30 June 2009

last week's Roundtable (from 25/06)

sorry it's late, but I had to get this in b/c three of my favourite people were on with Gary Crowley last week and had to get the proper fangirl on.

Charlie Fink from Noah and the Whale joined Nick Heyward and Dan Black on a Gary Crowley-hosted Roundtable

eee Dan Black! he played 6 times at Glasto? like...whoa. I'm still gutted having missed him at Dot to Dot in Nottingham.

eee Charlie Fink! he's so nice in person.

eee Nick Heyward! with a voice to slay me. (thank you ex-bf, heh.)

(sorry for the fangirling)

1. Gomez - "Little Pieces" - the last time they had Gomez's album "New Tide" on Roundtable, I believe they won. dunno, this is just so MOR-sounding, it's not doing a thing for me. they all seemed to like it tho.

2. Temper Trap - "Sweet Disposition" - I like the vibe on this, probably thanks to the Big Pink. swirly pop!

3. Regina Spektor - "The Calculation" - I've never been a fan of hers, but I have friends who go gaga over her. and Gary Crowley said the same thing. awww Charlie's disappointed : lmao Dan Black has called it "pleasant". haha, I feel the same way dude.

4. Screaming Lights - "Volts" - Scouser boys. hmm. not feeling this either.

5. the winner by one pt over Emmy the Great - Super Furry Animals - "MT" - hmm. different for SFA. will have to listen to this a couple more times before I'm sold. I'm sure this will pop up on BBC playlists, no doubt.

6. Emmy The Great - "Edward is Deadwood" - I heard this I believe on Nemone's show earlier, so I'm biased, I've already fallen in love with this. I still feel moronic about forgetting to get her album when I was in England last month (::facepalm::)

7. cuts from the Gossip's new album "Music For Men" -will catch this later!

my first featured article! - Patrick Wolf and other June gigs (Cam Ob, 'heads)

so you simply must visit Popwreckoning for the NYLON tour write-up I did last week.


you shouldn't miss the banner at the top - just click on it and be whisked away to 24 June at the Rock 'n' Roll Hotel with Jaguar Love, Plastiscines, Living Things, and Patrick Wolf.

but if you are having trouble, you can always find this via Local Scene/Washington D.C. at the top menu.

as always, comments are love!


June 2009 gig review summary

Camera Obscura and Anni Rossi - 21 June, 9:30 Club, D.C.
NYLON Summer Tour Roundup - 24 June, Rock 'n' Roll Hotel, D.C.
the Lemonheads with Appomattox and Title Tracks - 27 June, Black Cat, D.C.

yep, 3 gigs in 7 days.

too bad I don't have a spate of gigs like this until maybe the second week of August.

25 June 2009

"this time baby, I'll be bulletproof."

I wish.

I went to the Nylon tour gig at the Rock 'n' Roll Hotel last night. despite leaving 5 songs into Patrick Wolf's set and being gutted about that - he started at 11.20 PM presumably according to this Twitter because he was being interviewed by Japanese journos in his comfy hotel room (?!?) and having a heart attack about not catching the train back out of town (I actually made the v. last train home, can you believe it?)...

...I am shattered.

somehow I managed to write about 1/2 of the review on the train ride back, but have to go through the photos and such and sort everything out. watch this space.


the punters are out in record numbers for Glasto. Steve Lamacq has already headed down there and has the kind of gig/interview/general schmoozing schedule you'd envy, if you weren't human and didn't actually need sleep. since I can't be there, I will be living it up remotely via the DC9 Glasto happy hour on Sunday early evening (17.00-20.00 Washington time, 22.00-. we're hoping that we'll catch Blur's closing set.


and for those who aren't at Glasto OR going to the Sunday DC9 happy hour, have a read at Friendly Fires's drummer Jack Savidge's earlier Tweets:

jackbsavidge I was always mesmirised by Tongo's Essential Mix intro. "Live from the world's BIGGEST TURNTABLES"
about 4 hours ago from UberTwitter

jackbsavidge You'll be free to tune into the Friendly Fires essential mix on Radio 1. You lucky people.
about 4 hours ago from UberTwitter

jackbsavidge Good news for people who hadn't planned to be juggling or playing the digeridoo at Glastonbury on saturday night between 3am and 5am.
about 4 hours ago from UberTwitter

Radio 1 Essential Mix - on air at 03.00-05.00 London time I believe in the wee hours of Saturday, which would mean 22.00-0.00 late Friday night for us on the East Coast. sorry, but I'll defo be sleeping! will have to catch this later on iPlayer...


oh yeah, and I just heard White Denim will be live on Marc Riley's show on 6music tonight.

21 June 2009

upcoming top picks from 6music

Hub Sessions (during George Lamb's late morning show 10.00-13.00 Mon-Fri, 6music)
23 Jun - Rumble Strips
24 Jun - Bat for Lashes
1 Jul - La Roux
2 Jul - Dan Black
6 Jul - Bombay Bicycle Club
9 Jul - White Denim

Steve Lamacq (16.00-19.00 Mon-Fri, 6music)
22 Jun - La Roux
23 Jun - the Dead Weather (Jack White's new band)
and Glasto coverage!

for the love of England - series of trip highlights and snapshots from Nottingham

highlights from this past trip to blighty - specifically Nottingham, where I covered the Dot to Dot Festival for Popwreckoning this year

23 May
- 3 hours after getting off the plane, having a full English (sans bread b/c I'm allergic to wheat) and a cuppa with a view of all the activity at Victoria Station

- arriving in Nottingham after a comfy 4-hour coach ride. I say, this is the way to travel. bus drivers that call you "love" and "darling," and certainly none of that running around train platforms!

24 May
- the calm before the storm: after getting my press wristband fitted, walked around Old Market Square, bought way too many books and CDs, and then did some window shopping in the city centre

- completely, accidentally running into Patrick Wolf in the hotel lobby (sorry, no photo, I couldn't trouble him for a picture, he was too antsy to get to his room and get dressed for his performance). we exchanged pleasantries, basically him saying "hello" to me after taking off his sunglasses, and me saying, "hi Patrick, I'm so excited to see you perform later today!" (haha)

- seeing Matt Abbott and S&D perform and getting to chat with the lovely boy himself afterwards

* Skint & Demoralised at Glo Bar, Nottingham-Trent Uni

- ....followed by the tail end of the Pains of Being Pure at Heart at the Notts-Trent main room (no pics b/c I was high up above them). Q's calling them one of the 10 great new bands tho, just sayin'...from what I heard, I thought they were fab.

- interviewing 2/3 of Friendly Fires (Edd Gibson and Ed Macfarlane) on their comfy tour bus. as their name suggests, they are indeed v. friendly boys indeed. had an intellectual convo with Edd and a green tea-drinking roadie about the merits of Chris Barrie in "Red Dwarf," "Brittas Empire," and "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" and D.C. area gig venues.

* Friendly Fires interview: [part 1] [part 2] [part 3]

- rushing off to Rock City to stake my place for Patrick Wolf, Ladyhawke, and Friendly Fires

Friendly Fires gig review

* Patrick Wolf and Ladyhawke gig review

25 May
- puttering around Notts to see the castle, and then of course to find the famous Robin Hood statue (which incidentally was hilariously swathed by a marquee tent, as a youth orchestra was warming up for a performance)

- saying goodbye to the fair city of Nottingham with final poppadums, mango lassi (yes, those are crushed pistachios on top of there!), and curry on the last night there

highlights and snaps from the London leg of my trip up soon I hope!

20 June 2009

2 new UK indie charts on the horizon

from this Q online article

Two new UK charts are set to be launched, specifically to showcase alternative and indie artists it has been announced. The main chart system rules are also being fundamentally changed, Reuters reports.

The new Independents Breakers singles and albums charts will feature acts who have not appeared in the main top 20 before and are also not signed to any of the four major record labels.

"We've done test charts, and the kinds of artists who would have benefited are Friendly Fires and Grizzly Bear," said Martin Talbot, managing director of the Official Charts Company.

"These bands already have credibility and media coverage, but the broader public is not particularly aware of them and they are not breaking through into the charts."

The move is the first of it's kind since the charts were first published in 1978, under current rules major label artists can appear in the current indie chart as long they use an independent distributor.

The first Independents Breakers charts will be published on Monday June 29.

I think this is a great idea. every morning I turn on VH1 "Jumpstart" and inevitably, it will be the Jonas Brothers, Miley, Ne-Yo, Brooke Hogan, or any other groan-worthy artists as the "top 5" in the U.S. (excuse me while I barf.) I'll be keeping a close eye on these two UK indie charts, for sure!

this article in particular caught my eye because Friendly Fires themselves had recommended me to run, not walk, to get the new Grizzly Bear album "Veckatimest" when I was in Nottingham. I've listened to it a couple times...it's good but not great to my ears. maybe I'm not hearing it right? or maybe I just need to be in England when I'm listening to it...

18 June 2009

this week's Roundtable (18/06) / Glastonbury coverage

Thursday sees three of the Cribs in the studio for Roundtable. Two Jarmans and a Marr.

Johnny Marr. SQUEE-EE.

1. Calvin Harris - "Ready for the Weekend" - I have a feeling this is going to be heavy rotation this summer. am I a fan? not really. the electronic-ized voice ala Kanye is not high on my list. it sounds too much like the urban stuff on the radio over here.

2. the Low Anthem - "To Ohio" - this band is turning out to be more folky than I thought. or maybe I am getting them mixed up with the Gaslight Anthem? maybe. after purchasing Grizzly Bear's latest in England, I am convinced that there are too many bands like this. pick the one(s) you like and stick with 'em.

given the choice, I think I'd pick Noah and the Whale over most of them b/c I am a sucker for shoegazey, angsty songs about terribly broken relationships. you'd think I'd learn by now. then again, what else I am listening to? let's see...dance music with shoegazey, angsty lyrics (Ladyhawke, Friendly Fires, Dan Black) hahaha.

3. the Fiery Furnaces - "The End is Near" - hmm. this Thrill Jockeys' band too mellow for me, but the Jarmans and Johnny like it. I want to like this band b/c they've gotten a great reception in England and among American indie listeners, but not quite sold on them yet. might see them in August.

4. missed this one when the phone rang, sorry. I only caught the tidbit that they're on XL, interesting. yesterday I spent some time online looking on who was on Beggars Group and/or 4AD (including Anni Rossi and Camera Obscura, who I'm seeing at the 9:30 on Sunday night). hella big group of acts!

5. Soundtrack of Our Lives - "Flipside" - when this started, it reminds me of the Charlatans, until the singer opened his mouth. ok.

6. Major Lazer w. Santigold - "Hold the Line" (obvs clean version) - horses neighing, mobile phones going off, cash register ringing, glasses breaking, people getting kissed loudly - this track has it all. the ringing is especially funny. still, I'd relegate this to the novelty pile. Johnny Marr isn't a fan either, he can't get into it. I think it's humorous, if nothing else. lmao the Major's playing the Rock n Roll Hotel in town on Saturday.

7. the winner - Dinosaur Jr's new offering with original lineup - "I Don't Wanna Go There" and "Pieces" in full - not impressed by the repetitive guitar lines. I was never a fan of theirs, dunno if you need to be to enjoy this new stuff, but they sound like all other American indie rock band. funny, Ed Macfarlane's opinions on indie rock bands are now reverberating in my head...


6music (and many other BBC outfits including Radio1 and Radio2 also) will be reporting in from the world's most famous music festival taking place next weekend. 6music in particular will be broadcasting around the clock throughout the festival starting next week. (I got confused b/c 6music is heavily advertising the festival coverage right now and my ears perk up hearing the sample from Friendly Fires's "Jump in the Pool"...heh!)

BBC's Glastonbury site

the really unfortunate part is that all the videos will be UK only - as usual :P (stuff like the "red button" - it's a way to get on demand stuff from the BBC if you're a UKer, in case you're not up to speed on what that is.) so the only way you can really participate if you're unlucky to be living in another country is to listen live or via BBC iPlayer to the radio programmes. but it's the closest I'm getting to the action this year.

maybe next year friends in a band will take pity on me and let me stay with them on their bus or the weekend. a single tiny girl doesn't camp on her own at Glasto. it's just not on, y'know?


oh yeah - happy 67th Macca!!! (aka Sir Paul McCartney for the rest of you)

08 June 2009

too sooner late than better - first bit of tales from second May bank holiday blighty trip

so this is my first feeble attempt to atone for not having posted since I left for the glorious land of Friendly Fires, Ladyhawke, Patrick Wolf, and Skint & Demoralised. and have since returned. ::groan::

(click to enlarge image of the blighty brolly. I want one, badly!)

blighty, as usual, was magnificent. except for 27 May (when it was raining quite heavily so much that I took refuge in Westminster Abbey for most of the AM), the sun shone like we were living in utopia. as a close friend told me before I left for England, "maybe England will be the best medicine." it was - and is. my friends over there are so nice, and the music fans and security, on the whole, are much nicer and more accommodating than those here in America. so they make every trip I make over there wonderful.

plus, I truly believe that there must be something in an Englishman's DNA that makes each and every single one of them so charming. only in blighty is a blizzard of handshakes, kisses, and hugs of the male persuasion so v. welcome. a girl never tires of being called sweetheart, love, or darling. from musical friends old and new, from all the National Express coach drivers to the bloke who drove me to Broad Marsh station in Notts - they're all so lovely.

I will say this now - five of them in particular at Dot to Dot in Nottingham were so v. nice that I glow just thinking about them. it was an unforgettable trip. more soon I hope.


I have been v. busy in posting over at PopWreckoning. have a read (reverse chronologic order). and please comment!

Doves with White Light @ 9:30 Club, 06 June 2009 - D.C. gig
interview with Friendly Fires in Nottingham, part 1 - Nottingham, Dot to Dot Festival, really proud of this one :)
interview with Friendly Fires in Nottingham, part 2 - Nottingham, Dot to Dot Festival, and this too :)
interview with Matt Abbott (Skint & Demoralised)
Friendly Fires @ Rock City, 24 May 2009 - Nottingham, Dot to Dot Festival
Patrick Wolf and Ladyhawke @ Rock City, 24 May 2009 - Nottingham, Dot to Dot Festival


my apologies that I have not been able to provide my ever so incisive (har!) reviews of Lammo's Roundtable in the last 2 weeks. but if you had use of only one hand, you prolly wouldn't have been able to do it either.

OH MAN. Gary Crowley's in for Steve Lamacq this week? oh bother. I don't mind Gary, he's just no Lammo.