Sunday, 29 June 2008

The Takeover

I'm an idiot because I intended to post this just before it was way too late to say in normal everyday conversation with people that don't listen to music, for fear of being branded a bit, you know, passe. But now it is too late and I'm as on point as that Channel 4 programme about independent music. But here it is anyway, because it's still true. 

"Noel Gallagher must now feel as bad as I do every time I hear one of his records. Jay Z-ee/-ed is no saint, not even someone I listen to a lot, in fact I couldn't tell you the last time I listened to one of his records, but what a way to raise two fingers to the music Nazis. Fuck you, Noel Gallagher. Actually, wait a minute,  you already fucked yourself. "

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Something for the Weekend

With Stephen already monopolising our imagined audience I thought I better pull my finger out. Unfortunately, I don't really have anything to say. Now there's a reason to keep reading...

And so my thoughts turned to this weekend. I'm looking forward to it with equal amounts of excitement and dread. The excitement comes in the form of our friends first gig. Not the first he is attending you understand. He's crossing the line. Joining those brave, or stupid, enough to put on a gig. At least in Mirror! Mirror! and Untitled Musical Project he's putting on two amazing bands with some of the most grounded folk we've had the pleasure of putting on. Even if the former drummer of Untitled Musical Project did once say to me that he had yet to discover one interesting or satisfying aspect of being in a band. I'm sure he was just being droll.

As they say round here "Fair fuck's to him for having a go. I like those bands. I wont be there myself, got something on, but good luck to him." Which is probably the most frustrating attitude you can encounter as a promoter.

Oh and the dread is because of a visit to the dentist for a filling. An injection into the roof of the mouth, the weirdest tasting solution ever and £200 for the privilege. Take care of your teeth kids.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

The Road To Hell

Tonight/tomorrow morning, the Situationists make their national TV debut on Channel 4 at 12:05AM as part of the final few rounds of the Road to V competition. I'm still unclear as to how this process works, but having been selected from thousands of other applicants, Situationists along with 13 (I think) other bands are now being pitted against each other to see who deserves a slot at V Festival this year. Regardless of the outcome and I offer that caveat now to avoid accusations of bitterness when the results are announced, Situationists are far too good to deserve to play V. I'm too good to deserve to play V and I'm rubbish.

Apart from Glastonbury, it's pretty much the worst festival in the world. While there are far less mouldy haired drug casualties writhing in mud facing a non-existent stage ("hello, over here") at V than the aforementioned worst offender, it's still over-populated by Q magazine rocklite atroscities and a crowd of tourists living out of picnic hampers. The Situationists don't deserve that, but they do deserve to be heard by thousands of new people however sickening they may be and they deserve to be paid for it. Because even musicians need to eat.

If you can stomach the gauche idea of music as competition and if you can tolerate a panel of "experts" patronisingly qualifying what's good and what's not, it's worth watching tonight. In fact, it's worth watching regardless, because Situationists are law and the the whole premise is crime. When they rule over it, it'll be a victory for everything that isn't shit about music (i.e. the bit when it sounds good)

In other news, Tough Love is now officially moving to London on Saturday 20th July. We have a house and everything. What we don't have is enough money to pay for luxuries such as heating (fuck it, it's summer), water (fuck it, it's the British summer) and food. If you must, you can donate to the cause by buying some records. I have a suspicion that Apple are rich enough now...

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Non-Celebrity Art Party

Thank you to all that turned up turned-out and turned-on on Friday. My ears are still ringing, my heart still swelling. Of course, all the other band's were great, amazing in fact, but it was all about William, all for them. The cover of "Psychokiller" was fairly unexpected and quite choice. If anyone has any live footage, I'd love to see it. Same applies to photos. As you would expect, the night descended into chaos as it turned into day and while I fell fast asleep with sweaty legs, dreaming of living in the black, others made trouble on pub roofs. That's the way it should be. It's the way it will be. You can take the boys out of Coventry...If you're at all interested, you can buy the William album, Self in Fiction direct from our website for a mere £8.

In between playing said William album to death, I've also been listening to fellow Londoners, Favours For Sailors just that little too much. They mine quite similar influences, if a little more Pavement and a little less Dinosaur Jr. They feature a (I think) ex-4 or 5 Magician now too and it's added some nice scuzzy texture. It's 1993 again and as long as 1994 doesn't follow any time soon, I can't see any problem with that at all.

As is perhaps obvious, I haven't quite grasped how to post MP3s or photos, but one step at a time. It's a slow education. So, the best I can do is post this link and advise that you bother to care now before people more important people than I give you no choice in six months time.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Not Much Water Coming Over The Hill

It's clear we've not quite engaged with this blog format on any significant level, least not a level significant enough to draw regular readers. But just as I like the sound of my own voice, I like reading what I write and the process in itself is a means of gaining fresh understanding. If I'm preaching to the choir, then so be it. There's a lot to be said for posterity, especially as my memory seems to have stopped recording information since around 2001. And it's that same bad memory that contributed to me forgetting to post my ramblings about ATP. They're a little incomplete and Ryan's neat summary in the previous post seems to have covered most bases, but nevertheless, I've copied them in anyway:

"Two ATPs in successive weekends is an Olympic effort. It should be considered a sport. London 2012 can host a satellite event in Minehead, surely? Needless to say, I'm fried and wired; ears like I've lived a life in a bathysphere and a head like an over-shaken snowglobe. And that was before I sat down to watch Werner Herzog's "Burden of Dreams" in the early hours of Monday morning. But, I wouldn't change any of it, except perhaps Saul Williams' misjudged and frankly out-dated sub-industrial mess of a set. He did look good kitted out in white feathers and Grace Jones shake appeal though.

What of the highlights? Friday was a little lean on interest for me, save Sunset Rubdown who choose to stumble endearingly between mid-West anthemics (I do know they're Canadian, btw) and some rather regal prog-like tendencies. Spencer Krug seems to possess an astute awareness of what his best songs actually are, or at least agrees with me. So, a two year wait for "Shut Up I'm Dreaming Of Places Where Lovers Have Wings" was happily brought to an end. Now if only I could work out what he's actually chiming on about... In fact, the beauty of ATP is that if i'd really wanted to find out, I could've quite easily got it from the horses mouth. There might well be a VIP area somewhere, but it rarely appeared as if the bands were aware of it. After watching Okkervil River, with guest Wren Charles Blissel on guitar, condense a whole lifetime of Mojo rock cliche into a literate, fiery and Springsteen-sharp hour, Will Sheff then hung off my shoulder for the entire National set. Save a pickled few, no one was walking away from this performance prematurely. And performance is the appropriate word. Stately and under-stated in equal measure, Matt Berringer has a voice deeper than Butlins' pockets and enough great songs for that to not even be the highlight. They're surely one Glastonbury TV performance away from Arcade Fire-like reverence.

But of all the heart stopping (Jens Lekman), synapse melting (Battles, Animal Collective) performances on offer, the fan boy in me couldn't help but be over awed by the Silver Jews and in particular, the defiant and stately grace of D.C. Berman, who now appears to finally nailed the frontman schtick. Those lyrics always hinted at a comedy genius, but the last tour saw him nervous and unsure of his own words. Not so this weekend. I'm still unconvinced he can play a guitar or plug in a microphone, but he (just like The National, Jens Lekman, Okkervil River and Sunset Rubdown, to their credit also) made light work of what's generally been seen as a pretty shitty stage to play in that infinite ceiling-ed, service station-like setting. It's that academic charisma that only comes from the smartest, most difficult, slightly wayward older gent that shone through and past the food court hall and black curtain walls. Not far off being a greatest hits set, there can't be many that walked away from that performance feeling disappointed or underwhelmed. The moment when he turned to face Cassie to sing the final lines of "Random Rules" (No one should have two lives, now you know my middle names are wrong and right. Honey we've got two lives to give tonight) was pure country theatre. And 59 shows in 41 years may be pretty inefficient, but we'd all trade quantity for quality, right"

So, that's what I thought about ATP. I really should've done the same thing for Primavera now, but that's so far back in the past now that it's like it never happened, although my internal organs keeps throwing up little memories. Scarring is a form memory.

So, back to now. Today/tonight/early tomorrow morning is a rather exciting prospect. Although a little prematurely, we’re celebarting the release of William's debut long player, Self In Fiction with a launch party this coming Friday on 20th June. The debauchery begins at 8:30 and takes place at their local haunt, The Fox in Lewisham. William, along with stable mates and friends Popular Workshop and Honeytrap, and a band we know little about The Kill Raimis will all be playing. It’s going to be quite a racket.

If Facebook is to be trusted, then we’re expecting a full house, so arrive early or be prepared to queue. Entry is £4, with DJs Simon No 9 and Catholic Girls on hand to respectfully decline all your requests. I’m bringing my American Heartbeat CD just in case…

If the Honeytrap album launch of two weeks ago is anything to judge by, I'm expecting a messy and sweaty and slightly silly night. In fact, I should just mention that the Honeytrap night sold out. People were turned away on the door. Now, while I don't like to see people miss out, maybe it's proof that you shouldn't take what they and we do for granted. Perhaps buy a ticket next time?

See you all tonight and by 'all' I mean you, Ryan.