Tuesday, 29 December 2009
People who read this blog know that Nirvana are one of the greatest personal inspirations for me. Besides their obvious talent as musicians and songwriters, they were also a very political and opinionated band. Race, sex and sexuality were issues which they discussed frankly both within and outside of their music.
I recently interviewed Sune Wagner of The Raveonettes for P.I.X Magazine and one of the questions I asked him was how he'd thought the music industry had changed in the last decade since they first started out as a band. His reply was that it was so much easier to communicate with fans and this was a great thing.
I completely agree. Back in the days when articles in Melody Maker and NME were more critiques and structured essays rather than 2 sentence rants about which indie star was spotted in a football kit in Tesco, a feature length interview with a band would be at least 4 pages long. In those 4 pages you would read everything from the latest release, to upcoming gigs, to bands' thoughts on current topical issues. I knew everything about my heroes and this was pre-Google days. The journalism was informative and beautifully descriptive. I honestly felt reading and watching Nirvana interviews that Kurt was talking to me, to us, to his fans. He was a person, a musician, an artist who contemplated, discussed and speculated. He wasn't some too cool for school robot who just watched his bank balance grow all day and couldn't be bothered to communicate both on and off stage like some current bands.
Use of blogs, bulletins, messages these days is a great way of communicating with like-minded people. Unfortunately we will never receive the Everett True or Paul Morley type-interviewer as they are very few and far between these days. This is why we write and post our thoughts out. Because we will always be mis or under represented elsewhere. We don't want you to give us your money by buying gig tickets and records and that's it. We have commenced an open forum for discussion through our music, through our opinions....Whether you want to respond to it or not, that is not our concern. Our main concern is to create, explore and discuss.
Personally I find bands who think they are to cool to communicate directly with fans totally off the radar. Being faux mysterious does not fill me with an ounce of inspiration however someone with an opinion always does. My dear friend Dario gave me an NME Original Nirvana magazine for my birthday which has every single Nirvana interview, review and photo that was ever published in NME from their first ever London show and release up until Kurt's death.
It is littered with beautifully, poignant and inspiring quotes, some of which I have posted below.
'I like the comfort in knowing that women are the only future in rock and roll'
About The Breeders:
'They're strong women but it's not that obvious. They're not militant about it at all. You can tell they love men at the same time'.
'I hate tie-dye t-shirts...I wouldn't wear a tie-dye t-shirt unless it was dyed with the urine of Phil Collins and the blood of Jerry Garcia.'
Monday, 28 December 2009
I'm currently watching Female Trouble for dress up inspiration for Decasia's John Waters extravaganza at The George Tavern on Thursday!
I'm hoping however that I don't celebrate New Years with a black eye similar to the one Divine is sporting in the following clip. Having said that, by the end of this excerpt she's worring about more than just a black eye... This clip quite frankly symbolises the dinner party from hell- dinner guests who won't eat your food, a petulant child, a crazy neighbour...and Christmas dinner is barely a distant memory!
FEMALE TROUBLE- JOHN WATERS CLASSIC!
Hmmm spag bol anyone?
See you for New Years folks!
Sunday, 27 December 2009
Friday, 25 December 2009
Thursday, 24 December 2009
I love films about scenes - whether documentaries or parodies. Surely everyone at any one time belongs to some scene somewhere? Isn't it a part of our innate sense of being to cherish the feeling of belonging?
A girl band composed of teenage runaways. Black Flag and Redd Kross feature heavily on the soundtrack plus there's a cameo from Slash pre-Guns N' Roses days.
What the hell else could you possibly want in a film??
Wednesday, 23 December 2009
As I mentioned in yesterday's blog post, I’ve been watching a lot of David Starkey's documentaries on Tudor history. The man's pompous style of story telling is riveting but in wanting to find out more about this guy, I did what is usual these days...I searched him on Wikipedia.
The following snippets are taken off his enlightening wiki page...
I particularly like his view on the Queen...
More recently, he (Starkey) received considerable attention when he compared Elizabeth II unfavourably with her predecessors, calling her an uneducated housewife, and comparing her cultural attitude to Joseph Goebbels, by suggesting that she gave him the impression that every time she heard the word culture she wanted to reach for a gun (in fact the line is most commonly attributed to Hermann Göring, but was really written by the lesser known Nazi playwright Hanns Johst).
But as a woman of Filipino descent I find his views on multiculturalism frankly shocking...
Formerly a leftist, Starkey is now known for his right-wing views. For example, he says of multiculturalism: "What's striking about our problem ethnic communities is that they are the ones with the least commitment to self-betterment."
Yes Starkey, of course us ethnic communities 'fresh off the boat' have no commitment at all for self-betterment. We left the shores of our homeland in favor of foreign privileged countries not for self-betterment but for other reasons? But if by 'self-betterment' you mean in a cultural and intellectual sense then in this regards we are on a par with royalty it seems... I suppose it is a well known fact ethnic communities are illiterate and lazy, yes Starkey? ...ridiculous.
Starkey also offended some viewers of BBC One's Question Time in April 2009 when he criticised Scottish, Irish and Welsh nationalism and described these nations as "feeble".
However, others, including some of the studio audience, supported his attacks on politicians. (Small victories Starkey, eh?!)
Damn and I'm in the middle of watching his 4 part documentary on Henry VIII...
Damn and I'm in the middle of watching his 4 part documentary on Henry VIII...
It's comforting to know Britney Spears does not eat squirrel, that her dad is not drugging her AND that she loves Australia.
I was however upset and frankly shocked to find out that the story about her two young boys trashing a hotel room turned out to be false. Or in Brit's words 'BS'. Where's the rock n roll in that?
And finally for the record like Britney I DID NOT set up fake auditions to pick up male models. IT'S ALL LIES.
Over and out.
I know it's Christmas when I actually enjoy staying indoors more often. My main highlights of the week include me vegging out and watching films and erm...vegging out and watching films. I'm beginning to think I'm turning into a couch potato or maybe I'm more of a couch potato than I’d like to admit!
I spent last night watching the entire series of David Starkey's documentaries on the six wives of Henry VIII. I've always had some fascination with this area of history. I think this primarily stems from childhood memories of visiting places like Hampton Court Palace on school trips (and puking during the coach journey back home much to the horror of the classmate I was sitting next to at the time- my sincere apologies…). The idea of some tyrannical larger than life king killing his wives is compelling stuff for an 8 year old! I understand most of it was sensationalist melodrama befitting for a class of easily distractible 8-year-olds but the grand history behind the Tudor dynasty is utterly fascinating. There's sex, violence, drama, love, death- EVERYTHING.
Last night I also watched a documentary exploring the relationship between Elizabeth I and Mary Queen Of Scots. It was a bit of a Tudor history marathon last night in the X-Bird house!
Executions were commonplace in Tudor England. Henry VIII was obviously infamous for beheading two of his wives but what I found most intriguing was the execution of Mary Queen of Scots. I think my fascination with her demise stems from trying grasp and understand how she endured 24 years of imprisonment before her death warrant was finally signed by Elizabeth I. It was reported that her death warrant was signed with much trepidation. A trepidation, not born out of remorse but from the predicted repercussions of how signing such a warrant could affect the political sphere for England and Elizabeth I at the time. The religious/political climate during the time of Mary Queen of Scots’ execution put Britain in a state of unrest, her death would again be a tactical execution but could also give way to more political uprisings against Elizabeth and spur revenge from Mary’s son who would later be James I and unite Great Britain.
Mary Queen Of Scots was a tragic queen whose royal career was one tragic blunder after another, it was only at the time of her trial and subsequent execution that she seemed to carry the strength and composure of a woman in absolute power.
Mary Queen Of Scots appeared on the scaffold on 8 February 1587 and with the composure and dignity befitting of a queen knelt gracefully by the block awaiting her fate. It took two blows of the axe to severe Mary’s head from her body. The first blow striking the back of her head, at which point she was reported to have cried, 'Sweet Jesus!'. As her head fell away from her body after the second blow a small thread of flesh remained where her head once was. This was later cut away from her body as the executioner used his axe as a saw! Mary Queen of Scots’ head was then held up by her infamous auburn tresses, her lips apparently still moving. It was later reported that her lips moved for 15 minutes in what some regarded as, 'in silent prayer'. As her head was held high to the executioner’s cries of, 'GOD SAVE THE QUEEN', Mary’s severed head then fell to the ground. People were shocked to find that the auburn hair that the executioner held on to was in fact a wig. Her auburn hair being a symbol of her infamous beauty had become after 24 years of imprisonment, short, grey and stubbled. At this point cries were then heard coming from underneath Mary's skirts. Under the folds and layers of her clothing Mary’s lap dog was found covered in blood, mourning her master's demise. The dog then later, unable to overcome the death of her master, refused to eat and died soon after...
Tuesday, 22 December 2009
I love year-ends and year-beginnings...it's the only time you really think hard about the past and the future as everything hits the wayside during the year and you rarely have time to stop and take anything in.
Being in this profession, it is not just talent alone that gets you anywhere. We Birds have worked our arses off and continue to do so. We don't rely on nepotism or previous bands we've been in or anything like that to get us off the ground. Therefore we really appreciate it when people help us of their own accord.
One of those such people is Simon Price of The Independent. He's been a great supporter of our band since he saw us play at Durrr back in January 2009. I deeply admire Simon. He is a great writer and they are such a dying breed especially in the music industry. He is also a die-hard music fan. He wrote a great biography on the Manics and seems to possess what few other music journos have these days - genuinity, intelligence and real zest for music. My respect for him increased even more a few days ago when I saw he posted out a rant referencing Rimbaud and Keats and the great masterpieces they wrote aged 25 and in comparison and at the same age, certain young TV/radio personalities are such imbeciles. Hear, hear...my sentiments exactly. The continual moral and physical destruction of the English language is unbearably painful and I am glad a few people out there acknowledge this.
Anyway, here's to Simon Price and I hope he continues to write and support many more bands for many, many more years.
Saturday, 19 December 2009
There's another fresh layer of snow outside and I am considering buying myself a sledge. I'm all cozy and warm indoors, hot mug of tea, fag etc and all seems perfect with the world until my dreams of a sleigh ride are (partly) dashed due to the fact that i can't literally leave my front door without a shovel. But hey, I NEED this much snow for my sledge right?
Aside from doing actual work today (I'm in the middle of editing a new video project and it took me 6 hours to edit 30 seconds the other day...technological nightmare!!!) I am going to make time for building a snowman and possibly an igloo conservatory at the back of my house for my parents. MERRY CHRISTMAS!
In fact I have enough snow here to build a whole village of igloos, i might even build a fancy ice hotel like like the one in Sweden.
I HAVE GRAND PLANS....
We did a session for his Xposure show back in October and last week we were summoned to XFM Headquarters to play some favourite songs and talk about our new EP.
John has been a staunch supporter of our band since the very beginning. He's an old school genuine alternative music fan and it's great to see such people still around in the industry today. It gives us all hope.
I wrote a post a while back about John Peel and it seems to me that the person picking up the pieces of such a legacy is John Kennedy.
Check out his show, phone in/text in, request songs and bands as your voice is being heard by someone out there and that's a great thing.
Friday, 18 December 2009
He was one of the few who kept me company at The George last Christmas when I had nowhere else to go.
Our gig on New Years Eve will be dedicated to him. In the meantime, search and explore this remarkable artist that deserves to be remembered and adored.
Martin Selfish Cunt
Matthew Selfish Cunt
Artrocker have reissued the EP for a short time so download here if you want to hear it:
Thursday, 17 December 2009
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Its a Wednesday night and I’ve spent the past week completely rushed off my well heeled feet, so much so, the other day I actually fell over as I was so exhausted! I was concealed under some shrubbery for about 2 mins concerned about where the hell my shoes flew off to during my decent into the wild shrubbery of a London alleyway. It was a pretty comical way to end the night I must say and to think I was more concerned over my shoes than the gash on my knee, ughhh I hate to think this says a lot about me...anyways if I lost my darn shoes I'll be walking around London bare foot which you will have to agree is not ideal in this weather. Anyways...yes it's a Wednesday night and I think to myself I have got to get away from the computer, all day working, working, working (which I have to admit as much as I complain...I actually enjoy), I digress AGAIN...so its a Wednesday night...I finally tear myself away from the computer and decide to sit down and watch a film. A pretty normal way to end the day relaxing eh? So I decide to go all 'Bridget Jones' on myself and watch a rom com and I ain't your rom com kinda gal, AT ALL. Yep, I have actually spent the last 1 hour and 30 minutes of my life watching some hybrid of Four Weddings, My best Friends Wedding and Pretty Woman. I imagine that was the exact pitch the producer used to sell the film as well...'it's gonna be a hit' etc etc. And I put my hands up...I enjoyed it. Yes, this hard arsed Bird enjoyed a rom com AND i was happy the guy and the girl got in on and will live happily ever after. I even found myself smiling at the end of the film, COMPLETELY INVOLUNTARILY I may add! Shock, followed by complete horror.
Am I a romantic at heart?! Or has my judgment been severely impaired by lack of sleep????
Ok, so there isn't much intellectual deep rooted symbolism over whether Richard Gere gets with the sex worker or if Hugh Grant gets with the hot American Lady or whether Julia Roberts does what ever she needs to do at her best friend's wedding but I have to admit, I just spent the last 90 mins of my life hooked on whether the chick from Will and Grace was gonna get with the guy from My Best Friends Wedding in another rom com flick about a single woman attending her sister's wedding with a male escort to make her ex fiancé jealous (fiancé is also best man at said wedding). Hmmm I see a rom com pattern here..... Complete plagrism aside, I don't care that whoever wrote the screenplay for this film is a rip off merchant, all I care about is whether or not I was entertained AND I was entertained. I was entertained by the sheer cringiness of it and the complete brazen approach to constructing a storyline based on our stereotypical outlook on love and relationships. We're all aware that something as intimate and complex as forming human connections is the most beautiful and at times destructive part of our human instinct but simplifying a complex connection like this in someway leaves people feeling hopeful in a sense. It lulls us into a state of euphoria, even for a moment. Everything with the world seems so much more simple and clean cut in films like this. The biggest problem is whether or not the bride will get jilted and not whether she can pay her bills or feed the kids.
I disengaged my brain for an hour and a half and why not? We’re all allowed our guilty pleasures and I was entertained and in some ways felt cleansed by the complete escape from reality.
I think I’m going to sleep easy tonight knowing the chick from Will and Grace got with her male escort and more than anything…I find this pretty surreal...
Rom com hell, heaven, hell, heaven?
Whatever, I'm off to dream about male escorts and weddings now. Night, night.
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
Myself and two friends have been sending each other some of our poems today. For me, I think I love poetry even more than I love music and I guarantee you, that's a whole lot of love there. I first fell in love with words and as I became older, fell in love with the way words were arranged to music. Most of my lyrics are based on poems I've written in the past.
I used to be involved in spoken word and my last spoken word performance was at Patti Smith's Meltdown Festival in 2005. Getting up and reading poetry in front of Patti Smith was no easy feat. Since then, I've thought about getting back into it but a growing lack of confidence and fear for something I once loved so dearly has overwhelmed me.
Anyway, I have begun taking little steps towards reacquainting myself with the old, lyrical me. This poetry correspondence is one of those ways.
It's always nice to find kindred spirits in whatever you do and the hardest battle is finding them. Personally, I feel that poetry is a dying art form and want to devote a lot of time next year into regenerating it in whatever way I can. I hope I am proved wrong and that words are out there thriving and I am just an unaware, simple soul.
Monday, 14 December 2009
Some great releases this year. My favourite ten below.
1. Fever Ray - Fever Ray
2. Projekt A-Ko - Yoyodyne
3. Sonic Youth - The Eternal
4. Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions - Through The Devil Softly
5. Hatcham Social - You Dig The Tunnel I'll Hide The Soil
6. Lou Barlow - Goodnight Unknown
7. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz
8. The Raveonettes - In and Out of Control
9. The Whitest Boy Alive - Rules
10. Beirut - Live at the Music Hall of Williamsburg
Karen Carpenter, I love you!
Coupled with the superb songwriting skills of her brother Richard Carpenter and the legendary Burt Bacharach, The Carpenters wrote such beautiful, beautiful pop songs.
I would love to collaborate with Richard Carpenter - anyone know where he lives?
Sunday, 13 December 2009
I did the whole eating chocolate in bed thing yesterday which made me think of Barbara Cartland for some reason... I wasn't wearing a frilly nightie or a gown with a caribou trim but I should have...
The carol singers are getting progressively louder....
I'm thinking of going to my local carol service this year, haven't done it for years. It always amuses me when people get over zealous with the singing, song books shaking as they hit the high notes! Oh yeaaaah. I'm definitely going this year!
A friend of mine recently went to her nephews school nativity play where he played the role of a star to dramatic effect so i am told! Oh how i miss the excitement of the school nativity! I once played Mary when I was 5/6 years old. The role meant I had to sing a christmas carol to the Jesus dolly i was cradling quite haphazardly i must say. For example I'm pretty sure babies, even those who are the sons of God should not be carried upside down etc etc... I remember how as I was singing a rendition of Away In The Manger I forgot the second verse of the carol. Children being so honest about things, I just stopped singing, put my hand against my mouth in overly dramatic shock and exclaimed, 'Oh dear!!! I don't know the words!' I have to say I got a lot of 'ahhhs' and 'how cute' for that little escapade. Major drama and what a drama queen! I even have the whole thing on video somewhere. These days I'm happy to say I'm a lot more professional about things... C-Bird was an angel at the same nativity and had to hold her arms up in the air like a halo for 3 or 4 minutes, quite some feat for a 5 year old kid! haha But the ol' girl got through it, even though her costume consisted of a white bed sheet and a tinsel halo that kept falling over her eyes. What a pro! At least she didn't have to wear a tea towel over her head like our shepherd friends in the nativity.
I have a 2 year old nephew and I can't wait until he's old enough to be part of the school nativity. Moments like these are pure gold. My parents still go on about it!
The Christmas tree is up and my house currently looks like a giant ball of tinsel, probably a major fire hazard but if every inch of my walls aren't covered in the stuff then it ain't Christmas.
HO HO HO MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Will be at Decasia and The George Tavern's New Years Eve Party which is John Waters themed!
Join us and this great line up!
A DIRTY SHAME NEW YEARS EVE!
A very unique tribute to the one and only JOHN WATERS!
We will have everything for your absolute pleasure - performers, live characters, musicians, DJs, flamingos! Let's go sexing? Hell yeah!
Guests are encouraged to come dressed as their favourite characters.
The performers on the night will be as superb and eclectic as ever!
We will tantalisingly be revealing the line up in the next coming weeks. The George is the best pub in the world and there is limited capacity so get your tickets NOW!!
*** DECASIA CLUB
"Decasia typifed the multidisciplinary culture shuffle that thrilled boom-time clubbers" DAZED & CONFUSED
*** DIVINE INCEST - Dee 'Cry Baby' Fodor and Miss Felicity 'Babs Johnson' Hayward!
"I am Divine Incest, a monthly club night and occasionally an irregular gender bending sex mess."
*** Princess Julia
“the face of a goddess” - (Boy George)
***Dorian Cox (The Long Blondes)
'They produced two great albums (Someone To Drive You Home and Couples), and a pretty weighty stack of classy singles and b-sides (Ten Reasons To End It , Christmas Is Cancelled and Long Blonde to name a few). These, along with their sense of fearlessness (in their music, attitude and look), will be their legacy.' The Guardian
*** Adam Dineen (Death Disco)
SYNTH / NEW WAVE / ELECTRONIC BODY MUSIC / ITALO DISCO/ 80's ALTERNATIVE / MINIMAL WAVE / FRENCH COLDWAVE & FUTURE
*** Jungs and Technik
*** The Liberty Snake
*** Brave Exhibitions
"Brave Exhibitions is cold/minimal/no wave muzak club that happens sporadically in east London and east Berlin. Bands, performance artists, and guest DJs play. People dance. Then we all go home."
OMG Just Confirmed::::::
AN EXPERIMENT ON A BIRD IN THE AIR PUMP
"In times when everything seems sewn up, we need someone to tear it apart. In an age of smoothly sellable corporate indie, we need someone to take a knife to the façade. At the start of 2009, the band stepping up to that challenge is An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump." The Independent on Sunday
*** ORAL ORAL
"This bunch of demented faggots really rocked Brave Exhibitions last night. They're like Crass with John Waters as creative advisor." James Lowry, Brave Exhibitions
AND A WHIFF OF DIVINE INCEST
BOOK YOUR PLACE FOLKS! ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY OF COURSE!
£10 in advance on We Got Tickets
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
Click here and download away!
The Girls Are Podcast No. 1
Fever Ray - If I Had A Heart
Mika Miko - Take Hold
Lydia Lunch - Spooky
The Shermans - Dumbhead
Dum Dum Girls - Ship of Love
Mazzy Star - Ghost Highway
Blue On Blue - See You In Day
Camera Obscura - Eighties Fan
Theoretical Girl - O Holy Night
Monday, 30 November 2009
Sunday, 29 November 2009
Thursday, 26 November 2009
Sunday, 15 November 2009
On Thursday December 10th to be precise. Come along to see some of the best female fronted bands around - VERONICA FALLS and BATTANT. I love them!
Plus a whole heap of amazing DJs:
NO PAIN IN POP
GOD DON'T LIKE IT
Be seeing you,
Friday, 13 November 2009
I actually had the misfortune of seeing them live once and wrote about it here:
England really doesn't need its own version of Avril Lavigne 10 years after the genuine one married and divorced some dude from Sum 41 and turned into a blonde polished white teeth monstrosity. One is enough and may she dither in peace.
Bands like Japanese Voyeurs skillfully make both men and women seem like criminals in music. We have the stereotypical blonde nauseating frontwoman who does the most annoying thing ever - playing fairweather guitar i.e. she can't play and therefore doesn't play when she 'sings' badly as that much concentration would blow her tiny pea brain. You then have the 4 long-haired 'I'm-going-to-wear-a-Kiss-tshirt-to-prove-I-know-about-music' dumb imbecile backing band ie. session musicians who are past it and not talented enough to create original music for themselves.
Dumb? Couldn't have said it better myself.
If you want even more of a laugh, go to their Myspace and read about their songwriting technique. Bands this bad have to be named and shamed for the sake of modern music and for my own sanity.
Saturday, 7 November 2009
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
Thursday, 29 October 2009
I feel that no matter what people say and where their allegiances lie, something very exciting has been happening on the London music scene in the last couple of years. I feel that being a musician in a few bands right now is exciting even though the main crippling fact about it is the lack of dough on offer...However every interview/article that I read on the London music scene doesn't satisfy me and people still get it wrong despite you spelling things out in black and white. Hence I've decided to do a film documentary on it - From The Inside Out.
I haven't scripted or planned anything. I don't think that's the way I want to do it. I just want to be an observer but probe those who I feel can shed more light on everything. It's just going to be me, my camera and London's music. That's all there needs to be really. No flashy sets or staged antics. Just life, the way I have seen and lived it over the past year.
Filming commences tomorrow on my return to London.
We DJ at Reeperbahn this Friday October 30th at Lati Bar on Rivington Place - free entry all night - come along!
We also host our own Halloween party at The Griffin on fright night itself - Saturday Oct 31st from 8pm-11pm free entry!
Come along or DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!
Sunday, 25 October 2009
Here's the info:
Mon 23rd November - You will be able to buy it on vinyl exclusively from any Rough Trade store and before anyone else!
Mon 30th November - iTunes Worldwide release!
Monday December 7th - Vinyl release worldwide!
We will be announcing some new live dates for both the end of this year and for 2010. Looks like the night owl lifestyle and all the highs and lows that come with it will carry on for a while longer....
Saturday, 17 October 2009
DO YOUR OWN THING!
The Breeders doing ‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun’ is one of my favourite covers. I love how they add an extra ferocious, raw energy to the song. It seems so much more brutal and unhinged but in quieter moments, there’s this lulling quality about it before it rips your guts out. Wow!
The Breeders – Happiness Is A Warm Gun
THE ORIGINAL! The Beatles – Happiness Is A Warm Gun
In another twist why don’t you make a video about it?
Video artist, Pipilotti Rist used the opening lyrics as a basis to one of her video pieces. ‘I’m Not The Girl Who Misses Much’.
Friday, 16 October 2009
Friday, 25 September 2009
And I knew
Catch me flying in the sun
Catch me drinking of your wine
I'm gonna put something in you
Make the devil feel surprised
All your sisters wanna fly
Around my golden sky
Around my golden sky
Just because you feel, hollow inside it's real
Just because you feel, hollow inside it's real
I'm gonna put something in you
Make the devil feel surprised
Make the devil feel surprised
And I knew I was close to you
And I knew
Catch me flying in the sun
Catch me drinking of your wine
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
Wednesday, 2 September 2009
I'm so happy to announce we will be supporting The Raveonettes in London on Monday Sep 7th! It will be their first UK show of the year and not only am I excited to be playing for them, I am also excited about hearing their new material, 'In And Out Of Control' which is released on October 6th.
I've mentioned how much I love the band in various interviews/blog posts in the past but I don't think they know just how much they mean to me. I've been a fan of Sune's work for half of my life. I heard his first project, Psyched Up Janis whilst barely in my teens when their song 'I Died In My Teens' was played on the radio. I bought their album and was totally obsessed with them. I followed Sune's other pursuit, an amazing surf band called The Tremolo Beer Gut and the first Raveonettes song I heard was 'Beat City' which was the only amazing song on a Q Magazine compilation I acquired. I bought Whip It On and Chain Gang and I had found my most perfect band since Nirvana.
When I met Sune and Sharin over 4 years ago, life was very very different for me. I was a very shy and awkward fan of theirs and interviewed them for my fanzine, Soma Soma Scene. I emailed their lovely manager Scott telling him about my amazing new web fanzine only thing was that at the time, it was yet to be put into practice. I'd got a small team of people together but we hadn't even got a single web page up. I didn't have a clue how to do it. However Scott immediately replied and agreed to an interview and asked if I wanted to do it by email or face to face. I jumped at the latter and had to wait a good 3 months before they were going to be in the UK. I was so excited in those 3 months and plotted every single question I had ever wanted to ask them.
I interviewed the band in March 2005 and meeting them and seeing them live was a pretty seminal moment in my life. At the time I was studying for a career I later detested and I was torn between following my brain and following my heart. Thank god I am now doing the latter. But at the time, I was totally new and naive to the music industry and bands...The Raveonettes were the first band who supported my fanzine. This initiated the confidence I later developed for writing, which had been a passion of mine from a young age however I had neglected it somewhat at university. They were such great sports that I felt confident to carry on writing and carry on with my fanzine. Through my fanzine I met other like-minded creatives for the first time in my life and started doing showcases of upcoming artists we had interviewed..this has now developed into Decasia and Sick Club. I was completely touched and inspired by Sune's own personal blogs on his Myspace that I felt it was important to do the same for our fans - hence I began this blog.
Since that initial meeting on a cold spring day in March 2005, I've kept in touch with Sune, Sharin and Scott and cherish them dearly. They are one of the few genuine bands out there that I know. They are constantly writing and releasing amazing music, constantly touring, constantly keeping in touch with all their fans...they have a real passion for what they do and do it for all the right reasons. They are just so so inspiring.
You can read my original interview with them here:
And buy tickets for the London show with us in support here:
Thursday, 27 August 2009
Anyway here are some pics from the shoot. A cold summer's evening on an east London rooftop...buckets of blood, virginal girls, lights, camera, action!!
The team assembles in Maaike's studio:
Cue bucket/pan of blood:
Cue Maaike's naughty little pup Seymour who tries to eat all the dresses and/or my toes. He's obsessed with feet:
Cue Maaike, her stylist and the dresses:
Cue ethereal beauty who has no idea what evil is in store for her:
TO BE CONTINUED...!
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
I've been listening to Do You Love Me Now Jnr on repeat since we got back from Austria. A rare Breeders B-Side which J Mascis remixed and added vocals to. Justin from Weekender told me about it and I tracked it down and fell in love with it.
This has reminded me of yet another one of my rants about music these days. What the hell has happened to B-Sides? Gone are the days where you would stick a 4 song single on and fall in love with ALL the songs and not just the single. One band whose B-Sides were always phenomenal, was Belly. Their astounding B-Sides as well as album tracks just confirmed what an amazingly talented band they were - they didn't just bung a crap remix on for a laugh. They gave their fans real music everytime. This is why I admire bands of old so much - the music, the ethos, everything was just so much more genuine then.
It may sound extreme but I think a large part of this genuinity died when John Peel died. No matter what people say, I definitely believe this. I grew up in a tiny steel mining village in the north east of England. 40 miles from Newcastle and 30 miles from Durham. Seriously, it was in the middle of absolute nowhere. However, I managed to fall in love with my escapism of music through the radio. I heard Urusei Yatsura, Mazzy Star, PJ Harvey on Radio 1 and managed to track down all their early releases in an indie record store in Newcastle. Seriously, listening to good music changed my life. The infamous Peel sessions were aimed solely at pure music fans - hearing bands play album tracks, covers and B-Sides. It just feels like no one really cares anymore and that hurts having finally given up a lot to be where we are right now. I really wish we met John Peel and would've given anything to have done a session for him....
I never want to release anything with just a remix as a B-Side. I think remixes serve their own purpose but being in a band, you need to constantly challenge yourself and give people as much as you can. You should never feel you are wasting a song by putting it out as a B-Side. Go away and write 5 more great songs instead.
Do You Love Me Now Jnr - download it here:
Check out the entire Peel sessions back catalogue here:
Sunday, 23 August 2009
Hands down for me, is 'Yoyodyne' by Projekt A-Ko, a band composed of 3 former Urusei Yatsura members - Fergus Lawrie (guitar/vocals), Ian Graham (drums) and Elaine Graham (bass/vocals).
Go to http://www.projektako.co.uk/yoyodyne/, buy the album and you will have a great life.
More songs up on their Myspace:
I am so happy that there is a band like this out there, creating this type of music and doing it so damn well!!
Monday, 17 August 2009
But alas, life always pulls us in different directions and for Maaike it was fashion that lured her to adventures far and wide. Her work is absolutely stunning - her clothes have a very timeless, classic yet quirky feel - a real reflection of Maaike's own unique style and personality.
I was very happy when she approached me about working together a few weeks ago. I'm very excited to be collaborating on a short film for her London Fashion Week show which takes place on September 21st in London.
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
Tuesday, 4 August 2009
1. My bed- I still have the same bed now, ok so the mattress has changed but the bed post is still the same. It was originally a bunk bed when C-Bird and I shared a room when we were 8 years old. When we were kids C-Bird and I were having one of our petty arguments over who was going to turn the light out as we were both already tucked into bed and too lazy to get out and flick the switch. She tried leaning out of her top bunk to turn off the light but fell head first out of her bunk and on to the floor. On her way down her brow hit the top of my bottom bunk. There was blood everywhere so as you can imagine pretty horrific for an 8 year old but I remember feeling extremely jealous when she got back from the hospital after getting her brow stitched with a bag of sweets and a couple of days off school to boot. SNOT fair AND she dented my bed frame. Pah. Actually I still think my bed is the love of my life.
2. Michael Jackson- It was all because of the cover for 'Bad'. Leather studs, perm, tight pants, smooth dance moves...but I was only 6. I must admit in adulthood I'm no longer a fan of perms, tight pants scare me (basically they're leggings right?) as for smooth dance moves…I’m still hook, line and sinker. C-Bird and I had a life size poster of Michael Jackson on our wall which faced our bunk bed but my father insisted we take it down after a while as it used to scare us at night…true story.
3. River Phoenix- ok who DIDN’T fancy him?! As with most people, you tend to copy your older (much cooler) siblings. C-Bird and I have an older sister, who we thought was the coolest person in the world. If she wanted to wear stonewashed denim (de rigueur) and not wash her hair…then we wouldn’t either because it was COOOOOOL and she thought River Phoenix was hottest guy alive so naturally we did too. I’ve recently been watching his films again, ‘Dog Fight’, ‘My Own Private Idaho’ and ‘Stand By Me’ (which was a personal favourite growing up!) and yes that tweenie crush I had is still there. RIP.
4. Keanu Reeves- Again because of the big sister. In my ‘Own Private Idaho’ you get a River and Keanu double fix. Yes it’s a film that must be revered for its artistic merit etc etc, Gus Van Sant etc etc but lets cut to the chase here I’m pretty sure a million girls swooned over this union in the 90’s. I wouldn’t recommend ‘Point Break’ though unless you’re a Swayze fan because frankly Patrick Swayze’s blonde hair and beard in the film is wrong.
5. Christian Slater- ‘Heathers’, need I say more? Ok so there’s a psycho in the school, there’s a f***ing psycho in the school! But…he’s actually fairly attractive and he talks like Jack Nicholson (why is this attractive?)…oh my god- there’s a psycho in the school and we want to be Winona Ryder. Fast forward 15 years…let’s just forget about what he looks like these days after all, those arched eyebrows DIDN’T seem creepy when he was 20.
Honourable mention: Johnny Depp- because we still fancied him when he had scissors for hands (again we wanted to be Winona Ryder…) AND he wore a crop top in Nightmare On Elm Street. Look!
I was obviously planning on marrying all of them but you know how plans change.
I love this little write up in Fader Magazine. I know I always champion the zines but I get really excited when music mags hit the nail on the head and the writer of this piece certainly gets what we're about...My So Called Life, Obama and Oprah?! I couldn't have summed it up better myself!
I have yet to see the articles in V Magazine and Nylon but do check them out.
Also a big shout out to my newest partner in crime, Miss Princess Julia! We've been hanging out all week and causing trouble all over town...hell yeah! Julia is amazing - a real inspiration and east end institution....we are planning some future projects which is very exciting!!
In the meantime, read Julia's new Vice fashion blog here:
And here's Julia in one of the many iconic videos she was in. Perhaps in a Bird vid some day? WATCH THIS SPACE!
Saturday, 1 August 2009
Social faux pas number 2- you’re walking down the street and the wind blows your skirt up exposing you not only to the elements but to the men on the building site nearby…pull skirt down and pretend it never happened even though the builders close by are wolf whistling you to social death. Curtsey, give them a wink then walk on by.
Social faux pas number 3- you’ve decided to break into those ridiculous shoes with the 6 inch heel- why on earth you decided to wear them on a shopping trip is the most stupid decision you have ever made. On entering a shop being off kilter you knock into a rack of bags which in turn develops into a domino effect knocking another three racks, one…after….the…other. You watch aghast. By this time you’re on the floor (stupid shoes). Show no fear, it’s obviously because you’re feeling very faint and definitely coming down with something and need a glass of water (NOT because of stupid footwear). Down that glass of water in one, take shoes off and run out of the shop then eventually home…or pub for a stiff drink.
Obviously, these are merely examples and not situations that have happened to me…ahem…ahem.
I was mindlessly googling today and found a whole page dedicated to reversing a social faux pas. So read below and reverse your social faux pas in four easy steps (after you’ve initially recovered from embarresment of course).
From this website: http://www.ehow.com/how_2202478_reverse-social-faux-pas.html
• Step 1
Don’t show fear. The minute you realize you’ve committed a social faux pas, which will be obvious by the stares, the awkward clearing of throats, the winces passing over people’s countenances or even the pregnant silence, your first instinct will be to wince back, stand stilted or return the silence. This first crucial moment after a no-no often determines how long the humiliation will last. Cut the apparent tension in the room right away by laughing or making an off-hand comment. Sometimes a smile does the trick.
• Step 2
After releasing the initial tension with a laugh or a joke, address the social wrong you’ve committed. Pretending you yourself didn’t notice it is almost as embarrassing as the social faux pas itself. Use an appropriate tone to rectify the situation. For example, if you called your boss the wrong name, seriously apologize with a legitimate-sounding explanation. If it’s an outfit malfunction, come up with a light, witty explanation.
• Step 3
Don’t hide or act meekly for the rest of the meeting, evening or event. If you keep your cool, engage in charming conversation and make yourself present and unashamed, others will follow suit and keep their cool. If you act shy and bumbling the whole night, your behavior will be a constant reminder to everyone else that you did something worthy of shame.
• Step 4
You’ve addressed the situation, behaved with aplomb throughout the event and now it’s time to forget the social faux pas. If you find yourself re-living the embarrassing blunder, talk it over with friends who you know will make you feel foolish for ever dwelling on it.
Monday, 27 July 2009
We're getting together with Hatcham Social to bring you VAMP NIGHT!
A tribute to Grace Jones and the amazing film!
SUNDAY AUGUST 2ND
6-8PM: Record fair/jumble sale - bring along whatever you want to sell and keep your eyes peeled for little treasures!
8PM: VAMP screening
10pm-12am - Birds/Hatchams DJs
FREE ENTRY ALL NIGHT!
Monday, 20 July 2009
In the meantime, the Hatcham boys' Crocodile single is available now so is their album You Dig The Tunnel I'll Hide The Soil, go buy it! Check them out! www.myspace.com/hatchamsocial
This is their song Sidewalk which we also love:
Also keep your ears to the ground for a Hatcham/Birds club night coming your way soon!
Sunday, 19 July 2009
My term to describe the current few good bands emerging from London. You heard it here first. Now answer me this, why are only about 2 of them playing 1234 festival?
Sort this out and break out of your comfort zones.
For the sake of modern music, it'll be worth it.
Saturday, 18 July 2009
Thursday, 16 July 2009
Isn't it funny when things you always hear about but never thought would affect you, begin to impose on your everyday life?
The recession, recession, recession is all you hear about and you then realise that being unemployed in the literal sense of the word but being a full-time musician, is damn tough. Would we be in the same position if we made music 2 years ago? I think, probably not. Even upto a year ago, there seemed to be more money floating around in the industry. Go back 5 to 10 years and if we'd been in the same economical and musical climate then I'm sure there would have been no Lily Allen and Arctic Monkeys. They just broke through at the right time and I think they will be the last of the major artists for some time. Yes there is Florence, Little Boots etc but they have all rushed out at once this year and I don't think many will be remembered in a year's time. They are all of the same ilk with little that separates them I feel.
Currently, swine flu has hit Shoreditch life. At least 3 people I know have it and usual faces at my club night send me apologetic 'I really think I'm coming down with swine flu, I'm really sorry' messages. This damn global pandemic is now infringing on my social life! What I want to know is, what are the risks of dying from it now that Cherie Blair has it and more importantly, what the hell happened to Bird Flu?! Wasn't that meant to wipe out the entire planet last summer?!
Boy. Times are hard. Life is hard. It's like the plagues of Egypt all over again. Plus there were flying ants all over Shoreditch today! Sin city definitely feels very sinful...
Tuesday, 14 July 2009
During our stay in Chicago, we had access to lots of DVDs in the studio we stayed in. I was incredibly happy when I saw a copy of 'An Angel At My Table' which is the film version of Janet Frame's autobiography.
I'm a huge fan of Janet Frame. I have a real connection with her work and those of other confessional writers such as Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton. I love raw, honest, passionate writing and find it very inspiring to be able to write about your feelings to the world in such an open way.
If you have yet to check out any of Janet Frame's writing then her novel, 'Owls Do Cry' is a great starting place as well as her poetry.
It is hard for us to enter
the kind of despair they must have known
and because it is hard we must get in by breaking
the lock if necessary for we have not the key,
though for them there was no lock and the surrounding walls
were supple, receiving as waves, and they drowned
though not lovingly; it is we only
who must enter in this way.
Temptations will beset us, once we are in.
We may want to catalogue what they have stolen.
We may feel suspicion; we may even criticise the décor
of their suicidal despair, may perhaps feel
it was incongruously comfortable.
Knowing the temptations then
let us go in
deep to their despair and their skin and know
they died because words they had spoken
returned always homeless to them.
Sunday, 12 July 2009
D-Bird has posted up a few photos in a previous blog entry and as she mentioned, yes we look so happy! We had an amazing time over in Chicago and I have been bending any free ear around me to talk about how spectacular the city is. We ventured downtown and admired the Chicago skyline on an open top double decker. The city looks just how you would imagine it to look in the days of Al Capone. I took a few photos of the city which will be up once I’ve finally gotten over the jet lag. I’ve been slobbing it the past couple of days in bed and waking up just in time for quiz time on Channel 5… with all the other insomniacs. I’m usually an early riser so I’ve been somewhat out of sorts the past couple days since landing home. I’ve also come to realise how annoying the presenters on those quiz time shows are and in my delirium have had to strap my hands down in order to stop myself from dialling in on the shows in an attempt to win the £30,000 prize for guessing secret numbers and words on grids etc. It kind of takes me back to when I became mildly obsessed with Deal or No Deal…oh my.
Back to Chicago…the whole place for some strange reason reminded me of denim, the stone washed kind. The street lighting gave the whole city a completely different hue and atmosphere from London. As much I love London, Chicago had a warm feeling about it- it could be because we were there in the summer and not during their arctic winters…but I loved it! The people were so friendly from people on the street giving us directions to acquaintances and new friends we met/made during our time there. There was a sense of openness I haven’t really experienced in any other city I have visited before. The city shared the feeling of a 'don’t just save a smile for your friends' attitude which I have to admit I was compltely sucked in by. Hook, line, sinker- I was smiling and saying 'Hello' to strangers on the street and in our hotel by day 4. Being open, friendly, kind…major basics in forming long standing relationships at times in the past had eluded me not out of rudeness but more out of shyness in turn making me appear stand-offish/rude/etc, etc. These are aspects of a personality I most definitely do not share but through ways of acting with certain people in the past and at times present has meant that I have been viewed in a not so flattering light leading to words and actions becoming misconstrued and misinterpreted. I’m not the most self-centred person I know but I am not saint enough to say I haven’t been on many occasions. What struck me the most whilst being out in Chicago was the open friendliness of the people there, whether it was for landing bigger tips or an actual genuine act of friendliness the point that stands is- if you smile the world smiles with you. No more of this I hate the world, my world, my life, bullshit. If I am ever in that state of morose mind then I’m not going to sit on my arse or fester in bed and blame every social aspect surrounding me for making me feel this way. I’m going to face it head on with a big up yours to social deterioration, after all my finger is better up in the air than stuck up my arse.
Saturday, 11 July 2009
Candy says I've come to hate my body
and all that it requires in this world
Candy says I'd like to know completely
what others so discreetly talk about
I'm gonna watch the blue birds fly over my shoulder
I'm gonna watch them pass me by
Maybe when I'm older
What do you think I'd see
If I could walk away from me
Candy says I hate the quiet places
that cause the smallest taste of what will be
Candy says I hate the big decisions
that cause endless revisions in my mind
I'm gonna watch the blue birds fly over my shoulder
I'm gonna watch them pass me by
Maybe when I'm older
What do you think I'd see
If I could walk away from me
Thursday, 9 July 2009
I've had one of the best weeks of my life. We all had such an amazing time in the States. I've come back elated but also a little sad it all came to an end and we had to leave. C'est la vie, non but I couldn't have wished for anything more. I have 3 living idols and I've met them all, 2 of them since being in this band. I never ever thought I would let alone work with one of them. He was everything I thought he would be and more. A true professional and a true gentleman.
I've uploaded some pics from the trip that I took on a $10 digital camera that's the size of a keyring that I bought from Walgreens, our favourite store over there. What struck me the most, is how happy we all look in the photos.
Good times...So thrilled we had this opportunity...