29 August 2014

Overrated Songwriters: Jim Morrison

A series of paragraph-long articles about Overrated Songwriters (in my opinion) I begin with Jim Morrison.

The most criminally overrated songwriter in the entire history of music! All that pseudo-intellectualism…long winded paradoxical poetics and lyrical profundities abstract with depth, esoteric in their complexities! Bullshit! Jim Morrison wrote meaningless jibber jabber with no sense of comprehension because he wrote for effect rather than meaning - a pantomime of rhetoric as arrogantly grandiloquent and superficial as the man himself. It’s been well documented of how he lacked any redeeming qualities. He was egotistical, obnoxious, cruel and immature. A man who drank heavily and approached drug taking in the same manner. The Doors weren’t a good band because of him, they were a good band in spite of him! Morrison once said ‘. I see myself as a huge fiery comet, a shooting star. Everyone stops, points up and gasps "Oh look at that!" Then- whoosh, and I'm gone...and they'll never see anything like it ever again... and they won't be able to forget me- ever’ That’s the self-worshipping clap-trap of a wanker! He embraced the 'rock god' persona by exaggerating his talents. He hid his lack of intellect behind a constant carousel of over-the-top behaviour and attention chasing immaturity! The Doors last public performance with Jim Morrison was at The Warehouse in New Orleans on December 12, 1970. During the show, Morrison appeared to have a  mental breakdown on stage slamming the microphone numerous times into the floor until the stage was destroyed. He then sat down on the ground and refused to perform for the remainder of the show! May I finish by saying that he was far too arrogant and big headed to ever fake his death....to voluntarily remove himself from the public eye for ever is an act he wasn't humble enough to even consider.

23 August 2014

New Songs For September

Candy Darling
(Sept 1st 2014)

Sleaze grinding psychedelic post punk electronica dragged through a mire of heavy Suicide, Jesus And Mary Chain, Nick Cave influence lashed to the torso of their very own idiosyncratic style. As if that wasn't thrilling enough it will be available on pink vinyl. Splendide finale!

Damn Vandals
'Cities Of A Plastic World/Too Lazy To Die Too Stoned To Live
(Sept 22nd 2014)

Grit edged, ballsy rock & roll and in yer face. Featuring two tracks taken from the highly acclaimed recent album Rocket Out Of London for brand new double A side single by the band currently considered top of the heap. With no sign of weakening to be seen the way forward continues to be the way they shall be travelling!

Reptile Youth
(Sept 8th 2014)

A zestful soundscape interblend of the ethereal calm and fevered agitation. Crashing drums making way for tinkling piano...brazenly vociferous to harmonious composure. Taken from recent album 'Rivers That Run For A Sea That Is Gone' it's another gem of a single from the Northern Europeans.

10 August 2014

From My Archives: Interview With Le Reno Amps (2008)

Al Nero and Scott Maple ditch the heavy schedule in favour of a Q & A sesh.

Le Reno Amps have been climbing the proverbial ladder at a rather sprightly pace. With a creative spirit much bigger than any single genre of music they have brought new things to this table of ours. Things of great joy and pleasure. If you’ve a penchant for the unidentifiable then look no further than the band who make great music from a heterogeneous combination of ingredients.

The next few months look set to be busy times for the band. A new single, your third album and a number of gigs taking you through to April. As the single will be the first to arrive tell us a bit about it?

Al Nero - It’s called ‘Outlaws’ and it’ll be out on the 23rd February. Over to you, Mr Maple…

Scott Maple - Thank you Mr Nero. Yes, it’s a contusion of Bovine soundscapes, a herd of bison playing chicken with a runaway steam train. That is exactly how I feel most days.

It precedes the new album ‘ Tear It Open’ which is scheduled for release on March 23rd. I received a promo copy last week and it’s a brilliant piece of work. Do you feel more content and at ease with this one than you did with the previous two albums?

A.N - Thanks very much. Yeah definitely, it’s a funny thing making an album, what you set out to achieve rarely is how it turns out but with this one everything just seemed to fall into place, writing it, recording it, right up to deciding on the running order, we just all seemed to be on the same page.

S.M - The first album was entirely self-recorded, it was the first 12 songs we wrote as Le Reno Amps, and we were aware of our own limitations.  With the 2nd album we had great aspirations but maybe fell short of the mark in some respects.  That’s not to say we’re not proud of our previous output, it’s just as Al says - everything seemed to come together for us on this album.

Are there any particular songs on it that make you feel proud to be the creators?

A.N - Ha. It’s tough to pick particular ones cos each one has it’s quirks and merits, some came off really sweet though, Body, Gilded Road, Going Under but you know we just write the best songs we can, you invest a lot in each so it’s hard to pick… they’re all winners eh!

 S.M - Yeah, I’m proud of all the songs.  I think we managed to get a bit of ‘throat’ in all the songs, open up the choke a little.  I think we all agree that Andy’s work on ‘Body’ brought more to the table than we’d originally envisioned, adding an extra dimension to the song.

Andy Miller has quite an impressive employment history and he was onboard with you for the album. How did that go?

A.N - Yeah he’s a good lad. It went really well, we all just hit it off. He knows the studio (Chem19 in Blantyre) inside out and he’s got this great attitude, he’s really great at capturing the song as a performance then just throwing whatever you can at it no matter how weird or silly. If it works it works type of attitude which is really encouraging. 

S.M - :  Personally I think he was really lucky to get to work with us ha ha! Seriously though, when I heard ‘Love the Cup’ by Sons and Daughters I just felt that Andy would connect with us and bring what we were looking for out of our music.  I wasn’t disappointed.

You’ve already confirmed some dates you’ll play, obviously to promote the album and single. Are there any plans to continue that promotion into the summer with a few slots at the festivals?

A.N - Well the Amps never sleep! Hopefully we’ll be at a few festivals, we’ll definitely be gigging quite consistently throughout the year but right now the focus is on the album and the UK Tour which we’re all getting geared up for.

S.M - Yeah, it’s not a full-time career for us yet, so we’re definitely the hardest working band on the planet right now.  We have no festivals confirmed at this point but we’re very happy to play them.

Scotland is gifting some amazing new talent to the rest of the UK right now, and has done for years.  Do you have any particular favourites among them?

A.N -  I think De Rosa are pretty special, who else, The Elvis Suicide are brilliant fun and great guys to boot. Oh and our drummer, Jason, also plays in Cuddly Shark, Scott is actually mixing their album at the mo, it’s going to be a belter.

S.M - Too right it is!  Also the Hazey Janes are gearing up to their next release, they’re like a Scottish Musical Dynasty thanks to the fact two of them are the offspring of the brilliant Michael Marra.  Also Jesus H Foxx have really come together over the last couple of years.

What’s great about being in Le Reno Amps?

A.N - It’s genuinely a really hard working creative wee band, Scott and I write, demo, record pretty much constantly, in between gigging, promoting and sorting all the admin side of things. For me the best bit is buzzing off new songs and also getting to have a shared experience of all these things, touring, recording with Scott, Lindsey and Jase.  Good troops, good times!

S.M - It’s a huge amount of work, but we love what we do and we’re at the controls.  We get on really well together and – so far – haven’t pissed each other off.
Not that I know off anyway!!

Le Reno Amp is an anagram of Maple & Nero.  Did the internet delicacy ‘E Porn Meal’ crop up when you were juggling the surnames?

A.N - Well you’d have to ask Scott that one, cos he came up with it but if I know him well at all I’d say it definitely must have made an appearance!

S.M - Damn, I wrote down a number of anagrams but I may have missed that one. We should do a secret gig under that name. We should do a host of secret gigs under anagrams: Renal Mop, E-Male Porn, One Ampler, Roman Peel etc.

A.N - Ha yeah I’m up for that!

Have you ever played air guitar to your own songs when in the privacy of your home?

A.N - More of an air drumming man myself!

S.M - Sometimes I stand in front of my mirror with my guitar and pretend it’s a tennis racquet.  That is a really old joke, but it’s the first opportunity I’ve ever had to use it.  Thank you for that.
Anyway, to answer your question – no.

Do you think the internet enables artists to reach target audiences easier, and without spending a small fortune on marketing?  Is a bands growth now more dependent on ezine cyber inches than newspaper column inches?

A.N - I think the nationals are still very influential in reaching loads of people but yeah they’re not cheap at all, the internet is an avenue where not only can we maintain a more direct relationship with people that like our music but also in terms of garnering press, we’ve been very much embraced by many e-zines and independent fanzines and it’s nice that that can happen. I mean people like yourself are doing this cos they love music and feel compelled to write about, I’d imagine it’s over and above day-jobs etc so we really appreciate it.

S.M - I think because of some of the reasons Al cited, people are more likely to trust the opinion of a (respected) e-zine like yours.  People who want to have their ear to the ground are more likely to look on E-zines than magazines as you’re more likely to get in at the ground-floor of a new musical happening or band. I would say our target audience is more likely to be a person who reads Subba Cultcha than someone who reads…actually, we’re fucking great, everyone should love us, the world is our target market!

If you didn’t know what age you were what age would you THINK you were?

A.N - Ha, eh, generally people think I’m a bit older than I am, cause I’m so wise and stuff, ha ha. I’ll say 30.  Of course I’ m only just approaching my 19th birthday in real life ha! What about you Scott… bus pass at the ready?

S.M - Sometimes I don’t believe my age and I KNOW MY AGE!  When I look at what’s going on around me the only person I relate to is Larry David, and he’s in his 50’s!
Anyway, to answer your question - about 9!

Guys thanks for taking the time to do this.  Good luck with the single, the album and everything you do in the future. Next time you play Edinburgh let me know and I’ll be there. Be good to catch you live – and you can buy me beer and give me t-shirts and CD’s ha-ha!  Thanks again. All the best.

A.N - Ha ha ha! – thank you - good talking to you, Alan

S.M - Thanks for the support, Alan, – but why stop at beer, t-shirts and CD’s - you could come round my house, eat my tea and fuck my wife.

Would it be rude not to?

S.M: Ah hahaha NO!

Le Reno Amps are
Scott Maple - Vocals/Guitar
Al Nero - Vocals/Guitar
Lindsey Scott - Bass
Jason Sinclair - Drums

Le Reno Amps tour schedule is as follows…


2ND - NEWPORT, WALES, LE PUB (joy presents)
4TH -  LONDON, THE SHEEP WALK ( whats cookin)
16TH - HULL, HULL UNIVERSITY ( with Brakes)
19th - GLASGOW, KING TUTS WAH WAH HUT ( with Brakes)

New Single ‘Outlaws’ out Monday 23rd February. Digital Download.

New Album ‘Tear It Open’ out Monday 23rd March. CD/Digital Download.

Thanks to..Al Nero & Scott Maple.
And to Alan Souter at Armellodie Press.

7 August 2014

Meteorites: Yann Tiersen

Aidan Moffat (Arab Strap) is guest narrator on this stunning spoken word piece that reflects in beautiful poetics about street corner passion and clumsy fumblings in the darkness. It's the last track on French composer Yann Tiersen's album Infinity and shimmers with simple yet atmospheric orchestration. Dreamy and wistful, it brings out the deep Scottish brogue of Moffat's vocal intimacy snaking through the darkness and bringing voice to every frustrated heartache that was ever lost for the words needed to describe itself. The stunning video performance by Clemence Poesy brings every second of sheer emotion to life right in front of your eyes.


3 August 2014

Sinead O' Connor: Brand New Single & Album

The brand new single from Sinead O' Connor will be Take Me To Church and is the first track to be taken from the upcoming album I'm Not Bossy, I'm The Boss. Both single and album are set for release on the same date August 12th. The new song centres around the problems and issues she has spent most of her life battling.

Album Tracklist
1. How About I Be Me
2. Dense Water Deeper Down
3. Kisses Like Mine
4. Your Green Jacket
5. The Vishnu Room
6. The Voice Of My Doctor
7. Harbour
8. James Brown (With Seun Kuti)
9. 8 Good Reasons
10. Take Me to Church
11. Where Have You Been
12. Streetcars


How Much Does It Cost To Book Your Favourite Band?

Thanks to booking agents Degy Entertainment you can now price the cost of getting your favourite band to play at your event (for GB pounds just half the price shown) If, like me, your budget will never in a million lifetimes stretch THAT far then stick to what you've always done....buy a ticket and go watch them play at someone else's worry and expense. Who died and made Bruce Springsteen the fucking king? $1million+ per show!! Scandalous! I am informed some of these prices may not be absolutely precise in their accuracy as different situations create different costs...but the difference between actual and what's quoted here is minimal.