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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Best Songs of the Year 2014 so far

It has been a titanic task, but here it is. Following past week's list with the Best Records/Eps of the year so far, today we propose you a second list with our favourite tunes during this six months of 2014. Like we did on previous years, we have prepared a playlist with the best 30 songs on a selection based on two criteria: songs released during 2014, and just 1 song per group/artist. The playlist (that you can enjoy at our soundcloud except for two songs) is in alphabetic order. Hope you enjoy!

1997, Passing the Hallway- Martha
Ashes and Embers- The Casket Girls
Coming Down- Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Els Dies s’Allarguen- Renaldo & Clara
Embers- Night Flowers
Enredo Interesante- Grushenka
Every Time the Sun Comes Up- Sharon Van Etten
Familia /Trabajo- Cosmen Adelaida
Happening- Desperate Journalist
Heavy Heart- Tripping the Light Fantastic
Hi-Five- Angel Olsen
Horseshoe- Withered Hand
Just like Before- Beach Beach
Killer Bangs- Honeyblood
This is Pop- Latimer House
Losing to the Dark- La Sera
Lovejunky- The Popguns
Magazine- The Proper Ornaments
Market Town- Echo and the Bunnymen
Mistakes of My Youth- Eels
My Heart is a Lonely Hunter- The Pretty Greens
My Silver Lining- First Aid Kit
New Skin- Torres
Pale- Young Romance
Talking Backwards- Real Estate
Things too Obvious to Sing- The Very Most
Try- The Zebras
Visiones- Aries
Wavy Gravy- Flyying Colours
Yeah Tonight- Gold Bears

Note: I was uncapable to choose just one song from the following terrific albums:'Our Years in the Wilderness' by The Hi-Life Companion, 'Mundo Fatal' by Me and the Bees and 'Before there Were Pictures' by Pale Lights.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

These Go to 11: interviewing The King in Mirrors

In this week's interview we keep the jangling pop path (gladly) with Rich May, the man behind one of our most exciting discoveries of this 2014 so far, The King in Mirrors. These Go to 11!

Rich May, The King in Mirrors
A kingdom of pop
Hailing from Swindon, UK, the gentle Rich May, previously involved in several bands, began his latest music project in 2012, debuting with a self-titled mini-album in May 2012, followed with EP "Rolling in the Sun" in the summer of 2013. His third release and last to date, came this March with superb EP "Little Voices" out on Take a Nap Records. There's a reason why we love guitar pop like the one Rich and his band offers us. It's the immediacy, the unbeatable hooks, the melodies ringing forever inside your ears, the guitar lines punching you. It's the feeling tunes were made because the artist believed in them and the listener gets there's honesty in every single second of each 3-4 minutes. Here's a king that deserves his pop crown. Here we go!

"Flash a-ah Savior of the Universe
Queen's superhero poetry
1. First record that you bought (be honest)
Ha ha... an embarrassing one to start off. The first single I bought was 'Flash' by Queen (because I liked the film when I was young) and the first album was ´Fantastic' by Wham!

2. First and last concert you have attended (be honest too!)
The first gig was The Cure at Wembley Arena in 1989 and the last one was Echo and the Bunnymen in Oxford two weeks ago.

3. Guilty pleasure (song/band you shouldn’t like but you do, yes, it’s the embarrassing question)
There's not too many bands or songs which I'm embarrassed to say I like but I have to admit that I like 'We Built This City On Rock 'n' Roll' by Starship. It always makes me smile and want to sing along!!

4. Most precious music item you own (collector mode on)
My 7'' of 'Lee Remick' by The Go-Betweens. I bought it at a record fair in the early 90's for £50. I'd never heard the song before but luckily, I loved it when I played it!!

Robert Forster: gifted pop mind working here
5. Favorite lyrics (not yours)
'We went into a club, bouncers got no brains, he said both of you are barred, I had to set him straight, I said listen Jack, don't you know, I'm a star' - Robert Forster (The Go-Betweens - Twin Layers of Lightning). Also, 'The Seabirds' by The Triffids. David McComb was an amazing lyricist / songwriter / singer.

6. Musician/s you would like to meet (should be alive, for obvious reasons, but you can choose a dead one too)
I would have to say Robert Forster, although I have met him before (briefly) at the Cobden Club in London when he and Grant McLennan were playing an acoustic album launch in 2002. Unfortunately, I lost my cool and told him he was my hero. He was very polite and said 'It's always nice to bump into your heroes on the stairs'. We had a short discussion about upcoming tour dates before I fled, embarrassed! I'd also like to meet Edwyn Collins or Andy Partridge.

West Australia on the sleeve,
majestic pop on the inside
7. Favorite artwork album (not yours)
The Triffids - 'Born Sandy Devotional' (great album and great sleeve artwork). The sleeve is an aerial view of West Australian town Mandurah and goes perfectly with the sound of the songs on the album.

8. Books or movies? Depending on your answer recommend us one (trick: you can choose both)
I'm not a big movie watcher and as much as I love reading I always seem to just read about music (far too music obsessed for my own good).

9. Song (of yours) you are most proud of:
I'm proud of quite a few of the songs that I have written for The King in Mirrors and with my previous band Baby Train. It's hard to single out a song that I'm most proud of but I'll go with 'Little Voices' from our recent EP.

10. What’s does it mean indie for you? (yes, the “serious question”)
Good question! For me, indie means a band or label that's making/releasing songs themselves because they love and believe in what they're doing, regardless of whether it will sell. Too many bands who play middle of the road guitar rock (often on major labels) are labelled as indie and I don't understand why.

Mr. McAloon (not Gandalf going pop)
11. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In ten years time, I'll be just into my 50's (gulp). I'd love to be like Paddy McAloon and have long white hair and beard and release the occasional great album. That's the plan, although my wife might not be so keen on the long white hair and beard!! :-)

Zillion thanks Rich & The King in Mirrors!

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Indie Anthology 46: essential songs

What about celebrating the expanded reissue of the legendary C86 compilation cassette for the next chapter of our Indie Anthology? Here's our modest tribute to one of the most underrated bands (polite way to avoid saying completely neglected) that took part on that landmark release...

Song: Therese
Artist: The Bodines
Year: 1986

Mike Ryan, Paul Brotherton, Tim Burtonwood and Paul Lilley, like many others, seemed to have all aces in their hands. Formed just a year earlier, they quickly became one of the most promising upcoming of jangly indie combos spreading around that time. Debut 'God Bless' on Creation Records was followed by 'Therese', being included on the C86 album, allowing them to sign with major Magnet Records with extremely high expectations. That were never fulfilled, commercially speaking, making the band disband. A shame, because songs like 'Therese' are simply impossible to resist. Compulsive jangle-pop, that seems to be propelled by a rocket, inviting the listener to get lost and dance the humming guitar lines. Criminally forgotten gem.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Best Records and EPs of the year 2014... so far

Hard to believe, but half of 2014 is already gone. So, as we do every June since this Blog was born, time to take a look to what year has offered in terms of music so far. As started in 2013, before the list of best songs that will arrive late in the forthcoming week, here's another with our favourite 25 records & EPs of the year to date (all 2014 releases already available). Listed in alphabetical order (the "proper" best-of list comes at the end of the year). Just a way to recognize a bunch of great works!

Are We There Yet?- Sharon Van Etten
Atlas- Real Estate
Before There Were Pictures- Pale Lights
Burn Your Fire to No Witness- Angel Olsen
Courting Strong- Martha
Dalliance- Gold-Bears
Detour- Soft Science
Floristry- Trick Mammoth
Flyying Colours- Flyying Colours
Fruits del teu Bosc- Renaldo & Clara
Gingerlys- Gingerlys
Go Guitars- She Sir
Indiepop or Whatever!- When Nalda Became Punk
In Dreams- Fireflies
La Foto Fantasma- Cosmen Adelaida
Mundo Fatal- Me and the Bees
New Gods- Withered Hand
Our Year in the Wilderness- The Hi-Life Companion
Sealed with a Kiss- Alpaca Sports
The Best Hunter- Boutade
The Double EP: A Sea Of Split Peas- Courtney Barnett
Things Too Obvious to Sing- The Very Most
Une Si Longue Attente- Watoo Watoo
Xeristar- Linda Guilala

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox 14

Once again here's a new round of our TOP TEN playlist with several exciting tunes I'm enjoying the most lately. There are things that should last in time while others should NOT.  Luckily, not everything in life is politics and we are here to talk abount music, so let's go! This week we bring you some bands with a promising career, a new song from the never-ending ¡Between Two Waves' from our dear EardrumsPop, and some consecrated musicians. Do you want to know more about the playlist? Just listen it!  This is also available at the blog's soundcloud, so please Join Us!

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

Welcome to the Jukebox! 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

These Go to 11: interviewing Pale Lights

The Pale Lights' week arrives to its climax with Phil Sutton, band leader and founder answering our questionnaire on the latest of our interview series. Grab a pen & a notebook, the pop lesson is about to begin. These Go to 11!

Philip Sutton, Pale Lights
Pale Lights, jangling people
Former drummer of the indispensable Comet Gain, founder of Kicker and my beloved The Soft City, Phil Sutton created his latest music project after his former band went on hiatus in late 2011. Fronting a band for the first time (guitars and lead vocals), he has assembled a flamboyant cast around him, first a quintet, with members of Soft City, Crystal Stilts and Knight School, releasing a self-titled debut EP in May 2012, and later on as a quartet, with whom he has now delivered first LP 'Before There Were Pictures'.A pop treaty in only 30 minutes, echoing Flying Nun and jangle-pop myths, here's a classic penned in the age of ephemeral hypes. Here we go!

1. First record that you bought (be honest)
I can't remember! It was either Altered Images or Ultravox on cassette. I was all about tapes. Taping the Top 40 Show on Radio 1, then later John Peel, Kid Jensen, and Janice Long, when my tastes became more esoteric. I didn't but a vinyl record until 1988. I think it was a lot of stuff in one go. My Bloody Valentine, House of Love, Robyn Hitchcock, some Medium Cool records (Corn Dollies, Raw Herbs) a Miaow! 12''. The first indie pop type albums I bought, on cassette of course, were Felt's Goldmine Trash (with 7 instrumentals on the b-side!), Biff Bang Pow!, 'The Girl Who Runs the Beat Hotel' and 'Pass the Paintbrush, Honey' on one tape, and the Shop Assistants album. 

2. First and last concert you have attended (be honest too!)
First concert was Ultravox, at a venue in Oxford. I went through a synth period! First indie pop type show was either the Soup Dragons, in Birmingham, or The Pastels, in Oxford somewhere. The last show I saw was a group called Air Waves, a couple of weeks ago, here in Brooklyn, NY.

J. Geils Bang' centerfold
3. Guilty pleasure (song/band you shouldn’t like but you do, yes, it’s the embarrassing question)
I'm not sure I feel guilty about liking a record anymore. I heard the J. Geils Bang song 'Centerfold' playing in shop the other day. The lyrics are really awful, but the music was so catchy, and it reminded me of being a kid, because it was always on the radio. I did feel slightly ashamed for thinking how much I liked it. For the chords and the nostalgia only. There was a time when I was embarrassed to admit I like Kate Bush, but not anymore.

4. Most precious music item you own (collector mode on)
My Felt records. I sold a lot of records when I was poor and younger, but managed to hold on the Felt records. 11 LPs, including two compilations, and a bunch of EPs and singles. I still haven't bought 'Let the Snakes Crinkle Their Heads to Death yet', though I do actually like it!

Grant McLennan's: forever right here
5. Favorite lyrics (not yours)
Definitely not mine! That's hard. So many. Favorite lyricists are so many. Foster and Mclennan, Leonard Cohen, Dan Tracey, Roddy Frame, Judee Sill, Gene Clark, Bob Dylan. I don't know. So many. My old friend David Christian of Comet Gain, has become a really good lyric writer, probably the best of my peer group. He's fairly dismissive of his early work, but Pier Angeli is still one of the best set of words I've heard. Really, so poignant for one so young. I'll say Grant McLennan's 'Cattle and Cane'. The lyrics describe a time, they're evocative and nostalgic without being sentimental. Still slightly detached though. And there are gaps in the narrative, enough to make the story personal to the listener. You can tell he was a film major. The words are more visual than literary, if that makes sense. And they go so perfectly with the music.

Felt's leader
Lawrence of Belgravia
6. Musician/s you would like to meet (should be alive, for obvious reasons, but you can choose a dead one too)
Hmm. You should never meet your idols. Though I've never met one, so what do I know. I'd probably be too nervous if I did. If I was more gregarious, I'd say Robert Foster. Or Lawrence. Or maybe coffee with Francoise Hardy and Jaques Dutronc. Tell me about when they were King and Queen of French teen. I'd ask them lots of questions about Michel Polnareff.

7. Favorite artwork album (not yours)
Francoise Hardy, the EP with 'Dis Lui Non'. I love EPs. They're the perfect format. Neither LP nor single. Love 'em. Especially French pop EPS. I have quite a lot. Jacques Dutronc, Francoise Hardy, Michel Polnareff, Serge Gainsbourg, lots. If I could be on any record label, it'd be Disques Vogues! Perfect little sleeves.

Keith Waterhouse's novel
Billy Liar's book
8. Books or movies? Depending on your answer recommend us one (trick: you can choose both)
Again too many, but as we're indiepop, let's say 'Billy Liar', the Keith Waterhouse book and the John Schlesinger film. Even though I love Julie Christie, she is totally miscast as Liz. Anyone who's read the book can see that.

9. Song (of yours) you are most proud of:
I don't know about proud. I'm too close to know what I really think. Of Pale Lights I like 'Ghosts of Youth' from the EP, and 'Another Broken Heart', from the LP and a song we're recording tomorrow, called '14 stories'. I hope it turns out well! I thought 'Dear Claire' by The Soft City was one of my better songs. Probably, it's still 'Blue', a song I wrote for a band called Kicker, back in the UK.

10. What’s does it mean indie for you? (yes, the “serious question”)
To me it doesn't mean jangle pop, or twee, or indie pop, or Orange Juice, or white boys playing guitars, or Oasis. To me it means independence from the mainstream, and from capitalism. I think of independent music as a music by people for the pure love of doing something, making a noise, shaking things up, getting something made. Whether that be writing songs, recording, designing sleeves, writing fanzines, releasing records, putting on shows, DJing, whatever. I think of a spirit of independence as Do-It Yourself. Independence creates a space in which you can have limitless creativity, to say what you want, and to be yourself, to create a vision pure, as someone once said. No fashions, trends, cliques, and scenes. It can be Riot Girl, punk rock, Northern Soul, twee, reggae, death metal, post-punk, dance music, whatever: music for the soul. Remember, Orange Juice were influenced by Chic and The Velvet Underground, two very different sounds and scenes. Lawrence said it best:
"There's a place for abstract
And there's a place for noise
There's a place for every kind of sound
So come on now and tell me why there's a void"

I reckon.

11. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Living on the West Coast making a solo LP, written and recorded with all my friends. The Hoffner Burns Piano Band.
Zillion thanks Philip & Pale Lights!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The (Spanish) Fake Empire

Tomorrow we will have a new King in Spain, but there's absolutely nothing to celebrate. What happens tomorrow is that we are going to be the spectators of a private party (and do not forget, we are also the ones paying it) where the ruling class of this country commemorates the maintenance of their corrupt & rotten system. The ones that lived so well under the dictatorship regime, under the monarchy and the so-called democratic system. In three words: the Spanish Fake Empire... Take a look at their faces...

The infography is taken from Cafè amb Llet, among the very few publications in this country still worried to tell the truth. I truly recommend you to check it out here.
Also, do not miss 'Orgullo y Satisfacción', a collection of satyric vignettes on the Spanish monarchy, and a brave & fun reaction to one of the most despicable recent examples of censorship seen in this shameful country...

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Indie Anthology 45: essential songs

After introducing them at Indienauta on Monday, I already warned you this was going to be a Pale Lights kind of week at the blog. So the next chapter in our Indie Anthology is devoted to another Phil Sutton's project, currently under hiatus (long sigh)...

Song: Young and Dumb
Artist: The Soft City
Year: 2010
Anyone that knows me a little bit is aware that, from time to time, I completely fall for a female's voice. The list is long and, happily, never-ending (I guess I will make a list of my favourite female singers sooner or later on the Blog). I discovered The Soft City in 2011. I remember hearing for the first time Dora Lubin's sweet but at the same time explosive vocals on 'Young and Dumb' and got completely knocked-out. I thought it was a lost song of my beloved Natalie Merchant playing with the 10.000 Maniacs! Then I discovered there was a band with a great past on their shoulders (with members of Comet Gain, The Ladybug Transistor and Crystal Stilts) and that the whole album (this post is also a reminder I need to grab a copy of this) is enchanting. You get the 80's Maniacs eerie vibe with British jangle-pop, a bit of The Go-Betweens, Velocette, etc. Bouncy pop melodies with extremely infectious choruses and that celestial voice... Ms. Lubin, please come back singing!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Discoverer 94: new indie findings

It's been a short while, but with recharged batteries and many exciting bands to unveil for you, here's our new music proposals series' comeback, enjoy!

Martha's album artworkMartha. Formed in 2011 in a suburban area of Durham, UK, named Pity Me, this quartet is a pop blast. Not much info on the band origins, though it seems the band's name comes from the fact the very last passenger pigeon (now extincted) was called Martha, they are vegan, straight-edge and DIY group. Recorded in Leeds, since late May the promise of the first tunes has been confirmed on 'Courting Strong', debut album out in Fortuna POP! and Salinas Records. Fun, infectious pop with traces of punk, energetic and impassioned, with intertwined "in your face" vocals (it's a record to shout and sing-along out loud) and a devastating legion of hooks. Knock-out.

The Casket Letters' album artwork
The Casket Girls. Coming from Savannah, GA, this is a three-piece with a curious origin. Electronic sound shaper Ryan Graveface found sisters Phaedra and Elsa Greene under a tree in one playing Autoharp and singing bizarre songs. Collaboration began, with Ryan in charge of song structures and instruments while newcomers Elsa & Phaedra were responsible of lyrics & vocals. As a result 'Sleepwalking' arrived on November 2012 on Graveface Records, creating a noteworthy cult status among fans and critics. A self-titled EP followed in September 2013, and since this February (again after a very peculiar recording process, psychedelia meets poetry) we can enjoy their sophomore album, 'True Love Kills the Fairy Tale'. Dreamy, spooky, ethereal and extremely intriguing, this is twisted pop, or psych-rock with a knack for melody among the haze and foggy layers. Prepare yourself to get haunted. Pop witchery...

Gingerlys' EP artworkGingerlys. Hailing from Long Island, this very young band formed in 2012 around the demos of guitarist Matt Richards, fitting the pieces together in his New York basement and later on studio, with tunes blossoming and a proper band taking shape from a trio to a quartet, finally adopting its current quintet format. First songs started appearing digitally in the summer of 2013 and early 2014, and now the infallible Shelflife Records is going to publish their debut EP 'Jumprope' on early July. Urgent, dreamy and immediately catchy indiepop with the suggestive voice of Maria Garnica reigning four explosive tunes. Sky is the limit with Gingerlys

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox 13

Today is Friday 13th hope you aren't superstitious because here is the thirteenth round of our TOP TEN playlistwith the tunes I have been enjoying the most lately.  As last week we bring you great collaborations (The Very Most + Arts & Leisure? OMG!) as well as covers, new songs of some bands that have already appeared in our Jukebok and obviously, new discoveries. This is also available at the blog's soundcloud, so please Join Us!

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

Welcome to the Jukebox! 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

These Go to 11: interviewing Arts & Leisure

New chapter on our interview series, this time with the irresistible singer and guitarist Gerri White of my beloved Arts & Leisure (and a terrific tune with our man Jeremy Jensen of The Very Most on EardrumsPop majestic 'Between Two Waves' compilation). Can't properly articulate with words how nice and enjoyable has been reading & collecting her enthusiastic & honestly open answers, so please, read it carefully. She's a wonder. These Go to 11!

Gerri White, Arts & Leisure
Ms. White, ready for a pop ride
The lovely band Baby Grand formed in Sacramento in 1999 and during more than a decade they offered us 2 EPs and 2 wonderful albums, including their unmissable latest release 'Arts & Leisure', that came out in 2012. But right after the group split, three of its former members, Cory Vick, Gerri White, Tim White joined forces with Becky Cale and, borrowing its name from the aforementioned LP, in July 2013 they released 'Choose Your Adventure'. Released on our dear label Test Pattern Records, it quickly became one of our favourite past year albums. Indiepop meeting power pop, sugar and electricity heavenly combined on killer melodies, intertwined vocal harmonies, a retro vibe and an undeniable, moody beat. Summoning the spirits of legends like Talulah Gosh, Arts & Leisure make pop joyful, something that we would die for seeing live (Gerri told me they're considering coming to Spain, I'm making it public so they now have to be true to their promise). Here we go!
Beauty is always on the inside

1. First record that you bought (be honest)
The first  album I bought (with my allowance) was The Go-Go's 'Beauty and the Beat'. I was obsessed with the song 'Vacation'. I was first able to record the song off of the radio using the tried and true 1980's method of phoning in multiple requests to my local DJ, and making sure I had a fresh blank tape cued up and ready to go, but this small triumph did little to quench the flames of fandom that were burning ever brighter until I HAD. TO. HAVE. THE. RECORD. 

2. First and last concert you have attended (be honest too!)
First concert was John Denver, the smiley folk songwriter with shaggy hair and spectacles who sang with the Muppets. My dad was a big fan, and he took the whole family - I must have 11? My second concert was ALSO John Denver. By then, I was a sullen 15 year old punk and deeply resentful at having to attend a folk concert with my parents. I wore a dog collar and a home made Exploited t-shirt in protest. Third concert (that I attended of my own free will at 16) was Siouxsie and the Banshees! Me and my fashion sense finally fit right in. OK, last concert I saw (last month, I think) was JD McPherson at Palms in Nevada City. So good!

Hall & Oates: hair duo 
3. Guilty pleasure (song/band you shouldn’t like but you do, yes, it’s the embarrassing question)
I think Hall & Oates ('Rock 'N Soul, Part I') and Ace of Base fit squarely in this category. Like deep fried Twinkies at a state fair, they are of the moment and undeniably delicious! A bolt of happiness that defies analysis.

4. Most precious music item you own (collector mode on)
I'm not a music collector, so the most precious music-related items would be my guitars. I still have my first guitar, purchased on layaway for $500 when I was 19; an Olympic white '65 Fender Mustang with original case and catalog. It was absolutely pristine. A few weeks after I paid it off and picked it up, my friend's bass slid off the couch where he had propped it during practice, and his tuning key  knocked a good chunk out of my Mustang's flawless vanilla ice-cream body. I remember playing it cool, and telling him not to worry about it, but I was really trying hard not to cry.

5. Favorite lyrics (not yours)
'Joe Pernice' of the Pernice Brothers has the most...just out of left field lyrics. They're surprising, evocative, sometimes crude, but I always feel like I've become a secondary character in a flash fiction piece, which I love. I tend to be drawn to lyrics that tell a story. It also helps that Joe has the voice of a dirty angel.

Mr. Misery, Elliot Smith
6. Musician/s you would like to meet (should be alive, for obvious reasons, but you can choose a dead one too)
This probably sounds weird, but I tend to not like to meet musicians. Mostly because if they're disappointing, or act like a jerk, I can't stand their music anymore. I just can't separate the artist from the music. I can do it with authors, for some reason, just no musicians. If I had to choose, I'd say Elliot Smith. He seemed so mysterious and sad; I would have liked to buy him an ice cream cone.

7. Favorite artwork album (not yours)
I always loved the artwork for Belle Sebastian records; the movie still quality of their photos, the pastel color overlays. Also, because you could listen to the songs and just kind of squint at the cover and imagine whose story you were listening to.

8. Books or movies? Depending on your answer recommend us one (trick: you can choose both)
Books, books always! I love movies too, but they don't quite inhabit the same place in my psyche. You can be your own director, casting manager and location scout with books. One of my absolute favorite tales; Shirley Jackson's 'We Have Always Lived in the Castle'. Jackson is a master of finding menace in the mundane, of summoning horror in broad daylight. They never made a movie of 'We Have Always Lived in the Castle' but they did make the 1963 film, 'The Haunting', based on her novel, 'The Haunting of Hill House'. A classic, eerie chiller.

9. Release (of yours) you are most proud of
Baby Grand's 'Everything You Say' from our first record, 'Coming True'. In 2004, I found out I had a rare tumor in my neck. It was benign, but it was in a tricky place and one of the risks of the surgery was that I might lose my voice permanently or have to go through vocal reconstruction. The doctors said I would just have to wait and see if my voice came back after the procedure. 'Everything You Say' was the first song I wrote while recovering at home. I remember demo-ing it; working to squeak out the vocals and not think too hard about what I would do if that squeak was all I would ever be capable of. I just thought, well, I can still write songs and not give up. It's not the end of everything. So that song is sort of special to me. It has a hopefulness and fragility to it.
Keeping the light with Arts & Leisure

10. What’s does it mean indie for you? (yes, the “serious question”)
Ha, ha. I don't really know what indie means to me. Baby Grand was always described as indie-pop but I've always felt that any band I was in (as a songwriter) was just left of whatever genre it posed as. I don't think my songwriting is indie or not is what it is. And it's all over the map. It doesn't know from indie. As the indie label applies to other bands, it usually means that I will find something to like - but what that element will be is always a surprise.

11. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Oof. Hopefully working less; writing more fiction and songs. Keeping to the light.

Zillion thanks Gerri & Arts & Leisure!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Indietracks Festival 2014: line-up closed!

Indietracks Festival unveiled their latest additions to 2014's edition yesterday night, completing what looks like a truly amazing line-up. So, honouring the tradition of setting our (and colouring) personal agenda at the Festivals we take part, here's how now looks our (rough draft) schedule, without knowing when are the majority of bands playing and the timetables. I already want to see near half of the Festival (including several favourites that I'm dying to see live)... and I know I'll add many names after "hunting" for them. Counting down the days!.

Allo Darlin’ The Chills │ Spearmint │ TeenCanteen

Gruff RhysDean WarehamJoanna Gruesome
The PopgunsThe Spook School

The Hidden Cameras │ Withered Hand │ Sweet Baboo
The Just Joans Night Flowers

Plus the following playing over the weekend:
Thee AHs │ Axolotes Mexicanas │ Big Joanie │ Bill Botting │ The Blue Minkies │Cosines │ Dorotea │ Elopes │ The Flatmates │ The Hidden Horses │ The Hobbes Fanclub │ Laura J Martin │ Let’s WrestleLinda Guilala │ Lisa Bouvier │ Los Cripis│ Lost Tapes │ Marc and Graeme Elston │ MJ Hibbett and the Validators │ Nat Johnson │ No Ditching │ Okinawa Picture Show │ ONSIND │ The Proper Ornaments │ Ravioli Me Away │ The Royal Landscaping Society │ Slum of Legs │Skeletal Shakes │ The Swapsies │ The Thyme Machine │ Trust Fund │ The Very MostWatoo Watoo │ The Wellgreen │The Wendy Darlings │ Wolf Girl │ The Yawns │ The Yearning

Green- Definetely seeing them. Absolute must
Yellow- If there are no overlaps (in particular with the green ones), I'll be there for sure
Orange- Curious about it/"on research mode"

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Indie Anthology 44: essential songs

After all the Primavera Sound stuff dominating the blog, we are back with our regular features, so let's start the week with our Indie Anthology. This time I recover the first steps of a cult band (one of these criminally underrated) that, to me, are intrinsic part of a way of understanding indie-rock along with blog favourites like The National, The Walkmen, or Nick Cave...

Song: Rosemarie
Artist: Asphalt Ribbons
Year: 1991 

Old HorseAsphalt Ribbons’s were the previous incarnation of Tindersticks and they only released a mini-album, 'Old Horse", before Stuart Staples and colleagues embarked in their amazing, nearly flawless music adventure of more than 20 years now. More guitar based than Tindersticks, it probably echoes 80s jangling pop with an epic tinge, something that in 'Rosemarie' achieves a breathtaking peak. David Boulter's sweeping keyboard opens the tune, which quickly flourishes on a puzzling stomping number where Staples delivers his trademark, mournful vocals (I dream on him and Matt Berninger singing together). Then guitars retire and an incredible cello opens the gates of heaven before Dickon Hinchliffe feeds the beast this song is with his violin. Oh, the gentlemen of indie-rock... keep them coming!

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox 12

After Primavera Sound Festival here's our twelfth round of our TOP TEN playlist, with the tunes I have been enjoying the most lately. Almost three months of Bloodbuzzed Jukebox and we keep bringing you new songs each week. This time, you can enjoy with brilliant St.Vincent, two excellent collaborations like Greenland Sea and Coquelicot or Spanish Indie like Beach Beach. And of course, this is also available at the blog's soundcloud (come on and Join Us!).

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

Welcome to the Jukebox!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Primavera Sound 2014 in brief, day 5

And the last chapter of this Primavera Sound 2014's series is here. A sunny day at the Parc de la Ciutadella...

The Good
Our soft spot: Renaldo & Clara
Photo: Bloodbuzzed 
Four more bands: For free, under sunny and clear skies, in a relaxed way despite massification (which also means noise) at Parc de la Ciutadella. Seeing my dear Renaldo & Clara (want them in a more intimate venue soon please) playing some tunes of their superb new album, Hospitality for the second time, Mark Eitzel and Dum Dum Girls, who offered a very nice show again, in such a unique scenario is quite a thing to experience. A great way to end this Festival's edition after the exhausting (we were really on our physical limits on Sunday afternoon) central days at Fòrum, don't you think?

Sunny Hospitality. Photo: Bloodbuzzed 
The Bad
Massification: Coincidence or bad planning? Pretty sure wasn't the fault of the organisation, but the fact there was something else going on at the Parc (involving hundreds, thousands, zillions of kids, you can all get terrified now) almost collapsed the place. By the time Dum Dum Girls closed the gigs, it was extremely hard to just walk by.
Angel Olsen: We were so exhausted we couldn't find the strength to watch her at BARTS on Sunday night. Deeply sorry for that, please come back soon to Barcelona!

The Queen
Words & Music: Mark Eitzel
Photo: Bloodbuzed
The Mark Eitzel Ordeal: Long-time pending on my agenda, I finally can say I saw Mr. Eitzel, which exceeded my expectations. Romantic, passionate and intense, bursting with every single word he delivered. I know this might be read as a cliche or a naive comment, but you know when an artist sounds true to your ears? Eitzel looked to me like a musician from another time, meaning that in a positive way. Without cynicism, without caring about aesthetics. Just melodies, words and heart. Only one thing to regret, the show was too short.

Links to every briefing on the Primavera Sound 2014:
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4