I opened up a Blunt Magazine the other day. Volume 5, Number 4. Circa 2002. Inside was an open letter to the public from a band called Sideshow. The letter starts with a complaint: “This is the plight of the South African band. No matter how many people you have behind you, no matter what label you are managed by, no matter who or what is on your side or in your favour, you are basically fucked.”And bravely ends with: “But we are going to do this until we die.” What I’m trying to bring your attention to is not the reason of the complaint, but the way it is weighed up against the ending statement “until we die.” Many bands have said something similar. Naive? Definitely. Over time the difficulties of our trade can become unbearable and many have quit as a result. But let’s commend them and not treat them indifferent. We know that the music industry isn’t easy and will suffer casualties.On that note, it is sad news that drummer Art Pereira (COAL, Three More White Guys, Andy Lund and V.O.L) who has been playing for fourteen years, has called it quits. “I have decided to put down my drumsticks, pack my kit away and leave the music scene altogether. I have come to this position and I hope nobody else does.”As a consequence, V.O.L has ended as well, after seven years of making bodies collide in sweaty mosh-pits. Pereira and V.O.L. will have one last gig in December. Farewell friends.
William Tempest Bishop
On a brighter side, William Tempest Bishop (Fuzigish, Architecture of Aggression) has started a solo project, Gone Our Division (G.O.D). The single Wipe Those Tears is written for every soldier who has died in battle and is a celebration of changing times, a call to end war and poverty. The video features several famous war scenes from War World 2 and also the rebel who halted in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square in 1989. The sound bears no resemblance to his previous projects and is one of the best songs released this year.Go to www.wearegod.co.za for more info.
In other news, The Plastics are shooting the first music video from their critically acclaimed album Shark, produced by Gordon Raphael. The single Caves will be shot by the Academy Award nominated Marcos brothers. The four piece are also writing and recording a soundtrack for a movie called Monkey’s Wedding written and directed by Richard Finn Gregory. The movie is set in Cape Town and portrays the indie music scene.
The Wild Eyes
[checkout jezebel’s VPL on Pg. 16 with the band’s Nikhil Singh] are currently in studio working on new material which is more electro. The single Vampire Radio features drum pads and otherworldly sounds all done on a Korg. The new album was briefly called Swastique but has yet to receive a new name [thankfully, Ed]. A launch has yet to be confirmed.
Other bands also planning to release albums soon are: MacGyver Knife who are currently recording/mixing and mastering their album for release next year.
Ice Project who will be flying to Cape Town to work with legendary Theo Crous.
Taxi Violence are planning an acoustic album due for release in April 2011. The album will consist mostly of their older material and two new songs. And unbelievably, Blink 182. In a recent interview Tom Delonge explained: “The famous painter named Jackson Pollock would spray the canvas with paint. And they would describe that as a recording of an actual event. Well we’re going to do that with our new record but we’re going to have sex with each other. ” It’s good, and bad, to know things haven’t changed.
90’s indie synth pop band Pulp have reformed, their website is adorned with questions: “Could this be for real?”; “Is this a collective mid-life crises?”; “Do you remember the first time?”. The band plan to perform at Hyde Park next year. Let’s hope they come to South Africa.
Frankie Fire are currently working on a video for their song Melody. Shot in a forest, it sees Heinrich Pelser dressed up as a rabbit. Despite rain hindering the production schedule, it sounds like fun. See them live on 10 December at ‘The Just Plain Christmas Up North – Down South Party’ taking place at Menlyn Piazza. The entrance fee is tinned food or a toy that will go to charity. Also headlining will be aKing and Die Heuwels Fantasties.
LIVE AND DIRECT
Last month at Zula, Cape Audio College presented Live and Direct, a showcase of their students and a line-up of bands affiliated with the college. The night saw a great mix of genres from far out Francis Baines; electro-screamo outfit Olinosterfant; The Rudimentals; The Little Kings; hip hop act Ill Skillz and one of Cape Town’s pioneering DJ’s and producers, Fletcher. With a JBL VRX900 system and a whole bunch of outboard processing gear as well as amazing monitoring solutions sponsored by Wild & Marr, it was great for students who came through and helped out, especially for the first years who got the chance to mix in such a packed live venue.
Lou Reed has premiered his 28 minute film about his 102 year old cousin Shirley Novick. Red Shirley sees Novick recalling tales of fleeing the Nazi’s. The film also includes a soundtrack by Reed’s Metal Machine Trio.
Looking for new music? Here’s a list:
Suicide, electronic protopunk two-piece from 1970’s America. An extremely hard band to get your hands on. But it’s worth the effort. Go to YouTube checkhttp://www.punk77.co.uk/groups/suicide.htm for a brief history on the band.
Us Kids Know is a shoe-gazing band from Johannesburg. Listen to Fractions on their Facebook page.
John Manuel is a singer song writer from Durban and has been described as a funkier Jack Johnson. He’s known for his versatile finger picking which he has been mastering over the last ten years. Earlier this year he released his first album Lost and Found, signed to Musketeer Records and opened for Wrestlerish at Old Mutual Music at The Lake. For more info go to his Facebook page or check out our album review on Pg. 36.
Written By : Johann Smith