Saturday, 16 July 2011
This a serious announcement; somewhat more than just one of our periodical suggestions that people might like to contribute.
The last few months have very much made us aware of how vulnerable we are. A magazine run entirely by two people is very dependent on both of them being on the ball pretty much all the time. So when one gets knocked off as has really been the case since late last year it has a drastic effect. So...
We need to get new blood on board with new ideas and new perspectives. With the proviso that a quarterly print magazine must continue and the editorial bent remain broadly similar to what it is now all is up for grabs.
In the areas of advertising, distribution, and online we now almost certainly need a year zero approach. There’s a lot of information held by the magazine that needs reorganisation, and there’s also a cache of back issues dating back almost to the beginning, along with quite a lot of 45s and flexi-discs that need better exploitation. We could also do with people prepared to take responsibility for sections of the magazine. (And, of course, if there's any publishers out there...)
At present the tangible rewards are tiny but this title has generated significant income in the past and can do again. Logistically it will certainly help to find people based in London, as that’s where we are, and we like company, but a heck of a lot of stuff can be done just as well online.
If this sounds vague it's because we don't want to shut out anyone's ideas. We just want to hear from people and what they might think. Contact numbers and email addresses are on the website. We look forward to hearing from you.
Posted by Nick Bob at 12:10
Wednesday, 13 July 2011
Listen to a stream of the new Danny & The Champions Of The World album Hearts & Arrows here. Just click on the album sleeve and it'll take you to the player. You'll be able to listen until the 18th July when the album's released. Then you'll have to go and buy it.
Read more about the album here.
Posted by Nick Bob at 17:35
Tuesday, 12 July 2011
It’s six days away from the release date of Hearts & Arrows from Danny & The Champions Of The World; curiously almost exactly six months since the songs and the new Champs were unveiled at The Betsey’s Winterlude. So songs that have seemed for a while the personal property of a small coterie are launched out into the world. A time of palpable excitement and anticipation.
The CD, now we have it, is quite as fine an artefact as is possible from such a medium. A glossy, mini-gatefold sleeve; a facsimile of what’s to come a little later with the vinyl. Tom Sheehan photos, of Dan in the upstairs room at The Betsey, and the Champs, in ‘last gang in town’ demeanour between narrow, dark brick, alley walls. It seems to carry visual and design echoes of Bowie’s Young Americans; not inappropriate given that one of the elements of the record is the positing of an eternally present mid-70s.
There’s also direct connection with that time in co-producer Tony Poole, back then the guitarist of Starry Eyed And Laughing, and still the finest English exponent of the 12-string Rickenbacker. Poole’s guitar is all over this record; even though Paul Lush, now an integral part of the band, is pictured, the recording pre-dated his involvement – the same is true for ‘Free Jazz’ Geoff Widdowson, now handling keyboards and sax.
For the full BoB take on Hearts & Arrows you’ll have to wait for the printed #78 due at the end of this month. But it’s probably fair to say that we like it. From the rhythmic juggernaut, sweeping all before it,that’s ‘Ghosts In The Wire’, and the sustained, rushing momentum of ‘Heart & Arrow’ on, it’s a wild trip through a warm, if slightly garish, dream rock’n’roll London, where one should never, ever, “let the truth get in the way of the story”.
And at the beating centre sits the extraordinary ‘Every Beat Of My Heart’; a song that defies the belief that we could have got 56 years into the rock’n’roll era without it being written, when it sounds now like its always been there. A song too, that’s about to change drastically. For the last six months it’s been a ‘History Lesson’; now it’s being launched to a world where ‘the fox’ will be no more ‘real’ than ‘the magic rat’ was, and where borderline won’t start with a capital letter. I remember being in Chicago in the summer of 1976 and hearing ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ coming out of every radio; it doesn’t take that much of a leap of faith to imagine it happening with ‘Every Beat Of My Heart’ in Shanghai and Buenos Aires.
Hearts & Arrows released on 18th July on SO Recordings
Danny & The Champions Of The World play Bush Hall on 22nd September
Posted by Nick Bob at 10:05
Monday, 11 July 2011
The Walkabouts have announced a new album Travels In The Dustland to be released in October. This is their first new release since 2005's Acetylene. There's also a new website just beginning to take shape, and here's a teaser video to be going on with. Plus they have the usual Facebook and Twitter stuff.
And while you're waiting check out Chris Eckmann's L/O/N/G project with Rupert Huber of Tosca.
Posted by Nick Bob at 11:27
Saturday, 9 July 2011
Wooden Shjips have a new album West coming out in August. Here's a track called 'Lazy Bones' to be going on with.
They're going to be playing End Of The Road on 3rd September and The Scala in KIngs Cross the night after, with the Wolf People. Now signed to Thrill Jockey here's what the label have to say about them:
"Wooden Shjips, as it is today, started in 2006. The band self released a 10" and 7" that year and started playing shows shortly thereafter. Prior to 2006, Wooden Shjips was an experiment in primitive and minimalist rock. After it imploded, Ripley Johnson, guitar and vocals, assembled the current lineup of Dusty Jermier on bass, Nash Whalen on organ, and Omar Ahsanuddin on drums. West marks the first time the band recorded in a proper studio, as well as the first time with an engineer (Phil Manley). All previous recordings, either self-released, for Holy Mountain, or Mexican Summer were done more piecemeal in the bands rehearsal studio. West was recorded and mixed in six days at Lucky Cat Studios in San Francisco. It was mastered by Sonic Boom at Blanker Unisinn, Brooklyn, with additional mastering by Heba Kadry at the Lodge in New York.
The over riding theme for the album (as indicated by the title) is the American West, and all of the mythology, romanticism, and idealism that it embodies. The band members grew up on the East Coast, so for a long time the history and literature of the West was an abstraction and a fascination for them. Part of the allure of the West, which is part of the myth, is the concept of Manifest Destiny, the vastness, and the possibilities for reinvention, which is not to say that is what each song is specifically about, but it was very much an undercurrent during the songwriting of the album. The artwork also touches on the same theme by using an iconic structure that is both a gateway in a literal and metaphorical sense.
It is easy to see why these would appeal to Wooden Shjips, as their music lends itself to exploration. It is both transformative and transporting, the sum being far greater than its parts. The steady driving rhythms are the elliptical motion machine driven by the often thick and distorted guitar lines, melodic and boundless. Where they may lead cannot be anticipated but following them is exhilarating. It is all about getting there, the destination, while the experience of getting there is an adventure. It is the guitar lines that guide both the listener and the band on the literal and metaphorical journey into the vastness. The ghostly vocals, obscured by dense layers of instruments surrounding them, are alluring with their airy mystery. This elusive quality further draws the listener in, while they attempt to grasp at their meaning. While indebted to both the psych music of the 60s and mid-70s, electric Neil Young, and even the induced travels of Spacemen 3, the Wooden Shjips music is modern and in every way their own. West is an epic journey to the edge and beyond."
Posted by Nick Bob at 13:48
Monday, 4 July 2011
The Wicked Whispers are a impressive pop-sike band from Liverpool. They're launching their four song 10" single at The Alley Cat in Denmark Street tomorrow and I'd seriously suggest going down to catch them.
There's a real melodic 60s folky, pastoral thing going on, along with farfisa organ. Check out lead track 'Amanda Lavender' below and listen out for 'Flying Round In Circles' which is like Peter Sarstedt with added harpsichord.
Posted by Nick Bob at 16:54