Tracks Monkeys With Lasers

Something Old, Something New #3
May 28, 2009, 8:19 pm
Filed under: music | Tags: , , , ,

Beastie Boys – No Sleep Till Brooklyn

From the 1986 album “Licensed To Ill”

Released in 1986, it was the first rap LP to top the Billboard 200 chart and is Columbia Records’ fastest selling debut album of all time.

Produced by the Beastie Boys themselves and the renowned Rick Rubin, the album regularly makes greatest album lists and features some of their most famous tracks, including Fight For Your Right.

The track featured here was the third single off the album and features Slayer guitarist Kerry King both on the track itself and in the video as well. The name of the track is said to be a spoof of the Motorhead album “No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith” and the track has featured on Guitar Hero: World Tour, was used by the WWE star Nunzio and by the baseball team the Cleveland Indians.

The Anomalies – Oldskool

From the 2009 album “Free Soup Social”

Hailing from Hereford, England, MC Goldseal, Mouthmaster Murf, Lo and DJ Mayhem have been together for 3 years now, releasing their debut album this year.

Having already supported acts such as Grandmaster Flash, Goldie, Sway, Scratch Perverts, DJ Yoda, DJ First Rate, Roll Deep, Ugly Duckling and Groove Armada, The Anomalies are no stranger to the big stage and this album is already a favourite of mine from this year.

Maybeshewill with And So I Watch You From Afar @ The Good Ship – 20/05
May 24, 2009, 10:23 pm
Filed under: gigs, music | Tags: , , ,

This was a gig I’d had down in my diary from the day I first heard about it as both of these bands I absolutely love and have both seen aready in London in the last 6 months and the Good Ship is a venue I really like as it’s such a small place and is quite unique in it’s setup with the stage in a pit at the far end of the bar.

I got there nice and early as I wanted to try and catch every band that were playing. First of the lot were the curiously named Flies Are Spies From Hell who I rather liked, being a post rock rock band with the USP of having a pianist in the band which added an extra layer to their sound which made their set quite memorable. They only had a short time on stage to impress but they certainly managed to make me take notice of them. Not that it was easy to ignore them at the volume they were playing at!

Go here and download a copy of the track People Not Here for free.

Afterwards came Wild Dogs In Winter who played a very understated, shoegaze set that didn’t really grab me. There was nothing wrong with their set but I found myself drifting off a fair bit while they were playing which is never a good sign. They had a few good songs in their brief set but a few that really didn’t inspire me as well.

Follow this link to download a free copy of  the song Good Ol’ Burnt Eyes.

After the stage had been setup again, it was the wonderful Maybeshewill’s turn to take to the stage and they played a set that I really enjoyed, opening with the opening track off their new album You Can’t Shake Hands With A Clenched fist which is a fantastic song that could easily provide the soundtrack to any apocalyptic scene in a film and it set the mark for the rest of the set.

I managed to get myself right down the front for their set which, if you’ve ever been to the Good Ship, means that I was practically on stage with the band as there’s really no such thing as a stage in the ‘pit’ where the band plays and pretty much all that seperates you are a few speakers on the floor in front of the band. The sound they gave out was simply astounding and old favourites like The Paris Hilton Sex Tape sounded brilliant. Their set also had a nice mix of new songs as well with Co-Conspirators, Accept And Embrace and This Time Last Year (technically not a ‘new’ song but still) all getting plays and all sounding brilliant.

To finish their set in, almost obligatory fashion, they played Not For Want Of Trying which is easily one of my favourite songs of theirs. Overall, they played a blinding set again and I loved it even if many of the crowd didn’t seem to know them; both guitarists get an a quality sound out of their kit, the drumming is fantastic and the bass playing really tight. The ony annoyances I have is that they never seem to get enough time to do a really good set and the laptop they use always seems to be a bit too quiet so some of the dialogue they use, such as Peter Finch’s “Mad As Hell” rant on Not For Want Of Trying, gets all too easily drowned out. I’m nitpicking but there you go.

Then after they had finished came the headline act, And So I Watch You From Afar and my god, these guys know how to put on a show! Opening with the rioutous Set Guitars To Kill, the crowd (and band) just went absolutely mental and it’s easy to see why when that tune is so epic. The energy from both band and crowd never let up through the rest of the set and it was simply brilliant thanks to that.

What little stage boundaries there were quickly dissipated with the band throwing themselves around it, juming into the crowd and, occasionally, vice versa; I was worried I was going to lose a tooth by the end of the set either from one of the guitarists smacking me in the face or from being thrown into a speaker by one of the crowd. The band launched their way through a set of tracks from their recently released, self titled album (some of which also appeared on their EP from last year) such as the massive Start A Band and If It Ain’t Broke Break It but also some of the slower, more melodic I Capture Castles and The Voicless, the latter two allowing the crowd and the band to recover between some of the moreheavy songs.

As I said, their set was truly spectacular both thanks to the band and the crowd and afterwards I just felt knackered from it all. There was absolutely nothing to fault from their set and it was perhaps even better than the last time I saw them at the Bull & Gate as the crowd were so much more involved (or at least they were in the pit where I was) and in the end I did manage to keep my full set of teeth even if my neck was a bit sore from all the headbanging.

All in all, a fantastic night of music with two of my favourite current bands playing great sets. Not bad for four quid really..

Maybeshewill – Co-Conspirators (live)

Metric @ The Electric Ballroom – 19/05
May 24, 2009, 2:51 pm
Filed under: gigs, music | Tags: , , ,

It had been a little while since I’d been to the Electric Ballroom in Camden, the last time being back in October time for the Los Campesinos! gig, and so I was looking forward both to going back to the venue and also as I was really looking forward to seeing Metric live.

The identity of the support band had been kept fairly quiet for some reason for the show and I only got there in time for their last two tracks which were pretty average to be fair so I wasn’t too fussed about missing them. In the gap after their set, I managed to wander quite easily down to the front of the stage, albeit right over to the side but for me this is a much better spot than standing halfway back in the venue just to be central. This is even more noticeable in the Electric Ballroom as for such a big venue, there’s no slope whatsoever so for a gentleman of my stature, it’s pretty crap to be any distance back. So, in what I thought was a good spot and after quite a lot of faffing on stage, Metric finally came on.

Coming out on stage in moody lighting with smoke aplenty on stage, they started out with one of the new tracks in Twighlight Galaxy, which I thought was a surprising one to open with. It actually worked very well with the understated anture of the song and the lighting with all the layers of synths going on. After that, they launched into the fantastic Help I’m Alive which was fantastic. From there on in, the pace of the set remained quite high with a lot of tracks of Fantasies with Satellite Mind, Gold Guns Girls and Collect Call all played, with Handshake being the only old track in there.

After that onslaught, the pace dropped with Emily Haines taking a bit of time out to talk to the crowd, saying that the band were happy to be playing the final show of their tour in London and how they love coming to England, saying that some of the best music has always come from here and by that she meant the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and not the Klaxons and Bloc Party, which got a few laughs from the crowd, and how that she hoped Metric could embody the two former bands. It was all a bit pretentious but setup the brilliant Gimme Sympathy in a great way. After that, we had a mix of old and new tracks, including Dead Disco, before finishing with Stadium Love which I’ve never particularly been taken with on the album but live it was so much better.

Then after the obligatory run off stage, we were treated to a great encore of Monster Hospital and a stripped down, acoustic version of Live It Out with Emily jumping off the stage to come down the front of the crowd for high fives, hugs and the like which was a really nice touch.

All in all, it was a much better show than I’d anticipated. I’d only discovered the band recently through Fantasies so was quite pleased that the majority of the set consisted of those tracks as they have a much better, layered sound than some of the older albums. But on the flipside, the older tracks are a lot more raw and the unpolished sound of some of them can be their strength as well as their weakness. And in Emily Haines, the band have a great front-woman with her going between synthesiser, guitar and vocal duties.

They’re not quite ready for stadiums, as they almost seem to believe, but for that night, the Ballroom definitely belonged to them.

Metric – Help I’m Alive (live)

“Technical Issues”
May 21, 2009, 10:23 am
Filed under: music

It would appear that the site I’ve been using to host the audio files on here has taken objection to me doing so. As such, none of the audio files are currently working.

I’m trying to find an alternative host or a way of doing it myself so the blog can continue as it was but until then, there’s not a lot I can do I’m afraid.

But be sure to check back as once it’s sorted, the reviews of the Metric gig and the show with Maybeshewill and And So I Watch You From Afar will go up.

Keep the faith!

EDIT: for now I’m going to use another site to do the same as before as a temporary solution. Therefore, only new posts (ie ones after this) will have the audio up. Once I’ve found something a bit better, I’ll sort the whole site out.

But keep an eye out for the reviews as they’ll be going up tomorrow! (hopefully)

Dark Night Of The Soul Release In Danger (Mouse)?
May 17, 2009, 12:48 pm
Filed under: music | Tags: , ,

The next couple of months should have seen the release of one of the most interesting collaborations in a long while with the producer Danger Mouse hooking up with Sparklehorse and a whole load of guest vocalists. The result of all this would have resulted in the release of ‘Dark Night Of The Soul’ but it now seems that this could all be up in the air.

Yesterday, the BBC reported that EMI had cancelled the album but it is uncertain as to whether this is a permenant or temporary thing.

As it stands, Danger Mouse intends to release the CD so it contains the artwork booklet, by David Lynch, and a blank CD-R, along with a note reading “For Legal Reasons, enclosed CD-R contains no music. Use it as you will.”

Hopefully the album will get a full release as it is a damn fine album and it would be a shame for people never to hear it.

Currently, the album is being streamed for free on NPR public radio’s website, which you can find here.

Just War (ft Gruff Rhys of the Super Furry Animals) Download

Dark Night Of The Soul (ft Vic Chesnutt) Download

Graham Coxon @ The Lexington – 13/05
May 14, 2009, 9:05 pm
Filed under: gigs, music | Tags: , , ,

Last night saw my first visit to the fairly new venue of The Lexington on Pentonville Road to see Graham Coxon play one of only a handful of shows before he’s off touring with some band he used to be in called Blur.

Anyhoo, I met up for a drink with a friend beforehand so didn’t catch the first support band, Micachu and the Shapes, as we didn’t realise that they’d finished by the time we got upstairs to the venue itself.

The actual venue was a fair bit bigger than I had imagined with a small upper floor with a bar and then on a lower level was the main floor and the stage. As we got there, there were very few people still in the venue so easily made it to the front in time for the second support act, Pete and the Pirates.

Pete And The Pirates at the Lexington

Now these were one of those bands that I seem to have heard of many times in many different places but had never actually heard any of their music so went into it now knowing what to expect. And what I did hear was rather good actually as they played an almost annoyingly catchy array of indie pop that had just enough of an edge to it every now and again to stop you from feeling nauseous from the sugariness of their songs. The two guitarists/two singers format worked well for them and the tight guitars from them was backed up nicely by some lovely little riffs by their other guitarist and some solid drumming and basslines from the remainder of the band. Well worth a listen.

After they had finished their set and the stage was prepped, Graham Coxon and his band (a drummer and bassist) made there understated entrance to a now packed out Lexington audience.

Graham Coxon at the Lexington

Now, I knew what to expect from this gig as I’d already heard that it would be him, and the band, playing his new album ‘The Spinning Top’ so I managed to ‘acquire’ this album beforehand and give it a few listens before seeing him. As such, this review is of the album as much as it is of the gig itself. Now the thing with this album is that it is a very different sound to his previous albums as it draws it sound from a very folky, finger picking style (the latter, a style I really like and as a guitarist myself, one I like to play) rather than the lo-fi and pop punk sounds of his other works. For me, it’s a great album (after a few listens) and I really appreciate the technicality of playing such songs.

Live, however, it was simply mesmerising for me to see it being played in front of me (and here it was quite literally in front of me!). After his brief, understated welcome he started from the top of the album with the rather fabulous ‘Look Into The Light’ and from there, proceeded to play the rest of the album in it’s entirety, including the 8 minute long ‘In The Morning’, the brilliantly distorted ‘Dead Bees’ and the fantastic, frantic single ‘Sorrow’s Army’.

The acoustic tracks he played sat on a chair at the front of the stage (as finger picking can be difficult at the best of times, let alone when stood up) which added to the intimate feeling of the gig, while the heavier tracks like ‘Dead Bees’ saw him get to his feet with his electric guitar, bent over and playing with his effects pedals to brilliant.. well, effect.

After playing the album the whole way through, he finished with a cover of a cover of an old blues/folk track called ‘Oh Babe It Ain’t No Lie’, originally written by Elizabeth Cotten which was a nice finish. All in all, I found it an entralling gig thanks to his astounding guitar skill and the album sounded so much better live than on recording. He may not have played any of his ‘classics’ but to be honest, they’d have felt out of place. It was just a shame that not everyone seemed to have expected the gig to have been like it was but then again, I don’t care; I loved it!

Graham Coxon – Sorrow’s Army (live)

Something Old, Something New #2
May 10, 2009, 11:06 pm
Filed under: music | Tags: , , , , ,

The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter

From the 1969 album ‘Let It Bleed’.

Released in 1969, the album reached the top of the UK charts and reached#3 in the US Billboard charts, where it also went double platinum.

The song, and the album as a whole, have been said to sum up the change in mood that was seen in the UK as the free-loving ’60s drew to a close and the ’70s began. The song itself, written by Jaggar and Richards, speaks of sheltering from an oncoming apocalypse but doubles this with quite loving lyrics. The female vocals weren’t originally going to be on the track but were the idea of the record’s producer and so Merry Clayton was bought on board and sings possibly one of the most famous lines in “Rape, murder; it’s just a shot away, it’s just a shot away”.

Never actually released as a single, it’s possibly one of the Stones’ most famous tracks and has been covered by many artists and used widely in TV and films, such as in Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Departed’.

It’s possibly one of my all-time favourite tracks.


Maybeshewill – Co-Conspirators

From the upcoming album ‘Sing The Word Hope In Four-Part Harmony’

Following on from their 2008 album ‘Not For Want Of Trying’, Maybeshewill return with their brand new album featuring more of the same. With loud, melodic guitars, huge drumbeats, twinkling pianos and driving basslines, they seem to be back on fine form. The album also features ‘This Time Last Year’ and ‘Last Time This Year’ which have been floating around for a while as well.

No strangers to samples either, with their first album featuring the Oscar winning monologue by Peter Finch from the film ‘Network’ and dialogue from the 2002 film ‘The Rules of Attraction’ providing the intro for another of their tracks, they show no signs of changing that. However, the title track off the album also has spoken lyics by the band themself which can be found on their forums.

You can pre-order the album off the Robot Needs Home website. Also, Maybeshewill are currently in the middle of a huge tour of UK and Ireland and I’ll be seeing them on their London date.

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