Monthly Archives: May 2008

Another Alternative Flashing Lights promo


Not sure I like this one, not really sure I’ve liked any of them. This one’s got a murder mystery feel to it, like the second video there’s still some slightly arty and suggestive afterlife shots. Think Cluedo meets whatever psychological horror you want. I don’t know what it’s all about, I guess it’s all just self indulgent rubbish. Well produced self indulgent rubbish though.


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The ‘cult’ of Emo.

I was browsing the BBC News website as I normally do first thing of a morning, just to make sure a nuclear war hasn’t broken out whilst I’ve been lying in to the early afternoon, and I was greeted with this well intentioned article.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7425450.stm

So I wrote this in response for the comments page at the bottom, the BBC didn’t publish it but I like to get these things off my chest.

Can the media stop making out that emos are some sort of special sub culture of teenagers whose emotions are more finely tuned, are more law abiding and are just generally ‘nicer’.

These traits exist in them before they hit puberty and decide to don skinny jeans and put on black mascara, it’s hilarious that the media and many of the public seem to be suggesting that emos take some sort of ‘code of honour’ to not commit crime and be generally nice, they don’t! In the same way that ‘chavs’ are not created at birth or consciously decide to join a gang that will see their life and those around them turn for the worse. It is merely as a consequence of upbringing and moral codes that the individual carries. It is just creating an even more damaging sense of ‘Us and them’ which will just breed more hatred.

To the parents in this comment box who declare they would rather their son or daughter be an emo, “cause they do so well” or “Look at how many emo and Goth kids go on to higher education”, why not encourage your children to do what they want in life, to wear what they want and to listen to what they like? More ’Emos’ and ’Goths’ go to University because it is a fashion trend or a clique that is far more common amongst middle classed, well to do children, who have the capacity to succeed and do well as a consequence of their upbringing, in the same way that ’Chavs’ do the very opposite because they do not. These types of children exist in these ‘social groups’ as a consequence of their upbringing, not the other way around.

Don’t be so misguided to think that playing MCR whilst your little darling is in the womb will create a upstanding member of society, or shoving your hell-raising son into a MCR t-shirt and piping Fallout Boy into his room whilst he sleeps will turn his life around and get those grades up.

It’s just another fashion statement that ties in with a music genre that produces some awful music, there’s no rock cult, nor are they a special bunch of hyper-literate poets in waiting. It’s just a music scene that teenagers like to cling to, to have some sense of belonging. Emos are no more eloquent or gifted than any other ‘kind’ of teenager, the kind who manages to express themselves and communicate their feelings perfectly fine without wearing massively undersized clothing and listening to massively theatrical music.

As you may have guessed, I hate this “Us and Them” attitude that seems to prevail over teen/youth culture. We live in a age where a huge variety of music is at our finger tips (Thanks to blogs like this!), we have hundreds of television channels and a million sites to express ourselves on. Yet youth culture seems so harshly divided along fashion and musical taste. We have ‘Indies’ ‘Emos’ ‘Goths’ ‘Chavs’ ‘Nu-Ravers’ all of which makes me gag at the thought that anyone would willingly stamp any of those labels onto themselves and not only have these groups clearly defined the a indviduals taste in music, but how favourably they are looked upon by society, to the point where we have people looking into this ridiculous mess and commenting “Look how much nicer Emos are, aren’t emos lovely!”.

Anyway im going around in circles. But please, wear what you want, listen to as much music as you possibly can, it’s a wonderful thing and it’s terrible that it’s became deemed unacceptable to listen to certain genres because you are a ’emo’ or a ‘indie’ or whatever people like calling themselves nowdays.

New Sigur Ros ‘Gobbledigook’

It seems that everyone is giving away free music these days, Radiohead, Coldplay and now Sigur Ros. With their fith album album, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (“With a buzz in our ears we play endlessly”) annouced for a June 24th release the band have made the lead single ‘Gobbledigook’ available for free on their site http://www.sigurros.com

Despite the songs title it’s quite a straightforward affair for the idiosyncratic group, It’s a lot more acoustic and well, human sounding than I’m accustomed to Iceland’s second most famous exports sounding like, there’s no post rock, orchestral pretensions here, just a straight forward, fun, pop song.

MP3: Gobbledigook – Sigur Ros

Am I a massive sexist?


And with that I didn’t post yesterday!

Browsing through my Last.fm the other day I was suddenly struck by the lack of female artists in my Top 50. I don’t really strive for a 50/50 parity in the music I listen to, it’s never really occured to me, I sort of assumed that women would be a bit better represented in my music taste. But from my top 50 artists

Bjork
Candida Doyle of Pulp
Meg White of The White Stripes
Sarah Neufeld and Regine Cassagne of Arcade Fire
Juanita Stein of Howling Bells
Nancy Whang of LCD Soundsystem
M.I.A
Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs
And Kate Jackson, Reenie Hollis and Emma Chapin of The Long Blondes

So that’s 12 females of my 50 top artists. And only 6 of them could be considered some way influential in the way the band or artists sounds. This pattern is reflected amongst most of my friends and neighbours on Last.fm so perhaps it’s more of a ‘problem’ with the music industry as a whole. Or perhaps just a bias in the genres of music I listen to.

On purely anecdotal evidence there does seem to be a male/female divide when it comes to the types of instrument people play. Men tend to play instruments related to rock, guitars, bass guitars and drums. Whereas females tend to play more ‘classical’ instruments. There definately is and always has been the sterotype of a guitar being a typically male instrument. I think it’s important that female songwriters get the chance to have their voices heard as loudly as their male counterparts, so perhaps we should encourage more females to get involved in music.

Afterall would a man be able to get away with this triumph of improvisational dancing (and songwriting)?

Why Clinton has lost


Yea I know, Hillary Clinton again, well…less Hillary Clinton and more the 2008 Democratic primary which I have found capitivating. Admittedly this is a rather lazy post done on the 11th hour just to keep up my post a day mantra. I’m not out of ideas or new music to share, just rather tired and busy with exams starting next week. I’ll try and keep posting daily, but I’ll probably be looking for new music to share a lot less actively, but the site seems to be ticking over nicely anyway, im getting a nice trickle of views which is great.

Im not sure this post will be a ‘ratings hit’ but it is an interesting arcticle on why Clinton’s “calender arguement” doesn’t make much sense despite the precedents she cited the other week.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte…8052601743.html

“In 1968, the Democratic race kicked off with the New Hampshire primary on March 12; when Robert Kennedy was killed, the campaign was not quite three months old. In 1992, the first contest was the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 10; by the beginning of June, candidates had been battling for about 3 1/2 months — and it was clear that Bill Clinton would be the nominee, though he hadn’t technically wrapped it up.

This year, the Iowa caucuses were held on Jan. 3, the earliest date ever. Other states scrambled to move their contests up in the calendar as well. When June arrives, the candidates will have been slogging through primaries and caucuses for five full months — a good deal longer than in those earlier campaign cycles.

So Clinton’s disturbing remark wasn’t wishful thinking — as far as I know (to quote Clinton herself, when asked earlier this year about false rumors that her opponent Barack Obama is a Muslim). Clearly, it wasn’t logical thinking. It can only have been magical thinking, albeit not the happy-magic kind.

Clinton has always claimed to be the cold-eyed realist in the race, and at one point maybe she was. Increasingly, though, her words and actions reflect the kind of thinking that animates myths and fairy tales: Maybe a sudden and powerful storm will scatter my enemy’s ships. Maybe a strapping woodsman will come along and save the day.”

Kanye West – Flashing Lights Alternative video


Kanye West has done a second video for one of the highlights of Graduation, Flashing Lights. Featuring some nice use of stop motion to go with those struttering staccato keys and Kanye West looking typically enigmatic/moody again after being bound and gagged in the previous video. It makes about as much sense as the first one but to compensate it features approximately the same amount of gratuitous shots of models in their underwear.

Common goes old-school with Pharrel and MSTRKRFT go epic


Common isn’t messing around, capitalising on the relative commercial success of last year’s Finding Forever he’s coming back with Time Travellin‘ an album we’re told that will mark a significant departure away from his established ‘socially conscious’ style of rap and jazzy musical style. If this first snippet, Universal Mind Control, is anything to go by it’ll be brilliant, it’s a proper flashback to a bygone style of HipHop, its a very Bambaataaish in sound, Common lets loose and abandons his usually serious style as he flows over a brilliant Neptunes’ beat even the cheap sounding vocoder Pharrel uses on the chorus is straight from the 80’s. All in all it’s a very fun and unpretensious fun record from an artist who is often associated with the very opposite.

MP3:Universal Mind Control – Common ft Pharrel


Sticking with the electro style, MSTRKRFT, who I was introduced to as a side project to one of my favourite bands, drum and bass punk duo Death From Above 1979. Have also got a new track ‘out there’ rather confusingly titled ‘vuvuvu’ it’s a straight out house number with a relentlessly crescendoing keys, altered beyond all recognition. At 1:30 in it crescendoes, slowly edging upwards with a cinematic intensity before breaking down and strating that same relentess climb. You could argue its a song without any real destination and yea it relies on the same melody and beat throughout, but its one hell of a journey.

MP3: Vuvuvu – MSTRKRFT