Wednesday 16 December 2009

Placebo Tonight!

I'm off to see Placebo tonight so I thought I'd post a classic video to get in the mood.

Placebo - Pure Morning

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Thursday 10 December 2009

We're a Godless Army.

In true Cowboy X style (i.e. a couple of months after the song was released natch') the brand spanking new video for Analogue Droids has finally been unleashed upon the world... or more specifically, premiered on RTE's new music show "When Under Ether" ( Tuesdays @ 11.50pm) which is attempting to fill void left by the excellent Nightshift, which disappeared when Channel 6 went tits up sometime last year, but which does a pretty good job of the whole thing.

Here is the video in question...



anyone else reckon they must have had some EPIC light sabre fights inbetween takes with all those awesome lazer deelys?

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Friday 4 December 2009

New Live Talulah Does The Hula Choons Alert.


Happiness Machine favourites and personal chums Talulah Does The Hula have posted some new choons up on the ol' myspaz page which you may find quite rather pleasing to the ears...

The girls did a 2FM session there a couple of nights ago (which I missed due to being in the throes of a massive essay for college... boo) and recorded live versions of so far un-released but firm live favourites "Secret Lovers" and "Hells Bells" along with newer choon "Lovesick Losers".

The girlies (and guy) will be playing out the year at the Phantom New Years Ball at The Academy, Middle Abbey Street on the 31st of December (obv') so make sure to check em' out if you haven't so far this year!

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Tuesday 1 December 2009

can't make it to the cinema this weekend?

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Monday 30 November 2009

The Moment When R n B ate itself.

Witness, gentle listeners, the lyrical and musical monstrosity before you...




This is not a joke people. R Kelly wants to get YOU pregnant. Take it all in...

...the gentle sighing of the girl with the "unbelievable booty" but who is also "a cutie" at the beginning...

...the "knock you up" refrain which insists on smacking you in the face straight after the initial horror of discovering that Mr. Kelly would like to impregnate you, just to rub it in...

...the featured artist Tyrese, who refuses to let you forget that he has something he wants to put in you, clearly not realising that even Electric Six "Gay Bar" manages to render such a line in a more appealing manner than he can...

...the astonishing couplet which I now realise can only have been written by Josef Fritzl himself...

"Put that girl in my kitchen
Lock you up, knock you up"

I am genuinely reeling from this discovery ladies and gentlemen. I really did think that nothing could truely top the dizzy heights of turd-dom set by Jeremih's recent hit "Birthday Sex"...





But no, oh no, we did not count on the astounding subtlty of the great R. Kelly to come and completely dis-regard and obliterate the good name of metaphor for years to come.

Mr. Kelly has clearly decided there is no need for such faffing about and that it is far more important to cut down on the crap and get down to business...

Amazing.

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Friday 27 November 2009

Ballroom of Romance - Joycut, Clockwork Noise

Ballroom of Romance presents Joycut, Clockwork Noise, The Walpurgis Family and Pearse McGloughlin. Tonight in The Lower Deck in Portabello. Adm €10. Doors at 8.30. Free Mp3 compilation with admission. If a sexy women standing in front of a flag with a hula hoop doesn't get you there maybe the read more will.

Joycut:

Joycut hail from Bologna in Italy. Named in reference to Nick Drake and Rodge Waters lyrics they give Britrock/ post punk angst a uniquely Italian spin, adding urgency and energy to melancholy. Recently they have toured with The Editors, and having firmly established themselves at home they are venturing abroad to tour.

http://www.joycut.com/

Clockwork Noise:

The story of Clockwork Noise could well be the story of a ton of other Irish bands. It’s a tale of great enthusiasms, band members coming and going, lengthy breaks between releases and gigs and a lot of hanging around waiting for things to happen.

The members of Clockwork Noise will nod in recognition at that list. A debut album If I Wanted, I Could was released in 2005, but it’s taken until now for the next release, the very fine Yes and No and Everything Inbetween EP to appear. Band members have come and gone and some have even come back again. In between all of these minor dramas, they’ve supported The Kinetiks, Angel Pier, Heritage Centre and Story of Hair.

But Clockwork Noise stand out from the pack because their music is a cut above the usual indie-rock standard. As the new EP shows, they really do know a different way around the department where you’ll find sweeping vocals, hooky guitars, moody strings and tipsy electro beats. Tracks such as Egoeccentric ­ (band member Rob Maguire contributes to the Irish music blog of the same name) hint at a band prepared to go all epic when the mood takes them. The clock is ticking.
-The Ticket, The Irish Times.

The Walpugis Family:

The Walpurgis Family is the two piece chamber pop group comprised of Jeroen Saegeman (guitar, vocals, Belgium) and Wil McDermott (bass, keys, vocals, Ireland), recieving additional hands from Ruan Lovebeach (drums). The Dublin based Family plays lovely quiet songs about moving to other countries, the shower, the kitchen, public transportation and even about a mysterious island. Some of this stuff is even autobiographical!

Pearse McGloughlin:

Pearse McGloughlin is a gifted song writer from Sligo, based in Dublin. In his own words:

"To date, Walkperson has served as the nom de guerre for my songs and the musicians who have played with me. I first played with a group called 'Socialite' in my hometown of Sligo. That was immense fun and I have very fond memories of it. Subsequently, I spent time in France and Montreal, learned French, got hooked on songwriting and recorded a short EP in cold Québec city. My next group was 'Thy Swan Army' in Galway. I took a lot from this band, recorded songs and played some really good gigs. People liked us. The group splintered eventually and members went to work on separate projects (Ghostwood Project, John Terrors) I next lived in London, played with more musicians and gigged the indie scene as Walkperson. Most of the songs I wrote during this period I've let go but there are several I've held on to, of which I'm still proud. Since coming back to Ireland I've recorded and released 'Desired Effect EP' with Andrew Deacon, Ales Bagart and James Yearn. My new solo album 'Busy Whisper' is out now. The songs are somewhere on the indie/folk rock/alternative spectrum but you can decide for yourself. I hope you like them"


"soft-focused, mellow tunes delivered with quietly assured authority" Jim Carroll, The Irish Times>

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Monday 16 November 2009

Two Door Cinema Club - I Can Talk



'I Can Talk' is the new single from Northern Irish trio Two Door Cinema Club, whose expertly formed indie floor fillers are establishing as one of this years bands to watch. The track is officially realeased on November 23rd.

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Tuesday 10 November 2009

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Saturday 14 November Crawdaddy Dublin


Its a rare breed of band that can create sweeping soundscapes while retaining the essence of an indie-pop song but Cymbals Eat Guitars fuse together delay soaked guitars with electric piano, brass and xylophones to do just that. Receiving plaudits from NME and a recommendation from Pitchfork for their debut album 'Why are there Mountains?' the New York groups star is on the rise. The band have crossed the channel for a few solo shows after touring with Wilco and The Flaming Lips. First stop is Crawdaddy in Dublin this Saturday 14th followed by Auntie Annie's in Belfast on Sunday.

Tickets for Crawdaddy are €12 and are available from the usual outlets. Doors at 8.

'What's most admirable about this sophisticated self-released debut is Cymbals Eat Guitars' willingness to think big with gestures that shouldn't fly in the hands of a young band, instrumentally or thematically.' - Pitchfork.com

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Wednesday 4 November 2009

the greatest electropop song of the last 10 years finally gets it's own video.



At the request of Tim Sinnot of Ranticular.com, I promise to attempt a full review of the new album by the end of tomorrow.

Hurrah!

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Wednesday 28 October 2009

Acapella Storm

Ok I know it may seem like I'm posting a lot of videos but if you watch this video from the beginning to just after 2 minutes in and don't want to keep watching then I will eat my hat (and think that you have no taste in music).

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Who knew a Concept Album about Cricket would work so well?

Duckworth Lewis Method - Meeting Mr. Miandad

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Tuesday 27 October 2009

...and the curse of the X Factor is broken with one EPIC performance.

After the recent shambolic performances from so-called "musical legends" such as Whitney Houston and Robbie Williams these past couple of weeks on the X Factor, it was a genuinely pleasant surprise and downright relief to hear an astoundingly breathtaking performance courtesy of Tesco Soul favourite, Michael Buble on last Sunday's results show.

Buble completely OWNED the X Factor stage with a rousingly Bond-style arrangement of Julie London's classic tear jerker "Cry Me A River" and utterly wiped the floor with any of the young upstarts attempting the obligatory (and typically chronic) "Big Band" night...

Epic stuff.



Watch out for the classic comment from Dermot O' Leary at the end...

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Thursday 22 October 2009

Clockwork Apple Present: Something To Do On Saturday



For those of you who haven't heard me going on about this, the lovely people at Clockwork Apple (they put on gigs you know) have put together a marvellous line up to entertain you this Saturday 24th upstairs in Whelans. Kicking the night off are Powered by Springs. Followed by Clockwork Noise(my band) who will be debuting a few new tracks which I'm rather excited about.

And then finally, fresh from their appearance at Electric Picnic and having just released their debut album 'With All Your Friends', 8 ball will be taking the stage with their brand of quirky electro indie, (I was going to put outlook is good or some other magic 8 ball related joke here but decided against it).

Doors at 8. Admission €10.
Hope to see you down there!

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Wednesday 21 October 2009

Extremely Bizarre But Awesome Marina and the Diamonds Video.



Anybody know how they did the whole paper arms and legs thing? Amazing.

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Sunday 11 October 2009

Stephen Gately: 1976 - 2009

He was always such a sweet person with an even sweeter voice...



...but more importantly, only he could have ever pulled off something like this:




Goodbye Stephen.

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Thursday 8 October 2009

New Talulah Does The Hula Official Video Alert.

Typical. You wait for one Talulah Does The Hula video to come along and two come along in one week...

Hot on the heels of the unofficial video for "Brick For A Brain" that came out earlier this week, now comes the official video for recent single "Bad Boyfriend" that was shot earlier this summer.

Bad Boyfriend - Talulah Does The Hula from jessie ward on href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo.



They're so damn pretty aren't they?

I'd hate them if they didn't also happen to be really lovely people and possess the uncanny knack for making catchy pop choons... *sigh*

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Wednesday 7 October 2009

New Cowboy X Choons Alert / Shameless Plug


After a painfully long (for me) few months tucked away in the studio, Cowboy X have FINALLY announced the release of their brand new EP "Analogue Droids" which is out Friday October 9th...

Amazing.

To whet the appetite, the guys have thrown the title track up onto the ol' myspaz for your listening pleasure which also contains similar levels of amazing-ness. The even better part is that the entire EP is now up on iTunes for those of you with credit cards. Woot!

Now I know what you're thinking: "this just can't get any more amazing right?"

WRONG.

The band will be playing upstairs in Whelans, Wexford Street this Friday to launch the EP and none other than your devoted Happiness Machine bloggers Sally and Chris shall be playing support in the guise of our humble band Candy In My Heels... (Scroll down the page and click onto the link for our myspaz if you wanna check us out...)

See ya down the front hopefully!







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Friday 2 October 2009

There's Always Some Fat Guy In Your Way.

In the world of Happiness Machine favourites Talulah Does The Hula, there is only one other song that i love more than "Those Girls"...

...and that song is "Brick For A Brain".

The very first Talulah track i ever heard, it contains the immortal lyric "Move ahead can't move ahead, there's always some fat guy in your way"... and I think we can all relate to that really can't we? Anyhoo, much to my delight I have just discovered a new unofficial video that the girls have thrown together to accompany the demo, made up of retro clips and footage and the like. Rather jolly don't you think?



Check out their myspace as the girls have some upcoming gigs this month (including a slot on this year's Hard Working Class Heroes Festival) and as always are well worth checking out:)

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Tuesday 29 September 2009

Best Just To Avoid Looking AJ's Balding Head.

This is the new Backstreet Boys choon...



Despite the video encompassing a bizarre mixture of True Blood and the JLS "Beat Again" video and AJ's balding head, its nice to see the lads abandon the mature but crashingly dull man band sound with hook-less ballads like Inconsolable and Unbreakable (basically anything ending in "-able") and instead embracing the euro pop boy band fromage of old...

YOU KNOW YOU LOVE IT.

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Sunday 27 September 2009

Two Door Cinema Club - Something Good Can Work



Can't Stop listening to this tune!

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Tuesday 22 September 2009

Review - 500 Days of Summer



'This is not a love story, this is a story about love'. Its rare that a tag line really summarises the feeling of a film accurately but this line describes this film perfectly. Our hero and hopeless Romantic Tom(Gordon Levitt)works in a greeting cards company writing slogans. Growing up with the messages of Joy Division and The Smiths Tom believes there is a one true love for every person and when free-spirit Summer (Zoe Deschanel) joins the company as his bosses new secretary they bond over music and start what can only be described as a romantic entanglement.

Pros:

- Gordon Levitt is extremely likeable as Tom playing a character that any guy can relate to and any girl can feel sympathy for
- Good soundtrack featuring tracks by The Smiths, Regina Spektor, Doves, Feist and a variety of other alternative hits.
- Mark Webb provides us with some very nice shots and transitions
- The films non-chronological timeline keeps you interested and avoids the common rom-com predictablity
- By eschewing the stereotypical storyline about unrequited love becoming requited and everyone living happily ever after, the film gets to takes a fresh look at what happens after the initial sparks
- Zoe Deschanel is very very pretty

Cons:

- Although initially likeable as an always in a good mood free-spirit, Summers indecisiveness can prove frustrating and doesn't leave you with much sympathy for the character
- By revealing the end at the beginning the film suffers from a lack of a climax and fizzles out rather than bangs
- Not necessarily a major con as the film is most definitely based on the story of the two main characters but I felt like some of the supporting characters could have done with a bit more fleshing out


It seems that unconventional indie romantic comedies have been popping up a lot more recently and with that one could expect a lapse in quality however 500 Days of Summer strives to keep the bar high and succeeds. It portrays all stages of a relationship perfectly from the naiveity and innocence of the new couple right down to the bikering and petty fighting of a pairing whose sun has already set. As is the case with most romantic comedies it may not leave you with much food for thought, but at least it leaves you with a smile on your face.

Score: 4 out of 5

If You Enjoyed: Nick and Norah's infinite playlist, Juno, High Fidelity, Almost Famous

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Tuesday 15 September 2009

The New Dolly Rockers Choon: Considerably Better Than Their Current One.

The Dolly Rockers are a rather jolly new all girl trio who tasted fame briefly during the boot camp/judges houses stages of X Factor 2006 where they were, quite frankly, a bit lame really...



But sure they were only babies then. Nowadays they've re-invented themselves as somewhat of an antidote to the sudden influx of overly coiffed UK girl bands such as The Saturdays, Girls Can't Catch, Bubble G and Louis Walsh's as yet unnamed (and crashingly dull) forthcoming new girlband. Their current extremely witty and cutting debut single Gold Digger rode surprisingly high in the charts recently but still in my opinion suffered a little from not really having much a tune to speak of. However their next single Boys Will Be Boys rectifies that issue more than sufficiently while still maintaining the refreshingly sharp lyrics and pointedly English accents.



P.S. When listening to this choon, does anyone else get the urge to sing "they're so FUCKING boring" as opposed to the original lyric "they're so FRICKIN' boring"?
Just me then?
Ok.

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Monday 14 September 2009

Things I Learned On Tuesday Night.

Ok, first of all my apologies at only getting around to writing up a round up the events that occurred on Tuesday, 8th of September in the Old Crown Public House, otherwise known as the 2009 Twenty Quid Music Prize, now but I was combatting a lack of internet until Friday, and a lack of arsed-ness til just now...

However, I shall not leave you in the dark any longer. Here is a quick round up/blow by blow account of interesting stuff that happened/that I learned/that left me thinking wtf?!/etc...



THE EVENING BEGINS:

1)Frankmusik is knocked out WAAAY too early.

2) ...but really the wrong Frankmusik song was nominated.

3) There are a vast number of judges with occupations involved in the music industry in some way, shape or form.

4) ...however their influence amounts to nothing in the face of an extremely loud, and very annoying civil servant.

5) ...and an extremely opinionated Tory

6) ...this is also the point where everyone realised that Methods Of Modern Love really DOES sound like The One by Kylie Minogue.

7) During the FACE-OFF OF DOOM between Tinchy Stryder and Girls Aloud, Nicola from Girls Aloud takes it upon herself to just saunter in, completely unannounced.

8) Cue open-mouthed staring...

9) More staring.

10) ...and yet more staring.

11) All the while, the research scientist from Slough (whom I am relying on for a much needed picture with my idol as I have no camera of my own) becomes progressively more pissed next to me.

12) ...between the staring and pissed-ness, we become less and less likely to be candidates for a photo op with Nicola.

13) ...which is completely understandable.

14) Smokers break yields some fascinating conclusions.

15) Conclusion 1: they would prefer Calvin Harris' I'm Not Alone to be played at their funeral as opposed to La Roux's In For The Kill. Obv.

16) Conclusion 2: STOP EVERYTHING. One of the judges is wearing Dougie from McFly's actual shorts.

17) Everyone in the room pauses to take in the enormity of the above mentioned revelation.

18) At this point, Pet Shop Boys come up against JLS for another FACE-OFF OF DOOM.

19) Unfortunately JLS's lyrical message of emotional blackmail fails to top that of PSB's desire for equal opportunities shagging.

20) ...understandably enough.

21) JLS v The Saturdays.

22) Actually, this one takes quite a while...

23) The civil servant attempts to take on the scouser. Bad move. Evils are exchanged for rest of evening.

24) Still arguing over JLS v The Sats.

25) The decision comes down to Nicola.

26) Scoop of the evening: JLS are better drinking buddies than The Saturdays! Juicy!

27) As a result of their hard drinking ways, JLS finally knock out The Sats. The gay guy from Wales next to me mourns.

28) Quick check of the live tweets. One of the judges warns that it is pointless buying Dumper (the work experience robot) drinks as he is not good for reciprocation.

29) Judge to the right of me gets a picture with Dumper. Life goal is achieved and hugs are exchanged.

30) Girls by Sugababes is voted worst song of the past year.

31) ...I voted for Pixie Lott. Nicola votes for The Loving Kind... wait, what?!?!

32) Little Boots New In Town is knocked out.

33) wait, LITTLE BOOTS HAS BEEN KNOCKED OUT?!?!

34) JUST LIKE THAT?! BASTARDS!! *runs away crying*

35) I request a moment of silence for Little Boots untimely demise. Peter Robinson looks at me as if I have two heads. Moving on...

36) Calvin Harris v Lily Allen in GRAPH DRAWING FACE-OFF OF DOOM.

37) Judging panel feel Lily Allen graph drawing may have been rigged due to graphic artist's preference for Calvin.

38) Considerably trolleyed research scientist from Slough attempts to analyse graphs. Fails miserably. Lily is out.

39) The Saturdays v Girls Aloud. OH GOD.

40) Cue tactful arguments for and against Girls Aloud for the benefit of Nicola. Welsh gay guy becomes more and more agitated. Things are getting a little too political for his liking...

41) The Sats are knocked out fairly quickly. I blame the Tories.

42) Alesha Dixon is drawn. FINALLY!!!

43) Alesha song is played. Trolleyed research scientist launches into hilarious dance. All observe the scene before them in awe...

44) ...but the dance cannot save Alesha. She is trashed quicker than you can say Strictly Come Dancing.

45) THE FINAL SHOWDOWN: Calvin Harris v Girls Aloud.

46) Becomes quite obv who is going to win as Nicola's presence becomes ever more potent... "its just not... appropriate!!" opines gay Welsh guy in frustration... I feel his pain.

47) Dumper fan states that The Promise blatantly rips off the Blankety Blank theme tune.

48) Strong air of resignation in the air. Strong swell of support for Calvin towards the end, purely out of defiance at this stage...

49) Alas however the Tories win out yet again and GA take the prize for the 5th TIME IN 7 YEARS!!

50) "I really wanted a guy to win this year..." opines Welsh gay guy. "22 vaginas have won in the past 7 years. Did you know that?"

51) ...I did not know that. Maybe it is time for a penis... But we'll have to wait until next year to find out if that will ever happen.

All in all readers, a very productive and drunken evening was had by all. The power of pop still remains the most uniting force in music and that it will always stay, no matter how the musical landscape may change in the years to come that we can be sure.

A word of warning however: If any one of you humble readers ever find youself lucky enough to take part in the wonder that is Popjustice 20quid Music Prize in years to come, please be aware of the following things...

  1. Peter Robinson, though he is my idol, is still at heart a somewhat opportunistic git who will have no qualms about making you look like an absolute tit in front of legendary pop producer/general all round genius Richard X.
  2. Before launching into a detailed, mainly negative critique of a pop song produced by Richard X, please make sure you are not ACTUALLY babbling away to Richard X himself as you are doing it... *cringe*
Oh, and I did get my pic wit Nicola in the end...





(The girl in the middle is the above mentioned research scientist... what a legend.)

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Monday 7 September 2009

Its Only Pop Music But I Like It.

Happiness Machine readers may remember me giving a cryptic clue a couple of weeks ago to something very cool and pop related that I will be taking part in tomorrow night. Make no mistake people, this is nothing short of epic...

my whole life has been leading up to this point...

Loyal subjects, I have chosen to be part of the prestigious (prestigious? really?... - Ed) ok maybe not prestigious but certainly supremely awesome judging panel for...

the 2009 Popjustice 20 Quid Music Prize!!!!!

Yes readers, tomorrow night I shall be in the presence of the great Peter Robinson and 34 other assorted die hard pop fans such as myself in a random pub in London for a night of pop, booze and over-priced pub grub... but mostly pop.

Forget the Mercury Music Prize people! In these troubled times, debating the merits of Bat for Lashes sophmore effort over Florence and the Machine patchy debut is not nearly as life affirming as arguing the toss about whether JLS's Beat Again is a pile of poo or a modern pop triumph!!!

Anyways, I must leave you now as my internet is about to run out in the hostel... Expect a full report on the night's proceedings when I return! its gonna be a good un'!

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Tuesday 1 September 2009

Picks of the Picnic


For those of you heading to Stradbally this weekend I thought I'd put together a quick list of what I think you should be going to see with a track from each to get you in the mood. This is only a small cross-section of what I hope to see over the weekend but it'll hopefully give a taste of what's to come.

Click below to get the track list

*Note - Tracks removed due to DMCA complaint

Friday:

Jeffrey Lewis and The Junkyard - To Be Objectified


Jeffrey Lewis comes to EP with his brand of lo-fi anti-folk. Although he doesn't possess the strongest voice his poignant, introspective and sometimes extremely funny lyrics make this an act not to miss. He also throws a bit of art into the middle of his shows.

Black Ghosts - Any Way You Choose to Give It (Boy 8 Bit Remix)

I know its technically not a Boy 8 bit song but it gives you a taste of the bit crunched sound he'll be displaying.

Dark Room Notes - Shake Shake My Ceiling

Dark Melodic Electro-Indie from this Dublin four piece. Catch them on Friday or Saturday in this Thisispopbaby area/tent.

Japanese Popstars - Delboys Revenge

Having only heard this track fairly recently it has taken up residency on my iPod. This is the what I will be going crazy to at 1 in the morning in the Little Big Tent.

Villagers - Meaning of the Ritual

Ex-Immediate Conor O Brien will take to the stage in the body and sound on friday evening. Whether it is an acoustic or full band set make sure you don't miss this (but if you do they're also playing on sunday on the Crawdaddy stage round 1.10

Saturday:

Lisa Hannigan - I Don't Know

This is the 'hit' song from her debut offering 'Sea Sew'. Get down to the main stage to see the full breadth of this songwriters talent before she blows up even more.

The XX - Crystalised

A lesson in minimalist indie songwriting. Everyone take notes.

Jape - Phil Lynott

Cracking tune from 'Ritual'. All that needs to be said is 'Look. at. the. fucking. moon'

Explosions in the Sky - Catastrophe and The Cure

Delay drenched guitars combine with powerful drumming to write moving instrumental music that could soundtrack your life.

Marina and The Diamonds - The Shampain Sleeper

If you haven't heard of her yet your missing out. Steadily gaining in popularity this half-greek songstress writes quirky piano pop with a smidge of synthy-electro bleeps thrown in for good measure.

Sunday:

Basement Jaxx - Raindrops

New single from a duo who just can't seem to write a bad song. Vocodered brilliance throughout.

Two Door Cinema Club - Something Good Can Work

This three piece from Northern Ireland came to my attention through a friend and it baffles me that they aren't huge already. One of the catchiest indie-pop songs I've heard in a long time.

Florence and The Machince - Cosmic Love

Possibly the artist I'm most excited about this weekend, Florence and The Machine take to the stage in electric arena round 17.15. Having slowly been gathering interest from the media, realeasing an excellent debut album and having a song (this one in fact) soundtrack an O2 ad, Florence Welsh's star is most definitely on the rise.

The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt.1

This song has a soft spot in my heart as its the song that introduced me to the Floaty-pop-noises of The Flaming Lips. Will Wayne Coyne zorb his way around the crowd? I'll just have to go down and find out.

Passion Pit - Moths Wings

One of my top picks from the groups debut album 'Manners'. I hope they can live up to my expectations live.

The full Stage Times are available in PDF here – Friday Saturday Sunday

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Monday 31 August 2009

More Recommended Forthcoming Pop Choons #736453: Now With Added Reality TV.


Well, well, well... look who has crawled out from underneath the pop woodwork after a quiet period of post reality TV reflection...


Some may remember The Ordinary Boys (no? Ok.)from 2 or 3 years back when lead singer Preston (in a last ditch attempt to save the band from being dropped) somewhat ill-advisedly entered the Celebrity Big Brother of 2006, fell in love with love-able dimbat/Paris Hilton look-a-like Chantelle Houghton whom he soon married, and was suddenly thrown into a world of Heat magazine covers and OK! wedding photo deals before dumping the above mentioned dimbat in order to return to the fiance he left her for in the first place. The Ordinary Boys themselves did experience a brief re-heating of their chart success in the wake of CBB publicity and subsequent tabloid whore-dom of their outspoken and mis-guidedly cocky frontman. However, this success was short lived, particularly in the aftermath of the messy divorce that followed between Chantelle and Preston approxiamately 5 minutes after they married.

Now after a couple of years away from the media spotlight, Preston appears to have ditched the lame and anodyne "ska" band of old and is attempting to launch a solo career. Taking on a new image which seems to resemble what the love child of a young Morrissey and Frankmusik would look like, he is also venturing down the ol' electropop route which can only be a good thing in my opinion! His forthcoming debut single "Dressed To Kill" (which is out this month) takes the best part of Siouxie and the Banshees "Happy House" and weaves it into a dark but playful pop song about a ruthless maneater with plenty of cheesy vampire metaphors and such to boot. I think its damn catchy too! Pity about the unfortunate Lost Boys inspired video... I am still unclear as to whether it is SUPPOSED to look quite eighties and cheap just to add to the hammy-ness of it all. Although Preston's own views on the video would suggest otherwise in this extremely good interview on Popjustice.com. Here is the video...


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Sunday 30 August 2009

Hello Daddy! Hello Mom!

There is to be a new film biopic released in 2010, telling the story of the hugely influential teenage all girl punk band The Runaways entitled... "The Runaways".

Clever title, that.

The band's brief but glitteringly tempestuous time in the spotlight spawned the future careers the likes of Joan Jett (the band's ferocious rhythm guitarist) Cherie Currie (the band's barely legal but awesomely bad ass front woman) and have continued to influence bands to this day such as Hole and The Donnas as well as pave the way for other successful female led rock acts over the last 3 decades... their influence on late seventies feathered hair cuts also must not be overlooked.

The band went through several line up changes during their 4 year career, going through bassists in particular like Spinal Tap go through drummers... However Currie and Jett, alongside lead guitarist Lita Ford and the late but great Sandy West on drums are considered to be the definitive line up overall.

Some may already be aware that Kristen Stewart of Twilight fame (bleh) will portraying Joan Jett (who is herself executive producer of the film)but some may be surprised to find that the vaguely interesting but by no means bad ass Dakota Fanning of Various Other Non-Badass Film Roles fame will be rocking out on screen in a corset and stockings as the 16 year old, drug addled Cherie Currie. Hmmm...

Well, I guess we'll have to wait another few months or so to find out how that casting works out! In the meantime lets have a look see at the original grrrls doing their thang on a Japanese TV special from 1977...

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Tuesday 25 August 2009

so this is the new Alexandra Burke single...

Anyone who is aware of my X Factor obsession will know that from very early on I was pushing for the tear stained yet loveable Alexandra Burke to plough on through to victory in the competition last year. This she eventually did to my delight following a battle of the lungs performance with queen bee Beyonce during the final... it was quite the epic moment I must say.

And so I have been waiting with baited breath for the new material which she has been busy working on over in America (obviously as a result of the Leona Effect) and finally the new single has leaked...



eh... hmmm.

Its ok I guess... its not the most mind blowingly original choon of this genre I've heard recently... there's something missing.

There are good qualities I suppose. Its quite early Whitney-ish in parts which is good because there is no point wasting a voice like Alexandra's on shit like some of the stuff Ciara has been churning out these days that she can barely even sing herself. So yes, overall there is substantial use of the voice. I suppose its just that even that substantial voice usage still doesn't quite convey the full range and general amazing-ness of her voice as a whole. I'm not saying we need another god-awful bombastic Mariah/Whitney/etc type ballad of vocal histrionics with no discernable tune of any kind... just something a bit more distinguishable. Its also not the most immediate of hooks either - I've listened to it 3 times so far and it hasn't quite stuck in my head yet. And of course there is the obligatory "middle eight rap by useless and inarticulate rapper" bit, this time provided by Flo "apple bottom jeans song" Rida, which isn't the worst I've heard but certainly doesn't add to the song. It merely serves as a profile booster.

In conclusion, I suppose as a pop/ r nb song in 2009 it fits the mould fine and I don't hate it or anything... but I don't see any repeat listenings in the offing either...

I am of course hoping she will score a top 10 with it however! She definitely deserves it with a voice and work ethic like hers. Lets just hope she gets a chance to grow into and improve upon her sound once she finds it...


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Friday 21 August 2009

Woo! 100 Hundred Posts!!!

Technically this is post 101 but I thought I'd celebrate none the less.

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Thursday 20 August 2009

Best Radio 1 Live Lounge Cover In AGES.



...and no I am not biased because it involves HER.

In other news, the original version of this song (by X Factor rejects/phenomenally popular new boyband JLS) is, along with 11 other songs, going to be part of something really, exceptionally cool that I will be taking part in on the 8th of September... I'm still not entirely sure whether I'm allowed to reveal what it is just yet but when I do Happiness Machine readers will be the first to know!!

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Friday 14 August 2009

Remember Their Names; Fame 2009...


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Sunday 9 August 2009

The Next Inevitable Worldwide Pop Smash.


This is Eva Simons.

She is Dutch.

She has epic hair.

She has just released a single entited Silly Boy which for some time was erroneously claimed on the net to be Rhianna's big comback single featuring Lady Gaga...

...this was recently proved not to be the case.

Here is the choon.
(embedding has been disabled cos youtube is being a gimp)

Basically this is an advance warning to prepare yourself for the choon that will inevitably invade your ears for the next couple of months at least when the rest of the world (and daytime radio) finally gets wind of it...

This of course does not make the choon any less epic and generally amazing though so enjoy it now people while you still have the chance!!!




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Friday 7 August 2009

More Recommended Forthcoming Pop Choons #37465

Have a look see at this here band from Denmark known as "Private"...

As you can see, nice Adam's Family/The Horrors style goth look going on, moody expressions, hailing from Scandinavia, home of various goth / metal bands and the like...

Now lets a have a listen to their forthcoming single, "My Secret Lover" which is out next month...



Weren't expecting that were you?

This song is quite clearly the best song Prince never wrote featuring a young Michael Jackson and N Sync on vocals... plus extra points for the synchonized side to side dance moves and effective use of keytars. Epic win.

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Wednesday 5 August 2009

Review: Lisa Hannigan - Sea Sew

Lisa Hannigan - Sea Sew

This is the first album I've reviewed here on The Happiness Machine so it may take a while to settle on a consistent format but for the moment I'm going to work from the outside in and look at cover art then go through the tracklist.

For many, having physical copies of a CD is becoming increasingly less important, however I find there is still no greater joy than opening a brand new CD and analysing the artwork and inlay. Depending on how much effort the artist has put into their inlay this can sometimes be a let down, however 'Sea Sew' feels like it has had hours of thought and care poured into it. The sleeve and many of the images within are all sewn and knitted by Lisa and Frances Hannigan giving a DIY/homemade feel to the whole thing. Although it may be said a picture is worth a thousand words, the inclusion of all the lyrics (Also sewed) is a welcome bonus.

Having been in the public eye (or at least ear) providing vocals on several Damien Rice tracks, Hannigan struck out on her own after an unfortunate incident while on tour forcing her to part ways with the singer. 'Sea Sew' is a clear indication that this was a great career move whether intentional or not. 'Ocean and a Rock' is a strong opener that sets the tone of the album with its tender vocals, lush instrumentation and off kilter time signature. The second track 'Venn Diagram' is a mid-paced folksy number which is once again invigorated by the quality of the instrumentation. However on track three things really kick up a gear, 'Sea Song' is a highlight of this album, using a flamenco twist to great effect and providing welcome change to a slightly darker tone. Jump on two tracks and its hard not to smile at jaunty soon-to-be-single-if-not-already 'I Don't Know'. Another quick change brings the album into to its second half with the slightly sinister sounding 'Keep it all'. A haunting version of Bert Jansch's 'Courting Blues' follows, turning the originals upbeat guitar into melancholy strings and ethereal vocals that wash over the listener. 'Pistachio' and 'Teeth' are both nice, well-crafted songs but seem to lack some of the spark that comes through on the rest of the album. The gentle tinkling of the xylophone (or glockenspiel, I'm not quite sure which) combined with the dreamy lullabye-esque rhythm of lead single 'Lillie' brings the album to close.

Overall:

This album is one of the best buys I've made in quite a while. Coming in at an average 40 mins its easy to listen to it through then flick back to track 1 and start again. Hannigan avoids the usual trap of the singer-songwriter genre by making nearly every song sound unique and different from the rest of the album while still maintaining a signature sound. Well placed tonal changes ensure the listener doesn't get bored. Although a nod must be given to the many accompanying musicians such as Vivienne Long for her excellent cello work, the songs still feel like they could work in a solo capacity. An excellent debut from a soon-to-be-huge musician.

4.5 Handsewn Dice out 5

Also if you want to catch her live she's playing at Electric Picnic (4th-6th September) and there's another string of dates here

Lisa Hannigan - Sea Song

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Thursday 30 July 2009

U2 - Set List Croke Park 27th August 2009

I was originally going to do a review but a lot of time has passed and I've done nothing so instead here's the set list.

Set List:

Breathe
No Line on the Horizon
Magnificent
Get on your Boots
Beautiful Day
New Years Day
Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For (Moving on Up)
Stay (Faraway, So Close) - Acoustic
Unknown Caller
Unforgettable Fire
City of Blinding Lights
Vertigo
I'll go crazy if I don't go crazy tonight (Remix)
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Pride (In the name of love)
MLK
Walk On
Message from Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Where the streets have no name
One
Bad

Encore:

Ultraviolet
With or Without You
Moment of Surrender

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Monday 27 July 2009

It's songs like these that make you feel like you never want the summer to end...

This has been out for about a month now but I've only recently come to realise what a TUUUNE it is...



There is an official video for it... but it's not suitable for the kiddies cos it's got boobies in it.

*all the men suddenly clear the room & leg it to the nearest computer*

Can't wait for Electric Picnic!

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Friday 24 July 2009

If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear triangles in your hair...

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Wednesday 22 July 2009

Beastie Boy's Adam Yauch Has Cancer

In what will come as a disappointment to any Beastie Boys expecting a tour after the upcoming release of Hot Sauce Committee Pt 1., they may have to wait as Adam Yauch has been diagnosed with cancer. It seems to be treatable so don't panic just yet but it will be a set back for the group who have cancelled all upcoming tour dates. See the message from the band in full below.

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Tuesday 21 July 2009

Forcing pop music down the throats of people who wouldn't normally know anything about it.

In what I'm hoping will become a weekly feature on this blog, I will be plucking one or two soon to be released pop choons that people who mostly keep their nose out of the charts or the radio will probably never stumble upon themselves...

The aim of this venture being that these particular people might discover something they wouldn't normally listen to, either out of musical snobbery or just purely being unaware of the music's existance in the first place.

First up is Mini Viva with their forthcoming debut single "Left My Heart In Tokyo". This all-girl duo are the brainchild of the infamous Xenomania, the production team most notably associated with Girls Aloud. These girls were also highly rated in the radar section of this week's NME (although this is probably due to the fact that it was temporarily hi-jacked by Popjustice editor and cut throat pop music aficianado Peter Robinson. Genius.) "Left My Heart In Tokyo" is a deliciously hooky and kooky pop ditty which I do hope will be afforded some decent chart success alongside the usual, more forgettable chart fodder!

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People should really use more celestes these days.

Here is legendary composer John Williams filmed discussing the various themes from the Harry Potter score.



It would be supremely awesome if he came back to do the score for the final films.

It has been confirmed that he may return to score the final films pending his schedule so fingers crossed... He has been the only composer to truly capture the magic within the films.



Legend.

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Thursday 9 July 2009

Review - !!! (Chk Chk Chk) at Whelans


Whelans was turned into a sweat box yesterday night when Brooklyn dance punk band '!!!' (Pronounced Chk Chk Chk) packed the venue on one of the first dates of their european tour.




After arriving at Whelans early to catch whoever was supporting on the night, we were informed that there was no support and Chk Chk Chk would be starting at 9.15. After a few pints in the front bar with Rob and Bob of Egoeccentric we headed back into the main venue, squeezing our way through a jam packed crowd to find a suitable viewing place.

The lineup for the night seems to have been whittled down from their sometimes eight strong touring band to a more conservative six. Having only heard their their outing 'Myth Takes' and a few assorted other tracks I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of set for the night. However, this wasn't an issue as the band used the gig to showcase several new tracks. For a lot of bands this can be a risky maneuver, but for Chk Chk Chk this poses no problem. Chk Chk Chk make music you can dance to and soon have the crowd going. After playing three promising new tracks, they break into what I consider the standout track on Myth Takes 'Must Be The Moon'. Throughout the gig, Nic Offer proves to be a charismatic frontman. Spending his time strutting around the stage, diving into the crowd and throwing some (sometimes questionable) shapes. It proves hard to imagine him as the frontman of a hardcore band (He previously was in Hardcore band Yah Mos). Bass/Guitar/Electronic bleeps are handled by Tyler Pope, who has previously played with fellow New York Dance-Punk band LCD soundsystem. Pope's funky but solid basslines are what hold these songs together while guitarist Mario Andreoni's delay soaked lines add experimental textures to their sound.

After another new song, the band announce that they only have two songs left and break into eight minute epic Bend Over Beethoven. The band finish with another stand out track from Myth Takes 'Heart of Hearts'. After a minutes break and cries of one more tune, the band return to the stage for the encore 'All my heroes are weirdos'. Sensing that end is near the band manage to put even more energy into this closer, getting the already exhausted, sweat-drenched crowd back on their feet. Time is called and the band leave the stage while the crowd flood out into the street to cool down.

Basically this was one of the best gigs I've been to in quite a while. If you have the chance to see them on this tour, get up and go!

9 out of 10

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Monday 6 July 2009

Tony Blair with a black eye.

...and about bloody time too.

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The New Sugababes Single.

Well, you can tell they've been to America.



The jury is out on this one.

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Wednesday 1 July 2009

Glastonbury Pics



Over at Boston.com they have some pretty amazing photos of Glastonbury and you can view them here.

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Friday 26 June 2009

There are no words.



Goodbye Michael.

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Thursday 25 June 2009

Messed up but totally awesome Yeah Yeah Yeahs video

microKORG alert!!!

the song is awesome too.

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Wednesday 24 June 2009

Tim Burton achieves new levels of creepiness... Hurrah!


I have just stumbled upon some pictures on the Guardian website from the forthcoming live action Alice in Wonderland movie as directed by Tim Burton and it looks AMAZING...

...don't you think?



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Sunday 21 June 2009

The Most Unlikely Shakespeare Sister Cover You'll Hear All Year.

If you cast your mind back to about 18 years ago you may remember this little early nineties ditty...




Yes, I know... its quite insane isn't it? It's still quite a stirring song though when you remove the video from your head. Ham Sandwich have obviously thought the same thing as they have done a rather lovely cover of it for the recent Sparks N Mind charity album in aid of Irish Depression charity Aware. The best bit is definitely when guitarist/vocalist Podge McNamee sucker punches the listener in the face with the "you better hope and pray" bit... cracking stuff.

Here is a performance of said cover filmed last week in Tower Records for the launch of the album.



The rest of the album contains some nifty covers by the likes of Cowboy X, Le Galaxie and Lisa Hannigan amongst others and only a tenner so well worth buying.

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Friday 19 June 2009

Dirty Epics Get Raw!


Like me you may be following The Raw Sessions on RTE 2 at the moment - a sort of alternative X Factor where a select group of up and coming Irish bands are sent into various studios to write and record a song from scratch, with the winning bands going forward into a live grand final to become Sony Ericssion Artist of the Year in the Button Factory on the 26th June. I think this has been an inspired idea and while some of the songs have been a bit hit and miss, there have been a few diamonds in the rough such as the entry from garage punk rockers Dirty Epics. Their track "White Out" is a pulsing,synth driven guitar rock anthem,the sound of which i can only hope will have a significant influence on their next album.


Click here to have a listen to the track in question.

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Songs I Really Shouldn't Like #67534

Remember dance group Cascada? The staple of all anti-social twats who play the music on their phones OUT LOUD on the bus...

Well, this is their new single "Evacuate The Dancefloor".




One could initially dismiss this as a complete Lady GaGa rip-off, which it kind of is...

But then again, if it WAS actually by Lady GaGa, wouldn't we all be saying how freaking awesome/catchy it is?

Excuse me while I go get my groove on!

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Tuesday 16 June 2009

This Appeals to Me

This greatly appeals to my inner nerd and the psychologist in me (Although I suppose they are both technically nerdy pursuits).

Please Investigate it here

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Monday 15 June 2009

Stop Motion of a Stop Motion

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Thursday 11 June 2009

New 'Talulah Does The Hula' Choons...



Sunny, 60's inspired indie poppers Talulah Does The Hula have just posted up a couple of new choons on their myspace... The choons in question, 'Bad Boyfriend' and 'Those Girls', will be released as a double A-side on physical and digital formats (i shall be acquiring both... natch') on Friday 26th of June with a launch gig in The Twisted Pepper on Middle Abbey Street the night before that. I shall be there myself if anyone wants to join me!

I personally would like to wish Talulah the best of luck with single as they're lovely girls (and guy) and myself and Chris had a great time playing with them last month supporting Cowboy X. Plus its also just really important to keep supporting our homegrown talent, of which we have lots!

See ya at the front! x

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Monday 8 June 2009

Little Boots - 'Hands': THE ULTIMATE REVIEW.





So this is it people. The mothership has landed. the Little Boots album has finally leaked into the hands of the common folk after being kept under the best lock and key since the "Who killed JR?" storyline.

But seriously though, if you're anything like me you'll know that to finally hear this album in full is like climaxing after the world's longest foreplay session... (1 year to be exact) but has it all been worth the wait? Worth all that torture of dangling limited edition 7" singles and 'US only' EPs in front of our noses while scouring the Hypemachine for some semblance of an mp3 that WASN'T the five hundredth remix of Meddle or New In Town? In the words of Lil Mama on America's Best Dance Crew, did Ms. Victoria Hesketh 'bring it'?? well, in a lot of ways she has... but is it enough? and so, here is my ultimate, no holds barred, track by track analysis of the entire album from start to finish...

TRUST NO OTHER REVIEW!

*deep breath* here we go...



Track 1: New In Town (3. 19)

This is the controversial one. Many long time Boots fans were appalled at the decision to release New In Town as the official debut single to launch the Little Boots juggernaut. To be fair i vaguely felt the same way as i always felt a re-release of Meddle or Stuck on Repeat wouldn't go amiss, though i was extremely fond of the leaked demo I'd been listening to since January... this is also the re-jigged version with an additional middle eight , shinier sounding synths and re-recorded, slightly over-treated vocals. However after a few listens this glossy makeover melts into the brain like vanilla ice cream melting over warm apple pie - the production is literally THAT delicious. some may say the production gets a little too busy towards the end and i can definitely hear a bombastic hook in the background of the last 2 choruses that could've done with being brought to the foreground a little but overall this is definitely a confident and sassy opener with a dark edge, if a little un-representative of what she can really do when she puts her mind to it.

Track 2: Earthquake (4. 04)

Earthquake is one of the sampler demos Little Boots posted up onto her Myspace last October which i managed to nab from a blog on hypemachine so this one has been on rotation for a while. .. a huge synth heavy pop song about holding desperately onto a relationship that's going down the toilet and meekly taking all the constant fighting and hurtful words on the chin, hoping if u hold on a little longer it'll somehow get better. thankfully, apart from some polishing, it has been left largely untouched from the original demo and so its emotional resonance and huge, soaring late nineties trance style production has not been compromised in any way... much to my delight.

Track 3: Stuck on Repeat (3. 22)

No. No no no no no no no. NO. this, THIS is my MAJOR contention with the album so far. WHY HAS THE RADIO EDIT BEEN PUT ON THE ALBUM AS THE DEFINITIVE VERSION OF THIS SONG? This is all very, very wrong... and i wont accept any guff about needing to make the album as accessible as possible to the general music buying/Tesco soul public and so adding the extended version of the song would put people off blah blah blah... PLENTY of pop albums have longer versions of singles in the past and nobody's complained. the original sprawling, hypnotic, seven minute version would have been a beautifully epic album closer to round the whole thing off. they have missed out on a brilliant opportunity there and the aural and emotional impact of this normally stellar tune, now tucked away very randomly as track 3, has been completely lost amidst the rest of the album. very disappointing...

Track 4: Click (3. 16)

Click is probably my least favourite Little Boots track I've heard so far... the somewhat predictable lady pop lyrics are unfortunately quite clunky and while the main hook is moderately catchy, the whole song still suffers from being quite un-engaging as a whole - and i NEVER say that about a Little Boots track. She has pretty much been infallible up until this point... it is a perfectly fine song, but really nothing special.

Track 5: Remedy (3. 19)

CHEESE ALERT! Wow. This... THIS is clearly the centrepiece of the whole album. It really is a bit of a TUUUNE! a massive, epic and perfectly judged pop song produced by producer of the moment, RedOne (responsible for the recent Enrique/ Ciara cheese-fest 'Takin Back My Love' as well as Lady GaGa's recent output) who's trademark fizzy, abrasive synths weave in and out without over-powering the song as a whole or grating on the ear as they have on previous work. the chorus is HUGE as well, latching onto the brain and refusing to let go for hours after you've finished listening to it... really first class fromage pop. completely faultless.

Track 6: Meddle (3.16)

This track really needs no introduction. It is the track that, along with Stuck on Repeat, infected the blogosphere for months and introduced Little Boots into the big leagues, although it was never officially released other than a limited edition 7" and on the US only Arecibo EP.
Now here it is in all its original, percussion symphony style glory... and it certainly has not lost any of its initial spark and oddball genius. It is a perfect synergy of the pop sensibilities of producer Greg Kursten (Lily Allen, The Bird and the Bee) and the attention to detail displayed by Ms. Hesketh and her obsession with various blips and bleeps and the synthesizers that produce them. Plus the song has weird monk style choral "aaahs" during the middle eight. MONK STYLE CHORAL "AAAHS" PEOPLE!! Intricate, weird and big... pop song of the decade. no contest.

Track 7: Ghosts (3. 03)

This is the dramatic, moody number - The album's idea of a ballad if you will...Vaudeville style. Evocative lyrics over a commanding military style drum beat which takes the listener on a mysterious death march through "black air under the trees" while Boots' "skull is full of dreams" and other such romantic, vaguely emo imagery. You could say this track has something of a Gothic edge to it... goth with Brechtian/Wiell-esque lolloping synths galore running through it obviously. Not perfectly executed but gorgeous stuff all the same.

Track 8: Mathematics (3. 26)

This was released as part of the Little Boots EP back in January and so yet again has been on rotation for a while. It is an icy Goldfrapp-esque, unflappable slab of electro pop where Boots muses on the mathematics of love and how nothing can “divide a heart plus a heart” and other such pun-tastic matters... it builds from a fairly chilled, too cool for school verse into a dizzily arresting chorus where again the synths envelop the listener into euphoric submission... its SO damn good.

Track 9: Symmetry (feat. Philip Oakey) (4. 30)

Being the ear tease that she is, Boots very cruelly sent a tiny 30 second clip of this song to Popjustice.com as a taster for the forthcoming album back in February. So intrigued was I with this snippet, and so enamoured I was with the precious few seconds i heard of it, that I proceeded to play the clip as often as possible in lieu of the full track which could not be found ANYWHERE. Now it arrives... and it is just as delicious as i thought it would be. Featuring Philip Oakey of The Human League, it is basically "Don’t You Want Me Baby" : The Prequel – the honeymoon period just before the relationship went tits up... before the bloke told the bird that he put her where she is now, and that he can put her back down too. The moment where they were equals, in perfect symmetry... the synths are somewhat sparse but all the more haunting for it and Oakey’s commanding vocals compliment Boots’ little girl lost tones beautifully... love it love it LOVE IT.

Track 10: Tune Into My Heart (3. 42)

We’re getting into Kylie territory here... sort of a strange juxtaposition between stock, aiken & waterman kylie and fever era kylie minus the sexy bits... a bit of an odd combination really. its a really sweet song with cute, trinkling synths and delicate vocals that really grows on you after a while but it doesn’t have the immediate chutzpah of the previous tracks. Its probably one of the more purely pop moments on the whole album... not a bad thing by any means but just lacks a little something to give it more of a punch. It is innocently romantic though which only adds to its more understated charms...

Track 11: Hearts Collide (3. 45)

This is another very low key track that also once again takes a trip down kylie territory, though more on the side of moody, x era kylie... It is again quite an understated track but becomes quite lush sounding as the chorus hits and boots’ ethereal vocals swirl in amongst the main synths as she swoons about when “hearts collide” as “stars align” and such like... in my opinion it one of the hidden gems on this album and definitely worth repeat listens.

Track 12: No Brakes (4. 03)

And so we come to the final track on the album... and this track is an oddly underwhelming choice for such an honour. Again it is another winsome love song describing the feelings that overwhelm one when falls in love etc... but while it is sweet and charming on the outside, it lacks any real solid hook that locks it into one's memory, therefore making it somewhat of a weak album closer... all it does is appear and then quietly pootle off into the sunset leaving no real impression behind. hmmm... yet again I whine: where is the extended version of Stuck on Repeat???

AND SO IN CONCLUSION...

...despite some hiccups here and there, my 21st century pop idol Ms. Victoria Hesketh has really outdone herself for the most part and produced the kind of pop album that I've always wanted... it really is a girl's album as she side steps the pitfalls of most aspiring pop tarts by avoiding the cheapening effects of purring about sex and drunken partying, instead choosing to speak to our more innocent, naive emotions through her starry-eyed and quixotic lyricism. This wordplay, coupled with her incomparable knack for spellbinding melody and hook, come together to make the kind of pop music that the modern day charts have been missing for some time now...

Many snobs may bitch and complain about the pure commerciality of the tracks on the album, strongly at odds with the mysterious, anonymous ice queen who first turned our lives upside down with that first listen of the distinctly un-commercial Stuck on Repeat... but anyone who has observed Hesketh's relationship with music like I have will see that she makes no claims to be anything other than a girl who just loves good pop music and that she merely wishes to emulate her own idols in terms of the kind of music she makes herself. She doesn't wish to cut off her nose to spite her face and hold her music hostage from the general public because they're not "cool" enough - she wants to be a proper popstar and makes no bones about that fact... it shines through all of her music. In fact, it is her innate un-pretentiousness that only makes me love her all the more...

She basically just a big legend really. :D


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Thursday 4 June 2009

Video: Fight Like Apes - Something Global

Directed by Eoghan Kidney, the video aimed to splice together over a hundred different cameras worth of fan footage and professional video camera shots to create a music video. The video was shot in Whelans and You can see the result below. The video also has an appearance by me as one of the mask wearing suit people in the background.

Fight Like Apes - Something Global from ξοgΙιαη κιdηεγ on Vimeo.

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Thursday 28 May 2009

Extreme Sheepherding

Ok I know this is not music related and I don't plan to make a habit of these kind of posts but I just thought this was too good to pass up.

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Tuesday 26 May 2009

I don't know about you but...



...this really looks to be the moment that Guy Ritchie may have jumped the shark.

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Thursday 21 May 2009

Tesco Soul.


So, the new Passion Pit album is now on sale in Tesco of all places. To be honest, this doesn't bother me all that hugely as I was never really caught up in the whole Passion Pit hype apart from "Sleepyhead" but it does raise a question I've pondered alot recently - Why do we become so much less enamoured with a band once it becomes apparent that they are slowly but surely making their towards mainstream ubiquity?

Or, in my case, why do we become almost panic-y about the whole thing? Ever since the Little Boots media assault went into overdrive a couple of weeks ago in preparation for the release of her first proper debut single "New In Town" I have found myself staring at the radio in horror every time the song comes on SPIN 1038 & thinking desperately to myself "NO!! SHE'S MINE!! THE PLEBS WON'T LOVE HER LIKE I LOVE HER!!! like some quasi-lesbian stalker person and becoming more and more aware of the fact that this amazing secret little internet genius I discovered almost a year ago is now becoming a fully fledged popstar whose current audience will probably never know the beauty of of the full, 7 minute glory of the extended version of Stuck On Repeat because she's only put the radio edit on the final cut of her forthcoming debut album (WTF?!?). Don't get me wrong - I am most definitely not begrudging Ms. Hesketh the opportunity to fulfil her dreams of becoming, in her words "a proper popstar" and she completely deserves all the positive attention she is recieving and I will still worship her no matter what. What I am merely trying to point out is that it can be a sad feeling coming to terms with losing what once felt like a more personal relationship with a band you first discovered from the beginning... you start to feel more like a nameless face in a sea of a growing number of new fans that came late to the party. It sounds ridiculous I know but sometimes you just can't help these feelings no matter how trivial and dumb they seem!

Does anybody else ever feel this way?...

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Sunday 17 May 2009

In Bb 2.0 - A Collaborative Music/Spoken Word Project


Getting users to play ambient pieces in the key of Bb then upload the video of their recording to YouTube they created this awesome musical collaboration.

Check it out here http://www.inbflat.net/

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Saturday 16 May 2009

Very Important Eurovision Notice: If This Song Doesn't Win I Will Eat My Hat.

This below is the Norwegian entry for tonight's Eurovision song contest.



It's by a dude called Alexander Rybak and its called Fairytale.

As you can see, it is quite mad yet somehow strangely compelling and brilliant.

And that fiddle riff...

WOW.

You see, THIS is the kind of song Ireland needs to be writing for the Eurovision! It's got that OTT trad feel to it while also incorporating that all important minor key to give it an Eastern European flavour. It also has a bit of an epic chorus goin' on. (We won't focus too much on the clumsy verse lyrics...)

Anyway, NOTE TO NEXT YEAR'S IRISH ENTRY: write something that sounds like this song!!!

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Tuesday 12 May 2009

Shameless Plug





For those of you who don't know, Sally (sodthemachine) and I play in a band called 'Candy in my Heels'. We have been very kindly asked to support the awesome 'Cowboy X' at their forthcoming Academy 2 gig on May 31st. For those who didn't bother to read the poster the other support comes from ex-The Chalets and Neosupervital members 'Talulah Does The Hula'. Doors at 7. Tickets available for €10 from Ticketmaster.

Come one come all and enjoy a night of electro rock/indie!

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