Yale vs Harvard


I write to you from the grounds of Yale university, where we haven’t all packed in this music industry lark for degrees (because if we were going to do that, we’d go to Harvard obviously), but rather, the Say Anything / Manchester Orchestra/ Biffy C / Weatherbox tour, has rolled into Connecticut, more precisely the Yale campus in New Haven.

Hello friends and amphibians. 

I write to you from the grounds of Yale university, where we haven’t all packed in this music industry lark for degrees (because if we were going to do that, we’d go to Harvard obviously), but rather, the Say Anything / Manchester Orchestra/ Biffy C / Weatherbox tour, has rolled into Connecticut, more precisely the Yale campus in New Haven. 

It looks very much like Oxford, but with slightly wider pavements, and less tweed-wearing fringe-toting hip kids. 

The USA is still treating us well… Amazingly, we haven’t been eating as badly as we had expected… On previous trips, as I may well have bitched and moaned about before, the band, Churd (who incidentally, thanks to an alcohol-inspired half hour a few nights ago, now has his own Wikipedia page, that he was in no way responsible for, and is in fact rather embarrassed about), and I all suffered from a lack of decent sustinence. 

There’s only so many times you can enjoy a BLT or a large burger, until you start to question the wisdom of such a choice. But it hasn’t been too bad this time round. 

In Portland, James picked up a George Foreman Grill for the bus. Its fairly fucked up that George has pretty much made his name in home appliances now, as opposed to his sporting prowess… now he’s knocking people out with value for money and reliability, instead of strong uppercuts. 

So what the fuck has been happening with you guys? 

The biffy messageboard was down for a while… apologies for that, but its running a lot better now, and is a fully functional board. I’ve seen a few people complain about the colour scheme unfortunately, but I’ve also seen Spinal Tap, and I can sympathise when the bread isn’t large enough. I think its a fairly similar complaint. Some people are never happy. This is a good thing though, as complacency breeds neglect. 

So more and more festivals are being announced… You may or may not know that Biffy are confirmed for the Download Festival main stage… Also T In The Park…. a few more that I don’t think we can announce. One of them is a rather exciting slot, especially for a rock band… More on that in a few weeks I suspect. 

There’s also another exciting bit of Biffy news for over the summer, which again I’m reluctant to say too much about… I’m not sure how to cryptically mention it without selling the farm, so I’ll just say that its been almost a year since the album came out, and whilst its unlikely that there will be a new album until next year, the boys aren’t letting the grass grow under their feet. 

On a slightly less exciting note, it looks like Beggars, the band’s old label, who released the first three albums, will finally do what they’ve threatened to do for a while, and release a compilation of the singles from those three records. Whilst the band are very proud of all their records, its obviously not ideal for those songs to be taken out of context and released as an album unto themselves. So the band chose not to be involved with this release, beyond requesting that they not attempt to ‘sequence’ a tracklist, or create a ‘new’ album or, god forbid, a ‘greatest hits’. 

Its the oldest chestnut in the tree, "previous label released record against the band’s will"… So the band are going to remain dignified and rise above it. No controversy, no toys out of prams, they’re just going to concentrate on the now. And so, sometime soon, an album will hit the shelves, ‘Biffy Clyro the singles 2002 – 2005’ The artwork is pretty great though (nice one Jon) 

Just to be clear though, this isn’t a ‘big release’ or a notable release. There won’t be promo, or touring, or signings, or any of that. It’ll just come out. Apologies to the completists who feel obliged to buy something they already own…Its not ideal. It’d have been awesome if the b-sides from that period had surfaced as a compilation instead (or alongside) but what can you do… (though I’ll happily pass on the relevant email addresses for the label if anyone wants to drop them a line to request such a release…) 

Enough about that. 

We go to Japan and Australia in a few weeks. Incredibly exciting. Some of us are a bit wary of the arachnid situation in Australia, but after the intense time we’re expecting in Japan, I suspect it’ll be a laid back affair by the time we get to Sydney. 

We arrive on Ben and James’ birthday, which bodes well, though we might have a party in Osaka the night before, as we fly overnight to Sydney the day of their birthday. Airport departure lounge party perhaps. If either of them read this (which is unlikely, as getting them near the blog is like getting a cat in a bath of cold water, though with every day, they take a step closer… maybe)
That’s also the day that a new episode of Lost is broadcast in the USA. 

Ben, Simon and I are huge Lost fans. James is as well, but isn’t up to date. Churd has no interest in such nonsense. Last week, Ben and I watched it live on TV in Kansas City, instead of downloading it (is it illegal to download TV shows incidentally, considering they are broadcast on a free channel?). 

Big mistake to watch it on American TV. I’ve never seen so many fucking commercials. 20 minutes out of an hour for commercials. COMMERCIALS BEFORE THE FUCKING CREDITS AT THE START OF THE SHOW. They’re seriously having a laugh over here. Viva la BBC. 

If you’re reading this, mr NBC, mr ABC, and mr CBS, fuck you and fuck your commercials. We don’t want a pancake ball wrought-iron pan for $19.99 plus tax and shipping, even if it does come with a free recipe book and chef’s hat. Nor do we want the Insta-Vac industrial vacuum cleaner, for a monthly payment of $29.99 for the first year. We want to know whether Jin is actually alive, and we want to know what in the name of sweet Jehovah Benjamin Linus is all about… 

On the subject of TV, Simon bought a Jack Bauer action figure, which is possibly the most realistic action figure I’ve ever seen in my life. I’m convinced its articulated, and will move as well, but the rest of them don’t believe me. He’s kicking a door in, and holding a gun, as you’d expect. 

Has anyone seen ‘The Wild’? CGI movie, Zoo animals find themselves in a Jungle… We came across it on the TV last night (our tour bus has satellite TV, which is standard over here, but very exciting for us), and discovered our man Kiefer Sutherland provides the voice for the lion… Worth a look, if only to hear a CGI lion shout Jack Bauer phrases in a dramatic fashion. 

Apologies for any grammatical errors on this blog entry… its all very chain of thought, and I keep getting distracted for 20 minutes at a time with other bits and pieces, and then coming back and typing more.
Did anyone pick up the Muse Wembley DVD? 

There’s a few little glimpses of the Biffs on the extras documentary. 

Apparently the boys were played on Hollyoaks amongst other equally sketchy TV shows. 

On tour, we have been listening to a mixture of the following, whilst reserving judgement on everything… 

the new records by Gullemots, Health, Foals, Panic at the Disco, the ‘Once’ soundtrack and accompanying album, the Gutter Twins, Be Your Own PET, and lots of new bands via the joys of myspace. We are looking forward to hearing the Youthmovies album, and the ManMan album upon returning to the UK. 

We’ve watched a shitload of movies recently… pretty much everything significant thats out at the cinema, plus a load more… Notables include Once (wow), Cloverfield (double wow), The Nines, Walk Hard, 10,000 BC, Southland Tales (did anyone enjoy this?), Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (very good I thought) … We had our minds blown by No Country for Old Men and There Will be Blood… Daniel Day Oscar. Fucking hell. He’ll drink your milkshake. The US Office is still a regular, as is Prison Break, and of course, Lost. And Entourage. We like Entourage an awful lot. 

I suspect I’ll manage another blog entry whilst we’re in the USA… Hopefully with pictures, but I’m still trying to get my head round that one… I think I have the wrong browser for the fancy control panel, our beautiful web guru Tom has created for us… There’s also an imminent threat of band blogs, seeing as they all have their own page now… You never know… 

lots of love from the grounds of Yale university… Keep it Ivy League.