Tagged: the xx

Goings On/Grumblings 16.03.2010

This post is brought to you by some sticky, doughnut icing covered, fingers. Yum.

Optimo e-closio
Kim: Sad sad sad sad news. I feel a lot like my Glasgow music institutions have been closing around me for a couple of years now. This one just seems too sad though. Where the heck is everyone gonna go on a Sunday night now? I just remember turning of age in the drinking manner of the word and my best friend and I having starry eyes when it came to Optimo.

Phil: I feel too old to comment. I mean going out on a Sunday night! Jeeeez! Seriously though, it seems like everything is shutting down to be replaced with things which are less good. Optimo is one of those institutions though, but I can’t help but wondering whether it became too big a thing? It seemed to start being populated by people who just thought that was the trendy place to go and they weren’t going for the music. That said it had a really large band of regular followers. It is sad though, the optimo dj’s spun some cracking tunes in their day.

K: Oh dear, I clearly have yet to learn that I’m too old to go out on a Sunday night. I just loved the astoundingly good tastes of Twitch and Wilkes. From bringing great acts to play the Subby to finding and/or reviving some astounding music, they were a class of their own. A real treasure. It’s true that all things must end and there is an air of inevitability about this news. I mostly worry about what we have to replace these guys right now. Someone put Dolby Anol on as residents somewhere. Keep me happy. It appears from the Optimo announcement that they are going to be doing occasional spots and help out with programming of events here and there, which is definitely good news.

Filmstars in music
K: Well, I’ll try to not talk about the obvious just yet. Though I feel it might be necessary by the time we’re spoken of the truly terrible Marion Cottilard and Franz Ferdinand collab. What exactly is this? It’s something to do with Dior, yes? I’m sure I read that? Stereogum have the vid up just now. If you last the whole duration of the song I think you should get a prize.

P: Yuck. I had to turn off about 1 min 30, when it looked like the Robert Palmer ‘Addicted to Love’ video. I can’t make up my mind whether Franz and Marion Cottiard make a good match, instinct says yes, listening to this, it’s a no. It is interesting though how Hollywood stars are now becoming a lot more involved in music. Over the last couple of years there’s been Juliette Lewis, Minnie Driver, Scarlett Johannson and of course Elba fave Zooey Deschanel. Hmmm, all seems to be females, did Keanu’s Dogstar put all male filmstars off music?

K: Perhaps female actresses just get more attention in their musical pursuits? Jared Leto still has his band if that balances things out… not the best example I feel. Russel Crowe? Even worse. Joaquin Pheonix: rapper? Lets not go there. Juliette Lewis seems a lot more involved with The Licks than I’d believe any of the others to be (other than the lovely Zooey). Though, I am completely addicted to the Pete Yorn/Scarlett single Relator.

What we’re listening to so far this year
K: I love Field Music. It had turned out to be my album I turn to when I’m not sure what sort of mood I’m in. They remind me a little of Of Montreal. Otherwise, I finally got a listen to The xx, which turned out to be the opposite of what I expected. I wasn’t prepared for how mellow and pleasant the record is. Joanna Newsom, of course, has been my little gem of the year so far. I won’t ramble on about her again. There’s a whole post should anyone wish to revisit my ode-ing.

P: I too love the Field Music album. I haven’t caught them live yet and I hear they are incredible in the flesh. The Los Campesinos! album is also very good, a lot more robust for want of another term than their last offering, which is no bad thing. I’m also liking the Lightspeed Champion album, it’s quite grand and theatrical in places. Looking through the Elba diary though there is loads of exciting things out over the coming months.

K: I think we’d both recommend Mitchell Museum right now (as Phil you nagged me until I listened to them), a free download is floating here waiting to make ears here, there and everywhere happy.

OH! Lest we forget, a little well done from us both to SeMPeR Fi for qualifying for the Area Final of Live and Unsigned held in Newcastle in April. A well deserved victory!

The Scottish Bloggers and Music Sites Award 2009 (The Scottish BAMS)

The Elba Sessions podcast has been running since July this year and we have been blogging since September so we were pretty honoured to be asked by Peenko to throw our tuppence worth into what is now affectionately known as The Scottish BAMS or The Scottish Bloggers and Music Sites Award 2009, to give it it’s proper title. The Phantom Band’s Checkmate Savage took the honours and the Top 20 was packed with plenty of good choices, with a large amount of Scottish talent being represented.

The Phantom Band Checkmate Savage

Personally I struggled a bit, not to choose the ten so much, but more to order it from 10 to 1. Looking back at my choices, I’ll stick with my Number 1 and possibly the first few places but to be honest, if any of my top 10 were at number 1, I’d have no complaints at all. Here is how Stephen, Chris and myself voted…

(note: Stephen ducks out slightly by nominating an unreleased album, but we’ll let him off for that and you’ll notice I favoured counting down from 10 to 1, to build suspense and all, wheras my fellow amigos went straight in with a number 1!)

Phil Elba

10. Cuddly Shark – Cuddly Shark
9.Le Reno Amps – Tear It Open
8.Bruce Springsteen – Working On A Dream
7.The Cinematics – Love and Terror
6. Brakes – Touchdown
5. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
4. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion
3. Sufjan Stevens – The BQE
2. Phantom Band – Checkmate Savage
1. Titus Andronicus – The Airing of Grievances

Stephen Elba

1. De Rosa – Prevention
2. My Latest Novel – Deaths and Entrances.
3. Camera Obscura – My Maudlin Career.
4. Idlewild – Post Electric Blues.
5. Conor Mason – When its Over
6. Le Reno Amps – Tear it Open
7. LAU – Arc Light
8. bat for lashes – two Suns
9. Daniel Wylie – Fake your own death (wont be released until 2010 but i have heard the tracks and they are ace!)
10. Cuddly Shark – Cuddly Shark

Chris Elba

1. Wilco – Wilco (the album)
2. Richmond Fontaine – We Used To Think The Freeway Sounded Like A River
3. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
4. Bruce Springsteen – Working on a Dream
5. De Rosa – Prevention
6. Bob Dylan – Together Through Life
7. Bill Callahan – Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle
8. The Low Anthem – Oh My God, Charlie Darwin
9. Sufjan Stevens – The BQE
10. Le Reno Amps – Tear It Open

I was pretty pleased that 4 of mine were included in the Top 20 and having seen the spreadsheet where the maths was done, a couple just missed out. I think The Phantom Band were worthy winners though, being voted for by predominantly scottish blogs and writers it’s fitting that a Scottish band should win it, who would have doubted that one would!

And here’s how the masses voted!

1. The Phantom Band – Checkmate Savage (61)
2. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion (54)
3. De Rosa – Prevention (53)
4. King Creosote – Flick the V’s (51)
5. Withered Hand – Good News (45)
6. The Twilight Sad – Forget The Night Ahead (43)
7. We Were Promised Jetpacks – These Four Walls (40)
8. Beerjacket – Animosity (38)
9. Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More (32)
9. Camera Obscura – My Maudlin Career (32)
11. My Latest Novel – Deaths and Entrances (28)
11. Malcolm Middleton – Waxing Gibbous (28)
13. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – s/t (25)
14. You Already Know – s/t (24)
14. Broken Records – Until the Earth Begins to Part (24)
16. The XX – s/t (23)
17. The Antlers – Hospice (21)
18. Sufjan Stevens – The BQE (19)
18. And So I Watch You From Afar (19)
20. Wilco – The Album (18)

You can praise/blame/thank the following for their input!

17 Seconds, AyeTunes, Dear Scotland, Earz Mag, Elba Sessions, Glasgow Podcart, Hooligans Lament, Jim Gellatly, JocknRoll, Jockrock, Kowalskiy, Last Years Girl, Love Shack Baby, Manic Pop Thrills, My Portiswasp Says, Off the Beaten Tracks, The Popcop, Products of a Gaseous Brain, Song By Toad, The Daily Growl, The Spill, The Steinberg Principle, The Vinyl Villain and Under the Radar.

And once again, well done to Peenko for organising all of this!