Notes from New Sodom

... rantings, ravings and ramblings of strange fiction writer, THE.... Sodomite Hal Duncan!!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

(Post-)Rock On!

I've been tempted to blog about this for a few weeks, but I didn't want to count my chickens before they've hatched or piss off any of the others involved by yammering about the project when they might want to keep it under their hat. But it looks like everything's going ahead as planned and I'm not treading on anyone's toes by posting this, so I can now officially say:

Fuckin A! Yeehaw! Alrighty!

Huh? I hear you say. OK, so a month back or so me good mate Mags, who works for a TV company in Glasgow (first guys to do a doc on Franz Ferdinand, I might add (which was Mags's idea, I might add to that addage)), told us about this project the indie record label Chemikal Underground are working on, bringing together writers and bands based in Scotland for an album. Is that so? says me. So who have they got on board?

Now I'm not sure how certain which of these are -- some of them may be in the early stages of collaboration, while others may be dependant on touring commitments -- but as I understand the project has Edwin Morgan, Alasdair Gray, Michel Faber and Ian Rankin amongst the interested writers and Sons & Daughters, Vashti Bunyan, Aidan Moffatt (of Arab Strap), and (possibly) Belle & Sebastian and Mogwai amongst the interested musicians. (As I say, I don't know how far along any of the collaborations are, so I'm wary of saying anything with any certainty). Anyhoo...

Well, now, says me. That sounds rather interesting. Would they, by any chance -- perhaps possibly maybe -- be still looking for writers?

I shall ask, says Mags.

So, long story short: I exchange a few emails with the guys at Chemikal Underground (oh, and btw, if you haven't heard Sluts of Trust or Mother and the Addicts, two of the most recent acts on this fucking killer label, then get ye to a record shop and seek them out), and they say, sure, send us some lyrics and we'll forward them to the bands, see if any of them bite. So I fire off a couple of songs (reckoning that other writers like Morgan or Gray may be doing more modern poetic stuff, so a straightforward rhyming rhythmic rock song might offer some diversity) and a few days later...

A few days later they get back to me and tell me that Aereogramme have taken one of my sets of lyrics and want to give them a go. Fuckin Aereogramme! OK, so I'll confess that at this point I knew the name but hadn't heard any of their stuff. So the first thing I do is check out their website, download one of their tracks and listen to it. That would be about the point when I wet myself (and kicked myself for not having heard them before this). I've got their first two albums now -- A Story In White and Sleep and Release -- and, maybe my puppy-dog excitement is prejudicing me but these guys KICK ARSE!

Here. Go read some Amazon Reviews.

In fact, go read some more .

Come to think of it, they have stuff out in the US as well, a new album just released, in fact, so for those of ye across the Pond: has all three albums too.

(And note the fact that all three albums have five stars. Nuff said. )

I could throw around other band-names like Mogwai or Godspeed, You Black Emperor or Explosions In The Sky (or even Jimmy Eat World pre-Bleed American... perhaps, maybe) but that doesn't do them justice at all. There's a definite emo / post-rock vibe to them, yes, but its not just the usual quiet-loud-quiet-loud formula; they're anything but derivative. Nope, Aereogramme are, well, Aeroegramme. There's a lot of folks I know who read this blog who, man, if ye haven't tried them out already, trust me, yer gonna want to check them out. As one of the reviews puts it:

"If you have any musical intelligence at all you will at least appreciate the incredibly brilliant and original drumming, the lyrical genius, the driving basslines and the contrast between beautiful melodies and bone crunchingly heavy rock. Other bands have tried to blend the two but usually too blatantly."

And, boy, is that my kinda music! Not only that but their sound is just fucking perfect for the lyrics I sent them, a wee song with the upbeat title of "If You Love Me, You'd Destroy Me". The song came from a conversation I had in a club one night with me mate Dougie (aka Dougie the Indie Elf), where one or other of us (can't recall who) came up with that phrase and we laughingly said, man, that's a fucking cracking title for a song. Cause that's proper love. Not yer poncy, frilly-cuffed, hand-nailed-to-forehead bollocks. No, no, no. Sure, OK, love is flowers and puppies and walks in the park, and such shite. But it's also ripping your heart out of your chest, offering it someone in the palm of your hand and saying, take it... crush it... I want you to.

If you really loved me, you'd destroy me.

I'm just a big romantic at heart, you know.

Point is, having heard Aereogramme's other stuff I'm so fucking stoked, have been for weeks, because their sound just matches that vibe completely. I mean apart from the fact that this means I'll be on an album with some fucking shit-hot writers and shit-hot musicians, people whose work I have total and utter respect for, apart from the fact that this album will, without a doubt, be on sale in my hallowed temple, the Glasgow-based indie record shop Fopp, apart from the sheer "How fucking cool is this?!?!" excitement of being part of Glasgow's fucking kick arse indie music scene, if only for one song on one album... apart from all that, I just can't fucking wait to hear what they do with it.

And I get to go into the studio tomorrow evening and hear them recording it. I get to sit in the sound technician's box (or somewhere well out of the road -- I don't mind) and see a fucking honest-to-god, bona fide professional (post-)rock band turn my lyrics into real music.

And it's the first track being laid down for the album, too.

Fuckin A! Yeehaw! Alrighty!

There's not much more I can say, really.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you said it all, Al. Excellent news, mate! Enjoy the studio time. It'll be awesome. I spent 15 years of my life in them, way back when, and I just know you'll get a buzz from it.

I was there in London, Denmark Street, when Lian Stern wrote Walk Like an Egyptian back in 1986. I was also working in Peer-Southern's studie in Denmark Street when Liam found out that The Bangles had taken his song to Number One in the UK. Pure magic!

Music - I just love it! Cool!

5:37 pm  
Blogger Trent Walters said...

Hey, that's very nifty! Congrats, Hal.

11:30 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very much awesome, Hal.

And I downloaded "Dreams and Bridges" off their website. Sounds sort of like Opeth with a dash of Dredg.

Because I don't have *enough* CDs to buy...

12:36 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So - how was your night with rock royalty? Dying to hear!

2:58 am  

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