Tonight i’m going here….
S.I.T Wolf X
….it’s 1am and you’ve got to get up for work at 6am yet you find yourself engrossed in a programme about building fucking pyramids. An hour of my life i may never get back. But at least i know how to build a pyramid now. That should come in handy in Maryhill.
Seriously, head on over to YouTube and watch the rest of the programme. Get involved.
MP3: Aereogramme – Egypt
Seeing as i’ve already wasted the last hour brushing up on my Egyptian Architecture & Structural Development classes i may as well waste another hour on this game……
VERY addictive. I’m at level 13 and i’m kinda stuck. It may have something to do with the green cloud that’s filling my head.
You won’t find those packing out the shelves of your local Tesco….
Randomly, if you don’t listen to Gold Panda then start….NOW.
Also, how hilarious is this picture? Don’t ask me why.
S.I.T Wolf X
Just been to two amazing gigs in two days.
Ex Libras @ The 13th Note on Sunday = breathtaking beautiful noise
65daysofstatic @ Oran Mor last night = louder than war
This will be my last post for a while (maybe like a week or so) cos today is the day i move into my new flat. As of 2pm today i’ll be the proud owner of a lovely new place in the West End of Glasgow.
The plan is we move all our stuff in today, unpack and get everything where we want it to be. Tomorrow we sort out all the necessities like bill payments, tv licence, internet connection (hopefully be back online within the week) and probably get a big shopping spree done.
And then it’s relaxation time.
Wish me luck.
I’ll try get some pictures of the new place up once we get it looking how we want it.
S.I.T Wolf X
Ps. I’ll get the mixtape up this weekend even if i have to do it at a friends house or something.
So this is the second part of my update. Basically it takes in Aberdeen and then The Unwinding Hours gig.
I don’t have much time tonight so a summary of the Aberdeen trip is as follows:-
Being stoned in a busy car park
A lot of walking
Listening to Limp Bizkit on the journey up to Aberdeen (just for nostalgia)
Shitty North Sound Radio on the way back down
Morgans Spiced Rum
Getting ID’d for cigarettes (“Do i look under 18? Do those glasses work?”)
Getting a new high score on Fall Down on my iPod
Being stoned and slightly paranoid in Subway
Getting stuck in rush hour traffic
Talking with Kurt Cobains spirit in a high street store
Lipstick marks on pint glasses….yuck
Early morning phone calls
Discussions on bizarre ways to die
Horrible take away food
Losing a hat
Losing money on quiz machines
Getting lost in nightclub toilets
Being eyeballed by a strange, drunk man
Talking to a kind policewoman
Being stoned in a supermarket (bad idea)
Attempting to decipher the Aberdeen accent
Lots of bottles of water
Almost spending £1oo on a new iPod dock
Almost losing my tickets for The Unwinding Hours gig
So here’s a few songs to sum up the trip….
MP3: Maps and Atlases – Songs for Ghosts to Haunt To
MP3: The Haunted – Shithead
Oh and one tune to sum up the story i told about a certain loony on a bus and his creepy crawlie fetish…….only some of you will know that story.
So in short story form:- Aberdeen – Welcome To The North
Myself, Luisa and Keane took a road trip up to Aberdeen to see our friend Emma. Keanes girlfriend Lisa also happens to stay in Aberdeen so she kindly allowed us to stay at her place and joined us on our adventures. The original plan was to go see Emma and take in the Ex Lovers gig at The Warehouse. Unfortunately i believe said gig was cancelled but we decided to go ahead with the trip anyway. We left on the Wednesday morning, got there about 5pm on the Wednesday afternoon. That night we spent a few hours in various pubs and then onto a club. On the Thursday, those of us who braved the hangover (not you Emma!) went for lunch/dinner and then took a wander around a few shops before heading to the bus station to see off Luisa. She had to head back down on the Thursday night to make her work on the Friday. I spent the Thursday night with Emma and Gemma. It was a rather enjoyable few hours of storytelling and discussions and then it was back to the flat and tucked up in bed (the floor and a sleeping bag) for midnight. We left for home about 3pm on the Friday but not after i’d had one last stroll about Aberdeen city centre. Keane dropped me off in Glasgow about 7pm on the Friday night and it was straight to The Unwinding Hours gig at Stereo for me………
5th March, The Unwinding Hours @ Stereo
This was a gig and night that didn’t exactly go to plan. But it turned out amazing in the end. The plan was: I come back from Aberdeen, meet my brother in law Gary in Glasgow, we grab a few beers then head to The Unwinding Hours gig. Everything was going well until we got just outside the venue. I’d met Gary on time, we’d grabbed a few beers. Then i made the mistake of offering him a smoke. He hadn’t smoked in ages. Months and months. He felt really sick, really quickly and after taking my advice he decided to head off on the train home. I was on my lonesome.
Strangely though i didn’t feel awkward at all. The music kept me company. The Unwinding Hours have that knack of making comforting sounds. The epic and constant ethereal feel of the songs is more than enough company for any mere human. They recorded their debut album as a duo but live they are aptly assisted by a few more musicians. They will eventually play the album in it’s entirety over the course of the night.
The lighting makes for a warm mood. The lyrics add a somewhat sombre feel. They almost threaten to bring the place to a hush with whispery vocals in some parts before letting the songs soar again. Craig B’s lungs soar along with the music and i can feel a shiver in my spine. I take a look around and i can practically see the hairs on everyone’s necks standing up. We’re all sharing in this dream like sequence of songs together. It’s cold outside and the rain is lashing, the wind is howling but in here, downstairs in this little venue the sounds of perfection are keeping us warm and happy. And then it’s wake up time, the gig’s over but not before some more witty banter from the shy but charming frontman.
After the gig i end up chatting to a friend of one of the support bands “Olympic Swimmers”. We discuss various bands, mainly Aereogramme (if you don’t know why, you shouldn’t be reading this post.) But we end up on the subject of “slacker” music and shoegaze. Dinosaur Jr and the likes. I think it’s because i brought up a band called “A Grave With No Name” into the conversation. Get them checked out, seriously amazing band. A mixture of pianos and guitars with the wooziness of a softer My Bloody Valentine tinged with the vacant yet emotion full lyrical feel of Dinosaur Jr. And they can do sludgey shoegaze at it’s best too, just check out the song “Silver” for proof. Anyways back to the conversation, the subject of the “slacker” genre almost ultimately leads to Pavement. Alongside Dino Jr, Pavement could be credited with being pioneers of that movement. Of course there are so many others but those two stick out. So when Pavement came up i jumped straight in, “Oh my friend Emma absolutely loves Pavement….” before going on a ten minute spiel about Emma and her Pavement adoration. During this ten minute period, another few people join in, one being a member of said band “Olympic Swimmers”. He happens to mention his band have contributed to a Pavement tribute album called “Show Me A Word That Rhymes With Pavement”. It’s a free download. Find it here…http://www.filthylittleangels.com/
I know the website sounds like some sort of porn site, i was sceptical when the dude first told me. But it is genuine!
Seriously though it’s an album worth getting, especially if you’re big on Pavement. I downloaded it as soon as i got home from the gig on the Friday night and sent it straight to Emma.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that the other support act for The Unwinding Hours, a band called “Holy Mountain” were very very good. And very loud. They reminded me of a two man Kyuss. You can find a free download of an EP on there MySpace page. http://www.myspace.com/mountainholy
So that was 3 very good Scottish bands in one night. Not bad for a night that looked set to be a downer.
And the band i was supposed to see while in Aberdeen…
MP3: Ex Lovers – You Forget So Easily
Oh and in other news, i’ve added to my PA System 🙂
MP3: Refused – New Noise
So that’s the update finished. And as a parting shot here’s some of ” A Grave With No Name”, just in case you couldn’t be bothered looking them up! I highly recommend the album “Mountain Debris”. The songs “Lavender” and “Silver” are my favourites but couldn’t find a video for either of them. I’ll post the actual tracks when i have time.
S.I.T Wolf X
Apologies for the complete lack of attention i’ve being giving to the blog recently. I’ve had a fairly busy and eventful couple of weeks since i last posted. I’ve been to 4 gigs and also took a road trip to Aberdeen for a few days. I’ve put in a lot of overtime at work. I’ve helped my sister move house. I’ve gained a nice PA System. Oh and i’ve slept a lot. Exciting stuff or what?
Ok let’s see….my last post was on the 22nd February so lets begin the update from the 23rd.
God Is An Astronaut @ Oran Mor
This gig was definitely one of the haziest i’ve ever been to. And i don’t just mean because of the smoke machines and lighting. Me and Simon somehow managed to work our way through an astronomical amount of our bag of weed. We didn’t touch one drop of alcohol all night. It was just weed, water, weed, water, weed. You get the picture. Some would maybe think that getting that stoned before and during a gig would maybe hinder or lessen the experience. Which is more than likely true in quite a few cases. But not God Is An Astronaut. It brings a whole new dimension to their music. I felt like i could almost see the music. Weird, yes? But i tend to find that with a lot of post-rock and instrumental bands. That type of music is one that heightens my aural and visual senses. It gives me visions, makes me see things, mainly colours but other things too. Just random stuff that i couldn’t describe. Not because i don’t want to but i simply don’t know how to. The band also had a screen behind them so that would have added to the visual side of things. Butterfly Explosion provided the support for God Is An Astronaut and they were the perfect build up. Two bands i’ve wanted to see live for years and here they both were together. Couldn’t ask for much more really.
Also, as a bonus (because i feel guilty about the lack of posting) here are some tracks by a few other bands i’ve really enjoyed seeing whilst under the influence of Dr Greenthumb.
MP3: Unkle – Lonely Soul
Errors @ The Grand Ole Opry
This was all set to be a strange night and if truth be told, one that i was a bit nervous/sceptical about. The Grand Ole Opry you see is a Western Themed venue. See for yourself….http://www.glasgowsgrandoleopry.co.uk/
It’s more famous for it’s live country music that takes centre stage every weekend. There are also “shootouts” (not real one’s of course…i hope) and Cowboy and Indian theme nights. And there’s no bar…..oh no, there’s a saloon instead. Nice. So as you can imagine i found it very strange yet somehow appealing that an electronic instrumental band such as Errors would choose such a venue. Could it work?
Yes it could and it did. It was a brilliant gig. One that will stay in the memory for a long time. The crowd were full of nice cheery faces, a mixture of the bearded muso types and trendy indie types and their girlfriends. The only gripe i would have was the amount of time it took to get served a drink. The venue has probably never been so busy before and you could almost see the panic written across the faces of the staff. You could see that the barmaids, sorry, Saloon staff (Saloonettes?) were every but as bemused by us as we were by them. The staff is made up of mainly people that are about 50+ so it was surprising to see them cheerily bop along to the Errors chimes and beats. The new song “Rumour In Africa” seemed a favourite. It was the fourth time i’d seen Errors and they seem to be progressing at an almost perfect rate. Each album or EP becoming more expansive and complex than the previous. As the band themselves said in a recent interview it’s hard to keep making instrumental music that remains interesting and not dull. I know from experience that that is very true but they just happen make it look so easy and effortless. After the gig me and Gustav got a free taxi back to the city centre. We spotted a taxi driver stuck in a rut, well a big puddle to be more precise and decided to help him out in his hour of need. He repayed us with a fare-less journey. Nice man. We then proceeded to enter a club in Glasgow, those few hours however are a blur of strange coloured shots and plastic pint glasses.
Japandroids @ King Tuts
Another great gig at the most reliable venue in Scotland. I don’t think i’ve ever left King Tuts disappointed. Ok, maybe once when my ex girlfriend happened to spill her blackcurrant and cider all over my freshly bought brand new Oceansize t-shirt but that’s all in the past. I’m over the t-shirt heartache.
The Japandroids seem to be getting a taste for this whole live headlining show malarky. They oozed charisma and charm on stage and had the crowd eating out the palms of their hands. They have anthems in waiting coming out of those amps and they’re finally just starting to truly embrace it. There was a lot of foot stomping from band and crowd alike. A lot of sweat (for once, not from me, i stayed up back this time). A lot of beer. And a lot of banter and sing-a-longs. The songs were making the crowd happy and in return the crowd’s reactions were making the Japandroids happy. Afterwards i took the option of a train home and a reasonably early night (1am) as i was up early the next morning.
Lisa moves house…..i’m hungover.
The sole reason i decided to head home after the Japandroids gig and not join my friends at a club was because i had to get up early to help my sister and her family move house. In hindsight i should probably just have stayed in the night before. I had no idea how much stuff they had in that little flat of theirs! I was anticipating beds, some furniture, a dozen or so bags of random stuff, tvs etc. The usual really. What we (me, Symey, Graham and my dad) were faced with was box upon box of things. Really heavy things. I have a lot of DVDs and CDs but my collection pales into comparison with Garys (my brother in law). He’s been collecting vinyl, cassettes, CDs, VHS, DVDs, boxsets, and all other sorts of memorabilia since his pre-teen days. He’s now coming up for 28. So work that out. That’s right, about 22 years worth of stuff squeezed into about fifty million boxes. And that was just for starters. That was before we started on the really heavy stuff. And that’s just what it was just stuff. I asked Lisa what was in these heavy boxes and bags. Her reply? “Just stuff“. “What kind of stuff?” i asked. “I have the right to know what i’m lugging up and down stairs all day!” Once more the reply came, “I told you John, it’s just stuff, so just get lifting!” That was me told. So after all the “stuff” was out the way it was the turn of the sofa and wardrobes. Followed closely by the beds and baby cot. We started the moving at 10am and were finished by 4pm. That’s a fine shift if you ask me. Especially when you consider the amount of stuff to be moved and also the “sensitive” mood i was in. A hard days work followed by a night in bed and The IT Crowd Boxset. Why do i find Jen from the IT Crowd so attractive? There’s just something about her. It might be the whole ordinary girl from next door look and her sense of humour.
“If you type google into google you will…break the internet”
Tomorrow or Thursday i’ll post the rest of the update which will predominantly be about the trip to Aberdeen.
Before i go though….i want to know exactly what it is that i’ve said/someone else has said/what i’ve seen in these pictures….
S.I.T Wolf X
Musical plagiarism or just influence?
This is a subject i’ve wanted to write about for a long time now but i’ve only just found the time to get down to it tonight. The song that made me decide to finally commit to this post was Owl City’s “Fireflies”. I heard it on the radio at work and although i find myself humming along to its undoubted catchiness i still can’t get the fact that he’s ripped off The Postal Service out my head. First time i heard it i actually thought it was a new Postal Service song. He even makes himself sound like Ben Gibbard through extensive autotuner and compression use. Yet i had to laugh when i read an interview with him in which he stated that he had only ever really heard a few Postal Service songs before and that they hadn’t really “caught his ear”.
Here’s the section:
“I’ve become more of a fan (of The Postal Service) having started Owl City, actually. I had some friends in high school that would have it playing in their cars and stuff. It was cool, but it never really caught my ear. It’s kind of ironic, looking back at it, because a lot of people do relate the two projects. I can totally see it now, but I didn’t really then, for what it’s worth.”
Hmmm…..sorry Owl City but i get a pungent waft of bullshit when i read that.
VIDEO: Owl City – Fireflies
VIDEO: The Postal Service – Such Great Heights
But i’m not picking on or singling out Adam Young for being influenced by The Postal Service. All i’m saying, all i’m asking is how does it come across? Is it plagiarism or coincidental influence/inspiration?
Some of my favourite bands have been hugely influenced by others to the point of almost sounding like them so i’m not saying it’s a bad thing, don’t get the wrong idea. Interpol clearly listened to Joy Divison. A Place To Bury Strangers obviously owned some My Bloody Valentine records. Josh Homme grew up with Black Sabbath and Black Flag. Boards of Canada have heard Brian Eno. I could go on. Put it this way if there was no Jesus and Mary Chain there’d be no BRMC and if it wasn’t for The Cramps or The Birthday Party i’d imagine Eighties Matchbox would sound a bit different. So it is a GOOD thing to be influenced.
Without a shadow of a doubt one of the hardest things to do in music is create a truly original sound. There’s that much music around that it’s nearly impossible to create a song that cannot be compared to another band or another song. Personally i feel that bands are now labelled as “the new insert famous band name here” too much, there’s nothing wrong with comparisons but it get’s a bit boring when every week some new band are being labelled as the new Sex Pistols, the new Oasis, the new Green Day or the new Babylon Zoo. Ok, forget that last one. In fact forget them all, i’m not a fan of any of the bands i mentioned, they’re just the first famous-ish ones that popped up. I have in fact been guilty of labelling bands once or twice myself to be honest. On this very blog actually, i believe i said Japandroids could be the new Death From Above 1979 but i did state that i also don’t like labelling bands.
“….Make no mistake, these guys have the potential to be the new Death From Above 1979. Although to be honest i don’t like comparing bands to each other, it’s not fair on either so instead i’ll just say the Japandroids sound like they might be influenced by DFA and it’s a badge they seem to wear with pride.”
But that’s going slightly off subject. This is about the plagiarism/influence debate not labelling bands. So back to it, here’s a few examples of apparent plagiarism. Some are obvious, some are slightly similar.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs vs Love and Rockets
The Accused: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Gold Lion
The Original: Love and Rockets – No New Tale To Tell
Hockey vs anything by Tom Petty (this was a suggestion by Emma)
The Accused: Hockey – Song Away
The Original: Tom Petty in general
Elastica vs Wire
The Accused: Elastica – Connection
The Original: Wire – Three Girl Rhumba
Green Day vs The Kinks
The Accused: Green Day – Warning
The Original: The Kinks – Picturebook
Nirvana vs Killing Joke vs The Damned
The Accused: Nirvana – Come As You Are
The Other Accused: Killing Joke – Eighties
The Original: The Damned – Life Goes On
Couldn’t find an embeddable (is that a word Kempy?) video for this one so here’s the MP3
So it can be everything from drum beats to chord progression and rhythms to vocal delivery, it’s more or less all been done before by someone somewhere. That’s not to say there’s nothing original left but it is does make for a good debate on similarity, comparisons and the old age debate of a blatant rip off. And what does it tell us about music today? Has it really all been done? Or is that unknown chord still out there waiting to be found?
I mean, bands take influences on board, of course they do. If you grow up listening to certain music and then you yourself begin to play music, of course you’re going to have taken something from the music you love. The chances are that the band you love and are influenced by have themselves been influenced by someone else. It’s an endless line of influence, a knock on effect, a domino effect, musical dominoes if you like.
I only discovered about three years ago that what i thought was part of one of the best Queens of the Stone Age drum intros ever is in fact copied straight from a Black Flag song. One of the opening drum segments of “Song For The Dead” and the intro to “Slip It In” are pretty much identical. Queens of the Stone Age actually came out and stated that the intro to “Song For The Dead” is in fact an homage to Black Flag. All together now….Awwwww, bless.
I, myself have questioned what i come up with when writing tracks or making music. I constantly find that i tell myself “oh you can’t have that at the breakdown bit, it sounds too much like QOTSA” or “you can’t use that intro, it sounds like a Mogwai rip off”. Just the other week i wrote a song that i thought sounded too much like something Boards of Canada would compose, i kept it in mind anyway and called it “Bored Of Canada”. It sounds a little bit like this one by the reclusive legends…
So the whole thing i’m getting it here with this post is..
When does influence become plagiarism? Or does it all? Is it mere coincidence?
It’s a subject that is and always will be open to debate.
Also, feel free to leave any other songs you believe to be plagiarised. I’d like to here what others think.
S.I.T Wolf X