Monday, October 31, 2005

What's your filing technique?

Mine's awesome. Chronological-style like my man Mike Gordon. Davis Rees' follow-up to Get Your War On is a brilliant snapshot of office politics and the insanity of day-to-day life in a cubicle. Hand me my stapler and a box of sharpened 2B's.

* A fiver is all you need for the super-duper DFA Holiday Sampler. It's sampleriffic!

* Spotted in Piccadilly Circus today - Giles from Buffy! Well, Anthony Stewart Head if you're going by real names. No, wait, his real name is Giles. Honest.

* Before you gorge yourself on candy, swat up on your Halloween history. Spooky.

* Good to see Elvis is still the king when it comes to making money from beyond the grave, despite Biggie and Bob's best efforts (cha-ching!)

Sunday, October 30, 2005

365 days ago....

...I started this 'ol blog. In that time I've -

* posted 137 times (including this one)
* kept the same ol' job
* moved from the ghettos of Wood Green to the ghettos of Dalston
* lived through the break up of Busted and the rise of McFly.
* started playing records out and about
* started writing for these guys, and these guys, and these guys.
* curtailed my addiction to Friendster
* tried to curtail my addiction to MySpace (but failed miserably)
* visited home
* saw my football team become campeones europeos (thanks to El Rafa)
* discovered the joy of Rhubarb yoghurt
* started cooking again (try this one for tomorrow night)
* found a new favourite band
* and said goodbye to another one
* broke all promises to blog regularly
* missed many deadlines
* got broadband and cable (hooray!)
* and a monthly bill for them (hiss!)
* realised carrying two boxes of flyers probably isn't wise for my back
* found a great local watering hole with the best jukebox in town
* and realised that life isn't that bad (and will be even better if I get an early birthday present in 3 weeks time)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Beware: Giant Worms (and Bevin Kacon)

OK, hands up out there who's seen Tremors? I was flicking channels last night and happened to stumble upon it by accident. Class. One of the cheesiest horror films of all time (heck, does it even classify as a horror film now?) with equally cheesy performances by Bevin Kacon, the dad from Family Ties and Reba 'yee-ha' McEntire, not to mention a bunch of giant worms. I remember first watching it at a sleepover when I was 11...memories. Part of a video/pizza bill that included The Lost Boys, Die Hard 2 and Predator 2, followed by Coke-fuelled mayhem as my friends and I went outside to water bomb the neighbourhood. Ah, those heady days of youth...

* Happy Birthday Winona! I bought you a present, but someone stole it...

* Peep the new Gorillaz video for 'Dirty Harry' here. Features cute animated kids (Hewlett style of course) and the Pharcyde's Booty Brown jumpin' around in the desert. A much better single than 'Dare'.

* More visual pleasure, this time of the ass shakin' time - new Madonna, and it's not pants! That Stuart Price fella can fix anything.

* I know what I want for Christmas Sandy Claws. Why, a Girls Aloud doll!

* What? More Ryan Adams albums? He's some kind of indie-starlet datin', tune writin' cyborg! Get your wallets out on December 19th (or the following day if you're Stateside) for his third album of the year, 29 (so that's another Ryan Adams new album, some Girls Aloud dolls, and a pony. I've been good, I swear!)

* More alt-county goodness. Jeff Tweedy tells Billboard about the new Wilco album which will come out sometime next year.

Friday, October 28, 2005

The World of Kane! / Scarlet Mist

I've been on a writing holiday this week, hence the lack of bloggy goodness in the past week. To make up for it, here's a dearth of news, tidbits and links for y'all.

* Major Leaguer extends a warm welcome to Will Kane's entrance to the blogging community. Enter the World of Kane if you dare!

* UK readers only - Fed up with being unable to grab tickets for that upcoming Sufjan Stevens or McFly show? Yes, I know that's the only time you'll ever see those two artists in the same sentence...anyway, head on over to Scarlet Mist for a non-E-Bay alternative to securing those prized front row seats. Scarlet Mist aims to bring together people who are looking to buy tickets with people who are looking to sell tickets. If you see tickets highlighted for sale, simply fill in a form on the site, and in no time at all you'll be in contact with the person that owns them. No nasty booking fees, no overcharging, just tickets at face value!

* Phil's on trial, but just look at his hair!

* Something just as scary - letting Jacko in front of a microphone for charity.

* Stating the obvious #1 - 'Pete Doherty needs a good slap' - Sharon Osbourne in an interview with Attitude magazine. Really? Damn, that's just what he needs Sharon. Why didn't I think of that?

* Stating the obvious #2 - Test Icicles admit they were 'really shit' during their their aborted support set at last week's Leeds leg of the Arctic Monkeys tour, after failure to soundcheck properly (and write decent tunes, lyrics etc.) It seems they're not to keen on the Monkeys fans either.

* Neko Case due in March next year. Sigh. Oh, and Neko's delightful New Pornographers are playing next Tuesday Nov 1 at the Borderline, and Thursday Nov 3 at 93 Feet East.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Boards Of Canada - The Campfire Headphase

Woozy goodness abounds. Posted by Picasa

Album of the week

Boards Of Canada - The Campfire Headphase

It doesn't feel like three years since everyone's favourite Scottish electronic duo were last filling our ears with lush, dizzy soundscapes. In fact, it seems much longer, especially since Mike Sanderson and Marcus Eoin are so far ahead of their contemporaries that an age probably has passed since an electronic album bearing the quality of The Campfire Headphase has graced the Major Leaguer stereo. Well, maybe that's not quite true, but the high standards BOC set early in their career have influenced a generation of bedsit beatmakers around the globe, much in the same way Radiohead or Jeff Buckley influenced the glut of high-pitched emoting bands that were a dime-a-dozen at the turn of the century. It's also safe to say that BOC's latest collection of fables from a faraway land is one of 2005's most anticipated releases, with messageboards, indie sites, and not to mention copious blogs (yes, this lil' ol' site included) being overloaded with information and hype on WARPCD123. There were even erroneous tracks 'leaked' all on the web during the last month to wet the whistle of fans the world over, in one of the strangest forms of flattery shown towards an artist by fans in recent years.

Indded, such anticipation is merited in the case of The Campfire Headphase, which proves to be the equal of the duo's previous album, Geogaddi, if not quite a career peak. 'Chromakey Dreamcoat' warbles gently along a sea of gentle broken beats, while the spectral beauty of 'Dayvan Cowboy' starts slowly with the gentlest of guitar loops, before taking flight. Shimmering strings weave in amongst crashing hi-hats before fading into the distance, providing the albums highlight. Where this latest album differs from previous BOC outings is the way in which the duo have integrated the guitar soaked melodies of Bibio, as well as the skewed beats of Boom Bip, to provide an atmosphere that although might not please the hardcore fans of Music Has the Right To Children, which remains a benchmark electronic recording that continues to assume greater importance with every passing year, shows the duo aren't going to rest on their laurels just to please the purists. A clear sign that while Sanderson and Eoin are continuing to follow their own path, they're not afraid to venture into the unmarked trails etched in the grooves of The Campfire Headphase's dream-like landscape.

Listen to Boards Of Canada's The Campfire Headphase here.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

'Let 'em riot. We're Sonic-fuckin-Death Monkey'

Good. You know your music. You should be able to
work at Championship Vinyl with Rob, Dick and

Do You Know Your Music (Sorry MTV Generation I Doubt You Can Handle This One)
brought to you by Quizilla

Yes kids, it's the easiest music quiz around. Failure is unacceptable, OK?

*The word on Serenity? Go see it. To paraphrase my comrade Will Kane, 'The worst part of the movie was trying to figure out which female character I liked most'. Well said WK.

Happy John Peel Day y'all.....go buy the new Fall album and turn it up to 11 in his honour.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Nope, no slayers here / Aardman Studios is burning down

But where are the stakes? Posted by Picasa

Off to see Serenity tonight. Wasn't a huge fan of Firefly but have heard only good things about Mr Whedon's latest work. Plus, this will be the only work from Joss until his take on Diana and her lasso (and that's not going to be ready until 2007) so I'd best get my fix now. Random burblings from my mushy brain...

* Guess Britney wanted her bra after all. Nuts!

* Spare cash? Spend it on these beauties.

Various Artists - Leave Them All Behind
Damn fine collection of tunes from the always reliable Modular stable, plus other assorted indie-dance tracks that sit very nicely alongside them. Pretty much all the tunes you've heard at Trash this year and more. Two CDs for a tenner? Bloody lovely I tell ya.

The Fall - Heads Roll
Mark E Smith in fantastic album shock! OK, the man is a bit of an icon (even if his appearance almost a year ago on the BBC on the day of John Peel's death was a bit random) but recent Fall albums have been underwhelming to say the least. Heads Roll however is a rampaging return to form, complete with Smith's drawled lyrical flow and tunes that veer from lush the one moment to downright stomping the next.

* Fancy a round of golf with the RZA?

NEWS JUST IN! Aardman studios is ablaze....sniff! Wensleydale on toast anyone?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Subter October / Britney's bra? You're so kind.

Subter October is a go-go. In it you'll find -

* an interview with the de-lightful, de-lovely and de-lish RecordPlayer lasses

* critiques on both Spain (the country) and The Strolling Bones (the retirement home escapees) from Houman Sadri

* and the first burblings of a new way for bands to be heard online

(Note to all fledgling bands and artists: Yes, there are other ways for your music to be heard instead of bombarding all MySpace users to be your 'friends'. I don't care that your influences are Incubus, Led Zepplin and Phish. Your music still sucks.)

That's a lot of diamonds. Posted by Picasa

* Fine, I'll admit it. I enjoy the Britney celebrity roadshow (who, unlike Paris Hilton, does have a shred of talent). Combine that with charidee, and by golly folks, you've got yourself a weiner. All proceeds from the 'Out Bid Me Baby One More Time' auction go towards the Mississippi Hurricane Recovery Fund.

Oh, and if you want to donate but ain't down with Brit's garments, the OkayPlayer kids have some lovely 'ReNew Orleans' shirts you can trade for your hard-earned. ReNew Orleans? Geddit? Huh? Geez, I don't know why I bother. Grumble....if anyone wants me I'll be bidding for Britney's beret. Whaddya mean pink ain't my colour? Oh, yeah, that was last season, and I'm not down with the Jude Law style.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Fire Demons 'R' Us

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Finally saw Howl's Moving Castle yesterday and it was pretty good, although not a patch on Princess Mononoke. Have to go see it again though as my local kino only had the 'American' dubbed version, and I'd have prefered to see it with the original Japanese language soundtrack. I guess that's what DVD's are for, although I'll be waiting until November 16.

*If you live in Lahhndahhn town, head to the fine record store that is Phonica for a free Slices DVD featuring clips and multimedia from Warp, Hexstatic, Novamute and Mantis. Tasty tasty!

*Speaking of rekkid stores, I had a fine weekend record shopping with the regular Soho trawl on Saturday, and a trip to Brighton on Sunday (with possibly the best record shop to person ratio in the UK). No pier of rock action for me though as it was straight to Resident and then Mic Check for some tasty treats where I found the new Roots rarities mix-tape compiled by DJ Ayers. I also finally snaffled the lovely Foreign Exchange 'Connected' album from last year, and a few cheapies from Rounder Records (Gang of Four, Beasties and Alter Ego). Grand total? Just over 20 squid. Met up with some new friends for evening pints, and then caught the last train back to the big smoke. Slept like a baby...a bit like this one!

Lil' Xander and some weirdo. Posted by Picasa

* One Soulful Negro has a Roots rarity too, featuring the last appearance of Malik B. Heck, they even compare it to Prince's infamous 'Wally'. Oooh!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Kate. Bush. Yes.

Yes, not long now... Posted by Hello

Have just heard Kate Bush's new single on WOXY.COM, and it's simply beautiful. One of those songs you hear for the first time and halfway through the goosebumps begin to tingle. Stunning. Pencil in October 24th in your diaries for the single, and November 7 for the album.

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