All 4 entries tagged Pop
August 02, 2006
As a music fan who tends to lean more towards indie, post–punk and dance–pop, Evanescence have always been a bit of a dirty pleasure that I've always been a bit embarassed to admit. Written off as a Christian angst–rock group that should be kept exclusively to 13 year old goth girls with dyed black hair and far too much eye makeup, Evanescence have never been the most fashionable of bands to like, but you can't deny the catchy, moshy pop appeal of their music.
Like most other Evanescence fans, I went to see Daredevil, which featured two songs: Bring Me To Life (which afterwards became a #1 hit in the UK) and My Immortal (before it was bastardised upon single release). I came home and pre–ordered their debut album, Fallen, on import and thanks to Amazon got it the day before its' release. It's a common story, and one which has been repeated several times with other bands whose mainstream appeal has been catapulted by a popular film. (See: The Shins)
Fallen, upon arrival, turned out to be rather good. In the meantime I've also purchased two of Evanescence's earlier demo/EP work: Origin, a demo, and a self-titled EP. Now, almost 3 years later, Evanescence are preparing to release a second album, The Open Door.
The first single, Call Me When You're Sober is, in my opinion, rather good. You can listen on Evanescence's MySpace or as a direct stream (see below for links). It's more of the same, but perhaps slightly more refined – it's out sometime in the future, it seems.
July 31, 2006
I'm sure it's not just me who has a couple of songs that characterise each season. One of the songs that will always remind me of this summer is the wonderfully upbeat "Pull Shapes" by The Pipettes. And for once I've actually gone as far as buying myself the album, from an actual shop. It was money well spent.
The Pipettes are RiotBecki, Gwenno, and Rosay who got together (with backing group The Cassette) in Brighton. Their sound combines classic doo–wop themes with "punk pop–girl power". They've gone back to the beginnings of great popular music and have brought it kicking and screaming into the 21st century. The album reverses typical gender roles ("One Night Stand") and provides great relief for everyone sick of women asking why their man left them ("Why Did You Stay?").
They first came to my attention with the very punchy "Your Kisses are Wasted On Me" which was released back in March. Unfortunatley, because of uni work I wasn't able to truly register the song. The hugely catchy chant opening is now thoroughly stuck in my subconscious though. And it was very well followed by "Pull Shapes" which is a top (if cheesey in parts) tune.
"We Are The Pipettes" is their debut album, and it's full of foot–tapping tunes (okay I can't stop dancing to it) and empowering lyrics. The mixture of smooth vibes and gritty vocals makes for a great sound, perfect for sitting in that soda bar, or cruising down the beachfront in a '59 Cadillac.
We Are The Pipettes MP3 Expired
Sex MP3 Expired
One Night Stand MP3 Expired
July 18, 2006
Artists like Mike Oldfield defy categorization. Famous for his first solo work Tubular Bells, his music has taken on characteristics of classical, pop, rock, chill out, and various world music styles. “They put me in the New Age slots in the record shops. It’s not New Age. New Age Music is something session musicians do in their spare time.”
Tubular Bells, as featured in The Exorcist, has been described as an “instrumental collage” in which Oldfield played almost every instrument. In just the first part of the piece he performed on Grand Piano, Glockenspiel, Farfisa organ, Bass guitar, Electric guitar, Speed guitar, Taped motor drive amplifier organ chord, Mandolin–like guitar, Fuzz guitars, Assorted percussion, Acoustic guitar, Flageolet, Honky tonk, Lowrey organ, and, of course, Tubular Bells. His sampled loops of notes from each of these instruments was then turned into this work of great intricacy which became the first release on Virgin records, in 1973, having been turned down by all the major labels of the time.
His next two albums followed the same format as Tubular Bells, but with each taking a different theme and taking a different musical approach. However, it was the mid–70s and Oldfield was pushed aside by Virgin, in order to dedicate more time to the up and coming Punk movement. Oldfield, despite only being in his early 20s, never appreciated this era and said that, “Punk diluted the musical abilities of practically a whole generation. You were machine–gunned to death in the pop press if you really could play.”
After three years of retreat, Oldfield returned to music, far more willing to adapt to the popular music scene. He has maintained his ability to produce long and complex pieces, whilst also creating and adapting short pieces for the singles market. In this he has been aided by the vocal talents of Maggie Reilly, who appeared on many of his works of the 80s. He has produced 23 albums to date (not including the numerous live recordings and remasterings of Tubular Bells).
Maybe part of my adoration of this guy’s music is down to the fact that I was brought up with his LPs playing. When I got my own stereo for the first time, Mike Oldfield’s Crises album was the first that I smuggled up to my room. As a child I initially fell for his more pop style pieces such as Moonlight Shadow, with their simple and repetitive lyrics. As I matured I began to notice the richness of the music surrounding them, and the depth of the pieces that spanned an entire side of the vinyl. His music is beautifully flowing and yet incredibly powerful, and no matter what my mood I can pick out something that fits.
It’s incredibly difficult for me to pick just a few tracks to share on here. I’m limited by what I have as MP3s rather than LP, which means that I can’t offer some pieces that I’d love to – including some whole sides of LP!
Altered State MP3 Expired
Ommadawn (Excerpt) MP3 Expired
Dark Star MP3 Expired
(Quotes taken from Rock: The Rough Guide, published by Rough Guides Limited)
June 30, 2006
Since this is my first proper post on a music blog, I guess it's a little fitting that I start with a band who were brought to my attention by another music blog (Another Form of Relief), and that it's probably the most talked about "unknown" (ish) band on music blogs for the past six months or so. That band is Voxtrot.
Fronted by Ramesh Srivastava, Voxtrot are a five piece from Austin, Texas, with a sound not unreminiscent of bands such as The Strokes and The Smiths, in some kind of bastard love–child hybrid that brings out such a wonderful flowing, emotive sound that you can't bear but love it and listen swaying from side to side whilst your head is bopping. Their first official EP, Raised By Wolves, is a tour-de-force of beautiful music, from the fast-paced, Strokes-esque title track through the quite wonderful The Start of Something right through to Wrecking Force, which doesn't disappoint from the title.
At the start of April, Voxtrot released their second EP (again through their own record label, Cult Hero), Mothers, Daughters, Sisters and Wives, with more of the same kind of thing but with a more refined sound that allows for them to be enjoyable to everyone. The title track is once again a wonderful beginning, with beautiful lyrics once again dominating your album. Whereas the first EP had the monster The Start of Something, with Ramesh singing "Come by and see my I'm a love letter away / I'd break your name before I'd say 'I really love you loved you' / Now I don't care if you saw / I watched every inch of film flash across your roman features / And I loved it, loved it." with emotive bliss that lends for further listening, Mothers, Daughters, Sisters and Wives sees the versatility of Ramesh work in clever lines into most of the tracks, up to the epic finale of Soft and Warm: "Everyone loves a man, who lets the hardest people build him up and cut him down to a lovable size".
Any tag as "The next big thing" or "Destined for greatness" doesn't really do justice to Voxtrot at the moment. They're already huge in certain circles and with an accessible sound that allows many to enjoy, it's almost certain that they will go from strength to strength.
US–only folks, sorry, a number are free or All–Ages though.
- 30th June – Brooklyn, NY – Prospect Park
- 4th July – Brooklyn, NY – OfficeOps Rooftop
- 27th July – Cincinnati, OH – Alchemize
- 28th July – Chicago, IL – Metro [Pitchfork pre–party]
All samples courtesy of Voxtrot.net
A number of Voxtrot's live recordings and covers are available here
Voxtrot's first UK single, "Mothers, Daughters, Sisters and Wives", is out on June 12th.