Saturday, December 29, 2007


Let's face it, Beirut are pretty damn cool. Well Zach Condon is, as he is essentially Beirut. I've totally fallen for The Flying Club Cup and I'm now revisiting Gulag Orkestar. Condon is, what, 21 years old, and has released 2 albums in just over a year, both completely different in style. The first was from the Balkans and the second is from 1940s France. It will be very interesting to see what he does next - I'm expecting at least an EP next year.

And he's rather a snappy dresser too.

Here are a couple of video which can be found on his website, but they should be nicely available for your ipod here.

Video: Elephant Gun (from Lon Gisland EP)

Video: Postcards From Italy (from Gulag Orkestar)

Buy Beirut

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Books I want to read next year:
Slaughterhouse Five
The Old Man And The Sea
Bonfire Of The Vanities

I'm annoyed at myself at almost slicing the tip of my thumb off whilst cutting bread. At least it's stopped throbbing now but it's constantly in the air like Dean Moriaty's.

Good rock facial hair:
Paul McCartney's moustache
Brandon Flowers' moustache
Jim Morrison's mega-beard
Lindsay Buckingham's beard

Most listened to songs on my iTunes that were released this year:
1. Editors - Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors
2. Interpol - The Heinrich Maneuver
3. Linkin Park - The Little Things You Give Away
4. Biffy Clyro - Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies
5. Fall Out Boy - Thnks Fr Th Mmrs
6. Funeral For A Friend - The Sweetest Wave
7. The Academy Is... - LAX To O'Hare
8. Circa Survive - The Difference Between Medicine And Poison Is In The Dose
9. John Vanderslice - Exodus Damage (Alias Remix)
10. Foo Fighters - The Pretender

(Bubbling under: Ignite - Bleeding, Minus The Bear - Dr. L'Ling)
I took my camera to three different dos last week and all I took snaps of were my wrapped presents and my stereo. Very poor.

Hopes for 2008:
Hats and moustaches are taken back by non ironic indie-types
Stage 4 and 5 get completed
Glassjaw put an album out

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Things I'm currently obsessed with:

The Daft Punk live tracks (a few can be found through

My new coat


Tiger Woods 07 on the PS2

See These Bones by Nada Surf - Download (The album is at work so I'm having to make do with Let Go and The Weight Is A Gift this evening)

Innocence (and to a lesser extent naivity)

Cool blogs

The Mighty Boosh

Doing elaborate artwork for home made CDs for other people. I hope that people who have had CDs enjoyed the artwork.

Moustaches - well cropped and non-ironic (see Jason Schwartzman or Julian Barratt)

Zubrowka and Apple Juice

Post Secret

Hayley Williams

The Perry Bible Fellowship

Saturday, December 08, 2007


Well I first must apologise for my absence. In truth, I couldn't be bothered. But I have a spare few minutes.

I have a new coat. It may or may not change my life.

Album of the year I'm telling people to make me look cool:
The National - Boxer
Actual album of the year but it's too uncool to tell people:
Paramore - Riot

Official album of the year top ten in no order:

Editors - An End Has A Start
The National - Boxer
Minus The Bear - Planet Of Ice
Paramore - Riot
Band Of Horses - Cease To Begin
Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Rilo Kiley - Under The Blacklight
Manchester Orchestra - I'm Like A Virgin Losing A Child
Fall Out Boy - Infinity On High
Funeral For A Friend - Tales Don't Tell Themselves

The long songs on the Dillinger Escape Plan's Ire Works are incredible. The short hardcore songs are hard work.

I saw The Darjeeling Limited and it was as good as I hoped. I also downloaded Hotel Chevalier but it's avi so I can't get it on my ipod. Any help?

Comics from The Perry Bible Fellowship

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Finally some music to share again (I'm actually planning on something good for next year, but we'll see if it happens or not).

After the solo album by Dustin Kensrue earlier this year, with a track from that in an earlier post, Thrice have returned. But not in a normal way, which seems to be the case for a lot of bands these days. Instead of putting out one album, Thrice are releasing four EPs each based on a different element, all under the title of The Alchemy Index. The first two, Fire & Water are out next week and the song below is from Water.

Apparently they all sound like the element they come from, if you understand that. It all sounds extremely pretentious, but if there's one thing I love it's pretentious progressive rock.

Anyhoo, Digital Sea is a cross between Red Sky from the last album Vheissu and the Dustin Kensrue solo songs. I think it's pretty good.

MP3: Thrice - Digital Sea

Buy Thrice

Monday, September 24, 2007


Wouldn't life be so much better if it was like a Wes Anderson film? You could say exactly what you wanted with no real consequence, angry people would be so without showing too much emotion and somehow, although with a little tragedy, everyone would end up okay.

I am currently obsessed with the trailer for his new film The Darjeeling Limited. So much so that I now want to grow a moustache (again), constantly wear a light suit and get some old man pyjamas. I love the detail thaat the pyjamas they're wearing have The Darjeeling Limited embroided on the pockets (as it is the name of the train they are on).

The film isn't even out and I'm guessing it will be the greatest film ever.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


How did a band that were as good as Blink 182 (yes, I like them and their last album was very good considering they went serious after 4 albums of nob gags) produce two bands so mediocre with 3 good songs between them? I just watched the new Angels & Airwaves video to their song Everything's Magic and, quite frankly, it's rubbish. Their first album was pretty poor too with only The Adventure and the last 30 seconds of Valkyrie Missile being worthwhile. And have you seen the cover to their new album? It would be brilliantly genius if you didn't know that Tom DeLonge is deadly serious in thinking he can take over the world.

So that's them, and Plus 44 are pretty bog standard too. The singles were good straight up rock songs but the rest of the album has not one tune on it.

I'm not saying Blink 182 were the Beatles but there's a certain good together shit apart like Lennon and McCartney thing going on here. I had high hopes for these two, but I've given up. The moral of the story is that if you started playing pop punk, stay playing pop punk (exception Green Day), or just stop. It was a fad, like nu metal, unless you had a serious edge to your sound from the offset like Bad Religion or Pennywise.

Anyway make up your own minds on Tom DeLonge's manifesto.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


The hotel we stayed in in Katelios had a bunch of CDs but only seemed to play 3. One was a power ballad compilation which played two songs in a row by Roxette, two ina row by Bon Jovi, two in a row by Bryan Adams and then one by Meat Loaf. The next was a live Greek album which included a song called Spastica. The final one was the most bizarre. It featured well known songs such as I Shot The Sheriff, One Step Beyond, Blue Hotel and Wonderwall, but with Greek lyrics and completely different melodies. Maybe by Demis Roussos, but maybe not.

No music just yet, but here's a photo diary in 8 parts.

Friday, August 31, 2007


I've never claimed to be a hipster, or scenester as they are known in London, but I certainly do possess some traits. Working in East London I see them every day. Ok, it's not quite Williamsburg or the East Village, but it's as close as you can get in this country. But who came up with the trends anyway?

Anyhoo, this little video is extremely funny if you've ever dabbled in hipsterdom.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


It's amazing what a couple of pints and a bad joke about a Portuguese footballer can lead to. Here are some of the old time players you never knew about:

Eddie Herring - Goalkeeper. In the days before modern keepers wore gloves, Herring was a pioneer. In order to protect his soft hands, he wore oven gloves. And not separate ones, but ones which were attached to each other. The was fine because this was before keepers waved their arms around.

Sir Edmund Pilchard - Centre Back & Captain. Little else is know about Sir Edmund, except that he always smoked a pipe.

Bread McMuffin - Midfield hard man. McMuffin once broke a player's leg in every home game of the 1946-47 season. All continued to play the entire 90 minutes. The good old days.

Frankie Chicken - Lightning fast winger. Died in an abbatoir after being mistaken for an actual chicken.

Sir Archibald 'Pelican' Roberts - Striker. People who hear the legend of Pelican Roberts believe he was so called just because his mouth was a bit big. What the don't realise is that he actual put the ball in his mouth and then released it when he was over the goal line. Scored 89 goals in the 1936-37 season for Ayr United. A law was passed soon after to prevent this happening. He became a landlord in Fife after he retired.

Tom Crust - Striker. Crust played with Pelican Roberts at Ayr. His chief role in the team was to loft the ball into Pelican Roberts' mouth.

God bless them all.

Johnathan Rice's new album Further North comes out in September. I haven't got an mp3 of the first single but here's the video and witty press conference.

Video: Johnathan Rice - We're All Stuck Out In The Desert (normal left click link)

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Why blog? It's a question that's been raised by a cohort, especially considering it's been over amonth since my last missive.

Well, firstly it was to amuse people, then it was to rant about things, and recently it was to post cool music. So why not all? Hmm hmm? Exactly. The problem is that usually when I feel a rant coming on it's either expelled on an email to a friend or it's not for the ears and eyes of the public - names may be able to be changed to protect the innocent, but the guilty can work it all out.

So as I sit here watching V Festival highlights and nursing what I'm diagnosing as tonsillitis, I feel a rant coming on.

Why has 'Just Jack' (if that is his real name) just proclaimed V as the last big festival of the summer? Reading is next week. And I feel sorry for the poor buggers who stood through his entire set before they heard Stars In His Eyes last. He could have played it first so people could go off and have a hog roast sandwich.

Also, the advert for Kate Nash's album says it is 'the most exciting discovery of 2007'. To who? People who eat bread and water all day long?

And finally, why is that when I type an inoccuous word like 'why' into google image search for a quirky picture, the third picture is of Lily Allen? You can't get away from faux chavs these days. To object, I will invest in a tweed jacket.

But enough of that. Minus The Bear's new album comes out on Monday and it will be brilliant. The first single (ie one they made a video for) is called Knights and they've put it up for download, throught Spin Magazine.

Sunday, July 01, 2007


Having offered up the lastest Interpol single to you lovely people in a previous missive, I'm proud to give you the video. Unfortunately there are no glimpses of Carlos D's fantastic new moustache as the band don't feature at all. The video is suitably arty for a band who penned the lyric 'The subway is a porno' and probably incredibly poignant and satirical if you think about it for a while.

(This video is a left click to download scenario)

Video: Interpol - The Heinrich Maneuver (or Manoeuvre if you're from UK)

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Unkle have got a new album coming out and I have high hopes for this for a few reasons. One is that the last album was pretty poor so in theory they (or James Lavelle) should work a bit harder on this one. The second is that it is produced by Chris Goss, he of Kyuss, Desert Sessions and Queens Of The Stone Age name/fame.

Finally, two songs have to be good because they feature Gavin Clark on vocals. Clark is one of my favourite singers of all time. He was vocalist with Sun House who initially did three songs for Shane Meadows’ TwentyFourSeven film and then formed a band. The album is amazing but sadly unavailable, but you can hear a few tracks at his myspace page apparently. He then went on to be in Clayhill who, although good, never had the same effect on me that Sun House had.

Anyway, below we have a video to watch which features Ian Astbury on vocals. He starts sounding like Jim Morrison, probably due to his recent Doors work, and then remembers he is Ian Astbury. The video has Luca from ER in it and has the same feel as Rabbit In Your Headlights and Muse’s Hysteria.

There are also two tracks to download from the album, Chemistry and Persons & Machinery, which features Autolux. (These songs are left click to download and the second is a large aiff file, but can be converted in iTunes. The video is also left click to watch)

Video: Unkle – Burn My Shadow

MP3: Unkle –
MP3: Unkle –
Persons & Machinery (ft. Autolux)

Buy Unkle

Sunday, June 17, 2007


The Beastie Boys are back, and like their previous album they have decided to stick to one style for an entire album. Whereas To The 5 Boroughs was all NY hip hop, their latest album, The Mix Up, is all instrumental jams. Why they couldn't have mixed them up (no pun intended) to create an album akin to Check Your Head or Ill Communication I don't know. But we leave them to it, they are the Beastie Boys and they deserve at least that after all the good stuff they've given us over the years.

Anyhoo, here's two videos they've knocked up for a couple of tracks, Off The Grid and The Rat Cage. They are pretty lo-fi, shot on cine camera with no real synchronisation to the music (well not much). These are also just streaming I'm afraid, but you can watch them for as long as you want. They certainly remind me of the really good instrumental stuff from Check Your Head and Ill Communication, and we all remember how good Futterman's Rule was.

Off The Grid: Windows Media/Quicktime

The Rat Cage:
Windows Media/Quicktime

(For those with ZX Spectrums click here, here, here or here - it's a lottery what you get because your computers are too slow)

Buy The Beastie Boys

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Due to the acts I was first introduced to, I always thought that Equal Vision was a hardcore label that dabbled in a touch of melodic post hardcore, the examples of bands I knew on EV were Bane (hardcore), Bear Vs Shark (math rock) and Converge (possibly the heaviest band you’ve ever heard). After doing some research I now see this is no long the case (if it ever was the case). I can’t say I’ve been through all the bands on this label but what I have found is a good variety of music styles. These three below are case in point of a sound so far removed from what I thought Equal Vision represented.

The Snake, The Cross, The Crown’s first album sounded to me like a prog Smiths, but this track from the new album Cotton Teeth has more of a Wilco flavour to it. I know very little else about this band except I like what I hear. Their bio ends with the lines: ‘They played to be honest. They played to be heard. But most of all, they played songs to be with each other, because the world simply sounded better that way’ which is a little pretentious but I bet they didn’t write it.

MP3: The Snake, The Cross, The Crown – Behold The River

Dear & The Headlights are listed as indie rock on AMG, and I suppose that about sums it up. This song has a Brand New feel, and sounds decidedly British (although the band are from Arizona): acoustic guitar, tortured vocals, but it is much cooler than that, and with a touch of Buffalo Tom thrown in – watch out for the guitar solo near the end. This is taken from their debut album, Small Steps, Heavy Hooves.

MP3: Dear & The Headlights – Run In The Front

Dustin Kensrue is the lead singer of Thrice, but his solo material is anything but Thrice. His solo album, Please Come Home, comes from the Nebraska school of music. That’s Nebraska as in Bruce Springsteen. Stripped down, soul bearing acoustic music. There may be trite moments of self saviour on the album but this track, Pistol, is a poignant dedication to his wife.

MP3: Dustin Kensrue - Pistol

Buy The Snake, The Cross, The Crown
Buy Dear & The Headlights
Buy Dustin Kensrue

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Sometimes you have to work hard to find the gems, as they won't always fall into your lap. Especially not with the way radio only really plays major label artists or those championed by NME.

Alternative Press is a US music magazine which basically deals with emo bands (and they're struggling to find worthy cover stars in my opinion). Anyway, in a recent issue the main article was 100 Bands you need to know in '07. Inbetween the screamalikes I managed to find these two puppies.

The Dear Hunter take refuge on Triple Crown Records (once home of Brand New) and certainly have a great deal of depth to their sound. The song I have heard (and you will too) has piano, noodle riffs and some imaginative background vocals. AP likened them to Say Anything, but I'll say if you mix in Fall of Troy and The Mars Volta, you might be getting somewhere. The song below, City Escape, is from the mini album Act I: The Lake South, The River North but a full length, Act II: The Meaning Of, And All Things Regarding Ms. Leading is out next week.

MP3: The Dear Hunter - City Escape

Buy The Dear Hunter

The second band I found are Kaddisfly. It now appears that I can't find them in AP so I have no idea how I stumbled across them. Tell a lie, I found it. AP says they sound like Smashing Pumpkins, Circa Survive and Incubus. They certainly have those elements (less Pumpkins and the early weird end of Incubus), but again the vocals and melodies are great and the guitar lines a little more complex. Watch out for the chorus on the track below Campfire, as it is awesome. The album is called Set Sail The Prairie and is on Hopeless Records (once home to Avenged Sevenfold I believe, but don't let that put you off)

MP3: Kaddisfly - Campfire

Buy Kaddisfly

Both bands have a progressive sound and are doing something different than just singing, screaming and then singing again whilst straightening their hair and wearing tight jeans. Ouch.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Decent bands with a cult following will always disband, in fact it makes them better as they don't get lazy and bored when no one buys their records when they're over 40, trying to peddle the same message they had when they were in their teens.

One of these bands was The Get Up Kids. Many a piece was written about them being the next big thing (isn't everyone) but GUK really were ace. Not only did they have a big part in inventing the modern 'emo' sound (Fall Out Boy rather than the asymmetric haircuts) but they tied not to pigeon hole themselves by making a very light album, namely On A Wire.

Anyway, Jim Suptic, who played guitar in GUK, now has his own band called Blackpool Lights. I tracked down a couple of songs (found at Can You See The Sunset From The Southside? - thank you and check it out, it's a great blog) and I think they are pretty damn good. If you like Hot Rod Circuit, Limbeck and suchlike, I think you'll like these a lot. I do.

The album is called This Town's Disaster.

MP3: Blackpool Lights - Goodnight To Romance
MP3: Blackpool Lights - Empty Tank

Buy Blackpool Lights

P.S. The Earl Greyhound link wasn't Earl Greyhound. It is now. (Thank you Jason)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I was a bit annoyed when I found out Chuck Klosterman didn't write for Spin anymore. He used to get a whole page for his musings, and his books are a joy to read. The only problem is that sometimes they are quite American (he writes about basketball and some TV shows that never made it here), which is a bit odd because Spin is far to Anglicized (word?) for an American magazine. That said, along with Alternative Press, it is the best American music magazine around.

Spin will introduce you to new music if you give it time. And even if trivial or superficial reasons drive you towards bands then so be it.

Firstly we have Manchester Orchestra. I was drawn towards them because I saw they were touring with Brand New, a personal favourite of mine. This song, Wolves At Night, is from their first album I'm Like a Virgin Losing A Child. Unfortunately I can't seem to find it to buy anywhere, which is a shame because it's great. They are definitely in the Brand New school of emo, more Smiths than Smashing Pumpkins.

MP3: Manchester Orchestra - Wolves At Night

Secondly I found out more about The Postmarks simply because I thought their singer, the androgynously named Tim Yehezkely, was good looking. They have a light sound, but not as whimsical as say Eisley. I think they're like the good end of Belle & Sebastian. The album is self-titled.

MP3: The Postmarks - Goodbye
Buy The Postmarks

P.S. Buy the new Funeral For A Friend album. Some people might be put off by a concept album about a fisherman though.

Monday, May 14, 2007


The journey you take to find music is logical in hindsight but long and winding before you start. Take this little example:

I bought a new iPod so I gave my old one to Kate to get a new battery. neato took all the music off it and then stumbled upon a track by Handsome (must do a hardcore connection post on them soon). I lent him the CD and then decided to revisit it myself. Then because of Tom Capone being in Handsome I thought about Quicksand, and then about Rival Schools. I then thought about Some Records, the label I belive started and owned by Walter Schreifels. And I stumbled upon this almighty piece of beef.

I have no idea who Earl Greyhound are but from watching their video (available at the Some website) it looks like they're a 70s throwback band with Caleb Followill on vocals and Lisa Kekaula from The BellRays on bass. And the baddie from Live And Let Die on drums. Fantastic.

This track has a heavy Zeppelin feel with excellent soulful backing vocals and is from the debut album Soft Targets, which has a good album cover too.

MP3: Earl Greyhound - S.O.S.

Buy Earl Greyhound
P.S. The picture at the top is by Esao Andrews who did the cover of the Circa Survive album mentioned a few days back. His website has many other paintings, with some available to buy.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


After going to see Rise Against at the Astoria last night (bad sound at the start but pretty good in all) I was thinking about their video for Ready To Fall. I think this video was made as an advertisement for PETA to show the cruelty to animals that is commonplace in certain countries. Now I'm no vegetarian so I was thinking more about music videos recently that use a combination of stock footage and performance. Of the four below I think Rise Against and Linkin Park have more of an impact but the Taking Back Sunday one is quite arty. The Foo Fighters one doesn't really have a point, but the footage of the lion attacking the eagle is pretty special.

Rise Against – Ready To Fall

Linkin Park – What I’ve Done

Foo Fighters – Best Of You

Taking Back Sunday – MakeDamnSure

Friday, May 11, 2007


In the same way the huge variety of rock music we know today stemmed from Blues and R&B (original R&B I should add), Hardcore, one of the most simplistic and visceral forms of music, has created a huge amount of artists who are really pushing the boundaries of what can be classed as hardcore and punk. Granted, they might have to thank Yes and Rush as much as Black Flag, but the energy still feels like hardcore.

Two bands in this mould with new music coming out soon are The Fall Of Troy and Circa Survive (coincidently both on Equal Vision Records). What isn't coincidence is that both these bands are hitting their stride at the same time as using such producers as Matt Bayles (Minus The Bear, Isis) and Brian McTernan (Thrice, From Autumn To Ashes).

The Fall Of Troy are a tricky one. The music they create defies their ages (somewhere around their early 20s) and just the first riff of opener I Just Got This Symphony Goin' (from last year’s Doppelganger) blows you so far away that jaws fall to the floor. The only issue I had was the unnecessary amounts of screaming, especially as singer Thomas Erak has a fine set of pipes. What we cannot fault them on, however, is the quite brilliant song titles. Who else do you know who has songs called We Better Learn To Hot Wire A Uterus, A Man. A Plan. A Canal. Panama. (a well known palindrome) and the utterly sublime Macaulay McCulkin. Anyway the pick of the new tracks available is Semi-Fiction, but in my opinion this doesn’t beat F.C.P.R.E.M.I.X.

MP3: The Fall Of Troy - Semi-Fiction (from Manipulator)
MP3: The Fall Of Troy - F.C.P.R.E.M.I.X. (from Doppelganger)

Buy The Fall Of Troy - Manipulator
Buy The Fall Of Troy - Doppelganger

Circa Survive also have weird and wonderful riffs but they have something that no other band has: Anthony Green. Once a vocalist for Saosin, Green has a unique, almost falsetto style and probably the most distinctive voice in hardcore (post, melodic or original) today. Unlike someone like Claudio Sanchez of Coheed And Cambria, Green’s voice never grates and definitely does not sound weak or whiney. To carry strength through falsetto is a gift and an art, one that Green is a master of. This new track, from their forthcoming album On Letting Go, is getting better with every listen. I felt the first album had a great sound but not enough standout tracks. I hold hopes for the second offering. And let’s be fair, the album cover for On Letting Go is one of the best I have seen for a while.

MP3: Circa Survive – The Difference Between Medicine And Poison Is In The Dose (from On Letting Go)
MP3: Circa Survive - Act Appalled (from Juturna)

Buy Circa Survive - On Letting Go
Buy Circa Survive - Juturna