Hello, my name’s Will and I write for this stupid website.
Recorded music highlights:
Somehow managed to miss every new record that didn’t involve a spurious local connection. But these releases are some of the best things I’ve heard full stop: the fuzzy logic of the ‘Fata Morgana’ EP by Failed NASA Experiment, the attack prog of ANTA’s ‘The Tree That Bears The Equine Fruit’, Bellies!’s feral tape racket on ‘We Are No Gastric Band’, the sickly hilarious Adam Walton session by Brandyman, Y Niwl’s surf smasher of a 7″, and H. Hawkline’s magical, excavated gem of krauty folk ‘A Cup Of Salt’.
Having said that, two compilations jumped in my lap in the last few weeks: ‘TradiMods Vs. Rockers’ has a whole slew of bands like Oneida and Deerhoof covering Congotronics acts like Konono No.1 and Kasai Allstars and is TOP, while ‘Bollywood Steel Guitar’ is a bit more self-explanatory, being film scores from the ’50s to the ’80s, sounding like crazy psych kitsch madness, and in one case The Rapture. Yeah!
Live music highlights:
Best thing I saw this year was the Whale Watching Tour’s pitstop at the Arnolfini in Bristol: Ben Frost and Valgeir Sigurðsson brought the discordant and soothing electronics, Sam Amidon the wide-eyed US folk tales, and Nico Muhly tied the whole thing in sweeping avant orchestration and dirty stage banter. Pure magic.
Other good stuff: the nine drummers-wide triumph of Boredoms at ATP, and literally bumping into Matt Groening at every band. The School’s charity turn as the Ramones was mega funtimes. Action Beat’s attack line up at the Buffalo. Brandyman destroying Clwb Ifor Bach, slaying even by the high standards of the best of Swn festival (Bellini, The Ex, Still Corners). Finally seeing Godspeed You! Black Emperor and them being mostly on fire for two and a half hours in a rubbish Bristol venue. Failed NASA Experiment’s freeform percussion workshop stealing the crown at the Shape Christmas party. Stacking Chairs twice with the other band members replaced by eggs and sandwiches the second time. Diet Pills. The terrifying return of BOOZE.
What else did you enjoy this year?
“Helping” with the video to John Grant’s ‘Chicken Bones’ and ending up dressed in a leotard at a car boot sale and also making John and his band a cup of tea at our house while my girlfriend applied a fake black eye on him. A big, unaffordable holiday to San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. Relaxing with truly great people, and drinking cider from a petrol container with them at two ATPs. A serious Daily Show addiction. Being inducted into Rum Club (shudder). Racing through Simon Reynolds’ book Rip It Up and still not finishing it. And, er, the film Monsturd.
2010 was… stormy
2011 tips/predictions: Cheetahs.