All entries for June 2007

June 29, 2007

Call For Submission: Mashups

I hereby demand mashups! They can occasionally be better than the original, which makes them wonderfully special.

As first contributor to this, I give you a Loo and Placido mashup of The Beatles’ (Girl), Black-eyed Peas (Let’s Get It Started), Ludacris and Kelis. Much better than the original version of Girl :)

Loo & Placido – Black Beatles

Send MP3s of mashups here: http://files.warwick.ac.uk/mmannion/sendto


June 21, 2007

Galbadia Hotel for game music

Follow-up to More Ukulele game tracks, YES! from á la discothèque

Perhaps you would like to hear the original versions of the cover tracks in the previous post?

Galbadia Hotel is a great site for animé and videogame music.

There appears to be no Alex Kidd soundtrack on there though. Odd.

Here’s a link to a Double Dragon soundtrack.

and here’s the Moon track from Ducktales WARNING: VERY BEEPY.

Because that version is beepy (but the tune is actually really good) here’s a midi remix which may or may not sound nicer:

The Moon – Retaliation remix

and here’s a midi remix, of Prog Rock-like levels of indulgence:

The Moon – “Journey to the Moon” (7’’ Romantic Space Remix)

Enjoy. Well, if you like this sort of thing – chirping, beepy 8-bit music is something of an acquired taste, I think.


More Ukulele game tracks, YES!

Follow-up to Tanguy Ukulele Orchestra play video game music from á la discothèque

No sooner, it seems, had I blogged here about Tanguy Ukulele Orchestra and mourned the lack of anything new, than they release some new pieces, here

We’ve got Alex Kidd, Double Dragon and Ducktales to listen to. Exciting.

Alex Kidd

Double Dragon

Ducktales

Awww

I got this excellent news from insert credit – who knows how long it would have taken me to find out, otherwise?


June 11, 2007

The Rumble Strips

The Rumble Strips


The Rumble Strips – Alarm Clock

I went to see The Rumble Strips headlining the NME new music tour recently, and considering that I had never heard of them, I was pretty happy to now have. A lovely, lively mix of ska and indie that begs to be sung along with, combined with everyone going pretty bloody mental at the gig.

I love the lyrics on Alarm Clock as well:

Well my alarm clock he ain’t working
But I don’t really mind
Cause he ain’t no friend of mine
He kept waking me up all the time
Saying

Beep, beep, beep
Get on your feet
You gotta get a job
Cause you’re in too deep
Oh no, oh no

Well I don’t like doing things
That other folks tell me to do
So I hit him with a hammer
And now he’s quite subdued

And when I wake up in the morning
He don’t even make a sound
And my life ain’t slipping away
Because his hands don’t turn around

Beep, beep, beep
Get on your feet
You gotta get a job
Cause you’re in too deep
Oh no, oh no

Bonus tracks

The Rumble Strips – 4 Walls
The Rumble Strips – My, Oh My


June 05, 2007

Judder Judder Bam!

It’s funny how sometimes a song sounds like another. It’s come up again recently, the rather fine new single from The Cribs, ‘Men’s Needs’, sounds curiously like Placebo’s ‘Black Eyed’ but with a squiggly guitar riff over the top… and slightly less campness. It’s not an altogether unfair comparison either. The Cribs have a wonderful new album full of sparky little pop indie nuggets, rather like Placebo themselves. Plus they’ve chosen to produce their new album with Alex Kapranos from Franz Ferdinand, rather than in a bucket.


Indie pop aceness.


Endearing goth pop silliness… and the drummer was taught by the same geography teacher as me!

The Cribs – ‘Men’s Needs’

Placebo – ‘Black Eyed’


Cut Off Your Hands + more @ Kings Arms, Auckland – 1st June

Two Boroughs

The Kings Arms is a strange little place, opposite a swingers club just out of the city centre, it’s scummy but cosy, rough but friendly, and has a garden out the back with remarkable acoustics. There were eight bands on in the night, and either by divine providence or too much poker we (that’s me, Ellie, Matt and Sam, for future reference) unfortunately missed the first three bands. I would’ve been quite interested to see what Ladybird were like in a live context, but still we had five bands to go and as we entered Phony Bone were taking to the stage…

Phony Bone peddle indie in the obscurest sense of the word, at times they were going for Brakes’ warbling vocals mixed with humour and country, other times going for Pavement’s pure leftfield-ness and occasional is-it-a-tune? isn’t-it-in-tune? dynamics and for a song-and-a-half hitting Snow Patrol squarely on the chin. So to be fair, it was a bit of a mess, an occasionally entertaining mess (introducing one of numbers with with “this song is about our really low self-esteem, please like it” was a nice touch), but a mess none-the-less. Matt seemed severely disappointed that the bassist was intent on only playing two (maybe two-and-a-half) notes per song. Babydoll on their MySpace pretty much sums them up, which you might find enjoyable.

[Phony Bone MySpace]

White Birds And Lemons

By the end of the set, I’d eloped to the back of the room with Matt to challenge two Kiwis to a game of pool on the obligatory slanted table. It was such a shocking game that White Birds and Lemons had already set up outside on the ‘other’ stage and were a few songs mid-set by the time we’d polished them off and followed Sam and Ellie to the garden area. It was a damn shame because they were damn good. Their MySpace declares ‘Blues/Folk Rock/Experimental’ but live they came across more like early-Muse, when Matt Bellamy had more of a Jeff Buckley/Thom Yorke complex and wasn’t concentrating on trying to be bigger than space itself. Starry Eyes streaming from their MySpace does follow this template rather well with a more bluesy, Jimi Hendrix central riff before taking a left turn through heavier territory. Live they were somehow tighter, a louder, overall more thrilling sound playing a better counterpart to the quieter moments. It’s hard to believe that lead singer Scott Frantz was capable of pulling everything off, but there he was, note perfect and then rocking out with the rest of them. A pleasant surprise indeed.

No mp3’s as of yet, their first mini-album should be out soon, and you can hear three tracks over at their MySpace.

[White Birds And Lemons MySpace]

The Whipping Cats

We sort of unwittingly stayed outside for The Whipping Cats set, the breath of fresh air feeling a bit better than the dank indoors. Still from what we could hear, between the occasional heavy shouting, they stirred up some harmonica-blurting, old-school-blues and I’m sorry for not paying more attention. Then again, I’d be lying if I said we weren’t actually waiting for Motocade to set up outside and grab some good spots when the time came. That time did soon come, each band only given half-an-hour to entertain with a pit stop barely breaking a minute was allowed before the next band started playing. As it were, Motocade began to a half empty floor, but by the end of the second song, everyone was there, bouncing along like the week before, under a scarily full moon directly in the centre of the sky. It helped that the set was a fairly trimmed down version of the one we’d witnessed earlier, the two new songs still going down well and everyone well and truly buzzing. I can’t say much more than that, other than Matt’s obsession with getting a good view of the drummer. I didn’t want to ask why…

[The Whipping Cats MySpace]

[Motocade MySpace]

Cut Off Your Hands!

And before we knew it, it was time for the final band, Cut Off Your Hands! We scooted around to the front of the indoor stage while the band, replete in black polo neck jumpers and tight black jeans (we discussed this, and decided it’s the not the most fitting costume choice for the band), got their shit together and then… just… exploded.

Seriously, I’ve been electrocuted by a microphone before, but if there ever was a sane way to describe what singer Nick was doing during the opening song, I’m sure electricity would have something to do with it. As the rhythm section dominated pretty much everything sonically (despite the drummer breaking his sticks), Nick lost the microphone, found the microphone, jumped off the stage, rolled back on the stage via the crowd, lost the microphone again, twitched about on the floor for a bit, found the microphone again and generally went absolutely nuts for every driving beat and strum. By the second song he’d left the stage completely and climbed onto the top of the bar (goodness knows how) leaving a drunken idiot to take his mic to the stage, before he himself jumped off after shattering a glass bottle in front of us. It was insane, but at the same time completely brilliant (although saying that, Sam was still shaking bits of glass off as we left the place :S)

Everything you hear in the mp3’s below does relatively little to describe the intensity of everything else. Still Fond turned everyone not on stage into a twitching throng and other favourites You And I and Expectations just destroyed any preconceptions you might make about them. If you’re looking for a reference point, imagine the Futureheads with aforementioned electric shock to the rear and a good dose of Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist’s (he of The Hives) staring intensity, and you might get close to this old performance. Then times that by ten in every way possible. This was live and loud and very very good.

The new Blue on Blue EP should be available soon in the UK as well as here. With Bernard Butler on production duties, it’s a relatively clean affair, but it shifts the punk leanings of the live show towards a more ear-friendly indie club floor-filler pop tune of the times. I’ve ripped the lead track from their MySpace, and you can also hear Oh Girl over there right now. Like right now… click!

Cut Off Your Hands – Still Fond (MySpace rip)
Cut Off Your Hands – Expectations
Cut Off Your Hands – Let’s Go

[Cut Off Your Hands MySpace]

A small request to anyone who was there… do you have any photos? I’d love to have been able to take some but I was busy bouncing around. And as you may have seen from my Motocade ‘live’ photo previously, it was a bit shit. More live reviews to come that I can make it to before I leave, hopefully it’s The Coshercot Honeys next…


June 03, 2007

So So Modern – Friendly Fires EP

So So Modern

So I said I’d bring something to dance along to for the next NZ installment, and so here are So So Modern. Returning home after a brief sojourn all around the world (including recently London, you capital dwellers), they’ve also recently released a new medium length EP in Friendly Fires. I was introduced to them by the track Skeleton Dance off the recent Real Groove magazine compilation I mentioned in my original post (along with Motocade, I might add). It opened the proceedings with a relatively big, fast, and squelchy bang. Something like the Klaxons by way of One Armed Scissor and then even further back to the ZX Spectrum. But I’d hate to be described in that way, but an even worse description could be to say the vocals are ‘shouty’ (but not annoying), the synths are ‘rubbery’ (or ‘pliable’ or ‘bendy’) and the style is very ‘new rave’. So I’ll let you play the song and disagree completely.

So So Modern

I’d very much like to see them live before I leave NZ, but it might not long before they’ll be back to touring the world (or taking it over) again if their evolution from their early EP material continues any further. From the promise of just bouncing around the room like an idiot, to the colour-coded tracksuits, to the random acts (handing out pinatas, full crowd hugs and starting the gig with a band posing to be them), I’m sure it’d be a gig to be remembered when I come back home.

Coming back to the EP, it does feel very fresh, even in spite of the current contemporaries that could be pointed out. It starts out with an instrumental that doesn’t do much to build excitement (similar to that of a Spectrum loading up) but following Synthgasm the rest of the six tracks each pummel with alternately fierce rhythms, barbershop shout-singing and the rewiring of your head with electronic melody lines. It’s a blinding ride, and The Love Code is a equally blinding finish to a great CD.

From Friendly Fires EP (2007):
So So Modern – Skeleton Dance
So So Modern – The Love Code
[buy]

[So So Modern Homepage] [MySpace]


June 01, 2007

Tanguy Ukulele Orchestra play video game music

These guys recorded these tracks a while back but it’s really hard to find what they’re up to now. It’s a group of Ukulele players playing and singing video game music. They do also do other music, one track of which I’ve included below.

MUTE CITY YEAH!

Here’s the last website link I can find to them. 2005, yikes.

I know they’re a bit freewheeling and out of tune with each other in places, but I like it and hope you do too.

F-Zero Theme

Kid Icarus

Space Harrier

Triple Changers Transformers

Zelda


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