31 July 2009

Splendour in the Grass coverage (Australia)

Scott Gamble, an Australian tv producer, was kind enough to Tweet me about the Splendour in the Grass festival recordings and footage that TripleJ, a tv/radio station conglomerate (I think?) down under, is going to post on their Web site. thankfully, he says it will be available to all - not only to people who live in that country, like...uh...the videos the BBC puts online! - and I've already partaked in some of their offerings, including the audio of the Flaming Lips' "Do You Realize?" and I thought this 5-minute clip with Friendly Fires was rather, erm, informative. poor Jack, he had swine flu... :( so that's what was making him so poorly at the time of the Levi's gig.

Triple J interview with Ed and Edd

and then I found this amusing photo of Jack and a related interview. thankfully, he looks a lot healthier!

I've added both triplej and triplejtv to my Twitter to keep track of new postings on their site, and I can't wait!

in particular, I'm dying to see the FF guys cooking. I have been in conversation with my gfs about what they're cooking in this pic, but I think we've come to the agreement that they're probably making pancakes. the contents of the nearly Bloody Mary pitcher on the left side of the screen look mighty tasty...you see, guys doing domestic things - cooking, the washing up, hoovering, etc. - hold a special place in my heart. I <3 it even when they're not very good at it and just trying for the sake of us women. see, I'm not that difficult to please! anyhoo, before any further digression...

in short, I think it's lovely that the folks in Oz are so giving and willing to share. thank you Aussies!

26 July 2009

"I've been having a sweet dream / I've been dreaming since I woke up today..."

a while back now, I had a dream about something big happening in November, but I wasn't sure what it would be. I have a big birthday coming up then, but I doubted I'd be thinking about getting a year older as something monumentally exciting.

and then I get this news:

::goes into cardiac arrest:: well, this is certainly NOVEMBER NEWS!

this was along with me writing up this summary of a press release we got from XL.

I am really excited about everything for them, b/c I know how hard they've been working and touring. the MTV America premiere on Thursday was great. I was just finishing up breakfast and doing my dishes and then 7 AM on the nose on MTV Hits, I hear a rhythm I'm not familiar with emanating from my tv - I look back at the tv, I have no idea what it's is, there's a lineup of people in coloured outfits, and I worry it's another Sean Kingston video. then I see a closeup shot of Ed Macfarlane - nooo, it couldn't be! I knew the video premiered on Channel 4 but hadn't heard about us Americans getting it on our screens.

that XL is releasing the expanded version of their debut album - with concert DVD, all the remixes to date, all the promo videos to date - in the U.S., not just the UK, so I don't have to fork over tons of $ to get it from Amazon UK or HMV - I'm stoked. what does this mean? this means XL thinks the band is commercially viable in the U.S. which means more touring around America. which means...this little band from St. Albans is going to make a big noise in the U S of A. I like being spot on with my predictions!

I couldn't be happier for a nicer bunch of blokes, period.

what else...because it pains me that I can't be in England for all the many festivals they're playing - like the brill looking, dance-themed Creamfields - I am currently praying for a D.C. date on the Nylon tour. I hinted to Ed that I'd rather head out to the West for my birthday to see them rather than traipse up to Boston and risk getting stuck in a snowstorm or facing a cancellation trying to get to Logan Airport. but it'd be even better for them to be here and I can prove to them that American food is more than stupid Denny's skillets. there are more good Chinese places around where I live than I can count on both hands. soz...

this week's Roundtable (23/07)

Thursday's Roundtable brought together Charlotte Hatherley (ex-Ash), journalist Jonny Dee and our very own Iyare to discuss some new releases

I'll say this now - this was a rough week b/c I had several favourites going into it. Steve had during the week already hinted to the songs going to be for review, I'd heard a lovely a cappella version Little Boots did of "Remedy" at Latitude on Radcliffe/Maconie on the 16th, and I'd already been thrown into a happy tailspin from all the Friendly Fires coverage during the week.

1. Muse - "United States of Eurasia (+Collateral Damage)" (19.6) - this sounded so Queen that my ears felt dirty listening to it, being a Queen fan. not pure Queen, like Indian-influenced Queen. I heard this a while back on Zane Lowe's Radio1 show and thought to myself, how is this going to fly in today's radio atmosphere? there's even that classical piano bit that I *love* but I know it's going to be accepted by most rock fans out there today. maybe there are enough Muse fans out there to make this a hit? even so...ODD. was Iyare right when he said Muse jumped the shark? I think this may be so. dunno...

2. Beastie Boys feat. Nas - "Too Many Rappers" (26) - I thought this might be an odd pairing. I miss old skool Beasties. the other day, I heard "Intergalactic" on the radio and thought, man, when this came out when I was in uni, I absolutely loved it.

3. the Big Pink - "Dominos" (28) - not as good as the last two singles, but still good. but I have to give them the benefit of the doubt b/c I read on the internet that Patrick Wolf's sister Jo Apps is now playing with them! wowwwww. but...I am still mad at them for dissing Nottingham's D2D. boo! they need to play America soon just to make up for this!

4. Little Boots - "Remedy" (21) - I love this - it's a fun song. I really wish I had had the energy to stay up for her set at the Rescue Rooms in May. oh man. and I have to say, after performing a cappella for Stuart Mac, it's clear the girl has singing chops and her voice can stand alone without the stuff behind her.

5. the winner - Friendly Fires - "Kiss of Life" (32.5) - I shouldn't really make a comment here, b/c a) seen this video about 15 times in the last 4 days, b) I've already transcribed the lyrics from it, and c) analysed and overanalysed the lyrics, b/c I had a dream last summer that is so similar to the story in this song, that I'm a bit scared. Friendly Fires post coming soon...

I was grinning from ear to ear when Lammo said it sounded like guys who had fun making the record. I just didn't think he would like it - but he did! big order of scampi fries and Diamond White cider next time I see him....and to the others too :)

6. Frank Turner - "The Road" (24) - I really like this. it's not as poppy as "Kiss of Life" but it's perfect in its own way, b/c this is what Frank does. when will he get over here for a tour???

7. Reverend & the Makers - "A French Kiss in The Chaos" (24) - I like "Silence is Talking," but not really into the other stuff on this album. it sounds...off...does it really sound like Oasis?

19 July 2009

this week's Roundtable (16/07)

Patrick Wolf joined Thomas Dolby and Martin Carr on Thursday's Roundtable

described by Steve as "the best hat, the best hair, and the best trinket on a string" (Dolby, Carr, and Wolf)

1. the Cribs - "Cheat on Me" - I like the instrumentation. this has nothing to do with Johnny Marr now being an official member of the band, I swear! (::grin::) but the chorus gets a little grating, the whole "CHEAT on ME!" bit.

2. Brendan Benson - "Feel Like Taking You Home" - not a fan. not sure where Patrick is going with the Klaus Nomi and Nine Inch Nails-lite thoughts?

3. Athlete - - I forget the name now but I liked one song of Athlete's, and I do like this, it reminds me of good '80s synthpop. but would someone please explain, what is up with bands and their pyromaniac tendencies? first it was Kings of Leon, then Kasabian. now these guys?

4. Nextman - "Every Little Thing" - hehehe. I shouldn't like this but I do. I've been on a dance kick lately...

5. Biffy Clyro - "The Golden Rule" - LOL. the strings are an attempt to make it bigger than it really is. Patrick Wolf hit it on the head...and he should know, b/c he actually knows how to play the violin.

6. El Bronx - "Cellmate"- never thought the day would come when I'd hear mariachi music on Steve Lamacq's programme. it's obviously white guys trying to make Latino-ey music. ODD.
Patrick Wolf is headed towards mariachi music next? NOOOOOOOOO

7. the Dead Weather - "Treat Me Like Your Mother" and others from the album "Horehound" - I have to say TMLYM grew on me - the vocals grated on me at first, but now it's like this down 'n' dirty ditty.

y'know what, I don't think they announced a winner! *snarf*

music bytes

gosh, has it really been over 2 weeks since I've posted? sorry about that. work's been quite hectic gearing up for a software transition, and I hope when we've switched over to the new system on 21 July, I don't get bombarded by email and phone calls. fingers crossed please...b/c this has direct ramifications if I can go gigging next month...

so positive vibes are mucho appreciated, thank you!

and apologies for the missed Roundtable commentary. I've been listening, I just haven't had the time or brain cells to devote to posting about them. I may if I have time go backward and view the lists Phil, Gary, or whoever else on Steve Lamacq's production team puts up after the shows and provide my thoughts - I hadn't known there were lists going back a long, long time - so now that I know, I don't really have much of an excuse not to :) in fact, I think I'm going to re-listen to the 16 July episode because...


the best moment on last Thursday's show was Lammo telling off the person who had written presumably "Gary Newman" on his crib sheet...I have to hear it again to get it down properly, but I laughed out loud hearing him yell this obvious newbie mistake!


I'm feeling accomplished. just last night I finished a review of Jack Penate's album "Everything is New" (it came out on 22 June in the UK but isn't to drop in the U.S. until 18 August). it's a pretty good album but...well, you'll just have to wait until my review at Popwreckoning goes online to read the rest of my review.

Brakes (who have to be known as BrakesBrakesBrakes in the U.S. b/c there already IS an American band called the Brakes) is touring here next month. if I can keep my eyes open, I may see them on 5 October. that's a Monday and several days before I need to traipse out to San Diego for work, so not sure...I'd like to see them tho. it'd be cool to see "Don't Take Me To Space (Man)" live. I remember hearing it on Lammo's programme like it was yesterday and thinking, yah, I like this groove, I like the lyrics: "don't take me to space, man / I got a taste of true love" - mmm yes!

that said...


the next three months are looking quite busy in D.C. for gigs. I'm not going to all of these, mind you (if only!), but here's a brief listing:

4 August - Elbow w/ Jesca Hoop - 9:30 Club
6-7 August - Van Morrison - DAR
15 August - Bat for Lashes - 9:30 Club
26 August - Cobra Starship - Rock 'n' Roll Hotel (sold out)
30 August - Virgin Mobile Fest - Merriweather (free this year) - the only acts I would be interested to see are Franz Ferdinand and DJ Pete Tong

3 September - Pet Shop Boys - DAR
4 September - Alice in Chains - 9:30 Club (sold out)
8 September - Kings of Leon - Merriweather
18 September - Jack Penate w/ Miike Snow- Rock 'n' Roll Hotel
19 September - Horrors w/ Crocodiles - Black Cat
25 September - Maximo Park w/ Cougar - Black Cat

3 October - Charlatans (UK) w/ Hatcham Social - Black Cat
5 October - We Were Promised Jetpacks, Brakes, and the Twilight Sad (FatCat Records tour) - Black Cat Backstage
12 October - Airborne Toxic Event w/ Henry Clay People and Red Cortez - 9:30 Club
22 October - Gaslight Anthem w/ Murder By Death and the Loved Ones - 9:30 Club


it boggles my mind that Elbow has to support Coldplay in the U.S. and can only headline 3 shows here. I mean, they ARE headlining Bestival in September...so obviously some people on this planet have better taste...

it is even more mind-boggling that D.C. is one of those cities where Elbow is headlining (L.A. and Atlanta being the other two). we must be coming up in the world of music...

Brit bands, take note!


and after a "forced" hiatus (read: no bands I like have come to town in the last 4 weeks) , I will be seeing Paolo Nutini w/ Matt Hires and Erin McCarley with a Twitter friend of mine on Thursday. yay! I have yet to find a high that equals or exceeds the feeling I get from a live gig :)

02 July 2009

this week's Roundtable (02/07) starring Matt of Skint & Demoralised

so my buddy Matt Abbott of Skint & Demoralised is seriously making the rounds of all the important shows - Nick Grimshaw of Radio1, Loose Women on ITV (haha), and now Lammo's Roundtable!

Thursday sees Radio1's Bethan (I have no idea who this is, oops!) join A&R legend James Endeacott and Matt from Skint and Demoralised on Roundtable

1. the winner - Bloc Party - "One More Chance" - this sounds totes Bloc Party. it reminds me of Haddaway. is that a good thing? I can see how this could get old, fast. but for a dance tune, it's ok.

2. Noah and the Whale - "Blue Skies" - absolutely gorgeous. can't wait to get my hands on the new album and see them live again!

3. Speech da Belle - "Better Days"- no surprise here that I'm not a fan, not a fan of rap and hip-hop stylings for the most part. it's all right, it's a bit MIA-flavoured as James suggested.

4. Julian Plenti - "Only If You Run" - hmmm. I'm on the fence for this. this sounds swirly like the Big Pink, but doesn't have the same good oomph.

5. Dizzee Rascal - "Holiday" - I heard this before. it's ok. I can see how it might grow on me, b/c it's a summery song, but in general, not a fan of this kind of thing. it won't be played much on the radio here I can assure you, so I guess that's the only saving grace.

6. the XX - "Basic Space" - this is a new band on the XL label. I know this b/c as was explained to me by Ed Macfarlane of Friendly Fires, their drummer Jack Savidge stood me up to see them instead of me in Nottingham. (incidentally, he owes a mobile for this ;) or maybe not, Steve just said they're releasing the single on Young Turks (?) will have to research this later...in the meantime tho, this band sounds like Chairlift. agree?

7. La Roux's self-titled debut - "Bulletproof," "I'm Not Your Toy," "Colourless Colour", and "Tigerlily" and "As If By Magic" in full - while it appears that Elly Jackson has put her foot in her mouth a couple times (today being put on the stake by the Guardian), I don't think it's because she's a spiteful person. it's kind of like Morrissey and his acid tongue. I still like the music :)