A Glint in the eye of electro rockers

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TO paraphrase some silvery-haired old crooner from way back: If you can make it in New York, then you can make it anywhere.

All bodes well, then, ahead of the Scottish debut of the Big Apple's latest musical phenomenon, electronic art rock quartet Glint, who hit Cabaret Voltaire tonight.

Their sound has been described as "shoe gaze", "post-instrumental" and "space pop", and one magazine recently called them "the missing link between Mogwai, Portishead and The Killers". They've also been likened to Radiohead and Muse.

The reality is, Glint are pretty much impossible to pigeonhole – which is just the way they planned it.

"I think the rest of the band's on the same page as me when I say that, um, I personally wouldn't be doing this band if I didn't feel that we were putting forth something new and original," says frontman Jase Blankfort, who seems remarkably chipper after a six-hour flight from NYC to London, where the band kicked off their first ever UK tour earlier in the week.

"The best way I could describe this sound of ours is, um . . . You know, it's difficult because I try not to pigeonhole us into any genre," he continues. "I'm very much anti-genre. The music just goes where it needs to go in order to articulate its meaning.

"From a songwriting perspective – and not just for the song but from a production standpoint – I like to make an environment for the voice to live in. It's almost like an art director on a film scene. I try to really paint the picture in order to give an all inclusive type experience listening to a song. I want to hold the listener's hand from the beginning to the end," he adds.

A band whose four members hail from various parts of the world, Glint was conceived by Blankfort and Brazilian drummer/percussionist Mateus Tebaldi in NYC, the pair eventually filling the role of keyboards with Alon Leventon (Tel Aviv) and bass with Brooklynite Dave Johnsen.

Quickly deemed an irresistible live act on the electronic scene by Billboard Magazine, their first show took place in Central Park in 2008, followed by an immediate rise to New York's prominent stages.

"Years ago, I was just playing acoustic music in New York and this is where I met Mat, who was more of the percussion type of person," explains Blankfort, who began as a theatre actor in his early teens and appeared in on and off Broadway productions throughout NYC.

"We decided to move to Boston and started playing in a lot of Frat' houses, clubs throughout Boston and college campuses.

"To fast forward a little bit, what came out of this period was one record, Mode To Joy, that we recorded in a little less than a year in this abandoned firehouse with musicians we had met in Boston.

"To fast forward to the present, our last record, Sound in Silence, is the one I really feel represents what Glint is about. It was done on a wine vineyard in Oregon. After that, Mat and I spent a lot of time trying to find musicians that would help us open up the possibilities for our music to expand into other territories.

"After a long and strenuous journey we finally found Dave and Alon and we've been playing for a while now. That, in a nutshell, is how Glint was born," he adds.

So how does Blankfort feel the band have evolved since its inception?

"I almost look at Mode To Joy more like a memory you know, a lot of the songs of the first album I wrote when I was really young, in my early teens," he says. "Mode To Joy is like a photo album of the past but once we were given the resources to basically be able to do anything sonically, we just naturally and organically progressed."

The reason behind Glint's visit to the UK this month is to promote their new self-titled EP and a single called Freak, which was released this week.

"We're thrilled to be on this tour, and to come to Scotland was definitely on our list," says Blankfort. "We have this incredible relationship with our fans. With the people who listen to our music, there's this reciprocation, this relationship among us. It's kind of like this mutual exchange of energy, this really transcending experience, and we're thrilled to bring it to Scotland."

Glint, Cabaret Voltaire, Blair Street, tonight, 7pm, free, 0131-220 6176

shine on: Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jase Blankfort, Mateus Tebaldi, Alon Leventon and Dave Johnsen

LA punk legends The Dickies return on a high

A FLICK through the local listings suggests all is quiet on the live music front this week – but on closer inspection there are at least a couple of gigs worthy of your attention.

Among the few names that jump off the page is that of seminal punk band The Dickies, who play Studio 24 tomorrow night. Formed in LA in 1977, they were inspired by the first wave of punk coming out of New York and London.

The Dickies' original line-up consisted of cartoon-voiced frontman Leonard Graves Phillips and guitarist Stan Lee, both of whom have remained constants throughout the band's many line-up changes.

They started playing around the burgeoning LA punk scene within a few weeks of forming and quickly earned a following with their zany live show, which featured outlandish costumes, puppets and a midget roadie.

Having weathered numerous ups and downs over the years as punk has come in and out of fashion, their brand of ultra-fast and outrageously energetic comic-book punk currently sees them back on a high.

They are also often credited for their influence on new-school punkers like Green Day and the Offspring, and their singles have included covers of Black Sabbath's Paranoid.

The Dickies, Studio 24, Calton Road, tomorrow, 7pm, 13.50, 0131-558 3758

HANDS up who remembers The Wonder Stuff? That's right, they who had a Top 10 hit with The Size Of A Cow in April 1991, before becoming Vic Reeves' backing band on his chart-topping single, Dizzy, later the same year.

Regular faces in the likes of the NME and Melody Maker back in the day, the band stacked up plenty column inches, mainly because of the planet-sized ego of their leader, vocalist/ guitarist Miles Hunt.

Having split in the mid-Nineties, the West Midlands band recently regrouped to play a series of live dates – but it's Hunt himself who comes to town on Wednesday with a solo show at the GRV.

Miles Hunt, The GRV, Guthrie Street, Wednes-day, 7.30pm, 9, 0131-558 3758