Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I went to see Laetitia Sadier last night.  The ex- (former-?  current-but-on-a-break?  I'm not sure) Stereolab singer is touring her second solo album, 'Silencio'.  I never really listened to a lot of Stereolab but have been aware of them so when I heard she was coming to town, and that it was cheap and in a tiny venue, I thought it was worth going to.  I've been listening to 'Silencio', and quite like it -- a good indie album that doesn't just stick to whatever sound is cool now -- instead it really does seem like her own individual work.  This track is one my faves:

Yes it's very sincere and direct, but I think that's OK -- it's actually quite refreshing to hear someone sing about something current in a very direct way and have it still sound pretty good.  The album version's even better.  The show itself was decent, pretty low-key but Sadier and her band were charming and had some good between-song banter.  I kept looking at her thinking "'Emperor Tomato Ketchup'... she was on that album and it came out when I was teenager ... but she doesn't look very old... which must mean she was really young in Stereolab..."  Yup, my idle thoughts.  I was very tired.

I heard some good songs on the radio yesterday too, both of which I think were somewhat of note.  First one was by Alabama Shakes, a band I've never really heard but have been trying to resist anyway.  Why?  Well mostly cos of their name, the way they look, and the fact that they seemed kind of big in Europe -- seemed to me like a band trading on a name (ooh, Alabama), a quirky singer and "diverse" line-up, and some retro sound that's probably been done better by someone else.  But I heard this song yesterday and I like it:

I also heard and liked a Pixies track.  The Pixies are one of those bands that are basically classic in the indie world but who I've never really heard a lot by.  They were slightly before my intro to indie music, and American, like a lot of other bands of that era who I'm sure are good but I've never got round to check out -- Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, and Sebadoh, to name a few.  I probably never will either to be honest, but there you go.

Speaking of old American indie that I never heard, here's some Bob Mould, ruining my theme cos I heard him today:

Hmm, seems like that last one is new!  Look at him, growing old disgracefully!  May have to check that album out.  Though it's a bit Foo Fighters for me.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Dance America

Hi everyone.
First off a couple weeks ago I heard this track and watched this video by Azealia Banks. I never jumped on the Banks bandwagon mostly because I thought "212" was too loud with a lot of unnecessary swearing. But I really like this "1991" tune. Why? It's a great title first of all coz the song sounds like it could've come out in 1991 - almost. Same with the video. And I'm loving the throwback to hip house. Also, this song is a proper dance tune, unlike all the rubbish these days that somehow passes for dance music, or even as house. I hope Banks is teaching those wack producers a lesson here.

I read somewhere that she left the XL label. I wonder why that is. I've always liked XL.

Anyway all the hip and cool kids will already be familiar with this song and video, but I don't care. I'm posting it anyway! 

Also, a few weeks ago I happened to tune into BBC Radio. I listened to the "Essential" show by Pete Tong except that this time, 2 lads named Jamie Jones and Seth Troxler replaced him. I wish they hosted the program every week! The duo were terrific to listen to as they had a fantastic selection and were also quite funny. And it turns out that Jones is Welsh, and Troxler is from Michigan! You can actually listen and download to the mix here, since its now expired on the BBC Radio website. Also Jones is quite fanciable :-D

One of the tunes they played was by a fella named Omar S, who is from the D! Representing good ol' Detroit Techno. Have a listen, and this is Omar's website.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Brooklynisation reaches Sweden

It's not a new thing, and now that I think about it, I'm not entirely sure that what follows is an example of Brooklynisation or just an example of a band going a bit too far in going for a certain sound.  The band is First Aid Kit, you can listen to them at the following link:

Go ahead and do so.  What do they sound like to you?  Something from the Southern US perhaps?  Maybe California in the late 60's?  That's how they sound to me, but they're bloody Swedish, and they're new!  Now fair enough, I know a lot of bands from non-English speaking countries end up singing in English, but this is beyond just the use of a language, this is the use of all kinds of signals that indicate where this is from -- but it's not from there.  They even sing with little catches in their voices!  Honestly, as much as I like the music, it's hard to take seriously when it's such a facsimile that's almost a parody.  Sorry, First Aid Kit, but you've gone too far.

In other news, Woods are coming to DC -- Friday, Nov 2nd, at Red Palace.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Brooklynisation of Music

Quite liked this article I just read in DC's citypaper -- seemed somewhat on point in that a lot of popular music does sound the same.  I don't agree with all the conclusions though -- there might be some blanded out genres that it seems like everyone is going for, but there are plenty of people out there making really weird, different music still -- possibly a lot of music that no-one will hear.  But the great leveller, the internet, does mean that some musicians can just tap into whatever is cool now and just copy that sound, rather than innovate in their own little corner of the world.  

Our Band Could Be Your Band: How the Brooklynization of culture killed regional music scenes

Monday, September 10, 2012

Siberian Winter Blues

I have no idea if this is real or a hoax, but I hope it's real.

So I'm on Russian-dominated blogging site, Livejournal.  Yes, I really am.  Anyway, I got a message on it, possibly the only one I've ever gotten (though there was one time a writer contacted me to take down his article).  The message was from "Sam", and here it is:

They call me Sam, i am from Siberia (Russia)! 
You wonder where it might be? 
Oh c'mon! Everyone knows that Siberia is a snow desert somewhere deep in Russia. 
We still got internet but for the rest it's a beat complicated. 
However I managed to setup a studio using a lot of cardboard, Soviet synthesizers and iMac G4 
Besides I borrowed a camera from my next-door buddy. 

Wonder what we could make using all these garbage? 
I'll tell you what! 
Mate, garbage is the most fashionable thing now! We got lucky with that / The luck itself found us here. 
See what we did with our own powers in the subject youtube link! 

It was not comfortable to work in a small room with cardboard walls :)) 
That's why I'm looking forward to fixing the whole ''studio'' situation. 

If it blew your head off or at least didn't leave you emotionless I would like to ask for your support. 
Use PayPal,Itunes or BandCamp links from video description in Youtube. 

I would also be delighted to hear from you in my guestbook or simply buzz my office: +7 926 251 4440 

I speak some English and Chinese, besides there are German and French speakersin da house. 
That's why I truly believe we can find common language and exchange opinions. 
Za zdorovye!

Sounds dubious, but the link was a real youstube one, and the account was a real person too, so I went to the link and the vid posted below was what I found.  I'm sure Sam isn't the only person in the world making weird local hip-hop, but he's the only one that's contacted me, and I'm quite happy about that.  Again, I hope it's real, cos it's quite amazing seeing something like this from some distant land -- the powers of the internet!