Friday, 27 May 2011

LOOK AT ME, I OWN RECORDS! #7 - Broken Shoulder

Broken Shoulder & Fighting Kites man Neil Debnam has manned up and been the first on the Audio Antihero roster to stop being such a whiny little toad and finish off his "Look At Me, I Own Records!" selection. (See previous entries here: BANG)

Most of you didn't buy his record and you should, even though he enjoys listening to Jazz, you really should have done. It's cheaper than piracy: Broken Shoulder - Broken Shoulderrr

First record?

Madness - Cardiac Arrest 7"

I remember buying this in a record shop near Walthamstow Central station. Given that I was only 6 when it was released I don't think I paid for it myself. I was obsessed with Madness when I was a kid. I have found myself revisiting their early albums in the last couple of years and quite enjoying them. Stupidly I did the crossword on the record sleeve and though I managed to get the marks off, the imprint of my heavy handed pencil work can still be seen.

Worst cover/best band?

France - untitled

I was at the Kraakfest in Belgium in March and the first band of the day were a drum bass and hurdy-gurdy trio from France called France (this name makes them pretty much invisible to internet searches which is quite annoying as they were really really good). The hurdy-gurdy through a load of effects pedals makes quite a noise. I ummed and aahed all day about whether to buy their album. I really wanted it, as they were amazing live, but the cover is totally horrible. Offensively horrible even. At the end of the day though, you don't have to look at the sleeve when you're playing the record though, so I went for it. It's a damn good 30 minute-ish track though, so it was totally worth it.

Most DIY?

Caroliner - Rise Of The Common Woodpile

CDRs by Spider Compass Good Crime Band, Kim Choo Ja, Compression Of The Chest Cavity Miracle and Core Of The Coal Man

I have only in the last couple of years got into Caroliner so have a lot of catching up to do. One of my favourite Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 singles is them covering a Caroliner song, so I knew that sooner or later I would be checking them out. When I first managed to get hold of one of their records I loved the sleeve. A completely unique mix of photocopies, ink washes and spray paint. And amazing artwork too, which completely matches the music. My photo does not do it justice. My quest to get as much Caroliner stuff as possible led me to Brutal Sound Effects ( where I could go crazy on Caroliner and where I also uncovered all sorts of other gems, mainly from the San Francisco area noise scene. The CDRs I have bought from them are, like the Caroliner stuff, really interestingly packaged and it's almost impossible to get them back to how they started when you get the disc out. Top right in the photo is a 'semi-authorised' (guess this means no-one has complained yet) of an impossible to find album of vintage Korean psych by Kim Choo Ja that I was desperate to get. Normally though, I just go to the website and make a semi-random selection of stuff that looks interesting, which to be honest is most of the stuff on there.

Best value for money

John Coltrane - Live In Seattle, Ole, Ascension, Live At The Village Vanguard Again

Japan. Full stop. Go top Japan and buy all the records you have always dreamed about for dirt cheap prices. Don't bother taking clothes, you will need the space in your luggage on the way back. The majority of my John Coltrane vinyl has been bought there at shockingly low prices. The Disk Union record shop chain is the stuff dreams are made of. Jazz is particularly good value and also the records always seem to have the best covers I think. I particularly like the look of the Ole Coltrane album, and it just wouldn't look so good CD sized. Live At The Village Vanguard Again is here mainly for that fact that most of the band look ready to go on stage, and Jimmy Garrison looks like he's off on a school trip.

Best impulse buy due to outstanding cover?

Takeshi Terauchi - Let's Go Eleki Bushi

The cover pretty much says it all here. Traditional Japanese folk songs played in a surf style. Sometimes you just know you are going to like a record without ever having heard of it before. Slightly disappointingly all of the other records I have bought by Takeshi Terauchi have fallen short of this one.

Best album ever?

The Byrds - Fifth Dimension

Great cover too. My favourite album which I also have on double 10" with alternate takes and instrumental versions. I only play that when I am home alone, as for some reason other people don't seem to find it as fascinating as I do. 11 tracks, and two of them are a bit rubbish but still the best album ever. If it was only John Riley and Wild Mountain Thyme and then 9 duffers it would still be well up there.

Best themed covers

Film Music By Toru Takemitsu Vols. 4, 6 & 10

Ok, so not all records in Japan are cheap. And I've got another 7 volumes of this that I need to get. I think some of them are going to be really expensive. A real variety of styles on these. Unsurprising given that they are from soundtracks to very different films. Takemitsu's more classical an experimental work is also well worth checking out, but none of those albums I have got have such stylish covers.

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Godspeed Party People, don't be just another victim, eh?

If you'd like to contribute to one of these then GET IN TOUCH.

Jamie - Audio Antihero: Specialists in Commercial Sucidie

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Look At Me, I Own Records! #6

IT'S BACK! A MANFAN CALLED GEORGE WALTON HAS STEPPED UP. George has been liking Nosferatu D2 on the internet since 2009 and now he's here to let his voice be heard. He was also man enough to not fall for that 'zomg jewel cases are so ugly now that forums don't like dem' JIVE.

Here we go again with "Look At Me, I Own Records!"

Okay so I have no idea why I am doing this as I am not notable in any way what-so-ever but I would never miss an opportunity to indoctrinate the world on my music taste and show off just how cool I am so here we are. I should point out though that being young and poor, I only own CDs and don’t really own any rarities or anything and hence probably don’t count as a Proper Music Fan or something. I am holding out for the day when they become retro and everybody loves me. Also, I couldn’t find anyone who would lend me a camera so here are lots of pictures of jewel cases in their full webcam glory:

First Album I Bought

Monty Python – Monty Python Sings

I think I heard ‘Always Look On the Bright Side of Life’ on TOTP2 once before I’d ever seen any of the sketches/films and obviously liked it. So off I went, down to Pendulum Records (which I kind of miss even though it was awful, everything was overpriced and they never had anything you wanted) and ordered this. I dutifully learnt all the words and sang along, completely oblivious to the meaning of such ditties as ‘Sit On My Face’ (I understood ‘The Penis Song’ though) until a few years later when the first Gorillaz album came out and I just had Clint Eastwood on repeat instead.

Favourite Album (On the Day of Writing)

The Replacements – Let It Be

The Replacements are pretty much my favourite thing ever and although I love Hootenanny massively too, this just takes the lead. I discovered this album aged 17 and I remember being completely amazed at how well it captured all those ridiculous teenage emotions and although I’d like to think I have matured slightly since then (I am sure you all still consider me a whippersnapper or whatever), it still seems to speak to me in ways that I can never quite explain (this sentence is far too long but I care not). It saddens me a little that one day I will probably look back at these albums and think how immature they all sound.
P.S. This being a reissue, it has a load of bonus tracks on it. The great part about being a Replacements fan is the amount of non-album material they had that easily stood up to their best work (this probably says more about the amount of effort they put into their actual records than anything else though).

Best Cover

David Bowie – Low

Maybe it’s not the best cover ever or anything but I really like it. It’s taken from the Man Who Fell to Earth, which is an amazing film and not nearly enough people have seen it. That is all.

Worst Cover

Miles Davis – On the Corner

I mean I have some ‘90s rap albums with pretty horrendous covers and often reggae reissues come with utterly naff packaging but I don’t think I own an album that I am more embarrassed to get out in front of people than this. I mean, it would be fine if I had a lot of friends who liked atonal funk or were knowledgeable about ‘70s Miles but I don’t and even if I did, it’s hardly conducive to conversation. I honestly still don’t know how I feel about the music inside but still, you’ve gotta admire the guy for trying to sell out with this.

Album with the Longest Anecdote Attached

Oliver Nelson – Screamin’ the Blues

I can’t quite remember why but around 15/16, I decided I needed to expand my music knowledge and so one evening I decided to go onto a couple of genre-specific forums and ask for recommendations. Being young and obnoxious, I mostly disregarded all these peoples’ opinions and decided to keep listening to Metallica because I wanted to fight against the system or something. Anyway, a few weeks later I got an email from a woman saying that she’d seen my post on a jazz forum and said she had some albums she wanted to send me. Apparently her husband had recently died and had always loved jazz and stuff and since she didn’t like any of it much, it seemed a good idea to try and pass it onto to a new generation. Somehow this touched my self-obsessed teenage heart and a few days later I received this and Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue. Now while the Miles seemed dull and slow at the time, this appealed to me and so off I went, searching for more... I have no idea who that woman was but this seems like a good opportunity to thank her for introducing me to a fuckload of great music. I think that’s enough sentimentality for one day.

(Editor's note: when I die, likely young - I hope someone will do that to my records too. How lovely. And tragic)

Biggest Mistake Buy (That I Can Still Find)

Tony Allen – Lagos No Shaking

I don’t actually have too many of these as I rarely buy an album without having at least seen a few reviews but there are always exceptions. I bought this one by Tony Allen based on his consistently amazing drumming on Fela Kuti’s records and although the cover is awful, it had some convincingly African-sounding song titles. I haven’t listened to it for ages but I seem to remember it mostly consisted of really rubbish funk with some added congas. I may listen to it again one day and it might be amazing but I am in no hurry when I can just listen to more Fela. I also have an awful Steely Dan album somewhere but I remember liking that once.

(Editor's Note: Ben Parker of Nosferatu D2 once went to see Nearly Dan. "And every band I've ever loved has let me down eventually...")

Most Recent Purchases

Shackleton – Fabric.55

James Blake – James Blake

Being young and poor, I never have enough money to buy all the albums I want but I got these about a month ago on a trip to Rockaboom in Leicester. I have no idea how Leicester can sustain an independent record store but never mind. The Shackleton is sort of terrifying and although I know it’s great, I haven’t listened much as I think you need to be in a certain mood to appreciate 74 minutes of sub, conga loops and spoken word samples. I think the internet might implode if anyone else gives their opinion on James Blake so all I’ll say is I like some of it.

P.S. I wrote this all a while back and since then, I’ve picked up the J Mascis solo album (which is great), some Burning Spear and an I-Roy record I don’t like much…

Last Record I Fell In Love With

How to Dress Well – Love Remains

An album of lo-fi, distortion-filled ambient RnB doesn’t sound like the best idea but somehow this works. I have given up trying to describe it though as I can never make it sound as good as it is.

Most Likely to Offend My Parents

Genius/GZA – Liquid Swords

There are more offensive albums by a long way but I’m pretty sure the combination of cheesy kung fu movie samples and GZA’s raps would irritate them quite a bit. I think if I looked harder, I could find something they’re hate more but I don’t really like going through my music thinking about it from someone else’s viewpoint as it feels a bit like attacking myself from the inside.

Most Irritating Packaging

Young Marble Giants – Colossal Youth & Collected Works


Obligatory Preaching to the Converted/Brown Nosing

Nosferatu D2 – We’re Gonna Walk Around This City With Our Headphones On to Block Out the Noise

I don’t really need to say anything about this, do I?

I refuse to reread this as I always hate everything I write so please don’t come and murder me if it’s filled with typos or ill-informed opinions.

Thanks George, I think you're dynamite in a kinder egg.

If you want to contribute to this series then get in touch at info @ audioantihero . com

Goodbye Matt Showman

This week I invited Vanessa Deroo, a wonderful friend of mine and Audio Antihero, to compile a personal mix in tribute to Matt Showman of Yr Letter Records, who tragically lost his battle with cancer on the 29th of April. He was a good friend to her and seemed like a classy kind of guy to me. Rest Peacefully, Sir.

Ok, I'm not sure how to write this, so here are some little facts for you.
Matt Showman was the giant guy behind Yr Letter Rds. He loved Far, Pearl Jam, Franck Turner and eating falafels.

He introduced me to Quicksand and Bob Mould 's works. He had a soft spot
for Katy Perry. He believed Avril Lavigne was better than Hayley Williams
(I disagreed).

He was the best guy around when you needed some comfort or some jokes about
french TV guys. He was really funny. We tried JD & Cranberry once, and it
tasted good.

He was passionnate. He had some amazing stories to tell. He was the co-host
for the radio show 'Joining The Circus'. He was really tall, which was
pretty funny when I hugged him to say Hi.

He promised me a vegetarian lasagna recipe. He liked Ace Of Base. He was the
strongest. He was my friend.

Matt left on friday morning. The last of his battles.

I have these songs in my mind. It may not be his favorites ever, but they
mean something to our friendship. This is how I want to remember him. This is how I want you to know him.

I'm going to turn up the volume now. I hope you can hear this from where you
are, Mr Showman.* "When I hold sea shells to my ears, I'm pretty sure I can
hear you."*

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Audio Antihero's BBC 6Music Interview available to stream.

With the power of Soundcloud, I've made our (myself and Ben Parker of Nosferatu D2) January interview for BBC 6Music available again to stream. I recorded it off my speakers so it's quite tinny. Don't blame us, we were lively and intellectual.

In February I wrote a follow-up article for the BBC blog, which you can still read here. But unless you're an indie label and utterly clueless, then it probably won't help you much.

Never Say DIY!

Jamie - Audio Antihero: Specialists in Commercial Suicide