Sunday, 26 April 2009

Onwards and Upwards

Here's an awesome little movie from the minds of genius illustrator James Jarvis and Shynola head Richard "Kenny" Kenworthy... 'Onwards.'

Onwards from AKQA on Vimeo.

We've mentioned Shynola's fine work in these pages before, but I am a huge fan of James Jarvis' work, particularly his ads for Slam, the whole toy thing and, of course, 'Vortigern's Machine'.

He's been down with Nike for a little while - visitors to the capital may have seen his Niketown display last year, and his bio says that he's well into running, so that explains the film's sponsorship, so why isn't the dude in it wearing trainers?

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

The Coathangers

The Coathangers album, Scramble was released this month on Suicide Squeeze Records

The band are a glorious mess of Noughties Riot Grrrl, (think Mika Miko but think harder), the Ramones and Revenge Of The Nerds

And here’s an exclusive interview:

HA: What attracted you all to each other? Please note: this is not youraverage 'how did you meet' question that every journalist will fire at you. You can tell me how you met, if you like, but what I really want to know is what made the sparks fly? What is it that you like about being in a band together?

TC: “We were first attracted to each other by our magnetic personalities and then the power of our bangs kept us together...We love everything about being in a band together, duh!!!”

HA: When I listen to 'Scramble', it makes me want a favourite Coathanger, in the same way that everybody has a favourite Ramone. However, I don't know enough about any of you to make such an important judgement just yet. Please could you tell me a little about your individual skills and personality traits so that I, and others like me, can become qualified to make this important decision?

TC: “We prefer to keep our private lives as private as possible (just like Brangelina) and if u like one Coathanger you love us all! Seriously, it would take light years to become qualified to make such a decision...”

HA: Did the Coathangers form out of a scene of musicians / artists? Or are you lone sailors.?

TC: “We are lone sailors! None of us have ever been or will ever be in any other band besides The Coathangers... It's a lifestyle if u will...”

HA: Are there any other bands that you feel an affinity with? Anyone that inspires you, either musically, or just to get up out of bed in the morning?

TC: “Music in general gets us outta our beds! Everything from Gang of Four to Britney Spears from Nina Simone to Lady Gaga, from The Doors to These Arms are Snakes....”

HA: Describe your live gigs to me - what kind of people come to your gigs? What's the atmosphere like? What do you want people to take from your gigs?

TC: “Our live gigs are like a unicorn jumping out of a cupcake filled with magic and maggots drinking beer...”

HA: What does it mean to you to be signed to Suicide Squeeze - were there any other offers on the table? Did they find you or did you find them? Or neither? What has changed since you recorded / released the album?

TC: “It means the world to us to be signed to SS Records, they are and always have been our soul mates, they have facilitated our dreams!! Nothing and everything have changed since the release!”

HA: What are your plans for the future. Any plans for a UK tour?

TC: “Our plans are to tour, tour, play local shows, tour, and rock ur face off... And yes the Coathangers invasion of the UK is imminent...”

HA: Final question: What scares you? And, of course, why?

TC: “What scares us? Hmmmm... YOU!

Thank you! The Coathangers love you....”

You hear that? They LOVE me. Holy shit.

Hayley Avron

Stag and Dagger - Full Leeds Line UP!

The newly created STAG & DAGGER one day festival was formed last year with the help of London promoter Adventures in the Beetroot Field and hipster publication Vice. This year the have branched out of the capital to include dates in Glasgow (23rd May) and Leeds (22nd May) with the help of us, THE IRON WAGON!! Yeah we were honoured and obviously took the task up with gusto. Its proving to be time consuming in times of organistation, but with bands such as Wavves, Cursive and The Mae Shi playing in little ass venues its gonna be worth it, this rarely happens in Leeds with this level of bands so its pretty great.

Without further hesitation here is the full line up in alphabetical order:

GIRLS (San Francisco)

Tickets for Leeds are £15 and this gets you into all the gigs between 6pm and 1am and then also for the afterparty at The Faversham till 4am. Keep your wristband too as a new venue is opening in Leeds on Saturday 23rd May and this wristband will get you access to the launch party too!!

Purchase your ticket from here

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Eye Candy

Some of you may have already seen this, but filmmaking wunderkind and long-haired weirdo Chris Cunningham has taken the corporate dollar (well, these are hard times) and made an ad for the new Gucci perfume, 'Flora', and it's kind of awesome.

Featuring Vanessa Paradis lookalike and utter jailbait Abbey Lee Kershaw, it demonstrates CC's trademark visual flair with a kind of blissed-out summery vibe and is a whole lot more palatable than the last thing of his I saw, the video for The Horrors' "Sheena Is A Parasite". If you don't believe me, see for yourself:

True connoisseurs will be more than happy to click here and watch the vid on Gucci's special 'Flora' page, but then again I have managed to find a couple of Vanessa Paradis vids, so why not stay here and put your feet up?

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson

There are no wasted words here. No throwaway lines, no chord change for chord change’s sake. Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson’s eponymous debut album is out on Transgressive Records on 18th May 2009. The New York resident counts Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio and Christopher Bear of Grizzly Bear among his emotional investors. But those are just facts. Or speculation, maybe. No, they’re facts. I just read them on printed paper.

The bits worth talking about, though, are in the music. MBAR is part ramshackle drunken confessional and part soulful hymnal. It’s some serious 3am, propping up the bar fodder. Lyrically, he’s wry, witty and acute, spitting self-deprecation over raucous guitars. The production’s about as clean as his lifestyle – you get every mistimed brush of the sleeve on the guitar, a bunch of birdsong in the background and the shuffle of feet. The result is an album that sounds like it was recorded in about two hours, with the meter running outside. There’s a palpable sense of urgency, abandon, and, clearly forgetting that it shouldn’t really go with urgency and abandon… humour.

For a knock-kneed and haunting video of the opening track ‘Buriedfed’, go Here

And you can download the track Here

Hayley Avron

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Alela Diane "White As Diamonds"

Since I accidentally heard the haunting song 'White as Diamonds' whilst surfing the internet last night, I can't stop thinking about here. Mainly thinking why the hell haven't I heard her before and also more stupidly, why did I turn her show down that I got offered a few months ago, what a fucking idiot!! Anyway these things happen for a reason and I'm happy I've now uncovered this diamond, although by her myspace it looks like nineteen thousand people have already discovered her. Her music is perfect for sitting outside on a spring day, much like today, drinking coffee and appreciating life, oops I just made myself sick, sorry.

Watch the great little video for 'White as Diamonds' here

The Thermals UK/European Tour 2009

"...but I still have faith, if I ever had faith" - Returning to the Fold - The Thermals

Portland three piece The Thermals have just released there 4th and possibly best album so far 'Now We Can See' om Kill Rock Stars and no longer Sub Pop. They have a new drummer in tow after Lorin Coleman left the band last year to join 'Andy Combs & the Moth'. After a crazy successful trip to SXSW this year and great reviews for the new album I reckon this tour will be their busiest so far, I'm so excited, roll on June!!

Visit The Thermals official site here

Read the Pitchfork review of Now We Can See

Follow The Thermals onTwitter

Watch the Video for 'Now We Can See'here

Watch the video for 'Pillar of Salt' here

14 Bristol (UK), Thekla
15 Leeds (UK), Brudenell Social Club
16 Edinburgh (UK), Sneaky Petes
17 Glasgow (UK), Stereo
18 Belfast (UK), Auntie Annies
19 Dublin (IE), Academy 2
21 Manchester (UK), Ruby Lounge
22 Birmingham (UK), Academy 3
23 London (UK), Cargo
24 Brighton (UK), Freebutt
26 Evreux (France), Le Rock Dans Tous Ses Etats Festival

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

SXSW 2009 - Sunburn, Lone Star, dead pigs...

"If you wanna get it big time, go ahead and get it, get it big time!" - Yeasayer

No matter how many times you go to SXSW there's no good way of preparing for the millions of cool people and millions of idiots you will meet every second that you're awake. For a start I watched Kid Cudi with 4,000 drunk frat boys dancing like Flavor Flav after a really dodgy pill, it was surreal and not what I remembered from previous years, although it was a Red Bull party so what did I expect?

This years left turn was going out there with Domino act Wild Beasts (above) who I co-manage. I discovered a new behind the scenes Austin which was good and bad, hanging out with the Daytrotter guys, the Domino staff, as many free Lone Stars as you can drink, being treated like a second class citizen by pretty much every person who is trying to get you on and off stage within a 40 minute slot, no sound checks, no where to store gear and the worst traffic imaginable. All that a side we played some blinding shows and sold all of our merchandise which was sweet. The highlights were playing shows with Sky Larkin, Dirty Projectors, Chief, We Have Band and Paul Marshall.

We still had time to make new friends and see some sweet new bands like Local Natives (above), Young Widows (below), Wavves, Casiokids, The Soft Pack, Gringo Star, Blank Dogs, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Woods. I challenge anyone to go out there and not be overwhelmed, even after going three times its just too much to comprehend and take in. Its exhausting and makes you ill, but on the last day you still can't bring yourself to check out of the hotel.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Back In The New York Groove

Hot new videos for ya...

First up is the bluesy sound of the impressively-haired C Gibbs with Brooklyn folkies Lucinda Black Bear and the single 'Medicine Bag':

It would appear that the American music press have been fawning over this dude a bit, so let's keep an eye out for him, shall we?

To contrast, let's have a look at the video for 'In New York, Everything Is Tropical' by former Whig and touring member of chart faves MGMT, the interestingly-named Kuroma:


Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Scraping The Barrel

Here's something to occupy you while we await Ash's promised epic post about SXSW; The new Kasabian video. Sweet freaking Jesus.

Now, I normally regard Kasabian as retards, but their videos have impressed me a couple of times; I think the promo for 'Shoot The Runner' is ace (blame YouTube and PRS for the lack of video) and the new one for their freshly released download 'Vlad the Impaler' is pretty cool too.

It's got a kind of 60s Hammer thing going on and features Vince Noir hamming it up with a massive stake:

Kasabian - Vlad the Impaler from Kasabian on Vimeo.

Thank fuck they're not in it.