Schwing!!!!

One of the last gigs of the year I saw was GZA/GENIUS doing Liquid Swords at the Koko as part of the Don’t Look Back series of gigs. It felt like karaoke as I was surrounded by the whitest and most obnoxious audience I have ever been around (following the close second that was the SONIC YOUTH Daydream Nation audience at the Roundhouse). I have now reached the cranky age (I hit 31 this year) where I have become Larry David and hate having anyone around me encroaching my personal space. How fucking dare they!!! Despite this I did really enjoy GZA/GENIUS though – he has flava!

Records I really enjoyed this year: PISSED JEANS, Visqueen by UNSANE (that band NEVER fails to excite/entertain), COMMON’s album, Weatherman by EVIDENCE (DILATED PEOPLE’s dude’s solo album), Rup On Zebra by RUP, the new ROTHKO album, the THESE NEW PURITANS singles (although the album isn’t so hot), KATE NASH turned out to be totally OK (if ultimately annoying) and Police On My Back by LETHAL BIZZLE was single of the year by a grimey mile. The live versions on the DAYDREAM NATION delux version were astoundingly good. The SHELLAC record was fucking rubbish and the sooner THE ENEMY die in a car crash the better. Also quick, before it gets pulled, buy Transmission by NIRVANA from Play.com – how the hell do they get away with selling such a good bootleg?

Friends bands I love: LIMN, BILLY RUFFIAN, ROCKET NO 9, LONG DIVISION WITH REMAINDERS, SHARE THE SHAME, CATS AGAINST THE BOMB, BIG IN ALBANIA, MASSIVE HOSPITALIZATION, RIGHTEOUS BASTARDS and “Keith” by YONOQUIERO.

The movies on the whole sucked this year. I cannot recall on thing I saw in the cinema I loved. Well, I loved MANHATTAN but that is about 30 years old. I did really “enjoy” OLD JOY but it did leave me feeling depressed but I did feel it captured these times that are a changing. And it came on a day where I chose to go see that movie instead of appearing on Stephen Merchant’s Radio Six show chosing Good Weekend by ART BRUT as my song for the lovers. Another movie I really enjoyed was VENUS. I will watch almost any British to mixed results (such as GIGOLOS and LONDON TO BRIGHTON) but VENUS really paid off. Horny old people, love ’em. I love FAY GRIM even if it did stain the legacy of HENRY FOOL is a tough two hours. HALF NELSON also intrigued in a very sombre and sobering manner.

Movie let downs: SIMPSONS, HAIRSPRAY, CONTROL, INLAND EMPIRE, WAITRESS and YEAR OF THE DOG.

THE FOG OF WAR remains on repeated play on my DVD – what a movie!

HBO made better television than Hollywood made movies again this year. This was the year I discovered THE WIRE and a smarter and more intricate, social and topical series there will never be. It is obvious why CHARLIE BROOKER raves about it. At times in episodes nothing appeared to happen but later on in the plot you learned everything had happened. I cannot forget how gripped I found myself one Sunday morning when I had to watch five episodes back-to-back. Being the year I only discovered the show, this meant there were four seasons already in place to devour. For me head and shoulders the best season is the second one with its dock storyline but in the form of Stringer Bell it has quite possibly the coolest television character in history. And just like THE SOPRANOS it has a soundtrack/score to die for, not least the closing montage of season two with I Feel Alright by STEVE EARLE. And of course the various versions of TOM WAITS’ WAY DOWN IN THE HOLE is a theme song to die for.

And mentioning THE SOPRANOS it solidified it’s place as the great television show in history with the closing episodes. With the darkest of humour its strong point, after the flat closure of the first half of season six, the final episodes were a genuine emotional rollercoaster that saw me more than once have to cover my eyes winching in the face of pain and humiliation. With his depth of character TONY SOPRANO is one of the few remaining masculine “role models” and his trials and tribulations and continued soul searching made for compulsive viewing until the very end. People tell me they have never sat down and watched THE SOPRANOS and sadly I feel it is too late, you had to be there and learn how to care for characters who were basically fucking bullies and murderers. As numbers fell right up to the end of the series it felt like I was losing loved ones to my enemies – this show has really suckered me in for the last six years and genuinely changed my outlook on life and attitude, perhaps not for the better. And the soundtrack remained awesome to the end, being the place where I discovered It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding) by BOB DYLAN and providing me with a massive highlight at LATITUDE when I was telling JOHN COOPER CLARKE how amazing the use of Evidently Chickentown was. It was all about CLEAVER. And for the record I fucking hated the ending, David Chase pulled off a trick of Andy Kaufman proportions which he should be equally admired as shot for.

Other telly: I loved SARAH SILVERMAN PROGRAMME for finding new and inventive ways of being offensive and LOVE SOUP which I’ll admit an old show but discovered on DVD this year. And I’ll concede FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS is genuinely funny.

Comedy was fucking stunning, not least for the two week DAVID CROSS AND FRIENDS residence at 100 Club. Not only did CROSS slay both times I saw him but EUGENE MIRMAN proved funnier than ever with KRISTEN SCHAAL and TODD BARRY glowing on a truly amazing bill. RICKY GERVAIS’ FAME show was hit and miss and but exciting all the same. After seeing him several times, I finally met ROBIN INCE and he was a true gent and super witty with it (his MYSPACE blog is the best on the net). The final BOOK CLUB featuring ROB NEWMAN was a truly sad occasion, not least after a second year of being the undisputed highlight of LATITUDE (helping me sneak backstage in the process). JOSIE LONG kicked my ass with her positivity and intelligence another year running (2008 will DEFINITELY by her year) and PAPPY’S FUN CLUB’s Edinburgh (which I saw thrice) was killer and rightfully saw them reaching the newcomers final selection.

Personally my year was ruined by employment agencies, not least the “big two” Hays and Reed. Fools like Simon S****** and Ben W******* condescended me and treated me like scum. I didn’t want to change jobs, I genuinely loved my time at Trevor Horn’s Band Aid recording gaff and working on ZTT and STIFF RECORDS amongst others, but I qualified as an ACCA certified accountant in February (finally!) and deserved real payola. Thirteen interviews later I find myself at a music industry accounts practice on Baker Street. My portfolio has household names as clients (one even mentioned here) but the music industry remains a depressed cesspit of extravagance and wasted money. My commute to London remains a daily four hour roundtrip but honestly, London is worth it.

The closure and subsequent re-opening of FOPP was a lowlight and highlight all in one and now I am back to my old ways of jizzing away my hard earned money on cheap DVDs and back catalogue CDs I am unlikely to never play/watch.

My big accomplishment of the year was my self publishing of JGRAM WORLD, my old blog that got me into all that trouble back in the day. It is a 390 page tome of tangible book! DIY is back in my life!!! And it works as a book, it has an arc and people are genuinely enthusiastic for it. If I am honest it needed more proofing and wasn’t ready to go to print and could easily be edited into something half the size but it is what it is and I am still proud of it even if I do mis-spell Al Qaeda at one point.

The NEW DEN remains my theatre of dreams as MILLWALL plug away at my patience.

PING PONG and Dim Sum was the food to eat.

I only visited ladies of the night twice this year, so that was good and almost fell in love in the final months of the year (fingers crossed for 2008). Christmas was a blow out – I neither got a new dog nor a Nintendo Wii and wound up spending both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve in, on my own. That said my cleaning job of my flat Bohemian Grove on 1 January was the daddy!

I am sure I have forgotten a ton of other stuff I did and enjoyed but enough already!!!!

Things to look forward to in 2008:
NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS!
THE BREEDERS!
THE WIRE SEASON FIVE!
MY RESOLUTION TO ACT MY AGE!

Peace.

The Good, The Bad & The Barely Adequate in ’07, in some kind of order or another:

Posted: January 3rd, 2008, by Dave Stockwell

Recorded music:
————-
STARS OF THE LID – AND THEIR REFINEMENT OF THE DECLINE
Yes it sounds almost identical to “Tired Sounds”, but refinement is right – everything on this 130 minute set sounds almost perfect.

CHRIS HERBERT – DILUTED
A fantastic hour-long collage of sounds, melodies and textures that manages to outshine the magnificent out-of-nowhere debut, ‘Mezzotint’.

P.J. HARVEY – WHITE CHALK
I come and go when it to comes to actually bothering to get around to buying Harvey’s LPs, but this one is exactly what I’ve been wishing for since I first heard Polly Jean sing.

ASTRAL BLESSING – ST. FROCH
Their untitled LP on Mad Monk is incomparably fantastic – as good as so-called “freak folk” gets – but this one ain’t bad: total zone-out head-nodder.

AXOLOTL – MEMORY THEATRE
Yes, it’s a compilation of previously ultra-limited cuts, but for abrasive-meets-gorgeous noise swells it really doesn’t get any better than this. Sorry Chris.

RADIOHEAD – IN RAINBOWS
I’d pretty much given up on Radiohead making any music that I could be bothered to listen to any more, but for a free download I had to give it a chance – and how glad I am that I did. The best thing they’ve done, ooh, since the start of the millennium.

SHELLAC – EXCELLENT ITALIAN GREYHOUND
Okay, after all the excitement after years of waiting, let’s be perfectly honest now: it’s a bit shit, isn’t it?

Live Music
——————
ROSCOE MITCHELL at Dirty Three ATP
Now I know why Warren Ellis called his kid Roscoe. Almost an hour of solo alto sax and clarinet skronk performed to 100 hung-over indie dilettantes at about midday in the middle of a Butlins. It was transcendental, transfixing and fucking immense.

TARA JANE O’NEILL at Dirty Three ATP
Was pretty amazing too, for the few that bothered to stick around for her.

FLOWER/CORSANO DUO at The Maze, Nottingham
What Ollie said.

GRINGO 10TH ANNIVERSARY at the Art Organisation, Nottingham
A lovely day in the sun.

STARS OF THE LID at the Hare & Hounds, Birmingham
Bolstered by a string trio (violin, viola, cello), they somehow managed to be even more affecting in the flesh than on record.

Film
————
ZODIAC
The classiest film of the year by a mile, and possibly David Fincher’s finest hour to date. Yes, it’s far subtler and much cleverer than Seven. It even turned around my opinion of Mark Ruffalo’s acting skills 180 degrees – he is incredible in this.

AMERICAN GANGSTER
Ridley Scott is almost 70 and still doesn’t seem to get the respect he deserves. Sure, he’s done the odd turkey but his powers as a visionary filmmaker in this post-Kubrickian environment are unparalleled. This is almost a minor work by his standards, but is as good a mafia movie as anything up to the first couple of Godfather films.

SUPERBAD
Fuck American Pie and modern day frat-pack bore-fests – this is the funniest and most touching adolescent comedy since Porky’s. It’s almost on a par with American Graffiti and Dazed and Confused.

THE DARJEELING LIMITED
Rushmore I liked, Royal Tenembaums I did not, The Life Aquatic I missed because I was out of the country. However, going to see this on a whim produced a surprise winner: beautiful design, whimsical characterisation, smirk-inducing dialogue and all-in-all a strangely touching ambience. Low key, but distinctly lovely.

EASTERN PROMISES
Not as good as A History Of Violence, but nicely understated and brutally effective. And yes, the fight scene is fantastic.

DEATH PROOF
Well worth a yuck or two, especially if you’ve had a beer or three beforehand. I could have done with the Grindhouse edit to cut down on the excessive ‘girlfriend’ talk though.

IN THE HANDS OF THE GODS
This passed through cinemas in a quiet fortnight in the middle of the summer and is out on cheapo-DVD next week, but it’s well worth seeking out. A no-budget documentary ostensibly about 5 “freestyle-footballing” lads trying to busk their way to Buenos Aires to meet their idol Diego Maradona, it’s an engaging and emotional protrait of young men growing up very painfully in the face of trying to realise an almost impossible dream. Nice soundtrack too.

RATATOUILLE
Another irritatingly perfect Pixar film. Nice to hear Patton Oswalt in the lead role though.

HOT FUZZ
Had my mum cackling like a witch, which is very hard to do, especially with so much foul language bandied about. Somehow both funnier and less substantial than Shaun of the Dead.

THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND
Yeah, it was alright, but nothing special. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; when will they stop giving out Oscars for actors just doing an impression of a real person? (see: Charlize Theron, Jamie Foxx, Nicole Kidman, and now Forest Whitaker)

KNOCKED UP
Incredibly uneven comedy, with moments of brilliance and horror interlacing some otherwise pretty dull scenes and characters. Left me feeling very confused about what kind of film I’d just seen.

THE SIMPSONS MOVIE
The absolute epitome of ‘barely adequate’. Slightly better than recent car-crash seasons of the series, but absolutely nowhere near the brilliance of, ooh, about nine years ago-era Simpsons. It really did need a “we’re in a total cash in”-type musical number just to properly rub it in your face.

SPIDERMAN 3
This was dire. The “characterisation” of the villains was cringe-worthy, Maguire and Dunst were eminently punchable throughout and the endless special effects were coma-inducing. Please, no more.

DVD
—-
THE FOUNTAIN
I think Darren Aronofsky’s third film spent, ooh, about a fortnight in UK cinemas before it disappeared into obscurity in late 2006. A fortnight I vainly spent trying to persuade anyone to go and see it with me. Thank god for DVD then, for this film is absolutely incredible, beautiful and utterly heartfelt. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a film where someone has so obviously poured so much of himself into it. It’s very easy to be very cynical about such an obvious love letter to his wife (Rachel Weisz, starring alongside Hugh Jackman), but if you forgo the sneering it could possibly be the most touching film you’ll ever see.

BLADE RUNNER: THE FINAL CUT
At last! Not that it’s particularly different to the so-called “Director’s Cut”, but the transfer is eye-poppingly good, and a 3 and a half hour documentary is the very definition of exhaustive. Definitely worth getting the 5-disc version, complete with multiple different versions of the same film, if you’re as much of a BR/Phildickian geek as me.

General Highlights
——————
CORMAC McCARTHY – THE ROAD
This book is the motherfucker. As good, yet at the opposite end of the spectrum to, his other masterwork, Blood Meridian. Look out too for the Coen Brothers’ adaptation of his previous book, No Country For Old Men, in UK cinemas from 18th January.

ELECTRICAL GUITAR COMPANY
Made me an amazing, matchless, instrument. It’s a bugger to keep clean though.

THE ROCK BANDS CREVECOEUR AND SINCABEZA
Are two bands full of some of the loveliest people I’ve ever met, let alone had the pleasure of touring with, and are both compelling live acts.

MOVING OUT OF SNEINTON AND INTO A NICE FLAT
No crime! No noise! No setting fire to my wheelie bin! No dog shitting on my kitchen floor! Space for all my junk! Living with my girlfriend! 2 minute’s walk from a guitar shop, a couple of decent second-hand record shops and a decent pub or two! Nottingham isn’t all that bad.

COOKING
I love my knives. I love meat. I love eating. It’s all good. Especially steak.

£3 DVDs FROM TESCO
2001. Jaws. Casino. The Shining. Barry Lyndon. Total Recall. A Clockwork Orange. Yes!

AMAZING MUSIC MADE BEFORE I WAS BORN
Funkadelic. Harmonia. Fela Kuti. Sly & The Family Stone. Leonard Cohen’s first 4 albums. Obscure 1960s recordings of various African bands (on Mississippi Recordings’ Lipa Kodi Ya City Council LP, which really was my album of ’07). Pre-1980s Neil Young. Donna Summer. Marvin Gaye. Aretha Franklin. AC/DC. Cluster. Thelonius Monk. Even Led Chuffin’ Zep. I even dug out my mum’s copy of Abbey Road when I was home for Christmas and it sounded great.

FINDING A COPY OF JOHN COLTRANE’S A LOVE SUPREME IN A CHARITY SHOP FOR 50p
It’s a crime.

2007 – Good Riddance

Posted: January 2nd, 2008, by Simon Proffitt

In most ways, 2007 was pretty miserable, and I’m glad to see the back of it. I didn’t hear much new music, I didn’t watch any new films, I got rid of my entire CD collection accumulated lovingly and painstakingly over the past 14 years, and all the creative projects I engaged in were either not very good, totally ignored, or both.

However, I moved house, which was a good thing, and I now live here, 8 miles from the nearest shop:

Simon P's garden

This is the view from the field on the other side of the road from my house.

Things to do in 2008: earn some money somehow, get Fourier Transform back on track, learn Welsh.

2007 Review

Posted: January 2nd, 2008, by Chris Summerlin

2007 was a weird one. It’s only looking back through my photos of the year that I realise how mental it was at times. I turned 30. I visited Germany, America, Ireland, Scotland, Spain and some other places I have forgotten. It was also my first year of full self-employment.

HIGHS

Design stuffs: I am far worse off than I ever have been, I have debts and my income in somewhat slender but yet I managed to be self-employed for a year and not lose my mind. Too much anyway. Having people genuinely be interested in my work has been really amazing, I never considered that it would happen or that people would want to employ me but it seems to be coming together. Fingers crossed.

Being 30: I’ve had a mere 3 weeks of it but I like it. It’s good. I am considering buying a Gibson Les Paul. If you play guitar, you will know this is a full-on sign of impending middle age. I even had a serious discussion with someone about whether or not the band Cream were any good, and I have used the phrase “tone” in relation to playing guitar at least 3 times recently. Surprisingly, I like all of this.

Music
: Music matters this year have been weird but overall good. It’s been a slow year for different reasons and lots of things I wish had been finished by the end of 2007 are dragging into 2008. The first few months of the year were a total mindmelt for Lords. We went up to Glasgow and played hungover before a lunar-eclipse. We then ended up at SXSW in Texas and there was a week in May where we opened for Shellac and then The Groundhogs and in the middle of this I played solo opening for Isis and supported Smog with Felix. It was like Jim’ll Fix It. All of this was amazing fun.
I put out a solo album called Darkness on my housemate Gareth’s Low Point label which is going from strength to strength and 2008 sees plenty of releases on the horizon.
We started making a 2nd Lords album but some seriously bad fortune means it’s only just been finished. The making was a really good, fun time again though and reminded me why being in a band can be so good for your general well being.
Gringo Records had their 10th Anniversary Festival in June and I knackered myself out completely by playing with Clambake, Lords and doing a last-ever-gig with Reynolds, 5 months after our last-ever-gig in January in London.
I did some other stuff this year too that was enjoyable; I played in the 100 guitar orchestra for Glenn Branca at the Frieze Art Fair in London and enjoyed it so much I’m off to Italy in February to do it again.
I played with Damo Suzuki again, though had to sit down to do it as it was only a week after I had keyhole surgery on my knee so I couldn’t stand up.
First on the horizon for 2008 is recording an album with the band Felix. Main-lady Lucy recently toured Europe on cello for Stars Of The Lid which scuppered plans to record before 07 went by but that’s first priority in the next few weeks.

Records/gigs:
High On Fire: Death Is This Communion
Big Business: Here Come The Waterworks
Sir Richard Bishop / Sun City Girls
Plenty of Ike & Tina
Nuggets/Pebbles etc
KARP
Get Hustle in Nottingham
Magik Markers, Oxbow, Melvins, Earthless, Dynasty Handbag, Qui at SXSW
Earth, Portishead at ATP
Joeyfat at Silver Rocket 100
Chrome Hoof at the Bad Taste Carnival in Nottingham
Dan Higgs in Skipton
Bilge Pump at Leeds Unity Day

Car: my current car is a Peugeot and it’s amazing.

Mexican Food: fuck yes!

LOWS:

Nottingham: It’s a shithole. The local area has gone from bad to worse. No one seems to know how to use a rubbish bin, smashing the bus shelters is a sport and everyone is fully committed to ‘fronting’ 24 hours a day and giving anyone in their way a rash of shit for nothing. There have been burglaries, vandalism, beatings and arson involving close friends. The police really couldn’t give less of a toss either. It’s like by living here we should somehow expect it.

The internet:
It takes 10 mins of reading the comments on any random selection of You Tube clips to understand the negative effects the internet has had on the world. Every opinion that flits through a person’s head is now given equal weight with any other rational, well considered conclusion. It is impossible to read a good piece of journalism that isn’t a regurgitated press release or a throw-away piece of useless opinion that serves no purpose other than tickling the ego of the writer. + KNOW 1 CAN SPEL N E MOR. FUCK THE INTERNET!

Bad luck: this year has seen some fully shit luck dealt out to people I know who don’t deserve it while people who should rightfully be smited walk the streets untouched. I look forward to 2008 being the year of the tables being turned.

Noise/ambient/drone music: Fuck this shit. Seriously. To quote Buzz Osbourne “So, you’re an avant-garde, improvisational composer? Bullshit. You’re a lazy fuck. Get a band!”. I would be interested to read a survey on CDR/small run fetishist noise/avant-garde labels that shows, as a percentage, the amount of times a record/CDR has been played in comparison to how many are sold. I would wager less than 10% get played more than once. And then the cunts tour this shit and want to be paid £200 a show and moan about it when everything is less than perfect. Which leads me onto:

American bands/musicians: OK, not all of them. But is anyone else sick of emails for bands touring that ask for insane amounts of money? Just unachievable amounts of money. And for bands that, in the grand scheme of things, are just OK. Or bands moaning about touring the UK like it’s their god-given right to tour and make music and they don’t actually have a choice of their own to just fuck something off if it’s that bad. Or worse still, Yanks ripping on the UK based entirely on some opinion formed from our music press or the bands that they are aware of in America that come from England. So they think we all read the NME and are all hopelessly trendy fucks, or that there is no counter-culture here on the grounds that there can’t be simply because they haven’t heard it. How wonderfully, stereotypically American. I guess it’s our fault for booking the bands or buying into their culture so openly as it seems lots of our American friends view our little island as a nice fat bank run by retards.

Disappointing:
Om – Pilgrimage. Sorry, I guess I am not baked enough. It sounds phenomenal but there’s something really hollow about it. I dug them live a lot though.
QOTSA – Era Vulgaris. Sounds like they needed maybe another month or something to sort the arrangements out and make the riffs into songs.
Rye Coalition – Cursed. This gutted me, I still really love this band but (whether it’s a subliminal thing because he produced it or not I don’t know) this sounds like the Foo Fighters but more cheesy.
Black Mountain live. I think I am missing something here.

Phew. It’s not all bad though eh? Roll on 2008.

2007 in Pictures

Posted: January 2nd, 2008, by Chris Summerlin

In an attempt to fight off Altzheimers I have followed Marceline’s lead and done some ‘2007 in Pictures’ type sets on Flickr to remind me what actually happened. 2007 had some very high highs and some very low lows. Hopefully 2008 will see plenty of the former and none of the latter.

Here’s some eye candy:

PLACES

PLACES

(L-R; Top to Bottom)

NOVEMBER: Skipton, North Yorkshire. Daniel Higgs plays a gig in a crypt.
FEBRUARY: My dining room, Sneinton, Nottingham. February was spent seriously cutting down on my musical equipment hoarding tendencies.
JANUARY: Berlin, Germany. A weekend in Berlin as a late birthday present with the ladyfriend. Insanely cold.
MARCH: Austin, Texas. SXSW with Lords. Insanely hot.
MAY: Barcelona, Spain. A week away to go to Primavera and generally lounge around sipping booze and sunning myself.
APRIL: Derby, Derbyshire. April was spent in the dark confines of Dubrek studio in Derby starting to record an album with Lords.
AUGUST: Cresswell Crags, Derbyshire. Ice-age gorge near Worksop. Excellent. I discovered the countryside in 2007. Long overdue.
JUNE: Barcelona, Spain. I cheated here as I was in Spain for a few days at the end of May/start of June. This is in the aquarium.
JULY: Buxton, Derbyshire. The Opera House in Buxton. Another day out in Derbyshire.
DECEMBER: Kenilworth, Warwickshire. Post Xmas at my ladyfriend’s parents in Kenilworth, home to this majestic ruined castle.
SEPTEMBER: Hunstanton, Norfolk. Me pretending to be the victim of a rockslide at Sunny Hunny.
OCTOBER: Country Antrim, Northern Ireland. The Giant’s Causeway.

PEOPLE

PEOPLE

MARCH: Feasting on Mexican Food at Polvo’s in Austin, Texas at SXSW.
JANUARY: New Year’s Eve turns into New Year’s Day. Neil turns into the Mad Stuntman and likes to move it, move it.
MAY: Pre-gig nerve-settling pint at Koko in Camden when Lords opened for Shellac.
JULY: “Dress as a band name” party in Sneinton. Emily & Craig as Silver Jews.
APRIL: Doing a ZZ Top covers gig in fancy dress for Phil’s birthday.
SEPTEMBER: Ghostbusting with Daniel and Gareth at Sutton Scarsdale Hall in Derbyshire in the middle of the night. Scarier than you might think.
FEBRUARY: Pirate Party in Sneinton. Pirate chat-up line: “Prepare to be boarded”.
JUNE: Drum Carnival in Barceloneta, Spain. Health & Safety not pictured.
OCTOBER: Matt Tagney marries Kerry Carson in Holywood, Northern Ireland.
AUGUST: Joe Mask discovers a trampoline at Barn from Soeza’s wedding to Sanna in Sherwood Forest somewhere. Shortly after this he discovered the floor with his face.
NOVEMBER: Cruciate Ligament repair. Crutches.
OCTOBER (PART 2): Ian Scanlon marries Jane Torr in Cheshire. Drinks drunk, cigars smoked, air guitars played, queasiness achieved.
DECEMBER: My 30th birthday.

Top 7s of 07

Posted: January 1st, 2008, by Jon Goodwin

Live Acts

  1. Jonathan Richman, Barcelona, June
  2. Daniel Higgs, Skipton, March
  3. McWatt, various
  4. Bilge Pump, various
  5. Paper Cut Out, various
  6. Ack Ack Ack, Leeds
  7. The Horse Loom, Newcastle, September

Albums

  1. Nina Nastasia and Jim White – You Follow Me
  2. Rachel Unthank and the Winterset – Bairns
  3. Ack Ack Ack – self-titled
  4. Trencher – Lips
  5. McWatt – self-titled
  6. Field Music – Tones of Town
  7. Army of Flying Robots – Life is Cheap