Damnably Acts & Friends Best of 2013 Lists

We wish you all a great Christmas and Happy New year for 2014!

Naoko, Shonen Knife

1. UK and European tour 2013 August and September (see http://www.shonenknife.net/tour_blog.html)
Thanks to the great audience and crew, I could enjoy a lot.
2. Played at many cities in Japan. We had shows in Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Okayama, Kochi, Fukuoka and Tokyo.
3. Paul McCartney Show in Osaka. Paul is my music idol forever!
4. KISS show in Osaka. What a fantastic show!
5. Played with Sebadoh. I love their music.
6. Duet with Ken Stringfellow. Ken is so cool.

7. Played 2 shows in one day for 2 different set at NHK, Japanese public TV and radio station I got nervous but everything went well.
8. I got my new guitar and amps. They are excellent. Aria DM-01 white and Taurus Stomp-Head 4.SL
9. Earth Wind & Fire and Cheap Trick shows at “Summer Sonic”. It was very hot outside but their shows were wonderful.
10. Van Halen show in Osaka. I jumped.

Ritsuko Shonen Knife


1.I went to Paul McCartney's concert for the 1st time.
It was the great concert that I will remember for all my life.
2.Shonen Knife opened for Sebadoh.
3.Pop Brothers from Glasgow World Premiere Tour in Osaka

4.I went to Heineken Experience.
5.I tripped to Okinawa twice a year. I love Okinawan foods and beautiful
6.I saw RINGO DEATHSTARR in Osaka and London.
7. I enjoyed a big grand display of fireworks in Osaka.
8.I enjoyed Halloween horror night in Universal Studios Japan.
9.I went to mushroom picking and had a mushroom BBQ party!!
10.I'm hooked on a video game called ''Monster Hunter 4" and ''Dragon
Quest 10".

Emi Shonen Knife 

1 Live with sebadoh
2 UK&EU tour
3 Started twitter
4 Barbecue party at Windmill,Brixton
5 Ayacon 2013
6 Shonen Knife Covered my bloody valentine's song

7 Swam in the sea
8 Live with bloodthirsty butchers (2 Drummer Set)

9 OSAKA ROMONES's radio live at NHK.
10 Took London Underground for the 1st time






Kevin Drumm – “Phantom Jerk” cd
Kevin Drumm- “Quiet Nights” cd
Kevin Drumm – “Earrach” double cd
Maurizio Bianchi + Ryan Martin – “As Strong As Death Is” double cassette
Noisem – “Agony Defined” LP
Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement – “The Plant With Many Faces” LP
Regression – “Between Worlds” one-sided LP
Jan Jelinek – all four 12″‘s he released this year
Dustbug – “Unfield + Wake” cassette
Iancu Dumitrescu – “Pierres Sacrees/Hazard and Tectonics” 12″


John Engle and Steve Immerwahr + The Surf All-Stars + Ryder (My Wedding, Poulsbo, WA)
Mission of Burma + Kahoots + Milo Jones (My Wedding Party, Somerville, MA)

John Macdonald – “One More Sunday”

Scott Wolven – “Controlled Burn”


Olympic Provisions (Portland, OR)


Weddin’ Day (August 16)


Weddin’ Party (September 20)

 Geoff Farina

Photo : Marie-Line BONNEAU


10 page turners (music related) I read in 2013:

Strange Fascination  David Buckley
The Dark Stuff  Nick Kent
Conversations Steve Lacy
White Bicycles  Joe Boyd
Nankering With the Rolling Stones  James Phelge
Life Keith Richards
Mister Jelly Roll Alan Lomax
Just Kids Patti Smith
I Dreamed I Was a Clean Tramp Richard Hell
de Kooning Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan (This is not music-related and is certainly not a page turner, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.)

Ian BakerMagic teapot 

Ian Baker

the best football sacking – paulo di canio

the best reruns – SAFC 2 newcastle 1 and SAFC 1 man city 0

the best comeback – Come, London

the best gig – Neil Young and Crazy Horse

the rising stars – Public Service Broadcasting

Aaron Thedford Vocalist & Guitarist in American Werewolf Academy


1. Water On Mars – Purling Hiss (Drag City)

2. First Step Beyond – Medusa 1974 ( re-released by Numero Uno)

3. Ruined My Life – Daniel Markham (self released)

4. Friend Of Man And Beast Alike – Satans Of Soft Rock (I Love Math)


5. Fuzz Fuzz (In The Red)

Russ (of Russ & The Wolf Choir/Former Utopia/Splintered Man)

2013-09-07 18.04.25

Pinning down the best of the year when you struggle to remember the last hour is surprisingly difficult. I flicked through journal entries, scrolled through my “recently added” playlist and emptied my pockets for ticket stubs to bring you a list of, what could be described as, my average life

1. Kevin Devine releasing two records, on the same day and accidentally, kind of, making Kick Starter collapse. I find getting one record complete a feat; but to write, record and release two stellar albums within a year is more than salut-able. KD has built a loyal fan base over the years, and this is more than enough proof of their appreciation to his work.
2. Much A Stew About Nothing London shows. Stewart Lee’s smart, overly moralist, left high-fiving comedy warm ups. The good news is that if you missed it, it was all for his new BBC series.
3. The Front Bottoms – Talon Of The Hawk. I have a soft spot for pop punk music, and this band does it right for me. Punchy, energetic and with a lot of heart and soul. “Rock and roll! You probably don’t know what that means!”
4. Recording and almost completing the “Russell and the Wolf Choir” record. I’ve been writing on and off for years and so decided to embark on recording 14 songs with my band of friends. We finished recording in February at Holy Mountain Studios and have been doing various overdubs at home. Dave Jones stepped in to mix and we couldn’t be happier with the results. We are hoping to have something out early next year.
5. Kill Your Darlings. I can’t say I know a lot about Allen Ginsberg, but I’ve read some Kerouac in the past. Whilst I may have missed the boat on the profound effects of On The Road, this movie had me thinking about it for days. A great insight into The Beat.
6.  The Postal Service at Brixton. I remember 10 years ago, hunting for days, trying to get tickets to their show at the Spitz. My last resort was calling the venue for any cancellations.
“You can always come up tonight, in case someone doesn’t show…”
“What are the chances of that? It’s the Postal Service!”
“Highly slim”
Those words haunted me like they haunt an ageing model over hearing a conversation about the new girl. 10 years later and this record still gets me pumped for summer. And the show, along with Ben Gibbard’s “dad dancing”, didn’t disappoint.
7. I bought new glasses. This is something I do every 2 years but these were a new shape; a very bold move in my I’ll just test the water world.
8. Seeing Shonen Knife at Tilburg’s Incubate festival. I’ve seen SK a fair few times. Former Utopia had a couple of tour dates with them this year and our last was at Incubate. There was so much energy at this show that it may have caused an earthquake!
9. The multiple friend’s weddings I seem to have found myself at this year. I guess this is what happens when you hit your 30s!
10. Recording the new Former Utopia songs. We’ve started work on what will become our next release. 2014 looks to be a busy year for music.

George (Damnably/FormerUtopia)


Dick Diver – Calender Days (Chapter Music)
Easy the most interesting act around.

Joel RL Phelps & Downer Trio – ‘Gala’ (12XU/Triple Crown)
To see Joel come back last Christmas with a few songs for Jon Solomon’s 24 hour Christmas radio marathon was amazing and then for this record to happen was a dream come true.
Bottomless Pit – ‘Shade Perennial’ (Comedy Minus One)
I love ‘Felt A Little Left’ so much and could see from the You Tube videos of it live a few years ago that it was gonna be one of those epic and immense songs Bottomless Pit do so well.
Glorytellers – ‘Current Resident’
So good and so sad. I really wished the press had listened to the words on this one.
Bill Callahan – ‘Dream River’ (Drag City )
Bill made good and it’s interesting to see him grow so popular now from what was pretty underground and difficult before.
The BeverleysDreams
Construction And Destruction -‘Dark Lark’ (self released)
Self recorded, self released, spider web videos and just the most free and smartest songs about. I love this Canadian duo and their endless powers of creativity.
Terry Allan  ‘Bottom of the World’ (TLA)
That old cowboy come conceptual artist and quirky songwriter returned with this album and it’s a good one.
Shannon Wright-In Film Sound (Vicious Circle)
Dynamic Truths – Understanding is Overrated (album of unreleased tracks from an amazing band active from 96′-00)
Laura Cantrell – ‘No Way There From Here’ (Spit & Polish)
The world had changed since she’d last released an album, the country scene had been usurped by dreadful English Folk and ridiculous 14th century put on voices haunted the land. Whole record
labels and festivals where set up to mine this ugly seam of perverse reenactment and then thankfully Laura was resurrected and her voice smote the scene dead and we all rejoiced. Amen.

Martha’s Vineyard Ferries ‘Mass. Grave’ (Kiam)
You get 3 super musicians and writers for your buck here and Elisha from the Kahoots is the secret weapon. He sweats better songs than most bands can write.
BOB’s song about mobile phones is ace and Brokaw’s ‘She’s A Fucking Angel’ is a super hit!
Incubate Festival
Seeing Atsuko join SK in Dingwalls and sing Goose Step Mama
COME live at Dingwalls
Schremser Beer
Ernie Ball Cobalt Strings
Meeting Sheila Peel at the John Peel Centre.
Stewart Lee – ‘Much A Stew about Nothing’
Seeing Stewart Lee is a form of therapy for people ‘living with Tories’ and you get the bonus of seeing versions of your mates in his audience.
Thatcher’s Death
Margett Attwood – MaddAddam
Toast Of London -TV Comedy series-One duff episode but the rest was hilarious.
Anchorman 2 – It was worth the wait
The Heat-The funniest Cop ‘partner’ comedy film ever made
Couldn’t You Wait? The Story of Silkworm Doc-so happy to see this finished and watched it loads-song meaning section was a great bonus.
Summer in the Garden with Ricky, Clive and 4 cats
Hearing the Former Utopia songs on the radio and making up some new ones
that feel pretty strong.


Michel LarkinLazarus Clamp

Lazarus Clamp - photo by John Bloor

My favourite records have been:

Neko Case – The worse things get, the harder I fight, the harder I fight, the more I love you.
You can file this precisely in between ‘Parallel lines’ and ‘The sunset tree.’ It is that good.

Overseas – Overseas. I liked this so much that I actually got round to writing a proper review of it (it has since made me a big fan of David Bazan too). A really complex and rewarding guitar record which always puts the song first, and is never indulgent, and never ashamed to take itself seriously.

Joel RL Phelps & the Downer Trio – Gala.

Magnificent and moving comeback. ‘Now you’ve decided’ is … just crushing. I feel teary-eyed just thinking about the *existence* of this record. Go on Joel, go on.

Throwing Muses – Purgatory/Paradise.
A jaw-dropping return: I’ve been a fan since 1987, but even then this is better than I dared to expect. Audacious and inventive, and beautifully executed.

Courtney Barnett – A sea of split peas.
Two EPs re-issued as an LP; a bit of repetition, and not quite the full coherence that you’d want from an LP, but when the writing is good (as on Avant Gardener and handful of others) it is really very good. Also: watch Courtney and her band playing these songs on youtube, on their recent trip to the US. They’re on fire. No pressure or anything, but the next thing they do really ought to be magnificent.

Dick Divers – Calendar days.
Another band hitting their stride  – but sounding like they feel pretty relaxed about that. I’m not sure whether this deadpan indie pop gem is as effortless as it appears – but it is lovely.

Laura Cantrell – No way there from here.
The best thing that she’s done since her debut LP; very economical and immediate.

Minutes – Roland.
More varied than the first long-player, and another near perfect punk pop record.

Glorytellers – Current resident.
Different line-up and so a different feel to the previous Glorytellers releases, but the very personal material here is handled so thoughtfully that you begin to feel as if your own responses to grief might well have been a bit … crass. Also, I’m not tremendously visual in my response to music, but this record brings dappled summer sunlight to mind, whenever I hear it.

Honourable mentions:
Hookworms – Pearl mystic.
I think it would be great if the next record sounded *really* different; I’ve enjoyed the journey to this point, but this is pretty much the perfect realisation of their mission so far.

Bottomless pit – Shade perennial.
This is exquisitely well-recorded, and it is all delivered with outrageous flair and zip … but it’s missing the attention to detail in the writing and arrangement which I loved so much from their previous releases. The difference is intentional by all accounts, and the renewed energy *is* infectious, but this LP isn’t finding its way onto the turntable with the relentless persistence of their previous records. Still, probably my favourite band right now.

Richard Buckner – Surrounded.
This is in the post, so I’m cheating a bit; but all the tracks I’ve heard suggest that it will be the closest that RB has come to Since, since Since. [Sorry, but that was impossible to resist].

Waxahatchee – Cerulean salt.

Promising this, I thought.


I’ve seen quite a bit of music this year, including a couple of bands that I’ve somehow managed to miss on previous occasions (Hookworms, Kogumaza – both very pleasing), a few old favourites (Loop, Shellac, etc), and a bunch of new stuff. The things that had the most impact though were C Joynes & Stephanie Hladowski, who recreated the tension and hauntings of their Wild Wild Berry record at Sin Eater in the summer, and either side of that, Mark Eitzel and Eef Barzalay. The latter pair both provided firm re-iteration of the primary importance of the core material (I mean, you know: songs).


Simon smallgang

Dream River – Bill Callahan

Television @ the Roundhouse
Portishead @ Glastonbury
The Breeders Last Splash 20th Anniversary
Last Night on Earth – Lee Ranaldo and the Dust
The Problem With Me – Seam
Built to Spill @ Electric Ballroom
Touring with Bored Spies and Dave Doughman in June was mighty good fun.
Great to see them perform each night as well as sing karaoke in Coventry with Sooyoung Park.
Breaking Bad Season 5
Mad Men Season 6
Young Justice
David Bowie – Five Years
Parks and Recreation
A Band called Death
A Place Beyond The Pines
Jason Becker – Not Dead Yet
Breathe In
Killing Them Softly
Veronika from Plaided/Tirana
veronika_best_of_2013 PDF(click to Open)



Matt Atkins (smallgang/Slowgun/Crumbling Ghost/Russell & the Wolf Choir)

Some musical highlights of 2013…….

Autechre – ‘Exai’
My Bloody Valentine – ‘MBV’
Oneohtrix Point Never – ‘R Plus Seven’
R Stevie Moore – ‘Lo-Fi High Fives’
Michael Rother – ‘Flammende Herzen’
Slowdive – ‘Pygmalion’
Ryuchi Sakamoto + Taylor Deupree – ‘Disappearance’
Former Utopia – ‘Collapsar’
Demdike Stare – ‘Test Pressings’ 12″s
Mika Vainio – ‘Kilo’
Boards Of Canada – ‘Tomorrow’s Harvest’

My Bloody Valentine Festival Number 6
Stone Roses @ Isle of Wight festival
The Charlatans Kendal Calling
Slint The Forum
Hatcham Social Birthdays
Velveteen Saints @ Kendal Calling
Bored Spies @ Seabright Arms
Twisted Wheel Kendal Calling