Bands. Bands. Bands.

If you want to appear hip and ‘down with the kids’ (no, not like that Mr Glitter) here are some great bands that I’ve seen recently that you can casually drop into the conversation. Go on. impress your friends with ‘obscure music related knowledge.’ Scoff when they mention Lady GaGa, Glasvegas and Ladyhawke.

THIS is what you should be listening to.

Asobi Seksu. First album way better than third. Second middling to fair. Absolutely amazing live though.

Woodpigeon. Lovely.

The Miserable Rich. Nice.

The Crystal Stilts. Ok they sound like Jesus and the Mary Chain but still. What’s not to love?

Titus Andronicus. New Wave never went away.

Fanfarlo. Utterly, utterly beautiful.

Apricot. Japanese and madder than a bag of cats.

Fight Like Apes. Feisty and fun.

The Joy Formidible. Stompy, intense and great live.

Go out. See them. Bore your friends.

Celebrity Death Sweep 2009

Cheeeeeeese

Cheeeeeeese

Ok. We all have our guilty pleasures. I know it’s wrong but it wasn’t me who set it up. I only joined in. And without wanting to sound like someone at the Nuremburg trials, I was only following orders (from my friends.)

If you’re not familir with the concept of Celebrity Death Sweep, it’s basically a prediction on what celebrity/famous name/elder statesman will drop dead next. Our rules are three names each and no duplication across the list – which lead to much debate over who got Fidel Castro – and the winner gets pints for them by all the losers. First predicted person to drop dead wins. Simple.

I thought I was on to a winner(s) with Margaret Thatcher, Norman Wisdom and Lesley Phillips but no, somebody else won with Wendy Richards.

Now, the whole point of this post is to highlight the fact that maybe if someone is diagnosed as being terminally ill, maybe they shouldn’t be included in the list. I mean it makes a mockery of the ethos of this fledgling sport. It’s like starting out as an ambulance chaser, but then moving on to pushing people into the road just so you can get the ambulance to arrive. Or something.

I want an inquiry. I want free pints. I want Celebrity Death Sweep 2009 to continue.

Filling in the AZX blanks

Got em all. Except for the WoodWood (top middle)

Got 'em all. Except for the WoodWood (top middle)

It’s getting a bit ridiculous. But the adidas AZX release is possibly the greatest and most comprehensive collab ever. If only they’d used the Hindi alphabet (58 letters) we’d still be looking forward to many more releases. At last count, I managed to get 10 of them. So I’ve got (A)CUs (D)QMs (F)ootpartrols (G)oodfoots (O)riginals (P)atta (S)neakersnstuff Crooked (T)ongues (U)ndefeated (V)A. Of course, I tried and failed to get the ZX pair but to be honest, you’d have more chance of finding a genuine pair of Pigeons on ebay.

The one very major disappointment however, was the Y for You version. I don’t know if you’ve seen it but boy is it dull. I’m not even going to show it here it’s that bad. But I can describe them in less than 10 words.

White. With black Barcelona skyline. Impossibly dull.

It’s a bit like ripping open that big Christmas present underneath the tree only to find that it’s not in fact an adidas 35 Anniversary Hamper but a wicker basket covered ceramic plant pot. That was a terrible year.

Sneaker Freaker: Battle of the Bands

Blah. Blah. Blah.

Blah. Blah. Blah.

Hey, Y’all! I’m always out seeing gigs and new bands. And over the course of a year I tend to see an absolute shed-load of stuff. But for a long time something has been troubling me.

So far so what?

Just what is it about the indie uniform that means you can’t wear anything other than Converse All Stars or – if you’re really controversial – Converse One Stars?

Ok, I get that it’s a ‘uniform’ and that you can just pop into Urban Outfitters or American Apparel and ask for the Indie Boy or Indie Girl pack and that’s your look sorted. Oh and don’t get me started on those big glasses with clear lenses. I mean really. Really!?

But even a little innovation in the sneaker department would be appreciated. So you can imagine my surprise when I went to see a band called The Coast on Wednesday night – supported by the excellent Over the Wall and the not so excellent I Saw Lights – and some members of the band were sporting a pair of Reebok Freestyles, (I know, I know) but also a pair of adidas Roms. And no, they weren’t the doctored Life Aquatic ones. That would’ve been too much. But it was refreshing to see a band that wore something different on their feet. And that’s the story of the band with something interesting on their feet. I can’t be interesting all the time.

New Year. New Music.

Oh look at the pretty lights

Oh look at the pretty lights

Just a very quick post to mention three diverse but equally great bands I saw at the weekend. All in a great little venue that had about 24 people in it. Could be the Sex Pistols moment everyone waits for? You never know.

First up were a new band called Schnappes. (Their spelling not mine). Only their fouth show, the music could be variously described as Wonky Tonk, Twonk or Tonky Wonk but I woulnd’t know what any of that would mean. They were, however, bloody brilliant.

Add Lord Auch to the mix and we have a nice little night beginning to take shape. Describing themselves as “paranoid pop” they were a little bit dark, a little bit scary and a little but fun. All in a really going for it kinda way. Lots of energy and a very tight set. Nice.

Finally, a band called the Brute Chorus headlined. They were great too. But are moustaches really back in? Really?!

Oh and this isn’t the venue. I just like the pretty colours.

Something a bit different

Puddle Splashing Ahoy!

Puddle Splashing Ahoy!

Well it  is for me anyway. I’ve been looking to buy a festival/occasional mountain biking/horrific weather/going to visit ruins type sneaker for a while now. I had some old Gore-Tex clumpy boots that I bought in New York but they weren’t really the kind of thing to wear out on the street. Although they are very good for snow-wear.

Anyhoo, I give you the Nike Wildedge GTX ACG. Got these from the lovely fellows at SneakersandStuff in Sweden and I believe they are part of a Japan only release. Not sure if I believe that though. They are however everything I need from a f/omb/hf/gtvrts. Waterproof. Light. Comfortable. But they look great too.

The fit is a little bit strange but once you get your foot into it, it’s does everything the fabulous ACG is famous for.

AZX – Pricey but Nice(y)

ZX800 Footpatrol. They put the F in AZX

ZX800 Footpatrol. They put the F in AZX

As I mentioned in my last post, the AZX’s were my favourite release of 2008. Here are my second favourite (at today’s opinion) from that pack.

I’ve not worn these yet and it’s a shame that Foot Patrol are no more – although there is a rumour that they will resurrected this year. But more on that later. Love the twist on the original colourway of the ZX8000 but applied to the ZX800 and also the allover 3M material to really catch the eye. Picked these up at Limited Editions in Barcelona and they were the second last pair in the store. Lovely people in both locations of that particular sneaker emporium and they couldn’t have been more helpful.

Looking for particular sneaker stores is also a great way to explore any city, and as long as you keep telling yourself that, you’ll be fine.