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26 September 2008

it's your little red wagon and you've got to pull it

i picked up the new j-lew album this week. by which i mean i went to the shops and bought a copy of the new album by jenny lewis on monday, just in case anyone wasn't familiar with her j-lo and li-lo style nickname.

i've given the album three or four listens, and i quite like it. i absolutely loved the first album, i think it was my second favourite of the year when it came out, but i haven't warmed to this new one as quickly. the production is a lot more grand, but it feels a little bit cold. it sounds more like a rilo kiley record. and i guess i liked rabbit fur coat because it didn't. not that i don't like rilo kiley, i do. but j-lew seemed more comfortable and natural doing country, and it seemed to suit the personal nature of the songs. my favourite song on acid tongue is the title track, probably because it could have fitted quite happily on rabbit fur coat. maybe it's something to do with the lyrical themes of this record, j-lew doesn't seem to cast herself in these new songs as much as she did in rabbit fur coat. it kind of reminds me of 'cassadaga' by bright eyes in that way, and also because the production seems a little bit more classic and refined. and weirdly, it was the album before 'cassadaga', 'i'm wide awake it's morning', when bright eyes seemed to have finally found a comfortable place for his songs and his subjects too. and then it was only really 'lime tree' off 'cassadaga' that carried it on. maybe i just want everything to stay the same and nothing to ever change or move on, and maybe it just didn't move in the direction i wanted it to, and it isn't up to me which direction someone takes their songs. but i wish acid tongue was more like rabbit fur coat, because i was so excited about it coming out. saying all that, i love 'carpetbaggers' and 'see fernando' off the new j-lew album. i just wish it was full of songs like that. perhaps i'll make it into a little ep on my ipod.

and perhaps it should be spelt j-loo not j-lew just because it looks nicer, but i suppose she would have to spell her name jenny loowis for that to make sense.


17 September 2008

although we've come to the end of the road

"the moment a little boy is concerned with which is a jay and which is a sparrow, he can no longer see the birds
or hear them sing."
- eric berne

i went to the end of the road festival at the weekend. i stopped at fleet services on the way down. great services. it must have rained on the friday, because when i turned up at the festival on saturday there wasn't much grass left. there was just a lot of mud. i didn't really see many bands while i was there, but i had a lovely time. i went to see let's wrestle in the big top tent. i'd been really excited about seeing them all week. i remember reading the description of them on the rough trade shop website a while ago and it said that "let's wrestle are the most miserable and hateful band in north london" and that their songs were written "at the back of wpg's garden in his wooden pub", and that was enough for me. i love the mini album they did and the 'let's wrestle' single is definitely my favourite single of the year. anyway, i really enjoyed their set at the end of the road. it was brilliant and funny and slightly shambolic. and i think joe reddington came on to deliver a beer to mike lightning during the set. which makes me think that joe reddington is also joe the roadie, the unofficial fourth member that's mentioned on the stolen recordings website. not that i'm obsessed or anything, it's just exciting that there's a band i actually like.

i only saw bits of other things. nothing else i saw seemed to hold my attention for very long. i missed absentee because i had to stop in sixpenny handley, which was annoying. i stopped around for a bit to watch mercury rev but jonathan donahue seemed to be sitting on a stool, and i wasn't in the mood for watching someone sitting down to sing. i was quite a long way away from the stage though, so he might not have been sitting down at all. and i went to hear some ghost stories at midnight, but they weren't at all scary.

and there was a weird moment at the poster stall when a woman accused me of stealing her can of strongbow, and even though i was certain that i'd walked in there with it, she was so convincing that in the end she persuaded me that it actually was hers and i let her take it off me. and then she came back two minutes later and gave me the can back saying that she'd been mistaken and that her boyfriend had told her she'd actually been drinking beer from a plastic cup all afternoon. it's obviously very easy to convince me that my drinks aren't mine.

we haven't really done much since i last wrote anything. we played one show for the fistful of fandango mini indoor festival. we only had half an hour so it was a bit of a squeeze trying to get all the songs we wanted to play in. i wish we'd had a bit longer. i can't wait til we start doing our own shows again and we can play for two or three hours. i went a bit mental in 'when life gives me lemons i make lemonade' and i got all the clapping parts wrong at the end of the choruses, and then i started uncontrollably yelping and whooping at inappropriate moments. i hope no one noticed.

and then for the rest of the month i've just been sitting around watching tennessee williams films and listening to crass. we can't really do anything else. my life at the moment reminds me of the end of the film baby doll when baby doll says to aunt rose "well, we got nothing to do but wait for tomorrow and see if we're remembered or forgotten."