Monday, March 22, 2010

Listen to a legend

The tables have turned and my brothers have told me off for not writing in the blog. I'm not sure where this month has gone, to be honest.

Moving on - here's a departure from my usual posts on house music. I know next to nothing about Arabic music, especially classical Arabic music. What do I know is, is that Um Kulthum is a legend, and for much reason. Her voice has POWER.

This is one of her most famous songs, "Inta Omri". I first started listening to this a few months ago, and was reminded of the song again when I heard it in the background, in a scene in this film.

This song is really quite amazing and no wonder it's so popular and famous, and there have been numerous covers of it. There's so much emotion and melody in the music and in her voice.

The tune is quite lengthy with numerous transitions, so here it is posted in parts from a live recording, which I love, and I wish I had it on vinyl:

Part 1 - I love the sad-sounding guitar in this bit

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6 - love this bit too

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Myspace files: Pendulum/the Ruby Suns/Toro Y Moi

I think I'll do this every now and then. So many bands release new music and then come to town that often the only way I have to decide if they're worth seeing is by checking out their Myspace pages and the tracks on there. After that my decisions are made!

All I knew about Pendulum before this morning is they were supposedly good Australian Drum n Bass. Maybe I'm thinking of another band though; I just checked out Pendulum and their sound veers between the Prodigy, Linkin Park, and terrible terrible metal backed with Drum n Bass beats. They've somehow impressed Zane Lowe, but I'm struggling to see the appeal. Maybe it would help if I was 15. Here's their Myspace, see what you think. As for me, I'm taking them off the "to check-out and possibly download" list.

The Ruby Suns are better. They're from New Zealand and make some nice sunny pop with international influences (particularly Polynesian). Really puts me in a spring and summer mood! If they were slightly dancier they'd be even better (check out the synth stabs on 'Cranberry') but as is they seem like a great band to hear outdoors on a hot evening.

Toro Y Moi is one bloke who's now based in South Carolina, though I think he's from New York or Philly originally. Not sure why he's gone down to SC, though sunshine and beaches may have something to do with it. I first came across him when he popped up on the DC events page at Resident Advisor. Had to check him out then but turns out he also isn't all that dancey. He does use more electronics though, producing a reverb soaked sound that has shades of 80's pop, soul, and even 60's-ish surf rock in it.

I may check out the Ruby Suns and Toro y Moi later this month as they're both playing a cheap show at the Black Cat. I'll let you all know how that goes if it happens.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Local Natives - Airplanes

I've been listening to new music for the first time in years and I'm happy to say that I like what I've been hearing. It's encouraging to know that there's still plenty of good music being made by youngsters rather than thinking that it died out in the late 90s. Funnily enough, a lot of the stuff that I like is American! Why don't I hear this stuff in America? Local Natives came out with their debut album "Gorilla Manor" last year and this is one of their singles off've it. Love the lyrics, particularly towards the end. Not sure how lasting this band'll be but mind you, virtually all of the bands that I got into in the 90s have gone now or are making much less music and what they do make is crap anyway. Don't expect this lot to be around in five years time but so what? Enjoy it while it's still fresh.

Monday, March 8, 2010


Alright, I'm going to put a bunch of random stuff on here now which I see flying about London or when I listen to 6 Music in the morning. First up is Deadmau5. I saw Deadmau5 posters all over the underground when I first got to London last autumn. I had no idea who he was and only realized he was a person until I looked at the Deadmau5 Wikipedia entry just now. Anyway he's a DJ, from Canada, and EVERYTHING that I've heard of his has been sweet as hell up until this point. Just type in Deadmau5 into YouTube, for example:


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Groove Armada - Paper Romance

I've never really thought much of Groove Armada, I heard their singles "Superstylin" and "I See You Baby" at the beginning of the last decade and didn't really pay much attention to them after that, until now. If you've never heard this song before I guarantee that you'll like it on a first listen. It's infectious, uplifting - it practically forces you to have a good time. Never mind that it's a straight up rip-off of the brilliant MGMT...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Gorillaz - Plastic Beach

Gorillaz are back with a new album out next week. It's another concept piece and I have to say I'm a little surprised -- I thought they'd called it quits after some big shows in Las Vegas were billed as their last ever. But here they are, and they'll be playing Coachella next month too. The new album, 'Plastic Beach', can be heard in full here. I've given it a listen and I'm pretty pleased, there are some very nice tracks and some cool collaborations (half the Clash, Bobby Womack, Little Dragon, and Mark E. Smith are some of the stand-outs). Might even be worth a vinyl purchase in fact. Hear it yourself and let us know what you think. If you're a bit ADD you can hear a mix of all the tracks at the Gorillaz Youtube site, and watch some other vids and things too -- vid for the first single should be up tomorrow.