07.02.2008. the whitest boy alive. electric ballroom, camden, london.

The Whitest Boy Alive

These boys have got it all. The groove, the melodies, the instantaneous desire to just start flicking your hip, you feel the people shout around you and you look at their faces. Her face, the smiles, the hands in the air, the high fiving with a brilliant enthusiastic group of Spaniards off their heads on mdma. the sheer, unbridled joy of the occasion. and suprisingly cool t-shirts (even if I did have to buy a large girls… oh dear… the skininess…)… listen to the video…

‘can you keep a secret?’

the Whitest Boy Alive are the bees knees.

They play at Koko in May on the 21st. [CLICKY THING]

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interpol, koko

Ok, for seven days only, here is one of the weirdest things I’ve heard for ages.

Interpol‘s new album, the excellent ‘Our Love to Admire‘, begins with a mournful, thoughtful song ‘Pioneer to the Falls‘. It’s brooding melancholy is set, before the song builds slowly, layer by layer, until a beautiful climax during the song.

Now, I don’t know but I am assuming – and hoping – that this version was scored and put together by Carlos D. Who, as I mentioned a month or so back, is also exploring his potential in classical composition and film scoring.

As b-side to their ‘Mammoth‘ single, I assume and hope it was him. Hear his glory for the next seven days only…

Interpol – Pioneer to the Falls (orchestral version)

Verdict?

Well, it’s not something that will end up listened to as much as other b-sides, or ‘pol album tracks, but I always admire someone who tries something different.

In all honesty, when it reaches the climatic parts, I think it’s excellent but I feel it lacks something when the chorus returns to each verse, I feel is slightly underwhelming. It lacks rhythm at these parts. I feel some of the horns at the start are distracting, but all the way through I think the woodwind colours are excellent whilst the song runs. I also have a problem generally with synthesised brass. They sound shit. If it isn’t synthesised (and I’m pretty sure it is, I’ve only listened twice to it so far) then it just sounds crap. really tinny.

Generally though, well worth listening and full respect for trying something new and expanding the reportoire. Although it’s not exactly going to be performed live… although that’d be an amazing thing for the BBC Electric Proms concerts. Hmmm…

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

my dear Glastonbury,

June 30, 2007

glastonbury mud
Oh, how I love you so. How I wait your call to arms, I delight in the knowledge that you’re around the corner, treating me to your music and madness and your temporary insanity.

You are certainly a challenge, but you make it worth every bit of effort I can summon from my skinbag of bones and blood. You eat people up, you consume them and spit you out. You put us out to the elements,  to withstand anything and everything the weather can chuck at us.

You should be painful, but you’re not.

Except for a little bit where  the dried mud pulled out my leg hair, leaving spotted bald patches on my legs. And the aching, and odd bowell movements from the Mexican place. Despite that, you’re (relatively) painless.

Anything can happen at Glastonbury. You could end up covered head to toe in mud, showering for the third time to get the remnants of the mud out of your nails. But you’ll always be fine.

You could end up lost in a fiery field in the dark, drenched with rain, no phone battery and no mates in sight. But you’ll always be fine. You could slip and crunch your ankle, falling to lay spread eagled in the  rain, mud and litter and piss. You could eat fatty, greasy food irregularly to fill your stomach with stodge and carbohydrates. By Sunday, you could almost pass for a wino with your beard and cheap wine bar booze*. But you’ll always be fine.

You could end up hitting on strangers, drinking wine (I quote, Morrison’s ‘GOOD SICILLIAN WINE’ in a box) from a plastic bottle, dancing to ‘Come Up and See Me’ next to a burger van in 12 inches of mud. You could end up using the same line each night: “Could you teach me how to dance in wellies?”**

You could get trashed on the last night and then be a little taken back when a scary 50ft clown comes up on the big screen at the Chemical Brothers mouthing “Do it again.”

But dear Glastonbury; as you consume us for the weekend, pulling your pilgrims collectively into your belly-town of fabric houses, marquees and mud, you give us something back. Spirit rises in your people; the rain may be cold and muddy, it may stick to me and become an effort to walk but it will not stop me having a good time. You are a challenge, and each person may approach you differently.

See, you could watch the Magic Numbers in the rain, in more rain, then briefly in a little bit of sun, and feel the smile come across your face when the lead singer looks out across thousands of people in front of the Pyramid stage and says humbly into the microphone, “Thanks for making my dream come true”.

You could see Fatboy Slim, in a dress, stripping to ‘Hot in Herre’ facing 500 welly-wearers, dancing monged in a medium marquee glamourously called a ‘Ballroom’.

You could end up sitting in a tipi, watching the cock dance of a half-naked mate and an old kaftan-clad hippy as they shuffle in their seat, smoke and unconciously (or subconsciously?) flash their willies at you.

You could laugh yourself into stitches when a mate tells you he was pissing hungover into a bottle in his sleeping bag and had too much for the vessel, hence overfloweth.***

You could aim to fulfil an ambition, to see a band that you’ve always wanted to see. But you also know that your stage of debauchery, not you, will define whether you’d get to see them (did: Manic Street Preachers, didn’t: Arcade Fire).

You could wake up in the morning, feeling horrible and form the logic that you can get wasted in order to feel better. And you always, most definitely do.

It’s the opposite to reality there. You communicate and (gasp) people are nice and friendly, they share their resources. They don’t look down at the ground, they look up and smile happy. Glastonbury is the opposite of the Tube.

Two guys even invited us to an ex-wife’s marital blessing at 6pm in the Lost Vagueness chapel. It could have been a lovely story – but unfortunately, you get drunk and forgot. It’s always, always, always the 7% pear cider.

You teach us one thing Glastonbury, reality just isn’t the same. People can’t wander around, getting wasted, watching music, doing what they like legitimately in the real world. The beautiful temporary meetings. Shame on them. But you adjust, you realise that real life isn’t so bad, it does have its good points – family, friends, toilets that don’t make you want to vomit, etc.

But I’ve been there before and I’ll be there again. I love Glastonbury. And I think it loves me too.

J.


*, **, *** (sorry)

glastonbury buzz.

June 19, 2007

Glasto

To everyone in the world who is going Glastonbury

…see you there!

BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ! Ludicrously over excited!

I am now on holiday for a bit…

J.

(picture impolitely nicked from my lovely friend, SoftLad).

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.

Seeing Interpol tonight. Should be three new songs from Our Love to Admire. CanNOT wait! More tomorrow (hopefully!)…

our love to admire

josh.jpgA WEEK or so ago, I fulfilled a six year dream. It’s taken me this long to let it leave my head and judge it properly. Maybe this comes off as too personal rather than informative, but tonight was most definitely personal.

Queens of the Stone Age, the magnificent ensemble fronted by Josh Homme, played a tiny gig in central London last week, at the infamous 100 Club. Apparently chosen by the band themselves, the venue was absolutely perfect; intimate, only a slightly risen stage and thin. My friend and I – Mikael – arrived early and decided to queue around 7ish. We met a lovely lass, Michelle, and her husband in the queue, chatted and eventually got in. We got a beer and then actually noticed where we were… and just how fucking small it was. Five or six people were already there, but there was only one place to go:

Right at the fucking front.

But first, some background. I love Queens. Never has such a band had a permanent groove. For years I’ve wanted to see this band and a while back, I got a ticket to a show. Unfortunately, (and not just personally here) the show fell on an awful day – July 7. Needless to say, Queens never played.

Josh and co came back later that year. They just happened to re-arrange the gig at a good venue, Koko in Camden, and even filmed it, along with another show. They made a DVD of it – you may have seen it. Unfortunately I was in Morocco travelling with my friend, Fatboy.

Since then, nothing. Until tonight.

I visit the Rekords Rekords forum now and again, check sites for Queens news and yesterday, while surfing NME for shitty news, I saw the most amazing thing – Intimate Queens Show. I went on, tried to grab tickets, and got fuck all. But I’m persistent.

About 600 F5 refreshes on my Firefox browser at work later… I had two from a resale. Mikael and myself were there. Nothing could stop us now. I had to skip a softball game at work – our debut no less, I know, not the ‘hippest sport’ – but it’s Queens. There’s no choice.

I nearly cried with joy and ended up banging on about it at work for hours. People probably told me to shut up about it. I would’ve realised.

Cut to 9pm, my legs are aching, I have a man’s hand in my back pushing and am wedged between the pushing mosh and the ass of the girl in front. I wish I’d bought another beer. Too late now. Lose the place.

So when they came out it was a huge peak, I thought maybe I’d overlike it. If I’d put out my arm, I would’ve been playing Josh’s guitar. Amazing. The guy is massive. And so it began.

Misfit Love nearly blew my head off and that was the first song, it was forceful, it was powerful, it had groove and it took me about three minutes to realise that the riff hadn’t even changed yet. It was whizzing me by already. I was sweating too. It was just so fucking hot.

Now a lot of ‘critics’ have put their two cents in since and said how disappointing this gig was. Fuck them. This wasn’t for you, this wasn’t for Mr Drowned in Sound I want a greatest hits set – this was to air the new album to close fans. Not journalists. Fans. Sure, you all got in (there’s a LOT of reviews out there for such a secret gig), but that’s down to the management and probably your persistence and mild threats of bad album reviews. That’s why the link for tickets was mailed to only certain people. Sure, I’d love to have heard some of my favourite songs in the world but that’s because I’ve never seen them before. I was more than happy.

Sick Sick Sick, 3s and 7s, Turning on the Screw – these stand out incredibly. 3s and 7s is an amazing riff-driven song that moves on, before inwardly wanking itself off into a joyous tangent. A bass breakdown later and it throws you back into it’s main riff with Homme’s guitar squealing above everything. Outstanding. Sick Sick Sick is probably one of the phattest (with a ‘ph’) songs that I’ve heard live in ages; c-c-c-c-come on.

See everyone there was so joyous, just dancing, ecstatic that they’d even got tickets (I found out afterwards that most of these were the Queens messageboard regulars, who’d helped each other out with guest tickets to guarentee everyone got in).

But some old songs were there, to whip the crowd into a frenzy. I have never heard any drumming like Joey’s in ages. He’s just immense. It was just so relentless, powering and movement-inducing. Mexicola came and went too quickly, as did Little Sister and In My Head. By the time Song for the Dead finished, I felt like I was going to collapse, purely from listening to drumming that quick. If the phrase ‘speed metal’ was ever invented for anything, it was most definitely that.

A girl climbed on stage and kissed Josh whilst he played. Homme raised his Corona to the crowd and drank in tandem. New bassist, Mikey, threw some amazing shapes, stances and twirled his hair like a maniac to the beat. The crowd moved with the beats. Nearly everyone there was awesome, friendly and most importantly… absolutely loving it.

I met one guy, blue t-shirt who’s name escapes me, but singing along to Mexicola with him was so much fun. I’ve really forgotten the simple pleasure of just dancing, singing and thrusting your hand to the ceiling shouting the words of ‘my favourite song’.

And as I sit here writing this now, wearing my skinny white T (£15 from the stand), all I can do is type and listen to them. As Mr Homme and 300 people shouted last week, ‘It’s in my head, and I need it.’

J.

Now then, now then! This is ridiculously over exciting…

I am a huge fan of Interpol. I thought, and still think, that Turn on the Bright Lights is one of the best records I’ve ever heard. Antics is amazing too, and has Narc on it, which is one of my favourite, favourite songs.

Anywho, Mr Banks and co. are back in their dark ways again, playing a series of shows before their new album, I think called Moderation, comes out later this year.

They’re not playing anywhere that I can get to but luckily some beautiful, amazing, brilliant person has ripped a few of the new songs as videos and shoved them on YouTube. Just hope they stay there long enough!

J.

Pioneer

Heinrich Maneuver

Mammoth (shot over some guy’s shoulder!):

Guten Tag,i'm enraged!

So blogging seems to be dying a very slow death for myself lately. The cull of the Internet access at home, now multiplied with glorious long night debates about future living situations has left me wondering whether I’m ever gonna get Broadband ever again.

And I was enjoying it so much.

Anywho, work is work, life is life, but whatever the situation and whatever the time, there’s always pictures and music. So today (and admittedly this post is being written at work in my lunch break…) we talk about music very quickly.

Quite excited today, Nine Inch Nail’s new album, Year Zero, comes out which I will hopefully purchase this afternoon. (edit: just bought it, great artwork from Trent again, looks so bloody stylish)

I wrote about it’s insane marketing campaign a while back but here comes the real test, the music. What I’ve heard (visit elbo.ws and type in ‘Nine Inch Nails’) I have for the most side absolutely loved. How it all strings together, and the narrative of the piece will become clearer the more and more we get along.

Personally, I’ve always loved Trent Reznor, but I find him much more appealing if I feel the music is developed and subtle and not just ‘had’ and shouty for the sake of it. How a man can write Starfuckers, Inc., alongside La Mer puzzles the hell out of me. But some of the new songs, My Violent Heart, for example, are powerful, emotive and feel like they’ve been loved. I can’t wait.

Also, I love Queens of the Stone Age and Josh Homme has done a really long interview with Pitchfork about their new album…  the Era Vulgaris. If you like Queens, you should definitely read it. There’s also a version of the song Josh did with Trent Reznor, for the album, Era Vulgaris, over on MySpace under their new profile. I can’t listen to it properly as I’m at work, but I will later.

“I’ll play a game til I’m dead…”

Homme is such a legend though, the interview’s good, interesting.

“You know, it’s like that old saying: “Drink one beer, but you’re not an alcoholic. But play one cowbell, and you’re a cowbellaholic.””

Anywho. Later we’ll take about some cool images I found from a nice gent on flikr. He’s just sent me a mail. Nice bloke. Really good pix.

J.

Whether I have to beg or steal, I need to go.

I was thinking to myself today of the last time. In 2005, as I sat in the stone circle with my friends on the last evening of the festival, I asked myself the question ‘Did you you have a good time?’. And the answer was a resounding yes. I’m been made tentless, I was soaked, I’d been in the same clothes for 4 days and I didn’t give a fuck. I thought to myself today, I don’t want to be watching it on the tele, kicking myself in the head for not struggling to get there. I’ll be sick.

I used to think it’d be a lovely idea to go every year, (touch wood) hopefully with a family in later days, taking them along and just going Glastonbury every year. That’s a pipe dream but I do think I’d like to go as much as I can. I’m sure I’ll miss years, but I love the concept so much.

Another thing is (and this is quite horrible for some people, not me) that I have the wristbands from 2004 and 2005 still on my wrist. They’ve been with me ages now, some guy when I was in Morocco even asked to take one from me (he was never gonna get it and they’re metal clapsed anyway). Still, they shower with me, they wash with me, I don’t think it’s filthy. I have a lot of other sub-teenage crap on my wrist anyway so it fits. Anywho, it’s like having a reminder, a tattoo, without the expense, pain or regret. I can just cut them off if I want. But they have to return, another must be added, this is a contract almost. It’s essential to my mental health (for the next year) that I go.

But with Glastonbury, I don’t know what it is exactly. Sure it’s commercialised now or whatever and it’s not hippies anymore but there are so many amazing things going for it. I’ve never seen one bit of violence, everyone is nice and friendly and there’s so much to do other than watching music. It inspires me every time I’m there. It’s like a village erects itself from nowhere and vanishes just as quickly as it arrived. A ghost village. It’s just an experience. It’s an institution. It may not be what it used to be (so I’m repeatedly told), but what it is now is pretty fucking amazing and exhilarating nonetheless.devastation

Last time, my friends and I were subjected to the awful flooding, like this picture on the right. I woke up in the morning to shouting outside, feeling a bit wet and opened my eyes just in time to see my phone floating in water. Then I opened my tent door – big mistake – water came flooding in and as I frantically grabbed my things, I laughed as I saw my mate Softlad, floating on his airbed inside his tent.

We were slap bang in the middle of this flooding and later, our tents became completely submerged in water. Even funnier, the septic tank in the nearby toilets burst too, thus contaminating every thing that we left behind.

After listening to the first hour of the festival on Radio 1, while drying off in our car, we rocked out and had the best fucking time. We slept in the Acoustic stage (essentially a massive marquee) with the wind whipping in, wrapped sleeping in those metal blankets they give to shock victims. It was hilarious. My next day was my birthday and I quickly realised that upon waking up, you had to get plastered. It was the only way to ensure you didn’t become miserable at your plight.

But that’s Glastonbury. You don’t care. You muck in, you get wasted, and as you watch the sun come up over the stone circle on the last night, you’re smiling your head off having a brilliant time.

I remember a moment, in 2004 (see pix below), as Supergrass played on the main stage. The rain came pouring down, really hard, and in the middle of the storm, with a wet j and 9% pear cider in my hand the sun came out magnificently, creating a beautiful rainbow. Then, if memory serves me right, I believe the band noticed and played ‘Sun Hits The Sky‘. It’s moments like these that make it. When everything comes together, connected, perfectly.

I’m there. I don’t care how I have to get there, I will try my hardest. I’ve just gotta hope and pray I get a ticket. I was debating before, but I am a yes man and I will be there (touch wood!)

J.

N.B. Must post more but my Internet connection’s fucked at the moment.

pix below: the sun breaks through at Glastonbury…

as it chucks it down, the sun breaks through

chuckin’ it down

wonderful, wonderful Glastonbury mud

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

paul draper.

February 10, 2007

I like Paul Draper, visit him. He was Mansun, along with Chad, Andie and Stove. They made some very important music, to me at least. I recommend them to anyone, I love them. Six is one the most amazing things I have ever heard. He is recording solo now and has posted a dance song he collaborated on. He also wrote for Skin (ex-Skunk Anansie) when she released some solo music.

Anywho, Paul and co. were very important to me and I can’t wait to see some intimate shows (hopefully) once he’s done. Just bear him in mind, he may just give you some amazing music. Again.

J.

Click banner to visit Paul Draper's MySpace page

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

 

mental t-shirt

This t-shirt is mental. It has its own graphic equaliser that changes with whatever sound is around you! There’s a demo of the actual image changing, accessible via the link.

p1458ex1.gifThis has got to be the ultimate ‘LOOK AT ME’ t-shirt. I’d be all hoity-toity and bitchy about it – but then no-one will treat me to one… be good for gigs!

BTW, I saw this on Prefix – unfortunately I can’t claim credit for finding this.

Buy it here: http://www.firebox.com/product/1458

J

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:

benicassim ’07

December 19, 2006

Right … click the picture below and it’ll take you to the page (I mean my friends but obviously randoms can to if they’re searching net for Benicassim info)  and there’s the page with all the info cut and pasted, ’tis long but if we make decision early the earlier I can budget and pay!

fib06_publico_libertopeiro.jpg

J

i never came.

December 17, 2006

i love this song so much. see here.

When you say it’s dead & gone/I know you’re wrong/Cut & slash, sharpest knife/It won’t die/Poison cup, drank it up/It won’t die/No fire, no gun, no rope, no stone/It won’t die/Why you gotta shove it in my face/As if you put me in my place/Cause I DON’T CARE/If you or me is wrong or right/Ain’t gonna spend another night/In your bed/Laws of man, are just pretend/They ain’t mine/Love so good, love so bad/It won’t die/Some talk too long/they know it all/I just smile & move on/Words ain’t free, like you & me/I don’t mind/Why’d you have to be so mean & cruel/The dogs are loose i’m on to you/You ball &/Chained together from the dawn to dusk/Can’t call it leavin, cause it’s just…    I never came….

Dig!I watched Dig! last night, a documentary about the Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jonestown Massacre. It won the Documentary Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2004 and I do rate it, although that’s maybe because I’ve always liked the Dandys and I s’pose as a fan, I just like seeing them close up and real. But was it? Anton Newcombe from BJTM has heavily criticised the film for its portrayal of him. All I can say is, if you’re gonna let a cameraperson follow you around for seven years, taking shitloads of drugs and acting like pricks; what do you expect them to show in the film?

Idiot. If you’re gonna be on camera, on smack, shouting about your demons, what part of the footage do you think they’ll show. Even though Newcombe is deranged (especially in believing every word he says), he’s got to have some grasp of the real world like that. He’s inspiring in a weird kind of way though. It’s him and his talent. And that’s it.

The Dandys take a lot of flak off people. Yes, they’ve tried re-invention etc, most notably when they went all Duran Duran with Welcome to the Monkey House, but I don’t see that as a criticism. The Dandys have always been a band in which style mattered, especially to Taylor-Taylor, pouting and preening and this is what the band are. They make some beautiful downtime music and some cracking tunes and it’s about an ethos I feel, not necessarily trying to follow a trend, but maybe trying to start one.

taylor/newcombeThey’ve written some brilliant songs though. The mood and builds or crescendos of their songs are always spectacular. One thing I remember from the film though, and I think this is a great philosophy in life was said by Taylor-Taylor when summing up his band’s career and all the hits/misses/flops/sellout success they’ve had over the years:

“The lesson is if it’s good it’s fun, and if it’s bad, it’s funny.”

Long live the Odditorium.

J.

faith no moreYou know when you rediscover a band that you’d almost completely forgotten about? My current one is Faith No More.

It started a few weeks ago when my friends, who play in a Mr Bungle tribute band, Bungle Jnr (aside: they’re brilliant), were talking about a gig they were playing. After seeing them, I was just completely inspired to listen to as much Faith No More as possible. I hadn’t listened to them properly for at least a year – I’d completely forgotten how good they are.

Formed in the 1980s, this band were completely and utterly unique and went for around 15 years or so I think. Every LP is so diverse and creative and illustrate a band with almost too many ideas. The musical style? Well, I was discussing this last night with my friend Mike, I think they’re like an experimental hard rock act; he would argue more metal than hard rock. Either way, it’s still fucking brilliant. ‘Angel Dust’ is probably one of the best albums of the ’90s and songs are packed with wit and invention. There’s no need to rehash over old stories, as they’re all on the Internet, but the best one involves a song on ”Angel Dust‘ – ‘Land of Sunshine’.

This song was written whilst singer Mike Patton was on a three-day sleep deprevation experiment (firstly, that sounds like a brilliant idea for songwriting!) and every line of the lyrics is taken from the daytime TV, self hope shows and . Oh, and a couple from a fortune cookie! It’s absolutely exceptional and his operatic delivery of three words from the middle of the song (“varicose/comatose/senile”) is one of the funniest things I ever heard.

extract: ‘Land of SunshineAngel Dust LP
“HERE’S HOW TO ORDER!
Does life seem worthwhile to you?
Do others push you around?
Is age against you?
Sing and rejoice!
Does life seem worthwhile to you?
Does emotional music
Have quite an effect on you?
I can help you help yourself!”

There’s a FNM long argument about singers; original (Chuck Mosely) or the longest one (Patton)? For me – and maybe this is because I discovered toward the end of their career – Patton was the best thing that could’ve happened to Faith No More. As a singer, he is completely inspiring, creative and unafraid of any challenge. My favourite example of this is another song from Angel Dust

Probably my favourite song of them ALL is ‘King For A Day‘. Apparently known by the band as just ‘Acoustic’, the chiming guitar is central to its development, jangling throughout before it kicks in the middle section. Bookended with a similar outro and haunting, repeated refrain (‘Don’t let me die with this silly look in my eyes’) it runs out beautifully – it’s a brilliant song.

Their influence is immense, at the start of their career they were merging rap and metal long before their peers. But now, with it over, and the majority of music so boring – you just want more of them.

I haven’t checked out Peeping Tom yet, Patton’s new project, but I think I will now. Faith No More; ashes to ashes.faith_no_more1.jpg

Listen to Faith No More (MySpace).
Read about Faith No More
(Wikipedia).
Visit their rubbish website
(FNM.com).

– Bit shoddy that all in all. But I’m off to Germany for a week and I wanted to leave something up in the time while I’m away.This band were brilliant though. Back soon. J. (by the way, ta to the people who left comments for the last few entries… I almost got a bit excited!)

Awful headline. Disgraceful.
Today, we draw our attention to a historical archive that’s being run by the National Trust. October 17 has been designated as a day to capture the ordinary. They want everyone’s words, they want people to post as many different daily blogs as possible, as a resource for people in ten years, twenty years, a hundred years etc. Read about it here. Really. It’s actually really fucking interesting. The actual archive is here. Go post yours.

And now, for your reading pleasure is the entry I put into the historical archives…

“Woke up. Got out of bed. Didn’t drag a comb across my head because I’ve just had a haircut and it’s not long enough.

Bit of Johnson rage this morning. Ignore it though, have to help him out later, well late for work so run to the shower and step in. Fecking freezing. What a bar steward. Underground crap, rammed with people, causes lots of people to tut all the time. Lots of people sneeze. I shut off with music and read. Much better.

Went to work. I work for a breast cancer charity, Breast Cancer Care. Do lots of web work, I like to call it ‘Web Monkey’ work, but really it’s just writing content, text, doing images etc. for our website. It helps people reach out to each other and educates about breast cancer. Very good organisation, I actually don’t feel guilty for being a capitalist, profit based, arsehole everyday. I feel I have a bit of social responsibility. I like it. But really I’m just as bad as everyone else, no matter how much I tell them off for things, I’m still playing the system to. There is nothing left, no alternatives, you can only join in with the rape of the natural world.

At lunchtime, I reinforce this by walking down streets and buying things. Well, normally I would, but I’m skint because I forgot to pay my rent. Spent a lot of time thinking about the novel I’m trying to write, listened to music on my MP3 player, then worried phenomenally about how dissatisfied I’ll probably end up on my death bed, when I’ve been to lazy to follow my hopes and dreams. Read about the war in Iraq. Thought how evil George W. Bush is. Thought about whether Tony Blair’s more evil. Thought about national blogging day. Thought about how I’m having to leave work for reasons I shall not mention here, but are not my fault. Went and got a pint in a bar. Liquid lunch.

Thought about how bad it is that we have so many cars. Thought of great literature and music. If anyone bothers to read this, read some Charles Bukowski. Please.

Am now writing in preparation for going home from work. You won’t know what’ll happen then as I’m writing this now. Bus and train home, smoke some cigarettes, cook whatever food I can and then go to the pub to binge drink. You’ll have to guess what’ll happen to the rest of the day.

Maybe I’ll help the Johnson.

My song for today is relevant I think. ‘How Soon Is Now?’ by the Smiths. Even if everyone in the future has never heard of them, the thoughts, the communication… I bet it still rings true:

“You shut your mouth/How can you say?/I go about things the wrong way?/I am human and I need to be loved/Just like everybody else does” “.

What do you think? x, J.