Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ticket to Hide

Are you hiding out by the swimming pool? Well, the coast is clear so if you hurry no one will notice that your clothes were stolen. When you are safely home you can scour your little sister's wardrobe for some flowery pyjamas and then step out to Don't Die On My Doorstep. To avoid being left out in the autumn cold with passers-by staring enviously at your outfit, you could try buying a ticket on your way to the swimming pool. Just DON'T put it in your pocket because your clothes will be stolen, remember? Once safely inside and soothed by the general cuddliness of the club, you can relax and have some cake. We'll give you presents and all YOU have to do is remember the Secret Password, which is the name of that old man your dad told you not to listen to. But of course you went on and read A Season In Hell anyway. "Oh, you mean Lawrence? He's harmless!" Yes, we know. But you might be in danger because of other reasons. The club will be raided by Pirates, I tell you. They'll sing you sweet songs about serpents and death, trying to lure you with them across the sea. Don't listen to them. Not even the Secret Password can save you then! Oh, I've said too much - now you'll never come... But there'll be cake...? ... and presents? pop music? Nah, it's pointless.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

You Thought You Were My First Love...

...But you're wrong. You were the only one.
At long last I hold a copy of The Foxgloves' ep Lives You Didn't Lead in my hand. And it feels like the only goal in MY life for a year has been reached. This record is approaching mythical proportions in my mind already. And in the end it took Pam Berry actually handing me the cd. Ara should really work harder to get the Foxyboy releases distributed. Because this borders on ludicrousness. But that's not a bad thing when it all comes down to it. And I won't do it. I won't listen to another record again. It only lingers and then fades, along with every choice I never made. The only pop song we need starts with the line "I dreamt that love was a crime, but still I couldn't get arrested". It's straightforward enough but I could spend the rest of my days attempting to fathom the implications of that metaphor. Whilst I am so doing, I will let myself be endlessly caressed by the crimson guitar lines. "It takes us away from ourselves", but will i find myself in this loss? That's when I'm told how this record is constructed. Everything in it is an index for something else. It hangs together like a chain of associations starting with the tinted photograph of Roland Barthes, the words in the titles, the sleeve notes by Theresa Tzara, the silences between notes. And the notes between the notes. "By going nowhere thus." The Foxgloves know what pop is. They are it. Pop is not what is between the lines. It's what is between the notes. Like waiting for a bus in the rain. Some say pop is intellectual. When it's really only music - or life in general. It takes intellect to prove that it is not intellectual, does it not? Like it takes existence to prove that there is no existence. GU is Glasgow University. It also is not. I know who the dream I can't wake up from is. That's why she doesn't want me to fall asleep. Tomorrow I might wake up to "You're the Dream I Can't Wake Up From" playing on the stereo. To say that it is beautiful would be beside the point. A point is after all infinitely small. And beauty is only a lack of other things. "Probably it never happened: a thought suspended between two times, shaded with the imaginary pastels of long-gone decades. The dowdy time-scrawled tapes still work the strongest magic. I think you were my first love, but it's hard to be sure." Isn't it?

CLOUD 11 The Foxgloves - I Dreamt Love Was a Crime

Monday, September 10, 2007

COIR 001: Scarlet's Well + A Smile and a Ribbon

Some inactivity here is explained by a load of time spent on club arrangements. After lots of hard work and finding two co-arrangers, I can finally announce the details for our first night. Exciting! And more than a bit nervous... Scarlet's Well is such a perfect band for the premiere and it's an honour to have them play at our club. A bit of a cult group for those who've been around long enough to remember the heyday of él records (we sure haven't...). Scarlet's Well is the brain-child of Bid, who started out with The Monochrome Set in the late 70s. After many albums, having had an important hand in the dream world of él, plus a ditched solo career, Bid decided to pick up where he had left off as the 90s were coming to a close. Scarlet's Well was a natural progression from The Monochrome Set – a loose configuration featuring accordion, tango rhythms, nautical themes and singers kidnapped from school musicals – definitely right up Mike Alway's street!

Now, almost ten years later the Scarlets have proved as enduring as the Set ever was. With their fifth album released just last year (to undeserved indifference), the group has finally settled for a steady line-up. Bid is not the only legend in the group, he's joined by talented musicians like Pete Momtchiloff (most notably of Heavenly, Would-Be-Goods and Razorcuts) and Kate Dornan (of Fosca and previously Bouquet). Bid played in Sweden three years ago at Mitt Sista Liv under the (Unreal) Scarlet's Well moniker, which was great, but this is their first gig over here as a proper band. And once again, they're only doing one show so we hope you appreciate our effort in bringing them here. Scarlet's Well's latest effort Black Tulip Wings is available from Siesta.

After having been around roughly two years, A Smile and a Ribbon have at long last played their first real gig in their hometown of Malmö in September. For those who missed them, here's your second chance. And finally, after many delays, the album Martin and Rebecca recorded last year has been released and is available NOW from Shelflife. Rebecca is a devoted fan of Scarlet's Well so we couldn't have found a better match! Seeing A Smile and a Ribbon live is quite a different experience from listening to their recordings. Sometimes joined by as many as six instrumentalists ranging from novices to professionals, it is still unclear how many will join the pop orchestra this time. With the album released and no more planned gigs in Sweden, they've already started work on the follow-up and have a few compilation appearances coming up.

Here is some music, to encourage you to buy tickets (available from Kulturcentralen quite soon). Because you really should buy a ticket if you're intending to come. That would give us some relief, at least! Also, if you're in Malmö, look out for the gorgeous posters that will start appearing this week.

The Monochrome Set - Cilla Black (from The Lost Weekend, 1985)
Scarlet's Well - The Ballad of Johnny Freak (from Alice In the Underworld, 2002)
A Smile and a Ribbon - The Boy I Wish I Never Met (from The Boy I Wish I Never Met, 2007)