Summer plans are coming together

Yes, its been a busy month here in Istanbul. Finished my work on Vodafone live! and now starting a new project.  But Ian and I have been really lucky got a few things coming up.

First off, we got tickets for Glastonbury … along with 170,000 other people. My first Glastonbury. Everyone pray for fine sunny weather please!

The in July, we are going to Glade Festival, this is my 3rd Glade and I’m really happy to be going back.

A little bit sad, as we are not going to Sonar in Spain, but really its the week before Glastonbury so can’t do that as well. Ho hum.

Actually June and July are going to be crazy months for me. Look out for more info on what I’m doing and your own personal invite to join something new.

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

Yeh, I’m a fan of Daft Punk and their Discovery album still gets played a lot when i’m out n about with the ipod or at the gym.

I’ve had a great weekend with Ian, his brother and girlfriend staying with me. Saturday we did the tourist trail that I came up with.

This involves taking the light rail to Sultanhamet to see the Blue Mosque, coffee in a local pastahane, shopping in the Grand Bazaar, a late lunch at Fes Cafe in the Bazaar and then the walk down through all the clothes shops to Spice Market or Egyptian Bazaar to buy teas, nuts and Turkish Delight.

We then walked over Galata Bridge and took the funicular or cable car up to Tunel … which is hard work so we stopped in for the worlds best profiteroles.

Now its Sunday night and I’m looking at my Turkish homework and thinking about this week. So Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger – to keep me motivate.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WufLXFlI_dM]

Joanna Newsom new EP

Apparently folk faerie Joanna Newsom delivers a new EP on 4/24. It’s got one new track, “Colleen,” and reworks of “Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie” and “Cosmia.” (Three songs that begin with the letter C!) and the EP is titled Joanna Newsom And The Ys Street Band.

Amina Album

The Sigur Ros email this month is all about Amina and their new album! Ian and I saw them a couple of times in London last year. I was really excited at the time about their music and now here comes and album!

Equally, if not more importantly, amiina’s debut album, ‘Kurr’, will be available through their website from March 21st. It can be preordered now here along with a new range of related merchandise and will also be available on the tour. Amiina are currently negotiating record deals to release the new album through traditional routes, but meantime, this is best and only the way to acquire this quiet gem of a debut. In addition, the existing EPs are now available as a download here.

last.fm

Anyone else using last.fm for tracking their music habits let me know your id to add me to my friends …

do i have any friends is a better question?

— last.fm keep track of my listening habits such as the Recently Played list on this page ..

2006 NYE

If you haven’t figured out yet that I came to London for NYE … then maybe you could get in touch …

We both came back from Istanbul, I get to go to the office and Ian went back to work earlier than he planned. Which is actually good news as that means he has more annual leave to come see me.

We ended up at Brixton Academy for a party – this is a really old theatre with a great main room (slippery vinyl and yucky old carpets to keep you on your toes.  Amazing sound and a great recap of some of the best in house and trance from the last couple of years … good party stuff.

Anyway off to Ian’s parents for the weekend, before heading back to Istanbul for work.

a few of my favourite things from 2006

In no particular order here are a few of my favourite things that

1. Barcelona for Sonar Music Festival – 3 days and 2 nights of music and arts/visuals associated with electronic music

2. Moving to Turkey for 6 months (kind of) work

3. Back to Aus and NZ with Ian

4. e.s.t. jazz trio as part of the London Jazz Festival

5. Sigur Ros live with Amina

6. Radiohead live

7. International Gourmet Veg Dining – Level 42 Sydney, Sketch London, Christophs Amsterdam – and so many others!

8. Shakespeare at the RSC  in Stratford-upon-Avon and in particular, the Knee High Theatre Company

20060625 Depeche Mode

By the time you make it to The 30’s it’s not often that you get to ‘pop a cherry’ so when I was offered a ticket to see Depeche Mode live, I jumped. Well thanks to Levon, he had a spare ticket to the o2 wireless festival,

This ‘festival’ in Hyde Park has to be the most corporate over-branded, over-hypeed and awful MOR music event I’ve been too. Ad’s for SMS competitions every 20mins and if you weren’t with o2 it seemed like you could barely use a loo, let alone enjoy yourself.
Anyway back to Depeche Mode – well they have been around since the 1980’s but it wasn’t really until Violator (c.1989) that they managed to top the single charts with pretty much every track off that Album. Their earlier album Songs of Faith and Devotion (thanks Jamie) had also given them a credible swag of emo-loaded numbers to pull out and play. So the set list had to be a mix of the new album Playing the Angel and much older stuff The setlists are on the bands’ website but included A Pain That I’m Used To(new), Suffer Well (new), from sofad Walking In My Shoes with superb Red visuals, In Your Room, Judas and from Barrel of a Gun we have Martin singing Home while Dave freshens up. From Violator you could pick any track but I think we only got Policy of Truth and Personal Jesus. Finishing with a flashback to the encore started with another track sung by Martin – leading some people to wonder if Dave is losing his voice??

JUST BRILLIANT

20060616 sonar.es day 2 night 1

Well we bagan this holiday in style – in an open air club at the old castle here. After that we managed to sleep til about 4pm. Missed the 'surprise act' of Scissor Sisters as they were playing, we queuing … hmmm no worries. Day 2 had less hip hop music and more live acts, we saw some fantastic new groups, others we had to sit and watch from a big screen as the room they were in was too full. Not sure yet, but expecting the ticket sales to top 90,000 people. Most interesting act was a Japanese guy who was using a fluro tube for a guitar and making some weird noises.

So we left and headed back to the lovely apartment to get ready for Sonar Noches 1. If you can picture 4 warehouses each larger than the Hordern Pavillion you might get close to the size of this place, I was told one room could hold 45,000 people. This is such an amazing festival of music and a/v stuff, I'll definitely be coming back each year.

I have to check out flickr – there was so many people with cameras and videos, I'm sure there are some amazing shots. Watching CHIC (le freak cest chic) the lead singer was asking everyone to email all the pictures to them. Anyway YES we watched CHIC – with their boogey/disco from the 70's, of course it was a bit OTT, but you have to remember that house music, techno and many other genres basically are progressions from Disco. Thats the history of modern music.

So who else was there – Jeff Mills with his amazing hard techno (and a sigue in to disco) follwed by Satoshi Tomei (who a few of us saw at SOS in Sydney, remember), Tiga was cool with vocals by Jake from Scissor Sisters, Laurent Garnier started a lovely set in his French house style (lots of Sax, some guitar and drum kit).

The place closed about 530, so we headed home for much needed sleep.

20060615 sonar.es day1

so we have just got back to the apartment Ian booked, there's a thunderstorm going on right now but we have had an amazing day. We are staying in the heart of the old town – I'd recommend the extra euros for this place – not just location, but having our own place and not staying in some hotel in just grand (the place is grand too). 

Sonar … how to describe … well it's been a mixed day. I'm amazed at the people who have come to this electronic audio/visual 3 day fest from across the globe – spotted some aussies, french, dutch, english and tomorrow we will see a famous kiwi act 'fat freddys drop' so its a global party.

The sonarday is situated right in the city and if you believe that last year some 90,000 people attended, then you get an idea of the size of the centre where this event is held. There is also a new tech symposium which surprised me – people doing cool stuff with mobiles, GPS and music. First demo I saw was of a system that plays random music based on Satelites currently flying overhead!

Once the rain has stopped I think we'll head out and explore the off-Sonar clubs. Perhaps a dance on a terrace in a club overlooking BCN! or maybe we'll go find some German techno in the form of the Tresor record label (we've seen some of their stuff in LON).

20060613 Sonar.es

Today the Tory's announced they need a new corporate brand/logo and scrapped the one created under Thatcher … surely it would be easier to just call themselves the 'new new' centre labour?

So we are off to Barcelona tomorrow morning and heres a few 'thoughts' on people that will be playing. If you really are jealous then you won't want to read about the lineup.

To Tony … as you are still his Number 1 Fan … here's a few tracks from someone I might see over the next couple of days. I'll say 'hi' for you.

Tiga – I wear my sunglasses at night

Tiga – Move my body

Tiga – Burning Down the House

(if you want to play these tracks without downloading then bookmark this )

20060607 Homefires 3

Well what a weekend of interesting music and an opportunity to get out and start on the summer festival circuit here. Homefires is more like an indoor picnic – with lots of sitting around and 'navel gazing' as they call it here … pretty much any serious contemplative music can be called 'navel gazing' – the alternative is to call it 'chin stroking'.

I took a few great photos – so go check them out. Some of the photos are just really lame. Please note I want a NEW BIGGER CAMERA for my birthday and for Christmas I haven't decided yet. Adem of course was brilliant and getting to see him rework some of the new album supported by a string quartet was brilliant.

radiohead@hammersmith


radiohead@hammersmith
Originally uploaded by mr snail.

That was a very very big TICK in the list of things to do in London! and this was an awesome gig running for almost 2 hours.

Sure enough they have an incredible back catalog now and they shuffled between old and new stuff seemlessly. The production was superb but at the same time simple things like Thom using an old piano just kept it real.

So now I'm already thinking of Radiohead in Edinburgh at the end of the year. Absolutely!

What’s happening this summer?

So here is a start to what I'll be up to this Summer in the way of festivals and other stuff. So much I'm looking forward too, but as always, have to remember that it might just bloody rain – which I'm not thinking about!

May 19 Radiohead in London – first tour in a few years, and my first time.
Jun 4 Homefires. 2 day festival in London of alt/folk music
Jun 16 – 20 Barcelona for Sonar. Three day outdoor electronic music, arts and more festival
Jul 14 – 17 Glade Festival. My second year at this festival, one of the best in the UK for dance music. Secret location and secret line-up … mmmmm can't wait for this one
Aug 18-20 Green Man Festival. In Wales, this is more popular for the folk music but combines some great alt-rock and electronica. Acts include Calexico, Kieran Hebden (Fridge and Four Tet), Adem which I've seen.
Aug 22 Radiohead and Fringe Festival. Back to Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival and also Radiohead again.
Aug Bank Holiday The Big Chill. Chilled out festival with variety of music sounds from rock to ?? This year includes Adem, Lou Rhodes, Kieran Hebden, the Proclaimers(!) and and and

Graham Coxon Live (ex Blur)

So tonight we are going to see Graham Coxon a post rock (pop?) guy. Ex-Blur guitarist. I was not really in the mood at first, but after walking someway from home along the Thames before jumping on the Tube things were changed. I like the Hammersmith Palais – leaves you wondering what the history of the place is – it looks a bit like an old ballroom, still with wooden floors and long flowing clothes suspended from the ceiling.

I was hunting around the net and the excellant Hype Machine has some of his stuff to listen too. So I'd completly forgotten the Blur connection who I used to really love (I think til I moved to Australia). Most of the tracks were from his new album (I hadn't even heard the first solo one) and they're good … some moshpit mayhem and some attempts at crowd surfing showed me how popular he obviously is!

Listen to Graham Coxon (you need Winamp) now

Sigur Ros @ Hammersmith Apollo


opening scenes
Originally uploaded by alan.brett.

Well the quick trip to Bulgaria for work fortunately didn't clash with us going to see Sigur Ros in London.

The band opened with the first single from their current album 'Takk' – performing behind a white sheet with their shadows projected on to it. This being their most accessible album and tour for it, most of the aural/visual show was creating music from takk. And they did it very well, supported by a 4 piece 'string' ensemble Amina and a brass section to add some omph to the sounds.