Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Brand New Kings of Leon ('Crawl') - Plus Something KOL-Related You Might Have Missed (and it's good, trust me)

So you can download 'Crawl', the first track from the forthcoming Only By The Night, and the track with which they opened their brill Glasto headline set from their official site right now.

It's great, too early for a definitive comment yet, but one thing you should make sure to do is to watch the two-minute clip that's also on the site. It's a preview of some forthcoming album-related 'home movies' which are gonna be broadcast starting September 1st. And while it's a vaguely-voyeuristic pleasure to see the Followill boys relaxing in hammocks, drinking, playing golf, recording and drinking, what's BLOODY AMAZING is the song in the background, or the 90-seconds of it that you get to hear. Caleb was damn right when he said this album is gonna sound huge (or maybe it was Because Of The Times that he said that about, I don't rightly remember - not that that album's exactly small as such). The most obvious point of reference is U2, but not in a silly-pompous-Bono way, honest. Oh well, the video's also right here for your pleasure, so, y'know, be pleasured:

P.S. If you wanna check out a live version of another Kings of Leon track - Manhattan - go on and clickety-click your sweet way over here :)

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Grizzly Bear continue their tour of the talk shows playing new songs with 'Two Weeks'

A quick 'un. But a good 'un, imho.
Even though the as-yet-untitled new album supposedly ain't out til April, Grizzly Bear (or GRZA, if yr a Wu-Tang fan, or The Ursus Grizzmeisterino if you're not into the whole brevity thing), have made another new song (after the brilliant 'While You Wait For The Others' - listen on their myspace) listenable-to after playing it on a talk show (this time Letterman, last time was Conan). 'Two Weeks' only makes my anticipation highyaaaaa. No reason for the stoopid spelling, do I need one? No I donut.

mp3: Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks (Live on Letterman)

Friday, 25 July 2008

Santogold - 'Lights Out' & Not-As-Famous-As-They-Used-To-Be-Indie-Band stellastarr*

Wow, I was just playing 'Creator' by Santogold, and then I went on stellastarr*'s MySpace (yes, both the lower-case-ness and the asterisk are all deliberate - *sigh*), and just as 'Creator' finished, 'Lost in Time' played from the MySpace player, and the transition was kinda AMAZING. I'm not gonna try and recreate it for fear of my perfect memory being cruelly exploded, but feel free...

Aaaaanyway - I'm so late on Santogold, who I initially dismissed as little more than M.I.A.'s over-hyped little sister, that now that I've taken a listen to the album and kinda really liked it, the overcrowded bandwagon has left me standing forlornly in its dust waving my hat in the air and squinting.

'Lights Out' is all over evening Radio 1 at the moment, and deservedly so. I heard the song a coupla times before I found out who it was, and was surprised to discover that it was Santogold. Coz it's purty close to standard indie music, y'know, with guitars and everything, as opposed to the crazy eclectic ragga-hip-alt-dancehall-ska-electro kinda thang I'd been expecting of her. What it sounds like more than anything else to my ears is stellastarr*, whose self-titled 2003 debut I still love. I'm listening to it RIGHT NOW (as I write this, prob not as you read this...). I'm not sure *why* it sounds like stellastarr*, I think it might be in the jumpy vocals in the chorus - judge for yourself:

mp3: [mp3 removed]
(from Santogold)

mp3: [mp3 removed]
(from stellastarr*)

Both of these songs are happy-making, so if you like to be happy then I would advise clickin' on 'em. Yay. Also: stellastarr* are currently recording a third album. This is A Good Thing. Yay, again.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Presenting to you a lovely song from the miracle that is DR. HORRIBLE'S SING-ALONG BLOG - "Cannot Believe My Eyes"

Maybe I'm a lil late on the bandwagon, seeing as the series is no longer available for free on the official site, but it's still available on iTunes if you live in the US or Canada, and it shall at some point be available both in audio (soundtrack) and video (DVD, complete with a commentary track that is itself an actual song - !!) form.

You probably don't need to read another glowing review, admiring the typically-Joss-Whedon-esque, brilliantly witty dialogue (highlight: "Gosh, look at my wrist, I need to be going", says a watch-less Neil Patrick Harris at the news of Nathan Fillion's arrival), the charming cast (the aforementioned pair, as well as Felicia Day, a Buffy veteran), the supporting characters (Bad Horse, Moist - the latter a not-so-super-villain, whose power is to make things damp; the former is kinda self-explanatory)... ah well.

Instead (as well?) here's a lovely song for you to be happy to. Listening to the new Ben Folds material actually kinda made me think of these songs - piano-based, amusing, that's pretty much where the similarities end, but still. They're also both brilliant. So, y'know, yay:

mp3: Neil Patrick Harris & Felicia Day - Cannot Believe My Eyes
(from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, soundtrack coming soon-ish)

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Mr Ben Folds writes and sings and records some brand new songs which are right here for your enjoyment.

Thr333 songs (three, 3, trois, tres, tre, drei, etc.) from Mr Ben's latest 'n' grrrrreatest long-playa, Way to Normal. There's un petit peu de confusion as to the exact nature of the songs that have so far leaked, the good folk of wikipedia speculating that some of the songs ain't real. The only one I can vouch for as being the genuine article is this one:

mp3: Ben Folds - Hiroshima

He played this 'un @ Glastonbury, and it was instantly happy-making. It's so darned catchy you start to wonder whether it's a cover of a nursery rhyme or something. The crowd noises in the background may be off-putting at first, and they may still be off-putting after several listens, I don't know, but it's an undeniably fun and instantly memorable ditty on a subject not oft written about (falling off the stage at your own show, bleeding over the keyboard, and getting an x-ray of your head). So, y'know, yay.

mp3: Ben Folds - Cologne

Ooh, a six-minute ballad. Who knows if it's 'the real thing', but I figure it is (my high level interweb scouting has unearthed facts and figures suggesting that this song at least shares the same lyrics with a song Ben recorded a video for recentement). It's kinda really good, in all seriousness. I love the lyric: "I'm wondering if you read that story too / And if we might be having the same imaginary conversation." Affecting stuff, even if it goes a bit bombastic @ the end. Muito recommendado.

mp3: Ben Folds feat. Regina Spektor - You Don't Know Me

The single apparently. I love love Regina Spektor, but I can't quite bring myself to fall for this track just yet. Has an interesting vaguely funky beat, but not quiiiite instant enough for the first single? Maybe? I dunno, that's just, like, *my opinion*, man (talking of The Big Lebowski - have you seen this? I *need* it...). What I do really like is the spoken-word-y conversation-y bits, where Ben says something about not wanting to say something for fear of it being distorted, and then Regina says "say it". And actually, as I listen to it for a four-and-a-half-th time, I kinda am starting to really like it. So, y'know, yay. In other news, it pretty much definitely is gen-u-ine; if there are two people who can imitate Folds and Spektor and someone managed to get them in a room together a sing a song that matches the title of the forthcoming single by those two artists, then I salute them.

In other other news, I saw Ben Folds at Glastonbury. Yay for me. Oh wait, I said that already :(
Well, he was good, on average. It was a show of three thirds. The first part was kinda disappointing actually, then he brought on Amanda Palmer off of Dresden Dolls, which was nice, and then he killed it in the third part by playing 'Landed', 'Army', and best of all, 'Bitches Ain't Shit'. Woop woop.

Catch up on yo' Folds-age with some compact discs from tha amazon.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

The Hold Steady - First Night (Live in Leeds, 10 July 2008)

The Hold Steady - First Night (Live in Leeds, 10 July 2008) from Philip Sayers on Vimeo.

"We're gonna start it with a positive jam..."

- Man, busy tonight.
- Right, right.

Band's pretty good though.
- What? Oh, yeah, yeah.


- You see that guy over there?
- Hm? Which guy?
- That guy, there, beer, skynyrd tshirt?
- Oh, Charlemagne?

- ... That's Charlemagne?
- (nods)

- ... Man!

God, name to a face.
- Can't really miss him, can ya.
- You know him?
- You kidding? Everyone knows Charlemagne. Kind of gets around. Big into the scene. Almost got killed a couple dozen times.
- Yeah?
- At festivals, that guy buzzes, he fucking generates the power. Oh yeah. Charlemagne. Founder of civilisation.
- Civilization, you mean.
- Yeah, yeah, sorry.
- Who's the chick?

- (shrugs)
That's about all. All that static buzzing round ya, ya turn to pick up some fluff on the way. Rolling stone like him gathers all kindsa shit.

- That girl keeps lookin at him.
- You want another drink?
- How much for a double whisky coke in this place?
- .......

I'll get ya another beer.
- That girl keeps lookin at him.
- Who? ... Oh, man, Holly. Ha! Hallelujah.
- ... She's not that hot-
- No, no, her name is Hallelujah.
- ....
I mean, who the fuck is called Hall-
- Who the fuck is called Charlemagne?

- Yeah, ok.
- Man, Holly could tell some stories. I'm not one to give away endings, but...
And who the fuck are you to say she ain't that hot. She still looks incredible.
- Despite what?
- (laughs) Despite everything. Despite a multitude of casualties. Despite the Mississippi.
Despite the Sabbath. Despite Charlemagne and Gideon.

- She looks high to me.
- And I look like fucking Nina Simone.

- Who's Gideon? Guy shes dancing with?
- (nods)
- So hows he fit into all of this?
- ...

Listen, no-one really fits into this whole scene. Everyone just kinda seems to spin round again and again and bounce off each other like dodgems.


If they didn't, sometime they'd just stop spinning.

Fuck, I need another beer.
Man, it's so busy tonight.
- Yeah.
Band's pretty good, though.
- Hm? Oh, yeah, you said.


mp3: The Hold Steady - Multitude of Casualties
(from Separation Sunday)

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Flobots - 'Handlebars' - maybe a one-hit-wonder, but still, it's a hit.

OK here's a possibly-dangerous and pessimistic prediction. I don't think Flobots are ever gonna hit the bigtime. Despite the potential-hit-ness of 'Handlebars', my gut-feeling is that it's a one-off. On their myspace, 'Rise' is pretty good, but there's nothing that has the instant-WOW-ness of 'Handlebars'. I like them and all, I like the whole kerazee genre mash-up, hip-hop-with-violins and all - but I don't see them ever going properly global. I think we'll have forgotten about them in a year's time. And their name SUCKS. I dunno why I'm saying this, I think it might just be the risk (trivial as it is) of being made to look foolish when they take over the universe, and the claims to be able to lead a nation with a microphone (see below) prove true...

Regardless of the future, 'Handlebars' is kinda awesome, despite making me think a little bit of nu-metal without the metal, if that makes sense. Watch the video, listen to the track - it's hard not to like. So like it :)

mp3: [mp3 removed]
(from Fight With Tools)

Late of the Pier - 'Heartbeat' - Video & mp3

The pre-album single from Late of the Pier, 'Heartbeat', is arguably their weakest to date. BUT IT'S STILL BETTER THAN MOST OF THE STUFF BEING RELEASED IN THIS OR ANY OTHER WORLD RIGHT ABOUT NOW. The album's called Fantasy Black Channel, artwork to the left, which is a bit *huh?*; I was kinda expecting something like the logo variant on the right, but whatever dude.

There's another insane video right here. It features exploding heads - what more do you need to know?

And the mp3 of that very song you just heard (well, if you watched the video, with the sound on, as I presume you might possibly have done. If you haven't feel free to go back and watch it. In fact, feel obligated to, coz it's awesome, yeah?):

mp3: [mp3 removed]
(from Fantasy Black Channel, out August 11)

I think if this band wanted to, they could take over the universe. Maybe they're just too weird, but for anyone who appreciates the valued maxim that WEIRD IS AMAZING, prepare to be doubly amazed, for not only are Late of the Pier conventionally amazing, but they are also weird-ually amazing. Amazing amazing amazing...

Glastonbury Part II - Kings of Leon - New Song 'Manhattan'

Kings of Leon have three - soon to be four (September 23 I believe for Only By The Night) - really solid albums, and they've managed to change and develop as a band without either going off the rails or making their earlier material seem comparatively weak. If you look back at pictures of 'Youth and Young Manhood'-era Kings of Leon, they're almost unrecognisable:

Compare that to the shorn and honed version of today - pretty far cry, no?

'Honed' definitely seems like the right word. They've turned into a 'proper' rock band, the tunes have got bigger, and the live show as tight as hell. Like the jeans. They played 23 songs in their 90 minutes, opening with a new one ('Crawl'). Sure the set was no-frills; I accidentally mistyped that first time around as "no-thrills", but I don't think that was a meaningful slip, coz personally I found it pretty thrilling, as did 70,000 or however many there were (a lot by all estimates, hence Panic at the Disco's lack of audience over on the Other Stage in the same slot). There just wasn't a bad song in the whole time. I kinda wish they'd play 'Soft', but whatever dude.

I dunno, kinda feels like I'm acting the apologist, because as much as I love them, they still don't quite feel like a headline band at Glastonbury. They have the songs, it's just the sense of theatricality that they're a little light on, and in all probability always will be. But the fact that the crowd seemed to love it kinda suggests that despite this, they don't need any apologising.

Aaaaaaaaanyways - new song, y'all! The new album is definitely something to be excited about. This is what Rolling Stone has to say about Only By The Night:
The first indication this record is ready to kick some ass? It’s got a track called “Sex on Fire” that features kinky lyrics like “I know they’re watching” over twangy bent-note guitars and a thrumming bass groove. That’s just one of the 12 hotwired but extremely loose tracks that range from brawny Zep-style rockers (”Crawl”) to spooked-out blues ballads like “Cold Desert,” on which frontman Caleb howls “Jesus don’t love me/ No one ever carried my load.” The tentatively titled “I’ve Got a Notion” sounds like pure Nineties alt-rock with liquidy guitars reminiscent of Kurt Cobain’s riff from “Come as You Are” and a crystal-clear bassline that’s pure Pixies. Drummer Nathan goes to town on “Seventeen,” a song that dates back to their Aha Shake Heartbreak days and boasts a bunch of massive fills, but one of the better cuts has to be “You Somebody,” a soaring power ballad that strangely enough sounds like a badass version of Journey’s “Faithfully.”

I'm in. Here's Manhattan, live at Glastonbury:

mp3: Kings of Leon - Manhattan

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Brand New Bloc Party Song - Watch the video for 'Mercury' here

First there was a mysterious countdown on their website. Then this, from NME.com:

Bloc Party have angered fans by posting a cryptic countdown on their website, Blocparty.com, which simply revealed a plug for a radio show when the time reached zero at 11am (BST) today.

Fans have e-mailed NME.COM to voice their displeasure at the stunt. It was speculated that Bloc Party may give away new music when the countdown reached zero.

Instead, at 11am the countdown disappeared to reveal a radio plug for Zane Lowe's show on BBC Radio 1, set to air tonight (July 7) at 7:30pm.

"It's a bit pointless," wrote NME.COM user 'Jackie'. "They could have just put up the info about the show on their website and not got our hopes up about the possibility of hearing new music straightaway."

There is no information yet on Zane Lowe's BBC homepage as to what will feature on tonight's show, but many fans who contacted NME.COM are still expecting new material.

Well, the fans were right. New material was indeed played by Zane Lowe, who spoke to Kele on the show. Talking about the new song and the on-going recording session for the band's third album Kele said "we're in the middle of it. we're still writing and working on it so it's quite hard to have an overview really, we are making the record i always wanted us to make so we just can't wait for it to be done".

And here it is. It's a bit mental. Needs more than one listen for sure, so have a first listen here. Or a second, or, y'know, however-many-th...

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Glastonbury Part I - Jay-Z

OK, no posts for aaaaaaaaaages, sorry. But that's gonna change, nah mean? Well yes, of course you "nah mean", it's really rather obvious that I mean that there shall be several posts in the next few days. Well, here's the first:

I <3 that video. Seriously, the first ten minutes of Jay-Z's set on Saturday night were off the hook. Right from the beginning there was no question that the crowd were totally enthralled. For the record, I'd always thought it was rather funny - and unquestionably A Good Thing - that the choice of Jay-Z as a headliner could annoy sGlasono many people. But seeing as it's been such a talking point, there's really not much point going over it again, it's everywhere on the internets. All that remains is to let you sample the set itself in mp3 form. Woop woop:

mp3: Jay-Z - Wonderwall/99 Problems (Live at Glastonbury 2008)