Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The Concretes - WYWH

Stokholms 8 piece indi-pop band The Concretes have produced a beautiful record that is going to get me through the winter, tender vocals with a disco beat. "I Wish We'd Never Met" is one of the most beautiful songs I've heard this year. "What We've Become" is another stand-out track with an absolutely brilliant chorus.

Get wrapped up with this record for the cols snap.

Mark Sultan - $

Mix up The Cramps, Iggy, Bowie, New York Dolls, Ramones, Dick Dale, T-Rex, Captain Beefheart, & The Kinks and you get a fair idea of what this record is all about. The first track "Icicles" splitting at the seems with drugged out repetitions the later stages are Beafheart through and through. This record is a tour de force of the weird, depraved and everything that is good about Rock n' Roll. "Ten of Hearts" is a slow number that could have been written for John Waters Cry Baby. "Status" is a Ramones style surf rock tune that absolutely rocks click here to listen. I love this record it's more than homage to icons of old, great vocals, guitar playing and most importantly great songs.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Girls - Broken Dreams Club

San Francisco duo Girls are back with their 60's drenched ep "Broken Dreams Club". This is a wonderfully produced record, filled with shimmering guitars, lazy trumpets and catchy heart felt melodies. Christopher Owens vocals add to the 60's vibe with a well equipt vocal range. The album reminds me a little of The Flaming Lips (Soft Bulletin) in the use of instruments and atmosphere they build.
"Heartbreaker" is a wonderful song, it opens with a phased guitar and you know it's not going to dissapoint when the bass line kicks in. This is a move in a really interesting direction for Girls, I'm a big fan I hope to hear more.
To listen to "Heartbreaker" Click here

Grinderman 2

So it seems that Nick Cave can do no wrong at this period of his career. Long gone are the ballads, now we are back in the horror movie of Cave's mind. Whether with the Badseeds or Grinderman, it sounds dangerous and intoxicating.
Grinderman 2 opens with "Mickey Mouse and the Goodbye Man," a mellow bluesy guitar starts then crashes in with stabs that could crack the skulls of babies. Every instrument on the record sounds beaten up, you could imagine them recording it in a convicts shack in the outback with dust spitting out the amps.
This record is great from start to finish. Heathen Child one of the singles brings an awsome chorus with it. The haunting "What I Know" lets the listeners ears soothe before "Evil" assaults them once again. Great great record!!

I've seen Cave with the Badseeds twice now, both blowing me away. I hope to see grinderman while they are still in full swing of this project. Check them out on their site. If you got the stomache for it. http://www.grinderman.com/

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Guards "Don't Wake The Dead"

"Don't Wake The Dead" is a fantastic track off Guards debut ep "Guards". A great lo-fi fuzz bomb! I absolutely love it! The vocals sound like they where recorded in a submarine.
Guards is Richie Follin of Willowz solo project, and I actually prefer it.
The rest of the ep though is not as upbeat but by no means does it let up on quality. An absolute belter and I can't wait for a full album. WTS!!!!
Click here to listen too "Don't Wake The Dead"

Twin Shadows "Forget"

George Lewis Jr. aka Twin Shadow has put together a fantastic debut "Forget". Highly influenced by Bowie in his "Station to Station" era, "Forget" is stacked with heavy bass lines, sharp steep synths and emotive melodies. It is very stylised in sound but the quality of songs take it beyond the materialistic.
Dark and Dreanmy "Shooting Holes" is a stand out track, it has a wondertful chorus which at the right time can send shivers down your spine. I hope to catch him when he plays in Bristol in Feb next year.
Click here to hear "Shooting Holes"

Wild Nothing - "Gemini"

Wild Nothing's (Jack Tatum) debut album "Gemini" is another example of the great music coming out of America at the moment. Full of reverb and beautiful melodies this is definetely one of the top albums of the year. And with great live performances backing them up, they are creating a hell of a buzz.
A wonderful track is "Summer Holiday", shimmered guitars, falceto harmonies and a real hint of The Cure makes for great listening.
For me "Gemini" has a real tenderness, that is full of hope. It sounds natural, and none of the songs feel forced or conceited. A real gem that should be listened to in one sitting.
Click here to listen too "Summer Holiday"

Monday, 22 November 2010

Frank O'Hara - Animals

       Have you forgotten what we were like then
       when we were still first rate
       and the day came fat with an apple in its mouth
       it's no use worrying about Time
       but we did have a few tricks up our sleeves
       and turned some sharp corners
       the whole pasture looked like our meal
       we didn't need speedometers
       we could manage cocktails out of ice and water
       I wouldn't want to be faster
       or greener than now if you were with me O you
       were the best of all my days
From The Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara. Copyright © 1971 by Maureen Granville-Smith.
Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Friday, 19 November 2010

PIL - Public Image - The best way to start the weekend

Lets get to know The Vaccines

London 4 piece The Vaccines have got a lot of hype around them at the moment and it's easy to understand why. With their single "Wreckin Bar (Ra Ra Ra)" to be released  on the 22nd November. A track that has a lot of guts and guile and shows off their 3 chord punk ethics, will no doubt take them stratospheric. They have other great tracks such as "If you Wanna" the demo that started it all & "Blow it Up". Their debut album should be released early next year and has been recorded as pretty much as live album! No fancy production techniques.

The Vaccines live @ Captains Rest Glasgow
Click Here to visit their website where you can see video clips of them rocking 'Later with Jools...'

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Beach Fossils - Beautiful

Beach Fossils are one of my favorite bands of the year, and this album is for anyone who's summer didn't go according to plan. Dustin Payseur's lo-fi vocals mixed with a distinct jangly guitar make for a good record. This band feels like they've maybe got a bit more behind them, than a lot of the other no-fi bands at the moment. With hypnotic melodies and a considered manner check out one of the stand out tracks "Daydream".Click here to listen to "Daydream"

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Happy Birthday! Martin Scorsese winning an Oscar® for "The Departed"

Happy Birthday Martin! Was a long time coming.

Surfer Blood - "Swim" - Teenage Anthem

What a great teenage anthem!! Has got absolutely everything you want in a punk track. I have to see them while their in the UK! Big up Surfer Blood

Surfer Blood UK Dates

'Surfer Blood' who are touring with Interpol at the moment, will be hitting the UK on the 24th November for a string of dates. If you haven't heard them, I guess they sound like a mix of Weezer & Dinosaur Jnr. Great US indi-rock, plaid shirts and fuzzy guitars. Love em. Check them out on the link http://www.myspace.com/surferblood

Kisses - People Can Do The Most Amazing Things

This is my favorite track by 'Kisses' it's dark & dreamy with an indi-disco beat. Based in Los Angeles and comprising of Jesse Kivel (Princeton) and Zinzi Edmondson, 'Kisses' are becoming a bit a phenomena. Kivel's vocals remind me of Jens Lakemen, this is a band I want to see live! Check them out on the link below.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Smith Westerns New Single - 'Weekend'

Smith Westerns new single "Weekend" is fantastic. With a T-Rex style riff and some beautiful dreamy melodies this is gonna be on my winter playlist for sure. Taken from their new album 'Dye It Blonde' I can't wait to hear the rest of it. Listen to the track on the link http://pitchfork.com/reviews/tracks/12032-weekend/

The Pains of Being Pure of Heart - New Single!!

Listen to the new single from 'The Pains of Being Pure of Heart' on Pitchfork (on the link below)
The track still contains the same attitude as the last album. But I think if the new album is anything like the new track, we'll see a little bit more of an edgy side. With a more obvious synth line in the latter stages of the track and an up-tempo beat , their is a definite move in a new direction.http://pitchfork.com/news/40593-listen-new-pains-of-being-pure-at-heart-single/

Best Coast - Boyfriend - Great Video, Awesome track

Great video from Best Coast from their album 'Crazy For You' This is their big hit off the record.

Monday, 15 November 2010

The Pains of Being Pure of Heart - upbeat shoegaze

NYC band The Pains of Being Pure of Heart, play beautiful upbeat shoegaze songs filled with hope and a splash of melacholy. I saw them play a couple of years ago in Bristol, UK and they sound as good live as on record. Creating an awsome atmosphere amongst the crowd. I've never seen so many people smiling at a gig (Ok maybe Blur at Glastonbury). Catchy yet subtle melodies my favourite track of their's is "Young Adult Friction" which I posted the video for on my blog a few days back so scroll down the main blog page for a look.

Punk: Attitude - The most comprehensive punk documentary

Don Letts' Documentary on the history of punk covers both sides of the Atlantic, and for parts focuses on "who" started the movement. It captures the mood of both countries at the time. The US was much more about personal freedom and Heroin, than the UK's anarchic climate, spitting and shocking. But it's main focus is on the attitude of the movement and the ethos of "Punk".
The film is comprehensive in it's coverage of pioneering bands and also the bands that didn't make it but still changed the face of the movement.
With a host of great interviewees including the brilliant Henry Rollins, Jello Biafra, Jim Jarmush, and Captain Sensible I strongly advise anyone who is even partially interested in punk to watch this. It doesn't get any better.

Directed by Don Letts

Jim Jarmusch - Coffee and Cigarettes

Made up of 11 shorts, shot in B&W all linked by the rituals of coffee and cigarettes. With a host of stars playing themselves, as well as weird and wonderful characters this film is a joy to watch. From Steve Buscemi, to the 'White Stripes' it offers complete coolness.
One of my favorite scenes is "Somewhere in California" Shot in 1993 with Iggy Pop & Tom Waits, deciding that as they no longer smoke they should reward themselves with a cigarette. The conversation is brilliantly awkward and it seems the only thing they have in common is their lust to smoke.
 Another great scene sees Steve Wright & Roberto Benigni baffle and confuse.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Deam my first love

Releleased in 1993 this albums sonic sound caught my imagination at the age of twelve. I would go round to my friends house an here "Quiet" booming out of his brothers bedroom, and remember thinking what is this! My friends brother kindly made me a tape of "Siamese Dream" and that was it hooked through my early teens on whatever Billy Corgan would produce.

But with time and other bands coming on my radar the Pumpkins fell to the back of my record collection and their relevence became less and less. Until I heard the opening bars of "Cherub Rock" on the radio. A huge wave of nostalgia hit me. And I was 12 again with my tape deck.

Though "Melancholy and the Infinate Sadness" has it's high points, it's  "Siamese Dream's" pure tonal sound that captures my imagination so much. It is one of the greatest albums to come out the 90's and though chucked in with the other grunge bands of the time, the Pumpkins did something exceptional.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Johnny Thunders - So Alone

Released in 1978 and with the likes of Phil Lynott, Steve Jones & Chrissie Hynde collaborating, Thunders first solo effort is incredible.
Thunders guitar quite literally thunders in on the first track "Pipeline" a cover version of the Chantays. Followed by the seminal "You Can't Put Your Arms Round a Memory"! I love this album for it's diversity and Thunders' distinct style.

The cover is a waisted Thunders who looks as though he's been on a 4 day bender, and someones propped him up on a chair for his photo shoot.
It could only end one way for him.
  Johnny Thunders: Born 1952 in Queens NY - Died 1991 New Orleans LA (Aged 38)

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Kate Bush - Headphones moment

Written by Kate Bush when she was 13 and recorded at 16 this beautiful song has just seen me through the rain hammering down today. Lot of love for Kate Bush.

The Stones - Tattoo You

Released in '81 as an excuse to tour an album, Tattoo You was mostly made up of tracks that hadn't made it onto previous albums. This is the The Stones most underrated album in my opinion. With the massive first single "Start Me Up" it has a real classic Stones feel. This is probably because most of the tracks where written during the seventies, and they had pretty much just become a touring band at this point.
"Slave" has one of Richards most infectious riff's.

"Little T&A" sung by Richards has real Cramps feel to it. I love Jagger giving it some on the backing vocals. The lyrics are a great reflection on their lifestyle.
"The heat's raiding, the tracks is fading; Joint's rocking, could be anytime at all; But the bitch keep bitching, the snitcher keeps snitching; Dropping names and telephone numbers and all, well"
A great one to listen to in the small hours. 

Wednesday, 10 November 2010


Love this film! Written , produced, directed and starring Richard Linklater. We aimlessly follow boh-ho's, drop outs and pot heads around Austin, Texas for the day. Stoned ramblings and theories, are a big part of the script, but my favourite part is Teresa Taylor (drummer from the Butthole Surfers) trying to sell Madonna's pap smear! Genius.

Joe Strummer - Punk Warlord

Directed by Julien Temple and released in 2007. This intimate documentary of the late great Joe Strummer gets pretty emotional. Filled with interviews from friends and loved ones (including members of the Clash, director Jim Jarmusch & Matt Dillon) it paints a wonderful picture of Strummers many guises and relationships. We hear the best and worst parts of his character, but the overall consensus is warm and very heart felt.
A young Strummer comes accross as spiky and unforgiving. Post Clash and a period in the musical wilderness, he seemed to start over and reform bonds that he had broken in his punk heydey. A facinating piece of film making, about a true great. R.I.P Joe you are an inspiration

Boardwalk Empire - HBO does it again with a little help from Scorsese

Airing in the States at the moment. Boarwalk Empire ticks all the right boxes. Great script, set, costume and of course acting. Starring Steve Buscemi (Enoch "Nuky" Thompson) & Michael Pitt (Jimmy Darmody).
Set in Atlantic city 1920's & 30's just as the Prohibition era starts. It feels as stylized as 'Once upon a time in America' and with the acclaimed screenwriter Terence Winter (Soprano's) adapting it for the screen, you know it has substance.
A must see even if gangsters aren't your bag.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Please Kill Me - A great account of the history of Punk

A booked filled with short interviews mashed and pasted together to make you feel like your in the middle of an argument. From the early days of the MC5 and the Velvet Underground, through to The Ramones, Television and beyond. No rock is left unturned. A facinating part is how small the NY scene actually was at the time. But has left such a mark on the music of today.
Oh yeah and Nico giving Iggy the clap!

Metropolitan - Socialites Ball

Set in New York amongst the young Upper Class socialites during Debutante Ball season. Whit Stillman's debut as a Director/Screenwriter is fantastic. Full of cutting one-liners, Tuxedo's and Ball Gowns this film could have been shot in one room. A must see if you can't afford to go out.

The Savage Detectives - Dark & Sexy

If you are yet to discover Bolano this book (his debut) is the perfect introduction. Bolano passed away in 2003, so there is limited material. But what he's left behind can only be described as a series of masterpieces. The Savage Detectives follows two Drifter Poets across North America, Europe and the Middle East. It covers 30 years and is told from the view point of multiple characters.
It's dark, sexy and unnervingly confessional.
If you like this then checkout  his true masterpiece 2666.

Down by Law - Classic

A brilliant Jim Jarmusch film starring Tom Waits, John Lurie & Roberto Benigni. The film tells the tale of three inmates incarceration, escape and their bizzare relationships.
The films dark humor, great cinematography, and seedy backdrop of a whiskey fueled New Orleans's creates a cool rebellious atmosphere. 
Jarmusch and Lurie worked with each other a lot at the time and their love of Jazz and auteur film making form a great partnership. Down by Law oozes coolness and with Tom Waits involved I need say no more. 

 Super cool John Lurie

Monday, 8 November 2010

A Single Man - Beautiful and Concise

For a directorial debut this film astounds me. Colin Firth giving the performance of his career...(and he does) it astounds me. Along with a fantastic performance from Julianne Moore.
It's Ford's attention to detail that makes this film feel so complete. Everything has it's place and feels considered, beautiful and concise. It's O.C.D porn.
Throughout the film it feels like the colour has been pulled out of every shot, which mirrors George's (Colin Firth) existance. But those moments when George remembers what it feels like to be alive, when he encounters the smooth foxed terrier that smells like "buttered toast" (which is actually one of Ford's own). Or Kenny (Nicholas Hoult) giving a flirtatious smile, colour fills the screen, and the scene takes on an alertness that locks into the viewer.
A modern day masterpiece.

Patti Smith - The original

I love this photo of Patti in her famous Keef t-shirt. She looks like she'd eat anyone alive. She made Androgyny hot. Long live Patti!