What you know you’ve never been is really just a shame…

I’ve been casting envious glances at the End of the Road festival line up this year, and with new acts added daily it seems (latest being Phosphorescent), my Green Man ticket with its implicit promise of rain has at times looked a little thin this week…I know, I know, it’s all about the people really, and I’ll certainly have a good time, but Green Man’s line up of established bands does look a bit meagre this year.

It only takes a look back at PP posts over the last year to remind me, however, that GM is really all about the bands you will be getting into next year; and with no Flaming Lips or Wilco to be distracted by I can concentrate on new stuff. I remember, last Autumn, enthusing about a whole string of bands on these pages that it turned out I’d missed that August, whilst my gaze was otherwise diverted.

With these and other heartening words ringing in my ears, I’ve been stepping up my GM homework, and with the aid of (the similarly unfairly maligned) emusic I’ve been hoovering up some new stuff, and making some new friends that I hope to see this summer. Recently, the Turtles-y Treefight for Sunlight are making their way onto my list of wanna-sees, alongside Bleeding heart Narrative, H Hawkline, Y Niwl, the Low Anthem the Antlers and all the obvious stuff.

Elbowing all aside, however, are this lot…

Suuns

I’m getting fed up of silly names and daft spellings to be honest, but that aside Suuns are sitting pretty atop my list right now. I’ve bought their record, Zeroes QC (apparently they used to be called Zeroes) and it’s a really interesting, odd release, full of prancing rhythms, metallic drones and garage punk leanings. At times they sound like Clinic, and others Holy Fuck and Neu.

Lyrically, they’re pretty hard to follow, sometimes appearing to sing nonsense and others so muffled as to wonder what language they’re speaking at all. To be honest the word I’d want to use about their manner would be “alien” if it didn’t conjure all sorts of silly Bowie / Numan-esque images of daft young men who should know better. So I won’t be doing that. Oh no.

Watch this, instead…

And if you’re still here, this…

I’ll throw away the candle…

Some illicit fumblings with a couple of portable disk drives over the summer and an esteemed colleague, meant that I acquired a whole bunch of swell recordings, some of which I’ve still not really investigated properly.

One of these was the Animal Collective record, Merriweather Post Pavilion, that people were going on about last year. I’ve tried, really I have but it still remains something of a closed book to me, just can’t find a way in…

Invariably, when I try to devote a bit of concerted effort to a “difficult” recording, my butterfly nature takes over and I end up clicking on something else. And I find myself hearing “Vegetable or Native” on Last FM.

Here We Go Magic

Wow! Light. Breezy. Easy on the ear, effortlessly produced, not terribly serious! Just what this punter ordered really.

Here We Go Magic are based in Brooklyn and are essentially, songwriter Luke Temple and a bunch of friends brought into animate the sounds of his expansive imagination. I’ve just bought his second major album, Pigeons, and it’s choc full of light, busy rhythms, frantic bass lines and dancing keyboard pieces – it reminds me a lot of some of the Of Montreal records.

The irony is that, having spent some time wading through the Pitchfork review of Merriweather Post Pavilion, it seems to me that a lot of the signature phrases applied to Animal Collective (“booming electro-pop”; “head in the clouds dreaminess”; “long wisps of West Coast harmony”;”harmonic development existing outside rigid formats” – a personal favourite), could just as well be applied to large parts of Pigeons.

Have a listen to them performing “Surprise” and “Collector” on KCRW radio (makes you glad to be alive). The whole set is available to listen to on the KCRW site.

“Collector” and “Casual” from the record are available from Secretly Canadian as free downloads, and the whole album’s available on the these days sadly diminished but still magnificent Emusic, here

[btw, I haven’t quite given up on Animal Collective and shall be renewing my MPP studies as soon as I can get Pigeons off the iPod…]