Monthly Archives: July 2009

Daft Punk Tron Legacy Theme (Cryda Luv Remix)


I’m a huge geek, but not enough of a geek to follow Comic Con too studiously – at least apart from the occasional bit of cosplay, exceptional or otherwise.

But even I heard about the ‘unvieling’ of what is potentially the first track from Daft Punk’s soundtrack from the forthcoming Tron soundtrack.

Pretty nice.

It’s not out yet, so below is a hasty reworking, not as good, but it’ll have to tide us over.

MP3: Daft Punk – Tron Legacy (Cryda Luv Remix)

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(MOAR!)New Arctic Monkeys – My Propeller

Update: Nothing to see here now anyway. Backward label/internet policing don’t want the free publicity.

Yeah, yeah I know. More Arctic Monkeys.

Another day, another track. Can’t be long till the whole thing leaks, surely? Not sure if I like this one as much as Crying Lightning, but maybe it’s a grower.

I am beginning to get worried about the pervading minor-key, stoner rock sound that’s coming out of this album. I was anticipating something heavier, but this transformation seems to be posing the danger of losing the frenetic wit and bombast that their previous albums had. It’s a bit slurred and muddy in comparison.

In related news: The band will be playing a live webcast of the new album, Humbug, come July 30th, here. So we’ll be hearing the whole thing very, very soon.

Below is a low (low) quality rip of the new song, it’ll have to do for now.

Link: http://webtransmission.arcticmonkeys.com/

Arctic Monkeys – Crying Lightning Video

The song’s still growing on me; I like the grungy, stoner rock vibes, but the video takes that aesthetic a little too far with a strange, vaguely mythological journey that doesn’t really go anywhere and, apart from a few shots of Helders, doesn’t have any of the humour that usually features. A bit po-faced, a little cheap-looking, a bit shit.

Pah.

In related Humbug hype… some scans from the bands Q magazine appearance are here.

Also, a new track from the album, ‘My Propeller’ is also ‘out there’. It’s being cracked down on heavily as it was here at We All Want Someone To Shout For (and I don’t actually have it…yet) so I’ll simply leave you with that nugget of information to do with as you please and instead give you the gift of the superlative Balaclava.

Humbug is out on Domino Records 8/25

MP3: Arctic Monkeys – Balaclava

New Thom Yorke, New Muse.


Muse and Radiohead have been two of the biggest bands of my adolescent years. As I hurtle helplessly towards the big two-zero, my feelings towards these both bands could not be any different and it’s quite aptly summed up in these two new songs from Muse and the main creative force behind Radiohead.

Muse’s new effort is about as bombastic, overblown and dumb as you would expect a song called United States of Eurasia to be. The band have always been firmly wedged between a slick, stadium-filling rock sound and a symphonic, classically inspired one that comes from Bellamy stealing piano licks from Chopin and Rachmaninoff and pilfering guitar riffs from May and Morello.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being overblown, bombastic, slick or stadium-filling. The first two are charges you could easy level at Radiohead, but here, it’s just wrong. Muse don’t do overarching themes well, they don’t do cross-genre appropriating well, they don’t really do lyrics well. They’re a band that are at their best when they surrender such pretensions and just give in to their two strongest assets: The ability of Bellamy as a hard-rock riff writer to rival Jimmy Page and the band’s tightness (and loudness) live. I’ve never had time for balladry when it comes to Muse. Give me Stockholm Syndrome, Citizen Erased or Plug in Baby, big, dumb songs with no pretensions beyond the band’s abilities.

Eurasia is an awkward halfway home. The guitar riff is tame, the lyrics weak – and are unwelcome continuation of the band’s dabbling in tepid, idealistic, vaguely political ranting – and, worse of all, the song has no real hook.

And yes, as you’ve heard, it sounds an awful lot like Queen. The guitar licks, the guitar tone and the harmonised vocals, pure Queen. They don’t even really try to hide it. Similarly, the piano outro sounds just like a Beethoven sonata.

Yorke’s song, on the other hand, is wonderful. Subtle, nuanced, but sweeping and epic at the same time. It picks off very much where The Eraser left off, skittering, pulse-like programmed beats, dreamy electronic keys and Thom’s otherworldly croon swirling around this solid base. The song sparks to life with the brief introduction of ‘live’ instruments as a syncopated drum-beat comes in shortly after the cue of a crashing, distorted guitar riff before dissapearing and eventually rejoining the composition for its climax. Wonderful, haunting, intelligent. The kind of thing that you come to exect from Thom and Radiohead as an extension. It manages the grandiose, but through a careful and considered mix of tools, rather than with mere brute force.

Sure, it’s not his own song, but it’s a fairly comprehensive re-working – arguably less of a cover than Muse’s Queen imitation is.

I’m sure Muse will be the first of many bands that I’ll fall out of love with as I get older, but it’s remarkable how into them I was a a couple of years ago. Their new track just reminds me that now, to me, they seem a very teenage, a very adolescent band – a trait that seems to lead to obsessive fans that do pseudo-sexual shit like this, this and buying ridiculously expensive Manson guitars to be Matt Bellamy which is really only a small step up from the kind of slack-jawed dedication you see with Jonas Brothers’ fans.

A lot of similar flak gets thrown towards Radiohead and Thom Yorke, their fanbase has similar obsessive elements and, of course, I could end up feeling the same towards them in a few years time, but for now, they’re still fresh and essential as ever.

MP3: Thom Yorke – All For The Best
MP3: Muse – United States of Eurasia

Mercury Music Prize Nominations 2009


So, it’s that time of year again. Got to admit, it’s crept up on me and I haven’t really felt a huge urge to write about what a controversial or ‘edgy’ list it is like I do most years. Whether that’s to do with the self-styled independent nature of the awards, the state of the British music industry or whether it’s just a shit list I’m not sure. Anyway, the list and odds.

Florence and the Machine – Lungs 5/1

Kasabian – West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum 5/1

Bat for Lashes – Two Suns 6/1

La Roux – La Roux 6/1

Glasvegas – Glasvegas 6/1

Speech Debelle – Speech Therapy 8/1

Friendly Fires – Friendly Fires 8/11

The Horrors – Primary Colours 8/1

Lisa Hannigan – Sea Sew 8/1

The Invisible – The Invisible 10/1

Led Bib – Sensible Shoes 10/1

Sweet Billy Pilgrim – Twice Born Men 10/1

My heart goes with Bat for Lashes, her sophomore effort is assured and much more than the debut that (unfairly) failed to win in 2007, though the list being as it is, and the judges being as they are, I find it hard to see her winning it; she’s neither unknown enough to be a shock choice, nor safe enough to be a uncontroversial one.

I criticized last year’s list for being ‘predictable’ – I also started the post with ‘It’s that time of the year again!’, whoops – that’s not really a criticism you could aim at the list this year, but I’m not really sure if it’s a particularly strong list, or even if a strong list could have been compiled out of recent British releases.

A quick glance at my ‘Best of 2009’ list and I realise it’s nearly entirely American, apart from Jarvis, Clark and, of course, Bat for Lashes. British music, particularly ‘Indie’, Rock and Alternative music which is where my preferences lie, seems incredibly stale, derivative and well, shit.

We have the NME; America has Pitchfork.

We have Reading; America has Bonnaroo.

We have Glasvegas; America has Grizzly Bear.

We have Kasabian; America has Animal Collective.

Ok, so some of those comparisons are a little facetious, but British rock music and the festivals that it fills are entering a bit of a nose dive. It’s not only a case of the top tiers, the elite of each country’s output that is differing, browse the mid-levels of festivals and the real difference in depth of quality begins to show; Of course, being a different country we don’t have to endure the reams of shit music that American doubtless produces just as they won’t hear much of ours – regardless if it’s good or not – but festivals like Coachella, Bonnarro and Lollapalooza will be stocked with bands like St Vincent, Dirty Projectors, Deerhunter and Dan Deacon in the lower reaches of their line-ups; festival goers to the venerable (and, don’t get me wrong, thoroughly excellent) Glastonbury music festival have to endure the ‘Lad Rock’ parade of NME-backed bands like The View, The Maccabbes and Enter Shikari. And this is ignoring the (mostly) truly awful line-ups at lesser festivals such as V, Reading and T in the Park.

British festivals also have a strange aversion to Hip Hop, something that is perhaps merely a reflection to how bad we are as a nation at the genre, but is genuinely embarrassing at times. One only has to look at last years outcry against Jay-Z to see that the British music scene, and it’s followers, are both perhaps a little introverted and incestuous in what they like and support.

This is not to say we don’t have great bands, we do. Radiohead and Arctic Monkeys are two great examples of innovative and great bands that we should be proud of, but further examples? Radiohead are pretty old now, so arguably you could erase them from that list if you wanted a list of ‘contemporary’ British music, thought I’d strongly argue that they are still very relevant they’re not a product of the current scene as say, the Arctic Monkeys, or worse yet, Kasabian, are.

Maybe it’s just a fallow year for British artists, but as I browse through my last.fm profile, my recently added music on iTunes and the bands I’m generally turned on by and follow, I realise they’re all from Brooklyn, Baltimore or Atlanta, rather than London, Sheffield or Bristol. The listmakers could have included The Doves, Little Boots or any number of fair-to-good albums released in the past year, but would it have really made any difference? There’s definitely no In Rainbows or Untrues that I can think of recently that make me genuinely proud of the country’s music output.

As the decade draws to a close it seems more and more evident that when it comes to fresh, innovative and exciting music, America is where it’s at.

MP3: Bat for Lashes – Moon and Moon
MP3: The Horrors – Primary Colours

Glastonbury Roundup: Saturday


Is this the way they say the future’s meant to feel?
Or just twenty thousand people standing in a field?


Saturday

Eagles of Death Metal – Pyramid Stage

After failing to get anywhere near the Jazzworld stage for Rolf Harris I settled for the familiar Pyramid Stage and some rock’n’roll. I’m only peripherally familiar with their music via Queens of the Stone Age, unfortunately they don’t have the tunes or the live show that Qotsa have. Thought In fairness, I was never going to get into it so early when I knew so little, so there was always going to be a limit to my enjoyment, but once again the size of the stage and the scale of the audience sort of hampered my enjoyment. Definitely a band that would be better in a sweaty club somewhere.

4/10

Due to growing frustrations with the festival’s biggest asset and hinderence, it’s scale, and having overdosed on too much white rock music over the past 24 hours, I escape to the Park Stage for something a little different.

Easy Star All Stars – Park Stage


Ok. A band that does Reggae covers of white rock artists wasn’t the clean break I was imagining, but I was tired and wasn’t going to walk around too much, plus, they were doing Ok Computer one of my favourite albums, so I stuck around.

And I wasn’t disappointed. I was familiar with the band, but not familiar with their covers. I love reggae, my first memories of music was Bob Marley being played non-stop in the house, a memory that I’d like to proudly attribute to my strong Jamaican cultural heritage, but it was Bob Marley and everyone listens to Bob Marley. Regardless it’s a genre I’ve always liked, the dubbier the better and as they ran through their off-beat covers of perhaps the definitive album of the 90s (If not the 20th century!!11) I began to really enjoy myself.

The Park Stage is wonderfully intimate, but not small. The stage is at the bottom-centre of a horseshoe hill so it has a nice amphitheater effect with everyone getting a nice view of the stage, no large haircuts, freakishly tall people or annoying, sometime topless (but still annoying) women on men’s shoulders blocking your view, plus as it was quite quiet – which was surprising considering the special guests that were rumored to be playing on the stage in a few hours- I chilled and had a little dance to the music genre invented for easy dancing.

Their covers are inventive and put their own unique mark upon songs that are incredibly hard to put a mark on. Ok Computer is very much an album’s album, it’s a complete song-cycle about a large number of subjects, it wears its theme’s on its sleeve and it has some awkward time-signatures, signatures that almost definitely don’t appear in Reggae music, so the prospect of any performance built around covers of Ok Computer should fill someone with dread, let alone covers in a genre committedly stuck in 4/4.

The Easy Star’s are not a typical cover band though and by adding some brass, extended bass solos and a guitarist who does a surprisingly good job of aping Jonny Greenwood they take it in their stride; the crowd, half white rock fans looking to get away from white rock music for a while, but only half-suceeding, and half white faux hippy Rastafarians that have adapted their long dreadlocks into a pseudo-religious, cultural statement (when really its just poor hygiene), are appreciative.

Saturday is off and running and I’ve finally found another stage to enjoy!


8/10


Shlomo and Guests – Park Stage

Jarvis Cocker!

The Glastonbury line-up tells me Horace Andy was on between these two artists but I definitely didn’t see him and I don’t remember what I did between seeing this and Easy Star so the line-up might be wrong, anyway…

This was really quite good. Quite novelty, not something I would indulge in outside of a festival and definitely not something I would listen to at my desk, but a great hour or so’s entertainment.

Shlomo is basically a beatboxer/voice-manipulation artist, a less famous, popular Beardyman if you will. Though browsing through his resume on Wikipedia I was probably a lot more familiar with his work than I realised at the time.

So basically, we get a lot of covers. Him and his vocal choir of fellow beatboxers are amazingly skipped and throw together a few interpretations of songs using only their voices (obviously) it’s not amazing, but it draws a smile and makes you laugh. A perfect afternoon ‘matinee’ act. During this process we get guest appearances from Imogen Heap, DJ Yoda and Jarvis Cocker to name a few. Shlomo and the vocal orchestra collaborate with Imogen and Cocker, performing a few of their songs and have a ‘battle’ with DJ Yoda, in which he spins a few sections of records and challenges the orchestra to replicate it on the spot, they succeed of course and the crowd are won over. I decide I really want to see Jarvis Cocker instead of Bruce Springsteen. History is made!


7/10


Special Guests…The Klaxons – Park Stage

Ahhh crap, this was supposed to be Muse or something big! I hurriedly clamber through the crowd and leave the Park stage shortly after a keyboard is wheeled out and some obsessive fan behind me overexcitedly tells his mates that ‘that’s the bass that *insert relevant band member’s name* uses that is’. As I leave the opening, inane strains of Golden Skans echoes in the wind. A close shave.


Dissapointing/10

After some rendezvous making hi-jinks and time spent in the horrible, sweaty, orange and nauseatingly titled Orange Chill’n’Charge tent (which, as well as being a venue to ‘chill’, charge, and presumably do anything else alliterative that comes to mind, is also a mini-venue for music too awful to be put on anywhere else) that comes about as everyone’s phones, including my own, are dying due to failing batteries, I end up back at the Park Stage albiet briefly, first for some dinner (Falafel, lovely.) and then for…


M Ward – Park Stage

Only stayed here for a few post-falafel songs. Seemed nice. Not really aware of his music outside a few namedrops in Pitchfork and the like, a nice sound-down act, but we had to get moving for…


Jarvis Cocker – John Peel Tent

After another little wander around the site which includes a perilous journey traversing through the nether regions of a packed Bruce Springsteen crowd – One thing you never see on television coverage is that behind the flags and the darkness is a sizeable seated audience on the hills at the rear of the field, some barbecues even, and they don’t take kindly to outsiders passing through their property – we arrived at a fresh venue, the John Peel Tent.

Bruce was my least anticipated of the headliners but I had intended to see him. I love Born to Run and was aware of his live reputation but seeing Jarvis pop up at Shlomo I had to give in. I like his solo stuff, love his stage manner, and I thought there might be the outside chance he’d play some Pulp stuff.

He didn’t.

But still, great show. A marginal amount of the audience obviously had similar hopes to me as they left the tent when it became clear he wasn’t going to be offering a repeat of 1995, but oh well, more room for me.

The sound in Peel tent was pretty bad, a world away from the surprisingly crisp sound at the Pyramid and Other stages, you’d think it’d be easy to sort out the sound for a smaller audience but clearly not. The whole stage is also in complete opposition to the wonderful placement of the Park Stage in relation to its surroundings; the centre of the John Peel Tent is a slight hill, which means that you will have a harder time getting a clear line of sight unless you’re quite near the front. Sucky stage.

Anyway, back to Jarvis. He’s a hell of a performer, that right hard is completely unrestrained, hypnotic even…

The songs are ok, his solo stuff doesn’t really hold a flame to the heights of Pulp’s excellence, but his performance, the anecdotes and the general Glastonbury goodwill he has earnt over the years sees him through. He’s one of the few artists who you would happily hear simply talk for hours, it’s almost a disappointment when he reigns in one of his musings to perform another song…when he’s not playing Pulp songs, at least.


8/10

Show over, I head off into the night. Festival fatigue is starting to show and I mysteriously lose half of my belongings during the night, including, somehow, my trainers.

I arrive back at the campsite at 6AM for a quick sleep before the final day begins proper.

MP3: Easy Star All Stars – Airbag
MP3: Jarvis Cocker – Slush
MP3: Pulp – Sorted for E’s and Whizz

Atlas Sound + Panda Bear: “Walkabout”


Well, this sounds…just like as you’d expect an Atlas Sound and Panda Bear collaboration to sound!

Summery, unpolished, ‘electronic’, chambered, layered, ambient.

Wasn’t a huge fan of Bradford’s first solo album, or Panda Bear’s Person Pitch for that matter, but I’m quite looking forward to the new one if it shares some of the ethereal charm of this record. Love how that looped, chiming sample makes the whole song sound so much more upbeat and poppy.

MP3:Atlas Sound + Panda Bear – Walkabout