Sunday, March 16, 2008

Rough Trade Album Club - March Package

This month's pack was a strong one and so far the best one I received

MGMT - Oracular Spectacular - 9/10
17 Hippies - Heimlich - 9/10
Thao and the get down stay down - We brave Bee Stings and all - 9/10

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

New Band : The Lemurs

Lemurs, a band so cool that probably their audience dies of hypothermia everytime they play a gig and who can blame them. Awesome licks, big big songs and yet with a nervy energy which anchors the whole thing into reality. This is head shaking stuff!

if you visualise Lemurs music it would have to be a car bolting down a highway, it wont break the sound barrier but it will definitly bring the cops on your tail!

There are 5 tracks on their myspace site and each one is a winner.They practically scream TUNE and I've been freaking out for the past few days ever since I came upon their page.

and now it's your turn

Thursday, March 6, 2008

New Band : Official Secrets Act

Urgency. The trick to making a song work. Trust me Official Secrets Act play each tune like their life depended on it. They leap straight into their songs without even breathing or letting you breathe either. Take the first track on their myspace page, 'Snakes and Ladders' guitars blur together, the bass cascades over the whole tune and the singer's rapid fire delivery makes you want to break free.

Second track 'The Girl From the BBC' is slower but that doesn't mean it's lacking in energy. By the time you get to the do do do's and the harmonic backing vocals you're noticing that you jaw is brushing the keyboard with amazement. Did I mention that the chorus soars??

The other tracks are a demo and live recording, which show promise, but it's the first two tracks that seal Official Secrets Act's bright future.

you've read my blathering, now listen

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Book Review : Nico : Songs they never play on the Radio - James Young

If there is one thing I can't stand is when a biography elevates a rockstar to a God like status. In reality they are normal people who's eccentricities are documented and the human side left out.

One can imagine my joy when I read James Young's memoir of the time he spent with German chanteuse Nico (he was her keyboardist for the Camera Obscura tour) during the last six years of her life. Gritty, realistic and entertaining from beginning to end, Young grabs into the story from the start of his torrid journey. Along the way Gegory Corso, Allen Ginsberg and John Cale are dragged along as well.

What is interesting is that Young does not mince his words and tells the tale as it is. Here Nico is not a beautiful ice maiden but a hopless junkie, whose habit is destroying her career and personality, not to mention her sense of hygiene.

As the band travel around Europe they attract a great number of junkies, thieves, gypsies, exotic women, sexually frustrated managers, Deranged American poets, power hungry Welshmen and yes they play the odd gig and tv appearance.

Despite the fact that the same things do happen, Young never descends into repetativness as his writing style is too flowing to let that happen. He has a knack for describing a situation no matter impossible it is and manages to get a laugh out of the reader.

He is a fair writer as well. Although Nico is seen as a dragin he does point out that she was transformed into one by heroin as the chapters on the last her of her life ( when she was clean) depict her as an easy going, calm person in chrage of her career.

Thankfully Young does not devote chapters on Nico's unfortunate end but mentions it casually and respectfully.

As memoirs go Nico Songs... is up there with the best biographies. A must read.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Album Review - Bonde Do Role - With Lasers (Domino)

Bonde Do Role – With Lasers

Let’s get this straight Bonde do Role are NOT the new CSS or old CSS or have ANYTHING to do with CSS. Ok both hail form Brazil, have female lead singers and have a tacky/ironic image but that’s where the comparison ends.
Instead BDR are the new Fatboy Slim.
Hear me out here. It will make sense.
Like the big beat maestro , BDR are nothing but fun, in it’s most hedonistic sense. In fact the sillier the better and as their debut albums proceeds, the party just doesn’t and refuses to stop. In fact these guy’s songs are probably the dumbest I have ever heard in my petty existence but as they say you have to be pretty clever in order to pull something off like this.
One thing which is on their side is brevity. The album is short and thank goodness for that. If I had to endure an hour of this I would go insane but 30 mins is fine and funky.
Language is another thing I respect this band for greatly, unlike CSS , BDR ( gawd these acronyms) sing entirely in Portuguese and thus spared a feeble attempt of a singer belting out songs in a language they’d feel uncomfortable with.
The third is that all the producers here (the most recognizable, at least over in this part of the world being Brazilophile Diplo) pull off every single cliché and trick in the book of dance music. Huge fat beats, phased vocals, cheesy Van Halen guitars and obligatory female groaning.
But then where in any album would you find a kazoo ( on the stunning Geremia) featuring prominently or bucket loads of Baille funk? ( everywhere) so for every known move about three others pop up. This band get the party started on any night.

Unfortunately with an album as fun as this a short life may ensue, but let it be known this is the OFFICIAL summer album of 2007 and hopefully if the band don’t mature there will be plenty more fun summers to come.