Monday, 31 March 2008


Line-up announced - and it's really good. Look!

Reading: Friday August 22, Leeds: Saturday August 23

Main Stage
Rage Against The Machine
Queens Of The Stone Age
The Fratellis
The Enemy
Biffy Clyro
Serj Tankian
Dizzee Rascal
Taking Back Sunday
Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly

NME/Radio 1 Stage
The Wombats
Vampire Weekend

Reading: Saturday August 23, Leeds: Sunday August 24

Main Stage
The Killers
Bloc Party
The Raconteurs
We Are Scientists
Dirty Pretty Things
The Subways

NME/Radio 1 Stage
Manic Street Preachers
Bullet For My Valentine

Reading: Sunday August 24, Leeds: Friday August 23

Main Stage
Tenacious D
Avenged Sevenfold
Dropkick Murphys

NME/Radio 1 Stage
The Cribs
Conor Oberst

How cool is the middle day main stage - 7 awesome bands in a row :)
Here's three tracks from three headliners - but I skipped Metallica coz Metallica suck.

Rage Against the Machine - Killing in the Name Of (Mr. Oizo Remix) (highly recommended - kills it on the dancefloor)
(original on Rage Against the Machine)

The Killers - Exitlude (lovely... download it)
(from Sam's Town)

The Cribs - I'm a Realist (Postal Service Remix) (highly recommended - seriously, the combination works, even in the sweary bits)
(original on Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever)

Reading and Leeds tickets are on sale now. They're probably sold out by the time you read this though :(

Sunday, 30 March 2008

In which two bands announce dates in Cambridge (yay) and I risk legal action by sharing mp3s (nay)

New Subways song :)
And it's free :)
As in properly, legally free, not just leaked and illegally hosted and shared by me :)
So I'm not going to prison :)
Not for sharing this track anyway...

MP3: The Subways - Girls & Boys (highly recommended)
(You can also get this off their official website)

First thought - really heavy... like you expect Zack de la Rocha to start singing after the big riff comes in. Sounds like they've really come along as a band (not get all patronising or nothin' - they're young and all, but still older than me).

And they've announced a new UK tour:

Sun 18-May Wrexham Central Station
Tues 20-May Preston 53 Degrees
Wed 21-May Coventry Kasbah
Sat 24-May Sheffield Foundry
Mon 26-May Peterborough Cresset
Tues 27-May Portsmouth Wedgwood Rooms
Fri 30-May Leicester University
Sun 8-Jun Cambridge Junction
Tues 10-Jun Reading University
Wed 11-Jun London Koko

And look who else is playing Cambridge - on 2 May @ the Barfly, it's the Mystery Jets :)

Well, 'Girls & Boys' is the first track off of the new Subways album (called All or Nothing, out some time this summer), so here's the first track off of the new (and very excellent) Mystery Jets album (called Twenty One, out now). It's really good, the rest of the album is even better. And check out the the previous post on Mystery Jets here.

Mystery Jets - Hideaway (highly recommended)
(from Twenty One - yes, I'm linking to it again, it's that good)

Sadly, this one isn't quite as free 'n' legal as the Subways one, so looks like I am going to prison after all :(

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Two Postcards, Europe and Two Loves

I dunno whether it has a name as such, but there seems to be a whole folk-ish singer-songwriter-y 'scene' in London - basically artists like Lightspeed Champion, Laura Marling, Noah and the Whale, Emmy the Great, plus the ones who've really hit the mainstream Kate Nash and Adele.
I'm hardly new pointing it out - there's an amazing mixtape on Good Weather for Airstrikes, from back in October. Florence and the Machine are on it, and this Beirut cover has been doing the rounds recently:

MP3: Florence and the Machine - Postcards from Italy
(highly recommended)

MP3: Beirut - Postcards from Italy
(highly recommended - but you already have this anyway, right? Right?)
(from Gulag Orkestar)

I think she's really good at doing the wordless lilty bit that comes in about halfway through (at 1:35 to be precise), the way the last note in the first part of the phrase (at 1:38) is a lower one than in the original. Does that make sense?

My iTunes is ordered by 'Date Added', so that after 'Postcards from Italy' (added 26/03/2008 18:35) finishes, the next song that comes on (added on 26/03/2008 20:29), because I'd just been watching Arrested Development, is this:

MP3: Europe - The Final Countdown (if you do not own this you are a fool.)

I particularly love the way they repeat the word "Venus" in the second verse, and then he enunciates the en
d of the next line - "seen us" - really clearly so as to draw even more attention to the amazing rhyme.

So the sequence is Florence and the Machine's cover of 'Postcards from Italy', then 'The Final Countdown'. The next word to come out of my speakers is: "Twat". That'd be this song:

MP3: Ali Love - Who's That Twat? (it's not that great really, but worth listening to imho) (unreleased, here's his myspace)

Like I say, it's not really very good, and it sounds a little bit like Tubthumping by Chumbawumba, but it's so blatantly bitter at how the music industry has messed him around that it's worth a listen just to marvel at his anger, as well as to wonder why he uses lyrics that don't scan ("'stead of using it to make a twat of yours truly", with a stress on the the last syllable of 'truly'; and in the next line there's one too many syllabl
es too...). OK I've gone all pedantic English student on your collective selves. Apologies.
To make up for it, here's the first song I heard from Lightspeed Champion (pictured right - photo by me :) ), waaaay back from February 2007, maybe even earlier. I don't think Dev likes it - I seem to remember he called it his attempt to write a power-ballad on his myspace. But it's really good, a pretty rough demo sure, and somehow the lyric "they make me blue" doesn't feel right, but still. I like the guitar break just over half-way through. Seriously, download it, it's pretty hard to find I think:

MP3: Lightspeed Champion - Shower Your Love On Me
(highly recommended)
(unreleased, but buy the amazing Falling Off the Lavender Bridge)

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

New Raconteurs Video

The word "widget" ain't exactly one that I care for, but here, in the below "widget", is the new Raconteurs video, for 'Salute Your Solution':

I won't post any mp3s, coz the record company seems to have been pretty on-the-ball in taking down as many Raconteurs mp3s as possible in the run-up to the release of Consolers of the Lonely, which you can buy via the "widget". Thoughts on the album may follow, I've only heard it once so far. I don't think 'Salute Your Solution' is anywhere near as catchy as a first single as 'Steady As She Goes', but I dunno if it even is a proper single. Anyways, enjoy.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Introducing... Infant Sorrow

Please be awesome, Forgetting Sarah Marshall. So Drillbit Taylor doesn't seem to be that great, and Walk Hard flopped big-time (undeservedly imho), but the next Judd Apatow-produced project will be a return to commercial and critical success. Hopefully. Basic plot is: girl leaves guy for other guy, guy goes on holiday to get over it, finds himself at the same resort as girl and other guy. Unlikely? Whatever dude. The marketing campaign is ambitious enough to suggest that the studio is doing its best to get the crowds when it opens in a month's time.

There's a blog 'written' by the film's main character, Peter Bretter (Jason Segel, of the genius TV series Freaks and Geeks, which I unreservedly love and recommend), and a fansite for Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell, off of Veronica Mars, which I wish wish wish they'd release on Region 2 DVD). Now the band that Sarah Marshall's new boyfriend Aldous Snow (Russell Brand, whom you should already know and love. If you know and hate him, listen to his Radio 2 show or buy his stand-up DVDs - there's much more to him than the hair, honest) fronts - Infant Sorrow - has a myspace page:
(highly recommended)

It's got two tracks, and an amusing video. And it is Russell singing. He played 'Inside of You' on his Radio 2 show last night (listen again here). It's essentially a comedy record, in that it's for the movie which is a comedy, but like in Walk Hard, it's actually a decent song. Matt Morgan, Russell's co-host on the Radio 2 show, semi-jokingly made fun of it, saying that "the sad thing is that you're actually trying really hard." He is, and it wouldn't be as good if he wasn't (well, yeah, I guess that is kinda obvious... but y'know I mean). 'We've Got to Do Something', the second song on the page, is splendidly over-the-top, especially the spoken-word bit. Also - does anyone know anyone other than the author Huxley called Aldous? Note the name of the band's guitarist on the myspace page - Johnny Huxley.

And here are the tracks for you to download - they're myspace rips, so only 96 kbps, but still:

Infant Sorrow - Inside Of You

Infant Sorrow - We've Got To Do Something

Forgetting Sarah Marshall is out on 25 April over here in the UK, a week after it's US release. Here's the trailer:

And as an extra-special bonus, here's Jason Segel as Nick in Freaks and Geeks singing his song (yeah, he actually wrote it, apparently) 'Lady L', about on-off girlfriend Lindsay, to an audience of a sardonic sixteen year-old Seth Rogen. Ker-azee coincidence: in real life Jason Segel and Linda Cardellini (who plays Lindsay) were together for a a few years; Segel wrote Forgetting Sarah Marshall partly about their break-up. Which rounds off this post in a pleasingly circular fashion. Now watch the clip, it's amazing.

And another extra-special bonus: two songs off of Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. They're both great, maybe especially the second one in that it's not in the trailers, only in the closing credits. That's not reeeeally a spoiler, I mean it's Dewey Cox singing about his own death so it's not even like the character is dead...

Dewey Cox - Walk Hard

Dewey Cox - (Have You Heard The News?) Dewey Cox Died (highly recommended)

The soundtrack is available here, and there's a deluxe iTunes version with twice as many songs.

Greatest Hits - Includes Previously Unreleased New Song...

Everyone but Alan Partridge seems to pretend not to like Greatest Hits albums.
Obviously he does kinda have a point, I mean 'Best of' albums do kinda have a lot of good songs on. On the other hand, of course they're kinda annoying, especially if you buy the greatest hits album first, and then want to get into the rest of the band's work, coz you feel like if you buy one of their 'ordinary'/'proper' [delete as appropriate] albums, then you've kinda got all the best tracks already. This isn't necessarily true of course, particularly on a compilation that's a bit skewed towards recent material like Morrissey's recent Greatest Hits.
Anyway, one thing a lot of Greatest Hits albums have in common is that they feature a previously unreleased, specially recorded new song, or maybe even two, one of which is usually a single. In a pre-iTunes age they were really annoying if you had the band's other albums already, coz if there was one that wasn't released as a single, you had to buy all the songs you've already got. It's not so bad now obviously.
But all this ignores the quality of the actual songs. Most of them seem to get slated, maybe partly out of that sense of snobbishness that Alan Partridge is so blissfully unaware of. Here's a selection:

That's How People Grow Up
All You Need Is Me (highly recommended)

'That's How People Grow Up' I don't really like, and I think the general consensus of most fans seems to be the same. That kinda makes me wanna like it, but musically it feels kinda - lazy? A bit standard, verse-chorus-verse-chorus, where the chorus is just him singing the title of the song and that's it. More importantly for me, I don't like the lyrics. Whether it's falling in love or "trying to fall in love" that he's calling a waste of time, it doesn't make me happy. Sure a lot of Smiths/Morrissey stuff is equally pessimistic, but usually in a wittier way. But I do like hearing Morrissey singing the word "sweetie".
'All You Need Is Me' is much better I think. I don't love it, but it sounds so much more focused, angry, driven. Less ordinary lyrics: "There's a naked man standing laughing in your dreams" is at the very least memorable, and at the end there's a rather Wildean paradox-y bit "You don't like but you love me/ Either way you're wrong". THPGU was the single, but AYNIM is much more interesting.
Morrissey - Greatest Hits

Manic Street Preachers:
There By The Grace Of God
4 Ever Delayed

NME gave the Manics' Greatest Hits, Forever Delayed a zero out of ten. The sentiment is fair enough, given that they (I think I'm right in saying this) said back in the early 90s that they'd never release a greatest hits album. 'There By The Grace Of God' is a decent tune, though nothing to make someone who'd lost interest in them rediscover their passion for the band. I remember liking it at the time. '4 Ever Delayed' is good too, but it was on Lipstick Traces, their b-sides and rarities album that came out the following summer. NME gave it an eight for music, and a ten (!) for looking inside themselves and seeing what was wrong or something like that. Then they released Lifeblood and everyone hated them again, and then came Send Away The Tigers and everyone decided that they were cool after all, perhaps mostly coz Nicky Wire decided to wear a skirt again.
Manic Street Preachers - Forever Delayed: The Greatest Hits

Red Hot Chili Peppers:
Fortune Faded

Not particularly 'cool', but whatever dude. It's a nice catchy poppy ditty. Sorry for the low bit-rate.
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Greatest Hits

Ian Brown:
All Ablaze

Meh. A bit ska-ish, a bit Middle-Eastern-ish, but basically a typical Greatest Hits extra track - a bit uninspired.
Ian Brown - The Greatest

Girls Aloud:
Something Kinda Ooooh (highly recommended)

Yay!! Undislikeable. Being 'the pop band that it's ok for indie people to like' kinda makes me wanna dislike them, but they're just undeniably amazing pop, on the fast ones like this anyway. The ballads are distinctly 'meh'. Also, this has FOUR 'o's in "ooooh" - not for Girls Aloud the simple double-o of Mark Ronson's 'Ooh Wee' or 'Ooh La' by The Kooks.
From The Sound of Girls Aloud

Bad Day

Ooh, it's a bit political... Pretty good imho, but R.E.M. haven't really made me excited for a while. Is Accelerate any good? That's a genuine question, not a rhetorical one; I haven't heard it yet. Low bit-rate again, apologies. Also: my opinion is that Reveal is a really good album. Discuss.
From In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003

Electrical Storm (William Orbit Mix)

I kinda prefer the original actually, but I've only got it in low bit-rate. Yeah, U2 pretty much suck nowadays, but this ain't bad. Window in the Skies or whatever it's called off the new greatest hits (U218) is kinda cool, or the video is worth watching anyways. It's basically an excuse to show off their musical taste, but with Beck and Patti Smith in there, at least it's good taste. And besides, I'm writing a music blog, so to criticise the showing-off of musical taste might be a liiittle bit hypocritical :)
U2 - The Best of 1990-2000
(P.S. - wasn't this track from 2002, making the album's title a bit a of misnomer...?)

Kiss of Life (highly recommended)

Yay, everyone loves Supergrass's greatest hits, coz they're an awesome singles band. Or were anyway, I'm not sure anyone's that fussed anymore sadly. This album got ten out of ten in NME - it kinda deserves it too, actually. This is great, kinda U2-meets-Midnite-Vultures-era-Beck. Low bit-rate yet again, sorry (it's 80 kbps - not thaaat bad...).
Supergrass is 10 - The Best of 1994-2004

Well, that's it. Comments are obviously totally completely welcome, indeed I'd be unendingly grateful if anyone did comment coz that means that someone's come across this blog, which is a good thing.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

getting (re)started

So, more than a year later...
A year?!?!
Yeah, so the last post was on 4th February 2007, and now it's 22nd March 2008...eek.

Anyways, this is kinda a test, seeing as I'm all inexperienced and naive and all, unlearned in the ways of blogging (*represses urge to put inverted commas around any variation on the word 'blog'*).
Hoooopefully, if this works, you (the imaginary reader) will be able to download files - specifically mp3s in this case at least - from this website. Yay...

And the first song to be downloadable is this:

Mystery Jets - Two Doors Down
(highly recommended)

When I first heard it, on a five-song sampler for their new album Twenty One (out Monday) it was called 'Girl Next Door', which though it fits with the general sentiment, if you wanna be pedantic, I guess it should be 'Girl Next Door But One' if it's the girl who lives two doors down...
Anyways, it's a lovely sweet amazing pop song, and it includes this line:
I hear that she likes to dance around the room to a worn-out twelve-inch of 'Marquee Moon'
It also includes a Smiths-y middle-eight bit which makes me think of that moving-your-head-side-to-side dance that Jay and Silent Bob do...
So basically it's totally awesome dude, download it. :)

And the album - I really like it. It makes me happy when a band who got loads of hype first time round come back with a second album that's actually good (better than the first - yeah, probably). OK so it would have been nice if their Dad was still in the band, and one of them does have very silly hair, but still.
What d'you think of the cover? D'you think they hired someone who has different-looking feet. If so, do you think he or she is divided straight down the middle, maybe stitched together, Frankenstein-style... If it's just two people - WHERE ARE THEIR OTHER LEGS?! Those mysterious Jets, eh? Eh?