All posts by monosapian

In an alternate universe where we played gigs..

We don’t do gigs. Some of us would quite like to but others are nervous (to put it mildly) about the idea. I have toyed with the idea of trying stealth-gigs, live music events where the audience and band members may not actually be aware of each others’ presence, but that’s actually quite tricky to pull off logistically and philosophically speaking.

So anyway, this post is an invitation for the Marsupial participants and anyone else who stumbles across this page and gives a tinkers fart to enter into a little though game of ‘what if..’ with me. In an alternate universe where we played gigs who would we support? (And before any member of the group raises the objection that in this fiction we should be headlining I’d just point out that even getting us to play in a “venue” in front of “people we don’t know” is enough of a stretch so let’s not go crazy.)

(This is by the by kind of like a “bands we like/influences” type links page by the way if anyone is interested..)

My only rule to this game is that the acts we are playing with should be current, i.e. be alive/gigging/recording whatever. Other than that anything goes.

I’ll start (as that is more or less how things tend to work in most things not musical in nature) with my take;

Three Dimensional Tanx The local (Lancaster UK) band I love that actually has a record deal. Psychedelic garage-rockers with a great line in organ and whah-guitar heavy riffs, I for one would always recommend seeing the Tanx if they’re playing.

The Phantom Band Glasgow based 6 piece who describe themselves as ‘Proto-Robo Folk’ and ‘sproutrock’. What’s not to love?

Julian Cope Modern antiquarian, author, anarchist, musician, archdrude, the list goes on as Julian Cope refuses to settle down into one thing. Former front man of the Teardrop Explodes, genre-sidestepping solo artist and leader of various side-projects including Brain Donor (“munting sub-humaniod no-wave”) and Black Sheep (“a ten-piece ensemble of leathery outsider reprobates”) he is, needless to say, one of my/our anti-heroes.

Goat Swedish genre blending voodoo nutters. With a mixture of afrobeat, funk, Malian desert blues, post-punk and 70′s psychedelic rock Goat are mask-wearing commune-living fellow spirit travellers in the great anarchic animistic musical revel that we (occasionally) dip into. But they’re actually good at it, very good at it.

Follackzoid a Chilean three piece band who describe themselves as ‘cosmic music’ and (allegedly) were surprised to discover that they had more or less come to the same musical place as Can but a couple of decades later and without every having heard of Krautrock as a genre. However true that is their hypnotic spartan grooves are infectious and relentless.

Electric Moon honest to betsy modern Krautrock (although they bill themselves as acid-rock) from Germany and everything. With massive overlaps into the current kraut/acid/psyche band scene (via members such as Sula Bassana) Electric Moon deliver tight yet trippy soundscapes, heavy with rhythmic guitars and sweeping yet crackling fx/synth swells, all set against driving meteororic percussion. Sweet.

Dead Skeletons Icelandic psychedelic rock that sounds a bit goth to us, but that’s cool because like Fezs’ goths are cool now.

Quisling Meet This is somewhat self-referential (but worse is yet to come). Quisling Meet is another Lancaster based jam outfit whose membership overlaps with the Decadent Marsupials, they’re more lofi and experimental than perhaps the Marsupials are but make a wonderfully chaotic sound and are well worth a listen. Like the next band they are also self-avowed Discordians..

Mirrorkill If the Marsupials supported Mirrorkill then at the end of our set all but three of us would walk off stage and those left in the limelight would be Mirrorkill. In fact there’s a weak argument to say that the Marsupials are a sort of by-blow of Mirrorkill, who are a Lancaster based Discordian black satire band who currently style themselves as ‘acoustic heavy meta’ and do punky-rock type songs about politics, celebrity and economics and other things in a folky-prog style. As you can imagine we are near terminally un-hip and care not one jot.

Jam Dates for 2015

Decadent Marsupial Jam Dates for first half of 2015 – subject to general approval by anyone who cares to proffer an opinion:

Saturday 7th February
Saturday 7th March
Sunday 5th April (Bank Holiday weekend)
Sunday 3rd May (Bank Holiday weekend)
Saturday 30th May
Saturday 12th June
Saturday 11th July
Saturday 8th August

Unless otherwise indicated times are 3pm – 9pm except on Bank Holiday weekends where we may go on a little later. Again unless otherwise decided by anarchocratic collectivist deliberation assume that the jam location is at Monosapians’ domicile of eternal solipsism. Or possibly the Lancaster Musicians’ Co-Op. Or maybe just the outdoor jam-friendly location with good access, electricity, sunshine and clear star-lit nights that we’ve yet to find..

Sol Invictus Luna Aeterna

Brand spanking new for 2015 is Sol Invictus Luna Aeterna. Intended as a repository for new chilled-out psychedelic space sounds it’s kicking off with some tracks from our New Years Eve 2014 jam. The title refers to one bona fide Roman god and one work of fiction and is in some sense a celebration of festivities, the turning of the seasons, sun, moon and all things that we like to contemplate in our more relaxed moments.

Sol Invictus Luna Aeterna

Next Jam is… Saturday 6th September

After a brief sojourn playing out at the Yorkshire House for our August jam we’re back at Monosapians’ cradle of grime for the next event. As ever it’s a open door jam-happening, food provided and as much electricity as your gear can consume.

(I say open door that’s probably not strictly speaking true. If I’ve ever had cause to eject you from any of my houses in the past for repeated uncouth behaviour then unless you’ve grown up you’re probably still not massively welcome. Just pointing it out in case in the the intervening years you’ve also become a lawyer, in which case you’re probably doubly barred.)

Usual very approximate times; 3pm – 9ish and if you have heavy gear that you would like to be picked up in a 1-2pm time slot then let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

Marsupial Happening Saturday 12th July

There’s going to be an electric jam at Monosapian HQ, nestled between the estuary and the industrial wastelands on the fringes of Lancaster. From around 3pm until late(ish) and we understand there may some kind of Full Moon gathering happening on the tidal flats that evening, so if hanging out around a fire pit with a bunch of fellow oddities is your thing then why not wander down?

As ever food will be provided but feel free to bring along something to add to the feast and any beverages you have a need to consume. Unless it’s tea, we have that already.

UPDATE: Isolated so far from the jam we have (in no particular order) SuperThunder PatrolMaester, Poppers and Pigshit, Sun Mixer, God Name Red, Midnight Fetch, Fractional, Pentacost in E Minor, Terrorducktail, (Must have been) Those Mushrooms I Ate, Plastered to the Glass Ceiling, Full Moon, Giddy Kipper Maroon 002, Mothership Fuckers. And there’s another 2 hours of recordings yet to go through..

Why do this?

“Why do this to us, to yourself?” The invisible choir roars.

Why WordPress; a website; even bother with the pretense that anyone cares at all? Well, every other talentless fucker on the internet seems to think someone is paying attention so who are we to buck the trend?

Hell, you may well have asked Van Gogh why he painted, no-one was buying and it just gave him earache. Ok, bad analogy, swap Van Gogh for a painter no-one had every heard of, drop the self mutilation pun and it’s probably a better comparison.

Our jam ethos was originally built around the fact that many of us quite enjoyed playing music but were quite shy and, to be frank, musicians can be pompous pricks, so many of us had shied away from playing with others. One of our number for example had been playing for nearly two decades and had never actually fully disclosed to his friends entirely because of a fear of being judged.

So fuck that we say. Our music isn’t created for an audience, for feeding into some better-than-thou ego-wank musical one-upmanship bollocks, we do it for fun. Yes it’s mostly bloody awful scree, but every now and again we stumble on something that we like and, more importantly, we enjoy playing.

And we love playing it with you, the unformed, random principle. We love anyone (musician or not) who is happy to turn up, join in and agree to the unspoken consensual rule : no one is in charge. We don’t do your music, you can by all means turn up and play something you’ve written but don’t get tetchy when it morphs hideously out of all recognition – we won’t care or apologise as we’ll be enjoying the chaos too much. The more the merrier, the wilder the clash of instruments and styles the better. We hope we’re inclusive, we aim to be encouraging and above all we always try to be gracious hosts.

And by the way if you don’t like it that’s fine. If you think it’s technically infantile you may well be right. I probably don’t like your music either but I’ll readily acknowledge skill, courage and the fact that some people are just wankers and we don’t want to play that game anymore.

My current new favourite.. Stung by an elk

“Stung by a elk” was recorded at the May 2014 jam using a new set up. In an explosion of scrounged, purchased and cobbled together technology we tried our usual live jam but with each instrument routed through an 8 track digital recorder.

This created a few issues for our percussion contingent (relegated to the drummers corner aka – the kitchen) and meant those playing electric instruments didn’t hear the sound through their individual amps but through wall mounted speakers. Which may have sounded better, if they’d both worked.

Bill.I.Us’s contact at a local seat of learning insisted they both were at the point they were torn off the lecture theatre walls.

Bearing in mind that half the contributors couldn’t hear what the other half were doing the results weren’t too bad. Plus the ability to digitally record up to eight simultaneous tracks means we can mix, EQ, compress and effect after the event. And all those knobs, sliders and faders…. yum yum!