Cider. Bands. Party.

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Cider usually means festivals in the Westcountry, teenagers on park benches and tramps on street corners. Not the best in new music. New music usually means self consciously cheap and crappy beers.

Not so any more. Kopparberg, purveys of a whole variety of tasty ciders, have got in on the game . Kopparberg Klash is the latest hunt for the nation’s best new band (among other creative type things). usually these involve a bunch of watered down pub rock bands and cookie cutter versions of whatever is currently in the top ten.

Lucky for us that Vice magazine is involved to make sure a well needed injection of skinny jeans, asymmetrical haircuts and keyboards that sound like NES  games.

The final (because who really wants to sit through the local also rans) is THIS WEDNESDAY, so if you’re about the Shoreditch area (where else?) get on down to The Old Blue Last to check out Plus Ultra, Dead Wolf Club and Filthy Boy along with MC Charlie Partridge of the East End comedy duo Robin & Partridge, DJs and a whole load of cider.

Head on down. We’ll be there if that helps.

We know it won’t.

The 1,2,3,4 – Shoreditch Park,London

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Here I am in the sun, doing my best to look like a communist. One that's into Trans-Ams.

Here I am in the sun, doing my best to look like a communist. One that's into Trans-Ams.

You know, there was a time when I considered myself ahead of the musical curve.
I got into metal when I was at school, and my collection got pretty big over the next decade. My tastes got more eclectic and (I like to think) more sophisticated. I spent time feeding my passion for obscure doom, hunting out limited edition vinyl singles, writing to bands and zines (There was no ‘interwebz’ in those days), and even tape trading.

By doing this I uncovered a lot of great music that most people will never get to hear. If you can be bothered then I thoroughly recommend you check out Pale Divine and Sir Hedgehog. I’m not going to add MySpace links because..well, because they don’t exist, but do some hunting for Black Tears distro or something and they’ll point you in the right direction.

Anyway, after school I took about ten years out from education. For some reason I thought I could be a musician, so I spent my time working McJobs and spending the cash on guitars and amps, fuel to get to gigs, and me and some friends wrote some great (and some not so great) songs. It was a lot of fun.

Wavves. Bought to you by the letter V.

Wavves. Bought to you by the letter V.

So, eventually I returned to university at the ripe old age of 26, and had a lot of fun making out with teenagers and drinking. While I was there I met this chick. She was hot and fun and we really clicked. We had different tastes in music but we also had that same openess to new sounds and experiences. We took pleasure in discovering new things and I fell pretty hard for her, and she eventually broke my heart.

Afterwards,as part of the healing process I cut off all my hair and developed a pathological hatred for anything kooky, ooky, or altogether electro-ey. I thought it was because it stirred up too many bad memories, but actually it’s because I started seeing through all that posing, affected, skinny jeans and blue hair teenage shit.

You don’t like music hipsters, you just like name dropping bands you hope your moustachioed, vintage-clad friends won’t have heard of.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I caught a couple of bands at this thing. The Vivian Girls were on, and even though most of their songs seem to be about Mopeds (being ‘British’ is cool you see?) they’d have been alright, except that every festival sound engineer in the world now watches Glastonbury on TV and actually thinks that’s a decent mix.

Wise up knob twiddlers. If you want a decent festival sound watch some footage of Donnington in the mid 80s, when you could hear the band properly. To be fair, you also need a 400,000 Watt P.A System. And maybe the band just sound like they’re playing in a wind tunnel on purpose. Ever been in a wind tunnel? I once dropped a loud guff in bed but that’s about it.

The Vivian girls. Possibly pictured in a wind tunnel.

The Vivian girls. Possibly pictured in a wind tunnel.

Anyway, there were also two types of booze on sale (San Miguel and fucking pear cider), and about a hundred nondescipt experimental art bands. There was also a pretty heavy socialist presence, because hey, Che’ was hip too you know? I once met a guy who’d met him. Apparently he looked like a chimp. On that basis I wrote a sitcom script about ex-revolutionaries living in an old people’s home together. It’s just as well I didn’t bring it along, because there’s no recycling bins. Conspicuous waste is cool.

I always saw myself as an artist I guess. I took pleasure in the things I created, and always spent time on the details, the little things that make something stand out. Now I spend my weekends in sub-Mad Max landscapes, surrounded by people who think it’s ok to go out wearing a cloak made from knotted doilies.

Old women are cool.

Doilycraft is cool.

That guy who used to be in Joy Division threatening to play his hit.

He’s cool too.

I’m really not that cool.

Metal Pizza Sign Guy: Hooray For Humanity

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This is what being metal as fuck is all about. You may have a terrible job holding a sign for a pizza place. But that does not stop you from ROCKING THE FUCK OUT.

When life give you lemons CRUSH THE LEMONS IN A FIST OF METAL AND BANG FOR SATAN! FUCK LEMONADE! ROOOAAGGGHHH!

Gathering Of The Juggalos. Weep For Humanity.

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Watch the above video for as long as you can. I lasted for around three minutes.

If you’ve made it through the entire thing without vomiting on yourself, congratulations! You are now fully aware that there is an entire festival based around the rappers dressed as clowns sub genre invented by the ICP, famous as late for not knowing how magnets work.

I have never seen so many ugly people in one video.

Crystal Castles – 21st Century Rock-Stars?

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Crystal Castles —STUDIO FOOTAGE +++ NEW VIDEO PREVIEW

Crystal Castles | MySpace Music Videos

With the return of Crystal Castles and their second self-titled album Ethan Kath and Alice Glass are heralding the dawn of a new type of musician by a return to the arrogance of the classic rock-stars.

Now I know by labelling them rock-stars people will probably want to throw bricks or synthesisers at me, but really what else are they? They play electro, oh right sorry. Wait, but doesn’t Glass scream a lot? So screamo it is then. Actually aren’t some of the songs fairly poppy in temperament? You see now we’re stuck. Call them noise, call them pop, call them what you like – Kath will have your head for it.

Both Ethan Kath and Alice Glass look like unsuspecting rock-stars with angular self-cut black hair and leather jackets. They look a little like the scene kids everyone tries to avoid to be honest. Just from a photo you can tell they are the awkward type and this has been confirmed by practically every interview they have ever given. Clearly they are going down the “we don’t give a shit about the fame and money” route. Classic. Apparently Ethan is lovely when discussing anything but his music. They are rock-stars and you know it.

Two albums in two years isn’t bad by any means either. They can be as tragic as they like if they have the music to back it up and here are two individuals who truly are masters at what they do. Kath programmes all his own equipment, from keyboards to phones and probably some old Nintendo’s too. Glass on the other hand is the mad front-woman who is more than likely on drugs while throwing her self around the stage. Never before have game noises made you want to dance like an epileptic on pills.

crystal_castles2

It is this pixelated noise quality that polarises people between love and hate for Crystal Castles. I can understand how and why people would dislike them; in-fact it seems like the easier option, but nobody else has or is currently doing anything similar to them, and that in itself is an achievement. They are the 21st centuries answer to rock-stars. They are awkward, angry, different, and excessive. No longer are the cocaine addled sex lives of Motley Crue interesting to us, but the pill fuelled nightmares of hooded creeps.

These two excruciating individuals have the mentality of a gang and when you hear the music you do imagine them exactly as they are. If others jump on the electric bandwagon I fear the music will be passionless. Crystal Castles are the only viable future for this scene and they will probably relish that.

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