Browsing articles from "February, 2012"
Feb 27, 2012

Q&A with Edwin Poveda of El Vagon Alternativo

Edwin Poveda: Was sent tapes of John Peel’s shows as a youngster. Makes his own T-shirts.

A few months back, we were very excited to learn that the songs released on our singles label were receiving airplay on a radio show called El Vagon Alternativo in Quito, Ecuador’s capital city. Edwin Poveda, the man and DJ behind EVA, was was cropping up on many an indie band’s Facebook page, informing them of their new audience in South America’s second smallest nation.

EVA has to date been running for 14 years, and is currently Ecuador’s only radio show that specialises in alternative music – very much a niche in a Spanish speaking and traditionally Latin music loving country. The show has its roots in the shoegaze / Madchester scene of the late eighties and early nineties, and also plays a healthy dose of new / unsigned music from all over the world (we’ve seen everyone from Little Racer to Strangers to Red Kite on the playlist).

Intrigued about how this might happen, we began chatting to Edwin, exchanging various new musical discoveries. What struck us was Edwin’s passion for alternative music in a country with no discernible background or foundation for the genre, and also his insatiable appetite for new bands. It’s a classic example of how music, however unknown, is able to transcend cultural barriers, and to this end we thought the whole occurrence was fascinating enough to warrant an interview for this blog – the results of which are below.

LFC: How did you first become an alternative radio DJ and what inspired you to do so?

Edwin: It was always a dream of mine to do a radio show focused on indie and alternative music. When I was a child I would listen to DJs that inspired me. DJs like Rodney Bingenheimer and recorded tapes of John Peel’s shows that friends would mail to me. Here in Ecuador back in 1998 there were no alternative radio shows and it happened by chance that the radio station La Metro Station heard my idea and was keen on doing it. To this day I am practically the only alternative radio show that is on locally. It is good to be able to expand now through the internet and now the whole world can listen to the show. I have to thank a fellow local radio DJ, who sadly passed away two years ago, for helping put my foot in the door for the show, Edison Soto.

LFC: El Vagon Alternativo has been going for 14 years. What do you think is the secret behind its success?

Edwin: I think it’s the variety of music I play on my show and that every show is different from the last one and that keeps the listeners tuned in. It is cool that my show is set up by me. I follow no set list done by the radio. I have full control of what I play on my show which is pretty much rare nowadays on regular radio. Another reason would be is that my show has lasted so long that it’s pretty much the only show that plays all the new alternative indie music as well as the classic alternative bands and artists.

LFC: Do you know how many listeners you have?

Edwin: On average I have about 15,000 to 25,000 listeners just in Ecuador. Outside of Ecuador it is hard to tell. Though I have many listeners from all parts of the world.

LFC: Why do you think you are the only person to have an alternative radio show in Ecuador?

Edwin: Well I think the reason is that I come prepared for my shows. I spend my time researching and listening to all types of bands and artists. There have been other alternative music shows that have come and gone and what I heard was that they were not very prepared with the information that listeners want to know. I tell my listeners all the albums and singles that come out from artists and bands as well as up to date news.

LFC: What is the indie rock scene like in Ecuador, and are there any local artists to keep an eye out for?

Edwin: It is interesting to see what the local indie rock scene is here. It is slowly building but it is hard for a band or artist to break here for the reason that the Ecuadorian community is so interested in Latin music (salsa, merengue, reggaeton etc) but there is a scene and there are local clubs that hold indie rock concerts here but it is small. Bands that are great to see live and on record are Estereo Humanzee, Le Clean Cuts, Los Pescados, Los Alkaloides and La Ventana.

LFC: How do you find new bands and artists?

Edwin: Basically just researching, listening to indie radio shows and just fall upon bands and artists just by chance. I am a lover of music and basically I am listening to music all the time.

LFC: Who are some of your favourite acts, both old and new?

Edwin: I have always been a fanatic of the original shoegaze scene. Bands like Ride Lush, My Bloody Valentine, Pale Saints, Slowdive. I listen to punk and mod bands like The Jam, The Clash, Television etc and I also love bands like The Chameleons, Teardrop Explodes and I’m also into the C86 scene. New music, well there is so much to name. I have been listening to bands like Friends, Selebrities, Channel Cairo, Echotape, The Pale Fountains, The Brights, The Static Jacks, Field of Wolves, and a host of others.

LFC: BBC 6 Music recently announced that they would be having a vinyl-only day on 1 Jan. Do you play any of your records on vinyl?

Edwin: Actually I play vinyl at home but sadly at the station we do not have a record player so it is hard to do so.

LFC: Do you have any words of advice for someone looking to become a radio DJ?

Edwin: My advice for anyone looking to be a radio DJ is come up with a theme that you want your radio show to be about. Be aware of what your listeners want to hear. Research; investigate on bands and artists because the radio listener wants to know information about bands and artists.

You can tune into El Vagon Alternativo every Saturday night, at 20:00 Ecuadorian time (01:00 GMT), here. Follow Edwin on Twitter at @VagonAlt.

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Feb 25, 2012

Introducing: Kate Martin

Townsville, the Australian city that brought us the wonderful The Middle East (who sadly disbanded last year), have a exciting new talent to shout about: twenty-something singer Kate Martin (and her band The Shallow Sea Choir).

Fairly innocuous by name perhaps, but certainly not by her dreamy and beautiful brand of indie-folk, which appears to be building up a steady head of steam in Oz right now ahead of the release of her second album, “Hand Me My Bow And Arrow”, which comes out next month (23 March) through Shock Records.

Her current single, “Candle Burnin’, Wax Drippin” has just been released Down Under (on Friday just gone), and possesses the ethereal, otherworldly qualities and rich harmonies we’ve come to associate with the likes of Feist, Joanna Newsom, Efterklang and the aforementioned Middle East, with Martin’s slightly kooky vocals drawing in and captivating the listener from the outset.

Previous single “Apples” is a sunnier and far more conventional indie-pop number with a gorgeous chorus that’s (hopefully) coming to a radio station near you before too long. All this bodes well for the forthcoming full length, which on this evidence, might well be one worth going out of your way to seek out upon its release.

MP3: Kate Martin – Apples

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Feb 18, 2012

Introducing: Great White Shark

The idea of packing your bags and upping sticks to a foreign city is always an appealing one. If the city in question is Berlin, what with its reputation as a haven for the arts and an embracer of hedonistic creativity, it becomes even more so.

Great White Shark are the product of such a shift – three of its members moved over from London a little while back (“to escape their frustrating and repetitive lives”, no less) after dissolving (or putting on hiatus) their previous musical commitments, one of which included the relatively successful indie rock outfit Eight Legs. Whilst there, they met a locally based radio DJ cum drummer, and completed the GWS lineup.

Their music, particularly on their 4-track “Bring Us Back Together” EP (released through Berlin’s Snowhite label back in September) harks back to the mid to late eighties / early nineties, with bands like The Smiths, Echo The Bunnymen, The Stone Roses and The Brian Jonestown Massacre coming across as potential founding fathers of their neo-psychedelic based sound.

Of course, they put their own spin on things by adding a current indie-pop sensibility to the songs (see the uplifting EP title track in particular, with its Johnny Marr-esque riff) which make Great White Shark a very interesting prospect for 2012. Below is a new ‘basement demo’ of a track called “Forever Cool”, which didn’t appear on the aforementioned EP. Further new recordings, according to their blog, are imminent.

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Feb 14, 2012

Introducing: Atlantics

For those of you who remember singer-songwriter Nat Jenkins – a mainstay on the London indie scene a couple of years back – he’s now fronting a new four piece band called Atlantics, who’ve hit the ground running since their first gig at the end of last summer.

Classic British rock ‘n’ roll songwriting is at the forefront here – on their two online tracks, they display elements of everyone from The Rolling Stones to The Clash to The Libertines to The Kooks – the latter a band who Atlantics have opened for at several continental European dates in late 2011 (Paris and Madrid amongst them), subsequently building themselves a small but devoted fanbase abroad.

“Clean The Sun” is a highly charged, stomping rock ‘n’ roll number which we imagine is probably already a ‘live favourite’, whilst “How High” is a more medium paced affair with some great harmonies – reminding us of bassist Nipsy Fergus Russell’s previous band Smokey Angle Shades, one of the greatest ever groups never to have proceeded beyond the capital’s toilet circuit.

Whilst this is certainly nothing new, Atlantics are clearly (and audibly) an outfit who play with a large degree of conviction, and Jenkins’ rough and ready vocal really portrays a man who means what he’s singing – traits that will stand them in good stead in their quest to become a successful UK guitar act of the ’10s. A full length is already in the can, we read – so keep an eye out for its release this year.

Clean The Sun by ATLANTICS


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Feb 8, 2012

Introducing: Devin

Brooklyn native Devin Therriault – or simply Devin as he goes by musically – is a new-ish singer rekindling the feral energy of The Buzzcocks, The Undertones and The Hives with his unpolished, in-your-face rock ‘n’ roll.

His current calling card, “You’re Mine” is a high-speed adrenaline rush, and while it might be a little too much for some more sensitive souls, isn’t half short of swagger and self belief. All leather jackets, Brylcreem and Shure 55 microphones, it’s the antithesis of anything resembling a Micro Korg, and essentially, Devin is Chuck Berry for the generation who think The Vaccines, rather than The Strokes, changed rock ‘n’ roll.

Recently signed to US indie Frenchkiss (Local Natives, The Drums), Devin released a 7″ EP (which included “You’re Mine” as the lead track) through the label in November just gone, and is set to release his debut full length, “Romancing”, shortly.

He’ll be playing his first ever UK shows at the end of the month too, in short run that includes a support slot with The Drums at The Roundhouse (27/2), a headline show at The Shacklewell Arms (28/2) and one at Barfly (29/2), with our lot The Static Jacks. For a full list of dates, click here.

MP3: Devin – You’re Mine

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