Tracks Monkeys With Lasers


Podcast #17

The 17th podcast, featuring;

Laurent Garnier – No Music, No Life
The Tallest Man On Earth – The Sparrown And The Medicine
Mark Fernando – Visiting The City
Rancid – Last One To Die (Acoustic)
Miike Snow – Silvia
Iconoclasts – Pretenders
Danananakroyd – Black Wax
Memory Cassette – Asleep At A Party
Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse – Revenge (ft. Wayne Coyle)
Crocodiles – I Wanna Kill
Kitty, Daisy & Lewis – Going Up The Country
She Keeps Bees – Gimmie
TV On The Radio – Staring At The Sun (Live)
Emmy The Great – We Almost Had A Baby
Noah And The Whale – Blue Skies
Dan Deacon – Slow With Horns / Run For Your Life

Download from here



New Album Reviews – Maybeshewill and Miike Snow

Maybeshewill – Sing The Word Hope In Four-Part Harmony

Maybeshewill finally released their second album last Monday but I’ve been listening to it for a fair while after picking up a copy at their show last month.

After their first release ‘Not For Want Of Trying’ in 2008, which was one of my albums of the year and possibly my favourite post rock album, they had a lot to live up to. All their previous work, both the first album and the ‘Japanese Spy Transcript’ EP, has a slightly heavier, more intense sound than a lot of post rock bands and it’s this, along with their use of movie samples, that has always endeared them to me and with this album it is definitely more of the same.

The opening track ‘You Can’t Shake Hands With A Clenched Fist’ sets the tone for the album brilliantly with loud, sharp guitars creating an sound that could accompany any apocalyptic movie scene before launching into Co-Conspirators which contains everything a good Maybeshewill track should, as does How To Have Sex With A Ghost.

Elsewhere on the album, This Time Last Year and Last Time This Year both feature which was something of a surprise to me as they’d both featured on a 12″ split (with Her Name Is Calla) that they released last year. However, they’ve been reworked and sound better than ever here. Accept and Embrace is a strange track that I sometimes love and am sometime indifferent to but for no real reason. Our History Will Be What We Make Of It is an unusual track, comprising just spoken dialogue overlying a minimal electronic track. But it works.

To close, we have the title track of the album which starts out in a very sedate manner with just the piano and slowly building and building before the specially written dialogue comes in.

Altogether, this is a fantastic album for me that builds on the previous work perfectly. It does feel a little short at 38 minuts (with the final track having a couple of minutes of silence at the end of it) and this feels even more apparant seeing as two of the eight tracks have already been released. It may not quite be as good as their first album, but it’s still one of my favourite albums of the year so far.

Highlights: Co-Conspirators, Our History Will Be What We Make Of It

Sounds Like: 65daysofstatic, And So I Watch You From Afar

Rating: 9 wise monkeys

How To Have Sex With A Ghost

Miike Snow – Self Titled

Monday also saw the release of the debut album from the Swedish trio, Miike Snow, which comprises Andrew Wyatt, Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg. The three have known each other since 2004 when writing material for another artist. The album wasn’t a success but the three remained in contact and in 2007 they formed the band.

The album is strong throughout but, for me, the first three tracks are by far the best; Animal kicks off the album with it’s light, ‘bouncy’ synths and minimal vocals over the top. Burial, possibly my favourite track, follows in a similar vein but builds to a bit more of a crescendo in places, before leading to Silvia, the darkest song of the three, which builds and drops in a fantastic manner.

The rest of the album has a fairly similar feel to the opening tracks but every track manages to be different enough so that the album never feels overly repetitive. While this may be a good thing as the sound they do produce is something I possibly wouldn’t normally listen to but something I enjoyed. However, it does feel as though they found their sound but were afraid to experiment too much which is a bit of a shame. Here’s just hoping they’ve saved some big ideas for the second album.

Highlights: Animal, Burial, Silvia

Sounds Like: A chilled out mix somewhere between Animal Collective and MGMT. But not.

Rating: 7 snow monkeys

Silvia



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.

Download

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.



Live and Kicking
April 18, 2009, 2:33 pm
Filed under: music | Tags: , , , , , ,

Sadly nothing to do with the 90’s Saturday morning kids TV program but a mini feature on a couple of gigs from the last few months featuring a few photos and live recordings.

Los Campesinos!

Back in October 2008, I managed to catch these guys in Camden as part of the ‘Shred Yr Face’ tour with Times New Viking and No Age. LC! themselves played a blinder with a real good fun set, playing a load of songs of their first album and a handful off their new album as well. They finished with the epic ‘Sweet Dreams Sweet Cheeks’ which was simply fantastic live. If you get chance to see these guys, do it.

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You! Me! Dancing! (live)

Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks (from 2008’s ‘Hold On Now Youngster’) Download

Maybeshewill

Also in October last year, I caught these guys at a tiny venue in Kilburn (where they’re playing again in a couple of months time) and it produced a great, intimate atmosphere. They weren’t top of the bill on the night, that honour went to This Town Needs Guns, but for me they were the best band there by a mile. Their set was a wee bit short which was disappointing but what they did play blew me away. Great band and even got a signed 12″ and had a chat with them afterwards. Looking forward to the new album out in June!!

Maybeshewill

Not For Want Of Trying (Live)

The Paris Hilton Sex Tape (from 2008’s ‘Not For Want Of Trying’) Download

Bon Iver

This was back in December 08 at the peculiar venue of the Victoria Apollo; peculiar as it was still showing ‘Wicked’ (the Wizard of Oz musical) at the time so the stage was still decked out with trees and had a dragon hanging from the ceiling. It was also one of the most peculiar atmoshpheres I’ve ever encountered at a gig as it was like seeing an actual theatre production as you felt so self-concious talking between songs and I even put my phone onto silent. The set itself though was breathtaking; songs such as Skinny Love and RE Stacks were stunning live and the band with him made it even better.

We also got to hear some of his new material, which has since been released on the ‘Blood Bank’ EP, and the singalong finale of The Wolves was magical as well.  Would pay good money to see him again.

Bon Iver

Skinny Love (Live)

RE Stacks (from 2008’s ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’) Download

Frank Turner

Last, and by no means least, in this feature is the freebie gig that Frank Turner performed just over a month ago at Pure Groove Records in Farringdon. This really was special as it was just 150 fans, Frank and his guitar with a selection of tunes from both of his albums and a few new tunes for good measure too. Could hardly speak afterwards from all the singing and with such an intense atmosphere there, I think his gig in October at the Shepherds Bush Empire could be something special. Below is a recording of a brand new song off his new album out in September.

The Road (Live)

Heartless Bastard Mother Fucker (from 2009’s ‘The Last Three Years) Download



Scottish Fiction
April 10, 2009, 1:00 pm
Filed under: music | Tags: , , , , ,

willy

After yesterday’s review, it seems that I’ve been listening to a lot of albums written by Scottish bands over the last few weeks to months and all of them have been top class. As such, it seemed apt to have a wee section dedicated to our friends North of the border.

Errors

myspace

Errors originate from good old Glasgow and have been together for just under five years now. They released the EP ‘How Clean Is You Acid House’ back in 2007 and followed this up last year with the release of the fantastic ‘It’s Not Something, But It Is Like Whatever’.

Their electro/post rock sound is something I haven’t heard elsewhere and both CDs come with high praise from myself.

Mr Milk (from 2007’s ‘How Clean Is Your Acid House’) Download

Frightened Rabbit

myspace

Another Glasgow band, this four piece have been together for quite a while now and so far have only released the one album last year, ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’.

A brilliant little album, it’s sound flits between an indie rock and a more folky sound but to great effect. The opening track, below, is such a simple tune but builds to a real crescendo. If you happen to be in London on Wednesday (April the 15th), then pop along to Puregroove record store to see these guys for free before their show at the Scala later that night.

The Modern Leper (from 2008’s ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’) Download

Mogwai

myspace

This Glasgow band have been together and performing for almost 15 years now, with 6 albums to show for it, and according to last.fm are “one of the most influential and best known bands in their genre”.

This genre happens to be post rock, despite the band refuting this claim, and they are one of the most well known instrumental artists. Their most recent album ‘The Hawk Is Howling’ was released only last year. They’re currently in the middle of an extensive tour across North America and Europe before starting on the festival circuit.

Batcat (from 2008’s ‘The Hawk Is Howling’) Download

We Were Promised Jetpacks

myspace

Originally from Edinburgh(!), this foursome have been around for a while, slowly buidling their fanbase.

With a sound similar to Frighterned Rabbit, albeit slightly less folky, they recently signing to the Fat Cat Records and their first album is due out later this year. They’re also playing a number of gigs, flitting between London, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Ships With Holes Will Sink (from the upcoming ‘These Four Walls’) Download



New Release – Dananananaykroyd, Hey Everyone
April 9, 2009, 12:55 pm
Filed under: music | Tags: , ,

myspace

This Monday saw the release of the debut album by the wonderfully named Dananananaykroyd (although it must be said, their name reminds me far too much of this punk classic which I happen to own on yellow 7″) almost 10 months after the release of their EP Sissy Hits.

danaalbum1

This Glasgow 6 piece play what is affectionately known as “fight pop” (or post hardcore or whatever) and have been on the radar of a fair few people for a while now but hopefully with their first full release they can kick on and make it big time.

The album itself starts off with the thunderous instrumental ‘Hey Everyone’ before seamlessly flowing into ‘Watch This!’ with the band all singing the band name. The album as a whole works really well with their slightly darker and distorted indie guitars complementing the boisterous vocals (and two drummers) rather well.

Each track rolls into the next giving you hardly any time to recover, keeping the intensity of the album going.

Highlights: Pink Sabbath, Infinity Milk

Sounds like: Johnny Foreigner

Rating: 8 guitar playing monkeys

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Pink Sabbath Download

Some Dresses Download



Take Two
April 8, 2009, 10:04 am
Filed under: music | Tags: , , ,

Well, now I seem to have the basics sorted, I think it’s time for wee update.

As I said previously, the main idea of this blog will be to put up tracks to introduce you to new bands or remind you of old favourites. As well as this, I’ll also use the site to link to some my podcasts that I’ve been making over the last year or so now. I may put up some of my back catalogue at some point but for now you’ll have to make do with a couple of tracks that I’ve put on recent ones.

First off is Wild Light with the annoyingly catchy ‘California On My Mind’ off their new(ish?) album Adult Nights. If your head isn’t bobbing along by the end of the song then I’ll be disappointed..

Second up is the frankly superb ‘Dance The Way I Feel’ by the curiously named (and curiously dressed) Ou Est Le Swimming Pool (see below) who are a threesome from good old Camden Town and, as seems to be the way over the next couple of weeks while I’m back home, are doing a couple of smallish gigs around London this month. And as I’m such a lovely person, I’ll even give you a link to a free download of the track.. here it is!

http://londonist.com/2009/01/listen_up_ou_est_le_swimming_pool.php

Wild Light – California On My Mind Download

Ou Est Le Swimming Pool – Dance The Way I Feel




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