Saturday, June 25, 2005

Fell, Destroyed.



First up, apologies for the lack of updates but you know how it is, right? I suppose posting something during the hottest week of the year so far, never really looked that good. First up i've literally been freaking out to the hellish guitar (They don't even have a bassist) sounds of Comanechi this week. Comanechi is the name of a gymnast who won a gold medal in the Montreal Olympic Games (she marked 10.00 for the first time in the Olympic history). The problem at the moment is that "One Pervert Knows Another" is impossible to get hold on any format, so I don't know if it is a perfect ten, and i've had to take solace with their seven inches instead - the second of which was released fairly recently. If you live in London, or generally well up on White Heat and Loose Lips Sink Ships or even your Artrocker news, then you're most probably aware of Comanechi anyway.

Comanechi are Akiko on Drums/Vocals and Simon on Guitar. This raging boy/girl two-piece have been destroying - mostly London - audiences with their screaming no-nonsense DIY punk for what seems like an eternity now, and it's finally time for the rest of us to catch up. Often descibed as a cross between Huggy Bear and Royal Trux, is half garage rock bliss (The Dirtbombs) and half art rock ala Afrirampo; switching between some primal screaming fuzzed up minimalist thing and something far more discernable, even catchy. They also look and play the part on screen, living out some alternative magazines dream band "look." Well, kinda. Actually, if you bare with me for a second i'm probably going to say something of worth now:

There are a lot bands around at the moment that are of their time. Micheal Hagarty has always said that Royal Trux weren't making music to scratch at some cultural stich in time. They were just doing their own thing, regardless of what else was happening. Now, the obvious criticism levelled at Comanechi is that they're just playing at being trendy and ripping off bands Royal Trux; but for while they might not be radiating with originality they're definitely doing their own thing. For me, they are geniune alternatives at the moment, and that's the only way Comanechi and Royal Trux are really the same. They're a band sure, but that's not be lazy here, because you might miss on something special.

Comanechi - Rude

Artrocker for all your Comanechi live reviews
Comanechi - News, up and coming gigs etc
Royal Trux - For all your Royal Trux needs
Pure Groove - Buy at Pure Groove
Loose Lips Sink Ships - Look out for the sixth issue of LLSS

Saturday, June 18, 2005

I don't want an electric blanket

Pete and the Pirates



Damn it's hot. I know I don't really know what hot is, but for me it's hot. Anyway, I have the choice joints for y'all (I can't pull that off, can I?). Incidentally, these tracks are by no means exclusive; I just think they're as hawt as the weather at the moment.

David Gilmour Girls will be joining Juan Maclean and Jason and the Astronauts at the Liars Club in July and it really does promise to showcase some filthy electro tinged ROCK. Dutch electronic mixters, David Gilmour Girls (otherwise known as Robin and Jasper) released "Crackhousewarminparty' as a 12" in January and the Rub n Tug remix is a strong cockail of punk, funk and electro with dashes of angostura bitters and served with flamed orange peel zest. Certainly, in the New Order's club-friendly dance music vain the rumbling basslines, echoey guitars and brooding synthesizers blaze a trail that sounds like Soft Pink Disco Truth doing the Tussle and dancing the tango with Cut Copy. It's mindblowing stuff if you just let yourself go.

David Gilmour Girls - Crackhousewarmingparty (RubnTug Remix)

The following track is courtesy of Pete and the Pirates. Stolen Recordings are releasing an EP of their material next month, but other than that, I don't really know that much about these guys. "Saviour" switches from sounding like everything you love about E6's pechant from sixties San Francisco pyschedelic rock to seventies Krautrock and electronic drone; although it never really sounds as experimental and cutting edge as i'm probably hinting at. Anyway, this track stands in stark contrast to their other material - that are largely more laidback radio friendly affairs - but equally as impressive. If you care about this, they reference VU, Apples in Stereo, Pavementand you know: all the good stuff. Clearly a band to look out for.

Pete and the Pirates - Saviour
Pete and the Pirates - Electric

You can buy David Gilmour Girls at Tigersushi. Go to Stolen Recordings for Pete and Pirates debut limited edition release EP

Friday, June 17, 2005

Nature In Focus

Grizzly Bear



In recent years Brooklyn, NY, has been garnering a high regard in many music circles, matching its older and wiser upstate cousins almost step for step. Animal Collective are the group seen to have mostly led that charge, mining in their wake a rich seam of psychedelia, folk and art-rock as they go. Their preference for the Lo-Fi aesthetic, when planning and executing a record has slowly dripped down the crag face and landed in the lap of Edward Droste.

Droste envisioned Grizzly Bear as a pet project, created in his bedroom studio, and for distribution amongst friends and family, but it began to take form and spread much further through word of mouth. During the next fifteen months, Droste utilized his home studio to create the bare bones of the album. Before inviting the aptly named Christopher Bear into his mini symphonic world to help him flesh out the project. Combining the existing melancholic tales with spase guitar, a smattering of keybord noise, treated 'found sounds' and his impressionistic drumming. "Horn of Plenty" began to take shap. A gothic psychedelic form of etherized avant folk was captured by the duo, a sound that fans of Sufjan Stevens, Syd Barratt, Nick Drake and The Unicorns eta al would love

It was then time for Droste and Bear to take the album out of the studio and into a plethora of venues. Whilst on their journeys, the duo has bolstered their numbers by adding two new members to the fold. Chris Taylor provides reeds and extra electronic manipulation. Dan Rossen takes up another vocal slot, and adds extra guitar to the music, creating in the process a more dynamic feel to creaky freak folk of the original source material.

Grizzly Bear - Fix It

Grizzly Bear - Owner Of A Lonely Heart

The album is available now direct from http://www.kaninerecords.com
Visit the band’s official website at http://www.grizzly-bear.net

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Lost And Lookin'

If you do get the chance I recommend you check out Songs: Illinois and Domino Rally. Don't go now or anything, but they're generally bringing the noise and I remembered to mention them, so they must be worth it, right? Well...A slight change of pace today; If only to proove that I have soul :



Some events defy logic and reason. The circumstances surrounding the death of Sam Cooke, for instance, have, and continue to astound people. The official line is that he was shot three times in self defence; that he had tried to rape a Lisa Boyer in a hotel room; and was later killed after allegedly trying to attack the manager, Bertha Franklin. Far more likely, and often suggested is that Lisa Boyer - who herself was a well known prostitute and later for jailed for murder - stole his belongings and when Sam Cooke tried to follow her, was attacked by Bertha Franklin. We have to believe that she was either lied to or the two where in collusion with each other... What is certain is that these unbelievable events resulted in the death of Sam Cooke and were never investigated as throughly as they should have been. Like I was saying: It defies logic.

The music industry defies logic, but for an entirely different reason. Willie Hightower has recently been given the deluxe reissue treatment courtesy of London record label, Honest Jons , and as well as being heavily indebted to the music of Sam Cooke is as essential as a thousand essential records you'll hear this year - and all this from a label that has brought us Bettye Swannand Candi Stanton . Anyway, it's long overdue but hardly suprising either. Alabama’s son is one of the many forgotten men of Southern soul, but hopefully the next excerpt should persuade you enough to delve into his this fantastic eighteen song modern masterpiece. It contains his the only three singles he ever released and they alone are worth the price of the record. It's smooth, kids; with a capital "Smoo."

Willie Hightower - It's Too Late

Buy the Willie Hightower reissue at Amazon. You should probably buy all the Astralwerks southern soul series while you're at it. Thanks for reading.

Monday, June 06, 2005

I just don't care.



The Mae Shi were awesome the other night. Of course, they were modest heroes. They wanted to know why so many people have turned up see them play, only to be jubilantly greated with only really one discernable reply: "THE INTERNET!" They laughed amongst themsevelves, but while the trend is to downplay the appeal, I don't think you can really deny the "internet" influence either. Then again Terra: Torra and Rapider than Horse Power certainly got this hipster crowd worked up; and the people of Nottingham certainly turned out in full force to see these blissfully contented LA underdogs. I was still hungover from the night before, but I just somehow knew it would be worth it. Don't ask me why, but tonight Matthew (Kelly) "He's got the whole world in his hands!" Get that scene out of Con Air out of your minds! Concentrate.

I've mentioned they were great haven't I? Yeah, well let me elaborate. Ezra looks like Tray from The OC and sounds like Mark E Smith in bed with the Blood Brothers and cross breaded with the vocal styling of younger, more wiley, and definitely more angry Quasimoto - I don't know if helium was involved though. I had seen Oneida the night earlier (more tomorrow, If I can find the words to describe that experience), and while they clearly had the energy, The Mae Shi give it everything. This spazz core label is by it's very nature describing a sound that is DIY and "lo-fi" to an extreme, but it just seemed to work even better in a live setting. It worked incredibly well. They like hip-hop, they love Drive Like Yehu and they live to make noise - certainly band of extremities then. It doesn't matter if they spent $120 on the record - Terrorbird if you didn't know. All that matters is that they exist...

They exist to make short and snappy intense noise, and while a ton of people would question their talent, they cetainly make up for it in enthusiasm. Just ask the people on Saturday night if you don't believe me. I saw Joe Punish (Punish The Atom) squeem like Elspet Gray; Jeff made everybody in the front row sit down; and an awful lot of people were left thrashing around on the stage - actively seeking out for anything that made some kind of noise. Brad, who is the drummer, stripped, and took his drum kit apart during the last song until only on the cymbals were left. I don't think it was understating the obvious to say that they were great. GREAT! Oh, sid I mention that they're all brothers!?

Brilliant.

The Mae Shi - You Can't Do That to an Axe

The Mae Shi are signed to 5RC so you can buy their record there. Alternatively you can check out their touring schedule, and pick their stuff up at a show. You might even be able to get them to scrawl over it for you!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

And they give you the goat for free!


Photo:Ricky Adam

I'm now officially a Nottingham resident and the lone-gigging season is in full flow. I've been listening to a lot of Fugazi recently. There might be songs with whistling ("The Kill") and even some Ooohhing ("Full Disclosure"), but the "The Argument" is still Fugazi.. I had a great night at the Cabaret the other night. HOT SNAKES WERE FUCKING AWESOME. The world need more John Reis like characters.. Well, I know it and that's enough. First band on were Metal Gear Solid Madonnas. There were some whisperings in the crowd that this was going to be loud and when I saw a dude from Lords with earplugs I kinda knew I was going to be in for it. Featuring ex members of Mod Fuck Explosion and X-Rays the heavier than Kyuss label is a great pun and certainly a fitting description of this band. Some loud guitar playing married with cutting bass lines and some fantastic vocals - sporadic as they were. They were great. Whenever you get the chance to catch them, do so; you won't regret it. It was certainly a change from Dot to Dot anyway. Dan Sartain was similiarly excellent and while I expected him to be great live he still managed to suprise - and the crowd - by ripping through a set like a musician who has played for three lifetimes. Everybody seemed impressed; I only wish I managed to pick up some of his earlier work while I was there, but I just didn't have the money. That's also my excuse for missing out on the Magic Band playing with Lords the night after, but I know, money is never an excuse when music like that is on offer. Forgive me, for I really did sin on that occasion.

Oh, if you hadn't already guessed, I didn't originally have any ideas for where this was going but since I started talking about Fugazi I might aswell right some more fan drivel about "The Argument". I won't bore you with context but there was some expectation surrounding this album; especially after "End Hits" which a lot of people generally regard as being too experimental. I think I like this because it's kinda all over the place; not overly experimental, but certainly different enough from their earlier "classic" work. Like I said: classic Fugazi. How can you mistake their sound anyway? It's just impossible. 'Full Disclosure', 'Epic Problem', 'The Kill' 'Oh' and 'Ex Spectator' - don't ask me to pick a favourite - rank among their best and the album itself, whilst often changing in tempo never compromises with the material and always makes for seriously atmospheric listening at times. Yes yes, i'm one of those people who think they haven't made a bad record so I suppose you should take what i'm saying with a pinch of salt...Actually, no, just listen to the following song and it rock every part of your being; it is Ian Mackaye. STOP! Listen, and more importantly BUY!

Fugazi - Epic Problem

Buy at Insound and look to the Fugazi Live Series which is fully endorsed by the band - Personally, i'd love to get my hands on some of that stuff myself. Does anybody want to buy it for my birthday tomorrow?