• Category Archives From the Present
  • Craig Ward – New Third Lanark

    n3lAh, ambience.  A lovely thing to listen to, but a sod to write about as instead of filling the room with sound, a good ambient record’ll gently colour in the fringes while the brain quietly soaks it all in without telling anyone.  And while something labelled “Guitar Improvisations” on an album named after a community-resurrected Scottish Football Club may have people wondering what on Earth is about to happen, the fact that it’s Craig Ward behind it all has this scribe rather looking forward to whatever might occur, as he’s graced more than one favourite of this site during its lifetime.

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  • Horsebeach

    horsebeachSomewhere in the lower reaches of my pile of DVDs are a small group of imported Hong Kong editions of films by Miike Takashi, because they were impossible to get over here at the time (and they were also very cheap).  The Japanese director is well-known for being a bit multicultural with his cast who generally spoke their own language in conversation with others speaking a different one.  An interesting challenge for the Chinese subtitling department, who had to transcribe all of these into their own language and then into English for the benefit of the likes of me.  A favourite of mine is Dead Or Alive: Final (brilliant intro, very weird ending, so-so middle bits) as one of the main characters speaks English – which was then translated into Cantonese by one translator and then back into English by another one doing the subs, with rather strange linguistic consequences as what is said and what appears on the bottom of the screen rarely match.  There’s method to this laboured intro, as Manchester’s Horsebeach take a sound familiar round these here parts but rather than riff on the original, it’s something partially retranslated from another interpretation.

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  • Mark Kozelek – Live At Biko

    bikoThere is a reason why this post is ever so slightly late.  At the end of his performance of Micheline, Mark Kozelek takes a moment to gather his thoughts before asking his gathered audience “Are you tired of these middle-aged ramblings of mine?  ‘Cause I’m gonna go a lot more of them” before going into a short discussion of his recent viewing of True Detective.  And as I was only halfway through watching the set at the time, I immediately switched off and vowed not to return until I’d finished watching it for fear that he might say something spoilery.  My advice is – if you haven’t done so already – to watch True Detective from start to finish, as it’s incredible.  And once you’ve done that, put this on and nod along sagely with his short and highly accurate summarising.

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  • Sunday Whatever

    071Sometime during the last couple of months when the hinges fell of this blog (and myself), I made a bit of a discovery.   I’m doing all of this wrong.  What I should be doing by all accounts is to spend more time saying that I’ve written something (or, in many cases, copy/pasted a press release) rather than sitting down thinking of what to say.  And if that’s the wrong way of going about things in the current climate of “look at me and give me traffic” music blogging, then I’m happy to be such a halfwit for not joining in.  6 Days From Tomorrow was never truly written in order to be read (I rarely read it myself, so I have no drive to make others do so.  But thanks for reading anyway, you’re more than welcome here), it was done as what I thought would be a private thing to get my thoughts in order when other attempts failed, and it’s not doing a very good job of that either!  That it’s become something else entirely from whatever I originally set out to so is a source of occasional pride, and that I’ve managed to gain such little victories without recourse to “You won’t believe what has done, it’ll blow your mind” clickbait shenanigans or paying neither Facebook nor for the privilege of spreading the word feels like quite an achievement in itself.

    So, whenever I write something, I park it on the 6dft Facebook Page and the 6dft Twitter thing (although I have to say that this is a very underused feed and my personal one is much sillier), and I park it there once.  I tried the “ICYMI” thing last week that everyone else does (which some proper sites do several times a day) and felt such an absolute wretched tart for doing so that this will never happen again.  This doesn’t mean that I am averse to Likes, Shares, Favourites Retweets and other such word of mouth if someone gets to read any of this and feels strongly enough to do so, and in fact it remains a thrill to me whenever someone takes the time to do so, but I’m not doing any of this cobblers in order to be at all popular.  I’m doing it to keep my own ducks in a row.

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  • Vaporland

    vaporlandWhile I’ve been switched off recently, I was also apparently rather busy as the last few weeks has seen a whole raft of Things I Ordered And Then Forgot About arriving in a steady stream.  This is something I do rather a lot which always results in a pleasant surprise when stuff appears, and it’s somewhat miraculous when duplicates are few and far between.  That said, I have absolutely no recollection of ordering this one, although there’s plenty of evidence stating that I must have done.  All I can do at this point is offer my congratulations to whatever subconscious part of my brain was working on whatever day I handed over the cash for this one, as it’s a bit of a corker.

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  • The Soundcarriers – Entropicalia

    entropicaliaThere’s something comfortably strange in looking way back to understand something contemporary. This new one from The Soundcarriers is a fine case in point, as not only is it a great record for Now, but it also revisits and slightly reinvents a past where kids TV shows such as Play School and Rainbow were staffed or themed by cheerfully odd folkie musicians and one of my first crushes was directed towards the person of Maria from A Handful Of Songs. Being exposed to such slightly psychedelic folk-tinged playful pop as a child certainly helped to open the door (or variously-shaped windows) for the arrival of this record, a welcome addition to the Ghost Box stable where the feeling of nostalgia for something that never quite existed is never far away…

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  • The Hotelier – Home, Like Noplace Is There

    hotelierIt’s probably worth pointing out that I started writing this one on the 2nd of March.  I needed a break. I probably still do, but there you go.  So I suppose it’s kind of apt that as I appear from my short hiatus bleary-eyed and woolly-headed, the cobwebs are well and truly blown away by a record that is pretty much perfectly qualified to be doing so.  And in any case it’d be rude of me to not finish what I started.

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  • Mark Lanegan – Meltdown Festival, London Queen Elizabeth Hall, June 14th 2014

     

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    “Bit short-changed there”, said the bloke passing us on the way out of the auditorium at half-past nine, after the set that began at half-past eight had finished. Well, away with you sir, that was great. To paraphrase an old BBC comedy play, never mind the width, feel the quality.

    For such a short and early set (presumably with one eye on tonight’s footballing doings ) it wasn’t half packed, and came with a couple of surprises. Not only did the lightbulbs illuminating the stage actually change colour from their traditional red, Mark also took centre stage under a de facto spotlight!  Anyway, after a ticket-purchasing farce which saw us perched right at the back (as the following snaps barely illustrate – by the way, I’m not sure if I should feel relieved or wounded that I didn’t feature in the Guardian’s recent “worst gig photos”), we witnessed a rather stunning set as well as a lot of people who couldn’t stay sat down for five minutes at a time without wandering off outside.

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  • Stick In The Wheel – Bones

    bonesIn amidst all the near-evangelical happy-clapping about physical musical media, there’s always something that never gets mentioned: and that’s the bit about there always being some shiny nugget or two hidden away in the smallprint that comes with the record (or indeed CD, because whenever “physical media” is mentioned, they don’t mean that, snobs that they are) should you be so inclined as to sit down and read it.  In this case, it was reading the various credits and liner notes to Wolf People’s excellent Fain that I first heard about Stick In The Wheel, and their cheery, murderous songs instantly won me over.  There’s something about picking old songs and tales up, or creating new ones in the same old spirit, that appeals to these ears; stories of death and toil that are best belted out late at night when the body tires and the subconscious comes out to play and further colour in the grim poetry.

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  • USA Out Of Vietnam – Crashing Diseases And Incurable Airplanes

    usaSpreading from the centre of much of my listening habits of the past 25 years or so (sshh) are but two bands.  From these parts of my musical youth all manner of tendrils have sprung forth; some branches with stronger ties to their roots, some less so.  Looking at this from a wistful, nostalgic view it’s a genuine pleasure to gaze right back to these sources and also to the younger me who was so moved by it all back then as well as feeling a strange tinge of glee that it’s all still going on.  It’s also great to see and hear so many of the people involved in these groups and their various satellites continuing to create and amaze as they find new avenues to explore with new people alongside them.  One of which appears thusly.

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