Thursday, January 07, 2010

funfunfun's favourite album of 2009

Happy New Year everyone. I got a bit bored of lists by the end of 2009 - which is one of the reasons why my list is a bit late - but this year I'm going to do mine a bit differently. I have very crudely erased the artists and album titles from my 15 favourite albums of the year and it is your job to work out what they are.
The first person who gets them all right will win something, a priz
e of some sorts that I haven't thought of yet but a prize none the less. Ok here goes:





2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So the point of the game is to work out all the albums and their artists in the fastest time. The winners take how a prize (TBC). You got until next Thursday to get the answers and put them in the comments down below. Then next Thursday, I'll give you the answers, a bit of blurb and a free download for most of the albums/artists.
Enjoy :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I Talked To Slow Club

Slow Club released one of funfunfun's favourite albums of 2009, Yeah So (my list will be up before the new year). I spoke to Rebecca from the band ages ago for the second issue of the funfunfun zine and seeing as how I never got round to publishing it, here's the interview in all its glory:

Depending on when I finished this zine, your album Yeah So will either be just about to come out or will already have been released. Are you happy with the final outcome?
Yes, very. It is a good collection of what the band is right now. after a lot of thinking about track listings and what to record/what to get rid of, I think we made the right choice.

Did you go into the studio with a set idea of what the album would sound like?
Not really, we have gone through the whole process a bit in the dark. producing it ourselves was never something we decided on but it just ended up happening. I dont know if that was wise or not. It just felt like the only way to do it at that time, or something, I guess. Maybe.

Why is the album called Yeah So?
I think it just beats anything anyone can say to you. I suppose it is a bit brattish but, we don't mean it like that really. Its called it cos it is OK>>??!!!

The release of the debut album is a big landmark for any band. How has Slow Club changed since you started? What's been your highlight?
We have changed loads. Our brains are in totally different places now and I think thats a good thing. We started out for fun totally, and we've been really greatful for the time we have had to become what we are now and slowly write and record and now release what we wanted to. There have been tonnes of highlights, its hard to pick one (and partly because i cant remember much) but just generally seeing crowds being 3 people and 2 being my parents to being able to play to lots of people that really like the band is just all we ever wanted.

How much have Moshi Moshi helped get you to where you are?
LOADS they are the best. We have been given space to make what we wanted, room to say 'can we do this' and 'we'd rather not do that' etc. They are the greatest most wonderful awesome label the world has ever witnessed OK?

The first time I saw you live was at Lee Rosy's Tea Room in Nottingham on, I think, your first headline tour (which was great btw) What's been your favourite show and why?
Every single show is my favourite show. but I love mum shows, like the Union Chapel, when they are special and mums come.

Do you write about experiences or emotions?
Both, all everything. We have different writing styles that combined can take over the WORLD right?! I get a bit whiney and emotional sometimes, while Charles has the big guns and he brings the beef. but, sometimes I (obvs) bring the beef whilst Charles is being the big girl about stuff. But every single line has a story behind it that we could tell you. That has become a bit of a rule when we write.

I've always wondered about this. How did your odd collection of percussion objects come about?
I had chair lessons from an early age, and just sort of fell into the pot and spoon business. But i got fed up of all this and now i am just consentrating on the art of street DANCE.

You played New York and SXSW earlier this year and are going back over to the States in the summer? What's the reaction been like to Slow Club over there?
We really loved going the the US and can't wait to go back in August. I guess we will see the change when we go as the album will be out etc. I quite fancy moving to LA and roller blading in a bikini everyday, so hopefully we can get famous enough over there to support that lavish lifestyle I am dreaming of.

The festival season is pretty much upon us and it looks like you've got quite a few lined up. Do you enjoy playing festivals? If you organised a festival, who'd headline? (can be dead or alive)
I get grumpy at festivals because I dont like tents or standing up for long. but they are fun to play and its always wicked when people turn up to see you instead of like Basement Jaxx or The Prodigy or whatever. How many stages? over how many days? This is an impossible question. Well, I would say the whole festival has to be sat down and the whole floor carpeted and no shoes or wacky hats allowed. And, I think maybe GaGa followed by DC on the smaller stage and Rod followed by the Carpenters on the main. But I probably don't think this at all. Let me have a think.

After the album is released and festivals are done, what's your plan for the rest of the year?
Sexy music EP, Christmas EP, Sleeping, Crafting new mega band sound, keep up to date with Eastenders and trying to be good.

Slow Club - Christmas TV (live)

Slow Club & Annie Hart - Killing Moon

Slow Club's Christmas EP,Thanks For Nothing, is out now on Moshi Moshi

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I Talked To Sky Larkin

Sky Larkin released one of funfunfun's favourite albums of 2009, The Golden Spike (To find out how much I liked it, check back next week for my end of year list). They also released a cassette ep back in May, headed by, and entitled after, my fav track off the album, Antibodies, and which contained personal b-sides created by each member of the band. Singer/guitarist Katie took some precious time out of the band's hectic schedule to answer some questions posed to her by funfunfun. Her responses were meant to feature in funfunfun zine #2 but it never saw the light of day so here they are:

Why did you decide to release Antibodies ep as a cassette?

We wanted to release it on a format that offered us the opportunity to do some different and exclusive content- side b of the tape doesn't exist digitally!

Did you listen tapes as kids? What was your first/favourite? I had Parklife and played it continuously for weeks on my My First Walkman. Happy times :)

My friend Felicity made me a Nirvana tape when I was 12 which had a pencil crayon cover.

The b-sides really show off different sides of the band. How did the idea for it come about? And how did each of you decide what to use your ten minutes for?

I liked having the opportunity to explain myself and to feel like I was having a direct conversation with the people who listen to our music. Nestor loves bassy rumblings and Doug loves gumtree.

What would be your Gumtree personal advert?

Three headed hermaphrodite seeks ears for intimate relations.

The Golden Spike came out earlier this year. Have you been pleased by the reaction to it?

Definitely! We had no idea how it would go down and it's amazing how and where it has ended up around the world- apparently good old British Airways have it in their inflight entertainment system!

Having got a lot of attention from the first demoes you put online, did you feel pressure at all to live up to the hype with The Golden Spike?

I guess we didn't want to disappoint ourselves so we worked hard to get the album what we wanted it to be before we left for Seattle, what we do is rooted in playing live so that was important to us

You went over to the States to record the album with John Goodmanson. Why did you feel he was the right person for the job? How was your time over there?

He has been at the helm of some great records and is a real gent! Our time in Seattle was intense but fun, flavoured with coffee and trips to the aquarium, experience music project and sci-fi museum.

You're one of the bands that contribute to the Awesome Pals blog. Would you say that the AP bands form a sort of community/scene? And what do you think connects them all?

Quite literally the internet does- I guess our generation of bands can not only connect with fans more directly but also each other. It means scenes don't have to be geographically located and can be more about attitude and ethos. And bumping into each other around the country and having fun.

If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, which one would you pick?

Some huge extensive box set I guess, the new Pixies one would suit me just fine.

Sky Larkin - Smarts

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

New Fang Island

Fang Island are back. Back with tunes that are as riffing and rocking as ever. Daisy sounds confident and triumphant. It's Thin-Lizzy guitar lines, chanted lyrics and bold key strokes combined to make a soaring and thrilling three minutes and nineteen seconds. Life Coach is a more stacatto affair with pounding chords and thudding drumsticks but the band get all Arcade Fire on us halfway through with group chanting and a climax of epic proportions. My socks were thoroughly rocked.
These tracks are off the band's debut full length Fang Island which is out early next year on Sargent House. The album's artwork pretty much sums up the band's sound and that's why I'm so excited about it, a castle fighting a fairy, who wouln't be excited!!!

Fang Island - Daisy

Fang Island - Life Coach

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Monday, December 07, 2009

Four To Forget

I wrote about White Collar Weapons a while back, before my "disappearance" and I describe their sound as "halfway between Vampire Weekend and Arctic Monkeys." While you can still hear these slight influences in their sound, when I saw them at Betsy Trotwood a week ago, they had got a bit softer. Not in a bad way. More in a subtle harmonies, acoustic-y, lovely way. They've teamed up with another band called Summer Holiday to make a super collection of musicians, like that idiot on that mobile phone advert but much much better, and together they produce tasty sounds (see here)
The song you heard from the link above (if it works) is called Digginest Team and is fantastic. FANTASTIC I say. It was one of my favourite melodies of the year and is just splendid. It is off the band's new ep, Four To Forget, which is out today!!!! The record was recorded before the merger of the two bands so has more of the electric guitar elements of WCW earlier stuff but hints at
exciting things to come.
You can get it from here which I think you should. Just buy Digginest Team if you can only afford one track.

White Collar Weapons - Fallen Animals

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That's Right



Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mercury Music Prize 2009

The last year has been interesting for British music. There has been so many great albums that past under the radar of the public and were seemingly ignored by the media whereas there has been tons of bland, boring and uninspiring releases that have been lauded, praised, hyped and bought by the public, who I sometimes think don't like music at all.
I've been asked by the BBC, as have many music blogs/sites, who I would nominate for this year's Mercury Music Prize. Now, I never really agree with the winner, or the most of the nominees, of the prize and I feel that the majority of British talent isn't highlighted. Let's take last year for example. I can't really see how the judges thought that The Seldom Seen Kid was better than In Rainbows or Untrue. I was and I still am shocked.
Also I find that most of the best British and Irish music released throughout the year are put out by labels that can't afford the £200 registration fee and to send 25 copies of the album to the judges so many of the best albums are undemocratically subbed.

Anyway, I stop my rant. Here's my choice of nominations:

We Were Promised Jetpacks - These Four Walls (FatCat)
I reviewed These Four Walls for the next issue of Drunken Werewolf magazine and I praised it quite highly but since then, I given the album more listens and... its even better. Tense, agitated and epic in places. Best British debut of the year.

We Were Promised Jetpacks - Ships With Holes In Will Sink

Michachu & The Shapes - Jewellery (Rough Trade)
Oddball production and quirky instrumentation but Michachu has create a collection of misfit pop tunes thats experimental and catchy simultaneously.

Michachu & The Shapes - Calculator

Sky Larkin - The Golden Spike (Wichita)
Clever and spacious indie rock from Leeds' finest trio. Full of intelligent lyrics, crunching guitars and ace melodies.

Sky Larkin - Molten

Blue Roses - Blue Roses (XL)
Folk music at it's most devastatingly beautiful. Laura Groves' voice is so pure and untouched and the content is dark, a bit edgy and utterly compelling.

Blue Roses - I Am Leaving

Dananananaykroyd - Hey Everyone! (Best Before)
The most fun you'll have with a record all year. Shout along, flail around your bedroom and play totally awesome air drums with the 6 headed Glaswegian beast of a band.

Dananananaykroyd - Chrome Rainbow

Alessi's Ark - Notes From The Treehouse (EMI UK)
Doing her best Joanna Newsom impression, Alessi's debut album pulls Ms Newsom fantastical lyricism and mixes it with Mike Mogis' production to build a slab of English Americana.

Alessi's Ark - The Horse

Toddla T - Skanky Skanky (1965)
My album of the Summer and maybe, but probably not, the dance choice for this year's Prize. Full of dancehall enthusiasm, jungle energy and some body-bending beats, it will get you through hot days and long, sweaty nights.

Toddla T - Shake It

The Wave Pictures - If You Leave It Alone (Moshi Moshi)
They missed out on nominations last year for the, ultimately better, Instant Coffee Baby, so it's only right that they get shortlisted with the latest effort. Though it's not as good as last year's release, it contains all the elements that made ICB such a bloody good release. One of the most consistent, and best, British bands of the past 10 years.

The Wave Pictures - If You Leave It Alone

Rolo Tomassi - Hysterics (Hassle)
The Mercury Music Prize never give heavy music the recognition that it deserves. The UK's punk/metal/rock scene is as thriving as ever and I think Rolo Tomassi are the most inventive and exciting out of all on offer. Hysterics is a bruising, challenging and aggressive album that blasts and sprawls in every direction possible but maybe it's a bit too uncompromising for the Mercury audience...although I'd love to see them perform live on the night and watch Jools Holland's face as it melts from the awesome mayhem that would ensue.

Rolo Tomassi - Abraxas

To be honest, none of these albums will be nominated. The panel will go for crap like Doves, Franz Ferdinand, The Horrors, Little Boots, La Roux and the public will be none the wiser about all the good music this country produces. Ah well...

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


I've been trying to stay out of the mayhem that has been the media reaction to Michael Jackson's death but it seems like I can't. Too much hyperbole and exaggeration has meant the man's legacy has been slightly distorted. In the next few minutes, on pretty much every TV channel, MJ's memorial will be screened live. Even in death, he couldn't escaped the cameras.
I've only seen two pieces of journalism that I feel do Michael's legacy proud. Firstly there's Smash Hits. The once, fortnightly pop magazine has resurrected itself for a MJ special and its a fascinating read which delves deep into the publication's archives and comes up with MJ's last ever UK interview and an article about Michael's first ever solo tour.
But the most poignent and beautifully written tribute to the star is over at Said The Gramophone. Sean has written a poem that describes Jackson's life and death with humanity, eloquence and wit and I implore you to give it a read.

Michael Jackson - Don't Stop Til You Get Enough (demo)

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