Monday, January 31, 2011

N-E-W: Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes! Welcome back, lovely to see you again.

This is the title track from the upcoming May 3rd release.

Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues by subpop

Sunday, January 30, 2011

London Band of the Week no. 2: The Veils

This band aren't new. They're not London born and bred either. But they're new to me, and many of you too I can imagine. While not household names they have spent most of their career signed to Rough Trade Records. They have just released their first recordings since leaving the label, with an E.P called Troubles Of The Brain.

Finn Andrews is from New Zealand, based in London and is the man behind this band, working with a changing group of musicians. You can get the whole story on wikipedia.

The E.P is beautiful. It's confident, driving and haunting. Simply acoustic at times, at others building, swirling in a celebratory manner.

I try and avoid comparisons but I'm getting bits of Arcade Fire, but not anything that would put you off. Organic, brash instrumentation I suppose. Good music anyway. See what you think.

Bloom - The Veils by drownedinsound

Saturday, January 29, 2011

N-E-W: Real Estate

Real Estate posted this new track to their blog yesterday. It's got a summers evening feel to it. Instrumental, and a demo, but a nice indication of what's to come one hopes.

Seeing them live last year was an incredibly relaxing experience.

Real Estate - Blue Lebaron by Real Estate

Dancefloor Magic Vol. 11

Dancefloor Magic took a little break over Christmas, but is now back with a vengeance. Vengeful of whom I'm not sure though. Maybe not a vengeance after all, maybe back with a pair of dancing shoes and a tasty cocktail in hand. Here goes. Three tracks to get you in the mood for the weekends escapades and adventures.

Red Astaire - Mambo El B-Boy

Naughty By Nature - O.P.P

Justice - D.A.N.C.E (Eli & Diplo Remix)

N-E-W: Beardyman

Mouth music master Beardyman is ready to release his debut album, I Done A Album.

Beardyman is a beat boxer, and then some. Think Michael Winslow (from Police Academy) with a box of samplers, DJ gear, blips, beeps and looping pedals.

If you can, go see him live. He's amazing. And he can sing.

Here's an album sampler, mixed by former DMC Scratch champion DMC, who we featured a few months ago scratching the shit out of Killing In The Name.

I Done A Album is out March 21st.

Beardyman 'I Done A Album' sampler minimix (mixed by JFB) by Beardyman

N-E-W: Sacred Animals

I'm playing catchup here but better late than never to the Sacred Animals party. This mysterious Wexford man released this debut E.P back in August. Nialler9 hit the nail on the head saying it sounds like Radiohead & Bon Iver without sounding too much like either, while State said the exact same thing, pretty much word for word, so I don't feel bad plagiarising their reviews. Creepy sounds, beautiful voice, strangely comforting. Listen and decide for yourselves. For me, best Irish music I've heard in a while. Scrap that, best band I've heard all week.

Wired, Islands by sacredanimals

Welcome Home by sacredanimals

Friday, January 28, 2011

...future superstar

Goodness me, this is adorable.

N-E-W: Zombie Girlfriend

Nicked this one off The 405 (great read btw) ...nothing out of the ordinary for this blog, reverbious, lo-fi, smudged guitar sounds. Nothing lo-fi about their approach to releasing music however, soundcloud of course, and free album on bandcamp.

And they're from Hungary, not a country whose music scene I'd be particularly well acquainted with. But it's a start. Enjoy!

Zombie Girlfriend - Sugovica Surfers by Zombie Girlfriend

Arbutus Yarns. Villagers, Janelle Monae, Donal Dineen and loads more

Myles O Reilly runs Arbutus Yarns, a filming company that has documented some of the better Irish and international music moments in Ireland over the past two years, especially in the more roots, folk, interesting side of things.

Myles and Steven Mogerly filmed what I hear was an incredible gig, by Villagers back in early December. Watch it. All of it.

It's only a matter of time before Myles and co. get snapped up to film anything and everything music related. They do it so well. Here are a few of my favourite videos, the Picnic ones especially. For the rest go to

Jaguar Skillz, 30 years of Hip-Hop

Would you like an introduction to Hip-Hop?

I've had a mental block on Jaguar Skillz since seeing him at Electric Picnic a few years ago, because Louise, the friend I went along with raved about it so much that my "it wasn't THAT good" comments turned into complete hatred altogether. Turn's out I was wrong. Jaguar Skillz is bananas good. So hit play, have a listen, and read Louises blog, she tends to be right about stuff.

Tracklist after the jump.

Jaguar Skills Presents The History Of Hip-Hop by Jaguar Skills

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Calling London # 5 with 27 Leggies

An old feature is making a comeback. When I first moved to London I contacted a few bands, shops and writers about the best of London, both for me and anyone who ever wants to come visit this fine city. First off is Ernie from 27 Leggies, a blog that puts my notion of musical diversity to shame. It really is a wonderful education in, for want of a better phrase, World Music. And not in an "Pan Pipes in Ambient Moods" C.D in the Health Food Shop kind of way. For example, listen to this track that was posted yesterday:

Next time I go to watch another Velvet Underground documentary, I'm gonna head this way instead. Mindblowing stuff! So anyway, I asked Ernie a few questions about London.

-Favourite Venue?

I am on the look-out for a new one. Until recently I would have said The Luminaire in Kilburn but that has sadly closed down. The runner-up would have been What's Cookin' in Leytonstone, but they have scaled back and now only have one gig a month. They are still worth checking out though, and the venue - The North Star pub - is worth a visit any time if you in the area.

A handy hint in these hard-up times is to keep an eye out for free gigs in the foyers at The Southbank and The Barbican. They have some surprisingly good acts sometimes.

-Best thing about music in London?

The sheer variety.

-Any downsides?

I'm sure you will have heard this one before, but the idiots that insist on holding loud conversations throughout the entire gig. If they want to chat, why don't they just go to a bar and save themselves some money and everyone else the earache? It may just be me getting old but it definitely seems to be getting worse. I blame Twitter. I'm not sure why, but I do.

-Recommend a record store:

These days I tend to buy most of my music online or an overseas visits. In London I tend to visit second-hand and charity shops, the fun being that you never know what you'll find. A couple of favourites are the Oxfam Shop in Crouch End, which usually has a decent selection of promo CDs going for £1 each, and the basement of the Music & Video Exchange in Berwick Street, which always has some weird and wonderful bargains. Sadly Daddy Cool Records, the reggae specialists that used to be across the road from them, closed a few years ago - now that was a proper record shop.

My local record shop is Rough Trade East - which isn't a bad one to have, although the prices compared to buying things online mean I don't tend to spend a lot when I go in.

-Where's best to find out what's going on?

Songkick has been an absolute blessing. It has greatly reduced the number of times I have only found out a favourite artist is playing in London a week after it has happened. For example, without it I would never have found out that Mike Heron of the Incredible String Band - a personal hero and someone I have wanted to see for years - was playing at the Cafe Oto in Dalston. That was one of my musicall highlights of 2010.

Here's one of my favourite discoveries from the blog.

The Moon People - Hippy, Skippy Moon Strut

N-E-W: Cut Copy (Mylo Remix), Holy Ghost! & Go! Team

My goodness, how have I only heard this now? Mylo remixing a track from Cut Copy's superb new album Zonoscope. Very little electronic music has impressed me of late. I'm not a massive electronic music fan. I like something between minimal techno and those sickening sugary sleek electrostep mashups you see lying about the blog world.

This hits the spot, enough fun blips and bleeps to allow me to imagine it's "out there", a massive slow stomping beat and natural, organic production. That last one I can't explain, it just makes sense in my head. You know what I mean?

CUT COPY - Take Me Over (Mylo remix) by label Barclay

For Galway folk, Heineken Music have struck gold again. My hometown hits the jackpot, bagging Holy Ghost! and Cut Copy on March 4th, with the magical Go! Team on March 3rd, all in the Black Box, all free, just register here

Speaking of Holy Ghost! here is their new single Do It Again. 2011 a good year for dance music? Fingers crossed.

Holy Ghost - Do It Again by DFA Records

And while we're at it, let's call this a plug for the gig. Not that Heineken need the publicity but it's great for Galway, what with all of the closures over the past while. So to top all of that off, new from Go! Team (...I'll have posted the whole fecking album by the time it's out at this rate)

Go! Team - Voice Yr Choice

N-E-W: Hunx & His Punx

A classic teen love story gets a remake of sorts for a modern age. Hunx takes his usual filth rock sound and turns his attention on a 50's High School theme in music and story. Winner all round. Hard to believe they still haven't released a debut album. It's on the way and is called Too Young To Be In Love.

Hunx & His Punx - Lovers Lane

N-E-W: Bright Eyes

First listen: Synths were off-putting and unnecessary.
Second listen: I've accepted that I'm a synth fascist and need to get over it. Yup, it's a whopping good song from Mr. Oberst.

His new "rockier" album, The People's Key is due out in February.

Bright Eyes - Shell Games by Pretty Much Amazing

N-E-W: Dog Is Dead & Theme Tune Boy

I'm getting a Foals/Fleet Foxes vibe off this track! All a good thing of course, as it does stand on it's own two musical feet as a fine song indeed. The band are called Dog Is Dead and expect to hear lots more about them. Radio 1 are on the case, as are the people behind the new series of Skins ...which I'd know nothing about cos I'm old now and not allowed to watch it anymore.

This is the video for their new single. Catch them at the following places on the following dates:

January 27th - London, Old Queens Head
February 3rd - Leeds, Brudenell w/ Sketches
March 4th - Darlington, Seen
March 5th - Nottingham, Rescue Rooms

Theme Tune Boy came to my attention a few months back and I've finally sat down to give him a good listen. I'm enjoying the local accent, frantic drumming, punk rock fun times, and good stories. Great to see good music coming out of Limerick! I hope this isn't taken badly, but the vocals do have a bang of Saw Doctors off them, but as the Docs seem to be the only Irish band outside Dublin that sing in their own regional drawl you'll have that.

Here are his most recent E.P's:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

N-E-W: Mylo Mini Mix

Mylo. 141 songs in 5 minutes. I don't know what this is. It's a mess really, an interesting mess.

Mylo R1 Minimix Jan 2011 by mylo

N-E-W: Teen Daze remixes Toro Y Moi

Rocking my world at the moment:

Gorgeous, eerie take remix from the wonderful Teen Daze who has recently been popping up with all sorts of lovely sounds.

Toro Y Moi of course behind the original which we covered here on the blog last month. Underneath The Pine is due out February 22nd.

Toro Y Moi - Still Sound (Teen Daze Remix) by teendaze

Monday, January 24, 2011

London Band of the Week: Moon Visionaries

New feature. I live in London now. I'm gonna get to know my new home. So I've mailed a bunch of bloggers asking them about music in London and they've gotten back to me with oodles of knowledge. I'll be posting one a week. I hope this doesn't put non-Londoners off, just move onto the next thing but know that it's all here should you ever want to visit, and I recommend that you do.

Along with this I'll be running an occasional thing about London gigs and once a week, something about a new London band. Find the latest happenings in the London tab just up there near the top, see? Ok, let's get this going.

This band are called Moon Visionaries. I first heard them this evening and was hoping I'd caught me something secret. Not on your nanny, this talented foursome have been spotted by Steve Lamacq, NME and Q Magazine.

I'm flying back to London tomorrow after an extended Christmas break in Ireland, it's gotten me in the mood!

Moon Visionaries - Special Is You by moonvisionaries

Check them out live in Proud, Camden for free on January 30th.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

N-E-W (& Live): Cold War Kids, The Phantom Band, Jeff The Brotherhood and Best Coast

Quickly quickly. New Cold War Kids. Can't mess with this, standard stuff from a reliably good rock band. Mine Is Yours is out this Monday.

Cold War Kids - Louder Than Ever by shockentertainment

Glasgow's The Phantom Band weren't familiar to me until I spotted them listed to play in Galway tomorrow night. Assuming there is an abundance of cash hiding at the bottom of the couch, I'll be heading along. This absolutely sublime track is from their most recent album The Wants. Gig is in Roisin Dubh, support is from Lost Chord, tickets are €14 and are availabe here

The Phantom Band - Everybody Knows It's True by rocketpr

Some new Best Coast & Jeff The Brotherhood. Volcom Records, part of the clothing company have released VEVC 0020 with this awesome pairing. I mentioned a JTB show last week in London. They're also playing in Galway, next Thursday, and it's free in! Roisin Dubh, 9 p.m. Do it!

Jeff the Brotherhood-Bummer by VolcomEnt

Best Coast-Sunny Adventure by VolcomEnt


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I love Lego

I've taken a break from listening a bomb of new albums (which I'll be blogging about later) to watch this. I only ever post about non-music related things if they are very very important.

I've neglected Lego for far too long. Time to put that right again.

AFOL A Blocumentary from AFOL on Vimeo.

Monday, January 17, 2011

N-E-W: Retarded Cop

Here is some beautiful poetry about the day to day struggle of being broke. It's taking up where Scary Eire left off back in the 90's with Dole Q.

Retarded Cop was featured as part of the Music Alliance Pact last month representing Ireland, picked by Nialler9 who has been waxing lyrical for a time about R.C's 2xm alter ego Gaz Le Rock.

This is clever, banging pop punk in the best way possible.

Retarded Cop - Copvan

Saturday, January 15, 2011

N-E-W: Squarehead cover (-_-) by Ad Shank!

Ch-ch-check it out. Quarter Inch Collective are an Irish label who release cassettes and write a blog. They are to release a compilation featuring 13 Irish bands covering their favourite songs of the year. More details on this release will be revealed soon. Exciting stuff. For the moment here the band behind Nialler9's track of the year, Squarehead covering the wonderful by the wonderful Adebisi Shank. To hear the original and the entire album I will refer you to a post I wrote about the Choice Music Prize a few days ago.

Squarehead - (-_-) (Adebisi Shank Cover) by Quarter Inch Collective

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dubstep Parrot

As well you know this is a serious blog concerned with furthering our understanding of music.

Live: The Certain Three Tour (The Ambience Affair, Windings, We Cut Corners) Jeff The Brotherhood in Brixton

Yesterday I posted about a London gig that I can't go to. Today I'm posting about a gig I'm actually going to. It's The Certain Three tour and it's hitting the Roisin Dubh, Galway TONIGHT!

Who are the certain three then?

This is The Ambience Affairs new single. If these guys don't get noticed to a significant degree in 2011 I know fuck all about music and will be taking up a good pensionable job in the private sector and shutting my mouth once and for all.

We Cut Corners have gone from being one of those pretty good Irish bands to one of those excellent bands full stop.

And Windings, the current musical outlet of Steve from now-defunt Limerick rock legends giveamanakick released an album back in October. I wasn't massively impressed last time I saw them live but I can only wait and see what they're like tonight.

Here are the rest of the dates:

14th January 2011- The Workmans Club, Dublin
15th January 2011 – The Spirit Store, Dundalk
20th January 2011 – The Pavilion, Cork
22nd January 20111 – Gonzo Theatre, Cavan
28th January 2011 – De Barras, Clonakilty, Co. Cork
29th January 2011 – Dolans, Limerick

Also, the bloody brilliant Jeff The Brotherhood are playing tonight in The Windmill Brixton.

Jeff The Brotherhood - U Got The Look

...also playing are Dignan Porch who are a new one for me and New Year's Evil who I posted about back in November.

Also, I'm aware that many of the readers live neither in Galway, nor London. I hope I'm not alienating people. What you need to do is take these posts as a list of three or four excellent bands that I would be focusing on anyway, but they just happen to be playing together, which is a nice coincidence for me in that I can tie them all in together on the blog. Good bands, PLUS!!! ...a gig for people who can make it!

Choice Music Prize 2010

Yesterday the nominations for the Choice Music Irish album of the year 2010 were released. This will be the sixth year the prize has been given to the best album, judged by a batch of industry representatives, with a new 12 each year. Here are the nominations.

Adebisi Shank - This Is The Second Album By A Band Called Adebisi Shank (The Richter Collective)

The Cast Of Cheers - Chariot (Self Released)

The Cast of Cheers - Chariot by Richter Collective

Cathy Davey - the Nameless (Hammer Toe Records)

Fight Likes Apes - The Body Of Christ and The Legs of Tina Turner (Model Citizen)

Halves - It Goes, It Goes (Forever & Ever) (Hate Is The Enemy)

I Raise Bears (featuring Katie Kim) edit by halves

Imelda May - Mayhem (Universal)

Imelda May - Mayhem by charmfactory

James Vincent McMorrow - Early In The Morning (Burning Rope)

AaRON - Seeds of gold (live @ Casino de Paris, Paris - 15-12-2010) from Soul Kitchen on Vimeo.

O Emperor - Hither Tither (Universal)

O Emperor - Sedalia by DamianChennells

Two Door Cinema Club - Tourist History (Kitsune)

Something Good Can Work by Two Door Cinema Club

Villagers - Becoming A Jackal (Domino)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Live: a proper post-rock knees up ... Talons, Alright The Captain & Dead Red Sun

Calling London! Great gig on tomorrow night (January 13th) with two bands I heard recently supporting a band that are new to me. It's a Sweet Beans and Cinematic Music Blog Promotion on in Vibe Bar on Brick Lane.

Dead Red Sun are a New Cross three piece and from what I've heard so far are flipping excellent. This is a photo of them playing a gig in someone's kitchen. Goodness me.

Facility by Dead Red Sun

Alright The Captain started following me on twitter (and so should you) last week, so I had a listen. Then, proud as punch for discovering a new band all by myself, I posted it on facebook ...but of course my mate who lives down the road had seen them play someones kitchen in Dublin. What is it with these bands and kitchens? Again, goodness me. Musically, it's rabid, frantic madness, over driven guitars behind lovely clean lines and tasty bass riffs. Above is what their debut album cover is going to look like when it's released on the 7th of next month. Listen to their blistering debut E.P and the excellent A Cheery Wave From Stranded Youngsters, An Instrumental/Post Rock Compilation here.

Alright The Captain - Honey Badger

Headlining are instrumental-epic-with-a-flipping-violin-too band Talons. Bloody heavy at times, with oodles of guitar noodling and mind blowing musicianship. Wonderful stuff. This is a photo of their van that I nicked from their myspace. (Proving that it's not completely useless just yet ...myspace I mean, not the van). Of course at this stage there really is very little need to visit that silly website, especially when you can head a band as good as this' entire album on Soundcloud

Talons - Hollow Realm by bsmrocks

...also also (terribly sorry), Mom's House Dad's House are playing too! Will write about them again, must be away now to bed, up early making radio jingles all this week!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

N-E-W: Adele (with Jamie XX Remix)

I finally heard the new Adele track this morning. I heard the Jamie XX remix a few days ago. It's wonderful. But hearing the original on the radio got me excited. Great song. Amazing voice. Can't fault sweet darn all. An instant classic. It goes on release this Sunday.

Adele - Rolling In The Deep

Adele - Rolling In The Deep (Jamie XX Remix)

ADELE - Rolling In The Deep - In Studio from DUKOFF on Vimeo.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

N-E-W: Tor, Edelweiss & Honeydrum

Tor makes my kind of music. Atmospheric, melodic hip-hop inspired stuff. There's an album on the way in a few months, I'll let you know more then!

Tor - Aperture

I picked this band up today on the excellent Listen Before You Buy blog. And while I must stress that I would post this band regardless of thoroughly interesting facts about them. But I also must point out that these guys are aged between 14 and 17. It baffles me that teenagers can be this talented and this cool. My teenage years involved terrible hair, being annoying and liking grunge. (I now have uninteresting hair, am better at keeping quiet and like music that influenced grunge). This is tight, intelligent, emotive indie rock at its finest. Buy the debut single now on bandcamp.

Edelweiss - (NO) by ListenBeforeYouBuy

Edelweiss - Fiasco by ListenBeforeYouBuy

Honeydrum are from New Brunswick in New Jersey. They have a wonderfully charming warm lo-fi sounds. They will be bringing a new cassette out each month. Regular music ahoy! Here's a track, a video and a bandcamp page full of free tunes

Honeydrum - Romper Stomper

Don't Worry About Boys - Honeydrum from Joseph Black on Vimeo.

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N-E-W: Villagers cover Neil Young for Mojo Magazine

Regular readers may know the story. Villagers can do no wrong in my eyes. I fell in love over the early gigs, loved the E.P, album and generally have been keeping clued in as to what Conor J O' Brien and his band of village people are getting up to. I aim to be fair and impartial on the blog, and not to overindulge any bands or artists in particular but, well, not this time. Mojo Magazine have, for their current issue, brought a host of acts in to re-visit Young's classic Harvest. I don't buy music magazines but I'll be grabbing this one lively. On top of Villagers we have Phosphorescent, Smoke Fairies and loads more. Here's the whole spiel in video format:

Villagers - Old Man (Neil Young cover)

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N-E-W: Sic Alps, Monotonix & British Sea Power

Here's some recently released jolly good music.

Sic Alps are set to release Napa Asylum on January 25th on Drag City. This track is messy as hell it should be.

Sic Alps - Do you Want To Give $$

On the same day, on the same label, most ludicrous live band in the world, Monotonix will be releasing Not Yet. Expect a filth blues roll in the hay from guys that look like the other members of the prog band your dad was in in the 70's.

Monotonix - Before I Pass Away

I get the feeling British Sea Power are heading for dizzying heights of the big sounding epic rock stratosphere. Not where U2 live. More up with Elbow and Arcade Fire. My initial listen to Valhalla Dancehall (supposedly out today) has put me in a magical mood.

British Sea Power - Who's In Control

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Saturday, January 8, 2011

How to play guitar properly

You spend hours debating which Strokes album is better. And then you see this and it doesn't matter any more.

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Friday, January 7, 2011

N-E-W: Vessels video

Ok, I'm back at it. Took a nice break there but I'm back in business.

Watch this video and listen to this band, they're bloody brilliant. Check them out all over the UK (dates here) and on the 25th of February in the Workman's Club in Dublin.

Vessels - The Trap live at Abbey Lodge from Vessels Band on Vimeo.

Check out their new single, Meatman, I posted it here a few weeks back. It's from their second album Helioscope which is out now.

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