Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Clothing, Coats & Jackets, Jeans & Trousers, music

Jimi Hendrix’s guitar, leather trousers, jacket, hat and shirt up for grabs today

By Stefano on November 27th, 2012

Are you experienced? At bidding? Well you need to be quick. If you are a Jimi fan then you need to get here asap as they have a brilliant selection of Jimi’s stuff from the 1960s which only has a few hours left to go.

Flip through the gallery to see what’s up for grabs. The guitar has a starting bid of £120k which doesn’t actually sound that pricey. The hat is a bargainous £4k

Incidentally Jimi would have been 70 today. Happy Birthday fella.

 

hendrix-guitar

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Wooah - so this is the guitar that Jimi used at the infamous Monterey rock fest in 1967. The black Fender Stratocaster used by Jimi Henrdix to play the best part of his set at the legendary Monterey Pop Festival and the Experience’s first appearance in the USA 1967. The CBS era instrument with contour style solid body and original candy apple case dates from late 1966/67 with rosewood neck and black solid body and white scratch protection. Triple pickups ,chrome key tuner pegs, mother of pearl dot fret inlays, three volume tone controls , tone switch , (spring back plate missing.) The guitar is in its original condition after use, various chips and wear scratches. Endless pictures of this guitar are available on the Monterey video, also photo news journals and biographies. The case is in a somewhat battered condition after further tours and gigs after Monterey.



music

Rolling Stones Week – a pilgrimage to the home of ‘Exile on Main Street’ – Nellcote in France

By Stefano on November 27th, 2012

Apparently some seventy something geezers are playing the O2 this week. Their first show on Sunday was according to our spies, really rather good. So to celebrate the Stones we have already brought you Mick Jagger’s top ten crimes against fashion and the top five under rated Stones albums. Here Stones uber fan Victoria Shortt (who even named her company after a Stones track) goes on a pilgrimage to Nellcote – the legendary villa in the south of France where the band recorded their seismic double album Exile On Main Street

My obsession with Nellcote began after reading Robert Greenfields, “Exile on Main Street: A Season in Hell with the Rolling Stones”. This book tells the story of the shocking, decadent, madness behind the making of the seminal double album.

The recording took place during the blazing-hot summer of 1971 in the basement of the Keith Richards’ owned palatial mansion, Nellcote.  The book freezes forever in time a moment when the Stones and their counterculture audience found themselves at a crossroads. The author was at the time a groundbreaking music journalist and he was there to witness the debauchery night after night for weeks on end of wives, girlfriends and a crew of assorted hangers-on smoking marijuana and hashish, snorting cocaine and injecting themselves with heroin, whilst the Stones descended like coal miners to the infamous dank, humid basement to lay down tracks.

As the Stones were writing the songs that eventually made up “Exile”, a variety of celebrities, among them John and Yoko Ono and Gram Parsons, descended on the villa, and so did a sinister band of local drug dealers known to one and all as “les cowboys”. While the work of recording any album is rarely joyful and the Stones themselves were already known to be perfectionists in the studio, the process that brought “Exile on Main Street” into the world became a display of extreme group dynamics unparalleled even in their own tortured history. Literally and figuratively, this was a record made in hell.

Now when you put it like that how could you not become obsessed?! As a lifelong fan of the intense relationship between Keith and his common-law wife Miss Anita Pallenberg the book is a treat as it documents their crazed reign as the King and Queen of Nellcote.

A couple of years back my enthusiasm was ignited once again when Dominique Tarle’s beautiful photos of Nelocote and its inhabitants were exhibited in London. His photos were hypnotising. There was Anita in all her lithe, European glory holding court with a young Marlon on her hip – the coolest Mother I’ve ever seen (excusing all her very naughty habits), Jagger sweating and pouting in the sweltering heat, Richards stretched out playing guitar in front of a huge fireplace, dwarfing Anita who sits at his feet. The photos are a visual feast for any Stones fan.

When planning our wedding I knew first off I wanted to hire a Villa for the wedding and invite all our friends. Which, is exactly what we did (see here) and also to convince my bloke we should visit Nellcote on our honeymoon. Well one of the skills imparted to me from God is persuasion and so my campaign began until he conceded.

Once we decided to do it we decided to do it in style so we hired an Alfa Romeo Spider Duetto from Rent a Car Classic.

So with a car promising to be an “Italian answer to the swinging London madness, it is the “Dolce Vita”! Even if the Spider Duetto is not in Fellini’s movie and will stay forever Dustin Hoffman’s car in “The Graduate”, the Spider Duetto incarnates wonderfully this “sweet life”, mixing classical style and unbridled creativity.” Oh you may laugh at the pigeon English but doesn’t it sound like fun?

On arrival on Nellcote (it’s now owned by a Russian businessman) – it is hidden down a road close to the sea but so easy to miss (and we did, several times), we saw a van just starting up to come out. I ran up to the man and begged him to let me in to take closer pictures. I explained I was a major Stones fan and he laughed and waved me through but indicated I should go no further than the lawn. I did as I was told. I then came back through the gates, he left and then like a sign from God the gates opened again!I lit up like a lightbulb but my bloke said no and now being a wifey I had to obey. He explained the consequences for trespass in France were grave and I had to settle for a few cheeky behind the gates shots.

However, to see Nellcote in all its glory you really need to see from the sea so the next day we headed down to the beach at Villefrance and worked out that we could swim around the headland to view it properly. I have never moved so fast. Clothes off, into the sea and bombed around the headland. I could see my bloke laughing on the beach. I didn’t care because as soon as I got around the headland and saw the balcony that Keith Richards had sat on and strummed his guitar while looking out to see it was all so worth it. Sad as it sounds it was the closest thing to a spiritual experience without actually being one that I’ve ever had. A moment in time suspended just for me to look at and gaze in awe.



Celeb style, features, Gallery, music

Mick Jagger’s top 10 crimes against fashion (and there are some corkers)

By Stefano on November 26th, 2012

There was a point somewhere in the 1960s when The Rolling Stones were arguably the best dressed band on the planet. They mixed traditional Saville Row threads with flamboyant shirts, cravats and scarves better than anyone. They were the epitome of pop art cool. Check here for evidence.

But then the coolest of the lot of them, Brian, went swimming, Keef got strung out on heroin and Bill grew his hair out. And from a sartorial point of view things went downhill.

Never mind though because there was always Mick. Trouble is that somewhere around 1969 Mick’s style compass completely went AWOL. Probably about the time he wore that white dress in Hyde Park (sadly our pic agency doesn’t have that image!). Throughout the 70s and well into the 80s, he strutted across the stadiums of the world wearing an increasingly bizarre series of onstage costumes. Maybe that’s the point, they were different, daring and bit camp – just like Mick. Sadly like most of the Stones 80s output they looked pretty crap too.

So please don’t get me wrong I really love the Stones and always will, but I still take great pleasure in presenting you with Mick Jagger’s top ten crimes against fashion. Enjoy. I only wish that we could have shared this one with you too.

And if you want to read about some under rated Stones albums go here. Pics copyright PA

Ruffles

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Frankfurt concert hall, Germany, and to wow the locals Mick donned this little ruffly number in turquoise



music

Menswear’s Nuisance album finally goes platinum – so here’s why you should give it another listen

By Stefano on November 22nd, 2012

They were written off as the Boyzone of Britpop – a band whose image and not music gave them a spot on Top Of The Pops even before their debut single had troubled the charts.

However there was always more to Menswear than their angular cheekbones and fancy threads. And I am not the only person who thinks so. For seventeen long years after its 1995 release the band’s debut album Nuisance has finally gone platinum. This of course begs the question who has actually been buying it in recent years. People with taste that’s who for Nuisance is actually a cracking good listen. I guess that a lot of kids have bought the album unaware of the band’s awkward history and they are hearing not just echoes of hype, but some rather good tunes. Here Sean Hannam explains why you should give Nuisance another listen.

They were indie’s ultimate pin-ups – NME darlings who wrote great pop-punk songs, enjoyed the druggy delights of London nightlife, shagged groupies senseless and then imploded in dramatic style. No, not The Libertines, you fools, Menswear. And they really couldn’t have picked a more appropriate name for their debut album than Nuisance.

Yep, back in the mid ’90s, when Pete Doherty was still a record company marketing man’s (crack)pipe dream, these youthful Britpop socialites had it all – good looks, massive hype and, unlike The Libertines, fantastic tunes. Menswear appeared on Top of The Pops performing I’ll Manage Somehow before they had even released a single and signed a record contract after only five gigs.

Their debut album, 1995′s Nuisance serves as a great reminder of the heady days when freaky Japanese girls would visit Camden pub The Good Mixer in the hope of getting a glimpse of floppy-haired Menswear frontman Johnny Dean and his razor-sharp cheekbones. From the guitar and Hammond mod stomp of 125 West Third Street to the pounding piano and blaring horns of Stardust – rumoured to be a dig at Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie (“He’s a superficial fucker,”) – Nuisance is a fantastically cocky Britpop classic that has more hooks than a second hand clothes stall on Camden market.

Check out The One. If Pete Doherty didn’t nick that sound and that tune for a track or two on the first Libertines album, then my name is not Carl Barat.

Daydreamer, the first song the band ever wrote, is awesome – a menacing, robotic New Wave stutter that sounds more like Wire than Elastica ever did. PopJunkie’s favourite however is the lovely summery ballad Being Brave, which ushers in warm evenings with its sweeping strings and epic, sing-a-long chorus. We’re also partial to the groovy Monkees sound-a-like Sleeping In, which is basically Last Train To Clarksville diverted via the Northern Line, and the Blur-like Little Miss Pinpoint Eyes – a cautionary tale of a posh bird from Hampstead who ends up strung-out on heroin and disco tunes. It really deserves to sell for more than the pitiful £2 or so you can get it for now.

After Nuisance, Menswear returned with a new single, the Beach Boys influenced We Love You, but nobody seemed to care – all except those freaky Japanese girls, that is. The band’s second album, the Japanese-only release, Hey Tiempo, was a massive success in the Far East. Shortly afterwards, the group disbanded. But they left them this to remember them by. So put your prejudices aside for 40 minutes and give it a spin. Who knows you might fall in love with it.

Annoyingly Nuisance isn’t on Spotify, but the single Being Brave is along with some cracking covers versions – The Zombies and Public Image. Enjoy.



features, music, T-shirts, Polos & Shirts

The 12 most iconic rock and roll band t shirts of all time

By Stefano on November 22nd, 2012

There was a time when the only people who would wear band T shirts were metal heads still loyal to their ageing rocker heroes, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin fans, who a decade on hadn’t bought any other new items of clothes, and Teenage Fanclub fans who’d give them a quick iron and pop them on each time their favourite Glaswegians hit their local venue

Then a few years back rock T shirts suddenly became cool in an ironic way. The Kate Moss set started wearing Ramones shirts and pretty soon you couldn’t move in Top Shop for vintage rock band shirts and disco diva fifteen year olds desperate to snap them up.

Things then got way out of hand and in parts of north London your pre school child wasn’t properly dressed without a Pistols or Clash T shirt.

One only feels sorry for those earnest aging rockers whose enquiries about Sonic Youth records to youngsters sporting the Goo t shirt were met by blank stares.

Nevertheless the band T shirt is back and is likely to remain a staple for both kids looking for cool designs and adults wanting to broadcast their musical taste.

So the other day we began arguing in the office about which is the most iconic band T short of all time. A couple of Flat Whites and bit of Facebook research later and we had a list of contenders.

Surveying the list it becomes obvious that band T shirts fall into one of four categories.

1 The classic band logo - This is the band’s whose ident is captured in one little graphic device. The band’s brand if you will and the illustration that appears on their drumkit, behind them at gigs and obviously on their merch. Band logos have included some of the finest and most iconic pop art emblems of the recent decades and not too surprisingly our list is dominated by them.

2 The classic album cover - Oddly there aren’t as many of these in the list as you might think. In fact if you peruse any list of the great albums of all time you’ll find that many near the top like The Beatles albums for example, have not been widely replicated on T shirts. The ones that work well tend to have designs that are either black and white or two basic colours. So Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures looks great on your chest, whereas Ziggy Stardust less so. I think The Smiths may have got lucky here. Morrissey famously designed most of their single and album covers or rather appropriated them from 60s films. For reasons of taste (or maybe even budget) they were almost always two colour affairs that look great as T shirts.

3 A logo taken from an album cover – This works occasionally. Think The Stone Roses whose debut album sleeve was covered in lemons – the exact same fruit that became the motif for their most iconic T shirt.

4 Something utterly off the wall that the band ends up championing – see number two.

Anyhow, here then is our list of the ten most iconic rock and roll T shirts of all time. It was close but sadly Ned’s Atomic Dustbin didn’t quite make the cut.

12 Sonic Youth

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As worn by hipsters across the planet. One wonders how many of them are on nodding terms with the album from which the print is taken - Goo. The image is a Raymond Pettibon illustration based on a paparazzi photo of Maureen Hindley and her first husband David Smith, witnesses in the case of the "Moors Murders" serial killers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, driving to the trial in 1966.

Stockists

Sonic Youth Goo  AC/DC Motorhead Stone Roses The Who Nirvana Joy Division Inspiral Carpets Ramones Smiths Beatles Stones 



music

Serge Gainsbourg, Francois Hardy, France Gall and the top ten 60s French pop videos

By Stefano on November 21st, 2012

I was at a Tame Impala gig the other week when in the interlude they played a track by France Gall. The girl in front of me was so moved that she spent three minutes trying unsuccessfully to Shazam it. Eventually I told what it was and pointed her in the direction of this - the very first France Gall to get a proper UK release. It does strike me that with new Gallic bands like Melody’s Echo Chamber and Mademoiselle Nineteen saluting their 60s pop heroes as well as psych bands championing the likes of Jacques Dutronc now seems as good a time as any to plug some gorgeous French pop. Here then are my ten favourite 60s French pop videos courtesy of the wonderful YouTube.

There’s also a wonderful French 60s pop Spotify Playlist at the bottom courtesy of the fellas from Modculture.

1 Francoise Hardy – Je Changerais D’avis Francoise Hardy made so many wonderful records during the 60s and early 70s that it is a real struggle choosing just one. But for me Je Changerais nicks it for its dramatic vocal, sweeping strings and slightly bonkers video. The Divine Comedy apparently had a stab at it. The Vogue Years compilation is a good place to start and her English language recordings are well worth tracking down too.

2 Serge Gainsbourg – Initials BB Gainsbourg’s love(?) song for his mid 60s squeeze Brigitte Bardot with whom he was to record the original version of his most infamous track – Je t’aime. Many critics cite 1971′s Melody Nelson as his masterpiece, but for a sheer run of brilliant pop tunes his 66-68 period takes some beating. Shame these days he’s as remembered for being a drunken old lech who wanted to ‘foirk’ Whitney Houston as he is his unique music. Then again if you haven’t seen the Whit video…

3 France Gall – Poupee de Cire Gainsbourg again this time as the composer of France Gall’s monster break through hit Poupee de Cire. Easily the best song to win Eurovision – ok, this might be a rival had it won – France Gall went on from being the Gallic version of Lulu, through a wonderful period as a Psychedelic songstress to more mature stuff in the 70s and 80s. She also recorded some tracks in German, the best of which is this. You have to watch it to see the bemused faces of the audience.

4 Jacquleine Taieb – 7:00 AM This is one of the best mid 60s French beat pounders. Great riff, brilliant drums and a very sexy vocal. She was Moroccan and had several big-ish hits during the decade. This is her English language take. Here are some incredibly cool kids miming to it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpo4t-2f9mk&feature=related

5 Brigitte Bardot- Harley Davidson More Gainsbourg in his prime, this one features the lust-object of Initials BB pushing her rather limited vocal skills to the limit. You will have probably heard this before. It has been covered by several English language speaking bands and that riff has been widely sampled.

6 Eric Charden – Le Monde Est Gris, le Monde Est Bleu Seriously huge ballad from one of the unsung heroes of 60s French pop. This tune, the world is grey, the world is blue apparently was a huge hit in France in 1967 and was recorded in several other languages too though not English. In fact it is quite surprising really that Engelbert, Vince or even Cliff didn’t have a crack at it. I love the wonderfully inappropriate drumming – genius.

7 Delphine – La Fermeture Éclair Fabulous French cover of killer psych garage tune In the past, which was made famous by We The People and The Chocolate Watchband. The female French language vocals work brilliantly when layered over those spiralling sitary sounds. Ok, so dodgy vid, but don’t let that put you off.This is what French people did when they took mind expanding drugs – looks very civilised. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SogzcyinZGs&feature=related

8 Jacques Dutronc – Et moi, et moi, et moi Dutronc had plenty going for him in the 60s. A Dylan-esque whine, Stonesy beats, some great tunes and Francois Hardy for a girlfriend he was the epitomy of Gallic cool. In the 90s there was a band who basically played cover versions of his songs. They were impossibly cool too.

9 Annie Philippe – C’est la mode Quite possibly my favourite French 60s tune ever, C’est la mode is a Stonesy romp complete with wicked fuzz guitar and a dash of folk rock. Would love it if someone could explain the bonkers video though. She is still making music and she still looks great.

10 Les Parapluies de Cherbourg From one of the most amazing films of all time – imagine a French Singing in the rain, but one that is way cooler and heartbreakingly beautiful – comes this Michel Legrand penned big ballad. Scott Walker was smitten with it and recorded this and several other Legrand tunes. Any movie that manages to make Cherbourg look sexy has to be a work of genius. Don’t get too upset about the sentiment though. While he’s off getting shot at in the Algerian war she takes up with a decent, but slightly slimy jewel dealer. So true love is dashed once again…



features, music

The Unmissables – the top ten debut albums of 2012

By Stefano on November 20th, 2012

It is almost the end of the year so time to start compiling those best of 2012 lists, and to kick things off we thought we ‘d take a look at the best debut albums.

There has been an explosion of  great new guitar bands this year. From Alabama Shakes in the States through to Sweden’s bizarrely monikered Goat, the new breed are playing intelligent, tough but catchy pop songs, often rooted in the past but given a very contemporary spin by mixing and matching musical genres and trends.

Here then is our top ten. In no particular order. They are all available on Spotify. And you can hear a selection of the tracks on our playlist under the image.

Any we have missed?

Beaulieu Porch

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Imagine a bloke in Wiltshire trying to re-create Seargent Pepper in his attic room studio and you get the debut album from The Porch. At times, on Laminations Are Loaded and Keep On Screaming, they deliver some of the best Beatley Psych for decades. Highly recommended.



music

Kurt Cobain’s 50 favourite albums – how many do you own?

By Stefano on November 15th, 2012

Kudos to Flavorwire for publishing a hand written note from the late Nirvana fella that lists his top 50 albums.

It is a facsinating list in many ways for several of the albums he mentions were, how shall we say, rather uncool in the plaid shirt and super long shorts late 80s and early 90s grunge era.

So while there are plenty of the ususal suspects (Stooges, Sex Pistols and Sonic Youth) there is also The Marine Girls Beach Party (think winsome English lo-fi pop with a pre-Everything But The Girl Tracey Thorn on vocals) and Get The Knack by The Knack (oddball skinny tied power pop from the late 70s which includes My Sharona, but would have had Soundgarden and Mudhoney fans running a mile).  There is also The Shaggs’ Philosophy Of The World which was a dirty secret back then and was viewed as a60s novelty record, not a garage punk masterpiece.

Here’s The Shaggs

Kurt has also chosen for his Beatles album not Revolver or Seargent Pepper but Meet The Beatles – which was basically the US version of the second album With The Beatles but with I Want to Hold Your Hand and I Saw Her Standing There also on board.

Interesting to see that very high on the list is The Pixies Surfer Rosa, the album whose sound Kurt ripped off creatively reinvented more than any other.

So how many do you own or listen to regualrly on Spotify? I have 6? Tell us in the comments.



Footwear, music, Shoes

Clarks team up with Best Coast for Record Store Day inspired Desert Boots

By Gerald Lynch on November 12th, 2012

Clarks are once again teaming up with Record Store Day, putting together a line of tune-inspired footwear and bagging the services of Californian indie-pop maestros Best Coast in the process.

As part of Clarks’ Originals collection for 2013, the veritable shoe makers will be putting together a line of bold, colourful patent leather Desert Boots for guys and girls, as well as pumps for the ladies too. Incorporating a vinyl print line motif  in our favourite mens’ pair (pictured above), each pair also includes raised concentric circle detailing, just like the grooves of a vinyl record.

As well as putting out a limited edition vinyl of their own to mark the partnership, Best Coast will also be playing a one off LA gig for Clarks on Record Store Day 2013 (the precise date remains a closely guarded secret). Those not among the lucky few able to bag a ticket will be able to stream the entire gig online at www.clarksoriginals.com.

“This is the next chapter in the on-going story of Clarks Originals and our hugely successful association with music,” says Gemma Green, Clarks marketing manager.

“We are delighted to collaborate with US band Best Coast, supporting Record Store Day 2013. The partnership results iin an exclusive track produced on vinyl and a limited edition Desert Boot – both timeless classics that stand the test of time. record Store Day and its spirit is the perfect alignment for Clarks Originals.”

Keep an eye out for the boots to touch down early next Spring, ahead of April 2013′s Record Store Day festivities.

Click here for more details, and scroll down for some more images of the new range.

Clarks Record Store Day 2013 Desert Boots

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music

2012 and the Psychedelic explosion – Tame Impala, Toy, Jacco Gardner, The Sufis and a load more

By Stefano on November 1st, 2012

In case you hadn’t noticed there is a bit of a psychedelic revival going on at the moment. and it isn’t just garage bands cranking up the feedback or janglemeisters going a little woozy. This is proper psychedelia in all its technicolour glory.

As the pop historians among you know, the first psych era started in 1966 with tracks like The Byrds’ Eight Miles High and The Fabs’ Tomorrow Never Knows which took basic beat pop and freaked it out by all manner of weird effects and musical influences. By 1970 psych was all but over as the wigged out pop got replaced by light and fluffy bubblegum pop for the kids and pretentious prog nonsense for their older siblings. Of course there were still bands like this lot that fell between the cracks, but psychedelia became about as fashionable as music hall.

Punk’s year zero approach meant that psych, like every other 60s and 70s musical form, was the uncool preserve of a previous generation – which given that The Sex Pistols loved Psych bands like The Creation and The Small Faces – was a little uncharitable.

Psych revivals

The first psych revival really took place in the UK in the early 80s throwing up this mob – who even scored a genius novelty single – and the decade’s best kept secret Miles Over Matter, who recorded some amazing swirly pop songs but never managed to release a single or an album.

A few years later musicians from big alternative acts like The Smiths. The Bangles and REM began to plunder the late 60s for musical ideas, while at the same time a hardcore garage psych scene that strove to be authentic to the original 60s sound began to emerge. Then you had The Stone Roses who’d clearly read ever word in the psych textbook and whose debut album might just be the first psych record to really rival the music from the first psych era.

The new psych bands

And so to today. Bands like The Sufis and Paperhead from Nashville, Alfa 9 and Beaulieu Porch from England and individuals like Holland’s Jacco Gardner have set the controls for the heart of the sun delivering prime Barrett-esque psych. And then there’s the elder statesmen. Have you heard the new Brian Jonestown Massacre album - it doesn’t get a lot more psych than that?

Then there’s the band that are the torchbearers of the new era – Australia’s Tame Impala. Trippy as anything, but very BBC 6 Music friendly, the band have released a pair of brilliant albums and even sold out Brixton’s Academy this week.

Quite why this is happening is a mystery. Maybe it is just bands have become bored of recycling all those early 80s bands, and the Brooklyn mob, who have appropriated C86 sounds – arguably the most British music trend since Skiffle – have found it just a little too one dimensional.

Odd too that some of the stuff owes as much a debt to the 80s and the bands who were in awe of the 60s like The Dukes of Stratosphear and The Three ‘O Clock, as it does to the original sounds.

Another point is that the sound and the equipment of the 60s can now be replicated with Garageband, so all those weird phasing motifs and kitchen sink style production is available to anyone who can work their way round a Mac.

Then there’s the influence of Shindig magazine, whose ever increasing circulation means that a whole generation of pop fans are discovering classic, and often ultra obscure, 60s bands as well as getting to read about the new bands.

Anyhow, enough of the theory. Here’s a quick trawl through some incredible new music.

The Sufis – come from Nashville and have just released one hell of a Pink Floyd-esque album. It is utterly addictive. The single Where Did She Go, is prime trippy 60s Brit psych with a hint of the Three O’ Clock. Marvellous, and it is on Spotify too. Paperhead share the same manor and many of the same influences as The Sufis and their debut was one of the highlights of last year.

Jacco Gardner – Jacco is a Dutch bloke who is obsessed with making beautiful multi-layered psych using unusual instruments. His first single – Clear The Air – was stunning. This current one Where Will You Go, is almost as good.

Alfa 9 – Signed to Blow Up Records this Stoke-based band have just issued their second album, Gone To Ground, which boasts some gorgeous floaty psych as well as jangly stuff like this. It is on Spotify too.

Beaulieu Porch - Multi-instrumentalist Simon Berry has just delivered two truly great albums in less than six months. It is like Nick Nicely’s Hilly Fields or even Tears For Fears’ Sowing The Seeds turned up the max. Also on Spotify.

The See See - It would be very rude not to mention this London band who have just issued a superb Byrdsie album which contains this corking single.

Melody’s Echo Chamber – Who, IMO have produced the album of the year so far. If you like breathy 60s pop as practised by Ivy and The Postmarks, but with a load of weird effects and time changes this is for you. Working in similar territory are The Hall of Mirrors and The Still Corners, two wonderful English bands.

We shouldn’t forget the Welsh psych bands, the best of which, Colorama, recently issued this cracking album.

Finally, honorable mentions go to The Sunchymes (think Beach Boys meets Syd Barrett), The Soundcarriers (whose two superb album mix easy listening, kraut rock and 90s indie), Toy (BBC 6 Music faves) and The Chemistry Set (who are keeping the early 90s psych flame alive).

And here’s quite a few of those bands in one Spotify playlist



features, music

Forget Adele and Skyfall, these are the best James Bond songs EVER

By Gerald Lynch on October 5th, 2012

Gun sights darting from each edge of the screen. The iconic theme kicks in. A man in a tuxedo walks into view, turns to the camera. BANG! Fade to red.

BOND IS BACK! We’re just weeks away from the release of Skyfall, Daniel Craig’s third outing as 007, and the 23rd adventure for the world’s most famous spy.

Today’s also World Bond Day, marking the 50th anniversary of the release of Dr. No, Bond’s first silver screen assignment. With it comes the release of the latest Bond theme, “Skyfall” sung by Adele and written by the songstress herself along with Paul Epworth. It’s a return to the sweeping sound that characterised early Bond themes after a run of more rock-tinged tracks, but the classic sound hasn’t won everyone over. You can hear it in the video embedded below.

So what is the very best Bond song ever? We’ve pulled together our favourite Bond songs at Brandish below. See if you agree with our choices! Though our license to kill probably means you should think twice about disagreeing with us…

Carly Simon – Nobody Does It Better

The best Bond song ever? If it was down to the amount of times it had been covered by other artists, this one would definitely stand a good chance, with everyone from Radiohead to fictional North Norfolk radio host Alan Partridge (AKA Steve Coogan) putting their spin on the tune. The title song to The Spy Who Loved Me, it’s a classy, soulful track that stands up as a great pop song in its own right.

Louis Armstrong – We Have All The Time In The World

If ever there’s been a Bond song that’s transcended categorisation as purely a Bond theme, it’s got to be this one. What a beauty! Louis Armstrong’s last recorded track, it’s actually the secondary theme for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and soundtracks one of the warmest, most heart-warming endings in Bond history. It’s easily the best song on the list, but does that make it the best BOND song? We’ll let you decide that.

Duran Duran – View To A Kill

A definite change of pace for the series, Duran Duran’s theme swaps strings and brass for new romantic synths. It still manages to retain the suave Bond style though, and marked a new modern direction for the ever-changing Bond.

A-Ha – The Living Daylights

In the same vein as the Duran Duran track, The Living Daylights has a killer pop hook, and is one of the punchier Bond songs written.

Nancy Sinatra – You Only Live Twice

Kicking off with unforgettable lush strings, You Only Live Twice is the sound of Bond at his most dashing. Even heavy sampling by Robbie Williams can’t sully this song.

Paul McCartney and Wings – Live and Let Die

Wings: only the band The Beatles could have been. Here McCartney rocks out to one of the most instantly recognisable Bond songs, with an excellent riff and almost jaunty breakdown. Typical McCartney then. We actually prefer the Guns N’ Roses version though. Whatever. So shoot us.

Shirley Bassey – Diamonds Are Forever

Shirley Bassey, regular Bond songstress, laid the foundations for what we now consider that Bond theme “sound”. Though many point to Goldfinger as her best, we prefer Diamonds Are Forever. It sounds more modern, and in our opinion has aged better. Which is probably why everyone from Kanye West to the Arctic Monkeys have played about with the track in some way or other in recent times.

Tina Turner – Goldeneye

Not the biggest Tina Turner fan in the world, to be honest. You have to be a 50+ housewife to like much of the stuff she’s done since her 1960s R&B heyday in our opinion. But when she’s on form, she’s got a cracking voice, and she totally nails it with Goldeneye. Little known fact, but this one was written by U2′s Bono and The Edge. Listen to those strings again and you can definitely imagine a reverb-laden riff by The Edge taking the lead instead.

So what do you think of our choice? Do they leave you shaken or stirred? Let us know in the comments below!



music, News

Domino Drip.fm: A digital fan-club for the 21st century

By Gerald Lynch on September 10th, 2012

domino drip topDomino has become one of the most influential record labels of the last two decades, being the stable housing Hot Chip, Dirty Projectors, Spiritualized, John Cale, Arctic Monkeys and Animal Collective, among many others. Earlier this year Domino launched a new digital fanclub service called Domino Drip, and we’ve spent the last few weeks trying it out.

Part of the Drip.fm service, a $9.99 subscription bags you two hand-picked albums and a host of bonus material each month, including classic and exclusive releases not just from Domino, but from labels Double Six, Ribbon and Weird World too.

Download links to new releases are sent directly to your inbox each month, with tracks served up in WAV or 320kbps MP3 formats. You also get the option to stream tracks, with new albums sometimes being offered up for streaming a few weeks before release. A 30% off voucher for vinyl, CDs and merchandise at Domino’s online store also becomes available after every 6 months of subscription.

There’s a feeling of exclusivity with the Domino Drip feed that you won’t get with other music services; you’re communicating directly with the label, and while the comments area isn’t quite as well populated as you’d hope for, those who are sharing their views are true, hardcore musos well up for a debate. It’s also great to get in on exclusive competitions and news from your favourite artists, with Q&As with bands and early streaming access to upcoming albums also regularly popping up.Screen Shot 2012-09-10 at 10.26.23.pngUnlike Spotify, your $9.99 a month lets you own the music offered by the service too, rather than renting them and losing access to your playlists once you choose to end a subscription. That price lines up well against download prices for new releases from the likes of iTunes too.

On the other hand though, $9.99 gives you just two albums a month, whereas Spotify and its ilk give you access to thousands upon thousands of albums of your choosing. Remember that Domino Drip content is editorially chosen; it may be the best of the label, but that still might not be to your taste. Also, we were disappointed not to be offered more extensive liner notes; as part of a premium, exclusive, service for serious music fans, this seems an oversight.

It’s an intriguing service then, and one that really lets you show off your cool credentials. But you’ll have to weigh up carefully whether feeling like a member of a special club is as important to you as a wider selection of tunes.

For more on Domino Drip, click here.



music

The five most under-rated Rolling Stones albums – Some Girls, Satanic Majesties and more

By Stefano on July 13th, 2012

So The Stones are 50 this week. I must admit it always makes me chuckle when people say that The Stones were great at singles and rubbish at albums. Let’s be honest, The Beatles wiped the floor with them on both accounts. Besides there are some great Stones albums. I am sure you know all about Exile on Main Street, Aftermath and Sticky Fingers. But IMO there are a few more that need re-discovering.

1 Their Satanic Majesties Request – I really don’t understand why some Stones fans are still sniffy about this album. It more experimental, more ambitious and more entertaining than anything else they recorded in the 60s. So what if it wasn’t Sgt Pepper, pretty much everything recorded in the last 60 years is in the shadow of that masterpiece. It is a wonderful record with some very strong tunes, imaginative arrangements and some suitably silly interludes.

For Brit Psych, notoriously associated with flowers, folky guitars and all manner of tweeness it is also pretty rowdy too. In fact not much recorded in 67 sounds as tough as Citadel – that riff is as dirty as anything Keef would lay down over the coming years

For me The Stones died a little when Brian left. They lost a bit of exoticism, a bit of edge and they also went a little too Transatlantic. Which is a real shame as maybe they might have gone on a totally different, and perhaps more adventurous, musical journey.

2 Some Girls – This is also absolutely phenomenal. It was as if the band cocked an ear to what was happening in the late 70s – new wave, disco, err country etc – and shrugged their shoulders and decided to record an album that absorbed those influences but was better than almost anything that the young pretenders were offering. I guess I really like the way they send themselves up too. There’s not a huge amount of humour on those early 70s albums, Some Girls is gag central. In Miss You it also contains arguably their last truly magnificent pop song.

3 Flowers – Ok, so not strictly a proper album, but a round up of their finest baroque pop. Ruby Tuesday, Lady Jane and the inexplicably unreleased (until then) Sittin’ On A Fence. One for Left Banke fans.

4 Beggars Banquet – For me an atypical late 60s, early 70s Stones album. The highlights are incredible – Sympathy, Street Fighting Man, No Expectations etc but there’s plenty of filler too.

5 Emotional Rescue – Some Girls pt2 aka Emotional Rescue, is also great, especially the Sham 69-esque Where The Boys Go and She’s So Cold. They started getting dull again after that.



features, festivals, music, News

REVIEW: The Stone Roses at Heaton Park – A second coming worth a 16 year wait

By Gerald Lynch on July 2nd, 2012

The Stone Roses - Heaton Park 2012

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Picture 1 of 30

Reunion shows aren’t quite the mystical occasion they once were. From the Pixies to Suede to Led Zeppelin to Pulp, long-missed musical heroes are now a staple head to the line-up of summer festivals.

The Stone Roses reunion, however, sits outside the realms of regular reunion shows . Following an acrimonious split, it’s been 16 years since the original line-up of vocalist Ian Brown, guitarist John Squire, bassist Gary “Mani” Mounfield, and drummer Alan “Reni” Wren shared a stage. With each member taken up with solo projects, other bands or ventures outside of music altogether, bassist Mani called reunion rumours “totally fantasy island”. It seemed like it was never going to happen.

But it did. Though big bucks obviously exchanged hands, this was always going to be about more than just the money. There was unfinished (monkey) business to attend to. Laying down the soundtrack for a generation with their eponymous début album, The Stone Roses took years to put out so-so follow up The Second Coming. From then on in it was a slow slide towards destruction with near misses (such as their heartbreaking headline Glastonbury show pull-out caused, by Squire breaking a collarbone while mountain biking) punctuating the run-up to the band’s inevitable implosion. The band that invented “baggy” and rejuvenated jangly indie pop never got their just deserts.

It was with genuine jubilation then, not cynicism, that fans welcomed the news of a reunion in October 2011.

Saturday’s second Heaton Park homecoming show (30/06/2012) was a triumph, silencing any naysayers and showing a band perfectly at ease with their “legendary” status. If the first night had been methodical and careful, the second saw the band enjoying themselves, playing loose with extended jams and Ian Brown prowling the stage; the King Monkey had reclaimed his throne.

Kicking things off with their traditional slow-building blinder I Wanna Be Adored, The Stone Roses powered through a set of fan favourites which included their first album in its entirety.

Though every song was rapturously received, highlights came in somewhat unexpected places. Fans sang at their loudest during first album track Made Of Stone and The Second Coming single Ten Story Love Song. A well lubricated crowd of all ages was in good, friendly spirits (a rarity in enormo-shows like these), bobbing with baggy swagger to the grooves of Fools Gold, with Squire, Reni and Mani regularly jamming segues between each song.

Though banter was kept to a minimum, Brown kept an eye on a lively crowd, commanding the swarming pit to “pick each other up if you go down”, and flying into an anti-royal diatribe before first album favourite Elizabeth My Dear.

Ending the only way an epic Stone Roses set could with an extended I Am The Resurrection, fans cheered a united, hugging band at the close as fireworks blasted overhead and Bob Marley’s Redemption Song blared out of the PA. A fitting end; after years of fighting and will-they-wont-they reunion rumours, the band have risen phoenix like, redeemed, proving their enduring relevance and position as one of the finest bands to ever hail from British shores.

The set remained identical to Friday night’s opener, and also carried over onto Sunday’s show, likely in order to help director Shane Meadow as he prepares to edit together a commemorative DVD of the weekend. Hit the Spotify playlist below to hear the Saturday night set-list in full:


Earlier in the day saw fellow Manc hero Liam Gallagher declare The Stone Roses “the best band in the world” as he lead his post-Oasis project Beady Eye onstage for the main headline slot. Carrying Gallagher’s trademark swagger throughout, a genial crowd paid most attention when the band tore through a handful of Oasis classics including Rock ‘n’ Roll Star and Morning Glory.

Beady Eye were preceded by Professor Green, whose dubstep-tinged rapping was at odds with the rest of the line-up. Despite a short barrage from hecklers, Professor Green eventually won over the crowds with hits including I Need You Tonight and Just Be Good To Green which saw a surprise appearance from Lily Allen.

The Wailers managed to bring out the sun during what was a heavily overcast day. Though few remaining members of the original Bob Marley-era line-up remain, they enjoyed mass sing alongs to One Love and I Shot The Sheriff.

Hollie Cook, daughter of Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook, kicked off the day with a reggae/punk fused set welcomed by a crowd already fired up by a 16 year wait.

IMAGES – PA



Celeb style, features, Grooming, music

20 Most Iconic Rock ‘n’ Roll Hairstyles

By Gerald Lynch on June 29th, 2012

Rock ‘n’ roll can be broken down as follows: 10% fashion, 10% music and 110% HAIR. We know that adds up to 130%. That’s why we’re writing for a fashion site and aren’t quantum physicists. But it also acts to highlight just how important good hair can be in the making of a musical and cultural icon, and cementing the status of bona-fide rock ‘n’ roll stars. Where would Elvis be without his quiff? Or Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust without his…his unique style? On the dole queue, that’s where. Here, Brandish pick out the 20 most iconic hair styles in rock ‘n’ roll history.

Scroll down to get started!

David Bowie

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Picture 1 of 20

Flaming red with a quiff up top and party mullet at the back, David Bowie's transformation into Ziggy Stardust was one of the most striking in pop history. With the sci-fi influenced Ziggy Stardust look, Bowie opened the floodgates for a whole sea of androgynous stars and, to a lesser extent, made homosexuality and bisexuality less of a rock 'n' roll taboo in the process.




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