28 November 2009

loving La Roux

holy cow. I knew I loved "In For the Kill" already for the beat and the 'tude, but after clarification of the lyrics, this thing is positively smokin'. ::faints::

we can fight our desires
but when we start making fires
we get ever so hot
whether we like it or not
they say we can love who we trust
but what is love without lust?
two hearts with accurate devotions
and what are feelings without emotions?

I'm going in for the kill
I'm doing it for a thrill
oh I'm hoping you'll understand
and not let go of my hand

I hang my hopes out on the line
will they be ready for you in time
if you leave them out too long
they'll be withered by this song
full stops and exclamation marks
my words stumble before I start
how far can you send emotions?
can this bridge cross the ocean?

so v. excited to see Elly and Ben on 10 February - !

27 November 2009

Web site settling / no Roundtable review for 26.11 or 03.12 (probably)

I've been trying since the summer to settle my Web site - actually, several of them once hosted at Geocities for many years - and I've finally got it into some shape. well, at least everything that I wanted to move over HAS moved over and I think I've finally resolved the links, finally. so if you want to visit...


the original idea behind "the printed word" was it had to do with a Morrissey song circa 2004 ("You Are the Quarry" days) called "You Know I Couldn't Last":

The whispering
May hurt you
But the printed word might kill you

The whispering
May hurt you
But the printed word might kill you

So don't let the blue
The blue eyes fool you
They're just gelignite
Loaded and aiming right between your eyes
CDs and T-shirts, promos and God knows
You know I couldn't last
Someone please take me home

The teenagers
Who love you
They will wake up, yawn and kill you

The teenagers
Who love you
They will wake up, yawn and kill you

So don't let the blue
The blue eyes fool you
They're just gelignite
Loaded and aiming right between your eyes
CDs and T-shirts, promos and God knows
You know I couldn't last
Someone please take me home

There's a cash register ringing and
It weighs so heavy on my back
Someone please take me home

The critics who
Can't break you
They somehow help to make you

The critics who
Can't break you
Unwittingly they make you

So don't let the good days
Of the gold discs
Creep up and mug you
With evil legal eagles
You know I couldn't last
Accountants rampant
You know I couldn't last
Every -ist and every -ism
Thrown my way to stay

And the Northern leeches go on
Removing, removing, removing

Then in the end
Your royalties bring you luxuries
Your royalties bring you luxuries
Oh but
The squalor of the mind
The squalor of the mind
The squalor of the mind
The squalor of the mind

you Morrissey.

and b/c it was my birthday yesterday, I took a break from reviewing Lammo's Roundtable and I think it's doubtful that I'll be catching up on it before I leave for Boston next Wednesday. BTW if you haven't been following the story from the beginning, I won't be around for next week's Roundtable either because I will be with the chowdaheads seeing Friendly Fires and the xx and hopefully interviewing the former.

but in my absence, you can participate in a v. cool thing, Steve Lamacq's National Wear Your Old Band T-Shirt To Work Day. I participated last year and my two of my t-shirts are on display on the 6music site here (#11 and #12 are mine). And here's a v. funny photo from the group.

20 November 2009


no, calm down, not the Grizzly Bear song...

I only have 2 more weeks to go before I see Friendly Fires and the xx again. at the Paradise in Boston. today I was on the verge of freaking out b/c the process of getting to BWI via mass transit is kind of complicated and so is trying to get from Logan into downtown Boston. it's going to be a crazy dance of subways, trains, and buses, not to mention two trips in those big metal boxes in the sky.

doesn't matter. I'm going to see Friendly Fires and the xx! I'm going to see Friendly Fires and the xx! I'm going to see Friendly Fires and the xx!

to say I was excited would be an understatement. there's been so much crap going on in my life - work's been busy and at times rough, rowing with my mum who is never satisfied with the choices of her grown daughter, and getting not-so-good news at the doctor's :/ and just I found out today that another one of my aunts has been diagnosed with breast cancer. :/

here's a random tidbit of squee-age - Mathew Horne (aka Gavin of "Gavin and Stacey") Tweeted me a kiss on Monday. I'd told him he had an excellent taste in music. yeah, I'm still more happy about that than should be allowed. hey, the boy likes We Were Promised Jetpacks *and* the Pains of Being Pure at Heart. my friend C and I were talking today about how there might be fists flying over this in a certain venue in the near future - ahahaha...so watch this space!

oh yeah, and I think I'm developing a major crush on Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend. I remember the first time I heard "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" on Radcliffe/Maconie and thinking, who are these people? I hate how this version of the video from Beggars Group is so dang blurry :P but the video is amusing, you should watch it at least once. and remember, this was filmed BEFORE "Twilight!"

better quality is the new video for 'Cousins', which I wrote about at TGTF today. TEEHEE. thank you XL Recordings, I wuv you!

19 November 2009

this week's Roundtable (19/11)

Thursday sees another fun packed Roundtable with Sean Adams from Drowned in Sound joining Polly Scattergood and Jake from My Life Story

1. the Temper Trap - "Fader" - did they change singers? this sounds completely different than "Sweet Disposition". and not entirely in a good way :/

side notes: they are one of six bands named for SXSW 2010 and are currently being featured as a "Discover and Download" (for "Sweet Disposition") on MTV. oddly, the version of the video for D&D is different than the one I saw previous (you know, the one with the roller derby girls in gold kit).

2. Vampire Weekend - "Cousins" - the more I hear this, the more I laugh. (the video is a hoot! tuxedos, martini, and bells being hit in a way not unlike another band famed for their agogos...ha!) in the beginning on the song, it sounds like Ezra Koenig is in pain. but it's just a fun record. I really like it now despite panning it initially when I heard it on Zane Lowe's Radio1 programme earlier this week.

and...can someone tell me what his fascination with the ocean floor is? remember, "A-Punk"'s protagonist left a stolen ring "at the bottom of the sea"...

3. Frankie and the Heartstrings - "Hunger" - Lammo eally likes this, and I do too...it's like Tim Curry as Dr. Frank N. Furter from Rocky Horror if he sang more upbeat songs. HA! Sunderland forever!

4. the Seabees (sp?) - "Misdemeanor" - there appeared to be arguments among the panel about whether this was being done by a single person or a group, and how not knowing made it difficult to rate. faintly boppy.

5. New Young Pony Club - "Lost a Girl" - funny how Sean is comparing this to Ladyhawke. I don't see the connection...?

6. Badly Drawn Boy - "Is There Nothing We Can Do?" - is BDB always this depressing? I'm trying to compare it to their hit "About a Boy"...snooze. funny how it's being compared to the Smiths' "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want" by the panel.

7. Them Crooked Vultures's debut eponymous album including "Gunman" - it's ok. funny how some people are afraid to pan them b/c of who they are. so what? if they suck, it's better to tell them now than to build them up, pretending they're any good.

uh, they never announced the winner - whoops 6music!

(dead se)xx(y)

so I saw THE *it* band, the xx, at a sold out gig here in D.C. at teensy weency DC9 Sunday night (15 November). it felt weird being the only person who knew all the words / was singing along, especially the latter b/c cosinger/bassist Oliver Sim implored everyone to sing along to their cover of Womack and Womack's "Teardrops" but I was the only person who could take them up on the offer. "footsteps on the dancefloor / remind me baby of you..."

doesn't matter though. the guitars were gorgeous. the vocals were gorgeous. I converted a friend to them. the band looked like they really enjoyed themselves here in D.C.

and the gig got me really stoked about seeing them again in Boston in 2 weeks. *2 effin' weeks.* can't believe it. they're doing an in-store at Newbury Comics a couple hours before the Paradise gig, so I'm obvs. going to that as well.


obligatory bloggage:

PopWreckoning review
There Goes the Fear review

and if you need more xx-age, read my posts about the band supporting Friendly Fires at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on PW and TGTF. 2 weeks to seeing them as well. v. happy about all of this, esp in light of some recent events...

most definitely taken at the MHOW gig where I could shoot with flash!

17 November 2009

NME's top 50 albums of the noughties

NME editor Krissi Murison said: "This is the definitive word on the greatest albums of the noughties – as voted for by everyone who helped make music brilliant this decade."

(FYI Murison is American and replaced Conor McNicholas, if that makes any difference to you...)

I guess I'm not up to speed with the kids OR the times b/c of these 50, I own...let's see...3 of these. I see some serious omissions...a major problem of this list is that albums released in the last 2 years haven't had their shelf life tested yet, so this list is unfair against albums released in 2008 and 2009 IMO.

...and are Wild Beasts really that great?


1. The Strokes - Is This It
2. The Libertines - Up the Bracket
3. Primal Scream - xtrmntr
4. Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Fever to Tell
6. PJ Harvey - Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
7. Arcade Fire - Funeral
8. Interpol - Turn On the Bright Lights
9. The Streets - Original Pirate Material
10. Radiohead - In Rainbows
11. At The Drive In - Relationship of Command
12. LCD Soundsystem - The Sound of Silver
13. The Shins - Wincing the Night Away
14. Radiohead - Kid A
15. Queens Of The Stone Age - Songs for the Deaf
16. The Streets - A Grand Don't Come for Free
17. Sufjan Stevens - Illinoise
18. The White Stripes - Elephant
19. The White Stripes - White Blood Cells
20. Blur - Think Tank
21. The Coral - The Coral
22. Jay-Z - The Blueprint
23. Klaxons - Myths of the Near Future
24. The Libertines - The Libertines
25. Rapture - Echoes
26. Dizzee Rascal - Boy in Da Corner
27. Amy Winehouse - Back to Black
28. Johnny Cash - Man Comes Around
29. Super Furry Animals - Rings Around the World
30. Elbow - Asleep In the Back
31. Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning
32. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones
33. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
34. Grandaddy - The Sophtware Slump
35. Babyshambles - Down in Albion
36. Spirtualized - Let It Come Down
37. The Knife - Silent Shout
38. Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
39. Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles
40. Ryan Adams - Gold
41. Wild Beasts - Two Dancers
42. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
43. Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
44. Outkast - Loveboxxx/The Love Below
45. Avalanches - Since I Left You
46. Delgados - The Great Eastern
47. Brendan Benson - Lapalco
48. Walkmen - Bows and Arrows
49. Muse - Absolution
50. MIA - Arular

edit: after reading over the entire top 100 list on NME's page (lemme know if you can't find it, I'm just too lazy to link it to here at the mo'), here is my list for the top 5 criminally neglected acts NOT on NME's list:

the Killers
Friendly Fires
We Are Scientists
Patrick Wolf

12 November 2009

this week's Roundtable (12/11)

We welcome Brett Anderson (ex-Suede), Steve Levine, and Jim Bob (Carter USM's whatever that is?) into the studio to review some new records on Roundtable.

1. Basement Jaxx feat. Lightspeed Champion - "My Turn" - hmmm. not as good as what I'm used to the Jaxx...I don't have "Scars" so I can't really make an informed opinion if everything else on the album sounds like this. but I'm not as inspired about this song as the previous two (ex. "Raindrops").

2. Devendra Banhart - "16th and Valencia Roxy Music" - my sometimes gigmate A calls Devendra "creepy folk music". ahahaha. this doesn't sound that folky though. oddly, they're big in America - or at least big enough to warrant an extensive fall N. Amer. tour.

3. Pet Shop Boys - "All Over the World" - it starts like the "Dance of the Toys" from the Nutcracker. er...? how odd. and then it comes back in during the chorus. guys, did you really feel the need to sample xmas tunes?? ick. you know this is going to come on Radio2 in the coming weeks in advance of xmas :P

4. the winner - Fionn Regan - "Protection Racket" - ??? it sounds like a band trying to emulate the Libs but failing.

5. sorry, I missed this one when someone came by for a workie chat.

6. Pyramids - "Medicine" - synths - cool. otherwordly vocals - cool. how interesting that they are from Portland, b/c they sound like Hockey!

7. Biffy Clyro's new album with "The Captain", "This Golden Rule", "Bubbles", and "Many of Horror" - the guitars on "Bubbles" sound like "Running on Empty", no? I have to agree with Brett on this one - it's not getting to me where it needs to. I feel bad, b/c my friend C loves the new album. but like Peter Bjorn and John say, "it don't move me".

11 November 2009

jazzed for the Razz(matazz)

ok, so I decided I better back off banana stories for a while (even if Eddie Argos the Cat agreed with me that the banana stories were funny) and go back to "real" music reporting, if there is such a thing for a freelancer like myself.

further, it seems a bit skeezy to be writing about this 11 days after the actual event. but better late than never, I always say...

so I wanted to write about a dance I recently attended that rocked my world. Razzmatazz is a semi-regularly held dance night at the Black Cat on 14th Street in D.C. I'd never been prior to Halloween night. this is not because I am self-conscious about my dancing; if you have ever attended a gig with me, you can attest to the fact that I do not need dutch courage to get me to move and groove, it just happens naturally. (this is a likely explanation for why Friendly Fires, La Roux, and Dan Black, and other dance music hit the spot for me.) no, the reason why I never went by myself was I wanted mates to dance WITH instead of feeling like a fool dancing by myself. so the two Ms headed for the Cat Halloween night, dressed up clubby and not in crazy costumes. the actual dance is held in the Backstage area, which is about 1/3 of the size of the main floor of the club where headlining gigs take place. so we're talking about ~200 capacity. not big. but wow, did we have fun with some great music.

also, one of the DJs, William Alberque, asked for suggestions and I told him he had to play "Be the One" (Jack Penate) and he was unconvinced that it would go down well with the D.C. crowd. let me tell you, we proved him wrong! having met Jack 2 months ago, it was even better seeing a crowd go mental over his songs. we ended staying for 4 hours, the first 3 spent ON the stage, shaking what our mamas gave us and having the time of our lives. there are probably some somewhat embarrassing photos online that I will laugh at, should I see them...

the best three-song sequence of the night: "Be the One" (Jack Penate), "Bulletproof" (La Roux), and "Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)" (Florence and the Machine).

unfortunately, the next Razz is not scheduled until 30 January, but I suppose between now and then I can learn some more dance moves from the dance god that is Ed Macfarlane in Boston (I can't believe it's only 3 weeks 2 days away until I am at the Paradise). but if you are interested in checking them out, visit them on Facebook.

FYI, I am currently on the lookout for bloggers who will be seeing the Winter NYLON tour. if you are, let me know and I'll add you to the list. this list includes ones I found by accident through Google. I'm a bit obsessive, I want to hear and see about this tour before I get to the land of the Red Sox!

Between These Lines - Austin (Mohawk), 19 Nov
Movies of Myself (Beckie) - SF (Independent), 23 Nov

09 November 2009

going bananas (part II)

so I can now add "fruit supplier" to my CV/list of qualifications for working for the Guardian music department. previously-posted-about bananas have been delivered!

that's me explaining to John and Peter (of Peter Bjorn and John) where their fruit has gone. John was really appreciative. I think Peter was just amused to hear this story - hahaha.

TBH I wasn't sure if the bananas were going to make it inside. my media pass helped; I explained to the staff at the door that I wasn't purposefully trying to break their "no outside food or drink" rule and was surprised when they said they weren't allowed to give the bands *anything*. (tell me then, what's the point of working at a venue if you can't even say hi to the bands?)

during the last song, Bjorn waved the blue snowflake gift bag I'd put the bananas in (having placed it carefully next to his pedals on the stage) - I figured it was a good idea to at least make it LOOK like a present - and a roadie took it backstage.

my birthday card to them

gig reviews ahoy!
at PW

06 November 2009

going bananas?

how's this for freaky Friday.

I Tweeted Peter Bjorn and John's Twitter this morning, saying I would be happy to bring bananas to them tomorrow night at the 9:30 Club (the first night of their 10th birthday "of being together" North American tour), because John's bananas got confiscated at fruit control at Newark Airport (presumably flying in from Sweden):

got stuck in fruit control at newark. i am done with bananas! j
from Echofon

10 minutes ago John DMed me:

PeterBjornJohn thanks! bring one please. j
10 minutes ago

um...does he want ONE banana? one BUNCH of bananas?

I hope this amuses my gig mate MB b/c we're gonna have to stop by the supermarket before we head to the club tomorrow night.


05 November 2009

this week's Roundtable (05/11)

Ash's Tim Wheeler joins Roundtable alongside Wall Of Sound's Mark Jones and our very own Chris Hawkins

1. Dizzee Rascal - "Dirty Cash" - s'ok.

2. Polly Scattergood - "Bunny Club" (Lady Chatterley's single mix) - it was with much amusement/shock that I saw Polly's album this summer in the music section of a local Borders bookshop (not usually up to date on current music, especially that from cross the pond). I really want her to succeed, I think the fragility of her voice is so unique from the other girl screamers out there right now.

3. Kids of 88 - "My House" - it's all right.

4. the Northwestern - "What Did I Do" - first of all, I hate song titles that sound stupid on paper. er...this sounds pretty run of the mill. then again, that's what I first thought about the Cribs...overall it went down well across the panel.

5. Poker Party - "Serbian Tennis" - killer riffs to begin with. (plus.) hilarious title. (another plus.) but why oh why is everything starting to sound like the Cribs to me? (is that a minus?) *LOLZ*

6. the Very Best - the winner - "Julia" - ahhh. gorgeous. the singer, Esau, is charismatic live. might as well post my Very Best/Javelin two gig reviews from Monday night here:

PopWreckoning review
TGTF review

an aside: it's v. odd that Johan Carlberg, a Swede and the guy who was spinning the records, reminds of my (English) ex. my thought? scary.

7. Weezer's new album including "I'm Your Daddy" and "The Girl Got Hot" - I am really scared of Rivers Cuomo and co. attempting to do dancepop. don't do it man.