Tagged: django django

Stag & Dagger Festival 2014

STAG_2014_ART_2nd-507x714

Stag & Dagger is back in Glasgow this May, a few weeks earlier than usual and this time on a Sunday rather than a Saturday, taking advantage of the Bank Holiday weekend. An excellent bit of planning. We’ve mentioned before how fond we are of multi-site city-fests and I’ve looked forward to Stag & Dagger each year it has taken place. Over the years we have seen memorable sets from Django Django, Willy Mason, The Phantom Band, Linden, Hot Panda and Bill Ryder Jones.

This year, split between the ABC, Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, Broadcast, the CCA and the newly-reopened Art School, acts already announced include Los Campesinos!, Albert Hammond Jr, Courtney Barnett, The Hold Steady, Arc Iris, Laurel Halo and Lanterns On The Lake. More acts will be announced soon but limited earlybird tickets will be available from today.

Cairn String Quartet

Cairn pic 1[2]

I’m not all that knowledgeable about classical or orchestral music but I’ve dabbled in some listening and I’ve got composers I like and different musical periods I prefer to others. String music is a particular preference of mine and indeed this crosses over to the the taste in music you’d probably expect from someone writing on this blog. Many people think it’s crazy that Sufjan Stevens’ ‘The BQE’ is one of my favourite pieces of his work.

It is to my liking then, that I hear of the Cairn String Quartet and their take on the popular music of Scotland. Their recent release ‘quartet quickies‘ features tracks from Kid Canaveral, Chvrches and Camera Obscura, however the pick of the bunch is their take on ‘Leslie’ by King Creosote. It’s a nice arrangement which the vocals of Kenny Anderson would fit on top of perfectly.

Tonight (27th June), the Cairn String Quartet take to the King Tuts stage, apparently as the first act of their musical ilk to do so. They will be ‘backed up’ on vocals with various special guests including the aforementioned Kid Canaveral and Fat Goth. I believe there are still a couple of tickets available which are £6.

Also, as part of the Scottish Album of the Year awards, the Cairn String Quartet recorded a version of each of the ten shortlisted musicians songs. You can view Django Django’s, ‘Introduction’ and the eventual SAY Award winner, RM Hubbert’s ‘We Radioed’ below or go and watch all ten over on the SAY Award youtube page.

10 of the best

In keeping with tradition, we might seem a little ‘off the pulse’ here. In fact, that’s maybe a disservice, we were very much ON the pulse of this one, we were just a little tardy putting it in to words.

Of course, I’m sure you’ve all now heard about the ten albums who have been shortlisted for this years’ Scottish Album of the Year Award. I’ll list them below just in case you haven’t seen the list.

The Final 10

Admiral Fallow – Tree Bursts In Snow
Django Django – Django Django
Human Don’t Be Angry – Human Don’t Be Angry
Karine Polwart – Traces
Lau – Race The Loser
Meursault – Something For The Weakened
Paul Buchanan – Mid Air
RM Hubbert – Thirteen Lost & Found
Stanley Odd – Reject
The Twilight Sad – No One Can Ever Know (Public Vote Winner)

There was also the small matter of the art commission prize which is one of the elements of the award that I have always quite liked. A lot of discussion in the aftermath of the announcement of the final ten has centered around the album as an artform, and the artwork commission feeds nicely into this sense of what an album and a body of music is. This year the commission was shared by Emma Reid and Gregor Henderson who have been tasked with creating artwork for each of the shortlisted artists. You can view all 8 of the finalists work in the CCA’s Intermedia Gallery until the 22nd of June. Gregor’s submission can be seen below…

Gregor-Morrison-Untitled-carved-found-wooden-door
Picture taken from sayaward.com
 

This year marks the second year that the awards have run and it very much feels like this year has been a year of education, with the organisers keen to share the different ideas people have about what makes an album. Indeed, there have been some fascinating pieces written over on the SAY Award website on this very topic.

I often find that music splits opinion like no other subject. We all know exactly what we like and there is so much of it out there to choose from, we can’t possibly like everything. We have all turned up our noses at someones musical taste at some point in our life and whilst there’s probably a lot of music we don’t think is very good, I personally couldn’t say with much certainty, hand on heart, that another person’s opinion of a piece of music was rubbish. Maybe I’m being too nice? I often regard music as rubbish to friends. I’m the master of the loud sigh, my eyebrows are often raised in mocking judgement, but again, it’s in the direction of people I know. If someone likes something that I don’t, then fair do’s, they are unlikely to look back with sentiment on a Jesus Jones record like I might, just as I’m unlikely to see the appeal in a teenage attachment to Placebo. They were rubbish though? Right?

The point I am making, in a roundabout fashion, is that there are 10 albums on the above shortlist and they have divided opinion. Everyone always thinks there’s something better that could be on ‘the list’, but the emphasis this year seems to be on the album as an artform, and if anyone can truly tell me that they know of one perfect body of work that wouldn’t divide opinion, then you’re a better man than I. That’s why I think the above list is great. I know I don’t have the perfect taste in music so it’s a good sign that there are albums in the 10 that I completely adore, as well as ones that I can see the merits in (yes, I’m sitting on the fence), yet I know aren’t for me. These 10 artist have done fantastically well in getting to this stage, indeed as have the other ten that made the longlist, and I couldn’t possibly begrudge any of them success, should their name be read out as the winner on June 20th. Y’know, if RM Hubbert, Meursault, Human Don’t Be Angry or Django Django were to win, it wouldn’t be too bad, eh? It would keep certainly keep this camper happy.

The winners of the SAY Award will be announced on June 20th at the Barrowlands in Glasgow

Scottish Album of the Year 2013 – Longlist Announced

SAYaward

About a year ago we reported on the announcement of a new award for Scottish music, The Scottish Album of the Year, or the SAY Award as it went on to be better known. We even did a nifty wee mixtape with some of our favourites from the previous year along with a few other noteworthy tracks, one of which, being that we bear an uncanny resemblance to Nostradamus, is on an album announced in this year’s longlist. The beautiful ‘Gus Am Bris An Latha’ features on RM Hubbert’s sophomore album ‘Thirteen Lost & Found’ and it appears in this year’s longlist alongside 19 other Scottish albums from 2012.

The thing that I personally liked about last year’s awards

were that there was such diversity in the longlist that I ended up hearing albums that I probably never would have given a listen to. I’m glad to see the diversity is still there alongside some of my personal favourites from last year. The aforementioned ‘Thirteen Lost & Found’ by RM Hubbert, Meursault’s ‘Something for the Weakened’ and Django Django’s eponymous debut.

The full list…

Admiral Fallow – Tree Bursts In Snow
Auntie Flo – Future Rhythm Machine
Calvin Harris – 18 Months
Dam Mantle – Brothers Fowl
Django Django – Django Django
Duncan Chisholm – Affric
Emeli Sandé – Our Version of Events
Errors – Have Some Faith In Magic
Human Don’t Be Angry – Human Don’t Be Angry
Karine Polwart – Traces
Konrad Wiszniewski & Euan Stevenson – New Focus
Lau – Race The Loser
Meursault – Something For The Weakened
Miaoux Miaoux – Light of the North
Paul Buchanan – Mid Air
PAWS – Cokefloat!
RM Hubbert – Thirteen Lost & Found
Stanley Odd – Reject
The Twilight Sad – No One Can Ever Know
The Unwinding Hours – Afterlives

All 20 albums will be available to stream at some point over the next month before a 24 hour public vote to determine the shortlist on May 27th. The shortlisted ten will then be announced on May the 30th before the winner is announced at a ceremony in Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom.

Hopefully, if they have the capability this year, we’ll have the sidebar widget on the Elba site again, where you’ll be able to stream the album of the day. So, go forth, study up on the longlist and don’t forget to make your vote count on May 27th!

My Top 5 Albums of 2012 (and joint 6th's)

We usually do an Elba Annual in December where we ask people their ‘best of’s’ from throughout the year but seeing as we’ve had a particularly quiet year on here, we decided it probably was best to give it a miss and hopefully get it going again next year.

I did however, want to share my Top 5 albums of the year with you. I am asked each year by Peenko to submit my albums of the year for inclusion in the yearly BAMS (Blogs and Music Sites) list and this year when Lloyd from Peenko realised he’d run out of fingers to count up the albums, he called on me for my ninja spreadsheet skills. That list is still to be announced however, so I thought I’d get my list up before A) I forget and B) The BAMS list spoils my thunder.

Limiting albums to a Top ‘whatever’ is always quite hard I think. It depends on mood or the time of year, so in my Top 5, I could probably interchange about 3 of the 5 that are included below. In fact, in the three weeks since i sent over my albums of the year, I’ve changed the order in my head several times. However, I’ve gone with my original list but a few albums which on any other day would have made my Top 5 were;

6= Yusuf Azak – Go Native
6= The Pure Conjecture – Courgettes
6= Laurence & The Slab Boys – Lo-Fi Disgrace
6= Beach House – Bloom
6= RM Hubbert – Thirteen Lost & Found
6= Stars – The North
6= Randolph’s Leap – …and the Curse of the Haunted Headphones

But anyway, to the Top 5…

20120329091325-9fb56d05-d412-4294-acb5-b2d3f8e3d18d

5. Best Coast – The Other Place

“Summertime in 11 tracks”

 

FrancoisAndTheAtlasMountainsEVolvoLove600Gb190112

4. Francois & The Atlas Mountains – E Volo Love

“I find it hard not to love this album as it is but having seen them play live, it takes them to another level altogether. A highlight of 2012”

 

arm27-cdex-artwork-LST092750_1

3. Chris Devotion and The Expectations – Amalgamation and Capital

“heard it prior to 2012 (just) and it still gets frequently aired in my house. There’s no messing about here. Catchy, two minute rock n roll tunes.”

 

meursault-2

2. Meursault – Something for the Weakened

“I loved Meursault’s first album. I love Meursault’s second album. ‘Settling’ = shivers”

 

Django-Django-Django-Django-300x300

1. Django Django – Django Django

“Another that I can’t seem to put down. Just a really great listen that I never seem to tire of. Again, have seen them a couple of times over the last year and a bit and they are always excellent.”

The Curious Case of Kimjamin Huggon

As I researched the extensive, exclusive Record Store Day releases to try and write something about this year’s vinyl splurge-fest I was drawn to a rather strange collection of material. Usually there are rarities and new releases that I develop an intensity about owning weeks in advance. This year I imagined , the Animal Collective 12″ release of their Guggenheim performance, a new Guided By Voices single, an Of Montreal/Deerhoof split or new-favourite-band-ever-ever-Django Django’s Storm 7″ would fit my habitual pattern.

Worryingly, these did not cause anywhere near the stir that the following did. Before I proceed I wish to note that I MUST be experiencing some sort of late-twenties crisis or at least a peak in hormonal levels. Or something else. Anything else. There has to be a reason for this regression.

The first sign that something was off was my reaction to details of a ZINE with unreleased music from Dirty Projectors, Real Estate, Cass McCombs, John Maus and Villegers on multi-coloured flexi disc. You had me at zine, dominorecordco! Yet, further to this, the zine will include a

short story by James Yorkston, a poem by Laura Marling and some doodles from Alison Mosshart. Oh and not forgetting a cover designed by Bjorn Copeland. A 15 year old Kim would have squealed over a release like this and once attained would clutch the prize to her chest with crazed possessiveness shining from widened eyes. Then it occurred to me that this wasn’t a projection about my adolescent taste but an actual manifestation of my enthusiasm for the product. The picture I have described may well materialise on April 21st in Monorail.

It was mostly downhill from there. Internal bursts of delirium along with defensive thoughts bounced around my head when reading of:

David Bowie – Starman (I don’t care that it is unnecessary to own this!)

She & Him – Volume One (On coloured vinyl!)

Django Django – Storm (What? I still WANT it!)

The Supremes – Baby Love (On-heart-shaped-vinyl. LOOK at it!)

The Velvet Underground – Loaded (ON PINK VINYL!)

THE BREAKFAST CLUB SOUNDTRACK!

At this point I closed the browser tab, regained some control over my sanity and began to type. In fact, disclosing these fleeting thoughts has proven quite therapeutic. I’ve managed to go back, glance again and note that the vast material produced for this muso holiday serves many tastes and various moods. I don’t believe that I will purchase all of the above when RSD rolls around. I do, however, admit that some better preparation and planning may be required to curb any impulse buys.

Then, once it’s all over, I can relax in the assurance that I will once again regain the composure of my adult self. Until May 5th or after this arrives, whichever comes last.

I like my music indoors

Recently, I have been considering the disparate activities of my flat-mate’s compared to my own. Were I to call upon my favourite bard of the central belt Aidan Moffat to set the scene; his life is the hedonistic romp of The First Big Weekend and he, no doubt, sees my own as the cyclical and serene Cages. My own interpretation of the latter is phrased a little kinder than the current misnomer I’ve been gifted: ‘old lady.’

Such teasing can be entirely attributed to the fact that I consume alcohol in much more reasonable measures than I did whilst at university. Therefore, I reject the implication that I am anything other than the excitable and immature creature that I have always been. That being said, I do have a new appreciation for certain comforts. For instance, the city based festival is something that I’ve always appreciated but now find myself increasingly excited about.

I guess the beauty of the city festival includes accessibility, advanced knowledge of the venue, a good meal being at hand and a warm bed not too far away.  You will not find yourself lacking in lubrication if we compare habits of a ‘major’ outdoor festival should my introduction be instilling this concern. My Triptych days eventually became a sleepless and overworked haze but originally

as an attendee those three to five days the festival spanned were a dreamy, inebriated rapture. The talent, the sounds, the many, many drinks. The festival and the sum of its parts will of course dictate this sort of behaviour. For instance, the Glasgow Film Festival won’t lead to any liver damage, (un)suprisingly(?) Celtic Connections might.

My attention has been drawn once again this year to the Stag and Dagger festival.  It boasts over 50 bands and DJs, seven venues and one ticket. The first acts that have been announced have the Elba ‘we’ salivating; with White Denim, Phantom Band, Django Django, Willy Mason and Bear in Heaven all due on May 19th.

The ticket is a very reasonable £17.50 or was £12.00 if you snatched an early bird price. The previous years’ line up promise another impressive selection of acts. I guess the greatest dilemma you will be faced with is what head line act you choose.  Ultimately you may have to sacrifice some mid evening

bands to guarantee a spot for whichever finisher you have your eye on though it is a small complaint that exists at all festivals; indoor or out.  Perhaps there isn’t so much different about the two, as Aidan says:

A new life is just a new routine,
a new function for the old machine

sad songs and waltzes aren't selling this year

So, we’ve had some ‘database issues’ over the last couple of weeks so we’re declaring January a bust. No blogging in Jan, for various issues. It’s pleasing however that one of these reasons isn’t that there was no good music to listen to, the reasons are another story however, and I’m leaving it at that.

I’d started writing this post in the first week of January and had got to 800 words but now it’s Feb, I’m not going where I was going when I wrote it anymore but I am keeping the title to this post, cos I like it. If you don’t know it, it’s the title of a Willie Nelson song.

I liked the idea that at the start of the year when we are besieged by ‘ones to watch’ lists that we have no idea what’s selling this year. In fact, I hope sad songs and waltzes are selling this year, because those type of songs are fucking great.

That’s all really, we just wanted to say hello, for the new year, assure you that we hadn’t nicked off anywhere and we’ll try and write about

better stuff this year. I’ve added some things from Jan that I’ve enjoyed below and we’ll resume normal service over the next week

* Go and download yourself the latest single from Dad Rocks! It’s free to do so.

* Check out new albums from RM Hubbert, Django Django and Chris Devotion & The Expectations

* On that last point Chris Devotion and the Expectations are launching their album tonight at Captain’s Rest in Glasgow. If you’re on the east coast, they will be playing at Henry’s Cellar Bar in Edinburgh on Feb 18th as part of Song, By Toad’s ‘Ides of Toad‘ gigs.

* And finally, whilst mentioning Song, By Toad. His latest Toad Session with Josh T Pearson is available for download/perusal over this direction