Friday 27 February 2009

Snow Patrol Actually Good?

Ok I know many people will tune out the moment they see the words 'Snow Patrol' but they shouldn't, they really shouldn't. I don't advocate the attitude of 'lets write the poppiest song we can manage that will sell millions but annoy anyone who actually liked the proper songs off our first 2 albums' a lá the six note dirge that was 'Chasing Cars', but there are a few gems that they have and for me those songs are always worth digging for.

The best example of this is 'Somewhere a Clock is Ticking' from their 2003 album 'Final Straw'. This song is something of a what-could-have-been song for me as it showcases the potential they have to write absolutely epic 4 and a half minute rock songs. The song starts off with a quiet introspective guitar, the odd electronic click and the songs main refrain, but it slowly builds and as the song progresses, creates a huge wall of crashing guitars and violins that assaults your eardrums with chaotic noise.

Songs that actually make me feel like I felt when I was discovering bands for the first time are few and far between, but this is one of them and for that Snow Patrol have earned some forgiveness in my eyes.

Snow Patrol - Somewhere A Clock Is Ticking


New Frankmusik video alert!

the delectable Frankmusik is releasing his next single "Better Off As Two" on April 13th.

of course it is not nearly as gloriously euphoric as "3 Little Words", but then only about 6 songs are.... still it is a sweet little emotive pop ditty of the kind which Mr. Musik is so bloody good.

the album is set to drop in June and is one of the my most anticipated releases this year, after Cowboy X and She Who Must Not Be Named (you know who im referring to :P)

Frankmusik - In Step

Frankmusik - Rehab (Amy winehouse Cover)


Shameless Guilty Pleasure Alert.

Oh god...

i REALLY shouldn't like this song...

...they look like twats dont they?

But ykno what? iv had a shitty day today yet this song has single handedly made me giddy as an emo school girl inspite of myself!!

see thats what i LOVE about pop music...

Metro Station - Shake It


Thursday 26 February 2009

Enjoy the cover version.

My fave independant girl band Red Blooded Women will be releasing their long awaited follow-up to last summers (criminally over-looked) "You Made Your Bed" in the form of a cover of Depeche Mode's "Enjoy The Silence" next month. The Designer Drugs remix is currently doing the rounds on hypemachine in order to whet our appetite and its not bad really - basically a raved up version of the track with a smidge of donk for good measure.

It got me thinking about an observation I had made recently about how covers of Depeche Mode songs were invariably more enjoyable than the originals. well, at least to me anyway.. *narrowly avoids tomatoe lobbed at head by purist Depeche Mode fan*

But seriously! I mean, listen to the symphonic Lacuna Coil version of "Enjoy The Silence," the intense Shiny Toy Guns boy/girl duet of "Stripped" and the swaggering Marilyn Manson take on Personal Jesus...

Red Blooded Women - Enjoy The Silence(Designer Drugs remix)
Lacuna Coil - Enjoy The Silence
Marilyn Manson - Personal Jesus
Shiny Toy Guns - Stripped

Of course, i will admit there are some exceptions to my rule...

*sigh* Oh The Saturdays... you were doing so well & everything... :(


Saturday 21 February 2009

Beautiful Dancing Loner Robots - Update

It is official:

"Untouchable" will indeed be the third single to be taken from the current Girls Aloud album...


no word on a possible radio edit though...




Friday 20 February 2009

The Brit Awards Last Night

Last night the annual "lets-award-the-most-mainstream-and-predictable-artists" awards occured last night in Earl's Court, London.

Here is my blow by blow analysis of the evenings events:

  • James Corden, Matt Horne and Kylie Minogue opening the show by taking the piss out of the "Cant Get You Out Of My Head" video: Those boys aren't bad dancers! They even kept time & everything!
  • U2 performing their new single "Get On Your Boots" which is a fairly brainless but generally listenable song until the part where Bono utters the word "sexy" and it all goes terribly wrong: Well, Bono looked like a bit of a plank in that deus ex machina position at the beginning waving his arms and legs around but on the whole i guess it wasn't bad... they are starting to look a bit status quo-like though.
  • Girls Aloud finally winning a Brit Award after 7 years in the business: In the words Sarah Harding (the short haired blonde one who pretends to be indie sometimes) when the girls went up to accept their award... "Its about time!!" Too right Sarah. GA4EVA!
  • Kings of Leon performing "Use Somebody" interspersed with with shots of the celebrity section of the audience not really giving a shite: as one youtuber commented, they should've just played down the local pub to a real crowd. DAMN those boys are looking fine these days though... and Caleb Followill... just goes to show what a decent hair cut can do for a guy.
  • Girls Aloud performing The Promise with giant pink feathers: Too many feathers. Just got annoying after a while... vocals didn't sound too bad though. Kimberly is still my fave though...
  • The Ting Tings and Estelle duet of Shut Up and Let Me Go/American Boy/Thats Not My Name aka the wierdest combination for mash up but yet it still works: "Shut Up..." and "American Boy" work oddly well together... the two lay-deez were a weensy bit flat though.
  • Duffy winning best album while Elbow look on utterly unimpressed as they had clearly expected to win: Rockferry is a distinctly average supermarket soul album with only one or two striking tracks so why it ended up winning is a complete mystery. But it was really sweet when Tom Jones who was presenting the award , a fellow welsh person, gave her warm congratulations before giving her the award. ah bless...
  • Tom Jones's hair: Talk about the silver fox!!
  • Pet Shop Boys closing the show with an extended medley featuring Lady Ga Ga in some sort of wedding china inspired ensemble and an awkward looking Brandon Flowers from the Killers wearing some feathers on the back of his jacket: A bit stilted in parts but overall a fairly deadly performance and keyboardist Chris Lowe's pink Andy Warhol hair was somewhat epic. Am v. excited about the new album too, if new single Love Etc is anything to go by!
Well there ya go sports fans! Hope you found all this very informative... Looking forward to next year's Tesco soul awards!


Thursday 19 February 2009

Beautiful Robots Dancing Alone...

So according to Popjustice, the third single to be taken from Girls Aloud's current album Out of Control is to be announced fairly soon. Hurrah!

PJ have already expressed their rejection of a possible of a radio edit of the epic "Untouchable" which i kind of agree with cos it is a pretty spectacular, swirlingly amazing 6 minutes and 43 seconds of electro loveliness which contains the timeless couplet,

'Without any meaning, we're just skin and bone,
Like beautiful robots dancing alone'

...and would lose any emotional impact by being chopped and changed into a neat, 3 minute and 30 second package.

There has been talk of "Love Is The Key" or "Rolling Back The Rivers in Time" making the cut, but in my opinion that'd be a bit of a step backwards after the heartbreakingly beautiful, Pet Shop Boys produced "The Loving Kind".

In my opinion it's gotta be either "Turn To Stone", or MAYBE "Miss You Bow Wow" despite the idiotic title, simply because i will now always associate the song with the drag show at The George and the fact that the DJ there played Little Boots, Annie, Frankmusik AND Girls Aloud one after the other therefore making him/her the GREATEST DJ IN THE WORLD.


Girls Aloud - Untouchable


Tuesday 17 February 2009

Amanda Palmer, Amanda F**king Awesome

Ok considering I'm a huge fan there's no point in me trying to review the gig so I'm just going to give a bit of a summary of the night with review like sections. Click the read more for an overview of the night.

I arrived at the sugar club without a ticket. This is usually a bad start when trying to attend a concert but I pressed on regardless. After many walks up and down the queue calling out for a spare ticket I was eventually rewarded by a kind man whose 3 friends had cancelled on him last minute. I got my ticket cost price for €16. Bargain.
Going up and down the queue I had discovered a few people who didn't have tickets so I informed them of the spare tickets down the line and got rewarded by getting a place at the front of the queue and some company for the night.

Anyway, doors opened a little bit later than listed (This delay was due to a lack of a working piano as we discovered later) and everyone piled in to try get good seats. For those who haven't been in the sugar club the seating arrangement for this kind of gig is odd but provides an intimacy rarely found in any other venue. The tiered seating means everyone can see and the comfortable seats make for a nice break from the usual 3 hours standing up being bumped into by some drunk who insists on singing the lyrics to different songs at the top of his lungs (its always a guy) whenever there's a break between songs. Bonus points must be given for the merchandise on the night. T-Shirts were an extremely affordable €10 which left plenty of money for drink/food etc.

The support came from a gravel voiced undertaker by the name of Rohan Kriwaczek. Having had a falling out with the rest of his band, he performed a solo show consisting of songs that reminded me of Swordfishtrombones era Tom Waits meets Danny Elfman. The few tracks that really stood out were 'Big Shot', a venomous ode to the big bankers and major company heads, Who would have known, a bittersweet part-love song to the singers ex-wife and the closer 'The Undertaker's Ball' which was a tongue-in-cheek tale about the goings on at undertaker's parties. The set was short and sweet but made its point perfectly.

A short break and then Amanda Palmer took the stage. Clothed in an antique dress she proceeded to open the show with an unaccompanied version of 'The Wind That Shakes The Barley' by Robert Dwyer Joyce. Swiftly ripping off the dress to reveal a t-shirt and stockings she burst into a blistering performance of 'Astronaut' the lead track off her solo album 'Who Killed Amanda Palmer'. Unfortunately Zoe Keating, who provided support and played cello on a few tracks at the previous Academy gig, was not in attendance and this particular song suffered somewhat but the energy with which it was performed did help make up some of the ground lost.

The gig was a slightly more laid back affair than her previous performance with more tear jerkers, slow burners and covers however this matched the feel of the venue and resulted in an incredibly memorable night. A few technical difficulties during the set, namely 'Bad Habit' and forgetting the lyrics to one verse of her newest song did little to damage the strength of the performance and were dealt with with an endearingly self deprecating sense of humour. The highlight of the night was the closer 'Half Jack' from the Dresden Dolls first album. The encore came in the form of a leap offstage into the crowd for a solo acoustic ukelele performance of the Radiohead classic 'Creep'. The capacity crowd was encouraged to sing and sing they did. This was one of those moments when the crowd feels truly connected with one another and even when it was over everyone left with a smile on their face.

Anyway for another dose of Amanda Palmer and a Book signing by Neil Gaiman head down to Chapters on Parnell Street today at 5. I will most definitely be there.

Set List:

Wind that shakes the barley
I Want You But I Don't Need You (by Momus)
Bad Habit
My Favourite Things (from the Sound of Music)
Mrs O.
I Google You (Lyrics by Neil Gaiman)
Guitar Hero
Trout Heart Replica (New Song)
Runs In The Family
House That I Grew Up In
Poem (An actual poem not a song called poem)
Oasis (I think this was here but I can't be sure I neglected to take it down)
Half Jack

PS - In a testament to how nice Amanda Palmer's fans are, when I missed my last bus I was given a floor to sleep on and a sleeping bag to sleep in by a very nice guy called Dean who I'd been talking to when I was looking for a ticket. I even got breakfast! So I just want to say an extremely big thank you and to anyone who reads this if you end up in a similar situation in either role please follow this guys example.


Transformers, Because We all Love Big Stompy Robots

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen from Bay Films/Michael Bay Dot Com on Vimeo.


Sunday 15 February 2009

Honey meddles with Little Boots.

You may remember a recent post i did on a charming 15 year old fledgling singer/songwriter simply named "Honey" and her somewhat rough around the edges but very cute "kate nash meets the ting tings" indie pop sound...

anyhoo, she has now posted up an mp3 of her charming acoustic cover of Meddle by Little Boots and i believe it to be most agreeable.

Honey - Meddle (Little Boots cover)

right, i SWEAR i will not mention Little Boots again for at LEAST another week... *determined face*


Road Records may be saved! Hurrah!

According to last friday's Irish Times...

There may be light at the end of the tunnel for independent music outlet Road Records. The shop, opened in 1997 on Fade Street in Dublin 2, had been scheduled to close in the coming weeks. Owners Dave Kennedy and Julie Collins blamed a shortage of footfall and an increase in illegal downloads, among other factors, for its demise.

However, plans for a “Save Road Records” investment club – involving members of the Irish music industry and others buying shares in the company – are currently being finalised.

“I can’t say too much about it yet, but yes, it’s true,” said Kennedy. “It’s a distinct possibility that we will carry on at this stage. I’m relieved, more than anything else.”

“It’s just brilliant news,” said regular Road customer Sean Kenny. “In a time of doom and gloom, it’s like a little fairytale. And I think it’ll teach a lot of people that that they should get out there and support their local indies before its too late.”

Mr. Kenny is right, it IS like a little fairytale...

*starts welling up*


This Little Boots obsession of mine has reached a new peak of pathetic-ness. the title suggests, this little boots obsession of mine has... (yeah, yeah get on with it - Ed)

I find myself checking out whatever music she says shes been listening to on her blog cos iv been noticing that whatever she happens to love, i seem to end up loving too. and while that may seem a bit sad...

...i dont really give a crap cos iv discovered some amazing music because of it!

case in point:


"So Fine"

awesome yes?


Friday 13 February 2009

the Tin Man - The next generation.

my cowboy x obsession continues with the brand new video for Japanese Toy (about 4 or 5 months after the actual single was released - see chris? if cowboy x can do things in a random order like that why cant candy in my heels?lol;)

as u can see, the video is quite bizarre but happily following on from the starship trooper theme (now with added samurai swords!)


have a look see for yourselves...

you should also click here to check out new single Break Me which carries on the tradition of general excellent-ness.


Tuesday 10 February 2009

Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaimen A Winning Combination

This coming monday the 16th of February Amanda Palmer (Frontwoman of the punk cabaret duo 'The Dresden Dolls') will be taking the stage at the Sugar Club for the second Dublin date of the 'Who Killed Amanda Palmer' tour. Doors open at 7.30 and tickets are...sold out. Which I only just found out.

However, for those of us who did not manage to get a ticket if you head down to Chapters on Parnell street at 5 o clock the following day she will be doing a small acoustic performance and Neil Gaiman author of 'The Graveyard Book' and many many other books will be doing a book signing too.


Monday 9 February 2009

If She Can Make It Here...

Ever have one of those wistful, philosophical moments where you wonder what could've been? I think everyone has...

I was born in New York, Manhattan to be specific, but was only a resident for the first few months of my life before my parents decided to move back to Ireland... But I've always wondered what my life would have been like if dad hadn't accepted that job in Dublin and my parents had actually stayed in that rent controlled apartment in Greenwich Village. What kind of person would I be today? Would I have been that strange kid in school that no one wants to sit next to? Or would I be a horrible cheerleader type?*shudder* It doesn't matter really I suppose... I mean I'm perfectly happy here in Ireland - I'm in a pretty awesome college, I have the most amazing set of friends in the world, and Dublin is most definitely the city I will always return to where ever I end up in the world... But I'll always be a native New Yorker.

I've even got the passport to prove it.

Odyssey - Native New Yorker

Jay Z & Santogold - Brooklyn (Go Hard)

Billy Joel - New York State of Mind

Beastie Boys - An Open Letter to NYC


Wednesday 4 February 2009

Drummer from Cowboy X admits "I don't know lyrics to own songs" - World reels in shock.

oh how i love to read the blogs on the cowboy x bebo page... this latest one reads:

Thanks to everyone who came to the gig in Whelan's last Thursday and to Cyprus Ave in Cork the following night.
Whelan's was especially good......we didn't realise how many people know the words to the songs......I don't even know the words to the songs.
There's already some good footage up on u-tube if anyone's interested

That and we'd like to thank the 'street team' if thats what you call them. Chris, Naimh, Tommy, Andy, Saranne and anyone else who put up posters.

Hope you had a good time...we bloody did!


oh, and yes that is our very own chris he mentions just there... im holding out for third time lucky that he finally remembers my name too! : p


Monday 2 February 2009

The Lost Art of the B-side...

Along with the death of CD single, the art of the b-side has been another casualty of the internet's reign over the music industry recently.

This is a real pity, as there are some savage b-sides out there that are currently being squandered on 7" vinyls that approxiamately 4 people will end up buying, or abandoned entirely in favour of dozens of identikit remixes that clutter up most of the so-called "EPs" on iTunes...

Here are some excellent b-sides iv discovered recently...

Ladyhawke - Danny & Jenny

Lily Allen - Kabul Shit

Girls Aloud - Memory Of You (You Tube Rip)


Sunday 1 February 2009

Who would you rather be The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?

As you may or may not know I'm a huge HUGE Metric fan so the recent announcement that Metric's 4th album 'Fantasies' will be released in the US and Canada on April 14th with a plan for a worldwide release shortly after got me very excited. There will be a variety of extras for those who pre-order the album, limited edition vinyl, hardcover CD's and a straight download of the album. If you go to the site here you can get an acoustic version of the lead track off the album 'Help I'm alive'.

Here's the tracklisting as its thought to be at the moment.

1. Help I'm Alive
2. Sick Muse
3. Satellite Mind
4. Twilight Galaxy
5. Gold Guns Girls
6. Gimme Sympathy
7. Collect Call
8. Front Row
9. Blindness
10. Stadium Love

And as a little bonus here's an acoustic version of 'Gimme Sympathy' a song which I cannot get out of my head at the moment. (It will also explain the title of this post).

Metric - Gimme Sympathy (Acoustic at Coachella)


Money Don't Mean Much Here... The end of Daggers.

You may remember I recently posted a piece as part of my "Tips from the stable" article about the epic synth pop/rock outfit Daggers whom I have become increasingly obsessed with in recent months....

Well, imagine my shock and genuine, heartfelt disappointment to stumble onto their myspace page and find they have just announced their split, completely out of nowhere and without any reasons as to why they have done so. The final blog merely reads as follows:


It's over.

Thank you for everything.
You will never know what it means.


I really am properly gutted about this as I genuinely believed in this band and how truly awesome they were... all thats left of them now is a handful of tracks on iTunes and an all but deserted myspace page, stripped of all the tracks on their myspace player so one cannot even mourn them by wallowing in their musical brilliance one last time... I'm sounding mightily dramatic I know, but its merely cos I believe that if a fantastic band like Daggers, with so much potential on their side, feel the need to break up for whatever reason, then the music industry really is in a sorry state at the moment.

R.I.P Daggers...

You will be sadly missed.

Daggers - Money