Thursday, February 24, 2011

You are invited! Skyline Howl!

Tonight the genre defying duo known as "A Skyline on Fire" will be playing the regular live Thursday night of the city's favourite little coffee shop, Wolves! Saddly I'll be staring at a screen, frantically animating, so won't you do me a favour, attend this gig and enjoy the tunes for me? Thanks - I knew I could count on you!

Hooray for Humans! SMACM exsists!

Regular Animal Callers should know my band Eyes Like Mirrors are less than ten days away from launching our debut EP "Crusades". Something I haven't mentioned yet however is that this CD will be the first release by So Many Animal Calls Music, a little label I've started up to release Crusades, and hopefully some other exciting local releases in the future!

Running a label isn't something I ever imagines myself doing. As thin as I've spread myself over the years, releasing music is something I thought I'd leave to somebody else. But, 6 years down the line, seeing so much great music come and go without being properly documented, it's time to stop waiting for someone to take a more DIY approach to releasing local records.

Inspired by local luminaries KRNGY and international heroes Dischord and Temporary Residence, I'm hoping that (even if it is on a much smaller scale) SMACM will bring people truly rock and roll music, packaged in lovingly crafted art. The label's first release is definitely getting SMACM off to a good start in this regard. As mentioned previously, the packaging is made up of artwork drawn by Miss Franci Lawlor and designed by Mr Me. What I haven't mentioned yet is that this art will be presented on a very exciting new medium for packaging music. Paperfoam is a totally eco-friendly material, made from 100% recycled materials and 100% biodegradable. The CDs are fully packaged and ready for our launch next weekend. On Tuesday we delivered a shipment of them to Look and Listen. Joburg fans can look forward to being able to buy Crusades on the Monday after the Bioscope launch of the EP launch. Later that week Crusades will be available nationally through the Look and Listen stores across the country!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Free Mix Friday! Oliver Twisted's "Wipe Out"!

As you should know; this Friday High Five Records are holding a little surf party called Wipe Out. The night will feature two young bucks, Professor Mystery and Oliver Twisted, two cool dudes that have only quite recently started DJing. A lot of people have been asking me who exactly these new names and are what exactly they're about. And with that in mind I'm very glad to be able to share this with you. As a kind of taster for what he's all about Mr. Twisted has whipped up a promo mix for Friday night. Wildly eclectic and tons of fun it sees Oliver ripping his way through 25 tracks in just over a half hour! So zip up your wetsuit, wax your board and...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Good Weekend: Noodlebox and the Crusades crusades

Not a whole bunch went down this weekend. On Fridat night Phil and I went through to The Bioscope. They were hosting their monthly Noodlebox night and this month they were screening cult favourite Battle Royale. I love this film. It's Anime meet Kubrick approach to cinema is just too cool. Seeing it on a big screen while eating a box of chow mein was a pretty damn awesome way to spend a Friday night that Phil and I topped off by hanging out with our homeboy Louis Theroux. On Saturday morning I did some driving around, delivering Crusades posters to my favourite spots around town. Hit up 70 Juta, Ke Ai, Deerhunter, The Street and Wolves. Dropped by the Gautrain Station to collect Matt Suttner who just got in from a trip to Cape Town. Rocked a great lunch and followed it up with a slightly too long nap. Then headed through to Annette's flat for birthday celebrations of the most fun variety. Awesome snacks, awesomer tunes and even more awesome company the night was just great.

I mostly spent Sunday working on visuals for the EP launch. Why exactly I'm blogging about animating Franci drawings and chopping up clips of silent German movies I don't know. I guess that's just what went down. Oh yeah, and did I mention I got to play a bit of Anja's Valentine's gift to me? Too cool.

Friday, February 18, 2011

You are invited! Wipe out!

You may remember that last month Ri and I threw a party to celebrate the launch of new series of events called High Five Records. The launch was a super fun & totally awesome event that saw us packing the venue out to capacity. Now High Five Records is set to make it's first release, a Surf themed "compilation" called Wipe Out. With this month's high five comprised of Ri & myself, DJ Legend Marc Latilla & young Pretorian upstarts Professor Mystery & Oliver Twisted, it should be totally tubular!

Free Mix Friday! Reform is/ is not in love!

Last week Reform threw a thoroughly enjoyable, valentines-themed groove-fest. To celebrate Marc Latilla whipped up a pair of great themed mixes which you can download right now!
Click here to download REFORM IS IN LOVE
Click here to download REFORM IS NOT IN LOVE

Thursday, February 17, 2011

You are invited! Crusades launch!

In one of my proudest moments to say "you are invited"; I'm ecstatic to be able to tell you about this one. On the first Saturday of next month Eyes Like Mirrors will be launching our debut EP "Crusades". To mark this special occasion we're ecstatic to be throwing a little launch party in the city's most well-loved independent cinema, The Bioscope. Playing in a sit-down venue on a big screen is a total dream come true for us. To do justice to this opportunity we're rework our entire set visually. The night will also feature hang out times before and after the show in The Bioscope's recently unveiled "Chalkboard Cafe". Mirror friends Plaat Japie and Nathan Scott Phillip will kindly be suplying some mixes of instrumental music to Soundtrack this and Mirror resident artist Franci Lawlor will be drawing on the walls of The Chalkboard itself! There are less than 60 tickets left for this special night, so I'd suggest you click here, scroll down the "What's showing next" section till you get to the 5th of March and book now!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Foreigners in America. Episode 3

Note: This post follows on from here, where we witnessed three awesome bands in an awesome little basement somewhere in Philadelphia. Since this part mostly revolves around when I was playing with the band, there are no photos of any of this. On the plus side there is some video footage, which you can watch here: Having only been reunited with the band a few hours earlier I'm feeling a little out of synch with them as we start our set. Compared to how in-touch I was with The Mirrors before I left SA, the visuals I'm sending out feel random as hell. But, setting aside my own doubts about what I'm doing, I'm having a ton of fun. The basement is just blasting positive energy back at the stage. By the time we get onto playing Eyes Wide I'm having the time of my life. Tear through a chorus. The bass disappears. The guitar disappears. As Jun's drums are the last thing left making a noise I assume this is some new break the kids have worked into the song since I last played with them. But when the drums disappear as well I realise something is going wrong here. I stop dancing, look up, and see a cop standing, dead-center at the foot of the stage.

Cop: Any idea what time it is?
Kelly: Late O Clock?
Cop: It's not a weekend; people gotta go to work. I love music... Sounds good, but the party's over. And with that our friend in blue leaves the basement. Turns out that, with the Kingdom's open door policy, he was able to just walk through the front door, down the stairs, into the basement and right up to the stage.

The Sprinkle Kingdom knights are really confused that we've been shut down. "This has never happened before!". Having only played 3 songs, the band and I are mad disappointed. I didn't even get to play any of the special Sprinkle Kingdom visuals I animated in the lounge while waiting for the Foreigners. But just getting the opportunity to see this little Philly community has put me on a total high. Even if it was just 3 songs; getting to play the Sprinkle Kingdom is something so special that I couldn't be bummed right now. And, considering the set was cut short by such a bizarrely sweet direct confrontation with the law, I'm honestly feeling ecstatic. More awesome kitchen times ensue. Evan and I bond over a tattoo. He's pretty happy I recognize that it's from Watchmen. I explain that I wanted to get the same thing burnt into me back when I played in a band that used Rorschach diary entries for lyrics. There's this sudden buzz of excitement in the kitchen. Jun comes over and tells me it's been decided that we should (as Lex would later tell the camera) "Fuck the police and play on". Everyone dashes back down, into the basement. Plug in guitars. Switch on amps. Unscrew the light bulb. Go!

We don't wanna push our luck too much. We only play another 3 songs and we play them really softly. All the way through "Salt, Peppa" the crowd is making tons more noise than we are. It's fucking beautiful. Honestly, this is one of the best moments I've ever experienced. During "Feels like summer" the pull of the crowd is too much; I run into the dancefloor, get bumped around by the crowd and in the end find myself playing from the back of the basement, watching my visuals exploding behind the band on the opposite end of the room.

Again, it's over too soon. We retire to the lounge and hang out for ages. I brag about how cool things are back home and geek out over how cool things are in this new city I've stumbled into. At some point, while fanning out over Algernon Cadwallader, Evan disappears and returns with a 7 inch record. He pops said record onto an archaic looking Hi Fi in the kitchen and what follows is some of the best 4 minutes in what's been one of the best nights of my life.

"Aaaaaaalways takin' me oooover!"

This single turns out to be a record by one the bands that Algernon were before they started calling themselves Algernon. Years later it's chorus would find it's way into "Some Kind of Cadwallader", one of my favourite tracks on the band's so so so very well loved debut album. The anthemic chorus, playing off this little record, coming out of this old stereo, sounds like it's been sung by a little army. Junior, Evan and I, in the kitchen, singing along, are like our own little rock and roll army; each of us from opposite ends of the world, all drawn together by a song from this wonderful city. This isn't the end of awesome new music from Philly for the night. Back in the lounge Chris plays us The Dangerous Ponies - another band he and Evan play in. They've proudly just finished this album and are about to start touring the thing. It's just awesome. By sometime around 5 I find myself crawling into my sleeping bag in a space on the floor alongside Dan. The sounds of The Ponies still bouncing around in my head as the euphoria of this day (this kingdom, the other bands, our gig & our run in with the law) slowly fades out to black.

Friday, February 11, 2011

You are invited! Ssshh it's Gary's Love Tempo!

Over the course of a little over 24 hours Kitchener's will be host two radically different, equally awesome events!

On Sunday afternoon Ssshh (the city's raddest quietest, sun-shineyest acoustic sessions) make their return. This sunday you can look forward to shutting up to listen to Cape Town virtuoso Gary Thomas supported by some lovley DJs!

Then on monday night, to celebrate Valentines day, Disco De Moda are throwing another groove fest! Woo!

Hooray for Humans! Crusades artwork is done!

So here's the artwork for our forthcoming EP, "Crusades". Made out of artwork drawn by Franci Lawlor, chopped up and scribbled over by me, we're insanely excited to be printing these bad boys on a really special new kind of CD packaging. If you're wondering what it is, I'm not telling yet."Ooooh! Mystery!"