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:

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

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.

Lift To Experience (2001)

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

Low (2001)

The perfect Low record. Which is pretty perfect really

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

Broken Social Scene (2002)

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

Songs: Ohia (2003)

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

Tv On The Radio (2004)

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

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 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



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!


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