Friday, 26 February 2010


I've been meaning to go and see Fuzzystar for a long time, but something had always come in the way. Yesterday evening, despite there being a gazillion other things on, I finally had the chance. I wasn't quite sure what to expect. The only recordings I had heard were made many moons ago and I guess I was expecting some sort of scuzzy folkrock in the vein of Arizona Record era Silver Jews. And to be honest, I wasn't really in the mood for that. It was pissing down and I was completely soaked when I got to the Betsey so it wasn't a great start to the evening...

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I was rather amazed. There's nothing worse than when a friend's band is really bad and you have to pretend to like them, so I was extremely relieved when Fuzzystar turned out to be really really good. I seem to call everything with harmonies "Beach Boys inluenced", which really shows how far my musical knowledge/vacabulary stretches, but I'll continue that trend here by saying that they sound like the result of an illegitimate affair between a Scottish Brian Wilson and Elliott Smith. Or something like that. They're really good anyway and well worth checking out. They should have an EP out soon and are playing in London a there.

Fuzzystar myspace

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Hey ladiez!

This looks rather awesome as well. And when is it happening? On Thursday of course. Along with a gazillion other things. I was listening to the PENS album on my way to work today. It's a most excellent soundtrack for so-packed-you-want-to-scream tube carriages.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Christmas all over again

OK, so variety is the spice of life and so on...but I really can't stop listening to this album. I downloaded it in the beginning of the year and must have listened to it in its entirety at least once a day since then. Yesterday it became my first new vinyl purchase since the Trouble Books debut...whenever that was...2008? I also bought their Nineteen/Twenty-nine seven-inch, which at SEVEN QUID was a tad pricey, but it is also awesome, so...

Anyway, the band is of course Christmas Island, the album is Blackout Summer and you need it.

The below taster is probably the best song about dinosaurs ever....along with Tyrannosaurus Rex For Christmas by The Lovely Eggs....Christmas+dinosaurs=awesomeness...coincidence? I think not.

Christmas Island - Dinosaurs (mp3, Mediafire link)

Christmas Island myspace

Buy the album

Thursday, 18 February 2010

popfests and owls etc there's ALOT going on in London Town this week. In fact, there's so much going on that I should really just hide at home and not do anything. But, that's probably not going to happen. So, the problem is...what to do without getting completely OD-ing on live music.

The London Popfest starts on Thursday and even if I know it's gonna be a lot of fun, I don't really feel a desperate need to see anything. Everything looks good, but nothing on the line-up really screams at me (apart from Allo Darlin' of course, who might actually literally scream at me if I don't go...haha..just kidding...but I know they have some surprises up their collective sleeves for this show, so I really wouldn't want to miss it). Anyway, the popfest doesn't really need me to be excited about it, they're doing just fine without me and in general there are no tickets left anyway. The main reason for going would be to see friends and I guess that's a good a reason as any, so we'll see. But, as I said, it's not just popfest this week...

The Popfest kicks off on Thursday 25th february with Withered Hand (solo) and more at Cafe OTO. Of course I'd like to see Dan play and Camila from WeePOP! is DJing, but it is of course sold out and even if it wasn't there's also Shearwater at the Scala, Casio Kids at Barfly and of course Fuzzy Star at The Betsey.

On Friday The Just Joans are playing at the Buffalo Bar, which would be fun, but is also mega sold out anyway....I think.

On Saturday it's the big Popfest all-dayer at the 100 Club, with Ballboy, Shrag, Allo Darlin etc, but it is also the day of Owl Parliament at Union Chapel with Mount Eerie, Darren Hayman, Emmy The Great etc.

On Sunday there's a bunch of things happening at the Lexington, but I have a deadline for Monday and doubt I will be in the mood to do much.

Then finally next Monday, Pit er Pat are back in town. This is perhaps the most exciting live music thing happening over the next seven days and I really can't miss that.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Paul Baribeau

I've written about Paul Baribeau before, but he's absolutely amazing, so here we go again. Paul's a guy from Michigan and is currently releasing music on ubermega-fair-and-legit-DIY-with-some-erious-street-cred label plan-it-x, who is also home to a bunch of other awesome artists including Best Friends Forever and Ghost Mice.

He writes modern folk songs that are simple and instantly accessible, but also extremely moving. Every single song is straight from the heart, zero bullshit, no metaphors, just hard core emotions laid bare for whoever wants to listen. And listen you should, cause he deserves to be heard.

Most of his recordings are just him and an acoustic guitar, but he has also recorded some stuff with a full band, under the name Yikes Baribeau.

A few songs for you to sample, all through mediafire.

Paul Baribeau - Ten Things (from the album Grand Ledge)
Yikes Baribeau - Nervous Feet (From Yikes Baribeau - download the whole release for free from $Big Record Label$

You can buy his music from a variety of online outlets, but I would recommend getting it straight from plan-it-x

Thursday, 11 February 2010

California Dreaming

It's absolutely freezing outside and the summer seems veeeeeeery far away. But, what did I expect when I chose London? Anyway, in my head I've been living in California for the past few weeks and I thought I'd share some of the sounds that have been keeping me from going insane.

Let's start with Christmas Island, a band from San Diego that I've completely fallen in love with. Their most recent release, a seven-inch called Nineteen, is one of the best things I've heard in a long time. If I had heard it when it was released last year, both the a-side and the b-side would have been contenders for my songs of the year. This song is from their debut album by the same name, an amazing collection of near-perfect garage pop-punk-rock awesomeness. Think a lo-fi and slightly dead-pan and punky Beach Boys covered in distorted fuzz, with songs covering all important topics like love, growing old, partying until you black out and...dinosaurs. It's straight from the heart, extremely charming and despite the themes, never silly.

Christmas Island - Blackout Summer (mp3, Mediafire link)

Next up is Best Coast, a girl from Los Angeles, with songs that just scream "Sunny California" so much they even make the London weather seem ok. Mellow and catchy, Best Coast is a modern take on the Everly Brothers/Beach Boys or really just all things 60's. This song is from the Art Fag seven-inch and also brings to mind 60's girl groups like The Shangri-Las...which really isn't a bad thing.

Best Coast - That's The Way Boys Are (mp3, Mediafire link)

And finally, a band that needs no introduction, San Fransisco's Brilliant Colors. Now on Slumberland Records, they've been getting A LOT of coverage over the past year. Debut album 'Introducing...' is a great little boost of energy, sounding like a mix of the Shop Assistants, Vivian Girls and maybe a dose of Amelia Fletcher. However, it's the 'Make A Mess' EP that's closest to my heart. Much less polished than the album, it's over before you have time to tell anyone how great it is. Short but soooo sweet.

Brilliant Colors - I'm Sixteen (mp3, Mediafire link)

Both Christmas Island and Best Coast are playing South By South-West....just over a month to go!!! Yay! Yay! Now, go out and buy their records.....if you can find's proving rather hard :(