The All England Club Monthly Missive is contributor Miguel Banuelos' monthly column.
Yes, it is time for another AEC Monthly Missive. There are some very exciting things coming up in the next few weeks -- March 2009 is bringing some great things from across the pond, so let’s get down to business.
We’ll first pick up where we left off last month. Since SXSW is days away, we want to make sure you get the rest of the low-down of all of the UK bands that will be deep in the heart of Texas. So here’s the second half of the list of our UK picks from the line-up (L-Z for those playing at home).
A duet with Pete Doherty in the charts and deep connections to ex-Dior Homme mastermind Hedi Slimane, you can be forgiven for being gagged by the hype. But give the tunes a chance and even with the Lib’s similarities, you can’t help but groove to the post-Mod jangle. Their debut won’t be out until the summer, so check them out before everyone else tells you about them in September.
Littl'ans feat. Pete Doherty - "Their Way"
It’s pretty easy to forget that SXSW used to be a showcase for small punk bands and indie rock acts that were just trying to get signed. Nowadays things are a bit different, but Lovvers will (at least sonically) remind you of the good ol’ days. Noisy, catchy and punky in a time-machine way. (By the way, we loathe the whole multiple unnecessary consonant thing that’s so hot these days, and we are still recommending them.)
Lovvers - "Human Hair"
The Manhattan Love Suicides
It didn’t take much for us to put MLS at the top of our list. Give any of their tracks about 20 seconds and you’ll understand. Once the feedback, the guitars and the C86-style singing kick in, and most AEC members will melt. Maybe there is hope for the neo-twee movement after all.
The Manhattan Love Suicides - "The 10th Victim"
Micachu and the Shapes
Not particularly our cup of tea, but indie intelligentsia are gushing about Micachu, so we figured we should drop them in here. Noisy, avant garde anti-folk with a dash of electronic mayhem. Bjork’s reportedly a fan and most of the music is played on homemade instruments. That should say a mouthful.
Micachu & The Shapes - "Lips"
Take a look at their recent history and you’d think My Federation are a household name in the UK. Their songs have been heard in countless movies, TV shows, video games and the like. This could bode well for their American future, but then again, for every iPod success story, there are thousands of also-rans. The tunes are catchy and radio ready, but we’ll have to see where they end up.
My Federation - "What Gods Are These"
This is one for the bookish studious AEC kids -- the buttoned up and sharp ones. Often compared to Joy Division, Teardrop Explodes, The Smiths and Wedding Present, Nacional do have some similarities to the above, but with a much sunnier demeanor. These Glaswegians are definitely worth a look and a listen.
Nacional - "Telephone"
Pete and the Pirates The band name is pants, but the tunes are top. P&tP are post-punk, and yet totally melodic and fun. They have the kind of tunes that get under your skin and force you to listen, somewhere between Bloc Party and Franz Ferdinand. Visually interesting as well, make sure you check them out, just in case the live show is as interesting as their videos.
Pete and the Pirates - "Mr. Understanding"
Rosie and the Goldbug
For those who need a dose of femininity in the sea of testosterone that SXSW might be, R&GB might be the answer; pretty girls, pretty songs and some great song sensibility. This is perfect for St. Etienne fans, as well as PJ Harvey fans.
Rosie and the Goldbug - "Heartbreak"
Screaming Tea Party
Loud and noisy but in an original Japan vs. UK style, STP remembers that the key to good rock and roll is the mix of energy and good straightforward song writing. At times, STP lull you with their melodies, but they will just as easily swing for the feedback fences. To us, this is a very happy place to be.
Screaming Tea Party - "I'd Rather Be Stuck On the Stair Rail"
The She Creatures
Could be great, could be a train wreck, but that’s the best kind of bet. Blue wigs and silver spacesuits on an all-girl band with a penchant for garage rock “Theremin meets organ” freak-outs. Um, yes please!
The She Creatures - "Sexy Robot"
For fans of: riffs, turning it up to 11 and raising the goblet of rawk. Also includes an electronic edge just to keep you guessing, but it’s still rock and roll. Join in the chant and raise a fist for Turbowolf. This should be your best “sweaty show” option.
Turbowolf - "Bite Me Like A Dog"
The Webb Sisters
Currently touring with Leonard Cohen… yeah that’s probably saying enough. But the Webb Sisters have plenty of other things going for them as well, namely luscious voices, lyrical and musical depth and a modern chamber music aura that is at once spooky and calming. And yes they are very attractive.
The Webb Sisters and Leonard Cohen - "If It Be Your Will"
We Have Band
In the Santigold vein, WHB are former music biz folk who figured they could do it just as well, if not better than their wards. And lo and behold, they can. Funky, fun, slick, and tight; sounds like a hot night to us. Think New Young Pony Club, Hot Chip and Kitsune dance rock.
This should take care of most of your Austin party time from the British perspective. Please feel free to report back with your findings, and let us know who delivered and who disappointed. We’re dying to know.
In “scene” news, we were recently given our first look at “donk.” If you haven’t had the pleasure, there’s a ton of info online now to introduce you to this Northern England genre hybrid beast. To dive right in, we recommend doing so in the following order…
First of all, read the article.
Watch the video documentary.
Watch the video/hear the single.
Now it would probably be easy to despise this. But when it comes down to it, we love the fact that it’s such a homegrown and local scene with a fervent following. And honestly, we wouldn’t mind “dropping a donk on it” at a party sometime. Mayhem.
Finally, there are two passions that the AEC has when it comes to the UK. Music is obviously the first, but football is a close second. Luckily, the two often cross paths and that allows us to talk footie at you for a sec. In Manchester City news, AEC faves, doves, have beaten Oasis to the punch by doing their version of “Blue Moon” for the Sky Blues. They won’t be releasing it at all, and can only be heard at the Eastlands stadium, but we just love it when bands show their support for their hometown teams.
(Also check out tracks/videos from their upcoming record here. Sounds great to us so far.)
In less fun news, as one of our favorite blogs, Kickette put it: we now have “Reason 998 to hate Ashley Cole.” While his lovely wife, Cheryl (of Girls Aloud and AEC dreams fame) treks up Mount Kilimanjaro for charity, A. Cole promised to stay out of bars, other girls’ pants and basically out of trouble. And he couldn’t even do that, as he was arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct in London last week. Now, for the most part, we couldn’t care less about “Cash-ley” Cole, or his drinking habits. But the report from the mountain is that when she heard of his fracas, Mrs. Cole, who was already suffering from altitude sickness, fainted and had to be attended to by the doctors on hand.
Ashley, you can make our team suffer, you can make England’s team suffer, but we refuse to let you make Cheryl suffer anymore. You are on notice.
See you next month.
You’ll Never Walk Alone,