Monday, 31 March 2008

The Sound Of Silence And A Semi Skimmed Latte Please

Ever since I spent an afternoon cuddled up with my childhood pet 'Sparky the rabbit' watching Watership Down ('Bridge Over Troubled Waters'), I've always had a soft spot for Simon and Garfunkel. I do remember wondering what all the fuss was about when'You can call me Al' reached number 4 in 1987 and everyone was saying how great these guys were, I guess I never really associated them with having performed both of these songs. Please note - I wasn't born until 1977 so the 60's literally didn't happen for me!

If you are also a S & G fan, you might be pleased to hear an album of their November 1969 tour (which turned out to be the duos last tour for more than a decade) was released on March 25th. Originally due for release last September, the new album has now been released as a Starbucks exclusive i.e. for now, you can only buy the album via Starbucks. Yes this is yet another twist in the music distribution model. I will discuss this further in a future blog, in the meantime, if you have any thoughts on the subject, please leave a comment.

The album tracks are as follows:

"Homeward Bound" (11/15/69, Long Beach, Calif.)

"At the Zoo" (11/27/69, New York)

"The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)" (11/8/69, Carbondale, Ill.)

"Song for the Asking" (11/15/69, Long Beach, Calif.)

"Scarborough Fair/Canticle" (11/28/69, New York)

"Mrs. Robinson" (11/8/69, Carbondale, Ill.)

"The Boxer" (11/15/69, Long Beach, Calif.)

"Why Don't You Write Me" (11/15/69, Long Beach, Calif.)

"So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright" (11/8/69, Carbondale, Ill.)

"That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine" (11/15/69, Long Beach, Calif.)

"Bridge Over Troubled Water" (11/28/69, New York)

"The Sound of Silence" (11/8/69, Carbondale, Ill.)

"I Am a Rock" (11/8/69, Carbondale, Ill.)

"Old Friends/Bookends Theme" (11/1/69, Toledo, Ohio)

"Leaves That Are Green" (11/31/69, Detroit)

"Kathy's Song" (date unknown, St. Louis)

In the meantime, why not sit back and reward yourself with a little S&G time, here is The Sound Of Silence (1966)

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Doc Cave and The Superimposers

On the day Australian singer-songwriter and former Birthday Party frontman Nick Cave was awarded an honorary PhD from his old university, trying to update my blog has proved difficult but I do hope to write a proper update tomorrow. My reason? Me, my husband and my trusted tiny eee pc have just flown for 12 hours to Hong Kong and I haven't slept much. Please stop by for more info soon...

Chalky

btw If you're in London this weekend and looking for a gig, why not try The Superimposers at The Harrison pub on Harrison Street for 'In the Pines' on Sunday -tickets £3 from www.wegottickets.com and for more info try www.myspace.com/inthepines.

Also, the Rough Trade Album club present The Superimposers live this coming Monday 31st @ The Social on Little Portland Street -for more info and to get yourself on the guest list email info@wonderfulsound.com


The Superimposers - Heavy Sigh






The Superimposers - Would It Be Impossible



Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Bring An Ornament On Tour - Dan Le Sac VS Scroobius Pip

Remember I mentioned Dan Le Sac VS Scroobius Pip the other day? Well if you've booked tickets to see them on their latest tour, you may want to know the following:

"So, we wanted to add something to this tour.
We thought about adding a drummer.
It wasnt needed.

We thought about adding a bassist.
It didnt add anything.

We thought about adding one of those sign language people to stand in a box in the corner translating.

We couldnt afford one.

So instead we have decided to bring our living room!
:)



The only problem is Dan's cabinet has no orniments in it so we would like anyone that is attending and happens to have some spare orniments to bring them along and donate them to Dan.

Just pop then at the front of the stage throughout the evening and we will collect them and add them to his cupboard!


So there you have it, be prepared!

Mr Scruff On The Road -Tour Dates

Mr Scruff dates are dates you need to know about so here they are:

Mar 2008
Thu 27th Wrongbar Toronto $15adv/$20door
Fri 28th Smart Bar Chicago, IL, USA $12/$15
Sat 29th Studio B Brooklyn $12advance/$16door

Apr 2008
Fri 4th Etch Brighton £10advance/MOTD
Sat 5th Keep It Unreal Manchester £9adv/£10door

May 2008
Fri 2nd Stealth Nottingham £10adv/£12door
Sat 3rd Keep It Unreal Manchester £9adv/£10door
Sun 4th Cheltenham Jazz Festival Cheltenham £17
Thu 8th Oxford Academy Oxford £11advance
Fri 9th Southport Weekender Southport SOLD OUT
Sat 10th KoKo London £15adv/£17door
Fri 16th Liverpool Carling Academy 2 Liverpool £10adv/£12door
Fri 30th The Savoy Cork
Sat 31st Black Box Galway

Jun 2008
Sun 1st Trinity Limerick
Sat 7th Keep It Unreal Manchester £9adv/£10door
Jul 2008
Sun 6th The Garden Festival (TBC) Zadar, Croatia

And to keep you Tuesday going in the right direction or to turn it around so it feels better, here's some of the finest Scruff I could find, here's Jazz Potato (without an 'e' on the end of course).




Monday, 24 March 2008

The Cool Kids - A little Bit Cooler


I love these guys! Antoine "Mikey Rocks" Reed and Evan "Chuck Inglish" Ingersoll from Chicago, Illinois and Detroit, Michigan AKA The Cool Kids.
Citing their influences on their MySpace as Funkadelics, Police, Jimi Hendrix, Ohio Players, Slave, Gap Band, Led Zepplin, N.E.R.D, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Timabaland, One Way, James Brown, Isley Brothers, Great Musicians. It's tongue in cheek Hip Hop, 80's revisited with a 00's twist.

So the story goes "The members of The Cool Kids met in 2005 when Reed found a beat on the Internet that Ingersoll had produced.The two met to discuss terms of the beat's sale, and eventually ended up recording for two hours. They were inspired by hip hop in the 1980s and artists like Eric B. & Rakim.Ingersoll began promoting the new duo's material, and it was eventually booked by Josh Young of Flosstradamus for a DJ performance. At this performance (in a venue called Town Hall Pub), the duo met the electronic musician Diplo who offered to release a mixtape of their unreleased tracks titled Totally Flossed Out on his label Mad Decent, though it was eventually released on C.A.K.E. Recordings. They also received an offer from the DJ A-Trak to sign to his Fool's Gold label, which they did, but only for one single.

Up until recently, all material had been released solely on the band's MySpace page—their recording contract came after performances at the CMJ Music Festival and Pitchfork Music Festival, on July 15, 2007. Eventually, The Cool Kids signed to Chocolate Industries, another independent label, which had previously been the label of rapper Lady Sovereign. Ingersoll has been the producer for tracks released thus far, but both work in rapping and production."

Enough of the talking, lets do some listening.







Source: Wikipedia

What You Gonna Do With All That Junk?

PMT jokes aside, once or twice a year, I discover my old Alanis Morisette CD Jagged Little Pill (1995) hidden amongst my CD collection and I give it an airing and it always totally blows me away. Then I have to put it away for another year because I know if I listen to it twice, I'll grow annoyed with it. It's just one of those albums that in my opinion, was great and unfortunately for Alanis, really does seem to have been a one off flash in the pan. I'm always in hope that she will release an even better album so will the new album Flavors of Entanglement (her first original studio release in four years) be it? Due to be released on May 20th, I'll have to wait and see but in the meantime, here's Alanis' take on the Black Eyed Peas song, My Humps.






And here's the original by The Black Eyed Peas






Let your hair down and jump around in a crazy 'Alanis way' to this - All I Really Want:

A Song For Pascha

First of all, hope you're having a nice very early Easter break. Having hit my yearly hot cross bun limit, I'm sure my figure will be glad it's over soon.

On an Easter note, I'm adding this superb performance of Mary by Patty Griffin and Natalie Maines at the Tsunami appeal concert after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake which killed more than 225,000 people in eleven countries. Religious or not, this performance certainly moves me. It also reminds me that not all country is well "country" if you know what I mean...



Thursday, 20 March 2008

Lights off, kick back and loose yourself in music

I recently removed a link from a comment made on this blog. Let me explain. The post was about Duffy and an anonymous user decided to add a link to a rapidshare file download site where you could download her entire new album Rockferry for free before it had even been released. It was a little disconcerting to see how so many people were searching for this download and so I removed it because I felt it was unfair to the artist. Was this right? Was this wrong? To be quite honest, I find the whole music business a difficult mess to understand. I look around at a lot of other music blogs and note that most are giving away mp3s of new up and coming bands (some not so good I might add) and sometimes very well known bands. I have chosen not to do this so far because I want this blog to be more about opinions and ideas regarding new and old music, not a site that attracts visitors for downloads. What I do know is that while the Internet is taking away from the artists with one hand, it is certainly giving with the other by enabling me to get in contact with a multitude of bands via myspace, this blog, imeem, MOG etc and in turn I (and many others) can give feedback to the artists. For once, it's not just the music magazines hogging the media with their opinions, I'm getting a chance to join in and let off a little steam. Imagine me more like a feedback meter on products for sale at a mass supermarket-I'm trying to find new products and sample them to see if they are any good and then write about it, maybe even more like your local shop/market as opposed to the supermarket i.e. unsigned bands. In the past it would be an organised response to organised products. It's a really exciting time to be a music blogger.

Inevitably, Portishead have also become victim to "album leakage" on the Internet. Their long awaited third album entitled Third was leaked 6 weeks before the official April 28th release date. Butter fingers somewhere just couldn't resist and just like that, 10 years of work is taken for free. Maybe this is why they are releasing a limited number of USB sticks containing their album as a sort of jibe at the situation. Anyway, I hope they make back their time spent on this album with a good tour and earn what's rightfully theirs for the taking.

So if you haven't already downloaded the new album, Portishead have added the next single Machine Gun to their myspace page. A very dramatic song with hints of Kraftwerk coming in at the end which I'm going to have to listen to in the dark one of these days -that's how I prefer to listen to music, helps me focus my senses on the job and get the maximum enjoyment.

So this leads me to my next question, where do you like to listen to music the most?

Chalky

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

When I Say Hip, Thou Shall Not Say Hop

Have you heard of Dan Le Sac VS Scroobius Pip? If you haven't, consider the secret out.

On their myspace profile they describe themselves and where they are from as "a lil 2 piece band based either side of London but originally hailling from the same little town in Essex, Stanford-le-Hope is its name and y'all should never have reason to visit there, but if you happen to find yourself in the center of deepest darkest Essex, why not have a stroll along the sea wall to look at out derelict fertilizer factory and massive oil refinery."

Well can't say I'm sold on the idea of Stanford-le-hope but fresh from their well received appearances at SXSW festival, here's Dan Le Sac VS Scroobius Pip with Thou Shalt Always Kill





And just in case that didn't grasp you, try this one:

Letter From God





If you like Dan Le Sac VS Scroobius Pip, why not check them out on their very busy schedule:

1 Apr 2008 20:00 UK Tour - The Hub Exeter
2 Apr 2008 20:00 UK Tour -Thekla Bristol
3 Apr 2008 20:00 UK Tour - CuRioSiTy @ Mr Kyps Poole
5 Apr 2008 20:00 UK Tour - Plinstone Hall Letchworth
6 Apr 2008 20:00 UK Tour - South St. Arts Centre Reading
7 Apr 2008 20:00 UK Tour - The Academy Oxford
8 Apr 2008 20:00 UK Tour - Soundhaus Northampton
10 Apr 2008 20:00 UK Tour - New Slang Kingston, London
12 Apr 2008 20:00 UK Tour - Wedgewood Rooms Portsmouth
13 Apr 2008 20:00 UK Tour - Chinnery’s Southend-on-Sea
14 Apr 2008 20:00 UK Tour - Koko London
15 Apr 2008 20:00 UK Tour - C2 Brighton
17 Apr 2008 20:00 UK Tour - Fuzz Club Sheffield
18 Apr 2008 20:00 UK Tour - The Junction York
19 Apr 2008 20:00 UK Tour - Cockpit Leeds
20 Apr 2008 20:00 UK Tour - Sugar Mill Stoke
21 Apr 2008 20:00 UK Tour - Club Academy Manchester
23 Apr 2008 20:00 UK Tour - King Tut’s Glasgow
25 Apr 2008 20:00 Coachella!!!!!!!! Indio, CA
28 Apr 2008 20:00 NEW SINGLE "LOOK FOR THE WOMAN" COMES OUT!!! ALL OVER THE UK!!
28 Apr 2008 20:00 supporting RZA @ Indig02!!! The 02 Dome, London
29 Apr 2008 20:00 UK Tour - Barfly Cardiff
30 Apr 2008 20:00 UK Tour - 12 Bar Swindon
1 May 2008 20:00 UK Tour - Academy 2 Liverpool
2 May 2008 20:00 UK Tour - Academy 3 Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
3 May 2008 20:00 UK Tour - Academy 2 Birmingham
4 May 2008 20:00 The Limelight Belfast
6 May 2008 20:00 The Nerve Centre Derry
12 May 2008 20:00 THE LONG AWAITED LE SAC VS PIP DEBUT ALBUM COMES OUT!!ALL OVER THE UK!!
24 May 2008 20:00 Gatecrasher!! Turwestern Aerodrome, Whittlebury Hall
11 Jun 2008 20:00 BEACHBREAK LIVE North Cornwall
21 Jun 2008 20:00 Word on the Street Norden Farm Centre, Maidenhead
5 Jul 2008 20:00 Wild in the Country Knebworth
1 Aug 2008 20:00 Standon Calling Hertfordshire
2 Aug 2008 20:00 Kendal Calling Kendal
16 Aug 2008 20:00 PUKKELPOP FESTIVAL Belgium

Competition Winners Malakai on Lily Allen & Friends


Bristolians Malakai won the vote to play on The Lily Allen and Friends show last night. If you'd like to watch it, try this link (it's right at the end of the show).

If you want to hear more of their music, try their myspace page

Chalky

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

"Go Back To Bed America, Your Government Is In Control Again"

There are some great mixes coming out of BBC Radio 1 and 6 right now and I would like to draw your attention to one in particular. A mini mix from the Utah Saints.

If you're as old as me (I'd have been 14 and probably listening to this on the school bus back in 1991) then you might remember this:

Utah Saints-What Can You Do For Me




So my quiz for you all you music lovers out there is as follows:

Listen to the following mini mix by the Utah Saints and let me know who you can hear being mixed. I'll give you a clue, there are 81 different songs!








Looking forward to hearing your responses.

Chalky

Pen Carrying We Are Scientists Record Signing And BBC Session This Week


If you are a fan of the Brooklyn based We Are Scientists, this week is THE week for you! They are in the UK out and about promoting their new second album Brain Thrust Mastery (released yesterday).
Check out a freshly recorded session on BBC Radio 1's Colin Murray's show this week, you can hear it here. As part of that session, you can watch We Are Scientists play an incredible version of After Hours, recorded in a session at Maida Vale with a string quartet from the BBC Orchestra.

If all this wasn't enough, We Are Scientists are also doing a record signing at HMV on Oxford Street in London on Thursday 20th March at 6pm.

And according to their myspace page:

Furthermore we want to make this promise to people who aren’t able to make it to one of our patented in-store signing events: if you purchase BRAIN THRUST MASTERY and see one or all of us on the street, and have your copy with you, we’ll sign it, then and there, no questions asked. We begin carrying pens TODAY.

Track Listing for Brain Thrust Mastery:
  • 1. Ghouls
  • 2. Let's See It
  • 3. After Hours
  • 4. Lethal Enforcer
  • 5. Impatience
  • 6. Tonight
  • 7. Spoken For
  • 8. Altered Beast
  • 9. Chick Lit
  • 10. Dinosaurs
  • 11. That's What Counts
Here are some reviews of the new album:

Stereogum
MusicOMH
Independent

And their current Tour Dates:

18 Mar 2008 20:30 Kolor Bar @ The Old Bull Preston
19 Mar 2008 18:00 Azuza Cafe Marlborough, Southwest
20 Mar 2008 18:00 HMV Oxford Circus INSTORE London, London and South East
24 Mar 2008 20:00 Cologne Gloria Cologne
25 Mar 2008 20:00 Hamburg Ubel & Gefahrlich Hamburg
26 Mar 2008 20:00 Dresden Beatpol Dresden
27 Mar 2008 20:00 Fribourg Fri-son Fribourg
29 Mar 2008 20:00 Munich Elserhalle Munich
30 Mar 2008 20:00 Mousonturm Frankfurt
1 Apr 2008 20:00 Rotterdam Rotown Rotterdam
2 Apr 2008 20:00 Groningen Vera Groningen
3 Apr 2008 20:00 Utrecht Tivoli De Helling Utrecht
7 Apr 2008 20:00 Dublin Ambassador Dublin, Dublin
8 Apr 2008 20:00 Galway Roisin Dubh Galway, Galway
9 Apr 2008 20:00 Belfast Mandela Hall Belfast
10 Apr 2008 20:00 Derry Nerve Centre Derry
12 Apr 2008 20:00 Glasgow Barrowlands Glasgow, Scotland
13 Apr 2008 20:00 Aberdeen Music Hall Aberdeen, Scotland
14 Apr 2008 20:00 Newcastle Northumbria University Newcastle
15 Apr 2008 20:00 Manchester University Manchester
17 Apr 2008 20:00 Sheffield Octagon Sheffield
18 Apr 2008 20:00 Birmingham Academy Birmingham
19 Apr 2008 20:00 Nottingham Rock City Nottingham
20 Apr 2008 20:00 Norwich U.E.A Norwich
22 Apr 2008 20:00 Southampton Guildhall Southampton
23 Apr 2008 20:00 Bristol Academy Bristol
24 Apr 2008 20:00 London Shepherds Bush Empire London
25 Apr 2008 20:00 London Shepherds Bush Empire London
29 Apr 2008 20:00 Heidelberg Karlstor Bahnof Hedelberg
5 May 2008 20:00 Conne Island Leipzig
6 May 2008 20:00 Postbahnhof Berlin, Berlin
8 May 2008 20:00 Rohre Stuttgart

Win Tickets To See Radiohead At The BEEB!!!

BBC 6 Music has 65 pairs of tickets to give away to see Radiohead's exclusive matinee performance at the BBC's Radio Theatre in London on Tuesday 1st April.

If you would like to enter the draw to attend this one off gig, please submit your details using the form at the bottom of this page.

RADIOHEAD AT THE BBC will also provide unprecedented access to one of Britain's most innovative bands with interviews and interactive coverage before and during this exclusive show for the BBC.

You'll be able to hear tracks from the band's matinee performance during Steve Lamacq's show on April 1st.

This giveaway ends at the end of Steve Lamacq's show on Friday. Tickets are free and will be allocated at random.

You can apply for a maximum of one pair of tickets per household, and you must make your own way to and from the event.


Source: BBC 6 Music

Monday, 17 March 2008

Weebles Wobble But They Don't Fall Down - Lemon Jelly In The Mix

Today I am blogging about Lemon Jelly -Cookiemouse this is strictly organic and meat free Lemon Jelly of the highest grade variety and freshness (well 1999 actually). Check out this Six Archive Mix from BBC 6 Music Mix, I think it's great!

If this doesn't satisfy that Monday itch, try this:











Speaking of BBC 6 mixes, Morcheeba's Paul Godfrey span a super-chilled-out Headline Mix for 6 music on Saturday. Click here to listen.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

SXSW Music Showcase And Why I'm Not There

While the world of music bloggers has converged on Texas for the South By SouthWest Festival in Austin (SXSW), I sit alone in a London cafe wondering why I'm not there. I suppose there is a simple answer, I didn't get a ticket because I couldn't justify the cost of a flight (from London) and accommodation. For the moment, you're going to have live the festival through the BBC 6 Music SXSW Blog. To make it more authentic, try buying Tex Mex style Old El Paso Fajitas kits at your local shop -don't forget the extra spicy salsa and get some lime wedges for your bottled beer.

If you are there, here's a link to a load of free parties and general what's going on, who's playing etc. hope you're having a great time, maybe I'll make it next year!

Once the footage and info starts being posted, I'll sift through and try to bring you some of the highlights.

If any of you music bloggers out there want me to give you a shout on this blog with your updates, please feel free.



Malakai Needs Your Support!!


A few posts back yonder, I mentioned a band who I think are absolutely spot on the money. Their name is Malakai, a two piece band from Bristol and I strongly recommend you check their myspace profile out especially Simple Song just to show you what they're already capable of. The Story of Malakai is another of my favorites. They have an unique sound with almost every track owning a different style, a definite 90's Bristol undertone with a 60's pop/rock/folk feel mixed in.

The thing is, these guys need to be heard and I can't for the life of me figure out why they are not already massive. This week Malakai just so happen to be up for THE VOTE on Lily Allen and Friends Show and well, you know what I'm going to say next-why not VOTE and help put see them on the TV?

I have noticed some recent movement on their website and with this potential TV outing something tells me Malakai have more songs and goodies on the way for us to enjoy this Summer and I for one can't wait. Keep an eye out in April for new material.

Also catch them on March 27th 2008 20:00 at Louisianna, Bristol, UK.

Morcheeba Headline Mix on 6 Music


Tune in to BBC 6 Music from 21.00 to 23.00, this coming Saturday 15th March, to hear Paul Godfrey's eclectic 6 Mix of some of his favourite tracks, and listen to Paul talk about the music. For those of you not able to tune in, the mix will be available to listen to for the following 7 days on the 6Music iPlayer:

http:/www.bbc.co.uk/6music/shows/6mix/

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Kraftwerk @ Coachella 2008

Thanks to BrooklynVegan for bringing to my attention Kraftwerk are playing Coachella 2008.

Here are a few more tour dates:

Sat 4/19 Minneapolis, MN @ Myth
Sun 4/20 Milwaukee, WI @ Eagles Ballroom
Wed 4/23 Denver, CO @ The Fillmore Auditorium
Sat 4/26 Coachella, CA @ Coachella Music Festival

Kraftwerk - Radioactivity
(Think I might have been in the audience )



5 Top Tips on How To Become An Electro legend From Gary Numan

5 top tips on how to be an electro legend from Gary Numan during his recent visit to BBC Radio 6 -6 Mix:





Here is a summary of the 5 tips:

Tip 1: Look the part -be visually interesting.
Tip2: Believe in what you're doing and try to have the courage to stick with it and see it through -don't adapt and adjust your music because Record Companies ask you to.
Tip 3: Know your equipment, know how to get the sound you're after and THEN let the producers in to polish it off and help you.
Tip 4: Be able to play live -this is where you can make some money.
Tip 5: Look after your fans. On the way down, they are the only thing between you and oblivion!

Are you a budding Electro Legend? What do you think of these tips? Do you have any more to add?

Source: BBC Radio 6 -6 Mix

London's Astoria To Close -Cheers Ken!

"Astoria can't be saved" these are the words of Ken Livingstone (The Mayor of London).

According to the BBC Radio 6 website : "London's Mayor Ken Livingstone today says the most important thing in London is to try and sustain the city's live music venues.

It comes after The Spitz and Hammersmith Palais both closed, and he's now developing 'a live music strategy' to protect venues in the capital.

Details of his plans were published today in a report that examined the future of small and medium sized venues but sadly he says it's too late for music institution, The Astoria:

"There are some instances where that just physically isn't possible. The construction of Crossrail means that The Astoria can't be saved."

This won't be welcome news for the 35,000 names on a petition to save the London gig arena, but it will be replaced:

"Where you're demolishing one, you've got to replace it with something better."
London Mayor Ken Livingstone on The Astoria

"We're basically putting in a vast train station but the developers that have actually drawn up the scheme for the area are replacing it with a larger live music venue."

He says he's not totally insensitive to people's protests however:

"I understand the historics behind it, but it wasn't at the cutting edge of modern comfort and so, my broad view is where you're demolishing one, you've got to replace it with something better."

(Photo: http://www.kenlivingstone.org/kenlivingstone.html)

Personally, I don't really want a larger venue to replace The Astoria, I'm happy with a 2000 capacity venue, it means I might actually be able to see the stage and afford to get in. I really hope no more live music venues are shut down, London is definitely worse off for these closures since there is nothing much replacing these venues once they're gone. Good old property prices, it's just so much easier to sell your property to Starbucks or Gap or whatever else chain of command the 2012 Olympic visitors might enjoy and make a quick buck in the process. Cheer Ken!

What's been your favourite Astoria gig? What are your thoughts on the closure? Please leave a comment.

Bands have been giving their reactions to the planned closure.

Here's a little Astoria history:

Built as a Crosse & Blackwell Pickle factory, The Astoria has played a varied role in the London’s West End since its conception. The venue’s first foray into the entertainment industry was as a kind of variety centre, where scantily-clad women would sell cigarettes and strip for The Astoria’s male clientele. When it became apparent that more money could be made from providing amusement for both men and women the site was turned into a music hall.

Mean Fiddler acquired the lease for the London Astoria in May 2000, 'securing the future of live music at one of London’s most famous rock ‘n’ roll venues.' It has since been the primary choice for well-established bands' intimate club gigs in London. Big names to have played the Astoria include Arctic Monkeys, Muse, Blur, Biffy Clyro, Radiohead, Chris Cornell, Foo Fighters, Franz Ferdinand, Hard-Fi, InMe, Kaiser Chiefs, Killing Joke, The Libertines, Max├»mo Park, Megadeth, Jarvis Cocker, Martin Gore, Porcupine Tree, Amy Winehouse, Green Day, Rage Against the Machine and System of a Down. The Astoria also hosted the final gig by Manic Street Preachers, before Richey Edwards' disappearance.


Source: Wikipedia

Latest on Beth Orton Acoustic US Dates

Here's the latest information on the Beth Orton mini acoustic US tour:


Monday March 24th 7:30 pm Fort Mason Center, Pier 2, San Francisco, California
Not too much info on this right now - I'd suggest calling this number if you want to know more:
(415) 345-7575

Friday March 28th 7:30pm Los Angeles @ the El Rey
5515 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90036
Phone: (323) 936-6400
All Ages
Tickets on sale 3/15 (this Sat) at 10 am

Sunday March 30th Brooklyn @ the Music Hall of Williamsburg
66 N. 6TH ST. (B/W WYTHE & KENT), Brooklyn, New York
Phone (718–486–5400)
18 +
Tickets on sale today 3/12 at 12 noon

Cost: $25


Monday March 31st 7:30pm NYC @ The Hiro Ballroom
363 West 16th street, NYC, New York 10011
18 +
Tickets on sale wed 3/12 at 12 noon (Today)
Cost : $25 ADV / $30 DAY OF

Beth Orton - She Cries Your Name




Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Leonard Cohen Announces World Tour Dates


So here we go, a day after Leonard Cohen is inducted into the US Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, the miracle worth waiting for, Leonard Cohen World tour dates:

Note: New cities in Canada will be added later this week. So stay tuned for more!

Tour schedule (more concerts to be announced)
06-Jun-08 Toronto - Sony Centre For The Performing Arts
07-Jun-08 Toronto - Sony Centre For The Performing Arts
14-Jun-08 Dublin, Ireland - IMMA
15-Jun-08 Dublin, Ireland - IMMA
17-Jun-08 Manchester, UK - Opera House
18-Jun-08 Manchester, UK - Opera House
19-Jun-08 Manchester, UK - Opera House
20-Jun-08 Manchester, UK - Opera House
23-Jun-08 Montreal - Montreal Jazz Festival / Place des Arts
24-Jun-08 Montreal - Montreal Jazz Festival / Place des Arts
25-Jun-08 Montreal - Montreal Jazz Festival / Place des Arts
29-Jun-08 Glastonbury, UK - Glastonbury Festival
01-Jul-08 Oslo, Norway - Aliset Stadium
03-Jul-08 Helsingborg, Sweden - Open Air
05-Jul-08 Copenhagen, Denmark - Rosenborg Castle
06-Jul-08 Arhuus, Denmark - Raadhus Parken
08-Jul-08 Montreux, Switzerland - Montreux Jazz Festival
09-Jul-08 Lyon, France - Festival
10-Jul-08 Bruges, Belgium - Cactus
12-Jul-08 Amsterdam, Holland - Westerdam
16-Jul-08 Edinburgh, UK - Castle
17-Jul-08 London, UK - The 02 Arena
19-Jul-08 Lisbon, Portugal - Passeio Maritimo
20-Jul-08 Bennicasim, Spain - Festival
22-Jul-08 Nice, France - Jazz Festival
25-Jul-08 Lorrach, Germany - Stimmen De Welt
27-Jul-08 Lucca, Italy - Summer Festival
29-Jul-08 Athens, Greece - Lykabettus Theatre

Ticket details will be announced shortly- Keep a look out on March 13th!

(The tour continues in August in Europe. More venues will be posted later)

ADVANCE BOOKING STARTS WITH THESE:

Toronto, ON, Canada
Dates: Friday June 6 and Saturday June 7
(Showtimes 8:00 pm, both nights)
Venue: Sony Centre for the Performing Arts
Ticket prices in Canadian dollars:
250.00$ + taxes and service charges
175.00$ + taxes and service charges
125.00$ + taxes and service charges
95.00$ + taxes and service charges
75.00$ + taxes and service charges

LC Files & LC Forum pre-sale: Thursday, March 13, 10 am to Friday March 14, 10 pm EST
Limit of tickets per order: 2
Password: To be announced at The Leonard Cohen Files and on the Leonard Cohen Forum one hour before the pre-sale begins
Public on-sale: Saturday, March 15 at 11 am EST
Where to get tickets: Tickets available at http://www.ticketmaster.ca/artist/733217, charge by phone (416) 872-2262 and at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts Box Office

Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Montreal Jazz Festival:
Monday June 23, Tuesday June 24. Thursday June 25
Showtime 7:30 pm (all nights)

Venue: Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier of Place des Arts
Ticket prices in Canadian dollars:
224.50$ + taxes and service charges = 259.30$
149.50$ + taxes and service charges = 174.65$
129.50$ + taxes and service charges = 152.10$
99.50$ + taxes and service charges = 118.20$

LC Files & LC Forum pre-sale: Tuesday, March 11, 9 am to Thursday March 13, 10 am EST
Limit of tickets per order: 2
Password: To be announced at The Leonard Cohen Files and the Leonard Cohen Forum one hour before the pre-sale begins
Public on-sale: Thursday, March 13 at 12 noon EST


Matthew Dear- ASA BREED Black Edition

I've uploaded some tracks from my album of the week Matthew Dear - ASA BREED Black Edition to stream from Imeem for you to hear just how good it sounds:




Yeasayer @ The ICA London - Photos and Review

Last night we saw the Brooklyn based band Yeasayer playing at London's ICA. A sold out night in this cozy venue still meant being able to get up close to the band. In fact so close that I think my husband and I actually stole Yeasayer's seats when they were having photos taken! I haven't been to a gig at the ICA before and I was pleasantly surprised by the relaxed atmosphere, on the other hand the bar-owww! £8.90 for two drinks is not a good deal.




(Photo: Yeasayer lying on the floor outside the toilets of the ICA having their photo and their seats taken)


The evening was kicked off by supporting band Ipso Facto whose myspace page describes their music as melodramatic popular song/Psychedelic. Their bob cut hairstyles and fixed sullen look was a little dated and on first impressions didn't really inspire me but I did enjoy a few of their songs towards the end of their set, they seemed well rehearsed and all in all they gave a decent performance.

(Photo: Ipso Facto London ICA March 10th)



One thirty minute break later, enter Yeasayer on this their second sell out night at the ICA. If you don't know anything about Yeasayer, they describe themselves as "Enya with balls" which on times I'd have to agree with. I could go into a long winding spiel about who they might sound like but I'd say it's probably better if you just have a look at their myspace page and listen to a few of their songs and make your own mind up.
(Photo: Yeasayer's frontman Chris Keating @ The ICA, London March 10th)

The evening progressed with songs from their All Hour Cymbals album played with a huge amount of enthusiasm as they put all their energy into what I thought was a good performance. I say good not great on purpose because I've heard what these guys can do with melodies and how tight they are as a band right now (Check out the Take Away Videos) and I honestly felt that the sound engineering let them down last night. Sometimes I couldn't understand a word they were singing and I found it hard to make out the sounds and harmonies (which they do so well) so it just started to sound like you were getting half of a song. Saying that, it was still a very good night, highlights included the brilliantly executed 2080 and the instant crowd pleaser Sunrise.


I'm pleased to have finally got to see Yeasayer play. All Hour Cymbals is a refreshingly smart debut album and they have a good vibe which I'm hoping will take them far.

If you want to catch Yeasayer in London, they're back on May 12th playing at ULU. Here are some other dates:

11 Mar 2008 20:00 Melkweg Amsterdam
12 Mar 2008 22:00 La Zona Rosa Austin, Texas
13 Mar 2008 20:00 WE ARE FREE jam at Emo’s Lounge IV Austin, Texas
14 Mar 2008 16:00 Pitchfork Party at Emo’s Big Stage Austin, Texas
15 Mar 2008 18:00 Mess w/ Texas party at Waterloo Park Austin, Texas
10 May 2008 20:00 ATP vs Pitchfork at Camber Sands Camber Sands
12 May 2008 20:00 ULU London, London and South East
13 May 2008 20:00 Whelans Dublin
14 May 2008 20:00 Speakeasy Belfast, Northern Ireland
15 May 2008 20:00 Great Escape/ Uncut Brighton
16 May 2008 20:00 Great Escape/ Club NME Brighton

(Photo: Yeasayer March 10th ICA, London)

Yeasayer have also been in The Hub on BBC Radio 6. For the full show try here

Monday, 10 March 2008

Take Away Yeasayer Style


I can't wait to see Yeasayer play at the London ICA tonight. If I can remember to take my camera AND not to lose it somewhere on the way home, I'll put up some photos of the gig here tomorrow.

If you're still wondering who Yeasayer are, try out this Take Away video uploaded by Blogotheque yesterday.



and one of my favourite songs 2080




Album Of The Month -Matthew Dear - ASA Breed Black Edition

The release of Asa Breed Black Edition from Matthew Dear makes me very excited! Listeners will be able to re-discover one of 2007's most unique releases re-packaged to include remixes and re-envisionings from Four Tet and Hot Chip, with whom Dear will be touring the UK in February.
This album is the ultimate in head phone pleasure! Thanks to Nic from (a dog barks) for the tip off.



Here's a little taster of the Hot Chip re-mix Don and Sherri:









ASA Breed Black Edition:

1. Fleece on Brain
2. Neighborhoods
3. Deserter
4. Shy
5. Elementary Lover feat. Mobius Band
6. Don and Sherri
7. Will Gravity Win Tonight?
8. Pom Pom
9. Death to Feelers
10. Give Me More
11. Midnight Lovers
12. Good to Be Alive
13. Vine to Vine
14. Deserter (Four Tet Remix)
15. Don and Sherri (Hot Chip Version)
16. You Know What I Would Do (“Deserter” EP Exclusive)
17. Down On You (Digital Version Exclusive)
Extra: Don and Sherri (Video)

ASA Breed Black Edition is already available in the UK and Europe and will be released in the US tomorrow (March 11th). If you'd like to hear a few more songs before you buy this album, I'm uploading some tracks to Imeem-I'll pop back later and post a link.



http://matthewdear.com
http://ghostly.com
http://theghostlystore.com

Duffy Beats Nick Cave To The UK Number One Album Spot

Well here she is, Duffy at number one in the UK singles chart and now number one in the UK album chart with her newly released debut album Rockferry. Incidentally, may I point out that Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds also released a new album in the UK Dig, Lazarus Dig!!! on the same date last week (March 3rd).

To understand why Duffy is doing so well, I'd recommend chilling out on the sofa with a nice cup of hot choc and relaxing to this voice:







I think Duffy must also win the prize for most interesting tour date diary this year, have a look at this for a line up:

10 Mar 2008 20:00 Komedia - SOLD OUT Brighton
11 Mar 2008 20:00 Glee Club - SOLD OUT Birmingham, Midlands
17 Mar 2008 20:00 Hiro - SOLD OUT New York
18 Mar 2008 20:00 Mod Club Toronto
10 Apr 2008 20:00 Teenage Cancer Trust Benefit Show, Royal Albert Hall - SOLD OUT London, London and South East
25 May 2008 20:00 Great Hall - SOLD OUT Cardiff
26 May 2008 20:00 Evolution Festival Newcastle
27 May 2008 20:00 Leadmill - SOLD OUT Sheffield
29 May 2008 20:00 Ritz - SOLD OUT Manchester
30 May 2008 20:00 Venue Cymru - SOLD OUT Llandudno
31 May 2008 20:00 Wychwood Festival Cheltenham
2 Jun 2008 20:00 ABC - SOLD OUT Glasgow
3 Jun 2008 20:00 Wulfrun - SOLD OUT Wolverhampton
4 Jun 2008 20:00 Shepherds Bush Empire - SOLD OUT London
25 Jun 2008 15:00 Accelerator Festival Stockholm
26 Jun 2008 12:00 Hove Festival Arendal, Norway
4 Jul 2008 15:00 Rock Werchter 2008 Leuven
6 Jul 2008 16:00 Wakestock Festival Abersoch, Wales
16 Aug 2008 12:00 V Festival, Hylands Park Chelmsford
17 Aug 2008 20:00 V Festival, Weston Park Staffordshire

And the All Points West Festival in Jersey City's Liberty State Park between Aug 8-10th

I wonder when the next time Duffy will play in Llandudno will be, if ever? Believe me, not many bands/singers of this calibre play in Llandudno ever! Nice to see her play Abersoch as well, I'm sure a visit to a the beach only 15 miles down the road from her old home town of Nefyn will be well needed come July 6th.

Just to stir things up a little and get an idea of whether my readers are more Duffy or Nick Cave orientated, vote for who you prefer in my poll (it's in the right hand column near the top of the page). And if for some reason you don't like voting, try leaving a comment.

Hard-Fi HMV Staines Record Signing Today

Good afternoon wherever you are.

If you do happen to have the misfortune of being in Staines (UK) later on today, Hard-Fi are doing a record signing of their new single 'I Shall Overcome' in HMV at 5pm. As you may already know, Hard-Fi are a Staines home grown band gawd bless em. Here's some Hard-Fi driving around said Staines area with their more than decent single Tied Up Too Tight:





Hard Fi - I Shall Overcome


Track Listing:

1. I Shall Overcome
2. Empty Streets
3. Pain In My Heart


Release Date: March 10th 2008

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Beth Orton Announces Special Solo Acoustic Performances in the US

Beth Orton has just announced dates for a small string of special solo acoustic performances in the US.

If you happen to stumble across tickets for any of these concerts, grab them and hold onto them and do not under any circumstances consider selling them on ebay!

Beth announced the following tour dates on her myspace page yesterday:

"we are excited to announce a series of special solo acoustic dates coming this month! ... tickets will be on sale shortly, we wanted to give you advance notice.

Monday March 24th San Francisco at The Cowell Theatre Friday March 28th Los Angeles at the El Rey
Sunday March 30th Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Music Hall

Monday March 31st NYC at the Hiro Ballroom
"

I have enjoyed many Beth Orton concerts, one in particular stands out- The Garage in London circa 1999/2000 where Travis were the support act. The acoustic sections of Beth's show are I believe to be the best part. She is just great at captivating you with her fragile, harrowing vocals, they draw you in and make you listen. I had one of those reality check moments once standing in the crowd at the Brixton Academy in London with hundreds of people standing around me slurping pint after pint of lager out of plastic cups and standing still in a King Of The Hill sort of way (a few swaying) while Beth poured her heart out singing in a truly convincing heart felt way. Everyone seemed captivated and stood still and slurped now and again. Sometimes I guess music really moves us, that's why I'm typing right?

If you live near any of those gig locations, go and buy a ticket, seriously.








Monday, 3 March 2008

No posts no cry!

As some of you might have already read, I'm not getting many opportunities to blog right now and this is going to get worse over the next few days when I have no access to the internet at all -yep there are still internet free locations out there! Once my father is back on his feet, I'll be back down to it but for now I'll leave you with this classic Squeeze song I heard on the radio the other day -Is That Love? which links nicely into this story about someone getting dumped on wikipedia -terrible stuff!





So here are Chalky's recommendations for the next few days:

If you're an American Radiohead fan, keep an eye on their website for tour dates.

Head not screwed on this morning, can't think of anything else to tell you.

Catch up in a few days time, hope to see you then.

A very tired Chalky

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Los Campesinos On St David's Day

Today (March 1st) is St David's day (the patron Saint of Wales) and what better a way to celebrate than slipping on a little of the fantastic Cardiff based Los Campesinos with the track Death To Los Campesinos!:





Incidentally, they have just announced dates for their North American tour.

My time to blog is very limited right now because I'm caring for my Dad who is very ill so I'm going to re-direct you to a review of their album Hold on Now, Youngster...
and here is a link to their myspace page where you can hear a few of their songs. Definately worth checking out. Enjoy and have a great day!

 
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