Tag Archives: Music

It’s high art obviously

This week Skins decides that the popular literary figure Shakespeare, you might have heard of him, is cool. Grace decides that sustaining a voice doesn’t matter, and everyone gets out their ‘coke eyes’. Sounds good I know.

I appear to have missed all important plot points this week, if indeed any occurred, and only saw Frankie kiss everyone on command while saying that she isn’t bi-sexual she “just likes people”, great writing coming to you from E4 since 2005.

Despite all this it was however Grace’s episode, though it did appear to be more like a Mr.Blood (Chris Addison) greatest hits compilation as he pranced about the scenery spouting nonsensical shit in a pan-British accent. The accents played a large part of this weeks shows mainly because, never having been to Bristol, none of them sounded remotely Bristolian in nature. Of course I recognise that they are professionaly trained thespians from the ‘big-city’, but I mean come on, if you can’t make it Skins then you have no chance, which is why nobody knows what any of the previous cast members are doing. Nicholas Hoult being the exception, but then he worked with Hugh Grant so nothing else really matters does it.

GOD I ALMOST FORGOT THE PEA SONG.

For those unawares the pea song is a cultural movement unbeknown to anyone in the modern world that isn’t a complete and utter shit-tard of a human being. If this doesn’t signal a last attempt at greatness before ‘the fall’ then I don’t know what does. Empires have been ruined by less. Just ask Julias.

I’m still recovering from that memory for a while so let’s discuss the aforementioned ‘coke eyes’. Picture the scene: four quiet girls in a bedroom full of floaty stuff with nothing to do, they get out their limitless supply of cocaine, kiss daddy goodbye, and run off to the club that doesn’t ask for any form of identification from said underage children. It’s a great world I know. Once at this club where all their friends also happen to be, it’s obviously not a school night, they decide to ‘get off with’ some fat bloke and his mate, Matty takes unkindly to the unwanted attention Franky is recieving and asks him politely to leave by scaring the living shit out of millions of people with what is the complete opposite of Bette Davis Eyes. That boy can act. Maybe. No, no he can’t. We can all begin to walk the long road to recovery know because he clearly had an overdose of something. Sorry about that long-winded rant, but someone had to say it and I am speaker of the truth. Anyway I’m sure next week all this trouble will end, or be exacerbated-who knows, when him and Franky just have sex already, Liv won’t mind she’ll just have another five bottles of Vodka.

Since I don’t know what I’m saying anymore I’ll just stop saying things, other than that the music this week was unusually good and I would like to say well done Kyle. We had a bit of Jessie J, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, James Blake, The National, and Magnetic Man amongst others. God it’s a great time to be alive.


Skins of Lycra

This week in Skins world Kelly Brook visits and does absolutely fuck all. Which is a great point of reference for the entire episode really.

I think it’s safe to say the world was foaming at the mouth when the words ‘Kelly Brook is back on TV’ reached the nations ears and then all she did was stand around in her shiny Lycra pants and they didn’t even keep cutting back to her buttocks for the remainder of the show. Everything about the episode was a massive disappointment.

We got see a little bit more of Mini the big bad wolf of the series. Turns out she’s just a bitchy teenager who has never even had sex. Queue the OMGZ and self-loathing and puking on boy-friend in moment of abject terror scenes. Despite all this she still managed to be a bitch.

I had watched the American Skins just before and shockingly that made this seem like a Gus Van Sant drama. I can’t discourage you enough about NEVER watching that, ignoring the fact that it’s shot for shot the same as the British pilot it’s not a remake it’s a bloody massacre.

Mini yeah. Her episode managed to ruin the series thus far by making everybody involved seem like utter annoying dicks. Even Franky, who had the chance to get her own back, which any decent human would have, just asked for a light and a dance. The least she could do is turn her into a raging gay.

I think the main thing about this episode was that it lacked any substance, maybe as a reflection of the character, but still us children need entertaining or we’ll change over and watch some hard hitting politics with Paxman. Mini was just dull, other characters have a sense of inner turmoil that they project outwardly in some way, i.e. metal, Mini just ate seeds and used too much fake tan.

Even the music for this episode was quintessentially average mixing the terrible world of pop, Cheryl Cole and Lady Gaga, with cutting edge Skream and Crystal Fighters, and then throwing in some classics like Roots Manuva and Eddie Cochran for good fucking measure, because you know why not?

Oh there was also the most awkward sex scene in the world broadcast between Mini and her ‘boyfriend’ whose name escapes me, but do watch that because afterwards everything is in black and white for a bit. Rich lost his hearing and Mini apparently goes colour blind after shit sex.

Next week it’s the story of the other bint whose name also escapes me, but that looks harrowing and council estatey.


The top ten list that nobody expected

It’s December and that means only one thing, time for lists! Oh and probably Christmas too, but what is Christmas without a good list. I’d make a top ten Christmas list if I had any idea what that even means, since I don’t I’m going to be highly original and do lists of the best albums, films, and anything else that takes my fancy. It’s a joyous time for me so get on board because otherwise this wont be much fun for you.

Let’s start with albums shall we. Now 2010 in music has been quite exciting and though some of the biggest bands going have released new albums and some even bigger bands have reformed, it’s new music that has come into the light this year and scooped all the prizes. Before you ask, no, Laura Marling will not be in this list or mentioned in any way from here on out because she should smash her boring guitar into her boring face and die a boring acoustic death.
So here it is, after much in house discussion, my top ten albums of 2010

10. Just scraping their way onto the list is My Chemical Romance With Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Kill Joys. A comeback record like nothing they have ever done this colourful concept album put the boys in black well and truly to bed. Danger Days showed My Chem now have the power of bands like Green Day in their hands and they can make an album become a global event. What they do next is anybodies guess.

9. HurtsHappiness. As much as it pains me to say it,  the Manchester duo who came fourth in the BBC’s sound of 2010, are the coolest pop band around. Yes they dueted with Kylie, and yes they use far too much hair product, but in terms of sheer joy nothing beats Happiness. The cheesiest album of the year by far, but if you think you don’t like these huge echoey choruses and synthesisers then you’re only lying to yourself. You can’t hide for long, believe me I tried my hardest to hate it and now look at me. 

8. Zola JesusStridulum 11. A dark avant-garde work of genius. The third album by the American born singer showed us just how good she can be. Her electro styling’s are reminiscent of Bjork, Ladytron, and even The Knife,  Zola though is much more listenable than all of them, which is exactly why Fever Ray is supporting her and not the other way around. Stridulum 11 is an album you can truly delve into and get lost with for an hour or so.

7. LCD Soundsytem- This is Happening. By far the best album of his career it’s a credit to James Murphy that he can bring himself to quit while he’s ahead. Each of LCD’s albums is better than the last and this is no different, mixing his usual ultra-cool indie with electro so pleasing it makes you do air keys. This is music on the edge of a nervous breakdown.

6. Pulled Apart By HorsesPulled Apart By Horses. The most aggressive band on the list, this Leeds band have brought some balls to the British rock scene. The eponymous album is nothing short of being a hardcore romp from one of 2010’s most unique bands. Expect big things from these young upstarts.

5. YeasayerOdd Blood. The second album by Brooklyn’s weirdest band see’s them take their sound to a new level. A psychedelic amalgamation of the worlds finest music Yeasayer have created the years most eclectic album with their brilliantly honed pop vocals. At times very dark it never strays far from beautiful.

Is it me or does the guy on the left look like Harry Conick Jr?

4. The NationalHigh Violet. The oldest band on the list this is The National’s seventh album and just as consistent as their earlier efforts. A mature band The National have proved they can’t be written off as ‘dad rock’ and have come to dominate the international indie scene of recent years. High Violet has some of the bands best songs to date showing their knack for big instrumentation and clever lyrics. They may be critically acclaimed, but they deserve much more mainstream media attention than they get, next year could see them get even bigger.

3. Titus AndronicusThe Monitor. One of my new favourite bands of the year the second album by this quintessentially New Jersey quintet reminds you just how good some feedback can be. The band that take their name from a classic work of literature obviously have a lot more up their sleeve than first meets the ear and this album, which is a concept album based on the American Civil War, is a slow grower, but give it time and you wont regret it. Inter-cut with stock footage, or so it seems, this album is fast, edgy, slow, and moving. Titus Andronicus could be the best band you haven’t heard of.

2. Everything EverythingMan Alive. Easily the most insatiable album of the year. I almost want to say don’t listen to this because you will never stop. Everything Everything are the Pringles of music. Man Alive is a rare gem in an artificial pop world and this is a pop album, but don’t be disheartened because it’s also so much more than just a pop album. EE have angular math-rock guitars and keys, simple effective drumming, and arrogant singing. If you don’t tap your feet to this then you’re ears are dead. They top it all off by making it so effortless and pretty. With songs that slowly build up to immense walls of sound and some that never quite take off, not a single song on this album is worth skipping. Just start listening now and by new year you might have had enough, but probably not.

1. Beach HouseTeen Dream. If you search on Wikipedia for this band, yes I did that, what you get is ‘see disambiguation indie/dream pop band’ and dream pop is the perfect way to describe what Beach House do. This is their third and most widely recognised album since their conception in 2004 and it’s impossible not to fall in love with. The hushed vocals of French born singer Victoria Legrand are in such harmony with Alex Scally’s haunting lo-fi compositions that it makes time stand still. Don’t be fooled by the name Beach House are the least summery band in the world, this record is twisted and downright dark all of which is helped along by their interesting use of an organ. No other album of the year is so immersing and yet so simple. No matter who Legrand’s vocals are compared to, usually Nico, nobody else sounds like her right now, it’s a rare thing to not care what somebody’s singing about, because their tone tells all, but that‘s exactly what we get here. You will struggle to pick a favourite song from this album it works too well as a whole. If they make more of this delicious dreamy pop you can expect to hear much more from this duo.

Well that’s it folks my finest albums of the year are now yours to love and cherish and I suggest you do so immediately. My band to watch out for next year, as well as more from these lot, are Frankie and the Heartstrings. An indie pop outfit from Sunderland, they sound and look like a throwback to 50’s era pop with a modern twist and with their own label they have a sold DIY ethic. With a debut album out in February they could well be number one next year.


A Daft Legacy

Daft Punk: Tron:Legacy Sountrack

With the release of the highly anticipated Tron: Legacy on December 17th it’s only fair that its unique soundtrack by French DJ’s Daft Punk gets the same treatment.

It seems only right then that the DJ’s who made their name in the 90’s house scene started their careers with a meeting a Euro Disney. Their unique brand of future-house-techno, as I’m labelling it, took the world by storm with such singles as ‘Around the World’ and ‘Technologic’ and their even more unique ‘style’ on stage is a uniform of leather suits with helmets shielding them from the rave happy crowds. Helmets you say? That sounds familiar.  Yes Daft Punk are those guys that look they should have been in Tron. How perfect then that they happen to create music that suits the tone of the film like Cinderella’s slipper fits her own foot.

Two disks and over an hour and a half worth of music that takes you from a sense of impending doom and dread to moments of triumph and even elation. Daft Punk have pushed themselves to the limit here expanding to what sounds like a full orchestra being held captive and forced to play while Daft Punk have a techno battle over the top, just for fun. This album is strange because it’s not quite a soundtrack and not quite an album in its own right. If you look at the Tron grid and then try to imagine the natural music that would emanate from that world you will start to get some idea of what it sounds like. Epic is the word that comes to mind and I don’t use that term, as most do, lightly.

The duo consisting of, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, appear to have fully immersed themselves in the world. They had unlimited access to the set and director Joseph Kosinski and have formed a close relationship with original director Steven Lisberger, who is now contributing liner notes to the album. The pair even had their own Tron helmets purpose built, which I like to think turns their thoughts into music. All this attention to detail has paid off leaving the musicians with what could turn out to be the definite soundtrack of the year, even a generation. Now that seems like a rather large statement to make, but if you think about the last decade and ‘the rise of the machines’ then it doesn’t feel so odd. The internet has changed the way we all live and social networking is how we project our identities, much like the avatars and computer programme characters of  Tron, this soundtrack takes you to that other world and forces you to face yourself. Epic, like I said.

Whether you like classical or modern music this album will work for you. It has pace and depth and substance and style, all things you want from music, it manages all of this without lyrics and only one introduction from Jeff Bridges or Kevin Flynn if you will. It’s reminiscent of a Clint Mansell score in the way the orchestra utilises the sharp edgy strings, but this is one soundtrack that truly deserves to be filed under the heading OST.


How fabulous are these killjoys?

Shiny

New album by My Chem

Danger(ous) Days filled with listening parties

My Chemical Romance’s latest effort isn’t so much an album release as a well orchestrated apocalyptic art event. With the advent of listening parties the band last night offered fans worldwide an exclusive preview of the album as hosted by the elusive Dr. Death Defying.

Apparently this is the bands departure from concept albums, but you tell me, fans are ‘killjoys’, areas are ‘zones’, enemies are ‘draculoids.’ Now personally I don’t care about this, they are great at what they do and this whole new world is utterly engrossing, so why change? Though this is still a concept album, it’s a massive leap from their previous sound with everything bright, poppy, and dripping electro from its very core.

Within the first three songs two singles are showcased. The world has already heard ‘Na Na Na’ and is undoubtedly sick of having it infused in their brains, but ‘Sing’ is relatively new and I’m sure it will sneak its way into the charts. Structured like a 30 Seconds To Mars song it seems a bit too epic for such an early place on the album, but it does have some more traditional My Chem breakdowns thrown in.

As much as I hate to say the album is insidiously pop-based, it is. Don’t fear yet though ‘Planetary (Go)’ will have everyone dancing to what is basically a rock song and the lyrical prowess that always made them great is still present “truth is not acceptable, fame is now injectable, process the progress.”

What made My Chem unique were the classic rock riffs from Ray Toro and the chugging punk sound that Frank Iero brought. It’s still very much audible on certain songs but otherwise it all seems to have been run through a synthesizer.

This album will gather the band a brand new assortment of young rock fans and the older ‘killjoys’ will stick with them out of loyalty and no doubt carry with them a sense of ‘I heard them first’ superiority (I know I will) and there is no reason why this shouldn’t bring them new fans, it’s a good album. In terms of their back catalogue it’s a great follow-up to ‘The Black Parade’ and if that was their first album I would be applauding them on creating a genre defining album, or something to that affect, but when you compare this with ‘Bullets’ or ‘Three Cheers’ it seems like their aggression just sort of wilted and died and then the bleakness of ‘The Black Parade’ made sure it had a proper send off. Having said all that ‘Party Poison’ is more along the lines of what I was expecting, being a fast paced, punky, guitar number and this is where the album gets good with ‘Save Yourself I’ll Hold Them Back’ bringing back the misfits-esque normality of the group. Gerard gets his wail back, the very camp My Chem swear of ‘motherfucker’ hits our ears, and we can all revel in some classic 80’s rock riffs. The band hasn’t gone anywhere it’s just a struggle to find them.

The whole concept of the album was originally Gerard’s next comic idea and it would have been a fantastic read there’s no doubt about it, but I’m fucking glad he sacrificed it for the band. Having scrapped an entire albums worth of songs, which I think we all desperately want to hear, the band were clearly in need of some new energy and one thing this album has in spades is energy. Our host for this evening Dr. Death Defying makes this whole thing exactly what it is, an experience. He acts as radio DJ for WKIL a fake radio station operating out of Battery City. He is so convincing me and probably everyone else listening wishes he was a real person and not a creation. Hearing his classic radio voice brings a smile to my face and his lair is pretty damn cool too. More bands need to embrace the concept album and the listening party. It truly is a phenomenon and My Chem is ahead of the curve on this one.

Getting back to the music after some reports from the zones ‘DESTROYA’ hits you in the face and is reminiscent of the experimental sound of early Lostprophets songs like ‘Shinobi Vs Dragon Ninja.’ It wouldn’t sound out of place on the soundtrack for a game like Tekken. As a fan more used to this aggressive sound it’s good to see they still have it on an album that has a lot of ballads. The ballads aren’t bad by any means they are just in too large a quantity. Album closer ‘Vampire Money’ is fucking spot-on and may be the best song on the album, it makes you forget about ‘Na Na Na’ and remember the good old days. It’s fast and vicious with a ‘Wipe Out’ style surf-pop beat throughout. The album isn’t their best and starts off slow, but by the end it will leave you fist pumping and after a few listens you will realise it’s actually not that bad.