Saturday, June 17, 2006

From far away

I won´t be posting much in the next few weeks as at the mo i´m in the lovely city of Madrid in the middle of 3 weeks of travelling round Spain, Portugal and Morocco. Already been to San Sebastian, which was gorgeous and hot and going to Lisbon tomorrow, which i´m very excited about.
Hope everyone is enjoying the World Cup and is cheering on england. I am!!!!
Comment on the picture : GEEEEEERRRRAAARRRDDD!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Rachael Dadd @ 12 Bar Club

(My picture of Rachael Dadd performing hasn't turned up yet so here's a pic of my dad)

The 30th of May was a perfect example of a summer's day. The sun was high and bright, the breeze was ideally cool for people to lounge around in parks, smiling and i had finished my last exam, was free for the holidays and had returned to my hometown to see the wonderful Rachael Dadd delight me with her gorgeous and subtle folky numbers. Ms Dadd has such a beautiful, mellow, easy voice, which partnered with her superb guitar playing makes her a wonderful performer and tonight, accompanied by her fellow harpist, Rory, and Rozi Plain on harmonies, the tiny stage at the 12 Bar radiates and glows with the stories and images implanted in your mind by her entrancing songs. Sometimes when she was in the middle of one of her passionate and absorbing numbers, it felt like she was singing just for you. This personal experience was also due to Rachael's sweet and charming onstage, and offstage, demeanour. She tells tales, jokes aroung with the audience and got us to contribute by making clippidy-cloppidy noises throughout her song about a horse, which was great fun. If you are going to Truck, definately try and catch her because, whether i like it or not, Rachael Dadd is heading for bigger things, i just hope that i'll be able to catch her again in such an intimate venue again

Feast your ears on these:

Rachael Dadd - Swimming For Gold
Rachael Dadd - Foroyar

Check out her myspace for a few more tunes and info
If you like them, rock on over to Rachael's site and buy a cd, they're grrrrrrreat!

Thursday, June 08, 2006


I haven't really had the chance to post any random things here for a while. Lots of exams, revision and then lots of drinking have hindered the process. Hope you like the small changes that i've made like the blog and site of the month bit i've put on the sidebar. This will change every few weeks or so, or when i find something that i think deserves recognition. I also hope you've enjoyed the gig reviews i've put up recently, theres one more to come. Anyway a few things have come out in the past weeks that i felt compelled to write about.

'The Warning', Hot Chip's new album, came out and is everything i hoped it would be. It seemed to have be leaked onto the internet a few months back but i constrained myself and only downloaded a few tracks and they wet my appetite completely. Compared to their last album 'Coming On Strong', which had a few dull moments, this album never strays below an 8 on my musical attention scale (10 being 'oh my god i never want this album to end' and 1 being 'this album is worse than watching a slideshow... of paint drying') from the moment the beat drops in on opener Careful to the last seconds of No Fit State. The band have expanded on the mellow side of their sound, And I Was A Boy From School being the perfect example of this, meaning this album is ideal for lazy days in the garden, sun on your back, beer in our hand but they also haven't forgotten how to party. Over And Over's infectious beat has filled dancefloors of indie discos across the country for the past couple of months, its a tune which makes you want to dance, the more and more you move to it. All in all, its a wonderful lp and will be the soundtrack to my summer

The latest Scott Pilgrim graphic novel, Scott Pilgrim And The Infinite Sadness came out the same week as 'The Warning', so it turned out to be a pretty good week. If you don't know, the books are set around our slacker/freeloader/hero Scott Pilgrim, who in order to date the girl of his dreams, Ramona, has to defeat her 7 evil ex-boyfriends, while also having to deal with his own ex-flames and practice with his band Sex Bob-omb. The style is heavily influenced by manga and old nintendo videogames, even more so in this latest episode and is full of little details that crack me up, like the recipe for vegan shepards pie (thats in the second one actually) and the way the ex-boyfriends leave coins behind when defeated like characters from Mario. Its so off-the-wall and entertaining that i've read it about 4 times already, its a darn shame we have to wait a year for the next one. For a taster, check out the free one, which has been uploaded here. Just found this awesome interview with Scott Pilgrim creator Byran Lee O'Malley at Fluxblog. Happy reading!

I saw the film Brick about a month back and it was one of the best cinematic experiences i've had in while. The film is a homage to 1930s film noir detective stories, it contains all the usual characters from the uber-cool detective and femme fatale to the man who knows everything and the mobster. The twist here is that the film is set in a modern day high school, where each character is part of different sections of the seedy teenage underworld that adults have no idea about and it works really really well. The story follows Brendan played by Joesph Gordon-Levitt, an outcast, who becomes our detective, when his ex-girlfriend calls him pleading for help and subsequently disappears. Brendan makes it his job, almost his passion, to find her and has to associated himself again with the high school world of jocks and cheerleaders that he snubbed. Not knowing too much about film noir, the film struck me more as a teen movie (thats a movie about teenage life, not one of those crappy Hilary Duff films). It depicts the world that parents and teachers know little about with a great deal of accuracy and Brendan's intense obsession with his first love encapulates how deep the hole is the first time you fall for someone. The biggest praise i give this film is that it never feels unnatural, even when i hadn't understood the conversation for a couple of minutes due to characters nonsensical 1930s vernacular, it seems to feel right. The twist at the end left me a little bit unsatisfied but i came out of the cinema wearing a huge grin, having seen something very unique but yet at the same time very personal.

Heres some tracks associated with each one:
Hot Chip - Careful (pretty obvious)
Tom Petty - American Girl
(apparently would be played over the credits of a Scott Pilgrim movie)
Velvet Underground - Sister Ray (on the Brick soundtrack)

Buy these silver flat dougnuts, they sound so good:
Hot Chip - The Warning
Velvet Underground - White Light White Heat

p.s. if anyone has a copy of Scott Pilgrim by Plumtree i'd love to hear it

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Research @ The Social

Street-teaming is a near sin in my book. Big-smiling people constantly badgering you, at gigs, to sign up to some band you've never heard of's mailing list in return for a poster, which you have to carry around with you, annoyingly getting in the way of your pint hand and which eventually gets left at the bar or dumped on the floor and forgotten about.
Thats only when other people are doing it though. When its me involved, its great! Getting in free - Great, some free merchandise - awesome and getting to the band is ace, especially when the band in question are really nice people, which i'm happy to say The Research are.

Their music sounds like various theme tunes of slighty odd and quirky childrens cartoons (i.e. Fairly Odd Parents/Atomic Betty) if Stuart Murdoch had a hand in penning the lyrics, which isn't a critisism as i've heard from some people but praise that they've pulled it off. Yes, the music is simple and slightly childish but this plays with the stories and images of Russell's superb lyrics and brings out other aspects of them which may not be obvious initially.

Tonight the majority of their set was taken from their debut album 'Breaking Up' from new single 'The Hard Times' to fan's (mine really) favourites ' I Love You But...' and 'True Love Weighs A Tonne' and it's live where these songs come to life. The mixture of onstage banter, perfect harmonies and a good bit of quirkiness brings the best out of the tracks, making even some of the duller moments off the album bright.
Things are looking good for the future too, with the one new track they played standing out and talk of the addition of extra instruments to the equation on the next album. I'm looking forward to it muchly. Now would you like to sign up to their mailing list?

I'd like to thank my main man Mark for the photos, they are gucci.

Here's a couple of tunes:

The Research - Ba Ba Ba
The Research - The Way You Used To Smile (BBC Session)

Buy their album coz they're very nice people just like you and me :

The Research - Breaking Up