Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Don't Go Home With Your Hard On 3

After taking a rest in January, we're back, like Paul Newman in The Colour of Money. Yeah, that good. "What you got in there?" "Doom" Well, not quite but something equally big and messy. So, here it is:

Tough Love presents...
Don't Go Home With Your Hard-On 3 @Old Blue Last, London

- messy and bratty and a little bit naughty too. Times New Viking with more references to penises and just a little less EQ, if you like. Can you get behind that?
Male Bonding
- "The sound of homosexual panic" but with more of a hangover and less bothered. Guest on the other side of a 7" released with PENS. Incestuous. Can you get behind that?
- like Crystal Castles if they didn't have black holes for eyes - i.e. with a SOUL! Just back from The Smell in LA. I can get behind that.

FREE entry
Art School Scum DJs
Born on the Floor DJs

Here's the Facebook event, if you're into to multiplatform, transmedia interconnections.

And finally, thank you to Laura Rayner for the incredible poster.

Friday, 23 January 2009

RIP Silver Jews

This is going to read like an obituary. It shouldn't. No one has died and the unseemly and unexpected passing of Ron Asheton last week is of far more consequence and I wrote nothing about that (although perhaps because anything else would seem like a tautology after one friend's beautifully succinct appraisal of the man - "never has one person done so much with so little").

I understand this is laced with unnecessary melodrama, but the news today (from the horses mouth via the Drag City forum, cos even cowboys got the Internet) that David Berman and his Silver Jews are stepping down and out of music was a Friday morning body blow I didn't want or need. His reasons were admirable if rather obliquely expressed (what else were you expecting?), citing a desire to concentrate more on 'writing' and end the band before they inadvertently recorded "the reply to Shiny Happy People". That's a flawless argument. Really it is. But I'm going to miss them.

It's a common shibboleth that Silver Jews albums have got progressively worse. They've not. They've just changed focus, influences steeped more in country then indie aesthetic, but remaining consistently affecting and human. I'm going to miss anticipating his next line and never once getting it right. He was - he is - the antithesis of cliche and yes, the greatest lyricist of a generation. There, I've said it. I've made that qualification. If you don't know what I mean, I'm strangely envious. There's a back catalogue I'd love to hear for the first time again. And now there can be no more firsts, at least with his music anyway. What he does next is sure to enthrall me in equal measure (as with his book of poetry, Actual Air), but just like recent albums, it too will be a different experience. Whatever happens, it's likely to be charged with the usual combination of skyscraper intelligence and imperious integrity.

And so music, like football, always manage to throw up strange little ironies. It was only this week that I rediscovered Will Oldham's reinterpretation of Palace Music songs on Greatest Palace Music. Listening inattentively (you know what generation I belong to), i was drawn to something I'd not noticed before; D.C. Berman chiming in on backing vocals on "No More Workhorse Blues". I'm not going to patronise you, but there's something incredibly prescient about my rediscovery of that song. Maybe the recent end to the Jews live show freeze out and the incessant touring and pressures that followed as a result had shifted what was once a love into a chore for Berman? It's not quite been spelt out yet, but in it's own unexpected and possibly inaccurate way, that song explains enough. How typically contrary of the man that it's someone else's words doing the explaining now.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Podcast 4 - Ones to Watch 2009

BOOM! 2009, here it is. There it was more like. While we were sleeping in nursing battered bodies and "please-fuck-off-now" paunches the year started unannounced. Just as December pisses out end of year lists like a river of sunburned corpses, January is rife with predictions and theories. And somewhat less cynically, possibility. Anything can happen and probably wont, but that isn't going to stop the whining wannabe clairvoyants. And it wont stop us either.

With that in mind, here's Podcast No. 4 - these are assuming an uneasy regularity now. This time we're talking about, you know, bands worth taking note of in 2009. There's only six songs, but don't take that as a suggestion that the year will be defined by a paucity. We'd just rather listen to the sounds of our own voices then someone else's. It's called being an only child, OK? OK!

Be warned, there's more swearing in this one, particularly by Ryan and I adopt the catchphrase 'indie heat'; a terrifying notion. A terrible human being.


1. Danananaykroyd - Chrome Rainbow
2. Animal Collective vs Frankie Knuckles - Your Love My Girls
3. Situationists - Whiskey and Water (Aspirins Remix)
4. Fryars - Polystyrene
5. The Clean - Twist Top
6. Wavves - So Bored