by Andy Childs.
WAGING HEAVY PEACE by Neil Young
(Viking 502 pages, hardback).
Of all the books written about Neil Young, Shakey by Jimmy McDonough is perhaps the most revealing, Johnny Rogan’s Neil Young : Zero To Sixty the most musically exhaustive, and Neil & Me by Scott Young and Being Young by Astrid Young the most endearing. None of them, I would venture, quite get to the soul of the man so, as a long-time and mostly unwavering Neil Young fan, the publication of a possible intimate autobiography along the lines of Dylan’s Chronicles was an event that I was relishing more than the release of his next album. And of course as a long-time Neil Young fan I obviously shouldn’t have known what to expect.
Waging Heavy Peace, whilst offering no major surprises itself, is defiantly not a standard rock star autobiography and, on balance, all the better for it. Instead of an ordered, chronological appraisal of a life and career Young has written a rambling, folksy and eminently engaging trawl through various episodes in his life and interspersed it with frequent impassioned digressions to plug his latest obsessions – PureTone (now called Pono), his digital delivery system that enhances music downloads to studio sound quality, and Lincvolt, his electric/ethanol-powered environmentally-friendly car. There’s a lot in this book about (mostly old) cars which Young is able and more than willing to chat about endlessly, model railways (another life-long infatuation), and the occasional boat. It seems Young is happiest when he’s moving along both physically and artistically.
Continue reading at Caught By The River website
Robert Macfarlane & Chris Watson: The Sea Road (17.32) Recorded live at Port Eliot festival, July 2012
b/w Granite (7.05) (Watson) /Stormbeach (7.25)(Watson)
Rivertones 2. A 12” single, released November 2012
Undoubtedly the highlight’s of Caught by the River’s summer was an utterly unique collaboration between two of Britain’s most forward-thinking adventurers, author Robert Macfarlane and sound recordist Chris Watson. They had been plotting something special for a few months, a performance piece based on Robert’s book The Old Ways that would blend archive audio, field recordings and spoken word. We put it on stage at our fifth birthday party at the QEH in May and then again at Port Eliot Festival. Robert read while Chris created a bespoke soundbed for the words. The result was eerie, trippy, uplifting, effortless and fantastic. Cut to a couple of months after Port Eliot. Chris Watson sends a jaw-dropping recording of the Port Eliot performance at the exact point we’re scratching our heads about what to put on the next Rivertones release…
Below, Robert Macfarlane explains the story behind The Sea-Road, his collaboration with Chris Watson:
To continue reading, visit Caught By The River website.
Curated by Rob St John and David Chatton Barker, and limited to 200 copies, the tapes are packaged in a screen printed heritage library buckram box which houses information and ephemera related to the trials: a map, photographs, an essay by the curators, and a dried nettle in glassvine envelope as well as a download code.
For more info head to Caught By The River website.
The weekend before last, we found ourselves wide-eyed and slack-jawed in an Italianate village tucked in somewhere off the North Wales coast. The village – Portmeirion – will be familiar to anyone who’s ever watched the Prisoner; the occasion was the inaugural Festival No 6. We hosted a stage over the three days of the festival with our friends from the Faber Social. When booking it, I’m not sure any of us really knew what to expect so we made some tentative phone calls and hoped for the best.
To say that the resultant festival ranks as one of the best any of us from Caught by the River have ever been to would be something of an understatement. Location wise, the place is truly unparalleled. There is genuinely nowhere like it on Earth. Built as a ‘home for fallen buildings’ by Clough Williams-Ellis, it’s a surrealist mixture of gorgeously renovated structures reclaimed from scrapheaps around the world. All around the place, there are trippy and unexpected Trompe-l’œils that reinforce the feeling that someone just slipped something in your drink. In front of our stage as a stretch of endless coastline. On that stage, a handpicked collection of bands and writers, thinkers and drinkers. In one day, the line-up veered from unsigned rock’n’rollers (the phenomenal Charlie Boyer) to octogenarian travel writers (Jan Morris), from a string ensemble playing meditative music based around the rivers of Wales (the Kane Ensemble) to that country’s premier surf rock band (Y Niwl).
To finish reading, head to Caught By The River website.
“Make Noise shows how recycling electronics can be as fun as using them” — Coolhunting.com
Those of you who keep a beady eye on our facebook page may well be aware that we have recently joined forces with Radio 1’s Benji B and the people from the European Recycling Platform (ERP) to begin work on a brand new and very exciting project, Make Noise.
A club tour with a difference, Make Noise will not only showcase some of this country’s finest electronic artists for FREE (in exchange for one of your old hand-held electronics – more on that later) but will also raise awareness of the importance of recycling e-waste, thus helping to reduce the amount of potentially toxic waste sent to landfill/ illegally exported overseas each year.
Spread across five dates, the free club tour kicks off in November and features a DJ set from Benji B at each event, alongside this line-up of brilliant talent:
• Martelo (Santigold tour DJ and legendary London-based party starter)
• Greenmoney (West London’s Leo Greenslade and Alex Phountzi)
• Ossie (producer and Hyperdub wonder kid)
• DJ Die (founder of Full Cycle Recordings and original member of Reprazent)
• Nic Tasker (Boiler Room / Phonica)
• Kodiak (exciting new duo signed to Numbers)
• Kidnap kid (Black Butter’s rising star)
• Conquering Animal Sound (much-hyped Scottish live duo)
Instead of paying entry to any of the tour dates, Make Noise ask you to bring along an unwanted electrical item and use that as your currency. This could be a broken hairdryer, a drowned phone, busted iPod or even a couple of old batteries – anything that’s electrical. Bring it to the club, and you will get access.
Better still, for each electronic item handed in at the door, ERP will donate £5 to local recording studios to go towards the cost of buying new audio equipment. In addition, there will also be a “virtual recycling bin”, where budding musicians can access and use loops, basslines, samples and vocals that have been donated by some of electronic music’s top talent.
Details of the Recycled Versions “virtual recycle bin” project will be announced shortly, but for now, make sure you ‘like’ the Make Noise facebook page, follow on twitter and spread the word!
by Kevin Pearce.
Why do we do what we do? What drives us on? Love and hate? The desire to provide an antidote to consensual Coldplay ceremonials, dangerous Boris buffoonery, and all those shades of grey? Perhaps. The stark truth is that so much of what is beautiful in the arts is being created on the sidelines, for fun, out of desperation, because of the DIY impulse. This has nothing to do with careerist, cosy craft whimsy, and it’s a world away from the promotional merry-go-round and the carnival of critical commentary. It’s about people that are old enough to know better, using up life savings, giving up their free time, simply to communicate with a few people, and make small but significant ripples that may become something more.
To continue reading, head to the post on Caught By The River website.
A message from Trevor & Hannah:
In April, 2012, we loaded up our long suffering British Leyland campervan with our guitars, a few microphones and a 4-track cassette recorder, and headed for northern France. Unfurling the paper map, hastily bought at extortionate expense onboard the early morning boat from Dover, we sought out the rural Pays De La Loire and the tiny village of Saint-Pierre-Des-Landes, on the outskirts of which lay our destination. As our faithful engine defiantly coughed and rattled across the flatlands of Normandy, we whistled and hummed, jotted and scribbled through driving rain, until the fertile and fragrant plains not so long ago strewn with bodies and malicious machinery, gave way to rolling hills and swooping tarmac ribbons. The day passed like the miles beneath us. Bleary-eyed and with our accustomed forty-five mile per hour gait, steaming and in darkness the Route Nationale became a country lane, expired into a muddy track, led us along an unmade road hugging the edge of a ploughed field, and delivered us into a sleepy farmyard.
When morning rose we got our first glimpse of La Ferme De Fontenaille from a Juliet balcony. A stone ex-cowshed nestled in a luscious basin in the shadow of a crumbling Chateau. Smothered in glorious silence, but for the squirrels inhabiting the hollow between the floorboards, we would spend the next ten days rolling tape, committing to cassette our newest collection of words and melodies, bicycling into Saint-Pierre to fill our baskets with fresh bread, playing boules on the lawn, drinking red wine by the case and beer from little green bottles.
Download The Proud Surrender EP for free from here.