Los Campesinos!, Art Brut, Untied States, Threatmantics, Colourmusic - End Of Year Interviews 2009
Owain Paciuszko 04/01/2010
In a jumbled and probably epicly long attempt to get some insight into how 2009 has been for many of the musicians and artists I like, find out what music has stood out for them and what their hopes, dreams and predictions for the year to come are, I sent out those exact questions to musicians and artists I like. Here are the responses lazily presented in alphabetical order:
2009 has been great for us. We played Glastonbury on the Second Stage, had sold out residencies across the US and released a record with Frank Black. Couldn't really have gone any better...
We've all discovered some great music this year. Bands like Official Secrets Act, Baddies and Surfer Blood are the stand outs. Surfer Blood are over from the US in February. I feel a storm is brewing.
2010 still seems a long way away. We don't really plan ahead that much. Hopefully new album, new tours, new festival, new booze... The usual. Can't wait.
2009 has been an exciting year for me, at least the last couple of months have been. After however long of delays and setbacks, I started my label, Audio Antihero, and finally got to share some of the records I love with friends and strangers. Getting the albums into stores, seeing the press and hearing back from people who've bought our records has been really, really lovely too. Probably the strangest thing about 2009 is that people are asking me what I thought about it!
Although this year I've been about as 'up' on new music as I ever have been, I've become more lost in the '90s than ever before. It was a good year for “Bleach” to turn twenty, as I've been getting ever deeper into the Seattle/Sub Pop/Grunge thing. I'm entering 2010 with a sack full of records by Tad, Skin Yard, Malfunkshun, Mudhoney, Love Battery, Afghan Whigs, Flipper, Mad Season and Sebadoh. I think it was a great period of rock music, and probably the last we'll ever know. We don't reward passion, energy or creativity anymore.
In terms of new music, some real highlights have been artists like Shield Your Eyes, The Sailplanes, Shoes & Socks Off, Superman Revenge Squad, Megafaun, Extradition Order and Thumpermonkey Lives. I don't follow contemporary or fashionable music very closely and there's no doubt that the industry has gone almost completely to hell, but it's good to know that if you're willing to look hard enough there's still some people making great records. It's unfortunate though that they won't be making a living from it.
To be asked what my thoughts on 2010 were! No, just to keep doing what I'm doing, to continue specialising in commercial suicide, to help Benjamin Shaw make a name for himself as one of the most unique songwriters in the world and to ensure that Nosferatu D2's name and noise are never forgotten. I'm itching to release another record in the new year too, but will need to sell a lot more CDs before I can afford to, or even fit more CDs in my room. It should be a cool year though, I'm not dreading it for a change.
My New Year's Resolution is probably going to be to rock harder.
2009's been swell. We've played festivals, written some songs and all that stuff…..moved to London. A good move in my mind. Been on the old Radio 1 and generally checked some boxes of things that were on the 'want to do' list.
Animal Collective, Bat for Lashes, The Flaming Lips, Radiohead (who we saw at Leeds and are angels from outer space), and most recently St Vincent have been entertaining us very much this year. Mumford and Sons are always a joy also.
In 2010 we'll be continuing the quest for perfect noise and ultimate joy. Hopefully supported by a release early in the year (all going to plan), a tour shortly after, and the word 'album' keeps floating around in the ether of dreams also. We'd like to make one of those.
This year has been a busy one for us. We've played some shows here and there, but for the bulk of the year we spent our time recording our latest record, which is inspired by the colour pink. We began recording in February and are adding the final touches in November. We're all very pleased and excited about the results and can't wait for people to hear it!
What music (old or new) has stood out this year?
The Beatles - Stereo & Mono Remasters
Roxy Music - Country Life
Can - Tago Mago & Ege Bamyasi
David Crosby - If I Could Only Remember My Name…
Bat For Lashes - Two Suns
Other Lives - Other Lives
Mastodon - Crack The Skye
Richard Hawley -Truelove's Gutter
Arctic Monkeys - Humbug
I hope that 2010 will be as busy touring-wise for us as 2009 was recording-wise. I can't wait to start playing these songs live for audiences and I'm anxious to see/hear their reactions. It's a totally different colour we're playing with and as a result, a totally different-sounding Colourmusic. Let's hope you folks out there like it! Here's to a Happy New Year!
2009 has been my favourite year... finished my first album to be released 2010 with some other colaborative albums for 2010. done a cooking show and went on masterchief.
Next year will be the first time i've released any music which should make live shows different.
Micachu and the Shapes, Late of the Pier, Dirty Projectors, Arial Pink, Miho Wada, Tommy and the Fallen Horses Website Blogs, Robert Wyatt, Roxy Music is some music i've been listening to lately
DAM MANTLE (formerly ANIMALS + WAR)
2009's been good, feel like there's been a lot of change. The winter months have meant theres been a lot of room for hibernation and music making. I've been working on a new body of work with new software and hardware. Trying to develop the live set with a couple of friends, moving towards a laptop and mpc based set.
Music i've been vibing on;
Dimlite, James Blake, Zomby, Paul White, Bullion, Hudson Mohawke, Flying Lotus, Gang Gang Dance, Dirty Projectors, MF Doom, Fox Gut Daata and Becoming Real.
I hope for a lot. Getting new live set sorted, maybe a tour, make more music, get something out on vinyl.
Ellen from LOS CAMPESINOS!
2009 has been a very varied and amazing year with most of it being spent in America for various touring and recording purposes, which is lucky because I like America although I did nearly get eaten by a coyote, so it has also been a year in which I made my first mental obituary. It wasnt that exciting. 2009 was the year in which i moved house twice, watched all of Battlestar Gallactica, got two new tattoos, had a radical make under in order to save money, played at Coachella, went to Hong Kong and saw the most amazing shooting stars on a highway in texas at stupid o clock. I also lost three i pods (of various sizes), two house keys, one shoe, two pairs of trousers (one I had just bought) broke a camera, a pair of headphones and a ipod shuffle charger, became addicted to coffee in order to get over my sugar addiction and learnt some lessons I immeadiately forgot.
The music I soundtracked this all to was a Phantom of The Opera Vinyl I bought at a second hand shop in Cardiff, as well as DeVotchka, Jamie T, Florence and the Machine, Calexico, The XX, Elvis Costello and Amanda Palmer.
In 2010 I hope to keep some of the drunken promises I make to myself sometimes.
MISTY'S BIG ADVENTURE
2009 has been fairly quiet as we've been working on our next album The Family Amusement Centre. It's a bit of an epic task getting everything recorded for a Misty's album, but we're nearly there and it's shaping up to be the best album we've made. My highlight has been recording a 60 piece choir. We did the music for Dave Gorman's BBC2 show Genius earlier in the year. And we've just got a new manager, so all is going swimmingly. Oh, and I've finally set up a new studio I've christened The Brain Cupboard.
I've liked 'Broadcast and The Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults Of The Radio Age', 'The Sound of Wonder' on Finders Keepers and I've got into The Stranglers. I bought their first 5 albums for about 5 quid at a car boot sale!
What are your hopes for 2010? A hit! The Family Amusement Centre will be out next year so I'm hoping it will go down well. And hopefully David Cameron won't become Prime Minister.
The best gig I've seen this year was Deerhoof at the deaf institute, by some distance. I've heard that they don't practice, which sounds like unnecessary self mythologizing, as though there's some shame in 4 people making weird music and being insanely tight unless its improvised. or maybe they never actually said that.
Melt Banana/Kong at Satans Hollow was also grand.
I have spent a daft amount on music this year, mainly mining the past, but also some hyped new shite I don't really like very much. There is a certain music site I have learnt to never trust again. That OneOne (Deerhoof side project) is fairly lovely though, as was the new Marnie Stern, Nissenenmondai (sp?), Magik Markers, Part Chimp, Mika Miko, you know all the stuff plan b told me to like. Speaking of which it was sad to see them pass, although the writing/adverts ratio was getting a bit too real.
I was also dismayed to see Silver Jews disintegrate.
We have played a robust amount of gigs this year which has brought great pleasure. The new bassist Lewis has bedded in sweetly. Some people have listened to our 2nd album, some people have written some nice words about it. Scrabbling up the pyramid.
For 2010 I hope the Pavement reunion doesn't taint my love of the band. Although it is certain to. That said, I will certainly be in Brixton.
If Terry Christian is made mayor of Manchester I will slice myself.
I hope we will put out at least an ep and an album.
I'd also like us to displace the american Monster Island on lastfm. I don't know who they are or what they sound like or what their GAME is but it unsettles me knowing people might think we have a song called 'Dream Tiger' or 'Cherry Alive'.
Also, to establish a working facebook site, my last attempt failed with flying colours.
2009 has been BUSY for Quasi. New record, American Gong, is in the can after lots of hard work and noses to the grindstone. Our fave sounds from 2009 came from The Sic Alps, Blitzen Trapper, Thee Oh Sees, Explode Into Colors, Built to Spill, The Beatles and The Cribs. Old things we still love: Chrissy Zebby Tembo, Elyse, 13th Floor Elevators, The Who and Bill Fay. Hopes for 2010: QUASI WORLD DOMINATION.
Good day all.
2009 has been: hit & miss! I'd love to come up with something clever, but other than wondering: why we're all in a panic about eventually being eaten up by the sun when science is saying that dark matter is pushing everything away from each other, and other such complexities that overwhelm me, I'm not too sure I've made it out of this year alive!
Happy New Year! Very happy new year...
Here are some words - I've enjoyed getting into further into Animal Collective, Lispector, Dirty Projectors, Future of The Left among many others and am looking forward to hearing Means Heinz and Munch Munch records in 2010.
This is by far my favourite end-of-year list:
One of my hopes for 2010 is to hear the debut albums from Peggy Sue, Pulled Apart by Horses and Dinosaur Pile-Up and Spectrals.
Our debut album came out in 2009 and that's a personal milestone that I can use to constellate many memories as I get old and grey.
And this is the best sign I saw in 2009:
2009 has been brilliant really. Its the first year I have really been doing Stylusboy. Ive put out my first record 'fingerprint ep' which has been doing really well and getting some great reviews. Ive been playing gigs including the mainstage of The Godiva Festival supporting Newton Faulkner. Its been great really.
Its a great year for music for me. My car stereo broke which meant i havent been able to listen to the radio. Ive found loads of amazing people online. Here are just a few:
I want to keep writing and performing. I am going to be recording and releasing some new material. Possibly as a single. I have a good plan!! Keep your eyes peeled. I would hope the weather will be better so we actually get a hot summer and I hope more people smile.
How's 2009 been for you?
Pretty good, I've moved back to the countryside of North Wales, been fortunate enough to not have to get a proper job, and listed below (in no particular order) have done some really fun stuff to do with music. Released a Sweet Baboo album, played at the millennium stadium, Cate Le Bon's album came out (which I played on a couple of songs) and was in the top 50 albums of the year in mojo, supported Yo La Tengo at the Roundhouse in London, played at the royal festival hall, went on stage with yo la tengo in Manchester, Spencer McGarry Season album (which I played on too) came out. Did sessions for Marc Riley, Stuart Maconie, Adam Walton, played at green man, truck, swn and end of the road, went on tour with my brother and my friend Alex in my vauxhall Astra, supported Euros Childs (and played in his band) on tour. Helped record Euros Childs album 'Son of Euro Child' in his house. Went on GMTV possibly. Hmm they're the things that spring to mind, it makes me come across as pretty arrogant no?
Don't quote me but I think I've only bought two albums that were released in 2009, that's not very good is it?. One was Bill Callaghan's 'I wish we were an eagle', which is bloody ace. The other was the Volcano Choir, no, that was a present.
At the risk of sounding arrogant again, Cate le Bon's album is really great although I didn't pay for that. Off the top of my head the only other one that springs to mind is 'In an Aeroplane over the Sea' by Neutral Milk Hotel. For years people kept telling that this was an amazing album, and to be contrary, I decided not to like it on principal. This year, and 'cause I saw it for 6 pounds in Spillers, I bought it and, what a dicklord! it's been constantly on my stereo since.
Live, Green Man was the best it's ever been. I saw Jonathan Richman at Bush Hall which was brilliant and for my old housemate Tim's birthday, we went to see Ralph Stanley in Bath, he's the man who sings WOOOOWWWWWWW DEATH on the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack. It was pretty special.
I hope to record a new album in January (although the songs are a bit slim on the ground at the moment) and release that in the summer. Try and book some good gigs around that and generally try and play as much music as possible. On a non music based level, to become less of a chubber, but that is an ongoing struggle.
Huw from THREATMANTICS
2009 has been an up and down year for us. Gig-wise it started off with a great, if expensive, tour of the UK with the Swanton Bombs and Video Nasties. Super fun times were had by all. It also included "the best gig no-one ever saw" in Wolverhampton, where in front of a capaticity crowd of 5 of my frineds, 4 teenage girls and some random guy at the back all 3 of the bands ended up on stage topless, dancing like the drunken fools they are! Good times, good times!!
Then there was our first venture to mainland Europe to play London Calling in Amsterdam. That was great, great fun, if slightly stressful.
In between that and the most important gig there were some generic London shows.
Of course the most important show was Ceri's last gig as a Threatmantic. It also happened to be the Family's last gig as well so all in all it was a very emotional and Threat-tastic.
Also before that there was an impressive substitute appearnce by Mark, of Islet fame. Which included learning a set in 3 hours, driving 4 hours to North Wales to record some songs for Uned 5, then play a gig and drive back 4 hours all in the same night.
Then came the re-birth. We've played a couple of shows around Cardiff with the new line-up including Tommy's, of course, Buffalo and CF10.
I know this is getting ridiculously long so I'll try and wrap up this first question quickly.
Obviously the most noteworthy happening this year was the departure the dearly loved Ceri Mitchell. He went to Berlin to follow his heart and he seems to be really enjoying it there so we're all very happy for him.
But we did manage to find a replacement in the form of my old school buddy Andrew. Also we added an extra dimension in the form of Hedd's girlfriend Taliesyn, who doesn't play topless as NME would lead you to believe. So while we lost a dear friend and good servant we've picked up a couple of transients to keep the name Threatmantics alive for a bit longer.
Ok! That's question 1 done. I don't actually have anything to say about what music stood out for me coz I just listen to my old CD collection and don't really go to gigs.
Our main hope is to get the 2nd album, which we're currently working on, out at the beginning of 2010. Sadly work commitments have elongated this process.
And obviously with a new album comes a tour, so keep them peepers peeled for that.
So in short our hope for 2010 is to keep rumbling along trying to make sweet, sweet lov.....I mean music for our adoring fans. Oh, and to hit mainland Europe again.
2009 has been a fiscally poor but happy year for me and the Untied States...the 2nd great depression (we had one in 1929) has brought things down to earth in many ways but I think it was a much needed slam to the collective bubble of surreality many people were embracing. on the other hand, it may have sent others into the real wild.
when people get down to what's really important, i.e. eating, keeping a house, they tend to come back to the solace of art and music. being poor and refusing to steal music from hard working musicians I didn't reach as much to the new and found myself digging into a lot of the old-discovered the beauty of Moondog and Arthur Brown- but a few musical moments stood out to me in 2009:
-Health's "Get Color" was a brilliant slap to my dome...exquisite noise...but it's the drums that fucking have me.
-Cymbals Eat Guitars- I actually heard it first on the radio here oddly enough God forbid!:) and had to call in and say "who the hell is this?" ...really looking forward to seeing them live here soon.
-I must confess my love for hometown hero Bradford Cox and the new Atlas Sound
"Logos" record. It's his voice, I cannot deny it, like something I've always known to exist finally realized.
-Seeing Ponytail at SXSW was pretty amazing.
It was also a thrill to see the Jesus Lizard reunite and just come out like they hadn't missed a fucking beat. An amazing show, minus the girls crowd surfing in stilettos with big handbags. Never liked that shit, save it for the frontman, it's his night.
For 2110, excuse me, 2010, what's giving me the strength to get out of bed in the morning is the fact that LIARS will be releasing a new record. Catching them live again is one of two new years resolutions .
THE VICTORIAN ENGLISH GENTLEMENS CLUB
It has been a difficult, but great year, with changes and a new album. This was the year we really refined our sound and got to play in our national museum, on the side of a mountain and put out a record im really proud of. The record was recorded by Charlie Francis and did all the things the last didn't quite manage. I think as a band we have become a lot braver, with bigger/more six packs.
We all still listen to the same stuff really lou is still into the fall and sonic youth, I notice she listens to Philip Glass and Pil and im still listening to stuff Steve Wright feeds me. (the dj not the prostitute strangler) I guess with new bands, I saw Experiment of a Bird on an Air Pump and they had something good going, also Future of the Left do a pretty good job.
This is an exciting time we plan to start recording the next record in the spring and trying something new (a plan I have), also releasing our last single Bored in Belgium from the album and a small UK and larger European tour.
THE WEATHER IN SWEDEN
2009 shall be remembered in our world as the year when Jon went to the Phillipines to make movies (true story!) while I spent my time working part-time jobs/banging my head against various walls and missing Jon. We did however, finally manage to get together to work on some new songs about a month ago, and I must say they sound pretty great...
Music that stood out for me the most this year? Generally I tend to discover hip music about a year after everyone else but two relatively new records that I've enjoyed ALOT are Animal Collective's "Merriweather Post Pavilion" and Kings of Conveniences "Declaration of Dependence". And stuff like Bat for Lashes, Bon Iver, The Very Best (though it sucks that I can't understand the African lyrics). I also discovered Girltalk this year! Amazing stuff!
In 2010 we will release a lot of new fantastic tunes. The sound will likely be a lot more electronic than with the earlier Weather in Sweden and Salty Pirates(our old band), while maintaining the two main ideas beyond our creative work: catchy melodies and (hopefully) lyrics that have something to say about the truths of life, love and art. In short: 2010 is gonna be one great year!!