29 April 2013

Little Green Machine



Every now and then comes a band so fucking loaded with talent and ideas and creative brilliance you immediately love them and at the same time you know, if they can hold it all together, that they have the potential to be massively successful. That band, for me, was Little Green Machine.I wrote about them in MUSIC NEWS SCOTLAND

Little Green Machine continue to cultivate a vibrant originality throughout this 4 track EP. Once again their catchy trademark style of rock is instantly likeable and the possibility of bigger things, on the evidence of this record alone, looks glaringly certain. Last year they procreated a stunning debut which demonstrated their proficiency in music. And now they’ve returned with a manifestation of musical textures and structuring. The perfect synthesis to its progenitor. Little Green Machine are a rather striking panorama of inventiveness. Consider them likely champions soon!

Then again just a few months later..

For a band who have played together less than a year Edinburgh indie rockers Little Green Machine are an impressive threesome.Already the darlings of the local gig circuit they now enhance that proficiency with distinctive ease on this 8 track EP. To label them similar to anyone remotely popular would feel insulting, and probably impossible. This is a style and genre that appears to be all theirs! A sound consummated by the deep seated copulation of uncontrived and necessity! Maybe Little Green Machine is the post-coital bliss and euphoria?Lyrically they are neither obvious nor twee. This is educated wordsmithery. Esoterical and largely personal. Street poetry from a soul that's seen life when it's good and when it's shit! Lyrics like ' when jealousy hits you, like cancer it spreads' on excellent opener Bus Shelter Blues and 'I'm looking forward to the summer, but it always rains' on Take The Money & Run are two examples of the nihilistic outlook of chief songwriter and front man Jack Sandison. This isn't a downside or setback, it's brilliant and real!Little Green Machine play music that grabs and never let's go. First class compositions of melodic offerings. Guitar driven vehicles of sound. Catchy, worthwhile rock n roll! They are in the que for great things! Check them out.

And just when you sensed the big leap forward was in their grasp...they split up. Devastating! Never have an unsigned band sounded as fucking good as this one did. May they rest easy, wherever they may roam, for the world could have been theirs. I still play the demo albums given to me for reviewing. They still sound flawlessly bang on!


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Filter: Video Trailer For New Album



The Sun Comes Out Tonight heralds the return of Marlette in the roles of producer and co-writer, and marks the introduction of Filter's newest addition, co-writer, and guitarist, Jonny Radtke. Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, Radtke's rapturous vocals and elegantly furious guitar playing mesh expertly with Filter's ambiance. "Jonny is the little brother-slash-guitar player I never had, he's just incredibly talented," Patrick affectionately admits. "Because of his talent and my connection with him, it was such a joy to make this album, it's a very inspired record. The chemistry was there. I really can't say enough about Jonny." Radtke's own predilection for rebellion and versatility are hallmarks of his own one-man musical project, the ethereal Polar Moon. Prior to joining Filter, Radtke's guitar stylings were best known for gracing the stage with his previous band, Kill Hannah, and the live incarnation of Ashes Divide, led by Billy Howerdel of A Perfect Circle.

Patrick proclaims, "It's a new guitar player, a new label - we're so grateful we signed with Wind-up Records, [label co-owner and Chief Creative Officer] Gregg Wattenberg is so supportive, the label is amazing; it's a whole new idea. It was so easy to be angry on this record, there are songs about betrayal and pure evil, there's so much heavy stuff [on this record] but there's moments of light, songs about happiness and love. It's our analysis of the human condition."

Tracks "What Do You Say", "This Finger's For You" and "We Hate It When You Get What You Want" seethe with vicious guitar riffs, blasting beats, Radtke's lilting background vocals, Patrick's gruff delivery, and captivating choruses that were made to sing along to. "With our first single, 'What Do You Say,' it's about all the noise - noise from the media, people talking and having so much to say but not really listening," Patrick thoughtfully states. One of the album's brightest moments of light comes courtesy of the shimmering, euphoric "Surprise," a track reminiscent of the delicate song structure that made runaway hit "Take A Picture" one of Filter's most beloved offerings. 

The whimsical "First You Break It" draws you in with lush guitars and surging harmonies. The lyrics for "Watch The Sun Comes Out Tonight" paint an intimate portrait of Patrick's adventures at age 22 wandering around under the influence of psilocybin in the chill of Cleveland, Ohio late at night. "We'd search for things to look at, something that would trigger a profound thought of some kind," Patrick recalls, "I love writing about those times; I was young and angry but optimistic at the same time. Gregg Wattenberg took all of what he loved about early Filter and reminded me of it, he was like, 'you need to get back there and do what you do!', I've always been about pressing forward and stretching my audience's imagination but there's got to be a point of reflection."

Album Review: Stone Sour

Stone Sour
'House Of Gold & Bones Part 2'
(Roadrunner Records)


Although better known for his throat shredding vocals as frontman with the barbaric metal degenerates Slipknot, Corey Taylor has in fact released more studio albums with Stone Sour regardless of that bands unfair reputation in certain quarters that they are nothing more than another musical outlet for Taylor’s so called multitudinous musical outpourings that can’t be accommodated by the one dimensional ‘raaaarrrrgh, raaaaaarrrrgh’ songs that characterize Slipknot. Masked or not, growling or harmonising, the man has a melodic singing voice that can brilliantly showcase his lyrical stories with great clarity and the correct amount of desired rage (should it be required) than, probably, the one many currently dare consider him to receive credit for. This is, believe it or not, the second part of a double concept album of which the first part ‘House of Gold and Bones Part 1’ was released in October 2012. So, following a slightly longer interlude than you’d maybe expect, comes the eagerly awaited sequel ‘House Of Gold And Bones Part 2’ 

Where ‘House Of Gold And Bones Part 1’ finished up –( with an enraged ‘until you give me what I want, you can’t stop me now’ on its closing track ‘Last Of The Real’) – the follow up album uses a different approach and, indeed, lulls a false sense of tranquillity on first song ‘Red City’ with minimalistic piano tinkering just below the engine of a haunting vocal that echoes and whispers before bursting through the soundscape with surprising viciousness for a number of seconds before returning back to its contented discord. There is more pace ahead though, and it gallops into view on ‘Black John’ which opens with some frazzled radio feedback before fleshing out into the pounding drums and screeching guitar work composition that Corey Taylor’s gnashing vocal snaps and rips at mercilessly. Next up ‘Peckinpah’ is more of the generic metal than anything else found here and it kicks and bucks and snorts with all the pieces metal brings. On ‘Stalemate’ they merge easy rock, metal and heavy rock together but, skilfully, none of the three appear together, letting one go ahead before pulling it back letting the next appear and again a third time, repeating the trick throughout. 

A standout track for sure is ‘Uncanny Valley’ with its subtle employment of acoustic guitars that somehow fabricate a richer, full bodied atmosphere for the main drag of the song without ever getting in the way of the tracks role. There’s catchiness and, almost, a fun element to ‘Do Me A Favor’ with its jaunty drumming, effective chant-a-long parts and hook filled guitar riffs which leads, with a marching drum and big piano keys, into ‘The Conflagration’ before ending with that favoured Stone Sour sound – on the title track. It’s difficult to imagine sometimes that the guy singing on this record is the very same chap who once roared the bile –drenched war cry ‘ I want to slit your throat and fuck the wound’ from beneath the masked monstrosity of his ‘other job’ and that’s the point I’d like to make – Corey Taylor is extremely convincing in either role – and maybe one is closest to the ‘real’ Corey than the other – and if wound intercourse is his thing then it sounds like the world’s greatest fetish/murder two-for-one activity you could dip into – and sure beats wearing your mums bra under your jumper while socialising with friends ( that’s really not a personal confession) Sure. Corey Taylor has had the ‘expected’ drug addiction, overdose, broken home requirements that seem to be a standard cause of today’s drama queen merchants – but he’s actually much more than that, and is in fact a pretty gifted individual who writes a decent song. Is this album better than its Part 1 brother? It’s a bit heavier I’d say, less theatrical, more tender…..and, as I’m required to be honest, a truly outstanding work of everything you’d expect from Corey Taylor.

*Published in Subba Cultcha*

Festival News

A bit less crowded than Glastonbury and without the T In The Park aggression this is a refreshingly tranquil festival swathed in the loveliest of atmospheres and even the main camping area is situated nice and close to the main stage ensuring you're never too far away from the action. The laid back, sponsor free aesthetic is nice to see - with stalls, local orchard cider, crazy golf, Punch & Judy and even a tent for the kids. It truly is a relaxed ambience with unity and peace being the tone. 

Dates are Fri 26th & Sat 27th July.
Tickets are priced £25 - £50 which can be purchased online and include weekend camping with extra charges for caravans and motorhomes. 

Cracking wee line-up too including
GHOSTPOET
ART BRUT
THE SKINTS
MOSCOW YOUTH CULT
THE FIRE BENEATH THE SEA
BLACK STROBE
REEPS ONE
and there's a few DJ's lined up to spin a few discs for those of you with St Vitus dance. 

Thanks to the team at Gilcombe Farm for the invite. I cant confirm or decline right now as my festival schedule hasn't yet been finalised. But if I can then I will.


And here we go, from one extreme to the other. The far busier Rockness has very quickly built itself a great reputation among festival goers and is considered by many to be Scotland's favourite festival. You can't argue with the location - sitting right on the banks of the iconic Loch Ness. It was, essentially, a dance/club dominated festival in the beginning but over the years the organisers have brought more and more of everything to the event and have managed to turn it into a far more eclectic gathering with enough genres represented to suit anyone. 

This year's line up includes
MADNESS
FATBOY SLIM
BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB
PLAN B
THE VACCINES
ELLIE GOULDING
NEWTON FAULKNER
CAMERA OBSCURA
BASEMENT JAXX
and a load more besides. I'm told there are still more yet to be added to the line-up.

Rockness runs from Fri 7th - Sun 9th June
Tickets must be purchased from the online box office and are priced at
£139 for 3 Day Weekend Camping
£130 for 3 Day Weekend No Camping
£209 for 3 Day VIP Weekend Camping
£200 for 3 Day VIP Weekend No Camping
£59 for Single Day Ticket
£85 for Single VIP Day Ticket

It's been a couple of years since I was last at Rockness but possibly this year is once again my year. Thanks to Becky from the Rockness Media Crew for press invites. 



28 April 2013

Album Review: The Great Malarkey

The Great Malarkey
'Badly Stuffed Animals'

clamouring like sailors at the door of a dockside burlesque cabaret bar

Among the spit and sawdust opulence of backroom hedonistic rum bravado exists a swaggering waltz macabre theatre group flecked in dried blood, booze stained clothing and pickpocket eloquence gathered upon a crowded stage playing a crazy jumble of gypsy/folk/punk tunes, skewed sea shanties and a hybrid of guttural torment ditties as the swaying, sweat drenched occupants of the room jive in primitive approval. That scene isn’t real and I don’t know if it’ll ever be true – but should you ever find yourself entrenched in such a situation – the band on the tiny, overcrowded stage will be The Great Malarkey.

The ‘out there’ greatness of The Urban Voodoo Machine, but so much better. The bluesy unwashed vaudeville of Tom Waits, but so much funkier, and the high energy slap-dash of overactive imaginations, but so much murkier. No surprise then that debut album ‘Badly Stuffed Animals’ is a flawless work of under the stairs art. Lively opener ‘Moneybags’ clatters from the starting blocks all hyper-buzz and raucous turbulence kept in line nicely by the commanding potency of Alex Ware’s veering vocals, closely followed by the pier-end drenched music hall romp sound of ‘Merry Profits’ with, again, the plundering stimulation courtesy of Alex Ware as she dips, soars, caresses and rips the body of lyrics from among the madness of a spirited fiddle as it jostles for coughing distance with a host of various other instruments clamouring like sailors at the door of a burlesque dockside cabaret bar. The sultrier ‘Hold Me Back’ and infectious acoustic dominated duet ‘The Game Is Rigged’ scratch at the throat with parched notes. ‘A Whiskey Too Far’ staggers and drifts – the unpredictable miscreant harlot, cigarette dangling from a cherry lipstick mouth sputtering loaded vocabulary as she snakes her way through the bristling tavern of deckhands and drunkards.

As ‘Ha Ha Freak’ glides open upon a continental tinged accordion/banjo sea shanty dirge there comes hints of a darkness within the opening lyrics ‘bitches, brawlers, bastards, rogues, the time has come to tell of stories untold’ delivered in a menacing sneer of a lead vocal that further enhances the underbelly of vicious intent threading it’s way through every click of a half beat that hangs loud in the ghost of a silence. Upbeat, ska-fused ‘Badman’ is followed by the folk/gypsy campfire reel of ‘Buckets Of Blood’ and the trumpet led fast paced ‘Poor Against Poor’ and it’s bristling anger fuelled agitation….’take a swig of your champagne and have a rest….you jumped up tosser’. The final track ‘Cheers’ is a glasses raised, fists clenched final salute and goodbye to newly found friends as they sign off – the melancholic alcoholics lament. And there it ends, one of the most impressive collection of campfire, folklore, bar brawling, street crawling, rat-run, dark end alleyway tales ever stapled together in the same place. A serious Album of the Year contender from possibly the most creative gathering of gifted noise makers of the last 5 years.

*Published in Subba Cultcha*


Festival Memories (Part 1)


GLASTONBURY 1997

My first and currently my only Glastonbury Festival. It had its customary year off in 1996 which meant 1995 was the last time it had been held - and that one boasted Oasis, Pulp, The Prodigy, Jeff Buckley, Black Crowes, Supergrass, The Chemical Brothers, PJ Harvey and so much more. Of course, as most of us now know, Glastonbury 1997 became known as 'The Year Of The Mud' thanks to widespread flooding brought on by torrential rain leading up to the weekend, plunging us immediately knee-deep in it at some areas.



The one thing I remember about Glastonbury above all others is making my way back to my tent in the pitch black darkness of fri night/sat morning after watching The Prodigy grind to a halt after two songs due to technical problems which I'd followed up by going for a wander with 2 girls from Edinburgh I randomly met at some hippy stall. Anyway, I ended up losing touch with them somewhere near the actual end of the world and as I picked my way back across guy ropes, bodies and god knows, I fell down a hole which , it turned out, some guy had dug out ready to put a totem pole in to, but had decided to go for a lie down before positioning the pole, leaving a 5 foot hole uncovered....It felt like I was tumbling for hours, or 100 feet at least - maybe I'd fell down a rabbit hole and ended up in a land of magic?  Thankfully I was unhurt (though my pride was completely fractured) but falling down holes in the dark is the scariest experience ever.


Not sure if I can describe this next one as a memory but the headlining slot by Radiohead on the Pyramid Stage on Saturday night has been described as one of the greatest sets in the history of the festival and also considered the night Radiohead hit their creative peak, never again matching the brilliance of that night. There are official recordings, bootlegs and photographic souvenirs of this mindblowing musical happening...And where was I? Watching fucking Kula Shaker on the other stage because I thought they'd be the greater of both bands to witness. Knob! Knob! Knob! They were shit, their songs sounded shit, their guitar playing was shit....and Mr Crispian Mills you psychedelic charisma-drenched frontman......you were also shit! Only highpoint from that was bumping into Glaswegian punk girl Sarah-Jane and spending the rest of the night in her company. 'Why were you watching Kula Shaker'? she asked.......'Oh, I promised my 6yr old niece I'd get photos of them' I cheesed. 'Awww' said she......'Aye'  said me!

Bands I managed to see play
ASH
KULA SHAKER
RAY DAVIES
STEVE HARLEY
STEREOLAB
SUPERNATURALS
SUPER FURRY ANIMALS
BILLY BRAGG
ATTILA THE STOCKBROKER
LEVELLERS
ECHOBELLY


Coming Soon: The Wizard Festival (they came marching out of the woods and started fighting with everyone)

27 April 2013

Michele Ari



The history of music is, of course, cluttered with the disregarded, the misconstrued, the deserted, the never fully achieved and, worse, the supplementary subordinates who bring us nothing to celebrate but a harrowing reminder that money talks, baby, and like it or not the scatter-brained, vacillating mantra's that congest the airwaves of your radio, monopolise your music charts and dominate your television programmes are not there on merit (you're not that vapid surely?) No, this is conjecture before constraint, commerciality over art, or, in words we can best relate to, cash over credibility. See, our radio stations are controlled by probably 4 major labels who, in turn, create smaller labels (splinter groups still directly connected to the mother ship) and upon those smaller labels they will release music by their latest investment - and this is where we talk pounds/dollars not pence/cents - changing hands to 'buy' prime time playlist slots for their piece of shit that they've invested heavily in and therefore demand a healthy return thank you - at the expense of genuine, hard-working, naturally gifted musicians out there. It's a shameful exploitation of an industry that really has a lot more to be proud of, to offer, than the latest get-rich-quick merchants with a spare buck and a cutey pie tune on offer for the right person, or persons, to be the face of this already guaranteed meteoric rise to the top. How can it fail? You have the backing of one of the major 4 who, as already mentioned, have the whole fucking media in their back pocket! Win, win, kerching, kerching! The reason I depise the way a major label swoops in and takes a whole movement away is because I see the natural talent they leave behind. Now I do not in any way mean these remarks to be in any way derogatory to anyone - these are not my opinions - but what they consider marketable ( and this is surely a patronising swipe not only at how they perceive you but how they perceive humanity) are pretty girls with perfect teeth, perfect tits, suggestability (will she or wont she sleep with me) sultry off camera gaze, size zero with every rib cage protruding perfectly from paper skin awaiting your approval. And then the song - a 3 minute hook-laden anthem with a 'milk and water' lyrical content bereft of any linguistic ingenuity - the proven formula!

In my years as a reviewer I come across many bands/artists who have so much more to offer than this, so much more depth and long term, good time slabs of rock and fucking roll - but we dont get access to it if they aren't in bed with the money shakers. One such example of injustice is Michele Ari. Now I'm not sure exactly how many years I've known Michele (and we have become friends over the years - though we've never met in person yet) but I do know that the first time I reviewed her music was in 2006.
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Michele Ari
'85th and Nowhere'
With a voice like this her life was surely always going to take this path. What a tragic waste of such natural ability had it not! Michele Ari sings in a way that most people could only ever hope for. She has such melodic pull. A capability to evoke countless emotions. It’s a haunting almost. A subtle presence that gently ghosts you, yet so firm in it’s manifestation! It’s the perfect narrator for her lyrics, bringing an intensity of unquestionable depth! 85th and Nowhere is a 6 track mini album of considerable ambience. An inspired vehicle in which to introduce us to Michele. Opening song “My Sleeping Beauty” is an achingly heartfelt composition that seems to combine bitterness and poignancy together in uncontrived similarity. A penetrating insight I’m sure! Second track “Please” and third one “85th and Nowhere” have bounciness, good guitars and rock n roll drum beats. The former containing a lyrically acerbic outpouring of frustrating anger, and the title track, with a new wave kinda feel to it, finds Michele sounding like Deborah Harry did when she was at her best in the 80’s .Nevermind is a call to arms for reckless abandonment and self indulgence and it’s all wrapped up and complimented by excellent guitar riffs. But the gorgeous ballad “Pretty” is where her voice is most powerful. A full and infiltrating richness so overwhelming and formidable nothing could ever possibly distract from this! The album closes with the acoustic, summertime sounding jangle of “1000 Kisses” and it’s lyrical leanings that suggest someone is falling in love, or at least liking someone enough to want to kiss them 1000 times. It’s an endearingly lovely smiley joyous song and an inspired choice to end on! Michele currently resides in America but is in the process of relocating to London. I think England’s shores may possibly allow itself a warming smile at the thought of her arrival.

And I meant every word, I will never be the type of reviewer who complements every single record he writes about just because 'he's a nice person' no - I take my position far too seriously for that - and, thanks to my education, I know a million different ways of saying 'this record is shit' and still manage to keep it interesting over 300 words and I have used such weaponry on many an occasion though never, as yet with Michele Ari. When she released 'Uncharted Territory' in 2012 I was proud to be there again, this time to tell people how much she had actually developed and grown, and was continuing to do so, at an impressive rate, with every heartbeat.
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Michele Ari
'Uncharted Territory'

The girl will one day be the star making you sit up and listen to her songs. Why this is not already a fact of life is a dizzying perplexity. With confidence I have championed the absolute existence of her abilities on many occasions and remain as convinced now as then that her arrival on the ‘bigger’ stage is imminent. She can no longer be ignored when making music like this. She is far too listenable to exist in the peripheries and is certainly a kick and a shove better than some of the one-trick ponies who manage to infiltrate our lives and trudge insignificant humdrum psycho-babble through our speakers when they have no business doing so. Of course, it’s the quick hit money merchants closing ranks and opening doors for the latest cash cow to preen, prance and cajole the easily pleased long enough to generate enough ugly dollars for them before leading her/him/them/it over the nearest mountain to tumble in to the ‘surplus to requirements’ ocean below - sinking without a trace and leaving no memory. If Michele Ari does not crash into your life - the proper, well earned way with this EP - then we are a planet of slack-jawed morons born without ears - or fucking sense! Please do not let the precious cargo of our rock & roll music become cluttered with reality show dullards and plastic surgery wannabes who shall do anything for their career (except write their own songs) They wont care long enough to still love you in the morning but Michele shall be there to love you, make breakfast, do the washing up, have intelligent conversations with and come back to you, just to you, every moment of the rest of your life. So grab her curvaceous resonance while you have the chance and thank your lucky stars for that - or you’ll be left upon the shelf with the shallow, the fatties and the mono-syllabic wallflowers. And I know you’d hate the shame of that wrong choice, eh! 

As always, the new EP Uncharted Territory whips up a feisty hurricane of post-punk, indie rock, new wave, mod pop au jour across 5 tracks. This time though, more than previous outings, the emotional conflicts Michele has been at battle with are clearly laid out in wounds, victories, lessons learned and lessons forced. On the catchy, yet backbiting . Wounded Man there is an almost contemptuous loathing for the unnamed cause of her bile as she muses ‘on your knees you were humbled’ all neatly sound tracked with a stunning indie/new wave, victorious ’fuck you’skip (consider Kirsty MaColl twinned with Martha Wainwright) The weapons of mass destruction are laid down for the purposes of the title track and a more sentimental, almost pleading desire for something new and unsullied distracts her as she almost begs you to ‘come on don’t ignore me, it’s uncharted territory’ - her honesty and her humanity ( a desire to be loved or at least understood) is something every one of us is born with but don’t convey it so humbly - or so cleverly. 

Her greatness for writing a good, uncomplicated song manifests itself with glory - the best thing on the EP - Little Wars deals with (in my opinion) the breakdown in adolescent relationships and all the ferocious violating of the others feelings which that brings ‘the fights and the breakdowns, the crashes and the shakedowns, these little wars’ but, once again, narrated to such an intelligently crafted, hook ridden post-punk/garage pop body of music you wonder if her vitriol is a joke or a deliberate nonchalant head-tossing weapon designed to drive the earner of such words to utter despair. Either way it’s a beauty. On the slower Live Without This we are introduced to a spirited tenacious intent to hike through something that once meant everything but now means nothing . The song begins immediately at the start of a discussion - ‘what does that mean, is that any way to start?’ - and slaloms onwards through the disappearing relationship and the realisation you can only make so many allowances in the name of love, and you’ve used them all up with nothing left to justify still being around. The EP closes with the frivolous seductive beats of Real - a song that makes you think you know what’s on offer but then punishes you for being so one dimensional - it’s possibly unquestionably cool yet bizarre. Clever goodness.Uncharted Territory is a great collection of emotive, well composed, earthy rock & roll songs with that indie edge that’s always been a massive part of the Michele Ari sound. Her creative fire has been re-fuelled and she sounds stronger both figuratively and literally. There is a natural , effortless easiness to what most definitely wouldn’t be effortless or easy. She’s been through the wars - and this is her story. Intimate, confessional and bittersweet. Maybe music like hers never existed until right now - but regardless, here it is, and it sounds like something new to me.


Such was my admiration for her hard-working rock & roll honesty, the sheer determination to be recognised for the human being she was born to be it began to frustrate ME possibly as much as it did her that again and again she was overlooked by blinkered A&R men with specific instructions to hunt out one kind of particular human being with one specific marketable asset! I interviewed Michele earlier in the year and we discussed some of those things
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Michele Ari Interview  


When you struggle past the barbie doll lyrics, candy floss tunes and patronising dance moves you very quickly find people like Britney Spears have fuck all else to offer. Such vapid, money making mediocrity must, surely, be the kiss of death to any other solo American female artists who haven't firmly established themselves within their own rock n roll zenith. But as unsigned champion of DIY's singer/songwriter discord, Michele Ari has continually proved - as your peers but remain glaringly overlooked even when proving damned hard to write off. 

Descriptive lyrical observations sketch out another nameless protagonist documented on the dramatics of a song. Delving into the beating heart of the human condition with such an indulgent romanticism for the narration of what swings from crippling confessional outporings to brutal insecurities worsened under the glare of being showcased so publicly. Writing songs that you know will be heard by others, is surely such a solitary pursuit, and no business for the introvert. And the music - a series of reference points from where it  derived from. The jarring post-punk edginess which brings an urban rock fanzine kinda shimmer to the very aesthetics of all she stands for. Blurred together with feral garage moments and skipping indie jauntness. Even sweet stringed, heart wrenching backdrops can be pulled from such ‘tough as nails’ euphonies for the purposes of poignant, forlorn ballads. This is everything - from recognisable radio transmissions of the distant past to bang up to date rock & roll. Catchy, riff laden songs possibly too quixotic for mainstreams ignorant claims of incandescent grandeur - a short lived, dictated shelf life anyway that no serious musician would be comfortable wallowing in. With Michele Ari it’s her seamless changes of direction, the genuine desire for making music she was born to. That’s the moments that remind me just how accomplished she really is. Scrunched up messiness and euphoric, wide eyed prettiness - she’s all of that, with the intensity of a snarling tiger for a soul. 

You’ve received favourable mentions in the UK music press on many occasions which is a great achievement for an unsigned artist from America who hasn’t yet set foot on British soil. How difficult is it to try and keep that momentum going when you’re so far away? 

Thank you. If you consider how difficult it can be to get out your art just around the block you will have your answer. I'll never forget the day I got my hard copy of my first glossy interview in the mail. It was in an internationally distributed music magazine from the UK. I showed it to some guys who worked at a record shop in Nashville where I was living at the time. My CDs were in the "local" section which is generally where dust likes to hang out and one of the guys said he doesn't push our stuff because "local music doesn't sell." I suggested moving it to the "Just happens to live here" section. I could get played on Radio One by someone who interviewed Pete Townsend but not get into a Nashville music festival that I could walk to. So, the difficulty has been more of how to make my mark in both places, or all places, when I am just one person and I'm funding everything alone. I've recently moved to NYC to remedy my southern blues but it's come with a price tag. Raising your cost of living is about the dumbest thing you can do as an artist but the south
just wasn't cutting it for me as much as I miss the fresh air. I needed to be somewhere more progressive and accepting of new ideas and although Starbucks has taken over every corner of the city there is still some bite to the place if you know where to look and I think that I do. 

You’ve released two mini albums/EP’s to date so far and, with a new single, a third is on the way. Was the writing process different on each record?

Yes and no. The place from which I write is always the same. It all comes from the soul and even a collaboration is all under my direction. My ability to cut to the chase has improved and the "muscle" I use to write with has become more developed. As time passes I live more life to write about and learn things that open up new viewpoints to write from and about. To prove to myself I could do it alone my second EP 'mal a' propos' was all me. I collaborated on the new material for "Uncharted Territory" but by then I had the confidence to prove or not prove anything at will. Who knows what I will do next? I would love to write with all kinds of people then return on my own, rinse, repeat sort of thing. It’s all exploratory and always experimental. I never want to make the same song or record twice. I don't want to bore people though of any accusation leveled at me "boring" has not been one of them. It’s always an uphill fight for unsigned musicians trying to get themselves and their music noticed by the right people and for the right reasons.

How tough is it to crack America for people like you? Is there a tried and tested circuit that A&R men frequent when searching for something new ignoring anything or anyone not gigging at those particular places?

It is an uphill battle, and I don't think there is a tried and tested circuit, but I don't determine any of my actions by the norms of the day. You can check back with me on my death bed to find out if I was right or wrong about this. I try not to be swayed by press and bar talk because today's "next big thing" could be tomorrow's horror story. I wish people well but I have been bar stools next to people who just got let go from their label or who went on some hot tour and fell apart or got fired. It's not pretty. The whole thing is very arbitrary. What works for one person may not work for another. It would be nice if there was just one answer but in my experience it is not the case. For all I know it takes a thousand little answers to answer the big question and I may have already gotten a few right. I think a bigger problem is that too many are willing to accept mediocrity—because there is money behind advertising it—than one should. That's the kind of thing I just need to ignore or it will upset me. If people want to listen to Black Eyed Peas they can. I don't know that many words that rhyme with "party" so they can have that share of the market if they like.

I know that your plans to come to the UK a few years ago fell through quite dramatically at the last minute. Do you still intend to make it here eventually or is that no longer a priority for you? 

It is a priority that sits in the pit of my heart repeatedly stabbing me till I bleed—should you want insight into the drama. I accepted bad advice to fly on a one-way ticket and buy the return later. In our post 9/11 world that sets red flags flying and, as I am not a terrorist, I simply didn't think to cover my bases in that way. Trying to convince immigration that I was a nice girl was futile. The interview process was unwinnable as their minds were made up. They held me behind guarded doors and then shipped me back. It was really ugly and depressing. I had no choice but to persevere and so I moved to Nashville, toured, released another EP and am now in NYC doing it again. I'll get to the UK. I'm certain of it. Until then I got everyone back with the song "Little Wars" which will be on "Uncharted Territory."

You’re a big fan of the music scene in the UK. Who is the UK equivalent of you, musically?

I hope nobody though I've come to realize I move onstage much more like Richard Butler than I do any female in music that I know of. I had not been cognizant of it before I saw them live recently and there it was—in the body of a man. Perhaps mine is not a direct steal but a similarity rooted in similar wavelengths. I'd say I come from a Furs/Smiths/Costello/Bush lineage more than Spice Girls or Coldplay. Really though, I don't want to be "just like" anyone or "the next so and so." People can be "just like" Michele Ari if they want but not the other way around.

You are your own manager, booking agent, press officer, tour manager, pr and promoter. Such versatility must wear you out? Does it all get in the way of the other parts of your life, which also rely on your input? 

Completely sometimes. More than the versatility the big factor is the one people don't see which is the human one. The amount of volatility, emotion and, let's face it, total insanity you can have surrounding you is often the largest distraction besides financial ones. My story as an artist is no different from any other artist's story in this way and I am lucky to be surviving it at all. I hear a lot of stories from artists who have  quit, some overtly and some covertly. I know why people feel that way. I have days that are just dreadful. This is a tricky bit and I think the more you stick your neck out the more likely you are to have your head chopped off. Some carelessley call these things "bad luck" but I call it the chance you take and the price you have to pay to. In the end it's only a head. When did you first begin to seriously realise that being a musician was actually all you wanted to do? Day one. I had a lot of ambition and smarts and, sadly, that's just not that cool when you are a kid. If not for my intense interest in music I never would have made any friends. Like every other outcast I sought out the "freaks" and thank god for that because I was utterly out of place anywhere else. I always knew I was different but it took me a while to figure out why and be OK with it. While I loved my family I saw suburbia as a prison. It worked on me ceaselessly and my frustrations with it ran perpendicular to my goals as an artist. I did many other things in the arts to pacify myself until one day the elephant that had been in the room all along trampled me. That was when I was forced to face facts and boy was I in for a thrill ride! It took living some life to really understand for myself that the only way to live life fully and to be happy is to be who you are even if who you are challenges others, something I've come to realize is not my problem. I'm not a lot of fun at Tupperware parties as you might imagine.

If you could have anyone you wanted in your band who would they be – pick a drummer, a guitarist and a bass player? 

I don't know how I could settle on just a handful. More than anyone famous what I like are people who are pleasant to be around. I'd even take a lesser player if the better one was a bigger jerk. Skills can be acquired and talents honed if someone basically has the goods. Teaching someone how to be a decent person, if it does not come naturally to them, generally gives one the equivalent of that horrible constant barb-making family on "Everybody Loves Raymond." Rock and roll is not necessarily about having the best player. It's about having the most passionate. Those are the ones I want to be around because the more passionate they are the better they will want to be without anyone asking that of them. That said, is Paul Weller free by chance? 

What influences you both musically and in general?

What really inspires me is the writing process itself. By the time I sit down I have already had, observed or imagined an experience and it has its own value to me. But when putting it to paper and music you can fully control the situation, twist and bend it if you like, find tones to match the mood, give it a happy ending, give someone better qualities than they really had or turn them into a monster or be able to say something you weren't quick enough to say right in that moment. That is a gas. In general what inspires me is the human 
condition. It is the most fascinating stuff and provides an unending source of commentary, supposition and wonder. 

If your career were to end tomorrow would you regret a single part of it? 

All things considered, I'm pleased with what I have accomplished thus far even though it isn't anywhere near enough. This started as a "Field of Dreams" proposition. I have been building it. Some people have come. I would like to see more because I feel very passionately that I've got something of real value to offer if only more people knew about it. I know this because people who listen to my music come back with very thoughtful things to say about it and because the allies I have are deeply loyal and supportive. Regret is one of the worst emotions because it says "I was wrong" when in that moment you were certain you were right and that you did your best. You can't build a life by coddling or promoting what is "wrong" about you or what others find disagreeable about you. I think you can only build a life by strengthening what is right about yourself because we may be more right than we think.  

What 10 words best describe the person you are? 

I am Miss 'Tries Very Hard' and not Miss 'Perfect'. 

Do you have anything you’d like to say before this interview ends? 

God Save the Queen?




So there we have it. Just one of many genuine talents overlooked by the industry because they have an attitude and a presence that can't be re-worked, that WONT be re-worked by money loving con-artists. The utter wankers who reach out to control every bit of what you hear and what you read. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe she doesn't have what it takes, but I don't like being wrong and I don't get myself into the position of being wrong if i can help it which is why if I'm not 100% convinced that my opinion is correct then I certainly wont write it down in a public place to be documented. Anyway - can everyone be wrong...?


Probably the most important artist you have not heard yet.
-The Manila Standard, Philippines, Mondo Castro

Far more than just a framework for a voice... the listener is left in no doubt that this is a musician who has much to add to the world of music
Tim Whale
Indie Bands Blog, UK Review

It’s an ep that makes the listener aware of just how gifted Michele Ari is. And this stuff is catchy enough to be on the radio, though has enough edge to be taken seriously
. -Anna Marie Stjarnell, Editor
-Collected Sounds, Sweden Review 

With so much faith placed in transitory fame these days, it's a relief to encounter an artist who tells it straight.
-Bluesbunny, Glasgow Review

...Enigmatic lyrics and the vintage left-of-the-dial rhythms
 -Jakob Dystra
-Girl Posse, Review 





*Some parts published in Subba Cultcha*

A Set Of 25 Smiths & Morrissey Postcards




If you like Morrissey and The Smiths, whether you know it or not, you will already be familiar with the photographs taken by Kevin Cummins. The most iconic images of Morrissey are all authored by Cummins: the Edith Sitwell quiff, the gladioli in the back pocket, the shirt unbuttoned to the waist. This postcard box features images of The Smiths and Morrissey through the eyes of a photographer given unique access to music’s most enigmatic characters. From lively performance shots to pictures capturing rare candid, quiet moments, the postcards include rarely or never before seen works that Kevin discovered in his archive years after they were taken or only developed them once for newsprint.

A collection of 31 postcards featuring Kevin Cummins images of Morrissey and the Smiths, presented in a hand finished box, made in Manchester.

Kevin Cummins is the definitive chronicler of Manchester music. His photographs have appeared in the NME, Melody Maker, The Face, Mojo, and Rolling Stone, and his work has been exhibited at galleries around the world.

This postcard box set features 31 of these iconic images, presented in a hand finished box - made in Manchester.

To place an order and other purchasing info please visit http://site.politecards.com/

10 Of The Most Important Albums Ever Made




David Bowie
The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
RCA Records
(1972)

Combining glam rock & roll with the flamboyancy of theatre, David Bowie utilised his major strengths to unfurl the story of his androgynous sci-fi rock star alter ego Ziggy Stardust. The radical orchestration of heavy guitar, buoyant string section and keyboard arrangements when coupled with his profound, and sometimes obscure lyrical sketching, was a stunning production of sheer genius and intensity that far outstretched the dimensions of anything else being offered up at the time. His see-saw juggling of genres is an effective concept clearly visible when the space aged rock thrum of “Moonage Daydream”, complete with spectacular Mick Ronson guitar solo is positioned alongside the whimsically endearing balladry of “Starman”, the perfect pop song with simplicity at its catchiest on the “la la la la” chorusing. Bowie’s greatest rock contribution “Suffragette City” the ballsy, sleaze drenched guitar classic is an immaculate anthem, as is the not so ferocious ( but just as magnetic) title track. An album of scorching rebellion with so many complexities it could easily have ended a fragmented disaster but, instead, turned out to be a classic work of art.

The Pogues
Red Roses For Me
WEA
(1984)

The infectious hybrid of traditional Irish music fused with a punk rock influence was an unknown combination in life before The Pogues. This was their debut album masterpiece, a raw, energetic and unconventional compendium of full bloodied songs that forced new pathways through the middle of post-punk’s garden-variety pastures. Shane McGowan’s lyrics, championing drunkenness and debauchery, are astonishingly brilliant. The band employ an assemblage of instruments including guitar, pipes, banjo, accordion, drums and penny whistles, injecting the songs with authentic Irish nostalgia. This is a drinkers album, little doubt about it. Never has binge drinking and indignant social wastelands seemed so appealing than they do on this record. McGowan’s fractured vocal delivery is tailor-made to narrate the stories - from the guttural offensive launched in the direction of a landlord “and he was a miserable bollocks and a bitch’s bastard’s whore” on “Boys From The County Hell”, the drink sodden pub crawl call to arms of “Transmetropolitan” which promises they’ll “sit and have a drink, of VP wine and cider till’ we can hardly think” or the sewer mouthed ship captain’s “I could fuck all the whores in damnation me boys” claim on “Sea Shanty”. Indeed Shane McGowan is the “bold, shithouse poet” and creature of instinct. With a mixture of original compositions and traditional covers, this is The Pogues at their freshest and most stirring - a sound they never quite managed to ever truly capture again.

The Sex Pistols
Never Mind The Bollocks
Virgin Records
(1977)

Their only studio album from a career that never had the legs to carry them as far as their third birthday yet still cockily self assured enough to procreate a body of work that inspired a whole new movement to grow up around it  (copycat wankers, according to John Lydon) and remains a solid, hugely populated genre 32 years on. There’s no doubting the real genius behind The Sex Pistols was Malcolm McLaren whose clever marketing and carefully positioned episodes of band mayhem challenged the upper classes natural instincts of decency and god fearing so perfectly it brought instant celebrity and notoriety via the backlash of an up in arms society. But, through the contents of this album, the Pistols showed they were more than the puppets of anarchy many dismissed them as being. Lyrically intuitive and deep thinking with an unflinching mean spirit and obvious ability, as musicians, to create catchy, uncomplicated, instantly addictive 3½ minute anthems of expressive brilliance ( Pretty Vacant, EMI, God Save The Queen and No Feelings, for starters) The Sex Pistols changed so many rules in such a short time they ensured this record will always be an important reference point in musical history.

Nirvana
Nevermind
Geffen
(1991)

The ground breaking album that dominated the world and changed the landscapes of rock and roll bringing Nirvana global superstardom and historical relevance. It opened the doors for alternative music within the territories commercial music frequented and attracted new followers who brought and secured a stronger position for the genre which was now flourishing in places never before considered as a hundred new bands were brought to life under its influence. Geffen Records pre-release forecast sales of 200,000 maximum became the most underestimated figure in music as “Nevermind” began selling over 300,000 - per month! It was the pre-album single “Smells Like Teen Spirit” which catapulted everything else forwards thanks mainly to MTV’s worshipping of it - which, ironically, reduced it to college wank proportions until every mummy’s boy seized upon it and elected Kurt Cobain the voice of their generation. But, putting such superficialities aside, this really IS a great album and shows Kurt’s naturally gifted knack for writing stunning melodies and catchy music with often the most minimal chord structures employed. Forget the video-jock friendly single and check the brilliant punk rock aesthetics of “Territorial Pissings” or bittersweet composition “Lithium” and it’s tender/brutal guitar work. This was an album which relied on the music rather than the lyrics, something not many of today’s bands are good enough to carry out so brilliantly. It may not remain as formidable a statement as it did when first released but it will always be a work of genuine honesty.

The Specials
The Specials
2Tone
(1979)

Eponymous debut album which revived ska music in Britain with what was essentially a recycled and reinvented model of the 1960’s Jamaican original. Labelled the “defining moment” in that genre’s far reaching appeal The Specials spearheaded its reintroduction with a more accessible formula by injecting the infectiousness of Ska with punk music’s street appeal and the lyrical politics of pub culture, an instant vehicle upon which the frustrations of youth could rely upon to be the soundtrack of their dissatisfaction. Relying on a mixture of cover versions and original songs (as well as the clued-up street level intellect of Elvis Costello as producer) this album captured a generation so fucking perfectly it became the most important musical possession of British youth in 1979 and remains a vital landmark of that time - 31 years since being released. Opening with the most recognised cover ever of Dandy Livingstone’s “A Message To You, Rudy” this album is a masterpiece, a musical interpretation of the community spirit it went on to evoke through songs which typified, accurately, the real Britain that politicians are always so out of touch with to appreciate even exists but is documented on here with brutal honesty and informed wisdom - “all the girls are slags and the beer tastes just like piss” from “Niteklub” or echoing the thoughts we’ve all felt at some point as the realisation of avoiding a definite kicking sinks in with the “glad I got my mates with me” moment in “Concrete Jungle”. Never has the working class been so tunefully encapsulated.

Ian Dury
New Boots And Panties
Stiff Records
(1977)

The rough edged cockney geezer with an earthy sense of fun, cheek of the devil and the soul of a poet painting his suburbia in shades of lyrical witticisms with the brush of his keen eyed observation, and sharing it all with us in the vivid snapshots of “New Boots And Panties” Steeped in true Britishness and with a council estate eloquence and working class honesty, Ian Dury became the greatest champion of normal people, lyrically, since Ray Davies. With a touching nod toward the less glamorous segments of society (and in a language more profane than his predecessors) this was an album of originality and depth from a naturally gifted human being. The wry humour and down to earth honesty came to life under the versatility and magic of backing band The Blockheads. Their incredible grasp as musicians journeyed the songs through stabs of art-rock, elements of jazz and occasional blues, spit and sawdust pub ambience, soulful yearnings and even a bit of disco chucked in for luck. Dury’s songs simply grew wings under such majesty. His lyrical ruggedness was as endearing as it was overwhelming. Never before, or since, has a song opened with the line “Arseholes, bastards, fucking cunts and pricks” (Plaistow Patricia) and be made to sound as non-threatening as Dury did it. But he had a proper tenderness within him, the tribute to his late father, “My Old Man” is astonishingly perfect, and when he sings the line “all the best mate, from your son”, you could weep for his sorrow. It’s a perfect introduction to Ian Dury and one that’s never overlooked by the media or the public. His greatest moment though, and the one that sums the man up, is his humorous composition “Blockheads” - with his east-end brogue at its most jagged and imagination at its most vivid, “they’ve got womanly breasts under pale mauve vests, shoes like dead pigs noses. Cornflake packet jacket, catalogue trousers and a mouth wot neva closes”. How we miss him.

The Smiths
The Queen Is Dead
Rough Trade
(1986)

The best album of their impressive career and the one that earned them a whole new generation of admirers deeply stirred by the almost majestic assemblage representing the craft of a band currently at their most inspirational and influential It’s the consolidation of the foursome, synchronized in natural bonding and shared commitment that urged the perfect flow this record travels at. For those who slated the first two albums and wondered out loud why Johnny Marr “allowed his genius to suffer Morrissey’s absurdities” had their mouths firmly zipped shut and crammed with enough humble pie to feed a nation of starving doubters. It only takes the pounding Mike Joyce drumbeat on opener “The Queen Is Dead” for you to realise that something special has been created. Morrissey’s lyrics are, in the main, light hearted, deliberately cheesy and stuffed with pier-end humour, as he regales us with such nonentities as - “she said hey I know you and you cannot sing, I said that’s nothing you should hear me play piano” as well as his blatantly obvious disregard of the more serious issues in the world “the rain that flattens my hair, these are the things that kill me”. The skills of Johnny Marr as a guitarist are everywhere you turn, from the feathered indie bounce of “Cemetery Gates”, his greatest ever riff on “Bigmouth Strikes Again” clever marching chord structures of “Frankly Mr Shankly” or his finest hour “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out “a stunning anthem of sheer adoration and love which sees Morrissey drop the jokes for poignant reflection “and if a 10 ton truck kills the both of us, to die by your side, well the pleasure and the privilege is mine”. A powerful album with not one visible weakness in earshot, proof that The Smiths were one of the greatest bands of the modern era.

The Beatles
Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Parlophone
(1967)

The greatest contribution of their 8 year existence and most opulent pop album to ever emerge from the liberating sixties Packed with complex song structures, multi-tracking, overdubs and astonishing creative stamina The Beatles finally ditched the matching suits, appealing haircuts and boy meets girl love ditties in the most sensational transformation ever witnessed. The entireness of this record at the time of it’s release would possibly be too breathtaking to fully appreciate - yet it’s simply the best of everything their collective minds ever produced. John Lennon’s prolific editorial magnum opus “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”, Paul McCartney’s ornate “Fixing A Hole” , the double layered intelligence of “A Day In The Life”, or just the simple, music hall skew of “When I’m 64” , every note of every song as iconic sounding as the next. It’s studio technology at its most imaginative which brings life to this pseudo-concept album’s curiosity cabinet of unorthodox sound effects (brass instruments, reverse cymbals and sitars included) and sonic experimentation. Nothing is hidden, it’s as honest an effort as you’ll ever hear from them and the over sensitive drama queens of the BBC who banned the playing of 3 of its songs because they suspected a reference to drugs may be contained within the lyrics just make it all the more glorious.

The White Stripes
Elephant Warner
(2003)

For the genius that is Jack White and nothing else! Never has minimalism sounded so powerful. The bluesy/punk/garage sounds of “Elephant” is incendiary guitar rock stripped back to it’s most primitive, low toned state for the greatest example of stunning musicianship in years. Charging through the genres with screaming feedback distortion and Meg’s simplistic, almost petulant thump-thump drumming it’s nearly impossible to believe only two people can create such a searing wall of sound. It’s a far more immediate album than their previous three and certainly more produced which enhances the sharp corners that peppered the music brilliantly. The booming bass sound (it’s an octave pedal not a bass guitar) which opens “Seven Nation Army” is the greatest heaviness to be measured so precisely. Churning blues hybrid “ Ball And Biscuit” is the albums most mesmerising moment and Jack White’s statement of significance delivered soundly with wailing, unrestrained enthusiasm, muscle and brains and heart. Their fuzzy lo-fi cover of Burt Bacharach’s “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself” is as far away from anybody else’s song as you could possibly go, with its skewed structuring and cymbal tapping before exploding into a thunderous, unsymmetrical, haunting symphony. This was an album of proud disturbance. Jack White is Marc Bolan reincarnated. 

Patti Smith
Horses
Arista
(1975)

Though “Horses” was never a masterpiece, and Patti Smith really doesn’t have the greatest singing voice, it made a significant enough impact to re-adjust people’s perception of music. She was the rock critic/punk poet operating from within a post-beat landscape merging her esoteric verse with a garage/punk aesthetic on New York’s bohemian gig circuit before this, her debut album (produced by John Cale) was released. Clearly unwilling to ever compromise the poet she was born to be allows the words to run unharnessed with the liberation of their own originality rather than chastising them in a dumbed-down interpretation of themselves. It’s the way they criss-cross between multitudes of spiritual meaning, parallel universe and apocalyptic dreamscape which can become a bit cloudy and harder to follow. The music was loosely structured and only there in most instances to complement her poetry and talk/sing style. Her 9½ minute of free form rock and roll epic “Land” with its sprawling narrative moved between scratchy guitar, atmospheric piano and solid riffs, “Elegie” with its in and out guitar wails, the reggae tinged “Redondo Beach” and signature track “Gloria” are the reasons “Horses” continues to be such a core favourite among the collators of influential music.

24 April 2013

Glasvegas: I'd Rather Be Dead Than Be With You


James Allan has a gift for creating outstanding anthems from human wreckage, an ability to steer tragedy into poetry better than anyone else in the world right now. The first two Glasvegas albums - especially the self titled debut, saw him build beauty from harrowing despair without it ever sounding insincere or unsympathetic. The recent release of new single 'I'd Rather Be Dead Than Be With You' is him again rummaging around in the emotional turmoils of the human being - where every word spoken is loaded with honesty and hurt. The third Glasvegas album 'Later..When The TV Turns To Static' is due for release soon.






23 April 2013

Thatcher





Yes, I know, it's verging on overkill now,t' internet is bursting at the seams with Thatcher articles but, in my defence, I was too busy to post some music-related stuff at the time, then, the worst thing of all - I had to pull out of  a Class War event in London on the Saturday after her death, as they'd always promised they would, but I was holed up somewhere writing stuff for a book I promised I would contribute to. 

So, I'm sure you're familiar with the lists of 'Top 10 Anti Thatcher Songs' doing the rounds. May I present mine to you please? Under the circumstances etc etc.....oh thank you.




Unfortunately Spotify didn't have my top Anti-Thatcher song so it's here on video instead
Pete Wylie: The Day That Margaret Thatcher Died


Preview: The Great Malarkey

Among the albums sent to me in the last few weeks was this absolute gem from 7-piece gypsy/punk/folk/cabaret band The Great Malarkey. They are so many great things rolled into one you cant help getting excited about the music they make. My review will be published soon but in the meantime have a listen to the song 'Merry Profits' which I've posted below.



22 April 2013

MUSIC NEWS SCOTLAND

The latest edition of MUSIC NEWS SCOTLAND is now online and waiting to be read. You can browse it at your leisure by clicking the link below. There is also a festivals supplement and a gig guide (all links below) So if you haven't yet discovered the delights of MNS then I suggest you get your ass into gear and go discover

MUSIC NEWS SCOTLAND NEW EDITION LINK
MUSIC NEWS SCOTLAND LATEST GIG GUIDE



21 April 2013

Something Wonderful

I know it's been a while since my last post in here - but look what I've brought for you to listen to.
It's the most original sounding sad song I've ever heard.