Thursday, 19 February 2009

Big in 09

O.K So i've splooted about 10 blogs out in a week, big whoop?

Yeah so there's always a bunch of these lists... Here is another!

Firstly, dead cert-

Empire of the sun- This was the first album to make an instant impact on me this year, they're dreamy and psychadelic like MGMT, write killer and are Australian. What's not to like?

The Joy Formidable- Were the first band I got excited about this year, the two singles have been a bit over played I think one of them was on an apple advert but none the less their live shows are sounding great and the album looks like going down well, I like these guys

I would have nominated Emmy the great and as much as I championed her through the whole of 2008 and as great as the demos were and the live shows in the summer, loads were left off the album and the replacements weren't great. I was devo. Check out the woods demo, history of britain and gloria if you want an idea of what could have been.

4 or 5 magicians- These guys are big fans of Tom Waits, which is fine, except that they felt the need to remix one of their best songs in the style of Mr Snuffleuffagus/Mr Waits... Lol that misdemeanour song they're gaining momentum and have some great tracks in their catalogue already, they'll be big no worries.

Tristan and the Troubadours- An Oxford based band, saw them support the young knives on their homecoming and the front man/boy of this band is seriously talented, watching these guys made me think of what it must have been like to watch someone like sufjan stevens at that age he can play a whole heap of instruments and controls everyone else on stage impeccably, lyrics are great too, catchy stuff.

3oh!3- Mr Burns, This Band seems to have the momentum of a runaway freight train, why are they so popular? Because they're fucking awesome! Alright I have a soft spot for frat boy rock, being a member of delta upsilon and all that goes with it but these guys are great, blink 182 probably sounded dumb when you first heard it but imagine crowds chanting THREEOHTHREE THREEOHTHREE... Soon you won't have to imagine.

Not much point mentioning this because he hardly needs my support but mr. peter doherty's album is coming out this year and it looks set to be mammoth. That's the track new love grows on trees, been around for years but it'll be great to get a studio version it's a lovely song.

I'll be mentioning loads more in future and just with random songs that are rockin it for me but for now that's it, watch those guys this year

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Best of yesteryear

Yesteryear is an anomoly for clearly, it means last year, like yesterday means the day before today and indeed the etymology backs this up but due to it's archaic usage it is linked with the times that it was more likely to be used.

Oh, big shock i'm a nerd about language. So the best albums of last year, in my opinion, yeah i'm about 3 months late with this but whevs I'm a little bit too cool to be on time (These are all torrents in a way i apologise for that but in another way it saved me a buttload of time and is also legal, right pirate bay?! ;))

Vampire Weekend/Vampire Weekend-

This album is great, I've already mentioned them on this blog with the track ottoman which isn't on this album, very preppy, great vocals, original guitar stylings, been listening to it loads recently, someone I don't like once said it was a great album to drive to, I completely agree!

Nick Cave & the bad seeds/Dig lazarus Dig-

When I first heard more news from nowhere I listened to it about 20 times in a row and for a 10 minute song that takes alot of doing! At the time I described it as sounding like "if we got a radio signal from mars and it was playing the red planet's very own rolling stones with the lyrics of the most tripped out lennon/mcartney", I went to see them live based on this and that made me see how fantastic and original the entire album is. Alot of old people at the gig though, i hope i always find that weird.

MGMT/Oracular Spectacular-

O.K So it won NME album of the year and single of the year, at the time it came out I thought nick cave was better, as an entire album I still do. In terms of singles, this wins for sure and well done on them for that because with 4 songs they've made a lot of people forget about the rest of the album and just remember the highlights, I'd feel dirty if I ever made an album like that.

Death cab for cutie/Narrow Stairs-

There are some really flawless tracks on this album, yeah, it's not their best album, yeah it's probably their worst, yeah it has a couple of the worst tracks ben's ever written on it (Twin sized bed, talking bird, pity and fear) but the other half of the album is IMMENSE! Bixby Canyon Bridge which is probably one the most highly anticipated tracks in their history, Cath, You can do better than me, the latter which sounds like the beatles could have done it, the only track off the album not to be played live. look I love death cab, they had to go in here- shoot me.

Lightspeed Champion/Falling of the Lavender Bridge-

He's on conor obert's label, I believe this album incredibly went to #1 in the shitty pop obsessed country of england. He's a great lyricist, thinks about music all day every day, original and a cool guy. Seen him a couple of times live, first time supporting bright eyes second time in leicester. he used to be in test icicles and got to see him play guitar with that night and he just watched the gig with everyone else before then.

Last Shadow Puppets/Age of the understatement-

I was in canada while they were doing their thing so I didn't get to see them live, if miles kane was talented they could be the next lennon and mccartney, unfortunately he's not so don't get any big ideas! Fortunately Turner is and he's as forward thinking as lennon, this album shows this, I don't think anyone else coudl have gotten away with this but he did with applomb, that's right applomb...

Courteeners/St Jude-

After leaving their gigs I tend to call them the next libertines, NME don't like Liam Fray and he's not on drugs and can play the guitar (Disclaimer: I loved the libertines and pray for the day they get back together) but none the less this albums brilliant and killer live, check it out.

I'll be back with the best of 09 next week...

Goodbye Martin DCX1E, Hello £400

So I sold my guitar, I paid £850 for it, I still owe £181, I just sold it for £400 and am £50 over my overdraft that leaves me with £170, I guess that's not that bad for having a bit of money but I don't have my guitar, it was amazing sounded the best i'd ever played, I have 4 others I guess i'm just going to have to start playing electric, I wonder if this is what happened to Dylan...


I've hidden this post down a few even though it's new and here's why, I thought about posting acoustic songs but thought it would be a bit lame. When I handed the guitar over to the guy he could see I was feeling philosophical, especially as when I handed it over I said, "may it serve you well my son", the guy was like 40 lol but none the less he said "i'll let you know if I record anything with it or play any gigs" and that felt like you seeing the guy your ex is seeing while you're drinking alone in a bar and him going "tough break, I'll let you know if we have sex or get married alright?" lol.

I'm going to post a few classic songs that seem to describe life perfectly, if you've ever felt like any of these songs then you're human-

John Denver- Poems, Prayers and Promises

Around about last december I watched the john denver biopic and there's a scene where a girl is talking to her psychiatrist, who is john's ex wife and she recognises her and she reminds her she's there to talk to her about herself, she says she is because she was going to kill herself but something made her turn on the radio, maybe to drown out the thoughts etc but at the last minute she heard this song and it spoke to her, gave her hope. I feel the same way about this song, when i first heard it i probably listened to it 200 times the next day.

Beach Boys- I wasn't made for these times

What with work being the most important things in peoples live, a crumbling economy where frivalousness is frowned upon and where people can go for days without having a conversation with somebody, this is probably the worst decade to grow up in, poor kids.

REM- Shiny Happy People

This song can either be about nothing or a myriad of other things, I like to think it's about taking anti depressants :)

Stereophonics- Local boy in the photograph

O.K So i've had a lot of friends die on me the past few years and the photo that they use in the press release tends to be more recent than the last time you saw them, i don't know why they do this but it seems to be the standard.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Getting reacquainted with the english..

So like I say I spend alot of time in north america although my influences are english, modern music that I listen to tends to be more local. Anyway I was watching crappy freeview music channels on sky the other day, the kind where people send in their own videos of them miming over songs and like a elephant man midget dancing in a bikini it's horrible to watch but impossible to turn away! So it kinda reminded me of the songs I was in love with back in england when I was younger and while I was last there, so today I'm featuring old favourites like blur, oasis and freakin' beautiful south! These are just a taster of the tunes I heard that day, i'll post way more at a later date!

So champagne supernova is a masterpiece, every englishman in his 20s knows the words. I've recently become a reborn fan of Oasis after neglecting them for a while... mainly because they were making shit music but NME reminded me they're about more than music. Apparently there was a cover of this on the o.c. but like many things on the o.c. it was crap, this is the timeless original and the best-

Oasis- Champagne Supernova

So obviously everyone remembers the whole blur -v- oasis thing, sometimes it's easy to think oasis were the way better band but I was looking through blur's back catalogue and seriously they have crap loads of amazing tunes, the album that this was off is flawless-

Blur- Charmless Man

Beautiful South, I remember hearing them through various stages of my childhood, don't marry her struck me as unique at the time and I bought perfect 10 for the bassline, this one i remember hearing on the late bus on the way back from high school, good responsibility free times. The song now has taken on a whole new meaning, Canada is my new home and I love it there and I kind of resent being back in england, i'm back for my family but it could be anywhere-

Beautiful South- Rotterdam

Pete Doherty's due to play the EMA's tonight. I'm starting to like Shotter's nation more than Babyshamble's first album and I LOVED that, this is i think track 4 on the cd and it's where you start to realise that this is a pretty immense album- (bilo is pete's nickname btw)

Babyshambles- Unbilotitled

O.k That's it for the english bands today, I just have a couple more tracks i wanted to post, the first is by Blonde Redhead and the music in this song has haunted me so many times the past couple of months and I didn't know what the track was I searched it out like a bitch i nearly exploded when I found it! The second is mushaboom by feist, just cos I think all these covers are taking away from the original, although some great artists such as postal service and bright eyes have covered it- some have been balls!

Blonde Redhead- Maddening Cloud

Feist- Mushaboom

Well some of those were english right?!

Sunday, 15 February 2009

They looked like EPICS

This post is for a selection of songs that are worthy of the title "epic", from some of my favourite bands.

favourite songs of all time, it'sFirst up is (apart from blackbird, day in the life etc.) one of my like an indie rock bohemian rhapsody and the soundtrack of this generation. Off The Libertines debut album, Pete Doherty's observations of the may day riots are recorded here with sublime vision and mastery, the music is Carl Barat's, a perfect combination. I saw pete live last year and he asked if anyone could play the solo for him, didn't work out I think the videos on youtube, anyway he had a go in the end and it wasn't pretty! The song on the otherhand, is a masterpiece-

The libertines- Time for heroes

Semi-Charmed life is my anthem in canada, although admittedly about crystal meth, I prefer to get a different message from the song! It is the ultimate indie party anthem and is layered brilliantly, the lyrics flow and it's as catchy as fuck... The album this was on was killer, can't remember what it was though maybe third eye blind's self-titled... both this and time for heroes were in american pie movies :p

Third Eye Blind- Semi Charmed Life

Conor Oberst has a way with words but which means on his usual 3 minute epics he could easily write for 10 minutes and still make it as poetically breathtaking, on this song- he does! 7 whole minute of pure unadultered lyrical brilliance from the nova scotian dylan, this is from the best of Bright Eyes' flawless post-happiness albums, can i get a god damn timpany roll!

Bright Eyes- Let's not shit ourselves to love (and to be loved)

Saves the day kinda removed themselves from their sound for this album, if you're wondering how just look at the pic on the right :p indeed they pissed off a few hardcore purists of their fanbase, the album was brilliant so they'll get over it. This song is as epic as a less than 3 minute song can be, by 30 seconds they've thrashed out a verse and chorus and are on their way to a second, it's a killer track with great vocals. This is one of those that I saw on meg's msn status and checked out, she has heavenly taste.

Saves the day- In reverie

Every band has a semi-charmed life in them, this is canadian husband/wife duo mates of states' fairly flawless, once again about drugs but you'll get over it. This is a pleasant reminder of those times during university where you woke up and you knew all you were going to do was get blasted with your friends all day, and were at one with them. It makes no apologies, nor do i ;)

Mates of state- Goods (All in your head)

And finally the ultimate american indie rock epic from seattle washington, death cab for cutie's we looked like giants!!!

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Ben Gibbard and Rare Death Cab

Obviously Ben Gibbard is most famous in the indie community for death cab for cutie and the postal service, he's worked with countless other acts which i'll do a post about eventually but right now I want to highlight his first two bands, originally shed whom nick harmer and jason mcgerr are still associated with as well (as eureka farm) then there's pinwheel who, all in all were really not that bad and it's only due to ben gibbard's solo project (death cab for cutie) turning into a fully fledged band that they're not the band people are arguing about whether they have sold out or not.

Shed mainly played college shows and never really got off the ground, in fact ben was originally the drummer for this band but stepped in for the lead singer at a show and it went down a storm, obviously the rest is history-

Shed- What's her name

If you look hard enough (which is quite hard indeed) you can find shed's back catalogue on the internet, they have some really really not bad tracks, the highlight of these is "radio static scars" which recycles a line from "we have the facts..." so it makes good listening for the hard core fan-

Pinwheel- Radio Static Scars

I was going to put couches in alleys on here too but I figure everybody has that so I chose two rare acoustic tracks, the first the brilliant debate exposes doubt from the photo album and the second chris walla's new candles which was posted on his hall of justice page a couple of years ago. Also the full version of underwater from all-time quarterback (ben's early 2k solo project) which is damn hard to find-

Ben Gibbard- Debate Exposes Doubt

Chris Walla- New Candles

All-Time Quarterback- Underwater!

Friday, 13 February 2009

Across The Universe

(Blog from Summer 2007)

I saw this movie the day before I left canada with my best bud and it was the best movie I have ever seen, it was such an awesome day too everything went perfect from parking, line ups, position in theatre, acquiring mmind altering substances and a way of smoking them as we didn't have enough time to roll, that getting us in the perfect mindset for the movie, there being a burger king in the theatre to get quad stackers, being at exactly the right level of highness to enjoy the movie, the weather, not dying on the car ride back, everything was awesome but the music was incredible.

It is unique in the way that usually a soundtrack is selected to highlight pieces in a movie where this movie was written around the music and it worked perfectly.

Now I was brought up on the beatles so was wary of this movie and indeed it hasn't been released in the u.k so i got lucky but all the great pieces were perfectly executed and the lesser known numbers were really brought to another level, these are the ones that I shall be highlighting.

So I guess I met this fairly incredible girl a week before I saw this movie, I went to this the ensuing weekend and ended up with her that night and after she left the next day I couldn't stop hearing this song, I'd barely heard the beatles version, i'd heard the overcomplicated wings version but this hits it perfectly-

I've just seen a face

This was a really nice/pleasant lennon/mccartney number that also hit another level in the movie, sung by evan rachel wood who was exceptional in the movie along with T.V Carpio's rendition of i want to hold your hand it blows your mind as you would never expect to hear it sounding quite so beautiful

If I fell

This is a great part of the movie, played live and as a male and female duet, the female has a great gritty jazzy style, check out her version of helter skelter, and the guy look insanely like jimi hendrix and plays guitar in the same style

Oh Darling!

There were so many trippy parts in this movie but this particular song was intense for its imagery, listening to it you wonder why it wasn't so big as it is poignant but always played second fiddle to while my guitar...

Happiness is a warm gun

T.V Carpio's delivery of this song is incredible and unexpected, this was one of the beatles poppier numbers and she turns it into a remorseful, angst filled song about unrequited lesbian love, you probably have to see the movie to understand ;)

I want to hold your hand

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Totally addicted to bass

I'm not really, in fact a more appropriate title would declare that this particular post is totally dedicated to bass...

Flea, he may not be the best bassist in the universe... but then again he just might be! Whether he is or not, he is revolutionary in the form of slap and expanding the horizon's of the traditional 4-string plucker and blah blah etc. anyway so rather than post a typical red hot chili pepper's track with a killer bass line I thought i'd post one of my favourite chili tracks and with one of the soundest basslines early on and a track which the asforementioned by the way/stadium crowd probably wouldn't get to hear otherwise-

Behind the Sun- RHCP

Carlos D of Interpol is such a unique bassist and is the joint staple of interpol, the other being Banks' unique voice. The basslines of interpol are unlike any other, like I say unique... I can't say to much more without repeating myself I guess but he's a killer bassist with a killer stage presence. This track is just unbeatable-

Evil- Interpol

So I hadn't intentionally listened to oasis in like 3 years and now i'm listening to them all the time, volutarily. The band is kind of gay in that, unless you're english which I happen to be so do, no one knows who the other people in the band are which also means unless noel's playing bass the bassline is left behind, in this, it is not-

Masterplan- Oasis

O.k So Death cab were/are my favourite band. I've been a fan for over half a decade and they've gotten so huge over the last couple of years that i'm kinda embarassed to say i like them ugh so elitist right?! It's just that if you say you like them you get a lot of OMGGGZZAZ ME"2! I HEART IWFYITD OMG"22111!!1one So wahtevs! But the bassline in IWPYH is pretty immense-

Death cab- IWPYH

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Return To England

So i've just switched canada for the u.k again, I made a mix cd for the way there and months later the music is still awesome so I thought i'd share some of the highlights-

I was lucky enough to see John Vanderslice 4 times last year as he accompanied death cab for cutie on tour, I was there for death cab but also left as a fan of J.V, his lyrics are as original as they get, songs about joan crawford, detectives, a love song named after a crater on the moon. Anyway this is how he opened the show, too good for a support act!

John Vanderslice- Plymouth Rock

For me the ultimate summer's album is Pinback's "Summer in abbadon", it is flawlessly exhuberrant. After getting into them I trawled their earlier works and was surprised it was quite a removal from that, this is where "autumn of the seraphs" gets it right, it's good in the same way summer in abbadon was but also evolved in terms of lyrics and more deliberate, which could be a critisicm of the first album but this is the first single and it's awesome-

Pinback- From nothing to nowhere

I can't even remember how I found out about this band but Maps are definately up and coming, this track "to the sky" is a perfect cloudless sunset gig anthem, I assume it was through NME but none the less check it out-

Maps- To the sky

"I travelled through the atmosphere as a wall of feedback climbed", I travelled to bristol on my birthday last year to see Bright Eyes at the peak of their cassadega tour only for it to be cancelled leaving me devastated, anyway on the way back home I really listened to this song, I had sometimes skipped it before but some of the lyrics are amazing, it also features buck 65 how can u go wrong :p pick up the album if you don't have it!

Bright Eyes- Middleman

I'm a huge advocate of Pete Doherty, I tire of defending him so am glad his music more often than not does it for me, if you haven't got shotter's nation get it and if you don't know how sweet the tunes are then have a listen-

Babyshambles- Delivery

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

The Debut

I can't seem to get into my old blog any more (retrospeedlab) so have started up a new one, the first few days will be reposts but then i'll stick up more new awesome music than you'll know what to do with. Also let me know you're reading cos I stopped writing my old one after I didn't think anyone was but then it turned out they were but i lost the password and I want my legacy to continue-

So this is my first post on my music blog, or any other blog for that matter! I've been wanting to make one for a while as it's a rarity to meet anyone into the same music as me, when it does it's amazing but it's too few and far between for my liking!

I spend alot of time in north america so, despite being english, a lot of my musical influences come from there, expect a lot of rare bright eyes, death cab for cutie, modest mouse and john vanderslice mixed with the best england has to offer.

I shant waste any more of your time here it comes-

My opening post I have entitled appropriately, debuts. A few choice debuts from bands I've seen over the past few years-

Cansei De Ser Sexei are a brazilian female fronted band, they released many an e.p before this but "let's make love and listen to death from above" is the emo sounding title off their attention grabbing debut album, live they are immense-

CSS- Let's make love...

I first saw The Young Knives in my first year of uni, along with 5 other people. And I don't mean I was with 5 other people I mean there were 6 people in the audience including 2 members of the band supporting them, it was amazing and they won me over for life! This is the summer anthem "weekdays and bleakdays (hot summer)" because it is actually sunny here today!

TYK- Hot Summer

I was playing guitar over my cousin's place and she was going nuts for this track, i'd heard 'of' it but not actually heard it, it's from Coventry's The Enemy's debut album, "we'll live and die in these towns" it's entitled away from here-

The enemy- Away from here

Rumble Strips is a sign I notice more when I drive into stratford upon avon more often these days because of this band, I saw them on the NME tour a couple of years ago and I was refreshed by their attempt at ska revival as well as charlie's convincing falsetto. I drank with the band afterwards and they're killer awesome- (oh yeah, check out the video if you've got time it's amazing!)

The Rumble Strips- Motorcycle

And as I had help from people at the DCFC boards here's Ben Gibbard's version of indian summer which i know is intensly hard to track down-

Indian Summer- Ben Gibbard

I also like Hey There Delilah by the plain white t's right now, not a debut but whevs.

Thankyou for listening ;)