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Getintothis
  Updated Sat, 23 Feb 2019 23:09:47 +0000
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John Cooper Clarke, Mike Garry: Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool
Category Live reviews, Beasley Street, Boulevard, John Cooper Clarke, Liverpool, mike garry, Philharmonic
Published:
Description:

John Cooper Clarke brings his own brand of poetry to Liverpool Philharmonic and Getintothis’ Banjo warms himself in the glow of a national treasure. John Cooper Clarke is, remarkably, unbelievably and against all odds, still at the top of his game. At the age of 70, he could be forgiven for taking it easy and [...]

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John Cooper Clarke (photo credit: Lucy McLachlan)

John Cooper Clarke brings his own brand of poetry to Liverpool Philharmonic and Getintothis’ Banjo warms himself in the glow of a national treasure.

John Cooper Clarke is, remarkably, unbelievably and against all odds, still at the top of his game.

At the age of 70, he could be forgiven for taking it easy and resting on his laurels, but here he is standing in front of a sold out Philharmonic, telling his stories, telling his poems and making us laugh until our sides hurt.

Maybe, after his heroin wilderness years, he has no choice, maybe harsh economic realitites force him to tread the boards, but if this is the case there is no sense of him turning up for a pay packet.  It is probably more accurate to say that he is doing this now because this is what he does.  He is a poet, and he is here to tell us his poems.

Before he takes to the stage, he is ably supported by Mike GarryGarry is more of a ‘proper’ poet than JCC, where the latter chooses comedy as his oeuvre, Garry uses his poems to vent his spleen, observe his world and to give form to his thoughts.

His stagecraft tells of a long time performing.  He uses his space, sometimes walking away from his microphone to shout out some lines unamplified.  The audience are held rapt by him, when he is not using his mic there is total silence in the room.

A fellow Mancunian, he shares a city and a past with John Cooper Clarke.  To win over a Liverpool audience, he opens with a poem that details his time spent in our fair city, listing the streets, pubs and clubs that he has spent time in.  His affection for these locations is obvious and the audience cheer as he triggers their own affectionate nostalgia.

His poem takes a darker turn however when he turns his attention to his hometown.  Maybe this is also the difference between youth and adulthood, one filled with fun and laughter, the other with the realisation that pain and despair can surround us and cannot always be laughed away.

His observations are often grim, but his set avoids becoming depressing by dint of his personality and charm.  He leaves the stage to huge applause and, minutes later, is selling and signing books for an eager bustle of people.

If Beale Street Could Talk ? a film of hope and tragedy in America

After a few minutes, John Cooper Clarke appears and is immediately in story telling mode.  He tells us that he arrived late and needs to read the guest list aloud so people can be let in.  There follows a long list that quickly heads into the absurd, listing the likes of ‘Wayne Newton and his sister Fig,  JR Justice and the VIPs, anybody who speaks Maltese‘ and goes on to mention Jerry Hall, the Emperor Ming and ‘anybody who knows my brother‘.  As someone who was actually on the guest list, my first laugh has a guilty hue about it.

One thing that quicky becomes apprent is that JCC is not just a poet.  He is equal parts poet, raconteur and stand up comic.  The intros to his poems are frequently longer than the poems themselves and are without exception hilariously funny.  Introducing Get Back on Drugs You Fat Fuck he thanks us for not commenting on him ‘piling on the pounds recently‘.  He is, of course, still pipe cleaner thin but nevertheless tells us that ‘I fell down the stairs last Monday and the wife thought Eastenders had finished early‘.

There is as much laughter in The Philharmonic tonight as any pure comedy gig will generate, but to tag Clarke as just a funnyman is to do him an injustice.  He gives us limericks and haikus along with his more traditional fare, yes they are all comedic, but Clarke has obviously paid attention to his craft and played with poetry to arrive where he is now.

He tears through Beasely Street at a breakneck speed.  Too fast in fact for us to get much of the meaning. His poems can be great works and a lot of this is often lost in the sheer pace of his delivery.  This time though, this was just to warm us up for his updating of this tale; Beasley Boulevard.

In this, the ficticous Beasley Street has been gentrified.  Where the original tells us ‘A lightbulb bursts like a blister, the only form of heat.  Here a fellow sells his sister down the river on Beasley Street’, in the update, due to invenstment by ‘Urban Splash, Laurence Llewellyn Bowen and a couple of lifestyle gurus, you just wouldn’t recognise the place‘.

Where Beasley Street was a place of nightmarish grim visions, Beasley Boulevard has ‘noodle bars, poodle parlours‘, visits from Royals and the like.  One line succinctly tells of of a place that, for all its faults, has had its soul taken away and where the locals are pushed out. ‘Where anything can happen, but hardly ever does, there’s a pub but the regulars are barred

This is John Cooper Clarke‘s genuis, to pack so much meaning into just a few lines.  For all the laughter, there are points to be made, observations on modern life to impart and the deft hand of a poet who, after decades of writing, still has the talent and ability to make us laugh and make us sad at the same time.

With a nice sideline of appearing on panel shows, his star is now higher than ever and he is, quite rightly, being regarded as a national treasure.  This is absolutely right but also quite anachronistic, as there is still something of the rebel about John Cooper Clarke.  His refusal to grow old gracefully and his conitinuing ire at the world he documents will prevent him from becoming a cosy establishment comedian.

It is the comedy that wins out.  tonight he made us laugh long into the nght.  An artist, a thinker, a poet.  And still on top form after all these years of a life less ordinary.

Brilliant.

 

The post John Cooper Clarke, Mike Garry: Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool appeared first on Getintothis.

If Beale Street Could Talk: a film of hope and tragedy in America
Category Film, barry jenkins, BlacKkKlansman, Colman Domingo, If Beale Street Could Talk, Kiki Layne, moonlight, Oscars, Regina King, spike lee, Stephan James
Published:
Description:

If Beale Street Could Talk deserves all the adulation it can get and Getintothis’ Chris Leathley marvels at the work of a talented director. Few readers will have missed the fact that this year?s Oscars, while shamefully neglecting female filmmakers, have conversely recognised the work of minority directors. Mercifully, given previous omissions, Spike Lee?s raucous [...]

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If Beale Street Could Talk (Credit: If Beale Street Could Talk Facebook page)

If Beale Street Could Talk deserves all the adulation it can get and Getintothis’ Chris Leathley marvels at the work of a talented director.

Few readers will have missed the fact that this year?s Oscars, while shamefully neglecting female filmmakers, have conversely recognised the work of minority directors.

Mercifully, given previous omissions, Spike Lee?s raucous BlacKkKlansman shares the podium with Barry Jenkins? most recent offering, If Beale Street Could Talk.

Jenkins? prior film had been the revelatory masterwork Moonlight (2016) which was a textured story of nascent sexuality in a hostile environment. This meant that the bar was high ahead of his new movie. Too often in fact, expectation of new work by recently emergent directors can be hyped beyond all hope or reality.

On choosing to watch If Beale Street Could Talk, I couldn?t help but wonder – how could Jenkins surpass the subtle tonality of Moonlight? Moreover, how could he avoid the typical pitfalls of artists who have found the world, almost miraculously, at their feet?

Much of what makes this film work (and it does work, on many, many levels), is Jenkins? astute ability to make judicious choices. His first was not to attempt another Moonlight. His second was getting the green light for a long-cherished personal project that pre-dated Moonlight.

If Beale Street Could Talk is based upon a 1974 novel by James Baldwin, a celebrated black author who is the subject of the much vaunted documentary I Am Not Your Negro (2016).

Barry Jenkins? affection for Baldwin and his work are longstanding. Baldwin was a writer who embraced both his ethnic identity and his sexuality, both stigmatised by society.

To Jenkins, this, combined with Baldwin?s exquisite capacity for profound, shattering prose, was the perfect basis for his next work of film.

The story at the heart of If Beale Street Could Talk is deceptively simple.

It relates the all-too common travails of a young black couple in mid-20th Century Harlem. Racism permeates every feature of life for the two protagonists, Tish (Kiki Layne) and Fonny (Stephan James) ? their jobs, their homes, their interaction with authority figures.

This is depicted in numerous scenes, in telling but vivid ways. The difference in how white and black customers interact with Tish at her make-up counter job; the experience with an officer of the law in their home neighbourhood; the account that a friend gives of his unjustified incarceration; the rueful admission that even seeking a home in Harlem was impossibly tainted by colour-fuelled prejudice.

Set against this backdrop of institutionalised xenophobia, we experience vicariously the deepening love affair between the young couple. Their bonds of affection and loyalty to one another are sorely tested by casual injustice and economic marginalisation. Indeed, it is even tested by the taut strictures of unyielding evangelicalism within their own Harlem community.

This film is their struggle. For hope. For liberty. For love.

If Beale Street Could Talk (Credit: If Beale Street Could Talk Facebook page)

Truthfully though, this type of narrative is nothing new. Thankfully, racial exclusion and oppression has become much more frequent fayre for contemporary film audiences, more open to learning the terrible truths of the past and present. This has been both necessary and welcome.

Yet, Jenkins is not prepared to play by the existing rule-book of how to relate the black experience in America.

If Beale Street Could Talk exhibits multiple features that make it both ethically and aesthetically engaging.

For one thing, the storytelling arc of If Beale Street Could Talk remains resolutely non-linear, regularly leaping through time from childhood to romance to tragedy to weary but unbowed maturity.

Such quirks of narrative technique do not however, descend into incoherent fragmentation.

Jenkins and his talented editors (Joi McMillon and Nat Sanders) are sufficiently adept as to make this intuitive style easily comprehensible to the audience.

In consequence, Barry Jenkins? oblique approach reflects his preoccupation with the human interior. He demonstrates limited interest with the more obvious physical exterior to Tish and Fonny?s lives and loves.

Hence, Jenkins? persistent focus upon faces, often framed in luminescent light and colour, reminiscent of religious iconography in their subjective composition.

For the director, as for so many other great filmmakers, the truth, and all points on the spectrum of Tish and Fonny?s experience, lies in the human face.

The Sopranos 20 years on- a television show that changed everything

This is evidently an element of that which is most successful about If Beale Street Could Talk.

That is, the photography, both moving image and still. The cinematic lens in this movie is fluid, graceful and dynamic throughout, from the opening overhead tracking shot onwards.

Jenkins purposefully interlaces this meditative cinematography with stark, black and white photographic stills, providing a more brutal illustration of life in Harlem (the work of Roy DeCarava).

Thus we enjoy twin lens on the same time and place. This presents the viewer with a potent duality of perspective that tells us parallel tales: one is an individual monologue of the soul; the other is the collective experience of a community under siege.

It is vital to recall this approach when considering the richly literate screenplay and the restraint that Jenkins displays in the film. He could have portrayed the deep injustices, the yawning chasms of societal fracture, in far more blunt and angry terms.

Rage, raw and bloody, could (and justifiably so) have predominated.

In fact, if Jenkins had been aiming at a more grittily realistic depiction of racial segregation, then one might have questioned the abstract nature of the narrative and the gentle elegance within this movie.

This never appears to be his intent though.

If Beale Street Could Talk is no neo-realist piece of cinema. Its take is not that of a documentarist whose reflections are inevitably fixed upon the external edifices of racism and its consequences. This is Tish and Fonny?s journey and it remains a personal, internal one at that.

The epiphanies and the disappointments. Their lives. Their truths.

As such, If Beale Street Could Talk is theatrical in its cinematic concepts, its cadences of speech and its framing of our world. Yet, this is legitimate and consists of a deliberate and clear sense of artistic purpose on the part of Jenkins.

Amidst all the stylised bravado of the director, it is easy but unforgivable, to forget the memorable acting turns by a supremely assured cast.

Regina King (as Tish?s mother) certainly gives a performance that is well worthy of the Oscar nomination but she is not the only one. Colman Domingo (Tish?s father) and the leads, Kiki Layne and Stephan James, are all subtly understated in how they seek to embody the aspiration, romance and trauma of their characters.

The fact that they make their lives so compelling whilst avoiding more typical grandstanding, prevalent throughout most other Oscar-bait cinema, is all the more laudable.

Final note should also be made of both the score and the sensitive choices of songs, dextrously placed in order to elucidate the more impressionistic moments within the film.

Musicians in the movies: Getintothis’ Top 10 picks of singers who’ve turned to acting

The music never becomes intrusive, instead allowing itself to be incorporated within the body of the work, another enriching layer to an already multi-layered masterpiece.

Barry Jenkins has thus proven that he is no one-trick pony.

Utilising a more generous budget, he has provided a worthy successor to Moonlight, yielding box office success without sacrificing artistic merit. We have yet another tantalising glimpse of a cinematic talent that continues to grow and grow.

If Beale Street Could Talk deserves the adulation.

We look forward to Barry Jenkins? next cinematic work with eager anticipation.

The post If Beale Street Could Talk: a film of hope and tragedy in America appeared first on Getintothis.

Cream Classical: Anglican Cathedral, Liverpool
Category Live reviews, Anglican Cathedral, Cream Classical, Nation, Wolstenholme Square
Published:
Description:

Once again Cream has proved that for two nights only, God is a DJ, having chosen the UK?s biggest cathedral to drive the point home and Getintothis’ Jane Davies went along to pay homage to Liverpool?s super club. Nation, the spiritual home of Cream at Wolstenholme Square may be long gone, but it has left [...]

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Cream Classical

Once again Cream has proved that for two nights only, God is a DJ, having chosen the UK?s biggest cathedral to drive the point home and Getintothis’ Jane Davies went along to pay homage to Liverpool?s super club.

Nation, the spiritual home of Cream at Wolstenholme Square may be long gone, but it has left us the legacy of Creamfields, Amnesia in Ibiza and now Cream Classical.

For this latest outing, a most diverse band of around 2,000 dance music worshippers assembled to celebrate the era of house music; lots of children of the 90?s and millennials mixed in with clubbing veterans. Our night club days are long gone, but Cream Classical is famed for being inclusive and welcoming to those who were patrons back in the 90s without them feeling like Kevin?s parents in ?Kevin and Perry go large in Ibiza?.

A relaxed dress code gave free rein to dress to impress or dress down from animal print, to PVC, to faux fur, glitter, suit jackets to denim and trainers. This was a much welcomed departure from back in the day when footwear and trousers were scrutinised upon entry by security.

Fittingly the altar area was transformed into a huge stage, with the Cream logo projected above.

At the opposite end of the cathedral was a huge bar area with another of the iconic logos in situ, pointing towards the heavens with the ?lesson? from Tracey Emin’s neon piece underneath which reads: ?I felt you and I knew you loved me?. God is love after all and we all felt the love this particular evening with the happy go lucky, friendly vibes of yesteryear punctuating the event.

At nine o?clock, bang on schedule, the choir took to the stage along with the 50 piece Kaleidoscope orchestra directed by conductor and arranger Tim Crooks with DJ/Producers K-Klass presiding over the evening. A cheer of recognition welcomed in every tune, like reacquainting with old friends you haven?t seen in ages. The breath-taking light show pulsated and danced to the beat of the music with a constant myriad of colours moving backwards and forth striking all four walls of the cathedral. ?Waterfall? by Atlantic Ocean from the first Cream album was an early favourite and we all enjoyed N-Joi?s ?Anthem?. Of course K-Klass were allowed a little indulgence with their own ?Let me show you? and that went down a storm.

It certainly wouldn?t be Cream without Alison Limerick?s ?Where love lives? and this was a standout track of the evening. Felix?s ?Don?t you want me?? and the bouncy ?Beachball? by Nalin and Kane kept up the tempo. For the major part of the evening, the orchestral contribution blended seamlessly into the electronic input, save for the incidental instrumental breaks which highlighted a wide cross section of instruments such saxophone, strings and xylophone.

The evening?s performance certainly succeeded in shattering a popular misconception that orchestras are stuffy, elitist and irrelevant. Even the conductor was dancing along to the music.

Confessional Festival returns with Hey Charlie, The Blinders, Red Rum Club and all female opening night

Considering this is a busy place of worship with numerous services throughout the day, one had to appreciate how difficult it must have been to fit in the rehearsals for such an ambitious show, practising with choir, orchestra, djs and the light show. Full credit to the production staff on a stunning and flawless collaboration.

The appropriately named ?For an Angel? by Paul Van Dyk offered up a suitable devotion to elements of the celestial audience presumably in attendance. In a nod to long term resident DJ Paul Oakenfold, the evening was brought to a conclusion with ?It?s not over?by Grace.

Take it as a reassuring message that the party is not over for team Cream. The party is still in full swing with the ability to sell out a venue in no time.

What we learned from the performance was that it?s not the building that matters, but the music, energy and atmosphere that it generates.

As beautiful and iconic the gothic cathedral is, if you transport the Cream anthems to any sort of pop up venue, that alone will invoke the spirit of the club and make for an amazing evening like no other.

Images by Getintothis’ Chris Flack

The post Cream Classical: Anglican Cathedral, Liverpool appeared first on Getintothis.

POZI announce debut album PZ1 and UK tour
Category News, Grenfell, Group Listening, KCTMO, Oliver Coates, POZI, Prah Recordings, Watching You Suffer
Published:
Description:

London post-punk eccentrics POZI have music and gigs for us, Getintothis? Cath Holland has the scoop. For POZI, this week is all about landmarks. The three-piece unveil not only album details, but first shows outside London. Toby Burroughs on drums and vocals, Tom Jones on bass and vocals and Rosa Brook on eerie, crooked violin [...]

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POZI

London post-punk eccentrics POZI have music and gigs for us, Getintothis? Cath Holland has the scoop.

For POZI, this week is all about landmarks.

The three-piece unveil not only album details, but first shows outside London.

Toby Burroughs on drums and vocals, Tom Jones on bass and vocals and Rosa Brook on eerie, crooked violin and vocals – there’s no guitar – released single KCTMO last autumn. The song, a savage, no compromise response to the 2017 Grenfell tragedy, gave a taster of what is to come from the band.

POZI excel in tight, economic songwriting with no frills.

Debut album PZ1 is due for release on PRAH Recordings ? also home to Oliver Coates and Group Listening – on 5 April.

The record is sharp, much-needed shock informed by PiL to ESGDevoWireTelevision and David Bowie.

A new single, Watching You Suffer is out this week, and tackles the issue of poor mental health provision and services.  The band are passionately opinionated and politically aware but Burroughs is reluctant to position the group as social preachers.

?Our songs mostly have an observational standpoint,? he says, ?just reflecting some current social and political situations. I don?t think they have a direct impact, but maybe ask a few questions.?

Multiple wins for Alffa and Gwilym at Gwobrau?r Selar 2019 Welsh language music awards

POZI UK tour dates

20 March Shacklewell Arms London
24 March Eagle Inn Manchester
29 March Lexington London

7 April Rough Trade Bristol
10 April Rough Trade London
13 April Rough Trade Nottingham

11 May Punch Bowl Hotel Newcastle

15-18 Aug Green Man Festival

 

 

 

The post POZI announce debut album PZ1 and UK tour appeared first on Getintothis.

Swimming Tapes Liverpool date, FOCUS Wales line up latest and The Entire City release new video
Category News, 9BACH, COW, Death Blooms, Focus Wales, Learn to Play Day, Learn To Play Day Liverpool, Liverpool Music News, Shvpes, Snapped Ankles, Swimming Tapes, the entire city, The Gear, The Shipbulders
Published:
Description:

National initiative Learn to Play Day is coming to Merseyside, Liverpool band Death Blooms head on tour and The Shipbuilders present their next Shipwrecked night, Getintothis’ Lewis Ridley with the news. London guitar pop outfit Swimming Tapes have announced the release of their debut album Morningside on May 24, alongside the release of a new single from the album. Morningside [...]

The post Swimming Tapes Liverpool date, FOCUS Wales line up latest and The Entire City release new video appeared first on Getintothis.

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Swimming Tapes

National initiative Learn to Play Day is coming to Merseyside, Liverpool band Death Blooms head on tour and The Shipbuilders present their next Shipwrecked night, Getintothis’ Lewis Ridley with the news.

London guitar pop outfit Swimming Tapes have announced the release of their debut album Morningside on May 24, alongside the release of a new single from the album.

Morningside was recorded at Swimming Tapes? favourite London studio: a tiny space tucked behind an old pub in Haggerston, East London, where the indie five-piece now reside.

The studio is a regular haunt of the band?s long-time collaborator Paddy Baird, who produced and engineered the album and is packed full of vintage equipment including a 1970?s SLS desk which gives this album its sepia tones.

The album will be supported by a full UK tour, which culminates in festival dates at Leeds’ Live at Leeds and Newcastle’s Hit The North. Swimming Tapes will come to Liverpool’s Sound on Saturday, April 6.

The band have shared Pyranees as a single from the upcoming album, which they describe as: “a sweet little bop of a pop song.” 

The band said: “It might only clock in at two and a half minutes but we still managed to get two different guitar solos in there. The song?s about what follows an argument with a loved one, that middle of the night feeling when you realise actually you?re the one in the wrong. Shit.?

You can listen to the new track, Pyrenees, below.

FOCUS Wales have announced an exciting new wave of performers for the 2019 international showcase festival, which takes place in Wrexham, North Wales on May 16-18.

The latest wave of live acts announced for FOCUS Wales 2019 includes aggrocultural trio Snapped Ankles, while multi-award winning band 9Bach have been commissioned to create a genre-defying piece that will explore a collaboration between the band and acclaimed drummer Andy Gangadeen (Massive Attack, Jeff Beck).

Plus, after calling quits on music in 2014, the much beloved Avi Buffalo returns, playing an intimate
show at St Giles Church, Wrexham.

They’ll join already announced acts including: Neck Deep, BC CamplightThe Lovely EggsThe Beths and Adwaith.

Liverpool Sound City 2019 ones to watch ? best international acts at this year?s festival

Learn to Play Day, a free national event to encourage everyone in the UK to start making music, is coming to Merseyside.

Supported by Jools Holland OBE, and run by charity Music for All, the 2019 Learn to Play Day will take place on Saturday and Sunday March 23-24.

Since being launched eight years ago, the initiative has helped thousands of people pick up and play a musical instrument.

Many had never played before, while others played as a child but gave up. Held in partnership with the Musicians? Union, the Take It Away scheme and Making Music, the initiative has been growing in popularity with a record 10,000 free lessons held during last year?s event.

So far, Catalyst Studios (St Helens) is leading the way for venues in Merseyside, with more venues are expected to be announced in the next few weeks.

Death Blooms

Back in gigs and having just wrapped up a tour supporting Shvpes, Liverpool metal outfit Death Blooms have announced their own headline dates in London, Manchester and Birmingham for May.

The shows will be some of the first opportunities to hear material from their You Are Filth EP, which is set for release 26 April. Hometown fans can catch them at Star and Garter in Manchester on Thursday, May 9.

The Shipbuilders

The Shipbuilders will head up their fifth Shipwrecked night at Shipping Forecast in a couple of weeks time.

They’ll be joined by The Gear and COW on Friday, March 1.

Our new release this week comes from Liverpool band the The Entire City, who have shared their new video for their single You Are Not The Sun.

The track featured in Getintothis’ Deep Cuts column in December, and they’re all set to play our Deep Cuts gig on March 7 at Phase One. You can watch the new video for it here.  

The post Swimming Tapes Liverpool date, FOCUS Wales line up latest and The Entire City release new video appeared first on Getintothis.

Confessional Festival returns with Hey Charlie, The Blinders, Red Rum Club and all female opening night
Category News, Blackburn, Confessional Festival, Hey Charlie, holy trinity church, International teachers of pop, liines, Liverpool, O2 Academy, red rum club, ryan jarvis, Sleaford Mods, The Blinders, working mens club
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Confessional Festival returns this September with a great line-up heading to Blackburn?s Holy Trinity Church, Getintothis? Amos Wynn has all the news. Confessional Festival has seen some excellent acts take to the stage across the past few years, including Mossley band Cabbage in 2017 and Welsh three-piece Trampolene last year. This year?s event at Holy Trinity Church [...]

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Hey Charlie

Confessional Festival returns this September with a great line-up heading to Blackburn?s Holy Trinity Church, Getintothis? Amos Wynn has all the news.

Confessional Festival has seen some excellent acts take to the stage across the past few years, including Mossley band Cabbage in 2017 and Welsh three-piece Trampolene last year.

This year?s event at Holy Trinity Church in Blackburn sees another great line up, with the The Blinders, Red Rum Club and Hey Charlie taking to the stage, with the latter headlining the all female opening night night.

Hey Charlie are currently enjoying a headline tour across the UK, playing cities such as Manchester and Leeds, as well recently playing at Liverpool?s Jacaranda Records Phase One, having released their debut album last May.

Also joining the London band on the Friday are fellow three-piece Liines as the festival announces an all female lineup for the opening night, with Witch Fever and The Seamonsters also involved.

Deep Cuts returns to Phase One with super six special

Headlining on the Saturday will be International Teachers of Pop, who have a lot to offer after recently releasing their debut album earlier this month, which has gone into the top ten of the Independent Charts. They played District in Liverpool at the weekend.

Also joining them are Doncaster born, Manchester bred The Blinders, who also enjoyed that debut album feeling when they released Columbia back in September.

The Brave New World rockers have built up an excellent reputation for their riotous live peformance and they’re bound to be one of the most popular acts at this years festival.

Saturday?s bill also includes Liverpool band Red Rum Club, who released debut album Matador last month, with a sold out launch at Phase One.

The festival will run with a rainforest theme, and aptly raise awareness of issues such as palm oil, deforestation and fair trade.

The post Confessional Festival returns with Hey Charlie, The Blinders, Red Rum Club and all female opening night appeared first on Getintothis.

SPINN add Liverpool December date as they prepare to release debut album
Category News, Spinn, SPINN Liverpool
Published:
Description:

Liverpool band SPINN have added another hometown date to their calendar in the year that will see them release their eponymous debut LP, Getintothis’ Lewis Ridley reports. Despite having a full UK tour, festival dates, and the small matter of a debut album to release, Liverpool band SPINN have added another date in their hometown. It comes alongside the [...]

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SPINN

Liverpool band SPINN have added another hometown date to their calendar in the year that will see them release their eponymous debut LP, Getintothis’ Lewis Ridley reports.

Despite having a full UK tour, festival dates, and the small matter of a debut album to release, Liverpool band SPINN have added another date in their hometown.

It comes alongside the announcement that they will release their debut album on Friday, May 3.

With sold out dates at Liverpool’s O2 Academy and London’s Camden Assembly already seen to earlier this month, the band are set to play two dates in Ireland in March.

They’ll then head into mainland Europe for dates in Spain and France, before hitting the festival circuit, starting with Sound City in May.

But looking far after the summer sun has set, SPINN have announced another date at O2 Academy on Friday, December 6.

By then, their eponymous debut album will be half a year old, and it will be a fascinating exercise to see how a band that have bags of potential can progress over the course of 2019.

 

The post SPINN add Liverpool December date as they prepare to release debut album appeared first on Getintothis.

Alien 40th anniversary: reflection on Ridley Scott?s classic plus win tickets FACT screening
Category Film, Alien, Alien Resurrection, Aliens, Amy Adams, dan o'bannon, HR Giger, James Cameron, Jean Pierre Jeneut, John Hurt, Joss Whedon, Mick Jagger, Predator, Ridley Scott, salvador dali, sigourney weaver, Star Wars
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As science-fiction classic Alien turns 40, Getintothis’ Philip Newton reflects on the enduring artistic qualities of Ridley Scott’s masterpiece. Since its release in 1979, the impact Alien has had on Science Fiction can still be felt to this day. The film successfully ported old monster horror science fiction tropes into a more modern, gritty format [...]

The post Alien 40th anniversary: reflection on Ridley Scott’s classic plus win tickets FACT screening appeared first on Getintothis.

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Sigourney Weaver in Alien

As science-fiction classic Alien turns 40, Getintothis’ Philip Newton reflects on the enduring artistic qualities of Ridley Scott’s masterpiece.

Since its release in 1979, the impact Alien has had on Science Fiction can still be felt to this day.

The film successfully ported old monster horror science fiction tropes into a more modern, gritty format and helped turn the popular perception of extraterrestrial terrors away from the Dr Who school of BBC wardrobe delights to something much more psychologically horrifying.

The careers of lead actress Sigourney Weaver and director Ridley Scott were launched allowing space to be made in the Hollywood budget for Scott?s magnum opus Blade Runner in 1982.

That same year also saw The Thing wonderfully remade by John Carpenter, but Alien had many more thematic influences on films to come.

Protagonist Ripley helped establish the ?Space Heroine? in Hollywood with Jodie Foster in Contact, Amy Adams in Arrival, and Natalie Portman in Annihilation all taking obvious nods from her.

The film also presented a more noir-influenced vision of the future with darkness used as effectively as light helping aid the creation of a lurking, mysterious, seemingly invincible killer.

The premise of an exotic, extraterrestrial beast slaying a group of humans one by one was nothing new.

The original The Thing from 1951 is a direct and classic example.

The execution of the story, however, and how the beast is delivered in Alien was terrifyingly fresh and unique.

A huge part of Alien?s success must be attributed to the design of the xenomorph itself by legendary Swiss artist H.R Giger. Both he and writer Dan O?Bannon were originally scheduled to work on Alejandro Jodorwsky?s Dune, the great Science Fiction white whale of our time.

Alien 40th anniversary

This production was eventually abandoned due to many outlandish factors which are documented in the truly excellent documentary Jodorowsky?s Dune. This legendarily crackers project would have produced a fourteen hour epic featuring none other than Salvador Dali and Mick Jagger.

Now at a loose end, O?Bannon began on the path that would lead to the writing of Star Beast – later to be renamed Alien, given how many times the word appeared in the script.

Original designs for the beast were varied, one even being a small dwarven creature, until O?Bannon showed Ridley Scott an airbrushed work from Giger?s book Necronomicon.

Painted directly from nightmares he suffered, the monster incorporated grotesque phallic symbolism as well as elegant curvature. It was just the unsettling presence Scott had been imagining after reading O?Bannon?s script, and so the die was cast.

Mandy – Nicholas Cage’s horrifying and hyponptic remains of nostalgia

Audiences were terrified and mesmerised in equal measure. The Alien had burst onto the scene – literally.

Talking of which, it is impossible to discuss the film without referencing its, and one of cinema?s, most iconic scenes.

The xenomorph bursting out of poor Kane?s (John Hurt) chest was as much of a shock to the cast as it was to audiences.

The script had apparently merely stated that the alien ?would appear? as direction, and the stunt was kept under close wraps by the crew in order to capture genuine looks of shock on the actors faces. Veronica Cartwright (Lambert) reportedly passed out after having the fake blood sprayed on her face following the explosive introduction.

As Weaver later remembered: ‘Everyone was wearing raincoats – we should have been a little suspicious.’

John Hurt in Alien (Credit: Alien Facebook page)

Such genuine reaction amplifies the visceral nature of the film – if the people involved inmaking the film can be affected to such a degree, then the audience will be affected on an even grander scale. This created a further separation from the idea of ?it?s only a movie?.

This was mirrored in another great science fiction scene of our time; Vader?s reveal of his fathering of Luke in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.

This technique of staged misdirection caught an unknowing Mark Hamill off guard to gain a true, authentic reaction. This was somewhat of a returned favour to Star Wars as Scott has said Alien was directly influenced by Episode IV, as well as the paranoia of traitorous technology in 2001: A Space Odyssey and the sheer brutality of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

What if Star Wars characters were musicians? Who’s going hans solo?

It is unavoidable to talk about the other side of the Alien coin which is James Cameron?s superb follow up- Aliens.

It joins the list of classic films with great sequels that inspire debate over which is better – The Godfather Parts I and II, Star Wars Episodes IV and V, The Terminator and T2: Judgement Day.

Taking on a larger scale, more action-oriented direction than the original, Aliens was very much a film based on the Vietnam war, as declared by Cameron himself.

It was intended to show a low-tech indigenous force overcoming a more technologically advanced invading party. This also helped to cement some very powerful motifs into modern sci-fi – the space marines being sent on an incredibly dangerous mission, the hive of aliens controlled by a seemingly psychic Queen, the pervasive feeling of technology failing and leaving the characters to their own devices.

It is undeniable that some of its most memorable factors were simply expanded upon from the original ideas presented in Alien – the beast itself multiplied in a hellish underworld, the POV bodycams used for great dramatic effect, the tracking blips beeping malevolently. The two films are fittingly symbiotic.

Getintothis’ Top film picks for 2019

The other sequels were perhaps not as successful.

David Fincher?s Alien 3 was handled in such a haphazard way that filming actually began without a set script. Expansive premises were abandoned, and the resulting mish-mash of a film left many underwhelmed.

Alien: Resurrection, written by Buffy the Vampire Slayer head Joss Whedon, and directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet of Delicatessen and Amelie fame, similarly failed to set the world alight.

Scott?s eagerly awaited return to prequels Prometheus and Alien: Covenant attempted to provide background to the overall story arc but fell flat in many ways.

Also, the fan-service of the Alien vs. Predator films just could never live up to the initial hype. The xenomorph?s legacy will always lie with the first two movies.

Special mention must be given to the survival horror computer game Alien: Isolation (2014). Taking reverential influence from the first two films, it successfully recreates the claustrophobic anguish of the tensest moments of the series – more so than the subsequent cinematic sequels.

If you like Alien and haven?t played this, then don?t waste any more time. A genuine monster.

Remember that if you do manage to catch Alien at its 40th anniversary screening, in space no one can hear you scream – but they definitely can in the cinema.

Getintothis’ Top 5 iconic scenes from Alien:

1. John Hurt in a bit of trouble

2. Ripley’s Last Stand

3. Harry Dean Stanton gets a surprise

4. Auto destruct

5. I don’t fancy your chances

  • Picturehouse at FACT are showing Alien on March 4 and we have two tickets to give away, see below to win:

Win tickets for the FACT screening of Alien on March 4:

To win a pair of tickets for the screening of Alien at FACT all you have to do is like the Getintothis Facebook page, share the post below and tag in two of your friends.

Or follow the @GetintothisHQ Twitter account ? and RT our competition post.

Good luck!

The post Alien 40th anniversary: reflection on Ridley Scott’s classic plus win tickets FACT screening appeared first on Getintothis.

Vinyl Staircase, The Sway, Courting: Sound Basement, Liverpool
Category Live reviews, Annabell Allum, Courting, Johnny Marr, Orange Juice, Roberth Smith, Sound Basement, Spiritualized, Studio 2, Sunflower Bean, Talking Heads, The Cure, The Lemonheads, The Sway, Vinyl Staircase, Wolf Alice
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Vinyl Staircase played Sound’s underground lair and Getintothis‘ Paul Fitzgerald found it an altogether marvellous experience. The last time we came across Vinyl Staircase was when, as tour support for Annabel Allum last October, they appeared at Studio 2. They were undoubtedly the stars of the show that night. Fresh, full flavoured, energetic pop songs [...]

The post Vinyl Staircase, The Sway, Courting: Sound Basement, Liverpool appeared first on Getintothis.

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Vinyl Staircase

Vinyl Staircase played Sound’s underground lair and Getintothis Paul Fitzgerald found it an altogether marvellous experience.

The last time we came across Vinyl Staircase was when, as tour support for Annabel Allum last October, they appeared at Studio 2.

They were undoubtedly the stars of the show that night.

Fresh, full flavoured, energetic pop songs ticking all the right boxes. The real highlight of the evening.

Allum was somewhat lacking sparkle that night, and the earlier support Courting were impressive if only for their abject lack of anything even remotely impressive to sing, play or say.

They made me want to start smoking again.

Just to give me an excuse to go and stand outside in the freezing cold. I hoped we wouldn’t cross paths again. Sadly, that was not to be.

With a summer of festivals ahead of them, and a string of support slots with the likes of Wolf Alice and Sunflower Bean behind them, Dorking’s Vinyl Staircase are hitting their stride in a most hitty and strident way.

Here on their first headline tour, they’ve brought their fat ‘n’ fuzzy sound to Sound, and it was pretty sound, to be fair.

Their’s is a heady, frenetic amalgam of all the good stuff.

Coloured by the post punk of Talking Heads and The Cure, with glossy, overdriven notes of heavy end Spiritualized, and the chunky storm of The Lemonheads, all laced with the jangle of Orange Juice, it all makes for a pretty impressive set.

It works so well because of the sheer simplicity of it all, really.

These are just great big tunes, played really well and with a hook on every corner. Unlike so many these days, they pay attention to their lyrics, thinking things out rather than just coughing them out as if by mistake, like some sort of add-on.

Feel It is a snarling, twisted pulser, which jumps from fuzzed-up darkness to anthemic chorus with bewildering ease, there’s high drama in the vocal, and a hint of joyous threat to the whole thing. It really is quite the thing.

New single On The Radio was another highlight moment.

Urgent, energetic and insistent, and built round huge choppy guitars, it’s heavy 70s influence worn proudly and passionately, and quite rightly so. And catchy. As catchy as you like, and we do like it catchy, don’t we?

Vinyl Staircase – and we’re still in two minds about that name – understand catchy like it’s going out of fashion. Which of course, it isn’t. This is pop music. Joyous, celebratory pop music. Done well. Done really well.

Last I Heard, all sweet Johnny Marr jangle and Robert Smith vocal, floats in on a summer breeze, before picking up into another almost natural chorus.

Johnny Marr’s Top 10 musical exploits

It feels like this song has been around for ever. Like it just grew somewhere, and Dorking’s finest just plucked it for us. Harmonies, a great melody, leading to a set ending wig out.

Music this good wins people over with such ease, and the Sound crowd didn’t let them down. Arms raised in the unison of the moment,  clearly loving every minute. And who could blame them. Vinyl Staircase are the best thing to come out of Dorking since the A25. Or Laurence Olivier.

After The Sway had begun the evening with swaggering style, holding the room with a Scouse flavoured (red cabbage, not beetroot), and all too short set of impressive Rizla rock, the time had come for the new improved Courting.

Nope. Neither new nor improved.

We’re actually starting to believe that the chaotic nature of the ‘songs’, the endless in-jokes and constant pleading for crowd participation is the act. It’s the point. Because they still don’t have any songs. Maybe this meandering sonic mess they create is the joke, and we just don’t get it? Maybe.

But frankly, we couldn’t be arsed enough to find out. We went outside half way through the set and pretended to be smokers.

We noticed the singer hung around to catch Vinyl Staircase‘s set. He might’ve learnt something.

Images by Getintothis’ Courtney Hughes

The post Vinyl Staircase, The Sway, Courting: Sound Basement, Liverpool appeared first on Getintothis.

Sonic Youth?s Daydream Nation ? exploring 30 years of a landmark achievement
Category Albums, Black Flag, Blondie, Daydream nation, donald trump, FACT, Husker Du, Kim Gordon, Kraftwerk, lance bangs, Lee Renaldo, Michael Jackson, Neil Young, Nick Sansano, Picturehouse at FACT, Public Enemy, Ronald Reagan, Sonic Youth, Steve Shelley, Talking Heads, Television, The Beatles, The Minutemen, The Ramones, The Replacements, Thurston Moore
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Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation is now 30 years old and with Getintothis hosting a Q & A screening of Lance Bangs Sonic Youth film at FACT, Getintothis’ Luke Halls explores a timeless record. Boundary-pushers. Innovators. Pioneers. So much can be said about Sonic Youth, arguably one of the most influential music groups of the last [...]

The post Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation – exploring 30 years of a landmark achievement appeared first on Getintothis.

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Sonic Youth (Credit:Artists Facebook page)

Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation is now 30 years old and with Getintothis hosting a Q & A screening of Lance Bangs Sonic Youth film at FACT, Getintothis’ Luke Halls explores a timeless record.

Boundary-pushers. Innovators. Pioneers. So much can be said about Sonic Youth, arguably one of the most influential music groups of the last 40 years.

Anyone invested in post-punk, avant-garde or, at a wider level, alternative rock will have come across Sonic Youth in some shape or form. From 1983 through to 2009 the group released a staggering 16 studio albums, all of which have had a direct impact on the way guitar music has been approached ever since.

The initial heartthrob for so many can be boiled down to a handful of overarching elements. Whether Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo?s insatiable obsession with pushing the limits of the electric guitar, Kim Gordon?s raw, wall-shattering vocals or Steve Shelley?s masterful percussive work, the band?s every facet set the musical landscape aflame in the 1980s.

For a band with such weight, importance and authority, October 2018 marked a particular milestone for both Sonic Youth and musical history. Daydream Nation, the group?s magnum opus, turned 30 years old.

In reflection of this anniversary, it?s somewhat whimsical to see photographs of the band today. With the exception of Shelley, the rest of Sonic Youth are now into their 60s. Visually, however, it seems as if neither Moore nor Gordon have aged a day over 40.

The same case very much applies to Daydream Nation. Even today, on the cusp of entering the 2020s, the album has an ageless, omnipresent character to it, a refusal to be ignored in the ever-expanding chronology of musical history.

Now a lot can be said for the enduring lifespan of many of the last century?s albums. Whether it?s The Beatles? Revolver, Kraftwerk?s Autobahn or Michael Jackson?s Thriller, there is indeed a certain breed of albums that have stood the test of time.

Big Black’s Atomizer– an uncompromising and visceral classic

It takes a lot, however, to shape the course of an entire genre, even movement, for decades to come. Daydream Nation is very much one of those albums, continuing to generate a ground-shaking impact that still pulses through the bloodlines of guitar music today.

Any music historian will tell you that stateside alternative music had its true blossoming in the 1980s. From Minneapolis, home to The Replacements and Hüsker Dü, all the way down to California, birthplace of Black Flag, the approach taken to guitar music was aggressively changing in response to the rise of its electronic counterpart.

As synth-first tunes took the world by storm, a vacuum was left for a new wave of guitar bands to fill. Bridging the contemporary with the popular was a growing challenge as the guitar was losing its authority in the world of pop.

However, one east coast city would act as a breeding ground to the next generation of acts destined to fill the void.

The city was New York, the epicentre of this musical phenomenon and playground to Blondie, Ramones, Television, Talking Heads and, of course, Sonic Youth. The list goes on and on.

Towards the end of the 80s, Sonic Youth had more than developed into a force to reckon with, especially amongst their fellow contemporaries. It was within the confines of Green Street Studios during the summer of 1988, though, that the band would begin to enter their collective prime.

Between July and August, the group bore down on the production of their fifth studio album. Engineered by Nick Sansano (who had also worked on the production of Public Enemy?s Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos), Daydream Nation took three weeks to come to life.

Daydream Nation

From the outset, the way the album was later packaged and presented tells tales itself.

Gerhard Richter?s Kertz adorns the front cover, a portal into the band?s most ambitious project of the decade. For vinyl consumers, the album opens up to actually reveal two LPs, with each LP side featuring a cryptic symbol that represents one of the four band members.

For the eagle-eyed, they?re also something of an Easter egg, a call back to (or parody of?) Led Zeppelin?s Led Zeppelin IV, which features four runes on its cover.

In another throwback to the past, a once-working title for Daydream Nation was Tonight’s The Day; a reference to Neil Young‘s Tonight’s The Night – another similarly groundbreaking and unique record and one that Sonic Youth lyically touched upon in the track Candle.

For the time, the double album release was slowly disappearing in the wake of the CD, increasingly associated with the 70s rock titans of yesteryear (think The Who, Pink Floyd, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Jethro Tull).

For Sonic Youth, though, the choice of the format (on one level) falls far from that lineage. There was a sense of the tide turning back to an extent.

Along with Husker Du’s Zen Arcade and The Minutemen’s Double NIckels On The Dime- both double albums as well– Daydream Nation firmly rejects the naive and arguably hypocritical scorched-earth stance of punk, and forged a new path forward. Double albums and longer more improvised tracks could be innovative and avoided the cul-de sacs and dead ends of both prog and punk.

It?s said that Sonic Youth wrote Daydream Nation through lengthy jam sessions taking cues from their developing live sets.

Over its lifetime, the band won fans with enormous improvised interludes and walls of noise, crushing and fragmenting tracks then picking up the pieces and gluing them back together. This was not punk. They’d moved on from that.

This is where the other New York, the other side to Blondie, Ramones and the rest lay. This is where and when Sonic Youth directly evoked the sounds and principles of post-bop jazz; late-era John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Sun Ra et al.

Low’s Double Negative– an album to hug at the heartstrings

With the time afforded by a double album, Sonic Youth finally had the opportunity to bring an authentic distillation of their live experience to the record, sewing together both their capabilities as songwriters and performance artists.

Prior to the band?s infancy, Ranaldo and Moore had partaken in the dissonant guitar symphonies of New York-based composer Glenn Branca.

This in turn lead to their voyage into the world of alternate guitar tunings. It further fuelled their experimentation with sound, aggressive-sounding chords and melodies channelled through wailing attacks of distortion and overdrive.

Dissonance remains a core trait of Sonic Youth?s discography through and through. For a wider, more commercial audience, however keeping listeners engaged with these broken, unstable melodies was a whole other nut to crack. Daydream Nation marked the moment where the band would bridge the enormous cavity between accessibility and the avant-garde, a challenge yet properly overcome.

By placing their harsh-sounding music into the context of time-tested popular music structures, Sonic Youth masterfully interwove their writing ambitions into Daydream Nation. All the same contemporary chord work remained, but it was finally given the space to come into its own.

The album is also celebrated for its brooding lyricism. Informed by Ronald Reagan?s term as US President, it assumes an anti-capitalist stance.

Gordon explores the nuances of 80s feminism, examining the state of prostitution in New York (?Come on down to the store, you can buy some more and more and more and more?) and the treatment of women in the music industry.

Moore visualises an alternate reality where Dinosaur Jr.?s J. Mascis is President and rock n? roll reigns supreme, while Ranaldo delves into New York?s art history and offers surrealist imagery of dystopian futures.

Album opener Teen Age Riot instantly sets the tone, a patchwork of guitars jumping from gentle, clean chords to gritty rock n? roll raucous.

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Swift successor Silver Rocket shows signs of the album?s gradual evolution: Ranaldo and Moore are animated by jolts of electricity, exhibiting a choppy, four-chord progression later interjected by an overwhelmingly angry middle break. You can perfectly visualise the distortion being cranked and guitars being thrashed, thrown around and abused within an inch of their lives ? archetypal Sonic Youth.

The Sprawl and ?Cross the Breeze see Gordon in her prime. On the latter, the songstress struggles with an ambiguous internal struggle (readings allude to it being religious, political or even drug-related).

Meanwhile, Shelley, Moore and Ranaldo powerfully build tension with broad musical dynamism. Musicality goes hand-in-hand with lyrical content in more aggressive moments: ‘Just too quick, now I think I?m gonna be sick, I wanna know should I stay or go?’

Thrashing through the dystopian (Eric?s Trip, Hey Joni) and the experimental (Providence), the album culminates in the 14 minute-long Trilogy; a post-rock flurry encapsulating everything the band set out to achieve on Daydream Nation.

A). The Wonder sees Moore and Ranaldo intertwine with dissonance as Moore recollects a danger-fraught New York City. B). Hyperstation appears as a slowly building drug-induced hallucination, leading way to album closer Z). Elminator, Jr., one of the record?s most tense moments. This final track examines Robert Chambers, the ?Preppy Killer? ? a murderer from NYC in the 1980s ? closing up shop on a harrowing note.

How does the album thematically fit in today? There is a painstakingly obvious parallel between the album?s political context and waning public opinion of a certain Mr. Trump.

Musically, it?s already been made clear how much its tonality, expressionism and clever thinking paved the way for future releases.

In the grand scheme of things, it?s perfectly logical to suggest that Daydream Nation paved the way to Nirvana?s Nevermind, which in turn opened the alternative floodgates to the mainstream.

This resultant influx is largely credited to Cobain and co., but the reality, for those in the know, certainly lies further up the family tree. A relevant record for a turbulent time indeed: to Sonic Youth, we are infinitely indebted.

And while we still hear echoes of both Daydream Nation and Sonic Youth over and over again with new artists, a measure of their influence also worked backwards.

In an ironic twist, it’s unlikely that Neil Young would have recorded the Arc album, a record consisting only of live feedback, a 35 minute track, had he not had Sonic Youth support him on tour. Listening to every album that Young has recorded since and Sonic Youth‘s influence shines through, sometimes brightly, sometimes faintly, but it’s always there.

30 years later, and there?s still so much of Daydream Nation to pick apart, reflect upon and take meaning from.

On February 27 Liverpool’s  FACT will be screening exerpts from director Lance Bangs’ Sonic Youth concert film, Daydream Nation showing the band performing the titular double album in Glasgow on Aug 21-22, 2007.

Bangs blends HD footage shot in Glasgow with fragments of personal Super 8mm and 16mm from his archives of Sonic Youth over the decades. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with drummer Steve Shelley, Lance Bangs, music historian Steve Shepherd and will be hosted by Getintothis’ Rick Leach.

Also on the bill is Charles AtlasPut Blood In The Music, a 1989 documentary on the New York music scene which features Kim and co in the period following the recording of Daydream Nation.

The post Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation – exploring 30 years of a landmark achievement appeared first on Getintothis.


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