Archive for July, 2016

Fuck You Neil Kulkarni

July 29, 2016

F.U.N.K is a great little blog, but sometimes he pussyfoots around when he should be giving artists a proper kicking –

Shittiest most repellent and depressing music video of the week



Deana Carter – Did I Shave My Legs For This?

July 27, 2016

For fuck’s sake, you only need to see the song title to know its gonna be a belter, then you hit play and the tears just have to flow.

Dixie Chicks – Goodbye Earl

July 19, 2016

Does music get more beautiful and uplifting than this?

Riot Grrrl, Kamikaze Girls and Politics

July 18, 2016

I recently read Girls to the Front: The true story of the riot grrrl revolution by Sara Marcus.  I read it for a number of reasons – I’ll read pretty much anything about or by bands that I have even a passing interest in; I love punk / DIY and political music; I love reading about scenes; it was a scene that I was aware of at the time, but not particularly, and I wanted to know what I missed.  And I am increasingly interested in women in music, but I’ll come back to that later this post and others – but boredom with a lot of new (male, inevitably) music I hear and Everett True is the short answer.

I really enjoyed the book and there are so many things in it that I ought to come back to over the coming months on this blog.  Some might even be in this post.  Who knows, I don’t really know where this post is going.  But the one thing that I took out of it – the book, not this post – was just how much it was a (female, mainly) youth movement, not a music scene, though back in the day I saw it as a music scene and little more, but then why would I, I was a teenage boy reading the music press, not a woman participating in one of the numerous local groups across (mainly) the States?  Riot Grrrl was local, young feminism.  Feminism is politics – it shouldn’t be, equality should be a given, but as of right now it is.  And Riot Grrrl was addressing political issues that were not strictly feminist, though arguably all issues are feminist issues.

As I said previously on this blog, I went to a record and ‘zine fair at the wonderful Boileroom in Guildford a few months back and approached a twenty-something girl sitting behind a desk and a laptop.  We only chatted briefly, but she said she was in a band and – I didn’t mention this before – described that band as a “Riot Grrrl” band.  They are called Kamikaze Girls and they rock, as I later found out using a search engine thing which is a thing for searching things on a thing called the world wide web, something I expect many of you will have heard of.  Or something.  Their song Tonic Youth in particular is great.  I have a 3 year old son and he likes it as much as he likes early Pet Shop Boys and that is saying something.  Still need to catch them live, one day I hope.

Why do Kamikaze Girls describe themselves as Riot Grrrl?  When she said the words I was surprised, maybe even shocked.  Even though I was reading Girls to the Front at the time I still thought “why would you identify with a predominantly American scene that pretty much died not long after you were born?”  “Why would you tie yourself down like that?”  “Why would you categorise yourself in such an obviously uncommercial way?”  I don’t know the answer, but I do know that if you’re basically a young female indie / punk / DIY musician then I can see why you’d want to be part of a ‘girl gang’ and identify with feminism.

The other thing that surprised me when I briefly met Lucinda – for that is her name – is this.  She answered “no” when I asked if her band was a political one.  Why?

The band identify as Riot Grrrl, which is basically feminism, which is basically politics.  On social media they hoped that Britain would vote to remain in the EU, an overtly political issue.  Most importantly, in my eyes, a claim to not be interested in politics is a claim to have no interest whether children are educated properly; whether the NHS is there to save your life when you get a serious but treatable disease; whether the country is run by the rich and powerful for their own benefit, or ordinary working people and the disadvantaged and disenfranchised for the benefit of the many.  Not doing politics, or claiming not to, is batshit crazy in my eyes.

But they do clearly do politics, they are a political band because elements of their message are political (a band’s message is its interviews and social media posts as much as it is their songs).  I’d even argue that by making noisy guitar music in 2016 you are making a political decision not to take an easier route to fame and fortune, you’re taking a decision to be an ousider, and stand alongside other outsiders, as opposed deciding to be a pop act with semi-naked dancers who are standing for nothing other than the right of corporations to make as much money as possible with no concern for the collateral damage that follows from a money-obsessed, shallow society that makes the objectification of women maintream culture.

I suppose that my conclusion has to be simply this.  Young people – and many older people, especially in northern / Welsh former mining and industrial communities – just do not feel that politics and politicians do anything for them.  They are so disenfranchised that they feel that politics is not for them, even if certain political issues are.  The main three parties in the UK, and the media that reports politics in such a tribal, dishonest and anti-intellectual way, should hold their heads in shame that political people choose not to identify as such.

Before I go –

Riot Grrrl Manifesto from 1991


Girl Gang

Kamikaze Girls

Alan Vega – RIP

July 18, 2016

This post is dedicated to Alan Vega and to a lesser extent Martin Rev… Suicide.

I didn’t realise he was 78 – the guy, sorry, the legend was into his 30s before he formed one of the most original and influential bands of all time.

Another hero from an art-school background.  How come teaching kids to paint makes them great musicians whereas teaching them to play an instrument or navigate the music business doesn’t?

Quietus – Rollins and Suicide

Guardian Article

Buffalo Club – Space Church, Grits, Princess – August 6th 2016

July 17, 2016

Grits and Princess have been added to the line-up… maybe they’ll get one more band to make it four?  Star Inn, Guildford.  Gonna be a very good night!

Facebook event page link

The Boileroom, Guildford – upcoming gigs

July 17, 2016

The Boileroom is the go-to venue in Guildford, but sometimes I wonder if the indie scene is pretty dire at the moment when I check out upcoming bands to see whether I’m gonna go see some live music and see stuff that is bland bland bland.  But there’s a few coming up at the minute –

Eulogy are a great local band, heavy as – Friday 22nd July 2016

Honeyblood – just yeah – Friday 30th September 2016

Fews look like they might be intereing – – Saturday 22nd October 2016

Oh Pep! look like they might be more interesting than Fews – Wednesday 26th October 2016

Ian Svenonius Week Pt 7 – Interviews

July 17, 2016

Nearly a month after Ian Svenonius Week started it is coming to an end.

I’m not going to spend ages talking about the things Svenonius says.  I’m sure that I will be coming back to some of the ideas and themes he talks about in the future, but for now I’ll keep it brief.  If you like hearing people pontificating about pop and punk and rock and roll, art and life then you could do a lot worse than reading, watching or listening to some of the interviews he gives.

Get on your favourite search engine and get exploring.  You could start here (some fast forwarding necessary, especially at the start).

Ian Svenonius on The Kojo Nnamdi Show

17 minutes’ in he starts talking about the American idea of ‘Rock Camp’, and how the quality is higher than ever, but the “ideology and the other things that make the art form or other medium interesting” is missing.  This is a big theme of mine that I will have to come back to, not least due to the presence of the ACM here in Guildford.

Ian Svenonius Week is now over, but I will be coming back to him again and again, if only to take his words as the starting point for some of my own ideas.


Allusondrugs – Boileroom Guildford 4th August

July 14, 2016

I can’t make this one, but it looks like the Boileroom’s bookers are keeping up the standards… the poppy and indie end of grunge, plenty enough to keep things interesting.

Weaves | Nervus – Boileroom, Guildford 4th July 2016

July 13, 2016

I missed Barney Packer and Grafted because I was watching the Tour de France highlights – go Cav!  Bad Wild Eye.  Sorry Barney Packer.  Sorry Grafted

Nervus had their moments.  Not bad at all, would be more than happy to see them listed as a support act for a band I wanted to see.  Curious.  But I didn’t get ‘em, nothing grabbed me and shook me.  Were they a guitar bass drums back-drop to a keyboardist / vocalist / performance artist?  Probably not, but they could have been.  On their Bandcamp page they describes themselves as “melodic punk pop pop punk emo indie rock math rock”. That’s probably fair.  They could be a case study for a series of posts I have planned (watch this space).

Wowzers.  Weaves are a top, tight band.  Robotic at times, afro-beat, peverse, damn fine, tight, really alternative and odd.  It helps when a band has a really tight rhythm section, with individually brilliant drummer and bassist.  Add a shit hot vocalist and a fine fine guitarist and some strange twisted indie soul pop songs and you have a really decent weird pop band.

If you gave Sonic Youth a more stereotypically talented singer and a couple of Foals records and told them to go make hits, they might sound like this.   If they were on Later… they’d definitely be one of the best bands of the night… but the flip-side to this undoubted compliment is that they are a bit too much of a Later… band.  They’re in no way bland, but they are perhaps a bit too nice for my tastes.  Very twee at times too… again not something I particularly object too, I have my cutie / Sarah past, but then again not something I’m looking for in my life right now.

Go see Weaves.