Monday morning Calm, New workings from the Barnslou Trio
More going off and things
Trepidacious sounds like a fine word to use today, there really was no need to be trepidacious. So where were we? Melting in an East London bunker, paint suffering in the heat, Montana Gold threatening to explode, leaves gasping for water, musical e.mail piling up while we carry on basking in the afterglow of the Neo Naturists and the beauty of that new Sea Nymphs album, the Black Blooded Clam, all Liberated and Handsome Been meaning to mention Vega Darling‘s film GRRRL: 25 Years Of Riot Grrrl!
Varavara have a new single out, “Ahead of the release of their third album ‘Death Defying Tricks’, Varavara have released a new video for their latest single Warning Sign”, you just passed the link to the video back there..
Do rather like Manchester duo Luxury Death‘s new single, on PNKSLM again, do rather like that label, kind of reminds me of that label that put out all those great records from Disco Pistol and Mogul and Beatmolls and Charlie’s Angels and Angel Cage and such, what ever did happen to all that? Mogul was the 43rd release.
“Luxury Death is the brainchild of boyfriend, girlfriend duo Ben Thompson & Meg Williams. The project started as “something else to do in the bedroom together” and shortly blossomed into a fully conscious band churning out hauntingly bittersweet lofi songs influenced by knowing that one day you’re going to die”
“Would you be so kind as to post some support for my film GRRRL: 25 years of riot grrrl?” asked Vega Darling, “We’ve been in production for 4 years. The finish line is in sight. We’re currently raising the completion funds so I can finish up the film and release it in early 2017”.Further reading
GRRRL: 25 Years of Riot Grrrl is a musically fueled, DIY, feminist, feature length documentary film. Out of the culture of the 1990’s Pacific Northwest independent music scene, riot grrrl established third wave feminism and brought girl power to the masses, proving that music can change the world.
Over the past 25 years, riot grrrl has cultivated a vibrant culture that has created music, film, zines, and a political stir. Vega Darling’s GRRRL: 25 Years of Riot Grrrl is a story about riot grrrl told by riot grrrls. GRRRL documents riot grrrl and it’s impact on culture. The Indiegogo campaign for the film features rewards including a multimedia zine, video, and music compilation with tracks from Frightwig, Hand Off Gretel, Husbands N Knives, The Potential Lunatics, Louise Distras, Trap Girl, Big Joanie, Not Right?!, Clitorus Rex, Drown the Noise, Nicky Click, and more! Rare merchandise including unreleased early riot grrrl spoken word records, signed records, rare riot grrrl records, record label grab bags, zines, stickers, buttons, t-shirts, rare posters, vintage collectibles, and sex positive treats including a peak into the director’s collection of vintage toys.
So far, the project GRRRL includes an in-production feature-length documentary film GRRRL: 25 Years Of Riot Grrrl, and two films – Lost Grrrls: Riot Grrrl In Los Angeles (2016), and An Excerpt From the Forthcoming Feature Documentary, GRRRL (2013). GRRRL: 25 Years Of Riot Grrrl began pre-production research in 2007 and has been in-production since 2012. We expect to release the feature length documentary in early 2017.
Yeastie Girls was our most recent contribution of course, we being Cultivate and Cultivate being an Organ thing and Yeastie Girls being an art show brought to you by our very own Emma Harvey back in 2013…
“YEASTIE GIRLS, ’A FOLLOW UP – (EMMA HARVEY) ‘YEASTIE GIRLS’ (21st Feb to 6th March 2013) at CULTIVATE, VYNER STREET
So, one month on from the opening of the YEASTIE GIRLS show and time to reflect on my first curated exhibition at CULTIVATE Vyner Street. The aim of the show was to re-visit the ethos of Riot Grrrl; questioning whether the underground feminist punk rock movement still had relevance 20 years on after it all began, and, if so, what form would such Riot Grrrl inspired creativity take in 2013?… READ ON
Take extra care with all the precious stuff we try to handle with our special care….
Really must get some words down today, it landed earlier, and of course it is a glorious thing of beauty, of course it is, you knew that already. You knew a new Sea Nymphs album could be nothing less that gloriously beautiful, wonderfully so, delicately beautiful, special, a treasure, special stuff to handle with extra care..
Sea Nymphs, On Dry Land, a first listen to the first “new” music to emerge from Cardiacs family since that Ditzy Scene single back in late 2007
The legendary second Sea Nymphs album, apparently mostly recorded back there alongside the first somewhere at the beginning of the 90’s, songs unheard save for that John Peel session back in 1998, unheard until today, until this glorious morning. Rather hard to write about this actually, these fifteen tracks, these fifteen things of delicate beauty – some full bodied, some almost fractured, delicate and warm, glowing. And birds flying inland and you knew it would be good, we knew that but we kind of expected pretty much more of the same. Mostly recorded at the same time as the first album, we kind of expected part two and to some extent that is what this is, yet somehow it feels like much much more. Maybe that is down to circumstance? We’ve had nothing “new” for so so long now, since Tim Smith’s unfortunate illness, but this feels like much more than just part two. .
On Dry Land is something very pure, something very natural, two wonderful composers, Tim Smith, William D Drake both at the height of their freedom, almost lost in another world, and Sarah Smith sprinkling her dusty sunlight and magic on it all . Some of it very Tim indeed, some of it more like the world William D. Drake inhabits now, some of scuttling like insects (or mice), some of it hissing and fizzling like busting seeds in the warm morning light, all of it wonderful. Some of it as expected, and to the delight of these ears (ears lost in all the beauty it all all day), some of it really not so expected. Some of it like Summer a coming in and parades and wooden horses and fish on wheels and some of it Vaughn Williams bright fresh and light and green – all of it glorious.
The Black Blooded Clam, the Sea Ritual one glorious piece leading to the next, blowing in from everywhere, Liberated and Handsome…. Oh look, I could write reams, use up trees, talk of the colours and the shimmers and all the splendid glory, incredible sting driving things, the feather-lite warmth, magical dist and ethereal goodness of it all, this really is beautiful, this is very very special, this gloriously good and beyond expectation. Eating a Heart Out like the best painting you ever saw or the best sunrise you ever watched, like standing in the woods watching the sunlight reach the floor. I defy you to listen to it for a first time without a slightly moist eye, these are the special things, these things made with special care, oh look, I can’t really review this, it really is something very very special…. How very very lucky we are to have these wonderful people making this wonderful music for us. .(sw)
Sea Nymphs second album On Dry Land, is out on November 4th via The Consultant’s Memorabilia Collection and www.cardiacs.net
We’ll review On Dry Land ‘properly’ closer to the release date, this was a first listen, well the first listen was last week, we were waiting for the Alphabet announcement,. there have been many listens since and still as good as the first. The Other Rock Show returns to airwaves Resonance FM with Marina Organ on Sunday September 4th, 9pm.
The official press release
THE SEA NYMPHS: ON THE DRY LAND, CD AND VINYL ALPHCD032 / ALPHLP032
RELEASED FRIDAY 4TH NOVEMBER, 2016
Comprising of core members, Tim Smith, Sarah Smith and William D Drake, The Sea Nymphs were the elegiac and wondrous foil to their main band Cardiacs’ terrifying bombast. Otherworldly, dream-like and deliriously psychedelic, and dispensing with bludgeoning guitars and drums, The Sea Nymphs swam deep in the reedy waters of the unconscious. Their 1992 self-titled debut set sail where The Incredible String Band, at their most ambitious, and Ralph Vaughn Williams, at his most heavenly, left off.
Haunting, eerie and exploding with unusual colours, the beautiful compositions of preternaturally gifted Smith and Drake made this album indispensable, while charming many who found Cardiacs ‘a bit much’.
The second Sea Nymphs album, On The Dry Land, a fairly open secret among the legion of loyal fans, was largely completed at the same time as the debut and slated for release shortly afterwards but, for unforeseen reasons, never saw the light of day. Apart from three new songs played for a 1998 Peel session, the contents of this album remain largely unheard.
Following Tim Smith’s accident in 2008 and subsequent health issues ever since, no new material has been released since 2007. Smith, however, was able to return to his studio in 2015 to supervise the additional recording and painstaking process necessary to complete this lost masterpiece.
Every bit as audacious, original and mystifying as the debut, On The Dry Land is a testament to the meeting of minds of composers Smith and Drake. The ethereal presence of Sarah Smith seems to wrap everything in a feather-like weightlessness. The end result is nothing short of sublime.
Exclusively available from The Consultant’s Memorabilia Collection www.cardiacs.net
Oh, and the first album on vinyl for the first time
‘Their performances and actions were never rehearsed; a schedule would often be discussed just hours beforehand, with props sourced and produced last-minute. This refusal to be slick was indicative of the group’s determination for their practice not to be neatly packaged: a deeply non-commercial position. As Grayson Perry remarked ‘…She wasn’t one to have a rehearsed show – she thought that would be selling out to do a rehearsal because that would smell of entertainment’.
A NIGHT WITH THE NEO NATURISTS at The ICA, The Mall, London – August 2016 – Where to start? Where to end? You really needed to be there, to attempt to put it down on paper is just ridiculous dancing around architecture. The various hazy photographs and bits of mobile phone footage appearing on social media might give you a tiny bit of a beautiful clue but you really really needed to be there breathing it, you needed to find yourself covered in glitter and then find yourself pulling out a bundle hay from your pocket the next day and for a moment wonder how on earth that got that there before it all comes glowing and flowing back. Oh what a night….
Constant film running on all three walls, there’s something special about old homemade super eight footage and things captures in a way only that format can. A Short Marc Bolan poem, bizarre performances of Kraftrwerk songs on skiffle-like washboards sung by naked “models looking good”, naked besides the paint and the ribbons and the smile (so not naked really). Lots of smiles in here, lots of very serious people as well (until they let their hair down later on). A glorious night, all beautifully lit, all alive with anticipation, there’s a buzz of anticipation at the start, a buzz that continues all evening.
A Night with the Neo Naturists celebrates the subversive 1980s performance group founded by Christine Binnie, Jennifer Binnie and Wilma Johnson, on the occasion of their large-scale retrospective at Studio Voltaire (8 July–28 August 2016).
The evening includes film, live performances and music evoking the spirit of the original works’ anarchic innocence. This is the Neo Naturists’ first live performance with the full original line up of founding members since 1986. They present a special collaborative performance with Ana da Silva and Gina Birch, founding members and songwriters of The Raincoats.
Supporting acts include Jill Westwood and Antal Nemeth, Christine Binnie and Paul Murphy and a DJ set by Peas in a Pod (Will Larnach-Jones, Joe Scotland and Julie Verhoeven).
The Neo Naturists were part of London’s subculture that arose in the aftermath of Punk, the emergence of the New Romantic club scene and advent of Thatcherism. They performed wearing little more than body paint celebrating the naked female form, and their performances were “bodypositive” and celebratory, in stark contrast to the increasingly commodified, “sexually packaged” body widely promoted in the 1980s.
The seminal post-punk band The Raincoats last performed at the ICA in 1980; the ‘godmothers of grunge’ created a sound that, while inspired by Punk and rock music that had come before, was uniquely and uncompromisingly powerful and female.
And this does feel powerful, positively so, not preachy, not in any way – incredibly open and yes, a real celebration of people and a place and a time, places and times, a splendid celebration of people, of art, of subculture, underculture, positive art, of just doing things and making a difference. Feels good in here from the off, felt good in the queue to get in – the paper literature, the grainy photos and printed stories, it does evoke those far off days of art (and music and festivals and protest and gatherings) being far more underground and subversive – rumours of things that might be going on next week, badly printed flyers handed out on corners – Psychic TV are playing in an old hospital on Thursday (maybe?), Blitz kids but not quite that – rough-edged, organically happening, identity, exploring, legacy of punk, DIY, squat parties, of Blake, The Slits, The Pop Group, The Kings Road, Thatcherism and just doing things in the face of it all – “the radical and subversive potential of body painting” – making things happen, sometimes a party, sometimes a protest, sometimes both. Flashing at the British Museum, upsetting the toffs at Henley, “wearing little more than body paint the group achieved a unique artistic voice, one which contrasted with the highly polished aesthetic prevalent in the New Romantic club scene (of the time)”.
There’s film projected on the three walls simultaneously, grabbed glimpses of past moments, things, what was going on there? The audience are constantly lit, involved, part of the evening, the barrier completely down, performance, dances, people sitting on the floor people sitting on the stage, dancing, standing, meeting, the floor is the stage, constant music, 70’s disco, 80’s post punk, Get Dancin’ sing Disco-Tex and the Sex-O-Lettes over the sound system, impossible not to, feels like unforced spontaneous fun in here, a celebration.
This is not the time and place to analyse the Neo Naturists, this is not the day to deconstruct the evening or talk of the legacy (and there is such a legacy) this is a time to celebrate – radar love is here, Get Dancin’. Without warning someone will take to the stage, naked creatures with big bags of silver glitter while Lemmy booms Silver Machine and the sound of Hawkwind swirl off the walls. The Runaways sound powerful in here, hello world… cherry bomb…. (Joan Jett won in the end). Painted people everywhere, rope, ribbons, glitter, body paint, is she wearing a pin stripe suit or is she painted? Or he? Or them?
The Neo Naturists certainly were celebrating (and celebrated) last night, and birthing of new performance artists and corn rituals and a bundled up “last sheaf of corn, heavier than the others but we got her to the stage and brought into life the goddess that saved the world” so said someone called Cywol (via the magic social media afterwards, thanks Cywol). Wicken-flavoured offerings of plumbs and home-brewed ale – “in their performances the Neo Naturists fused an idea of the liberating potential of ancient pagan ritual with an unabashed lo-fi contemporary vernacular”.
A strange kind of Woman on the PA now, more performance on the stage – there once was a woman, a strange kind of woman – Deep Purple, purple lights, poetry recited, spoken work over Pink Floyd soundtrack, Money, it all feels very very spontaneous… painted-on underwear, painted-on working overalls, “fashion editor do my dungarees look good?”
See, told you it really couldn’t be put down on paper and told in (electronic) black and white… and what is that bit up there in that film? Did they really do that? The Binnie Sisters are brilliant, so is Willa, together with a cast of many tonight they’re evoking that time, that particular spirit of that age, did they really do that in the Tottenham Court Road Centre Point fountains in 1984? Don’t you want me baby? Which screen to watch? What’s going on over there? Look at those people in the green light? Audience or performers? it doesn’t really matter. Is she going to be part of a performance or is she just quietly being tied up? Oh, I see, she’s a corn bail? Has it finished? Wasn’t it only going to be on for an hour? Been in here for far far longer than an hour now surely? He looks great, she looks great, big smiles, portly bulge, grey hair, corn all over the floor, what was in that cup he just passed us? Have another plum. Haven’t seen you since that time on the beach.
Discordia? Beautiful chaos? Gloriously so, impossible to commit any of it to paper, or to photograph or film it, you had to be there, and I guess the same can be said about those original Neo Naturists events (and so many others things that went on back there).
Spoken word, performance poetry, electronic textures, atmosphere, projection, ceremony, ritual, lo-fi, spontaneous, 70’s, 80’s, naked (in more than one way) every moment hanging in the air. Magical, powerful art, engaging, breaking down the barriers in the room, none of it feeling forced, none of it awkward, everything honestly natural – no not entertainment, no us and them – all of it with smiles, natural, chaotically good – a thought in the middle of it all for Gilli Smyth, she of Mother Gong, flown off earlier in the week – more corn, bits of red latex material all over the floor, torn clothing discarded? Ancient rituals, contemporary life, here and now, floating anarchy, punk rock, painted-on pinstriped suits, the spirit of the age, the spirit of the original anarchic innocence as alive and well as it could be in these more (property) developed times when the city is no loner ours. Brilliant night, dignified gloriously, brilliant brilliant brilliant …
And then just as you start to think it is ending, the announcement asking us to please not leave, the Raincoats are going to play – and there they were, three Raincoats (in glorious dresses) – the perfect band to keep the celebration flowing, the three of them up there on the stage, guitar violin and bass, powerful songs, empowering songs, powerful sentiment, as powerful now as they were then, probably more so? Don’t worry, stop looking at me, this is just a fairytale happening in a supermarket – in a contemporary art gallery – “that is going to be really hard to write about, apart from the Raincoats gig, stop looking at me, I loved that bit, it was all so good…. what a strange night, but brilliant too, and and and, no, can’t find the words…..”, neither can I really, Leaving without going, No looking at me no looking at me, No looking at me no looking at me, No no looking no no looking, No no looking at me…. Lola sounded good, people joyously singing along, not a care in the room, he looked at her and she at me, The Raincoats (very discordantly) performing Middle of The Road’s Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep really was a ridiculously good highlight – all together now, where’s your momma gone? Brilliant fun. And all the time, while the Raincoats are on, a “naked disco dancing competition” going on on a stage to the left, only no one’s eyes are good enough anymore to read the judge’s verdict afterwards, brilliant! Do we really have to leave now? Out in to the London air, glowing from is all, do we really have to go home now.? Brilliant night, fun, excellent, a celebration and far far more, still cutting, on the edge, a special night, told you it couldn’t be put down on paper, where did that corn come from? Brilliant, loved it (sw)
The Neo Naturalist retrospective exhibition at Studio Voltaire (1a Nelson’s Row
London, SW4 7JR) has now been extended until September 4th.
There might be one or two 43 Second films and flavours from the night on my instagram feed
ANOTHER MAGAZINE – The Neo Naturists on Feminism, Nightclubs and Nudity
Click on an image to enlarge or run the fractured slide show….
Another night, another opening, busy Tuesday night down by the Old Street Roundabout, the summer sun is out and so are the people, the invitation has been extended to come cover the show so down with the paint brush and on to the 55 bus for a cold beer and some art at Beers (love the red crane against the blue sky, don’t like what it means, East London is changing…).
The idea of an art show based around works on paper is of course a fine fine idea, how could it possible not be? Nothing new or revolutionary of course but then no one at Beers London really claimed it was. Just a show featuring art work on paper, a simple uncluttered show. Thirty-five pieces of smaller sized works on paper, thirty-five pieces confined in conservative frames and hung in a politely regimented way on a formal set of very white walls.
Beers London is extremely proud to bring together a diverse selection of artists who have each contributed a piece or two of original work on paper for exhibit in 35 Works on Paper. The show features emerging, mid-career, and established artists from around the globe who each bring their unique perspective to an exhibition that celebrates art in what can often be its simplest, most instantaneous – and invariably profound – articulation. The included works cover a large breadth: including abstract, figurative, and even conceptual pieces, as well as proposed sketches, text-based work, painting, drawing, and even collage. All are unique works either created specifically for this exhibition or culled from the artist’s own personal archive.
The artists involved are: Dale ADCOCK, Andrew BIRK, Sverre BJERTNES, Laura BRUCE, Yvette COPPERSMITH, Kim DORLAND, Austin EDDY, Danny FOX, Alicia GIBSON, Paul HOUSLEY, Gary HUME, Andy KOLAR, Adam LEE, Rhys LEE, Christian LITTLE, Jonathan LUX, Jessie MAKINSON, Kathryn MAPLE, Holly MILLS, Ryan NORD KITCHEN, Tal R, Josh REAMES, Tony ROMANO, Andrew SALGADO, Mason SALTARRELLI, Daniel SEGROVE, Struan TEAGUE, Kristian TOUBORG, Johannes VANDERBEEK and Paul WACKERS.
Strange show, a viewer could very easily be fooled and left with a rather underwhelmed feeling, besides the obvious fact that the works are on paper, there’s nothing really uniting the show or the hang, there’s no relationship between the pieces, just a polite line of pieces evenly spaced and conservatively placed, politely formal and nicely uniform, all lined up like some kind of identity parade. not sure how invariably profound things are? Just a line up and each piece there to be viewed, absorbed, judged in isolation before moving on to the next. This isn’t a show that grabs hold of you, it isn’t a demanding exciting show, and I suspect this really isn’t a show that tells you that much about the artists involved either – the artists involved who’s work we already know really aren’t represented here in a powerful way, Laura Bruce for instance is far more dynamic and her drawings far more exciting that than this small piece would have you believe, her recent solo show at Hackney’s New Art Projects was so alive with observed energy, something really not reflected here. I’m kind of guessing the artists we don’t know should not be judged on the grounds of what is on the wall here in the rather compact white cube that is now home to Beers London.
This is a an underwhelming show, until you block out all the noise of an opening night and really start looking at each piece in quiet isolation, when you do take the time then one or two things start to jump out, a collaged piece here, an abstract painterly piece of paper there, a drawing just along the line – actually there isn’t too much in the way of drawing in here. The work is simple, uncluttered, instantaneous, personal, did the artists intend some of these pieces to be on a gallery wall? Sketch books and bits of paper marked and left in a studio can be very personal things never to be seen while the big canvases are, an artist’s inner thoughts.
A show of artists from all over the world, it does kind of feel like a more exciting show could have been put together by a curator spending a day exploring any one of the studio complexes of South London or Hackney Wick or Leytonstone or… The energy of an artist’s open studio or an artist’s sketch book really isn’t to be found here in the formality of this show, neither is the excitement we see at artist-led events in the backstreets, studios or basement spaces of London is not to be found in here. The frustrating thing is Beers, like the aforementioned new Art Projects and so many of the others of the London art establishment, show a reluctance to go poke around in the back rooms or artist-run galleries of London – Beers never could find time to cross the street and take a look in any of the smaller artist-run galleries when they called Vyner Street home (although they are running another of those cynical open calls where artists are expected to pay them just to open an e.mail), I suspect a far more exciting show of works on paper could have been put together (if fact I damn well know it could), this is a very disjointed affair, “the included works cover a large breadth: including abstract, figurative, and even conceptual pieces, as well as proposed sketches, text-based work, painting, drawing, and even collage. All are unique works either created specifically for this exhibition or culled from the artist’s own personal archive”, but it is a show that could fool you in to thinking there really isn’t too much here, there are some interesting pieces in here, one or two splendid pieces, it is worthy of investigation, don’t be fooled, things aren’t quite so underwhelming as they may at first appear, it is a worthy show, there are some interesting pieces, there are pockets of energy, of delicate interest, painterly privacy, slices of emotion, a committed mark, a thrust of colour or texture. Don’t be fooled, don’t think there’s nothing here, don’t be too underwhelmed, take the time to look and you will be rewarded here and there, on the surface it may not feel like it, but this is a decent show with a handful of standout pieces and one or two splendid moments. Not going to pick out individual names or works here, it is about the show as a whole and it is worth going for the whole, it is worth your time, it is worth probing, taking the time to explore and look, it just kind of feels like it there have been so so much more to it (sw).
. . .
More information about the show and the artists here. The exhibition is on from 24th August until 24th September 2016, BEERS London is found at, 1 Baldwin Street, London, EC1V 9NU (just by the Old Street roundabout). The gallery is open Tues – Fri: 10am – 6pm, Saturday: 11am – 5pm
Click on an image to enlarge or run the fractured slide show.
ALBUM REVIEW: LOVELY LITTLE GIRLS – “Glistening Vivid Splash” – (Skin Graft) LP/CD/Digital.-
Lovely perspirations, risk of infection? No longer sanitary, they kind of probe you, sometimes in a slightly menacing way, sometimes in an almost playful way, playful like that cat with a traumatised mouse. Chicago’s Lovely Little Girls, “an avant-rock band directed by artist Gregory Jacobsen and bassist Alex Perkolup”, have a new album, Glistening Vivid Splash is yet another set of delightfully probling tunes, more clashing of thoughts, unseemly circumstances? Purified? Irresistable? Incubating… An album that’s immediately there in your mind, probing, touching your inner state, the odour of what? It isn’t that they’re disturbing, or that they’re strange – well actually they are very strange, or course they are – it isn’t that their world isn’t beautiful (even if beauty is in the eye of the beholder), it isn’t that it is beautifully strange, it is;nt any of those things. Lovely Little Girls’ awkward musical probing is a thing of beauty, occasionally graceful so, often awkwardly so (in the best of ways), deliciously probing, and who doesn’t like to be probed now and again? .
Lovely Little Girls, without really ever sounding too obviously like anyone else, push all the right musical buttons – Cardiacs, Dead Kennedys, Dragnet, Flying Luttenbachers, Batman, Danny Elfman, Lalo Schfrin, Rude Mechanicals, the more twisted less irritating moments of Faith No More – oh yes, they have the magic. Lovely Little Girls are disturbingly good, uniquely so, they’re like all your favourite cartoon villains plotting the takeover of the city before the Joker does, they’re almost lovable (almost). And they sing in such angelic ways of the odour of death, and stab the eyes and vile trials and trails and you know that feeling when you climb aboard an old wooden fairground ride and you’re not sure what that congealed sticky substance down there on the safety handle is.
Lovely Little Girls are delightfully hard-boiled, they’re probably not good for you, some days they’re just disturbing, other days they’re disturbingly good, most days the stimulatingly brilliant. Brilliant in a disturbingly positive kind of way, they’re like rubbing a balloon against the static and then watching it gracefully float around the room only to be punched every couple of minutes as it tries to land. They’re like smelling the cheese, picking that scab just to see, they’re like all your imperfections magnified, that slightly past the sell by date fruit fermenting over there in the bowl – cut the throat, cut the throat putrid paranoia, wholesome stimulation, they’re muscular legs meticulously cleaned, filth not abound in every corner, squalor alive for sure.
Lovely Little Girls are a glorious band, a beautiful band, they’re a clash of fleshy colour and the stimuli that that arouses and in this, their latest album, they’ve gone and done it all all over again. It isn’t that they’ve made an album better then anything else they’ve ever done, it is that they’ve done it again and without repeating a previous exercise, Glistening Vivid Splash is as good an album as anything the always wonderfully good Lovely Little Girls have ever done… Another highly recommended album, everything we expected it to be…. (sw)
Of all the umbrellas that open above the various facets that masquerade as art, the one that opens above the thing that is street art is probably the most forgiving, the most protective, the most accepting and to say anything in any way negative is to poke cruel holes and let all the rain in. To suggest something might not actually be “awesome”, that it might not be “the bomb” and that the artist might not be “smashing it”, to say that not every single wall in the city needs garish cartoon paint and uncontrolled ego and that actually s/he can’t paint that well and maybe s/he needs to stop imposing it all on us on every street corner ever, to say any of that is to personally insult everybody ever in a self-celebrating London street art scene full of self-congratulation and he’s the bomb and she’s the bomb and he’s the bomb and everyone is smashing it. Conservative with a small c and feet still have to be looked at or sky looked up to to get past that blighted wall and make it to the railway station with soul intact… Enough of this, blinkers on, don’t look to the left, avoid eye contact, need to catch a train
This rather fine piece of aural art was brought to our attention earlier this week, the new single from Russia’s Angelic Milk, a single or a track from an EP or something like that, and EP called Teenage Movie Soundtrack, an EP came out back on July 15, seems it has sold out already in purple vinyl hard copy format but here’s the details anyway…. Rather like the sound and attitude of Angelic Milk’s label PNKSLM
“The artwork for Teenage Movie Soundtrack, the upcoming new EP from Angelic Milk, depicts Russian-born band leader Sarah Persephona tied up on a bed surrounded by washed-out stuffed animals, staring directly into the camera. It’s an evocative image, drawing from and willfully derivative of decades worth of teen movies that she’s absorbed and abided by over the years. “Tie Me Up,” the second single we’ve heard from the band’s new release after “Rebel Black,” is similarly indebted to its influences, sounding like a mash-up of ’90 punk greats. But that makes it no less winning as Persephona yields that familiarity to powerful ends — as she repeats the titular command over and over again, the song ramps up in energy and you can hear the desire to be confined as a way to find freedom” So said Stereogum….
Further Angelic Milk reading and a look at Russia’s rising DIY scene via the always good She Shreds magazine…
And More from Angelic Milk’s rather exciting label PNKSLM a label we’ll no doubt be taking more notice of in the future around here
“New single from Sudakistan, first new music since the acclaimed debut LP Caballo Negro. Out now via PNKSLM Recordings”.
Debut single from Gothenburg’s ShitKid. Out now via PNKSLM Recordings (artwork by Moa Romanova).
New single from Stockholm garage rockers Pinemen, following their acclaimed debut EP Pleasant Pain (released in December 2015 via PNKSLM Recordings).
New York based artist Pyramid Oracle is back in London for a solo show over at Dalston’s BSMT space, there’s been a lot of fresh paste-ups around town, pieces up on streets on walls already marked by paint and paste and the clutter detritus of modern life, the busy walls of East London, the imagery is familiar to anyone paying attention to the outdoor walls of London over recent years of course, how would it transfer on to the walls of a gallery? Dalston is the perfect place for a Pyramid Oracle, the walk through the late afternoon stench of humanity that is Ridley Road Market, Kingsland Road unblighted by gentrification (for now), the chaotic colour of the people, the shops, the remains of the fruit stalls strewn across the pavement in the summer heat….
Oculus is the tittle of a show by Pyramid Oracle “showcasing a collection of intricate and symbolic works that examine the dimensions of the human spirit, and the complex world that it inhabits”. There’s certainly a spiritual energy in the marks made and the face drawn, and yes symbolic should that be your thing, not sure how intricate it is, more of a primitive energy, an expansive set of movements, certainly a little different where most so-called street art really isn’t. Actually to call it street art does it a disservice, this is work of an artists who uses the street as both inspiration and gallery and down here in the basement that is BSMT Space the mostly black and white work translates rather well. The vital energy remains, the more human portraits stand out in amongst the symbolism and the more “spiritual” work – the primitive line, the energy, the economy of mark…
“By exploring the metaphysical, Oculus seeks to capture the often imperceptible geometric systems that permeate through all of nature and revisit venerable means of understanding the great mysterious architecture of the universe” – make of that what you will, the thing that holds this body of work and this show together inside the confines of the gallery is the energy, the primitive appreciation of people, the almost positively naive humanity of the drawing and painting – it does feel like drawing, and it does draw on a spirit. Some of it feels like space rock, some of it almost tribal – tribes of New York, tribes of East London, the spirit of those Dalston streets, a good energy should good energy and spirit be your thing… (sw)
Click on an image to enlarge or run the fractured slide show The show is on at BSMT Space, 5d Kingsland Road, Dalston, London, N16 until August 24th
Have we told this tale before? The ready waters have been stirred again, we’ll tell it once more. Organ has been around, in one form or another, for very very (very) nearly thirty years now, (the very first issue actually came out back on December 4th 1986 if you really must know, a messy hand-made hand screen printed photocopied ball of spray paint and broken typewriter (manual) chaos. Launched out of the back of an old Army ambulance, blue light ablazing in a car park outside a Hawkwind gig. The first issue of Organ had a Cardiacs interview in it, of course it did, and it really is no secret that Cardiacs have been a constant Organ fuel source, a big reason for keeping it all flowing through the tough times, a symbiotic relationship, and a deep love for the glorious beauty of everything Cardiacs.
Along the way Organ evolved and took many forms, there were gigs (many many gigs), things got all glossy and “proper” magazine-shaped for bit, there was a (pre-internet) TV show and of course for many years a defiant record label (first a tape label then a “proper” one). We put out many things, some of which we’re still rather pleased with. One of the very best things we ever did was to put out was a Sea Nymphs single. We had put out a Cardiacs single before that, and featured both Cardiacs and the Nymphs on quite a few compilations, as well as presenting them both (and Panixphere) at Organ gigs big and small (we do keep threatening to write the book and telling it all).
Back somewhere in the mid to late 90’s (June 1998 actually, just looked it up on line), Org Records was on a bit of a roll, we had the various ears of various people, without ever compromising we were enjoying a moment or two in the sunshine rather than the undergrowth, John Peel was in regular contact asking us about bands and releases and this and that, Cay were starting to excite people, Transit Vans Were Peachy, Charlie’s Angels were at the Royal Albert Hall and climbing the charts, Huge Baby, Angel Cage and quite a few more were causing ripples (Time Smith loved Angel Cage). Things were going well and in a backroom of a pub a plan was hatch after one of may conversations with The Leader of the Starry Skies, if only you could get us on the radio like you do with all these other bands (there was no youtube or Soundlcoud then, radio was god, the inkie music press still wrote the rules, word of mouth was really word of mouth, or via the postal service, soaped stamps, no instant links and check this out). We hatched a plan, let’s put out Appealing to Venus again (it had originally come out as a seven-inch single back in 1991 on Cardiacs’ own label Alphabet) Sea Nymphs were almost a forgotten treat by the end of the 90’s, a beautiful thing known only to the Cardiacs faithful, I’m telling you all this because, well no, I can’t tell you about the unexpected glory of The Black Blooded Clam/// You know that it is going to be a thing of glorious beauty of course it is, but whoooosh, this is something very very special, these treats previously unheard, this is glorious and some of it quite unexpected.
Back to the tale, the plot hatched in a pub to release a Sea Nymhs single, we agreed on a seven tracker, (we sneaked the Hymn on the end, couldn’t resist it, Stonehenge 84, a hand-held tape recorder recording), release a single without telling anyone who it was, no guilt by association. The stories on the mainstream music business and the collective unfathomable vitriolic dislike of anything Cardiacs is well documented. “Stop writing about Cardiacs and we’ll invest lots of money in Organ” said one big publishing house at the time, the fights we went through for Cardiacs, that Bellyeye single and the battle in a major label record company office for that place on Blur’s Mile End bill, the bloody arguments with journalists, with radio people. We were on good terms with a lot of radio people in the late 90’s but were didn’t ever dare mention the C word that often.
So a new Sea Nymphs single was released, we said it was William, Tim and Sarah, we just failed to say who the three of them were and that it was a re-issue, we just conveniently neglected to say that they were in another band as well. We never lied, we just didn’t tell people what they didn’t need to know. We sent a pre-release tape to Mr Peel and a few others, apparently he hated Cardiacs – he called up straight away, said he loved it to bits, asked us all about it, where were they from and such, he would later tell us it was his show producers who never liked Cardiacs, he always sort of quite did – so John Peel called up, said he loved the single, and asked if they could do a radio session. “Don’t be silly” said Tim in a tone of disbelief, Tim had gone along with the idea of the single I do rather suspect He though we were chasing a lost cause though, meanwhile Mark Radcliffe and Riley were enjoying a stint as DJs and presenters on a daily daytime Radio One show, we never actually said anything to them, or them to us, but I’m pretty sure they know who Sea Nymphs really were as they talked of an exciting new band and made the Org release their daytime Single of The Week on the then all-powerful national BBC Radio One – it was probably the most exposure since the days of Is This The Life. The press picked up on it on the back of the radio play, positive words from the same people who never had a good (printed) word for Cardiacs. Peel insisted the session happened, the plan had worked, Sea Nymphs exposed, and so…
And so a glorious day was spent behind “enemy” lines, in there undercover, a new band called Sea Nymphs, sneaking around the BBC Maida Vale studio for a day, never ever mentioning the C word, hiding in corners for fear of being recognised, thankfully a collaborator or two in the back rooms (there’s always a Cardiacs fan or two secretly lurking). It was a very special day, one of the best, getting Tim Smith on the radio like that, and being privileged enough to be there watching the three of then create the magical chemistry in the BBC studio with all kinds of string machines and frantic bits of this and that found in corners, it was a very very special day, s stressful day, a glorious day, a big collective hug at the end of it all and a secret punch of the air around the corner out of sight of everyone. John Peel wasn’t there himself for the session but he did call up the next day to say how pleased he was with it all, and a few weeks later he slip in that he knew who they were really, not sure he did at the time though. Mostly John Peel was a very decent guy and enthusiastic music fan, if he likes something that was enough, and he rally did like Sea Nymphs. Oh how I wish we had some footage of that day, three people in their element making music, a very special very happy day. Still got a treasured photocopy of the cheque sent here from the BBC made out to Tim Smith for the session. Three Sea Npmphs, two Organs, trying not to mention Cardiacs, whispering in corners, “do you think they know?” A triumphant day indeed, for some people, some bands a peel session was not that big a deal, they did one every month, but for Cardiacs and Sea Nymphs it was a massive thing, a triumph, a victory, and days like that made all the Organ sacrifice (in the days before internet) worth it all and more.
Sea Nymphs were out beyond the confines of the pond, they were on the radio, being heard by fresh ears, ears that knew nothing of Cardiacs or the history, A fresh exciting band, a thing of beauty, and people clambered for more, labels called up wanting to sign them, we pleaded for more tracks to release ourselves, we knew there were tapes, recordings, the legendary second album, Things by then had moved on though, Sea Nymphs on the radio was wonderful but that was the past and Tim Smith was always about the next thing, back catalogue was not that interesting to the creative mind always on to making something new. Sea Nymphs were put away again (save for a live show or two) and Tim was buried deep in Guns. People would whisper of it, the second Sea Nymph album, did it really exist? That Peel session proved there were songs unheard, were the songs recorded? Had anyone got a tape? And then suddenly teasers on the Internet, “The Stink Will Reach Your Face Soon, Breather Again”, surely this is it? Surely! What else could it be? And then…well, the stink will reach your face soon….. (sw) www.cardiacs.net
Quick one today, in a rush, things to do, places to be at. Blind Atlas, who are Blind Atlas? And what’s Summer School? Apparently Summer School begins on Thursday 18th August at Paper Dress Vintage Hackney. “No more answers. No more questions. Packed lunch optional. …enroll here…”, I never got that much out of gong to school, do like the laid back sound of Blind Atlas though, and that vintage shop with a bar in it that is Paper Dress Vintage is always enjoyable, can we sneak a bear to two in with that packed lunch? How much for a bottle of beer? Here’s the event details (via Facebook). You get three bands, DJs playing records ’til Midnight, and a limited Great Learning poster print on the night… The Bill features Blind Atlas, Kid and Cold Spells
“Born in the land of barm cakes Blind Atlas songs range from whiskey-soaked Blues to a melancholic mix of Folk, Americana and Rock to Cinematic Soundscapes with guitars that gently weep one minute and howl the next. Their differing musical drivers push melodic constructs and playing techniques that are not traditionally heard together or side by side both between and within songs…”