Monday, 29 March 2010

Let's Make This The Rockinest Holy Week. Ever.

So, THE biggest week of the year is finally upon us, good Catholic boys like me getting ready to thank Superman for saving mankind by slaying Godzilla by throwing donkeys and wine in his face, before Batman went and grassed him up to the police because he needed some money to buy more dope, in that epic battle over 2000 years ago and after the police caught Superman they took him to Goldfinger, who was a bit clueless really, and decided that it would be best to nail him up and use him as a handy shelf in his office.  Way to drop the ball!  But, then 3 days later Lois Lanewent to get a book only to find them all in a mess on te floor and then Superman came back and said that 'He was cool.'  They hooked up for a bit, but she got too clingy so he thought 'Fuck this' and left to 'go to the shops.'  Well, I'm pretty sure that's what all the fuss is about.  To be honest, I just heard people talk about crosses, donkeys and wine, got bored and decided to make the story a bit more exciting.

How do you think Superman would want us to remember him?  I reckon that he'd want me to talk about noisy Norwegians.  In fact, he told me so last night. 

More precisely, Serena Maneesh, a five piece from said country.  These guys are part of the 4AD crüe, home of The Big Pink, Efterklang, TV On The Radio and Bon Iver to name but a few.  Don't know about you, but I would say that's pretty good company to be in.  Well, these guys are releasing album number 2 'Serena Maneesh 2: Abyss In B Minor.'

'I Just Want To See Your Face' throws together a nice mix of noisy and aggressive guitars and a drum beat that sounds like it should be on a Sonic Youth track.  Wait a minute that's all Sonic Youth stuff, winner!  Except, I would have to say that the vocals are bit more pleasing, no offence Kim

'Ayisha Abyss' would probabbly feel pretty comfortable in 1970's Germany with it's fairly repetitive, NOT a criticism just an observation, beat which throws in a few psychedelic and spacey moments, but gradually buids up over the 7 minutes.  'Reprobate' sounds equally impressive too with plenty of the same ingredients, without being boring.


Also, Dum Dum Girls have an album out now, or in about 9 hours for those of us in England and who still go to record stores, which is good news.  Get a free download of them covering The Raveonettes here, or somewhere else as well, probably.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Going Through The Motions Kills Emotions

I think it's safe to say that Manchester is very much the capital of electro-synth-pop and therefore the capital of music.  Over the past week or two one band keeps cropping up almost everywhere I look, and that band is MAY68.  I think it's safe to say that this 5-some is named after that rather topsy-turvy time in Paris seeing as it is seen as watershed moment in French post-war history, maybe even European and on thier myspace page tey lead with the slogan 'boredom is counterrevolutionary,' which was a slogan of the 'agitators.'  In this month some pretty serious shit went down,  forget that, saying it like that just trivialises it.

These guys are very similar to long time favourites and contender for my favourite band Performance.  These guys play some slightly more high-tempo stuff so I would very much expect to hear the trendy DJ's in the hipster clubs playing these guys and they're not quite as bleak either, but I do like bleak.

And of course, like any self-respecting band these days, they are also DJ's and capable of cracking out a really cool remix of Hot Club De Paris track 'Extra Time Then Sudden Death' which is available as a free download if you sign up to their mailing list.  Also, if you have a look around on the RCRD LBL website you can get the Acid Washed remix of their song 'My Ways.'  Actually, go to RCRD LBL even if you hate these guys because they are choc-full of awesome, free tracks.

If all that wasn't enough for you, you'll be glad to hear that there is more because they've also made a mini DJ mix which has some tasty tracks on it from The xx, SebastiAn, Gorillaz and others.  It's only about 20 minutes long, but still definitely worth a download.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Sweet Swedes: The Saga Continues

Y'all may be rather aware that I am a bit if a swedophile, and no, that doesn't mean I go around molesting Swedes.  No one knows how it all started, but I think it's pretty legitimate seeing as they do make some rockin' awesome music.

Stockholm Beat Connection are one such example.  They are not  typically Swedish, i.e they don't make dreamy, lo-fi indie pop, instead they make bangin' electro.  Now, their myspace page has only one track of their own but I'd imagine they have much more in the locker seeing as they have been around for a few years now.  But, their seems to be elements similar in style to Crookers with bleepy and techno-y, but they do also manage to work in some faster paced stuff with a big bass beat too.  Yay!

There is also a minimix posted too which is enjoyable.  Of course, the highlight for me was 'D.A.N.C.E (Justice remix)' but the other tracks sound good too.  Wouldn't sound too out of place in a Twelves mix.  They've also played with some pretty huge acts, namely 2ManyDJ's and Justice so you know that they're not too shabby.

Another group of funky Swedes is Bye Bye Bicycle.  These guys sound proper 80's.  'Northpole' does sound a bit like a lost Duran Duran track, but I don't care, I still like it.  But, then 'Haby Bay' comes and saves the day with it's piano opening before the very Swedish guitars come along and whisk you off to dream land.  Some supuer good news about these guys is that their debut album 'Compass' is out and available to buy.  They are also playing a few dates in the coming months but unfortunately only Finns, Swedes and Germans will get to see them.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Picture Book

No preamble, let's get to it.

Picture Book must be the most cosmopolitan band on earth right now, maybe even ever, with lead singer Greta hailing from the Faroe Islands, the drummer and the axe-man coming from New York, and they all decided to get together and start a band in Liverpool.

This, however, is where it gets tricky for me.  You see, I was brought up proper by my dad, a Mancunian, so I have a pretty healthy disdain for all things Liverpudlian.  It hurts to say The Beatles were any good, it's still a little annoying that Wayne Rooney is a scouser and I'm still baffled as to how they managed to be European Capital of Culture.

But, putting all that aside for now, I can tell you that this trio make some really good stuff.  Throwing together some blissed out electro beats with some fairly old-fashioned actual proper singing, not just talking over the music.  The end result is a real aural treat.

Listening to their latest single, which has been out for a few months and is on iTunes, it feels like I should be sat down in a really dark club, sipping on a cocktail with a pretty lady nearby.  'Tother single 'Strangers' will keep the dead moody indie kids like myself happier with it's slightly more aggressive melody and talk of strangers.  Expect to see some pretty crazy hipster dancing, of which I am a pro, if you ever hear this track.

They have a couple of other tracks up on their myspace too which are definitely worth a listen and  I'm looking forward to the time when they're big enough to get a gig in big ol' London because for now they're still playing fairly local gigs, except for Peterborough.

Oh well.  Bye byes.

Oh yeah, don't forget Sunday is the biggest event of the year.  Let's please get back to beating L*verpool  and get closer to title number 19.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Post #34

Yeah, all this 'success' is just going to my head so I've gone all postmodern with my titles.  Although, I've read that article a few times and to be honest, I'm still a little bit lost as to what postmodernism is, as far as I can tell if something's a bit shit and up it's own arse, it's postmodern.

So, do you like Archie Bronson?  Only his clothes you say?  Well you're in for a treat today because I want to give the Archie Bronson Outfi a few words of love today.

A couple of weeks ago, this London based trio released album numéro 3 called 'Coconut.'

Opener 'Magnetic Warrior' starts things off real nice with slightly off sounding guitars which jars you a little and creates a nice sense of intrigue about how the song, and the album, will unfold, and without spoiling it too much for you, it's dead good and worth carrying on with.

'Shark's Tooth', is, well, a competely different animal.  One which is not so reliant on heavy guitar riffs, but they are of course still to be found.  I do quite enjoy the lack of clarity in the vocals, not just because I personally find it aurally pleasing, but it also enables you to fully appreciate the 'instrument-manship' that goes into the song.

So, if anyone reading this happens to find themselves in mainland Europe for the next two months, I'd go and see them.  Actually, that's a lie because I won't be seeing them since my bank account is approaching crunch-time.

Bye now.  I'm off to go ask for a Government bail out.

Re: RE:Pokémon

Hey compadres, I forgot to mention some super important stuff in my last post.

It turns out that you can actually win these new and awesome Pokémon HEARTGOLD and SOULSILVER games, a Nintendo DS and tickets to the wicked cool party that's being thrown in celebration of this wondrous event.

'But how?' you may be screaming at your monitor.  Easy really, just give them your name and email and who knows they may even want to stay friends with you and tell about other cool goings on.

Do it now!

Just to get you in the mood here are a couple of pictures by Andy J Miller and John Burgerman.

 A pretty cool drawing there from Monsieur Miller.

 Señor Burgerman.

I'm not going to lie, I'm no art buff, but I know when I like stuff, and this I like. 

And my music tip for today would be to definitley get your hands on the Busy P remix of 'Hip Hop Changed' by Crookers ft. Rye Rye.  It's mega-huge.  Reminds of the good old days before the vast majority of hip hop became a bit rubbish and it's a vast improvement on the original.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Gotta Catch 'Em All!

Who else remembers the glorious days of Pokémon?  Trading cards with mates, selling off that useless Farfetch'd to the stupid kid and, of course, completing the Gameboy game.  I'd say that the craze reached me in little ol' St Albans when I was about 10 and to be honest with you we were ready for a new craze since the sad demise of the pog a few years earlier.

I never really understood how to play with the Pokemon cards so I just tended to have them only for show and to fulfill my obsessive need to have a complete set, but not many other kids tended to have 'card battles' either.  We were all about the Gameboy.

You definitley went for the Charmander, because let's face it, if you're in battle what would you rather have: a weed, a turtle with a water pistol or a fire breathing dragon?  Easy choice really.  For one version, I even had an official Nintendo book with hints and tips on how to win because I was never really any good at computer games, you see I was too busy outside, playing football and the like when I were a lad.  Ay, you were lucky!  That's not to say I didn't still really love the game.  I was pretty stoked when I actually managed to beat the 'Elite Four' and then go and capture my very own 'Mewtwo' and then go back and absolutley destroy said four with ease.

You may be a little confused by this, and I wouldn't blame you.  You probably came here by accident or hoping to read some poor reviews of bands and music that you've probably heard of and not reminiscing about 90's phenomena.

Well, it's to coincide with the lovely and super people at VICE commisioning seven guys/gals to draw some Pokémon inspired art to which is also to coincide with the release of new Pokémon games called 'HeartGold' and 'SoulSilver' which will be released on Nintendo DS and DSi.  What's more, they're having a party to celebrate it all, and why the hell not?!  The guests look very cool indeed and I'll keep it secret for now since they've not been advertised on the event website and I don't want to get in any more trouble today, not after the grilling I had trying to sell 440 stamps, long story.

Anyway, the art all looks very nice indeed, but really don't take my word for it art since I'm well out of touch when it comes to drawing and such so look again, assuming you followed the earlier link.

But, for those of you who want music, go listen to Extra Life, sorry if that's old news.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Jamaica-N Me Crazy!

Friday night was pretty good.

Mickey Moonlight got things started pretty well withwhat was a rather good set that got that dance-floor pretty busy, which doesn't always happen before 11.  Second was So Me and he was awesome, bangin' out tune after tune. 

He opened with 'Planisphere,' not the full 17 minutes obviously, which quite was quite possibly the highlight for me.  He also treated us to 'Pocket Piano,' 'Let There Be Light,' 'Revolution 909,' 'Heads Will Roll,' 'Winner Takes It All(!),' 'Atlantis To Rosszone,' 'Don't Stop Believing' and many more as he treated us to 90 minutes of awesomeness. 

SebastiAn was next up and I got the feeling that it was almost a live performance of stuff from his new album and I loved it, but we also got a shortened version of 'Threnody, 'Aerodynamic' and 'Stress.' 

Busy P was also on fire dropping bombs like 'Waters Of Nazereth,' 'In The Mix,' 'The Big Beat (well, at least that epic guitar part that first comes in about 40 seconds in)' and 'Final' from A Cross The Universe.

Also, I picked up a cool poster and received some nice compliments from actual Coolcats, who were selling some nice merch, regarding my t-shirt, in fact, this guy even grabbed my chest.

That was longer than I had hoped, but I'll press on with new issues.  Today I got my hands on a free download of 'Jamica' called 'I Think I Like U 2' off-of those good guys at The NME.  For those of you who didn't/follow the Jamaica link they used to be 'Poney Poney.'  If you were a fan before, and somehow failed to here about this change, don't worry, their musical style hasn't changed drastically.

But don't get it twisted, that ain't no bad thing, just stating facts.  They are kind of like 'Das Pop' but with a bit more edge and a funky bassline, maybe that's what happens when you get quite possibly the coolest man on earth to produce your album.  And you know what, if you've got help from 'Justice' when making music you are going to succeed because I don't think it's too outrageous to say they are perhaps among the best remixers around.

 Grammy winning remix for you there.

Embedding was disabled and I didn't want to use a non-ofiicial video because you should watch this because it's cool.


Friday, 5 March 2010

Joyeux Anniversaire

I heard Oizo will play a set!

I heard Uffie's going to be there!

The secret guest has to be Justice because I just saw Xavier De Rosnay buy a sandwich from Tesco.

I heard Mehdi is going to be there to give the very first live Carte Blanche performance.

I heard So Me drew a picture of a time machine, then Busy P looked at it and said,' Let's make this shit happen,' so it came to life, and then they sent Breakbot, being the new guy, back to 1956 to get Elvis Presley and when they got back Feadz said he was going to lay down some beats for him and Elvis thought that was cool.

So tonight is the Ed Banger party at the Coronet in Elephant and Castle, the place which looks like it's staking a claim for the new trendy hotspot in London because there is plenty going on there these days.  Rumours abound as to who any potential secret guests might be, but if my sources (i.e. my imagination) are correct then I've got a feeling rumour 5 is the most likely, but I could be wrong.

But, it probably doesn't need any secret guests to make it amazing because the line-up is already incredible.  I fell in love with So Me at their 6 1/2 birthday last year when he played the Justice remix of 'As Above So Below' and 'Da Funk,' Fake Blood and Riton are two rather exciting acts and hoe can the thought of Busy P rocking the decks not leave you weak at the knees?!

Anywho, I'm going to be wearing my über-cool Ed Rec 7th Bday tee: NYC edition, although it will take every ounce of my self-restraint to not buy this when I get there, even though I know for absolutely certain that I cannot afford it.  I'll probably wear some ridiculous headgear too, maybe a headband, so it's a good job the judgemental eyes of my fashionista housemate are not here tonight!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

New Music From Old Friends

First up, a word to my regular(s).  I've made a few design changes lately which I hope hasn't offended you greatly, it's just I didn't really like the previous layout and the way the way the writing spread across the screen, more compact now, and pretty much like every other/a (choose which one you feel is most appropriate) decent blog.

Today has seen quite a bit of action in the way of new releases, although probably no different to any other week, except this week I've poked my head out of my window and had a look at what's happening in the world.

First up, Kavinsky has given us a preview of a new track 'Nightcall' which follows his early styles of 80's/video game music.  However, this is an actual song with vocals, which by all accounts is Vinco himself.  While it's not as banging as 'Testarossa Autodrive' it's pretty nice when the 80's electro-pop synths kick in with female vocals.  Look out for his new EP 'Pacific Coast Highway' or 'Nightcall,' depending on who you belive, which I believe is currently scheduled for release on 22nd March and the title track made it onto  Busy P's Christmas top ten, so you know it's good.

Quick shout out to the LOTP boys who released 'Best In The Class,' but use of the 'the' isn't universal but using the definite article makes more sense, today and it's good.  Obvs!  The Soulwax remix or whatever you want to call it is also pretty manic too.

3rd up, New Young Pony Club are streaming the whole of their new album 'The Optimist' on their MySpace which I'm trying to listen to right now except my internet connection is doing its level best to stop me by pausing 4/5 times PER SONG to buffer and I'm losing patience very quickly, especially since I really do have to be up in 7 1/2 hours.

I'd already managed to get my hands on 'Lost A Girl,' since they gave it away for free, and I was impressed with it, and 'Chaos' had been getting some air time NME tv lately and I thought it sounded pretty good, and stuff usually sounds way worse on music video channels than it does out of proper speakers.  Title track 'The Optimist' sounds like it took some inspiration from the Mighty Boosh's 'Mod Wolves' song with it's pipes and there's another effect which I'm sure has been sampled, but I remember where I think I've heard it before, it's incredibly annoying.  BOOM!  FLASH!  I've got it!  It sounds like it's come from 'Wizards' by 'You Love Her Coz She's Dead.'

What strikes me most about this album is how much more grown up this album sounds with it's lack of overt sexuality à la 'Ice Cream,' not to say I didn't like their first album, but it's good to see they've managed to find a new direction.  Although, it doesn't seem to be quite as danceable/jump-up-and-down-able but it's still worh a listen and a place in your record collection.

Monday, 1 March 2010


Vote to decide my fate.


Just a cheeky quicky today, you can put the notepad away for this one.

Don't you just hate having friends?  Especially when you've managed to find a group who are cool to be around and for a laugh, but who really have no common interests/hobbies?  Well that's what has happened to me and it looks like it might cost me the opportunity to get up close and personal with none other than Late Of The Pier as they celebrate the release of 'Blueberry/ Best In Class' at a special in-store event at 'Pure Groove.'  Instead, it looks like I'll be at a student club, wanting to cut off my own ears, for someones birthday.  Even worse, the guy hates that place too, but it's THE place to go on Wednesdays if you go to King's.


I would try and invite people, but I just know that as soon as say 'Late Of The Pier' the reply will be, 'Who?'  And I'll repeat the name and try my best to define their style, which isn't easy and they'll just say, 'but everyone goes to Walkabout!'  End result = sad face for me.

If I did manage to go it would make this upcoming week pretty amazing with Republic of Ireland v Brazil on Tuesday, LOTP on Wednesday and 'Husky Rescue' is still an option on Friday which finishes with Ed Banger's 7th birthday party which will just be awesome.

Shocker number 2 is that I got my ticket for 'Crystal Castles' the other day, mixed feelings of excitement and fear, only to then realise that 20th April is the date of one of the UEFA Champions League semi-finals, which could very easily involve Manchester United. 

Damn.  At least it's only the first leg.

On the bright side, at least I should get my LOTP vinyl edition of 'Blueberry/ Best In Class' this week.

Here are some tunes, just for shits.