Sandy Carson is a Scottish photographer who emigrated to the United States in 1993 to pursue cycling and enjoyed a 15 year career traveling the world as a professional cyclist, where he honed his skills as a photographer. Carson currently lives and works in Austin, Texas where he has documented over 3000 bands over the course of 10 years (2007-2017). His project We Were There turns the camera to highlight the crowd/fans at these concerts and will be released as a monograph through Daylight Books this fall.
Records I’ve worn a hole in whilst juggling projects recently…
Strike A Match
This record has been rocking the Cardinal Press Studios on the reg since I became aware of it’s release through Mogwai’s label- Rock Action Records. Sacred Paws is a guitar/ drums gal duo who make a joyful blend of punk afro-beat together despite living the long-distance jam of Glasgow and London. Tunage guaranteed to make any frown turn upside-down.
Stonegaze straight out of Dallas, TX. Who woulda thunk Big D could make this racket, or maybe that’s the reason in itself. I’m a huge fan of this 3 piece’s catchy reverb riddle drone rock. Perfect mood for our rainy days in Texas, all 2 of them.
If your massage therapist lets you DJ, you can go to other meditative other worlds while listening to Tinariwen. Desert blues from Mali, a no-brainer. I got super into these guys after shooting photos of their infectious show during SXSW and left the gig with a grin welded from ear to ear.
You can’t go wrong with any of the 11 Lungfish albums. They all sound alike and in the best possible way that repetition can sway us. Lungfish is a journey plugged into the moon. You either like them or hate them, a bit like tasting Marmite. I first saw these guys when they came to play in Glasgow circa 1991. Definitely in my top 5 bands of all time, as with the solo projects of its members Daniel Higgs (artist and cosmic musician/shamanic wordsworth) and Asa Osborne’s drone project; Zomes are also faves on the turntable. Plug in, drone out and…you know the rest.
A brilliant and ghostly compilation of bone chilling gospel and stripped down blues from 1962-1976 featuring RL Burnside, Rosa Lee Hill, Robert Johnson and many more. Sounds incredible on vinyl.
Ivar Bjornson & Einar Selvik
This nordic masterpiece was originally commissioned and composed for the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian constitution by Norway’s heavy hitters Enslaved and Wardruna. Its a dark mix of black metal and folk using ancient instruments from Scandinavia and Norway. You can feel your beard grow as you get into this record, and believe it or not, this record is really soothing to run to. It’s no wonder this kinda music is one of Norway’s biggest cultural exports. Bit of trivia here- Einar Selvik of Wardruna scores some of the music for the TV show Vikings and also appears in an episode.
Blue Angel Lounge
Sea Of Trees
Throwback to the 80’s teen goth phase here with these guys and their dark psych goodness. Their name comes from the club that let Nico of The Velvet Underground play her first shows in the states, hence the heavy influence on the vocalist here and the atmospheric songwriting. If you, like me, were too young to see Nico, then this dude’s voice will take you there. Super gutted I missed them play at Psych Fest for the couple of years before they broke up.
The Sword / The Black Angels
Split 7 inch flexi disk
A shameless plug for the record insert that comes with my new monograph We Were There. I’m adding it to the list, not just because it’s ace, but because I’ve heard it a shitload of times through test pressings and production. Two local ATX bands with unreleased tracks on this– you know you love it. The ‘Angels song is a rare instrumental and The Sword tune is a raw punked version of their ‘Turned to Dust’ from High Country. 6 minutes of flexi bliss like you never heard them before.
Photobooks on my coffee table right now that I’m hella keen on–
Intimate Distance by Todd Hido
The Suffering Of Light-Thirty Years Of Photographs by Alex Webb
Highway Kind by Justin Kurland
Here And Home by Larry Sultan
On The Night Bus by Nick Turpin