Friday, 17 December 2010

My Best Albums of 2010

Initially, I was pretty reluctant to do a 'best of' list since it would be filled entirely with stuff that you've probably seen elsewhere. Unless of course you get all your hot music news from me. In which case, I feel I must tell you, you can do better. Honestly.

But then I thought, what the hell, let's do this!

In no particular order:

1. First Aid Kit - The Big Black And The Blue
What's not to like? The wonderful vocals, that are actually properly sung and not just spoken, over the top of the gentle guitars are just beautiful. I just want to sit on the floor cross legged in front of them sitting on stools, wearing big cable knit jumpers and have them sing to me.

2. Solar Bears - She Was Coloured In
An exceptional and atmospheric record, that is rewarding with every listen. Really feels like it could be used as a film score.

3. Delorean - Subiza
I think it is actually physically impossible to be unhappy when listening to this album. Equally good on the iPod, or for busting moves in da club. Actually, it's so fun it'll have you busting moves when it's on your iPod.

4. Foals - Total Life Forever
I'll leave it to Hot Chocolate to describe what I think of each of the tracks on this album:


5. Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles (II)
It was a toss up between this and Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, but in the end I felt it would be ridiculous to not include an album that has racked up so many listens, not that that was the sole criterion for these choices. Far from it. But, I'm a sucker for bangin music and I did really like it.

There you go, them's me top 5. Like I said, the decision process was not based on what I've listened to the most, which may be a bit ridiculous. But, the decisions make sense to me, although I am disappointed I didn't find room for Ariel Pink.

Silly me.

I hope these choices weren't too offensive, but feel free to (politely) stake your claim for your favourites. If indeed anyone is out there and reads this.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Dude Locker Christmas Album 2010

Today, I'm just going to point you in the direction of this, the Dude Locker Christmas Album 2010.

There is a real good mix of music on here. Hip-hop, metal, indie-folk and more in-between.

The Dude Locker is a DIY art space based in Columbus, Ohio. Those of you with exceptional memories will remember that this is also the home of Way Yes who were featured on here not much more than 3 weeks ago. And yes, they are on this album, providing an excellent Christmas version of 'Dreadlock Holiday.'



This is available on a 'name your price' basis, but remember that these guys aren't super-mega rich stars like Radiohead who can afford to give away their music for free. And, hey, it's Christmas dude.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

NYE

New Years Eve is always a tricky night to plan and so much can just go wrong.

*Cough.*

But, this year can be different.

You should definitely head over to The Old Blue Last, a 300 year old pub/hub of coolness situated right in the heart of Coolville, London and run by connoisseurs of cool, VICE.

If that's not enough to convince you, I should also mention that The OBL has been officially named as the place to find the hottest girls in London.

Quite literally, just looking at the flyer is enough to make you want to go, and also wet yourself a little bit with excitement. Why not cast your eyes down and do just that and embrace the warmth running through your pants and down your leg, it's cheaper than central heating.

Monday, 13 December 2010

DaKOTA

The only thing I can say for certain about DaKOTA is that I really like them.

The only came to my attention today, after they were so kind as to follow me on twitter. I checked them out to see who they were and what they were about.

All that was there was a link to a page filled with videos to their tracks, which you should definitely check out.

The first track, 'Danger Jazz,' is a ten minute epic which sounded like it had come straight out of the Manhunter soundtrack with prominent drums blending nicely with the dreamy synths.

DAKOTA - Danger Jazz from DAKOTA on Vimeo.


The track 'Performance One' is in a similar vein, but is much more aggressive.



DaKOTA also seem to incorporate some slowed down R'n'B and hip-hop into their music, but I wouldn't like to call it witch house because, apart from GR†LLGR†LL, it doesn't really impress me that much. Perhaps it's this 'nightbus' I've heard about on Vice Style.

No matter what type of music it is, it is definitely something I like. And also, their videos are pretty cool and definitely worth watching.

DaKOTA on Facebook
DaKOTA on twitter

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Just A Quick One

I'm going to stick my oar into the whole Daft Punk TRON: Legacy affair and simply say: yeah, it's dead good, gets me all goosebumpe-ly. Personal faves being 'Overture', 'The Grid' and 'The Game Has Changed.'

If you has the luxury of Spotify's finest service (Premium?) you can listen to it for nada. If you don't got, Spotify are also giving away free 7-day passes so you can get it without even paying Spotify.

Genius!

Obviously, this is all stuff you've heard before from better places, but I love to share.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Death And Vanilla

I've been more than a little slack with you guys over the past week, and for that I offer my deepest and sincere apologies. For the past few days I've been watching Sylvester Stallone and Antonio Banderas do battle in a 90's action non-classic, although I never saw the end. The best bit of the film was when Julianne Moore's cat hid under the bed, giving me a few Nam-style flashbacks of trying to coerce my cats out from under the bed.

How is this relevant, you may be wondering. Well, it isn't I've only gone and done a Seinfeld and be about the trivialities of daily life, and perhaps tried to add some comedy. Although, the latter is very much up for discussion. But that implies that some people might find it funny, which I doubt, so in fact, there is no discussion. It's a shut book, cast iron, stone wall case of not being funny.

Thanks for making it this far, although I suspect many will have scrolled down to the music and thought, 'eff reading all this.'




Today I offer to you Death And Vanilla, not like how Abraham offered Isaac to God because I'm not a dick, but more like how a waiter may offer you a canapé at a fancy party. They are another Swedish export, hailing from Malmö.

The music that they make is slightly unsettling stuff. The barely there vocals make me think of some sort of ghostly nursery rhyme from a black and white film, which I know is quite a specific thing to be think of, but I don't know hoe better to explain it. The melodies also verge on the psychedelic and sound like what I imagine abandoned fairgrounds might play. The nearest comparison I can make with a current artist/band would have to be Husky Rescue, who also released a pretty good album earlier in the year.

Ridiculous similes and metaphors aside, it is very good stuff snd I would very much recommend adding it your music collection, either from Bandcamp or make yourself one of their favourite people in the world and buy it for a measly 6€ which also gets you lots more cool stuff to make the music experience way cooler.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

True Womanhood

Washington, D.C. based music types True Womanhood have been busy boys and girls lately.



Firstly, they came to my attention with new track, 'Nite Prowlers,' which surfs the wave of the dubstep popularity, but also adds some of the elements of early 90's grunge and experimental and distorted rock.

nite prowlers by truewomanhood

What's even more impressive is that this track was composed 'by clanging pieces of metal around in a mile-long sewer tunnel + bass guitar, 808 drumz, and vocals- all run through a severely malfunctioning tape delay.' It's this sort of creativity and dedication to creation that makes me feel kinda useless, but knowing someone is out there doing it is a nice consolation.

Also, they have started a new project called 'Reel Too Real,' which you can read all about by following the link.

The New Improved Hypocrisy

Seeing as how I got all political the other day, I though I better give this whole protest a song to go with it.

I know this song is, like, SO September, but it fits very nicely with what is going on and sums up pretty much how I, and many others, feel.



Lyrics for those, like me, who can never understand what singers are actually saying and who don't want to squint at the video:

" Reallocating property
We engender transformation
We’re not concerned with poverty
Just the rebirth of a nation
No time for hesitation
Not even on occasion

This will be our legacy:
A vengeful population
It’s part of our conspiracy
And our motivation
And who needs integration
When we’ve got isolation?
It’s the rebirth of a nation
The rebirth of a nation

We don’t mind democracy
We have our ways around it
This new improved hypocrisy
Will help us to impound it
An old school education
Will show this generation"

DOWNLOAD

Monday, 29 November 2010

Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie xx

If Rough Trade's Album of The Year List (RTAOTY) is anything to go by, this should be a match made in heaven.

The producer of last year's album of the year and member of the band who won said award, Jamie Smith, has teamed up with this years runner-up in the RTAOTY, Gil Scott-Heron, to provide a reworking of 13 tracks from I'm New Here for a new album We're New Here, which is set for a release on February 21st 2011.

Will it work?

Who knows? You can already listen to 'NY Is Killing Me' here or here.



Sounds very dubstep-y to me. I'm usually not a fan, but I quite like it because unlike a lot of dubstep I here, it's not too minimal. Having more than just a bass line and a clap sample, it provides an interesting listen, and when you add Gil Scott-Heron's unique vocal delivery, it gets even better.

You can take a risk and hope you like it and buy it now, or wait until the release. Although, I suspect the physical copies, especially vinyl, will be limited, so I'd bust a move over to the website and buy it.

VBS: The Producers

Hey there.

This Wednesday head over to VBS.tv and catch episode 4 of their 'Producers' series.

This week they have enlisted the help of Jamie Reynolds, frontman of the band to have released one of the most disappointing albums of the year, but I'm sure he has weaved the magic he is capable of in this episode.

Am I the only one who thought Surfing The Void was a bit rubbish?

I can say this because Klaxons, quite rightly, couldn't give a sh*t about my worthless opinion.

Trailer:

Saturday, 27 November 2010

VBS Films Student Riots

For those of you who are not in the UK and have no real need to keep up to date with UK news, these last few weeks students have been getting pretty angry about the rises in tuition fees.

As a student myself, I very much agree with those who are fighting against this proposed rise and it upsets me greatly to see other young people either not caring or openly criticising the protesters and finding them an embarrassment.

Obviously, violence is not how we would like to achieve our goals and greater unity and a more definitive stance is required, but to be perfectly honest, it makes me so fucking angry hearing that an entire generation who spent their whole youth fighting 'the system,' who benefited from free University education and who are responsible for this whole economic mess are condemning the behaviour of rioters, telling us we have to pay ridiculously high fees and telling us that we are going to have to pay to get the economy going again, while the rich carry on as good as unaffected.

Oh yeah, and when we do leave University, there are hardly any jobs thus making those 3 years and £27 000 in tuition fees a complete and total waste.

If you really want to organise effective action against this, why not refuse to sit your exams? Everyone from A-Level to final year students. Show them that we are actually not prepared to pay. After all, what is the point in protesting so vehemently against something, if after you lose you're still going to be a part of it?

Friday, 26 November 2010

New Mexico

If you like good old fashioned rock and roll, then todays offering will be a treat.



New Mexico hail from Californ-I-A, famous for girls, a hotel and Jack Bauer.

New Mexico specialise in garage rock and occasionally remind a young 'un like me of early Kings Of Leon and a slightly more polished Tiger! Shit! Tiger! Tiger!. But, they are definitely distinct from those guys. They have a lot more 'edge,' whatever that actually means, than KoL and a much bigger sound than TSTT.

What is certain though, is that these guys are all about fast guitars that aim to get you off your seat and throwing your hands in the air like you just don't care.

The new EP is out now on iTunes and available on Bandcamp. They've also got some shows on in San Diego over the next few weeks.

Dec 3 – Whistle Stop Bar – San Diego
Dec 10 – Soda Bar – San Diego, CA
Dec 31 – Bar Eleven – San Diego, CA
Jan 21 – The Casbah – San Diego, CA

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Backstage Heroes

I literally have so much stuff to write for you guys that I have no choice but to crack out another post today because I thought I better do it while I'm still in the mood for givin' you some lovin'.

Check out Sam Kilcoyne, the man/boy who makes me feel kinda worthless and like I've wasted my life because at three years my junior, he has already started a music festival, is running club nights and is in a band. What am I doing? Eating biscuits in my room and writing something no one reads.

Who knows? Maybe someday I will have my own club night. Not likely, but I can always dream and as this young whippersnapper has shown me, it's possible.

Interview and pictures at Vice Style.

Timbaland & Missy Elliot - Get Involved - Joe T Vanelli Remix

The title sums it up pretty nicely, really.

Not a whole lot extra to say. You know who Timbaland and Missy Elliot are, and I have it on good authority that Joe T Vanelli is an Italian House Music legend.

Here Joe T Vanelli gives us a slightly tech-y, house remix which works pretty well and adds more support to the theory that house music is back. (And it is back and it is better than dubstep, but that's another story).

Timbaland & Missy Elliot - Get Involved - Joe T Vanelli Remix by PurplePR

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Way Yes

I've had Way Yes sitting in my Internet letter box for a while now, and combining my laziness with my recent holiday they've sat there patiently waiting for me to listen to them and show them some love.

Well wait no more.



I finally got round to giving these a guys a spin, and they were definitely worth it! Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, Way Yes are Glenn Davis and Travis Hall. Immediately, they reminded me of Vampire Weekend. Indeed, if Vampire Weekend are going to make a slightly experimental third album, it would probably sound a lot like Herringbone.

The vocals may not always be conventional, but they still manage to fit into the afro-beat vibe that is running through the EP. Way Yes manage to combine many layers of sounds, that build throughout the tracks and none more so on closing track 'Color Blind.' When you add meaningful lyrics into the mix, you have a winning record and a band I am very much looking forward to seeing more of.

Herringbone is available to buy now on their Bandcamp page and sees a proper release on 14th December. If you also happen to be from Ohio or in Ohio in the next 2 months, you can catch them live on these dates:

Dec 16 – South Park Tavern, Dayton, OH 
Dec 17 – Kobo, Columbus, OH
Jan 8 – The Treehouse, Columbus, OH

I almost forgot to say that they've also had a go at remixing, providing this reworking of Computer Magic's 'Immediate Cause Of Sleep.'

Edit: If you have already read this you will notice a few changes in the tour dates. What was the 20th December date at Carabar was, unfortunately incorrect, and on the 20th November. Also, the date on the 16th December has now been cancelled.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Mandingo

Interested in inter-racial swinging?

Want to watch your girlfriend get nailed to the wall by a big, black man?

If this happens to be relevant to your interests, watch this.

Of course there's a little more to it than that.

It explores that most basic of human desires and why people seek this sort of lifestyle. What struck me was that by having an entire 'scene' devoted to black guys and hearing how they view it, there does seem to be some sort of underlying racism to it, but maybe that's just my white guilt.

For me, it's not quite obvious who is being exploited the most.

You make up your own minds about it.

Young Circles

Young Circles are high school friends Jeff Rose, David Barnard, and Jordy Asher coming all the way from sunny Florida. Recent well known Floridian bands include Surfer Blood and The Drums, so they are amongst pretty decent company.

                                          Photo by Alex Vanderkooy

It's almost impossible to pin these guys down to a single genre or compare them to another band past or present. The best way to decribe them really is an experimental noise-rock band. But, even that doesn't quite do it. Each song from new EP Bones has it's own style. There is definitely some dub influences, blues, psych-rock and many more.

Speaking of their new EP, it is out on 1/11/11. At first, I thought that this meant it wasn't going to be released until a year from now, seeing as how being British I write my dates DD/MM/YY, but then I remembered Americans give the DD and MM the ol' switcheroo. In conclusion, it's probably out 11th January. Makes more sense really, surely no band needs a whole years worth of hype?

You can listen to and download the song 'Sharp Teeth' which is straight off their new EP. It's cool, totally legit.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Niki & The Dove + Bi-Polar Men

T'other day I was sent a remix of Nike & The Dove's 'DJ, Ease My Mind' by Bi-Polar Men. I'm not sure if this was because I had signed up to a mailing list, or if they somehow found me, but I hadn't heard of either of these groups.



But, boy-howdy am I glad to have made their acquaintance!

For those like me who don't know, Niki & The Dove hail from almighty Sweden, and you can definitely sense a hint of, or maybe a lot of, Lykke Li and Karin Dreijer Andersson (maybe it's just the accent, but I like it. Lots), but who's complaining?

Not me, with booming, anthemic choruses and whimsical electro-pop that can help to lift you out of the November gloom.

  DJ, Ease My Mind (B-PM Refix) by Norton's Fork

Sign up to the mailing list here to get 'Winterheart' for free. Also, click on the picture to get 'Mother Protect' for free.

It also somewhat reminded me of Baron Von Luxxury's remix of Little Boots' 'Meddle.'

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

The Creators Sessions

Yesterday's fashion-related post didn't take your fancy?

Want more music stuff?

Then I've got just the stuff.

Remember all that Creators Project malarkey I wrote about sporadically in Spring/Summer? Well, now reading about it can actually pay off for YOU.

They've put together this amazing competition where they are giving 3 lucky winners, one from the UK, one from Brazil and another from the USA, the chance to go to New York and record an album.

I think you'll agree that this an amazing opportunity, despite the fact you'll be working with a guy behind Owl City and Semi-Precious Weapons. I'm sure he still knows what he's talking about and will provide invaluable help.

So, if you're a citizen of either Brazil, the UK or the USA then all you need to do is make a new track that hasn't already been published or stolen from someone else and isn't x-rated and send it in. I'm not sure if putting a song on MySpace counts as publishing it, though. Reading the rules, I'd guess not, but I'm sure if you ask someone will tell you.

Good luck!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Love Blogging

Vice and Vice Style are running a little series avec un peu de help from BlackBerry about blogging, people who love to blog and why they love blogs.

The latest one features the apparetly anonymous disneyrollergirl and Richard Nicoll. It's got some useful stuff if you want to get into fashion blogs, or maybe even if you're already into it, there may be some new stuff for you.




And, to keep the sponsors happy, the BlackBerry Torch is très cool and I very much like mine.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Performance

This is part two of live-music-review-week-and-a-half, and I'm sure it hasn't been highly anticipated.

This Thursday I saw Performance/(We Are) Performance, I'm not really sure which is the official name as I still see both around, at The Silver Bullet and they were ably supported by Phoebe Coco and Elephant.  (No link because I couldn't find them online, type 'Elephant' as band name in MySpace search and you get 97 pages of results, and, allow that.

Phoebe Coco was good. She's either local and was therefore able to bring loads of friends and family or she is one of North London's premier artists because she almost filled up the room, albeit a very small one, and even did an encore where she played 'Seven Nation Army' on her keyboard. This was how she did her whole performance, just her and a keyboard that was just set to play like a piano. No effects. No nothing. Ace-amundo.

Elephant, however, were not welcomed quite so rapturously. This was unfortunate and made me want to really like them. Most of the crowd had either left or retired to the tables in the other part of the club and everyone who was watching was just leaning against the walls leaving a huge space in the room. Anyhow, they were sort of chillwave-y, maybe. Not seen a chillwave artist live and I can imagine them being a bit like this. It was a guy on a guitar, a girl on a keyboard and singing and a laptop on a chair. The guitars were loud, maybe too loud, but were similar in style to those you might here on 'Infinity by The xx.In fact, they were a little The xx-ish, just not as good. For now, at least.

Finally, we get down to the main act. Performance were playing to celebrate the release of their second album, Red Brick Heart , which is pretty good by the way and is available on iTunes. Their latest album has far fewer synth driven tracks and is much more guitar heavy, possibly because between album 1 and 2 they went from a four piece to a three piece. But, it also helps to keep them fresh. You don't want to see a band producing the same album over and over.

The live set was pretty banging, it has to be said.  The venue is extremely intimate, with a capacity of only 180, which meant I was able to be literally a couple of metres from the band, although I was a little unnerved when it felt like I was making eye contact with them.  Maybe that's just because I'm weird.  They played nearly the whole of their new album and only one track, 'Surrender,' from their first and everyone loved it.  the whole place was getting it's groove on to these sexy Mancunian beats, and it was possibly one of my favourite performances ever.










Oh yeah, and lead singer Joe Stretch is an internationally published writer.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti

As promised, here is a review of Ariel Pink, or more like just a statement that I went to see them.

First up was support act, Geneva Jacuzzi. She was pretty cool. Throwing together some well 80's synths, killer dance moves and a cool outfit. Perhaps the only downer was that I just couldn't hear what she was saying, but whether that was the venue or her style, I do not know.



Then, came who we had all been waiting for, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti. One thing that you can't deny about these guys, is that together, they really do look like an odd bunch.

Anyhow, they kicked things off with 'Bright Lit Blue Skies' which got the crowd going. They followed up with 'Beverly Kills' and then 'L'estat (Acc. To The Widow's Maid).' What followed next, was not quite so well documented, mainly because my BB ran out of battery and that I, errm, err, hadn't y'know, errr, like, errm, kinda listened really to anything err, like pre-Before Today.

The higlight for me was when they played 'Round And Round' and 'Can't Hear My Eyes' back to back. What really struck me, was how very loud they were. It was a bit like a sort of lo-fi faux-metal type of music with some raging guitars, frantic drumming, but barely audible vocals. All of their songs had this quality. I was a little disappointed that they extended this to 'Round And Round' because I was hoping it would be as gentle and soothing live as it is on the record, but it was still good.

They finished with an encore of 'Butt-House Blondies' and 'Little Wig' they left the crowd happy and dancing.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Slt!

Hei

Sorry for lack of update-age. It's not even like I've been busy having a life either.

But, this next week and a half should be live-review-week-and-a-half, due to the level of music I might be seeing.

Go fuck yourself San Diego!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Grace Banks

In the not too distant past, I somehow managed to get invited to the première screening of Imogen Heap's DVD which showed what went into the recording of her latest album, where she revealed herself to be ridiculously talented and absolutely insane, but in a good way.

What does this all mean? Why do I care about this you may be wondering? Well, it was at this screening that I met the wonderful Grace Banks.



Head over to her MySpace page and you'll see that she's been real busy and has got hella tracks. I counted at least 10, but numbers over 4 and I'm struggling so you may want to double checck. Sounds like enough for a Bandcamp album.

Mixing folky styles, occasionally with a hint of jazz and the odd touch of Americana that reminds you of a time when people liked Kings Of Leon.  Songs like 'Cough Cry' and 'Yesterday's Favourite Song' are among my favourites with their intricately played guitars that positively shimmer accompanied by soothing lyrics. Tailor made for fans of Markus Perttula, you could say.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Solar Bears

I stumbled across this little gem when I was browsing the shelves at Rough Trade. I had never heard of them before, but when the label had the words 'electronica' and 'shimmering neon synths' I was intrigued, to say the least.

There seem to be elements of chilled nu-disco, especially on 'Forest Of Fountains' and 'Crystalline (Be Again)' and it's quite hard not to at least notice the 'krautrock' influences running through the album on numerous tracks.

This is generally not the sort of music you expect to come out of Ireland, but this is what the boys of Solar Bears have done.

The album is out now on Planet Mu, but possibly not from your nearest record shop, but definitely all good ones.



Solar Bears – Head Supernova found on Electronic

P.S. Fuck you, Wayne Rooney.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Pendentif

Now and again, I check in on MySpace (say hi, if you really want) like a dead-beat Dad coming round every weekend to see the child he never really wanted and is keen to get rid of asap.



However, this kid has paid off and done something good for a change, like get in the football team. I received an 'add' from Pendentif. Straight away I was impressed with the old school, hipster-style low quality photos and photos cut into circles, and me being all about the outside, I was sold.

But, then I listened to their music and I was equally impressed. 'Pendentif' is a nice and gentle piano driven pop song which was just made for chillaxin' with your bros/hoes on a balmy evening. Then comes the even more summery and aptly named 'Riviera' which is very Drums-ian and is a way better song for riding your bike than, er, The Bike Song.

Pendentif démo version ghetto avec choeur d'enfant by pendentif

Obviously, if you did quickly mosey on over to their MySpace, you may have noticed they sing in French. But who cares, man.  It still sounds good, miles/kilometres better than it could in English and those female lead vocals are so easy on the ear.

Anyway, it's the 90's dude, relax.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Boy & Bear + The Heartbreaks

I've got so much right now that I want to talk about right now that I'm just going to have to make this a two parter, especially since the blog police has declared that multiple posts per day is just not the done thing, apparently.

First up, is Australian up-tempo folk 5-piece Boy & Bear, who manage to combine the intricate melodies of First Aid Kit with rockier guitars and drums pretty well on upcoming single 'Mexican Mavis.' I'd personally love to hear them make a track in a similar vein to the first 45 seconds of 'Mexican Mavis,' but that's just me being super-picky.

Boy & Bear - Mexican Mavis by PurplePR

Anyway, their 5 track EP, With Emperor Antarctica, is out on 6th December. If you're in the British Isles between now and December you may be able to see them live. Their sets have been described as 'storming.'

Boy & Bear ‘With Emperor Antarctica’ UK/Ireland tour
November:
Sun 28th Belfast Black Box
Tues 30th Dublin Academy 2

December:
Thurs 2nd Glasgow Captains Rest
Fri 3rd Manchester Night & Day
Sun 5th Bristol Louisiana
Mon 6th Brighton The Hope
Tues 7th Oxford Jericho Tavern
Weds 8th London Luminaire (EP launch)

Still here? Good.

Next, is The Heartbreaks, who make their very own brand of English rock'n'roll that combine fun and danceable music with rather slightly more depressing lyrics which always makes me unsure as to how to enjoy it, but enjoy it I do. They make me think that this is the kind of music that The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart might make if they were from England and that is definitely something that I, and you too, would like.

The Heartbreaks - I Didn't Think It Would Hurt To Think Of You by PurplePR

If my support wasn't enough to persuade you, the fact that they are supporting the Grandaddy of 'indie' Carl Barât on his upcoming tour may just do that.

October:
Fri 15th Brighton Coalition
Sat 16th Cambridge Haymakers
Sun 17th Stoke Sugarmill
Mon 18th Nottingham Rescue Rooms
Thur 21st Glasgow Oran Mor
Fri 22nd Leeds Cockpit
Sat 23rd Manchester Deaf Institute
Mon 25th Wolverhampton Slade Rooms
Tue 26th Bristol Thekla
Wed 27th London Scala

Sorry for the super long post.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Reminiscences

When it comes to picking out future music goodness, I don't tend to get much right, which is why I'm still coming at you via blogspot, but that's not to say I don't like what I write about. I do. If it's on here I like it.

But, I have managed to get no less than 2 bands/artists super-mega-right. A well known German beer producer has been holding a competition with Phoenix to find a 'new' band to support them, and two bands that you probably didn't hear here first, Fez and The Good Natured have made it into the final 10.

Yay.

You can probably find out how to vote here or here.

Monday, 11 October 2010

The Knocks

Todays musical offering to you, my wonderful public, comes to you all the way from New York, so you know it's cool. To be more precise though, it is The Knocks.



Comprised of the magnificently named B-Roc and JPatt, they've been around for a while providing mega-remixes for Passion Pit, Peter, Bjorn and John and Britney Spears, to name but a few.

Now, they've made the switch to the other side of the booth and if all of their tracks are as good as the breezy and whimsical 'Make It Better,' then they are worth getting a bit excited about. Another winning track is 'Blackout' which is fairly Chromeo-esque, which is definitely good.

Anyway, be sure to catch them on the road this Autumn/Winter.

Nov 4 PARIS CASINO DE PARIS w/ Scissor Sisters
Nov 6 TRONDHEIM BRUKBAR
Nov 10 LONDON XOYO (FREE ENTRY)
Nov 12 AMSTERDAM LONDON CALLING FESTIVAL
Nov 13 MANCHESTER WAREHOUSE PROJECT w/ MIA, Sleigh Bells (DJ only)


The Knocks - Make It Better by PurplePR

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Islet

Lately, my twitter feed has been filled with plenty of talk about a Cardiff based quartet called Islet, so I thought I should sort myself out and listen to them.

And listen I did, and it was good. The opening track from their EP Celebrate This Place opens with a rather schizophrenic 'We Shall Visit.' At times it definitely has a bit of a dark edge to the music, or maybe I'm just listening to it wrong. The warbling cries in 'Jasmine' over the heavy bass guitar and crashing drums is pretty cool, and the quite eerie fairground sounds that close 'One Of These Worlds.'

Lucky for us, we can listen to it on Spotify

They're also supposed to amazing live, so I'd get on that if I were you and if I were me.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Love Like A Sunset Part III

Do you agree with me in that 'Love Like A Sunset' is the best track on Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, and possibly one of their very best ever?



The get ready for, or re-listen to, part 3 which is also rather excellent.

Phoenix - "Love Like A Sunset Part III" by Some Kind of Awesome

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Jessie J

Sometimes you've just got to hold your hands up and accept when a song is going to be popular. Such occasion has arisen for me when I was sent a new track by Jessie J with a remix by that guy out of the Tinie Tempah videos, Labrinth.

Jessie J - Do It Like A Dude by PurplePR

Jessie J - Do It Like A Dude (Labrinth Remix) by PurplePR

I'm probably not going to listen to this much, but if this isn't all over London's West End nightlife over the next few months, I will be surprised. But, hey, you guy(s) might love it. And actually, it is kind of growing on me after a few listens. I can definitely imagine people much more confident and less self conscious than myself bouncing along to this in a club and I actually don't think I'd be too surprised to hear this east of Bishopsgate.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Deruchette

I hope this doesn't seem too awkward, in that I'm promoting someone I, like, totally know irl. (I know, who'd have thought I'd know real human people!)

Anyhows, you should all click here and listen to the magical and dreamy soundscapes delivered by this guy. I obvs won't reveal his name incase in the future he decides to employ a Daft Punk-esque level of secrecy surrounding himself.

Also, why not download some tracks here for absolutely nothing?

Friday, 1 October 2010

Shine 2009

Hello.

It's very wet today. In fact, I'm not sure that it has actually stopped raining at all, not that that is stopping the five-0's from patrolling the corners.

If you too are stuck in a wet, miserable and crime filled world, why not listen to some dreamy and chilled out Finnish pop, or more specifically Shine 2009.

SHINE 2009 - NEW RULES from SHINE 2009 on Vimeo.

Monday, 27 September 2010

The Big Reveal

Turns out it was a new song by Danish instrumental rockers The Good The Bad. They released a full video with it too.

It's probably not one to watch with your mum.

'030' by The Good The Bad (UNCUT) from 030 on Vimeo.


And this all precedes their debut album, which will be out on 25th October.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Johnny Knoxville and Palladium

Lately, I've not really been earning my keep with the good people of Vice. I kind of let things slip pretty massively over the summer, but I shall now endeavour to share stuff with the coolest 38 people on the planet.

Anyway, Johnny Knoxville and Palladium Boots have teamed up to share what's going on in Detroit these days. And, I have to say, just from the opening minute it looks the wrong side of 'rough.' This was actually pretty shocking because in the UK, and possibly everywhere else outside of North America, we get the impression that the US is New York, Washington DC, a bit of California and nothing else. This was changed slightly after I watched The Wire, but I never really believed that such deprivation could actually exist in the United States of America. Perhaps a little bit of Socialism isn't so bad after all?



But, if you keep watching, the story isn't quite so bleak after all. Turns out, there's actually a lot of pretty cool stuff going on with creative types and ordinary people making this a pretty cool place to be.



Monday, 20 September 2010

A Girl Called 030

Several days ago, I received a rather bizarre email about A Girl Called 030. I don't know if I'm just out of the loop, but I've no idea what it's all about. In fact, my email thought it was junk so I could quite have easily just chucked it.

Anyway, there's this video.

A Girl Called 030 from 030 on Vimeo.


What does it mean?

Is it even about music?

All that video has done is leave me confused and slightly aroused.

The only thing that is happening is that he/she/they are leaving cryptic Facebook and Twitter updates.

Is it even real? Is it just some PR hoax?

I don't know, but let's find out together.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Warpaint

I'm fairly certain that with Warpaint I'm not exactly breaking new ground, what with them supporting hipster allstars The xx in the US this autumn, or fall. I do have to consider my American fans, since I am rather big over there. Nearly 8 of weekly 20 hits come from the US.

But, anyway they have been around for a while, but I felt compelled to give them a shout out because after having looked at a few Last.fm profiles from some of the more knowledgeable taste makers in el blogosphere, they were conspicuous in their abscence. Of course, they may have already been over to their MySpace, had a listen and thought, 'This is shit.'

They would of course be wrong. With their very own brand of psychedlic, fuzzy and at times low key rock they are indeed very good. Anyways, album will be out on October 25 on Rough Trade records. Another reason why they must be good.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Fever Ray At Brixton Academy

I was there.

It was immense.

This is the sort of journalism you'd normally have to pay for.

Muchos Amores.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

You're Not From Newport

I wouldn't get too excited y'all, unlike none of my other posts I'm not bringing any cutting edge new and great music to your ears, or at least this shouldn't be new if you've got any connections to Britain.

Just showing you guys a heads up to a video by Welsh Wizards, no they're not all Ryan Giggs, Goldie Lookin Chain

Basically, some guys made a song, that whilst funny, massively ripped them off and just wasn't accurate.  So they responded with their very own song which is in true hilarious GLC style and better than the original, and the original original.



I'd definitely recommend  that you listen to their other music too, and their podcasts, which you can download from their website.  It's fuckin' ace clart!

Egyptian Hip Hop

As a general rule, my life is filled with missed opportunities and mistakes.  Yesterday was one such time.  The magnificent Sleigh Bells were in good ol' London town last night (and Saturday too), unfortunately, last night, I was not.  I then went to check to see if they might be coming back this autumn/winter because practically everyone else is.  Alas, no such plans yet. 

But, I recovered from this setback to claim an historic opportunity and get my ears around a new Egyptian Hip Hop track, 'Middle Name Period.'  This opportunity did not arise, however, because I'm super cool, more that they released it into the public domain.



This is one track from their upcoming 4 track EP which was produced with the help Hudson Mohawke and is set to be released around September time.  I know Sam Eastgate/Samuel Dust is involved with these guys, although I'm not sure if he's permanent head honcho of their music making, but this track is very à la LOTP and is about a million miles away from 'Rad Pitt.'



In fact, compared with this, 'Middle Name Period' is comfortably residing in another musical universe.

I look forwad to hopefully being able to see this guys on tour in November.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Back From The Brink

Did you miss me?

Little bit?

Little bit though, eh?

Yeah.

Well, the eagle eyed among you may have noticed that I've not been around for about a month.  My bad.  I was too busy being lazy, not having a job and being ill.

Do I have much to offer?  Not especially, but hey, that was always the case.  Even back in 't day when I was on here semi-regular, like.






It's nearly 4 weeks now since I got an email about this lad up above these words, Hugo.    He's got a 2 track EP out, I think.  I'm not entirely certain because his soundcloud page reckons you can download his tracks of iTunes, but iTunes is telling me that this is lies.  However, I do know for certain that you can listen to these two tracks on his website or MySpace.

The first track is his very own version of Jay-Z's '99 Problems,' execpt with him being white it doesn'tdetail the problems of being a black man living in North America.  It is definitey different, very Country, it's got harmonicas and everything! 

T'other track is called 'Bread and Butter.'  Sort of bluesy-rock.  Give it a go, you might even like it.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Bravestation too

For those of you who take time to read the musings of the proper musicologists, this will be old news and won't really be worth a read, but since those lovely guys at 'Bravestation' did indeed send me an Internet letter this evening, I thought it would be rude not to talk about and they are worth sharing for those of you who only read comically bad blogs with names that the creators want to change, but can't now.

But I am very much in accordance with Monsieur AgdtCt.  Thre are good.

Through their latest 5 track EP, which according to iTunes is called '2010 ep,' they manage to combine a touch of synth-folk (Clocks and Spears), funk-folk (Colour Us With Youth), indie-pop (White Wolves) all played underneath the quite vulnerable vocals.  (Yeah, that sounds a bit gay, but whatever, there just seems to be some sort of wavering quality to them at times, but wavering sounded too critical and it's not supposed to be a criticism).

What is more, all this musical wonder is combined without making it sound schizophrenic because despite these differences, there is a common thread in all the tracks which is good enough to keep me interested and subtle enough not to bore me.

Bueno!

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Free Festival Tickets From Tuborg

I've got even more alcohol related competitions/news today.  I have to admit, when I started this, I didn't imagine I'd become an alcohol salesman, but hey, what happens happens and as Busy P says, 'underground and mainstream is over now. You are all mainstream.'

Anyway, the people at Tuborg are giving away festival tickets to people that can 'beat the intro.'  This video should explain it if you're a bit confused by this concept.



Basically, you have 10 seconds to name the song and the faster you do it, the more points you get and the highest scorers win tickets.

Easy.

So, play along, win some shit and have fun.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Video Nonsense



Well check me out.  I've battled my way through another year and reached the ripe old age of vingt-et-un ans or 7,670 days.  And yes Thomas Mars, I do remember when 21 years was old.



I've literally been waiting a year to use that line and this song.

By way of a celebration, I thought I'd share some of my favourite music videos, a bit like 'This Is Your Life,' but not really.




Justice Vs Simian - We Are Your Friends from BajenUltras on Vimeo.


JAMAICA - I Think I Like U 2 VIDEO from bermudapants on Vimeo.

So, basically, So Me is a genius.



T-Bone and K-Dog.



Ezra even looks like Roger Federer.  And, I can't believe the BBC hasn't been all over this for Wimbledon.



If you haven't seen 'Funky Squaredance,' I urge you to watch it and for the full 10 minutes.


Justice - Let Love Rule from Marcio Machado on Vimeo.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Neon Indian

Everyone loves that Neon Indian, right?



Well, he's another mega-star to team up with Vice and Intel on this here Creators Project thing-a-mijig.

And, if you didn't love him before, surely the fact that his dad was a Mexican pop-star must swing it.

Radiant Dragon and D/R/U/G/S

I need to write more, apparently.

Here you go little ones, it probably wasn't good enough for Neu Magazine, but it'll do for you.


When I think of drugs, a few things spring to mind: a pretty cool Raveonettes track, super happy times and really, really bad times.  Or, that’s what I’ve been led to believe at least.  Unfortunately, what didn’t spring to mind was 'Manchester band 'D/R/U/G/S.'   This, however, was not the case for the truly international ‘Radiant Dragon,’ who decided he’d have a crack at remixing one of their songs, ‘Rings Of Truth.’
I think it’s safe to say that ‘Radiant Dragon’ specialises in making chilled out and ambient disco sounds, like maybe a half-asleep ‘Neon Indian,’ but not because it’s not good, but because it’s even more laid back and relaxing.
With his latest remix, he takes it even further.  It starts off threatening to take you off into some sort of trance-y euphoria with its synths and slowly building and muffled bass.  But it resists, and instead takes you on a slow journey through the song, which definitely gets darker as the track progresses.  One thing that I especially like about this track, is how distant the drums sound in the first half of the track, it’s almost as if you can feel it all happening around you as if you are gliding through the music and moving towards new sounds and effects.
The only criticism I would have is that at 5 minutes, it is perhaps a little long and some listeners may lose patience with it since it’s hardly packed full of hooks, but I guess that it’s their loss.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

One Track Wonder Post

Darwin Deez par Monsieur Flash.

Yum Yum!

Also, Mr Flash has some new shit out, for a while now, which is pretty good too.

"FLESH" Mr Flash Music video from Cédric BLAISBOIS on Vimeo.

UVA

Creators Project again.  I know what it is and you know what it is, so I won't bore you with details.

Basically, watch this because these guys, UVA, make some pretty amazing stuff.



Très cool, n'est-ce pas?

Painted Face

This is going to be very short and mildly sweet.

Head over here and give US shimmery synth-pop geniuses 'Painted Face' a listen and download unfortunately-probably-not-future-hit 'Undreamt'. 

You surely won't regret it.  Unless maybe it will lead to you exceeding your download limit that was previously agreed upon with your Internet Service Provider and therefore some sort of financial penalty, but it's worth the risk.

Au revoir.

PLAYMAKERS

VBS has another gem of a series for us lot again.

This one is called 'PLAYMAKERS' which is all about letting artists loose on 'Nike Stadiums', or Stadia if like me you want to be proper.

Today they are in Milan with Italian artists Riccardo, Massimiliano and a fella with that traditional Italian name, Patrick.  Together, they are 'SUPER!' and, for want of a better word, super.

Watch the video to get a proper idea of what they're trying to do.  I did and thought it looked pretty cool.  In my uninformed opinion it seems like they want their art to be part of the public space and fairly interactive, but I don't really know.



Something similar went down in Paris too,  I do believe.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Kopparberg Klash

I just thought I'd give you all, my lovely reader, a gentle reminder about this wondiferous competition that is being run by VICE and Kopparberg.

Basically, if  you make films (also send stuff in if you make music, photos or clothes, but party time for you isn't quite yet) and you reckon you're the bees knees or your mum thinks your brilliant at it then send it in to Kopparberg here and you could win £1000 and get featured in VICE. 

Not too shabs, eh?

Also, you would get invited to a way cool party thrown at the VICE party HQ at The Old Blue Last on July 7th, which will no doubt be full of other cool, creative types and will definitely be home to some complimentary drinks and a 'very special DJ.'

So, come on down, get involved and join the party!

Monday, 14 June 2010

Safari

Now this time I REALLY mean it.  I will get properly back into writing and taking up some valuable Internet real estate with my average words about cool bands and shit because I've moved back to the 'burbs pour l'été and out of the big smoke and there are far fewer distractions in St Albans.

Today I feel moved to write about a little ol' band called 'Safari.'  This London five-piece makes some pretty tidy synth-pop that definitely deserves a better description than 'tidy', but I've got a cool façade and reputation to maintain.  This is evidenced by the fact that they have managed to infiltrate the 'mainstream' and get themselves onto xfm's playlist. 

Nice work boys.

They also managed to release a single t'other week, 'Quicksand' which is available both as an actual piece of material that you can hold in your very own bare hands or as a computer file off of iTunes.  You can also download another of their tracks, 'Folio' for absolutely nothing.

Dope.


Safari - Quicksand from Chromas Button on Vimeo.





Why?  Just because.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The Creators Project - Mark Ronson

Hello, hello and hello.

More exciting stuff to do with The Creators Project today.

As I'm sure you've worked out with your amazing powers of perception that this one involves Monsieur Mark Ronson.  The man who according to Wikipedia has Austrian, Russian and Lithuanian heritage.  But, that's not really what I'm interested in.

For me, this is possibly the most interesting one yet as we actually get a little insight into how a song is actually made and the creative process.  And also because we get to see Mark Ronson's pretty awful teenage haircut.



Link to video in case it doesn't fit.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

ceo

Well that didn't really work out, did it?  There I was, making bold proclamations of a magnificent and triumphant return to Internet world, and then what happens?  I apparently buggered off and totally forgot.  But I can assure you that that was not the case.  As you may remember I was really excited about the start of the cricket season, and, well, you know, matches take like 5 days, so obviously I'd be out of action for a while.

But, in that time I made a personal discovery, although this shit could be way old for you guys, but hey, you never know, you guys might just be here for the atmosphere.  In which case, bring a friend, grab a drink and get the atmosphere up to the stratosphere, or maybe even the mesosphere, or am I just a crazy fool?

Anyway, my 'discovery' was 'ceo'.  They are a pretty mysterious group/person/whatever because it seems even proper blogger types aren't really sure, so how is a chump like me supposed to know?  Well, all I do know is that they are signed to Swedish label 'Sincerely Yours' and that on there website they have a few pictures, an enigmatic poem and a release date for their new single 'Come With Me' which features two tracks, one of which I am enjoying right now. 

Why don't you too?

Sounds nice and Swedish if you ask me, lovely dreamy synths and a fairly tropical beat with love-tinged lyrics, which is the formula for the perfect song.  They're not too dissimilar to 'Bye Bye Bicycle', if you ask me, although even if you don't ask me I'll still think it, who I quite like, but feel free to make your own minds up.

Peace Out.  And enjoy the sunshine.