Tag Archives: no age

Hope Show 38 – the lowdown

Hope show 38 – the lowdown

1. The Descendents – Silly Girl
2. Black Flag – 6 Pack
3. Shitty Limits – Smarty Guys
4. BL’AST – Your Eyes
5. Schwartzeneggar – The Way Things Are
6. Annabel – You COuld Be Living Better
7. HDQ – IF Only
8. Mueran Humanos – Give A Party
9. Fawn Spots – Spanish Glass
10. No Age – I WOn’t Be Your Generator
11. No Age – Everybodys Down
12. Superchunk – FOH
13. Superchunk – Me & You & Jackie Mittoo
14. Membranes – In The Graveyard
15. Flatliners – Young Professionals
16. American Steel – Love and Logic
17. The Pukes – GLC
18. The UNdertones – Get Over You
19. The Middle Ones – Young Explorer

I love the Descendents . My friend Alan Sherry put me on to them when MIlo went to College. I Don’t Want to Grow Up has great tunes, Silly Girl is one of them

Speaking of Silly People this week saw that marketers dream, Arthurs Day. Thankfully this nation got it into its consciousness that we can speak out against things and Arthurs Day wasn’t quite the national holiday Guiness wanted it to be. I don’t have Too Drunk to Fuck on digital so Six Pack it has to be

I wanted to play Straight Edge by Minor Threat but again couldn’t find the digital version. Instead I played Shitty Limits . Ive been meaning to play these for weeks. Their ‘Beware the limits’ album is criminally ignored – not by me though

BL’AST’s new album is getting a bit of attention, Your EYES is testament to it.

I saw Steve Ignorant do a nice acoustic gig earlier this year and he played this Schwartzeneggar song. “If this is the Way Things Are, it’s the way it’s meant to be” or is it?

Annabel are from OHIO. Their Youth is Youth lp is out now and worth investigating.

HDQ are from Sunderland and have a new record out on Boss Tunegage – In the absence of that record I’ve played If Only from their John Peel session, it was on their Sinking lp also

No doubt you have come across Louder Than War website. It is also a sporadic label and 2 7″s that came out last year on it are Mueran Humanos and Fawn Spots. Good stuff to keep you bopping

No Age are coming to Dublin next week to try and get you to hear their new lp, an object . It’s a great album but then again so was Weirdo Rippers so I’ve played a track from each

Superchunk have a new album out. This kind of stuff gets me excited. I saw them in toronto in 1995 and have been following them with great interest ever since, hoping they will come to Dublin one day. One day eh?

The Membranes played Dublin in the 80’s. Twice. Well they visited twice but played 5 times. Their gigs were a shambolic collection of noise and excitment and great great fun. This is their newest song. it’s nearly as long as some of their sets were in the 80’s but they were such an important band. They really were.

I’ve been talking about the Flatliners over the last few shows. I’ve finally got the new album and haven’t been disappointed. Much more punk rock that Superchunk but just as exciting. it’s been a good week for me for music for sure.

Destroy the Future before it kills us is what American Steel advised. Love and Logic is all we need eh.

All the Pukes need are their Ukeleles, must be nearly 19 on this record.

I can’t believe I’m doing this show over a year and haven’t played The Undertones. The Undertones. Enough Said. Time to change that.

I have played The Middle Ones. They have been doing some interesting gis lately. Young Explorer is from their live tape released this year

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No Age – AN Interview

no age1

No Age have just released their fourth lp – An Object on Sub Pop. One of the most interesting things to come out of listening to the record is the amount of questioning it contains, not solely lyrically but all aspects of it. The way we are sold records these days is questioned by the band putting the whole package together, from putting in the 5 cards temselves into each cd. The design and how we look at things! I was at a talk last week given by Russ Bestley and Alex Ogg who put together the amazing “Art of Punk” book. They spoke about how bands have brands and images. Black Flag being the classic example. No Age confront that with their garish colours on the new cd. There’s questions everywhere, even down to how these people live their lives as veganss.

Armed with many of these questions I spoke to guitarist Randy Randall about the making of the new album and continuing life in a band. Due to the fact that there are 8 time zones between us I managed to speak to Randy the morning after their launch gig for the album. I was slightly concerned that the life of a rock’n’roller would mean that a 10 am call on such a morning would involve a dull conversation owing to the fact that I forced him to wake soon after hitting bed. Of course for a touring band this is not the case and when I called he was right in the middle of loading in equipment to a radio station in Seattle, bemoaining the scheduling of the good people at SUb Pop.

Hi Randy You’re on tour at the moment – the record came out yesterday – was there a celebratory show

“We played an awesome show in Washington hall which is an old school venue here in Seattle, home of Sub Pop. It is a notable venue in that Count Basie played here in the 40’s, Black Flag in the 80’s and Fugazi in the 90s. It’s a cool spot, they don’t do shows there too often now and we got guys form the vera project which is an all ages music promotions place here in Seattle to go in and rent it and make it all happen”

Seattle last night, Portland tonight, How do you travel between shows?
“We have a van, we load our amps in and I drive it around. We stayed in a hotel last night, got about 6 hours of sleep and up to do some radio session and will drive to Portland for tonights show”

You played Dublin for the first time maybe 6 years ago, in a venue opposite a maternity hospital with Mika Miko, Have you memories of that?
“That was an awesome show. Skinny Wolves put it on, those are great guys. It was kind of like an upstairs pub tavern thing. I don’t know why these things always stand out in your mind when youre touring. ”

Do all these cities merge into one, how can you stop them from doing so?
“The first time is always notable and then there’s little details, some times you go ‘wow, I can’t believe I’m here’. I grew up with the mentality that I can’t wait to leave this town which i’m sure is a common feeling amongst angsty punky adolescent s. I gotta get out of here but there’s that feeeling that I’m never gonna get out of here. So it’s really just dreams, hope and anger that drove me to get out of my home town, so when I end up in a place like Dublin it’s like ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe im here’.

When we spoke at that Dublin show it was about being vegan on the road. How is life on the road suiting the vegan diet? any good / bad places
“Still vegan, diet just gets better. It’s getting easier and more and more places are accommodating for vegans. It’s not quite as left field as it was 10 or 20 years ago. LA, our home town, is the mecca for hippies, granola, avocadoes and fresh produce. So we’re lucky in that regard. Travelling around it’s a good opportunity to see parts of the city that are a bit off the beaten path. You can nearly always find an Indian restaurant or Thai. France can be difficult, usually in France I’ll have falafel.”

My own French trip was salads from supermarket

“Portland is great, our friends always laugh at us cos we come through cities once, maybe twice a year and we have one or two favourite places. Being a tourist, you go to one place and you know it’s great I’ll try it again next year and then the locals who live there go ‘Why do you guys wanna go to that place. it was cool like 6 years ago’. We say ‘Oh yeah, thats when we first came and it was cool then, the spot that was good 6 years ago is still good to me, I don’t eat there every day”.

no age

Considering the new album came out the previous day I felt we should move on to that, even though I could have discussed the best vegan diets or cities for the whole thing. As part of my prep for this interview I got out my other No Age albums and timed them, Wierdo Rippers is 32 minutes, Nouns 31, Everything In Between is 38 and the new one An Object is just under 29,
This is just about your shortest album, Is this the way you like it? is there an ideal length for an album?
“It feels like the album is dense, there’s a lot going on in that 30 minute territory. Even with the songs we are very aware that less is more. We keep it brief and to the point, we get in and get out. There’s moments like Commerce, Comment, Commence where things stretch out – we put it right there at the end.”

At times your songs feel almost like compositions, many of the tracks forego the familiar verse chorus, middle eight routine – is that a conscious things?
“Very much so yeah, particularly on this record we rexamined what our songwriting skills were and we reimagined what ways we could rewrite songs and keep them fresh but not like a puzzle or a Limerick. It’s not really stanzas, it’s more like prose than a traditional poem structure”.

Has the song writing process changed over the past few years?
“Yeah we were very conscious about this idea. We wanted to evolve it or at least take it out of the mindless routine of writng a song. ‘This is what you do’, we were questioning all that. Can we get to the pont of foregoing these traditional kind of structures?”

how do you frame your songs?
“Sometimes it’s just riffs. On this record not so much it was more just starting fresh. Dean is challenging himself to do different things on the drums and creat a different percussion palate, so he would start with these rhytms and I would try and build simple guitar parts after that”.

when do words come into play?
“Usually the end. Dean writes and sings the words and he may catch a vibe or a feeling or a phrase and he will place it in there. I stay out of the words.”

can u tell me about some of these songs, mindful of course that you didn’t write the words.
no ground – The line ‘does anybody really care’ – care about what?
“It’s a bit of a challenge, I thnk it’s Dean explorng his place in the world, searching and stretching. Is it necessary to be understood? Where do you stand? Do you define yourself in the eyes of other people or are you able to live on your own. At what point does that defintion by others shape a persons personality.”

An impression – song about a painting?
“I think there’s a lot of painting metaphors in there. I thnk about it as a relationship, about love through the metaphors of a painting. the blooming of love.”

How do you feel about sub pops explanation of the album – I didn’t realise you could explain a collection of songs like this ‘Lyrically Spunt challenges space, fracturing ideological forms and complacency, creating a striking new perspective that reveals thematic preoccupations with structural ruptures and temporal limits.’?
“That’s a hell of a lot of words. That might be talking about a song like Where Ceilings dream of a floor and some lyrical elements in no ground where it talks about ‘who do you think you are’ and spaces “you build a stage, you built a space” you create a world, you create an environment, looking at life as a series of rooms of constructions. Looking at it as a series of things for sale. There’s a lot of physicality throughout this record. The sounds of the percussion, the physical touch. There’s elements where we are hands on with every process of this so Dean is really trying to question everything with these lyrics. Question, how a building is made, how things are made. Are they defined by use or uses? what you do with a space because of how its built, can you rebuild a room around your own activities or your own mind or do you have to fit your mind inside someone elses constructural space. Not beiong the lyricist I think that’s the short hand or the dumb down version of what I’ve taken from it. There’s elements of ‘where’s the space, where’s the time. How long can this go on, where are we at? What sort of confines are there? who put them there and why are they there and wqhat are we doing with them. There’s a lot of questioning. I don’t think its Dean’s modus operandi to tell everybody what to do, he’s more questioning these things for himself, it’s his own personal journey.”

I get the questions are there, not necessarily the answers. We all have to ask the questions!
In Running from a Go-Go or in My Hands, Birch and steel – “there’s a way for me to get out of this place” there is almost a loneliness or sadness in there. It sounds great that you’re in Seattle now and then Portland tonight but you’re still away from home. Can life in a band be a lonely lif?
“It depends on how you look at it. It can be lonely. It can be an opportunity to be around a lot of people. It’s a perspective shift. For the purpose of this record Dean was channelling some of those elements. I think it’s almost like it could go down with songs like Creedence Clearwater’s Low Die or Beatles Back In the USSR. Ideas that there is the travelling band, the pranksters and i think this was deans foray into that genre of writing. If you look at the song books We are tearing apart the song structures but there is a structure in the lyric. There’s a simple melodies and lyrics that are throughways for a songs that is screaming and warbling all over the place. There’s a shift of roles in lyrics versus words rather than ‘the musics wierd’.

The new album features two illuminous colours that both look good and challenge in that if you move it a certain way it can be harder to read. It looks great, how did it come about?
“It vibrates, it pops but also blurs together in a two dimensinal way that is the closest representation to some of the scenes and ideas that are happening on the record. When we first were looking at how we were gonna create this record it was like a pop up book, almost like an origami build your own object. Where you get a flat cover and perforation and fold up lines, where you’d have to build this thing to blend in with the themes, the words, the lyrics and then the sounds. But then it felt a little too arts and crafts for us, to tell somebody how to fold an album. I like the idea of somebody buying an album and then getting out the scissors and starting to chop it up but then we thought people probably won’t do that. It would look like an unfinished piece, but that could be cool. We circled the wagons and thought if its in a two dimensional space how do we make it better and the colours came out of that idea. I’m really happy with how it turned out”

Why the painstaking process of puttng the inserts in. It used to be that all independent records had to do just that but thats certainly not the case anymore? do you feel something has been lost?
“It’s something that had been lost for us. It’s not that novel of an idea and we certainly started off doing things that way. It was more of a return to form for us and to challenge us and to the way we exist. How do we exist with a label like sub pop and to be in this band that has opportunities to travel the world and play these stages and talk on a bigger level. It was a hope to bring things back. Maybe it’s a juxtaposition or a contradiction but it’s to have the best of both worlds. It doesn’t always make sense but for us its a challenge that we wanted to see how it would happen to scale everything up. It’s like a model, ‘here’s an insect, let’s make that insect 40 times bigger’ and what do we learn from this process. Maybe nothing but it looks cool and in some ways it was just fun to do and have a good time doing it. I don’t know why but there’s something about delivering boxes and going through the mechanical process that felt empowering.”

Do you have a home? Is life different with a mortgage than with rent to pay, knowing that you can skip the rent if needs be and live on the road while touring?
“I have most certainly done that in the past. Recently I got myself a piece of land and am married up with a baby on the way. Within the last year I have taken to becoming domestic. I like it, it suits me well.”

Will it be harder to come up with concepts for songs and records now that you are somewhat established than as an aspiring artist?
“Drunken poor living on the streets pan handling for chagnge living the hard life?”

No doubt you’re still poor, is it easier lying on the street to come up with a concept for a song?
“That’s kind of the myth, struggling artist who dies penniless on the ground is they guy that makes the real art. Anybody that can afford to feed themselves three meals a day its impossible to make art. I don’t buy into that. I dont believe that. I think there’s a certain amount of craft, technique and talent that is applicable to anything. Living on the street does not make it easier for any of those things. It makes it harder to hone your skills and do something interesting. There’s an element of risk taking involved in anything creatinve and what can happen is that established artists are less likely to take risks. There’s too much on the line with the family and the kids to feed and the college thing so they’re not taking risks. That’s where music slows down and gets muddy and not so much one causes the other. I can understand that, you don’t want to take risks and you keep with whats safe. I think for us that this record is a little different, we’re taking a risk, we’re flying in the face of what was done in the past with regard that it’s not a big happy record. ‘Everything in between’ (previous album ed.) had elements of what we’re getting into here It’s also a statement of today and tomorrow is tomorrow. I don’t think this is the only record that matters right now, it’s just the one we made. There’s more to come, this is one chapter in an ever evolving story. It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘This is it, this is the thing’. We’re really excited that it means something but it also feels like that as an artist you have to have that freedom to create and move forward. We’re always trying to do that, people wanna hold you to that ‘Remember that one thing you did, it was awesome’ We’re very appreciative that anybody cares at all about anything we do but we gotta evolve and keep moving and this is one step in the evolution. The next one will be there eventually. You got to take these risks. I feel better taking risks now cos I know I have a stronger safety net with my wife, my house and my home. Even if I fail miserably she will still stay with me, hopefully!! Even if I look stupid on stage or wear a funny hat she will still go home with me.”

It seems to me No Age are not just a band, you are involved in many aspects, from the artwork and your engagement with social media. Do you ever feel like just sitting back and concentrating on the music or is it the whole package for you?
“Yeah, we definitely do. Every night we’re up there on stage and I’m 99% focussed on the music, making sure I get it right but every once in a while I will make sure I’m not gonna fall on my face. When we are writing or recording a record it’s pretty much all music, things sort of go dark. I almost feel like there’s a social media pressure to have something out every day, talking or engaging or doing something. THere’s moments when I’m like ‘I haven’t posted things for a month. we’re working in the studio, nothing to talk about. We’re working.’ Then we go out and we promote it and we want people to know we’ve got a record out and want them to come see us at our shows. You can’t go out in the world and try to hide

At this stage Randy was getting more under pressure to load in for the radio session they were preparing for so I bade him farewell with 2 vox pop questions.
What is your favourite SST album and why?
“I’m a big fan of Black Flag, it’s where it all began. Nervous Breakdown 7″. They shone around the world. That band spawned so many bands, so many movements and I think in terms of importance that is iconic. It is the big one. Outside of that I don’t know, there’s also the No AGe compilation album where we stole our name from so there’s a place of importance in there. There’s some incredible records – husker Du, SOnic Youth. I look at SST as a collection and it is hard to pick out one.”

Are there any record labels where you would buy the record regardless of the band?
“Good question. I listen to everything on Sub Pop. Just got the new Don Gibson album, I like that one. Interesting, I kind of go by stores. There’s a few boutiques and I go if it’s in there and a recommendation I go from that. I’ll trust the shop. I think when I was younger I subscribed more to that idea. If it’s out on SOuthern or Matador it’s got to be good. If it’s on Drag City it’s got to be good. I’m not lookng or buying in volume like i used to. I’m going through old records when I’m in the record shop.

the vera project
best vegan dishes in New York
the art of punk book
no age

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Hope Show 33 – the lowdown

the lowdonw on tonights show

1. Ted Leo – Bottled IN Cork
2. football, etc – red zone
3. The Draft – Impossible
4. Shorebirds – Upside Down
5. Wrecks – NOT
6. The Pukes – Will I learn
7. Glimmermen – There Was a Boy
8. Hooligan – No Black, No Irish, No Dogs
9. Moldy Peaches – Nothing Came Out
10. Only Strangers – After Dark
11. The Roughneck Riot – Ignorance Is Easy
12. Keith Morris – Nervous Breakdown
13. No Age – I WOn’t be your generator
14. Ryan Adams – Nervous Brea
15. Black Flag – Six Pack
16. Wringer – Closed Book
17. Drenge – Bloodsports
18. Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros – Mega Bottle Ride
19. The Clash – Complete Control
20. The Clash – Armagideon Time

Ted Leo is a favourite in my house, no song more popular than Bottled In Cork. the kids love singing aloing, it’s kind of our road song

I got a compilation recently from No idea records and like the name of football etc, what other reason do you need to play a song?

For a while I thought they had some link to the draft and got caught out trying to check it out, Turns out football, etc have an album called the draft.

No to be confused with The Draft, who have an album called IN a Million Pieces, which Impossible is taken from. The album is on epitaph but the draft have people from Hot Water music which are linked to No Idea records

as are Shorebirds. Ex latterman, Jawbreaker and rvivr – what a pedigree. They have an excellent album, It’s Gonna Get Ugly

I played a track from the Wrecks new ep, on the last show. I’m debuting another one from the Ep tonight, called NOT. Wrecks feature two people from Slice of Life, who feature Steve Ignorant on Vocals and sound nothing like this.

I saw the Pukes a couple of weeks ago and it was a blast. over 20 people on stage, most of them playing ukelele and blasting out punk covers. Their new 7″ has 3 covers and 1 (not so) original. This is their original.

I missed the Glimmermen album launch due to the Pukes but I stillmanaged to get the record and it’s a winner. You should try it out.

This is turning into a home based set. Hooligan’s new Ep, No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs is out now and this talks abut a different era when Irish people weren’t welcome abroad.

I came across Moldy Peaches through the movie Juno. I had heard

them but they were on my list of bands to check out…..eventually. That eventually was ehen I saw Juno and loved the anti-folksy lo-fi sound. Nothing came out is from their s/t album

I only came across Only Strangers because their friends ROughneck Riot posted about them on facebook. The power of Social media eh

I reviewed Roughneck Riot for my blog and compared them to the Men They Couldn’t Hang. I just get that Ironmasters vibe from them all the time. I played a song last week and gave it the wrong title. That was called Waiting to DIe. TOnight’s one is Ignorance Is Easy. All my men they couldn’t hang stuff is on

vinyl but listen to Ironmasters and see if you get the connection.

although it’s more obvious in other songs (he says covering himself)

I interviewed No age earlier this week and was asked to ask their favourite SST record. They picked Nervous Breakdown by Black Flag, this small set is for No age. I love the new record so I’ve mixed them in with 2 versions of Nervous Breakdown and for good measure Six Pack

Wringer is a new band to me, from US. They have an album out

called Bullfighter which this is from, pretty cool record

Another new one is Drenge from UK. Bloodsports is from their debut

s/t lp and it’s keeping with the theme I suppose – remember though using animals for your personal pleasure is just wrong so don’t bullfight or hunt

There was a lot made out this week because it would have been the birthday of a certain dead Irish musician, Phil Lynott. I never really cared for his music while he was alive so wasn’t sharing in the celebrations, however one man I was quietly celebrating was Joe Strummer who would have been 61. My dog is named after the great man and we sang this song and the rest for Joe during the week


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No Age – ‘An Object’

No Age
An Object
Sub Pop

no age

I saw No Age play in Dublin with Mika Miko wheny Skinny Wolves put them on in the Boom Boom room 6 years ago. The Boom Boom room was opposite the rotunda hospital, north dublin’s maternity hospital. I’m sure some babies were born that night to the strained noise of no age and I wonder if we will have a collection of teenagers on this forum in years to come dabbling with music as an art form. I loved both bands on the night and whilst mika miko were more straightforward in their offerings no age offered up a substantial sound. This is their fourth album since those early days.

First thing to notice this album by is the colour scheme. Illuminous orange and green – colours that blend and clash and whilst being aestethically pleasing can also be difficult to read at time. That nearly sums up No Age’s sound. Full of layers, tunes and riffs in there hidden behind the noise but also sometimes haunting. Not making it too easy on the listener. But still easy enough to capture your attention. It is art for the ears.

Like a painting on display in an art gallery the crowds viewing it can have different notions and ideas. It’s the same picture but our eyes can interpret the colours and layers in different ways.

From the riff laden, layered sound, with vocals at different levels we can draw many conclusions from these songs. With no ground starting off and asking “Does anybody Really Care” we have 29 minutes of various tones and fuzz laden dreams. An Object has its haunting parts too, ‘running from a go-go” brings us on a melodic yet haunting journey that has Dean singing the line “I don’t want to be alone again” which has me wondering what life is really like in a sucessful band? Commerce, Comment, Commence finishes our half hour with a layered expolosion of noise.

I love albums that take as long as a soap opera on tv. There’s always time to fit them in. You don’t need to pick out a few songs you can deal with the whole record in one sitting. That’s the best way to capture no age. Sit back, open your mind to the layers of sound and enjoy, better than Fair City any day.

track by track – a lazy synopsis

no ground – riff down, layered vocals and sound – “does anybody really care?”
I won’t be your generator – softer song, noise pop
C’mon Stimmung – faster, layered sound
Defactor/ed – beautiful, yet slightly eery riff – discontent
An impresssion – softer composition with strings
Lockbox – heavier, tuneful
Running from A Go-G0 – journey, melodic and haunting
My Hands, Birch and Steel – haunting
Circling with dizzy – riff layered
A ceiling dreams of a floor – dreamy
Commerce Comment Commence – dreamy and haunting, layered explosion of noise


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