Wednesday, 29 June 2011

GLASTO GLOAT

















So that time of year is over again; where smelling like shit is commonplace, baby wipes are currency and sleeping on a cold, dark floor with beetles is better than your bed at home. This year, Glastonbury out did itself with a sea of mud that tried to consume your mind, body and soul if you stayed in the same spot for more than 2 seconds, but thankfully in the latter part of the festival, the sun got its mojo back and threw some rays our way. Not that it really matters, it's about watching middle aged people go mental in the most acceptable place to do so, gnome flags following you around the festival and wearing the same shorts 6 days in a row. Here are some musings I can remember.

Metronomy

They opened the festival for me and seemed just as bemused as I was to find them on the Pyramid Stage. They work better on a smaller stage and warranted, they did play later on in the festival somewhere else in a more intimate setting. It took them a few songs to warm up and get the crowd going, as their sound got a bit lost amongst it, but with a mixture of old and new material, they provided a punchy first performance and a nice mid-day snack.

Metronomy - Corinne by Uberkampfe

Two Door Cinema Club

Being able to tell that a performance means so much to a band is always touching. Alex Trimble appeared humbled and claimed that he had dreamed of performing on the Pyramid stage since he was 10 years old (I was making post offices out of lego at that age). Personally, a lot of their songs blur into one and are VERY similar, but it's not really a bad thing, because they're catchy and energetic and if the formula works...repeat.

Two door cinema club - undercover martyn by mariocon

Bright Eyes

Watching Bright Eyes made me realise how little of Bright Eyes I've actually listened to. I don't think Conor Oberst gave a fuck about playing recognisable material...or a fuck about anything really, he was wearing a cape which I think confirms that. We arrived late, but I would've liked some First Day of My Life or Lua. The performance didn't do much for me, but that's more my fault for being uneducated. My friend noted that he looked like a young Severus Snape which was spot on.

Jamie xx

It would be more difficult not to see Jamie xx at a festival this summer than it would be to see a tiny pixie. He is the one to watch at the moment...and so I watched him. He kept it fairly original and didn't whack out any of the more well known remixes, such as rolling in the deep or you've got the love, but his set was bounceable and fun and definitely should not have been at 7 p.m. However, he shook the tent and got everyone shuffling and I'd like to watch him again in a far more inebriated state.

Jamie xx - "Far Nearer" by vinylandvodka

Friendly Fires

Oh Friendly Fires, the things you do to me. Such a sick set; that was my 5th time of seeing them and they only get better over time, like cheese. I'd been listening to their new album, Pala, religiously for about a month before, so I was pretty clued up on their new stuff, but the old was just as a fresh as always. If you don't tap your toes to this music or respond through the medium of dance.. then you're clinically dead. Hawaiin Air was insane and ACTUAL hawaiin dancing girls appeared and shook their booties. Friendly Fires brought the sun.

Friendly Fires - Skeleton Boy (Air France Remix) by Air France

Laura Marling

Laura Marling has the remarkable talent of seemingly being able to make a whole crowd of people feel simultaneously awkward, but it is her shyness that makes her so endearing and enchanting. By this time, the sun was taking the piss and showing off..people were slumped on the ground and mostly enjoying Marling from the comfort of their own patch of mud. However, it was really refreshing to see her playing to such a large crowd, but still keeping the intimate aspects of her gigs intact.

Laura Marling - Blackberry Stone by wereofftherails

Foster the People

This wasn't a planned jaunt, cos we were actually hyped for Cults...but for reasons unknown (and definitely unknown by creepy stewards) they weren't there and consequently I was a bit dismayed. But we referred to the Bible (band guide necklace) and made an executive decision to watch Foster the People instead. They turned out to be really good; not knowing many of their songs wasn't a problem and they exuded massive stage presence and I can really envisage them on the Pyramid in a couple of years. They used a cow bell also, bonus points.

Foster The People - Helena Beat by The Clink

The Go! Team

Fantastically great. The band exploded on the stage with an unhealthy amount of energy and put on an awesome show. Everyone was clearly getting their groove on and they acted as a perfect build-up towards you know who.

The Go! Team - Apollo Throwdown by thegoteam

Beyonce

'Tonight, we are all rockstars!' Don't think I need to write anything, you must have seen it and if you haven't then come out of your cave at once. Beyonce absolutely killed it and eclipsed U2 and Coldplay and cemented herself as the superstar we all know she is. There was talk of special guests, but what Michelle Williams could've offered, apart from nostalgia, is debatable. Perfectly paced, as she strutted on stage and launched into Crazy in Love, with hair as big as...I'm struggled to think of anything as big. With some clever covers in there, such as Sex on Fire and a medley of Destinys Child hits, the crowd were putty in her hands; adoring and awing. My favourite, was a take on the classic Etta James number, 'At Last', which I've now decided will be my wedding song, so smooth and sexy; Beyonce previously sang this at Obama's inauguration and so he appeared on the screens to vivacious roars, somehow I just don't think there would've been the same reaction if Alesha Dixon had David Cameron's mug beaming out to thousands. Beyonce's all about empowerment and the fact that she was the first female headliner in 40 years, in itself is epic. Whether you agree with her headlining or not, you can't deny it was a magic set, Beyonce showing off her immense talent as a vocalist and shaking her booty, no amount of fireworks or dancers could've distracted the overwhelmed crowd. One question though, Tricky anyone?

Glastonbury 2011 - Beyonce End Of Time from Michael .. on Vimeo.

Photo courtesy of Tasha Hall

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

YOUNG WAVES




















On a scale of one to chill, Young Waves is CHILL; I'm so lethargically blissful after listening to the noises Ryan Mandelbaum's made, that I'm definitely going to do fuck all now...I blame him but love him for this. I can hear a lot of Explosions in the Sky and Teen Daze influences in his most recent e.p, We Grew Up, but that might just be me, but whatever it is, it works really well and is a confident, self-assured effort from the Canadian born artist. Young Waves has the ability to sound melancholic but simultaneously optimistic, what an emotional tease. If I have a flaw, it is that this e.p ends at all, leaves me hooked...and to me that's an excellent flaw.

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

Right now, I’m in my apartment in Toronto, happy to be able to eat food and drink and sing again. For the past two weeks I’ve had mono, and my tonsils had swollen up like crazy. It was really shitty, but it’s nice to have the energy to make music once again. * I actually just started working on a new track last night * which should be uploaded in the next few days, so keep posted.

Could you give a brief Young Waves history?

Two years ago, during an admittedly very lonely point in my life, I felt like I was lacking any sort of identity. I realised I’d never created anything substantial in my entire life, and started wondering what people would have to say about me after I was gone. “Ryan Mandelbaum: He smoked pot and read comicbooks”. I put aside a couple hundred bucks and bought a handheld 4 track. collected some old keyboards and guitars from my parents and grandparents homes, and sorta just hit the record button and started fucking around. I guess it’s not really all that fascinating, and maybe I should glorify it a bit, but in all honesty Young Waves is just the result of a really sad, frustrated kid playing around with things he doesn’t understand. “All of a sudden I make music”. And it feels really, really fucking good.

Who did you grow up listening to?

I’ve gone through a lot of different phases with music growing up, so it’s kind of hard to wrap it up in a neat little sentence, but I’ll try to keep it brief; I started off listening to a lot of punk rock as a little kid, since that’s what my “super cool” oldest brother Adam was listening to at the time, as well as a good of Michael Jackson and The Beatles. Then came the whole classic rock/jazz phase just before high school where I had an unhealthy obsession with King Crimson and Miles Davis. High school I discovered Velvet Underground, Elliot Smith, Nick Drake, Sun Kil Moon, the Microphones, Talk Talk, My Bloody Valentine ; music you could get lost in for entire seasons. Than a few years ago, I started really getting into a lot of ambient/experimental stuff; Eluvium, Stars of the Lid, Fennesz, Benoit Pioulard, Foxes in Fiction, a lot of the Type Records stuff...Shit, I’m just gonna stop myself there. I have the inability to be concise apparently.

Tell us a bit about the most recent song you've written.

The last song I recorded, Courtyard, from my new EP “We Grew Up” tested my patience more than any recording I had ever done. The entire thing was recorded with a loop pedal and 4 track, and needless to say, the process was fucking meticulous. Loops were deleted, entire tracks were distorted, editing/post production was not an option, and to make matters a billion times worse, my multi track doesn’t even have an undo/redo button. Hurts my head to think about.

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

I wrote a song about a manic depressive teenager who’s obsessed with lego.

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

Being young, getting old, being free, getting lost.

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

In your bedroom by yourself at 4am. That’s the environment it’s created in, so why not. Also, I’ve been told it’s “good comedown music”. I’m gonna pretend I don’t know what that means since my mom will probably read this thing hahaha

Where would you love to tour?

Somewhere quiet and pretty. Maybe one day I’ll do a tour of the Appalachian Mountains and tell no one.

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

As of right now, just focusing on becoming better, and discovering what it is I want to create. There are so many different sounds I want to explore, and I haven’t even scratched the surface. This is still so new to me; I’m just barely starting to fall into myself as a musician, so for now it’s all about exploration and experience. At this point in time, that just seems way more important to me than gaining lots of fans and playing tons of shows.

Due to my shockingly bad multi-tasking, this needs a few updates.

*Ryan's mono was back in May, when he answered these questions, so yay for June healthiness.

*The new track mentioned was 'Cliffdiver' which is now up and available.

You can download Young Waves material here at BANDCAMP

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

FIELD OF DREAMS

I'm off to Glastonbury in three quarters of an hour.....USFHBFAQFJBAF suckers.
Last time I went, this was a high(as a kite)light.

Friday, 17 June 2011

16TH

Exams are over and all is right in the world once more. This is what I hope my summer sounds like
Normal service will be resumed shortly; more posts than a...post office?

Thursday, 2 June 2011