Song, by Toad

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This Saturday at Henry’s: Songdog, Best Girl Athlete and Grayson King

Well, back here for a day and already firing back into the gigs because, erm, well honestly just because bands I really, really want to see keep on getting in touch, and honestly I can’t help myself. This Saturday 20th June at Henry’s Cellar Bar we have Songdog, Aberdonian prodigy Best Girl Athlete and Edinburgh’s Grayson King – tickets can be bought here for a fiver.

Songdog is the kind of music where, just as the melodies and warmth of the delivery are starting to sink in, and just as you are about to sit back and relax into the music, a jarringly stark lyric just hits you in the head. And suddenly instead of sipping wine and enjoying the ambience, you are hanging on absolutely every fucking word.

“I’m nobody special, but I give pretty good head” Classic romantic singer-songwriter stu… no wait, what the fuck did he say?

I remember that happening when I first heard Songdog’s music, back in two-thousand-and-not-very-much when I Love My Angel’s Plastic Wings appeared on an Uncut cover-mount CD. If I remember, the lyric in question went “I love my angel’s plastic wings/ she likes my nice tight ass and things” – again, it was one of those ‘hang on, he said what?‘ moments; a turn of phrase at once so jarring, so daft, so natural and so discomfiting that it absolutely demanded you listen closely to absolutely everything else.

Due to cash and attention span constraints I didn’t really follow up on that one weird, fascinating song until almost ten years later when the truly superlative A Life Eroding was released. Suddenly I was completely on board once more. It was a dark-as-coal album stuffed with sadness and the very blackest of humour, along with oddly hummable tunes and a near-overwhelming sense of melancholy.

The latest album, Last Orders At Harry’s Bar (see how appropriate having this gig at Henry’s is!), is perhaps a smidge lighter, but still utterly compelling. I am really, really looking forward to this.

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Back to, Erm, ‘Normal’ Then

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Hello folks, well I am back in my office now and, well, as ready for business as I ever am.

As you can imagine, Rust2Rome was absolutely incredible. I am not going to go on about it too much, as I already covered it plenty on my Tumblr site so if you are interested here are all the posts tagged with R2R so you can see what we got up to (in reverse chronological order of course).

Anyhow, back to business. We have a gig coming up on Saturday with the awesome Songdog, Aberdonian prodigy Best Girl Athlete and Edinburgh’s Grayson King. It’s a fiver in, and will be fucking ace.

I have packed away our camping stuff for a little while, and Bette is quietly resting. She hit the 280,000 mile mark on the way back from Paris, and I reckon with Rust2Romania and a wee trip to Norway in the Autumn she might just hit 300,000 this year, which will be cause for celebration indeed. Tough old bird that she is.

One of my favourite aspects of Rust2Rome was the way every so often someone would have a wee peak under the bonnet to confirm that actually, no, she really did just have a 2L, four cylinder Volvo engine under there. There were no mods and there was no V8.  Snigger. She’s just driven by a fucking lunatic that’s all.

Anyhow, as I prepare to commence the serious business of record labelry once more, here are a couple of highlights from the mixtapes I made to go away with. Fucking TUNES!

 

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Two Moments of Brilliance Left – The May 2015 Avalanche of Gigs is Nearly Over

rope-unraveling-300x113 I have to confess that by the time I looked at the finalised version of my May gig calendar I kind of knew it was going to be like this. Chaos. One gig after another and little time for the blog or the label. I’ve tried to keep both on track of course, but it’s been the absolute bare minimum in both cases, because this month was all about the twenty-seven bands I was going to be putting on over the course of the thirty-one days of May. You may scoff, but I am not a professional promoter, and it has been a shitload of fun, but heavy going nevertheless.

And it isn’t fucking over either, because this week we have the last two shows of our hectic May schedule, and then I am never putting another gig on ever again as long as I live. Or at least until late June when we have Songdog coming to Edinburgh.

TOMORROW, FREE at the Paradise Palms on Bristo Square: Strop (formerly Froth), Psychic Soviest and alansmithee.

The last night of our fantastic run of free shows at the Paradise Palms showcasing the very best new Scottish guitar bands. The first three shows have been incredible and this will be no different. All the bands are raucous, kind of messy and incredibly fun to watch. All three are also on a new 12″ vinyl compilation we’ll be releasing in the Autumn, which I have just about finalised and which is sounding fucking brilliant.

Also, try the Ninja Buns at the Paradise Palms because they’re bloody ace.

FRIDAY: £5 at Henry’s Cellar Bar: Rob St. John, Eerie Idles and Elara Caluna.

Rob is back with a full band for the first time in ages, and this is brilliant news. There’s something so recklessly brooding about them when they really get going, which is a real counterpoint to how lovely Rob’s music can be when he wants to dial it back a bit.

The rest of the lineup can probably at best be described as a little elusive. Eerie Idles only exist at all because we asked Pablo from My Kappa Roots to play and this is what he came up with. I think it’s just one of those occasions when you just have to shrug your shoulders, accept that fuck it, he’s a talented wee bastard and let’s see what the fuck he comes out with.

And finally, Elara Caluna are simply a new Glasgow band about whom I know very little indeed, but who still sound really promising. There are only wee bits here and there on the internet, but those bits are good, and they’ve been on bills with some good bands in Glasgow too, so I am most excited to see them.

Sucker Punch this weekend in Glasgow.

This weekend sees the fabulous Gold Flake Paint celebrating its fifth birthday by hosting Sucker Punch at the Glad Café on the Southside. It’s a fantastic lineup across every single day, and on Saturday Rob St. John and Supermoon (Neil from Meursault’s new thing) will both be on the bill, so if your chief interest is Toad stuff (ha!) then that’s the day to be there.

Honestly though, the whole fucking lineup is absolutely fantastic, so don’t fuck about, just go along to the whole thing.

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Rob St. John Full Band Shows Coming Up

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It’s been a while since I saw Rob St. John with a full band. It was his full-band, going electric, judas performance at the Retreat Festival back in 2000andsomethingsomething that I realised I didn’t just like his music, I thought it was fucking brilliant, and after a bit of determined stalking that’s kind of how we ended up releasing his records.

So, after a relatively long absence in this particular guise Rob returns to Scotland next week with two full band shows. One is our own show at Henry’s on Friday 29th May (see the poster image above) which you can get tickets for here. For this show Rob will be joined by Eerie Idles, the new project from Pablo Clark who you may remember from his previous guise My Kappa Roots, and Glasgow newcomers Elara Caluna.

Then on Saturday Rob (along with Supermoon) will be playing at the Gold Flake Paint fifth birthday celebrations at the Glad Café in Glasgow. The event is actually spread over two days and features all sorts of incredible bands, like C Duncan, Kathryn Joseph, Wolf, Apostille and plenty more. You can hear a playlist of all the bands here, and get your tickets from this link.

The song below is one of Rob’s tunes on the new split 10″ vinyl we just released with him on one side, long-time pal Woodpigeon on the other, and paintings by another friend Jake Bee on the front and back covers. It is fucking ace. You should buy one.

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Video: Numbers Are Futile – The Great Chimera

Numbers Are Futile have just unveiled the video for their new song The Great Chimera. The song is from their new album Sunlight on Black Horizon (get the vinyl here), the launch night for which is at the Hidden Door Festival in Edinburgh this Saturday.

It’s a fantastic album – the vinyl just arrived this week – and has been described thus by the Sunday Herald: “Right across the album, that shoegaze voice stretches out further, even as the music remains hectic and a chronology of keyboards dive and resurface. Errors, Steve Reich, Tangerine Dream and Vangelis flash past the windscreen as adrenaline injections pummel the heart over and over again.”

The video itself is an entirely DIY affair, made for absolutely no budget at all, but looking excellent nevertheless. That’s why I don’t tend to make music videos; I have a reasonable camera and I know how to edit, but I just don’t have the ideas, really. Fortunately Panos and Felipe do and the results are ace.

They’ll be headlining the Long Room stage on Saturday, and it will be pretty intense, I reckon. Their music is pretty euphoric when it gets going and they’re a fantastic live band so hopefully you can make the time to pop along and see them. I shall be drunk.

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Toadcast #316 – The Sweepcast

mp3tag What a weird, monumentally depressing and yet slightly hopeful few days we’ve had. A majority elected Tory government basically labels whatever percent of the imbecilic British people who voted for them as rapacious, bullying, socially vindictive, economically illiterate idiots. And there is literally nothing to be happy about in them being elected to govern Britain again. Nothing.

But on the other hand, where Labour destroyed themselves by failing to refute plainly ridiculous Tory fairy tales about the economy, and by being cowed into bowing to their (plain stupid as well as utterly immoral) program of increased welfare cuts, and their (plain stupid as well as utterly immoral) crusade against immigration and asylum, at least Scotland massively embraced the most vocal, credible alternative in the whole conversation.

This shouldn’t be seen as a wholesale endorsement of all SNP policies, or even their track record. I don’t want to live in a one-party state, and I think we’ll see a far more politically diverse result during the Scottish Parliament elections, not least because we embrace proportional representation up here, and that the country will be the better for it.

What this was was a complete rejection of a long-discredited economic dogma and an utterly regressive social narrative spun by one vindictive and avaricious party and barely countered at all by the self-described alternative. It was a rejection of the Lib Dems for their spineless support for a Tory government and complete abandonment of their election promises. It was basically a backlash against two parties who have show their spinelessness in the face of the other, and the narrow cowardice of the Westminster consensus.

It may not fix much in and of itself, but at least up here people have called bullshit as loudly and unanimously as possible.

Toadcast #316 – The Sweepcast by Song, By Toad on Mixcloud

Direct download: Toadcast #316 – The Sweepcast

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01. Breakfast Muff – Dishes (00.22)
02. Onions – You’re Not As Boring As (06:15)
03. Joey Fourr – My Dolphins (10.00)
04. Crystal Shipsss – Drum (14.44)
05. Min Diesel – War Band (25.51)
06. Klangstof – Hostage (33.09)
07. Leisure – Got it Bad (38.41)
08. Coin Locker Kid – Boy Toy Pts. 1&2 (45.04)
09. Supermoon – Sarah (Toad Session) (56.55)
10. Trupa Trupa – Halleysonme (1.00.55)

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Halfrican Have Been Busy

halfrican Halfrican have played a couple of gigs for us through in Edinburgh, tonight they headline the first Paradise Palms Song by Toad Dingus Rock Slop Fest, and they’ve been busy boys so I thought I might share some of their new stuff with you.

For those who don’t know the band, they play fuzzy, surfy garage rock , but their new single is a little heavier than their earlier stuff and I like that.

As well as the Life is Hard/He’s Around AA-side 7″ they’re working with the awful bastards our pals at long-time Toad nemesis Gerry Loves Records on a four-way split 7″ release, which looks really good. Sharptooth (who you might also remember from a Toad gig) are on that split 7″, as well the Pinact, who rather inexplicably have never ended up on one of our bills at all.

Anyhow, get down to the Paradise Palms tonight (that really is a most un-Edinburgh start to a sentence) to see this lot, the excellent Dune Witch Trails and Aberdonian newcomers Wendell Borton. It’ll be loud and quite possibly not the most polished gig you’ve ever been to, but it’s free and why bother voting tomorrow without a massive hangover.

You’ll need another one soon anyway if that awful cunt Hamface gets back in. Someone please reassure me that we’re not that collectively fucking stupid. Please.

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Garden of Elks at Brew at the Bog

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I really just had to post this on account of the picture being so fucking fantastic. Paul Campbell (Flickr) took this photo and has a whole album of photos from this year’s Brew at the Bog Festival on his Facebook page.

It may have been fucking freezing this year, but I really wish I could have gone along, but whatever. That one fantastic photo pretty much justifies the entire festival by itself. Here is an ace tune by the band too, just for shits and giggles, and you can get their debut album on cassette or vinyl here if you like the sound of it.

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Rust2Rome T-Shirts – The Crapper the Car the Greater the Glory

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First off, sorry to the music people, but this post has absolutely nothing to do with music. Secondly, sorry to the Rust2Rome people for making you come to a site which is all about music you probably hate just to buy a t-shirt, but I wasn’t sure where else was best to put this.

But in short: I have made some Rust2Rome t-shirts (navy with white print) and hoodies (blue with *kinda* silver print) with a scribble of the Black Pearl and the motto “The Crapper the Car the Greater the Glory”, which you can buy below if you fancy.

I’ll be back on Rust2Rome again this year, in Bette once more, doing the Swiss Alps route and then again on the veterans Rust2Romania trip as well, and Mrs. Toad in all her glorious indifference will be with me on the second one. I’ll be coming to the leaving parties too, so I’ve broken these down into two categories: I can post you the shirts out, or if you’d rather save the postage I can just bring them to the leaving parties and hand them over – just let me know in the Paypal comments when you complete the transaction – there is an option to send a message to the seller.

I am sorry the buttons look such a fucking mess, but Paypal embed codes and this site seem to absolutely hate one another.

Anyhow, if you want me to just hand-deliver them, use the Paypal buttons below:

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T-shirt:


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And if you’d rather I just posted it out to you, then use these ones:

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T-Shirt:


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And here are a few pics:

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Coin Locker Kid

coinlockerkid ‘Unapologetic art rap’ is not really the kind of music you would expect me to get into, really, is it. And having been raised in Austria I can certainly tell you that music from there is generally not the sort of thing I would expect to warm to either.

Oddly enough, though, I’ve found a surprising amount of stuff from Austria I’ve liked in the last few years. Not a lot, mostly little isolated gems here and there, but certainly way more than I was ever aware of when I lived there.

And as for the art rap? Well, seriously, just listen to this. If you want to make the very loftiest comparisons I suppose you could inflect early Jib Kidder with a bit of The Books and be sort of close-ish.

There are lovely moments, some discordant wailing, layers of samples going in every direction and plenty and plenty of ‘what the fuck is even going on here’ moments. It’s really all over the place, and in all honesty I am still digesting what I really think about it. There are times when it all gets a bit annoying, but he still has a pretty good nose for when to reign it back in and do something less confrontational.

There’s quite a lot of stuff on their Bandcamp page too, and I am only just starting to go through it now so I can’t tell you too much, apart from the fact that Sweet Caroline, yes that Sweet Caroline, is incorporated quite fantastically into the first track of Traumnovelle, which all in all seems so far like a slightly less weird cousin to Hailstorm & Maelstrom. It’s still pretty awesome though, and all this stuff is downloadable on a pay what you like basis too.

What an excellent surprise to open my emails to this morning.

And for just a little bit of added ‘what the actual fuck':