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Album round up - August 2014

28 Aug 2014

Including new releases from James Yorkston, Moon Duo, Earth and Franz Ferdinand

James Yorkston – The Cellardyke Recording & Wassailing Society (Domino) ●●●●● It would be tempting to declare this customarily brilliant piece of work from Fife’s other contemporary folk troubadour a fond farewell to the Fence Collective as-was, with…

The Scottish Independence Referendum: a brief guide to the story so far

28 Aug 2014

As the country prepares for the big vote on 18 Sep, we look back at the significant dates leading up

May 2011: Holyrood elections The SNP win an unprecedented majority at Holyrood with 45% of the votes. May 2012: Launch of Yes Scotland Launch of Yes Scotland organisation to campaign in favour of independence. Featuring celebrities such as Alan…

Various artists - Bourgeois Kerb Stomp

28 Aug 20144 stars

Industrial dub power trio Ex-Servicemen split 3 ways for this experimental/noise cassette release

Self-described ‘industrial dub power trio’ Ex-Servicemen breaks down into its component parts for this three-way split. Cognisant of both the usefulness of technological ghosts and the fetishistic potential of physical objects, Herhalen (a Glasgow-based…

FrightFest 2014: All Cheerleaders Die

28 Aug 20142 stars

Hypocritical horror remake from Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson

Gender politics has always been at the beating heart of horror. While it could be argued that cinema as a whole is preoccupied with the white male experience, no other genre gouges such an indelible gender divide. Scary movies usually embrace the tired…

Death From Above 1979 - The Physical World

28 Aug 20143 stars

Canadian dance-punk duo release second album with mixed results

It’s hard to work out Death from Above 1979’s reasons for putting out The Physical World: they’ve talked in interviews about the constant nagging from fans and the press, but denied they’re doing it for them; they’ve said it’ll allow them to play live…

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Singles and downloads - August 2014

28 Aug 2014

Featuring Nozinja, Franz Ferdinand, Rustie and Mark Lanegan

Nozinja – 'Tsekeleke' (Warp) ●●●● South African beat maker Nozinja (aka Richard Mthetwa) makes his debut on Warp Records, coming out the blocks like a demented circus theme tune before morphing into hyper-speed afrobeat. This amalgam of traditional…

FrightFest 2014: The Babadook

28 Aug 20144 stars

An emotionally impactful, sad and scary horror from debut director Jennifer Kent

Overwhelming grief and depression takes the form of a top hat wearing, slithering monster with knives for hands in debut director Jennifer Kent’s genuinely upsetting and at times terrifying modern day fable. It's been six years since Amelia (Essie…

FrightFest 2014: White Settlers

28 Aug 20143 stars

Referendum-themed horror starring Pollyanna McIntosh offers entertainment but little depth

Simeon Halligan's second feature White Settlers takes the argument for Scottish independence to bloody extremes. Sarah (Pollyanna McIntosh) and Ed (Lee Williams) are a young couple from 'down south' taking advantage of the Scottish housing market to…

The Juan Maclean - In A Dream

28 Aug 20144 stars

A career-high return from the DFA-signed disco electronicists

With the demise in recent years of LCD Soundsystem and The Rapture, it seemed like the early 2000s vintage of ‘punk-funk’ (for that’s what it was excruciatingly known as) had died a death. Yet the label which curated the style keeps on kicking, and…

Lee Gamble - KOCH

28 Aug 20144 stars

Techno musician's new record is most diverse and tub-thumping to date

Drifting ever so slightly from the deconstructionist jungle leanings found on Lee Gamble’s previous and critically lauded PAN releases Dutch Tvashar Plumes and Diversions 1994–1996 back in 2012, KOCH is a slightly different type of mutant. There’s still…

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US hip hopper Azealia Banks to tour UK following split with Universal

28 Aug 2014

The self-styled Yung Rapunxel, famed for her Twitter trolling, is back on track

Having weathered the ignominy of her most famous song, '212', then becoming an expert in Twitter beefs (she’s had a go at A$AP Rocky, Pharrell, Lady Gaga and Lil Kim among others; Google is full of articles dedicated to her prolific trolling), Azealia…

The Grandees: BaBoom!

28 Aug 20142 stars

Childlike comedy in need of a revamp at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

A man who can make emit an earth-shattering sound. The parliament of owls. Projectors in hidden realms. Welcome to the wacky, wacky world of the Grandees. Perhaps BaBOOM! and its over-arching daftness is something you just have to get onboard with…

Chris Coltrane: There's No Heroes Left Except All of Us

28 Aug 20143 stars

Strong political comedy from committed activist at Edinburgh Festival Free Fringe

There’s no denying that Chris Coltrane is a man who has the cojones to back up his beliefs. A self-proclaimed ‘Maltesers Marxist’, he has doorstepped the Daily Mail editor (he wasn’t in) and larked around relentlessly at a BAE Systems shareholders…

The Man Who Would Be King

28 Aug 20144 stars

Kipling's tale of imperialist ambition is given a contemporary resonance

Perhaps best known in the film version – which saw the dream team of Sean Connery and Michael Caine play the would-be emperors – Kipling's Afghanistan story is more than just a boy's own adventure, reflecting on the arrogant ambitions of a British…

Get Divorced and Join the Circus

28 Aug 20143 stars

Harp playing comedian unique to Edinburgh Festival Fringe

There’s little doubt that Ursula Burns has a unique selling point for a Fringe comedy show. She has a harp and she’s not afraid to use it. Remarking from the off that being placed in the comedy section is merely a ploy to get people into her show, Burns…

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Wuthering Heights

28 Aug 20143 stars

Bravely abstract take on the nineteenth century classic at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

This is not a faithful theatre adaption of Emily Brontë’s classic: from the beginning the all-male cast announce they will be playing various characters from the novel as well as themselves, taking Heathcliff’s temperamental disposition as the driving…

Miss Fletcher Sings the Blues

28 Aug 20143 stars

Hayley Sproull's monstrous music-teacher creation hits the right note at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Dubbed as the new Tim Minchin or Flight of the Conchords, it’s little surprise to learn that Hayley Sproull is of antipodean extraction and can bash out a mean tune on her keyboard. But her Miss Fletcher music-teacher creation is a more fully-formed…

Clever Peter: The Dreams Factory

28 Aug 20142 stars

Lukewarm sketches from comedy trio at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Clever Peter have been tagged as one of the brightest sketch trios to emerge in the past few years but there seems to be no real evidence to back up that claim here. The Dreams Factory is a hotchpotch of bits and bobs and predicated on pretty shaky…

Dave Liebman & Steve Dalachinsky - The Fallout of Dreams

28 Aug 20144 stars

Liebman and Richie Beirach provide jazz accompaniment for poet Dalachinsky's neo-beat visions

Jazz and Poetry: all those clichés of earnest Beatniks reciting sub-Ginsberg doggerel over generic bebop … euch! Yet, at its best, it can be a revelation: the militant rage of Amiri Baraka and Sunny Murray's 'Black Art', the ecstatic picaresque of Jack…

Max Johnson, Ingrid Laubrock, Mat Maneri, Tomas Fujiwara - The Prisoner

28 Aug 20144 stars

An avant-jazz suite inspired by Patrick McGoohan's psychedelic television classic The Prisoner

An avant-jazz suite inspired by Patrick McGoohan's psychedelic television classic The Prisoner? Consider my boxes ticked. A stalwart of the New York improv scene, bassist Max Johnson captures impressions of the show's mystery, paranoia and tension…

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Ian Rankin, Tony Parsons, Kathy Reichs and Ian Mcwhirter among highlights at Bloody Scotland 2014

27 Aug 2014

The crime fiction festival also welcomes Denise Mina, John Gordon Sinclair and David Hewson

Now an established literary festival which continues to grow and attract ever more well-known international guests, Stirling-based Bloody Scotland was established with the intention of celebrating what co-founder Lin Anderson calls 'Scotland’s other…

Autumn film preview 2014: Birdman, Mr Turner and Gone Girl among the likely awards contenders

27 Aug 2014

Foxcatcher, Inherent Vice, Big Eyes, Interstellar, The Judge and Brad Pitt's Fury also frontrunners

After a lacklustre summer of box-office disappointments, Hollywood hopes to regain some credibility by mounting a handsome awards season. Few of the tipped contenders have been on general release, like Richard Linklater’s superb Boyhood, and there’s…

Interview: Idlewild singer-songwriter Roddy Woomble

27 Aug 2014

The musician talks crying at kids’ films and being starstruck by Morrissey

First record you ever bought Five Star, ‘Silk & Steel’. Last extravagant purchase you made Probably a nice meal somewhere – generally though, extravagance is overrated. First film you saw that really moved you Ghostbusters. First movie…

Interview: director Graham McLaren on reviving Joe Corrie's In Time O' Strife

27 Aug 2014

'I love that we are giving voice to an artist who was denied it by the theatre establishment'

Set in the 1920s, and highlighting the struggles of Fife miners against poverty and social injustice, In Time O' Strife is a neglected Scottish classic, presaging in its anger the great theatrical revolution of the Angry Young Men in the 1950s. Director…

Interview: artist and GSA graduate Emma Ewan discusses working in Glasgow

27 Aug 2014

'People in Glasgow are making and showing art because that’s what they want to do'

Emma Ewan graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2012, since then she has participated in Glasgow Open House, Bristol Art Weekender and a graduate residency at Hospitalfield Arts. Ewan is currently exhibiting at Art Rooms in Cockenzie House and in…