Friday, 26 June 2009

Someone Died.

No, not the one that's all over the news (although yeah, he died too). There'll be quite enough written about MJ, I don't feel any need to add anything.

No, the death that hit me this week was that of one Steven Wells.

For those that aren't particularly familiar with me, I, like probably most British folk with an interest in any music that's even slightly "alternative", spent years reading the NME. Generally, I hated the fucking rag. Sometimes though a piece would force your attention and more often than not it was written by Swells.

Whether it was giving racists and homophobes in music and in the World a well deserved kicking, on ripping apart bands you liked - NIN and Belle & Sebastian spring to mind right away - his articles were pretty much always worth reading. Frequently you'd disagree with what he wrote, sometimes I'd be furious after reading a Wells piece, but it was always interesting, regularly laugh out loud funny and of course filled with swear words.

Two things to read. Steven Wells's last column for Philadelphia Weekly and The Guardian's tribute.

And one song. Something I certainly never expected to post anywhere, never mind on a blog generally dedicated to Scottish music...
Daphne & Celeste - Ooh Stick You

Upon learning of the cancer that would kill him Steven Wells wrote, as only he could "Anyhoo. I put the phone down and let out a huge, self-pitying “Why me?” The answer, of course, is the same as the answer to Travis’ shit-awful 1999 international breakthrough hit, “Why Does It Always Rain on Me?” Because you’re a fucking dick. Now shut the fuck up and grow a pair."
That says it all really, don't you think?

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

De Rosa Split

There were murmurs all weekend, but now it's official.

De Rosa announced on their Twitter page that they have indeed split up, giving the following statement : "To all who listened. De Rosa has come to an end. If you liked our music or came to see us play we'd like to thank you all. Goodbye, De Rosa."

Chemikal Underground added the following through their mailing list: "We hate these announcements but they have to be made nevertheless: De Rosa have decided to call it a day after several years, a legion of amazing live shows and two truly exceptional albums.

We count 'Mend' and 'Prevention' among some of the very best albums Chemikal Underground has ever released and it's genuinely sad to know there won't be a third. De Rosa were a uniquely gifted bunch of songwriters and musicians with songs that provided an object lesson in how to meld complex structures around irresistible melodies. Bands of De Rosa's quality are few and far between and they will be sorely missed.

We're very proud that their albums form part of our catalogue and wish them every conceivable success in all their future ventures (musical and otherwise)."

Best of luck to all involved for whatever they do in the future.

Here's a parting sample of their music - Swell and Under the Stairs from this year's fantastic second album, Prevention.