Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Beard radio on 106.6 FM 23.2.09

The first of four FM broadcasts. It's a bit of a mess! I was pure knackered and made numerous technical errors, including speaking into the wrong mike for the first half. Not quite dead air - you can hear me if you turn it up!
Other than that, some bangin' tunes as ever...

Gang Of Four - Natural's Not In It, Entertainment (EMI)
Zombi - Spirit Animal, Spirit Animal LP (Relapse)
Ornette Coleman - Civilisation Day, Science Fiction (Sony)
The Thing - Broken Shadows/Ride The Sky, Action Jazz (Smalltown Superjazz)
Bob Lind - Cheryl's Coming Home, Hearing Is Believing: The Jack Nitzche Story (Ace)
Wolf Eyes - Stabbed In The Face, Burned Mind (Subpop)
Mobb Deep - Shook Ones Pt II, The Infamous (Loud)
Belbury Poly - From An Ancient Star, From An Ancient Star LP (Ghost Box)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Beard Radio 18.2.09

It's another shambolic edition of Beard radio!

Abe Vigoda - The Garden, Skeleton (V2)
Albert Ayler - Bells, Love Cry (Impulse)
Antony & The Johnsons - Her Eyes Are Underneath The Ground, The Crying Light (Rough Trade)
Triple School - Biggie On The Thorax, Plaaydoh/Triple School split EP, (Nuts & Seeds)
Ex Models - Pink Noise, Zoo Psychology (Frenchkiss)
Harry Pussy - I Fought The Police, What Was Music? (Siltbreeze)
King Soly - Tamil Dub, Box of Dub 2 (Soul Jazz)
Alan Courtis & Aaron Moore - untitled (CDR)
The Trembling Bells - Carbeth (Honest Jons)
Black Dice - Lazy TV, Repo (Paw Tracks)
Edgar Varese/Julliard Percussion Ensemble - Ionisation, Complete Works (Decca)

Make sure you catch Trembling Bells, Alex Neilson's new song based project, playing live this week!
Feb 18th Glasgow, Captain's Rest
Feb 20th Edinburgh, The Bowery
Feb 26th Glasgow, Stereo (supporting Vetiver)
And they'll be on tour throughout the UK in April!

As mentioned on the show, you have until the 20th to pick up a £20 early bird ticket for Instal 09. Further details at

If you enjoyed the Courtis/Moore jam, make sure to catch them on tour this week. Their Glasgow date is on Saturday 21st at the Flying Duck. Support comes from fellow Volcano The Bear traveller Daniel Padden and Sarah Ketchington with her incredible mechanical instruments! It's a bargain £4 and the doors are at 7pm. More info at

Finally, Subcity Radio will be launching its four week FM broadcast with a special event at Glasgow School of Art on Friday. More details here.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Beard Radio's Cosmic Disco Inferno 9.2.09

This week's Beard Radio... it's thumpin', it's jumpin', it's top trumpsin'. We've got Lindstrom's INCREDIBLE Boredoms remix, some amazing Algerian jeep beats, gorgeous drone and, in anticipation of Glasgow's Halt Bar Valentine's Hijack, some blisteringly horrible noise and some deranged violin abuse.

Bellemou Benissa - Li Maamdouche L'Auto, 1970's Algerian Proto-Rai (Sublime Frequencies)
Missy Elliot - The Rain, Supa Dupa Fly (EastWest)
Fennesz - The Colour Of Three, Black Sea (Touch)
Harmonia -Dino, Musik Von Harmonia (Revisited)
Boredoms - Ant 10 (Lindstrom Remix), Superroots 11 (Vice)
Gang Gang Dance - House Jam, Saint Dymphna (Social Registry)
Blue Sabbath Black Fiji/Helicoptere Sanglante - Untitled, S/T (Countripsyde)
Helhesten - Dithyramb, Chops split LP (Upset The Rhythm)

Tonight's background music: Fuzzy Felt Folk (Trunk Records)

Sunday, February 08, 2009

For your reading pleasure

Our favourite psychogeographer (although Stewart Home runs him close), Iain Sinclair, talks to the Guardian's Rachel Cooke about his new book on Hackney, the Olympic development and urban decay. And as a Beard bonus beat, here's Sinclair in action, taking the BBC for a walk around Abbey Park cemetery in Stoke Newington.

For my Masters dissertation, I'm interested in exploring psychogeography in the context of writing - or filmmaking, music, art etc - about Glasgow. Perhaps it's a bit of a stretch to claim Alasdair Gray, Edwin Morgan et al as psychogeographers, but their work does contain elements of that, admittedly rather loose, concept: walking, critiques of urban development, hidden places, magic... I've also dug up some interesting travel writing on Glasgow, including an Alfred Watkins inspired mapping of the area's ley lines by Harry Bell. His book, Glasgow's Secret Geometry, is sadly out of print, but the full text is online here. And although I can't check the catalogues online, I imagine Glasgow's wonderful Mitchell Library has a copy.

Interesting article by Jessica Hopper on what the success of No Age could mean for LA's all-ages punk venue The Smell. The Smell has become a model for DIY scenes, creating a genuine sense of community. The worry is that its success could change all that, as hipsters and suits move in, robbing it of its integrity. Here's hoping The Smell continues to spread its righteous, pungent vibes across the world. This reminds me, I should really get my No Age interview on here. Uni comes first, but I'll get there eventually.

Simon Reynolds, blogging for the Grauniad, applies his recent theorising on middlebrow rock and pop to Animal Collective. Predictably, the idiot trolls who plague Comment Is Free are quick to call Reynolds pretentious, blah blah etc etc. Just as dispiriting is the commentator who wonders where all the good British music is. If only he'd clicked on the awesome Zomby clip Reynolds posts on the blog... Anyway, the idea of music that sits between the mainstream and the underground, the experimental and accessible is nothing new, but it's interesting to see Reynolds reclaim the term middlebrow from dullards like Coldplay and Elbow, in much the same way academia has sought to use the term positively to describe, for example, certain strains of women's writing from the mid-20th century. One commentator suggests that middle brow is the best kind of music and no one needs a Metal Machine Music. I'm sure Reynolds would disagree. Surely the two can't exist without each other? Experimental music exists in its own right, not just as a lab creating raw materials to be filtered and processed for mass consumption. The main problem with middlebrow is its unavoidable class consciousness. While that can be useful in understanding the modes of production and comsumption, it does tend to oversimplify things. Maybe this is me showing my age, but I don't really care about whether music is popular or not. Of course, in the real world, these things can make a difference in terms of cultural currency. Ultimately, Christgau's term, semi-popular music is the best we've got.