Thursday, 31 December 2009

Art Brut - Catch by The Cure

Art Brut got asked to cover a Cure song for an NME compilation a while ago. It was free on the front cover of the magazine. We were asked to contribute pretty late and I was worried that somebody would have already chosen Catch as it is my absolute favourite Cure song. Seems its just me though as it was still going spare.

I didn't know it was on Youtube or if I did I'd forgotten till somebody just sent me a link to it a minute a go anyway here is our cover of Catch.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Everybody Was In The French Resistance...Now

Although "Fixin' The Charts" is an album of response songs. When we were writing it we were very conscious of making sure it could stand alone. So when I did an interview with The Morning After Pills Blog last week I was delighted that she didn't know it was a 'response' album. On the blog the writer refers to herself as the village idiot. I don't think so though. I think it just proves we did our job properly.

Here is the interview. I'm very jet-lagged in it so a bit more mumbly than usual. Still more comprehensible than Robert Downey Jr in Sherlock Holmes though. Also Dave didn't buy his guitar back from Elastica it was mistakenly given to them in the first place and they were just returning it.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Everybody Was In The French Resistance...Now

ALBUM AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD...NOW ( in some places)Fixin' The Charts has come out a little early on some Amazon websites as a download.

I know for a fact it has come out in the UK and you can download it HERE

and in Germany HERE

I don't know where you live though so maybe check the Amazon in your country although it may well just be those two.

The album is officially out on 25th Jan in the UK/Europe and about a week later in the US.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

GLAM CHOPS


Glam Chops is a Glam band that I am in. We played last night. I think it went quite well. Especially considering I've pretty much been out the country since October and we'd not had a chance to rehearse.

It was the first time we'd ever played our Christmas song live. We released it last year as a download for free. As we thought it might cheer people up in the bad economic climate.

We are still in a bad economic climate. So it is still free.

You can get it HERE

It's the second Christmas single I've been apart of. I was on Black Box Recorders song 'Christmas Number One' two years ago.


Im a bit sad that I was too busy with Art Brut/Everybody was In The French Resistance...Now this year to record a christmas song.

I think to make it up I want to record an entire Christmas album with Glam Chops for next Christmas. I've just got to convince the rest of them its a good idea.


Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Art Brut Shoes.




Not sure what to get your loved ones for Christmas get them Art Brut shoes.

They come in three different flavours. Two of the flavours have Jeff Lemire's amazing album artwork on them.

You can buy them HERE

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Everybody Was In The French Resistance...Now




We finally got round to adding our single to our myspace page.

You can now hear our song 'G.I.R.L.F.R.E.N (You Know I've Got A)


and you still have time (well until midnight tonight) to do us a favour and go and vote for it



Sunday, 6 December 2009

Everybody Was In The French Resistance...Now

We're going on tour. Its going to be quite a big tour going all over the place but for now Im just going to give you the British dates. Well I say Britain but we're just doing some English dates. I'm sorry Scotland and Wales. I'm also sorry if we're not coming to your part of the country. Apart from Middlesbrough I'm glad we're not playing there.

In case we're not playing in your part of the country. I thought I'd write a nice thing about each city we're playing in, to perhaps tempt you out to have a little trip to come and see us.

LONDON

London is our nations capital. There is lots to do and see here. Buckingham Palace, The Tower Of London, The Tate, The Zoo, The Sherlock Holmes Museum, etc. This will be our first ever show. So if you are the sort of person that goes to shows hoping that something might go wrong and wants to see how the band react when it does this is probably the show for you.

LONDON DINGWALLS 9th FEB. BO: 0870 060 0100 Buy Tickets HERE.

NOTTINGHAM

Nottingham is probably best known historically as the home of Robin Hood. Even though a lot of scholars argue that if Robin Hood did even exist he probably lived in Barnstable. If your a purist for historical accuracy, even when it comes to what maybe fictional characters, fear not. There is still lots of non Robin Hood based fun to be had in Nottingham. As well as Robin Hood stuff they also have one of the few remaining Turkish Baths in England and a very nice Transport Museum.

NOTTINGHAM BODEGA 10th FEB BO: 0871 310 0000 Buy Tickets HERE

NORWICH

Although I can find no evidence of it someone once told me that there is a traffic roundabout in Norwich that has a family of Chickens living on it.

NORWICH ARTS CENTRE 11th FEB BO: 0160 366 0352 Buy Tickets HERE

BRISTOL

I love Bristol everybody that lives there speaks like a pirate. We are playing at the Thekla in Bristol which is a boat that used to belong to Vivian Stanshall. Those two pieces of information should be enough to make you want to visit Bristol by themselves. Although to gild the lilly a little it also has some theaters, some nice museums and a zoo.

BRISTOL THEKLA 13th FEB BO: 0871 310 0100 Buy Tickets HERE

LEEDS

The Kaiser Chiefs, The Music and The Pigeon Detectives are all from Leeds. Don't let that put you off though. Leeds has a lot going for it. Some even call it the Knightsbridge of the north. It has the only reparatory theatre outside of London and The Rough Guide To Britain claims shopping in Leeds is one of the top 30 things to do in the UK. It is also apparently one of the best places in the country to go mountain biking.

LEEDS BRUNDELL SOCIAL CLUB 14th FEB BO: 0871 230 0010 Buy Tickets HERE (haven't put their tickets on sale online yet)

MANCHESTER

I've gotten bored of this now. Its Manchester you know what its like. It has two football teams that don't get along and loads of bands came from there. Its nice. There are loads of pubs and its fun. Come and see us.

MANCHESTER RUBY LOUNGE 15th FEB BO: 0161 832 1111 Buy Tickets HERE


Okay. I apologise. I'm being a bit facetious in my descriptions of some of those places. Please don't beat me up over it. I genuinely love all of those cities and cant wait to be playing them with Everybody Was In The French Resistance...Now.

Live Everybody Was In The French Resistance...Now is going to be me, Dyan Valdés from The Blood Arm, David Newton who produced the album and used to be in The Mighty Lemondrops and a Drum machine/Backing track machine thing that I am thinking about naming Drum-free Bogart.

Here are the dates again without the tourist business written underneath them.

Feb 14th Leeds Brudenell Social Club (haven't put their tickets for sale online yet)

Hope to see you there.



Monday, 30 November 2009

COMMUNIQUÉ


Tracklisting :

1. Creeque Allies

Response to “Creeque Alley” by the Mamas and the Papas

“Creeque Alley” by the Mamas and the Papas is the story of the late sixties West Coast folk scene and the formation of their own band in the midst of it. “Creeque Allies” is the story of the early forties French resistance scene and the formation of the freedom fighters who eventually drove the Nazis out of
France.

2. G.I.R.L.F.R.E.N (You Know I’ve Got A)

Response to “Girlfriend” made famous by Avril Lavigne

Pop songs have traditionally been “boy meets girl,” “girl meets boy,” “boy/girl overcome a problem,” or “boy/girl break up” – in the last decade or so, there has been an alarming new archetype in pop songwriting: “girl steals other girl’s boyfriend.” This is a divisive message to send to young girls everywhere, and songs like “Girlfriend” (see also “You Belong With Me” by Taylor Swift) only teach young women that they can derive more worth and status from stealing each others’ boyfriends than they can from realizing their own achievements.

3. (I’m So) Waldo P. Emerson Jones

Response to “Waldo P. Emerson Jones” made famous by the Archies

The Archies can’t figure out Waldo P. Emerson Jones, a new character on the block who impresses all of their girlfriends and generally shows everyone up. The Everybody Was In The French Resistance … Now! version tells Waldo’s side – he was a little-known “nerd” at their school who spent the summer reinventing himself and came back with added confidence, a new haircut and a much cooler name (Waldo P. Emerson Jones is clearly not the name his mother gave him).

4. The
Scarborough Affaire

Response to “Scarborough Fair,” traditional

The singer of the 17th-century ballad “Scarborough Fair” instructs the listener to locate his former lover and charge her with a series of impossible tasks. The Everybody Was In The French Resistance…Now response takes his unreasonable demands to their logical conclusion.

5. Billie’s Genes

Response to “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson

The kid is your son.

6. Think Twice (It’s Not Alright)

Response to “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright” by Bob Dylan

Breaking up is hard. Not everyone can be as tough as Bob Dylan, who claims that he needs to “travel on” when his lover wastes his “precious time.” Everybody Was In The French Resistance … Now! have read between the lines, and have rewritten the song based on how Bob Dylan most likely actually felt when he bid “fare thee well.”

7. Hey! It’s Jimmy Mack

Response to “Jimmy Mack” made famous by Martha Reeves and the Vendellas

Jimmy Mack heard Martha’s song. So he’s never coming back.

8. He’s a “Rebel”

Response to “He’s A Rebel” made famous by the
Crystals

The
Crystals sang a love song to “dangerous” men. Everybody Was In The French Resistance … Now! opened up the conversation to other men, who see through the “rebel” schtick and argue that it’s all just an act.

9. Coal Digger

Response to “Gold Digger” by Kanye West

Kanye West patronizes the chip-shop janitor who is working his way towards cooking the fries. Everybody Was In The French Resistance … Now! know that the janitor is just working to make ends meet until he gets his shit together and releases a hit record.

10. My Way (Is Not Always the
Best Way)

Response to “My Way” made famous by Frank Sinatra

Paul Anka admires a selfish man’s death-bed declaration that living his life according to his own convictions and desires alone is enough. Everybody Was In The French Resistance … Now! think that one should take others’ opinions into consideration.

11. Superglue

Response to “Vaseline” by Elastica

If Elastica had used superglue instead of vaseline (or for that matter, heroin) maybe they would have stuck together.

12. Walk Alone

Response to “You’ll Never Walk Alone” made famous by Gerry and the Pacemakers

Gerry and the Pacemakers (and all of
Liverpool) are terrified of being alone. Everybody Was In The French Resistance… Now are comfortable with their own company.


Fixin’ the Charts, Volume One (COOKCD512) is a companion piece to all of these pop songs, but can be appreciated as a work in its own right. Pop music transmits all of our culture’s most valued ideals from one generation to the next; let’s make sure we get it right. Vive le Resistance!

Friday, 6 November 2009

Everybody Was In The French Resistance...Now

Just the facts.

This is the front cover.
The original photo was taken by Alfonso Valdes and turned into the cover artwork by Andrew Swainson

This is the Track listing

1) Creeque Allies
2) G.I.R.L.F.R.E.N (You Know I've Got A)
3) (I'm So) Waldo P Emerson Jones
4) The Scarborough Affaire
5) Billie's Genes
6) Think Twice (It's Not Alright)
7) Hey Its Jimmy Mack
8) He's A "Rebel"
9) Coal Digger
10) My Way (Is Not Always The Best Way)
11) Superglue
12) Walk Alone

Everybody Was In The French Resistance...Now are Dyan Valdes and Eddie Argos.

The album is called 'Fixin' The Charts' and was produced by David Newton at his studio 'Rollercoaster East' in Joshua Tree California.

It is out in January on Cooking Vinyl.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Whoops got a bit behind.

I was intending on writing a blog every day for every show.

Then it was my birthday, then I got busy sorting out some Everybody Was In The French Resistance...Now stuff, then I had some song ideas I wanted to work on, then the days I hadn't written about started adding up and the task looked insurmountable, then the dog ate it etc.

Here are some of the days I've missed so I can start slowly catching up. It was ages ago though and anything amusing that might have happened has long been forgotten. Im just writing them because I promised myself I would.

Tuscon

We played at a place called Club Congress. It is the place where John Dillinger had his last stand against the local police. It is also a hotel. The hotel is pretty old by American standards and they try to keep it in that style. There are no televisions in the rooms and all the furniture and fittings are from the 30's (I think). Although it is an old building for America, it looked, in a good way, like the first bedsit I lived in when I left home.

The show was fun it was all ages so they put a rope down the middle of the room. It was one side for over 21 drinkers, the other for under 21's not drinking. I enjoyed aiming specific songs at specific sides of the room. Legally drinking and the age of consent in Arizona are both 21+ so most of our songs went over the heads of the under 21's who have definitely not had sex or drunk any booze. They seemed to enjoy the show anyway.

San Diego

San Diego was fun. We played the Casbah one of my favourite venues in America. I twittered about the show and quite a few people told us to 'Rock The Casbah'. This reminded me of a game my brother invented in which when at an indie disco with Jasper you request that the DJ plays 'Rock The Casbah' by The Clash. Once it starts playing you change the words to 'Rock The Jasper' and rock Jasper from side to side against his will. You can also change the words 'Sharia Dont Like It' to 'He Really Dont Like It' so the song becomes 'He Really Don't Like It/Rock The Jasper/Rock The Jasper'. He really doesn't like it, which makes it even funnier.

My friend Ben Lee has just moved to San Diego. I can see why. Everybody we met was really friendly. I was hanging out with the band that supported us Northern Towns and some of their friends from other hardcore bands afterwards and they were so nice I briefly thought about moving there myself.

Pomona

All I can really remember about Pomona is that one of the support bands covered the theme music from Ghostbusters which was quite funny as they were one of those sort of Killers-y bands and it was unexpected. It would have been funnier though if they had followed it up by immediately covering the theme music from Ghostbusters 2.

I spent most the day in Pomona reading Colin Meloy from the Decemberists 33 1/3 book about the Replacements album 'Let It Be'. The book is a lot more about Colin Meloy growing up than it is about the Replacements. I still really enjoyed it though, the album is clearly a very personal record for him. It made me wish I had owned 'Let It Be' when I was growing up. I think it would have helped.

I wonder how you go about writing those 33 1/3 books. I would like Paul Guided Missile to write one about The Yummy Fur's album Sexy World. Well I'd like to write it myself but he's probably far more qualified.




Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Austin, Houston, El Paso

It was my birthday. I celebrated by not going on the internet for three days. I've been enjoying writing about every show though. So here is a catch up.

Houston.

We had a fun show in Houston. The first band on were really good. They had a very complicated name that I cant remember though. My girlfriend flew out for the show and her Aunt took us both out for dinner at a Mexican restaurant. I don't speak Spanish so they managed to organise a suprise cake and a man to sing to me whilst I was sat at the table, without me realising. The song he sang to me wasn't the traditional Happy Birthday though it was a mexican version. There was an awkward moment when I couldn't work out if I was supposed to wait till he stopped playing before I blew out the candle or if he was waiting for me to blow out the candle so he could stop playing. I think this is called a Mexican stand off.

I blew the candle out and ate the cake it was delicious

Austin

Austin was the day of my Birthday. I put on my best suit and wandered down to the big record shop in town, Waterloo records. Whenever I go into a big record shop I immediately forget what records I like. I get overwhelmed. The only band I remember that I like is Half Japanese. It happens every time. Luckily they have released a lot of records. So I bought a Half Japanese album and walked back to the bus. People kept beeping their horns at me and yelling. I just presumed it was because I was wearing a woolen suit and they were quite rightly letting me know I was an idiot, as it was very hot. When I got back to the venue though a homeless person pointed out that my flies were undone. They had been undone since I got up. I'd been walking around all day with my flies undone. If it hadn't been my birthday I'd have been embarrassed. It was my birthday though so I could do what ever I wanted to and I chose to walk around with my flies down. Its how I like to wear my trousers. I might make a tradition of it and wear my trousers like that every year on my birthday.

El Paso

Was our first day off. We had played 11 shows. We slept and ate chinese food.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Spanish Moon, Baton Rouge

When we tour America we normally play in New Orleans. This time we're changing it up though and we played in Baton Rouge instead. Baton Rouge is about an hours drive from New Orleans.

The Spanish Moon in Baton Rouge is probably the oldest venue we have played at so far. The people that run it were telling us it is haunted. I don't really go for all that stuff. Ian had just watched Paranormal Activity though and he is "sensitive to these things" Im sure he wont mind me telling you he looked a little scared. Actually when he was watching Paranormal Activity he looked a lot scared. It was hilarious. All I was scared of was the Cockroach the size of a mouse running around the dressing room. People were talking about killing it. I thought that was a bad idea though we'd probably only end up making it angry and then it would attack and kill us. It was huge.

The Baton Rouge was one of the quietest shows we've played. The people that turned up were all pretty awesome though. We stayed and got pretty drunk with most of them.

One girl we were drinking with after. Her dad owns a comic shop and was telling us if we mention his shop a lot he will give us free comics. I think his shop is called "Louisiana Double Play" although I've just googled "Baton Rouge Comic Shop" to get that. I apologize if I have just mention his main competitor.

When we got back to the bus we still had internet. Which is always bad news for me. I thought I had thought of an HILARIOUS joke to type into twitter. Based around BASIC the old computer writing code thing. I was going to type

10 Print "Eddie Argos Is Having A Drink"

then I was going to type
20 Run

then
30 Go To 2o

and finally

Eddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A Drink.

I goofed it though and not many people seem to know what BASIC is anymore. It was our 7th day in a row on tour and people that know me saw the message and thought I had gone mad. I woke up with emails from people checking that I was alright.

Im fine it was just a terrible joke gone wrong.

Ive made friends with some people on Twitter and they tell me when they get really drunk and use the service they refer to it as doing an Argos or Argos-ing. I was definitley Argos-ing last night. Im sorry for any concern I may have caused.

10 Print "Eddie Argos Is Having A Hangover"
20 Run
30 Go To 20

Eddie Argos Is Having A HangoverEddie Argos Is Having A HangoverEddie Argos Is Having A HangoverEddie Argos Is Having A HangoverEddie Argos Is Having A HangoverEddie Argos Is Having A HangoverEddie Argos Is Having A HangoverEddie Argos Is Having A HangoverEddie Argos Is Having A HangoverEddie Argos Is Having A HangoverEddie Argos Is Having A HangoverEddie Argos Is Having A HangoverEddie Argos Is Having A HangoverEddie Argos Is Having A Hangover

Friday, 23 October 2009

Bottletree, Birmingham Alabama

The Bottletree in Birmingham is a brilliant venue. I had been looking forward to playing there since the start of the tour.

First though some of us went to The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. I'm not ashamed to say I was close to tears a few times. Despite it obviously touching on some very upsetting subject matter. It is also an incredibly inspiring place. If you are ever in Birmingham Alabama I strongly recommend you go.

The Bottletree is owned and run by a guy called Brian who used to tour an awful lot so he knows what people on tour need to make them comfortable. If you are a touring band I can not recommend The Bottle tree highly enough.

Here are just a few reasons why it is AWESOME.

It is full of amazing folk art. In this painting Lionel is saying

"The Restrooms are out of order, but feel free to dance on the ceiling"



There is a pinball machine and Mario world to play for free


Bowls full of chocolate

Fresh clean socks. They were right our feet did smell.They remember that drinks taste nicer with ice.
The venue is full of interesting books to read

For dressing rooms they have two well stocked Caravans and a backstage garden. The caravans are full of DVDs, Cable Television, Magazines to read and stereos which you can plug your ipods into.

They let us stay in the caravans till we had to leave at 4am. I sat in one of them alone listening to The Replacements very loudly whilst drinking an awful lot of red wine. It is one of my favourite things to do.I call it 'having a hootenanny' I do it all the time. Normally till I'm told to stop. It was just me in the caravan though so I could do it till we left. Ace.

Here is one more photo it was Mike's Birthday so Princeton pie'd him. I think its a good look



Thursday, 22 October 2009

Tallahassee Down Under.

This is just one example to prove that its not just Art Brut that bully Jasper the whole world is at it too.

Jasper and Mike both lost items with 24 hours of each other. Jasper left his iphone at the Middle East in Boston and Mike accidently left his coat at a part in New Jersey. The most amazing thing about Mike leaving the party without his jacket is not that he walked back through freezing weather without that jolting his memory and making him head back for it. It is that he left his cigarettes in the pocket and despite the large amount that he smokes still didn't realise till the next day anything was awry.

Anyway when we arrived in Tallahassee we went to the hotel for our showers and Mikes coat was waiting at the reception. In the box with the coat was this awesome collection of presents.
Jasper is having a very hard time getting his iPhone back.

The note that came with the presents said

'The top layer of presents is for everybody"

We know what they really meant though and didn't let Jasper have any of it.

I know I say this every blog but, despite the fact that I broke three microphones, the Show in Tallahasse was loads of fun. In fact it was so much fun we ended up playing three extra songs and doing requests.

After we played we went to the nearest bar. It wasn't the sort of bar I normally go too. It was a fun interesting experience though.

Some of the young patrons were trying to guess Mike's age as it had just become his birthday. One of them pointed to me and said

"Well we know he's old because he is drinking wine"

Which I suppose is better than saying

"Well we know he is old because of his face"

For the rest of the night they referred to me as 'Wine Guy'

I suppose I am a wine guy. Wine Guy it has a nice ring to it.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Atlanta. The Earl.

I love playing in Atlanta. We always have fun there.

The first time we played Atlanta we played at a venue called The Drunken Unicorn. It was one of our first tours here in the states. Our label Downtown had printed up posters of the front cover of the Rolling Stone we were on in Germany, which is basically just a big picture of my face. When we arrived at the Drunken Unicorn the only poster on the outside of the venue was that one and somebody had written ' I Fuck Dogs' on it across my forehead with a biro. Which was a little upsetting. That they had chosen to use my forehead to admit to their dog fucking. Despite having rude words written on my head I still enjoyed the Drunken Unicorn show.People in Atlanta really know how to have fun.

This time there were no rude words written across my forehead. We were playing The Earl. It is an awesome venue. Im suprised we've not played there before. It has one of those dressing rooms that is just full of unusual stuff from thrift stores. It made me feel like I was at home.

There were three bands on the bill. The always good Princeton and a first on called Small Reaction who were really really good too.

I enjoyed the show. We managed to get everybody going by the end, although it had been a bit of a challenge at the start. I was thanking all the bands at the end of the show and suddenly got very paranoid that I had got Small Reactions name wrong. I managed to convince myself that they were called Tiny Feelings and everytime I mentioned Small Reactions I felt ashamed that I was getting their name wrong.

Paranoid, I came offstage at the end of our set and the first thing I said to our tour manager Ed was

"Small Reaction?"

Double checking I had got their name right. He misunderstood though and replied

" Nah man, big reaction I think the crowd really got into it."

I had loads of fun. I cant wait to back in Atlanta again.



Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Cats Cradle, Chapel Hill. NC

I think its a fairly open secret that no one in Art Brut likes Jasper Future. He spends most of his time being a punching bag or an object of amusement for Mike and Ian. I don't bully Jasper myself. I tolerate him. In Chapel Hill Mike, Ian and Ed our tour manager started their morning by jumping up and down on Jasper and screaming at him. Im in the bunk above Jasper on the bus and consequently they woke me up by doing that. So I was bullied by proxy. It put me in a bad mood. I didn't blame Mike and Ian though. I blamed Jasper for being such a victim.

Since I have decided to write a tour diary every day I have had a bit of a worry that one day all I will have to write is that I spent all day reading comics. I think this is that entry.

We had drunk so much booze at The Black Cat the previous night. I think everybody was feeling bad. I know Jasper was as he looked terrible. I almost felt sorry for him. Because of my massive hangover all I could manage to do was buy a huge pile of comics and work on my nest. There was also some chocolate milkshake.

This is my nest



As I did nothing interesting yesterday I may as well tell you what Batman is up to at the moment. Batman is being AWESOME. I read the Batman Annual/ Detective Comics Annual two parter. It was brilliant. When I first read Batman and Son (the trade paperback in which Batman discovers he has a son) I didn't really enjoy it. It felt more like an episode of Jerry Springer than a Batman story and I found Damian really annoying. Now though I'm really liking the relationship between Dick Grayson's Batman and Damian as Robin. I don't care if Bruce Wayne never comes back. When we got to visit the DC Comic offices a few months ago they gave us a pile of new Batman comics. I'm now completely hooked and buy all the titles every month. It was a good trick.

I really enjoyed our show at the Cats Cradle.I think Princeton put on their best show yet. I was enthralled. It was also nice to see some proper dancing from the audience not just some jumping around. Jesse from Princeton did some crowd surfing during our song Post Soothing Out. I might attempt some crowd surfing to their song Calypso Gold at some point. Im a bit heavier then Jessie though so I'm going to wait till we have a crowd made up of strong men. As I don't want to be dropped.

If this blog has made you have any sympathy for Jasper. Keep it to yourself . The more sympathy he gets. The more Mike and Ian bully him.

Monday, 19 October 2009

The Black Cat DC

The Black Cat is one of my favourite venues in America. It was Awesome to be back there.

There was no need to go to a Holiday Inn as the Black Cat has its own shower, so there was no breakfast stealing quandry.It was Sunday though so I found it hard to find somewhere open to sell me food. Apparently this is my fault though, as I walked the wrong way for forty minutes. Everybody else found food just fine. I ended up, after a huge walk, buying a sub from a small shop near the venue. It was quite an awkward transaction he couldn't understand what I was saying because of my British accent (and my tendency to mumble) and I couldn't understand him because I think he might have been a little bit mad. I think that made it quite exciting though. I didn't know what type of sandwich I had till I got back to the bus. Actually Im still not sure what sort of sandwich it was. Some kind of sausage I think.

Anyway because it was Sunday and most things were shut we sat around gossiping all afternoon. I found out some pretty amazing stuff. Ian has ridden on an elephant, the previous bands on this bus were Englebert Humperdink and Frankie Vali and The Four Seasons and I found out that Jasper belives that seats on aeroplanes are made of a special material that hides the smell of farts.

I know I have said a few things on this blog recently that might be questionable, I swear though that all of those things I've just said are true. And Jasper certainly belives that seats on planes are made of this magical material that stops farts smelling. He says he saw a program about it once. I find it highly unlikely though. If this magic material existed surely they would make tents out of it, duvets, comforters and trousers would be made out of it too. In fact if this magic 'stop farts smelling' material exists the whole world should be made out of it.

The show felt really good. Princeton were awesome again too. I love the crowd at the Black Cat, I cant wait to play there again.

People offered to buy us drinks again and this time we accepted so I cant really remember the rest of the night and my mouth still tastes like Jagermeister.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Hoboken New Jersey

Maxwell's in New Jersey was Art Brut's first ever US show. So despite all my jokes about this being a 'Glass Ceiling Tour' we were pretty excited to be back there.

First though we woke up at another Holiday Inn for a shower. Unfortunately there was no free breakfast to be stolen at this one. Although we were told that there was a free breakfast at the hotel over the road. Buoyed by the confidence of yesterdays easy breakfast thievery, we briefly contemplated going to the other hotel and loading up on cakes, coffee and maybe if we were lucky some sausage gravy. Stealing from a hotel we were not staying at though seemed a step too far and although Im sure it would be exhilarating dining on stolen cakes every morning. I was worried that I might get addicted to the adrenaline rush of nicking food and may be unable to stop myself from stealing brunch then lunch and eventually three course meals from fancy restaurants. It could be a slippery slope. I was also worried that Art Brut could get a reputation as breakfast thieves. So we all decided to buy sandwiches instead.

We got to Maxwell's about 2pm. Loaded in across 2 roads and the couple of blocks to the venue. Which I think counts as my cardio vascular exercise for the day/week. Even though I only carried in a handful of things and mainly supervised. I did make everyone tea though.

We were obviously playing with Princeton as they are doing the whole tour. They were awesome again. We had been wondering though who would be first on. It was Hot Panda an amazing band from Canada who I thought we had toured with before. We hadn't we'd played one show with them once in Edmonton. I'd spent all night drinking with them though and they drink a lot so it had felt like a whole tour. Was good to see them you should check them out. They are great.

We spent all night dodging people giving us free booze again. We seem to have somehow got ourselves a reputation.

The show was Awesome. I really enjoyed it. We played St Pauli for the group of St Pauli supporters who were there. Which felt good as I think Maxwell's was the first place we ever played that song. I definitely said it was the first time when we played it there before. But I say a lot of things and could easily have made it up.

My friend Keith Murray from We Are Scientists crossed the river to come and see us. I was telling him about the conversation I'd been having with Peter Hughes the night before about spreading rumors about people and ultimately about Peter's Glass eye. I wondered if Keith had any interesting secrets he wanted to share with me. He did. It turns out his bottom row of teeth are entirely false. It took a lot of convincing but Keith eventually let our drummer Mike take this photo of him with his teeth out, unfortunately you cant really tell, but trust me when he takes them out in the flesh its a pretty weird look.
Another unusual thing about Keith that I found out last night is that he really likes it when people come up to him and start singing We Are Scientists songs. So if you ever see him in the street, at a bus stop, shopping with his girlfriend, sitting quietly somewhere reading a book or absolutely anywhere, just start singing to him. He wont be upset he genuinely really likes it.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Cambridge MA

Cambridge was the first day of the tour. We played at the Middle East. The Middle East is normally in the middle of the tour. So it was strange to be playing there feeling fresh and full of energy and not to be in anyway mental.

First though we woke up in our bus at a Holiday Inn somewhere in Boston to have showers. We only had one room between the 8 of us and we had only just checked in so we definitely were not allowed to have breakfast from the buffet. We managed to steal it though. We didnt get caught even though we were clearly coming in from the cold in our winter coats rubbing our hands and loudly saying 'brilliant lets steal some cakes'. Perhaps they felt sorry for us. I do look a bit 'homeless' first thing in the morning.

After showering and stealing breakfast we headed over to the Middle East to sound check/Eat lots of homus.

Then I did a million phone interviews until the doors were opened. I really enjoy doing interviews now that they are all about DC Comics and The Replacements and not so much about erectile dysfunction.

The two bands we played with are Tab The Band and Princeton. Princeton are doing the whole tour they are awesome. I liked Tab The Band too. Ian tells me that the type of music they play is called chug rock. There was a rumour going round the gig that someone in Tab The Band was related to a member of Aerosmith.

The show was loads of fun. Everyone kept trying to buy us drinks which was lovely although we were doing a pretty good job of getting drunk by ourselves and any outside help was unnecessary and might have tipped us over the edge. Thanks again though to everyone that offered to buy me a shot.

My friend Peter Hughes from The Mountain Goats came down to the show with his brother and his girlfriend. We were discussing the rumour that a member of Tab The Band was related to someone in Aerosmith and how easy that sort of thing is to make up as everyone is afraid to ask the person. Peter was telling me that he reckons the best way to start a rumour about yourself is not to say the lie yourself but to get your friends to spread the lies around for you.

After we'd been speaking about that for a bit. Peter told me he wanted to show me something. We went upstairs and he popped his glass eye out. I didnt know he had a glass eye. You'd think it would be on his wikipedia page or something. He is also, it turns out, Madonna's nephew. Dont mention it too him though. He is a bit embarrassed about it.

Here is a photo of me and Pete. It is a terrible photo. It looks like he has two glass eyes. He doesnt though. He only has one.






Wednesday, 30 September 2009

ART BRUT US TOUR

Here are Art Brut's US tour dates

16-OctCAMBRIDGE, MAMiddle East
17-OctHOBOKEN, NJMaxwell's
18-OctWASHINGTON DCBlack Cat
19-OctCARRBORO, NCCat's Cradle
20-OctATLANTA, GAThe Earl
21-OctTALLAHASSEE, FLClub Downunder
22-OctBIRMINGHAM, ALThe Bottletree
23-OctBATON ROUGE, LASpanish Moon
24-OctHOUSTON, TXWalter's On
25-OctAUSTIN, TXThe Mohawk


27-OctTUCSON, AZClub Congress
28-OctSAN DIEGO, CACasbah
29-OctPOMONA, CAGlass House
30-OctSAN FRANCISCO, CACafé du Nord
31-OctDAVIS, CACollege
1-NovPORTLAND, ORHoloscene
2-NovSEATTLE, WANeumo's
3-NovVANCOUVER, BCBiltmore



5-NovSALT LAKE CITY, UTUrban Lounge
6-NovDENVER, COBluebird Theatre
7-NovLAWRENCE, KSThe Bottleneck



9-NovMINNEAPOLIS, MNTriple Rock
10-NovCHICAGO, ILLincoln Hall
11-NovOBERLIN, OH College



13-NovBROOKLYN, NYBrooklyn Bowl
14-NovBALTIMORE, MDOttobar
15-NovNEW YORK, NYBowery Ballroom

I cant wait. We've enjoyed playing a lot of these venues before. In fact Im tempted to make a tour T-Shirt with the dates on the back and "Art Brut; The Glass Ceiling Tour" on the front.

Im looking forward to having my birthday in Austin.I turn Thirty on 25th October. Last time we played our own show there I couldn't drink as I'd been to the Dentist in Houston the day before and was on really powerful pain killers. Paul, the guy who does our sound, told me that I did the whole set in the style of Frank Sinatra. Im looking forward to rectifying the image people in Austin might have of me being a crooner.

The San Francisco show is going to be a strange one we're playing two shows in the same night. I think the first is all ages. We're going to play two completely different shows though if you want to see us twice. I think I might go for a costume change too.

We are taking Princeton (Cambridge through to Seattle) and Surfer Blood (Denver onto NYC) with us they both sound pretty ace to me.

Come down and talk to me about DC Comics and The Replacements.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Glam Chops Playing John Peel Day.


Glam Chops are playing International John Peel Day at The Buffalo Bar in Islington on 10th October.

Its been a while since we've played so we're rehearsing loads as not to be rubbish.


I play the Bass for Keith sometimes but dont let that put you off.

Go and look at his Myspace 'Two Of The Beatles Are Dead' And 'I Hate Your Band' are two of my favourite songs at the moment.

I cant wait for him to finish his album.

You can get tickets for the gig HERE

Friday, 18 September 2009

Biff! Bang! Pow!


I have written a new Pow! To The People it is HERE

It's about Ian Rankin's John Constantine book 'Dead Entries'

I hope I wasn't to hard on it. I think as I'd only just finished reading so many other amazing Hellblazer books I was only going to be let down by it.

It must be hard writing a one off book that involves a well loved character. I hope he writes another one. I reckon the next one could be really good.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

The Daily Habit

The Daily Habit is an extreme sports TV show based in Los Angeles. We have been on it a few times. This may be because I used to pretend in German interviews that I was a pro skateboarder that had to stop after an accident, but probably not.

We were last on it a couple of months ago, but Im only just fully reading all my emails now. They sent me some embeded video link things, that I've just found so I thought I'd stick them here.

Here is DC Comics And Chocolate Milkshake. Art Brut make Jasper do funny walks/dances when we're bored if you look very quickly at the start of this video you can see a bit of his dance 'The Crab"





And here is Alcoholics Unanimous. It took a couple of takes to record it because people kept thinking it had finished when it hadn't and applauding in the gap which is why I am turning around to applaud the rest of them in the gap. Well that and I think they are AMAZING.




Its worth going to have a look at their site there are some pretty good bands on it. Its HERE

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Art Brut's Trip Around DC Comics.

It feels like it was ages ago now but here is Art Brut's trip around DC COMICS.

(From Pitchfork)

Here is part one in which we recommend our favourite comics. Like a stuck record, I recommend Booster Gold, Scott Pilgrim and Essex County.



Here is Part Two where we actually get to go to DC Comics. Look at my face I am over the moon. Pitchfork did a really good job of editing it you can barely tell how much I was geeking out.



And here I am the next day singing about the experience. Very much geeking out and drunkenly mispronouncing names in my thick British accent.



I dont actually remember saying any of that. I remember giving a guided tour ending in The Bat cave. There really is a Bat cave at DC Comics and a Bat signal. It is someones job everyday to come into work and turn on that Bat signal. Thats when I really started rocking out. I just couldn't help myself.

It is now my mission to get into the DC Comics library so I hope they don't see that video in which I imply I am going to roll around in their comics.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Anonymous Festival


I am rubbish at updating this. I intended on writing a blog for every festival we played at to chronicle all the HILARIOUS hi-jinks we get up to. I obviously forgot though. So you will never know about all the other festivals that we taught how to 'Buffalo' or how we played at another festival called Lakeside that was a lot of fun and ended up with me smoking pot with a load of 'Hip Hop Dudes' in a sausage factory. Or how we supported a circus in Germany and spent all day complaining about all the 'fucking clowns'. To be fair none of it was that funny anyway.

Now that all the outdoor festivals are done though. I feel I should write about my favourite. My favourite festival we played this year was the Anonymous Festival in Dorchester.

The Anonymous festival was held at an old Roman Amphitheater in Dorchester and was organised by Dorchester Youth Extra. They are kids improving the area they live in. They got a skate park built recently too. It was a pretty surreal thing to play. All the other bands were from the local area. I was impressed with the quality of them. Local bands in Poole, which is where I grew up and just down the road, were all terrible when I lived there. Apparently the high quality now is due to a local studio all the kids get to use for free (or cheap) in Bridport. Of all the acts I saw the person I was most impressed with was a guy in the acoustic tent called Aiden Smith. He had loads of songs about stealing cars, drinking and all the women he has loved. Pretty impressive for a 15 year old boy.

The festival was pretty strange. Everybody seemed to have fun though despite the rain and the consequent closure of the climbing wall. My favourite part of the whole event is when they got the Dorset Youth Extra people to go up and say thank you to everybody for coming and for helping them put the festival together. The music took a bit longer than expected to come back on and they ended up ribbing each other, saying good bye to one of their best friends who was moving away and thanking almost everybody they knew for about 15 minutes, whilst the crowd just watched on confused. I think it was a very sweet moment and that it should be compulsury at all festivals.

Onstage at Anonymous I joked that as a child I had a dream, an ambition, to sing very personal songs in a roman amphitheater, reasonably near to where I was born, in the rain, in front of both my parents. As I was saying it though I realised it was actually a pretty amazing thing I was getting to do and got shivers up my spine.

So no jokes this time. Or mass 'Buffalo-ing' just a surreal but very warm experience in a roman amphitheater in the rain.

In my eagerness to big up the 'Kids' who put the festival on I forgot to thank Emma and her husband who both worked really hard for weeks probably months to put the festival on and let us hide in their house when it rained.

It was only the first Anonymous Festival but I hope it carries on for decades to come.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Fantastic Realm

I went on Iyare Igiehon's 6 Music breakfast show the other week. Thankfully it is recorded in the afterrnoon. Afterwards he interviewed for for his comics blog Fantastic Realm here is the video.




He's edited it really well as I definitely rambled on for hours. I was obviously a bit confused about when Batman and Robin #3 came out too. It was out yesterday. I'm off to buy it now.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

INDIE TRAXS.


Art Brut played at Indie Tracks the other week. I loved it.

Unfortunately we were playing an acoustic festival in Austria the day before so I missed the first day of the festival. I would loved to have seen The Lovely Eggs, Camera Obscura and The Frank And Walters. I would also like to have seen the 'How Not To Run A Record Label' talk by Sean from Fortuna Pop, I could have made some notes and forwarded them to EMI. Never mind though I'm just happy I got to go to either of the days

We arrived late-ish on the Sunday, unfortunately after MJ Hibbett had played and in the torrential rain. The first band I saw were The Smittens. They were ace. I hadn't really heard of them before, but it is exactly the kind of thing I like. After they had finished I went back to the rest of Art Brut to enthuse about them. They all teased me for being 'Twee". I strongly disagreed that I was, before heading off to see a band that was a favourite of mine when I was growing up The BMX Bandits.

The BMX Bandits are quite "Twee". I enjoyed their songs a lot even though I am not twee. I know I am not "Twee" because I cringed every time Duglas T Stewart spoke between the songs. It embarrassed me. I disliked the way he acted like a primary school teacher and I resented being spoken to like I was a six year old. The songs were brilliant though and Twee or not eating an apple onstage is quite cool.

Watching The BMX Bandits sort of changed my opinion of the festival. I know Indie Tracks is a celebration of Indie Pop, a genre of music that I love, but the twee-ness of it all was kind of getting to me. Don't get me wrong I can find no fault with the festival whatsoever. It was perfect. I loved the fact it was at a Steam Train Museum, I even found the rain added a romantic element to the day. I think what was annoying me ever so slightly was "Twee's" appropriation of fanzine culture.

I read a lot of Fanzines growing up. My favourite bands were The Yummy Fur, Helen Love, Urusei Yatsura, Bis and absolutely anything on Damaged Goods (except The Manic Street Preachers) to find out about those bands I had to read fanzines. Those fanzines, in their own way, could be quite twee. The people that sold them were always dressed head to toe in Hello Kitty clothes and accessories, and more often than not they'd be selling them from a Miffy handbag. The fanzines themselves though were angry full of polemic and to the 18 year old me seemed quite subversive. There wasn't much angry polemic going on at Indie Tracks.

I really enjoyed Indie Tracks. I wouldn't change a thing about it and I understand it was an Indie Pop festival not a "Twee" festival. It just made me think I would like to see a slightly more Curmudgeonly festival in a similar vein as well.

I suggest someone else start it. I am terrible at that kind of thing. I propose it be held at Bovington Tank Museum. It can be called Indie Trax. We can try and talk Luke Haines to headline it or perhaps try and get all the bands from '...And The Rest Is History' to reform for a one off. I personally would like to stir up some trouble between those that prefer Hello Kitty and those that think Miffy is better. Sit back and watch them rumble. Probably in the rain.

Monday, 3 August 2009

TEAM BAND.

We recently played a load of sell out shows in America. I don't like to boast about it, but we were the first band in the twenty five year history of the Mercury Lounge to sell out five nights in a row there. We are also the first band to attempt such a daft thing.

When we played our five nights sold out run at Schuba's we got to play with one of our favourite bands. Team Band.

Team Band are a band that formed after seeing us play in Chicago. I was demanding that people form a band and so they did. I think they are brilliant.

Live they sometimes play a song called Disco from my first band that I started when I was at school. The Art Goblins. In Chicago we did it as a duet




It was very surreal singing a song I'd written when I was 18 with them.

I think watching and playing with Team Band was my favourite bit of the whole American tour. I am very glad they took my advice and started a band. Although Im sure they would have done it anyway without my encouragement.

I am very much looking forward to playing with them again in Chicago on August 14th

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Acoustic Lakeside Festival (Conclusion)


After my nap. I felt bit better and we headed back to catch the bands. It was a lovely festival but, as it was the first year, it was quite badly run and everything was running about an hour behind. I didn't mind this though as I already felt bad for missing some of the bands and it meant I got to watch Eight Legs.


I was sober as I arrived back at the festival but still felt drunk. It was as if I had so strongly linked being on that field with being drunk just being there again made me feel hammered. Also maybe it was just another strong association I'd made with the festival but I swear I could see strangers on the periphary of my vision playing Buffalo.


During Eight Legs set Jasper attempted to Buffalo Adam (Eight Legs Bass Player) whilst he was on stage. Adam had hidden an open bottle in his other hand and reverse Buffaloed Jasper from the stage, things were getting out of control.


After Eight Legs set I decided I should give in and start drinking again. Our friends Bishop Allen had turned up so whilst Justin (one of the singers in Bishop Allen) and I discussed our plan to stomp out bad poetry at open mic nights, the rest of Art Brut and Eight legs set about teaching Bishop Allen the game of Buffalo


-Justin and mine's plan to sort out terrible poetry is to start going to open mic nights and when we don't like a poem or a poet threatening them with a thick ear unless they shut up. If that doesn't work we are going to threaten them with a fight in the car park. I'm fairly sure we shouldn't be the arbiters for what counts for good poetry but at least the poets will be passionate about what they are talking about, if the threat of a thick ear is on the cards. Poetry slams will definitely be a lot more interesting once there is some actual SLAMMING going on.-


The festival was running really late now and Bishop Allen went on about an hour and a half late. They didn't Buffalo on stage but when they came off they complained to us that the sound hadn't been that good, as had Eight Legs. I don't normally mind about that kind of thing and both bands had been brilliant despite their bad sound onstage. As we were playing acoustic though I felt more vulnerable than usual, I was starting to get worried again.


Next up was the band due on before us Virginia Jetzt who were actually going on after we were supposed to have started. They sing in German and I'm all about lyrics when Im listening to a band so I only went out for a couple of their songs. At one point onstage the singer picked up his drink with his right hand and I'm fairly certain I heard a few Austrian voices shout Buffalo at him. He certainly had something shouted at him which made him looked confused. Then as I was heading back to the dressing room I saw a huge flash of lightning. There had been a threat of rain all day and now it looked like it was coming true. As Virginia Jetzt came offstage the heavens opened and it started pissing down.


There was a lot of talk about us not going on because it was too dangerous. We were not afraid though and got on stage despite the fact it was completely flooded. We got through about two songs before we were told we had to stop. I'd been psyching myself up all day to play acoustic though and by now really had to go through with it. I told the audience to squeeze under the tarpaulin at the bar at the back of the festival and we'd be down in a bit. Ian Jasper and myself ended up playing the gig stood amongst beer bottles on the bar.


I'm not sure how audible we were but we ended up doing two encores so it cant have been that bad.I think the fact that most of the crowd were singing along helped. For the first encore I asked if I could take a drink from someone to sooth my unamplified voice. Someone in the crowd handed me a beer. I took it in my right hand. About thirty people -not including Eight Legs, Bishop Allen and the festival staff who we had also taught the game- shouted BUFFALO at me. I hadn't been imagining it earlier, we had corrupted an entire festival.


For the second encore we were asked if we knew a cover everyone could sing along too. The only cover we know is The KKK Took My Baby Away and I wasn't sure how well everybody would know that. I was just starting to apologise when we realised, we knew Wonderwall. We had been playing it all day as a joke, people had been trying to teach me it on the guitar. It turns out even if you dont think you do, EVERYBODY knows the words to Wonderwall.





Earlier when Eight Legs had been playing I had recognised one of their songs. Now all the excitement had died down I finally got a chance to ask them how I knew it. It is, they told me whilst people downed beers and screamed BUFFALO in the backround, the music to an advert on British television at the moment, an advert to promote responsible drinking.


I loved Accoustic Lakeside festival. I can not recommend it highly enough. I am definitley going next year even though we are not playing. I will bring a tent though I dont fancy sleeping under the stars again