All entries for July 2006

July 11, 2006

Thom Yorke – The Eraser, Review

Title:
Rating:
4 out of 5 stars

Thom Yorke

I often wonder about what it would be like if I met Thom Yorke. Here we have someone who has made such a profound impact on music as the lead singer of Radiohead, placing them in an alternative genre of their own with experimental, wonderful sounds that assault the ear drums. I've loved Radiohead since OK, Computer, and I downright wish I'd listened to them more before then, but now I'd have to say they're probably my favourite band. However, if I met Thom Yorke, I think I'd find him quite disturbing.

Of course, this isn't a new feeling. Thom Yorke is probably the main creative force behind Radiohead, and so you could expect a "solo" album to lend much a similar sound, and it shows through. The Eraser would not sound out of place somewhere inbetween Kid A and Amnesiac, not quite getting to the rockier stages of the latter but with a more refined, creeping sound than the former. This is, of course, not a "solo" album, but the result of Thom Yorke sitting for a day with his laptop and a whole bunch of samples from Radiohead's sessions over the past few years and thinking "Yeah, I should probably use this to do something wonderful".

Except Thom Yorke wouldn't think that. He'd think "Fuck Bush", or something.

And yet, this album somehow doesn't reach the eclectic heights of Kid A, and you struggle to put your finger on why. There's something missing that would put this in the As Good As Kid A category, and maybe it is the rest of the band's influence that is shining through. The one thing you wouldn't expect from a Thom Yorke record would be for it to sound nervous, but it does seem that way.

You can't really take each track on its own though, you have to sit back, take a cup of tea in hand and just let it wash over you a bit. Whereas other albums demand to be listened to over again, this begs for background, atmosphere, and if you take it in that way, it's simply wonderful. The first single will be Harrowdown Hill, according to Yorke, but it seems so undignified to remove it away from its home on the album. If you don't have 40 minutes to sit and listen to it all, then I'd say don't start - there's no Everything in its Right Place here to save you.

If you loved Kid A, you'll love this. If you didn't, you won't, but if you're undecided, then don't expect this to be an effortless listen – you have to treat it carefully and give it a chance, and it'll pay you back double when the brilliance shines through.

8 out of 10

The Eraser was released yesterday (10th July), stupid.

Tour Dates

Radiohead are touring at the moment, but if you don't have a ticket, don't expect to get one now…

Radiohead Tour Dates

Buy

The Eraser was released Monday, July 10th in the UK.

Samples
The Eraser MP3 Expired
And It Rained All Night MP3 Expired
Harrowdown Hill MP3 Expired
Links

July 10, 2006

Meet the Contributors: Helen Ryan

Even though I've already posted my first entry – I must obviously fill in the required paperwork…

Name: Helen Ryan
Number one in UK when I was born: Duran Duran – The Reflex
First album bought: Erm, it was a long long time ago, and I suspect it was Jason Donovan – Ten Good Reasons
First gig attended: The Corrs at Wembley Arena with my Dad. A pretty average gig really.
Favourite album: Depends a lot on my mood. Quite often whatever’s currently playing. Hmm, Suzanne Vega – Solitude Standing
Favourite song: Again it depends a lot on my mood, but I’m gonna go with Sarah McLachlan – Possession
Favourite gig: Live 8, or is that cheating?
Favourite band: Depends a lot on my mood, there’s a surprise for you.
Favourite genre: World Music, Chill out, I’ll eat a bit of any cake though (unless it has nuts in)
The band you like but are embarassed about/feel is a little out of place in your collection: Nothing is out of place in my collection it spans System of a Down to Leonard Cohen to Hans Zimmer to Ella Fitzgerald to Deepak Chopra. Wait a minute, I have Leonard Cohen?
Number of CDs bought since 1st January 2006: None, I believe that birthdays are the time for the receiving of such things!
What musical event would you most like to see happen: Eurovision winners Sir Cliff and Lordi dueting. That would make me laugh.
Musical hero: Kylie Minogue. Let it rest at that.
Music's biggest enemy/ies in my opinion are: Musical elitists who refuse to try music outside of their genre. People who make stereos without turntables – you are the reason that I use a stereo only a couple of years younger than I am.

Four tracks I love for your pleasure

Suzanne Vega – Solitude Standing MP3 Expired [Buy from Amazon]
Ladysmith Black Mambazo – Homeless MP3 Expired [Buy from Amazon]
Nitin Sawhney – Homelands MP3 Expired [Buy from Amazon]
Deep Blue Something – A Water Prayer MP3 Expired [Buy from Amazon]

Tracks are for sampling purposes only and will be deleted two weeks after this entry.
Music was my first love and it will be my last


July 09, 2006

Meet The Contributors: Vincent Carroll–Battaglino

Name: Vincent Francis Salvatore Carroll–Battaglino
Number one in UK when I was born: the excellent take my breath away – berlin
First album bought: (Whats the story) Morning Glory
First gig attended: Muse [oh dear!]
Favourite album: Blonde on Blonde
Favourite song: none
Favourite gig: Prodigy
Favourite band: Talking Heads, active now…CYHSY
Favourite genre: New Wave, Folk–Rock
The band you like but are embarassed about: Tears for Fears
Number of CDs bought since 1st January 2006: CDs?
What musical event would you most like to see happen: All of U2 dying in plane crash?
Musical heroes: Neil Young, David Byrne.
Music's biggest enemy/ies in my opinion are: "indie". "R&B".

Talking Heads – This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) MP3 Expired [Buy From Amazon]
Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Down By The River MP3 Expired [Buy From Amazon]
Little Steven And The Disciples Of Soul – Princess Of Little Italy MP3 Expired [Buy From Amazon]
Paul Weller – Blink And You'll Miss It MP3 Expired [Buy from Amazon]
Hayden – Home By Saturday MP3 Expired [Buy From Amazon]


Meet the Contributors: James Riley

As much as I hate having to choose favourites, this is a list of things…

Name: James Riley
Number one in UK when I was born: Michael Hardcastle '19' (n-n-n-n-nineteen)
First album bought: Suggs – The Lone Ranger
First single bought: Coolio – Gangsta's Paradise (had to get that in there)
First gig attended: Coldplay at the Manchester Apollo (they were good back then godamnit)
Favourite album: The Shins – Oh! Inverted World
Favourite song: The Walkmen – We've Been Had
Favourite gig: A cross between the Dirtbombs in Manchester's Night and Day, The Rapture at Manchester Academy 2 and maybe Afterburner at the White Horse (haha, gotta fit some self–love in here somewhere)
Favourite band: Right now, it's probably Broken Social Scene
Favourite genre: Four (sometimes 3 or 5!) middle–class guitar lads playing indie rock. I can't help it.
The band you like but are embarassed about/feel is a little out of place in your collection: Smashing Pumpkins… I mean, what's an indie kid doing with loud music in his collection? Especially five albums of it…
Number of CDs bought since 1st January 2006: Around about 20… I'll update you in a week when the loan comes through.
What musical event would you most like to see happen: All the members of The Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene and The Polyphonic Spree forming a mental orchestral supergroup with David Bowie as frontman...obviously
Musical heroes: I'd choose David Bowie, but apparently he's taken (curse you Mat!), so I'd have to say Mick Collins from the Dirtbombs... Detroit garage rock legend
Music's biggest enemy/ies in my opinion are: Band stylists… it's almost cringeworthy some of these photo shoots nowadays.

Today's tunes, brought to you by the letter 'S' (and my love of guitars):

Spoon – Sister Jack MP3 Expired [buy Gimme Fiction]
The Strokes w/ Regina Spektor – Post–Modern Girls MP3 Expired [buy Reptilia single]
The Shins – They'll Soon Discover MP3 Expired [buy Spongebob Squarepants soundtrack]
Supergrass – Grace MP3 Expired [buy Life on Other Planets]
\\


July 08, 2006

Mixtape: Dr Who

’Dr

I know that this cult TV classic may not really be a suitable area for a music blog to be delving into. But after the football and the tennis, this is the one thing that everyone’s looking forward to this weekend. All be it with some trepidation. So to prepare you for the wonders of tonight’s show I have put together a few songs that are somewhat appropriate.

Take a listen before the extermination begins!

Thompson Twins – Doctor! Doctor! MP3 Expired (from The Greatest Hits)

Okay, so this was blatently the result of a search through my collection for the word ‘Doctor’. And it even has some appropriate lyrics: Come with me and make believe we can travel to eternity It’s a very Rose–esque type of lyric overall. There’s the whole sense of attachment. And of course it gives me an opportunity to share some of my collection of 80s electronica. In all though it’s a pretty simple piece, but still somehow fitting.

Buy 'The Greatest Hits'

Billie – Walk of Life MP3 Expired (from The Best of Billie)

Yes, okay, it may be somewhat cringeworthy. It certainly takes me back to my teenage years and the associated embarrassment. But it is fitting to have the work of the delightful Miss Piper on this mixtape, especially seeing as it’s her last episode today. Again, the lyrics may fit somewhat into the context of the relationship between Rose and The Doctor. Are you gonna walk the walk of life with me? Are you gonna see more than you dreamed you'd see? Yes, it is pure pop, with saccharine sweetness and repetitive phrases that just won’t leave your head, but it’s worth it just to remember Billie in her past life!

Buy 'The Best of Billie'

Karminsky Experience Inc. – Exploration MP3 Expired (from The Power of Suggestion)

I adore this track. It combines a quote apparently taken from an astronaut (and if anyone knows who actually said it please let me know) with a funky, chill out beat, all with a little Indian style strings to top it off. I feel that I should also point you in the direction of the Karminsky Experience’s website, which is not only very cool, but also has samplers of quite a few of their tracks on it.

Buy 'The Power of Suggestion’

Dean Gray – Dr Who on Holiday MP3 Expired (American Edit)

Kindly provided by Mr Nick Howes is this brilliant Mashup of Green Day and Dr Who related moments. This speaks for itself (and I'm writing this when I'm knackered and know I cannot do this justice).

Website

Orbital – Doctor ? MP3 Expired (from The Altogether)

I couldn’t do a Dr. Who mix without either this or the Timelords’ ‘Doctorin’ the Tardis’. Unfortunately I don’t have a copy of the latter, so you’ll have to make do with this working of the theme and me chattering away about Orbital for a while. Orbital are best known for their performances atop scaffolds, wearing safety goggles. The brothers from Sevenoaks have headlined at Glastonbury twice (’94 and ’95), with a sound that represents the best of the acid–house period. This working of the classic theme was on their 2001 recording ‘The Altogether’ although I’m pretty sure it was being performed before this.
The theme itself is at the centre of much mythology, having been created by the BBC Radiophonic workshop, well before the invention of synthesizers. A full history of the piece can be found here. Enjoy!

Buy ‘The Altogether’


July 07, 2006

Mixtape: Summer

Summer

So summer is here… As a former student, it still feels like I should be spending every day lounging outside in shorts drinking Budweiser at 10.30am… Except that when I say 10.30am, I mean 4pm… Anyway. I'm off to France for two weeks at the end of next week, so I was trying to put together a laid back (yet awesome) mixtape that I could enjoy whilst dozing in the back of the car on the long drive down. This is what I came up with, mostly with laid back music or from SXSW '06 artists… Anyway. Enjoy!

Radiohead – Paranoid Android MP3 Expired [Buy (only £3.99!!!)]
Dresden Dolls – Sing MP3 Expired [Buy]
Magnolia Electric Company – Dark Don't Hide It MP3 Expired [Website]
Persephones Bees – Nice Day MP3 Expired [Buy]
The Thrills – Tell Me Something I Don't Know MP3 Expired [Buy]
Keith – Replica MP3 Expired [Buy]
Sia – Breathe Me MP3 Expired [Buy]
Lily Allen – Smile MP3 Expired [Buy]
Replica X – Requiem MP3 Expired [Website]
Dash Rip Rock – Locked Inside a Liquor Store MP3 Expired [Buy]
Tapes'N'Tapes – Cowbell MP3 Expired [Buy]
TV On The Radio – Staring at the Sun MP3 Expired [Buy]
The Knife – Bird MP3 Expired [Buy]
Under Byen – Hjertebarn MP3 Expired [Buy]

Edit (Saturday 8th July 06): Courtesy of Gorilla vs. Bear, I've come across this quite beautiful unreleased Voxtrot track, which is quite special… and fits perfectly on here. So add it!
Voxtrot – Warmest Part of the Winter MP3 Expired (Courtesy of here)


July 06, 2006

Khanate

Khanate

Courtesy of guest contributor Nia

An absolutely amazing band. Songs that go well over the 10 minute mark, with a crushingly heavy sound. Imagine classical music, then reverse it – the violins are feedback sounds and the singer is a guy being tortured. A total assault on your senses, the bass shakes the room and the screams from singer Alan Dublin chilling your bones, whilst your eardrums are subjected to a series of crashes, bangs and feedback sounds. The hellish brooding drone doom metal with such inhuman vocal construct is a treat for tortured souls (read: angsty teenagers), metalheads and noise–lovers alike.

One of their best tracks is Commuted, from the Things Viral album. At almost 20 minutes long, it is a prime example of the band. This 'song' starts off slowly, with what sounds like someone hitting the mic against a wall, before slow drumbeats begin. The tension rises as a low noise cuts in and a guitar chord is slowly played. Around 2 minutes in, the vocals start– Alan Dublin screaming brutally into the rhythmic feedback and drums. The song peaks at around 8 minutes in, becoming noisier by the second.

All in all, Khanate are not a band to play loudly if you still want your neighbours to be your friends. Likened to a 'deafening roar', Khanate are the ultimate in 'doom metal' music, and are definitely not for the faint– hearted.

Samples

Khanate – 'Commuted' MP3 Expired
Khanate – 'Too Close Enough To Touch' MP3 Expired

Buy

Buy 'Khanate'
Buy 'Things Viral'
Buy 'Capture and Release'

Links

Southern Lord Records


Meet the Contributors: Chris Rossdale

Formulaic. Obvious. The quintessential blog–way to introduce oneself…..here am I

Name: Chris Rossdale
Number one in UK when I was born: Madonna – Something Generic
First album bought: Something awful….Aqua I think. Poor. Very poor.
First gig attended: Greenday/No Doubt. Backstage. Get In.
Favourite album: Changes often, usually something by Radiohead or the Pixies. It's Jeff Buckley's Grace right now though.
Favourite song: Radiohead – Paranoid Android, or Pixies – Where Is My Mind, or Joy Division – She's Lost Control. Or something else tomorrow….
Favourite gig: Last month's Long Blondes gig comes pretty damn high….The White Stripes at the Apollo were amazing last November too.
Favourite band: Radiohead or the Pixies.
Favourite genre: New Wave/Post Punk
The band you like but are embarassed about/feel is a little out of place in your collection: The Presidents of the United States of America represent everything I hate about modern 'punk' music. And they're AWESOME.
Number of CDs bought since 1st January 2006: 20? Ish? I've procured a good few more than that though.
What musical event would you most like to see happen: The resurrection of Jeff Curtis (half Jeff Buckley, half Ian Curtis). Together with himself, he would lead the revolution in modern music and restore the glory days. Take us back to a time bands like Razorlight aren't worrying because 'they're too close to a deadline'. A deadline in creating music!? Makes me sick…..
Musical hero: Martin Hannett (Factory Records producer, worked with Joy Division, Durutti Column, John Cooper Clarke, A Certain Ratio and many others)
Music's biggest enemy/ies in my opinion are: The Arctic Monkeys. Well, not all of them, or even all of him: just his voice. His irritating scratchy would–rather–listen–to–Dick–Van–Dyke–do–a–regional–accent–voice just makes me want to throw away all my music and cry in a dark secluded corner. It is music's arch enemy, and it must be destroyed.

Any questions? Good.


Ladyfuzz

Writing about web page http://www.ladyfuzz.com

Imagine if Elastica and Yeah Yeah Yeahs had a baby. First of all she'd have the most amazing fringe in the world ever, like mummy Justine and mummy Karen.

Second of all she'd make music which has the jerky, ADD excitement of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but with the flippant cool of Elastica. She'd be able to do the slow songs just as well as the fast ones. She'd be able to make German sound like the sexiest French phrase ever spoken (i.e. so sexy your underpants will make a b–line for the floor were you to hear it). She'd probably be called Liz Neumayr and be in a band with a drummer called Ben Esser and a guitarist called Matt Lord. And they'd call the band Ladyfuzz…

Ok, so Liz doesn't have the fringe which would lead us into a new era of fringe empowerment and wonder (shame) but the other ingredients are there so be satisfied goddam it! Ladyfuzz do sound like all those elements above. They sound like sweeties and happy colours and bouncing on a pile of matresses(not that I did this earlier, honest… ahem) but they also sound like brooding, moody, experimental seductionists. Sometimes in German! Austrian German!

Their website rather wonderfully proclaims that

they are not all ladies, some are boys too… but their music is all fuzz

and there does seem to be something endearing about them, their mild (i.e. not irritatingly forced) surreal side doesn't overpower their attempts to actually do something more interesting than just bash their instruments until they break. Whilst everyone seems to want a piece of The Futureheads' pie, Ladyfuzz have decided to take from the Sunderland group one of their more intriguing ideas – the a capella. 'Staple Gun' may not be enough kickstart the voice only revolution (though put it on a mixtape with 'Danger Of The Water'(The Futureheads) for a chilled listen) but it's great as a change of pace on their album, Kerfuffle which you really ought to go and buy before it ambushes you late and night with, frankly bonkers, single 'Bouncy Ball' an ode to, um, bouncy balls and gymnastics.

Ladyfuzz – 'Hold Up' MP3 Expired
Ladyfuzz – 'Immer Diese Liebe' MP3 Expired

[Buy on Amazon]

Tracks are for sampling purposes only and will be deleted two weeks after this entry.

Some nice videos and malarkey from their website.

"I have no friends, I guess I'm weird/When suddenly this ball appeared/My bouncy ball/Is so elastic/Against the wall/We do gymnastics."


July 05, 2006

Meet The Contributors – Holly Cruise

Name: Holly Cruise
Number one in UK when I was born: Wham! – 'Freedom'.
First album bought: Catatonia International Velvet. Still one of the best ever.
First gig attended: Space at the Stoke Sugarmill (I think) in 1998. I was 13 and went with my mum.
These following questions are going to look like a proper Manic Street Preachers love-in so I shall also mention things I like which aren't political Welsh rocker shaped...
Favourite album: Manic Street Preachers Everything Must Go but after that Elastica - Elastica.
Favourite song: Manic Street Preachers - 'Design For Life' but after that Interpol - The Specialist.
Favourite gig: Manic Street Preachers at V2002 or possibly Arcade Fire at Leeds 2005. This is pretty much a tie.
Favourite band: Work it out…
Favourite genre: Indie, but I'm fairly unfussy.
The band you like but are embarassed about/feel is a little out of place in your collection: Girls Aloud own pop.
Number of CDs bought since 1st January 2006: 45 with others acquired (legally) for free.
What musical event would you most like to see happen: The ghosts of John Lennon, Kirsty Maccoll and Richey Edwards (he's dead) chasing Simon Cowell, Louis Irish fella and all other pop svengalis who think dull dull ballads are enough to justify pop groups' existences, off the white cliffs of Dover.
Musical hero: John Peel. He liked what he liked, regardless of genre or whether anyone else liked it.
Music's biggest enemy/ies in my opinion are: The aforementioned pop managers who believe that image is enough to sell records (an aural experience) and have corrupted pop as a result. Good pop is about good songs as well as the image. We are slowly remembering this but tripe like Westlife still exists so beware.

Three tracks I love for your pleasure

Doves – 'Sea Song' MP3 Expired [Buy from Amazon]
Manic Street Preachers – 'Prologue To History' MP3 Expired [Buy from Amazon]
The Futureheads – 'Cope' MP3 Expired [Buy from Amazon]
The Knife – 'The Captain' MP3 Expired [Buy from Amazon]

Tracks are for sampling purposes only and will be deleted two weeks after this entry.

I work very hard but I'm lazy, I can't take the pressure and it's starting to show...


July 2006

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