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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Remix Wednesday: She Wolf


This week's remix comes courtesy of 'my-hips don't-lie' Shakira, and Calvin 'that-bloke-what-was-born-in-the-80's' Harris. 'She Wolf', Shakira's latest wacky dance offering, has been all jazzed up by Harris, and it's sounding pretty awesome. I must admit, I'm not a huge Calvin Harris fan (Goldie Lookin' Chain calling him a wanker at V Festival got a good cheer as well), but this is pretty damn good.
Also, a Fun Fact for you: Shakira has won 10 Grammys. Who knew?
Get your dancing shoes on, and check out 'She Wolf' below:
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What We Will Miss Out on At... FunFunFunFest



I thought, festival-season wise, that once V Festival was done I'd be through the worst. I was wrong. They've just announced the line-up for FFFFest, and it's fairly immense.
Taking place in Austin Texas on the 7-8 November, FFFFest is welcoming some formidable acts for it's fourth year, including:

Atlas Sound
Cool Kids
Crystal Castles
Destroyer
Health
Of Montreal
This Will Destroy You

Pretty sweet, no? Also, for the first fortnight of sale, you buy a weekend pass for the meagre sum of $67.50- it's a steal! If flying to America didn't cost a bomb, I would so be there.

However, there is some good new on the horizon: I'm going to a festival!!!
Ok, so it's not like a proper festival, but Norbury Fest looks like it's going to be awesome. If you haven't heard of it, it's because it's based in the English countryside and is happening in my friends garden. It's legit, though. If you have any idea where Norbury is (it's in Shropshire- what do you mean you don't know where Shropshire is?), you should come check it on the 6th September. It's going to be a hoot!

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Song of the Day: Two by Antlers


It's been quite a while since I've an a 'Song of the Day' (mainly because I've been posting more than one song a day), so I thought I'd quickly share with you this little audio gem. The captivating sound of The Antlers has been slowing creeping on the music scene for a while, and have recently been gaining wide recognition for songs such as Two (below). Their album 'Hospice' released in March of this year tells the tale of a man watching a loved one die of cancer. Cheery stuff.
If you like what you hear, they're on tour with Passion Pit as we speak. Check it out:

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Song by Song: 'Humbug' by Arctic Monkeys

Time for another Song by Song, in which I take you through my thoughts upon my first hearing of a new album, so you can pick it up for yourself if it sounds like your cup of tea, or avoid it if it sounds like a big puddle of crap. So much fun it should be illegal.
So, my speakers are turned up, I'm sitting in my comfy chair, and the album's been inserted- let's begin, shall we?

Humbug by the Arctic Monkeys

1. My Propeller
An alright track by anyone's standard, but compared to other Arctic Monkeys' openers ('View from the Afternoon' and 'Brianstorm', for example), this is kind of weak. No brooding minor-key tones or hideously obvious sexual undertones can save you now, I'm afraid- hope this picks up...

2. Crying Lightning
I really do like this song- intriguing lyrics, chant-able chorus, and the way there's something darkly exciting about the whole composition. This song is going to be stuck in my head for the rest of the week now.

3. Dangerous Animals
Ooft, more double entendres? You saucy little primates! Seems like the vibe for this record is going to be 'dark, brooding and ridiculously sexual'- particularly if the S+M-esque lyrics are anything to go by: "Sharpen the heel of your boot, And you press it to my chest and you make me wheeze".

4. Secret Door
Love the eerily tranquil opening. This is a song of contrast for me- the overall sound suggests that the Arctic Monkeys are maturing like a fine cheese, and leaving behind the joyful, carefree days of 'Topshop princesses' and such. But, then the immature lyrics say otherwise. In a word: confused.

5. Potion Approaching
The thing that always slightly puts me off from the Arctic Monkeys is that the vocals and the melody (particularly in the verses) don't quite mesh together, which is evident in this song. However, this is the only song thus far that I've found this with. I like the change of tempo around 2 and a half minutes in as well.

6. Fire and the Thud
This track features guest vocals from Allison Mosshart (The Kills, The Dead Weather), which fits in quite nicely with the spooky vibe goin' on in this song, and the entire album thus far. Not as strong as the other tracks thus far, but it's surprisingly quiet. Are we going to get a song that's comparatively peaceful throughout, and still good? Wait, no, it's got loud. I forgot the Arctic Monkeys can't stay quiet for more than three minutes- they're kind of like hyperactive kids.

7. Cornerstone
Wow- now this I like. The subject's a wee bit creepy (trying to get a girl to effectively become an ex-lover), but it's weirdly beautiful. And quiet! There's no shouting, or electric guitar solos loud enough to make your ears bleed... Maybe the really are growing up.

8. Dance Little Liar
Same dark vibe still prevailing. Echoing sounds, backing vocals that sound like ghosts, and some pretty damn awesome drumming. Not as in your face as their previous work, but they appear to have slipped to the other side of the spectrum- some of these songs aren't catchy enough to be memorable. I'm probably not going to remember what this song sounded like when I proof-read this review.

9. Pretty Visitors
Hey, it's catchy! Much more like we've come to expect from the Arctic Monkeys. Strong, compelling chorus. Lyrics are a little ropey at times- 'What came first, the chicken or the dickhead?' Really?

10. The Jeweller's Hands
Not too shabby, but doesn't really stand up as a closer. For a last song, you want something that's a bit of a triumph, but doesn't sound like you've left all of your talent for the final hour. It doesn't really present a conclusion or a finale, and isn't a stand out song for me.


Overall, this is definitely a different direction for the Arctic Monkeys. Less a collection of potential indie anthems, and more of a dark pysch-rock record, that's seductive and downright creepy in equal measure. I think I quiet like it- not the best I've heard this year, but still a bold record with a clear concept. Good stuff.

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Top 10 Sexiest Musicians With Facial Hair

I've wanted to do this post for quite some time- although redheads and glasses might be attractive, there has always been a special place in my heart for beardy gentlemen. I remember one of my first crushes being Jonathan Frakes (who plays Commander William T. Riker in Star Trek). You may think I'm a complete wierdo (I am, admittedly), but there are some fine-lookin' guys out there sporting some sort of facial hair- whether it be a full-on beard, moustache, extreme sideburns or even just stubble. To prove this to you, here is my list of beardy guys who you might fine quite nice-looking.
Note: I'm sorry to report this post features no chicks (how messed up would that be?), but there are some awesome songs to check out if hairy men don't do it for you.
Note 2: Certain parts of the text below are in no way sarcastic at all. Because I'm English, y'know, and we're not at all sarcastic. We don't even know what that word means.

Sergio Pizzorno (Kasabian)
Serg is a bit of a favorite between beard-lovers and beard-phobes alike. His look, which could only be described as 'What would
happen if Jack Sparrow and Robin Hood had a lovechild in an indie band', has set hearts racing all around. His music's not too bad, either.
MP3: Kasa
bian- Ladies and Gentlemen (Roll the Dice)


Christopher Tomson (Vampire Weekend)
Vampire Weekend were the band on everyone's mind last year- their self-titled debut album rocketed up the charts and was a firm favorite with indie music lovers. However, what was on my mind was not just their charming, melodic music, but also Chris (the one brandishing a keyboard like a maniac in the picture above). Yummy.

Justin Vernon (Bon Iver, Volcano Choir)
Ooft, I cannot get enough of this man's voice- whether or not he's going acoustic and soulful (Bon Iver) or experimental (Volcano Choir), h
is versatile vocals never fail to satisfy. He's also rockin' that whole fair-haired thing, which I'm not a massive fan of, but for Justin, I'll make an exception.

Jesse F Keeler and Al-P (MSTRKRFT)
I know it's a wee bit of a cheat sandwiching two guys into one Top 10 entry, but this way you get more beardy goodness, which is always a good thing. Rather than bore you with another account of how much I love Death From Above 1979 (Jesse'
s other band), I thought I'd bring you a little slice of MSTRKRFT. Check out that facial hair- hot, no?
MP3: MSTRKRFT- Work On You



Cody Bonnette and Aaron Lunsford (As Cities Burn)
As Cities Burn are definitely one of my favorite Christian rock// post-hardcore bands, and their most recent album, 'Hell or High Water', is one of my favorites of this year. The picture of them in the wilderness is quite
dashing, you must admit.

Andy Hull (Manchester Orchestra)
Another band who've produced one of my top albums of this year ('Mean Everything To Nothing), Manchester Orchestra have continually impressed with every musical offering
they serve up. Andy Hull, their vocalist, is not only a musical genius, but also a creature of beardy magnificence. I hope you enjoy the saucy beach shot above.
MP3: Andy H
ull, Kevin Devine and Jesse Lacey- Say It Ain't So Live (Weezer Cover)


Patrick Watson
Another dude
who's made a seriously bitchin' album this year- I suppose for some, 'Wooden Arms' is an acquired taste, but to me, it's a delicious smorgasbord of sound. Speaking of delicious, check out his sex face above.

James Mercer (The Shins)
Everyone loves The Shins, so, by default, everyone loves James Mercer (Superman in the picture above). He's got that sort of 'older man' appeal to him.
MP3: Young Pilgrims


Alexisonfire (The Entire Band)
Alexisonfire are my ideal band, for the following reasons:
1. They make good music- always helps, I suppose.
2. They're Canadian. I love Canadians!
3. They're hairy. I love hairy men!
Need I say any more?

mewithoutYou (The Entire Band)
If you love your men beardy, rural, and looking like they've lived in the wilderness for at least a decade, you'll bloody love mewithoutYou. If you don't, you may still love their country, folksy music- I sure do.
MP3: The Fox, The Crow and the Cookie




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Friday, August 21, 2009

Gig Posters

Well, it's official- last night was my last night out before my friends deserted me to go galavanting at V. What will now ensue is a long weekend of lonerism and / or movie marathons and / or lots of blogging. So, without further ado, my I present a post to share with you some of my favorite gig posters, giving credit to both the artists and- well, the artists. Enjoy!

Andrew Bird Poster by Jay Ryan
A beautiful poster, undoubtedly, but someone ought to teach this person how to pack. I mean, seriously, where on Earth would it be necessary to have an octopus and a fox in detective garb? Wherever it is, though, it sounds like my kind of place.
MP3: Nyatiti by Andrew Bird


Tiny Vipers Poster by Mara PiccioneAn exquisite, almost cubist, eyecatching poster. And the music's fab to boot.
MP3: 'On This Side' by Tiny Vipers

Vampire Weekend Poster by Aaron Gresham

This poster kind of reminds me of an American version of the front cover to Telekinesis's album (which depicts an up-side-down Big Ben). Gorgeous nonetheless.
MP3: Oxford Comma by Vampire Weekend


Sharon Van Etten Poster by Eric Nolan and Rebekah Kolp
Humorous as it might be, this muted and melancholy poster matches the songstress's performances to a tee.
MP3: For You by Sharon van Etten

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Song of the Day: Island, IS by Volcano Choir

My humblest apologies for being a wee bit lax on the posting front of late- I’ve been spending way too much time (stupidly) letting people crash in my empty house. However, I promise as soon as V starts (i.e as soon as all of my friends with money desert me), I’ll give you some awesome stuff to sink your teeth into.
Speaking of awesome stuff- in my absence, it seems that music bloggers everywhere have been coveting one song in particular- ‘Island IS’ by Volcano Choir.
Volcano Choir are the musical collaboration between Justin Vernon (or ‘Bon Iver’, as he is more commonly known), and Collections of Colonies of Bees. An unusual blend, you might agree, but the contrast between these two musical acts makes for some dynamic and original music.
Vernon states that their music is “definitely more on the experimental side of things,” as the music came about before the lyrics, which apparently followed as some sort of stream of consciousness.
They debut LP ‘Unmap’, is due out on 22nd September, and is definitely one to watch in my books. Check out ‘Island, IS’, below;

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Top 10 Sexiest Celebrities with Glasses

As a follow-up to Sexiest Redheads, here's my list of Top 10 Sexiest Celebrities with Glasses.
I have chosen to champion these bespectacled beauties to once again showcase the sexiness of some of society's celebrities with specs. People with glasses are often overlooked by society- deemed bookish, called 'four-eyes', and generally forgotten when it comes to physical appreciation. This article aims to showcase the yumminess of bespectacled seductresses and casanovas alike. So, in no particular order:

Kev Baird, Musician
Kev (of Two Door Cinema Club) has that tousled, slightly hairy look about him, but I think he wears it well. In the picture above, he looks like he's trying to pull off some sort of crazy dance move- I'm totally into guys who dance like complete idiots- as long as they don't try too hard.
MP3: Two Door Cinema Club- Undercover Martyn


Kay Hanley, Musician
Kay Hanley, aside from being a very gorgeous lady, is one of my idols. As the lead singer of Letters to Cleo, her music pretty much made my childhood- many hours were spent trying to copy her wacky hairstyles, to no avail. After that, she began recording with The Dilettantes (no, not the hairy folk group, the other Dilettantes), and my love for her increases. Here's to Kay- you're a legend.
MP3: Kay Hanley- Cellars by Starlight


Adam Tudyk, Actor
I think my lurve of Adam stems from the fact he is in some damn good films- Serenity, 28 Weeks, A Knight's Tale, and Dodgeball, to name but a few. If you don't recognise him, as a rule, he's the strawberry-blonde funny guy (and he's Steve the Pirate in Dodgeball). He wore glasses in 28 Weeks, and despite the fact he played an exuberantly gay sex/drug addict, I still found him a little attractive. I need help, I know.

Graham Coxon, Musician
Musical God and alternative sex symbol, Graham Coxon's pretty much got it all. First with Blur, and then on his own two feet, Coxon has established himself as a britpop legend- and he ain't all that bad looking, either
MP3: Blur- For Tomorrow



Dev Hynes, Musician
Ooh, there's a growing trend for musicians who started in bands (for Dev, it was Test Icicles) and then who branch out on their own (under the pseudonym Lightspeed Champion). As I've said before, there are three main reasons to love Dev:
1. He makes good music (always good for a musician to do that sort of thing, really)- and his song, Midnight Surprise, feature backing from Tilly and the Wall (who are some pretty cool cats).
2. His blog is awesome- it's filled with things such as word-play based movie reviews; I wish I was smart enough to come up with something like that.
3. He has very nice hair.
MP3: Lightspeed Champion- Galaxy of the Lost



Dallas Green, Musician
Ok,this is getting a little ridiculous- Dallas is in the band, Alexisonfire (whose new album is one of my favorites of this year) and also records his own stuff (under the name 'City and Colour', because his first name's a city and his surname's a colour- geddit?). I really should stop banging on about him on this blog, but seriously- he has an amazing voice, with the power to be both incredibly fragile and impressively powerful. He's also rocking that whole beardy, rugged thing, which I love.
MP3: City and Colour- Casey's Song


Becki Stephens, Musician
Becki was a former member of The Pipettes- a jazz-based girl pop British band I was crazy about 2-ish years ago. She's since left the band, along with another girl, leaving only one member to pretty much rebuild the band. I saw them a few years back at a charity thing, and I remember the girl whose still around (Gwenno) being pretty poor. Also, when I went to see them, I blew a kiss at one of them, and she winked at me- highlight of the evening- well, until CSS's set.
Clark Duke, Actor
Clark played a womanising lothario in 'Sex Drive', and despite his alternative look, you could completely see him being a playa off screen as well as on. Oh, and as far as 'Sex Drive' goes- if you're looking for an original, hilarious comedy, jog on- if you're looking for cheap and immature laughs (as I was), you'll fucking love it.

Melody Gardot, Musician
Ooft, she's one sexy mamma. If you like what you see, go watch the music video for 'Baby, I'm a Fool'- she's just in the bath. For no apparent reason. Niice.
MP3: Melody Gardot- Lover Undercover


Ed Helms, Actor
Yeh, another funny guy. Whilst watching 'The Hangover', it wasn't the beautiful Bradley Cooper who caught my eye (he's almost too good-looking), but the shy, bespectacled, hooker-marrying Ed Helms. And it wasn't just me- my Mom loves him too.

See also:
Top 10 Sexiest Musicians With Facial Hair


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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Remix Wednesday: New in Town to Animal

Remix Wednesday is another feature with a fairly telling name, because:
1. It features remixes, and;
2. It's on a Wednesday
Fool-proof, no?

Remix 1- New in Town (Golden Filter Remix)- Little BootsThink 'New in Town' has been overplayed? Think again. This remix, in all of its piano-playing, hand-clapping, echo-y, has given a new lease of life to a song that has had considerable airtime over the past few months. The kind of song that will have even the most retiring wallflower on the dancefloor, shakin' their ass.

Remix 2- Hearts on Fire (Viking Remix)- Cut CopyA jangly, happy, electronic feast for your ears, this remix of 'Hearts on Fire' by Melbourne-based Cut Copy still retains its happy-go-lucky, indie sound in this awesome remix.

Remix 3- Animal (Peter Bjorn and John Remix)- Miike SnowWhat do you get when you blend the musical talents of Peter Bjorn and John with Miike Snow? One Hell of a tune, of course. You may have noticed I quite like my remixes with a good beat to 'em- the wonderful, echoing beat to this one certainly ticks all the boxes.
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

5 Songs From Soundtracks

Fairly straightforward- five of my favorite songs from films (ooh, alliteration). Here goes:

1. Su
rfjan Stevens- Chicago
Fro
m Little Miss SunshineThe film: Charming and darkly humorous indie drama about one family's roadtrip- and how being cooped up inside a VW takes its toll on this group of oddballs. One of my favorite films of all tiem,with some truly brilliant acting performances. Especially from Paul Dano, who manages to hold his own amongst many industry heavyweights (Alan Arkin, Greg Kinnear and Steve Carrell, to name but a few)- no mean feat, considering his character, Dwayne is selectively mute for a good part of the film.
The song: A beautiful, soaring song- joyous, pretty, and always on my playlist when I travel.


2. Cat Power- I Found a Reason
From V for Vendetta
The Film: Based on the highly acclaimed the graphic novel, V for Vendetta chronicles the exploits of V, a Fawkesian terrorist with a penchant for spectacle, and his plot to overthrow a futuristic, dictatorial English government. The plot is both astoundingly intricate and linear at the same time- very good stuff.
The Song: The song that got me into Cat Power. A beautif
ul cover (the original was by Velvet Underground), Cat Power's deliciously imperfect vocals ring true in this song, as they do in all of her work.

3. Letters to Cleo- Come On
From 10 Things I Hate About You
The Film: One of the 90's rom-com greats, '10 Things I Hate About You' is a modern-day adaptation of Shakespeare's 'Taming of the Shrew'. Only, in true rom-com style, this adaptation unfolds in an all-American high school where even the outcasts are pretty, and there's a cliche happy ending. Of course, the actual finale is Letters to Cleo, singing on the roof...
The Song: Letters to Cleo appear throughout the film, singing both cover versions and songs of their own. It was, however, when they were going through their pop phase, so none of their older (cooler) stuff was included. However, this unreleased little gem is definitely w
orth a listen- it was the song that launched my teenage love affair with Letters to Cleo.


4. Led Zeppelin- That's The Way
From Almost Famous
The Film: Highly-acclaimed and semi-autobiographical, 'Almost Famous' tells the story of a teenage journalist working for Rolling Stone- as well as mingling with his heroes, losing his virginity and falling in love, our young hero gets to hear some pretty bitchin' music too.
The Music: The soundtrack to Almost Famous won the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media. Amongst The Who, The Beach Boys and Yes, there's this little sliver of serenity. Check it out:


5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs- Sealings
From Spider-Man 3
The Film: Spider-Man 3 (or 'The Good Spiderman Film') sees Peter Parker fighting bad guys (again) and having commitment issues with Mary-Jane (again). I went to see the advance screening of this film at the cinema- there were loads of cool kids dressed as Spiderman there. It was a film of contrast- loved the twistin'-in-the-kitchen scene, hated the fact that The Black Cat appeared nowhere in the trilogy. Ho hum.
The Music: Old-school Yeah Yeah Yeahs just like it should be- rad. Yeah Yeah Yeahs generally do awesome songs for movies- you should also check out the song they did the 'Jackass Number Two' soundtrack, Backass.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Bytes From Cyberspace: The Superhero Edition


I don't really know whether or not it's come to your attention yet, but I'm a bit of a comic book geek. I'm not world's most hardcore fangirl, but I am partial to a good illustrated tale once in a while. So, it makes me giddy with joy to introduce: Bytes from Cyberspace- The Superhero Edition!

1. Strange TalesIt's less than a month until the release of Strange Tales, a new series from Marvel featuring all of your favorite Marvel characters as you've never seem them before. Compiled by some of the finest indie and alternative graphic novelists, including Paul Pope, Peter Bagge and Dash Shaw. Some have referred to it as 'apex of human artistic achievement'- admittedly, that's a quote from the editor, John Barber, but it looks awesome nonetheless.

2. The T-Shirts That'll Bring Me One Step Closer to Rorschach
If you've read/watched Watchmen, you might understand why I want Rorschach. Admittedly, he's a fictional character whose unhinged personality and unwavering sense of right and wrong ultimately land him in the crapper, but there's something about him. Although he's described as 'fantastically ugly', under that thermal mask, he could be anyone- and that's kind of cool.
Step in American Apparel's new Thermocromatic T-shirts. Although Rorschach's mask is supposedly the product of trapping a viscous, heat-sensing sensing between two thin layers of material, thermochromatic T-shirts will just have to do for now. So, go buy one, put it over your face and fulfill my every fantasy.

Disclaimer: If you approach my with a T-shirt on your head for real, I fully maintain my rights to smack you in the kisser.

3. Andre Jordan
I love Andre Jordan's amusing doodles- they're witty, insightful and humorous- what more could you want from your postcard? I love 'The Mask', above- but I'm scared of the actual Mask (y'know, the character portrayed by Jimy Carrey)? Yeh, I had nightmares for weeks after seeing that film. I was, like, four at the time, by the way.

4. Superhero- Jane's AddictionMy favorite superhero-related song. Check it out below:
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