Tuesday, 23 December 2008

NEW YEARS EVE

Hating New Years Eve is a cliche. I'm sick of people saying

"The trouble with New Years Eve is you expect to have loads of fun and invariably you're always let down"

Fuck those people. I expect to have fun every time I leave the house. I am seldom let down.

This New Years Eve. I am going to be at The Echo. The Blood Arm (fresh from their Gossip Girl appearance) are going to be playing live and I am DJ-ing. Neither of us will let you down.Get your hopes up.You will have loads of fun.

Tickets are $10 in advance. There is free Champagne

buy your tickets HERE

Monday, 22 December 2008

Ho Ho Ho

If you're a small child look away now.

I've been trying to remember the day that I stopped believing in Father Christmas.

I must have believed in Father Christmas at some point. I'm not a very cynical person and I was an especially gullible child. Until I was seven my Mum convinced me that when I lied, a big letter L would appear on my forehead. It was so she would know when I was lying. I'd casually try and hide the L with my hand whilst telling her untruths. My early believe in that magic L is probably the reason why I have worn my hair in a long floppy fringe for most of my life.

I only have two memories of Father Christmas. The first is of queuing up to sit on his knee with my friend Stuart. Whilst waiting, we had invented a game that involved biting hard on a rope and then letting the other person karate chop it. I managed to lose two teeth. Actually lose them. They never turned up. I remember being very concerned that the Tooth Fairy wouldn't give me any money without them. So as a child, I must have believed that at least one fictional character was real and it wouldn't make sense to believe in the Tooth Fairy and not Father Christmas. Perhaps I believed in neither and was afraid that my spare teeth would be worthless and I would get no presents at Christmas unless I pretended that I believed in Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy. Maybe my parents were the gullible ones being tricked by a seven year old, who had convinced them he believed in these ridiculous notions of fairies and jolly men with presents just so he could line his pockets with presents and baby teeth money.

I hope that wasn't the case though. That would make me a very cynical seven year old.

My second memory of Father Christmas is of him drunkenly falling on me. We were staying with my Grandparents. My Mum had borrowed a Santa costume from somewhere and had managed to convince one of my uncles to put it on. The plan was to take a photo of him putting presents in the stockings at the foot of mine and my brother's bed to forge evidence that Father Christmas was real. My Uncle had gotten far too drunk in the pub though and stumbled in to the room waking me up by falling on me and shouting "Oooh ya Bugger, Ow Awch Grrr Ahhh"

You would think a drunk man falling on me dressed as Father Christmas would be the moment that I realised Father Christmas was a lie, a conspiracy dreamt up by my relatives. If anything though I think it added more credibility to the Father Christmas myth. I think a slightly drunk generous Scottish man is a very believable version of Father Christmas. In fact, that is exactly how I'm going to tell it to my children.

Finding out Father Christmas wasn't a real live drunk Scottish man must have been very traumatic for me. I imagine that is why I have mentally blocked it out. I hope it doesn't come back as a repressed memory. It might destroy me.

Blog.

I still haven't managed to get a copy of Booster Gold 15. Barnaby Fudge has blogged about the album HERE

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Blog.

We finished recording 'Art Brut Versus Satan' a few days ago.It took less than two weeks. I don't know what Axl Rose's problem is he must be very lazy. We've been mixing since Monday. So I have had a bit of spare time on my hands. Spare time that I have spent traipsing around in the snow

After unsuccessfully looking for Booster Gold 15 in Portland on Monday. I tried again on Tuesday in Salem. 

I'd been told the Borders in the mall had a few comics in stock. I'm a very optimistic man so I headed off through the snow to the mall. When I got to the mall I studied the very complicated map they had there, to find out where the Borders was. After about five minutes I finally decided I couldn't work it out and ended up just walking around all the shops until I stumbled across it.

Borders only carry Batman and Superman comics.I was tempted to buy a Superman comic as I love Geoff Johns writing but its quite far into the current story so I'm going to wait till its all collected together in one big book. I haven't been able to buy a Batman comic in a while. The last time I read a Batman comic I hated it. I haven't really given Grant Morrison's Batman RIP a chance because I really didn't like Batman and Son. Whenever I read about Batman RIP though it gives me the same nauseous feeling I get when I read about The Velvet Underground's reunion in 1993. That feeling  that a lot of good work is being undone.

Borders recommended that I try a place called Border Lines. When I got to Border Lines it looked so much like a Dungeons and Dragons, World of Warcraft, Pokemon, den that I actually asked at the counter if he knew where the nearest comic book store was. He was actually very nice and showed me the small corner of his store where he sells comics. They didn't have Booster Gold 15 either. He apologised  and explained to me that Salem was "more of a Marvel comics town". As I left and looked back through the window at all the strange men playing with action figures and pretending to be Wizards. I understood what he meant. People like me that read DC comics would never let ourselves look so ridiculous.

Border Lines recommended a place called Danger Zone. This is more like it I thought. I've been in strange towns looking for comics before. The shop called Danger Zone is always the best.

It was a long walk to Danger Zone. At one point I was walking through  snow that had been  untouched by other peoples feet. After about Forty Minutes I got to the shop and from the opposite side of the road it looked like a comic shop. I rushed towards the shop slipping slightly on the ice. It was a comic shop. Hooray. When I got into the shop though I could hear the owner talking on his phone about online gaming. Curses! I thought. It really is a Marvel town. Danger Zone didnt have Booster Gold 15 either he recommended I try Portland.

It seems there are no Booster Gold comics in the whole of Oregon. So it really is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live here.

On the way back to the studio. In the middle of nowhere. I found a man's phone in the snow. There is no way anybody else would have been walking that way for a long time.So in a way his phone was saved by Booster Gold.

THE PITCHFORK INTERVIEW THAT SAVED ME FROM THE HIPPY

 Is HERE

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Blog.

Its been snowing pretty heavily in Oregon.I've been out having adventures in it.

My girlfriend came up from LA to stay over the weekend. So on Monday she drove her rented car back to Portland to get her flight home and I went with her to the airport. I dont drive so my adventure began as soon as I tried to get back to Salem.

Dyan (My girlfriend) assured me that there was a train or a bus every hour from Portland that would take me back to Salem. At the airport the information guy told me that to catch the train to Salem I needed to get the Metro to a place called Rose Quarter,thinking about it now he might not have been an information guy, just a random man who looked authoritative.His information was definitely wrong. I stumbled all over the place in Rose Quarter before getting back on the Metro and crossing the bridge to Union Train Station.

I didn't find my way to Union Train Station immediately. I had to ask someone for directions. I thought I was asking a hipster. It wasn't until he was showing me the way by walking with me that I realized he was quite a scary drunk homeless guy. It was when he offered me a sip of some powerful looking booze that all the pieces fell into place. I declined his offer though as it was still pretty early in the morning. 

At the train station they told me that there are only a few trains a day to Salem and that the next one would be in four hours.

Luckily I have a vague knowledge of Portland so I walked around in the snow,went to the few record shops I know and started looking for a shop that would sell me issue 15 of Booster Gold. I couldn't find one anywhere. They seem to only sell art comics in Portland. Unless superhero comics are really popular and all get bought up the day they are released.

After walking around for four hours in the cold. I finally got my train.Bizarrely the train staff  pair you up with a companion. I got a hippy. First he taught me Dominos which he beat me at. Then we played Connect Four he beat me at that too. After he had also beaten me a couple of times at cards as well he started to talk to me like I was simple. I wasn't in the mood for talking though so I just went with it. I think at one point we were both playing entirely different card games. Gin Rummy has a very broad definition. I escaped him when I had to go and do a phone interview with Pitchfork in a quieter part of the train. When I got off the train I walked back to the window where we had both been sat to say goodbye. He was no longer there. Perhaps he was a hallucination brought on by the cold.

Salem doesn't really have a train station. Just a patch of ground in the middle of nowhere where the train stops. I don't know Salem very well and wanted to get to a bit of it that had shops and people and maybe a bus stop and some coffee. So I shouted at the one person I could see.

"Hey, which way to civilization?"

They just glared at me. I think they thought that I was being sarcastic.

After getting off the train I walked for ages. I got some very confusing directions from a girl working in a Subway Sandwich. I think she thought I was traveling in a car. I wasn't.By the time I bumped in to a man called Rick. Her "ten minute" journey had already taken me forty minutes.

Rick was a lifesaver. He put me on the right bus and traveled with me a lot of the way home.He had been heading somewhere to get an X-Ray of some sort.He seemed absolutely fine to me but I didn't want to pry . Rick was very easy to chat to. I do tend to mumble though so I think Rick might have come away from our conversation thinking that my name is Eddie Brut that I am the lead singer of the Pixies and that I am in Salem to produce an album by a band called Black Francis. I think Rick might also be under the impression that Im a devout Catholic.

Rick was brilliant and helpful without being weird and better than that didn't feel the need to humiliate me by beating me at a lot of travel games I'd never played before. I think Rick might be my guardian angel.

I finally got back to my hotel at 6.45pm Eleven hours after I had left for Portland and Three and a half hours after I had arrived back in Salem

I very much doubt any of the people who helped me get home read my blog which is a shame as I'd like to thank them.

Thank you the man at the airport who gave me train information. Even though it was wrong. 

Thank you the homeless man for walking me to Union Station and offering me some booze.

Thank you hippy for entertaining me on the train journey even though all I really wanted to do was listen to music. I did try and say goodbye to you

Thank you Subway Sandwich girl for the directions. I forgive you for not having time to distance ratio fully worked out.

Thank you Rick for talking me out of a walk home that, in hindsight, I would still be on now. I know neither of us had fallen over on the Ice when I said goodbye to you. I ended up falling three times.I hope you got home ok and didn't slip once.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

The Passenger.

>Have you seen The South Park episode in which every thing they attempt in the programme they have to stop as they find out the Simpsons have done it before them?

I have that with Jonathan Richman or at least I used to before I owned every recorded sound he's ever made.

The first time I visited Paris I came home with the intention of writing a song about it.I found out almost immediately that Jonathan Richman had beaten me to it.

I love Chocolate Milkshake. I love it so much I started to write a song about it.I found out after I had started  writing that Jonathan had beaten me to it. So I stopped.

I used to be a Goth (a long time ago) and before I was in a relationship. I still used to get crushes on Goth girls. That's a funny thing to write about I thought. Put pen to paper. Then put on my latest Jonathan Richman purchase and found out that he'd beaten me to it.

So I admit now. That I know Jonathan Richman has a very good song about riding the bus (an amazing version of it can be found HERE) but wrote my own anyway.

I cant drive. I dont really ever intend to learn either. I love taking the bus and the train.I love being late for everything and I love feeling the lack of responsibility that being on the way to somewhere gives you. The feeling of not yet being somewhere but of having already left somewhere else.

I've not nicked any lyrics though.

My Dad once stole a load of Nick Cave lyrics to impress a girl claiming that they were poetry he'd written. I warned him the dangers of that by saying 

"There is always someone somewhere with a big nose who knows,who will trip you up and laugh when you fall"

 and he said thats very good who wrote that, and I said

"I did"


Friday, 12 December 2008

Do you live in Salem?

Then come to our gig. It is at a place called The Space. You can read about it HERE

Blog.

We had a bit of a late start this morning. So I watched some Celebrity Rehab. I didn't know such a terrifying program existed. I remember low rent comedy shows in England at the end of the 90's having this premise for terrible sketches. It's very depressing to watch. Poor Steve Adler. Imagine being so fucked up and addicted to drugs that even Guns And Roses cant put up with you. I hope all those celebrities manage to get better. 

I can sympathise with Steve Adler though. I had to make a lot of urgent phone calls to the UK this morning so missed my morning hit of sausage gravy. I didn't realise I had become so addicted. I am contemplating breaking into the cupboard where I'm presuming the hotel staff keep huge vats of it and, much like an inmate of celebrity rehab, taking a load of it up on to the roof  where I wont be disturbed until I'm done.

If I cant get into the cupboard. I will head into Salem to try and buy some Sausage Gravy on the street. Even if it has been cut up with other less desirable breakfast produce, American bacon perhaps. It will still at least partially satisfy my craving. Maybe that gentleman from the other night the one that handed me the note that read "Follow the trail of blood back to the hotel" could sort me out. I'm a bit scared to ring him though.

Failing that. Im going to head down to the Fred Myer buy some porridge, some beef stock, some sausages and some black pepper and attempt to mix my own batch in the bath tub. I presume those are the ingredients.

So sorry Jasper if you come back to the room tonight and the bath is full of  gravy and I'm O'd on the hotel room floor.I need your sympathy I've got a problem.

Art Brut Versus Satan is sounding AWESOME  by the way.

GLAM CHOPS BETTER THAN RAZORLIGHT AND THE SUGABABES

The evidence is HERE

Those are pretty good odds. Especially considering we're non chart eligible.

The Glam Chops double A side "Countdown To Christmas/Jesus Was The First Glam Rocker" is still available free from HERE

HO HO HO Merry Christmas.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Blog.

As of yesterday we are ten songs in to "Art Brut Versus Satan". We had a pretty full on day yesterday. We spent all of it working on an eight minute song called "Mysterious Bruises". I haven't quite finished the words for it yet so I got to spend the day in the same room as the rest of Art Brut working the lyrics out. Normally they keep me in a cupboard.

Im not being kept in a cupboard against my will. It is because for the first time ever we are all recording our parts at the same time and my voice isn't allowed to bleed into the recording of the other instruments. Although I think they are also keeping me in a cupboard to stop me eating all the M&M's that are in their part of the studio.

I don't mind being kept in a cupboard though. I am safe from prying eyes in there. Which is very useful. I am ever so slightly more "sing-y" on this album and I've realised my voice sounds a bit better if I dance like Mick Jagger whilst I sing and I couldn't possibly do that with the rest of the band watching.

So to recap I am living in a hotel in Salem on a diet of sausage gravy and spending my days locked in a cupboard dancing like Mick Jagger.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Blog.

Whilst we are in Salem recording "Art Brut Versus Satan" we are all living in a Comfort Inn. Its very nice. Although I am beginning to feel a bit like Alan Partridge.

Every morning I get up and eat at the continental breakfast bar downstairs. I have sausage-gravy and muffins,waffles and syrup and then a small cake. This is definitely a lot more calories than my usual breakfast. My usual breakfast is three hours more sleep. I think having a swim everyday might even things out though and I'll remain exactly the same size I am now.

I am eating so much for breakast it is actually like I'm  intentionally putting on weight for a film. Like Robert Deniro in Raging Bull. The truth is though I need to retain my slightly over weight stature for the album as I've written a song that is partially about it called "Just Desserts" that would make little sense if I was thin.

I've already lost one song that I'd written called "Get On With It" that was about artistic inertia. We cant play that one anymore because at the end of the song I mention how Chinese Democracy will never be coming out and it since has. I also mention how they're will never be a Ghostbusters 3 with Bill Murray in it which has also since changed. JD Salinger hasn't released the last book in The Glass family trilogy yet but it does seem I have some magic power to make things happen.

If anybody is awaiting an author to finish a book,for a film to come out or an album to be released let me know. I'll put it in a song and whatever artistic endeavour your awaiting should be out before I have had a chance to record it.


Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Blog.

Art Brut are in Oregon. We are recording our album in a punk as fuck two weeks with Black Francis. It is going really well we're already about 7 songs in. We've written two new ones too "Twist and Shout" and "The Passenger".

We're staying in a hotel on the freeway and went to a local bar on Friday. Very local. It was a bit like this pub scene from American Werewolf in London when we entered. Everybody went silent and looked at us. The fact that everybody in the pub was watching a teenage boy being mauled by a Lion on the television made the pub even scarier.The staff and customers were all actually really nice though and who can fault a pub that has Proud Mary by Creedence Clearwater Revival on the Jukebox.

Thinking about it now though I should have put Bad Moon On The Rise on to fully get that American Werewolf vibe.

A little later in to proceedings a scary coke/crystal meth guy came over to sit with us. He was nice enough and warned us about people like himself who were addicted to substances and consequently might want to steal our money. He was very polite though and gave me his number on a little piece of paper just in case I wanted to try crystal meth in the future. He also wrote "follow the trail of blood back to the hotel" on the piece of paper. I dont think that was his name though.

If your ever driving along the freeway in Salem and fancy a drink. I recommend  the random cocktail bar attached to a chinese restaurant near some hotels. The staff are friendly and polite and it is a bit of an adventure.

Barnaby Fudge has started a blog about the album too it is HERE.

I know people think I am him. I promise you Im not though. I just claim the credit for some of the funnier things he has said.


Saturday, 6 December 2008

Apologies To Barnaby Fudge

Who I seem to have upset. Barnaby Fudge runs the Art Brut website and updates the news section
you can read him HERE

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

TOP OF THE POPS

I wrote this for the NME. It is in this weeks issue. Their version is a little bit different.It mentions a weird Email I got asking me if I was behind The Ting Tings. Like Art Brut the Ting Tings asked fans at a gig to hand paint 7'' singles for them and they have "We Formed A Band" in huge letters on the inner sleeve of their album which is very similar to a lyric of ours. I am not the svengali behind the Ting Tings unfortunately. Although that is quite a good conspiracy theory.

WHY I LOVE TOTP.

I can't remember when it was that I first started watching Top Of The Pops. Until now, I have always thought that one of my earliest memories was watching Adam Ant perform "Goody Two Shoes" on the show. Although I've just looked up when that was so I could write about it and have realised that it has to be a false memory, because I was only two when it happened in 1981. I can, however, definitely remember when I realised Top Of The Pops was the programme for me. It was at school in the early nineties

I hate sport. Especially football. I always have. As a boy growing up though, especially at school, you're expected to like it. People insist you have to have a favourite team and ask you how your team is doing, what hopes you have for your team, whether you are disappointed in your team's performance etc. I never actually managed to choose a team or was even polite enough to pretend that I had, but I always envied the way people supported their teams. I think a little of that envy transferred itself into my obsession with Top Of The Pops.

While my school friends were all supporting Manchester United, reading the football results and watching Match Of The Day, I was studying the charts in quite an unhealthy, almost autistic way and watching Top Of The Pops. I couldn't have chosen a better time to develop a full blown obsession with the program than in the early nineties. There were loads of classic moments: Nirvana refusing to mime and choosing to "sing like Morrissey" instead, The Eels playing children's instruments and smashing them up at the end of Novocaine For The Soul, Jarvis wearing an "I Hate Wet Wet Wet" t-shirt because they had been at number one for so long. It wasnt just bands mucking about with the zeitgeist I enjoyed either - it felt like a real victory for me at the time to see bands like Suede, Pulp, Belle and Sebastian, Black Box Recorder and even Bis getting on the programme. In football terms, I had followed these bands from the bottom of division three and was now watching them win all their matches and enter the premiership. It didn't last very long, but it was a brilliant time.
 
I don't just love Top Of The Pops for the indie bands that got on it, though. I love pop music. Top of The Pops really was important to me growing up, definitely as important as sport is to some people. So it's brilliant to see that it may be brought back as a public service. It certainly deserves to be. I just hope that it will stick to its previous rules: the number one record is always featured as well as the highest climbing single and the highest new entry, and that no record besides the number one can be featured on consecutive episodes. Otherwise, it will change the rules of the game, making it a different programme. I'm also a purist, so I hope they still put it on at 7 on thursday evenings.

My love of Top Of The Pops and my inclusion of it in a lot of Art Brut's lyrics has led it to be a sort of catchphrase for my band. People have chanted Top Of The Pops at us all over the world. We even got to appear on it in Germany (I was so happy to be on it, in contrast with popstars that are usually forced to go on it, that the German staff mistook my enthusiasm as sarcasm. I had to explain to them that I really meant it, I still don't think they believed me though). When Top Of The Pops was cancelled in the UK, nearly 5000 people signed a petition to get us on the last show.

That association of Top Of The Pops with the band means that whenever there is a news story about it I get a lot of emails. I've had a lot emails recently about the Ting Tings bringing it back, asking me if I'm angry at them for stealing my thunder. Of course I'm not, it's not my personal programme and I want to see it brought back as much as them. The only thing I do regret is making my Glam Chops Christmas single a free download because of the  credit crunch. If I had known there was going to be a Christmas TOTP I would have fought for the number one spot, credit crunch or not.

One of my most prized possesions is a printout of an email from the Top Of The Pops staff telling Art Brut that we are the best band in the world. I have it framed on my wall. If the charts were premiership football though, Art Brut would still be struggling to get into the first division. Perhaps one day, the world will decide to get into shouty spoken pop music and we'll make it. Until then, I wish the Ting Tings the best of luck bringing it back. It will be nice to have that long-held but probably impossible ambition to aim for again.

by Eddie Argos (29 1/4)

Monday, 1 December 2008

ADVERT

Art Brut played a show for JD recently in Glasgow.We performed "Duchess" with Hugh Cornwall from The Stranglers. you can hear it HERE. There is also the new longer version of Modern Art, Nag Nag Nag Nag and the "Falling On a Bruise" version of Post  Soothing Out.

Just go to Art Brut and then click on tracks.