Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Video of the day (Ebba Grön - Mamma Pappa Barn)

I've been a very busy bee recently...moving flats I haven't been able to write or post anything for weeks...and we haven't sorted out the internet at home yet...excuses, excuses.

Anyway, one nice thing about moving is that you rediscover loads of old records and things at the back of drawers and boxes. Ebba Grön are one of the best bands to ever come out of Sweden. Their 'Samlade Singlar'(Singles compilation) was the first CD I ever owned. True story.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Video of the day (Weezer - Memories)

So, there's a new Weezer album out. Despite the humongous disappointment that was Raditude, I was excited. Surely, Rivers and Co got their college-jock-rock-party anthems out of their system with that one? And then there was the lead single Memories. That gave me some hope. Sure, it's big and slick, but it's also a great, catchy, bouncy sing-a-long-ey Weezer song. And the chorus going "all the memories makes me want to go back there". Now there was some real hope. Maybe they'd even had a listen to the Blue album, Pinkerton, the Green album, hell even Maladroit, just as a reminder of what they used to sound like. So, I was excited to get my hands on Hurley, despite its awful cover., which in a way was kind of funny. Finally, they had also changed label to Epitaph, a record label I worshipped as a teenager and home to most of my then-favourites – Bad Religion, NOFX, Pennywise, Guttermouth etc. So, I was excited, almost expecting an accompanying press release stating that Raditude was a year-long April Fools joke and that I Can't Stop Partying contained the musical equivalent of Uma Thurman's five point palm exploding heart technique from Kill Bill. Sing along to the chorus five times and you die. Now that would be awesome. But, nope. It looks like Raditude was a real album...and the horrible party song was not an inventive way to destroy the jocks of America.

Hmmm...losing my train of thought here. Hurley...well, it's a mixed bag to say the least. There's Memories, Hang On and Run Away, which are all really good, but then there's also Where's My Sex? - a song every bit as awful as I Can't Stop Partying and so bad it prevents me from thinking about the album objectively. Although a couple come close there's nothing else quite as bad on there, and if you can manage to ignore these cringey songs, you'll be glad to hear that there are also bunch of really good songs. I guess that's one beauty of itunes - you can just delete the songs you don't like, create your own "complete discography" and just live in ignorance of the actual truth.

So, yes. Thanks Weezer. My 6-song version of Hurley is mostly excellent-ish. Well done!

Oh and the video for Memories is pretty fun….in a stupid Jackass way.

Internet Forever and Trouble Books at The Betsey

Despite it being tiny, hot and having loud trains going past all the time I do love The Betsey Trotwood. It's cosy and nice and feels busy even when it's not. As a result of some shambolic organising last night's show was only announced on Wednesday last week, giving people only a few days notice to find out, get tickets etc. But, there was a good bunch of people there and, being The Betsey, it felt busy.

Internet Forever played a pretty shambolic set, but when the songs are that good it doesn't really matter. I much prefer a messy set to a perfect one.

Then, it was time for Trouble Books. Straight off the plane for their first ever UK show, Keith and Linda got off to a bit of a slow start, due to jet-lag and some technical problems. Again, it didn't really matter - myself and the rest of the crowd were just happy to see them live. Sporting an impressive collection of pedals and electronic gadgets, they played songs from both albums, being charming, sweet and mesmerising at the same time. I find it very hard to describe their music. So many things come to mind. They remind me of loads of bands and still manage to sound like nothing else. Just brilliant.

They finished their set with my personal favourite, the over-before-you-even-realise-how-beautiful-it-is Personal Tornados. I thought I was all 'live music-ed' out, after months of heavy gig-going, but I was wrong.

If you have the chance to see Trouble Books, you really should. Who knows when they'll be back. They are playing in Manchester tonight and in Newcastle tomorrow.

Trouble Books on myspace

Internet Forever's blog/website/thing

Monday, 13 September 2010

End Of The Road 2010

The summer festival season is now officially over, with the End Of The Road festival signalling…well, the end of the musical festival road…if you like. It was my third time at EOTR and as usual a great time was had. This year was slightly different from previous ones, though. Instead of going because of a great line-up, I was there mainly to support Allo Darlin' and my friends in Eagleowl. The majority of the line-up was just not my cup of tea at all. Of course there was exceptions, and I did see some great performances, but if it hadn't been for the friends-in-bands connection, I don't think I would have been there.

Sooooo…..highlights of End Of The Road 2010

Allo Darlin' played two sets and were great as usual. It must be a bit weird playing to a bunch of people who might not necessarily be there to see you, but rather are just there "to see what's on", but AD didn't let that bother them. And even if it did, it certainly didn't show and they played two great on Thursday evening and one on Friday afternoon. If I had to pick a favourite it would have to be the Thursday one, since they were followed by Darren Hayman and they all joined him on stage towards the end. That's what festivals are all about – bands you love getting together with other bands you love doing something unusual together.

Backstage with Allo Darlin'

Allo Darlin'

Darren Hayman playing to an adoring crowd

Eagleowl on Saturday afternoon were they finished their set with a big sing-a-long stage invasion (the calmest kind imaginable).





Last time I saw The Mountain Goats, I wasn't overly impressed. It was at an inside stage at EOTR 2008 and I just wasn't in the mood. This time it was different. Outside at the beautiful garden stage and it was just perfect.

Yo La Tengo played a stunning set and finished with a surprise version of Times New Viking's Move To California. Again, just perfect.

Apologies for the terrible video quality...eek.

Brakes were brilliant as usual...but it would have been even better if they had played on th eoutside stage. That big horrible tent thing just doesn't do anything for me.

Hot cider!

And....the food...yes, I do have a soft spot for festival food and seem to eat an awful lot of it...not necessarily this unusual dish...

...but Pieminister, cheesy-beany wedges and other goodies...

Members of Meursault, Eagleowl and Woodpigeon playing a cover of Withered Hand's I Am Nothing....complete with random old lady and baby stage invasion!

Moustache of Insanity even managed to squeeze in a short set at the Hunga Munga tent!

So there...that's all. I've had enough of camping for this year.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Video of the day (Tigercats - Easter Island)

I've been neglecting this blog thingymabob recently. To tell you the truth, I've just mainly been too busy working and watching horror films. So there. It's a hard life, but somebody has to do it. There should be some excitement coming up though. I'm going to the End Of The Road Festival tomorrow, so you can expect heaps of photos....if I don't freeze to death of course. Then, there are also at least two bands currently responding to interview requests, so that'll be fun.

For now, another video...this time from Tigercats, whose second single Easter Island is just as awesome as their previous one. They are playing at the Underbelly in Hoxton tonight, so if you're in the area you should pop along. Apparently, they're supporting a death metal/hardcore band....which means that the promoter has done some great research into compiling the bill.

Anyway, new video. Tigercats are GO!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Video of the day (Of Montreal - Coquet Coquette)

Few music events make me as excited as a new Of Montreal release. Preorders of their upcoming album False Priest are shipping now! Get yours from the Polyvinyl shop. The red vinyl looks awesometastic.