Misty Business is a documentary I made for University after they deemed my pitch for a doc about squatting in a Spanish hotel ‘so lame’. The title comes from Father John Misty, an artist who I have yet to ever listen to. But I always liked his name, and i thought it appropriate in the misty, empty place Scotland can be sometimes.
I’ve got to really thank all the people who appear in it, and Andy Donaldson (wecamefromwolves) who kept me company when i was cold and alone in Dundee filming at a bar i’d never been to before. Fun Fact : the barmaid at that place was the most unhelpful, unpleasant people I’ve tried to speak to in a bar. I was the only person in that whole bar, and she clearly didn’t like that she had to serve a customer and not chat with the chef for another 30 minutes about getting neck tattoos. Not that i have anything against neck tats…I just like getting served pints without getting sneered at.
Emily Atkinson who is a delightful singer also graciously let me film her soundcheck, which led to her becoming one of my favorite performers. I had seen her once before, but in the year that had passed she had significantly stepped her game up. It was mind-blowing, and now i’m a huge fan. You can find her stuff here.
I will be working on a follow up in the year to come, having already filmed a couple of interviews which would be perfect for it. I had to cut a lot of stuff out of this one for time constraints so it’d be good if i can get it to be around a half hour or so. I’ll get some people in it to totally trash the original doc.
This is a strange one. I had written a script to make a short film about two brothers, one who loved his dear deceased father and the other who knew about some damning details about him, leading him to defecating on his grave. The film would have ramped up into a piece about blackmail, as the shitty brother starts getting threatening messages about being a shitter.
We set out to the graveyard to film our scenes, but i had left the tripod back at the flat. Not wanting to waste the day, we filmed a home-video style piece that could be turned into…something. I had this riff lying around that i had no other ideas for other than the chorus being “fuck…you” over and over – and we decided to turn sam’s antics into a music video.
The result is what it is. I liked the VHS effect, but i should have kept the 3:4 aspect ratio. I had fun editing it, it distinctly reminded me of our first youtube video some 11 years back Danger, Danger High Voltage! in that it’s a video with Sam doing silly and random shit set to music. It’s probably something he gets a kick out of, because he always suggests to make one. I think the way forward is to edit like a DJ Douggpound song.
I understand it’s not for everyone. My brother was the first person i showed it to and he did not think it was funny. He thought it was kind of sad. After he said that i kind of realised that the setting is not altogether appropiate. He also hates MDE which Sam forced us to watch before we filmed this.
Until i met Hector, and he said he and Aiden had made the same journey up to Dean Graveyard and spent a couple hours drinking in there like teens. So it’s not just me that is still hanging in graveyards at the age of twenty six. I hope i can repurpose the film I wrote into something else. We are filming a pilot for a talk show soon (with no budget) and hopefully we can use some of the scenes in that. Like this poker scene where they’re all betting on this hentai doujinshi.
Every few years or so, an album comes along that fills you with that warm feeling of awe, reminding us of the soul changing effect that well-constructed guitar music can have on the human heart.
Hand Habit’s debut LP, Wildly Idle (Humble Before the Void) is magnificent at capturing a feeling more than a sound, taking you to those lost summer days floating barely above the water, a hidden enigma that captures everything important about American guitar music.
Meg Duffy, the singer and guitarist behind Hand Habits has been recording and touring with Mega Bog and the Kevin Morby band, but her own efforts are much more an intimate, bedroom affair. Recorded in her living room in her Upstate New York hometown and at her current L.A home, Wildly Idle captures the beauty and tenderness in jangly guitar music that other bands don’t even come close to.
Duffy tells us that she has always gravitated to the more warm sounding frequencies than the tinny high ends. “I think the guitar I play really helped me figure that out. It’s a lone star strat with a humbucker, and the bridge pickup is very bass-y and warm. I only have one guitar, so it’s what I started with and with my vocals, making this record made me realize just rolling a bit of the high end off makes me feel more comfortable with hearing my own voice.”
The lo-fi qualities of a bedroom recording have their own specific charm, but Duffy’s album is so well orchestrated you would have thought it was recorded in a vacuum where melancholic surfers go to die. “I did everything on ProTools with less than a handful of microphones. The amp I was using started to die halfway through tracking so I ended up going DI for most of the guitars. I owe the final touches to Ged Gengras who mixed and mastered the record.” It was recorded mostly by herself except for a few guest performers including Avi Buffalo, Kevan Lareau and Sheridan Riley.
She says she is incredibly proud of the album, and rightfully so. Wildly Idle’s track “Actress” overwhelms you with Duffy’s songwriting ability, a folky-Paisley Underground song about running away to pretend to be something else that showcases her stunning vocals.
The stand out track is “All the While” which hooks you from the opening lyrics that instantly transport you to the Californian desert where she lives. “Hold me like a child/You made me out to be/And bring me to the Wild West/Where you can set me free.”
The themes Duffy wanted to convey through the songs were “being comfortable with space, with distance, with yourself in general. I’m very into comfort and moving through emotions.” Her creative rituals reflect this explorative approach to life as she spends time “Isolating myself, making myself vulnerable to new emotions and humans, taking a lot of baths and the ‘digital detox’, also going back to this book on reharmonization I have that I barely understand.”
Outside of music she says she would like to pursue fashion and carpentry as artistic pursuits, citing the fact that at the moment she has nowhere to put her clothes aside from a suitcase. If you want to catch her live, she may be embarking on a tour in Europe this April as well as opening for Kevin Morby in June, which definitely will be one of the best gigs to catch this summer.
Wildly Idle (Humble Before the Void) Releases on February 10, 2017 from Woodist Records, also available on Bandcamp & itunes
postscript opinions: This album struck a chord with me because it’s fresh sound, rhythmic songs and semi-clean guitars were something I felt so desperate to hear, and hadn’t even realised it. I had turned my back on guitar music for the most part, looking for new vistas in the depths of electronic music, but what I had been looking for was right in front of me the whole time. Wildly Idle was almost a spiritual experience to me, like drinking a pot of Ayachusa and walking into the woodlands, fighting with your emotions but not in a sad way. It truly is a great album.
last weeks podcast is here from dropbox be warned that if you download it’s a hefty wav file. Streaming is fine though mate.
Now for this weeks one, I got this snazzy little dropbox podcast program so i can share my shows a little easier. download the latest via justcast or just stream here. what ever you feel like! it’s an mp3 too so it’s not a pain in the ass.
This episode features magic island, air, mr. oizo and the stooges. Hope you enjoy it all, you princes of Dalry, you kings of Newtongrange.
Here it is : two lovely podcasts for you pod people. Two hours of electronic bliss with nostalgia eating away at the fringes. It’s what we live for, the pointless romance of our past and i’m only now starting to get ashamed about it. Should we be ashamed of the shit we used to listen to, or the dirty things we never consider doing anymore? I always had my mind set on crashing parties and passing out in the driveway, but do i feel nostalgic about these fleeting anarchic moments or cringe at the memories of being asked to leave the premises? Perhaps nostalgia has it’s place in music and in movies – let’s not try emulate our garden hopping championship anytime soon.
I think South Park dealt with this quite well in one of their recent episodes with the ‘Member Berries’, Randy discovered a brain numbing patch of plants that can only say “Remember the nineties?” “Yeah, but remember the eighties?” “Yeah, but remember the nineties?” It turns the past-time of remembering fond elements of your past down to a ‘Dude, Where’s My Car’ level of stupidity.
It didn’t use to be so mind numbingly moronic to talk about the past, but it appears in the public consciousness, increasingly and without substance. The internet has been creaming it’s memes about game boys and push pops and the like, stating the obvious to a few generations of people and attempting to alienate…somebody. The old? The young? I wonder why nobody’s made memes like this to appeal to other age demographics?
Sorry if that seems a bit intense, but I love Rage against the Machine. (j/k, This is the photo of Thích Quảng Đức, a monk that protested an oppressive government in Vietnam. An hero.)
Here’s a more local meme that took the UK by storm.
Bad Talk (1# & 2#) won’t pander to you, too much. It’s like we’ve got a crush on you, but are too afraid to do something that draws attention to ourselves. Except that one time where we got drunk and tried to pull you in the club and now we can’t be in the same room together. Please respond to my texts denise.
I know, I know, I didn’t use a VHS ‘video toaster’ to make this. It’s a combination of the bad talk radio podcast, with some of my footage accumulated over time that’s taking up HDD space. Thought it might be more useful if i did something with it, I have lots of long shots of the world outside my window which look pretty nice. A kind of lazy music video. You’re pretty lazy yourself.
Note: the latter half of the video has some extra drunk, mega drunk, shakycam shots that i did not screen for quality. Might make you seasick.
I had heard of Frankie Valli, but was completely unfamiliar with his music. ‘The Four Seasons’ sounds such like a generic band name, but maybe that was the point. They would unexpectedly blow your mind away. This happened to me in the past month. I found myself humming a bassline and the golden-sugar keys that dribbled over it as the hushed vocals start to fade in. What was this song, where could i have heard it? I downloaded the apps that let you whistle and hum the songs you’re looking for, I listened to all the songs on my phone and Soundcloud but I still had no idea. I managed to play some of it on the guitar, but that didn’t help. I give up, it’ll come to me eventually.
I was cooking some thing on the stove, maybe some noodles or something unhealthy when my girlfriend turned on the radio. Bam, there it is – the song. I scrambled to find what it was and was delighted that the DAB actually had the song and artist come up for once. Thank you, Radio 6 music. I owe so much to that station, whether it’s rediscovering old punk music we listened to as teenagers, or shit we never ever heard before that could blow our minds. Either way, I found my song. I didn’t know it was a northern soul favorite, but it certainly has that ‘every song feels amazing’ vibe to it. I’ll have to check out their other stuff in the future, but for now all I need is this – a haunting and beautiful song that gets you going for the night-time.
Goreshit is one of the electronic music scene’s best and most prolific producers. We’ve been listening to his crazy dark beats since 2009, when ‘My love feels all wrong’ was released. His stuff is some of the hardest drum n’ bass, breakcore orientated music you’ll ever listen to, but he has also produced songs of pure beauty such as”just a whisper” a remix of a Ghost in the Shell track. The strangest sub-genre of drum and bass, lolicore was something that goreshit first brought my attention to, and while i wasn’t a fan of all the young anime waifus that became it’s aesthetic, i fell in love with the eardrum destroying music that the genre spawned.
Listen to his latest track, ‘Like it was’ an upbeat jam that brings back old memories of fast paced nineties game music. It reminds me of the Bomberman series’ games on both PSX and N64, which while lackluster games had some kickass music. The second track, ‘on the break train’ is closer to the older and rawer style of music he first released, filled with inspiring D ‘n’ B drops and hooks. We love you, goreshit.
We posted one podcast for you to listen to, but can you handle two? I know, i know, we can’t handle this much greatness either, with our little peasant hands. This edition of Freezing Under is for you guys, the true fan(s). This one can be downloaded from dropbox, or streamed here from Soundcloud.