Saturday, March 10, 2007


N.B. If the main download links don't work, the alternative one's (all titled "Alt") most likely will. Thanks.

If a song is covered enough, what happens? Does it lose its shine and its sheen? Does it lose an extra bit of sparkle each time? Like an old VHS tape, recorded over and over again, worn down, until the picture isn't crystal clear anymore - where there are intermittent interruptions of static.

Or does a song gain from being covered so much? Does the adding, and stripping away of elements, help to illuminate what you truly loved about the song in the first place?

Or does it not matter in the slightest?

Dntel - "(This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan"

Dntel - "(This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan" - Alt
James - "Sick Dream (of Evan and Chan) (Dntel cover)" - Alt
Dntel - "(This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan (Superpitcher Compakt Remix)" - Alt
Dntel - "(This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan (Barbara Morgens Remix)" - Alt
Dntel - "(This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan (Lali Puna Remix)" - Alt

Today, we take a look at Dntel's "(This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan", and you can decide the answers for yourself. The original Dntel version of this song (featuring Ben Gibbard - who then became Jimmy Tamborello's songwriting partner in The Postal Service) has a lot of static to begin with - intentional, but, some might say, undesirable.
+ The James cover strips away all the static, all the fuzziness, even the drum-beat, and replaces everything with a soft, gentle voice, and smoothly played guitar lines - consequently, more emphasis is placed on the admittedly excellent lyrics.
- The Superpitcher Compakt remix removes the immediacy of the track, extends it by a minute and a half, and creates a fragile atmosphere full of ideas of loss and love.
+ Barbara Morgen's remix lifts the telephone sound and amplifies it, fills it out, makes it a focal point to come back to - emphasising the cyclical nature of the song ("and the telephone was ringing, ringing, ringing off"). The addition of a female vocal to complement Ben Gibbard's melodies also works extremely well.
- Lali Puna's remix removes all vocals entirely - the effect of which is that it becomes a come-down track. There's a definite tinge of sadness but you can make it personal. There are no words to dispute your own.



A tiny song. It barely starts before it ends. You could hold it in the palm of your hand. You could lift up it and press it against your chest. You could set it on the dashboard of your car, right beside that Post-It note, ("don't cry, we'll be there soon"). This track is also the work of Dntel's Jimmy Tamborello. The new Dntel album, Dumb Luck, is set to be released on April 24th. [Buy]

Sorry for the slow updates - my internet has been having fits for the past few days and completely refusing to work. On a brighter note, we now have hosting! Cue celebratory extra mp3:

Lali Puna

Faking The Books (Dntel/Postal Service Remix)

Thursday, March 08, 2007


So there's a few songs that are well-worth sharing for your listening pleasure, which I probably should have got around to earlier. First let's start once again with Los Campesinos! I can't get enough of them. I've come to the conclusion that it's not just the melodies that I've in love with, nor is it the relentlessly catchy instrumentation - the whistles! the reckless guitar! the xylophone bashing! the violin! No, what brings me back to the music perhaps more than anything are the observational lyrics - they're so effortlessly clever! witty! funny! silly! surreal! joyous! ridiculous! I'll throw out some samples from their double A side single and you can decide for yourselves:

"When you play pass the parcel with human body parts, somebody might get head, but someone will get hurt"

"Yea, it's great that you can blow smoke rings, but you won't taste her lips if you do get to kiss her"

"Team Campesinos trick or treating on your driveway in the middle of August, one of us dressed as a zombie, one of us dressed as a pirate, one of us dressed as a ninja, four of us dressed as school girls" [of course, the knowledge that the band contains only three female members adds to the silly, surreal yet true humour]

"So now we're gonna smash this place up, deck it out in fairy-lights until we are content"

"I'm stitching up each one of your pockets so when we are together maybe you'll look a little less bored / I'm sticking your fingers into sockets to kick-start your little heart and maybe stick your tongue in a bit more"

Los Campesinos!

We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives
Don't Tell Me To Do The Math(s)

Love it. Sincerely do. More info for the curious: We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives is "a whimsical anti-war song". Don't Tell Me To Do The Math(s) contains the lyric "if only you could give your life to literature just DON'T READ JANE EYRE!" This lyric was explained by Gareth Campesinos! at the gig where I saw them previously: "this song is actually about my favourite book, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, and if you've read the book you'll understand that this lyric isn't actually about hating Jane Eyre. We hold nothing against that book. *laughs* Though I do think all the Bronte sisters were slags!" If that interests you, then read about how the BronteBlog took offense to the lyric, and Gareth's subsequent explanation, here. [Buy]


Also on the note of Los Campesinos! : their support band for the five-date tour of the UK, Sky Larkin, are probably worth a listen, as they were highly enjoyable at the time. Quirky, poppy, and sometimes punky, featuring keyboards, as well as the usual guitar, bass and drums.

Sky Larkin

One of Two
Somesault (notes!)


Anyway, moving on. As we all know Bloc Party have about ten to fifteen (I'm not sure of the exact number, as I haven't counted) assorted B-Sides from their new album. Depending on what form you bought the album in, and where in the world you bought it, you're likely to get a different B-Side. Some of them are really impressive too. Like this one:

Bloc Party


Atmospheric and tragic - but real, honest and sincere. [Buy]


As far as the Bright Eyes EP, Four Winds, is concerned, I think I agree with the majority in saying that the title track is indeed the best. Enjoy it:

Bright Eyes

Four Winds

Britt Daniel and Conor Oberst

You Get Yours

Of course, as we all wait in hope that the new Bright Eyes album, Cassadaga, will be nothing short of spectacular, Conor Oberst has been collaborating with Jimmy Tamborello for one track off the forthcoming Dntel record. Although, since I don't really like posting leaks, I've given you the slightly older collaboration done with Britt Daniel of Spoon. I love Conor Oberst's voice. Actually. [Buy / Buy]


Sorry about the lack of anything close to insightful commentary, but I've been awake since four a.m., completed a comparative essay for English Literature, gone grocery shopping, had dinner and now I'm about to relax and watch TV. Je suis fatigué. However, all the songs posted can speak for themselves. Whether it be the sad reality of Bloc Party's vision of England, the surreal and ecstatic songs by Los Campesinos!, the similarly quirky songs of Sky Larkin or the miserable, doomed viewpoint of Conor Oberst, I'm sure you'll enjoy them all. All Los Campesinos! and Sky Larkin photos taken by myself, more here and here.

No One Would Riot For Less

Bright Eyes

No One Would Riot For Less

Due to the slightly annoying fact that on my University network I can't download MP3's, I can tell you nothing about this song other than: Yes, this is off the forthcoming Cassadaga (which half the world and me are thrilled about). Anyway, it's probably a good thing I can say nothing about this, since I have an essay due for 3 hours time, and I've done 72 words. Enjoy your morning. Maybe you'll let me know if this song's good. Cheers.


Conor Oberst and (now full-time) crew are also playing two UK dates:

Saturday 16/03 Koko, London
Monday 18/03 Brookes University Student Union, Oxford

Hope you have your tickets sitting on top of your bedside table. Otherwise, I doubt you'll find any.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


So, the new Idlewild album, Make Another World, came out on Monday and... well, it's a bit of a pick-and-mix to be honest. Obviously the band are trying to get back to the sonic-texture of their earlier, more youthful albums. And I can't fault them for trying to make another 100 Broken Windows - that album means the world to me. I have three copies!

But, but, but: Roddy Woomble has clearly moved on - the folk album, My Secret Is My Silence - co-written with Idlewild guitarist Rod Jones - was an attempt to get the calmer stuff out of their systems so that the band could present a unified front and become a melody-based rock band again. And songs like "Everything As It Moves" and "If It Takes You Home" do make a fair attempt at regaining much of the old sound, but there's a mildly irritating inconsistency throughout the entire album - most likely caused by the band's desire to revert back to their old ways.

To me, it sounds a bit like a minor mid-life crisis. This is a fantastic band who no longer know what they want to do. As uncool as it is to say so, I liked their last album. And the one before that. Sure, they didn't make me as deliriously happy, or ridiculously ready to go out dancing, as 100 Broken Windows, but I hold nothing against sonic-evolution, and I appreciated the incredible melodies that Roddy Woomble could deliver. This album leaves the impression that their desire to once again be what they once were is stifling their creativity: yes, the album's enjoyable, but they're capable of so much more.


Finished It Remains

Strange then, perhaps, that my favourite song off the new Idlewild record is the final track. If we were to play the genres game - which is old-school and NME-esque - then how could this song be pigeonholed? It doesn't know whether it wants to be a straightforward pop song (the opening "da-da-dun! da-da-dun!" guitar riff; the roll-of-the-tongue delivery of the line, "the three of us, are sittin' up...), soundtrack a film (1:31 - 2:01 where it flirts with all things epic and/or post-rock-esque), be an uptempo folk-lullaby (2:04 - 2:08: those harmonies) or be a reckless rock and roll song (2:07 - 3:20 : those guitar histrionics!). Perhaps the best part of the whole song though, is when it simultaneously side-steps and incorporates all these elements (2:52 - 2:56) and Roddy Woomble delivers such a fragile yet self-assured vocal for the line, "Leave... me... gone...". [Buy]

Roddy Woomble featuring Karine Polwart

If I Could Name Any Name

The aforementioned departure by Roddy Woomble and Rod Jones, is ever-so-slightly more than just a folk record. It incorporates elements of folk, indie, and rock, to make a by turns calm and exuberant album. It isn't groundbreaking or entirely innovative; it isn't going to appear on any "Greatest Albums Of All Time" list's like those that Q is so fond of. Yet, it's one of those albums that I'll always go back to - enduring and charming because of, and not in spite of, its old-new-borrowed-blue nature. [Buy]

Karine Polwart and Edwin Morgan

The Good Years

The previous song featured Karine Polwart, and this one is a collaboration between her and the author Edwin Morgan, once again taken from the Ballads of the Book compilation. An easy-listening folk song, with none of the fiddles or over-the-top bagpipes you might associate with Scottish folk. Focused, succinct, and so soft - like silk - both musically and lyrically. Everything in this song - the arpeggios, the strummed chords, the harmonies - lead up to that final line: "these the good years". It's such a nice, pleasant song, such a simple, idyllic idea, that it's hard not to feel content; warm; happy - soothed by such a swooning lullaby. [Buy]

Tuesday, March 06, 2007



My Moon, My Man

This song practically skips along the pavement before throwing itself into your arms. Each line is sang so close to the microphone that with each word's passing, a stray breath is left in its wake; the occasional sigh. The words seem entirely unimportant; the melody could be a string of "la's" and it would still sound the same to me. Like a lazy afternoon; a sigh; a smile with arched eyebrows. [Buy previous albums]


One Evening (live)
Intuition (live)
Lover's Spit (live Broken Social Scene cover)
Mushaboom (Postal Service Remix)

These live tracks are interesting and lovely: relatively stripped back renditions ensuring that the vocals are the centrepiece. Vocally, Feist comes across like a shy, gifted child. The Postal Service remix is delicate and delightful. Both "My Moon, My Man", and "Intuition" will be on Feist's new album, The Reminder, out 23rd April. Here's the only UK dates of her upcoming tour:

16 April 2007 Komedia, Brighton
17 April 2007 Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

Bright Eyes

Mushaboom (Feist cover)


Firefox AK

City To City

I wish the first seven seconds of this song would continue into infinity. My feet tap, my head spins. I saw Firefox AK live supporting Junior Boys, and found her to be beguiling. Live, the electro-pop backing tracks and the hammering's of the drum machine are overwhelming; overpowering. I couldn't even begin to construct thoughts in my head because every time coherent fragments were formed, they were silenced by the sheer volume of the electronics. Thoughts would hover, just out of reach; then disintegrate. Perhaps this was the best way. A smile appeared on my face, and it stayed. On record the laptop-handiwork isn't quite as overwhelming or glorious, but it's still there, and often it's very impressive.

Firefox AK

The Draft

The majority of the album is concerned with shamelessly resurrecting 90's electro-pop, taking pride in its grinning femininity. However, the final track on the album brings the male vocal of her husband into the equation and softens the approach. Each and every piece of instrumentation is subtle, yet effective. This is quiet, and contemplative. The dynamics are just right. Shhhh, quiet, then slightly more emphatic... but still hushed. The lyrics as a whole I don't understand, but I relate to the line: "Keep the attack short and fast". It means let the pain sting, then wash over me. Don't make this fight last longer than it has be. I give up the war. I give up. [Buy]

Hello Saferide

The Quiz

Annika Norlin, aka Hello Saferide, only deals in honesty; it's all she knows. She is charming, quirky and curious. The questions asked within this song range from the silly yet sweet: "Can you at all times wear socks 'cause I'm still scared of feet?", to the serious and pivotal: "If I fall would you pick me up?" She asks the every-day questions we all want to know ("Do you still keep pictures from girlfriends? Are they prettier than me?"), yet are often too scared to ask. The honest answers to these questions may not be the pleasing ones, but it's important to ask; it's important to know, because we/she needs "proof or a beer to open this heart". The truth is important.

Hello Saferide


A song for sunny days/winter nights. The heart-warming lyrics are hidden behind a wall of happy pop music; behind quirky instrumentation and an ever-smiling voice. Annika has a talent for constructing sentences that contain dazzling yet simple, true-to-life imagery: "40 flavours on the floor and a half-drunk bottle with popcorn in it / Yesterday's dress in a complete mess and a bruise on my arm / I don't know where I got it".

For the most part the lyrics are alluring, sensitive and sweet, but sometimes her heart is laid bare in its misery. Revolving around her thoughts on a New Year ("it's gonna be another shitty year"), and her unrequited love ("I haven't told you yet, but I'm gonna be with you"), it's easy to forget that amidst the waves of dazzling pop instrumentation, and aesthetically pleasing vocal melodies, the lyrics within this song are an effort to translate genuine sadness into words. Perhaps the cleverest, and most emotive lyric amidst it all is this: "I will learn a new word each day; Today's word is 'dejected'". [Buy]


Both artists are on the Swedish label Razzia Records. The name "Firefox AK" was derived from an inscription on a fire-extinguisher, and not from the web-browser that we all know and love. The photo which opens this post was taken by myself at the aforementioned Junior Boys performance; see more here.

Monday, March 05, 2007


Malcolm Middleton

Cheer Down

I first heard this song in Avalanche Records in Glasgow, and as soon as I heard it, I knew I wanted the CD it appeared on. Featuring the unmistakable voice of Malcolm Middleton, it's a song of hope. It's a realisation that everything's fucked, and you've lost your lover. It's a New Year's Resolution to change. It's the first sip of water since you've quit drinking. It's phoning up your ex-girlfriend and only getting her answering machine. It's sitting in silence with only a dial-tone to keep you company while you flick through old photo albums. It's knowing you have to change, and trying, but not knowing how, or to what extent. It's walking through Buchanan Galleries all alone, with nothing but your sadness to keep you company. It's hoping for the best, no matter what. The lyrics are almost too open and honest. Like watching an acquaintance burst into tears underneath the stairwell. Pretending to walk by without noticing, but then - a head on your shoulder, a tear-streaked voice, the words, "I've got no one".

Malcolm Middleton

Four Cigarettes

There's something about this track. Maybe it's the thought of a lover keeping you awake at night - missing the imprint of their head upon your pillow, their body upon your sheets. Maybe it's when he breaks in with "I'm four cigarettes away from having to leave the house", and the knowing - the shared experiences, laid down in song. Or maybe it's the melancholic piano melody after the chorus, the sadness that pervades throughout. Maybe it's the desire to be unique, the desire to make each and every life worthwhile. Or maybe it's the slightest hint of optimism despite "failure after failure".

Malcolm Middleton & Alan Bissett

The Rebel On His Own Tonight

This song genuinely excites me. As soon as I saw that the lyrics were by Alan Bissett I was intrigued, because I've read various pages from his novels and they're filled to the brim with contemporary cultural references and urban Scottish street-speak. The fact that the song has a speaking part by the man himself only adds to the excitement. I love spoken-word passages in songs. Malcolm Middleton is responsible for the singing and the music, and his expert craftsmanship produces an ominous electronic sound-scape which underpins the song, the singing, the deprecating lyrics. This track is simply put, fantastic. As soon as it breaks into the spoken-word, with those amazing lyrics, "Pure as vodka, pure as snow / She kisses like it's a terrorist act", you realise that the track, somehow, got more note-worthy; more remarkable. It's impossible, when listening to this track, not to feel sympathy, to feel sadness, to empathise - the lyrics are concerned with the subtle every-day tragedies of real-life.

Imagine an ex-best friend who you've known since childhood, and you've seen "the classroom page [where he] scribbled all [his] rage / Syd Barrett chord changes, Tyra McKenzie's name", and you've heard every-single-one of his ridiculous ideas and ambitions for the future, and you know he spends half his time "dreaming [he] is Stephen King", and you've been there every time he's been "steaming" and "taken a drubbing from somebody's fucking boyfriend". But you moved on with your life, and he never did, so "the rebel's on his own tonight".


"Cheer Down" is one of the "Extra Songs", "Four Cigarettes" is track seven, off the special edition of Malcolm Middleton's newest album, A Brighter Beat, which is exceptional. So Scottish, and forlorn, yet so uplifted and triumphant. The remarkable thing about his music is the self-deprecating lyrics set over the top of the smile-on-your-face -as-you-spot-the-ice-cream-van music. Of course, I picked up on the more depressing songs, full of keep-the-curtains-closed misery and oh-lord-let-me-change optimism. [Buy]


"The Rebel On His Own Tonight" comes from the Ballads of the Book compilation, out today, which brings together Scottish musicians and Scottish writers, in a project supported by the Scottish Arts Council. The packaging is gorgeous, with every page of the lyric booklet having its own appropriate illustration. For this reason alone, it is worth buying.

The Frames - LIVE REVIEW - 24th February 2007

The Frames

Fitzcarraldo (live)
Seven Day Mile (live)
Love Will Tear Us Apart (live Joy Division cover)

The Frames are an Irish band who have been around for, well, ages. Their singer and guitarist, Glen Hansard, busked on Dublin’s Grafton Street when he was only 14. He presented Other Voices: Songs from a Room back when it was actually good, and had his own band appear on it, once or twice if I remember right. He recently completed a solo album with Marketa Irglova (called The Swell Season), and a movie with her, entitled Once, which won an Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. The band themselves have been around since 1990, and now seems to be the time when they are finally achieving the recognition they deserve.

It’s worth considering why thus far this recognition hasn’t been forthcoming. Primarily, in the past, their recorded output has always had a kind of sonic inconsistency about it, with albums rarely flowing easily. Add to that the fact that their take on indie folk-rock is either revered and adored, or simply discarded as dull and lacklustre, and you get a feel for why although dearly loved in Ireland, they haven’t been making quite so many ripples across the Atlantic. In my humble opinion, this is soon to change however.

Recently, I had the chance to once again see The Frames live (after seeing them three times previously), and this time it was at the Oran Mor. It was a dreary cold February evening in Glasgow, but everyone knew from the moment the band got on-stage, that this gig was going to be interesting at the very-least, and spectacular at the very-best. As I queued at the bar for my two Vodka - Lemonade - and - Blackcurrant's, like the woman that I am, everyone else was ordering pints of Guinness. As I took my place in the crowd, and the band appeared on-stage, members of the audience started singing “Ireland forever” and waving Irish scarves about with vigour. Worth noting, of course, that the venue was in Scotland - a whole sea of water away from Ireland.

The Frames

People Get Ready (live)
Lay Me Down (live)
God Bless Mom (live)
Rent Day Blues

The gig kicked off with “People Get Ready” in all its bounteous glory. The song coincidentally, which perhaps best defines The Frames, and their dedication to their sonic evolution – “we have all the time in the world to get it right”. Indeed, the band have continually improved their sound over more than a decade, continually synthesising their violent emotion with quiet sadness.

The endearing cheekiness of Glen was fully on display as he told a few of the trademark stories which he's renowned for; prior to playing “Lay Me Down”, he offered forth a story behind the song: that it was about when he was 16 and “had a girlfriend – she was a Goth, [he] was a Rocker, so obviously [they] couldn’t go out in public. At Christmas [he] bought her this plot of land in a cemetery and [they] lay down in the hole and had a bloody good time”. However, fewer stories were told than usual, as for the majority of the gig he let the songs speak for themselves.

He also wore his beliefs on his sleeve: “God Bless Mom” was dedicated to the British Queen; the crowd were asked to “sing like little Catholics, sing!” whilst Glen clasped his hands in prayer. During one of the heavier parts of the song Glen screamed “You will never be like us! You should never have married a monarchy!”; “Rent Day Blues” was dedicated to “the landlords, the ruling classes, who have taken money off the Irish for over 800 years”, and was met with rapturous applause. On record, perhaps, some of this energy isn’t felt, but live the crowd laps it up. And it’s not a negative energy by any means – this sense of entitlement, this anguish and bitterness. It’s one that as a band they manipulate and channel into an inspiring creative force.

The Frames

When Your Mind's Made Up
Sad Songs
Star Star (live)

Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova


The Frames had the crowd in the palm of their hands for the duration, willing to go along with every whim – for instance, Glen insisting that the crowd raise their palms in the air and mimic the vocal melody whilst singing it; making the crowd hold the note for over twenty seconds while he sang over the top of them. Even the extended song titles got a laugh from the awestruck crowd: “this one’s called ‘When Your Mind’s Made Up There’s No Point Talking To You So I Won’t’”; “this is ‘Too Many Sad Words Make For Sad Sad Songs’”.

It wasn’t a flawless gig by any means; gigs rarely are. The performance of Leave wasn't quite as eye-watering, heart-breaking and fragile as I've seen it previously; the guitar and bass notes were clashing with each other on “Pavement Tune”, making it slightly more raucous than usual. However, Glen went along with it and merely repeated “fuck it, fuck it, fuck it” to reassure Joe that it was fine. And it was fine – it was more than fine – if only all fuckup’s at gigs could be this insignificant; the band held tight regardless and the song was dizzyingly excellent right up until the final lines which Glen sang in “a slightly German accent” to the hushed, appreciative audience: “I vont my life to make more sense. I vont my life to make amends.”

Prior to the penultimate song, "Star Star", (requested several times by the audience), a story was told of a young kid – Glen – lying down in the middle of a field, in the middle of the night, and writing this song, while staring up at the stars and wondering about “the big questions, the one’s that really matter, like ‘Will I ever get my own lightsaber? So I can… turn the losers into winners and smash the liars – no, smash the greedy… fuckheads’… you know what I mean. This one is for all aspiring Jedi Knights”. The band performed the song, tacking on the expected Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ending, and when Glen sang about keeping the dream alive, and “if it comes down to this, I will”, I believed him; everyone did.

The Frames

Fighting On The Stairs

The Frames have struggled financially in the past, but their spirit has never wavered and now they seem to be coming into their own. Adverts bearing their name are plastered all over the internet recently, including the top banner on Pitchfork last week and the bottom banner on the Hype Machine at the moment, all advertising their most consistent record to date, The Cost. More than that however - because good PR can only go so far - they have just recently given an outstanding live performance – slotting in alongside Broken Social Scene, Radiohead, and Sigur Ros as one of the best live gigs ever witnessed by these eyes and ears.

If ever there was a band that could start a revolution, an uprising, its The Frames. An unexpected observation to make, it may seem, if you’ve only experienced the subdued tracks on their albums and not the emotional violence of their live show. Once you experience the energy and witness the adulation that is poured onto them in abundance by their fans, you realise that you truly are in the presence of a formidable force. U2 have pretty-much become a stadium band, The Pogues have become a money-spinning caricature of themselves, but The Frames are truly a band of the people destined for imminent world-wide recognition. They are as comfortable playing a sold-out Marlay Park gig in Dublin to thirty-thousand odd people, as they are playing in a small packed room like The Venue at the Oran Mor. It certainly looks like the future will be bright.

+ All photos taken by myself on the 24th of February, 2007, at the Oran Mor. To see more from the same gig, click here.
- To read the longer version of this which briefly recounts the previous times I've seen The Frames, then you can download it as a Word Document here.
+ To buy albums by The Frames, click here.
- To read Glen's tragic article on the death of his best friend, Mic Christopher, click here.

Mic Christopher's album "Skylarkin'" holds a special place in my heart, as it has helped me through a rough Christmas period in the past. "Heyday" is the song post-posthumously used in the Guiness advert where one brother swims across to America, and says... "Sorry".

Mic Christopher


Sunday, March 04, 2007

I Was A Cub Scout Tour And Offer Mixtapes

Have you heard I Was A Cub Scout? I like them, alot. I saw them live at Club NME a while ago, and thought they had catchy tunes, but couldn't really make out much due to the muddled sound. However, one listen to Pink Squares is enough to convince you of their talent for crafting catchy, electronically-aided indie-pop. I'll be going to see them again on the 15th of March [the sound will be better too! since it's King Tuts!] and since they're touring all over the place, they've uploaded a mixtape. This includes one song from them, and six other songs by bands that shall be supporting them, at various stages, throughout the tour.

I Was A Cub Scout PRESENTS

The Tour Mixtape

Here's the tracklisting for all interested:'Can’t They Tell We’re Joking'
Rolo Tomassi – 'Seagull'
Linda’s Nephew – 'Get Back Attack'
I Was A Cub Scout – 'Part II'
Decay Ends A Decade – 'Notes'
Sky Days Off – 'This Idea Is Suicide'
Tonight Is Goodbye'Snap Snap'

For a chance to win a physical copy of the mix, (of which there are five to be given away), go here. Slightly emo, chirpy pop songs make up the majority of it. Particular favourites are:

Tonight Is Goodbye

Snap Snap [recommended for fans of The Spill Canvas]

Can't They Tell We're Joking? [recommended for fans of Hot Club de Paris].

I Was A Cub Scout

Pink Squares
Teenage Skin

The odd thing for me, about I Was A Cub Scout is the sense of darkness within their music. It's at the edges of it. Imagine their music as a loose sheet of newspaper. There's the colour and vibrancy of the pictures, there's a few eye-catching headlines, but then, down in the bottom corner, tucked away, there's the obituary section. The catchy electronic pop of I Was A Cub Scout, for me at least, is tinged with this pervading sense of sadness, beauty, fragility, darkness. And it's through this that their music gains a longevity... immediate, instantly accessible, yet enduring.


N.B. All links should now work again for the OXEGEN posts.

I upgraded my fileden account, so they should work for a little while at least. Let's celebrate:

I don't know how you plan to celebrate, but I've already done so. I saw Los Campesinos! tonight at Capitol, in Glasgow and they were fantastic. Their support, Sky Larkin, all came onstage during You! Me! Dancing! to play drums and hit mic stands and basically make a racket. Everyone up the front was disco dancing for the duration of the set, and that can only be a good thing. It's exciting, scratchy, beautiful guitar music with violins and keyboards thrown in to join the party. In short, it's great. If you have a chance to see Los Campesinos! then you definitely should.

Here's the last gigs of the tour, and two others they've planned:

4 March 2007 Late Rooms, Manchester (with Sky Larkin)
5 March 2007 Spitz, London (with Sky Larkin) - SOLD OUT!!
4 June 2007 The Point (14+), Cardiff
5 June 2007 The Scala (16+), London

Los Campesinos!

Death To Los Campesinos!
You! Me! Dancing!
Sweet Dreams Sweet Cheeks

To be perfectly honest: after seeing tonight's performance I am not at all surprised that Los Campesinos! supported the amazing Broken Social Scene. A well-deserved honour that just goes to show how evolved and glorious their sound is, despite being new kids on the block.

Hope you enjoy all the photos. There are a lot more here. I nearly broke my camera tonight trying to take pictures and dance at the same time. I can never resist a good old disco dance to amazing indietastic pop tunes.