Tuesday, 29 April 2008


Apologies for the blog's rather static status recently, launch party distractions and abject laziness are lethal in combination. No matter, as normal momentum now resumes: first, with news of ATP's venture across the pond. ATP NY, an ideological homecoming of sorts given the origins of the name, looks rather more mature than the legendary Butlins parties they throw over here. Gone are the fibreglass dinosaurs that watch you eat and two-man chuckle brothers bikes, in favour of Kutsher's Country Club, boasting 18 holes of golf in the Catskills Mountains. The line-up, headed by My Bloody Valentine, is decidedly adult too, including Tortoise, Polvo, Low, Thurston Moore, Shellac, Wooden Shjips, Autolux... A concise strand of American Psych/Prog, no doubt ideal for those Manhattan dwellers able to stump up the $300+ tickets and accommodation bill. However, given the state of things financially, you can probably do it for around £400, including a few days shopping and SoHoing. Here's Shellac from a decade ago, reminding us that however hard you try, post-rock itself is amusingly unmarketable:

MP3: Shellac - Didn't We Deserve a Look At You the Way You Really Are
via Motel De Moka

Pony 1 released, Pony 2 in the stalls..

Well, Showpony One is out and about. If you didn't get a copy at the [frankly wonderful] launch last week they are now available in Resident, and the Grand Parade shop. Check out the photos here, you really are an attractive bunch when you make the effort! More to follow, from a professional snapper no less. Not ones to rest on our laurels, issue two is planned to drop before the end of term. The theme is D.I.Y., and we're accepting submissions before May 13th. Get involved: everything considered.

Monday, 21 April 2008

/// Showpony Launch Party ///

Showpony launches tomorrow night at Heist! 8pm for mag launch, bands at 10, and dancing til the early hours. Tickets are £4 including a copy of the magazine, on sale in Grand Parade foyer tomorrow and pon the door too. Come see what we're really made of... Check us on facebook here to find out more and RSVP. Pony UP!

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Mewgatz @ The Sanctuary

I’m trying really hard to get into all this glitch-tronica. I’m pulling all my best entertained/deep-in-thought faces and buying what I think are all the right albums. But on closer inspection I think it might actually exist better as an abstract concept, or confined to the tastes of boys with thick rim glasses, than as a staple of my record collection.

Mewgatz, in the form I saw them, was a guy (sat down!) with various little instruments, toys (!) and pedals. I think he played guitar at one point. He sang very gently about dissatisfaction with artificial modern life (breaking new ground then) and being a bit of a moody bugger. There’s nothing wrong with that, but a bit of charisma never goes amiss. Some people might find him endearing, maybe even lovable. But personally I’ve got enough woes about my love affair with Microsoft windows without this guy chipping in.

Its sparseness felt more like an absence of some key ingredient (like chopped tomatoes?).

I would criticize the self-indulgence of only having one member (the other female counter-part was ill or mourning or the dog ate their key-tar or some other such made up excuse-unprofessional in my opinion) but I recently got into that new Crystal Castles album. Maybe that’s the problem; I feel saturated by pummeling electronica these days and unfortunately the minimal, disjointed tenderness of Mewgatz failed to make an impression on my fractured little mind.

For all their quirky instrumentation and happy-go-melancholy lyrics, I was just a bit bored. The whole audience was ultra quiet, and there was a cringe, rippling through the room like a Mexican wave when Ed (I’m not on first name terms, I just looked it up on MySpace) got out his fisher price spelling toys. I felt like I might be having more fun at home listening to Fourtet or musically masturbating myself on “garageband”.

Final verdict then: Good, not great. Nice venue though.

MP3: Mewgatz - Photocopy

OIB Records

Words: Jack Decie

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Camper than a Spiegeltent

Those not in 3rd year/ on roundabout routes through Brighton will be unaware of the Spiegeltent, a truly magnifi-tent (sorry) structure that jewelled Brighton Festival's crown for many years. Replaced in the last two by the ex-E4 upside-down cow thing, Udderbelly, we're proud of all involved to announce the Spiegel's return. It's a collapsible wooden tent with stained glass art-deco bar and an atmosphere that really doesn't compare to anything else. This year it'll be on the green outside St Peter's church, and amongst the usual prgramme of cabaret and folk is Hercules & Love Affair. Their super-hyped album release on DFA barely raised my eyebrow, but this could change things. The thought of seeing Anthony Heggarty (of he and his Jonsons fame) hip-swing through some smirky nu-disco while enjoying the second half of a bottle of merlot on a sticky May evening is supremely appealing. Listen to the song below, picture it... if it ain't working out you could always look out for Seth Lakeman, Los Albertos or Alice Russell gracing the creaky boudoir. Dates and details to follow.

MP3: Hercules & Love Affair - Hercules Theme

Full festival round-up nearer the time. Talking of which, Great Escape is soon, buy a ticket before the loan goes double figures.

Missing Inaction

Erk. Showpony blows a little, having failed to wield influence in getting Radar Bros. tickets. They may be indie shmindie of the Shins ilk, but song writing brilliance and a deft avoidance of cliche put them in a worthier bracket. Plus they are playing at the Marlborough Theatre, upstairs at Three and Ten on St James', the definition of tucked away and perfect for their cosy melodies. No time for tears; unless you've already got tickets you aren't going either, and if you are going, please please send the 'Pony some pictures/words after. Meantime, here's a mouthful off the last album Auditorium.

MP3: Radar Bros. - Warm Rising Sun


We're also late to these parties, though festivities are far from over: Firstly, White Denim, who narrowly got dropped from the SXSW post for being too well known. Tight times, and horribly unfair ones: their particular wave hasn't broken yet and we should all be there when it does. Rocking a breadth of influences as expansive as theirs is usually a turn-off, but they've made sloppy arhythmia, gravelly party vocals and sunkissed tie-dye melodies into a comprehensive turn-on. That's Hendrix-era tie-dye, not 90s glasto bucket-hat crusties. RIP them btw, not big Jay-z fans apparently. More likely they're just getting in their vans and heading somewhere European where the mud won't clog their mono-dread and the drugs are cheaper. Anyway. White Denim are from Austin TX, are 3 (men), and wear vests in a way that bisects irony. Listen to this and scan for the album, Workout Holiday, out June 23rd on Full Time Hobby:

MP3: White Denim - ShakeShakeShake

Another faction of the over-ripe glut are Man Man. Don't be scared if words like 'pirate' and 'gypsy' start poking out- they're just misunderstood, not dangerous. Gogol Bordello might have the Romany spotlight right now, but if their ragged swagger has run into novelty for you then here's a solution. This lot've been around for two albums already, and have both long term potential and immediate punch. They meld jaunty, fiddly merriment into something comfortingly recognisable, approaching the predictability of Wolf Parade for moments before jumping back aboard their rummy rock schooner. Album Rabbit Habits is out now on Anti-, and they play Cargo [<-- scroll down for tickets + details] on May 13th.

MP3: Man Man - Top Drawer


Thursday, 10 April 2008

WMC Miami? Meh.

Well, Miami happened, it's a global launchpad for the summer's big dance tunes. Yeah, exactly. There's better tunes to be found than those you'll hear coming out of some kids mobile on the bus come August, and there's a reassuring gap between them and the mainstream. In the hope of offering something interesting and a bit progressive in the face of dance music's rather tragic, slow-motion death scene, here's a mix of stuff that you might not otherwise hear. Glitchy bay-area hip hop, crispy bassline stuff and some dubstep pleasancy, optimistically rammed together. Most tunes were bought at Juno Download, with others coming from XLR8R's excellent MP3 section, and more from Curb Crawlers, an island of delights in the post-electro wasteland that is blogsville. Tracklist is below, obivously. Apparently some people like dancing aswell as chin stroking, so next week brings a mix from the gurnier side.

MP3 - High Horse Mix


Powell – Dimension X
Kelpe – Shipwreck Glue
Ooah – Stomp The Yard
Portishead – Machine Gun
Robert Logan – Grinder
Digital Filth – How It Is
Deadbeat – The Heckler
Justin Martin – The Fugitive
KiNK – Badman (The Bulgarian mix)
Secret Agent Gel – Booker
Sharps – Night Work
T + + - Allied
Ikonika – Please
Innerling – Intercom
Zomby – The Lie
Aaron Spectre – Music Is The Weapon
Modeselektor – Raveanthem (UPS edit)
King Tubby – Rock On Time Dub


Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Holy Fuck- Feedback

Holy Fuck know what they want, and how to get it. Eeking steady, driving drones from a rotating cast of electronics, they are a band with tight collective understanding. Every track starts nowhere and ends everywhere, with constant, meticulous growth. Nothing is wasted and nothing goes too far; predictable the cacophonous endings may be but never disappointing. It's no mean feat turning fully live electronics, especially with a human rhythm section, into something danceable and rigid. Too often the shifts from regularity can grate and kill the momentum; no such problems here, their organic synth jams and tight pulses driving a dense symphony. The use of multiple keyboards and sound generators stayed within the bounds of practicality, without turning into a gimmick. Only the appearance of a melodica, for some reason an "Alt band" staple at the moment, begged to differ. A 16mm film score editing machine took centre stage, an analogue soundtrack tape being pulled through it to make haunting, slow wails or sharp, jerky warbles. This typified the performance- mastery of machinery, for sound not show. If you get a chance, take it- they'll tweek a right party out of you.

PS- Video link to follow when I can extract it from my hard-ball playing camera. Click the photos above to make 'em big.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Efterklang / Holy Fuck, live and local

Efterklang are back in Brighton, hurrah! Most of their fans probably caught them when they played a couple of months ago, but the gig was delayed and then cut a little short on the night I'm told. This time the promoters have a super-special late opening from Pressure Point this Thursday, so no-one has to go home until they've completely had their fill of powerful Danish wonderment. Tickets were still going (just) yesterday at Resident, pop on down. It's a tenner but heh, the loan has to go somewhere. Support is rather cheekily from Our Broken Garden, comprised of Efterklang band members. The latest album Parades (available here) is emphaticly beautiful. Compared to American beauty merchants like Explosions In The Sky et.al. they have the advantage of a Scandinavian sensibility- less washy, epic guitars, more lump-in-throat clarity. If that weren't enough, get your ears round this, check out more on their download page, buy their stripped-back earlier EPs and watch this live video. Oh, and you can buy tickets here if you're quick, 10 left at time of writing.

Mp3: Efterklang - Cutting Ice To Snow

PS- Efterklang means 'reverb' in Danish. Bet you'll never find a time to bring that up.


Also in town are Holy Fuck, next Monday at Digital. All round super-promoters Lout are the first to scoop them, hats off. They're Canadianly reticent (no vocals, in a good way) and tread a nice line between experimental and 'proper band'. It's hard to describe the elements that make up their sound without making them sound like an over-egged disaster-toy samples, drum machines, large chords- this is very unfair on them, and perhaps a reason the press were a little luke-warm. Trust though, buy it, you'll listen to it loads, end of. Tickets available here, live clip here, song below, shake it all about..

MP3: Holy Fuck - Lovely Allen

All for now. Show Pony as in, like, the printed magazine and everything, is coming out real soon. This space is already blushing cos you're watching it so much...