Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Top 10 (but not in a bloated self congratulatory Mojo / Uncut kinda way)

here follow Gijs', Nora's and Maaike's top 10s of 2008. Mine will come tomorrow:

1. De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig - De Machine (all killer, no filler)
2. Beach House - Devotion (beautiful)
3 .Portishead - Third (haunting statement)
4. Benga - Diary Of An Afrowarrior (future shock
5. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes (nuff said)
6. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - Real Emotional Trash (steller guitar)
6. Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III (dem lyrics!)
7. The Bug - London Zoo (bangin)
8. Vivian Girls - Vivian Girls (retro-goodness)
9. Annihilation Time - Tales Of The Ancient Age (Thin Lizzy action)
10. I'm Not There - OST (almost no clunker)

Honourable mentions:
Marnie Stern - This Is It...(still charming)
Lykke Li - Youth Novels (caught me by surprise)
Fucked Up - The Chemistry of Common People (daring hardcore)
Erykah Badu - New Amerykah Part One: 4th War (don't call it a comeback)

And I just couldn't stop listing stuff.....this year in my experience

Stuff I should know and love but had no time yet:
Deerhoof - Offend Maggie
Gang Gang Dance - St Dymphna
Vetiver - To Find Me Gone
High Places - High Places

Stuff so hyped i can't hear it anymore:
Crystal Castles (actually not that bad, just ugh....)
No Age (not improving after 200 shows is a conscious choice, and a bad one)

Stuff so hyped but deservedly so:
Santogold (hate it/love it)
That song Fascination by Alphabeat (so....happy, makes me wanna vomit and dance at the same time)

Biggest crap all year:
The Ting Tings
Last Shadow Puppets
Vampire Weekend
That single Pharrell did with Santogold and Julian Casablancas

Worst show:
Atlas Sound @Paradiso (couldn't decide wether to run away or destroy his loop pedal)

Best show:
Nightmarchers @ Merleyn (seeing one of my prime guitar influences play w/ the tightest band ever for 15 people)

here is my, uh, top 4 of 2008:
joan as police woman -to survive
rokia traoré -tchamantché
cat power -jukebox
stephanie mckay -tell it like it is

1. The Notwist-The devil, you + me
2. Joan as police woman - to survive
3. Beach House - Devotion
4. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
5. Vetiver - To find me gone
6. Suicidal Birds - Spend your life in serious misery
7. Analog Africa No 3 - African Scream Contest
8. My Brightest Diamond - A Thousand Shark's Teeth
9. These are Powers - Terrific Seasons
10. Death Cab For Cutie - Narrow Stairs

Thursday, January 08, 2009

more photos India

Seabear and Borko photos

photos Mum

photo Bill Callahan and Alasdair Roberts

photo Clinic

photo Animal Collective


Guten Tag zwei duizend und NEIN!


it's been quite a while since i last wrote on this blog, and i guess there were reasons for this.....busy, lazy, scared of pissing people off with my opinions. Added to this I hit a patch where alot of personal introspection took place (now i sound really emo-whiney....but i don't mean to, just being honest) after returning from the TBM tour in USA with Sebadoh....ooohhhh....a couple of years ago. But taking time off to think about stuff both personal and professional was good, and with the help of family, friends and fantastic bands I have been on tour with (Mum, Dead Meadow, Animal Collective, Bill Callahan, Alasdair Roberts, Clinic, Seabear, Borko, amongst others) I found my old self again, and realised how damn lucky I am. In between all this, I recruited 3 young whippersnappers into the band who have brought a breath of fresh creative air and friendship to my world. To Gijs, Nora and Maaike I am grateful.

We have a "tour" of Iceland planned in February. details to follow.

And so we kick off 2009. The band recorded a couple of songs in December (which I feel don't fully represent what we are truly capable of....i've gotta learn not to rush stuff) and we will start work on other songs soon. The process is kinda slow which doesn't really suit me as i am hungry to get new material out. I now have ideas / sketches for about 10 songs, and I know we are capable of making a good record. I feel very optimistic and am bursting with ideas about stuff. I've heard so much good music that has inspired me and seen so many fab bands kick it onstage that it makes me wanna reach higher personally. (members of TBM will submit their personal top 10s of 2008 in the next edition).

2008 was a year of loss as well. The passing away of my father-in-law was a real shock and made me realise that we are getting older and that this is a life process we can sadly expect from herein. Though not on a regular basis I hope! But I also lost friends of too young an age. My friend and fellow band member Bill Martin, formerly of Manchester band Inca Babies, and later Houndgod With A Tumour (the band we played in together) passed away. A wonderful man with whom I shared many precious days. Tris King, drummer for Bogshed, also passed away just before xmas. A baby faced sticksman for one of my all time favourite bands ever. In Manchester we jammed together with a view to maybe starting a band. What we achieved was a drinking club instead down at our local pub. Happy days. And finally, I heard a couple of days ago that Ron Asheton, groundbreaking guitarist for the Stooges passed away. I was very fortunate to briefly meet, work and hangout with him and Scott Asheton when I did sound for Asheton, Asheton, Mascis and Watt for some shows a few years ago. A genial man who's character belied his status as legendary noisenik. He always had time for his fans. The last time we met was when I did sound for Dinosaur Jr. in London, and we sat in a corner of a packed backstage and he told me about fishing technique and what fish he had caught of late back home.

And meanwhile life at home goes on. I am blessed with a great family, and I enjoy every aspect of home life (well almost all! Cleaning my office is not one of them!). When I look at photos of Arun when he was small, then I realise that those days are gone, and as he turns 9 next week, I've gotta take in every moment with him right NOW! In years to come when Yoke and I are sitting at home on the couch, and he's firing in and outta the house with his mates, I'm not gonna be able to pick him up in a ball, throw him on the couch, and tickle him mercilessly. I could try, but his teenage buddies / lady friends might not find it cool....nor might he.
We just returned from a trip to India for 2 weeks (accompanied my our own tourmanagers....mum and dad!....and my brother and his fam). An AMAZING experience! Every cliche about India is true....times 100! I went back to the motherland, to my people! It was sensory overdrive. That country really is alive! I bought some instruments whilst out there, so expect a ragafest on the next album.

At the end of the week I back at work again....and what a fantastic way to start the year. I will be doing sound for Animal Collective and am REALLY looking forward to that. I have been listening to their new album Merriweather Post pavilion...or whatever its called....and it is brilliant! I knew the songs really well from the tour we did in the usa in 2007, but the production on the songs here on vinyl is just fantastic. Great songs and arrangements are matched by a walloping sound and the trip is divine. What a great album to start 2009. Music of the gods.

I'm gonna sign off here. I kinda feel like i've taken a dip with john the baptist and he has purged my sins and made me see the blog light again. Updates on the band will be regular from now on i promise, and opinions will be duly shared. Hey Israel, Palestinians have the right to live too, so stop yr bombings!

peace out