Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Arcade Fire

Since having seen Arcade Fire I cannot get through a day without listening to Neon Bible. When Arcade Fire plunged into the ears of many it was truly magical. A crafted, delicate, unique sound was created. And rumours flew round about their amazing live performances.

So to get to go and see them was more of an exciting opportunity than I could comprehend. And with good reason. They were absolutely astounding. Easily one of the best bands you could wish to see.. probably on the face of the earth right now. The reproduction of the songs, sounds, noises, ambiance and atmosphere was spot on. Its the best way to describe. And I did. Last night. Drunkenly. Shouting in people's ears. But to reaffirm they were great. Even down to the violins being so perfectly mastered as not to be drowned out by all the other far more powerful electric instruments. I'm still in awe now.

Neon Bible is going to be an album of the year and probably more, a year is an odd way to measure it. A friend of mine, Mr Douglass, quite aptly suggested that Neon Bible is the best album that has been released since Funeral. Very insightful.

Yet my best friend Paul and I have been candidly discussing Neon Bible and when we don't blissfully agree we painfully (for him) fall out. Jiggling around to Keep The Car Running is incredible. No Cars Go since having seen it performed live makes me cry, its beautiful, fraught, tense and anthemic. But Paul and I massively disagree about Black Wave/Bad Vibrations he thinks that the point at which Win thunders in completely ruins and interrupts a perfectly good song. Yet I vehemently object. I feel that it adds to a song by interrupting in such a dramatic, booming and noisy way. Screaming for retribution. Paul is wrong. I say so.

Hopefully when Paul gets his act together he'll send me some pictures and I may share with you the best.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007


Okay, its not all about the music, and I realise as of yet I have not filled in with much of a sociological perspective on it all. But its difficult to do. I am trying. Honestly.

I am the incredibly incompetent secretary of the newly established Sociology Society at the University of York. It has all been a bit haphazard and uncoordinated in getting it going. But its coming along. (If you would like any further information on this just contact me. Its exciting and we've got some amazing stuff planned. Plus we always want fresh exciting speakers.)

But by some insane miracle* we have Anthony Giddens coming to speak for us on Thursday 3rd May.

If you don't know who he is or nothing of the world of social science then basically this guy is tantamount to a modern day Karl Marx. He is a major celebrity in the sociological field. He has written more than his own weight in literature and books, he is a major contributor to the political climate that we currently experience, he issues on average a book a year (!!!), and he has written some amazing ideas about the processes of globalization and the effects on the world and the individual. More information on Giddens.

He is coming to talk to us days before the rumoured hand-over of power from Blair to Brown. I am so nervous I may wee myself just typing.

But I wondered what credit or recognition Giddens gave to music and music culture. So I grabbed my copy of Giddens' Sociology and flicked to the index and was directed to a two page excerpt. And it immediately flung lots of questions into my head just reading it. Take this:

"..music is able to transcend the limitations of written and spoken language to reach and appeal to a mass audience." (page 474)

This is largely true. But, and listen up you post-modern kids, music has not always been recordable. There was quite a long period of history that it was not reproducable in any other form than to actually play it or view someone else playing it. However, a massive and very recent phenomenon has completely changed the way we interact and consume music.

- Have we removed the personal touch? Is it wholly individualised and down to the ears of the reciever?
- Does that mean that those who are classically trained are now redundant and of no use? Do musicians claims to knowledge about music now go into a level playing field with that of the lay listener?
- Was it a far more communial ritual in years gone by? And does that reflect the ways in which gigs, DJ sets, club nights, festivals interact music listeners today?
- What about people with their own little worlds of headphones and MP3 players? Are the 'interacting' with anything at all whilst listening?

Just some ponderings. Maybe I'll ask Giddens when he comes.

* Its not actually a miracle just some hard-working students.

Thursday, 15 March 2007

La Grève Générale

It has been a long while since I've been into mixes. Nothing has particularly caught my attention in a while. I used to love them. I'd fill my MP3 player with them to walk around to.

But yesterday Missing Toof posted an exclusive new mix by La Grève Générale.

La Grève Générale - Cheese On Toast and Sambuca Mixtape

Even though I am chronically ill this has managed to perk me up. So if you are going out any time soon get this whacked on before hand... And you'll probably end up staying in and throwing a massive party in your own house and causing tremendous amounts of damage. I bet it'd be worth it though. Invite me!

Wednesday, 14 March 2007


I feel like I am dying.

But I am vehemently fighting off whatever it may be because I go away to London on Friday. Arcade Fire probably wouldn't appreciate me being ill.

Anyway. Get this round your ears.

Scissor Sisters - She's My Man (Goose remix)

About time someone realised the potential of Scissor Sisters to its full extent. But then again I have recently become quite partial, more than quite, a lot partial to Goose. Descendants of the wonderous Soulwax and hopping straight out of Belguim, Goose are causing more sexual excitement in me than I thought was possible. A penchant for a distorted guitar riff is my weakness, and, well, these guys do it flawlessly as one can expect from hot distortion.

However, I do feel rather twee today. Probably because I'm ill and I need to take the pace a little more slowly and less bass driven. I think some Tom McRae would be best suited.

I encourage you to purchase Scissor Sisters new single that has that awesome Goose remix on it. Get it here.

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

The Cribs

So I knew when it was announced that The Cribs were playing at Cornerhouse in Middlesbrough that it would probably be an awful gig. But that was genuinely the entirity of its appeal. The Cribs are not the world's greatest musicians. And had it not been for Ryan Jarman's appearence on Never Mind The Buzzcocks I'd probably never have bought the album The New Fellas. About 5 of the songs on that album became anthemic. "Catchy!" I used to just shout that as justification whilst bopping away.

Plus, these guys have character. Personality is something quite lacking from a fair few bands and artists. These guys are dirty, Northern, scummy and they fucking love it!

Ridiculously scene and, oh, how I love it!

But their performance was shockingly bad. People went crazy! Crowd surfing, dancing on tables, climbing the speakers. But The Cribs were out of time, out of tune, and a little insulting.

It was mint! Any band that can get away with that sort of performance and still have their fans go mental for them wholly deserve all of my respect. At the time I wanted to buy a t-shirt, so I could point at my chest whilst donning it and say "So bad, its fucking good!"

Oh. However. The Rapture at Empire on Saturday was just flat. I hoped I'd be inspired. Jumping around to House Of Jealous Lovers like someone was trying to stab my ankles? But no. I barely noticed it was them. Ah well. I think when I realised it was them I was more annoyed at the behaviour of the owners of Empire and the club night organisers for putting The Rapture on so early... It felt like it was done with the sole purpose of getting the gig over and done with and getting the club night punters in. Rake in that money!

So ethical.

Thursday, 8 March 2007

SebastiAn and others..

I have an incredible soft spot for SebastiAn. A major feature of my compilation CD's last year was the work of this guy. And I've just got the latest offering, Greel. But my sound quality of it is so poor that I think its fucking with the disortion of the bass because there is so much distortion due to the poor sound quality. However, aside from the unfavourable sound quality the track itself is in as dark and warping a feel as ever and just another wonderful achievment to add to SebastiAn's working.

Mr Oizo has another few little offerings on the latest Ed Banger compilation CD. Patrick122 will make your head spin. Mine did. With envy of that clear-cut, undeniable ability. It sounds absolutely effortless. He takes the idea of pausing to awesome levels. So perfectly crisp you feel the overhang in your stomach.

Get these listened to.. Fucking now.. Get ready.. It's an absolute imperitive.. Ocelot are from the US and going to take the world by storm. They are making a couple of appearences over there at some awesome events that are packed with some of the best electro, techno artists, producers and DJ's. But find it yourself. I'm too jealous of anyone with the opportunity of going to help you out with a link!

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

MSTRKRFT Puma trainers

I fundamentally need these trainers.

As if a fetish for trainers and a love for MSTRKRFT has been combined to produced these.

My feet look so shit right now.

Monday, 5 March 2007

Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha

Last year in a period of extreme accumulation of CD's due to imbalanced psychological urges I happened to buy Andrew Bird And The Mysterious Production Of Eggs solely due to the artwork. I had never come across him at all previously. But that album became completely inseparable from my CD player. Fake Palindromes (stream it here..) became something I used to throw myself around any available space to. The Untitled tracks used to coarse and soar no matter how bad quality the sound of my speakers gave them. And, well, Opposite Day actually had the power to reduce me to tears just in the glorious foresight of it all.

So when my best friend presents me with a cheeky copy of the new album, Armchair Apocrypha I was delighted to fill my ears with that voice again.

The difference of Armchair Apocrypha and Andrew Bird's previous album is something almost ineffable. Tinged with a deeper melancholy Bird produces something darker and more subtle than the last. Listened to in the right way its beauty is something that could be impossible to surpass for a very long while in today's current climate.

And to hear that the reviews it has received so far have been that it is not, I can barely bring myself to say it, not, not as good as the previous album, its just beyond ridiculous and perculiar. I have held back from viewing such reviews for to do so may provoke an angry mob within myself. And it gain knowledge of a name of a said reviewer may stir my pitch-fork (no pun intended) wielding ways to maybe do something as radical as scowl viciously at their name.

Give the two tracks on the Andrew Bird MySpace a listen. They are the first two. And imagine more beauty and reverb, I know it is hard, but try, and at that point you may have an idea of how truly exquisite it is.

Thursday, 1 March 2007


Now, when the much loved Clor split up it sent, well, I'd have to describe them as, ripples of grief, between me and about two other people that I knew. I had never had the chance to see them live and they produced a sound very unique and writhing with eclecticism, so it was no shock when the reason they gave for spliting was due to musical differences.

The person who introduced me to Clor has recently introduced me to the frontman, Barry Dobbin's, latest project. Barringtone. Stick with it. Yes, in places a little scrappy and rough. But if you can get hold of Snake In The Grass try and tell me that hook isn't astounding. The haphazard sound just add to the charm. Very good.

Its a very bare MySpace profile but I am hoping Barringtone will soon be flooded with upcoming dates and some new material. It makes me as happy as ice cream.

I should really credit the person who introduced me. One of the Broken Hooker DJ's. They have a radio show and do nice sets now and then. Blah.

My monthly compilation CD is underway now. Starting to take shape.

Oh, which reminds me. If anyone reading would ever like a copy of my compilation CD's please let me know. Its nice to share (so I've heard). And some people really enjoy them. Its a bit of an artform to me.