something for the weekend.

August 31, 2007

On the street where you live girls talk about their social lives
They’re made of lipstick, plastic and paint, a touch of sable in their eyes “

haha, brilliant – andthey look so funny! Bon Jovi rule! Oooooo… she’s a little runaway…

J.

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something for the weekend.

August 24, 2007

devo girl u want

Absolutely brilliant video. Girl U Want is definitely coming on here soon too… Oh, and they’ve got a new song too I think, Watch Us Work Out, that’s really really good.

J.

mind over time…

August 20, 2007

interpol, koko


INTERPOL are a very emotive band.

There’s no doubt about that in my mind; Turn on the Bright Lights, Antics and now Our Love to Admire are all filled with songs of loss, love, joy, aggression… well in my mind, everything’s there, I’ve played those records to death.

But unfortunately, there’s just not enough. I become desperate to hear every track with bands I love, I obsess, I hunt them down. Even hunting down obscure tracks on soundtracks to shows like Six Feet Under (Direction, it’s all right).

But why?

Because there just aren’t that many bands that can provoke reactions within me like Interpol can.

So when Love to Admire came out, the first thing I had to do was hunt down any B-sides. I found the Mammoth instrumental version, and then I heard of a song that featured as a b-side to the Japanese release of the album…

Mind Over Time
(seven days only…)

This is beautiful. It’s gorgeous, somehow even managing to get away with Jean Michel Jarre-esque synths in the background. They just enhance the song.

But what makes this song so marvellous to me is beautiful lead in and lead out. The dynamics of the song is just perfect. I think the middle section where it seems to rock out, while still pondering about the meaning, it quite sounds like Idlewild’s last title track on The Remote Part. But that’s all right, I like that song too…

It sticks with you. This song resonates in head after it’s been played. I must press repeat.

Enjoy,

J.

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something for the weekend.

August 17, 2007

something for the weekend.

August 10, 2007

I never even thought that a band called Clap Your Hands Say Yeah would inspire so much clapping. That is so ludicrously dumb.

Anywho, this band were undoubtedly one of the best things I saw at Benicassim or FiberFIB or whatever it’s called. Absolutely outstanding.

In all fairness, this isn’t even a bad video considering someone shot it non-professionally.

I’m so glad they delivered. Amazing band.

melody day…

July 29, 2007

caribou_ampitheatre.jpgDan Snaith is an absolute genius. Under his moniker, Caribou (previously Manitoba), he has made four outstanding records, particularly with 2003’s Up In Flames.

Later this Summer he releases his latest effort, the nine-song Andorra. Now Snaith seems like an impulsive kind of guy when naming songs and tracks so perhaps this is not a concept album about the miniscule country bordering France and Spain. Or is it? Who knows, and who cares when the music is this good.

So far I’ve managed to rip a considerable number of tracks off the net in advance and I absolutely can’t stop listening to them. The integral song, or the one that a few people might hear is first single (out now) Melody Day. It sounds like a ’60s dreamy pop record put through the grinder by a band of drummers.

And that’s where Snaith stands out even more. On every record, the percussion is always aboslutely amazing. See, what I love about Caribou is that the records are layered, not chucked in, but carefully layered until there are hundreds of sounds on each track. Each time you listen you hear something gorgeous and new. One time, I remember listening to one track of Up in Flames in bed and hearing a frog croak or something.

So buy it, go and see him in Kingsland Road, EC2 on August 2 (I forget where) or see him in Dalston at Barden’s Boudiour, 38-44 Stoke Newington Road, on September 5 (I have no clue what to expect but can’t wait). He’s hardly ever over here (Canadian) anyway, it’s really cheap. He doesn’t seem to get much press but it’s some of the most phenomenal music I’ve heard. It’s magnificent. Oh, and all of his family, including him all have PhD’s in maths or something. That’s great work really, even if I do hate maths.

Enjoy the most beautiful song of the summer…, J.

Melody Day.

This was possibly tune of the Glastonbury weekend for me. This band don’t pretend to mean anything, they’re not amazing musician’s but they are so fun to see live. After Astoria, when I heard they were at Glasto, I had to go see them.

If you like CSS, or Cansei der Ser Sexy, check out Lovefoxxx’s flickr page of them on tour etc or the band’s main flickr page

J.

83_joshhomme_l081105.jpgJosh Homme (from Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss, Desert Sessions, Eagles of Death Metal and other brilliant things) always makes me chuckle when he does interviews…

Pitchfork: When’d you start to play drums?
JH: I’ve been tapping on tables and chairs since I was little. [laughs] I got into guitar because no parent will buy their eight-year-old kid drums, unless they’re divorced and trying to get back at their wife. You know what I mean?

JH: Banks are kinda cool, you put some money in there. It should be kinda vaguely sexy, but it’s not.

His psyeudonym for some recordings has been Carlo Von Sexron (I laugh everytime I read this)

NME (on Eva Vulgaris): “Mentally, it’s the gnarliest Rubix Cube I’ve ever worked on”

KTVU.com: “And with the music industry the way it is with downloading, to ask artists to play for free … I might as well skip through the English countryside with a flute. One of the things about my generation is that there’s this punk rock guilt where people don’t know what they’re worth and they’re embarrassed to ask for anything for what they do. And that’s something that we need to get over. I don’t need to be the Sultan of Brunei, but at the same time, would you get your hand out of my crotchpouch please? Or at least be sexy about it.”

KTVU.com (on playing a Rock Honours show): I wrote ‘G-U-N-T’ on my arm during our performance at ‘Rock Honors’, because it’s an uncensorable word. Censorship isn’t about intent, it’s just about words that we universally agree are bad. Since ‘gunt’ is uncensorable slang, they actually focused in on my arm. A friend of mine was standing right behind Sharon and she said “Gunt? What the hell is that supposed to be?” I heard that and thought “My work for the day is done.”

Recoil Mag (on the band’s biography that goes out to journalists in advance): “That bio was written by Black Jesus of The Dwarves, and I think he’s bitter because they never asked him to be on the Warped Tour. We just told him, ‘Would you please write a bunch of lies and inflammatory bullshit about us in our bio just to make it more entertaining?’ And he obliged. And to be honest, he read it to me over the phone once, but I’ve never read it myself.”

I really wanted to collate more of these, because I love the guy’s wit, but time (and lunchbreak) is up…

Have a free song, a bonus track from the sessions for Era Vulgaris. A cover of the classic Billy Idol song…

Queens of the Stone Age; White Wedding

(have I nicked that link? You bet I have… Sorry! Oh, and click through to it, don’t right click as I’m not hosting it!)

J.

Too many YouTubes? I can’t particularly write right now. Observe and listening seems easier, too much going on… it’s exciting.

Found this atmospheric, black and white piece that was made by a few people, then posted on YouTube.

Here’s how they put it…

Final version of a video shot to Interpol’s “Hands Away.” Directed by Andy Bruce; starring Taylor Patterson. Serapolis.

Anyway, have a look, I like it.

J.

again and again…

June 4, 2007

J.

It’s funny how people trigger memories, things forgotten and left in your nogin. They sit there, just waiting to be remembered and blared into your headspace, whenever you should begin to recall them.

One I’ve recently had is a song from a band I don’t even really know, or own any of their albums – Elbow. They crafted four minutes and forty-eight seconds of absolute beauty back in… (just go look it up… patience…) 2001 with a song called ‘Scattered Black and Whites‘. It appeared as the closing track on ‘Asleep in the Back‘, which had a lead single, ‘Any Day Now‘, which I’m sure a few people remember.

Anyway, this song is absolutely gorgeous. It is an absolute triumph of colour and timbre to suit a lyric. Beautiful. The ‘scattered’ feeling is immediately conveyed from the brushed drumming, but I think it’s the piano in the song that makes me want to cry. Or at least curl up and fluff the pillow.

Now, I don’t think I can store mp3s on here, but I did a search on elbo.ws and someone posted this song on their blog just 31 hours ago. Amazing. Someone’s thinking of the same song! To download the song, go to this blog here…. 

People and memories triggering reactions, brain processes that can spark off memories of the past; assessment, nostalgia.

A tool for this is Facebook. It’s so popular nowadays, it’s almost unreal. Everyday a different person from the past comes back into your life. Some things great, some things shit, but so’s day-to-day life. ‘Confirm, deny or reject‘ – the choice is yours.

Now a lot of people bang on about how they don’t want anyone seeing ugly pictures of them online, or let anyone ‘iStalk’ them, bosses etc. etc. etc. I pretty much allow everyone to be my friend; if someone puts up a horrible picture of me and tags it for the world to see (insert pic here), well, then I guess it’s my fault for posing in the first place. It’s me. It’s actually what you look like.

I don’t know, I shouldn’t slate people just for thinking it’s rubbish or imposing. It probably is both those things. Each unto their own. But if you want to, just do it. What the fuck does it matter anyway?

In years to come, I’m sure that there’ll be stuff about you on there anyway, only this time, you won’t get to control the flow of information.

J.

burn my shadow.

May 29, 2007

Actually quite excited this lunchtime; there’s a new UNKLE album coming out that I completely wasn’t aware of. I don’t think it’s out for a while, but the first video from it is quite nicely weird and features some guy from ER. Once you see the clock, you almost have to listen to the end of the song; good idea from the marketing peeps…

J.

UNKLE – Burn My Shadow

staring at the sun…

February 28, 2007

Since I posted about Nine Inch Nails, I keep on listening to the Downward Spiral and the Fragile. They’re amazing LPs, NIN are just dismissed by a lot of people but as albums, as pieces of art, I just think they work so well.

Anywho, while I was on YouTube (legitimately for work I might add), I stumbled across the video below. The song, Sunspots is from With Teeth, the most recent album (until a month or so’s time when Year Zero hits). Admittedly Sunspots is not my favourite NIN track but it works so well in this context. The creator, rjgfoundry, whoever he is, has edited a Mars pathfinder animation to the song with great skill and aplomb. Listen to the song’s development and rhythm and it works really well with the video.

I think it’s worth 4 mins or so.

J.

Ok… so I know Nine Inch Nails isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I think this is very interesting from a marketing POV and use of the Internet.

Their forthcoming album, Year Zero, is going to be concept album set in the future about the end of the world, with a bleak vision of the United States, its military and the way in which it treats citizens – drugging the population on two substances, dependent on who they are.

Trent Reznor (who is Nine Inch Nails and controls musical and artistic direction) has always been involved with the Internet, running a detailed blog for registered users of NIN.com, the band’s website.

Currently on tour, Reznor has started deliberately leaking a few of the new album’s tracks, leaving them on Flash Drives in the venue’s toilets. So far this has happened in Lisbon and Madrid. Naturally, these tracks have appeared on the Internet to fans. This is not all.

Parallel to this, fans on the website discovered that the latest range NIN merchandise had highlighted or marked letters on it, spelling out “IAMTRYINGTOBELIEVE”. Someone then tried this as a website…  http://www.iamtryingtobelieve.com/

You need to highlight the text in order to read it on the sites.

The fan section of the official website then discovered further related sites to the original…

http://anotherversionofthetruth.com/  (which features a faked forum and audio clips) – highlight the picture and draw over it, more will be revealed
http://105thairbornecrusaders.com/
http://www.consolidatedmailsystems.com/citizen_unknown/
http://bethehammer.net/
http://churchofplano.com/
http://www.uswiretap.com/71839J/

These websites suck the reader into this world, there is even the mention of a hand – known on the album as ‘the Presence’ – that comes down to earth from above.

This “alternate reality game” (as it’s called on Wikipedia) was designed by the same group who make the computer game, ‘Halo’.

It’s definitely a unique marketing campaign that’s attracted a good amount of interest in America.

Reznor says this will be the first of two concept albums, so wait and see what the next viral marketing campaign will be.

Much much more on the details of this in this MTV article (very well researched… http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1552470/20070215/nine_inch_nails.jhtml)

J.

Scroll down and press play on the video. It’s just the song with one still image, listen & read.

Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. Nick Drake’s Place to Be is one of the most compelling and longing songs I’ve ever heard. One of my favs.

place to be. Nick Drake.

when I was younger, younger than before
I never saw the truth hanging from the door
and now I’m older see it face to face
and now I’m older gotta get up clean the place.
and I was green, greener than the hill
where the flowers grew and the sun shone still
now I’m darker than the deepest sea
just hand me down, give me a place to be.
and I was strong, strong in the sun
I thought I’d see when day is done
now I’m weaker than the palest blue
oh, so weak in this need for you.

Immense. Three chords and the mood of longing, melancholy suits the expressions of the words and Drake’s fragile voice perfectly. Admittedly, the romanticism associated with the now-deceased musician helps, but you just believe it’s true. It sounds like it’s his words, like he means it and this is him. It has soul.

It’s a popular thought that he speaks of his head at the start of the song. Drake goes from childhood innocence to adult knowing very quickly. In each verse; the first lines conveying innocence and exuberance (‘younger than before’/‘greener’/‘strong’) to darkness and knowledge (‘older’/‘darker’/‘weaker’). The juxtaposition of idealistic nature, then the ‘deepest’ and ‘weakest’ blues illustrate how far he has come from his youth. Each verse, Drake doubts his youth and sees the dark, he realizes ‘the truth hanging from the door’ and realizes the pain before him.

It’s the ‘place’, unknown and unclarified, that stays with. The longing for a place to be. The desire. To rest, be grounded and content.

The beauty of this song arcs higher with the proclamation that he’s ‘so weak in this need for you’. It is undefined, layering it with connotations. Is it a person? Death? Sanity?

You will never know; the song’s ubiquitous in its longing and desire for the ‘place’. Just hope he has it now.

ADDITIONAL: For gee-tar aficionados… go to here … where Robin Frederick talks about Drake’s unique take on finger work and song construction.

Listen and enjoy – x, J.

place to be

supporting scatman john.

February 15, 2007

Right, so I was reading Prefix, and then I saw this post… Awful Album of the Week: Scatman John ‘Scatman’s World’

I think it’s harsh. Yes, his album may have been made up of early-’90s-pseudo-trance disco-pop-rubbish but I don’t like the way they talk about the chieftain. They talk about him like he’s some kind of paedophile pop star. It’s so lazy.

The dude was an old jazz musician, with a stutter that embarassed him. He turned that around and with the help of some A&R music executives (you’re picturing them as evil henchmen now, aren’t you) reinvented himself as a perculiar popstar.

He deserves plaudits. Firstly (and maybe this should be an ongoing feature), who else has a better moustache in pop music. Second, watch his videos, the guy is so bizzare it’s amazing. His movements are mental.

If I’m honest, the thing that offends me more than anything is the bloke playing the trumpet in the Scatman video, when it’s clearly a synth. Oh, and the worst drum miming I’ve seen.

Praise the Scatman – give him a break. Actually he died in 1999, which is a shame because I was thinking it’d be great to get an interview with him now looking back. I wouldn’t get one, but it’s a nice idea. Shame.

The bloke was a hippie for the early 90s techno age; a prophet if you will…

“Everybody’s talkin’ something very shockin’ just to
Keep on blockin’ what they’re feelin’ inside
But listen to me brother, you just keep on walkin’ ’cause
You and me and sister ain’t got nothin’ to hide.
Scatman, fat man, black and white and brown man
Tell me ’bout the colour of your soul.
If part of your solution isn’t ending the pollution
Then I don’t want to hear your stories told.
I want to welcome you to Scatman’s world…”

Do you want to watch him now? Below…

RIP Scatman.

J.

Scatman’s World

Well… my mate Decanus tells me that he checks every Friday now that I’ve done two posts titled ‘Something for the weekend’, so it seems I may have to do this regularly.

Well, he loves Bowie too, so in honour of the great man, today’s two YouTube’s are two great Bowie songs. The first, Oh! You Pretty Things, is taken from a BBC performance on The Old Grey Whistle Test. Now I always thought this song was about parents and their children and generational change but after having a quick look at SongMeanings.net, some people have taken it a bit more deeply. Oh, it’s also about aliens. I haven’t been able to stop singing it for about three days now.

The Heart’s Filthy Lesson, the second video, is taken from his Outside albu. The video is cool and very weird. This was the stage when he was friends with Trent Reznor though… maybe that explains it… it’s almost like a Tool video but with posturing. Completely bizzare, I’ve only watched it twice, but I cannot understand the fucker…

J.

Oh! You Pretty Things

 

 

The Heart’s Filthy Lesson

 

who is Pop Levi?

January 28, 2007

 

who is pop levi?

the man has style

So last week, at the recommendation of my friend Neilus, I popped out to the WaterRats in Kings Cross to catch a gig. The show was Pop Levi, £7.

It was a while before he came on and two other bands, one with a beautiful lead singer, were on before. Then the lights dimmed, a red light washed upon the stage and Pop Levi, with his goatee and Liverpudlian mophead haircut, strutted onstage.

Now I say strutted, this guy has some style. He pulls some great air guitar faces and switches smoothly from low growl to falsetto trill easily. His music sounds like glam rock updated for this generation, little bit of Merseybeat swing to the rhythms. I was impressed, I liked the guy. Two singles, Blue Honey and the latest one, Sugar Assualt Me, they’re perfect sounding. Sugar Assault Me sounds like a nicely rounded gem of glam poppy rock that scratched into your head.

What happened when we got outside was cool too. Everyone needed to catch the tube home; all things to do tomorrow. I wouldn’t have minded staying; I was in a dancing mood but alas, away we went. So we strolled outside and who was standing outside? The Pop. So we introduced ourselves. His Merseyside onstage twang has faded slightly, his voice all sung out.
‘So what did you think?’
‘Well, I hadn’t heard a note until tonight, but I’ll definitely be downloading it when I get home’
Kind of a shit joke really.
Anyway, he laughed: ‘Cool’.

We said hello, Mikael talked about Ladytron (he was bassist before) with him, and Decanus took a beautiful picture. He looks bit weird though in it, but I like that. That’s Neilus in the centre, me on the right. If you meet someone whose music you like, it always helps if they’re not a wanker. caught the train home and the first thing I did was download some of his tunes. Of course, with Pop Levi’s blessing now, added into the equation.

Some artists, and I suppose I’m thinking of Bolan and Bowie here, I’ve always liked. You can’t quite put your finger on the appeal exactly, but it seems like they are stars. Sing brilliant songs. Pop Levi? The man has style, that’s a good start. I mean, look at his videos…

I’ll be buying his record tomorrow.

x, J.

Sugar Assualt Me

Blue Honey

something for the weekend.

January 12, 2007

The weekend’s nearly here and this week I’m hoping to get something out of my head. For the last three weeks I’ve been unable to stop an earworm – although admittedly a brilliant one – Hip to be Square by Huey Lewis and the News.

It’s ridiculous, I’ve even got it downloaded at work on my computer. Why this happened, Gawd only knows, I think it may have been seeing a few minutes of Back to the Future over Christmas and hearing Power of Love.

Then it started me thinking, what else is this song famous for?

In recent years, a very famous scene in American Psycho. This scene has an exceptional piece of dialogue that stays true to the original text. Now I love Bret Easton Ellis’ work. Maybe I should write about him next week, especially all the hullabaloo that surrounded American Psycho. I am a big defender of that book and its contents, but that’s for another time. First the brilliant bit of dialogue, then a nice clip…

“Their early work was a little too new wave for my tastes, but when Sports came out in ’83,I think they really came into their own, commercial and artistically. The whole album has a clear, crisp sound, and a new sheen of consimante professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. He’s been compared to Elvis Costello, but I think Huey has a far much more bitter, cynical sense of humour.
“In ’87, Huey released this, Fore, their most accomplished album. I think their undisputed masterpiece is “Hip to be Square”, a song so catchy, most people probably don’t listen to the lyrics. But they should, because it’s not just about the pleasures of conformity, and the importance of trends, it’s also a personal statement about the band itself.”

And so… something for the weekend to make you laugh? (or cry?)

Clip from American Psycho: