The Answering Machine

Woah. Every once in a while a band comes along full of modest promise, and for that I'm pleased to introduce those of you who haven't been paying attention to the Answering Machine. These guys played at Voltage last night and they blew me away. Occupying territory somewhere between the Strokes and Shout Out Louds, they specialise in melodic indie pop with an edge. Ones to watch.

MP3 The Answering Machine - The Hold Up

Check out their MySpazz.

Liam Frost

Lets here it for locality. I've seen Liam Frost about 20 times over the last year or so, and along with the likes of Nine Black Alps, the Longcut and Former Bullies, he's one of my favourite acts to emerge from our fair city for a good few years. If you've never heard him, think Bright Eyes, BDB and the Pogues (well, for one song at least anyway). He's got some new tunes up at his MySpazz, so go check him out.

Rock Hard, Rock Heavy, Rock Animal.

Last night was a blast. Cheers Ben for having us.

The Master Returns

Wahey. There's a new DJ Shadow album on the way!! It's finishing up at the moment (according to his site) and seeing as he's playing in Leeds and London in June it should drop soon.

Now, I have found a link to a new track, however I suspect it might have been ripped from the site (I've not had chance to listen yet). I'll post it anyway, otherwise visit his site and have a listen.


Ain't no stoppin' her now.

On a bit of a soul tip at the moment, so I figured I'd show you around a corking 80's soul record, revitalised in the early 90's by Ina Camoze for Here Comes the Hotstepper. Even now I can't bring myself to get into that tune, but the original record that was great, as I discovered a couple of years ago. Check it out. Taana Gardner - Heartbeat

2006 may go down in the annals as having one of the most interesting career re-launches in years. Nelly Furtado, with her Portugeez/Canuck/Arabic background, always seemed way too interesting to be saddled with generic pop rubbish. Not any more. She's been away for a bit, had a baby, and now returns with some genuinely brilliant music. I've been banging on about Maneater for ages, and now I've heard potential single Promiscuous Girl (feat Timberland). It's wicked, and has got me properly fired up for the album. Grab it here.

And One More Thing...

I'm too good to you lot. Here's the Erol Alkan re-edit of Justice's Waters of Nazereth. Who's to say I don't share good stuff?


Naho played Tropicalia by Beck on the show a few weeks ago. Taken from his Mutations album released in 1998, I'd forgotten how much I liked it at the time. Here it is for your aural pleasure.

God, I'm feeling bored and lazy.

So I thought I'd take a look at youaintpicasso. Some great stuff over there. Check out:

Behavior with Andrea Ravel - Clap! Shake! Jump!

The Pipettes - Your Kisses Are Wasted on Me

The Walkmen - Louisiana (Fucking hell, this sounds like Rod Stewart... but in a good way.)


Raconteurs: Update

Quick post this - thanks to, I've found a link to a full live recording of the Raconteurs in Newcaslte. Not sure how great it is - I'll check it out when I get home - y'all can listen here. Leave some feedback if you like


Here's to getting in cheap

Yo. Below are flyers for gigs I'm playing this week. Print them off and bring them along to get in cheap. Wahey!

Nowayback, Wednesday 29th

Club Voltage, Thursday 30th


Last night was spent at the Music Box, where I attended my first Electrik Chair for about 6 months. It was kinda weird being in the venue and not working, but it was still a nice break. Danny "Spidey Sense" Webb kicked up a storm in the backroom along with the El Diablo lads, while Idjut Boys smashed up the main room.

In homage to the backroom, here's Running Away by Roy Ayers. It's fucking ace.

Secret Password

Oh yeah, while I remember, it's the ace Dead Disco launch party at the Music Box on Thursday, so get yourself down to see Filthy Dukes and myself throw some pretty damn awesome support.

To get in cheap, make sure you utter the words "Grammar is the father of my children" to the door staff.


What with all of todays hullabaloo over the naked statue of Britney Spears, I thought I'd pay tribute with the above image of pop rival Shakira, immortalised in statue form in her native country of Columbia.

Oh yeah, a quick note to Corinne Bailey Rae: Go turn your record off. It's doing my fucking head in.

(NB: If you're desperate to see the Britney statue, check this out.)


Oh yeah, Giant Drag are great. Go catch them at Night and Day next month. Or get High Friends in Places here.



Things I Lost in the Fire

I kind of got into Low late. It was last year, when the Great Destroyer came out, that I decided to give them a go. It turned into one of my favourite albums of 2005. Digging deeper, I started listening to Things We Lost In the Fire, which I also loved as much. For the uninitiated, they sound like Radiohead would if they didn't have a collection of fans that love the Bends so much.

Last week it was announced that they're playing Koko in London on 26th July, performing the album in its entirety. I'd like to go. Check out Dinosaur Act to see what you're missing out on.

Oh yeah, it's High Voltage tonight. Bring a print-off of the Mr T picture below, say you got it from this blog, and they'll let you in for 4 quid. Can't say fairer really can I??

The A Team

Well, not quite, but I'm gonna have to get me a copy of this. Fool.

Brighten up Now

Woo hoo. Not only was the sun shining on Market Street this morning which put me in a good mood, but now I find out there's a new Phoenix album due this summer! Ace. They always seem to put something out around the time of a major football tournament, so now I know we're on track for an great summer. And with a new one from the Bees coming too, I know there's plenty of summery goodness to look forward to.

All I need now is chicks in bikinis throwing beach balls to each other. Hmmm.... dream on. In the meantime, here's Long Distance Gone by Phoenix. It's great. Woo hoo.

Who Needs the DJ??

Interesting article on Pitchfork. Worth a read.

The Raconteurs: Cack Handed Review

Most artists wait until the dawn of their careers to pursue the side-project/supergroup, where their lack of creative impetus can be supplemented by that of others. The Raconteurs are different. There's no careers here that need a boost, the White Stripes are doing very well as one of the worlds finest, Brendan Benson is a widely respected artist, and the Greenhornes are quickly becoming the darlings of the garage rock scene. These guys are all at the top of their game.

White, dressed in simple trousers/leather jacket combo, seemed quite at home with the set up. Is he so much of a control freak that he restricts himself to a two-piece? Maybe, but on this evidence he shows an appetite for team play, and takes an obvious yet natural role as the bands frontman. The incendiary guitar playing we've come to know translates well to a full band, with the addition of bass and keys truly allowing the man to play. Are we witnessing the finest guitar player of our generation? OK, the juries out on that one, but boy can that guy play.

To White's Lennon, Benson is McCartney. Offering backing vocals and rhythm guitar and often sharing vocals with other band members, his role helps define what makes the Raconteurs special. They're not just "Jack and the Band" - they're a living, breathing musical entity in their own right. Bensons contribution embodies that. The Greenhorne element live up to their rep: They're a fucking tight rhythm unit. Simple.

As for the songs, they're what you expect. No corners cut. Awesome, massive guttural rock, that should contribute to one of the years best albums. Imagine Jimmy the Exploder covered by QOTSA with Sting, and you get close. Yeah, they probably need to tighten up - Bensons "You guys know these songs about as well as me" pays testament to that - but guaranteed, Steady as She Goes is an anthem you'll find difficult to avoid this summer. And you know what? You should look forward to it.

Please Note: I don't mind you grabbing these pictures for yourselves, but please don't link to them otherwise they're likely to exceed bandwidth. If you want to use them, please save them to your hard-drive and upload through a image hosting site like ImageShack. Cheers.

Lily Allen

Probably a little late on this one, seeing as she's got a record deal and has been all over the press and stuff. "Nan, You're a Window Shopper" is ace.

Check out her MySpazz here.

PS - Raconteurs review in about an hour. All I can say is the gig was ace. Word.

Steady as She Goes

Woo Hoo. I'm off to see the Raconteurs in Lipper tonight. Should be a blast. It's the first night of their tour, and I think it's the first gig they've ever been billed on. Can't wait. Check back here tomorrow for pictures and a half cocked attempt at a review.

In the meantime, grab yourself a high quality version of their debut single.

Do you like good music?

Simply awesome. As heard on 2004's "Piracy Funds Terrorism", this tune rocks. I sometimes forget "Arular" as being one of my favourite albums of the last couple of years. You can be a follower but who's your leader? Not sure, but this rocks. Here.

I saw Damien Jurado last year at the Roadhouse on the recommendation of my girlfriends boss. I wasn't familiar with his stuff, but he had such an endearing stage presence I couldn't help but take notice. Check out Prices.

Massive Attack have got their best of out soon (either tomorrow or next week, or maybe even last?) so best not waste the opportunity to share this - an Akufen remix of Special Cases. Bleepy as hell, but works a treat. Nice.

I've talked about Madvillian before. Check out this ace 4-Tet remix of Great Days. Fans of Indie-tronica and Hip Hop should dig.

Phew. That's loads. Check out this post for some of the tunes Jigga has sampled in the past. Too much for me to type!

PS - I've turned the comments back on now, so you guys can leave little messages for me!


Tapes 'N Tapes

As the day is going by, I'm liking these guys more and more. Check out Cowbell here.

Check out I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness too, I've put a track in the Streams. Or, if you're too lazy to scroll down, here's a different track to whet the appetite.

Stone the Crows

Sitting round tonight browsing, I've found links to a couple of tunes I loved when I was a teenager. Memory Lanes and all that.

Pearl Jam - Last Kiss
Pearl Jam - Yellow Leadbetter


No rioting please.

Seems there is a culture of "blog surfing" after all. A couple of seconds after my last post, someone viewing this blog then clicked for mine. Cool.

Daily Bulletin

The above image taken at the XFM launch has been posted on my MySpace with the comment:

"Instead of turning into a pumpkin after midnight, Jon turns into an emo-loving drunkard."

Amusing, oh yes yes yes. I still don't get Emo thought. More pictures to follow as I get them.

In the meantime, here's a scare-mongering article about MySpace. Read it with an open mind, though it seems a bit too Minority Report for my liking. Cheers for that Matt.

What a weekend for it's been for music discovery. While I always knew it would be great, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs new'un has proven to be a piece of absolute fresh air. It's still the YYY's, but just a little more grown up, having left the shouty PMT girly stuff to the likes of Be Your Own Pet and Gossip. If you saw the Adidas/Karen O/Spike Jonze commercial last year then you should know what to expect. Ace.

Tapes 'N Tapes are quality too. Another Pitchfork discovery, they operate in the same land as the Spinto Band and CYHSY. Difference is, they're more immediate than those two, and produce some pretty startling results in the process. All good. Have a listen to track 3, Insister. It's off their latest, the Loon.

Anyway, gotta bounce. I need a paper and stuff for lunch. I think I'm going to have roast chicken. Yum. Laters.

Cadburys Creme Cock

Mmm. Tasty.

RSS Feeds

Just got back from the show on TCR, and it was dead good today! We played Run to the Hills at 1pm, then had to apologise for any small kids we might have scared the bejesus out of. Still, all good.

I've just started to get my head around this whole RSS thing. Basically, if you see at the end of your address bar, or indeed anywhere outside of the usual main window, then by holding this down you can subscribe to the feed for this blog. You'll then be able view new posts without having to go straight to the site. Pretty neat huh??

You can also joing the Black Country Grammar group here. Be nice mind.

I'm just listening to the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs album - it's really good. I'll do a "naughty" post from it soon.



Yo Yo Yo. Here's a couple more pieces of photographic evidence from Wednesday night.



Anyway, if you look to the right and down, you'll see I've added a new section for streams. Now, I'm "borrowing" these streams from other more established sites, who in turn are linking directly from the record companies. So yeah, you can probably right-click and "Save Target As" to get them FOREVER.

If anyone asks, you aint seen me right??!

"I've Had Nights I Will Never Forget"

Boy, was yesterday tough. Following on from the legendary XFM launch on Wednesday night and only 4 successful hours of sleep, I stumbled into work around 0930 feeling rather hungover. I'm not sure quite how much alcohol I consumed, but I know it consisted of many bottles of Star and an unspecified number of double JD's and coke. Above is a picture of me "throwing shapes" at the camera. How bling am I?

Following on from a fragile day, last night was spent attempting to entertain a largely Emo crowd at High Voltage there to see Help She Can't Swim. Now, Emo is a genre I just don't get. At the grand old age of 26, I think it's a style I'm just not familiar with. Is it Grunge? Is it Hardcore? Not sure, but I know I'm not keen. I'm guessing my under-enthusiasm didn't come over too good to the kids either - the place was empty by half eleven.

Oh well, in a break from the norm, here's a link to the latest episode of 24 from the states. I think it's episode 13. Naughty, naughty me.

Fookin' Hell

Right now, I'm supposed to be singing I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor. Honestly.

Tonight has been fucking mad. For all the below reasons:

1) Fucking hell, it's nearly half 3 and I ain't in bed. Fuck.

2) There has been a free bar since midnight. I've just made it back from the venue.

3) Whilst putting my coat away, I was stood behind Andy Rourke, who was purchasing a "comedy" Chinese moustache.

4) The Ordinary Boys played live. Preston is the thickest fucker I've heard speak to an audience in a while. I spent the gig chanting "Chantelle".

5) Andy Rourke gave my mates the evils for dancing behind him. That was the funniest point of 2006 so far.

6) There was a free bar. Not just bottles or glasses of wine, but a FREE FUCKING BAR. I think I'm drunk.

7) Karaoke. But not in the usual sense. You pick the tune, and then get to sing it with a LIVE FUCKING BAND. That means guitars, bass, drums and all the trappings.

8) I'm supposed to be doing the Arctic Monkeys right now. Did I mention that? I fucking bailed before my moment was up.

9) Free, free, free booze. Abso-fucking-lutley free. All of it. Perfect.

10) Guy Garvey was there. "It's not a party without Garvey."

ANyway, I should really get to bed. I've got to get up in 4.5 hours. My spreadsheets are going to be awesome tomorrow.



PS - Come to High Voltage tomorrow. Help she can't swim (!) are playing and it'll be dead good.

Ideal Job

Oh yeah.

Click Here

XFM Arrives!

After 3 years of living in Manchester, yearning for something decent to listen (aside from Trafford Community Radio if course!) XFM finally hit the airwaves this morning after much fannying about. Unsurprisingly, it's playing lots of "Indie Anfems" and "Man-chest-ar" classics, but by and large it's none too bad.

It's a hellova lot better than Key 103 anyway. Enjoy.

PS - Smokey writes a review!

Not much good for porn.

Throw in a pedometer and you've got stats.

More Cat stuff

Ace. More here.

I ain't gettin' on no plane Phool.

Tom "Lego" Clarke is hosting a night of fun and japes at Jabez on 1st April. Should be good.

Hee Hee

Simply Too Good

I know this has been all over the place, but this really is too good for me not to post. Enjoy.

Shameless plugs etc.

Hey there

If you happen to be a band or a site that wants a plug, feel free to ask. I might even feature you in my links or as a download. I'm not on the blag, just more than happy to do my bit to help out.

Drop me a line at "jonthebeef-at-gmail-dot-com" or through MySpace if you're interested.


Holy Sidewalk Batman!

You should think about the Future.

Listen to the radio...

Naho, Matt and Me return to terrorise the airwaves in Trafford this Wednesday night with a late night show. That's right kids, 3 hours of us, playing exactly what we want. It should be pretty cool. 106.2 between 11pm and 2am for a selection of indie, funk, electro, soul and absolutely anything else we find cool in-between.

For those of you either in bed or out of range, we will be uploading the show somewhere (could be here or MySpace) for you to download or stream. I think they call it podcasting, though ours will be generally that bit cheaper in look and feel! We'll be publishing a full tracklisting online too, so if by chance you a) listen and b) like what you hear, you'll be able to find out what it's all about.

If there's any interest in what we're doing, we might set up a mailing list, so you can get notification when a new show's online??? Let me know at "jonthebeef-at-gmail-dot-com" and I'll maybe sort something through Google Groups.

Also: Why do people persist using MSN messenger?? Gmail and GoogleTalk is far superior.



I Like the Like

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What with my girlfriend reviewing records for various publications, I often find mystery albums on my laptop that I would never usually consider listening to. Are you Thinking What I'm Thinking is one of those albums.

I try to stay away from "the" bands - the prefix has become an excuse for a band to try and be cool without justification. The Like are different. 1) They sound like they're from the mid 90's, in a transatlantic sort of way (think Sleeper meets Throwing Muses) 2) They're still in their teens and 3) They're actually very good. Their gig clashed with Club Voltage on Thursday so I wasn't able to see them. Boo.

Anyway, check out their new single, June Gloom, here.

That Yellow Bastard.

There's more here.

Believe/Don't Believe the Hype

I'm not sure about the whole Dangermouse thing, I'm really starting to think he's a tad over-rated. OK, the Grey album was a well executed idea, but his other output doesn't really inspire me. His work on the Gorillaz album was good, but very pop, and the Dangerdoom album was so hyped up it was painful - it was nowhere near as good as Doom's collaboration with Madlib on Madvillain in 2004.

So here we've got his latest collab with Cee Lo under the Gnarls Barkley moniker. You can grab it here, but I'm not sure how interested you should be.

Forgot to mention

It's Club Voltage tonight with the Howling Bells. It's five quid in and I'm DJing in the main room!! Worth a punt??


Real Life Simpsons Intro


Radio Ga Ga

A couple of weeks ago, I got asked by my good pal Naho to come and help her (along with Matt Fandango) do an "indie" show on Trafford Community Radio. The station was set up in late February to run for a month on an FM frequency (106.2 if you're interested) with a broadcast range of a few miles. Largely, the station has an urban music and soul bias, so they were quite keen for Naho and her musical mates to get on board.

Problem. While Naho had produced a few shows before, neither me nor Matt had any broadcasting experience.

Anyway, Saturday came around pretty quick. For our Midday slot, we were there about half an hour early to set up. OK, I'll cut a long story short; We were quite good. The planning the previous day yielded a small amount of fruit, but we can get better. Roll on the 18th!!

Don't worry, you'll be able to listen to us soon once the station goes on the net. In the meantime, you'll just have to take my word for it!!

Here's a couple of pictures to fuel your interest further. I can tell you really care.



"I'm like a bird"

Not any more you ain't.

Download her new song "Maneater" here. It's fucking ace.


Here's a flyer for my up and coming appearance with the legendary Matt Fandango at nowayback on 29th March. Not sure if you get some cash off with the flyer, but it might be worth printing off anyway.


Pauls new mole.

A couple of weeks ago in the pub, Paul announced a new growth on his person. Fortunatly, I had my camera on me to capture the occasion.

OK, I've had to Photoshop this slightly so you can see it, but I think you get the idea.


Blogs are cool.

You can tweak 'em dead easy so they look good. What do you think of mine? It's work in progress, but the basics are here.

In time, you'll be able to find loots of different bits and pieces about me here, and hopefully I'll be uploading my debut mix for you aural pleasure.


Music posted up here is for evaluation only, and only online for a limited time. If you're an artist, band or label that would like something removed, please get in touch. Otherwise, enjoy the blog!

About me

  • I'm jonthebeef
  • From Manchester, North West, United Kingdom

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    Last posts


    A Little Black Country Grammar

      Ahr - Yes
      Ar bin - I am
      Bostin - Terrific
      Geaus - Give me
      Gob - Mouth
      Kipper Tie - Cup of Tea
      Quoit - Exactly, entirely
      Or roit? - Are you well?
      Trarabit - See you again soon
      More?? Here.
    Who links to me?

    Hey! Any music I post links to here is to help promote the artists! If you want me to take it down, please send a nice, polite email to
    "jon at black country grammar dot co dot uk" and it'll be done. Ta.