Monday, July 16, 2007

Weekender : one of the most influential blogs on the independent UK music scene, a real alternative to the mainstream

FREE MUSIC: Is it too early for an American Early Years? That band's use of swirling Spiritualized drone in rock structures is echoed in People Noise, a Louisville duo comprising the guitarist from post-punk revival also-rans VHS Or Beta and Boom Bip's drummer. The Killing Fields also suggests a lot of post-grunge and The Bends going on.

HEY YOU GET OFFA MYSPACE: Oxford sextet Witches claim to "write songs for people who need warming up on a cold night". Presumably a mid-American shack without central heating, as this smart, intricate songwriting crying out for top class recording - not that these are substandardly produced, it just needs to be great sounding on surround sound systems - contains not so much what the band call "a cross between Radiohead, The Flaming Lips and Love" but definite reflections of Sparklehorse, Yo La Tengo, Belle & Sebastian's tender moments and Wilco when they weren't MOR. They're playing the local hootenanny Truck, which we'll get back to in a moment, at 10am on Sunday morning. What sort of slot is that? Have they done something very criminal?

VISUAL REPRESENTATION: "English football club A.F.C. Bournemouth has been known to play various Pavement songs during pre-match warm-ups. In 2005, following the release of Stephen Malkmus' Face the Truth, an A.F.C. Bournemouth supporter, outraged by the album's alleged lack of artistic integrity, burned Stephen Malkmus in effigy at the gates to Fitness First Stadium." That, we promise you, is on Pavement's Wikipedia entry, with a link to the club's website front page attached so nobody, perhaps rightly, queries what, how or why. For no real reason whatsoever let us show you live versions of Summer Babe and Here, the appearance on Space Ghost Coast To Coast and the unforgettable video to Malkmus' Jo Jo's Jacket plus Shynola making the thing, a process which seems to include precious little Malkmus.

VIRAL MARKETING: So this weekend we return to a point somewhere in a field in Oxfordshire - Steventon, to be precise, for Truck Ten. Much ballyhoo is expected, as much as we enjoyed last year with any luck, albeit somewhat wetter if the ten day forecasts are any judge. Corporate Anthems will be previewing the best of the bill from tomorrow, but before then from Truck Nine Jetplane Landing have uploaded to their Myspace a very unstably shot clip of Effect A Change (from Once Like A Spark) from last year coloured by a crowdsurfing Sam Duckworth, while digging around also finds the end of set closer Acrimony, a professionally shot half of the Mystery Jets' Half In Love With Elizabeth, the festival's own compilation of events and Keyboard Choir and their DIY robots.

FALLING OFF A BLOG: Hip Young Gunslinger, one of the post-Popjustice types but none the worse off for that (apart from how they all like Hadouken!), says it's "about anything, everything and (frequently) nothing from the world of pop". Sounds like our kind of blog!

EVERYBODY GET RANDOM: The best interview structures are the easiest, they say. The Line Of Best Fit's 20 Questions puts that to the test, with a brantub of semi-random questioning for Grizzly Bear, Jeremy Warmsley, Lucky Soul, iLiKETRAiNS, The Thermals, the Mystery Jets, Mark Ronson, Loney Dear, The Kissaway Trail, Fields, The Hussy's, The Hold Steady, The Album Leaf, Tracy Thorn, Giant Drag and, blimey, Siobhan Donaghy.

IN OTHER NEWS: The 2007 Mercury Music Prize nominations are announced on Monday, and after our 7/12 and 6/12 efforts of the last two years we feel duty bound to have another go at what the judging panel will select as the year's twelve best British albums. So, advance congratulations to: Acoustic Ladyland, Amy Winehouse, Bat For Lashes, Beverley Knight, the Cribs, Jamie T, Jarvis, Klaxons, Kris Drever, Maps, Scott Matthews and The Good The Bad And The Queen. Award night is 4th September, and we're confident in stating that this list will be more accurate than Scotland On Sunday's confident prediction of nominations for Arcade Fire and Rufus Wainwright.


Ben said...

Enjoy Truck this weekend. Steventon is less than ten minutes from my new base (south Abingdon) and I pass through it every morning on the way to work - I've been watching the preparations for the festival progress. A shame, then, that I didn't get a ticket and instead am in London...

Tom said...

5/12, you're on a downward path. Why does no one but me see that Favourite Worst Nightmare was approx. 1 zillion times worse than the debut?

Simon said...

Ben: if it's any help, there were a couple of spares going on the official forum, although if you're in London it's probably for something you won't be able to get out of come to think of it. How wet does it look?

Tom: more on the Mercurys later on, but it's the panel's fault for thinking that it wouldn't look bad on this year if previous winners got nominated again.

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