Istanbul and Super Furry Animals

Boss: “What are you doing next week?”
Me: “Oh, this and that, nothing I can’t move”
Boss: “How do you fancy going to Istanbul?”1
Me: “Not Constantinople?”

Ahh, that joke never gets old.

Anyway, that was a week ago. Last week was spent in a frenzy getting everything organised – from a flight to the right Linux distro to wipe an HP RAID array. Don’t ask. And here I am, looking out of the window at my view of the bridge, watching riverboats go by (though there is a parking garage in the way and breakfast costs €45). Still, as my wife said, don’t complain about staying in a nice hotel on the banks of the Bosphorus whilst she is up three times a night with our recalcitrant child. And I can stuff myself silly with Turkish Delight and kebabs. Mmmm kebabs. If anyone reading this has any good tips, feel free to comment.

So, updates will be even rarer than usual.

This week, I’ve finally managed to get into the new Super Furry Animals album, “Dark Days/Light Years”. On first listen I wasn’t that impressed. Nor the second listen. But this week, I tried again and you know what? I still wasn’t impressed. Until I got to the second half of the album. Then, it all clicks into place with some truly fab songs. From “The Very Best of Neil Diamond” to “Lliwiau Llachar” (no, I don’t know either), SFA pull out all the stops. Which is a bit of a shame, in a way, that the rest of the album doesn’t quite live up to these songs.

Don't Do Drugs, Kids!

Don't Do Drugs, Kids!

Still, a half-decent SFA album is still vastly better than most band’s best efforts.

Speaking of Welsh things, the Polish photographer Maciej Dakowicz spent four years in Cardiff taking these photos, whilst studying there. They show the British drinking culture in all its glory – the fast food wrappers, the violence, the blood, and the sheer daftness of the Brits out on the piss.

The Russian Ballet's Recruitment Drive Was Not A Success

The Russian Ballet's Recruitment Drive Was Not A Success

Don't Fancy Yours Much

Don't Fancy Yours Much

What strikes me is how well composed these photos are. I mean, it’s hard enough getting pissed blokes to do anything vaguely sensible, let alone make the shot look like it was posed by a fashion model. Fantastic work.

Buy “Dark Days/Light Years” Here

MP3: Helium Hearts by Super Furry Animals

MP3: Inaugural Trams by Super Furry Animals

1 This is the man who once phoned me and said “Fancy going to Umea?”. When I said “Where’s that?” his reply was a laugh and “No idea!”. It’s near the Arctic Circle. The people are lovely, mind, and there was a very nice dog in the office. I also had a great Swedish menu experience. Long story.

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New Music – Super Furry Animals, Here We Go Magic

A nice little email popped into my Inbox this morning whilst surfing Jobserve to try and fend off incipient bankrupcy. It was from those lovely Super Furry Animals, telling me that there’s a webcast tonight at 20:00 GMT, during which the band will be playing their new album, Dark Days/Light Years in its entirety.

A Super Furry Beach

As a little teaser, they’ve released a new MP3, “Inaugural Trams”, which I’ve added below; it’s also available on their website. Featuring Nick from Franz Ferdinand doing a rap in German1, like most new SFA tracks it’s at once familiar and shinily new. As far as I can tell, it’s all about the importance of trams in an integrated transport network. Oh, I don’t know, don’t ask me. Have a listen yourself.

Here We Go Magic did a session for WOXY last week, for the SXSW festival, and the station have happily let everyone download the four tracks. There are from their latest album, plus a new number “Surprise”. Rather good they are too. In particular, “Fangela” and the previously mentioned “Tunnelvision” are the highlights. Do yourself a favour and pop over there and give them a listen. The band are off on tour with Grizzly Bear on their recently announced US tour. Lucky people.

Pop back here later as I’m hoping to have my review of Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s new album up. That’s if you’re not doing anything better, of course.

1 I speak from personal experience here. German rap is quite possibly the worst form of music in the world. It just sounds so wrong.

Fandela (Live At WOXY) by Here We Go Magic

Inaugural Trams by Super Furry Animals

A New Bit Of Grizzly Bear And Other Fierce Animals

So, new chunks of Veckitamitsawhoozle keep creeping out, this time a lovely new track by the name “While You Wait For The Others”. According to some sources it’s the new single, others state it’s just another track on tha ablum, but who really takes much notice of singles these days anyway? Ooh, back in my day, 7″, shall I spend the extra on the 12″ with the extra tracks, jumpers for goalposts etc. In any case, it’s got a touch of the “Little Brother (Electric)” from the “Friends EP”, which frankly is absolutely fine by me. Certainly bodes well for the album, out in May, and is hugely anticipated. Oh yes, I’m going to be posting more stuff as I get it (ok, I know this came out last week but I’ve been busy).

In other animal-related news, Super Furry Animals are recording a new album and have got themselves four cameras, which they are using to record themselves recording the album. You can see this fascinating experiment on their website. Certainly has a particular hypnotic quality to it. One of them is having a kip on the sofa right now!. Fantastic.

Anyway, this is a really quick post as I’ve been busy all day. I’ve got the next bit of the Pitchfork 500, which is all post-punky and no-wavey to do, so hopefully that should be in tomorrow’s blog.

I’ve also been neglecting the Friday Python. Here’s a great one:

Ah, Graham Chapman. The man was a genius. “And a bit suspect, I think”.

While You Wait For The Others by Grizzly Bear