Posts Tagged ‘close lobsters’

Shelflife at Fat Angel Sings

Shelflife Records is a Portland and San Francisco based record label run by Ed Mazzucco and Matthew Bice and has produced such bands as Burning Hearts, Days, Brittle Stars, and The Radio Dept. Shelflife traces its 1995 origins to a bedroom in a southern California suburb, where it began in conjunction with a mail order and distribution service. A fan of 80’s britpop and inspired by labels such as Factory and Sarah Records, Ed launched the label as a way to expose foreign indie pop groups to US audiences. Shelflife’s first release was the August 1996 compilation Whirl-Wheels which included tracks by Club 8, Boyracer, La Buena Vida, and Ed’s own band The Autocollants.In 1997 the mail order and distribution service were discontinued in order to devote more time to the growing roster of artists, a move that quickly propelled the label out of its hobby status. During the late 90’s Shelflife steadily gained recognition as twee pop and indie music became increasingly popular. From 1998 until 2001 the label hosted The September Set, an annual showcase of live pop music from bands on Shelflife Records  and other labels.

The Fireworks – “Runaround” released as 7″ single in November 2013, included on the debut album “Switch Me On”, released in vinyl, CD and digital formats on Shelflife Records LIFE117. Shelflife presents the second 7″ release from The Fireworks with “Runaround” b/w “With My Heart” and “Asleep” released today. Limited to 300 copies, the first 100 will be available on transparent red vinyl, exclusively on shelflife.com.
In 2007 Ed and Matthew Bice relaunched the label with a new focus on blending art with music and a commitment to making every release worth collecting. With this came the launch of a new format, the 1000 series; a CD and a 7″ vinyl single are housed together in a limited edition gate-fold sleeve designed by an up-and-coming artist and packaged with free download of all mp3s at an ultra-high 320 kbps.

Close Lobsters. Emblems of the C86 generation and therefore pioneers of what we call indie, . The songs from “Kuntswerk in Spacetime” ep, published last year -the chorus to “Now Time” became one of the show’s highlights the video Directed by Mr Van Astra with Executive Producer Stewart McFadyen.

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Primitives, Luxembourg Signal, Close Lobsters, and Lunchbox at Linear Tracking Lives

Click through to read their year end top 40 list.

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Close Lobsters at This Wreckage

Somehow, I mostly missed Scottish band Close Lobsters back in the late 80s, but I didn’t completely miss them.  At some point, I picked up a couple of their EPs used, and I still have their excellent song “Lovely Little Swan” on a bizarre 1990 K-Tel Records “modern rock” compilation called The Edge of Rock that I bought simply for the cheap price and the novelty (I say “bizarre,” because I thought K-Tel had long vanished by that point.  My prior K-Tel collection fresh from TV ads was the wondrous Rock 80 from around my ninth birthday– collecting 1979 “new wave” hits from the likes of The KnackThe PretendersGary Numan,BlondieThe Ramones, and Nick Lowe).  They were renowned from their offering from the legendary C86NME compilation that launched so many great bands’ careers, but I apparently I always kind of overlooked them.  So, how did I end up with this brand new 7” single by a band that has been dormant for about 25 years?  Not sure how, but it doesn’t matter, because I love this record!!

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Close Lobsters at Big Takeover (print)

Somewhat overlooked during their initial run during the late 80s, Glasgow’s Close Lobsters mined the same vein of jangly, frenetic C86 guitar pop as many of their fellow countrymen. They recorded just two albums, Foxheads Stalk This Land (1987) and Headache Rhetoric (1989), before calling it a day, but fortunately, they’ve regrouped and now issued their first recordings in more than two decades — this two-songer. On the A-side, “Now Time,” aside from a little lyrical world-weariness, the band pretty much picks up where they left off — it’s a fantastic mix of sparkling hooks and songwriting smarts. Similarly, the flipside, “New York City in Space,” combines reverie about the Bowery with chiming guitars to good effect, making it abundantly clear that it’s good to have them back.

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Close Lobsters at Beat Surrender

First new recordings since 1989, and defintely worth waiting for, from C86 band Close Lobsters , the single Kunstwerk in Spacetime is out now on Shelflife and as a download with addition mixes at eMusic too.

 

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Close Lobsters at porky prime cuts

MEANWHILE, A BRIEF mention for a Close Lobsters single (as Porky tends not to bother with singles), the two-trackKunstwerk In Spacetime EP (Shelflife records), on glorious 70-gram maroon vinyl.

It’s the Scottish indie bands first release in a quarter of a century, and arrived at Porky Towers, rather curiously, a couple of days after I rediscovered their two classic late-80s albums, Foxheads Stalk This Land and Headache Rhetoric.

Now Time and New York City In Space are both classic Lobsters, pop sensibilities mingling with the post-punk influences they were exposed to in the pre-C86 days; it’s the sound of Postcard Records meets The Fall.

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Close Lobsters at Beethobear

Click through for a review of Kunstwerk in Spacetime from Beethobear in Taiwan.

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Close Lobsters at Big Takeover

Picking up right where they left off, C86 compilation heroes, Scotland’s Close Lobsters, return with their first new recordings since 1989.

Kunstwerk In Spacetime warps back to the ’80s with two jangling, dreamy, anthemic pop songs that would have played heavily in rotations on “modern rock” radio stations. “Now Time” counters the arguments that all greatness is over with an inspiring “it’s never too late to create” message. Things may never be the same, and that’s probably for the best. Rather than bemoan the loss of change, why not add to the conversation? On the other hand, “New York City in Space” describes a return to the city and all the memories sparked by the changes seen. Both tracks recall the soothing melodies of The Psychedelic Furs, with the pop sensibilities of The Jesus and Mary Chain and Modern English.

Amazingly, Close Lobsters have returned from dormancy unscathed, batteries fully recharged and poised with a successful release of excellent songs. Welcome back, friends.

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Close Lobsters at Sound wav

July 2014 – Twenty plus years between music releases may give fans cause to think that there will never be anything further coming from a band. But after one such hiatus, the odd live performance thrown in here and there, indie pop legends ‘Close Lobsters’ have come back with not one, but two E.P releases – clearly deciding that it is time that “history is about to be made”.

Their latest offering ‘Kunstwerk in Spacetime’ also just happens to include ‘Now Time’, one of Soundwavmusic’s favorite tracks of the year, brimful of lyrical smarts that leave you smiling long after the track ends. So we put it to them, what was this journey you have been on and will it continue? And with 5 easy questions (+1) we got our answers in a delightfully intellectual way.

SW: Not many bands have a 20+ year gap between new music releases, the creativity never leaves right? – what happened….why stop? why wait so long? why record again?

CL:  The gap relates to the now-time in the track. Not the hollow homogenous time of capitals modernity but the here and now of the revolutionary moment  – “we went to a desert storm and never came back home sweet home, and hung on to a satellite too long”. The point of lobster lyrics is to leave them open for subjective interpretation and while these lines have some specific resonance – i.e. there were a series of ‘desert storm’ underground house parties that took place in the west of Scotland in the early 80s ironically sharing a name with a catastrophic ‘intervention’ in the middle east by the western powers – it is better the listener interprets them for themselves.

But on a more basic level…..this record just had to be made. You are spot on here, the burning desire to create never leaves.

SW: ‘Kunstwerk in Spacetime’ has one of our favorite tracks of 2014 in ‘Now Time’. Tell us a bit about how that track came to be?

CL: ‘Now Time’ was a track that we developed just before things went more than a little awry in the 1990’s. Great personal tragedy struck. It was originally termed ‘deep house’ and then reworked as ‘Now Time’. It is a form of melancholy soul that yearns for life,love, and light. We always intended to make something else but didn’t intend for it to take quite so long. The vicissitudes of life and fate intervened and were finally confronted.

SW: What is the difference between getting your music heard now vs back when the likes of “Going to Heaven to See if it Rains” came out (1986)?

CL: Nowadays we have been released from the pressures of commercialisation, hence the new kunstwerk aspect. The praise we have received for the single has been truly humbling, especially in the US. The decision to ‘locate’ ourselves in the USA in terms of the record has been vindicated by the reception. We remain obscure, outsiders, but it is within underground America we bode. The Topography of Close Lobsters is American.

SW: What bands do you think have stood the test of time and continued to be creatively relevant in the Indie pop landscape?

CL: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart continue to produce exemplary indie pop sounds. The June Brides were astonishingly good last December in Glasgow. Off that scene…. I’m all about the Stevie Wonderesque Frank Ocean.

SW: Some touring, new music….what is next for Close Lobsters?

CL: We hope to play some shows in the west coast of the US in 2015 and to finally play in Paris France in the springtime of 2015. We are concocting the follow up single right now and I have a working title of ‘Santos Cosmos’.

SW: Lastly, what in your opinion are the vital albums of 2014 so far?

CL: The Wolfhounds latest and The forthcoming June Brides single. Alex Smoke floats my boat!

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Close Lobsters Video Debut and Stream at Brooklyn Vegan

Eighties-era Scottish indie pop band Close Lobsters reformed a few years ago and have been playing shows, including a fun set at NYC Popfest 2013. Last month, the band released the Kunstwerk in Spacetime EP, the group’s first new recordings in 25 years. The long-ish songs find them slipping right back into their psychedelic, jangly groove like no time had passed. We’ve got the premiere of the video for lead track “Now Time” in this post.

 

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