Sunday, July 20, 2008

Glasto Roundup

Hi kids,
A special treat today in the form of a Glastonbury Oh Eight review by none other than the male model from Claremont, the youngest of 15 children, Mister Thomas Rohr.

"Glastonbury is a festival we’ve all heard about how awesome it is and blah blah blah. For that reason I had absolutely massive expectations when going to my first one this year. I have been to Leeds Festival and a few other biggies before. However, this blew all of my expectations out of the water and more. It truly is a festival everyone has to experience to get a real grip on it. The main reason is that it’s about so much more than the music, it’s about the mud, the kids, the old school hippies, the incredible set-up of the vast different areas and pretty much the mammoth size of absolutely everything. 180 000 people went this year and to get a grip on the size of the whole site, it would take about an hour to walk from one end to the other. Along with this, there were one or two bands that played as well.

Day 1.

Kings Of Leon headlined on the Pyramid Stage on the first night and delivered another absolutely Stellar Performance that the music world has come to expect from this unfairly good-looking and incredibly talented Mega-band. However, before these guys played I had the great experience of meeting Franz Ferdinand in the crowd, as they were handing out flyers for their secret gig later that night. When this happened, I managed to get the drummer Paul Thompson to comb my hair with the comb in his back pocket. I did catch the first half of their gig before I went to Kings Of Leon and they played mainly new songs. Their sound was incredibly crisp and I think we are all going to be listening to another cracking album from this Glaswegian quartet very soon.

However, the biggest highlight of day one for me came from Foals. Foals album Antidotes is for me, one of the best releases of this year, so I was eagerly awaiting the opportunity to see them live. They produced an amazing live sound with front man Yannis Phillipakis playing lead guitar, singing and leading the band with a brilliant level of flow from beginning to end. They produced amazing synth driven breakdowns linking songs (not dissimilar to their album) and then had the crowd moving with their catchy riffs and ever-changing percussion beats.

Foals - 2 Steps Twice

Foals - Big Big Love

Day 2.

I started the day with a very average set by the teenagers. They were literally like a band you’d watch at school with there sound levels all over the place. The lead guy was trying to keep a good energy, but with the sound as shocking as it was, he was really pushing diarrhea up a snow hill. Which was such a shame considering the splash these French dudes have made on myspace over the last year or so.

Soko – Love No (Teenagers Cover)

After that Holy Fuck really lifted my spirits with an energising performance. The guy MC-ing the John Peel stage regarded them as one of the biggest highlights of Glastonbury ’07, which is a massive wrap for the 4-piece Canadian electronic outfit. Then I was lucky enough to catch Black Lips and Band of Horses back to back. Black Lips had pig heads on stakes on the front of the stage and one of the singers came out wearing almost like a scream like mask over his head. They had a massive amount of energy and probably one of the most rock n roll attitudes of any band I saw over the three days. A really great high-energy show concluding with one of the front dudes kicking over one of the pigs heads on a spike (they were real by the way). Band of Horses came through with a stirring set culminating in the chick standing next to me coming to tears during it. They are incredibly tight for a seven piece and have now 2 good albums worth of material which all culminated into an hour and 10 minutes of absolute pleasure.

Black Lips – It Feels Alright

Band of Horses – Is There A Ghost

Amy Winehouse who played before Jay-Z did finish her set early as she could barely stand and she also punched a guy in the audience (bless her cotton socks). The biggest highlight of the day and I would say the Festival was Jay-Z. This guy copped so much flack for being the headliner. A lot of people blamed the initial low ticket sales on him being named and the Gallagher brothers really let him and the bookers of the festival have it over his selection. This all proved as Fuel on a roaring fire as one of the biggest names in Hip-Hop put on a ripping show. He started with a 2-minute video, then he came out with Wonderwall over the top miming the words with a guitar around his neck. The whole crowd was singing along then he cut it and said “I just got one thing to say . . . I GOT 99 PROBLEMS BUT A BITCH AINT ONE”. That was the most responsive I saw the crowd in the whole 3 days. It was awesome! (check it out yourself).

Jay-Z - Renegade Feat. Eminem

Day 3.

The first band I saw on Day 3 that were worth mentioning would have to be the Duke Spirit. These guys are certainly up and comers. The lead singer is Kate Moss’s niece Liela Moss. She is incredibly fit and has a phenomenal stage presence. Along with that they have the music to back-up the look. They were playing on one of the smaller stages but still pulled a reasonable crowd and really rocked out with Moss wearing a lycra body suit and pulling out some unreal dance moves.

The Duke spirit – Love is an Unfamiliar Name

The Duke Spirit - Win Your love (live KEXP session)

Crystal Castles went absolutely nuts. The lead chick was climbing up the scaffolding, crowd surfing and genuinely going absolutely mental. So mental that after 20 minutes they pulled the plug. Then everyone went nuts and starting booing. So they played another two songs at that same intensity and then got pulled for good after a half hour. Who would have thought computer game music could get so intense. After this, I ducked over to see the Presets and you’ll be glad to know that they represented the homeland amazingly well. They had the roof of the dance lounge lifting. To finish up the festival, I caught the end of the Verve’s set. I would describe Richard Ashcroft as a mix of Ian Brown and Noel Gallagher. He was incredibly egotistical on stage. Either way, it was a comforting way to finish off the festival singing along to Bitter Sweet Symphony with about 120 000 other people.

Crystal Castles – Untrust Us

The Verve - Love Is Noise

It truly was a remarkable 3 days. I guess my only recommendation is to do this festival as many times as you can. I genuinely don’t think you could ever get sick of it. Along with that, I’m sure every year you go you would discover a whole new area and a whole new aspect to add to the list of things to love about this festival."

Thanks T. Rohr, sounded like a tough gig.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Axe Work

Why aren't there any good self-indulgent guitar solos any more? Modern bands too democratic? They certainly knew how to rock it back in the day.

Neil Young - Like A Hurricane

Neil Young - Down By The River



Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mama Was A Pimp

A couple of bumping new hip-hop releases over the past few weeks. Everyone should listen to hip hop occasionally, good for the soul.

The first track is from local Aussie boys Bliss n Eso, who have recently released their third LP entitled Flying Colours. Definitely worth your hard earned this one. Take this taste track that samples Angus & Julia Stones folk anthem Paper Aeroplane. The MCing is tight and i've always thought the Aussie/US mix of MCs has worked well.

Bliss N Eso - Eye of the Storm

Angus & Julia Stone - Paper Aeroplane

Next is more Oz-hop goodness with East coast duo Muph & Plutonic (Muphin is the MC, Plutonic Labs the producer) with their latest single Size of The Soul. It use an absolutely perfect string drenched soul sample that really soars. I have read reviewers asking how many times hip-hop groups use a soul sample, but honestly who cares when it sounds this good.

Muph & Plutonic - Size of the Soul

Thirdly is one of the true godfathers of hip hop in Wu Tang numero uno and samurai sword specialist RZA. Under his Bobby Digital moniker, the new album is called Digi-Snacks and takes more of a traditional street thug attitude to his verses rather than the Shaolin orientated Wu projects. Sublime production, RZA's throaty delivery = Masterful. (Also a bonus as a cheeky guest on an absolute cracker from a couple of years ago)

RZA - Can't Stop Me Now

Handsome Boy Modeling School - A Day In The Life Feat. RZA, AG, The Mars Volta & Tim Meadows.

Lastly some smooth US hip hop from the mail bag, its a little cheesy but nice nonetheless. Title track from an upcoming album.

Common Market - Tobacco Road

Golden oldies, does it get any better? (well not that old i suppose)

Nas - Get Down

Mo' Thugs Family - Getto Cowboys (thanks to POW)


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I Wanna Funk With You Tonight

A trio of newbies that are guaranteed to get your groove on.

The first is a huge new remix from 4 Highlighter faves. It really is a big of a blog house party, everybody's favourite Frenchman Fred Falke and Australia's finest Miami Horror give a facelift to one of the strongest tracks from Pnau's self-titled LP of last year. Falke adds his signature live bassline and Horror throws some sublime synths in to make this amazing track even better. A massive thanks to Who The Hell... for the heads up.

Pnau - Embrace ft. Ladyhawke (Fred Falke & Miami Horror remix)

Next is a another storming remix from another Highlighter crush, local boys The Dirty Secrets. You may remember when we posted about them here and here and now we have a cowbell heavy remix of by PH DJ who I posted about here. "Dept. (pronounced "diˈpärtmənt") is the odd but superb musical alliance of superstar PhDJ and supernerd Black Anthony." A corking remix which we'll hopefully be hearing more of soon.

The Dirty Secrets - Devil's Inside (Dept. remix)

The last group need no introduction. Suffice to say they are the kings of cowbell and have a new single produced for the GTA IV soundtrack, produced by Timbaland, Banger.

The Rapture - No Sex For Ben


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

New Bloc Party

Aussies kinida get a little left behind with this sort of this. There was some countdown on Radio 1 in the UK for Bloc Party and it was new material for the London four-piece. Mercury is the spanking new single due for release August 11 and will be released with remixes from Herve, CSS and Flosstradamus.

Kele from BP has always crapped on about his love for experimental electronic music and this is really starting to become evident, first through Flux and now through Mercury. There's not a guitar riff or man-made bassline to be heard, with these being replaced by tribal percussion and distorted horns. One thing is for sure that Bloc Party are going to keep evolving and one can't really wait to hear the next album.

Bloc Party - Mercury

Maybe they might sound more permanently like this....

Bloc Party - The Prayer (CravingRemix807)