A while ago, I penned a fairly angry response to something circulating on the internet – the 21 Habits of Happy People. It pissed me off beyond belief, that there was an inference that if you weren’t Happy, you simply weren’t doing the right things.
I’ve had depression for as long as I can…
Fresh off their recent tour of Australia as part of the Groovin’ The Moo festival the guys from Frightened Rabbit are heading back home for a well deserved month off after playing a whole heap of shows and releasing a pretty bloody amazing record in the shape of Pedestrian Verse.
Frightened Rabbit SXSW 2013 on Flickr.
favorite SXSW 2013 photo #3
PAWS at Valhalla SXSW 2013 on Flickr.
favorite SXSW 2013 photo #2
Phillip & Josh
Two Cow Garage SXSW 2013 on Flickr.
favorite SXSW 2013 photo #1
Two Cow Garage
Maculate Conceptions Volume 2
Being in a pretty successful band means it’s likely that you don’t have a lot of free time. But with some of the time you do have, what do you do while being transported from city to city and/or country to country..take up a strange hobby? Re-learn Cat’s Cradle? Purchase massive quantities of Sudoku books at newspaper stands?* Or do you create unique soundscapes?
Well that’s what Francis Macdonald has done.
Francis is the brains behind the beat in the melodic Scottish pop musical outfit, Teenage Fanclub. In 2010, they toured the world in support of their record Shadows, first gracing the USA, then Asia, and Europe. Inspired by his travels during the last leg of the Fanclub tour thru Europe, Francis crafted music using his Macbook and the Garageband application. Maculate Conceptions is a stunning two-parter, this being the second and final part.
Each track maintains its individuality, based on the city or town Francis was inspired by. One great example from Maculate Conceptions Volume 2 is the track “Weissenhauser”. The drums and fuzzed-out bassline drive you through the three minute and two seconds and it sets the tone for the rest of the album. There are moments of unbridled energy, smooth chill-outs, and just a constant sense of being mobile, being in motion. When I close my eyes as I listen, I can imagine being on a packed Eurostar carriage with telephone towers, smoggy cityscapes and rolling hills blurring by. Maculate Conceptions is certainly one of those records that can melt right into you.
You can preview and download Maculate Conceptions Volume 2 on Francis’ Bandcamp site. Volume One is also available for preview and purchase.
*Maybe he does in fact dabble in Cat’s Cradle and Sudoku, but I’ve yet to ask him.
While he plays drums for one of the greatest bands in the world, Francis Macdonald also manages loads of other incredibly talented bands; Camera Obscura, Attic Lights, and The Vaselines. He is an overseer of Shoeshine Records. In his career he has worked with a wide range of musicians: BMX Bandits, Alex Chilton (Big Star), Chip Taylor, Robert Forster (Go-Betweens), Kate Rusby, Belle & Sebastian, Dan Penn, Kevin Ayers (Soft Machine), and Ian McCulloch (Echo & the Bunnymen).
Michael Stipe (R.E.M.) Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub), Mitch Easter (Let’s Active), Ira Kaplan (Yo La Tengo), Tift Merritt, Mike Mills (R.E.M.), Will Rigby (the dB’s), Matthew Sweet, Chris Stamey (the dB’s), Jody Stephens (Big Star) and will be joined by The Lost in the Trees Orchestra with Jane Scarpantoni, Django Haskins (The Old Ceremony), Brett Harris, Sidney Dixon and Matt McMichaels to recreate the original scores and breathe life into a bittersweet album that has impacted generations of musicians…
1. “Kizza Me” MATT MCMICHAELS (from Mayflies USA)
2. “O Dana” IRA KAPLAN (Yo La Tengo)
3. “For You” JODY STEPHENS (Big Star)
4. “Nighttime” NORMAN BLAKE (Teenage Fanclub)
5. “Jesus Christ” MIKE MILLS (R.E.M.)
6. “Take Care” IRA KAPLAN (Yo La Tengo)
7. “Big Black Car” MATTHEW SWEET
8. “Stroke It, Noel” NORMAN BLAKE (Teenage Fanclub)
9. “Blue Moon” JODY STEPHENS (Big Star)
10. “Femme Fatale” SINGER NOT CONFIRMED
11. “Downs” VARIOUS
12. “Dream Lover” TIFT MERRITT
13. “Holocaust” DJANGO HASKINS (The Old Ceremony”
14. “You Can’t Have Me” TIFT MERRITT
15. “Kanga Roo” MICHAEL STIPE (R.E.M.)
16. “Thank You, Friends” VARIOUS
So excited to have a ticket to this event. My friends are filming this for the Big Star documentary that will be released soon. Tickets are still available!