diskant is an independent music community based in Glasgow, Scotland and we have a whole team of people from all over the UK and beyond writing about independent music and culture, from interviews with new and established bands and labels to record and fanzine reviews and articles on art, festivals and politics. There's over ten years of content here so dig in!

 Subscribe in a reader

Recent Interviews

diskant Staff Sites

More Sites We Like

diskant rewind: Mild Head Injury #2

Posted: August 29th, 2008, by Simon Minter

(Originally posted December 2001)

Mild Head Injury by Simon Minter

Today’s lesson begins with some ramblings about an ACTUAL, REAL BOOK with words in it and everything. Because oh yes, I do more than just listen to records, I live a fulfilling and exciting life which occasionally involves reading and watching the telly. Anyway, this ‘ere book is called ‘The Creation Records Story’ and is a great big eight-hundred page mutha of a tome, covering the, er, Creation Records Story from shambolic beginnings in the early 80s up to becoming The Record Label Of Oasis. And along the way, of course, we meet all kinds of crazy pop kids such as The Jesus And Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, The House Of Love and Teenage Fanclub. It’s an interesting story not just because any sane music fan will and must own many of the records mentioned along the way, but also because in a proper in-depth kinda way it takes in the surrounding independent music scene which grew up from punk days, through the eighties, up to today, when ‘indie’ means something entirely different to the pop man in the street. It’s packed full of juicy little anecdotes and revealing insights into the machinations of the evil big business side of music, it if nothing else it’ll make you dig out some of those old 7″s in wraparound sleeves to remind yourself of times gone by.

But, no time for reading? Then let’s get on with talking about some records. Or CDs. (Much as I hate CDs, they don’t seem to be going away).

Mother Goose have this album, right, called ‘Junior Magic’, on the Soda imprint of the Seriously Groovy Music empire. And it’s a funny little shiny silver beast, like if Grandaddy were more angry and twisted, or like if Sonic Youth were a Fall covers band with a strong interest in fairy tales. Mother Goose are from Finland, where everything must be a bit … different, as on one level the songs here run the gamut from semi-hardcore noiseouts to cheeky plodding pop ditties, yet on another level the songs here are clearly the work of deranged individuals who should be kept well away from other human beings. In the best way possible. It’s a nice, sub-40 minute album too, so tunes come and go without outstaying their welcome, like a friendly visitor breaking into your house and scattering thought-provoking notes all over your carefully-arranged record collections.

On my stereo RIGHT NOW, as I type, is ‘Burnside on Burnside’ by R.L.Burnside, who some of you may know from the ‘A Ass Pocket Of Whiskey’ album from a couple of years back which featured some Blues Explosion types as backing band. Well, this is grizzly old bluesman Burnside here performing live, in a rollockin’ rollin slide-guitarring foot-stomping style. Like any true bluesman (possibly) he says ‘well, well, WELL!’ after every single song, much to the delight of the appreciative crowd. It’s cracking stuff and ideal to put on before a night out losin’ your woman and drinkin’ whiskey. My one reservation might be that some of the songs seem somehow interchangable, with the romping melodies repeating here and there, but goddammit, R.L.’s way cooler than you, or anybody you’ll ever meet.

17 November 2001 saw an exciting trip to Gloucester, surely one of the most grey and depressing cities I have ever visited, for the Ochre 7 Festival, a day of noise experimentation and postrock chin-stroking hosted by the abstract and variable Ochre label. After arriving just in time to catch the last 30 seconds of Avrocar (the main reason we had gone), the line-up (as far as I can remember – all these dreamscape sampler types tended to blur into one) consisted of The Freed Unit, Yellow 6, 90° South, Longstone, Skyray, The Land Of Nod, Applecraft and Lupine Howl. And not Aarktica as promised. Lupine Howl, ‘as sacked by Jason Pierce’, were obviously sacked for being too-rehearsed retro-rockers without an ounce of experiment or fun in them, as far as I could tell. The Freed Unit were pleasing with their special brand of cheeky oddpop, but somehow sounded a little flat. The rest of the bands, to be honest, were much-of-a-muchness, mainly consisting of some bloke fiddling with a computer and repeating a sample over and over. Perhaps it works better on record than live? I don’t know. The whole day was kind of an interest-disappointment-interest-disappointment trip, but I was still left feeling pleased that people still bother to (a) make music which is somehow different, and (b) put on festivals like this.

More exciting hardcore live action recently came in the form of Hood, live somewhere in London. I will say no more about this except ‘ahhh… yes of course they were superb’ and let y’all go and buy at LEAST their most recent ‘Cold House’ album on Domino for the introspective washes of melancholia you need.

Econoline have a new single out – ‘I’m plagued’ – on Infur, yet another arm of the Seriously Groovy global supercorporation. If you know anything about diskant you’ll know that we all love Econoline here, and this single continues their fine form in an ‘English Fugazi‘ / ‘More skilled Superchunk‘ style, or something like that. You can read more about them elsewhere on this site.

And you know what? I’m gonna stop there. There’s still a couple of other things I was going to talk about, but let’s save ’em until next time. (Plus, I should’ve finished this yesterday so it’s not like I have the luxury of time any more…)

The feeling of the week for this week is warmth, and pangs of regret. So that makes Hood my band of the moment right now.

Simon Minter

Simon joined diskant after falling on his head from a great height. A diskant legend in his own lifetime Simon has risen up the ranks through a mixture of foolhardiness and wit. When not breaking musical barriers with top pop combo Sunnyvale Noise Sub-element or releasing records in preposterously exciting packaging he relaxes by looking like Steve Albini.


Comments are closed.