Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Loud And Quiet

First, in case you were wondering, i passed my resits (YAY!!!) so i'm starting the 3rd year of my Physics degree on Monday. I hope you all weren't too worried about me.

I was introduced to Gallows by Tom, my totally awesome mate, and was instantly caught up in their intense and technically impressive punk/hardcore. They have the fiery energy and passion that i find so compelling in punk music, but their music is also amazingly complex and innovative with sprawling guitar parts and great drumming. I've heard great things about them live and apparently their album, Orchestra Of Wolves, ain't too bad either.

Gallows - In The Belly Of A Shark

On a quieter note, i've had Fionn Regan's song Put A Penny In The Slot on repeat on my PSP for the last couple of weeks and i'm still captivated by it each time. The simple but effective backing acoustic guitar is a vehicle for some fine, fine lyrics that have a Dylan/Donavan stylee to them and make me stop whatever i'm doing to give them a proper listen. He also mentions Beckenham park, which is about fifteen minutes from my parent's place, that part also makes me smile. I've haven't heard his whole album yet but on the basis of this song i'm sure he's got the quality to stand out amongst the sea of male singer/songwriters that has flooded the musical landscape.

Fionn Regan - Put A Penny In The Slot

Oh yeh hopefully me and Neb will get round to putting together another Friday Face-Off this week, after the month off we've had, mainly due to laziness.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Staying Up All Night 3

I think this is going to be my last post of the night coz i can feel tiredness setting in, my eye-lids are getting heavy so before i get some shut-eye, i thought i'd leave you with a few bands that have recently, well i say recently, i mean in the last year, broken up, parted ways, ceased to exist, you know what i'm getting at.

First up its Bullet Union. This quartet went their separate ways over the summer, which i thought was a great shame as they were one of the most excited and intense live bands i'd seen for ages. In their four year lifetime, they put out one amazing full-length record, one 7-inch and toured intensively in any place they could, just to get their DC-sounding, sledge-hammeresque indie punk to as many ears as possible. It was live were the band really came into their own, they played with every amp up to full volume, literally blowing away everyone in the audience and most of the bands they played with. They'll be sorely missed.
Bullet Union - Stay Indie, Don't Be A Hater

Next is Million Dead. I just listened to their Smiling At Strangers On Trains single today and it still sounds as fresh and raw as it did the first time. They produced such urgent and immediate punk songs that were so refreshing at the time, i remember seeing them supporting thisGIRL at The Garage a few years back and being mesmerised by frontman Frank Turner, he had such a commanding presence and delivery and the band sounded so good, even when the guitarist broke a string during the first song they still kept it all together. The band released two albums and, like Bullet Union, they toured their arses off. Now they've split Frank's gone acoustic and apparently is really really good, haven't heard anything but will have to give him a listen.
Million Dead - Smiling At Strangers On Trains

And finally there's Instruction. I was a huge fan of these guys as soon as i saw them at the Tunbridge Wells Forum supporting Funeral For A Friend. Like the two previously mentioned bands, they were a force-to-be-reckoned-with on stage, with frontman Arty "The One-Man Party" Sheppard usually spouting his mouth of about some state of affairs that he didn't like and they rocked the hell out. The band were formed from the remains of Errortype:11 and Quicksand guitarist, Tom Capone, and they created some vivid and in-your-face post-hardcore punk tunes. I only saw them a couple of times live but each time was incredible and so much fun. Now they've disbanded, they've already formed new bands such as Gay For Johnny Depp and God.Fires.Man so keep a look out for them.
Instruction - Are You Happy?

RIP and night night.

Staying Up All Night 2

Still up!!!

Just thought i'd finish off posting the One Minute Pop Song videos that i've so avidly followed here at funfunfun. The final clip is a montage of Ben Kweller mucking about in the studio, while one of the tracks off his new album plays in the background.
Just found a couple of tracks off the new album at indieblogheaven, here's one of them
Ben Kweller - Red Eye
Head over there for the other.

Also here's another awesomely cool thing i found on youtube.

65daysofstatic - I Am Robot

Staying Up All Night 1

Oh my i'm nervous. Tomorrow i get the results of my resits, the outcome decides whether i'll carry on my Physics degree into my third year so i don't think i'm gonna sleep much tonight. So i'm probably gonna post a few things to keep me entertained.

Lets start off with the new Jamelia single, Beware Of The Dog. It got such alot of hype over at Popjustice a few weeks back (i think they called it the best single of 2006, or maybe the second best, i can't remember), that i was very eager to see what all the fuss was about. So i've heard it now and it ain't bad, actually its pretty good. Its got a nice Depeche Mode sample and gets you dancing. I'd be happy to see this going to No. 1, mainly just to see Jamelia's oh-so shiny legs all over my telemachine. Its better than that crappy Beyonce song anyway.

A different matter altogether is the annoying little kid, Little Chris, yeh that mouthy one from the tele show, Rock School, and his new single Checkin It Out. Its one of the most annoying songs i've heard for ages, namely because the kid can't really sing and just makes alot of strange and irritating sounds, but also coz the chorus has the knack of getting stuck in my head for hours on end, by which time i gone insane and am trying to remove the song manually with a coat-hanger. It was a messy business.

Jamelia - Beware Of The Dog
Little Chris - Checkin It Out

Monday, September 18, 2006

New Music

Its been absolutely ages since i've actually posted about any new music/bands i've heard so i think its time i'd change that. Kotki Dwa are an electro-indie band, hailing from Bristol, Leeds and the lovely Milton Keynes. They make odd sounding, laconic but intriguing indie-pop, which is influenced by birds, electricity, ice cream vans and giant musical cliches to name just a few things. Its so nice to hear a band that have only been together for just over a year sounding so accomplished and comfortable with their noise, there's lots of promise here.
Check them out for yourself:

Kotki Dwa - Bleachlight
Kotki Dwa - Idiot

(Just have to add that the new series of Spooks is amazing, already seen episode 3, i think i'm hooked!)

Saturday, September 16, 2006


I've been pretty busy this week, work and mojito-fuelled fun, so i haven't been able to post much. I thought to make up for this i'd put everything exciting i found when i did have a bit of time to peruse the net.
There's been a few more One Minute Pop Songs, 3 in fact, which have probably been the most entertaining ones yet:

Episode 6 - Ben sings a spontaneous song about the recording studio, where he created his new album. its great!!
Episode 7 - BK plays us a cover of his song In Other Words, recorded by a Japanese fan. Worth watching just for the last thing Ben says.
Episode 8 - Mr Kweller discusses the process of recording the album all by himself, i think its called "layering"

There's a free, unreleased Emmy The Great mp3 available to download at The Downloader and its really, really good! Think i'm going to see her at The Old Blue Last on Monday, gigariffic!!

Check out the The Daily Growl post about Jeremy Warmsley, as well as some great writing, there's some session tracks to download including an immense version of At The Drive-In's One Arm Scissor. Never thought ATDI were an acoustic band, how wrong i was!

New series of Extras is on and is as funny and cringe
-worthy as ever. Keith Chegwin produced some of the episode's best (and worst) lines.

Oh yeh and i won the new Rachael Dadd cd, Songs From The Crypt, from Its A Frog's Life podcast. First thing i think i've ever won, i was so excited!!! It arrived yesterday and is the most delicate and beautifully packaged cd ever, hand-stitched as well!!

I'll leave you with a few tracks and this photo of Will Ferrell at the British premiere of his new film, Talladega Nights, it made me laugh so hard when i first saw it. I hope he wore it all the way through the film.

Ben Kweller - In Other Words
Cat Stevens - Tea For The Tillerman
Rachael Dadd - The Carpenter

Monday, September 11, 2006

A Weekend Of Muzik

Yes that's right, i had quite a tuneful weekend. It all started on friday when my posse and me headed Farringdon-wards to the bright lights and expensive beverages of Fabric for my 21st b'day celebrations. The line-up was pretty special, featuring Cut Chemist, DJ Format, Adam F, Roots Manuva to name but a few, so the queue outside was long but it moved quickly enough and before we knew it, we were inside and glow-sticked up. The place itself is a bit confusing for a Fabric virgin, like me, so i got lost a bit and only saw a few acts, but they were excellent. Adam F blew the roof off the room, the beats and dirty bass-lines were flying everywhere, and with a little help from some fantastic laserwork, the entire room was going mental. Roots Manuva was pretty cack, it was his b'day apparently, which he and his crew kept having to mention before, after and during most of the tunes he played, but a rendition of Witness made up for it... slighty. My night ended at about 3am after witnessing some turntable wizardry from vinyl sciencist himself, Cut Chemist. Some of things he was doing with two decks and a mixer were just unbelievable, i was in awe and when i wasn't in awe, i was dancing. It was a super night.

On Saturday, i let my ears and body recover from the pounding the d'n'b had given them but Sunday was back to business. Me and the 'rents heading up to the Brick Lane Festival for a bit of Indian speciality and some good music. We were here to see Acoustic Ladyland, my dad's favourites, who were playing in the Vibe Bar courtyard. We missed the first ten minutes of their set due to bad service in the restaurant so the band were in full flow as we got let in and that means lots fo energy. Even with no main singer or their usual drummer, they're more of a jazz group than anything else, they produce so much kineticism, Saxophonist and sometimes singer Pete Wareham is a great frontman, full of attitude, power, stature and passion when he's playing his instrument, he poses like all good rock stars and gets the crowd moving, its a shame he doesn't have the same presence when he tries vocally, its just sounds a bit weak and lacking, maybe he should just stick to blowing his horn coz thats when the magic happens. The musicianship on show is amazing, each track is full of little complexities, even on the raw, in-ya-face tracks where they sound more like a punk band than a jazz band, and thats why they're so darn good. They mix the genres into such cohesive, intriguing and powerful ball of goodness thats waiting to explode and today it did as the whole front section of the crowd turned into a little pit of youthful energy and aggression. It was great.

Just listen:
Adam F - Circles
Cut Chemist - What's The Altitude
Acoustic Ladyland - Deckchair
Acoustic Ladyland - Ludwig Van Ramone

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Getting A Few Things Off My Chest

The stress of exams and the sheer amount of revision i've done has been a necessary pain this week, which has led to an absence of blogging on my part. This was a shame coz a lot has gone on this week i would have talked about.

It was my birthday on Monday, i'm now 21 (god, that seems old) but seeing as i haven't really grown up since i was about 15, its not gonna make that much of a difference to me really. So far reaching this age hasn't been to good, as the day after my b'day i got the shits so i think i'd prefer to be 20 again and not need the toilet every half an hour, maybe i am getting old. Hopefully i will have recovered properly by tomorrow night as me and my friends are gonna boogie on down in Fabric to the sounds of Cut Chemist, DJ Format, Roots Manuva and Andy C. Should be a good night.

I cannot believe Steve Irwin has died, that actually spoilt my birthday a bit, i was in shock for like half an hour, i was sure the man was immortal. Well he is really coz no one's gonna forget him, what a legend and an entertainer, its just a shame he didn't go out fighting a croc or getting bitten by the most poisonous snake in the world but getting your heart pierced by a stingray's barb is still quite an adventurous way to end it. My thoughts go out to his family and friends, he will be missed.

I'm not really too happy, or unsurprised that the Arctic Monkeys won the Mercury Music prize. I always hope the prize is awarded to someone who hasn't got a lot of attention and could use the publicity to sell more copies of their wonderful album but this year the judges seemed to go with the public and choose the fastest ever selling debut album Whatever People Say I Am, Thats What I'm Not as their winner. Personally i would have liked to have seen Hot Chip or Lou Rhodes walk away with the award, who both produced brilliant full lengths, but i suppose i can't really judge, having not heard the whole Arctic Monkeys album, it could be amazing.

Happy Birthday - The Ramones from The Simpsons
Roots Manuva - Witness Dub
Hot Chip - The Warning
Lou Rhodes - Why

Friday, September 01, 2006

Friday Face-Off : Round 3

Its that time of the week again!!! This friday's theme is covers and its odd coz both me and Neb thought about doing this without consulting each other. Covers are a musical curiosity. Bands love to play them and listeners are intrigued by them but there's so many bad covers out there, covers where the artist hasn't tried at all to add to the original or make it at least a bit unique or interesting. If anyone heard Huw Stephen's BBC One Music show on Tuesday, you'll know what i'm talking about, although all the tracks he played were awesome. Good covers are ones where the artist makes the song their own so here are the ones we're pitching against each other.

First up, its me (thats Tim)

Jimi Hendrix - All Along The Watchtower (Bob Dylan)

From what i remember about Dylan's original (haven't heard it ages) is that its folky and menacing, then Hendrix took it and completely rocked it up. There's some amazing guitar work on this track and the song really suits Jimi's vocal stylings but its all about the guitars when it comes to Jimi. He really has put his own touch of genius on an already amazing piece of music.

Now its Neb's turn

The Get Up Kids - Alec Eiffel (The Pixies)

A cool version of a great song, the comparatively frenetic pace makes up for the loss of some of the off-kilter guitar work that marked the original. Granted its not a redefinition of the song but both versions inhabit their own ground really well

So there you go, two great covers but which one is your favourite, get voting now!!! Got til Monday to let your opinion be known.

Bonus track : Children Of Bodom - The Final Countdown this makes me laugh so much, can't vote for it tho