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Archive for April, 2008

New Muxtape

Posted: April 29th, 2008, by Chris Summerlin

I like this Muxtape lark. Here’s a new one I did for knuckling down to work to with some obvious choices and even some Eric Clapton: http://sumlin.muxtape.com

Toots & The Maytals – Pressure Drop

Althea & Donna – Uptown Top Ranking

Dave & Ansel Collins – Double Barrel

The Meters – Cissy Strut

Talking Heads –  Once In A Lifetime

ZZ Top – Snappy Kakkie

Muddy Waters – Mannish Boy (Electric Mud version)

John Lee Hooker – I’m Leaving

Bo Diddley – Hey! Bo Diddley (live)

Koko Taylor – Wang Dang Doodle

Blind Faith – Had To Cry Today

Dr John – Gris Gris Gumbo Ya Ya



And the wee boy says “I can see Triptych’s arse”

Posted: April 28th, 2008, by Stan Tontas

I”m baffled by the praise lavished on pish-merchants Tenants and their soon-to-be-forgotten Triptych festival recently. Lots of ill-advised adjectives like “innovative” and “avantgarde”. One Stockhausen gig doesn’t make for an avant garde festival, and all that’s innovative about Tenant’s music sponsorship is their opportunism.

From a corporate eyeball whore point-of-view, they were there first. Other overpriced pint-size poisoners are still playing catch-up in Glasgow. Fair play for that.

Musically, though, they were always second, never innovating. As soon as any independent promoters demonstrated a musical appetite, there’d be Tenants the next year with a less adventurous music bill and much increased ticket price.

Case 1: Planet Pop in August in Edinburgh. After years of the Edinburgh Festival as a musical desert, Planet Pop brought a full bill of indie goodness to scuzzy venues like the Cas Rock and some legendary gigs were had. The Fall in a bar the size of your living room. Sleater-Kinney and Prolapse: were they on the same bill? I can’t remember, but I know they were the best show I’d seen up to that time.

Then what? Tenants think “ooh we’ll have some of that” and bring us T on the Fringe. More mainstream acts, with a nod towards “indie” tastes and a trebling of ticket prices. Cue lots of publicity claiming that there had been no music before Tenants and PlanetPop is written out of music history.

Case 2: Le Weekend in Stirling launches with a proper avant-garde line-up, in the 2nd half of April. That’ll never work. Oh, it did? Here comes Triptych. Less of the avant-garde though, let’s go for hipster. What are young “creatives” listening to? Ticket prices leap again. Beer company praised for innovation and bringing music to cities that never had it so good. Like, er Glasgow. Stuart B of Mogwai takes the piss out of Tenants onstage at STAR, finds himself the subject of a peeved letter from a Tenant PR hack for his ingratitude. (As we know, no-one knew who Mogwai were before Tenants gave them a gig).

It goes on. T-Break. Tenants invents the battle of the bands. Like  X-Factor, but your prize is to be bottled off of a foot-high stage in a derelict army base at the arse-end of Scotland. In front of your schoolmates.

T in the Park! Tenants invents the music festival. Let’s take 50,000 Scots out of their cities to get shit-faced, bleary-eyed and aggresive in the countryside. Take our Buckfast away at the gate, make us drink Tenants at £3 a pint. Like Glasgow Green without the fresh air and sense of space.

It’s all about market segmentation and demographics. T in the Park is your buy-it-by-the-crate lager and Triptych was their attempt to launch an upmarket “aspirational” brand. They actually did use Triptych to launch a new beer but I’m buggered if I can remember what it was called. Epic Fail.

…and coincidentally, the next year, Triptych is canned. Funny that.

Oh God no

Posted: April 28th, 2008, by Chris Summerlin



PHOSPHORESCENT – Captain’s Rest, Glasgow, April 21 2008

Posted: April 23rd, 2008, by Alex McChesney

“Pride”, Phosphorescent’s most recent recorded work, isn’t buried under thick swathes of overproduction, but there is a certain? wooziness to it.? The mournful country-tinged songs are complimented rather than smothered by this, but in the cramped and sweaty confines of the Captain’s Rest, overlooked by the slightly sinister waxwork of the eponymous Captain himself, the atmosphere is very different.? The crowd are sympathetic enough, but I’m sure any musician would like to keep a little more distance between themselves and a Glasgow audience given the chance, no matter how confident they may be feeling about their abilities or the goodwill present.?? Stripped of any backing save that which he builds himself with a loop pedal, the quality of Matthew Houk’s songs and the fragile ache of his voice are laid bare, and prove themselves, thankfully, up to the task.? Much of “Pride” is just as effective in this simpler format, his guitar and vocals loops providing texture when necessary.? Words tumble and fall over one another, lines accomodating far too many syllables than they rightfully should be able to, TARDIS-like, suggesting an off-the-cuff ramble that’s also effortlessly poetic.? He even manages to find some beauty in mawkish Dire Straits number “Close To Me”.

I used to live just along the road from the Captain’s Rest.? I never went inside until tonight.? It appeared to be your typical Glasgow “old man’s” pub, and I must admit that the nautical theme didn’t exactly appeal.? I was surprised when I heard that Phosphorescent were playing there, but this appears not to be a random aberration but the first of many forthcoming shows at the ‘Rest.? Certainly Phosphorescent were a welcome and appropriate debut act for this tiniest of venues that could actually become a favourite if the quality of booking remains as high.

Can I be the first to say…

Posted: April 21st, 2008, by Stan Tontas
  • where the fuck is the 13th Note?
  • Who goes to Brel for music? (A: people who think Ashton Lane is Glasgow’s East End)
  • The Scotia kicks the arse of the Halt Bar if you want authentic.
  • When did the folk in Nice N Sleazy become “painfully well-dressed”?
  • You put your page break in the wrong place.
  • But again, where the fuck is the 13th Note?

Meh I always fall for this kind of commercial website flame baiting. Use the AdBlock firefox extension if you follow that link.

Butlins go all out for ATP

Posted: April 21st, 2008, by Marceline Smith

Does anyone really think ATP was better at Pontins? The info for Butlins ATP has just been emailed out including these gems:

What WE Provide!
Butlins Minehead looks out across a superb sandy beach. The site not only has a supermarket, newsagent and cash points, it also has Burger King, Pizza Hut, Finnegan’s fish and chips, Sun and Moon, Skyline Cafe and Yacht Club Dining room. Onsite facilities include a cinema, Splash Water World – a sub-tropical environment that has a huge wave pool, a swimming pool, 3 flumes and also a flume based raft ride – Ten-pin bowling and amusement arcade. Sports include Archery, Football, Basketball, Darts, Petanque, Fencing, Kwik Cricket, Netball, Rounders, Table Tennis, Outdoor Bowls and Crazy Golf.

Meal Deals:
For those of you who have purchased room only accommodation or don’t feel like cooking over the weekend Butlins have put together a breakfast and dinner package at £34.95.

What you get: Full Traditional English Breakfast, Continental Style Breakfast Buffet, Selection of Cereals and Pastries, Fruit, Toast and Tea, Coffee and Fruit Juices. 3 Course Dinner, served buffet style, including Soup, Hot Buffet, Salad Bar, Desserts and Ice Cream, with Hot Drinks and Juices

Amazing. They don’t even brag about the widescreen TVs, framed pictures, complimentary Butlins chocolate and pyramid of single serving milk either.

So, who else is going to Butlins?

What’s cluttering up the diskant inbox?

Posted: April 17th, 2008, by Marceline Smith

Some emails of possible interest

* The legendary Creation compilation Doing It For The Kids has inspired a new 3CD charity compilation which features such Creation luminaries ex-Jasmine Minks members, Ed Ball, and um, one of Hurricane #1. There are also tracks by the likes of Ballboy, Popup, de Rosa and The Orchids. There are only 266 actual copies available, which will be individually auctioned for Yorkhill Children’s Hospital in Glasgow. You can also download the whole thing here for just £6.49 with all proceeds going to charity. Find out more at www.myspace.com/yorkhillproject

* Roger from the on-hiatus Dawn Of The Replicants has set up “a shabby DIY label type of a thing” called Shark Batter with his brother and are releasing a bunch of new things soon including his new band TheStarkPalace, The Stone Ghost Collective and Vacuum Spasm Babies. Have a listen and find out more at www.myspace.com/sharkbatterrecords

* Beginning your email, “Dear Fierce Terrifying Force” is one way to get my attention. Tom Braham is from Southampton and does aa “free weekly show of nit-wit fun and the best bands live in session” by podcast Not sure about “best” but they are certainly big-ish names like I Am Kloot and Six Nation State. Have a listen here.

* It seems to be down just now but hopefully that’s just a blip. wikimobileactunsigned.com is a wiki “for local band scenes across the UK to create and maintain a local directory of useful stuff in their area. Everything from record labels, studios, local papers and radio, gig venues, cd duplication places, t-shirt printing places, etc etc.”  Good idea if people find some time to help out.

That’s all for now.

Glasgow – It’s so Stylish!

Posted: April 15th, 2008, by Stan Tontas

In the pub last Sunday we found a fantastic mock-tourist guide to Glasgow. It’s so well-designed and understated that we spent the first 5 minutes outraged at the latest Council-sponsored tack.

Foreigners might be unfamiliar with the laughable Scotland with style rebranding / gentrification campaign underway here, much to the amusement of your actual Glaswegians. A black & white photo campaign, much vapid posturing and no recognisable link to everyday life, it’s the public face of an attempt to remake the city as a short-break / conference destination. Thus we have litter wardens dressed as police, sub-Bladerunner video advertising and bouncers repelling the goths from steps at the back of a famous bookchain. A nice place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there.

What The Caravan Gallery have done with their garish and glossy Glasgow – It’s so stylish! is skewer those pretensions quite nicely while at the same time celebrating a more “authentic” (yuk) Glaswegian style. Instead of dribbling on about modern architecture they say “Glasgow has a lot of different buildings”, under a photo of the Norfolk St flats and the accompanying slum-clearance survivor. Not pretty but very Glasgow.

The whole thing could have been just a bitter joke but there’s a sense of affection for the people of Glasgow. No resort to the easy neds-&-knives clichés, the targets of the satire are them as need their pretensions punctured: “A dead conifer adds the finishing touch to this ‘aspirational lifestyle’ balcony” of 1.5 square metres. While at the same time, they’ve picked out the scruffy, unashamed but under threat areas like Paddy’s Market: “This is not ordinary soup, this is Hell’s Kitchen soup”.

Try and get hold of a copy (maybe from these guys), it’ll tell you more about Glasgow than a hundred billboards or gritty exposés.

Nudity, bravery, rock & roll

Posted: April 15th, 2008, by Chris Summerlin

Last 6 mins or so of Bilge Pump in Bletchley. Unbelievable.


Microsoft renders songwriters redundant

Posted: April 12th, 2008, by Stuart Fowkes

Well, thanks to our good pals at Microsoft, it looks like songwriters can pack up their guitars and NEVER BOTHER AGAIN, ‘cos they’ve invented a program that writes a song for you if you sing at it. It’s technically pretty impressive, but the funniest bit is the adjustable sliders that add ‘happy factor’ and ‘jazz factor’ to your song afterwards. I like the idea of sliders that let you mess about with the intrinsic properties of songs. Imagine what you could do to The Kooks.