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an exploration of sound

& noise

AMPERSAND MAGAZINE

Table of Contents
Tom Urwin 6 Victoria Oxberry 10 Isabelle Sentana 12 Adam Kivel 14 Sandra Atkins 19 Gina Pantone 24 Shane Culloty 27 Mike de Waal 38 Ian Wright 41 Rob Galo 46 Mark Reynolds 50 Matt Vuchichevich 54 Gemma Cooney 62

Special Mention
arcadefire.net thetorturegarden.org thrillpier.blogspot.com myspace.com/spideyanddon onethirtybpm.com consequenceofsound.net audioscribbler.co.uk narcmedia.com

between the click of the light

and the start of the dream.

Arcade Fire No Cars Go

Books and Music


Tom Urwin

My mother wanted me to be an author. She said you should be an author, you should write books. Yknow, thats a good life, you could get a little something for yourself. But what she didnt understand was that I wanted everything... well tonight youre just gonna have to settle for rock n roll. Bruce Springsteen, Growing Up, from Live 197585. Fiction has always influenced popular music, from Huxleys unwitting gift to Jim Morrison of The Doors (Of Perception), to The Velvet Undergrounds rather creepy homage to SacherMasoch in Venus In Furs; from Dire Straits cheesy but utterly wonderful Romeo and Juliet, to Green Days Salinger-driven Who Wrote Holden Caulfield? (displaying, at least, a healthy knowledge of their target audience). Not forgetting, of course, the dozens of artists from Gary Numan to Klaxons who have taken influence from JG Ballard (Im not as smart as this list suggests- the music round on a recent episode of University Challenge was all about Ballards influence on music). Think of The Cures Killing An Arab, not so much influenced by as a straight retelling of Camus The Stranger; Even Springsteen got in on the act, recording The Ghost of Tom Joad, a ponderous homage to John Steinbecks masterpiece, The Grapes of Wrath. And this works, because books, fiction and non-fiction, take a form that allows the development of Big Ideas.You dont expect to get through a whole book in a single sitting, so you accept that for the commitment of time and energy, you get a greater intellectual pay-off. The pop song is usually around 3-4 minutes long and rarely more than 6 or 7 minutes long (Bohemian Rhapsody and Tiny Dancer being notable examples of long songs that still manage to capture people and maintain pop sensibilities, without the near-inevitable drip into avant garde that such length usually brings with it). This means theres less room for development of Big Ideas, but allows for the distillation of existing ideas or themes.

Lets have a look at Springsteens Ghost... again. The song takes its title and influence from one of the finest characters in literature and a personal favourite of mine (apologies for the Patrick Bateman tone- the Bret Easton Ellis character of course, not the Manic Street Preachers B-side).Without giving anything away, young Tom Joads final speech is one of the most moving pieces of emotional rhetoric ever written.The Boss takes this speech and makes it the emotional climax of his song after a mere two-and-a-half minutes of admittedly hearty brooding, while The Grapes of Wrath takes the better part of four hundred pages to lay down enough background to ensure that the speech has the most powerful impact upon the reader that it can. Springsteens song doesnt have quite the same effect, but it is still, even to someone who has no clue of who Tom Joad is or what his ghost represents, an intensely powerful moment, coming after only two verses and a couple of choruses, over a sparse accompaniment of harmonica, acoustic and steel guitars. So it must be something in the music. The lo-fi, western arrangement and minor key of Tom Joad sets the scene musically, hinting at a specifically American kind of misery, just as the droning musical backdrop and Lou Reeds squawking ostrich guitar in Venus In Furs makes the listener feel uncomfortable long before he starts singing about whips and boots and belts and things. This is why it works. In the best of these songs, the music complements the lyrics, allowing for a more focused dissection of much larger literary works. In recent years, however there has been an artistic turnaround with an increase in the number of books influenced by music, and this reversal is often a lot more awkward and difficult to pull off. Of course, it was inevitable. Im no sociologist, Im not going to go into a breakdown of how popular culture evolved after the obscenity trials and subsequent vindication of Lady Chatterleys Lover and Ginsbergs Howl, or how The Beatles changed the very face of popular music and revolutionised... et frickin cetera. Its got more to do with the development of the cheap but substantial paperback as pioneered by Penguin Books in the 1930s. Good literature became widely available, so more people read and, I daresay, began to write, influenced by this. Weve had good fantasy and bad fantasy shoved down our throats, ditto sci-fi.Theres been chick lit, both as a development of and reaction to the kind of stuff that Jane Austen wrote. Thereve been memoirs, shocking and sad and occasionally false, and theres been bloke-lit. Bloke-lit is the stuff that plucks its influences from popular culture rather than the man-lit of Tom Clancy et al. Bloke-lit, which eschews high politics, international tensions, beardy Russian men and Harrison Ford in favour of sports, drinking, drugs and, inevitably, music.

Nick Hornby is the most obvious writer of music-led fiction, and High Fidelity is the bible for musos trying to understand their own misunderstanding of women (i.e. every male between the age of twelve and, say, eighty. Any older and The Beatles cant have meant much to them, so theyre basically a write-off as far as the rest of mid-late twentieth century pop culture goes. Sorry). But this is the exception. High Fidelity is more manifesto, more sociological tract, than work of fiction. Recently Ive read a couple of novels which focus on individuals in rock bands; one absolutely brilliant, the other utter tripe. Iain Banks Espedair Street (1987) tells the story of Daniel Weir, the washed-up songwriter and bass player for Frozen Gold, a classic rock band in the mould of Pink Floyd, or perhaps Fleetwood Mac. The books tells Dans (known to the public as Weird) story, from early days in Glasgow to global success, glory, death and dissolution, told in a series of flashbacks as he evaluates his current life. Considering that the lyrics quoted in the book are Banks own, from youthful daydreams of rock stardom, he is remarkably restrained and theres no hint of selfindulgence. Doug Johnstones The Ossians (2008) captures its eponymous heroes, archetypal Hip Young Things on the brink of breakthrough success, touring their homeland before they hit the big time. It has none of the resonances of Banks work, and seems to focus more on creating a vicarious playground for the author. The major difference between the two is the placement of the bands in reality. Banks slots Frozen Gold into an era of known quantities (and these quantities are always excesses- drugs; song arrangements; studio hours (months); live shows). He doesnt, however, mention a huge number of the bands peers. He suggests that the bands lead guitarist wants to be among the pantheon of Hendrix, Clapton, Page etc, but these are all the precursors of his band- 60s gods rather than 70s idols. He gives plenty of context- Born To Run had just been released in the US, and the shockwaves had yet to be felt over here, but never makes direct comparisons. In doing so, Frozen Golds songs sound like whatever the reader wants them to sound like, and so carry a certain credibility with them. The Ossians, on the other hand, is a perfect example of how not to write about music in a novel. Johnstone name-drops Arcade Fire and Sigur Rs, compares the band to Franz Ferdinand but with greater intellectual currency. Too many contemporary references, and it feels like its jumping onto some kind of indie bandwagon. Perhaps the tone of the novel, a first book trying too hard to be cool, is a deliberate attempt to evoke the same sort of effort made by its protagonists to break through to the big time, but I wouldnt bet on it.

Frozen Golds success is built on the hubris that Espedair Streets narrator recognises and accepts, whereas the hubris of The Ossians is in the mind of its author, creating a cool that exists only in comparison to other bands of its time, and consequently reads as a very clumsy, amateur debut. Its tricky and often treacherous trying to describe one art form through another. There are very few genres which dont have some example of borrowing from another artists subject, but some work better than others. Perhaps age brings veneration, but there feels something natural about an opera (or, in more recent times, a musical) based on an older play; or a painting depicting a character from classical literature. Even the movie based on a novel is accepted because its been going on since the dawn of cinema. However well-established a genre-influence link may be, though, there is still a need for caution. A cinematic thriller based on a novel which takes its inspiration from classical art sounds pretty good, right? Ever see The Da Vinci Code? Yeah. Maybe in time the musical novel will feel more comfortable in peoples minds, perhaps when a canon of established and accepted classics has been described. And perhaps its partly because of a specific personal interest in both literature and music that leads me to hope for more than a work can deliver. For now, though, novels based on musical influences make me feel distinctly wary, even until I reach the final page and can finally pass judgement. Its no Old Grey Whistle Test, but it works for me.

Turn Around...
Victoria Oxberry
I made the trek down to Birmingham on my ownsome as my friend had to pull out last minute and no one else was was free but it was fine. It was a day out of being exactly 2 years since I last saw Bright Eyes and I was on my own after a long journey then too. As someone who does not like city driving and hasnt done a lot of distance driving, I felt pretty chuffed with myself. Traffic was really bad going into Birmingham (which Conor later commented on) which was a bit of a blessing really as it gave more time to figure out what lane I needed to be in. It turned out that the queue for the gig ran down the side of the car park I was in which made life easy.Then it all got a bit scary for a moment when there was suddenly this noise of breaking glass about 20 ft in front of me and looked up in time to see pieces falling from above. Everyone just gasped before realising that one guy got hit. Really, its lucky only one guy did. I dont think it was really serious but it got him on the back of the head (obviously did the right thing and didnt look up) and an ambulance was called. There was loads of glass on the floor. A NCP woman came out so she could obviously tell from inside that something had happened but I didnt find out what. The window looked like one of those where theres something behind it so whether a car hit that which caused the glass to shatter, I dont know. The ambulance turned up just as the queue started moving so I dont know if he made it to the gig or not. On entering the Academy (after having my camera queried for professionalism) and making my way downstairs, I realised why the gig was starting so early - Carling Academies have Ramshackle, a post-gig club night on Fridays and maybe Saturdays too, I remember that Bristol used to do it (went once, it was lame). Still, I didnt mind the time as it would mean I wouldnt be so late getting home with it being a long drive. It was a good hour before the support band came on of which there were only two members as they were caught up in traffic and didnt have time to set everyones gear up. They only played about four songs of which one was really

bad. I didnt know beforehand who was supporting, and even now having seen them, I still have no idea. I would have liked to have got a bit closer to the stage but I had a pretty good view from where I was when Bright Eyes came on (I just hung around at the back during the support so had to move through people). Typically, I cant remember half of it now (and it sort of feels like a dream) though they opened with Clairaudients. Having read reviews of some of the other gigs and the Glastonbury set, I was looking forward to hearing material from a variety of albums. When I saw the Digital Ash tour, I think there was only two songs which werent from that album - though its still my favourite so hey. Obviously the bulk was from Cassadaga and I think for the most part, Cassadaga is better live than on CD, its just a bit too soft or shiny or something on CD to really engage with it but much more raw live. Middle Man is a good song on disc but a great one live. No One Would Riot for Less was fantastic. There were good back drops and my only gripe was the audience. As excited enthusiastic as they were between songs, no one really moved during them. I know Bright Eyes isnt exactly dancing music but you can still move, especially to an AMAZING The Calendar Hung Itself , I thought it would kick off at that point but it didnt so I was probably looking like the weird obsessed one, on my own jigging about, singing all the words. The orchestra kept coming and going depending on the songs. I was also extremely happy to hear a couple of Digital Ash songs again, I just love I Believe in Symmetry and it was great to experience it live again as I was still pretty new to Bright Eyes the first time round. As for Gold Mine Gutted which was the first encore, well... having two drummers like they did before really just makes it such a full sound. It was great to see Janet Sleater-Kinney Weiss (who I think I saw walk past before the support came on) up there as she is a great drummer but I still dont know who the other girl is. The encore was peculiar after that, there were a few songs I didnt know then one I think Id only heard once before before finishing with At the Very Bottom of Everything which whilst being a good version of a good songs, was a bit of an odd one to end on. I was really hoping for Road to Joy as I think it got played in the US. So a good gig if somewhat lacking on the audience front, and then a huge queue to pay the machine in the car park but a nice if back achey drive back. I did kill a bunny on the motorway though, it was only little and I saw it hopping across the road in my headlights but I couldnt do anything. I hope I managed to restore some balance when getting home, on a road near my house, I managed to circumnavigate a frog also hopping across the road.

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Linstant o je suis tombe dans la marmite


Isabelle Sentana
Aujourdhui, ma passion pour la musique tient du miracle. Je nai jamais t leve dans un univers musical, loin de l On mettait peine la radio la maison! Ctait mme plutt France Info quRTL2. Et si par bonheur jentendais de la musique, ctait sur lautoroute ou alors de la bouillie infme que ma mre aime, Julien Clerc bref, la programmation de Radio Nostalgie! Il y a de quoi vous dgoter de la musique. Je ne comprends toujours pas aujourdhui comment mes parents faisaient et font pour ne pas couter de musique : pourtant, mon pre avait une bonne vingtaine de vynils assez intressants, datant de sa priode cheveux longs baba cool des annes 70. Mais il ne me les a jamais jous! Et en plus il joue de la guitare! Cest ny rien comprendre En tout cas je me rappelle trs nettement de la premire fois o la musique ma frappe de plein fouet. Non, ce ntait pas quand je chantais tue-tte Whitney Houston en jouant aux Polly-Pockets, ni mme quand je chantais de la vieille (trs vieille) chanson franaise la chorale Ctait sur la route, grce mon beau-frre (il ne le sait pas mais je len remercie encore!) qui dailleurs ncoute pas plus de musique que cela Je me rappelle encore de la chanson qui a dfinitivement modifi ma faon de voir les choses, et on peut le dire clairement, ma vie. Ctait I still havent found what Im looking for . Mme pas besoin de dire de qui cest! Je ne savais mme pas de qui ctait lpoque. Javais 11 ans. Jappelais a de la musique de vieux . Ca ma explos en pleine tte au moment o je my attendais le moins. Jai tout de suite emprunt le Best Of dont la chanson tait tire et je lai cout sans relche, pendant des mois entiers, et sans tre encore assez curieuse (ou peut-tre remise du choc) pour acheter un autre CD. Ce nest que trois ans plus tard que jai commenc me constituer une maigre collection, avec des albums doccasion, dont le premier a t tonnamment The Unforgettable Fire (il y avait Bad , dedans, a a t ma prfre pendant des annes!)

Sans men apercevoir, javais t contamine par le rock, moi qui navait eu la chance que dcouter de la varitoche grce ma mre, des chansons franaises grce mon pre, et de la dance grce mon frre. Et encore sans men apercevoir, jai achet toute la collection des U2, et jai sombr petit petit. U2 ma amen me retrouver sur Internet, o je cherchais les paroles des chansons, et des photos, et des biographies etc! Au dbut du lyce, je me retrouvais mme toute seule en salle de permanence pour couter les albums aux couteurs, pour retranscrire les paroles que je ne comprenais qu moiti, mais qui me touchaient incroyablement. U2 ma appris normment de choses. Ils mont appris ressentir des millions de choses diffrentes en coutant de la musique, ils mont appris tre passionne pour quelque chose, ils mont incite aller sur Internet! A me trouver tout un tas damis l-dessus! A me trouver un ami trs particulier depuis 5 ans! A dcouvrir dautres groupes! A mouvrir, tout simplement Et faire de moi ce que je suis present.

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Surreal Adventures in Modern Music at the Empty Bottle (9/9-13)


Adam Kivel
Will the festival season ever end? Part of me hopes so, but another part hungers for more. And The Wire sponsored Adventures in Modern Music Festival at Chicagos Empty Bottle this past week pushed that hunger to a limit. Im now pretty sure that another festival would kill me. Now, thats certainly not to say that I didnt enjoy my four days at one of Chicagos best venues; it didnt help that I was sick, and couldnt make it out of the house for one of the five shows. But, the array of noise, improv, under-the-radar, generally weird and generally amazing acts covering those five days made my sore throat not feel too bad.

Wednesday, September 9th

Anyway, I arrived at the Empty Bottle on Wednesday sure that it would be an interesting night. Of the four acts, I knew two fairly well, had cursory knowledge of another and had never heard of the fourth (which seemed to be a general pattern for every show). After grabbing a beverage, I trudged over to the stage as cursory-knowledge-act and local electronic noise trioHaptic(which means pertaining to the sense of touch) began their set. The trio of Steven Hess, Joseph Clayton Mills, and Adam Sonderberg lived up to their name, producing heavily layered, dense, textured drones that hung heavily throughout the room. Whether it was pairing cymbal washes with low, rumbling thunder-like sounds or an incredibly long snare roll with a staccato bass that sounded like some far-off, unknown rap beat from a car down the street, the trio were intensely connected and inventive. As metal statesmanJoe Prestontook the stage, the many beards and black shirts suddenly seemed about right. Prestons history seems to call such fashion forward, as hes a former member of legendary groups including The Melvins, Earth, and High on Fire. (Hes also played with SunnO))) and recorded with Harvey Milk.) With a distinguished gray beard, long black hair surrounding a bald spot, and all black clothes, Preston stood alone with his bass, a laptop sitting

on a chair playing all the drum and other parts from his recordings. It was kind of silly to see Preston alone up there, growling and grunting along to pre-recorded instrumentation. And silly, to be sure, isnt the most desired adjective for metal. Occasionally throwing his vocals through a vocoder, Prestons impressive chording and shredding sounded and felt a lot like a guitarist but in an ass-kicking low rumble. But, still, the set was definitely weakened by the absence of live drumming. Multiple times the recorded drumming would tear off into an impressive peal of destruction, but it seemed crazy to leave that to a laptop. Improv/experimental drummerChris Corsanograced the stage next. Corsanos pedigree, which includes collaborations with Jandek, Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, Jim ORourke, Paul Flaherty, and C. Spencer Yeh (who would be performing as Burning Star Core a few days later) among many others, is startling. Even more startling is this yearsAnother Dull Dawn, an impressive solo release. Yet more startling was Corsanos solo set. His use of the drum kit is imaginative and inventive; he used a pair of gongs to hit his cymbals, he scraped rubber mallets over the drum. But the most interesting point of the set came later. Corsano held a melodica in one hand, droning one note as he used a violin bow on the rim of his snare drum, matching the tone. He then added harmonizing notes on the melodica, producing an ethereal, warbling chord. After Corsano finished, blacklights started getting plugged in around the stage. The neon orange, yellow and green posters covering the stage quickly illuminated with an eerie glow. Id never heard ofCAROLINER, but apparently the self-proclaimed tribute band to the singing bull of the 1800s who had the same name have been around making their noise-pop-bluegrass fusion for over 25 years. But, nothing could have prepared me for what came walking through the crowd to the stage. Clad in day-glo Aztec-from-the-future costumes, the group could best be described as really f**king creepy. Or maybe surreal or both. One bassist had a helmet that looked like a broken mirror covering a box, while the other looked like a giant insect. The drummer looked like he was wearing a broken lion skull over his head. The synth-player was a giant-headed creepy cowboy and the trumpeteer a strange combination of ram and squid. They looked like Gwar on mushrooms, while the music could best be described as a folksy carnival stuck somewhere between outer space and hell.

Thursday, September 10th

After day one, I was ready for anything. But, day two openerSharon Von Ettens set rolled over the Empty Bottle like a breath of fresh air. Her lush, warm voice, serene guitar work and strong song-writing sounded perfect for a melancholy rainy day. The Brooklynite sounded and

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looked a lot like Dirty Projectors member Angel Deradoorian, but her intensely familiar music was much more straight-forward than Deradoorians solo material (Mirah or Cat Power might be more comparable, but Van Ettens music was too insular for Mirah). Lines like The moral of the story is dont lie to me again and Dreams that might come true with you were just dark enough to keep things from being too saccharine. The excellent I Fold, about trying to deal with moving back in with your parents in your 20s, was smart and tightly composed. Lucky Dragons set was next, and, I have to admit, this was the one I was most looking forward to. After a last-minute decision this winter to drop into the Heaven Gallery for a Lichens/Joe Grimm/Lucky Dragons set, I would have to say my life was changed. Artists Luke Fishbeck and Sarah Rara (who was sadly missing in action this evening) produce world musicinspired, glitch-friendly drones on album, but their live shows are transcendental, one of the best experiences Ive ever had. Their most notable composition is the sublime Make A Baby, which incorporates instrumentation that had to have sprung from the mind of a genius or two. On this night, it began with Fishbeck at a laptop on the venues floor, manipulating samples into a beautiful, haunting loop. He then grabbed a series of wires with shakers on the end, handing them to audience members. The rattles, when shaken, were put through delay and sounded like rattlesnakes. The echoing shakes paired beautifully with the chiming samples, but Fishbecks next two tricks really were the icing on the cake. He began handing rocks to audience members, and showing them how moving them nearer and farther from a strange box he had connected to his laptop would produce fluttering, spacy, changing synth tones. After a while of this, he attached wires to the box, each wrapped in a conductive fabric and ending in a metal prong. Audience members were chosen to hold each of the wires, and then shown that direct skin contact between the newly-inducted-performers would produce similar spacy sounds. Anyone could come up, place one hand on one performers arm and the other on someone else and make a new connection, a new change to the music. And this was all happening while Fishbecks samples continued to trill out in beautiful loops. Fishbeck also handed out some small gongs and mallets, before he finally picked up a reverbed kalimba and a wired flute, acting like the pied piper of the future of music. This interactive, entrancing music involved the crowd directly and perfectly. Everyone in the room was making this wonderful music together, without any prior experience necessary, without necessarily knowing any of their bandmates. This truly was one of the best performances Id ever seen. After a quick set by Norwegian eclectic 90s devotee Hanne Hukkelberg and another by Andy Moor (guitarist of legendary anarcho-punk-jazz group The Ex) and DJ Rupture,

night two was also in the books, and I was ready for another night of wonder and amazement.

Friday, September 11th

Night three began as I walked into the venue to a dark drone from Ju Suk Reet Meat (from the more than 30-year-tenured Portland-via-California noise group Smegma) and Oblivia (a frequent member/collaborator with Smegma). The duo were making a heck of a racket with a sliding guitar-like instrument and a table of noise-making gadgets. The following act,C. Spencer Yeh(tonight performing solo as Burning Star Core) should be a familiar name to anyone who has filtered through the experimental/noise section of their local record store.The Cincinnati noise artist and founder of DroneDisco Records (which releases his own material, but also excellent material from the likes of Hototogisu and Hair Police), Yehs masterful violin and noise work swept over the small crowd. The music ranged from droning jazz (with Yeh playing the role that Ron Carters cello did) to blissful ambient noise experimentation. The final piece of Yehs set started with an unusually normal drum n bass loop with an eventual crescendoing wall of violin drone. Once the loop faded away, the glittering wall remained, haunting and chilled. After a short, dark and droney set from Montreal experimental metal duoMenace Ruine, the crowd near the stage tripled. No longer was it a place for weird, bearded men and a few ladies; the crowd had suddenly become an exciting, dance-party-ready crowd of well-dressed people.That meant it was time for the eternally seriousYACHT to bring their eternally serious party jams. Jona Bechtolt and Claire Evans jumped onstage (Bechtolt in a white suit reminiscent of an Evangelical preacher) and immediately commanded the audiences full attention. Their set, complete with a powerpoint presentation about where they come from, was full of interesting twists (including a Google Street View of their apartment). The intense Im In Love With A Ripper found Bechtolt swinging his white microphone cord around and dancing like David Byrne fronting the Black Eyed Peas. During a question-and-answer session, someone asked why he wasnt in The Blow anymore. Bechtolt responded with a politely scathing remark about former bandmate Mikhaela Yvonne Maricich (the other person in the band isnt a good person). They also led the crowd in a sort of YACHT pledge, which ended with a line about not repeating after others, which the crowd wisely didnt repeat after Bechtolt. You guys are a lot smarter than Yeah Yeah Yeahs fans Bechtolt added, referring to the duos current tour with Karen O and company. They played a new song that included the line blow out your brain, do the Kurt Cobain. The song that concluded the set, though, garnered a full audience sing-along and the dancing shook the floor more than Id ever seen at the Empty

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Bottle. Psychic City (Voodoo City)s brilliant wordless chorus and Claire Evans confident, strong vocals was easily one of the best moments of the week.

Saturday, September 12th

Saturday evening was the show that I missed. This meant I missed electro-folk group Mountains, psych-garagesters Ty Segall, the self-proclaimed black metal/swing/classical duoOvO, and world folk duoA Hawk and a Hacksaw, which Im sure Ill hear later was easily the best night of the five.

Astoria
Sandra Atkins
The Astoria gig was in 1999. Id won a place on the Guestlist (through BowieNet) but Don hadnt been able to get a ticket.and there was no way I was going in without him! Well, after WEEKS of riding an emotional roller-coaster, we were still no nearer to having two tickets to get into the Astoria. We had been to the filming of the TV show LATER WITH JOOLS HOLLAND (which was FANTASTIC) on Tuesday night, and didnt get to back home till 1.45am. We had hoped to get a ticket for Don sorted out on Tuesday, but still nothing. Although it was a great night, the ticket thing hung over us like a grey cloud. By Wednesday, that grey cloud was a very black cloud. We had only had 3 hours sleep on Tuesday night..we went to bed at 3.00am and were up for work at 6.00am again on Wednesday!! So we were very VERY tired Wednesday evening, which I think made us even more depressed. I went online in the evening looking for SOME hope of how we were gonna get in hoping still for a miracle.but nothing. Steph was still trying to keep me thinking positive, but I couldnt. Me and Don decided that we had nothing to lose by still going down to London, wed brought and paid for the train tickets, and Id worked over a lot at work to make up for the time I needed to take off Thursday afternoon. We thought at the very worst we would be able to see some friends down there, and maybe go for a drink with other people in the same boat. PLUS I could find Gilly and tell her to say she was ME and get in on the BowieNet Guest List. So we had an early night, we went to bed at 10.00am (VERY early for me). I woke up with a start at 6.00am feeling just as shattered as the night before. I thought to myself QUICK, get ready for work..you cant be late in today of all daysI flew into the

Sunday, September 13th

Finally, it was night five. Current it band from current it label Woodsist,Woods kicked off the night with a generally strong set. The group opened with a long, droney instrumental piece that sounded a lot like a mixture of Tortoises tight instrumentation and Pocahaunteds freak folk aesthetic. The piece had a great, dark forest mysticism to it that carried through most of the set, vocalist/tape and pedal manipulator G. Lucas Crane rocking around on the floor with his trademark headphone-microphone angled over his face. After a while, though, it seemed like they had gotten that piece out of the way so they could get to the songs. Once guitarist/ vocalist Jeremy Earl began singing in his falsetto, it sounded more like California psych-rock group Ducktails with a strong Neil Young influence. Subarachnoid Space came next, their experi-metal noodling filling the room with some of the loudest drumming Ive ever heard. Wisconsin-via-Phoenix (weirdest band locator ever) singer-songwriter Nika Roza Danilova, akaZola Jesus, and her gothy, noisy experimental pop played third. By this point, my brain was aching and I needed to go to sleep. I needed to get out of the Empty Bottle and never go back. I needed to go home, take some cold medicine and wrap myself in a blanket. But, as I exited the place, I thanked the lord that the Empty Bottle had stamped my hand with a bunny stamp on the way in. There stood Tortoise member Doug McCombs amongst a group of others eagerly waiting for Zola Jesus set to end so they could get a glimpse of Phantom Orchard, the much-admired collaboration between electronic artist Ikue Mori and harpist Zeena Perkins. This convinced me that it was worth another hour. And Im glad it did; the swirling, beautiful combination of prepared harp (staccato and quick) with Moris burbling laptop sounds moved into a lush, stuttering harp movement complete with wonderfully glitch-and-pop electronics.

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bathroom, had my wash, cleaned my teeth, washed my hair.got ready for work!! Then I thought just ONE more look on the computer to see if a miracle has happened with the tickets I turned the computer on, went online and was a bit surprised to see a couple of people on ICQ who I dont normally see at this time of the morning!!! Strange? Then I looked at the clock on my computer.it read 00.09!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKKK I ran and checked the clock in the bedroom..yup, I had got up and got myself ready for work 6 HOURS TOO EARLY!!!!!!! You can tell how screwed up I was. So, I went back to bed with wet hair **yuck** and then woke up again at 4.44am with a cold head. It was hard getting through work on Thursday morningI couldnt get excited, just anxious. Don picked me up from work at 2.00am again (hed had two afternoons off work, the Tuesday and Thursday) and we went home to get ready. We were so disheartened that we hadnt even thought what we were gonna wear this timebut we somehow got ourselves ready. Steph phoned me againshe was in London with a few of the others that were going she was very hyper and excited, obviously, we would be in her position, but I didnt want to let myself get my hopes up again, it was really making me feel quite ill nowI needed to try and keep myself level!!!!! So I told her again that we were just coming down to SEE people and have a drink*IF* by some miracle we got in, then that would be a bonus!!!!!! So, we got to London at 5.30pm..and made our way slowly to the Astoria. Don said wed find out what the Touts (scalpers) were asking, but didnt hold out much hopes, as the cheapest wed found a ticket for sale was 100 (which seemed to be the going rate). One of our friends had paid 250!!!!! We got to the club to find HUNDREDS of Touts!!!!! What a surprise NOT! I knew this would be the caseI KNEW the Touts had got most of the tickets. They kept coming up to us saying Tickets for David Bowie tonight? buy OR sell. We asked a couple how much and they said 90 or 80. Then this guy came up to us and said you lookin for tickets? we said maybe, how much you askin? we told him we wanted TWO tickets, so couldnt afford to pay a fortune. He said hed let us have two at 60 each! We haggled a bit, told him we only had 100 and we settled on 110 for the two.

We were really pleased55 each wasnt too bad at all.PLUS it meant wed be in the club TOGETHER **YAY** and now I could GIVE my place on the Guest List to Gilly (when we found her). So that wouldnt be wasted. I thought NOW we can settle/calm down and go and get a drink with some friends. Then Don said we should check these tickets are genuine AAAAAAAAAAAAAARGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHH I never even give that a thought!!!!! So we went into a bookshop which was light and quiet and got the tickets out..you only had to take one look at them in the light to see they were fakes. Wed been ripped off We were devastated..now what??? There were lots of people (fans) who we knew standing in line outside the club, so we found someone and asked to see his ticket..sure enough it was a bit different, they were individually numbered, our two had the SAME number on them 000170 (a number well never forget). Plus the real ones had a water mark on them. He looked at ours and said youve been had We found some other friends standing in line and were telling them about the fake tickets when the guy standing behind them said did you buy them off a guy wearing a Russian hat? we said yeah, that are the guy. He got his ticket out and guess what number it was? Yup, 000170. We told him that was the same one - he said BASTARD and ran off to try and find him and to tell Security now we knew for sure they were fake. Within 6 minutes the place was crawling with police and security guards. They were going up and down the line of fans checking their tickets with ultra violet pens. The Touts ran off in all directions, like the rats they are! We know knew we werent even gonna be able to get in with Tout tickets We asked if people knew where Steph and Paul and the others wereand they told us what pub to find them in, so we went off to at least see them, and wish them a good time. When we found them Steph became the hug monster again LOLBUT it was hard to be as huggable back. They were shocked at our tale of fake tickets! Steph STILL insisted we WOULD get inDon told her youll be telling me you believe in Father Christmas next but she said we HAD to have faith. She said come with us to the clubwe didnt really feel like watching them all go in,

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but we went along to keep her happy. It was VERY hard, we stood on the opposite side of the barriers, watching our friends go in the Guest List entrance (where I knew my name was written down). I hugged Steph as she went through the doors, and I fought back the tears. I really wished them all a GREAT timeand we then walked away. We asked around if anyone had seen Gilly yet? I really needed to make sure that she got inshe must say she was ME on the Guest List. Then someone told us Gilly WAS there..shed last been seen around the back of the club, by the stage entrance. We went round the back and there were about 8/9 people standing thereincluding GILLY. I ran up to her and we hugged each other like crazy. She said she had only arrived in London at 6.45pm..she still had her flight bag with her. The guy who we told had a fake ticket was there too, as were 2 others that had also been stitched up. They were asking to talk to the Tour Manager. The Tour Manager then came out the doors, he spoke to them and then disappeared again. He came back a couple of minutes later with passes to let them 3 in. I called the Tour Manager over and told him OUR story. I told him how *I* was already on the Guest List (from BowieNet) but how I wouldnt go in without Don, so we had brought two tickets from a Tout for 110 which turned out to be fake, and it was US that had alerted people and therefore stopped other fans being ripped off!!! He said he sympathised, but couldnt help.There were NO MORE places in the club left. no tickets, no passes left. We were gutted, and I had tears in my eyes, but I told him we understood. I said btw, my name is Sandra Atkins, SPIDEY and he said sorry again and went back inside. The doors were still open, and two security guys stood there.but we could see lots of people going past insidethere was something still going on! Then another of Bowies people came out and called me, Don and Gilly overhe said you three, follow me. I have no tickets, but David said you can come inside. We were in a daze!!!!! WAS THIS REALLY HAPPENING?????? We were walking up this corridor with him and I kept saying THANK YOU he turned round and said dont thank me, thank David, he saw you, he wants you in:)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) OHMIGODcan you believe it??????? Me and Gilly kept huggin each otherme and Don thanked her tooGilly is a

miracle workerand to think wed gone to find her to make sure SHED got inand there we all were inside. We went through the entrance at the top of some stairs and we were RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE BLOODY STAGE WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO The 3 of us were grinnin like cheshire cats. We had time to go to the bar which was still empty (most of the fans were still standing line outside the club). And then we asked Gilly (the expert) where the best place to stand would be..she said follow me and boy were we happy to do that. We had a FANTASTIC view, only 3 people in front of us during the show. Two guys (one who had paid 75 for his ticket) MADE me stand in front of them to get a better view, coz Im so small, and people around us in the crowd were grinnin and huggin me. All the emotion of the previous few weeks came to a headWhen David walked on stage he looked right over to where me, Don and Gilly were and he waved at us (at least it looked like that). I WENT WILD!!!! I have never let go so much at a gig, I was pogoing and screaming fit to burstI just could NOT believe it wasnt all a dream! The show was FANTASTIC.David was really enjoying it, even though hes still full of a cold bless him. It was one of the best nights of our lives, one to remember for always. MIRACLES DO happenSteph was right.

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Connecting on the Weirdest of Levels


Gina Pantone
January 2006
In the midst of a frozen December landscape, surrounded by foreboding gray skies and frantic displays of capitalism, its good to know that there is hope in a barren musical market. The holidays often bring nothing but kitschy reindeer and has-been pop stars all racing for their place as the seasons first stocking stuffer. The venues are populated only by tourists and tumbleweeds, and soon an entire month has passed without a single inspiration. As the chaos rises with the snowstorms, traffic jams and frantic soccer moms an unlikely protagonist is emerging. Chicago is a terrifying place, The Decemberists singer, songwriter, guitarist and solo artist Colin Meloy proclaimed. He has a point, for it is chiefly his second solo tour coming to town this month that is saving the city from a long and frightening winter lineup. He laughed and continued, No, no, just the airport. I like Chicago as a city, I swear! It always reminds me of a Wild West movie. I think of any other American metropolis, it mostly resembles Augusta, Montana. For some reason, it just always feels like the big city version of a western. Aging cowboys aside, Meloy has had a lot to feel heroic and sometimes even standoffish about. His band has recently wrapped a tour in support for their third and final album, Picaresque, for indie label Kill Rock Stars and are pressing on to bigger waters.They signed with Capitol Records earlier this month, thrusting the Decemberists into an uncertain environment. To be honest, I keep going back and forth whether we should be introverted or extroverted, he said. Meloy, struggling with the change from indie spokesperson to Beatles labelmate, still shows signs of reluctance. Though he remains adamant that The Decemberists have never claimed a throne to the hipster elite, it was theirs with or without their permission. Well, I think its the attitude that a lot of people took on in defense of their indie-ness.

Weve been involved over the last three years with one of the most stellar indie labels out there. We never tried to adhere to that standard bands like Fugazi and Jello Biafra did, where you refuse to accept that potential of making a living there is a certain concern you should have over a career that will pay your bills and put food on your table. I feel like that attitude, when taken to the extreme throughout an entire career, can kind of cripple you a little bit. Whereas I think that it makes sense to a lot of people, but we adhere to a lot of DIY ethics just out of necessity, which I think is the most important reason. Once you dont have to press and burn your own CDs, why continue to do it? Unless youre out to make a statement, and weve never been out to make a political or cultural statement. We just want to make music, and be able to do it full time. Juggling the credibility of the underground with the potential benefits of the mainstream is quite the predicament. Besieged with an identity crisis, both personally and musically, is something The Decemberists have been dealing with for quite some time. Their folksy transition from playful vignettes to dramatic epics has been increasingly evident with their more avant-garde 2004 EP The Tain, with its usage of movements rather than basic tracks, and even Picaresque displays more complex characters and intricate storylines. Regardless of their theatrics, Meloy assures us that there will be no upcoming films on bloodthirsty mariners or astute gymnasts in the future. In my opinion, these songs exist solely as little short stories, in their collections of short stories. Each song is like a sibling of theirs, and I feel like if you pull one away, the other will be kind of lonely. There is something whimsically fascinating about Meloy. His voice, nasally and almost British, tells like a teacher at storytime. Rather than being obvious or stereotypical by prattling off personal tales of lovelorn experiences, he would rather just play mind games. I remember when we first started out, I had assumed that our audience would never stretch beyond a few hundred casual listeners, he explained of his random subject matter choices. Ive been pleasantly surprised. Its just really out of curiosity, to see how far we can take it writing songs about espionage, male prostitutes and dead babies. Its really just a sociological experiment to see how many people can somehow connect to that. Meloys audiences have not only connected, but theyre steadfast. As the new year cries havoc, he is facing yet another solo tour, a new album and the scary plunge into fatherhood all while attempting to compose within the realm of a much larger machine. I guess it is just becoming a nice little tradition, Meloy described of his ventures into solo performing. Especially for the people that come out to the solo shows who are the core, diehard Decemberists fans. They

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really appreciate me going out of my way to have something acoustic available for them. As for his fears of being held down by Big Business, Meloy does his best to remain positive. I dont foresee any huge issues. Our contract seems to be very good. I have every reason to expect the best. I know well have our battles, but we had our battles with Kill Rock Stars too. The Decemberists seem to show promise in a genre that has been embracing more orchestral influences and instrumentation. In a world where kids give the accordion and sousaphone that same nod of approval as the electric guitar, its no surprise that Meloys songs about barrow boys and engine drivers are welcomed with open arms. I hope that 2006 will bring some good time for reflection and creativity, he looked ahead. I feel like 2005 was a lot of work a lot of being on the road and performing. Once you start touring a lot, you lose the aspect of building something as opposed to performing something thats already been built. Im kind of excited to go back and start working on the foundation of something, rather than just keeping up a house.

The Torturegarden
Blog Excerpts
Shane Culloty
THURSDAY, JULY 13, 2006 The Credibility Gap
This is the first real essay/article on this blog, so bear with me. Its a little long and a bit confusing, but it deals with something that directly affects you. It is the result of lots of thoughts fumbling in one direction, and some ideas inspired by a recent (and very divisive) post at Good Hodgkins. Its about what Ryan calls the Garden State effect - the title describing the buildup of a new Shins fanbase following their appearance in Zach Braff s film. Read it, noting especially the various reactions in the 126 comments. His essay is more about how success can bring irritating people who spoil shows into a bands fanbase - this essay is more about why music fans find these people irritating - and how they react to a bands success in the first place. Its also twice the length. Its a little like what James Dean Bradfield said recently about the explosion of Nirvana into a new mainstream after Nevermind, and judging by the amount of Kurt hoodies, ever since then: They (Nirvana) destroyed a generation of people - they gave them a gateway to an alternative worldwithout getting a badge firstand took them to that world which, at the end of the day, was just bad metal. This is the bad taste left in your mouth when you see someone you know you cannot stand enjoying music you love; the same frustrating, intangible feeling. Trying to explain it, I ended up using some sociological terms, so I warn you, this gets deep. Essentially, this debate is about two things: the forces that form and create a fanbase or target market, and the existence of supposed hipsters/scenestars/indie kids/style bandits/posers/fakers or OC brats. The latter theme is the hardest to focus on - how do you define a hipster without sounding like one, or worse, without sounding like an elitist musical-taste snob-blogger who will

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never admit to being one? But lets start with the easier stuff: Marx and Baudrillard (aaarrghh!). In The Communist Manifesto of 1848, Karl Marx said a lot of things. One of these was his prophecy of the end of capitalism. This downfall would be brought about by a crisis of production resulting from a concentration of property and capital in the hands of fewer and fewer men (the inevitable monopolies) and the fact that they employ more and more workers (who, being so many, earn less and less, please bear with me) - eventually, there is no-one left to buy their products, which they keep making (yes, this is a simplified view of Marxism) - in other words, capitalism as Marx saw it would continue as it always had, by making the rich richer and the poor poorer, and leaving no consumer. Okay? Today it is the consumer that the system relies on, and less so the worker. In the last half of the last century, companies began to work to build markets for their products, rather than products for existing markets - explaining the popularity of so many things that are no good for us. In one word: advertising. Public relations, press relations - the motto for the 21st century is not Workers of the world, unite! but the Customer is always right. Anyway. Today, music is, in these strict terms, just another commodity to be marketed at us something mp3 bloggers are well aware of. If youre reading this, (lets say you are) you probably feel that indie/alternative music ( generally meaning music existing outside the mainstream) is better than popular music. Heres where the debate gets really tricky - while being popular is by no means reason enough to condemn anything, does it necessarily mean its good? Oscar Wilde once said that Everything popular is wrong. Obviously, that is meant to be argued, but nobody could argue that a popular yet trashy book is anywhere near as good as anything by Wilde, or Nabokov, or Kurt Vonnegut, yet it is known where they are not. Anticonformity is a vital part of indie culture but it shouldnt affect something as basic as music taste. To take an obvious example - teenagers who dress in black, and cite Richey Edwards and Kurt Cobain as their idols. It is mostly safe to say that they do not know depression, they do not cut themselves or genuinely contemplate suicide, but they show the outside signs anyway. What they enjoy is the simulation of these feelings (heres the Baudrillard), not the genuine emotion that drives the songs, but the effect of the songs on them. They like the signifiers - the intense world-view, the rocknroll martyr, upsetting their parents - but not what is signified: the genuine angst and pain, something which cannot be picked up and marketed, unlike a

musicians fashion sense. Crucially: they do not see the difference as important. As everyone noticed, teenage angst paid well, and therefore it was marketed, often very obviously. Like Couplands Generation X, our generation (blogs, mp3s and MySpace) are distrustful of being marketed at, though not in an anti-capitalist way.We do not like that things which are personally meaningful can be used to entice us for someone elses gain. When I see people I never liked at a concert I have been waiting weeks for, my first thought is that they took the easy way, the marketable way - they do not know the emotional root of the songs and I do - they do not know that there is even a difference.This feeling does not stand up to scrutiny, its just the elitist impulse involved. This is why there is such value accorded to liking something before its popular - being part of it before its co-opted into a system of marketing, and diluted to reach a greater audience. It has to appeal to you before it is picked up anddesignedto appeal to you. The simple definition of a hipster is the person to blame for something wonderful being coldly analysed and marketed so no-one knows the difference. They fall for the marketing, just like the people who fall for spam emails and keep them coming to everyone else. When it comes to something you can form a real emotional connection to, its surely better to like them for a reason no one controls than for reasons they do. You do not grow to dislike something because it is popular, rather because you grow to fear you no longer enjoy it for the reasons you once did. The emotional connection has been usurped - as Marxism suggests, you fear your needs have been manufactured, just like a supposed need for Coke and Nike and other brands that kids learn to demand. One result of a system of non-stop marketing (how many thousands of brands do you see in a day?) is that it becomes hard to tell whether you really do have your own taste in music, or art, or fashion. Initially, you love a band because they are great - that is your reason. But if they begin to enter the mainstream, that reason is soon under threat from the new ones presented to you.You can become alienated from your original link with the music far too easily. That explains a fear so common among music-lovers, the same anxiety I felt when I heard Joanna Newsoms This Side of the Blue on a television advert: my precious connection with the song - all the times I listened to it alone at night - was to be threatened. And the great, wonderful, essential part of musicisthat connection, if you feel it, you want it to last, you want to protect it. So we protect it with distrust, the only weapon we have. Its not surprising that loving music should seem to be in opposition with big businesss effort

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to market it - the greatest recent shock to the music industry was Napster and all it ushered in, the effective communisation of peoples music collections. What do we call all this then? The Credibility Gap? The Really Complicated Problem Relating To Music And Marketing? The Hipster Syndrome? Oh well. At least Ive offered an explanation for the whole thing, which is much better than feeling frustrated without knowing why. Very Simple Version: 1 - For capitalism to become humane and survive, marketing was invented. It is a crucial part of modern society. 2 - As a result of advertisings spectacular level of influence, we worry about being marketed at beyond our awareness and control. This extends to all products, including music. 3 - It is easy to get into music for the marketable reasons - that is why they are marketed. Advertising, taken up by a larger audience, makes no room for a personal emotional connection. Therefore, popular reasons challenge personal ones. 4 - We hold on very tightly to our connections with our favourite music, and distrust others who seem to love it for different reasons. It becomes increasingly less likely that others will experience the music in such a natural way. 5 - These people, to us, are fakes. They are happy to settle for marketed reasons, and do not try to form personal relationships to music, instead settling for the comfort of hype and trends. Even crap bands have marketed qualities, and marketing makes it harder to know the difference. 6 - For this reason, people often fear the entry of their favourite bands into the mainstream. And its not elitism - if it was, bloggers wouldnt be promoting the music they love to as many readers as possible. 7 - You need to read the whole thing.

MP3 Reviews Peter Broderick -Games Again


This is the closing song to one of my favourite records of this year. It takes a melody first played in the albums first moments, and wraps itself up in it, making it bigger and bolder. Its like putting your little imprint on an apartment youve found somewhere when you move in, when you push your furniture at angles to the wall, when youve filled the kitchen with your food, when youve put up your posters and left your books on desks, when youve slept in your new bed until its no longer new - and then the day comes when you leave.You pack up these things in boxes, tight and full and pressed down, like the feeling you get when you hold back tears.You pick up your clothes, and use the key a final time, and you undo all the things you did with such simple joy.You shut the door a last time, temporarily homeless.You bid farewell to a place you made part of you. Thats what this song, and the whole album, are like to me. Its honest and its sad. But lately, after a difficult summer, I dont mind if something is sad, as long as it is beautiful, and this is both.

The Bruce Peninsula -Inside, Outside


That was the day someone had stolen my violin. I spat and raged, and paced and pounded, and cursed and spilt whiskey, and threw glasses and bottles. My voice cracked, my hands grew calloused, my face spread into a scowl like a wound splitting open. Outside, the wind roared, and the rain lashed, and they howled at one another, threatening our windows. Outside, someone applied my bow to my violin strings, and choked out a reedy note, frayed with resistance and the nerves of the first playing. I sat at a dozen other instruments and played none of them. Someone was singing with my voice, and clapping time with my hands, so I started singing something, the first thing that fell from my tongue, and clapping as loudly as I could, and I shouted somethins goin on in the backyard!! and after a while, I got over it.

The Innocence Mission -Brotherhood of Man


This song always starts playing in my head whenever Im in an airport. I think this is because airports make my head all funny. My mind moves onto some other level, and starts thinking thoughts that usually seem too heavy for it. Its the waiting, and being surrounded by people youre not talking too, inventing their pasts and futures, wondering who is leaving a loved one, and who is returning to someone elses arms. I sit back and think about how things have changed since I last wandered from country to country. I wonder what all the old incarnations

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of myself would be thinking, and I wonder what will be happening the next time I sit on the floor at the gate, watching people queue for a fixed-seating flight. And despite all this introspection, which usually does no favours for my mental state, I always enjoy the experience. The gap hours between flights, in a total limbo, as far out of your real life you can possibly get without fucking it up. It feels like pressing pause and saving, sometimes.

take off your jumper and you wouldnt put it back on you till you went back to school, that was a summer. In my mind hes pausing in the field, the grass hacked to yellow straw sticking out angrily after the harvest, leaning on a pike, but hes not some young man. This song, oddly, is both summery and wintry. Its a little like going into hibernation, no matter the weather.

Cathy Davey -Sing for Your Supper


This is all you can do, you cant do anymore. Its not your fault if at this stage you can only rest your head on your arms on your desk, and offer yourself to sleep. Oh, but love, and girls and these swinging chords that give no peace, only exhortations not to give up! Finish that love letter, write that love song, youll get it right soon, youre almost there. It could be around the corner from everyone of us. Some day you can say it and mean it and there it will be, life, wow, and youre amazed, and you look back, and all those hints, all those signs everywhere, like that song Cathy Davey recorded as a demo, and put up on herMySpacetemporarily before taking it down later bashfully, but that song was a hint! That song was a sign, plucked from some random place in the air above a womans head, not written but discovered, a brick in the yellow brick road.This is not an advert.This is real life, there are real people out there to break your heart, all you have to do is give it. It is a toy, not a collectors item. Do it now, start looking now, before you find yourself in an empty room, unwrapping your heart in your pocket like a fragile old violin, too brittle to be played now, but at least in nearperfect condition. That old thing never moved nobody, you say, Ill get my money back. Dont let the cobwebs grow! Get moving and start looking for someone whos looking for someone like you.

Arcade Fire -Maps(Yeah Yeah Yeahs, studio version)


A beautiful song is not of this world - it is a different thing to your bank statement, your exam results, or the guarantee on your laptop. It is nothing to the price of a full tank, the important things you worry about, the bullet points that fill you up and drag you around on your day. It does nothing for troop movements, diplomacy or sanctions, it doesnt get anyone elected, it doesnt pay your bills, it doesnt contribute to the economy. In fact, it is against this, it is opposed to daily routine, cubicles and uniforms, punching in and punching out. It disrupts all these serious things, the things that our society seems to be built on, and it points out details like a smiling white angel on your shoulder. You work so you can play again, and theres no point otherwise. You work so you can laugh, be loved, fall in love, make jokes and get happy under bedroom lights, and we love to be reminded of this, we need to be reminded of this, even forcibly. A good song is a terrorist attack on behalf of beauty. Indie kids of the world! Unite in twos please, this is your wedding song.

Fleet Foxes -White Winter Hymnal


My father says there was snow in winter when I was a kid, there was white Christmasses, and I remember them. I remember wrapping up and opening the front door, my two little brothers stuffed inside coats like eskimos, tumbling out into the cold. Making thin and uneven snowmen, coal for eyes, dirty black watering out into the white, little teary trickles. Its a long time since I held a piece of coal. We dont live in that house now. My father also says there was real summers in this country, once. When he talks like this he talks like he was back in that old warm farmhouse, briquettes roasting and strips of yellowy fly paper hanging from the ceiling when I looked up. When I was out in the fields, he says.Youd

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Final Fantasy Interview October 29, 2009


Final Fantasys long awaited third record was finally announced last month, to shouts of joy and amused interest. Its something of a concept album, based on a world where the sole deity is the violinist, singer and loop-pedal genius himself, and it does, admittedly, sound rather odd.Yet for Owen Pallett, a man who named his music project after one of the nerdiest of video games, such imaginative underpinnings might not be too out of character. More interesting, perhaps, is the scale of the record. Unlike his hastily put-together debut, Has A Good Home, or its follow-up, the gloriously-titled He Poos Clouds, Heartland is a more ambitious endeavor. I wanted to know about Spectrum, the fictitious setting for these songs, and how he ended up there. Thankfully, Owen is the obliging type, and was ready to answer various questions on the album, his literary pursuits, and his work elsewhere. Shane Culloty: Okay. Some of these questions are a bit nerdy. Owen Pallett: No sweat, Shane. I prefer the nerdy questions to ones about classical background, those ones really get on my tits. Youve been a bit ill lately - how are you doing now? As of this morning, I am feeling 100% better, which is a relief. Saturday night, I literally thought I was dying. I lay on the floor of the tub, with boiling hot water pouring out of the shower head, shivering and crying. My advice to you: B supplements. Dont stop taking them, for any reason. Heartland has been a while in the making. Now that its finished, was it what you wanted? Hard to say, really. I had a goal of creating a turgid, non-wimpy, non-blasty orchestral record, something really full of blood and guts. Not ten horns a-blazing nine harps a-swelling eight timpani pounding. Just dense and mechanical, as if a piece of orchestral music could sit next to a Gang Of Four song. And I think I killed it, in that regard. Like, I got it right. But it did take way more out of me than I thought it should. I realized--too late--that with the orchestral albums I love, typically, the exec. producer, producer, songwriter, singer, arranger, conductor, engineer, mixer and so forth, theyre all different people. I really shouldve hired some interns, cause this record... well, it took a lot out of me. The new material references characters from the EP like Blue Imelda and NoFace - What can you tell us about their backgrounds? Whats Lewis story?

Id rather just let the album speak for itself. I listened to Ziggy Stardust and Outside hundreds of times, trying to connect the dots, unlock the secrets. Those songs hit pretty hard, but the concept part never really panned out for me. Where did you get the idea from, of making an album of a place where you are the deity? Did Flann OBrien play a role in it? Actually, I got the idea from A Lovers Discourse, of all places.That book is all about interpreting Barthes passions, and how the signifiers of a courtship can affect them. I started thinking about what role the other played in those dialogues, how she felt, what her interpretation might be. Barthes essay The Death Of The Author figured into it as well. Some of the new songs seem a little different from those of He Poos Clouds - when listening to Lewis Takes Action or The Great Elsewhere, Im partly reminded of Destroyers Your Blues... Did you feel any particular influences while you were writing? Your Blues was 100% the inspiration for He Poos Clouds. That record made me feel like I could sing anything, do whatever, and it would be fine. Heartland, though, I dont know. None of the songs on the record were inspired by other peoples songs. I did listen to the a cappella tracks of Pet Sounds a bunch before recording the vocals, but that was about it. Huh. Thats a little mad about Your Blues, It really does stick with me when I hear the new songs, and thats an album I adore. I think Destroyers influence on everybody is non-erasable. He really is something special. What is your favourite song on Heartland? I dont have a favourite song on Heartland, theyve all been my favourite at one time or another. Rising and falling in the polls. Oh Heartland, Up Yours! is a really good one, though, I sang it drunk in a single take, in Nicos walk-in closet, surrounded by hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of nylon drapings and capes. Flare Gun is making a reappearance on the album - is it different? Also, is the closing song related to What Do You Think Will Happen Next?, or are you just toying with us? Flare Gun is a new version, its an experiment with running different sections of the orchestra through a very severe noise gate. On headphones it sounds like a see-saw. ...Now? is a new song, it has nothing to do with ...Next? What do the Czech Symphony add to Heartland? Everything, really. The record sounds nothing like Song Cycle, but like Song Cycle, its an

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orchestral record. There was nothing there until the orchestra laid it down. What was it like playing with the Vienna RSO? It looked fun. They are a world-class orchestra and the conductor was brilliant. I didnt get any sleep the night before, and as a result, my voice was timid, so it didnt go exactly according to plan. But yeah, it was fantastic. I want to write only orchestral songs, forever. Youve done some work on the forthcoming Luyas record - what was it like? From what Ive heard of it its gorgeous... I didnt do much on the record, it was already smoking hot. Just added some bassoons and cellos to compliment the horns. A few violin ideas. I played my ARP 2600 on another song. I love that band, they are actually my favourite. Watching them play is fantastic. Youve got Jessie with her polarizing singing voice, coupled with terribly non-intuitive instrumentation... moodswinger + french horn + kit? Difficult one to make it work. But they do make it work. Hearing them puzzle through it over the last couple of years has created some of the most affecting music Ive heard. What is the score for The Box like? It sounds like a really interesting project... Will the music get a release of its own? The music from The Box is beautiful, if I may say so. It sounds like an old-fashioned recording... we used a small string ensemble and Win and Regine have a real Mellotron that they used to do a lot of the tracking with. It would work well as a score to The Conversation or something. Or The Tenant. It works great in The Box, too. I havent seen the final cut of the movie, Im looking forward to its premiere. Last time round you were reading Ulysses - did you finish it? Is it good? While working on Heartland, I was getting this strange feeling... seeing videos of The-Dream making hits in a manner of hours. Hearing about Jona Bechtolt programming songs in 20 minutes. Meanwhile, I was taking a full eleven months to produce this record, and working on it day and night. The very nature of it, featuring a fifty-piece string section, full percussion, winds and brass... it seemed so preposterous, especially given that 80% of the people wholl hear it will be listening to freely downloaded MP3s on laptop speakers. One of the things that kept me sane about it, was to read all these gigantic, overblown classics of literature. Ulysses, sure, but also Complete Proust, Moby Dick and Gravitys Rainbow. Id read one of those National Geographic style anatomy of a whale chapters of Moby Dick and feel like Herman was holding my hand, saying, There there. Itll be all right. When you put it like that - about the time involved, and people listening to a rip

on laptop speakers - I think its really great making that kind of effort. But anyway, last question. Have you played any good video games lately? Played a bit of Flower, it was good. Looking forward to the sequel to Sin And Punishment, which has always been my favourite N64 game. Other than that, Ive been off the console. Ive been teaching myself how to play Bartok violin duets, singing one part and playing the other. Its an Iva Bittov exercise. Good party trick. Heartland will be released on Domino on the 11th of January.

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Band of Horses & Built to Spill


Mike de Waal
Band of Horses Metro Theatre, 8/5/08
Wayne over at Oceans Never Listenasked, in the aftermath of last years Wilco show, if music could ever reach a perfect apex, where you leave feeling completely satisfied with everything the band has to offer. I found myself asking the same question earlier this month after witnessing Mt. Pleasant, SCsBand of Horsesin their absolute prime at Sydneys gorgeous Metro Theatre. Having discovered the band in 2006 through an Uncut sampler, shortly after the release of Everything All The Time, this show was a long time coming for me. And my God, did it live up to everything I expected, and far more. Melbournes ownThe Gin Clubopened things up and, Im sorry to say, didnt quite meet the modest hype Id heard surrounding them in the previous few days. Although struggling with a few out-of-control technical difficulties, the band came over as a little unprofessional and even somewhat uncaring in their attitude.The songs may well have been there; we just didnt witness a band that gave them the emotion they deserved. Perhaps it is a product of being part of such a (self-awarely) loose collective. And yet we see that this structure can work in the hands of capable musicians - see Broken Social Scene or the New Pornographers, for instance. If the Gin Club want to raise themselves to such a level, they must tighten up either by more rehearsal or dropping some excess members. This disappointing start was, however, soon forgotten amongst the wild sense of anticipation that pervaded the crowd during the swell before the headliners hit the stage. Situated on the barrier in front of the keyboard, I was in a prime position for witnessing the antics and attitude of new member Ryan Munroe, who I had met before the show as he came outside the theatre for a cigarette. As the lights dimmed, the star of the show, (Bearded) Ben Bridwell waltzed on stage, and with the first of many woooos, he had us straight in the palm of his hand. Perfectly

Show Reviews

selected opener Is There A Ghost, off last years fantasticCease To Begin, was quickly followed byEverything highlight The Great Salt Lake. And the band began to conquer Sydney. From then on, most ofCeaseandEverythingwere covered in style, occasionally peppered by a treat such as a cover of Thirteen Days by JJ Cale. The band clearly loved the whole experience of being on stage in a country so far away from their own, loved each other, and loved the work they had created and brought to life together. Rocker Weed Party was received just as well as the delicate Detlef Schrempf , as Bridwell gave his all to the vocal line and held his band together just as well as he performed his own part. Reaching near the end of their touring for Cease, there was a sense of pure ecstasy that flowed from the stage as the band interplayed welcome crowd involvement with a very tight set of sublime tunes that reeked of Americana and soul. The main set closed with a flawless greatest hits medley of No Ones Gonna Love You/Ode To LRC/Wicked Gil/The Funeral. The hungrysold-out crowd was not left waiting for long as the band were quick to hurry back out for a perfectly-pitched encore of the quieter Our Swords, followed by a passionate cover of Them Twos Am I A Good Man? (which I had been quietlyhoping for, after hearing a sublime live rendition on a KEXP podcast) and closing with a totally-rockin version of The General Specific, which pretty well summed up the bands sound and message -Were on a bender when its 80 degrees/the end of December was coming on/Only for you and me.Few bands are this passionate, this fun, this heartfelt. And few are able to reach such a perfect apex on stage.

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Built to Spill Lees Palace, Toronto, 10/16/09


This past Tuesday night in Canadas biggest city, Idahos ownBuilt to Spillproved once again why they are regarded as one of the few consistently great survivors of 90s indie rock scene. In an era where those who seek out that fresh, noisy, carefree yet entirely elaborate sound have to dig out old Pavement, Guided by Voices and Superchunk records from the decade in question, Built to Spill have continually put out records that have garnered both critical and fan acclaim. Over an almost-two hour set at Lees Palace, Doug Martsch and his talented band pulled out the finest excerpts of fifteen years of repertoire in nothing but style. With the show coinciding with the release date of their seventh studio album, There Is No Enemy, BTS were quick to showcase some of their latest tunes, including the slow-burning Oh Yeah, and old-school rocker Planting Seeds. Onstage banter was kept to a minimum, with the band preferring to focus on making the music sound good. And oh, did they succeed. Doug Martschs tenor rang clear above the layers upon layers of guitar melodies, chords and licks. An ethereal version of Time Trap, from 1999sKeep It Like A Secretwas soon followed up by a flawless rendition of Untrustable Pt. 2 (About Someone Else), the only track played from arguably the bands magnum opus,Perfect From Now On.Yet it was clear the audience were not only there for the old material - the new track Hindsight received a big cheer, especially when Doug sang out the line what about Canada? The main set closed with a perfect one-two of melodic 2006 anthem Wherever You Go, and crowd favourite sing-along Carry the Zero. Following a huge applause from an obviously adoring crowd (one punter was heard to call out were not worthy!), Doug took the stage again for a beautiful version of Car, the bands sweetest and most heartfelt anthem. The night was finished off in the name of rock n roll with the upbeat glory of You In Reverseopening track Goin Against Your Mind. Very few bands manage to create so many near-masterpieces, let alone fit them into less than two hours, and make each one sound as if it were written especially for that particular evening. Built to Spill have that rare thing: the ability to both make music and inadvertently sell it as something you cant live without. It is no wonder they continue to survive so gloriously.

Interview with Annie Clark


(St. Vincent)
Ian Wright
November 6, 2009
Its been a busy few weeks for Annie Clark, the creative force behind St. Vincent. Well in truth its been a busy year, one of the acts most regularly mentioned as a highlight of SXSW back in March the release of her second albumActorhas launched her into a much brighter spotlight than her debut albumMarry Medid. She only just recently came off an extensive North American tour opening for Andrew Bird and barely had a moments break before hopping on a plane to Europe to open for Grizzly Bear on their current round of dates. I met her in Vicar St. on Sunday afternoon prior to her set that night and her recent touring schedule seemed like a good place to start ... Ian Wright: Youve just finished up a 25 date tour with Andrew Bird but youre doing this tour solo, is it intimidating going back to being solo after playing with a band for so long? Annie Clark: I find that it works on a couple of different levels. One level is yes its a little scary because theres more at stake because Im kind of juggling on stage a lot but I think theres also something very liberating about the fact that theres really, really, really nothing to hide behind and its all sort of trial by fire. And actually, I became close with Andrew on the tour, or rather would pick his brain all the time about things because hes such a remarkable guy. Wed talk a lot about playing sets solo because he plays solo quite a bit and he was saying that he tries to do one really scary thing every set just to keep himself from going into autopilot so I look at it like that. You dont find the experience restrictive compared to playing with musicians because when I saw you play solo before you were using samplers and drum

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machines and the like and you have to stick to what you have programmed as opposed to being able to jam it out a bit more if you have a band? Actually in a lot of ways playing solo with drum machines and things and samplers you have more freedom because you dont have to telepathically communicate to your band members that youd love to add an extra bar, you can just go with it. And that way its really fun, especially because a lot of the beats on the Actorrecord at least, a lot of it is drums sets, but a lot of it is intended to be like, sexy, mechanical. Ive seen videos of you doing acoustic sessions and playing a lot of theActormaterial and in them you either sing or play on the guitar melody lines that on the record are played by different instruments. Im wondering, do you compose on the guitar and with your voice and then transpose for other instruments? No I typically do the opposite, or at least with this record I wrote almost all of it on the computer so it started off not very tactile. And then I wrote a lot of my guitar parts on the computer. I did end up writing a lot on guitar, but for woodwind, trying to trick my brain into doing something then it would normally do. What do you use on the computer? Reason? No, I used Garageband. I would score out every song for the most part. It made it easy in the sense that I could walk into a room with actual players, a french horn player, a flautist and just say this is your line, heres how it goes and it was just my way of writing music, as if Id written it all on a score. When youre not writing songs or rehearsing of being St. Vincent how often would you just sit down with a guitar and just play because you enjoy playing or is it something that you want to get away from when youre not working? I find actually that its really refreshing a lot of times, especially if youre sort of a scatterbrain or space cadet you have to trick your brain into working. So Ill just sit down to play for the enjoyment of it and just try to keep my brain solely like, well well just see where this goes and keep it very low pressure. I think the second you start going Ivegottowriteasongin20min utes it becomes a little self defeating. Do you do exercises, or scales or do you pick other peoples songs or ... I pick some other peoples songs. Ive been trying to learn all of the Dirty Projectors record. That must be tough. Its really hard [laughs]. Its really hard. And Im a pretty competent finger picker, my right hand is probably better, but its a really hard record. Have you tried to play that record?

I wouldnt even try to attempt it unless I tried to do a torch song version of some of the stuff. Yeah, its really hard, I think youd have to go to classes to bridge the Dave Longstreth gap. On the subject of playing, I think that youve got quite an idiosyncratic type of style. You use some extended techniques, like when I saw you on Letterman, you played Marrow and you battered your guitar with your fist. Is that stuff that you experiment with or how you started to play? Thats stuff that Ive kind of been working on for a while but a lot of times for example theres a fuzz pedal when Im banging on the guitar just to get that [makes sharp fuzz sound] and theres a capo on the right fret so its going to be in the right key or whatever. Or one of my favourite things to do is to hit the guitar behind the bridge so you get this sort of pained sound. Do you favour tailed bridge guitars for doing that? Well youll see tonight I play this, I primarily only play vintage guitars, I have this Silvertone which has a very long tail to bridge ratio and that sounds pretty cool but also I have this Harmony Silhouette or Bobcat and its especially good sounding behind the bridge with a fuzz pedal. Anyway, I think a lot of that stuff comes out from playing live a lot and sometimes out just sheer frustration or intensity and you to it instinctively. The first time I saw you play what struck me is that the way you strum appeared to in a flapping motion where you appear to be flicking your fingers out, is that something youve always done or something thats developed over the years? [There follows a clumsy bit of conversation in which I try to explain what motion that Im referring to. Clark gets the jist] Well sometimes for extended, youre a guitar player? Uh huh. For extended lines, sometimes on Your Lips Are Red, but its not that Im doing that but you can do that technique my uncle is a very amazing, famous guitar player, Tuck Andress. Hes a finger style genius so I learned a lot watching him. He does this thing thats really amazing where he can just hit the string, sort of a drum stick technique, where you bounce back very quickly but it creates this pingy, sharp, aggressive thing. I dont know what I was playing, I generally dont have good technique in terms of proper technique but uh ... Whatever works? Yeah, whatever works. You said you play mostly vintage guitars. Do you collect?

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Sort of, yeah, I do. A lot of collectors are investment bankers or something like that who can afford to buy crazy stuff but collect more from a specific family of guitars like Kay and Harmony and Silvertone guitars from 1955 to 1969. I think a lot of those guitars have an awesome distinctive sound but Im a sucker for the aesthetic as well and I think those are the best looking guitars ever. Like Gibson had a funny period in the 70s, Gibson Marauders and stuff. I dont know how into guitars you are but ... Did you ever see the RD? No. Its very square, not quite like an explorer but it looks very cool. Wait, is that a Gibson? Yeah. Does it kind of look like an oblong Firebird? Yeah. I think ... who plays them? Uh, Dave Grohl! Ohhh, yeah yeah yeah. Theyre some funny looking guitars. Yeah, they had a really funny period. And those basses that are, is that a marauder? Maybe it is. Its weirdly circular and theyre all wood grain for the most part. It was a bizarre period. In terms of equipment do you have any particular preference to what you use when it comes to like single coil or humbuckers or particular size or brand of amps? The thing is that I play through so many pedals. A tube amp typically is a better bet. I own a Roland Jazz Chorus but thats for very specific sounds. I typically play through small Fender amps. A lot of the greatest guitar solo ever recorded in the history of electrified music are from Princetons or tiny little amplifiers, overdriving the speaker there and I think Im more into that, more of a smaller amp than a Marshall stack something. The Silvertone that Im playing for this show is a Silvertone Esplanade and it has the pickups in it from Gibson when they put in humbuckers for the first time in these guitars and the pickups sound really good. Youre asking me about guitar stuff, I can talk about guitar stuff. Thanks. Oh good, Im glad youre enjoying talking about it. It seemsas though St.Vincent is basically you, you write everything. But youve done a few things with other people recently like with Justin Vernon (St. Vincent and Bon Iver do a song together on the soundtrack for New Moon, the second film in the Twilight series), you were on the Merge compilation with The National. Do you enjoy that collaborative stuff or do

you like being in control? I love it. Very much. Ive been very, very, very fortunate to collaborate with people that I respect and admire and that I think are amazing. I love The National, theyre one of my favourite bands, Justin Vernon is such a wonderful guy and such a beautiful music maker. I love doing stuff like that its less pressure, and youve got someone to bounce ideas off of instantly. Im doing a little bit of a collaboration with David Byrne right now, and hes just a genius. Down the line with future St. Vincent records would you consider bringing people more into the creative process or are you very protective of it? Its not so much being protective as it is just knowing what I want and not wanting to make that a democratic process. Ive never really been in bands so all that is kind of foreign to me. I think where most of my collaborative effort comes in when making St.Vincent records is with the producer, in this case John Congleton who I would consider to be a total collaborator. OnActorhe was so wonderful and he knew what I was saying at every turn basically. WithMarry Me, the first record. Everyone says youve a lifetime to write your first record and 2 years to write the second. Two years??? 9 months! [laughs]. Okay, well I suppose it depends if youre Robert Pollard or not. But withActordid you start with a clean slate or were there songs that youd written beforehand and that werent ready forMarry Mebut that you still liked are were thinking that I want to keep working on those? Actor was pretty much a clean slate because Im not a very prolific songwriter so pretty much every song that I wrote that was worth anything went in to Marry Me.And then I just toured for a year and a half, almost two years, before that record came out and then after. So I startedActorwith nothing, with just a general sense of like, I want to make something that is beautiful and interesting to my ear and ... Oh God, how do I do that? Is it an exciting or a frightening notion to know that you have nothing and that you just have to do something new now? Its a compartmentalised thing. Its difficult to write on the road so right now Im collecting ideas and writing anything down that comes to me from reading books and interacting with people and hopefully itll all come together at some point.

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On Thursday Afternoon
Rob Galo
Thursday afternoon, for most people, probably means youre stuck at work or at school and are trying not to get too high-strung waiting for Friday.We seem to think that during the week between Sunday and Saturday, we have to have this insane pace set to work, coming and going from one crazed environment to another, and even at home. How come? No one knows for certain, but its been coming to be for some that doing everything faster is not always better. As it started to become evident in the late 1970s and early 1980s to Brian Eno, something had to be done about it. He pondered this while stuck in bed, mending a broken leg from an accident, and thus being forced to deal with a record of 18th century harp music being played back only in one channel of his stereo, at a very low volume. Oddly enough, this did not annoy him. Instead, it caused him to rethink of music in a way he had not before, even considering his previous avant-garde exploits in art school. He found it incredibly soothing, noticing that the music coming out was, instead of taking hold of his attention, blending itself into the environment. Not too long later, he released Discreet Music on his label Obscure Music in 1975, with an accompanying essay on how this music was meant to be listened to. It was the beginning of an odyssey that Eno would explore in between his many other projects in the years to come and beyond. By 1985, Eno had released several albums under the genre he created, Ambient music. These included the four albums released under the Ambient banner, the wonderful Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks, and Music For Films. Each seemed like a stepping stone to the next, exploring a certain concept. Music For Airports was designed specifically for being played in airports for calming the nerves of passengers awaiting the next flight out, while On Land explored the idea of using the techniques laid down in the former to create soundscapes; that is to say music that is related to a sense of place, even if that place and the moods it evokes only exist as a recording.

For someone looking for new possibilities in music, this was already very exciting stuff, but where was it all going? That answer arrived in the compact disc Thursday Afternoon. I originally first heard about Eno and his Ambient works in the book Generation Ecstasy by Simon Reynolds. The book covered the trends and evolution of sound of the electronic dance scenes in the US and England, with specific sections on what was dubbed ambient house and chill out by Reynolds, which covered groups like Alex Patersons The Orb. Also pointed out was that the ideas behind these sub-genres were partially rooted in the music of Eno, specifically on such albums as Music For Airports and Thursday Afternoon. I never heard of him before, but I knew of The Orb already thanks to that incredibly psychedelic Volkswagen Beetle commercial that had Little Fluffy Clouds as the soundtrack. I was hungry for more, and my library had Thursday Afternoon available for check-out. Like most teenagers who were used to hearing something rock, or least have a kind of beat and rhythm structure, I was at first confused by this album. For starters, it seemed incredibly repetitive, even for someone like me who was used to the repetitions present in electronic music at the time. It also had no defining structure; the first sound you hear when you put it on is not an attack but a fade. The idea that a sound has a beginning, middle and an end is demolished, just within the first three seconds of the album. The only real noticeable music was piano being played, soaked in so much reverb and delay that it was barely recognizable, the other sounds being this gentle, impossibly slow washing of synthesized sounds being incredibly static. I was curious though I stuck with it despite not fully understanding what the hell was going on. Eventually, I began to break it down in my thoughts and realized I was listening to something incredible and beautiful. What made it so was something that would not occur to me until several years later. Part of my initial misunderstanding of what was going on was that Enos Ambient works were not very well known outside of certain groups (New Agers as it turned out, as well as music critics like Reynolds, and I suppose also hipsters). As a result, I was incredibly limited in my choices at the library and the only title of Enos in this style that was available for me for quite sometime was Thursday Afternoon. Also as a result of it being from the library, I had no linear notes to work with as the CD booklet was trashed by previous patrons. Last but not least, I had such a limited knowledge of ideas concerning sound, such as loud sound vs. quiet sound, that recorded sound could represent something like a certain time and place, that I honestly had no idea what I was listening to. All I knew for certain was that it was very pretty music that was good to sleeping to, which I imagined was why people like Alex Paterson held it in high regard,

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in the chill-out rooms across the pond in England. Now older and more well-read, not to mention being able to finally listen to Enos previous Ambient works thanks to Virgin/Astralwerks making the effort to reissue his entire catalog and read those accompanying essays of his, I understand the real genius behind this brilliant album. Eno, through his background as a British art student inspired by John Cage and the possibilities of recorded and manipulated sound, created the penultimate Ambient recording in Thursday Afternoon. Now playing the compact disc in my stereo opens my mind to this fantastic sonic environment that exists outside of spacetime.Yet, despite being created in such an artificial way via a recording studio at the hands of Eno and his team of collaborators and engineers, the music sounds incredibly warm, soft and natural. It is also deceiving in that should one turn up the volume, suddenly the level of complexity in the layers of sound increases. The louder volume acts as a great revealer, bringing out bird calls, the wonderfully subtle shifting of the underlying synthesized strings, these utterly massive bass sounds that ooze slowly with the thickness of syrup, and of course the dreamy haziness that perpetuates the other-worldliness of it all. Then, there is the unbelievably clever title. It evokes not a hectic world of speed and raw nerves, but rather a fantastically calm day that may have happened for real or perhaps only existed in the listeners mind. In whatever world the Thursday Afternoon of the album exists, it is a lazy, gorgeous place and time that we can somehow relate to and remember, even if we never experienced it ourselves before. It taps into the fuzzy logic of nostalgia and suggestive memory, as well as tapping into the imagination, perhaps even the unconscious. The result is wonderfully relaxing as our minds are taken somewhere that is not perpetually under attack by loud sound, fast-moving images and nearly unbearable stresses. In the end, what is here is what I feel is Enos most successful attempt at presenting his Ambient ideas and ideals in the form of recorded music. It not only opens the doors for ideas of sound being used to relax and remind us to make some time to smell the roses, but other ideas about the possibilities of a world beyond our physical realms, that can be explored with music and sound. And yet, why is this not being championed in the higher levels of Art? How come we still have the lame corporate pop-rock and Adult Contemporary being pumped into our ears whenever we go to the mall and supermarket? Despite being over twenty years old now, this album is still considered too avant-garde to the public, and too non-standard for institutions to teach. Hopefully now with his involvement in the Long Now Foundation, a group created

to to provide counterpoint to todays faster/cheaper mind set and promote slower/better thinking, more and more people will be coming around the world as presented in Thursday Afternoon, an album of hazy drones and piano that rocks.

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Show & Album Reviews


Mark Reynolds
Howling Bells Newcastle Carling Academy, 11/12/2008
After an impressive 2006 with the release of their self-titled debut album and boasting support slots with the likes of The Killers, Snow Patrol and Placebo, Australias Howling Bells returned from silence to support Mercury Rev on their UK tour to test out some of their new material live before the release of their sophomore record Radio Wars. I remember seeing Howling Bells at the same venue very well, albeit on the smaller stage two, for a headlining set two years ago. I had heard their record all but twice and walked into the gig with little to no opinion of their music, I came out with a wealth of appreciation.Thusly, I was rather looking forward to the prospect of seeing them live again, even if only for forty minutes or so. Not exactly a band to light a venue on fire with catchy beats or guitars, Howling Bells are more subdued live experience, but make no bones about it a fantastic one regardless. Effortlessly beautiful and simply charming, their show is an invocation of the musical mind something I was quickly reminded of as the band opened with Setting Sun. Frontwoman Juanita Stein seductively moves around on stage as the delightful melodies flow from their debut record and get the heads of the growing crowd nodding. The new tracks the band choose to preview prove to be very promising too, Nightingale is harmonious, pretty and very sweet, whereas Treasure Hunt appears to contrast as a louder affair with an almost wall-of-sound feel about it. The soon to be released single Into The Chaos with its whirling and dreamy guitars goes down well with the crowd, but the song of the set is the fabulous Blessed Night from their debut record, with its infectious guitar riff between verses and upbeat nature it fits the live setting so well. After about forty-five minutes the set ends with a new track, the name of which sadly

escapes me, capping off a confident performance that leaves the half filled venue predominantly impressed. Overall, it bodes well for the release of their new album due to arrive in February next year and leaves myself eager to revisit their material again once I arrive home.

Wolf Parade At Mount Zoomer (2008)


Wolf Parade is a band that should theoretically not exist. Principle songwriters Dan Boeckner and Spencer Krug are usually busy with their own bands, Handsome Furs for Boeckner and Sunset Rubdown, as well as Swan Lake for Krug.But as two of the hardest working people in music it seems, the little spare time they do have goes into Wolf Parade a band who came about back in 2003, when Krug was contacted by Arcade Fire asking if he could form a band and come up with some songs to open for them on their tour of North America, in support of their self titled EP. By 2005 the project had developed into a full-time job and in September of that year their debut album Apologies To The Queen Mary was released to much critical acclaim. Now trying to live up to it is the bands sophomore effort At Mount Zoomer. A lot has happened since the release of their debut, Krug has released 3 albums with his two side projects and Boeckner one with his, and it shows there is a significant shift here. For the large part, the impellent vocals have gone, as have most of the guitar hooks that made Apologies so great. Sadly what has come in to replace these is not quite up to the same standard. The more complex melodies are often messy and unnecessary and the more prominent synths, although welcomed in places, come across as forced in others. However neither of these are the biggest problem with this album, that would have to be Krugs vocal delivery. Almost all of his vocals are overly distant and again, this feel forced as if hes trying to make the songs something theyre not. Nowhere is this more notable that on An Animal In Your Care, it causes the song to drag and last what seems an eternity. One aspect however, that will not disappoint is the lyrics. This album is just as good as, if not better than their debut in terms of lyrics; it certainly enhances the weaker tracks, although sometimes its not quite enough to save them. Without a doubt the albums triumph is its most straightforward song Language City. Penned by Boeckner its the only song that really comes to life and fully meets its potential.The guitars explode and Boeckner growls We are not at home / we are not at home, its delightful and ends just at the right time and on the right tone. Other highlights are the piano driven Call It A Ritual which is eerily haunting and California Dreamer with its alluring keys and synths. But sadly some tracks are just below par,

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such as the lengthy Fine Young Cannibals, which you get the feeling could potentially have been a great pop song, but sadly its just too sluggish. Closer and 11 minute long Kissing The Beehive glimmers fantastically in places but sends you to sleep in others, a good three minutes could easily be cut from it and it would be utterly brilliant. At Mount Zoomer is a good album, but sadly its little niggles seem to highlight themselves all too well. With almost every song you keep waiting for something to happen and for the track to fully flourish, but it just never comes. I cant help but think that if Boeckner and Krug had just let the songs be what they are without altering them to sound different this could have been a much better album. But nevertheless this is a fairly solid second effort from a band that are still young.

recordings have shown inconsistencies in quality of material and failed to capture the bands raw live energy. Moreover, journalists may not be so quick as to write off Haines as some sort of Cat Power copycat artist this time around. With a simple song structure and melody, this track may well be the most straightforward rock single the band have put out. Full of resolute, hearty basslines and distant drums the song delights with ease and almost instantaneously. Haines vocal range is fully exploited, sounding atmospheric and spooky throughout. If the track is any sort of indication as to how Metric have progressed for their new record, then its most certainly one to pay attention to.

Sufjan Stevens The BQE (2009)


Being an unpredictable chap its always difficult to guess which path Mr Stevens is going to stroll down next. Whether it be announcing plans to write records based on American states or releasing a box-set of Christmas albums, Sufjan has kept us guessing. So few saw The BQE comingan orchestral soundtrack made for a short film about the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. With The BQE Sufjan has taken the classical side of previous work as a starting point and added an assortment of styles as interludes that build up into blossoming crescendos. For the most part were provided with rich and voluminous orchestral strings, brass and flutes but there is more to be found. Nowhere is this more notable than Movement IV: Traffic Shock where the orchestra jousts with electronica to produce a delightful change of pace to the record before reaching an abrupt end. Whilst this record is clearly ambitious, its easy to write off as pretentious too and honestly, its not that far off. How much more specific is Sufjans work going to become? Its already downsized from states to landmarks. Im sure many fans, myself included, just want to see Sufjan writing his everyday, wonderful music again.

Metric Help Im Alive (2009)


After a somewhat subdued response to her debut solo album and with Broken Social Scene in an ongoing state of transition, Emily Haines returns to Metric for the Canadian outfits fourth full studio release Fantasties. First single Help Im Alive makes a strong case not to write off this band after previous

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Blessed be Contradiction
Matt Vuchichevich
It is Friday the 13th, not that anyone would be able to tell. In Forest View Educational Center, a typical scene: fifteen high school students gathered around a square of tables, four windows with blinds opposite a wall blocked by a projector screen, one thirtysomething with a generic name (Tim) passing out papers. A student, hair not so much parted as left to die reads the first paragraph in a shaky, mousy voice, immediately passing the baton to the victim on his left when finished. It is one of the workshops at the annual creative writing seminar. Screenwriting. A girl who somehow looks distinctly like she listens to Vampire Weekend is reading from Fitzcarraldo by Warner Herzog. After we labor through the page, Tim tells us the purpose of the exercise; having just read the prose edition, we will see the movie version of the same scene. Its actually kind of brilliant in an unassuming way, allowing for blunt comparison using a familiar form. Heres where Friday the 13th rears its confusing head. Tim is not just Tim. Hes not Tim the English teacher, hes not Tim the film enthusiast, hes not even Tim the screenwriter. What he is, however, is Tim Kinsella. The Tim Kinsella who founded Capn Jazz. The Tim Kinsella who is credited for unintentionally pioneering the genre of emo. The Tim Kinsella who has a need to release music so constantly that whenever a band has problems, he changes names. The Tim Kinsella who has been called a dadaist indie lightning rod by indie bible Pitchfork and a puzzling, even gleefully perverse songwriter by The Onions A.V. Club. The Tim Kinsella of Joan of Arc and Owls and Friend/Enemy and Everyoned and Make Believe and Tim Kinsella(s) and Capn Jazz. I am being taught how to write screenplays by a man whose songs are in the mp3 player in my left lower pocket.

Glorified/vilified: I dont give a shit what anyone thinks of Tim Kinsella. I dont care if hes pretentious, I dont care if he does retarded airplane dances onstage, I dont care if he squats over a mirror with two fingers up his ass. I dont care if his self-martyring lyrics are written and performed for the sole purpose of getting pussy, or if hes a tortured genius making esoteric-surreal-referential art, or if he wrote this entire album while sniffing rails of coke and listening to Louis Armstrong The fact is, Tim Kinsella is a figurehead in the realm of independent music because of the vehement reaction of his critics, fans, and deriders.Theres just no in between: people either love him with frothing passion or hate him with ferocious vitriol, to the point that he matters at least as much as any other artist in the increasingly gray area of what we call indie rock, purely because of indie rocks cultural reaction to him. Julianne Shepherd Tim Kinsellas reputation precedes him. The typical review of his bands work is often as much a comment on the music as much as a referendum on Kinsella: his changing interpretations of what instrumentation qualifies as a song, his oft-altered lyrical approaches, the politics that slither in and out of favor in his songs, with all of this filed under personality. Pretentious is the first adjective used by Shepherd in the excerpt of her review above, and its first in pretty much every other review by anyone of anything released by any band even tangentially involving him. Kinsella can get obtuse. His song titles range from (You) [I] Can Not See (You) [Me] as (I) [You] Can to Post Coitus Rock to How Wheeling Feels. Also: A Tell-Tale Penis. Sometimes his lyrics make sense. Sometimes they dont. Sometimes they slide without structure, dancing from image to image. Sometimes they slip and fall without that structure, taking a bunch of turns to ultimately go nowhere. Sometimes they are perverse and awkward and uncomfortable. Sometimes he sings them. Sometimes theyre sung by children. Joan of Arc can sound like a post-rock band at times, turning dynamic markings into tension and release. Other times, they sound like someone brought a microphone into an airport or something, slapdash, noisy, ambient. Fog as music. Recently, they sound like a folk outfit. Their genre is genreless, their appeal appealless. Listening to any Joan of Arc album is an undertaking. You are wading through ideas, and

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necessarily they are good and bad and awful and hideous. Most blame Kinsella for this; I prefer to blame probability. Joan of Arc is a constant stream of ideas, and quality ones almost never coincide but there is good in there if you dig. Most people dont like to dig. i want to listen to this song after doing it. of course, i have to find someone willing to do it with me and listen to joan of arc afterwards. im not sure which one would be hardest. oh no, disaster at songmeanings.net We were late to the seminar. Through a clerical error (read: its wise to go to a different school than mine) we missed the free breakfast but managed to catch the formal introductions of the workshop presenters. They were teachers, they were educated, they were humble, they were in their elements. Each person took roughly twenty seconds to introduce. Names, qualifications, and a brief ad for their workshop. Kinsella, however, stuck out. Before being called up to be announced, he was in the back, shifting his weight from foot to foot so as to be as hidden as possible. He snuck up front when called, marginally slumping, as if those two inches lost would render him invisible. His biography was, naturally, the opposite. The unfortunate announcer (an English teacher to boot) labored over the minute or so of awkward press release. A student shouted out Capn Jazz! at one lull. There were multiple lulls. At one point, Kinsella was described as an aspiring monk. I shrugged it off to my confused friends. Kinsellas ad portion alleged that he would make all of his students Marxist. The crowd laughed, but I wasnt sold that he was joking. With Kinsella, a man only here teaching screenwriting because he graduated from Wheeling, you never really can be sure. Like Christmas. Like a birthday. Like a Christmas day birth.

Everybody knows delicate sin is implicit in any fine sense of aesthetics. Tim Kinsella, How Wheeling Feels Kinsellas lyrics arent straightforward. Hes not very fond of verbs; this becomes apparent very quickly. He prefers to dodge and weave and flow from point to point. The drawback to this is that sometimes his points suck. They can be uncomfortable, use unprintable language, and chronicle more unprintable thoughts. This is a retread from an earlier paragraph, but his words dont tell what happened. Almost entirely, they show it, image by image by image. Its maddening, its annoying, its directionless, but all he ever gives is an image then an image than another image. Kind of like a movie. People say, Im standing on the corner. Its a foggy day. A bunch of people are running around crazy. Might have been the full moon. All of a sudden, a car comes up and the guy next to me says If you think about it, thats a shot list: (1) a guy standing on the corner; (2) shot of fog; (3) a full moon shining above; (4) a man says, I think people get wacky this time of year; (5) a car approaching. This is good filmmaking, to juxtapose images. Now youre following the story. What, you wonder, is going to happen next? This method has nothing to do with following the protagonist around but rather is a succession of images juxtaposed so that the contrast between these images moves the story forward in the mind of the audience. From On Directing Film by David Mamet. Yet again, Kinsella intends to show a succession of images, but for once in his life, he runs into trouble. Forest View Educational Center is thwarting him. Kinsella pushes some buttons, leans closer to investigate the DVD player, keeps himself in motion.

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You know youre a teacher when you cant figure out how it works, he jokes, still pacing in miniature. The flick of a couple more buttons, and the DVD player indicates success. In an instant, Kinsella has grown years younger. His posture straightens, his pace quickens, his energy focuses. The very real possibility that a bunch of high schoolers have been forced to read Herzog for nothing is no more. One of the first things Kinsella said in the class was that he was not a teacher, and in the wake of his victory against the machine, something is strangely endearing about the man. Its more likely that it was just a funny joke, or that a humble Kinsella is naturally kind of winsome. At any rate, he celebratorily fumbles with the blinds. In this claustrophobic room, Kinsella is completely opposite his reputation. His clothes are business casual and long-sleeved, successfully covering every tattoo of his except one. For a man known for extremes, for yelling curses and polarizing listeners, here he is respectfully earning the attention of high-schoolers. After the movie clip of Fitzcarraldo, we compare and contrast the prose and movie versions. Kind of like his biography, there are recurring pockets of silence, but here its a result of inexperience teaching. He asks questions that the students dont really want to guess the answers to. Still, theres an enthusiasm behind his eyes, especially when talking about the main image of the scene: a black umbrella, floating down the river towards the protagonists ominously. I think when something-- a resonant image, a strong idea, or a new direction-- gets inside Kinsellas head, its near impossible to shake it out. When he doesnt demand your attention, theres nothing you want to give him more. His hair is unkempt. It doesnt part, but separates itself into three sections. In press photos, itd look affected, but in person, as hes talking, he shifts this clump of hair higher up on the right side of his forehead. Maybe thats just how it falls. eventually, all at once, we each exist when we eat. eventually, all at once, each realize were existing. this is the new space ive taken up in. this is the new space im offering you to live in through me. turn on, turn it all off, and take me up on my offer.

eventually, all at once, we are each extinguished and we may not recognize it then when its happening, so we deal with it now, try to make now more now and understand understanding. is understanding not understanding? is understanding not understanding? Tim Kinsella, Everything, All At Once After his 20 years of playing music (Capn Jazz formed in 1989), Kinsella is part man, part legend. Just going by his history, one pictures a man at the edge of a cliff, clearly shouting his views as if through a megaphone, confidently at the brink. Or the guy you know who makes his own political t-shirts. If theres one thing Kinsella has an abundance of, its self-confidence. Eventually, All at Once is, on record, calm, beautiful, brief. It lasts 3:27. Built around a gorgeous, circular guitar line, his fingers continually strike open strings that ring out as if possessed by the Holy Spirit. The chimes bring their rapture to the off-beats, however. Eventually, All at Once is spiritually uplifting, but it brings to mind machinations, too. Kinsella, having found a melody that is so affecting it could be looped forever, decides to do so. What was beguiling reveals itself to be pattern, and at some live shows he repeats the last line for upwards of six minutes. It just skips, like a horrifyingly damaged record that you cant turn off. The most beautiful paintings become annoying if you stare at them long enough. I think he likes that. I dont know why, nor do I have any theories, but I get the feeling that Kinsella likes using his means to affect others, whether that affectation is positive or negative. His voice is most indicative of this. Kinsella has been known to shout, warble, and strain on record to maximum effect. In this room, however, words are clear but somewhat restrained. When he speaks, youd expect his ss to resound and cut like his wit and tireless work ethic. Instead, they temper themselves en route to the air. I think Kinsella would mispronounce his own name. Its not a lisp, but it is almost like he decided to audio master his voice to keep the levels

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steady. His voice doesnt peak. Its remarkable, given his recorded penchant to shout. When he does, its not so much of a scream as a push to-- and sometimes past-- its breaking point. Ive only one ambition for the night Finding the most effective means for giving up on my whole life Tim Kinsella, If There Was A Time #1 Joan of Arc is about breaking points. Regardless of the genre theyre dabbling in, or the atmosphere of the album, the constant is Kinsella, and the constant of Kinsella is a downward spiral. Perhaps it speaks to him being an alumnus of my school district, but Kinsellas lyrics are filled with visions of characters that fail, fall, falter. Joan of Arc is not my favorite band. Not at all. Theres only so much wallowing that one can take without feeling worse for it. Often Ill listen and then pick up on a line that makes me recoil, or Ill go through an album and want to skip through a bunch of tracks. Nonetheless, on occasion hell wring a gem out of nowhere. My favorite song by Joan Of Arc is called Ne Mosquitoes Pass. Im not going to be able to describe it, but Im going to try. It opens with a languid chord progression on piano. A jazz feel pervades as the dissonant and harmonic notes equally ring out. You can practically hear that it is raining. Drunken electric guitar stumbles in and out in the distance. Kinsellas vocal cords are jerking and sputtering, but hes strangely calming. Theres a couch at the back of my work you can sleep on, he sings. By this point a cylindrical acoustic guitar line has slipped in, heavily panned to harmonically hug the listener in headphones. The drum kit is recorded just right, warmly providing a heartbeat while leaving space for the bass to center the song. This is pretty much the Joan of Arc anthem, and its the bass in the song that gets it there. Its not a technical partit might play three different notes for the whole song, but the bass is the gravity in Kinsellas world. It provides the retroactive motivation for all those counterpoints to exist. It also heroically stumbles in, always just after the first beat, never right ON, never commendable but always there. Thats a metaphor for something probably, but it doesnt even

need to be. The piece is a little crazed, and a little sane. I dont even know when Im joking or not anymore, Kinsella sings before the chorus, and its such a feeling of confusion and sheer lucidity that I identify with it. The chorus itself is an earworm that you just cannot sing in public-- Fucking strangers feels better times infinity with apathetic backup vocals with jagged edges that somehow fit perfectly. Dont ask. Just listen. We leave the room, one by one. I intentionally head out about last. I tell him thank you and offer my hand. We shake them and as my brain freaks the fuck out my body tells me that this is completely normal. Over my shoulder I hear the voice of one of my fellow students. Hes asking if its true that Capn Jazz played live shows in school gyms and such. Kinsella politely says, I dont think so, as if it could have happened but if it did he didnt remember. Three months from now I will learn that the student who asked this question is named Adam, and that hes a good guitar player. I friend him on facebook and never talk to him again. This is all I remember. Oh yeah, and the last line of Ne Mosquitos Pass is Big gay Mr. T knocked your fucking teeth out with a telephone. Just for the record, thats what it is. I thought you should know.

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Its Love
Gemma Cooney
I cant tell you a damn thing about a song I love. Not a single, useful word. Certainly, I can tell you whether I like it or not; but not how much. I can compare it to other songs; but you still wont have even a vague idea what Im talking about unless you already have an idea of the songs Im comparing it to. I could perhaps describe the greasy mechanics of the thing, the lyrics or the instruments; but only in the same way I can describe a loved one by telling you about the arrangement of their limbs or the colour of their hair. Somebody more learned than I could surely tell you of wondrous things like counterpoints or meter or syncopated beats, could catalogue the arrangement down to the last cellular detail; but still, those are just dead concepts on a page until you can hear them happen. No amount of painstaking notation could ever really nail a tune to a page, a hundred orchestras can still offer a hundred interpretations of the same composition no matter how simply constructed or expertly dictated. Music, like all art, was meant to express or invite ideas that cant be communicated in any other medium, something you cant express or invite by other means. Bad music is easier to describe, easier to review, bad reviews easier to do well, because the music has failed in this. Bad music doesnt transcend, it never becomes anything more than words and sounds happening at once; and so it can be treated in such base terms. And so good music makes for bad journalism; great reviews of great music so scarce. Its the nature of the beast. Of course, such things are subjective. What I think has failed miserably can give Chad Kroeger a career, house and six albums. Music lovers love making lists, over and over, ranking bands, albums, songs against each other, because thats the only way it can be measured. Music judged against itself, the only touchstones being themselves subjective. Music, should it do its job, makes you feel, and feelings will always be subjective. I can tell

you I am sad, I can tell you I am happy, but unless you could be somehow exactly as sad or exactly as happy at the time, I may as well be describing colours to the blind.You have your own sadness and your own happiness and your own ears, and you and I can see different rainbows. Good music makes for bad journalism. Overworded, overwritten pieces that are in themselves doomed to fail. Misguided bids to reduce an art to a science, futile tracts of technical bluster meant to conceal ones own subjectivity to a beautiful thing, as if its a failing of our own nature rather than a triumph of the thing itself. Inevitably inadequate attempts to explain something at once both too simple and too complex to do justice in any hectares of explanatory text - I love this album, I love these songs, I love this music. Its love, its love.

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but you know, no matter where we are,

were always touching by underground wires.

Of Montreal The Past is a Grotesque Animal

Contributors
Sandra Atkins (aka Spidey) is from the middle bit of England and has been passionate about music since as long as she can remember. Met her husband, Don (her soulmate) when she was 16 and the first conversation they had was about Bowie. Their fave thing is still going to gigs, and she hopes theyll be able to keep going into their 80s. Gemma Cooney is a 24 year old from the Irish midlands. She lives in Dublin, where she studies computers and describes herself in third person to any strangers wholl give her the time of day. Shane Culloty lives in Ireland. He likes to write a lot, but wishes he could spend less time on the computer. He mostly writes at thetorturegarden.org, but also for other music sites and, on occasion, publications like The Lifted Brow. He has no pets, but he has a girlfriend, so thats something. Mike de Waal is an Australian political science student currently studying abroad at Queens University in Canada. Casual blogger, part time forumer. Have a particular interest in North American indie rock and the supremely underrated Australian DIY/warehouse scene. Rob Galo is a student at Cuyahoga Community College, where he studies Recording Arts And Technology in Cleveland, OH. He spends his free time reading about art and music, among many other subjects. He also writes the occasional review for the music news/review website onethirybpm.com, and his email is galo.rob@gmail.com. Adam Kivel is a guy who has always lived in Chicago. He likes music a lot. Hes also really tall and smells like wild lavender. Sometimes he has a headache.

Victoria Oxberry is a recently unemployed and then re-employed archivist who enjoys music and film and art and telly. Gina Pantone swears she was a gay English woman in a past life, but was instead born a straight girl in Chicago. She enjoys Nestle Breakaways at criminal levels, and thinks everyone should listen to more Radiohead. Mark Reynolds is a 21-year-old former radio show host from Newcastle, UK. He writes for Audioscribbler and NARC Magazine. He is known as Dayman, Fighter of the Nightman, Champion of the Sun. In his spare time he is also a master of karate and friendship for everyone. Isabelle Sentana, tudiante en gographie avec pleins de scientifiques alors que je suis une pure littraire, je me dfinis comme geek car en plus de passer la moiti de mon temps sur Internet (principalement sur des sites musicaux et de voyage), jy travaille un peu dessus. Ecolo, mlomane, et avec des yeux bleux. Passionne par la rue vers lor du Yukon et de la Californie, fan dHercule Poirot et de gastronomie lyonnaise.Voici les faits intressants. Ian Wright spends most of his days working in an Office in Ireland with headphones on so he doenst have to interact with his workmates. In his spare time he writes about music for his own blog thrillpier.blogspot.com and also contributes to 411mania.com and cluas.com Tom Urwin is a distant relative of Vincent Price, but doesnt like to brag about it. He learned to write in San Francisco, among other things, and lives in the middle of England. He is a cat person. Matt Vuchichevich is alive. He likes guitar solos, bass solos, keyboard solos, and glockenspiel solos. He is under the age of 20 and over the age of 10. He was raised somewhere in a 45-minute radius of Chicago. He is a lover, not a fighter.

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Compiled by & All Images Jessica Brown 2009