Tuesday, September 28, 2010

calm sea


big wave coming tomorrow now. drama queens, us. BUY BADGES?

xxx

i got something MCs can kiss




this is the post i wanted to write tonight, and it's probably going to get overshadowed by URGH STUFF tomorrow, but yeh: here is what we have been up to, because im sure YOU ALL REALLY WANT TO KNOW:

I went deejaying with jack alcopop at surf wax america, i think we played about 7 songs between us before we got told to stop cos they had to close. then we played 3 more songs, and got abused by the staff for not stopping and the dancefloor for stopping AT THE SAME TIME. london, you need to learn communication. anyway, attica state do a mean buddy holly and darwin deez came to pull girls on the dancefloor, which proves we're good for something i guess.


We went to mook in leeds, where whiskas does recording and ting. It's a lovely place, covered in late 90s promo posters and broken bits of drums. Slightly more hi-fi than the last bit of recording: (here is a picture of my girlfriend's parents toilet)
We did two songs. we had a converstaion with whiskas that went like this:

- so i was thinking, if you just do one song, we can have a pretty relaxing day and not leave here too late
- we want to do two songs
- it's just, i do have a kid now, and i havn't been home much lately
- yeh, definitely two songs.

i dont know what time we finished, i stopped looking at the clock after midnight. But yeh, whiskas is awesome at recording bands and we had loads of fun and ate hearty japanese dinner. More importantly he introduced me to Uffie. O M GDDS why have i been wasting eartime on ke$ha?
We sort of lied about doing two songs, one of thems actually two separate songs that merge together. Anyways, its the last song (2 songs) to be finished for our eepee. The second song is for SECRET: (but here is a clue you won't get)

Would you like an exclusive news bomb? Eepee is going to be called "You thought you saw a shooting star but yr eyes were blurred with tears and that lighthouse can be pretty deceiving with the sky so clear and sea so calm"

HMV are advertising an "exclusive" barfly show where we play the whole of our third album. Sorry guys, its part of the november tour with stagecoach, and we'll be playing a regular set. On account of not having written the 3rd album yet nor having even spoken about playing it. O HMV, you try to be cool with your "bands" and your "music" but really, yr still a dickhead.

We're still sorting out a few dates for this tour. IS GOING TO BE RAD. We'll tell you before we leave.

We booked our tickets for america. We land in toronto the day before the first show and leave 3 days after the last one. chicago, you are officially stuck with us for a bit. We used juniors account to book the tickets cos ours is just rubbish, and american airlines took the money out straight away. then, just to be sure, they took it out again a few minutes later. This totally happened to one of our friends who used AA too. Thanks American Airlines, you incompetent cunts.

We also got the badge set back that we meant to get done ages ago then forgot then ordered then forgot about then reordered again. Likee? Super Limited GATBP lyric badges and a sticker too.


We'll put them on the merch store tomorrow, £4 a set. Designed by us and lewes. Actually, i just told him what to write so it's pretty much all his goodness. The kind of quality you'd expect from the guy whose just been commissioned to design the new top shop logo AND climbs mountains in his spare time. Please note, we only did a run of 50 and we're keeping 10 as presents for various staff members. We won't have them on tour and there won't be another run, so get them while you can and smile smugly when people are confused as to why you have some seemingly unrelated - to - anything sentence pinned to yrself.

We've been rehearsing some old songs for america. Thank god for muscle memory, cos our memory memory is awful. weirdly, kellys remembers stuff me and jun don't and vice versa.

"my friends" fake twitter campaign has gotten actual IRL press from the Bham Post, Bham Mail, Guardian, Express and Star, and Telegraph, as well as being quoted on BRMB and being threatened for libel from 13 year old boys. He's most proud of making it onto BirminghamItsNotShit.com tho.

And lastly, we've been doing barbershop and its destroyed my sleeping patterns. seriously, we spent 3 hours recording ourselves going baa and baap and so forth, then i spent from 8pm to 6am mixing trying to get it not to sound like a bunch of out of time sheeps (I took a 2 mile walk in the middle to clear my head) The next day i played it to junior and he was all urghhh, so we rerecorded some more baaaps and buups and i stayed up till 5 mixing it more and now its done and we sent it to our manager and our label boss and havent heard back from either of them. bleghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Anyway. News tomorrow early evening our time. Not Exactly good news either. Well, actually, it works out pretty sweet for you guys and hopefully helps us out loads, but it's actually pretty terrible circumstances. Ugh. sorry to lead you all on, there's so much fun good stuff happening around us at the moment and i havnt really had the change to boast about it, so i thought it should get a 12 hour head start..


stay close xx

Monday, September 27, 2010

Empire Records





is still one of my favourite films ever. The reason me and kelly went to work in a record shop. Its a pretty fairy story tale that never plays out in real life; indie record store threatened by The Man,and despite being woefully underfunded and staffed by slacker cliches, stages epic rock show, raises cash at last minute and stays TRU PUNX 4EVA.

this is our empire records moment.

. you know whats rubbish about being a small band? big companies. the kind of big companies that can swat you away and squish you without losing any sleep. sometimes they don't squish you tho. they just sign a publishing deal with you and offer you a couple of grand to buy flights and hotels and petrols should you get offered, say, an awesome US tour, then when you come to claim the money THEY DONT FUCKING EVEN BOTHER TO PICK UP THE FUCKING PHONE YOU RAT BASTARD CONNIEVING GREEDY CORPORATE FUCKHEADS.

um yeh. so we have no idea if they're avoiding us cos they know we're owed money, or they're on holiday spending our money, or they're planning on throwing a big party in toronto when we land and showering us with tourbuses and free guitar strings. even just showering us, would be a better situation than we've landed ourselves in now. IDK, maybe they're all round avril lavigne's house singing system of a down songs.

So we're coming to america alright. We guessed aforementioned Industry Cunts would find some excuse to delay paying us so we cleared our band account into juniors, put our personal savings, borrowed cash from our tour manager and our manager manager, and brought everyones tickets. American Airlines even charged us double by accident, meaning juniors bank account is a seething cauldron of debt and redness; but at least we have the tickets. What we don't have is hotel money, van hire money, driver hire money, petrol money, food money, merch-making money, don't even want to think about how we're going to afford the hitmen we want to hire now-money.

Anyways, so we've been panicing and pacing and comparing hitman quotes, realised we need to have some sort of garage sale. think of this as that tv show that goes into people's houses and sets up stalls outside selling their old crap to the rest of the street. We're a lot nicer than those people, our old crap isn't crap, and we have a waaaay more noble goal than trying to raise the cash to put auntie gladys in a home or get a kitchen extension with real wooden beams.

Here is some stuff for sale. virtual packages, if you will, from various points in our history.

Johnny Foreigner's Great Digital Goodwill Sale:

for £5 each:

We Left You Sleeping And Gone Now; Also....
(pre kelly home made country rock)

comprises:
"we left you sleeping and gone now" - 11 track album
"also..." 4 extra songs we made a week or so later
14 previously unseen hand made backdrops from when we used to have a projector
40 period photographs
copious self absorbed liner note waffle


(original recordings and demos)

comprises:
"every day is a constant battle" - 17 track pre-waited up demo compilation
21 previously unseen handmade backdrop things
27 period photographs and posters
all our pre - best before record art (including 3d polaroids and all 5 bullring covers)
more liner note waffles


For £4:


High Quality Bootleg Audiovisual Setmenu:
8 songs recorded this summer as part of the Wichita Has A Week Long 10th Birthday Party celebrations at the Garage in LDN, featuring 3 totally new songs + cameos from the chaos horns and gareth and neil campesinos!
comprises:
full set shot with 2 Hi Res cameras from front of house and sound desk audio
mp3s of sound desk audio
danPOV package - see and hear but not smell the show, an interview and other fun larks thru the HD eyes of our tech dan
two extra bonus mp3s of acoustic live session songs


and for £2.50 each


ltd edition tour EP, 7 otherwise unavailable recordings, 24 period photos from juniors camera, and 2 awesome lush desktop wallpapers made in collaboration with World renown architect and Topshop founder Lewes Herriot.

just the audio from our superfun LDN show (+ 2 acoustic songs)


so yeh. you can see full tracklistings for everything by clicking the respective links.

we're using bandcamp to distribute the music, everything else will be sent via the miracle of dropbox to yr email as soon as we see it. It'll be checked everyday from now until forever, so nothings going to get lost and delayed unless the government cuts off everyones internets.

Last of all, if you'd like to guarantee getting one of lewes's beautiful heart/america tour tshirts you can preorder by clicking here. They'll be sent off a week or so into the tour.

Tho we clearly can't stress enough the IF YOU DONT GIVE US YOUR MONEY THEN WE ARE COMPLETELY SCREWED, we're still old enough to remember spending £15.99 on joan of arc albums from tempest (rip), so asking a combined £16.50 for 49 songs and a bunch of video and home made arts stuff doesn't exactly feel like begging. still, look at our big eyes and silky fur. you know if you don't pay, we get put down right?

K cools. Whatever you give will go directly into the america fund, i was lying about the hitman. Thanks. back soon.


(TLDR : we're selling everything. go here and here and please please please all the gods in the world let us raise enough money to be able to actually do this tour.

stay close. xxxxxxx

Thursday, September 16, 2010

OH MY GOD AMERICA (and Cananda), (Canada) AND AMERICA OH MY GOD


america, this post is solely for you. it's what you've been waiting for. no time for witty commentary:

WE'RE GOING ON TOUR WITH FUCKING LOS CAMPESINOS!

arghyarghargh. Those of you who've been following our super-america (and canada) campaign (backstory 1 & 2, i guess we'll be adding some more songs to that..) will know how much this means to us. Check the general goodness of these dates:

HNNNNG:
10/08/10 – Toronto, ON @ Wrongbar (All Ages)
10/09/10 – Laval, PQ @ Maison des Arts de Laval (All Ages)
10/10/10 – South Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground (All Ages)
10/12/10 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s (21+)
10/13/10 – New Haven, CT @ Toad’s Place (All Ages)
10/15/10 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg (16+)
10/16/10 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg (16+)
10/17/10 – Baltimore, MD @ Ram’s Head Live (All Ages)
10/18/10 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle (All Ages)
10/20/10 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse (All Ages)
10/22/10 – Dallas, TX @ Granada Theatre (14+)
10/23/10 – Austin, TX @ La Zona Rosa (All Ages)
10/24/10 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live (All Ages)
10/26/10 – St. Louis, MO @ Firebird (All Ages)
10/27/10 – Iowa City, IA @ The Blue Moose (All Ages)

we're main support for all these days except the two brooklyn shows where we're on first so we have time to go hang outside the hold-steadys rehearsal room again.

some more facts:

1) UK be jealous, we're going to be joined on these dates by our 2nd tallest friend and animation genius Ben Rausch. Ben joined us for our South Africa tour earlier this year and ran around the stage triggering live visual loops of ghosts and laser cats and preddy padderns and things with his bastardised keytar. Read his words about all that here. He's brought a foldy outy screen thing and probably doesn't quite know what he's letting himself in for.

2) These dates are all LC! shows, we might try and squeeze some more in between. See a geographically viable space? Got a basement? Hit us up NOW!

3) I know theres a lot of places we're missing out. Here is our official stance on the inevitable SOB SOB WHERES MY SEABOARD complaints: We're coming like, 3000 miles for this, its going to financially drain us, it's an amazing party-zone line up and its NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN AGAIN. So, you can either roadtrip out to some of the shows, or wait for us to accrue the airfare again and see if some (less amazing) band wants to take us out. You could be waiting a long long time.

4) If you wrote in for our teamerica campaign and live in one of the places we're playing, expect some kind of begging letter in the next week or so. Our touring party is probably going to be like, 7 people (we're taking dan to make sure we don't leave anything behind each night) and what would be lovely is if we met a few tru punx who had spare couches and lived close to each venue. Also, college radio peeps, fanzineybloggy people, anyone with billy corgans cell number, get in touch, lets do STUFF.

5) We're getting some merchymerch made up. We're pretty much going to have to rely on merch sales for food, so, hope you guys like tshirts.

here is lewes's superawesome US exclusive shirt design:

ITS A HEART AND ITS YOUR COUNTRY GEDDIT?

We'll be doing some kind of pre-ordery combo bundley thing offer pretty soon, whereby you get stuff for cheap if you order it before hand. You get a guaranteed shirt for cheap and we get to eat sooner, everyone's happy. More about that soooooon.

okcools. busy busy busy. stay close

xlex

Monday, September 13, 2010

pellets

1) We've been hanging with Famous Topshop Artist Lewes Herriot. The artwork for the ep, we've decided, will be excellent, and all the sleeves will be unique. I guess thats all you need to know for now.

2) Our Awesome New Record Label has found a place that can print us silver onto tshirts. Is this going too bling? we're thinking, no.

3) Theres a load of blogs that have a free song for you to download what we made, it's a cover of one of the sweetest songs in the world and yes that is a ukulele.

4) This is really Birmingham specific and in now way band related, but my friend has this fake twitter account: [at]travel[underscore]wm, and since the official national express west mids twitter only has 40 followers, it'd make his day if he could overtake them. so if you want to fill yr twitter feed with rude fake info broadcasts from our local bus and train overlords, then follow him/help him TAKE DOWN THE MAN. But plz don't mention us!

5) Yes we know. not yet. soon.

6) World-Renown Topshop Architect Lewes Herriot only has a few prints left from his dark inventory series; you should get in touch with him in the link above and buy them cos they're awesome. I got the god of rabbits and all they stand for. I think this is kinda neat, like, if I was a badger, I could still count on the rabbit god to help me out with burrowing.

7) We're going to leeds next week. partially because its the new centre of the universe, but mostly to record a couple of songs with whiskas from forward,russia! I'm hoping he'll teach me some of his loop-guitar dark arts. I think dans coming as well, so look out for even more unflattering HD footage of us recording.

that was it. stay close xxxxx
xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Friday, September 10, 2010

slight addendum

exorcism project = all sold out. in less than half an hour.
note to self, never underestimated the selling power of cute.

THANKS GUISE I GUESS WE'LL GO MAKE SOME MORE THEN!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

information broadcast transmission!

i've been on a weird suede trip all night, there's this quote from brett anderson that totally stood out amongst all his "im pretty gay, honest" posturing. he's talking about the thought processes of being in band and keeping shit together thru the peaks and troughs: "it's like you're a bull in a china shop, you keep going and eventually you just become a better bull in a china shop." It made me laugh but im not quite sure why. anyway, i put it here cos such a long post probably deserves some quotation as a preface. this is one of the most epic text heavy info post we've ever done, and, whilst its all desperately important and relevant, thats no excuse for slouchy posture, so plz ensure yr orthopaedically comfortable.

We have a new press guy! he's actually our old press guy, which is why i know he's going to forgive us for doing this stuff on a friday evening when everyone in teh industry knows you wait till monday to do announcings. HELLO JAMES! SORRY!


Item #1

i fucking hate press releases. vast deluded interchangeable wastelands of superlative; deluded promises of relevance, clich├ęs recycled as tradition, and exaggerations so oft repeated as to make writing them again a waste of ink and electricity and oxygen. written by dinosaurs for other dinosaurs.

here is our press release then. i've kept some of the obnoxious exaggeration in for old times sake.

we chose to walk away from doing a third record with best before. the reasons you don't really need to know about, except to say they're probably identical to the arguements had by every righteous indie band of the 00s with their labels funded with money from the 90s, only magnified our need to overdramatise everything, guitars that just don't stay fixed, and trying to work out who we know from 'kill your friends' IRL.

we're really proud to say, our next couple of records will be released with alcopop. it's pretty rare to get a label that's genuinely excited by the increased need for creative and fun ways to sell records, and we're flattered that the one that has the bands we like also likes us. I heard that Jack who runs it won't deal with bands who don't want control over their artwork, and that he doesn't want to do a standard cd release ever again. We've found a pretty suitable home...
the internet hasn't killed the industry, its just split it into the big money players that have to recoup thru dwindling cd sales, and the genuinely independant side that never planned for a pension in the first place. we've been broke since ever, so we know which side we stand on, and you lovely people are going to receive better products as a result.

so, our first record on alcopop (and our first 12"!) is a schizoid collection of 6 songs that have no common theme apart from us thinking they fit together, like a photo scrapbook of summer adventures or some weird dream where the scenery changed and you didn't notice. there's 3 songs in drop-d, recorded by our long time friend and producer dom james. one of them is probably the loudest we've ever been. the other songs were made by us in bedrooms on long weekends off. one of them we still need to finish, ooops!

it has the provisional title of "there when you need it", tho we reserve the right to change that on a whim or chance misunderstanding. out at start of november is the plan, on 12" and digitals, and a postcard for each song drawn by famous Topshop designer lewes herriot.


we'll be celebrating in the traditional manner of a UK tour in november. A few dates have already leaked onto the interwebs and we're confirming the rest and will tell you all soon enough. Support for all dates will be super radical reading/leeds headliners (and labelmates, woot!) stagecoach, and we'll have a pretty awesome surprise for around then too, which you'll be hearing more about soon. we don't want to flood peoples brains with our band, even tho that would be awesome and we could control you all like in syndicate, and fit you with bionic limbs and laser pistol upgrades.

so yeh, that's the first part of this epic broadcast done. as background information, we've moved into the nicest and most colourful practise space in the world ever. It's called floodgate street CIC, tho we're going to call it candyland, and its a whole world away from the resident evil set we used to rehearse in a mile walk out of town. also, no stairs! PERFECT. and! our bank account was (briefly) in the black for literally the first time ever last week, and! today we sent an order off to get a set of "grace.." badges lewes designed for us ages ago made.

So, is everyone still reading? totally not done yet. I'm so used to coming on here and moaning i kind of worry people'll switch off if i'm too positive.

Item #2

its with a heavy heart that we've had to remove some paragraphs here whilst some Stuff is Sorted. lets just say, america news, public knowledge next week, massive fucking smiles all round. shit yes.



Item #3

or, better commerce through exorcism.

its become apparent to us that trying to make a living selling melody is a pretty bad idea for a quick ride to the gold plated swimming pools we covet so much. Top Gear still refuses to license our songs and apparently some of you people are copying our music digitally off the internet, which is the same as stealing our cars and helps fund pirates who rape babies for satan. so, behold our brand expansion into the world of collectible super random box plush toys. dammit if this were japan we'd be so minted by now. or sued by namco, but tbh we'd quite like the publicity. anyway scott pilgrim, get off our zeitgeist.

exorcism project!

please buy from us 20 of our ghosts, unique handmade kawaii physical manifestations of things that have haunted us over the last few years and should really be passed over. they were brought to plush toy form using love and soft materials by sarah graley and each one is about as big as her hand.

they come with an authenticationarisation certificate containing individual handmade & signed backstory and storage instructions, as well as a download & lyric sheet for '199x', a sad new song we made for especially for this project that you can't hear anywhere else.

here is our merch store where you can buy one.
and here is the gallery of available spirits.

successful applicants are encouraged to (liberally) follow storage instructions and send pictorial proof to us, which we'll include in said gallery.

we have no control over which ghost appears in yr mail. you can't choose a particular fear or regret, LIFE DOESNT WORK OUT LIKE THAT.

kcools, we hope you like thems. if this all goes swimmingly and we sell out superfast, we'll maybe do some more, and soon our lives will be cleansed without having to resort to scientology. everyone wins. k awesomes good luck!


okay, here ends epic transmission. stay close and next week we'll announce dates of things and that amazing thing we're bursting to tell you but have been politely asked to refrain. fsdujnba fjagnwije!!!!!!!!!!!!!

be excellent to each other

xx

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

bullet porn

hi!
we have like, a formal announcement to make on monday. fun stuffs. but, meanwhile, this:

>

omg leeds we love you and just cant stay away.



also, got sent a link to this today with a message "Hi Just to say, I've been making tees unknowingly with the same phrase as your band!? Hope they do you service.

Cheers
elliot"

sdlsgojjrgrioavnj wat do plz, o noble fanbase? is he for real does anyone know? i mean, i don't really think there's a market for people wanting johnny foreigner as a tshirt slogan. weird. pretty sure we hold no copyright over the phrase, but were kinda worried people'll think our shirts have gone really boring. maybe we should just start making coldplay shirts.
anways, just to be sure, there nothing to with us and if you give him money thinking yr somehow repping us then everybody loses and we all die horribly. at my tshirt selling job, we have a team of ex hells angels who go around intimidating bootleggers and taking their stock. srs, at one point i had about 10 different cheap dayglo sugababes shirts.

that bipolar friends clock on ebay, now that was a nice creative way to rip us off. i wish i'd bought it.

HOPE EVERYONE IS WELL. xxxxxxxxxxxx