Thursday, January 26, 2006

Counterfeit Week 5

Halfway through the Counterfeit block on SYN FM and wow, its going so fast! Guess it's cos we're having so much fun. This week on the show we featured an interview that we had with up-coming Californian band Dirty Little Secret. We spoke to the bass player James Bairian, who was more than happy to reveal all of his secrets. Speaking from a mobile phone as he was riding along the beach on his Harley, James talked to us about the production of the band self-titled EP and forthcoming album, his drawn out views on the music industry, and getting a spot on popular TV shows. James was extremely pleasing to chat to, by far the most fun interview we've had so far, and we wish his band all the best in the future.

On the Counterfeit Mix Tape this week we had some fun with Guilty Pleasures. Whether it was a band that the music press has deemed unpopular (Razorlight), a band with cheesy lyrics and synths (The Bravery) or 80s cornball dance and romance (Aha and Yaz) we had it all going in the CD player this week. The disco lights in SYN studios also got a bit of use too.

Thanks a bunch to Greer, our special guest this week who DJ-ed some of her favourite songs on her trusty I-pod! Go technology! We had heaps of fun with you Greer, it's always a pleasure to have you on air.

Playlist for Monday 23rd January
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Get Ready for Love
Blur - Beetlebum
My Morning Jacket - Wordless Chorus
Beck - Heaven Hammer (Missing remixed by Air)
Phantom Planet - First things First
Kelley Stoltz - Prank Calls
The Knife - Heartbeats
Dirty Little Secret - Gune Gun Guns
Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
The Fakrays - You're not a Star
Broadcast - Blackcat
Wolf Parade - Grounds for Divorce
Aha - Take on Me
Yaz - Only You
The Bravery - Honest Mistake
Razorlight - Golden Touch
Talking Heads - Psycho Killer
Dirty Little Secret - So Long
Architecture in Helsinki - Do the Whirlwind
Youth Group - Lillian Lies
Calexico and Iron and Wine - He lays in the Reins
Gang of Four - No Great Men

Coming up: Gush about the Big Day Out, Kings of Leon interview taking place on tuesday and Carl Barat featured this Monday!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Counterfeit Week 4

Amanda and I had a great time presenting Counterfeit this week in SYN studios. This week's show featured an interview with Editors' guitarist, Chris Urbanowicz, coinciding with the placement of the single Munich in the British Top 10 charts this week. We had an interesting, if not slightly tense, chat to Chris about success on an independent label, their collaborative efforts with Elbow and the band's b-side ethic. Look out for this band when they tour Australia in May!

Talks with Chris from Editors fed into our featured Counterfeit Mix Tape: a tape of bootlegs and b-sides. Inspired by Eddie Argos' description of his little brother who just discovered rock n roll, Amanda and I explored the consequence of bootlegs and b-sides to music-lovers everywhere. We also played some great obscurities from The Arcade Fire, The Smiths and The Cure. Swoon.

For me, at least, b-sides provide some kind of insight into a band's fundamental approach to music. You know, it's the kind of music the band would produce if they knew their fans would accept almost any musical off-cut, just for obscurity's sake. In an ideal world, our favourite musicians would produce consistently great music, despite its a or b side status.. but as interesting as b-sides are, my lazy, smacked up, ridiculous musical heroes rarely match a-side quality to b-side quality. Except for The Cure's Halo. That song is sublime.

Amanda has different theories on this topic but I'll leave it to her to post a comment.. as for YOU, reader. I invite you to do the same.

Playlist for Monday 16th January
Moloko - The Time is Now
The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema
Radio 4 - Beat Around the Bush
Out Hud - It's for You
Badly Drawn Boy - Once Around the Block
Wilco - Heavy Metal Drummer
House of Love - Shine On
Editors - Bullets
Editors - You Are Fading
Art Brut - My Little Brother
Arcade Fire and David Bowie - Wake Up (live)
The Smiths - Some Girls are Bigger than Others (live)
The Cure - Halo
Daft Punk - Digital Love
Nine Inch Nails - Only
Q and not U - Tag Tag
Editors - Fingers in the Factories
Elbow - Forget Myself
The Infadels - Jagger 67
Pet Shop Boys and David Bowie - Hallo Spaceboy
Ian Brown - Fear

Coming up on Counterfeit: Next week, we talk to James from California's Dirty Little Secret. Also, look out for our interview with Big Day Out headliners, the Kings of Leon and our chat with ever-dreamy Carlos Barat, formally of The Libertines. Enough? Enough! x

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Counterfeit Week 3

The keys were in the ignition and we were ready to start this show long before we hopped into the studio on Monday night...

It was the interview that kick started the collection of Counterfeit interviews for this grid on SYN way back in August last year; the somewhat awkward chat we had face to face with David Jones from UK band The Departure. Face-to-face interviews are always slightly more confronting than phoners; you can actually see me being really nervous. And rocking up sober on a weekday morning to the Punt Hill hotel on Flinders lane felt like miles away from the drunken talks at Ding Dong convincing David to have a chat with us post Departure gig at the Corner. We were fired up for the interview, absolutely stoked that we were talking to a British band signed to Parlophone. Unfortunately, David didn't really live up to all our expectations. Perhaps it was the hangover he was nursing, perhaps it was us being slightly condescending and not as tactful in our approach, but we didn't sense a great deal of passion coming from David, instead getting the obligatory answers and a sense of him retracting whenever he got excited about his band. Nonetheless, it was an experience to note, and one I hope you all got a lot out of on the show.

This week on the Counterfeit Mix Tape were songs that are perfect to drive to. It's summer and you do a lot of driving to friends houses to get drunk before going out to party, driving to gigs, to festivals, down the beach. It can be filled with romanticism or just plain rockin fun. So we opened with the rather appropriate Cars by Gary Numan and ended with a crash thanks to Vitalic's My Friend Dario. What do you like to drive to? Post a comment and share the goodness of the mix tape.

Thanks a lot to Michael who decided to put his voice to air this week, talking about the importance of supporting local independent music. We played an Eddy Current Suppression Ring track to spread the amazing talent of this up-coming band. He'll be posting an article soon about this very topic.

And thanks to all the listeners and sms's! We had great fun. Tune in next week to hear our interview with Editors Chris Urbanowicz and more mix tape fun!

Playlist for Monday 9th January
Beck - E-Pro
Broken Social Scene - Ibi Dreams of Pavement (A Better Day)
The Brunettes - Cotton Candy
Air - Kelly, Watch the Stars
The Cure - Jumping Someone Else's Train
Stephen Malkmaus - Pencil Riot
The Strokes - Juicebox
The Departure - All Mapped Out
The Departure - Only Human
Television - See No Evil
The Kinks - Till the End of the Day
Death From Above 1979 - Blood on our Hands
Eddy Current Suppression Ring - Precious Rose
Arctic Monkeys - Red Light Indicated Doors are Locked and Secured
The Clash - Rudy Can't Fail
Gary Numan - Cars
The Smiths - There is a Light that Never Goes Out
Iggy Pop - The Passenger
The Beatles - Don't Let Me Down
Depeche Mode - Never Let Me Down Again
Vitalic - My Friend Dario
The Departure - Be My Enemy
Death Cab For Cutie - Title and Resignation

Monday, January 09, 2006

Counterfeit Week 2

So here we are..

Counterfeit this week featured a round up of our musical highlights of 2005. We celebrated the emergence of some great new bands with some equally great releases, as well as some of the most memorable shows we've seen to date. Each track of the evening represented a fantastic gig, a chance meeting, a drunken dance in the trashiest of indie clubs.. and an odd soundtrack to a great year. Here's to New Order in Hyde Park. Here's to talking to Carl Barat. Here's to musical soulmates, jesus.

Playlist for Monday 2nd January
Death Cab For Cutie - The New Year
Bloc Party - Staying Fat
The Futureheads - Hounds of Love
Le Tigre - TKO
The Dears - Who Are You, Defenders of the Universe
Bright Eyes - Lua
Arcade Fire - Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out)
Sons and Daughters - Broken Bones
Queen and David Bowie - Under Pressure
New Order - 60 Miles Per Hour
Art Brut - My Little Brother
Sigur Ros - Saeglopur
Interpol - Slow Hands
The Shins - Caring is Creepy
Sons and Daughters - Taste the Last Girl
Guster - So Long
Maximo Park - Going Missing
The Buzzcocks - Ever Fallen in Love
The Cloud Room - Hey Now Now
Tom Vek - I Aint Saying my Goodbyes
M83 - Don't Save us From the Flames
Arctic Monkeys - Fake Tales of San Francisco
Ryan Adams - Let it Ride
The Cribs - You Were Always the One

The Counterfeit Mixed-Tape of the evening featured all matters of Love and Confusion. I do know that it is nice to construct a tape, describing the most euphoric, romantic sentiments. I know that although driving around with a lovelorn chap around Salford is all well and good but it's hardly realistic. In fact, it's fairly inaccessible when you live nowhere near Manchester. It's perhaps more interesting to make a tape that is more complicated and awkward. For instance, there is a variety of songs that tend to delve into something more sinister than a romantic car ride.

Take your pick of sinister emotions here:
- jealousy, choose The Beatles - Run For Your Life
- infidelity, Interpol - NARC
- temptation, Franz Ferdinand - Tell Her Tonight
- desperation, Stone Roses - I Wanna Be Adored
- rejection, Brendan Benson - Metarie
- anything else, The Stills - Love & Death

Songs like these are rife. Negativity is rife. Complication is rife. What happened to the days where you could just listen to music and something could be as easy as two verses and a chorus? Is music becoming needlessly complicated? Is musical appreciation becoming needlessly complicated? Are relationships just stupid? Or maybe I should just stop with the rhetorical questions.

Next week's show will feature an interview with one of the biggest acts of 2005, The Departure, another Counterfeit mixed-tape for your walkmans and a few other surprises. See you, 10pm on Monday.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Interview with Sons & Daughters: Just Dance Me In

During her band's recent Australian tour, bassist Ailidh Lennon from brooding Glaswegian band, Sons and Daughters took the time to talk to Counterfeit about the influence of blues and classic Americana, duelling vocals and recording their album, The Repulsion Box. Below is a transcript from the interview which aired on Counterfeit on January 2nd 2006.

Sons & Daughters, Vogue l'Uomo Sep 2005
Genuine kids with a guilty smile: (L-R) Scott, Ailidh, Adele, Dave.

Counterfeit: It's a great pleasure to be interviewing you!

Ailidh: Aw, thank you.

C: So how are you going?

A: I'm fine, I'm a wee bit spaced out still!

C: Aw, we hope you're feeling better. So how did you guys form and were you attracted to any particular types of music at the time that may have influenced your sound?

A: Well we formed quite a while ago really cause it took quite a long time to get started, if you know what I mean. Adele was in another band with David and she kind of wanted to start her own band so she spoke to Dave about it and he said he would drum. She came back home and the two of them started writing songs in my flat. We were at a show one night and Scott was kind of doing his own solo thing and we kind of asked him to join. We all sat about talking about it cause we were all friends and we all hung about together so it was a while til we had a proper practice. Then we started playing shows in Glasgow. I mean, we were all into kind of similar music but also quite diverse music between the four of us. At the time in Glasgow there wasn't very much happening cause it was at the end of all the post-rock stuff. We just wanted to be in a band that just had short songs?

C: Yeah, the press had said that you guys were perhaps a reaction to the whole post-rock movement?

A: Well, I suppose in a way it's true. We wanted to get back to having short, traditional songs and structures, so I suppose that's the opposite to what the whole post-rock thing was about.

C: Did growing up in Glasgow have any sort of cultural effect on the band?

A: I don't know, I guess in a way Glasgow's a great city for music and you're exposed to it from an early age. There's a lot of great touring bands that go there and there's a lot of great local music. There's a lot of dark music, but I suppose Glasgow can be quite a gothic type of place? It can be really dark in the winter and a lot of Scottish literature which me and Adele are into is also quite dark.

The Sound of the Band

Counterfeit: Listening to both your mini-LP, Love the Cup and now, The Repulsion Box, at certain times there seems to be a bit of a country tinge to your music especially with songs like Johnny Cash. I'm just wondering how this came about because it seems a bit far removed from what might have been happening in Scotland.

Ailidh: Well we're all really quite big fans of Smog, Palace and that kind of Americana stuff, but also we're kind of into American folk music as well. At the time we were also quite into Johnny Cash as well so I suppose that was an influence as well. It's hard to say because we were more slower and introverted at the start and we had the song. One day we just sped it up and added that scuffle kind of drum beat. We were just like, yeah this is what we want to sound like.

C: Well you play mandolin and bass in the group. What does a mandolin bring to an indie group, particularly with this blues influence?

A: Well the mandolin is usually quite a pretty instrument and when it's on it's own it sounds quite pretty.. but with the kind of music we play, I think it adds a bit of a sinister edge. We didn't intentionally start using a mandolin, like I never learnt to play a mandolin. I just got one for my birthday one year and I brought it in to practice one time and we started messing around with it. I guess we really liked the different range it brought us.

C: Is it harder to incorporate it into songs?

A: Yeah, in a way it is. Cause there's a traditional way of playing it that I never really learnt how to do so it's hard to play things on it that don't sound like an old country record! But I suppose that's also quite a good thing because you have to be more inventive?

C: Yeah, it really brings a unique element to the band. I also really like the duel vocals that Adele and Scott share on the record. I think it's effective, that contrast of a guy and a girl's voice. So how did that idea of having a guy and a girl's voice come about and do you think they share a good chemistry?

A: Well, yeah they definitely do. When it started, it was just going to be Adele singing and Scott would sing backing vocals but it just got more "equal" I suppose. I mean, Adele's always been interested in the male singer/songwriter that has female backing vocals and so she thought it would be quite interesting to reverse it. They just sing what they write but it's just been kind of a natural thing.. and a more interesting thing too.

C: Oh it definitely is. I really enjoy it, particularly in Taste the Last Girl, I think the track worked really well with Scott's vocals rolling in the background, during the chorus. *general clamor and agreement* Was it very hard to strike a balance between the two? Is there a general assumption that Adele is the main lead vocalist?

A: Well, that was the way at the start, because we all had to assume a role before we started rehersing. We just kind of sat about and talked about it for a long time before we started playing, so it would be the Adele would sing, I would play the bass, Scott would play the guitar and Dave would play drums. But as we developed as a band, everyone took on slightly different roles. We weren't sitting around, then, figuring out who was doing what, it just happened. Like when we're writing songs, if someone has a particular idea to do something, we just start doing it and so it's a pretty natural process.

C: So it's not a territorial thing! You don't have people fighting over the vocals - NO! It's MY vocal line! Get away!

A: Haha! No, it's very democratic.


Counterfeit: So did you approach the recording of your latest record, The Repulsion Box and your mini-LP, Love the Cup any differently?

Ailidh: Yeah, it was quite a bit different. I mean, with Love the Cup, we weren't signed or anything. We had got a grant from the Scottish Arts Council to record so we had really limited funds and really limited time and that was in a small studio near Glasgow. So we had like, four days to record and two days to mix it. So we set up everything as quickly as we possibly could and played through everything we could live - and that's why it's so short as well! But when we came to The Repulsion Box, we had more of a budget to spend so we had two weeks to record and maybe ten days to mix it. We actually went to Germany to record in a residential studio in the country and we got to have producers.. I mean, we approached in a similar way because we recorded it mostly live, but we had more time to spend and experiment with techniques and also time to write in the studio as well. It seemed like a total luxury in contrast. I know by a lot of people's standards, two weeks seems kind of short!

C: Yeah! Some bands take YEARS to record a record!

A: But for us it was a total luxury for us to have that sort of time to spend on it.

C: You said the album was recorded mostly live, do you prefer that live process as opposed to the whole digital thing now?

A: Well, a part of the reason that we decided to record the album mostly live was because we felt that Love the Cup was a bit of a restrained record and it didn't really represent how we were live. So we tried to make The Repulsion Box a truer representation of how we are live so that was the reason we tried to make it sound as live as possible.. but maybe it might be a good idea to approach our next record in a different way so we won't produce the same kind of sound. It really just suited what we wanted at the time. But it is good to be open and use proper analog desks and put on digital effects that make it sound like you're playing a big room!

C: Well me and Elle are quite a big fan of the whole analog process anyway! *giggles like nerds*

Performing Live

Counterfeit: Your live shows have been described as being quite intense and extremely energetic, how does the band feed off eachother on stage and produce such a sound?

Ailidh: I think Adele and Scott feed off eachother quite a lot, I've only just started to get a wee more animated on stage! *giggles* But Adele and Scott are really the focal points of the performance and they really interact quite well on stage and everything. I just generally look at Dave *we all laugh*

C: Is that hard? Because before you were talking about how all of you were quite introverted kind of people.

A: Well, at the start, kind of the first six months to a year that we were playing shows just around Glasgow, we were really quite new to it and quite nervous.. but I don't think we're really quite as introverted as people.

C: Well, you're playing Meredith soon, as I mentioned at the start so that brings the question, do prefer to play at festivals more that intimate pub gigs?

A: I think generally I would say no. I mean, there have been some festivals that have been great but it kind of really depends on the festival. Cause in the UK there's a lot of festivals that are just like carbon copies of eachother and they're just being corporate conveyor belts of bands, y'know? There's nothing particularly special about it. But we've played a lot of festivals in Europe and also Glastonbury in the UK which have been quite different sort of festivals with different surroundings. I can kind of imagine that Meredith would be much like that.

C: Ah, well it's out in the middle of the bush and it's in this natural sort of ampitheatre. The festival really prides itself on having very diverse acts so hopefully you'll enjoy it!

A: Well I've been looking at the website and it looks like it'll be one of the ones we'll really enjoy playing. We're really looking forward to it!

C: We hope so. Thanks for talking to us today!

A: Thank you!

Sons and Daughters - Dance Me In

Sons and Daughters - Johnny Cash

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Rock band, fashion brand

I've just discovered a an article from Melbourne's The Age on the tragic fashion trend that is the designer band shirt. The story is called Rock Band, Fashion Brand and predictably explains the horrible downfall of the iconic merchandise tshirt into supposed hot clothing item. The Ramones have now apparently sold more T-shirts than records.

An interesting excerpt:

Not so long ago, band T-shirts were only available at specialist music stores and exclusively worn by die-hard fans. Invariably, they came in black and a men’s size XL. Now, the band T-shirt has been reworked into tight little tees and tank tops that come in all colours: pink, yellow, white. Chartreuse.

Arturo Vega has been the Ramones’ creative director since the band formed, and he's now in charge of their licensing. Says Vega: "it’s unfortunate that the people buying the shirt don’t know the band. It’s sad for the Ramones.” Wouldn't want to tarnish their legacy of course - among items he’s licensed are pillowcases, shot glasses and shoes, which the band surely enthusiastically endorsed when they were together (and, mostly, alive.)

It's a sad situation all round when those who want what can only be described as a quick buck are willing to market a slice of portable, no-strings-attached nostalgia to people who don't know any better.

- Ryan

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Counterfeit Week 1

Well first week into Counterfeit on SYN and things went very smoothly indeed. I had an awesome time and it was great to be back in the studio, particularly with my musical soulmate, the lovely Elle. It was very refreshing to finally do a radio show with someone who shares the same taste and passion in music as I do. So get ready for another 7 weeks of this guys, we hope you all enjoyed it.

Apart from some really good quality tunes, me and Elle introduced what will become a weekly segment called 'mix tape'. We are encorporating our love of receiving and making mix tapes into the show by having a mix tape theme each week and playing a few songs under that theme which would be included if such a tape was made. This week was approriately themed the Christmas mix. You would be surprised how many indie bands get into the Christmas spirit. We played Sufjan Stevens 'Come On! Let's Boogey to the Elf Dance', Death Cab For Cutie's 'Christmas (baby please come home) and The Raveonettes 'Christmas Song'. Here's some links to Christmas mix tapes on various blogs and if you guys have any suggestions for future mix tape themes and song please don't hesitate to post!!

Tune in this Monday to hear our interview with Scottish band Sons and Daughters. Me and Elle spoke to Ailidh Lennon, the bass player for the band. We chatted about Meredith, the roots of the band and the recording of the latest record The Repulsion Box. The show will also be themed the best of 2005, month by month, so tune in and sms us your best of's.

Playlist Monday 26th December 2005:

The Strokes - Vision of Division
The Rakes - Terror (Extended mix)
Clap your Hands say Yeah - The SKin of my Yellow Country Teeth
The Libertines - Good Old Days
Wolf Parade - Shine a Light
Suede - Drowners
Cut Copy - Zap Zap
The Presets - Are you the one?
The Faint - Psycho Killer (live)
Depeche Mode - Here is the House
Sons and Daughters - Dance me In
Black Box Recorder - Kidnapping an Heiress
Les Savy Fav - Yawn, Yawn, Yawn
Sufjan Stevens - Come on! Let's Boogey to the Elf Dance
Death Cab For Cutie - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
The Raveonettes - The Christmas Song
Phoenix - If I Ever Feel better
Datarock - Fa-Fa-Fa
Bloc Party - Helicopter Allen Breakneck mix)
Annie - Chewing Gum
The Rapture - House of Jealous Lovers
Expatriote - The Spaces Between
The Smiths - Handsome Devil