Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mercury Music Prize 2010


So, as I said I would, I've written some thoughts about this years Mercury Music Prize... before and after

But this time they're over at http://honourbeforeglory.com/blog.html

Link to the email subscribe will be updated shortly as well

Many thanks for reading this blog and hope you continue to read through Honour Before Glory internet portal

Monday, July 19, 2010

Moving On

As you've probably noticed, more and more of my ramblings have centred around my latest endeavors with / as Honour Before Glory, and as that project becomes more established, it seems silly to keep these musings as a seperate entity to that

In building the new website for Honour Before Glory, I've switched to a new blog that is embeded within the site, and hosted by those folk at tumblr. I'll be doing all my updates on there from now - Honour Before Glory related, as well as my production work and other random crap.

I'll put my annual thoughts on the Mercury Prize up sometime soon for starters and I'll try and update the email feed as well

Honour Before Glory website (new site coming soon)


Soundtrack to this post: Goldheart Assembly

Friday, July 2, 2010

Camera, Action


Bit of movement with Honour Before Glory. I've spent the last couple of months demo-ing furiously and me and Simon went into the studio last weekend to lay down drums for 7 new songs. That process is continuing this weekend. Minute by minute updates on twitter

Before we hit the studio, a few of us got together to take some shots of us in band like form with our great friend Carmymac. They're still in the airbrush phase (joke), but below are some 'out-takes'

Honour Before Glory play our only date of the summer at Harrogate Fringe Festival on Saturday 31st July. More information here






Soundtrack to this post: Dirty Projectors, Wild Nothing

Monday, June 14, 2010

World Unite


There's an exciting band out of Manchester at the minute called WU LYF

World Unite: Lucifer Youth Foundation

Not sure of much else about them, apart form that they sound great



Soundtrack to this post: Foals

Thursday, June 10, 2010

From Bon Iver to...


I've been stuck listen to some of the big indie albums of the last couple of months -
LCD Soundsystem, Foals, The National and Massive Attack - but a couple of other things have caught my eye - both offshoots of Bon Iver, and unsuprisingly on the amazing Jagjaguwar label

GAYNGS is a project from founded by Ryan Olson consisting of 23 musicians, including Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, Rhymesayers rapper P.O.S, and members of Solid Gold.
"With each song written at 69 BPM’s, and tripped-out transitions from song to song, it is truly an audio experience from start to finish"

Download GAYNGS - The Gaudy Side Of Town



SEAN CAREY is one of the brilliant percussionists for Bon Iver. In the past couple of years he patiently crafted a record in his time off from the band



Soundtrack to this post: Wolf Parade, Lone Wolf

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The World Cup




This time 4 years ago, I was about to spend the month travelling the globe, a road trip through Europe, hitting Paris, Berlin, Brussels and Amsterdam - then over to play 3 shows in America (New York, San Fransisco, LA), back to Berlin for a holiday, before heading off on what was probably Forward Russia's funnest tour with Youthmovies and The Scare

I'll always remember that time and the World Cup. I watched England vs Trinidad & Tobago midair over the Atlantic on a flight from New York to San Fransisco. I watched England vs Equador in a beer garden in Germany before playing a show to 5 people (including the brothers Foulger of Duels)

The defeat to Portugal was the strangest, that was watched in the departure lounge of East Midlands airport, a strange amend-um I headed on holiday to Berlin for a few days. We boarded the plan a Carragher took his first spot kick. No one really knew what had happened until we landed, but we everyone assumed we lost

In Berlin there were no games in the city, but Germany were playing Italy in the semi-finals - we watched the game in the fanzone in the Tiergarten infront of the Bradenburg Tor - part of an estimated crowd of 1 million people. Truely amazing

And we were pretty much on stage during the final at Oxygen Festival in Dublin. When we heard it was penalties we raced accross the site to see the final moments where everyone was crowded around a little TV set

This year, I'm immensely looking forward to watching as much of the World Cup at home with my friends, mostly I hope around the corner at Headingley Stadium, which boasts the largest outside screen in the UK.

Excitement has been increased and spurred on by a weekend recording again with Arthur Rigby & The Baskervylles talking almost non-stop football, football stickers and fantasy football. I make little apologies for the dominance the football will have on my twitter the next month.


Soundtrack to this post: Wu Lyf, Gayngs, Laura Marling

Thursday, June 3, 2010

James

Sorry for the lack of posting in recent weeks, I've been busy creating life:



I've still been busy working though - check out this track from Wingman
More soon...


Soundtrack to this post: Wolf Parade, Kill Keneda

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Live At Leeds - The Unconference



Over the last couple of weeks, I have been very busy helping to book and organise the industry event that will run alongside the Live At Leeds all dayer. The event is a collaboration between Futuresound (Live At Leeds promoter's) and Leeds Met University and is hosted at the latter's Old Broadcasting House on Friday 30th April

We've aimed to make the day informative and ripe for inquisition. It's mainly panel based, with each session hosting a wide range of experience and opinions on a given subject, with questions welcome every step of the way

Our 'main' guest is Sean Adams - founder of Drowned In Sound, who over the last 10 years has also run his own record label and is now a guest contributer to The Sunday Times Culture magazine

I'm also incredibly pleased of the wide range of local contributors we've assembled, with representatives from all over the local music spectrum. We've tried to make the event inclusive to all experienced organisations / business' as well, by offering space to showcase themselves at the event

Most importantly the event is about everyone in Leeds with an inquisitive nature of the music 'industry' - not just, or even primarily the mainstream industry, but the experience you can tap in to from the people involved

The Facebook event for the page, with updating information is here:

And you can download the latest version of the programme for the day here:
http://www.liveatleeds.com/LAL-Unconference-Programme.pdf


Soundtrack to this post: Blur

Friday, April 16, 2010

This Is Happening



The new LCD Soundsystem album is streaming on their website. It's brought me alive in a million different ways - I'm on my third play, and I'm taken aback with how accurate the hyperbole is


Released 17th May 2010 in the UK


Soundtrack to this post: LCD Soundsystem

Heligoland



Featuring guest appearences from Tunde Adebimpe, Dave Sitek, Hope Sandoval, Damon Albarn, Guy Garvey, Martina Topley-Bird and more.

For me, it's a step on from Mezzanine, and Pray For Rain and especially Paradise Circus are up their with anything they've done. Best album I've heard for a long time, and like last years' surprise discovery Royksopp's Junior - an unexpected treat



Soundtrack to this post: Woven Bones, Massive Attack

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Round-Up

As I've been MIA for a month or so, here's a round-up of some choice free downloads I've been enjoying:

NINA NASTASIA - You're A Holy Man



65 DAYS OF STATIC - Crash Tactics





ROLO TOMASSI - Party Wounds




SONS OF LEE MARVIN - Road To Audrey




VESSELS - An Idle Brain And The Devil's Workshop (Errors Remix)




GOLDHEART ASSEMBLY - Jesus Wheel




TIGERS THAT TALKED - Bracelet




and finally....

THE NATIONAL - Bloodbuzz Ohio




Soundtrack to this post: Fulham-Wolfsburg, Real Fur, Tony Castles

Monday, April 12, 2010

Four Lions

As previously mentioned, Chris Morris has a new film. It looks ace




Soundtrack to this post: I Like Trains

Friday, April 9, 2010

The ABC Club


The ABC Club released their debut single 'Thieving Magpie / Friend Of Mine" last month on Friends To Make & Do Records

Details are sketchy, but for the nepotistic, I produced AA / B-side Friend Of Mine. They're playing a single launch at The Well in Leeds tonight (Friday 9th April)

You can buy the single from Rough Trade Records here

More info on their Myspace - myspace.com/wearetheabcclub


Soundtrack to this post: Nina Nastasia, Peggy Sue, Fair Ohs

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Slight Return


It's been a while. I have excuses though.

I've been working on Honour Before Glory stuff - new songs, the live band and more. I've been busy recording as well, of which I'll post the fruits very soon

Wheels continue to roll, but I've lined up some new posts, I'll wheel out shortly

In the meantime, my Spotify playlist is still here - featuring new additions from people like Owen Pallett, Beth Jeans Houghton, Errors and more


Soundtrack to this post: Fulham - Wolfsburg

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Beautiful Reminder



Apologies for the lack of updates recently, blame normal life and everything. Although, that's not quite true, focusing a lot of my attention recently has been Honour Before Glory. Furiously demo-ing new song and preparing the band for live, I've also been trying to finish one new recording to share with you. And here it is:

Honour Before Glory - A Beautiful Reminder



Recorded and mixed by whiskas at House Of Mook, Leeds - February / March 2010
Additional vocals by Fran McCrossan



Soundtrack to this post: Woods, Picastro / Art: Erin Ward

Friday, February 12, 2010

Samuel & The Dragon


I'm really struggling to find time to right something coherent on this here blog, so here is a quick missive that addresses 2 points I'm trying to find to write something inteligent about.

#1 is some great bands for 2010

#2 is about how sick I'm getting of derivative bands, bands that seem to exist as a sound before substance

Samuel & The Dragon intrigue me greatly. In one respect they're stylization should be off putting, but musically, it seems brave and dark. Well, that's how "Diamonds On A Boat" sounds as that is the only song I've managed to hear. The moment of silence half way through gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.




They're supposed to be playing A Nation Of Shopkeepers tomorrow night (Sat 13th Feb), I look forward to seeing what else they've got



Soundtrack to this post: Massive Attack, Lawrence Arabia

Friday, February 5, 2010

Honour Before Glory - The Band



After months of planning and thinking, I'm finally in the throws of making Honour Before Glory a fully fledged band. I don't want to mislead, the crux of my music making will still be myself developing songs in a studio, but the ability to recreate these songs live was always an ambition of some sort.

Joining me wil be collaborators from the studio, like Simon Fogal (from I Like Trains), as well as some friends from previous lives. I'll post some updates on how we're going but initial steps are going very well.

For those expecting a return to touring and gigging akin to that in Forward, Russia, they would be very much mistaken. Because the band exists doesn't mean we'll be playing out all the time. It's for the special occasion, to be cherished when it occurs. We only have plans to play a handful of shows by the end of the year, if that

But I've waffled too much. We're playing our first gig in March - it's free - and here are the details:

FRIDAY 12th MARCH
Honour Before Glory + Fran Rodgers + Yanni Montoya
Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
7.30pm Doors / Free Entry


HONOUR BEFORE GLORY (¡Forward, Russia! / I Like Trains / Duels / Shut Your Eyes & You'll Burst Into Flames / Fran Rodgers / Normal Man and more)

Honour Before Glory is the solo project of whiskas (
¡Forward, Russia! / Dance To The Radio), the extension and fulfillment of songs that were written throughout his time in Forward Russia and beyond. After numerous false starts, Autumn 2009 saw the songs finally brought to life in the studio with the help from numerous friends (Simon & Dave from I Like Trains, Jon Duels, Fran ex-Shut Your Eyes.. and Fran Rodgers), and then released unto the world.

Growing interest in the songs and the project sparked whiskas to strip the songs back to their orginal form, playing a number of solo shows with Sunset Rubdown, Damien Jurado, as well as a tour in Germany. With an expanding repertoire and sonic ambition, 2010 sees new friends and old join whiskas for what will be the fully blown technicolour live experience. Gigs will be a rare and special event, so catch it when you can

"a great, naturally tentative and atmospheric piece of work. It’s like Bernard Sumner without the baggage or New Order’s Other Two, but with flowers in their hair." - Steve Lamacq, Going Deaf For A Living

"[Honour Before Glory]
vibrates and reverberates with fractured atmospherics digital and otherwise, at the core of which lies heartfelt, wracked songwriting that glows even as everything around it lifts into the stratosphere. M83 would be the closest reference point, but without the recently overbearing nostalgia angle or so much deference to MBVisms. Maybe Ride after a course of Spencer Krug records would be more accurate, so that you can't help feeling that were he from Toronto rather than Leeds Whiskas would have been corralled into Broken Social Scene long before now" -Sweeping The Nation

Download
Broken Bottles, Empty Hearts and watch Lions solo in Germany here:
http://honourbeforeglory.com


FRAN RODGERS

Born in 1982 to an English father and a French mother, Fran Rodgers was raised with her twin sister in an old mining town in Nottinghamshire. Hours spent listening to her parents’ records inspired a love of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and, later, the likes of Nick Drake, Nick Cave and Jeff Buckley. Following a move to Leeds in 2000 Fran discovered a passion for singing and, self-taught on the guitar, she began to write. Performing alone or with a little help from good friends Bruce Renshaw, Lins Wilson and Jim & Jon Foulger, she transports the listener into the fragile world she paints of love, loss and hope. She's a folk chanteuse basically

http://www.franrodgers.co.uk


YANNI MONTOYA (¡Forward, Russia / You Slut / Bella Cohen)

The true Forward, Russia legacy may be more prevalent in this Nottingham outfit. Since Forward, Russia's hiatus, Katie Russia has moved to Nottingham, DJing at local clubs and creating mind blowing artistic creations those familar with the FR merch stands will not be suprised by. Teaming up with friends and local scenesters, including members of You Slut and Bella Cohen, Yanni Montoya played their first gig in January supporting Future Of The Left. Reports are, they were awesome.

http://yannimontoya.blogspot.com



Soundtrack to this post: Wild Beasts, PJ Harvery & John Parish

Monday, January 25, 2010

Film 2010



I love films, but don't get to the cinema much, and don't get chance to watch too much at home either. A few things have prompted this post, which I hope is entertaining, if not concise

On Saturday night, I got out to see UP IN THE AIR, which I'm sure you've all read about. Anyway, it was great, full of fun, very very enjoyavble and with palatable awkwardness when needed



The real exciting thing though, is the premiere of Chris Morris' debut film FOUR LIONS at the Sundance Film Festival. It's a jihadist comedy, as if you would expect anything different. The Guardian has posted a clip, which features more than a couple laugh out loud moments - as well a commentary piece and review



And while we're at it, here's another of my favourite trailers discovered recently:




Soundtrack to this post: Owen Pallett / Final Fantasy

Friday, January 15, 2010

Albums Of The Decade

It's taken me a while to round up my thoughts, but spurred on by being asked my favourite British albums of the last decade - and thus realising all my favourites were not applicable. Here are some thoughts:



YANKEE HOTEL FOXTROT
Wilco (2002)


Never has an album encapsulated me from first listen as much as this. Again, the love is possibly heighetened by the "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart" documentary, but there are so many tunes that mean so much on this album



Listen to 'Yankee Hotel Foxtrot' on Spotify here


PLEASE BELIEVE IT
The Party Of Helicopters (2003)


Odd choice, but POH are simply the best live band I ever saw, and my love for this album is near unrivalled. Just ask anyone I subjected it to while on the road with Forward Russia.


THE TEXAS-JERUSALEM CROSSROADS
Lift To Experience (2001)


Such scope and vision, my heart lifts and sags with every crescendo and swell of Josh T Pearson's voice

THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE
Low (2001)


The perfect Low record. Which is pretty perfect really


THE MEADOWLANDS
The Wrens (2003)


Existing as if from nowhere, it's a mish-mash of indie slants that shouldn't works, yet does, better than you can imagine


YOU FORGOT IT IN PEOPLE
Broken Social Scene (2002)


A blueprint for pretty much every great band of the last x number of year. Pretty much. Unrivalled


MAGNOLIA ELECTRIC CO.
Songs: Ohia (2003)


Hard, but tips the Molina scale for me, if just for "Hold On Magnolia" and "John Henry Broke My Heart"


DESPERATE YOUTH, BLOOD THIRSTY BABES
Tv On The Radio (2004)



Again, how do you weigh up 3 TVOTR albums, but this album as a statement of intent


SET YOURSELF ON FIRE
Stars (2004)


The other side of the Broken Social Scene coin, a wistful explosion of sugar coated morose pop midget gems


Soundtrack to this post: M83

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Season's Change


Mr Sam Airey is very excited to announce the release of his debut EP 'Season's Change' on 1st March 2010.
I mentioned his of course, because the EP was recorded at House of Mook Studios, by myself - and a thoroughly enjoyable and successful experience it was too.

The record also features some friends of Sam's - Jim Morrow of Just Handshakes (drums), Hannah Wilson (backing vocals/additional keys), and Kieran O'Malley (fiddle).

Sam talks of the EP as "the culmination of what I have been working towards for the last year or so, and am very happy to be releasing it" - and it really is a fantastic collection of songs and I'm really pleased to have been involved in

The EP track-listing:

1. Oh (When It’s Gone)
2. Home
3. Stars
4. Row Upon Row
5. The Oak Tree


It will be available on CD at live shows, also from http://hideandseekrecords.bigcartel.com/ and from independent record stores

Check out a preview of the tracks on Sam's myspace page here:


Sam also plays my 'Friends Before Glory' night at Nation Of Shopkeepers, Leeds on Sunday 24th January. More details of that here


Soundtrack to this post: The Low Anthem, Low

Friday, January 8, 2010

Art & Culture


Last night I went to the opening of an art exhibition, and 'discovered' the great space it was housed in called 'The Bowery' in Headingley.

The Bowery is an "art gallery-cafe" and is a lovely little place I can imagine spending many a civilized afternoon relaxing with a coffee.

It features 'proper' gallery/exhibition space upstairs, with more works on display around the main cafe area downstairs, with various other artistic creations for sale (jewellry etc)

The exhibition currently on show features 4 artists - the Bowery website has yet to update details of it, but they are:

Charles Willcocks - Penitent
Laura Havenhand - Madelena
Sarah Garforth - Glimpses
Erin Ward - Light

Erin is a friend - the above painting is one of hers, and the rest of her stuff is well worth checking out on her website.
The Bowery exhibition runs until 9th April - the cafe runs regular courses and is open late-ish, so again, well worth looking at the website

ERIN WARD - WEBSITE

THE BOWERY, LEEDS - WEBSITE


Soundtrack to this post: Phoenix, The Knife, Bear Mask, Blue Roses

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Years' Revolutions



Happy New Year everybody. I hope you brought it in well. At the stroke of midnight, I was onstage at Leeds' Brudenell Social Club, emulating bagpipes with a melodica ripping out Auld Lang Syne, before kicking into a cover version of 'Party Hard' by Andrew WK (this time on the guitar). Fun times.

I'm looking forward to the new year, it should be a good one with lots of crazy and expected and unexpected things upcoming.

This is all good - looking back, 2 years ago this time felt like a mess, and I didn't know how things would pan out. A year ago, I'd managed to distract myself enough so as not to worry about it.

This year looks a fair bit healthier, though I'm still not exactly sure where the next bean is coming from. What to expect?

Honour Before Glory will get a bit more serious. There's a couple of 'solo' gigs upcoming while the band comes together, and we're gonna do our first gig in March. All the while recording lots of new songs, expect to hear some more before that gig, and hopefully we can release something more substantial before the end of the year

Other than that? Mook is being super at the minute, and we got some new gear over Chirstmas. So I/we continue to record bands as much as humanly possible and anyone who wants to get involved we're really quite open, so get in touch.. Hopefully, more of our exploits will be released over the next few months, starting with Sam Airey's EP - Seasons Change

Duels are holed up searching for direction on album III, and the Mi Mye album is done and should be released on Trash Aesthetics in the early part of the year. It sounds awesome. Jamie & Lee have done a fine job with it.

Other things are afoot as well, some not suitable for this here blog, but I'm sure they'll be revealed. Winky smiley face

And I can't ignore the Forward Russia question, which seems to have been primed a little towards the end of last year through articles like THIS. It seems a little impractical with Katie living in Nottingham. And we've all found other people to play with at the minute. For those of you who wish it, I'm afraid it just doesn't seem to be on the agenda at the minute (though I could be wrong?). And as ever, that doesn't mean it never will be

That was a little longer than I meant, but that, as they say, is the news - coming up next on Nyevsky Prospect!

Top 10 albums of the decade!
Bands for 2010!

x


Soundtrack to this post: Tilly & The Wall, The Unthanks