0 Comments Published by jonthebeef on Thursday, August 31, 2006 at 2:29 PM.
Ed Banger starlet Uffie is one interesting character. Firstly, she's from Miami yet lives in Paris (an American abroad - who'd have thought it?), and she sounds like Annie and MIA having a fight with Peaches. I've been caning this out for the last few weeks, and it's starting to get some interesting responses. OK, I can hear shades of those naughty minxies Avenue D in here as well, but still it's interesting enough not to be rubbish.
MP3 Uffie - Ready to Uff
I've not really come down from the televised Pearl Jam gig the other night. It was probably one of the best bits of telly I've ever seen, and I honestly don't think it's something I'll ever forget. God only knows what I'd be like now if I'd been there and seen the thing live. Lots have people have mentioned how surprised they are that I'm a Pearl Jam fan: Everyone's got to start somewhere though, right? Anyway, it seems the gig was a big hit, and I hope the Beeb are planning to put it out on DVD because if they don't people will be trading this on P2P forever. I'd buy it for sure.
For those of you who missed, there's loads of footage over at YouTube. Pretty much all the televised stuff is there, along with some professional looking footage that's lacking the BBC logo. There's also loads of cameraphone stuff so it's really worth checking out if a) you're a fan and b) have an hour to spare. If you've only 10 minutes, make these two a priority:
1) Rearviewmirror - As I said in my last PJ post, this is the track that first really turned me onto the band. Here, it's an 8 minute stadium rock classic.
2) Crown of Thorns - Those of you who know Pearl Jam's history will know this: It's a cover of a song by Mother Love Bone, a band both Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament featured in before the lead singer died from a heroin overdose in the late 80's.
And here's something for your ears. Enjoy.
MP3 Pearl Jam - Untitled
PS - If this hasn't been enough of a geekgasm for you, there's loads of ace tour photos here.
0 Comments Published by jonthebeef on Wednesday, August 30, 2006 at 4:23 PM.
In the second "holy shit" moment of the night, let me present to you one of the many highlights from Trousersnakes new album. It's fucking ace - so fucking ace it's making me swear a lot. Seriously, I know this isn't indie-schmindy, but fuck me you all know I've got a guilty little habit for pop stuff, especially when it's as good as this. Fuckety fuck fuck fuck fuck, I love it. And I'm not gay.
MP3 Justin Timberlake - My Love (Feat TI)
Big, big shout to James at Yer Mam! for his kind words earlier, and also for inspiring these next 2 posts. Yes, I am "borrowing" some inspiration from him, but this is stuff I've gotta share. Remember my Beyonce post from last week which claimed Deja Vu is her best track since Crazy in Love? I've heard something to tonight which beats it. Bootyful.
MP3 Beyonce - Suga Mama
Madvillain's debut was probably the album I listened to most in 2004. It soundtracked my entire life for a time, from going to work, to coming home, to going out and playing out, and ranks amongst my favourite hip hop albums of the last 10 years. I was fucking over the moon to find out about a new tune featuring on the latest Stones Throw comp, yet it sounds like a cast off from Madvillainy. Yeah, it's earie and kooky, and with a trademark rap from Doom, but it doesn't show exactly any movement from their previous work, and is actually more akin to standing still than moving forward. I'm hoping their upcoming album is better than this: While certainly not bad, it won't be soundtracking anything for me in the near future.
MP3 Madvillain - Monkey Suite
Seeing that I'm a massive Shadow fan, I'm rather concerned that his most recent mix, Schoolhouse Rock 2, passed me by this summer. I've only just found out about it. I'm stunned. Still, this tune is fucking ace. Those of you a little underwhelmed by the Outsider (and there really shouldn't be many of you) will love how old-school this track is, and how it fits with Shadows selection policy a-la Brainfreeze or Funk Spectrum. Give it a whirl/click.
MP3 Unknown - The First Thing I do
Phew. I'm so glad I managed to fix my blog earlier, I really thought my blogging career was over. Sorry for the panicy post - I just didn't know what do...
Seeing as my mood has lifted, lets have some electro funtime. First up is a remix of Discopolis by Lifelike and Kris Menace, followed up by a suitably housey remix of Kelis' Bossy by Alan Braxe and Fred Falke. All good stuff. I'll probably be back to my plodding indie ways tomorrow, but in the meantime you'll have to content yourselves with this. Enjoy.
MP3 Lifelike and Kris Menace - Discopolis (Chris Lake Remix)
MP3 Kelis - Bossy (Alan Braxe and Fred Falke Earth Out Remix)
Thankfully, loads of other people were using my usual template, and a couple of sites have posted the code!!! At least the blog is looking a bit like it used to now. It's going to take a while to get all the old stuff down the right hand side again, but at least it's starting to look like the good old Black Country Grammar again.
I'm so relieved. If any of you are tapping out an email to me with help at the moment please stop as crisis averted!
I can back to posting now.
I don't know what went wrong or when, but as you can see I've had to resort to using a rubbish template on the blog. At somepoint last week, something went wrong when resaving my template, which resulted in a series of posts being deleted and nothing new updating. Having absolutely no CSS skills whatsoever, and my old template being one I acquired from Blogger Templates (which seems to have now been deleted), I'm really in trouble.
Can someone please help me?? I've got the code from the blog before I reverted back to a basic format, so if any of you readers out there are versed in the work of creating blog templates then please get in touch. I can't promise any money, but I can offer a lifetime of gratitude in return.
In the meantime, I'll be looking into this myself to try and build something new. This will take time, and I'm afraid I won't be able to make any posts. I'm really upset about this, as Black Country Grammar is something I've taken a great deal of pride in over the last 5 months.
Till a solution arises, this is jonthebeef, signing off...
The problem with music-blog writing is that you often get a lot of emails from bands that really don't make the grade. I have to spend quite a lot of time listening to music from these guys that really isn't my thing just in case I miss out on the new Tapes N Tapes. I'm pleased to say however that Samuraj Cities are class. I can't quite put my finger on who they sound like, and I'm sure I've heard "Saturday Night is Never Fair to Anyone" somewhere other than the online blogosphere, but they've definitly brightened up my Bank Holiday Monday. Check them out.
MP3 Samuraj Cities - Saturday Night is Never Fair to Anyone
MP3 Samuraj Cities - Sleepy Reviere
0 Comments Published by jonthebeef on Sunday, August 27, 2006 at 3:21 PM.
T in the Park this year was one of the first festivals I've been to in a long time. Things have changed a bit since the late 90's, and while I'm not trying to sound like an old fart my priorities have changed a bit. One thing I noticed was how pointless it is trying to see a band on the main stage. Unless you're there first thing to watch the latest Scottish hopefuls, you've little chance of seeing anything later on. People who say "Oh, I saw so-and-so at X-festival on the Main Stage" actually means: "I stood in a field looking at a really big stage where what seemed to be the Strokes played live. They were about 500 feet away. I couldn't hear much because it was windy, and the sound was all over the place."
So, thank fuck for the BBC's intelligent coverage of this years Reading and Leeds Festival. I've not seen a vast amount of action, aside from what was on a 3 o'clock this morning, but tonight put aside all the regret I had for not going. Pearl Jam have headlined tonight, and BBC3 is currently showing THE ENTIRE FUCKING SET.
They're playing everything, from Jeremy to Corduroy, to Evolution, Blood and beyond. I first got into them when I was 14, and a girl from school gave me her Dissident single as she wasn't keen. The B-side was 3 live tracks, comprising Release, Rearviewmirror and Even Flow, which helped me decide at the time that they were the best band ever.
They've played Rearviewmirror tonight, and it proves itself once more as being a tune that sounds better live than on record. It's edgy, urgent and incendiary, and on tonights evidence hasn't lost a thing over the years. Fucking excellent. They're coming back on in a minute for some encores, so I'm gonna dash. I can't believe I'm reviewing the TV, but I'll probably try this trick again next year. It'll save me 100 quid.
MP3 Pearl Jam - Release/Rearviewmirror/Even Flow (B side from Dissident UK Single. Live recording from the Fox Theatre, Atlanta, 3rd April 1994)
God, it's been a while. Portishead have been working on some new stuff, which debuted over at their MySpazz page earlier this week. I've not listened to it all yet, but I figured I may as well give you what seems to be a demo for your perusal. There's no vocals, the beats sound unprocessed, and it lacks production sheen as a whole, but there is a melody there that's not downbeat. Not upbeat either: Maybe it's just "beat". I dunno, just give it a listen.
MP3 Portishead - Keybored 29903
0 Comments Published by jonthebeef on Wednesday, August 23, 2006 at 3:35 PM.
Tonight was rather busy at the old Manchester Academy. In Academy 2 were My Morning Jacket (who me and Rich went to see), and occupying the 'Jackets normal spot in Academy 3 were the Spinto Band. Pretty much every scenester was at one or t'other tonight, which both Rich and I saw as an ideal opportunity for flyering. Handing out flyers to strangers is one of the down sides of promotions: It's a situation whereby you're forced to hand bits of paper to people regardless of whether they give a monkeys for your cause or not. It also has to be done NO MATTER THE WEATHER.
Anyway, about 10 minutes into our stint, once the Jacket fans had cleared and the Spinto ones emerged, a rather exasperated member of the tour crew ran up to me demanding "Have you seen anyone with a mandolin?!". Now, I didn't remember seeing anyone on stage with such an instrument, and certainly no-one was brandishing one when I handed them a flyer. I helpfully responded "no".
Cue more frantic running around, although this time with Spinto members. It turns out that a helpful scally had pinched their mandolin, and run off to put it on ebay. After much action resembling that of a coop of headless chickens, defeat was accepted by the band. It does, unfortunately, mean that the band will have nothing but bad memories when thinking of my beloved home, yet still it made the painful art of handing bits of paper to strangers more interesting. Ho hum.
MP3 The Spinto Band - Oh Mandy
MP3 My Morning Jacket - At Dawn
NB The above picture was taken during happier times for the Spinto Band at T in the Park this year.
Yes, in my second post in recent weeks about mobile telecoms tv commercials, I figured it was time to focus on the latest Vodafone ad. It had been bugging me for ages who the song was by, and my Google hunt yesterday threw back the answer. It's by a band called the Only Ones, is called "Another Girl, Another Planet" and was released in 1978. The band were formed from the help of Squeeze, and sat at the lighter end of the punk spectrum. More here.
MP3 The Only Ones - Another Girl, Another Planet
I don't know how I've stumbled across this, and while it's maybe a little excessive at such an early stage of his career, Liam Frost has got himself a fansite. It's a little sickly in places, but for those of you who like what you've heard from him so far, you could do worse than check it out. There's some early demos, but more interestingly a set of fan recorded bootlegs. While I've seen Mr Frost many, many times, only one gig is featured where I'm in the background, and that's his instore appearance at Fopp in Manchester from early June. I think this is the live debut of his cover of Naive by the Kooks, and even though I can't stand those curly topped fuckers it's a great performance.
Check it out here.
Record companies do have a canny habit of trying to release songs with a seasonal theme. Christmas is an obvious example, and one very easy to plan for. And then, you get summer, the most unpredictable season in the British calendar. While everyone wants to have a sunny anthem, the rain tends to force people into the direction of Massive Attack and Cat Power, where the yearning for sunnier climbs are not so apparrent. And so to the Young Knives, the band currently capturing Indie Fans UK Wide with their post-post-punk styles. "Hot Summer" is a tune alright, and if anything will lend itself to reminding people how bleak August has been
MP3 The Young Knives - Weekends and Bleak Days (Hot Summer)
Do any of you have an opinion of Beyonce Knowles? I find that while every once in a while she can come out with a catchy number, most of her output is utter garbage. Crazy in Love was one of the best songs of 2003, while her accompanyment to the abomination that was the new Pink Panther movie was the worst attempt at being hip I've ever heard. She must have thought it was poo as well, seeing that new single Deja Vu is an absolute banger. Coming along the same streams as her breakthrough and carrying a tinge of Amerie's One Thing, the tune bounces like all good party anthems should and also has the added bonus of a Jay-Z rhyme or 2. If you can, try and catch the video, which not only features Beyonce looking foxy with her hair up, but also throwing a spazz fit and stomping around like Raquel Welch in One Million Years BC. There's also a bit where she looks like Tina Turner. Dudes, it's just fucking ace and I love it. OK?
MP3 Beyonce - Deja Vu (Feat. Jay-Z)
It can be rather annoying when either a) a song you like gets featured in a massive advertising campaign or b) a song you don't know gets featured in a massive advertising campaign, then you find out what it is and listen to it only to realise it's burnt into your memory as being associated with that particular brand? Welcome to my relationship with Warp signees, Jackson and his Computer Band. Recently, a song of theirs I've had for ages but never listened to has been used in a campaign for o2, and my subsequent listens of the track have been scarred with the blue, black and watery imagery of corporate branding. Annoying, because I'd probably like the song if it wasn't for that. Bugger.
MP3 Jackson and his Computer Band - Utopia
I'm really scared. Funny as fuck though.
I'm tired. While today has consisted of nothing more than cooking myself a tasty lunch and going to the pub with Pasta Paul, I'm still a bit tired for some reason. Last night was spent sending the crowds MENTAL at High Voltage, whilst in the company of The Scare and recent HV signees Bureau. The Scare are an Aussie band based in Brum (cue further Black Country connections) and are rather, well, scary, while Bureau are locals who peddle rather ace 80's style electro pop. All good.
I also attended my first ever Blog meeting yesterday. Organised by the rather lovely Kate from the Manchizzle who managed to pull 22 of Manchesters bloggers together for a meeting which consisted of many hello's and pints of beer. Nice work, and if any of you blog in your respective cities you should really think about doing something similar. Big shout to James from Yer Mam! - nice to meet you.
I've been hanging back on leaking something off Liam Frosts debut - I'm happy to tell you all it's awesome. I can't quite contain myself any longer though, so find below my favourite track. Whenever I hear it live, it sends shivers in places I never know I had nerves, and it has an identical effect on record. Haunting and emotional, it should blast it's way into any music lovers top ten of 2006. Happy listening.
MP3 Liam Frost and the Slowdown Family - Road Signs and Red Lights
Ahh... I'm back in Manchester now. I got back after lunch today, but my feet have barely touched the ground all afternoon. I had a meeting, then caught up with some mates, and I've just finished my Friday evening treat consisting of Duck in Black Bean sauce with egg fri-rye. Yum.
It's good to be back, mainly as I can finally make a start on all the new tuneage I'd received before I went away. I was going to post up New Young Pony Club last single, but seeing that yousendit is being rather rubbish you'll have to content yourselves with a link to their MySpazz. Check out Get Lucky or the rather scary Ice Cream which is out at the end of the month. Delicious.
Tomorrow is the Manchester Blog Meet at Urbis. Apparently there's some free beer. I've already picked out the bells I'll be wearing for the occasion.
Given my supposed great knowledge of the indie music scene, I only really know of the Archie Bronson Outfit by name, and up until very recently I hadn't heard much by them. I'm guessing I can base that because they're based in the big smoke. Anyhow, their twee PR story goes that they all went to art college with the Beat Up and the Duke Spirit, and they were signed when the head of Domino was drowning his sorrows in his local boozer. Now, I'm not the sort to let a creative yet cheesy biog get in the way of the tunes, but I can probably file this in the same bullshit category as how the Spice Girls all met at an audition for the Tank Girl movie. Knowing my recent luck, it's probably all true, and Domino will never send me anything ever again. Have a listen for yourselves anyway - after all the above I do quite like them.
MP3 The Archie Bronson Outfit - Dart for my Sweetheart
Also, in yet another groundbreaking step sideways for this blog, I've got to tell you all about an amazing piece of software recommended to me by the noWax newsletter. It's called ourTunes, and if you are connected to a local network - either at home or work - it will scan all the computers and servers connected to it for MP3's, and allow them to download them to your own computer. What's even cooler is that it works for both Mac and PC, so those of you with multi-platform networks can share away without any worry of software conflicts! I tested it last night at home and it works a treat, so I'd heartily recommend grabbing it.
Download it here.
I'm still at Mum and Dad's, however I've decided it's time to go easy on the old fella. I've also realised that I've posted quite a lot of truly awful music over the last 5 days, so now's time to get back to normal. Y'know, the kinda normal where I write a poignant comment that tenuously links to the piece (or pieces) of music I'm giving away for free.
Some of you know, some of you don't, some of you might have guessed, but I'm out of work at the moment. All those wishes I had about 3 months or so ago have come true: For the last six weeks my days have consisted of doing absolutely fuck all. OK, I've worked on the blog, I've designed a few posters and other bits, been promoting my nights and generally practiced DJing, but today the true realisation of unemployment hit me.
1) I forgot what day of the week it was. The concept of Midweek/Weekend is now totally alien to me.
2) I went on a daytrip to Bath with my Mum and Sister. It was nice.
The journey back was directed by Mum's new Satnav - it took us right around the houses. I also had to go without a cigarette for 2 hours which was challenging - my current employment state allows me to smoke whenever the fuck I like. And then, at about half 7, Zane Lowe dropped Two Months Off by Underworld. It all of a sudden had an absolute relevance seeing as I'm starting work again in a couple of weeks, and it's a beaut of a track anyway.
MP3 Underworld - Two Months Off
PS - Don't worry. I'm cool with all the time off.
PS2 - I took the above picture today.
PS3 - All that reading and only one tune? I'll be back tomorrow.
In a brief digression from my mini-series on Dad's musical habits, I figured it was time for a quick respite based on an email I've just received.
Dan the Automator is back. He's been a bit quiet of late, and with Danger Mouse taking his role as the hip-hop crossover producer of choice, it's time for Mr Nakamura to show he's still a force to be reckoned with. Yeah, we all know what with Shadow going crunk, and the new J5 not being exactly stellar, 2006 hasn't been great for hip-hop. I'm really hoping Automator can step up and provide me with my turntablist fix that is absent at the moment. On this evidence I've reason to be excited.
MP3 Dan the Automator - Don't Hate the Player (Feat. Hieroglyphics)
MP3 Dan the Automator - 2K007 (feat. Ghostface & A.G. of D.I.T.C.)
PS - I'll be back on theme later.
Tune. Seems liking this runs in the family.
I know you're all reeling from yesterdays Liam Frost "emo" revelation, yet you'd probably be even more horrified to find out that me and Matt Fandango backed him on guitar to a version of the below song. We were all quite pissed, and I know Pasta Paul has this on video. If you offer him enough pound notes he might let you see it.
MP3 Kelly Clarkson - Since U Been Gone
Judging from the emails I've received over the last 20 hours, I realise that I might have been a little harsh on poor old Dad yesterday by so publically taking the piss out of his guilty pleasures. At the end of the day. we've all got a few musical skeletons lurking in our MP3 collections, and with hands up I'll admit to having plenty myself.
This doesn't excuse this particular piece of musical treachery:
MP3 Maroon 5 - This Love
Eh??! Why Dad? Why???
Still, while there's bad, there's good. Yin, yang etc.
MP3 Talk Talk - It's My Life
Is he trying to be cool?
See the above picture? Remember the face well. It's my Dad: The man with a horrendous iTunes collection. Evidence for your consideration:
MP3 Corrine Bailey Rae - Go Put Your Records On
MP3 Daniel Powter - Bad Day
MP3 Boney M - Rivers of Babylon
If you see him in the street, please take the man by the hand and lead him to the "good tunes" section of any reputable music retailer. Point out the error of his ways. Give him a tenner (optional of course) and leave him to it.
Postively, here's a class Kate Bush number. More decent stuff as I find it.
MP3 Kate Bush - Running Up That Hill
PS It's official - Liam Frost IS emo.
I'm jonthebeef's sister. We are both at home this week trying to find good things on Dad's iTunes, but it's proving slightly difficult. I have found a Jeff Buckley song, which seeing as I am not too familiar with makes me think that Dad might be a little bit cooler than this post initially suggested. Does this mean Dad is cooler than me? You decide.
MP3 Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah
Easy now boys and girls, I'm writing to you from my folks place in the sunny old West Midlands. For the purposes of not getting too involved with work, I've left my laptop at home, which means I haven't got any music with me. I also forgot to bring my iPod - doh. So, I'm left to the mercy of Dad's iTunes for a weekend. His library makes for pretty horrifying reading in places, however I'm hoping there's a few gems I can share with you all. Here's something to get the party started.
MP3 The Bangles - Walk Like an Egyptian
PS - Yes, I know I'm missing D:Percussion. I hope everyone's having fun.
What a tragic week it's been for music. I was rather late getting up today, so I only checked NME.com about 20 minutes ago. There, I found out that both Arthur Lee and Tony Ogden from Manchester band World of Twist have passed away. While I'm not familiar with World of Twist's past material, with Tony being a Manchester lad I kinda feel compelled to pay tribute. I'll try and find a track for you later. Arthur Lee needs no introduction - it's a sad loss that he's gone.
Death From Above 1979 have also announced that they've split. Not massively upset about this, but I know others will be.
MP3 Love - Everybodys Gotta Live
0 Comments Published by jonthebeef on Wednesday, August 02, 2006 at 7:20 AM.
My late-to-bed-ness for the last couple of evenings have been really because of one thing - I've started liking wine again. I caught Sideways for the first time the other day, and all it made me want to do was drink wine. I've got my way through 3 bottles in the last 5 days, though for liver and wallet reasons now may be the time to stop.
As I was rather pissed, last night I was on something of a download frenzy which consisted of my own guilty pleasures from the last few years or so. Firstly, we've got Used for Glue by Rival Schools. Back in the days when Emo didn't exist and RS were a Punk and Hardcore band, I thought this song was cool. When I later confessed my appreciation, I was called an Emo kid. I'm not fucking Emo - I hate it.
MP3 Rival Schools - Used for Glue
Second of all, we've got Holly Valance. Yes, she is a babe, and yes, she used to be in Neighbours. That's NOT the reason I like this song. It came out a two years ago for her second album, and I think it's some rather good electro-pop. You might not think this however, but please don't hate me too much.
MP3 Holly Valance - State of Mind
I've been finding myself staying up quite late recently. Not sure what it is, as the temperature is cooler than it's been for a month or so. Anyway, while browsing around last night, I came across the near-infamous aborted Britney Spears/DFA collab. I've always been quite curious as to what this would sound like, and in fairness it's not bad. It does come across like the Neptunes, but the very present cowbell certainly gives it that DFA touch. I can see why Murphy canned it for "not working" - it does move away from what they usually do, yet it does show Ms Spears in a different light with a spacey vocal. It's interesting, but I don't think it would have changed the world had it been released.
MP3 Britney Spears/DFA - Get it Go
Here's an oldie mix for you:
MP3 Pixeltan - Get Up - Say What (DFA Remix)
But I know you all love 'em. Here's a couple of tracks from Brazil's Cansei De Ser Sexy, or CSS to you none Portugese speakers out there. They're a cool 7 piece punk-funk act signed to seminal label Sub Pop, and judging from the requests I got on Saturday night to play them, it seems they're pretty fucking hot. Enjoy.
MP3 Cansei De Ser Sexy - Meeting Paris Hilton
MP3 Cansei De Ser Sexy - Lets Make Love and Listen to Death From Above (Spank Rock Remix)
I'm guessing you've all heard about how Chris Cornell will be collaborating with David Arnold on the new Bond theme. Apparently, it's the first time a guy has sung the theme since A-ha did the Living Daylights. I'm not sure what I think about this as I always quite liked Soundgarden when I was a kid. To his credit, Cornell has worked on many soundtracks, as has Arnold, so potentially with Cornell's vocal range we may get something rather good. Or not. Hmm.
MP3 Soundgarden - Fell on Black Days
MP3 Chris Cornell - Seasons
MP3 Audioslave - Cochise
MP3 A-ha - The Living Daylights