Filed under: CHAFF
And so, the moment I’ve been waiting for, my 12 albums for 2010. That averages at one a month </justification for exceeding ten>
I was intending to do this in order of preference, but the late arrival of Kanye convinced me otherwise. Right now I can’t see that I like an album from this year more than My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, but 12 months ago I’d have said the same about Perfume Genius’ Learning. Making a snap decision now could only cause me to cause some horrific injustice like, oooh, I dunno, suggesting the Marina And The Diamonds record is better than Kanye. Idiocy.
I cannot write about music, so please forgive these descriptions, they’re just to break up the pics, like.
So, in no particular order…
Psychorama – Bathcrones
Bright melodies bubbling atop and overflowing from slow motion beats. All sheets of synth noise and groove. An oddly uplifting record, kinda like a crack of light under the doorframe of a darkened room.
Love King – The Dream
The-Dream’s written some of modern chart music’s biggest hits (Umbrella, Single Ladies) but his solo records show an intelligence and degree of concept that very few people would expect. Dark, self obsessed stuff hidden behind MASSIVE TUNES. Our generation’s Michael Jackson, I tell you.
Carve Out The Face Of My God – Infinite Body
The most melodic shoegazy/ambient record I can recall hearing. Released on No Age’s Post Present Medium record label, this drone is modern day classical music if you ask me.
Autre Ne Veut – Autre Ne Veut
Like every annoying ten-minute trend this year, but with actual worth behind it, a set of bollocks and falsetto. Nostalgic, twisted pop-songs to make your head whir and your eyes cry ice cubes. This is one of my absolute favourites.
Blue Water White Death – Blue Water White Death
Starring Jamie Stewart and Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg, this, for me, harks back to La Foret era Xiu Xiu. Centred around acoustic instrumentation and eerie, threatening mantras.
LA Vampires Meets Zola Jesus – LA Vampires Meets Zola Jesus
Massively succesful year for Zola Jesus’ Nika Roza, whose Stridulum EP has seen her break into a world that I could never have imagined (though am so pleased to see her in). However this, her work with Pocahaunted’s Amanda Brown is my favourite of hers from this year. Mesmerising, minor key and dub tinged, this is pretty trippy stuff.
Dagger Paths – Forest Swords
So happy that this is receiving a late push from the likes of Pitchfork. Wirral producer Matthew Barnes is a gentleman, and produces music like nothing I can recall exactly hearing before. His cover of Aaliyah’s ‘If Your Girl’ may well be my track of the year (actually, no, that’s The-Dreams F.I.L.A., but still).
Suburban Tours – Rangers
Like early Ariel Pink, but less annoying (to my ears). Every AM radio song of the 80s recorded to cassette and played atop of each other over a melted car stereo. But sad, very sad.
Learning – Perfume Genius
The most delicate and tortured music I’ve heard since the highest (or is that lowest) points of This Mortal Coil. Just a beautiful man and his demons sat aside a piano. I’ve gone on about this record enough that if I’ve not convinced you by now, I’m sure I never will.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – Kanye West
There are no words.
Mare – Julian Lynch
Hazy, folky pop songs made ‘difficult’. Soothing and rewarding.
New Love – Former Ghosts
Industrial, hyper emotional tales of the heart and soul from the composer of my favourite album of 2009. This second full length pays even more attention to detail and space. Somehow more pop and more brutal than before.
Needless to say, I’m excited for all the upcoming End Of Year Lists from certain publications, to see what brilliant stuff I’ve missed out on this year. And maybe yours too?
Filed under: CHAFF
So, it’s early morning and my body thinks I’ve slept in late and is wondering why my stomach isn’t full of baked beans yet, but there’s barely light cracking the blinds and I can’t even hear vacuum cleaners in the hotel corridors yet.
Our flight over yesterday was fine. Uneventful and fine. I have an enviable ability to fall asleep on a plane/train/automobile with ridiculous ease. A talent I wish I could replicate in bed. The first show of the tour is tomorrow, in Toronto. Yesterday we were met at the airport by our TM Joe Puleo, and merch seller/life counsellor Kellie, with a crate of beer (not Bud, gutted) and are now staying near his home, for a day of lounging before we’re met by our tour bus tonight.
Things are gonna be tight on the bus this time round. Twelve of us in a twelve-berth. Also, no trailer for the gear, so everything’s gonna be a squeeze, and an abandoned apple core slipped between seats, is gonna be more disgusting than ever. I look forward to the next 21 mornings, waking up desperate for a shit and having to pull on pyjamas and walk to the nearest Dunking Donuts to use the amenities.
I did my lightest ever tour pack this time round. So proud. Whoever has the biggest suitcase will get referred to as ‘Titanic’ for the duration of the tour. So hilarious.
A Month In The Country – J L Carr
Screen Burn – Charlie Brooker (the cover screams “toilet book”, but I’ve always wanted to write about telly. I think my dream job would be working for ‘Inside Soap’ or something).
Inverting The Pyramid – Jonathan Wilson (gonna attempt finishing this for about the 5th time)
Our Friends In The North (our pal Pete has been recommending this to me for years, and finally I’ve tracked it down to watch)
Parks And Recreation
Also, there’s a whole host of TV shows I’m going to have to download to keep up with, whilst I’m away. A quick list:
Match Of The Day, Eastenders, Coronation Street, Harry Hill’s TV Burp, X Factor, Inbetweeners, Celebrity Juice.
I’m also really excited that we’ll be able to listen to Football Weekly 5 hours earlier (kinda) than we do at home. Priorities.
I’m gonna try to blog a lot more on this tour. Give an insight into what it’s like to tour in Los Campesinos!. We’ll see how it goes.
Filed under: CHAFF
Oh yeh guys, we did an advert for Budweiser. Pretty neat, huh?
Oh and by the way, while I’m here, we’ve got a new t-shirt design available in our merch store. No big deal.
Super limited edition. A few available on our coming US tour. But very few available online.
Filed under: CHAFF
Before and between bands at our pop concerts I always leave my iPod at the sound desk, blasting an LC! approved playlist as a slight to inhouse sound guys with awful music taste and to make sure we never walk onstage to a Remi Nicole song ever again.
I’m always really pleased when I see people taking an interest in the music they are hearing, or when people ask or email about it. One time when we played in New York, a load of the audience sanf along to ‘Get Me Away From Here I’m Dying’. That was nice.
Not that I don’t trust you fuckers, but I don’t wanna leave my iPod at the sound desk any more (cos I wanna be watching episodes of Parks And Recreation in miniature backstage, mostly), and so this is happening on the forthcoming North American tour.
– I am going to buy an iPod shuffle.
– I am going to put a playlist of brilliant music on it.
– This music will play before/between/after bands on this month’s shows.
– Anybody who buys merch on this tour will receive a raffle ticket.
– At the end of the tour, tickets will be drawn and somebody will win said iPod and the music within.
DOESN’T SOUND TOO BAD, HEY?
I’m working on the playlist now and will post it on here in the next couple of days.
What would you like to hear before an LC! show?
Filed under: CHAFF
Guys, music is great isn’t it? Actually, not all of it is, which is why it’s important I write about the following stuff. Because I’m sick to my back teeth of hearing people spouting on about absolute bullshit bands.
F.I.L.A. – The-Dream (feat. T.I.)
I dunno if my favourite album of the year thus far is Learning, or Love King, but this is the demo of possibly the best song off The-Dream’s third album. This cut features T.I. rapping some frankly pretty incredible verses. I swear The-Dream is the Michael Jackson of our generation.
So Good – Electrik Red
Proteges of The-Dream, these put any current chart girl groups to shame. Plus, sexy as fuck.
If Your Girl – Forest Swords
One of the worst things in the world is when guitar bands go on Live Lounge or some shit and cover a pop song and think they’re being all smart and subversive when really the song they’re covering has always been one hundred times better than the piss weak ballads or empty emoting that they get away with just because they need a haircut and don’t wash their clothes.
Anyway, this is a really brilliant cover of a really brilliant popular song. Get Dagger Paths.
Song For The Greater Jihad Download
Song For The Greater Jihad – Blue Water White Death
Shearwater/Xiu Xiu supergroup. Wasn’t a dude from the pAper chAse meant to be in this group at some point? This is the best track I’ve heard in a couple of months, and I’m really excited for the release of the album. First person to email me a promo copy of it wins.
avi – Grimes
I dunno, kind of like John Maus or something. But danceable. This whole tape, Geidi Primes, is really fantastic though. She plays in New York on the 14th October, we have a day off in Brooklyn that day. Anyone wanna take me out?
Kangaroo – This Mortal Coil
Not new, at all, but one of my top 5 favourite songs of all time, most probs.
Welcome To Old Love -Former Ghosts
Freddy Ruppert’s ‘Former Ghosts’ project has produced two of the best records I’ve heard in the past 12 months. In the build up to his new record ‘New Love’ due later this month, he’s generously compiled this free download of Remixes/Covers/Outtakes. It’s hyper-emotional stuff, and well worth your exploration.
Filed under: CHAFF
SOLD ‘EM ALL, THANKS A BUNCH GUYS
Times New Viking – M
Gang Gang Dance – M
Sleater-Kinney – S
Erase Errata – S
No Deachunter – M
Telepathe – S
Xiu Xiu (Freddy) – M
BARR – S
Ponytail – M
The Smiths – BIG MEDIUM
Anticon – M
Deerhoof – S
Bikini Kill – M
Filed under: CHAFF
3rd – 4th May, Seattle, Washington
Seattle is our home in the USA; we’ve spent so much time here that we know the city pretty well. Having a day off meant that we could hit up our favourite haunts.
First off for me was a visit to Top Pot doughnuts. When we were recording Romance is Boring we stayed in a hotel right next door to Top Pot. We were therefore in there everyday buying coffee and doughnuts. We grew to know some of the staff in there, and visit the next day (4th may) we bumped into them. I would like to thank Brendan Kennedy and everyone at Top Pot for the free coffee and doughnuts, and for being so nice to us, we hope they enjoyed the show.
Now about their doughnuts. All I can say, is that they are the best doughnuts I’ve ever had. There are so many flavours and types. My favourite is the cinnamon sugar ring. The dough is so light, you feel like you could eat stacks of them. The feather bower cake is also very good. Another favourite amongst LC! is the Apple Fritter, which is so big it can keep someone going all day. The doughnuts are all cooked fresh on the premises and the smell is intoxicating. Coming back late at night from the studio you would be able to smell them cooking and it would make you really excited for the following morning. Plus, their coffee is very good as well, making a perfect combination. If they had a shop in Cardiff, I would grow really fat.
No visit to Seattle is complete without a trip to Bamboo Gardens. We’ve spoken about this place before and it still is very good. We went for the tried and tested. We tried a hotter Mongolian Beef; the sauce wasn’t hotter, it just had hotter chillies in it. I ate one of these and instantly regretted it; it was very hot and destroyed my sense of taste for the rest of the meal. Nonetheless, an excellent meal.
For dinner on show night we went to Guaymas Cantina. A Washington based Mexican chain. I had a wet steak burrito. Once again, it was no different from any other burrito I had had. No one tries to do anything different, but to be honest I quite like that. It’s cheap and very filling, and always very tasty. You can’t really complain.
5th May, Portland, Oregon
First stop was Stumptown Coffee. Unlike when we stayed in the Ace Hotel, which had a Stumptown in the lobby, to reach the nearest one this time required a 10 minute walk. Top coffee and pastries.
Dinner tonight was at a place called Chop Sticks. It served Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese dishes. I had a Pad Thai, and it was probably one of the best Pad Thais I’d had. The noodles were nice and thin, and still had a bit of bite to them. The chicken was good breast meat, with a lot of flavour. There was plenty of crushed peanuts in it, meaning that your mouth didn’t feel like it just had a mouthful of goo when you ate it. It could have been slightly spicier, but the level was enough that it tickled my senses ever so slightly.
Tonights meal was provided by the venue. It comprised Tofu with vegetables, a marinara sauce, green beans and salad.
I’m not a big fan of Tofu, I would never order it out of choice. I always find it bland and it doesn’t have any texture. You might as well be eating polyfilla. This had been griddled so it had a good colour to it. Whats more, it had some texture to it! You could actually feel your teeth slice through it as you chewed. The vegetables had also been cooked in the same way and then layered on the top making it look very presentable and giving it a lot more colour. Having a forkful of tofu and vegetables meant that you had a constant change of texture as you chewed. A nice experience. The marinara sauce was good, I’m never entirely sure what is supposed to be in a marinara sauce, is it just a thick sauce of tomatoes? Or is it supposed to have herbs in it? Of which, I couldn’t taste any. The meal made up for the disappointment as we watched the election results come in.
7th May, San Francisco, California
Tonights dinner choice was suggested by the Regency Ballroom stage manager. He said he would go there 7 out of 10 days. He pointed us to a restaurant called Modern Thai. The menu had all your bulk standard Thai dishes, and there were a few that had twists to them, but nothing really different.
I went for a Green Curry, as after Chopsticks in Portland, I was wanting a Green Curry. The chicken in it was slightly dry and had a bit of flavour. It’s a shame that restaurants can never really cook like you can at home. A home cooked curry will have had the chicken cooking in the sauce allowing the flavours to infuse the chicken. In a restaurant it’s probably cooked separately so whatever meat has been ordered by the customer can be chucked in at the last moment. It had a lot of vegetables in it including aubergine and peppers. The sauce was light and you could taste the coconut in it, it could have done with being spicier, perhaps I should ask for dishes to be more spicier on ordering. The rice was presented in a nice heart shape.
A good meal but I’m not sure if it can label itself as Modern.