Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Foggy Notions presents Wheat

Crawdaddy, Dublin, July 16, 8pm
& special guests:

Tickets on sale now from WAV, Ticketmaster, City Discs & Road Records

With the recent release of their latest album Every Day I Said A Prayer For Kathy And Make A One Inch Square already heralded by Mojo for recapturing “the abstract sweetness of Medeiros and its glorious follow-up Hope & Adams”, WHEAT make a long overdue to Ireland for a one-off live date.

“With a Bright Eyes inspired vision, the quartet’s heartfelt songs continue to offer the most effective soul-search you’ll find.” NME

Friday, June 15, 2007

Daniel Johnston Debut Irish Performance

Vicar Steet, Dublin
Seated Show
Wed, July 11
Tickets: WAV, Ticketmaster, City Discs, Road Records & Sound Cellar

Foggy Notions is super excited to present cult American songwriter, performer and outsider icon, Daniel Johnston.

Daniel Johnston has spent the last 20 or so years exposing his heartrending tales of unrequited love, cosmic mishaps, and existential torment to an ever-growing international cult audience. Initiates, including a healthy number of discerning musicians and critics, have hailed him as an American original in the style of bluesman Robert Johnson and country legend Hank Williams. He has collaborated with the likes of Jad Fair (a founding member of Half Japanese, who’ve also done Daniel’s songs), Butthole Surfers, Bongwater/Shimmy Disc guru Kramer, Yo La Tengo and members of Sonic Youth. Daniel gained his widest public exposure to date when, at the 1992 MTV Music Awards, Nirvana leader Kurt Cobain (who constantly touted Daniel in interviews) wore a Daniel Johnston T-shirt.

Surprisingly, the bulk of his considerable acclaim snowballed from a series of homemade, lo-fi cassettes which Daniel started recording and handing out to fans and friends alike in the early 80s. Eventually, the independent label Homestead re-issued some of these tapes on CD, and Johnston recorded a few new albums in almost-proper studios.

Daniel was born in 1961 in Sacramento, California, the youngest of five children in a Christian fundamentalist household. He and his family soon moved to New Cumberland, West Virginia, where his father, an engineer and World War II fighter pilot, landed a job with Quaker State. Drawing for a long time before he took up music, Daniel grew to appreciate such artists John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Bob Dylan, David Bromberg, Queen, Neil Young, the Sex Pistols, and especially the Beatles. “When I was 19, I wanted to be the Beatles. I was disappointed when I found out I couldn’t sing.” That Liverpudlian quartet continues to inspire Daniel today, who sings, “My heart looked to art and I found the Beatles/Oh God I was and am a true disciple on Rock ‘n’ roll/EGA.”

While it would be years before Daniel committed his first songs to tape, he began composing at an early age. “When I was a kid, probably nine, I used to bang around on the piano, making up horror movie themes. When I got a bit older, I’d be mowing my lawn and I’d make up songs and sing them. No one could hear me ‘cause of the lawn mower.” As a teenager, Daniel and his friends began to record their own tapes and trade them among themselves. After high school, he attended an art program at a branch of Ken State near his family’s home. This was a prolific period of his life. Unemployed, and attending classes sporadically, he began to spend most of his time in his family’s cellar, writing and recording. The tapes he made there included Songs of Pain and More Songs of Pain, which both centred around his unrequited love for a woman named Laurie who ended up marrying an undertaker.

The aspiring cartoonist -- whose playful, symbol-heavy sketches have graced the covers of may of his releases moved to Texas in 1983. First he went to Houston, living with his brother and working at Astro World, while also recording the seminal tapes Yip/Jump Music and Hi, How Are You? on a $59.00 Sanyo mono boom box. These recordings featured such classics as “Speeding Motorcycle” and “Sorry Entertainer” and odes to everyone from “Casper the Friendly Ghost” and “King Kong” to “The Beatles”. From there he moved to San Marcos, TX, and even joined a traveling carnival show for a spell, selling corndogs. “It was like a movie all the time. Everybody around me was a great story that never stopped, and for the first time, I realized how much freedom you have to do what you want.”

Throughout his career, Daniel’s songs and drawings have been informed to some degree by his ongoing struggle with manic depression -- lending an added poignancy to his soul-searching times. His five-month stint with the carney left him in Austin, where he decided to stay. In the midst of that city’s mid-eighties music scene, Johnston was a definite iconoclast. While he continued to hand out his tapes for free, Austin record stores started selling them; in fact, the became best-selling local releases. Soon, a camera crew from MTV’s seminal Cutting Edge show came to town and all the Austin bands suggested they feature Daniel.

His appearance on the show made him a minor celebrity. Recognizing the quality of his songs and the purity of his vision, the American underground began to embrace Daniel. The Dead Milkmen recorded his song “Rocket Shop”, and Sonic Youth and noted Minutemen/FIREHOSE bassist Mike Watt made plans to record some of his material, as did The Butthole Surfers and other Austin bands. The music press both here and abroad began to weigh in with lofty pronouncements of Daniel’s artistry.

In the spring of 1992, the Lyon Opera Ballet commissioned a piece from New York-based choreographer Bill T. Jones. He delivered Love Defined - a 25-minute piece set to six songs from Johnston’s Yip/Jump Music. In October of that same year, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane combo performed Love Defined at New York’s Joyce Theatre. The reviews in the New York Times and the Village Voice each cited Johnston’s songs favourably. Over the years, Daniel’s paintings and drawings have been exhibited in Los Angeles, Zurich, and Berlin. The cover of a recent edition of music writer Richard Meltzer’s The Aesthetics of Rock was drawn by Johnston.

The 90s were difficult for Daniel, but will probably be regarded as the years that medical relief was achieved. Modern medications eventually achieve stability. He signed with Atlantic Records in 1992 and released Fun, which sold 12,000 copies. But his mental stability and productivity didn’t produce another album until 1999 with Brian Beattie’s production, Rejected Unknown.

Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse collaborated with Daniel in the 2003 release Fear Yourself on Gammon Records, making what many regard as an “accessible” contemporary sound to Daniel’s music ideas. In November of 2004, Gammon Records released a cover tribute album with covers from eighteen artists on one CD and Daniel’s originals on the second CD. This work, Discovered Covered - The Late Great Daniel Johnston gave Daniel new exposure to fans of Beck, Clem Snide, Gordan Gano, Eels, Calvin Johnson, Tom Waits and others.

In January, 2005, the feature-length documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston premiered at Sundance Film Festival and at film festivals around the world that year. The movie was distributed in North America by Sony Pictures Classic and by Tartan Films in the United Kingdom in March.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

FOGGYFEET presents Skream

Crawdaddy, Friday June 8th, doors 11.30pm
special guests: T-WOC (Alphabet Set) & DJ Gary (Power FM)
Tix: €16 on sale from WAV, Ticketmaster & City Discs

Croydon's dubstep boy wonder SKREAM makes his Irish debut with a late show in Crawdaddy, June 8. Some say that this scrawny young scamp is the saviour of this genre, the kid who will step it up to a larger audience. His Skreamism Volumes 1, 2 and 3 double-pack vinyl releases have marked his territory as one of the sharpest technical dubstep producers in the biz who injects his scrambled bass sounds with all the trappings of a warped teenage mind. The Skream! debut album, released late last year on the rampant Tempa label is a banquet of styles and influences all filtered through Olli Jones' intense approach. As an underground movement, dubstep was the toast of 2006, as grime was to 2005. Albums by Burial, Kode 9 and Olli’s own outstanding full-length Skream debut have brought this dark brooding music to the brink of a significant crossover, helped along by coverage in style mags and patronage by the BBC’s Mary Ann Hobbs and the essential Rinse FM. Dubstep’s other original home base was the Big Apple record shop [and record label] in Croydon. It was here that young Olli Jones rubbed shoulders with the producers and DJs that would help activate his own creative impulses. Jones’ brother [jungle/dubstep producer] Hijak worked in the jungle department and through him he got to know another employee, the legendary DJ Hatcha, as well as notable producers El-B, Benny Ill, and Artwork.

SKREAM's fascination began early: “I remember I used to sneak into my brother’s room and play his jungle tapes and I used to think it was a load of noise. It’s part of growing up innit, music. I was sort of different to everyone else in my school because they all listened to all the crews like Pay As You Go and all the old garage crews like Heartless. Although I did listen to that stuff, I always had more of a passion for underground instrumental music. I started DJing when I was about 11 or 12. I always had an ear for dark instrumental music. I met Benny Ill from Horsepower early on and I remember going back to his studio with Hatcha and just sitting there watching them make tunes. That was exactly what I wanted to be doing."

T-WOC (alphabet set)
Taking a break from work on his forthcoming f
ull length release, Alphabet
Set co head honcho, Rootical Soundsystem selector and Raidio na Life DJ will
be rolling out some of his own bassbin rattling dubwise beats with a healthy
dose of dancehall and hip hop chuckled in for good measure.

We are very honoured and excited to have DJ
GARY from Dublin’s last bastion
of underground pirate radio, Power FM. Expect the unexpected.