"But there was nothing about the little, low-rambling, more or less identical homes of Northumberland Estates to interest or to haunt, no chance of loot that would be any more than the ordinary, waking-world kind the cops hauled you in for taking; no small immunities, no possibilities for hidden life or otherworldly presence; no trees, secret routes, shortcuts, culverts, thickets that could be made hollow in the middle – everything in the place was right out in the open, everything could be seen at a glance; and behind it, under it, around the corners of its houses and down the safe, gentle curves of its streets, you came back, you kept coming back, to nothing; nothing but the cheerless earth."
Thomas Pynchon, "The Secret Integration"

This is Ian Mathers' Tumblr. I live in Canada. I've written about music and other things for Stylus, Dusted, PopMatters, Resident Advisor, the Village Voice, and a few other places. Hi.

imathers@gmail.com

 

So we’ve been having a great long weekend; spent the day at the CNE and a (horrible) soccer game with my brother on Saturday (how bad was the game? the coach has since been fired), and mostly not leaving the apartment since then. But Saturday night I also went to a concert with my friend/ex-housemate from Guelph. We saw Fujiya & Miyagi, a band I’ve loved for some years now, have written about in a few places, and have looked forward to seeing live.

It was a great show! I’ve had a good year for concerts and F&M are one of the bands I’ve been most impressed by; they were even more satisfying than I expected. If you’d told me before the show that they were going to play not one but both of the instrumentals from the new record I suspect I’d have been mildly disappointed by the prospect, but they were absolute highlights (and I really hadn’t guessed that one particular sound on “Rayleigh Scattering” was David Best’s guitar). It was a nicely balanced set, the band played really wonderfully together, the crowd loved them, and every song sounded even better than it does on record.

The only problem, then, was the size of that crowd. Whether it was the long weekend, other stuff going on that night I was unaware of, or what Best seemed to take as just the band’s lot in life when I chatted with him for a few minutes while buying the new record after the show, Lee’s was maybe half as full as it should* have been. I’ve certainly been to outright lacklustre concerts, where the fans were visibly/audibly not enjoying themselves half as much as we were, that were packed to the rafters. When you enjoy a band as much as I do Fujiya & Miyagi and they put on that good a show, it’s hard not to feel bad for them when attendance is just good-not-great; I know I was far from the only person to immediately follow up praise for them with “I don’t know why there weren’t more people here!” (Best, to his credit, just maintained that as long as everyone who did come enjoyed the show, he was happy.) Of course there are other, equally deserving artists even unluckier in that regard than F&M, but I do hope this was just bad timing and they get a bigger crowd next time, because they were fantastic.

*(Longtime readers know I’m a pretty pure emotivist when it comes to aesthetics, so please read ‘should’ in that sense.)

Set list:

  1. Artificial Sweeteners
  2. Knickerbocker
  3. Flaws
  4. Uh
  5. Acid to my Alkaline
  6. Rayleigh Scattering
  7. Collarbone
  8. In One Ear & Out the Other
  9. Tetrahydrofolic Acid
  10. Minestrone

Encore:

  1. Ankle Injuries
  2. Tinsel & Glitter

Listening Post, August 2014 

dustedmagazine:

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Our third set of quick takes on what’s been vibrating our cones, the August Listening Post also finds long-time Dusted writers Mason Jones and Matt Wuethrich chiming in. This is turning into a regular thing.

Read More

As always some real good stuff in here. I write about Cabaret Voltaire, Joe Henry, New Order, Doveman, and Clams Casino.

caffeinatedrecordings:

thepaver back the first time I saw them.  This song still gives me chills.

Wow, I had never heard of this band before, but this song is kind of something else. Those strings!

Noxagt — “SOMEONE CALLS YOU EVERY NIGHT BUT SAYS NOTHING. YOU CAN’T SLEEP.”

Brutage is nothing but burners (even the quiet one at the end). Absolutely one of my favourite records of the year so far.