Not fitting neatly into a pigeon hole has never been a problem for TORTOISE, and Doug Johnstone finds out just how at home they really are in their own world.

he story oi the tortoise and the bare has always

appealed. 'l‘here's the big. dumb. brash hare

jumping about the place. bragging. sticking it in the tortoise‘s lace and generally being an uppity ball of l‘ur. Then there‘s the tortoise. serene and implacable. going about in his own yyee \yorld with dignity and calmness. getting things done slowly but surely. And. of course. the tortoise \yins. (iet it up yeh. ya hare bastard.

:\ nice metaphor l‘or (‘hicago-based instrttmental \'Clc‘l‘illl.\ 'l‘ortois‘e. becattse the band take things slowly but surely. and haye gradually built up a huge reputation l'or amazing. sparkling music oyer the last decade. 'l‘hey're a post—rock band (hell. they more or less inyented the genre around ten years ago) but you can‘t mention post-rock. cos they hate the term. Xeyertheless. post-rock they are. They are also jazz. dtib. prog. rock. electronica and ambient. And probably some other stuff chucked in there l‘or good measure. Imagine .\log\y'ai with Phl)s and proper musical training. and you‘ll get some ol‘ the way loyy'ttl'ds the oil-killer majesty olnl‘orloisc.

In the real world. tortoises don‘t always win. btit 'l’ortoise haye. il‘ by winning you mean haying umpteen years ol‘ respected musical innoyation behind you. Which I consider \yinning. anyway. The band haye just released their lil'th indelinable album. II'.\ All .'I/'()llH(/ You. on which they reline their math— rock madness eyer l‘urther.

"l'he music on It's All .'II'(ll(/I(/ You is pretty complex. mostly because there's a lot of polymetric acliyity as well as oyerdubbed parts.‘ says guitarist .lel‘l' Parker. ‘:\s we eyoly'e musically as llttli\'itlllitls. so cy'oly'cs the complexity" of our music as a group. At the same titne l l‘eel that our songwriting is a lot stronger than it's eyer been. We‘re just trying to

42 THE LIST .'-'- .l..' '--. ;.


improye as a group ol' humans and musicians. 'l'hat’s the only way to keep it interesting. lixhaust the possibilities ol' what we can do and keep moying loryyard. A career has nothing lo do unit it: it's all about l'reedom ol the soul and spirit.‘

'I'ortoise haye long been an inspirational band to others. something highlighted by the tact they hayc been asked twice to cttrate the indie—by-the—sea liestiyal. :\l| 'l'omorroyy’s Parties. 'l'hcy'ye neyer made

a commercial breakthrough. ttnlike some ol' their contetnporaries. btit that’s something that neither

surprises nor concerns the band one bit.

‘1 Ice] that our music is too strange lo be mainstream. but who knows.” says Parker. ‘\\'e make strange music simply because we liye in a yery strange world. and not eyeryonc‘s going to understand it. We don't eyen understand it ourselyes.’

It's too simple to suggest that location is all important when making music l‘or Tortoise. bill the band are

underground music scene in Chicago. and Parker l‘or one reyels in the place.

‘('hicago is a great place l’or independently—minded artists.‘ he stl}'s. 'Il‘s al‘l‘ordable to liyc there and you don't haye the corporate tnusic machines breathing down your neck. You can do things on your own terms relatiyely inexpensiyely. It's also ottc ol the lllosl culturally diyct‘sc cities in the world. in addition to haying ayyesome museums and modern architecture. Pltts the \y inters are so long and cold that you really don’t haye a choice other than to sltty inside and work. so [lllll ltc‘lps loin

A sell-imposed winter—long hibernation to produce some ol‘ the most innoyatiy'e music around'.’ Sounds like a winning l'ormula l'or this particular 'l‘ortoise.

It’s All Around You is out now on Thrill Jockey.

All the questions. digestions and indecent suggestions in the wonde/fu/ world of Hit/SIC DONCHA JUST HATE THAT most ambiguous of ailments: ‘Production Difficulties‘? They have already put paid to the gig of the month with Missy Elliott and Kelis’ SECC jamboree, the ironically titled ‘Hip Hop Don’t Stop’ tour being given the 11th hour kybosh, and now Nelly Furtado has cancelled her Usher Hall show due to the similar technical gremlins. Ticket refunds are available from point of sale. RI Ml. MBITH Cl {ARI/[.7 AND [HE Chocolate lz crow and the whole golden ticket rnalarkoy’? Well. 'i in the Park are adopting a \»‘-./iliy V‘.’t;oi<a-stylt:- approach Il‘ifi; month. 'l‘hoy'ro giving you the chance to mo. a golden t:<:l<-:>t' for the axle-okc-nd at Balaclo do be honest. it's; gust normal weekend tickets up for grabs but they're so l)l()()(ly' rare at too moment you may be able to exchange li for gold bullion. V-sit )zglos;<:oti;.intloom and

i(:(I!5)t(Il .~o~oto o July to name a

II!‘:€1H(‘.(E t}? ‘.'.‘!l‘.l‘.ll‘.y’}.

TALKING AS WE WERE OF golden tickets, Eminem’s posse of malcontent rap weirdies D12 are paying us a visit on 23 September. Slightly less weird, but equally American, are the ever-excellent Sonic Youth. They’re on at the Barrowland on 1 September. Hmmm.

DESPITE SI'ARTING ()Ul' LIKIi' A bunch of bratty oogsts who need a slap and or a pomd of mic-vise; nationaé f§€2l'\.r‘l('2(3. Blank 18:). Mayo <lt:-‘.o:oped oto lillC' woo '::~::k band. Co §3(}(‘: their: a! the SLCC on ‘- [December


same old venues? Why not try this? In an attempt to be a little different, Sunderland’s spunk rock madrigals the Futureheads are playing a show at the Sikorski Polish Club in Glasgow’s Parkgrove Terrace on 14 July. Having never been to a Polish club before The List is not sure what to expect, but we’re sure it will be worth a look.

Blink 182