Category Archives: Video

The Best of 2013

So, where does a year go? As we march tiredly towards the season of the Santa I offer below my year in music. Rather than doing a top ten this year it’s a chronology of the new music that crossed my radar. I struggle with lists by preference as I tend to appreciate the latest discovery or release more (a bit like having children!). In some cases they actually raised their heads during different months, sometimes in response to gigs and sometimes because I found them on This Is My Jam, which is one of the best places to find new bands and rediscover songs long forgotten. Hopefully the You Tube links will be stable for a little while but catch them while you can and my apologies for any regional restrictions encountered. Take your time, it’s all worth checking out.

 01 – Jan – La Busta Gialla  – Il Sogno Del Marinaio

Featuring Mike Watt, bass player with the Stooges, fIREhOSE, J Mascis and the marvelous Minutemen I caught Il Sogno Del Marinaio at a tiny venue in Leicester. A very individual album, more of a song cycle than a set of songs and with wide ranging references. I blogged a little about it here.

Partisan Song by Il Sogno del Marinaio

02 – Jan – Lady From Shanghai – Pere Ubu

I saw Pere Ubu many years ago in London and they are one of those mythic bands that drift into memory. I was surprised to see that they were playing at the Rescue Rooms in Nottingham and not knowing their recent (and consistently strange) output over recent years was intrigued to take a look. David Thomas is an idiosyncratic artist. Well worth reading more about if you like your artists focused on the process and not the audience. Real grumpy as well. The gig was 90% new material form the current record.

414 Seconds by Pere Ubu

03 – Feb – m.b.v – My Bloody Valentine

A lot has been written about m.b.v. Snook out after 14 years in production via their website one Sunday night in February it was universally well received. But you know all this. If I was scoring them this would be in the upper reaches.

New You by My Bloody Valentine

04 – Feb – Push the Sky Away – NCATBS

Nick Cave is one of my favourite artists and this is a beautiful album. A fairly small set of Bad Seeds used on this but to great effect. An artist so far ahead of the pack and I suspect still heading to the top of game (to mix a few metaphors). This album features one the greatest opening song lyrics ever committed – see Mermaids. Bad man….

Jubilee Street by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

05 – Feb – AMOK – Atoms For Peace

Tom Yorke and his ‘super group’ Atoms for Peace. An expansion of his previous solo album and another diverse mix of styles and references. As with all super groups the end doesn’t always equal the sum of the parts but engaging and original non the less.

Amok by Atoms for Peace

06 – Feb – The Raven That Refused to Sing and Other Stories – Steven Wilson

An artist new to me and discovered through TIMJ. It’s probably been used but think contemporary Mike Oldfield. Keeping the prog flag flying.

The Raven That Refused to Sing by Steve Wilson

07 – March – Next Day – David Bowie

Another artist sneaking a new project out with ut warning after extended leave. He followed up ‘Where Are We Now’ with the brilliant ‘Next Day’ album. Still milking the franchise with an ‘extra’ edition somewhat cynically but the original song set was an impressive return. This was my favourite track and has a great video.

The Stars Are Out Tonight by David Bowie

08 – March – Chelsea Light Moving – Chelsea Light Moving

Thurston Moore, after quitting Sonic Youth and splitting with Kim Gordon released his contribution to the new projects from Lee Renaldo and Gordon. Still very ‘Youth’. Would have loved to see them live but the tour was cursory in the UK.

Burroughs by Chelsea Light Moving

09 – March – The Invisible Way – Low

Low first came to my attention when Robert Plant covered a couple of their songs and since then I’ve amassed quite a few of their many albums. They all have a different character and the Invisible Way is quite subtle in many ways. Managed to see them in November and they give good gig. Their mastery of the quite / loud dynamic is black belt standard.

Plastic Cup by Low

10 – May – More Light – Primal Scream

I played this album to death when it came out. A massive double album with some impressive material. The song below is probably one of the more low key tracks but the mixed up second half really makes it work. The album also featured a slightly cleaned up version of the Grinderman ‘Worm Tamer’ track which was a surprise.

River of Pain by Primal Scream

11 – June – Tomorrows Harvest – Boards of Canada

One of those bands I had heard about but not really experimented with. In many ways they have become a softer experience and I prefer the earlier ‘left field’ albums. Still an interesting record when taken at the appropriate time.

Reach for the Dead by Boards of Canada

12 – July – Peace, Love & Sympathy – Six By.Seven

A new Six By.Seven album from Chris Olley. I know Chris a little bit and he is a committed and prolific artist. Along with his solo and electro beat music he got the band back together with a brilliant and dynamic new drummer for this album. Their homecoming gig in Nottingham was huge and really enjoyable. More about that here including a live version of this track.

Sympathy by Six By.Seven

13 – July – Slow Focus – Fuck Buttons

Like the Boards of Canada I was encouraged to try this record. Sonic terrorists with flashing lights. Unfortunately I missed their local gig but I’ve very much enjoyed discovering their material.

Brainfreeze by Fuck Buttons

14 – July – The Big Dream – David Lynch

Just incredible. David Lynch makes unique music. This is darker than Crazy Clown Time and features Lynch on some very distorted guitar and heavily processed vocals. There is nothing else like it. He post released an additional track ‘Bad the John Boy’ which is so dark it sucks light out the room.

Star Dream Girl by David Lynch

15 – Aug – Civil Wars – Civil Wars

Nu-Folk but done well (think, completely unlike Mumford & Sons). It was however pretty much this track that I bought the album for. A cover of the Smashing Pumpkins epic, Disarm.

Disarm by Civil Wars

16 – Aug – The Bootleg Series Vol. 10 – Another Self Portrait (1969–1971) – Bob Dylan

The Bobcat came out with Vol 10 of the Bootleg series and a real curve ball choice. Featuring material from Self Portrait & New Morning as well as the Isle of Wight concert in 1970 it was probably the lowest down most Dylanites list of preferred re-issues. It does however sound fresh and alive and proves Dylans history isn’t just his presumed classics.

Pretty Saro by Bob Dylan

17 – Sept – And I’ll Scratch Yours – Various – Peter Gabriel

Completing his ‘Scratch my Back’ project, this compilation of Gabriel songs features a number of artists covering his songs. A mixed bag but with some highlights. This being the highest even before the poignancy of Lou’s demise.

Solsbury Hill – Lou Reed

18– Sept – Dream River – Bill Callahan

Another highlight. I became aware of Bill/Smog through I Break Horses a couple of years ago. His album though is very high up the list of memorable 2013 issues. Lyrically and musically individual. Another sadly brief number of UK shows, maybe next time.

Javelin UnLanding by Bill Callahan

19 – Sept – Man & Myth – Roy Harper

And another artist steeping out of retirement with a solid return. I was never the biggest Harper fan but he does have moments of genius. Unfortunately his year went downhill but the jury is still out.

The Exile by Roy Harper

20 – Oct – Lightning Bolt – Pearl Jam

Eddie and the Lightening Rods flashing around again. Not peak era Pearl Jam but good for a blast. Maybe they are just too big now.

Sirens by Pearl Jam

21 – Oct – Last Night on Earth – Lee Ranaldo & the Dust

More ex-Sonic Youth output. Of all of them this is my favourite and it’s been hammered in the car. With Youth drummer Steve Shelly included it has some huge songs and great guitar work outs. Another band very high on the ‘wltm’ list.

The Rising Tide by Lee Ranaldo & the Dust

22 – Oct – Birmingham (Live) – Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel

As a long standing fan of Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel I don’t know why I missed the live shows but at least the double album release of Human Menagerie & Psychomodo turned out well. Exhuberant performances of some timeless songs.

Tumbling Down by Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel

23 – Nov – Sweet Summer Sun, Hyde Park 2013 – Rolling Stones

Yep. The Stones got it back together and they are still breathing and on good form. I wasn’t there. I don’t like crowds…..

Miss You by the Rolling Stones

24 – Dec – Live from KCRW – NCATBS

A possibly opportunistic live release of some material from Push The Sky Away and a few other tracks. However, its completely brilliant, especially Higgs Boson Blues (absolutely the best song of the year) and an evil version of Jack The Ripper.

Mercy Seat by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

25 – Dec – Live from the Cellar Door – Neil Young

Cheating slightly here because at the time of writing this hasn’t been released. I have heard about half of it though and I’m really looking forward to it.

Cinnamon Girl by Neil Young

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Bad The John Boy and other nightmares

Sacred Bones Seal

I love artefacts, real things, made with care and intent. Yesterday I collected a special delivery parcel from the Post Office, incoming from Stateside. This limited edition release is a track not included on the recent The Big Dream album by David Lynch. Its a way in from left field electro noise filtered piece of Lynchian nightmare soundscape. Release by Sacred Bones Records from NYC, USofA.

From their website;

On the heels of David Lynch’s hugely successful sophomore full length, The Big Dream, comes a very limited edition 12-inch, “Bad the John Boy.” While technically this track qualifies as a non-album or bonus track, Dean Hurley, Lynch’s producer had this to say about the song: “it wasn’t really recorded with the LP in mind, but it was done around the end of last year when the bulk of the album was being made. It was earmarked for something else entirely, but that thing didn’t happen in a way that required the song… so up until now, it was ‘a song with no home.’ ”

Complimenting Lynch’s left-of-center A-side, the B-side proudly features a Venetian Snares remix of the album’s title track. Despite the fact that Canadian electronic musician Aaron Funk has been known for reinventing breakcore, with this remix he breathes a completely new approach into the song, turning it into something far from your typical dance remix. Hurley describes this track as, “music for the end crawl of a bootlegged sci-fi/horror film that you borrowed from your friend’s older brother and caused you to realize for the first time that you were actually scared in broad daylight.”

Bad The John BoyEverything from Lynch is stamped with strange including the scratched on the wall artwork used as cover art. Hang on to your chair and turn up the bass.

The B-Side is a remix of the title song from the album.

One of my favourite albums from the past year. There is a lot of lamenting that Lynch isn’t making movies at the moment but his musical out (Crazy Clown Time, The Foxbat Strategies, BlueBob) are unique and strange. He has recently exhibited paintings, prints and drawings as well as opening a night club in Paris. Also worth investigating on a dark night is ‘Rabbits’, a follow on from Inland Empire.  This has a anxiety filled soundscape similar to the white noise that makes Eraserhead such a tense experience.

…and if you can make it through that then Hotel Room is walk in the park (part from the violence and psychosis). A truly scary performance from Harry Dean Stanton in the first episode.

“Hotel Room was a three episode 1993 HBO television series produced by David Lynch (who directed two of them). Each drama takes place in the same New York City hotel room (number 603 of the Railroad Hotel) at different times (1969, 1992, and 1936, respectively). This is all three episodes back to back.”

NSFW or those of a nervous disposition and with a propensity to get offended.

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Indy Cindy & Pixies

Today I received the new Pixies EP. Classic vinyl release artwork and high production values. Takes me back to Doolittle. Today I also discovered Pressgram, a social photo sharing and filter app that links and posts directly to WP blogs. This one thumb post might not last the evening. I gather the #GoPressGram is appropriate.

Published via Pressgram

Late running addition. Here’s the video for Indy Cindy. A very Pixie like song..

And the one before, this is Bagboy….

….and whilst hanging around in YouTube land I found this. I’m pretty sure this is one of the gigs I went to.

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No Direction

No Direction Ltd Ed

So finally, almost, here is the physical thing. My first artefact that includes original music, video, photography and design. I’ve been working on this for the last four months and it’s almost line in the sand time. I say almost in that I want to edit one video and create one for the lead out track. this will be finished well before shipping. This is an artist project, not just a musical release.

The physical item shown above includes an audio CD, standard DVD (both with 8 original songs and videos, plus a cover of the great Dark Globe by Syd Barrett), original photography & design with fold out picture card and each individually gold blocked with their edition number. The ones shown are mock ups only and there will be no more than 10 in this format.

I will be working on a CD only edition next which will again be limited in number.

You can read more about the songs and processes employed else where in this blog, but if you want to know more, leave a comment in the thread or contact me via adrian4acn@gmail.com.

Limited Edition copies of ‘No Direction’ are for sale now on pre-order for £55.00 which includes UK shipping. For international postage options please ask. Every edition will come with a letter of authenticity and all transactions will be given personal attention. To reserve an early copy send your payment via PayPal to Adrian4acn@googlemail.com

Check back for information about the audio CD only release and other opportunities to get in on ground floor.

You know you want one…..

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Dark(er) Globe

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Not that I want to excuse this or apologise for it, but lets just remember that I am mainly doing this for my own entertainment. Thats why most people blog, lots of lost souls standing in the woods, shouting at the trees until the nuts fall out…. or something like that.

My recent musical escapades have been really enjoyable. I like ‘making things’ and I’ve always had ambitions for sound despite my absence of innate talent or musical ability. I’ve listened to it all in sequence recently and it hangs together well, like something viscous thrown at a wall. From the outset I had hoped to include a cover version and had a short list of contenders. All easy major cords with a limited number of changes. This won hands down. There was a period in the 80’s that we played this endlessly. Poor fractured Syd Barrett in his post Floyd last hurrah before disappearing into a semi in Oxford. A casualty of the excess of 70’s like Peter Green. A unique English poet of nonsense and psychedelia.

This was made with chords I really played, recorded on my phone. I mangled the song three or four times, re-playing sections, some through Amplitube with most of it post processed in Audacity. The vocal on the original is urgent and uncertain, main is shy, languid and equally uncertain. This for me is really sticking my head over the parapet.

With the recordings now complete and only one more (possibly two) more videos to finish the album is nearly due for release. There will be an artefact to contain this nonsense. The video was filmed at Elvaston Castle & Country Park just outside Derby. Another example of the glorious & faded. Something we do well in England.

And for the purists here is the SoundCloud link. You are free to download and keep this for posterity.

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The Press

The Press - MOBFormat

Apologies for my absence loyal bloggees. This come back however is short on words but long on content. My continuing ‘musical’ efforts are bearing some fruit and I’m getting lots of interesting comments.

“You are really on to something here, can’t wait to hear/see more”

Ambientist Mark Ward

“It’s great! I like challenging music”

Proper musician Chris Olley

“Stop calling this office or we will have to report you”

Mojo Magazine

The plaudits go on.

So, inspired by the excellent ‘The Press – MOBFormat’ photographic event at the Chocolate Factory in Derby, a project I’ve been able to contribute towards, and as a little honorific to Misho Baranovic (a native Australian recently subject to the harsh weather of Derby in March) this opus is for you.

Yes, it starts in an almost melodic and organised way, but it does fall apart after about 7 minutes. The images come from ‘The Press’ project. Themed images submitted through EyeEM, printed by Misho and installed by the audience in a growing and evolving piece of social art. It’s a wonderful thing and I look forward to seeing the closing days when the walls are fully populated.

The images in this video come from the current selection. Scanned through with iSuper8, and compilied in iMovie. The audio includes my first use of Audacity & PaulStretch to effect the loops. I’ve skipped Korg  on this one so the drum tracks are pure GarageBand, so much more ‘rock’. Other than the drums and piano, all noises are analog, voice (mine!) and guitar, all chopped, edited, stretched and squished.

I probably shouldn’t have listened to that last Scott Walker album. But, what the hey…..

So video via YouTube, audio via SoundCloud. Just remember, this is an opt in system.

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UrgenCity (Urr-jahn-Sitt-ee)

20130215-185700.jpgSo, two weeks since my last update, barely taken any photos (cold & dull mainly, no interesting day trips) but I have made this little lump of fun. Inspired in no small part by Mark Ward & Chris Olley, and also as a result of listening to a lot of MBV, Primal Scream & Shellac, I’ve ended up with the this 4m26s ‘musical’ illustration and film.

Whilst I a share a love, nay obsession, with music with the above, sadly I don’t share their musical ability. I can just about play 5 chords on my guitar, two of which are made up and not great sounding.
However, aided by Amplitude & Korg on my iPad and Garage Band & iMovie on the computer almost anything is possible.

The underlying theme came from the Korg beat, this textured with effects and layered with Garage Band loops and a feed back track recorded through Amplitude effects pedals using my Tanglewood Bluesound.
The movie is a Hitchcock style single shot, a little over 25 minutes speeded up and squished down to fit the track length. This shot with Super8 on iPhone throughout a painfully long drive home in the snow on Wednesday night.

It took a little while to get YouTube to accept this HD file and whilst I could tweak it endlessly I’m going to set it free and move on with the next project, a slow Death Metal blues ballad with funky bass.
Long live the Punk Ethic! This is UrgenCity!!!

Here’s the second track from this little noise experiment. The full audio file streaming from Soundcloud. Play it loud.

UPDATE: Just worked out what the title is about. I had in mind a ‘period’ like Jurassic, Miocene etc, or something descriptive of a time just before an era that was about to arise. But, if you Google Ceene, other than various Italian names you find CEENE as an acronym for Cumulative Exergy Extracted from the Natural Environment.  I was going to change it, but now it’s glued in.

This is the full audio of UrgenCity. Clearer here without the video compression. As above, loud works best.

UP DATED UP DATE

…and marching towards enough tracks for an EP, here is track 3. This included contributions from DBoy & BabyJ, both who helped record some guitar loops using DBoys mini strat. £20 well spent! This is IyeZ (from ‘eyes’ or maybe ‘I is’),video coming soon.

@f1fanwmm quite rightly pointed out the continuing theme of urban travel. It sounds like a journey through a busy city street, different music coming from diverse venues.

And as if from nowhere, here is the video for ‘Iyez’. Contributions from the looking orbs of my family.

UPDATED 03/03/13

This is ‘Full Bleed’ A short, sharp cut.

And as if by time slipped magic, here is the video. Pictures by DBoy6.03 and filmed with iMotionHD. Quietly pleased with this one.

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Snowday

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With a little reluctance due to aching bones and pre-cold symptoms (raging hypochondria) we took the boys up the road to Woodthorpe for a little sledding and snow fun. Woodthorpe has a good long run that incorporates some of the bunkers on the golf course for daredevil fun. As usual there was the the expected mix of families, school kids and curtsies with every form of friction efficient slide & glide equipment. I heard a woman on her phone explaining the the Woodthorpe experience was more chill than than Wollaton which had been crazed and extreme earlier in the day.
Whilst we didn’t have fresh powder the ground was safe and child friendly. GBoy9.01 immediately took to head first descents whilst DBoy6.01 took a more cautious traditional line.
JBoy2.09, whilst initially interested soon succumbed to the cold and cried apocalyptically until I took him home.

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That picture should carry the subtitle ‘Mind out where the Huskies go and just don’t eat the yellow snow….”

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Ian McCulloch

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On Thursday 22nd Ian McCulloch played at the The Rescue Rooms, probably my favourite venue in Nottingham. I bought a ticket on a bit of a whim a week or so ago. I haven’t listened to Echo & the Bunnymen for ages and although I liked a lot of their songs I went without expectation. I probably have a romanticised memory of the mid eighties when we wore long second hand coats and ex-army trousers and listen to Bauhaus, the Bunnymen, the Smiths, and Danse Society.

As a mouthy Liverpool lad, McCulloch always got press for his attitude but mainly the band made some iconic records. From Crocodiles to Ocean Rain and Evergreen they had drum machines, choppy guitars, swagger and Morrisonesque poetry.

McCulloch was assisted by Ian Brodie on guitar and bits and pieces. Ian had laryngitis and growled out a great selection of Bunnymen songs and covers including…… Rescue, Bring On The Dancing Horses, Seven Seas, All My Colours, Killing Moon, Villiers Terrace, Walk on the Wildside, Sorrow, and plenty more I can’t recall.

Here is a video of McCulloch & Brodie at the Union Chaple performing Rescue which was the sound they open with on Thursday.

There was a support act for the evening, a young singer going by the name of Gallery 47. All I could pick up was that he was from Nottingham and had listened to a lot of Dylan. The latter had done him a lot of good as he was a pretty accomplished finger picker and his original songs had an original use of language. He started with ‘Girl from the North Country‘ which is a good place to begin. He also gave away a box full of Cd’s and vinyl albums which is an interesting strategy.

I’ve since found the clip below which explains a little more. He is definitely a talented guy and I hope he gets more exposure. He obviously works hard at his craft.

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Quite pleased with the photo above. It’s a little low res as its cropped a lot but quite characterful. Gallery 47 has a MySpace page which is here.

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WEYA Mandala

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Sunday night saw the Mela / Mandala Event come to the Market Square. One the bigger events making up the WEYA2012 Festival we had a full day of music & performance by artists from around the world.

Earlier in the afternoon performances by South African Medu and the Usuthu Group bought the sun out. Medu (from Pretoria) performed acapella songs including traditional African, eighties pop ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’ (this probably from before any of them were born) and the Bob Marley classic ‘Redemption Song’. This I managed to film and I hope they don’t mind it being shown here.

The Usuthu Group bought dance, song & performance from traditional South Africa and did well not to bruise or break themselves on the stone slabs of the Market Square.

Later in the afternoon the main stage saw a number of international performers. One of the ones I particularly enjoyed was the Sabar Soundsystem from Nottingham (obviously international if you come from somewhere other than Nottingham, ….and the UK). Big pounding rhythmic & hypnotic!

And as a big closing piece and part of the impressive Mandala sound light & dance performance, renowned tabla musician was Talvin Singh lighting up the evening sky and the frontage of the Council House. An amazing collaborative effort by NAE, SAMPAD, WEYA and the City Council came to a close for a very impressed audience. With another seven days of events across the city, WEYA has certainly had an impact.

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