Monday, July 31, 2006

Eighth Day Descent @ The Montague Arms

Metal bands aren't that popular in the blog-o-sphere, which is mainly populated by indie/electro/rock-esque groups, but when its done well, metal can be awesome and really good fun. On Saturday, i ventured to the wilderness that is New Cross to see my mate's band, Eighth Day Descent, display their "stunningly fast technical brutality" to a crowd of, maybe about 100 onlookers.

The 5-piece have been together for around a year and in that time have recorded a five-track ep and have gone on a U.K tour, which had taken in such wonderful places as Bath, Birmingham, Wales and Middlesborough, before hitting London for this date, but the week and a half, squashed, in a Renault Espace didn't show when they got on stage.
The whole band are technically very impressive and this talent seems to give them alot of confidence when they're up there infront of a room of people, looking to be impressed. Their lead "singer" strikes an imposed figure when towering over you, screaming out his passionate words. This is even more striking when accompanied by the backing track of some extremely quick and pretty brutal guitar work, a nice, solid but varied bassline and some of the best drumming i've heard for a while. Some people may complain about the lead vocals, but i think they work with the music so well that anything else would just sound silly. At least they have a bit of singing in their tunes unlike some lame bands *coughcough* Sullen.

It was a set full of chug, stroke picking, bass tap and slides, screaming, singing, shouting, crazy drumming, dancing, passion, talent and most importantly good fun, they really looked happy to be up there, performing for everyone, which to be honest is the reason to be in a band. At points during their tight, lightning paced, full-on and all-round impressive set, i almost forgot my mate was in the band, which shows that they've got something a little bit special
Check out this video of them playing Known/Unknown that night here (watch out for my drunken, bobbing head come into shot about halfway through)

And here's one of their lovely tunes:
Eighth Day Descent - Benedict

Check out their myspace for news, info and more tunes
Thanks to Nina for the video and photos

Thursday, July 27, 2006

You'll Believe A Man Can Fly!!!

... but you won't believe a man can write a film review. Ok i'm bored of trying to write this Superman review so here's a quick, half-arsed attempt at one. Superman returns for one (or probably a couple more) stabs at rejuvenating a dying franchise after the crappy later films. With Bryan Singer (Super Comic Geek Man) at the helm, the hope was for something inspiring, creative, dark but subtle. Unfortunately he delivered an enjoyable, yet pretty thin and predictable movie with not much development or plot. Brandon Routh comes out of it successfully, for an unknown. His clumsy, awkward Clark Kent was great and endearing along with his imposing and strong Superman, which at points looks so cgi-ed when it was just his smooth, wax-looking face on screen and at moments looked uncannily like Christopher Reeves, Scary!!!! Kevin Spacey was good as a crazy Lex Luther, although i thought he was trying too much to be like the Gene Hackman's interpretation. Kate Bosworth was perhaps the weak link in the movie, along with the lack of plot. She was dull and predictable, nothing like the Lois Lanes of the past, Teri Hatcher and Margot Kidder, who brought a fiesty, funkiness to the role. Bosworth was dry and just boring, only saved in some scenes by her on-screen son, Tristan Lake Leabu, who is awesome.
For a comeback film, its not really explosive or thrilling enough for me, its just really a homage to the first two Donner films. I enjoyed it and there are some amazing action sequences, the aeroplane one for instance, but the rest of the story is a bit of a limp squid, it just doesn't carry the series on at all, which i hoped it would, but it does leave it open for a few follow ons. How exciting!!!! Go and see Superman Returns, its worth it.

Here's some of my favourite Superman related tunes:
Superman Theme - John Williams
Jimmy Olsen's Blues - Spin Doctors
Superman - Black Lace

Also anyone free tomorrow night and from london should come check out Emmy The Great supporting Diane Cluck at The Luminaire in Kilburn, doors at half 7 and tickets cost £7 at the door, unless you sweet-talk your way in there, then its free.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Daytrotter, its where all the cool kids go

I don't really know why its taken me so long to post about this awesome website, maybe because i wanted to see if they could keep up the brilliant writing that consistently gets put up there or to see if they could keep getting these new and great bands to do sessions tracks for them, which get uploaded each monday, so the week starts on a high, with rare, live performances from some superb acts. So far they've had Hockey Night, Casiotone For The Painfully Alone, (my fav) Harry And The Potters and this week's guests Two Gallants in their studio to perform 4 special tracks for the eager listener to peruse and download, all completely free. Rumours are that Cursive, Ben Kweller, Bonnie Prince Billy, Smoosh, Grizzly Bear and The Futureheads, to name but a few, will venture to the Daytrotter studios in the near future to lay down some rare and probably unreleased tracks, so keep an eye, and ear, on it. You wouldn't wanna miss out, would you? Here's a few sessions from the past few weeks that i've enjoyed and if you like these, head on over there to pick up the rest and much, much more.

Two Gallants
Harry And The Potters
Casiotone For The Painfully Alone
French Kicks -
So Far We Are

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Forgetful, who me?

Damn! In my sleepy state of affairs last night i forgot to tell you about the new Ben Kweller track that i received from somewhere the other day. Its not BK at his best but its still BK so it's superbly catchy, quirky and pretty damn cool. I'm really gonna have to ebay a ticket to his sold out Dingwalls show, having missed out on one when they came onsale. Apparently his new, self-titled album, released in September, contains some fo the best stuff he's ever written, thats straight from his own mouth... well filtered through the world of the internet (so i didn't get Kweller saliva on my hands) but its still pretty fresh stuff. anyway here it is!

Ben Kweller - Penny On The Train Track

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Sleepyhead, who me?

I really do need some sleep after such a crazy drunken night at the Black Sheep yesterday, but just had to blog having stumbled across this mp3 at The Face Of Today just now. Its by a french singer called Camille and is just a really refreshing piece of music, someone doing just what they want. It also helps that Camille has an amazingly strong voice and bucket loads of imagination and talent.

Camille - Ta Douleur

I've got a Superman Returns review brewing up at the mo, which should be with you in a few days, when i've decided if i really liked it or not

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Tin Pan Alley Festival

Denmark Street. World-reknowned for selection of musical instrument shops, particularly the 6-stringed, rocking variety and today it played stage to my first festival experience of my summer, Tin Pan Alley Festival.

A stage had been set up at the far end of the street, which itself was fenced off and tightly patrolled so that by the time i got there, after a gruelling day of waitering at Lords, i had missed Untitled Music Project expectedly fiery set and the eager crowds were queueing to get in. I arrived halfway through Bromheads Jacket set and had to watch it from Charing Cross Road but their exuberance and energy still translate through the air and smack you in the face. This has to be partly credited to the technicians as the sound quailty was excellent, much better than far too many indoor gigs i'd been to recently, but lets not take anything away from the Bromheads, whose live performances are something to admire, full of life and energy. Ending on What If Maybe usually leads to the crazed fans invading the stage, but not today due to the tight security, but the crowd still went off.

After that the security became a bit less fascist and started letting people through the barriers. Somehow i'd wiggled my way near the front and got in quickly. Bonza! Had to watch some poorly organised air guitar competitiom, which to be honest was absolutely crap (Where were the classic rock poses?), before next and final band appeared onstage and they were British Sea Power.

I have to admit that i'm not their biggest fan, no that came out wrong, what i meant was i'm not their biggest fan yet! The few recorded tracks i've heard haven't left me compelled to rush out and buy their cds but live, live they're so much fun. They played a set full of joyful, singalongable, almost anthemic tunes, which their branch-waving adorers just lap up. By the end of their short, but sweet set, a tambourine had been played with a croquet mallet, the guitarist had sat on a first floor storey windowsill, some little kid (apparently the winner of the air guitar comp) had taken the stage and taken over guitar playing duties, many branches and twigs were snapped due to excessive waving and i was smiling, so the band of quirky and talented men had done their job well. Found two clips from their performance on youtube here and here

It seemed like a really good little festival with an atmosphere, that was for central london unexpectedly friendly and a sound quality that was superb. Definately one to remember for next year, being free especially and a great start to my summer of music.

Here's a few tracks from the two bands that performed:

Bromheads Jacket - What If Maybe
Bromheads Jacket - Trip To The Golden Arches
British Sea Power - It Ended On An Oily Stage
British Sea Power - Carrion

Now can i ask you guys 2 favours:
numero uno) Can someone recommend to me some BSP tracks to download as i want to give them a proper listen?
numero duo) If anyone has any photos from the day, i'd love to see them. I'd put them up and give you a mention if you have some. my emails at the top of the blog

Monday, July 10, 2006

What A Waste Of My Pieces Of Eights!!!

(Thats the way to the exit! Get out of here before you're bored to death! Argh!)

I may have just watched the worst film i've ever, ever seen. Pirates Of The Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest may be the biggest selling movie in its first three days but it is a big pile of shite. Never have i seen a movie that is so mind-numbingly pointless, ridiculous, boring and unfunny since, let me think..... actually i dont think i've seen a film this awful in my life. The plot jumps and skips about between ultra-long and unbelieveable events, i say events because plot, story or twists never even appeared in the two and an half hour picture. Kiera Knightly plays a damp, pouty, badly acted fish, Orlando Bloom is as wooden as the plank he should be walking and Johnny Depp, well Mr Depp tries but his attempt to make this funny was falling down some stairs, which was the funniest and my favourite bit of the film, but still he doesn't come anywhere close to saving this film. I just wish they had said at the start that this was just gonna be a 150 minute long build up to the next film, cos i would have just waited for that because this film does nothing and it won't affect my watching of the oh so predictable follow up, which i definately won't be seeing now. Don't go and see this if you have anything better to do with your life, like trainspotting or watching slide-shows or listen to old people talk or listening to a whole Embrace album or listening to a whole Embrace song or watching Wales play football or counting the number of hairs on your cat or doing one of those uber-big sudokus or sitting by yourself for two and a half hours, poking yourself in the eye, with a beansprout, it's just not worth it.

Staying on a swash-buckling theme, check this song out by a Sheffield based duo called Slow Club, its very kooky and simple but the harmonies and lyrics are so catchy, entertain and brilliant that you'll be singing along in no time at all. Have a listen to their other song on their myspace and i guarantee you, you'll keep going back to listen to them over and over again.

Slow Club - Pirates

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Crazy Bald Man

Zidane, what were you thinking?!!! Was quite a nice final to end a fun but uninspiring World Cup, but this incident was absolutely crazy. He looks a bit like one of those rams that fight each other by headbutting, maybe he was trying to do an impersonation and expected Materatizzi to do it too. Or it was their way of deciding who wins the trophy, instead of the gamble of penaltues, so Zidane actually won the World Cup for France here. Anyway well done Italia.
Cheers to UCLA radio for the video

Hot Chocolate - Everyone's A Winner for the Italians

Rainer Maria - Catastrophe
for the French

Saturday, July 08, 2006

New TAAS tunes and more...

I'm still having great difficulty finishing off my Rachael Dadd review, just can't find the inspiration!!! I'll work on it. In the meantime, here's something completely different.

The most exciting thing i've discovered on my return home and back to the world of the world wide web is the new These Arms Are Snakes track, Horse Girl. I've only recently got into the band, which features ex-members of Botch and Kill Sadie, from a recommendation of one of my mates, whose music integrity i trust wholeheartedly, and i was not disappointed with his suggestion. They are so musically experimental, i hadn't heard guitar riffs or rhythms like these before and this new track is no different. Its full of the intensity and energy which took my notice the first time i heard the band. I'm so excited about the new album and about seeing them in August at The Underworld, so excited!!!!!

These Arms Are Snakes - Horse Girl

Following on in the same sort of musical genre, i heard about this band The Stiletto Formal (crap name isn't it?) from All Things Go a few months back and their songs have been stuck in my head ever since. When listening to them, i keep hearing similarites with all these bands i love (At The Drive-In, Blood Brothers, Cursive, These Arms Are Snakes, Thursday etc..), its like they're just one big emo/rock/post-hardcore sampler (thats not a crititism, its just a statement). The lead vocalist is the closest i've heard anyone come to Cedric Bixler's yelping wails and they can go from screaming, noisy mayhem to eerie, beautiful melodies in a flash, which makes the songs very, very exciting indeed. Definately a band to look out for.

The Stiletto Formal - Black Tar Concubine

Last but not least, I got a email a few days back from a guy from Goodnight records, promoting a band called The Press. Usually i'm not that taken with the bands that i find in my inbox but these guys are an exception. The song i was sent is called Red Comes Ringin, off the 7" of the same name and it grips you immediately with some unexpectedly strange vocals, i don't really know how to describe it, the whole track is just quite crazy and i love it. Apparently they're in the process of recording a new full-length, on which the majority of songs are all about ducks. Awesome!!!

The Press - Red Comes Ringin

If you like these tracks, buy their cds!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Home Sweet Home

Just got back from my travels today. It was amazing, had such a good time. I recommend going to Morocco to anyone, its probably one of the best places i've ever been.

Anyway whats been going on? Haven't been able to keep up with the blogging world so any important news, awesome songs or funny things that i've missed, please lemme know! I've got to get around to posting my review of Rachael Dadd's performance at the 12 bar club back in May, hopefully finish it and post it tomorrow so keep a look out.

Shame about the footie, wasn't it
!! Damn refs spoiling England's chances again, but we were playing crap football so it was probably fair we went out.

Here's a few tracks that i put on my travel mixtape:
Bob Dylan - Subterranean Homesick Blues
Weezer - Keep Fishin'
Jetplane Landing - This Is Not Revolution Rock (Acoustic)