Saturday, April 01, 2006

Google Romance

if this isn't an April Fool's then the world should actually just end, right now.

Edit: so it is. that's good.

pure freak out.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Benjamin Costello. Jamie T.

So this post, is about two things, from completely opposite ends of the spectrum, although I dunno. Maybe they're not. What is a spectrum, anyway? Well, obviously I know, but some things seem obviously different and yet are the same in a more subtle way. So maybe that's how it is here. Maybe. Not definitely. My head's fooked, so take take me too seriously today - [calling all detractors; calling all criticism...] Anyways, here's what I've culled from the internet about Jamie T. Some sources will be referenced. Some won't. I'm tired. Angry? Hey, it's ok, "I'm only... like... joking" - to quote Jamie T, himself.

The Guardian did a best new bands of this year... Jamie T is one of them, chosen by Tom Vek [ohh.. wow.. so scene.. et cetera, et freakin' cetera*] who he actually did a gig with at the very start.

Tom Vek says, "His song, If You Got the Money, wins the award for Most Stuck in My Head Song After One Listen. It's a perfect example of this young man's gift for song and modern-day storytelling."

Somewhere, Jamie T got described as a mixture of "songwriters like Mike Skinner and Ray Davies, and [...] one-guy-and-a-guitar la Willy Mason".

Apparently, "he cites influences as The Pogues, Rancid, Elvis Costello and The Specials, as well as the garage and drum'n'bass tunes he encountered at raves".

And he also hands out free copies of a mix-tape compiled by himself. It also includes one track of his on it. Or so the website would have me believe. So all's good..

In other news, Benjamin Costello now has a blog, which I think will be used to write about the writing and recording of his new album. So check it out, here.

So, there's new Benjamin Costello recordings, which I have yet to check out. Cool.

Benjamin Costello

Time After Time
Got To Begin Again
I Remember

I guess I'll listen very soon and then give my opinion. Ok. So I just heard the best lyric of today. Go listen to Ike & Tina [streaming media]... to hear this piece of raw honesty,

"Off my face and I need a hug"

*Note: I like Tom Vek. So sorry if I gave the impression I didn't. I don't like scenesters.
*Additional Note: to finish this post, we'll finish with some RAGE [against... the... yea] lyrics. They say jump, and you say HOW HIGH?! Ready? Set? Go: fuck you, I won't do what you tell me.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Neutral Milk Hotel

Proving that alt-folk is still cool, in 2005 Neutral Milk Hotel re-released their second album "In the airplane over the sea". Fronted by one Mr Jeff Mangum he is most definitely the first thing that stands out to anyone listening, not simply for his voice but for the words that come along with it. The music itself has a story-telling feel to it, although the stories seem to be dreamy and disillusioned - comprised of odd metaphors that occasionally add a dark element to the feel of it all.

The weird part is when you find yourself singing along to things like, "Two headed boy she is all you could need, she will feed you tomatoes and radio wires". Genius. I'm positive he's my all time favourite lyricist, even if a lot of the time I don't know what he's talking about.

Neutral Milk Hotel are known to be part of the
Elephant 6 collective, which was set up by Mangum along with some of his friends, and spawned bands such as Of Montreal, Elf Power and Apples In Stereo. It was set up in the early 90's. It was Robert Schneider who set it up as a record label in late 1991 and the first release was the Tidal Wave EP - by his own band, Apples In Stereo - which came out in 1993.

Two-Headed Boy
Holland 1945

HERE is an interview in 2002 with Mangum by Pitchfork.

*Note: by Kyle

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Post-It! Record Labels...

So, here's a quick post so I can remember what record labels I like [i get forgetful sometimes], and after I've posted this you can check 'im out and see all the wonderful mp3's?

Sounds like a plan...

Arts & Crafts

Jagjaguwar / Secretly Canadian


Saddle Creek

Sub Pop

Drowned in Sound

Additional note: You should seriously, seriously, seriously, check out Jamie T.

Regina Spektor (BBC/MySpace)

Today, I was going to try and post on Mates of State, or Jens Lekman, or anyone really. Unfortunately, I can't because I'm too obsessed with Jamie T. I'm listening to those demo's and they're impressive, especially "Ike & Tina" and "Do you feel me?". Check 'im out at his site.

Also go here for Regina Spektor stuff. Think I shall be downloading it straight away.

Also go here for MySpace rips of her new songs. They're a tad good. So good that it breaks my har, har-har-har, har-har-har, ha-ha-heart.

So anyway, I have nothing to post, due to the fact that I've already posted enough on Jamie T. But Regina Spektor is at the other end of the spektrum [sic] from him, so enjoy her. She's popular you know. What with the anti-folk thing. And the supporting Kings of Leon and The Strokes thing. S'all good.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Jamie T

Naturally Conor Oberst [of Bright Eyes fame] is the name that one thinks of when asked for "music's current counter-culture zeitgeist poet." But now there may be a new talent on the rise. And that would be Jamie T. A mon avis, to be the spirit of our times, one has to live within it, accept it all, and yet still be able to objectively criticise it, stand back and form opinions, make judgements. And Jamie T does this... he accepts that he is part of society, and yet tries to correct it from within. Kinda like what Hitler was doing [only the other way about: destroying democracy from within, and all that]. Why always criticism of what we have? Well, because basically modern-day society is always discontented, always looking for something more, slagging off what they've got. As Christopher Hart said, in his fantastic novel, Rescue Me, "The trouble with my lot is: we want the fucking world."

Musically, some sort of cross-breed of all the modern-day acts [see: Arctic Monkeys, Libertines, The Streets], and harkin' back to old folky grass-roots [see: a more polemic street-wise Bob Dylan with a harsher voice, or some have said Billy Bragg]. The accent is straight outta Arctic Monkeys territory [unsurprisingly], the lyrics are similar in bitterness and acute contemporary societal observations to The Streets [often surpassing the lyrical brilliance of Mike Skinner], and musically sort of like an early-days Libertines, although I wouldn't really know about that, since I haven't really listened to them enough, [other people's opinions are to be cherished, hehe...] But despite all these reference points, he still creates a sound which is all his own and will perhaps provide an anti-dote to all the other - hype hype hype!!! - hyped bands of late [see: fill in the blank]. If you really want to know what his genre is, well, to be honest, it just ain't happening. He's floating between genre's to these ears, but his Myspace site describes him as rap, punk, reggae, but I'd also throw in a bit of indie and some have described him as grime [a terrible name for a genre if ever I've heard one], and I guess it's kinda accurate, since I see a slight similarity in his music to Kano.

Check him out... I think he's amazing. And he definitely should be big this year - currently on tour with The Kooks, another up and coming band. Interesting fact? If you check out his MySpace alot of the comments mention seeing him live, on this current tour, and not being able to get his songs out of their heads, even after seeing The Kooks perform. And he's only the support act! Rising like a shining star, in a vacuous night-sky, that people aren't sure whether to trust. I say trust.

Jamie T

If You've Got The Money
*Note: MP3 courtesy of Take Your Medicine.

Go here to listen to "Salvador", and check out his site to listen to more songs [old demos] which I haven't really listened to properly, and the three videos he has up. Especially, "So Lonely Was The Ballad", since the lyrics to that song are amazing, and it features an interesting pre-recorded voice talking about anxiety and panic attacks and relief. The sort of self-help tape that Radiohead would be proud to take the piss out of. [Think OK Computer, i.e. Fitter, Happier, More Productive. Got it? Yep] Anyways, the song is pure made for the disco, with words like this:

so remember when you choke / there's a reason being / we leavin' the town / 'cause we ain't been believing / blowing out smoke / from our lungs to the ceiling / making sure nightmares / turn when you're dreaming

Also, go to his MySpace and listen to Sheila. It is incredible. The best new lyrics I've heard in a while. Trademark London references, gang references, chav references, clever word-play... everything. A collection of short-stories about Londoners... Enjoy.

His songs have something within them to attract everyone to his music*. Brilliantly melodic, rhythmically perfect [some songs featuring just his voice, and his acoustic bass guitar, work even better than his fully instrumented songs], and lyrics to attract the intellectuals who want some socio-political commentary. And when he's not singing lyrics to make you listen in awe, he's singing skat-like, ad-libbing a mixture of vowels and consonants and carryin' on the melody in the most rhythmic way possible.

*Note: last paragraph edited in after reading the Drowned in Sound review of Betty and the Selfish Sons EP, which can be found here. So yes, there are similarities *smile*.