Posted by: outroversion | October 17, 2014

Reconnect: John Vanderslice

John Vanderslice

You take your eyes off this guy for a few minutes and he releases a couple of albums, a vinyl only EP made out of an asteroid and has toured your town half a dozen times without thinking to stop by to say hey. He’s a busy guy and has that uncanny ability to produce album of the year entries without fail.

Is he most known for an elaborate hoax involving microsoft, the most poignant song about the september 11th or producing a stupid amount of indie classics over the past decade or so?

My problem is I’ve never been able to get past the work surrounding his finest moment, Pixel Revolt. A flawless and beautiful album and when supporting Death Cab outshone them at their peak with what was at that point an already monumental catalogue of work. This is nearly 10 years from that and if you think he hasn’t added to that rendering it an afterthought in his setlists, you crazy.

I’ve caught glimpses of his brilliance since then, maybe a couple of songs from Emerald City and Romanian Names but like I say keeping up has been difficult. JV’s lyricism is so intelligent and his music so intricate that you feel you need to devote time to it rather than dipping in and out and sometimes you’re not in the mood to have your soul searched and to feel things you had no idea you were thinking.

Dagger Beach is his latest album of original material, released last year through a kickstarter campaign and before that was White Wilderness a more orchestral affair with Magik*Magik. Neither of which I’ve heard but we all owe it to ourselves to be more familiar with his work.

Trance Manual

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Kookaburra

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Streetlights

Posted by: outroversion | October 17, 2014

Reconnect: The Unicorns

The Unicorns

You’ve probably got to have a bit of an open mind to really dig Montreal’s The Unicorns; they are musically, a bit of a mess. I used to listen to them when I couldn’t sleep as the ridiculous drum patterns really tire your brain out.

They’re unique, not really singing about anything in particular and bizarre choices in vocal deliveries and musicianship, you really need to want to love their idiosyncracies- if you can, you’ll love them. There’s one point he sneezes in I Do It and I genuinely think it’s genius, i don’t know I just do- who else leaves that in a recording?

Nowadays they’re reformed as a band called Islands who I’m not as into, they’re too clean. I liked the mess, I’m sorry. Though for anyone who feels the same they did get back together as The Unicorns for a short run of shows back in August. Let’s hope that wasn’t just a last hurrah. Strangely their last EP was titled 2014..

I Do It

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Let’s Get Known

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Ready To Die

Posted by: outroversion | October 15, 2014

Reconnect: All-Girl Summer Fun Band

I made a killer Itunes playlist of great tracks from my past that I listen to criminally rarely these days. It’s been great listening to it and I figured it’d be stupid not to get some stuff on the site.

All-Girl Summer Fun Band

The first thing I do when I come across a band I used to be infatuated with but have grown distant over the years, I give them a quick google and check if their wikipedia page says “are” or “were”. I’m pleasantly surprised to find that this particular twee-pop band from Oregon are in the “are” category, as they have been since- even more unbelievably 1998!

I found them in 2002, thanks to the goldmine of undiscovered music that is 3hive. Where basically I’d go and check out bands I liked the name of- leading me to Say Hi To Your Mom, Minus The Bear, !!! and how was I supposed to resist a name like AGSFB?

In the grand scheme of things these three girls were ahead of their time; the twee explosion of 2006 saw an inundation of this fayre.

I can only really recommend the songs I know but I hadn’t listened to them in about 5 years so there’s bound to be lots more to the oeuvre now. They’re innoffensive, endorphine inducing and their albums only tend to last around 30 minutes. Who are you to resist huh?

Videogame Heart

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Canadian Boyfriend

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This one is kinda.. different. I don’t know if it really counts as a song but I don’t know I love it for some reason. I like my twee like I like my tea- fucking stupid amounts of sugar!

Charm Bracelet

Posted by: outroversion | August 31, 2014

In Case You Missed Them: The SpacePimps

The SpacePimps

Every now and then, a band is called something like “The SpacePimps” and so you don’t have much choice but to check them out.

Back in the mid-zeroes we had Fenix*TX and The Ataris playing a brand of Pop-Punk that stayed just the right side of the American Pie Soundtracks. That was when this Pittsburgh trio came into being and the delivery here is in a similar vein but with the addition of the party anthem guitars that Sum 41, Third Eye Blind and Blink 182 made famous, echoing the greatest time to be a teenager.

Party Foul

Posted by: outroversion | August 26, 2014

Worth a listen: Jack White- Black Bat Licorice

Jack White- Black Bat Licorice

I’m not Jack White’s biggest fan, I often find his compositions poorly structured and his musical journeying messy and misguided. Every now and then however, he releases something experimental in the right way and that he isn’t afraid to do so is something I respect him for. That doesn’t make him a genius however, a mistake a lot of people seem to make.

This is in a similar vein to what he has done best in the past and is representative of his latest solo album so if you like this, perhaps listen to that.

Black Bat Licorice

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/97231342″>Jack White – That Black Bat Licorice</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user5768299″>Feeps</a&gt; on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Posted by: outroversion | August 25, 2014

New Music: New Pornographers- Brill Bruisers

New Pornographers- Brill Bruisers

Getting so many in demand musicians in one place long enough to make an actual record must be insanely difficult but when Carl, Dan, Neko, Kathryn converge with a singular intent wondrous things invariably happen.

I’m not even going to try and better that sentence.

Brill Bruisers

Posted by: outroversion | August 25, 2014

New Music: Interpol- All The Rage Back Home

Interpol- All The Rage Back Home

This is the lead track of NYC’s Interpol’s soon to be released fifth album El Pintor, which will be the first album completely devoid of Carlos Dengler‘s bass. If you’ve seen them live since his departure you know they don’t have that much to worry about; at the time he left, I said it was for the best as there’s a temptation to lean on his lines that was evident on their self-titled 2010 release and that could mean a return to the more tenacious roots of Antics.

There’s still the underlining drone of strung out guitars and world weary yet empowering delivery from Paul Banks but without the sparsity and soundscaping employed on their last two albums. This is the best new material i’ve heard from them in nearly a decade but such is the endurance of their style that it doesn’t make any odds that it’s been 10 years since they graduated from the bait shop of O.C. they’re still as important now as they were way back then.

All The Rage Back Home

Posted by: outroversion | August 24, 2014

Neck Deep

Neck Deep

Whenever a band is described as Pop/Punk you’re hoping for a band to fill the Blink 182 shaped void, despite them still being around and making great music but you know what I’m going for.

While Wrexham’s Neck Deep are perfectly qualified to do so their music will sit more comfortably besides the band mistakenly labelled emo/punk in the last decade, Yellowcard, Taking Back Sunday, All Time Low. There’s passion in the place of pop and intensity over whimsy.

This festival season is seeing the quintet reaching the masses and they’re taking it in their stride. Their debut album, Wishful Thinking was only released in January but it’s been resounding through the corridors of influence with Kerrang and Absolute Punk all over them.

Over and Over

Posted by: outroversion | August 24, 2014

New Music: Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks

I’ve just been eating up anyone with relentless passion lately. The kind epitomised, in reverse chronological order by Dale Barclay, Liam Gallagher and Mick Jagger and while I can’t guarantee Chicago’s Twin Peaks will have heard of everyone on that list they’re indebted to them for pioneering substance over eloquence in their respective generations.

Posted by: outroversion | July 20, 2014

2000 Trees 2014: Saturday

Screen Shot 2014-07-13 at 20.31.52

2000 Trees 2014: Saturday July 12th

Lonely Tourist

With the weather remaining perfect, the third day got under way with The Croft the place to be in the early hours of the afternoon. Tos is charged with getting everyone back in the mood for another day of sunshine and music, in between each set he’d get someone up to announce the next band. He would lambast how few people had bought copies of the program and those courageous enough to admit they had one were cajoled onto the stage to describe the upcoming act.

First up were Bristol based Scot Paul Tierney‘s band Lonely Tourist playing tracks from their albums Sir, I’m a Good Man and Shouting at the Weather; his charming and self-deprecating personality selling the band to the audience as much as the poignant and well-crafted songs.

Their enduring set comes to a close with the lead singer’s ode to his former-footballer namesake, “The ballad of Paul Tierney.” A tale of youthful promise and its eventual decline into reality.

VerseChorusVerse

You couldn’t go to a festival over the last few years without coming across Northern Ireland troubadour Tony Wright‘s former band And So I Watch You From Afar, which he founded but has now moved on from. Safe to say they graced these fields but nowadays his tunes are crafted for a different audience and therefore a different tent.

By now the Croft has spilled way out into the fields and those lucky enough to be inside are granted audience to an upbeat set with the kind of tales of life on the road that either make you want to pick up a guitar and sleep on couches or make you glad you work in an office.

He left out the masterful Nothing is Easy and hauntingly beautiful Birds in favour of keeping the mood at a high, throwing in songs that he’d only written recently and one conceived over the past few days. It’s still just as enchanting basically, this is music that was made for any massive endorphin inducing event or moments of ultimate peace. He gets it just right.

Dad Rocks!

I’m not sure who feels more honoured, the audience for the opportunity to see Scandinavian frontman Snævar Njáll Albertsson perform or him for playing here.

It’s all glorious, musically intricate and lyrically he doesn’t waste a syllable. Each song has a deliberate message and are distinct from one another, the impeccable Battle Hymn of the Fox Father though an undoubted highlight exhibiting the talent on show here.

Such elaborate soundscaping can see meaning lost to the verdantly layered underscores that would be easy to get distracted by if the songs weren’t so well constructed. It’s a privilege to witness such mastery and it feels like the meaning of every song is intended for the moment they are witnessed in.

A perfect lift before things start to get heavy…

Maybeshewill

I don’t use the term “behemoth” lightly but Leicester’s foremost post-hardcore artists are just that and hearing Not For The Want of Trying live is worth the entrance fee alone, a moment that speaks for itself…

Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job.The dollar buys a nickel’s worth. Banks are going bust. Shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there’s nobody anywhere that seems to know what to do and there’s no end to it! We know the air is unfit to breathe, our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had 15 homicides and 63 violent crimes as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We know things are bad. Worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy so we don’t go out anymore. We sit in a house as slowly the world we’re living in is getting smaller and all we say is, “Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster, and my TV, and my steel belted radials and I won’t say anything.” Well I’m not going to leave you alone. I want you to get mad! 

Jamie Lenman

2000 Trees has been waiting a long time for the Reuben frontman to grace one of their stages and it’s the cave that has the honour.

For the casual fan it was perhaps a little Reuben light, leaving out the ever popular Freddy Kreuger, the huge Let’s Stop Hanging Out and the highly regarded Stuck in my Throat and Moving to Blackwater in favour of showcasing songs from his solo career, which is of course his right.

However, being the tenth anniversary of what is considered the late band’s pinnacle, Racecar is Racecar backwards those fortunate enough to fit in the bulging tent were given the pleasure of witnessing rare outings for No-One Wins the War and Song For Saturday from that album as well as Alpha-Signal Three from 2005’s Very Fast, Very Dangerous.

In the history of 2000 Trees, you have to be able to say you saw this.

Wolf Alice

I’m hoping that while the ascension of these Londonders’ is very reminiscent of other Howling Bells and Naked and Famous they don’t suffer the same  trough after the amazing peak they are at right now.

Last year’s most blogged about artist’s music is everywhere at the moment, chances are you will have heard the beautiful Blush one place or another, the magnificent Fluffy and She or the most recent and marvellous Moaning Lisa Smile from this year’s Creature Songs EP.

They know what they’re doing and everyone here is loving them, they might be kinda big now but this time next year Radio One will be trying to suffocate the country with them.

Frightened Rabbit

Things are starting to cool down by the time Selkirk’s finest grace the mainstage to bring the curtain down on another perfect 2000 Trees so the shivers their music sends down the audience’s spine are as intense as they could have hoped.

A 16-song set that spanned their four album career that will have satisfied anyone with a basic knowledge of the band and I’m sure winning over many others playing Modern Leper, My Backwards Walk, Old Old Fashioned, The Loneliness and The Scream, Nothing Like You, fan favourite Swim Until You Can’t See Land and many other popular songs in what wouldn’t be far fetched or unflattering to call a greatest hits set.

The sun is gone and it’s officially over, just the unofficial acoustic sets dotted around for those not ready for the part to end. As with every year it’s hard to imagine them topping this one but rest-assured they always do. See you next year.

Huge thanks to 2000 Trees and Dominic Meason, Snaprockandpop

and Adrian Marsh for photography

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