Wednesday, 24 September 2008

viva la revolution

four straight days on the sauce has given me a painfully sore throat. was it all worth it though? very much so...

saturday night was shunt, a club that is made up of a sprawling labyrinth of caverns and tunnels underneath london bridge. the club is ran by a collective of artists who take it turns to curate a uinque event based around a certain theme. everyone bailed on me so i ended up going down on my own to dj a three hour set from 12midnight-3am, when i got there i was instantly stopped by a barrier and two men dressed in full militant attire adorning pig noses, who were refusing to let some customers through and even giving them some (in charachter) grief, luckily i told them i was playing and avoided their totalitarian ways. after being propositioned for gay sex by one of the workers, which i politely declined, i moved through an impressive corridor scene scattered with authentic looking props, dancing woman, men with accordions and all sorts of other atmospheric goings on. the vibe, all though was meant to be that of shunt-state control felt to me more like i'd stepped into the middle of a military coup détat with everyone around me behaving in an fun, inspiring and friendly manor.
i went and set up in the humid, dark, sweaty corner of one cavern in front a dancefloor that already consisted of around 150 people and after the national shunt anthem i began my set. i quickly learned that the crowd weren't into guitar based music and were here to dance their shoes into heelless oblivion. i of course complied. after warming it up the dance floor consistently had 300 or more people on going for it all night and when i finally managed to run off for a toilet break i realised that i wasn't just djing to that room but the music i was playing was in fact being played through the whole club, which had to stop letting people in at 12 because it was so busy. daunting to say the least, but none the less it was easily the most receptive crowd i've ever played to and by far the best experience i've ever had as a dj. i recommend you all go to shunt at some point. they've invited us back to play again, so i'll let ya'll know when that happens.

the rest of the four days of abuse and lack of sleep consisted of the last ever tuck shop in birmingham, the no shows forever house gig and the rolo tomassi album launch party. all were incredible but a special shout out has to go to banjo or freakout who played the house gig on sunday, who totally stole the show for me (gentle friendly teamed up with ponytail to the tune of a huge super group improvisation and while it was very impressive and exuded talent it didn't quite capture my attention like either of the bands actual music would have). the focus of banjo's set for my was on the enchanting drums played himself and dan from gentle friendly, i've not seen such a captivating display of drumming since i saw duracell play in the middle of the crowd in the middle of drained out pool last year at supersonic, it had me hooked from start to finish. unfortunately i missed all but 2 songs by pens because we were outside and hadn't realised they had started by which time the room was so packed full of immaculately dressed beautiful young people that we couldn't even see anything anyway.

i've got a job interview in a bit too, wish me luck.


Monday, 15 September 2008

i need a job.

monday morning, the worst part of almost everyones week. i'm not even at work and i still can't ignore the distaste for this particularly gruelling part of the week, after an amazing weekend of free bars, good food and amazing company i'm having to go back to trawling through and in search of a crappy job. so i thought i'd procrastinate for a while and bring you a long overdue update on the next stage of stop scratching's plan for world domination.

so today i bring you the news on the next four tapes we shall be releasing after doom patrol. we decided that we're going to do releases, in terms of packaging and artists, in groups of four. for these next four though, we're making them extra special by giving away a fancy screen printed poster (by meesh of danger! laser! phaser! razor!) with each release, and when put all together form a four frame comic of their own. so without further a due...

the opening riff to human hair's 'happy birthday' is discordant, post-punk gold. it instantly crawls under your skin and pollutes your unconscious and you won't even notice until 5 minutes later when you're suddenly singing the notes aloud. human hair are a 4 piece from nottingham featuring henry of lovvers fame, they play cohesive, sullen post-punk with infectious, jangly hooks and smart, inviting vocals. they combine the abrasive, at times slightly uncomfortable elements of arab on radar, with the the importance (at least in my eyes) of les savy fav circa the cat and the cobra. they effortlessly blend together the confrontational with the listenable. i'm really exited for this.

human hair - happy birthday.mp3 (zshare)

teeth!!! are a three peice based in london, they fuse punk rock energy and ethics with positively unrestricted electronica. pitch bending infectious synth lines layered over the top of earth shaking drum beats and topped off with the seductiveness of lead singer veronica's raw but somewhat relaxed vocals. musically they are much more akin to the likes of a less polished dat politics, or if poney p of les georges leningrad headed a more balls out extreme politics, less rehearsed but with no less conviction. for those of you who are out of the loop, they basically just sound like kap bambino raised on a diet of punk instead of electro. they have remixes by the magnificent eats tapes coming out soon and are recording for the tape at madonnas studio in notting hill in october.

teeth!!! - dead boys.mp3 (zhshare)

male bonding are 3 guys from london, the play brattish garage punk with an un-ignorabley natural edge. scuzzy, brittle percussion that almost but not quite overpowers the frenzied but dynamic guitar playing. the vocals splutter with confidence and a sort of clarity and while each section is clearly defined and has a definite individuality it all comes together with the same clumsy cohesiveness found in the sounds of the butthole surffers and kin. it's britain's answer to everything that is coming out of LA at the moment, fun, energetic good times punk. they have a split 7" with pens coming out soon on paradise vendors inc. so keep an eye out for that.

click for link to male bonding's music (myspace)

chupacabra are a mysterious bunch, i've only heard two recorded songs by them. on those recordings, they create dark and atmospheric noise that makes you feel like you're cloud walking through an industrial graveyard on your way to the final showdown with sephiroth. live it's certainly a lot less daunting affair, lauren's wrangler brutes esq guitar sound ferociously rattles away with careless abandon while the pummeling tribal drums earge the march onwards and charleigh's wailing, eerie vocal lines bring it all together with complete unity. they're recording this month in new york and will apparently be returning next month, complete with a couple of new members to boot.

click for link to chupacabra's music (myspace)

so there you have it, keeps your eyes peeled for developments on those little beauty's.


Friday, 12 September 2008

the n35 to elephant and castle, the n something or other to new cross and the n136 to catford.

good morning.
sorry i haven't wrote anything on here in a while, i've been busy making like the majority of female a-level or equivalent students in the country with delusions of being a fashion designer and i've upped sticks and moved to the capital. i hope dior will buy my crappy designs or something, failing that i can just go work in american apparel and live on apples & cosmopolitans and tell people i'm a model.

anyway, london life is suiting me quite fine at the moment, it was all a bit of a whirlwind of events and i only wish i had a little more money so i could be a little more picky with the shit job i'm inevitably going to have to get to be able to enjoy it all. yesterday i went for an interview with what i can only imagine is the epitome of your slick city cockney wide boy idiot, as soon as i sat down he told my i had to lose my moustache, and made some ridiculous sounds as though it were causing him actual distress. i knew then i wasn't going to accept the job. then he answered his phone, harped on about something unbearable pretentious and uninteresting to his friend for about 5 minutes (not standard practise in most interview) then he spoke about the money and bonuses, didn't tell me anything about the role and said i could start monday. i won't be starting monday. i told the agency who got me the job he was one the worst people i've ever met in my life, which he genuinely was.

so deciding i was in dire need of a drink and some socialising with real people i headed down to the old blue last to watch teeth!!! play at the vice launch party. i got there way to early and decided to read my book alone in the corner with a pint, which was going quite nicely until a mammoth party of young western european louts and their infuriating dates decided to pretty much sit on top of me and blow those insanely loud party whistle things at 3 second intervals without fail and pretty much ruined any concentration i had going on. anyway, it was about 9.00pm now and i imagine that reading a book alone in a pub at that time might come across as a bit desperate, or as though i might appear to be trying to look solitary and intellectual in order to impress girls or something. i really wasn't, i just have no friends.
so, i started flicking though one of the many new issues of vice scattered about the place in hope that it would at least make me look like i was there for the same thing as everyone else. i've never really read anything more than the reviews or the music interviews in there and here's what how i would sum it up; we've all seen city of god right? great film. anyway, take that, put it into a magazine some eastpak and fly 53 adverts, write some pointless reviews that don't ever talk about the music on some admittedly good bands and you've pretty much got vice.
there's only so long you can sit around pretending to read that magazine before you might actually start to look like you're enjoying it, so i decided to go upstairs and see if teeth!!! were on. they weren't, so i had to stand around and flip through it some more.
i'd had a fair few pints by this point and i actually quite enjoy my own company, so i didn't much mind. i was curious as to where the free shots and laughing gas were though, i was hoping to re-live atp 07 when me and trav followed the dude who was selling laughing gas around for like 2 hours and bought most of his supply. but no, no clowns on tables pouring spirits into peoples shot glasses, and not even a single balloon, save for the three behind the bar that were oh so comically arranged to look like cock and balls. bad form.

finally 20 or so minutes of leaning against the bar with my arms folded later teeth!!! were ready to go on, at which point oscar from sister mantos came in (who played my night last saturday and was incredible and certainly lived up to my expectations of being a genuine, interesting guy) so we headed to the front the stage for a better view. i don't know how many of you are aware, since i've not really mentioned it at all probably not many, but were doing a tape for them soon, so i'm going to save all the musings (as this post is getting to long for anyone to bother reading anyway) for another post, maybe later today, on all our new babies with some mp3s etc. they played a great set though, energetic and lively, fused together with a punk rock spirit and a general good time party vibe. it propbably wasn't gothic indie enough for the crowd as nobody seemed to move at all, they must have been to busy talking about the birthday party or nick cave or something.

we left shortly after that and went down to simon's (from teeth!!!) night nails at the fili bar, we were greeted by a 7 foot man in a gold leotard, long fur coat, afro wig and gold body paint, not quite what i was expecting but i guess that's the beauty of london. anyway, we headed down stairs where there were just as many interesting characters all seemingly having a great time, which is what i like to see. a reasonably jack daniels later and some dudes from manchester dressed head to toe in lyca with balloons stuffed inside their skin tight attire came onto the dance floor, danced around to some house track and preceded to pop all the balloons in a rather provocative manor. i haven't a clue what that was all about, but it made me chuckle all the same.
next, blechdom and blevin blectum were on. blectum sung about 30 minutes of delightfully quirky, but beautifully sincere pop songs, accompanied by some extraordinary piano playing, at times it was heartfelt, at times it was hilarious and at times it was a little south park, but in a really enjoyable way. i only managed to see about 15 minutes of blevin, who started with some incredible rhythmic electronic noise that had me wanting to stay, defiantly have to check out more of her.
i decided though i was starting to slow down and that i better had embark on the perilous quest of the night buses back to catford, thing is i didn't actually know what bus to get or where to get it from and as my housemate alex had it phone off, i ended up getting three separate buses, at £2 each and not getting home until about 3am, when i left at 1am.

in all, i think it was a great first night out in london on my own and a great introduction to the city. despite the occasional feeling of being so obviously on my own, i think i'd much rather than be here than in birmingham at some wannabe disco night or another.