Friday, May 30, 2008
This is the story of how I went to see a First Floor Power reunion gig, but went home before they came on. The characters in this story are Me, My Friends, Nils-Martin (also a friend, don't mistake me), The Girl With the Rickenbacker, SLGTM, and the T-Shirt.
The first and only time I went to see First Floor Power I was 17 and it was at the city festival held every August. This actually deserves it's own story, a rather interesting one about municipal transport and two girls, but the outcome of the whole thing was I arrived so late I only caught one or two songs. After this the band split up, so I was a bit excited about seeing a full set this time. Not that've listened to them in the interim years, but anyway. Of course there were also the wonderful SLGTM on the bill, who I missed on last year's tour. I got to the venue about five minutes before 10 pm, after which it costs money to get in. I met My Friends, and also discovered about half the crowd seemed familiar, which is something I never experience these days. After realising it was actually a tad chilly outside we went in. Waiting for the first band to go on someone poked me on the way to the restroom. This was Nils-Martin, who I haven't seen in a while. He'd been to see SLGTM in Copenhagen just recently - a dedicated fan. This time he wanted to dance though, and I thought that seemed a perfectly sound idea. Just then there was music coming from the stage, so we went over. And there she was, a girl playing a black Rickenbacker. I liked this band. They were The Envelopes of course, and as they started playing one peppy song after the other I felt a bit ashamed I'd never taken the time to listen to them properly. I can't imagine they're that good on record though. The Envelopes must have the best line-up you can think of: three guitars, bassist and drummer - two of guitarists sing, and one of them is a girl. The only thing that could top that is a female drummer, which pretty much beats everything. After they packed up we were surprised to see members of SLGTM wandering aimlessly around the stage. Were they playing before First Floor Power? Apparently. We sat through the tedious Cover Versions Quiz, which I never recognise anything in. I don't hear any music apart from what I play at home and there's a lot of Better Music to listen to. SLGTM said they were ready, and so were we, right in front of the stage. There's not much more to say - they played, we danced. They didn't have a bassist this time, but I don't often hear music that danceable. See, you don't bass in a song to be able to dance to it! About midway they announced that this was their last tour - i.e. their last gig in Sweden! I'd seen them twice before, but that's not nearly enough. Me and Nils-Martin were shattered, we just stood there with our hearts half the way broken. For the rest of it I felt a bit more restrained, just trying to take in as much of it as possible. Reaching for the camera that wasn't there. Betty Marie's hair was so perfect, and Fred is always cute. Two Velvet Underground covers later, my spirit was back up again as they concluded with "Alcohol", pretending to grant a request, but as you can see it was on the setlist really. They came back in for a double encore, and I was happy. It would be impossible for First Floor Power to follow this, and it just wouldn't be right. So, pretend this was the headlining gig, and go home. It was just the saddest, perfect ending. We spoke to Fred for a bit, Nils-Martin getting his second self-portrait, and both of us getting free T-Shirts. They were trying to get rid of them, he said. What were they thinking? A pop band printing tees in sizes bigger than M! I took a pink L one that I hope will shrink. I cycled home with the T-Shirt on my bike rack. There was an ambulence on it.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
In fact already on Friday next week there will be some DDOMD action, when I'm playing records at the unfaltering Taramasalata club in Gothenburg (which is still named after an Eggstone song and nothing else!). Expect to hear Vivian Girls, The Rainyard, new School hits, the best of Mousefolk, Icelandic garage-psych and a generally noisy set full of pop frustration, as I'm making up for not having played in a few months. You should also expect some live music from now Gothenburg-native Komon, if you arrive early enough. Bring Back Throwaway Pop!
Saturday, May 24, 2008
The one that's most pressing to tell you about is a new ep from All My Friends that Garry gave me after the gig in Glasgow. His girlfriend (now wife!) said he'd finished mastering it five minutes before he left home, so of course I felt honoured to be the first to be given a copy! Like the album from last year, it's self-released and will probably only be available from iTunes and such, which is a shame since it's among the best realeses of the year. They played some of the new songs live and they sounded great, with a full band backing. Alison's vocals also keep getting better, and she took her turn singing Margo Guryan's "Think of Rain" that evening. It sounded amazing - definitely a draw with the recorded version that has Garry on vocals. The uptempo songs have a definitive punch to them now, and title track "Up and Down the River" and "Sleepin' In" are addictive toe-tappers. The former is playing in Don't Die On My Doorstep's MySpace player as we speak. You should also check out the cute artwork above - I would have just loved to see that on a 7" uncoated paper sleeve!A record that I haven't got yet is the debut lp by New York darlings Vivian Girls, named after the reclusive artist Henry Darger's fictive hermaphrodites. I'm not exaggerating when I say this is the best new band that has come into my sights this year. I have to tell you about them before the hype gets too bad, I'm surprised Matt hasn't mentioned them yet! (Oops, he had them on a mix in October last year...) I consider them part of the onslaught of new noise bands from the US, perhaps spearheaded by the brilliant No Age. Vivian Girls though, are three women keen to champion POP heroes like Black Tambourine and The Shangri-Las. I think this has gotten too many people to look for Black Tambourine influences in their music, when in fact it's just an ingeniously effective mix of riot grrrl and pop sensibilities. "No" is perhaps the best song with a one-word lyric ever! You can't go wrong with repetition, as The Fall duly noted. So, the record is called Vivian Girls (of course) and is out on the brilliantly named Mauled By Tigers label. It was preceded by a few weeks by a single off the album, called "Wild Eyes", and will shortly be followed by another 7" that goes under the self-evident name Self Recorded. I guess it's simply different versions of some of the album tracks. Anyway... it's all here. They're selling these at their ongoing US tour, so expect them to sell out fast! In fact I hear there's already talk of a cd re-release. But, raise your hands everyone who wants this on vinyl. Well... that's the rest of them gone. I'm not taking any chances! You won't either after having fallen in love here, and downloaded the album track "Tell the World". It's already raced past the albums by The Airfields and The Autumn Leaves in the Great Big Competition For Being Called Album of the Year By Me Without Anyone Else Caring. Why did my parents not let me go with them to New York? I could have been hanging out with the Vivian Girls for three weeks straight... Don't look at me like that. And you can take your hands down again now.
Monday, May 5, 2008
It seems I won't get much rest after the tour as there's this, and immediately on Tuesday when we get back Television Personalities are scheduled to play at Debaser. Wonder if they'll turn up? There are no advance tickets, so the venue is obviously not taking any chances!
Thursday, May 1, 2008
As you can see I've added a list of records from 2008 worth buying in the sidebar. This is so I won't have to post whenever there's a new essential record out (which is several times a week at the moment!) and I don't really have a lot else to say.
Also, Fire Escape Talking has posted both of the rare White Sisters singles. White Sisters was Borchardt's band prior to Honeybunch, and I think Ric and Paul where in on these as well.
There's good news from Marineville Records' Andy Parker. He's recently salvaged what remains of the label's back catalogue and will be selling decently priced new copies of the Anyways compilation amongst others. He mentioned he might create a new website, but he might also be selling here.