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Everybody Loves A Christmas Single, Right?

Wrong.

Attempts at Christmas singles in recent years have done my nut in no end. There’s the “cheeky” ones like The Darkness or Lady Gaga. Then there’s the “absolutely no point” ones like Bo Selecta or Kelly and Ozzy Osbourne. The “fuck off and die” ones from Cliff Richard or Gary Jules. And the downright offensiveness of Ricky Tomlinson and Peter Kay deciding it’d be fun to try and raise a laugh with a comedy Christmas song. Put emphasis on the word TRY there. Finally, of course there’s the reality TV cash cow corporation and the likes of Joe “Shiny White Teeth” McElderry and the rest of those fucking X-Factor ghouls. Complete dicks, the lot of them.

Anyway,  i may be coming across as a Scrooge here. But i’m really not. I’m far from it. I DO enjoy Christmas. Very much in fact. I love spoiling people with presents and seeing their faces on Christmas Day when you KNOW they’re going to love what you’ve got them. And of course i do love a good festive feed. I mean what’s not to like about a good Christmas dinner with your annually drunken family?


Seriously though, whatever happened to a good old proper Christmas novelty single. I might just be being nostalgic here but i want another Mr Blobby.

I’d even rather listen to East 17 than some of the tripe that’s been dribbled out this past decade.  Actually “Stay Another Day” is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine if truth be told. Come on…..i was only 9 when it came out! The memories from then are untainted and happy. So much so that i still enjoy hearing those piano chords tinkle out of the stereo every Christmas day. That’s right even i get my cheese on at Christmas. And to be fair it was a proper Christmas single. It even had snow and big furry jackets in the video!

I remember getting stupidly excited back in 2007 when i found out Maps was recording a shoegaze style cover of it for Christmas.

MP3: Maps – Stay Another Day

He even showed a bit of festive comedy spirit when he posted the track for fans back then. If i remember it correctly it went like this….

This Song is my special Xmas gift to you inspired by taking 12 E’s and running myself over in my own car. Only an enormous puffer jacket prevented me from certain death. Mappy Xmas, James.”

So, what’s happening this year Christmas single wise? Well, to be honest i don’t really know. There’ll probably be the usual X-Factor attempt, there’ll be the Facebook campaigns for some “wacky” one or one to fight the power or Simon Cowell as he’s better known (more on that in a minute) and there’ll be Cliff fucking Richard no doubt.

Who gets my vote? Well, i tipped them for big things at the beginning of the year and they’re set to end 2010 with their very own little Christmas single. It’s Hurts. I don’t grudge them it. It may be kinda cringe worthy but it is so in a good East 17 kinda way if you like and not like all those “artists” i verbally slaughtered at the top of the post. Technically and lyrically it’s almost an anti-Christmas song actually. But i like it nonetheless.

So here’s to Hurts for Christmas Number 1. Or should that be New Year number one?

MP3: Hurts – All I Want For Christmas Is New Year’s Day

You can watch the video on YouTube. No embedding allowed sadly.

Oh and the Facebook campaign i mentioned earlier….i don’t usually get involved with those and probably won’t again either this year but this one made me laugh. Silently. To myself.

Cage Against The Machine


Ok, Christmas songs rant over.

S.I.T Wolf  X

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Shoegaze In Need

Every had anything stolen from you?… It sucks doesn’t it?


Well that’s exaxctly what happened to A Place To Bury Strangers in Rome last Friday night. They had there tour van stolen from outside the venue by some thieving bastard(s). Most of their gear/equipment was still in the venue at the time but nonetheless a lot of merchandise takings and personal belongings etc were in the van.

They posted this update on the matter on their Facebook page a few hours ago….

Looks like we had over 15K in merch money and belongings stolen from the van. Add in the cancelled shows, the excess van rental charges and we have been pummeled financially. We’ve set up a paypal donation link if any of you feel like helping us replace the belongings of our crew. We hesitate to do this but feel horrible about what happened to everyone’s things.

Here’s the link if anyone wants to help out..

A Place To Bury Strangers – Van Stolen donations

I couldn’t really afford to donate a lot at this time of year with Christmas on the horizon. But i donated what i could and if all the fans pull together and donate 5 or ten pounds/dollars each then a little money could end up going a long way.

APTBS are one of the hardest working/touring bands around and are a group of genuine, nice guys. Same goes for their friendly merchandise crew and roadies. I’ve had the pleasure of an amazing stoned conversation with one of the crew after a show in Glasgow. It’s a shame this has happened to all of them. Why couldn’t it have been Coldplay?

Please help out if you can.

S.I.T Wolf X

 

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God Is Nothing

Leading up to tonight i had a hard decision to make. You see there’s two very good shows on in Glasgow tonight. Make that three if you’re a Motorhead fan….

Wild Nothing is performing at The Arches and 10 minutes up the road at King Tuts God Is An Astronaut are playing. Decisions decisions….. I’ve seen them both before and both were amazing live so that didn’t make it any easier. What did make it easier though was the fact that i’ve been given free passes to Wild Nothing. My friend, who used to work in The Arches, has ensured that i’m on the guestlist with a +1. And i was assured of the passes a long time ago where-as i only found out God Is An Astronaut were playing like 7 or 8 weeks ago. So off to The Arches and a night with Jack Tatum and his gang it is for me. I’m sorry GIAA guys but in this current financial climate i need to take advantage of any freebies on the go! I promise i’ll come again next time! They were amazing at the Oran Mor earlier this year, visually they were inspiring and musically they were a sonic assault.


MP3: Wild Nothing – Take Me In


MP3: God Is An Astronaut – Fire Flies And Empty Skies

I actually have a slew of gigs to attend over the next two weeks. Including the likes of Ex Libras, Deftones, Gold Panda and many more. I’ll do a preview post on them during the week if i can.

S.I.T Wolf  X

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Hobbledehoy

I’ve been offline for about a week due to hangovers, work, sleep and other circumstances but i’ve finally got back to posting. It’s been a hectic week so this is just gonna be a short post. I checked my email inbox for the first time in ages and i had a nice little message from the guys at Civil Civic.

They want you/us/ me (their adoring public) to name their next single for them. How fun?! I love making shit up for songs/band names. I’m in my element here!

The following is taken from the bands site….

Every human being has, in their lifetime, come up with at least one AWESOME BAND NAME.  Seriously, you’ve done it, even if you didn’t realise or don’t remember.
Well now it’s time to put your dopey, killer band-name skillz to the ultimate test and NAME OUR NEXT SINGLE.

Yeah, you heard me. Get that bong fired up (or use technology) and blurt out some ridiculous/evocative/atmospheric word or phrase in the English language. Our distinguished panel (Aaron, Ben and The Box) will hand down their judgement and then it’s LOCKED!
That’s the name of our next SMASH HIT!*  Out on limited edition 7″ on Too Pure in December.
The winner, apart from concrete proof of their own RADNESS, will receive a signed copy of the 7″ and a life sized oil-on-canvas of AARON FIGHTING A VICIOUS PACK OF STRAY DOGS!**
Entries close next Monday 11th October.
You have one week, multiple entries encouraged!!!
email your names to mail@civilcivic.com with ‘title comp’ as the subject.
*subject to record sales.
**this is a bare faced lie. You will get a 7″ though, and eternal glory and bragging rights.

So there you have it, get those brain cells working on some strange amalgamations and help out Civil Civic.

I’ve already submitted a few entries myself.

Suggestions
———————————–

Hobbledehoy (thought this would work kinda in relation to their song “Fuck Youth”)

Gongoozler Sea Party (i heard someone mention that word and instantly wanted to know what it meant)

Freudian Slip (self explanatory really)

I realise these aren’t exactly imaginative but i’m gonna spend this afternoon coming up with more.

In the meantime, enjoy…

MP3: Civil Civic – Less Unless

S.I.T Wolf  X

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Welcome To The North

This will be my last post for a few days because as of tomorrow i’m off to Newcastle for the weekend. I’m due back in Glasgow at sometime on the Sunday night and then i’m off to see Maybeshewill play at Stereo this Monday night. So i’ve got a busy few days ahead.


I was due to go see Crocodiles play this Saturday in The Captains Rest. I bought my ticket ages ago, way before the Newcastle trip had been arranged. Obviously i won’t be able to make it now but fortunately i managed to find a taker for it. Chris is going in my place, he knows a few other folk going along anyway so he won’t have to do what i usually do when i go to The Captains Rest and stand on his lonesome! Seriously, out of the last 5 gigs i’ve went to in The Captains Rest i’ve had to go to 4 on my own! The only time i’ve had company there in the last few months was when Luisa came to see Wild Nothing play there with me. Wild Nothing co-incidentally are playing @ The Arches real soon. My ticket’s already sorted.

Anyway as i said Chris has taken my Crocodiles ticket. I’ve asked him to gimme a review of it and i might stick it up here. All depends on how drunk he gets!

Here’s some Crocodiles and Wild Nothing to get your teeth into….

When i come back from Newcastle on Sunday night it’ll be straight to bed so i’m fully fit and not tired for the Monday and the Maybeshewill gig. If their gig is even as half as good as the last time they played here in June (at The Admiral Bar) then it will be an amazing night.

Looks like i’ll be going to see Maybeshewill on my own as well. I’ve asked a few folk but so far there are no certainties. Even my flat mate can’t make it along cos he’s going to see Hurts play on Monday night. I hate when good gigs clash. I’d love to see Hurts live again but when it comes down to it my loyalties lie firmly in Maybeshewill’s camp. The gig venues aren’t far apart so i suppose at the very least we can grab a few pre and post gig drinks together. Fingers crossed i find a Maybeshewill gig companion though.

I’ll be back posting on Tuesday. I’ve got a lot of new music i want you to hear and a few cool ideas for posts and new sections i plan on introducing next month. I’ve also been meaning to get a review of the excellent new acoustic EP by Ex-Libra’s up. Cut(s) was released at the beginning of the month. It’s mind blowingly haunting. Full review will follow sometime next week.

I’ve posted this video before but i could watch and listen over and over and over and over………

Take it easy

S.I.T Wolf  X

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Imagine None Of This Is Real…..

First off apologies for the lack of any posts in the last week or so. I haven’t been anywhere near the computer since last Friday night. The lack of free time has been due to various reasons/happenings. Sleep deprivation being the main one. My insomnia seems to just come and go without warning. Some nights i could feel sleepy at half 10 and just conk out and sleep right through till the morning. Other nights i can’t sleep at all and worst of all some nights i get broken sleep. I hate that the most, there’s nothing worse than falling asleep at 3am and then waking up every 30 minutes or so and then going to work at 8am. I’ll need to look into something that can help me with this, if anybody has any ideas let me know. Right now i’ve just been using a little Spotify playlist that i made up, it’s been kinda working i suppose but more on that another day (i’ll post some tracks off it soon). Let’s talk about the weekend just past.

Before i start on the good stuff though, i caught heed of some bad news on Sunday night. I’d like to express my disbelief at the tragic events that took place at Pukkelpop festival in Belgium over the weekend where Charlie Haddon, lead singer of the London synth band Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, sadly took his own life. The full story and exact details don’t seem to have emerged yet but it seems that a crowd surf attempt from a member of the band went badly wrong, some say Haddon made the attempt whilst others have stated that Joe Hutchinson actually jumped into the crowd. Either way, the outcome is one of absolute shock. A girl was seriously injured in the botched stage dive and the members of Ou Est Le Swimming Pool were besides themselves with worry and grief. It’s believed they thought the girls injuries were so serious that she may be paralysed. Obviously there is no way any damage was intended by the band, it was just a dreadful accident. But the 3 band members apparently argued furiously backstage after their set and in the hours afterwards Haddon decided to take his own life. The really tragic thing is that the girl injured in the stage dive is expected to make a full recovery.


It’s such a loss of amazing talent for a band who were definitely on their way to something big. Their debut album was due out in October which they were then set to follow with their first UK headline tour.

My heart goes out to Charlie Haddons family and the band members. My thoughts and condolences are with you all.

The lyrics in this particular track are astonishingly eerie/haunting considering all things.

MP3: Ou Est Le Swimming Pool – Outside

The tracks that they are probably best known for are “Dance The Way I Feel” (featured in my Best of 2009 section if you wanna hear it, if you haven’t already) and “Jacksons Last Stand”.

R.I.P Charlie Haddon

Moving away from the sombre mood, i was out for Luisa’s birthday on Saturday night, it was a good night, a really good night. So good in fact that i spent the next day wallowing in my own self pity. Suffering from the hangover of all hangovers. Though to be fair i did manage to somehow make it through back home to visit my parents and sister. Although i imagine i wouldn’t have been much fun as i just moped around moaning about having a sore head and hairy teeth (dry mouth from too much alcohol for those unaware of that term) whilst constantly complaining about the adverts on TV being too loud. Yes, i’m a grumpy Sunday boy, especially if i’ve been out the night before.

Luisa’s 20th was marked in traditional Glasgow style…..drink as many shots as humanly possible and dance yer bum off. Which everyone did…..well, from what i can remember anyway.

Here’s the birthday girl being taken hostage by my right arm….


I absolutely love that expression! And the Cure t-shirt. Which reminds me. I want THIS

And here’s Luisa with her boyfriend/one of my best friends, Gordon/The G Man/Bubbles.


Take note of Gordons totally non ironic Tina Turner t-shirt. I really can’t give him too much verbal over it…..we both bought tshirts for 3 euros each in a bargain bin at ROCK AM in Germany a few years back, Tina was his pick…..what did i get?….a Michael Jackson (Dangerous Tour) one. My head is bowed right now. In shame. Fashion shame.

Here’s a few more links..

Luisa’s blog littlenihilist

Gordon’s band Damnable Contraption….let’s call it experimental art shall we? Songs about smelly genitalia. You have been warned!

As a little birthday extra (even though it is like 4 days late!) here’s a few of Luisa’s fave artists/tracks.

MP3: Death Cab For Cutie – Photobooth

MP3: Bright Eyes – Lua

MP3: Elliott Smith – Angeles

MP3: Jimmy Eat World – Sweetness

MP3: Bloody Beetroots – Domino

By the way Luisa, if you’re reading this, that last track is yet another hint at something we’ve spoke about since May………geez back my Bloody Beetroots t-shirt!

Also, not sure if you’re aware of this or not but you have the “privilege ” of this being Number 1 in the charts when you were born…..

Happy Birthday (again) Luisa xx 🙂

Lastly, i had to turn down a ticket for the Eels gig at the Glasgow Academy last night.

1. I’m running low on funds till payday, which is next Tuesday.
2. I was absolutely shattered (see top of post for insomnia explanation)
3. I was working till 7pm so it would’ve probably been a mad rush to get home and make it back in time for the gig.

Ah excuses, excuses!!


Don’t look so sad, i didn’t mean it, can you ever forgive me Mr Everett?!

MP3: Eels – Looking-Up

S.I.T WOLF  X

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What Might Have Been Lost….

A few months back  i randomly discovered a mash up of Bon Iver and Ellie Goulding. It’s different from most mash ups in that it’s not two different songs put together…..well kinda. It’s the original version of “Wolves Act I and II” by Bon Iver spliced together with the cover of the same song that Ellie Goulding did last year. I’ve let a few friends hear it and it seems to be quite popular so it’s about time i posted it.


I was a bit sceptical at first. I listened to both versions separately and then tried to imagine them together. To be honest i never thought it would come out anywhere near as perfect as it does when they’re matched up. I’m not Ellie Goulding’s biggest fan (i do like “Guns and Horses” though) but her vocals on the mash up version somehow bring an even more haunting dimension to the track. I mean i absolutely adore the original Bon Iver version and i prefer that to any cover or mash up but something about this particular combination of vocals is beautifully painful. Maybe they should get together and make a few albums a la Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan.

MP3: Bon Iver and Ellie Goulding – Wolves (Act I & II)

On the subject of Bon Iver, i think it’s about time i posted some of the remixes i have….

Most of his songs aren’t exactly ripe for remixing (i’ve tried and failed miserably) but there are a few folk out there who have made exceptional tracks.

MP3: Bon Iver – Re Stacks (Tomas Barfod Remix)

MP3: Bon Iver – Blood Bank (Skinny Freidmann Remix)

MP3: Bon Iver vs Aphex Twin – Woods Licker (Unknown Remix)

MP3: Bon Iver/El-P – Woods Blend (Phaseone Version)

And of course any excuse to get some Mark Lanegan and Isobel Campbell in…..


MP3: Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan – You Won’t Let Me Down Again

One more thing, i read earlier tonight that Kanye West has asked Justin Vernon to contribute to his new album which is due to drop sometime this winter. Another interesting combination to say the least. I know that Vernon has dabbled with hip hop and dare i say R’n’B before, on GAYNGS creepy yet sexy debut album “Relayted”, even taking to a spot of rapping on the albums final track “Last Prom On Earth” but Kanye is a whole different prospect. I hope it works out.

MP3: GAYNGS – The Last Prom On Earth

S.I.T Wolf X

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