Thursday, July 29, 2010

Not Least @ Latitude - Part 6 - Wilder

I mentioned this Bristol four-piece shortly before I left for Latitude 2010.  Here they are live - and yes you guessed - on the Lake Stage.

Sam plays guitar and also sings but clearly not in this shot.

  Joe plays bass while Jay (out of shot)  does the duty on synths.

So far that is quite unremarkable but there was a problem: they had no drummer that they could call their own and that is where the story becomes slightly surreal. Everyone goes to a supermarket when they need some munchies and the proto-Wilder are of course no different except that (to fan the fires of haters of a certain chain in particular) they struck lucky.  As well as what they were there for they also found their fourth piece. Drummer Beci is now also, apparently, the de facto band interviewee (and sometimes interviewer) and they didn't even have to pay for her at the checkout.

They were ferocious live on Sunday afternoon. The single Boys vs. Girls was as good as might have been expected but so was the rest of the set. The band has very recently been signed to indie label Rough Trade Records and the LP should be out around the end of this year. Wilder is, in my book at least, another one to watch.

Folie à deux - 6 Day Riot - Lyrics

Good call!  Thank you to whoever asked about and for the lyrics for 6 Day Riot's 2007 album Folie à deux.  Yes I certainly can but, due to family commitments that are even more important than lyrics, it will have to wait until early next week.

In the meantime, I would say that I think my favourite songs on the album are the title track and River Clyde, but the rest of it is strong too from what is still, despite second album Have A Plan and the exposure that was given to it by the use of the song 'Every Third Sunday' in the TV drama Skins, a much under-rated band.

For the lyrics to all songs on the 2009 album 6 Day Riot - Have a Plan see here:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Today's thought on music...

It is hard enough to even decide on that music which I like.  Truth to tell that is mostly too much of it.
To suggest music for a specific function, however, is far harder still.  God is a DJ but, despite my wishes to the contrary, I most certainly am not!
I'll get over it one way or another. It is not that I lack confidence in the music I like for a minute; rather the milieu in which it will be heard even if I choose that which I think should fit the occasion.  I have the courage of my convictions and yet this somehow seems a real challenge...  All I have to do is bring a few CDs, for twenty-something people, a third of whom I know well.
So why does it seem more of a challenge than going to a festival with 30000+ other people that, almost without exception, I have never met before?  I don't know to be honest but I'm looking forward to the forgoing, without reservation, and I am also curious too.
That proviso aside, and if you want the very best of my somewhat eclectic collection of music that I feel fits the bill, we might even enjoy it.  On the other hand, and in the last couple of hours, I think I have decided on much of what I will be offering.  Nothing scary of course but, I hope, some things not at all well known but generally likeable.
I'd like to think that it will be like this.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New York @ Latitude 2010

Time for a very slight change of tack now. Last year I saw two truly impressive NYC acts at Latitude - Chairlift and Yes Giantess - neither of which I had heard live or possessed (at the time) any music by or from. I have posted about both and the Chairlift album 'Does You Inspire You' remains one of the most frequently played that I have; I bought it immediately afterwards.

This year I was equally blessed but the dynamic is slightly different. The thing runs like this: my fourth Latitude and so surely somehow the possibility of a disappointment beckoned.  Call me gloomy, like Eeyore, if you like but it was not to be so this time.
In fact it was possibly, as regards the music, the best I have yet attended and my main failing is that I am simply unable to be in more than one place at once. Last autumn I saw School of Seven Bells, as support to Bat For Lashes, in Bristol and they were very good.  'Alpinisms' remains a fine album, and I still like it, but when I was lucky enough to catch them playing live, once again, at Latitude 2010 I was in for a real surprise.

Here they are in the tented, 6500 capacity, 'Word Stage' early Saturday afternoon.

They were absolutely captivating playing songs from their second album 'Disconnect From Desire'. With my limited abilities this stage is not one at which I find it easy to take pictures but, although I say so myself, I'm rather proud of the above. It is unaltered except to shrink it to a blog-friendly size but, far more importantly, it encapsulates almost all that I like about festivals and live music in general.
The other NY band that I was absolutely delighted to see live is one that has divided opinion to some considerable extent.  I will say that I have pretty well all their recorded output, as it pleases me, but Brooklyn-based 'The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart' is clearly not to everyone's taste and I respect that.

They played the 'Sunrise Arena' early on Sunday evening. Some say that their music is derivative shoegaze, shambling, or even cutesy.  I'd say that it is actually all of these, and also so much more, simultaneously. I find it both captivating and also quite charming escapism.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Not Least @ Latitude - Part 5 - The Good Natured

I'm liking this: for the first time I feel I am actually making the most of what I heard and saw at Latitude.  I credit this to two things in particular:

  • EOTR 2009, which made me realise what is possible.
  • My trusty little Fujifilm F20.  We have been through ups and downs together and it still does things it was never designed to do and sees things that I don't.  Look at the picture of Clare Maguire and you see the keyboard player sitting it out.  I never noticed him until I came to crop the photo for use here!
While it might seem that I spent the whole of my time at Latitude 2010 by the Lake Stage that is not actually true.  It, and The Sunset Stage, are by far the easiest two at which to take pictures with limited equipment and even more restrictive talent.  This artist was as far as I can remember, and I'm quite good at that, totally new to me.  To prove what I said about a week ago I'm going to borrow something from NME as regards their slightly wayward thoughts on 'The Good Natured'.

“Until yesterday I thought all 18 year olds in Newbury did was nick sweets from Spar and set fire to bins, but being introduced to Sarah McIntosh a.k.a. The Good Natured has proved otherwise.” 
To be fair I personally do not have such negative preconceptions of her home town. What I can imagine they wished to imply is that it is not seen as a hot bed of new music, which is true in so far as it goes.  I don't think that it is fair to judge artists on the place they happen to have grown up in, even if in some notable cases that is a huge influence.
Here are two examples: Nirvana came from Seattle, which was rather unexpected. Muse come from Teignmouth - period!

The Good Natured does not sound remotely like either of the above. In fact, and this is a wholly appreciative comment, she sounds like I'm not quite sure who. To an extent it is electro-pop inspired but at the same time it is also slightly unsettling in an indefinable gothic-noir way. More importantly and as a short live set is not the time or place for worrying about lyrics, except to say that I noticed no obvious clangers, she has both the voice and presence to carry it off.

The single  'Your Body Is A Machine' is available now - including 7" vinyl, of course - and is a good showcase.  I understand that she currently has no label deal but suspect that this situation may not persist. Definitely one to watch.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Not least @ Latitude - Part 3 - Clare Maguire

Her first single, Strangest Thing, is released shortly and it is now appearing like a rash all over BBC Radio 1. It is also available for free at, at least for the moment, and I suggest that you do listen.  I am already a fan; her first proper live performance was this time (14:45 UST+1) just eight days ago.  That was on the Lake Stage at Latitude 2010, yet again, and I was there...
She is in some ways both the best and worst kept secret of 2010 - at least in the domain of major labels - as she has been at the centre of a bidding war.  It is therefore perhaps time we were allowed to discover what all the fuss is about.

I'll tell you this, she can sing and then some but pop this is not. Certain comparisons have been made that might easily be seen as promotion that flatters to deceive. I feel only slightly risqué in suggesting that this time we, as music listeners, might actually be the butt of the joke and I think that Universal-Island have done right here.  In one sense it should pain me to write that but, if lessons are being learned and as an optimist, it gives me hope for the future.

What I strongly suspect is that, by this time next year, you would have heard of Clare Maguire anyway.

Note added September 22, 2010:
I'll have to revise the last sentence in the original post (above).  Clare Maguire is already blowing fuses big time on the radio in the UK now. The 'Breakage' remix of 'Ain't Nobody' is largely responsible for that...

Ain't Nobody - lyric - see here:
The album is released in the UK on February 28, 2011 and the track listing is as follows:
Light After Dark - Clare Maguire

1. Are You Ready?
2. The Shield and The Sword
3. The Last Dance
4. Break These Chains
5. The Happiest Pretenders
6. Sweet Lie
7. I Surrender
8. Bullet
9. You're Electric
10. Ain't Nobody
11. Light After Dark
12. This Is Not The End

Not least @ Latitude - Part 4 - Esben and The Witch

It is no secret that I have wanted to see this band for some months now.  On Friday at Latitude I did so, again on the Lake Stage, and they exceeded my best expectations. Named for a Danish folk tale, but from Brighton, the three piece are both powerful and involving.  The format means that they have no drummer but they are certainly not without percussive tendencies. Armed with just one drum and a cymbal, at one point all three were wholeheartedly engaged thereon!  As fellow Brightonians Blood Red Shoes amply show, and that is another band I want to hear live, it can actually take only two - Stephen Ansell and Laura Carter in that case - to make a captivating racket.

Between the three of them they handle the material admirably. The wait for their début album should not be too long and I can hardly see it making anything but waves.

Added November 27, 2010:
Here it is revealed in intent and artwork: Violet Cries

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Not least @ Latitude - Part 2 - Rosay no more!

She was once Pipette Rosay, but no longer. Now she is back to being who she is and doing what she wants -  and this is Rose Elinor Dougall.  I've seen 'The Pipettes' live and, although it never struck me then, she can hardly have shrunk in physical stature in the intervening couple of years.

Even with the most ferocious heels, the wearing of which did not in any way prevent her from dancing, she is tiny except in the vocal department.

Her band, The Distractions, were very good too and only marginally failed to usurp their raison de être, which is just as it should be.

She has been working with producer Mark Ronson and so the forthcoming album 'Without Why' should be well worth the wait.  This was another Saturday treasure on the now reinvigorated Lake Stage...

Not least @ Latitude - Part 1 - Yuck

To be honest this is not before time. I alluded, in my last post, that the real virtue of Latitude lies in the acts less well known.  Now it is time to give those that I saw a bit of the attention that they so richly deserve. In 2009 I was rather disappointed by the Lake Stage and I said as much. This year it was transformed, without the BBC Introducing branding, but with Huw Stephens still at the helm. To say that it was much better in 2010 would be nothing other than litotes. I don't think, in my four visits to Latitude, I have ever spent so much time there and it certainly wasn't wasted!
I can only remember one act that I saw on that stage last year. That however was a memorable one that has since gone on to greater things - it was Marina and The Diamonds. The first act I saw at Latitude 2009, on the Thursday evening in the Film and Music Tent, was 'Smoke Fairies'. This year, in the same venue, it was Kitty, Daisy and Lewis and given the performance and the reception it garnered it will be interesting to revisit this post a year from now.
As a result of unavoidable scheduling conflict there was no way that I could see all the acts on my list, and I knew this would be the case.
I'm proud of those that I did see and it has nothing to do with my efforts. I just put myself there and they did all that could be asked and then more!

I mentioned here before that I wanted to see them live: I did and so here is Yuck live at Latitude on Saturday afternoon. With a name this good how could I possibly resist the temptation even if the band were rubbish?  The thing is you can't and they aren't!

Yuck live on the Lake Stage on Saturday: likely not the last we'll hear of them I might add.

What really matters... It was good, yeah?

Well, although I'm open to discussion, it was. The three Obelisk stage head-liners were everything I could have imagined and more.  I never really expected Florence and The Machine to disappoint, and she certainly didn't on what was her first ever festival headline slot. Vampire Weekend was not likely to let the team effort down either and on the Sunday evening it certainly didn't.  The one that evoked trepidation was the Saturday choice. I was totally wrong and now I admit it unreservedly - Belle and Sebastian was perfection for the Saturday evening slot at Latitude. I once had the impression that Stuart Murdoch was something of a curmudgeon; if that was so then no longer is it true.

When all said and done, however, it was still the new and/or relatively obscure acts that bent my ear and this is where I will resume very shortly.  What I will say is this; taking the music as a whole it was the fourth and best Latitude Festival I have attended.  To add to the Obelisk stage comments, and not wishing to leave this post unillustrated, here is another artist that appeared there, and I was lucky enough to see, over the weekend.

This is the performance of her first single 'Like A Star' and it only served to confirm that she is.  She then left to perform the whole set again at Somerset House in London that evening.

Corinne Bailey Rae, on the main stage on Saturday afternoon, was quite infallible. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

What's In It For?

Some have been asking, and I have been waiting, for this album to arrive!  The wonder that is the global marketplace has determined that this vinyl album (SP865) has made its way to me from the US via Australia and simply because that was by far the cheapest way to do it. That is patently idiotic.

This was the first outing for my copy of Avi Buffalo - Avi Buffalo; a 12" LP record just destined to played.

Is it good, like I thought it would be?  Not really perhaps, its rather better than that, and it fits neatly with some of my comments, both recent and forthcoming, on the music at Latitude and, simply because I can, here is a lyric.

What's In It For?

i walked in on a plan to
dissolve all of your wishes
but i couldn't help your mouth
which i missed by two inches
maybe i thought that you and i
could run away alongside
but I didn't understand i was
a cold tear in your raw hide
what's in it for someone with
nothing to do what's in it for me?
what's in it for someone with
nothing to do what's in it for me?
i can read but i won't if i'm sleeping
here without you and all these things
that you learn, i've been knowing since
my childhood. you are tiny and your
lips are like little pieces of bacon
i can feel you on fire 'cause you're
drunk and i seem too cool
know i love it when you put your
fingertips around my shoulder
should i take you to more functions
or would you rather be lonely?
i feel like i'm messing up too much
and i forget where i am, you are
so much wiser and i'm used to
stretching things out so long.

That said the very vinyl virtues are always now going to come with such issues in tow but, as Jack White recently stated, vinyl is the only growing market for tangible recorded music today.  The lyric sheet and associated artwork is just a glorious bonus...

 Devin O'Brien provided the album cover artwork and Rebecca Coleman that for the insert.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Latitude - but not as you think I might know it...

This was quite some surprise. That he was quite the ultimate professional, something I had assumed, was still not enough to prepare me for this!

I'm not funny about artists, new or old, but this was something else. The BBC reviewer, to be found there and quoted on, doesn't like "Praise and Blame" (the album) one little bit.
I'm going to differ vehemently and I'm far from the only one I think...  Here is a link to a review of the Latitude performances:

The photo is mine, from his Obelisk Stage set on Sunday lunch time in the sunshine, and he is singing John Lee Hooker's 'Burning Hell' as it happens! The denim clad guitarist on the left is in fact Ethan Johns, who produced the album (and also Laura Marling's latest). I was lucky enough to experience both sets in their entirety - the 'Stage In The Woods' on Thursday evening was less favoured in terms of location, weather and acoustics - and about that I agree with the reviewer in almost all respects.
The remarkable caveat is this: It was performed live by all, and only, those artists who appeared on the studio recording (but they are not all in this shot).  It was one of the best live performances of the weekend and that is saying something...

What is more, pigs have learned to fly!   NME carried a review of Praise and Blame that was all the former, an impassioned defence of the concept and execution, married to an 8/10 rating.  I rather think that this would not have happened under the old editorial diktat and all credit to Krissi Murison and her team for putting the relevance back in the magazine in less than a year.

New Music 2010 - Part 14 - Albums for Autumn

I thought that I would take a break from my musings on Latitude 2010, of which more soon, to mention forthcoming albums by two acts that have already featured here before and both of which I have heard live.

The first comes from duo 'Smoke Fairies' whose stock has been much in the ascendant in 2010, following high-profile support slots and a trip to the US.  After an impressive run of singles and EPs, many of them on vinyl, their début album Through Low Light and Trees is to be released by V2 Coop on September 10 in the UK on 12" vinyl, CD and download. Those of us lucky enough to be going to End Of The Road Festival 2010 that weekend will also have the pleasure of seeing and hearing them perform live on September 12.

This is the album artwork and here is the track listing and also a legal freebie:

Through Low Light And Trees - Smoke Fairies
1. Summer Fades
2. Devil In My Mind
3. Hotel Room
4. Dragon
5. Erie Lackawanna
6. Strange Moon Rising
7. Morning Blues
8. Storm Song
9. Blue Skies Fall
10. Feeling Is Turning Blue
11. After The Rain

"New Album Track 'Strange Moon Rising' now on myspace and also available as a free download from the website by signing up to the mailing list. If you're already on it, don't worry we'll be sending you a mail shot with a link very soon!"

For my comment on Smoke Fairies live, at End Of The Road 2010, see here:

The next item to catch my attention is the second album release by Imelda May. The excellent 2008 début Love Tattoo will be followed (on October 4 in the UK) by Mayhem, which is released by Decca (yes, really).

I am currently unable to say whether this will be available on 12" vinyl but the lead single Psycho, released on June 28, most certainly is available on 7" vinyl.  I posted my thoughts on Imelda May live in Frome last year.

Both of these are well and truly on my list of forthcoming albums and I'm very much looking forward to hearing both.  They are not the only ones by any means...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

History is more or less bunk. It's tradition.

That might be true, and much that Henry Ford said still rings true. This is particularly so for kids: "It's tradition. We don't want tradition. We want to live in the present and the only history that is worth a tinker's damn is the history we make today." as published in Chicago Tribune in 1916. That I would say is a pretty natural state of mind and none the less so for kids.  Here are two more photos from Latitude 2010 that suggest one should never ever try and guess what music they might like...

Ear-protectors in place and rapt so of course this must be some child-friendly act? Nope, absolutely not... Crystal Castles!  On the other hand there is this.

Fairy-winged ones opining that this fuzzy-faced Californian band, Chief, is the new best thing in music. It is very good too but hardly revolutionary if one is old enough to have heard Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young: Laurel Canyon for a new generation?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Latitude 2010 - When the music isn't live.

I'm sorry that I felt I had to post such a downbeat prologue to Latitude 2010 and, if I could, I wouldn't dwell on it.
There was no other way to start and this blog is all about how I see it.  In retrospect I wonder if the success of 'Latitude' is almost an accidental part of the problem. It feels so safe, so friendly, but it only takes one or two to spoil the impression and this is something that should not be ignored.
Would I feel more safe, as a male and regarding things such as assault or theft, walking home in Frome on a Friday or Saturday night or walking to my tent at Latitude?  It's very hard to say but I'm inclined to think I feel safer at Latitude.
I suppose I believe that when I am at home I am in some way "safer" than when I am camping but I'm not really sure about why that is and I certainly don't lie awake in my tent worrying about it.
Theft is one thing - a violation of property - rape is an entirely different matter and no statistics can disguise it. I think that many of us believe, if only quite indefinably, we should have been able to prevent what happened.

Latitude 2010: some pictures:
Here are a few images from Latitude 2010. I've chosen to start with some that are not of live music. Latitude is a truly multi-aspect festival - with comedy, theatre, poetry, film and much more but for me it is almost all about the music.
These are simply about Latitude 2010... the place and some of the many people who were there.

I've posted these without comment for a reason. A good festival is far greater than the sum of its parts.  

Monday, July 19, 2010

Not all is good in the world...

I have recently arrived home after my fourth trip to Henham Park, Suffolk, and the Latitude Festival.  It was as good as ever but spoiled, and this is a caveat shared by everyone that I spoke to, by two rather serious criminal incidents: this is neither that kind of occurrence for which Latitude is known nor that for which it would wish to become so.
I have every reason to believe that the organisers and the vast majority of the festival going public feel exactly the same way and so,  rather than gloss over the subject, here is the very rare and shocking:
This is, quite obviously, in the public domain and in the public interest 
 I see absolutely no reason not to post it here.

The feeling at Latitude was, as best I can describe it, one of sympathy, shock, betrayal and subdued outrage - pretty much in that order.
There is no way that I was going to mention any of the music before posting this.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wet Wipes and Waterproofs

I'm all ready to set off for Latitude 2010 tomorrow morning with the aforementioned items high on the list of things to take.  All being well this time tomorrow evening I shall be in that orthogonal universe that is a three-day festival.   As an outlook it might seem as gloomy as it is pragmatic but in fact I'm very much of the opinion that festivals are more about a state of mind than anything truly measurable. Who can tell if that hypothesis will be put to the test?
The weather looks as if it will be a mixture of sunshine and showers, with a trend towards better conditions as time goes on.  The main annoyance is that Thursday and Friday look like being rather windy for July.  In that regard I'm pretty glad that I have a small tent as the large dome types tend to suffer in the wind.

I've just been listening to Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 1 and he played an interesting track that I had not heard before: it is 'Girls vs. Boys', the first single from new Bristol-based electro-indie band Wilder. Huw Stephens is also, by coincidence, curating the showcase for new music 'BBC Introducing on The Lake Stage' at Latitude as in the years I have attended and mentioned that Wilder are playing...
Yet another to add to the mix that I would like to hear.

This is their first single and it appears, as limited 7" vinyl, on July 26 released by Rough Trade Records to whom the band is now signed.  On the basis of this single and another track also recorded live at the BBC Maida Vale Sessions, which was played, this is an enticing prospect indeed.
One of my few real criticisms of Latitude 2009 was that the BBC Introducing - Lake Stage was something of a disappointment: it was under utilised and, as a result, under attended.
Other new, or at least newish, acts that I would like to catch include The Middle East that is in fact from Australia and some others I have mentioned before, if only in passing, such as Jesca Hoop, Esben And The Witch, Yuck and I Blame Coco
On the Yuck front, and since I last mentioned them, it seems that they have so much new music that the band is now planning a side project. It will be interesting to see and hear what happens...

As an aside, nothing to do with Latitude in so far as I aware, here is something for the music space cadets amongst us.  The band, now reconfigured, and some of its members I have mentioned before, love life, love pop and love vinyl...

I have plenty more to tell but it is time for an early night; there won't be any in the next few if I have my way.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Take one sun, one spoiled CD-R, a bit of luck with reflections on an adjacent plaster wall and a digital camera...

"It's the way of the world as you know it."
Dear Reader.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

New Music 2010 - Part 13 - Canada & Brooklyn again...

I sometimes comment on various music awards, not least Eurovision, but this is one I've never mentioned before. It is has only been going for five years, unlike the Juno Awards, and is for Canadian artists and music.

This is the short list, some of which are already familiar to this blog.
Some more links above now.  I read loads and eventually chose just one for each artist that, in my opinion, provided the most relevant information in a nutshell.  You can find more if you wish and these are a place to start.  There is no way that I will ever get to grips with the gamut of Canadian music.  It is something to which I have long been resigned and also a good place to be.

Caribou is confirmed for 'End Of The Road 2010' and a band that I am very much looking forward to hearing live.  On the topic of Canadian bands that I have followed for a long while, congratulations to Metric for providing the title song to the 'Eclipse' soundtrack and for lending several members to the collective that is Broken Social Scene.
Although not included above, if only because the album 'Wilderness Heart' is not yet released, Black Mountain is gaining a considerable amount of attention here in the UK - Zane Lowe included it, and a glowing report, on his BBC Radio 1 show this evening and tracks from Arcade Fire - The Suburbs are an everyday occurrence now.

Now Brooklyn:  I mentioned that I'm looking forward to seeing School of Seven Bells again, at Latitude 2010, and their sophomore album 'Disconnect From Desire', the follow up to 'Alpinisms' sounds like a winner to me.  It is released in the UK next Monday - 12 July - so Latitude will be their first festival appearance after its release.
Just recently I mentioned a band called Warpaint - who are certainly not from Brooklyn (or Canada) - but who have a UK tour planned for this Autumn and while the US dates in late summer are with The XX it looks likely, though I can make no promises about this, that they will be supported by a band that have received good reports over here and I have liked that which I have heard, I must say. They are from Brooklyn. That band is Beach Fossils and this is their eponymous début album.

I've not heard enough to yet make a reasonable review possible but this makes it pretty certain that I will, and sooner rather than later.

To say that this is even scratching the surface of the new music coming out of either location would be a ridiculous claim, which only goes to show that so much music is just there waiting to be found and enjoyed: don't wait to be spoon-fed.
You can legally have the music for less, and also give more of your money to the artists who made it, if you look and act wisely.  The latter comment is important: if something looks "too good to be true" then it probably is.  It may be that you will become a victim of crime but, possibly worse still, you may even be committing one yourself.  Think first!

Monday, July 05, 2010

New Music 2010 - Yet another wants-list.

It is time that I retuned to this again, it is in effect 'Part 12', and is there anything
more to wish for? Let me tell you that, at least in my world, there most certainly is.
I'll start with some items from the US including this one that was released in 2009 but I only discovered recently and received in physical form today.  It is surely no secret, unless that is you have been Google-transported here on a whim in which case I can only apologise and welcome you, that I am a fan of folk, acoustica and Americana amongst other genres.

It is true that buying music essentially unheard, based on a hunch and the odd review by who-knows-who, is something of a risk but I don't regard it as gambling; for a start the odds are better and the risk is commensurate with the reward.  You might win big-time, in terms of new music, but you will never lose more than you pay for the item in question.  Based on two listenings this evening this one is a winner: quietly optimistic and plaintive by turns, but not by numbers.
Many have made the Bon Iver comparisons; Bowerbirds toured with him and aside from that I can see why they are made.  'Upper Air' also made me rediscover my CD of Laura Veirs' 2004 album 'Carbon Glacier': It is less melancholy than 'For Emma, Forever Ago' and rather less icily wrought than 'Carbon Glacier', but certainly none the worse for that.  If you like 'A Fine Frenzy', and therefore wonder about pain and piano, then you might like to try this.

You might by now have realized that my definition of new is not something concocted by a major label, or for that matter any other but it seems less likely, nor will it be predictable.  Formed in 2004, and on their fifth drummer before the release of their first album later this summer but until now little known in the UK.
Los Angeles present:
Today there was also an historic victory for new music of all kinds...  the BBC trustees ruled against the proposed shut down of Digital Radio BBC6 Music.  This is no time for complacency however; we need to build on that victory for the benefit of public service broadcasting worldwide.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Committing Social Suicide (and, actually, why not)?

The existence and availability of this 2005 album on vinyl was asked of me last week and I was so pleased.  Had I not finally abandoned my addiction to simply the music I liked in my late teens and twenties I could never have provided any kind of answer: I would never have heard of it, let alone heard it!

One good thing that came out of my pre-modern liking for music, however, was an abiding passion for vinyl.
'Fashionista Super Dance Troupe' does exist on vinyl - FPLP010 - to the extent of 200 copies and this is one of them.  They are all pressed on turquoise-green vinyl and include a graphically illustrated lyric sheet.  The lyrics are, as US albums often state, 'Parental Advisory': so think twice before playing it to your elders and betters!
Finding a vinyl version is likely to be problematic but on CD and legal download it is widely available from the usual suspects.

More on HSCS very soon and as revealed on the singles and EPs (all vinyl, of course) they can even do sweet and tender (if not quite twee).
Where are they now? That question bothers me again all of a sudden!