Archive for the music Category

Soundtrack of 2009

Posted in music with tags , on 14/01/2010 by mfcx4tm2

Thought i’d jump on the reviews of 2009 bandwagon again, this time from a music standpoint. This has taken the form of a bit of reminiscence about the tracks that i particularly enjoyed throughout last year and found myself consistently going back to time and time again. Some are obvious,  some are unheard of, some old, some new. The fact that they’re on this list doesn’t necessarily mean they were released in 2009, it may be that i’m just a tad slow on the uptake…

Check em out, there’s some crackers:

The Maccabees – No Kind Words

Florence and the Machine – Rabbit Heart/Raise It Up

Dave Matthews Band – Shake Me Like a Monkey

Red Light Company – With Lights Out

Battles – Race: Out

Friendly Fires – Jump in the Pool

The Walkmen – The Rat

Airborne Toxic Event – Sometime Around Midnight

Take That – Hold Up A Light

Hope and Social – Heaven Falls

The National – Fake Empire

The Cribs – We Share the Same Skies

Hockey – Too Fake

The Longcut – Evil Dance

Wild Beasts – Hooting and Howling

Ra Ra Riot – Dying is Fine

The Stills – Eastern Europe

Advertisements

Greatest Hits or Musical Money Spinner?

Posted in music with tags , , , on 09/11/2009 by mfcx4tm2

A Greatist Hits album. The pinnacle of a band’s musical life, a look back at the material they have produced over the years, highlighting their best material. A fantastic idea no?

It used to be. An artist’s greatest hits used to come at the end of their career, usually after they retired or even once they had died so people could look back at the amazing catalogue of music they had created and enjoy it in one package. However, record companies have seemingly ruined this concept, turning it into a money spinner that has resulted in musicians releasing a greatest hits album before they’ve even established themselves as a credible artist. It echoes the trend of celebrities writing autobiographies when they’re barely out of puberty. Thanks, but I’m no more interested in how you used to play in the street than the kids next door who are still doing it.

The idea that a band’s greatest hits can come out before they’ve released all their regular albums is a little bit silly and ends up in multiple greatest hits albums, meaning they’re not even a greatest hits at all (but all the time racking up the pennies for the bigwigs). It’s happening more and more often now with greatest hits albums being released by the likes of Snow Patrol, Natalie Imbruglia and Foo Fighters when they’re nowhere near the end of their lifespan.

Dave Grohl summed it up this week when he called the release of their greatest hits album ‘an obituary’. He’s not happy about it but it’s something that is written into contracts when bands sign long term deals and illustrates the lack of power that even big bands like Foo Fighters have in the industry. Even Radiohead, potentially the most influential band in the business, had a greatest hits released without their blessing. If they can’t keep the rights to their music then what chance do smaller acts have?

I’m already on the edge of my seat waiting for the release of Jedward: Greatest Hits I. Shouldn’t think I’ll have long to wait…

Charlie Winston’s War

Posted in music on 13/08/2009 by mfcx4tm2

It’s amazing how the world of music works. Some artists can be the most successful of their generation in one country and a total flunk in the next, seemingly independent of their talent or tastes of the market. Often it just comes down to a lucky break, whether that be a stray producer spotting talent at a pub or being picked up by a stella marketing force.

I came across Charlie Winston a couple of years ago at a Tom Baxter gig in Manchester. I’d been a fan of Baxter for a while, had seen him a few times and still found it hard to believe that he hadn’t hit ‘The Big Time’. This was shortly before he had a hit with ‘Better’ which was subsequently played on Radio 2 for what seemed like every hour for more than a month. Charlie was the support act at the gig and played some interesting stuff, much of which i really enjoyed. It then transpired that he was in fact Tom’s brother which made me think that maybe he was just jumping on the bandwagon and was unlikely to match the success of his brother.

So i couldn’t believe it when i read this week that he has outsold Coldplay and U2 in France. Apparently a French record label had picked up his CD and things had exploded from there. Recently he played at a festival in Nice and was originally scheduled to appear before Duffy but after his recent success there the organisers bumped Duffy down the order so Charlie was the final act (i’m sure the Diet Coke ad with her on a bike contributed too)! Now he can’t walk around Paris without being mobbed.

So there you have it, if you’re a musician struggling for success in the UK you should just move to Paris. Oh, and wear a trilby.

Charlie+Winston

Hot beats from NYC

Posted in music on 06/08/2009 by mfcx4tm2

Like good music? Like New York? Put your hands together, here are some top tunes from bands that have come from the Big Apple:

Battles – Race:Out
The Boggs – Forts
TV on the Radio – Wolf Like Me
The Walkmen – The Rat
Interpol – Obstacle 1
Gang Gang Dance – House Jam
High Places – From Stardust
Phospherescent – A Picture
Panda Bear – Comfy in Nautica
Yeasayer – Get in the Sunrise
TV on the Radio – Love Dogg
The National – Brainy
The Rapture – House of Jealous Lovers
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Satan Says
Les Savy Fav – Comes and Goes
LCD Soundsystem – NY, I Love You

Music Reviews? No thanks.

Posted in music on 27/04/2009 by mfcx4tm2

Is it me or are music reviews a load of old tosh?

As an avid music fan I like to know about upcoming releases and discover that great band that haven’t been given a record deal, but I find the only way of doing this is to cruise the web all day in the hope that I may stumble across something I like. I used to go sites such as NME.com to read their reviews, but after a while I realised that the majority of what I read was simply wordy rants which gave little reflection of what the music actually sounded like. Prime example: “Even Meade’s mildly twee idealism, which means a fistful of her songs are perfect candidates for yoof drama, can’t stop this from shining warmly.” Eh???

Whilst I realise that music is obviously a very subjective thing so in essence difficult to review, I don’t see what value exists in being told that a song ‘shines warmly’. All I really need to know is a few bands that it may be loosely compared to and a sample so I can judge it for myself.

This requirement is beautifully filled by sites such as Last.fm and Spotify, which provide people with a great platform for discovering new music. With these sites becoming better and better known it puts the job of the music reviewer on borrowed time. Why read someone else’s opinion when you can draw your own conclusions? And decide for yourself if it ‘shines warmly’…