Thursday, 23 December 2010

BRAIDS















A Christmas treat in the form of BRAIDS! Ho ho ho

First off, where are you in the world right now and what're you working on?

Half of us are in Calgary visiting our families and the other half are in Montreal working. The working half will soon be joining the visiting half. We are working on and out new sounds that our instruments and bodies can make.

Could you give a brief BRAIDS history?

BRAIDS is a band that lost to a Red Hot Chili's cover band in high school. They lost because they did not have costumes. This is how they met. Raphie knew Austin since Junior High. Austin used to sleep beside his Dad's bass drum. Austin and Taylor were in a Jazz combo in High School. Raphie met Katie in Theatre class. Katie dropped out of certain classes so she could stay in Theatre and play Piano. Katie met Taylor through a trip to Greece. They stole music from volunteering at their favorite local radio station. Raphie broke her leg and took up Guitar. They all decided to start a band.

We still don't have costumes.

Who did you grow up listening to?

I was fortunate enough to have grown up listening to a lot of Korean rock n' roll (mainly Shin Jung-Hyun who is amazing). Over the years, that type of music has been somewhat lost in mainstream Korean culture and has become a novelty. My father also forced me to listen to the Beegees' and Simon & Garfunkel's greatest hits. Though what jump started me into writing my own versions of famous pop tunes came from my discovery of early James Brown and The Temptations. There was also a lot of bad music along the way but I choose not to believe that they've somehow worked themselves into the songs I've written up to now.

Tell us a bit about 'Native Speaker'.

Native Speaker took 3 years to write, 2 years to record, and 1 year to release. We learned how to record which resulted in a lot of tears, caffeine, and blood*. We waited on the album for a very long time, learned a lot about the state of the music industry, and fought like a married family of 4. Native Speaker has taught us how to love, what it means to be loved, and the meaning of being earnest.

*nose bleeds.

What's the weirdest thing you've ever written a song about?

Fat cats.

But I guess that isn't so weird.

Are there any specific themes or sources of inspiration you find yourself revisiting often when making music?

Friends.

What would you say was the perfect environment or situation to listen to your music in?

Underwater. But if you can't, I recommend lying in a bathtub full of water.

Where would you love to tour?

Our friends GOBBLE GOBBLE once told us they would love to do a tour of secret house shows across Canada. This has sparked my avid interest in abandoned churches. Which all seem to either conglomerate around small towns USA or Western Europe.

Finally, what's next for BRAIDS, future plans and such?

You can purchase our album officially on January 18th, we will be touring North America after wards till April, we will be touring Europe shortly after, and Australia will follow. We are currently writing new songs and will continue to in Montreal, QC, Canada.

BRAIDS 'Lemonade' by kaninerecords

MYSPACE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

Thursday, 16 December 2010

CATFISH














I'm a sucker for a fly on the wall and Catfish ticks all the boxes; jerky camera, self reflection..A CRAZY INTERNET FAMILY. Sort've like a tame blair witch project at times, without the witch..and the blair, but almost scarier regardless. It would be impossible for there to be no speculation with this kind of 'documentary' as to it's truthfulness; part of the film's appeal is that premise and I'm sure the directors aimed for the ambiguity. I'm 99% sure it's real, but if you just take Catfish for what it is, it's a great film and a deeply sad film.


Tuesday, 14 December 2010

MESITA

















Introducing James Cooley, writing under the alias, Mesita. He popped up on my radar and his tracks instantly drew me in with their deep, layered arrangements and bags of potential. I physically cannot stop listening to recent effort 'Somewhere else', a gorgeously smooth song that cements Mesita's impressive talent. Bravo!

First off, where are you in the world right now and what're you working on?

I'm not really sure haha...I'm just sort of in a holding pattern at the moment in Colorado, taking a rest, drinking peppermint mochas & making trips to the post office to send out CDs. I've been working hard on a new album. I guess that has been the main focus the past month or so after I got the EP all finished up.

Could you give a brief Mesita history?

Mesita has just been me alone playing and recording music in basements and bedrooms. I had been messing around with recording for a long time now under different names and I guess Mesita was my attempt to tighten it up a bit. I just like to experiment with different mic setups and weird instruments and have as much fun making music as I can.

Who did you grow up listening to?

Mostly what my parents listened to. Lots of Springsteen. My parents took me to see R.E.M at Red Rocks for my first concert which was way cool of them. Also listened to video game music! The music in the video games I played growing up had a huge impact on me for sure. In high school, I developed an unhealthy obsession with Radiohead. I also got way into The Black Keys after seeing them play on Conan. I went out and bought Thickfreakness and The Big Come Up the day after and have been trying to play guitar as cool as Dan Auerbach ever since.

Tell us a bit about your most recent release 'Living/Breathing'.

It's pretty much a failed album put into an EP. I recorded the title track at home in January and made tons of other tracks in a Seattle apartment over the summer but nothing was working. I ended up getting so frustrated with it all that I snapped and abandoned most of the stuff I had been working on. Ended up coming back to my senses, started cleaning up the better songs I had, and put together an EP of songs I wanted to release but didn't fit with the album I'm trying to put together.

What's the weirdest thing you've ever written a song about?

Either finding a box of hot tamales in a field or having stuffed animals for friends. I'm pretty bad at lyrics. and the trumpet.

Are there any specific themes or sources of inspiration you find yourself revisiting often when making music?

I guess whatever's happening and what I'm going through at the time. Mostly being unhappy with a current situation and fleeing to another situation but ending up feeling the same way. I've been learning more and more how to shut up and enjoy the ride.

What would you say was the perfect environment or situation to listen to your music in?

Hmm... on top of a mountain or something... I make music for mountain tops. Hikers with a good view and that. Music to listen to while eating trail mix? Something like that.

Where would you love to tour?

Touring is something I need to do but have no idea how to... Playing live also scares the hell out of me. I have an obligation to hit Austin and go up to New Jersey when I finally make it out. Also would love to make it down to Australia, go around Europe, see Japan... go visit places I normally wouldn't get the chance to go see and meet cool people.

Finally, what's next for Mesita, future plans and such?

I'm just going to keep it moving for now! I'm already knee deep in recording a new album and it is going very well at the moment. Sounds a lot different than the old stuff! I want to finish it up and have it out by early next year, too. My situation seems to be changing every three months or so, though. I have no idea where I'll be come next month. Who knows!

Somewhere Else by Mesita

Find out more and grab the recent ep 'Living/Breathing', go on, go on...go on

MYSPACE

SITE

FACEBOOK

Monday, 13 December 2010

WORK DRUGS


















Oh jah, have HAPPILY broken up from my first term at youkneeversity and have awarded myself a first in eating noodles and craftily avoiding work/being healthy. So expect lots more stuff(ing). Spot the bad christmas joke.
Let's kick off with this gem!

Friday, 26 November 2010

ISY SUTTIE






















The wonderful sitcom, Peep Show, is an essential ingredient in my life, definitely prioritised above food and sleep. If you’ve ever worked on Peep Show, you’re definitely a badass; if your character shares a name with a recently deceased house elf from Harry Potter (R.I.P Dobby) you’re a mega badass, Isy Suttie is outrageously badass. When you talk about female comedians, someone always pipes up with ‘material about periods, getting divorced and being fat is not funny’... Isy is a breath of fresh, sweet, hilarious air. Her charming, endearing quips and observations are whimsical and uplifting, with a delightful musical twist. Someone actually told me I reminded them of Dobby, which is inherently and emphatically wrong, but fucking brilliant nonetheless. Sell-out tours and appearances in hit comedies are a doddle and position Isy as one of the most refreshingly optimistic and intuitive comedians around, all without a mention of periods, divorce and obesity, how does she do it?!


First off, tell us a bit about what's going on in your wonderful world at the moment.
I'm learning Welsh and when my tour finishes I'll be able to go to regular classes. At the moment I can name about 20 farmyard animals and count to 99.

How did you first get involved in comedy?
I’ve played the guitar since I was about 12 and I seemed to just fall into it. I used to try and write serious songs but they always came out a bit bizarre.

What's been the proudest moment in your career so far, where you just thought fuck yeah!
When I got told I had got the part of Dobby in Peep Show. I was packing to go skiing and I couldn't go because of rehearsals, but although I really love skiing, I didn't mind in the slightest. I just couldn't believe it.

And who's the best person you've worked with?
Superhans' snake in Series 6 of Peep Show.

Have you acquired any 'odd' fans yet, or is that something you've got to look forward to ha?
Not acquired any yet, thankfully! Not sure I'd look forward to that prospect either!

How uncomfortable on a scale of one to ten was the 'fuckbunker' office store room scene with David Mitchell in Peep Show :D?
It was probably a three. It wasn't that uncomfortable. There was no physical contact, it was just pretty technical as we had to line up our eyelines with the mirrors. I didn't know David very well at that point, and we were in a very small cupboard with all the crew so it got a bit claustraphobic at points!

If you were a superhero, what power would you want to have?
I would have the power to play any song on guitar after hearing it once.

What music did you grow up listening to and what do you like now?
I grew up listening to Tom Waits, The Stone Roses, Frank Zappa and Carter USM. That's just all about I listen to now, along with Rufus Wainwright and Gorky's Zygotic Mynci.


What would your perfect day consist of?
2 Woody Allen films and a roast dinner.

And finally, in ten years time, ideally what would you like to be doing?
What I'm doing now, but I'd like to have a musical sitcom on TV.



Sunday, 21 November 2010

AIR FRANCE

















I can’t emphasise ENOUGH how much love I harbour for Air France and their responses have propelled that love to a whole new level of lurve. They heavily influence my fabric of favourite songs and I’ve been a fan for a healthy few years. 'No way down' is a superb record and the perfect accompaniment to living. Whenever, wherever, they aid a contemplative state of being and paint it with chilled, mellow vibes. Incredible and they make my life that bit better. But I can't really do their music justice, it's a sensory sensation, kaching. Joel and Henrik will now show why they're great..

Where are you and what are you doing RIGHT now? (apart from typing)
Actually, it's monday morning here on the Swedish west coast and the sun just got up from behind the rooftops on the other side of the creek. I'm making plans on how to raise money this week for everything. I have some really good ideas. Henrik is here too, but honestly he's too intoxicated to do his job, and I said "I'm not the moral police, you can to do wathever you want, as long as you do your job, and frankly, right now you're not doing your job at all". He has his suitcase with him, I don't know whether he has been somewhere or if he is leaving.

What kind of music did you grow up listening to and what were the first records you bought?
The first album I really became fascinated with was Sadinista by The Clash, my dad played it as soon as my mother was out of the house. Henrik was only listening to love tapes, a lot of ballads. Seven years old and acting like he was Chris Isaak.

Realistically, what do you reckon you'd be doing full-time if you weren't making such brilliant music and was being in a band always your dream?
Thank you for the kind words. I would probably do something similar, I'm creatively inexhaustible. Perhaps being a poet, writing about love and life. Henrik says that he would play in another band. Some bands make outlandish and expensive demands for what they 'need' before a gig, what do you usually ask for? Mineral water? Fruit? The egg of an ostrich poached to perfection? Once there was this club in a Swedish town that asked what we wanted on our rider and we said we wanted tickets to the local zoo and a a three-day free bus pass and he replied with "Who do you think you are? Fuck off you fuckin fucks". So now we are very humble and just say we need a portable telephone in the dressing room. Plus a nice wine from Alsace and some lover's rock tunes.

Take us back to your first ever gig as Air France, where was it, how were you feeling and what kind of reception did you get?
Festival management pulled the plug, and I got kicked off stage. A lot of misunderstandings. Henrik says he was quite dissapointed with the bass guitar he was playing, but aside from that he thought it was a good performance.

What're your ringtones? ha
My mobile phone is sold. Henrik has the theme from Barbapapa, I think. He is very into French cartoons.

Do you have any really crazy fans and if so what's the strangest thing anyone's done?
We always end up being friends with our fans. Mostly they stop listening to our music, because they think it's weird to stay fans. Sometimes when we are abroad people know things about us, our girlfriends, favourite quotes, our jobs, middle names. It makes me embarrassed and very flattered that people read our interviews and remember that kind of information.

If you could interview anyone in the world past or present, who would it be and what would you ask them?
I wrote a thesis on people who are obsessed with lighthouses, I really want to go deeper into that kind of subjects when I have finished this Air France thing. Henrik just left and took his suitcase with him, I think he said something about Mary Anne Hobbs, but I'm very unsure if it had anything to do with the question.

And finally what're the best things you've done in your lives so far?
Dared to confide in others and reveal my feeling when I'm a little bit lost. The most beautiful part of life is interaction with others, and the courage it takes.

Brilliant!! Get at the Air France MYSPACE and just bloody listen to them, one of a select few bands that can just change your day with one listen.







Tuesday, 9 November 2010

SELEBRITIES













Take note; Selebrities may be the new kids on the block, but they capture an 80's sound that is dangerously assured and full of confidence. The tunes are glamorous and glossy, with smooth synth and a playful tone. They're going to be massive with a capital M and exciting movements are already being made; signed with a great little label, Cascine, their 12'' is dropping on 23rd November. To say I rate them doesn't really do them justice, maybe in capitals is more adequate..I RATE THEM!

Selebrities, tell us a bit about yourselves.

Jer – Selebrities started as a side project between Maria and I in Florida around '06, and after finding Max last year we've become a serious band. We all have different musical backgrounds and musical tastes, but we all have a fascination for the 1980's. Thats the strong focal point of the band.

From listening to your music I can't help but draw comparisons to the Cure which is always a spectacularly good thing, but who else did you grow up listening to?

Maria – I went through phases growing up. Very much influenced by european music. The first album I ever bought was Blur - The Great Escape. Then suddenly I owned anything they ever made. After this brit pop face, I happen to start exploring the 80's not only in english but spanish as well. Mecano, OMD, The Wake, Altered Images, never ending list......In the late 90's I raved out like everyone else. Ever since college I've been all over the place. One minute I listen to 50's jams, the next I'm back into Radio Dept, some Desert Wolves with a twist of Jeanette. Other days I listen to Mariah Carey all day. Diversity in music is good. Selebrities sounds the way it does for an unexplainable combination of what we all love.

Take us back to your first show, where was it and how did it go (hopefully the microphone stayed intact :)

Maria – Yes unlike the last show the microphone did not fly away into the crowd. Safety First. The first show was scary. We practiced a million times for it. It happen to be at this small bar by Columbia University. There was cat food on the stage, enough said. Besides all of that It was brilliant. After a few beers we had everyone dancing. It was great to finally show everyone who Selebrities are, this fun, overly emotional band.

Have you found it difficult to get your music out there and listened to and get bookings for shows or do you think New York's probably the best place to start out as a band?

Max – I don't think we would have gotten the same kind of exposure we are now getting if we didn't live in NYC. These days, a lot of the exposure you get is through the internet, but there is definitely still something to be said about being in such a thriving place as NYC, even though we are quite different from most other popular NYC bands.

What other bands around at the moment do you really rate?

Maria – Memory Cassette, Wild Nothing, Studio, Air France

Max – Tesla Boy, Miami Horror, Moonchild, Cassian

Jer – I don't listen to anything current

What would you say the perfect environment or situation would be to listen to your music in?

Max – Walking along dark and lonely city streets in late Fall, on your way to a friend's party, wishing it was Summer again. Or, for that matter, driving in a convertible on a bright summer day in a beach town. The B-side to our upcoming single (Nov 23th!) definitely fits in with the latter.

Do you find there's any sources of inspiration or themes that you find yourselves naturally revisiting when writing songs or are they all pretty individual and unrelated in their own right?

Jer – We have revisit some themes: being bored, cautionary love tales, not knowing what direction to take. But I think these themes are just a part of everyday life, so they're reoccurring because they happen all the time, and there is a lot you can do with them.

And what's next for Selebrities in the near future?

Jer – We have a single dropping in November, and after the new year our 1st album will be coming out on Cascine so we're all freaked out. It's very surreal to us. We want to hopefully tour at that time. To us there is nothing more exciting then going to new places and playing shows for new people. We just want to get our music out.


Absolutely wickedly tasty stuff, grab yourself a physical 12'' or digital copy from Cascine.
And get at more info and links to downloads from their myspace


Wednesday, 3 November 2010

FELT DRAWINGS






















You may (you definitely should) recall this here blog featuring the excellent Felt Drawings. Well Dom Tiberio is treating us to some brand spanking new material that takes his stuff to a whole new level. So intense!
He's currently got a new 7'' out on Mattress Records that you can get at here
And just yesterday, his self titled e.p 'If only you knew' has been released for digital download from his site

Such interesting, diverse work, that stays with you after every listen.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

EVENINGS
















Trippy, reflective bliss from talented musician Nathan Broaddust, definitely one to watch (and listen to) very closely indeed, ace!

First off, where are you in the world right now and what're you working on?
I'm sitting in a library, and I'm supposed to be working on a number of things for school...but It's just not happening. I'm procrastinating a lot. Its my thing.

Could you give a brief Evenings history?
Well there isn't much history yet. I bought an audio interface and a midi keyboard when i was fifteen, and I started using bootlegged copies of cubase & protools. I have some really funny recordings of myself around that age..they hopefully wont ever see the light of day. During high school I played guitar in a band called "goonies", and towards the end we started playing instrumental mogwaish stuff. I also remember I was the audio mixer for my high school's crappy daily news show, and I couldn't play any music with words...This was probably when I started listening to mainly instrumental music. I don't think a day went by in high school that i didn't listen to "cherry" by ratatat.

Who did you grow up listening to?
My mom has great taste. I listened to alot of Talking heads and Van Morrison tapes growing up. Once I got a little older my brother (who's only a year older than me) started getting me excited about finding new stuff. I probably started getting into electronic music after listening to Kid A too much..as if you could ever have too much Kid A.

Tell us a bit about your most recent release 'North Dorm'.
A lot of it was recorded in a dorm room last winter and spring, and i finally finished it all this summer. I actually used a stolen copy of ableton 8 to record it.. But ableton will be happy to hear that I recently bought a real copy.

What's the weirdest thing you've ever written a song about?
Often I have really strange/vivd dreams, and I try to write them down when I wake up sometimes. I never really understand them, but once in a while they'll have a pretty prominent subject. When I write about stuff I don't understand, things tend to end up a little askew... and I enjoy that.

Can you see yourself always being involved in music or are there any equally important aspirations you'd like to explore?
I'm not sure where I'll end up..I'm a music major, but I think about media and design a lot. I can't imagine I'll ever stop making music though. Thankfully I think I have enough time to mull it over.

What would you say was the perfect environment or situation to listen to your music in?
I think that people should decide for themselves. That said, I tend to like music that cuts me off from the rest of the world for a little while. I'm just glad that people enjoy listening to it. I want to thank each and every one of them with a high five.

Where would you love to tour?
Switzerland.

Finally, what's next for Evenings, future plans and such?
I'm really not sure, I'm trying to write more music in between school. School is kiiiiiiiilling me laura.
Get at more info and tunes from his myspace.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

CANDY CLAWS
















Colorado's Candy Claws are my favourites right now!

Where are you located in this big wide world right now and what're you working on?
Fort Collins, CO, USA...We're touring right now for our latest LP, Hidden Lands. Thoughts of a new album are mixing around...dinosaurs??

Who did you grow up listening to?
Beach Boys, Starflyer 59. Lassie Foundation. John Denver. Avalanches.

Tell us a bit about your recent release 'Hidden Lands'.
This new album is a musical companion to "The Secret Life of the Forest," a book from the 1970s that Kay found. It has beautiful illustrations, and our music is meant to sound how the pictures look. It's a journey into the unseen processes of trees and plant life, from the tiny chemical reactions to the long, slow life cycle of a forest. We also take a look back into the deep time, the billions of years of life on earth before humans appeared.

What's the weirdest thing you've ever written a song about?
Switzerland at the World Cup

Did you initially, when starting out as a band, find it difficult to get your music out there and heard and secure shows or has it been relatively straight forward?
At first we weren't trying to get our music out there. We spent two years making an album in secret, not playing shows. It's always been our thing to make the best recordings we can, and worry about the live setup later. I think the album did more for catching people's attention than live shows have.

What would you say was the perfect environment or situation to listen to your music in?
In headphones, alone in your bedroom, with a nature book from 1960 open on your knee.

What's been your favourite show you've played so far?
A beach party on a lake!

What's the best thing about being in a band and the worst thing?
Best Thing: Touring on the West Coast / Worst Thing: Leaving the West Coast

What're Candy Claw's near future plans, what's next for you guys?
We're touring a little more in October and November, then spending the deep winter months starting a new album, our favorite thing.

Friday, 15 October 2010

CALLERS

















Gorgeous material from the New Orleans trio, the L.P is out now, so grab yourself a copy and find out more from the ever fantastic Western Vinyl Label.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

CRAFT SPELLS






















Sick band. Find out more and more and more from their myspace and a taster down below!!

First off, where are you in the world right now and what're you working on?

In my boxers at home (Lathrop, CA) working on the full length while chatting on iChat with DJ assclap.

Could you give a brief Craft Spells history?

I've been recording my own music since I was 15. Started some shitty bands. Played for some shitty bands. I work better on my own so I went back on the solo thing. I recorded two songs in December of 2009 and put them up on myspace a little before the new year. Stuff started poppin' from there.

Who did you grow up listening to?

My father played a lot of new order and depeche mode. I was also into radio hip hop during the 90s. I was really into biggy growing up.

Tell us a bit about your 7'' 'Party Talk'.

It is officially out on captured tracks to purchase.

What's the weirdest thing you've ever written a song about?

holding hands with a girl in a shower stall.

Did you initially, when starting out, find it difficult to get your music out there and heard and secure shows or has it been relatively straight forward?

I actually never sent my music out to anyone. The most I ever did was put it on myspace or share it on facebook with my friends. All the blog coverage came from the wonderful people who took the time to listen through the songs. We have never booked a show ourselves. We have good friends that help us.

What would you say was the perfect environment or situation to listen to your music in?

In a mansion alone.

What's been your favourite show you've played so far?

All the shows when we get to play with our friends.

What's the best thing about being in a band and the worst thing?

The best thing is having your tunes heard by someone far out there in the world. It's fucking great. Worst thing is trying to balance school with it.

Finally, what's next for Craft Spells, future plans and such?

The world

Craft Spells - Party Talk by Ragged Words