Friday, 30 July 2010

the skinny: the dirty dozen

this month i was in charge of the skinny's single reviews - here's what i wrote:

Armed with a pair of headphones and a fistful of plastic discs, Chris Buckle wanders off on the hunt for an August soundtrack

It’s difficult to get an angle on twenty-one year old Jade Williams, a.k.a. Sunday Girl. Her cover of 80s Italo disco classic Self Control (***, 2 Aug) is sweetly sung and pretty enough, but plaudits are more deservedly directed to the original artist. Sunday Girl adds a lick of zeitgeist friendly Ellie Goulding-style electro, but doesn’t reveal much of herself (and neither do the five additional remixes).

Aspiring dance anthem After Dark (**, 23 Aug) is, according to the press release, a “new chapter in the history of forward-thinking, electronic dance music”. Which is odd, since the Count & Sinden’s collaboration with the Mystery Jets seems to be ticking the obvious boxes without ever thinking outside them.

Next, Athens, Georgia’s Dead Confederate return less murky than before, with the verse of Giving It All Away (***, 16 Aug) resembling fellow Athenians R.E.M. in their formative years. They’ve managed to clean up the grunge despite collaborating with J. Mascis, who delivers a typically gnarly closing solo - a balancing act to be applauded.

Raincoats (****, 23 Aug) is an enchanting but imperfect ambassador for Efterklang’s ‘pop-album’ Magic Chairs; though typical of the magnificence the Danes have it in them to evoke, its awkward and brittle beauty is too quiet and slow-burning to astonish when shorn of its context. A deconstructed version of Harmonics on the flip-side, however, is worth a purchase in itself.

Am I Just A Man (****, 16 Aug) asks Steve Mason on the latest single to be lifted from his sterling Boys Outside album. Depends how you look at it Steve: your firm grasp of pop dynamics ensures this cut grows from its humble opening into something special, so if you are ‘just’ a man, you’re one heck of a gifted one.

For a band now exclusively dedicated to the single format, Ash seem to produce a lot of album filler-material these days. If you’re still following their A-Z project (they’ve been releasing a single every 2 weeks since October last year), Carnal Love (***, 2 Aug) is a pleasant ballad entry, but back in their heyday it would have been lucky to be picked as a scraping-the-barrel fifth single.

If Bruce Springsteen is the Boss, The Gaslight Anthem are part-time customer service advisors at best. And like an apathetic and cheerless “thank you for calling!” The Diamond Church Street Choir (**, 9 Aug) struggles to demonstrate authenticity, despite some evocative lyrical storytelling about “hub city girls in their ribbons and curls”. But the Jersey Shore shtick is predictable – if Tommy and Gina wandered up from the diner and into this soft rock chest-beater, they’d fit right in with the clichés.

Identify Reinvention, Enact Reinvention, Fly Into The Charts, right? On Collapsing Cities (*, 9 Aug), Sam Duckworth (aka Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly) is transformed into a Shy FX-collaborating, dancefloor-preoccupied, T4-on-the-Beach-er, a shift which doesn’t quite rival Plan B’s shamelessly shiny makeover, but is just as forgettable. At least Plan B dropped the social commentary in order to focus on the cash; Sam’s still preaching from his first-year politics textbooks.

Thankfully Sky Larkin have foregone any major refurbishment of their indie-rock chops. Dusting off chunky riffs and a big chorus ahead of second album Kaleide, Still Windmills (****, 2 Aug) has the pace to get blood pumping and feet moving. They’ll get the audiences they deserve yet.

As well as supporting them in London later in the month, Teeth could act as a gateway drug for the dark allure of the ascendant Sleigh Bells. See Spaces (****, 16 Aug) mines a similarly hard electro sound, but with the aggressive edge smoothed down and coated in lush synths. And the shouty, grimy, propulsive B-side just might be even better.

And penultimately, Monotonix: a band so Rock their acoustic All Tomorrow’s Parties show was shut down by worried Butlins staff after just five minutes. Fun Fun Fun (****, 9 Aug) lives up to its triple-joy billing, the Israeli garage punks doing their best Stooges impressions without a hint of originality but with plenty of raw aggression.


Though only a third as long as the first single lifted from Hidden, These New Puritans cram so many textures and so much originality into Hologram’s (****, 9 Aug) two and a half minutes that playing it three times in a row is both recommended and rewarding. There are hints of Pit Er Pat in the hollow woodwind and space-jazz structure, but what makes this so thrilling is the sense of wide-open possibility. While we contemplate where they’ll go next, here’s a Single of the Month accolade to mark where they’ve been.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

meet milk

here's an interview piece i wrote recently for the skinny on nifty new glasgow act Milk:

Ah Milk. Great source of calcium, won Sean Penn an Oscar… er, hang on, something’s off. Google has failed me – guys, you’ll have to introduce yourselves…

“Callum, up in the crow’s nest, is all guitar-cradling and neckerchief-wearing, while Sam will go down with the ship, laughing to the last at his cockpit of keyboards,” collectively explain Glasgow (via Fife) quartet, Milk.

“Michael plays at drums and dressing up down in the engine room, and Pablo stands at the prow, full of windy rhetoric and last night’s leftovers.” Any room for a celebrity endorsement on board? After all, that 'Got Milk' campaign has done wonders for dairy sales over the years –want to co-opt any Milk-the-Drink lovers as spokespersons for Milk-the-band?

“Can we breed them? If so we'll take the lithe and insatiable sexuality of Isabella Rosellini, couple it with the high-society histrionics of Elton John, and marry that off with the future-race breeding of the Olsens and the ruthless art-as-a-sacrificial-cow ambition of James Cameron.” Finally, this sexual, ambitious future-race progeny would be “wrapped in plastic, à la Joan Rivers.”

If their creation sounds elaborate and messy, it fits their musical identities; if their answers sound articulate yet obfuscating, it reflects their crafty, cultured smarts. “We think that bands are too readily vilified for not nailing a signature sound,” they argue. “It seems to us that using a broad palette can produce the most interesting and enjoyable results.” Their particular palette reaps the rewards of a four-way musical input that doesn’t necessarily flow naturally in the same direction.

“I think it would be fair to say that we began this at odd angles, and so the approach has been to try and challenge each other, taking our disparate inspirations and finding ways to harmonise them. We enjoy sifting through the noise.” When the sifting is finished, nuggets of Lizard King stargazing, smooth 80s grooves, moody atmospherics, deadpan humour and prog-squiggles remain. The unorthodox blend slips through genres like cow lactose through fingers. “We converge in strange places,” they acknowledge.

Milk confound classification in part through tactical shyness. Their low-profile moniker and lower-profile web presence constitute a genuine attempt to avoid the pigeonholing that rubberstamps acts straight from the womb. Milk are leaving their options open and keeping followers guessing.

“We're still in the formative stages of playing this music together, so anything that allows the freedom to go off on creative tangents is a must,” they explain. “The name gave us the blank slate. If you treat a band's name as a statement of intent, then ours remains open to interpretation.” Refreshingly, in an age where choosing a MySpace background sits uncomfortably high on new-starts' 'to do' lists, they’re uninterested in cultivating a potentially-straight-jacketing online persona. “We want the opportunity to surprise others and ourselves.”

Live, they don’t let such opportunities pass them by. But what about recordings? Any releases on the horizon? “In this regard,” they assert, “we reserve the right to remain mysterious.” Seems Milk will be whetting appetites a little longer yet.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

reviews: women, mt st helens vietnam band, the coral

Women - Public Strain (****)

The static storm cover for Public Strain is as good an entrée for its unsettling brilliance as the damaged symphony of first single Eyesore. The obtuse but beautiful art reflects what at times can be an uncomfortable listen – an oppressive and shady din of echoes and feedback, machinery and drones. Many of the tracks are to be praised more for the uneasy atmosphere they evoke rather than their individual qualities – for example, the opening Can’t You See groans with heavy pressure while Patrick Flegal coos amidst the disintegration, producing an effective scene-setter.

But Women can – and do – exploit an accessible pop side: for example, Drag Open drugs Sonic Youth and extracts their vigour while Venice Lockjaw is a funereal waltz, the Velvet Underground raised up from graves to woo the stars. In the synthesis of these two facets, one of the year’s most rewarding listens is born.

Out 23rd August

Mt St Helens Vietnam Band - Where the Messengers Meet (***)

A cavalier attitude to song structure, awkward pop melodies and a lead singer pitching his chords with theatrical verve: take a number, guys – half of North America got there first. Their second album improves on a decent debut, but it won’t usurp their forebearers; while it sounds vaguely like the kind of project Spencer Krug could be involved in, it would prompt concerns the lad was spreading himself too thin if he was.

Though not without ideas of their own, the Seattle five-piece spend too long tugging on the sleeves of pantheon-members like Arcade Fire and Modest Mouse to fulfil their potential. Letting the guitar sit exposed in the mix gives them a degree of differentiation, with the Dead Weather riff of At Night rattling away robustly and Hurrah stomping along nicely. But its consistent tones can grow tiresome, and their general lack of vision fundamentally undermines their talent.

Out 2nd August

The Coral - Butterfly House (****)

With Oasis deceased, another sixties-indebted Brit act has obligingly begun to proffer perpetual ‘best since their debut’ pre-release promises. The Coral clearly operate on a significantly different scale – especially eight years after that self-titled success, when hype-stores are long diminished and their continuation goes unnoticed by many erstwhile fans. Fortunately, they differ from the Gallaghers in various other ways: Butterfly House is indeed the Merseyside outfit’s finest release since their first.

The title track augments its breezy melody with vaguely eerie whispers, Green Is The Colour combines a Donovan-esque chorus with Spector-echoing verses to superb retro effect, and the slight Falling All Around You is perhaps the prettiest three minutes they’ve penned thus far. And these aren’t even necessarily the best tracks, the quintet's understated, John Leckie (Ride, Radiohead, Stone Roses) produced sixth album housing no hits-in-waiting but generating its success from an overall sense of harmony.

Out Now

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

august poster!

thanks once again to alex for his splendid photography!

Monday, 19 July 2010

july playlist!

here's what our second birthday party sounded like!

1. the shins - phantom limb
2. the divine comedy - at the indie disco
3. tv on the radio - blues from down here
4. of montreal - coquet coquette
5. guided by voices - bulldog skin
6. surfer blood - twin peaks
7. roy orbison - pretty woman
8. health - usa boys
9. m.i.a. - xxxo
10. tigercity - fake gold
11. lcd soundsystem - dance yrself clean
12. david bowie - boys keep swinging
13. kid canaveral - smash hits
14. sambassadeur - i can try
15. the vaselines - i hate the 80s
16. future bible heroes - don't you want me
17. men without hats - the safety dance
18. those dancing days - those dancing days
19. no doubt - spiderwebs
20. lucky soul - whoah billy
21. we were promised jetpacks - moving clocks run slow
22. suburban kids with biblical names - 1999
23. the go-betweens - right here
24. sleater kinney - jumpers
25. at the drive in - one armed scissor
26. future of the left - arming eritrea
27. le tigre - hot topic
28. los campesinos - these are listed buildings
29. the futureheads - heartbeat song
30. the new pornographers - my slow descent into alcoholism
31. mgmt - brian eno
32. roxy music - virginia plain
33. the coasters - down in mexico
34. georgie fame and the blue flames - yeh yeh
35. jonathan richman - dancing at the lesbian bar
36. lewis lymon and the teenchords - i'm so happy
37. the beatles - i wanna hold your hand
38. envelopes - sister in love
39. the b-52s - rock lobster
40. dexy's midnight runners - breaking down the walls of heartache
41. new order - age of consent
42. the ventures - hawaii 5-0
43. radio birdman - aloha steve and danno
44. the ramones - somebody to love
45. huey lewis and the news - the power of love
46. hall and oates - you make my dreams come true
47. the smiths - bigmouth strikes again
48. deerhunter - never stops
49. i'm from barcelona - we're from barcelona
50. bruce springsteen - dancing in the dark
51. the clash - english civil war
52. whitesnake - fool for your loving
53. franz ferdinand - darts of pleasure
54. violent femmes - out the window
55. fleetwood mac - you make loving fun
56. j geils band - centrefold
57. idlewild - when i argue i see shapes
58. pete shelley - homosapian
59. elvis presley - suspicious minds

Friday, 16 July 2010

bottle rocket enters its terrible twos!

and by terrible i mean 'awesome'.

our second birthday party is tomorrow night, so be a winner and come along to nice n sleazys!

Monday, 12 July 2010

bottle rocket portland plays ace music, everyone has fun

remember i said bottle rocket had gone intercontinental? well joseph's portland edition of the club debuted on saturday night and it looked unbelievably awesome - lots of bottle rocket staples, and a few ideas that i'll be nicking. he's got a blog up and running for the new night - - so check it out for playlists and more.

if a trip to oregon aint on the cards, bottle rocket will be resuming its glasgow dance-fest this saturday night. join us - we'll be two years old! have a celebration dance with us!

Friday, 9 July 2010

reviews: lonely ghosts, the young veins, the boy who trapped the sun

Lonely Ghosts - Return From the Search Party(***)

Despite the best efforts of day-glo horrorshow Brokencyde to taint the marriage of Chiptune-esque electronics and shrieked vocals in minds and ears forever, the combination remains theoretically sound. Lonely Ghosts offer proof of its continued legitimacy on Hush Up; despite shades of lyrical juvenility elsewhere (“When I was young I didn’t trust anyone who didn’t have any problems”), the electro-pulse/throaty scream mix raises neither bile nor giggles. Elsewhere, echoes of Johnny Foreigner in the artwork find further resonance in the tight riffs; Bloc Party (post-unanimously agreed ‘good’ period, pre-unanimously agreed ’bad’ period) are a recurring presence; while the Sega-Lucksmiths gentility of Glasgow Covered In Snow takes things far, far away from mosh and glow stick mish-mash territory. It’s a sound the NME might have excitedly built a tour around a few years back, and though it won’t change your life, it might make it that little bit more colourful.

Out Now

The Young Veins - Take A Vacation! (***)

If Pretty Odd’s prominent Beatles-isms felt like a, er, pretty odd change of direction for Panic! At The Disco, Take A Vacation! offers perspective. The Young Veins sees Panic frontman Ryan Ross and bassist Jon Walker leave OMG-emo behind entirely to focus more consistently on chilled-out, Sixties-influenced pop.

While reluctant to echo the band’s claims that such a sound is somehow more ‘mature’ than their former musical pursuits, Take A Vacation! does feel satisfyingly grown-up and no-nonsense: twenty-nine minutes of hooks and charm that’s only hampered by a slight air of artifice. Though pre-emptively paved by Pretty Odd, the road from Panic! At The Disco to Laid-back At The Beach Party risks resembling forced entry into fresh markets rather than a natural expression of the songwriters’ passions. But their debut’s successes disperse suspicions, and as the duo settle into their new, eyeliner-less musical identities, they can only grow more convincing.

Out Now

The Boy Who Trapped the Sun - Fireplace (***)

The Boy Who Trapped the Sun apparently chose his lengthy stage name because it felt “bigger and less lonely” than ‘Colin MacLeod’. While the pseudo-communal effect is somewhat undone by 1) his debut’s consistently forlorn atmosphere, and 2) MacLeod’s decision to play every instrument himself (bar occasional strings, used to great effect), its evocative qualities remain apt.

Such a clean and familiar sound – as polished and well-worn as its practitioners’ acoustic fret-boards – may limit opportunity for innovation, but innovation has never been the be-all and end-all. Other factors elevate Fireplace: its melancholic heart, its sincerity, and its maker’s voice for starters. So while not entirely unique – recommendation engines can comfortably slot this alongside Damien Rice without risking offence – it carries a level of conviction that allows the odd genre cliché to pass by practically unnoticed, and a level of promise that assuredly exceeds the average Buckley-indebted solo singer-songwriter.

Out 12th July

Thursday, 8 July 2010

bottle rocket's 2nd birthday extravaganza!

Readers and well-wishers, you are cordially invited to July's Bottle Rocket - which just so happens to be its second anniversary bash! 'But what difference does it make?' you might ask. Well, as Morrisey conceded, it makes none, although it does make BR sound like a proper club with a history and everything. So if you fancy a bit of indie-pop, soul, rock 'n' roll, post-punk and the like, get your party frock on and head to

SAT 17th JULY!
11:30pm - 3am!
for the low low price of
£3! (free if you're upstairs before 11:30)

Requests are most welcome - stick yours on the facebook wall - as is cake. No, don't put THAT on the wall; what is this, an hilarious montage of unruly toddlers from You've Been Framed?! Sheesh

RSVP here aye?

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

commercial alternative @ mono, 4th july

Falafel, knitting, genko green-tea lemonade and a be-stooled artist sketching alongside snappers: seems Mono’s laidback vibe has translated to the mini-festival format intact. Vegan ethics and home-brewing can’t do much about the weather, alas, but the foresight to stage today indoors (save some outdoor seating braved surprisingly regularly by punters oblivious to the un-summery temperatures), gives it a one-up on the venue’s dearly departed Hey You Get Off My Pavement in levels of comfort, though without matching the sense of occasion the aforementioned King’s Court mardi-gras used to generate. Today is a more lean affair, but within its parameters it’s hugely successful, largely due to its unbroken parade of great bands.

Ok, Golden Grrrls (***) haven’t qualified for ‘greatness’ quite yet, but their distorted noise-pop (broadly pitched in the same ballpark as the Vivian Girls) evidences great potential. Peter Parker (***) are already realising theirs, sounding more robust than last time this reviewer enjoyed a set of theirs. Echoes of Le Tigre and the Primitives emanate - though singer Roz’s pink wash and vocal hiccup on Swallow the Rockets suggests a Cyndi Lauper influence in the mix as well.

It’s a shame Astral Planes (****) had to change their name from Paper Planes, their rechristening evoking peyote and a Jim Morrison fixation. Thankfully their sound continues to eschew trippy jams for refined rock, adopting various guises - Grease prom, Cramps-esque garage, a riot-grrrl Ventures - and excelling in each.

Remember Remember (*****) could pen an awesome seventies sci-fi soundtrack; one of those pre-synth scores from the likes of Silent Running or Soylent Green. Except, instead of a space-greenhouse or people-burgers (they would not go down well here), the film would be about a moon lab trying to genetically grow Holy Fuck out of household appliances and glockenspiel bars, and stumbling across something better. Gob-smacked philosophical rumination would follow.

“Just what festival crowds like - new songs!” grins the 1990s' (****) Jackie McKeown, guiding us through fresh material which comfortably improves on last year’s Kicks. You Were Supposed To Be My Friend and a cover of Alex Chilton’s Take Me Home are the set’s highlights, but that’s not to say their third full-length won’t be a corker.

McKeown sticks around to assist Comet Gain (****), though with a warning from David Feck that “any of that whammy bar shite and I’ll kick you in the prick.”. Their set suggests The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are jammy so-and-sos - embraced for their revivalist aesthetic when Comet Gain were doing it all along, with greater variety to boot.

Though the stage-times have skewed from the schedule over the course of the day, if people have trains to catch, few are bothering. The lure of new material from The Phantom Band (****) keeps the room bustling, the makings of their second album successfully in-line with Checkmate Savage’s tightly-performed adventurousness. The instrumental Crocodiles claims Song of the Day at the final furlong, crowning what has arguably been the best rainy Sunday of the summer.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

july skinny oot the noo

hear ye, hear ye: new skinny is out and well worth yer glances. me-penned stuff this month:

- holy state 'holy state' ep review
- dm stith 'heavy ghost appendices' album review
- the young veins 'take a vacation' album review
- the coral 'butterfly house' album review
- tango in the attic 'bank place locomotive society' album review
- the boy who trapped the sun 'fireplace' album review
- kid canaveral 'shouting at wildlife' album review
- teenage fanclub @ abc live review

Saturday, 3 July 2010

an epitaph for BRR

bottle rocket radio has retired, but the last two years of shows will stay online over at for a little longer yet. after the first 9months, i did a stock take of sorts listing every act we'd ever featured. since i'm bored at work, here it is updated with another nine months of splendid music. the bottle rocket radio playlist was:

a... the acorn... ryan adams... barry adamson... advantage lucy... afrirampo… air... the album leaf… lily allen... allo darlin’… alphabeat... anamanaguchi... and you will know us by the trail of dead... andersens... the angels... animal collective... the animals... arctic monkeys… ardentjohn… ash... asobi seksu... at the drive in… atlas sound… au revoire simone... the babies… babybird… badly drawn boy... ballboy... the ballet... devandra banhart… eef barzelay… battles... the beach boys... beach house… beastie boys... beirut... belle and sebastian... ben butler and mousepad... ben folds five... brendan benson… chuck berry… beta band... the big pink… big star… black kids... black lips... james blackshaw… bloc party... blondie... blue roses… the bluetones... blur... bmx bandits... bon jovi... bonnie 'prince' billy... the boredoms… boris… david bowie... the breeders... bright eyes… british sea power... broadcast… broken bells… the broken family band... broken records... broken social scene… brontosaurus chorus... v.v. brown... bubblegum lemonade... the buggles... the builders and the butchers… built to spill... burnt island… butcher boy... buzzcocks... david byrne... cake... calexico… califone… camera obscura... mariah carey... pelle carlberg... neko case... casiotone for the painfully alone... cats in paris... the cave singers… nick cave and the bad seeds... chairman of the board… claude channes... the charlatans... the clean… the clientele… clinic... club 8… eddie cochran... jarvis cocker... lloyd cole and the commotions... concerto caledonia... cold cave… the colourful band... sam cooke… copy haho... elvis costello... cryptacize... the cure... the cribs... crocodiles... css... the dammed... damon & naomi… dananananaykroyd... danny and the juniors... de la soul... dead boy robotic… deastro… death cab for cutie... decemberists... the deer tracks... deerhoof… deerhunter… deftones... vladislav delay… the delgados… depeche mode… devo... chris difford... dirty projectors... dirty three… rose elinor dougall... doveman... doves... draco and the malfoys... drever mccusker and woomble... the drums… the duke special... eagleowl... eddie and the hotrods… eels… efterklang… elbow... elektryczne gitary… elle s'appelle... en vogue… envy… errors... everybody was in the french resistence now!... the faint... the fall... familjen... fanfarlo… far... father Murphy… felt... the field mice... the fiery furnaces… fireflies… findo gask… liam finn... first aid kit… the flaming lips... fleet foxes... 4 bonjour's parties... four tet… the four tops… jesus j. foxx... franz ferdinand... friendly fires... frightened rabbit... fugazi... fujiya and miyagi... future of the left... fuck buttons... fucked up… fursaxa… future pilot aka... galaxie 500... france gall… gang of four... generation x… ginny and the weasleys... girls… girls against boys... girls aloud... the go away birds... the go-betweens... the go! team… god help the girl... the Gothenburg address… the gothic archies... adam green… grizzly bear... grouper… guillemots... gummy stumps… the gutter twins... half man half biscuit... glen hansard and marketa irglova... harry and the potters... isaac hayes... health... hello saferide... help stamp out loneliness... benni hemm hemm… herman dune... the hidden cameras... hillary and the democrats... micah p. hinson... hjaltalin... hockey... the hollies... horse feathers... hot chip... hot club de paris... the housemartins... how to swim... rm hubbert… the human league… husker du… the hussys... frida hyvonen... idlewild… billy idol... irene… isosceles... bon iver... jackie-o motherfucker... je suis animal... joan as policewoman… billy joel… johnny foreigner... daniel johnston... the joy formidable... nikaido kazumi… khaya… the killers... king khan & his shrines… kings of leon... kleerup... kraftwerk… ben kweller... ladyhawke... ladytron... laka... lambchop... the late cretaceous... cyndi lauper... lcd soundsystem… le tigre… jens lekman... ted leo and the pharmacists… les savy fav... Jeffrey lewis… liars… lightning bolt… lightspeed champion… loch lomond… the long blondes... lords... los campesinos... the lost brothers... darlene love... low... the lucksmiths... lucky soul... lykke li... lynyrd skynyrd... m ward... m83... kirsty maccoll... colin macintyre the mae shi... the magnetic fields... maher shalal hash baz... stephen malkmus… manic street preachers... aimee mann... maps… mariachi el bronx… marmaduke duke... the mars volta… john maus… dent may and his magnificent ukulele... mc5… mcintosh ross… melanie... melt banana... the mevlins… the mendoza line... meursault... mew... mgmt... mia... Malcolm middleton… midlake… ming ming and the ching chings... mint royale… mission or burma… modest mouse... mogwai... mono... mountain goats... mudhoney… mum… stuart murdoch... musee mechanique… music go music... my bloody valentine… my latest novel... my vitriol... nena... neon neon... neutral milk hotel... new end original... new order… the new pornographers... a.c. newman... Joanna newsom… night noise team… no age... noah and the whale... north american halloween prevention initiative... the notwist... conor oberst... of montreal... oh no ono… okkervil river... the only ones... orange juice... original cast of evil dead: the musical... osso… the pains of being pure at heart... the pan i am... papa m… paper planes… parenthetical girls… passion pit… the pastels… pavement... pelican… penguin café orchestra… the pernice brothers… peter bjorn and john... phenomenal handclap band… phoenix… the pictish trail… pit er pat... the pink mountaintops... the pipettes… pixies... pizzicato five... plaaydoh... plastic bertrand... the pogues... polar bear… emma pollack... polysics… prince... the promise ring… the psychedelic furs... pulp... punch and the apostles... the ramones… rancid... the raveonettes... jay reatard... lou reed... fionn regan… relaxed muscle... rem.... remember remember... the rezillos... jonathan richman... alasdair roberts... miles benjamin anthony robinson... rocket from the crypts… rolo tomassi... the ronettes… rumble strips... sakert... sambassadeur... santa esmerelda... santogold... polly scattergood... gil scott heron… second hand marching band... semaphore... the seventeenth century… del shannon… sally shapiro... she and him... shearwater... shellac… the shirelles... shonen knife... shout out out out... sigur ros... silver jews... nina simone... simple minds... sister jet… 6 day riot... the 6ths... sky larkin... the slits… smith... elliot smith... patti smith... the smiths... the snow fairies... the social services… solex… someone still loves you boris yeltsin... sonic youth... sons and daughters... soulwax… southerly... sparklehorse… sparks... sparrow and the workshop… the specials... spencer davis group... the spinto band... spiral stairs… spiritualised... spoon… dusty springfield... bruce springsteen... squarepusher... st etienne... st vincent... marnie stern... sufjan stevens… stiff little fingers... still flyin’… the stills... the stooges… streets of rage… strike the colours… styrofoam... sucioperro... summer cats… super adventure club… super furry animals... superchunk... surfer blood… take a worm for a walk week... talking heads… the tallest man on earth… talulah gosh... tattie toes... teenage fanclub... the temper trap… the temptations… tenniscoats… tenpole tudor… terrorvision... thee silver mt zion... there will be fireworks… the thermals... they came from the stars i saw them... thin lizzy… tracey thorn... those dancing days... yann tiersen... j tillman… tilly and the wall... times new viking… tindersticks... to rococo rot… shugo tokumaru… toots and the maytals... tortoise... trashcan sinatras… the triffids… triple school... trips and falls… thomas truax... Alexander tucker… tv on the radio... twisted sister… two door cinema club… ultravox... ungdomskulen… vampire weekend... chad van gaalen... the vaselines… the very best… paul vickers and the leg... violent femmes... the virginia wolves… vitalic… vivian girls... voo... andrew w.k... the waitresses... wake the president... the walkmen… jeremy warmsely... geno washington… we were promised jetpacks... weezer... bill wells... whipping boy... the whispertown 2000... why?... wild beats… wild billy childish… wild mocassins... wire... withered hand... Josiah wolf… patrick wolf... wolf parade... bobby womack... woodenbox with a fistful of fivers... wreckless eric... xiu xiu… xtc... the xx… yacht... y'all is fantasy island... yeah yeah yeahs... yeasayer… yo la tengo… james yorkston... young marble giants... frank zappa… zoey van goey... the zombies...


Friday, 2 July 2010

milk @ captains rest, 27th june

Masked and taped, The Organs of Love resemble porno superheroes, all sighs and doped-up electro. Despite echoes of Smoke City’s Underwater Love (mermaids, Levis etc), they’re an enjoyable entrée, but just who are these mysterious strangers? Why, remove the Kato masks and bin-bags and you’ll find two of Wilson Tan of course! After speedy onstage costume alterations, the full quintet are ready to continue as bluesy country types, replete with banjo, harmonica, and steel slides on the ol’ gee-tar.

“That’s the last song” they joke as the set comes to a head. “You can go home now, the other two bands are shite”, but while true words are often uttered in jest, the fact that Schnapps share a guitarist with Tan (and all of tonight’s acts hone their sound in the same studio space) ensures there’s no opportunity to misinterpret the bravado. Even if the sarcasm had gone over any clueless heads, Schnapps’s set firmly sets the record straight: they rarely trouble contemporary influences, but their ability to channel the tight rock thrills of The Flamin’ Groovies and the punch of early Stooges repackages Hall of Famers expertly. Ice Cream’s sharp garage-rock tomfoolery and the scuffed, tumbling Crossdresser easily make up for forgetting to bring their bottled namesake.

A transition from Schnapps to Milk doesn’t sound appetising, but luckily the bands blend more successfully than their liquid counterparts. The sight of drummer Michael Marshall (also of Findo Gask) in garish lycra competes for attention with an intense performance from Pablo Clark (a.k.a. My Kappa Roots), whose vocals range from severely committed to distressed monkey yelping. They’re over in a flash, yet find time for the Doors-esque Wilma, There’s Been A Fire and some eighties cop-show lounge piano grooves, Milk capably proving they’re very much made of the white stuff (sorry).

(review originally from

Thursday, 1 July 2010

bottle rocket's international house of dancing

well whaddaya know? bottle rocket is set to be a global indie-pop franchise! joseph erikson, original club architect and rocketeer till december 2008, has established the club in his new hometown of portland, oregon! the poster looks like this:

basically, if you're portlandish, you'd be foolish not to pull some shapes.