Monday, 31 December 2007

Eep!

Apologies of the sincerest kind. Although it may not seem like it I do actually love my little unknown, never-read blog, Pop Cultureddd.

But you know how it goes. Working for a horrific high street retailer at Christmas time, whilst trying to shop and acquire perfect gifts for loved-ones, over-shadowed by illness, and not to mention the dreaded University work that sits on a table, books piled to the ceiling and paper that you can no longer make sense of.

Excuses aside, I have een cajoled into some sort of Best Of 2007 malark.

But believe me it won't be pretty or conventional or make any sense whatsoever.

I hope everyone was very good and Santa adorned you all with glorious gifts. What did you get?

Rip it up tonight, Kids.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Keytarded



Friends of, and in part made up by, the much-loved-by-all Bearsuit this sweet as sugar electro-pop cover band will make your awkward, twee Christmas compilation CD dreams come true.

An astounding cover of Joy Division, and I'm not normally one to advocate covers of this already-overly-covered song, will definately make you smile.

Keytarded - Love Will Tear Us Apart (cover version) [via their MySpace]

Sorry for the link elsewhere, but annoying computer and these kids derserve you to go add them on MySpace. Do it!

Charitable good deeds..

An unnamed club (hardly anonymous if you know me/the local area) that has of late been going through an awful lot of uncertainty and upheaval thus bringing it into the scrutiny of the public eye more than usual has gone and done something 'charitable'.

Shocking, I know. Music venues and charity don't often seem to mix other than hosting nights in which all the hard work is done by someone else with a gleaming soul. Yet it might strike you as an incredibly questionable charitable deed. Have they put on a special night in order to raise awareness for the multitude of good causes that strive hard to make a difference? Have they asked an bill of local acts to come and show their support in a bid to raise money through a night of music and fun to give something back to the community? Or best of all, have they decided in the month of December as a show of seasonal good will to dip into the money they turn over by packing out rooms with dancing, loyal customers and donate the suggested 10% of profit they make to charity?

No. None of these things. Or any other selfless acts of worthy praise. To truly give something back to the community they have charged club-goers 50p to go outside to smoke, which I don't know of any other club doing, and decided to give the money 'raised' to charity.

It is still great that money is going to a much deserved cause, but surely it would be better for the club to find more noble and truly altruistic ways to give than to avoid at all costs the money coming out of actual profits or requiring any organisation or hard work.

Ever admirable twenty-first century morals are here to stay.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Absentee



What an absolute triumph!

"We are happy to write that in the small hours of friday morning we finished recording a new album of Absentee songs that we have provisionally called 'Spitting Feathers'."

If you are unaware of Absentee then do not worry. Just feel a little annoyed at yourself for the wasted moments of your life that their deep, deep melodies were not resonating through your mind.

Their EP Donkeystock got them noticed in 2005 for their maudling lyrics accompanied with more uplifting, warm and gentile accompaniment of jangly guitars, tickling drums and soothing harmonica.

This helped to lead them wonderfully into their debut album Schmotime which was astounding and lyrically left jaws agape. So for news of the next Absentee album due early 2008 there is something wholesome and comedically dark to look forward to, other than myself, of course. Ha.

"So, all is well and good in the Absentee camp. Mixing the record begins on Wednesday and finishes some time before Christmas. A release date shall be confirmed early next year. We feel confident that if you enjoyed our previous efforts at recording albums, this next offering should be no disapointment...it could even be the kind of record you play to a friend, spouting a drunken declaration along the lines of "life wont be the same after this", or something equally regretable."

A little taste of the band themselves:

Absentee - Truth Is Stranger Than Fishin' [via YouSendIt for 7 days]

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Hercules And Love Affair


If you happen to be on the DFA Records mailing list then you'll have been lucky enough in the recent updates of what is going on to have also received a link to a free download.

Hercules And Love Affair will make you think that 70's disco funk never happened. Ever. And it is only just coming to its marvellous birth and full blossoming now three decades on. But this is only just one feeling and groove they tap into. Some of their more experimental tracks are equally as cool.

But today its all about the sexy disco.

Hercules And Love Affair - Hercules Theme [via YouSendIt for 7 days]

Downloading it this way would avoid having to give your details, real or otherwise, to hoarding market researchers calculating your every desire.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Neon Plastix split..


Oh dear.

Unfortunately a little known electro band that I've been fairly attached to, Neon Plastix, have decided to end their musical journey in their current form.

Actually, this was the first band I ever 'blogged' about in my second ever post! So it is certainly sad to see a band split that definately deserved a lot more recognition than they got.

"it seemed some of us got tired on the way and had to finally realise that sometimes being an electro-pop backwards rockstar isnt for everyone."

Especially a fan of On Fire, if I didn't have CD's in three differennt places at the moment I'd be able to share the brilliant joy that jumping round to this riot of a track would induce. So you'll just have to have a listen on their MySpace. Its fuelled and driven with a spark and enegry only matched by maybe the little pocket rocket lead singer of the good old Infadels. But they won't make you cringe quite as much.

But don't be too dismayed at the split if you've not had the pleasure of coming across them before now. Hopefully the silver lining will be that they can venture off into new and ever-more exciting and creative pursuits. Plus, there will hopefully be a few MP3's of theirs up for grabs for free.

Still, it it a shame. It would be immensely interesting to get to know and fully understand what it was that led to it all. Half sociologically, half nosey bitch-ily.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

You shall not escape your fate..


Image from the gig of which we never speak. Andrew Bird London Scala 7th June 2007. Less said the better.

If, like myself, you think you've utterly lost your way, and quite possibly your mind too, then take 10 minutes. A hot drink. Download this little gem. And feel safe in the knowledge that all the most interesting and progressive people always have been and are ever so slightly tapped.

Andrew Bird - Imitosis (Four Tet remix) [via YouSendIt for 7 days]

J.S. Mill had a nervous breakdown at 22. So at least I've beat him to the punch.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Differences..

At some point you just have to accept that all you can do is your best to resist, rebel and royally fuck-up every social convention you can.

Just because everyone does something one way does not, by any stretch of the imagination, mean that you should too.

Some people seem acutely aware of this. These norms become so routinized, so integral, so fundamental to our sense of 'being' that they become meaningless. The utter irrational nature of lots of aspects leads to the never-ceasing questioning of it.

Maybe that is how I got into sociology in such a big way. Or why I can't help but listen to multiplicity of music genres. Or why I don't get on with groups on people, where the need to conform is ever more pressing. Or why I love my mental, swearing, manically happy, innuendo driven mother past the natural maternal bond. Or why I will only ever wear odd earrings.

It could go some way to explaining these things. But what is still left is the question of why others so willfully make their lives as awkward as possible to simply adhere, stay in line, never be more than all of the values and norms that have overhung them from before they existed and will go on to do so after their death.

Some form of behaviourial anarchism, and the like, isn't just protesting, forming social movements that ultimately still conform to social rules, demanding miniuti changes within the same framework, complaining about neo-capitalist rule (yet, God knows, I do), this just isn't enough, or even where to begin. Be honest and shock someone with a heart-on-the-sleeve tale of a past life event, don't feel obliged to buy a house because your parents did, be nocturnal, snub over-done and boring cultural forms, extend your knowledge and be creative. Be difficult, contensious, brutally honest, absolutely perfectly polite, live as a contradiction, be multi-faceted.

And do it all to a song, album or soundtrack to a new lifestyle.

But please, tell me what it is that you are listening to, yea?

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Billion Dollar DJ's



A brilliant idea. Take songs that have only been made available so far as downloads through MySpace. That way you'll mash up a lot of 'unknowns'. Call it The MySpace Mix.

The Billion Dollar DJ's have created something wholly unique and actually really bloody enjoyable. Including the eclectic sounds of Bitchee Bitchee Ya Ya Ya, Blamma! Blamma!, The Twelves and Glass Candy, all of which are experiencing much love and hype from the blogsphere.

This mix will throw you up against the wall and love you.. hard.

Billion Dollar DJ's - The MySpace Mix [via YouSendIt for 7 days]

Tell them yourself how much you enjoy this party-incuding mix by adding them on:

MySpace.

AND

The lovely, clean-cut and stylish Virb.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Das Pop



Really. Just really. How great are Das Pop? There must be a parallel universe that my brain has been inhabiting for me to have only recently come across this wonderful Belgian electro-pop band. Thrashing in parts and subtle in others. They'll make you fall in love even on the bleakest of days in the grimmest of times.

And what will you fall in love with? Other than Das Pop themselves? Well, the way Tired makes you feel, bloody, God-damn everything!

Here is my very favoured SebastiAn remix of a track of theirs.

Das Pop - Fool For Love (SebastiAn remix) [via YouSendIt for 7 days]

Another BA Hons degree after this one? I must be mad.

Monday, 26 November 2007

That sinking feeling..



I drink too much coffee. I don't exercise enough. I'm never nice to anyone. I don't do enough reading for my course, no matter how much I do. And I have neglected Pop Cultureddd. I apologise.

So yesterday I did the 'spend Sunday working as a retail slave in Teesside and then carry heavy bags of books back down to York' thing. And the journey always taking three times as long, as Sunday apparently means that the world goes into shutdown, I managed to fill my swirly brain with the glorious sounds of Alfie, Radiohead and Belle & Sebastian. All of which made me very happy indeed.

I woke up feeling obliged to share this.

Belle & Sebastian - The Stars of Track and Field [via YouSendIt for 7 days]

A little something combat that feeling a lot of us feel on a Monday morning.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Spektrum

Spektrum - Don't Be Shy

I hadn't heard this in ages.

And its just made my morning.

Now The Boy is rummaging through CD's.

Tuesday morning party?

Spektrum's MySpace.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Camera Obscura



A great chasm in my chest. A hole. It has always been a joke I have a heart of stone and that my blood runs black, not scarlet red. I've never had the best opinion on humanity. Great heaving, categories, swarms of people. The faceless mass. But I very definately build great friendships and relationships with individuals regardless of anything to do with them and their value systems. Some people find this weird, others find it weird and wonderful. And once I found someone who understood this, innately, never discussed, just known.

Camera Obscura have written the sounds, not lyrics, that parallel some of my feelings of regret, guilt, loss and mania in a tiny part. Lots of wide ranging music does this to me.

God knows why.

This is divine.

Camera Obscura - Razzle Dazzle Rose [via YouSendIt for 7 days]

A ghostly white pale, dark flowing haired girl, spinning delicately watching the hem of her floral-print dress pucker and lift.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

My Architects



Once upon a time, My Architects supported some band that I don't care to remember, at Empire in Middlesbrough a long while ago. So capitivated was I that I bought their CD from the merchandise stand.

Not expecting much I was blown away and for the flowing three months it resided in my CD player whilst everything else changed in its natural progressive way. Their tracks kept finding their way onto my monthly compilation CD's.

And this track has such a beautiful resonance that will sweep everything from your mind and fill it with the gorgeous echoes of a voice and band that really should probably have a little more credit sent their way.

My Architects - Under The Pines [via YouSendIt for 7 days]

They've got some new stuff floating around too that I've been a bit too preoccupied to give a proper listen to, but it is on my musical agenda.

Poverty and wealth.



Right now I seem to have plunged into the literature on wealth, poverty, deprivation, social exclusion, materialism, consumerism and acquisition.

Last week I wrote a 5,000 word essay on why the wealthy and their wealth should be of interest to sociologists. As much as you'd assume that it would be of interest the focus appeared to be on the relative poverty stricken that an idiotic distribution of income and wealth generate. Every book I'd find that had even a section on the wealthy were concerned on the deprived and poor.

I became fairly annoyed at this. I realised the importance of the marginalisation that comes with concentrated wealth. But could no one do more than a bit of conjecture in the form of the Sunday Times Rich List. They just have to make guesses at the sheer total of someones wealth. Why is it so difficult to study the rich and calculate their wealth? Because they don't want it declared. They don't want to be studied. Keep the focus off the top spot. Scapegoat those at the bottom of the social hierarchy for all of the problems in society.

Visit the tax evasion section of the HM Revenue and Customs website and you do not see a man in a suit talking to his financial advisor discussing the best ways to moving his money off-shore to avoid being taxed the millions that could be poured back into society. No, not at all. You see a manual labourer by a cement mixer who is probably doing a bit of cheeky cash-in-hand work whilst claiming welfare support and cheating the system out of about £30 a week.

I'm beginning to sound polemic.

Maybe this is the true nature of the wealthy. The ability to evade the spotlight. Shift the blame. Control the paths and messages of ideological propositions through mainstream media. People will eat it up. God knows no one is going to read dry literature that indicates that a policy shift should be adopted by the government. Not many people are going to have the access needed to realise what it is that blights their lives and leads them to be never-satiated, unfulfilled and constantly wanting. The consumer dream.

Golly gosh. The bureaucratic fuck-up's that are the Student Loans company are certainly holding back my consumer dream. Even to have the means to acquire a nutritious meal is beyond the realms of capability. Could that ever be an issue for someone with more wealth than descernable interesting personality traits? Possibly if one's gourmet meal was sent back for containing processed food-stuffs.

But I'll go to my under-paid and measely 4 hour contract job to be able to buy some pretty trainers, or cute band merchandise, or splash out on a takeaway one night. Why? The consumer dream, but of course.

And I don't half hate myself for it. I'm a product of the society I was born into. I can see that and for all the companies I boycott and refrain from doing business with I'll question it all for a pretty neckscarf.

This makes no sense. I apologise for even posting it. It started well enough. But its hard when someone is screaming "STEEEEEPH!" in your ear. I hope no one managed to get this far reading this.

I may edit/delete this.

Monday, 12 November 2007

One too many expletives..

Awkward return. Hardly the triumphant, buoyant feeling I had envisaged. But -- shrugs -- there you go.

After a rather horrible summer and the loss, my University work had been left in tatters. I was kindly granted an extension due to my circumstances and on Friday afternoon I finished.

The feeling is of, well, I don't know. But it hasn't been the rollicking great celebration part of my mind was demanding it be.

Anyway, to get myself back into the swing of things is this glorious Pop Cultureddd neck of the woods, here is a track that really cheered me up when I was on me knees begging for literature on wealth.

Elbow - Mexican Standoff (Spanish Version) [via YouSendIt for 7 days]

Clapping to it is fun.

Anyone any ideas for how I can celebrate? And, how I can stop swearing so much?

If the link doesn't work please let me know. I've got a feeling. YouSendIt was being gay this morning.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Sleep deprivation and coffee induced hysteria..

I am beginning to lose ability to process the world around me. Unless it is written on a sheet of paper and contains the words "relgious ethic of salvation", "cultural sphere" or "Weber set out clearly.." then my brain is refusing to deal with it.

I'm starting to get ill.

But this made me happy.

Kylie - X Mix Album Sampler [via YouSendIt for 7 days]

And, yes, it has come to this. I am in fact the last person on the face of the earth to have heard it.

I need some T.L.C.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

iLiKETRAiNS


For all the attention they have received of late it has probably been over a year since I dipped my toe in any iLiKETRAiNS material.

The huge awe inspiring feel of this short instrumental evokes nothing but fear.

iLiKETRAiNS - LONDONTOBRiGHTONAT700MPH

Taken from the bootleg THE iNDiCTMENT its a reminder that even in their early work there has always been something wholly intoxicating and unique.

They somehow seem to systematically fall out of my head. Which is upsetting when I glance over this band so often. But then, its a fairly enveloping and euphoric feeling when I discover them all over again.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Arcade Fire gig..


You may think me cynical to be wholly prepared for a disappointing experience when seeing Arcade Fire at Newcastle Metro Radio Arena last night (29/10/07). Now before you jump out of your skin in outrage let me assure you that in no way, shape or form did I think that Arcade Fire themselves would be disappointing. No, of course not. I've been lucky enough to experience their shining brilliance before.

But the Newcastle Metro Radio Arena? I was skeptical about the venue. Having seen Arcade Fire in the renowned Brixton Academy in March this year and having gone to a fair few gigs at Newcastle Arena (back when it was called something else because the money was coming from elsewhere) I just couldn't help but worry.

And certainly, right now, I'd love this to be the point where I proclaim that I need not have worried. But I was right. And in fact, more than right.

The sound was appalling. Like, I'm not going to bother holding back here, someone wants to be ashamed of themselves. Anyone accountable for that should be severely reprimanded.

I saw Arcade Fire in March and was blown away by the quality of the sound. Every bow of the violins, every breath into the mic, every tinkle of the glockenspiel was picked up and the sound that entered your ears was divine. Last night was like a tinny car stereo turned up too loud. If you weren't familiar with every lyric of Arcade Fire before? Yea, don't expect to be anymore enlightened after that.

It was like viewing an amazing band in a bubble, a parallel universe. The worst thing was that people paid good money for that, it may possibly be their only opportunity to see a band like them and thats what they get. Coupled with the fact that Arcade Fire are actually life-changingly good live...

I'd definately think twice before ever going to another gig at the Metro Radio Arena. There are just too many facts that point to a severe let-down by someone else.

But all in all. What more can I say? Obviously Arcade Fire were amazing. There is almost no point in reviewing the band themselves because it goes without saying, hence the lack of words. Spectacular. Glorious. A beacon of hope in my troubled little world. Arcade Fire. Always are and for the forseeable future always will be.

Monday, 29 October 2007

Physical exhaustion..


And it's not over yet.

Those Dancing Days - Those Dancing Days [via YouSendIt for 7 days]

Those Dancing Days. A cute Swedish, indie-pop, electro band recieving love from the world of blogs. This is their best track. Sounds like they could progress really well. Blatant potential.

Simian Mobile Disco - Cliktrax [via YouSendIt for 7 days]

A reworking of a previous track the boys had done. Personally I think I prefer my more familiar original. However, this still sums up for me everything I adore about Simian Mobile Disco. And thats a lot!

Dan Deacon - Wham City [via YouSendIt for 7 days]

This song by Dan Deacon has really got me through some dark moments recently. It guarantees to delight in its split personality type way. A song that is actually done in two different styles, if you don't like the first you're bound to love the second. Love the friendly sounding chorus!

Friday, 26 October 2007

Social awakening and Art Brut?


Micro sociology. The tacit rules of society. They can vary culture to culture. Yet largely there are some aspects of our behaviour that we are unaware that we adhere to rules of conduct. Obvious examples, you happen to be glancing at a stranger on a train, they look up and catch your glance, quickly a not to seem suspicious you look away. Or, one of my favourites in conversation analysis, flagged up to me by the great Robin Wooffitt, if someone proposes an invitation to a party and you are not keen on going you'll use softeners, "Well, I think I might be busy.. I think I've got some work to do.. I don't think I have much money.." (we could dissect the "I think"'s further, but won't), this breaks the news rather than an outright, abrupt refusal.

The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life by Erving Goffman is exactly a study and description of these sorts of tacit phenomenon. The way in which we behave in social situations to portray a certain image of ourselves, given the normative expectations and values of the culture we live in.

Now, we've all experienced a time or situation in which we felt awkward or unsure how to act. Sometimes we might even be shocked or surprised to learn that a certain action we have done does not fit with what would be expected, we have mis-interpreted, misjudged, done something out of the ordinary.

So imagine my - the nothing-matters-but-the-song music devotee - dismay and shock to learn from Art Brut a lesson in love.

Art Brut - Pump Up The Volume [via YouSendIt for 7 days]

Never had I realised that it was "possibly wrong" to leave a lover to adjust the volume of a song that I really like.

Is this a tacit rule that my one-track mind for pop music had ignored?

And now that this social crime has been alerted to me, will I change my behaviour? Nah, I should hope my lover would understand. In fact, he does and loves me all the more for my quirk.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Arcade Fire

Hopefully, if the world does not conspire against me, I will be euphorically going to see Arcade Fire next week.

I do have a presentation to give the next day on Karl Marx's concept of alienation. It'll be fine, I'm sure. If not I'll break out into song, possibly Rebellion (Lies), during the presentation and not stop until I end up in a padded room. But, to be honest, with the gift of the gab (unversially accepted fact) I could probably blag it anyway, I'd just be very nervous inside.

So warm the ears - and believe me, this little cover will - and share this with me, won't you?

Arcade Fire - Maps (Yeah Yeah Yeah's cover version) [via YouSendIt for 7 days]

Wonderful climax.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Editors gig..


The first picture from last Thursday night's (18/10/07) Editors' gig at the Carling Academy in Newcastle.

Editors have always had a certain appeal to me. Even seeing them when Ten Feet Tall hosted them at Empire, waaaaaay back when. All said though, it was a pretty rubbish gig then, about 20 people in the crowd, Editors were late coming on stage, obviously not happy, played a short 20 minute set and left. As disappointing as it had been I enjoyed the time they were on stage. So having seemed to miss every tour or festival appearence they had made for about the past two and a half years I was looking forward to last Thursday.

The Back Room for me deserved all the praise it received in 2005. It fitted perfectly with my temperment to become the soundtrack to my mental breakdown of the time. As apprehensive as I was about An End Has A Start this year, and with my initial reaction to it being "Tom's vocals sound like Danny McNamara!!", I grew to love what is obviously a very different album from their debut, with feelings that the progression fans would have liked to hear from them not happening and a slightly more mainstream sound being adopted.

Having not been to the Carling Academy since Doves in 2005 I was pleasantly suprised by the venues capacity to home a lot of people comfortably. We walked in to see the end of the Ra Ra Riot, who didn't really find their flow til their last song, bit too late.

Queue Editors:



Shockingly energetic. Pounding through their recognisable tracks from the latest album. Crowd never missing a word. Yet, something not quite right. Slight dischord here, accidental changes in tempo there, mismatching of sync of band members.

"Maybe they are drunk" suggests Paul.
"I don't think so, you know when you are watching a drunk band. The Aliens?" I reply.
"Yea. You're right."

Thrashing out some of the highlights of The Back Room and utterly enthrawling the crowd, if somewhat haphazardly in places. Let's get this straight though. In the main, they were great, fantastic, a lot better than I had ever anticipated. But the musicianship and communication of the band members let them down somewhat.

This makes it especially hard to pass comment on all the new material they featured. One in particular had an incredibly atonal first chorus, and not in a cool-Cut-Copy-atonal kind of way, just atonal and wrong. But if I'm honest I really did like the sound of the new stuff. Sorry I can't name titles of songs, but, meh, I was at a gig.

The only other disappointment of the night? Missing The Kissaway Trail. Definately worth a look.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Appleblim


Something far in the distance catches your eye, its dark, you can't see very much of anything and so your sense of hearing is all the more acute.

It sounds twitchingly odd, an under current of deep thunderous bass. You first feeling is one of nervousness. Unfamiliarity and being out of your comfort zone will do that to you. But as you realise that this is not the threatening, macbre beast you let dark fool to you it was, your shoulders drop and clenched fists unravel. It's wholly enjoyable this unfamiliar being.

Have you actually fooled yourself into a false state of consciousness?

No, you are experiencing Appleblim.

Open yourself to something new and try this beautiful, sombre, experimental, electronica dub.

Appleblim - Cheat I [via YouSendIt for 7 days]

If you enjoy, tell the man yourself and buy some vinyl.

Bloc Party



WHAT THE FUCK!?

The ability to articulate anything is failing. As if the single wasn't bad enough.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Trail of thought..


Walking to buy the Guardian and a yogurt. Mind swilling with the idiosyncrasies that appear to be never-ceasing. The ones which are so fundamentally embedded that one would question ones sanity for considering them strange. Making judgements and filling the blanks for possible reason and rhyme to conclude anything logical. Just as quickly realise that is not going to happen.

Left to its own tangled mess my mind somehow chewed a deluded conversation with itself about a track.

Late Of The Pier - Bathroom Gurgle [via YouSendIt for 7 days]

Not many artists achieve the sort of diverse, changeable, almost rhapsodic form that Late Of The Pier seem to have effortlessly blended into, a less than 5 minute, song.

So, the worryingly tussled discussion in my head went on, who else would possibly be as talented (and even surpass Late Of The Pier) at the art of rhapsody? And who would it be interesting to hear cover Bathroom Gurgle?

My mainstream mind fell to Muse, also aided along by the all-out prog-rock feel of the track in places. Too obvious was the answer to that and probably wouldn't produce anything more than a refined version of the song.

Sugababes? Too pop idyllic even for me.

Four Tet? Probably quite interesting.

No, just nothing sparking that feelin -- Wait! Perfection has arrived in the thought process. The epiphany that one can be happy with.

Joanna Newsom*. A true and great representation of strange and intentive ways of creatively playing with musical forms to get the best out of them. Joanna Newsom is truly astounding.

And, to be honest, in my slightly warped head all I have been playing out is my mental equivilent to Joanna Newsom covering, very brilliantly, Late Of The Pier.

*A fansite. Very nice one too.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Lazy lovin'..

From Pop Cultureddd to those wonderous duo who spur me on over the pond at Disco Nap.

As if it is not enough that they are championing pop, DJing for the lucky NY-er's, truly delicious on the eye and deftly writing quite brilliantly, no, as if this was not already enough they are bringing you lots of Simian Mobile Disco treats.

Pop Cultureddd is very much in love with Disco Nap. The distance is the only pain Pop Cultureddd feels in this twisted blog-loving.

Get over there and tell them how much you love them!

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Kylie Minogue

So if, as is so often posited, identity in the 21st century is simply made up by what we consume. Increasingly we'll ascribe aspects of ourselves to various products. Cultural symbols appear on an almost instantaneous and unavoidable level. We learn to decipher these tacitly and from this take the parts that mean the most to us, consume/purchase/love/download/wear/see whatever it may be. This is what makes us who we are in 2007.

If thats how you see it then I am Kylie. I love her. I admire her. I dance to her songs. I own her calendar. I watch her videos. I'll buy her album.

Does that make me Kylie?

Kylie Minogue's new single ' 2 Hearts' - Music Video

Add to My Profile More Videos

DAMN! No. It doesn't. So would appear.

Bloody rubbish abstract theories of consumption cultures. What is the point if you can't misconstrew them and believe you are Kylie Minogue?!

The video is nice to look at though.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Does It Offend You, Yeah?

Yeah!

And it also makes me bloody jealous.

Their short but exciting tour video.



I'm going to kick people when I get home for no reason other than I'm really pissed off that I missed this. I was at the time too. But this is salt in the wound.

Looks like they did a spectacular tour.

Does It Offend You, Yeah? MySpace page.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Shy Child



Current attentions should be diverted to yet another essay. No surprise there then.

But I could not resist posting about the bloody brilliant gig I was lucky enough witness on Saturday.

I manically spent Friday pouring out word after word after word of rubbish, that was supposed to constitute an essay. It was to be handed in today. The rush to finish it on Friday? Shy Child at Middlesbrough Cornerhouse on Saturday. A truly exciting prospect.

After making my peace with the idea that I was the only person remotely interested, let alone excited - you cannot rely on the musical perception of others - enough time was spent drinking and I was suitably ready to dance off my essays.

But I was shocked and surprised. Shocked at the poor layout, feel and soundsystem of Cornerhouse. And, oh so, pleasantly surprised by the sheer calibre of Shy Child. Considering they were quite far from the actual crowd, had a column blocking their view of one another and are cool New Yorker's experiencing 'The Worst Place to Live in the UK', they held their own and certainly gave Ten Feet Tall a sexy, fun electro-crushing opening gig for their monthly Cornerhouse residency.

Here is my favourite song they did:



Afterwards, I must admit I was seen by all shaking my ample behind and throwing out some quite hideous dance moves in the room towards the back that was housing the ever-improving Kaboom. Face-paint, fights, lolli-pops, bracelets and much hogging of the dancefloor. Absolutely wicked selection in some parts.

So if you ever find yourself lost in the North East of England on a Saturday night head for Middlesbrough give it a go. You never know. You might just love it.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Radiohead - In Rainbows


It's here! In your ears!

A hiatus shall be had. I'm fairly sure posting about an album whilst only on the third track is silly.

It takes at least a few whirls through to really get comfortable with something.

But yes.

First thoughts all?

I'm dreading reading reviews. Bleurgh.

David E. Sugar


It is all about the 8-bit funk. And sometimes thats all you want. You wake up, bleary-eyed, dry mouth, body screaming for caffeine and mind totally focused on the aforementioned 8-bit funk.

So all behold, David E. Sugar. I even like the cockney using 'E.', more people should do it.

I am belatedly loving Oi Oi New York This Is London. Absolute masterpiece. Buy it here... NOW!!! Yea, it's proper mint. N'tha.

Definately fancy getting myself to the Capital to go for a bit of a gamboy night out and dance with this guy.

Check out these fancy moves.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Q Awards


And so it is that another ever-baffling, descending into complete madness Q Awards ceremony has apparently taken place.

To be honest the confusion that one goes through reading the winners its not surprising that those attending the event will probably take advantage of the free bar in a bid to intoxicate oneself enough to not even care what the fuck is actually going on.

Boasting 18 awards.. hang on.. 18? Eighteen? EIGHTEEN?!

A magazine that over the years and has lost its way. I think when looking at the sorts of awards they are now handing out that they should really consider shutting it down and putting the money and vacancies created into some sort of youth rehabilitation scheme, starting with, well, the cast of Skins who so aptly sum up our current rebellion to 'all that indie'.

Anyone else surprised it didn't turn into yet another list? Top 50 three-piece bands. Top 50 Swedish solo artists. Top 50 books about Joy Division. Top 50 songs with the words Q magazine is a lazy hacks dream in them. Fuck me.

Awards Included:

  • Q Icon - Paul McCartney
  • Q Idol - Kylie Minogue
  • Q Legend - Ian Brown
  • Q Hero - Anthony H. Wilson
  • Q Inspiration Award - Damon Albarn
  • Q Classic Songwriter - Billy Bragg
  • Q Lifetime Achievement - Johnny Marr
  • Q Merit Award - Ryan Adams

They'll regret creating all those in a few years.

  • Q Classic Album - The Verve - Urban Hymns
  • Q Classic Song - Stereophonics - Local Boy In The Photograph

Because obviously there is not enough fresh talent to reward. Or something.

  • Q Innovation in Sound - Sigur Ros

(Possibly well deserved, but also...) probably the most idiotic award ever.

A lot of people take pride in dilligently using their initiative, dynaism and intellect to make something exciting and engaging with comment, opinion and journalism with regards to music in the 21st Century.

Who is up for forming a revolution and storming the offices of Q and reclaiming coherent and stimulating music journalism?

Thursday, 4 October 2007

SebastiAn leak..

Oooo!

Look at the work-in-progress that Missing Toof found.

SebastiAn - Untitled [download via zShare]

That is going to be yummy dropped in a set. Yes, fucking yummy, alright?

SebastiAn's MySpace.

Patrick Watson

I cannot stop listening to Close To Paradise. Its cathartic. Helps grieving. Or makes it worse. I've not decided which.

This, The Great Escape, is beautiful, as is the entirely mesmerising video.



I know someone who would have loved Patrick Watson.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

The Bloody Beetroots



In a last ditch attempt to save an academic career the concentration was broken. By The Bloody Beetroots. And believe me, there is much emphasis on the "BLOODY". Ahem.

It is really is there fault for producing such a wickedly tempting track in I Love The Bloody Beetroots.

The Bloody Beetroots - I Love The Bloody Beetroots [streaming via their MySpace]

Distortedly whirling through a set of very confident sounding, hard hitting, snogging-someone-in-the-corner-and-then-breaking-away-to-run-to-the-dancefloor type bleeps and basslines, this track is something to shout about.

I'd like to go into some rather generalised Italian stereotypes right now, but I don't think anyone would appreciate it, definately not The Bloody Beetroots, and I have a boycott Tesco type essay awaiting my attention.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Filthy Dukes



Lick your lips in anticipation and take a deep breath.

This is arousing.

Filthy Dukes - This Rhythm [streaming via their MySpace]

I have been intoxicated by Filthy Dukes since I saw them a million years ago when I was young and vivacious and danced like a twat in Middlesbrough Empire. I think The Rakes were on that night too.

Anyway, I can't believe I've not mentioned them sooner. They are pretty fantastic. Their DJ sets are to die for and their boundless enthusiasm keeps them remarkably fresh. So for a track to come from them, well, its bloody exciting! If you get chance to see them DJ do it. Wiggling hips galore!

Monday, 1 October 2007

The new Radiohead album..

Argh!

The countdown begins.

10th October.

Download through their website. You choose the price you pay.

Optional boxset thing that looks divine. That is more expensive. So that might be a begged Christmas present.



What is a fair price to pay for the download only? I'm poor but I'd feel like I was cheating a deity if I didn't expend a decent amount. Suggestions? What will you pay? We can all come to some sort of consensus on this it help the collective conscience.

Dead Air Space.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

A little bit of showing off..

Oh the style!



And they're mine!

A message from Elbow..



"dear chaps
in the last two years:

2500 hours spent writing and recording.
2500 sandwiches eaten
500 bottles of milk
8000 brews
20,000 cigarettes smoked
2.3 metres of fingernails grown
21 feet of hair
21000 miles commuted 3000 of them on foot
90000 stairs climbed
to make 55 minutes of music.
as of 22:17 tonight 24th sept 07
album 4 is complete but untitled

release date 2008
thank you for your patience and see you very soon.

love elbow x"


I wonder what type of sandwiches?

Anyway. Exciting news.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Punks Jump Up

The sheer amount of lyrics in this song that sound just like the essay that I am currently spending every living minute of the day writing has in common is just unsettling.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

LCD Soundsystem a gulity pleasure?!



Who'd have thought it, eh? Obviously one of the strongest albums to be released this year. Highly anticipated live shows. And that hair.

I don't mean guilty pleasure in the way that phrase is over-used at the moment. But after the devastating news my life recently received I was more than a little guilt-ridden and hysterical at the recent LCD Soundsystem gig in Newcastle at Digital. Wildly jeering threats of violence (more than usual that is), 'celebrity' spotting Paul Smith again, necking vodka and being hugely over-excited by James Murphy. I was a little bit, well, I'm not sure, just a bit of a mess. I did actually cry to Someone Great, but I think that is fairly understandable.

But I had to post about it. Yes, it was a while ago. But, hey, who cares? I'm not going to blog from the actual gig! Although I reckon some over-zealous, geeky, lack-lustre blogger would. I was drinking. The reason I had to post? Because it was a bloody amazing gig. And I ended up having an over-whelming feeling of incredible luck. It was humbling. How can a gig do that?!

And I witnessed the hottest thing I have ever seen on-stage.

James Murphy hitting that cowbell.

If you get the opportunity go and see LCD Soundsystem. In a small venue if you can. I enjoyed them a million times more for it. Although James Murphy had problems with the volume and had his fingers in his ears a lot. Cute as.

17 Sep 2007 Red Rocks Morrison, Colorado
20 Sep 2007 Hollywood Bowl Los Angeles, California
30 Sep 2007 Roy Wilkins Auditorium St. Paul, Minnesota
3 Oct 2007 Waterfront Park Louisville, Kentucky
5 Oct 2007 LC Pavilion Columbus, Ohio

20 Oct 2007 Tripod Dublin
21 Oct 2007 Apollo Manchester
22 Oct 2007 Barrowlands Glasgow
23 Oct 2007 Brixton Academy London


Lovely jubbly.

P.S. Oh and I see that there are various remixes floating around the internet ether. Find them.

Monday, 10 September 2007

M.I.A.



It's probably well late to be commenting. You know months down the line. But I absolutely bloody adore the most recent M.I.A. album. Indulging in this has been something quite brilliant to be honest. Many tracks I had stumbled across before hearing the album. And due to those La Grève Générale boys that I am so affectionate of I was already singing Bird Flu rather frequently.

But turning my ears to Kala, M.I.A.'s 2007 musical gem, has been horizon expanding even for myself. Always partial to, well, a bit of everything, this album certainly satisfies a part of me that had been feeling decidedly underwhelmed of late. Pushing the boundries of everything that sits nicely within a genre, M.I.A. might as well be spitting in the face of musicians all over the world. Giving face and much deserved respect to the so many types of music that she journey's through it truly is something that needs to be.. experienced. Even the shy-retiring-folk-lovers need to sit and be open-minded and think about the comfort zones that M.I.A. is getting rid of from the mainstream with this.

She is to be respected.



Here is a little treat.

M.I.A. - XR2 [via zShare]

When you inevitably do enjoy this please go and buy it. Click click.

Friday, 7 September 2007

Digitalism



Sigh.

Since having access to a car again and nervously fumbling around getting used to it Idealism by Digitalism has become a great album to blast out at high volumes to accompany travelling at high speeds.

So here is a bit in video form. My lovely fella loves this.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Shock, mourning and fresh starts..



Shock and horror.

Let's hope the Mercury Music Prize can make a fresh start now and continue forward in the way that actually used to gain any sort of credibility.

Not the best Birthday ever given recentness and limited access to the internet is upsetting.

But I must admit sitting around a dinner table slagging off bands and getting very drunk and slagging off people in clubs is just as fun as I imagined it being.

Friday, 31 August 2007

Ouch!

I have just been informed by my good friends Disco Nap about a horrid sounding incident unluckily occuring to a personal favourite band of Pop Cultureddd's.

Read it here.

Photographs of myself cross-dressed as the lead singer of this band will not be shared.

Endings..

When something is over there is sometimes nothing you can do about it. End of. Full stop. It can come as a blistering shock or a welcome relief or anything in between these poles. Depending on temperament, time of day, circumstances, mood it can be held in your mind in different ways.

An emotional feeling can feel like a physical force. Can make it hard to breathe. Can make it hard to move. Can make it hard to speak. Can make it hard to think.

To relieve the pressure or just to make the tears flow that little bit harder music can have such a strong impact.

The gravity of this song actually makes me feel like I've been winded. It makes the heavy weight of grief on my little ribcage feel a lot more than I can deal with. But its an ache to learn to carry on with.

M83 - I Guess I'm Floating [via zShare]

But from an ending and a painful loss, lessons will be learnt and inspiration derived.

Midnight Juggernauts



So, today my iTunes is being gay. Windows Media Player won't burn anything. My shoulder hurts. I have to pack for 'The Move'. I've still not given my Mummy her birthday present because she is bloody elusive. It's my very own Birthday on Sunday. Bleurgh.

However, in a bid to procure randomness I popped Midnight Juggernauts on. And lo-n-behold, yipee, woo, and other such excitable noises, I am grooving my aches and pains away.

I'd seen their name around on various blogs but I'd either forgotten or just not had chance to peruse any further.

But all I can say is take a good 15 minutes of your life. Tell everyone to either listen or fuck right off. Turn up the volume on your audio playing machinery. And get this into your ears.

Midnight Juggernauts - Shadows [streaming via MySpace, along with some of their other uber-cool tracks]

Thursday, 30 August 2007

My Toys Like Me



My Toys Like Me may be the most startling discovery for myself in a while. Shocked in a disturbingly enjoyable way there is something wholly captivating and sinister about Barnaby.

Watch the video, if you dare..



You should definately buy it, like. It's only £1. Fucking bargain! Click here to spend a tiny little insignificant pound on a very good track.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Alfie



There are things in this world that are lined with tragedy. The story of Alfie is one of them. But the great thing is that out of tragedy came for me friendship and love.

I cannot at all, sat on my floor now, racking my mind, think of a time before Alfie. I can neither pin-point my first encounter with them. I remember that they had a sound that distinctly grew on me. Became more immersed into my life. Songs that stuck out as striking memories of things that had happened. A long, lonely train journey to Manchester eased by the sounds of Alfie. Summer never officially starting until Alfie had been played in the blazing sunshine.

The friends I've made along the way in my life that have also had a strong affection for Alfie have always ended up being friends that have meant the world to me. Sitting in the break from county wind band rehersals, naughtily eating sweets that would then get our reeded instruments sticky but not caring for the intoxicating talk of Alfie. Meeting a very tall, twee and dazzling guy I couldn't even bring myself to talk to when I realised he was an Alfie fan, 'could he be cooler?!', and becoming great friends. And receiving a MySpace message out of the blue to be told I must be worth at least saying hello to because I liked Alfie by someone someone whose divine ability for words had us in deep conversation of personal gigs by the band.

My gorgeous summer, jangly indie band.

That I never got to see.

The artwork for A Word In Your Ear is also probably my favourite artwork of all time. It goes perfectly with the album and its glorious sound that is consistent throughout, but also the concept I always will think is genius. Andy Votel came up with it and it was done by Stan Chow and basically depicts the band Alfie in one of those old style 50's kids books that tries to build the vocabulary of children as they are learning to read. And today's word is 'Alfie'. Woo.



Alfie were not widely known. I personally think they just were not lucky enough to have that perfect timing or promotion that seems to nowadays catapult very undeserving, mediocre bands into astronomical success. So eventually, with four albums under their belt, Alfie split. I remember crying when I read the statement given..

"it's hard to keep faith that "everything'll be alright", (which has been my mantra from day one), when it feels, ultimately, like no-one's listening." (Lee Gorton, 27th October 2005)

Since then I'd always been devastated to think I never got to see them live. I was even vehement that they'd reform to play a gig in my room for my 21st last year. Yet hope is a strange thing and now I just adoringly hold onto my Alfie singles, t-shirts, badges and vinyl that I seek out.

So for those who are not familiar with the late Manchester band here is a few tracks to get you going.

Alfie - You Make No Bones [via zShare]

Alfie - Not Half [via zShare]

Alfie - Your Own Religion [via zShare]

And, a track that holds special signficance to me..

Alfie - James's Dream [via zShare]

Now if you download these and like then I beg you to invest in their albums. They will make your record collection instantly amazing just by owning them. Yes, honestly, they have that power! Click here and ignore all the Jude Law nonsense.

This is just one little post dedicated to a late friend of mine he is more sorely missed than he could have ever known. In loving memory of RN. I miss you. And I am sorry for everything and nothing.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

On a personal note..

I recently received some news that completely shattered my world. It's hard to kind of put into words, which I suppose is fairly suprising for me, but it is one of those things that I'd never had to deal with before.

It is very hard to factor this loss and change into my life.

But I can't hide away forever and just because I've not been listening to the hippest, hottest, coolest, freshest new tracks shouldn't mean anything. Because my blog wasn't always intended to be like all the other super cool, cutting edge blogs.

A reader (who is now a very good friend of mine) once said that the whole appeal to him of reading my blog was that I blatantly wasn't influenced by others and that it was nice to get little fragments of the ongoings of my life and how that effected what I listened to.

Well, what I've been listening to has generally been fairly depressing, cathartic and heart-wrenching tracks to grieve to.

Please be supportive of Pop Cultureddd in this time. And as I scramble back to my feet in a bid to achieve some sort of changed medium there may be changes. Less pussy-footing, more criticism and more randomness of my writing style.

He'd have hated for me to become mediocre.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Mogwai



Oh dear.

It has really all gone to pot.

The sun is shining onto me now and I feel incredibly dark, sombre and sullen.

So obviously Mogwai is required.

I suggest Happy Songs For Happy People.

Go get it or look for it in your collection, get it listened to. If I'm going down I'm dragging you all with me!

Pop Cultureddd may be sporadically attended to in the coming weeks. Stress, turmoil and many tears are the current state of play.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Bjork and Simian Mobile Disco


What a great combination!

I feel swells of bias whenever anything Simian Mobile Disco related appears on the radar.

They've gone and remixed Bjork's new single Innocence. And as I listened to the remix all I could think was..

"Why not sooner?"

Well, its here now and I thought before I popped off to London for a few days tomorrow I'd leave it with you all to enjoy in the absence of Ms Mulrine.

Bjork - Innocence (Simian Mobile Disco remix) [via zShare]

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Peter, Bjorn and John

They are re-releasing Young Folks.

Can opinions sink lower? Apparently so.

Blameful, shameful crimes.

Does It Offend You, Yeah?



There is a new offering from Does It Offend You, Yeah?. If you are already hip and have them as a friend on MySpace you may be aware that clicking here, there and everywhere will get you a free download.

Let's Make Out.

Sexual commands shouted to distorted backing is always a winner for me. Play this in a dirty hotel room with a bottle of vodka. All hell will break lose.

The end sign-off is pure brilliance too. Very DIOY,Y?.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Field Day

I don't have tickets for the weekend.

I'd been waiting til I got paid and they've bloody sold out.

I'm devastated.

If anyone could help out a desparate Mulrine please contact me.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

I'm a robot man..

Yes, The Aliens were absolutely fantastic. Having taken an enormous amount of time to sound check it was worth it for the set they played. And to make up for the time they lost soundchecking they overplayed their set, much to the upset and fidgetting dismay of the organisers. A guy stood at the side looking decidedly uneasy.

"Fuck Damon Gough! He can wait! The Aliens are on!"

I think I may have been heard to say. But had you have seen their set you'd have applauded such a comment. I was tickled to see Gordon Anderson demand his fellow band members back on stage to play a bit more. Ha! Brilliant.

Rebellious antics aside, their set really was great. They have a sound that must be very hard to translate into a live set. Key changes and soaring harmonies. Its not particularly suprising that they spent a while preparing. But it was definately worth it. I chanted alongside anthemically. As I have been doing ever since.

"I'm a robot maaaaaan, I'm a robot maaaaaan, I'm a robot maaaaaan, I'm a robot maaaaaan!"

Ha.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Stockton Riverside Festival



This weekend sees my hometown of Stockton-on-Tees being taken over by the yearly festival. I must admit that I always used to miss them as a kid as I spent my summers with my Dad, museum hopping in Yorkskire.

But this Saturday I am looking forward to it. If I get myself there. With the headliner being Badly Drawn Boy (okay, okay, I know I have no affection for him further than Hour Of The Bewilderbeast but whatever, its free!) it doesn't look too bad, headliners for the other days include Echo And The Bunnymen and The Ordinary Boys. All three days, Friday (today), Saturday and Sunday showcase some of the best local acts and little-known acts from further afield.

But I must say that among the other obvious acts to really get excited about, the wonderous The Chapman Family and the very brilliant Dirty Weekend, the main one I must say I've come round to actually be really excited about seeing (again) is The Aliens.

After not really being impressed by them live at Fibbers in York, which was mainly to do with the fact that a) I wasn't familiar with The Aliens b) I was more excited about being in the same room as ex-The Beta Band members and c) they were fucking wrecked! So fingers crossed that they can stave off the temptation of alcohol long enough to perform well tomorrow night.

Yet, having worked in Stockton for far too many days recently I am slightly worried that a band as truly brilliant as The Aliens are going to simply be overlooked. One of the most socio-economically deprived areas of Britain might not quite understand the enormity of the greatness and musical genius that is The Aliens.

Here is a taste of them:

The Aliens - Rox

Wow. Thats quite a talking up there, isn't it? They better be good.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Chromeo



Now if you feel like browsing through blogs you'll probably see this pop up constantly. Chromeo are not to be overlooked, like I did, as it is folly to do so. Folly, I say!

You'll stumble upon the Sinden and MSTRKRFT remixes if you have a look here and there. But to be honest don't get caught up in single tracks and random remixes. Not yet, anyway. First port of call get the Chromeo album Fancy Footwork itself.

It really is something quite awesome. You'll certainly rise to your feet at least once and do some sort of a little jiggle. It will compell you to.

I thought groove had been lost.

Chromeo have found it and will make you want it.

Here's a bit of Tenderoni..

Tenderoni

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Tuesday, 31 July 2007

The Go! Team



I have an inarticulate feeling regarding the new album by The Go! Team called Proof Of Youth.

This feeling can be sumed up closest by a shrug of the shoulders.

~shrugs~

Might be a grower.

The hilarity..

Apparently my best friend is doing a phone interview with Stereophonics today.

"Is there anything you'd like me to ask?"

"You probably shouldn't say that to me... [long pause] Get them to read Pop Cultureddd... Fucking bastards."

And he interviewed Robyn today.

She answered the phone in Swedish.

Friday, 27 July 2007

Music is music is music..


And so it should be. But when you start throwing other things into the mix then this wonderous art form stays less clear cut.

Managers, producers, record labels, distributors, tour managers, venue owners and, the thing its meant to all be for, customers/consumers/music fans/us.

But when you start to view your audience as customers and consumers it seems to be the start of a slippery slope into producing music that is just not going to ring true to the artist.

And we all know and can think of great examples of bands or artists whose image, style and music have changed greatly.

For me, as pathetic as this may sound, and you really are having a glimpse into my deep, troubled soul here, for me, it is Stereophonics. The change that occured in this band was absolutely unfathomable to me. I was completely obsessed. A 12-13 year-old who was falling in love with indie and rock music and everything that went with it. Stereophonics were very exciting for me at that time. The Bartender and the Thief started it all and, well, more than a little teenage heart-throb affection was felt for Kelly Jones. Ahem.

Word Gets Around and Perfomance and Cocktails were two fantastic albums. Word Gets Around was particularly acclaimed as critics were spell-bound by such a strong debut album. Kelly Jones' lyric-writing and ability to spin such a good story had him compared to the likes of Bob Dylan and hopes were high.

There obviously is no doubt that they have become massively famous. But there is also no doubt that in listening to the differences between how the band first came bursting onto the scene and their latest releases that something has gone, for me, drastically awry.

Money, fame, travel, interference, playing to your mass audience too much.

"Thinking about thinking of you
Summertime think it was June
Yeah think it was June
Laying back, head on the grass
Children grown having some laughs
Yeah having some laughs." (Dakota - Stereophonics)



Go and buy Word Gets Around if you don't already own it. It must be about 20p on Amazon and eBay. Listen back to an album that is now 10 years-old and is still as exciting, fresh, vibrant and best of all, anthemic, as it was on its release.

So completely devastated was I in the way Stereophonics changed and completely shattered my teenage dream that if I ever met them I think broken bones, spitting and expletives would be a desirable outcome for the band.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Out-of-sorts..

After a week of gruelling manual labour, or something ressembling it, alienation, heavy nerves, shocks to the systems and continual nightmares I am left with only this.

Nothing.

Nothing but rock hard calfs, a strong jealously of the gorgeous Kate Nash and a deep burgeoning adoration for this track:

Vincent Markowski - The Madness of Moths [streaming via MySpace]

Hopefully I won't be doing many more 40+ hours in four days again soon, so I may be able to post more frequently and more enjoyably.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Rebelski



We really are pushing the boat out here for this one. Rebelski is an artist I have been very fond of for a long while. Travelling, fourth-member to Doves, keyboardist, finger wiggling, brilliantly named, delight Martin Roman Rebelski, is a little known wonder.

With two albums under his belt on Twisted Nerve I cannot praise this wonderous electronica, subtle, sweet and yummy phenomenon enough.

Both his albums Thanks For Your Thoughts and Stickers On Keys are quite infamous in the small and little experienced world of Ms Mulrine. And anyone who has had the (dis)pleasure of spending a summer's afternoon with myself will know of the cruel game I like to play when my it is hot and the sun is streaming into my room by putting on the sheer perfection of either of these albums and then watching the other person be so relaxed and soothed that they fall asleep by the fourth track.

So perfect I say right now having worked a 10 and a half hour shift. I stabbed my left index finger too so typing is painful. Bastard summer sale.

Here is the opening track of Stickers On Keys..

Rebelski - Alka Seltzer [via zShare]

Please, if you like, go and buy it, its well worth your pennies and hopefully it'll prompt Martin Roman to come out of hiding and produce more gorgeous music.

PURCHASE!

Monday, 16 July 2007

Songs to shout to..

In a very loud happy way. Regressing to a child-like state, jumping around, throwing arms around, spinning and being very happy about it too.

Electric Light Orchestra - Mr. Blue Sky [via zShare]

And the to-die-for.

The Shins - Sleeping Lessons [via zShare]

Time to go and work.

Bring it on..

Or maybe not.

In the four days leading up to seeing Erol Alkan on Friday night, I will be working anything up to 40 hours.

But I think, if anything, it will make me all the more determined to make the most of it. I'll be screaming at The Boys to get excited and dance. Whips will be cracked. And everyone will enjoy it.

Or, possibly more likely, I'll hit my third drink and the well known phenomenon will happen. I'll fall asleep.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Upset, aggitated, frustrated, disillusioned..



Between heart-breaking conversations, missing out on money day-after-day on Deal Or No Deal and kicking myself in the head by adoring the work of Nietzsche there is a low feeling around Pop Cultureddd.

Some how though, the wonderous, gorgeous Grizzly Bear didn't move me to tears today:

Grizzly Bear - Neck On A Spit [via zShare]

Yet, for some unknown reason pulsing Para One did:

Para One - Du-Dun Dun [via zShare]

But Nietzsche ended up hugging a carthorse and making an idiot of himself in public, so I don't feel that odd... yet.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Roisin Murphy



Once famed for fronting that awesome cool-dance act Moloko, now famed for, well, gorgeous hair, a brilliant name and most importantly creating a fucking amazing solo single.

Roisin Murphy's latest solo release is resoundingly great. Vocals, wobbly bass, just delicious. My only problem? I just can't ever seem to play it loud enough.

As great as the single is, it really is, go listen to it on her MySpace page and then buy it, I'd been giving the various remixes a listen too. I'd liked them, but not been too hot on any of them, until I saw that Herve had done one. And my has he done it justice. All over the place. Not particularly exciting, until you get 2 minutes and 31 seconds in. Jesus. Oh. It is the 'sex'.

Roisin Murphy - Overpowered (Herve and Roisin in the secret garden remix) (via zShare)

And look what I've done. I've embraced sites I don't understand to be able to share it with you all!

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Popworld



Ends next week!

And we all know it should have ended when Simon and Maquita stopped presenting it. Simon with his quirky, dry, out-of-touch way of posing questions which always pissed off indie-rock artists who felt their image was being jepordised (usually because it was). Maquita ever charming, funny and always suprised when she was hit on by either sleazy old has-been's or, the other predators, hip-hop artists. She's got such good legs.

Replaced by some scrawny, pretty indie kids. Fucking hell.

Woo for Channel 4 and their forward thinking. Horse racing is where it's at. Too fucking right!

Saturday, 7 July 2007

The Rakes

I love The Rakes. Even met Alan once. I'd show you the picture, but I'll save myself the embarrassment.

And although the latest album Ten New Messages took a long while for me to warm to, I have always had a soft spot for this song.

And here is the video! Very nice. I wouldn't let them go near my luscious long locks.

Friday, 6 July 2007

Simian Mobile Disco



And, so, like everyone in the world of 'blog' have posted about Simian Mobile Disco today. So I won't go against the grind. Pop Cultureddd needs all the lovin' it can get!

So go to, well, more or less any of the blogs in the links section to the right and get your fingers grasped onto your mouse to click and save the new SMD track that is floating about.

It's very nice.

Remember:

Simian Mobile Disco - 3 Pin Din

And look at all their tour dates! GO SEE THEM! I guarentee you'll enjoy it. They are fucking awesome live!

Tall Pony



I'd not heard this track in ages and just saw a bulletin on my MySpace for the band. Tall Pony may have created the most sinsiter, frightening, scary, gendered yet all the while completely hilarious (if in a somewhat nervous giggle way the first 5 times you listen to it) song I've heard in, well, ever.

Tall Pony - I'm Your Boyfriend Now {Streaming via their MySpace}

Buy it! Buy it! But it! Here.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

To My Boy



So for my first proper post of my return I have not taken the obvious route. Anyone who has had to endure my company recently for longer than about 10 minutes will be suprised that I'm not posting about a certain band. More later.

However, that is not at all to take in any way away from this band, To My Boy. I've mentioned them before. I first saw them way back when (not actually sure when) at a Club NME night at Middlesbrough Empire and I was completely captivated. I was just stood waiting for the usual guitar-based, mediorce, indie, pseudo-Libertines rip off. And on walked To My Boy. They have synths!! Oooo. I was very excited.

They were one of the few acts I saw at Middlesbrough Music Live. And even though I could feel my face being horribly sunburnt I couldn't turn away from To My Boy.

Their debut album is finally out. It came out on Monday to be exact. Messages is an incredibly engaging and upfront album. Fast-paced, hard-driven, screaming synths. I just adore it. Not to say its all up-up-up. I've got grievances with Eurkea that I have not reconciled. I just can't put my finger on it.

But all the singles are bloody awesome, obviously. I must say my favourite by far is Model that messy distorting riff has me dreaming about To My Boy just about every night for the past 3 weeks. But I guess my other preferred tracks are; In The Zone, which is about "reconciling the local with the global", an attempt to fuse a bit of sociology? I think so. See globalization; Talk, which the closing part of the song is just luscious, reminds me of my beloved Lo-Fi-FNK, high praise indeed; the end 'secret' track Game Over, just brilliant, it needs no more explaining.

And, well, music aside, these guys, Sam White and Jack Snape, just seem totally and completely friendly and I say that not having had any contact with them. Very committed to their fans. Incredibly interactive. Much more than any other band I can currently think of who've released an album. But add them on their MySpace and you'll soon see. A little bit addicted, eh, boys? Aren't we all.