Artrocker Blogs

  1. Welcome to my World »

    Kate Bush - More Humanity in Kraftwerk

    Filed in Welcome to my World at 14.14pm on 16 September 14

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    The world seems to have gone Kate Bush crazy. But the madness has avoided me, I really couldn't give a big one. Why not? I decided to review my relationship with Kate to find out why I have always been indifferent to her musical charms. I guess it all begins in 1977, the year that punk climbed out of the sewer and began to make sense. It was in 1977 that Kate arrived, backed up by the very dinosaurs we were trying to get rid of. Kate Bush felt like the hippies revenge; winsome and dancing like a hippy on bad acid, a world away from punk...yuk!

    Punk turned to post punk and Kate remained irrelevant. But loved by the boomers...yuk!

    Years rolled by and so did Kate, occasionally I'd hear a single, like the one about the hill, and the think: "Wow! The hippy chick made a good record". Then I'd hear the album, nod off halfway through and never listen to it again.



    Then Futureheads released their brilliant cover of Hounds of Love and I realised it was time for a Bush reassessment. So I went back to the albums, nodded off and decided I'd been right all along.

    So what is it about la Bush that sends me to sleep? Simple as this: she simply doesn't engage me. Her music tells me nothing about her except that she makes highly polished records. Bush remains hidden, instead she engages robot Bush to create flawless, and therefore inhuman music. No grit in the oyster. No blood on the tracks. Just a cold perfection that could easily be the product of a machine.

    Do we laugh with Kate? Cry? Get angry? No. We just admire the sleek lines. And that has never been enough for me, I need to hear humanity, and I find more humanity in Kraftwerk.

    I have the same problem with Bjork to be honest. I can applaud the technique while being completely disinterested in the result.

    And then there's the phoney baloney enigma - who knows Bush?, she's a hermit, she eats flies, she's living on a mountain contemplating humanity and has learned to fly. All standard industry bullshit.

    She's made a few good singles. Get over it.

    Tom Artrocker

  2. Welcome to my World »

    The Drums of War

    Filed in Welcome to my World at 13.45pm on 04 September 14

    Can you hear them? A distant drumming caught on the breeze, listen, behind the sound of charter jets screaming across Londoner's heads you can hear them, faint but drawing nearer. But this time we aren't after non-existent WMDs in the desert, now we're chasing Russian troops and tanks without a single shred of evidence that Russian troops or tanks are crossing the border to Ukraine.

    Great.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm no Putin apologist, but when the likes of NATO, under the auspices of a man who knew for a fact that Iraq had WMDs, starts assembling a force of 4000 with the intention of engaging Russian troops (who, like ghosts are unphotographable apparently) then I get a little bit nervous. It's Iraq all over again but this time we'll be fighting wraith like Russians with the ability to disappear, driving stealth tanks immune to the camera. Bloody clever these Ruskies. Of course I might have missed something, if I have please correct me. What I haven't missed is The Ukranian army shelling villages, that is definitely going on. What I didn't miss was the EU's ham-fisted intervention that started the whole thing - any fool, not just this fool, could see how it would play out. But that didn't stop Cameron heaping praise onto Baroness Ashton in the chamber yesterday.
    Apparently she's done a great job. Hmmm. A great job of what and for who? I'm sure the people of The Ukraine are delighted by the way she has stuck her nose in and reduced the nation to war. Nice one Kathy.

    Of course Ukraine is neither a member of NATO or the EU. But don't let that stop us whipping up a shit-storm. And NATO, despite assurances to the contrary have continued to expand their presence along Russia's borders, in a totally non threatening way of course.
    As I say, I'm no Putinbot, but neither am I a right wing militarist out to pay back Russia for the sins of the USSR, legion as those sins are, but I can't say the same for Polish and Lithuanian politicians, many of whom would like to see us drawn into war with Russia on the flimsiest, not to say nonexistent evidence. These are the suppliers of those drums of war, and NATO, The EU, the US and, shamefully our own parliament are the ones banging away at the skins.

    And this time there's no dodgy dossier, there's no dossier at all, nothing, just the rantings of the neo-fascists Baroness Ashton helped into power.
    I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for some evidence that Russia is, in effect, invading Ukraine do you? A single photograph would be a good start.

    I backed the war in Iraq because I believed our leaders - not a mistake I'm willing to repeat, fool me once...

    With every minute the drums get louder, with every second the lies go deeper.

    But what the hell eh? Some narcissists have had their i-cloud accounts hacked, that really is outrageous.

    But we muddle along, us little people, aware of the gathering storm, we go to work and love our families, struggle with money problems and hope for the best. Some of us make magazines. Life goes on.

    And in order for our lives to go on we respectfully ask that you buy our latest offering for iPad and iPhone, or take away a free back issue or four.
    Before the drums drown us out.

    Tom Artrocker

    In the New Issue


    Ty Segall gets trippy on the cover of the latest Artrocker, and then gets deep in conversation. In pursuit of joy we chat to 1975's Matt Healy, delight in an acoustic session from The Cadbury Sisters, wallow in Andy Vella's Cure photos, talk nightmares with Gazelle Twin, delight in Glasto photos taken by some of the world's finest, revel in the art of David Woodbridge, review the hottest new albums and then sit down for a nice cup of tea...Phew!
    And there are this month's New Bloods too.
    In short - this is a banger! Current advice is to go get it and stop messing about.

    Get it here now. No excuses - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/artrocker-mag/id835996555?mt=8

  3. Welcome to my World »

    Beards, Guns and Portaloos

    Filed in Welcome to my World at 14.47pm on 12 August 14

    Pushing back the foliage I caught sight of the searchlights glinting on the polished shotgun shouldered by a large, bearded man. Slowly, he turned to survey the ground around him and the bushes beyond, the bushes I crouched in. The area had been cut back to provide a clear fire zone between the bushes and the forest, any fugitive crossing this area would be cut down in seconds with a combination of shotgun and machine gun fire from the observation posts set high on stilts. I sat back and thought through my next move.

    Somehow I had to cross this grass if I ever hoped to achieve my goal, but how? The bearded man had by now completed his 360 degree surveillance and was now walking slowly towards my hiding place, the shotgun rising to his shoulder as he walked. As the barrel poked into the bush I struck, one hand pulling the barrel and guard forward, the other smashing upwards into his jaw. Senseless he crumpled into the gorse as I whipped his gun away and brought it smartly down against the back of his head. That was easy, now for the hard bit.

    Grabbing my toilet roll, I made a desperate dash for the tree line, beyond which lay the only decent toilets on the whole festival site. Bullets zinged from every direction as I bobbed and weaved, thudding into the dry earth, ricocheting from the rocks, and somehow I came through untouched, diving into the forest at last, bladder bursting, bowels in uproar, the pristine toilet block at last coming into view.

    It had been worth it. Slamming the door of the first cubicle I came to behind me I pulled down my lower garments and descended on to the seat. Bliss! It had been worth it. Now I could enjoy the rest of the festival in comfort. All I had to do now was to re-cross that patch of land without being shot and the rest would be plain sailing.

    And then it started to rain.

  4. Welcome to my World »

    Artrocker Now 69p For iPhone and iPad, Get New Issue Now!

    Filed in Welcome to my World at 11.54am on 07 April 14

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    Artrockers,

    There's a lot to tell you about so do pay attention. First, we have remade / remodelled the magazine for all you iPhone users, so now it works brilliantly for iPad and iPhone. Designing a magazine that works on a phone is a challenge, but with new and larger fonts and a simple layout we think we've pulled it off in spectacular fashion. And at a limited period offer of 69p we reckon you can afford to have a look and make up your own mind. And you'll get the next one, due in a couple of weeks, for nowt. There's even a 6 month subscription for £2.99. I mean to say, come on, we're virtually giving it away. Read, watch and listen to the latest Artrocker Magazine here.

    And we've been busy planning our festival coverage for this year, and boy are there a lot of festivals. So many in fact tat we've created a stand alone website just for festivals. It's called FestivalMate and, as the name implies, it is designed to be your Festival Mate. Pop along and have a look, and while you're there click the follow button, you'll get all the latest festival info straight to your inbox including updates, news and ticket competitions. We have also created a festival app called...FestivalMate that links to the site and feeds to your mobile device when you're at a festival. It's all jolly clever and does everything but roll the biftas. More on this soon.

    In the immediate future we'll be at The Great Escape ( http://festivalmate.co.uk), Liverpool Sound City and our own New Blood Festival Summer Sessions (http://festivalmate.co.uk) kicking off June 10 at The Hoxton Bar and Kitchen, and we can now proudly announce the addition of Artrocker faves Young Kato as headliners on the 12th. More announcements to come, temporarily embargoed. I recommend you get tickets now (http://www.ents24.com/festival/artrocker-new-blood-festival/3791729)

    In The New Issue of Artrocker Magazine

    This month’s cover features a video interview with Lola Colt who experienced a bit of trouble en route to meet Tom. Artrocker also caught up with Shopping at the Hoxton Bar and Kitchen while Bleech and Stats join Tom in his car for a chat.
    The hottest up-and-coming bands included in this month’s New Blood are as follows; Cassels, Hot Models, The Hyena Kill, Two Weeks Running, Vienna Ditto, Record/Start, The Montagues, …And The Hangnails, Boss Caine, Bull, Le Petite Mort, Carnabells, Youth Man, Ordinary Noise, iC1s, Young Kato and Rufus.
    Contemporary artist, Stuart Semple, may have had his name in the news recently but Artrocker shows readers what his art actually looks like.
    As per usual this magazine has extensive reviews of this month’s most exciting release while, The Voluntary Butler Scheme’s new release, A Million Ways to Make Gold, has been dubbed Artrocker’s album of the month.
    Artrocker Radio is back this month, playing tracks by God Damn, Vodun, Kill the Captains and more.
    Buy here https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/artrocker-mag/id835996555?mt=8

  5. Welcome to my World »

    Tom’s Blog - I Blame Whiskas

    Filed in Welcome to my World at 14.04pm on 31 March 14

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    I have long been confused by the proliferation of Edwardian beards among the young men of today. Where did it all begin? And it came to me with a shock over the weekend - it's all Whiskas fault. How can I be sure? Well, so rare was it in 2005 or thereabouts for facial hair to be worn that Sam Nicholls soon became Whiskas. Folks would travel miles to wonder at his growth - a member of an Indie band with a beard? Crazy.
    Now beards are everywhere and I assume he now refers to himself as The Original Whiskas.

    I'm not sure what he's up to now - still running DTTR, I presume. The big question is this - now that the beard is ubiquitous has Whiskas shaved it off?

    Please let us know, send us a recent photo if you've spotted him about.

    Sam 'Whiskas' Nicholls, we salute your beard. The original and the best.

    Tom Artrocker

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