Sunday, 17 February 2008

Hype ting

I really hate it when people go righteous on me and get all like 'music isn't a competition you know'. Music is TOTALLY a fucking competition, it's just, for the most part white people just don't seem to have got to grips with the format. Battle of the bands competitions are uniformly shit, X factor is lamentable and TMobile unsigned? Well I guess the fact the series was won by a group of sexless primary school teachers who wouldnt know a good tune if it strolled up and hit them in the face tells you everything you need to know. See the real propblem I have with these shows is the competition is so indirect. Contestants exist in realtive isolation from each other; they do their cover of 'Angels' or whatever then plead open handed and earnest for the judges apporval. In grime, it's not really like that. MC's enter into the competetive spirit with gusto; it's not enough to say 'heres my song, I hope you like it more than the other guys...'
if they think they're better than you they'll write a song about it saying why. If you dont like it then you write a song back, with accompanying threats of violent reprisals. This process works even better in a live format, and doesnt even require the bickering of a couple of closet homo's to spice things up. See below for footage of Lethal B and Wiley on the Young Man Standing set a few years back. Lethal B starts slagging Wiley off live on radio before, seemingly within seconds, Wiley rolls up at the station unannounced with some of his goons, takes a quick puff of a nearby zoot and the 2 go of them go at it. Imagine how amazing it would be if the X Factor auditions were like this? Simon Cowell take note...

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Nietszche: only sick music makes money these days

For those that reside in the North West region of the UK, and in particular Manchester, this weekend offers 2 particularly exciting musical happenings which you'd do well to make the acquaintance of:

Firstly, I'm DJ'ing this Friday for the Stay Sick night at Big Hands. Expect nothing less than a riotous night soundtracked by No Wave, Nu-Beat, Punk, Psych, Electro and, if rumours are to be believed, Grime...


Saturday see's the ace Math Not Math band Instruments play at Saki Bar in Rusholme. See my review of their Silver Rocket show last year for a taste of what to expect, they've been tipped thus by no less an authority than Drowned in Sound: "Don’t be surprised if they’re as recommended by the critics as Johnny Foreigner and Los Campesinos! in 2008".
Cant say fairer than that can you really?

Video: Instruments - American Football or American Football

Banjo or Freakout?

For me 2007 will be remembered as a year where most the bands, albums etc were no way near as good as anyone said they were. Luckily, via These New Puritans, Foals, The Kills and now the emerging Banjo or Freakout 2008 seems to be staring on a more positive note.
Banjo or Freakout make music that sounds like how Animal Collectives 'Strawberry Jam' LP might have if it wasn't just a couple of ok singles padded out with snoozeworthy us-alt indie on autopilot.
As far as I can tell it's just a one man band thing at the moment, but I can see that expanding as the demand for live shows inevitably gathers momentum.
Alessio Natalizia, the man behind the moniker keeps a blog here where you can download loads of cool Banjo or Freak Out stuff for free; personally id recommend you start with the excellent Mr No track, which is below.

Banjo or Freakout - Mr No Mp3

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Cool kids of today, please try harder.

Fuck The Sonics and The Kingsmen, The Badseeds (as in the original ones, not Nick Cave's lackeys) were the greatest garage band of the sixties, if only on the strength of their 'Taste of The Same' track below.

The Badseeds - Taste of The Same mp3

Cant get enough of James Chance and The Contortions at the moment, they sound a little like simultaneously playing Miles Davis, DNA and James Brown (no disrespect to the dead but this clip is hilarious) records out of time yet in a state of perfect synchronicity. Dischordant, avant jazz, no wave anti-funk is where it's at:

Friday, 1 February 2008

Benga and Coki 'Night'

Radio 1 is all over Benga and Coki's dubstep anthem 'Night' right now; it's pretty odd hearing that familiar synth line popping up between the latest straight to ringtone fodder from Scouting for Girls, Girls Aloud et al. Usually it's greeted with confused expressions and mutterings along the lines of 'I don't like this kind of music...' by the women who work in my office. Make of that what you will...

Heres the video, probably one of the worst examples of sub-stoner CGI I've laid eyes on in a while...

Accompanying comments like 'lol, blatant piss take, as if this would be an official video.' pretty much sum up how depressing this is. It looks like a screen saver.

I was kind of hoping that the full release would feature a vocal from Skepta since he's been so instrumental in raising the tunes profile outside of the dubstep scene. The footage below from his album launch in October gets across everything that a floating giant squid simply can't about why 'Night' was such a special tune in the first place (see 1 min 45).

XX Teens 'How To Reduce Your Chances Of becoming A Terror Victim' Video

BTW did I miss something or have XX Teens had a line up change without telling anyone?
They recorded a BBC 6 Session for Mark Riley last night, the fruits of which are on their myspace now...