Thursday, May 24, 2007

Dot To Dot 07

This Sunday sees the return of Nottingham's no.1 music festival, Dot To Dot but as my university sees it fit to give me 3 exams in 3 days in the last week of term, i very annoyingly can't make it. I say very annoyingly because this year boasts the best line-up the festival has had in its 3 year existence. Many a funfunfun loved band are playing and i probably could have been busy running around the grotty streets of Nottingham between venues to catch the hottest bands from midday to midnight...non-stop. But NO...i'll be stuck in the library, revizzling.
Anyway to celebrate this ace line-up, here's funfunfun's 7 top tips to catch if you can.

Gallows (Rock City Basement)

Aggressive, frantic, crazed punks from Watford. Put on an amazing live show from all accounts. Produced funfunfun's 3rd best album of 2006 and won't be back on our shores until September as they're touring the States on the Warped tour.
Gallows - Abandon Ship

Scout Niblett (The Social)

Only just found out about Ms. Niblett's quirky, etheral, minimal tunes. Sounds a bit like PJ Harvey and its usually just her singing over just a guitar or a drum. She actually comes from Nottingham but now lives in America, so will be a bit of a homecoming show.
Scout Niblett - 12 Miles

Foals (Rock City Main Hall)

Oxford's finest jerky dance inducing, tight as hell, guitary poppers will make your shake your pants and shout along to their numerous anthemic tracks. Been plying their trade pretty mcuh everywhere recently from Austin, Texas at SXSW to Brighton at The Great Escape and got a rousing reception everywhere from what i've heard.
Foals - Balloons

Emmy The Great (The Social)

A funfunfun favourite for over a year since i saw her support Tilly last May. Things this year haven't moved as quickly as many thought for Ms.The Great but a support tour with Emma Pollock from The Delgados and an ep out this summer are a step in the right direction from this honest, cute and brilliant performer.
Emmy The Great - Gloria (live)

Blood Red Shoes (The Social)

They make one hell of a noise for a two-piece. Think of a more grungy, much better White Stripes and you're almost there. Punchy and to-the-point with lost of charisma and a pretty lead singer. Very good tunes too. Well worth a watch.
Blood Red Shoes - You Bring Me Down

You Slut! (Lee Rosy's Tea Room)

Epic riffs, riffs to stomp your feet to, riffs to punch your fists to, riffs to shake your head to, riffs that will make your eyes glaze over and stare blankly into a blinding light for minutes, riffs that will melt your face, riffs that will make your feet move in strange ways. With You Slut! its all about the riffage.
You Slut! - Roofio Shoots, Roofio Scores

Love Ends Disaster (Nott. Trent Uni)

Another Nottingham based band - You Slut! are from Notts too - and another one who produce some cracking tunes. Along the rock-pop vein of things, LED songs contain melodies a plenty and some real rocking out while keeping it all tightly wrapped in the wonders of a three minute pop song.
Love Ends Disaster - Ladders

Whether you take my tips or see who you like, even The Cribs, i hope everyone who goes has an amazing time. For venues and schedules check out the festival's website so you can plan your day, completely with running time between venues and toilet breaks.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Harry & The Potters @ Rock City (Basement)

Now i'm guessing you're thinking "Harry & The Potters...they're just a novelty band" and i'd agree with you. The novelty comes from them not only dressing up as Mr Potter and singing songs about the stories from the biggest franchise this side of Starbucks but they actually both perform as Harry too, one from the fourth year and one from the 7th year. At times it all seems a bit tongue-in-cheek but the detail and energy that went into their performance was extremely endearing, to the point where i probably cared more about those two Harrys than i ever could about Daniel Radcliffe's portrayal. Backed by "Bill Weasley" on drums, the two Potters, one on guitar, one on keyboard, ripped through a set of hugely entertaining numbers about saving Hogwarts, magical books and wizard chess with enthusiasm and boundless energy. It probably helps that i'm a fan of the books, as there's alot of in-jokes and details from the series in the lyrics that might not be as amusing to a non-Potter reader - although each song is so short, you're never gonna get bored - but they all added to a really enjoyable set. The atmosphere in the venue was one of euphoric nerdiness throughout of the set, which end with a rant about giving it to the man, those greedy, loveless people who hand out with Voldemort. And thats type of gig it was, always on the edge of a huge joke but staying on the right side of it. Most novelty bands are to be laugh at but that night i was laughing with Harry & The Potters.

Harry & The Potters - Save Ginny Weasley
Harry & The Potters - This Book Is So Awesome
Harry & The Potters - Voldemort Can't Stop The Rock

There's more photos of this gig at my flickr

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Grand Designs

After my disgustingly crammed exam timetable has been seen out in two weeks time - 5 exams in 10 days, i'm sure thats used as torture in some countries - i'm planning to give funfunfun a bit of a make-over. After over a year its starting to look a little rough around the edges and i think a revamp might brighten the place up. Just wondering if you guys had any suggestions, tips, criticisms or comments about the blog so far and how i could make it better, so feel free to comment and i'll take everything on board.
Here's to a better blog and for your help a few treats from some albums that are on my playlist at the moment:

The Polyphonic Spree - Get Up And Go (YSI link)
Just got it and its so happy!!
Justice - Genesis (YSI link)
Not a huge fan, like most bloggers, but this track is darn cool
Blur - Stereotypes
A golden oldie from my first favourite band
Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee - Down By The Riverside
Even older but the harmonica playing is amazing

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Come Around Remix

Just a quickie as i'm in the middle of a gruelling revision session but here's a cool remix of my favourite track of Timbaland's Shock Value album, his collabaration with M.I.A. I found it on the Fact magazine website as part of a mix compilation by Adventures Close To Home. The remix is by William Russell and it twists the song into a punchy little number, while still keeping that sexy guitar line throughout.

Timbaland feat. M.I.A - Come Around (William Russell Remix)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Slow Club Session

There must be something in the water up in Sheffield. Over the last couple of years, the city has consistently produced bands of utter quality, none more so the unsigned delight that is Slow Club. Funfunfun stamped them with its seal of approval at the start of the year and the sprightly duo have not let us down. They've taken their playfully quirky little shanties up and down the length of this isle, pretty much touring constantly with bands such as Tiny Dancers and The Noisettes, and have won over many an audience with their tales of swallowing your own eyes and falling through the earth over a soundtrack of plucky guitar, odd percussion and jolly vocal interplay. They popped into Maida Vale a few weeks back to do a session for Huw Steven's awesome Radio 1 show, which was aired last Thursday and i loving recorded for you guys.
You should definately try and catch them live, which should be easy as they are playing literally everywhere in the coming months and they release Because We're Dead on Moshi Moshi on June 25th so buy it. It will make your Summer even brighter!!

Slow Club - Because We're Dead

Slow Club - I'm Alive
Slow Club - Sunday

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Cadence Weapon

As i've mentioned him in two recent previous post, i thought that it would only be right to give Cadence Weapon his own one. I first came across him when he featured on the Robotville track Kick Out The Snow and then on a radio session with Final Fantasy, both bands who i'm a bit crazy about at the moment, so i was very intrigued to hear him do his own thing. Now i'm not the biggest hip-hop fan there ever was, i've dabbled with a few albums but i'm too much of a guitar fan to get really into it, but his debut album, Breaking Kayfabe, was a different matter.
Released in 2005 - yes i'm quite late on this one - it got a lot of critical acclaim at the time and was nominated for the Polaris Music Prize last year, only to beaten by He Poos Clouds, but his album has as much ingenuity and musical know-how in it as Pallett's creation.
The production on it is unlike any other hip-hop i've heard, all done by Mr. Weapon himself, which is probably the reason for its originality as Rollie Remberton, thats his real name, has a whole range of diverse musical influences from Les Savy Fav and Tricky to David Bowie and Daft Punk. The sounds are quite dark and intense from the off, Oliver Square is full of seedy beats and paranoid synths over which Pemberton spits out distinct and fluent rhymes. This carries on for the next 11 tracks, dense, unhinged and unrelenting but with so much variation and intensity that it whips you up with it, carrying you along on a dirty cloud of paranoid sounds and words.
And yes the lyrics are grade-A worthy too, full of intelligence and wit. Sometimes there's a odd duff couplet but the kid's young and it shows that he isn't all perfection but everywhere else, the lyrics are tight and clever.
Now signed to Epitaph, CW should be releasing a new album sometime this year...hopefully.

Cadence Weapon - Sharks
Cadence Weapon - Oliver Square
Robotville feat. Cadence Weapon - Kick Out The Snow

Monday, May 07, 2007

Situationists Session

This has to be a quick one as i've got a presentation to give tomorrow and i've still got loads to do for it but i couldn't wait to let you hear these. Situationists, who funfunfun got very excited about at the start of the year, were in session for John Kennedy's Xfm Exposure show a few weeks back and the boys have very kindly put the session up for all to download. All four tracks replicate the energy and enthusiasm of their live shows and showcase the quality and catchiness of their songwriting. I'm particularly glad that they performed their Daft Punk cover as i fucking love it. I hope you do to.

Situationists - The City Holds Us All
Situationists - We Are Weightless
Situationists - Digital Love (Daft Punk cover)
Situationists - Lost My Narrative

The session can be downloaded as one big mp3
, which also contains an interview with one of the band, from their myspace

Friday, May 04, 2007

Parts & Labor - Fractured Skies

This track starts off at such a furious pace. A crazed, unstoppable drum beat pounds its way to the foreground while behind it strange electronic blips and bleeps strain to be heard over the top of it. Even when Dan Friel's vocals come in, which are both enchanting and melodic, and soar to their peak and the distorted guitars flair out with huge chords, that beat is still there forcing you to listen, making sure you stay because something amazing is going to happen...and then the horns start and now the drums aren't most important part of the track anymore. Its sounds like the most amazing superhero theme ever, like Parts & Labor have taken John Williams' Superman theme and thrown boulder-like chords and one huge drum sequence at it until all thats left are these broken, tattered but beautiful remains. This is the alternative music of the future.

Fractured Skies is the first track off Parts & Labor's forthcoming album Mapmaker, out on 22 May on Jagjaguwar

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

SPAM! New Final Fantasy

That's right! Final Fantasy, a.k.a Owen Pallett, a.k.a creator of funfunfun's second best record of 2006, has released a new track. Off a compilation cd from the twice yearly magazine Esopus, which comprises of 10 tracks, each from 10 different artists, inspired by the annoyances that are spam emails in your junk inbox. FF's contribution, entitled Flare Gun, is bouncy and jerky and pretty much what i've come to expect from a Final Fantasy release, pure quality. He's been announced for Latitude Festival in July for all us British folk, so i'm now very tempted to get a ticket, or hoping he announces a London show to go with it.
Thanks to Good Hodgkins for posting the track, also check the Final Fantasy/Cadence Weapon radio session on that blog, its fan-bloody-tastic!

Final Fantasy - Flare Gun