Monthly Archives: December 2014

Best of 2014

We almost totally flaked out on year-end lists this year. But, here they are, for what they’re worth.

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DANNY
I listened to a lot more new music in 2014 than I usually do, but I know I still barely scratched the surface of what was out there. Some of these albums I liked instantly and listened to them over and over. Some of them took a while to grow on me.

10. Fear of Men – Loom
9. Fireflies – In Dreams
8. Martha – Courting Strong
7. Ex Hex – Rips
6. Allo Darlin’ – We Come From The Same Place
5. Dum Dum Girls – Too True
4. The Hobbes Fanclub – Up At Lagrange
3. Alvvays – Alvvays
2. Withered Hand – New Gods
1. Flowers – Do What You Want To, It’s What You Should Do

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KRISTIN
Per usual this year, I tried to steer perfectly clear of all the hype bands. Yes, that’s right, I still have not heard the Alvvays record. Nor do I plan to, regardless of how many times someone tells me I “need” to hear it. Sorry, folks!

I also don’t think this year was extraordinarily great for albums. Singles and EPs, perhaps, and I still have every intention of writing about those elsewhere, but I had trouble coming up with 10 albums I absolutely loved this year. I have instead settled on five. Three of these five albums really had to grow on me before I began to fully appreciate them and I’m awfully glad they did:

1. Withered Hand – New Gods
2. Martha – Courting Strong
3. Glamorous Life Savers – Resurrected Elsewhere
4. Allo Darlin’ – We Come From The Same Place
5. The Hi-Life Companion – Our Years in the Wilderness

… March, April & May: (Not a) Popfest Preview: Big Pink Cake Christmas Party All-Dayer

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‘Tis the Season! It’s nearly that time of the year: holiday gatherings, mulled wine, festive sweaters and, of course, the Big Pink Cake Christmas party.

London’s pop outlet Big Pink Cake has been organizing a Christmas-themed all-dayer for the past several years and 2014 is no exception. This year’s lineup is chock full of incredible pop acts, including February Record’s own Finnmark. The intimate gathering, happening this Saturday (13 December), is not to be missed if you’re in London. A little last minute, we asked one of the organizers, Matthew Rimell, a few questions concerning the event.

Can you give us a history of the Big Pink Cake Christmas Party (dates, previous organizers involved, etc.)? How and why did you come to be involved?
Well we’d been putting on gigs for a while in both London and Bristol, but decided that we kind of needed to scale back a bit because of how busy we all are … A Christmas party seemed like a nice idea, to get friends together and bands that we liked. Heather and I had put on indie pop weekenders before, in Bristol and although we love doing them they left us physically exhausted, an all-dayer seemed like a better burst of activity and then having the next day to recover … Or not.

What is the process of choosing bands like? Do you contact them or do they have to apply to play? Are there any rules as to who can or cannot play?
Well it’s sort of floating around in my head for a little while, leading up to summer … It’s a combination of asking and being asked … Bands that we really like, have put on before or bands that have grabbed us by going to gigs throughout the year. A lot of bands though have become friends over the years, so we love them and the bands their in — what better excuse to have a party.

What has experience taught you when it comes to organizing the Christmas Party?
Try to sort out most of it during the summer when you’ve got a bit more time … Otherwise it can get a bit panicky when September happens and people are too bogged down with stuff … I think it’s to give stuff plenty of time because things change, new things might have to be thought about … I think time is a key issue.

When does organization start? Is there a timeline you follow? How soon after the festival ends do you begin to plan the next one?
During the summer time when my job is much less of a strain … I love August! I wish it was August all the time … But I’d get bored wouldn’t I? Maybe not … I think organisation is a bit too grand really … It’s a bit of a thought, a bit of passion, then an action with hopefully a yes as the desired response … We aren’t that organised and I don’t think we’d want to be. Fun has to be the main element, or forget it.

Do you have any inside tips for attendees?
Not really, just enjoy yourself and have a lovely time … You’re amongst kindred spirits, who are there for the specialness of the quieter afternoon session upstairs by the Christmas tree and chandelier … Come and join us all for a curry during the break if you like and then jump up and down to the full on electric session in the cellar for the evening. We love both sessions, they present something different and special … But mostly its friends coming together … it really is a great feeling to be around people coming from all over the world for our small little event.

What are some of the best and worst Christmas Party moments you can remember?
Not really any worst ones (yet) … Although Heather and I did get a bit ‘silly’ when we couldn’t have the Christmas tree last year … Heather and I are old and best friends from school … Sometimes we can get a bit daft — you know, in the way best friends can get. The best bits are too many … Seriously, we love seeing everyone having a lovely time, making friendships and smiling. The bands also, every single one that we’ve had has been totally special and have made it for us and everyone else. There are literally too many bands that stick out for me … But mostly it’s the atmosphere created by everyone … That’s the reason why we do it.

For more information, check the event page here.