The Jesus And Mary Chain-Psychocandy 25th Anniversary-Jim Reid Interview

The Jesus And Mary Chain -Psychocandy -Jim Reid Interview 2010

“Just Like Honey” –By The Jesus & Mary Chain.

How do you decide which is your favourite album, like, ever? What rules or tests apply? Is it really about the music or is it linked to a time in your life you’d dearly wish to revisit?  For me it’s a fairly straightforward question,  it’s quite simply the album that I have returned to again and  again, an album that is still able to console and inspire, and one which while transporting me back through time, still sounds as vibrant and relevant today as it did back in the 80’s. It is, to paraphrase Alan McGee, an album which unlike people, has never let me down and at the time was unlike anything I’d heard before.

Twenty five years ago Scottish brothers William And Jim Reid, the driving forces behind The Jesus And Mary Chain, released their  ground breaking full length debut Psychocandy, mixing beauty with brutality, melody with ear splitting guitar feedback, and gave us an album that is often cited  as a seminal moment in 1980’s indie guitar music.  It was unleashed at a time when the post punk promise of new wave had all but disappeared up its own arse by way of the fancy dress shop via the cosmetics counter and the only guitar music that existed was a rather fey, self indulgent, limp -wristed affair.   The Jesus And Mary Chain exploded onto the scene  and were quickly dubbed the new Sex Pistols by some parts of the puritanical press, fuelled in part by mischievous sound bites from their former manager and Creation records owner, Alan Mc Gee,  eg. “the audience were not smashing up the hall, they were smashing up pop music and “this is truly art as terrorism”. The comparison didn’t really fit musically but the Mary Chain certainly put the danger, the snarl and the fuck you attitude back into music, producing a raw and incendiary sound  which was light years away from the safe, preening  dandified narcissistic nonsense that was the New Romantic movement .

The music of The Jesus and Mary Chain has been a constant presence in my world since their first single and ‘Psychocandy’ is an album that never ceases to astonish me. It was and still is, a beautiful contradiction; light-years ahead of it’s time, yet heavily influenced by the past, visceral and savage yet on occasion surprisingly fragile. A rip roaring sonic soundclash that tore up the rule book and injected some much needed good old fashioned rock and roll rebellion into a sanitised music scene populated by the sort of squeaky clean singers your parents actually approved of.  There are still those who paint The Jesus and Mary Chain as sonic nihilists, nothing more than NME hyped hipsters, more style than content, a music journalist’s wet dream, and whilst people who subscribe to this view are of course entitled to their opinion, they are also quite clearly cretins. ‘Psychocandy’ proved that the Reid brothers  knew their musical history, that they lived and breathed  rock n’ roll but demonstrated that they were also savvy enough to recognise that it was a fluid, evolving beast often taking it’s inspiration from the past.  They were rabid consumers of pop music but didn’t deify it with pious reverence like some sort of prissy musical librarian; they took influences as diverse as the Ramones, The Beach Boys, The Shangri-las, The Velvets, Johnny Cash, The Stones, Bo-Diddley, The Stooges, The Supremes and fed them through their sonic blender to produce songs of soul shredding power and beauty.

Jim’s laconic vocals which could spit venom and tenderness in equal measure, combined with the  distorted, unhinged magnificence of William’s guitar work may have irked the prog rock purists, but this  was exactly the sort of  adrenaline fuelled musical explosion that makes rock n roll so thrilling and the Reid’s sonic enema was precisely what the soulless, constipated 80’s music scene needed. The Jesus And Mary Chain could be one of the greatest bands you’ve ever seen live, or one of the worst, depending on which gig you happened to catch but this was part of their edgy excitement, this truly was ‘event music’. They inspired so many bands and whilst their influence is still prevalent today it is the eternal conundrum as to why their musical legacy isn’t afforded the respect it undoubtedly deserves in some quarters. Whilst My Bloody Valentines legend (as good as they were) has been elevated by some slick, revisionist PR  to absurdly mythic proportions, it seemed that people had all but forgotten the Mary Chain’s body of work, which I would submit is far more enduring than MBV’s.   Former Mary Chain drummer and Primal Scream front man Bobby Gillespie addressed this issue recently saying “They were a great band and I don’t think they get enough credit just for being them, for being so good at what they do, and for inspiring the amount of people they inspired.”

If you don’t posses ‘Psychocandy’ then your record collection can never be considered truly complete. Beneath the crackle and distortion you’ll hear wonderful pop songs from a band that refused to compromise their musical vision or be pigeon-holed into any particular genre.  They may have dressed in black and wore shades, but were never really goth, they may have employed a wall of sound and kept their stage movements to a minimum but they weren’t really shoegaze, and maybe they were a little too ambitious to be considered truly indie by the snoberatti. Whatever the JAMC where, very few bands intuitively understand the true essence of ‘rock n roll’ as well as the Jesus and Mary Chain, it quite simply, was in their soul.

To celebrate ‘Psychocandy’s’ 25th Anniversary and the release of a new Jesus And Mary Chain compilation ‘Upside Down-The Best Of’ which also ties in with release of a documentary feature film `Upside Down: The Story Of Creation Records’ we spoke to Jim Reid and asked him to cast his mind back to 1985……

VP: Twenty five years on from the release of ‘Psychocandy’ and it’s still regarded as one of the most influential and important albums indie albums ever released. Obviously, as fans, we lack objectivity; we can only perceive ‘Psychocandy’ as a wonderful shining, snarling slice of pop rock perfection.  However most people, if they were to look back on something they had produced a quarter of a century ago, usually finds something that with the benefit of hindsight they would change. As your one half of the creative forces behind the LP, is there anything in terms of the music or production that you’d change?

JIM: We wanted to make changes to ‘Psychocandy’ within a matter of days after completion – it’s like that with any record you make, it can never be perfect, you always want to keep changing things and tinkering with it. You just have to kind of draw the line somewhere because this doesn’t really make it better – it just makes it different from what it would have been. Looking back on ‘Psychocandy’ now it’s a bit like looking at an old photograph of ourselves or something, it crystallizes exactly what we were about at that point in time, but of course we change, but the record doesn’t.

VP: You’ve mentioned in the past that the idea of employing feedback and distortion almost as accompanying instruments coupled  with Spectoresque melodies on ‘Psychocandy’was inspired by your love of the Shangri-Las and Einsturzende Neubauten.  Did it piss you off that many dismissed you as dour sonic nihilists and essentially missed what great pop songs you’d actually written?

JIM:  There were those that latched onto the feedback and then there were some that understood that there were songs, but very few people seemed to get it that we brought these two things together and this was really what it was all about, and that kind of pissed us off.

VP: How did you go about narrowing songs for the track list for ‘Psychocandy’, for example why was the actual track ‘Psycho candy’ omitted? Was it a difficult process or did it come together quite naturally?

JIM: I can’t really remember to be honest, I can remember the odd discussion I had with William about it – what should go on and what shouldn’t but generally I think it all kind of suggested itself quite naturally really, and I really cannot remember why the song ‘Psycho Candy’ didn’t make it onto the album.

VP: After the critical acclaim did you feel that the band were left in a “damned if  you do/damned if you don’t” situation after the LP’s release? If  you’d put out another LP of feedback and white noise you could have been slated for being one trick ponies with nothing new to  offer and yet some fans moaned that the majestic and moody “Darklands” wasn’t  “Psychocandy2 “ ?

JIM: Yes that’s exactly how it was after ‘Psychocandy’, I don’t know how it happened but there seemed to be a kind of backlash brewing, and we were of the opinion that whichever way we went would probably have been the wrong way. And after near nervous breakdowns we just thought ‘fuck it, let’s just make the record we want to make, and let people make of it what they will’.

VP: Again with the gift of hindsight do you think that you may have had another albums worth of material in the ‘Psychocandy’ vein? For example ‘Some Candy Talking’ and  ‘Walk and Crawl’  could be considered perfect bridging points between JAMC 85 and JAMC 87 ?

JIM:  Yes, I mean even if you look at all the b-sides at the ‘Psychocandy’ period and there were other songs we certainly could have made “Psychocandy 2′ if that’s we had wanted to do.

VP: What would you say are your favourite tracks from ‘Psychocandy’ ?

JIM: I can’t really think along those lines. It somehow seems a bit odd to talk in those terms about songs that we’ve made.

VP: Given that you’ve never been that keen on interviews did you find the whole PR side of the music industry a bit of a nightmare in the wake of ‘Psychocandy’s’ release?

JIM: I actually don’t mind doing interviews if I am talking to someone that seems to give a shit, or at least has done a reasonable amount of research. But I hated those press days where they were just wheeled in one ill prepared journalist after the other who would call me William and William, Jim. Yes that was a nightmare.

VP: ‘Psychocandy’s’ often cited by many fans as their favourite JAMC record, personally I’ve never been disappointed in any album you’ve released but which album would you say is your favourite and why ?

JIM: Again, bit like the earlier question really, but if you are putting a gun to my head I’ve always had a soft spot for ‘Honey’s Dead.’ Seems to be a little bit of everything on that record.

VP: You and also William have often said the Jesus and Mary Chain were a band who liked to shoot themselves in the foot, knowing what you know now about the oil that greases the machinery of the music bizz, what sort of things if any, would you have done differently ?

JIM: It’s not that we like to shoot ourselves in the foot, but it’s what we always seem to end up doing. We seem to have a knack for pissing people off, when we are genuinely trying to be friendly. I guess I am quite ill at ease in social situations, which goes someway to explaining why I got so heavily into drink, and I suppose drugs at this time, which is also the main reason we seemed to fuck up at every opportunity.

VP:   As is the trend in music these days bands have often got back together to tour the anniversary of a certain album,  Although you guys got back together in 2007 for a number of shows and festivals and for the Nick Sanderson tribute , were you not tempted to mark  ‘Psychocandy’s’ anniversary with some gigs? Will the brothers unite again for the sake of rock n roll?

JIM: As far as  ‘Psychocandy’ is concerned I wouldn’t rule it out, but the truth of the matter is it’s a very hard record to play live, Christ only knows how we managed to do it all those years ago, but we probably didn’t ! We were probably just so drunk that we thought we did.

Buy Pyschocandy here

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“Never Understand” By The Jesus & Mary Chain

Upside Down-The Story Of Creation Records Trailer

(featuring interviews with Jim, Bobby Gillespie and what appears to be Parker from Thunderbirds.)

Tracklist:

The Jesus and Mary Chain, Upside Down: The Best Of

DISC 1
1. “Just Like Honey”
2. “April Skies”
3. “Blues From A Gun”
4. “Far Gone And Out”
5. “Some Candy Talking”
6. “Come On”
7. “Head On”
8. “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”
9. “All Things Must Pass”
10. “Reverence”
11. “Sidewalking”
12. “Cracking Up”
13. “Upside Down”
14. “Never Understand”
15. “The Hardest Walk”
16. “Happy When It Rains”
17. “The Perfect Crime”
18. “Sometimes Always”
19. “Almost Gold”
20. “Darklands”
21. “45 RPM”
22. “Head”

DISC 2
1. “Half Way To Crazy”
2. “You Trip Me Up”
3. “Rollercoaster”
4. “Birthday”
5. “Happy Place”
6. “Something I Can’t Have”
7. “I Hate Rock ‘n’ Roll”
8. “Tower Of Song”
9. “Vegetable Man”
10. “In A Hole”
11. “Kill Surf City”
12. “33 1/3″
13. “Cherry Came Too”
14. “Between Planets”
15. “Moe Tucker”
16. “Little Stars”
17. “God Help Me”
18. “New York City”
19. “Nine Million Rainy Days”
20. “Drop”
21. “Black”
22. “Psychocandy”

The Jesus & Mary Chain - Jim Reid Interview 2010

Signed Pyschocandy

Jim Reid Myspace

William Reid Myspace

The Jesus & Mary Chain Last FM

Some Candy Talking JAMC Forum

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Really Legal-Free downloads plus new videos 14/09/2010s

Violens , Mojo Fury, Polly MacKey & The Pleasure Principle, Chapel Club, Wild Party, Caitlin Rose, Maps And Atlas, Alasdair Dinnewell and The 3D Glasses.

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Violens-Free Download

Violens

‘He Got The Girl’ By Violens.

New York’s Violens have announced details of their debut album. ‘Amoral’ will be released through Static Recital in late September. Ahead of the album dropping the band have unveiled a free download of ‘He Got The Girl’ (a Marine Girls cover) which is part of a summer mixtape that is available from their official website.  Violens have announced a string of headline UK dates for the end of September.

Violens upcoming UK dates:

Tues 28th – instore @ Rough Trade
Wednesday 29th September – The Lexington, London
Thursday 30th September – The Forum, Sheffield
Friday 1st October – Lost & Found @ Ruby Lounge, Manchester
Saturday 2nd October – Cockpit 3, Leeds

Tickets are available at www.violens.net

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Mojo Fury-New Single and Video

‘The Mann’
Out 4th October 2010 on Graphite

Having been locked away honing their musical craft in the farmhouses of Belfast, Mojo Fury are finally ready to unleash their brand of weird and wonderful alt-rock on planet earth.

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Polly Mackey & The Pleasure Principle – Higher

Debut single ‘Higher’ out 7th Nov 2010 on The Playground Records.

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Chapel Club – New Single and video -“All The Eastern Girls”

Here’s the video for Chapel Club’s single ‘All The Eastern Girls’-released on October 11th on A&M Records

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Wild Party -Debut Single

Wild Party -Debut Single Free Download

TAKE MY ADVICE/LIFE’S TOO SHORT

Friends vs Records

Released 25th October 2010

Here’s a free download of the B-Side ‘Lifes Too Short’

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Caitlin Rose – Shanghai Cigarettes – New video

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Maps And Atlas-new single

Emerging from the sweaty basement shows of Chicago’s rich underground scene, Maps & Atlases’ release their debut album, ‘Perch Patchwork’ – FatCat’s 100th album release – on 4th October.  The first single from the album is called ‘Solid Ground’  and here’s the video.

And here’s a free download of a track from the album called “The Charm”

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Alasdair Dinnewell and The 3D Glasses

‘Anna Gram’

You may have noticed this blog is rather keen on Girl Groups, but the lads can do retro too.  Alasdair Dinnewell and The 3D Glasses are a Leeds based 50’s throwback rock ‘n’ roll band. They describe  ‘Anna Gram’ (above) as  “more of a doo-woop number, opening with a 3 part vocal harmony (because the vocal harmony intro isn’t used enough in our opinion). This song tells the story of Anna Gram, a mixed up girl in a mixed world. ‘When she gets the look in her eye, though she laughs she means to cry’. ‘Hatred, doubt and silent screams, just another one of her dreams’. We’ve all known girls like Anna.”

They also have a song called Fascist Sue -which is apparently ” A moral tale documenting the dilemma many have had, is it ok to sleep with a really good looking fascist? Everytime the protagonist attempts to make his escape he’s drawn back in. ‘I should have stopped and got out of the door, but her hand on my leg made me want more’ – ‘I’d be more concerned about all the swastikas, if she wasn’t standing there wearing just her knickers’

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Right thats your lot for a week  as we’re off to New York

so……


The Like -’Release Me’

The Like -'Release Me' Review

“Release Me” By The Like.

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Some cynics may snipe that The Like’s return, replete with  Mary Quant makeover and a  sound that owes much to the girl-groups of the 60’s, is a desperate, slightly gimmicky way to reinvent yourself after a five year hiatus.  But the cynics obviously haven’t heard The Like’s second album ‘Release Me’ which is something of a triumph and shows the girls have both style and content.

Admittedly the news that Mark Ronson had been roped in to oversee production duties filled me with a deep sense of dread. I’ve always had a mental block when it comes to Ronson, both  as a producer and an artist and felt his rapid elevation to  ‘genius’ status to be somehwat premature, (I mean have you heard The Bike Song?’ Surely it’s the fabled lost Cbeebies theme tune written by The Wurzels? )  But on this occasion Ronson has shown a degree of restraint, the biggest shock being the complete lack of his seemingly obsessive love for ‘honking’ ersatz Motown horns! But the real star of this album is the strength of the songs which for most part are chock full of irresistible pop hooks  as the Like deftly update the girl group sound with some style.

The album starts off well enough with the satisfying revenge fuelled romp , ‘Wishing He Was Dead’ , and lyrics such as If I could kick his head in/  fickle little boyfriend/I’d be satisfied/If I could smack some sense into his senses/I might feel alright’ serve as a warning not to mess with chief songwriter, vocalist and guitarist Elizabeth ‘Z’ Berg.   The abum however doesn’t hit it’s stride until the title track “Release Me” which owes as much to Kirsty McColl’s ‘They Don’t Know’ as it does to Phil Spector or the Brill Building sound.  These songs are not simply sugary confections as the lyrics are often laced with no small amount of vituperation, The Like inhabit a world were men are cast as  duplicitous wastrels and often get whats coming to them. However the most biting  song  ‘Narcissus In A Red Dress’, a  dark song about betrayal, has a female protagonist,  “One minute she’s your best friend, then you watch her take your place” and may or may not be about the bands former bassist Charlotte Froom. 😉

Not everything works and although the album never overstays its welcome, at 12 tracks long it would possibly benefit from losing a track or two.  ‘Fair Game’ expends lots of energy  but  achieves very little  and ‘He’s Not A Boy’ strives for an early Blondie sound without ever really being wholly convincing  but such quibbles are rendered meaningless when they can produce such joyous tunes as the Motown infused ‘In The End’ which would no doubt have the ‘Anti Shake Your Tail Feather Collective’ surreptitiously shaking their tail feathers with gusto.

‘Release Me’ may well be  one of best pop albums of the year and fans of intelligent, well crafted, danceable pop  will surely be smitten with the tunes contained herein.  However one still has a nagging suspicion that if  say Richard Gottehrer had been at the helm to give this a slightly edgier, less polished vibe we might well be canonising ‘Release Me’ as a bona-fide classic.

8.5/10

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‘Wishing He Was Dead’ By The Like

The Like -Total makeover!


‘She Bangs The Drum’-Frankie Rose Interview

Frankie Rose And The Outs-Interview 2010

Original Pic by Lauren Bilanko.

“Girlfriend Island” By Frankie Rose And The Outs.

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Frankie Rose, if you were to believe the Brooklyn  rumour mill, was the queen of the scene that didn’t exist, the lady who has left more bands than you’ve had hot dinners and was the drummer who hated drumming. Her recent cover shoot for New York Press.com also caused a bit of an online rumpus on the Brooklyn Vegan blog, which Crystal Stilt Kyle Forester succinctly summed up thus ‘People love girls in bands but they also like writing lewd shit about them on Brooklyn Vegan -It is weird that the indie rock world is supposed to be politically progressive, but in terms of gender politics, it’s sort of like ‘Mad Men.” One thing’s for sure, there’s certainly never a dull moment in Frankie’s world at the moment!

A founding member of the Vivian Girls, drummer/vocalist with the Crystal Stilts as well as beating the skins for  Dum Dum Girls Frankie is now dancing to her own beat with her solo project “Frankie Rose And The Outs.” Forsaking the drums for the guitar and assuming lead vocal duties, her debut album establishes not only what a talented songwriter she is but also proves she’s no mean guitarist to boot. Whereas her previous bands output has often had minimal production, and in some cases sound like they may have been recorded in a tin bath . . at the bottom of a well . .  in an echo chamber . . on a C60 cassette (which is not a criticism by the way,) her debut album has a much cleaner, more rounded sound.  As you might expect her music still, on occasion invokes the spectre (or Spector J ) of 60’s girl group pop fused with a Mary Chain reverb fuzz. But what may take the listener by surprise is the celestial quality of the vocal harmonies which give the album an air of ethereal grandeur and demonstrates that Frankie’s musical vision is a bolder and more all encompassing affair than many may have anticipated.

The album skilfully crafts 60’s surf and shoegaze with the sort of ethereal vocal harmonies   that distinguished many artists on the  4AD label in the late 80’s/early 90’s. But then again maybe such wide ranging influences shouldn’t come as a surprise from an artist who says “To be honest, I like so much music that I never know what influences are going to come out. For me, song writing is more about evoking certain feelings than the lyrics or anything else. Hell, sometimes I don’t even know what the songs mean!” Ahead of the albums UK release on Memphis Industries in October, we spoke to Frankie.

VP: You’ve said in the past you’ve become famous for leaving bands. Would you say you have a fairly restless nature?

FRANKIE: Yeah, I would say so, I tend to do things until I tire of it, then for better or worse, I move on…

VP:  Your  own debut albums due out in October, you’ve said that you were never that interested in the so called ‘LoFi Scene’ and that it was more that you never had money to record in an actual studio.  Do you feel you’ve achieved the sound you were aiming for on this album ?

FRANKIE : I always Laugh when people say “the Lo- Fi Scene” really because I’m not so sure it ever actually existed. I’m fairly sure it was just a figment of 1 music journalist’s imagination.  But yes, I’m fairly happy with how the record sounds, I feel like I learned a lot and next time around , I can take
those lessons into consideration.

VP: Now that you’re out from behind the drums and centre stage do you enjoy being the main focus or is it still fairly nerve racking?

FRANKIE :   It is such a different experience! I still get stage fright; however, the payoff is so much better. I really love playing the guitar.

VP: How did you go about putting your own band together, did you have friends in mind who shared your own tastes or did you put the word out ?

FRANKIE : I have known Kate Margot and Caroline for years, I used to play with Caroline, and she in fact was almost Vivian Girls first bassist!- Fun Fact!
I made it a point to play with my good friends in this band…

VP:  Your sound seems to have a number of influences from surf to shoegaze , what sort of music were you listening to when you wrote the album ?

FRANKIE :  At the the time I think Spacemen 3 recurring was on repeat.   Also a whole lot of Cocteau Twins and some Kate Bush.

VP: ….And what was the first album you ever bought ( most people lie at this point 😉 )

FRANKIE :  I think it was Culture Club! But it might have been Guns and Roses!

VP:   Would you say there’s an overriding style that comes to the fore on the album ?

FRANKIE :  Well. There are defiantly harmonies throughout, I would like to say that it’s full sounding, but not muddy.

VP: Will you team up with some of your old friends again and get behind the drums again if the scenario came up in the future or have you consigned drumming to the past?

FRANKIE : Nope. I am done with the drums; I gave Kate Ryan (my drummer) my drum set!

VP: Over the years in your various bands what’s been your strangest experience?

FRANKIE :  Hmmm. Getting strip searched at the Swedish border on Crystal Stilts  tour was interesting !!


VP: Five words to sum up your album?

FRANKIE :  How about 3?

Moody

Lush

Earnest.

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Original Pics By Ben Pier & Lauren Bilanko

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LIVE at SXSW- Frankie Rose & The Outs

“You Can Make Me Feel Bad” by Frankie Rose & The Outs

“Are We Not Men?” – MEN Interview

MEN-Credit Card Babies -JD Samson interview 2010

“Credit Card Babies” By MEN ( (Stereogamous bath house version)

When you hear news of a musical collective whose mission is to produce music that seeks to address issues such as “wartime economics, sexual compromise and demanding liberties” you may be forgiven in this age of austerity for thinking ‘uh-oh’ this sounds like it might be a bit heavy , I’m off to take some mind bending drugs and bury my head in the sand ! ’ But such behaviour is one of many reasons why shitefests like  TV talent shows have managed to debase popular culture on a weekly basis.  We say hold your fire and keep an open mind because  JD Samson’s (of electro punk feminists Le Tigre ) latest musical project may well challenge any preconceptions you may have about a band that arrives with such a bold  statement of intent.  MEN’s début single ‘Credit Card Babies’ can be enjoyed on many levels-  but  it  could also well be  one of the most catchy and infectious dance tunes of the year, it certainly proves that entertainment can be fun and thought provoking.   True,  it’s lyrical content means it’s unlikely to be be shown too much love from day time radio.  And it’s doubtful MEN are going to be lad’s mag aficionado and all round cretin, Chris Moyles‘ favourite new band, but it’s also possibly more ‘pop’ sounding then many might of anticipated from JD and chums.

MEN was originally conceived in  2007 as a DJ/ remix  side project by JD with fellow Le Tigre  band mate Johanna Fateman.  When Johanna took some time off to have e a baby JD recruited Ginger Brooks Takahashi (LTTR) and Michael O’Neill (Ladybug Transistor) and MEN evolved into a band and art/performance cooperative that sought to showcase “the energy of live performance and radical potential of dance music” and as you might except, seek to challenge perceived societal ‘givens’.  We spoke to JD about MEN, being a role model and the future of Le Tigre.

VP: How did MEN evolve from a side project into a fully fledged band?

JD: Well I guess there was a moment when I realized I needed to kick it into gear if I wanted to work 24/7 on a project. So I asked my band mates to join me on the journey and they said yes –‘Lets do it.’

VP: What made you pick a name like MEN?

JD: It was a philosophy of living that Johanna Fateman suggested- ‘what would a man do?’ It’s about having the confidence as a woman to expect and demand what you deserve. We needed a name and it just so happened that on that day we were discussing this topic –Why can’t we be ‘MEN’? – We can be whatever we want,-  OK lets be ‘MEN’!

VP: Your debut single ‘Credit Card Babies’ certainly ticks all the boxes as a dance floor filler the lyrics seem to have confused some reviewers. What’s the actual idea behind the song?

JD: The song was written to provoke the conversation about how difficult it can be for gay people to have children. Whether it be adoption, sperm banks, or insemination, it is a decision, never an accident and never easy. I wanted to remind the rest of the world how it feels to wish you could just get the woman you love pregnant, once and the song also references some of the problems that come up when you realize that you may be bringing a child into difficult world.

VP: I’ve read that an albums pretty much been recorded, any ideas on when it may be released and can you reveal its title?

JD: Hopefully it will be out in January, fingers crossed. The name of the record is still up for discussion.

VP: Would you say MEN is more experimental than other bands you’ve all been in?

JD: I think MEN is more of a project where we aren’t really afraid., both of taking risks or of being too poppy. We just make stuff and we fall in love with it, that’s pretty much the end of it.

VP: As artists would you say that it’s still possible to shock and push boundaries? Who do you admire most in the music industry for their refusal to compromise?

JD: I love Peaches. I think she always stays true to her art and she is a real inspiration to me. She just is who she is and she fights for what she believes in. She has true confidence and I really support her in all that she does.

VP: You’ve been described as a gender provocateur; does it annoy you that some people focus on your image more than the music and the message?

JD: No I think I have put myself out there as a role model for a lot of people and made myself visible as a butch lesbian/ genderqueer and I am happy to be there for so many people. I get messages everyday about people that I have helped to come out, or helped to be who they want to be or whose minds I have opened and the truth is that I’m really happy that this was possible for the world. I love my music and a lot of people just like me for my music and don’t even know what I look like so I think its all equal in the end.

VP: Which artists past or present would you say MEN’s music has been particularly influenced by ?

JD: Talking Heads, Bush Tetras, the Presets,

VP: Will Le Tigre be back ?

JD : We won’t stop, that’s all I can say.

VP:  Five words to describe your sound?

JD:  Gay shredding at the club

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“Credit Card Babies” By MEN

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“Deceptacon” By Le Tigre

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Really Legal -New Mp3/ video- 4.09.2010

Seeräuber Jenny, Chapel Club, Angry Vs The Bear, Kurran and The Wolftones.

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Seeräuber Jenny.

As a blogger you get many expected treats in your email in box, threats of physical violence, offers of physical love (well not really) and alongside the ubiquitous Nigerian despots wishing to transfer  millions into your bank account, obviously plenty of music. Sometimes it’s great, sometimes it’s not and sometimes you come across a band that knock you sideways. This is exactly what happened when we were sent an email about  Seeräuber Jenny. Quite brilliant !  Check them out below.

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Chapel Club

Chapel Club FREE Mp3

Chapel  Club are set to release a new single  ‘All The Eastern Girls’ on  October  11th. They have made a remix of the track available as a free download, which is nice.

Interview here

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Angry Vs The Bear.

Angry Vs Bear NEW Single

The strangely named Angry Vs The Bear are to release a new single ‘Kill Me With Words & Pictures’ which you can listen to below. It’s a song that demonstrates that these guys have talent as huge as their hair (which is BIG) and have a singer in Mitzi Fox who voice is seductive  yet strident, powerful  yet tender. La Roux, listen and weep. 😉

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Kurran And The Wolfnotes

Kurran and his chums the Wolftones have made one of their favourite tracks “Here To Fill You In “ (above) available as a free download, ahead of their new single “Your Four Limbs”(video below.)  Kinda seems like there’s an altfolk Radiohead vibe going on here we reckon. And besides any song that contains the lyric “how I love to assist/ the burning rushes to your hips ” is ok with us !

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Something For The Weekend w/e 3/09/2010

Rose Elinor Dougall, Manic Street Preachers, Ten City Nation, Feldberg, Joe Stretch, Hurts, Jonny Cola & The A-Grades, The Pogues.

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Rose Elinor Dougall ‘Carry On’

With her debut album ‘Without Why’ getting positive reviews Rose has a new video for soon to be single (?) ‘Carry On’

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The Manic Street Preachers -‘ I’m Leaving You For Solitude’ Free Download

Ahead of their new albumPostcards From A Young Man The Manics offer a free non album download (above) and a new video ‘(It’s Not War) – Just The End Of Love’ (below). Set at a 70’s chess tournament and starring Michael Sheen and Anna Friel it’s a pretty splendid introduction to the new album .

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Ten City Nation

Less than a year on from the release of their critically-acclaimed second album ‘At The Still Point’, DIY champions Ten City Nation have announced details of a new double-A side single. ‘Hidden Shallows’/’The Air Is On Fire’ will be released in shops and online through R*E*P*E*A*T Records Monday 20th, September 2010

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Feldberg release debut single “Dreamin'” via iTunes

Icelanders Einar and Rosa started hanging out last year in Reykjavik. Their track ‘Dreamin’ has turned a few heads, both inside and outside their native Iceland.  It won an award Best Song at the 2010 Iceland Music Awards

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Jonny Cola And The A Grades- new video

Promo vid for The Party’s Over, taken from the forthcoming album ‘In Debt’

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Joe Stretch and Hurts collaborate on interactive novel exclusively for Spotify. Blimey And Anna Friel pops up again !

Joe Stretch (Performance/novelist) and Hurts have created a wonderfully unique experience on Spotify in which you get to play the protagonist.Narrated by actress Anna Friel, ‘Don’t Let Go’ is an interactive audio novel which utilises Spotify in a completely new and unexpected way. Each chapter of the novel has been published as a track on Spotify, and can be located by typing a unique code into the search field. After listening to each chapter of the story you’ll be offered a choice of what to do next, along with the unique code for each action. Your mission – should you choose to accept it – is to stop arch villain Guy Lockhart from distributing his heartbreak cocktail and condemning humankind forever to a loveless, empty existence.

As well as the audio novel  the synergy between the two bands continues as Performance will be supporting Hurts on their upcoming uk tour,dates.

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Retro Video

Seeing as the The Pogues have just announced their farewell tour….. a great, great band

Misty Morning Albert Bridge- The Pogues