All 9 entries tagged Music

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November 16, 2006

More Tim Minchin

My sister tells me this Tim Minchin video is even funnier than the one below, so in my endless search to make him famous and single-handedly sell-out his upcoming British tour, here’s another one…


November 15, 2006

Tim Minchin

This is probably the funniest comedy I’ve seen since Eddie Izzard. He’s an Australian guy and won the Perrier Award when it was still called the Perrier Award. I prefer Rock and Roll Nerd but can’t find video of it, so here’s Environmental Message.

Why do I seem to like comics who wear eye-liner…?


October 14, 2006

Shock News: Robbie Williams puts out brilliant record (by accident)

Apparently my sister wants more entries that aren’t about politics. So here’s one.

Robbie Williams’ new record is an absolute blinder.

It’s true.

But there’s a catch.

The original is a bit crap.

HOWEVER some Belgians who you might have heard of – Soulwax – have turned Lovelight into one of the best dance records in years.

Someone’s uploaded a bit of it over here if you want to listen, but I can’t guarantee it’ll be there for long.


September 05, 2006

Monkeys Schmonkeys

I’m still not feeling the Arctic Monkeys. They might have won the Mercury Prize, but I still feel an in-built aversion to them.

Something about them doesn’t seem very original to me. Ignore the lyrics and everything else could have been written 20-30 years ago. The only thing they seem to have going for them is that they’re young. Well good on ‘em, but in my humble opinion kids that age ought to be a bit more creative.

Arctic MonkeysAll of the reasons given for their win this evening could have been translated (without much effort) into “They’re the band who’ve had the most hype”, which for me isn’t a good reason.

I know I’m gonna get random Google-oriented abuse from 12-year-olds (and probably plenty from the more cultured reader of my blog), but I’m still not won over by their music. Sorry.

===

P.S. Since you ask, Thom Yorke, Guillemots or perhaps Hot Chip should have won.


September 03, 2006

Review: Guillemots – Through The Window Pane

Title:
Rating:
5 out of 5 stars

Bugger me.

Upon reaching the end of an album, my usual reaction is to work out what CD’s going in next, decide whether I require the toilet, think about what’s for dinner (yeah, usually that one), or grunt something about the world being shit.

Upon reaching the end of Through The Window Pane, my initial reaction was “Bugger me”. My second thought was whether to replay the whole album from the start or just play Track 12 again.

In the end I went for Track 12. But then it is just shy of twelve minutes long. And bugger me, it’s an opus. It’s like taking a first-class transatlantic flight only to be told that the plane’s accidentally gone the wrong way and ended up in Kyrgyzstan. “Oh dear”, you say, “that’s a shame, I suppose I’ll have to sit here for just a little longer, sipping champagne etc.” It’s so long that halfway through it you take a double-take and see your CD player’s telling you that you’ve still got a whole Champagne Supernova left to listen to.

Before today I’d only ever heard Made-Up Lovesong #43 on the radio, and was mildly impressed, but I had no idea it came from such a stupendously brilliant band as the Guillemots turned out to be once I heard the whole album.

For a good five years I’ve been trying to find a band to compare with The Divine Comedy. I’ve often seen reviews on Amazon saying “If you like this, you’ll like this too…” only to be faced with some random, obscure drivel which completely misses the ‘pop’ element of Neil Hannon’s music. For some reason no-one’s ever said “If you like the Divine Comedy then Guillemots will give you wet dreams”. Well now I’ve said it, and anyone who searches for “If you like the Divine Comedy” in Google will find my recommendation.

To be honest, if you have even a faint interest in good music then you should go and buy this album. You remember how Avalanches were supposed to be good before they disappeared from the face of the planet? You’ll find enough of them here to be happy. Same goes for those waiting for the next Radiohead album. Same for Ben Folds. Same for anyone who liked Lauren Laverne’s early stuff. Same for anyone who thought David Gray was on to a good thing, but was a little bit… grey. And anyone who thought Damien Rice was a bit of a wet lettuce.

The Divine Comedy reference is the most pertinent one though, and is why I’m so excited by this album. The orchestration is very Joby Talbot, and while the melodies are less… ‘esoteric?’ ...than Neil Hannon’s, there’s also something a little more frantic about the way the songs are put together. Who gives a damn if not everything’s in time with everything else? This album shows you why you shouldn’t.

We’re Here is a brilliantly haunting track that is just too good for radio, while the aforementioned Made-Up Lovesong #43 has piano lines wasted at such a low volume, but subtle enough to make you realise this band is a bit special.

I’m tempted to go through other tracks and spout praise, but Sao Paulo, the final track, is still nagging at me, asking for yet more attention. It’s not so much of a song as a concerto, but somehow the many parts of the song fit together so you don’t notice.

If Neil Hannon could write music consistently, he’d make an album like this. As it is, we have to settle for one or two brilliant tracks per album. Guillemots will never be able to pull this feat off again, and I predict their second album will be shit. Through The Window Pane is sheer class.

Only as I flick through the vast expanse called the internet do I find out they’re nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, announced this week. If they don’t win, the awards should be put to sleep for good. If this album’s not better than Arctic Monkeys, Editors and Muse, then this world really is full of self-important twats.

Watch them live on Top of the Pops:

Buy their freakishly good album Through The Window Pane now. Seriously, Right Now.

P.S. This band are so freaking good I’ve just ordered gig tickets after hearing their album once.


July 25, 2006

The Best Albums of the Decade (so far!)

Jimmy , Adam and I were discussing yesterday the merits of the new Muse album. Verdict: nowhere near as good as the last one.

But it got us thinking about which albums of the 21st Century would be in our Top 10. Jimmy threw in Muse's Absolution, which I was a bit surprised with.

So here's my own:

10. Streets – A Grand Don't Come For Free
9. Blur – Think Tank
8. Delays – You See Colours
7. Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand
6. Paul Oakenfold – Bunkka
5. Coldplay – X&Y
4. Killers – Hot Fuss
3. Sigur Ros – Takk
2. Bloc Party – Silent Alarm
1. Coldplay – A Rush of Blood To The Head


June 22, 2006

Review: Keane – Under The Iron Sea

Keane - Under The Iron SeaEver since they entered the mainstream and their singles got repeated on a seemingly never–ending loop by music channels and radio stations, Keane have been a band that it's not unusual to hate.

True, they're a little bland, with a bit too much public school scruffiness to be all that cool, and deep inside them is a burning desire to have been born as Coldplay. But despite all of this, they manage to penetrate the consciousness of every music–lover in the country and inspire feelings of either hate or reluctant acceptance.

The first thing that you'll notice is that they've suddenly got themselves a guitarist ("but hey, I thought they hated guitars…). Well, as I said, they really want to be Coldplay and had to make some compromises to sound more like them. So they've got a fancy new synth that sounds like a guitar. Personally I think this is ridiculous. I used to think that an electric drum kit did the job as well as an acoustic one. But that's because I was an ass. If you want the sound of a guitar, I say just go and get a bloody guitarist. Only guitar geeks will be able to tell the difference, but that's not exactly the point. Why do something complicated when there's a perfectly simple and traditional alternative. It's a bit like whisking an egg in an electric whisker when a fork does the job just as well without so much washing up.

Anyway.

First single Is It Any Wonder shouts very loudly "WE LIKE GUITARS NOW", and also suggests they've been listening to U2 albums of yore, as the riffs are catchy, if a bit predictable and somewhat familiar. The chorus does all you'd expect a chorus to do, with the exception of providing some form of climax. Instead it ends up sounding like a middle–eight that leads into the next verse. I'm not totally averse to this because the song's best lyrics are in the verse, but this is Keane, and not exactly poetry, so a weak chorus is a bit unforgivable.

Potential next single (and definately the track the BBC should play during the closing titles when England go out of the World Cup to a Messi hat–trick) is A Bad Dream. Hope you're listening BBC Sport. Melodically this is a very simple track, and forms a pretty blank canvas for whatever you put on top. This means it's almost as suitable for a Streets-style rant as it is for Keane's wisping lyrics. It's also possibly the easiest song to work out the chords for... Ever! The song's a reverse of Is It Any Wonder in that the chorus is considerably better than the verse, and there's a clear middle–eight which works pretty well.

Atlantic is a fairly weak start to the album, and perhaps the dullest track on offer too, while Nothing In My Way is an improvement but has Enya–style vocal harmonies. Therefore a bit odd, although it's a catchy tune which has just a tad of the Coldplay in it.

Leaving So Soon has the unfortunate burden of beginning like part of the soundtrack to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the new one), which is hard to get over as the track takes a different and largely unobjectionable turn. Lyrics are depressingly simple, such as:

Now you're here
I bet you're wishing you could disappear

which are almost as bad as some of my GCSE Music compositions. And they were tragic. Having said that, it does possess some of the Keane charm of their first album, and has that annoying knack of implanting itself in your brain.

Put It Behind You departs from the band's safe path to certain radio airplay by weighing in at a hefty 6m33. Sadly there's no good reason for this, except a piss–poor attempt at Muse–like instrumentals at the end. Oh, and a Blackpool–organ sound at the start.

Crystal Ball is quite catchy, but then so is Baa Baa Black Sheep, and the two songs discouragingly have quite a lot in common.

Broken Toy is another six–minutes–plus bloater, with lyrics as endearing as "I guess I'm a toy that is broken" and quite prosaically "I guess I'm a record you're tired of". Cleverer than they look.

Under The Iron Sea will almost certainly do well (it's already at No. 1), but this is in spite of many of the tracks on the album. There's the odd catchy tune (read: 'annoying' once it's released), such as Leaving So Soon and A Bad Dream, but half of the album misfires badly. It's background music, it's suitable for a shop that's looking to close early by driving all of its customers out, and it's got a certain something about it which will inevitably appeal to people who decide on radio playlists over the next twelve months.

By which time the real thing will be back with their fourth album and another implausibly–named baby for Chris Martin. It's too long to wait.


April 04, 2006

Oh dear, oh dear

Writing about web page http://youtube.com/watch?v=o762HKxYMeA

This is the funniest online video I've seen in ages. It works on so many levels.

The band The Right Brothers have put together this clever little ditty entitled 'Bush Was Right', sticking it to the lefties of us who think the war in Iraq (not to mention the entire Bush administration) has been a sham.

Firstly, the song-writing is brilliant. Think school-playground taunt, but a bit more childish.

Secondly, these guys are so naive you almost want to go and give them a hug and tell them everything will be OK eventually. They've picked up on this bizarre impression that 1) the American economy is great and the war in Iraq is going brilliantly and 2) it's all because of Bush.

Thirdly, they're like a fat, right-wing, Green Day, albeit with less talent.

You won't regret downloading this one…


March 06, 2006

Want 25,000 records?

RaW is selling its vinyl collection for just £2000. Interested?

We have 25,000 records which we're finally moving out after 35 years! Our fancy new DigiPlay system means most of our music is now played off computer, and the vinyl collection is taking up valuable space!

The sooner we can shift the vinyl, the sooner we can renovate the station and continue the work we started with our shiny new Studio 1 over Christmas.

If you're interested, send me a message or e-mail it(at)radio.warwick.ac.uk


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