Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Indietracks 2014 in brief, day 2

Quickly following the first Indietracks Festival briefing with the summary of what happened in our particular Saturday 26th of July!

The Good
Dean Wareham, indie rock teacher
Photo: Bloodbuzzed
Very good bands: Thee AHs are a pretty special group, with quite a unique singer and songs that mute from the 90s to twee to abrasion. Keep an eye on them. Spanish combo Linda Guilala was already recommended in this Blog, and with a reason. Stormy and dreamy music.
Dean Wareham: The clashing drama was resolved by chance. After seeing The Blue Minkies (didn't get them), we couldn't make it to the church, so unfortunately missed Nat Johnson. Then went for The Popguns, but something was missing. So we ended seeing Dean Wareham. And what a great choice it was. There were some sound issues (not the best stage in that sense) and a hot-as-hell indoor stage, but Mr. Wareham and Co. built an in crescendo gig that turned into something gorgeous, heavy on his latest album as well as Galaxie 500 rescues. 'Tugboat' and closing 'Fourth of July' were just mind-blowing.

The Bad
Gruff Rhys singing the story of
John Evans. Photo: Bloodbuzzed
Headliner downer: Don't get me wrong. Absolutely nothing against Gruff Rhys. Liked Super Furry Animals and, although haven't followed his solo career, 'American Interior' sounds like a quite attractive, intriguing concept record. But headliner? His performance was more suitable for an intimate venue and not the last gig of the night...
Dusty soccer: Yes, the image of kids playing next to the main outdoor stage under the sunny skies is quite bucolic and says a lot about the relaxed vibe of the Festival. But is quite unhealthy for the ones trying to watch the gigs at the front rows or looking to take some nice pictures of the concerts...

The Queen
Be a Spook! Photo: Bloodbuzzed
The Spook School: They aren't reinventing the wheel, but what a hell of a show they delivered on Saturday. Indiepop with a twist, an edge, an attitude. Wildly fun (Niall, the drummer is hilarious and surreal, didn't know you can put a comic show between tunes with a collection of jokes based on sweating, dust... and tofu), engaging, bursting on urgency. Music has to grab you, move you, and The Spook School already know one or two things about that. A driving force on stage.

Indietracks 2014 in brief, day 1

Back home from our first Indietracks Festival and as we regularly do with Primavera Sound, here's our quick chronicle, summarizing each day. To begin with, Friday 25th of July, the opening day!

The Good
The darlin's of pop
Photo: Bloodbuzzed
Unique vibes: Everyone had "warned" us. And they were right. Relaxed, friendly, pleasant atmosphere. Unique place.
Teen Canteen: The first gig of the Festival was a great discovery. Lovely band that goes straight to our Discoverer section!
Allo Darlin': First time I saw them in Barcelona, a couple of years ago, the gig was pretty disappointing, flat and full of disrespectful, yelling people. But at Indietracks, they just nailed it. Fun, solid performance from start to finish, with band and guests (Emma Kupa from Standard Fare and two Just Joans) enjoying themselves while making the whole crowd happy. Great way to close the opening day!

The Bad
British diet: As one of the best Woody Allen's jokes says: "The food in this place is really terrible. Yes, and such small portions". He probably didn't know about the Festival's food offering, because he would have added. And so expensive!
Warm drinks: Hot sunny day and drinks are hot? No ice? Come on!

Martin Phillipps, bringing the
Dunedin Sound to Derbyshire
Photo: Bloodbuzzed

The Queen
The Chills: Was really looking forward to this. One of the Flying Nun most mythic bands, completely alive and kicking, as the powerful new tunes of forthcoming album 'Silver Bullets' showed. The New Zealand combo was flawless, with frontman Martin Phillipps showing his range and absolute command of the gig. And timeless classics like 'Pink Frost' (oh, these shimmering guitars lines) or 'Heavenly Pop Hit' were stunning. Long live to the Dunedin Sound (the old, the new and the always alive)!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Discoverer 97: new indie findings

Last weekend before flying to Indietracks Festival, so it was kind of mandatory to select our trio of discoveries accordingly. Three bands recently "found" we won't miss at the Railway!

The Hobbes Fanclub. Hailing from Bradford, Northern England, it all began as the solo project of singer/guitarist Leon Carroll, with the transatlantic help (never met in person) of Brazilian Fabiana Karpinski. They managed to came out with a couple of split CD-R with Young Michelin and Leach Me Lemonade in 2010 and 2011 on Cloudberry and Dufflecoat Records. But soon after Fabiana left the project, Leon built a proper band with Louise Phelan (bass) and Adam Theakston (drums) joining forces and putting out their "official" debut 7" 'Your Doubting Heart' on Shelflife in August 2012. Now the circle is completed with the release of first album 'Up At Lagrange' on August 19th. Like The Pains going shoegaze or Boyracer, this is a burst of in-your-face pop enveloped in fuzzy feedback, irresistible boy/girl vocal melodies wrapped in haze and distortion. Mark the date in your calendars. This is a must-have record.

The Yearning. Founded by songwriter/producer Joe Moore in 2010, he slowly crafted and produced their debut EP, 'Jukebox Romance' which, as the promo info evokes, was written in a cupboard under the stairs(!) at his home in Faringdon, UK, over the next two years before the band was signed by Elefant Records in 2012. Although in this first release Justyna Halas and Maddie Dobie shared lead vocal duties, the latest is since then the singer of The Yearning, helped on studio by a bunch of good friends. A couple of digital singles preceded their 2013 mini-lp 'Still in Love'. Finally, after the heartbreaking single 'If I Can't Have You' at the beginning of this summer, we can now celebrate the arrival of 'Dreamboats & Lemonade', first full-length. Vintage warm & delicate pop, delicious from start to finish, carefully arranged and passionately sung in a recognizable girl groups style. Not just a record, it's a pastel tone gift.

The Wendy Darlings. Coming from Clermont-Ferrand, France and formed in 2006, the trio of Suzy (vocals, guitar), Sylvain (vocals, bass), and Baptiste (drums, backing vocals) that sometimes expands into a quartet or even a quintet, debuted in 2008 with EP 'We Come with Friendly Purposes' released on Lostmusic Records, which made some buzz thanks to the single ‘Enormous Pop’. That same year arrived self-released EP 'Sucking Lollipops in Hell', followed by another EP, 'Not a Match Made in Heaven' and 7" 'Girls in Japan' out in 2010 and 2011 respectively in Marineville Records. After a technical 'hiatus' that put their record on hold in 2013, now they are back in full form with the release of their first LP, ‘The Insufferable Fatigues of Idleness’, out since April on Odd Box records. Straightforward punk-pop, careless and free, mixing the sixties, the DIY aesthetics, a dose of noise and 80s Scottish pop bands, there's a lot to love here. Have fun with The Wendy Darlings!

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox 17

Just one week for our trip to Indietracks and lots of things to decide while the hottest days of summer have arrived... But don't worry, here's our weekly TOP TEN playlistwith several exciting tunes we are enjoying the most lately. Refresh, relax and amuse with the selected bands. As always, it's also available at the blog's soundcloud, so please Join Us!

Direct links to the previous Jukebox weeks
Week 1      Week 8        Week 15 
Week 2      Week 9        Week 16
Week 3      Week 10
Week 4      Week 11 
Week 5      Week 12
Week 6      Week 13
Week 7      Week 14

Welcome to the Jukebox!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

These Go to 11: interviewing My Little Owl Records

Musician, indie label co-founder and wise blogger. Plus super-friendly & nice, talkative and extremely charming. Today we have the pleasure to count with Vinnie Ransome answering our questionnaire. We can assure you that approaching, collaborating with her and preparing this post ranks among the most pleasant experiences this humble blogger has had. These Go to 11!

Vinnie Ransome, The Mini Skips

Vinnie & Markie: screaming pop
Vinnie hails from Sheffield although now she has relocated to Bristol, and is half of The Mini Skips, a lovely duo of charming and (darkly) witty folky indiepop. Along with her matte Markie they debuted in the autumn of 2012 with single Advice for New Lovers via Nottingham’s House Vs Home records, followed with the 7” 'Evil / Shy', one of the best tunes of 2013 on the label she co-founded, My Little Owl, where our dear Jeremy ‘The Very Most’ Jensen released his mind-blowing latest EP ‘Things Too Obvious to Sing'. Want more? She is also the runner of Antipopdean blog, where she haunts and discovers the best music from Australia and New Zealand. Already in love with her? Yes, that’s easy to understand. Here we go! 

Casual wear in the 80s...
1. First record that you bought (be honest)
It was Adam and The Ants 'Prince Charming' LP in 1981. I had the gatefold blue tacked to the bedroom wall right next to my bed until I left home. The posters around it changed over the years but Adam Ant stayed put.

2. First and last concert you have attended (be honest too!)
I’ve got two answers to this as I’m not sure which one counts as the first. I went to see Morrissey at the Colston Hall in Bristol in 1990ish which was the first big concert I’d gone to by myself. But a year or so after that I went see my A level history teacher, Mr Law , play bass with his DIY indiepop band at the Mauritania, also in Bristol. I’ve been desperately trying to remember the name of his band and it’s completely escaped me...But anyway I loved it, loads more than the Morrissey concert, and that was the gig that made me want to play in bands and got me into fanzines and DIY gigs.The last gig I went to was to see a garage band from Denmark called The Youth which was completely awesome and tomorrow I’m going to see Hallie and the Annies, Frozy and The Nervy Betters in Bath. 

The Mini Skips, 12 points!
3. Guilty pleasure (song/band you shouldn’t like but you do, yes, it’s the embarrassing question)
Ok, well I’m going to cheat a bit with this one as my guilty pleasure isn’t really a song or a band but an entire genre. People who know me well will know that I absolutely love the Eurovision Song Contest ...I know we shouldn’t; musically, politically, and probably morally it’s against everything I believe in, and yet I love it! I would truly love to write a song for Europe, in fact, some of the Mini Skips back catalogue are my rejects.

4. Most precious music item you own (collector mode on)

I’m definitely more attached to songs than the physical records, maybe that’s a funny thing for someone who runs a label to feel, but it’s true. So I’m actually going to say the physical record which is most precious to me is the Adam and the Ants LP because it’s always been there as well as some compilation tapes and CDs I’ve been made over the years which pointed me towards the Aussie indiepop I love particularly. 

5. Favorite lyrics (not yours)
Oh goodness, it depends on the mood I’m in I think. Of course it’s going to be some Lucksmiths lyrics but which ones? Ok.. subject to me changing my mind in about ten minutes my favourite lyrics are :
There was no need for a note
It couldn’t have been clearer
The absent dufflecoat
The clothes across the bed
They spelled it out instead
'The Winter Proper', Spring a Leak

6. Musician/s you would like to meet (should be alive, for obvious reasons, but you can choose a dead one too)
I’d like to meet The Zebras properly. I am gutted that I’ve twice been in the same place as them and didn’t go up and say hi and be unashamedly star struck. There is a background story to this though because I was lucky enough to see them play a show with Three Month Sunset when I was  in Melbourne a few years back and I did actually pluck up the courage to go over. I walked across the room to say hi, tell them I am a massive fan, that their songs inspire me and make me dance, that I’d travelled all the way from the UK... What actually happened was that I tripped over a very poorly signposted step and fell into the drummer... I’d like to live that moment again, without the step.
Up, 'Eux Autres' charming music.
Bottom, still figuring out what to say

7. Favorite artwork album (not yours)
Can I have two answers to this please?! Sensible answer ... My favourite artwork is from Eux Autres 2012 'Sun is Sunk' LP. It’s proper classy. Secondly... I’ve recently been helping out in a charity record shop and every week I sneak photos of the most amazingly kitsch artwork, mainly from the 1960s. A few weeks back we found this. I have never seen anything so indescribable. 

8. Books or movies? Depending on your answer recommend us one (trick: you can choose both) 
Books for me, no question. The best book I’ve read recently is 'Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls' by Alissa Nutting. I love films too, mainly European cinema, if you’ve not seen any Emile Kusturica I’d recommend any of his films, for the soundtracks alone. But I personally do prefer a book.

9. Release (of yours) you are most proud of
I find this really hard to answer, and I’ve gone all shy! I think the answer is probably 'The Foghorn Song' which we now play as The Mini Skips. It took me less than ten minutes to write the lyrics and music, which is unusual for me, songs tend to take a really long time to develop but this kind of wrote itself. People who write songs I think are brilliant have told me they like 'The Foghorn Song'; Markie, Pete Green, Val from Robberie, Pete Bee, Jeremy ‘The Very Most’ Jensen and others too. That makes me very, very proud.

10. What’s does it mean indie for you? (yes, the “serious question”)
I’d never use it on its own to describe the music I love because it really doesn’t mean ‘independent’ or small label or DIY to most people. That’s not a bad thing, I love that language evolves like this so quickly, but I do cringe a bit when someone describes the music I like as ‘indie’.To me the ‘indie’ in ‘indiepop’ means just that the primary motivation behind the songs probably wasn’t huge commercial acclaim and success and that it probably wasn’t produced in a huge high budget setting with session musicians flown in from thousands of miles away. People make their music sound very perfect on a shoestring, and did so even before the technology improved.

My Little Owl Records logo:
indiepop gets cute
11. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In ten years My Little Owl Records would love to still be releasing 7” singles , we are going to release the first MLO LP this autumn too so maybe by then we’ll be up the 10th LP,  50th single and 20th live show? I’d like to develop the Antipopdean blog more, that started as a twitter ‘song a day’ blog promoting brilliant Aussie and Kiwipop to the rest of the world but we are getting asked to do loads of reviews now and have the word press blog too. I love all the stuff I’m getting sent, especially from young DIY artists in Dunedin, what a great city for pop music! Finally, I know I’ve said this loads of times before but the most important thing to me is that I will still be playing. It’s so important to me that women keep performing and don’t feel the pressure to stop as we get older, I’ll be almost 50 then but I absolutely don’t want to stop. Someone a few years ago said it was great that I am ‘giving it one last go’ at being in band with The Mini Skips ...I’m not really sure what they meant, but sorry, while I’m still loving it, you’re stuck with me playing my Eurovision rejects!

Zillion thanks Vinnie!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Discoverer 96: new indie findings

Three wonders in the next round of our new music proposals series. A lot to enjoy!

Blooper. Based in Seattle, USA, Adriano Santi began Blooper as his solo, homemade project in 2011, which crystallised that summer in the 'Ballard Avenue' EP. But Santi wanted to have a proper band and, with the help of Darrin Ruder on bass & Chris Quirk on drums, the now trio came out with self-released EP 'Go Away' in May 2012. A year later, the band joined the sadly now defunct label Manic Pop Records to release the 7" 'Long Distance'. With Chris Mac replacing Ruder on bass, Blooper has just presented their latest work, the EP 'So Very Small' out now in Jigsaw Records. Power-pop, surf, garage, 60's vibe, British invasion, you name it. All the means fuzzy and upbeat, hyper-addictive and guitar-driven unmissable pop fits them. Fun and extremely contagious music.

Tashaki Miyaki. This L.A. based trio, named after a mispronunciation of film director Tashaki Miike, started in 2011 initially as a duo, Lucy "Miyaki" on vocals and drums with Rocky "Tashaki" on guitar, while Dora 'Lil D' joined later as bassist and additional vocalist. First songs appeared digitally later that year, with first physical, very much limited releases arrived in 2012 in the form of a limited 7" covering The Everly Brothers and a full cover album (including Roxette, INXS, The Troggs or Father John Misty). Their proper, official debut, though was the 7" AA single 'Best Friend / Tonight' that came out that in Luvluvuv Records. A self-titled EP on Burger Records followed in March 2013 and since February 2014, anticipating a full album soon to see the light of day, you can enjoy the wonder 'Cool Runnings / There Was a Light' 7" single, via their own label Blonde Dog. Lo-fi & dream pop, with hints of psychedelia and shoegaze, they rightfully self-defined as “dreamy, syrupy, and easy listening”. They should have added haunting to the list of adjectives.

Mermaidens. (Gladly) Back down under again. Hailing from Wellington, NZ, this trio began their career in 2012, uploading initial demos (all their music so far is 'name-your-price' available at their Bandcamp) July. In 2013 they started to appear playing live, with the song 'The Bay' arriving in April. But seems the sirens where awaiting 2014 to abandon the seas & reach solid ground with two EPs, 'Bones EP', released in February, and the enigmatically titled 'O', out since June. Hypnotic and obscure psych-pop in the vein of early Warpaint, with the vocals and dreamy guitar lines of Lily Paris West & Gussie Larkin inviting you to surrender, while Abe Hollingsworth's feral drums adding a sense of mystery and menace. Hard not to fall after hearing the Mermaidens' call.

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox 16

Second week of July and probably most of you thinking about summer holidays, maybe planning a trip somewhere or, like us, looking forward to be at Indietracks Festival. Despite of summer scheduling, we are loyal to our weekly TOP TEN playlistwith several exciting tunes we are enjoying the most lately. This week we bring you our beloved Honeyblood, another song of the already favourite Ex Hex, and many more great music. As always, it's also available at the blog's soundcloud, so please Join Us!

Direct links to the previous Jukebox weeks
Week 1      Week 8        Week 15
Week 2      Week 9 
Week 3      Week 10
Week 4      Week 11 
Week 5      Week 12
Week 6      Week 13
Week 7      Week 14

Welcome to the Jukebox!