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25 December 2005

in the bleak midwinter

Current listening: Bright Eyes - Christmas album


everyone else is asleep. i've had the best christmas ever.


goodnight and happy christmas



14 December 2005

i don't need adventure

Current listening: Au Revoir Simone – Verses of comfort, assurance and salvation

and now it’s december. nearly christmas. nearly the end of another year. and i haven’t written anything for a while. and i kept meaning to, but i couldn’t find the time and then i moved house and i haven’t set up my computer in my new house yet. so i’m typing this on pete’s laptop in the studio, while pete’s trying to mix one of the new b sides we’ve been recording. the last time i wrote anything it was the end of october, and then november came and just sort of went. and now it’s december. nearly christmas. nearly the end of another year. anyway, november went something like this.

we recorded two new b sides for the ‘be gentle with me’ single, which comes out at the end of february. one of them is a cover version of the Field Mice song ‘between hello and goodbye’, which we’d already recorded a version of for an acoustic session earlier this year. it’s one of my favourite songs ever. and the other song is a new one we’ve written called ‘when i grow up i want to be a boy again’. and i think they both sound nice. one of them will be on the back of the seven inch and the other one will be on the cd. and this week i’ve been trying to sort out the cover for the single. at the moment it’s a drawing of two puppets, which kind of ties in with the video. we filmed the video last tuesday in some woods near pinewood studios in buckinghamshire. a weird day spent hanging from a crane and pretending to be a puppet, and being in pain. and nearly catching hypothermia. although i’m not sure if hypothermia is something you catch. but it’s all my own fault anyway, because pete wanted to go to california to film the video and i wanted to film it in this country. and we had some half human sized puppets made of the characters from the sleeve, which looked amazing. i joked in september that i wanted the creators of the children’s tv programme Button Moon to make the video, and then when it came to make it it turned out that the people who made our puppets had actually made Mrs Spoon from Button Moon. i guess you’ve got to be careful what you wish for sometimes. anyway, the video looked good when we saw it last week. it was directed by Ed Holdsworth, who’s done videos for Four Tet and Radiohead before us, and i really liked the treatment he sent over. because it was set in the countryside and it had the characters as puppets. and i’ve always thought there’s something a bit sad and unsettling about puppets. especially when they come to life. and pete plays the part of the puppeteer in the video, pulling my strings and making me do things i don’t want to do. and i won’t write any more about the video because it’ll ruin it.

we recorded a version of ‘little donkey’ too. and it’s going to be available as a christmas present download from our website from this week, and then as a limited edition cd given away free on christmas eve in the two rough trade shops in london. and we made a little computer game to go with it, called ‘pin the tail on the little donkey’, which me and pete were playing this morning and finding incredibly easy before we realised we were forgetting to close our eyes. then once we’d closed our eyes it became quite difficult. and that’s available to download from our website too. fun.

and we recorded two radio sessions in november as well. one for the Dermot O Leary show on radio two and one for the Tim Lovejoy show on virgin radio. i haven’t listened back to the virgin one yet. too embarrassing. but i listened to the Dermot O Leary one yesterday for the first time thanks to a link someone sent me on the internet. we did the same two songs on both shows. an acoustic version of ‘hugging my grudge’ with Amanda Applewood and Bish, and a cover version of ‘faith’ by George Michael. i’m not really sure why we decided to play ‘faith’ in the end, we were just trying different things out and that one sounded the most like a boy least likely to song. we had wanted to do a version of ‘geno’, but it sounded rubbish when we tried it so we didn’t. it’s always difficult with cover versions, because the songs i want to cover are always too hard for me to sing, or the people at the radio stations haven’t heard of the song and they always want us to do one they know. but i think it sounded okay.

and it’s almost the end of the year so i’ve started to put together some lists. of favourite things.

in the end, my favourite album of the year was ‘late registration’ by Kanye West. i liked lots of other albums too, but it always seems like there’s one album every year that i keep coming back to and putting on again and again, even when i’ve got other things to listen to that i haven’t listened to all the way through yet. last year it was ‘milk eyed mender’ by Joanna Newsom, and this year it’s been the Kanye West album. why only this morning i was…

my other favourite album of this last year was ‘the glasgow school’ Orange Juice compilation. but that doesn’t really count as a new album. and other favourites. um, the new Saint Etienne album. the Chalets album. the Eugene Kelly album, especially the song ‘older faster’. the Smoosh album. i like that. ‘cripple crow’ by Devendra Banhart. and ‘kidnapped by neptune’ by Scout Niblett if that came out this year. which i think it did. and at the moment i’m listening to a mini album by Au Revoir Simone that i read a review of in good for nothing last week, and it’s a really lovely little bit of indie-poptronica. not sure if that’s a genre yet, but that seems to describe it best.

um, favourite book. probably Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis. i really really enjoyed that. i think it’s the second best book he’s written after American Psycho. and anything by Haruki Murakami, which has taken up the rest of my reading time this year. oh, and i was really enjoying a book called the Grasmere Journals by Dorothy Wordsworth that i got out of the library. but then i had to take it back before i’d finished it, because i was moving house.

and now i’m going to listen to what peter has been doing with the b side. but i’ll try and write again before christmas. no promises this time though. tomorrow night we’re playing an end of year show with the rough trade album club at the luminaire in Kilburn, which i’m actually looking forward to for once. so maybe i’ll write about that.