PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER
Dec 2008 - Jan 2008 Mixtapes End of Year review Nat Johnson Allo, Darlinâ€™ Jam on Bread A Very Indie Christmas
A FESTIVE WELCOME The PYT Radio is Playing... Quasimodo, Los Campesinos!, Frederick Stanley Star, Captain Polaroid, The National (particularly Mr November), Talk Talk
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Ho ho ho! PYT have just returned from the sunnier climes of South America, climbing mountains and going to weddings, to find that the festive season has arrived. Naturally we’re fans of Christmas and the fun it brings, especially as we’re hosting our very own gig, Rockin’ Around the Christmas Twee, on the 8th December at Fuel!
6. Interviews coming to you in the shape of our rather wonderful Christmas Twee guests, Nat Johnson, Allo, Darlin’ and Jam on Bread. Great guys and gals all round.
But enough about us, and more about what you can find on the following pages…
Many thanks to all of you who headed to Common when Jamie Daggers stepped into the dj booth in our absence, and to Jamie himself for stepping up to the job! Thanks too to the bands who graced us with their presence at the Star and Garter, Napoleon IIIrd, Little My and Sir Yes Sir, as well as the bands we’re looking forward to working with at Fuel. Needless to say we’d be nowhere without anyone who’s leant a hand and the everyone who’s helped write, draw and design this zine for us, our Christmas wishes are with you! PYT xx
3. We wish you an Indie Christmas, with our very own mixtape (limited original copies available!) 4. What would an end of year round-up be without Vox Pops? We’ve been in touch with our bestest friends to hear their views on the year behind – has it been Two Thousand and Great?
8. Stop Making Sense are back with their own original take on mixtape sharing
HAVE YOURSELF A VERY INDIE CHRISTMAS! So this is Christmas… Are you sick of your bog-standard Christmas compilations, purchased in haste from petrol stations as that last minute stocking filler? Yup, us too. Personally I’ve been subjected to ‘Christmas with the Waverly Singers’ (yup, that’s a local choir. We don’t even know any of the choristers) one too many times. Indie kids of the world, rebel! You can do better! This is why we’ve been searching for a more, ahem, respectable take on tradition. So, here is the official Pull Yourself Together Indie Christmas Tape! Well, not actually the tape, the tracklisting. Oh, and please note that this is intended to be a C90 cassette tape, NOT a CDR. It does fit (just) and will be perfect in your car when you’re… driving home for Christmas! Side 1
The Polyphonic Spree – Happy Christmas (War is Over) Jens Lekman – The Cold Swedish Winter Pete Green – Everything’s Dead Pretty When It Snows The Arcade Fire – Chestnuts Roasting Bright Eyes – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen Badly Drawn Boy – Donna and Blitzen Noah and the Whale – To Cyril At Crunkmas Emmy the Great – Christmas in Prison The Cat’s Miaow – Do You Think It Will Snow Tonight Frightened Rabbit – It’s Christmas So We’ll Stop The Flaming Lips – Christmas at the Zoo Kurtis Blow – Christmas Rappin The Fall – (We Wish You) A Protein Christmas
Sufjan Stevens – Get Behind Me, Santa! The Wedding Present – Step Into Christmas Belle and Sebastian – Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto Eels – Christmas is Going to the Dogs Casiotone for the Painfully Alone – Cold White Christmas Erlend Oye – Last Christmas Arab Strap – Xmas (Baby, Please Come Home) Maps – Stay Another Day Yo La Tengo – It’s Christmas Time John Cale – Child’s Christmas In Wales Captain Polaroid – Wintertime Ending Hefner – Little Baby Hefner’s Xmas Song For Holland
MY YEAR IN LISTS As we put up our stockings and consider which way are meant to pass the port which only comes out at Christmas, it is time to reflect on 2008. How was it for you? Pull Yourself Together have asked some of our best friends exactly that, and here is what they had to say about the year in which Kellogs upset us all with their new ‘Credit Crunchies’ breakfast cereal*…
BEST NEW BAND OF 2008
FESTIVAL OF THE YEAR
Cath Manchester Music - Daniel Land & The Modern Painters... shoegaze heaven from Northenden. Stranger things have been known - but not many...
Richard High Voltage – Primavera Sound.
Elizabeth Allo, Darlin’ - Withered Hand from Edinburgh. I don’t know how new Dan is but he’s incredible, and his debut EP came out this year. Sean Drowned in Sound - Friendly Fires, they’ve become an addiction.
GIG OF THE YEAR Steve Jam on Bread - My Bloody Valentine at the Apollo. Or Explosions in the Sky’s ATP, if that counts as a gig. Dan PYT – As much as I have been to some great stuff this year, the obvious standout is Bjork at the Apollo. She is an utter genius, and completely captivating. Wanderlust into Hyperballad was awe-inspiring. Dunk Red Deer Club - Rolo Tomassi at Academy 3 supporting Blood Red Shoes. Kate Fugitive Motel – Laura Marling at Salford Sacred Trinity Church.
NEWS EVENT OF THE YEAR Steve JoB – That one where a man married a goat. Sean DiS - Ryan Adams writing an angry blog about me. Kate FM - Obama in the White House. What the hell else? Let’s hope he delivers real change – not just for the sake of America but for the sake of the wider world.
Cath MM - Sing Ye From The Hillsides - Tan Hill InnBritish Sea Power, iLiKETRAiNS, sheep, ducks, falconry and £200 worth of Chinese fireworks coming up the M6 in my mate’s car boot... Jim Medway - I’m too old for all that, but will be going to ComICA in London end of November. Stuart Indietracks - I’m just back from New England Popfest, it was super. It was in a small town out in the country, great bands, great people, loads of fun. Very relaxing, I actually felt like I was on holiday for the first time in a long time. Hannah PYT – This is actually incredibly tough. ATP at Minehead was an amazing experience (and not camping is rather nice indeed), but Indietracks just blew me away. It’s like they drilled into my brain to figure out my perfect festival and made it real.
MUSIC EVENT OF 2008 Richard HV - Elbow winning the Mercury Music Prize. Cath MM - The end of Maps’ set at Truck. James Chapman says it’ll be their last live gig of 2008, Ulrich Schnauss has joined them onstage along with an extra guitarist borrowed from The Tamborines, there’s five minutes of gorgeous swirling electro-psych-shoegaze noise... and then a pause, bassist Andy takes a step forward and the unmistakeable rolling bassline of Ride’s “Leave Them All Behind” kicks in and I spontaneously burst into tears... sublime beyond words. Elizabeth A,D - Hmm, tricky. So many great things - Eagleowl at their EP launch in Edinburgh were just incredible...oh but also the guys from British Sea Power have a Jonathan Richman covers band called The Modern Ovens, and they played one night at the End of the Road festival at around 2 in the morning. They were unbelievable...I know it’s not very cool to say a covers band was your highlight of the year but these guys were AMAZING! And I’d had a lot of aquavit by that stage...
FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS PRESSIE AS A KID
BEST CHRISTMAS SONG
Matt Esiotrot - Looking back on it, all of the jumpers, but at the time they weren’t as good as toys like Thundercats and Nintendo and stuff. I’m trying to get some jumpers that look like the ones I had, only bigger of course.
Steve JoB - Everything’s Dead Pretty When It Snows by Pete Green. Ahhh.
Stuart Indietracks - The one that started it all - my first Hornby train set when I was about six.
Dunk RDC - The Superimposers ‘Chasing Christmas’ Kate FM - You scumbag, you maggot, you cheap lousy faggot... McGowan and McColl – the finest of avantgarde folk fairytales. I can’t thank them enough.
Jim Medway - Car Transporter. I marveled at how vehicles are nice to each other
BEST THING TO GET IN A CHRISTMAS CRACKER
Elizabeth A,D - This headset that was a time machine that I got when I was 6. You put on the headphones and this voice came on and asked you to choose which voice he should speak in. And then he said “we are now going back to the Jurassic Age” and you went on a crazy tour with all the dinosaurs - all in your mind of course, but it was pretty amazing.
Kate FM - A proper crackly bit that makes a really loud snapping noise and maybe smells a little bit like gunpowder is always marvellous. Oh, and crackers which have real shiny trinkets that look a bit like Monopoly pieces in them, as opposed to their less enticing plastic cousins, are a bonus. Sean DiS - earplugs = escapism.
MOST IMPORTANT ITEM ON THE TABLE FOR CHRISTMAS DINNER
Dunk RDC - screwdriver set.
Stuart Indietracks - Christmas pudding. I spent last Christmas in the US, they don’t have Christmas pudding, Christmas cake or crackers there, so I’m staying in the UK this time! Jim Medway – Stuffing! Richard HV / Cath MM – Booze Sean DiS – Ketchup Elizabeth A,D - Vegetables! I don’t eat meat and as Christmas is generally one big meat fest, those veggies are pretty important Hannah PYT – Bread sauce (home made). It’s so often neglected, but it makes all the difference on those pigs in blankets!
Dan PYT – I know I probably shouldn’t say this out loud, but the sewing kits come in dead useful. When else do you get a sewing kit?
PLANS FOR NYE Steve JoB - I think I’ll be in Portsmouth with the girlfriend and her parents. Probably getting soundly beaten at Trivial Pursuit while her father realises that his daughter’s going out with a complete idiot. Dunk RDC – I’m trying to hide away this year, but it looks like I will be at Common, playing records and having fun, what’s that all about? Kate FM - Noah and the Whale playing at the last planned NYE party at Astoria 2 (so long and [sad] farewell) in London looks really tempting, but my heart tells me I really need to bring in the new one in my hometown, as is customary. *PYT would like to thank Mr Peter M Jones of Heist or Hit Records for this joke.
3 INTERVIEWS NAT JOHNSON Hopefully you’ll be aware of Monkey Swallows the Universe. If you’re not you should be, because the Sheffield troupe made beautifully affecting folk-pop with a truly breathtaking vocal. That vocal is Nat Johnson’s, now playing solo and melting the harshest icicles in an instant.
For those people who don’t know who you are, who are you? I used to be in Monkey Swallows the Universe but we broke up at the start of 2008. How is being a solo artist treating you? Do you miss the dynamics of being in a band full time? Half the time I’m playing solo but the other half I’m playing with a band again so I’m getting the best of both worlds. Playing solo was scary at first but I enjoy it now I’m used to it. It’s always more fun being on stage with a band though. Has your songwriting taken a different form as opposed to when in MSTU? Are you drawing on any influences which maybe you hadn’t touched on before? It’s hard to say. I haven’t really changed my methods of songwriting but it’s nice to be able to write some louder stuff!
Jam on Bread
Is the Sheffield music scene still on the up? Is everyone still trying to sound like the Monkeys or is the success of people like Richard Hawley encouraging people to craft more well thought out ideas? There’ll always be someone trying to be the Monkeys but that’s only a small part of it. There’s tons of stuff going on in Sheffield, as always! It’s a great city for music. Who are the best new acts you’ve seen/heard recently? Fight Like Apes are brilliant. I really liked Laura Marling at Green Man. And Caribou. Just discovered Lay Low, a girl from Iceland, too, she’s great. And Thomas Tantrum. What other things are you up to at the moment? Read any good books/watched good tv/films etc? I recently read Stephen Fry’s ‘Making History’ which I really enjoyed, and also Nabokov’s ‘Pale Fire’ which is excellent. I’ve been watching a lot of horror films. What are your hopes for 2009? Both personally and musically. Well I want to try and get an album finished and released for a start! myspace.com/judybeat -6-
JAM ON BREAD
PYT were lucky enough to be on a steam train with Allo, Darlin’ (aka Elizabeth and friends) back at the Indietracks festival, and we were instantly hooked. She’s charming, funny, sweet, sour, and has a fondness for Charlie Brown. Handily she also loves Christmas songs, sometimes of the cheesiest kind!
Steve has quietly been winning Manchester over for a while now with his heartfelt songs about Manatees, Swedish record labels and Jason Donavan. He’s a fan of the internet, beards and books.
For those who don’t know who you are, who are you?! I’m Elizabeth, and I play under the name Allo, Darlin’. I used to have a band called The Darlings but I was forced to change the name by a Californian pop punk band. Sometimes I play with friends, it just depends who’s available on that day. On record I play with a full band. Last time we saw you was at the tweepoplove-in that was Indietracks. That place was ace wasn’t it? What have you been up to since then?It was amazing, one of my favourite weekends since I moved to England. Or ever in fact. I’ve just come back from 6 weeks in Australia writing and recording my new EP. I’ve also been recording a couple of covers for different compilations that are coming out all over the place. In the true spirit of Christmas you are releasing a new EP. Are you a big Christmas fan? I do have a soft spot for special Christmas records, like the Beach Boys one, the Phil Spector one, the Low Christmas album. They’re always a little bit different, a little set apart. I wanted mine to be like that, so I’ve recorded it all on ukulele and just me playing. It’s very simple and lo-fi and imperfect, which is different for me, because I’m normally quite a perfectionist. I think it suits the mood of the songs though. What kind of things influence you when song writing? It always feels like there is an honest, natural sense of self in your lyrics.I wish I could say it was storytelling, but that wouldn’t be the truth really. Most of the time I’m writing from my own personal experience, sometimes a little too much so I think. Like my song Emily, I really wish that I hadn’t put her name in the song, because I think she found out about it and was embarrassed. That wasn’t my intention when I was writing it, I just didn’t think that anybody would ever hear it. What are you hopes for 2009? I’m very optimistic about the future. I’m so excited about the election of Obama, although I’m trying not to pin too many hopes on his election. It’s nice to feel that finally change is in the air, and I will allow myself to feel that excitement. In terms of music, I’m recording a new EP for WeePop which will be a 7 inch record, and then I think I’ll be ready to make an album straight after that. I’m pretty excited about everything. myspace.com/allodarlin
Hello Jam on Bread. Who are you then? Hiya! My name’s Steve and I make ‘ukulele pop,’ at least that’s what I say when I’m begging people to give me gigs. I’ve been going for about a year now and have been lucky enough to play gigs with musicians who are much better/more famous than I am, which is nice. Who are the people/bands that have influenced you and convinced you to write popsongs? Argh! Far too many to mention. Bands like The Middle Ones, The Deirdres, The Empty Set, The Shrieking Violets and songwriters like Pagan Wanderer Lu and Pete Green inspire me. They make me want to write pop songs just so I can get the chance to play gigs with them. I’d be happy if I was half as good as them on that list. Can the term ‘pop music’ ever be rescued from ‘chart music.’ Obviously chart music is popular with a lot of people, but surely pop is more like the Labrador stuff which we both love. Maybe there should be a distinction between Pop music and pop music. I’m not sure which one would be which, but I’m not a fan of capital letters so I reckon the good kind would be the all lower case ‘pop’. Yeah. One day I’d like to see pop music being Pop music too; have Suburban Kids With Biblical Names selling out the Apollo while The Enemy or some crap like that are playing at Dry Bar. Seeing that you are just as much a fan of the Internet as us, can you suggest some good blogs to be reading? I really like Vegan Yum Yum, it just has lots of recipes and stuff on it. It’s entertaining even if you can’t stand cooking ‘cos the photos are so nice. I’m making tofutti cream cheese tomato sauce with spaghetti tonight and it’ll look nothing like what it looks like on the internet, but still, yum! Music-wise I’d go for Death to Music, Skatterbrain, indie mp3. Probably some others I can’t think of right now. What are your plans for 2009? There’s supposed to be a 7” coming out at some point but it’s a bit up in the air at the moment. I’ll probably release it myself. DIY by default! I need to get round to recording it first though... I’m also in the middle of arranging a tour with Mat Riviere in February which’ll be nice. Mat Riviere’s ace. myspace.com/jamonbreadyay PS..To see the interviews in full with Nat, Allo, Darlin’ and Jam on Bread check out our blog over the next couple of weeks. There is lots more to read!
STOP MAKING SENSE COMMON MIXTAPE EXCHANGE PROGRAMME
In the spirit of all things fanzine-y and DIY Stop Making Sense are proud to announce the 1st Common Mixtape Exchange Programme. The concept is easy: we want you to send in your own homemade compilation or mix and we’ll send you someone else’s in return. It’s a great way to hear new music and if we like your choice of songs then we’ll invite you to DJ at Stop Making Sense.
Activity Mix. Music for driving to (The Eagles, Springsteen), running to (a la LCD Soundsystem and their Nike commissioned 45:33), dancing to (the list is endless), sleeping to (we’re thinking more Fleet Foxes than atmospheric sounds of the rainforest), loving to (White, Manilow et al)
Here’s what to do: First think about what songs will go on yr mixtape. (Note: We’ve used the word ‘mixtape’ despite the fact we really mean mix CD. The term has endured through various changing of the guards format wise. Plus it sounds way cooler. So please don’t send in cassettes. Our guess is that most people have no way of listening to them these days. It’s the digital age, embrace it!) There are various ways of doing this. We’ve listed some ideas below to get you started:
Geographical. Songs from Sweden, Montreal, Slovakia (probably best not to try that one), outer space and so on.
Go on a musical odyssey. Join up the dots between Neil Young and Tupac Shakur in twelve easy steps. Explore a genre. What selection best summarises early 90s riot grrl? What are the vital reference points of late 90’s 2-Step Garage? Or make yr own. Ever bemoaned the fact Pitchfork haven’t written a feature on laptop folk drone pop? Now’s your chance to shine. Yr top 10 favourite songs ever. The big one. Wear yr heart on yr sleeve. Go Conceptual. Ten songs about love, death, football, food, global warming, the colour red, Scotland etc etc.
Pick a year. 1975, 76, 77…2007. You get the idea. Make your end of year list.
Once you’ve decided on the songs, and the all important order, record the tracks on to a CDR. Feel free to spend as much or little time as you like on the cover. Any budding Vaughan Olivers out there? Go wild. If not a simple handwritten tracklisting will suffice. If you want to hear what the recipient thinks of your mix (or for us to contact you about DJing at Stop Making Sense) leave your email address too. If you live in Manchester then bring yr CD, along with a self addressed, stamped envelope in to Common and hand it in to one of the friendly bar staff. If you don’t live in Manchester then you can post your mix and envelope to COMMON MIXTAPE EXCHANGE, Common, 39-41 Edge Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M4 1HW Once we’ve received a decent amount of mixes (or the supply has dried up) we’ll select someone else’s mix at random and send it to you in the post. We look forward to hearing from you and yr mixes. For more information visit the SMS blog.
Winter Warmer Offer Three EP’s for £12
Two albums for £15
Albums include : Benjamin Wetherill, David A Jaycock, George Thomas and The Owls
EP’s include : By The Fireside, The Moulettes, Sara Lowes, Sophie’s Pigeons and Hepzibah Broom Purchase online via : www.myspace.com/reddeerclub -9-
DEC-JAN Reality Hack: Hidden Manchester 2nd December till May – Urbis
Common Knowledge | 3rd + 17th December (Christmas Special) - Common
Experimental photographer Andrew Paul Brooks exhibits a collection of his work documenting the generally unseen parts of the city. Given that we are huge fans of wandering around finding parts of Manchester we’ve not seen before this sounds great to us. Expect snatched images from closed doors and broken hoardings.
Your brain: if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. For the factually disinclined, the final round challenges your skill, strength, speed and maybe even your ability to paint an egg. Edge Street’s finest quiz means fun for most and prizes for all. Hosted by Paul Jones and Chris Higson. 8pm – Midnight
Very Cherry Christmas - Cherryade Records Christmas Party | 7th December – Kro Bar Cherryade Records are easily one of our favourite labels, they release mountains of very good tweeindiepop! Tonight sees them celebrating Christmas in the best way possible, with ace music. Cars Can Be Blue and Hotpants Romance are amongst the bands on show, alongside Rachael Cherryade playing her choice of Christmas tunes! PYT presents Rockin’ Around the Christmas Twee | 8th December – Fuel, Withington Oh yes, we’re still in the Christmas spirit. Come and join us in a tinsel-covered Fuel to sample the delightful sounds of Nat Johnson (exMonkey Swallows the Universe), Allo, Darlin’ and Jam on Bread. You’ll even get a mince pie if you’re lucky!
Herman Dune 13th December – The Deaf Institute It seems that the Herman Dunes are trying to take over the gig circuit at the moment. Exband member Andre Herman Dune played a show the same night as PYT at Common (gutted that we missed it!) and now the band roll into town to treat us to a smattering of their weirdindiefolkpop! Animal Collective 14th January – Club Academy The ever excellent Pineapple Folk bring one of PYT’s favourite bands to Manchester. Animal Collective make what can very loosely be termed as noiserock, but that doesn’t even scratch the surface of what you can expect. Having seen them at ATP in the summer we can promise you that they will put on one hell of a show!
Shake It! Shake It! Christmas Party featuring The Answering Machine and Dutch Uncles 12th December – Star + Garter They’re still pretty new kids on the block, but Shake It have amassed their fair share of loyalty, as proven by their ace line-up here. The Answering Machine should be playing plenty of new material from their recent album sessions, and Dutch Uncles will be fresh from touring Germany so there should be fun galore! - 10 -
NYE An Ace Party - Your House
Smile - Star + Garter
It’ll be a lot cheaper than going out, all you need is some grub, a selection of the finest booze you can buy between you (we recommend winter Pimms, ooh it’s tasty), the widest range of music your computer can offer and your bestest friends. Last year PYT were even treated to a fireworks display on the streets of Moss Side.
Always great, perhaps greater on NYE. Grab your friends and dance like a loon to those songs you drunkenly scribbled on the sheet of paper by the decks, you know it makes sense.
Revolver vs Up the Racket - Jabez Clegg
A technicoloured-twist on the black and white party. Quite simply they don’t care what you wear, as long as it’s only one colour from headto-toe. With Stop Making Sense DJs in charge of the stereo for the evening. 8pm - very late
Two of Manchester’s best loved club nights are clubbing together to combine 60s rock, pop & psychedelia with what’s hot from then til now. Tramp NYE Massacre - Night + Day 7 hours of the Tramp DJs playing the best electro and house music around. We are sure that there will be lots of stuff going on as one of the best known nights in town take over Night & Day.
United Colours of Common NYE/ 4th Birthday Party - Common
£12 adv / £8 members tickets from the bar, very limited (call into the bar or email invites@ aplacecalledcommon.co.uk)
The Warehouse Project Underneath Piccadilly Station The WHP rip up New Year with slots from The Japanese Popstars and Mylo. Whatever happened to Mylo, I really liked his first album…
- 11 -
PYT WILL SEE YOU IN 2009 Our festive front cover comes courtesy of Kris Kendal, who draws all things pretty, weird and wonderful. She has done work for bands and bars and all manner of places before, and we really love her cute-yet-terrifying style! You can find her at kriskendal.com. If any of you saw the poster for our Napoleon IIIrd gig (it was a very accomplished illustration of a typewriter with very manly hands!) it came from the pen of the ever excellent Tina Mole. She is contactable on firstname.lastname@example.org The great yet somewhat unnerving images inside the zine come from the pen of Simon Edgar Lord. Simon is an illustrator/writer/photographer/DJ from Manchester. You might have worked it out by now, but all the pictures are part of a jigsaw puzzle which makes up one big picky â€“ lets call it a Christmas pressie from us to you! His slightly surreal images make for great gig posters, check out his other work at simonedgarlordart.carbonmade.com This page, and indeed the design of the zine, comes courtesy of the fellas at Teacake Design. Once again we are delighted to be working with them, you should really check out their other work at teacakedesign.com.