Friday, 27 June 2008

"Red Hot Shuriken"

I’ve been fishing through my old record collection again today and look at the gem I found: a Red Hot Chili Peppers shaped picture disc for the single ‘Knock Me Down’.

Photo #1: Red Hot Chili Peppers

Knock Me Down Picture Disc

From the 1989 album Mother’s Milk, Knock Me Down depicts negativity towards the stereotypically self-centred lifestyle of your typical rock star. The band's opposition is displayed through their lyrics:

"If you see me getting mighty

If you see me getting high

Knock me down

I'm not bigger than life."

The lyrics are written in reference to the saying, "high and mighty."


Photo #2: Red Hot Chili Peppers Picture

Knock Me Down Picture Disc

My 12” version contains the following tracks:

Knock Me Down

Punk Rock Classic

Pretty Little Ditty


Photo #3: Red Hot Chili Peppers Picture

Knock Me Down Picture Disc

I not only love the shape of this record, I also love the way Punk Rock Classic ends with the guitar solo from Guns N Roses’ Sweet Child O Mine. I used to have fun messing around with the speeds of the record player on that part, amazingly, the record isn’t scratched.

Random Fact: The song is included in the music rhythm game Guitar Hero: On Tour for the Nintendo DS.

Here is the energetic video for Knock Me Down:







Other Useful RHCP Links:

MySpace Link

Website Link


[Source: Wikipedia]

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Chalky's Choice: Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes

Entering the UK album chart at number 11 this week, new comers Fleet Foxes are giving a “whatsup wave” to the industry biggies just ahead of them such as Coldplay, Duffy, Neil Diamond, Paul Weller and The Fratelis. This is all the more impressive when you notice that L.A. rockers Weezer charted at only number 21 this week with their new album. Either Fleet Foxes are being majorly hyped (not really - just the same old Duffy and Lil Wayne posters everywhere in London), they've been given a load of great reviews to encourage something new and different into the music world or they are actually pretty good.

I have to admit on the first listen their sound didn't really grab me and I have read of similar reactions time and time again in reviews. Additionally, at 39 mins and 11 secs long, blink and you’ll miss this album.

The lyrics to the first track 'Sun It Rises' set the tone for the rest of the album with a country, blues, folk and gospel sound not unlike a song you'd expect to find on the ‘O Brother Where art Thou’ soundtrack.


Lyrics from ‘Sun It Rises’:

Red squirrel in the morning,

Red squirrel in the evening,

Red squirrel in the morning, I'm coming to take you home.

The sun rises, over my head.

In the morning, when the

Hold me dear, into the night.

Sun it will rise soon in the

The sun rising, dangling there

Golden and fair, in the sky.”


After many listens, I can confirm this album is definitely a grower. Their infectious sweet harmonies, compared in many reviews to The Beach Boys and Crosby Stills and Nash, are the main draw for me. Great finger picking, acoustic guitar rhythms mix it up with mandolins, flutes, dulcimers and kotos in addition to the requisite keyboards and pianos all form part of an unique, organic sound that is Fleet Foxes. The use of echo on the vocals creates a feeling of presence which then lends itself to blending back nicely into the harmonies. On times, I can even hear a slight similarity in sound to Chris Martins (Coldplay) vocals.


Album Highlights:

White Winter Hymnal

Sun It Rises

Tiger Mountain Peasant Song


Album Lowlights:

Heard Them Stirring

Who Are Fleet Foxes?

I’ll let them give their own introduction:

We're a group of five from
Seattle that sing for the fun of it and are into all kinds of music. We'd call this stuff baroque harmonic pop jams. Our names are Skye, Robin, Joshua, Casey, and Christian. We'll make some mistakes along the way but we hope you enjoy our little family business.”

Family business it might be, but small? Not any more. Fleet Foxes are taking the music world by storm and may find themselves in a position to give even Coldplay a run for their money for the top album slot over the coming week with the release of their self titled debut album. It was given 4.5 stars by Rolling Stone, and on June 6, 2008, they received 9 out of 10 in a review by Pitchfork.

Fleet Foxes are great standard bearers for folk music and you would be mad to miss them play live this summer if you at all get the opportunity.

Black Cab Sessions

Front man Robin Pecknold gives a breathtaking performance of Crayon Angels, (once performed by Judee Sill) while being driven around the back streets of Holborn in London.



Where Are They Playing This Summer?

26 Jun 2008 20:00 BOTTOM OF THE HILL *SOLD OUT!** SAN FRAN, CA

27 Jun 2008 20:00 THE CASBAH SAN DIEGO, CA

28 Jun 2008 20:00 THE ECHO LOS ANGELES, CA

29 Jun 2008 20:00 SPACELAND LOS ANGELES, CA

30 Jun 2008 20:00 SOLAR CULTURE TUCSON, AZ

2 Jul 2008 20:00 THE MOHAWK AUSTIN, TEX

3 Jul 2008 20:00 THE LOFT DALLAS, TEX

5 Jul 2008 20:00 DRUNKEN UNICORN HOTLANTA, GA

6 Jul 2008 20:00 LOCAL 506 CHAPEL HILL, NC

7 Jul 2008 20:00 BLACK CAT WASHINGTON DC

8 Jul 2008 20:00 FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH PHILADELPHIA, PA

9 Jul 2008 20:00 BOWERY BALLROOM * SOLD OUT * LIBERTY CITY

10 Jul 2008 20:00 UNION HALL * SOLD OUT * BOHAN, LIBERTY CITY

12 Jul 2008 20:00 PUP SOB 200th Anniversary Marymoor Park, Washington

14 Jul 2008 20:00 MIDDLE EAST UPSTAIRS BOSTON, MA

15 Jul 2008 20:00 LE DIVAN ORANGE MONTREAL, QC

16 Jul 2008 20:00 THE PHOENIX w/ MALKMUS TORONTO

17 Jul 2008 20:00 CHICAGO THING. CHICAGO, IL

18 Jul 2008 20:00 TERRACE - UNIVERSITY THING. MADISON, WI

19 Jul 2008 20:00 PITCHPORK FUSIC MESTIVAL CHICAGO, IL

20 Jul 2008 20:00 7TH STREET ENTRY *SOLD OUT!* MINNEAPOLIS, MI

22 Jul 2008 20:00 HI DIVE DENVER, COLORADO

23 Jul 2008 20:00 KILBY COURT SLC

25 Jul 2008 20:00 THE DOUGLAS FIR PORTLAND, OREGON

26 Jul 2008 20:00 CAPITOL HILL BLOCK PARTY & HIBERNATION Xachua’bsh, Washington

7 Aug 2008 20:00 HALDERN POP FEST REES-HALDERN, GERMANY

8 Aug 2008 20:00 OYA FESTIVAL - HOMELAND BECKONS OSLO, NORWAY, Oslo

9 Aug 2008 20:00 WAY OUT WEST FEST! CONFIDENTIAL TO DUNGEN - PUT OUT A NEW RECORD ALREADY GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN

10 Aug 2008 20:00 BEATDAY OH-EIGHT COPENHAGEN, DENMARK

18 Aug 2008 20:00 RED BUTTE GARDEN W/ WILCO SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH

20 Aug 2008 20:00 EAGLE KNOLL WINERY w/ WILCO BOISE, ID

21 Aug 2008 20:00 INB ARTS CENTER W/ WILCO !!! SPOKANE, WA

23 Aug 2008 20:00 LES SCHWAB AMPHITHEATER W / WILCO BEND, OREGON

21 Sep 2008 20:00 TREASURE ISLAND FEST SAN FRAN, CA

Useful Links:

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/fleetfoxes

SubPop: http://www.subpop.com/artists/fleet_foxes

LastFM: http://www.last.fm/music/Fleet+Foxes

Fleet Foxes On Imeem:

White Winter Hymnal (from the new album)




White Winter Hymnal - Fleet Foxes

Monday, 23 June 2008

Malakai @ The Royal Festival Hall, London 21st June 08 (Massive Attack’s Meltdown Festival)

I’ve had my eye on Malakai for a couple of months now. They have been flirting with becoming a bit of a name with a Portishead endorsement and an appearance on Lily Allen and Friends back in March of this year.

Their free show at the Royal Festival Hall – a post-concert concert scheduled to follow the George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic show – started very late, meaning we almost had to miss it and catch the last train home but thankfully it kicked off by 11:15pm.

Commencing with an energetic instrumental piece, the band (guitarist, bassist, drummer and DJ) ploughed into a pounding rhythm and were joined shortly afterwards on stage by masked* lead singer Gee. Throughout the set Malakai’s performance was very tight and musically very impressive. The vocals did sound a little quiet, this is probably the only point I would pull them up on.


Photo #1: Malakai

Trying to compare them to other bands is proving difficult (that’s a compliment). I’d say they are pop verging on rock with a twist of psychedelia and plenty of energy. There’s an underlying current to some of their songs, a sort of dub, soul sound that I think reveals their Bristolian roots. Saying that, on times there’s also a western film style appeal to the guitar playing on songs like ‘The Battle’ – not sure that’s from Bristol?! In fact that track in particular reminds me of Gnarls Barkley. Malakai seem to be able to turn their hand to many different musical styles and this is what makes pin pointing their sound so difficult.

Photo #2: Malakai

Here’s a link to their video of The Battle on YouTube for you to make up your own mind.






Malakai - The Battle

I was a little disappointed they didn’t play their by far the best track I’ve heard them create so far, the chilled out ‘Simple Song’ but maybe it didn’t fit into the kind of energetic set they wanted to play.

Photo #3: Malakai

The concert ended quite abruptly, after perhaps 7 or 8 songs, and it became obvious a few seconds after the end there would be no encore. This was great timing for us because we would have had to have left then anyway to catch that last train home and there’s nothing worse than leaving a good gig before it’s finished.

So what’s next Malakai? New album? New single? Hope so.

These Bristolians are without doubt a very good live band (one of the best I’ve heard in while) and I would recommend going to their gigs if you’re not afraid of masks.

More Malakai Information:

MySpace

Website

Wikipedia

Here are their latest tour dates:

27 Jun 2008 22:00 Louisianna Bristol

28 Jun 2008 20:00 Glastonbury Festival - (silent world) Glastonbury

29 Jun 2008 20:00 Glastonbury Festival - (lounge tent) Glastonbury

31 Jul 2008 20:00 yoyo! @ notting hill arts club London and South East

2 Aug 2008 21:00 Severnside Festival - LIVE Bristol


* Due to a phobia of masks (this also applies to masks not being worn by people) I had hoped he might have dropped this disguise (surely it gets very sweaty performing with plastic stuck to your face?) but sadly not this time. I spotted a group of breakdancers near the stage who also seemed to be getting into the songs; this also provided me with a reason to not be looking at the lead singers mask.



Photo #4: " I like Malakai so much I feel the need to go down the stairs backwards on my bum" (err not really, that's actually two people break dancing)


I also got to stand and watch people walking through the colourful sculpture called Volume at the Southbank centre. Meltdown curators Massive Attack invited United Visual Artists to exhibit as part of Meltdown. Volume is an award winning sculpture consisting of a luminous array of light and sound emitting columns on Riverside Terrace. Here are some of my photos:


Photo #5: Volume


Photo #6: Volume

Photo #7: Volume


Saturday, 21 June 2008

Saturday Round Up And A TLS Award

Welcome to the longest day of the year. Yes, today (June 21st) is the Summer solstice, and even though the sun is almost certainly not going to shine down on London today, some 30,000 people celebrated as dawn broke at Stonehenge in Wiltshire.

This week I rummaged through my old record collection and found a long lost very pink vinyl copy of Man or Astroman? ‘Your Weight On The Moon’ and asked the question, do you think they should make a comeback?





New release of the week - We Smoke Fags – ‘Eastenders’

We Smoke Fags describe their style of music as ‘Electro Skunk Rock’ and list their influences as The Specials, ‘Blue Peter bring and buy sales’ and ‘The Countdown Theme’.




The fantastic Black Cab Sessions added the Fleet Foxes to their catalogue of performances, with front man Robin Pecknold delivering a breathtaking performance of Crayon Angels, (once performed by Judee Sill) while being driven around the back streets of Holborn in London.


Artists I've Been Listening To This Week: Malakai, My Morning Jacket, Joan As Police Woman, Fleet Foxes, The Makepeace Brothers.


In The News:

Bidding for the ranch, located just outside of Nashville, starts at $1.4 million. The package deal includes the country legend's gold record for 'I Walk The Line', guitars and family photos of Johnny and his wife June Carter Cash.


If you’re a fan of Radiohead or old computer technology you might be interested in the response James Houston (a Glasgow School of Art graduate) created to the online contest Radiohead held to remix “nude” from their album “In Rainbows”. James states on his website “It doesn't sound great, as it's not supposed to.” Well it does take over a minute to get interesting musically, but check out this video to see just how talented this guy is. If I were Radiohead, I would have him working on my next video and possibly song!

To see the video, click here.

And finally: Terrible Love Songs has been rated as ‘Excellent’ by Blogged.com scoring 9.1 out of 10. They tell me 'This is quite an achievement! I was happily surprised to be ranked above the Guardian Arts & Entertainment blog (take that big media :-P).

To see my page ranking, click here.


Have a great weekend,

Chalky




Friday, 20 June 2008

Fleet Foxes At The Black Cab Sessions

Who Are Fleet Foxes?

I’ll let them give their own introduction:

We're a group of five from Seattle that sing for the fun of it and are into all kinds of music. We'd call this stuff baroque harmonic pop jams. Our names are Skye, Robin, Joshua, Casey, and Christian. We'll make some mistakes along the way but we hope you enjoy our little family business.”

Family business it might be, but small? Not any more. Fleet Foxes are taking the music world by storm and may find themselves in a position to give even Coldplay a run for their money for the top album slot over the coming week with the release of their self titled debut album. It was given 4.5 stars by Rolling Stone, and compared to the likes of the Beach Boys, Animal Collective, and Crosby, Stills & Nash. On June 6, 2008, they received 9 out of 10 in a review by Pitchfork.


What Do They Sound Like?


They describe their music as “baroque pop, music from fantasy movies, Motown, block harmonies, hymns, a couple moments approaching shaggy rock stuff, but mostly rather tempered and restrained. Not much of a rock band.”

I had the good fortune to first listen to Fleet Foxes while sitting in the bath by candlelight. If you have heard their album you might understand why I think this was fortunate. Their songs are full of warm harmonies, soothing finger picked melodies and delicate lyrics for example here is White Winter Hymnal:


I was following the pack

all swallowed in their coats

with scarves of red tied ’round their throats

to keep their little heads

from fallin’ in the snow

And I turned ’round and there you go

And, Michael, you would fall

and turn the white snow red as strawberries

in the summertime


I will write a full album review next week.

Black Cab Sessions

Front man Robin Pecknold gives a breathtaking performance of Crayon Angels, (once performed by Judee Sill) while being driven around the back streets of Holborn in London.






White Winter Hymnal (from the new album)




White Winter Hymnal - Fleet Foxes



Tiger Mountain Peasant Song (from the new album)

Tiger Mountain Peasant Song - Fleet Foxes



Where Are They Playing This Summer?

26 Jun 2008 20:00 BOTTOM OF THE HILL *SOLD OUT!** SAN FRAN, CA

27 Jun 2008 20:00 THE CASBAH SAN DIEGO, CA

28 Jun 2008 20:00 THE ECHO LOS ANGELES, CA

29 Jun 2008 20:00 SPACELAND LOS ANGELES, CA

30 Jun 2008 20:00 SOLAR CULTURE TUCSON, AZ

2 Jul 2008 20:00 THE MOHAWK AUSTIN, TEX

3 Jul 2008 20:00 THE LOFT DALLAS, TEX

5 Jul 2008 20:00 DRUNKEN UNICORN HOTLANTA, GA

6 Jul 2008 20:00 LOCAL 506 CHAPEL HILL, NC

7 Jul 2008 20:00 BLACK CAT WASHINGTON DC

8 Jul 2008 20:00 FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH PHILADELPHIA, PA

9 Jul 2008 20:00 BOWERY BALLROOM * SOLD OUT * LIBERTY CITY

10 Jul 2008 20:00 UNION HALL * SOLD OUT * BOHAN, LIBERTY CITY

12 Jul 2008 20:00 PUP SOB 200th Anniversary Marymoor Park, Washington

14 Jul 2008 20:00 MIDDLE EAST UPSTAIRS BOSTON, MA

15 Jul 2008 20:00 LE DIVAN ORANGE MONTREAL, QC

16 Jul 2008 20:00 THE PHOENIX w/ MALKMUS TORONTO

17 Jul 2008 20:00 CHICAGO THING. CHICAGO, IL

18 Jul 2008 20:00 TERRACE - UNIVERSITY THING. MADISON, WI

19 Jul 2008 20:00 PITCHPORK FUSIC MESTIVAL CHICAGO, IL

20 Jul 2008 20:00 7TH STREET ENTRY *SOLD OUT!* MINNEAPOLIS, MI

22 Jul 2008 20:00 HI DIVE DENVER, COLORADO

23 Jul 2008 20:00 KILBY COURT SLC

25 Jul 2008 20:00 THE DOUGLAS FIR PORTLAND, OREGON

26 Jul 2008 20:00 CAPITOL HILL BLOCK PARTY & HIBERNATION Xachua’bsh, Washington

7 Aug 2008 20:00 HALDERN POP FEST REES-HALDERN, GERMANY

8 Aug 2008 20:00 OYA FESTIVAL - HOMELAND BECKONS OSLO, NORWAY, Oslo

9 Aug 2008 20:00 WAY OUT WEST FEST! CONFIDENTIAL TO DUNGEN - PUT OUT A NEW RECORD ALREADY GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN

10 Aug 2008 20:00 BEATDAY OH-EIGHT COPENHAGEN, DENMARK

18 Aug 2008 20:00 RED BUTTE GARDEN W/ WILCO SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH

20 Aug 2008 20:00 EAGLE KNOLL WINERY w/ WILCO BOISE, ID

21 Aug 2008 20:00 INB ARTS CENTER W/ WILCO !!! SPOKANE, WA

23 Aug 2008 20:00 LES SCHWAB AMPHITHEATER W / WILCO BEND, OREGON

21 Sep 2008 20:00 TREASURE ISLAND FEST SAN FRAN, CA

Useful Links:

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/fleetfoxes

SubPop: http://www.subpop.com/artists/fleet_foxes

LastFM: http://www.last.fm/music/Fleet+Foxes


[Source: Wikipedia, MySpace, Black Cab Sessions]

I have added White Winter Hymnal along with loads of my other favourite tracks to the Imeem player at the bottom of this page.


Wednesday, 18 June 2008

We Smoke Fags New Single

Well, there are few big releases this week into the world of music:

Coldplay – Viva la Vida

Weezer – Weezer

Beck – Modern Guilt

…but, I’m assuming these albums will be reviewed to death by the journo world (phew! I am so linked out), so I’m going to focus on a new single release by a not so well known band called We Smoke Fags.

We Smoke Fags – Eastenders (Single)





Eastenders - We Smoke Fags


We Smoke Fags describe their style of music as ‘Electro Skunk Rock’ and list their influences as The Specials, ‘Blue Peter bring and buy sales’ and ‘The Countdown Theme’.

The We Smoke Fags lineup is:

  • Joey - Vocals / Guitars / programming
  • Leeroi - Bass / Vocals
  • Harry - Guitars / Vocals

…and yes they all do smoke fags (that’s cigarettes if you’re American).

Joey seems to have started the band as a MySpace project. He had uploaded a series of garage band demos and flippantly called them We Smoke Fags. Shortly after he found himself as a featured artist on MySpace, getting 50,000 plays a day. At this point it occurred to him that he may be onto something so he approached Lee and Harry who he’d met working behind the bar at Nambucca, on Holloway Road, about forming a band. After a few shows at Nambucca the band got offered a slot touring with Does it Offend You Yeah?

I think the vocals are very similar to These New Puritans but the sound is punk/pop with a poppin’ dance beat offered by their trusted drum machine. I really enjoy the mix, with the guitars buzzing some life into the regularity of the drum machine and slightly understated, very British vocals.’

If you’d like to get your hands on a copy, these sites are a good place to start:

http://www.puregroove.co.uk/itemview.aspx?item=129

http://www.roughtrade.com/site/the_racks.lasso?letter=W&page=2


P.S. They say their single has nothing to do with the popular BBC1 TV show, ‘Eastenders’.


MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/wesmokefags

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

What's In Your Record Collection? Here's What I Found In Mine...

Like a child kicking and screaming on their way to the nursery, desperate to stay at home those few extra minutes, I’ve spent the past 12 years removing my possessions from my parents house a few at a time, drawing out the experience as long as possible (there’s no space in our tiny London flat). Or maybe I’m attempting to maintain the illusion that, like a university student, I have two homes! Anyhow, occasionally the rooting through the boxes of my things laying in my parents garage can unearth the odd treasure from my adolescence that I had long forgotten about. On my most recent trip home I raided my old record collection and saw colours and shapes (unfortunately no sound due to not currently owning a record player) I hadn’t seen for a good 15 years.

What Did I Find?

I found an EP called Your Weight On The Moon by a band called Man or Astroman? (That’s actually their name, I’m not confused as to the whether they’re called Man or called Astroman, I promise.)

I think I bought this album during a shopping trip to London when I was about 17. I don’t think I had heard of them at the time but thought the record looked cool, still does.



Man or Astroman? - Your Weight On The Moon EP (1994)


BRIGHT PINK VINYL!!
(You can see my matching pink slipper in the corner of the photo)

Who Are/Were Man or Astroman?

Hailing from Auburn Alabama, Man or Astro-Man? blended the early 60s surf rock with the new wave and punk rock sounds of the late 70s and early 80s. Man or Astro-Man? were known for their dedication to science fiction themes, audio samples, obscure electronic devices (such as theremins and tesla coils), and high-energy live performances.

The core members were Star Crunch (a.k.a. Brian Causey) on guitar and sometimes vocals, Birdstuff (Brian Teasley) on drums, and Coco the Electronic Monkey Wizard (Robert DelBueno) on bass and electronics.

Are They Still Around?

Kind of. Although they haven’t released a record since 2001, they got together for a re-union for the Touch and Go 25th Anniversary Celebration in Chicago, IL, in September 2006. They do have a website and a MySpace site but neither of these seem to have been updated much since 2006.

What Do They Sound Like?

I was so pleased to find some of their songs on Imeem. Here’s ‘Destination Venus’ from their EP ‘Your Weight On The Moon’ (1994).


Destination Venus.wma -


I think Man or Astroman? should make a come back, what do you think?

General Info

Man or Astroman? was one of the most prolific bands of the 1990's, recording 10 albums between 1993 and 2000 (including the tour-only release A Spectrum of Finite Scale), as well as two CD EPs, and a plethora of singles and contributions to various artists’ compilation albums.

Man or Astro-Man? has played in 28 countries and 49 states (everywhere except Delaware). Man or Astro-Man? has played and toured with: The Cramps, Yo La Tengo, They Might Be Giants, Pavement, Sebadoh, The Archers of Loaf, Spiritualized, Cheap Trick, Cat Power, Six Finger Satellite, Polvo, Black Heart Procession, The Rock*a*Teens, The Poster Children, Trans Am, Guided By Voices, Dick Dale, Ween, Grandmothers of Invention, Superchunk, Sleater Kinney, Mudhoney, Brainiac, Zen Guerilla, Come, Dinosaur Jr., June of 44, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, The Qudrajets, Guitar Wolf, Butthole Surfers, Link Wray, Stereolab, Blonde Redhead, Enon, New Bomb Turks, The Delta 72, Cash Money, Silkworm, Shannonwright, Uzeda, Shipping News, Dianogah, and Rocket From the Crypt. Over the years, members of Man or Astro-Man? have lent a hand and toured in or recorded with: The Archers of Loaf, Crooked Fingers, Azure Ray, Mono Men, Watts, The Japancakes, Toenut, Tyro, Vue, O.R.I., The Subsonics, The Causey Way, Servotron, Shannonwright, Humans, and The Polyphonic Spree.

Man or Astro-Man? has also done countless bits of film and soundtrack work including a slew of work for Nickelodeon and The Cartoon Network, notably including music for Space Ghost Coast to Coast and The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron. Members of Man or Astro-Man? have started record labels, Warm Electronic Recordings; recording studios, Zero Return; bio-diesel fuel centers, vegenergy.com; and have written for numerous publications including Chunklet, CMJ Monthly, and The Melody Maker.

For More Information:

http://www.myspace.com/manorastroman

www.astroman.com


[Source: Wikipedia]


While we're on the subject of record collections, have you dug through yours lately? Any interesting finds?


Monday, 16 June 2008

'The Saturday Round Up' On Monday

I’ve been on the road a lot over the past week and this poor old blog has suffered as a result. This is not to say I haven’t been collating information and forming musical thoughts while I drive, but getting to a computer has proved difficult. So here’s the Saturday summary on Monday, just a couple of days later than planned.

For those of you who follow this blog, you might know that Room Thirteen published my article about Jacob Golden as their feature ‘Artist of The Week’. If you haven’t already visited their website, I recommend doing so. I have also been putting plans in motion for some more ‘Acoustic House Gigs’ so watch this space.










The formidable ‘Chalky Choice of the Week’ award went to Dengue Fever with their superb Cambodian pop/ psychedelic rock album, ‘Venus On Earth’.

In other news:

  • George Michael said his days of touring big venues are now over (thank God) but of course he's doing a couple more shows before he reaches this landmark.
  • Encouraging reviews started circulating about the soon to be released film about Welsh poet Dylan Thomas called ‘The Edge of Love’. The soundtrack to the film includes performances by Siouxsie and Beth Rowley. Siouxsie stated she performs one song for the soundtrack and that Keira Knightley sings on three tracks. Yes, here is the link if you are interested in hearing Keira singing –husbando?


Artists I've been listening to: Dengue Fever, Fleet Foxes, The Cool Kids, 3:10 To Yuma Soundtrack, The Challenge of Feral Green, Aesop Rock, Caribou, The Dodos, The Felice Brothers.

Incidentally The Dodos performance (April 23rd 2008) from Amoeba is now available on Amoeba along with a free download courtesy of the label. Click here for the link.
Thanks to Rameen @ Amoeba Records for bringing this to my attention.

I also now have a link to my videos on YouTube here.

Much love,

Chalky

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Chalky's Choice: Dengue Fever – 'Venus On Earth'

'Venus On Earth' is the latest album from the LA based band Dengue Fever. They combine Cambodian pop music with psychedelic rock and the outcome is refreshingly good. Far from severe headaches and joint pains, Dengue Fever infects you with funky baselines, fuzzy keyboards and some really great songs. With keyboards occasionally reminiscent of a sound you could hear at a fairground and Bollywoodesque vocals they certainly know how to smoothly combine an eclectic blend of inspirations. 'Venus On Earth' offers a mix of songs sung in English and Khmer which makes this album a truly unique addition to my CD collection (how any Cambodian CD's do you own?!). I recommend listening to my favorite track 'Sober Driver' to get a feel for their sound.


Sober Driver - Dengue Fever



Who Are Dengue Fever?

Dengue Fever was formed in 2001 by Ethan Holtzman and his brother Zac after Ethan was inspired by a trip to Cambodia. Lead singer Chhom Nimol was discovered performing at a night club in the Little Phnom Penh area of Long Beach as Ethan and Zac searched for a vocalist to sing in Khmer. Zac performs vocals and guitar, while Ethan plays the organ. Rounding out the band are bassist Senon Williams (who also plays in Radar Bros), drummer Paul Smith, and David Ralicke on brass.

Many of their songs are covers of 1960s Cambodian rock tunes by such artists as Sinn Sisamouth and Ros Sereysothea, but some are originals, first written in English by the Holtzmans before being translated to Khmer. Their second album, Escape from Dragon House, was released in 2005, and contained more original songs.








Dengue Fever: Sober Driver

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/denguefevermusic

There are plenty of chances to catch them live this Summer, here are some dates:

14 Jun 2008 20:00 Juneteenth Celebration @ M.L.K Park Long Beach, California

20 Jun 2008 20:00 Site Santa Fe Sante Fe, New Mexico

21 Jun 2008 16:00 89.9 KCRW Make Music Pasadena Pasadena, California

24 Jun 2008 20:00 Hovefestivalen Lillesand

27 Jun 2008 20:00 Hove Festival Arendal

28 Jun 2008 20:00 Respect Music Festival Prague

29 Jun 2008 20:00 Glastonbury Festival, Q Magazine Stage Somerset, England

3 Jul 2008 20:00 Roskilde Festival Roskilde

5 Jul 2008 20:00 Summer Stage in Central Park New York, New York

6 Jul 2008 20:00 Black Cat Washington, DC, Washington DC

7 Jul 2008 20:00 Johnny Brenda’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

8 Jul 2008 20:00 Iron Horse Northampton, Massachusetts

9 Jul 2008 20:00 Museum of Fine Arts, Calderwood Courtyard Boston, Massachusetts

11 Jul 2008 20:00 Empty Bottle Chicago, Illinois

12 Jul 2008 20:00 La Fete de Marquette at Central Park Madison, Wisconsin

18 Jul 2008 20:00 Larmertree Festival Salisbury, England

19 Jul 2008 20:00 Lovebox London Weekender London, England

23 Jul 2008 20:00 Jazz Cafe London

26 Jul 2008 20:00 WOMAD Festival, Charleton Park Wiltshire, England

27 Jul 2008 20:00 WOMAD Festival, Charleton Park Wiltshire, England

6 Aug 2008 20:00 Oya Festival Oslo

8 Aug 2008 20:00 Way Out West Goteborg

9 Aug 2008 20:00 Summer Sundae Weekender Leicester, England

14 Aug 2008 20:00 Viana Do Castelo Int. Music Festival Viana Do Castelo

16 Aug 2008 20:00 Beautiful Days Devon, England

21 Aug 2008 20:00 Festival Musicas Do mar Povoa do Varzim, Portugal

29 Aug 2008 20:00 Festival Musicas Do mar Povoa do Varzim

30 Aug 2008 20:00 Festival de Beschaving Utrecht, Holland, Utrecht


Source:
[Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dengue_Fever_(band)]
 
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