The Guardian reports that comeback queen Kate Bush is asking fans attending her residency at London’s Hammersmith Apollo beginning later this month to refrain from filming the set on mobile phones or other tablets. In an open letter to fans, Bush – whose last show came when the idea of a cordless phone seemed futuristic, never mine a mobile one – suggested that the experience would be lessened by any such filmic tomfoolery.
‘It’s not where you are from, it’s where you’re going’ Ian Brown once said. He was, of course, wrong. The best bands have roots. Bands from the unglamorous parts of the US in particular seem to come infused with the spirit and history of their hometowns. It’s not merely authentic, it alters their worldview and leads to some pretty idiosyncratic records – records which sound all the better for it. North Carolina’s Spider Bags are one such example. They are a garage band with healthy dollops of punk and country thrown in. It’s a bit of everything and at the same time difficult to label. What it definitely is, however, is potent, ragged, exciting and bloody good. This is their new single ‘Chem Trails’, with new album Frozen Letters out on the 18th August. Enjoy.
When the Pixies reformed for some shows a decade ago – I know – nobody really minded. There was the some small talk of legacies being pissed on, as if some live shows you could choose not to go to would somehow supersede a career that is to alternative rock what Elvis was to everything else. But in the main, people thought they deserved to top up their pension funds. Intermittent blasts round the festival scene since have also been looked on kindly. After all, they could still actually do the songs justice, and what songs they are. Overall, everybody was happy enough to sort of have Pixies around as an entity.
But with fans still digesting the news that Kim Deal had left the band there came the announcement of new recordings. The departure of Deal raised issues of whether it was valid to call this project ‘Pixies’ when it could be argued that it was now 75% Pixies. When faced with the threat of actual new music, those critics recoiled in horror. This was not the Pixies and they weren’t going to like it, come what may. The band released what would become Indie Cindy in three installments; critics predictably filleted them. But how much of it was to do with the music? Look at Pitchfork; they slaughtered two of the EPs, declined to review the third and then – in place of a review of this album – announced they would instead be reviewing the band’s back catalogue.
The announcement of the T in the Park line-up has been greeted with disappointment from most quarters, with festival head honcho Geoff Ellis accused of playing it safe after last year’s event failed to sell out for the first time in recent memory. On the face of it, it looks a sensible enough move from a strictly business point of view. But does the unimaginative bill actually represent a much bigger risk for the event than the organisers might realise?
40 years into his career, it’s unlikely that there are a whole lot of rock fans out there who don’t have an opinion on Bruce Springsteen. So rather than pretending his new album will be judged as a stand alone piece of work, we decided to come at it from a different angle; what does a new Springsteen album sound like to a Springsteen nut? Resident office Boss boffin Tom Joad stepped up.
High Hopes is unexpected, with The Boss spending the last 18 months on the road touring the Wrecking Ball record and few hints of recording studio time accrued.
But the internet is a wondrously widespread beast and not only allows Backstreets, Greasy Lake and other Springsteen websites to obsessively follow developments, but allows Mr Springsteen to exchange ideas with his producers (Brendan O’Brien and Ron Aniello) and send ideas, bridges and mixes back and forth electronically.