Tagged: the national

The Scottish Bloggers and Music Sites Award 2013 (The Scottish BAMS)

A little later than in previous years, the 2013 winner of the Scottish Bloggers and Music Sites Award (or BAMS as it is known affectionately in some circles) was announced, with Chvrches taking the number one spot for their critically acclaimed album, ‘The Bones of What You Believe’.

The votes were cast by 40 writers from 29 different blogs and music sites with 164 different LP’s getting nods. As ever, it was nice to see a few of our picks making the top 10. Boards of Canada, The Pastels and my top pick Kid Canaveral to name a few. Here’s how the masses voted;

1. CHVRCHES – The Bones Of What You Believe (Virgin)
2. Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse (Atlantic)
3. Adam Stafford – Imaginary Walls Collapse (Song, By Toad)
4. Rick Redbeard – No Selfish Heart (Chemikal Underground)
5. Boards of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest (Warp)
6. The Pastels – Slow Summits (Domino)
7. The National – Trouble Will Find Me (4AD)
8. Steve Mason – Monkey Minds In The Devil’s Time (Domino)
9. Kid Canaveral – Now That You Are A Dancer (Fence)
10. Fuck Buttons – Slow Focus (ATP Recordings)

Here’s how your Elba writers voted;

Kim

1.Savages – Silence Yourself
2.Veronica Falls – Veronica Falls
3.Boards of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest
4.My Bloody Valentine – mbv
5.RM Hubbert – Breaks and Bone
6.Neko Case – The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You
7.Sparrow and The Workshop – Murderopolis
8.Bill Callahan – Dream River
9.Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse
10.The Pastels – Slow Summits

Phil

1.Kid Canaveral – Now That You’re A Dancer
2.Neko Case – The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You
3.Thirty Pounds of Bone – I Cannot Sing You Here, But For Songs Of Where
4.Veronica Falls – Veronica Falls
5.Franz Ferdinand – Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action
6.Sparrow & The Workshop – Murderopolis
7.The Pastels – Slow Summits
8.RM Hubbert – Breaks & Bone
9.Monoganon – Family
10. Fidlar – Fidlar

The massed writers are as follows;

Almost Predictable, Almost
Avalanche Records
Detour
Elba Sessions
Everything Flows
For Malcontents
Vic Galloway
Jim Gellatly
Glasgow Podcart
The Herald (Alan Morrison)
Houdi
Is This Music?
Jock’n’roll
Jockrock
La Terrasse
Last Year’s Girl
Manic Pop Thrills
Net Sounds Unsigned
The Pop Cop
Radar
Rave Child
Marion Scott
Scottish Fiction
The Skinny
Song, By Toad
The Spill
Tenement TV
The Tidal Wave of Indifference
TYCI

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)

Snow

Honestly, I’m not just cashing in on the snow buzzword. Whether it’s all you can talk about or it’s the last thing you want to hear about, the fact is that snow is the thing that is making me write this post. Well, and a couple of songs.

I go to lots of gigs, not enough in my opinion, plenty in my better half’s opinion. I’d say that I enjoy 90% of them. I mean, sometimes you just can’t help pulling a dud out of the bag.

I’m never sure if I have the same relationship with music as others. You see, I take some music really personal. Sometimes the lyrics will mean something to me, sometimes I just like the music and other times it’s to do with a time and

place. However, there are times when elements just click and I can’t fail to be affected by what I am seeing and hearing. A couple of years ago, myself and Chris (sometimes of this blog) saw The National at the Carling Academy in Glasgow. Yeah, I know, you were all there, it’s a badge of honour saying you were there, right? Anyway, it was incredible, from start to finish. The memorable parts though were towards the end of the gig. Whether it was the rip roaring rendition of Mr November which nearly blew the house down to the ‘unplugged’ version of Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks which tore the roof off the venue, this gig was incredible, and I had ‘a moment’. It’s not easy to describe but if you’re reading this, I guess you have some sort of indescribable relationship with music and you too have had that moment that you can’t wipe the grin from your face because everything just seems so perfect in that moment. Sure it’s maybe not the most in tune version of the song you’ve ever heard or the most groundbreaking, but there’s nowhere you’d rather be.

And looking back on that night two years ago now, when we eventually left the venue, after a few post gig tipples in the bar, it was snowing. And something about the memory of The National’s final song of the night, and stepping out to a silent and white night, made that gig one of the most memorable gig-going nights that I’ve had.

Of course, fast forward to now, and you’ll question the connection. Why dredge up The National after a couple of years? It’s because I went to a gig last night, had one of these moments and when we exited the venue, the snow was falling.

I first heard Stars about 8 years ago when they released their ‘Set Yourself On Fire’ album and since then have counted the track ‘Your Ex Lover is Dead’ as one of my most favourite songs. I’ll not delve into why but when Stars played it last night, it sounded perfect. The band seemed to think it sounded perfect and so did everyone around me. I’m still smiling now. And then, to top it off, I exit venue, the snow is falling…

Elba Annual 2010 – Phil (Elba)

Our final annual comes from Elba Sessions’ constant and reasoned voice; Phil. You will be well acquainted with him by now I’m sure.  For those of you who are not: he is a man of great taste, intelligence, wit and charm.  As a great driving force behind everything Elba I’ve found him to be exceptionally motivated and particularly good at knowing what buttons to push to get the most out of everyone he works with.  It is holding all these elements together and only ever snapping when things have reached well passed boiling point which leads us to his alter ego.  With a quiet and calm demeanor, a patience like no other, an ability to maintain organization even whilst working under potentially incendiary conditions and the occasional (and very understandable) melt down, who else could we select?

All that sucking up needed balancing out with something ridiculous. Ironically he will, of course, love this comparison. Here is Phil’s account of 2010:

Album of The Year – This is a tough one. There have been quite a lot of albums I’ve really liked over the course of the year and the title of ‘favourite’ constantly seems to change. I think ‘Method’ by Thirty Pounds of Bone gets the win though. It is an honest album and really nicely put together and produced. For the first couple of months, Los Campesinos! and Field Music would also be in with a shout as well as notable mentions for Chris T-T, Meursault, Super Adventure Club and The National.

Best Gig – There have been several people I have really enjoyed seeing this year, RM Hubbert, King James, Super Adventure Club (possibly the most fun that can be had watching a band, as well as the most jealous at how ridiculously good individually they are). Best gigs are usually defined for me by notable things or songs that were played. In that sense, there have been two or three great gigs for me in 2010. The National, which seems to be on everyone’s lips really stands out just for the whole occasion. Mr November, including a tour of the crowd by singer Matt Berninger, was a biiig standout as well as the completely unplugged sing-along to Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks.

Also, on two occasions I’ve seen a band play a song this year that has just made the hairs on my neck stand up. When The Scottish Enlightenment bellowed into Little Sleep at the end of the set at their album launch in the 13th Note and when they played it at The Liquid Ship on one of our Elba gigs, i knew that there was something pretty special happening.

Favourite New Band(s) – Probably could make a lengthy list here but I’ll try to keep it short. Bella Ruse play the kind of sweet indie folk pop that I’m just a sucker for. I’ve also been digging Caitlin Rose, The Mariner’s Children and more locally Johnny Reb, She’s Hit, Yusuf Azak and The Douglas Firs.

Musical Memories of 2010 – Putting on some great bands at The Liquid Ship as part of our Elba Sessions gigs…Chris’ boundless enthusiasm for Springsteen…Kim’s boundless enthusiasm for music and her awesome writing…Kim and Chris’ support and patience when I get ‘the rage’… The National at the Academy…Willy Vlautin at the Captains Rest (if indeed that was this year)…The return of Le Reno Amps…Making some new musical acquaintances…oh, and being thanked in the sleeve notes for the Thirty Pounds of Bone album was pretty sweet.

Hopes/Plans (music) for 2011 – To kick on with Elba a lot more. I really want to get a good focus going on the blog, going for a bit of a wider viewpoint on the music we all love here at Elba rather than the same old. We’ll also get the Elba Sessions gigs going again in a few months, peepers on the lookout for bands to play already. I’m also looking forward to Dj’ing at the first BARmellodie night at Bloc on January 21st. Also, I want to start getting along to a lot more gigs and seeing some bands to get excited over.

So that’s us for 2010. Have a grand old time this evening!  We wish you a bonne année and we will return before you have fully recovered fully from the celebrations.

Elba Annual 2010 – Chris (Elba)

As promised, we have returned after the festivities of this weekend to bring you the last installments of the 2010 Elba Annual. We are feeling a little delicate and a bit too full after all the indulgence and we do hope that you all had a Merry ol’ time regardless of how you spent it.

It is now time for Elba to talk a little bit about our year. We will get the ball rolling with Chris’ choices and hopefully have the rest up before the 1st rolls around.  This is entirely dependent on whether Phil manages to get to a computer at some point this week as I’m sure he’ll be juggling nappies, milk bottles and what not… not literally juggling of course as that would be messy, not to mention smelly.

I give you Chris’ review of 2010 and our first alter ego picture of three.  For Mr Knox we have selected Quentin Tarantino. Having been audience to both (QT – a Q&A screening of Death Proof at the GFT in 2007, CK – give him a pint and watch him go) the visual resemblance is striking not to mention the enthusiastic manner it is an easy connection to make:

Album of The Year – The Promise – Bruce Springsteen. For me personally this is outstanding! An album that could’ve/should’ve come out anytime between 76-78 had Springsteen not been shafted by Mike Appel, however that decade’s loss is our gain. An album that is both a trip down memory lane and a gem of an album of never before heard tracks and as always every song is full of lyrics simply not found in 2010, quite simply outstanding. (And the £80 boxset is the sexiest thing i’ve ever seen). PS The Suburbs – Arcade Fire was also outstanding if i’m allowed to squeeze in two!

Best Gig – The National – O2 Academy. One of my favourite bands that I had never seen live…and boy they didn’t let me down. I announce pre-gig ‘I’ll be happy as long as they play Mr November’ (which is one of the cleverest songs ever written) and when they did it was incredible!

Favourite New Band(s) – The Scottish Enlightenment – OK…so they aren’t new…but I only picked up on them until this year. Yet another mighty fine artist on Armellodie.

Musical Memories of 2010 – There is a smell that will strike you when you first meet two musicians that have a) Slept in a car the night before b) Driven up that day from London…and I experienced that smell first hand when we met the guys from King James to record a podcast pre-gig at Elba Studios. Fortunately the smell isn’t what has stayed with me…the podcast itself was an absolute joy, each track effortless and the chat was great…then hours later they were down the ship for one of my favourite Elba gigs of the year.

Hopes/Plans (music) for 2011 – What makes doing the podcast/blog/gigs so fun is that there are four of us that all chip in. We all have different tastes and opinions and if i’m honest i’ve struggled this year to get excited by many new artists. All I want from 2011 is for a handful of artists to make me sit up and listen…in a good way! That and The Boss to tour again will keep me happy.

Come and join us again around our metaphorical fireplace on Wednesday for further tales from our motley crew.

Elba Annual 2010 – Trapped Mice

Following up our chat with Stephen at Elba Studios and Matthew from Loch Awe we are brought in a perfect circle with the second band who will be heading to Elba Studios in January to record as part of Creative Scotland’s YMI Demo Fund, Trapped Mice.

Brian took some time out from touring with The Last Battle to answer a few questions before their show at the Garage in London tonight. I think a couple of us here at Elba are in agreement with the memory of the year!!!

Album of The Year – I’ve been finding it hard to choose between Admiral Fallow and Meursault for best album of the year but I think the Meursault album gets it. Both albums are excellent but All
Creatures Will Make Merry has the dynamics and atmosphere which Boots Met My Face slightly lacks.

Best Gig (Band) – Trapped Mice at The Scottish Enlightenment’s album launch at the Wee Red Bar, great sound and I think we played better than any previous gig. I’m currently on tour with The Last Battle and will be playing at the Garage in London tomorrow night which could be my biggest gig yet.

Best Gig (by someone else…) – Alexisonfire at the o2 ABC in November was my gig of the year. An excellent performance all round and very much a change of pace from the gigs I usually go to. The Twilight Sad at The Liquid Rooms comes a close second though.

Favourite New Band(s) – A few of these might not be technically new this year but some of the best bands I’ve been turned onto in the last year include Loch Awe, Yahweh, I Build Collapsible Mountains and Admiral Fallow.

Musical Memories of 2010 – The National at the O2 Academy when vocalist Matt Berninger jumped into the crowd and went all the way to the back of the venue during Mr November, barely missing a note on the way then making his way back to the stage and going seamlessly into Fake Empire was pretty memorable.

Hopes/Plans (music) for 2011 – I’ll be heading to Elba studios in January to record a new EP with Trapped Mice and I’m hoping to be able to release a full album and go for a short tour with them by the end of 2011. There’s been mention of a new Last Battle EP and being the new member I’m looking forward to getting some of my own ideas down on record. I’m hoping to continue what has been a successful first few months of Found In Sound on FreshAir.org.uk and get even more of my favourite bands in for sessions.

You can find Trapped Mice and get a few free downloads here