Sunday, 28 June 2009

Public Service Blogcast Episode 39

video

This episode: hot on the heels of their Brixton Windmill all-dayer, a unique and potentially the funniest blogcast takeover yet from enigmatic indie experimentalists Cats And Cats And Cats previewing material from thier superb new album due later in the year and showing off what you can do on a Mac when you know what you're doing.

Public Service Blogcast Episode 39
32 minutes 34 seconds
Recorded 24/06/09
Tracklisting
00.49 Cats And Cats And Cats - A Boy Called Haunts
05.40 The Siegfried Sassoon - Muscle Beach (from Muscle Beach/The Al Gore Rhythm double A-side single - self-released)
10.33 Cats In Paris - Goojfc (from Courtcase 2000 - self-released)
17.03 Marvin's Revolt - Deliberate Deeds (from Killec album - Richter Collective)
20.49 Cats And Cats And Cats - Little Blimps
24.30 A Genuine Freakshow - Holding Hearts (from Holding Hearts single - Peartree Records)
29.39 Cats And Cats And Cats - Big Blue

If you have any suggestions for future takeovers or want to get a track played on a regular show, get in touch - email blogcast@smalltownamerica.co.uk

Friday, 26 June 2009

ASIWYFA: Clutch Tour Diary Part Six

The drive from Luxembourg to Cologne should have been quite an easy journey but alas our beloved van decided to throw a little temper tantrum and produce more problems, namely being for a while we could not travel faster than 30mph. Finally the problem appeared to fix itself (for now anyway) and we were back to full speed and arrived in beautiful sunny Cologne only a little later than planned. Another incredibly attentive audience and again the band were flooded with praise after the show. As with most places in the world, an appreciative audience usually means drinks being thrust into your hands from all directions. Luckily the venue had given us accomodation for the night and so we could indulge, some of us perhaps a little too much, in a few beers and mingling with the locals and I am certain we made quite a few new fans / friends.

After quite a restless night we hit the road again on our way to Hamberg. Despite getting decent sleep after the Luxembourg show, general tour fatigue had begun to kick in by now.

We love touring. It is a lot of fun and when things go right it can be massively fulfilling for everyone involved. But it can also be very hard work. Long hours, little sleep, the being away from family, friends and partners and various other factors can sometimes build up and leave people, even if only for a few hours, mentally and physically fatigued. A few more van problems, a navagation issue and several other small issues left us all a little irritable by the time we hit Hamburg. This was a dip in the tour. Their was no massive argument but everyone just got a little quiet and the fun and camaraderie disappeared for a few hours. But, for every dip, their must be a peak.

The peak was the show. The band played possibly the best performance of the tour, blasting through their set with more agression than ever before. This was exactly what was needed. After the gig everyone was back to hugging each other with smiles on our faces. Happiness had been restored and we headed out into the warm Hamburg night for a few beers to celebrate surviving another day on tour.










Images by the amazing Graham Smith

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OUR BAND COULD BBQ YOUR LIFE - @ THE WINDMILL, BRIXTON


Incoming Transmission from Dan Ormsby!

Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th August 2009

A weekend spectacular featuring the cream of British alternative talent taking on all 13 bands profiled in Michael Azzerad's much lauded American underground rock biography 'Our Band Could Be Your Life'.

Saturday 8th August :

Winnebago Deal as BLACK FLAG
Secret Special Guests as SONIC YOUTH
4 or 5 Magicians as THE REPLACEMENTS
Favours For Sailors (TBC) as DINOSAUR JR
Wonderswan as MUDHONEY
Internet Forever as BEAT HAPPENING
Sunset Cinema Club as MINUTEMEN
Dan Ormsby as PAUL WESTERBERG

Saturday Doors 5pm. Bands 5:20pm to 11:30pm. Late night alternative disco after 'til late!

Sunday 9th August :

The Xcerts as HUSKER DU
4 or 5 Magicians as FUGAZI and RITES OF SPRING
Ice Sea Dead People as MINOR THREAT
Who Owns Death TV (TBC) as BIG BLACK
The Jelas as MISSION OF BURMA
Amy Blue as BUTTHOLE SURFERS

Sunday Doors 5:30pm. Bands 6:20pm to 10:45pm.

Saturday tickets £6.50 advance, Sunday tickets £5 advance, weekend tickets £10 advance. Available at wegottickets.com (but not yet!).

Free BBQ on both days at 5:45pm!

4 Or 5 Magicians Play Free Notting Hill Show

The Art Brut of Brighton, 4 Or 5 Magicians play a free Saturday afternoon show at Notting Hill Arts Club tomorrow with William and Talons for Clash magazine. Doors at 4pm.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Bateman Blog 004: Variety Is The Shite Of Life

Their second album 'Back To The Future' is out now and STA's finest wordsmith Bateman of The Young Playthings continues the documenting of his life episodes for the STA blog. The brief is open-ended and editorial control out the window, - we hope you find his insights contentious, illuminating, scintillating and titillating!

Whenever I go to the US I eat salads. Not that I'm on a diet - in fact, far from it. I have a healthy love of nachos and burgers and pizza, but for every junk food meal I enjoy I know it's only sensible and healthy to alternate with salad and fruit and raw tofu. The thing is, American salads are not very salad-like - like Katie Price isn't very ladylike. No, they're a brash, naughty indulgence that satisfy an immediate craving but leave a foul aftertaste (though, scratch that, I'm sure Katie doesn't leave a foul aftertaste - she's just foul-mouthed).

I'm very fond of the parable about the guy who makes soup from a stone. I've never been sure what the lesson is supposed to be, although I'm sure the tale comes from some ancient salesmen’s' almanac - one can have anything from nothing, or one can sell anything using nothing, if one employs the wherewithal vacuum-packed within that clever little stone in one's bright little box. If you don't know it, it goes like this. A 'travelling' (read: homeless) man is walking along a dirt road and he's hungry. There's nothing to eat for miles around - until he stumbles upon two mucky children playing in the dirt. He thinks to himself 'I broke all my teeth on the last child I ate, so that's out of the question. What I need is some soup - but I'm sure these two don't have a clue how to make any and it's highly unlikely their parents have a blender I can use.' But the traveller, though homeless and jobless, is no fool. He picks up a pebble from the dirt road and saunters over to where the children are playing. The children look up at the stranger with wild, wary eyes (for their parents read the News of the World and they have been warned hysterically about paedophiles) but the stranger looks kindly, if a little devilish.

'Hello children, I'm a travelling man with no trade to my name and of no fixed abode - I'm hungry but I'm an honest john - I will show you how I can magically make soup from nothing but this mere stone and a dash of your kindness. What sayst thou?'

And the children, because children love creeps like magicians and clowns, are all ears.

'First I need a pot to make it in'. So Tracy runs off to the family home, climbs in through a broken window and comes back with a battered old pan.

'Excellent. But now I need some water'.

So Dwayne runs off to CostCutter and nicks a 1L bottle of Evian.

'The magic is working, but now I need some vegetables....'

And this goes on till the kids are exhausted running back and forth between the dirt road and the town, but there's a lovely pot of vegetable soup with a stone at the bottom of it bubbling over a warm fire.

American salads are kind of like this story. The stone in the soup story is like a bay leaf - it adds no flavour unless you're the unlucky one that gets the mouthful with the thing in it - and your taste buds are wrecked (or teeth, in the case of the stone). Ultimately, the stone is a way of fooling someone into giving you something nice for free. The American salad is a way of fooling yourself into thinking that you're giving yourself something healthy and tasty to eat.

For example, you go into these whole food stores (what the hell is 'whole food' anyway?) where they serve healthy things. You get a tub of lettuce and hand it to the Mexican behind the extra-ingredients-and-condiments counter, and tell him what you'd like on your salad. 30 seconds later you have a $14 'salad' consisting of barbecued shrimp, sesame tofu, broccoli, sundried tomatoes, asparagus, blue cheese, avocado and artichoke hearts, slathered in a ladle spoon’s worth of 1000 Island dressing. It's like a blended 4,000 calorie pizza with a few bits of romaine lettuce in it. You go to the park, eat it and feel like eating a platter of nachos with extra cheese to assuage your soul (and clogged arteries).

I'm no chef and those ingredients weren't meant to go together. What the hell was I thinking?! I'll tell you what, my fat little eyes were greedily eyeballing the extra ingredients and condiments and I just pointed at a few of them, with no thought as to how well they'd compliment each other when combined in one dish, and the Mexican dutifully scraped up a spatchelor-load of each and dumped it in the green mixing bowl. Voila!

The point is, like children I'm easily fooled by conmen and sly marketing gimmicks. Ludicrously gullible. The dullest tool in the dull-tool toolbox. The kind of person who'll eat a raw chilli when a stranger dares me to drunkenly do so, which will inevitably ruin my evening. The 'spice of life' for me is not a good thing, it only leads to a numb tongue, a belly full of rubbish and a revolting aftertaste. And it costs a lot more than it's worth.

Hooray For 2nd Album News

The latest from Hooray For Humans HQ:

We're *finally* going back to the studio to re-record our second album in August. Hopefully it'll be out before the end of the year. We promise it'll be OUR HEAVIEST SHIT YET

Also we're doing gigs with Heathers in August, you can see them on our page. One or two more possibly to be confirmed.

If you think you can help with our UK dates let us know too, we will be super grateful.


Ice, Sea, Dead People Receive NME Endorsement

The love-hate (mostly hate) relationship between STA and the NME has been written about before but at the moment we're leaning more towards love after we spotted this call out for Ice, Sea, Dead People's show at the Macbeth in London next Tuesday night.


That Fucking Tank, Shield Your Eyes and The Patio Set are also on the bill.

LaFaro Need Album Input From YOU!


The 4 man Belfast powerhouse that is LaFaro are asking for your input on their new album (sneak listens of which we've been blown away by at STA) -

What if we'd recorded an album but we needed your help to finish it?
What if you, Mr/Mrs/Miss General Public, could join in with our creative process?
We have an album.....
but at the moment, it has no name......
it has no artwork.......
We have plenty of ideas ourselves but where's the fun in that?!
You see, us LaFaro boys are what Wall Street types would call 'Ideas Men'.
The thing about that though, is that EVERYBODY has ideas!
So we want YOUR input on our album.
Any kind of input that is.
Photos, drawings, paintings, doodles, words, sounds, logos, colours....you name it!
Any ideas you have, send them our way, right here, on Myspace.
Who knows?
Your ideas could end up on the cover of our album......
on our tshirts......
it could be an album title or anything!
And we might just send you something back in return......
Lots of love,
LaFaro

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Let Our Enemies Beware: Fibonacci Download #6


Medway havoc-bringers and new to the STA family are
Let Our Enemies Beware; in the build-up to the release of their incendiary and epic post-rock/metal hybrid of a debut album Against Karate later in 2009, each week for the next 10 weeks the STA blog will host a series of downloads.

So here's the 6th download in LOEB's Fibonacci series. The link for the track hosted below will expire after a tightwaddishly mere 8 downloads...8 being the 5th number in the Fibonacci sequence (the sum of the 3rd and 4th numbers)...

F10 = 89 - Fools, Philistines, Heretics and Whores - only a few downloads left!
F9 = 55 - I Am Lono - only a few downloads left!
F8 = 34 - POW! Right in the Kisser - only a few downloads left!
F7 = 21 - (Personal) Space Invaders - only a few downloads left!
F6 = 13 all gone now, sorry
F5 = 8 this week! be quick!
F4 = 5
F3 = 3
F2 = 2
F1 = 1

By the time we hit the final download at in a month's time, the debut album can be pre-ordered from the STA store. As always, pre-order customers receive an exclusive limited edition hand finished bonus disc.

Over to Sha (guitar/vocals)...

-----------------

‘Noise = Death’ is a band favourite because it’s dead simple and it just happened in one rehearsal. It is also my favourite to sing because I get to put on my screeching soul-singer voice. No-one else seems to get that from it, they get crazed muppet. I’ll let you decide. This too was accidently played on Radio One, which did make me laugh milk out of my nose.

Sorry, all 8 downloads of'Noise = Death' have been taken

----------------------------

Leonardo of Pisa (c. 1170 – c. 1250), also known as Leonardo Pisano, Leonardo Bonacci, Leonardo Fibonacci, or, most commonly, simply Fibonacci, was an Italian mathematician, considered by some "the most talented mathematician of the Middle Ages"

ASIWYFA: Clutch Tour Diary Part Five

We all agree that Luxembourg is a beautiful country but I suppose it always helps when you arrive in blazing sunshine and get a friendly greeting at the venue. With a backstage area almost as caverous as the actual main hall, we were very well looked after with delicious hot food and all the snacks and drinks any band could ever want.

The first time in a new country is always a little weird for a band, as you never know how the crowd will react. From a performance point of view the band played great, but we were all unsure if the crowd actually enjoyed it as it was mostly polite applause between songs rather than the usual whoops and shouts. Our uncertainty was very much quashed after the gig when our merch table was besieged by new fans who piled praise upon the band and left laden heavy with CDs and shirts. Some incredible things were said to the band and I know they were very touched by the praise. Luxembourg we now officially love you and will make sure to come back again very soon, that is a promise.

After the gig we went camping. Yes, camping. In tents. Sex, drugs and rock'n'roll was swapped for a nice hot cup of tea and snuggling into sleeping bags on a sedate campsite. This was a very wise decision and we awoke refreshed and fully rested (or as rested as you can ever be on tour - approx 5 hours sleep) and were back in the van on our way to Cologne in Germany!


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Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Oxford Collapse Split


Oxford Collapse from New York who you may remember from PSB #4 (and who's DIY debut EP was one of the first records I wrote about when I got into this music lark) have sadly decided to split up...

Hej friends

After eight years, 450 shows, and four albums, we’ve decided that we’ve reached the end of the line. To paraphrase the Grateful Dead, “what a long, strange, eye-opening, stomach-bursting, heart-breaking, bittersweet, educational, enlightening, mind-numbing, ‘why-are-we-doing-this-shit?’/‘who-gets-to-do-this-shit?,’ absurd, amazing trip it’s been.” To paraphrase another sage poet, “you gotta know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em.”

Thanks go out to a million friends – all the awesome, talented people who helped us make records and put them out, everyone who put together tours for us, our families (who are still wondering when we will get real jobs), all the other wonderful and terrible bands we’ve loved touring, playing, hanging and eating with over the years. And of course a heartfelt thanks to everyone who ever came to see us play, bought something we were selling, said something nice, or let us sleep on their diarrhea-encrusted floors. (Except you, Branson, Missouri!)

To have one final go of it, the three of us are meeting up for a pair of shows in and around the city we called home in our time. Come out and party with us! Seriously, do not miss!!! Friday July 17th we are very psyched to be playing with old and dear friends Frightened Rabbit at Maxwell’s, and Saturday July 18th, for our last show ever, we’ll share the stage with best buds CaUSE Co-MOTION! under-age phenoms The Beets, and our beloved Rape Excape, freshly reformed from the rubble of Princeton ’04; plus a bunch of special guests! If you missed the original Last Waltz in ’76, now’s your chance!


Friday, July 17th
Maxwell’s (early show) (SOLD OUT)
Hoboken, NJ
w/Frightened Rabbit

Saturday, July 18th
Under the Tracks
508 W. 25th Street
New York, NY
w/CaUSE co-MOTION!, The Beets, Rape Excape
Starts at 9pm, won’t cost too much
(Don’t worry about advance tix – this place is huge!)


Their best record was album #3 Remember the Night Parties. Oxford Collapse beginners should check out tracks Molasses, Please Visit Your National Parks and In Your Volcano - all classics that'll quickly have you hooked.

Monday, 22 June 2009

ASIWYFA: Clutch Tour Diary Part Four

Austria, we apologse and thank you in equal measures. We arrived at the Nova Rock festival site on the Saturday morning. We were not playing until the Sunday. Their was free drink backstage. A LOT of free drink. Can you guess what happened next?

Well, we made an impression, that is for certain. They will not forget us in a hurry, that is a definite. I would write about what actually happened (involving Chris Cornell, Kaiser Cheifs, Fred Durst etc), but I will leave it to your imagination.

Luckily, it appears the Austrians are lovely people and we were forgiven for our (many many) sins and treated so kindly all weekend. The actual gig on the Sunday was well atteneded and although it was marred by some slight technical hitches it seemed to go well.

Next stop Luxembourg!







(Images by Graham Smith)
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Music Managers' Forum Ireland - Training Event

Lots of people who read the blog from Dublin might be interested in this event, I was at the launch and I think it will be a good programme. See below:

“Artist Management, Agreements & Relationships”

Key areas covered on the day will include:

- Making a Living! Options, Pitfalls & Opportunities
- Roles & Income Streams
- Artist & Audience Development
- Fan Base Management
- Teamwork
- Legal & Trading Relationships: 21st Century Business Models
- Management / Client Obligations, Legal Entities & Conflicts of Interest
- Management Agreements: Key Terms & Conditions in all contractual relationships
- TCOB: Business Management & Strategic Development
- Direct Accounting & Money Management

Saturday 27th June 2009 // 11.30am - 6.00pm

@ The Offices of IMRO, Pembroke Row, Dublin

This first training event will provide an invaluable insight into some of the key areas of management responsibilities & relationships. The session will be moderated by Stuart Worthington (MMF International Training Officer & Manager The Happy Mondays)

Guests providing expert advice during the session will be:
Ollie Jennings - Manager of The Saw Doctors
Noel Taylor - Manager of Luan Parle
Jim Lawless - Manager of The Coronas
Liam Murphy - Livewire Entertainment Accountants & Business Managers (Clients include Westlife, Girls Aloud, Bell X1 ,Delorentos, Jape)
Ailish McKenna - Bray & Krais Entertainment Lawyers, recognised as one of the leading specialist music firms in the UK

The cost of the event is €32 for members and €70 for non-members and we ask that you register in advance for the event.

To register and pay online please follow this link: http://musicmanagersforum.ie/payus.php

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Calories in Rock Sound's Play This At My Funeral

Hiding in the reviews section of the new Rock Sound is Pete Calories contributing to magazine's regular Play This At My Funeral mini-feature -

It's a really tough decision. Hopefully I should have an extensive back catalogue by the time of my demise, so I'd have that played in its entirety, it'll be like I'm talking from the grave...or maybe something from A Bull's album 'Valentine Vyse'. We recorded it in my bedroom, it's a really nice collection of songs. I could copy my Dad and have 'Save The Last Dance For Me' [the Drifters], that or the first side of 'Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven' by Godspeed You! Black Emperor, that'd probably be more of a student choice though.

The generous people at RS are also giving away Truck tickets where they are sponsoring a stage that Calories will be playing on!

Saturday, 20 June 2009

ASIWYFA: Clutch Tour Diary Part Three

On Thursday we piled back into the van and drove up North to Leeds for the next date of the tour. Playing to a crowd of about 400 people it seemed like the ideal time to say something from the stage...some of you may have read about the racial attacks back in our home of Northern Ireland. This is something which disgusted us all (and 99.9% of people who live in Northern Ireland) and effected us quite a bit as we had several people ask us about it throughout the day. During the set Tony made a short but passionate statement about these events which was very well received, before launching into a particulrily verocious version of "Clench Fists, Grit Teeth....GO!".

For a few days prior to this gig we were debating what to do about the following few days. Thursday was Leeds in England and the next gig was on Sunday on the far east side of Austria, on the border with Hungary. We could either drive a few hours a day and get accomodation each night or attempt something very silly - driving straight from Leeds to Austria without stopping. We chose the second option.

26 hours. 26 hours in the van. We got out 3 times. For 5 minutes at a time. For fuel and toilets. Apart from that it was 26 hours. 26 hours in the van. 26 hours. That is quite a lot of hours to be in a van. 26 hours. Does it sound like much? It is. 26 hours is a lot. I (Graham Smith, crew) have discovered one thing - ASIWYFA make some of my favorite music of the past few years but they listen to UTTER SHIT music 99% of the time. 26 hours. That is a lot of shit music.

We also discovered that our otherwise perfect van has developed a small but quite annoying problem. It likes to be pushed before it starts up. In heavy rain, somewhere in West Germany when you have not slept for a long time this small problem can be quite irritating.

After a lot of driving and a lot of bad music we finally made it to Nova Rock festival in Austria at about 11pm on the Friday night. Unfortunately, as this was the time Metallica were taking to the stage (and we were not due to play until the Sunday) we were finding it difficult to get our passes and so the decision was taken to park up in a nearby car park and deal with it in the morning. And so we bedded down for a cosy night in the van, earplugs firmly in place for the non-snorers amongst us.

The following morning we came across a slight problem - apparently in Austria they do not like 6 smelly Northern Irish boys sleeping in a van together and the police decided to fine us quite a hefty amount which was made all the more troublesome as they did not speak a word of our language and vice-versa. An hour later it was all sorted and we headed for the festival, this time to be given passes and more importantly Access All Areas which basically means free drink whilst mingling with famous people....a recipe for disaster? Only time will tell.



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And So I Watch You From Afar Acoustic Session


The latest episode in NVTV Music's series of Kick Out The Jams video podcasts is 26 minute acoustic set from ASIWYFA

One of the most popular bands in N Ireland 'And So I Watch You From Afar', are possibly the loudest and most thrilling live act around. Their recent album launch in the Mandela Hall, Belfast will be remembered for many years to come, and it was in the days that followed this release that Tony and Rory came into the NvTv studios for a very different acoustic set. They also chat to AU Mag's Chris Jones about their recent success.

Download And So I Watch You From Afar Acoustic Session

Subscribe to the Kick Out The Jams series here and get previous episodes from Therapy?, Oppenheimer, Emmy The Great and many more.

Vote in the Kerrang Awards


Voting has begun for this year's Kerrang Awards; you can exercise your democratic right in the following categories. Fighting With Wire for Best British Newcomer perhaps?

Best British Newcomer
Best International Newcomer
Best Live Band
Best Single
Best Album
Best British Band
Best International Band
Best Video

Here's an extra incentive: Every person who votes, and is over the age of 18, will be entered into a draw where they will win the chance to get their hands on a pair of VIP tickets for the awards! Yes, that's right, you and a mate could be rubbing shoulders with rock royalty! So get voting!

Thursday, 18 June 2009

ASIWYFA: Clutch Tour Diary Part Two

Phew, what a busy few days. On Tuesday afternoon we hit the road to Portsmouth, a city we very much fell in love with and one which seems to take us to heart judging by the reception from the crowd - thanks so much guys, it was very much appreciated. Plenty of albums were sold at the merch table, be sure to let us know what you think of them.

We celebrated the first show with a few cold drinks at a friends house which ended in playing a game of "hide the last beer" on Rory which kept me amused as he stumbled around like Columbo looking for clues and drawing up a lit of possible suspects.

On Wednesday morning we dragged ourselves, a little bleary eyed and sleepy, to a local greasy spoon for an incredibly unhealthy fried breakfast and some incredibly strong cheap coffee which took care of the hangovers and then it was time to hit the road again!

Next stop was Newport in Wales at a legendary venue called TJs. After soundchecks etc were taken care off we went exploring and found a "Everything is £1" shop were Rory exploded with excitement at all the possible purchases...

Rory : "Is this a pound?"
Us : "Yes Rory, everything is a pound"
Rory : "WOW! What about this?!"
Us : "Yes. One pound"
Rory : "NO WAY! What about this? Surely this could not be a pound?!"
Us : "Yes Rory, everything is a pound. Everything in this shop costs one pound"
Rory : "Even THIS?! This could not be a pound?!"

This continued for a while before we all left the shop laden with goods (which really did cost a pound) including rather fetching shades for Rory and Johnny and a travel pillow for Tony which he insisted on wearing stuck to his neck for much of the evening.

And so back to the venue for the gig where around 300 people had gathered by the time the guys were due to play. The only problem was the size of the stage which was small to begin with but tiny once you got three bands worth of equipment on it. Tony also had a "charming" 6'4 bouncer standing beside him for the whole set. I am still wondering if he worked for the venue or if Tony hired him. Maybe he is slowing building his own rap style entourage.

Despite these small issues the guys played a great set with Chris looking liking he was going to destroy his drumkit on several occasions from how hard he was hitting.

After bidding the lovely people of Wales goodbye we were back on the road, driving through the night back to our friends house in Leicester where I write to you now, sharing a room with Tony and Brian (Tour Manager), listening to what appears to be a snoring competition. For anyone interested Brian was winning most of the night but Tony is definitely coming back strong now with some full-body-shakin snoring.

Next stop Leeds!

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Let Our Enemies Beware: Fibonacci Download #5


Medway havoc-bringers and new to the STA family are
Let Our Enemies Beware; in the build-up to the release of their incendiary and epic post-rock/metal hybrid of a debut album Against Karate later in 2009, each week for the next 10 weeks the STA blog will host a series of downloads.

So here's the fifth download in LOEB's Fibonacci series. The link for the track hosted below will expire after just 13 downloads...13 being the 6th number in the Fibonacci sequence (the sum of the 4th and 5th numbers)...

F10 = 89
F9 = 55
F8 = 34
F7 = 21
F6 = 13
F5 = 8
F4 = 5
F3 = 3
F2 = 2
F1 = 1

By the time we hit the final download at the end of July, the debut album can be pre-ordered from the STA store. As always, pre-order customers receive an exclusive limited edition hand finished bonus disc.

See, it's not that hard! The previous 4 downloads in the Fibo series are still available at the time of writing but be quick as there's not many more chances to get the songs before the links expire.

Over to Sha (guitar/vocals)...

-----------------

‘Negative, Ghostrider’ has its title taken from one of our favourite movies ‘Top Gun’ and has only the vaguest link to the lyrics. Song titles are devised by democratic vote rather than by any one particular person because - let’s face it - hardly anyone remembers them anyway, right? This didn’t make the album cut, so feel blessed or something.

Sorry, all 13 downloads of'Negative, Ghostrider' have been taken

----------------------------

Leonardo of Pisa (c. 1170 – c. 1250), also known as Leonardo Pisano, Leonardo Bonacci, Leonardo Fibonacci, or, most commonly, simply Fibonacci, was an Italian mathematician, considered by some "the most talented mathematician of the Middle Ages"

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Wednesday links

Dear STA Blog. Wednesdays are rubbish, right? Not quite the end of the week, ages since the weekend... just about the only thing you can thank it for is not being Tuesday. So, have some fun readings to help you pass the time:

Conversing with myself and another: DiS meets Future Of The Left - new interview with Falco, where he talks about many things in such a way that it makes me wish all musicians people were as eloquent and funny as he is.

PWL blogs his new album for The Independent - STA fav Pagan Wanderer Lu's new album, the wonderful Fight My Battles For Me, was released this week via Brainlove Records. PWL is blogging for The Independent all this week, and it's well worth a read. Also worth a read: his regular blog.

I might start doing this regularly.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Get Free Beer When Your Friends Buy Truck Tickets


As if the promise of Andrew Ferris' acoustic set was tempting enough, the Truck organisers have announced a beery promotion...

"We're guessing you love Truck, as you've bought a ticket, so you'd probably like your friends to come with you - why not keep your bar bill as low as possible by recommending us to your friends and earning yourself FREE BEER?

Here's how it works - for every person you recommend we'll buy you and your friend a cold pint of Truck lager at the festival. Just forward the link (http://www.wegottickets.com/af/60/truck) to all your friends and, provided they buy a ticket and enter your name, we'll buy both of you a pint. There is a maximum of 10 pints per person, for health reasons! So, ten friends buying tickets = ten pints for you, and a pint for each of your friends.

When your friend is buying their ticket they'll be asked 'How did you hear about this year's Truck festival?' - simply instruct them to select 'A friend told me about it' when answering and to enter your name in the box below that option. Bingo - free pint for you both!

As an added bonus, if you get 5 friends to come, we'll throw in a free Truck T-shirt, and if you can persuade 10 to come, we'll let you in to next year's TRUCK for free!

* All beer is provided by Cotswold Brewery Co. and is brewed just a few miles from the TRUCK site.

* Beer can lead to having fun so please drink responsibly.

See you there,
The TRUCKERS"

ASIWYFA: Clutch Tour Diary Part One

Hello and welcome to our tour blog. My name is Graham Smith, I work as a photographer and a few other things in the big bad music industry and have been doing stuff with ASIWYFA for a year or so. I will be on the road with the band for the next week and a half whilst we tour with Clutch and do a festival date in Austria and will be blogging as much as possible. Expect photos and video clips to come soon.

We all met up early yesterday afternoon in Belfast for the usual task of squeezing as much gear, merch and sleeping bags into our rather lovely van before heading down to Dublin for a quick meeting and then a ferry across to Holyhead in Wales. Arriving at about midnight we set off on a 4 hour drive to Leicester, with spirits high and the excitement building about the tour - and then Rory got a phonecall and things took a turn for the worse.

It turned out that our soundman for the tour Andy, who we were supposed to meet at Leicester, had went to a party and got a little too exuberant and decided to jump off the roof of the house (as you do at 3am at any party) which ended in him in a bloody messy heap on the ground. Details are sketchy but it looks like broken ribs, stitches in the head and most worrying of all three broken vertebrae.

So, as you can imagine, Andy will not be joining us for the tour which is a huge disappointment to everyone. Andy, if you are reading this, we wish you a very speedy recovery and we will hopefully be on the road together soon. Take care and maybe leave the stunts to Jackass next time ;)

We were supposed to be staying with Andy last night but because of what happened we ended up parking up at the side of a quiet street and all 6 of us (myself, the band and Brian the tour manager) sleeping in a rather hot cramped van. Pure and utter glamour all the way. I feel sorry for the neighbours in the morning when they were greeted with the sight of us tumbling out of various corners of the van.

We are currently sat in a bar in Leicester where they have lovingly given us free tea and showers whilst we collect our thoughts before hitting the road to Portsmouth for the first date of the tour!

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Sunday, 14 June 2009

Public Service Blogcast Episode 38

video

This episode: eight belters from the submissions pile including our current favourite band, Dublin's Heathers - Tegan and Sara watch out!

Public Service Blogcast Episode 38
29 minutes 34 seconds
Recorded 14/06/09
Tracklisting
00.01 Not Cool - Limbs Are For Liars (from Brattwell Sessions)
02.13 Ex Lovers - Just A Silhouette (from Just A Silhouette single - Chess Club)
04.45 Gum Takes Tooth - Stychnine Motive (from Odontophobia Demos)
09.21 Heathers - Fire Ants (from Here, Not There album - Hide Away Records)
11.54 The Olympus Mons - Let the First Time Be the Last (from Nothing’s Gonna Spoil My Day Today album - Dad Records)
15.39 The Sailplanes - The Woodsman and the Bear
19.29 Panda Steps In Chocolate - Indiana Jones Memorial Sports Car Race (from Creep Of The Crop album - self-released free download)
25.32 Come On Gang! - Trouble

If you have any suggestions for future takeovers or want to get a track played on a regular show, get in touch - email blogcast@smalltownamerica.co.uk.

Currently watching: Flight Of The Conchords Season 2

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Public Service Broadcast Club 6 - TODAY!

Details are over -------------------> on the main website.

It's my birthday on Monday, so I'm probably going to drink too much cider and play some Bruce Springsteen. JUST A WARNING. Anyone want to sell / give me a ticket to the London show on the 28th? PLEASE?

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Search For The (City Of) Song


Ahead of September's City Of Song festival, Music 55-7 is looking for a new song to showcase at said event.

Maybe you write songs secretly or have always wanted to but never got round to it. Well now’s your chance! The song can be in any style and we are encouraging entries from:

Singer-songwriters
Bands and ensembles
Songwriters (who don’t perform)

The winning song will be performed and recorded at the City of Song Festival


Check the City Of Song site for entry details.

IMRO Interview Fighting With Wire


Fight With Wire
by Edwin McFee - 10.06.2009

All conquering post punk pugilists Fighting With Wire wax lyrical about finally getting some recognition at home, South by South West, their breakout year and writing novelty songs about Dracula.

"The last year has been madness,” begins Fighting With Wire mainman Cahir O’Doherty, who’s taking a well earned break in his native Derry. “We’ve just got back from SXSW, we released ‘Sugar’ from Man Vs Monster and that album campaign is now over and done with and we’re moving onto the next record. We’re deep in writing at the moment for the next album and we plan to record in June so we’re really excited about getting some new material up and rockin’.”

Cahir has every reason to enjoy his time off. You see, about a yearand-a-half ago the band signed the deal of their lives with Atlantic Records and since then it’s been nationwide radio play, non-stop tours, huge festival slots and generally living the rock star lifestyle. Not bad going for a band who were going to call it quits in Christmas ’07.

“The mood in the band is amazing right now,” smiles Cahir. “South by South West was just phenomenal. We’ve never played it before, so we did ten shows in three days which was intense. I lost my voice for the very last show (laughs) but we just wanted to make up for all the years we didn’t get to go, so we tried to play as many gigs as we could. It was amazing, it was really hard work and we were completely wrecked afterwards. We only got one day to enjoy Austin on the Sunday, so it meant flying home with the most horrendous hangover of my life. But on all the other days we were very professional, so it was worth it.”

Ever since FWW first arrived on the scene in 2003, the three-piece have been on an all-consuming omission to decapitate their audience en masse with their guitars. Contrary to the opinions of some misinformed journos, no-one can ever say they’re an over-night success, as Cahir (who also plays in the mighty Jetplane Landing) and co. have been almost constantly on the road for years before Atlantic came a-calling.

“Some of the touring was a nightmare and some of it was absolutely life changing,” he enthuses. “In the last two years we got to play in Europe, America and all across the world. The big thing for us last year was to play more in the south of Ireland though. I really wanted to play there as much as possible to let people know we exist, because we’re an Irish band and it’s important to me that we keep going back and back and push it as much as possible. It seems to have worked as Oxegen (‘08) was a real highlight for me. That tent was fuckin’ rammed. I couldn’t believe it and I was so happy to see it all coming together because this is our home and we should be better known here. So yeah, that was the best part of touring for me last year – making an impact in the south of Ireland.”

It’s a particular point of pride for Cahir to get recognition in his home country, as beforehand the post punks had to resort to crossing the Irish Sea to get some gigs. “When we first started out we used to play in places like Cork and get no-one showing up so we focused on England instead and it really kicked off. It had kind of annoyed me because I wanted us to make a name for ourselves at home first. People used to say, ‘I’m sure you guys are massive back home’ and we’d be like, ‘Well, in Northern Ireland we pull a few heads, but in the south noone wants to know.’”

Thankfully that’s all starting to change and with the help of the rock behemoth that is their debut album Man Vs Monster, FWW are finally getting some richly deserved recognition, which comes in handy as they’re just about to start work on their second record. “It’s all going great. We’ve 26 ideas already. We want to write as much as possible because we don’t want to be in danger of making a shit second album. We’re going to try and avoid that ‘difficult second album’ cliché and want it to be as good, if not better, than Man Vs Monster. We’ve always prided ourselves on making strong songs with no filler.”

Followers of their MySpace page (www.myspace.com/fightingwithwire) have already been treated to some of the new stuff in the form of the online video for ‘Dracula’s Castle’, which features Cahir and Craig (McKean, bass) wearing Hallowe’en masks and generally acting the eejit. Don’t worry though, they’re not really planning on going goth for the second album. “’Dracula’s Castle’ was just us taking the piss,” laughs Cahir. “It may indeed make a guest appearance on the new record as a secret track or something though. Don’t you worry, there’s plenty more where
that came from.”

In an era of insipid singer-songwriters, smack addled pop stars and sexist rappers, it’s reassuring to know that Fighting With Wire are flying the flag for hook-laden, head-spinning riffola. What’s even better is that the band are willing to put all of their experience back into the scene and are eager to help everyone else succeed. Not only does Cahir volunteer in Derry’s Nerve Centre, he’s also taken instrumental punk upstarts And So I Watch You From Afar under his wing too. Indeed, he’s keen to give some advice to any new Irish band out there in need of some help.

“The best piece of advice I can give anyone is be the biggest thing in your hometown,” concludes the singer/guitarist. “Rather than trying to ‘get it,’ ‘it’ will come to you. Loads of bands think they have to move to London or Dublin or whatever but that’s bullshit. If you’re the biggest band in Galway or Sligo or wherever, then everyone will come looking for you. Write good songs, be tight as hell, blow everyone else away and just enjoy it. There are so many acts out there who are doing it but aren’t enjoying it. They just sit there with big fuckin’ faces on them and it’s like, c’mon, rock ‘n’ roll is supposed to be fun! So that’s my advice: enjoy yourself.”

IMRO is a national organisation that administers the performing right in copyright music in Ireland on behalf of its members - songwriters, composers and music publishers - and on behalf of the members of the international overseas societies that are affiliated to it. IMRO’s function is to collect and distribute royalties arising from the public performance of copyright works.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Matt Littler Feature in Computer Arts Projects Magazine

The creator of many an STA record cover and gig poster, Matt Littler, is featured in the May issue of Computer Arts Projects magazine. Check out the Q&A, including the cheeky dig about This Ain't No Picnic, on the link below.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Let Our Enemies Beware: Fibonacci Download #4


Medway havoc-bringers and new to the STA family are
Let Our Enemies Beware; in the build-up to the release of their incendiary and epic post-rock/metal hybrid of a debut album Against Karate later in 2009, each week for the next 10 weeks the STA blog will host a series of downloads.

Grounded by the tube strike, here - a day earlier than usual - is the fourth download in LOEB's Fibonacci series. The link for the track hosted below will expire after just 21 downloads...21 being the 7th number in the Fibonacci sequence (the sum of the 5th and 6th numbers)...4 down, 6 to go and all that...

F10 = 89
F9 = 55
F8 = 34
F7 = 21
F6 = 13
F5 = 8
F4 = 5
F3 = 3
F2 = 2
F1 = 1

By the time we hit the final download at the end of July, the debut album can be pre-ordered from the STA store. As always, pre-order customers receive an exclusive limited edition hand finished bonus disc.

See, it's not that hard! The previous trio of downloads are still available at the time of writing but be quick as there's not many more chances to get the songs before the links expire.

Over to Sha (guitar/vocals)...

-----------------

‘(Personal) Space Invaders’ was one of the first songs I ever wrote and has been in the band since we were the appallingly named ‘Army of Juan’. Interestingly, the American ‘Army of Juan’ (a terrible, TERRIBLE Ska band) got in touch with us and threatened to sue us even though they hadn’t been active for years and we were just local upstarts. Gits.

Download '(Personal) Space Invaders' by Let Our Enemies Beware

----------------------------

Leonardo of Pisa (c. 1170 – c. 1250), also known as Leonardo Pisano, Leonardo Bonacci, Leonardo Fibonacci, or, most commonly, simply Fibonacci, was an Italian mathematician, considered by some "the most talented mathematician of the Middle Ages"

Friday, 5 June 2009

Pow! Right In The Kisser

We've all been truly spoiled with the recent Fibonacci download series from Let Our Enemies Beware. Now you can Check out their amazing debut video. Directed by Steve Mates, this really is a must see!

The track which the video is for - 'Pow! Right In The Kisser' - is from the forthcoming album 'Against Karate' which will be available for pre-order from Smalltown America very soon. So sit back and enjoy!

Warning - contains explicit scenes of Rabbit Sex (!)

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Public Service Blogcast Episode 37

video

This episode: after a well-earnt month off (and nothing whatsoever to do with the amazing weather keeping me away from the laptop) the blogcast returns, opening with a few slightly-scary words from Alan MX ahead of his next London show and also tracks from two of the bands lined up for the third Club STA event at Masons in Derry (tickets on sale now for only £5) on Saturday 20th June.

Public Service Blogcast Episode 37
26 minutes 10 seconds
Recorded 04/06/09
Tracklisting
01.52 North Atlantic Oscillation - Drawing Maps From Memory (from forthcoming Grappling Hooks album)
06.09 Animals And War - Glasgow
09.29 Kitty And The Can-Openers - Roll On Yesterday (from s/t EP - self-released)
13.25 Cashier No 9 - To The Death Of Fun
17.57 Lemonade Kangaroo - Journey To The Prison Of Dogs
22.29 Me & The Neck - Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Halogen

If you have any suggestions for future takeovers or want to get a track played on a regular show, get in touch - email blogcast@smalltownamerica.co.uk.

Currently watching: We Need Answers

Let Our Enemies Beware: Fibonacci Download #3


Medway havoc-bringers and new to the STA family are
Let Our Enemies Beware; in the build-up to the release of their incendiary and epic post-rock/metal hybrid of a debut album Against Karate later in 2009, each week for the next 10 weeks the STA blog will host a series of downloads.

Here's the 3rd download in the calculator-friendly Fibonacci series. Which means that, the link for the LOEB track hosted below will expire after 34 downloads...34 being the 8th number in the Fibonacci sequence (the sum of the 6th and 7th numbers)...

F10 = 89 (2 weeks ago)
F9 = 55 (last week)
F8 = 34 (ta-da!)
F7 = 21
F6 = 13
F5 = 8
F4 = 5
F3 = 3
F2 = 2
F1 = 1

By the time we hit the final download at the end of July, the debut album can be pre-ordered from the STA store. As always, pre-order customers receive an exclusive limited edition hand finished bonus disc.

See, it's not that hard! The previous two downloads are still available at the time of writing but be quick as they'll git all snapped up soon.

Over to Sha (guitar/vocals)...

-----------------

‘POW! Right in the Kisser’ is our homage to cartoons and comics, which at least 50% of the band are major fans of. The song title is obviously a reference to a reference in Family Guy; the line Adam sings is from childhood favourite ‘Bat-Fink’; my line is from Captain Marvel...I think - can’t remember. Anyway, Zane Lowe said this was one of the best riffs he’s heard in ages which is gutting because I didn’t bloody write it.

Download 'POW! Right in the Kisser' by Let Our Enemies Beware

----------------------------

Leonardo of Pisa (c. 1170 – c. 1250), also known as Leonardo Pisano, Leonardo Bonacci, Leonardo Fibonacci, or, most commonly, simply Fibonacci, was an Italian mathematician, considered by some "the most talented mathematician of the Middle Ages"

LaFaro - Live @ SERC-MAPA

Fresh from the announcement that LaFaro will be joining Calories in defending Smalltown America's honour against those southern tyrants from The Richter Collective, The lads recently took some time out from the recording of their debut album to play a couple of tracks and have a wee chat with SERC-MAPA for their monthly podcast. Check it out...

Live@SERC-MAPA La Faro from serc mapa on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

STA vs The Richter Collective - Dockers Bar - Belfast - 30/07/09

More pugilist-themed nonsense from the STA marketing department this month, in the shape of another battle with our arch-rivals, Dublin's Richter Collective.

There isn't going to be any pistol-whipping, bitch-slapping or smack downs in this particular contest, it's going to be a 15 round bout, Queensbury Rules - the winner of which will be the undisputed Irish Independent Music Champ.

Lining up in the red corner for STA are LaFaro and Calories and in the Blue Corner for Richter Collective will be Not Squares and Vinny Club.

For more information visit the Trans Festival Website - expect much more news and video fun soon from dis here blog.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Fighting With Wire ATL Takeover - Tonight!



Tune into BBC Radio Ulster's Across The Line Programme to hear Fighting With Wire in a special takeover. The lads will be spinning the tunes and providing the banter - you know it's going to be a must-hear!

BBC Radio Ulster from 8pm until 10pm tonight. If you're in Norn Iron (Northern Ireland) you can tune in via 92 - 95 FM on yer wireless, or alternatively, if you're outside of the catchment area for Radio Ulster, you can listen online here and click on the 'listen live' option at the top of the page.

update - update - update - update


The show has been and gone. It was cool. The guys played some golden nuggets that never get played on the radio. Check it out via iplayer here. It's good for 7 whole days.

Calories star in Music Sounds Better With Huw


Great name for a great comp. Plus good to see a bunch of blogcasted bands selected for inclusion. As previously reported, Calories open a Huw Stephens curated compilation out now on Wichita Recordings. Check out the MSBWH for band profiles and more.

Here's what your £4.99 gets you

Adventuring - Calories
You Are My Coal Mine - Copy Haho
World War II, Pt. 2 - Wax Fang
Oh! (Plugs Remix) - We Have Band
The Crapsons - Pulled Apart By Horses
Suitcase Man - Hjaltalín
Woe Unto Me to Get High - Sweet Baboo
See If I Float - Cyclones
Sorrysayer - Swanton Bombs
Eighty-Eight - Banjo Or Freakout
Clean Break - Gentle Friendly
Bring it Home - Young Fathers
Pull the House Down - Stricken City
Solid State Messiah (vs. The Valve Viking) - Holy State
Lasers - Gallops
Somewhere Out There a Dog Is On Fire - Tubelord
Opposites Attract - Dinosaur Pile-Up
4 Minute Warning - Portasound
Oyasumi Baby - Colorama
Everybody - Gold Teeth
Like Totally - Gold Panda

There's even a FREE launch event on Tuesday 9th June at the Social, Little Portland Street, London W1 with sets from Stricken City, Copy Haho, Gallops and Gold Panda. Doors 8pm.

Club:STA #3


Tickets on sale now from We Got Tickets @ £5.00. There will also be a limited number of tickets available on the night. Priced at £5.00 before 10:30pm, £6:00 thereafter.