Friday, November 28, 2008

The Friday Thing: Bittersweet Symphony by Coldplay and Richard Ashcroft

I first saw this performance watching Live 8 awhile back. I didn't know who Richard Ashcroft was at the time, but I thought it was really cool of Coldplay and him to do this song. It's definately a collaboration that doesn't happen too often. I hope you enjoy!

Bittersweet Symphony

Sunday, November 23, 2008

JIM-Jamie Lidell

Jamie Lidell
Status-Out as of 2008
Rating-4 Feathers

Known by his live performances for being an extremely active one-man band/beatbox, for his smooth soulful voice, and his work with Beck, Jamie Lidell is one interesting person. Taking a detour from his previous electronica-inspired ‘Multiply’, ‘Jim’ heavily represents his soul-side. ‘Another Day’ wakes you up with a pure positive aura. Even if you aren’t into soul, this song can’t help but make you smile. The simple bright piano and patterned clapping capture your ear by making your mood strongly increase. The song screams ‘This is the first day of the rest of my life!’. ‘Wait For Me’ is also very optimistic, but more soul oriented. The lyrics are a little over-repetitive, but you can appreciate that it’s a good song. ‘Out of My System’ is very 70’s, making it different from the last two. Maybe he just had to get it out of his system. ‘All I Wanna Do’ is basically the midway break most albums have. Though very slow, his voice builds to gain a large amount of passion keeping the song alive. ‘A Little Bit of Feel Good’ is my personal favorite. The lively tone and the use of horns during the chorus compliment the vocals with perfection. ‘Figured Me Out’ nicely balances his electronic and soul abilities, but that doesn’t mean it’s good. The keyboard is downright fruity and pretty irritating. ‘Hurricane’ is like an electronic version of ‘Old Brown Shoe’ by The Beatles. The experimental-ness is very likeable, especially how he still keeps the structure intact. ‘Green Light’ is another slow song, but this time it sounds like the eighties. It’s very bee-gees and too soft-disco for my liking. ‘Where d’You Go?’ has the basic feel of the first two songs, so if it were more original it’d better. Some high-points are where he goes ‘This is why I cry’ which is awkwardly very entertaining. ‘Rope of Sad’ ends the album with a very dreamy/spacy rope of sad, what ever that is. It’s very nicely arranged, but it’s more melancholy than you’d expect the album to end. Overall, this album was surprisingly good. Taking a huge risk by changing your music drastically can end one’s career, but if anything in this case, it shows he’s got talent for how successful it was. Even if you’re not into soul, like me, you understand that this album is marvelous and that it’s very easy to like.
“I’m proud of the songs because they show me as the person I am. Jim, the guy that makes optimistic music, the songsmith, I just really needed to get that out of my system.”-Jamie Lidell

Video for Another Day

Jamie Lidell's Official Website
Note: I know I've been not keeping up with my reviews and I promised reviews last week, but I didn't so I apologize. This is a very short review: I tried to make it short and too the point therefore making it a quicker read. I hope you enjoy and I'll get atleast another review out this week!

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Friday Thing: Won't Get Fooled Again by John Entwistle

Yeah, I know it's by The Who, but this performance is strictly John. Known to me as the world's best bass player, this performance shows it best. This was an extra on the Kid's Are Alright DVD. Though just a bass line, you don't get bored watching him. Pure excellence, really.

Won't Get Fooled Again (Isolated Bass)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

YOU ARE HERE-Thenewno2

You Are Here-
Status-Out as of 2008
Label-HOT Records
Rating-3.5 Feathers

Julian Lennon, Sean Lennon, Zak Starkey: These are just some of the few children of Beatles who’ve made a name for themselves, despite their famous fathers. What could make George Harrison’s son, Dhani Harrison, any different? Well, actually, a lot. He and drummer/friend Oliver Hecks released their first EP entitled ‘EP001’ through their website and iTunes back in 2006. Though not on a major record label, Thenewno2 have major talent. Their debut ‘You Are Here’ is sure to interest you. ‘So Vain’ is not all too great, but it does stand out. It’s little bizarre, a bit too weird for my taste, and it doesn’t seem like they can decide between tempos hence making it a mess. ‘Another John Doe’ is a better representation of their sound. Dhani shows very high vocal quality, as seen in how his voice becomes another instrument. It’s a nicely paced song and just experimental enough to keep your ear. ‘Back To You’ starts out with random sound bytes taken from radio and mish mashed together making it a very effectual opening. The rest of the song is pretty good, but the quasi-chorus is a mess. ‘Give You Love’ is a nice simple song, with a nice melody. Oli’s abnormal drumbeat goes very nicely against the dreamy keyboard and about half way, the filter really gives it a nice kick. ‘Bluesy’ is flat out uninteresting. The heavily processed-faint guitar doesn’t really serve much purpose and the electric drums just sound stupid. The vocals aren’t exactly great either. Watching water slowly evaporate from a boiling pot of water is more captivating. ‘Yomp’ pulls you out of that vapor-watching trance just by the first note. It’s very retro and jazzy with a Thenewno2 flair. ‘Hiding Out’ is very strange. The quiet falsetto voice Dhani’s using sounds very, very creepy. It’s like he’s ‘hiding out’ under your bed ready to getcha! Though probably not it’s intended purpose, they’ve managed to once again make an over processed, overly dull song. ‘Crazy Tuesday’: How a song like this is on the same album as the last song is beyond me. The starting combination of a guitar, cello, and ukulele is brilliant. In this they’ve reached a perfection with the electronica in a sense of the not too hot, not too cold. The structure and soothing instrument combo really helps you rest easy from the last song. ‘Idle Lover’ is not that bad, it’s just a little too mellow. It would have been helpful by this point in the album if it were a little heavier. The only thing that really saves it the ending bit. ‘Shelter’ is also a bit too much on the mellow side, but generally it’s well composed and tad more lively. ‘Wind Up Dead’ at first sounds like a Thenewno2 collaboration with Beck, but it quickly turns into a very EP001 sound. The drum beat helps give it that kick you were searching for creating a nice ending. Overall, this album has been what I’d expect them to be on a grander scale as opposed to a four song EP. What makes this different from any other Beatle-kid band is that they sound absolutely nothing like their father. Dhani and Oli managed to distance the band pretty far from George’s style of music and what the world would expect of him. Though there are a few sleepers, this album was a pretty good representation of their musical ability. George would’ve been proud.
"It’s very hard to take a step in any direction musically without referencing something The Beatles have done." -Dhani Harrison

Video for Another John Doe

Recommendations: Another John Doe, Yomp, Crazy Tuesday
Thenewno2's Official Website
Note: This album cannot be bought in stores, it's only on iTunes which I think's a little silly. Yeah, I know i've not posted a review since last week, so I'll try to get out two more this week. Also, being that the picture is indeed not mine, I'll take it down if it has to be. Comments are much appreciated, and I hope you've enjoyed this review!

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Friday Thing: Cheap and Cheerful by The Kills

I saw this performance while watching the same episode of Later as the one with Vampire Weekend. I'd never heard of The Kills before I saw this and I don't know why I liked it. Possibly just the heavy industrial sound was something i'd not heard before and it's weirdly catchy. I hope you enjoy!

Cheap and Cheerful

Friday, November 7, 2008


The Rhumb Line-
Ra Ra Riot
Status-Out as of 2008
Rating-4 Feathers

After the release of their Ra Ra Riot EP, Ra Ra Riot toured the U.S., on their own, which in my opinion, is pretty good. June of last year however, saw the death of drummer/lyricist John Pike. Shortly after, the band decided to continue on and later that year they got signed. In August of this year, they released their first album, ‘The Rhumb Line’. Though describing their sound as ‘A frothing cauldron of gruel’, this album is anything but. ‘Ghost Under Rocks’ pounds of the record with a pulsing bassline. It’s the perfect way to start it because it’s unbelievably epic, similar to that of ‘The Map of the Probelmatique’ by Muse, but it’s got a subtle hint of desperation too. This song really haunts me, especially the lines ‘here you are you are breathing life into ghosts under rocks like notes found in pocket’. The sheer power of this song certainly doesn’t dwarf the integrity of ‘Each Year’. It’s has a fast paced, yet mellow sound that keeps your attention. The strings really compliment the guitar giving it a classic indie feel. ‘St. Peter’s Day Festival’ is a nice slow paced rest from the last two. The vocals give the song life, but the obscure drum/string arrangements force you to listen that much closer. ‘Winter ‘05’ is really soothing. It reminds you of nice times: A soft winter day, a snow covered field, etc. The muffled drums, strings, and slight jingle bells are pure genius. It’s like a softer, subdued ‘M79’ by Vampire Weekend. ‘Dying is Fine’ kicks in like a pile of bricks. It’s nice bubbly feel gives the album a little kick. Even though half way through it goes into a melancholy string piece, the general aura is that of joy, but slight despair. The lines ‘You know that dying is fine but maybe, I wouldn’t like death if death were good, not even if death were good’ are also very haunting. ‘Can You Tell’ is a sappy love song, set to an indie beat. It’s not too noticeable, but it’s overall not hard on the ears. ‘Too Too Too Fast’ is quite the annoying one. The synths are absurdly irritating. All the weird electronica vocal and keyboard things they do are very terribly irksome. The song is only mildly saved when the sound of the strings take over what the synths were doing, but the song is just extremely tedious to listen to. ‘La Oh’ is alright; generally a little tired. My attention waned about a minute in, but atleast Alexandra and Rebecca really have the whole cello/violin thing down. ‘Suspended In Gaffa’ is a nice change to the last two. When he goes into the falsetto range, it’s very comical. Though I don’t know what Kate Bush’s version is like, you can still get the feeling that this is a very sound cover. I can imagine them conquerring an old-english loch area and I can see them afterwards parading through the streets in medieval garb playing this song. ‘Run My Mouth’ ceases the album a little disappointingly. It’s a bland type of sound, not too mellow, not too firey. It’s not really that bang you hope they’d go out with being that the introduction to the album was so powerful. They kinda save it by climaxing at the end, but it wasn’t really effective. The album was a very nice debut. The first couple of songs were very appealing, but as the album went on, it got a little worn out. The general sound is that of winter: there’s not really another proper way to describe it. Seeing as what the band went through and that they’ve managed to create their own sound while having actual band members playing the string section, they’re destined to have a strong career ahead of them.
"Mathieu and Allie both deferred their studies on their own accord. I'm pretty sure they were both waiting for the slightest excuse to leave school...and when things with the band started to pick up a little bit, they were happy to re-direct their attention."-Milo Bonacci

Video for Ghost Under Rocks

Recommendations: Ghost Under Rocks, Winter '05, Dying is Fine
Ra Ra Riot's Official Website
Note: Hey, I told you I was gonna post this, and I did! I plan to keep with this schedule of 2 reviews and a Friday Thing once a week, atleast. Expect Thenewno2, Oasis, Darker My Love, and the like sooner or later. Thank you for reading and thank you for your comments.

The Friday Thing: Memories by The Last Shadow Puppets

This'll be one of the very few performances I'll post where I was actually present to see this exact performance. The Last Shadow Puppets did a couple of covers at the concert, one of them included this song, by Leonard Cohen. This performance was awe-striking and I was basically standing in that general vicinity too. I hope you enjoy!


Monday, November 3, 2008


The Rascals
Status-Out as of 2008
Rating-2 Feathers

After the demise of The Little Flames, drummer Greg Mighall, bassist Joe Edwards, and guitarist Miles Kane created their own project, The Rascals. Hailing from the Wirral Peninsula, they created their debut Rascalize, the highly anticipated release after The Little Flames breakup. The Little Flames were known for their immensely catchy tunes and almost innovative style: Something bad must’ve happened along the way. Leading off with the title track ‘Rascalize’, words can’t properly describe what’s wrong with it. It’s lacking a proper structure, and generally, it’s a little dumb. With warnings of ‘All aboard the adventure!’, you been alerted that maybe this isn’t a journey you really want embark on. ‘Out Of Dreams’ gives you a semi-false sense of hope because it’s a very good song. It’s my favourite Rascals song, and definitely one of their better ones. When you first hear it, you think it’s a little repetitive, but give another go and it gets a whole lot better. ‘Bond Girl’ is alright. The instrument part is very nice, but the vocals don’t fit at all. They sound like he’s trying to sing ‘Wild Thing’ with different words whereas the rest of the band is doing something completely different. ‘The Glorified Collector’ sounds like a 60’s psychedelic pop tune gone a bit too trippy that ‘started with years full of drugs’. ‘Fear Invicted Into The Perfect Stranger’ is a lot better than the last two. It fits better with the flow. To give a frame of reference, it sounds heavily influenced by The Coral’s Magic and Medicine, which in my book, is a very good thing. ‘Does Your Husband Know That You’re On The Run?’ sounds a bit like ‘Out of Dreams’(s) alter ego as seen through ‘the hopes and the dreams and the rest will follow’ and in its darker sound. If they slowed it down a second or so, it’d be perfect and if they got rid of 50% of those really annoying guitar-odysseys, the song would be significantly better. ‘I’d Be Lying To You’ sounds like a deranged underground 60’s pop tune. So far, it’s one of the very few songs with real potential, a set structure, and proper hooks. It’s quite catchy, I must say. Another song that’s just as noticeable is ‘Freakbeat Phantom’. It’s a got a more mellow pace, that still moves, and it’s got just the right amount of hooks to make it stick out in a very good way. They’re musicianship is much more clear, as seen through Greg Mighall’s absolutely brilliant drumming. ‘People Watching’ starts out very promising, but quickly turns into a bad jam session with random drum-rolling and a guitar that doesn’t stay in one place. The lyrics aren’t exactly too genius either, with uninspiring social views such as ‘People watching is one of my favourite things to help pass the time’. Great. ‘Stockings to Suit’ starts out headache-y, but gets less wincey after about 30 seconds. The only part really worth mentioning is that Mile’s voice is shockingly melodic. ‘How Do I End This’ is really not that appealing. They managed to limit the overdrawn guitar odysseys, which is a plus, but it’s generally not ear-pleasant. Throughout, it seems like they need a little help figuring out how to end this. I’ve an idea! Switch the song. ‘I’ll Give You Sympathy’ show’s that they’ve truly saved the best for last. Just when you’re about to lose hope, you hear this semi-hopeful bombastic guitar riff that makes your ears perk up. Quickly it turn’s into a real basic, mellow sound that keeps with the basic feel of the rest of the song. If most listeners actually stayed listening at this point, their ears would’ve have received a very nice gift. As one can see, this album was quite the disappointment, to say the least. After hearing the few songs they offer as videos, you are deeply mislead to think that this album is going to be fantastic. They’ve all exhibited great potential to do great work as seen in Greg’s intricate drumming, Joe Edward’s galloping bass-lines, and Miles’s work in The Little Flames and The Last Shadow Puppets. Also, the songs that are good are really good, but the songs that are bad are just a bit too painful. Hopefully with more maturity, and a new sense of what actually goes, their next album will be the album that meets expectations. Until the day and the time, we’ll see them there.
"You know that feeling when you're 14 and you first get into tunes? Well we have that same feeling now. We're just really excited with music.”-Joe Edwards

Video for Out of Dreams

Recommendations: Out of Dreams, I'd Be Lying To You, Freakbeat Phantom, I'll Give You Sympathy
The Rascals Official Website
Note: Just letting you know, in the U.S. you can't go out to the store or iTunes to buy this album. You can only purchase it on the internet here. Similar deal with all Deltasonic bands. Annoying. I know. I hope you enjoy this review, I really wish I wrote a good review on it, but it was disappointing so I really couldn't. Also, I'm skipping the Oasis review for now so expect a Ra Ra Riot review sometime shortly, I promise. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


On Thursday, I went to see The Last Shadow Puppets in New York City, which apparently became sold out during the past week. I got into the city around 5:00 and went to get a bite to eat. At around 6:00 we decided to just go straight to the venue and see if we could get in. When we got there, there were already people waiting in line, but at least we were part of the first third there. After standing, for about an hour and a half, mind you it was 30º, they finally started letting people in. We ran up 14 flights of stairs to the top where the ballroom was. We immediately bought shirts and staked out a place in real close to the front, being that it was general admission standing. After a half an hour of waiting, the time had come: 8:00. After about a half an hour more, we just assumed the opening act, Stephen Fretwell, just forgot to come, but like a ship in the night, he comes on at around 8:35. He introduced himself as ‘Hi, my name is Stephen Fretwell, not The Last Shadow Puppets’. Though very angry that he didn’t come on at the set time (8:00), I can’t say he was bad. His songs were a good combination of pop, indie, and folk. It was just him and his guitar. He had quite a wit about him too as seen when someone yelled ‘I love you!’ he quickly said ‘If I could see you, I might love you too’ and he kept saying we were all ‘very kind’. He did five songs, my personal favorite was his last one ‘Emily’. He was done at around nine and I just assumed the Puppets were only minutes away, but no. All the guitar techs/microphone techs and such came out. For a half an hour, they plucked/spoke/banged around, and quite frankly, they were too picky being that the show was supposed to start an hour and thirty minutes ago. The orchestra were the first to come on. When the house lights finally turned down, the crowd freaked. They began to play the basic theme of the album and Miles Kane and Alex Turner came out. I was awestruck and said to myself ‘Are they really there?’. We were positioned about 5 feet in front of Miles and 15 or so feet from Alex. They were both wearing jeans and a leather jacket, but Miles came on these black, slight-aviator sunglasses. They weren’t exactly hard on the eyes, if you know what I mean. They immediately went into ‘In My Room’ which was very suiting to start. It was so much more powerful than it was on the album that it surprised me. Afterwards they moved into ‘Age of The Understatement’, which was one the best performances I’ve ever seen. The way they worked the crowd fit the mood of the music perfectly. ‘Only the Truth’ was extremely well done. They got the tight opening parts down which helped make it one of their cleanest, yet heaviest performances. ‘Separate and Ever Deadly’ was the most interesting performance. Miles said 'This is Separate and Ever Deadly'. Alex said 'What did you say?' and Miles replied 'I fucking said Separate and Ever Deadly' and everyone clapped and screamed. They nailed the beginning, but right after the slight break in the middle finished, Miles came in a second too early thus making it sound very off. He proceeded to stop the band and say ‘I fucked it up’. He then said that he wanted to redo that bit to get it right but Alex said ‘You really want to enjoy that handsome maverick bit’. It was very funny! It was kind of charming how he decided to explain it to the audience Alex what he had done. I had heard that they were playing ‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy)’ at the gig previous to this one, but I hadn’t expected them to play it here. Miles’s part sounded much more into it than John Lennon ever did. For the encore, their version of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Memories’ was my favorite performance. Miles got so into his part and the way he awkwardly lazed around the stage really made the performance. They closed with, clearly the fan favorite, ‘Standing Next To Me’. In general, the show was everything I expected it to be and more. I never dreamed I’d be standing that close to either of them or that I’d actually be able to hear this live. Though I was standing a few feet next to amp, I still got the idea that the quality of sound was almost recording quality. The only complaints I do have are that more people seemed to be piled on Alex’s side (surprise(I was on Miles’s)), the way they made you wait in the beginning was mildly ridiculous, and the orchestra were a decibel or two too loud. Next time they come around, I strongly suggest seeing them, I know I will!
Set List:
In My Room
Age of the Understatement
Calm Like You
Black Plant
Only The Truth
Gas Dance
Little Red Book
Separate and Ever Deadly
Hang the Cyst
I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
My Mistakes Were Made for You
In The Heat of The Morning
I Don’t Like You Anymore
The Chamber
The Time Has Come Again
The Meeting Place
Standing Next To Me
Note: I got the first picture from here and I got the 2nd picture from here. I hope this review gave a decent review/picture of what I'd seen. I have to get something out: I read 3 reviews of this show and I disagree with all of them. One (male) reviewer said that if you were a women, and you saw Miles make eye contact with you while performing, you would've thought 'What and asshole!' but, I know for a fact that that reviewer doesn't know how a woman's minds works.