Wednesday, 31 October 2007
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
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
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
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
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]
Wednesday, 24 October 2007
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.
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
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.
Monday, 22 October 2007
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
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
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
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
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
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.
First thoughts all?
I'm dreading reading reviews. Bleurgh.
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
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.
- 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
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
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
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 countdown begins.
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.