WARTIME.

3 03 2014

 

 

They say you can always find a positive in any bad thing that happens. From a break-up to death, there is always some good to come out of it. At times this is easy to see, but for the most part it is just another empty cliché to get you through the day. You can decide for yourself what it will be, there is no right or wrong.

As you know, I’m a huge fan of Crocodiles. I love Brandon’s side project with his wife Dee Dee as Haunted Hearts. Charles’ project with his partner, Hollie Cook- Psychic Dancehall was brilliant. His new project, Wartime was originally to be with him and a close friend of his. Sadly and unexpectedly, his friend took his own life. The project is now Charles on his own. A sense of healing is in the song Wartime Won’t Let Me- if you didn’t know the story behind the project you may not be as sentimental towards it. Yet when you find out, you truly gain more respect and appreciation for what Charlie has done. When something bad happens, it is just easier to turn away from it all. There is a lot of courage in this side project of Charles.

He has wonderfully sampled the drums from an underrated Iggy Pop song, Horse Song which is taken from the equally underrated (and strange) Zombie Birdhouse. Anyone who has seen Crocodiles play knows how enthralling it is to watch Charlie slay the guitar. If you’re looking for a band that play with EVERYTHING they have and more, go see a Crocodiles show. Charles just goes some place else when that guitar is in his hands and these electrifying sounds just pour out. This is exactly the case with Wartime- the passion is there on Wartime Won’t Let Me. This is for those who have a place in their hearts reserved mainly for the weird and wonderful.

The 8 track cassette, Graffiti Dogs (Ku Ku)  is available for pre-order on the brilliant Art Fag label, and you can get your grubby hands on a copy right here: http://artfagrecordings.blogspot.co.uk/

Stream the song Wartime Won’t Let Me here: https://soundcloud.com/art-fag-recordings/wartime-wont-let-me

To end this, I feel the best way is from a quote by Charles from an entry taken from Brooklyn Vegan. He puts is beautifully and to the the point:

“This tape was written solely for the purpose of helping me cope with my close friend’s death. His spirit lives on. I am certain.”





“….and if you ever get lonely, just go to the record store and visit your friends.”

25 01 2013

records

‘Somebody was trying to tell me that CDs are better than vinyl because they don’t have any surface noise. I said, “Listen, mate, *life* has surface noise.” ‘~ John Peel.

There are a few things in life that really piss me off, but they aren’t that important so I let them go. There are things I do not understand, so again, I let them go. For instance, I do not understand why a person would link their Twitter account or Tumblr account to Facebook. Why would you do that? Or, why would you watch a programme and update Facebook or whatever every 5 seconds about it. Don’t get me started on those who did the whole “IT’S SNOWING OUTSIDE” shit. I have eyes, I can see- I also have windows. Cheers Michael Fish. Pointless. These things aren’t really important because it shows how boring our lives have become. I’m not an interesting person. My daily routine consists of going to the gym for 2 hours, come home and look for jobs until I feel my self-worth leave me and I start to hate everything. I then go listen to my records and read a book. I also do a lot of writing. Writing that no one will ever see, because I can handle someone saying “Olivia, that shit you write on your site is awful please stop.” I’ll stop one day, rejoice in that. But if someone read what I wrote in my notebooks and said “Your poetry is WAAAAAAAAANK.” I don’t know how I’d deal with that. It’s probably why I’m too much of a wuss to ever get anything published, let alone read. Sure I’ve shown the odd poem/song to a few but I know they’re only saying it’s alright so they don’t offend me. Racisim, homophobia, any form of discrimination offends me. Telling me I’m crap at something doesn’t mean as much. I’ll toughen up. Lord knows I’m trying. This leads onto something, but I’ve gone round the houses to get there.

I am massively against downloading music. I hate it and I’d like to punch those that do. It’s on a par with those who use Kindles and think it is better than picking up a book. A book, made out of paper that if you drop it..IT DOESN’T BREAK. Imagine breaking someone’s Kindle..oh the sheer joy. Don’t get me started on iPads and whatnot. I’m not a technophobe, I just see how technology is making people more and more stupid; and how they cannot function unless they have some kind of gadget in their hand.

Alright so, I’m against downloading music. Why? Because I want to be able to HOLD the cd/cassette/vinyl in my hand. I want to go into a shop and interact with the staff (you can tell I worked at HMV,right?) I want to wander around for ages and find something I thought I’d never find again. I want to get butterflies in my belly when I find a record I adore. I want all of that, and I don’t want some idiot telling me that record stores are dying out, that we must download. Piss right OFF.

I’ve taken to going to the market in town to buy my records because it is truly my idea of heaven. I go there when I’m having a rough day. I take some money out of my account, and I clutch it in my pocket hoping I find something. I always do. Always. I’ve found Transformer by Lou Reed, a Sarah Vaughan LP and a few 7″ singles by The Jesus And Mary Chain. I’ll never win the lottery, but finding these and more was my equivalent of doing so. There’s something so peaceful (and personal) about going record shopping. I feel the same way about books too. I’m not really someone you want to go book/record shopping with because I can (and do) spend hours just looking; always leaving with something. I remember the first time I went to the market to buy some records, and the old man said to me “We never get any young people in here buying records” and we just had a discussion for about 20 minutes about the beauty of records. I think I’m a 70-year-old trapped in a 26 year old’s body. I was born at the wrong time, and I’ll never fit in. I’ve accepted this as not being a bad thing. I’ve always been like this.

My mum used to play a record with Scott McKenzie and Jefferson Airplane on when I was a baby to get me to sleep. I used to pretend I couldn’t sleep just so I could listen to it. It was the crackling sound at the end of every song that used to make my heart skip a beat. It was the crackling sound that made the imperfections so perfect. You cannot get this from downloading a song, you just can’t. It doesn’t feel personal. It doesn’t feel as if it was made for you.

I’m fortunate enough to be sent a lot of free music. I don’t do this to get free music, so far from it. If I didn’t write about music, I’d have no reason. I really wouldn’t. I get sent free music, but for the most part I go out and buy it on cd/vinyl as soon as its out. I couldn’t call myself a music lover and never buy music. That’d be hypocritical, and just wrong. It’d go against all I believe in, and I don’t like it when someone tries to sway me on things like this. Hate it. I’m not writing this to call out people who download or whatever. I couldn’t care less. It’s just, I know there is percentage of music lovers out there who love spending hours in record shops, holding the record and going home to listen to it.

There’s another thing that irks me a lot about this. People who think it’s alright to leak new records or to just download an album without paying for it. It pisses me off because, these musicians- their music is their LIFE. That’s how they make their money. Would you go to your local shop and steal some milk? No, you wouldn’t. So why is a shop keeper any different to your favourite musician? If they’re your favourite musician, surely you’d want to pay for the music so you could support them. Steal their music= they never make any money which means they never tour and you bitch about never seeing them. Pay for their music=they make a living and you get to see them live. For me, it’s a no brainer. The latter will ALWAYS win.

I adore the fact that so many new bands are putting their music out on cassette. I bought a few last year, and one came in the post this morning (thank you to Bek at Soft Power Records!) and I may not play them as much as I’d play a CD because I don’t want the quality to be ruined. The same goes for my records. I own two records by The Ink Spots that I refuse to play to death. I don’t want the quality to fade. These guys were around in the 30s/40s; the way their records sounds to this digital bollocks is, well, you just cannot compare at all. I will take the crackling imperfections over the over-produced dullness any day.

I have a lot of love reserved for the likes of Sacred Bones, Art Fag, Soft Power Records and Zoo Music because they put out music on tape and vinyl. It appeals to those who spend hours getting lost in record shops. Lost in their own little world and when they find something they’ve been aching to find; well, there’s nothing on earth you can compare it to. Collecting limited edition 7″ singles from your favourite band is so beautiful. When I’m 80, I’ll still be playing them with fond memories. I love going to record shops and buying a record on the day it comes out. I used to miss lessons at college and university to do this. I once did it when I bought Bleed Like Me by Garbage. I got off the bus, my mum got on the bus. “You’re home early.” I told her the truth, she said it was alright. She understands.

Last year the sales of vinyl went up, but sadly that isn’t enough to shut these gadget obsessed fools up is it. I think if you have to explain why its important, then maybe you’re fighting a losing battle. I don’t wish to convert anyone or anything like that; mainly because my words don’t hold that much power nor will anyone read this. I know if anyone does, they’ll just assume I’m a dick. They don’t know me, so I guess they’re pathetic for passing judgement. I haven’t written anything as long as this in a while. It’s a shame so many words have gone to waste, but we all need to unleash our frustrations at times don’t we.

I personally don’t think record shops are going to die out. People are still going to want to physically purchase music. There’s a record shop in Soho that has a record by The Walker Brothers that I’m going to try to get next week/the week after. I’ll be spending my time wisely (I’m using it as a reward for when I’ve handed my CV out to anyone who will take it!) Record shop owners are as passionate about selling you music as the musicians are as making it. My dream has always been to own my own record shop, but I have no money so that’s one I can just kiss goodbye. Music is such an important force. To dumb it down and make people just download music without going to a shop and buying it..it’s just really sad. You can tie it in with how society is fucked, but you don’t need me to tell you that. I’m pretty sure you can work that one out yourself.

I’ll give you some songs from bands that have put out some brilliant tapes/vinyl recently. Go support your local record shop. They need you, and you need them.





DUNES.

11 08 2012

 

In 2009, three folks from the West Coast of America formed a band. All before and in-between means nothing. What matters is the outcome. The outcome turned out to be something so ethereal and pure, I don’t even think this is real life anymore. I really don’t. For all the shit in the world, how on earth do we deserve a band as amazing as Dunes? Seriously, I don’t know. I just don’t know. I don’t think I’m going to question it for too long, I’m just going to go with it.

Wandering eyes, loyal heart and a tired tongue. It all catches up with you eventually. Everyone in the shop this evening was buying about 5 bottles of various alcohol based products each. They’re off to be sociable. I’m writing about a band that make me no longer care for what I do and all I see. This dreaming state is divine and pure. Don’t wake me up. I won’t let you. I’ll freeze, you’ll fold and nobody will be able to understand.

Morbid thoughts are healthy, just like smiling is good for you. Or something. I don’t know. I read it somewhere, or I was told. Or maybe I just made it up. Don’t trust anyone who is always happy. Also, don’t trust anyone who doesn’t dig Dunes. That’s not a pun or anything, you know what I mean. Obviously.

Floating through space and time. Unaware of all around you. People aren’t seen. Objects are drifted over. You’re heading somewhere on your own. Spread your arms, kiss a wish to the sky and let it take you. Just go, let go. Go. Go. GO. Dunes do this to you. Dunes make you feel alive. Dunes make you FEEL. The atmosphere they create and all they make you feel is enough to make you want to kiss your enemy on the cheek and wish them good health and a good day. I’m soft and sensitive, so I’d probably do this anyway. That loyal heart of mine, it’s terribly stupid.

Tied Together is probably my favourite track I’ve exposed my curious ears to. The songs all feel like a come-down from something truly beautiful. You want the beauty to carry on? Then listen to Dunes. If you want to drop some names of bands that they sound like, then I’m sorry. I just can’t do that. It’s lazy. I doubt a band thinks, “Fuck let’s just copy what’s been done before.” I’m not going to insult them and launch a load of comparisons your way. As a Music Writer (I hate the word Journalist) I think I dislike them, a lot. Mainly the ones who just have no passion. If I listen to a band that evidently play with all they have; I’m sure as hell going to write about them with similar passion. If you don’t love what you do, then you must simply stop. And if you are constantly being rejected like I, then you must keep going. Then one day you will get to say “FUCK YOU” to all that said no. Apparently good things will happen. Apparently.

A good thing has happened. Dunes have happened. A perfect band to just listen to whilst doing nothing on a typical summer day. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beach kind of person. Or someone who likes to wander around the city blasting out incredible music in your ears. Where you are just means nothing because Dunes take you some place else. A euphoric plain that you’ve never discovered before. This is truly remarkable. I don’t want to hear anything else right now. This is too good. It’s like looking at a beautiful female and wanting to look at her for the rest of time. Lust fills your ears and fills you with joy as you listen to Dunes.

They’ve got a bandcamp page with their tracks on, well some of anyway. You can do the right thing and BUY their music. But please give them a listen : http://duneslala.bandcamp.com

My love for bands from the West Coast is fully justified in bands such as Dunes. They just have this feel to their music that makes you feel like, maybe anything is possible. Nothing is perfect, that I know. However when I listen to Dunes I’m starting to believe that perfection does exist. Someone can be perfect but still have their faults. If you love them regardless of their faults, then you have found your soul-mate.

Dunes are a band that you just need. Don’t question it. Do not even wonder why you must love them. You just simply must. You’ve got to. I feel like some kind of dictator (or maybe I’m just a dick) but you’ve got to love them. They’re tranquil and just make you want to sway. Sway so gently and ignore all around you. The moments of beauty they give you, well, nothing else can really compete with it to be honest.