Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Shazam. Going to Miami.

I'm going to Miami in the morning. More great updates like this as and when they come.

Jamie - Audio Antihero

Sunday, 12 February 2012

LOOK AT ME, I OWN RECORDS! #13 - Benjamin Shaw

Audio Antihero's goldenboy Benjamin Shaw has stepped up to offer his 'Look At Me, I Own Records!' spectacular. His instability is perhaps apparent from his writings but his choice of records is very quaint. Lucky number 13, no less.

Benjamin Shaw's debut LP "There's Always Hope, There's Always Cabernet" is out now:

First album.

Very early on, I was deep into Michael Jackson, but the first music I bought with my own money was a Motorhead 'best of' on tape from Woolworths. A departure, really. I was 11 or 12 and despite liking the skull with tusks emblem, I didn't quite get it, and lapsed straight into a Bon Jovi binge that lasted longer than I like to admit. I don't have any photos, as most of the records from the first 20 years of my life are in boxes under my brother's bed. A special place reserved for Bon Jovi. I always wanted to be Tico.

Best concept album.

An obvious choice I know, but I am with Alan Partridge on this one. I first heard ELO when I was illegally downloading badly tagged mp3s from Napster of the old days, and Mr Blue Sky was included in an otherwise forgettable Oasis album. My wife and I played that song a lot while we were courting, and we eventually had it played at our wedding. Still gives me a wee tingle now.

Coolest sleeve..

It's pretty good isn't it. My favourite Elton John record probably. As someone who grew up only knowing the funny round man in a wig singing about bastard lions or careless drivers, it was nice to discover that he was actually quite something in his day. Lovely gatefold sleeve with a little cornflakes box type flap too.

Most homemade...

This christmas compilation came free with a CD I bought from 442 Records, a label from Sydney, Australia. The CD I actually bought was the first EP by Lessons in Time, a wonderful wee thing full of odd samples and tiny melodies. Both CD sleeves are stitched with thread and then coloured in with crayons, I guess making them one of a kind. I lent the Lessons in Time CD to Jamie of Audio Antihero once and he lost it. I think he thinks I've forgotten about it. I still have this Xmas compilation that came with it though, I suppose.

Best band name

It's obviously no Wartgore Hellsnicker, but I think it's clear where Wartgore got their inspiration. Party band? Check. Numerous revolving members? Check. Ludicrous name? Why, check. As the point of these blogs is to show off, I should say that I bought this in Gothenburg, Sweden. I have been abroad.

The best album ever.


A nice memory.

Back when I was young, optomistic, in love and in Australia, I worked on a carousel in a zoo. Probably the nicest time in my life. There was a selection of CDs we could play on the ride, and there was a Country compilation I would always gravitate to. Featured on it was Don't it Make my Brown Eyes Blue, by Crystal Gayle. Fittingly now, the piano intro does indeed turn my eyes blue.

Thanks Benjamin, you're mega!

Follow Benjamin Shaw on:

If you would like to contribute one of these yourself then get in touch.

Never Say DIY!
Jamie - Audio Antihero: Specialists in Commercial Suicide

Monday, 6 February 2012

AAH! Reel Monsters: Kathleen Elise

If the throwing of rotten fruit ceases for long enough, this might become a regular post, so get in touch if you want to contribute.

The first part comes from my very own loco en yanko girlfriend as she attempts to determine her five favourite Audio Antihero recordings (whatever happened to 'seen and not heard', eh?). We met through this stupid label of mine, so I suppose it's only fair.

Regardless, like a gentleman, I present you with...

KATHLEEN ELISE's Top 5 Audio Antihero Songs

Mr & Mrs Audio Antihero: Not an open relationship.

Top 5 Audio Antihero Songs

Because he sometimes makes bad decisions, Audio Antihero bossman and king Jamie agreed to give me free rein to write an article on my Top 5 Audio Antihero Songs.

1. Nosferatu D2 – 2 People, 0 Superpowers

It is incredibly hard to pick only one song on the masterpiece that is
Nosferatu D2’s debut. There are a few reasons why this album is incredibly important to me: thanks to a blog post penned by Gareth of Los Campesinos! in 2009, it indirectly introduced me to Jamie, it led me to discovering the other AAH artists I now love and it taught me that Burt Bacharach is actually not an actor, but some sort of musician or something, I guess. I chose this song over the others largely because it includes some of my favorite lyrics: ‘…so let’s sit down, talk about it, that’s enough. Let’s go outside and feel alone.’ It’s a succinct and eerily accurate depiction of the countless futile conversations you try to have until you finally just give up. It’s times like that when you should listen to Nosferatu D2.

2. Benjamin Shaw – Somewhere Over the M6

Pretty decisively my favorite Benjamin Shaw song, and unfortunately one I’ll probably never hear live. It includes another set of lyrics of which I’m very fond: ‘I dream about you nightly, on a moped I arrive and we kiss without using our eyes.’ Ben is a monster of a songwriter within a mouse of a performer, and I mean that in the kindest of ways. I’ve been fascinated by Ben for a long time, which is probably why I still can’t manage to hold a proper conversation with the man. Sorry, Ben!

3. Jack Hayter – I Stole the Cutty Sark

Another hands-down favorite. It is beastly. The first night I heard Jack play this song was a night of other firsts as well, including the first (and only) time I heard Jamie shout for a room full of people to ‘SHUT THE FUCK UP!’ Good times.

4. Fighting Kites – Cat is Egg

I own three copies of the Fighting Kites/Broken Shoulder split. I don’t have a very good reason for this other than that it’s one of the most kickass CDs, ever. I’m fairly certain I’ve seen Fighting Kites perform more than any other AAH artist, and every show was awesome. I was lucky enough to make it to FK’s last pre-hiatus show, but I’m still so bummed they won’t be playing together anymore.

5. Wartgore Hellsnicker – C+F = POW

I’ve never known the glory of seeing Wartgore live, but I can at least live vicariously through their EP and Jamie, who won’t shut up about how incredible they are. This song in particular makes me want to yell and jump around a lot. I would keep writing things, but Wartgore Paul needs me to go stomp around the room.

So there you have it, straight from the horse's mouth.

Kathleen has also contributed a "LOOK AT ME, I OWN RECORDS!", interviewed me for WVUM Radio, works in a record shop and she also writes for a variety of music and cultures sites that I won't name as I want her to pretend she isn't my girlfriend and give AAH stuff really good reviews on them. She does these things BECAUSE SHE'S INTERESTING.

Thanks & Never Say DIY! Hope to see some of your contributions.

Jamie - Audio Antihero: Specialists in Commercial Suicide

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

LOOK AT ME, I OWN RECORDS! #12 - Ben Parker (Nosferatu D2)

"Look At Me, I Own Records!" returns again, an under the hood look at the record collections of our true loves. If you'd like to contribute to the series then get in touch HERE.

Musician/writer Ben Parker made his mark on Audio Antihero Records as one half of the acclaimed Nosferatu D2, our proverbial calling card. He has subsequently released music with Superman Revenge Squad and The Jonbarr Hinge and recently made forays into writing with his first play "Yeah, This House Is Haunted" enjoying a sell-out run late last year and his debut graphic novel on the way. He was once described as a 'lyrical ninja'.

Look At Me, I Own Records - Ben Parker

Looking through my record collection is like flicking through a sequence of musical obsessions that I’ve had over the years.


The first album I owned was 'Thriller' by Michael Jackson, on cassette. And I seem to remember that my parents brought me this when I was at primary school. Maybe it was a birthday present; that would make sense. But I seem to remember it being a present they gave me at Easter; but that makes no sense at all. I still have it somewhere, I think. But I haven’t included a photo, because I can’t be bothered to search it out. And because everyone knows what the front cover of 'Thriller' looks like. Don’t they?


The first CD I owned was 'Bigger and Deffer' by LL Cool J. But I hardly ever played it, mainly because the only CD player was in the main room in the house and I didn’t think my parents really liked rap music that much. But I found it in a boot sale and it was really cheap so I purchased it, maybe thinking that I would eventually own a CD player myself one day, or maybe not really thinking it through at all. A similar problem occurred when I bought 'Scum' by Napalm Death before I owned a CD player, again because I found it for really cheap - But I don’t think that album is particularly listenable at all anyway, so no great loss really.


'Jailbreak' by Thin Lizzy has a marvellous cover. So good that it didn’t actually bother me that I paid 20p for a record that is so scratched it doesn’t play at all. The sleeve is in very good health, even if the record it is meant to be protecting isn’t. There’s a hole in the front that reveals the band as cartoon characters inside, then you open it up and see the jailbreak they are running from. Oh, just look at it - words do not do justice to such a piece of art.


The first album I heard by Leonard Cohen was 'Songs From A Room', and the version I picked up from a charity shop was this one - clearly the old record sleeve was been lost or something so a previous owner has improvised a new sleeve with some yellow card and a biro. I quite like it; I think it adds to the mystery of the record somehow.


'Joy' by Isaac Hayes is another much loved charity shop find. But the picture on the back of the sleeve is somewhat hard to look at as it depicts Isaac seemingly just dressed in gold chains; a look that compliments one of the tracks on the album which I find quite hard to listen to as it seems to offer quite a detailed soundtrack to Isaac wooing a lady.


When Pantera came to Croydon I wasn’t really much of a fan, and I’m not really much of a fan now, but all my friends were going to get stuff signed so I went along. We queued outside Rocket Records in South Croydon and when I got inside I decided I’d feel a bit awkward without something to sign, so I brought the LP of 'Vulgar Display of Power' and got it signed. I still have the signed copy, and it is probably in mint condition as I haven’t played it much; I often wonder if its worth anything now that Dimebag Darrell has been murdered and all that.


I used to buy loads of records from charity shops. Anything that looked remotely interesting would be bought, as long as it was about 20p. The first Burt Bacharach record LinkI got was this one, 'Make it Easy on Yourself', and what makes this one so good is the title track because it features Burt himself on vocals. And I really like his voice, mainly because it’s not really that strong and, as he struggles through the song, it has loads of character.

I think the Nosferatu D2 song called I Killed Burt Bacharach was started as a jam with me singing this song over the top, and it progressed from there.


One of my favourite ever records is called' Minx' and is by a band called Leatherface. I brought this on cassette and listened to it a hell of a lot whilst doing my a-levels. A few years later I began a quest to find it on CD - it had been deleted Roughneck records by then and after many a year I discovered a somewhat unloved copy of it in one of the CD and Tape exchanges that had gradually been reduced to a pound. So I got it. And then it was re-released. But it is still a treasure.


Another obsession of mine was the Male Nurse - a band that sounded a lot like early Fall, but I hadn’t heard early Fall at the time so I thought they were pretty original - saw them live a few times and then I think Tempertwig supported them at their last ever gig (I think - they had a fight before and only two members played. I think Adam really disliked them). I have all three of the singles that were put our by the band, and a CD that contains their John Peel sessions that was posted to me by a kind stranger that saw me mention them on the internet. But the main thing about them is that I have heard from someone that put out one of their singles that she thought they’d released an album and then never did anything with it - so I still have a dream of tracking down this set of recordings somehow one day. Maybe on cassette.


Its always nice to have a record to seek out. A job that was a lot easier back in the days when a load more record shops existed. As a result, I have nearly everything Alasdair Roberts has released (I went round record shops in Scotland when I first heard Appendix Out and brought everything I could find by them), I’ve waited patiently for blokes in charity shops to re-consider the Isaac Hayes record they found seconds before I did, and I still live in hope of finding a few Prince Buster singles that Benjamin Zephaniah once played on the radio and described as very rare indeed. As a result, I now own far too many records for my own good. But long may it continue.

The semi-legendary Nosferatu D2 album is available now on CD & Download:

More content from Ben Parker:

Thanks Ben and Never Say DIY!
Jamie - Audio Antihero: Specialists in Commercial Suicide