Wednesday, 28 July 2010

New Official Caribou Video: Sun

Caribou has released an official video for his awesome track, Sun.

Directed by Simon Owens and produced by Rachel Dargavel, this is the second official video from one of my favourite albums of 2010, 'Swim'

There's lots of dancing of the fun, energetic and slightly surreal variety, all taking place in what could be described as some sort of dance expression class in a hotel conference room.

The first group of dancers are the most surreal arousing my suspicions that maybe they had something 'extra' added to their cups of tea...

Monday, 26 July 2010

Green Finger Music

It has been a little quieter around here, don't think I haven't noticed! The thing is, it's Summer time and I've become mildly obsessed with my garden.  This week I've been inundated with an abundance of courgettes/zucchini's and so I've been trying to find new ways to serve them up before the inevitable onslaught of courgette fatigue.  As I type, I'm surrounded by the strong aroma of lemon zucchini bread baking - I'll let you know how that one turns out.

I haven't stopped listening to music, quite the opposite - gardening is so much more delightful when I put on my huge wireless headphones and stomp around getting covered in earth humming out tunes.

Here's what I've been listening to:

Lower Dens - Twin Hand Movement  
Some of their more echoey surf rock guitar sounds remind me of Man or Astro Man.  There are some really good tracks on this album towards the end, definitely recommend you take a listen.

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Before Today
This album has featured fairly heavily on my play list for the last month.  I especially like Butthouse Blondies and Fright Night, both nicely constructed songs with a twist of humour as the titles might suggest.  Look out for him supporting The Flaming Lips on their up coming tour.

When I have been in front of my computer for longer than a few minutes (it has a hyper reflective screen which makes daylight surfing slightly frustrating), I've been checking out these:

Caribou playing Barnowl at Cat's Cradle - the crowd get excited and make it onto the stage for an all out dance party!  See here.

6 Music's Matt Everitt examines the early years of Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens. Listen here. Witty captions to modern day home catalogue photos.

...and lastly, THAT video about Newport - the Welsh take on Jay Z and Alicia's track about New York called State of Mind. Here's the Welsh version, here's the American version.  Very funny.

Right, my cooker just made a ping sound so I'm off to investigate whether I've concocted anything edible.

See you later!

Monday, 19 July 2010

"It's hard to get by just upon a smile, girl"

Cat Stevens, you wrote some great songs. This is one of them.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Eye EYE! Bella Union showcase & good news for Phosphorescent Fans

Late last week, I tweeted that Phosphorescent had their van and all it's contents i.e. $40,000 worth of every bit of music kit dear to them, stolen overnight in Brooklyn where they had been playing the first night of their US tour. Miraculously, their van and more importantly, it's contents have now been recovered by the police and the tour is back on track. See, people can be good (well kinda)! Here's a photo of the van being recovered.

In other news, Rockfeedback are running a sort of tribute/celebration week for the excellent UK based indie label, Bella Union. They'll be featuring live recordings of artists signed to the label on the TV section of their website all week. Yesterday they posted footage of The Low Anthem, My Latest Novel, Ohbijou and The Acorn playing short sets and being interviewed on the 'London Eye'.  This footage is quite special to me since I was actually in the pods with the bands going round and round and round and round that day (4 times!) -see my review here. I'm so excited to finally see it!  It was also the first time I saw The Low Anthem play which lead me to buying a ticket to see them at The Slaughtered Lamb the next day which ended up without doubt being my favourite live show of 2009 (review here) - they even played The Horizon Is A Beltway the way it was recorded on OMGCD, I've not witnessed it being performed with quite as much gusto since.

Anyway here's the link, I hope you enjoy the video as much as I enjoyed the day!


The Acorn

Monday, 12 July 2010

William Onyeabor - "Better Change Your Mind"

Over the weekend I was introduced to William Onyeabor's addictive blend of Nigerian electronic funk music and now I really HAVE to hear every single song he's ever written. Amazing stuff!  

His music comprises of heavy afro beats and crazy soulful synth sounds from the heady days of a 70's Nigerian funk scene that until Saturday, I never knew existed. Some of the electronic sounds leave you doubting his songs were recorded in the late 70's/early 80's, but they really were and pretty much no one anywhere else in the world was making music like this back then.

From a quick glance around the internet I can see his music has a similar positive effect on a lot of people and finding copies of his recordings is akin to rare stamp collecting- albums sell for hundreds of dollars on ebay.  Maybe it's time for a re-release?

Information about William Onyeabor is equally as rare to track down, Wikipedia had a little:

"William Onyeabor studied cinematography in Russia for many years, returning to Nigeria in the mid-70s to start his own Wilfilms music label and to set up a music and film production studio. He recorded a number of hit songs in Nigeria during the 70s, the biggest of which was “Atomic Bomb” in 1978. William has now been crowned a High Chief in Enugu, where he lives today as a successful businessman working on government contracts and running his own flour mill."

I recommend you listen to these videos and soak up the moralistic teachings of a young William Onyeabor, a guy whose music was so far ahead of itself, we're only just catching up!

William Onyeabor - 'Better Change Your Mind'

William Onyeabor — 'When The Going Is Smooth And Good'

William Onyeabor - 'Good Name'


Saturday, 10 July 2010

Tour De France - Early Kraftwerk Video

It's that time of year where MrChalky continuously offers me Tour De France updates. To celebrate, here's an early Kraftwerk video.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Peanut Butter & Screamin' Jay Hawkins

I've recently developed a penchant for running and peanut butter. It's a bit of a yin/yang situation, I can't remember which came first but I'm hoping they balance each other out.  I've also been doing some volunteer work which I'll tell you more about another time.

In the music world:

BBC 6 Music has been saved from closure, for now.  Read all about it here.  So that day when hundreds of us hung out in the cold rain protesting the closure was all worth it in the end.  Well done!

The late great and totally eccentric Screamin Jay Hawkins has at last had At Last added to Spotify, listen here.  Coulda', Shoulda', Woulda' sends chills down my spine, soo good! I thoroughly adore so much of his music and would have loved to have seen one of his crazy live shows.  If you did, it would be great to hear about it.

Here's some footage of him performing 'I Put A Spell On You' (which he wrote).  Keep an eye on the hand on the piano.

Screamin Jay Hawkins - I Put A Spell On You

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