Written In Grass
by Sean
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


Aereogramme - "Nightmares". Full disclosure: I once had drinks with Aereogramme. I was reviewing Broken Social Scene's gig in Glasgow, the one where the lights blew out at the climax of "It's All Going to Break". I had spoken to Kevin Drew, awkwardly, because I am an after-show bumbler. With me was Charles, a photographer. Charles is from New York, likes hip-hop and Sunset Rubdown, and is somehow, strangely, the world's biggest Aereogramme fan.

Charles struck up a conversation with the concert's promoter, who was waiting to give a bottle of booze to BSS. Charles asked him if he was going out partying with "us and Broken Social Scene". The promoter said no, it was his friend's birthday, so he was going to a pub. Somehow Charles discovered that he was friends with the members of Aereogramme, who would also be there. Charles freaked out, the promoter invited us, and then Charles pleaded with me using the incomparable puppydog pathos of a Brooklyn charmer. And so we went to a pub in the Glasgow west end (i think), thereby blowing off Broken Social Scene, awkwardly, because I am an after-show bumbler.

Long, name-dropping story short: I once had drinks with Aereogramme. Nice guys. The lead singer was recovering from a "fungal infection" that had ruined his throat. The recovery was successful.

There's no reason I can see why Aereogramme are not massively huge. Overblown melodic romance - the stuff of Coldplay and Snow Patrol, strings and crescendos, Meatloaf-y longing, - mixed with a wee bit of metal, just enough to make boyfriends interested too.

"Nightmares" is as dark as the title would suggest, grim pizzicato violins till the drums start to thunder and Craig B intones: "Only... love... can... save me now." (It begs for a Jay-Z remix. "Haha, I'm here! To save you! Now listen here as I show you the way; when Hova comes he comes to stay!") The track forsakes an emotional arc, preferring to be a statement of where-the-singer's-at (a bad place) and what-he-really-wants (love). Now before we scoff, consider how true this banality is for many of us. Where are we at? Places that are occasionally bad. What do we really want? Love. Aereogramme deliver "Nightmares" with all the drama the situation calls for: they throw themselves into this bad dream, play it like it matters. And it doesn't feel anything less than honest.


Coming Soon - "I'm Just a Child". Full disclosure: Some members of this band are not old enough to legally buy drinks. Coming Soon is the new project of Bear Creek et al, French teenagers who have played with Herman Dune, Kimya Dawson and the like. Here the band's more age-diverse and they've got a worse attitude. They swear, slouch, probably give the finger to after-show bumblers like me. And yet for all this: "Do you see that I'm just a child / I just want to play / and go on my way. / Do you see that I'm not wild / I'm a sweetie guy even if I don't smile." After listening to Aereogramme's dramas, it's appealingly relaxed; sung over a plain rock beat, with a high guitar solo like that first time you wrestled, flush, with a girl.

[MySpace / buy]


One of the most interesting projects I've recently read about is Ballads of the Book, a compilation of Scottish bands (Sons &Amp; Daughters, Aereogramme, Vashti Bunyan, Alasdair Roberts, members of Arab Strap, Idlewild, Delgados, Incredible String Band, etc) performing songs with lyrics by Scottish authors (Ian Rankin, Ali Smith, Louise Welsh, A L Kennedy, etc). There's a sort of launch-gig in Edinburgh on January 30 and tickets are only £12.50.

Posted by Sean at January 29, 2007 11:08 AM

It must be so cool to able to just say "I had drinks with Aerogramme". I can't even imagine what the actual experience was like, especially right after a BSS concert. I haven't been an Aereogramme fan long, but I've pretty much loved BSS from the beginning. Great bands.

Posted by Kyle at January 29, 2007 6:57 PM

I had drinks with Aereogramme the other night. Go me.

What is with North Americans and the Coldplay/Snow Patrol thing?!!! They sound absolutely nothing like either!

Album's out tomorrow- it's mindblowing.

Posted by vivouk at February 4, 2007 6:56 PM

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Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

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