Tuesday, 14 December 2010

VideoTape #33

Soars, "Throw Yourself Apart"
Director: Jamie Harley
from the ST LP, out now on La Société Expéditionnaire

Monday, 13 December 2010

Live Recording > Owen Pallett at Hard Club, Porto

Owen Pallett Live at Hard Club
Porto, Portugal 11.12.2010
Recording Equipment: CA-14 > STC 9100 > Tascam DR-07

First of all, we would like to apologize for our lack of updates over the last month. We’ve just been busy with some personal issues (Ashtapes is soon moving to London) and haven’t found the time to update the blog at all. But I can’t think of a better way to return than a full live recording of the immensely talented Owen Pallett, who played in Porto’s Hard Club last Saturday.

Alone on stage, using solely his voice, a violin, a synthesizer and looping pedals, Pallett, who looks like a young nordic prince, dazzled the audience with his looping technique (which is similar to the one used by Andrew Bird), overlapping live crafted layers of his own arrangements, sometimes sounding like a whole orchestra, and giving a new insight into his beautiful chamber-pop tunes. Heartland, one of this year's best long-lengths, was obviously under the spotlight, but Pallett did not forget about the time when he shared a name with a video game, playing several Final Fantasy beloved oldies such as set openers “The CN Tower Belongs to the Death” and “He Poos Clouds”. Unlike some past shows, multi-instrumentist Thomas Guill, who is a central piece on the sound of Pallet’s new EP A Swedish Love Story, did not join him on stage, which resulted in a slightly different approach to the songs of this release.

The set closed with the usual cover of Caribou’s “Odessa” ("I don't make dance songs", he said), but, as this was the last show of his european tour (meaning, in his own words, that “we’ll play a long time and get kind of wasted”), Pallett played two encores from which I would definitely highlight a glorious interpretation of a Bach’s arrangement seamlessly mashed up with the wonderful “Many Lives -> 49 MP” that you can stream below.

1. The CN Tower Belongs To The Death | 2. He Poos Clouds | 3. Don't Stop | 4. Scandal at the Parkade | 5. This is the Dream of Win & Regine | 6. Midnight Directives | 7. E is for Estranged | 8. A Man With No Ankles | 9. Keep the Dog Quiet | 10. The Great Elsewhere | 11. Lewis Takes Action | 12. Odessa (Caribou Cover) | 13. Lewis Takes Off His Shirt | Encore I: 14. The Lamb Sells Condos | 15. Bach vs. Many Lives -> 49 MP | Encore II: 16. Oh Heartland, Up Yours!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Fresh Blood > Dandy Little Lions

Dandy Little Lions
> Brooklyn, New York, US
> Indie-Pop

MP3: "Wintersong"
from American Kids EP (Daisy Nites, 2010)
[Download the whole split - with Tropical Punk and The Liberty Belles EP here]

> Dandy Little Lions:
«Pop is not a bad word. It was this realization that led to the first bedroom-recorded tracks of Dandy Little Lions. Ever since Jake Forney’s original one-man inception with nothing but two (spray-painted) gold Casio keyboards, the number one priority has always been the production of tracks that satisfy the electro-pop pleasure center of the brain. Employing undeniable synth hooks and Depeche Mode-influenced verses woven between shout-a-long choruses, Dandy Little Lions' music works as well sweating at a packed party as it does cross-legged on the living room floor.»

Fresh Blood > Calm Palm Vapor

Calm Palm Vapor
> Chicago, Illinois, US
> Post-Shoegaze, Space Motown

MP3: "Run The Tables"
from the album Morning Pacific (self-released, 2010)
MP3: "Everyday We Grow"
from the album Morning Pacific (self-released, 2010)
[Get the debut album here]

> Pierogi of Calm Palm Vapor:
«Calm Palm Vapor, pioneers of 'Space Motown', honed their craft in the barrio, but now are winning over audiences wherever they play. Comparisons are difficult as Space Motown is a new genre and it's boundaries are set by each Calm Palm Vapor release/performance. However, if you're looking for something new, music with blissed out guitars and triumphant melodies contrasted with Motown bass and beats, Calm Palm Vapor should be your next exploration. These tracks will not be found on the radio, lucky you, you found them here.»

Fresh Blood > Mariage Blanc

Mariage Blanc
> Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US
> Indie-Pop

MP3: "Whatever You Say I Am"
from the ST album (self-released, 2010)
[Purchase the second Marige Blanc's release here]

> Josh Kretzmer of Mariage Blanc:
«Mariage Blanc is a five piece indie-pop band from Pittsburgh, PA. Later this fall we'll be releasing our first LP. Last January we started recording in an unheated warehouse / studio space that we had built ourselves the previous spring. At first, it was extremely cold, then our master tapes fell apart, then some equipment died. Not fun. As the weather got warmer, things got easier and we finally finished recording in July.
Put simply, we play pop music with a big emphasis on melody and arrangement. If you like The Zombies, Ambulance LTD, Elliott Smith, etc... then you might enjoy our music as well.»

Saturday, 11 December 2010

VideoTape #32

Galleries & Foxes In Fiction, "Borders"
Director: The Tearist

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Live Recording > Sun Araw at Passos Manuel, Porto

Sun Araw Live at Passos Manuel
Porto, Portugal 04.11.2010
Recording Equipment: CA-14 > STC 9100 > Tascam DR-07

Just a few weeks after the release of his new EP Off Duty, Cameron Stallones aka Sun Araw -- who is also responsible for one of this year's essential LPs, On Patrol -- played a much anticipated gig in Porto. The concert took place last thursday in a small downtown cinema and was part of Sun Araw's european fall tour with live collaborator (and Sohni Chambers partner) Nick Malkis.

Using reverb-drenched guitar lines, looping pedals, haunted organs, old-school samples and Stallones' mantric vocals, Sun Araw took us on a splendid sonic trip that has as much of adventure as it has of nostalgia. And I think this audio recording pretty much captures that cosmic, past-meets-future blending of tropical psychedelia, dub, drone, reggae, free-jazz and afrobeat that makes Stallones one of the most interesting and creative artists from the prolific city of Los Angeles.

I can't figure out which are the missing songs from the setlist so they might be new tunes or just something that I'm not recognizing -- any hints would be appreciated. As a teaser, I've uploaded below Sun Araw's stunning cover of Neil Young's "Barstool Blues". Enjoy!

1. Last Chants | 2. Canopy | 3. Heavy Deeds | 4. Ma Holo | 5. ??? | 6. ??? | 7. Barstool Blues (Neil Young Cover) | Encore: 8. Horse Steppin'

Sun Araw - Barstool Blues Live (Neil Young Cover) by ashtapes

Download: Sun Araw Live at Passos Manuel

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Interview > Raw Moans

Raw Moans' first album we want it beautiful NOT REAL makes me think of a gray, cloudy city with tall, abandoned buildings, all their windows covered in dust and dirt. The songs are eerie, minimalist reworkings of R&B songs from the 90s. Joseph Vorachack's voice sounds both melancholic and warm, even when he is singing explicit verses from Snoop Dogg's "Ain't No Fun (If the Homies Can't Have None)." Joseph wrote out responses to notes I had made for a proposed phone interview, and I retrofitted questions based on my notes to his responses.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Fresh Blood > Thunder Bunny

Thunder Bunny
> New Jersey, US
> Psychedelic, Folk

MP3: "The Whole World Gathered To Watch Him Fade Away"
from the In A Perfect World cassette (Workerbee Records, 2010)
MP3: "Sleepy Head"
from the In A Perfect World cassette (Workerbee Records, 2010)
[Get In A Perfect World here]

> Christopher Padula / Thunder Bunny:
«I guess I'd say that Thunder Bunny is gloomy, psychedelic drug-pop or the sounds of a world of dark and sad sex as heard through a tin can.
I love distance in music but for it to still have power... Like a storm that you may hear but doesn't always hit. Music that through it's meloncholy says "there is nothing left to do but f#ck".
I listen most to music that takes you places. The way Chet Baker's or Astrud Gilberto's voice can drift with you down a stream. My favorite songs ever are "I'll Be You Mirror" and "Moon River". Some songs can make the world end.
I really just write folky pop songs on an acoustic guitar and that to this point has always been the first thing I record. But all the while there is a hundred things in my head. So once I get the acoustic down to a click; it's just one thing after another. It's a challenge sometimes to remember everything because I don't really know how to play any of these instruments and I have left the studio having forgotten to put instruments in a song that I'd intended to...»

Fresh Blood > The Liberty Belles

The Liberty Belles
> Rhode Island, US
> Surf-Rock, Lo-Fi

MP3: "Lights Out Ready To Go"
from American Kids EP (Daisy Nites, 2010)
MP3: "Western Wood"
from American Kids EP (Daisy Nites, 2010)
[Download the whole EP here]

> The Liberty Belles:
«The Velvet Underground and the Beach Boys had a love child. This love child grew up listening to The Damned, abusing Adderral, and stubbornly believing in Love. He records songs in a basement in Rhode Island, and his name is The Liberty Belles.»

Fresh Blood > Dunes

> Los Angeles, California, US
> Post-Punk

MP3: "Armor"
from the Old Souls 7" (Art Fag Recordings, 2010)
MP3: "Handle"
from Dunes 12" (Mexican Summer, 2010)
[Get the ST EP here]

> Dunes:
«Dunes is an LA-based trio, who bend timeless, ornate darkness into new and forlorn forms. The three artists have deconstructed the classic instrumental set up and rebuilt from the drums up, creating tools for their own dreamy vision of pop. Their inspiration forms itself in themes from outside forces to inner balance. Though serious in musical intentions, they do bring a fun and kinetic element to their live performances. Roommates and bandmates but mostly just friends, Dunes keeps it cozy in their home, serenading their neighbors and drawing inspiration from their living room walls.»

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Photos > Abe Vigoda + Male Bonding + No Age > XOYO, London

From the dawns of Kid City, tropical punk wildhearts Abe Vigoda have accostumed their thirsty audience with a constant reinvention of their signature sound. Throwing Shade at previously acclaimed Reviver and Skeleton, they charge into a packed XOYO with happiness fueled Pure Violence, reminding us of the live energy that made us love them in the first place. Crush(ed).
Nothing Hurts
like the sound of the Paradise Vendors - London based trio Male Bonding prepares us for No Age with Weird Feelings and a mosh-pit induced Crooked Scene. Nothing Remains, only sweat and smiles.
Come the headliners of the night, LA-based, California-raised Life Prowler(s) No Age. Prepare for the usual bombastic live performance, and forget about everything else - a Brain Burner sound that leaves us Fever Dreaming with Ripped Knees. Everything in Between shines in Glitter colors, explodes in extreme crowd surfing and leaves us, as usual, wanting for more and more.

All Photos & Text by Bruna Volpi / 14.10.2010