Monday, December 29, 2008

Music for One

The Red Thumb

Music for One is the nom de plume of guitarist Sherry Ostapovitch, who creates understated textures from an acoustic resonator guitar.

The Red Thumb contains 12 pieces, all recorded live to 2-track, so is quite lo-fi and DIY in approach. It's reminiscent of an earlier time, when music was created spontaneously and quickly, on the hop before jumping on the next boxcar out of town. No 64-track studios or Pro Tools then.

Which isn't to say it's backward-looking or derivative. Just very atmospheric. All instrumental, the music has a dreamy quality, reminiscent of a Sunday afternoon in an overcast town, when one is wandering, wondering what to do next.

All of this comes packaged in some splendidly delicate hand-crafted artwork. So a DIY project in every sense.

Music for One plays on Monday 2 February 2009 at bar&co, temple pier, London.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Penetration Reanimated

It's become a bit of a theme for this year: punk band re-forms for one or two gigs. But, Newcastle band Penetration have been at this re-formation game longer than most, having actually re-convened as far back as 2001.

As leader Pauline Murray explained recently, they take a flexible approach, with band members coming and going. This week the band play two gigs, but also have a compilation out on Easy Action, as well as a new single on Damaged Goods.

Veterans of the first wave of punk, Penetration carved out a niche for themselves with angry agit-punk merged with more traditional rock guitar. Murray's vocal style was strongly influenced by Patti Smith, and the band covered "Free Money" to great effect.

Unlike some of their punk peers, the band have new material, with the single "Our World" their first since 1979. To my ears, "Our World" is a bit wimpy to carry the Penetration name, more reminiscent of mid-90s Britpop than punk. But kudos to them for not resting on their laurels. It remains to be seen how long this incarnation will hang around.

The dates are:
12 Dec Northampton, Roadmenders
13 Dec London,The Forum

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