A heavily tattooed man sits on top of a wooden unit top swinging his legs, a long haired woman then takes his place leaning against the unit. In fact, wherever he goes she ends up next. Suddenly they're on a roof top, each at a separate window frame before bam! They're together. It's like some kind of awkward love story, he adjusts his hat then puts his hand in his pocket, she pulls at her hair then her hemline. In fact it's the new campaign for Supremebeing's Spring Summer range and it's current purpose appears to be making us sigh at the weather. The clothes, you may ask, range from matching shirt and short combos, yellow macs and pocket fronted long sleeve tees for him and striped jumpers, white short shorts and denim skirts for her.
Photos by Andrew Novell
The term 'super group' is often mis-used.
Frequently applied to any band in which the members have some form of musical experience, the description has become baseless, almost meaningless.
Diamond Rugs though, are most definitely a supergroup. Between them, the various members have played with Deer Tick, Black Lips, Los Lobos, Dead Confederate and Six Finger Satellite, while their walls adorned with countless gold discs, Grammy awards and other trinkets.
So when we say there's a weight of experience to debut album 'Hightail' we mean it most sincerely. Warped, twisted Americana with a blues flair, the songwriting has a depth that could sit alongside, say, the narratives of Steve Earle or the patiently wrought lyrics of Craig Finn.
Our interest suitably piqued, we asked Hardy Morris of Diamond Rugs and Dead Confederate fame to enter Their Library.
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What is your favourite book and why?
I don't have one favorite. It's like with bands or songs; at the right time and the right place, they are your favorite in that moment. But, that said, if I had to pick one (at this moment), I would say Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. It is the perfect Western novel. It is one of those stories that everyone should read, and probably more than once.
What other authors do you like?
I like Rick Bragg a lot. He is a southern writer I started reading a few years ago. He has a memoir titled All Over But the Shoutin'' that is a book every young southern dude should read. I have just recently started some of his other books and they have a lot of the same feel. He draws you in quick and with his stories of growing up in the deep south. He's the real deal.
What draws you to certain books?
In fiction: Loners & desolation. I like Westerns. I love Cormac McCarthy's western novels because they are just so blunt and sparse. It's like watching a spaghetti western where there is virtually no dialogue… I love movies like that, and so I guess that's why I like dry, boring to some, novels. In non-fiction: Bad-ass musicians (the modern cowboys). Who doesn't want to read about the people that lived "it".?
Have you ever discovered a real lost classic? What is it and why?
I don't think so, no. But one time I did buy a book at a thrift store and I read two chapters before I discovered that someone had cut a square chunk out of the middle to smuggle drugs into a prison or something. I obviously cant read the book with the center of 100+ pages cut out, but its a 'classic' to me.
Do your literary influences have a direct impact on your songwriting?
At times, but its hard to really put into words the way they influence the songs. I guess I would say that it is in the dynamics of the music more than in the lyrics or language for me. You know how a novel or story will just be plodding along and then all hell breaks loose? Those are the kinds of moments that make their way into some of my songs, where I am like, "we already played this part earlier, it needs to change to something crazy and interesting", and then the song shifts gears and hopefully all hell breaks loose…
What are you reading at the moment?
I've been skipping back and forth between the Keith Richards biography and Neil Young's 'Waging Heavy Peace'.. I think I identify more with Neil Young and his view of the world, but then again he's kind of got that 'every-man' quality that we can all relate to. Keith, on the other hand, is one of those one-of-a-kind guys that 'every-man' wants to be, but cannot. Physically cannot.
What is the first book you remember reading as a child?
'Hatchet'. It was about a kid who becomes stranded in the Canadian wilderness after a plane crash with only a hatchet. It was pretty awesome as well as I remember. I asked for a hatchet soon after I read the book and my grandfather gave me a one for my birthday. I still have it.
Did you make good use of your library card as a child / teenager?
Pretty good. There were always lots of books around the house, so I didn't have to go to the library too often. Honestly, I have always read some, but I started reading a lot more once I started touring. We even write our own stories when we've been out on the road a while and start getting extra delirious. They are definitely comedies.
Have you ever found a book that you simply couldn’t finish?
Plenty. That happens a lot actually. I like to read, but i also like to read what I actually like to read, so if I don't identify with the author and the story pretty quickly, I'm out. I can't really get into that Chuck Palanphlugkh or whatever guy. 'Fight Club' is a good one, but the others, eh. I'm sure he's a huge fan of what I do too..
Do you read book reviews? Yea, if I stumble on 'em. I don't really go out of my way. I guess, given my profession, I don't always put a lot of stock in a critics review. But, I have found good books through reviews before. And music. oh no! maybe the're right!!?
Would you ever re-read the same book?
Yes. Plenty of times. I am re-reading 'The Crossing' by Cormac McCarthy right now (while skipping back and forth between the two Bio's). I like re-reading because although you know what's going to happen, you find out a little more about the characters.
Have you ever identified with a character in a book? Which one and why?
'Hatchet', man! I wanted to be in a plane crash so bad when I was a kid! I just knew that I could and would survive they way he did. It was like, 'just gimme the chance to be stranded in the middle of nowhere Canada with just an archaic tool." You could never have convinced me that I would've likely frozen to death on the first night.
Do you read one book at a time or more than one?
Like I said, I am reading two bios at the moment and kind of re-reading 'The Crossing' by Cormac McCarthy.. so yes.
Is there an author / poet you would like to collaborate with?
Leonard Cohen, of course!
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'Hightail' is out now.
BAN THIS FILTH.
Depeche Mode have always had a seedy side. Whereas most chart groups were happy to sing about first love the odd infatuation, the boys from Basildon just wanted to get downright kinky.
New album 'Delta Machine' is out now, and the electro giants are showing no signs of behaving themselves. The latest track to be drawn from the LP, 'Soothe My Soul' matches a near religious sense of redemption with some seedy activity.
Dave Gahan is on imperious form, adding a gospel tinge to his tale of love on the wrong side of the tracks. The video for 'Soothe My Soul' hit the net last night, and it displays the band in a gloriously voyeuristic fashion.
Lurking in the shadows, Gahan takes on an almost sinister role while a near naked female dancer jerks in the light.
Watch it now.
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'Delta Machine' is out now.
Thunderbird Gerard is set to release his free download EP 'T.R.O.U.B.L.E' on May 6th.
Raised in smalltown USA, Thunderbird Gerard swiftly moved to New York. Later finding himself down and out in London, the rapper is currently operating out of Berlin's creative community.
So the wonder isn't that 'T.R.O.U.B.L.E' is his first EP, but that – given his flightly, somewhat rollercoaster life – that is exists at all.
Set to be released on May 6th, it promises to be a cavalcade of new ideas. An extrovert, outspoken talent, Thunderbird Gerard's breakthrough track 'Thunderbird' alerted us last year to a talent which was both unpredictable and tantalising.
'T.R.O.U.B.L.E' will be available as a free download – for now, you can grab 'Live' HERE.
Watch the video for 'Live / Victory Pt. 1' below.
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'T.R.O.U.B.L.E' is set to be released on May 6th. Tracklisting:
2. London Is a Bitch
3. Easy Does it
5. Victory Part II
It's been funny to watch PAWS develop.
At first, the Glasgow three piece were ramshackle, almost chaotic – all bludgeoning riffs, sweat and tears. As time has progressed, though, PAWS have refined their sound, developed their ideas and made the leap into becoming an Actual Proper Rock Band.
And a very good one, at that. Debut album 'Cokefloat!' was a triumph, adding some sugar sweet melodies to those buzzsaw guitars, while Philip Taylor's lyrics were at times quite painfully honest. Of all the grunge inspired threesomes to spring our way of late, PAWS most definitely mean it.
Recently completing a UK tour, we asked the band to jot down some notes and take a few snaps. Along the way they'd play countless shows, meet new friends (Elijah Wood?!) and demolish a few instruments.
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Tour gets off to a good start. For once it’s a beautiful sunny day as we head north to Aberdeen to kick things off. Luckily, the first show goes pretty well too. The crowd is bigger than any other we’ve played to up here and the new songs we’re crow-barring into the set get a pretty good reception. All in all it’s a pretty reassuring way to start.
Après gig we get a chance to catch up with old friends and learn a little more about Aberdeen. It turns out that the Gents who run Gerry Loves Records (the first label ever to have been stupid enough to release anything of ours) are in town for the night. Andy and Paddy grew up in Aberdeen and seem intent on reliving their youth. It’s off to some punk/metal/alternative/pirate* bar for an endless supply of Jack and Coke. It’s at this point things start to get a little hazy…
*Jordan from Blades (distinguished scholar and member of support band) assures us that Aberdeen has the highest population of native UK pirates. 20% of the folk in this bar seem to have walked off the set of a certain Disney film.
Perhaps feeling a little worse than we should starting out on our second day, we head for the bustling metropolis of Inverness. Phil and Josh play an in store gig for the lads at Creative Skate store as I head off to find a place to park the car. Later on, after we’ve loaded our stuff into the venue, Josh and I head out for something to eat. Candlelight sets the mood as we find a romantic table for two just off the main street. The tone is somewhat dampened when we glance outside to see a massively drunk gentleman stumble towards the window where we are seated. In a projectile manner, he proceeds to throw up directly onto our window just as our food arrives. Delicious.
Tonight’s gig can only be described as rowdy. Saturday night in Inverness and everyone loves a drink. Extra points go to our friend Jamie who in an effort to impress a girl attempts an elaborate ‘air kick’. This sends him over backwards in a distinctly dramatic fashion (and will tomorrow find him in crutches – get well soon).
We’re awoken to a fine breakfast on Sunday morning. James from the skate store put us up for the night – he and his girlfriend have been consistently hospitable to us over the past year the feast they provide us with sets us up for the long drive to Edinburgh.
Again, it’s a beautiful day for a drive. Other than the dead badgers everywhere. We’ve seen four in the last two days. We reach the conclusion that there must be some form of suicide pact.
Edinburgh has always been kind to us and tonight is no exception. The Wee Red Bar is rammed and we are made to feel incredibly welcome. Thank you to the people of the capital.
It’s an early show tonight, so we’ve decided to head for home. We blast though to Glasgow in search of our own beds and, by the scent beginning to permeate the car, a much needed shower.
Last time we were in Manchester Josh and Phil got beaten up. So this time we hide in our hotel with SpongeBob until it’s time for Soundcheck.
It’s nice to see Virals for the first time since we played with them in Amsterdam. It’s a chance to pool our collective memories of what exactly happened that hazy night.
The gig goes fairly well and we safely find our beds without incurring any form of harm.
After getting stuck in Manchester traffic for what must be hourswe embark on a risky drive through the winding roads of ‘Snake Pass’ and make our way to Sheffield, a place Josh will later describe as his ‘favourite English city… after Wakefield of course’.
It’s a late show for a school night. The promoters have pushed stage times back as Swim Deep are playing across town and folk have said they want to come to both shows. We’re a bit worried early on that no one will show, but the place ends up rammed and rowdy. Everyone’s had plenty of time to drink and it ends up being a really fun gig. However, Josh becomes the second casualty of the tour, his finger exploding as he smashes it off the drums.
Onwards to Oxford. Last time we played here it was for Gathering Festival and was a really memorable gig for us. It’s nice to be back.
It’s our last night with Virals, who have been consistently awesome. They kill it, and all though we have to say goodbye, we’ll see them in a couple of weeks in Texas.
We’ve got to head to London tonight, as we’ve got Visa interviews at the US embassy tomorrow.
It’s an early start. 6am. We didn’t get into London until two, and didn’t find sleep until 3. Coffee…
We are incredibly worried about our Visa interviews. In the last few weeks we’ve heard from some sides that it’s painless and from others absolute horror stories. There’s a fair wait, plenty of time for suspense to build, preparing ourselves to be blindsided with awkward questions. When the time comes we are called up to what can most closely be described as a bank kiosk. We’re asked, ‘Where do you intend to travel in the United States?’. Upon our reply we’re met with, ‘well you’re going to have a great time at South By South West’. Done.
Walking away shocked at how easy that was it now begins to dawn on us that we will actually be going to the US next week. Happy days.
It’s a really good day. Later, we get to play a sold out show. It’s great to play to a bunch of people we don’t know, as well as getting the chance to see a bunch of our London friends. We head out afterwards for one too many mojitosand Phil and our friend Alice from Big Deal bump into their favourite hobbit.
Feeling particularly awful, we head for the seaside. We’re welcomed into Brighton with a lovely cup of tea at the FatCat office. After a pleasant catch-up, and a youtube education on dogs with human faces, we head up to the Green Door Store for sound check.
It’s another really fun show tonight, and as we come off stage we’re presented with rum cokefloats. Promoter, and all round good guy, Ed Lilo also then presents us with a bottle of Buckfast. Ed really does know how to make us Scottish boys feel welcome. Things from this point on get a little hazy…
Leaving far later that we should, we somehow make it to Newcastle in record time. We arrive to discover Newcastle under a blanket of snow. Navigation becomes difficult in a city we’ve not been to that much, but we manage to somehow find the venue.
Heart Attack and Vine is a really cool space. It’s in a warehouse, with old paintings hanging everywhere and a stage lit with fairy lights. And it’s BYOB. A dangerous way to end the tour. Tonight’s gig is predictably rowdy. Everyone seems up for enjoying their Saturday night out in Newcastle. By the time we play it would be fair to say everyone’s a little tipsy and it makes for a really fun set – a really great way to end the tour.
We head back to our friend Malcolm’s in South Shields, a place I’m told our car will undoubtedly be broken into.
Luckily it isn’t and we’ve made it home safely after a pretty successful tour.
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'Cokefloat!' is out now.
Bonobo have unveiled the full line up for their Roundhouse all dayer on May 18th.
We'll let the cat out the bag: the new album from Bonobo is exceptional. 'The North Borders' just feels right, a true breakthrough record in the manner of Caribou's 'Swim'. As ClashMusic writer David Aaron put it, the album "is a triumph – each listen is a revelation; seemingly it’s a breadth of work that marks a new, exciting era of electronic music. Certainly, its creator is destined to reach higher plateaus."
Out shortly, Bonobo will toast their new release with a special event at the Roundhouse. Taking place on May 18th, the full ten piece line up of Bonobo will be joined by a host of friends, collaborators, admirers and inspirations.
They're a varied lot. Gilles Peterson will be hand to supply some supple vibes, while Ninja Tune label mates The Invisible, Letherette and Illum Sphere will be performing live.
Lukid (Werkdiscs), Bullion, Dauwd and Blue Daisy are all due to perform, with a few secret guests yet to be unveiled.
Bonobo play the Roundhouse on May 18th – full line up.
Adam Buxton presents BUG: Ninja Tune
The Invisible, Live
+ Special Guest
Bishop Nehru has posted his new track 'Elder Blossoms' online.
The current creative resurgence in hip hop is producing some spectacular pieces of music, but what is perhaps most surprising – and impressive – is the way these new artists are dealing with the weight of history the genre possesses.
Take Bishop Nehru. Only 16 years old, the rapper is dealing in Golden Age beats but adding something new.
Born and raised in New York, recent mixtape 'Nehruvia' pilfers production from DJ Premier, J Dilla, Madlib and more. Pulled from said mixtape, 'Elder Blossoms' utilises a beat provided by iconic (and reclusive) hip hop don MF DOOM.
There's a clear parallel between the rappers, with Bishop Nehru's complex yet effortless flow reminiscent of DOOM's many twists and turns. The newcomer, though, has a smooth side, one that has a pastoral quality DOOM largely avoids.
Try this out for size.
Bleached are a blast of sun-sheened pop wrapped in a über-cool Los Angeles punk attitude. Bleached are also two sisters, Jennifer and Jessica Clavin, formed from the ashes of their previous all-girl punk outfit, Mika Miko.
“At first we weren't sure how far we were gonna take Bleached,” Jennifer reveals to Clash. “We just knew Mika Miko was coming to an end and we wanted to keep playing music together, go in a different direction than Mika Miko and experiment with different sounds and styles of songwriting.”
Debut album, 'Ride Your Heart' is head-on collision of the sisters' punk roots and a burgeoning pop sensibility. The Clavins would sneak into punk shows in their early teens. “We used to go to two or three shows on the weekends, usually older bands doing reunion shows like The Adolescents, Black Flag, and Circle Jerks,” Jennifer recalls before admitting to a childhood obsession with Siouxsie Sioux. Later on, the sisters would hunt down YouTube videos of Blondie and The Slits before proclaiming them “the coolest girls ever.”
But while the duo's punk credentials are all in good order, 'Ride Your Heart' is also a melodious riot of bubblegum pop. Clash loves a band that isn't scared to write a pop song. “I am obsessed with pop music,” admits Jennifer. “I love the catchiness, the melodies that get stuck in your head, the lyrics that somehow grab you and make you feel like you are living the song – even if it's just three minutes.” Songs like the raw rush of 'Next Stop' and the sparkling 'Searching Through The Past' prove Jennifer's point – “I think in a way I am writing my version of pop music. When I start out writing a song, I base it off my lyrical melodies. And if I can't find a melody with the riff I ditch it and move on.”
Lyrically, much of 'Ride Your Heart' revels on broken promises and dead-end relationships. “The words come from personal experiences, usually when I'm miserable and am thinking there is no hope and everything sucks,” Jennifer says with the faintest of grins. “Plus, I've been told before that I'm very dramatic. I probably need to learn how to relax.”
For some, sharing a band with a sibling might not be the surest path to relaxation. Clash asks Jennifer about the propensity for sororal squabbling. “Every now and then we fight, of course. But we always say that since we are sisters we are forever. Also we get each other – so we let each other breathe.” Right now, Bleached sound like a glittering breath of fresh Californian air.
Words by John Freeman (Follow on Twitter)
Where: Los Angeles, California
What: Solar-powered punk pop
Get 3 Songs: 'Dead In Your Head', Searching Through The Past', 'Next Stop'.
Unique Fact: As teenagers Jennifer and Jessica would recreate wrist bands or hand stamps and sneak backstage at punk gigs in LA.
Mount Kimbie and Gilles Peterson are amongst the latest additions for Dimensions Festival.
Launched last year, Dimensions is quickly developing its own distinct identity. Glancing over the latest additions to the line up, fans can find everything from p*st-dubstep to hip hop, jazz to avant techno.
Perhaps the most eye catching development, though, is the addition of Mount Kimbie. The duo recently signed to Warp, with their second album due for release this year – if it reaches the peerless, exploratory heights of their debut then it could well rank as something quite special.
Elsewhere, legendary crate digger and Brownswood boss Gilles Peterson is set to journey out to Croatia. The DJ is set to play at Dimensions, joined by fellow new additions such as Martyn, Blawan, Dark Sky, Evian Christ and more.
Rejuvenated trio King Midas Sound are working on fresh material, which will be released through Ninja Tune later this year. Planning their Dimensions appearance, the three piece will feature alongside the likes of Locked Groove, Space Dimension Controller, German group Brandt Brauer Frick, garage stalwart Zed Bias and more.
Full list of additions:
Mount Kimbie / Gilles Peterson / Brandt Brauer Frick / Skudge – live / Martyn / Petar Dundov / Zed Bias / King Midas Sound / Blawan / Andreya Triana / Space Dimension Controller / Evian Christ / Dark Sky / Ilija Rudman / fLako / Ossie / Krystal Klear / Funkineven / Locked Groove / Ron Morelli / Anthony Naples / Kutmah / Illum Sphere / Kidkanevil / Wbeeza / Call Super / Tall Black Guy / Locked Groove / Loxy / Truss / Yosi Horikawa / Jackson Blumenthal / Pedestrian / Guy Andrews / Barker / Eddy Ramich / Hiatus & Shura / Alex Coulton / Ant TC1 / LX One / Chris Farrell / Werkha / Bearcubs / Pale / T-Man/ Homeboy / Jon K / Jonny Dub / SP: MC / Eton Messy DJs / CFSN DJs / Sergej Snooze / Arszenik / Bebetto / Voyeur / Pytzek / Mislav / Iggy Dub / Zero / Mimi / Labud / Ganik / Novell / Franic Mario / Rich Reason
Dimensions runs between September 5th – 9th.