31 January 2008
Arctic Monkeys was formed in Sheffield in 2002. Their first single 'I Bet You Look Good On the Dancefloor' went straight to number one in the UK charts. Their debut album Whatever People Say I am, That's What I'm Not was critically acclaimed and a bestseller.
The success of Arctic Monkeys was not driven by major marketing by a major label but by the band themselves using the internet.
CD cover for Whatever People Say I am, That's What I'm Not
CD cover for Favourite Worst Nightmare
(live) clip for 'I Bet You Look Good On the Dancefloor'
clip for 'Fluorescent Adolescent'
clip for 'Teddy Picker'
clip for 'Brianstorm'
28 January 2008
I really liked their first album, Stars of CCTV, and their second, Once Upon a Time in the West was an excellent follow up.
CD cover for Stars of CCTV
CD cover for Once Upon a Time in the West
clip for 'Cash Machine' from Stars of CCTV
clip for 'Hard to Beat' from Stars of CCV
clip for 'Living for the Weekend' from Stars of CCTV
clip for 'Suburban Knights' from Once Upon a Time in the West
More from Hard-Fi's YouTube channel
27 January 2008
CD cover for album The Back Room
CD cover for An End Has a Start (June 2007)
clip for 'Munich' from The Back Room
clip for 'Blood' from The Back Room
(studio) clip for 'Smokers Outside the Hospital Door' from An End Has a Start
clip for 'The Racing Rats' from An End Has a Start
More from Editors' YouTube editorsTV
26 January 2008
A New York band, they started in 1992 before releasing their 1996 album on a major label, High/Low, from which the single 'Popular' became a cult favourite. They followed up with The Proximity Effect, which the major label refused to issue, instead going to an indie label.
Their third album, Let Go, is one of my favourites. I sent Let Go to a friend in the United States and introduced him to Nada Surf. He was lucky enough to attend a concert last year and sent me a signed copy of their fourth album The Weight Is a Gift.
I am so looking forward to the latest album, Lucky, which will be released in Australia on 18 February.
CD cover of Let Go
CD cover of Lucky
clip for 'Popular'
(live) clip for 'Blonde On Blonde' from Let Go
(studio) clip for 'Blizzard of 77' from Let Go
(studio) clip for 'Always Love' from Let Go
clip for 'Blanket Year' from The Weight is a Gift
clip for 'Whose Authority' from the forthcoming album Lucky
See also Reuters article of 8 December 2007
20 January 2008
CD cover for Echt (self titled debut album) 1998
clip for 'Alles wird sich ändern' from album Echt (I love this song)
clip for 'Du trägst keine Liebe in dir' from album Freischwimmer (1999)
clip for 'Weinst du' (live) from Freischwimmer
The band went into hiatus in 2001 and lead singer Kim Frank (MySpace) has pursued a very successful solo career.
CD cover for Hellblau
clip for 'Zwei Sommer' (live) from Hellblau
If Echt had sung in English, they would have been huge internationally. What a shame that non-German speakers miss out.
19 January 2008
They are: A Glaswegian four-piece who play vintage rock and pop with brooding guitars, like the Jesus and Mary Chain covering the Grease soundtrack.
NME magazine said they had put out the best debut single since the Arctic Monkeys.
The pundits say: "Glasvegas already sound like a classic band." Jonas Woost, Last.FM head of music
They say: "There's something really authentic about a lot of doo-wop and '50s rock 'n' roll."
More from BBC
Fifteen years ago, indie mogul Alan McGee was blown away by a band who were playing third on the bill at King Tut's Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow.
They were called Oasis, and the rest is history.
Now McGee cannot stop raving about another band he saw playing in the same slot at the same venue in 2006.
They are Glasvegas, and McGee has declared them to be the best Scottish band for 20 years.
Music weekly NME has just ranked their song Daddy's Gone as the second best track of 2007, hailing it as the most exciting debut single since the Arctic Monkeys arrived.
The group have even got the seal of approval from Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of their number one musical hero.
Glasvegas draw on rockabilly and pop from the 1950s and '60s, using a backdrop of brooding guitars to create their own wall of sound, a bit like the Jesus and Mary Chain playing the Grease soundtrack.
Singer James Allan says the group started by taking their lead from classic doo-wop groups.
The sound I get with the guitars is to make it sound like an orchestraJames Allan
"It's a minimalist approach to the rhythm, it's really simple, but that simplicity leaves a lot of room for other things," he says.
"And the other things... I really like a lot of orchestral music and classical music. I think that can be a good furious backdrop to something.
"A lot of the sound that I get with the guitars is to make it sound like an orchestra. But we've only got the bass, my guitar and his guitar."
His bandmates are his cousin Rab Allan on guitar, bassist Paul Donoguhe and drummer Caroline McKay.
Glasvegas are currently fielding offers from many record labels
Daddy's Gone, a heartbreaking message to an absent father, has given the first glimpse of the emotional power of James' songwriting.
The lyrics begin: "How you are my hero/ How you're never here though/ Remember times when you put me on your shoulders/ How I wish that it was forever you would hold us."
They carry on in the same heart-rending vein. When the song is brought up, James immediately interjects: "I knew you were going to ask that.
"So Daddy's Gone, is that through personal experience? That's what you were going to ask, yeah?"
"Yeah, some of it's through personal experience. And there's other stuff that I've just noticed through my friends' families. I don't really know a lot of families where the mum and dad are still together."
The point of the song, James says, is not wanting to be 50 and "having to regret everything".
The band have supported Dirty Pretty Things and Ian Brown
Daddy's Gone was put on MySpace and soon made its way to a friend of Lisa Marie Presley.
Elvis's daughter liked it so much that she called the band up and asked them to meet her for a drink when she was in Edinburgh recently.
"It was a really nice night," James says.
"It's quite far out. It makes the world feel a bit smaller than it is because she's heard something that I've recorded in my bedroom, and how the hell did that get to Lisa Marie Presley?"
So what did she say?
"I'll not go into exactly what was spoke about," James says. "But it was pretty far out man. It was nothing to do with music."
Despite having so many fans in high places, Glasvegas are still unsigned. But that situation is unlikely to last long. Which labels are trying to secure their signatures?
"Every label I've ever heard of," James replies. "Does that answer that?"
Yep, they are going to be huge!
clip for Daddy's Gone
13 January 2008
After a few years playing the pub circuit, they released their first album Short Note in 1981 which remains a classic today. The title track 'Short Note' can be heard from MySpace (link above).
clip for 'Come On Over' (1984) from album Word of Mouth
In between breaking up and reforming a number of times, lead singer Matt Moffitt released a debut solo album in 1986 called As Little As A Look and the single 'Miss This Tonight' charted reasonably well. I had the album on vinyl LP but unfortunately lost it in a move. Today, it is a rarity.
Moffitt died suddenly in 2003 at the age of 46. RIP.
The band Matt Finish was reformed in 2006 for the "Matt Moffitt Memorial Tour". It has continued with a regularly changing line up.
Short Note (1981) is still one of my favourites. If I had to describe what Sydney sounds like as music, Short Note would still be it.
12 January 2008
CD cover for Tourist (2nd album) - one of my favourites
CD cover for Beyond the Neighbourhood (latest album)
clip for Twenty Four Hours (live) - from Tourist
clip for Tourist
clip for Hurricane - from Beyond the Neighbourhood
More clips from YouTube Athlete Channel
09 January 2008
Most musicals today seem to be derivative, a collection of existing hit songs, or Andrew Lloyd Weber productions. And they are all in English. This is really limiting.
Les milles et une vies d'Ali Baba is the type of musical that could and should go global. Sure, it is all in French, but then most classical operas are in Italian, French or German. Just include the lyrics in both English and French in the souvenir program.
The song 'A quoi bon' was a huge hit in France and charted highly.
'A quoi bon' from Les milles et une vies d'Ali Baba
'Tu Me Manques Depuis Longtemps' from Les milles et une vies d'Ali Baba
Sonia Lacen is now a really huge and famous singer in France.
cover of soundtrack album available for download/purchase from Bigpond or Amazon.fr
08 January 2008
CD cover for the latest release - Hvarf/Heim
Download free MP3 tracks here (official site)
clip for Glósóli (from the album Takk...)
clip for untitled #1 (from the album () )
06 January 2008
Their latest release In Rainbows doesn't disappoint. The CD came in a cardboard pocket with stickers/labels for a plastic CD cover (along with instructions). Hmmm... I prefer the cardboard case.
clip for Jigsaw Falling Into Place (Scotch Mist Version)
More in Radiohead's YouTube
05 January 2008
CD cover for Haanashim Hadashim (The New People)- 2001 (Lider's 3rd album)
עברי לידר - בוא (LIVE) Ivri Lider - Bo
עברי לידר - מלטף ומשקר Ivri Lider - Melatef uMeshaker
עברי לידר -האנשים החדשים- Ivri Lider-Ha'Anashim Ha'Chadashim
(I especially like the use of traditional instruments in this one)
עברי לידר - ניסים (LIVE) Ivri Lider - Nisim
עברי לידר - הכוס הכחולה - Ivri Lider - Ha'kos Ha'kchula
Music in Hebrew sounds really cool. Those live concerts in Israel look totally awesome.
Ivri Lider's stardom may also now shift to the United States, where he has released songs in English. Unfortunately, he seems to be only going for the gay niche market there - check out his MySpace, or possibly the gay Jewish (or Jewish gay) market.
Surely translations of his original hits in Hebrew would have been a good start.