Thursday, December 28, 2006
Woo... what a fucking great Christmas. Usually, I'm not a big fan of it, but this year was great! I got a 'Nightmare Before Christmas' fucking TRAINSET! A TRAINSET MOTHERFUCKER! What do you think of that? How ill is that? I also got a vinyl organizer, a book about New Order, the 'Life Less Lived' Goth Box set, a Pete Doherty Warhol-eque print, some dope clothes like an Ecko hoodie and some shit like that.. and today I picked up an M-Audio O2 keyboard and some records from Ghostly International... so my goth-electronic-hiphop-indierock-loving ass is bursting at the seams with happiness...
THEN... just to make things a little cooler... I found out something MASSIVE today. My songwriting partner Sam and I are going to the Winter Music Conference in Miami this March... and with our badges we get free entry into the Ultra Music Festival.
GUESS WHO IS PLAYING AT THE ULTRA FUCKING MUSIC FESTIVAL?
THE FUCKING CURE DUDE!!! THE CURE!!! Can you believe that? I've spent my whole life obsessing over The Cure and now I finally get to see them (I was kicking myself for not going to the Curiosa tour when Interpol was playing with them... but then Tyler & I got to hang out with Carlos D from Interpol all night one night... and now I'm going to this, so I'm ok now!)... I couldn't be more psyched. It will be a little weird gathering amongst the tanned masses the week of spring break to see The Cure.. but it's still sooooooooooo fucking cool...
So in honor of how awesome that is I'm going to post some semi-rare Cure stuff. Semi-rare you say? Well first off I'll put up some stuff from the limited edition 'Acoustic Hits' cd that came with some versions of their 'Greatest Hits'... and then throw up a couple of extended mixes I copped a couple months back...
The Cure- "Boys Don't Cry (Acoustic Version)"
The Cure- "The Lovecats (Acoustic Version)"
The Cure- "Just Like Heaven (Acoustic Version)"
The Cure- "High (Acoustic Version)"
While you're at it check out this MTV Icons clip from 2004... watch and wonder how all these shitastic artists/bands (Fred Durst, Papa Roach) were still popular in 2004... Carlos D is in there for like 5 seconds, and the tolerable Marilyn Manson does the narration during their 'band story'
And part 2...
Didn't they do an MTV Icons programme for Janet Jackson's vagina? I know for sure this wasn't shown in the U.S... it's funny because during the 2nd half of this segment all the cool people (Placebo, Air, The Rapture) show up... why the FUCK would you start out with those other assholes.. because it's MTV... because it's MTV... *sigh*
Here's part two of my Cure extravaganza!
The Cure- "Close To Me (Extended Remix)"
The Cure- "Pictures Of You (Extended Remix)"
And just in time for tomorrow...
The Cure- "Friday I'm In Love (Extended Mix)"
Hopefully this gets you geared up for Ultra Fest... it is their first show in two years here in the U.S. you know! If anyone else is going make sure you drop me a line...
Thursday, December 21, 2006
I'm trying to get on top of this and be the first person to post this... I rarely feel that I've got any sort of inside track so I need to exploit this as fast as I possibly can! Given that, this will be a very short post because I want to get it up and stake my claim as one of the first people to post an album track from THE GOOD THE BAD & THE QUEEN!
Just in case you don't have the back story (or didn't see it the last time I posted that live track) here it is from Wikipedia:
Initially reported as a solo album by Albarn with Danger Mouse producing, NME revealed in late July 2006 that the solo project was switched to a new group formed by Albarn. The group, which consists of Albarn, The Clash's bassist Paul Simonon, former The Verve guitarist Simon Tong (who also played guitar during Blur's Think Tank tour following Graham Coxon's departure, and played guitar for Gorillaz on their "Demon Days" album) and Afrobeat pioneer and Africa 70 drummer Tony Allen, released and deleted their first single, "Herculean" on 30 October 2006 (see 2006 in British music). The single followed the band's appearance at the BBC's Electric Proms season at the redeveloped The Roundhouse in Camden on 26 October. Three warm-up gigs in East Prawle at the Pig's Nose Inn, Ilfracombes Marlboro Club and The Exeter Cavern Club preceded the Electric Proms gig. The second major gig of the band's career took place on 12th December 2006, at Wilton's Music Hall in East London. It was witnessed by 300 specially selected fans, as the launch gig of MySpace's The List. The band will release a second single, "Kingdom of Doom", a week prior to the release of their debut album, The Good, the Bad and the Queen in January 2007. The album was produced by Danger Mouse, and features songs about London.
The Good The Bad And The Queen- "History Song" YSI
How fucking stoked are you to hear this track? I know I've been waiting a long time... I'm a pretty big Blur/Gorillaz/Mali Music/Anything-Damon-Does fan so... I can't wait to hear the album.. tell me what you guys think!
I wanted to mention that you can preorder the album from 7 Digital, and if you do before 15 January, you can listen to 5 tracks off the album before it is released on 22 January! Which is pretty fucking sweet if you are dying to hear it. You can also pick it up at Amazon US or Amazon UK. To stay on top of TGTB&TQ news make sure you pop by their website and their Myspace.
Here's an extra parting gift...
Oh yeah... and if you wondered when the next single is out (because Wikipedia wasn't very clear) it will be officially released on 15 Jan, with the debut self titled album coming out a week later.
AND I ALSO WANTED TO MENTION I'LL BE POSTING ANOTHER TRACK FROM THE ALBUM IN JANUARY SO MAKE SURE YOU CHECK BACK! HOLLA!
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
OH yeah... how you like these apples. I've had a counter up for roughly 2 months (give or take a day) and I broke 20,000 hits this morning. That is totally mental to me... 20,000 hits in such a short period of time! Since I couldn't have done it without you (well I suppose I could have but that would have been pretty crazy) so I'm going to try to give you the BEST British "BEST OF" I can come up with! I haven't quite finished my list so instead it's just going to be a rough overview of the best bands/tracks of the year...
LET'S GET IT STARTED (shoot the imaginary stereo for playing BEP.. cause they suck... and WILL leave wet spots on your couch!)
I would say my favourite song of the year is probably "Boy From School" by Hot Chip... it's perfect mixture of Simon & Garfunkle melancholy and filter house grooves was the most amazing musical combo this year (next to Timberlake/Timbaland but that's another story... here's the Erol Alkan Rework...
Hot Chip- "Boy From School (Erol Alkan's Extended Rework)"
Then we have a track from The Streets... it's pretty obvious that "Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living" is going to make a lot of people's lists this year... but this track (which is an improvement on the already great original) will likely be overlooked...
The Streets- "When You Wasn't Famous (Professor Green Remix)
And of course Arctic Monkeys are the most important band of the year... the new 'Oasis'... and I don't need to tell you anything about them... here's a live one from KCRW!
Arctic Monkeys- "Fake Tales Of San Francisco (Live @ KCRW)"
I don't know a lot about Sunshine Underground other than the name is from a Chemical Brother's song... but they are pretty sweet.. here's a fun live track from the London Calling festival...
Sunshine Underground- "Commercial Breakdown (Live @ London Calling, Amsterdam 1.4.06)"
Guillemots (which I STILL do not know how to pronounce) wrote one of the most touching albums this year (in fact 'Trains To Brazil' easily will make it into my ten best songs of the year) and this is a beautiful b-side off their EP...
Guillemots- "Sea Out (B-Side)"
I wanted to post the video for "Trains To Brazil" as well... it's fucking awesome...
I know I mainly talk about Pete Doherty but his former partner Carl Barat, and his band Dirty Pretty Things, are just as relevant and just as exciting as the Libertines use to be... however without the drama that Babyshambles were surrounded by DPT were largely overlooked this year... and so was this bonus track at the end of their album... (if you buy the limited edition vinyl version this is on the bonus 7 inch.. sweet song)
Dirty Pretty Things- "B.U.R.M.A (Hidden Track)"
Ah the Kooks... my friend Lolly, who is mates with them, introduced me to them earlier this year just prior to the "THEY ARE FROM MUSIC SCHOOL" backlash... because of this I have no tainted view about them and really enjoyed their album... this is a wicked cover of Gnarls Barkley...
The Kooks- "Crazy (Gnarls Barkley Cover @ Radio 1 Live Lounge)"
...and speaking of covers, and speaking of The Kooks, Lily Allen hit both bases this year while taking the piss at the same time... after making a bunch of remarks on how worthless The Kooks were she went ahead and did this at Radio 1's Live Lounge as if to beat them at their own game... then to prove she was still indie friendly she dueted with Alan from The Rakes... game, set, match!
Lily Allen- "Naive (Kooks Covere @ Radio 1 Live Lounge)"
If you've been reading this blog you know I love dance music... and Klaxons were the biggest thing to happen this year in British dance music... this is a demo version of their cover version of the old rave classic 'The Bouncer' (that was a mouthful)!
Klaxons- "The Bouncer (Demo Version)"
Here is an AWESOME 2 part Klaxons performance... fucking ace...
This song is about a girl being raped and killed... I think... that's a bit dark for me so instead I just bop around not listening to the words.. works well.. you should try it... anyway.. Larrkin Love's skank funk was so successful they almost beat Babyshambles for the best white reagee influenced band this year! Here's a live rendition of the song from London Calling festival...
Larrikin Love- "Happy As Annie (Live @ London Calling, Amsterdam)"
Of course no 'best of' comp would be complete without the next Arctic Monkeys The View... they haven't quite taken the world by storm but you can TRUST they will be on my 2007 list as well.. these guys are going to take over the world.. and this song will help them do it! Here's a demo of their biggest track thus far... an homage to their friends the Wasted Little Djs...
The View- "Wasted Little DJs (Demo)"
The Fratellis are little lad rock-y for me... BUT I generally still dig them just because I like overly masculine bands with insane egos (Kasabian, Oasis)... and these guys have got that one nailed!
The Fratellis- "Dirty Barry Stole The Blackbird (B-side)"
Ahhhh... The Pipettes... the prettiest girls you've never met... this track was a refreshing step away from the norm with one of the most catchy choruses in 06... here's a live one from Radio 1's Blue Room...
The Pipettes- "We Are The Pipettes (Live @ Radio 1's Blue Room)"
...and why not just give you their super weird Austin Powers-esque video...
...and last but not least... my favourite midget Lady Sovereign... I think I already posted this but this is one of the songs that didn't make it to the album... I heard her do it live and it's a nice addition to any Sov collection (for all you completists out here)! This is actually from 2005 and got a 4 star review over at Pitchfork...
Lady Sovereign- "The Broom (B-Side)"
Actually here is sort of what that sounded like...
So that's that! I will (as I said) still be doing a 'best of list' before Christmas and will keep giving you more tracks from this years best artists until the 1st (if everything goes to plan)... so, thanks again for stopping by and PLEASE feel free to leave comments!
P.s. If we blow through a BUNCH of these YouSendIt links really fast I will throw some other sort of links up if you guys request them!
Monday, December 18, 2006
I've never used EzArchive before... but I'm being FORCED to because stupid fucking YouSendIt said that I've uploaded too much shit... fuckkkkkk thattttttttttttt... I'm helping make them money, so they can stop bitching! Anyway... I hope I did all this right... if not please leave me some comments or you guys are going to be the ones getting stuck with the dud-links!
So... I don't think I've done any Editors posts before. But I think they are fantastic... Heather and I went to see them this summer and they were fucking bonkers awesome. Funny story about that show too... Heather and I were hanging out downstairs in the bowling alley at the Magic Stick and who comes walking by but Mr Tom Editor himself. I walked up and said "I love all the covers you've been playing recently" to which he said "Thanks. My name is Tom" and shook my hand. I replied "I know your name!" and proceeded to bullshit about college radio for a couple minutes and wished him good luck. Then LATER (because I'm a real weirdo about having more than one contact in an evening with a singer) I had Heather run up and get his autograph while the crap opening band played. I was surprised no one else realized it was him, as he was in the audience. I was also surprised that it wasn't full... but then again I really really really like them so I have a high opinion of them and think they should sell out U.S. stadiums! Anyway... that was a cool night.
Hopefully the U.S. appreciation of Editors will get a little stronger with this new remix E.P. which looks as though it's going to be awesome. I haven't gotten it yet because I've been trying to deal with Christmas (the only purchase I 'made for myself', i.e. got my mom/dad to buy it, was the Ghostly Box over @ Ghostly International... how cool is that thing?) but I am going to pick it up soon. I'm super stoked about the other remixes that are being leaked to blogs to promote this EP, as there is a Pase Rock remix (of Five Deez/ Spank Rock fame) as well as Shy Child and some others. I have a couple of the leaked ones posted below.
Just in case you don't know anything about Editors (which is unlikely) here's a little info from AllMusic.com:
Neo-post-punk quartet the Editors formed in 2003. Originally dubbed Snowfield, the group comprised singer/guitarist Tom Smith, lead guitarist Chris Urbanowicz, bassist Russell Leetch, and drummer Ed Lay, all music technology students at Britain's Stafford University who relocated to Birmingham after graduation. A series of a well-received club dates and a single demo tape earned the Editors the interest of British labels large and small, and after a bidding frenzy the group signed to a revitalized Kitchenware, the venerable British indie once home to Prefab Sprout. Kitchenware issued their debut single, "Bullets," in early January 2005 and the record sold out in one day, earning comparison to the dark, dramatic sound of contemporary bands like Interpol and Bloc Party as well as ancestors like Joy Division and Echo & the Bunnymen. The Editors' follow-up, "Munich," made them darlings of the U.K. music press, and just weeks after their standout performance at the annual Glastonbury Music Festival, the band issued its third single, "Blood." Their much-anticipated debut LP, The Back Room, followed in mid-2005. "Munich" was reissued in January 2006, placing The Back Room in the Top Five on the U.K. album chart and earning the band a gold record. A joint North American tour with stellastarr* coincided with the stateside release of The Back Room in March. A Mercury Music Prize nomination followed in July.
Here's some "Munich" on Conan:
And here is the video for the same song:
So I went balls out here and posted EVERYTHING I had on one of my computers that was NOT on the Editors album (i.e. stuff I don't think anyone is going to be 'upset' that I posted). It isn't going to be up for a long time so get it while the getting is good. I will make sure to keep my eyes peeled for any of the new mixes as they come out.
Here's a b-side:
Editors- "Crawl Down The Wall"
Editors- "Crawl Down The Wall" EzArchive
Here's some stuff from KEXP:
Editors- "Lights (Live @ KEXP)"
Editors- "Lights (Live @ KEXP)" EzArchive
Editors- "All Sparks (Live @ KEXP)"
Editors- "All Sparks (Live @ KEXP)" EzArchive
Here's some covers:
Editors- "French Disco (Stereolab Cover)"
Editors- "French Disco (Stereolab Cover)" EzArchive
Editors- "French Disco (Stereolab Cover)" YSI
Editors- "Road To Nowhere (Talking Heads Cover Live)"
Editors- "Road To Nowhere (Talking Heads Cover Live)" EzArchive
Editors- "Road To Nowhere (Talking Heads Cover Live)" YSI
Editors- "Feel Good Inc (Gorillaz Cover)"
Editors- "Feel Good Inc (Gorillaz Cover)" EzArchive
Editors- "Feel Good Inc (Gorillaz Cover)" YSI
Editors- "Orange Crush (R.E.M. Cover)"
Editors- "Orange Crush (R.E.M. Cover)" EzArchive
Editors- "You Are Fading"
Editors- "You Are Fading" EzArchive
Editors- "You Are Fading" YSI
Editors- "Let Your Good Heart Lead You Home"
Editors- "Let Your Good Heart Lead You Home" EzArchive
An old demo:
Editors- "The Diplomat (Snowfield Demo)"
Editors- "The Diplomat (Snowfield Demo)" EzArchive
Editors- "The Diplomat (Snowfield Demo)" YSI
And some remixes:
Editors- "Camera (Rubber Bullets Remix)"
Editors- "Camera (Rubber Bullets Remix)" EzArchive
Editors- "All Sparks (Phones Remix)"
Editors- "All Sparks (Phones Remix)" EzArchive
Editors- "All Sparks (Cicada Remix)"
Editors- "All Sparks (Cicada Remix)" EzArchive
Editors- "All Sparks (Cicada Remix)" YSI
And last, but not least, an interview on AOL's Interface:
Editors on AOL's 'Interface'
Hopefully you guys dig all this stuff... sorry I haven't been around since that Bloc Party post.. seemed like you all dug it though... I was in the Top 5 on the Hype Machine almost ALL of last week... thanks for checking it out! You guys are the best!
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Yours truly (to the left) at a Bloc Party signing @ Intonation Festival 2006
Boy do I love some fucking Bloc Party. When this album leaked I was equal parts sad and excited. It took me quite a while to decide if I was going to review or post from it and I finally decided I would post... but not any new 'album' tracks. This is the second part of my review with all sorts of (non-album) awesomeness to get you excited. Let's start with a little video from the above festival...
And here's the video from that day @ Intonation Festival... it's actually pretty good quality!
As I've taken a more in depth look at the theme and the lyrics, it's become apparent that this is the 'grown up' version of the Arctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not... It deals with going out, getting fucked up, feeling great, having a good old time, and having to deal with the fall out afterwards. In fact, fall out is one of the main themes of this album... What happens after terrorist attacks? What happens when people feel displaced? Where do I belong NOW? Is there anyone here for me? Is any of this real? Is this really worth it? Can I go on? There have been a lot of albums tackling the day-to-day working class grind in 2006 but this album comes at it from a different angle. Is there hope after things (i.e. buses, buildings, brain cells, adolescence) are destroyed or disappear? I hope you guys enjoy my assessment and PLEASE feel free to comment!
Here's the b-side of the album...
7) Where Is Home?
This is another identity/immigration song starting out "Everyday, we are reminded, that this is not home for us..." adding to further the existential dread on this album a little more. I think this is quite a strong song on the second half, and makes good use of 'choir vocals' (like 'The Prayer') and stutter effects. This certainly isn't a hard sounding song, nor is it a light ballad... this is one of the songs that shows their new approach holds water. A driving beat with a tortured melody. (Btw I think this song is about Kele's cousin who was killed in a 'racist attack' and, OBVIOUSLY, how his family dealt with it).
This starts out with an intro that will remind you of 'This Modern Love' but to write it off as derivative would be silly... that most certainly isn't the case, because the moment the drums kick in and Kele starts singing "I/ I have decided/ At 25/ That something has to change" this song will wrap itself right around your heart. That is unless you hate Bloc Party. Because if you do I don't think this track is going to convert you... in short if you like them this song will captivate you after one listen on a pair of headphones, but people who don't like Bloc Party will site this song as being a weak link. And they will be wrong. If you ARE in your mid-twenties then lines like "After sex/ The bitter taste/ Been fooled again/ The search continues" will really resonate (especially if you DO live in the city)... but if you're a 36 year old surly music critic this shit will seem so far away and so opposed to your need for another 'Gang Of Four like' album that you will hate it. End of story.
9) I Still Remember
Bloc Party- "It Started In An Afternoon (Live @ Northumbria)" which is an early version of I Still Remember
Bloc Party- "It Started In An Afternoon (Live @ Northumbria)" zShare
This is a song about a love that could have been, and how if reminded Kele would still remember and it could blossom now... and that is a nice sentiment. Problem is this is one of the weaker songs on the album. Don't get me wrong, it's a pretty little song and will grace MANY mix tapes... but it just doesn't aim for (and hence doesn't achieve) the greatness that the rest of the album does. I think cursory listens to the album made people say it's front loaded because of this song. Because it doesn't have the depth or the experimental reach that the rest of the album does (I mean it's not bad, it good enough, but it should have been a b-side and it could have held it's own). AND it also drags down the song before it and the song after it....
This is the song that the LAST song should have been. It tackles adult themes saying "I love you in the morning , When you’re still hung-over/ I love you in the morning, when you’re still strung out", saying 'no, this wasn't a one night stand, I really care about you even after the magic of our booze and drug filled nights ends'. The lyrics on this song are fucking fantastic and show that even if a Bloc Party song is softer it can still carry a wallop. Anybody agree with me on this? Because this song is not fluff. It really helps the theme work as more of a story.
By this time, I will admit, you are probably saying "What's up with all the slow stuff, huh Bloc? You guys lost all the party on the first half of the album!" and I can't blame you. But listen close to the lyrics (just like on the last song) and you will appreciate how fucking great this song is. This album is a great album closer... especially since it's about killing yourself (and frankly we know their isn't anything more rock'n'roll than that right? lol). "If you want to know what makes me sad/ Well it's hope, the endurance of faith/ A battle that lasts a lifetime/ A fight that never ends" is a perfect description of a life led in too much quiet desperation seeking a final solution. These are some of the best lyrics they've ever written by a mile. Outside of one song this whole second half has been really emotionally intense and (I think) the better for it.
SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO what's my final assessment? I think this is a great sophomore album. I also think it's going to be a sort of Kid A sort of thing where people are either going to love it or hate it. Once again if you're looking for a direct descendant of post punk it's not here; this album has post punk influences but it's not just that, this has a lot more ambition than that. People who only really liked the really guitar driven Bloc Party songs will hate this album and talk it into the ground, whereas people who appreciate the bands vision and enjoy their more sensitive stuff will love it.
BUT, for all the nice things I've said about it, I think "Uniform" and "I Still Remember" are the two weak-er songs on here. It's not that they aren't good but, they just aren't as strong as the rest of them. "Uniform" and it's cock rock guitars I've heard 7 million times bore me to a degree but it's still a good song (however I think this is the track that the 'guitar' loving BlocHeads will dig; I will only deduct .5 for this) and "I Still Remember" does sort of seem like Laguna Beach fodder in comparison to "SXRT" (for which I will take off a whole point). But I think it's a fantastic album overall and I can't stop listening to it!
Final Rating: 8.5/10
(But it's a 10 in my heart!)
This is a track I'm REALLY excited to hear as a b-side... from what I've read in the official Bloc Party Forum this should have been on the album it's so good...
Bloc Party- "Blue Moon (Live @ Newcastle) which is the original title for a new song called "England"
Bloc Party- "Blue Moon (Live @ Newcastle)" zShare
Here's the original demo for "She's Hearing Voices"...
Bloc Party- "She's Hearing Voices (demo)" zShare
Speaking of old tracks here's a SUPER old Bloc Party video...
Here's the hidden track off of 'Silent Alarm' (which is the first track on the vinyl version)...
Bloc Party- "Everytime Is The Last Time" YSI
Bloc Party- "Everytime Is The Last Time" zShare
Here's a fucking wicked awesome remix from MSTRKRFT (who Heather and I got to see, after the Lady Sov show, @ Smartbar)...
Bloc Party- "Two More Years (MSTRKRFT Remix)" zShare
Bloc Party- "Two More Years (MSTRKRFT Remix)" YSI
Then while I've got your lust for 'Sensitive Bloc' going... how about that M83 remix off Silent Alarm Remixed?
Bloc Party- "The Pioneers (M83 Remix)" YSI
Bloc Party- "The Pioneers (M83 Remix)" zShare
And while you're at it... there's a BUNCH of recently arrived Bloc Party EPs over at eMusic for you to enjoy... from the 'Dimmakified' remix EP, to 'Two More Years' to the original 'Bloc Party EP' that I had Kele sign this summer... it's all there! And if you click on the link below you will make me some MUCH needed Christmas money!
Friday, December 08, 2006
There was (unspecified) time where I was at the lowest point in my life. Couldn't possibly get lower. During this time I was spending most of my time lying around reading and doing little else. While having thoughts of giving up on everything swirled through my head I called my dad and asked him to bring me some books. He brought me a stack of stuff by Brett Easton Ellis and I began completely immersing myself in them in an attempt to get my head away from where it had been lingering. During this time I read "Less Than Zero". Twice. In one day. Which is not exactly the smartest thing ever when you are trying to get your head away from complete and utter despair... however it is one of the greatest books I have ever read.
Apparently Kele from Bloc Party thinks so as well. The coked out, indifferent, opulent nature of the book has so obviously been reflected in the world around us in recent years. And after admitting (through very thinly veiled statements; i.e. he didn't say which drug he was taking) his drug use and new found love for dancing all night in clubs after the tour for 'Silent Alarm', it's safe to say he woke up one morning and saw the same retched qualities in himself that he hated about society. That's where A Weekend In The City was born.
The week of November 10th Bloc Party were forced to cancel their tour with P!@TD (thank god) because Matt Tong (their drummer) suffered a collapsed lung. As if that weren't enough, shortly after, their new album leaked WAYYYYYY ahead of time. A Weekend In The City is supposed to come out until February 2007. One has to imagine without Matt Tong's 400 Vicodin pills he got for his lung operation Bloc Party would collectively be jumping off a bridge right now... and perhaps metaphorically they are. Maybe in 2008 or 2009 (Jesus, are we almost a decade away from Y2K?) we will see the 3rd album from Whitechapel's art-rock heroes that is riddled in the other hard narcotic laced with wistful melodies and more hurt than their prior. But in the meantime we have this album to deal with.
I have struggled a LOT with this... do I post anything off the leaked album? How would I feel if someone did that to me? But isn't everyone else doing it? I mean in February it's going to be a moot point... everything will have already been said. The release of A Weekend In The City will be a true 'non-event'. However, I encourage you to buy it because they need your support. This could be a career crippling moment for them and they don't deserve that!
So in the end, I'm not going to post anything FROM the album... but I will post a demo and some live tracks from songs that are on the album. And I will give you a little review of this 'A Side' of this album... I will follow with the 'B Side' in a couple days when I feel more well acquainted with it...
Let's get started at the 'quick glance' review...
1) Bloc Party- "Song For Clay/Disappear Here(Demo Version)" zShare
This song is written (apparently) for the lead character in Less Than Zero. It talks about enjoying yourself at the expense of others and really let's you know that this album is wayyyy different from the last one. The super high falsetto is thin and frail, which would weaken the track if it weren't for the propulsive chorus that takes this song into the stars. By the time he's singing the book's maxim "People are afraid to merge on the freeway" this song is rocking out showing it's a really strong album opener.
2) Hunting For Witches
It starts out super glitchy and chopped up like 'Coat Check' by Soft Pink Truth, and then we get live drums that sound like a old school drum and bass loop... and then... WHOA... is this 'Crazy Train'? Because that's what the guitar sounds like (for those of you who magically aren't versed in that guitar lick, it's the one Lil John and Trick Daddy stole for 'Let's Go'... some of you just groaned because I wrote that, but remember, the whole world isn't full of music afficianados)! But as the song starts to warm up it's apparent they aren't trying to bite any one's style. This song is about as anthematic as a song that isn't a single can be (having said that it would not blow me away if this did end up being a single in the U.K... there is probably only one U.S. single and that will be #4). It's basically about nationalistic additudes towards immigrants and "terrorists".
3)Bloc Party- "Waiting For The 7.18 (Live @ Bedford)" zShare
Bloc Party- "Waiting For The 7.18 (live @ Coachella) YSI
Nice and pretty like a Christmas version of 'So Here We Are' at the beginning. We get more drum-and-bass drums from Matt Tong (that couldn't be more different than the last album) and it suddenly bursts into the chorus. It's a wall of guitars and rhythm which is a good contrast to the xylophone and other sprightly sounds in the verses. The last bit "Let's drive to Brighton on the weekend" sounds so fucking impassioned it's as though it's the request of a dying man in love. Funny bit with the birds at the end because this is without question a 'winter' track, but what the hell why not, it works anyway. As soon as I got up this morning I threw this on the stereo... that's how good it is.
4) The Prayer
The obvious lead single that also seems to obviously be about cocaine. "Let me outshine the moon..." isn't a request that most of us make when we plan to go out on a Friday night. I think most people are like "let this fucking zit go away", not "let me be a god"! The chorus which goes: "Tonight, make me unstoppable/ I will chop, I will slice/ I will dazzle them with my wit...", is easily the most engaging thing Bloc Party have ever done (unless you hate pop music in which case 'Helicopter' was the best they've ever done). It is a song that undoubtedly will be played in front of many bathroom mirrors, and in many car stereos in the way to the bar, from now until the end of forever. So fucking ace I CANNOT STOP LISTENING TO IT! Seriously... about 5,000 spins and counting... this is the one we played on the radioshow the other night...
5)Bloc Party- "Uniform (live @ Coachella)" YSI
The lyrics are this one are like the modern indie version of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'... JUST THE LYRICS PEOPLE! It's all about the internet keeping us together, MTV teaching you how to sulk and grow your hair long... (and says "We're so handsome... entertain us" which is why I draw the Nirvana comparison). The second half of the song is like an old Bloc Party song to a degree... however the new vocal harmonies, and the heavy metal/mid-90's guitars that weren't on Silent Alarm are here (the cock rock guitar solo right before the end is sweet!). Lyrics like "I could have been a hero" I've gotten so good at lying to myself, all my pain and honour is used up" and "I'm a believer I just need a cause" make this song. It's a damn fine one.
"You make my tongue loose" totally turns this into the makeout song on the A Side. It's a very earnest and heartfelt song that would go well (and probably WILL go well) in a scene from 'The O.C.' The strings and ambient noise underneath give this the dizzying romanticism it needs to be memorable It actually reminds me of the drumbeat from a David Grey song mixed with a British Smashing Pumpkins song... anyone else hear that?
Well anyway, I'll be back soon with a review of the B Side (the last 5 tracks on this album)! If I can stop listening to the A Side!
Speaking of b-sides here's my favourite one they've done... fucking brilliant...
Bloc Party- "Always New Depths"
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
So many new bands and projects splintering out of my favourite old bands... I can barely keep up... I'm sure you feel the same... so what's the answer? Let's try to get them all on one page. Well maybe not all! But let's at least get a couple on here.
If you read regularly you know that I'm a Babyshambles/Pete Doherty/Libertines obsessive first and a Joy Division freako second. It's not that I love JD any less, it's just hard to get psyched about a band that doesn't exist anymore. I mean, I know there's New Order but... I mean Morrissey and The Smiths are not the same thing yeah? You get me! I know you do... So, anyway, this news actually ties part of my 2nd (or 1st depending on what mood I'm in) fav band and New Order in with the aforementioned Smiths AND Stone Roses/Primal Scream... how you ask? Well the bass players from New Order, The Smiths and Primal Scream are getting together to play in a band called Freebass. Cheeky innit? It sounds kind of weird but really Hookie is known for his higher end bass and I actually think this will work out well. All they need is a singer. I personally nominate myself for the job (enquire about my contact info and I'll get youa demo tape guys!)...
A little Freebass bio via Wikipedia:
"Freebass is a band currently "under construction". The group currently comprises three bass players: Andy Rourke (of The Smiths fame), Peter Hook (from New Order) and Gary Mounfield (formerly of The Stone Roses and currently in Primal Scream). The indie outfit is currently writing songs, and has twelve that are just waiting for a vocalist. The band is looking for a new, young artist to fill the void on vocals.
The idea to make a band of three bass players came out on a drunken night, "All of the songs have three basses. Mani does the low part, Andy Rourke in the middle and I do the high bit", said Peter Hook in an interview, "it works out quite well". In the same interview, Hook also hinted that the band might go public soon, as soon as they get a frontman that is."
Now, obviously, I can't give you any Freebass... I'd get arrested and you might set yourself on fire... hahaha.. lame I know I know... but I can give you tracks from the bands they are from... feast on these gems!
First is my all time fav Joy Division song covered (technically) by New Order...
New Order- "Atmosphere (Live Joy Division Cover)
Then this heartbreakingly perfect live version of "Please Please Please..."
The Smiths- "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want (Mellow Live Version)
And then some rowdy shit from when Mani wasn't even a part of the Primals... but it's a good fucking song!
Primal Scream- "Rocks"
Ok ok ok.. here's a song where Mani playing bass makes all the difference in the world!
The Stone Roses- "I Wanna Be Adored"
There... Now were are on to the topic of a former band member and his recent solo project... I am talking of none other than former Blur guitarist (and apparent Milky hater) Graham Coxon. His most recent release Love Travels At Illegal Speeds has been released in the States this month and Stereogum was nice enough to post a couple songs and this little Q&A...
INSIDE THE ROCKER'S STUDIO via Stereogum
1. What is your favorite word?
2. What is your least favorite word?
3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
FRESHLY TILLED EARTH
4. What turns you off?
A SHODDY SENSE OF STYLE
5. What is your favorite curse word?
6. What sound or noise do you love?
QUARTER TIPS ON A ROUGH ROAD
7. What sound or noise do you hate?
WORKMEN CHIPPING PAINT OFF RAILINGS
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
TAILOR OR COBBLER
9. What profession would you not like to do?
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
"BETTER LATE THAN NEVER."
Graham Coxon- "Standing On My Own"
Graham Coxon- "Tell It Like It Is"
And of course (just as I can't do a Oasis post without mentioning Blur) I can't do a Coxon post without mentioning his former Blur bandmate Damon Albarn! The Gorillaz frontman is busy at work with his new band The Good The Bad And The Queen readying their first foray into the multimedia blitz... here is the info via MTV.CO.UK:
"Damon’s new band set to play MySpace gig…
Damon Albarn’s new supergroup, The Good The Bad And The Queen, will make their second major public appearance later this month for a special MySpace gig.
The band are Damon, The Clash bassist Paul Simonon, Verve guitarist Simon Tong and Africa 70 drummer Tony Allen, and the event is being held at Wilton’s Music Hall in East London on Tuesday December 12. Strictly limited to 300 tickets, the only way to be there is to add TGTBATQ to your friends (if you have a MySpace page that is!), and then answer a question about the band.
But don’t worry if you’re not one of the lucky winners - you can watch a recording of the whole gig from December 18 at www.myspace.com/thelist."
Here's a song from The Good The Bad & The Queen Fansite
The Good The Bad & The Queen- "Northern Whale (Live Acoustic)"
And then we have Radiohead-front-man-cum-solo-artist Thom Yorke will be showing up soon on a television show that will be available on... uhh... iTunes? I mean I know he wouldn't let Radiohead songs be on there because he didn't want the album to be broken up into individual tracks therefore ruining the continuity of the album (cough) but apparently he thinks it's a good vehicle for The Late Late Late End Of Days Party with Thom Yorke.... that's probably not the name... but that's what it should be called instead of From The Basement... too bad it's not a show that he is producing on his own.. that would be much cooler... like that's Radiohead 'Lying Mouth' DVD that was supposed to be a television show...
Once again via MTV.CO.UK
"The Radiohead man will kick off a new pay-per-view music show taking to the net-waves this Christmas…
A new music show that features no host and no audience will launch online on December 18 with Radiohead man Thom Yorke as its special guest.
The show, called From The Basement, is filmed in North London's Maida Vale, and will be broadcast through iTunes.
Without a host to guide them through, the producers are hoping the acts will enjoy the opportunity to take control.
The first show features Yorke, on piano, playing a live set from the new Radiohead album.
Despite Yorke enjoying his performance, he said his highlight was "…listening to Kieran [Hebden] and Steve Reid jamming as the tape started rolling."
Hebden, fof Four Tet and drummer Steve Reid feature alongside The White Stripes in the next show.
But don't get too excited as it won't be ready until Feb next year…
A spokesperson from the producers said: "I just want to see artist's doing what they do best ... perform. Not being an incidental feature in some magazine show and not being forced into embarrassed conversation."
So this is one for the musical aficionados amongst you, not the kind of people who take deep joy from watching the embarrassed conversation…
You can find out more info about the show at www.fromthebasement.tv..."
Here's some groovy stuff to keep you interested... well, hopefully I will be back soon to get you more music... make sure you keep checking for updates!
Beck & Thom Yorke- "I'm Set Free"
Thom Yorke- "Cymbal Rush (Live @ KCRW)"
UPDATE:Go over to Sneakmove to pick up a track from this show... it's called 'Videotape'... I didn't realize that Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich is the one who was doing this show! Read it all over there!
It is well established at this point that I am the most fanatic Babyshambles fan in the blogosphere. Nary a week goes by without me posting a Babyshambles/Pete related material. Why? Because despite setbacks they are still the most visionary band (and he, the most visionary poet in at least a decade) on the scene... hell, they ARE the scene! Did you watch that 'Janie Jones' video?
Anyway... the very very very nice folks over at Parlophone/Regal were kind enough to give me a track from the Blinding E.P. which came out yesterday in the U.K., today in the U.S. (via Capitol Records). I think most of us who are hardcore fans have heard all of these songs in verying degrees of audio quality but can easily say I think we are going to be knocked out of the park when we hear the whole E.P.
The track I got is the lovely 'Love You But You're Green' which has been lying around, for quite some time now, waiting to be committed to an actual physical release. I think it was smart to fill this E.P. with the best material they had lying around to silence the haters and they couldn't have picked a better song than this (or actually better songs *plural* than these). The song starts with the same type of summery shimmering guitar that made Van Morrison's 'Brown Eyed Girl' such a hit, and then gracefully stumbles into Pete singing about the contents of his heart with the honesty that have made every Shambles release so endearing. It's subtle and amazing and the new flourishes that have been added add more character to an already perfect song.
Babyshambles- "Love You But You're Green" off The Blinding E.P. WMA version
Babyshambles- "Love You But You're Green" MP3 version
UPDATE: I posted this yesterday but it didn't make it to the Hype Machine, therefore, no one saw it! Which is a shame because this is a good post! I'll throw it up again in hopes of getting this track out to more people! I've also posted an alternate mp3 version in attempt for the Hype Machine to recognize it... I'm going to have to take them down in a couple days so get it while the gettings good!
And here's the new video:
I'd write more but I just wanted to get this up for you to download... you can offically say "I heard it first at 'In Search Of Arcadia'!
Friday, December 01, 2006
Well boy do I have some treats for you! This is me making my first real attempt at holiday cheer this year. Generally I don't have any holiday cheer. Every single Decemeber of my life has been a wretched mess filled with complete and utter despair... I'm saying that I spend the other 11 months of the year dreading Decemeber... that's usually how much I fucking hate it. When people say "did you know the holidays have the highest suicide rate of the year?" I say "I'll toast to that!"... what an abysmal mess.
BUT THIS YEAR THINGS WILL BE DIFFERENT!!! I'm making a concerted effort to have a good December (and therefore Christmas) right off the bat. I've already put up the Christmas tree with the girlfriend... I've been looking around for gifts for people trying to figure out how I'm going to fit it into my budget... all sorts of good stuff! And now I make my best attempt as sending some of this newfound spirit your way... these aren't ALL Christmas songs but they are at least about December or something of the sorts!
This is a fucking jem right here... I'm sincerely hoping that this song alone shoots me straight to the top of the Hype Machine... I want you to hear it so bad I'll even zShare it up. Shortly before Bing Crosby died he did a T.V. special where David Bowie shows up to sing this little ditty with him. You gotta think of how wild that was. Seriously. Can you imagine your grandparents sitting around enjoying good old Bing and then 'The Man Who Fell To Earth' shows up? Pay close attention (as Bing Does) for the line about agents coming down the chimney. Fucking mental! The Thin White Duke is really at his most stylish here... boy do I wish I were David Bowie (he talked to me once... online... he called me 'darling' and said that I was very sweet... I was a member of BowieNet... what a dork am I)...
Here's the clip:
And here's the songs!
David Bowie & Bing Crosby- "Peace On Earth/The Little Drummer Boy" YSI
David Bowie & Bing Crosby- "Peace On Earth/The Little Drummer Boy" zShare
Here's another gem... I got this off someone who I think did a Xmas in July setlist earlier this year... I'm going to play this (and most of the rest of these) on my show tonight! This song is sweet!
Blur- "Wassailing Song"
Now I figured this slides right underneath the 'Brit' tag because... well, isn't C3PO a Brit? I think so... I think this is worth posting too... this is from the goofy old Star Wars Christmas album!
Star Wars Christmas- "Bells, Bells, Bells"
Here's the 2004 video update of "Do They Know It's Christmas?" featuring loads of people like Chris Martin and Joss Stone and Bono and Robbie and other fucking people who will probably never end up on this blog (I posted that Coldplay out-take a few months back... but then again I like them)... the two people I was SHOCKED to see in this were a) Dizzee Rascal and b) Thom Yorke? Is that him on the piano?
I don't have the song but I might try to find it...
And here's the original:
Then we have the famous "War Is Over" Christmas song of John Lennon's that is such a fucking tear jerker. That's fucked up innit? That we're still fighting a war this many years later with no sign of it stopping anytime soon? Let's prey that it's different next year...
John Lennon- "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)"
And here's the video for that...
Then I had to add this one last second... this isn't so much a Christmas song... but I used to listen to it a lot when I was coming home from school in Chicago (and every year after that for about 5 years) and just think about seeing all my friends and how everything was fucked up... specifically because of the line "It's good to know that you are home for Christmas/ It's good to know that you are doing well/ It's got to know that you all know I'm hurting/ It's good to know I'm feeling not so well"... anyway... doesn't this song sound kind of weird around 2:04? Like it's backwards? Didn't Nigel Godrich do this album? The Man Who? Did you know that by 2001, One in Eight households in England owned this Travis album? Fucking crazy!
Travis- "Writing To Reach You"
You guys are lucky that I didn't post "Goodbye" by the Spice Girls... that counts as a Christmas song doesn't it? It was a Christmas number one at least! Hahahaha... I should be back tomorrow... anyway while I'm on a roll I will leave you with this VERY loosely connected-to-the-topic track called "The 32nd Of December" by the greatest band in the world, Pete Doherty and his BABYSHAMBLES *zing*!!! And since I'm at it when not a song for the end of November as well!
Babyshambles- "The 32nd Of December"
Morrissey- "November Spawned A Monster (Live)
See you tomorrow!