A New Band A Day 2008-2018

Welcome to ANBAD, which is celebrating ten years online in April 2018, and is now “resting.” (I’m still jabbering on about new bands like, oh, I dunno, The Chats, on Twitter.)

However, ANBAD also has over 1200 posts featuring about 1500 artists. Most are buried deep in the blog, rarely seen by human eyes. This seemed a bit unfair, so I randomised the posts and the ones you see below are yanked arbitrarily from the archive for you to explore.

As with anything this old on the internet, some of the music players, hyperlinks, images, formatting – and, frankly, the writing itself – are broken. But even I will begrudgingly admit that randomly looking at ten years of once-new bands is a fascinating glimpse into a very specific time capsule.

I’m as surprised as anyone that this ridiculous and utterly niche music blog has stumbled around online for a decade, surviving all of my attempts to break it, render it defunct, or let it wither on the vine. I’ll post something longer soon, probably around the Official ANBAD 10th Birthday in April; but for now, scroll down and read on – and maybe you’ll find some long-forgotten band from 2009 that you’ll love.


 

Money; OR: Another Post Weighing Into The Am*nda P*lmer Debacle

If you have eyes, or ears, or both, and you like new music, you’ll have heard all about the fuss surrounding noisy, all-pervasive, social-media devouring rock star Amanda Palmer and her new tilt at the whole “getting money” thing.

I won’t bore you with the gory details, because you probably know them already – so here’s the TL;DR:

*Amanda Palmer raises a minor fortune in crowdsourced funding for a new album;

*Amanda Palmer prepares to tour aformentioned album, gaining a ton of publicity en route;

*Amanda Palmer – she who has $1.25 million sloshing around in a bank account somewhere, asks lots of people to, er, play for her for free;

*Shitstorm ensues.

There are a few ways to make money (money that could buy you – oh, I don’t know – a cheap iPod touch) in music, but they’re all tough. This is well documented, although it is possible – from advertising, sponsorship, getting music placed in adverts, but this was a paradigm shift, yeah?

All of sudden, everyone owned a bit of an artists’ aims, dreams and proclamations. So it was inevitable that when someone suddenly became a millionaire, and then asked fans to play for free, people would display quite strong opinons on the matter.

Again, you’ll probably know them by now, but anyway: here’s Steve Albini’s lumbering and brutal take, whilst good friend of ANBAD Louis Barabbas has a more considered opinion.

Whatever your opinons on Amanda Palmer or her music (mine: a large, considered meh), you can’t help but admire her tenacity. But a millionaire musician deliberately choosing not to pay fellow musicians is a mis-step, to say the very least.

BUT HEY! – she’s made a minor U-turn and is paying them now, so that’s OK, right?

Well, not really. Here’s her caveat, after announcing that all the horn players and violin-pluckers will now be getting cash money now, too:

i hope this does two things: i hope it makes the volunteers surprised and happy (they’ll be getting some dough they had no idea was coming) and i also hope it makes our family circle feel good about speaking out.

when we handed the musicians their surprise cash backstage in new orleans the other last night, they laughed like mad and said “after ALL THAT, you’re going PAY US??!!”

This is tiresome: it reinforces the terrible idea that musicians should be grateful for receiving any money at all. And they shouldn’t, just as painters shouldn’t, just as writers shouldn’t, just as artisan wood-lathe sculptors shouldn’t: they simply *should* be paid, if their work is consumed.

Yet the nasty lie remains, and an artist like Amanda Palmer, publicly-funded millionaire or not, should know this most keenly of all.

Because whatever your opinion on musicians making money (money, remember, that  is useful when you realise that – oh, I don’t know – high street retailer Argos provides Acoustic Solutions), I’ll wager a penny to a pound that it boils down to this: the extreme opposite of getting paid is being taken advantage of.

People who get taken advantage of eventually have enough. And a brain drain of musical talent fuelled by hypocritical stinginess would be the worst thing to happen to music since The Pigeon Detectives.

>Today’s New Band – Forest Fire

>

While I was in Vigo, I ate a lot of Pulpo de Gallega. It’s the local dish, and is so simple, even a fingers-and-thumbs chef like me could serve it to friends and family without risking annual Christmas-time jibes about ‘that time you gave me diarrhoea/the most inedible food ever/amoebic dysentery‘. Here’s the first, and last, ANBAD recipe*:
  1. Get some octopus legs and cut them into suckery, weird-looking discs.
  2. Boil them with slices of potato.
  3. Put weird, suckery octuopus bits on top of potato.
  4. Sprinkle with paprika.
  5. Shove into idiot mouth.
See? So uncomplicated that it’s hard to believe it could even be considered a local delicacy. But it is, and it’s bowel-tremblingly delicious.
There’s a slightly agonising and obvious parallel to be drawn between the simplicity of Pulpo de Gallega and a good new band. Too many bands pollute songs with Keith-Moon drum fills or guitar noodling. Good bands don’t need frills or tarting-up. They are good because of their natural saltiness.
To draw this simile to an agonising close, Today’s New Band, Forest Fire, are a big cauldron pull of octo-potato tastiness. They write songs that shoot here and there, making the sounds they really desire at the times they actually want to make them.
Plinking and plonking drunkenly, I Make Windows is an end-of-the-night, end-of-the-world hymn to . It stumbles, staggers and sways, keeping on the right track by force of will alone. The band sound like they are scattered in bits and yet tightly bound together all at once. Promise materialises from angry flames and leers with intent; a threatening drum and screech coupled to demented, terrifying word.
You’ll gladly clutch at Forest Fire, ugly suckers and all, because they’ve realised that these bits, which some people try to disguise or round off, are what separate them from the bland. Their music has that vital ingredient: unconfined individuality. Yum. A really very good new band. Listen here!
*barring the inspiration-bereft day when you may receive an article beginning with the old chestnut, “How to make a New Band. Take a pound of jangly guitar, a splash of hi-hats, fold in some moody posing…etc

>Today’s New Band – Large Number PLUS! MATHS DOOM!

>Here’s an opening line you don’t often read in music articles: Statisticians, please skip a few paragraphs right now, because you’ll already know this bit. For the rest of us whose uselessness with numbers is in direct relation to the length of the angry queue that forms as we struggle with a handful of coins to pay for the newspaper, read on.

So here’s a statistical fact – if you are in a room with 22 other people, there’s more than a 50% likelihood that two of them share the same birthday. No, I don’t really understand either. For a detailed explanation, complete with the kind of equations that makes my throat tighten and eyes boggle involuntarily, look here and weep at your pathetic grasp on the workings of the universe.

If this is the type of information that makes you suddenly realise how hopelessly equipped we are as humans to absorb our true unimportance in relation to life, the universe and everything, I apologise. But just think about how many times you’ve been in exactly that situation for a second. Then think about how many opportunities for big, fun, joint birthday parties you’ve missed.

This all leads me to conclude three things. Firstly, the Maths geeks you mocked at school already know this and so have been having a lot of carefully plotted fun that you’ve missed out on. Secondly, if you don’t understand this theory, it means that when the Great Nerd Revolution takes place, mouth-breathers like you and me will be first against the wall. Thirdly, this revolution will destroy the music that we love, because Maths + Rock = DOES NOT COMPUTE.

Or does it? Today’s New Band, Large Number, might be a sign that the Rise of Mathematical Aggression is already here. Large Number‘s songs might have been made by decoding the human genome, converting the code into one monstrously huge numerical sequence, and then letting a computer turn that number into sounds. But probably not. Large Number is actually a very talented woman called Ann, but I like the idea of computer-human hybrid auto-sound-production more.

Song Shy English Hitler is a warping, shimmering, electro-bizarro-creep, with a well-placed volley of verbal insults over the fabulously cranky sounds. It hops all over the place, the beat humming at different frequencies with crazed abandon, suddenly speeding up or slowing down on a whim. Hockenheim In The Rain, big and splashy, grunts and whistles with furious momentum, and keeps stepping up gears lazily until the pace is both languid and frantic.

Large Number: where we all began to realise our awful, algorithmic fate. Listen here!

Buhay: An Endless Trickle

Here at ANBAD Towers, we’re thoroughly enjoying the endless glut of spaced-out, bass-heavy, house-esque music that’s appearing in a steady, endless trickle at the moment.

Steady, endless trickles of links to enjoyably laid-back Soundcloud streams of gentle house music are fine in my book.

If I ever get bored, I just imagine it is 2007 all over again, with a steady stream was of emails containing huge mp3s of third-rate Landfill Indie impostors, and suddenly all seems hunky-dory again.

Today, it’s Buhay’s turn to sooth my ears. “Buhay” may or may not be pronounced “Boo-high”, though I can also imagine legitimately saying it as “Buoy”, “Boo-hay”, or, let’s face it, “artichoke”. It’s just about as feasible as the others.

 

Snide comments on the artist’s name aside, Hallelujah undoubtedly is a minor thrill… heavy, swampy and dense; but light, drifting and delicate: everything you’d expect and hope for from a new, savvy musician right now.

Buhay recommends that Hallelujah is listened to “with headphones or a giant subwoofer.” A smart move, I concluded, as I happily allowed the song to wash all over me.

MORE: boo-high.tumblr.com

 

>Today’s New Band – The Unbearables PLUS! Old Newness!

>When is a new band not a new band? Occasionally people post irate comments on A New Band A Day complaining that “Band X aren’t new, they’ve been around for ages, and I’ve got all their white label 7″ discs blah blah blah.”

Well, when anyone slavishly follows a band, they become a little belligerent and outlandish. “They’ve been around for ages” often actually means “since June 2007” in our confusingly short-termed mindset.

In some ways I understand these complaints – new means new, right? Well, yes and no. Those who complained have forgotten the basic rule of ANBAD: Consistency Bad, Needless Complication Good.

As the FAQs page doesn’t really clear this up, here’s semi-clarification, in the form of Today’s New Band, who are The Unbearables, are from Texas, and are – Jesus – six years old. But they are still new – to me and you too, probably – and thus the flimsy ANBAD criteria are fulfilled yet again.

Their song The Darker Part leaps out of the silence fawn-like, startled and bounding. It’s a combination of unbridled tinkling and wide-eyed joy. Imagine an army of technicolour flautists marching over a meadowed hill, and you’re about there.

And then, just when you were still luxuriating in that song’s soft, dewy moss of happiness, Zombies Unite leaps out and gnaws you to a bloody pulp in the most cheerful way possible. Clunky guitars, and a gruesomely threatening choir meet to create a call-to-arms (or call-to-arm-stumps, maybe) for all the most effervescent and good-natured undead fiends.

There’s A Whole Lot Of People In Here is a big, rowdy sing-a-long. It sounds like the band and the producer went for a good night out, then, having rolled back to the studio, pressed record, pushed all the faders up, and then cranked out the song on the first go. In an ideal world, all songs would be recorded like that.

So, whilst being older than both Youtube and Souja Boy‘s unfortunate career, they posses enough spirit, vitality and ideas to be ‘new’ in my (admittedly confused) mind. Great. Listen to them here!

P.S! Thrillingly, ANBAD was featured (albeit briefly) in The Guardian today! Hooray! Celebrate this new-found media acceptance by downloading the free ANBAD eBook, and then foolishly pretending that it’s a whole newspaper about us!

>Une Nouvelle Bande Par Jour!

>The A New Band A Day “Team” has dragged itself, blinking, sweating and disorientated, out of the A.N.B.A.D. Nerve Centre* and has decided to slump, wearily, next to a swimming pool in France for a couple of weeks.

So, there will be a paucity of new bands for that time – BUT BUT BUT – here’s some things to look forward to on ANBAD’s return:

  1. An invigorated, refreshed and sunny outlook on life, love and New Bands
  2. A deep mahogany tan
  3. Tousled, sun-blonded hair
  4. An aversion to any more Steak Tartare
  5. MOST EXCITINGLY OF ALL – a whole slew of new, fabulous bands just waiting to LITERALLY blow your SOCKS off.

And, on top of all this – A New Band A Day will be celebrating the unveiling of it’s 100th Band with a lovely, brand-spanking new REDESIGN! A.N.B.A.D. will be slicker, fancier and newer, and yet retaining all the clumsy hopelessness you’ve all come to know and love.**

So, to keep you moist with excitement, why not peruse the archives just over there to your right, and get acquainted with some of the band’s you’ll have missed over the months. We’ll be back before you know it, with a token holiday present for you, possibly of a straw donkey.

Lots of French hugs ‘n’ kisses (on both cheeks),

Joe et l’equipe de Nouvelle Bande Par Jour!

*Box room
**The use of the word ‘love’ might not be in it’s usual terminology

Lucky Delucci; The Perils Of EU-Funded Urban Renewal

Cardiff is a fundamentally strange place. A capitol city with a small-town mindset. Beautiful buildings side-by-side with deeply ugly, crumbling counterparts. Money sluicing into some areas, and cruelly meandering away from others.

No, there’s nothing too unusual about these circumstances. But Cardiff’s small size magnifies these effects, and it’s the first I mentioned that has the greatest impact. It’s an important place, and yet for many, it’s simply their local town, where they pop into on Saturday to buy sausages. Mmm, sausages.

Anyway – the result is a music scene that is dynamic, fractured and outward-looking, and yet marked with a homely feel. I’m aways expecting a New Wave Of Country and Western to emerge from there.

Until that happens, here’s Cardiff’s Lucky Delucci, typically fulfilling their requirements: gentle Euros Childs-esque folk cross-faded with staccato drums; the Tweecore golden duo of glockenspiels ‘n’ strings pushing up against something a bit more… grand.

Lucky Delucci // December 1986

By twinning these two sensibilities of old and new, Lucky Delucci fulfil Cardiff’s unspoken remit: thrusting forward to the future yet pandering to the past. In the tedious world of town planning, this approach might stultify; in the shimmering world of shiny pop music, it works, if you can do it.

Lucky Delucci can. Sweet, cunning, and gazing hungrily over the horizon. Or at least Cardiff Bay.

www.myspace.com/luckydelucci

The View From… Camden

Guy Fawkes lives in Camden. When I was 16, Camden was the coolest part of the UK, merely because Blur, Elastica and, er, Menswe@r used to drink in Britpop haunt The Good Mixer. These days it still retains a certain caché, except that now it’s Amy Winehouse falling out of pubs there rather than Damon Albarn. Here, Guy reveals the duality of the Camden scene…

Like many places, where I live has some advantages and some disadvantages. Among the best things about living in the vicinity of Camden Town is that everyone has heard of it around the world it seems, so enlightening them as to the environs of your habitation is certainly a deed made easier. But most seem to think that living in Camden would be the best thing around.

Suggested listening #1: myspace.com/notcoolisaband

Well they’re just wrong. Maybe living in the capital has made me a little spoilt in terms of music. Granted, Camden is much better than say Crawley or Coventry – but let’s not get bogged down in that. When it comes to the music and the atmosphere, it is certainly not the case that Camden is second to none.

Let’s have a look at some of the more established venues: Roundhouse, Barfly, Electric Ballroom, Koko, Dingwalls. These are full of shirt-wearing, beer-slurping businessmen who would much rather prey on innocent teenage girls and listen to Oasis than whatever poor new band is trying to win their attention at said venue.

They don’t care about the music or creating an exciting atmosphere. It’s a saddening state. Either that or the nights at these venues are all booked up by big promotions companies like SJM who flood the repertoire with tame radio-friendly trash.

Suggested listening #2: myspace.com/chapter24

You will get some decent bands playing now and then but these shows will inevitably be filled with industry. A prime example was The Drums playing the Barfly last year, rammed – not with punters eager to catch them in an intimate atmosphere – but with shedloads of industry figures.

Perhaps this is a good thing – providing up and coming bands with the opportunities to establish themselves onstage with audiences that can propel them to further glory. But it feels like watching meat churning out of the grinder. The Drums were already set for their giddy heights – their set at the Barfly appeared to be little more than a congratulatory self-pat on the back for the industry at large.

Suggested listening #3: myspace.com/fanzinetheband

Walking around Camden is devilish. It is not so much the tourists that are irritating – it is a famous area, rich in history and colour so why not visit? But the people who come down to pretend they were/are a member of a subculture are the most infuriating. Specifically punks who seek to extract money off tourists for photos. How punk is that?

Camden needs a fresh start, fresh venues and fresh promoters. Unless we want to see it become a sordid bastion of “nostalgia” and milking the past, because that’s where it’s heading to.

My tip for finding reliably good music is to check out what’s happening at The Lexington on the nearby Pentonville Road. Always a great sound, always a lovely ambience, seemingly always good bands too. It exudes a great ethos, something that is regrettably clearly lacking in Camden.

Suggested Listening #4: myspace.com/wearelostfiction

Record Store Day: Redux

Remember Record Store Day? It was only a week ago. Has it changed your shopping habits?

Will you keep buying your exclusive, 1000-only, limited edition, 7″ glitter-flexi-disc vinyls from your local shop now? Or will you continue to order it off the internet like you did before?

Record Store Day enjoyed its highest-ever profile this year. Stories about eager music fans queuing to buy one-off singles featured in the news on non-music radio stations, and every newspaper trundled out someone capable of writing a thousand words on the joys of purchasing a CD without hesitating to think beyond happy teenage memories.

This all seems very heartening, very healthy, very important, doesn’t it? Record stores are special, aren’t they? Aren’t they?

When I was at school, I used to visit Mike Lloyd Records at least three times a week. I’d go after class with my best friend Andy, and we’d loiter among the record racks until the shop closed when we’d get turfed out.

I bought my first ever single there, and walked home with my head down, devouring the words printed on the inlay, desperate to absorb every bit of information before I got home.

Andy and I would buy CDs on the basis that we liked the cover art, or that the band had a good name, or had a terrible name. Plonking down the still-ludicrous sum of £15 for an unknown CD represented a huge, thrilling gamble to a 16 year old, but it was a roll of the dice we were more than willing to take.

This was years ago, though. Mike Lloyd’s no longer exists. Most record shops don’t either. I loved Mike Lloyd Records. It gave me my musical education. Now and again, I mourn the halcyon times I spent there.

But things have changed. Almost no-one releases singles any more. I discover music via the internet and can listen to it instantly, as often as I like, without having to scribble down the band’s name as the DJ segues to another song, and then scamper off to a shop to buy it.

Remember: Record Store Day is primarily an event to bolster an ailing industry. Lots of industries  do it. The British Potato council has National Chip Week.

What grates is that in Record Store Day’s case, this truth is obscured by waves of blather about how record shops are essential to find out about new music, and how they are very important to sustain the fabric of our music society. You can even discuss music in them, with people who know about music!

Amusingly, writers were especially keen to point out that record shops are no longer intimidating places: hey, now anyone can come along and shop in them!

Most people won’t, and will continue to download their singles and albums in whichever non-physical format they desire, cutting the old middleman out and paying a new one instead.

Shops are a place to buy physical commodities. Music only fell into this category for a very short period of time, and music isn’t a physical commodity any more.

You don’t need a 12″ plastic disc and the accompanying artwork to listen to your new favourite song, as pleasurably tactile as those things may be. And when people no longer need something, they tend to suddenly become overwhelmed by ambivalence towards it.

I want record shops to exist. I love them. But if they are no longer viable, then their useful lifespan has ended, and the ruthlessly pragmatic human race will just move on. No number of special one-off singles by thoughtful bands will change that.

Record shops are lovely, but so are steam trains. You can’t get a steam train to London any more, and the Virgin Pendolino gets me to London hours quicker than I could by steam. And ultimately that’s what counts, isn’t it? People have a funny way of getting down to brass tacks when the need arises.

It’s also why steam trains are now the reserve of hobbyists and holidaymakers, and why Record Store Day might be viewed as an exercise in faux nostalgia – of a time when such places were successful businesses.

If record shops vanish, we will still find people to discuss new music with, and places to do it. We will still discover new sounds from new bands. The music and the associated happiness won’t change, just the delivery of it.

When I was at college, I had an evening job in a bakery the size of a terraced house. It was a remnant of the time when small local shops, not supermarkets, would provide our staple food – bread – to all and sundry. I knew the family who ran it. It was a happy, tasty, friendly place. It smelled amazing.

In the early Noughties, the bakery closed, suddenly, amid mounting debt and horrendous personal crises. It was soundtracked by the tears that flow from broken lives, and it was the passing of a small, local, wonderful institution.

But no-one gave a shit. They shrugged, and began buying their bread from a supermarket just like everyone else. An old way of life disappeared. Why did no-one campaign for Bread Store Day?

Chapter 24: A Snake Eating Its Own Tail

In The City is now only a couple of days away. 200-odd bands poised to descend on Manchester, and those of us that are so inclined will sample as many as possible, before slinking home, ears ringing with the combined mish-mash of sounds.

Chapter 24 are playing at In The City, forming part of this tinnitus-inducing slew of new music; but more interestingly, they seem to take the resulting sonic mental muddle as a starting point. Let me explain. Or rather, let their brilliantly vibrant song Love explain:

LOVE by chapter24band

Now here’s a band with more ideas than they know what to do with. Actually, that’s a fib – Chapter 24 do indeed know what to do with them: chuck it all into the song and let God sort ’em out. This kitchen sink approach rarely works, but as with Gallops, occasionally a band has just enough brio and panache to pull it off.

Perhaps I’m damning them with faint praise, so here goes: this song is clearly infused with twitchy invention, tack-sharp assemblage and, despite the clutter of noise, has a coherency that most bands would kill for.

As the song finishes, you’ll be bewildered by the journey you’ve just taken. Rockabilly, art-rock, jangle-pop, twee-tinkling, noisecore, neo-world music, Donk (OK, not Donk): it’s all there in one guise or another.

They take so many right turns that inevitably the song ends up right back where it began: a snake eating it’s own tail. Chapter 24 create their own parameters and can tell their tales they way they want. Single-mindedness tastes good.

myspace.com/chapter24