Music Industry conferences seem to be becoming more of a fixture than previous and it’s good to see that it’s not just the big cities who are holding them. It’s also good to see the quality of the speakers who are travelling to share some advice and words of wisdom.
On March 14/15, Perth will play host to the Words + Music Expo at the Perth Concert Hall and will encompass discussion panels, workshops, practical advice as well as some showcase performances and some special guest appearances.
Amongst the speakers will be Stewart Henderson (Chemikal Underground/SMIA), Rod Jones (Idlewild) and Paul Downie (Comets & Cartwheels). You can view the full programme over on the Words + Music website.
As well as the nitty gritty business stuff during the day, there are a series of showcase gigs on the Friday and Saturday nights. Elba favourites Poor Things play a showcase gig as well as Pinact, Lidh, Randolph’s Leap and the formidable looking Saturday night at Greyfriars bill, headed up by Alasdair Roberts and Siobhan Wilson. They’ve also just announced that RM Hubbert & Emma Pollock will be doing a turn on the Friday!
We continue our collaborative mixtape making this week with number eleven in the series. It has been a fortnight of fewer gig trips, though not of lesser bands. We have a stack of tickets for approaching shows so some down time was definitely required. To achieve this, we have been putting our feet up and indulging in some lazy Sunday listening sessions, aided by some fantastic record re-issues. One of us jumped aboard the great unstoppable music bandwagon thanks to some great artistry and direction for a live music video. We both have unashamedly been overexposing ourselves to this fortnight’s tracks and we’re already stacking songs for the next mix.
The two of Elba that bring you Eleven have been bullying the other into listening to whatever each is excited about for more years than we’d care to count now. Well, I bully. Phil is patient and understanding when three weeks after he told me about a band I appear sporting a band tee or tote, demanding we go to see them on whatever dreary, rain-sodden Glasgow weeknight they might be playing. These mixtapes are turning into an endless and beautiful discussion for Elba and have us appreciating music both near and far. Hopefully they will fall on open ears.
Just Handshakes – London Bound
Phil: I have a really bad habit of storing up music, be it things that were sent to me, or stuff that I buy. Months will go past before I remember I have it. That happened with this track, well, the whole single. I acquired it on I forget who’s recommendation but it’s bloody good and to be quite honest would have been ideal in the warm summer months. It’s sweet indie pop at it’s very best. And being that it’s November, the band are giving away their track of the same name free, for the rest of the month.
La Sera – Please Be My Third Eye
Kim: Elba’s love of Kickball Katy Goodman should be no mystery. La Sera have stolen and broken our hearts on a previous mixtape. We’ve been charmed by her tour photos and updates over the course of their current US tour. I’d advise following Katy on whatever online stalking means that you prefer to accompany a listen of her sophomore pop-punk singalong. I’ve returned to Sees The Light and have been bopping about my flat (in the fashion of dance trendsetter Greta Gerwig) with a gigantic grin on my face.
Poor Things – Morgan
Kim: Phil would probably be better to put across his thoughts on Morgan as his reaction to it has just been lovely. Poor Things are a Glasgow indie jangly pop-rock trio that invoke the spirit of Steven Malkmus and Teenage Fanclub. The upbeat guitars and melodic vocals have won us completely. Those chorus ‘ooohs’ and that guitar break just tip this track into the ‘on constantly’ (aka mixtape) pile. Poor Things play 13th Note on 20th November.
Monoganon – Best Pals
Phil: It struck me the other week that we’re all going to start trying to pick our albums of the year again soon. This year has flown by, it feels like it wasn’t that long since I did last year’s and now that merry-go-round is imminent again. It’s often quite easy, on early listens to a really good album, to proclaim it as probably one of the albums of the year, but I really think with Family, Monoganon have nailed it. It’s certainly going to be right up there on many peoples lists. And with tracks like this, why the hell not?
Blood Relatives – A Murder Of Crows
Phil: I have been waiting impatiently for this album to be released for a very long time and I’m pleased to report that when it arrived it had all the indie-folk-pop hooks that I could have wanted. Pretty much every song is memorable and this one reminds me a bit of Sons and Daughters. I think it’s the ‘oh oh ohhhhhhhhhhs…’. Blood Relatives play RBS Museum Lates in Edinburgh tonight.
Siobhan Wilson – Laugh Or Die
Phil: There are some tracks I find hard to write about. There’s not much I can say about this one other than I was completely and utterly smitten the first time I heard it and I still love it more each time I hear it. In fact, I think me and this track will just get a room.
Mogwai – Remurdered
Kim: I’ve already dedicated a post to this track. It was my musical highlight of last week. Mogwai continue their ingenious trail through music with first offering off of next year’s The Rave Tapes. That three minute mark is joyous. I will leave it at that before I turn into a squealing fan-girl.
David Bowie – Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy for the DFA)
Kim: The David Bowie Love Is Lost remix is finally available for ownership. I have abused the Soundcloud of this track since it was revealed in October. This is not a track that should require any further exposure but I would be amiss not to include it on this mixtape. DFA hero and centre of the shining LCD Soundsystem (we miss you!) disco ball James Murphy honours the great Steve Reich via handclap in his remix of David Bowie song Love Is Lost. It sounds like something that could never top its description. Guess what? Yup. So, if I manage to play a part in bringing this mix to just one more person in the world, I’ll be happy. Despacio, the custom built soundsystem made and helmed by Mr Murphy and 2manydjs, is setting up in London late December. Oh! How I wish I were going.
One of the bands that we enjoyed watching most this year has most definitely got to be French Wives. They come up there in the bracket of bands that know just how to put a big smile on our face. Also, with a name like that, they once in a while will throw up some good google searches of people finding the Elba blog, French Wives are not to be googled at work!! Kim caught up with Stuart to chat about the past year and plans for another busy year in 2011…
Album of The Year –My album of the year would have to be ‘The Suburbs’ by Arcade Fire. It’s a stunning record and ‘Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)’ is comfortably my favourite song of the year.
Gig of The Year –It’s a bit of a dead heat for best gig of the year for me I’m afraid as two (very different) gigs stand out in my mind. The first was seeing The Strokes re-unite at Rockness this year which sent me crashing back to my adolescence in what for me was pretty much the perfect end to a festival. I also met Albert Hammond Jr which was probably the highlight of my life and the least comfortable of his.
The other gig was Admiral Fallow at The Lexington in London. It goes without saying that 2010 has been a fantastic year for them but to see the reaction that they got in London (an encore even though they were on first) nearly brought a tear to my eye. It’s very rare in the music industry that you meet nice, genuinely talented people doing well for themselves off the back of just being good and Admiral Fallow’s success has been birthed purely out of that. No-one is ramming it down people’s throats, people are just buying into it because it is genuinely great and I couldn’t be happier for them.
Musical Memories of 2010 –I suppose my main musical memory of 2010 would just be playing lots of gigs. We’ve started to get out and about a lot more with tours down south and up into the highlands which has been really fun. Highlights would have to be headlining the T Break Stage and the first London gig we did at The Lock Tavern.
Hopes/Plans for 2011 –We’re going to be releasing an ep in February and then doing quite an extensive (for us) UK tour. After that I’m not sure but I suppose my hope for 2011 would be the same as it is every day, which would be that Big Dick records sign French Wives for squillions and I don’t need to work in a call centre anymore. And I hope the new Coldplay album is good too.
French Wives play King Tuts in Glasgow on Jan 6th as part of King Tuts’ ‘New Year’s Revolution’. Also on the bill that night are Cancel The Astronauts, Galleries and Poor Things.