Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Becoming increasingly interested in the idea that there IS such thing as good and bad music and that I simply don't have consistently good taste. This all relates to an issue that I've been trying to get people talking about for quite a while but nobody wants to take me up on it. I think it hits a bit too close to home. Personal taste/fandom is considered childish - we're supposed to discuss music in a detached fashion; as if it's all for the good of society. Music for me has always been an intensely personal/private thing, even when it's in a public/communal context (rock show/dance club/jam session). Music is selfish bastard that wants you all to itself. So why discuss it in this faux scientific/pretend objective fashion and then claim that it's all subjective anyway - which is what everyone seems to do. Why won't anyone talk about WHAT THEY REALLY BUY/LISTEN TO AND WHY THEY DO IT?????

Anyway, it seems to me that a pretty clear record-buying consensus develops about most things - EG (and esp.) what albums by an artist are good and which ones are bad. This, it seems to me, to be a very close way to an objective way of RATING music. I feel qualified to say this as someone who often disagrees with the consensus (as do most of - me probably more than most, though). I do respect the consensus but I tend to find it a little dry. Perhaps this is what Ian Forsyth is getting at when he talks about the joys of bad music. Maybe I'm talking about the joys of bad (or, more accurately WRONG) musical taste. Or maybe I'm just talking out the Gary Glitter.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Never realised there was a version of "Die Interimslibenden" by Einsturzende Neubauten IN ENGLISH, until someone just put it on at work. It was fun pretending that it was a song about how great my "band" is.

Which reminds me. I've spent a lot of time recently trying to re-open my online correspondences. Since then I've been getting some pretty great email but, ironically, very little of it has been as a result of my efforts. The best one was an email from someone who'd found the most recent Interim Lovers CDR lying around his house, listened to it, liked it but didn't know what it was or how he got it. Turns out it was a guy I know in London and the CDR had been passed to him by a mutual friend. Perhaps my first unsolicited piece of sincere positive feedback. Hi Charlie!

I've also opened a correspondence with a guy who rund a label and small distro in Vancouver called Flesh Eating Ants - which I had previously been totally unaware of. (I thought it was a terrible name until I was the website. Perhaps Cute Flesh Eating Ants would be better.) They seem to specialize mostly in deluxe Legendary Pink Dots editions. The guy behind it seems really nice. Hoping I can persuade him to help me put out a connect_icut LP or CD at some point in the future.

However, he's trying to get out of the whole high-end vinyl thing just as I was staring to want to get into it. I understand it's a big money loser but I really feel like if your going to make the leap from giving out free CDRs to SELLING something, you should create something worth buying. Obviously I'm never going to make any money from connect_icut so why not use it to create something beautiful - a ritual object with a meaningful relationship to the music contained therein. CDRs and downloads are fine but records (and CDs) are (or should be) a whole multi-media experience and should set the tone for how the listener approaches the music. Packaging and format allow the artist to retain some control over the context in which the work is heard - before the whole thing gets sucked into the late-capitalist sink hole and becomes just so much more noise/land-fill material.

Which is probably just me excusing my nerdy record collecting habit.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Animal Collective/Black Dice show the other night v.good. Anml Cllctv are clearly on to something - genuinely original and heartfelt avan-rock. Their cooing and oozing and repeating and jumping and yelping would all seem very contrived and wanky if they didn't do it with such passion and aplomb - they push it way into the realm of the sublime. BD were a bit disappointing, truth be told. Big nasty grey skabs of noise produced by three extremely stoned looking rich kids. On their last two records, even the noisiest sounds they use have an element of prettiness to them but that didn't come across live. Still, they had their moments, esp. when the V Reilly-esque guitar chimes started to come through.

More sidturbing was the fact that over 50% of the people I know in Vancouver were at the show. On the one hand it made me feel like the popular kid when people like Jeremy Schmidt (aka excellent Space Rock project Sinoia Caves - I think he was drunk) started speaking to me. On the other hand, the statistics of the situation made my world seem rather small.

Most recent musical acquisitions - Johnathan Richman and the Modern Lovers (2nd album on Get Back 140g mid price red vinyl) C93 "Of Ruine or Some Blazing Starre" (used CD) and Fall "Perverted by Language" (LP bought on Ebay to replace CD).

Monday, August 23, 2004

Yeah Yeah Yeah.

I forgot to fully explain my "two shows in two nights" comment. Tonight I'm going to see Animal Collective and Black Dice at Mesa Luna (a Mexican restaurant just around the corner from my house!) I rate these bands both very highly and commend them to you. Perhaps the real American post-rock is coming from New York now, not Chicago 8 years ago. Discuss.
Two show in two nights! It's like being in my 20s again!

Went to see Ladyhawk and Jon-Rae Fletcher last night at the Butchershop. Ladyhawk had been described to me as "the hottest new band in Vancouver". Plus, a shocking amount of shockingly young people turned out to see them. So my expectations were high.

Sadly, they turned out to sound like Conner Oberest fronting My Morning Jacket - which is the last thing we need, frankly. In their defence, I would say that they do it, really, really well and that, yes, they're probably going to be very popular (at least locally).

Then Jon-Rae got up on a stool with his acoustical guitar and started to wail and titter drunkenly. It was pretty compelling outsider roots-rock stuff for about 20 minutes until the cops showed up. The venue, you see, is a small arts space in a residential neighbourhood. I guess the nieghbours complained (and frankly, I'm not surprised). So that was the end of that.

On the way home we listened to Mirah's "C'mon Miracle", which Kris just bought. It's really great stuff, especially the tracks produced by Phil "Microphones" Elverum. Can't believe I slept on this one for so long.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Because the new Bark Psychosis CD "Codename: Dustsucker" is selling surprisingly well at the store I work at, and because a copy of their compilation "Independency" just sold on Ebay for $36US....

I think it's finally time to make my CDR compilation of early '90s UK first-wave post-rock. Artists who may be included: Disco Inferno, Bark Psychosis, Moonshake, Laika, Main, Flying Saucer Attack, Butterfly Child, Papa Sprain, Main, God, Ice, Techno Animal, Insides...

It'll probably be called "England Invented Post-Rock, Not Chicago (Vol 1.) If you want a copy, email me your home address. Also, email me if I've missed any essential bands off the list. As ever, questions and comments to

interimlovers@yahoo.co.uk
Just remembered something else I wanted to say on my favourite subject of Why I Seldom Blog. Lack of feedback! Please, if you happen to stumble upon my blog, please write to me at

interimlovers@yahoo.co.uk

even if you have nothing to say! Please!
Well, after not blogging since Feb, this is my second post of the day. I was shocked at first to see the new Blogger interface and, for a while, though it wasn't working (it seems to take a while to publish posts). But now I seem to have it up and running. The previous post of the day was to publicize an upcoming connect_icut show in Vancouver. While I was about it I thought I'd, as usual, explain why I haven't been blogging much lately.

(i) As someone whose made bits and pieces of my income over the years in journalism, editing and copywriting, writing has really come to seem like work; a chore.

(ii) Since starting to put my money where my mouth is and MAKE music, I've found that I've had less and less to say ABOUT music. Because I'm expressing my ideas about music and its context THROUGH music, I'm using an infinitely better format - one that goes way beyond what language can do. I know that sounds pretentious but it's truly the way I feel. I still love good music writing, though, and wish there was more of it about.

(ii) Music blogging seems to be more of a genre than a format. That is to say, it seems to me, that if you're writing a blog about music, you're writing about "grime". I've heard bits and pieces of this new genre of British electronic dance music and I just don't get it. Maybe it's because I don't live in the UK any more but I just can't relate. Therefore, I find it hard to want to communicate with bloggers as peers. I did just write to Simon Reynolds and ask him if in admitting to myself (and everyone else) that I am a 30something white indie rocker, I was declaring myself his enemy. He never got back to me (perhaps he was offended?) Anyway, I still love Simon Reynold, even if I don't know what the hell he's talking about most of the time these days.

(iii) I am going throught the obsessive early stages of Ebay use. This takes up most of my online time. I think, having managed to buy a couple of things (and having run out of CD/record storage space at home) that this will be over soon.

(iv) I know longer believe that the world is about to end. Or at least, I know longer want to talk about it.

(v) I have come to realize that just because I like something, doesn't mean it's good. I mean, come on, there's no excuse AT ALL for the Legendary Pink Dots. This realization has made me start enjoying The Streets though. Who says there's no such thing as so-bad-it's-good?

There's more to say, but my lunch break is over. Let's hope I can keep this spurt of activity up, eh!
where: blim #600 23 w.pender (across from tinsel town)
when: september 4th, 5th, (panic) 11th, 12th (sleep) 9:00 pm each night
who: 4th: brady cranfield, daniel giantomaso/niall morgan, nicole sanches, the rita
5th: crys cole, connect icut, flat grey
11th: katharine norman, maurena helena, joshua stevenson, loscil
12th: josh rose, lee hutzulak, palermo/sim/udell/todd/henry
what: new works from local experimental and improv sound artists concerning the physical nature and effects of sound. 4 nights of physically immersive sound.
high lights:
panic: harsh noise artist the rita. experimental sound artist and open circuits organizer brady cranfield, who has opened for such acts as the oval and stars of the lid. vancouver via montreal sound artist and improviser, crys cole.
sleep: local ambient producer and kranky records recording artist loscil. longtime vancouver/edmonton noise and ambient artist josh stevenson most recently of american improv noise outfit jackie-o-motherfucker. visual and experimental electronic artist lee hutzulak. stefan udell of the beans, long time electronic improviser and artist lawrence sim, with parallela regulars and free jazz improvisers palermo, todd, and henry
It's been so long since I last blogged (Feb, I think) that the Blogger interface has totally changed. Bloody hell!

The main reason I'm posting now is to try and give my next connct_icut show whatever tiny modicum of publicity it can get. However, I have been thinking of taking up blogging again. The main reason I don't do it more often is lack of feedback. So if you read this, please email me at

interimlovers@yahoo.co.uk

even if you have nothing to say!

Anyway, here are the details of the show.

where: blim #600 23 w.pender (across from tinsel town)
when: september 4th, 5th, (panic) 11th, 12th (sleep) 9:00 pm each night
who: 4th: brady cranfield, daniel giantomaso/niall morgan, nicole sanches, the rita
5th: crys cole, connect icut, flat grey
11th: katharine norman, maurena helena, joshua stevenson, loscil
12th: josh rose, lee hutzulak, palermo/sim/udell/todd/henry
what: new works from local experimental and improv sound artists concerning the physical nature and effects of sound. 4 nights of physically immersive sound.
high lights:
panic: harsh noise artist the rita. experimental sound artist and open circuits organizer brady cranfield, who has opened for such acts as the oval and stars of the lid. vancouver via montreal sound artist and improviser, crys cole.
sleep: local ambient producer and kranky records recording artist loscil. longtime vancouver/edmonton noise and ambient artist josh stevenson most recently of american improv noise outfit jackie-o-motherfucker. visual and experimental electronic artist lee hutzulak. stefan udell of the beans, long time electronic improviser and artist lawrence sim, with parallela regulars and free jazz improvisers palermo, todd, and henry