PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER
February - March 2009 Emmy the Great WOXY.com Tips for 09 Those Dancing Days Tiger / Goldfish Relationships
WELCOME TO OUR WORLD So this is the new year…ok so it’s February to you, but sitting with numb fingers on a chilly January afternoon (the ground is still frozen) PYT are definitely still musing on hopes, fears and resolutions for 09. It’s true that not everything’s looking up, but that’s exactly why there’s more need than ever to carry on with the things that make it worth getting out of bed in the morning. So far this year that has included vowing to buy more records (thus far this has entailed Animal Collective, The Miserable Rich, Lacrosse and The French Quarter) and watching Animal Collective tear apart Club Academy, complete with a 15 minute version of Fireworks. But what can you find inside these pages? 3. To your right you will see our brand new friend, Mike Taylor of WOXY.com. It’s great to have him on board, and he’s here to impart his knowledge of the US AltRadio scene.
The PYT Radio is Playing... Animal Collective, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, The Lovely Eggs, Glissando, The French Quarter, Fight Like Apes, Gossamer Albatross
myspace.com/pullyourselftogethermcr pullyourselftogethermcr.blogspot.com firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Is there anything to be excited about in 2009? Hell yeah! We’ll be giving you our view of the best the rest of the year has to offer, musically speaking at least. 6. Well who have we got here? Why it’s only Swedish indie-popsters Those Dancing Days! They’ll cheer the dampest of spirits with their tales of Belle and Seb love and ageing male fans. 8. As Valentine’s Day is on its way we felt we should get someone’s views on love and such. That someone is Emmy the Great, heaped with just enough cynicism for this faintly ridiculous occasion.
LETTERS FROM INDEPENDENT AMERICA We’ve got a new face here at PYT, that of Cincinnati radio station WOXY’s Program Director, Mr. Mike Taylor. To introduce himself, Mike offers a piece mourning the slow death of alternative radio, and its prospects for rebirth on the internet – to be enjoyed both sides of the pond, of course. The further death of commercial American radio occurred today. Los Angeles’ KDLD, known by one and all as ‘Indie 103’, announced that they were ending their FM broadcast immediately because “of changes in the radio industry and the way radio audiences are measured, stations in this market are being forced to play too much Britney, Puffy and alternative music that is neither new nor cutting edge. Due to these challenges, Indie 103.1 was recently faced with only one option: to play the corporate radio game. We have decided not to play that game any longer.” A favourite of Industry tastemakers in the States’ second largest market, Indie boasted a decidedly more freewheeling playlist than crosstown altrock behemoth KROQ, long considered the standard bearer of the US mainstream alternative format. They boasted an edgier sound with celebrity DJ-as-asecond-career presenters Steve Jones, Henry Rollins and Dave Navarro cast as seasoned renegades: been there/done that/got the tats proof that this was more true-to-you than the professional poseurs down the dial. Still, no matter how crafted their parting shot was, there’s no disguising the fact that even the best intentioned, most critically lauded playlist (while more left of centre than most in the format, it still doesn’t go
as far as some of the better non-commercial college or internet stations the US has to offer) won’t be able to survive in the chase of the mass appeal of the lowest common denominator. In short, they weren’t making the money they thought they should. Your privilege at a radio alternative is infinitely more secondary than their right to maximise profits, your music be damned. Literally. So where do listeners used to hearing a mix of a Radiohead album track, A Place To Bury Strangers, Morrissey, and The Mars Volta in a single sitting go? Quite likely, to the internet, where Indie plans to carry on after a short break. Never mind the entire staff got the axe today, they’ll think of something. But isn’t that where the exciting music is, and has been for years, anyway? My station, WOXY.com, was an early adapter to simulcasting our FM broadcast before transitioning to a solely online stream nearly 5 years ago. We’ve led a charmed existence since, continuing to operate under ownership with deep pockets and a lot of patience, with listeners around the world coming to us for our take on “the future of rock and roll”. Art for art’s sake often owes a great debt to benefactors who simply want to see something worthwhile succeed, and thank deity for that. WOXY’s original owner once proclaimed that debt was a great inhibitor of creativity and took pride in the fact that the station was “51% commerce and 49% art”. Somehow, despite intentions otherwise, I doubt Indie 103’s corporate owners share the same belief. Mike’s show is broadcast between 9am and 1pm UK time. Head to WOXY.com for live streaming to surprise and delight your lugholes.
RACE FOR THE PRIZE! (HOPES FOR 09)
Whilst pondering those far away days of 2008 we realised that, although great in some respects, there was something the year was sorely missing. Something that we plan to rectify in 2009. Back in the heady days of 2007 you could find us at many a gig, week in week out, as well as rooting in Piccadilly Records on too regular a basis, and that’s what needs to return. There may be an ‘economic downturn’ on, but surely that means we all need something to buoy our spirits. Here’s what we’re looking forward to in the coming months to achieve this end. Doves finally release album #4 Or at least they’d better bloomin’ well do! Could Doves follow in the footsteps of fellow Manchester stalwarts Elbow this year? The follow up to their last album Some Cities was originally slated for last year, so the smart money is on it appearing in 09. PYT are very excited about hearing what Jimi and the boys have been working on, even though what Dan really longs for is a Sub Sub revival. Emmy releases First Love It’s been three years since the release of Emmy’s debut single, Secret Circus, and we’ve heard that First Love is worth the wait. She has the prettiest, most venomous vocals around and we just can’t wait to get stuck into this. The Answering Machine get their act in gear Another one that’s been a while in the pipeline, The Answering Machine should get their chance to shine this year with the release of debut album Another City, Another Sorry on brand new label Heist or Hit Records. Cliffer, the first single to be lifted from said album, is out on 9th March and it’s one hell of a lot of raucous, shouty indie fun. All Tomorrow’s Parties The only problem being, which one?! If PYT’s pockets were a touch more full we’d love to be heading to Minehead’s Butlins two weeks in a row for ATP vs The Fans and ATP curated by The Breeders (and don’t forget ATP New York curated by The Flaming Lips. Jealous? Us?). The former should be full of the greatest bands you’ve never heard, coupled with the inimitable sounds of Spiritualized. The latter will be a ridiculous amount of fun, pogoing to Teenage Fanclub and swooning to Bon Iver. How’s a guy or gal to choose?! The Pains of Being Pure at Heart If we’re being straightforward, they’re Camera Obscura with balls. Playing My Bloody Valentine songs. If we’re trying to do them justice that wouldn’t be enough. Fun, feisty, noisy and thrashy but 100% perfectly formed, we’re very excited about the prospects of these New Yorkers (signed to Fortuna Pop! over here) in 09. Their self-titled album can be found from 9th February. -4-
Young British Artists One of our favourite new bands from Manchester at the moment, mixing just the right amount of cosmic rock and powerful pop in their music. With any luck 2009 will see them develop their songwriting and with some more accomplished recordings they could well be this year’s quiet surprise (see Spokes in 2008). The Lovely Eggs Undoubtedly one of our favourite new bands towards the end of 08, this year will hopefully see The Lovely Eggs build on the success of their last EP on the wonderful Cherryade Records. The Lovely Eggs craft fairly anarchic pop ditties with a seemingly carefree approach to everything which comes through as twinkly casio-based fun. A must see for the coming year. worriedaboutsatan This Leeds duo’s debut album should have been a highlight of last year, but it was delayed. However, when the reason for things being put on hold is that a record company calls you up and asks to throw money and attention behind the release you can hardly complain! It should sound huge, sparse and very, very dark. Best listened to in a cavernous church. Daniel Land and the Modern Painters Epic and brilliant. Daniel Land et al produce huge, unapologetic shoegaze. They sound like a logical progression from Slowdive, and have the support of electronic/shoegaze legend Ulrich Schnauss. They have already been honoured with The Guardian’s ‘New Band of the Day’ and have the potential to go much further over the next twelve months. -5-
Pains of Being Pure at Heart
IN WHICH PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER INTERROGATE THOSE DANCING DAYS
PYT were hugely excited to catch up with Cissi, drummer of the best Northern Soul pop band in Sweden right now, Those Dancing Days. She took time out to reflect on the year that the band released their debut album, and look forward to an exciting future.
Hello Those Dancing Days! Happy New Year! How are you doing? Hi! Very well thanks. We’ve had a bit of a holiday to recover from a hectic autumn. Now we are back with new strength! It’s fun with lots of Swedish awards and things happening right now. We think of you as pretty quintessentially Swedish, but who do you see as your main influences? We like each other’s music but we all listen to quite different bands and artists. That makes it a bit hard to find common influences; Shout Out Louds really inspired us especially in the beginning. Me, Rebecka and Lisa saw a concert with them in the summer of 2005 and it was amazing! We wanted to be exactly like them and started the band. We’ve heard rumours of you working with Stuart Murdoch, how good would that be?! I know! Belle and Sebastian have been one of my absolute favourite bands for so long and their music has meant so much to me so I was so happy when Stuart asked us if we wanted to do something with him. We met him in Glasgow on our last UK tour in December and we decided that we’ll make a song together! How do you feel about your speed of success in the UK? It’s fantastic that we have been able to tour that much around the UK. Especially because we’ve always heard it’s hard as a non-British band to break through there and since you have the best pop culture and history in the whole world. Have you experienced similar reactions around the world? We have played in most of the countries in Europe now and also in Japan. It’s very hard to imagine that people all over the world listen to our music. That’s a very surreal thought, because when we are in Sweden we live very ordinary lives while on the other hand when we are on tour and come to other countries people treat us like pop stars. What do you think about the relative lack of allfemale or predominantly female bands? It’s a pity that not more girls play music, but I think it’s coming more and more. Times are changing. There are lots of young girls in bands who come to our gigs and write to us to tell us that they get inspired by us. That’s the best compliment and I think it’s important to prove it’s possible to succeed as a band also as girls.
Can you recommend us some new music from Sweden? Karin Dreyer from The Knife has been working on a solo project called Fever Ray. I’ve only heard the first single but it sounded very good. I can also recommend some friends’ really good bands too. I really look forward to Taxi Taxi!’s debut album which should come out any time. We’re playing a gig with them in May in Sweden, which will be very fun. First Aid Kit are like Taxi Taxi!, also two young sisters from Stockholm. First Aid Kit just signed to Wichita which makes us label mates. Check it up! What plans do you have for the second album? We don’t want to plan how the next album will sound. We’ve just started to write some new songs, but it’s too soon to tell what turn our music is taking. It’s more fun to just play and see what comes up! How do you think it will compare to In Our Space Hero Suits? What I can see is that we all are much more secure in what we do. We know our instruments much better than when we made our first songs and have found our own style of playing, both individually and together as a band. The material for In Our Space Hero Suits was written over more than a year. We didn’t even have a record in mind when we wrote most of it. I think the next album will feel more kept together, and now we are more used to the process we’ll take a bigger part in recording and producing.
How do you find playing to British crowds? How do they compare to your native fans? You can tell that music is a common interest in Britain. It feels like the British are more observant when we play live and really listen to our music. It gets a bit more intense and hot than in Sweden. The biggest difference though is how you look compared to the Swedes. When we play at home all our fans are between twenty and thirty and all look the same in classic Swedish pop suits. In the UK the crowd is much more diverse which is much more interesting. We often have men in their fifties coming to watch us in The UK. That wouldn’t happen in Sweden. What does 2009 hold for Those Dancing Days? I’m very excited ‘cause it seems like it’s going to be a good year for us. Nothing is a hundred percent decided yet but it seems like we are going to do some more touring around Europe in spring and summer. There is even some talk about going to play in the US! That would be absolutely amazing. In the autumn we plan to focus on making the new album so we can release it in the beginning of next year hopefully.
In Our Space Hero Suits is out now on Wichita. The photograph on this page is © Craig Marchington
FIRST LOVE EMMY THE GREAT’S BLOODY VALENTINE Over recent years Emma Lee Moss, better known as Emmy The Great has been up and down the country, fast building a reputation as one of the most poignant British lyricists around. Given her penchant for penning ditties based on emotion and regret PYT couldn’t think of anyone better to consider the validity of Valentine’s Day with. “I have no real opinion on Valentine’s Day. I think that is something you will have to ask Wikipedia about. I’ve never been cross at anyone for forgetting it, I think people just need a reason to get drunk between Christmas and Easter. I think it’s fair to say we won’t be celebrating this year as we’ll be somewhere between Gloucester and Cheltenham.” Back in 2006 Emmy released her first single, the painfully beautiful Secret Circus. Since that point she has been something of an enigma in terms of recorded output, forever the artist who was surely releasing an album soon. Following a clutch of stand-alone singles 2009 sees the release of debut album First Love. Given the title of the record, can it be assumed that Emmy is a sentimental one when it comes to relationships? “The album is actually named after the book not the experience, but I don’t think I’m that sentimental. My boyfriend and I both forgot our anniversary this year, and he still owes me a Christmas present, but at least we still remember each other’s names.”
What about the lyrical themes of emotion and regret? “There is a really good song by the Good Gods called I Regret My Regrets, about regretting literally everything that you’ve done. I don’t think I’m like that but I’ve noticed that the moment I write songs I turn into Dr. Doom. All my songs are about losing something or remembering something that you haven’t got; I think I listened to too much emo when I was growing up. “I used to think irony was the cleverest thing in the world, that’s why I sang songs with lyrics like ‘I hate you, I hope that you die’ but I don’t sing them anymore and have since realised that it wasn’t irony that was clever, it was Ironic by Alanis Morrissette.” So perhaps Emmy’s view of the world has mellowed over the year she has been working towards this record. Though then again she recently admitted her lyrics still rile her male friends who see them as scathing attacks on all men. Emmy’s advice to the brokenhearted at this time of year? “Do not write an album as revenge on the other person and then get back together before it comes out.” Emmy The Great tours the UK over February, appearing at Manchester’s Ruby Lounge on 24th February. The album First Love is released on Close Harbour on the 9th February, followed by a single of the same name on the 23rd.
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THE LISTINGS Underachievers Please Try Harder 2nd Saturday and last Friday of the month – Saki
Up The Racket/Bring on the Dancing Horses present… 17th February – The Deaf Institute
Underachievers is one of those nights that just seems to creep into your consciousness over time. They created a quiet revolution over the course of 2008, and 2009 sees them stepping up to bi-monthly shenanigans at Saki. They aim to play all the things you never thought you’d hear on a night out. They treat requests as a challenge. They’re a must for your weekend, and now for your mid-week blues too with a Wednesday night residency also at Saki.
Proof that joining forces is very much a good thing. Not only have they got friend of PYT Mr Napoleon IIIrd on, but also falsetto wonders Wild Beasts and the poptastic Radio Luxembourg. That’s a lot of tip-top music for your money, in one of the best venues to have emerged in recent years.
Subversive Spaces From 7th February – Whitworth Art Gallery Tracing surrealism from historical artwork to modern visual culture this exhibition focuses on representations of space through domestic interiors and city streets. Go along to see the spaces in which you exist in a new light, and if you’re enthused then head along to the associated Dwelling, Walking, Falling conference on 13th/14th February to explore the social, political and psychoanalytical modes through which we encounter and interact with urban space. Common Knowledge Wed 4th + 18th February/March – Common Edge Street’s finest quiz is back back back with more bi-monthly fact and fiction based shenanigans, with the odd test of creativity thrown in for good measure. Since half of PYT won a quiz for the first time in years recently we’re feeling we need to crack on and win more so we’ll see you there!
Red Deer Club presents Woodpigeon,The Miserable Rich and The Winter Journey 24th February – The Deaf Institute The Miserable Rich were the first gig PYT went to in 09, and already we can’t wait to see them again, especially when combined with Calgary’s Woodpigeon. These Canadians are simply good for the soul, layer upon layer of folksy melodies and gentle strings. With song titles like Love in the Time of Hopscotch how could you possibly resist? WOTGODFORGOT presents Glissando 4th February – Retro Bar Manchester’s most interesting promoter presents one of the best bands you will see in a while. Glissando’s ambient meets classical meets postrock is a joy to listen to, switching easily from hauntingly beautiful to downright terrifying. Expect slowly shifting masterpieces, like Godspeed with a touch more sparkle, and an ace Death Cab cover to boot. Also make sure to check out Shooting Spires on 4th March, same promoter, same venue.
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FEB / MAR 09 Titus Andronicus 24th February - Night and Day
NanimeW 4th March – Green Room
Lofi punk meets shoegaze. Combine it with a Shakespeare play, mix in pop culture references and you have one of the most talked about new bands coming out of America, fresh from touring with Los Campesinos! stateside. We would suggest listening to the hype this time, this band are definitely worth keeping an eye on this year.
Anime is just one of those things that we at PYT wish we knew more about; it’s so easy to feel drawn into the style and the intricacies of it as an art form. The North West England Anime Group bring together fans of Japanese animation, graphic art and pop culture, and their monthly night of Japanese pop culture, art and music at Green Room looks like a lot of brightly coloured, noisy fun.
Jim Medway presents ‘The New Inn’ From 29th January – Common
Interspecies and Idol Chamber Until 22nd March – Cornerhouse
PYT favourite Jim returns to the walls of Common with his affectionate nod to all those rapidly disappearing pubs he’s been either too scared to go in, or too keen to go to where it’s more expensive but at least girls might be there. Expect horsebrasses, toby jugs, dead plants and peeling wallpaper. There will also be clichéd framed photographs of the area from 100 years ago as reworked by Jim, and on sale to you. Liam Frost’s Springtime Shakedown Weekly from 4th March – The Ruby Lounge
As it would be Darwin’s 200th birthday this year, the Cornerhouse is bringing you Interspecies, where a variety of artists are exploring and questioning man’s supposed right to superiority. There’s human/fish communication, sleep research with man and pig and other such bizarre but fascinating experiments. On top of that you’ve got Andrew George Magee’s Idol Chamber, featuring particularly creepy paintings and drawings of human/animal metamorphosis to signify our fall into decadence.
For quite a while now we’ve been wondering where Liam Frost had disappeared to – aside from travelling on the climate change ship – and we’re pleased as punch that he’s back. This four week residency sees Frosty back with full band and showcasing plenty of new material, and we’re sorely tempted to go to every show!
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PYT WILL SEE YOU NEXT TIME Front and back cover artwork this time round comes from the rather delightful Nikki Marie Jackson. We love her combination of cute animals and ever-so-slightly sadistic sense of humour, like the tiger you can see up there! You can find her at myspace.com/poochy and also in CHEAP Zine, a Manchester-based zine of local artwork. The striking, shadowy photo of Those Dancing Days was taken by Craig Marchington. Craig is in the process of finding his music photography feet, but if this shot is anything to go by we’ll be seeing more from him soon. Check out our blog soon for Craig’s photos of our
Christmas gig at Fuel, and if you want to know more about his work drop him a line on: email@example.com The shot of Emmy the Great complete with bunting and the tambourine on page 2 come courtesy of Kate Goodacre , who has diligently and beautifully recorded almost every gig she’s attended in recent years. To browse her extensive catalogue of photography go to: flickr.com/photos/katelass As per usual, if you like what you see you should really peruse teacakedesign.com These boys are ace.