Friday, June 29, 2007

Interim Bloggage AKA The Lazy Post...

A selection of songs to get you pumped for the weekend ahead. Best make the most of what sunshine there is. Indoor barbecue anyone? The following songs are mostly beats-based and designed to get you jerking about. Warning! Do not listen to this playlist in enclosed public spaces. Thanks to the blogs i nicked Crystal Castles and The Rumble Strips from.

Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster - Mister Mental

A Tribe Called Quest - Scenario

Adam Freeland - Burn The Clocks (taken from FabricLive 16)

Dizze Rascal - Sirens (Chase & Status Remix)

Crystal Castles - Untrust Us

The Rumble Strips - Alarm Clock (Sportsday Megaphone's Stereo Adventure Remix)

I'm off to Le Leeds tomorrow for birthday shenanigans/liver abuse, there may be a French hip-hop post on Sunday but don't hold yer breath.

To the Australian readers: How's the weather down there? I've got a friend who's travelling down the east coast in typical student fashion, give a holler if you see him. Goes by the name of Paul. So far Melbourne is winning in the 'Who is the furthest visitor to my blog in terms of miles' competition that i've been silently running in my head since setting Sitemeter up. Any NZ challengers? Closest so far is Bradford, big up!

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Monday Chiller 7# - Caustic Window...

One of Aphex Twin's many monikers, the Caustic Window LP Compilation is for the most part a journey through some very dark and twisted electronica. Thumping bass and techno beats provide no respite, apart from track 4 Italic Eyeball which lays out snappy drums and a rippling, rolling bassline under a breathless vocal and pied-piper style synth melody.

Caustic Window - Italic Eyeball

For a taste of the darkside try the unrelenting squelch-fest that is album-opener Joyrex J4. Listener discretion is advised: may cause eyeballs to melt on repeated listening.

Caustic Window - Joyrex J4

Phew i'm off to listen to some whale song. And... relax. Actually, have you heard that shit? Sounds like dinosaurs having sex. Maybe some Sigur Ros then. D'oh! Sounds like whales having sex.

Find out more about the Window/Twin at Discogs or buy the LP at Boomkat

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Liz Green preservation society...

Liz Green - Bad Medicine
Liz Green - Midnight Blues
Liz Green - Blue Note

There's a musical revolution going on in Manchester, and Liz Green is a big part of it. She brings style reminiscent of Nina Simone and Moby (I hear it) to her lo-fi finger-picking blues ramblings and from the first 10 seconds of Bad Medicine I was hooked. With influences ranging from Captain Morgan's dark rum to Anticon and Dolly Parton, homegirl has my vote.

She won the chance to perform on the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury today, made even more remarkable by the fact that she hasn't even released a single yet.

Get into this before everyone else starts taking notice and Ms. Green's all over the Hype Machine. After Glasto Liz will be performing a few dates around Manchester before going on tour with George Thomas in the UK.

Check the myspace for more or hit up Humble Soul records.

Icky Thump, Thump, Thump, Thump...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Volkswagen, Solaris, and Dylan Thomas...

Have you seen this ad?

It doesn't matter that it's a car advert, the piece is a work of art in itself. It's heavily influenced by Steven Soderbergh's Solaris, which is a remake of the 1972 Russian film Solyaris. Both are based on the original novel by Stanislaw Lem. The voice-over is a passage taken from the Dylan Thomas play for voices Under Milk Wood, read by Richard Burton, and the music is Don't Blow It from the Solaris soundtrack, composed by Cliff Martinez. Pure knowledge.

Cliff Martinez - Is That What Everybody Else Wants
Cliff Martinez - First Sleep
Cliff Martinez - Don't Blow It
Cliff Martinez - Wormhole

The music stays fairly minimal throughout and an eeriness pervades the chimes and strings that makes me want to keep one eye looking over my shoulder as I listen to it. Wormhole is especially spine-tingling. Great for chilling out or giving yourself the fear, depending on what mood yer in.

P.S. If anybody has Lux Aeterna by Clint Mansell can they wing it my way please. Ta.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

New Shakes yeah?...

I can feel it, Shakes are building up steam in good old Blighty and across the pond in the America. One new tune fresh out the box titled Day Like Today and a remix of Datarock that you can find at their new remix space here along with others by Goodbooks and MSTRKRFT.

Shakes - Day Like Today
Datarock - Fa-Fa-Fa (Shakes Remix)

Hoooo! Justice Essential Mix...

As your attorney I advise you to head over to Pound For Pound, download the recent Justice essential mix and thank the fellow profusely for bringing such good stuff to your ears. Go!

Dancing monkeys...

So the debate rages. Is it dance? Indie? Post-rave industrialised pop with a bleeding heart and a shank in its pocket? Don't ask me. Alls I know is it's good music. Well no, it is dance. All you Chemical Brothers fans (no thanks) will be dissapointed with the album's lack of crossover appeal but anyone who likes a good old mashup party will be dribbling with excitement about the veritable buffet of tunes on offer.

With all the attention Simian Mobile Disco have been getting from the bloggers I was a bit worried that there wouldn't be much fresh stuff on the album. Not to worry though, the ex-simian team of James and James throw up plenty (good) new tracks alongside the likes of future classic Hustler and the SMD alternative to Justice's D.A.N.C.E., It's The Beat.

Plenty of thumping bass sets the tone on opener Sleep Deprivation, maybe an odd choice for the first track but it definitely sets the Simian stall out early - this is heavy stuff, better get some good speakers. Other standout tracks include I Believe, a premium hands-in-the-air banger that is gonna be a favourite on the festival circuit this summer. Continuing the hippy vibe from this weeks Monday Chiller, Love is a twanging bass mission that spells (s.p.e.l.l.s.) out that really, love is all you need. Aww. Maybe SMD haven't quite left their indie roots behind completely. A special mention goes out the speaks, squelches and squawks that infest this record. Thankfully i'm a big fan of synth madness, otherwise it could get annoying.

All in all I really like this album and I think the boyos have done a good job in treading the thin line of classification that sees other groups relegated into pigeonholes like new-rave. (Damn, so nearly got through without mentioning it).

The tracks here do a good job of getting across what the album is like, and hopefully haven't already been posted to death.

SMD - Tits & Acid
SMD - Hotdog

SMD - Love
SMD - I Got This Down

Attack Decay Sustain Release was released yesterday, so why haven't you got it already?

Monday, June 18, 2007

There's a ghost in my cherry what am I gonna do?...

What's going on with Cherry Ghost? I first heard of him via the Jools Holland last year but now the song People Help The People is being fired at the wall all day on BBC radio, someone's really hoping it sticks. Check out the performance and this obligatory myspace link to find out more.

The Monday Chiller 6#...

Lavender Diamond - Like An Arrow

I get sidetracked easily. I was supposed to write about Lavender Diamond's debut album 'Imagine Our Love' last month before its release but, as with other post ideas, I never quite got round to it. But wait... Aha! The Monday Chiller, perfect.

If you really wanted to get into what Lavender Diamond are about and what their manifesto is, you would find out plenty about the 'friendship revolution' and all sorts of talk that owes a heavy debt to the vibe of the 60s and 70s. However if you're all about the music then you would do right to think of words like uplifting, heartfelt and charisma to name but three.

Led by golden-voiced singer Becky Stark, this Los Angeles four-piece have crafted a beautiful album full of pop songs (chamber-pop is a bad name for a genre), full of shimmering tambourines, deep drum beats, soaring melodies and lyrics about love, peace and friendship. It's good to see that the hippies never died out completely. It's not all flower-power though, Like An Arrow is a hypnotic piece of music with layers intertwined with layers and a P.H. phat beat.

Two other songs off the album for your listening pleasure:

Lavender Diamond - Oh No
Lavender Diamond - Here Comes One

Find out more about the LD on myspace or at their offical website

Saturday, June 16, 2007

It's the song what makes it...

Shocking Blue - Send Me A Postcard

After a few days of frustration with Fileden i've succumbed to Z-Share and it's evil ways, hopefully Fileden will sort itself out soon so I can get back to sharing files the easy way.

This post marks the beginning of a series that aims to highlight classic sections from both rollerblading and regular films that have been positively augmented by a song. In this case we have one of the best rollerbladers in the world, Alex Broskow, busting his ass to the sounds of Shocking Blue, who among other things are responsible for the original version of Venus, which Bananarama later covered to shocking effect.

Anyway have a watch and see what you think. The song and the video are both great in their own right but together they are awesome.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Posting in the dark...

I found the new Editors album floating around on the interweb recently and as yet haven't listened to it. I'm not even sure if I want to. They performed on Jools Holland last week and put on a really good showcase of what they can do and seemingly what they're all about. If only the lead singer didn't look so strained (like he's thinking 'Yow man I really want to sing this song but I also right need a shit'). I think I have to be in the right mood to listen to their music, as at times it can seem epic, doom-laden and important, but other times I wish they would cheer up a bit and stick to the more upbeat sound of songs like Blood from their first album.

It probably doesn't help that i've been moving away from real bands recently and getting into the whole synth-pop, electro and acid-jazz/mash-core movements (see Venetian Snares, Dead Disco, Cryptonites, entire Ed Banger stable).

So in lieu of having to make up my own mind about An End Has A Start, i'll post a few tunes from it and depending on the feedback/comments from readers of this blog I might give it a shot. I'm going purely from titles on this one.

Editors - An End Has A Start
Editors - Bones
Editors - The Racing Rats
Editors - Escape The Nest
Editors - Well Worn Hand

Next post will be about the Simian Mobile Disco album which I have actually listened to (pretty much non-stop since getting it) and asking the question: better than Justice? It's gonna be close.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Monday Chiller #5...

While the rest of the world is talking hard about The White Stripes, i'm gonna post a little tune by The Black Keys, another American blues-rock band that started to recieve recognition only a few months after people took interest in the Stripes. It's fair to say that so far they have been overshadowed by their colour-coded counterparts in terms of a mainstream audience, but to those fans who know the truth, they are one of the hottests bands out there. This track is taken from their 2006 album Magic Potion and if you like it then maybe you should invest in their back catalogue instead of Icky Thump. Just a thought.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Here's an Example just a little sample...

Aidan requested some hip-hop for summer so I thought i'd get on the Example bandwagon and stick these tunes up. Snow Day posted one of the tracks off his We Didn't Invent The Remix mixtape a while back and I liked it but didn't delve any deeper. Then I saw the lad on BBC 2's Culture Show and thought 'Yeah, good stuff. This boy could be on to something.' He's got a tight flow and some comedy lyrics, as well as dropping some knowledge about Chernobyl on this documentary made whilst making the video to What We Made.

Example - Who Needs Sunshine?

Example - You Can't Rap

Example - Toxic Breath

Video for Who Needs Sunshine? - Example randomly decides to parody the cult Monkey series in this video which was all filmed in one day in London and contains scenes of comedy townie-bashing.

The single I Don't Want To is released June 11th on The Beats record label.

Example also has a string of dates around the country this summer (as well as some gigs) including The Beats Tour featuring el Skinner and Mitchell Bros, kicking off on July 24th in Inverness, Scotland. Hopefully i'll make it to the Edinburgh date on the 27th. See you there.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Monday Chiller #4...

Lismore - Come Undone

I would recommend listening to this song while travelling, preferably in the rain. The insistent beat and ethereal vocals lend themselves so well to thunderstorms or journeys across frozen landscapes, as seen above. If you have no plans to go outside today then simply stare at the picture and let the track do all the work for you.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

New Hostage tune...

Hostage - Sick

Go to the Hostage myspace for many mixes, tunes and a great remix of Cold War Kids' Hang Me Up To Dry.

What I really like about that picture is the double-barrelled nose vom, it adds a certain je ne sais quoi to proceedings.

Jam yer Unkle...

I Love Ya video - Check the crazy posturing on this, dude with the white shades is jerking it right out.

What Am I Fighting For video - Future mentalism in the darkness.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Word to your mother...

Word magazine are responsible for one of my favourite ever CDs, a free compilation that came with one of their issues back in 04 and opened my eyes to some great new music. I had forgotten about it for a while but yesterday I was thinking about Nick Cave and his performance with Grinderman on Jools Holland, which led to 'where the hell is that amazing CD I used to have with Nick Cave and a multitude of great artists on it?'. So here are the best songs off of the disc I got for free and am passing on for the greater good.

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Easy Money

Many people would kill for melodies like these. Many good songs have been written in prison.

Sondre Lerche - Two Way Monologue

Jaunty indie from a fellow who was on Marc Riley's show on 6music this week. Go listen again if ya likes it.

Paul Weller - Early Morning Rain

Go on Weller! One of his best songs since The Jam, dude sounds like he's trying to be Bruce Springsteen and succeeds in writing something better than old Brucey ever did. This is the one. too right.

Groove Armada - Little by Little

Sounding more like Zero 7 than the radio-friendly Groove Armada i've come to hate, my anger that The Armada even exists subsides slightly when I hear these beats. Barbecue-perfect.

Robyn Hitchcock (with Gillian Welch & David Rawlings) - If You Know Time

Shimmering acoustic folk with an eastern tinge thanks to the guitar work. Let this one soak in.

The Bees - Wash in the Rain

The ever-excellent Bees do it again with a great uptempo singalong song. All together now, wash in the rain!

Sons and Daughters - Awkward Duet

This song prompted me to buy Sons and Daughters second album which in turn prompted me to buy the first. They had me hooked, and they're from Scotland which is always a bonus. I'm gonna stick this on repeat for a while.

The Handsome Family - Gail with the Golden Hair

Time for a bit of oldschool country now, get some wheat in yer mouth and sit on the porch reminiscing about love ones lost and chances taken.

The Honeymoon - Passive Aggressive

Oh man this CD just keeps on giving, it would be my desert island disc no doubt. Ethereal melodies abound on this beauty.

The Concretes - You Can't Hurry Love

It's like the lady says. Bouncy indie-pop with horns, drums and singing aplenty.

Adem - Everything you Need

If there is one unifying theme to these songs it would be that each has a great melody that really hooks the listener in and enables you to either sit there humming along or get a little deeper and check the equally as amazing lyrics. Adem ain't no slouch, he's got the hook(s)up too.

Sorry about the brief descriptions on each track but I can't be arsed to sit here and pontificate all day. Tell me what you like or don't like about these songs, and how's the new Hermit? My photoshop has died so it's a work in progress but so far I likes it. Blue is the colour eh.