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For music fans, by (alcohol drinking) music fans.

Posted: May 2nd, 2008, by Marceline Smith

Further to our cynical Triptych post below, the successor – Tennents Mutual – has now been launched. Providing you are of alcohol drinking age*, you can help “devise and programme a series of live shows in Scotland in October / November this year”; from what bands get to play, which venues (presumably only ones that sell Tennents) and even which bank gets to sponsor the event. Hasn’t this been done already (ATP etc.) with increasingly obvious choices? The fact that Belle and Sebastian are ruling the board at present is so inevitable, it’s almost funny. Anyway, if you sign up before 30 June, you too can add your votes and suggest new bands for everyone else to vote for. Get to it!

*If you’re under 18 you can’t even LOOK at the website, lest you be driven to underage drinking. Let alone go to any of the gigs. Exactly why is sponsorship of live music by makers of alcohol a good thing?

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.

For all you guitarists…(or bassists)

Posted: March 19th, 2008, by Chris S

Guitars are funny things. They break a lot. It can be very upsetting to say the least.  Taking it into your local Enormostore isn’t exactly the best idea and you don’t often find quality guitar repairers in the Yellow Pages.  Luckily for you, if you live within a few hundred miles of Nottingham, luthier and general life-saver Andy Farrell has finally got with the 21st century and has a website so you don’t have to go through the strange Masonic rituals that I had to go to to to find him when Wolves Of Greece were going through a guitar every 2 months.

Andy’s a rare commodity in the guitar world. As anyone who has ever gone into a guitar shop will tell you it’s possibly the only area of consumer goods where the old saying “the customer is always right” doesn’t apply. Most people who work in the world of guitars are either frustrated musicians, former Guitar Institute students, snobs or arseholes. Or a delicate combination of all of the above. Andy, on the other hand is as far removed from that stereotype as possible. And what’s more he once chinned someone in Academy Of Sound which puts him at the top of my estimations anyway.

He’s done countless repair jobs for me as well as for pretty much everyone connected to the Gringo Records label. He’s done work for nearly all of my guitar-playing friends at some point or another even managing to permanently re-assemble the infamous Telescopes guitar where others had failed when it snapped for the 4th time. He should really put on his website that he restored the Telecaster used by Franz Ferdinand from a right old shitty state a few years ago.

So, there you go. Loads of you play guitar, it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t sneer or talk down to you and can offer you good impartial advice and make your gear work as well as it can.

So looky here: www.andyfarrell.co.uk

Triptych 08 – The final fling

Posted: March 13th, 2008, by Marceline Smith

The line-up for everyone’s favourite Scottish, lager-sponsored, city-hopping music festival has been announced and it’s a good one, and so it should be since this is to be the last Triptych ever, nooo! However, they seem determined to make it a Triptych to remember and there’s promises of a new type of event to replace it. Whether this will be a good or a bad thing remains to be seen – it does have the terrible name of The Tennent’s Mutual. This just makes me think of that episode of The Prisoner where everyone starts shouting UNMUTUAL at Number 6. Hopefully it will be just like that.

Anyway, the usual range of excellent bands, DJs and films will making their jaunty way round Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen over the weekend of 25th-27th April. I’m particularly looking forward to the Tramway extravaganza featuring Mogwai, Clinic, Dirty Projectors, Malcolm Middleton, Errors, Frightened Rabbit, Magik Markers, Correcto and RememberRemember all in one place. Tremendous.

Here’s the full list of artists taking part:

Mogwai, The RZA, Candi Staton, Sebadoh, Alela Diane, Clinic, Michael Hurley, Jamie Lidell, Gilles Peterson, José James, Flying Lotus, Theo Parrish, Derrick May, Model 500, Four Tet, Andrew Bird, Malcolm Middleton, Pram, James Blackshaw, Mikel Rouse, Dirty Projectors, Frightened Rabbit, Chrome Hoof, Aidan Moffat & Bill Wells, The Fence Collective, 1990s, Magik Markers, JD73, Buraka Som Sistema, Jah Shaka, Krafty Kuts, A.Skills, Annie Nightingale, JD Twitch & JG Wilkes, The Bays, Skeletons & The Kings Of All Cities, Correcto, Errors, Found, Neil Cowley Trio, Human Bell, Bass Clef, Kitchen Cynics, RememberRemember, Rustie Hudson, Mohawke, Mr Velcro Fastener, DJ Skurge, Harri & Domenic, Mungo’s Hi Fi, Messenger Soundsystem, Dirty Hospital DJs, Orgue Electronique, Four Corners DJs, Norman Blake (DJ Set), Miso DJs, Dee J A’la Fu, Funky Transport, Rub-A-Dub DJs, The Parsonage, David Shrigley (DJ Set), Gerard Love (DJ Set), Zilla / King Cannibal, Joe Acheson Quartet, Mweslee, Grant Campbell, Andrew Divine, Octogen, Sushil Dade, Copy Haho, Pastel DJs, Syntheme, Chris “Beans” Geddes, Paul Cawley, Laurence Hughes, Sace, Departure Lounge DJs, Kinky Afro.

Find out more and have a listen to some of the artists over at the Triptych website.


Posted: February 29th, 2008, by Chris S


Hamburger-throated vocaliser Rick Froberg (Pitchfork, Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes) has a new rock & roll band call OBITS. If you ever wondered what Creedence Clearwater Revival would sound like doing ‘Commotion‘ with an absolute bloody-raw yelper on the mic (I have; often) then this band is for you. Not only that but Rick has a website set up of all his glorious artwork designed to make so-called ‘illustrators’ like me hang our heads in shame. Excellent!


Posted: November 17th, 2007, by Simon Proffitt

Hell yes. Finally, a reunion worth getting excited about. My Bloody Valentine will play live and will also release new material. I’ve got my tickets (I’m off up to Glasgow). Anyone else coming?

RIP Stylus

Posted: November 5th, 2007, by Marceline Smith

In case you hadn’t heard, UK music site Stylus is no more. I always liked their writing and it’s sad to see it go but I think every online music writer will understand why. Freaky Trigger posted a link to Stylus writer Nick Southall’s blog post Why We Killed It and really, never a truer word spoke. If you’ve ever wondered why diskant isn’t updated more often, there is your answer. It is literally another day job for many of us, who already have a day job and one or two other side projects on the go. It’s also pretty much a thankless task repaid in endless emails, piles of terrible demos and without even the ego stroke of web stats, now that RSS feeds count for many of our readers.

The Web 2.0 stuff is also a problem we have at diskant. None of us are programmers and we just can’t build the things we and our readers want to make the site better or easier to use. So, we have to stick with the old ways which are more and more time consuming with less and less people to help out.

I hope I won’t be killing off diskant any time soon but I also hope you’ll continue to be patient and take us for what we are – a bunch of busy people trying to write about the music (and films! and PIE) we love.

Anyway, go read some of Stylus’ best writing while you can. I hear some of the writers are moving to Pitchfork too.

BECK’S FUSIONS – Free tickets!

Posted: August 4th, 2007, by Marceline Smith

I don’t normally post these types of things as I am always dubious of the whole ‘win free tickets by visiting our corporate sponsored website constantly” thing but I actually won some tickets so I will pass it on.

Hyperbolic press info below (“ground-breaking”, haha):

London, Dublin, Manchester, Glasgow. Art and music will unite.

This September four iconic centres across the UK and Ireland will host groundbreaking events fusing art and music. The Beck’s Fusions Experience, a unique touring audio-visual gallery commissioned by Beck’s and the ICA, will show continuous projections created by a selection of the most exciting and innovative artists and musicians working today. The Beck’s Fusions Experience will be open to the public free of charge and will be followed with the exclusive ticket only events.

Each Beck’s Fusions event will build towards a unique live performance from pioneering art and music talent including The Chemical Brothers, United Visual Artists, Calvin Harris and Novak 3D Disco among others who have been challenged to create inspiring and truly memorable experiences.

Trafalgar Square, 6th – 8th September
Chemical Brothers & UVA
Calvin Harris & Novak 3D Disco
Erol Alkan – DJ Set

Meeting House Square, Sunday 16th September
Calvin Harris & Novak 3D Disco

Urbis, Saturday 22nd September
Calvin Harris & Novak 3D Disco

The Old Fruitmarket, Saturday 29th September
Calvin Harris, Errors & Novak 3D Disco

The daytime events are free to everyone. The evening things with the bands are all free tickets. You can win them on the website at www.becksfusions.com. Good luck!

Your Tate Track

Posted: July 31st, 2007, by Simon Minter

Here’s an interesting conjunction between music and art, that I’ve just been told about. Looks like a good thing to me…

“Here at Tate Modern we’ve just launched an initiative called Your Tate Track. The initiative is aimed at unsigned bands and musicians aged between 16 – 24.

Your Tate Track asks unsigned musicians to choose a work of art from a selection on display at Tate Modern and then to write a track in response to it. The public will vote on submitted tracks and the 20 most popular will go before a judging panel which will include, among others, Graham Coxon, Roll Deep, Basement Jaxx and Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens.

The winning track will be installed in the gallery through headphones next to the work which inspired it and will be streamed on Tate’s website. Tracks can be submitted until the 31 August.”

More information here.

Punk Planet RIP

Posted: June 21st, 2007, by Marceline Smith

Punk Planet have sent out their final issue. Sad news. Punk Planet was a big influence on diskant, especially their columns and the range of stuff they covered (their Art & Design issues were always brilliant). They introduced me to two of my favourite ever writers (Jessica Hopper and Al Burian) as well as a lot of amazing bands, labels and people. I wasn’t aware they were having financial and distribution issues but then I haven’t seen an issue in the UK for a couple of years at least.

If nothing else, this is a timely reminder to keep buying your favourite magazines regularly and subscribe if possible. I’m off to renew my Plan B subscription. It may take me months to get round to reading them but I’d be very sad if they weren’t around.

Also, a reminder that I should do that zine roundup asap.

Thanks to everyone who made Punk Planet great.