Monday, 29 April 2013

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

OPINION: 'A Thousand Braying Asses': Kim Gordon & Churnalism's Busy Sewer (The Quietus)

"Regardless of the subject matter, journalism without a basic and objective curiosity is not journalism at all. As mentioned earlier, there may be no major dishonesty being demonstrated by publications in the case in question – but neither is what they are doing any good."
Click here to read the full article, and here to read why Flavorwire chose the piece as one of their 'Favorite Cultural Things' (even if they didn't entirely agree with what I said). 

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

INTERVIEW: British Sea Power (Clash)

"We were aware that the things we were watching were things that happened before now, and these black and white people had a right good old time lifting wood onto boats, and getting dilly dally down the promenade, and also liked to blow each other up on occasion . . ."
I spoke to Yan from British Sea Power about their latest album, their soundtrack work and ten years of being bloody excellent. Read it here.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

ONE TO WATCH (Clash): Nadine Shah

Here is a piece I wrote on Nadine Shah for the Ones To Watch section of Clash's April 2013 issue. If Shah's album is up to the standard of her first two EPs, keep an eye out for her name come Mercury Prize announcements in September.

Clash are such big fans of Nadine Shah that this is the second time we have bestowed the ‘One to Watch’ title on her. We first sought out Shah for an online feature back in December, having been spellbound by ‘Aching Bones’, a sinister and haunting debut single that drew significant early praise for the South Tyneside native.

When we meet for the second time, a Stoke Newington pub rescuing us from a wet March evening, things are looking good for Shah. A few days earlier she had signed a two-album deal with R&S offshoot Apollo, having been won over by the fervent overtures of label boss Renaat Vandepapeliere. “We went for a meal and he said to me ‘Listen, if I don’t sign you, it’s gonna be fuckin’ World War Three,’” Shah says. “Then we got a bit drunk and he said ‘Scrap that. It’s gonna be NUCLEAR. FUCKING NUCLEAR!’”

This month sees Shah’s first release for Apollo, the EP Dreary Town. The title track, telling the tale of a relationship in destructive decline, steps away from the driving menace of ‘Aching Bones’, with collaborator Ben Hillier’s instrumental work flickering gently across Shah’s sombre piano line. The Blur producer’s presence on ‘Dreary Town’ might be subtle, but for Shah the pair’s collaboration is ever crucial. “Loads of people who work with Ben use him like a glorified engineer and I just think they’re idiots,” she says. “I gave him free reign to do whatever he wanted.”

A former jazz singer who grew up listening to ghazals sung by her Pakistani father, Shah possesses a truly striking voice:  part Julie London, part Shirley Bassey, but with a melodic fluidity – and heavy North Eastern inflection – that make it hard to think of another vocalist quite like her. It is no wonder that Vandepapeliere was so eager to secure her signature.

Debut album Love Your Dum and Mad is due in July, three months before the Mercury Prize shortlist is announced –  a fact that has not escaped Shah’s attention. “We’ve been trying to find out who’s on the panel,” she says. “‘Who can we bribe? Ring ‘em! Send ‘em something!’” Judging by what we’ve seen so far, such shenanigans may not be necessary.

Where: London/Whitburn
 What: Mournful icy soul
Unique Fact: Shah’s ex-fiancĂ© Sam Duckworth (Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.) was forced to deny rumours that he was engaged to an “Asian princess”, after Shah had added the claim to his Wikipedia page.
Get Three Tracks: ‘Aching Bones’, ‘Dreary Town’, ‘Never Tell Me Mam’

Monday, 1 April 2013

INTERVIEW: Nick Yulman (Clash)

"It’s mindboggling to think of all the creative music that has sprung out of New York. Whether it’s John Cage or Laurie Anderson or Raymond Scott or the Bomb Squad, there’s definitely something about the City that’s inspired some pretty radical approaches to working with sound and music."
I spoke to Brooklyn sound artist Nick Yulman about New York and his use of musical robotics, among other things. Read here.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

The Paul Tucker EP (That's 'Easter Playlist')

Listen ups!

Here are five tracks that came my way this week and that are all excellent. I was going to do this sort of thing on a regular basis, but in all honesty I'd rather wait until some truly excellent music comes my way rather than churning out content for the three or four visitors this blog probably receives each day. If a constant churning out of new music is what you're after, OTHER WEBSITES ARE AVAILABLE. Also, the fact I haven't posted anything since late January suggests I'm not very good at blogging.

But anyway, here is some truly excellent music: Have a good weekend and do what ever it is you do for Easter.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

INTERVIEW: Iceage (Clash)

"During our telephone call, I ask Surrballe Wieth if he’s pleased with You’re Nothing. “Oh yeah - very, very pleased with it,” he replies with genuine enthusiasm before going on. “But I think it seems like we did it quite a long time ago now. I think we’re already in a new place, we’re already writing a lot of new songs. We feel really great about how it turned out, it turned out exactly how it should, but we’re just moving on constantly.”"
I spoke to Iceage guitarist Johan Surrballe Wieth for this feature for Clash in the run up to the band's excellent second album You're Nothing. Read it here.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

FEATURE: The Quietus Writers' 40 Favourite Live Albums

I contributed a few words on Sepultura's Under a Pale Grey Sky to this huge feature put together by Quietus ed John Doran. Includes pieces on albums by Curtis Mayfield, The Fall, Arab Strap and many many more. Click here to check it out (perhaps even setting aside some time to give it a really good look).

Friday, 25 January 2013

British Sea Power Return, Tour and New Album 'Machineries of Joy'.

Rejoice - British Sea Power are back! Their fifth album, Machineries of Joy, is released on April 1 and will be followed almost immediately by a full UK tour. What's more, fans are able to pre-order the new record now, when buying tickets for any of the upcoming dates. The first 500 fans to do so will also receive an exclusive bonus, EP containing new material and unique artwork.

Tickets and album pre-orders are available here.
Tour dates are as follows:
4th Apr 2013 Exeter Phoenix
5th Apr 2013 Birmingham HMV Library
6th Apr 2013 Newcastle Northumbria Uni
7th Apr 2013 Glasgow Oran Mor
9th Apr 2013 Leeds Metropolitan University
10th Apr 2013 Nottingham Rescue Rooms
12th Apr 2013 Manchester Gorilla
14th Apr 2013 Cardiff Coal Exchange
15th Apr 2013 Portsmouth - Wedgewood Rooms
16th Apr 2013 Norwich Waterfront
17th Apr 2013 London Shepherds Bush Empire