Tuesday 31 March 2009

In Loving Memory of...The Chalets

In what may or may not become a regular feature here, every now and then I want to put up a track from now defunct bands that I think should never have split up/killed themselves/overdosed on a drug of their choice.

First up is Irish Indie-pop with the odd synthesizer thrown in band 'The Chalets'. The Chalets formed in 2001 at All tomorrows parties, released a handful of singles, released the spectacular 'Nightrock' Ep in 2004 and the brilliant debut album Check-In on Setanta in 2005 and then combusted for reasons unknown to me (apparantly lack of money being one though). So in tribute to the deceased i'm posting my favourite track from the Nightrock Ep 'Kiss Chasing'. Although it may not be their best song and the closer 'David Boring' is a close second in terms of my favourites the pure and simple pop genius of this song gets me every time.

And you can get it here The Chalets - Kiss Chasing

I can't tell how many but at least one of the guys participates in the the madness that is the 'Warlords of Pez'.

And in a more recent discovery for me (I found out today) Paula and Caomhie a.k.a. Pee Pee and Pony have formed 'Talulah Does The Hula' with a Jessie, a Lauren and a Michael. I haven't quite managed to place the style enough to describe it so head over to their myspace to check out the two tunes available. The 5 piece play Whelans April 26th, tickets €10 are available from WAV box office.


Monday 23 March 2009

The New Annie Single Sleeve - Very Cute & Girly (songs not bad either)

The lovely Annie has finally posted a clip of her first (post-Island Records) single "Anthonio" on her Myspace which will be released on May 4th on Richard X's new label "Pleasure Masters".It really is rather gorgeous, following on from the "Songs Remind Me of You" aspects of the (unreleased) Don't Stop era rather than the Xenomania tinged tracks such as My Love Is Better. This is not to knock Xenomania's efforts in this regard but at times their style of production seemed a little too harsh next to Annie's gentle, breathy vocal style. Richard X will always be Quincy Jones to her Michael Jackson I feel...


Wednesday 18 March 2009

80's style back combing makes a comeback.

Alex Roots do be a sprightly young thing of 16 who's debut single "Fake" is coming out at the end of this month. The song is pretty epic in my opinion and despite being so young she already encompasses the spirit of a young Cyndi Lauper with a healthy dose of "Girlfriend" era Avril Lavigne. Have a look see for yourselves...

Carrying the jail bait pre-school punk theme, Daisy Dares You is a similarly sprightly young thing of 15 who currently has a fab choon up on her humble lil myspace by the name of "Number 1 Enemy" which has just been bestowed with the prestigious Popjustice song of the day.


Saturday 14 March 2009

I Get All The Girls (And Boys)

After losing the race for the position of Student Union president in my college I was somewhat disappointed. So I used the only cure I know for disappointment ELECTRO DANCE HITS!!!

So while trawling the internet and rediscovering some awesome dance choons I found a gender-balancing cover of Calvin Harris' 'The Girls' by Dragonette so in the the spirit of equality I present...

'The Girls'

Calvin Harris - The Girls

And 'The Boys'

Dragonette - The Boys


Friday 6 March 2009

Shameless guilty pleasure alert #2

The Veronicas are awesome.
I mean really, really awesome.

Imagine if Heathers decided not to take themselves so seriously, slapped on too much eyeliner, added some electric guitars into the mix, and wrote really nonsensical lyrics about lust and love that don't make any sense but you don't care anyway because the choruses are THAT BLOODY AMAZING AND EPIC.
That is basically the Veronicas summed up in a nutshell.
They do be twin sisters from down under and have previously released a debut album full of pop rock nuggets back in 2005 called "The Secret Life of The Veronicas". This June they shall be releasing their 2nd album entitled "Hook Me Up" which has seen the girls move into a more dance pop/rock direction with a lot more synths thrown into the mix which can only be a good thing in my opinion. In fact, sometimes i think i like synths so much im gonna turn into a big giant synth... *thinks "awesome" quietly to herself*

The Veronicas - 4ever
The Veronicas - Hollywood (b-side)


VV Brown - v.v. good

VV Brown is a self-styled doo-wop indie pop starlet that has been grabbing my attention of late. She released her debut single "Crying Blood" ( essentially a total rip off of monster mash - but a bloody brilliant rip off!) towards the end of last year and released the follow up "Leave" this week.

Its a real grower of a song and VV's ability to convey genuine emotion through the chirp and bounce of a happy melody is something to be admired. On top of that the b-side to the digital download is, in my opinion, a really amazing cover of The Smith's "This Charming Man" which is transformed it into a thoughtful electro number with VV's vocals complimenting the production perfectly. In fact it has to be one of the best b-sides/covers I've heard in ages.

There is also a really awesome remix/cover by She Who Must Not Be Named...

VV Brown - This Charming Man (Smiths Cover)

VV Brown - Leave (Little Boots Mix)


Thursday 5 March 2009

Metric - Fantasies Update

ilovemetric.com has just opened pre-order stuff on the 'Metric' album 'Fantasies'. The album will be released in its digital form on March 31st and subsequently will be shipped in its physical form between then and April 14th. Album formats will include the digital download for in or around the equivalent of €7 for the thrifty music buyer, a hardcover digipack with digital download, a vinyl + digital, a hardcover digipack+ Vinyl with digital download, and then a super-duper ultra pack with everything and lots of exclusive signed stuff etc., which is what I hope to get once I get the €50 necessary, are also available.

The site is currently streaming the extended version of the lead single 'Help I'm Alive' and what will undoubtedly be its second single the amazing 'Gimme Sympathy'.

Go here for streaming and here for purchasing.


Sunday 1 March 2009

Villagers in The Stables, Mullingar 28th February 2009

Yesterday myself, Blathnaid and Rob of Egoeccentric went on a bit of a trek down to Mullingar to see Villagers play in the Stables. Apparently all gigs there start late so there was time for a quick pint in Dun Laoghaire before the drive down to the midlands.

Click on the read more for a review of the gig.

This being my first trip to The Stables I didn't know what to expect. What I found was what looked to be a converted stable. The venue, whose capacity I couldn't guess but would assume to be quite small, was laid out with long benches. Minimal lighting was provided by the candles resting on each bench, which served to increase the air of intimacy in the venue. The walls and ceiling were plastered with gig posters which created a nice juxtaposition between the old world charm of the Stable and the modern edge of the music scene it houses.

The Stables Walls and Ceilings Were Covered With These

Arriving slightly late at about 10.15 we were just in time to see the first act, 'The Ambience Affair' a guitar and drum duo that make heavy use of loop pedals to create expansive soundscapes. The pair took to the stage about 22.20 and launched into a 30 minute set of quietloudquiet acoustic tracks with a shoegazy edge. One of the pitfalls of using loop pedals is the tendency to fall into the same patterns and to rely too heavily on the amount of layers you can create so that the basic song suffers. Unfortunately The Ambience Affair's set suffered from this and the resultant effect was that no single song stood out. Then again that might be the point. Despite these minor quibbles I enjoyed the performance a lot. In much the same way as I listen to 'Massive Attack', The Ambience Affair's hypnotic loops provide an soundtrack that can either be used as ambient background music or can be fully attended to for maximum enjoyment. I'd be interested to see how this band progresses if they harness some of their soundscapes and turn them into slightly more accessible songs.

Second to take the stage were normally three piece Arrow in the Sky who were short a member for the evening. For most of set the pair made use of acoustic guitar and mandolin to produce fairly standard singer-songwriter fair with a few odd instruments thrown in. Listenable but but not exactly innovative. Poor crowd interaction didn't exactly help and the performance would have benefited greatly from some eye-contact with the audience and a bit more energy from the performers.

This could not be said of Villagers who somehow mananged to produce a set that was both a quiet and intimate affair while still using walls of guitar feedback and unbounded energy. The Brainchild of Ex-The Immediate Conor O' Brien, Villagers recorded output is a completely solo project however they're live performances are a collaboration between various musician friends of Conor's. With a constantly rotating line-up (which at one gig point of Richie Egan of Jape) one would expect some level of sloppiness in the playing but Villagers set is as tight as that of a band who have been on the road for years. The line-up consists of Conor on acoustic guitar, Berkely guitarist Tommy McLaughlin on electric guitar, (I think) David Crean on Keys and two other members, whose names I unfortunately did not take down, on Bass and Drums.

The 12 song set soared from quiet to loud, integrating tracks from their 'Hollow Kind' EP. Conor O' Brien filled his lyrics with a rare passion and conviction that makes the listener believe in what he's saying. Tommy McLaughlin seemed to be channeling the spirit of The Bends/Ok Computer era Johnny Greenwood, with intricate melodies and minimalist playing giving way to chaotic distortion and acres of feedback. A solid performance from every member made you believe that this wasn't just the work of one man and that every musician felt as much the part of the music as any other.

Although it may seem like the press are holding Villagers up on a pedestal the heights of which they can never live up to, performances like this make you feel like you've witnessed something special and makes you believe that this band could go far. So if you have the chance go see Villagers now before they take to the cities and stadiums.