Back from Madrid Popfest. Back from Spain and the many cities I visited. Back to New York. Back to work, to the label, to the routines. I’m still in the process of figuring out how to put in words what happened in Madrid. It is one of the best times ever. Indiepop-wise and not. In the next couple of weeks I will review it, hopefully convince you to go next year. It’s worth it. And having attended many Popfests I can truly say that when it comes to fun, when it comes to camaraderie, to admiration to the bands, to fans that give their heart out every night, Madrid is the best. And they get some damn fine bands too.
I got the best company during the trip. And she knows. To Toledo, Avila, Segovia, and more, we traveled. We visited a handful of cathedrals, castles and ruins. We walked on top of medieval walls, ate the town’s specialties, and took hundreds of pictures. The “Cercanías” trains were great and cheap. And at night we had beer, and danced, and met with friends. A haze, a blur, it all so seems so far away but so close too. I need another festival soon to put Madrid in perspective. Around the corner is the Chickfactor one. Will that make me sane again? I don’t want this happiness to go away though. But there’s plenty of news for Cloudberry. I really want to go through them, let’s talk about Madrid next week. Promise.
First of all, there’s a couple of new releases out:
- The Time Capsules : this is part of the Cloudberry Classics releases. It includes 6 wonderful songs in the vein of The Jazz Butcher, Lotus Eaters and Jim Jiminee. The Time Capsules were a Japanese band active during the late 90s. They only released a tape back then. This release includes all their songs (but their demos, though you can download one of them from the Cloudberry page). These days Kouishi Ono, the lead guy behind The Time Capsules goes under the name Alvysinger and he still has it. Great stuff!
- Tiny Fireflies / Lily of the Valley : please don’t mistake them with “My” Lily of the Valley who were Swedish and appeared on Cloudberry’s 100th release. This Lily of the Valley hails from Japan and they make great shoegazy tunes. And what to say about Tiny Fireflies who are making a splash everywhere. From New York to London and then to Indietracks and now Madrid. Seen them four times and everytime they get closer to pop perfection. Delicious vocals by Kristine, two perfectly penned songs, with hooks, dreams and reveries. This is a split 3″CD!
Also you might have noticed that most prices on the store have been raised by a dollar. Even though I didn’t want to do it, I had no better option. The postal service has raised their prices. Nothing we can do about it. It’s been 5 years keeping the same prices on Cloudberry, but now there’s no way for me to cut expenses on other things and keep the prices the same. Hope you understand.
On the 7″ front the Cassolette 7″ is almost ready. This week I should be announcing the release date. It should be in the early days of April. It’s been a long wait, but it will definitely be worth it.
And then the Cloudberry Cake Kitchen is also ready with a new baked goodie: The Deddingtons album. All the artwork is ready and will try to send it to press very soon. There will be more info about this release later on the Cloudberry site.
Also I feel it’s time to start working on a new fanzine. Any ideas on who to feature? What color ink to use?
But now it’s time for our obscure band of the week: Ostrich Cult.
Ostrich: is one or two species of large flightless birds native to Africa, the only living member(s) of the genus Struthio. Some analyses indicate that the Somali Ostrich may be better considered a full species apart from the Common Ostrich, but most taxonomists consider it to be a subspecies. Ostriches share the order Struthioniformes with the kiwis, emus, and other ratites. It is distinctive in its appearance, with a long neck and legs and the ability to run at maximum speeds of about 70 kilometres per hour (43 mph), the top land speed of any bird The Ostrich is the largest living species of bird and lays the largest egg of any living bird (extinct elephant birds of Madagascar and the giant moa of New Zealand did lay larger eggs). The diet of Ostriches mainly consists of plant matter, though it also eats invertebrates. It lives in nomadic groups which contain between five and fifty birds. When threatened, the Ostrich will either hide itself by lying flat against the ground, or will run away. If cornered, it can attack with a kick from its powerful legs. Mating patterns differ by geographical region, but territorial males fight for a harem of two to seven females. These fights usually last just minutes, but they can easily cause death through slamming their heads into opponents. The Ostrich is farmed around the world, particularly for its feathers, which are decorative and are also used as feather dusters. Its skin is used for leather products and its meat is marketed commercially.
Cult: The word cult in current popular usage usually refers to a new religious movement or other group whose beliefs or practices are considered abnormal or bizarre. The word originally denoted a system of ritual practices. The word was first used in the early 17th century denoting homage paid to a divinity and derived from the French culte or Latin cultus, ‘worship’, from cult-, ‘inhabited, cultivated, worshipped,’ from the verb colere, ‘care, cultivation’. In the 1930s cults became the object of sociological study in the context of the study of religious behavior. They have been criticized by mainstream Christians for their unorthodox beliefs. In the 1970s the anticult movement arose, partly motivated by acts of violence and other crimes committed by members of some cults (notably the Manson Family and People’s Temple). Some of the claims of the anticult movement have been disputed by other scholars, leading to further controversies.
With my head daydreaming of Sweden, I have no better idea to write about this band, an obsession of mine. An obsession for two reasons. First because I don’t have their 7″ and have never heard the songs on it. And second, they were the predecessors of one of my favourite bands, Happydeadmen.
The only song I’ve ever heard from them is the one posted here on the blog. I heard it for first time on Youtube, and it seems it’s from 1986. I think someone translated it to English for me once. I can’t remember. I will go through my emails and see if I can find that. I know the song name means “A Dying Man”. Magnus Karlsson is on vocals.
The sound is different to Happydeadmen, though you can already hear some great guitar riffs. The jangle was about to come. Still I enjoy this song a lot. But this song is just a demo, this song wasn’t properly released, which probably means that the two songs that were released on the 7″ might be superior. I don’t know, just an educated guess here.
The 7″ was a private press, 500 copies as usual. The catalogue is MOK-S-01. The song on the A side is “Skymningsland” which means ‘Land of Dusk’ and on the flip side we find “Resa Utan Mal”, ‘Journey Without End”. The sleeve artwork reminds me a bit of those by Jesse Garon and the Desperadoes, offset print in blue.
I don’t have a clue where to find a copy, and I’ve been trying for some years now. If anyone cares to help, please let me know. Or at least MP3s of these two songs, I would love to listen. Worst case scenario, if you happen to have more songs from the demo, please share. This band is a true mystery to me and would love to know more. I love Happydeadmen, knowing more about Ostrich Cult is imperative!
Ostrich Cult – En Döende Man