Friday, 28 May 2010

Smirnoff Experience and SMD

Remember when I talked about this?

Well, this is what happened:

Hope you liked.

The Return

Hey guy(s).

I'm back!  (Sorry.)

The past two weeks have been crazy hectic with all sorts of exam nonsense, so I've been far too busy to write.  But, equations and all that bullshit are nearly done for another three months, so watch out Internet, I'm-a-coming!

Even though I was too busy to write, I wasn't too busy to get a couple of pretty ace shows under my belt and tick off two more bands and my 'to see live' list.  Not that I actually have a list, although I might make one, knock something pretty sexy on Excel and I'll be on my way.

Anyway, I managed to see Crystal Castles on the 19th when they played at Heaven, a little bit of me wishes Heaven would stop getting so many great bands because I'm pretty certain not everyone is convinced that I'm not gay and this doesn't really help to quash the speculation, but in the mean time I'm going to to keep going there, maybe even to see The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, who by the way have a new single out in a couple of weeks which you can listen to via links here, at the end of July.

I really must stop these digressions, but, yeah CC were amazing, didn't get right up front in the crowd where it seemed to get pretty manic with Alice jumping in during nearly every song.  The crowd were loving first album material, but weren't quite feeling the new stuff if you can gauge 'feeling it' by amount of jumping up and down / dancing, but I'm pretty sure they still loved it all though.  The one thing that sticks with me about that gig is how incredibly sweaty some people where, it did look a little bit like I'd missed a wet t-shirt competition.  Oh yeah, and to add to the mega-excitement when I was just hanging around outside before the gig I saw Ethan and Alice and the drummer man, sorry for lack of name-age, although I really doubt that these guys are aware of my pathetic little blog so I the apology is probably redundant, arriving at the club and I can confirm that Ethan is quite possibly the scariest man alive.  I wanted to take a picture as they walked towards me, but I felt like they might get angry and smash me in the face with my own camera, and of course I would also look way uncool and like some sort of fanboy, much better to be all nonchalant and like, 'Yeah, whatever, I just saw Crystal Castles, but I really couldn't give a shit, I don't even like them anyway, they're way too mainstream, I'm only here in an ironic way.'

Epic paragraph.

Then on the Wednesday just gone, the 26th, I saw Vampire Weekend at my very own student union, although they tried their best to make sure no one knew about it.  They said they didn't advertise it becasue it was an MTV event so it was all MTV's responsibility.

I got there at around half 8 and managed to catch the support act who unfortunately are still a mystery to me since I have no 'hipster sources' and I'm not prepared to go past page one on a Google search.  At first I thought it may have been 'Dum Dum Girls' for a few reasons:

1. They were an all girl band
2. They were playing lo-fi rock and roll
3. Vampire Weekend have already announced they will be touring North America with them this Autumn.
4. And I wasn't really sure what they looked like.

However, I'm now fairly confident it wasn't them.  Oh well.

But, Vampire Weekend did indeed rock my socks playing a mighty 14 song set that got everyone dancing and happy, especially for the encore of 'Mansard Roof' and 'Walcott.'

So all in all a good week that surely couldn't get better?  Think again.

That's right, this week saw the start of the summer Test Matches.  That's what you were expecting me to write, wasn't it?

I think I've written enough now, you should congratulate yourself for making it this far, I know I would've given up.

Monday, 24 May 2010

The Teaches Of Peaches

You know Peaches right?  Everyone loves her, right?  Except nice, quiet boys like me who are well terrified, but we can still appreciate her awesome electro-rockingness.

Well, like Phoenix and many others she has teamed up with the Intel Creators project and she is also in a video too.


Once again she also talks about how she creates a pretty amazing visual performance alongside her 'minimal' music.  And, looking at the video, it seems she has embraced techno-mo-lology to improve her live show.

She also makes an interesting point about how radically music has changed in the past 60 years.

You watch now!

Peaches talks technology.

Intel Creators Project.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Useless Information

Take your top 20 artists. For each of these artists, collect the top 5 similar artists. The resulting number of unique artists is your [b]eclectic score[/b]. If the score is small (extreme = 5) your musical preferences are very limited, and if it is large (larger than 80, extreme = 100), then you have an eclectic musical preference. 

jameslebyrne's eclectic score is


If your score is small (lower than 70) your musical preferences are very limited, and if it is large (larger than 80), then you have an eclectic musical preference.


jameslebyrne's super-eclectic score is


As this number is larger, you have a more eclectic musical preference. People with scores over 700 have bragging rights. People whose score is below 400 should consider more musical styles!


The other day as I was wandering through the soulless and desolate vacuum that is MySpace I saw that me old pal Jamie Long had posted a bulletin which said that he was on some sort of compilation / mix tape thing-a-me from poule d'or, who was new to me.  Anyhow, I looked it up and it checked out, he was indeed featured.  So I downloaded it and it was pretty tasty, some shoegazy stuff, some tropically tinged electro-pop and the odd bangin' tune.  I would definitely recommend that you get it too.

Music goodness.

I think it's safe to assume also that there are two more compilations, since this is called number 3, and if they are as good as this one, then get them too.

Anyway, my favourite track was definitely 'Radiowave' by 'GERMANY GERMANY', so naturally I went to find more tracks and there are a fair few on the ol' MySpace page and they are also pretty good.  'Electrolove' being my next favourite track.  And what's great about these guys is that they are giving away music for absolutely nothing from here.  Unfortunately I can't tell you yet how many tracks are included in the two files since they are currently downloading and the Interweb connection I have with VIRGIN MEDIA IS RUBBISH.

Edit: Each file has 8 tracks on so it is definitely well worth dowloading.  16 songs, free and totally legal.  Music is great, but it's even better when it's legal.

Oh, and there's also a Finnish band on the mix, äänijännite (I know my audience, all 2 of them, max) and they sounded pretty good too.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Kopparberg Klash

Hey funky fresh faces!

Estoy estudiante, pero quiero some sort of really cool creative type who doesn't have to get a real job until you're at least 40?

Then get creating and making all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff because you can now send into the lovely people at Kopparberg, another reason to love Sweden, because they've teames up with the cool kids at Vice to launch a new compo called Kopparberg Klash which allows you to send in your films, photos, music or desgins and if they're top notch then they'll put out there in the 'ether' where real people like me can see and go, 'that was well ace!  I wish I could do that.'

Wow, that was a really long sentence.

Get your thinking caps on and try and blow some tiny little minds!


Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Intel Creators - Phoenix

This is all about a brand spanking new project between Vice and Intel

Basically, it would appear that they've decided to give us mere mortals an insight into how all these super talented creative types, like Phoenix for example, come up with ideas to keep us simple minded folk happy with bright, flashing lights and funky beats. 

They even made a nice video with Branco and Christian where they talk about how technology and the interweb has made music so much better and that these days now that when making a record you don't need to rely on pleasing ponsy, tastemaking, wannabe douchebags to be successful.

You know, people like me.

Oh well.

I'm a nice person really.


You can even watch the video yourself here or here.  Your choice.

I have to say though, that *smug alert* having seen them live last year that they have embraced technology pretty darn well, especially with the visual aspects.

There's going to be plenty more coming from this Creators Project so be sure to keep having a gander at their new site AT LEAST once every 30 minutes.

In the meantime, I'm going to be off being super cool and going to see Crystal Castles tonight.  Should be ace.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Amends (ish)


I know I've said this before, but this time I really mean it, but I 'll probably be even more inactive than usual due to impending exams/doom although I do foresee a return in a week and a half at the very latest.  However, you can never be certain, I may get sent an email with some real hot shit that I just have to share.

Unlikely though.

Hopefully you can enjoy this in the meantime which I made under another ridiculous pseudonym:

France Rules, OK?!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Connan Mockasin

Writer's block is quite worrying, especially when everything else you write is pretty average and not even worthy of being called the work of a writer.  But, nonetheless, I still feel literally uninspired.  If I was a rock star, I'd probably get my dealer on the phone and ask for a few hits so that I'd be able to write some awesome super weird and psychedelic music, a bit like Connan Mockasin.

These guys hail from that fine land of New Zealand, home of Ladyhawke, Daniel Vettori and leader of that infamous New York gang, 'The Tough Brets.'  But, anyway, here in the UK they are signed to Erol Alkan's 'Phantasy' label which is home to a whole plethora of fantabulous acts like 'LOTP', 'Chilly Gonzales', 'Fan Death' and more.

It seems like wherever these guys are they keep good company.

Their first album, 'Please Turn Me Into The Snat' is going to hit the racks next Monday 17th here in the UK, but you can have a sneaky preview of the whole album right here.  And d'you know what?  I think it sounds pretty good.  As far as modern comparisons go, it sounds a bit like what 'Oracular Spectacular' would've sounded like if 'MGMT' hadn't wanted to make a pop record, not to say I don't like 'Oracular Spectacular,' I do.  Just sayin' is all.

Whilst the album preview jigger-ma-thing has no full tracks, you can let your eyes and ears feast on this bit of video magic, that would probably even make Lewis Carroll freak the geek out.

Connan Mockasin - It's Choade My Dear from Connan Mockasin on Vimeo.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Mini Post (That turned out a bit long really)

Not got too much to say today, but what I am going to say is definitely worth a post on it's own.

As you may be aware today saw 'Foals' release album number two, 'Total Life Forever.'  Now, I've not had a chance to go and buy it or listen to it yet because I had a pesky exam this afternoon, but I'm pretty confident it is excelente el presidente.


And to celebrate this joyous occasion why not treat yourself to a well bangin' remix of 'This Orient' by those crazy guys at 'Silver Columns.'

This Orient (Silver Columns remix) by silvercolumns

Just another bit of info, but I'm sure you're aware already because you know doubt immersed yourselves in all things 'Silver Columns' after reading about/ being reminded of them here t'other day, but back on point, they are releasing their single 'Cavalier' on the 17th May via Moshi Moshi.  But don't worry little ones, you can already watch it now!

Don't say I don't treat you right.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Check Out My Mate's Mate's Band

Today is all about keeping it in the 'fairmly' and making sure that age-old British tradition of nepotism alive and well.

First up is 'Fez.'  When I was first told about these guys they were described to me as 'like Phoenix,' so naturally I was in love without even hearing a single note, and now that I've listened to them, the comparison bears out pretty well actually.  The only major differences are the 'rockier' guitars and the stronger vocals, but that might be a little harsh on Monsieur Mars seeing as he doesn't have the luxury of singing in his native language.  Although, just to clarify the 'Phoenix' comparison, 'Fez' are definitely 'Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix' Phoenix and not 'Alphabetical' Phoenix.

Some more real good news is that they are actually giving away their 6 track EP and you've got to love free music.  I'm going to ask for mine so hopefully they've not run out.

This next bit really might not be necessary since I'm going to assume that if you've managed to get here you're probably a regular in Chinatown so either this is well old or you actually know this guy.  But, I suppose there's no harm in adding to the current good vibes being showered all over Markus Perttula and making it officially international, even if my meddling only does result in about 4 people being in the know.

Of course being English and currently not having any Finnish as part of my foreign language repertoire, my favourite songs are 'Never Be Okay,' 'Swept Away,' and 'Volcano.'  But, that's not to say I can't appreciate the beautifully serene guitars and softly spoken vocals in the Finnish songs.

In the meantime, any comments which help to explain Differential Geometry would be well appreciated.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Strange Hands

Are you ready for The Thunderdome?  Because that is what is going to happen, in the UK at least.  With the uncertainty that has followed this election the only way that we can now move forward is to enter some sort of post-apocalypse world where Cameron and Brown should have to fight to the death for the right to govern.  Start buying weapons, hoarding fuel and shooting down packs of feral children before they grow and become too strong and overpower you. 

It's going to happen.

But, when you're out in the garden digging up the foundations for your apocalypse bunker why not hook your computer up to some speakers and listen to some Frenchmen playing some 60's style rock and roll with entrancing and repetitive guitar riffs, to remind you of simpler times, a time when it was only the Russians and Americans that were going to blow you up and not people in your won street, when there were riots only happened abroad and just the odd Presidential assassination

These French rockers are called 'Strange Hands' and are currently signed to 'underground' Dutch label 'A Fistful Of Records' who only keep it real and only release on vinyl.  Talking of releases, 'Strange Hands' are indeed releasing their first single, a 7", called 'Dead Frozen Deer' in the next few weeks and what's even better is that it's a totally new track to add to the 7 that they already have on their MySpace page.

So, yeah, laterz.

J-Rule out.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Silver Columns

I can tell that I'm getting nervous and stressed about life because right now I'm just constantly listening to 'A Cross The Universe' which of course is no bad thing on it's own since it is well and truly bangin'.  I'm listening to it on the bus, walking around and in the gym.  Ordinarily I wouldn't mind, but since I'm properly scrobbled up with, I look like a real Justice freak who just never listens to anything else, and that doesn't really inspire confidence in people when you're supposed to be looking out for new and/or good music.  But, listening to Justice just gives me huge, great big freakin' grin.

But, lucky-ish for you I can still read when I'm listening to Justice.

For a while now I've been reading a lot of 'tweet-buzz' about 'Silver Columns' and it's been going long enough for me to think they're not just going to be some sort of flash-in-the-pan one-hit wonder and after listening to them I'd have to agree.

They are of course made up of Adem Ilhan, bassist alongside 'Four Tet' man Kieran Hebden in 'Fridge' and folksy wordsmith Johnny Lynch.  Listening to a the tracks that they have up on their myspace page I'd say I can hear similarities with 'MAY68', 'Monarchy' and most obviously 'Hot Chip'.  Why not have a listen and decide for yourself?

I've also been hearing that they put on a pretty mean live show and since they've got their debut album coming out soon they're going to be doing plenty of live shows in the next few months.  Not least on this Friday when they are part of a quite incredible line-up at Fabric which really has too many names to list here and they will also be playing with 'Yeasayer' on the forthcoming Topman CTRL tour in London.

Also, if you're in the UK and over 18, don't forget to vote, or not.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Swing Youth

Like many a blogger before me the time has come for me to quote legendary US senator Clay Davis and say: 'sheeeeeeee-it.'  The unthinkable has happened, there has been a leak at HQ and word has reached people I know that I bother the Internet two or three times a week with average music recommendations 2 or 3 times a week, how embarrassing.


Oh well, I've got to try and move on and put this behind me and come back stronger, like Jesus I guess.

You know t'other day when I was bragging about all this drug money I had and was spending it on records like a crazy fool.  Well, in amongst those purchases was the second single from London based indie-popsters 'Swing Youth.'  I was just browsing through the shelves when I saw this and seeing it described as great pop I was more excited than a fat kid in a sweet shop because I do love a great pop song and it was on sale for only one, single English pound.

So, I got back home and wacked on 'Jennifer/ Hey Keith' and while it wasn't 'Sound of Arrows' pop, it was still reet good.  So good infact, that I've managed to become one of their top listeners on  'Hey Keith' may sound a bit like 'Madness' with backing vocals  provided by Damon Albarn, but it still manages to work with it's bouncy beats.

As I said, this was their second single and I've now given their first single 'Myself To Blame / Blade Of Grass' a listen, and you know what, I think it's even better.  A bit 'poppier' which suits me fine and some bitchin' drums.  Unfortunately, their first single is totally, super sold out, but is available on Spotify which is ace.