Everett True

Song of the day – 389: Ourself Beside Me

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The description on the Tenzenmen website reads:

“Beijing bad girls take the velvet underground, can and the fall, stick it in a pot of ‘who gives a shit’ and raise the spectre of jim morrison to make out with ari up. then smoke a cigarette.”

You think I’m going to go rushing straight past a description that to find out what the fuck Jay-Z’s been up to this week? You are crazier than you look, boy – and that’s saying quite a bit, what with yr grease-covered Vampire Weekend wannabe hairdon’t. Listen. I know the description is crass, falls right within Worst Music Critic Cliches You Can Name but hey, it’s a fucking press release not a Scott Creney masterwork … also, there’s a reason why folk use that format. It’s to the point. It’s the final four words that drew me in, actually – plus, frankly, the entirety of the phrase made this Chinese trio sound not too dissimilar to my Brighton sweethearts Electrelane, and sure I’m willing to listen to anything that reminds me of … I was going to enter someone’s name here, give the game away, thought better of it, berated myself for cowardice … Electrelane and makes me want to swirl giddy with abandon through the rain-soaked streets of The Gap, laughing at the galahs as they try to shelter under leaves. Or perhaps engage in a game of IT’S NOT DIRT with Isaac until his hands smell 4 on the Roses scale and the blue beat compilation is turned up past tropical storm level.

Either that, or they’re going to remind me of the clank and splatter of No Mas Bodas: doesn’t matter. Either way, I’m on to a winner.

The atmosphere is 1980, West London. The mood is inquisitive, challenging, relaxed. One part of me is climbing a fire escape ladder to the fourth floor, yelling IS THERE ANYBODY THERE?! and collapsing back in the room comatose. This is a fine companion piece to 8 Eye Spy. I am beyond good and evil. Beautiful use of saxophone and melodica and sparse guitar and dub rhythms and downplayed vocals to menace. It sounds a little New Age Steppers in places … and man, that’s a real good and decent thing to say about anyone. The trance-like ‘Holiday’ followed by ‘Medicine Girl’ just goes on and on and on the way I love it when Neu! go on and on and on the way I love it when Electrelane go on and on and on the way I love it when Ourself Beside Me go on and on and on.

Then smoke a cigarette.

The video below has no relation whatsoever. It just caught my eye. I’m loving the purple.

More information on Ourself Beside Me here.

Thanks to Princess Stomper for drawing my attention to this. And, of course, Shaun for releasing the album over here.

3 Responses to Song of the day – 389: Ourself Beside Me

  1. Scott Creney August 31, 2011 at 12:00 am

    If you click the link at the top of the article, you can d/l the entire album for $5.00. I did.

  2. Everett True September 1, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    *from Facebook

    Mike Robbo, Chenaii Madhoo, Scott Creney and 3 others like this.

    Mike Robbo
    Every band here in Beijing MUST have a Can/Neu!, VU and usually Sonic Youth or other No Wave reference in there somewhere. It’s de rigeur…not bad, but there are a million bands all banging the same drum, so to speak…
    Tuesday at 16:32 · Like

    Tím Níblock
    ‎@Mike any names in particular to try and dig out?
    Tuesday at 20:47 · Like

    Everett True
    ‎8 Eye Spy rock http://www.collapseboard.com/everett-true/song-of-the-day/song-of-the-day-318-8-eye-spy/
    Tuesday at 20:56 · Like ·

    Scott Creney
    Man, I wish every band in Athens had a Can/Neu!/VU and No Wave reference in their work. Most of it’s just pastel MGMT rip-offs or bearded Americana dudes.
    Tuesday at 23:39 · Like · 1 person

    Scott Creney
    Just bought their album for only FIVE DOLLARS off the link provided in the article. A bargain!
    Tuesday at 23:58 · Like

    Mike Robbo
    Oldies but goodies are Carsick Cars, Rebuilding The Rights Of Statues (retros), pk-14 and Hang On The Box who’ve long since split up, but were incendiary at their peak…
    Yesterday at 00:11 · Unlike · 2 people

    Everett True
    I can vouch for Hang On The Box, though they’re more punky. Also bleach. There was a great doco came out several years back
    Yesterday at 05:52 · Like

    Shaun Tenzenmen
    check out australasian indie music specialist http://www.tenzenmen.com/ and listen to a whole slew of chinese music (amongst others) at the tenzenmen bandcamp
    Yesterday at 14:41 · Unlike · 1 person ·

    Mike Robbo
    Hang On The Box were amazing in the day, a mostly-girl fronted shouty punk band, which when you think about that, in China in 2003/04 was something in itself. Their last gigs they’d discovered Krautrock, and I was talking to Shenggy, the drummer, she wanted to take them in that direction…I think most of them are still in bands in Beijing, Wang Yue went solo and started with avante garde jazz I think. But you can probably trace Beijing’s preference for all things Neu! To them…there are literally hundreds of identikit bands now, you can sift through the shit if you want, but it’s too time-consuming for me these days…
    Yesterday at 15:04 · Like

    Everett True
    I might look out the interview I did with them back in 2003: very fine band. Claimed a big Bikini Kill influence, too.
    Yesterday at 15:08 · Like

    Mike Robbo The sad thing with a lot of Beijing bands is, their parents are rarely happy about it, and unless they’ve got hip (and rich) parents, they’re never going to be allowed to let it interfere with their studies, so loads fall by the wayside after parents indulge them for a couple of years and it’s ‘off to Uni with you, sunshine, no ifs or buts’…tragic but true…
    Yesterday at 15:10 · Like

    Everett True
    Hang On The Box had a UK tour planned didn’t they, cancelled at last second by Chinese cultural official types?
    Yesterday at 15:12 · Like

    Mike Robbo
    They were a fine band, great people too, they’d hang for hours after, chatting with fans, cos there’s no real outlet for that if you like more left-field music, so I think they really appreciated it. It’d be interesting to read the interview…
    Yesterday at 15:16 · Like

    Mike Robbo
    They might have actually reformed come to think of it…doubt it would have the same impact, but may check it out if it’s true…
    Yesterday at 15:24 · Like

    Mike Robbo
    Yeah, they had tours pulled abroad. ‘Cultural officials’ who wouldn’t know culture if it slapped then in the face with hot noodles, cancel gigs here all the time, and the ones they let through, they stand at the side of the stage with translators, ready to pull the plug for anything. Rock n roll!
    Yesterday at 15:29 · Like

    Shaun Tenzenmen
    everett – you should talk with rhys and F from the shanghai band Pairs – they’re kicking up a stink with their DIY attitude – great interview here: http://www.shanghai247.net/music/features/xiao-zhongpairs-interview-part-1
    Yesterday at 15:39 · Like ·

    Shaun Tenzenmen
    mike – you can keep track of what’s going on here: http://alternativechina.tumblr.com/ – i’m also hoping to have news of chinese bands coming to oz soon. there’s also http://s-a-m-e.tumblr.com/ where we’ve sent many bands to tour china and not had any problems with ‘cultural officials’ so far 🙂
    Yesterday at 15:42 · Like ·

    Mike Robbo
    Nice one, looks good. A lot of bigger bands are especially scrutinised, Oasis were cancelled because of Noel’s (extremely loose) affiliation with The Free Tibet movement, strange cos they let Sonic Youth play…loads of others, too many to mention, have been cancelled days before…with no explanation. People are so jaded that it’s usually ‘oh, Gang of Four are booked to play? Yeah, ok, that’s not gonna happen’ and it’s forgotten about immediately…smaller indie bands are getting through though…
    Yesterday at 16:00 · Like

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