Monday, 12 September 2016

Thursday, 2 June 2016

HELP GENEVIÈVE ELVERUM


https://www.gofundme.com/elverum

I'm adding one more post to this blog. Last year Phil and Geneviève Elverum, two artists whose work has inspired me and made me so happy, had a baby together, followed almost right away by the devastating news that Geneviève had stage 4 pancreatic cancer. They have not been able to work since then and they're in desperate need of money to survive while Geneviève undergoes treatment. I'm putting this here in order to spread the word.
Find more info at the linked page.

https://www.gofundme.com/elverum

Thursday, 1 January 2015

our parents, often and mistakes, grace denton


Weirdly, just after I wrote on here that I wouldn't be making much work for the foreseeable future, I found out that something I wrote about eighteen months ago had just been published in the anthology about parents by Often and Mistakes. The anthology was compiled by Grace Denton and so much work and care has gone into it. You can purchase this digital anthology at a price of your choosing and the proceeds will all be donated to Simon on the Streets, a West Yorkshire homeless charity. So anyway, Grace does so many ace things I thought it would be good to list a few of them below. This is by no means everything, but some of the things I know about. Grace has been involved in, and initiated so many wonderful projects and she is also an incredible artist. The things she does are always made with great care and sensitivity. But as well as this, they are always worthwhile and positive.

Grace (left) & Rose (right) I don't know who took the photo, please tell me and I'll credit you

Often and Mistakes is Rose Robbins and Grace Denton, based in Bristol. They showcase new work by writers and artists through print publications and videos. We also run comic-drawing and animation workshops. 

Judy Works, again if you made this great logo, let me know and I'll credit you!

Judy Works is a girl gang, support network and commissioner set up by Grace, Camille Rearden and Rosa Martyn to support and represent the creative endeavours of people who are non-male identified. The rest of the world is set up to support men. Judy Works is redressing the balance.

Anna (left) & Grace 9right) photo by Tom Copps

The Middle Ones are a band who write and play wonderful songs. They formed in Norwhich and have done so many great and exciting things like touring all over and making records and playing music for plays and doing a year-long residency at Cafe Kino in Bristol. I swapped Anna a Middle Ones 10" for the Tiger + Panda 10" when we went to Norwich. It has my favourite song on it, 'young explorer'. For a while, The Middle Ones were the only band I made an effort to see.

Expensive photo by Tom Copps

Grace sings and plays in EXPENSIVE with Matthew Cheney and Pete Shadbolt, an electronic pop band of 'non-performers'. The songs are dreamy and danceable and remind me of the music of Arctic Circle, which is not surprising because they are/were another project of Matthew Cheney, all round good-guy.

As I said, there's loads more and I haven't really written very well but I just think Grace is a great artist and a positive force in the world.

Monday, 22 December 2014

indefinite hiatus

I'm not sure if anybody reads this blog. I'm glad I kept up with it for the last five years and it's worth updating now to say that I won't be making so much stuff for the foreseeable future. I've got the chance to do something worthwhile and useful and it's going to take up most of my time. There are still a couple of things I want to slowly finish and I'll still do music I hope. Also I'd like to carry on writing about other people from time to time. Anyway I guess that's it. Back someday.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

press release: birds like waves

Darling, do you promise to love me in the punk times? Love me in the wussy times? The fat wallet times? Baby-mine , you held the chromatic tuner to your lips and expressed a perfect G. Meanwhile, my tape machine sings a rattling A#. 

I bus home happy this evening. The city's feelings are a din. Like that one time on Buffy (Season 3, Episode 18, production code: 3ABB18). 

Mucus adheres. The mucus of my music adheres to your waxy canals. Thank you for listening. 

Things have changed a lot and this is a heavy thing to consider. My love for you is still eternal and tender. 

CDs, tapes and downloads to follow. 

Today, something just clicked for me and there was no fear.

Monday, 6 October 2014

birds like waves



There is a new thing up on the Polite Records page today. It's one song from an album length collection of recordings I've made for a new projects called Sea Glass. I made these recordings in the summer as something to do. Part of the point of starting a new thing with just me was so that I'd have something to work on when my other bands are not in the same place as me (The Nervy Betters are all over the South of England and Olly is about to move back to Bristol). I'm making a small number of CDs and Cassettes and I'm guessing they'll be later this month so I will write an update when that happens.


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

live loop by jen steiner

I listened to Song Of Stone by Jen Steiner. Her voice comes in like the tide. And every time it does, it climbs higher up the shore, saturating everything. And when it goes out there is silence and calm. In the silences I can hear the shape of her home. The song is so bare. Just a voice. The bones of a song. And it moves so slowly outward like ever increasing circles. They do not touch but they are connected. They are from the same place.

I listened to the whole album, 'LIVE LOOP', which Jen released on the 9th of September 2014 to coincide with the harvest full moon. The album is six songs and they are each about six minutes long. I felt like each one was a reflection on something, using a very small collection of words and tones. They are hugely spacious. The silences between verses are vast. The singing is strong but tentative. This coupled with the use of live loops (hence the title) gives each song a circular feeling. They do not so much seem to move forward as they do outward from a central point, which is Jen. 

To me the album feels reflective, meditative. It is Zen as fuck. And I don't mean in that flimsy new age sense. I mean like it feels properly Wabi-Sabi. Jen is making delicate, breakable recordings of life as she witnesses it and that is brave. There is no sense of bravado. It feels like impermanence and the knowledge and acceptance that all things will fall to dust is at the heart of her creative process. It's like she knows how vulnerable an individual person is but she does not run and hide. Then again, maybe I've got it all wrong.

I really think this is a great piece of art. In terms of the sound, it reminds me a little of early Jana Hunter recordings. Back in the 1980s, people started realising, or maybe deciding, that things could be 'punk' without necessarily sounding like it. It was an attitude, not a genre. I would say that 'punk' as an attitude can sometimes be missed as well if it is not outwardly aggressive enough. For whatever it's worth, I think 'LIVE LOOP' is a punk record.