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i am winston echo

(this is my blog so i get to say whatever i like. have a quick look and you'll see there's mp3s available, if you want to listen to them try streaming by all means but sometimes it doesn't work too well, in which case right click and save and listen at yr leisure. also, if you find that yr in a position to get upset at me posting these mp3s and would like them taken down then please let me know and i'll chop em ok? also also, go and buy music as well cheapskates) look at the rest of my site
Tuesday, 3 July 2007
Great Jorb!

In the past couple of weeks I've spent too many nights sleeping on my friends' sofa.  Their hospitality is truly invincible.  I know how irritating I can be and it's a wonder I've woken up at all some mornings, knowing that these guys have had the chance to quietly suffocate me beneath a couch cushion.  Well done to them

In the past week or so and a bit or something I've been catching up with some viewing which I'd promised myself.  So I watched Everything Is Illuminated and The Squid & The Whale (which were both very good, go watch) and also For Your Consideration, as part of a new secret flim night I'm involved in.  All fantastic.  I also strongly recommend watching Who I Am And What I Want, co-directed by my personal favourite man with a pen David Shrigley.  Probably the most special thing I've been watching at with my eyes is the first series of Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job (part of the insane Adult Swim family of television programmes.)  The show is really hard to describe but I like to think of as a sketch show made by people who have never seen a sketch show before.  Go and watch an episode, it's not long.

And listening to music.  Here's Zeek Sheck, who I know nothing about at all.  2 songs.  Listen.

Zeek Sheck - Ghostrem's Left Leg

Zeek Sheck - Chess


Posted by winston at 8:34 PM BST
Thursday, 21 June 2007
Larfs

Earlier this week I went to London for the evening.  I haven't been on the train into St. Pancras for some time so I was a bit upset to find that the station still isn't finished with their big refurbishment (and you've still got the slightly confusing walk from the train platform to the underground station with signs that seem to change before every single trip.)  Apparently all the work will be finished in october this year but I'm not optomistic.  Personally I can't wait for all the scaffolding to come down so everyone can see the full splendor what can only be described as The Most Terrifying Building Of My Childhood.  Having lived in Wellingborough for most of my life I have often been in and out of St Pancras every couple of months and I can't remember a time when the building hasn't given me chills down my spine.  I don't know where I'm going with this but I'm sure these refurbishments will have sucked most of the character out of the building and replaced it with glass and chrome and a pleasant bleached pine effect.

In case yr still reading, the reason I went to London was to see David Cross and the opening night of his 2 week run at the 100 ClubDavid Cross is pretty much my favourite man in the world right now, I'm currently taking in (mostly through osmosis) the 4th and final series of his Python-borrowing sketch show Mr. Show, and his character Tobias from (the amazing) Arrested Development is one of the most absurd, twisted and delightful characters there have been on TV in pretty much forever.  And of course there's his stand-up comedy, which is inspirational and insanely cynical at the same time. 
The show was pretty disappointing, the main main reason for this being that David Cross didn't even really do a real set, rather he compered the show, doing about 10 minutes between acts and introducing his friends.  The other acts were really good (Ed Byrne was a bit slick, Kristen Schaal was nice, but I'd really recommend checking out Todd Barry and Eugene Mirman if you get a chance because they were rad) but I (and most people in the room) had come to see a proper David Cross set.  Oh well. 

I'm really trying to absorb as much comedy as possible at the moment, maybe to compensate for my empty empty life. 

In other news, I'm trying hard to sort out Undereducated shows in the next couple of months.  It's hard sorting out venues sometimes.  We've got Sleeping States coming to Northampton in July and we're doing a show for The Blankket in London.  However, I'm trying my damnedest to sort something out for Shimmy Rivers And And Canal's tour at the end of july, they are such an amazing band live and I want to do a really great show but Northampton kind of sucks.  Fingers crossed. 

Shimmy Rivers And And Canal - Lord Justed Hues

Sleeping States - Maider!


Posted by winston at 11:49 PM BST
Sunday, 17 June 2007
Older and wiser

It's been ages since my last confession.  When I started this blog I was determined to keep it regular, but being the lazy scatterbrain good-for-nothing lowlife I am, this whole thing has fallen into a state of disrepair.  I bet you've been chewing away at your own knuckles in anticipation of finding out what I've been doing with my abundance of free time, and wilting away into a mere husk of your former self without the reassurance these blog entries provide you.  Well, I think that says more about you than it does me.

Last weekend Undereducated put on 2 big big days of stuff in Northampton.  And it was good in varying degrees.  Friday I found myself really disappointed, mostly due to the fact I played first, opening the night, and got caught up in my own self-loathing, meaning I couldn't enjoy the rest of the evening.  Which sucks, because I missed the whole of Anni Rossi's set, which I'm told was amazing.  I am an idiot.  Then on saturday we had a whole day with Gay Against You.  Well, not a whole day.  A mixture of traffic problems and other acceptable excuses meant GvsY were not able to carry out the afternoon workshop which we'd planned.  However they did do a great improvised set as part of the Fishmarket's opening of their new Alex Gene Morrison exhibition, and then tore the Labour Club apart with one of the most fun half hours ever.  I also got to meet Gentle, Friendly, who are 2 lovely boys from Birmingham (via London) and played fantastically, House Mouse blew everyone away with his midi-guitar, laptop and interesting hooded sweatshirt, and Thrulk showed how much they are improving and fast becoming my favourite band in Northamptonshire.  Just yesterday I finished uploading a WHOLE BUNCH of videos from the weekend to YouTube so that's worth checking out.

So here's a song by Gay Against You, it's from their album Musclemilk (on Adaadat) and it's ace.  Also, recently I've been listening to the forthcoming Liars (self titled) album and I'm struggling to get to grips with it, it just seems too easy and straightforward.  Anyway this is a track from that.

Gay Against You - I Put My Hood Up

Liars - Clear Island


Posted by winston at 8:14 PM BST
Updated: Sunday, 17 June 2007 8:45 PM BST
Thursday, 12 April 2007
Tech

Not very interesting this so I'm sorry.  A few people have complained/commented that they're having trouble streaming the MP3s on this blog.  I don't really understand it myself but, yeah, it's crap innit?  Here's what to do, right-click on the link for the MP3 you wanna check out, then in the little menu thing which should pop out you can either click 'save target as' (it might be 'save link as' or something similar) and then download the track, which is fine.  OR or you can click 'copy link' and then paste in into the 'pay url' option of whatever media player you like to use on you computer.

For Mac users, work it out yourself.  You've onlt got one mouse button and I don't get it.

Told you it wasn't very interesting.


Posted by winston at 8:07 PM BST
Wednesday, 11 April 2007
Your own adventure

On saturday night we all had good fun at the Fishmarket for the opening of the James Jessop and Harry Pye exhibition.  I got lumped with the 'setting up sound gear' job which always stresses me out (though I can't complain too much as I did volunteer, but I do like complaining) but after that got done everything went mostly smoothly.  It was strange seeing the Fishmarket actually looking like a place you'd want to spend time in, very very exciting.  Also, it was very nice seeing everyone who had worked so hard to get it all done, and they've done a great job, able to let their hair down and have nice evening.  A big hand for everyone.

So, what have I been doing.  I recently started working on a little book which eventually I'm gonna photocopy and make available in my shop and wherever else I can.  It's a project I've been talking about doing for some time and I thought I'd better just get on with it and stop procrastinating.  It takes the form of one of those Choose Your Own Adventure books that were popular in the 80s and 90s.  (You might not remember them but apparently the series sold over 250 million copies, so I'm not making it up.)  So, here's a page of the story, it's pretty weird.

Figuring you’ve developed some new and cruel allergy to out-dated dairy products, your stomach instantly does backflips and you run out to the street, instantly hurling your guts into the gutter. This lasts about 10 minutes and you can taste every meal from the past week spilling from you in slow motion. Gross. You gradually regain some semblance of composure, reminding yourself that illness is for the weak and you are better than this, sure you’ve turned into some weird cartoon-ish comedy creature, but in your mind your still a strong independent human being with a conscience and a soul and tickets to see Rod Stewart this weekend. The thought of Rod Stewart forces another little bit of sick up out of your throat. Tears start to well up in your eyes and, unknowingly, you begin to walk towards the town centre. Looking up towards the sun you can actually see and hear the clouds moving, whooshing through the air, you also notice the birds darting in all directions desperately trying to avoid the same moving clouds. It takes a little while to work it out but apparently the clouds are chasing the birds, round and round, about seven clouds to fifteen birds.

Hypnotised.

Then something happens. As your eyes start following one particular bird which seems to be struggling with a damaged wing being toyed with by the clouds, the birds manage to escape and fly away to the safety of a nearby tower block. The clouds have stopped darting about and are now all hovering in close formation, and you can’t be sure because they don’t have eyes, but they seem to be focussing on you. Everything’s getting colder and your starting to get a bit scared which is understandable. Like bees and dogs and bus drivers, clouds can apparently smell fear and to them it smells like lunch. Fear turns to the much tastier panic as all seven clouds combine as one large mega cloud and momentarily form a large hand with an index finger pointing straight between your eyes. “Gulp.”

What next?

“I’m not one hundred percent certain but it has occurred to me that this cloud could potentially cause me a measure of bodily harm. I’m not normally a coward but on this occasion I think I’ll make my excuses and leave.”

Or“I bet you I have probably got some really cool special powers, it seems only fair to compensate my loss of good looks with something helpful.”

Now for some music to tide you over (as if anyone is actually still reading this.)  First is a track by Cradle Of Smurf from Strasbourg, France, a mostly electro pop act with art rock tendencies, this track is instrumental but they aren't all instrumental, and you can dance to it.  Then there's a pair of 13 year old girls from Portland, Oregon (indie capital of the world don't you know?) called Blübird, and their song is about global warming.  It's nice.  Listen.  (sorry i'm not writing more, but my eyes are weak from monitor burn)

Cradle Of Smurf - Lactina Park

Blübird - What If We Don't Want To Be Warm?


Posted by winston at 12:09 PM BST
Thursday, 5 April 2007
Press 'random' and repeat

If you spend too much time on the wild wild web (like me) you'll always find things to do, like this blog for instance.  Other things you'll realise are how quickly your tan fades and some people dress funny.  I've kinda become fascinated by the lengths some people go to for fancy dress costumes.  Isn't strange how people can spend there lives being resolutely UNcreative, but give them a chance to dress up funny and they suddenly become a cross between Roy Lichtenstein and Liberace.  Here's some of my recent (kind of) favourites.

I think they're pretty good.  Here's some completely unrelated MP3s for you to listen to while searching google for your own favourite costume.  Montana Pete, Liars, Abe Vigoda and Young Marble Giants.

Montana Pete - Jungle Jane

Liars - We're Still Young Enough To Lay Face Down In Front Of The Speakers (Peel Session)

Abe Vigoda - The Walk

Young Marble Giants - An Ode To Booker T


Posted by winston at 3:06 PM BST
Monday, 2 April 2007
Drum vs, Keyboard

God, I'm getting really slack with this aren't I?  But, hey, hey, nobody's forcing you to read it, and if all you've got to complain about is the fact that I'm not posting twice a day, then you've really got too much time on yr hands (much like myself.)  Besides, I do have other things going on y'know.  For instance...

Last week (and a bit) we did a couple of Undereducated shows.  These were the first we've done at The Fishmarket so it was kind of an experiment, especially considering the amount of building work going on at the moment.  I've got nothing but praise for everyone at The Fishmarket, and over the next few months we'll all be able to see how the whole project will start to pan out.  It's all pretty exciting.

Ill Ease came to play on a thursday.  As with both nights, it was incredibly cold, but we we're all wearing coats and gloves so what's all the whining about?  Also complaining about the cold was National Parks (who is Luke, and my good friends at Kooky are apparently releasing his first EP soon) and Thee Moths (and it will always remain a mystery to me why Alex is not considered in much higher regard, the man is ridiculously prolific and ridiculously imaginative, I pretty much hate him.)  Ill Ease (Liz Sharp from Brooklyn, NY) is a wonderful musician, and armed with sample pedals and live loops she really putting on a mesmerising show, jumping between guitar, bass and drums and creating some dark party jams through the chilly evening air.  There weren't many people in attendance but who cares?  I'm pretty sure everyone went away having learned something.

Ill Ease - Two Party System

Grabba Grabba Tape came to play on a saturday.  GG Tape (as they shall now be known) were having a terrible time, their keyboards had been misplaced somewhere in midday during their flight from madrid courtesy of the ever inefficient Ryanair (later we also discovered they had misplaced a couple of drum stands also) leaving me to beg and borrow some alternative gear.  Help arrived in the form of Thrulk (who were opening and did so in spectacularly obtuse fashion), who came through the doors armed with more keyboards than any one band could possibly need.  The lovely girls of Hip Hip Handmade, after taking charge of a whole day of craft market-ing, had arranged some craft activities for the evening.  With the help of many hands I made a robot head.  If you've not seen Grabba Grabba Tape before then you really need to make a bit more effort.  Dressing like neon pink and marshmallow white yetis and pounding away at drums and synth and yelping through vocoder and smile-worthy Rage Against The Machine and Minor Threat covers equals a wicked good time. 

Grabba Grabba Tape - Mainor Zret (Minor Threat cover)

In other news, The Fishmarket is having a launch for their new exhibition of work James Jessop and Harry Pye.  I think it's gonna be rad, but that's just my opinion.  It's this saturday from 6pm, if yr around you should come along, it'll be good.  There's a sweet band playing too.


Posted by winston at 3:43 PM BST
Monday, 19 March 2007
Friends (part 2)

(see part 1)

My friends really are the most inspiring people I know. I'm sure this is the same for everyone, whether they realise it or not. Would you have read that book or seen that one film if yr friend hadn't recommended it? What makes you happier than seeing yr friends succeed? Yr friends are yr friends for a reason and it's nice to sometimes take a step back and look at the things that make yr friends so great... go on... take a moment...

...right, now yr back in the room, I want to tell you a little bit about the group which forced me to do what I do, and I'm really glad to be able to call them friends.

I first saw Lesbo Pig at Truckfest many moons ago. They used to be based in Oxford and then moved to London before kind of splitting up. They decided to do some different things (which I'll go into in a bit) but I always love to go back and listen to their 3"CD At Home With Lesbo Pig and trying to work out how much I ripped them off when I started writing Winston Echo songs. This track here is from a Homocrime compilation (which I also had a song on) I'm pretty sure it was recorded for an old Careless Talk Costs Lives radio show, but don't hold me to it.

Lesbo Pig - Tokyo

Along with a pair of characters called Michal and Lisa, Irene has pushed Lesbo Pig to one side and started shouting loads in the rock band Corey Orbison (or The Corey Os or The Corey 'Boring' Orbisons.) Based mostly in possibly my favourite part of the country, Bristol, Corey Orbison play fast and loud and I am quite comfortable in saying that Michal has one of the wildest vox going. These kids are involved in so many supercool extra-curricular activities it's unreal, most notably Local Kid and Cafe Kino, which I haven't visited yet but I'm sure is suitably amazing.

Corey Orbison - I Cut Things Up

Now then, Ros is close to being a proper Rock Star. As well as her own songs as Ray Rumours, queer punks The Battys and Spanish language campfire pop band Sisisi Sisisi Sisi, Ros plays bass guitar and other instruments for the international megastars Electrelane. I've played with Ray Rumours a bunch of times and it's always always amazing. Undereducated got to release her first CDr (along with our friends at Stitch-Stitch) and it really is beautiful. This song is a new one I believe.

Ray Rumours - Tomorrow

In Other News. I'm doing a column for Music For Squares magazine, it's all written up and will be in the new issue, due in April. If you read it let me know what you think. Also if yr not in Northampton (it's local) and would like to see a copy let me know and I'll see if I can't pop one in the post for you.


Posted by winston at 10:28 PM BST
Updated: Monday, 19 March 2007 10:40 PM BST
Sunday, 11 March 2007
Constructive

 

Not everyone can take criticism.  I found this out today courtesy of the people that run Decades, the mid-to-late 90s themed bar/club/venue in Northampton.  I made a few comments on this very blog a while ago, which were apparently read by the landlord and have led to me being banned from the venue.  It is a shame because I played a nice gig there.  It's also a shame because it left me totally stressed out trying to arrange something for Esiotrot this thursday.  They're still playing there thanks to Closed Captioned but I'm not allowed to go.  I find it all a bit immature really.  It's quite easy to get in touch with me through this blog, which would've been vastly preferable to this kind of vaguely threatening tactic.  Oh well.

On a lighter, much more special note, Undereducated are currently booking another UK tour for Thanksgiving in June.  Adrian Orange (for that is his real name) is truly one of the most inspirational people I've been lucky enough to spend time with (despite the fact he's a couple of years younger than me, the bastard), and through his label, Marriage Records, has released a veritable plethora of fantastic albums.   (Whilst we're talking Marriage Records, I'm totally loving Drakkar Sauna's bare bones folk at the moment.)  He'll be touring with the ever charming Francois and we'll be bringing the pair of them to the ever reliable and often wonderful Labour Club in Northampton on June the 8th.  You can't believe how excited I am about this.

So, here to play us out with a track from his album Cave Days And Moments, Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving - (You Belong To The) Blood


Posted by winston at 9:57 PM BST
Sunday, 25 February 2007
Tough Punx!

:)
Sometimes everything's quite good.  Even though I feel ill, pretty bad, with flu and aching body parts and a vague sense of being at death's door (a bit over the top, maybe), in spite of all of this some days just work out pretty well.  Friday was one of those days.  I played a show at the Labour Club with Foxes and Little Cosmonaut who were both very good, and you can read a bit about them if you look through some older posts.  Unlike some other shows, my set went quite well.  Sure I screwed up a few songs but that's just what I do, but overall I really enjoyed and it seemed like most of the audience did too.  EXCEPT, except for a couple of guys sat right next to the stage.  They'd had a few drinks, got a little rowdy, and, they were punks.  Y'know, real punks.  Like with the spiky hair and combats and Doc Martins.  (For the record, I'm not sure exactly how punk you can really call these kind of fashion choices, these kids still have to go into shops and buy these clothes and they still try and look just like 1977.  What's the difference between this and the Mod revival?)  Punk kids are tough and that means they don't like twee indie pop and they can certainly shout louder than I can.  Hey it's all in good fun, I wasn't too bothered by it all really. 

Now, 'punk rock' has never really appealed too much to me.  I love The Ramones, but I always found the British take on the genre a little too caught up in spitting and safety pins and standard guitar to get too excited (I'm sure it was great being there at the time but in retrospect it just doesn't appeal to me.)  I've always been more interested in punk as an idea, as opposed to a genre or fashion trend.  The idea of doing what you love and using the resources you have available to get it done.  That being said, I do love some really good, fast and loud pop with a bit of punk thrown in. These 2 mp3s are by bands who I don't really know much about at all, I simply stumbled across their websites by chance and found that the songs totally stuck with me.  So have a listen to Dumb Haircuts and The Coathangers.

Dumb Haircuts - Kill The Trees

The Coathangers - Shut Tha Fuck Up


Posted by winston at 7:50 PM GMT

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