Archive for October, 2008
Man – how confusing. One minute you’re standing outside a pub in London covered in snow, the next you just feel compelled to make leaf angels in earth’s freshly scattered autumn coat…
Good news in the Stars & Sons camp today, as management have confirmed that to support the new In the Ocean single – and happily for all of you in Norwich, Manchester, Wolverhampton, London and Brighton that they are to support Okkervil River on the UK leg of their tour.
The American band, who apparently “have the dusty feel of some long-lost precious thing you found in your attic” (Rolling Stone Magazine) – should go well with our Brighton-based pop hipsters, not least because they effortlessly provide the “high-octane excitement of getting something really awesomely new and shiny” (Jack Alcopop).
Meanwhile, you should definitely check out Pulled Apart by Horses. I saw them last night after trekking through a bleak, snowy London – with the handsome Kev BSM and a plastic bottle of Sprite/Dirty Vodka for company (pictured below), and they were great. Really rock n’ roll!
PS – Don’t eat KFC ‘molten chocolate puddings’, especially from the Baker Street branch.
1.) They’re far from Molten – tepid would be a more accurate description
2.) They’re full of greasy mange. Between every bite (of which there were few), a thin film of fatty filth congealed around each mouthful.
Also – you know Eddie Argos of Art Brut fame. Yeah, me too – and I’ve always thought he seemed like a cracking fella. Good news is he’s started a new blog where he paints a picture for every song that he’s ever written and will ever write, and writes pretentiously about them. Which I think is pretty damn cool. Here’s the work for the classic Formed a Band. I look forward to Guns of Milan…
So we were dead chuffed when we saw this… No real explanation needed! Just click on the pic below, and watch away for a Sam Isaac interview, and a cracking session…
Oh, and have you heard? Ace of Base have reformed… Cracking stuff! Apparently, they’ve got ‘new web 2.0 tools’ and everything. Do you think they mean MySpace? Watch out pop charts!
I was told by so-called ‘reliable’ chum Crunkfish that today was International Caps Lock day… Therefore, I saved this post ready to cram full of capitals. Loads of them. I was going to start at the beginning and literally thrash it so full of big ol’ letters that the majority of people would stop reading almost immediately.
Somewhat luckily he was wrong. It was yesterday! So therefore I’ll keep the caps to a minimum, and leave the news to tell itself – namely that the very limited 7″ copies of Stars and Son’s ‘In the Ocean’ are available NOW to pre-order, which is pretty awesome news.
You can order it from our shop, along with a whole heap of oher exciting releases (and it will cost you no more than 50p for postage however many you go for) – and whatsmore… Everyone who orders will receive a free MP3 piano version of the A-side via email, which is not only gorgoeus, but won’t be available on the vinyl or from any of your favourite digital music stores, giving you 3 tracks for the price of one, and something to enjoy while you’re waiting for the vinyl to drop on the release date (17th November).
We sought him here, we sought him there – we sought one our favourite 90s frontmen everywhere… Well, on the blog at least… And it is with great delight, that just a couple of days ago, Alcopop received a comment from legendary Menswe@r frontman Johnny Dean. Responding to our plea to find him, he thankfully confirmed that the rumours that he worked in a mobile phone shop were bollocks (good stuff) - but in less good, but pretty understandable, news - he quashed any hope of a Menswe@r reformation gig or release as totally out of the question.
Here’s his response to our original post in full
“Firstly, I feel the need to end any rumours that I have ever worked in, or indeed managed, a mobile phone shop. In fact, I can honestly say I haven’t even put a foot inside a mobile phone shop, I hate mobile fucking phones, as anyone who knows me well can confirm. So lets put that one to bed shall we and attribute it to that bitter mistress ‘the rumour mill’. Or someone who feels the necessity to make these things up in order to make themselves seem more valid, or a better human being, in which case they need to see a shrink.
Secondly, I am flattered that you cared about my band and seem concerned enough to enquire about my whereabouts, however, even though I take some small pride in what we achieved back then I have no intention of reforming Menswear. The other members have, at times approached me about this but if it happened it would not include me. Its all in the past and the past is where it belongs. And to be honest, it was not entirely a positive experience for me and not one I would like to repeat voluntarily.
Thirdly, to be fair the demise of Menswear cannot be attributed to one single person or action but to the failings of all of those involved. It started out as something so simple, to play music and have fun, and became something grotesque and overly complicated with all and sundry grabbing for a bigger piece of the pie. So I bowed out quietly with nothing in my pockets, but with a clear conscience, which is the most important thing.
And finally, other than having Aspergers (which isn’t that bad actually) I’m doing very well thankyou. xxxxxxxxxxxx“
Good news Johnny – and I imagine that across the country old copies of Nuisance will be getting a dusting down, ‘The One’ perchance echoing through bedrooms long devoid of any ‘Swear related pop. Ace.
Oh, and any time you fancy DJing an Alcopop night, ‘gis a yell…!
Alcopop love compilations! It’s always nice to get some obscure format (be it tape, 3″ CD or er… CD), ram it full of delightful songs from all sorts of different artists we enjoy, and smash it out to the baying public. But we (or rather Kev at BSM who wrote this charming blogpost here) would like to know what you want in your compilation… We’ve splashed paint on tapes and released them on the stroke of the New Year, made cheeky little cardboard cases, and put another one up for free download on the blog.
But what do you like most of all? I leave Kev to take up the story…
“For the next 5 minutes you’re all employees of Big Scary Monsters Recording Company. Your job title is ‘Marketing Assistant’, which is fairly self-explanatory I think, but just to confirm: you’re assisting with marketing. Sound good? Good. You’re not getting paid.
The problem with compilations is that nobody buys them anymore. Shops very rarely stock any and unless the content of the disc is nearly all new and exclusive (which is a difficult thing to achieve), people likely already own/can easily find the tracks elsewhere. As Marketing Assistant, here’s your first task:
Tell me what we can do to make compilation CDs exciting again.”
Already garnering some interesting comments over on punktastic, his blog and DiS, I promised him I’d put it to the poppers to see if they had any input on this taxing question. Obviously, it’s something that would be unbelievably useful, so we’d really appreciate any input you have right there in the comment box below. Thanks chaps!!
Is this record label communism – yeh, probably… Cheers all!
Remember goFASTER>> – the handsome, charming chaps from way the fu*k up north (Liverpool indeed) who released the undeniable slab of 7″ genius, Flammable Leisurewear, on our very label just a few months ago?
Of course you do! And after a summer spending a little quality time relaxing and recouping after playing around 596 shows (or so) in the past year, they are set to relaunch themselves back into your hearts after shedding a member and gaining a fresh one – which is ace, as I for one really have missed their frenetic live sets over the summer months.
But more of them in the coming weeks (and months), for this blogpost is specifically asking ‘what of Chris gF>>’ – he of guitars/keyboards/green and white trakky top – who left the band a few months ago? Well, the good news is that he and every member of Supergrass, not to mention Dave Grohl (aka Ian the -still- drummer of GF) have formed a tasty little 2-piece side project, with quite clearly the best name of all time – EastFifeFourForfarFive. Something that I would literally kill to hear Stelling say!
They have a MySpace over here, a gig on the 6th November in Liverpool – and although the streaming speed of Virgin’s crappy internet is set in the stone age and I can’t hear their debut recording ‘Your Bike is In Slip’ – I have no doubt that they’ll be a Meatloaf-esque tour de force (the song is, after all, nearly 15 minutes long). They’ve already received magnificent press, The Yak (and we presume that’s big Nigerian striker Abdulrasaq Yakubu Aiyegbeni claiming..
|“That beginning bit sounds like somebody building a shed in Brian Eno’s back garden”|
So really – what more could you ask for?
Let us know if you’ve heard any better band names too – a Pukka Pie to anyone who can top this one…
Ah – yesterday was a great day to be Alcopoppin, and as the rain and misery splashed about outside our windows, inside it was all coming up the colour of Lemon Hooch. So much so, that even the personal financial crisis I find myself perennially in couldn’t dampen my spirits of what was otherwise a great day.
Greeted in the morning by a particularly favourable piece in the Guardian no less (our 3rd of the year) about upcoming indie heroes Stars & Sons, which suggested that they were “camper than a row of tents at a gay holiday village where the redcoats wear pink coats” (hmmm), Cut the Blue Wire quickly followed with another particularly positive review. This time from those good folks at Rock and Metal Music Webzine.
Packed with praise, they waxed lyrical about almost all elements of this record, and dropped in this wonderfully cutting comment that made me lol out loud – “This is something you may not have encountered recently if you’ve been trapped in the bowels of the Epitaph catalogue; it’s called “song-writing”. Look it up.”
Then – just as reviews were looking up, I was invited to the opening of a new Chinese Restaurant opening up on the Cowley Road in Oxford called Lan Kwai Fong (I think), with the promise of Lion dancing and the Lord Mayor. Bonus! Then Alcopop were reffed as ‘ever brilliant’ by the lovely ‘Choonoftheday’ on Twitter, who are not only kind, but definitely worth following if you’re big in that area of micro-blogging – they like Stars & Sons too.
Then, and stop me if I’m being a smug bastard here, I popped down to London with my pal Matt to meet a friendly lot of press people who furnished me with drinks, before hitting Nima from Hush the Many’s new band’s gig – Arrows of Love (pictured below) – which was an interesting and enjoyable all round experience, even if rather a departure to what I was used to with HTM. In all, it were super, smashing great!
Now off to be totally depressed by the football – my prediction… 1-1
It’s been a fair while since I debuted this ol’ feature (which generated a response from the one and only Jim Collapsed Lung no less), but my recent virus has left my voice somewhat mangled, and in an in-car attempt to try to coax a revitalised sonic delight from my currently shattered lungs – the song Sharks by Silver Sun happened upon my lips. A song that not only made me reminisce on good times long gone, but one I thought was pretty much a necessity that I, and Jeff Giles (nice one pal), share it with you all – because it’s perhaps one of the most beautiful, yet underrated, tunes I can recall.
Recorded way back (presumably) in 1998, and clear highlight of Silver Sun’s second album ‘Neo Wave’– Sharks has always remained a bit of a mystery to me, as it was never actually released. You see, following record label Mercury’s ridiculous decision to drop the band (as I understand it) the record was shelved after promo CDs had been sent out and everything (I know – I’ve got one) and perhaps one of the most beautiful songs of a dying Britpop era pretty much sunk without trace to a great, single buying public. Dim the lights, and take a look at the video below.
Would it have saved the bands career, topped the charts or made them a whole heffing pile of cash? Who knows, but perhaps it remaining that obscure single that will forever sit in my (and probably about 250 others) record collections in the royal blue promo sleeve makes it that extra bit special. As beautiful as it is tender, and a million miles away from the balls-out pop hit ‘I’ll See you Around’ – this song will ever remain as the pinnacle of the first compilation tape I made my first long-term girlfriend (and caused many happy tears) – and no doubt mean an awful lot to those lucky enough to have been into Silver Sun back in the dying embers of the 90’s.
But what of Silver Sun now – who despite a fairly recent comeback (as well as a DJ set at the inaugural club night) seem to have sunk from view again… Well good news comes in the form of a message from singer James on the forum of the band’s website about the new album – “The songs are all there – we will get around to start recording them at some point but I’m not sure exactly when. I know Paul is eager but the other boys are quite busy (including me) with other plans. It’s tricky as SS never made any money so it’s all done for love – and that means it’s financed through selling my body to medical science / pimping out my cat to the local toms. That said – it will happen.”
Only time will tell how long – but until then, take a moment to bask in the glory of ‘Sharks’. Thanks Mr Broad – this song will ever remain as one of my favourites!
“All my love, all my kissin’ – you don’t know what you’ve been missing oh Alcopoppers” – and indeed, I have been somewhat remiss, for which I apologise.
You see, despite it being an absolute tour-de-force of a clip that see’s singer Mike Lord get kidnapped by himself, enjoy a difficult bolognaise date and flounder about in the ocean in front of a handsome mermaid, I haven’t yet posted the Stars and Sons video for ‘In the Ocean’… A mistake I shall be rectifying at the end of this post.
You must watch it – it’s bloody brilliant!
Meanwhile – as well as catching Sam Isaac towards the end of his tour, and preparing for rocking out to This City, who have nabbed main tour support with Kids in Glass Houses… I’m also popping down to The Scala on Tuesday to see Nima (of Hush the Many, Heed the Few’s) new band ‘Arrows of Love’, supported by Ed Harcourt – amongst others.
Very excited I am (!), and anyone who fancies going should know that the generous chap has offered Alcopop an unlimited cheap guestlist for the show… So if you fancy it, just send me an email at email@example.com – and I’ll make sure he puts you down!
Now for that video… Rock on!