Thursday, 3 June 2010

Service Interruption

This week I've fallen victim to the dreaded Man Flu. Doing reviews is a bit tricky when everything you listen to sounds like it is underwater.

Normal service will be resumed shortly.

Monday, 31 May 2010

This Week's Records

Quite a lot out this week, so lets get to it.

Tokyo Knife Attack release Cool Kids, it should be available from iTunes by the time you read this. It is a cracking wee tune too.

The Lava Experiments have their Backbody Vol. III EP out today too. I liked it lots. It'll be available from all good download places, or visit the Lava Experiments website to get a CD.

Kid Canaveral release a new single, You Only Went Out To Get Drunk Last Night. I like it too, no surprise there. Backed with remixes by Kwaing Creasite and Becky Becky Parentheses the single is available on cassette or download, visit Bandcamp for a listen and to buy.

Ming Ming and the Ching Chings unleash their new EP, Not In Anyone's Gang. Guess what? Liked that too.

Stanley Odd release their debut album, Oddio. I've not heard this yet, so I've no idea if it will be good or not, but reviews have been good, as have the few Stanley Odd songs I've heard previously.

Silver Columns have their much anticipated debut album out today also. I'm eagerly awaiting my copy arriving in the post.

Meursault's new album, All Creatures Will Make Merry, is now available on general release after being sold at gigs for the last few weeks.

Finally, one of my favourite bands return after five years. Yup, Teenage Fanclub have a new album out! Shadows is released today, and one of the first things I did after getting up today was buying a copy.

Words Per Minute - WPM2

Just a wee reminder that this Sunday - June 6th - sees the second WPM event take place at Creation Studios in Glasgow.

I'm far from the most literary minded of people - normal the phrase "spoken word event" is enough to make me look for a hiding place - So when I tell you that I really enjoyed the first WPM event that should give you a clue about the quality of the performers, and how accessible it is to all. Even people like me that don't read nearly as much as they should and are terrified of poetry.

If you never went to the first one and want to find out what you missed then you are in luck, as thanks to the magic of the internet you can listen to the whole thing, or watch some lovely videos. Videos of the performances can be found on YouTube, and podcasts of the first event are here. You can still read the interview that Kirstin and Anneliese did with me prior to the first event here too.

Performing at this month's event are: Sophie Cooke, Emily Ballou, Craig Lamont, Adrian Searle, Iain Campbell, Adam Stafford and Rodge Glass. If you visit Aye tunes for the music - which I presume you do, since there's not much else - then the last two names should be familiar to you.

Adam Stafford is label boss, film maker, and musician as part of Y'all Is Fantasy Island and more recently on his own. Recent single Shot Down You Summer Wannabes is by far my favourite thing Adam has done, and as it is a free download you could do much worse than check it out.
As well as a musical performance, I believe there might also be a screening of The Shutdown, a multi-award winning short directed by Adam Stafford, novelist Alan Bissett recalls growing up next to one of Europe's largest petrochemical plants and the harrowing experience of an explosion that temporarily deformed his father.

On the subject of Adam Stafford, Euan McMeeken of The Kays Lavelle (whose debut album Be Still This Gentle Morning is out now) recently sent me a track from a covers album that Adam Stafford is making with Emily Scott which I'm allowed to share with you, but hadn't gotten round to fitting in yet, so here's a chance. The song is a cover version of The Twilight Sad's Walking For Two Hours.
Adam Stafford and the Death Bridge Convention - Walking For Two Hours

Rodge Glass is another one of those disgustingly talented people. Having gained attention as a novelist Rodge also has a critically acclaimed biography of Alasdair Gray under his belt. As if that wasn't enough he is currently Writer in Residence at Strathclyde University, where he also teaches Creative Writing. Then there's the song that Rodge wrote for Vashti Bunyan that appeared on Ballads of the Book, and more recently the quite splendid Burnt Island mini album.
Sticking with Burnt Island for a moment, please go here to have a listen to their cover of Elliott Smith's Between The Bars. If you like it, pay the quid to download it, all profits go to Depression Alliance UK.
Rodge, along with Dave Turbitt, will be giving a sneak preview of their new graphic novel Dougie's War at WPM2. Being something of a comics geek, I'm rather looking forward to that.

WPM2 will be starting at 4pm on Sunday, so try and get down a bit before that, maybe for about 3.30pm to get in, grab a drink and a seat and get comfy, and runs till 6pm, followed by a DJ set from Miaoux Miaoux.
Entry is £2, and you can bring your own booze if you buy a food voucher for the Creation Studios cafe.

For lots more details visit the Words Per Minute website.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

This Week's Gigs 31st May - 6th June

This week, and most of June, is quite frankly insane for gigs. Look!

We Are Jawbone have a free gig at Pivo Pivo, with Mother Midnight, Forgotten Sunday and The Parting also on the bill.

Scout Niblet plays Stereo, with support coming from The Martial Arts and Donald MacDonald.
Just announced, Remember Remember are playing The 13th Note. They'll be debuting new songs, and a new line up.

Wednesday appears to mark the start of silly season. Check out this lot, all on one night.
Team Ghost and Deathpodal are playing The 13th Note. Deathpodal's EP is brilliant, and the live show should be pretty memorable too. (Side note: looks like I've got a spare ticket going for this, so holler if you want it...)

Detour move out of Bloc this week, down the street to The Buff Club. Playing for them this month are Song of Return, There Will Be Fireworks, The Second Hand Marching Band and Meursault. Now that is a line-up! Tickets are £5 and available here.

Open Swimmer, Maple Leaves and Kettle of Kites are at The Captain's Rest. We like Maple Leaves a lot round here, even though I'm still waiting on Julian serving up a restraining order on me for stalking him, of which there's plenty chances this week by the look of it.

Since that lot isn't enough, there's also Glissando and Debutant at Bar Brel.

Oh Thursday, you saw there was loads happening on Wednesday and just had to try and keep up, didn't you? You swine.

Antimatter present the second of their Music Box nights at The Universal. Playing live are Call To Mind, Error Response, Cracks In the Concrete, and Nomogram, with visuals courtesy of Ruan Suess, Awai David Wan, Erin Hardee, and Parallax. Visit the Antimatter website for more details, and to buy tickets.
The Last Battle and Yahweh are supporting Peggy Sue at Stereo.
Kochka are playing at Maggie Mays.
Washington Irving launch their debut EP with a gig at Mono, with support from Endor, Randolph's Leap and The Social Services.
Sleepingdog play Brel, with support from Euan McMeeken.
Finally it is the latest Elba Session Presents gig, with acoustic sets from Shambles Miller, Blue Sky Archives and My Cousin I Bid You Farewell. We like all of them round here.

Radar are branching out from writing about music to putting on a gig (hey, why didn't I think of that?) at Nice n Sleazy. Miaoux Miaoux is playing live, offering another chance for Julian stalking, and you get another chance to see Blue Sky Archives and My Cousin I Bid You Farewell if you missed them the previous night, but playing louder this time.

The Lava Experiments launch their wonderful Blackbody Vol. III EP with a gig at The 13th Note. Also on the bill are The Hundred Metre Club and Mammals. See The Lava Experiments website for cheap tickets!
Mi Ami, Ultimate Thrush and the brilliantly mental Divorce are at Nice N Sleazy, presumably making lots of noise.

WPM2 takes place at Creation Studios at 4pm on Sunday. There's a post on that coming up tomorrow, needless to say there's a great line-up.
Macabre Scene play King Tut's, supporting Murder by Death.
Little Yellow Ukuleles, Galleries, Pacific Theatre, He Slept on 57 can all be found making noise at The 13th Note.

Spoiled for choice, or taking the piss? You decide.

The Lava Experiments - Blackbody Vol. III EP Review

Roughly a year on from the release of Blackbdy Vol. 1, The Lava Experiments have completed their promised trilogy of EPs with the release of Volume III.
When listened to back to back you can really hear progress with each release. Blackbody I was good, Blackbody II was better generally with a couple of real standout moments and now Blackbody III has arrived and takes another step up.

I love my music to be atmospheric, and The Lava Experiments deliver in spades. They make dark, at times cinematic, shoegazey soundscapes that are just dripping with atmosphere. Like previous releases (and funnily enough The Release from Blackbody II in particular) the songs on this EP draw you in and trap you in their midst as they swirl around and wash over you as you listen.

Atmosphere is all well and good, but of course there needs to be a bit more about songs than just that to hold my attention. Lurking amidst the darkness there's no shortage of hooks and melody, spine tingling riffs and drumkits being beaten into submission, while listening to this EP there's little danger of my mind wandering.

Great stuff, from a band that seemingly keep improving.

Lava Experiments: Website - MySpace

Blackbody Vol III is released on limited edition CD and download on May 31st, with a launch gig at The 13th Note in Glasgow on June 5th.