Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Laura Marling does Dublin…

July 9, 2008

Laura Marling paid her Irish fans a visit last Tuesday when she stopped by post Glastonbury to play to a jam packed Whelans. 

Here she is in action:

We had a very strange birdseye view of the gig as we the only place we could get to stand was the balcony upstairs. (as you can see from the above pic)

I never thought I’d look down on Laura Marling! Ahum, bad jokes aside Whelans was PACKED to the brim. There were people seated at little tables at the front by candlelight and then some people sitting on the floor right in front of the stage. Upstairs people were leaning over every inch of the railings trying to get a look at Ms Marling. 

And boy was she worth it! She received a humorous welcome to the stage when she was presented with the present of a pair of armbands! (her albums titled ‘Alas I cannot swim’- Doh!) She had the audience captivated throughout her repertoire of songs from her debut and thanked us for being such an attentive audience- even when she threw in some unfamiliar new songs. ‘Marcus won’t be familiar with this one yet as I only wrote it yesterday,’ she confessed at one stage.

Indeed Marcus deserves special mention here for his musical prowess. On Marling’s myspace he is credited for drums, keyboards and vocals. In truth he is a lot more than that- a veritable ‘musicman’ as marling herself described him. Looking disheleved and nursing a hangover from Glastonbury he managed to extract sounds from a stool I never thought possible. Due to a mix up with Ryanair (but of course!) Marling’s bass drum didn’t make it over to Dublin with them. Anyway, during the course of the night Marcus showed his innovative side by clicking his fingers and slapping his legs and even tapping on a ukulele for percussion.

Meanwhile Marling was a joy to watch. She had a no bullshit way about her dressed in a plain white t-shirt, simple skinny jeans and a pair of pink pumps. She didn’t ramble on in between songs either. When she did she came across very wry and witty. She nailed every single song- sounding exactly like they did on the record. This is something which less and less artists seem to be able to do, probably due to a little, or large bit of protools magic. I mean did anyone see The Ting Tings or Estelle’s performances at Glastonbury- Missus Ting Ting was singing so quietly she was virtually whispering when trying to hit the high notes on that song where she can’t seem to remember her own name- What a bunch of Pro tools!

Anyway, Marling was called back on for ‘one more choon’- and we were sent home after a raucous version of ‘Your only doll Dora)’ with the ukulele.

The most intriuging question of the night was- why did she play most of the gig with only one shoe on???!! She took it off at the start and just left it sitting behind her. I wasn’t to play her pedals or anything. She only seemed to notice it when they exited the stage and she ran back on to get it. Why oh why Laura? Still, she’s welcome back here anytime, shoes or no shoes! 

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Howdie….

July 8, 2008

Haven’t updated this in a while as I’ve been away in such far flung places as Sligo and Barcelona. The latter was definately my favourite! Although they do a mean seaweed bath in Innischrone!

I also went to Sonar when I was over there, but more on that later…. 

Here are some cool abstract pics myself and my boyfriend took over there…. 


Barcelonas such a cool interesting arty city, the kind of place where you could party for a week straight. I’d like to live there. I’d definately recommend visiting! 

New Music…

May 27, 2008

Warp’s latest wonderboy…


Along with the pile of (mostly uninteresting ) CD’s I had to review last month along came an intriguing album by the largely unknown Flying Lotus entitled ‘Los Angeles’. Within the first few minutes I was hooked, Flying Lotus posses a boundless imagination and produces some space age hip hop infused with electronica.  


Here’s some background on the wonderboy… ‘Fly Lo’, as he is affectionately known by critics and fans, released an album, 1983, in 2006, signed to Warp in 2007 and followed by the ‘Reset’ EP last year which included bootleg remixes of everyone from Kellis to Mr. Ozio. He studied film in his hometown of Los Angeles- which is evident in the visual landscapes Fly Lo creates within his music. His Aunt is none other than the legendary, Alice Coltrane and his grandmother, Marilyn Mcloed was a songwriter for Motown and produced some of Diana Ross and Micheal Jacksons work. 

He’s playing a few festivals this summer, including Mantua, in Co Roscommon, on the August bank holiday weekend. 

You can keep up to date with all things Fly and Lo at: http://www.myspace.com/flyinglotus, which I would strongly advise!

Here he is in action with ‘Riot’. There are no videos yet, but the music makes up for it. 

And here’s my review of ‘Los Angeles’ which will appear in next months issue of State Magazine. http://www.state.ie/

 

Flying Lotus

‘Los Angeles’

4/5

 

It seems ‘Warp’ are on the money again with their latest signing, Introducing Flying Lotus, a soulboy from LA who mixes hip-hop and bleeding edge dance music to create some exhilarating other worldly sounds. On ‘Los Angeles’ Fly Lo (as he’s known by his homies) wanted to create a ‘visual narrative’ of life in LA. It’s comes as no surprise to learn that he spent his formative years as a film student, the seventeen tracks here play like the soundtrack to a film which captures both the glitter and grime of LA life. The scope is so infinite it would be hard to break it down for you, but suffice to say that Fly Lo has access to a monumental record collection and that no other artist has touched upon so many genres since DJ Shadow. His imagination and producing are both boundless and mouthwateringly creative. We are treated to lush analog waves, gritty distortion, grooving breakdowns, pounding bass and electronics are so ambient, it sounds as if they have been somehow passed through water.

Flying Lotus is an album of our times, which could only have been created in 2008. It is a sign of our both our ever expanding musical Palette and the speed a which we want our music delivered- the songs are presented at a breakneck pace, barely leaving the listener with time to breathe and digest the million beats per second they have just taken in. Sit back, enjoy and let the beats wash over you.

– Tia Clarke

Outgoing…

May 27, 2008

Rediscovering some greats…

With everyone so intent on discovering the next big thing in music, then disregarding them and moving on to the next feeding frenzy, does anyone get time to listen to old records anymore? 

And I’m not even talking about records from a couple of decades ago! This week I rediscovered LCD Soundsystems self titled debut and it’s only from 2005. 

People don’t linger on bands long enough anymore and in doing so you could be neglecting some greats in order to get your latest hype band fix. Slow down people and enjoy the music- it’s supposed to be fun! 

Anyway, let me again reestablish that LCD Soundsystem RULE! 

Here’s my favourite track off the debut, the rocking Trials and Tribulations. Turn it up nice and loud to get the full bass effect. 

 

 

 

Incoming…

May 14, 2008

Laura Marling is the shit! 

Have you heard this?    

It’s the debut album from 18 year old Laura Marling ‘Alas I Cannot Swim’.

Forget Duffy and Adele- Marling is the real deal. 

Marling’s song are dark, quirky, intense, poetic, contemporary and far, far beyond her mere 18 years old. 

She even refused studio make up when she appeared on Jools Holland- you wouldn’t get that from Duffy! 

Marling is currently on tour with Adam Green. You may recognize her voice from the vocals on the new Mystery Jets new single ‘Young Love’. 

Have a listen to her performing ‘My Manic and I’ below and check out the haunting video. 

She’s a regular Joni Mitchell. 

Laura will play Whelan’s on Sunday June 1st. See you there! 

Ridiculous Raving….

April 24, 2008

This is an article I originally wrote for a friends fanzine, http://www.myspace.com/playthesongilike last year in reaction to the ridiculousness of nu rave. I think the whole scene has come full circle now, so it’s particularly apt. Just look at these twats… 

As well as committing heinous crimes against fashion, nu-ravers should also be tried for animal rights… 

 

He’s not a happy puppy is he? Even dogs know they look ridiculous in this sh*t, it’s a pity humans don’t. 

Here are the floopy fringed f**kers that started the whole bloody thing…

And here’s my article: 

The Emperors Nu-Rave Clothes

There once was a band. They called themselves after the Greek word for shriek, Klaxon. They had a moronic idea to make their bands name in a frenzy of hype in under a year. Namely to cram as much irrelevant psychedelic lyrics, abstruse literary references and ‘stuff about the future’ into their songs as humanly possible. Then to mix this with, dysfunctional bleeps, disjointed ‘going no where bass lines’ and lots of feedback. Then resurrect and rework a cult rave tune- just by adding some beeps in the background really- and spear-heading a new genre with the help of NME, which wouldn’t really be new actually, it’d just be a revivalism of the 90’s scene but they’d call it new rave, because it was new, kind of.


Their mission? To be hailed as the kings of the near future of music. To have minions of impressionable teenagers slavishly marching to topshop’s most overpriced section to buy ridiculous neon colored oversized T-shirts with slogans like ‘FEEL THE BEAT’ or ‘SAVE THE RAVE’ combined with spandex leggings and fluorescent protractors hung  around their necks all in honour of the Klaxons. They would then confuse people by switching tactics and claiming that they never had anything to do with the genre and their sound was not ‘New Rave’. But then accept a prize for their album being New Rave. Confused?

Wait didn’t this already happen? And didn’t we just reward these idiots with a prestigious music prize and a £20,000 cheque? Doh! 

 

I like many readers (unless you’ve got luminous protractor round your neck, in which case go measure the angle of your fringe) was royally pissed to learn that the Klaxons had won the Mercury music prize. It is a prize that matters to music fans. It’s not like the phone company sponsored ‘music’ events we see on our TV’s every other weekend. The Mercury, in it’s 15 years has gained a reputation as a credible award for musical achievement. And is also positive in the fact that, if awarded to a relatively unknown artist it can push album sales and open the artist up to a much wider audience.

The crack team of judges, who this year included Lauren Laverne and Guardian journalist Jude Rodgers were supposed to sift through the rubbish but somehow Klaxons slipped through the filter. The Mercury is known for it’s high-mindedness and explain on their website that “the music on the album is the only thing that counts.” However it seems like The Klaxons were picked because of the (be it contrived) ‘new genre’ they ‘created’

And the hype that surrounded it. I imagine it was a case where the judges thought ‘The Klaxons have spear-headed a new genre, revitalized music and created a new youth sub culture phenomenon.’ They also thought ‘the kid’s are down with this despite the fact that we think this is a steaming pile of horseshit and barely listenable, however we do not want to appear out of touch.’ Apparently Klaxons captured what it was like to be young, loud and alien to your parents- their bass player is 27 years old. You’d think he would be over all that by now. 

The record also created a generational divide between new ravers- who thought that Klaxons were saviours and the old ravers who thought they were shit- namely because they are. The judges probably took this into account too and the fact that it created a strong divide and such controversy which The Mercury is no stranger to.

What was the clincher- was it the fact that Klaxons had the ability to rhyme Snow with Go in ‘Magick’? On the night of their win a bleary eyed Jamie Reynolds, ‘singer’ with The Klaxons grabbed the mike and spoke earnestly into the camera “ I think the judges have rewarded forward thinking music…. We have made the most forward thinking record in I don’t know how long.” That he had the audacity to make this grandiose claim baffles me. Surely people like Kieran Hebden, who is making the most genuinely forward thinking, extraordinary and inspiring music on the planet right now should be up for a nomination?

In other words- The Klaxons won the Mercury for all the wrong reasons and not any of the right ones. The judges would have been wise to remember the mantra ‘the music on the album is the only thing that counts’. Maybe in the near future they’ll get it right?

 

In Addendum: A Delve into the Near Future.

Disjointed drumbeats mixed with utterly trite and pretentious lyrics on ‘Myths of the Near Future’ combine to create a musical mess so cringe worthy it’s barely listenable. I listened to it so you don’t have to…… 

These lyrics are neither clever nor witty, they just expose Klaxons for the shallow fashion victims they are who name check all the ‘right books’ but have never so much as read the first line of any of them.

People seem to be of the opinion that is ‘groundbreaking’. I don’t understand why. Is it simply because it contains some warped guitars and squealing intermittent bleeps of feedback? The only thing The Klaxons are masking through the heavy distortion is the fact that they can’t actually play their instruments.

It all feels like we’re caught up in a giant ugly episode of Nathan Barley that’s gone horribly out of hand.

 

As Dan Ashcroft would say- THE IDIOTS HAVE WON (and they glow in the dark).

 

Putting my finger on the pulse of the Irish music scene leads to believe that there’s something going in- Waterford??!!

April 24, 2008

I Too Love Ugly Meagan!

Their myspace is http://www.myspace.com/iloveuglymegan, which is very apt- seeing as you’re going to fall in love with Ugly Meagan as soon as you hear them. Or see them….

Ugly Megan are girlfriend and boyfriend, respectively, Catherine Eileen Burke and Orlando Peter FitzGerald. They’re from Waterford and they haven’t even sat their leaving cert yet! 

They played in Andrews lane in Dublin with Crystal Castles on Tuesday night and will play Whelans on June 21st with Kill Kringle Club to launch their new EP ‘Three Whole Funs’. 

They’ve been compared to the Moldy Peaches, which is probably the closest you’ll get to their uncontrived quirktastic alt folk. They also have a fondness for the mighty Belle and Sebastian, I suspect. Perhaps they could be the forerunners of the anti-folk movement in Ireland?   

And they do a mean Snoop Dawg cover Sunrise VS Splack… The lyrics ‘Shake that ass bitch and let me see what you’ve got’ have never sounded so inoffensive and sweet.  

Get thee to their myspace post haste and feel the love…….. 

 

 

I’m longing for…..

April 22, 2008

Four Tet\'s new Ep \'Ringer\'

 

 I can’t wait to get my mitts on this new EP from electronica whizz Kieran Hebden.

You can hear the lead track on http://www.myspace.com/fourtetkieranhebden. 

Nine minutes and fifty-eight seconds of unadulterated joy- and nice artwork too. 

The tracklisting is: 1. Ringer, 2. Ribbons, 3. Swimmer, 4. Wing body wing. 

It is currently available on cd, 12″ double pack and download. 

Hebden’s a busy guy- he’s just back from New York where he’s been recording a new album with Steve Reid that will be released later this year and has just done a remix for Thom Yorke, as well as a remix for Born Ruffians for Warp records.

Productive as ever and long may it continue!