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Singles That Mingle 20240219

 

Singles That Mingle

With Captain Stavros

 

Frontier Ruckus – I’m Not The Boy

On The Northern Line out now via Loose Music Records

Nonchalance purpose in this tune.

 

Logic1000 – Promises

Mother Out March 22 Via Therapy/Because Music

Reminds me of the cool coffee lounges we hung out in before even working up the courage to drink coffee.

 

Mannequin Pussy – Nothing Like

I Got Heaven Out March 1 Via Epitaph Records

Easing back on psychadelia and ramping up the pop, how do you feel about it?

 

Dea Matrona – Stuck On You

For Your Sins Out May 3 

Buskering on the cold streets and heating up the seats, this trio turned duo, has been pushing for their debut album release for a hot minute now.

 

Friko – Get Numb To It!

Where We’ve Been, Where We Go From Here Out Now Via ATO Records

Great tune to roll into warmer weather with.

 

Grandaddy – Long As I’m Not The One

Blu Wave Out Now Via Dangerbird Records

All the elements you’ve enjoyed about Grandaddy over the years with a new western twang, yeehaw.

 

Gary Landry Jones – Corn Mine

Hey Gary, Hey Dawn Out April 5 Via Sacred Bones

What is there to say about Corn Mine that hasn’t already been said? It’s a….poppin tune.

 

Chanel Beads – Idea June

Your Day Will Come Out April 19 Via Jagjagwuar

Brief but leaves an impression.

 

Waxahatchee – Bored

Tigers Blood Out March 22 Via Anti-Records

Won’t get bored of this tune anytime soon.

 

Lloyd Wayne – Bird Beyond

The piano opening hooked us but the song continues to build from there, would recommend.

 

Metz – 99

Up On Gravity Hill Out April 12 Via Sub Pop

It’s a song that sounds like two genres crashed into each other at a junction. It’s cool though, they’re friends now.

 

VR Sex – Inanimate Love

Hard Copy Out March 22 Via Dais Records

Wait for it to kick in, you won’t be disappointed.

 

Idles – Grace

TANGK Out Now Via Partisan Records

Track’s got a real soft touch, sneaks up on ya.

 

Hermanos Gutiérrez - Sonido Cósmico

Sonido Cósmico Out May 14 Via Easy Eye Sounds

Sonic psyche sounds.


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Singles That Mingle 20240201

 

Singles That Mingle

With Captain Stavros


Corridor – Mourir Demain

Mimi Out April 26 Via Sub Pop

Only the French could get away with such dark lyrics swaddled in warm and unassuming fuzzy grunge.

 

Dog Unit – When Do We Start Fighting?

At Home Out April 5 Via Brace Yourself Records

I guess the fisticuffs on this instrumental brilliance kicks off on the 5th of April with re-match tourd ates throughout the same month.

 

Chiedu Oraka – Rhythm of my Pain

Mixtape Misfit Out April 26 Via EMI North

Beats are on point, lyrically it’s getting there, one to keep an eye on

 

The Red, Pinks and Purples – Your Worst Song is Your Greatest Hit

Unwishing Well Out April 12 Via Tough Love Records

Jarvis Cocker fans will not be disappointed in this one as he’s channeled pretty thoroughly in this track.

 

Bnny – Good Stuf

One Million Love Song Out April 5 Via Fire Talk Records

Hooked us.

 

Chastity Belt – I-90 Bridge

Live, Laugh, Love Out March 29 Via Suicide Squeeze Records

Instantly transported to warm and sunnier times from this dismal grey winter.

 

Grandaddy – Long as I’m Not The Only One

Blu Wav Out February 16 Via Dangerbird Records

If you’ve ever enjoyed Grandaddy the chances are likely all the elements that made you fall for them in the first place are in this track.

 

gglum – Do You See Me Different (Feat Kamal) and Glue

The Garden Dream Out March 29 Via Secretly Canadian

Normally not into Folkcore but a smooth listen.

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The Runner (Film Review) at the Rio

When the darlings of dark wave, Boy Harsher, released their highly anticipated new cult banger ‘Tower’ around Halloween last year, we were given a rich cut, pulsing with deep and rebounding synthesized pangs from the start.  It pushed through our monitors like the flesh gun through the TV in Videodrome.  Seemingly, an unattainable high bar had been set. Then, two months later, ‘Give Me A Reason’ followed and soon no bar could be set high enough.  As The Runner OST trickled out, bits and pieces of Carpenter, Cronenburg and Lynch’s influences were omnipresent.  What then would become of the marriage between soundtrack and the ‘reckless...out of control...pure evil’ scenes splattered throughout The Runner? 

The film follows Kris Esfandiari (a tranced-out blood witch) as she flees a motel, leaving behind a mess that could double as an abattoir.  The destruction in her wake ruins the lives of everyone she crosses paths with in the backwoods of smalltown USA.  Twice she reaches out by telephone on her journey to The Desperate Man, but his pleas for her to return home ultimately go unanswered.  Literally, she doesn’t speak for her entire performance.  Through television screens (portals?) in the scenes, we’re connected to accompanying, and seemingly unrelated, content in the form of music videos.  Those, in turn, jarringly transition into Jae and Gus’ garage studio, where we get a candid peak behind the curtain to see how the sausage is made.  Between these brief life out-takes, the new music and the end credits where their actors revert back to their playful collaborative friends, are actually the only engaging content worth watching. 

In terms of a directorial debut, Jae and Gus’ The Runner is much in the same vein as Dali’s Un Chien Andalou.  It’s graphic and immaterial showcases ability but lacks enough compelling content to do much more.  Through a discombobulated 40 minutes, the film relies heavily on its strengths: locations, lighting, props, and set design.  Unfortunately, these strengths end up holding a mirror to the film's weaknesses, highlighting a stark contrast between stripped back, one dimensional characters uncertain of their place within the scene, outside of James Duval who nails his role as the host.  Transitional scenes, edited to look like VHS, loosely pull the viewer into a distorted and confusing semi-cohesive narrative, tethering us to the story via nostalgic anchor points rather than actual horror.  We’re given the store-brand when we’ve paid for the name-brand. 

The Runner tracks like the manifest content of a dream, plausible to the dreamer but a half-baked idea to the rest of us.  Themes of escape, fantasy, loss, discarded people are woven alongside semi-autobiographical tones throughout.  Ultimately, these divide the viewers' attention like someone toggling a light switch on-and-off again.  The Runner doesn't conform to a traditional storytelling structure but instead dips from nonsensical to semi-lucid, arriving then to a perceived reality repeating as directed.  Even classic horror tools, like a character disappearing off screen after meeting our protagonist, insinuating unspeakable violence, ultimately leave cerebral elements to atrophy.  In short, the film flirts but doesn’t commit to any one thing long enough to do it well enough.  A non-horror horror, lacking identity and the stamina to push through to an audience outside Boy Harsher fans, and even then, only just. 

If you, as die-hard Boy Harsher fans, decide to follow your heart into this film, the aforementioned noteworthy moments won’t let you down.  The new tunes seriously slap and the playful chemistry between Jae and Gus behind the scenes talking about their music and characters are genuine moments.  If you’re going in wanting to see a horror, or even a film, you will be let down, six feet underground.  Where The Runner unwittingly succeeds is teaching us that ultimately the heart can be a double agent. 


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Rockaway Beach 2020, Butlin's, Bognor Regis - The Captain Stavros Opinion

B-U-T-L-I-N-S that's the way you spell SUCCESS! What better way to wipe away those January blues than with a hop, skip and a train ride down to the seaside? If you have no clue as to the meaning of 'Dry January' and wouldn't  mind enjoying a variable smorgasbord of new, old, weird and wild music making your way out to where you can meet some like-minded spirits is at the top of your to-do list. There is no shortage of characters and bands with character.

It's 12:30pm Friday the 9th of January, the Chief and I are supposed to be setting off out my door for our train at this very moment when the zipper to a packed duffle bag breaks off in my hand and the bag splits open like a fortune cookie. I look up at the Chief, he looks back at me through his stone-cold blue marbles emotionless. Fortunately there's a Plan B. Unphased by our plight behind a thick bearded and lush mane of hair I draw strength from the Chief's indifference to the situation unfolding before us. “Two minutes Turkish” I wish I'd yelled instead I duck into the wardrobe for a backup bag still in it's original packaging waiting to save me on this very date fated by the universe itself. Somewhere just out of earshot a starter pistol cracks off a blank, and we're off.

I'm not sure what Bognor Regis is like, or the Butlins for that matter, in the summer but I'm almost certain I'd hate it. I hate crowds and children but this place suffers from neither near mid-January. The tiny town is littered with unplucked vintage items hanging heavy on the vine, reasonable prices and a seemingly never ending string of cozy pubs and parks. Not only that but follow any of the winding village roads down hill and you'll be met with the roar of the ocean as the tide crashes into the pebbled beach in the morning only to ebb away at night with equal force. It's a delight to both wake up and fall asleep to if you can manage either of those that is with so many things going on. Okay, okay, let's talk music.

Day One kicks off for us at 19:00, giving those leaving cities plenty of time to make it in for the first act. Musos' Crew however were more concerned about hitting the buffet as we'd arrived with plenty of time to spare. Attacking the salad bar with a fervor unseen by most the Black Country, New Road (@BlackCountryNewRoad) crew slinks in behind me. At buffets I've got compound vision so while I stare and continue loading my plate(s) I yell, 'oh hey, really looking forward to your set!' which is met with young faces full of concerns for my welfare, but more likely their own well being considering the sight before them. The 6-piece were highly recommended by Martin, bassist of Cling Film (@ClingFilmBand) touting them as not to be missed. He was right. Whisper's of 'they're so young' came from the middle aged+ crowd surrounding me at the front of the stage but quickly turned into awe before the end of the first track. Raucous applause continued to rise and fall throughout the rest of their set as well. Slow building and methodical each note is deliberate and cutting. The music swims in bridled restraint, brimming with tension. The pacing reminds me of soundscapes from years ago, each of their songs told a story. They didn't speak much outside of the lyrics sung by Isaac (vocals/guitar) but if you watched closely you'd see a shorthand shared between band mates of candid smiles and subtle nods. Unhurried and remarkably uninterrupted by the tanked up crowd it was an experience that stood out this weekend. The next morning after a gluttonous breakfast I ran into them as they checked out of our hotel. We chatted for a few and recommended if anyone in the UK wanted to catch a performance they'd be rolling through January and February. Most performances I've learned are sold-out, unsurprisingly, but if you're lucky enough to be in place where they aren't (yet) catch a show, you won't be disappointed.

Speaking of anything but disappointment out comes John Cale in blazer and jockey trousers; next level man. A legend to me personally he doesn't let down. On the streets you'd likely pass John without drawing a second glance, on stage however, good luck taking your eyes off this Demon God, he drew them in in droves. John's left hand grips and slackens around the fretboard sliding up and down the neck like a piston while his right snipes each string precisely, each note hits hard and dirty. Watching John, a multi-nstrumentalist as comfortable behind the keys as he is the strings is impressive enough in and of itself. His voice is another thing completely, a musical machine of feat and strength it belts out and holds the notes for what seems like an eternity. Although he's survived the '80s and being surrounded by heroin on this night he was blasted by LED torches thanks to the stage crew that rocked him so hard off balance and probably within inches of his life. Nonetheless he left the stage as gracefully as he entered, albeit with detached retinas.

 

The next day after a light breakfast trunks and towels in hand we head off to the indoor, newly built state of the art, water park situated next to us, purely for research ... Ambient music piped through the speakers as we ripped and shot through pipes and flumes unencumbered by the lack of children which was the cherry on the sundae of an already glorious afternoon. Truth be told, I've always hated ambient music but it takes all kinds and now I'm certain of it. Floating upside down on a giant inflatable banana with a smaller inflatable bat under my feet for support as half naked human people around me bounce giant inflatable eyeballs off each other over the waves and music rolls off us all alike. I was pretty blissed out  when I caught the DJ's eye as he spun tunes from between two inflatable palm trees behind the decks. Upside down on my giant yellow banana I threw up, to him an inverted, thumbs up, which in hindsight I now realize betrayed my true feelings on his set. He reciprocated by cocking an eyebrow in acknowledgment and returned to making the sweet ambrosia that trickled its way back down my ear canal as I closed my eyes and wiggled my pruned toes in the wave pool's water. Two heavily chlorinated waves filling up both nostrils and sinus cavities I crawled and hacked a lung up back ashore. Land-ho, landlubber. 

Dried out and un-pruned at the Red Stage we catch our first gig of the day, The Sweet Release Of Death (@the_sweet_release_of_death). Is there any way to prepare for TSRD? No to both band and tragic ends. If I could sum up in a few words their sound, it would go a little like this. Imagine if you will the terrible (in a GREAT way) sounds from far and wide across the land by some horrible miracle came together to find themselves near one another. Eventually they'd meet crashing into one other uncompromisingly, culminating in a perfect storm of sound and calamity.  I'm still probably selling them short. It was pretty wild, an organized chaos I very much enjoyed them. Small on talk, big on sound, would recommend.

Up next we caught Our Girl (@weareourgirl). I had the pleasure of watching them open for Blood Red Shoes back at the Oslo circa 2016. That year I must've watched them another 3 times as they toured. I was happy to see them on the bill and made the time to catch their set. The band has fully crystallized since it's synthesis. Nathan, (vocals/guitar) has had a very good year and rocked all around the stage more than ever before, she seeped confidence and was in her element, 'it's our first show this year' certainly won't be their last either. Looking forward to big things from this gang and hopefully hearing some new tunes as nothing on the bill had changed from 2016 ... If you haven't already heard of Our Girl, where've ya been?           

Speaking of where've ya been, if you weren't at the main stage for Nova Twins, fuck if you didn't miss out on catching the Golden Goose. These East London meets Harajuku Birds of Prey are not only out of this world, they're from another galaxy all together. Materializing before us they came out blasting, BOTH barrels, klap, klap, krack, KRACK. It was fucking insane. Let's go through the check list, shall we? Look, check and on point. Attitude, check, obviously. Talented AS FUCK Double/Triple check, in the eternal words of the B.B., you can't, you won't and you DON'T stop, illest of communication. These bad-ass-shes blew my mind. Hyperbole aside they didn't break a sweat while dropping some SERIOUS heat. Georgia South, if Flea, Morello and Sailor Moon had a lovechild, is by far the most prolific, talented and technically profound bassist of her generation that I have EVER seen I was awed she augmented that bass into some sort of technical wizardry with bluetooth ring wah? Lethal as all get-out,  all while wearing a smile on her siren face. Might be I fell a bit in love, speaking of love, Amy Love. Her axe and those epic locks of hers shredded most absolutely. Nothing and no one was safe, she tore apart the stage with her pipes and then set her sights on the crowd, diving in to bring everyone's bodies bouncing up and down. They came fast and hard and it feels like they left all too quickly because before I knew it the set was gone. They're playing Feb 6th in London, don't miss it. If you do, they've got gigs across the land (galaxy) coming, catch 'em while you can.

Rounding the bases for the final day in B.R. we walk by the beach on a most windy but gloriously sunny day that sets the spirits soaring. Attempting to hit the town museum we hit a wall instead, closed. Around the corner however is the Dog and Duck a hole in the wall but brightly lit and packed micro-pub. We chin-wagged with owner/bartender/former Londoner/full time cockney and ex-TV cameraman Steve 'what's the girl version of your name' who had no shortage of fine ales and banter. 'Oi ai, I've seen plenty of Kennethina's in my day' the chief touts as I snagged a half of a still/cloudy blood orange cider and crossed the street to lean against a sunbeam streaking down and across a weather beaten cement one storey. The ocean crashed in the near distance and I crashed back for seconds before I nearly forgot, Go-Karts, MUSIC!          

Rushing back to Rockaway Beach we threw ourselves around the petrol fumed bends on karts made of steel, best opening band ever? They certainly had chops. Thoroughly rung-out we headed to the Red Stage to catch an afternoon of tunes. Unfortunately the afternoon for me would be spoiled by the front-men for both Life and Heavy Lungs. Both had excellent musicians irrespective of their front men, essentially caricatures of what a front man should be. Absolutely ridiculous and clowny antics seemingly for no other reason than a lack of musical capability. Ravings and watered down philosophies spewed out of their mouths in the form of banter and lyrics, yikes. Unlike them, their band mates could very much throwdown. I don't mean to be this harsh, honestly I'm biting my tongue. Truly I'm sorry they're not both lead by Heavy Lung's drummer George Garratt who beats the drums as hard as he does his voice. 'Is this music?' he yells into the mic from behind front man Danny Nedelko who dances like a confounded fool belly dancer molesting himself shamelessly while removing his shirt front and center stage, 'we don't know' he offers with a shrug. My boy George, it surely is not. (Knowing the bloke's name now further cements my indifference to Idles - Ed.)

Although the rest of the day's music didn't do it for me I was given coins by the chief to play the 2p push-coin games as a distraction. Walking away after a few minutes of having squandered my riches, hands smelling of dirty copper, I reminisced about what I'd learned over the weekend, other than the fact I'm most likely incubating a gambling problem deep within me. Firstly, the vegetarian sausages are still as addictive as ever during the breakfast buffet. I did also become fairly proficient with the unlimited ice-cream machine by the end of the festival, stick to filling up mugs instead of bowls is my advice. FYI, Butlin's, removing the handles from the (my) machines so I couldn't drown my scrambled eggs in ice cream during breakfast? Dirty pool, shame on you! This year, as in last I discovered new music and looked forward to catching these acts again live as they once more tour the UK throughout the year. There were so many side events outside of the music too from pop up record shops, quizzes, dancing, Karting, Swimming the list goes on and on so that I was never short on having something fun and cheerful to do. From this year to last I also noticed a fair shift in both age and variety of the crowd. More youngsters and a lot more weirdos so I'm definitely down with that! Speaking of being down, I've never been one to be down with package deal holidays, I like creating my own adventure personally. That being said I will say I cannot begin to explain how refreshing it was having my every whim catered to and having to think zero percent of the time, truly a boutique festival experience. But don't take it from us, take it from Hollywood Super Star (tax evader) Wesley Snipes, always bet on Rockaway (Passenger 57 rerun on late night tv Sunday, couldn't help myself).

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