Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Lucky Soul : Shake shimmy shimmy

Fans of Spectoresque 60s pop looking for something new should be at The Luminaire this Saturday for The Actionettes night, Motown A-Go-Go. Headlining are one of my favourite bands, Lucky Soul, who have put out three stellar singles in the last year, with 'Lips Are Unhappy' being the pick of the bunch. They're polishing off their debut record right this moment, The Great Unwanted, and if it's anywhere as good as their recent singles it'll be in quite a few critics 'Best of 2007' lists in December.

Lucky Soul at MySpace

Here's the video for new single 'Add Your Light To Mine Baby', out March 19.

* MSTRKRFT, Ajax, Modular DJs, and Casper C. Booze. Tonight. In Shoreditch. Damn. See you there. (No, I'm not telling you where, unlike other blogs! It's supposed to be a secret!)

* Super fanboy indie news: ATP have announced the first three bands taking part in Don't Look Back 2007: Sonic Youth performing Daydream Nation, Slint performing Spiderland, and House Of Love performing House Of Love. Get your tickets here, here and here.

(At the time of writing it looks like the Sonic Youth gig has sold out, but the other two performances have plenty of tickets available. I'll see y'all at the Roundhouse on August 31 for Thurston, Kim, and a frenzy of feedback)

Monday, February 19, 2007

Heavy metal Jarvis indeed

How's this for a way to finish a set? Jarvis Cocker ended his NME Awards show at the Astoria on the weekend with two covers. Not content with taking on Talking Heads 'Heaven', he then finished his performance with Black Sabbath's 'Paranoid'. Yes, but is it as good as this version?

* Shhhhh....the kind folks at Modular are having a secret party this week featuring MSTRKRFT and Ajax, days before their joint bash with Together this Saturday at Turnmills. Not going to spill the beans on where it is, but I guarantee you'll kick yourself if you miss it. Hit me up for details, or just do a lil' interweb research, and all will be revealed.

* As I won't be making pancakes this Tuesday due to the pull of Trail of Dead's infamous twin-drumming attack at Koko, I whipped some up tonight following the easiest recipe in the world. Now for the filling: Nutella and bananas, or lemon juice and sugar?

* Track of the weekend? Well, this slighty cheesy yet cheeky cut from Sneaky Soundsystem got a damn fine reaction at Keston Lodge on Friday night, so it'll be a record bag staple for a while. Grab it here (plus the new !!! picture disc too!)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine Schmalentine

It's Valentines Day yet again and for those who want to stick two middle fingers up to Cupid, Hallmark, and the general giftage industry here are three suggestions for alternative ways to spend your evening.

* Head on down to the Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes in Tavistock Square for Sean Rowley's "I'm Not In Love" night featuring The Laundrettas, The Lovers, Erection Section (Bugged Out's Johnno), The All Star Porn Star DJ Squad and Mr Guilty Pleasures himself, Sean Rowley. Tickets are may be sold out at the time of writing, but there may be some at the door for 8 of your English pounds, and an extra 4 if you feel like a bowl.

* Not strictly an Anti-Valentines night as such, but 'So In Love' at The Old Blue Last may fit the bill if you're after a dose of something a lil' different. Live sets from David Viner and tip-for-the-top Kate Nash, whose lovely debut 7" you might still be able to find here, and Shit Disco plus the deck talents of Team Megamix, Casper C, Skull Juice and Elplate.

* Finally, yours truly will be throwing his bleeding heart on the floor while playing records of hurt and hate (ie. Phil Collins, Marvin Gaye and Violent Femmes) at Keston Lodge in Islington from 7 till 12. I'll be the one with the black rose in his mouth.

Friday, February 09, 2007

RJD2 bent my Wookie

Next month sees the return of RJD2 with his first album for XL, The Third Hand, out on March 5. It marks a shift towards a poppier, commercial sound, yet still has enough of the quirkier beats that have made him one of hip-hop's most slept on producers. While 'Beyond The Beyond' features his trademark synth sounds, 'You Never Had It So Good' is a full-blown verse and chorus affair that while a departure from the rest his catalogue, still has a great loose break behind it. Both tracks also carry vocals from the man himself, and aren't too shabby at all.

RJD2 - Beyond The Beyond
RJD2 - Never Had It So Good

* I forgot to marry her, and now I'll never get rich: Anna Nicole Smith dead, aged 39.

* The fight to stamp out ticket touts continues, but the big question remains unanswered: who in their right mind would pay for this?

*Yes, Major Leaguer has had a facelift. Nice huh?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Nasty Nas brings it all back home

So kids, it looks like the general consensus of Hip Hop Is Dead is that Nas has really got things back on track, although those expecting Illmatic Part 2 should just keep on waiting - it ain't gonna happen. However, let it never be said that Nas doesn't have respect for those who came before him, hence a trio of drool-worthy white label remixes of the album's title track.

The produced cut is jumped upon by the likes of Kool Moe D, MC Shan and Grandmaster Caz (the 80s remix), Rob Base, Mike Gee from the Jungle Bros, Monie Love (the 90s remix) and Ice-T and Sir-Mix-A-Lot (the West Coast remix). Head on over to Recidivism to catch 'em all. Personally, I think the 80s rub pips the other two at the post.

* This month's electro-pop startlets seem to be Dragonette, the Canadian group who have already started to build a buzz thanks to name checks from Popjustice and Popbitch. They're playing the Macbeth on February 16, and again two weeks later at Notting Hill Arts Club's fine soiree YOYO on March 1. Work For It and Fluxblog have a few tasters, and you can buy the band's debut EP here.

* Head to Call Me Mickey for a listen to 'We Danced Together', the first single from The Rakes sophomore effort Ten New Messages, out March 19th.

* Speaking of spikie indie pop, here's the new video for Maximo Park's 'Our Velocity'. It's out on March 18, followed by parent album Our Earthly Pleasures on April 2.

* If you're staying in tonight, catch the BBC Four documentary 'Alchemists of Sound' about the work of the Radiophonic Workshop.

'Alchemists of Sound traces the rise and fall of the Radiophonic Workshop, an in-house department established in 1958 to provide extraordinary sounds and music for the BBC's TV and radio services. Best known for its theme tunes to Blake's Seven, Blue Peter, Open University and The Body in Question and, of course, Doctor Who, this documentary reveals the complex techniques deployed by the Workshop long before synthesisers were invented.

The programme is narrated by Oliver Postgate, the voice behind the childrens TV classics Ivor the Engine, The Clangers and Bagpuss'

It's on BBC Two tonight at 11.20pm.

* Oh, and this Friday sees the return of the Mindie hussies and their gang at 93 Feet East. As a Mindie crew member, you know I'll be there with bells on. Let's meet the hussies themselves.

Here's the line-up.

Later gators.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A bundle of truffles

* Mixtape of the week? Has to be Jus Ske's re-rub of Pharrell's less-than-exciting offering from last year, 'In My Mind'. In a classic case of 'name as many sampled artists as you can', My Mind Is Playing Tricks On Me teams Skateboard P with U2, James Brown, Eric B & Rakim, Nelly Furtado, Radiohead and a stack more wax. There are more hits than misses on MMIPTOM, which certainly couldn't be said about Mr Williams debut. Nice artist website too.

Peep My Mind Is Playing Tricks On Me at Discobelle

* Indie boys rejoice! Feist, or Leslie as she's known to her mom and pop, will release her second album, The Reminder on April 23 (and a week later if your sitting Stateside). If that's not enough, she's touring these isles as well the week before.

April 16 - Komedia, Brighton
April 17 - Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

Boom Boom Boom, Mushaboom indeed.

* Indie girls rejoice! Also swinging by with a new album and tour is Mr Conor Oberst, or Bright Eyes as he's known to whichever indie moppet is staring deep into his peepers this month. He'll be at London's Koko on March 16, no doubt playing tunes from his upcoming album Cassadaga, which has guest appearances from Gillian Welch, and Sleater Kinney and Quasi holder of 'banging sticks' Janet Weiss (*sigh*). Those who can't wait that long should snap up taster EP Four Winds, out on March 5. Here's a taster.

Bright Eyes - Endless Entertainment

* Dilla died a year ago this week. Pitchfork has a nice piece here, while those of you who missed the tribute concert at London's Cargo last Saturday should head over to Stones Throw's interweb home to download J Rocc's stellar Dilla podcast, and turn your speakers up.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Not your average press conference then...

In a way though Prince really isn't your average guy. After giving a career sustaining performance at easily the best Superbowl halftime show in years (in the middle of what was a pretty one-sided game), Prince decided he wasn't ready to put the guitar away for the night. Class.

Gee, I'm actually looking forward to his next album now.

* Surely the best of the recent Justin Timberlake remixes for 'My Love' has to be Diplo's bootleg with LCD Soundsystem. Peep it at ChazOlogy, along with a slew of other JT goodness.

* AITBF's first Fabric shindig for the year is shaping up nicely if the early line-up is any indication. Taking place on Thursday April 5th, acts confirmed so far include Digitalism, Louis Austen, Para One and Friendly Fires amongst those playing live, plus Surkin, Filthy Dukes, DJ Herve, and heaps more yet to be announced. No excuses for missing this one, especially as it kicks off the Easter long weekend.

* So will Anfield now be known as 'Pizza Hut Park'? I've been worried about a takeover of my beloved Reds for a long time know, but it really was inevitable. I guess this means there's more chance for a seat on match day now, although the expected hike in ticket prices is surely just around the corner. Just don't sell Harry, ok?

Monday, February 05, 2007

Don't hassle the Hoff

Unless you're in a delightful Manc band called New Order. So were things so bleak for the band after the release of Republic that they had to promote their album on Dave and Pammie's show? I guess so.

New Order - Regret (mimed...sorry, performed on Baywatch)

* Something I don't regret (ahem) is pointing out Causin' A Commotion, a new celebridee blog run by my good friend (and DJ extraordinaire) the delightful Miss Becca. Bookmark it for all your Trousersnake gossip. I didn't know Seth and Summer broke up!

* The best music news of the weekend was surely not Glenn Frey's attempts to add more cash to his mattress stuffed full of dead presidents, but a new song 'Hearts On Fire' on Cut Copy's MySpace page, which you'll never see the Melbourne lads perform on Home and Away (unless Alf invited them, a request they'd be fools to knock back. Flamin' galahs!). Anyway, expect 'Hearts On Fire' to arrive on shiny 12 inch vinyl in March, with a Joakim remix to boot.

* Saw Dreamgirls on Saturday thanks to the wonders of 3 for 10 pub-bought pirate DVD deal (nope, I didn't buy the offending discs, but let me just say that if Blockbuster ever went into business with Clapham's car boot sale kings, then I'm sure they'd make a mint. What, it's illegal? Well I'll be damned....). Eight Oscar nominations? Well, I think Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson deserved their nods, but the songs? Three nominated songs, and all three were utter shite (although it seems to be a particularly weak year with the only other competition being Melissa Etheridge and Randy 'Pixar' Newman). Hell, give me Three Six Mafia anyday.

* February '07 playlist

Chemical Brothers - Electric Battle Weapon 8

Teenager - Alone Again (Van She Tech Remix)

New Young Pony Club - Descend

LCD Soundsystem - Time To Get Away

Mark Ronson feat. Ol' Dirty Bastard and Tiggers - Toxic

Bonde Do Role - Gasolina (Radioclit remix)

Amy Winehouse feat. Ghostface Killah - You Know I'm No Good

Dr. Alimantado - I Killed The Barber

Justice - Phantom (Part 1)

Los Campinos - You! Me! Dancing!

Little Barrie - I Love You

Nas feat. (ready for this? OK, here we go...) Grandmaster Caz, MC Shan, Raheem, Doctor Ice, Kangol, Kool Moe Dee, Sha Rock, Tito, Lin Que, Dana Dane, Pebblee Poo & Just Ice - Where Are They Now? (80s remix)

Friday, February 02, 2007

Vista? Nuh-uh!

January? Gone already? Sheesh.

So technically this is the first MJ post for 2007, and in Mac-assisted glory too!

(Sorry Mr Gates, but Vista's hard sell didn't grab me after I found out about how your new operating system takes the 'person' away from the 'personal' PC and into Microsoft's hands. Oh, and at least now Ableton and other memory heavy software won't crash on my machine and leave me with a clicking hard

January has been quite a relaxed month with highlights including
* Lovely walks along the Southbank under the winter sun
* Heaps of new music to listen to (and share)
* News of a best friend's engagement which means a return trip Down Under to see friends and family (Tim, got a date for this shindig yet? Not that anyone's rushing you!)
* Speaking of Down Under, receiving two fantastic packages of provisions of food and music from the familia and Mr Nash. Smoked macadamia nuts from Queensland....amazing.
* Sleeping in all the time. 10 hours sleep on consecutive nights? Unheard of!
* Walking around town with a bag that promotes one of my favourite record stores in the world (thank you Nash, and thank you Blake and Byron!)
* Snapping up an Arcade Fire ticket (thanks Marie!)
* Great no-brain TV when you need it (the return of America's Next Top Model and The OC)
* Great brain-TV when you need it (Expedition Borneo, Battlestar Galactica)

* No contact from rubbish people. Grrrr.
* The windy windy day that knocked over trees in Stokey.
* Snobs.
* The last night of Trash which was impossible to get into due to poor bouncers, no queue barriers, people pushing in, and wankers all around. Shame it had to end like that.
* The regulation January cold.
* Paying for cable sport channels, and what do you get? One sided cricket matches and heartbreaking buzzerbeaters in NBA games on Martin Luther King day. Curse you Gilbert Arenas!

All up, not a bad month. What's in store this month?