Monday, 30 March 2009

Oh Children!

You invite a band up from London, you think they're cool and edgy. Then they get stuck into their rider and this happens...

Big thanks to everyone who came to Saki Bar (and everyone who helped make it a success)
last week. Expect further New Ears events in the near future, yuh dun kno!

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Dan Deacon

Friends are growing increasingly frustrated by my apathetic reluctance to get into 'The Wire' - by all accounts the best television series since (sliced) Bread. “Get with it,” they tell me. But what my square-eyed pals perhaps fail to realise is that, far from hiding away from gritty, gang-land realism, I’m just way too busy getting my teeth into Baltimore’s lesser-known box office attraction, Mr. Dan Deacon.

Admittedly only by this comparison could DD be cast as the lesser-known commodity. His ethereal eerieness has been fondly acknowledged through past years, to the extent that even traditional mosh-mag Rolling Stone couldn’t deny chief hit ‘Crystal Cat’ a slot in its 100 best songs of 2007. Monday (23 March) saw the Maryland maestro unleash his second full-length offering following the spankingly safe ‘Spiderman of the Rings’ - and ‘Bromst’ does not disappoint.

Deacs himself somewhat confusingly describes the new outing as merely “not as plasticy”, but upon inspection, the use of live instruments and analogue synths certainly make for a richer and more varied sound than its predecessor. Double D pleases yet again by demonstrating his fearless ability to merge warped, choral harmony with intense and often euphoric hooks. ‘Paddling Ghost’ is an instant standout and should be used as the barometer for anyone yet to sample his most potent brand of aural acid.

It may not be dangerous, drug-riddled or particularly downtown, but Deacon continues to pop a hearty cap in the ass of US electronica. Unfortunately, with just one UK date (in London) scheduled for June, chances to catch his new 10+ musicians ensemble live show look sparse - which I suppose will give me a chance to finally crack out Series One. [Update! The good people at Pineapple Folk have arranged a Dan Deacon show for 2 June @ Manchester Academy. Yay! See more here.]

Music content removed by the Sonic Fun Police (aka the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry).

Words: Jake Richards

Wednesday, 18 March 2009


Rad tidings aplenty this Saturday (21 March) at Saki Bar, where we'll be proudly hosting our first band showcase avec dj-ing club night. Headlining is one of the most talked about live bands this year, post-punkers O. Children, supported by some of our most treasured new Manchester bands.

There has been one hitch however, a big hitch if you're a member of May68; they've had a load of their gear stolen and unfortunately can't play. May68 will instead be dj-ing on the night though, joining New Ears, Super Super and Contort Yourself/Monday Murkage resident Natalie Esquire who will bring you the sounds of the wickedness till late. Oh, and we promise to play The Horrors' new krautrock track, it's amazing. No really.

O. Children
Egyptian Hip Hop
Sir Yes Sir

DJs: May68, Natalie Esquire, New Ears, Super Super

Saki Bar, £4, 7PM - 2/3AM

It's gonna be safe, it's gonna be safe...

O. Children - 'Ace breasts'.mp3 (YSI)

Citizens - 'Oh record player (Is it still gold?)'

Egyptian Hip Hop - 'Rad pitt'

Sir Yes Sir - 'Hit 3'

The Horrors - 'Sea with a sea'.mp3 (YSI)

Words: SS

Monday, 16 March 2009

Relax and Enjoy the Ride

I am already one of the 600,000 people who will be made redundant this year. Yeah I know, go me! I'm fully into the swing of unemployment already too. This morning I signed on and this afternoon I bought soup and a lottery ticket. Tonight, I'm gonna score some heroin. That's all there is too it right?

I'm determined not to push the envelope of procrastination, but Black Meteoric Star currently has me wistfully returning to the same thought again and again: I want to go to Berlin please. BMS is the
new(ish) acid touched psychedelic electro project from DFA's enigma, Gavin Russom. It's minimal, ultra intense and basically sounds like Berghain at 4am. Look out for three 12” singles by Black Meteoric Star which will be released on DFA during 2009, followed by a CD compilation.

Black Meteoric Star - 'World Eater'.mp3 (YSI)

Words: SS

Art: David Shrigley

Saturday, 14 March 2009


Always endeavouring to bring you the choicest morsels from the all too broad musical kitchen; New Ears offers up Baltimore’s finest new delicacy, Baby Venom. This lo fi synth pop three piece more than hold their own amongst B-more’s innovative music scene (producing the likes of Dan Deacon, Animal Collective, Ponytail etc). Dave, Nathan and Sarah were kind enough to fill us in on their city and their baby:

Baltimore, Maryland
N: A small city with lots of vacancy.
S: Baltimore is America's filthy asshole.
D: Some of the worst crime stats, but some of the best hospitals...A lot of people in bands seem to have relocated here for school and/or to be able to pursue their art in a city with a relatively low cost of living. This also might be the best dive bar of a city to slum it in before moving up to Brooklyn.

New Baltimore bands
N: Thank You, the band. And this really cool pretend band called Super Kawaii.
D: Anything Denny Bowen gets involved with. He's behind the drums for Double Dagger, and for some of Dan Deacon's ensembles, but it has been his solo laptop project, under the name Smart Growth, that I'm enjoying the most right now.

D: I saw Sarah wearing a giant cat costume when we were both 14 or so. We didn't really become good friends until four years later when we met back up at college. Nathan gave me a ride home in the rain after a City of Caterpillar show.
S: I think we formed in summer 2007. Both of our former bands broke up at the same time. We'd been playing shows together as separate bands, so we just reformed into one big mash, voila!
N: We messed around with different set-ups and equipment for six months or so and then finally made an appearance in front of our friends.

Baby Venom - 'Moms and Dads'

D: Injuries, characters from books, temperature shifts.
N: Cheap keyboards, DC hardcore
S: You'll have to ask the man who ghost-writes all my songs. I'm just here for my looks.

D: My mantra has always been "never play it the same way twice" and that is especially true when I switch over to drums. Thankfully, that doesn't seem to throw anyone else off too much. We usually try not to play long sets so we don't leave audiences in a diabetic comb-over.
S: It feels like we showed up at a party and then out of the blue, we're expected to go onstage and entertain. We're a little campy, a little goofy, but we do play our songs well.

Stop Scratching tape release
D: We're still finalizing the tracklisting for the cassette re-release. It was meant to be out by winter '08, but our scheduling has changed a bit since our football team unexpectedly made it deep into the playoffs. Go Raisins!
S: Haha, I'm useless! Expect it sometime before May 2009?

UK visit
D: We still need to get all our show dates in order. I hope we can get cases for keyboards before we come over and borrow drums along the way.
S: We should be there in mid-May. Fingers crossed!
N: Can you give us a show?

We’re working on it...

Baby Venom - 'Frank'.mp3 (YSI)

Words: SS

Monday, 2 March 2009

MAY 68 - FEB 27 - MARCH 21....

Maybe it was because we’re putting them on soon, maybe it was because right now they’ve got on their hands the most professionally produced, immediate sounding demo we’ve heard in a long time, or maybe it was because of the one-bulletin-a-minute Myspace inundation by the promoters (hint – not this one) – but NE found itself waiting with baited anticipation for May 68’s show last weekend at Ruby Lounge.

With a name obviously influenced by the Situationists and the Paris riots of the time led by Guy Debord I worried perhaps that the lyrical or stylistic stance favoured by so many bands (trying to tap into those philosophies to try and look pseudo-political (see early manics, stone roses etc etc)) could be present. But thankfully no, and whats in a name anyway… this could be Manchester 89 if we’re going there and more importantly its devoid of any date-heavy pretentions - theres's just savvy beats and big chorus's here. Sure sometimes the lyrics slip into electro cliché but this really doesn’t seem to matter with incendiary pop such as this.

Live and with real drums and dirtier guitars the music was all that mattered and worries that the catchy as fuck Last Mile was going to rule the set roost were quickly subsided as a good proportion of the set had enough hooks and melodies to contend. Singer Jude’s voice is as good if not better live and the duet towards the end between her and the drummer sounds like Madonna flirting with Edwyn Colllins, and yes as good as that sounds.

Yeah there’s still rough edges but for a band with only a handful of gigs under their belt that’s understandable. Maybe Debord’s fears for the dilution of culture by the disposable society wouldn’t have sat well with all this but he’s dead with a bullet through his heart, soon May 68 could well put one through yours


Words: Marvel Hell

May 68 - 'Last Mile'