Thursday 30 April 2009

Gettin' Down With One's Bad Self.

As dedicated Happiness Machine followers will already know, I have been under house arrest with the mumps for the last 15 million years or so, including on my birthday a few days ago. On the plus side, I was given a huge boxset of all 7 series of Scrubs for said birthday and have been immersing myself ever since...

...which brings me to one of the more chuckle-inducing moments I have encountered during my recovery; Turk Dancing to Bell Viv DeVoe's "Poison"!!!

And just for the craic, heres the full track itself in all it's early 90's, groove-tastic glory...

Bell Biv DeVoe -Poison


Monday 27 April 2009

Wait...They Don't Love You Like Duke Special

I've never been hugely into Duke Special but just a few minutes ago I received an email from his record label (apparently I'm on their mailing list, I was not aware) with a free download to a track called 'Maps' which turned out to be a rather good piano version of the Yeah Yeah Yeah's song of the same name. So here's the link

Yes I know it means you have to sign up but I think its only fair for a free track.

And just because it was the next thing that came on iTunes afterwards and made me happy here's a bonus track of Marvin Gaye's Sexual Healing.

Marvin Gaye-Sexual Healing


Sunday 26 April 2009

NOFX - They Don't Suck Live

I originally planned to just do bullet points for this but 40 minutes later I seem to have a full review on my hands so here is the review and the set list for NOFX's April 25th show in the Olympia.

I arrive at the venue about 7.20 doors having opened at 7. I go into the already crowded Olympia and find myself a prime spot at the front. The first band Pour Habit kick off the night at an unusually early 7.50. The energy filled 25 minute set comprises of fairly standard punk with the odd bit of ska, done with the musicianship of a metal band. The singer slam danced his way around the stage while the guitarists provided an extremely heavy but happy sounding backing. However, technical issues prevent the full extent of their sound being communicated effectively.

Second on are Fat Wreck Chords The Flatliners. Fronted by a guitarist/singer that has a sense for melody but can scream with the best of them. the band start with a few strong opening punk/ska numbers but as the set progresses each song blends together to produce a wholly underwhelming set. This is once again due in part to technical problems, with the guitars becoming an indistinguishable wall of noise. The band wrap things up and leave the crowd in anticipation, ready for NOFX's first gig in Ireland in 5 years.

The set kicked off with an instrumental intro followed by classic 'Punk In Drublic' opener 'Linoleum' and progressed through a varied and unpredictable mix of songs from the majority of their albums/Ep's and 7". Highlight of the gig was the inclusion of a near flawless performance of the track 'The Decline', the bands 18 minute opus. The band have vowed to only play the track once in each major city they play and never again so for those of you who knew it I salute you and for those who didn't you missed a once in a lifetime (as long as you don't go see them in another country) opportunity.

Evidently the band know which side their bread is buttered on and the only track to appear from their new album 'Coaster' is Fat Mikes ode to his recently deceased parents (who both died in 2006) 'My Orphan Year'. The track is let down by poor sound and unfortunately being unfamiliar with the song, I wasn't able to fully appreciate it.

In what is becoming a rare event at gigs these days (at least the ones I've been going to) the band are conversational throughout the performance which adds a certain simple but inexplicably satisfying sense of showmanship. Jokes are made at the expense of the Mexicans, Jewish and others but all in a lighthearted tone (The guitarists El Hefe and Eric Melvin are Mexican and Jewish). A few sincere moments of thanks are given to the crowd and the other bands but back In the spirit of tomfoolery the the set is finished with a can-can across the stage to Avenue Q's 'Everyone's a Little Bit Racist'.

5 Liqourice Pizzas out of 5!

Set List:

Stickin' In My Eye
Franco Un-American
The Decline
Radio (Rancid Cover)
Arming the Proletariat with Potato Guns (Instrumental With Jokes)
Murder The Government
Pharmacists Daughter
Kill the Bloody Queen (New Kind of Made Up Song)
My Orphan Year
Seperation of Church and Skate
Eat the Meek


Bottles to the Ground
Whoops I OD'd (Fast Version)
Kill All the White Man
Everyones A Little Bit Racist (Avenue Q)


Monday 20 April 2009

The Lost Art of the B-Side Part 2: Now with added mumps.

So I've been struck down with the bloody mumps of all things at the moment so really this should be the perfect opportunity to catch up on my blogging since I'll have nothing better to do trapped inside the house for A WHOLE WEEK MAYBE EVEN TWO WEEKS.

So I'll start off with the relatively new discovery known as Rochelle. They do be a London based electro outfit who have released a couple of fairly low key singles so far such as "Fer De Lance" which I found vaguely interesting but not exactly earth shattering. However they appear set to change all that by releasing "Chin Up", a rockin' party choon if ever there was one...

...HOWEVER! There is also an astonishingly awesome b-side called "In The Night" which is probably even more worthy of being checked out then its a-side buddy. In fact I believe it to be so astonishingly awesome that it could have quite easily slipped into the guise of an a-side its that damn good. Plus I'm a sucker for anything in a very obvious minor key and that sounds like something that Buffy Summers would listen to if she was an electro fan.

Rochelle - In The Night


Friday 17 April 2009

Songs To Fall Asleep To... #256534

She is the bloggers darling at the moment which is usually something I like to avoid with this blog (with the exception of She Who Must Not Be Named) but I cant help but give Bat For Lashes some attention at the moment because her new album "Two Suns" really is some epic stuff and definitely a step up from the lo-fi efforts of her debut "Fur and Gold"....

Here is a gorgeous acoustic version of the current single "Daniel" recorded for the BBC Live Lounge recently. It takes the original's disco ballad sound and seamlessly transforms it into an even more immense and haunting sound. I feel like I should be wandering around a forest at night listening to this...

Bat For Lashes - Daniel (BBC Live Lounge Version)

Here is the original version, if you're interested...

While we're at it she also recorded a beautiful cover of Kings Of Leon's "Use Somebody" which competely strips back the stadium rock bombast of the original, merely leaving behind the loneliness and longing of the lyrics to shine through.

Bat For Lashes - Use Somebody (King Of Leon Cover)

Lovely stuff.


Thursday 16 April 2009

Splitting Hairs - Story of Hair to Break Up

Its with a heavy heart that I wave goodbye to Noise-popsters Story of Hair. Yesterday afternoon I received a farewell email stating that the band have decided to split. No reason in particulater is stated and the brief message just gives thanks to Steve Shannon and Ruth Kennington from Experimental Audio where the band recently completed their debut album 'Cheap Rate' and to all the bands they played with.

The Hairs will be playing their last gig this Saturday 18th April in Tower Records at 1:30pm as part of International Record Store Day. If you can please go along and give them a proper farewell. We at 'The Happiness Machine' wish them the best in their future endeavors.

Full farewell email after the jump.

Splitting Hairs...

It is with sad faces we are announcing our perm-anent parting of ways :(

We'd like to thank everyone we've worked with, all the great bands we've played with and everyone who has listened to our songs. As a goodbye we've uploaded a brand new song, Hold on Holden, which we finished today to our myspace and website and which is free to download. It was recorded at Experimental Audio with Stephen Shannon and Ruth Kennington.

We'll be playing our last gig this Saturday 18th April in Tower Records at 1:30pm as part of International Record Store Day.

It was fantastic to be part of such a thriving music scene in Ireland, we enjoyed every minute of it. One big "highlight" you could say!

All the best



Tuesday 7 April 2009

omg. omg. omg. omg. omg. omg...

...the new artwork for Little Boots' forthcoming album "Hands"...

*literally faints with excitement*

Little Boots - Album Mini Mix


*whine* Whats taking so looooong... *jumps up and down impatiently*

<a href="" target="_new" title="Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince">Video: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince</a>


Saturday 4 April 2009

If You Buy This Album You Have No Respect For Music As A Force For Good And General Awesome-ness.

THIS my friends, is the new album by X Factor 2008 runner-up/tween hysteria inducing antichrist Eoghan Quigg. Now as you can see there are many flaws regarding this album - it's general existance being just one of them. First of all, lets take a closer look at this art work. When did it become acceptable to allow album artwork as piss-poor as this to enter the public domain?No matter how shit the contents of an album, I will always respect a decent album cover(that is why I forgave X Factor 2007 runners up Same Difference)

The next major flaw in this album is the quite frankly rather camp selection of dead-eyed covers on offer - ABBA's "Does Your Mother Know" and Michael Jackson's tribute to the cuddlier side of the bubonic plague, "Ben", to name but a few. These bizarre covers coupled with depressingly half - arsed Busted-Lite style pop rock ditties only serve to highlight the inescapable lame-ness of money-grabbing ventures such as these.

It is laziness like this that gives pop music a bad name.



Wednesday 1 April 2009

Metric - Gimme Sympathy

Here is the video for what I'm assuming is the new single from the album 'Fantasies'

Metric- Gimme Sympathy