Tuesday, 28 February 2012


Green Man has just unveiled Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, tUnE-yArDs, of Montreal and King Creosote & Jon Hopkins as the latest additions to his most exciting and eclectic line-up yet!

The quality quartet lead the latest wave of 30 amazing acts heading to Wales’ beautiful Black Mountains for Green Man’s 10th birthday celebrations from August 16-19.

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks follow-up their brilliant Beck-produced fifth album Mirror Traffic with a UK exclusive festival appearance at Green Man 2012. As lead singer with Pavement, Stephen needs little introduction: expect a slew of slanted and enchanted guitar wig-outs from the godfather of lo-fi indie.

It’s been a momentous 12 months for New England native Merrill Garbus – aka tUnE-yArDs. Backed by bassist Nate Brenner, Garbus uses loop pedals, drums and ukulele to create a jaw-dropping live spectacle, with second album whokill drawing comparisons to the likes of Aretha Franklin, Bjork and Sonic Youth.

Led by flamboyant frontman Kevin Barnes, of Montreal are musical magpies whose sound has evolved from the psychedelic twee pop of 2005 breakthrough The Sunlandelic Twins into a heady mix of Prince and Bowie-inspired electronica, funk, glam, and afrobeat. Miss this spectacular Far Out headline slot at your peril!

Green Man legend King Creosote returns in the form of his life with long-time collaborator Jon Hopkins and the Mercury-nominated Diamond Mine - one of the most unashamedly heart-warming albums of 2011. The duo’s much-requested appearance at Green Man 2012 is guaranteed to be one to savour…

Green Man still has TWO great top-secret main stage headliners up his sleeve for his big 10th birthday bash. In the meantime, confirmed acts and artists for 2012 can be found here...


Thursday, 23 February 2012

23 Is The Magic Number.

An email just went round here at Rough Trade. It said Happy Birthday Rough Trade Shops - 36 today.
I looked at the date and saw that it was indeed the 23rd, and so yeah, it is the venerable old girl's birthday.
36... is that old? For a fast bowler? Yes. For a writer? No. For a rock star? Probably. But let's not labour that point. It might offend a few people.

Is it old for a record shop? Sadly in this day and age, it seems ancient. It's getting on for a whole life.

But in reality that is what this place is. It's life. Record shops offer an idea of life. A bit of life for all those albums and 7"s and 12"s. A bit life for the customers who come in. And a bit of life for those of us who work here. It's all life, real and in full colour. With spilt coffee and power cuts. Arguments and love affairs. Drink and drugs and clothes and books and people. Real people.

So don't download some shitty piece of code masquerading as art when you next want some music.
Go to a shop. Interact with a human. Take home the artifact. The thing. A person made it. A real one.

Watch more here...

Dry The River in a Tin Can

To launch their debut album 'Shallow Bed', Dry the River created a unique series of string art posters to allow fans to hear the album in full for the first time.

Twelve string art posters are placed around East London as of today with each one representing a track from the album and depicting an animal. At the end of the string, the band used old fashioned Tin Can telephones to allow passers-by to listen to a song.

The band created the posters in collaboration with FOAM in-house craft-technologist Sophie Yeoman. This film shows the posters being put together and hung around London's streets.

Sophie hand built each poster and fitted them with an Arduino / Wave Shield combo wired through the string to a speaker concealed in the bottom of a tin-can. Each poster took around 20 hours to complete.

We have one of the tin can posters here in Rough Trade East so you can have a listen to Dry The River's debut album Shallow Bed before the release date on Monday 5th March.

Dry The River are playing an in-store gig at Rough Trade East on Tuesday 6th March. More information on this can be found here...

Monday, 20 February 2012

Counter Culture '11 has landed!

Rough Trade Shops annual report on the music that passed over the shops’ counters during 2011 has arrived in the form of a double cd, comprising of 42 tracks and full colour sleevenotes entitled ROUGH TRADE SHOPS:COUNTER CULTURE '11. The tracks chosen were either a favourite with our customers, a big seller on the shop floor or a recommendation by a member of the Rough Trade staff.

The Top Ten of the Rough Trade Shops annual chart features heavily as you would expect and this year we have tracks from Josh T. Pearson, Kurt Vile, Nicolas Jaar, Zomby, Veronica Falls, John Maus, White Hills and The Head and The Heart from that list, giving you an idea of the diverse range of styles present.

The collection begins with a set of ten beautifully crafted works from Pearson, Vile and The Head and The Heart alongside Mara Carlyle, Lanterns On The Lake, The Decemberists, Drive-By Truckers, King Creosote & Jon Hopkins, Richmond Fontaine and Still Corners.

A trio of pop nuggets from Real Estate, The History of Apple Pie and Little Dragon follow closely before this collection takes a turn toward technology with subtle production techniques from Jaar, SBTRKT, Planningtorock, Koreless and Ghostpoet, who melds rap with electronic pulsations. The latter being a good example of where some of the most exciting indie music was at in 2011 - supreme creativity that was unclassifiable in the iTunes sense of the word, further examples of which dominate disc 2.

Holy Other, Clams Casino, Goitia Deitz and Fatima Al Qadiri channel electricity in brand new ways, while Hype Williams, U.S. Girls, Peaking Lights and Maria Minerva deconstruct indie-rock before rebuilding it in their own unique vision. Factory Floor and drmcnt take a similar approach, breaking things down before producing beautifully detailed minimal music, referencing industrial/no-wave and jungle/dubstep respectively.

Flying Lotus’ presence is never far way and quite rightly so, his influential Brainfeeder label is represented here with a hip-hop skit from Samiyam and some cybotron shape-throwing from Martyn. We stick around on the dancefloor with the Queen Diva of Bounce Music Big Freedia and Azari & III whose self-titled debut, one of the big cross-over albums of the year, caught everyone by surprise with a blend of tech-funkiness that is as ‘Detroit’ as it is ‘Minneapolis’. Lastly in this section, VCMG (Martin Gore and Vince Clarke, re-united at the desk for the first time since Depeche Mode’s debut 30 years ago) and their track ‘Spock’. Which is five minutes and forty-two seconds of pure and bubbling minimal techno that would make fans of Kompakt and Basic Channel very happy.

The volume and intensity is turned up to eleven as we approach the conclusion of the comp. Scorching riff-rock from the noise punk quartet Dope Body and weird new-wave brutality from Divorce prepare the ground for Copenhagen’s Iceage as they channel Pere Ubu and Nation of Ulysses to create a fever-causing energy discharge, before White Hills at last unleash their blistering space rock terrorism. The ‘Hills creating a suitable crescendo before David Shrigley tickles our funny-bone with a typically ’quirky’ post script quip.

On sale now here...

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

The First To Know

Lida Hujić, author of one of our Top 10 Books 2011 is guest editor of Run Riot, the barometer of London's best cultural happenings, to mark the start of London Fashion Week.

We have exclusive signed copies of The First to Know: How Hipsters and Mavericks Shape the Zeitgeist in store at Rough Trade East and online.

So you think you're cool? Read this book to find out how cool you really are! An essential read for anyone wanting to stay one step ahead or at the very least to find out how it's actually done.

The First to Know Montage from The First to Know on Vimeo.


A little late with this, but we've been waiting for pictures of the event, to give you readers the full experience of what was a genuinely great night here at RTE on Friday 20th January. The Black Power Mixtape filmwas everything a world class piece of art should be; heartbreaking, funny, thought provoking, emotionally powerful and by the end, somewhat dichotomously, left you both sick to the stomach at humanity's unbound potential for abominable wretchedness and yet invigorated by the strength, integrity and dignity that years of oppression, victimization and segregation can yield forth.

No-one better exemplified this on the night than the legendary Darcus Howe, who was illuminating, challenging and articulate as ever, making prescient points on the nature of last year's riots, the police's continuing use of out-and-out racist practices such as stop and search as well as the on-going battle against racism, the "last great struggle of the west". There was something to learn for us all on a night that was as fun as it was rewarding.

Black Power Mixtape is distributed by Soda Pictures and is on sale here at Rough Trade.


As of Saturday 25th February, Rough Trade East will be hosting monthly workshops with polaroid experts IMPOSSIBLE PROJECT.

The first one being IMPOSSIBLE PROJECT 101 WORKSHOP. This hands on workshop is your chance to dust off your polaroid camera and start taking fantastic artistic pictures with the new films from The Impossible Project.

They'll show you how to get the best out of your vintage polaroid cameras (if you don't have one don't worry they can lend you one. They'll cover topics ranging from shielding techniques and temperature control helping you to harness this film's unique character.

The workshop will take place at Rough Trade East and after an introduction to the film you will have the chance to take to the streets and shoot your brains out.

Impossible Workshop is delighted to present the first of their Color Shade film workshops on Saturday 25th February. A great way to get started with this unique and interesting film.

Places are limited so we'd advise you book tickets sooner rather than later and you can do so here...

March's workshop is will be all about Silver Shade Black & White and will take place on Saturday 24th March. Keep checking the Rough Trade in-store/events page for further details as and when it's announced.

Friday, 10 February 2012


A new online video showing some of the UK's most cherished music retailers has been released - as a taster of the documentary on the subject due for release this summer.

You can watch the second clip from Last Shop Standing above - in which our very own shop manager Spencer Hickman from Rough Trade East features and discusses all things music retail. There are also contributions from Billy Bragg, Norman Cook and Richard Hawley.

The blurb for the film says: "It will be a celebration of the unique spirit of comradeship and entrepreneurial ingenuity that has enabled so many shops to keep operating successfully against the backdrop of massive changes in the music industry, the biggest recession in years, the growth of online file sharing, and the explosion of choice in music consumption."

Last Shop Standing is a collaboration between film company Blue Hippo Media and Proper Music Publishing Ltd and are currently looking for some crowd-funding support. More on that can be found here...


A new monthly cinema night is happening at The Social as of the end of the month. Monday 27th February to be precise.

The first screening is What Have You Done Today, Mervyn Day? by Lawrence of Belgravia director Paul Kelly.

plus a short film by 'The Giro Playboy' writer and presenter of BBC's Drivetime and Citizen Smith Michael Smith entitled Drift Street.

Click the poster for more details.

Whilst you're there check out the new menu by the folk at The London Particular who are taking over The Social kitchen as of Monday 13th February. Treat yourself to a hearty Beef, Kernel and Bramley Stew or a juicy Pork Belly Sourdough Roll. Menus will be changing regularly depending on what's in season.

Quote from the chefs... "All the food we serve is a particular blend of hearty, English, well sourced food, served in a bowl and embellished with distinct spices and flavours. Healthy, natural and impeccably tasty. We like to be Particular."

Can't wait!

Thursday, 2 February 2012


Next week sees some new images on our exhibition wall.

To celebrate the release of Black Sands Remixed, Ninja Tune and Bonobo art directors Oscar & Ewan have put together a collection of prints exhibiting artwork from the Black Sands campaign.

The three Black Sands photographs form a triptych around Derwentwater in the Lake District in Northern England. The photographs were taken at each point on the displayed map. Each view captures the place of the next photograph - the first of the second, the second of the third and the third of the first.

As if taken simultaneously, the subject of each being the distant site of the (practically) invisible camera taking a shot of the third site, and so each picture is bound in sequence to the next and thence back to itself.

On display until 27th February.

You can pre-order the new Bonobo Black Sands Remixed album here.