Wednesday, 26 September 2007

September Forkasts

Here are some of my 'Forkast' picks for the website in the month of September.

Birds Of Delay- “The Screaming Veil”

Luke Younger and Steven Warwick met at the front of a Royal Trux show in London longer ago than they care to mention. Soon realising that they shared a love for messy hardcore punk and power electronics they decided to put their strange ideas on to tape with whatever were the nearest instruments that they could find. With Vile and Whitehouse as primary influences it is hardly surprising that the music they created was in turns engrossing and horrifying.

They have toured the UK, Europe and the US with appearances in locations as diverse as rooftop anti-capitalist demos in Copenhagen to successive slots at the annual convention of all things abrasive: No Fun Fest. A slew of releases have been spat forth on tape, CDR and vinyl on labels like Troniks, Not Not Fun, Aryan Asshole, Hanson, American Tapes, Steve’s own Alcoholic Narcolepsy imprint and about a million others that not even they can probably remember. Having lived in each others pockets in London, Leeds and Nottingham Steve now calls Berlin home while Luke studies Sonic Art in London but they still have time to get together and drone out apocalyptic hymns attuned to the sound of a baby universe dying as a shuttle slowly rumbles away in the background like they have in this little track here.

Florence & The Machine- “I’m Going Down”

Young Florence has a voice. There are a lot of voices around. Reliable old guard voices like PJ and Cat as well as quirky new voices like Joanna and Marissa. Florence is perhaps closer to the smoky, confident intonation of a Scout Niblett than the cuckolded charm of Ms Newsom but it is in her voices unique ability to carve a little niche for itself that lays her power to captivate. It strikes notes, fails to waver in pitch and has an ability to catch a fleeting melody with a deftness that makes you want to whistle and jump.

Barely in her twenties and skipping out on a Fine Art degree at South London’s Camberwell College (where she used to make paper men trapped in jars accompanied by reasons why they were inside their glassy coffins) Florence’s ‘Machine’ consists of the band that makes the music behind her. On occasion she has performed solo and has a tendency to acappella along to her own self but as of late she has been accompanied by former Test Icicle and current Lightspeed Champion Dev Hynes although this particular track features sometime backing machine Mathew Alchin. Beware! A voice to captivate indeed…

Johnny Foreigner- “Our Bipolar Friend”

Johnny Foreigner are from Birmingham which is sort of like a big industrial blotch on the middle left hand bit of England. They recently played at an East London monthly to a bar full of Shoreditch hipsters who were probably too busy watching the waist size on their neighbours Cheap Monday’s to pay much attention to any music that was played on stage. The band came as a breath of fresh of air. Not only because they looked nothing like the people watching them (they sort of dress like they have gone back in time to the mid 90’s when dressing like the “Amazing” guy from the Fast Show was cool) but because their music stank so heavily influence.

The key was that this pong was of influences that 99% of young British guitar bands are not even aware of let alone have the ability to ape. No post-Gang of Four stop starts, no post-Libertines jangle, no post-Turner and Allen ‘social commentary’, no post-Klaxons keys and punk funk. Wow! Here was a band that had listened to ‘Emergency & I Plan’ and actually knew where We Are Scientists got their name from but with the added twist of anglicising these mathy, frenetic melodies and urgent rhythms into something refreshingly listenable. They should be received well on their upcoming support slots with Meneguar in the UK.

Punk Aid

A blog post on if you are reading this please do contrinbute.

Punk Aid.

Sad news in music world this month. Karl Avarez, who played bass in The Descendents, aka the greatest pop-punk band ever, suffered a heart attack earlier this month. Although he is doing OK the medical bills are mounting. You can help Karl out here ( J Robbins is the guy who made Jawbox one of the greatest bands to ever come out of the greatest city for hardcore in the world. J’s son Callum was born into this world with Type 1 Spinal Muscular Atrophy ( SMA is a terrifying affliction that leads most sufferers to not make it past their second birthday. You can help Callum out here ( Punk rock does not have a medical plan. It has however given you all a lot over the years so right now it is time to give a little back. All our best goes out to Karl, Callum and their families.

Playlouder Charlotte Gainsbourg Interview

At the same time I was interviewing Serge and Janes daughter for Vice I was also asking her some straight stuff for Playlouder.

Charlotte Gainsbourg

Were you to be born of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin it would be of great general cultural disappointment were you not to create in the fields that genetically you would seem so obviously pre-disposed to. Luckily for the perceptive public Charlotte Gainsbourg has continually created work of consistent integrity that places her as solidly in the lineage of great Gallic talent as her infamous father, who requires little introduction, and unique acting stock of her mother who starred in Antonioni’s defining 1966 film “Blow Up”.

Having made her screen debut at 13 opposite Catherine Deneuve, Charlotte went on to release her first solo album at 15. What did you get up to before doing your GCSE’s? Despite a consistent run of critically acclaimed screen performances, including a turn in fellow French talent Michel Gondry’s brilliant “Science Of Sleep” last year, this summer is most notable for the arrival of Gainsbourg’s second solo record some 20 years after her debut. A versatile and beautiful record of considered balladry and deft melody it features contributions from the French production duo Air as well as Jarvis Cocker, The Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich. We caught up with Charlotte in an intimidatingly posh West London hotel to discuss the record.

You were born in London but bought up in Paris by parents from both countries. Do you feel English or French?

France is certainly home. The only reason that I used to come here was because my Grandmother lived here so it is filled with those happy memories of childhood but they are bittersweet, as she has now passed away. I have always been intimidated by London; perhaps I will be able to find a new angle to approach from at some point. It is a culture that I only half know, that I am only semi-familiar with yet when I am in France I can see that I am an outsider there also as I have an English side that in that context can seem very strong, I do not fully belong in either culture.

Considering the climate that you grew up in do you feel that doing something creative was inevitable?

It’s true that it was certainly encouraged and the impression was given that a career in the arts was perhaps the best career one could have but all three of my mother’s daughters are artistic. Just going onto my mother’s sets or into my father’s studio was an incredibly inspiring experience at such a young age. Going back to record this album evoked all of my childhood memories of being in the studio with my father.

You recorded “Lemon Incest” at 12, was that something that your father suggested or was it a conscious decision?

He proposed the idea and I said yes. It wasn’t like he forced me. I think I only did three takes. I would do a take and jump and the swimming pool and be pulled out to do another. At a similar time I started working on my first film (“Paroles et Musique”) and although I don’t really remember my mother later told me that she thought that it was a very good idea for me to have something on the side other than the singing. That as well as having this adventure with my father I had something of my own.

At that early age did you immediately favour film?

With film I was not so sure what I was doing as often the direction would not be so clear but the enjoyment came very swiftly through the work. At that age I never considered myself a singer. My father was closer to a conductor; he knew exactly what he wanted me to do. It was very similar to being directed.

Did Jarvis similarly conduct you on this record?

Not so much. It was interesting working with him because I did not know him personally. He stepped into the studio by accident one day. What he wrote he wrote from a perspective of what he thought I would want to say or think. He would also express more of an end idea or emotion that he wanted to achieve and my first takes were always trying to be very close to what he had bought in and then from there I would develop it as I did not necessarily feel close to the images he created but as time went on we would work more closely together. We became very open. Perhaps he directed me but not in the same way as my father. My father was doing everything, musically, lyrically and directing every word. Perhaps Nigel was closer in that respect as the producer. He was very important to the project from the beginning.

There has been a considerable gap between albums, was there a single reason for this?

Most specifically the fact that my father was not there and I was so unsure of myself as a singer. The idea of making an album intimidated me. It was only when I met Air that I felt that I could perhaps make another record. I met Nigel at a similar time about ten years ago now and we all had the same idea, we knew that we wanted to make a record together, it felt very instinctive. We just wanted to get in a studio and see what happened. I was very intimidated by the whole process of going back into the studio. They all encouraged me to allow the process to become spontaneous.

How did the writing process work?

Air did all of the music. Everything. All of my references come from film so all of my explanatory language come from film and I would discuss the music with them in those terms as opposed to musical terms and I would be there in the studio as they created. From a perspective of curiosity it was wonderful to watch them creating, as I was there I would have ideas and they would attempt to express them musically. The lyrics came slowly, I worked with Neil Hannon and Jarvis but I also had a lot of time to consider how I wanted the lyrics to fit together. The subjects work almost like a story, linked to one another: dreams, the night, and fascination.

Did the inspiration come naturally or was it an enforced preconceived aesthetic that that you had envisaged for the album?

It came naturally to an extent but I was heavily influenced by films that had affected me as a child. Specifically: “The Night Of The Hunter”, “The Wizard Of Oz” and “The Shining”. As much as for the general ambience and sensations they caused me as a child as for the specific musical feel of those films.

You filmed some stuff in a studio with Air, is there a future for this record live?

I am very puzzled and undecided about live performance. If I were to be performing it would have to be a whole tour with Air. They are completely integral to the project. Also, were I to perform live, I feel I would have to find a new sound. Something else that is there in the music that can be bought out live. Originally I thought I would just want to reproduce the record but that is not interesting. You need to find a new angle. Also I am not a professional touring musician. I went out and did a few songs with Air and again the whole process is very alien to me, it is not something that I am used to. Maybe if I were then the live show would be easier!

Movado Review

A fairly 'straight' review I did of the Movado album for i-D Magazine.

Gangsta For Life

Just when reggae seemed to be reaching another plateau of safe, one-drop, Radiohead endorsed commercial respectability, with a galvanising clarion call of ‘Anyway!’ Mavado announces his presence and makes things interesting again. A childhood in the Cassava Piece gullies of Kingston fuelled David Constantine Brooks desire to perform while his introduction into the dancehall community came from Bounty Killer himself who soon enlisted his young protégé in The Alliance. A running beef with Vybz Kartel, continual police harassment and a ride over the notorious Daseca “Anger Management” riddim later and Mavado really is dancehall’s brightest star. The lilting delivery, and deft phrasing mark him out as a talent befitting the Fader-cover features and Hot97 hype. The tunes that got everyone excited in the first place, ‘Real Mckoy’ (opposite Busy Signal) and ‘Wah Dem A Do’, are both here as well as the requisite skits. Further evidence that Mavado’s appropriation of the ‘singjay’ mantle is pretty much the most exciting thing to happen all year comes in the shape of sublime tracks like “Dying” and “Sadness”. Go get this now before all the dubstep and niche remixes ruin it for everyone.

Lee Hazelwood Obituary

A little Obit I wrote for the Vice Blog online.

Lee Hazelwood- Didn’t He Ramble

While we were all having too much fun at Tales Of The Jackalope on Saturday Lee Hazelwood died. This is pretty sad. Lee was the guy who wrote “These Boots Are Made For Walking” for Nancy Sinatra as well as hits for Duane Eddy and Dean Martin. He also ran LHI, the label that invented country-rock with the early International Submarine Band records. His solo albums are like little pieces of pop treasure that were re-issued in the 90’s by Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth and his songs have been covered by everyone from Nick Cave to Megadeth. Having suffered from terminal renal cancer for over a year Hazelwood decided to call his 2006 final album “Cake or Death” before going for what he described as “my big dirt nap”. Goodbye Lee.

Health Interview

An Interview with the band Health for the print version of Vice magazine.


Health play weird synth-wielding freak out pop with thundering heartbeat drums that kick the whole thing along so hard that you have to dance. They are part of the same LA DIY scene centred around The Smell that spunked out No Age and Mika Miko. However, they are closer to early Ex Models or the good bits of Black Dice before they turned into a big yawn festival. Whereas most of the current crop of LA bands are heavily influenced by early 80’s punk Health seem transfixed by Beatles and Beach Boys melodies. Except that they condense these down into ten-minute live shows so intense they feel like your head might explode like that guy in Total Recall. They usually fall over and break all their stuff if they play for longer than ten minutes like they did at a recent Rough Trade instore where onlooking Pigeon Detectives fans literally ran away. It was fun.

What happened at that Rough Trade show?
John (bass): It was pretty intense but it was fun. There was this band the Pigeon Detectives playing. I guess their music is pretty awful anyways but they were doing an acoustic show so it was sheer horror. We had a small slot to play in and we borrowed some equipment off the other band, The 45’s. They were nice kids but we kind of broke their bass and fell off the stage a bit.
BJ (drums): You broke their bass.
John: Ok, I broke the bass. We break stuff a lot though, it was no big deal. I’ll totally hook him up if they ever make it over to LA. A nice bass and some Kombucha.

Kombucha? Isn’t that what System Of A Down used to sing about?
Jupiter (guitar): One and the same. It ‘s basically this raw organic tea like substance. You can basically live on it. It flushes out your system and heals everything including the most grievous hangovers imaginable.

That sounds very err…healthy? Sorry.
Jake (guitar): That’s ok. We are all pretty healthy, I try and stay vegan on the road but its tough. Jupiter comes from a real hippy family hence the name so he keeps it pretty organic. BJ is basically a bear though. We were looking for a drummer and we actually found him in the want ads right by the gay sex wants. I guess he kind of fills two roles in that respect. Or two holes.

That was even worse than my joke. How come you play such short sets?
John: It would just bore us for much longer. We used to only ever play ten minutes. Now maybe twenty. The other night in Germany some guy accosted me outraged demanding to know why we had come all the way from LA to play for fifteen minutes.
Jupiter: The way we write also makes it difficult to play for long. All the songs are drawn out on big diagrams that we then fill with pictures and words to represent elements of the song. It is difficult remembering how all the elements slot together. Especially if you are high.

Health have a split 7” with Crystal Castles available now on Lovepump Unlimited.

David Yow Interview

Cool. An interview with a genuine hero of mine. Ex-Scratch Acid/Jesus Lizard dude David Yow. This was for the Vice Blog online.

David Yow/Qui

Most bands that you interview are so boring that even picking up the phone becomes a herculaen effort. The listless torrent of boring tour stories and self promotion is so tiring that sometimes I think about just leaning back on my chair into the fan behind me and ending it all. Luckily I just spoke to David Yow and now I feel like I could a bare knuckle box Mike Tyson. David was the guy that used to get naked and frighten off audiences in Scratch Acid, the Jesus Lizard and now Qui. He is better than you.

Vice: Hi David, how are you?

Davud Yow: I was feeling a little under the weather yesterday but I managed to nip it in the bud with some chicken broth, orange juice and whole bunch of hippy shit my friend gave me.

Hippy shit? Like herbs that you smoke?

No not that, just some pills.

So what have you been up to since the Jesus Lizard split in 1999? I heard you were a mean cook.

Yes I cook, in fact on this upcoming tour we will have Qui aprons for sale. Mostly though I have mostly been working in photography. Mike Patton told me that I was making him a solo record for Ipecac whether I liked it or not so I’ve been working on that a little and then I hooked up with the Qui guys.

You used to get naked a lot in the Jesus Lizard, how naked do you get with Qui on a scale of 1 to 10?

With one being fully clothed and ten butt fucking naked? Maybe 5. With the Jesus Lizard I had certain choreographed naked moves. The “Tight & Shiny” involved an 8 minute build up to testicle exposition. With Qui I get a little naked but not the whole way. No one want to see my wrinky hairy old crack. It definitely shares the same maniacal spirit though.

You used to clear rooms with some of your antics, what is the most extreme crowd reaction you’ve had with Qui?

I think people kind of know what to expect by this point so being needlessly confrontational is pointless. I got a pretty crazy reaction from something I said at the Vice SXSW party this year. It was all you guys’s fault though. We turned up late and you said that we couldn’t play so we just started getting into a whole load of beer and stuff and then we ended up going on later in the day. As I looked out from the stage I was pretty intoxicated and I could just see a sea of white faces so I shouted: “where are the niggers at?”. I’m not a racist, I just think I am funny. That didn’t go down so well though. There were some bottles thrown and booing and some girl hit me repeatedly on the head as I walked offstage. She was a very small girl though so it did not really have a big effect.

Uh oh. That doesn’t sound so good. Your record is entitled “Loves Miracle”. What is the miracle of love for you?

I am not sure. The record was originally going to be called “Pussy Cheeks” so it could have gone either way really.

How did you end up playing with Paul and Mat in Qui?

I knew them from around as friends and they got me to record vocals for a Zappa cover and then we did it live. It just felt really natural. It is nice to play loud music with dear friends.

The Qui Myspace page informs me that you caught downs syndrome kissing my mum. Is that true David?

I am sorry to say James that it is.

“Love’s Miracle” is being released on Ipecac Records on the 11th of September.

Dan Deacon Interview

An interview with the amazing Dan Deacon for the print edition of Vice Magazine

Dan Deacon

Dan Deacon looks a little bit like how the nerdy singer guy from Hot Chip would if he’d been on an intensive Krispy Kreme diet for a month. Don’t let that fool you though. He is one of the most exciting, and plain funnest things happening in music right now. His records sound like the Three One G back catalogue being played through a bunch of Fisher Price circuit bending machines. This is topped off with vocals that sound like the spring guy from the Magic Roundabout shouting psychedlic dreams into your ear. Live Dan’s music is so over the top and euphoric that it inspires spontaneous dance offs and genuine freak outs. Sort of like an aural burst of LSD. He also happens to be the nominal leader of Baltimore’s Future Shock movement. What started as a bit of a joke to escape doing anything else now takes in a whole heap of amazing bands like Video Hippos, Santa Dads and Blood Baby. These outfits share a skewed, electronic, noise-pop sound that they play at massive squat parties in a big run down warehouse in West Baltimore which they have christened Wham City.

Vice: Is Baltimore really like that TV show The Wire?

Dan Deacon: You mean full of crack dealers and dropped bodies? That does go on but it’s not like the whole city is like that. There is a lot of space in Baltimore, lots of huge derelict areas and warehouses. Most of the guys I live and do stuff with I met in New York at college. That was where the original Wham City was: Purchase SUNY. We commandeered one of the dormitories and renamed it; it was originally called Outback which was kind of boring. Then we all moved out to Baltimore because it was cheap and we could all live pretty much for free. The whole thing just got relocated to a warehouse. Unfortunately the cops evicted us recently. All the parties finally caught up with us. There is already a licensed alternative space we have been using but we have plans to set up another not strictly legal venue soon just to keep the spirit alive. Wham City shall ride again!

An outlaw house party unit on the run? It sounds like a psychedlic version of the A Team.

The things we were doing there were only kind of borderline illegal. I am a pretty law abiding person. I am addicted to raw milk though which is illegal in the US. You can get it from farmers markets. You ask them if they have any and they say no as they kind of nod their heads. You buy it in pretty big quantities and it is the nicest thing in the world. It has great restorative properties and probiotic bacteria and stuff although I would not recommend it over here with all that foot and mouth stuff going on.

Animals seem to crop up fairly regularly in your songs. Do you have a favourite?

I really like Turtles. They look so wise and they are really slow.

“Spiderman Of The Rings” is out now on Carpark Records.

Chromeo Interview

An interview with Dave-1 and P-Thugg that I did for


I can still vividly remember the first time I heard ‘Needy Girl’. I was in a bar in Nottingham called the Social at a night called Liars Club that was (and still is) known for chaotic band performances followed by debauched disco parties that would liberally splice and fuse any tracks together that would make people dance. It was basically a massive party and when that tune came out of the mix I couldn’t quite believe it. It sounded perfect. Beyond perfect. It had a timeless quality, a synth hook that could be from the 70’s, 80’s or 2020’s, a filthy bouncing Minneapolis booty-bassline and over the top lyrics about the greatest subject in pop: a girl.

I rapidly discovered that Dave 1 and P-Thugg had a whole album of female obsessed, Minneapolis bass and Jerry Curl funk entitled ‘She’s In Control’. And that they were the self touted “only successful Arab/Jew partnership since the dawn of human culture”. And that they were so serious about the 80’s funk that they so lovingly and reverentially drew from that they had constructed a two whole mixtapes to show the world that what had formerly been festering in bargain bins was in fact gold (‘Un Joli Mix Pour Toi’ and ‘Ce Soir, On Danse’). And that Dave’s brother is hip-hop don A-Trak and he edits Vice Magazine’s hip-hop reviews as well as lecturing in undergraduate French at Columbia University where he is studying for a PhD in French Literature. They were some pretty special guys…

Having toured and partied with everyone from Tiga to Bloc Party the duo have returned with ‘Fancy Footwork’ their second long player which is again beautifully produced by Philippe Zdar. The template has changed little: the beats still sound like they may be stolen from some lost Hall & Oates record, the Moog dances patterns, the bass grooves, Pee sings exclusively through a talkbox and they are still obsessed with girls. But why fuck with a template so timelessly perfect?

Can I ask about the keyboards first, are the legs real?
Dave: Haha, for the cover they were mocked up in Photoshop, but we are gonna have to make ‘em. We are getting crazy responses on those.

So, second record and it still sounds very much like you.
Dave: It maintains the same aesthetic for sure but I think that is something that we are always going to have. We haven’t changed any of the sound radically and the influences remain the same but we have gone for far more of a songwriting approach on this one. Are music is slowly getting further sucked in by the Billy Joel/Hall & Oates axis. We’re not there yet but we’re getting there. There is still the big Prince influence obviously and it sounds way polished as well compared to the first record. That had a real DIY feel to it because we pretty much did everything ourselves on it. This one we had a big studio and a fancy mixing desk.

Lyrically you also seem to maintain similar preoccupations.
David: Yes. Feminine ones. All girls but girls from all different angles. So you have ‘Mammas Boy’ which is an oedipal take on it, ‘Fancy Footwork’ is a dancefloor take on it, ‘Bonafide Loving’ you have your i-D take on it, ‘Tenderoni’ is your Bobby Brown take on it, ‘100%’ is a very sincere take on it and ‘My Girl Is Calling Me A Liar’ is a very self-explanatory take on the whole thing.
P-Thugg: We basically like girls.

Have you ever written a song that did not involve girls?
Dave: I tried it once. I write all the lyrics then Pee validates them. I once tried to write a tune about a car on a kind of Deep Purple ‘Highwaystar’ tip but he nixed it. I guess it was pretty unrealistic as I don’t know how to drive. Since then I’ve just stuck with the chicks thing.

You don’t spend your whole time together like many conventional bands. How does the songwriting process work when you aren’t even living in the same city?
Dave: We have a system. The studio is at Pee’s house, so he has all the keyboards and all the stuff. He’ll usually get a bunch of demos and riffs together and send 'em over. I’ll work out some lyrics and add some melodies and chord changes and before you know it you have a tune.
P-Thugg: It’s pretty simple, he’ll just come with ideas for a verse, a chorus and a melody and we’ll sit down and work it on out.

Can I ask about the mixtapes that you did? They kind of reminded me of the Shadow and Cut Chemist mixtapes but with obscure 80’s funk instead of obscure 70’s funk.
Dave: Sure, well that was the point. Not just to show people our influences but also to show that we are serious about this music, that we have a record collectors background and a real love and obsession with it. Not in a weird way, like going on the internet and trading with Japanese people but we are pretty deep into it, we have a deep appreciation of it. The whole thing is that people like Shadow wouldn’t take it seriously. For a guy like him Cameo is the kitschiest thing ever but we want to treat Cameo with the same level of devotion that he would treat The Metres you know?
P-Thugg: We were hip-hop producers before and we just had all these 80’s funk and soul records that we had been sampling from and listening to them it just felt like an untapped resource, like people just didn’t know about this shit.
Dave: It was pretty perfect for us because we were getting into using the synths and Moogs and stuff and all those 80’s records have a pop fluff but they are played with these vintage instruments that give the whole thing a bunch of depth.
P-Thugg: And that’s where all the machines came in…

Was there a sense then in your minds that initially people weren’t taking you seriously?
Dave: For sure. The mixtapes were kind of like CV’s I guess. Our stuff is so quirky and funny and honest that people might have thought it was some bad taste 80’s pastiche. The mixtape showed people that we were serious about this. This is a serious business. Each one goes deeper too. The third mixtape is real crate digging, dollar records only.

How did you become involved with Tiga?
Dave: He was just someone that we knew and he got it from day one. He has a kind of overseer’s role helping chose tracklistings and remixes. It was good to work with Zdar as well as he is a mixing engineer with a hip-hop background, he did all the old MC Solaar stuff and he did a cool record on Mo Wax, so there is a real depth to what he does. For him to get our music its great.

Although no one else really sounds like you is there anyone out there who you feel has a same approach or method to you?
Dave: I guess Mehdi is the closest but we’re way more Jerry Curl than him. He’s straight hip-hop. I don’t know them as people but Hot Chip is dope, to me the singer guy definitely gets his Hall & Oates. There are a lot of guys out there we like: Phoenix, The Presets, Cut Copy, all the Modular and Ed Banger guys but we were never kind of part of the electroclash scene. We were kind of the anti-electroclash. That music is very white and harsh and we were there playing this very black influenced music with all these lush keyboards.

How was the music initially perceived in Montreal? It strikes as somewhat of a straight-ahead indie guitar band town in terms of output?
Dave: Haha. People didn’t get it at all. We used to have to go to New York to play shows. Montreal has kind of a Berlin thing going on: cheap rents and artsy fartsy's everyfuckinwhere you know? Our stuff was outside of everything really. We were friends with the hip hop community because that was where we came from and afterwards we got to know all the indie bands but for a minute there we were on our own. We used to love The Unicorns though before they split, they were dope. Malajube are OK, they like what we do and we like what they do but in general the indie scene is alien to us. That whole sense of awkwardness and shyness and the notion that being like that would help them…
Dave: ahahaha, yeah. That was alien to us. We just wanted to have a party! That whole idea of cultivating this sense of awkwardness under the pretence of striving for inspiration instead of getting drunk and having a fight, we just didn’t get it. Especially me coming from a hip-hop background and being who I am I had to be extra loudmouth just to get a look in. I was always the extra crazy white guy. I never knew who Jeff Buckley was you know? For me it was straight Mobb Deep. Although I did get into The Cure this year and I do actually think that they have 4 good songs.

Are you disappointed that Prince didn’t ask you to support him at any his six million dates coming up in London?
P-Thugg: We wouldn’t have done it.
Dave: To be honest we would much rather play to a room of 18 year old Myspace kids in Cheap Monday jeans. That is way more exciting to us.
P-Thugg: We can be their Prince.

Charlotte Gainsbourg Vice Interview

An interview for the Vice Blog.

Charlotte Gainsbourg

Where do all these Miranda July and Vincent Gallo-a-like people come from? They all seem to be able act, sing, paint and just be in a good old constant state of becoming at the drop of hat. That’s why I’ve decided to call bullshit on all of them. They are all lying and just making it up as they go along. Apart from Charlotte Gainsbourg. If your father was Serge Gainsbourg and your mother was Jane Birkin it would be pretty worrying if you couldn’t pull albums and films out of thin air. Charlotte is currently starring in the insane, Todd Haynes directed Dylan biopic, “I’m Not There” as well as having her second solo record, “5:55”, out. Just you know, because she can…

Vice: Hi Charlotte, you are looking pretty tired.

Charlotte Gainsbourg: I feel tired. I was in Paris yesterday, then straight over here and filming in the studio with Air last night and then straight up to talk right now. I would prefer to just be back at home.

What would you be doing right now if you were at home?

Having breakfast with my children.

You have children as well as all the acting and music? No wonder you are tired. Do you have that machine like the guy from Quantum Leap that stops time?

I do not know that film that you mention but family is what is most interesting for me. The album, it was rewarding perhaps, but in many many ways it was a struggle.

It did take you twenty years to get a second one out.

Yes, well I thought that I never would do another album for many years. I thought that I could not make an album without my father.

The first single that you did with your father was a duet entitled “Lemon Incest”. Was that not a little strange for a 12-year-old girl to be singing with her Dad?

No not at all. It was a wonderful environment to work in. There was a lot of jumping in and out of swimming pools and not many takes. It was only when I met Air and later on Jarvis that I realised that I could work with people and create music again.

Was working with Jarvis a bit like working with your Dad? There are certain similarities…

They were very different. Jarvis would explain things more in terms of an end feeling. My father was far more conductorly.

Considering the climate that you grew up in do you feel that doing something creative was inevitable? Would it have been more rebellious to be a lawyer?

It was certainly made apparent that a job within the arts was a great career. Singing certainly has never felt like work and working with people like Michel Gondry is a true pleasure. He has the boundless imagination of a child.

In this new film, lots of different people all play the role of Bob Dylan including several women and the guy that played Darth Vader in the shitty Star Wars prequels. Do you think your Dad would have dug it?

It is certainly a very interesting script. I am not sure what my father would have thought but there are several beautiful women in the film so I am sure he would have enjoyed it yes.

August Vice Reviews

The Sticks/Hands On Heads
Split 10”
Upset The Rhythm

7 I once went to see Martin Creed’s band play in the basement of some gallery. He did a song where he just counted from one to ten. Then from ten back down to one. I reckon Martin would like this one. In fact it’s on clear green and red splatter vinyl and I’ve heard that artists like colours sometimes so I’m pretty sure that he will definitely like it.

Vincent Van Glock

The Venomous Grand Design

5 Holy shit! Victory put out a record and it doesn’t totally suck. And Away did the artwork. A million miles away from “The Promise” but better than falling asleep on the first tube home and waking up further away than when you started.

Fungicide Jones

Les Savy Fav
Let’s Stay Friends

9 Sometimes you get so used to something being around that you forget how good it is. You all have to promise to never take the bald, fat, naked guy and the other three for granted again. If I was in a band with a guitar trying to make people dance and I heard this I would give up.

Goat Boy

Tusken Coalition
Basillica Music

1 This gets a point for having one of the best covers of the year so far and being partly written by J.P.Morrow (R.I.P.). Unfortunately the music sounds like Limp Bizkit going cross keys with Raging Speedhorn.

Peter Fellas

White Rainbow
Prism Of Eternal Now

8 How did just one guy make this? It sounds like it was made by a tribe of mad drumming, shamanic Voivod-mask wearing maniacs. Or the Boredoms.

Jay Of Today

Minus The Bear
Planet Of Ice

7 These guys all used to be in frowny, shouty bands like Botch but somewhere along the line they seemed to have discovered their inner immaturity. This comes on like if the Hold Steady were into mathcore but still loved the whole singing about hanging out and partying bit.

Alex Petri-Dish


8 Missing in Acton? More like generally lost in whatever continent you fancy heading too next. Boyz still sounds great and Afrikan Boy still has a funny voice. Fairly quickly you end up feeling a little disorientated and that you might become infected by musical ADD and never listen to a single track for longer than 12 seconds again. In a good way.

Jay Kay

Rough Trade Vs Merok Records
Split 7”
Rough Trade/Merok

7 What’s the deal with these Teenagers guys? They must have some magical superpower whereby they are in every bar I ever go to. And now they are on every record that turns up in the post. Worth it for the Pre track and the pretty picture on the front.

Marquee Smith

Cutting Pink With Knives
Holy Roar

4 You know those toys that little kids used to play with before they had 67 person multiplayer Halo? Like the spinning top things that you pump up and down with a push handle and when you do it enough they open up and make an intense vaguely irritating noise? This like 16 of those.


Sunset Rubdown
Random Spirit Lover
Secretly Canadian

5 Despite the title which makes it sound a little like a Yanni record this is actually a band made up solely of members of outfits that Pitchfork would definitely approve of. Like Frog Eyes, Wolf Parade and Destroyer. It’s a bit like going into Tesco’s. You know what you’re going to get.

Rank Williams

Jens Lekman
Night Falls Over Kortedalla
Secretly Canadian

8 Why can’t people be into this guy instead of Patrick Wolf? They both lay on the whole camp thing pretty heavily and pretend every day is a fancy dress party and probably have imaginary friends. But Jens is good. Oh wait, people don’t like Patrick Wolf. It’s all ok.

Tight House

Akron Family
Love Is Simple
Young God

8 Apparently these guys rage live. This just sounds like crystalline kraut-folk, Can intensely rimming Lindisfarne perfection.

Knight Ryder

The Monkeys In The Zoo Have More Fun Than Me
Marine Parade

4 The internet is a pretty amazing place. You can bid on pieces of the crucifix and buy Portabello mushrooms while talking to your new boyfriend and playing arrow key BMX games against someone in Croatia all at once. Or you can be Jack White and discover some boring Irish guy and then play his songs in your Raconteurs sets just for the sake of it.

Polygon Windowsill

The Observers
Walk Alone EP
La Vida En Mus

8 Sometimes you have to look backwards to move forwards. Miss The Wipers? Not anymore.

Johnny Cotton

Grupo Sub 1
Tercer Grando En Leningrado
La Vida En Mus

7 What ever happened to The Faint? They were the only good thing on Saddle Creek. This is like what the Faint would sound like if they were actual punks and not a bunch of freelance stylists for some obscure Japanese superglossy.

Scat Rabies

The Black Lips
Good Bad Not Evil

10 Uh oh, first full release on our UK label, better not fuck this up. Luckily for us The Black Lips are the most amazing car crash of The Swinging Medallions rolling around a bar room floor with The Monks and the Beach Boys on vocals that we have ever heard. Somehow they manage to be a psychedelic garage band while playing rock & roll with a total punk attitude and appearing to be some outlaw boyband all at once. They also like to hit the Addreol and Tequila at 11 am and aren’t too bothered about slicing themselves open onstage and dancing in their own blood. We love them, so should you.

Justin Martin
Chaos Restored
Buzzin Fly

7 The dude that did ‘Sad Piano’ finally gets it together and puts a mix out. Smooth and melodic house from the West coast that nudges more towards the electro than the funk. Worth the wait.