Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Video Vacuum - Ty Segall, Harmony, Best Friends, Shearwater doing Xiu Xiu

Its coming to the end of the year. I know, we still have six or so weeks left - but that will be gone before you know it. 2013 has been such a topsy-turvy year on Planet Masala too, to the point where we got to see The Nation Blue play TWICE without seeing sister group Harmony at all, Ty Segall has barely graced these hallowed halls, and Shearwater, rather than developing a new album, have released an LP of covers of bands they have toured with which I'm a big fan of (still want them to hurry up and come here though). Then there is a bunch of dudes having a good time in the Midlands, bizarrely in the sunshine. So much weirdness to overcome, to embrace, to love...that's 2013 for ya.

It has been a while since irrepressible hellhound Ty Segall has blasted onto these pages - there was one stage where reincorporating the blog to Segall Masala seemed appropriate. I haven't written about his latest album Sleeper all that much - not because it isn't good, it's excellent, but because so many others said it better already - and new outfit Fuzz is something I aim to rectify in the upcoming days. SO let's ease back in with 'The Man Man', a track off Sleeper that showcases the shift in gears Segall had here, and perfectly encapsulates the slowburn tension inherent in the song. The video

Another act steeped in creating tension, albeit one of working class desperation and Gothic backwater gnashing of teeth, Harmony have released this black-&-white plaintive to promote single 'Diminishing Returns' (the 7" comes out on Poison City Records on Friday). The band and choir are submerged in subterranean, inky shadows, dressed in black (Tom is ALWAYS dressed in black anyway, although this shirt looks decidedly devoid of wellworn holes) and wracked with emotion. There isn't a band like them, and 'Diminished Returns' is anything but.

We all need best friends, even if they give us nosebleeds every once in a while. Sheffield's laconic punks Best Friends presumably get the claret flowing from sun-bleached moments of street cricket, beer swilling and goofing around. Nothing wrong with that, I'm sure you'll agree. 'Nosebleeds' is the B-side to their Happy Anniversary 7", which you can buy here.

Let's finish off with some spaced-out shorn water from the valley below. Shearwater's covers record Fellow Travelers is almost upon us, and their Xiu Xiu spin 'I Luv The Valley, Oh!' is rife for the plucking. Videotronics here include space desert isolation, bulbous pustules, and a bizarrely doll-like astronaut. We're entering uncharted waters...


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