Saturday, 30 June 2012

Blog: Sasquatch Nation

I have a confession, and I'm not proud to share it. Until recently, I found the world of guitar gear to be an overwhelming and intimidating one. It's certainly not a honourable thing to admit to, but I relied heavily on the Sniffin' Glue school of power chords and just plugging straight in, and any attempt to talk pedals in a music shop always left me feeling like even more of an amateur than I already feared. I had the ill-advised belief that this was a realm that belonged to my Dad and (sometimes slightly patronising) ex-boyfriends, and that after playing guitar (questionably) for ten years, it was too late to start joining in now.

But the past few months, something changed. I found myself staying up late watching YouTube videos of pedal demonstrations, researching on message boards and having long phone calls home to discuss the benefits of loop pedals. The fog started to lift and my nerding out began to takeover. And I really, really enjoyed it.

So, when my friend Jen told me about this new blog, Sasquatch Nation, I was intrigued. The blog is a self-defined "Internet place about gear and bands, but mostly gear", where musicians are encouraged to completely nerd out and to talk about nothing but their set-up for as long as they wish. No overt plugging of records or shows, or discussing 'influences' for the zillionth time, but unabashed geekery, detailing equipment must-haves and throwing around names like 'Moogerfooger' and 'Holy Stain'.

The interviews (with the likes of  James from Keel Her / Bhurgeist, Oli from Cold Pumas & Lindsay from Sauna Youth) are light-hearted  and informative, and never get all serious and insular and self-involved, which is something these conversations can sometimes lead to if you're asking the wrong kind of person. Even if you know sod-all about gear it doesn't really matter as each interview is a great read.

I imagine for those fully informed it's a chance to nod knowingly/theatrically disagree with choices, but for newcomers into this techy realm it's a total goldmine of information that can usually only be gleaned from plucking up the courage to ask directly in person, which is sometimes hard to do.

Go and have a ganders, and don't blame me when your Paypal account takes a beating and this becomes your future:

Friday, 29 June 2012

Cold Pumas - Fog Cutter

After hints of a long-awaited album coming soon, Cold Pumas have shared a new recording in the form of 'Fog Cutter'. A less frenzied affair than past releases, the track is a minimal and gently building listen, but with the band's signature loops and pacing rhythm left unscathed.

Expect more to follow over the summer...

Read Patrick's interview with Mint Magazine here for all manner of culinary tip-offs, and visit for more.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Vision Fortune - Night Jukes

Played out under shards of intense flashing black and white light, a Vision Fortune show can be an endurance test for the senses. But it's always worth battling through the migraine-inducing bright bursts; with eyes half closed it's a guarantee that everything is focussed on the phonics, with no room for distraction. Galvanizing and devouring, their ambiguous drones borrow from psych, jazz, kraut and all manner of rhythmic dalliance, and conjure up images of mysticism and voodoo.

After an EP and 7" single release, we finally get to look into the void of their own creation, with visuals in the form of 'Night Jukes', described as "Visual expressions of three songs", the songs being 'Heavy Saddles', 'Natural Faze' and 'Black Ocean Glow'.

The Vision Fortune EP is highly recommended, available on cassette through Italian Beach Babes.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Event: Pap-il-lon

After a weird and wonderful debut last year which included a guest set from the mind-blowing Awesome Tapes From Africa, Pap-il-lon is set to return to London THIS Saturday for another dose of far out sounds from across the globe.

Never ones to do things by halves, Mireia and Belle have enlisted Alexandra Mochrie to create a teaser vid to get everyone in the mood...

Saturday 16th June @ Moustache Bar, London 

Friday, 8 June 2012

Martyr Privates - Martyr Privates 7"

Martyr Privates are a total new find for me, but the debut 7" from the Brisbane-based garage three piece caught my ear and promised good things. Their simplistic take on psych rock is a straight-up listen, with thick guitars and cloudy vocals draped over sedate drum beats, but the relentlessness of the sprawling tracks holds a strong sense of purpose, summoning an altogether more powerful and ominous feel to their sound.

Have a listen to more over on the Bon Voyage Bandcamp and pick up the new 7" while you're at it.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

YRRS - Mob Life

... As you might have guessed from my last post, my disco nap went on for rather longer than expected, and four days later I'm still feeling like an extra in a zombie movie.

HOWEVER, this little ditty has gone some way to waking me up - 'Mob Rules' by YRRS, a two-piece from Bournemouth that somehow capture all that was wonderful about The Cribs' first record in just over 2 short minutes. I know every band and their brother get Cribs' comparisons thrown their way, but this is the first time I've heard a similar spirit and sound put to record, and it's a welcomed introduction...

The song will be released on a split with Honeyslide on June 25th, via Keep It Yours Records.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Round Up - Primavera Sound 2012 (Part One)

I have returned from my first Primavera experience with the new found ability to climb a usually panic-inducing hill of stairs without breaking a sweat, possibly heightened tinnitus, a stomach pained with a diet of hotdogs and beer and still with an ever-present moon tan that is now only marginally more bronzed than during the snowy months. BUT what a helluva fun time it was, spent walking the many concrete miles to watch a neatly picked round-up of reformed fore-fathers (Refused, Mudhoney, The Cure, Yo La Tengo...) and the offspring that their past sonic exploits helped birth.

Thanks to the ever-flowing 1EURO beers and sun-scorched hangovers I won't even try to write a walk-though of every artist I had the pleasure of catching (or even write-up events in chronological order), but here's a run-down of some of the bands that made the 4 hour delay eating dry bacon butties at Gatwick worth all the while...

The entire Refused performance was incredible; now over twenty years on from their initial inception, the propulsive power of their sound and the voice that they provide is phenomenal to comprehend in a live setting. With 'Free Pussy Riot' emblazoned on their drum kit, we are reminded that their catalogue of music is ever-present and defiant and certainly not just a nostalgia trip. Though I never thought I'd be watching Refused dressed in a pink summer dress and strappy sandals. The 14 year-old me would have been ashamed.

White Denim continued to prove themselves to be the relentless masters of the entire guitar music spectrum, which was followed with a hair-raising trip to see Mudhoney plough their way through seminal grunge masterpieces, with howls of 'TOUCH ME I'M SICKKK' echoing up the walls of the auditorium and out into the open sky.

John Talabot was a complete mystery to me before the festival (I'd heard his name but had never taken the opportunity to properly research), but his set was certainly a highlight. As a hometown show for the Barcelona-based producer, the building beats, high-reaching vocals, menagerie of samples and woozy soundscapes produced couldn't have had a better backdrop than next to the slowly waving sea, bathed in moonlight in front of the post-3am party crowd. His new album is now at the top of my record-buying list.

After seeing him in a packed-to-the-rafters XOYO a few months ago, it was difficult to tell how Kindness' disco meets 90s boyband soul sensibilities would fare on a large stage. Thankfully Adam Bainbridge looked right at home skipping and shaking his way through 'World, You Need A Change of Mind', all limbs a-go-go and wearing an impeccably kitsch pineapple-patterned shirt (a nod to the Hawaiian, but - like most of Bainbrige's references - replicated with a greater sense of style than the trashier original outing).

- Part Two will follow, after a disco nap -