Category Archives: Blog

Ben’s end of year lists

Here are some end of year lists…

Top 5 favourite comedians

01. Mitch Hedberg
02. Patton Oswalt
03. Mike Birbiglia
04. Eugene Mirman
05. Todd Barry

Top 9 gigs in vague chronological order

The Marked Men at the SxSW Swami Records showcase at Emo’s, Austin.
Los Campesinos! at ATP, Camber Sands.
Akron/Family (featuring The Dodos) at The Rickshaw Stop, San Francisco
The Dodos at The 100 Club
Lovvers at Old Blue Last (Concrete and Glass show)
Harvey Milk at The Underworld
My Bloody Valentine at the ICA (first night)
Mark Kozelek/Sun Kil Moon at The Scala
The Bronx at KCLSU

Top 5 albums of the year (new release)

Mitch Hedberg “Do You Believe In Gosh?”
Harvey Milk “Life…The Best Game In Time”
The Dodos “Visiter”
The Bronx “The Bronx”
The Hospitals “Hairdryer Peace”

Top 8 albums of the year 2008, released anytime, which got me through my highest, lowest, most drunk and most sober/hungover moments (usually on the 43 bus)

Talk Talk “Spirit Of Eden” & “Laughing Stock”
Echo & The Bunnymen “Ocean Rain”
The Glands “The Glands”
The Marked Men “On The Outside”
Dexy’s Midnight Runners “Don’t Stand Me Down”
Julian Cope “Fried”
Scott Walker “Scott 4″

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO MOST.

Noel a paris

Here in paris getting set for the xmas party tomorrow night.
Last nights bash in london was amazing fun with fantastic sets from sky larkin and first aid kit and tomorrow we get to celebrate with los camp and lovvers too.

On a personal note I got to do something incredibly special tonight and sit in as a guest on the legendary bernard lenoir show on radio france.
The man is an absolute icon to me and to be allowed on to his show to talk about the label and play some music from our bands and others I love (tnv!surprise!)was a very moving event for me.
I know its something I’ll never forget and reminded me as ever how lucky I am to do what I do.
Joyeux noel bernard !
Mb x

… of the year

Albums
Lykke li – youth novels
Times new viking rip it off
No age nouns

Gigs
My bloody valentine – everywhere
Times new viking/shred yr face – everywhere
Neil young – hammersmith

Tracks
Kanye west – love lockdown
Lykke li – little bit
Times new viking – my head

Shredded

Oh my gosh what a night…..
SYF is officially up and running and was everything I’d ever dreamed it could be.
Entire office shlepped down to brighton last night to witness a little history in the making.
I can honestly say that if any one of those bands had been the only performers everyone would still have had their money’s worth….
TNV !!!! They’re back !!!!!new songs!!!new jokes !!!!best.band.ever.
Straight off the plane too just like NO AGE who somehow found the energy to do a killer instore followed by a mind blowing set that left jaws dropped.when Randy and Dean walked in clutching Husker Du cds I knew something special was afoot….
It was all quite something for LOS CAMPESINOS! to follow but god they stepped up to the mark.playing a ton of songs off WABWAD (aoty ??)plus a bunch of singalong classics from that long ago debut elpee….
A triumph for all,a true triumph.
There is a week more of this madness so please get out there and see it,we’ll not see its like again.
As Adam TNV shouted mid set last night
“Don’t do it yourself kids!!!!”
He was joking.He’s a funny bugger.
AWESOME.

…Cinema

Onto last night and a proper old school awayday.Who knew York was an hour and three quarters from London ?anyway.first chance for me to catch Lovvers on what I’m calling the “Think!about nuns on dodgems tour!”
Taking “our band could be your life” as a how to…. guide the guys are more than half way through a self booked self driven self organised run through all the countries of the uk.
I must admit I was shocked to see the cinema basement packed and the low celing and lack of stage made for an authentic punk rock setting.Band were on fire having played a run of shows and also clearly loving every minute of being out there.the legendary “slow song” makes an appearence and all I can think about is how many people actually saw all those seminal bands from Azerrad’s book when they first came to the UK.seems to me Lovvers might be doing even better.
Where else to end a great night that an THE STONE ROSES BAR.Amazing.what fresh hell is this.wondered if they shouldn’t open a led zep bar next door and rename “overrated shitty bands street” but hey Funky Kingston on the jukebox so somehow got through it.
Can’t finish this overdue b log without mention of 2 things.
We are now just a week away from SHREDYRFACE and the greatest tour to hit the uk of ALL TIME !! TNV people !!!!!
And finally.THE BRONX.oh the bronx.lp3 is probably the best thing they have ever done which is some pretty high praise but OMG folks you are in for a treat…..

Concrete and Glass and cinemas 2

After a quick bit of vodcast action (watch the skies folks) it was tine for more Port O Brien.Restored to full rocking glory after the stripped down instore they had the whole room singing along.
All of which prepared us perfectly for our headliner EUROS CHILDS.4th time ‘ve seen EC lately after the Conor and Dodos tours but this was like a different man.A three piece with Pete and Sweet Baboo the set began with the “hits” but became stranger and more incredible the longer it went on as new songs ranged from 70’s funk prog psych to heavy rockers.All I could think while watching the show is that despite his young age Euros has become a national treasure following a path trodden by true artists from Robert Wyatt to Daniel Johnston.Seemingly adrift in their own musical world but making amazing connections to people through the purity of their work and their dedication to their art.Truly inspring.
Our work there done and everyone over the moon with the success of our show we decided not to cap it off with the TVOTR queue but instead to run around the corner for some perfect pop.
Now that we’re in October its going to take a run of amazing records to dislodge Lykke Li from the top end of my AOTY list.
“Youth Novels”is so wonderful and tonight felt like a proper celebration of that record.in a perfect half gig half clun environment Lykke’s 500th gig of the year might have been her best yet.just over 12 months aftet seeing the tentative first show in Stockholm this was a truly exhuberant super confident young women slaying a packed crowd.Think there are plenty of surprises and twists to come from her as she’s a true original Buy that bloody album.

Concrete and Glass and cinemas

Another busy few days in the world of Wichita.
After Bloc’s return to London last Tuesday at a rocking Forum we kept it local over the weekend with the 18th Shoreditch festival of the year “Concrete And Glass’.
Kicked off with a great Port O Brien instore with those lovely folks at Puregroove and then it was down to the serious drinking er gigging.
We started Thursday night with the live return of old mates Good Books.New songs and old alike sounding epic and soaring.Good to have them back.
Nipped around to Favela Chic to catch Little Boots.lots to like about her but the live thing needs a little work yet.
Seems like I wasn’t the only person exited about Bodies of Water finally making it to the uk as the Hoxton Bar + Grill was rammed to the gills.
Don’t know if it was just me who was disappointed tho.a sort of bland proggy vine running through it that did nothing for me at all sadly.
O Death followed them and showed how its done getting the room rocking and hollering in a reminder of earky Pogues raucousness.Good stuff.
Friday left less opportunity for running around as we were hosting our own night at 93 Feet East for the first time since we had a xmas party there in 03 was it?
After a rushed curry at the wonderful Shampeen (its all about the sag uribesi gatta) I hit the decks bang on 7 to wow the first brave souls with my lovers rock set.you could see folks were loving it…..
First band up was Pens.Local favourites and if you’ve run into me in the last couple of months you’ve probably heard quite enough about them already.Awesome as ever we were even treated to a NEW SONG!!Good times.
Next up was Sky larkins third london show in a month and indisputably theri best.Killing it with a great set from the amazing album (wait till you hear it!!)the drive from Leeds to just make the gig was foirgotten as they blew away a packed room.
Then as quicky as they;d come they were gone.Love you Larkin.

Must.Blog.More

Things have been good.maybe too good.too many good records.too many great shows.not enough hours in the day.
Reading/Leeds was very satisfying this year.not a word I use often but from Lovvers to Bloc everyone pulled it off mad style and Los Camp at Reading and both Cribs shows brought actual tears of joy and pride.SMD now cannot be stopped and should actually release some of those wild new edits Conor’s shows only hinted at what was to come last weds
Guess I’ve been watching Conor do shows for 9 years now and if he’s performed with over 100 musicians (as I read somewhere) I must have seen most of them……
Weds night in Camden was up there with anything he’s ever done though.A real band.A great band.He really is as good as those he is often compared to you know.We have an actual legend growing up before us and we’re very lucky to have them.
Oh there’s a new Bloc Party album btw.Couldn’t b log for ages for fear of letting that cat out of the bag…….
Its been a great week for poster art.
A bad week for health.
NP Hex Enduction Hour – The Mighty Fall.Lest we forget……….