"Most rock journalism is people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, for people who can't read." - Frank Krappa

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

the band in Heaven [sic] (and The Radio Dept.)

the band in Heaven

I recently stumbled across the band in Heaven whilst reading a live review of a band they supported at some point, somewhere. I thought I'd look them up as they were described as "blissful shoegaze" and I quite like shoegaze, as well as bliss.

Although I (evidently) like the band, I wouldn't quite describe them as blissful (the shoegaze tag is fair enough). They're more crunchy and skuzzy, seemingly partly due to the particular type of guitar distortion they use, and partly because of the lo fi recordings. They do make a fantastic noise, and they also sound quite beautiful at times, in their own crunchy, crunchy way.

I downloaded three fantastic free tracks (what more could you want) from their Bandcamp, including a wonderful cover of The Cranberries' 'Dreams'. I would advise doing the same if you like noisy lo fi and/or the slightly messier side of shoegaze. I'm aware that the lo fi/shoegaze mix isn't the first of it's kind, the difference being that the band in Heaven don't sound like complete over-hyped wank.

The Band In Heaven - Dreams (Cranberries Cover)
Found at skreemr.org

The Radio Dept.

I have loved The Radio Dept. for quite some time, and I was amazingly happy to find out today that they let you download lots and lots of lovely music for free off their website, including their great new politically charged song, 'The New Improved Hypocrisy'.

I just don't know what I'd do without their commentaries on internal Swedish politics.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

My little fucking brother fucking made this

For some reason, I taught my 13 year old brother how to play guitar a couple of years ago and he got way, way better than me in no time at all. Then I showed him how Garageband works, and he's completely PWNED me at that as well.

Look as this insanely good mashup he made:

He's fucking 13, for fucks sake!

He's made a couple more, but he hasn't uploaded them yet.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Django Django

I recently stumbled across some live videos of this band on the Roundhouse website and they were so fucking awesome that I had to look everywhere to find a blog that I could download free mp3s from.

I'm not really sure how to describe their sound, but they've got those awesome harmonies going on that Fleet Foxes do, with cool Monk-esque, occasionally dancey rhythmic shit happening, plus nice electronics and surf-ish, westerny guitars. And it all sounds like it was recorded on a safari or something. I don't know.

Anyway, they're seriously epic, and the lovely people at the Roundhouse did a real brill job of filming them. Have a look:

One day I may actually spend some money in appreciation.

Friday, 10 September 2010

I am a Complete Twat

Pixies and Violent Femmes often sound extraordinarily similar

This is something that really struck me from the first time I heard the Violent Femmes, and since then I've searched the internetz, head to toe, in an attempt to find out if anybody else has noticed this, or if I'm just plain crazy (admittedly, the fact I care so much doesn't show my mental health to be top notch).

Anyway, the only thing I managed to find on the subject was this, which just straight up says ""Nimrod’s Son” is a theatrical update of the Violent Femmes’ early acoustic punk". While this told me that someone else agrees that they sound familiar, it seems to assume that the Pixies' style of music was a conscious development on the Violent  Femmes' particular brand of rock'n'fackin'roll.

I'm forced to conclude that there is little possibility that Violent Femmes influenced Pixies, mainly due to the complete fruitlessness of internet searches regarding this. The only way that I can explain the similarity in their sound is that they both:

A) were American and got together in the '80s.
B) were influenced by a variety of genres, most notably folk, surf and punk.
C) had most of their songs written by, at the time, teenage lunatics (read: geniuses).

Anyway, here's a couple of videos to show what I'm on about:

Violent Femmes


This was a pretty pointlessly long winded way of saying two awesome bands are similar.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Sleeping in the Aviary

While I wouldn't say I listen to the most popular bands all of the time, there is one band who's popularity is so negatively correlated to the high esteem I hold them in that it thoroughly astounds me: Sleeping in the Aviary

I came across them when I bought 2 albums from their label, Science of Sound (who I previously found out about through the fairly brilliant Pale Young Gentlemen), and they emailed me to say "thank you". When I emailed back saying how nice their label looked, and how I'd buy more music if I had more money, they decided to throw Sleeping in the Aviary's second album in with the other two. What lovely people. As it turned out, the SITA album was way better then the albums I actually paid for.

Their first album is a fun-enough, poppy, punky romp that's not too special in any respect, but their second, Expensive Vomit in a Cheap Hotel, moves them in a folkier direction and is really something special. The first thing that really stood out to me when I first listened to EVIACH is the lovely, noisy energy that assaults your ears on the majority of the tracks, and the sombre restraint on many of the others. The musical aesthetic and the sometimes singing, sometimes screaming vocals would be appreciated by fans of Violent Femmes, Neutral Milk Hotel, Pixies and other American indie-rockish-lofi-type-things.

Lyrically, the album is one of my favourites. The lyrics manage to be incredibly funny and self deprecating whilst still retaining, what I hate to refer to as, an emotional punch. I'd say their just as entertaining and interesting to listen to as Pavement or NMH's lyrics.

The standout tracks (for me) would be 'Gas Mask Blues' & 'Everybody's Different, Everybody Dies' on the louder side of things, and 'Windshield' & 'You're a Party' on the quieter. There isn't really a track I don't like on the album, although I would say that the first track, 'Write On', is definitely the weakest musically and lyrically.

According to YouTube, their live shows are fucking amazing, and are probably the only good reason for someone from London to be jealous of those who live in Minnesota.

Here is some evidence:

Also, their website is truly brilliant.

They have a new album, Great Vacation!, coming out later this year, which will apparently be yet another change in direction. I eagerly await it.

I have started a music blog

I have recently come across some terrible, terrible blogs written by people I know, and this has spurred me on to write one of my own. As my life is fairly boring, and my music taste is far superior to everyone else's (ever), it was obvious that I should start a music blog.
Also, one or two people have told me I should start a music blog, but that may have only been to try and make me vent my desire for other people to listen to the music I listen to somewhere other than in their ears.

Anyway, here is one of the GREATEST MUSIC VIDEOS OF ALLLLLLL TIIIIIIIIME (geddit?)

This is mos def my favourite YouTube video of the Violent Femmes, you really do believe that each and every one of them would rape a girl in their dads' cars.

A fun fact about a father of the Violent Femmes:
The dad of the drummer (Victor DeLorenzo) loaned $10,000 for the recording of their self-titled, first and best album.

However, whilst he was fine funding a debut album, he clearly drew the line at lending out rape-mobiles.