Monday, 25 February 2008

Throwing Shapes

...a couple of weeks ago, i had the good fortune of being taken along to a gig by a close friend and leaving the sweaty little basement feeling speechless. Its a rare thing to arrive unsuspecting at a little venue on the toilet circuit and come home with your ears still ringing from the melodies of the person you've just seen perform, rarer still when those tunes still swim about in your head the morning after that. "Micachu and the shapes" is what they call themselves, and its the first time this side of 2008 that i've felt completely excited by a new band. They're music is wild in the Captain Beefheart sense, melancholy in The Raincoats circa Odyshape (shouting out loud) way, percussive and tribal in a Creatures/Siouxsie manner and....this is only on the live side of things. On record its a different kettle of fish. Mica, the singer, is a grime producer as well, she's remixed Toddla T, and worked with some of the guys from Man like Me and Naked and the Boys. To add to that she is also an innventor of her own instruments, so far she's made a bizarre guitar/harp/drone instrument with a foot pedal attached to it that allows you to vary the pitch of some of the strings as you play it. Their recorded songs to date are edgy pieces, lots of anxious sounding drum beats, made from a mixture of electronic bleeps and found-sounds. These elements all blend into their music to create something very bizarre but also effortless sounding too, imagine Jamie T but as a girl, Moon Dog being born in 1985 and given a laptop for his 20th birthday or Siouxsie Sioux with an androgynous voice and an obsession with heart-break rather than gothic stuff. Enough talk, have a listen to this and then click here for more.

Monday, 18 February 2008


Hey. So We've not posted in a while. And for that i'm sorry. The past 4 months has pretty much consisted of non stop running around trying to get everything finished for the new record. Actually I am happy to say i think were pretty much there.
And I'm pretty fucking exited.

Very soon I will be able to shed more light on what you can expect to hear from us over the next two or three months, and indeed exactly where we will be. And When.
In the meantime heres some cool shit Ive come across over the past couple of weeks.

KING CRIMSONwere the first band I truly fell in love with. In fact the first LP I ever owned was a chrome cassette tape of their 80s stuff. It had things like 'Frame by frame' and 'discipline' on it as well as a couple of songs from their first record, 'In the court of the Crimson King' weirdly tagged on at the end.
"Elephant talk" is a completely revolutionary piece of music. It features an instrument called the Chapman stick, played by a big scary bald guy called Tony Levin, who also played with Peter Gabriel throughout the 80s. This song is out there. And this performance is unbelievable. Robert Fripp, who was the brains of the band right from the start is the guy on the right hand side, playing fingerpicked guitar at an unreasonable speed. Just look at the guy.
Thats' somebody's dad. And probably someone else's only child.

King Crimson - Elephant talk (live on American Television circa 1981)

MGMT are a band I know little about, but their single 'Time to pretend' is being caned pretty heavily on the radio right now in the UK. And I like it. Just check the lyrics.

"I'm Feelin rough I'm Feelin raw I'm in the prime of my life.
Let's make some music make some money find some models for wives.
I'll move to Paris, shoot some heroin and fuck with the stars.
You man the island and the cocaine and the elegant cars."

So they've got a knack for the written word. But have you seen their video?
Apparently Someones blocked youtube from allowing people to share it, but I found a link to a high resolution version somewhere else. And I urge you..NO, ACTUALLY I PLEAD WITH YOU TO WATCH IT.
Anyone who saw Klaxons' original 'Gravity's Rainbow' video will notice similarities, but I mean this is other level shit.


If you agree with me and you also believe that this is indeed the greatest thing ever made, then you might also like the next video. If you disagree, then you suck.

are a video collective from San Fransisco. Well in fact I think it's just a couple of young dudes, but since they started making short films a couple of years ago, they've been getting their fair share of attention. I heard they are working with Bjork, though i don't know when or what exactly on. Actually little while ago I posted the video they did for Grizzly bear . Most things they do involve sickening amounts of animation and make up but Its really hard to tell how much is real and how much is mouse magic.

I don't even think this technically counts as a music video as theres only a bit of harp being strummed here and there, but I think its amazing.

'Tactical Advantage' by Mangello Tipperary/Encyclopedia Pictura

Far out!


I first came across Nacho Alegre a couple of months ago when we started looking for artwork to use on our new record. I wrote to him initially just to say how much i loved his work and to see how he would feel about other people (like us) possibly using his photographs on record sleeves in the future. It turned out he was delighted and in no time at all, flights were booked for him to come over and shoot the band. He spent a week with us, sleeping at our houses and flats and basically capturing each of us in our own environments.
We were so pleased with what came out of the whole thing that we decided one of his shots should be on the album cover and the others should also be used on every single released off it.
He told me he started taking photos because he felt like his youth was slowly slipping from under his feet and he wanted to have a record of all his friends and of everyone he shared experiences with. Which kind of felt to us a lot like the reason we started making music in the first place. And that's exactly how i think his photographs look, like memories. Some have an eeriness to them , some are blurred and others are just photographs taken of his hot girlfriends while they were sleeping.
Nacho is the man, basically. To see more of his work, here is his PHOTOJOURNAL.
The Mystery jets journal should be up there any day soon.

is a film maker from France. He doesn't sound french with a name like that, but he is. He made an ultraviolent movie called Doberman with Vincent Cassel in it in the late nineties and also made the 'lay all your love on me' video for Erasure in the Eighties. I read somewhere he is really into a cult called 'Shipibo-Conibo' and is also obsessed with shamanism. Well, watching this short film, all of that would make sense. Its basically a bunch of wizards chasing each other on petrol fuelled broomsticks around a deserted business park.
I believe all the flying sequences were constructed from stills which is pretty cool when you consider these wizard dudes would have had to have been jumping up and down about a hundred times a minute for it to look real. That's like one and a quarter jumps every second. Shikes.

Everybody saw Donnie Darko and everybody knows the 'Mad world' song. Don't get me wrong, I like the tune a lot, and the guy who did the cover does Micheal Stipe better than Micheal Stipe.
But It's far from Tears for Fears' best song. This is.

Love Blaine X