23 August 2014

New Music // Acre Tarn – This Once

Some songs hit the listener like a wave of positive energy on their initial listen, but in the case of Acre Tarn’s new song This Once, there is a dream-pop like urgency to the proceedings that wakes you from whatever slumber you may have been in when you heard it.

Ethereal yet cold sweat inducing tense, the track veers between the warmth of the autumn sun and the icy chill of a night of the soul where the darkness won’t end soon. A captivating listen for sure, This Once is a song not likely to leave your cerebral cortex soon.  

22 August 2014

Music Video // Tom Vek – Pushing Your Luck

An eye catching video accompanies the latest selection from Tom Vek’s recently released third album Luck. Taking inspiration from the triple screen fruit machines, it show’s off Vek’s multi-instrumentalist very well indeed…

Directed by Paxi, Pushing Your Luck is an addictive song with a conceptual video to match. Make sure to check out the album

Preview // Ani DiFranco – Allergic To Water

Returning with her twentieth studio album Allergic To Water, her first in two years, Ani DiFranco has released lyric video for the song ‘Woe Be Gone’ from the album. The prolific songwriter released her first album in 1990 and has released at least one album a year via her own independent label Righteous Babe Records since. Listeb to ‘Woe Be Gone’ below.

Allergic To Water will be released on 14 October and will be much anticipated by her many fans. In a statement, DiFranco said of the album: Mostly I worked alone in headphones, in the wee hours, while my family slept. It was empowering but terrifying to have the buck stop with me again in terms of the mixes. The recordings are documents of my current touring band (recorded by Mike in our old Victorian house in the Marigny neighborhood of New Orleans and also by Andy Taub at a nearby church in the Treme) just laying down the songs.

Preview // Wirral Earth Fest 2014

Wirral Earth Fest returns for a second year of good green fun on Saturday, September 13th with music, workshops, food and more to be enjoyed over the day! The festival attracted over 3000 visitors in its first year and this year looks set to entice even more with an exciting programme of events over a weekend in a beautiful setting.

The festival will launch on the evening of September 12th with the premiere performance of a specially commissioned multi-media musical performance for the festival from Operation Lightfoot. The composition, entitled Midgard, will feature special guest vocalist Kaya Herstad-Carney and noted Liverpool based artist Silent Cities and will set the festival off in just the right spirit. Be sure not to miss it!  

Inspired by the Hogback Stone, located inside the venue for the performance, St Bridget’s Church, West Kirby, it will be a must see for those with an interest in  the local history of the Wirral and West Kirby’s natural surrounds.  

Luke Moore of Operation Lightfoot said: “I am very excited to be composing a new musical work especially for the launch of Wirral Earth Fest this year.  When I initially visited St Bridget’s church, I was fascinated by the story behind the Hogback burial stone on display there and it became a jumping off point for the rest of the process.  The piece’s title is ‘Midgard’, which was one of nine worlds in Viking mythology and the only one in which humans lived.  I can’t give too much away, but the piece will use the space within the church in a particularly interesting way.”

This will be followed by a not to be missed appearance from renowned broadcaster, author and Vicar Peter Owen Jones talking on the topic of Well Being in the 21st Century. With limited spaces, tickets will sell quickly so to avoid disappointment please buy your ticket in advance. With tickets costing £5 and the welcoming venue of St Bridget’s Centre, just opposite the church, it will be the perfect start to what promises to be a very special festival.  “Peter’s appearance at the festival is quite a coup for us”, enthused Andrew Gibb of the festival team, “as he is an extremely busy local vicar in the south of England  in addition to writing books and being a broadcaster.”

The main day of the festival will take place over St Bridget’s Church, Centre and Field from 10am on the following day, Saturday September 13th. As with last year’s activity packed festival, there will be much to see and do across the site for all the family. With two stages of music outside featuring music from the excellent Thom Morecroft, Creaky Bones, Jo Bywater, Kenny and the Energy and many more to be announced closer to the time. Music co-producer Sebastian Gahan said: “This year we’re welcoming back a few artists from last year and many more new to the festival as well. As ever, it has been a joy to program the music for Wirral Earth Fest and this year will see many excellent artists, both local and Merseyside based, converge on West Kirby. Don’t miss it!”

Workshops including a street art workshop, the return of the Wirral Vikings for more demonstrations of the old way of life and choice stalls from local food sellers including a BBQ, a homemade vegetarian paella, an authentic Indian ‘thali’, homemade marshmallows, real ale and more to be discovered on the day.  Also look out for the return of urban artist Love ArtUk, who will be placing some of his distinctive art around the festival, as well as designing the back drop for our music stages. “I am very happy to be part of Wirral Earth Fest for a second year. I’m looking forward to a great day!” the artist said.

For the kids, there will be craft activities, storytelling, bike powered smoothie machines, face painting, pony rides and much more to enjoy the beautiful surrounds of West Kirby.  Mike Loach of St Bridget’s Church said “We’re delighted to be hosting Wirral Earth Fest at St Bridget’s Church fields and to be able to join in with telling a story of care, justice and love in our communities."

But that’s not all! The day will be rounded off with the now traditional (if one year is long enough to establish a tradition) Ceilidh in the evening at St Bridget’s Centre with music from Reckless Elbow and Blackthorn Root to end the festival in the way it deserves. That is, with lots of energy, music and dancing! Tickets will be available on the day of the festival or via St Bridget’s Church Centre before the festival. The event starts at 7:30 pm and goes on until late.

With so much going on over a very busy weekend this year’s second Wirral Earth Fest will be something to tell your friends about in future years. 

Music Video // Further – Filling Station

Lost music video’s can go either way. That is, they were lost for a reason or they were simply lost in the magic of life that overtakes us. The video for Further’s ‘Filling Station’ is definitely one of the latter. Originally made in 1992, it’s director Darren Lavett merely wanted to catch the band’s daily life.

Former member of the 1990’s Southern California band Brent Rademaker said “"The director Darren Lavett was also the founder of Christmas Records he just wanted to film a typical day in the life of Further, ending up at rehearsal... It's a bit of a surreal version of our lives. Darren passed away last year. This was the one that started it all I guess..." 

18 August 2014

Midnight Thoughts // "Celluloid Ghosts"

Celluloid Ghosts
How I Am Haunted By A Stalker

I am being haunted by Cinema. Not film or movies (or even a film or a movie with a capital ‘F’ and ‘M’) but Cinema: true, worthwhile and in its purest form. I watched Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker a week ago and cannot get it out of my head. Asleep, I dream I am in ‘the Zone,’ where its naturalness and ordinary mysticism makes me feel both wanting and fulfilled.

Awake, I wonder if I sleep enough will I eventually make it to ‘the Room’, and will I have the courage and conviction of my desires to enter and make my wish? Much has been written about the Russian 1979 Sci-Fi classic: it’s parallels to The Wizard of Oz, it’s metaphors and analogies to a Cold War Soviet Union (however, the reading I have done on Tarkovsky has led me to believe he was an apolitical director) and its continuing influence on Cinema. (For example the primary shot of Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac Part 1 is a homage/ copy of the first image of Solaris.)
The film is about three men on a journey with no real conclusion (that is to say they never reach their destination by choice/ they do reach it but decide on not ‘overstepping a line’ [that of the Room’s door]) but to quote Ralph Waldo Emerson, Jackson Pollock, and all the other thinkers the line has been attributed to, ‘the journey is the destination’, ‘the process is the product,’ etc. etc.
As I watched the movie I instinctively chose ‘the Writer’ as the film’s avatar for me, but in retrospect I believe I am ‘the Stalker’, left despairing that no-one else believes in the same magical possibilities of the ‘the Room’, to me an analogy to the human mind and all it is capable of, or sees the normal, everyday (almost mundane) beauty of ‘the Zone’: our surrounding connections and synchronicities with others.
So, through this thinking, I realised that I was not haunted by the Film, but by myself: the man dreaming about the man, the ghost haunting its own home, the stalker stalking oneself. I wonder what I will find…

Conceived by Martin Shepley. 

#SRCZ Single Review // Natalie McCool – Dig It Out

A new single from Natalie McCool is always welcome and, following her last release Wind Blows Harder, it’s the turn of the addictive Dig It Out.

Released on September 15th via Young & Lost Club, the David Berger (Outfit) produced single is initially disarming. It doesn’t jump at you like much of her work instead it works its way into your subconscious like the most positive of ear worms. Dig It Out has the distinctive Mc Cool sound, quietly anthemic yet beautifully restrained, shimmering with the hue of an artist that knows this is something good and you better listen.

Listening to Dig It Out, it’s easy to see it catching the ear of any music fan who knows their stuff. The tentative, slowly tension-building intro is a definite highpoint of the song with the soft but brooding chorus as darkly ethereal as anything she has released.


Music Preview // White Sands – The Wait

What do you get of you put members of Male Bonding, Mazes and Novella together? The answer is White Sands. The trio, made up of members of the three aforementioned bands will be releasing a limited edition E.P in October via Art Is Hard entitled The Wait. Take a listen to the title track below:

Accompanied by tracks Expect Nothing and Years, the E.P will be released on very limited flexi-disc alongside a ‘zine and as a three track digi-single. Keeping the release limited will surely get many fans interested in the new release and you can be sure that we’ll be getting our copy!