March Tales, in which many things happen.

First up, AIR FRANCE have split.  This is a sad day.  Full and rather beautiful statement from the boys here. We wish Joel and Henrik unconditional love, every good fortune and the very best for the future.   The  music  remains.

 A week back, SIC went to SXSW. Not been to the US in two years for some reason.  I missed its strangeness.  So it was great to spend a bit of time with friends over there.  ANR played some of the best sets I have ever seen and PHILCO FICTION entranced and enchanted audiences across town.  My feet broke and I drank bacon vodka.  Full  story here.

You are smart, you will find parts 2-5 of it.

LONEY DEAR.  Emil and his band hit town on their world tour.  Nice review here They are in the US with of Montreal at the moment and return for another UK run in May, featuring Great Escape, Camden Crawl and the Old Norwegian church in Cardiff Bay, which I first visited in 1976.  Details  here.

We will release another single from Hall Music, the beautiful What Have I Become? Featuring Emil and Mailn’s voices intertwined in pop heaven.  What kind of video shall we make?

PHILCO FICTION have been making friends all over the world at quite a pace, it seems.  It was lovely to see a full page feature on the band in Under The Radar while we were in Austin.  The Guardian was kind enough to premiere the video for Finally and the piece they ran a month back has had well over 35,000 plays.

The band are back on the road in April and May, touring the continent with Harry’s Gym, Fanfarlo and doing dates in the UK, including The Great Escape and A Perfect World…

A PERFECT WORLD?  What is that?  Where is that?  Can I come? Well it’s here. But, a bit like Oz, it’s around you.  Things are going to get worse for all of us this year.

God help us when we are old and sick, and the choice of private healthcare options is like puzzling over whether to get the gold or platinum toothbrush holder. But for now, let’s party like it’s 1979 and Thatcher was just mad handbaglady opposition MP.

A PERFECT WORLD is based on a cool dream we had after smoking weed and watching Drive for the 25th time. That soundtrack, Disco Noir, Dreamtrak, Balam Acab and The Sisters Of Mercy meet The Chromatics, Niki & The Dove and well, VISIONS OF TREES will be what you are hearing.  Free parties all. Free shots, free stuff.

VISIONS OF TREES will play the first four parties.  DREAMTRAK will DJ.  There will be guests.  The dates are below.  Visions Of Trees unveiled their first single this week, TURN 2 U on FACT.  They shot a video for it last week which will pop up next week some time.  Rob Dabank is going to give it its first radio play this weekend on Radio 1.  Visions Of Trees updates here.

Their debut album comes in June and it’s just brilliant. Disco noir indeed.  Epic, sultry, wired, huge pop tunes

13 Apr Shacklewell Arms w/Plant Plants live, Dreamtrak, SIC DJs
27 Apr The Waiting Room w/Paper Cranes, Voyeurist, Dreamtrak,
11 May The Old Blue Last w/Philco Fiction, Dreamtrak, SIC DJs
02 Jun The Nest w/Special Guests, Dreamtrak, SIC DJs

ANR played 5 absolute zingers at SXSW, mixing in some of the amazing new songs, Stay Kids favourites and a cover of Usher’s Climax that they have to record.  Next week please.  There was a full house each time and dancing and even a moshpit at one show.  The new tunes have a purple aura to them and they are pophits.  Last few US shows this weekend, then into the studio they go to bring you the magic. Singles soon, album later.

VALLEY OF THE DOLLS has a new song from ANR, called The Other Lover, along with new and exclusive tunes from Air France, John Talabot, Icona Pop, NZCA/LINES, Loney Dear, Philco Fiction, Hooray For Earth, TV Girl and more on

CDs arrived at SIC while I was writing this update and they look amazing.  It’s going to be an Urban Outfitters exclusive CD out April 9th.  Pre-order here.

MEMORY TAPES is buried deep in the studio.  More soon.  There is a very brilliant version of Philip Glass’ Floe 87 on Beck’s Philip Glass 75th birthday tribute album coming in June.   Oh, and his remix of Air France’s final single is on Valley Of The Dolls.  You saw this, right?

NIVA is also hard at it on his debut album, coing this summer.  His Boy From The Sun video has topped 700,000 plays by the way.  Stunned, I was, to read that. The good will out.

 LEVERAGE MODELS Are playing an amazing show on 3/29th at Cameo in Williamsburg. AU are headlining, LM is on FIRST. 6 song set. As usual it will “either rule or be a spectacular disaster”. His band members are on loan from St. Vincent, Wildbird & Peacedrums, Larkin Grimm, Dean & Britta, etc.  You need to hear this music.  The first two EPs are available free on that Bandcamp link. Picture Rundgren, Roxy, Tubeway Army and Japan fed party drugs while trapped in a lift or, hey, a loft, or more accurately a hay loft for a weekend and you are on the right track. Features saxophones.

That’s a lot isn’t it.

We might have a few new signings next time I write and, what, a whole new division of SIC Enterprises.  SIC Music and SIC Attire.  Coming when we get a minute.

So

There have been some amazing records lately coming our way.

JULIA HOLTER Ekstasis.  Hard to describe this one. A rural, choral Cocteau Twins mural?  It’s art, it’s beautiful and it’s very accessible.

NIKI & THE DOVE. Wasn’t really sold on this lot on the singles but the album is the pop album of the year for me.

JOHN TALABOT.  This is dance music, 80s synths over disco leaning house?  Does that make sense?  It’s a damn fine album.  You are going to end up buying it so you might as well stat now.

SINEAD o’CONNOR.  The last 5 albums of hers I have not made it to the end of.  This one is rather great in places.  She is prone to somewhat deranged posturing out burst in other places, not unlike…

… MDNA.  I bought this. Sort of wish I hadn’t now.

THEE SATISFACTION.  This lot were on Shabbaz Palaces record last year and it’s quirky fun hip hop de nos jour.

THE SHINS album is great. I wasn’t feeling the last one. Loved Chutes Too Narrow and loved Broken Bells and I love this.  They are eye-closingly dull live though.

THE STEPKIKDS album is amazing.  Saw them in Texas. Was expecting them to look like The Roots. The look like Phoenix.  I am racist.  Brilliant Delphonics-with-beats tunes aplenty.

SLEIGH BELLS’ record is pretty great too.  Ignore the shruggers.

Also new Bruce Springsteen, old old Talking Heads (up to but not including Little Creatures), Cloud Nothings, Peaking Lights, First Aid Kit (all via Wichita), Frankie Rose, McCarthy, Balam Acab (play it LOUD) , Jacques Greene and Dreamtrak. Oh…Dreamtrak.

The Cocteau Twins live on Heaven Or Las Vegas tour?  Go on then.

We have been playing PES on the Xbox and old Call Of Duty games.  A lot.

Oh….TROLL HUNTER.  Wasn’t convinced but oh my, that is a fun film.  Norway, you are a weird fish.

BACON VODKA though.  You really must try it.  They put bacon in or near everything in Texas.  Blood Mary? Yes please. Celery? No, Bacon. Fuck, no.  I mean yes.  Oh dear.

They’ll be making bacon chocolate next…

Stop it, or you will anger the gods…..

Too late

SIC x

SUNDAY. I go home.

I have not seen THE CULT. Damn. No bands at all today. We have brunch. It is colossal and washed down with BACON VODKA shots. Amazing. I have not eaten in a while and this fried chicken, bacon waffles and jalapeno Eggs Benedict with BBQ pork and cheese muffins is perfect. Read that again.  Amazing.

All that remains is a session at the legendary Waterloo Records and a big pile of records. And sweets. Candy Grills, so I can be like A$AP Rocky.

I head to the airport. A$AP Rocky sits down at on the seat next to me. He and his “mob of violent thugs” are very nice gents. They are pissed off about the coverage they got. One suspects Vice wouldn’t have it any other way but I am not sure how many cans would need to be thrown at my head while I was working before I lost it. Whatever. A nine hour sit down is exactly what I want and exactly what I get. I am home. Emails, I have a few.

Will I go again next year? Yeah I reckon.

SIC
x

SATURDAY. Make it stop.

Swing my feet out of bed. They touch the floor. Agony. This is going to be hard. Make decision to sit down as much as possible today. I have one show today. This means I can relax.
A breakfast of Red Headed Strangers. This is a bloody mary with a vegetable garden hanging out of the top. And a rasher of crispy bacon. Oh Emm Gee. Amazing. And another. We head off to catch MNDR. She is amazing. I sing along. She is playing in a 56foot high Doritos vending machine. Life is weird. And getting weirder. We dash to meet Mr and Mrs Wichita at ANR’s show. I have some moonshine, some liquid THC and a jazz fag. Lunch is served. Amazing.
We go for a walk in sun to the Vice dayparty, which is being held in a sweltering cattle shed. We see a little TANLINES and it sounds nice but it is too hot hot here. We lie on the grass outside. Life is good. Weird, but good. A succession of friends and new people come and hang out. Everyone is looking a little the worse for wear. Us among them.

5pm and we head to see A$AP ROCKY. He is not on. After half an hour we pop out to rerefresh. Still not on. Another half an hour.  We pop out to rerefresh. I am very refreshed. ANR join us. Finally he comes on. The ASAP bit is presumably ironic. The bass is impossibly loud. It is exciting. The crowd goes bananas. Extremely.  Stuff is thrown. Later they will play again and this will repeat and descend into a riot. This afternoon is fine but too damn hot in this tin shed. We head out. It says here I see DEERHOOF and PSYCHIC ILLS. Maybe I did. I do however remember JACQUES GREENE. Not heard him before. Not seen that many tiny lasers in one room either. Syncopating.  I am mesmerised. I am dancing.  Amazing.  Minimal techno, bleepy r’n’b, whatever, this is a tonic.  Love it.  Later, when I get home I will buy my first ever music on iTunes. It is by Mr Greene. I am dancing in my chair to it now.

I see Fanfarlo again and then a random misturn takes us to see OFF. Formed of sundry West coast 80s hardcore veterans, the music is as you’d expect. But the crowd, the crowd is a sight to behold. Absolute mayhem. Bodies flying. Glasses and trashcans flying. Chairs flying. This is perhaps some sort of illicit organ harvesting scam in the guise of a hardcore show. It is pretty funny to watch. A giant Samoan man runs into the pit, climbs onto the stage, grins and jumps belly first into the crowd, which parts like the red sea and he hits the ground, gets up and runs out grinning. Amazing. The audience tear down the lighting. This looks messy. We leave. Love you, hardcore, you fucking nutcases.

We watch BEST COAST from the pavement from outside the packed Hypemachine do and they sound mighty fine. Looking forward to that record. And then it is time for bed. ZZZZzzzzzzzz.

FRIDAY and a show in the morning.

PHILCO FICTION play at 11am for Filter magazine’s breakfast BBQ. The place is mobbed and all is smiles. They have brought the vibes. I see dancing and happy faces. In your face, other bands. I am drinking coffee. And beer. We hang around and all is good. I catch another ANR show on Maggie Mae’s rooftop. MJ has clearly taken extra rockstrar pills today. These new songs sound like hits. Blistering. Amazing. And funky. There is dancing. The SXSW crowds are loving this. I seen a 8ft blue Arcade Fire poster at this event. Next to it is an 8ft ANR one, in green. Omens.

ANR then play again an hour later at the Neon Gold party right next to band of the moment HAIM. The place is filled with friends, wine and vibes. I am having a great time. I know they will knock this out of the park. And they do. Win.
HAIM are all girls and they have some damn fine tunes up their sleeves. Live they come across as Dum Dum Girls territory but with better tunes and singing but on record they have a Cyndi/Fleetwood element. Weird.

I do not enter the lottery to see Springsteen. Everyone I speak to who does, wins. Let us not speak of this again.

I pop in to see FANFARLO and they are just the ticket. Soothing tunes. Soon they will tour with PHILCO FICTION. Then I catch an hours nap on a bean bag. I only managed two hours last night. I am restored again.

The choice is more mayhem or a nice sitdown dinner and an early night. I choose wisely.