Dienstag, Dezember 25, 2007

06 - Love: Forever Changes


Forever Changes is a record I got as a present, as something I "must have". The first time I listened to this record was at a party, when I was hanging around with some people who all knew this one and wanted to hear it. A discussion about Arthur Lee started, the guy who wrote all the songs. Some people had seen him live a few years earlier, shortly before he died. A lot of attention was drawn to the record, so I listened to it quite often afterwards, and quickly fell in love with it. Yet this record is another on of these cases where I got the special edition, and maybe shouldn't have. The record itself is great, and there are some nice versions of the songs on it as well, but all in all, you don't really need all the special stuff that is on there. After all, a record is a record, and when it's over, the songs that follow kind of destroy the atmosphere the record created. However, to talk a bit more about the songs, Alone Again Or is great, I knew this one even before I got the record. And I later found out that I had also heard Always See Your Face before, as it is on the soundtrack of High Fidelity, one of the greatest films about music there is. However, Forever Changes is not about single songs, but they whole record in itself is what you gotta listen to.

Montag, Dezember 24, 2007

07 - The Zombies: Odessey and Oracle


I rarely listened to the record in a whole, I must admit. Rank 7 is more about certain songs that mean so much to me. This entry is mostly about Care Of Cell 44, about Leave Me Be, Time Of The Season, This Will Be Our Year - songs that are so important for me this year, that the whole record had to make it onto the list. Yet this is all about The Zombies as well, because these songs stand for their sound in general, their music, which I find incredibly good this year. When I discovered Leave Me Be, it was another of these instances when I fell in love with a voice. I was in a state of mind when I could literally feel the sadness this song emerged from. Later I heard Time Of The Season, which is so different from Leave Me Be - a bright song about happyness and love. After that, it took a while until I got the record. I got the new 30th anniversary edition as a present. It's a nice records, because everything a Zombies-newbee needs to have from the band is on there. And I love most of the record very much, songs like This Will Be Our Year (which it was!), Brief Candles and Maybe After He's Gone. They are all fantastic, but none of them can quite shake me as much as this one song does: Care Of Cell 44. It's a long story behind this one. It's about me...

Samstag, Dezember 22, 2007

8 - The Bishops: the Bishops


The Bishops stand for all the great rhythm'n'blues and beat music I discovered this year. This is a fresh young band from London who just represent this great hard 60's sound and style so very well. A records that pushes you and makes you jump up and dance! I love their energy, and I am also very much into their sophisticated stylishness. Okay, I am repeating myself.
I like the band for how they combine dramatic lyrics that actually say something sad(The Only Place That I Can Look Is Down or Will You Ever Come Back To Me) with very danceable beat music. The Bishops are just one of the many many many recommendations that, ironically, came from all the way home to make my time in Manchester. I was told to go to their gig. I had the chance to see them both in Manchester and, later, in Berlin. But both times, it was not destined to happen. May I get a another chance? This probably depends on what's going to happen next with the band. Let's hope they keep it up!

9 - Little Man Tate: About What You Know


This years' list is gonna give a lot of reference to the time I spent in Britain. Being in the country of music for five months, and spending almost all the time in the city of music (I am talking about Manchester) does of course have some nice effects. I had great experiences there and some of them had loosely or tightly to do with Little Man Tate.

The first time I heard about them was last year, in autumn 2006. Back then I went to a Peter, Björn & John gig in Berlin where they were touring with Little Man Tate. But I had no clue who they were and so we missed the show. But things that are destined to happen simply happen! In Manchester I had lots of opportunities to gain as much from the musical atmosphere there as possible. This included going to clubs and record stores (Manchester's Oldham Street has a larger number of record stores than any other street or area in Britain), namely The Roadhouse (venue) and Picadilly Records (store). And one day on myspace I got a bulletin saying the Little Man Tate were doing a few free gigs in Britain to promote the release of their new single. The gig was in the Eastern holidays, and they were giving out tickets in Picadilly Records on a specific date. By then, I had become very interested in the band because of their great rock music and their smart titles like Man I Hate Your Band. So I rushed to shop right in the morning to make sure I got two tickets - as a special surprise for someone special who was gonna spend the holidays with me. The gig was great. And I mean not only the band, who were rather tired (you could tell by the voice of the singer that they had been touring the continent) but still put on a great show. For me it was also fantastic to observe the audience - lots of Brits, weird guys who were into stage diving and partying hard. And they adored the band. The atmosphere was very much alive.

The record, About What You Know, also brings back lots of memories of things that I experienced, which could only have happened in Britain. I went to a big house party, were two hundred people squeezed themselves into a living room to see Foals play for free, and everything I hear House Party At Boothys I can't help but thinking of that. In most party of the album, the lyrics just refer to specific things I have seen that are part of the British culture. I am failing to properly describe this here, let's just say that it's great Britrock, and with this records I feel like I listened to it from a British point-of-view, not as someone who hears it and has to wonder what it is like to know all this. Cause this time I know!

Freitag, Dezember 21, 2007

10 - Danger Doom: The Mouse And The Mask


This one is so fresh (for me) it could be a regular blog entry. I Listened to it very few times so far. Already it is bringing back lots of the good feelings hiphop used to give me some years ago. Danger Dooms voice is very charismatic, a bit mysterious and it gives me so much pleasure listening to what he has got to say. And he has got something to say. And finally, someone in the rap scene who has got the nerve to have some humour. When I had my hiphop phase, 6 or 7 years ago, I admired the mcs for being able to articulate so many many interesting thoughts in one song, and sometimes telling great stories. Then I felt new school had nothing important to say anymore, apart from a few valuable artists like The Roots or Common. The best hiphop, for me, is what groups like The Pharcyde or A Tribe Called Quest used to do in the early nineties. And The Mouse and The Mask very much sounds like that.
Hello rap music, In casef there's more we're-ina-a-good-mood-and-can-also-have-aluagh-about-ourselves like that, I wanna be friends again!

Samstag, Dezember 15, 2007

Top Ten 2007

The end of december is the time when people go crazy for making lists. lists they wish for christmas, lists of things to do next year and, of course, lists of great stuff of this year. I am no different and just like last year, again I am going to make a list of ten records I discovered in 2007. They have not all been relased this year, but this is the year I discovered them and these ten records quite well sum up what has been going on this year.

Picking my 10 fave albums of 2007 was not difficult at all. But I am still working on the ranking. Whatever, in the next few days till new year I am going to look back on my year 2007 and write a bit about the most fantastic albums that accompanied me through it.

Mittwoch, Oktober 10, 2007

Frankie Valli and the mysteries of video shooting

"beggin', beggin' you
put your dancing shoes on baby"
(slightly edited, ;-) )

Frankie Valli - Beggin' (pilooski edit)

The most amazing song for me at the moment.

Why on earth they shot a video like this one is a mystery to me. Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons (why the full name of the band isn't spelled out correctly is a mystery either) were, among other things, successful in the British northern soul scene in the 60s. Considering the timeline, the 1950s petticoat dancers are a complete miscast, and the sound doesn't really apply to these 80s hiphop dancers either.

There are people dancing northern soul nowadays. I bet these two young men would have loved to take part in the video:

Better luck next time!

And in case you would like to see and hear more northern soul (like I do!), try these guys:

Samstag, Oktober 06, 2007

Justice live at "I love Techno"

Kinda old, but this still hits me like a rock. I am more and more into Nu Rave.

Donnerstag, Oktober 04, 2007

Finally Amy

I may possibly be the last person on earth to fall in love with Amy Winehouse's music. It had been suggested a few times before by friends, who all said that "that's quite the music you'll like". So I gave her stuff a try. And I hated her guts. I called her voice the "voice of a duck being minced through a meatgrinder." That's a really bad thing to say. I am honestly sorry, Amy. I love your music. I adore your voice. I love your beats, and melodies. I appreciate the fact that you dress and style just like you want to. I admire your frank and open lyrics. I've been listening to them a lot recently.
There was no avoiding Amy after I started working for a company which provided its staff with music at work. And while I was doing my chores her songs just slowly crept into my brain until I was able to distungish them from each other (there are three I heard, You Know I'm No Good, Back To Black and My Tears Dry On Their Own). I learned to recognise the beats and within the first few seconds of a track I could tell there was an Amy Winehouse song coming up. I was a bit afraid of listening to the Back To Black record at home because I thought "what if I get used to it to quickly and then I can't stand hearing it at work anymore?". But I was just way too curious to not find out what the other stuff sounds like. And I love everything.

Amy Winehouse's songs are modern classics. The love with which they are made, the uniqueness of the power she puts into them.. I hear Amy Winehouse is not too well these days. I hope she will make it and stay a fascinating personality. But no matter with how many more records she'll eventually come up with, I predict that Back To Black will be a classic, something to appear on the top of all-time hit lists in fourty years, a record people will discover and listen to in a long while. Because It's timeless. So I guess I am not too late, I'm still right on time!

Sonntag, September 16, 2007

The Coral

It's been two weeks since I announced a post about The Coral. In these two weeks I've been listening to them extensively and a whole range of phantasies and thoughts have come up to be shared with you.
The first time I actively listened to them was a few weeks ago, it was their album Magic & Medicine, their second one, released in 2003. I found it good enough to become excited when I got their first one, The Coral, as a present. I really liked Magic & Medicine, but had only listened to it twice or so. That's why the debut album was a bit of a disappointment for me then, I was rather interested in discovering Magic & Medicine a bit further than being introduced to something that sounded different. However, everything about The Coral became interesting for me again very recently with their current single Who's Gonna Find Me, an absolutely smashing piece of music. This is the song I have briefly written about in the last post, the video is embedded there as well, but to keep this post complete, here it is again:

This song just got what I'm looking for at the moment - a northern soul beat, great guitars and an extraordinarily good pop melody. Plus it represents one of the singers great gifts: He really can sing! It's not the voice that much this time that makes me crazy. Okay, the voice is distinct and clear (two things I really like), but there's so much more. The strength, the skills! No note is missed and you can hear this guy loving what he does.

With Who's Gonna Find Me blowing my mind away like that I just had to get the record - their fifth, entitled Roots & Echoes. The other songs got less tempo than this single, but still they manage to create a certain magic. I'm gonna write about one particular song here, which to me kinde represents the whole record and what I feel could be the idea behind it. The song is called She's Got A Reason, and can be listened to on The Coral's myspace.

The lyrics are, as far as I understand the song, about a woman in demand, a woman searching for something. She is restless and wanders around:

"...she soaked to the bone
the roads she walks on
well it won't lead her home"

But there is more to it:

"the princess and kings
all the beautiful things
and more

she won't wait
she'll never look back
through the fog
the mirrors have cracked
watch her go and she sings
dum dum da da da daaaa"

I can't help but thinking of fairy tales here. Is she like a modern Snow White, a princess who lost all her love, the mirror's cracked and now she is walking through the woods. But if it is so, I think this version of Snow White got a clue about what's going on. She's not really lost, she knows that the road she follows does not lead her back home, but to somewhere else, a place were it can only be better, because anything would be better than being home, "a place where she cries", just like in the fairy tale.

This is my idea of the theme of the song, and I apply it to all the other songs on the record. The topics, I think, are quite similar to this one. "Snow White", or the girl in She's Got A Reason, leaves home because she is rejected by someone. So is the character in the songs Remember Me. In Put The Sun Back we can hear about a relationship that is about to fall apart - it's a last cry for help, to avoid rejection. Rebecca You is not at all this hopeful anymore. Jacqueline went away already, and the song Cobwebs is about reflecting what went wrong with oneself. However, there are lots of strong moments in the lyrics, like in Fireflies, when he sings

"you won't see me cry".

Fireflies also has one of the nicest lines I've heard since Martin Newell's Julie Profumo, I mean as a reflection of my attitude on life. When Martin Newell sings

"take you with me
if you're going that way"

you got

"wherever I'm going
that's where I belong"

in this one. Just like Snow White is leaving to find a new and better home. And she lived happily ever after.

There's loads more to The Coral, but I can't possibly pack it all into one post. Part II coming up soon! You'll be reading about how I found my love for their first record The Coral and how I ended up hearing Dreaming Of You three times in a row three times a day.

Montag, September 03, 2007

my current fave song

I love this one, I don't know why. it's really playing inside my mind all the time at the moment. I'll try and blog about this, I promise. And about Martin Newell. I announce this here to get some desperately needed motivation.

The Coral - Who's Gonna Find Me

Donnerstag, Juli 12, 2007

RJD2 - The Third Hand

It was about time for me to like a record so much I feel it is worth being recommend. My new favourite album is RJD2's The Third Hand.

Well, as far as I know RJD2 has released quite few records so far, and I know him has a hip hop sampling dj. However, the new record quite blew me away because it combines a number of styles. What drove me to listen to it was a review I read that stated something like "RJD2 seems to be more relying on psychedelic and the beatles here than on hip hop beats." And damn right this is! The first song and, as far as I know, new single you never had it so good is based on piano chords. The second one, have mercy, is extremly funky. I find the lyrics quite amusing, as they remind me of German train workers being on strike recently:

Oh my goodness
I've been waiting for a train all morning
Lord Allmighty
I got a downtown shot to get to
Oh please
I got no car to bring me
Lord have mercy
have mercy have mercy
on these old fools
Lord have mercy
have mercy have mercy
'cos I won't do

Probbaly not what RJD2 wanted to say, but nevermind. Same goes for laws of the gods, which sounds like a angry girl's revenge on her ex-boyfriend:

Oh lazy man
you broke the laws of the gods
don't come home for a week

Enough interpretations...I discovered this record just three days ago, and already came up with some weird conclusions. One suddenly hit me this morning when I listened to the record in the queue at the post office: The thing is, one of my favorite songs so far is sweet piece. The chorus just appeals to me very much, and now I think I know why: May I be so presumptuous to claim it's like the electro hymn George Michael has not been writing recently? "Not him again again" I hear you scream, but listen for yourself. It's electronic, a soft electronica, it's about unaknowledged love or misconceptions on love, and his voice sounds so, well, like George Michael.

Likewise noteworthy: rules has perfect bonds to good old triphop and someday is played with an acoustic guitar. Not quite your average hiphop dj, ey?

We are now coming to the sadder part of this blog. What ever happened to radioblogclub? Is it just me or is it gone, making room for a page full of advertisement? What happened to all the radioblogclub links I put on this blog?

Not all the songs I mentioned are available there, but do try and listen to RJD2 on his myspace.

Montag, Juli 09, 2007

Remember Nirvana ?

Well, you probably do, and I just wanted to inform you that the Baby on the "Nevermind" Album turned 17 in June.

It's sometimes amazing how time flies by. I still remember how that album was all the craze back in school ... And that was 15 years ago.

Dienstag, Juni 05, 2007


One of the spearheads of the so-called "New Rave"-movement is a band based in Hamburg/Germany, called "Digitalism". Tracks are released on the french label "Kitsune", and after a few singles/EPs the two dudes have finally finished their Debut-Album called "Idealism". And I don't actually want to write alot about this except that I love their music and urge you to check them out too.

"Zdarlight"-Video, their first big hit :

"Pogo"-Video, the current Single :

Digitalism on myspace.

Samstag, Mai 26, 2007

the curse of Rory Gallagher

Rory Gallagher - I'm not awake yet

I discovered this song by pure chance when I was listening to some playlist containing the clash on radioblogclub. I am not really interested in any other of his songs. I did ready his wikipedia entry, but I forgot about it afterwards. Frankly, I do not care who Rory Gallagher is.

Just this song really hit me. I reckon it is the most beautiful piece I have heard for a really long time. And I just figured out that ever since I heard it I am having fuzzy sleeping habits. Like I do not sleep. It is hard to fall asleep. I dream shit. It takes me ages to wake up, spending much time in this weary state when you are conscious but unable to move or open your eyes. And I feel awkward afterwards.

Is it the curse of Rory Gallagher?

Montag, Mai 21, 2007

CSS and The Gossip Myspace Secret Show @ Roadhouse, Manchester

This is gonna be a long one, but worth the read! ;)

Some bold facts: Myspace UK has been organising two secret shows so far, this was the second one. I learned about it in a bulletin sent out by the Myspace Secret Show UK page. It announced the date and place, May 18th Manchester, but I only found out about who would play a couple of days before the gig.
To get a ticket I had to befriend the myspace profile (which I had already done ages ago) and CSS's and the Gossip's myspace page. Then put the three in my top eight, print out my profile page, and then, they day before the gig, go to the local book and music store Fopp to queue for my ticket.

My friend and I arrived at the store two hours before they started giving out the tickets, only two be quite surprised that there were people queuing already! So we took our place in the line and waited. Somebody took pictures of us holding the prints of our profiles. I mention this because we were exposed to photographers let loose quite often. They started handing out the tickets on time, and soon, after showing the prints and an ID, we got a wristband, a ticket and some buttons which said things like "you looked better on myspace" or myspace is for losers but you're all f*cking on it.

Holding the tickets in our hands we thought of two things. First: we got the tickets, no more queuing! (how wrong we were...) Second: oh, the tickets say dress code: shock. What are we gonna do about this?
I won't explain what we wore, in case you may read my description too well and then I got no idea if weird pics of me will finally come up on the myspace page...

But we did dress up a bit the next day and went for a nice pint. The tickets said Doors 8:30, so we where there 8:30. Only to have to queue again, for an annoying one and a half hour. Why this was like this, I do not really know, but I got my suspicions: there were cameras again. People handing out flyers, people taking pictures. And a film team that filmed the queue, encouraging everyone to cheer. Of course, if you wanna persuade people who weren't there about how busy it was, you got to make the audience queue. But for one and a half hours?

Nevertheless, we finally got inside, only to wait a bit more. Then CSS played. To be honest, I did not know any of their songs before, and one gossip song only. And to be honest, I was not particularly found of the music. I liked both bands attitude, the singer from CSS with glasses painted on her face and a fake tooth gap. I read about them afterwards that they started the band without knowing how to play any instrument. If that is true, bless them. But to me all the songs sounded the same.

Things were similar with The Gossip. Again, not really an idea what they sound like, yet I was familiar with some of the modern myths surrounding Beth Ditto, and maybe she fulfilled them again this night with her ultra-short dress and her party-attitude which could have resulted from drunkenness. But she does what she wants to (at least I hope she still wants to be like this, and it has not become a necessity to stay popular), and I appreciate this. Plus there was something else about her, which was clearly my highlight of the evening: her voice. Let me tell you, no matter what you think of her and her band, her voice IS amazing. They opened their set with a cover version of George Michael's Careless Whisper, and I as an old George Michael fan say they did it very well.

Here are some pictures my friend took:


The Gossip

The glowsticks

After these nice impressions, here is what the press said:

First of all, myspace UK still has not managed to put reviews, videos and pictures up on their profile yet. Maybe they will have when you read this, but they certainly did not have when I wrote this. Considering the fact that the gig was friday night, and I am writing this on a monday afternoon, I must say that's pretty lousy and lame of them.

However, the NME was really quick, giving us this story. Do I approve what they wrote there? Frankly, no, not all of it. But first, my congratulations to the author who figured out the setlist. How you can keep all these songs apart and recognise them is a miracle to me. But maybe he just nicked the setlist? Yet I do not remember Beth Ditto shouting for Paris Hilton to be put into prison. I also do not recall her dedicating the gig to Yoko Ono. And I was really sober. The rest seems true, though.

After the gig was over, there was a bit of djing going on, were once more I realised that either my electro time was ten years ago and is over now, or the best electro songs simply were made ten years ago, because what got me (and the crowd) going the most were some old nice tunes such as daft punk's around the world and mr oizo's flat beat. When we left they gave us free posters of both two bands, and we still had these glowsticks they had been throwing into the audience extensivly. Having spent less than five pounds for this night I was quite satisfied with the outcome. lots of annoying things, but who am I to complain when it's a bargain!

Harry And The Potters @ Urbis, Manchester

Seeing Harry and the Potters was one of the most "different" gigs I have ever been to, probably. As you can tell by the name, the group is inspired by the Harry Potter books. In fact, all the song-lyrics are based on characters or episodes from the story.

Don't believe me? Here are some lyrics for you:

From The Human Hosepipe:

so we said there with all the couples kissing
and soon things began deteriorating
and you began turning into the human hosepipe

From Wizard Chess:

I don't want to go home for Christmas this year
I don't wanna see my family
I just wana stay at school with my best friends Ron
we'll spend our Christmas playing wizard chess
we'll spend our Christmas being invisible
be invisible this Christmas

(my favourite song)

I enjoyed observing every single detail of the gig. Let me give you some facts: The Urbis is a museum. The band played in the entrance hall. Generally, they perform in theaters and libraries rather than concert hall or gig venues. Their audience comprises approximately 13 to 16 years-old kids. And oh, how these kids looked: Black eyeliner on allmost all faces, some in really colourful clothes, socks with different colours, but some dressed in black. Almost all guys with long hair, almost all girls with at least two different hair colours. Spome wore self-made t-shirts with lines from the books. Hard to tell if any dressed up as actual characters, hard to tell for me, at least. But there was no Harry Potter in the audience. And rightly so, because the kids knew there would be two Harry Potters on stage!

Harry and the Potters is actually two brothers (and a drummer), who look very much alike each other, and who did their best to look like Harry Potter. Dark curly hair, glasses, a scar drawn on the forehead. The even wore the Hogwarts school uniform. They looked really nice.

Okay, so what do we have so far: emo-kids going to a gig at three pm, two brothers, I'd say in their late twenties, dressed up as a adolescent wizard and a performance in a museum. What did I save for the end: the music!

Let me tell you, the music simply was a very sweet surprise for me. Listen to the songs the band has on myspace and you'll get no idea of what it is like to see them live. Live they rock! Or, more acuratly, they punkrock! They rarely played a song that was longer than one-and-a-half minute. The two Potters jumped around and screamed, there even was some serious moshing going on in the audience at one point. Lyrics were spit out, microphone stands were broken, the singer ran off-stage to dance and sing and cry with the kids, no reservedness, no timidity at all. And I thought: thanks somebody is saving these emo kids from teenage angst and makes them angry instead!

Dienstag, Mai 15, 2007

Bitchiest Popstars

There are some really nice quotes in this top10-list of bitchiest popstars on virginmedia. And I even found it all by myself while googling.

Montag, Mai 14, 2007


The whole blog is now labelled. categories so far are:

music styles:
heavy metal

artist recommendation
that's life

click on any of the links to read all the posts with this label.

Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators @ Mint Lounge, Manchester

The evidence of a funky night out! This pic was taken at the Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators gig in Manchester in early May this year. They blew me away with their 2005 record Keep Reachin' Up, which I discovered just very recently. I therefore did not really expect to get a chance to see them touring this record, but there they were, in the Mint Lounge, 8 or so guys on stage, starting the concert with a ten minute long instrumental introduction. In case you have not read about them before, they are a ten-piece finnish band playing music following the tradition of Northern Soul sound.

The intro gave my finnish company a change to admit the band actually really looked finnish, and let my anticipation grow immensly. And it got the audience in the mood, so everybody was already shaking their bits when Nicole Willis finally entered the stage. She has a wonderful stage presence: smiled, danced and enjoyed the music. I am not sure if I actually have to mention that her voice was superb. My finnish friend, usually a follower of Heavy Metal, and a bit of Jazz, was absolutely glad we went and told me he enjoyed the musicd very much. So did I! So did everyone.

some videos with the usual phone camera+youtube-upload-size problems. You do not necessarily have to watch them, just listen while you browse.

Mittwoch, Mai 09, 2007

Herman Dune @ Roadhouse, Manchester

This cool pic suggests that Herman Dune is another of these multicombo bands, with loads of people that are difficult to keep track of. It's not quite like that.
I am still not really familiar with the band's history or background, but as far as I understood the band actually just comprises two brothers from France or Israel or Sweden or the USA or all four or so?

But what do I care about where they are from when the song I like the most is about "being away". It is called I wish that I could see you soon.

When I saw them live in Manchester about a week after Easter, this song was the first of a row of songs that really caught me.
Maybe I wouldn't have liked them, had I just listened to this song, but seeing a band live of course always makes a difference. The beautiful female voice you can here in the song was provided by a singer from Baby Skins on stage. This woman had a really nice array of percussion instruments that I could never be able to name, yet describe. She used a different one for every single song, to accompany the drums and make things a bit more strange and dreamy.

The audience must have been crazy for Herman Dune's music. They even booed the singer when he didn't sing. When Andre Herman Dune, the singer, came back on stage for an encore, he chatted a bit at first, talking about music distribution, and how much better vinyls are compared to mp3s. He said he didn't have the time to go record shopping in Manchester, which he really regretted, and that he loved the idea of kids wanting records rather than mp3 downloads. This got him a little passionate (aren't we all, when it comes to this subject) and he kept on talking, for so long that people started to shout for a song. In the Roadhouse, there was a club night after the gig, and people feared there might not be time for a song if he went on talking.

But a brand new, very sweet love song was sung, everybody embraced, souls saved. Thank you, Herman Dune!

Sonntag, Mai 06, 2007

Midlake @ Sheperd's Bush Empire, London

I have written about Midlake here and here
and you don't have to click on any of these links if you don't want to ;)

So, I went to see the band who won my last year's favourite-record-award for the second time. I thought the fact that they were in the same city as me at the same time was more than coincidence this time. Apart from that I had always wanted to go to the Sheperd's Bush Empire. There was a time in my life when I did not go to gigs (too much money spent on dope), so I would hang around with my friends watching live dvds endlessly. It became sort of a running gag after a while that all these artists we liked released dvds of gigs shot there. The repetition of shots from inside, all these amazing artists I "saw" and the dope made me really really wanna go there for once.

And the venue was perfect for that gig, for that night. We had seating tickets on the balcony. We had been hurrying around all day, travelling from Manchester to London, collecting keys, dropping luggage, making small talk to people we did not know, missing busses...and no time to sit down and relax. Until the gig started.

The atmosphere was great. Midlake's music just sounds so much better in a place like this. Sheperd's Bush Empire is an old theater transformed into a gig venue. They could have performed without any PA at all, I bet we would still have heard every single note.

The music was more psychedelic this time, I felt. Sometimes, the band would literally bend over their keyboards and instruments, soo much into their music. No long breaks between songs this time (that was what made me feel disappointed after seeing them in Berlin last October). I could just sit down and let the music flow through me.

The venue was sold out, and it sold out about six weeks before the gig. Apparently, people in London are really into Midlake. And what an interesting audience it was. Most of them were in their thirties, possibly, but I sat next to an approx. 10 year old boy accompanied by his mum. He seemed to really like the music.

That's why I can't stop blogging about them. One day, I'm gonna convince you all... ;)

Freitag, April 27, 2007

Little Man Tate @ Roadhouse, Manchester

To celebrate the release of their latest single this must be love, little man tate played a free set in the roadhouse manchester, my new highly favoured venue in this music city on the 29th march. It is a small place, and it was packed.

Little Man Tate are a party band, obviously. The front half of the venue was packed with very small, rather "wide" people with a lack of hair, excitedly moshing right from the very first song on. They celebrated the band very much, even though the singers voice was a bit fucked up ("I sound like a twat", he said throughout the set). But Little Man Tate had been touring the continent before for quite a while. This left the singer with a weak voice, and the whole band with the excitement of "playing back home". Interestingly, my company had seen them live in Berlin a week before and said the gig was totally different. People had been listening rather politely, and the songs sounded quite different. I guess Little Man Tate just belong to a way different league in their home country.
It sucks, but I'll mention their music only quickly: Very good. very catchy rock songs, with loads of melodies.

this must be love

gig update

I shall announce that I have been very busy going to gigs over the past few weeks, and blog posts will follow very soon!

look forward to reading reviews of
- little man tate
- midlake
- herman dune
- nicole willis and the soul investigators

Freitag, April 06, 2007

Discopunk !

I have been at an "Indietronic"-Festival yesterday and had an amazing load of fun. Two bands where especially great:

First "The Plectrons", a band of four 19-year-old schoolkids with some great indie-behaviour, classic rock-setup (drums, bass, two guitars) and alot of kicking funk in the music. Taking the fact that they are yet to finish school I really see a great future for them. Check their myspace page.

The other band was "So So Modern" from New Zealand, cute costumes, live drums, guitars and a huge synth-rig infront of every member, which makes an amazing mix of dirty synthlines and blaring powerchords. I really hope to see them live again sometime in the future. Check their myspace-page.

It was great to get a truckload of this strange music I keep calling "Discopunk" and I am now officially a fan of two rockbands. Who'd h' thought, ey ?

Donnerstag, März 22, 2007

Nicole Willis and the Soul Investigators

You are about to listen to something plainly beautiful. Nicole Willis and the Soul Investigators' album Keep Reachin' Up. The incredients are quite extraordinary, though:

This is Northern Soul, somehow. But it is from "the other north": Finland.

This was not released in 1966. It was produced in 2006.

Apparently the band won every soul award there is last year. Not only for the great music, but surely also because everybody was so excited about the fact that there is a bunch of young people making a record full of kitchen soul. It was about time.

Mittwoch, März 07, 2007

foals house party

Friday, 2nd March, left me with the most packed party I've ever been to so far.

About 70 people squashed into the living room of an ordinary english house, and another 200 or so in the rest of the building, piling up in the hallway and on the stairs. We all came to see foals, an uprising british band who had a very nice idea: Free gigs at house parties. They are on tour around the UK at the moment, and told their myspace friends to let them now if they wanted them to perform in their city when they were there. And in Manchester, it did happen. After playing a gig for the public in the night and day cafe they packed their instruments and headed down to the house party. We all were eagerly awaiting them. Excitement was so high, and I knew that evening was gonna be special when, for the first time in my life, I was offered E. (Amazing, 4 years of clubbing in Berlin and no one ever want to sell me anything, but at my first party in smiley rave city I did not have to wait anz longer than five minutes). I don't do drugs, though, just so you know!
The band arrived around midnight (who knows...) and we all had to make room for them to bring their instruments into the living room. after that, the great pushing began, lots of people wanted to see them. I managed to get instead the room. It was so packed, a pin could not have dropped on the floor. I do not really remember how long their set was, it felt quite short, though, and left everybody so sweaty that people stuck to each other.
A very nice night out!

Sonntag, Februar 18, 2007

Stan Flashman

Football almost is music, isn't it?

This is an interesting article I found on wikipedia:

Stan Flashman (born 1930 in East London, died December 1999 in Ilford) was known for many years as a ticket tout who claimed he could obtain tickets for almost anything.

In 1985 he took over as chairman of struggling Barnet Football Club who were heading towards receivership. Buying the club cost him just £50,000. Almost immediately the team improved and, with Barry Fry as manager, Barnet won the Conference and promotion to the Football League in 1991. Despite Fry's success as manager, he and Flashman had their differences and Fry was regularly sacked and then reinstated by Flashman.

He resigned as chairman in 1993 after they had narrowly avoided bankruptcy and expulsion from the Football League.

In 1995, Barnet goalkeeper, coach and manager Gary Phillips said of Flashman, "A lot of people knock Stan and I had my runs ins with him as much as anyone but at the end of the day he did save the place once. When he was good he was very, very, generous, and most of the time he looked after the lads well. Unfortunately when it went sour he, maybe, could have handed things a lot better." (Gary Phillips testimonial, May 8, 1995).

Flashman died of a heart attack in December 1999 at the age of 69.

read the wiki-entry here

What is intersting here is the very first paragraph. A tout who can get tickets for almost everything? How come he can? Where does he get them? If he can, how can I contact him? How much did he earn doing this?

And why is nobody making a feature movie out of this?

Happy Birthday

With all these homemade happy birthday videos on youtube, I decided not to make another one, but rather put up these instead

this one's for the cats:

Too bad there was no god version of Stevie Wonder's Happy Birthday to be found, but the last one pretty much does the deal, anyway! It's the other way round, but the blessings are just what I feel.


Sonntag, Februar 11, 2007



this video from the very early nineties (91, i think) just really struck me recently. not only is it a nice overview of the british baggy/rave culture, but also kind of anticipates lauryn hill's everything is everything

and whoever claimed that mr chris cunningham was oh so brave to be the first to include final credits in a music video?

Samstag, Februar 03, 2007

cooking beats beats cooking

Click the empty space above, something is wrong with the preview window.

Donnerstag, Januar 18, 2007

01 midlake - the trials of van occupanther

01 midlake - the trial of van occupanther

the number-one-without-a-doubt record

it was about time i posted my number one record of 2006. midlake have been written about in this blog twice already: here, and here. i cannot do anything else but recommend them. this record was the soundtrack to my summer, fall and winter. listen to them on myspace. and go out and buy the record. enough said, words cannot descrive this, anyway.

plus: lots of videos by user worldsfair on youtube.

Montag, Januar 15, 2007

More Timbaland

Whoops, so this blog got alot of attention from different websites. Thanx for that.

A few more things about this whole timbaland vs. tempest thing from me.

First of all, I am quite qualified to talk about this. I entered the scene some 15 years ago, first did some musics and graphics on the C64, later bought a PC and made music there.
So when I talk about C64-Arpeggios, I know what I am talking about.

Also I had an email discussion with Ronnie from rekkerd.org today which made me think about a few more aspects of this.

I am meanwhile absolutely convinced that timbaland ripped this track from tempest and/or GRG. Thats that. Those videos prove it for me. I mean, you never hear C64-Style arpeggios somewhere in Chart-Music and all of a sudden timbaland comes around with a beat which sounds so much like this track, this aint chance or coincidence. And even if it's not a perfect fit, doesnt matter, I guess the least that timbaland can do is chop stuff up a little bit.

Now, I spent the better part of the day reading around the net about this thing and it seems that on one hand alot of sceners or close-to-the-scene people are outraged while some non-sceners don't see the point.
You can read comments everywhere like "it was on the net for free, so whats the fuzz", "sounds like some crap-midi-file anyway" and so on and so forth.

The point is simply : It doesnt matter. Tempest made the track, and in the second he started the track he gained the copyright for it. This is the same thing all over the world. Do something of artistic value and it's yours. And just because he put it out as freeware doesn't mean anyone can rip it up or sample it. The only thing he gave up by releasing this as freeware is the right to charge people for listening to it.

Secondly, those stupid claims "hiphop is always about sampling". Yes I know. My music is samplebased too. I do know quite alot about sampling and how to do it and all. I keep a list of artists/tracks I sampled from, should the day come that I can make money with my tracks, I will pay for clearance.
And if you sample from artists from the industry, you normally have to pay alot. Which makes sense, really. Black Eyed Peas surely paid alot to Sergio Mendes to make this track they recently did. Because the track is nothing without that Sergio Mendes Sample.
You pay less if you sample some half second and put it back in the background, so the sample is not that important and all.
But all in all, the way should be like "hey, I love this sound of yours, used it in a track of mine
and now I will give you some of the money I earn with this track because without your sound my track would not have been possible this way." Every artist in the biz is very uptight about this and their copyrights and will go after you if you violate that.

And what do we have in this case ? Some frigging 8-bar loops which make up the whole song. If Tempest was in the biz he would get about 95% of the money this track generates, for sure.
But, and here is the point, he is only a "geek" who put up his "music for free on the net anyway".
All that timbaland did was adding some drums. Anyone with abit of musical knowledge and a cracked Fruity Loops can do this.
And that is the frigging point. The major portion of that track is done by Tempest/GRG. It's nice that Timbaland likes the sound and uses the samples, but pay for it and name your source, for christs sake. And share the better part of the money with those artists, because this track would not have been without those two people. Show some respect. (Thats the word all those HipHops are mumbling about all the time).

I would love to know what would have happened if tempest made a track using a (however small) sample from timbaland and got some attention for that.

In the scene rippers are considered people with low morale and respect, in the real world they make millions and get interviews for being such kick-ass producers. This sucks.

I seriously hope that tempest gets the money and backup he needs to sue Timbaland and/or Geffen Records, because I am afraid otherwise they will just sit this one out.

Timbaland rips

There is currently alot of buzz on the net about Timbaland having ripped portions of a freeware C64 song without giving credits, let alone any money.

If it's true (and it seems to be) then this is a real shock, a successful producer like timbaland stealing from other people... Those people tend to rip your head off if you sample more than three milliseconds of their work, seems they take it much easier the other way around.

The facts about this read like this :

In 2000 Tempest does a MOD called "acid jazzed evening". A MOD is an Amiga-Music file, Amiga being the old computer (you probably played around with one of those if you are close to 30).
A while later someone called GRG converted this track into a SID-File (having asked tempest for permission beforehand), SID being the soundchip of the old C64-Computer (yet again, if you are close to 30, you probably had some fun with this one).

In 2006 the new Nelly Furtado album produced by Timbaland contains a song called "do it", which is apparently built around the SID-Conversion of "acid jazzed evening". In the liner-notes he claims full credit for this song. No hint of any other artist involved.

There is a great Youtube-Video around comparing these two songs :

Another video about a ringtone he released in 2005 :

I am very convinced about this, basically because of one thing : You can clearly hear the arpeggios of the C64 Track in that Nelly Furtado Track. "Arpeggio" is a musical term describing the style of splitting up a chord and playing the individual notes in fast succession, in "real" music its done on guitars or harps, in electronic music this is something very popular in trance music. However, a very distinctive style of arpeggios can be hard in alot of MOD and SID Files where they are done in a very special technical way (you can't even determine a real notelength for each small note). I do not know alot of real hardware or software synth that can do those kind of arpeggios, you need a real or emulated C64/Amiga for this (and have to know how to work these, too). (Edit: As was revealed meanwhile Timbaland has a "SID-Station" in his Studio, a Synthesizer built upon the Soundchip of the C64. Which is capable of playing tunes like the one from GRG...)

The point of all this is simply that even a big-ass producer like timbaland does seem to confuse the term "freeware" with "free to do anything with". If I put out music for free on the net like the MOD and SID files mentioned above, I still hold the copyrights to it and no one is allowed to abuse that stuff. It's just my decision not to charge any money for listening to it. It's strange that someone who is surely very uptight about his own copyrights does not care about other artists copyrights.

And I know that HipHop has always been about sampling, but there has been a "culture" about paying royalties for sampled material for some decades now, and thats for a good reason. Seems those vultures now start to grab their melodies and stuff from people who can't defend themselves. (Neither tempest nor grg will go to court with this, because as someone stated "it's a suicide mission to trial geffen records, or any other major for that matter.")

To this date, neither Timbaland nor Geffen Records have issued an official statement nor tried to contact tempest or GRG.

Part2 of this post with some more thoughts.

Links :

There is a discussion going on on the somethingawful.com-forums with some more in-depth background information.

A page on pelulamu gathering links and information about the subject (thanx for linking us).

Some more info on ukscene.

The digg-page about this with comments from tempest himself.

Def Sounds (an american Hiphop-Mag) catched on to the whole story.

Finally, the official ringtone which sounds very, very much like the original SID-File.

Samstag, Januar 06, 2007

My Record of the Year

This may sound utterly stupid to some people, but after going through some "official" 2006-top-album lists I realized that there is only one record that came out this year that I was spinning more than a few times, and that is "St. Elsewhere" by Gnarls Barkley. Oh, I love that one. Playful, sloppy beats mixed with lyrics that are great and sound like they have been written five minutes before the actual recording started. Since my sister already covered that one I won't write any more about it.

(I actually had some other records in mind but had to realize they all came out 2005).

I didn't like The Knife (actually had a small discussion with TBA about it, somehow I can't get into those cold electronics done by the people up north, just doesnt appeal to me), I am utterly bored with todays (Indy)-Rock music (I rather listen to some 60s/70s beat/rock/psych/prog, for me thats the real deal), I still can't get a finger on that (probably non-existing) phenomena called "Disco-Punk" and HipHop remained either the disgusting sexistic bullshit or the boring, uncreative intro-sampling "take a hit, make a hit"-shit it has been for a while now.

There have been some great tracks I loved in the dance scene this year (Robosonic - "Yasmin" (coconut wireless remix), Palermo Disko Machine - "Pump", Buscemi - Jazz Jumper, 1200 Beats - "Run it Dub" just fall into my mind), but sadly the clubs in my hometown keep up their love for minimal techno-stuff and those are tracks I listened to at home.

But basically in 2006 I just unplugged from modern music even more. I guess I did miss some great stuff because no-one told me about or I simply refused to listen (TBA is still trying all the time, hehe), but I was occupied with other music.
I spent my year listening to more of the 60s and 70s, jazz, soundtracks, disco, got alot of those old eastern-european records I love so much (jazz, funk, pop, you name it) and really started to get more into classic and contemporary classic music (like with synths and stuff, from the (you guessed it) 70s).

I really don't know if it's true what someone told me a few days ago in a bar, that art in general literally came to a standstill in the past years, lets see what the new 2007 brings.
But one of the reasons why I love 60s/70s music in general so much is simply the fact that back then all those musicians gathered together in a studio and started playing together whereas today with computers and stuff nearly all music, even the classic "band-on-stage" rock music gets recorded with each member of the band playing their parts alone in the studio, often recorded in "takes" and then cut and looped and modified to "fit". The magic of musicians interacting and playing together and with each other just isn't happening anymore. I don't know any recent tracks that made me listen closely to the way the bass-player in the background suddenly starts freaking out during the bridge (stiletto main theme), the way the drummer keeps varying his breaks all trough the song (warren schatz - "I need your smile") and I don't the goosebumps I get when in some 70s Bert Kaempfert song suddenly a string quartet starts playing some incredibly emotional chords. Maybe I am getting old. Sigh.

Mittwoch, Januar 03, 2007

02 roy budd - get carter ost (1971)

02 roy budd - get carter soundtrack (1971)

the get carter soundtrack, written by the film composer roy budd, was given to me by my brother in 2005 already. i enjoyed it from the start, but grew to love it even more in 2006. this is 70's jazz music, becoming very groovy at times. the record is a mix of calm, quiet tracks which sometimes have a psychedelic twist to them, and loud danceable funk songs, often with female vocals. it's hard finding videos for this one, but i'll drop in some wherever i can.

for a roy budd bio, i had to check allmusic.com, because i didnt know anything about him. well, apparently he was somewhat of a musical prodigy, teaching himself how to play the piano by ear before the age of six and started to work as a full-time professional musician when he was 16. most of the records he did were scores. allmusic says that get carter was his most-appreciated one.

the opening sequence of the movie with the opening theme gives a good idea of how roy budd's music sounds:

in case you find the music a bit too lame, keep in mind that the whole score was written to fulfil the purpose of accompanying the pictures. in the end of the video, you can hear a very short bit of looking for someone, another track of this album.

as i said before, the record can be divided into what could be "regular" tracks and what are called "themes". the main title theme, get carter, appears quite a few times throughout the cd. the intro itself is a version of it, too.

you can listen to the main version here:

i guess that this is one of the things i really like about this record: it's not a bundle of individual songs that you listen to in a row. instead, you got themes popping up again now and then like reccurring ideas, or different strings of a movie plot.
also worth mentioning is that the theme songs are by no means shorter than the other ones, which makes get carter quite a long-lasting experience.

and here's how the "classical" songs work:

one of my favourite songs is getting nowhere in a hurry. you can listen to it on myspace. in fact, all four tracks on the profile page are from the get carter soundtrack.

my definite number one track hallucinations i couldnt find anywhere, though. there is an okay remix version made for this youtube video:

it gets quite close to the original idea of the song, but unfortunately it is based on the instrumental. the vocal track underlines the structure of the song, makes it even more dreamy and weary. imaging these lines sung over the music slowly, very carefully:

strange sensations
mind creation
why do i, why do i
try to fly to the sky

send me drifting
what i feel isn't real
am i lost? double-crossed

earth, sea, sun, sky
the world beneath my feet
slipping by"

only records number one gets more mystical.

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