June 30, 2011

I Wish That Ads Didn't Ruin Them So Soon

I felt instant love for Herman Düne from the moment I first heard I Wish That I Could See You Soon, a catchy and upbeat anti-folk ditty, despite its melancholic lyrical content, whose video is the perfect mesh of visuals and music. I guess you've already seen it, but definitely worth a look again.


One could think it sounds like it was written for Sesame Street: puppets and moppets, a pile of kids, angelic back-up singers, the simple croon that would almost be creepy in an older man, not to mention the congas and the awsome pink furry hoodie over this full beard. In a way, this almost childlike sweetness and the simple lyrics make Herman Düne's style what it is, otherwise they wouldn't sound so melodious. In fact, each song in the album has a similar structure: a few short lines followed by the title phrase capping each stanza.

Ok, now in case you are wondering who the hell is hiding under the name of Herman Düne, here is the answer. Andre and David-Ivar Herman Düne are a duo with roots in Sweden, France, Switzerland and Israel, formed in 1999. Also, they have a list of people they collaborate with, who live in different cities (Berlin, New York and Paris) and gather for concerts, tours and recordings. That's the reason why they have loads of influences in their music, although they always cite Van Morrison, which explains why my beloved song sounds sooo similar to the Morrison's Precious Time.


Once again, whilst I can only rely on youtube, Herman Düne's live performances seem to be a very interesting experience (and not only to see how cute they are with their bushy beards). You know, it's one of these rich gigs which provides something different from what listen to at home on the record. Damn it! I wish that I could see them soon!

But this post really pretends to complain about those advertisers (and I myself am adwoman) who tend to choose my most favorite tunes for their summery commercials. Nowadays, I cannot avoid thinking about "this beer brand" while listening to this song. What is more, there's blatant advertising of a popular Spanish restaurant I will never go in my life. Thanx, dudes, YTB! Ouch, c'mon! The same happened before with Applejack by The Triangles and the smashing Summercat by Billie the Vision & the Dancers and now this. Why do you insist on spoiling these coolest songs?

Look, this is the extended version of the ad I'm talking writing about.


Let's leave that matter aside FOR NOW and focus on Herman Düne's new album, Strange Moosic, dropped this month. This is the video for the first single entitled Tell Me Something I Don't Know, starring Jon Hamm, who precisely plays advertising executive in Mad Men. Isn't it true that the yeti is so cute? If only I could take him home with me!



Here is a spotify  link if you fancy to continue your research.


June 29, 2011

Looking For His Glasses

Heineken Festival Review (IV)

As you already know, one of my favorite things to do on earth is seeing live music. Last week I saw Russian Red (aka Lourdes Hernández) in concert, for the third time, I might add. I'll say that I enjoyed the gig very much, even though just to complain a little bit about her, she keeps being extremely dull and boring on stage. IMHO, a run-of-the-mill gig can be utterly transformed by the artist's witty asides. I'm talking onstage banter, that stuff that happens between songs and is crucial, for me at least, to the pleasure of a concert as the music itself. In addition to it, her unnatural and really forced arm movement and the constant way of twirling and fiddling with her new gingerish hair, subtracted some spontaneity to the singer-songwriter. 

If you feel curious, I snapped a (not-very-good) picture of Russian Red and her musicians.

But I don't want to focus another post on her. So let's go now for something more gruesome. Hihi! A bit hard to ignore that she was dating Brian Hunt when one considers that his first solo album was called I Lost My Glasses, remembering that what Lourdes loved in the title of her debut album were indeed Brian's goggles. In any case, the LP is not the expected crybaby response. On the contrary, it's notable for its sense of humor. 


This is a quite old video for a song featuring Russian Red recorded shortly after she started her solo musical career and before shooting to fame. 

Brian Hunt - Led By Moses


As far as the clip is concerned, Lourdes seems to be vain, conceited, arrogant and narcissistic. Thus it is evident that after the breakup they have bad vibrations. Of course she chose not to participate in the moving picture, a problem solved by blurring the female performer's face. So, Brian is as blind as a bat without his lost blinkers. LAWLZ ! Hey, I wonder why they didn't call to Anni B Sweet just to make things even more complicated. They are as like as two peas in a pod! Click here.

(For the record: Brian started a promising career as a music producer, where his work on Annie B Sweet first CD stands out). 

Just click to listen to further songs by Brian Hunt.

June 28, 2011

Shuffling At The Club

Omigosh!! We can't cope with the huge quantity of great releases planned for this month! Bombay Bicycle Club are back with A Different Kind Of Fix, a new album which will be their third stuff to date. This Brit outfit came into my life two years ago, while still being students. Since then, my request for them has been simple: more, please. Now, with their upcoming project consisting of twelve tracks I'll definitely get back on them.

Download the first single by clicking the down-arrow on the right side of the box. Taa-Daa!!

Shuffle


I made a little fun trivia! Do you want to test how much you really know 'bout this band? If you've just heard them for the first time, try your luck out on this simple quiz. Ahh! Don't forget to write a comment with the number of answers you got right.
______________________________________________________________________

They started playing under the name...

They have always been called BBC (Bombay Bicycle Club).
The Canals.
The Clubbers.
BBC (meaning British Broadcasting Corporation).
______________________________________________________________________

They picked Bombay Bicycle Club...

Because of a bike renting company located near the studios where they recorded their first demo.
Cuz that is the name of a bar in London where they played for the first time.
Named after a chain of Indian restaurants in London.
Named after an old movie starring the Marx Brothers, whom they deeply admire.
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What's the name of their second studio album?

I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose.
Ivy & Gold.
Flaws.
Tourist History.
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When will their new LP come out?

On August 29th.
On July 12th.
On July 29th.
On August 12th.
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June 27, 2011

Happy BOARDay!

Engine noise when the plane is about to crash, compared to the ruckus at a crowded birthday party. I know it might seem really messed up but this crazy analogy cud only have occurred to Bright Eyes. That's fine, trying to stay positive even in unavoidable catastrophic situations. I luv it!



June 26, 2011

Another Black Man Turning White

Heineken Festival Review (III)


Glasvegas was one of the headlining bands for the music fest that took place last weekend in Madrid, and I'll say it was one of my most favorite gigs of the whole event. Admittedly I haven't shown them the proper respect. Though I may be entering the game late when it comes to the music of the Scot quartet it's better late than never. 

James Allan, one of the coolest frontmen I've seen in a long time, took the stage dressed in white from head-to-toe, like an angel, wearing hater blockers even after nitefall, and with his neon mic cord wrapped around him like a snake. From what he tells, he always used to dress in all black (like all his band mates) 'til he decided to mute color to mark the album release, like a photo-negative effect of its former self.

These were three of the most acclaimed songs during the concert:

Geraldine

Daddy's Gonne 

Euphoria, Take My Hand 


The last one is included in Euphoric /// Heartbreak, their newest album which was dropped in early April this year. FMPOV, this concept of opposition regarding to euphoria and anxiety is also reflected in the outfit name (derived from the union of Glasgow - European city, famous for its historical and religious values, in which James was born - and Las Vegas - which does have a reputation for being the city of vice -).

Another track from this LP is Change, which involved James' mother (and Rab's aunt) by a very brief spoken word piece. C'mon, listen to it! It's not every day a mom collaborate on a record!


While apparently their lives seem like a fairy-tale since their inception (very good sales figures, constant touring of UK, Europe and even some impact in the US) all that glitters is not gold within the band, and there have been a lotta buzz circulating in recent months. In fact, some of the members described the process of recording the second album as "complicated". What happened? First, the mysterious disappearances of James and the cocaine overdose he suffered in 2009. The problems continued to appear with the departure of Caroline McKay earlier 2010  because of the increasing drug problems, and the recruitment of a new woman behind the drum kit. Hopefully, there's a twist of fate with the new release. Fingers crossed!

June 25, 2011

Why?

As you can see, wondering why recurs frequently in song lyrics. If only many of these questions had an answer...



June 24, 2011

Get Kooky!


After announcing plans to drop their third album, Junk of the Heart, on September 13, The Kooks have finally unveiled the lonnnnng awaited first single called The Saboteur, which will be released on July 11. Earlier this week, they came up with quite the smart idea to increase their twitter presence by offering more and more bits of this new song with ever tweet made that included #junkoftheheart. You can guess, the song then unlocked in just a few hours!

Perhaps it sounds a bit different from what we're used to listening. In fact, I truly believe it's not the best we've heard from them (or else that my music taste is changing, IDK). Either way, despite the U-turn on their influences, The Kooks are back at full strength, still having a firm grasp on how to write killer hooks and pop songs without compare. They will show us what they are capable of!

Now you can get a free download of  The Saboteur  below! 
(Click the down-arrow on the right side of the box).

 

June 23, 2011

New Men, Neuman

Heineken Festival Review (II)

Can you imagine Coldplay or Travis including the banjo in one of their songs? Ok, just push play button and close your eyes.


Ladies and gentlemen, I have the pleasure to introduce you Neuman, a Spanish band composed of three members that has only been around for two years. Alrite, the voice is not the same as Chris Martin or Fran Healy, but their styles are really similar (at least for me). It's only a matter of time before they capture the rest of the world with their sound. Take a glimpse to some of their clips!




Warning : This video may offend your sensibilities.


Check out their bandcamp  site to get a whole bunch of their songs.



This is a photo of Paco Román (lead singer / rhythm guitar player) which I took at the festival this past weekend.


June 22, 2011

Vibrating (With Emotion)

Heineken Festival Review (I)

Soledad Vélez, Chilean-born but settled in Spain, is one of the, if not the, best voice(s) I cud hear at the festival. Her singing style reminds me a little bit of some musicians, like Édith Piaf or Joan Baez, who made vibrato their trademark. She is not too familiar in my (her) country. I know that someday her talent will go a long way, though. Let things take their course! 



 Secret Sisters


Check out her bandcamp  where she's got the first two EPs up for grabs.



Here is a photo that I took of her at the festival this past weekend.

June 21, 2011

SUbMERged In Summer

Today is June 21st, the official first day of summer.

I know summer is meant to be all about birds twittering, lots of sun and long days. But let's face it: it's actually about wasps, sunburn, sweaty thighs sticking to plastic chairs, and the sun rising before you even get to sleep. In Madrid, the city where I live, temps commonly reach anything up to 40ºC  (approx. 104ºF)  in July and August. So, to be honest, I don't like summer at all. Anyway, there's three whole months to enjoy it as much as possible, before it's time to start complaining about winter.


Papa Topo - Lo Que Me Gusta Del Verano Es Poder Tomar Helado*

* Meaning: What I Like Most About Summer Is Eating Ice Cream


June 20, 2011

The Wolf 's Den

British singer-songwriter Patrick Wolf returns today with his fifth LP bearing the name of Lupercalia. The last we heard from him, 2009's The Bachelor, Wolf 's music had grown more accessible than ever, approaching slow ballads from a post-punk background. This record was initially envisioned as the first of a two-album series called Battles, with the second part (previously entitled The Conquerer, now Lupercalia).

This is the video for the first single contained in the new album. Wow, incredible song!! Patrick Wolf has grabbed me with a deceptively simple beauty and a very distinctive voice. Some of my favorite music this year. You will certainly love it!



House

June 18, 2011

A Double Portion Of Mud

When the always-provocative Peaches released her fifth album I Feel Cream in 2009, she vowed to make a video for every song on the album. Twenty-two months later, she definitely wrapped up that project, by finalizing the video for the remaining track Mud. But it seems as though the latest just wasn't enough and a second, completely different version of the clip has recently been released. The reason is that they wanted to work with two different production companies and knew the outcomes in both cases would be totally amazing

In the first video, filmed in one slowed-down 80-second take, the singer is getting drenched in dirty water, sludge and other crazy gross stuff. In the second one, she wears a dress made out of doll heads, coming also on stage two birds struggling in the mud.
  
Personally, I prefer the first clip because of the awsome reverse effect and her funny facial expressions. Apparently the mud they used for the video, was actually fertilizer. OMFG! How revolting!! What people do for art! And from what she tells, she tried not to react to that sickening smell and all the different textures and temperatures coming at her. She knew that so much would literally be flying at her so she had the plan to be extremely conscious of her facial expression and it was clear that they could only do the take once.







And you? Which video do you like the most?

The slow-mo reverso version.
The fierce and darker version.

______________________________________________________________________

Clarification

There's a music festival going on this coming weekend and I'm not being able to write good stuff... Anyway, I won't let you without music. I'll post some old videos previously posted elsewhere.

Yup Yup!! I'm looking forward to seeing Toro Y Moi, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Wild Beasts, Crystal Fighters, Glasvegas, Caribou, Lykke Li, Russian Red and many more! I'll make note of their gigs to write tons of chronicles for you, readers. 
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June 17, 2011

Masochist Song

I usually listen to this song while I'm doing my cardio at the gym (I can't run at high speed, otherwise I'd have no choice but to pay attention to techno music, hehe). It's something with a good beat that I can run to and get me pumped. These lyrics describe how I feel in those moments and encourage me to put in the extra effort needed despite my body's limits.


Young The Giant - My Body


When I saw this track remixed by Two Door Cinema Club on soundcloud  I'll admit I laughed a bit to myself. Nonetheless, sadly for me, it didn't succeed. I suppose I expected a catchy pop slant on the alt-rock song, but what I heard was neither particularly captivating, nor just a rejigged tune with electronic beats. I hope it'll strike a better chord with you! 




I recently read a NY Times article about the effects of listening to music while exercising. Check it out!

June 16, 2011

Buddy's Buddies

That elephant stole my glasses!!
Some time ago, it was announced that an all star tribute to legendary rock 'n' roll pioneer Buddy Holly would come out next June 28. Whoah, since then I'm jumping for joy! I remember listening to him at all times when I was a kid so, for me, this is the most exciting album release I've heard of and I'm counting the days. Yay!!


The record, a nineteen-track collection of his classic songs, entitled Rave On Buddy Holly, gathers some of today's best artists who share Holly’s insurgent rebel spirit, crossing generations and styles. Instead of being a straight cover album, musicians and singers were free to explore radically new interpretations, putting an exciting twist on the tracks. 

Holly would be turning 75 this fall. His entire career spanned barely a year and a half until his death in a tragic plane crash back in 1959, where also were killed fellow rockers Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson (aka The Big Bopper). In the gawjus song by Don McLean, American Pie, he makes a reference to this day as "The Day The Music Died".

[Click the play button to listen to it and the blue one to read an interesting article  about the lyrics].


Even so, Holly's music never died. His legend lives exerting a profound influence on virtually every part of the music soundscape. Evidence of that is the impressive and varied list of artists who recently lined up to pay homage to him. These are some of the tracks (and their original versions) included in the upcoming album.

_____________________________________________________________________
That'll Be The Day
Buddy Holly
Modest Mouse 
______________________________________________________________________
Oh Boy!
Buddy Holly
She & Him
______________________________________________________________________
Everyday
Buddy Holly
Fiona Apple
______________________________________________________________________
Dearest
Buddy Holly
The Black Keys
______________________________________________________________________
Rave On
Buddy Holly
Julian Casablancas (The Strokes)
______________________________________________________________________
True Love Ways
Buddy Holly
My Morning Jacket
______________________________________________________________________
Not Fade Away
Buddy Holly
Florence + The Machine
______________________________________________________________________

Check out the entire tracklist for Rave On Buddy Holly:

01. “Dearest” – The Black Keys (2:06)
02. “Every Day” – Fiona Apple & Jon Brion (2:19)
03. “It’s So Easy” – Paul McCartney (4:35)
04. “Not Fade Away – Florence + The Machine” (4:02)
05. “(You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care” – Cee Lo Green (1:31)
06. “Crying, Waiting, Hoping” – Karen Elson (2:25)
07. “Rave On” – Julian Casablancas (1:55)
08. “I’m Gonna Love You Too” – Jenny O. (2:11)
09. “Maybe Baby” – Justin Townes Earle (2:06)
10. “Oh Boy” – She & Him (2:18)
11. “Changing All Those Changes” – Nick Lowe (1:41)
12. “Words Of Love” – Patti Smith (3:20)
13. “True Love Ways” – My Morning Jacket (3:25)
14. “That’ll Be The Day” – Modest Mouse (2:15)
15. “Well…All Right” – Kid Rock (2:09)
16. “Heartbeat” -The Detroit Cobras (2:20)
17. “Peggy Sue” – Lou Reed (3:19)
18. “Peggy Sue Got Married” – John Doe (3:57)
19. “Raining In My Heart” – Graham Nash (3:30)


June 15, 2011

Cinemusic

Jumping right into this little gem of a chick that I happened upon last night called Lana Del Rey (aka Lizzy Grant). Wooow! I was instantly charmed by this simple, playful music and charming performance of the piano/voice due. Seriously, Video Games  melody is completely catchy and the beats also snag. And what to say 'bout her singing? It's by turns high and girly or low and husky (she's a former jazz singer), but always awe inspiring!



This 24-year-old New Yorker and sometime London resident crafts a distinct sound that is best described as cinematic dark pop. All her clips contain fragments from classic movies, home videos and documentaries interspersed with close-ups of her face as some sort of Lolita. In short, low-budget, chaotic and brooding motion pictures wrapped in smoky and sultry overtones that may seem dodgy at first but will definitely captivate you.



You can listen to her full album stream by clicking the button.



June 14, 2011

Acoustic Africa

You already know how much I like world music. This time I suggest a melodious journey through deepest Africa along with some local artists, whom I dare to classify within the indie current.

To tell you the truth, it has been quite a difficult challenge for me to find tunes which stay away from African cliches. Most of them keep up the emphasis upon frenetic and joyful rhythm, dominated by djembe drum beat, or even still have some influences from the jazz, blues, funky, soul and reggae movement (we can't forget the large role of Europe and America in the evolution of traditional societies around the continent).

Nevertheless, I reckon I bring you completely different proposals that surely will bewilder you. Join this exhilarating musical tour! 




Amadou & Mariam - Sénégal Fast Food
Mory Kanté - Maliba (Le Grand Mali)




Johnny Clegg & Savuka - Congo




Dela & M. Nthigah - Nairobi Love



Updated info

This is a great NY Times article which talks about new artists and locations in Africa where traditional music is being reinterpreted. Click below to read it.

June 13, 2011

Early To Bed, Early To Rise...

... Makes The Man Healthy, Wealthy And Wise.

I'm always hesitant when I see an artist compared to another one so frequently. And my curiosity and skepticism were at a pretty high level when I first read about James Vincent McMorrow and his supposed similarity to Bon Iver. After hearing the first couple songs on his new release however, it made perfect sense.

The comparisons are accurate, at least at the start of the album, and I hope that his resemblance helps get others ears open towards his sound. There's something really heartwarming about his brand of  sweetly romantic and nostalgic folk that makes it impossible to feel intimidated. Seriously dudes, nice first impression. 

In this exclusive interview, the Irishman talks 'bout the process behind creating Early In The Morning, besides quite a weird question at the end. Ah, it begins in German but continues in English, so don't be scared!

 

I personally really like the infectious country-tinged folk contained in Sparrow & The Wolf, which is the gem track for me and whose video has been recently released.


After lurking for a long time, I've not been able to collect all the songs from the record. But at least I found some of them. Take a listen now! 

Warning: Don't try them out if you need simple and blaring lyrics to brighten your day.
 
If I Had A Boat
We Don't Eat
Follow You Down To The Red Oak Tree
From The Woods
Early In the Morning (I’ll Come Calling)


June 12, 2011

Say Cheese

This bonny young chick is Maggie Eckford, a twenty-five-year-old singer-songwriter born in Mississippi, who started composing heartfelt lyrics at the age of fourteen. All of a sudden, she decided to move to Australia to get inspiration for her songs. Mehh! In my opinion it was only an excuse to visit the land of heavenly beaches and meet any of the tanned muscle hunks you'd hope to see surfing. Don't cha' think there's a stronger singer-songwriter tradition grounded in the folk music around the you ess of aye?

Ok, it's not a big deal. The important issue is that she put me in awe after hearing her happily upbeat and infectious tune Asleep, whose video I still don't understand. I've got a hell-of-a-lot of doubts! What's wrong with taking pics of a lighted tree? Is she a sleepwalker?? How can she ride at night without a headlamp? The woman at the store is really a shopkeeper or a spy for the FBI?? The only thing I know is that I want a Polaroid instant camera like hers!!!!


Asleep


This song is also worth listening to. Heh.



After hitting the replay button multiple times, check out some more of Maggie's stuff on Myspace.

June 11, 2011

Classics Go Classical

I often find myself collecting covers of a particular track. Sometimes love, sometimes dislike. In today's post I'll list a few classical covers of the best new-wave songs (ok, at least some of my all-time favs). WTF !? Symphony orchestra playing 80's music style? Does such a thing exist? It's hard to imagine, innit? No way, right? Ahem. You better listen.

______________________________________________________________________

Boys Don't Cry

The Cure


Vitamin String Quartet

______________________________________________________________________


Love Will Tear Us Apart

 Joy Division


Vitamin String Quartet
______________________________________________________________________

                                         
This Charming Man

The Smiths


Vitamin String Quartet
___________________________________________________________________

Under Cover Of Darkness

The Strokes

Jingle Punks Hipster Orchestra

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