I’m Scared of Vinyl

Julie Feeney

Posted in Videos by Catriona on May 29, 2009

Here’s the new video from Julie Feeney’s new album, Pages, which is coming out on the 5th June. I really like the blue tights she’s wearing…

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The Von Bondies

Posted in Interviews by Catriona on May 18, 2009

I did an interview with Jason from the Von Bondies two weeks ago, before their gig in the Academy on the 6th. Here’s the piece that was in TN2:

After a five year break, a new record deal and another dramatic line-up change, the Von Bondies are back, with the album Love, Hate and Then There’s You. Jason Stollsteimer, lead singer and driving force behind the band spends quite a bit of time in Ireland, since he’s going out with Donna McCabe from the former Dublin band The Dagger Lees, which explains why the Von Bondies are playing seven dates here and only four in the UK. Stollsteimer, who spends three months a year in Dublin and is a regular at Anseo on Camden St, is full of praise for the Irish music scene, citing Fight Like Apes, Ham Sandwich, Republic of Loose and The Frames as his favourite Irish bands. The band are probably best known for their hit “C’mon, C’mon” (of the Lifestyle Sports ad fame), while Stollsteimer’s biggest personal moment in the media spotlight was when he was involved in the now-infamous punch-up with Jack White outside a Detroit club, which culminated in pictures of his battered face appearing all over the Internet and ended in the White Stripes frontman having to attend anger management classes.

Strangely enough, neither the altercation or “C’mon C’mon” were mentioned in the interview, since I walked in on a particularly animated conversation between Stollsteimer and the publicist about the eccentric habits of a dog that he and his ex-wife rescued.

“He used to crawl on top of me, and he was a big 65, 70 pound dog, and would sit on top of me and lick me while I was sleeping, and I’d wake up happy because I’d think it wasn’t a dog. But the dog would hug me like a human being. It had been so badly abused that it was obsessed with being close. It always spooned. It never curled up in a dog position. He had separation anxiety….My ex took him. That’s the only thing I miss about my ex-marriage, the only thing… About two years ago I got a divorce, but I started dating her when I was about 16 so I dated her for 13 years on and off. I’m not a very good rock star. I never really hoed around or any of that shit.”

When asked if he’d ever been attracted to any of the girls in the band – and the girls do change around suspiciously frequently – Stollsteimer replied: “No, I’d never touch those. Out of nine girls that have been in the band, no. I’m probably more attracted to my drummer. After being on tour with girls, there’s no difference. I think girls are actually messier than guys, on tour. At home they might be cleaner. Some girls. But some are just nasty. The girls now are clean… they know not to mess up mine or Don’s bedroom. We all share beds, that’s true, we all do share beds.”

Stollsteimer’s not afraid to elaborate on the Von Bondie’s slightly unusual sleeping habits: “Don, um, I think he runs in his sleep. I put pillows between us. He does too – I don’t want to misquote – he puts pillows between us too because I sit up with my eyes open when I sleep sometimes and that’s scary. And I talk out loud, like really full, fluent sentences. They don’t make any sense, but they’re like ‘Man, I don’t think so. Man, I really don’t think so.’ And my eyes will be open and I’ll be totally asleep. I’ve a lot of issues.”

Issues or not, he seems to have a supportive family: “My grandma comes to my shows. My grandma’s eighty. My grandma and grandpa come to every show in Michigan. They just came to one two weeks ago. I think they’re deaf. At least, I think I’ve made them deaf. I always point them out to the audience. At our last show in Detroit, our bass player was signing this really big boned guy, huge guy, like Buddha, and she signed his left breast and I signed the right one, and my grandma was standing there, my eighty year old grandma whose probably only seen my grandpa naked in her entire life and she signed his belly with a really large “Barb”. Can you picture your grandma being at a concert at one in the morning doing that?”

One of the most interesting things about the Von Bondies is the calibre of their support acts. The band seem to have a knack of identifying new bands on the brink of global success: “We took Kasabian on their first tour, The Kills, The Datsuns on their first tour, Franz Ferdinand on theirs…it was the NME tour, it was us and The Rapture who were headlining and Franz Ferdinand was the first of four. And by the end of the tour they were the biggest band. We all knew they were going to be. It was obvious they were going to be… Even Kasabian, we took them on their first month of touring. They’d never played live in front of audiences outside of their home town. We have open minded fans and a lot of press come to see us because we put on a good live show, but our opening bands always end up being huge. I don’t know what that says about us. That we have good taste? That’s the only nice thing I can think of that would relate to that. But Fight Like Apes were the most fun to hang out with, because they were like kids. Like little monkeys on stage.”

Stollsteimer also mentions the problems with his former record label, which caused the five year delay to the album. The breaking point came when it was suggested that the band work with one of Paris Hilton’s songwriters, an idea which predictably proved distasteful to Stollsteimer: “Nobody will ever hear any of those songs. Every song on the record we wrote. I never physically finished a recording of one of those songs. It’s bad.… Like David Gray or some shit. Seriously, that’s what it sounds like. David Gray writes good songs, it’s just not what I do. Nothing wrong with what David Gray does, my mom likes that kind of stuff…. And I was going through a divorce so I couldn’t fight. I was so tired from fighting in the divorce that I didn’t want to fight with the label. So eventually I just told the label ‘Fuck you, I won’t back my record.’ I feel so good right now, though, it’s like I got rid of everything at once. I’ve no credit debt, no nothing. I can go anywhere I want and I have nothing to prove to anybody because I pay for everything, so I don’t care what anybody else thinks.”


Florence and the Machine

Posted in Videos by Catriona on May 16, 2009

Florence and the Machine – Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)

Such a beautiful video, I love the Pre-Raphaelite vibe she’s got going on…

The Horrors – Primary Colours

Posted in Albums by Catriona on May 10, 2009

My sister and I went through a bit of an obsessive Mighty Boosh phase last year, where we absorbed all three series to the degree where every sentence we spoke was incomplete without some sort of reference to it. Our devotion took some pretty bizarre forms, such as plotting to break into Noel Fielding’s dressing room after their show at the Olympia and inadvertently taking style inspiration from Old Gregg. So, you can hardly be surprised that Becky ended up buying the Horrors debut album, purely based on the fact that they featured heavily in one of the episodes.

Anyhow, it was an utter disappointment. It was crap, there was no way that even our irrational love of all things Mighty Boosh could deny that. I tried to listen to it, really trying to find some sort of depth to it, but nada. Beyond their hair and attractively stylish appearance there was actually nothing there. And then Primary Colours! It’s so unbelievably different to the first album, I can’t quite believe it’s by the same band. They’ve completely overhauled their image and produced a really good album. It’s far more sophisticated than the raw sound of their debut and somewhere along the line they’ve developed quite an original and very instrumental sound – more shoegaze than punk. Definitely, definitely worth a listen.