Saturday, 27 October 2007

Old Loves and New...

Belle and Sebastian. A band I have liked for many years has recently developed into love as I understand them a little better. Yes they are whimsical to a point but they have more substance and ideas (and band members) to create magical songs every time they make an album. From “Dear Catastrophe Waitress” to “The Blues are Still Blue” Murdoch, Jackson and Martins vocals wrap the listener up with harmony and wonderfully elusive lyrics. “Piazza, New York Catcher” is simple with vocals and guitar being the only instruments used (unlike “Step Into My Office, Baby” which has a fully fledged orchestra). What I like most about “New York Catcher” is how it epitomises Belle and Sebastian’s sound and lyrical work in the simplest way.
“The Boy with the Arab Strap” is equally compelling with hand claps and an earlier sound to the band (it being the third of their eight albums). “Another Sunny Day” gathers speed with the electric guitar and a distinct and succinct 60’s feel to it.
There are a million(ish) songs I could go on about because since 1996 Belle and Sebastian have been making music but basically, what I like most about them (other than they named themselves after that French cartoon) is that they are versatile and relevant as ever. They could bring out an album in another 10 years and it would still be a piece of wonderful and ‘folksy’ work. They are magic.
Talking of new loves is a band of another whimsical nature. Los Campesinos are possibly on of the best bands I have seen this year with their mixture of male/female vocalists and all-band dance routines. And they were touring with Sky Larkin and You Say Party We Say Die (two other amazing bands).

An enigmatic front man (with an apparently Justine Frischmann-esque haircut although I couldn’t see that myself) and a menagerie of musical instruments creates a fusion on stage that translates to the audience too. Covering “Frontwards” by Pavement they put their own unique twist of happiness on it. The music blends seamlessly with the lyrics which are on their own works of art. Basically, I couldn’t praise this band enough and hopefully they’ll get all the praise and awards and stuff they deserve. Get your glockenspiels and violins at the ready
Reading back it seems I like bands which have many members, many instruments involved and lyrics that make little sense… 4 piece indie bands are so 2004 dah-ling. (Jokes) (not really)
Jade xx

Belle and Sebastian- Piazza, New York Catcher.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

I'll have a pint of McGuinness please...

Sadly nowadays its becoming rarer and rarer to find a musician or band that encites me due to their sheer raw talent and orginality. It seems bandwagons are becoming the new fashion which strips the airwaves of anything different or magical hense why listening to Eugene McGuinness has become such a wonderous experience. Burdened with an unnecessarily geeky name has certainly not tainted his effortless approach to being cool, with an enigmatic stage presence and

His most noticable song being "Mosters under the Bed" is filled with whimsicle imagry and equally magical coingages (fanfuckingtabulous) to match. His vocal ability is odd yet charmingly crisp with his music containing distinc ska influences however manages to forge its own unique genre verging on the indescribable.
Finding himself on the support act circuit with his contempories (including Lightspeed Champion, his biggest fan!) may not be the most fulfilling career move however this will no doubt enable him to build on his already dedicated fanbase and expand his music thefore reciving the acclaim he righfully deserves. A British talent to be proud of, and perhaps one that should be cherished rather than ruthlessly captilised in order to please the greedy masses.

So from the new to the old, as we drift the the 1930's I recommend you all dig out a Robert Johnson record. This man is the sole reason for rock and roll, a true innovator of all things great and deserves to be cannonised for his works! Only 2 surviving pictures and the odd recording of the man makes his persona even more mesperising and ultimately mysterious. The emotive resinance contained within his purely r'n'b voice is both moving and admirable, most successfully heard on "Sweet Home Chicago". Its hard to avoid his influence in todays world, and this significant hold could be caused by his short albiet eventful life. His legacy is timeless, and its a sad shame that his talent often goes unrecognised by modern music lovers as he is a man whose naivity towards his own music has produced some of the finest recordings ever.

Hannah xx

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Paradox (or is that an Oxymoron?)

(image compyright Danny North)
"Sounds Like: Pop heaven in a library."

Ok, grammer aside the paradoxical nature of "GET IT LOUD IN LIBRARIES" is possibly the best idea ever!
Cramming as many people into Lancaster Library as possible to bring to people aged 0-100 (much like that yoghurt advert!) the best new music around they've had an array of talent playing so far.
Gracing the stage in the music section of the library has been; The Long Blondes, Bat for Lashes, Tiny Masters of Today, Sky Larkin, You Say Party! We Say Die!, The Wombats, Los Camposinos!, The Hot Puppies and Field Music !
AND Coming up as well there is The Whip and The KBC on the 24th October.
Having been to two of the gigs I can saftly say the age-range (toddlers to OAPs and everything in between) is one of the most positive aspects of the whole thing as well as seeing new bands in a small space where most of their influences come from. Music, literature and community are all combined to create a unique experiance. No wonder awards have graced this novel and magical idea.

Monday, 8 October 2007

around the world in 60 seconds...

.. or something of that nature!

Out “there” is a lot of good music. Out “there” being across the ponds and various seas that divide the British Isles from the rest of the world!
For example New York used to be known for likes of Patti Smith and The Ramones as its own! However now there are bands lurking in the Big Apple like "Nous Non Plus" who seem to sing mainly in French about “Lawnmower Boy[s]” and "The Lisps” whose eccentric stage antics (not having a microphone, tap dancers and dressing as though they were puritans or something) put Tilly and the Walls ‘quirky’ antics to shame! California isn’t just the home of the OC either, the whimsical and slightly bizarre "Vermillion Lies” trail haphazardly around in weird and wonderful clothes with a 30’s/ Bette Midler feel to them. Whilst other American bands such as “Tiny Masters of Today” and the unmitigated greatness of “White Stripes” and “Adam Green” keep us all entertained!
Or if America is too close to home how about Australia or New Zealand? Yes, countries that are still probably waiting for the Kasier Chiefs to visit them are sending us the cream of their crop. Never mind “The Datsuns”- bands like “Architecture in Helsinki” and “So, So Modern” are bringing their twangy accents and Crocodile Dundee covers to Britain in a flurry of electro pop and shouty vocals. Not to mention The Brunettes” from Auckland who resemble a softer Blood Red Shoes! You’ve also got Die! Die! Die!” with their dark take on the blues…
Bleeps and “blue, blue, blues” are being taken care of courtesy of Canada’s finest “Crystal Castles” and “
FeMeNin MaScUlin” whose blend of sugary, female vocals and synthesized wonderment is keeping foots tapping everywhere!
France, possibly known more for its penchant for snails than its good ol’fashioned indie rock, is boasting not only the fab “The Teenagers” but also “Les Shades”, “Second Sex” and “The Plasticines”! Keeping it in Europe we have "Les Fauves” from Italy and the ADULT-esque "MiT" from Germany who aso get to boast Berlins "Kitty Solaris”.
Sweden has “The Je Ne Sais Quoi” whose blend on poppy synth and 60’s esque guitars are beautiful. Also from the land of the Swedes comes another band. Pop infused, female fronted and possibly sugar coated as well; Those Dancing Days”. Songs “Those Dancing Days” and “Hitten” are possibly the most addictive things ever? (View Video Here!) Sweden also claims "Salty Pirates" as its own whos addictive tracks "Survivalist Guide" and "Common Sense" are slightly Americanised but with slightly humourous vocals due to accents galore!

Another country from ‘up there’ (aka. Iceland Geography isn’t my strongest attribute) are “Jakobinarina”, the excellent, punk filled greatness that is. Argentina has Modular whose blend of ‘sunshine pop’ and ‘pop orquestral’ is alluring and also like something out of Napoleon Dynamite!

Well, that’s about as many countries as I can come up with; maybe thats not many but hopefully enough ha.

Jade xx

-taken from NeuMag!




Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Shotter nation ...

SO today i made an investment, a wise one in my opinion. Shotters nation, the second offerening from Babyshambles and it has to be said, a sublime piece of msuical work. It appears that the band have fused, forming a relation with each other that has proved healthy and prosperous. Although the departure of ex-gutarist Patrick Walden was a sad one it seems his replacement, Mick has justifed himself. The one striking comparison between this and their debut album is that musically "Shotter Nation" is impressive and has not gained the wrong fame purely from the infamous Pete who has wrongly become a household name for the sake of selling papers. His talent lies deeper and its this ability to create which is putting his music back in the limelight. For too long, liberitines fans througout the world have had to grit their teeth and constantly defend their icon owever this new chapter of Petes life is strongly deemed to be a success. Perhaps endless court appearances and split between his infamous lover Kate has reforcussed his determination and rekindled his one true love, Music. Although the now legendary partnership between Pete and Carl has ended it seems a new one is blossoming and perhaps Babshambles have been given a new chance to prove themselves as accomplised musicians.

The absence of Mick Jones seems to be another positive step in the right direction, and even on first listen, the production of the album is noticiably pristince. Stephen Street must be commeded for his different approach which in turn creates a wholesome sound rather than a disjointed album. On listening to these different tracks, it becomes clear that Pete & co have drawn influenes from the major bands rather than the obscure. Sounds from The Kinks, The Doors and even The Stone Roses are obvious but do not suggest plagourism, rather necessary influence.

Pete recently has become scaily close to losing his appeal, however when I found myself grinning like bagpus on y first listen of the album, I knew my love for him and his works will never fade. Its special and beautiful lyrical content is what makes petes a leppar in musical society and a traite he should never lose!

So to the music and tracks stand out like saw thumbs is this array of the sublime. "You talk" is a natural showcase of petes vocal ability which is rarely commended. Riffs that ooze success rest neatly over a rare co-ordination of sound. Other highlights include "unstookietitled" and "crumb begging", with the appeal of both mainstream and obscure ears alike, a rare balance that possible only Babyshambles can pull off with credibility. This album provides proof that Babyshambles are certainly not just Pete's backing band, talented musicians in their own right which is slowly becoming a rareity in todays stupidly mindless charts!

With any of Petes ventures, the album is certainly not flawless but fills the gap in what we were all waiting for, an album for us all to be proud of. Pete, the innovator of a close relationship between band and fan has crossed the boundries in many ways throughout his career therefore this, his latest effort should certainly be given the chance to succeed without the stereotypical stigma attatched to it.

I must stop, as it is quite possible for me to talk for hours about anything Libertines related!!


Just a quick post about the Jakobinarina gig !

Hailing from Iceland (so that’s Yak-O-Bina-Rina) they played at the Roadhouse on Sunday courtesy of Same Teens Live.
Starting the night were the City Royals, Manchester answer to cheeky indie-pop and despite vocal strain (at one point a request for a hot toddy was made by a rasping lead singer) they delivered a blinding set with “Neon Pretty” and “Holiday” winning the “could-be-an-indie-dance-floor-classic” category. Despite a crude joke about aids (still got a few laughs) they still claim an absolutely ace drummer and vocalist with the Gallagher swagger; defiantly a Manchester band!
Satin Peaches on the other hand were distinctly American (they’re from Detroit); with the angst and Kurt Cobain whine down to a pat they didn’t seem to be everyone’s cuppa’. However, for those who like the grunge sound (and look) they’ll be a firm favourite. Their live set is distinctly darker than the sound conveyed on CD and what seems like a jovial, 60’s infused song in “Well, Well, Well, Well” came across from the stage as macabre, The Kinks gone bad so to speak.
Finally, Jakobinarina came on. With all the arrogance of a world-famous rock star Gunnar Bergmann belatedly jumped on stage. Launching into “This is an Advertisement”.
“’Allo this is Jakobinarina/ We are officially announcing ve are sell-oot,” pretty much sums up the feelings of the band. Tongue-in-cheek songs about selling out (like so many bands do now) and “Jesus” ordering everyone to “Jump around/ to the sound/ of mediocrity” gathers the crowd up together in a whirlwind of energy and transplants them somewhere buzzing with resentment for todays “popular music”. “Sleeping in Seattle” and “Riding” give a slower sense to the occasion. Dance moves provided by the lead singer were more reminiscent of a dad dancing at a disco- yet on him made to look effortlessly cool. Showing that Iceland has more rock in it that Siguor Ros and that anti-disestablishmentarians and antipathy towards what classes for music now crosses seas and binds us all together. All in all, Jakobinarina provide an outstanding live act that reflects their music, style and passion as well as extremely danceable and likeable songs!

Jade xx

BUY THEIR ALBUM (according to the lead singer "It is niiiiiice"!)


Jakobinarina - Sleeping in Seattle
Jakobinarina- This is an Advertisment