Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Liverpool’s great lost band, Candy Opera release their first album after 35 years


When Candy Opera release 45 Revolutions Per Minute on February 23rd, it will be a belated introduction to a very special band, sired during Liverpool’s 1980s golden age, which has taken almost thirty years to happen.


Lovingly unearthed and compiled by Firestation Records of Berlin, and available on limited edition 18-track CD and deluxe 16-track vinyl, the result is a lost gem that points to a million what-might- have-beens.


When Candy Opera first appeared on the kaleidoscopic early 1980s Liverpool music scene, by rights they should have changed the world. Here was a classic four-piece, after all, steeped in the symphonic pop of Love’s Forever Changes and The Beach Boys’ Surf’s Up. Taking such influences as a template, alongside contemporaries such as Aztec Camera, The Pale Fountains and Prefab Sprout, Candy Opera were in the throes of crafting a 1980s song-book in their own image, and the band’s 1983 Honeysuckle Rose demo has become something of a holy grail.

By 1985, the band had played alongside the likes of The Pogues, The Go-Betweens and The Redskins, as well as appearing on Granada TV. Reviews in NME, Sounds and Jamming magazine followed.


Forming on the tough Phythian Estate in Liverpool’s Kensington district in 1982 and based around the songwriting of Paul Malone, Candy Opera offered up a nouveau classicist sensibility, which had seen the band listen without prejudice to The Monkees and Karen Carpenter.

“Where I grew up, it was a so-called impoverished area,” says vocalist and song-writer, Paul, “but my childhood was very happy, very insular, the world was within a street. As a kid, I didn’t really feel affected by the poverty. It wasn’t ’til later, when I went to other areas and saw how they lived, that I realised the differences. So, my environment was really the main inspiration for songs.”



With assorted Candy Opera line-ups augmented at various points by baroque flourishes of clarinet, flute or violin, such a sophisticated musical palette went way beyond notions of indie-band purism to create something grander, none of which remotely fitted in with the voguish scene-setters behind shoegaze, baggy and Britpop.

After a decade ploughing their own stubborn furrow in various guises, despite interest from EMI and Go! Discs, Candy Opera called it a day in 1993 with only a fistful of demos to their name. As the mainstream took a glossier turn, Candy Opera somehow got left behind, and for the best part of thirty years have remained a rumour, a whisper and a quietly lost legend that the occasional online leak could only hint at. Until now…



In 2017, the Berlin-based purveyors of indie obscurities behind Firestation Records chanced upon those same demos and it was love at first listen. The label’s Uwe Weigmann tracked down Malone and co, and found a band who hadn’t made music for a very long time. Paul comments, “When the label got in touch, it just all seemed a bit surreal to me; it was a big surprise, especially after 35 years, but I was glad that somebody finally recognised our worth.”

Having unearthed a spate of recordings that span Candy Opera’s entire history, the result is 45 Revolutions Per Minute.



“I first read about the band some years ago, on a forum for The La’s, and from this point on I was very interested to hear the band’s music,” recalls Uwe, Firestation’s founder and label manager. “Then a friend of mine told me that some Candy Opera songs were on YouTube. The first I listened to was What A Way To Travel. A couple of minutes later, I was sure that I wanted to work with the band. 45 Revolutions Per Minute is the perfect pop album, in my opinion.

It is an absolute masterpiece and I would list it next to such classics as Steve McQueen (Prefab Sprout), From Across The Kitchen Table (The Pale Fountains), High Land, Hard Rain (Aztec Camera) or Trapped and Unwrapped (Friends Again).”

Today, the songs that make up this exquisite package, that comes with extensive sleeve notes and archive photographs, sound both of their time and beyond it. On the surface, the arrangements sound simple, but there is depth there too, with Malone’s lyrics wrapped up in a sweetness that recalls a more innocent age.

That was Candy Opera, and this is 45 Revolutions Per Minute. Watch this space…

~

You can find Candy Opera on Twitter and Facebook. Firestation Records have their own website which can be found here

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Black Dice’s Eric Copeland goes “late Night Flight proto tekno” on new album


Black Dice member Eric Copeland has announced a new album, Trogg Modal Vol. 2.

Out March 29 on Copeland’s longstanding home of DFA Records, Vol. 2 is the “counterpart” to the artist’s 2018 release Trogg Modal Vol. 1.

The label has described Vol. 2 as being “more laid-back than the first, but still highly danceable.” Copeland refers to the record as “late Night Flight proto tekno.” Listen to “video arcade soundtrack” ‘High Score Zed’ now.


Trogg Modal Vol. 2 is Copeland’s third for the New York label who released early albums by Black Dice, including Beaches & Canyons and Creature Comfort.

Black Dice released their last album Mr. Impossible, in 2012. In 2017, they celebrated their 20th anniversary with a series of shows.


Tracklist:

01. ‘Beat It’
02. ‘High Score Zed’
03. ‘United Banana’
04. ‘Pay Off’
05. ‘BS Dropout’
06. ‘Light Fantastic’
07. ‘Blazin’
08. ‘Falo’

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Bikini Kill’s Kathleen Hanna, in her own words


Pussy Whipped, the debut LP from Bikini Kill, was an edifying statement-of-intent and incendiary call-to-arms which declared teenage girls be seen and most definitely heard. Over 12 lung-blasting, bile-fuelled hits of feminist punk noise, vocalist and songwriter Kathleen Hanna spat out such hard-boiled lyrics as “when she talks, I hear the revolution / In her hips, there's revolutions” (“Rebel Girl”) with red-faced screams over frantic, heavyset guitars in thrall to hardcore punk, backed by bassist Kathi Wilcox, drummer Tobi Vail and guitarist Billy Karren.

Kathleen Hanna: I don’t want to brag about myself, but I have heard the same phrase so many times, and it’s always, ‘When I was 15 years old, Pussy Whipped saved my life.’ To feel like you were part of a 15-year-old’s survival through high school, which is rough for everyone, makes me feel more successful than any record sales or magazine cover ever could. Because it was pretty harsh being a girl in America in 1993. We were told that feminism didn’t exist any more; that there was no reason for it to exist because women had equality. I lived in a small town and had worked in the domestic-violence shelter, where I saw first-hand that equality for sure did not exist. There were 14 women killed by a guy gunning for feminists in Canada in 1989 and that was a big impetus for me to play music. Those women were my inspiration.

Initial reactions to Pussy Whipped from the underground magazines were that it sucked! By the time we got to the UK in 1993 we were talking a lot about the way the media was portraying us, which was amplified by music weeklies like Melody Maker and the NME, which both had riot grrrl editions. When we met Huggy Bear things really changed, because people really cared about it in the UK. Huggy Bear managed to have fun and still have these really smart gender politics, whereas it had felt like such a fight every day for us to be a band. I think seeing that what we were doing and what we were a part of had gone international gave us a big boost of confidence. We were playing in Scotland and something had happened – maybe a bomb threat – which made us not want to go down to the show. We were just putting on our make-up in the room above and trying to figure out what to do when the girls downstairs spontaneously started singing ‘Rebel Girl’. It was like a scene from a teen movie! We could hear it through the floor so we took the stage and Tobi started playing the beat.

“I don’t want to brag about myself, but I have heard the same phrase so many times, and it’s always, ‘When I was 15 years old, Pussy Whipped saved my life’” – Kathleen Hanna, Bikini Kill

It was just one of those moments, and so beautiful that the girls wanted us to play that badly. During the show I realised why – it’s because there were so many guys there screaming ‘cunts’ or ‘bitches’ every time we stopped a song that it felt like the place could explode at any minute.

So there was this beauty within this amazing, awful intensity. These days, it’s so much more normal being a girl in a band. I just saw Savages on the TV the other night and they were great. But there’s still violence at shows and I still hear about girls being told to shut up when they start talking about issues like gay rights between songs.

I feel most proud that I wrote everyone back who wrote me a letter. I still see some of those people – they come to lectures, events, panels that I do – and they tell me how much it meant to them that I wrote back and that they’re doing great. That always feels like my biggest sense of achievement. But I regret coming off as a leader too much and feel like I should have made better decisions in terms of making sure the movement was more accessible to women of colour who wanted to be involved. That always really bothers me – it’s a massive regret. I wrote the riot grrrl manifesto when I was in my early 20s. There’s this book coming out so I decided to re-read the manifesto the other day – which is weird when you’re 44 – and I started editing it in my head. I was a terrible editor back then! I’d definitely write it better, but the message is still exactly the same.


Friday, February 1, 2019

Royal Trux Share New “White Stuff” Video: Watch


A low-res, VHS-style visual for the title track of their first album in 19 years

Jennifer Herrema in Royal Trux’s “White Stuff,” directed by Brain Drain Industries, effects by KHLOARIS

On March 1, Royal Trux will release White Stuff, their first new record since 2000’s Pound for Pound. After sharing the album’s title track, the band have now shared a low resolution, VHS-style video for that song. It’s directed by Brain Drain Industries and features effects by KHLOARIS. Check it out below.

Royal Trux were recently forced to reschedule a series of 2019 tour dates “due to some unresolved issue arising from a past arrest,” according to a press release. The press release explains: “Jennifer [Herrema] is incredibly grateful that she will not be spending any time in jail, and in her own words, states: ‘Shit could definitely be worse.’” The new dates haven’t been announced.


Eric Schenkman at Rockwood Music Hall, February 1


In addition to his work with the Spin Doctors, nurse guitarist Eric Schenkman has built an impressive musical resume that includes work with his own groups the Chrysalids, which released the album Make A Sound in 1995; Cork (with ex-Mountain drummer Corky Laing and former Jimi Hendrix bassist Noel Redding), which released Speed of Thought in 1998; and High Plains Drifter, with the late Blues Traveler bassist Bobby Sheehan. Schenkman also participated in the all-star Symphonic Works of Jimi Hendrix album and its accompanying tour, alongside Hendrix’s producer Eddie Kramer and Hendrix bandmate Billy Cox, as well as with Corey Glover of Living Colour, Doug Pinnick of King’s X and Dave Abbruzzese of Pearl Jam. He’s also work with Jack Bruce, Roger Daltrey, Natalie Merchant, Carly Simon, legendary jazz drummer Chico Hamilton, jazz composer Kip Hanrahan and Canadian songwriter Jimmy Rankin. He’s also taught blues workshops for the Toronto District School Board with Ontario bluesman Jerome Godboo. Schenkman is currently performing and recording as part of the Canadian rock-folk trio the Openhearts Society, which recently released the album Love In Time (available at www.openheartssociety.com).

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Eels announce 2019 tour dates


Eels will continue to tour for last year’s The Deconstruction, having just announced North American and European dates for 2019. Those kick off April 21 in Denver and include shows in Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, NYC, Nashville, Dallas, Austin, L.A., San Francisco and many points in between. The NYC stop happens May 1 at Irving Plaza and tickets go on sale Friday, February 1 at 10 AM with presales starting Tuesday (1/29) at 10 AM.

All tour dates are listed, along with a stream of The Deconstruction, below.



eels-2019-tour-poster

EELS – 2019 TOUR DATES
April 21—Denver, CO—Gothic Theatre
Apr 23—Minneapolis, MN—First Avenue
Apr 24—Milwaukee, WI—Turner Hall Ballroom
Apr 25—Chicago, IL—Thalia Hall
Apr 26—Detroit, MI—Majestic Theatre
Apr 27—Pittsburgh, PA—Mr. Smalls Theatre
Apr 29—Buffalo, NY—Town Ballroom
Apr 30—Boston, MA—The Wilbur
May 1—New York, NY—Irving Plaza
May 3—Nashville, TN—Cannery Ballroom
May 5—Dallas, TX—Canton Hall
May 6—Austin, TX—Emo’s
May 8—Phoenix, AZ—The Van Buren
May 9—Santa Ana, CA—The Observatory
May 11—San Diego, CA—The Observatory North Park
May 12—Los Angeles, CA—The Theater at Ace Hotel
May 13—San Francisco, CA—The Regency Ballroom
May 14—Sacramento, CA—Crest Theatre
August 14—Zurich, Switzerland—X-TRA
August 15—Le Locle, Switzerland—Rock Altitude Festival
August 19—Nottingham, UK—Rock City
August 20—Southampton, UK—O2 Guildhall
August 21—London, UK—Hammersmith Apollo
August 24— Amsterdam, Netherlands—Once In A Blue Moon Festival
August 27—Copenhagen, Denmark—Grey Hall
August 28—Oslo, Norway—Rockefeller
August 29—Stockholm, Sweden—Debaser Medis
September 2—Milan, Italy—Circolo Magnolia
September 4—Linz, Austria—Posthof
September 6—Barcelona, Spain—Razzmatazz
September 8—Santiago de Compostela, Spain—Auditorio De Galicia
September 10—Lyon, France—Radiant

Friday, January 25, 2019

Aldous Harding working on new LP, touring in April


New Zealand’s Aldous Harding has announced a spring North American tour, which kicks off in Brooklyn on April 8 at Rough Trade, and includes shows in DC, Philly, Kingston, NY (4/11 @ BSP), Montreal, Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and wraps up April 24 at Zebulon in Los Angeles. Tickets for Rough Trade and BSP are on sale now.

BSP’s ticket page says “Aldous Harding is finishing her third studio album. The upcoming release reunites her with John Parish (PJ Harvey, Sparklehorse) with whom she worked on the acclaimed Party.” Stay tuned for more details on that. Stream Party (one of our 2017 favorites) below.

After her North American visit, Aldous will head to Europe for a tour that includes stops at Primavera Sound festivals in Barcelona and Portugal. All dates are listed below.


Aldous Harding – 2019 Tour Dates
Mon 08 Apr 2019 Rough Trade NYC Brooklyn, NY, US
Tue 09 Apr 2019 DC9 Nightclub Washington, DC, US
Wed 10 Apr 2019 Johnny Brenda’s Philadelphia, PA, US
Thu 11 Apr 2019 BSP Kingston, NY, US
Fri 12 Apr 2019 La Sala Rosa Montreal, QC, Canada
Sun 14 Apr 2019 The Empty Bottle Chicago, IL, US
Mon 15 Apr 2019 Turf Club St. Paul, MN, US
Thu 18 Apr 2019 The Tractor Tavern Seattle, WA, US
Fri 19 Apr 2019 Polaris Hall Portland, OR, US
Mon 22 Apr 2019 Rickshaw Stop San Francisco, CA, US
Wed 24 Apr 2019 Zebulon Los Angeles, CA, US
Sun 12 May 2019 Privatclub Berlin, Germany
Tue 14 May 2019 Botanique – Rotonde Brussels, Belgium
Wed 15 May 2019 Concorde 2 Brighton, UK
Thu 16 May 2019 J2, Cambridge Junction Cambridge, UK
Fri 17 May 2019 Brudenell Social Club Leeds, UK
Sat 18 May 2019 Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) Glasgow, UK
Sun 19 May 2019 The Cluny 2 Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
Tue 21 May 2019 Manchester Gorilla Manchester, UK
Wed 22 May 2019 EartH (Hackney Arts Centre) London, UK
Thu 23 May 2019 Trinity Centre Bristol, UK
Sat 25 May 2019 La Maroquinerie Paris, France
Sun 26 May 2019 Maison Folie Wazemmes Lille, France
Wed 29 May 2019 Rock School Barbey Bordeaux, France
Thu 30 May 2019 — Sun 02 Jun 2019 Primavera Sound Festival 2019 Barcelona, Spain
Fri 31 May 2019 — Sun 02 Jun 2019 Best Kept Secret Festival 2019 Hilvarenbeek, Netherlands
Thu 06 Jun 2019 — Sat 08 Jun 2019 NOS Primavera Sound 2019 Porto, Portugal
Fri 12 Jul 2019 Iveagh Gardens Dublin, Ireland

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Brooke Moriber To Perform LIVE at TWO 2019 NY Fashion Week Events February 10th & 16th


With excitement already brewing for Fashion Week 2019 and designers get ready to unveil their latest collections, acclaimed Singer/Songwriter Brooke Moriber is gearing up to do some unveiling of her own. With her upcoming Cry Like A Girl album set to drop later this year, she’ll showcase some of the new music -- which she recently completed recording in Nashville, Tennessee, with legendary producer Fred Mollin (Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill, Shawn Colvin) at the helm -- during the Mark De Alwis Salon "Meals on Heels" Hair & Fashion Show Sunday, February 10th AND the SMGlobal Catwalk at Manhattan’s Watson Hotel (440 W. 5th Street, New York, NY 10019) on Saturday, February 16th at 6PM!

Cry Like A Girl is not only produced by a music industry legend but was also mixed by 5 time Grammy Winner Chris Lord-Alge (Carrie Underwood, Of Mice And Men, Bruce Springsteen). With Parade Magazine hosting the exclusive premiere of the first single and title track, they called it a “high-powered Americana-infused track with an empowering message" and noting that "Moriber makes a compelling case for sharing raw emotion with strong vocals and a spot-on delivery”. Popdust were also swift to jump on board, with the outlet proclaiming Brooke a “powerhouse”.

Cry Like A Girl is a deeply meaningful statement for Moriber who explains, “I named the album after that particular song because it has such a clear message that embodies the collection as a whole. It’s a statement about self-discovery and the strength that comes with embracing your emotions and allowing yourself to heal and grow. Human beings are resilient and I believe music can be the best reminder of that. I hope that the journey for the listeners can be as empowering and healing as it was for me to write it.”

As excitement for the global fashion industries latest trends combines with anticipation for Moriber’s latest music, the two worlds will collide at the Mark De Alwis Salon "Meals on Heels" Hair & Fashion Show on Sunday, February 10th and the SMGlobal Catwalk Fashion Week 2019 event Saturday, February 16th at the Watson Hotel!


Brooke has been lauded for her “clarion voice” by the Associated Press and songs that are “destined for high rotation”. A native New Yorker, Brooke began her singing career at the age of 8 by snagging a starring role on Broadway as Young Cosette in Les Miserables. No less than The New York Times has praised her acting ability as Brooke went on to star in six other legit shows as well as several roles on TV and in film. Brooke’s remarkable ability to juggle her career as both a recording artist and an actor led to her sharing the stage and screen with such performers as The Gin Blossoms, Cyndi Lauper and Alan Cumming as well as singing the National Anthem for the New York Knicks.


For Tickets tothe Mark De Alwis Salon’s “Meals on Heels” Hair & Fashion Show, VISIT: https://bit.ly/2TRYJLJ


For Tickets to the SMGlobal Catwalk Fashion Week 2019, VISIT: https://bit.ly/2VuvzUF