Category: i heart

Glasgow Music and Film Festival 2014

Glasgow Music and Film Festival returns for its sixth year snug inside the arms of the Glasgow Film Festival with events from 20 February to 2 March. The 2014 programme is laden with inimitable film, footage and performance. My excitement for this yearly calendar event has reached a peak with the quality of the 2014 schedule, a section of which I have highlighted after this rather swell photo of my Grrrl Kathleen.

Kathleen Hanna

This year, the Glasgow Music and Film Festival have a trinity of stimulating live scoring events. Heading this are Admiral Fallow with a Glasgow Film Festival commission to celebrate its tenth anniversary. The full event will feature both new material written to accompany bespoke visual content entitled Ten Takes, as well as familiar sounds played to the backdrop of William S Manson’s 1951 collection of footage Glasgow, No Mean City. The shots of bygone Glasgow against Admiral Fallow’s luscious, layered folk-pop suggest a wistful evening.

Dutch minimalist composer and lute lover (who isn’t?) Josef van Wissem will provide a live score to Partir To Live. The artist was presented the Soundtrack Award at the 2013 Cannes International Film Festival for his work on Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive. Partir To Live is the directorial debut of Domingo Garcia-Huidobro who describes the work as ‘an experience into sensations, ethical confusion, and physical and psychic contusions’. If you wish to be even more intrigued by the Chilean experimental film then you can watch the trailer here.

Once again the Music and Film Festival will return to Pollokshaws Burgh Hall to utilise the venue’s Wurlitzer pipe organ. Speedy is the silent film selection for this year led by the physical and gentle comedy of Harold Lloyd. Set in New York, Speedy is delightful caper with glorious shots of twenties Manhattan.

Another great strength of the festival has always been the gigs programmed in connection with films and this year is no different. For Requiem For Detroit at The Arches, Pressure present a DJ set by Carl Craig. The techno icon is a fitting selection as the documentary gazes into the slump of the city alongside the positive creative culture that has blossomed. Craig has been a techno and house ambassador to his home whilst supporting the engagement of electronic music within it his entire career.

Mistaken For Strangers is an unofficial tour documentary of The National shot by frontman Matt Berninger’s younger brother, Tom. Hired as a roadie for the tour, Tom proves a hindrance in the way that only a sibling can manage whilst also assisting to reveal a little seen side of the band’s identity. Lost Map’s Rozi Plain who supported The National on their last European tour will perform after the screening. I don’t know whether the film or gig calls to me more!

Finally, I would like to mention one of the more straight-ahead viewings of the festival, which is the Scottish premier of Kathleen Hanna documentary, The Punk Singer. If the next paragraph turns into a massive flap of the fangirl variety, it cannot be helped. Hanna, who returned to music last year with new outfit The Julie Ruin is the indisputable queen of Riot Grrrl. In Sini Anderson’s film, Hanna addresses her career from pioneering punk act Bikini Kill through to her days in Le Tigre (oh the dancing I’ve had to Friendship Station in my excitement over this film’s premier). Supported by interviews with Adam Horovitz, Tavi Gevinson, Kim Gordon, Carrie Brownstein, Corin Tucker, Joan Jett, Johanna Fateman, JD Samdon and Kathi Wilcox this looks to be a definitive record of the feminist figure. The evening will be introduced by Chvrches singer and synth-est Lauren Mayberry, co-founder of layered collective TYCI; for women, by women.

The full list of events is as follows:

– Metalhead, GFT, Fri 21 February, 3.30pm
– Partir To Live, CCA, Fri 21 February, 8.30pm
– Speedy, Pollokshaws Burgh Hall, Sat 22 February, 3pm
– Mistaken For Strangers, Paisley Arts Centre, Sat 22 February, 7pm / Glad Cafe, Tue 25 February, 7.30pm
– The Heart of Bruno Wizard, Sun 23 February, 9pm
– 20 Feet From Stardom, GFT, Tue 25 February, 6pm
– Danny Brown with Rollo Jackson, The Arches, Wed 26 February, 8pm
– Goblin, Oran Mor, Thurs 27 February, 8pm
– Requiem for Detroit, The Arches, Fri 28 February, 7.30pm
– The Punk Singer, GFT, Fri 28 February, 9pm
– Admiral Fallow – We Are Ten, Old Fruitmarket, Sat 1 March, 7pm
– Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed, Cineworld, Sat 1 March, 8.30pm

Further details on all of the above can be found on the Glasgow Music and Film Festival website. Tickets go on sale this Friday (24 January)

Elba Annual 2013 – Jo Mango

This December, this very day, we bring you the return of the Elba Annual! For this first annual post of 2013, we were very lucky to get some insight from Jo Mango. Jo’s career is something of wonder consisting of a great collection of material alongside regular collaboration work, including a recurring presence in the band of modern folk heroine Vashti Bunyan. Her beautiful EP When We Lived in the Crook of a Tree is released today on Olive Grove Records and we featured the title track on our most recent mixtape. I recommend this EP most highly. It has a storytelling quality that immerses you completely in the song; the vocals, lyrics, scoring and production all contribute to this. It’s a succinct little listen that is as close to perfection as you can get. Jo’s account of 2013, much like her songwriting, is very compelling. There’s also a little bit of news regarding what’s to come in 2014. Did I say little? I meant huge. A huge bit of news!

jo_edit2

Album of the Year

White Lighter – Typhoon.

I’m probably doing that classic thing here that big groups of people voting on best albums of the year always do, which is picking the most recent! But I think I’m mostly picking this album because of the experience that went along with it. Sometimes, as the years go by, you begin to feel like the magic and the energy of really being a crazy fight-to-the-death spend-your-last-pound suffer-the-post-gig-blues-for-a-month fan of music can wane a wee bit. Or it seems like it was a long time since you last heard an album that spun you round with how much you’d never heard anything like it before. So when you have a special moment with an album, it becomes a bit more precious. I really love the songwriting of Typhoon. I listened over and over again to their previous EPs etc. (the lyric writing in a song like “Sickness Unto Death is just amazing). So I was really waiting for their new album to come out. When it did, I made myself wait, like a little kid, until the CD from their Bandcamp arrived through the post from America. The day that it did, I took a really long bus journey with my headphones on and listened to it through twice on my headphones, in my own little world. It was like drinking a long cold drink just to sit and listen. I’ll admit I hadn’t done that in a long time. And the sun was a low winter sun that made wonderful patterns on the windows as a tiny moth walked back and forth across it while I listened. I nodded my head as they sang: “I will try to hold it, I will try to keep the moment, like a photograph of the sunset, like a little kid with a bug net, like a dying man, I swear.”

Song of the Year

Frightened Rabbit – Nitrous Gas

I really hate picking favourite songs. Eeek. I think it’s just impossible. There are too many of them! And they all serve a different purpose for a different time in your life, don’t they? However, if I have to choose, then I thought I should probably choose a song that compelled me to put it on repeat, that I could listen to tens of times in a row and still enjoy. Well… I use the word ‘enjoy’ loosely! Because this is such a sad sad song. But there’s something just so compelling about ‘Nitrous Gas’ by Frightened Rabbit. Those low voices, and the vocal harmonies are beautiful. The chord choices are perfect. It’s transfixing.

Best Gig You Played

Oh, the best gig has to be one of the shows we did in Japan. The engagement of the crowds with the music on that tour was extraordinary – it was such active listening that it felt like the music was being pulled from us. All the shows were brilliant, especially the night we played for Pastel Records in Osaka and one at the gorgeous Hi Fi Cafe in Kyoto (where Paul Buchanan was playing on the stereo when we first visited). But I think the stand-out show was out in the countryside in Ukiha – a really small town surrounded by fruit tree orchards and rice fields. Water/Wood Records and the band AutumnLeaf along with their family and friends put on the show, which was held in an old Japanese Medicine Museum. Apart from the giant bugs that fell from the wooden ceiling onto the stage while we performed (it was so quiet that you could REALLY hear a bug drop… ugh!), it was a perfect night. After the show we all sat down to a massive plate of sushi and fried lotus root, and communicated somehow in broken English/Japanese and laughed through the early hours. We slept on the floor in a hundred year old Japanese house with wood carved screen panels, Shinto shrines in the corner, and no bath (because we use the hot springs from the mountains). Altogether beautiful really!

Best Gig You Saw

I really did NOT go to enough gigs this year. But stand out shows have to be the set that Japanese band “Alps” (maarupus) did at our Kyoto show. Their music is so unbelievably delicate and quiet, and they have no idea how talented they are! I tried to record them on video on my iPhone, but you can’t hear them, because they were too quiet even for the microphone to pick up! The other one that sticks out in my mind was a two-piece version of Prehistoric Friends, with Casio keyboard and Viola. What a genius combination that is. And the show (at the Old Hairdressers) was for a homelessness charity too.

Any Musical Thoughts to share on the Year 2013

2013 was a year I tried to collaborate more, to let go and say yes to things, to give things a go. So I think the results of that when they come out in 2014 will be my vocals or contributions cropping up in lots of different places. I’m looking forward to that.

What does 2014 Have In Store for You

Ok… I’m going to say it out loud, put it out there, and therefore it has to be true. A NEW ALBUM!!! I really need to pull my socks up and get faster at writing albums. 6 years between albums is not acceptable! (Maybe playing in Vashti Bunyan’s band, something rubbed off on me, I don’t know). So we’ve got three songs at least ready to be recorded. And the ideas are coming. I’m thinking this album is going to be more of a pick-me-up. I need to write songs to cheer me (after listening to Nitrous Gas on repeat, obviously!!), so that’s what I’m aiming for. I also hear that Vashti is in the studio at the moment, so I’m hoping that she might have me back to play some shows with her if she takes that back out on the road in the near future. In the meantime, enjoy the EP (and potentially a remix album/EP too).

Jo Mango plays The Glad Cafe on 14th December with Call To Mind and Behold, the Old Bear. Tickets are available here.

Re-Mogwai-ed

I like my title for these words. If you consider that a first listen of the band would be to be Mogwai-ed. There would be no state of undoing.  But redoing?  Huh.  I’m not certain.  I’m quite sure that you can’t be Remurdered, in medical terms anyway. What a name though. The first sound of The Rave Tapes came on Monday and can be heard below, courtesy of Rock Action.

 

There are signature Mogwai noises. It’s a teasing build. There are little flares of guitar, the way Mogwai do them best. Where other guitarists would cease their melodic song, here more thought is added; an answer to the question being posed. The percussion jumps in as it pleases. Then, after three minutes of beautiful and sinister sound the moment comes that will have you devoted. Nothing else will matter to you but this song for at least four days*.  Oh and at 3:20 you will find the sound that will deafen you when this track is played live.

Mogwai have announced live dates, beginning in the new year after an ATP appearance, including Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on 28th January 2014 as part of Celtic Connections.

The band’s twitter is promising even more news in mere hours. This leaves a little time to head to the band’s website and get a free copy of Remurdered. The Rave Tapes is available for pre-order now and will be released on 20th January 2014.

 

* based on the number of days that have passed since the test group** first listened to the track

** the test group is one person***

*** okay, the test group is me

Today’s Pick In Edinburgh – 20/8/13

Where we pick one or maybe several things to check out in Edinburgh during the month of August [disclaimer: in the event of tardiness or over-eagerness, don’t be fooled by the headline, it’s today cos we’re picking it today, rather than you should go today, but maybe you should go today…]

Well crikey indeed. We’ve fallen a bit behind in all this. Having too much fun at the festival and all that. We tend to lose our capital correspondent Chris for the duration of August but thankfully he’s sent us word of a few last minute things that you just have to see at the festival before it packs up for another year.

droppedImageToday’s choice comes in the form of a bit of theatre. High Plains (A Western Myth) is an engaging one man show based around the story of Jake, a drifter, who tells his story set against the backdrop of the Colorado plains. The storytelling from playwright Brian Watkins is reminiscent, well to us anyway, of Willy Vlautin, using stark locales, telling of troubling times. Ben Newman delivers Watkins’ monologue in a tense and unnerving fashion, building up to a point that you won’t see coming. Having received some excellent reviews, this is one show you’ll want to catch and it’s certainly been one of our big highlights from the fringe so far.

High Plains runs at the Underbelly, daily at 1:40pm until Sunday (25th August). You can get your tickets over on the fringe site.

Adventures of a fangirl: Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Forming cohesive opinion on a band that you have worshipped for over a decade is difficult. It is the curse of existing as a fangirl. I sit as I write this, staring off into the distance, groping the air with both hands trying to find a linear path through all that I wish to raise about the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I don’t believe that I can succeed in a task of such magnitude. As this is the case, I’m just going to scrap that idea and provide you with snippets of thought about the band as they arise. Please note that what follows is entirely personal, self indulgent and tangential.

YYYs

Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ eponymous EP, which is often referred to as ‘Master’ due to the necklace that features on the cover, came out in 2002. This makes me feel very old.

It is inappropriate to sing Bang in an office environment.

My trip to Manchester’s Apollo to see the Yeah Yeah Yeahs last week was my fifth time seeing them live. Previous performances were enjoyed at The Barrowlands, T in the Park and the Glasgow Academy. I went to The Barrowlands twice if you are questioning my arithmetic. The first time there more women than I had ever seen in one place with a mullet. The second time this was trumped by a trend in bowl cuts. Nice one Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Karen O performed Art Star with a towel over her head in Manchester and I laughed so loudly at this that people glared at me.

It took me a week of listening to Mosquito at least once a day before I finally began to like the album. This is an improvement on the months it took me to warm to Show Your Bones, which I now consider to be on par with Fever To Tell.

The Gold Lion video enhances my enjoyment of the song an unprecedented and unexplainable amount. The Mosquito video creeps the hell out of me.

The most romantic song I know is by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. It is not Maps.

At their last T in the Park appearance, they opened with Sealings. This is a track that appeared on the Spider Man 3 soundtrack.

Of their many side projects, Karen O and the Kids’ Where the Wild Things Are OST is probably most loved by me. This is aided by the fact that Maurice Sendak’s tale was my favourite book for most of my childhood. Nick Zinner’s assistance with Scarlett Johansson’s Tom Waits covers, ashamedly, would probably be next in line.

The band’s soundcheck sometimes involves a lady putting Karen O’s microphone in her mouth. That same mic has been shoved down the singer’s shorts and leggings more times than I believe she would care to think about.

I would steal this jacket and legally change my surname to O:

KO

I should stop this now. If there were ever a band who I would recommend experiencing live, well, there is no other who inspire such chaos and joy.  Their current set is an unstoppable and unrelenting smack to the face with no gaps between tracks for you to recover. Their song selection spans their entire catalogue rather than forcing their newest album to the forefront. If you are in their path then get a ticket.

I *heart* Slow Club

‘i *heart*…is a semi regular musing about the little things which may be obsessing us around about now. Sometimes within a few days we’ll move on, sometimes we stay cialis cheap smitten for quite a while…’

I took a little long in getting into Slow Club. Not in the sense that the music had to grow on me, it didn’t, seconds into ‘Trophy Room’ and i was completely taken, more in the sense that I heard the name and saw they were supporting bands a lot but never really got round to actually listening to them. One near miss was when they supported Tilly & The Wall at King Tuts. Arriving slightly late, I bumped into some friends in the bar and by the time i had made it up the stairs, the band had finished. A work colleague still asks me to this day ‘are you going upstairs to see

Slow Club’.

The Sheffield boy/girl duo play sweeter than sweet folky pop which rarely fails to put a smile on my face. Although the lyrics in some songs are tinged with sadness, there’s a buzz and energy which almost blows the bad things away. Their debut album, ‘Yeah So’, was released in 2008 and is about to be followed up by their second album ‘Paradise’.

Pitchfork are currently streaming their forthcoming single ‘Where I’m Waking’ over here.

I’ve yet to see Slow Club live but as luck would have it, they’ll be back at King Tuts in Glasgow on the 18th of September.

The new album is out on September the 12th and pre-orders can be made here. There’s a bonus disc version which has a unique take on the track ‘Two Cousins’ re-done by Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton.

You can hear it below, courtesy of The Quietus
Aidan Moffat & Malcolm Middleton – Two Cousins 1999 by theQuietus