Sunday, 28 December 2008

Here is a list of the top 10 bands I am really excited about for the year ahead.

1. Or, The Whale.
Or, The Whale's country, alt rock sound is sure to raise a few eyebrows in 2009.
The nine piece have a sound that would be welcome in the cd collection of any Arcade Fire or Band of Horses fan. Their debut album 'Light Poles and Pines' is starting to create quite a fuss and rightfully so. Demonstrating a wide variety of genre hopping songs. Ones to watch.

2. Remember Remember.
Combining a huge variety of instruments including harps, saxophones,violins, Guitars and even a Glockenspiel with household objects such as a stapler, hole puch, scissors, etc to create this atmospheric, glitchy, dancy, epic music. This is some of the most interesting and imaginative music I have heard for quite a while. There are lots of musicians who use this amount of instruments, Four Tet, Fuck Buttons, etc but I have heard none who sound like this. Graeme Ronald, the driving force behind Remember Remember has got something really special here and it won't be long before this is recognised.

3. Dent May and his Magnificent Ukulele
Dent May is one of those guys who's life totally revolves around music. Growing up in Jackson Mississippi he spent his early days singing in church choir's and performing with a recorder choir at Nursing Homes and has continued writing in various bands throughout his life. With his sound harking back to that of early 19th century swing ( think the ball at the end of Back to the Future,) it has this charm about it, a sort of charm I really haven't heard since Eels were in their heyday. Its just such a nostalgic, likable sound.

4.No Age
I had to give these guys a few listens before I started to find something in their sound that I liked. Maybe its the energy they put into their music. Maybe its the fact that they sound so raw which, In the time of being able to produce a reasonably decent sounding record from your bedroom is actually quite refreshing but there is definately something that keeps bringing me back to listen to these guys and I know a lot of people feel the same.

5. Kelpe
Kelpe creates some really interesting beats. Often using simple, effect laden drum patterns, combining them with really dirty, fuzzy bass lines and various other sounds mixed in making music that I haven't stopped listening to since I first heard it. With a mixture of tracks that could fill any dance floor (Shipwreck Glue) to minimalistic, rather intense sounds (Pinch and Flare.)

6. Midnight Juggernauts
Last year was a very successful year for the inde/electro Australians seeing them grow from being unheard of in this country to playing high up the bill on the sunrise arena at Latitude, tour with Late of the Pier and play the Becks Fusion event below Massive Attack. 2009 will be even bigger for them and will hopefully see them get the acknowledgement they deserve.

Another band who have had a pretty successful year. Ending with the opening slot for Mogwai at venues as big as Hammersmith. Probably the only band that can make a crowd of moody post rockers dance, if you haven't seen them already you really should soon because there is no way they will be playing dingy bars anymore.

8. Abe Vigoda
There is definately a surge of bands with a certain lo-fi edge becoming quite successful at the moment. No Age and Bon Iver are certainly at the forefront, but bands like Abe Vigoda are certainly starting to get recognised over here, their hugely energetic, frantic, yet also melodic sound is reminiscent of early At The Drive In, which is something I found quite refreshing.

9. Animal Collective
After a few albums people are finally starting to get used to Animal Collective's avante garde sound. They are already pretty renowned but it was after their most exciting release in late 2007, 'Strawberry Jam' which really saw them take off resulting in a headline slot on the Carling Stage at Reading. They are bringing a new album out in January. I'm pretty excited.

10. Au
Au really caught me in a way that not many bands do and it normally takes a few listens to get it whereas with these guys it was an instant like. There is so much going on its hard to take it all in, played loud its quite overwhelming. Au's huge soundscape is mainly created by the multi talented Luke Wyland. Verbs is a full album, the tracks all flow well into each other. Au already have friends in high places supporting the likes of Fleet Foxes, Beach House and Phosphorescent and I should Imagine you will be hearing a lot more from these guys in 2009.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Barry's Albums of the Year 2008

A new year is about to begin so here at Middleboop we’re all selecting our favourite albums from the last year. Hope you enjoy them

Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
Indie –folk from a bunch a beardies from Seattle and it’s filled with excellent choral vocals and Neil Young style guitars. Essential Tracks – He Doesn’t Know Why, White Winter Hymnal, Sun It Rises

Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
Indie-folk from another beardy this time from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. This album is full of heart-breaking songs about a girl called Emma. It’s just one man and his guitar writing rich folk music, I love it. Essential Tracks - The Wolves, For Emma

Mr Oizo – Lamb’s Anger
Bearded Frenchman Mr Oizo returned late in 2008 with a more vicious offering than his previous releases. Once again filled with strange vocal samples and thumping drums that feel like its going to burst your eardrums. Viva la France! Essential Tracks – Hun, Positif, Pourriture 7

Octopus Project – Hello Avalanche
It now time for my first non-bearded selection! Although released in 2007 I didn’t discover this band until 2008 after seeing perform an amazing live show at the ATP festival and has become key feature in my listening this year. Mixing electronica with indie they have come up with songs to relax you and make you dance. Essential Tracks – Bee’s Bein’ Strugglin’, Mmaj, Ghost Moves

MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
They certainly have had a massive year and rightly so. These electro-pop stars have reached levels of ubiquity that only X-factor winners seem to get, only they have talent and if they do a cover version they wouldn’t butcher it and ruin everyone’s Christmas! Essential Tracks – Kids, Time to Pretend, Of Moons, Birds and Monsters, Electric Feel

and now the best of the rest –
Ladyhawke – Ladyhawke
Boys Noize – A Bugged Out Mix
Soulwax – Part of the Weekend Never Dies
A-Trak – Say Whoa
Land of Talk – Some Are Lakes
Sebastian – Remixes
Jenny Lewis – Acid Tongue
School of Seven Bells – Alpinisms
The Grates – Teeth Lost, Hearts Won
Cold War Kids – Loyalty to Loyalty
Cut Copy – In Ghost Colours
Death Cab for Cutie – Narrow Stairs
Utah Saints – Finger Lickin’ 3
Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid
In Flagranti – Business Acumen

Sunday, 21 December 2008

The Day The Earth Didn't Quite Stand Still!

Directed by: Scott Derrickson
Written by: David Scarpa and
Edmund H. North
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly,
Jaden Smith, John Cleese

The Day The Earth Stood Still is a remake of the 1951 sci-fi film of the same name. The current film starts with a large orb like egg that lands on the earth in New York. Out pops an alien called Klaatu (Keanu Reeves) and a giant robot called Gort (No man in a suit this time just CGI). Klaatu has come to the earth to negotiate with the world leaders about saving the planet from global warming. Things don’t go to plan (When do they ever go to plan in films!) and Klaatu is taken hostage by the U.S Military. He escapes with the help of Dr. Helen Benson (Jennifer Connelly) and the two of them along with Helen’s son Jacob (Jaden Smith) go on a journey that tests the limit of life itself. During this time Klaatu has set about the destruction of the human race, but slowly learns about humanities greatest features!

The main substantial differences between the original and the remake is the eras the two films were made in. The original was made right after the Second World War with the main message and reason for Klaatu’s arrival being peace to earth or be destroyed. Because the rest of the universe felt threatened by humanity. The remake however is about global warming and are fears and anxieties towards it. Klaatu has come to earth to help humanity to stop the destruction of the planet otherwise humanity will be purged from existence. This shows sci-fi doing what it does best and that is reflecting on the society from the era that it was made.
The entirety of the film though is spent on trying to persuade Klaatu not to destroy humanity because we are worthy of being saved. Saved because of humanities ability to love. The broken mother and son relationship between Helen and Jacob plays a significant role. Jacob plays an even bigger role as he single handily represents humanity and its violence towards the unknown.

There is only one actor who could play Klaatu and that had to have been Keanu Reeves. With his deadpan emotionless acting he becomes a very believable alien. Maybe he is an alien? Who knows! The film offers some spectacular special effects, watching an entire football stadium disintegrate was incredible. But apart from that TDTESS offers little in the way of action or even suspense to become an edge of your seat thriller or fully blown action blockbuster.
You think well is it not ignorant of us to make a film about how great humanity is, while forgetting about famine, poverty, war, greed as long as we love and love life everything will be fine. The film offers us answers to questions we already know and should know or have we really forgotten and need reminding? The choice once again, is yours.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

A Middle Boop Film Review! Eagle Vs Shark

Directed by: Taika Waititi
Written by: Loren Horsley and Taika Waititi
Starring: Jemaine Clement, Loren Horsley

Lilly (Loren Horsley) an innocent, naive, quiet, shy, fragile, miss-fit with a monotone voice and a bad slouch who works a fast food restaurant called Meaty Boy. She becomes fixated with Jarrod (Jemaine Clement, best known from The Flight of The Conchords) an arrogant, selfish, social reject, geek who works in a video games store. Jarrod’s true passion is for video games and being the champion at a fighting game, along with an obsession to beat up his old high school bully. He arrogantly neglects Lilly and even uses her and her brother’s car to get home so he can finally duke it out with his nemesis.

(Monotone voice)
“Hello I’m Lilly welcome to meaty boy please may I take your order? Could I interest you in the crazy burger? Its meat, then its bread, then its more meat, its like an inside out burger!”

Like the burger, Eagle Vs Shark is an inside out rom-com from New Zealand, which is currently available to buy on DVD. It is very different to many Hollywood rom-coms occupied with glamorous good-looking a-list actors and fairy tale storylines. And for some reason there’s always a token British actor abusing his British accent and gentlemanly charm. I’m pointing my fingers straight at Hugh Grant and Jude Law! (For now anyway) Moving away from clichéd-stereotyped rom-coms, EVS has flawed and ugly characters. Characters that also stay ugly right through the film without any last gasp makeovers turning our ugly ducklings into swans, while meeting the expectations of our cultures obsession with youth, fame and beauty.
Lilly and Jarrod have a sense of immaturity within their performances relating their attitudes to teenagers, which heighten their social difficulties. This in turn causes a lot of embarrassing and awkward moments. These moments fuel the films comedic elements creating a fair few laughs along the way. A good example would be the party scene followed by the sex scene. Jarrod hosts an animal fancy dress party, which turns out to be a complete shambles (the party of nightmares if you were hosting that is). Here is where the film gets its title; Lilly is dressed as a shark and Jarrod as a…? Well the eagle, sorry for stating the obvious! This turns into a good example of their awkward nature towards any form of relationship as they begin to get close to one another for the first time. Jarrod and Lilly are lying on the bed kissing, they stop, awkward silence, Jarrod “Would you like to have sex?” Pause another awkward silence. Lilly then responds in her monotone voice “Urgh…yeah.” What follows is so quick Lilly doesn’t even take off her shark costume!
As we watch the film a stop motion animation weaves its way throughout the narrative. It is about an apple that Lilly eats and a rotten apple that Jarrod throws away. Both the rotten and the eaten apple represent the two characters and their journeys through life and their relationships. A perfect reflection and representation of the films themes and characters being outsiders, a visual aid as you will, if people like to look into things with great detail.

Eagle Vs Shark trots along at a steady pace taking you on an entertaining and rewarding journey that builds up to a hilarious conclusion. The actor’s performances really help the films enjoyment. Fans of Flight of The Conchords will love Jemaine who really excels as the geek Jarrod and Loren really is very dull as Lilly! A film full of awkward and embarrassing moments that delight with laughs directed at the characters rather than with them. Reminding us of how hard it really is to being sociable! Or thank god we’re not that socially retarded! The choice is yours.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Te' - Naraba, Imi Kara Kaihou Sareta Hibiki Ha "Oto" No Sekai No Shinen Wo Kataru.

Ok so this album has been out over a year now but I don't think anyone in this country has ever given Te' the credit where it is most certainly due. A four piece hailing from Japan, they remind me of a more upbeat, less electronic 65daysofstatic. Their second album, Naraba, Imi Kara Kaihou Sareta Hibiki Ha "Oto" No Sekai No Shinen Wo Kataru. Meaning 'If that is what is being thought, liberated sound talks the depth of "musical" world. ' is without a doubt a grower, with the electrifying opener literally grabbing the listener by the balls and not letting go until the final track.
For a four piece they make quite a noise.
There is an ever growing 'Post Rock' scene over in Japan and with bands like Mono, Envy and Worlds End Girlfriend enjoying reasonable success and gaining recognition over here, Te' really should not be far behind.
If you can find a copy of this album anywhere this neck of the woods its worth checking out.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Dent May and his Magnificent Ukulele - One to watch for 2009

Dent May is one of those guys who's life totally revolves around music. Growing up in Jackson Mississippi he spent his early days singing in church choir's and performing with a recorder choir at Nursing Homes and has continued writing in various bands throughout his life. With his sound harking back to that of early 19th century swing ( think the ball at the end of Back to the Future,) it has this charm about it, a sort of charm I really haven't heard since Eels were in their heyday. Its just such a nostalgic, likable sound. He was found by members of Animal Collective when they were recording their new album in Oxford, Mississippi earlier this year, they signed him to their label and neither band has looked back since.
His first album 'The Good Feeling Music of Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele' is crammed full of cheery, honest songs. Recorded in a trailer its a raw sound but thats how it should be.

I fully believe that 2009 will be his year, Catch on to the 'Dent maynia' whilst you can.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Brooklyns well hard!

Not the biggest fan of jay Z but i thought id post his new video feat. Santogold: Brooklyn Go Hard. Just a great use of typography by Evan Roth for (RED) wire, the whole video comprises entirely of the letters from the word BROOKLYN and for all you dorks out there you can get the source code and have a go yourself! The track itself is being used as part of RED & the Global Fund to Fight AIDS in Africa, aswell as the New film on Notorious B.I.G. simpley called Notorious

Jay-Z on iLike - Get updates inside iTunes

Justice - A Cross The Universe

Take two Frenchmen, a bunch of video cameras, a 3 week jaunt across America, a gun-toting manager and what do you get? A Cross The Universe, the debut tour documentary and live album by French electro duo Justice. Shot by the band and Romain Gavras (director of D.A.N.C.E. and Stress music videos), the spirit of the film seems to be one of teenagers let loose. Not that I blame them what with the amazing success they’ve had over the last 2 years they deserve to have a little fun and that’s what the film shows the band enjoying the fruits of they’re success. However, this can a bit tiresome there’s only so many times you can listen to the bands manager, Bouchon, go on about the power of guns then cut to Gaspard trying to mount every/any girl in the room. This is all entertaining but it can sometimes feel like they’re bragging about how ‘rock and roll’ they are.
The documentary climaxes with the band and manager being arrested moments after coming off stage after an incident involving Xavier smashing a bottle over a fans head after he tried to attack him. Which is the ideal way to end the film but the energy of the tour and their music is not really captured in the film, the real energy of Justice is left to the live album.

Mogwai Photos

Here are some photos from the legendary Mogwai gig at Hammersmith, supported by Fuck Buttons. Enjoy

Friday, 5 December 2008

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Self Titled

When listening to New York outfit The Pains of Being Pure at Heart I feel happy. The kind of happy you feel when you are ploughing down an open road on a hot summers day on your way to a festival. I find it quite refreshing to listen to a band that can write a decent 3 minute catchy rock song . In fact I’m finding it quite hard to think of any bands in the last year or so that have done that. Their music is nothing new, the jangly guitars reminiscent of early Smiths and there is something that keeps making me think of Ash in their heyday. The stand out track for me is Stay Alive, with the hooks in all the right places. It’s a good one,
Their self titled debut is easy to listen to and is perfect music to cheer you up.

Fujiya & Miyagi - Lightbulbs

In their third installment 'Lightbulbs' Brighton based electronica band Fujiya & Miyagi have really struck gold. From the opener Knickerbocker through to the awesome finisher Hundreds and Thousands, there is not a track that wouldn't make you want to get up and dance like your life depended on it. Their sound is quite minimal the use of synths and guitars can be used sparingly Which is not a bad thing as when they are used they are used well. Other bands such as Simian Mobile Disco, Justice etc lace each track with huge amounts of effects which works well for them but Fujiya & Miyagi do it that bit differently and it sounds great. The lyrics are also something that I found quite interesting, David Best half whispering half singing lines like 'Vanilla, Strawberry, Knickerbocker Glory, I saw the ghost of Lina Zavaroni.' which makes no sense but I seem to have that line in my head all the time.
With electronica having such a massive following at the moment bands like
Fujiya & Miyagi will be around for a while.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Brand Nu and his new book of colours

Internationally renowned designer Brand Nu has done it again. His new book. 'My New Book of Colours' is a fine example as to why he is a cut above the rest at this point in time. Showcasing his commissions from huge corporate brands such as O2 and the National Lottery to experimental pieces and collaborations his unique style has certainly caught the eye of a hugely diverse range of people. The book itself certainly looks the part,with the quality of the print on the cover actually making you want to pick it up and engulf yourself in its contents. With each new page enticing you to turn over to the next, in fact it would almost be a shame when you got to the end if it were not for the final surprise. A shiny gold package containing a cd with tracks carefully picked by the man himself to compliment the book.

Southampton. The town where Brand Nu hails from is covered with his work, it's hard to walk the streets without spotting something he has designed. Whether it be an advert for one of the many trendy clubs or a huge scale print in a restaurant, Brand Nu's unique style of design is hugely sought after which would account for why his first book, entitled 'Splatters, Shapes and Colours' completely sold out.

'My New Book of Colours' is well worth the time of day for any aspirational designer or fan of his work.

If you would like a copy of this fantastic insight the world of Brand Nu check the link below.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Kieran Hebden and Steve Reid - Dingwalls 21/11/08

Dingwalls, a pokey little venue in Camden played host to a musical experiment, two musicians at the top of very different games. one of the most prolific contemporary jazz drummers Steve Reid who's career credits include playing alongside James Brown and Miles Davis and One of the most respected and brilliant dj's in the business Kieran Hebden, better known as Four Tet. The first thing I noticed was the diversity of the crowd, I don't think I have ever seen anything like it, anything from businessmen looking the wrong side of fifty to kids who certainly didn't look old enough to even get away with trying to buy a beer. The first band we saw were Queen of Swords who I had not heard before so I didn't know what to expect and I was impressed, they had an interesting sound.
Both musicians obviously enjoyed playing their music which really showed, their onstage jams were brilliant. The more well known tracks such as 'The Sun Never Sets' and Rhythm Dance' were played in and out of on the spot mixes with frantic changes of pace which, even for the mighty Steve Reid was hard to keep up with. It was one of those shows that the crowd were just bewildered as to what was going on in front of them. It was a really fun show and went all too fast, when they left the stage I was amazed how an hour and a halfs music passed by so quickly. Brilliant.

The Whip - The Scala 19/11/08

The Whip are a band that still to my surprise are reasonably unheard of. Their sound is just right for the trends in the current music scene and with bands like Justice and Late of The Pier becoming so big over the last year that bands such as The Whip and Cut Copy won't be far behind. The Scala was absolutely heaving, rammed full of people of all different ages armed with glowsticks and dancing like hell to every song played, lapping up every minute of the pretty intense gig. Right from the word go the energy of the band and the crowd reflected each other creating a perfect atmosphere for The Whips easily recognizable sound. Their stage presence was also a high point especially for their closing song 'Trash' with the Bass player screaming at the crowd for more and the crowd responding well. With the Whip already making a sizable venue like the Scala look intimate it won't be long before they play and probably sell oout bigger venues.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Arnaud Loumeau. Awesome

This cool artist just added us on Myspace and I thought I would share his talent with everyone who reads the Boop. Check out Arnaud Loumeau, his work is awesome.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Middle Boop at ATP

As a big fan of general All Tomorrows Parties events we all had pretty high hopes for release the bats before it had happened I was a little concerned about the time it finished and the lineup in general. Finishing at one it made it almost impossible for anyone living outside of the circle line to get home without paying stupid amounts for a cab or an arguos journey back on a night bus. We took the latter option taking the best part of three and a half hours to get home also with delays on the way up it meant in total we spent about six hours travelling meaning it would have been easier to drive to Minehead from London. Also starting so early again meant that anyone not living close to Kentish town missed at least one band. After Shellac had finished the venue cleared of all but a few hundred people ready to watch Om who's sludgy lo-fi sound was enough for me to walk out. Don't get me wrong, I like Om but it just wasn't the time.
It was a shame they didn't get someone a little more upbeat to fill that last slot to get the few people left really motivated. The performances of all that we saw were great, first up were Wooden Shjips with their spacey indie-rock going down a treat. Next were Les Savy Fav. A band who always put on a decent show, the highlight was turning round to see the lead singer hanging off of the balcony screaming his lungs out. But of course the highlight were Shellac coming out dressed as a mummy, a vampire and Frankenstiens monster, playing through their hits with intensity.
Lets be honest anyone who has been to an ATP gig knows they know how to put on a good showand it was a good night you can't deny that. I'll just have to befriend someone who lives in Camden next year

Thursday, 13 November 2008

No Age - Nouns

I picked this album up for two reasons. A. I really liked the design and artwork and B. Because they were signed to Sub Pop which, to me is generally a seal of approval. Its definately a grower. On first listen I didn't really get it and wondered why they had such a cult following. No Age's Nouns is the sort of sound you would get if you took a really under produced My Bloody Valentine, stripped them of all but bass guitar and drums and asked them to play something a little more upbeat which bugged me a little. But then I gave them another few listens and actually really started to find something in their sound that I liked. Maybe its the energy they put into their music. Maybe its the fact that they do sound raw which. In the time of being able to produce a reasonably decent sounding record from your bedroom is actually quite refreshing but there is definately something that keeps bringing me back to listen to these guys.

Man Push Cart

Man Push Cart is a film that contrives from the day to day life of a Pakistani immigrant in New York. Symbolising the metaphor for the man who pushes a boulder up a hill only to push it down again. Its a very refreshing and honest change to the general box office smash and certainly does not bow down to any Hollywood storylines. It is very 'back to basics' in the way it has been produced which adds to its charm. The dialogue is a key factor as to why it all works so well as it is very minimalist. It won awards worldwide and deserved it. Well worth a watch.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Oxes at the Luminaire

Oxes are one of those bands that I can honsetly say I have never heard anything quite like. Their sound is loud and brutal but yet fun at the same time. They are all great showmen, with each member including the drummer running around the stage, jumping off of the stage appearing in random places around the venue gives it something special. The sound was brilliant, the Luminaire is the sort of venue that really caters for this sort of sound. They started off with a few old favorites, and continued to plough through their back catalogue stopping midway through songs, jamming and joking with the audience. These guys have a large cult following and that showed by the sell out crowd. These guys are well worth checking out

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Au - Verbs

I discovered these guys yesterday in a dingy record shop somewhere in deepest, darkest Brighton. Their new album Verbs was playing in the shop and it was the first time in a few years that i've actually thought about putting back what I was about to buy in order to get their album instead. The music really caught me in a way that not many bands do and it normally takes a few listens to get it whereas with these guys it was an instant like. There is so much going on its hard to take it all in, played loud its quite overwhelming. Au's huge soundscape is mainly created by the multi talented Luke Wyland. Verbs is a full album, the tracks all flow well into each other. Au already have friends in high places supporting the likes of Fleet Foxes, Beach House and Phosphorescent and I should Imagine you will be hearing a lot more from these guys.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Middle Boop at Mogwai

First of all lets start with the support. Fuck Buttons were a band I have tried to get into for a while now, being ATP approved and such but they never really caught me until the gig. The instruments used vary from samplers and synths to childrens toys and other random objects which really makes for a very unique performance, the live sound was brilliant it really did their music justice it really sent you into a world of your own. I'm not sure the crowd knew whether to dance or cry when watching. I am definately a converted fan. Mogwai lived up to their reputation as pretty much the loudest band around, typing this my ears are still ringing almost a week after. The setlist was very much a fans favorite rather than a best of. Playing B sides, and old favorites such as Cody and Herod. The tracks from the new album went down well especially Batcat which was so loud it was almost uncomfortable to listen. All in all it was one of the best, most intense gigs I have seen in a long time and the after show party wasn't bad either.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

ZINE VOL /// 2

More details soon promise.x

Fake Problems

What you doing Saturday 8th November, nothing right get down southampton, joiners for a sick punk show! with headliners:
Fake Problems - Straight out of flordia think old Against Me!
All or Nothing - Think Set your Goals - pop punk
You Me and the Atom - pompy drunk punk rock at it finest
Chillerton - awesome melodic gruff punk rock
The Cut Ups - sing along punk rock tunes

Monday, 20 October 2008

Friendly Fires ... And Metallica

If you had asked me a few weeks ago what two songs I would be listening to almost non stop. I would have laughed if you had said my time would be spent switching between metal legends Metallica and indie/electro newcomers Friendly Fires. First of all Friendly Fires who for me are the best thing to come out of the recent trend of NME approved bands. Their single Jump in the Pool is catchy, not annoyingly catchy, the sort of catchy that makes you want to play it a few times in a row. Plus its a song that makes me happy when I listen to it. Metallica, a band that I and a reasonable amount of their fans have been inconsistent of late have found that spark again. Teaming up with mr Rick Rubin their latest single The day that never comes is an almost eight minute onslaught of riffs, solos and the odd catchy chorus. I didnt have hugely high hopes for their album but so far so good.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Dope Fiend - Dope Fiend

Dope Fiend are a band filled with tales of booze, birds and barbiturates. This is a track with thumping beat that keeps you moving whether you’re in the bedroom or club it just makes you want to throw air punches and when you put these 2 activities together you don’t half feel manly!
This is a thick slice catchy, danceable and beefy dance music that'll have you singing along in your best Laadon accent in clubs soon. This is a record that can have some kind of mass appeal but you do get the impress that the target audience is the weekend revellers heading down the pub then onto the club no sooner than they have stepped out of the office. But there's nothing wrong with that, if it ain't broke don't fix it. Watch out for this one.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Up Dharma Down

Really really well put together video! We Give In Sometimes - Up Dharma Down

Asian version of incubus?

Lion Rides A Horse!

Last week, a lion rode a horse as part of celebrations to mark National Day, the 59th anniversary of the founding of communist China, I mean why else would a lion ride a horse! fuck sake!

Friday, 3 October 2008

Mixtapes and Cellmates - Mixtapes and Cellmates

Coming from snowy lands of Scandinavia come Mixtapes and Cellmates, think The Concretes but with the beats of Four Tet.
This is quite a spaced out record with plenty of reverb and delay but that is the problem with this album is although these effects has been used effectively and the album moves along nicely it just never seems to go particularly high or low and when it finishes you left a feeling of not being entirely full. It’s a bit like eating gourmet food its good while you’re eating it but after your still feel hungry.
This is good enough first attempt for the band and I’ll be interested to see what they do next but right now I’m still hungry and need something else fill me up until then.

Recommended Listening:
Better Half of Cynical Boys – Mixtapes and Cellmates
In Flagranti – Business Acumen
Padded Cell – Word of Mouth (Glimmers Drunkard Dub)
ZZT – The Worm (Erol Alkan Re-edit)
Cold War Kids – Every Man I Fall For

R.I.P. Oasis

I’m writing this as a life long, die-hard Oasis fan but I feel somehow cheated by them recently. Although they still have the ability to write catchy pop songs the spirit that was Oasis has been replaced with this soulless vacuum of meaningless lyrics and cliché rock ‘n’ roll behaviour.
Take for example their new single ‘Shock of the Lightning’ and the line ‘love is a time machine/up on the silver screen.’ What are they talking about? Is Noel Gallagher confessing a secret love for Greta Garbo? Does he want to take a trip in a Delorian? WHAT!!!
It’s not just them though it’s almost impossible for any ‘band of the people’ to remain relevant and not fall into a cliché ridden pit. The Manic Street Preachers have returned with classic sound reminiscent of the mid-90’s ‘Everything Must Go’ era. I am glad they have returned to this sound but like them all the lyrics have sunk into the pit. The lyrics from the last album are full of political platitudes that lack any kind of anger and passion that existed less than 10 years ago. Arctic Monkeys you have been warned!

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

The Whip - X Marks Destination

This is the first review I have given to a band I have actually thought was bad.
I bought this album on a recommendation (cheers Barry). The album was designed by Village Green of Fabric fame and it looks great. The sound is catchy, there is no question of that but the best songs sound like a really bad Joy Division. Also the lyrics are appauling. This is a very popular sound at the moment and to be fair they do sound better than a lot on the scene but I was left feeling like I would have rather spent that tenner on Cut Copy or Late of the Pier's album

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Mogwai Mogwai Mogwai

In preperation for Mogwai's imminant release of their sixth studio album they have released a mini ep. The first song 'Batcat,' which is also their first single is definately a progression from some of the heavier tracks off of the last album Mr Beast. Its very stripped down compared to their usual style and has reminance of bands like Pelican and Isis, the main riffs are literally brutal.
The other two tracks stay similar to their usual formula. The amusingly titled
'Stupid Prick Gets Chased By The Police And Loses His Slut Girlfriend.' Sounds just as breathtaking as fans have become used to and the last track devil rides incorporates the styalised vocals of Roky Erikson of the 13th Floor Elevators which
really compliments the track. If their album is as good as the ep it will be another benchmark.

The future is... NAWLZ

Nawlz is a new online interactive comic and its brilliant, could it be the future of how comics work? I doubt it but it can work very well along side them. Through the interaction of the site you get to read the story of the comic and it works increabley well from the design, to the illustration even the music. Theres 9 whole chapters there to keep you entertained as well as the mental story line!!!

Alex Wright and his Dripbook is a new online portfolio site for designers photographers and everybody creative. MB was invited to show their portfolio off to the new dripbook world. Alex Wright is the co-creator of dripbook and also one very good photographer. His work revovles around music and fashion but all his photos just look really... kewl check it out:

The one thing with dripbook though is you need a invite so if anyone wants in give us an email

Friday, 19 September 2008

STEAL this album

So while at the Mumford talk I bumbed into an old college buddy, from the band: THE STEAL. If you like your music strong and fast then I cant recommend these guys enough. I thought their first S/t album was brilliant, but they have come back even stronger with the release of their second album Bright Grey! Judge for yourself though as its up on their website for a little pre-release listen also they are playing their album release show on the 24 Sep @ Bacchus Kingston, defiantly a great band to see live.

Dan Mumford ROCKS!!!

So YCN have teamed up with a few artist to produce some talks on screen printing down at the nike pop up store, shorditch. I was lucky enough to have some free time and popped on down.

Dan gave a good insight into processes and techniques of screen printing, which were all very educational. Also on how he got started as an artist and how to get into the industry...'get in with a band and do all their artworks' case a point with dan was the gallows. Check out: for more info and works.

In addition to to the talk he screen printed a limited edition print that is free to pick up down at the store over the next few days (until they're all gone).