Thursday, January 27, 2011
Traditionally, Cobra Skulls have always been one of those bands. Doing their own thing, punk-rocking and Red Scaring along. But always flying under the radar. In one ear, out the other, without ever really sinking in. Bringing the War Home, their new five track EP and first Fat Wreck release, finally snared me.
With more punch and presence than their entire back catalogue, opening track "Doomsday Parade" sets the tone. And overall, it sounds like Devin Peralta, Adam Beck and new drummer Luke Ray (Nothington) have squeezed a lot into these five songs. They've worked every angle, cranked up the production, crossed the t's and dotted the lower case j's.
Think what you want about Fat Mike, the dude's got an ear. And his tweaks are undeniable. I can just imagine him in the studio, vetoing a bunch of other songs he didn't deem good enough to make a full album. And I'm sure it sounds like he's in there somewhere on the cover of Bad Religion's "Give You Nothing."
Overall, the sound's a mixture of Dead to Me's Little Brother phase, Bad Religion's baby-smooth melodies and classic, three-piece punk-rock. But at 12 minutes and seven seconds, it's not The Longest EP. Still, fun while it lasts!
Josh Cooley illustrates some of the best movie scenes ever made. And really, it's the scenes he chooses more than the illustrations themselves that makes me want one, framed and hung on the wall. If that's your thing too, check out his online shop.
For me, Lemmy's movie star career spiked when he screamed, "I was editor of the school magazine!" in Airheads, in 1994. Others disagree. Nearly four years in the making, Lemmy: The Movie is a "warts and all" (literally) documentary about the world's most famous speedfreak, featuring candid footage and interviews with everyone from Marky Ramone to Johnny Knoxville.
Lemmy: The Movie is currently being shown at selected cinemas around the US. For more info, check out the official website.
Chazz: Who'd win in a wrestling match, Lemmy or God?
Chris Moore: Lemmy.
[Rex imitates a game show buzzer]
Chris Moore: God?
Rex: Wrong, dickhead. Trick question. Lemmy is God.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Watched a few episodes of Les Simpsons in Paris last weekend. Couldn't believe Marge's voice. Check it out in the Renault ad and clip below. I couldn't find a better example but take my word for it, she sounds exactly like "Oh, GGGHHRRrrene!"
I get to the Hope & Anchor five minutes early. A blonde girl with a locket around her neck's reading a book outside, standing out without even trying. "Alice?" I ask nervously, trying not to sound creepy. "Yes", she replies. We step inside and I order beer. Alice orders nothing. We wait for her American band mate KC in an awkward, 'blind-date' kind of silence. Then, through the window, I see a thin, indie-looking guy ride up on a bicycle. He takes off his hat, chains up his bike and brushes back a floppy, greasy-looking fringe. Definitely. He orders a water. We go upstairs. They finish each other's sentences.
So, what's been the biggest Big Deal moment so far?
KC: Hmm, the biggest Big Deal moment so far...
Alice: My mum bought two copies of the NME when it came out.
What about the Guardian?
Alice: The Guardian article was so early on that we were just... shocked.
How did it happen, right place at the right time?
KC: Yeah. But the guy that wrote it (Michael Hann) wasn’t even there, a good friend of his was. Apparently, this friend goes to a lot of shows and usually hates everything. And he said that we were kind of alright. Which, to him, meant he should check us out.
And what did you think of their description, “Woozy, druggy, sexy pop”?
KC: That sounds nice. We've definitely heard worse.
KC: I don’t wanna talk about it. But yeah, that sounds nice. I’m all for woozy, druggy, sex...
Alice: Ha ha... That sounds so bad.
Click here to read the full interview.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Wolves and the Radio exist in a world drifting by. In a world of late nights, cigarettes and roadtrips nowhere. With friends reeling it in and drowning in their own personal nine-to-fives all around them, Wolves and the Radio are on the road to self-destruction, and going "full throttle."
The music's catchy, Dear Landlord style pop-punk, mostly. Sometimes the sound gets washier, more atmospheric and hard-hitting, like Polar Bear Club and Hot Water music. But as usual, it's the voices that grab you. The heartbroken melodies and honest confessions. The determination to just get out there and escape an "early grave." And alternating vocalists Matt Murphy and Steve Terry sing with clamps on their hearts.
With goosebump-heavy choruses, "Waves" and "Minus One" are instant favourites. The slower acoustic ones, like "Adelaide" and "One Sitting," took a while to grow on me - more cowpoke than stoke. Old fashioned singalongs, really. But the album's edgy, scratchy-throat under-production gives Wolves and the Radio fuel to burn.
"Yesterday I was thinking of running away. Back to the same old job. Back to the same old place. There's comfort in familiarity..."
For fans of bands like You Me and the Atom Bomb, Polar Bear Club, Dear Landlord and Iron Chic.
Remember “Guitar Queer-O,” the Guitar Hero South Park episode from Season 11? Remember when Randy Marsh tried (and failed) to impress the boys with his Les Paul? “They’re just little plastic controllers,” said his wife Sharon. “If they spent half the time learning a real instrument... who knows what they could accomplish.”
Now, with the development of the guitar-shaped Kitara synth-guitar, the incorporation of a six-string, real guitar controller for Rock Band 3 and the beefy Roland TD-20S V-Pro series electronic drum kit, electronic instruments have come full circle. From gadgetry escapism to full-blown analogue reality.
Click here for the full story...
14 January 2011
Plan B, Brixton
It’s all hands on deck at Plan B when I arrive. Staff look overwhelmed, taken aback by an early wave of James Blake-mania. Advance tickets sold out ages ago. And by 8:30pm, the queue’s jam-packed with hip hopefuls. Luckily, my name’s on the list. But when I get to the front, Igor the Terrible won’t budge. “You go over dere,” he says. Is it me, or is he pointing at traffic?
Eventually, I’m rescued from the Russian Hulk and ushered to the door. Portishead’s 'Glory Box' is playing and the smoky room looks still and surprisingly subdued for 2011’s hottest ticket. No doubt they’re funneling people in slowly, strategically – classic nightclub technique. Still, you can feel the anticipation in the air.
From the cover of Clash Magazine to the BBC’s 'Sounds of 2011' and hype from NME, it’s been a busy year for 22-year-old James Blake already. And don’t forget, last month, he was the runner up in the Brit Awards 2011 Critics’ Choice category – sandwiched between Jessie J and The Vaccines.
Click here to read the full story on Don't Panic...
Saturday, January 15, 2011
I got lost on the way. I couldn't find my bearings. I was fucking late! Running through puddles, dropping Pound coins in homeless polystyrene cups and cursing my luck. I thought I'd missed everything. Now I know. It's finally official! Take your fucking time, every fucking time... Especially round Shoreditch way.
The Macbeth was pretty empty when I got there. Slowly, mismatched hairdos, ponchos and Cuban heels crawled in in skinny jeans and hi-tops. Tattoos and Boys of London jackets hung out at the back and French pop songs kept everyone busy on the dance floor...
Finally, the three hippest hairdos in the pub picked up the guitars on stage and kicked up a fuss. Black Manila... Online, they're a mystery. On stage, it's all-out garage punk and indie rock 'n roll. Guitarists on their knees. Bassists blaming their dads. And drummers staring me down through peacock feathers. Where'd these guys fly in from?
After that, I unplugged and sipped on some more whiskey. The next band on, The Magnetix, are the real heroes. Full-blown French nobleman (and woman). And for a two piece, they make quite a noise. Like a dark Tarantino sountrack up a lonely, deserted highway. Werewolves moaning. Moons glowing. Night building.
The place was hypnotised. 'Let's do the time-warp again' motherfuckers! Looch Vibrato and drummer miss Aggy Sonora jerked their bodies around like reanimated corpses. The crowd responded like a wave of zombie hordes. The evil dead! Vibrato was possessed. Dark, rockabilly, garage punk with serial killer rhythms and a mad look in its eyes.
I lean back to take a photo and a drunk French chick slams straight into me. She smiles. My face is a giant bruise. Time to go...
Click here for the full gallery
Friday, January 14, 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
And in case you missed it. Just watch...
Monday, January 10, 2011
Saw The Loved Ones' Dave Hause play some of his solo stuff - plus "Breathe In" and "Jane" - at The Gaff this Friday. Two photos from the show. Hause is currently touring the UK with Franz Nicolay (ex-The Hold Steady) and Jack Terricloth (World Inferno). MySpace for dates.
This one was special...
Took some more photos for Vice UK, this time it was tattoo artist and illustrator Liam Sparkes' private viewing at the Wayward Gallery - twirly mustaches, exposed ankles and pretty ladies. Check out the Full gallery.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
According to the music video for "A More Perfect Union," New Jersey's Titus Andronicus were already my new favourite band. No questions asked. But their 2010, American Civil War-themed album The Monitor is a tougher nut to crack.
First of all, it's weird. It's got all the raw, punk-rock vocals and indie quivers, heart-on-its-sleeve melodies and soul I was expecting. But, buried beneath the fuzzy distortion and punk rock sing alongs, there's something else going on.
Still, in a blurry haze of awkward voices, I like it. It's dark and thoughtful. An infectious blend of Fake Problems' indie awkwardness, beard-and-flannel, folk-punk bravado, Billy Bragg and Bruce Springsteen.
"Tramps like us, baby we born to die," sings Patrick Stickles on "A More Perfect Union", an introverted twist on fellow New Jerseyan Bruce Springsteen's famous "Born to run."
Stickles sounds drunk and The Monitor, packed with history and sentiment, uses the Civil War as a metaphor for the bleakness of modern, New Jersey life (or life in general). For example, the Monitor is the USS Monitor and closing track "The Battle of Hampton Roads" references the Monitor's famous encounter with the CSS Virginia in 1862, the battle that made Abraham Lincoln declare, "I am now the most miserable man living."
"The enemy is everywhere..."
Undercity is a new documentary filmed beneath New York City by urban historians Steve Duncan and Andrew Wonder. Pretty interesting... Together, Steve and Andrew explore the sewers, underground train tracks, interview "tunnel residents" and bump into a swarm of New York City cops.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Sexy Horrorpops bassist Patricia Day filed a lawsuit against Hard Rock Cafe and Mattel last week, following the release of a new Hard Rock Cafe/Rockabilly Barbie - which has "Long black hair, retro tattoos, red fingernails, fishnets and a decorated bass fiddle to give this doll true rockabilly style." Puke!
Day claims that Cyndi Lauper, Debbie Harry and Joan Jett had their style officially licensed for the collection, yet she was not approached - and sees the doll as a direct rip of her style. I guess Mattel thought the look was generic enough to get away with. Seen one rockabilly girl, seen 'em all, right?
French street art and photographic mystery man JR's new film Women Are Heroes hits cinemas worldwide this January 12. The film's a documentation of JR's Women Are Heroes project. He travelled the world, meeting women, interviewing them, listening to their harrowing stories and then pasting their images up around their own neighbourhoods.