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ATP Festival: 10 Years of ATP

Various

Butlins, Minehead

How come ATP get it so right? Sponsorship free, friendly and helpful, smooth organisation and a great fan-base - and the music. Imagine, a festival where the music is the important thing - not the TV exposure or the availability of drugs to make you dance - a place where the crowd will listen patiently to new music instead of baying for a chart-topper. Well, that's ATP. For the 10 year anniversary, the organisers invited back the bands who had curated past festivals (plus some ATP favourites) to come and play together for the fans. There is so much to see and hear at this event, you just couldn't pack it all into one weekend, so there are some tough choices to be made from time to time. I've seen so many bands this weekend, that in order to keep things to a reasonable length and in tribute to the 10 year thing,

I'll say just 10 words about each band I saw  -

Bardo Pond - psychedlic washes of strange yet beautiful noise, flute 'n all
Battles - Didn't really gel on the night. Somewhat of a disappointment
Beak> - Amazing when they're being Can, but boring when playing dirge
Deerhoof - If you fail to enjoy them, your mind is broken
The Drones - All the attitude, proper angry rock music - Aussies done good
Edan - Edan shows how to DJ - choose great records, mix well
Growing - stuttering sheets of broken distortion, almost certainly good on drugs
The Magic Band - Fast and Bulbous, Drumbo and Rockette do it all justice
The Mars Volta - Omar seemed subdued, Cedric lively, and what? another new drummer?
Melvins - You don't mess with Jared - Jared only plays for keeps
MuM  - (pronounced Moom) Icelandic dreamscapes - first brilliant set of the weekend
Om - That's a huge evil noise right there (overlooking the vocals)
Papa M - Pajo stunning with drumless trio - sublime and understated - beautiful music
Shellac - Highlight of the weekend, both sets superb. A real band.
Tortoise - Suitably late night slot in the best sounding room. Sweet.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - brashly rocked a restless crowd after keeping them waiting ages

Special mention to Butlins staff also - the security are friendly and everyone is helpful. The accomodation is more than 1000 times better than sleeping in a tent on a lumpy field, but you'd do well to take your own pillow. Long live ATP.

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17th Dec 2009 - 1 comments - Add Comment - Tweet

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YeahYeahYeahs at ATP

ATP 10th Anniversary Festival, Minehead 11-13 December 2009

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15th Dec 2009

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Tortoise at ATP

ATP 10th Anniversary Festival, Minehead 11-13 December 2009

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15th Dec 2009

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The Mars Volta at ATP

ATP 10th Anniversary Festival, Minehead 11-13 December 2009

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15th Dec 2009

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The Magic Band at ATP

ATP 10th Anniversary Festival, Minehead 11-13 December 2009

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15th Dec 2009

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The Drones at ATP

ATP 10th Anniversary Festival, Minehead 11-13 December 2009

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15th Dec 2009

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Shellac at ATP

ATP 10th Anniversary Festival, Minehead 11-13 December 2009

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15th Dec 2009

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Papa M at ATP

ATP 10th Anniversary Festival, Minehead 11-13 December 2009

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15th Dec 2009

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MuM at ATP

ATP 10th Anniversary Festival, Minehead 11-13 December 2009

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15th Dec 2009

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Melvins at ATP

ATP 10th Anniversary Festival, Minehead 11-13 December 2009

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15th Dec 2009

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J Mascis at ATP

ATP 10th Anniversary Festival, Minehead 11-13 December 2009

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15th Dec 2009

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Growing at ATP

ATP 10th Anniversary Festival, Minehead 11-13 December 2009

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15th Dec 2009

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Ear Protectors at ATP

ATP 10th Anniversary Festival, Minehead 11-13 December 2009

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15th Dec 2009

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Deerhoof at ATP

ATP 10th Anniversary Festival, Minehead 11-13 December 2009

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15th Dec 2009

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Breeders at ATP

ATP 10th Anniversary Festival, Minehead 11-13 December 2009

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15th Dec 2009

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Battles at ATP

ATP 10th Anniversary Festival, Minehead 11-13 December 2009

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15th Dec 2009

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Bardo Pont at ATP

ATP 10th Anniversary Festival, Minehead 11-13 December 2009

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15th Dec 2009

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Afrirampo at ATP

ATP 10th Anniversary Festival, Minehead 11-13 December 2009

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15th Dec 2009

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Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks

Electric Ballroom, Camden

While the Pavement reunion is hogging the column inches, no one has really stopped to consider if we actually need a Pavement reunion. Sure, they are one of the defining bands of the 90's, but unlike the Pixies, Pavement perhaps reached the dizziest heights they are likely to within their own life span. And let's not forget, main man Stephen Malkmus has had a consistently successful solo career since Pavement fell apart.

His self-titled debut was solid, building the Pavement style towards a more polished production. Pig Lib formally introduced The Jicks and is likely to feature in my albums-of-the-decade list. Face The Truth unleashed his inner guitar hero, while recent entry Real Emotional Trash disclosed Malkmus' love of The Wire. Can this guy get any cooler? Apparently there's no need, as he quickly re-establishes himself on stage tonight as the ultimate 90's indie rocker.

Tonight's gig is part of a three show warm-up tour in preparation for an appearance at this weekend's ATP festival - which seems to be the band's first live outing sine May. I've often wondered what the band gets out of a warm-up show and tonight I found out. The track list was mostly a little foreign to my ears - and I consider myself pretty well revised. Less known album tracks got a dusting off, while the 'hits' were largely overlooked. When stand-out It Kills kicked off, the crown soared for perhaps the first time of the evening - but that quickly passed as the band worked the song, re-finding their feet.

While the sound was crisp and clear - making the most of Malkmus' guitar virtuosity - the deafening volume didn't help and songs were drowned out. The band creaked and shuffled, re-started and re-tuned, with stage banter often making the gig seem more like band practice. So that's what warm-ups are for then. A lesson well learnt, I just wish I was there to see them at ATP.

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11th Dec 2009 - Add Comment - Tweet

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Melvins

Highbury Garage, London

Back in London 364 days since their last appearance, the mighty Melvins play the Garage as a sweet prelude to this weekend's ATP festival in Minehead. Almost bouncing onto the stage to the tune of Rawhide, King Buzzo looks like he's in a terrific mood tonight, and he and Dale Crover play as a two piece for the first half hour of their set - just guitar and drums and vocals. This works really well - a real case of less is more - and it would seem that Buzz has abandoned his rather transistorised guitar sound of recent times for a big chunky amp sound again. Buzz and Dale run through a selection of Melvins tunes including a brilliant version of Black Bock and a rough round the (vocal) edges cover of "Let Me `Roll It" by Wings, before being joined by Jared Warren and Coady Willis  and becoming the full version of the band.

They are in good form tonight - the setlist has changed a lot since last year, and the band sound enthusiastic for the newly selected material. We get to hear a really wide range of Melvins tunes from the popular (Hooch, The Bit) through to the obscure (Anaconda, Pigs Of The Roman Empire) plus another great cover version - Devo's Mr DNA (well spotted there Jimbo). Some technical issues create a couple of false-starts tonight, and a sudden departure from the stage for about 15 mins - quite unusual - but as soon as they get rolling again, they sound great. Plenty of tracks from last year's Nude With Boots, plus a host of classics including Night Goat, With Teeth and It's Shoved.

You can see why the Melvins are celebrating 25 years of left-field metal - never content to rest on their laurels, always shifting the line-up and band dynamics and always revisiting older material with a new approach. The Melvins is - and always will be - Buzz and Dale, and tonight they showed that they are perfectly capable of working just as a duo. I wouldn't feel cheated if that's how they chose to tour for a while. Still, it was great to hear them both ways tonight - the highlight of the show had to be Pigs Of The Roman Empire which wouldn't have sounded the same without Jared's huuuge bass sound. Anyway, you've just got to love a band that plays cover versions of songs by Wings, Alice Cooper and Devo in one gig. 

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10th Dec 2009 - 2 comments - Add Comment - Tweet

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Fugazi: Ice cream eatin' muthaf$£%as

Great piece up at Chunklet features a 40 minute edit of Fugazi stage-banter (minus music). Anyone who's seen Fugazi live will appreciate this, as it features much of the not-taken-any-crap awesome righteousness often displayed by the band. As noted, an Fugazi-curated ATP would be an instant "yes".

The album of the year has arrived.

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3rd Dec 2009 - Add Comment - Tweet

Fuck Buttons

Tarot Sport

ATP

Having produced one of the most intense and energy draining albums of 2008, Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power return with a much more user-friendly take on their drone headache and one of the most succinctly perfect dance records I've heard for a good while. Street Horrrising had its fair share of melody and pop sensibility, but that's before a tone of ear scraping noise was dumped on it from a high height and all but obliterated any nod towards recognised form. That's not to say it wasn't an endlessly intriguing piece of work, but I must admit the shift that has occurred with Tarot Sport comes as a welcome change and one that retains all the edge we associate with this band, but channels them into subtler and more palatable structures.

There are various factors behind this change of approach and therefore sound. The enormous expanse of songs like Sweet Love For Planet Earth that opened the first album came from a post-rock school of thought and while this thinking still drives every song here it comes from a more electronic place. The other factor to bear in mind would be Andrew Weatherall at the helm. His influence is stamped all over this record and the combination of his techno history and Fuck Button's post-rock drone tendencies is a near-perfect marriage. The band explain Weatherall's input: "There are so many more layers of sound that we needed somebody with the ability to spread these out over a wide plane... The ambition of sound in this record required him to realise it." The result is massive synth textures that grow and evolve around meticulously constructed rhythms which together expand into epic sonic journeys.

Their skills are put to way more mature work here. These constructions are subtle and slow to evolve but carry with them such gravitas. They unfold with narrative melody and throughout their lengthy progression they become more like mini life-spans than actual songs. Where brutality was the flavor on their first record, it is merely suggested in the might of these tracks. It's in this restraint that Tarot Sport really succeeds. Opener Surf Solar employs a clipped synth melody to build tension growing fiercer with every mangled texture, while The Lisbon Maru is built around a military drum beat that threatens an onslaught but always holds back. The central song Olympians could be the soundtrack to one of Godfrey Reggio's Quatsi movies. Over the course of its near eleven minute length it could only be fitting for something this grand to accompany the evolution of the universe itself.

Tarot Sport is a seismic shift away from the first album but a conscious and meticulous one. It is a pure exploration of sound that holds the listener in mind all the way. It's a record that demonstrates an obsessive commitment to their art and one to be exceptionally proud of.

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24th Nov 2009 - Add Comment - Tweet

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Pavement at Brixton

Pavement have added a London date to their scheduled appearance at ATP in May. Tickets available now to O2 customers, Friday onwards for everyone else.

UPDATE: They're now playing Brixton on the 12th too

Here's the PR:

Pavement announce London date and confirm first ATP acts

We are very excited to announce that the legendary Pavement will be playing at Brixton Academy on Tuesday 11th May 2010.

Tickets are on sale from 9am this Friday from www.ticketweb.co.uk, www.seetickets.com, www.gigantic.com, www.stargreen.com and www.lastminute.com. However some of you will be able to use a pre-sale for O2 customers from 9am on Wednesday, and there is also a pre-sale for Academy venue customers from 9am on Thursday.

ARTIST: Pavement
SUPPORT ACTS: tbc
VENUE: Brixton Academy
DATES: Tuesday 11th May 2010
TICKET PRICE : £25.00 +bf
VENUE ADDRESS: 211 Stockwell Rd, London, SW9 9SL
VENUE TELEPHONE: 020 7771 3000
DOORS: 7.00pm
AGE RESTRICTIONS: Under 14s must be accompanied by an adult and seated in the Circle.
Tickets On Sale Friday 9am

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21st Oct 2009 - Add Comment - Tweet

Pavement For ATP 2010

The Pavement reformation continues - with the band set to curate ATP in 2010, and of course headline.

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8th Oct 2009 - Add Comment - Tweet

Pink Mountaintops

Borderline, London

May 11th 2009

Steven McBean's Pink Mountaintops were in town in support of recent third album Outside Love - and hot from an appearance at the ATP Festival. After storming shows from the Black Mountain mothership last year, McBean is worth catching in any guise and this was no exception.

Perfectly suited to the Canadian-ski-shack-meets-Mexican-bolthole vibe of the Borderline, album opener Axis: Bold as Love opened the show, with the six-man band working as a great base for post-skater McBean (that hidden key chain is a dead give-away) to lead with his great voice. The subtle ebbing and flowing of the at-time hypnotic sounds was easy to get lost in, through tracks like Vampires, And I Thank You and Plasticman, You're The Devil - while older tracks like Sweet '69 and Single Life provided a more up-tempo element, displaying the band's wide range.

Amber Webber's vocals were sorely missed, but team stand-ins Sophie Trudeau and Sar Friedman did an admirable job - with the violins proving to be a rare secret weapon and the additional back-up vocals really filling out the bands sound. Add to that the great drumming and Black Mountain regular Matt Camirand's pounding bass and what's not to like? With the curfew police closing in, the band returned to the stage for a single encore - possible career highlight Tourist In Your Town.

In a style much like their recent album, Pink Mountaintops were laid-back, effortless and engaging - providing a (temporarily) welcome antidote to the relentless precision of big brother Black Mountain. Superior entertainment.

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13th May 2009 - 1 comments - Add Comment - Tweet

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Live Mountaintops

The Pink Mountaintops have padded out their scheduled appearance at May's ATP Festival with a string of dates across Europe. The Borderline (tickets here) will host the London show, on May 11th. See you down the front.

New album Outside Love will be arriving on May 5th.

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23rd Mar 2009 - Add Comment - Tweet

ATP Weekender Curated by Mike Patton / Melvins: The Nightmare Before Christmas

Butlins, Minehead

When ATP announced this event six months ago, I could hardly believe my luck. I make no secret of my devotion to the Melvins and all things Ipecac (Patton's label), so this weekend festival (3 hours drive away) was like a gift from the almighty. As acts got added to the lineup the ticket value seemed to increase - especially when Butthole Surfers were added to the bill - so this was an event for which my expectations were pretty high. And whaddya know? They delivered 100 percent satisfaction, a weekend of eclectic and exciting music surrounded by like-minded people. And so, amidst the spartan tat of this windswept and freezing off-season holiday stalag, people gathered from all over the world to celebrate the left-of-centre and the truly gifted, on two main sound stages and one quadrophonic rig in a smaller venue.

(The) Melvins opened up on Friday as 'Melvins 83' - bringing original drummer Mike Dillard back to revisit their punky roots. Regular Melvins drummer Dale Crover played bass for this short set and was introduced as Matt Lukin. They were great - Mike Dillard sounded really tight - a performance that he can be justly proud of.

With so much going on, there were often choices to be made between two stages - throwing up some unexpected delights and a few minor disappointments. And so, in no particular order, a few words about some of the performances that I did see.

Best thing I've seen all year award goes to Zu - Italian noise-funk trio with the HEAVIEST sound I have EVER heard. Absolutely astounding virtuoso playing with not a hint of chin-stroking introspection. Big, noisy, intelligent party music - I cannot recommend this band highly enough. Want to see the most highly drilled weirdos in the world? Then check out The Locust - falling under the vague umbrella of Math-rock, these costumed and masked humanoids deliver precision salvos of Rhythm'n'Noise. What the drummer was doing looked inhuman. Brilliant. There were some understated and beautiful performances too - notably Martina Topley Bird who has the voice of an angel and Joe Lally (Fugazi) who has the dignity of a war veteran. At the other end of the scale (ie, dignity and restraint missing) was Squarepusher. Whilst his playing and programming are faultless, the smothering fog of his gigantic ego suffocated the fun out of the room. Thanks Tom, but we can make our own minds up about when to cheer. Audience response happens naturally when the music connects with people, and the winners in this respect were Taraf De Haidouks - the most awesome gypsy band on the planet. When they played, the room became a party, and once their time onstage was finished they just carried on outside. Makes you wonder how come our own folk music is so dull. Representing the slightly looser approach to music was the amazingly messy Butthole Surfers. Who knows how wasted Gibby Haines was, but he did punctuate one song by shouting "Three fuckin' hits of MDMA!", so that might have been a clue. Pretty damn psychedelic. Another treat was country-pickin' Junior Brown - possibly the greatest stunt-guitarist you will ever hear in your life, and with a rich barritone voice like a fine matured bourbon. There was a special performance of Stockhausen's Kontakte in the quadrophonic room - mixed from the original masters by Stockhausen's sound projectionist and complimented by a pianist and percussionist on stage. The sound system was crystal clear and the crowd remained quiet and respectfully awed by the one of the original noise-masters. By contrast, "America's funny man" Neil Hamburger was trying to achieve the goal of goading the audience towards "a crescendo of boo's" as he put it. Provocatively tasteless and badly delivered jokes about Michael Jackson and Heath Ledger coupled with general abuse of audience members. I liked it - and there was one genuinely funny joke - (What's worse than Muslim Extremism? Chinese Democracy). Mike Patton himself resisted the temptation to make appearances with multiple bands, concentrating instead on orchestrating a fine performance of The Director's Cut with his band Fantomas. They played the whole album and it sounded wonderful, with Patton clearly in an excellent mood - so much so they even gave us an encore of Al Green's Simply Beautiful which Patton dedicated to "all the laydeez in the house", prompting many female screams, whistles and a general gusset-moistening.

Booby Prizes go to the following - Big Business (hampered by a blown-up bass amp, and a subsequently muddy mix), Leila (technical problems not exactly enhancing something that seemed boring in the first place), Porn (onstage intrusion by mystery drunk guitarist [turns out it was the bloke out of Mastodon] leading to aimless collapse of order), James Blood Ulmer (great voice, but guitar playing somewhere beyond loose), and White Noise (the ledgendary David Vorhaus served up softcore euro-trance which bore no reference to his early experimental works). Didn't get to see Mastodon, Isis, The Damned, Farmer's Market or Kool Keith, so sorry about that. There was only so much a person could take in, but having said that, this was still the best music festival I have ever been to. Support ATP! They rule.

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9th Dec 2008 - 1 comments - Add Comment - Tweet

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Taraf De Haidouks @ ATP

All Tomorrow's Parties: The Nightmare Before Christmas

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9th Dec 2008

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The Nightmare Before Christmas

A double-bill of Harris Pilton favourites have been lined up to curate the Dec 2008 edition of All Tomorrow's Parties, with both The Melvins and Mike Patton taking control. Melvins, Big Business and Patton's own Fantomas are among the currently unsurprising first acts to be announced, but more will be coming shortly.

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2nd Jun 2008 - Add Comment - Tweet

Black Mountain

Scala, London

May 18th, 2008

You're might be getting a bit bored of us raving about Black Mountain by now, but what can I say? With In The Future still holding it's current album of the year status for me, the band were back in the UK for the ATP festival and a European tour and I didn't want to miss them playing another smaller venue, before they certainly get bigger and bigger.

Playing a set consisting almost entirely of material from In The Future, you feel almost like you have flashed into the future yourself and are sitting at one of ATP's own Don't Look Back series - where bands perform their classic album in it's entirely. While it may have taken a couple of songs before the band really found their stride in terms of pace and power, it didn't take long and once they did they were firing on all cylinders. Never dropping a beat or letting the tension slip it's a remarkable show, best described as being run over by a freight train. In the best possible way. If you're not onboard by now, what are you waiting for?

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20th May 2008 - 1 comments - Add Comment - Tweet

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Ween

Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

May 8th, 2008

We have a lot to thank ATP for. Twice a year they ship over highly rated, under-appreciated (by us Brits at least) bands who could often not justify the air fare. Lucky for us, these bands often squeeze a few other dates in while they're in Europe - and fortunately Ween were no exception, making their first UK appearance since 2003. Billed as "An Evening with Ween", the band were scheduled to be on stage at 8pm - with no support, for a three hour set. As a longtime fan/part time believer in the cult of Ween, it was make or break time.

Shortly after 8, the lights dimmed and the crowd erupted. Shoeless and Geneless, Dean Ween took to the stage, before powering up the band with a beefed up version of Fiesta, from last year's La Cucaracha. Gene soon joined brother Dean on stage as they segued into Take Me Away - and the power and prescision of the band set things up for a night of fun, that was unfortunatley barely matched again.

Like a hilarious comedian who ruins his potentially flawless routine with constant fart jokes, the show pretty much played out like any Ween album - patchy as hell. Unfortunatley, a live show lacks the one essential item for making any Ween album bearable - the skip button. For every chunky verion of Bananas and Blow, I'll Be Your Johnny On The Spot or Voodoo Lady there was an over-extended labrious wander through many others from their vast catalogue. Sound problems didn't help, with Thin Lizzy-esque power anthem Gabrielle amongst many tracks drowned in the poor sound, which managed to muffle even the drums and treble.

Many of my own favourites were left out (where were Stay Forever, What Deaner Was Talkin' About, Did You See Me?, If You Could Save Yourself and It's Gonna Be A Long Night?), possibly because it turned out it wasn't such a long night after all - a mere two and a half hours - and if they'd cut out the brown noise that made up most of the show we could have been going home after around 45 minutes.

Criticisms aside, I certainly feel like I have the minority opinion here - with most of the packed out crowd having the time of their lives. Beer bust at the Empire! For me, the dream is over. At best they're like Zappa, at worst it's like watching a pub band rehearse their latest wacky Barbara Steisand cover - complete with National Anthem Guitar Solo. I have seen an alternate reality where Tenacious D are leading the world in musical experimenation and it scared me.

I feel like I've escaped from a cult and while I feel an occasional nostalgia for the fellow moonies I left behind, it sure feels good. For now.

Check out more photos over at our Flickr page.

Watch videos from the show at DrDamage73's YouTube page.

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13th May 2008 - 2 comments - Add Comment - Tweet

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Move Mountains

The mighty, mighty, mighty Black Mountain are back in town on Sunday May 18th, with a quick warm-up show at the Scala before they play the ATP Festival in Camber Sands. Phosphorescent is supporting, We Got Tickets have got the tickets.

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2nd May 2008 - 1 comments - Add Comment - Tweet

Manimals

New 4 track Animal Collective EP out on May 12th - Water Curses

"All four tracks have a more stripped down feel than their recent work on Strawbery Jam."

They're also back in the UK for some shows in May, as well as the Explosions In the Sky curated ATP Festival.

Sun 18-May-08 UK Minehead ATP
Mon 19-May-08 UK Dublin Tripod
Tue 20-May-08 UK Glasgow Oran Mor
Wed 21-May-08 UK Leeds Brudenell Room
Thu 22-May-08 UK London Koko

For the Spanish chimps out there, they'll be playing the Primavera festival in Barcelona on May 31st.

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3rd Mar 2008 - Add Comment - Tweet

Do You Ween?

As suspected (and duly noted by Mr Fingerbangst), eclectic superstars Ween are playing a London date while over for the ATP Festival.

ATP CONCERTS BY ARRANGEMENT WITH CAA PRESENT: An Evening With Ween

May 8th. Don't miss it.

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30th Jan 2008 - Add Comment - Tweet

Cat Power

Jukebox

Matador Records

Following her recent mainstream success with The Greatest and her rollicking cover of Stuck Inside of Mobile on last year's I'm Not There soundtrack, Chan Marshall AKA Cat Power returns with a whole album of covers - something of a sequel to 2000's aptly titled The Covers Record.

This swirling unfocussed blur of technically prefect renditions ranges from the bonifide classics like New York, New York through Hank WIlliams' Rambling (Wo)man, Dylan's christian-era I Believe In You and even including a re-working of her own Metal Heart from the album Moon Pix. The backing band pulls together another list of legendary performers - including Spooner Oldham, Teenie Hodges and Larry McDonald, as well as more contempaorary players like Matt Sweeney and Jim White.

With Cat Power's appeal seemingly moving beyond music and into fashion and celebrity it all feels a bit like an indie version of X-Factor. Like someone at the Karaoke bar with a bit of talent, it's impressive but not as fun or impassioned as a group singalong to Freebird ...and certainly doesn't fulfill the promise of hear earlier records, or the power and subtlty of songs like Cross Bones Style. WIth the low-key ethic of earlier albums like You Are Free polished away into oblivion, Chan Marshall could well be heading towards a 200 night stint in Vegas, especially now that Celine Dion has called it a day.

Marshall often adds her own lyrics to covers - as Dylan would do and even Led Zeppelin would to to Dylan with In My Time Of Dying. While this can inject a more interesting twist, it only highlights what's wrong with this record. While covers have always been an integral part of Cat Power's repertoire - and undeniably part of her live presence - it's the original material that works best here. With Song For Bobby, she tells of meeting long-time idol Bob Dylan and it's that personal touch that gives the song something more than just being an interesting rendition.

Seeming little more than a minor diversion as Chan runs for President, this album might just tide you over until she gets back to the main event.

#Music
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30th Jan 2008 - 2 comments - Add Comment - Tweet

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Black Mountain

Cargo, London

December 5th 2007

Gigs don't get much better than this. 2005 favourites Black Mountain have put the side-projects to one side and got back in the ring with a new album In The Future - due January 2008. Having been enlisted to play this weekend's ATP Festival, the band lined up a few warm-up dates around the UK - with the London gig happily a mere two minutes from our office. Just when this gig couldn't get any better, one of this year's favourites - Miracle Fortress - get lined up to support and for the first time in a long time, not missing the support act became a priority. You can read a quick review of their performance here.

Singer Amber Webber introduced the band through the haunting Night Walks, before Stormy High got things really moving. This classic heavy number may be new, but there was no reluctance to get into it from the crowd. Songs like Lighting Up The Sky and Evil Ways find the guitar and bass onslaught building a wave of noise that is impossible not to get swept up in.  Old favourite Satisfaction was requested from the crowd but given short shrift as the set-list was strictly warm-up, consisting of all but two of the new album tracks, plus Thirteen Walls from a tour 12" on sale at the show and only a couple of older numbers.

Where the debut album showed great potential, the new material really finds the band hitting their stride and the power behind these songs is immense. Blood Meridian front man Matt Camirand is a supporting player here, providing a solid bassline from the back, along with the powerhouse John Bonham-esque drumming and moody moog electronics. While Stephen McBean is clearly the leader of the band, they all have a strong input into the stage presence - all mic'ed up for backing vocals and all happy to chip in with the stage banter. McBean has a great voice however and the change in pace for the accoustic Stay Free provided a chance for him to reclaim centre stage.

Not unlike getting mugged in slow motion, the non-stop onslaught is a strangely rewarding experience. Without being cheesy or predictable, the songs hit the highs and lows in all the right places - just where you expect them. As songs like Tyrants wind down, you find yourself hoping for one last barrage of guitar thunder, but you still aren't prepared for the ferocity with which it is delivered.

The earlier call for Satisfaction was addressed as the band came back on for a riotous rendition of that debut album favourite plus another oldie No Hits. Hopefully they're now feeling suitably warmed, as I'm certainly ready for more.

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6th Dec 2007 - 1 comments - Add Comment - Tweet

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ATP 2008

Explosions In The Sky are booked in to curate and play All Tomorrow's Parties for 2008. Dinosaur Jr, Iron & Wine, Broken Social Scene and more are already lined up to play ....more bands to follow.


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ATP 2006 Review

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7th Nov 2007 - Add Comment - Tweet

Ween vs Atp vs Pitchfork

Chimp favourites Ween are bringing their mayhem to the UK in March for the ATP Festival.  ATP vs Pitchfork is the theme. Sebadoh, Dirty Projectors and Pissed Jeans are amongst the other acts.

Ween's new album La Cucaracha lands on October 22nd.

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8th Oct 2007 - Add Comment - Tweet

No Explosions

Just in from Bella Union:

I sincerely regret to inform you that due to serious illness in one of EITS' families, the band will be cancelling all tour dates starting today (May 9) through to September 1st 2007. This means that EITS? following UK appearances have been cancelled?

19 May ? SOMERSET ? ATP, 10 July ? LONDON ? Royal Festival Hall, 11 July ? MANCHESTER ? Academy, 12 July ? BRIGHTON ? Concorde, 13 July ? SUFFOLK ? Latitude, 14 July ? GLASGOW ? Indian Summer

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11th May 2007 - Add Comment - Tweet

Death Vessel

Stay Close

ATP Recordings

Any band with the word ‘death’ in the title might instantly make you think: “metal”, “licks” and “German”. And, with ATPs latest act, Death Vessel, you’d be right on two counts.
 
Main man Joel Thibodeau, who was born in Deutschland, can certainly pluck some rifts out of his acoustic guitar. However, rather than turning up on Kerrang FM, his bands brand of “neo-traditional folk” is more likely to be played by Andy Kershaw on Radio 3.
 
Their 10 Track debut album, ‘Stay Close’, strays far away from any hint of “metal” with the most notable difference being the deep howl of rock vocals being replaced by the incredible soprano voice of your man Joel.
 
His voice sounds like this sentence should begin with “her voice” or end with “his balls haven’t dropped”. Seriously, it’s quite something, quite eerie, quite Sigur Ros like… or bjorkesque if, like me, you think you’ve been lied to on the press release. Whatever though, his voice is, as they might say in the deep south, purty.
 
The deep south reference not only serves to make me chuckle, but also hints at the type of tunes you’re getting here - you should prepare yourself for some proper rambling hoe downs. A majority of the tracks bounce cheerfully along with a country feel to it, and that vibe is strongest on ‘Mandan Dink’ where both banjos and vocals duel in this playful ruck up. In fact, the vocal harmonies act as confederate flags for the better parts of the album - such as on ‘Later In Life Lift’ and ‘Break The Empress Crown’.
 
The finest song on the album though, ‘Snow Don’t Fall’, reinforces that when Death Vessel keep it to a simple, sparse, atmospheric arrangement, the stage is set for some lovely guitar work to compliment Thibodeaus’ unique vocals.
 
While there are a few moments where you’re left wishing they would step it up a notch, enough of the tunes on this inventive album get stuck in your head to make this one ‘stay close’ to the top of the CD pile for a while.

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4th May 2007 - 1 comments - Add Comment - Tweet

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Modest Tour

Re-juvenated chimp favourites Modest Mouse have announced a Europen tour:

Sun 20-May -- Somerset, UK -- ATP vs the Fans
Wed 23-May -- London, UK -- Royal Albert Hall
Sat 26th- May– Glasgow, UK –- ABC
Sun 27th – May-- Wolverhampton –- Wulfrun Hall
Mon 28th – May-- Nottingham –- Rock City
Tue 29th – May-- Manchester – Ritz Ballroom
Fri 1-Jun -- Barcelona, ES -- Primavera Sound

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16th Apr 2007 - Add Comment - Tweet

flatpack computer

ikea's thinking about selling computers now. insert your own allen key/mouse/meatballs joke here

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3rd Apr 2007 - 1 comments - Add Comment - Tweet

ATP vs The Fans

Even though they beat our ass late last year, the fans are still coming back for more - and have voted for Yo La Tengo to headline the next ATP Festival. Like some sick version of Pop Idol (indie rock idol?) the headliners were voted for from a long list of luminaries, and will have a tough posse on their side - including Band Of Horses and Brightblack Morning Light.

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9th Feb 2007 - Add Comment - Tweet

Deerhoof

Friend Opportunity

ATP

You get a fair idea about a band who have a touring list as diverse as Deerhoof's. Radiohead, The Roots and Wilco are but a few, and not every band would appeal to such a varied range of fans. That's because Deerhoof are not just any band. They used to be a good band who made intriguing and challenging unclassifiable pop music. Now they are great band who are just as unclassifiable but produce such sublime musical moments that will undoubtedly shape your life if you let them. They're the kind of band that have the power to make you feel smug if you get them and embarrassed if you don't and for the last 13 years they have kept us wondering if we do truly get them.

With their new album Friend Opportunity a lot of questions are answered. They seem to have listened to their previous album The Runners Four the same way I did and come to similar conclusions. They've taken all that was great about that album and crafted this one. They've trimmed away a lot of the avant guard sprawl that they started with back in the day making Friend Opportunity a beautifully paced and refreshingly brief delight.

Satomi Matsuzaki's achingly sweet, candy-pop vocals are given full range here and are perfectly contrasted and complimented by the thrilling brut force power pop that drives this sugar coated juggernaut. The album hits the ground running with The Perfect Me. It's driving guitar opener is abruptly punctuated with Matsuzaki's Roadrunner like lyrics, "Meet me, meet me, meet the perfect me." and it's somewhere during this song that you begin to suspect that these words herald the beginning of a glorious introduction to the perfect Deerhoof.

There is no point in describing each high point here as it changes every time I listen to the record. At the moment Believe E.S.P is doing it for me in a big way, but last week it was Wither The Invisible Birds? This is where this album shifts gear and gracefully pulls away from its predecessors. It's a wondrously orchestrated landscape in which Satomi's voice spreads its wings and soars to new heights. It ceases to be sugar pop and blossoms before your ears into sublime maturity.

Unfortunately however for a band like Deerhoof one cannot sit comfortably through these wonderful moments. They're not out to please unconditionally and there's always a lesson or two that needs to be taught. The album finishes with Look Away, a 12 minute marathon of feet shuffling noise that very nearly undoes all the good work that went before. But as it finally fizzles out you realise that lurking in this irritation lies the reason you love this band. It's not the kind of song you want to hear again but without its threat the whole experience wouldn't be anywhere near as thrilling and the success of this album rests in the balance between this threat and the delivery of pure unrivaled joy.

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2nd Feb 2007 - Add Comment - Tweet

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The Drones

Gala Mill

ATP

Of the new bands I've listened to recently, it's quite clear that The Drones would beat them all in a fight. A coiled aggression runs through Gala Mill and frontman Gareth Liddiard sings like a man with experience of a hundred brawls and of pain in all its varieties.

Two things about The Drones previous (and 2nd) album, that will give you a good idea about what you are going to get from Gala Mill:

1. It was called 'Wait by the River and the Bodies of Your Enemies Will Float By'. A title suggesting themes of conflict, nature and vengeance, a title that says "We aren't messing about here."

2. It won the Australian Music prize for best album, beating off the likes of Wolfmother.

Gala Mill, whilst more economically named, is an album full of conflict, nature and vengeance and perhaps more importantly, has Australia running through its adrenalin-charged veins.

It's straight down to business on 'Jezebel', an 8 minute epic that staggers and sways like a hardened fighter whose legs refuse to buckle. Liddiard's unashamedly abrasive accent snarls about subjects such as nuclear testing in Australia, the Beslan school massacre, a cow that glows in the dark and the murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl. Track 1: like a punch in the gut!

There you are - winded. So they follow up with 'Dog Eared', a sinister ballad and 'I'm Here Now' another 8 minuter about heroin addiction that starts slow but ends up pinning you against the wall, threateningly requesting your full attention. 'The Words of the Executioner to Alexander Pearce' is self-explanatory - as long as you know that Alexander Pearce was a cannibal, rapist from The Drones' home state of Tasmania. Phew! 'I Don't Ever Want to Change' changes pace and provides some welcome rocking out, and even though it is about depression and denial, it is a strangely comforting song in the midst of all the down-tempo sluggers. The final track 'Sixteen Straws' is Gala Mill's most ambitious. Close to ten minutes, it's like a traditional folk ballad, as Lilliard spins 30+ verses into a 1st person tale of forlorn convicts avoiding the Catholic prohibition of suicide, by drawing straws to decide who will kill another and thus send them all to the gallows,

It's a hard and dark album, but a rewarding one. That is, if you can stay the distance.

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3rd Nov 2006 - 5 comments - Add Comment - Tweet

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Tindersticks II at The Barbican

Tindersticks will be playing a one off show at the Barbican, as part of the ATP Don't Look Back strand, playing Tindersticks II in it's entirety. Wonder if that's the CD re-issue version, which is what Mudhoney played for Superfuzz Bigmuff.


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Barbican

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22nd Jul 2006 - Add Comment - Tweet

United Sounds of ATP

Camber Sands Holiday Centre, Sussex

Before going to the All Tomorrow's Parties music festival (at Pontin's Holiday Camp) I wasn't sure what to expect - and leaving a few days later I'm still not sure what I made of it all. Staying in a chalet as opposed to a tent had it's obvious benefits, especially as the rain was fairly relentless the entire weekend - making those swimming trunks I packed optimistic at best. But the constant grey skies and rundown look to the place gave it an Apocalypse Now feel - a surrealness not lightened by having to negotiate 'Funland' to get to the bar (my funland). The winner of ATP however, is that it truly is all about the music. Each headlining act allowed to choose their favourite bands to play bill - so the opportunities to discover something new were high.

Day 1
So heading to stage 2 (downstairs) on the Friday and lifted by the news that Guinness was coming in at a reasonable £2.70 a pint, The Magik Markers were a good place to kick things off. I'd read a bit about this Hungarian/American three piece and was definitely loving the fact they only played two songs in their 40 minute set (I preferred track 1) allowing me to catch up with mates, whilst dipping in and out of their (at-times) fairly rocking jam sessions. I was told however, that Dead Meadow upstairs (stage 1 of 2) were awesome, with a particularly excellent drummer -a vital ingredient for any self-respecting rock band. So upstairs we went -happy with the fact you could walk to a fairly good spec in the crowd relatively hassle free. Broken Social Scene were excellent -the surprise package of the weekend. I'd heard the name, but didn't really know their sound - they reminded me a bit of Mercury Rev - how they would allow a euphoric brass section to creep up and get you grinning by the end of each song. Also, it's the sign of a great band when you are thinking 'There's no way they can top that tune' then halfway through the next you've already forgotten the previous one (if you know what I mean). We were also treated to an early glimpse of Friday's curator J. Mascis - with long grey hair, shades and adidas shell suit. The man is a hero. He came out for a bit of a guitar duel with Broken Social Scene. Odds were stacked heavily against BSS though, as J's guitar sounded like it was turned up to 14, drowning out allcomers. Still, that whetted the appetite for Dinosaur Jr. later. Next up, indie stalwarts Teenage Fanclub. Although they opened up with personal favourite 'Mudhoney' I thought I'd go and check out The Brian Jonestown Massacre instead. Shouldn't have bothered. I liked their music in Dig!, but they were a bit boring really. I guess I was as guilty as many others, down there for the 'Car Crash' effect - waiting to see if Anton Newcombe was going to crack and kick anyone in the head (he didn't). I was told that Teenage Fanclub were great though - fair play to those lads.

A drum kit flanked by 10 Marshall Stacks; Dinosaur Jr made their intentions clear from the off. They were extremely loud, but equally awesome. What happened to Lou Barlow? From nerdy Sebadoh boy, to some sort of pumped up uber-bassist - he easily promoted himself to Lead Bass in my fantasy super group. A fairly healthy split between Lou's and J's songs - with all the 'hits' in there, they are certainly a band I'd make every effort to see whenever they are in town. A blinding set to round off day one.

Day 2
The day started with a hair of the dog in the pub at twelve and ended 17 hours later being kicked out of the ATP disco. As a result, my memories of Saturday's bands are sketchy at best. The Fiery Furnaces were pretty good. Spoon reminded me of Wilco, but didn't really do enough to lift me out of my stuper. Main act Sleater Kinney were really good though (I think). They certainly rocked the house, with some powerful drumming being a prominent recollection. Worth checking out more of their stuff to plug those holes. Highlight of the day though has to be R Kelly's bizarre Hip-Hopera 'Trapped in the Closet' - showing on the ATP TV Channel (each headliner also gets to create a days schedule of TV). A 40 minute epic with R. Kelly lending his golden tones to the story of various dudes getting caught with each other's girlfriends and threatening to blow everyone away and shit. Was it for real? Who knows - but he did rhyme Bridget with Midget (the midget in question, was uncovered hiding in a cupboard by a policeman returning home early to his wife - bizarre indeed, but try and check it out).

Day 3
With the rain still coming down and the hangover a large one Sunday was always going to be about re-grouping. So, finding a spot on the back wall to nurse some beers was the order of the day (although this is obviously much more pleasant on a sunny last day of an outdoors festival, as opposed to an airtight bingo hall after a three day rock festival). To be fair to the bands, it was going to take something special to rouse me from that position. Aussie band The Drones had a good stab with their better than average pub-rock. The Decemberists were clearly a crowd favourite, reminding me a bit The Levellers, Placebo and the Polyphonic Spree - but not at all as bad as that sounds. They did manage to get the whole crowd to sit down for a quiet number (no problems for me) then getting them back up for a rousing finale. The lead singer of 70's style rock Dungen also played a flute. Then the highlight of the weekend, The Black Keys. Two songs in and I was up off my ass and into the crowd. The drum and guitar two piece played heavy blues and once again made me wonder what all the fuss is with the White Stripes. Following them was going to be extremely tough and so it proved for biggest disappointments The Shins. The band I was most looking forward to seeing, as I'm a great fan of both their albums, were let down by a number of circumstances. Following Black Keys, early sound troubles, being shy and too quiet. They almost lifted it a couple of times but not enough. Maybe I hit a wall, but I never thought I'd be walking out of The Shins early. That was that - some serious drinking and some damn fine bands. The music-first policy is clearly a winner, could do with a bit of sunshine though.

Probably worth a 4, but the rain and my own laziness in not checking out other bands knocks it down a half.

Top 5
1. The Black Keys
2. Dinosaur Jr.
3. Broken Social Scene
4. R. Kelley
5. The Chappelle Show

Bottom 5
1. Rain
2. Hangover
3. Eating too many crisps
4. The smell of the main room Sunday night
5. The disappointing Shins.

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26th May 2006 - 1 comments - Add Comment - Tweet

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ATP Fallout

Some fallout is trickling through from the upcoming All Tomorrow's Parties festival.... notably Spoon and Dinosaur Jr. gigs in London.


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S/P/O/O/N
Dinosaur Jr.

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16th Mar 2006 - 2 comments - Add Comment - Tweet

Accidental Goes Digital

The Accidental family catalogue has finally reached the Digital domain and can now be downloaded from the following sites:

24/7 | 7 Digital | Aim4Music | ATS Digital | Audio Jelly | Band Wagon | Beatport | Bleep | Click Groove | Dance Tunes | DJ Download | DJ Power | DX3 | eMusic | EUK | Fnac | FRS | iTunes | Juno | Karma | Lyzia | MixAlbum | Music Minutes | Musicnet | Napster | OD2 | Pocket Group | Playlouder | Sony Connect | T Online | Tune Tribe | Universal Music France | Vidzone | VirginMega | Wippit | Xpress Beats


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www.magicandaccident.com

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30th Jan 2006 - Add Comment - Tweet

ATP 2006

Look's like this year's All Tomorrow's Parties festival is shaping up to be a good one, with many of Chimpomatic's 2005 favourites playing:

All Tomorrows Parties
The line up for next year's event is starting to take shape :

Week 1 includes
Mudhoney, Comets on Fire, Black Mountain, The Drones, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Liars, TV on the Radio, Devendra Banhart, Vashti Bunyan, Bert Jansch

Week 2 includes
Dinosaur JR, Dead Meadow, Sleater-Kinney, Spoon, The Shins, The New Pornographers, The Decemberists, Clinic and Big Business
With many more to be added.


Links

ATPFestival.com

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23rd Dec 2005 - 2 comments - Add Comment - Tweet

All Tomorrow's Parties

Sleater-Kinney, Mudhoney and the mighty Ween are amongst the names curating the next ATP festival.... stay tuned for line-up info.

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14th Nov 2005 - Add Comment - Tweet

Gallo does ATP

Or more importantly, Gallo come to Camber Sands


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27th Jan 2005 - Add Comment - Tweet

Interview: Mike Watt

Back in the early days of Chimpomatic, we had big ambitions for the site and got off to a great start by securing this 2001 interview with the bass king, Mike Watt. It's taken 3 1/2 years to get the interview together and online, but surprisingly little has changed. Bush has just been voted in (again) and Watt has just released his long planned third album - "The Secondman's Middle ... read article

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1st Jun 2001 - Add Comment